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Pokémon: Rise Of The Rockets

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IC: Evan Tierra

After the meeting, Evan had thought it best to go and rest up. Everything he had learned, only made his desire to relearn his powers greater. He wanted to be able to help his friends, and he wouldn't get anywhere being as tired as he was. "I also have to apologize to my pokemon friends." The Hero thought."I definitely made them worry more than necessary the past few days."

As he drew closer to the apartment that had been set aside for him, Evan recalled what Colette had said about Jenny. Considering the hour, Evan was sure the redhead was fast asleep or wandering around. Just in case, he sent her a message detailing what had gone down, and how he was staying back to train himself. He also added that they should meet up tomorrow. After that, Evan entered and smiled at the Garchomp laying on the ground, who looked at him, looking almost relieved at how her friend looked.

"Gnip, how about we do some training tomorrow and maybe Jenny will watch us?" Evan told the landshark. "We both have been laying around, and we need to get in shape again." The Plasma Agent gave Gnip a few pats on the head, and laid onto his bed.

IC: Lafoyae Belrose

A cold fire burned in Lafoyae's blue eyes. It was a fire of determination. She had been terrified back on the train. This time, she would try to be brave, and she would make these creatures pay. Despite how things could go, the assassin was confident they would succeed in this mission. She wordless prepared herself for the mission. Hopefully her warmup with Executive James Arthur had prepared her for what was to come.

"We'll just have to see how this plays out." She thought as she walked onto the plane. "It may get terrifying, but.....I won't give up."

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-==IC: Alex Zyther/Amelia Zann==-

 

Despite himself, Alex felt himself start to blush. "It's not really that much," he mumbled, emotions a mixture of pleasure and embarrassment at the praise. He cleared his throat to banish the moment, directing his attention to the pretty purple-haired woman--Blake? Belle?--to address her offer. "I, uh...I mean, I don't want to be a bother, but..." the boy cleared his throat again. "Normally I'd try to get by on my own, but I haven't...I don't seem to have my normal endurance, not since we left Laverre."

 

The redheaded spy he'd joined up with chuckled--whether in sympathy or derision, he couldn't tell. "That'd be the coma," she declared. "Two weeks in a bed--maybe more for you--that'd wreak havoc on the healthiest muscles." Alex ignored the unspoken condescension--he'd heard it his whole life (if just a few years could be called that), in quiet whispers from "cultured" businesspeople just soft enough to pretend they hadn't meant him to hear--but still his face burned. He hoped the others wouldn't make a big deal of it. "As for me," Amelia was saying, "I'll walk--need to build back what I lost while I was out--but I imagine you overexerting yourself wouldn't be the best bet for either of us."

 

And there it was. That subtle moment that bizarrely seemed to be both generous and selfish in equal measure. It kept him unnervingly off-balance; if the woman just hated him, it'd be simple enough, but it rankled that she tried to take care of him anyway.

 

Even so, he tried to keep his emotions in check, even if he couldn't hold back his defiance. "I'm plenty experienced with managing my own health, thanks," he tried not to spit, mostly succeeding, thankfully, even if he couldn't quite avoid a little edge and a hint of venom, "but yes, it would be in our best interests for me to ride," he finished, turning a hopefully-not-too-frustrated smile to the purple-haired woman. "If it's not too much trouble." Finally, almost to distract himself: "It'd be cool to see a real live Dragonair, too, they're supposed to be pretty rare here in Kalos, so I've only seen them in books." Alex smiled shyly and tried not to blush in embarrassment at his relative inexperience compared to these obviously professional Trainers. Amelia snorted--he was getting used to that--but thankfully had nothing to add.

 

 

IC: Belle LaDonna/Alma Mason

 

Belle's eyebrows shot up. "Coma? What the flip happened, Pond?!" That was worrisome. Belle pulled Hemlock's ball off of her belt and released the dragon type. "Tell me while we scoot, alright? Alex, I'll have y'all on Cyanide's back, he's a bit more stable than Hem. Butcha can say hi, first."

 

She glanced at Alma, to see what the assassin was making of things. The younger girl seemed perfectly content to follow the others' direction, though Belle could see her thinking over something.

 

Cyanide landed lightly beside Alex, making a metallic sound as it did so. Hemlock looked to the boy, then turned her nose up and closed her eyes. Belle rolled her eyes. "Ignore her, kid, she thinks she's somethin' special. Nevermind the amount of praise you'd've given 'er."

Edited by MELON LORD

"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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-==IC: Ryan==-

 

As the time for the helicopters to take off drew ever closer, Ryan ran through the diagnostics on the suit for probably the millionth time since he was suited up. He did not want to be caught off guard, especially on this mission. He took the Pokeball for his Tyranitar, and looked through the tinted glass - something seemed to be making the Pokemon nervous, but he couldn't exactly tell what it was. The man thought back to the night before when they were sparring, and realized that Tyranitar seemed to be a little off his game there too. Yet. . . that fight also brought a tougher challenge than most of the sessions recently.

 

Ryan glanced up as Ray walked in and took a seat nearby. He could also see Lucia boarding the helicopter, and wondered what the two thought of the mission. For a moment he wished that he had Chloe's psychic powers so he could find out, but knew that was just a selfish idea. With a sigh, Ryan leaned back and looked to the ceiling. He could feel the buzzing of his Pokegear, but ignored it for now as he needed to keep concentration on the upcoming fight.

 

-==IC: Cassie==-

 

So much had happened in the weeks following the Celadon City attacks. Repairs had gotten underway for a time, but the recent outage of Pokemon Power across the world brought them to a screeching halt. Until the city got back to mechanical options, all of the repairs that had been going on would not be able to be continued. However, investigations into any open cases remained. Most were open and shut, but Cassandra had gotten herself personally involved in one.

 

"I'm tellin' ya, there's nothin' there now." The man that Cassie was talking with had grown frustrated, as he placed his hand on his forehead. "The old fogies at the Rockets and cops all looked through that hospital, or what remains of it, and there's nothin' there. Just the rubble you'd expect, and a couple extra canes - the ones you mentioned for us to look for. But other than that, not a thing."

"And you're saying you have no way to track that energy your team picked up during the battle now?"

 

The woman crossed her arms as she looked sharply at the investigator.

 

"Look. Teleportation energy? It don't last long. It might hang around for a while - half an hour tops. But after that, you got nothin'. We didn't get to it in time to find out what happened, just that somethin' did happen. Past that? It's all a blank. I'd say we've got enough to say that kid-a-yours got out - but nothin' else. Workin' us half to death won't give any more answers than the big cheeses have."

 

"We can't just give up. I feel like that hospital was attacked for a reason. At this rate, I'd like to track down that doctor. Perhaps he has some words for us, particularly on what happened and why he took off right before the place was attacked." Cassie trailed off with a frown. "I'll try to contact someone to help. There's no guarantee I'll be able to find anyone, though."

"Now, what 'bout that other thing you were askin' me to look into? That 'secret project' that couldn't even get to my S.O.?" The man crossed his arms expectantly, mimicking Cassie with some sass.

 

"It stays secret. If you have anything to tell me, then tell me now. If you want off it, then there's the door. But I'm not about to give you permission to just leak this to the public, Mac."

 

"Fine, fine." The man named Mac sighed in annoyance as he waved his hand dismissively. "Last I heard, there's rumours about that guy you wanted me to find. Nothin' concrete sayin' it's him, but... there is this." He pulled up a file on his tablet, a video of two men in a prison cell. "Look at this footage - a source within Plasma gave it to me. Had a heckuva time convincin' him it was a good idea to conveniently leave it for me. Look at this, though, see how that man never looks at the camera?"

 

Cassie looked at the screen as Mac pointed directly at the man who was holding a gun at the prisoner. She also recognized the prisoner as her ex. She watched as the man Mac pointed out executed Gerald, and mused about how the 'ex' part was official now. However, her eyes trained on the killer's hair - trimmed, yet distinctly orange.

 

"So, he's still alive." The woman stood up, and frowned. "That could pose a problem. Have you gotten started on the contingency plan?"

"Sorta. Can't say it'll work, but I didn't come here with nothin' in mind. I got some people, better prepped than I do, workin' to try and keep track of this ghost you have us chasin'. Doesn't help that you have us spread out in Kalos too. What even is your plan there? And don't say it's classified, I just busted my... ah..." Mac trailed off as one of the nurses walked into the room. "Backside off, just to get this info to you. I deserve some answers."

 

Cassie waited to reply until after the nurse left, but shook her head. "I agree, but now is not the time. No-one can know about this. If anything becomes a problem, eliminate the issue. We cannot attract attention, not now. Our endgame will be worth it, I know it, but if anyone finds out, it could be compromised. We do not know if Rocket or the law enforcement or anyone has been compromised. Even still, they would not approve in the slightest."

 

"I hope you got some 'contingency plans' in case that does go wrong, then." Mac leaned back in his chair, as he put his hands on his face.

 

Cassie nodded, and reached into her purse, pulling out a silenced pistol as she examined it.

 

"I do."

 

-==IC: Colette==-

 

Colette tossed and turned as she grimaced in her sleep. Something about the events of the prior day had set off her dreams in a way that just seemed to blend together. First she dreamed of a redhead falling from the sky. As she hit the ground, however, the ground turned to waves and acted like water. In the reflection she saw herself change from a rather overconfident warrior to a more battle hardened fighter with a different air. Around her however, she saw a bunch of towers rise up. She looked around her and saw these towers had a reddish flair to them, but also a rather mystic and fashionable feel. Her dream took an even more ominous turn, however, as the creatures from the egg once again invaded her dreams. McKlownley and the giant blob of doom followed shortly after and a mix of the clown and McKinley's laughter echoed through her head --

 

Colette gasped awake, as she breathed shakily and glanced around quickly to make sure that wasn't real. "Why do I keep having those dreams...?" The girl quietly whispered to herself as she dragged herself out of bed and over to the mirror. She looked about as ragged as she felt, but hoped that the rest of the day would bode better. The aura wielder quickly ran her hands through her hair to try and fix it up a bit temporarily, as she walked downstairs for something to eat. Colette knew it was still really early in the morning, but wanted to get something to eat before dealing with anything else. And once she was set, then she'd think about getting ready for the upcoming mission. . . even if she had no clue what she could do to prepare at the moment, especially with no time set in stone.

Edited by Blessed Blade

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-==IC: Alex Zyther/Amelia Zann==-

 

Alex was too busy being wowed by the pseudo-Legendary Pokémon to be offended. "You have a Metang too? Wow!" The Trainer patted Cyanide gently after clambering on. "Thanks, Ms...?"

 

"LaDonna," Amelia supplied with an evil grin.

 

"Thank you, Ms. LaDonna. I'm honored to meet a Trainer of such rare and powerful Pokémon." Behind him, Amelia snickered, though Alex couldn't figure out why. Maybe she's just not used to proper manners.

 

"So which way to the castle, Jacques Cartier?"

 

Alex shot a look at Amelia, but then considered their options. "Well, I guess we could circle eastward all the way back through Lumiose, but if we can handle the less-used Routes the path south through Geosenge would be quicker by a few days."

 

Seeing no objections from the others, Amelia shrugged. "Geosenge it is. Let's go."

 

With Alex leading the way, pointing out directions from atop Cyanide, Amelia fell back to walk with Belle, waiting for Alma to outpace them before addressing her old friend's concerns. "About the whole coma thing...it's messy. An' it's why I brought the kid. You, ah...you heard about what went down in Celadon, right?"



 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC: Belle LaDonna

 

She didn't get the chance to object to being called 'Ms. LaDonna' before they were on the move. Belle moved slowly behind the kids, giving Amelia plenty of room to talk with her. The bounty hunter shook her head.

 

"World's been so full o' news lately I heard about a bunch happening over in Hoenn, but Kanto flew under my wire. What went down?" She glanced over, concern showing in her purple eyes.

 

IC: Xander Cruize/Cameron Morill - Command, Alamo, Four Island; August 5th
 
The Kalosian hadn't been able to track Octavyn down the day before, which meant that he had even less time to talk to her. Luckily, he had gotten her hours before parting ways, so he knew she would be in the Command Center right now. He would talk to her before things started happening over on Three Island, that way she had no reason to avoid him.
 
The last person he wanted to see that morning was Cameron. The DJ was striding down the hall towards him, and the usual cocky grin graced his face. "Big Z, what's a snoozer like you doing out and about so early in the morning?" he asked in the arrogant tone that seemed to be his default.
 
"For one thing, Cameron, I don't usually sleep much past sunrise," Xander retorted, his voice more than a little cold. "For another, I need to talk with Octy regarding this mission--"
 
"Shouldn't you be suiting up? I hear the helicopters are about to leave." Cameron paused, seeming to come to a realization. "Oh, wait, that's right. You got booted, didn't you? Yeah, Octy told me. Well, Xander, guess you've finally learned that no mere mortal is as tough as a superstar like me."
 
"Shut up!" Xander snarled. "Not that mission. A mission some of my other friends are going on, to Kalos. Not that it's any of your business." He took a moment to collect himself. His blood was boiling, a response that only a handful of people had gotten from him. "Anyways, what are you doing here?"
 
"Oh, same, y'know. When you're a huge star like myself, you have to squeeze in time to talk with friends when you can. So, Mr. Busybody, why don't you just wait your turn out here, while the big kids talk?"
 
Xander could have hit Cameron, if the jerk hadn't opened the door and swept inside. All the psychic trainer could do was follow him inside and approach Octavyn behind him.
Edited by MELON LORD

"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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-==IC: Stacy/Natalie==-

 

The sun shone in the afternoon sky, as Natalie Dexter walked toward the Trilan mansion in Celadon City. For the past week, she had been summoned by Stacy to follow her around and watch how things were handled with her work. The young woman did not mind much due to having a distinct lack of work to do while the Olivine Garden underwent repairs. At least, that's what the manager kept saying. She believed he was just trying to milk insurance money for all it was worth.

 

Natalie shook her head as she knocked on the door to the mansion. The woman was perplexed by Stacy's requests, but had accepted without much hesitation. She had to admit it was pretty neat too, as the goings-ons in the company were fascinating. But what reason was there for her to be brought into meetings?

 

"Ah, hello Natalie! I'm glad you're here!" As Mrs. Trilan opened the door, Natalie gave a warm smile to her. "Come, right this way. I'm sorry for not explaining about why I requested your presence so much this week, but I hope I can remedy that today."

 

The two chatted about other things as they walked down the hall to a sealed door. Curious about what this could be for, Natalie followed the older woman in as a TV screen lit up, showing a bunch of text and numbers that made no real sense to her. Natalie took a seat at the long table and looked around in surprise at the fact that this looked like a secure meeting room.

 

"I know you must have many questions, so let me start with what is likely the biggest one. This room is used for business meetings that must be kept absolutely secure. . . or just meetings that I don't want people eavesdropping in on." Stacy motioned to the screen. "That has a secure feed - though in this case it's simply hooked up to the business computer since there's no need for that much security at the moment. Either way, not many people actually focus on us anyway."

"What do you need so much security for, though? Don't you just run a clothing company?"

 

"Oh yes, yes I do. We might have branched out in terms of what type of clothing we make a bit, in addition to our normal lines." Stacy smiled at the young woman's confusion, and pressed a button on the desk. Natalie looked over to the screen as schematics of specially made form-fitting clothes appeared on the screen. "In addition to the world of fashion, we now also try to make things that can protect people. A form of armour in a way, though it wouldn't be of use in a warzone itself typically. It's more useful for smaller situations, like fighting a fire in Kalos or getting shot at in Hoenn. At the end of the day, though, this isn't the main focus, and is actually just a secret project kept from the general public."

 

Natalie looked at the older woman in surprise, as she hadn't expected armoured clothing to be something that Leavanny Strauss made. Still, that explained the security, but...

 

"Alright, then why am I being brought into all this? Why did you have me join in on the meetings and learn about this stuff? I'm like the most general public that anyone could get..."

 

Stacy smiled, as she let out a small laugh. "It is because I feel you have the ability to do well here. I know it's sudden, but I would like you to take over my position here some day. I know I'm too young to really think about what would happen to the company if anything were to happen to me, but after everything that has been happening... after the attack on Celadon, the loss of Pokemon Power, and all those happenings in the Sevii Islands... I'm honestly feeling like this needs to happen sooner rather than later."

 

Natalie seemed stunned at what the CEO said, and stayed quiet for a while as she tried to find out how to respond. On one hand, this felt like a dream job, but on the other... it just felt so sudden.

 

"When would all of this take place?"
 

"As soon as possible. I'm worried about my sister, and I might need to step down soon so I can keep an eye on her. I'm willing to give you a tour of the outpost here, however."

 

"Wait, the company has things here?" Natalie wondered exactly how much this mansion held, but admitted in her head that a mansion like this would probably able to be voted most likely to be a secondary outpost for a company.

 

"There have been a lot of times when I've had to work from home, so I decided to make home have a place to work. Here, follow me." Stacy stood up with a kind smile and for the second time in the hour, the two women made their way through the mansion. They came to a metal door with a keypad, and after a code was entered, they descended into the basement, and Natalie gasped as she saw the size of the rooms.

 

"This place was originally something entirely different - I wanted a gaming room initially, but realized this was a lot better in the end. The gaming room's upstairs now, if you're curious." Stacy continued to talk as Natalie looked around in awe at how much stuff was in the basement. She could see from the stairs that some of the people in the offices were working on the actual creation of the clothing, and some seemed to be running tests of some kind. "Plus, the benefit of this is that the entire basement is shielded for privacy. Makes it perfect for work-related things like this."

 

After a while, however, Natalie turned to Stacy. "Why me, though? I'm just a waitress at the Olivine Garden. I'm no-one special, and not suited for running even a Dungeons & Druddigons game. Well... I think so, at least - I've never even tried."

 

"You may not have actually tried to lead anything, but I saw your performance during the attack. You were willing to stand up for what you believe in, and you honestly reminded me of how I acted when I was younger. I had this position given to me when I had no clue in the slightest of how to actually handle it, and I learned on the fly." The woman walked over to a nearby cabinet, and grabbed some papers. "I prepared a few tips for if you decide to accept. I am sorry that this is so sudden, but..."

 

"But why me?" Natalie bit her lip for a moment, as she looked around. She felt like an alien in the room for some reason. "Wouldn't it be better to find someone suitable within the company?"

 

"I don't trust a lot of the people in the company to run it correctly." Stacy's voice fell to a hush as her face darkened slightly. "A lot of the board members feel... shifty. But they haven't given any reason to let them go either. I'm left with no other real options, especially because my brother shows no interest." The woman sighed for a moment as she looked at the people working in the basement. "I won't be pushy about thi-"

"I'll do it." Natalie took a deep breath, and then smiled. "This seems more exciting than waiting tables, anyway."

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OOC: mini-jams with Kon and Minun!

 

-==IC: Amanda Zarth==-

 

Amanda arrived at the hangar, exactly on time as usual, though it seemed that she was in fact among the latest arrivals--most likely a side-effect of her soon-to-be allies' nervousness, if those nearest her were any indication. Before suiting up, she took a moment to inspect her Power Suit; as per the note she had given the previous evening, a small Team Plasma insignia had been emblazoned upon one shoulder and on the back just below the neck, as well as another for good measure that would sit over her heart. Overkill, legally speaking, but an aesthetically appropriate choice nonetheless. After double-checking to make sure that, yes, the mind-affecting Amnesia protocol had indeed been placed behind a confirmation prompt, she ran through the basic suit start-up diagnostic. While it would be impossible to tell if the recommendation engine had also been reworked before engaging in battle, she trusted that the technicians working on the suit had done their best. With a nod of acknowledgment to the aforementioned technicians, she stepped toward the rest of the group. She singled out Executive Aaron, her sparring partner from the night previous, only to find that his helicopter was fully occupied. The Executive had not yet entered the vehicle, however, and she accelerated slightly to catch up with him before he did.

 

"Executive Aaron," she called by way of greeting. "Thank you again for last night's practice spar. I wish you the best of luck on the mission proper." She paused, considering. "There was one particular suit protocol I have yet to practice with. By your leave?" The Plasma agent offered Jayron a hand, as if for a handshake.

 

The executive raised an eyebrow at her offer. "And what protocol would that be, exactly?" he asked as he shook her hand.

 

Amanda closed her eyes, a concession to the disorientation a perspective shift might otherwise create. A small black pod with unobtrusive pink markings detached itself from the suit's wrist, hovering up Jayron's arm on psychic power before anchoring itself to his shoulder with insectoid legs. "The surveillance drone protocol," Amanda answered, her voice broadcast through the drone's small speaker. "If you don't mind, I would like to leave this device with you, so as to speed its deployment and aid in cross-team communication and observation on the field."

 

Jayron eyed his new shoulder accessory, masking his surprise at the suit's ability. "Of course." He smiled. "With a fight like this, we'll need all the help we can get. Best of luck to you."

 

"Thank you, Executive." Opening her eyes once more, Amanda nodded to Jayron one final time before turning to seek out her next target.

 

With one drone safely coupled to Executive Aaron's suit, Amanda turned her attention to the other Liberty Executive with which she had interacted, frowning as she noted that he, too, had already found traveling partners. She nonetheless approached him, offering a handshake as she had done for Executive Aaron. "Executive Arthur," she offered, "I'd like to thank you once more for your assistance yesterday. If it would not be too much trouble, might I leave one of this suit's surveillance drones with you, in case my assistance is required?"

 

"That would be much appreciated," James said, his face obscured by his visor, "Thank you. May you stay safe in the upcoming battle."

 

"And you as well. Please do not hesitate to call upon my aid should it become necessary." As before, she shook the Executive's hand, but this time the drone detached itself from her left wrist before hovering over to attach itself to James' shoulder. "Thank you again, Executive Arthur, for all of your assistance." Though hesitant to leave, the Plasma agent knew there was little time to waste, and swiftly sought a seat on another helicopter before they could all be claimed.

Edited by Flipz


 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC: Xander Cruize/Cameron Morrill/Octavyn Nowarei

 

Octy's station was positioned so that Xander and Cameron had to approach from one side. Xander kept a respectful distance back as Cameron leaned in and began whispering to the tech. The psychic let his eyes wander as Cameron went on and on, and on. And on. Even whispering, he really liked to hear himself talk. Octy, to her credit, seemed to be paying attention to him while still clicking between what looked like a few different files and filling in blank spots.

 

She paused in what she was doing to give Cameron a stern look followed by a quick glance at Xander, before she turned to face the DJ fully. Xander's eyes drifted over to her screen, and he frowned as his eyes noticed the words 'indefinite containment.' What was that about? He tried not to make it obvious he was reading as Cameron continued mumbling to Octavyn.

 

His brow furrowed as he kept reading. Something called a 'Shadow' Sneasel was being held in the Alamo. He would have to get a map to figure out where exactly, but he made sure to memorize the name of the area for future reference. He turned back to look at them as Octy nodded. "They're in R&D. I'll let them know you're coming."

 

"Thanks, Octy!" Cameron said with a grin. "You're a real doll. " The technician dipped her head and tried not to smile as the DJ turned and brushed past Xander with a smirk.  "She's all yours, Cruize! Try not to waste too much of her time, she's extremely busy y'know!"

 

Xander scowled and stepped forward. "Hey, Octavyn."

 

Octavyn's smile vanished.  Curiously, she seemed less dismayed by Xander's presence than by his expression.  "Xander."  She paused, considering him a moment.  "Or Agent Cruize?"

 

Xander sighed. "I'm . . . not really sure, right now. What you did yesterday, I'm not entirely sure how angry I am about that." He shrugged. "But, I am here on related business. I need access to some files regarding Team Liberty's relations with Kalos, and everything we have on Team Flare." Octavyn nodded and turned to start pulling up the files. "Oh!" Xander snapped. "I could also use information on an organization called, what was it . . .? The Signs?"

 

 "No," she responded without thinking.  She'd seen some of those reports, and the thought of Xander getting involved, or worse, targeted--

 

Xander scowled. 'Excuse me?" He didn't necessarily need the information, but Chloe had made it seem relevant to the mission at hand, so he wanted to do his research. "Are you--" He cut himself off, realizing that anything he said would be the start of another argument. His fist clenched at his side, and he had to use all his restraint to keep from pounding her desk to emphasize himself. "Despite how I phrased it, Octy, that wasn't a request. That information could be pertinent to my mission. My friends are risking themselves out there, and I need all the intel I can get to help them."

 

"No," Octavyn repeated, intentionally this time.  "Don't involve the Signs.  It's not safe, especially now.  Just keep your team away from them."  Octavyn refused to budge.  Xander may have had a mission, but the Signs were not involved -- could not be involved, Goldhawk would never have authorized the mission if they were . . . right?  The console chimed as it finished compiling the other files to a data chip.  "Your files," she said automatically, throat oddly dry as she handed the chip to Xander.

 

Xander took the chip, glowering. "I'll be talking with Goldhawk once he's available. I don't know what i've done to you, Octavyn, but you seem to be going out of your way to undermine me wherever you can." He shoved the drive into his pocket and turned to stalk out. Whatever, he would have to figure out how to get the information another way. Aside from that, he had a Pokémon to rescue.

 

Octavyn watched Xander leave, then returned to her work, all the while furiously holding back the urge to cry.


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC: Dahlia Seaton - Training Arena, The Alamo

"Close your eyes and focus." That was the direction Jared had given her.

 

The two had agreed upon a morning training session so that the rest of the day could be spent making whatever plans were necessary for their trip to Kalos. For their mission to Kalos, that is. Between Xander's briefing and Ryan's worry, Dahlia was well aware they weren't traveling overseas for a sightseeing vacation. Still, she couldn't help but feel like a giddy schoolgirl at the thought of actually seeing the Kalos Region.

 

Such thoughts made it impossible for Dahlia to focus on the meditation Jared had tasked her with. She peeked an eye open. "You ever been to Kalos?" she asked the aura wielder. "I know Lumiose is the big tourist destination, but I really hope we get a chance to see Coumarine City. I hear the Gym Leader there is a gardener. My family owns a garden, you know, so I'd love to be able to meet someone like him. I mean, I already met Erika back when I was in Celadon, and she gardens too, but I'm sure Kalos has their own unique way of doing things. I might learn a thing or two."


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC: Jared Winters - Alamo Training Ground, Four Island

 

A single silver eye cracked open, and Jared couldn't help but smile at Dahlia's excitement. "I haven't been there, but I've heard a few things." He chuckled. "Maybe our mission will take us through Coumarine. If not, we can visit sometime afterwards."

 

After? Why don't we focus on survival first, then we can discuss after.

 

Jared ignored Mercury. "So, this friend of yours . . . Are you two close? I mean, you must have known him a while if you're willing to go on a dangerous mission across the world."

 

Oh, are you getting jealous, Jared? How cute.

 

Jared ignored Mercury and closed his eyes to continue meditating, trying to give Dahlia the idea that she should try to do the same, even if she did choose to continue the conversation.


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC - Kyle Eston - Cafeteria, The Alamo:

 

T19-8V7-AM0.

 

Kyle's fingers tapped against the touchscreen. To his surprise, the code still worked. He glanced around the cafeteria. A handful of other Agents meandered about--a couple arguing quietly in one corner, a few other singular individuals dotted around who were eating on their own, and one other larger group that had occupied a far-off table. Then there were the cafeteria staff, too occupied with their work to notice any particular patron.

 

Nonchalantly, he tapped his fingers against the table, and then scrolled through the list in front of him. The security camera system hadn't changed terribly since he had last accessed it. The only real difference was the vast increase in the number of cameras and sectors that had been added to the base since his last venture into the directory. 

 

He opened Esen's message from the night before. What would 'power suits' be labeled as? Kyle frowned, clicking through. Would have to be a newer directory . . .

 

Different camera feeds flashed across the screen. First the maintenance going on in R&D, then the VIP prison sector . . . None of these areas interested him. Finally, he happened upon a section of cameras that presented a completely black screen. Kyle tilted his head, slowing down and clicking through more slowly. Black screen. Black screen. Black screen--Aha.

 

If the person sitting in front of the camera had not been wearing such a strange suit of armor, Kyle would not have been sure that this was the correct feed. But it was clear from that detail, as well as the fact that they were sitting in a helicopter, others in the background were busily having their suits assembled, and that the camera Kyle was watching through appeared to be moving with someone's breathing--as if it was not fixed in place--that he had found the cameras associated with the Power Suits. He clicked through again, finding similar sights and more black screens. Finally, he found the one in particular that he was looking for.

 

The camera pointed up toward the ceiling from her lap, catching her face in its line of sight. Her hands rested on either side of the helmet, holding it in place. Esen stared out of the window, clearly prepared for takeoff despite whatever nerves she was feeling. She glanced away from the window at something else--perhaps another person climbing into the chopper?--before nodding. She lifted her helmet and put it on. Two other Agents sat in the chopper, each wearing their own armor. Kyle could not recognize them through their helmets.

 

He leaned back and sighed. There was nothing left to do but wait and watch. He leaned back closer as green bars appeared down one side of the screen. Health bars? On closer observation, he noted the names and numbers associated with each. Kyle frowned, pulling a pen and a piece of paper from his bag. Ray's on this mission, too? He began taking down their suit information. After taking down the numbers from Esen's screen, he flipped to another, taking down hers. And Sleight and Goldhawk . . . He opened his messenger, typing a message to Ryan, Chloe, Evan, and Sonja--In cafeteria w/camera feed for emergency mission. Meet here--?

 

"Um . . . M-Mr. Kyle . . .?"

 

The quiet voice prompted Kyle to look up. He was confused to find a young boy standing in front of him with a tray of food, uncertain of who he was for a brief moment. After the initial surprise wore off, he realized who was speaking to him. Kyle shifted in his seat to face him, quietly hitting the 'send' button on his message. "Hi, Levi."

 

"Um . . . hi . . ." Levi shifted uncomfortably on his feet, looking just about anywhere except for at Kyle. "Can I--may I sit here, sir?"

 

'Sir'? Kyle glanced at his computer. Is a monster-fighting mission appropriate for a kid to watch? He looked back at Levi, rubbing his chin. "Well . . ."

 

"Oh . . ." Levi tried and failed to hide his look of dismay. "I-I'm sorry--I'll go."

 

"Hey--sorry, that's not what I meant," Kyle said. "I'm sorry--I just usually eat by myself. Go ahead and take a seat." A nervous smile briefly appeared on Levi's face. He slipped his tray onto the table and then slid onto the bench opposite Kyle. His shoulders remained hunched, almost defensive, and he occasionally glanced around at others in the room. All in all, he did not look very comfortable. Kyle tapped his fingers against the table. "Are you okay?"

 

Levi played with his food for a moment, totally silent. "I don't know . . ." He glanced at Kyle's screen before dropping his gaze back to his plate. "Do you think they're coming back today . . .?"

 

The question took Kyle by surprise. He thought it over. "I can't say," he said. "But they'll be back--don't worry about that. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but they'll be back." He rubbed the back of his neck. "Are you worried about your dad?" Levi nodded. "I'm worried about someone, too . . ." He flipped back over to Esen's screen. "I hope they'll be okay."

 

Levi nodded. "Me, too."

Edited by Parugi

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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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IC: Dahlia Seaton - Training Arena, The Alamo

"Who, Xander?" Both of Dahlia's eyes were now open, all thoughts of meditation lost in favor of conversation. "I've known him for maybe a month now. I met him in Lilycove when I joined his group to rescue the people McKinley had taken. So it's not like we've known each other that long or anything . . . but I guess facing multiple life-threatening situations with someone tends to forge your friendship pretty quickly, you know?" She unfolded her legs and pulled them close, resting her chin on her knees, a smile dancing on her face. "What about you and Lachina? Are you two close?"

 

IC: Ellen Burks/Paul Burks - Cafeteria, The Alamo

"You sure you're okay?" Paul knelt down to look at the black eye his daughter had received the day before.

 

"It doesn't hurt," Ellen insisted.

 

In fact her eye looked much better after a good night's sleep. Still, Paul couldn't help but feel apprehensive about returning to the scene of the crime. "Alright, just stick close to me, okay? Just one more day here and we'll be going home." Ellen didn't respond, but dutifully stayed by her father's side.

 

The two made their way to the cafeteria in the familiar silence that had haunted them these past few days. Paul kept a close eye on his daughter, glancing suspiciously around the cafeteria for any sign of the impish girl that had attacked her yesterday. Thankfully he did not see her. The two loaded their trays with a suitable breakfast and moved toward a quiet corner of the cafeteria to eat in silence.

 

Paul had taken several steps before he realized Ellen was no longer at his side. Panicked, he turned around and saw her staring off into the distance. "Ellen, come on," he urged. She continued to stare. "What's wrong?"

 

With two hands on her breakfast tray, Ellen could only nod with her head. "I want to sit there," she said quietly.

 

Paul followed her gaze. Kyle Eston was sitting at a table with a young boy -- it was a few seconds before Paul recognized him as one of the Children Ford had recruited. He bit his lip. The last thing he wanted right now was a reminder of what Ellen had been through. "They look busy," he said, eyeing the laptop in front of Kyle. "We'd better not disturb them."

 

Ellen shook her head. "I want to sit with them," she repeated.

 

It was the first time since rescuing her from Two Island that Ellen had initiated a desire for anything. Although Paul would much rather have eaten quietly in a corner before retiring back to their room, he had to admit that perhaps it would be good for Ellen to talk with someone who had gone through what she had gone through. "Alright," he said, leading the way up to the table. He cleared his throat to get Kyle's attention. "Sorry, um . . . do you mind if we sit here?"


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC: Jared Winters

 

"We are pretty close. I met her in Sootopolis while she was helping do cleanup. We haven't been in multiple life-threatening situations, but one or two is enough, I think." He sighed. "I did do something to test that, though, and I'm not sure if she's fully forgiven me for that."

 

He opened one eye again and smiled softly. "Let's get back to meditating. Master your mind, master your power. Unless you want to skip straight to the workout today."

Edited by MELON LORD

"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC: Evan Tierra (Has A Vision!)

Kyle's message couldn't have come at a better time for one of it recipients, who was thinking about heading there anyway. Evan Tierra had prepared himself for a day, one of many, in which he dedicated himself to relearning the gifts Palkia had bestowed upon him. He'd been thinking about the right way to approach it. Last time, everything flowed into place, but the Hero knew that wasn't the way to go. He would start small, then go up from there. This was a second chance that he could not afford to waste.

He had returned all of his pokemon to their poke balls, done what stretching he could do, and made his way out of his room. He decided to take his time heading for Kyle. Rushing wouldn't do him any favors, and he appreciated the extra time to think about what to focus on first. "I should definitely focus on Spacial Vision first, since that was the first thing i noticed when these powers first manifest." He pondered as he moved at a decent pace to the cafeteria. He'd definitely work on more defensive techniques, to better aid his comrades. It'd take a while, but he knew he'd make it.

One step at a time.

Edited by Dr. Hidaka

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IC: Hangar

 

James's face was not as bright as his voice had been. In truth, he did not care for the surveillance now attached to his shoulder. Being a criminal and a conspirator made him wary of such devices. But as he didn't plan on doing anything that he would object to others knowing, he accepted the proposal. Plus, refusing would have been suspicious.

 

He turned around and saw the assassin he fought yesterday entering the helicopter. But it was what he didn't see that caught his attention. Lancelot had been standing behind him while he had been talking with the Plasma agent. Where had he gotten off to?

 

 

 

"Are you sure about this?" Claus asked looking at the Poke Balls in his hand.

 

Most of Richard's Pokemon were eating the poffins the pair had made the day before behind Claus. Only Dionysus and Hades stood near the now suited up Richard.

 

"Well it's not like they're gonna be much help to be honest," Richard said. "At least I can throw Dionysus at things, and Hades..."

 

The Sableye looked up towards Richard a little pitifully. Hades knew there was not much he could do here. But he couldn't bring himself to stay behind either.

 

"He's... moral support?" Richard offered unconvincingly.

 

Claus raised an eyebrow but didn't argue. He knew it was too late for Richard to back out and he was right that his Pokemon wouldn't be able to help.

 

"Even the violin, though?" Claus asked looking at the instrument case in his arms.

 

"I'd definitely break it if I took it," Richard said wistfully. "I've got a different performance I've got to make."

 

 

 

Lancelot sat the Poke Ball down on a desk. Stealing from his king wasn't something that the Scizor enjoyed, but he had to do this. He had taken a spare Poke Ball and replaced his on James's belt. James spent his life in the pursuit of greater options. Money, power. Merely tools that opened up further options. His decision to take the Normal Type suit reflected this. Even he, with his seventh move, was a reflection of it. Not once had James given everything that he had. He always held something in reserve. But Lancelot was different. In order to be ready to win this fight, he had to be ready to give everything. Hopefully, it wouldn't come to that. But if it did, he hoped James would forgive him.


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IC: Belle LaDonna

 

She didn't get the chance to object to being called 'Ms. LaDonna' before they were on the move. Belle moved slowly behind the kids, giving Amelia plenty of room to talk with her. The bounty hunter shook her head.

 

"World's been so full o' news lately I heard about a bunch happening over in Hoenn, but Kanto flew under my wire. What went down?" She glanced over, concern showing in her purple eyes.

IC: Amelia Zann

 

Amelia raised an eyebrow. "Whatever happened to 'I sleep with one eye open'?" She grinned, then sighed. "Last month, some nutjob Rocket exec went rogue, decided to burn down Celadon over her ex-girlfriend or something, the details were vague and kinda ridiculous if I recall. Anyway, Van was in the hospital 'cause of our escape from Sootopolis during the Groudon attack, an' so I got wrapped up with the defense forces--buncha two-shoes busybodies and snotty brats, frankly, but the guy in charge had a head on his shoulders at least. Anyway, the lunatic Rockets decided to hit the hospital, an' the whole thing was on the edge of going down. I went in for Van and Harvey, we ended up in the kid's room, hospital collapses, and next thing I know I'm waking up in a morgue half a month later bein' told he an' I had some sorta nutso life-bond or somethin', and when the kid bit it so did I. Nutty as all heck, but given we somehow got dragged from Kanto to Kalos by the kid's punk of a Ralts, I'm about willin' t' believe anything, an' I ain't takin' chances if my life's on the line, y'know?"



 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC: Dahlia Seaton - Training Arena, The Alamo

"R-right. Sorry . . ." Dahlia shut her eyes, her mind still processing Jared's words. From what she had seen of the Ranger yesterday, Lachina didn't seem to outright hate him, so she had to wonder what exactly he had done. Whatever it was, Jared didn't want to talk about it. She made a mental note to ask Lachina about it later, then began the long process of trying to clear her cluttered mind.


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC: Jared Winters

 

With a smile, Jared closed his eye once more and let himself slip into the easy meditation born from years of practice. As he felt his thoughts and aura flow through him, he paused. His eyes still closed he asked, "Do you think your friend would mind if I invited Lachina on the mission as well? She wouldn't like being left here."

 

IC: Belle LaDonna

 

The collector shook her head and let out a low whistle. "Yer life sure sounds crazy, Pond. You've never met this kid before?"

IC: Alma Mason

 

Alma rode along on Cuchulain silently, her eyes scanning for any signs of trouble. Occasionally, her gaze strayed to the Metang and the . . . person riding on its back. Her master had taught her caution in asking questions, but had also encouraged her to learn all she could in the field. She steered her steed closer to Cyanide.

 

"Are you a boy, or a girl?" she asked.


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC - Kyle Eston/Levi Alaric - Cafeteria, The Alamo:

 

If Levi's arrival had been a surprise, Kyle couldn't think of a stronger word to describe the sudden appearance of Paul and Ellen. What caught him most off-guard wasn't their presence, however, but rather the fact that Ellen's eye socket gleamed with a black sheen. Taken aback, Kyle slowly looked between father and daughter, momentarily unsure of what to say.

 

"Yeah, go ahead," he said at last. Kyle slid to the side, gesturing for a hesitant Levi to do the same. "It's been a while." He looked at Ellen. "How are you, Ellen?"

 

Levi, meanwhile, retreated into his barely-touched plate, silent and clearly uncomfortable with the new arrivals. To his credit, he did not voice this, merely hiding behind his plate instead.

 

 

IC - Goldhawk/Sleight/Esen Windred/Skye Hall/Jackson Sang - Hangar, The Alamo:

 

SKMR-3 "Tier Climb": J. Arthur, L. Belrose, J. Sang

 

BRV3-AR "Echo Order": R. Hikari, R. Hakuda, A. Zarth, E. Alaric

 

SKMR-3 "Essence Ponder": L. Zyther, J. Arthur, E. Windred, S. Hall

 

BRV3-AR "Moment Record": D. Majors, M. Morrow, J. Aaron

 

BRV3-AR "Lyre Play": A. Willows, T. Willows, M. Aleivy, R. Apollo

 

NCT-0WL "Valley Watch": D. Kerwar, I. Lennon, R. Hewitt, A. Mikkelsen

 

NCT-0WL "Entry Guard": E. Fear, U. Graves, L. Kennard, N. Barlow

 

 


 

 

Preparations were complete. The listings on Goldhawk's data pad updated with each seating assignment, shifting from red to green as the seven choppers signaled that they were ready for take-off. From the center of the hangar, Red raised a hand, giving Goldhawk the okay. He returned the gesture, and then pressed on his comm button.

 

"It's time," his voice spoke across the earpieces of all those working the operation. "Initiate departure." He stepped back, slipping into his seat across from Ava Willows and securing himself.

 

"Initiating departure," confirmed each of the pilots.

 

One by one, chopper blades began to spin, lifting each vessel into the air. Within moments, they had exited Four Island, their view of the ground below replaced with the blue of the sea. As the vehicle's motion smoothed into a consistent glide through the air, Goldhawk focused on the data pad in his hands. Additional lines of status information joined those already present, signaling the launch of not only the helicopters the team was riding on, but also the surveillance drones moving ahead of them to scope out Three Island and its surrounding area.

 

A voice crackled in Goldhawk's ear over the comm. "Silvermind to Goldhawk," Silvermind said. "Confirm successful departure, over." 

 

Goldhawk pressed his comm again. "Goldhawk to Silvermind," he said. "Departure confirmed. En route to Three Island, over."

 

"Confirming route," Silvermind responded. "ETA consistent with previous reports. No change in M0 ETA to Three Island, over."

 

"Acknowledged," Goldhawk responded. "Keep me updated, over." He clicked his comm again, switching back over to the group channel. The Liberty Leader gave each of the other occupants of his chopper a brief look-over, taking note of which other suits of armor were present--Water, Poison, and Fairy to complement his Electric. He leaned back, shifting his gaze to the window and the rapid flow of the sea below. "And now we wait."

 

 

 

Anticipation only made the clock tick louder and slower. Skye could not help but thump her foot rapidly against the floor of the helicopter, flipping her Return Module over and over in her fingers. Beside her, Esen sat with arms crossed, eyes directed out the window, seemingly unaware of the nervous Rocket Agent shaking in her boots. Each occupant existed in their own world, watching and waiting for their arrival upon the battlefield.

 

The bubbles of reverie that encompassed them popped in quick succession as a sudden beeping sounded in their ears. Without prompting, their comms turned on, connected via emergency link to Goldhawk's radio--and each of the other comm systems by extension.

 

"This is Goldhawk to ground team," the Liberty Leader's urgent voice crackled. "Reports of Missing Zero Instances arriving on One Island. Repeat, target has adjusted course to include One Island. Reconfiguring team deployments. Standby for assignments."

 

"Why?" Silvermind's voice called in response, her indicator blinking with her speech. "Stay the course--it doesn't matter if it takes One Island, we need the element of surprise."

 

"Negative," Goldhawk responded. "Evacuations on One Island are incomplete. Repeat, civilian presence remains on One Island--"

 

Esen leaned forward, her fingers to her ear. "Holy ####," she muttered. Beside her, Skye leaned forward and covered her head with her hands.

 

"What!?" Sleight's voice crackled in response. "I thought those evacuations were finished already!"

 

"Standby for deployment instructions," Goldhawk snapped. "We're near the midpoint between both islands--we can send forces to cover the remaining evacuations as well as forces to continue with the original objective."

 

"Splitting our forces is suicide!" Silvermind called. "Either cover the civilians on One Island or maximize recon efforts and surprise it on Three. But keeping the Power Suits out of Missing Zero's hands has to remain the highest priority, and you're risking that by spreading out."

 

"You know," Blackskull's voice cut in. "Those people in the Suits right now probably have the best idea of how safe and effectively they can use them. Maybe you ought to let some of them help you decide."

 

Goldhawk fell silent for a moment. "If anyone has an opinion one way or the other, make it snappy," he said. "We're running out of time."

Edited by Parugi

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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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IC: Amanda Zarth

 

Amanda Zarth was, of course, keenly aware of the current situation. Not only was she, as the sole Team Plasma operative on the mission, the effective face of the Unovan government in this matter, but she was also personally present with President Alaric of Kanto, a political and military leader of Team Rocket of the highest caliber. She briefly studied the Shadow Admin's face for clues, before taking a calculated initiative.

 

"Team Plasma Knight Amanda Zarth here, callsign 'EO-3'." Unlike the occupants of her own helicopter, the other members of the mission might not be aware of such details. "At present, it appears to me that the most prudent course of action would be a full transplant of our present operation to One Island, with the additional parameter of civilian asset protection. Acting against Missing Zero forces on One Island instead of Three Island will still provide more than sufficient combat data for future analysis, with the added benefit of keeping civilians out of Missing Zero possession and raising the morale of the global civilian populace. Drawbacks would likely include a reduced possibility of Missing Zero specimen capture due to the necessity of more defensive tactics, but to my analysis this would be more than offset by the reduced risk of Power Suit units being lost as well, given General Silvermind's valuation of Power Suit capture as our least desired outcome. Keeping our forces unified would also be preferential, in order to reduce risk to both Power Suit units and the civilian evacuation; failure to properly defend the evacuation effort would likely have significant negative repercussions to both global morale and political stability, particularly within the local geographic vicinity of the Kanto Regions. Over."

 

Safety and stability. The two primary objectives sought by current Plasma administration. Satisfied she had sufficiently represented the opinion her superiors would have regarding the situation, she turned her attention back to Shadow Admin Sleight. Team Plasma had presented its position; now it was up to Team Rocket to present theirs.



 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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IC: Dahlia Seaton - Training Arena, The Alamo

The gardener tried and failed to suppress a smile. Apparently she wasn't the only one having trouble focusing on meditation. "That shouldn't be a problem," she said. "Xander was pretty open to you joining, so I think one more will be fine." There was a pause as she tried and failed to get back into her meditative 'groove'. Then, "I should probably see if Olivia wants to come as well. If Chloe hasn't already invited her, that is . . ."

 

IC: Ellen Burks/Paul Burks - Cafeteria, The Alamo

Ellen took a seat next to Levi and looked past the boy at Kyle. "I'm . . . managing." She didn't have it in her to give her default answer of 'fine' while in Levi's presence. A sad smile played on her lips and her eyes lingered for a moment on Kyle's computer screen before she looked down at her food.

 

"We're both managing." Paul took the seat on Ellen's other side. He gave the two kids a concerned look, the exhaustion evident in his face, before looking over at Kyle. "Ellen and I are headed back to Unova tomorrow. I'm hoping a bit of normalcy will be good for the both of us."

 

IC: Theodore Willows/Ava Willows - BRV3-AR "Lyre Play"

Ava looked directly at Goldhawk and brought a finger to her ear. "All due respect, sir, but One Island's already lost." Her voice crackled through the comm. "By the time we get there the Missing Zero will have already taken over a large chunk of the island. We'd be fighting an uphill battle and sacrificing our greatest asset, the element of surprise. It would see us coming and attack before we could even deploy -- and only one of our Suits is prepped for aerial combat."

 

Theodore raised his visor and turned in his seat to face his wife. "Are you mad?!" he yelled over the roar of the chopper blades, choosing to keep his words off of the comm system. "We can't just leave those people to die! They're completely helpless out here!"

 

Ava raised her visor as well, abandoning her comm. "It's a hard call, Theo. Maybe if we had a better idea of what we were fighting, we could defend One Island. But we're basically walking into a blind battle. We need every advantage we can get. It's imperative we gather intelligence so that we'll actually have a strategy when that thing hits mainland!"

 

"The goal of this mission was to learn about our enemy." Executive Aaron's voice sounded over the comms. "We can learn from it just as well on One Island as we can on Three Island. I agree with Zarth, those people need our help. We may be at a disadvantage, but we were never planning to save Three Island anyway. If we can just hold off the Instances until One Island is evacuated then we can ensure that at least some people get to safety. We don't need to be on Three Island to gather intel."

 

"We do if we want to have a fighting chance," Ava shot back. "Answer me this, what's stopping the Instances on One Island from shooting down our choppers before we even reach land?"


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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OOC: Sang bunnying allowed by Parugi!

IC: Lafoyae Belrose (Of Slayers and Slaughterers)

At Ava's words, Lafoyae's blood began to boil. The Team Liberty Agent spoke as if the loss of innocent lives was acceptable. "Sang, I need you to convey my thoughts to the leadership, especially in reference to that woman." The Assassin projected to her fellow assassin, as she prepared herself. Lafoyae communicated her thoughts to Sang, who transmitted them over the radio.

"This is TC-3, speaking on behalf of TC-2. She says that as an assassin who has worked for Team Rocket, dispatching those who who disturb the peace is our job. But she, and I for that matter, never had to kill a target who didn't deserve it in one way or another. What you are proposing is basically victory at any cost. The way she sees it, you are far worse than her or I. When we first dealt
with the Missing Zero, we made sure the train survivors who had been dragged along with us, got to safety. She seems quite adamant about evacuating the population."

Edited by Dr. Hidaka

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OOC: Some internal struggle with trans (specifically nonbinary) issues, including some quotes from my own past mental struggles, which may be triggering for people who've also struggled with their identity. Also, bunnying approved by Merc.

 

IC: Belle LaDonna

 

The collector shook her head and let out a low whistle. "Yer life sure sounds crazy, Pond. You've never met this kid before?"

 

IC: Alma Mason

 

Alma rode along on Cuchulain silently, her eyes scanning for any signs of trouble. Occasionally, her gaze strayed to the Metang and the . . . person riding on its back. Her master had taught her caution in asking questions, but had also encouraged her to learn all she could in the field. She steered her steed closer to Cyanide.

 

"Are you a boy, or a girl?" she asked.

IC: Amelia Zann

 

Amelia snorted. "And you're surprised by that? After Slateport?" Amelia shot Belle a look of mock-pity. "O sweet summer child, mayst thou never lose such blissful naiveté as to think crazy's an exception." The spy dropped the faux Shakespearean act--mangled as it was by her accent--with a grin. (Somewhere in Nimbasa City, some particularly sensitive performer began to weep unexplainable tears of joyful relief.) "Anyway, first time I seen 'im was in the hospital bed in Celadon. Just seemed like pure chance at the time, but with all this fairy hoodoo goin' on there's no tellin'." She shrugged, somewhat helplessly. "So what about you? You said this ain't bring-yer-daughter-to-work-day, but somehow I doubt ya managed your lifelong dream by savin' up babysittin' money. What'cha been up to, Blake?"

 

 

IC: Alex Zyther

 

Alex sucked in a breath, sounding--quite fittingly--like a person just stabbed.

 

"That's..." Alex withdrew mentally, eyes clouding as he considered the possibilities. 'I'm a boy...just a really weird boy.' Then why do you suck so much at being one? he mentally countered, his imaginary venom outstripping even the worst he'd received abroad...though admittedly not by very much. 'I'm really girly, but I'm still a boy underneath...' Oh good, perfect opening for the '...so you're gay?' question you also don't have an answer for. He huffed in frustration. 'All right, the truth is, I'm a girl, I'm just trans.' Really, though? Can you really claim that label, or are you just selfishly stealing something else for yourself?

 

Lumiose Hospital. One of his last nights in Kalos. "Son," his father said, "when you're out there on your own, I want you to promise me something. Whatever you choose to do, whoever you choose to be, you take what's yours, hold tight, and never give up, all right? Zythers don't do anything by half measures."

 

A half-measure...that's all I feel like, sometimes...not even a full person...

 

Laverre, the boutique, mere days ago. Valerie nodded sadly. "I...can understand why you'd feel that way," she offered, "but trust me when I say you're not alone."

 

"Mr. Zyther?" the girl asked.

 

Are you a boy, or a girl?

 

"...I'm a person," Alex managed, not really avoiding the question so much as admitting defeat to it. Or was it victory? Feels like a victory, somehow. He sighed. "It's...hard to explain, especially to a kid." He winced. Good one, Amelia. "Er--no offense. It's just--" Alex gesticulated confusedly, before giving up and laying on his back, as if seeking the answer in the clouds above. "Words have power. And sometimes they hurt. And right now I just don't have the right ones, so I'd rather not use the wrong ones." Sure, let's try teaching Aristotle to a ten-year-old. He waved away his pessimistic thoughts. "Does that make sense?"

Edited by Flipz


 

Me: *has idea*

Blade: "I'd say too convoluted, and I know too convoluted =P"

 

"Dangit, I shouldn't have gotten ambitious."

--Merc, RE: our plotting

 

Pokémon Rise of the Rockets Profiles: LINK

3DS FC: 3625-9584-9417 (Pokemon X Friend Safari: Electric-type, Pachirisu, Electabuzz, Zebstrika)

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OOC: Flipz did the meat of this next IC by writing Tatsuro's parts.

 

IC: Koji Tatsuro
 
Koji Tatsuro did not take lunch breaks.  And even if he did, he wouldn't go further than the vending machine at the end of the hall he'd managed to cajole the higher-ups into installing.  And even if he had decided to go a little further out of his way than usual, it was only to slip into Tetsuro's lab to watch a few minutes of the suit mission footage over his doppelganger's shoulder--not, of course, as if he couldn't watch on his own computer like the rest of the department.  And even if he couldn't watch on his own computer, it wasn't because he was running simulations on his own variation of Tetsuro's scrapped morphing grid designs against Dr. Vert's orders.  And even if he was, it wasn't like he'd left the simulation running, unattended, while he was still logged in.  And even if he had, the wing was secure and security wouldn't let in any unauthorized personnel.  And even if it did, the intruder wouldn't pick a lab as unassuming as his to ransack.  And even if they did, surely they couldn't do too much damage in the short, miniscule hour and a half he'd been away--
 
Koji Tatsuro did not panic.  But he was sometimes...concerned.
 
Let's see...blueprints, check.  Rendering, done--ooh, nice, that was a lot quicker than I'd thought.  Guy in my chair, check, wait, what??
 
"Morphin' grids, eh?"  The mysterious mastermind swiveled Tatsuro's chair around, fingers steepled, with a grin on his face.  "A little derivative, but I can dig."
 
"Who are you?  How did you get in my lab?  And what are you--?"
A flicker of upset flashed across the man's face, before it resumed its trademark grin.  "Surely you recognize the voice of the most brilliant, most loved, and most importantly most handsome DJ Team Liberty has ever known?  Don't you listen to the radio, Mr. Tetsuro?"
 
"Tatsuro."
 
"Details."  Cameron Morill waved his hand in a grandiose gesture.  "Listen, friend, you're doing good work here, but you're missing one key thing."  The DJ flicked his head, sweeping his hair out dramatically behind him as he stared through his eyelashes at the tinkerer.  "Me."
 
"You?"
 
"That's right.  Cameron Morill, Liberty's shining star."  Cameron stared off into the distance, prompting Tatsuro to glance confusedly toward the stretch of blank wall toward which Morill had seemingly turned his gaze.  "Of course, as the most talented, most brave, and most humble agent in all of Team Liberty, my duties are, sadly, required elsewhere, but, if you're willing to read me in, I think I can take your acknowledgeable ingenuity and turn it into something truly worthy of superstardom."
 
"Uh..."  No number of degrees could properly prepare anyone to parse the inscrutable rhetoric of one Cameron Morill.  "I'm...listening...I think."
 
Cameron presented the image on the screen as if it were a prize on a game show.  "Observe, my good sir."
 
Five minutes later, Koji Tatsuro bestowed upon his new friend an honor he'd previously reserved for only his closest colleague.  "You, my friend... are a genius."

 

 

IC: Alma Mason

 

 

The albino girl tilted her head. "No, not really, but I think I understand. I apologize for upsetting you." She hummed. "Though, it still doesn't help me if I can't refer to you without using your name when talking with others. Do you prefer 'him' or 'her'?"

 

IC: Belle LaDonna

 

The purple-haired girl glanced away, clearly weighing what she was about to say. "Well, I guess there's no point in hidin' it from you, Pond. Alma helped me get this Snag Machine. She was given the order by her superior, and it was just luck that we were both in Vermilion on that day."

 

She swallowed, whether to clear her throat or delay this telling, she wasn't sure. "I was goin' after him -- Roderick Krane -- because Al told me he had the machine. He was in a lab near some backwater town in Unova. We went in to battle him, and . . ." Her breath caught.

 

"We killed him."

 


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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-==IC: Ryan H==-

 

Things seemed to be getting chaotic fast with the split second decisions they needed to make. But... only one option really seemed to be the one that worked best here.

 

"EO-1, T-02 Dark here. I say we go to One Island. If we just don't even respond, people will start to panic even more than they already have - especially if the people who are supposed to be their own government just abandons them. It seems like a trap, I know, but if it's ignored. . . the events last year in Hoenn might pale in comparison to what would need to be dealt with. This isn't a time that we can afford that. I also don't feel that we can just ignore people in danger." Ryan sighed as he finished his explanation. This was exactly the sort of situation that Ford and Gerald either would have caused or taken advantage of. That meant it was all the more reason for him to side with going to One Island.

 

"EP-1. I agree with this idea too. Sacrificing innocents is not the way to go. I know we might not have as much of the element of surprise, but that doesn't mean we don't have any surprise at all. They don't know what we can do - if we can safely take advantage of that and save as many people as we possibly can before leaving, then we may just have a shot at pulling this off. We have to make absolutely certain to stick together, though. These... things are not to be underestimated."

 

Ryan looked over at Ray after Lucia spoke, but he simply nodded to confirm his own agreement on what happened. The man in the dark suit looked out the window for a moment, as he contemplated ideas.

 

"EO-1 again. We must take care to remember all of our abilities. Anything and everything carries the possibility to help. If there's any way to get these people to safety if we agree on One Island, then we must utilize it."

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IC - Kyle Eston/Levi Alaric - Cafeteria, The Alamo:

 

"I see." Kyle couldn't say that he was surprised. Between Ellen's disappearance, the events with Ford, and everything else, he was honestly surprised that Ellen and Paul had stayed on Four Island for as long as they had. He figured the evacuations throughout the region must have played a part in that. "Wish it was that easy for everyone. Unfortunately I don't think things are going to be 'normal' around here for a while . . ." He glanced over at Levi and, with a sigh, turned back to his computer. "Still, probably a good idea to take advantage of the lull before anything else happens. Gives you some time to recoup and everything."

 

Levi gave Kyle a confused look. "Mr. Kyle, what does that mean?"

 

"What does what mean?"

 

"Um . . . Recoup."

 

"Oh. It's . . ." Kyle thought for a moment. "It's short for recuperate. Like healing. You stay in bed to recoup from a cold."

 

"Oh . . . Okay." Levi hunched into his plate again, pushing his food around with a fork. "Recoup . . . Recuperate . . ." he muttered to himself, apparently liking the word. "Recoup . . ."

 

Kyle smiled, and then looked at Ellen and Paul again. "Speaking of," he said, gesturing to his eye. "Do you mind if I ask what happened, Ellen?"


Follow me on YouTube!

 

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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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IC: Ellen Burks/Paul Burks - Cafeteria, The Alamo

Ellen brought two fingers under her eye and slid them over the bruised skin. Her gaze looked past Kyle, toward a seemingly random empty table. "I made a terrible mistake . . ." she muttered. "This is just one of the less painful consequences."

 

"It's not your fault, Ellen." Paul placed a comforting hand on his daughter's shoulder, then looked up at Kyle. "Some snot-nosed girl started beating her last night," he explained, failing to keep the venom out of his voice. "For no good reason at all."

 

"There was a perfectly good reason." Ellen looked back down at her place, but Paul thought he saw the glisten of tears in her eyes. "Her sister was part of your group on Two Island. She was . . . scared by what happened. Won't talk to her sister at all. She needs time to . . ." she glanced at Levi. "To recoup. And it wouldn't have h-happened if I hadn't . . ." Unable to continue without breaking down in front of everybody, Ellen turned her full attention to her breakfast. She slowly chewed on a biscuit while turning her fork over in the scrambled egg. The shapeless breakfast entrée met with a pile of ketchup and slowly turned blood-red as the condiment oozed over it.


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC: Xander Cruize/Jared Winters

 

Jared shrugged. "I couldn't say. I haven't met Chloe, I don't think." He went quiet again, trying to go back to meditation.

 

Almost as soon as he was slipping back into his groove, the side door to the training ground opened. Another teen approached, looking at some device in his hand. Jared sighed and hoped the person would leave upon seeing two people using the area. Instead, the guy headed right for them.

 

"Dahlia, hey," Xander said, putting his Holo Caster into his jacket pocket. "This must be the aura user."
 

IC: Kure Shoken

 

"Log of August Fifth, continued. Ten thirty-two AM, subject Nido-2-C has passed. No signs of change before death. Other methods of transforming the subjects elude me. What few notes I could retrieve are vague at best, and completely cryptic at worst."

 

The sound of a woman clearing her throat.

 

"I sometimes wish that the Agent had left her previous handler alive. Knowing what techniques he used on a human may help me reverse engineer the procedures for use on Pokémon subjects. I will reread the notes, as well as finding what files were kept by the Agent's previous targets. It seems that the process is easier to reverse than to implement in the first place.

 

"Study of previous subjects yielded few clear results. While certain subject had extensive scar tissue and damaged claws, fangs, and the like, others seem to be perfectly in tact aside from their violent nature. The subject known as Cuchulain is one such obvious example, as well as the numerous known subjects created by the group in Orre.

 

"Her methods were clearly superior to theirs, producing some subjects that could not be brought from their rage, creatures where reversing the process was nearly impossible without--"

 

A pause in the tape.

 

"I think I have just made a break through. I just need to find a person or creature capable of using Aura. End recording."


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC: Dahlia Seaton - Training Arena, The Alamo

Dahlia finally gave up on any chance of meditation. She stood up with a smile. "Jared, this is Xander Cruise. He's the one organizing our mission. Xander, this is Jared. He's the aura wielder I told you about. So, what brings you here? Any news on the mission? When do we leave?"

 

IC: Ryan Sanders - Barracks, The Alamo

Sunlight filtered through the window as Ryan rested against the headboard of his bed, typing away on his Pokétch. Kyle's message had prompted a lengthy string of texts between Ryan and Chloe. Even behind the emotionless veil of words on a lighted screen, Ryan felt the psychic was still bitter about his leadership qualities. At least they both agreed that Kyle would be a useful asset on their mission, given his previous encounter with the Signs.

 

What they didn't agree on was going straight to Kyle. Chloe was quick to remind Ryan that Xander was overseeing at least half of the joint mission. It would be wise to bring the Kalosian in on this and try to finalize their plans rather than just recruiting Kyle themselves. After a small debate that was far less intense than it would have been face-to-face, Ryan agreed to ask Xander to meet them in the cafeteria.

 

"Xander seemed pretty on-edge last night," Chloe's response read. "You should go talk to him about it in person."

 

Ryan gave a heavy sigh as he fought the urge to send a snarky response. He then opened a new message to Xander asking him where he was and asking if they could meet. The reply was a mere four words: "at the training arenas."

 

Training? Ryan mused to himself. He must be really eager to get back into the field. Filling Chloe in on his plan, Ryan rolled out of bed, changed out of his pajamas, made sure his hair was at least halfway decent, and stepped out into the hallway.


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC: Xander Cruize/Jared Winters

 

"Chloe invited Olivia, and she'll be going along with the first group going straight to Kalos." The psychic glanced down at the device. "The plane is gonna be a bit busy. It's going to stop to drop Chloe, Ryan, and Sonja at Mt. Silver, drop you guys in Kalos, and take Paul and Ellen to Unova. Those last two might be flipped around, I'm not really sure."

 

He looked back up, smiling. "I just came out here to meet with Jared, since you said the two of you would be here." He grinned. "Jared, I appreciate you helping Dahlia out,and volunteering for this mission."

 

"Can you tell me a bit more? Dahlia's messages didn't go into detail."

 

The psychic nodded and recapped the situation. Jared whistled a bit. "Sounds like bad stuff."

 

"Pretty bad, yeah. That's why I'm looking for people who can handle it." Xander smiled. "Mind if I sit in on your training session? I'd like to see Dahlia's powers in action, and I think one of my other pals might be heading this way to find me."

 

Jared paused. Did he want a repeat of yesterday? He'd had fun with the class, but he didn't want to have ten people looking to him for training so quickly. He deferred the decision. "Dahlia? It's your training, you decide if you want an audience."


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC: Dahlia Seaton/Ryan Sanders - Training Arena, The Alamo

Jared's question took Dahlia by surprise. "Oh, well, I guess you can watch if you want. Just know that we're taking things slow, so it might not be the most interesting thing to--"

 

"There you are, Xander. What brings you to--" Ryan Sanders froze at the entrance to the arena, his dumbfounded expression making it evident that he had only expected to find Xander here. It took several moments for him to regain his composure. "Dahlia. Um, hi. Imagine seeing you here. And . . . this must be your . . . new training partner."

 

Dahlia smiled as the Liberty agent approached. So this was who Xander had been talking about. "Yep, this is Jared, the aura wielder I mentioned last night. Jared, this is my friend Ryan Sanders. Ryan'll be meeting us in Kalos after he and a few others go on a different mission."

 

"Nice to meet you, Jared." Ryan put on a smile as he held out a hand for the aura wielder to shake. "I take it Dahlia's been learning a lot from you. About her powers, that is."

 

"Actually, we were about to give Xander a little demonstration." Dahlia grinned. "You should watch, too. We're technically still supposed to be meditating, but I bet Jared will let us skip ahead to something more exciting." She gave the aura wielder a subtle nudge.

 

"A demonstration would be good." Ryan eyed the man standing across from him, doing his best to maintain a pleasant smile. "Let's see what you've been teaching her."

Edited by Konuju

Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC - Kyle Eston/Levi Alaric - Cafeteria, The Alamo:

 

Kyle grimaced, taken aback by Ellen's distress (although noting in hindsight that he shouldn't have been). The clear and sudden panic in Levi's expression only made it worse. Hearing Ellen's guilt over her role in disrupting this mysterious girl's life had evidently reminded him of his own involvement in Ford's plot. His breathing became short and rapid, and he dropped his fork in his food. The boy placed a hand on his chest and turned away from the table, forcing himself to take several deep breaths to calm down.

 

"Are you okay?" Kyle asked the two children. Levi nodded. "I'm sorry--I shouldn't have brought it up." He ran a hand through his hair, thinking. An idea popped into mind, prompting him to smile. "Hey--do you guys like dogs?" He pulled a Poké Ball from his belt and opened it under the table. Torith yipped, and then climbed into view next to his trainer. Kyle patted the Houndour's head and pushed him in the direction of Levi and Ellen, where he surfaced again between them with a cheerful bark. "This is Torith. He just hatched a couple of days ago."

 

"Aw . . . h-hi . . ." Levi gingerly reached forward, petting Torith. A smile grew on his face, and he giggled as Torith hopped up to lick his face. "I wanna keep him."

 

Kyle laughed. "He's mine, bud."


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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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IC: Jared Winters/Xander Cruize

 

Jared nodded lightly. "It's . . . nice to meet you." Ryan's aura seemed off. Not quite hostile, but not exactly friendly. Something about Jared upset him, but the aura user was willing to ignore it for now. "Yeah, we can move on to the next step. Meditation wasn't happening anyways."

 

He paused, checking the others' auras again, and nodded. Their auras told him that they both also had special abilities, which meant he didn't need to explain the ordering of one's thoughts and such. "Alright, Dahlia. Punches and kicks later. For now, let's impress your friends. Any tricks you want to try, or do you feel more comfortable sticking with reversing damage for now?"


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC: Ellen Burks/Paul Burks - Cafeteria, The Alamo

"Hey there, Torith . . ." A small smile made its way onto Ellen's face as she reached out to pet the Houndour that had situated itself in Levi's lap. The wide, curious eyes, the cheerful demeanor, and the sense of reckless adventure all felt achingly familiar. "He's like a baby Terry," she said. In truth, Terry had always been older than her. If anything, Torith's boundless energy reminded her of herself. Before McKinley, before the Ancient Darkrai, before all of her adventures.

 

Paul smiled at the kids, then moved over to the seat across from Kyle so he could speak without disturbing Ellen and Levi. "You certainly know how to get through to children," he said with a chuckle. "How'd you end up babysitting Sleight's kid, anyway? Some sort of new peace initiative between Rocket and Liberty?"

 

IC: Dahlia Seaton/Ryan Sanders - Training Arena, The Alamo

"We can start with reversing damage, but if you've got a challenge for me, I'm up for it." Dahlia grabbed a water bottle and a Pokéball out of her tote bag. The former she opened up and took a sip out of. The latter she opened up to reveal her Absol, who stood stoically beside her.

 

"Imagine this is one of our teammates." She screwed on the cap and held the bottle out for Ryan and Xander to see. "Fighting alongside us in the middle of danger. Suddenly, they take a hit. Asriel?" The Absol bowed its head, pressing its scythe against the bottle. A small slit in the plastic was all it took for water to come spurting out. "If I'd had more time to prepare I would've used red food coloring, but imagine that's blood." The gardener sheepishly set the leaking bottle on the ground and took a few steps back.

 

Taking a deep breath, Dahlia extended her hands and tried to focus like she had the day before. Nervous energy built up inside her; she could feel Ryan's, Xander's, and Jared's eyes all watching her movements. Where was that power she had felt yesterday? They'd skipped over meditation and punching; what if ignoring those fundamentals would cause her to fail with everyone watching? No. She couldn't let her doubts take over. She took another breath and closed her eyes. She pictured Aspen's leg, and the gash in the water bottle. She had to channel her fears into fixing that bottle.

 

One of the others let out a gasp, prompting Dahlia to open her eyes. The bottle still sat in a puddle of its own water, but the plastic had mended itself, and the cap had resealed itself as if it had never been opened. Trying not to look too exhausted, Dahlia picked up the bottle and held it out again. "It's . . . not perfect . . ." She panted as she tried to catch her breath. "I couldn't do anything about the blood lost, but the bottle itself is as good as new." A wide grin broke out on her face.

 

Ryan had to admit he was impressed. He took the bottle and turned it over in his hands. There wasn't even a mark where the Absol had struck. "That's amazing. It's far more advanced than anything I had you doing." He spoke the truth. Dahlia had improved tremendously and she seemed a lot more confident in her abilities. So why was he unhappy? He pushed the troubled thought aside and put on a smile. "Keep this up and you'll be an expert on Reverse in no time!"


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC: Helicopter

 

"Why are we still talking about this?" Jamie shouted over the comm. "Let's go already! The quicker we get to One Island, the better chance we have.... Oh, um, EP....2? I think? Over."

 

Richard didn't speak up, figuring the point had been made. And no one really wanted to hear that going to One Island made for a better story. Especially since his finale had turned out only to be Act 1.

James Arthur leaned back as well as he could in the armor. He had chosen to not immediately voice his opinion so he could listen to which way the wind blew. He took in the mostly one-sided and partially hypocritical debate and sighed quietly. Tactically, going to One Island was the wrong move. Public opinion could be manipulated if they tread carefully, but if they let these Power Suits fall into M0's power, it could very well be the point of no return. Not just that they would be sacrificing their last best weapons against M0, but it could give M0 material for new instances. However, at this point, even if a decision was reached to go to Three Island, morale would be shot.

 

"Tier Climb-1 speaking," James started. "LP-1's comments should not be discounted. To change course does carry with it significant increased risks."

 

James could feel the outrage building from EP-2 from where he was sitting. "However!" he shouted to cut off the inevitable objection. "I do have a plan that could minimize risk if we are attacked during the approach."


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IC: Jared Winters/Xander Cruize

 

Xander grinned. "Wow, that's awesome, Dahlia!" He reached out to examine the bottle and grinned. "You advanced to this in just one training session?"

 

Jared nodded. "Once you've ordered your mind, you've taken the biggest step in controlling your power. I'm sure you understand that." Xander raised an eyebrow, and Jared cleared his throat. "I mean . . . you have abilities, too, right?"

 

"Yeah, I'm psychic, but I didn't know it was that obvious."

 

"Only to those who can see aura. It changes your aura a bit. I can't really explain." He shrugged. "Alright, Dahlia, you said you wanted a challenge." He grabbed the bottle from Xander and opened it. "I'm going to pour the water out of this. I want you to try refilling it."


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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-==IC: Chloe==-

 

The psychic girl sighed as she finished placing the half-request-half-question to the R&D department. She wasn't sure if the idea that she had pitched about an adaptable camouflage outfit would be possible, but she wanted to at least give it a shot. Afterward, she checked her Pokegear to make sure she wasn't too late, and quickly made her way down to the cafeteria. Chloe was surprised as she saw all the people present, but walked up with a smile.

 

"How's it going, everyone?"

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OOC: Permission to bunny Jared granted by Mercury. :P
 
IC: Dahlia Seaton/Ryan Sanders - Training Arena, The Alamo
"Refill it. Right." Dahlia watched Jared pour the water out onto the ground. Refilling a container wasn't something she had ever done before. It wasn't like fixing something that was broken. If anything, she felt this fell more under Evan's specialty: moving the space the water occupied into the bottle. Still, she had to try. She couldn't back down, not when she had an expectant audience.
 
Jared set the empty bottle on the ground in front of her and stepped back. Dahlia took several deep breaths and tried to find that mental state she'd had just a few minutes earlier. She stared at the puddle of water and tried to will it back into the bottle. Nothing happened. Seconds turned to minutes and still Dahlia was no closer to accomplishing her task. She feared the puddle would evaporate before she could refill the bottle. Perhaps she was going about it all wrong. She thought back to the image of Jared pouring out the water. That was the action she was trying to reverse.
 
With great effort, the puddle slowly coalesced into what looked like a miniature fountain. A steady stream of water "fell" upward, arcing into the mouth of the bottle. Dahlia let out a laugh of amazement at the sight. Then the world spun before her and she collapsed to her hands and knees.
 
Ryan started forward, but Jared was already at her side, helping her up. "S-sorry about that," the gardener muttered with a glance at the small amount of water she'd managed to get in the bottle. "That took way more energy than I thought."


Konuju: Kopaka and Nuju meet the Spear of Fusion

 

Quotes from throughout the years:

 

2001: "Your past is forgotten, and your future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer." --Nokama

2002: "Mata Nui faces perhaps its greatest challenge -- one that will test our courage, our strength, and our belief in each other." --Tahu

2003: "So... it has begun, my brother. But soon, it will also end..." --Makuta

2004: "Your journey must end." "By the will of the Great Spirit, it has just begun!" --Makuta and Vakama

2005: "Our destinies are not written in stone, set in place. They are something we have to find for ourselves." --Vakama

2006: "Don't you realize you're fighting for a lost cause?" "Maybe. But don't you realize those are the only ones worth fighting for?" --Axonn and Brutaka

2007: "Sometimes a hero has to do something else besides beat the villains and come home covered in glory." --Hahli

2008: "Dive into the darkness, Ignite the flame within. Now, there is no turning back. Make the future... begin." --Narrator, The Final Battle Animation

2009: "It is said that all endings are merely beginnings waiting to be born." --Mata Nui

2010: "All journeys must come to an end, but this time, there is a new beginning as well. ... All that has gone before, my friends, has only served to give birth to this new day. Let unity, duty and destiny be your guides." --Mata Nui

2011: "Not dead. Just frozen. They’ll thaw out … eventually. I’m tired of villains spouting gibberish." --Kopaka

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IC: Jared Winters/Xander Cruize

 

"It's alright. Think of it like a muscle. At first, you won't be able to do much with it, but the more you work with it, the stronger it gets." Jared smiled. "You're already doing things that I wouldn't be able to accomplish."

 

Xander nodded. "Even I wouldn't be able to put water from the ground back into a bottle without it being full of dirt. Good job, Dahlia." The psychic grinned. "Hopefully you'll get stronger quickly."

 

Jared nodded. "For now, let's take a break. Do you need to eat something? Have a drink?"

 

Xander turned to Ryan while the aura user took care of Dahlia. "So, Sanders, what's up? You needed something?"


"So Alku, happy 'was that a firecracker or shotgun?' day!"

"Hard mode: I'm in the south."

 

"Planning was never Zac Blazer's forte." - Blade, mastering the art of the understatement.

 

"We'll have to change the initials of the RPG from RotR to PTSD." - Me, discussing Rise of the Rockets.

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IC - Kyle Eston/Levi Alaric - Cafeteria, The Alamo:

 

"Not exactly . . ," Kyle said, lowering his voice and staring absentmindedly at the boy. He wasn't quite sure how to phrase what he had been told the day before in a way that made sense. "His parents felt that that it might be good to have someone watch him who they can count on. And since I saved him on Two Island when we were escaping from that final chamber . . ." He trailed off with a shrug, lost on his own train of thought. Chloe's arrival pulled him back to reality. "Hey."

 

 

IC - Goldhawk/Sleight/Jackson Sang/Skye Hall/Esen Windred - Helicopters, En Route:

 

"EP-3 speaking. I have an idea, as well," Esen radioed back. "What's yours, TC-1? Over."


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~ Rise of the Rockets (I II)/Discussion Topic/Side Stories ~

 

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