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Pokémon: Rise Of The Rockets

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-==IC: Ray -- Vertrag==-

 

Ray walked forward and scanned the surroundings, oblivious to Ryan's suspicious glare. "I couldn't really say, honestly. Half the time they kept me in my room, honestly..." The man said, a small frown on his face as he scanned the room for any bookshelves. When he couldn't see anything like that, he sighed.

 

"There's two places I could think of, even though I have not a clue; I don't want to say the second right now, though..." Ray bit his lip. Still, Ford sent them here, which meant he felt certain this book was here. "Let's try to find wherever Ford ran things from first... I'd guess that if this book is important, that he'd want to have kept it close by."

 

-==IC: Lucia Zyther -- Hotel Richissime, Lumiose City==-

 

"That..." Lucia paused to try and think about whether she knew about that or not. "I never really paid much attention, to be honest. I was usually waking up later, but that's because a lot of the places we've traveled to together have been like... a lot later in the day." She bit her lip as she thought. "I'd guess no, but... I can't really say for sure whether he sleeps in or not."

 

-==IC: Jenny Hakuda -- Heahea City, Akala Island, Alola==-

 

Jenny stared at the wall of their hotel room. Despite wanting to get to sleep, she instead smiled widely as she thought over everything that happened. Along with feeling much better than most of the past week, she had made a new friend in the form of her Tenlite. The Plasma agent glanced back at the snoring Evan Tierra, but then continued to smile at the wall.

 

"Let's make it an even more memorable day tomorrow…" Jenny whispered to herself as she resisted the urge to hum. She really wanted to at that moment, but knew that waking Evan up would be unfair to him. The woman closed her eyes as she tried to get as much sleep as she possibly could.

 

-== -- ==- Four years earlier

 

A groan rang out through a sterile white room as a woman groggily opened her eyes. As she slowly and painfully sat up, numerous amounts of wires falling down. The woman looked at them in confusion as she tried to figure out where they were all connected.

 

"Ah, you're awake." A man dressed in nurse's garb said with a kind smile as the woman looked up. "Do you happen to remember your name? You gave us all quite a scare, suddenly appearing here like you did. The people at the docks noted that it seemed like you were about two feet from outright falling into the ocean."

 

"I-..." The woman tried to speak, but then coughed instead. The nurse frowned slightly as he noted down something on the woman's chart near the bed. With a wince, the woman glanced over at him.

 

"You should take it easy and get some rest. You were out cold for a good two days or so, and you seemed to be on death's door when you showed up. I would say that you're likely still recovering. Your Pokémon are all on the belt where you had them, though only two of them seemed to be occupied, even after the fisherwoman recalled..." The nurse paused as he noticed the look on the woman's face, which seemed to be a mix of fear and confusion. "This is a tough time for you, do you remember anything?"

 

The woman shook her head. "I... w-was..." The woman realized that she had slightly found her voice once again, and powered through. "Running..." She trailed off after that, a look of pure confusion on her face.

 

"Anything after that?" The woman shook her head. She looked around as if something could help her with that, but resignedly shook her head again. The nurse didn't seem to be judgemental about that, and simply nodded. "I understand. It can be a tough time, and it sounds as if you were in a traumatic situation. I would guess that you have amnesia. If you need any help with anything, please feel free to ask. I'll relay this information to the doctors and get back to you as soon as I can."

 

As the man walked away, the woman slowly lowered herself back to the bed and stared at the ceiling. Who was she? Where was she? These were all answers she did not have. The woman closed her eyes as tears began to build up in the corners of them. She wondered if she would ever find those answers out.

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IC: Amanda Zarth/Xander Cruize/Sylph

 

The Alamo’s Pokémon Center was unusually empty for a weekend, but then again given the general lack of Pokémon powers battles had not been particularly common. With she and Xander having handed their team members over for healing shortly before, Amanda allowed the Liberty agent to take a seat before beginning her dissertation.

 

“Your assistance in cataloguing my Pokémon’s altered abilities was helpful,” she began, “though there were certain tactical decisions on your part that I must question in light of the scenario.”

 

Xander nodded. “Yeah, same. So, where do we want-- actually, can we just get the video of that so we can go over it play-by-play?”

 

Amanda frowned momentarily but then nodded, pulling up the file her Porygon had copied to her Xtransceiver after returning the surveillance pod.

 

Almost as soon as the video began to play, Xander paused it. “Okay, so, opening move. Zap Cannon is a strong move, but it’s even worse than Thunder and Blizzard in terms of actually landing a hit. You probably should have led with a Lock-on if you were gonna go that route.”

 

Amanda shook her head. “I am aware; however, it was necessary to determine if the evolution phenomenon had in some manner altered its accuracy. Given Zap Cannon is the least accurate of my Magnezone’s moves, it was the best candidate for the experiment.”

 

The other trainer nodded and pressed play again. “Tri-attack was good, and could have made things easier if Astraea had been affected. The Signal Beam call-out was also good; it would have done some extra damage to Sylph. However, with both that and the aftermath, you were taking some risks. Sylph can be pretty quick when we’re at full capacity, and you ran the risk of friendly fire.”

 

Amanda nodded her agreement. “It was a necessary substitution to accommodate the test of Tri-Attack. However, more pressingly, I must express concern for your Staryu’s safety and control. You took no action to prevent it from being crushed, save threatening my Porygon shortly after, and its bounce off of my safety barrier indicates its lack of control after its earlier attack.”

 

“Okay, so, the barrier? I’m not sure what you were going for exactly, but I can assure you Astraea wouldn’t have been that close to you if it weren’t for the barrier.”

 

“A personal safety exercise. My Magnezone and I have dealt with issues of wind redirection when dropping atop an opponent, so I considered telekinesis a similar hazard. Of course, this was rendered moot when the Staryu returned to the region of danger and risked serious injury, which is what prompted the switch to a move rather than a direct action.”

 

“Let me explain that, then. Astraea is amazingly resilient. It-- she, rather, has lost three of her five limbs and was still standing at the end of the fight, and grew them back the next day. Your Magnezone would have definitely caused her injury if it landed on her, but, well. . .” Xander gestured. “You see how that actually ended up. Your barrier proved useful for her to redirect her momentum and continue the attack.”

 

“I see. I will confess, I am less than familiar with the abilities of Pokémon species encountered at sea.” Deciding to alter the course of the conversation, she moved on to the next significant moment. “I still believe some practice in momentum control is necessary, as illustrated by the accident with the crane. While the device was no doubt improperly mounted for such an incident to occur, it was still set off by the ricochet.”

 

“Yep, and that’s definitely something I took note of. I didn’t anticipate Astraea continuing to move up even after I released the psionic hold I had on her.” He hummed. “I want to run some tests with the Flash Cannon and other moves, if you don’t mind. That really shouldn’t have hit like that, and I’m trying to figure out why it did.”

 

“While I would not mind lending assistance, I would caution you to obtain some sort of secondary data points first. Part of my methodology in this battle was to systematically ascertain if the evolution phenomenon had altered my Pokémon’s moves, and if so how. Thus far, Flash Cannon appears to be the only anomaly among them, but while repeated tests will confirm the alteration, they will not provide significant data toward how and why the alteration has occurred. In lieu of finding other Trainers with access to Flash Cannon, I would recommend contacting the pilot of the Steel-type Power Suit to determine when and how a repeat test could be arranged.” While she knew Cruize would not be able to arrange immediate testing with Ms. Arthur, due to her presence in Kalos, she was not about to repeat the mistake she had made with the similar-looking man she had met prior.

 

Xander hummed. “Who was the pilot? I only recognized you because of the . . . Evolution Phenomenon.”

 

“Agent Jamie Arthur of Team Rocket,” Amanda replied.

 

Xander scoffed. “Yeah, no, that’s not gonna happen anytime soon. So, how about we come up with a different test.” He stood, walking back over to the counter where the nurse had set two trays. “We test to see if Flash Cannon acts the same on a different target.”

 

Amanda nodded as she herself reclaimed her Pokémon. “A reasonable test. I will add it to my docket for tomorrow. However, at present, I must append this new data to my reports, and conduct further research on my own individual abilities.”

 

“Alright,” Xander said as he released Sylph, who rolled her neck.

 

“About that, Miss Zarth,” she said.

 

“Yeah, so, we noticed during the battle you and your Magnezone were really pushing your psionic abilities. You said you haven’t had them long?”

 

“What little research I have had time for suggests the potential is present from birth, but I only became aware of them during the One Island mission. The medics diagnosed me with psychic shock afterward, based on my eye color, though that evidence is of limited reliability given its presence throughout my life.”

 

“Psychic . . . shock?” Xander raised an eyebrow. “Okay, and that means what exactly?”

 

“According to the nurse, the condition is brought on by extreme, instinctive overuse of psionic powers--”

 

 

Xander raised a hand to cut off the no-doubt lengthy explanation. “And this causes eye-color change and the inability to use the power for a time, right?”

 

“And in extreme cases permanent color change and eventual irreversible insanity, yes,” she confirmed. “The nurse suggested I acquire formal training to avoid such an outcome.”

 

“Awesome,” Xander muttered. “Okay, well, hey.” He spread his arms a bit. “I’m not a master by any means, but I could show you some basics, and Sylph can help. She taught me.”

 

Sylph hummed. “One more thing? Your Magnezone’s eyes were the same color. Were you two undergoing Synchronization every time you used your abilities?”

 

Amanda frowned in consideration. “Uncertain. I am unaware of such an ability, but based on the term my subjective experience indicates a possible connection between it and the evolution phenomenon.”

 

Xander and Sylph traded a look, then turned back to Miss Zarth. “Go on.”

 

“While the phenomenon is taking place, my Magnezone and I seem to share a significantly stronger bond than usual, allowing us to understand each other’s intentions with even stronger clarity than usual. In addition, on both occasions where we produced the phenomenon, the transformation was triggered by a unity in purpose connected to our mutual survival. I cannot say without further testing whether imminent peril is a necessity to the process or merely an incidental similarity of scenario, but the inherent connection during the process is distinct enough that I am confident it is a requisite necessity.”

 

Xander nodded solemnly. “I see. That’s good to know, and that’s useful data I can send to Professor Sycamore. So, Miss Zarth, when are you available tomorrow?”

 

Amanda tilted her head, considering the time differences between Kanto, Unova, and Alola. “My duties require me to keep my schedule flexible, but I would anticipate a small window between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. that would be unlikely to conflict with other engagements. Would this be acceptable?”

 

“Sure,” Xander said with a smile. “I will absolutely make it.”

 

“Assuming he gets some rest between now and then,” Sylph interjected. “And assuming there’s not some emergency over in Kalos.”

 

Amanda nodded, mentally filing away Cruize’s connection to Kalos. “Then I will see you at that time,” she promised, typing the appointment into her Xtransceiver before turning and leaving to make her next meeting.



 

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: Jared Winters

 

After an intense workout session and a hearty breakfast, nothing felt better than a hot shower. Muscles that had been tensed and strained during exercise were helped to relax and loosen. He wished he had gotten in some deeper meditation, but he would just have to make do with what he called 'travel meditation.' Most people called it zoning out, but it wasn't truly if you were still paying attention to your surroundings.

 

He dressed, performed the basic grooming to get his hair out of his face, and headed back downstairs with his coat billowing behind him.

 

IC: Xander Cruize/Aspen Seaton - 3:00 PM (One hour after Jared’s morning call-in)

 

“Hey, glad you could make it,” Xander said with a smile. He and Sylph were perched on top of the rock with the hairline crack in it. “So you got the cast off?”

 

Aspen waved and nodded. “I did, yeah. Still need to be careful, but I should be alright to walk around a bit.” He glanced over at Aria, who was looking up at the other duo with her arms crossed. “So, you still up for that battle, then?”

 

Xander chuckled, sliding down from his seat. “Sure thing! Sylph?”

 

The Gardevoir hopped down to land beside her trainer and smiled. “Just no Flash Cannons, alright?” she asked with a wry smile.

 

If Aspen was surprised that Sylph could speak, he stayed mercifully silent on the matter. “Nah,” he said instead. “Even if Aria had power back, she doesn’t know Flash Cannon, you know that.”

 

Xander grinned, rolling his shoulders. “So, you wanna do this here, or go somewhere else?”

 

Aspen shrugged. “May as well be here, right? Why suddenly so eager for battles?”

 

“Ah, y’know. I did the Kalos challenge as a kid, so battling is a big portion of my life. I haven’t gotten enough friendly matches lately.” The Kalosian grinned. “And this gives me some good data I can send to Professor Sycamore later.”

 

“Right, right.” Aspen nodded and stepped back to the edge of the practice yard. “So, Aria versus Sylph, round two?”

 

“Sounds good!” Xander smiled, stepping back to his own edge of the field. Sylph watched Aria and tried not to scowl as she recalled what she’d seen and heard of the Lucario since their battle on One Island.

 

Aria stared back passively, her green eyes betraying no hint of emotion or knowledge of Sylph’s emotions.

 

Despite the friendliness of their trainers, both Pokémon were ready to give it their all.

 

Aria rushed forward, a fist cocked back. As quick as she was, the space was still large enough to give her opponent plenty of warning. As the Lucario threw the punch, Sylph pivoted back on her right foot. The fist flew harmlessly past.

 

Sylph brought her own arm up to retaliate, grabbing for the back of the Lucario’s neck. Aria wasn’t there. As soon as she had missed her punch, she’d dropped into a crouch, her instincts telling her that an opponent at your side would go for a grab. She spun, kicking out to unbalance the Gardevoir.

 

Sylph staggered back, and, as she did, her opponent leapt at her and planted both feet into her chest. She hit the ground and winced as Aria landed nearby. As Sylph was struggling to her feet, Aria rushed in again and kicked her hard enough to knock the wind out of her.

 

There was a lurching sensation, and Sylph found herself across the field. Before Aria could approach again, Sylph was on her feet. She took a deep breath and slowly released it. The Lucario watched silently. It was the Gardevoir’s turn to go on the offensive.


"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: ????

 

A man labored over a map. He was in a dark room, pouring over the details. If the scarcity of light made it difficult for him to read it, he didn’t show it. He traced over a particular route again and again. He hand seemed to move back on forth on particular points.

 

A sheathed knife lay on the map. He picked it up and unsheathed it. Each piece of equipment was vital to tomorrow. It seemed in perfect condition, as was everything. They had every advantage, but yet it still didn't feel like enough.

 

His phone rang. Maybe the insolent child was finally reporting in. He got out the device and saw the message that was sent to him.

 

Got a meeting with Ford

Told them I was spy.

 

P.S.

Your coffee couldn’t keep a Vigoroth awake

 

 

A vein popped on the man’s head. A scowl crawled over his face. His hand began to shake. The phone started to crack.

 

“That little punk…” he said tossing the phone aside. With a crack it slammed into the wall. He was gonna need a new phone after that. “He wouldn’t know good coffee if it bit him on the rear.”

 

He flung open the door and rushed down to the boat that had been rented for him. His business could wait. His honor had been tarnished.

 

 

IC: James Arthur - Akala Island

 

James was tired. His eyes held bags. He didn’t sleep well and it was early in the morning. He had scoured the internet last night for recommendations, when it was clear he wasn’t going to sleep well. He would’ve sent Mordred ahead of him to scout the place, get a good feel for the scent, but the Weavile was still back on Four Island. So James had to find his way there himself. The payoff was worth it however, when he finally held the coffee in his hand. It was good coffee. Not the best he’s ever had, but better than what he could get at Four Island. Maybe he’d have to ask Blackskull where he got his coffee.

 

The man across from him seemed pretty proud of it. “It’s a good blend. Drink it while it’s hot, but be sure to savor it.”

 

James nodded and began to walk towards the door. It was a simple pleasure thought James as he was drinking the warm fluid. If only he could just leave and find the others, it would be a good morning. Better than he’s had in a while, despite the rough night’s sleep.

 

If only.

 

The door slammed open, and a man stepped inside the shop. The man was almost offensively well groomed. His long hair was pulled back, and he appeared overdressed. His clothes were a match for James’s own. But his face completely belied the look. His scrunched brow, the glare of his eyes. James decided he did not want to deal with this man. Fortunately, the man walked right past James, narrowly avoiding bumping into him. He spoke to the store owner for a moment, and then got a response that apparently, he didn’t like.

 

“What do you mean you’re out?!” the man yelled at the store’s owner. “I sailed all the way from Ula’Ula island overnight to get here!”

 

The owner crossed his arms. “Out means out. Zilcho, zero. We are out of stock. You’ll have to come back later. I had to use the last of that blend for his cup,” he said pointing at James.

 

James really wished that he hadn’t been brought into the conversation. The man stormed right up to him.

 

“Well I sure hope you enjoy that mug,” he said with the largest, fakest smile that James had ever seen.

 

In his hurry to take his rage out on someone who may have incidentally deserved it for reasons that had nothing to with the coffee, his cravat shifted. Sticking out from under the cravat was a pendant cut in the shape of a crescent moon. James stared at it. He’d seen a similar pendant before, but couldn’t recall where. The man hastily covered it up again and stormed off. James stared after him. Where had he seen that pendant?

 

 

IC: Jamie Arthur - Hotel Richissime

 

Jamie processed Elaine's words for a while. She hadn't actually met anyone else named Jamie, but apparently Elaine's brother went by it? Or she just called him that? Something like that. Guess James didn't -just- change his own name slightly. Jamie had to admit, she became slightly worried about that at some point.

 

Of course, she didn't mention any of that out loud. She kept those thoughts to herself.

Edited by Metal Gear Minun

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IC: Emily Lockwood/Lachina Adaon

 

Emily pointed. "The tired kid next to you, auntie. Her name is Zoe, and she is Colleen's younger sister."

 

Lachina nodded. "Other than that, you've got it. Well, her and the rich guy who got us all rooms for the night." The Ranger turned to Lucia. "He's your dad, right? Does he normally sleep in?"

IC: Zoe Llyan/Dahlia Seaton/Alex Lockwood - Hotel Richissime, Lumiose City

The next thing Zoe knew she was back at the table, a tray of food set in front of her. She honestly had no recollection of how she'd gotten there, but she ate anyway. The warm food acted like a burst of fuel, and she felt herself slowly becoming more awake.

 

"Actually, Professor, Olivia and I are sisters." Dahlia spoke up with a small smile. "Not cousins. But other than that, I think you got everybody."

-==IC: Lucia Zyther -- Hotel Richissime, Lumiose City==-

 

"That..." Lucia paused to try and think about whether she knew about that or not. "I never really paid much attention, to be honest. I was usually waking up later, but that's because a lot of the places we've traveled to together have been like... a lot later in the day." She bit her lip as she thought. "I'd guess no, but... I can't really say for sure whether he sleeps in or not."

-==IC: Professor Alderson==-

 

"I see. Well, then, I apologize for the mistake." The professor was silent for a while, chewing thoughtfully as she and the others ate. "Well, if your father is anything like my private funders, he'll likely be up by now--early bird gets the worm and all. The least we can do to repay his hospitality would be to not keep him waiting. Shall we?" The Pokémon Professor stood and gestured toward the lobby.

 

 

IC: Jared Winters

 

After an intense workout session and a hearty breakfast, nothing felt better than a hot shower. Muscles that had been tensed and strained during exercise were helped to relax and loosen. He wished he had gotten in some deeper meditation, but he would just have to make do with what he called 'travel meditation.' Most people called it zoning out, but it wasn't truly if you were still paying attention to your surroundings.

 

He dressed, performed the basic grooming to get his hair out of his face, and headed back downstairs with his coat billowing behind him.

-==IC: Lionel Zyther==-

 

By the time Jared reached the lobby, Lionel was already waiting with his bag next to him, Holo Caster out and filled with emails. The tycoon seemed to be viewing and answering them in some pattern known only to him, utterly indecipherable to anyone else, but upon noticing the dour Trainer he quickly shut the device down. "Ah, good, you've arrived." The man paused with a frown. "...It occurs to me that I don't know the proper names of the majority of our...companions. You can brief me once we're on our way." Noticing movement, he glanced toward the dining room to spot the rest of the group making their exit. "Speaking of the rest of our contingent...Lionel Zyther. You may be familiar with my work," he said, indicating his late-model Holo Caster as a means of introduction. "Are we prepared to talk transit, or do you need a moment to gather your belongings? I'd prefer we get on the road as quickly as possible, if it can be managed."



 

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: Evan Tierra/Jenny Hakuda/James Arthur/Kris -- Alola -- [3]==-


After all was said and done, Evan and Jenny retired to their hotel room in Tide Song Hotel, the excitement for the day having worn them out. The next morning, the couple were peacefully dozing in their beds, at least until Evan’s alarm on his Pokégear went off. Blearily, the man looked at the time. It’s 7:30 in the goshdarn morning. The man thought as he silenced the beeping. An unspecified time later, the Plasma agent was finishing getting himself ready, when he saw that his girlfriend was still sleeping. Life’s not fair at all.

As Evan approached Jenny’s bed, he was ready to rouse her from her sleep, when Feral’s voice whispered in his head. ”Don’t worry, Space Boy, I’ve got this. Hey, crimson wonder, it’s time to wake up already!” It was so early in the morning, the man couldn’t decide how to feel, be it exasperated at Feral’s “shouting” or ready to die laughing at his shadow’s new nickname for his girlfriend.

Jenny, in return, groaned as she sat up and looked at the time. "... what the heck?" She mumbled with a closer look at the time, wondering if she had read it wrong. "Who's the wise guy who woke me?"


Evan suppressed a laugh at Jenny’s reaction. “Well…….it -was- going to be me, buuuuuuut….” The man said, smiling. “Tall, dark and gruesome decided to take the wheel. Sorry about that!” At that moment, Feral cackled. ”Well, I’m -not- sorry at all!”

"Well, whatever, better question is why I'm awake right now." Jenny left that question hanging in the air for a moment as she moved to get up, though was certainly wondering what the reason was.


Evan sighed playfully. “Don’t you remember? James has a meeting on Ula’Ula Island, and we’re supposed to bring Kris along for training.” The man said, grinning. “You -do- wanna train with Kris, right?”

Jenny paused for a moment, then groaned. "That's true… I don't know why it needs to be so early…" She let out a long sigh, but then stumbled off to get ready.

James was standing with his coffee on the pier near the ferry he was scheduled to take. Lancelot was standing with him, pretending the early hour wasn’t an issue.

After a while of preparation, and a hurried breakfast, the couple headed out of the hotel, looking for James. Evan finally caught sight of the Executive at the pier, but realized he had to contact Kris. He turned to Jenny, looking nervous. “She did give us her number, right?” Then the man recalled that there was a rendezvous set up near the pier. “Nevermind, I guess I forgot she said she’d meet up with us.” With that, the man headed to the pier, his groggy girlfriend in tow.

As it was, Kris showed up roughly at the same time that Evan and Jenny did. The redhead waved sleepily to the older woman, who seemed rather amused at the state that she was in. "Mornings aren't your forte, are they?" Kris asked with a humourous tone as she approached.


"Not really…" Jenny admitted with an awkward chuckle. "But I can definitely pull myself awake at some point. It'll happen aaaany second now."


Kris smiled at that, then glanced around at the other two. "Everyone ready to head out, then?"


“I am ready to depart,” James said after swallowing another sip of coffee. “Did you have a place in mind for our training?”

“I’m definitely ready, but I echo Executive Arthur’s question….” Evan said, smiling curiously. “You know Alola better than us, so you’d definitely know a choice place to train, right?” The Hero faced James. “Actually, for that matter, where is your meeting taking place, sir?”

“...” James was rather unwilling to outright say where his meeting was to take place. “I am going to take a boat from Ula’Ula beach to the meeting’s location. I would rather not say any more.”

Evan nodded. “I’m sure you have your reasons, sir.” The man said, before facing Kris. “Well, there you have it. Anywhere on Ula’Ula we can train up at?”

Kris considered that for a little bit. "Okay, when do you have to be at your meeting by? There's a few good places, especially by the beach, but it depends on when you'd have to leave by."

“I was told the boat ride would take about an hour. The meeting is scheduled for 3:30 in the afternoon. So I will need to be back on the beach by 2:30 P.M.” James said.

"Alright. If we leave now, we should be able to get to a place close enough within a few hours, which should leave a good couple hours at the very least."


“Very good… Since you suggested defensive training, might I suggest we use a location with rough terrain?” James added.
 

"That sounds good." Kris nodded with a smile. "There's a lot of rough terrain right outside of the area where the beach is, so that should work pretty well."

Evan smiled at Kris’s idea. “Well, there we have it.” The man said, a cheery aura around him. “We get to have our cake and eat it too! So, shall we get a move on?”

Meanwhile, inside her Poké Ball, Gnip the Garchomp had been thinking about her most humiliating loss the other day. Despite the fact that powers were gone, she should have been strong enough to take on that Meganium. Perhaps…...she had to reinvent herself? The landshark started ponder ways to change her fighting style.

“No time like the present,” James agreed. “I had a boat chartered last night to take us to Ula’Ula Island,” James said pointing over to boat a short ways off. “The captain is ready to leave as soon as we’re aboard.”

“Don’t have to tell me twice, sir!” Evan said as he made his way to the boat, for an instant becoming a purple blur as he got onto the vessel.

James followed, taking one look back. As he did, he noticed the well-groomed man he had met earlier board a different boat. James chalked it up to coincidence, but kept looking for a moment longer.

The two women boarded the boat shortly after. Jenny watched the waves as the ship departed, marveling at the beauty of the water. "This is pretty cool…"


James was reading a book. He hadn’t finished this translation of La Morte d’Arthur yet. The constant fighting kept him from finishing it, even with the cease fire that had taken place since he started. Lancelot was looking towards Jenny when she made her comment, so he tapped James.

“Hmm? Oh, yes,” James said looking out towards the sea. There were plenty of water type Pokemon visible just beneath the waves as the boat moved. James set the book down for a moment to take a closer look. “I suppose it is.”

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IC: Jared Winters/Lachina Adaon/Emily Lockwood

 

A few minutes later, the oversized group was on the road. They left Lumiose City via Route 5, heading towards Camphrier town. It was a bit of a walk, but Jared seemed confident they could make it before nightfall. If they could, Lionel would take care of accommodations for the night again.

 

Jared was next to Lionel as he led the group onward. "So, you said you made the Holo Caster? I'm not super familiar, but it seems handy from what I've seen of it."

 

Lachina found herself walking next to two of the newcomers. "So, to be sure I got the names right: Jamie and Lucia? What brought you two to Lumiose?"

 

Emily hummed softly as she walked between her aunt and cousin. "I should walk more often," she commented loudly enough for most of the others to hear, inviting conversation. "Flying if wonderful, but I forgot how scenic the land is on foot."

 

IC: Amelia Zann/Belle LaDonna/Alex Zyther/Alma Mason  (Reflection Cave, Kalos, unknown universe)

 

The clinking sounds of footsteps on crystal echoed eerily through the cavern, the pursuing predators making next to no noise while their prey lacked both means and inclination for stealth.  Unearthly white tentacles stretched out, only to be slashed short with razor-sharp Sneasel claws, or else battered away by the steel-clad limbs of a mighty Metang. A woman clad in black ducked and weaved in an obvious taunt, while another clad in a silvery cape waved its bright red underside about as her own means of distraction, both to mixed effect.  While they bore the brunt of the unending assault, they could not draw all of it, leaving several of the otherworldly abominations to slip past the lines to the group’s more vulnerable members.

 

Vulnerable, true, Alex thought, raising a crutch to beat back one of the creatures’ toxic grasp before hurriedly returning it to retain balance, but not helpless.  Beneath him, the pink Carbink sat atop the mirror, eyes closed in intense concentration, while at his back Alma and her ghosts worked eerie miracles. “Almost got it?” Alex asked, as encouraging as possible considering the tint of desperation underlying it.

 

The Fairy-type nodded, though she could not quite keep the despair from her gaze.  This world was dangerous, but so were the last ones--and had not their true home been equally lacking hope?  But the thought of home seemed enough to spark the mirror, a glimmering gateway slowly opening before her.

 

The change did not go unnoticed by the others.  “She’s through!” Alex called, immediately herding Didi and Harvey across.  Alma went next, waiting barely long enough for the portal to accommodate her slight frame while her Pokémon guarded her back, followed by Belle’s Dratini Hemlock.  Belle followed her team members through, and was in turn followed by Sina and -- with a glance toward the Carbink -- Raleigh.

 

With only four remaining targets, the creatures redoubled their assault. A bevy of glassy white tentacles wrapped themselves around Cyanide, the Metang digging its claws into the crystal below as its only desperate defense.  Another of the creatures snagged the tip of Alex’s crutch, sending the Trainer toppling into the portal below along with the portal’s Carbink creator. With the Pokémon’s mental focus gone, the light dimmed as the link started to fade.

 

“Oh no, ya don’t!”

 

Amelia leapt above the creatures grasp, landing in an unstable skid as one of them unexpectedly reversed its course and ruined her balance.  The creatures closed in on her moment of weakness, abandoning the Metang in favor of the easier prey--

 

Big mistake.

 

The Steel-type heaved itself across the closing gap, one arm anchoring to the floor while the other latched onto the Trainer’s leg.  She went down with a yelp--just in time to avoid the onslaught of grasping tentacles--and Cyanide suddenly reversed its momentum, flinging both of them through the opening just before it could close completely.

 

The party lay gasping on the ground, momentarily content to revel in their own survival.

 

“Well,” Belle summarized, “that was. . . somethin’.”

 

Amelia regarded the assessment with a raised eyebrow, before climbing to her feet with a wince.  “C’mon. We oughta get outside again, see if we can’t figure out where we’re at, an’ when.”

 

“Agreed,” Alma said. The group slowly got to their feet. As they began walking, Amelia gasped, and her leg gave out under her.

 

Belle turned, concern in her eyes. “You alright, Pond?”

 

“Ahm fine, jus’ a sprained ankle.”  She swore softly, then chuckled. “I’ve had worse.  Gimme a few minutes t’ walk it off an’ I’ll be fine,” she reassured.

 

“Are you--?”

 

“Go on ahead, I’ll catch up.  No sense wastin’ time if our window’s close.”  While the time of day usually matched up with their own world’s, it wasn’t always the case, and some worlds’ sunsets fell at different (ridiculous, Amelia mentally corrected) times compared to theirs.  Or in some cases, both, she mused darkly, thinking back to the nightmare world they’d just left.

 

By the look on Belle’s face, she shared similar thoughts.  “Stick tight, we’ll be back as soon as we see what time it is.”

 

As the party separated, six glowing green spots faded discreetly into the darkness.

 

---------------

 

 

“Seriously?  Again? What is it with this cave and--”  Belatedly, Belle registered the reddish-orange suits and matching oversized sunglasses.  “Wait. Y’all ain’t cops…”

 

“You will heed the authority of agents of Team Flare!” the man ordered.  His partner snickered.

 

“‘Heed’?  Really, dude?  Eh, whatever.” She switched suddenly to seriousness as she released a pair of flying Pokémon and addressed the travelers.  “Hands up. Now!” she barked, the party having no choice but to comply. “Good. Sigilyph, hold them while Fletchinder searches.”

 

“But Tango,” the male grunt whined, “I wanted to search them!”

 

“Then hurry up and send out your Pokémon already, sheesh.”

 

The man sheepishly fished a Poké Ball out of his pocket and sent out the Houndoom within.  “Houndoom, look for contraband! And if any of them move, sic ‘em!”

 

“But we’re cooperating!” Alex protested  as Alma said, “We ae not resisting.”

 

“Quiet!” Grunt Tango snapped.  “I don’t need a couple of malformed freaks mouthing off.  Scum like you aren’t worthy of even the dirt of Kalos.  In fact…” The grunt grinned at her partner. “Say. Why bother taking three prisoners to base when they’ll just sanitize two anyway?”

 

“You thinking a Code 88?”

 

“It’s like you read my mind.”  Grunt Tango smirked at her victims…but the expression was wiped away moments later as a shard of ice sheared through her throat.

 

“Wh--ASHLEY!”  The surviving grunt turned toward the standing stones lining the road, the source of the ambush attack, and touched a gemstone attached to a ring on the middle finger of his left hand.  “You’ll pay for that! Houndoom, prepare to--”

 

“No,” a familiar voice interrupted.  “Van. Aqua Jet.”

 

A rustling of leaves on the opposite side of the road was the only warning before a jagged violet shark burst from the bushes, jaws gaping wide, and slammed into the Flare grunt’s back.

 

“Crunch,” the mysterious woman commanded.  The Flare grunt screamed as his left hand--and indeed, most of his arm--was consumed.

 

“AUGH!  You b--

 

“Ren.  Shuriken.”

 

A second icy projectile emerged from the shadows, only to be blocked by the Fletchinder’s flaming charge.

 

“You…?  Right. Hold them off while I call for backup!” the man commanded his fallen partner’s Pokémon, clutching his bleeding stump to his chest as he struggled to clamber atop his Houndoom.

 

“Harvey.”

 

Stone spikes speared through both fliers’ wings before toppling them to the ground.  The earth shook as a pair of thundering footsteps approached the party from behind, their originator leaping over them in a blur of lime green and purple.  The massive spined reptile crashed down again with a mighty Earthquake, handily dispatching the Fletchinder while weakening the other two foes.

 

“Van.  Ren.”

 

The shark-creature jetted forth once more, tackling the wounded Houndoom to the ground as it threw its rider.  Meanwhile, a humanoid figure emerged from the darkness, nearly purely black save for the red crest on its head and the watery shuriken at its back.  As the group watched, it drew a blade of pure darkness from out of thin air and plunged it into the Sigilyph, watching dispassionately as its other two allies similarly finished off the other two foes.  Finally, a familiar red-haired woman stepped forth from the shadows, brandishing her handgun.

 

The grunt’s terrified eyes widened even further.  “You…it’s you!”

 

“It’s me,” Amelia nodded.

 

*BANG*

 

---------------

 

“She’s just sitting there! To think, after all this time we have her cornered. She doesn’t even have her full team out of their Pokéballs! We can be on her before she even knows it!” A cruel, mocking chuckle followed this sentence. “FInally, I reach my greatest triumph.”

 

Across the cavern, Amelia sat cradling her ankle, wincing at her own touch.  “This isn’t me,” she complained to her Pokémon, “I’m s’posed to be the one doin’ all the work for the injured, not the other way ‘round.”

 

Harvey grumbled sympathetically, but Sina merely flicked her ears.

 

“Sina?  What’s--?”

 

Before she could complete her question, a blue and black Gallade -- Never seen a Gallade like that, she would remember thinking later -- appeared and slammed the Sneasel against the crystal wall. As Sina slumped, the attacker made a lunging kick that sent Harvey sliding across the floor. It spun, putting two long, sharp blades to Amelia’s throat. From the corner of her eye, Amelia could see a green and orange Malamar appear out of the shadows and drag her Larvitar away.

 

A man -- hardly more than a boy, really -- stepped out of the shadows, smirking. He wore fine shoes, a pair of white slacks, a white jacket, a red-orange shirt and gloves, and matching sunglasses. If it weren’t for the long hair framing the slightly-effeminate face, Amelia wouldn’t have recognized him.

 

Alex smirked cruelly. “You’ve been beaten, my sweet pet dove, and now that I have you I am never letting you go.”

 

Amelia struggled against her captor.  “Y’know,” she snarked, “I really ain’t into the clingy sort.”

 

“Oh, my dear Amy,” he countered, pointedly ignoring Amelia’s angry snarl, “I do believe you’ve missed the part where you had a choice in the matter.”  He stared greedily at her, his azure gaze sparking a belated bolt of recognition from his captive. “Night night.” A hit to the head later, and all Amelia knew was darkness.

 

---------------

 

“What were you thinking?!”

 

“I’m -- I’m sorry, Pond--”

 

Amelia’s gaze softened.  “Not your fault, ‘Donna. Ah shoulda paid more attention to who th’ Resistance sent ya off with.”  Her scowl returned. “Speakin’ a which, one o’ ya want ta tell me why you ain’t gotten her outta the country…yet…”  Amelia’s emerald eyes widened as they made contact with Alex’s azure gaze, her gun appearing in her hand as if by magic while a thumb hovered over the strange jewel on her bracelet.  “All right, then, Alex,” she spat with a venom borne only by those bearing a lifetime of hatred, “what kinda game’re you playin’ at? An’ what’ve you done to my Pokémon??”

 

“I -- your -- what??

 

“Don’t play your little games with me, scum!  Where are Sina and Qrow?

 

“Amelia, stop, what’s wrong with you?  Why’re you threatening Alex? What the heck is goin’ on??

 

Amelia flicked her eyes over to Belle, but just for a moment.  “That,” she said with unflinching intensity, “is a very good question.”

 

Alma tilted her head. “Is that Tyranitar Harvey, by chance? My, he’s grown since we last saw him . . . what, twenty minutes ago?” She ignored the look that Amelia was giving her. “Who is Qrow, may I ask?”

 

“…My Honchkrow.  Who I lent to Belle, along with Sina.”  Amelia looked at them askance. “Y’all seriously don’t know this?”

 

With a shared glance, Alex and Alma chose Belle as their representative.  “Well...no. An’ I think I might know why…”

 
 

IC: Xander Cruize (Sylph [80%]/Aspen Seaton (Aria [100%]


Sylph scowled. Without her power, she was next to useless in combat. She’d done nothing but scratch damage to Miss Zarth’s team, and Aria was faster than they were, so even hitting her would be a problem. That was, however, the point of this exercise. She scanned the battlefield quickly and saw what she could use to her advantage.


With a nod, she kicked off to her right. Aria took off as well, matching Sylph’s movements. The two converged on the rock in the center of the battlefield. Sylph pushed to place herself between Aria and the obstacle.


Aria wasn’t slowing down. She intended to drive Sylph into the stone with her full force. That was what Sylph had anticipated. At the last second, her hand and the remains of her arm came up. She hooked them around Aria’s arm and pivoted, using the Lucario’s momentum against her.


Aria hit the rock hard and growled. The counter had been well-timed and well-executed. Aria pushed away from the hard surface and spun a high kick that narrowly missed Sylph’s head. The Gardevoir stepped back, but the Lucario stepped forward and performed two kicks that caught Sylph in the leg and then in the shoulder, spinning her.


Sylph reeled from the speed of the attacks, and Aria gave no sign of relenting. As Sylph spun under the blows, Aria kicked her in the back, driving her to her knees. The fighting-type started raining blows around her opponent’s head and shoulders. When Sylph raised her arms to ward off the blows, Aria started kicking her in the ribs and stomach.


“Stop!” Sylph cried out as she was driven fully to the ground again. “Stop, I yield!”


Aria stepped back, growling softly as she looked down at her opponent. Two weeks ago, they had been in such a similar position, and Aria had been the one to forfeit, though she’d had no need to. The memory irked her. She grabbed Sylph and hauled her up. The Gardevoir was confused. Aria took advantage, driving her fist into Sylph’s gut.


As Sylph doubled over, Aria hit her twice across the face. She could hear the two trainers shouting, but she ignored them in favor of taking out her frustrations.


As she brought her fist back again, four hands grabbed her. An invisible force aided Xander and Aspen in throwing her to the ground and holding her there. Xander’s eyes were glowing purple, bright enough that she couldn’t make out the rest of his face, but she could imagine.


“Touch her again,” Xander said, “and I end you.” She highly doubted it. A force slammed into her chest, winding her. “Don’t. It would take a thought, I’ve seen it done already.”


She growled, teeth bared. Aspen grabbed her paw. “Aria, stop,” he said, squeezing. WIth a resigned sigh, Aria closed her eyes and turned her head away.


Xander’s eyes dimmed, and he turned to kneel by Sylph. “Talk to me, Sylph.”


“I’m fine,” the Gardevoir said, though her voice was thick. “I will live.”


“Good, good . . .” Xander helped her to her feet. He cast a scowl back at Aria. “Aspen, I’ll talk with you later. I’m taking Sylph to get healed.”


“Sounds good,” Aspen replied. He couldn’t meet the other trainer’s eye.


As Xander and Sylph made their way indoors, Aria opened an eye. Aspen wasn't looking at her. As she sat up, he removed her ball from his belt. “You’re . . . I don’t even know what to say to you right now. Return, and I’ll let you out when I’ve figured it out.”

 

Aria did not argue.


"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/Jenny Hakuda/James Arthur/Kris -- Alola -- [4]==-

 

Evan marveled at the beautiful Alolan Sea, being captivated by the sheer amount of Pokémon life that it cradled within it’s azure waves. The boat continued it’s uneventful trip, and arrived at one of Ula’Ula’s beaches. Upon making landfall, the Plasma Agent looked in awe at how different it was on this island. “This is……...amazing.”

"Whoa! Nice, this is pretty different from Akala, but it's cool." Jenny grinned as she stepped off of the boat. She looked around at the rocky cliffs nearby, amazed at the mountains in the distance. Kris led the group to a secluded spot near a trail to the north that was sufficiently rocky for the type of training that James asked about.

 

James and Lancelot looked around. On a whim, Lancelot looked towards a rock and took a swing at it with his gauntlet. With a crack, the rock broke. Lancelot considered how tough the rock was. Not too fragile. It would make a good training ground.

 

“This will serve well, I think,” James added as he took in the landscape. He began to consider what strategy would best serve Lancelot when fighting among the rocks.

Evan took a moment to appreciate the training ground Kris had picked out for them, and considered who he’d send out, when Gnip suddenly appeared from her Poké Ball, and gave one of her trademark barks. “Well, you seem to like this place, huh?” The man said to the Mach Pokémon, who nodded at her friend, a look of determination in her eyes.

"Alright, since we have three people here, and because you two already have your Pokémon out, let's take turns. Evan and James can go first, switching back and forth between who's defending during the first portion of this class." Kris explained, as she eyed the Scizor in particular. "Does that sound alright to everyone?"

 

Evan nodded, before noticing Gnip eyeing Lancelot intently. “It’s fine with Gnip and I.” The man said, before looking at the Scizor himself. He felt an intense fighting spirit burning within the Scissors Pokémon, much like Gnip’s. "Well this is going to be interesting." The man thought.

James likewise nodded. “I suppose we will get that promised battle after all,” he said, as he beckoned Lancelot closer to him. When the Scizor was close enough to whisper he added, “Do not use moves… yet,” he said to the Scizor.

 

James figured that they could have probably gotten away with using Roost and not be noticed, but he did want to figure out how Lancelot stacked up to the Garchomp that beat Gawain. “All right. We are ready,” James said.
 

“As are we. Attack or defend, Sir?” Evan said, grinning in anticipation at the battle ahead. Gnip herself looked at the Scizor. Compared to Scizlite, he was on a different level. Whether or not she’d win this, she would accept the outcome as it came.

“I choose defend,” James said surveying the landscape one final time. He’d learn all he could from Gnip’s first attack. Lancelot adopted a defensive stance while surveying his opponent. She looked sturdy. It would be joyous to bring pain to such an opponent, the Scizor thought.

“Then that puts us on the offensive, Gnip! Do your best, girl.” Evan said as he petted his star Pokémon on the head, before she moved onto the battlefield. The Garchomp gave Lancelot a challenging look, before roaring in his direction.

Kris nodded as the two prepared for the fight. She raised a hand as she stood on the sidelines, acting as referee. "Alright… three, two, one… begin!" As the countdown finished, the blue-haired woman lowered her hand quickly, signaling the start of the fight.

 

“Let’s start this off simple with a slash, Gnip.” Evan ordered. At her master’s command, The Garchomp rushed towards Lancelot, and readied a claw strike towards him, ready in case the Scizor countered her strike.

If James had not explicitly banned moves, Lancelot would have used Counter right now. Instead he waited for James’s order. “Use the rock at 10 o’clock,” the order came. The Scizor saw the rock and dashed around it. He put the rock in between himself and the Garchomp. If the Garchomp came close, he’d use it like the other rock.

Gnip saw the Scizor dart behind the rock and growled at her miss. Roaring once more, the Mach Pokémon rushed towards the rock and slashed at it, her strength cracking it in a major way. “Fight me, coward!” The Garchomp roared in her language, as the cover began to crumble.

James was slightly surprised with the ease that matched Lancelot’s earlier crushing of the rock. He intended to use the structure as a weapon. But in that moment, “Strike now!” James called. Lancelot had ducked low to keep away from the slash. Using his wings to propel himself, he rose for a quick uppercut at the dragon.

It came too fast for Gnip to evade, so she took the uppercut directly. She had the wind knocked out of her, as she was sent back a ways from the Scizor, gasping for breath. “Easy, Gnip.”Evan said, winking at his friend. “Just do what feels natural for you to do.” Nodding and catching her breath, the Garchomp faced Lancelot, and rushed at him again, aiming to slash at him with her right claw again.
 

Lancelot felt satisfaction through his whole body. The impact felt so perfect. The joy of pain flowed through him. James had scanned the terrain when he first made Lancelot duck. There were no easy rocks to use this time.


“Lancelot, guard while stepping back,” he said to the Scizor. Lancelot took one look behind him before complying. He brought his heavy gauntlets in front of his body, ready to guard against the Garchomp’s attack.
 

The moment Gnip’s claw swept towards Lancelot, Evan knew what to do next. “Now, trip him up with your tail!” He commanded the Land Shark with a fiery tone.. Eyes blazing with fury, the Garchomp used the force from her horizontal slash to spin her stance, so that her tail could impact on the Scizor’s unguarded legs.

Lancelot could not lower his arms to protect his legs quick enough, and James knew that. Even as the Scizor was being lifted from the ground, James called out, “Lancelot, aerial maneuvers!” Lancelot wished he simply said Aerial Ace at the moment, but was content to merely spread his wings to use as stabilizers to keep him from slamming into the ground. Just as well, considering the ground that he had led Gnip to. The terrain turned from rough to nearly impassable, with sharp inclines and jagged rocks. Using his wings, he hopped from rock to rock, challenging the Garchomp to come after him.

Gnip grinned at the challenge the Scizor extended to her, and flew after him, eyes aflame. When she drew closer, she attempted to slice at the Scissors Pokémon with her left fin. Despite this being a training battle, it was one of the most thrilling sparring matches she’d ever had.

As soon as Gnip entered his battle field, Lancelot got to work. He would use the field itself as his weapon. With a kick, he broke the top of a rock free and with a lightning fast punch, launched the free rocks at the dragon. He punched at several more large jagged rocks, to create shards to launch at the Garchomp.

The rocks didn’t hurt Gnip a whole lot, thanks to her rather tough hide, but the pain was enough to distract her for the next barrage, which disrupted her flight, forcing her to land. The Garchomp looked up at the flying Scizor, and roared at him. If she had Draco Meteor or Flamethrower, this fight would have been cake for her. But there’s was no use crying about lost moves, she thought as she roared at Lancelot to do his worst.

At the Garchomp’s beckoning, the Scizor broke off a long sharp rock. If Swords Dance was not allowed, then this rock would be his spear. Underneath that rock, a small pair of jaws peaked out of the ground. Small eyes looked in shock at suddenly being unearthed. With one gauntlet for a shield and the other holding the spear, the knight charged forth to face the dragon. He leapt from one rock to another to keep the Garchomp guessing, before throwing his might into a powerful thrust at the dragon’s belly.

A loud gasp escaped the Garchomp’s mouth as the “spear” was slammed into her belly. Catching what miniscule amounts of breath she could, Gnip growled defiantly to her new rival.

“I know I can’t beat you, but you won’t beat me.”

With that, Gnip stayed in place, still breathing harshly as she eyed Lancelot, eyes still burning with draconic rage. She refused to budge anymore for the Knight, to show her resolve to him.

Lancelot stared straight back in Gnip’s eyes. He had fought enemies that were truly stronger than him and overcome them. Ones that had the strength to push him back, given by the great size nature had bestowed them. So why was this dragon, barely greater than his size, not bending? Lancelot with joy tried digging the spear into his opponent, but the very rock kept falling apart as he pushed into it. Eventually he left with just his gauntlet again, trying to push the dragon into submission.

Using the last of her dwindling strength, Gnip pushed herself against the gauntlet, and decided if she was going to fall, that she’d make it hard for this most worthy foe to get her to. She closed one eye due to the exertion of effort, among other things, and put her all into not buckling to Lancelot’s might.

"Alright, I think that's about it for now." Kris said with a slight cough. "If this keeps going any longer, we might just all die of old age. You two did a pretty remarkable job, however." She eyed the Scizor with intrigue. "Is it just me, however, or did that Scizor seem to just get stronger as time went on?"

“All right, Gnip, you heard the lady.” Evan said, impressed that his Garchomp lasted so long against such a mighty opponent. The man returned the panting Garchomp to her Poké Ball, where she tiredly winked at her friend. He then faced James. “I was wondering the same thing. It seemed like each time he hit Gnip, his attacks had more and more force….”

 

James looked at Lance. He could tell the bug was both happy from the fight, and frustrated that he couldn’t finish it. “A consequence of his personality I am afraid. Something we try to turn towards constructive purposes. I was not able to accurately test it during the Pokemon power blackout because well…” Lancelot looked at James. “Lancelot, Swords Dance.”

 

With a spin and twirl, the Scizor created two ethereal swords that he grasped with each gauntlet.

 

“Lancelot. Lunge.”

 

With one thrust, Lancelot shattered a nearby boulder, reducing it to rubble.

 

“Because by the time we had a chance to, his abilities had already started to return.”

Evan’s jaw dropped at this revelation. He had seen the stream while trying to sleep the day before yesterday, and was amazed at the Scizor’s new forme, but what was more surprising was that James’s partner Pokémon was that same Pokémon, and that he had his Move Power back. “That’s…….wild.” The man said, in awe of this reveal, before focusing on what the Executive had said. “That…...sounds like something I may have to look into for the Battle Royal, that is the personality thing…..”
 

"I had a feeling." Kris said, though marveled at the Scizor's returned powers nonetheless. "This is a very good sign. How many people know of this other than us?" The woman asked, as Jenny approached Lancelot and looked him over in awe from many different angles.

“Well apparently somebody was streaming when it happened,” James said choking down the urge to say it with more anger. “And we also caused a bit of a stir yesterday when Lancelot used his Swords Dance and drew some considerable attention.”

 

James paled slightly at how his meeting with Colress ended, breaking eye contact for a moment. When he did, he spotted a small grub like Pokemon watching Lancelot. It seemed it too was impressed by Lancelot’s display of power. Display of having any power at all was the actual reason. But it looked to James that the grub was impressed by the amount of it.

 

“Well, who are you?” James said walking over to the grub and leaning down to look closer at it. “Ms. Kris, do you know what kind of Pokemon this is?”

 

"Yes, that is a Grubbin - it's a bug Pokémon native to Alola." Kris smiled at the interest that James was showing to the small bug. "When it evolves, it gets an electric type too. It can be a pretty strong Pokémon if you know how to use it. I've personally considered adding one to my team sometimes, but I haven't really felt like it works for me yet."

 

“A Grubbin,” James repeated while placing his hand to the small bug type. “Are you curious about Lancelot, little fellow? Would you like to watch him longer? If you came with us, you could do that.”

 

The Grubbin looked up at James. It watched him for a little while, before running past his hand, and around James, heading north and away from the group.

 

James watched the bug go with a slight frown. “I guess that is a no,” he said. He didn’t particularly want to let the bug go, but it didn’t seem willing to join him either. And unlike a certain Weavile, that shall remain nameless, it didn’t lead him into a blizzard. He wasn’t going to force the matter.

"Alright… now, back to work. I'll start to teach you some techniques that could help with your defensive maneuvers. Defense really is a big key for fighting, even for offense-based Pokémon like Lancelot and Gnip. Mastering these techniques should help you in the future." Kris explained, as she sat down on a nearby rock. "Some might even allow a flow to your attacks that you've never had before."


Evan’s interest was piqued by the last thing Kris said. “Oh really now? So, putting the saying ‘The best offense is a good defense.’ to good use, eh?” The man said, smiling at the possibilities Kris was presenting. “What are some examples you can think of?”

"One example to start this off, is parrying your opponent's attacks, if possible. Some attacks could be parried to stop them from being as strong as they usually are, in theory. Not all attacks are like that, but it's easier to practice them like this, as attacks are locked off from accidental use. Lancelot, would you be willing to be the one who first learns for now?" Kris glanced over at the only Pokémon at that moment who still had powers, knowing that he would be the most viable to not get hurt by accident.


Lancelot looked at Kris, his eyes faraway for a moment. It had been a long while since he had a true combat lesson. He gave one glance to James, who nodded, prompting the Scizor to step forward.

Kris smiled, then sent out her Kommo-o to act as the combat teacher. "Alright… let's begin."

Edited by Dr. Hidaka

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IC: Xander Cruize - 4:00 PM (T-Minus 12 hours)

 

He had fumed, he had screamed, and he had sulked. Now, with a level head, Xander Cruize wound his ways through the twisting corridors of the Alamo into the Executives' wing. He was going to be rational, he was going to do things the correct way, rather than going under everyone's noses.

 

That meant asking permission, rather than forgiveness. It meant approaching an executive and seeing what red tape he had to wade through, rather than charging in and doing what was right.

 

He stopped outside of Executive James Arthur's door. The man had allowed him an interview with Meghan Vert. Perhaps he would allow this. Xander knocked softly.


"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: Mordred - James's office

 

Mordred was living in his own filth when James was gone. It was a rare pleasure. Not living in his own filth, but making a mess of James's office. He could have ate food that was good for him, but he was interested in what humans ate. So each day, he went to the cafeteria and picked up a meal on 'Executive Arthur's behalf', because no one thought to tell them that James wasn't on the island. Well, that or they didn't care. Mordred would feel slightly cheated if that were true though.

 

The Weavile was eating a piece of cake when he heard a knock on the door. The cake wasn't agreeing with him, but it did taste good. It was quite a quandary. Sadly, he'd have to resolve it after seeing what the deal with the knocker was. He looked through the peephole in the door to see who was out front. It was that guy from earlier. The one he visited Vert with. May as well see what he wanted.

 

He opened the door just enough to poke half of his slender body out. He looked at Xander, waiting to hear what he wanted.

 

 

IC: Jamie Arthur - Route 5

 

The day seemed just fine by Jamie's standards. She decided to keep Pelleas out of his Poke Ball during the journey, but the Heracross had become bored. Pelleas wanted some exercise on the road, so Jamie was letting him use Bedevere as weight to carry the whole way. That arrangement was just fine by Pelleas. It was a bit less fine by the Cloyster.

 

When she heard Lachina's question, she replied,  "We're here on vacation. Don't mind us," before winking quite conspicuously to Lucia.

 

 

-==IC: Evan Tierra/Jenny Hakuda/James Arthur/Kris -- Alola -- [5]==-
 
After Kris’s lesson on Parrying had ended, she went on about her defensive lessons to the trainers. Evan paid attention, absorbing every detail on the maneuvers she described. When all was said and done, the man definitely saw a lot of holes in his team’s capabilities as a result. The Hero applauded the blue-haired woman. “Is there any more?” Evan asked, before a thought about James came to mind with the time. “Executive Arthur, what about your meeting?”
 
James moved his sleeve slightly so he could check his watch. “It is starting to be around that time. I should head back to the beach.”
 
“Um pardon me,” a voice suddenly piped in. A man dressed in a white jumpsuit and sporting a white suit walked closer to the group. “I didn’t want to interrupt your training, but he said Executive Arthur, right?”
 
“Yes, that is me. Are you from the Aether Foundation?” he asked.
 
The man nodded, “Yeah, I’m here to pick you up. The President is expecting you at Aether Paradise.”
 
“Thank you, give me just a moment,” James said turning towards the others in the group. “Well, I hope you will forgive me leaving you, but I must be off.”
 
Evan grinned at the Executive. “It’s fine. We’ll just ask figure out more about Z-Moves from Kris while you are away.” The man said, enthusiasm in his voice. “I’m certain she will help us out in that regard, especially after that workout.”
 
"Z-Moves?" Kris turned to Evan with a raised eyebrow. "Did you hear about that from people around here?"
 
Evan faced Kris, a smile on his face. “A representative of Alola told us about them……..after I started posing.” The Agent said, doing one of those poses after he finished that sentence. “If Lancelot was any indication, Moves will be coming back, and we want to be ready.”
 
"Very interesting." Kris thought over what was said for a moment, then nodded. "What will you use them for? Z-Moves are a lot more dangerous than you might give them credit for. Imagine something like Earthquake. When powered up as a Z-Move, that could be ten times as devastating. Is it something that you're sure is right for you?"
 
Evan’s smile faltered for a second, before he steeled himself once more. “I’ll use them to protect this world. I’m sure they can be destructive, but we have to do -something- about what’s going on.”
 
"Protect the world…" The blue-haired woman fell silent for a moment. Jenny looked over with a curious look as she wondered if Kris would begin to talk again. After a moment, the older woman sighed. "You're talking about the things that the news have been saying is happening around Kanto, aren't you? Those things remind me of the beasts that invaded Alola five years ago..."
 
Kris eyed up Evan with the same sort of look she had given Lancelot when she had connected the dots. "You aren't just a tourist, are you? You know this Executive, and wish to protect the world from aliens that appeared in another country. You also exude a power that… well, typically those tourists head to the Battle Tree. But here you are, inquiring about Z-Moves. Who are you, Evan Tierra?"
 
Evan’s eyes glinted with energy as he began to pose. He knew the Aether Foundation Rep would think he was showboating if he did this, but Kris seemed more perceptive than that. “I am Evan Tierra, and I am a Hero! It is my job to help protect this world, and that’s where my power is focused on.” The man finished his pose, grinning at Kris.
 
James was mulling over the mention of beasts that Kris mentioned as the Aether employee looked confused at Evan.
 
“Do you know what he’s talking about?” the Aether employee asked as he began to lead the way towards the beach.
 
“I am sure you will find out in the coming months,” James said as he followed the other man towards the beach.
 

 

 

 


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IC: Dahlia Seaton/Alex Lockwood/Zoe Llyan - Kalos Route 5

"Walking really is one of the joys of being a Pokémon Trainer," Alex agreed with his cousin. "It's a shame I was always fighting off Team Rocket back in Sinnoh, but even while on the run it was exciting to be able to explore a new route or town."

 

Vacation, huh? Dahlia couldn't help but overhear her fellow Hero's declaration. She had to admit, despite the importance of their mission, their journey so far really did feel like a vacation. Traveling to Lumiose City, staying in the esteemed Hotel Richissime . . . Jamie's enthusiasm only strengthened the illusion that they were merely here for leisure. And why shouldn't they enjoy themselves? Not everything had to be a life-or-death situation. Dahlia hummed happily as she took in the sights around her. "Kalos really is a nice place, isn't it?" she said to Olivia. "I glanced through a tourist brochure back at the hotel, and it said this next town, Camphrier, is known for its berry fields. I know we're on a tight schedule, but wouldn't it be neat to check it out?"

 

Zoe trotted next to her sister. Since breakfast she had woken up considerably, and the lush route that stretched out before them filled her with wonder. "We always visited you up in the mountains," she told Colleen. "I don't think we've ever been out this way before. The Kalos Region is so big!" Alongside the young girl, Esmeralda and Merida walked at a moderate pace. The two Pokémon were glad to be out in the fresh air and looked about as excited as their trainer to be exploring someplace new.


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/Lachina Adaon/Emily Lockwood

 

A few minutes later, the oversized group was on the road. They left Lumiose City via Route 5, heading towards Camphrier town. It was a bit of a walk, but Jared seemed confident they could make it before nightfall. If they could, Lionel would take care of accommodations for the night again.

 

Jared was next to Lionel as he led the group onward. "So, you said you made the Holo Caster? I'm not super familiar, but it seems handy from what I've seen of it."

 

Lachina found herself walking next to two of the newcomers. "So, to be sure I got the names right: Jamie and Lucia? What brought you two to Lumiose?"

 

Emily hummed softly as she walked between her aunt and cousin. "I should walk more often," she commented loudly enough for most of the others to hear, inviting conversation. "Flying if wonderful, but I forgot how scenic the land is on foot."

-==IC: Lionel Zyther==-

 

"It was a Lysandre invention to start, but I modernized it. Stripped down his OS and rebuilt it, improved the signal range, added crosslink with the consumer-model Pokédex, that sort of thing. I revolutionized the device that had already revolutionized Kalos. Even managed to add a kinetic charger, though it's still a bit power-hungry despite the boost."



 

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: Jared Winters

 

"Interesting. How much do those go for?" He held up his wrist with the Pokétch on it. "This thing is useful, but the screen is too small to do much besides making calls."

 

IC: Amelia Zann/??? (location unknown, Flareverse) & IC: ‘Amelia Zann’/Belle LaDonna/Alma Mason/Alex Zyther (Route 11, Kalos, Flareverse)

 

As Amelia came to, she heard two voices speaking from somewhere close by. The first, a female voice speaking with a condescending tone, said “Good work, Alex. Chancellor Cruize will be pleased.”

 

Alex -- Not my Alex, Amelia thought, I need a better name for him. -- snorted. “As if I care what he thinks. This is nothing to do with him, got it? This is my revenge.”

 

“If you say so.”

 

“Oh, look, she’s awake.” Alex chuckled. “Rise and shine, Sleeping Beauty.”

 

Amelia opened her eyes slowly, not sure how not-Alex -- Al? Nah, that’d be confusin’ him with Belle’s Al. -- had known she was awake. She seemed to be in some sort of hospital room, if the white tiled ceiling and walls was anything to go by. Her arms were strapped up above her head, and she could feel cold steel against her bare back.

 

Not-Alex adjusted the table she was constrained to, giving her a better view of him and the female he’d been speaking with. She wore a white outfit to match his, with her red hair pulled into a tight ponytail. Behind them was a table with tools that sent a shiver down her spine. She knew what those utensils were for, and none of their uses were good.

 

“‘Fraid yer medical license might be a couple centuries out of date,” she quipped defiantly.

 

The not-Alex -- Lex, she decided. -- chuckled, stripping his gloves off slowly. “Still have your sense of humor, I see. That’s good, Amy. Really good.” He turned, grabbing a pair of latex gloves. “I think you’ll find, though, that I flunked out of med school.” As he pulled on the gloves and picked up the first knife, he hummed thoughtfully.

 

“Let’s see if we can’t bleed some of that humor out of you.”

 

---------------

 

“…So let me get this straight,” ‘Amelia’ interrupted as the group finished their story.  “Y’all’re from another universe, an’ were traveling with your universe’s version of me when ya fell through a mirror to another universe, only it changes where it goes every sundown an’ now you’re cyclin’ through worlds ‘cause ya can’t get back the way ya came.  I get all that right?”

 

“Well…pretty much, yeah.”

 

The alternate Amelia shot Alex a strange look before shaking her head.  “Wild. Frankly, I ain’t sure I’d believe it if it weren’t you tellin’ it, ‘Donna.”  ‘Amelia’ slung her arm around Belle’s shoulders, only for the latter to freeze. “...Donna?”

 

Gingerly, almost conflictedly, Belle withdrew from the contact.  “Pond. . . I’m not. . . I’m not your Belle.”

 

‘Amelia’ stiffened.  “…Oh. Right.” She pulled her arm back, looking as if she had no idea what to do with it.  “Sorry, Donna,” she added belatedly.

 

Alma cocked her head.  “You keep using that nickname,” she observed, “but I do not think it means to her what you think it means.”

 

The rebel raised an eyebrow.  “What, Donna? It’s from a TV show we like.  Donna Noble. Perfect name for mah noble Belladonna.”

 

“Huh.  So you never called me -- ah, the other me -- Blake?”

 

‘Amelia’ just stared at Belle.

 

“As in Blake Belladonna?”

 

“…hon, you hate anime, why would I call you that?”

 

The fire crackled quietly as the group lapsed into silence.

 

“Well.  This is awkward.”

 

Belle shot Alex a look before returning her attention to ‘Amelia’.  “Look. We’ve got to come up with a different way of talkin’ ‘bout each other, otherwise this is gonna give me a headache.  Got another nickname for yerself?”

 

The other woman thought for a few moments, brow furrowed in concentration.  “How’s Mel? Know any Mels?”

 

“No?”

 

“Good enough for me, then.”

 

---------------

 

They had drugged her, though Lex swore that the stuff in that syringe wouldn’t dull her sense of pain at all. With her arms and legs too heavy to move, they had flipped her, and now cool metal pressed against her chest. She shivered as she felt Lex’s lackey swab her back with an alcohol wipe.

 

“Generally I prefer my alcohol in a glass.”

 

“You know, Amy, I have so many tools here to use on you. I have knives, hooks, even a couple of floggers, but I never considered that I would need to get a gag for you.”

 

Amelia attempted to shrug, the movement foiled by her restraints and the drugs in her system.  “If it helps ya any, you make me gag.”

 

The breath was driven from her lungs as Lex pressed himself hard against her back, the knife’s cold steel pressing against her shoulder blade. “Maybe instead of starting on your back, I’ll cut out that sharp tongue of yours.”

 

Amelia said nothing more, which was her acknowledgement that she would say nothing more. Lex nodded, stepping back. He ran a hand through his hair and took a few calming breaths. “Now then, where was I?”

 

“You were supposed to be telling her why,” the girl said. Lex shot her a scathing look, but nodded.

 

“Right, of course. See, Amy, we don’t like when our assets take things that don’t belong to them.  Especially themselves. Allow me to give you a reminder of to whom your loyalties lie.” He stepped forward again, and, as he made the first slice, Amelia began to scream.

 
 

IC: Xander Cruize/Mordred (T-Minus 12 hours)


Xander was surprised to see the Weavile open the door. “Oh, uh, hey there. Is Executive Arthur in?” He opened his senses, trying to get a read on the Dark type.


The Weavile shook his head. James wouldn’t be back for some length of time. He hadn’t exactly paid that much attention to how long James was gonna be gone. Long enough for Mordred to riffle through everything he owned to see if there was something he wanted. As a gift, surely.


The dark type felt a poking at his head. He knew that feeling, it had been a while though.


Telepathy, right? he responded to the call, with a slight scowl. Don’t tell Guinevere, but it always feel weird when someone else is in your head. Jimbo ain’t in right now.


“Oh,” Xander said. “Is he going to be back sometime today, then?”


The Weavile leaned his head back slightly, trying to recall what exactly James had said. I wouldn’t bet on it.


The purple-eyed trainer nodded slowly, seeming to weigh his options. He looked through the doorway and offered a soft chuckle. “In that case, would you be up to helping me with something? Apparently, you’re the sneaky sort.”


Mordred resisted the urge to turn around. Maybe he should hide that figurine on James’s desk until he comes back. Still, wasn’t every day that he got a request for his… particular services.  Maybe. What’s the job?


“Infiltration. You, me, and my team. I want to go . . . rescue someone who has been locked away for a long time. I was coming to ask James’ help in acquiring the necessary permissions, but seeing as he’s not here, this is my only option.”


Mordred rubbed two of the fingers on his hand together. That was new. He’d be lying if he said that he wasn’t interested at all. Still. Uh-huh. And what would I get out of it?


Xander leaned against the doorway as he thought. “First,” he said after a moment, holding up a finger, “you’d get some excitement. If you’re anything like my team, you’ve been feeling restless since the powers disappeared. If things go well, then it won’t be too spectacular, but it’d shake things up a bit from the normal day-to-day.”


He held up a second finger. “You would get to test your skills, some. The area we’re going to isn’t super high security, but there should be at least some resistance there.” A third finger went up. “Finally, I’d owe you one. I know it might not seem like much, a favor from some low-level kid in the ranks, but when I do favors for people, I give it my all. Could be something as innocuous as getting you some more junk food, or you could ask me to help you with some secret plan of yours later on. No questions, just as long as I don’t have to kill anyone or put my friends at risk.”


Mordred scratched his chin. Sure you wanna promise that? I got no qualms dumping something big on ya.


“”I’m not sure, but I’m doing it anyways. You’ll know my team after this, you’ll be able to get in contact with me.”


Jimbo ain’t gonna like this. The Weavile let out the briefest hiss. Xander might’ve sworn it sounded like a laugh. He briefly disappeared into the room. He came out again and slid a card key just under the door as the door slid shut. Alright, you’re on.


Xander smiled and pulled a folded paper from his pocket. He unfolded it quickly to show the rough map he’d made of the area in question. “Meet me outside this door, here. It’ll be somewhere around four in the morning.


“Just don’t jump me when I arrive. I’ll be wearing a red suit.”


Near those gaudy suits. Mordred wasn’t sure if that last thought actually transmitted. Dark types like him tended to need to be proactive with telepathy. That last thought was the equivalent of a mutter. I’ll be there.


“Sounds good.” Xander refolded the map and gave a soft wave before turning to walk away.


"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 - Nobuddy - Hatchery, Vermilion Rocket Base:

 

Whether or not she was capable of bringing herself to do it, it didn't matter. The door to the hatchery erupted from its hinges, sending shards of metal and glass in every direction. An alarm blared. The next instant, the heavy slab of broken metal shifted and flew through the illusory form of Matthew, straight at the agents standing in front of him.

 

 

IC - Sonja Baron/Kyle Eston/Emmerich Coleman - Vertrag:

 

"Well . . ." Sonja moved over to the kitchen counter, simultaneously pulling her bag over her shoulder. She picked through the drawings and papers inside, finally producing a blank sheet. She uncapped a marker and made a rough sketch of everything they had seen so far in the base. In the center, she drew a circle. "We're right here." Off of one doorway, closest to the kitchen, she drew a rectangle representing a hallway. "This is through there--the living quarters." Past the other door, off the living room space, she scribbled in a giant, black question mark. "And this is probably what Ray's talking about."

 

"'Probably'?" Kyle asked.

 

"Yeah. Probably." Sonja shrugged. "We had pretty free reign of the place between this area and the living quarters. But beyond that other door, no idea. Only Hayes and Adams ever went in there. Pierce, McKinley, and Ford, too, whenever we saw them, but that wasn't that often."

 

"So it's a mystery door, got it," Kyle said. "What about the living quarters? Did everyone have their own room? Did Ford have a room?"

 

"I think so. I can't imagine him just sleeping on the floor somewhere." Sonja drew short lines down the hallway to represent doors, alternating between the two long, parallel walls. "I know that there were eleven rooms in total. If the rest were anything like mine, they had storage and a bathroom inside, not unlike the single-person rooms at the Alamo. I don't think Ford has a room in that part of the base, though--everyone else does, but I never saw him come or go from there." She shook her head. "Honestly, we could probably skip the living quarters entirely and just go into the secret section."

"I don't think we should," Emmerich said. "Ford has used this base for a long time. We might find something useful in his 'Children's' rooms."

 

"Or at least something to explain where some of them came from, like McKinley." Kyle looked at the door to the living quarters. "I don't mind poking around in there if the rest of you want to search for his lab or whatever." He set Bounty's cane on the counter. "Probably going to want to take this with you, too. Just be sure not to break it."

 

Sonja (jokingly?) rolled her eyes, then grabbed the cane. "Alright. Well, I'm heading in with whoever wants to come with. Let me know if you find anything."


Follow me on YouTube!

 

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

 

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-==IC: Olivia Seaton -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

Olivia mulled over the suggestion from Dahlia for a moment as she recalled how Jared had seemed to not be pleased with the detour the day before, despite the potential for information. "I dunno if we have the time. I'd be onboard, but did ya see how things were yesterday? It felt almost like we couldn't stray from the path for a moment for something important without making the atmosphere feel like we were doing something wrong..." The redhead frowned slightly, but then sighed. "If we do make it there in time, though, I think ya might find it cool. Maybe Willow might too, she's seemed antsy since we left last month."

 

-==IC: Colleen Llyan -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

Colleen was about to pick up her pace to reply to Emily's question, when Zoe started to talk about how they hadn't been there before. The beige-haired girl resisted the urge to sigh as she considered it. "Yeah. I've been as far as Lumiose before, but this is mostly past where I've been allowed to travel before. Maybe I should take some time to travel around when everything settles down."

 

-==IC: Lucia Zyther -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

"What Jamie said; we're here on vacation, and this is pretty much part of what we'd be seeing anyway. So we might as well tag along to keep company and help out when needed." Lucia kept a lot of that quiet to keep it from Lionel, but figured that he was engrossed enough in his Holo-whatever talk with Jared that he wouldn't hear anyway. "How about you?"

 

-==IC: ???==-

 

As the door began to fly, a voice echoed throughout the room as a red flash of light illuminated the surroundings.

 

"STONE EDGE!" Unlike the typical usage of the move, a flat column of stone rose from the ground in the path of the door. The column crumbled under the weight of the door, but managed to slow the momentum enough that it tumbled to the ground. Ryan Hikari ran onto the scene, his Tyranitar beside him.

 

"Where is... whatever that is?" The black-haired man hesitated to name the being formerly known as Miyu anything in particular. Without waiting for a response, he looked to the hole where the door used to be, then ran toward it quickly, using the video recorder on his Poké Gear to try and find where the Instance had gone, in case invisibility was one of its powers as well.

 

-==IC: Chloe Hikari/Ray Hakuda -- Vertrag==-

 

"Umm..." Chloe hesitated as the group was choosing how to split up to search the rooms. On one hand, she wanted to check out the unknown room that likely was Ford's command room. On the other, she suddenly felt nervous about being there with Sonja after what happened in Goldenrod. She knew it wasn't a fair unease, or anything that made sense, but yet... she just did not feel comfortable at that moment. "I'll... I'll go with Kyle." The psychic woman said after a few moments.

 

Ray glanced over uncertainly at Chloe, as he could tell that she seemed uncharacteristically nervous. Even so, he looked toward the door that likely led toward something important. "I want to find out what's behind door number 1. I'm gonna go check it out with Sonja." He said finally, though he noticed Chloe had decided to examine the rest of the room they were in while she waited.

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IC: Jared Winters

 

"Interesting. How much do those go for?" He held up his wrist with the Pokétch on it. "This thing is useful, but the screen is too small to do much besides making calls."

-==IC: Lionel Zyther==-

 

"The base model is covered by Kalos' Trainer subsidy. One like mine, though?" The businessman chuckled. "Let's just say even my daughter's salary would weep without a family discount."

 

 

IC: Jamie Arthur - Route 5

 

The day seemed just fine by Jamie's standards. She decided to keep Pelleas out of his Poke Ball during the journey, but the Heracross had become bored. Pelleas wanted some exercise on the road, so Jamie was letting him use Bedevere as weight to carry the whole way. That arrangement was just fine by Pelleas. It was a bit less fine by the Cloyster.

 

When she heard Lachina's question, she replied,  "We're here on vacation. Don't mind us," before winking quite conspicuously to Lucia.

IC: Dahlia Seaton/Alex Lockwood/Zoe Llyan - Kalos Route 5

"Walking really is one of the joys of being a Pokémon Trainer," Alex agreed with his cousin. "It's a shame I was always fighting off Team Rocket back in Sinnoh, but even while on the run it was exciting to be able to explore a new route or town."

 

Vacation, huh? Dahlia couldn't help but overhear her fellow Hero's declaration. She had to admit, despite the importance of their mission, their journey so far really did feel like a vacation. Traveling to Lumiose City, staying in the esteemed Hotel Richissime . . . Jamie's enthusiasm only strengthened the illusion that they were merely here for leisure. And why shouldn't they enjoy themselves? Not everything had to be a life-or-death situation. Dahlia hummed happily as she took in the sights around her. "Kalos really is a nice place, isn't it?" she said to Olivia. "I glanced through a tourist brochure back at the hotel, and it said this next town, Camphrier, is known for its berry fields. I know we're on a tight schedule, but wouldn't it be neat to check it out?"

 

Zoe trotted next to her sister. Since breakfast she had woken up considerably, and the lush route that stretched out before them filled her with wonder. "We always visited you up in the mountains," she told Colleen. "I don't think we've ever been out this way before. The Kalos Region is so big!" Alongside the young girl, Esmeralda and Merida walked at a moderate pace. The two Pokémon were glad to be out in the fresh air and looked about as excited as their trainer to be exploring someplace new.

-==IC: Olivia Seaton -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

Olivia mulled over the suggestion from Dahlia for a moment as she recalled how Jared had seemed to not be pleased with the detour the day before, despite the potential for information. "I dunno if we have the time. I'd be onboard, but did ya see how things were yesterday? It felt almost like we couldn't stray from the path for a moment for something important without making the atmosphere feel like we were doing something wrong..." The redhead frowned slightly, but then sighed. "If we do make it there in time, though, I think ya might find it cool. Maybe Willow might too, she's seemed antsy since we left last month."

 

-==IC: Colleen Llyan -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

Colleen was about to pick up her pace to reply to Emily's question, when Zoe started to talk about how they hadn't been there before. The beige-haired girl resisted the urge to sigh as she considered it. "Yeah. I've been as far as Lumiose before, but this is mostly past where I've been allowed to travel before. Maybe I should take some time to travel around when everything settles down."

 

-==IC: Lucia Zyther -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

"What Jamie said; we're here on vacation, and this is pretty much part of what we'd be seeing anyway. So we might as well tag along to keep company and help out when needed." Lucia kept a lot of that quiet to keep it from Lionel, but figured that he was engrossed enough in his Holo-whatever talk with Jared that he wouldn't hear anyway. "How about you?"

-==IC: Professor Alderson==-

 

Elaine smiled wistfully as the nearby conversations washed over her. "It's been too long since I've been around newcomers to Kalos; sometimes I forget how beautiful and wondrous our region is to explore for the first time." The veteran Professor sighed and shook her head. "You know, I'm not even sure I know how to pass through places like these without lapsing into fieldwork; I feel like I should be scanning the area for move signatures, or recording unusual migration--" The Professor's gaze shot to the woods beside the route, but after just a moment she made herself relax. "There I go again," she chuckled, mostly to herself. "Don't mind the antics of a paranoid old Professor, just enjoy yourselves, you hear? You're only young once, you know."

 

 

IC: Belle LaDonna/’Mel’ Zann/Alex Zyther/Alma Mason (Route 11, Kalos, Flareverse) & IC: Amelia Zann/??? (unknown location, Flareverse)

 

Belle kept fidgeting, casting glances back towards the mouth of the cave. After the fifth time, ‘Mel’ took notice “Somethin’ botherin’ ya?”

 

Belle shook her head. “Not really. Just you -- er, the other you. Amelia.”

 

“You miss her. Ah get it. Dunno what I’d do if I was lost in another dimension without my Donna. Don’t worry, couple more hours an’ we can sneak ya back in an’ get ya through the mirror, an’ then sooner or later y’all’ll hook up again.”

 

Belle stared at the alternate Amelia. “Am -- er, Mel. We didn’t leave her behind. She came with us.”

 

‘Mel’ seemed confused. “But. . . then why wasn’t she. . .?”

 

“Sprained ankle. She’s probably waiting in the cave for us to get back right now.”

 

The rebel operative swore vehemently. “Belle. . . Ah have some bad news for ya, sugar…”

 

---------------

 

Amelia awoke to the smell of blood. The woman flinched, then flinched again at the pain flinching caused her. Okay, she thought to herself, so: definitely injured, easily trackable by scent. What else? She reached around to trace the incisions left by the mad Flare operative, only to draw back sharply with a hiss. All right, check that later then. Still not even partly healed, so I haven’t been out long. She finally risked opening her eyes.

 

She’d been left lying facedown on her stretcher, carted away into some sort of recovery room. Her restraints had been removed--Why? she wondered--and she’d been left unattended in the room. She scanned for security cameras without moving her head and, spotting none, rolled over in order to--

 

Pain. Searing, debilitating pain. She shot up, swearing and screaming, barely managing to cut herself off before she attracted unwanted attention. She continued swearing mentally for several seconds before finally getting a hold of herself. What did they DO to me?! she asked herself.

 

She didn’t have time for pain, however. The room was lined with cupboards, most likely full of medical supplies, and she intended to loot them for everything she could find that would help her get out of this nightmare hospital. To her disappointment, however, once she’d gritted through the pain to investigate, she found merely scrubs and linens, along with…

 

Uniforms? The outfits certainly seemed to match what she’d noticed the casual grunts wearing when she’d caught a glimpse of them. Why exactly they wore gaudy orange suits with oversized red sunglasses escaped her, however. She hesitated, before pulling on one of the starched white shirts they wore beneath the orange jackets, hissing at the pain as the fabric pulled against her injuries but slowly getting used to it. She left the rest of the outfit, however, doubting it would disguise her enough to risk crossing sightlines. If one of them sees me, they die, she promised herself, hoping she could live up to that promise.

 

With much trepidation, she tried the door. To her surprise, it swung freely open. What in the world…? Are they trying to let me escape? Still, though she was more than willing to look a gift Horsea in the mouth, she wasn’t willing to stay trapped in an enclosed room full of known hostiles. Steeling herself, she slipped outside as silently as she could.

 

For all its oddities, the facility seemed strangely familiar to Amelia. She couldn’t recall where or when she’d seen it, but she was certain she’d been in a facility just like it before. She followed her instincts through the halls, even as she felt there was something missing from the memory.

 

Let’s see...left here, then follow the ring around to the Pokémon labs…

 

“...Pond?”

 

Amelia’s head snapped around as she zeroed in on the familiar voice. “Belle?! They got you, too?”

 

Belle sagged in shame behind her cell’s electrified bars. “I’m sorry. This wasn’t supposed to…I know this is exactly what you were trying to…”

 

“Shhh. It’s okay. I’ll get ya out of there, promise.” Pulling a pin out of her hair, Amelia began fiddling with the screws on the cell’s keypad to try and gain access.

 

“And you even left Sina with me. . . Sina. . . I failed her, too. I’m a terrible Trainer…”

 

Amelia froze. “…You had Sina?”

 

“And Qrow, too. I’m so sorry.”

 

Amelia’s mind whirled as she rapidly recalculated the situation. Could she be…?

 

“If I’d just listened and left sooner, neither of us would be here, you’d still have your agents, your team--”

 

“Hush,” Amelia commanded softly. “Yer sayin’ words but only half are makin’ sense. I ain’t gonna get mad at ya ‘til I know I got reason, and that ain’t gonna happen ‘til we’re both outta here, all right?”

 

Belle nodded, a relieved smile turning up the corners of her mouth. “I didn’t catch the whole thing, but I think I saw 2-3-5 when they opened the cell across the way?”

 

Amelia grunted an acknowledgement, and after a minute’s work, the sparking electricity faded, the bars retracting into the floor and ceiling moments later with a whoosh and a clunk. “C’mon,” she said, “we gotta find my Pokémon.”

 

Belle stared at Amelia like she’d lost her mind. “Wait,” she protested, grabbing Amelia’s arm, “what about the rebels?”

 

Amelia stared back at her closest friend’s counterpart in confusion. “Rebels?”

 

“Rebels, Resistance, whatever you call yourselves, your agents. The ones you sent with me? Aren’t you gonna break them out too?”

 

“Belle, we ain’t got time for this, Ah’m gettin’ our Pokémon an’ I’m gettin’ us out ‘fore the twisted psychopath shows up again and realizes we’re loose. End of story.”

 

Belle bit her lip, but acquiesced. As she followed Amelia through the twisting halls, however, she quickly realized something was wrong. “Wait, are you bleeding?”

 

Amelia winced as she felt Belle’s touch at her back. “Belle, no--” Her protest was cut short as fire tore through her flesh.

 

Belle gasped, then gagged as she lifted Amelia’s shirt to see the horrific damage beneath. “Babe, you should’ve told me. . . dear Arceus above, when you said they were twisted psychopaths--”

 

“When I say somethin’, I ain’t jokin’,” Amelia forced out through gritted teeth.

 

“That was an understatement,” Belle cried with barely-contained horror. “Pond, they carved their symbol into your back, who the f--”

 

Belle,” Amelia hissed. “Escape now, be traumatized later? Quietly, if possible?”

 

“…Yes, dear.” Belle forced up an uncertain smile. “At least they couldn’t break your snarky spirit.”

 

Amelia snorted. “Takes a lot more than some arrogant prince to break me.” ’Specially since I know who he is without the evil organization. Gotta hand it to ‘im, though, kid’s got a lot more steel than I gave him credit for, that’s fer sure. “C’mon, let’s get goin’, we got Pokémon to free.”

 

---------------

 

“Is anyone else concerned that we’re breaking into a prison again? Like, maybe we’re forming some bad habits here?”

 

Belle’s glare was pure venom. “You sayin’ we oughta abandon Amelia? Leave ‘er to the wolves?”

 

“What -- no! That is -- no! I’m just saying. . .” Alex trailed off helplessly. “Mel, help me out here.”

 

The alternate Amelia simply grinned with the same shark-like smile of her main-universe counterpart. “Not a chance in heck, kiddo.” Her countenance grew grim. “If yer nervous, though, I don’t blame ya. Stay here with the girl. I’ll leave Belle to guard ya, an’ I’ll bust everyone out on my own.”

 

“N-no, it’s fine, that wouldn’t be fair--”

 

“Fair’s got nothin’ t’do with it. Flare’s the real deal. Real evil. What y’all are gonna see in there -- it ain’t gonna be pretty. My Donna ain’t never had the stomach to face it, I ain’t gonna blame ya if y’all ain’t got it either.”

 

“Flare,” Alex said to himself, almost like a reminder. “Flare. N-no. I’m. . . it’s Flare. I won’t back down. They’re evil. I shouldn’t, and I won’t.”

 

Mel was clearly unconvinced, but she didn’t press the issue further.

 

Alma looked between the three adults and tilted her head. A knife was in her hand, and she was twirling it idly while she waited. “Perhaps I am missing something. What makes Flare so terrible compared to other such organizations?”

 

Belle shrugged. “Honestly, I ain’t certain m’self. They got Amelia, that’s all I care ‘bout.”

 

Mel briefly stared at Belle like she’d lost her mind, before suddenly remembering their strange circumstances. To her surprise, however, it was Alex who next spoke.

 

“Flare. . . they’re. . .” Alex scowled, searching for words. “They’re evil. Way more than words can describe. Take the most cruel, heartless, evil think you can imagine, and then multiply it by itself. They tried to commit genocide, Alma. It wasn’t enough to conquer and rule -- they wanted anyone who disagreed with them dead, and they weren’t picky about what counted as ‘disagreement’. I wasn’t around when their whole plan collapsed -- or, well, at least not that I remember -- and frankly I’m glad of that. It’s been almost a decade since they fell in our universe, but people remember. We’re just barely at the point now where we can talk about it, where it doesn’t feel like they could spring up anew any minute. They’re the shame of Kalos, and we’re all incredibly grateful they destroyed themselves before they could spread their poison anywhere else in the world.”

 

Mel gave Alex a hard look. “I envy you.” The words weren’t accusatory, nor understanding, but an indescribable mix of both. The silence stretched out uncomfortably.

 

It was Belle who finally cleared her throat, breaking the moment. “Alright. Best get movin’. Our friends are waitin’ for us.”



 

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: Emily Lockwood/Lachina Adaon/Jared winters

 

Emily scoffed. "Please, dear, you are not that old. You still have plenty of time to enjoy the beauty of our wonderful land!" She turned her head a bit as she caught the tail end of Colleen's response to Zoe. "Collie, you simply must let me show you the best sights in Kalos! The first town we'll hit, Camphrier, it has a gorgeous castle that you absolutely have to visit at least once!"

 

Lachina just nodded slowly at the pair's responses. Vacation seemed likely, but Jamie's extremely conspicuous wink told here there was more to it than that. "I'm here because Jared--" She pointed to clarify. "asked me to come along with him and Dahlia. Sort of a weird ripple effect of who was given the original mission and who they reached out to."

 

Jared hummed thoughtfully and nodded. "I might spring for a base model, then. I don't need all the fancy extras, but having something a bit more solid seems like a good idea."

 

IC: Amelia Zann/’Belle LaDonna’ & IC: ‘Mel’ Zann/Alma Mason/Alex Zyther/Belle LaDonna (Team Flare Laboratory, Geosenge Town, Kalos, Flareverse)

 

A pair of pink Pokémon awaited Amelia behind the lab door’s reinforced glass window.  The handle turned when she tried it, but something on the other side seemed to have jammed it.  With a smirk, the duo of Dark-types dragged a scientist’s corpse out of the door’s path, leaving Amelia room to open it.  The larger of the two nudged her leg, lifting the man’s name tag with a foot.

 

“‘Alderson’.  That s’posed t’mean somethin’ t’me?”

 

“Sina!” Belle gushed as she pushed past Amelia to embrace the Weaville.  “You’re all right! I’m so sorry I wasn’t more helpful in battle…”

 

Amelia quirked an eyebrow at her fellow escapee.  “Sina? Belle, this is…” Amelia trailed off, hand hanging awkwardly in midair as she realized her blunder.  “…complicated,” she concluded limply, “very complicated.”

 

Belle seemed to notice Amelia’s Sina -- still an unevolved Sneasel -- for the first time.  “My word,” she remarked, “just what are these folks up to?”

 

“Dunno, don’t care.”  This time, as a dark violet Honchkrow ambled forward to her, she was ready.  “Qrow. Where’s the lizard?” The Big Boss Pokémon raised a wing to reveal a rather smug-looking Harvey tucked safely beneath.  The spy was preparing to tell the Larvitar off when she was stopped by a sound she’d never before heard.

 

Eeeeeeeeee!” Belle squeed.  “Yer so cute! Why, ya look just like Harvey did back when he was little!”

 

When he was little?  “You, ah. . . know -- knew Harvey, er, back then?”

 

“‘Course!  Y’all brought ‘im right to me after ya rescued him from. . .” Belle sobered suddenly.  “Gosh, it must’ve been this very lab, wasn’t it? This has to be Geosenge.”

 

Something about the pronouncement filled Amelia with dread.  “Well then. If I’ve busted outta this joint before, then I sure as heck can do it again.  Let’s move before--”

 

Shrieking sirens started sounding all around them, emergency lights flashing fire-red all around them.  Amelia’s annoyed glare shot to Harvey, but the clumsy reptile was for once not at fault.

 

“…Well, then.  This just got a lot harder.”

 

---------------

 

“Gosh dang it, Harvey!” Mel chastised.  “Y’all’ve had your oversized reptilian rear for how many years an’ ya still ain’t used to it?”

 

The Tyranitar shrugged comically before rumbling a warning to his Trainer.

 

Flare goons started flooding the hallways, already sending their Pokémon out before them.  Amelia turned to Alex and Alma, even as she fiddled at her belt for the rest of her Pokéballs.  “Belle an’ I will hold ‘em off here, keep our exit open. Y’all find the prisoners and free ‘em.”

 

“Mel --” Belle began to interject, but Mel cut her off.

 

“Go!”

 

As the kids scampered away, their own Pokémon in tow, Mel returned her attention to Belle.

 

“Yes, dear?  And could you maybe send your team out while we talk?”

 

“About that,” Belle sighed as she sent out Buckthorn and Arsenic to join the already-deployed Hemlock and Cyanide.  “Remember how we mentioned we were having problems in our universe when we fell through the mirror?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Well…”  She gestured towards her Pokémon -- her powerless Pokémon.  “Our Pokémon… they kinda lost their powers.”

 

Mel stared at Belle in horrified disbelief--at least, until a stray Flamethrower threatened to singe the expression from her face.  She hastily threw out the Greninja from before to take on the offending Houndoom, her lips setting into a determined scowl as she reached for the stone dangling from her bracelet.  “Well then,” she said, the marble-like gem gleaming with white light as her Pokémon’s own jewelry began to do the same, “this’ll be fun.”

 

---------------

 

The kids came to a three-way intersection. Alma hummed, looking down both the hallways leading off of the one they had just come from. “Well, I suppose we split up here. Be safe, Alex.” Without waiting for a response, the albino girl turned left, leaving Alex to go down the right.

 

As Alex passed door after door, he noticed a definite shift in their style.  At first, the storage rooms and barracks were closed behind solid if cheap aluminum doors, but these soon gave way to laboratory doors with reinforced glass viewing windows, some with larger windows beside them granting glimpses into the experiments being performed within.  The Trainer was secretly grateful for the rolling shutters currently blocking them; he wasn’t sure his resolve would hold up to seeing Flare’s practices in action. As his journey continued, the doors grew heavier and heavier, and the windows soon gave way to (mercifully blank) screen instead.  Eventually, he saw a great red sliding door, wide as it was tall, emblazoned with Flare’s infamous insignia. This, Alex thought to himself, this has to be it. The handprint scanner at its side, however, gave him pause. Alex looked to Coralie for answers, but the Fairy-type shook her head in consternation.  After a moment’s hesitation, Alex sent out Didi and Raleigh. “I don’t suppose you’ve got your powers back?” he asked, both Pokémon indicating they hadn’t. “Didn’t think so,” Alex sighed, the Trainer leaning against the panel as he tried to think of another idea. To his surprise, however, the console responded.

 

“Handprint accepted.  Access authorized.”

 

The doors started sliding open with a hiss, the sudden sound startling the Pokémon into ducking out of sight.  Alex squinted into the gloom, the room’s only occupant seeming to be some sort of metal pedestal connected to the ceiling by a number of glowing red cables.  Upon closer inspection, a large white tree bearing enormous antler-like branches rested atop the pedestal, glowing softly. A single step forward, however, prompted a significant change.  A blue light began to gather around the tree, beams of energy shooting forth as the tree gleamed brighter and brighter. As the tree became too bright to look at directly, the light around it grew pinkish and formed a solid-looking shell encapsulating the tree, which burst to reveal an enormous blue deer-like Pokémon that even Alex could not mistake.

 

“Xerneas…” he breathed, heart beating loudly within his chest as he gazed upon the Life Pokémon’s majestic beauty.

 

Blue eyes with cross-shaped pupils narrowed and focused in on the Kalosian Trainer.  Xerneas gathered a pulse of energy into itself, releasing it in a burst that severed the surrounding cables and shattered the pedestal beneath.  The Fairy-type Legendary leaped from the ruined remains, swordlike hooves stabbing sharply into the concrete as it landed and homed in on its inadvertent rescuer.

 

“YOU,” she telepathically announced, her feminine tone both regal and accusatory.  ”YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE. ABOMINATION! INTERLOPER! I SHALL TAKE THAT WHICH YOU AND YOUR KIND HAVE STOLEN FROM ME, AND RESTORE LIFE TO ITS PROPER PLACE!”

 

A lesser Pokémon would have lowered its antlers and stamped its hooves in warning before it charged.  Xerneas roared--and then moved.

 

Coralie’s eyes widened, as Raleigh and Didi stiffened.  As one, the three Fairy-types leaped from the doorway, shoving Alex aside just in the nick of time to save him from a stabbing.  All three were thrown across the hallway, their pain as they hit the opposing wall prompting Xerneas to pause.

 

“Dear children,” Xerneas declared in a softer “voice”, “do not place yourselves in harm on behalf of this--”  The Legendary narrowed her eyes as they fell upon the Ralts. “…Abomination,” she finished warily. She next moved her gaze to Coralie.  “And you, Princess Coralie? You would stand behind the twisted products of demented human minds? You, a noble heiress of the proud Diamond Domain?”

 

Before the Rock-type could reply, however, Didi leapt to her feet with a blistering tirade of squeaks and squeals, both of the others flinching several times at her language.

 

Xerneas drew herself up haughtily, a pink glow rippling out from her across the floor and surrounding the hallway’s occupants.  “Do not forget to whom you speak, small one,” she warned. “Your loyalty to the humans is admirable, but misplaced. Be thankful you have not yet been corrupted by their machinations.”

 

“O Wise Xerneas,” Alex began--

 

“SILENCE!” Xerneas roared, her physical voice underlying the mental shout.  “YOU HAVE NO PLACE IN THIS WORLD, NOR ANY OTHER! IT IS BY MERCY THAT YOU YET HAVE THESE FEW MOMENTS TO LIVE!  DO NOT MISTAKE MY KINDNESS TOWARD THE INNOCENT FOR… for…” Xerneas trailed off as the three other Pokémon stood between her and Alex, arms outstretched in a gesture of protective defiance.  The Life Pokémon closed her eyes and sighed sadly. “As you have chosen,” she murmured mournfully, “so mote it be.” The pink glow receded, gathering instead into her horns…

 

“...Run!” Alex declared.


"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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An alarm blared. The next instant, the heavy slab of broken metal shifted and flew through the illusory form of Matthew, straight at the agents standing in front of him.

OOC: I interpreted this as the door flew through Matthew's form like a hologram but Matthew's still there. But Blade's post had the image of Matthew disappear after the door flew through it (either by cloaking itself or retreating into the hatchery). So to keep things moving we'll roll with Blade's interpretation.

 

IC: Dack Majors/Madison Morrow/Shannon Willows - Hatchery, Team Rocket Vermilion Outpost

The instant he saw the door move, Dack tackled Shannon to the ground. The evasive maneuver proved unnecessary, for a moment later a column of stone rose from the ground to hinder the projectile's progress. He heard Madison scream and the gun went off with a deafening bang. The twisted metal slab skidded to a halt inches from where he lay. As he waited for his ears to stop ringing, Dack looked over at Ryan Hikari and his powered Tyranitar. "Impeccable timing," he panted.

 

A muffled grunt from Shannon prompted Dack to stand back up. He offered a hand to help the girl to her feet. As she took a moment to catch her breath, Shannon surveyed Ryan's Pokémon with a look of awe. She had heard about Tyranitar getting his powers back, but it was still shocking to see his moves in action. Selena skittered up to the remains of the stone column and let out a high-pitched screech. Disappointment showed on her face when her Hyper Voice proved unsuccessful.

 

Ignoring her Furret's antics, Shannon smiled warmly at Ryan. "Glad to see you've found a new use for that Stone Edge." Her smile quickly faded when the black-haired trainer ran past her toward the door-shaped hole in the wall. Miyu, or Matthew, or whatever that thing was, had disappeared amidst the chaos of a flying door. "She-He-It was trying to get into the hatchery," Shannon explained as she moved to Ryan's side. A small part of her wanted to hug his arm in some vain guise of protection, but she knew the action would only restrict his movements if the illusory creature decided to attack.

 

Throughout all of this Madison had stood frozen in shock. Her knuckles burned white from clenching the gun. A tiny hole in the wall next to the ceiling indicated that her shot had missed by a wide margin, and the petrified look on her face gave Dack the impression that she hadn't intentionally pulled the trigger. Moving swiftly to her side, he gently lowered her arms and tried to peel her fingers off from the weapon. "It's alright," he said in a soft voice.

 

The skier shook her head, her face as blanched as her fingers, and she redoubled her grip. "I-it's not over yet," she whispered. Her eyes darted frantically around the room as if Miyu or Matthew could pop up at any minute.

 

If Dack had any misgivings about leaving a loaded gun in the terrified woman's hands, he didn't show it. Instead he beckoned her to follow him as he joined Ryan and Shannon in the open doorway. "Your buddy Miyu has a rather interesting skillset," he remarked. "She turned into a kid Madison and I knew from Snowpoint, someone who's been dead for a year."

 

IC: Luke - Outside Miriam's Office, Team Rocket Vermilion Branch

As if to emphasize Aori's uncertainty, an alarm suddenly blared throughout the complex. Luke silently swore as his Machoke moved into a fighting stance. "Alright, just stay calm," he said as he looked up and down the hallway. While he put on an air of confidence for Aori's sake, internally he was wondering what to do. Should they evacuate? Not if they wanted to avoid the angry mob outside. Should they duck and cover? Not if there was a danger inside the building. With no indication of what the alarm was for, Luke had no way of knowing what course of action to take.

 

And so he chose the one that seemed best to him. Taking ahold of Aori's hand, the blackbelt opened the door to Miriam's office and ushered the girl and her Pokémon inside. Machoke lumbered in after them, his muscular arm pulling the door shut with a surprising gentleness. Oversized fingers twisted the lock into place. It would have been humorous had the alarm not continued to blare.

 

Once they were secure, Luke looked around the room for a place to hide. There was no coat closet (this was Vermilion, after all, not Snowpoint), and the file cabinets looked barely big enough for Aori's Bulbasaur or Eevee, assuming they weren't already full of files. Instead, Luke led the girl over to Miriam's desk and prompted her to crawl into the space underneath it. "Hide in here until we know it's safe," he said, crouching next to her. "Machoke and I will be right beside you." A comically uncomfortable look spread across the Machoke's face as he hid behind the desk, trying to make his bulky body as small as possible.

 

All they could do now was wait.

 

IC: Ryan Sanders - Vertrag

Ryan stayed silent as he watched the group split up. Personally he could have gone either way. If Ford's identification squares had admitted them in, he doubted the rest of the base would hold any traps. It only made sense to scour every corner of the base while they had a chance. That said, with Emmerich, Kyle, and Chloe volunteering to search the rooms, Ryan decided to join Sonja and Ray. "The mystery door sounds like our best bet," he said.

 

Before following Sonja into the unknown, he turned back toward Kyle and Chloe. "Sonja said there were eleven rooms. Ford only had nine Children, and if Ford himself didn't sleep there then that leaves two rooms unaccounted for. Maybe they're just spares for when Ford hosts Christmas parties, but they could be important." Cracking a smile he gave the trainers a wave. "Good luck."

 

IC: Dahlia Seaton/Alex Lockwood/Zoe Llyan - Kalos Route 5

Her sister's words prompted Dahlia to glanced over at Jared. The silver-haired trainer was deep in a conversation with Mr. Zyther. Letting loose a small sigh, Dahlia nodded in agreement. "I thought Lachina was exaggerating when she said Jared was super serious, but she was right. I mean I know Jared's still getting used to this whole leadership thing, but . . ." Her voice trailed off as she pulled out her Pokégear.

 

"Actually I forgot to mention it at breakfast but Mr. Burks sent me a message in the middle of the night. It turns out Fiora accidentally hitched a ride with Ellen, so even if we'd spent the time looking for her we wouldn't have found her anyway." The gardener pulled up a picture on her device. Ellen was sitting in a chair with an apologetic look on her face as she cradled the flowerless Flabébé in her hands. "They've agreed to watch over Fiora for the time being, so there's that mystery solved."

 

For the briefest of moments a look of annoyance flashed across Zoe's face as Emily inserted herself into her conversation with Collie. The moment passed when the coordinator mentioned a real, live castle. "Is it as fancy as the hotel?" she asked with growing enthusiasm. "It's probably full of warrior princesses and shining knights that defend it from fire-breathing Dragonites!" Esmeralda sneezed. "Well, formerly-fire-breathing Dragonites," Zoe hastily corrected. "I guess the power loss thingie affected even wild Pokémon, huh?"

 

The young girl fell silent. Although she refused to admit it, the loss of Pokémon powers scared her. She distinctly remembered overhearing her parents discussing the situation in hushed tones. No one seemed to know what to make of it, and the entire Alamo seemed to be in a mass hysteria. But Collie still had her powers, and that was more than enough to protect them. Right? Without even thinking about it Zoe instinctively took ahold of her sister's hand and squeezed it. She had nothing to worry about while in her sister's presence, she told herself.

 

Alex took note of the girl's change in demeanor and playfully ruffled her hair. "Don't feel bad about it, Zoe," he said cheerfully. "Pokémon are still our friends, regardless of their ability to breathe fire. If anything, they're a lot safer around the house this way." He let out a laugh, emboldened by the smile that played on the corner of Zoe's lips. "I know we all wish our Pokémon were back to their full strength, but pouting about it isn't going to change anything. Besides, if you're too busy pouting, you'll miss all the beautiful sights Kalos has to offer!"


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: Olivia Seaton -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

"Oh huh, I wonder how she got there?" Olivia mused out loud, though realized that the tiny Pokémon must have vanished sometime before the Burks left and that they had never noticed at all. She turned her head as Elaine spoke, curious about that. "What kinda field work do ya do, Professor Alderson?" The redhead asked curiously, as while she had mentioned a few different things already, none of it really seemed to combine together into something she could make sense of.

 

-==IC: Lucia Zyther -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

"Oh neat. Sounds pretty cool, are the three of you close?" Lucia asked with a curious look on her face at the mention of Dahlia as well. "Also, you're a ranger, aren't you? I find that pretty cool. I once wanted to be a ranger, but I couldn't cut it for a lot of the things I needed to do, so I focused on what I did excel in and became a healer instead. But rangers are very cool."

 

-==IC: Colleen Llyan -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

"A ca--" Colleen's question got cut off as Zoe asked about the same thing with way more excitement. She felt her sister's hand tighten around her own after the mention of Pokémon losing their powers, then thought for a moment. "Well I heard that a couple Pokémon or so got their powers back the other day. Haven't really seen that happen to any of ours yet, but that kinda is a good sign, right?"

 

Colleen grinned as she looked between Emily and Zoe. "Everything will work out. But until then, Alex is right. We should focus on the scenery for a little bit, no? We're here and walking right past it; maybe we shouldn't stop and look at times, but we do have time to look while we walk and when we talk breaks." She turned her gaze to Emily in particular after that. "I do want to see this castle, though, you got my attention there."

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IC: Jamie Arthur - Route 5

 

"Ranger?" Jamie muttered quietly. Yet another thing she wasn't very familiar with. She would've been a bit more concerned about it but, there was something more important at the moment.

 

"I didn't know you wanted to become a ranger, Lucia. When was that?"

 

 

IC: Miriam Shields - Vermilion Rocket Branch hatchery

 

Miriam had let Ryan go first, by virtue of him having the Tyranitar. She got caught up in studying the specimen for a bit, but shook her head and regained her focus. There would be time for that later. What the others said was disconcerting.

 

"Our reinforcements should be here soon," Miriam mentioned. "If we stay here, it's likely to attack again. But why was it targeting the hatchery?" She asked that last question without really expecting an answer.

Edited by Metal Gear Minun

25fbd79538e4c3de878b599045e3f03a.jpg

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IC: Emily Lockwood/Lachina Adaon/Jared winters

 

Emily scoffed. "Please, dear, you are not that old. You still have plenty of time to enjoy the beauty of our wonderful land!" She turned her head a bit as she caught the tail end of Colleen's response to Zoe. "Collie, you simply must let me show you the best sights in Kalos! The first town we'll hit, Camphrier, it has a gorgeous castle that you absolutely have to visit at least once!"

 

Lachina just nodded slowly at the pair's responses. Vacation seemed likely, but Jamie's extremely conspicuous wink told here there was more to it than that. "I'm here because Jared--" She pointed to clarify. "asked me to come along with him and Dahlia. Sort of a weird ripple effect of who was given the original mission and who they reached out to."

 

Jared hummed thoughtfully and nodded. "I might spring for a base model, then. I don't need all the fancy extras, but having something a bit more solid seems like a good idea."

IC: Dahlia Seaton/Alex Lockwood/Zoe Llyan - Kalos Route 5

Her sister's words prompted Dahlia to glanced over at Jared. The silver-haired trainer was deep in a conversation with Mr. Zyther. Letting loose a small sigh, Dahlia nodded in agreement. "I thought Lachina was exaggerating when she said Jared was super serious, but she was right. I mean I know Jared's still getting used to this whole leadership thing, but . . ." Her voice trailed off as she pulled out her Pokégear.

 

"Actually I forgot to mention it at breakfast but Mr. Burks sent me a message in the middle of the night. It turns out Fiora accidentally hitched a ride with Ellen, so even if we'd spent the time looking for her we wouldn't have found her anyway." The gardener pulled up a picture on her device. Ellen was sitting in a chair with an apologetic look on her face as she cradled the flowerless Flabébé in her hands. "They've agreed to watch over Fiora for the time being, so there's that mystery solved."

 

For the briefest of moments a look of annoyance flashed across Zoe's face as Emily inserted herself into her conversation with Collie. The moment passed when the coordinator mentioned a real, live castle. "Is it as fancy as the hotel?" she asked with growing enthusiasm. "It's probably full of warrior princesses and shining knights that defend it from fire-breathing Dragonites!" Esmeralda sneezed. "Well, formerly-fire-breathing Dragonites," Zoe hastily corrected. "I guess the power loss thingie affected even wild Pokémon, huh?"

 

The young girl fell silent. Although she refused to admit it, the loss of Pokémon powers scared her. She distinctly remembered overhearing her parents discussing the situation in hushed tones. No one seemed to know what to make of it, and the entire Alamo seemed to be in a mass hysteria. But Collie still had her powers, and that was more than enough to protect them. Right? Without even thinking about it Zoe instinctively took ahold of her sister's hand and squeezed it. She had nothing to worry about while in her sister's presence, she told herself.

 

Alex took note of the girl's change in demeanor and playfully ruffled her hair. "Don't feel bad about it, Zoe," he said cheerfully. "Pokémon are still our friends, regardless of their ability to breathe fire. If anything, they're a lot safer around the house this way." He let out a laugh, emboldened by the smile that played on the corner of Zoe's lips. "I know we all wish our Pokémon were back to their full strength, but pouting about it isn't going to change anything. Besides, if you're too busy pouting, you'll miss all the beautiful sights Kalos has to offer!"

-==IC: Olivia Seaton -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

"Oh huh, I wonder how she got there?" Olivia mused out loud, though realized that the tiny Pokémon must have vanished sometime before the Burks left and that they had never noticed at all. She turned her head as Elaine spoke, curious about that. "What kinda field work do ya do, Professor Alderson?" The redhead asked curiously, as while she had mentioned a few different things already, none of it really seemed to combine together into something she could make sense of.

 

-==IC: Lucia Zyther -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

"Oh neat. Sounds pretty cool, are the three of you close?" Lucia asked with a curious look on her face at the mention of Dahlia as well. "Also, you're a ranger, aren't you? I find that pretty cool. I once wanted to be a ranger, but I couldn't cut it for a lot of the things I needed to do, so I focused on what I did excel in and became a healer instead. But rangers are very cool."

 

-==IC: Colleen Llyan -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

"A ca--" Colleen's question got cut off as Zoe asked about the same thing with way more excitement. She felt her sister's hand tighten around her own after the mention of Pokémon losing their powers, then thought for a moment. "Well I heard that a couple Pokémon or so got their powers back the other day. Haven't really seen that happen to any of ours yet, but that kinda is a good sign, right?"

 

Colleen grinned as she looked between Emily and Zoe. "Everything will work out. But until then, Alex is right. We should focus on the scenery for a little bit, no? We're here and walking right past it; maybe we shouldn't stop and look at times, but we do have time to look while we walk and when we talk breaks." She turned her gaze to Emily in particular after that. "I do want to see this castle, though, you got my attention there."

-==IC:Lionel Zyther/Professor Alderson -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

"I'll have one sent to the house," Lionel said, tapping out a message on his own Holo Caster. "No sense waiting at a store when you can buy direct from manufacturer, after all."

 

The businessman had been doing his best to mind his own business, but even he couldn't ignore the repeated mentions of Shabboneau Castle. "Visiting hours are normally by appointment only," he informed the group, glancing backward with a sly grin, "but I suppose in this case I can make an exception."

 

Elaine smiled indulgently at the Seaton sisters. "Well, my specialization is studying the effects of healing Pokémon moves on humans, but of course that naturally means studying their effects in general. Most of my field work involves watching Pokémon use moves like Recover or Heal Pulse or Draining Kiss in their natural habitat, so I can go back to the lab and compare the differences to how they're expressed in a controlled environment. From there it's a matter of working out exactly how each move would affect a human, but that's its own struggle. The medical board is quite strict, after all." The Professor sighed. "More recently...well..." The Professor hesitated, but decided to keep going. "I really shouldn't be saying anything, the work is still at far too early a stage to raise hopes or anything, but for the past few months my team and I have been working on developing artificial means to deliver Pokémon moves, in hopes of getting better control over certain variables. So far we've managed to store individual charges of various moves, but the outage hit before we could develop an effective delivery mechanism, and for obvious reasons we're hesitant to use up our move supply in testing."

 

Lionel raised an eyebrow, forcibly impressed. "That's...a significant development, Professor. Have you optioned the technology yet?"

 

The Pokémon Professor shook her head. "It's still too early in development for that permanent a solution. Besides, we're government-funded, which means..."

 

"You don't have that degree of ownership to offer, I understand. Still. Tech with that flavor is right up the Strange alley, if you're willing to co-develop I'd be happy to make a few introductions in Geosenge."

 

"That's quite kind of you, Mr. Zyther, but I'm not certain we..." Elaine trailed off as the floating shape she'd spotted before drifted into plain view, a small pink-and-blue Pokémon with two nearly translucent tentacles. The creature floated up to one of the trees overhanging the path--a Sitrus tree, by the look of it--and plucked one of its Berries, flipping the yellow fruit upside-down before taking a bite. "Is that an...? But they shouldn't be this far east..." Mind fully in research mode, the Professor unclipped a somewhat outdated-looking Kalos-style Pokédex from her belt, the device scanning with a musical chime before silently displaying data upon its somewhat small screen. "Inkay," she read off, "the Revolving Pokémon. Inkay may look like an aquatic Water-type Pokémon, but is actually a Dark-and-Psychic type that lives on land. Research suggests that it can only evolve while inverted. The nearest recorded habitats are..." She frowned. "That can't be right. The Pokédex lists their habitats as Route 8 and Azure Bay. This one is significantly too far inland, and seemingly isolated from its cohorts to boot." The professor glanced at the others, concerned. "I hate to ask, but...could one of you capture it? A mucous sample would narrow down its origin and possibly indicate if this is a lone wolf or some sort of--"

 

The Professor was cut off by the Inkay's cry as a bright red blur swooped from the sky and stole its Berry; the Inkay shrieked and swooped to the ground, gathering pebbles to throw at the fluttering red bird (though its efforts were hampered by its insistence upon inverting each and every stone before throwing it). A shadow passed over the ground as a Dragonair flew westward above them, a flustered-looking Frogadier bursting from the bushes beside the road and waving its arms in protest at the errant Dragon-type.

 

Elaine's eyes widened. "Something is seriously wrong here," she murmured, "this is nowhere near any of these Pokémon's natural habitat."

 

Four more Frogadier emerged from the woods to console their frustrated cousin, then froze as they spotted the upset Inkay and the group of humans fixated upon it. While one broke off to address the Dark-type (making obvious shooing gestures and croaking an obvious insistence for it to go away, both of which the Inkay pointedly ignored), the others spread out between the humans and the other Pokémon holding up both hands in an attempted calming gesture to stay back; above them, the thieving Fletchling alighted upon a branch, polishing off its meal and looking on mischievously.

 

Lionel fingered a Pokéball in his pocket as he studied the Water-types blocking their way. "Any ideas, or shall I handle this?"



 

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: Zoe Llyan/Dahlia Seaton/Alex Lockwood - Kalos Route 5

Zoe scrunched up her face as she gave Lucia's father an inquisitive look. "You'll make an exception? What's that supposed to mean? You're not the boss of--" She was promptly interrupted by a swift smack to the head courtesy of Alex.

 

"Don't be rude," the Liberty trainer whispered. "Clearly he has enough power to get into the castle during non-visiting hours. He might even own it for all we know."

 

Zoe was about to protest that Lionel looked too boring to be a king when a ruckus exploded around them involving an Inkay, a Fletchling, a Dragonair, and five Frogadier. A smirk crossed the girl's face as she eyed the four water-types blocking their path. "Type disadvantages mean nothing when Pokémon have no powers!" she declared loudly. "Esmeralda, give 'em a taste of your fox-fu!" The Fennekin at her side bared her fangs and immediately charged at the nearest frog. Water may beat fire, but sharp teeth and claws beat rubbery skin any day of the week.

 

"Wait, stop!" Dahlia cried. She tried to step between Esmeralda and the Frogadier blockade, but she was just a moment too slow. "Don't provoke them!" she shouted in vain. With a frustrated sigh she sent out her own water-type. "Gerri, see if you can't talk those Pokémon into letting us pass. Maybe ask them what they're doing so far from their natural habitat, too." The Surskit skitted up to the Frogadier opposite the one Esmeralda was targeting and promptly asked Dahlia's questions. Casting a glance at the stone-throwing Inkay, she inquired about the frog's relation to the squid as well.

 

Unfortunately, anyone could see that Esmeralda would reach her target before Gerri could finish her interrogation. Alex reached for his Swampert's Pokéball, then hesitated. He still didn't know how the situation would unfold, but the presence of an enormous mud-fish would likely only further provoke the horde of Frogadier. Instead he sent out his Amaura. The dinosaur yawned lazily and took a moment to take in her surroundings. Spotting the enemy, she moved into a battle-ready stance. "Don't attack just yet," Alex warned his Pokémon. "Just be ready to defend us if they decide to target us." The Amaura scoffed but nevertheless planted herself between the assorted trainers and the wild Pokémon. She lowered her head in preparation to deliver a headbutt to anyone who came close.

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: Jared Winters/Lachina Adaon/Emily Lockwood

 

Jared scowled and reached for Anubis' ball before hesitating. The Frogadier group didn't seem like they wanted to fight, and releasing a Lucario might escalate the conflict. With a sigh, he took a loose stance, standing between the water types and the humans.

 

Lachina wasted no time in releasing Aolani -- it was honestly a surprise she hadn't done it far sooner. The Altaria flexed her wings and screeched, and Lachina patted her neck. "Just be ready, girl."

 

Emily scowled and grabbed to Poké Balls from her own belt. "Spitfire, go teach that Fletchling some manners. Ronin, be ready to defend against these Frogadier." The two Pokémon appeared. Her Talonflame flew up to the thieving and keened, his sharp eyes glaring down at the younger Pokémon.

 

Ronin glared at the Frogadier, but made no moves towards them. His blades glinted in the sun as he shifted uneasily.

 

IC: Xander Cruize/Sylph 6:00 PM (T-Minus 10 hours)

 

Xander rubbed at his eyes and yawned. As he leaned back in his chair, a slender arm draped over his shoulder and squeezed. Sylph rested her head on his. "Perhaps you should get some sleep," she said. "You didn't last night, and the next check in shouldn't be until around four in the morning. You can't pull two all-nighters."

 

Xander sighed, nodding lightly. "You're right, of course." He smiled, turning his head to kiss her cheek. "Thanks, hon." He stood and dressed for bed. As he settled in, Sylph lay next to him, and three furry forms crowded in on his other side. With a soft chuckle, Xander closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

 

IC: Yamamoto Aori

 

The girl hid under the desk. She clasped her hands tightly to her ears to block out the blaring alarm. It didn't work. She clenched her eyes, and tears still came. Her breathing sped up.

 

As she began to panic, Hana and Yuri were there. The Eevee stood on her lap and nuzzled her face, while the Bulbasaur tried to release as much of her soothing scent as she could.

 

Neither was particularly effective.


"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 - Nobuddy - Hatchery, Vermilion Rocket Base:

 

The sirens in the hatchery were muffled--noticeable, but less obnoxious than everywhere else in the base. Presumably, this was because of the nature of the facility. Even so, a red light bathed the room, on and off as the emergency lights swirled. They coated the girl in the center of the room in an ominous, blood-like glow. Around her, six or seven hatchery operators cowered behind desks and shelves, their horrified gaze settled on Miyu. Through Ryan's camera feed, she was all that he saw--no sign of the monstrosity behind the visage anywhere.

 

"Ryan Hikari," she greeted. "You found me!"

 

Miyu blinked out of existence as her true form appeared in front of Ryan, its hands brought together above its head into a ball. Noiselessly, it brought its fists down, attempting to crush Ryan with its amplified Strength.

 

 

IC - Kyle Eston/Emmerich Coleman - Living Quarters, Vertrag:

 

"Yeah, I've got a couple of theories about that," Kyle called after Ryan as they approached their separate doors. "Although I can't really imagine Ford or his kids hosting very many ragers, so--aaand they're gone." Kyle couldn't suppress a smile. "That is a funny thought, though . . ."

 

"Let's focus on what we're doing," Emmerich said. "What are you thinking about the room discrepancy?"

 

"Well, like I said, I have a couple of theories," Kyle said. "Give me a bit before I share anything, though--no point wasting my breath if I'm wrong."

 

He pressed the singular panel next to the doorway. The doors slid open, a silent action mirroring the rest of the stillness of the base. Before them stretched a very basic hallway, composed of the same material as the rest of the base. Doors lined each wall, alternating from the left side to the right and back again. As Sonja had reported, there were eleven in total--one for each Child, plus two additional. From their position, they could see plaques engraved to the left of each doorway, just above the access panel.

 

Emmerich approached the first room. The plaque simply read '1.' "I suppose we'll start with this one, then? Work our way down?"

 

"Sounds good to me," Kyle said. "Lets us keep close together, just in case."

 

Emmerich nodded and pressed the panel. The door opened, just as silent as the first. Inside was what could best be described as a dorm room. Plain white walls, plain tiling for the floor, both a stark contrast to the sheer blackness of the base up to this point. The room was sort of split into two sections. Upon entering, there was a second doorway to the left, leading to a bathroom, and on the right a small space where two desks and shelves faced each other. The furthest desk from the door was set against a partial wall, across from a split closet space. This wall and the closet essentially served as a doorway separating the desk area from the sleeping area, where two twin-sized beds were set against opposite walls.

 

All things told, it appeared as if two individuals occupied this room. Both desks and shelf sets were adorned with books and various electronic devices, as well as numerous pens and other office supplies. But where one desk was kept perfectly tidy, the other was a total mess--nothing organized, books piled haphazardly. The only mess present on the other desk were a few crumpled papers and a pen that had been long abandoned on a half-written letter. Pictures lined the shelves. On the messy table, similar pictures stood with broken frames, the glass of each one cracked. The beds were a similar story--one perfect, the other a mess, like its occupant had never enjoyed a night without fitful sleep.

 

Kyle stood in the doorway for a moment, taking in the sight. "Wow. Not . . . what I was expecting to find here."

 

 

IC - Sonja Baron - Command Center, Vertrag:

 

In spite of the conversations around her, Sonja had to steel herself for a moment before opening the door. They were about to embark into the deepest depths of John Ford's base--the Shadowed Man himself. That fact hadn't quite hit her until now. Somewhere beyond this door would lie his darkest secret of all, the source of his knowledge and power. It was hard to deny the feeling of sheer awe at this realization.

 

Sonja took a deep breath and pushed the button.

 

The door slid open and she, Ryan, and Ray stepped inside.

 

They emerged into a large room. At a glance, it was not unlike Team Liberty's Command Center: Square in shape, with a raised circular platform in the very center of the room. On this platform were two seats, each in front of a large, semi-circular control panel. Dozens of screens descended from the ceiling on mechanical arms, all of them currently black. Around the outer walls of the room stood many more control panels and monitors, each specialized for some unknown purpose. They were broken apart on each of the four walls by a door in the very center. Leaving aside the door they had just entered through, that left three other rooms connected to this one--possibly more.

 

"This is it," Sonja said, her gaze slowly and nervously sweeping across the room. "This is where the Shadowed Man pulled all those strings . . ."

Edited by Parugi

Follow me on YouTube!

 

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

 

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-==IC: Lucia Zyther -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

"Oh, for a little while when I was like, 11 or 12 or so? I joined Ranger camp one year and didn't really... do well at it--" Lucia's explanation was cut off as she, along with everyone else, noticed the commotion with the wild Pokémon. "I'll explain more later, Jamie, you can ask whatever you wanna know about then too." She gave a smile to the Heroine of Time, and then glanced around. She noticed that the Frogadier didn't seem to be hostile, though Zoe didn't seem to agree with that.

 

With a frown on her face, the redheaded healer threw her Gotharita's Poké Ball forward, intending for the psychic-type to pass and delay the Fennekin before any fights could break out. As the ball opened, Gothara attempted to tackle Esmeralda, while she called out an apology to the Frogadier about the impulsive fox.

 

OOC: Will respond to Parugi's ICs tomorrow

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IC: Ryan Sanders - Command Center, Vertrag

Ryan suppressed a shudder at the sight of the cluster of screens descending from the ceiling. The long, bony arms made the structure look like a giant mechanical hand with way too many fingers reaching down from above. Perhaps it was intentionally symbolic of the wide extent of Ford's reach, or perhaps it was simply the most efficient way of observing whatever data Ford needed. "It's hard to believe we're really here," he muttered.

 

Pulling his attention away from the monitors, Ryan observed the three remaining doors connected to this room. One for each of them, if they wanted to split even further. But a glance at the cane Sonja carried told him it would be a bad idea to split up. If the cane was needed to find this grimoire, then they should stick together. Besides, six eyes were better than two.

 

"Should we just check out the rooms in a clockwise order?" Ryan suggested. "Starting with the one on the left?" He took a few steps towards the door in question, then glanced back at his companions.

 

IC: Luke - Miriam's Office, Team Rocket Vermilion Outpost

The blackbelt bit his lip as he watched Aori do as she was told. Her Pokémon were doing their best to comfort her, but to little avail. The poor kid looked on the verge of a mental breakdown, and that blaring alarm wasn't helping any. With a sigh he reached under the desk to pull the girl into a gentle hug. "I know it's scary," he said softly. "Believe me, I wish I knew what was going on. But I promise you that no matter what happens, Machoke and I will keep you safe."

 

OOC: Waiting on Blade before I make a Hatchery IC.


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: Ryan Hikari -- Vermilion City Rocket Base, Hatchery==-

 

Ryan was about to respond to the others, when he saw and heard Miyu. He hadn't expected the Instance to show up so suddenly, but thankfully his Tyranitar acted quickly to get in front of him. The giant lizard was knocked back by the attack, threatening to nearly also knock both Pokémon and Trainer prone. Ryan's Tyranitar regained his footing as soon as he could, however, and launched his fist forward with a Payback at the Instance, emitting a growl as he did so.

 

"Alright, this is a lot more... dangerous than I thought." Ryan mumbled under his breath as he glanced around the room. He realized he was breathing faster than normal, but grit his teeth slightly as he didn't think he had a chance to stabilize that. "Tyranitar, try that! We need all the help we can get!" The black-haired man held his hand forward as the rock lizard roared out again. He didn't know whether this was how it worked, but tried to concentrate on his Tyranitar evolving again like what happened back on One Island. He didn't know if it would work. . .

 

Then the Tyranitar was surrounded in rainbow light. Ryan couldn't help but be surprised at the phenomenon despite having already witnessed it once. However, he knew there was no time to waste being surprised. "Tyranitar, use Crunch! It's one of our best bets right now since we're inside!" The Tyranitar roared in acknowledgement as the rainbow light faded, revealing the enigmatic evolved state once again. He hoped that Miriam was watching closely, as the Tyranitar aimed to move forward to snap his jaws down on the Instance.

 

OOC: I hope that wasn't too many attacks, but it felt like it fit the situation...

 

-==IC: Ray Hakuda -- Vertrag==-

 

"Clockwise sounds like a good idea." Ray said with a distracted tone as he gazed at the many screens around the middle of the room with a combination of nervousness and intrigue on his face. "It's so fascinating, though, isn't it? Like... this whole place, but this room in particular. He was so intent on watching everything; how did he know what to look at?" The orange-haired man shook his head. "It's kinda sad that he went about things the way that he did, but like... imagine if this kind of stuff, if magic could be put to better use?"

 

-==IC: Chloe Hikari -- Vertrag==-

 

"What happened here...?" Chloe wondered out loud as she examined the state of the room. It didn't make sense to her that there could be such a... difference in the state of the room on both sides. With a small frown, she looked at the pictures to try and see if she recognized anyone in them, deciding to focus on that before anything else. She felt that getting an idea who the occupant - or occupants - might paint a larger picture to why the room was the way it was.

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IC: Dack Majors/Madison Morrow/Shannon Willows - Hatchery, Team Rocket Vermilion Base

Shannon stumbled back as Tyranitar took the attack meant for Ryan. She gazed up in horror at "Miyu's" true form -- a faceless monstrosity straight out of a nightmare. With Ryan and Tyranitar fighting in the doorway, there wasn't much Shannon could do to help. Not that her powerless Pokémon would be able to do anything next to a giant green lizard, anyway. Backing away from the fight, the girl scooped up her Eevee in her arms and watched with wide eyes as the Tyranitar transformed. The entire hallway seemed to glow in dazzling rainbow light. Up close the flash was blinding, but somehow Shannon found herself filled with hope. The Tyranitar-esque creature that emerged from the light roared with a newfound burst of energy that she was sure would turn the tide of the battle.

 

"Careful, Ryan." Dack called out in contrast to Shannon's optimism. He, too, felt the area was too crowded for more than one combatant, but he rested his hand on Heatran's Ultra Ball just in case. While the gleam of light impressed him, he kept his focus on their faceless enemy. "If that thing's related to the Missing Zero, then the lack of a chord suggests it's as strong as that giant samurai." It was nothing more than a wild guess, but the creature before them didn't resemble any Pokémon Dack knew.

 

Still overcome with shock, Madison recalled the being called Samurloch they had encountered on the beach. Although she hadn't faced it directly, she knew it was capable of massive damage. Her eyes flitted to the current battle, and her breath caught in her throat. "We need to bring it out into the hallway," she told Ryan. "That doorway's too cramped for us to help you, and if you push it back into the Hatchery, you'll risk harming the baby Pokémon."


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 - Executive Scott Stone - Memory House, Lavender Town:

 

"I--yeah, but . . ." Scott struggled to find a response. With an exasperated sigh, he followed Lafoyae out of the Memory House. "Okay, so what do you suggest we do next?"

 

IC: Lafoyae Belrose, Lavender Town

 

Lafoyae faced Executive Stone as he exited the Memory House, her brow furrowed as she thought. "Rocket keeps has security cameras all over Kanto, and there is a Rocket Outpost in Vermilion City. We can head there next." The woman projected to Scott, before she herself made a yawning gesture. "That encounter in the Memory House took a lot out of me mentally. Perhaps we could stay at a hotel and catch our breath there?"

Edited by Dr. Hidaka

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IC: Jared Winters/Lachina Adaon

 

The two groups were at a standstill. The Talonflame was still scolding the Fletchling up above, Esmeralda's attack had been stopped, and the Frogadier group were standing across the path. Jared tilted his head back without taking his eyes off of them. "Lachina, can you help us out here?"

 

"Right!" Lachina trotted forward and pulled out her Capture Styler. With a flick of her wrist, she sent a spinning disc out, trailing bright light. It quickly began circling around the central water-type, creating a barrier between the Frogadier and its companions. Lachina closed her eyes, focusing on soothing, friendly feelings. The light vanished, and the Frogadier hopped over to stand in front of Lachina.

 

The Ranger gently put her hand on the water-type's shoulder and nodded. "Okay." She opened her eyes. "These Frogadier are sort of policing things around here. If I had to guess, the power outage has caused all sorts of imbalance between the species in this area. They also don't want people traveling on this route."

 

Jared sighed. "That's too bad, because we have to go this way."

 

"Right." Lachina turned back to her new friend. "Can you tell your companions to let us pass? It's pretty important." The Frogadier nodded and turned back to relay the message to the others.


"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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-==Kalos Route 5==-

 

The four Frogadier tensed as an array of unfamiliar Pokémon emerged into existence in front of them; though Gothara had successfully pinned Esmerelda, the frisky Fennekin still seemed perfectly willing to go on the attack if given but a moment's reprieve, and the nearest of the Frogadier stared at the Fire-type warily. One of the Frogadier, with slightly shorter stature and larger eyes giving it a younger appearance than the rest, took a step forward to respond to Gerri's query--and was suddenly surrounded by Lachina's Capture Styler. The other Frogadier jumped back in alarm, even drawing the attention of the one that had broken off to deal with the Inkay; the Psychic-type took advantage of the reprieve and distraction to drift back toward the Sitrus tree and claim another Berry.

 

As the youngest Frogadier turned to tell its companions of Lachina's lack of malice, the other four regarded it with suspicion. One of them, an angry-looking specimen with a scar across one eye, snapped back at the young Frogadier with a clear accusation of idiocy, while another, somewhat pale-looking Frogadier croaked a more reasonable reply, though still seemed unwilling to let the humans pass. The fourth Frogadier, bearing twin yellow stripes running from its nose all the way down its back who had formerly been negotiating with the Inkay, scoffed at the older Bubble Frog Pokémon and gestured to Lachina and Elaine as if they explained everything, while the final Frogadier, the grim-looking one with cross-shaped scars on its arms who had been threatened by Esmerelda, gestured toward Zoe, Emily, Alex, and, strangely, Lionel in counterpoint.

 

The Inkay twitched nervously as the five Frogadier debated. It drifted down to the ground with its prize, grasping another stone in its free tentacle for fear the Fletchling might repeat its earlier stunt. It was a pointless gesture, however, as the Fletchling's attention was suddenly drawn to the arrival of newcomers. Behind the human group, a gang of five Scraggy emerged from the bushes, their Scrafty leader swaggering out grandly behind them with a challenging hoot. The Fletchling swelled with rage and recognition, and upon catching sight of the bird the Scrafty chuffed tauntingly, plucking a stolen red feather from where it had been tucked in its crest, holding it up to the Fletchling in a clear imitation of a particular rude gesture.

 

It took exactly two seconds for everything to go wrong.

 

Before Spitfire could go from yelling to fighting, the Fletchling shot off at the Scrafty, the Dark-type sneering as it got its desired reaction. The yellow-striped Frogadier leaped to intercept it, but this took her into Ronin and Amaura's path, the latter of whom carried out its threatened headbutt against the Bubble Frog. The cross-scarred Frogadier, who had been preparing her own countermeasures, leaped to her companion's defense and body-checked her out of the way, but the headbutt hit thus sent her down instead, causing her to fling her handful of frubbles wildly, inadvertently adhering one of Pelleas' legs to the ground. The Frogadier with the eye scar also threw Frubbles, but this was towards the still-struggling Esmerelda and Gothara; unfortunately, his attack was ill-aimed, and only served to knock the Psychic-type off of the Fennekin and pin one arm to her side, leaving the Fire-type free to rampage. The pale older Frogadier, meanwhile, sighed and stepped forward to cover Spitfire should she go after the Fletchling, careful not to directly engage him or any of the others until they attacked him or one of the other wild Pokémon, while the younger one's gaze darted back and forth in confusion and concern as it tried to figure out who she should fight if anyone. The Scrafty, meanwhile, chuckled nastily at the Fletchling as one of its subordinates met the Fletchling's peck with a punch, with the other Scraggy advanced menacingly upon the unengaged opponents.

 

Lionel, no longer willing to leave the matter to the others, released his Lilligant, while Elaine hesitated between a couple different Pokéballs trying to decide which if any would be useful to their situation. She nonetheless scanned the newcomers with her Pokédex, mentally filing the entries away in case someone needed the information.



 

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/Alex Lockwood/Zoe Llyan - Kalos Route 5

Zoe was about to yell at Lucia for siccing her Gotharita on Esmeralda, but she was distracted by Lachina's amazing display of Ranger-ness. It wasn't until all heck broke loose that Zoe remembered her Fennekin. By now the grappling Gotharita was a moot point as it had been thrown off by a spray of sticky bubbles. "Go, Esmeralda!" Zoe cried above the din of battle. "Go for the jugular, make him croak!"

 

Esmeralda didn't need telling twice. The moment she was free from Gothara's grip she resumed her charge, this time at the Frogadier sporting a nasty scar on its eye. After all, he looked the most villainous of the bunch. Baring her fangs, the feisty fox leapt into the air to pounce on her target from above.

 

Alex had no time to question Zoe's hyperactive fighting spirit. His Amaura was getting assaulted by two of the Frogadier and she had already knocked one of them down. "Aramau!" he called with a sharp whistle. The dinosaur turned her head to see Alex jab a finger at the horde of Scraggy. "Leave the frogs and take care of the hoodlums!"

 

Aramau didn't particularly care where she directed her energies, but seeing the gang of thug-like Pokémon all gathered together brought a smug smile to her face. Lowering her head once more, the Amaura charged at the cluster of Scraggy, eagerly anticipating the moment they would scatter like bowling pins.

 

With the Frogadier otherwise occupied, Gerri scuttled over to where the Inkay floated. The small squid Pokémon nervously spun its pebble and berry in its tentacles as it looked on at the chaotic battle that seemed to spring up out of nowhere. Gerri gave the Inkay a friendly wave and kindly told the wild Pokémon she meant no harm. The Inkay slowly floated closer to inspect the Surskit. Laying the pebble down in the grass and storing the berry in its mass of smaller tentacles for safekeeping, the Inkay reached out its longer tentacles as if it wanted a hug. Gerri obliged, happy to have made a new friend.

 

With astonishing dexterity the Inkay grabbed ahold of the Surskit and flipped her upside-down. Gerri let out a terrified screech, her legs flailing about wildly as she struggled to escape the squid's grasp. Her frantic kicks created enough momentum to dislodge her from the tentacles, and she flopped down in the grass. Sparing only a brief moment to catch her breath, Gerri immediately puffed out her chest and pursed her lips, trying to blow a BubbleBeam at her assailant. Of course she only succeeded in blowing out a tiny stream of air; in the heat of battle she had forgotten about her current condition. In lieu of a special attack, the Surskit thrust herself at the Inkay to teach it a rather ironic lesson about respecting personal space.

 

Dahlia had been wondering if she should send out another Pokémon to help against the Scraggy, but Gerri's shrill cry demanded her attention. The tiny Surskit shouldn't have been able to do much damage to the Inkay with a mere tackle. But the moment she struck her foe the Inkay stumbled back in a daze, dropping the Sitrus Berry from its lower tentacles. When it came to a halt it wore a sharp grimace on its face and did not immediately retaliate. "Hold it, Gerri," Dahlia called out. A number of Frogadier stood between her and her Surskit, but she knew she had to get closer if she wanted to do something about the Inkay. Steeling herself, the gardener swiftly started to move across the battlefield, keeping her eyes peeled in case one of the wild Pokémon decided to attack her.


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/Lachina Adaon/Emily Lcokwood

 

With a resigned sigh, Jared sent Anubis out to join the fray. As the Lucario was taking in the situation, Jared felt something moving in his bag. Before he could pull it off and look inside, a dark blue Froakie jumped to land in front of him. It looked around, then nodded to Anubis. The Lucario glanced at Jared, shrugged, then hurled himself at the group of Scraggy alongside the Froakie.

 

As they neared, one of the Scraggy ran forward and slid into Anubis, tripping him and tangling them together. The Froakie jumped into the air and threw his frubbles. For the most part they missed, but one did find a target in the Scraggy's eye. The dark type growled as he was left half-blind with two opponents on him.

 

Lachina groaned. Things had been going so well, too. "Aolani, Frogadier, try to help that Fletchling!" Her partner Pokémon screeched and flew at the Scraggy that had punched the Fletchling. Her Frogadier friend seemed torn, but leaped to the flying-type's aid as well.

 

Spitfire had started to circle around, but was blocked by one of the Frogadier. He cried out a warning to the old Pokémon standing between him and the trainers: move or be moved. Emily was still hanging back, Ronin standing defensively in front of her and Elaine in case any combatants came too close.


"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: Amelia Zann (Sina, Harvey)/’Belle LaDonna’/’Mel’ Zann’s Pokémon (Sina-Weavile, Qrow-Honchkrow) & IC:Alex Zyther (Didi, Raleigh, Coralie) & IC: Alma Mason (Howler, Cuchulain)/’Mel’ Zann/Belle LaDonna (Hemlock)

 

“Not that way,” Amelia declared.

 

Belle looked back at her in surprise, stopping short of the staircase before her. “But we’re underground. Shouldn’t we be moving up?”

 

Amelia shook her head. “That’s what they want ya to think. Disorients intruders. There’s only one real stairway out--this way.”

 

To Amelia’s surprise, Belle simply nodded and fell into step behind her. Right, she remembered, this world’s me knows how to get in and out of this place. The sudden realization was enough to stop her in her tracks. …so why do I know, too?

 

Belle stumbled trying to avoid running into Amelia, the Pokémon behind her skidding similarly to a stop. “Pond? Is something--?” The woman’s eyes widened as they caught a glimmer of light. “Look out!”

 

A silvery projectile whirled through the air towards Amelia, the overwhelmed mercenary too startled to dodge. A pained screech, a flash of red--

 

Not red, Amelia realized as she picked herself up off the ground, pink. The fully-evolved Sina hissed obscenities at their attacker, biting a nearly-severed claw from her hand and spitting it to the floor. A moment later, their unseen assailant chose to reveal himself.

 

Lex scowled as he looked the group over. “Two Sinas? What, are you suddenly a Pokémon breeder, Ames?” He unclipped two Pokéballs from his belt. “Let’s see how you like this, then. Gallade, Malamar!” Two blinding flashes of light, and the two Pokémon appeared. The Gallade seemed normal enough now, without the fancy cape or the wicked blades along its forearms. Lex reached up and twisted a ring on his left hand.

 

“Let’s show them who’s boss,” he said as the Gallade was surrounded by rainbow energy.

 

“Sina, stop them, let’s go!” Amelia ordered.

 

To her surprise, not one but two pink Dark-types surged forward, claws outstretched menacingly.

 

A burst of rainbow energy deflected any blows directed at the Gallade, and it came flying out of the flash of light with blades extended. The Malamar floated forward as well, tentacles lashing for Sina the younger in an attempted use of Superpower.

 

The Sneasel reared back suddenly, as a lime green blur seemingly appeared in front of her, absorbing the would-be-fatal Superpower. It was only in midair that she got a fix on the object: a near-unconscious Harvey, saved from a nasty collision with the floor only by Belle’s timely catch.

 

Sina’s Weavile counterpart used the opening to perform an intricate dance, several ethereal swords swirling around her before she snatched one out of the air, turning it violet in her hand before ducking beneath the Malamar’s tentacles and slashing at the Gallade.

 

The Gallade’s own blade came up, deflecting the blow but cancelling its momentum. The black-caped fighting-type glared at its greatest rival, then used Close Combat against said rival. As his defenses lowered, the Malamar spun, spots glowing, to cast Topsy Turvy on the Gallade.

 

The Weavile would have been knocked out by the attack, but as she backflipped into the air a blur of dark purple feathers shot past and into the attack, knocking the Gallade off-balance once more. Lex spat an epithet as he saw the Honchkrow glaring down at him. “Not this time, birdy!” he called as he returned the Gallade.

 

A Delphox took its place, their wand blazing even as it appeared. Lex cast a hand out dramatically. “Shock Wave!” The fire-type waved its magic wand, and a forked bolt of lightning shot out, filling the hallway with crackling electricity that shocked all of Amelia’s team. The two Ice-types winced at the jolt, while Qrow cried out in surprise and pain.

 

Even as he fell, however, the Honchkrow angled his wings to provide a last-ditch Tailwind to support his team. The brisk breeze rustled scales and hair, speeding up the two Sinas as they ducked and weaved around the Malamar’s renewed Superpowers, the Sneasel Sina sinking its claws into the Malamar’s back as her Weavile counterpart prepared a Night Slash against the Delphox. The Overturning Pokémon spun screeching, trying to fling its fellow Dark-type off.

 

Harvey saw his chance. Eyes snapping open, he leaped from Belle’s arms, propelled by the actually-unconscious Qrow’s prior Tailwind, and skittered across the floor. The little lime lizard dug its claws into the floor, pulling up a panel which it then proceeded to smash atop the Malamar’s head.

 

The Malamar whirled once more, finally flinging its original attacker away, as its eyes struggled to focus on the tiny creature that had dared attack it. The Delphox jumped back away from the Night Slash and glanced back at its trainer. Lex nodded, reaching again for his belt. “Right. Gallade can come back out now that you’ve fried that bird.”

 

Amelia’s eyes widened. “Sinas!” she ordered, “Take the shot!”

 

No sooner did the ball leave his fingers than the Flare admin found his feet yanked out from beneath him by a snarling Sneasel, its evolved counterpart coalescing an Icicle Crash directly above him. The Delphox made to interpose itself, but was stymied by Harvey as he darted around the still-dazed Malamar to clamp his jaws around the Fire-type’s ankle.

 

“Oh, ****,” Lex murmured a moment before the enormous icicle pierced through his chest and into the ground below. Blood from the impact splattered on the walls and ceiling, evoking images straight from a horror movie. He spasmed briefly, then went slack.

 

The Gallade appeared at that instant and, upon seeing the battle’s bloody result, grabbed the Malamar and Delphox before vanishing.

 

After a brief pause, Belle whistled. “Wow. Guess he really was Lysandre’s dragon.”

 

The one-liner gave Amelia a moment of pause, before she chuckled and let out the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding, her remaining conscious Pokémon soon following suit.

 

Unfortunately, the moment wasn’t to last.

 

---------------

 

Can’t stop. Won’t stop. Musn’t stop!

 

Didi doggedly dashed down the hallway, trusting (or at least hoping) that her partners and Trainer were keeping up. She didn’t dare stop to check, however, as she could practically feel the power of the Pokémon chasing right on their--

 

Squeals erupted from the Electric-type as some discarded object sent her tumbling end over end. Her hoarding instincts sent her scrambling to pick up the strange razor-sharp claw before she belatedly realized she’d stopped running and dove to the side, the others following suit a few seconds after.

 

“Alex?” a familiar voice asked, while a second familiar voice shrieked “Alex?!” with a tone of terror.

 

The Antenna Pokémon was unable to chastise Belle for her unwarranted terror, as the source of her own warranted terror smashed through the wall with an outraged roar.

 

“Alex, what did you do?!”

 

“I don’t know! She just started screaming about--”

 

“ABOMINATIONS!” came the predictable psychic screech. “HOW DARE--DOES THE DEPRAVITY OF YOUR KIND KNOW NO BOUNDS??” Before anyone could reply, the enraged Legendary Pokémon began gathering energy, the enormous pink orb forming between her antlers shining bright as the full moon as it grew, and grew, and grew…

 

The hallway’s occupants, people and Pokémon alike, glanced around in horror. Didi could see no escape--the space was too narrow, too long, and the Life Pokémon stood between them and the only intersection close enough to afford them an escape from the--

 

*BANG!*

 

The Moonblast evaporated, its creator staring in shock before her cross-shaped pupils dilated and glazed in death and her lifeless corpse slumped heavily to the ground. The resounding quiet echoed even more loudly than the gunshot mere moments before.

 

An extremely wet-sounding laugh broke the stunned silence. As one, the group turned to the body of the Flare prince pinned to the floor, grinning madly as he held a smoking gun.

 

“What?” he asked faux-innocently. “I used up all my knives.” Like the unholy killer in a slasher film, the man slowly began levering himself up the icicle, pulling the icy spear further through the wound and out the other side to the sound of his own pained laughter. At last he rose to his feet, leveling his predatory gaze upon the horrified onlookers. As he caught Amelia’s eyes, he opened his mouth, uttering only a single ominous command as blood dripped down his chin:

 

“Run.”

 

---------------

 

Meanwhile, Alma and a group of terrified people made their way around a corner in another part of the complex. Alma twirled a knife in her hand, blood dripping down its blade, but being absorbed by Shadow before it could hit the floor.

 

The girl smiled a bit as she saw Belle and ‘Mel’ still fighting the red-suited people from earlier. Her left hand reached into a fold of her apron and brought out two Pokéballs which she opened. “Howler, Cuchulain, help them.”

 

Hemlock was struggling, wrapped around another Dragonair who actually had power. As she tried to untangle herself, a small, dark form landed on the intertwined bodies. Howler barked a greeting to his companion, then lunged forward to bite at the other Dragonair’s neck. It didn’t do much damage, but it did distract the opponent. As Hemlock uncoiled, a larger form shot past, and the giant Growlithe’s fangs did more damage, shredding through scale and muscle to find bone. There was a crunch, and the opposing Dragonair went limp, though its head still whipped around.

 

The two dog Pokémon turned to face the other opponents as Alma stepped up beside her companions. “The prisoners have been freed,” she said casually. “Hopefully we find your Amelia and Donna soon.”

 

Cuchulain and Howler were tag teaming another opponent, a Bayleef that wouldn’t have stood a chance if either one had had powers. As it was, Howler was doing a good job of distracting the grass dino with quick guerilla attacks while Cuchulain circled in search of an opening.

 

A Vine Whip shot out, narrowly missing the agile Poochyena. Howler lunged in to grab the vine, keeping the Bayleef from continuing its attack. Cuchulain leapt in, landing heavily on the grass-type’s back. As the Bayleef staggered under the weight, Howler jumped up and bit its leg, causing it to crumple to the ground with Cu’s immense weight pinning it to the ground. The Growlithe clamped its jaws on the opponent’s neck and jerked his head. There was a soft ‘pop’ sound, and the Bayleef went limp in death.

 

Belle patted Alma’s shoulder softly. “Good job, kiddo. Mel says if we c’n get past these guards--”

 

She was cut off as a pink form ran around the corner and began cutting through said guards. The Weavile was followed by the rest of the group, all wearing panicked expressions as they booked it down the hall.

 

“…Oh, that ain’t good. Donna, behind m--”

 

Barely stopping to grab her Trainer’s wrist, Mel’s Sina dragged her Trainer out the destroyed door, the rest of the team following a moment later. As the party made their escape, they found themselves most closely chased not by the twisted Team Flare admin, but rather his deranged laugh.



 

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: Miriam Shields - Vermilion Rocket Branch

 

Miriam, despite the situation, found herself smiling with glee. She sent a message asking that a half decent video camera be brought down there (and those reinforcements showing up any time would be nice). As soon as it had been sent, she used to her tablet to start recording the Tyranitar. It wouldn't be good footage in and of itself, but it might be useful to the crew she had hired.

 

She vaguely heard the comments that Dack and Madison had made. She had to agree that staying in close quarters with an enemy they did not know the capabilities of was probably a very bad idea. She started backing up towards the door, while still keeping the camera on the fight.

 

 

IC: Jamie Arthur - Route 5

 

Jamie knelt near Pelleas. He was stuck, and Jamie was having problems pulling the frubbles off. Pelleas tried flapping his wings to pull himself up, but the weight of Bedevere was quite counter-productive right now. The Heracross figured that he could probably remove the binding substance with his strength, but he was gonna need his arms for that. No other choice. Jamie and the Heracross nodded to each other.

 

“Alright, this is your time to shine Bedevere!” he said calling to the Cloyster Pelleas was holding.

 

Bedevere could feel himself moving back and forth. From Jamie’s words, he knew why. And he loved it. He began to chant, encouraging the Heracross to do it.

 

With a great war buzz, Pelleas hurled the Cloyster at the cross scarred Frogadier. It had been so long since the Cloyster felt such fast movement that he couldn’t help but let out a cry of joy, as he sailed through the air, intending to clamp his shell on the frog.

 


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-==IC: Colleen/Lucia/Olivia -- Kalos Route 5==-

 

Colleen was about to scold Zoe for trying to provoke the Pokémon that just wanted to keep things calm, but her voice got lost in the din of battle. With a sigh, she instead turned to the fight and sent out Myriam. The Mienshao turned her attention to one of the Scraggy as soon as she was released and ran forward to try and punch the dark type out as quickly as possible. Colleen herself turned her attention to the leader Scrafty, as she attempted to read its aura to find out the rough reason for why it was doing this. Even still, she cautiously charged up an Aura Sphere as she did so.

 

Lucia stood with a frustrated look on her face as everything turned horrible. Wordlessly, she recalled the helpless Gotharita, and sent out her Blissey instead. She changed targets to one of the Scraggy, very much not wanting to aggravate the Frogadier any more than they already were.

 

Olivia groaned. "And here I thought today would be peaceful..." The woman mumbled under her breath, as she sent out her Vibrava. "Jhen, back up whoever ya think needs it the most." The ground type nodded and zoomed off toward one of the Frogadier, not trying to attack at the moment, but calling out a warning to stop and focus on a shared enemy.

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IC: Dahlia Seaton/Alex Lockwood/Zoe Llyan - Kalos Route 5

Esmeralda chomped down on her Frogadier foe, only to get a mouthful of Frubbles. The sticky solution glued her jaw together like peanut butter. While the little fox desperately tried to free herself, the Frogadier simply regarded her with annoyance. With slow, deliberate movements he reached up to pluck the struggling Fennekin off of him -- detaching some of his Frubbles in the process -- and tossed her back into the crowd of trainers.

 

Esmeralda hit the ground hard. Rather than charge right back at her enemy, she stared pitifully up at Zoe and gave a whimper muffled by the bubbles that coated her mouth. "So much for making a good first impression," Zoe muttered. She glanced around, but it seemed everyone else was too engrossed in the battle to pay much attention to her and her Fennekin. And so, discreetly as possible, she knelt down to scoop the sticky bubbles out of Esmeralda's mouth and wipe them in the grass.

 

The Frogadier, meanwhile, saw Dahlia running towards him. In actuality she was attempting to run past him to aid her Surskit, but the Frogadier had just fought off a ferocious Fennekin and wasn't in the mood for yet another attack. Reaching back into his scarf of Frubbles, the water-type hurled the sticky substance into the grass at Dahlia's feet. The gardener had no time to react before she stepped into the pile of bubbles. With one foot rooted to the ground, she fell flat on her face, much to the Frogadier's amusement.

 

Dahlia tried to pull her foot free, but the Frubbles acted like superglue. Sparing an exasperated look at the Frogadier that had pinned her, she reached down, took a deep breath, and tried to apply her Reverse powers to the substance. A single bubble slowly deflated into nothingness. The sounds of battle continued all around her, demanding her attention. Another bubble shrank at a snail's pace. Dahlia closed her eyes and shut out the sounds of battle. She had to focus.

 

Although Dahlia could not see it, the Frogadier cocked its head to the side as the Frubbles began dissipating. Within a few seconds, the girl was free. The Frogadier could have thrown more Frubbles her way, but he was too shocked. Instead he merely watched as Dahlia got up and ran past him, making her way towards Gerri and the Inkay.

 

The Scraggy all parted ways when Aramau came barreling towards them, save for one. This lone Scraggy leaned back on its feet, then tipped forward to meet the icy dinosaur head-on. Literally. The two heads collided and both parties recoiled at the shock, although neither was willing to admit defeat. Baring grimaces to hide their pain, the Amaurus and the Scraggy slowly circled each other, patiently waiting for their heads to stop throbbing. The Scraggy recovered first and it leapt onto its foe, hoisting itself on her back.

 

Aramau reared up and tried to buck her unwanted rider off, but the Scraggy held on tight, cackling like mad. "Aramau!" Alex called out, seeing the trouble his Pokémon had gotten herself into. "Body slam it!" It took her a moment to gather the meaning of her trainer's words, but when she did, Aramau threw herself backwards, falling onto the ground and crushing her enemy beneath her weight. The Scraggy got to its feet in a daze, fists held aloft in a threatening manner. But Aramau could tell her foe was off balance, and a swift headbutt knocked him down once more.


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: Route 5==-

 

The Scrafty's aura showed merely malice, a casual cruelty that was apparent even without the aid of aura sense. It was, however, primarily focused on the Fletchling, enjoying its torment even more than it did beating up the bystanders who'd gotten in its way. As the Fletchling swooped in to take another attempt at the gang leader, the Dark-type casually leaned aside, snickering cruelly as the bird screeched its frustration.

 

The yellow-striped Frogadier seemed just as conflicted as her younger friend, on top of being disoriented by the attacks. Though she readily conceded the wisdom of the suggestion, the "common enemy" was less readily defined--and she seemed less inclined to trust the Trainer and her foreign Pokémon than she had been the Ranger or the Professor. She settled for flinging her Frubbles at the Fletchling, the disruptive wild card seeming the safest bet for the moment.

 

The pale older Frogadier, on the other hand, scoffed at Spitfire's threats. He lacked the aggressive dislike of humans that his partner with the scarred eye possessed, but that did not mean he would welcome human meddling in Pokémon affairs. He maintained his pointedly neutral stance, still as equally unwilling to throw the first punch as he was to allow the Trainer to escalate the situation further.

 

The cross-scarred Frogadier narrowed her eyes as the Cloyster sailed through the air at her. She leapt upward at the last moment--but a hair too slow, as the Bivalve Pokémon clamped down on her right foot. Doing her best to shrug off the pain, she landed slightly off-balance and bounced upwards once more, intending to wield the Water-type as a club against the opposing Heracross in a de-powered approximation of an Aerial Ace--

 

--only to find itself caught in a leafy grasp as Lionel's Lilligant rushed in to offer aid. "Good, Lillina," Lionel praised, "now spin and bow." The Grass-type complied, twirling in an elegant spin before slamming the Frogadier to the ground safely away from Pelleas and his Trainer; the clamped-on Cloyster took the blow as well, but the defensive Ice-type was far more safely suited to such than the comparatively frailer Frogadier. The Bubble Frog clambered woozily back to its feet, glancing warily back and forth between her two opponents as she carefully considered her next move.

 

Lionel did not remain idle; with Lillina supporting Jamie, he next turned his eye to his daughter, sending out his Bisharp to back up Blissaga; while under ordinary circumstances the choice would be downright suicidal, the businessman had belatedly realized the reversal of fortunes brought on by the outage and took the opportunity to take advantage of it. "Leave my daughter alone, punk," he warned the Scraggy, which merely sneered as it punched the Steel-type--only to wince and shake its fist in pain as the blow failed to deal any appreciable damage. The Scraggy aimed a crotch-kick at Blissaga in frustration, though the attack resembled half-hearted flailing more than any kind of disciplined attempt to cause injury.



 

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: Jamie Arthur - Route 5

 

When the cross-scarred Frogadier tried to attack Pelleas, Jamie grinned. Even immobile and depowered, Pelleas was a mighty force in a physical battle. The Heracross readied himself for Jamie’s command. She had a plan that could be best described as ‘Volleyball with Bedevere as the ball and where you intentionally spike the ball at your opponent’s face.’ She opened her mouth to tell Bedevere to let go of the Frogadier.

 

Then Lillina knocked the Frogadier away.

 

Jamie’s lip wavered as she pouted. She wanted to be the one to hit the Frogadier.

 

“Mrgrgr, don’t get in my way!” she yelled at the Lilligant.

 

The Cloyster shook his head as he shrugged off the pain from the friendly fire. He was never the most bulky of his kind. He generally liked to hit hard and fast. Still, his shell did its job. He wasn’t getting knocked out from it at least. 

 

“Bedevere, climb higher!” Jamie yelled to the Cloyster.

 

Using his shell, Cloyster pulled himself forward. Intent on using his heavy shell to simply weigh the Frogadier down, he climbed up the Frogadier to close his shell around her chest.

 

There was a side effect to this plan of attack. It was unclear if she knew it, but because Bedevere was clamping on the Frogadier’s chest, he served as a sort of armor. He made it quite difficult for anyone that wasn’t himself to attack the Frogadier. Meaning, Lillina and Pelleas couldn’t really do much while Bedevere struggled with the Frogadier.

 


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IC: Jared Winters(Anubis, Froakie}/Lachina Adaon(Aolani, Frogadier)/Emily Lockwood(Spitfire, Ronin)/Scraggy

 

Anubis rolled to his feet and delivered a kick to the Scraggy's ribs. The smaller Pokémon rolled with the kick to get onto his hands and knees. As he did, the Froakie threw more sticky frubbles, pinning his hands to the ground. The Scraggy struggled, but couldn't free himself. Anubis and the Froakie continued towards the main problems of this fight. Jared watched quietly, knowing that his personal interference was both unneeded and unwanted; stepping in would just escalate the situation with the Frogadier.

 

Aolani swooped in, trying to grab the Fletchling in her claws to remove it from the fight. Lachina's befriend Frogadier interposed herself between the Scrafty and his target. She was young, true, but she would put up a fight if the Scrafty tried to continue its assault.

 

Spitfire considered for a moment, then flew over the old Frogadier. Emma outstretched her arm, and the Talonflame landed on it gently. The girl smiled. "Everyone else has this handled, it looks like."

 

IC: Aspen Seaton

 

Aria stood with her back to the wall, green eyes cold as she looked at her trainer. Aspen sat on his bed, glaring right back at her. "You . . . Why did you do that?" As the Lucario glared, he rolled his eyes. "I know you can't answer! I don't care! You-- From what I hear, this is the second time you've done this in the past month!"

 

Aria growled, and Aspen slammed his crutch against the ground. "No! Shut up! You do not get to growl at me for reprimanding you when you're attacking people who have already surrendered!" The Lucario went silent, still glowering at him. "You don't get to sulk, either. I don't care what your issue is, you cannot -- can not -- cross that line again. Consider those your two strikes. We're supposed to be good guys. Attacking people who have surrendered? That's the kind of thing that Rocket did early on, that's the kind of thing we would expect Ford to do.

 

"If you do it again, you're gone. I don't know if I'll send you back to Alistair or what, but . . ." He glared, rising to his feet. He was taller than her by a wide margin, but she still seemed unfazed. He stepped up to her and looked her in the eye. "Do you understand me?"

 

The two held each other's gaze for several tense moments. Neither blinked. Finally, Aria looked away. Slowly, she nodded. Aspen stepped back. "Good. Return to your ball." As she pressed the button on her ball on his desk, he sat back down. Once she was gone, he released a shaky sigh.


"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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