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Blessed Blade

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About Blessed Blade

  • Birthday 11/11/1992

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  1. hey! i just thought i'd say Happy Birthday before i forget! :) 

    i hope you enjoy it as much as i enjoy my birthday! :) 

  2. -==IC: Chloe Hikari -- Vertrag==- "Sounded like it, yeah." Chloe said with a nod. She quickly tied her hair up into a ponytail absentmindedly, as she checked her purse strap to make sure everything was in order - and to not worry about what might have happened at the Pokémon Center to get Ryan so frazzled. She took a moment to cast a glance at Kyle, but went back to preparing her supplies. -==IC: Ray Hakuda -- Pokémon Center, Dendemille Town, Kalos==- Ray ducked behind some cover as the agents began to open fire. He scrambled to strap the mask on and wondered how they were going to deal with the guns, when suddenly it just stopped. He peeked around the corner as he saw four capsules open. They're… playing to our rules? Using Pokémon? What's the catch here? Ray wondered with a skeptical look on his face behind the mask. Returning from behind the cover, Ray tossed Zangetsu's Poké Ball forward and sent the Zangoose out to greet the four Pokémon alongside Quil. Armaldo, Solrock, a Heat Rotom, and a Crustle… With a small frown, Ray considered his Pokémon. Even though there were only two Pokémon with powers among his and Ryan's combined teams, it still would help against hopefully similarly unpowered opponents. With a small nod to Ryan, he sent out a second Pokémon in the form of his Bisharp. Zangetsu headed toward the Crustle while sharpening his claws and preparing an X-Scissor attack and Byakuya headed toward the Armaldo, arms to the side as he prepared to attack the Armaldo once in range. OOC: Zangoose: X-Scissor > Crustle Bisharp: Untyped Punch > Armaldo -==IC: Marie Homura -- Olivine City, Johto==- Marie stumbled through the portal as she half-carried Jenny in through the doors of the hospital while trying to do her best to at least slow the bleeding on what short notice she had. "HELP!!!" Marie cried out as the two made it into the lobby. Immediately, the attention of most of the staff present was grabbed, as everyone rushed to Jenny's aid. "Anemia, she has anemia, card should be in her purse…" The young woman quickly passed the purse in question to the nearest medical person, who quickly dug through it and found the card. Marie had never expected to have to deal with something like this, but remembered her old friend's condition from her old world - it was both a blessing and a curse that it seemed to be the same here, as at least she knew what to say to get her treatment fast. Marie could barely pay attention as the redhead was wheeled off to the emergency room. She couldn't keep her eyes focused, however, as she had to look away out of worry. She was inundated with different questions about what had happened. She tried to answer them as best as she could, but she was both on auto-pilot and beginning to feel overwhelmed. Finally, after what felt like endless questions, Marie was left alone to just sit and wait. She felt like her legs were made of jelly, but she managed to make her way over to take a seat while she waited for news - any kind of news. Why… why did this have to happen…? Why do people have to be hurt around me? Her blonde hair fell over her arms as she put her head down and sobbed as quietly as she could.
  3. -==IC: Chloe Hikari -- Vertrag==- "Yeah, that sounds like a good idea--" Chloe began to say, but was cut off by the ringing of her Poké Gear. With a puzzled look on her face, Chloe took a step back and answered it after she saw it was from Ryan. "We've got a situation here in the city - you might want to tell Vertrag to hurry up on that antidote." Ryan said over the phone. Despite Ryan not being able to see her, Chloe tilted her head slightly. "Um, okay." The woman replied, though everything else that Ryan had to say didn't answer any of the questions she had. Chloe had a couple guesses to why Ryan wouldn't say anything, but without any evidence… "See you soon." As she hung up, she looked up at the other two. "Looks like something's happening in the city - though Ryan wouldn't give me any more details than that." She glanced over to the place that Emmerich had gone to. "Emmerich! How's it going?" -==IC: Ray Hakuda -- Dendemille Town==- "So, do you think trouble follows us, or do you think it's just a coincidence sometimes?" Ray asked once Ryan was off the phone and could focus on things again. "Like, I know we go looking for trouble sometimes, but… what are the chances that we just so happen to run into something like this?" -==IC: Colleen Llyan/Olivia Seaton -- Geosenge Town==- "I don't think that's what Jared meant." Colleen said with a surprised look on her face as Zoe spoke up. "I think he just meant about how all of the stuff about Xander is a bit shocking, so we'll have to talk about it later." ---- While the others kept talking, Olivia approached the two champions with a curious look on her face. "What's up? Did ya find a lead?" The redhead asked, a small frown showing up as she noticed how pale Calem seemed.
  4. -==IC: Chloe Hikari -- Vertrag==- Chloe might not have known everything that was going through Kyle's head right now - and she didn't want to break his trust by probing for that information with her powers - but... she could take a guess. She'd seen the notebook and was able to put enough of the pieces together on her own. So even though he tried to bring up McKinley instead, she knew it had to have been something else that really rattled him that badly. With a bite of her lip, she got up and walked over to Kyle and wrapped her arms around him comfortingly. "I think you need this." She said quietly, having a bit of an idea just what he was going through at the moment. -==IC: Ray Hakuda -- Dendemille Town, Kalos==- Ray sighed. "It was tough, yeah. I definitely get where everyone was coming from, and I wanted so much to explain." He frowned with a conflicted look on his face. "And, I don't know. On one hand, I wish I could have somehow thrown a wrench into McKinley's plans by defying the invitation the very first time or something, but... it turned out to kinda really help us now, so I really don't know how to feel about it." -==IC: Olivia Seaton/Colleen Llyan/Lucia Zyther -- Flare Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos==- "Hm, that's a good question ya have there, Zoe." Olivia said as she thought back to what the eggs had looked like when Emily snatched them up earlier, but shook her head. "All of 'em looked the same to me. Couldn't tell ya which is which." Colleen frowned at the markings subject, and tried to scan their auras in an attempt to make out which was which herself - however, all she could tell was that both has a similarly rainbow-coloured aura, and nothing else. "Sorry, can't help either." The girl said with an apologetic shrug. *** There were so many things that caught Lucia's attention, but they all passed super quickly. First the sister thing, which Lucia had no objection to, especially with that logic. Then the way that Jamie reacted, which prompted her to hug the brown-haired girl back. Then came Dahlia's comment, which Lucia actually focused in on, opting to answer instead of Jamie. "She lost her parents when she was young, so Pelleas and Tristan ended up basically raising her and such." Lucia said as she felt Jamie shrink to hiding behind her a bit more. "They're her adoptive parents, basically. They've done a pretty good job, in my opinion."
  5. -==IC: Lucia Zyther/Colleen Llyan/Olivia Seaton -- Flare Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos==- Lucia and the others listened intently to the story. While most of the group didn't seem to know what to say at first, Lucia already had an idea. She followed the four out as Jared mentioned about wanting to actually be able to see them, though stayed quiet for the moment since she had never met Xander before. "Yeah, can--" Colleen began to say as she stared at Alex Zyther's face in surprise. However, she cut herself off at Emily's comment, and looked over quizzically. "Wait, how do you know what Xander looks like? Have you two met before?"
  6. OOC: Happy anniversary! -==IC: Ryan Hikari/Shannon Willows/Aori Yamamoto/Corey Bouchard/Evan Tierra/Jenny Hakuda/Marianna Homura/Darien Grant -- Ecruteak City, Johto==- The gunshot shocked her out of her stupor. For a moment, Shannon was back on that street in Celadon. The roar of the Tyranitar, the eyes full of hatred, and the terrible screams as an innocent victim fell to the pavement. Only this time something was off. She felt no pain of impact, and her eyes were focused on the ground instead of the sky. And the screams. They were her own. "No! No, no, no!" She was kneeling over Ryan, her tears mixing with the blood that had started to stain the man's shirt. "What were you thinking?!" Aori had dropped the Pokégear at the sound of the gunshot, and was now on her knees with her hands pressed tightly to her ears. The screen displayed an ongoing call, and a tinny voice could be faintly heard on the other end. The police would arrive “soon,” but quite possibly too late to save Ryan or catch his attacker. "Saving you…" Ryan said with a gasp of pain as he planted a foot on the ground to try to begin to push himself back to his feet. His gaze turned back to the arrogant criminal in front of him. For a second he glanced to his right and saw that Corey had been frozen by what happened. He waved his hand in the air as he slowly began to stand up. "Wasn't a bad wound." The man said, though he placed his hand over it for the moment anyway. Ryan shook his head to clear it for a moment. "Dunno what it hit, but it wasn't important." The tone of his voice sounded a little shaky, but he seemed more focused on what was ahead. He pointed his hand forward "Tyranitar, rock wall, now!" As the man raised his weapon again, the Tyranitar created a wall of rock with Stone Edge, much to the man's surprise. *** "So, it was you…" Darien said with a growl. Holding his gun to the side, he instead sent out his Dragonite for the moment. He wasn't sure if this was a ploy for his prey to get away, or if this was a distraction from some kind of attack that was about to happen. No matter, he stayed alert. *** Jenny and the others came running up not long after the rock wall went with a shocked look on her face. "We suddenly realized you weren't behind us, then the gunshot went off, then we ran back as fast as we could…" "That guy who attacked Goldenrod… he came back and wanted revenge on me for nearly exposing his crimes when he gloated to me." Ryan grit his teeth. "So he shot me, but I'm sorta fine." He glanced over to Corey. "Corey, take Shannon and Aori and get away from here. I don't think it's safe here." He left it unsaid that he doubted either of the two would be pleased with him trying to fight the attacker, but glanced to the two of them to see their reactions. Evan grit his teeth as he sent out Monstro. “I’m sorry to tell you this, but I’m gonna have to help you, Ryan.” The Hero said. “It’s part of my duty as a Hero to punish those who would cause others pain.” Ryan looked back in surprise as Shannon grabbed his arm. "We can't just leave you!" she said desperately. "We all need to get out of here, you included." She cast a glance down where her Pokégear had hit the ground. "We're not too far from the restaurant. If we can make it there, we'll be safe until the authorities arrive . . ." "I'll head there soon." Ryan said with a small nod to Evan. "I'll give you a head start and hold him off here. Tyranitar has one of the best chances alongside Monstro to do that, especially with the advantage of having powers." As he spoke, he slowly and subtly slid his other hand from his pocket where his Poké Gear was and slipped the device into Shannon's bag for safe keeping, in case it got damaged in the ensuing fight. The Rocket agent's words stung with sound reason, but it wasn't until Corey pulled her away that Shannon resigned herself to the plan. Keeping a wary eye on the rock wall where the gunman was surely behind, she reached over to take Aori's hand and scooped up her Pokégear. Her eyes lingered for a moment on Ryan, who was still gripping the wound on his side. "Be safe," she murmured. Then she turned on her heel and ran. She didn't dare look back. -==IC: Colleen Llyan/Lucia Zyther -- Geosenge Town, Kalos==- "Elly, take the blow then use the wall to land a hit!" Colleen called out, as she held her hand forward. The Elgyem was caught off guard by the order to get hit, but let the action take place. The Larvitar's bite stung more than she would have liked, but even so, the psychic-type began to spin around. Once she built up enough momentum, Elly swung around to either have the Larvitar let go and fly off to put distance between them, or be slammed into the nearby wall and take a hit for the first time that fight. Lucia, to her credit, defiantly didn't flinch at the knife pointed at her throat. She was scared, yes, but she wasn't about to let the girl get the better of her. Even so, she was glad when Alex stepped in. That's when she decided to give her reason. "Because I'm Alex's sister. So if you're with Alex, then you should realize that'd be a very bad idea." She thought for a second. "Plus, my girlfriend has time powers, so you'd probably not get away with it at all." The redhead wasn't entirely sure if that was a bluff or the truth, but she figured that the chance might help dissuade the threat on its own. -==IC: Ryan Hikari/Evan Tierra/Darien Grant/Jenny Hakuda/Marie Homura -- Ecruteak City, Johto==- Ryan watched as Corey ran off with Shannon and Aori. He clutched at the place where he had been shot, but kept waiting, the rock barrier still up. "How's it looking?" The trainer asked the others who had stayed behind to help as he unclipped his Poké Ball belt and passed it to Marie as a 'just-in-case' precaution. "Do you see that ########?" Evan silently commanded Monstro to set up a Wide Guard, and looked up from the stone barrier. He saw the Rocket Agent, gun in hand, with his Dragonite out looking around. The man ducked down again, and faced Ryan. “Yeah, I see him.” "Good, distract him with a move." “Got it. Monstro, ICY WIND!” Evan commanded loudly. Monstro complied, leaping out of his cover blasting out a chilling gust of air at the Rocket Agent and his Dragonite. "What?! Another?!" Darien exclaimed in surprise as the Swampert suddenly appeared with the use of the ice-type move. His Dragonite was buffeted close to where he was, unable to keep in the air with the ice that was beginning to cover his wings. "How, how is this possible? That Tyranitar was supposed to be the only one at all!" The rogue Rocket's surprise didn't end there, as the rock wall that had acted as a barrier so far began to shake. With widened eyes, Darien could only watch as the wall shattered into pieces that flew toward him quickly. "Wait, no--" The man couldn't finish his sentence as the chunks of rock struck his Dragonite and crashed to the ground. It only took a few moments for the man and his Pokémon to be buried in the rubble, Darien pinned to the ground under it all. Ryan gave a sigh of relief as he turned back toward the group with a pained thumbs up. He took a step forward and groaned at the pain, as Jenny ran over to make sure that he could stay standing. *** This wasn't… supposed to be how it goes. This wasn't… this can't be how it ends. Move… move!!! We can't lose here. Not now! "We should get you to a doctor quickly." Jenny said with a worried frown on her face as she looked at Ryan. "I'm telling you, it's not that bad, we can wait until we find Corey and the others." Ryan replied, waving his right hand dismissively. It was Marie that noticed it first. "Hey, you two, do you see like, a light show in the distance, or is it just me?" The blonde-haired woman asked with a small frown, as she pointed off toward where they had just finished fighting. Jenny turned her head back in confusion, not sure what Marie meant. By the time she turned her head back, the source of the light was very much revealed. A blur of motion headed toward the group before they had any chance to react. Jenny blinked in confusion, as it felt like her arm was suddenly on fire. She tried to bring her hand up to see what was wrong, but couldn't. "Evan!!" Marie screamed out as she ran forward; the Air Cutter had missed the two of them who had been further back, but Ryan and Jenny… had not been so lucky. "Space whatever thingy, now!!" There was no time to think. Too much had happened. Jenny and Ryan were in even more danger. Rearing back his right arm, the man reached out for the two, and dragged his arm back, causing the two of them to be dragged back towards Marie and himself. He looked them over, and was distraught at what he had seen. Ryan managed to turn himself around despite everything, hand clutching where his arm had been moments before. He glared at the transformed Dragonite in front of him, and the man that was digging himself out of the rubble. "You…" Ryan managed to gasp out, as his Tyranitar roared and leaped toward the Dragonite, a rainbow shell of his own surrounding him as the Tyranitar transformed into his own mysterious evolved form. Ryan took a step forward toward Darien Grant despite everything, a pained-yet-angry look on his face. Marie, meanwhile, had caught Jenny as soon as Evan had brought the two of them closer. "Evan, can you get us to where we were in Olivine? There was a hospital. Maybe, maybe that can…" She took a deep breath to try and stay calm, even as she watched Ryan try to move closer to the fight. Evan looked at Marie, then at Jenny, a million thoughts running wild in his head. He took a deep breath, and snapped his fingers, creating a portal that lead to Olivine City. “Get her out of here…….please. I need to settle things here.” He then faced Jenny. “Marie’s gonna make sure you get taken care of, all right? Don’t worry about me, all right, Jen-Jen?” Jenny nodded, as Marie helped her through the portal. Ryan inched further and further away from the portal, a hate of unprecedented levels in his eyes. "You… just… won't… stop. Why can't… you just… leave us alone…?" Ryan managed to say as he held up his right hand. "Stone… Edge." The Tyranitar roared out as fragments of stone were thrown toward the intimidating Dragonite. The trainer glanced around for any means they could use to stop their opponent, but didn't have any luck there. Evan then snapped his fingers again, closing the portal as he faced Darian Grant. “You’ve just made the biggest mistake of your life, #######.” Evan said with a calmness that belied his rage. “I have many ways to break you……” He then reached his arm back, prepared to drag it back at the right opportunity. Monstro had assumed his muscular form again, growling at the one who had caused so much damage. As Ryan continued to look around, his eyes locked with a familiar smug-looking auburn-haired man. Wait, wasn't there supposed to be no-one around…? Did someone come to investigate? The trainer thought for a few moments as he tried to figure out what was going on. For a brief moment, he wondered if the man was Aori's father. Then the realization hit him like a truck. But when he tried to look again, the man was gone. "EVAN, GET OUT OF HERE!!!" Ryan yelled with a sudden intensity, as he took another step forward. "IT'S NOT WORTH IT!!!" Darien smiled with a shake of his head. "What a change of tone. No longer so confident?" The Rocket taunted, as his Dragonite spiraled around to get away from the Tyranitar's attacks. However, he needed to take a step back as the Swampert launched off a Hydro Pump at him instead of the Dragonite. "Ugh, not what I expected…" The Rocket mumbled, as his Dragonite dive-bombed toward Monstro. "This one's unpredictable…" With a quick glance around, the Rocket ran off toward a nearby unoccupied alleyway. Evan ran after the Rocket, Monstro following him into the alleyway. Fury burned in the Plasma Agent’s mind as he thought about how Jenny and Marie were doing. He’d make sure this monster paid for what he had done. Darien turned in surprise, then quickly tried to run for the other side of the alleyway before Evan could catch up. He didn't make it far, however. He then reached out for Darien, dragged his arm back, just like he had done with Jenny and Ryan. The Rocket was dragged back towards the furious Hero of Space. “..........And all of them -hurt-.” With a swift motion, Evan reached out for Darian’s right arm, with his own, pink claws extending from his fingers, and swiped from above the elbow down to his hand, erasing the affected area from existence. “Jenny wouldn’t want me to kill you. Howerver...” The vengeful Hero of Space said as he kicked Darian away from him. “You took her hand, I take yours, monster.” As Darien screamed out in pain, the Dragonite quickly flew into the alleyway and took up a defensive position between his trainer and the enemies who threatened him, letting out a warning hiss as the corrupt Rocket did his best to pad onto the Dragonite's back. Evan looked on as the Rocket got on his Dragonite, Monstro making a move to attack the Dragon-type. “Monstro, let this sniveling coward go.” The man said, glowering at Darian. “He has to live with the shame of being less of a man, thanks to me. Wide Guard in case he tries anything funny.” A wall of water stood between the two humans and their Pokémon as Evan walked away, Monstro following backwards as he kept an eye on their enemies. When Evan reached the exit to the alleyway, Ryan's Tyranitar stood nearby - in his original form - with an anxious look on his face. The rock-type tried to do some motions to explain what was going on, but the best example was the red sphere in his hand. “Did…...he release you?” Evan asked the beast. “Is he OK? I know it’s hard, but any information could help us find him, so he doesn’t die…” Tyranitar shook his head to the first question, but then began to lead the way back to where they had been fighting before that. When they reached the spot, however… there was no sign of Ryan. ---- Ryan reached out his remaining hand toward where Evan had gone to. Then, he brought his hand up to his head. "I feel dizzy…" He mumbled to his Tyranitar, then placed the Pokémon's Pokéball into the rock-type's hand despite protests. "Go find Evan… just in case… I want you to have that…" The Tyranitar seemed uneasy for a long moment, but then ran off in the direction that Evan had gone in. Ryan watched his first Pokémon go, then collapsed to his knees, everything finally starting to catch up to him. "I… I should've gone with Jenny…" He managed to say, feeling his energy quickly starting to drain. ". . ." *Thud* OOC: Happy Anniversary =)
  7. -==IC: Chloe Hikari - Vertrag==- "Well..." Chloe was at a loss for words for what was said. So, instead, she took that opportunity to change the subject. "Well," She started again. "I found a few things of note, actually. One isn't too important, but some stuff I need to return to Ellen eventually." She explained briefly about the picture and some of the other things she'd found, but left out about the journal. "Another thing I'll explain to you later, Sonja, I checked Hayes' room, and, well, I think that's something best left to just you." Chloe wasn't quite certain about the relationship between Hayes and Sonja, but had gathered a few things just from what everyone had told her - so she figured that it was probably best to not mention that outright in front of everyone. "Then... well, I checked one of the other Fifth Child rooms." Chloe went quiet as she chewed on her lip. "See, that room belonged to a Thomas Warren - though his real name is apparently Raymond Roth..." She paused for a moment. "Otherwise known as Raimundo Rojo." She went over a brief explanation of the run-in that she had had with the man who went by that name, and what had happened during it. "Well... that's not... all I found out though." Chloe took a deep breath. "Turns out, that guy had a gun." She explained about her findings in the room, though seemed almost hesitant to reveal all the details.
  8. -==IC: Ray Hakuda -- Dendemille Town==- "Yeah, I definitely get what you mean." Ray said with a nod. "One minute I'm worried about how long it's gonna take and if everyone else will be alright until we complete our mission, and the next... well, we might not have any actual leads, but it almost feels like we're close to them." He wasn't entirely sure how else to explain what he felt, but hoped that would do. -==IC: Colleen Llyan/Olivia Seaton/Lucia Zyther -- Geosenge Secret Lab==- Colleen gritted her teeth as she thought about what Pokémon to send out. She wanted to go with her Blastoise, but recognized that the room was much too small for her. Instead, she decided to go with her new Elgyem, who immediately headed off to take on the Larvitar with a tackle. Olivia nodded, though she didn't send her Pokémon out just yet, instead watching to see if anyone got past the veritable guard line they'd set up as is. She nodded to Klim, who had sent out his Dusknoir Moriarty to help guard them too - the young man stepping in line near the group as well. Lucia, on the other hand, managed to focus in on two things in relatively quick succession while the rest of the fight was going on. Number one: The Sneasel that Jamie was taking on was a pink Sneasel. That was not something that was seen every day, to say the very least. Her eyes widened as she realized she had heard of a pink Sneasel, too - the one that Ryan had told her about that someone who was injured had. Who Natalie had said was last seen ignoring her treatment and running off to the hospital in Celadon. Which led to the second point; that Dedenne there alongside the pink Sneasel seemed too much of a coincidence to just be a coincidence. Lucia dug around in her bag as the fight continued around her. "Come on, they've gotta be in here..." She muttered as she tried to find two specific Poké Balls before trying to figure out whether her theory was right. But with everything going on, it was proving extremely difficult to focus on the two Poké Balls in particular. Finally, however, she grabbed one and squinted through the glass to see that it was an Eevee. Next to that Poké Ball she found a Blissey as well - two Pokémon that she had been given by Cassie when she had left to go take Shannon back to Four Island. "Well. Time to see whether I'm right or not..." Lucia said, her heart pounding as she tossed the two Poké Balls into the air. Once the two Pokémon were sent out, Lucia ran forward, digging through her bag to send out more of her actual team if anyone got close. She ran toward the black wall, then went through it, squinting to try to make anything out as she opened her Poké Gear and used it as a makeshift flashlight to try and see literally anything. "Alex? Is that you?" -==IC: Ryan Hikari/Corey Bouchard/Jenny Hakuda/Marie Homura/Evan Tierra/Aori Yamamoto/Shannon Willows/Lauren/Caroline/Alice - Festival, Ecruteak City==- By the time the sun was starting to set, they had seen most of what they wanted to see at the festival. Since the fireworks would be extremely loud from pretty much any point in the festival grounds, the group had agreed to meet at a restaurant closer to the outskirts of the city. Before that, however, Corey insisted they change out of their yukatas. Even Shannon had to agree the summer heat made their formal clothing stuffy and uncomfortable. Ryan led Shannon, Aori, and Corey back to their hotel, where they got changed into more casual clothes. "How's this look?" Shannon approached Ryan and Corey wearing a simple olive tee and a pleated skirt. "Do you think it's too casual for the restaurant?" She lightly spun around on her feet then looked at the other two apprehensively. "If it's too casual, then we have an issue too. Should be fine." Corey said with a shrug of their shoulders as Ryan nodded his agreement that it was okay. The girl giggled lightly before rushing back into the other room. "Aori, you ready?" The younger girl nodded, though her eyes seemed to be drooping a bit. “Yes, dinner sounds good,” she replied quietly as she stifled a yawn. "Heh, that festival wore you out, didn't it?" Shannon chuckled as she ruffled the girl's hair. "Alright, let's go. We don't want to keep the others waiting!" *** Evan, Jenny, and Marie were waiting for them in the hotel lobby. Having no change of clothes of their own, the eccentric trio planned on going to the restaurant as they were. Lauren, Alice, and Caroline had all gone off to change elsewhere, and would be meeting the others at the restaurant. The group of seven walked down the streets of Ecruteak. Away from the festivities it was surprisingly quiet, although the cacophony of voices continued to resonate from the center of the city, blending together into a cheerful undercurrent of incomprehensible chatter. As they walked through the empty streets, Shannon found a skip in her step. Her face beamed as she strode next to Ryan. "I can't thank you enough for letting us stop here," she said. "I've been dreaming of this day ever since I had to move away all those years ago." She clasped her hands behind her back and peered closely at him with a sharp intake of breath. "You know, this wouldn't be a bad place to settle down. I know we're looking for Aori's parents now, but once we find them . . ." Her eyes flickered toward the young girl for a brief moment. "Maybe you and I could find a place around here? I mean, if you want to, that is . . ." Pursing her lips, Shannon suddenly became very interested in the slanted rooftops. "I mean, I'm just throwing out the idea." "It could be cool, yeah." Ryan said with a small smile. "Might be tough to work some details out, but… this is a peaceful place." He didn't add that it would be a good defensive place to defend against Missing Zero as well, but it was just a place that he wanted to help protect. As the group walked further and further away from the festivities, Ryan glanced around with an uneasy look. After everything from the afternoon, the quietness seemed almost eerie to him. In fact, as a stone clattered from an alleyway further down the road, both Corey and Ryan suddenly looked up, tensed up at the sudden noise. "It's just a rock, you two." Marie said as she rolled her eyes. "A Rattata probably kicked it on her way to a dumpster or something." "Yeah, that or a Geodude tripped." Shannon laughed nervously but still tightened her grip on Aori's hand and she glanced around. Corey didn't seem quite as convinced, but Jenny seemed to agree with Marie wholeheartedly as she walked down the road without a care in the world. Ryan seemed to have been convinced, but still had the nervousness that Shannon did too as he scanned the road. Nothing stood out to the black-haired man, but he couldn't help but have this feeling that something was wrong. Nothing happened as they passed the alleyway. "See? You're all worried for nothing." Marie grinned as she placed her hands behind her head. A few moments passed as Ryan started to relax. However, as he glanced over his shoulder to double check, he saw a shadowed figure step out from the alley they had passed. "Wait." He quickly said to Corey, Shannon, and Aori, as he turned around cautiously. "Well looky here. The rat's finally crawled out from wherever he was hiding. Took a mighty long time to find you after our little… "discussion" what was it, three years ago or so?" A balding man approached the group slowly with a small smile on his face. "Heard you got up to some trouble in the years between, didn't you?" "You." Ryan recognized the man immediately, his hands instantly clenched into fists. "What do you want?" "Oh, nothing too much." There was a click as the man raised a weapon. "Just a little revenge." "Who in the world are you?" Corey demanded, as they reached for the handle of their Doublade, but then clicked their tongue as they realized that there wasn't going to be enough time to react before the man could shoot whoever his target was going to be. They glanced behind them - Evan and the other two had already gotten too far away for the moment. Corey figured that gunfire would catch their attention pretty quickly, or otherwise that the four weren't there in a few moments, but… that left them helpless in the intervening time. "No-one you need to know." The man said with a small shrug. "Darien Grant." Ryan supplied instead with a growl. "He's the guy who attacked Goldenrod with his croneys four years ago." "... Him?" Corey's fists tightened as he stared the man down coldly. "He's the one who did that?" Shannon saw the gun and quickly stepped in front of Aori. "We don't want any trouble," she said in a shaking voice. "Listen, whatever gripe you have, I'm sure there's a nonviolent solution . . ." Even as she spoke, doing her best to remain calm, Shannon subtly reached into her back pocket to pull out her Pokégear, holding it in front of Aori. "After all, there's a festival tonight. We wouldn't want the authorities to get involved." Aori took the device, fumbling a bit as she tried to find the call function on the unfamiliar technology. Finally, she found it and dialed the number that had been drilled into her head back home. She just hoped it was the same in Johto as it was in the Sevii Islands. The man simply aimed his weapon at Shannon. The color drained from her face as she stared down the barrel. She wanted to run, but her body wouldn't move. She opened her mouth, but no words came out. It was as if an icy hand clenched her spine, paralyzing her in fear. The man let out a chuckle as he grinned cruelly. "Oh, there's no solution other than him suffering." Darien stared directly at Shannon, and began to pull the trigger. Bang For a moment, all Shannon could see was black hair - then after a moment, her vision cleared as Ryan fell to his knees. His Tyranitar's Poké Ball fell to the ground and opened, letting out the rather angry rock lizard. Shannon and Aori were alright - but Ryan was not.
  9. -==IC: Chloe Hikari -- Vertrag==- Chloe had a curious look on her face as she studied the photo and nodded at the notion that the people looked extremely similar to Seth. Even so, she stayed quiet at the mentions of Seth being dead and the Sinjoh Ruins with a slightly uncomfortable look on her face. "I thought he was too." She finally managed to say, though there was a bit of awkwardness mixed in as well. "I don't remember Evan or anyone saying he had a twin or a brother either, so what could this mean...?" -==IC: Ray Hakuda -- Dendemille Town==- Ray glanced to the side as he bit his lip. "I wanna agree, but if the Signs and Shift are as dangerous as Kyle and everyone says - and as it seems like they were from what happened back on Four Island... would they have actually wanted to step in? And that's even if people knew - if things were kept under wraps enough, then it's possible no-one had a clue." -==IC: Shannon Willows/Ryan Hikari/Aori Yamamoto/Corey - Hotel, Ecruteak City==- "Well… that was definitely an exciting day…" Corey said with a sigh, as he collapsed into a chair in the dining hall of the hotel they'd picked. "I'm starving though, what're we eating?" "I thought you said you didn't need to eat much?" Ryan asked with a raised eyebrow. The sword-wielder's face flushed a deep red as he tapped his free finger against the table. "Just because I can go without eating for a while doesn't mean I don't need to eat." Corey huffed as he turned his head up. His stomach growling made an entirely different case from what he'd said at lunch time. "... or maybe I meant that I need to because I can't eat often…" The vigilante added quietly, as he sank further into the chair. Shannon watched the blonde haired man in amusement. "Well, feel free to eat as much as you need. We won't judge. Speaking of which . . ." She leaned into the table, fingers pressed together as she debated how to phrase her next words. "I wanted to apologize for yesterday, Corey. I feel like we got off on the wrong foot." "Ah, no worries." Corey said with a wave of his good hand. "I… definitely see why it happened, but yeah, there were more than a few things that I did wrong during that first conversation." He sighed as he glanced up to the ceiling, as if leaving some things unsaid. Ryan glanced over at the two as this was going on and decided that this was a very good time to go order food. "Well I did a number of things wrong too," Shannon said seriously. "Like jumping to conclusions about you. Lauren told me you knew some of her classmates, and she was surprised when I told her you were old friends with Ryan. So why don't we start over?" The girl extended a hand across the table. "I'm Shannon Willows, and I grew up in Ecruteak until the middle of 9th grade when my parents made me move to Celadon. I've lived there ever since, up until the attack a few weeks ago. That was where I met Ryan, although I also knew of him from grade school; he was a year above me. What about you?" Corey bit his lip for a moment, but then smiled as he shook her hand. "Corey Bouchard." He said with a quieter voice, then smiled more as he went back to his normal volume. "I might as well have grown up around Ecruteak, though my hometown technically was Mahogany. There's some things I haven't actually said, though Ryan knows a lot of it." The vigilante glanced to the side distantly, however. "Can't say I really stayed around Ecruteak too long, though, Goldenrod's basically turned into my real home. Been on my own for a few years now." Corey closed one eye as he looked back. "I knew Ryan through Chloe, though; even though I barely knew her as that, she settled on that name like the last couple months before…" He chewed his lip. "Well, before she pretty much vanished off the face of the earth. Though I think I've caught a few glimpses of her here and there, but…" He frowned slightly, as he laughed in a slightly confused manner. "Why am I saying all this…? Has being back here lowered my guard that much?" Corey mumbled half under his breath as he seemed legitimately uncertain. Shannon leaned back in her seat. "If you don't want to talk about it, that's fine," she said. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to pry. It just sort of helps to know a little bit about the people you're travelling with. Something we evidently didn't do with Phil." Corey shook his head. "No, it's fine, I get it. It's just…" He chewed on his lip for a moment. "I just don't completely get why I feel so comfortable so quickly." The man took a deep breath. "Okay, maybe this is a good thing somehow. Plus, you're right, getting to know people is a good thing; is there anything you wanna know?" "Hm . . ." Shannon thought back to their first encounter in Goldenrod. "You pretty much agreed to join us without question, even though we're travelling across the region. Isn't anyone going to miss you in Goldenrod? Family? Employer? Significant other?" "None of the above." Corey shrugged slightly. "Well, maybe my "family" that I help keep together, but I'm sure that Nikki can help with making sure nothing goes badly there." He glanced up to the ceiling. "Really, I'm a nobody though. Kinda by choice in some ways, I've needed to be at times. No girlfriend or boyfriend, no actual family or employer, just a person trying to take down a criminal organization." "Cipher." Corey nodded in response to that. Shannon leaned across the table. "And why, may I ask, is a nobody like you trying to take down Cipher? You wouldn't be risking your life like that if you didn't have a reason." "I…" Corey tapped his finger on the table. "They took my life away from me. Well, not just them, but my father too, but… I feel like they're most to blame. Plus, when I first got away, they were trying to do something and I think I would've been in danger if I hadn't gotten away." A deep empathy permeated Shannon's eyes. "You didn't have the best relationship with your father either, did you?" she asked quietly. "That is a complete understatement." Corey chuckled despite the mood. "I'm not sure what happened with you, but, well, let's just say that my brother didn't get the medical care he needed, I was pushed to be the best no matter what, I was torn away from my best friends, and all for no reason because…" He shook his head. "It's not all bad, though, I got to meet some friends and help save some of them, which wouldn't have happened if I hadn't run away so many years ago. Protip, though, running away sucks." "I was torn away from my best friends too, all because my parents will do whatever those Liberty rebels tell them to do." Shannon lowered her gaze as she smiled bitterly. "There were several times I thought about running away, but I was never brave enough to actually do it." Corey stayed quiet for a few moments. "Hmm…" He shook his head after a little bit. "Oh, by the way… you can refer to me in any way you want." "Okaaay . . ." Shannon gave him a blank look. Corey paused for a moment at the confused look. "Oh, right, that probably came out of nowhere. I'm non-binary; preference is 'they' usually when I'm not in deep cover, but like…" Realization dawned on Shannon's face. "Oh, you were talking about pronouns." She smiled at the trainer. "No problem." Corey gave a grin as they gave a thumbs up. They turned their head as Ryan walked back to the table. "... So, what'd I miss?"
  10. -==IC: Colleen Llyan/Olivia Seaton/Lucia Zyther - Flare Lab, Geosenge Town==- "I agree with her, I don't think we can just afford to have people stay back right now." The girl thought for a moment, then glanced over at Olivia. "Think you can give her a lift?" "Aura come with mind reading powers too? 'Cause ya just read mine." Olivia replied as she walked over to her sister. "Here, sis, I'll carry you until ya get your strength back." While that was going on, Lucia gripped her Audino's Poké Ball tight, eyes nervously darting around the room, especially checking on the ceiling. She wasn't sure if she should actually be in here at this time, but it was too late to back out now. So instead, she bit her lip and continued to follow the group whenever they started to move again. -==IC: Chloe Hikari/Ray Hakuda - Common Room, Vertrag==- "Hmm..." Chloe looked over her team in their Poké Balls, including her new Pikipek. "Nope, Melia seems to be in pretty good health, considering everything." Ray shook his head as well, though he thought for a moment. "The walk might be a good idea, but I don't actually need anything healed." "Oh, that reminds me though, we never actually got around to discussing the search of the rooms we did yesterday." Chloe said as she glanced around the room. "There were a couple... uh, interesting things I found, that's for sure." -==IC: Jenny Hakuda/Evan Tierra/Marie Homura - Boat to Olivine City==- Jenny stretched on the deck of the ship as they neared Johto finally. She grinned, as she turned to Evan, who was nearby with Monstro. "Alola was fun, wasn't it? But it's so good to be on the way back home!" The red-haired woman laughed at the ocean breeze. She held up her arm, the glittering Z-Ring shining in the light. "Plus, this was a cool and unexpected… reward? Well, hopefully it's nice!" “Yeah, I’d say we had gotten what we had come for.” Evan said, grinning at the Z-Power ring he had obtained. “It was certainly a wild ride, though. Hopefully where we are going is a lot less…...insane?” "Hopefully." Marie said with a sigh as she leaned against the rail of the ship. "I could definitely use a break after that Battle Royal. Geez, you two put on a good show." The blonde woman grinned at Evan and Jenny as she chuckled. "So, to remind me, we're headed around Johto to try and see if some more of Jenny's memories are unlocked?" The other woman nodded with a smile. "Yep! I think I have a lot of them by now, but… I could always use more, right? After all, memories are super important?" Marie fell quiet, but nodded. "Especially when they're all you have left of some people…" She hesitated for a moment, then awkwardly laughed. "Sorry, not the best moment for that, where are you two thinking of heading first?" “Well, Jen-Jen here told me a little bit about her past and based on that…..”Evan said, grinning at Jenny. “We’re heading to where she went to school, which would be Ecruteak City.” The man then focused on Marie. “Hopefully we’ll make some breakthroughs there. What about you?” "I don't really have any place in mind, really. Mahogany Town could be a cool place to check into, but other than that, I'm just a wanderer really." Marie gave a small shrug, as she stared off at the land that was quickly approaching. "With mom headed wherever she was going to, I don't really have anything to do. Plus, you two are interesting enough that I'm curious about what's gonna happen." “Well, if it’s people you need to goof off with, you’ve definitely made the right choice!” Evan said, laughing internally at Marie’s pun. “Hopefully, Johto will be ready for us.” "I'm not sure anywhere is, honestly." Marie said with a small smirk, but then chuckled. "With luck, though, we can make it work anyway." She stayed quiet for a moment, a contemplative look on her face. "You two said you're Plasma, then? So how did Jenny go to school in Ecruteak?" Evan thought how to best explain that, and just decided to explain the story as best as he could remember and understand. When he finished, he took a breath and focused again. “And that’s how it is, Marie.” The man said, rubbing one of Monstro’s head fins. “Meanwhile, I’m from Sinnoh, and am a Plasma Agent only because I fought one of their Legendary Pokémon and wanted him on my team.” "Sinnoh?" Marie's attention was caught with that one word. "What's your…" She paused, as she tried to find the right word. "I almost said connection, but I guess I'm kinda out of the ordinary for only really having a connection to this world by things from another world, huh?" “I mean, Jenny and I are sorta connected by a creature who essentially rules over parallel worlds, so it’s not really that strange to me.” Evan said, laughing at his description of Palkia. "Pal--" Marie stared at the two of them in shock. "How are you two connected to Palkia?" “We’re it’s champions, in a manner of speaking.” Evan said, grinning. “We are supposed to protect the world from anything that would seek to upset the balance. There are two others like us, for Dialga and Giratina, but they are away in Kalos at the moment, so it’ll be awhile before you meet them….” "... You're the heroes of Space…" Marie seemed to be in a mixture of shock and awe, as she simply continued to stare at Evan. She glanced between Evan and Jenny. "Which of you do I have to thank for causing Galactic so much trouble last year?" Evan thought for a moment, and then recalled the raid he and others performed to get the Lustrous and Adamant Orbs. “That would be me.” The Hero said, not too certain what Marie was getting at. “I caused a ruckus to distract them, while my fellow Heroes stole some things of value that Giratina wanted from us.” Marie grinned widely. "Thank you! I don't know if things would've gone the same way here, but… that kinda made it impossible for it to, so, thank you." She laughed with a smile as she leaned back. "What'd you steal, the chains? The orbs? Some research data? Their special boxed lunches? The lucky ramen of the day?" “The Orbs. I woulda stolen the ramen, but it’s hard to steal ramen when you are basically moving around causing as much damage as possible.” Evan said, sticking his tongue out playfully at Marie. Marie snickered in response, but nodded. "Good. In my world…" She hesitated for a moment. "In my world, Galactic got their wish. Well... partly. They summoned Dialga and Palkia despite my attempts with mom to stop them. I don't know what happened, maybe there were no heroes there. But they messed with time and space, and caused something to happen that just… broke things." She paused. "Well. I think, at least; mom said you saw what memories she had of the incident from her perspective, but she… was hurt badly during the fight. I had to deal with the rest of it basically by myself, and honestly, we were only saved by Dialga and Palkia shifting us in time and space to another world - this world." Evan thought for a moment. “Well, your world may have not been so lucky……..at least you and Kris survived.” The trainer said, grinning. “By the grace of of the Creation Trio, no less.” "Yeah… I think the only saving grace was our struggle to stop them leading us to Mount Coronet - otherwise we might've ended up having whatever happened to that world happen to us." “Yeah, that’s a relief.” Evan said, smiling at the woman. “Though with how things are, I’d say you leapt from one frying pan, to another, considering the Missing Zero is out there.” "The what now?" Marie blinked in confusion. "Is that those alien thingies that were on the news? I think they said they were why the power is out or something? Wasn't paying much attention, Lindsey kept talking over everything at the time…" “The reason the power is out is a complicated thing, but it’s not because of the Missing Zero is here.” Evan said helpfully. “Rather…...it’s taking advantage of the power being out, to make easy work of our world. The power is bound to come back, especially with examples of Pokémon like Monstro transforming into those souped up forms of theirs.” "Huh, okay." Marie slowly nodded. "I'll pretend I understood most of that." Moving from world to world from an apocalypse: Simple. Grasping that a giant jello mold is devouring the world while most Pokémon are powerless to fight it? Can’t get it. Evan thought as he smiled at Marie’s response. “Well regardless, maybe the Creation Trio thought you and your mom served a higher purpose and wanted you to be safe. Dialga brought me back to life after I got killed in battle, so it’s not out of the question.” "Oh, yeah, pretty much what--" … "Wait." Perhaps she had heard a bit wrong. "So, like, when you say killed, you mean like, still half-alive, right?" “Dead!” Evan said, amused at Marie’s confusion. “Deceased. Wiped from existence. Perished. Etc.” "... How?" Marie seemed some sort of mix of emotions. She slowly moved from her otherwise permanent spot on the rails, then poked Evan's shoulder as if expecting her finger to just pass through him. It didn't. She took a couple steps back with a sigh of relief. "Hahaha, good joke there, Evan, you got me good." Evan, amused by Marie’s actions, spoke. “Jenny knows I’ve died. She’s seen my memories of the other side. These scars?” Evan said, pointing to the many scars all over his chest. “They aren’t fake. They are what happens when a scary lightning dragon doesn’t like you very much.” It was as if that was the first time Marie had actually seen those scars. She blinked. "Oh." “So congrats, you’re speaking to what used to be a dead man!” Evan said, barely containing his laughter. “How does it feel? Is it spooooooky?” "It's… something, that's for sure." Marie finally managed to say, but still looked baffled. "I'm sorry for??? Your loss??? What… what does one say in this case???" “You congratulate them on having an extra life, I think.” The ‘Dead Man Walking’ said, grinning. “I guess I broke your world wide open, eh?.” "Yeah, kinda…" The blonde-haired woman turned her attention to the waves with a chuckle as she tried to focus on something else after that. "Well, I guess we both got a new lease on life thanks to Sinnoh's legendary Pokémon." “Yeah, that’s true.” The Plasma Agent said, focusing his eyes on Jenny. “Hopefully, we make the best use of it.” A sudden blaring horn made Marie jump, and she turned around to see that they were approaching the Olivine port. "Guess we're here, huh?" She turned back to the other two with a grin. "Let's see how fast we can get to Ecruteak, then."
  11. -==IC: Chloe Hikari/Ray Hakuda - Warehouse, Dendemille City, Kalos==- Chloe glanced over to Emmerich for a moment, but Ray nodded. "Sounds like a plan. Let's check up on Kyle and Sonja; they should be okay, but like… I'm still worried about how Kyle was before." The Separatist bit his lip as he rubbed his arm for a moment. "This room especially gives me the creeps too." Without further ado, the group made their way back toward the entrance of the warehouse. When they got there, Ray spotted the Crabrawler from before - who also noticed the group and began to try to get their attention. "What's up?" The orange-haired trainer asked curiously, as the crab began to try to do charades to explain something. Ray seemed stumped, so Chloe just sighed. "I think they want to join your team." "Really?" Ray seemed surprised after how defensive the crab had been earlier, but he examined the Crabrawler, who was nodding in agreement to what Chloe said. "Well, alright; sounds good to me. You sure you don't want to stay?" There was another nod. Without waiting and potentially angering the water-type, Ray fished out a Poké Ball and then tossed it toward the Crabrawler. There were a couple shakes, but it seemed like merely a formality as the capsule clicked shut a moment later. Ray picked up the Poké Ball with a nod, then glanced to the others. "Alright, now we can go."
  12. -==IC: Ryan Hikari/Shannon Willows/Yamamoto Aori/Vance Trilan/Phil - Trilan Mansion, Celadon City==- The next morning, the group woke up and prepared for the day. Things seemed to be less tense than the night before, but it still felt like there were a lot of things left unsaid. Ryan also realized that they had no real method of getting to Saffron quickly, having taken the car back after dinner the night before. He glanced around the table - perhaps Vance could--? "Well," Ryan's uncle began as he stood up, checking a pager as he did so. "I hate to leave so suddenly, but work just contacted me and I am needed as soon as possible." … or not. Ryan nodded with a distracted frown. Vance continued speaking, but Ryan was too lost in thought to pay his uncle any attention. The Rocket tapped his finger against the table absentmindedly. "Something wrong?" Phil asked with a smile. Ryan looked up in surprise, then nodded. "We need to get to Saffron so we can take the train to Goldenrod and look for Aori's parents… but I'm not quite sure how we're gonna do that, I only had the car for Celadon." He didn't add on that he wasn't entirely sure that was the rental's contract, but he didn't want to push any question of legality where Miriam was involved. "Was thinking of asking one of the assistants here." "Well, I could drive you three there. I could even accompany you, if you wanted. I have nothing better to do today, really, and with Natalie who-knows-where, I figure this might be some sorta fun." Phil chuckled for a moment, then grinned. "Plus, four heads are better than three when it comes to searching around, am I correct?" "Hmm… that's a good point. You sure you don't mind?" "Nope. So, everyone else agree with this plan?" Shannon had been busy helping Aori cut up her waffle. Ryan gave her a gentle nudge. "Hm? Yeah, that sounds like a good idea." Shannon brushed her hair out of her eyes. "Thanks for offering your help, Mister . . ." "Oh, please." The man flashed a coy smile. "Call me Phil." Aori nodded. “Arigatou, Phil,” she said around a mouthful of waffle. "Excellent." Phil said with a nod. "I'll go get the car ready, then." Ryan nodded, glad that things seemed to be going their way again. He went to go prepare his things - on the way, he stopped to give his request to one of the assistants to go keep an eye on the Department Store. When he had finished getting ready, he met the other three at the front door so they could get on their way. The trip to Saffron was completely mundane; the train ride wasn't much more interesting either. There didn't seem to be quite as many people as normal, but the train station was still packed. Something as mundane as navigating a crowded train station made it easy to forget that aliens were attacking not too far away. Still, the beautiful scenery out of the windows made the battles in One Island and Vermilion seem like a bad dream. After the intensity of the last few days, Ryan was glad to finally have a chance to relax. He smiled over at Shannon and Aori, sitting across the seat from him. For that brief moment, all their worries faded away. *** It hadn't felt long, but Ryan eventually felt the telltale sign of the magnet train pulling into the Goldenrod train station. After a few moments to make sure no-one would get lost, Ryan led the group off the train and out of the station. Ryan glanced around the city as he bit his lip - so many memories were here, both good and bad. At the same time, as they walked further into the city, Phil turned his head to the right, a puzzled expression on his face briefly. "... One moment." Phil said to the others with a smile, as he began to walk in a completely different direction than the others. "I thought I just recognized someone, a ghost, perhaps." "Unless it's Aori's parents, I don't think we have time to--" Shannon trailed off as she turned around. Phil had already left. Phil walked off toward the Game Corner, then turned down a path to the south. With a frown, the brown-haired man turned his head from side to side. "Hm. I could have sworn…" Phil stopped himself mid-sentence as he quickly whirled around. There wasn't anyone in sight yet, but Phil could see the approaching shadow of someone getting closer. "So, what do you want? I know you've been stalking us since we got off the train." A blonde man turned the corner, a scowl on his face. "What do you need to know for? So you can act on some kind of orders?" The man walked closer, fists clenched. "Here, I'm going to guess something - tell me if I'm wrong." "Alright." Phil said with a smile, hands raised with a shrug. "Whatever you want, Golden Vigilante. Or do they call you Corey? Or… something else, perhaps?" The man's smile became slightly off in an indescribable way, as the blonde man stepped closer. "You're part of Cipher, aren't you? Some way or another. I seem to recall seeing your face in one of the places I've gone into in the past." Corey ignored the comments, as he focused on Phil instead. "That's a fancy way to say "break in", isn't it?" Phil chuckled, as he glanced to the side. "What if I am, though? So is your father, isn't that right?" The man asked, an amused look on his face as Corey drew one of the swords of the Doublade that rested on the small of his back. "Fine, fine. You got me. 100% Cipher. But what are you going to do? Enact vigilante justice? I don't know if you realize it, but that won't go over well with anyone." Phil said as he looked directly at Corey. "Doesn't stop me from beating up criminals in disguise as businessmen." The blonde man flipped the sword around his hand, carefully eying his current foe. "Besides. I want some answers, and it sounds like you might have them." Corey stopped flipping the sword around and gripped it tighter. "If you decide not to answer, though, I guess there's no promises that I won't fight you." "Well, can't say I have the answers." "You don't even know what the questions are." The blonde vigilante's patience was quickly being tested. "Is the gang here connected to Cipher?" "I don't know what you're talking about." Corey grinded his teeth together for a minute, as he just looked at Phil and his smug face. "Why are you even here?" "Oh, well that I have an answer to." Phil grinned further, as he stepped forward, forcing the shorter man to step back for once. "See, this group I'm traveling with. They're trying to find some girl's father or some sugary sweet thing like that. But one of them is important - he's the nephew of the dead woman who used to run the company we're trying to take over. I'd have my fiance help out, but she seems to have run off to investigate the woman's death." "Wait, dead woman?" Corey looked at Phil in confusion. "Who do you mean?" "Oh. Right, you wouldn't have seen the news, you're a street rat, and have been for the past, what, nine years?" Phil put a hand to his chin, faking trying to remember the name. "Who was she… Trilan Berry? No, no, that's not it. Ah, right." The brown-haired man snapped his fingers. "Stacy Trilan. Aunt of those Hikaris." "Wha-- Leave them out of this." Corey demanded, as he held his sword behind himself, ready to strike if Phil made any false moves. The Cipher agent shook his head with a frown as he turned his back on Corey and began to walk away. "Not like I dragged them into this anyway. Those three invited me, I really couldn't care less about them outside of maybe being able to gain access to Leavanny Strauss. Of course, if they ever decide to stick their nose into Cipher's business… I can't really guarantee anything." Phil smiled for a very brief moment as he turned his head. The smile very quickly faded as he needed to jump away from a swing of Corey's sword. There was a crash as the Doublade's blade buried itself in a nearby metal pole. "I said leave them out of this." Corey's tone took a colder edge than normal, as he stared at Phil in anger. "In fact, I don't care if they invited you. Leave their group now. We may have only just met… but you seem like a snake through and through." The man glared at Phil, a scowl on his face. "Maybe you shouldn't have mentioned them at all. Maybe you should just crawl back to your Cipher hole, wherever that i--" Corey's angry rant was cut off, as the pole that had been cut by the Doublade began to tip over and fall toward him. The blonde man turned and reached up to grab the surprisingly heavy pole with his free hand. The pole was barely stopped for the moment, but Corey wasn't sure what to actually do as he winced - he didn't feel that he could let the pole go, but he also didn't think that he could lower it to the ground gently. "Tyranitar!" A familiar voice rang out through the alley a moment before a flash of light heralded a Tyranitar that barreled Corey's way. The man braced for impact, but when he opened his eyes a moment later, the pole was being lifted up off him and gently set on the ground. Wordlessly, Corey turned toward the three people who were running his way. "Are you alright?" Ryan asked with a frown. Corey's response to that question was to raise his arm to try and show it was alright - only to wince with a yelp of pain and grab it with his free hand. "... I was going to say yes, but that said no." The blonde man replied with an annoyed frown. "Thanks, though, Ryan." *** -Suggest making this an IC break- It was then that Shannon and Aori finally caught up. The girls glanced between Tyranitar, the man wielding one half of a Doublade, and the broken pole. "Ryan, who is this guy?" Shannon asked. "An old friend." Ryan's eyes turned from the Doublade to the broken pole. "Still a bit of a dummy, but a good friend." "Hey now." Corey protested with a frown. "I'll have you know that pole wasn't there when I started to swing." "I rest my case." "ANYWAY." Corey coughed as he tried his best to change the subject. "My name's… Corey." The sword wielder tapped a finger against his injured arm, as if wanting to say something more. "I'm Shannon, and this is Aori." Shannon gave the man a curt nod while remaining at a safe distance. "Care to explain why you were trying to run our friend Phil through with a sword? That's not a very polite way to introduce yourself." "He…" Corey glanced at the others and the expressions on their faces. "...was doing and saying some things that weren't okay. Threatening… some people I care about." The blonde-haired man glanced over at Ryan briefly, but then winced and grabbed his arm again. Shannon crossed her arms and glared at Corey. "So you respond with violence? It sounds to me like you're blowing things way out of proportion here. Phil's not a very threatening guy." She rolled her eyes. "What do you have to say to all this, Phil?" Phil was not at all nearby. With a heavy sigh Shannon turned back to Corey. "Look, threatening people with swords is not cool. Come on, Ryan, let's see if we can't find Phil." "He threatened you three." Corey said finally, a frown on his face as he looked at Shannon. "He's… not as innocent as you might think, either." "Yeah, coming from the guy who tried impaling him?" Shannon raised an eyebrow. "Sorry if I don't believe you." "What do you mean?" Ryan asked, ignoring Shannon for the moment. "You sound as certain as that time that we had to…" The man turned his eyes to the ground for a moment. "Anyway, why are you so certain?" "Because he's part of an organization that I've been trying to take down for the past however many years. The name "Cipher" ring a bell to either of you?" Corey asked, belatedly realizing that Aori was there. "Cypher? You mean like how emails and passcodes are encrypted?" Shannon looked over at Ryan to see if he had any more insight on the name. "Hmm… all I remember is the name in the history books of Orre; supposedly a good twenty years or something ago, they were a famous company, but one day a branch in Orre started some unethical experiments or something, and were apparently stopped twice." Ryan scratched his head slightly. "I'd heard they disbanded after the second incident though." "Not quite. They simply… rebranded, shall we say." Corey sighed, as he leaned against the wall, using his good hand to put the Doublade away. "They went underground, changed hands apparently, and just started to have offshoots either be started up… or slowly took over existing companies from the inside." He glanced to the ground. "My father got wrapped up in that at one point. Wish I could say he got what he deserved, but he simply adapted and became one of them." Shannon wasn't quite ready to let her guard down, but she still glanced suspiciously down the alley where Phil would have disappeared to. "And you're saying Phil is one of these Cypher offshoot inside men?" "Yeah. Don't know too much about it, but I found a picture of him a while ago, though I didn't really have any context at the time. He knew about me, though; a lot about me that he shouldn't. Guess Cipher's really been doing their homework recently." Corey kept his arm to the side, grimacing as he tried to motion with his hand briefly before giving up. "But he mentioned you three, some other company, and what he'd do if there were investigations. That part's when I slashed and missed on purpose." For a long moment Shannon stared at Corey with her piercing hazel eyes. "Ryan?" she finally asked. "You say you know this guy. Can we trust him?" "Corey can be dumb at times, but yeah. Helped me save my sister from a bad situation once, plus is one of her best friends." Ryan said with a nod. "Not that I've gotten to see either of you since like four years ago…" Corey closed his eyes. "Then again, you all need full trust or something right? For whatever it is you're doing? I bet it's like whatever those people earlier this week were doing." He opened them again, then stared in the opposite direction. "Well with all the crazy stuff that's been going on the past few days, we're a little on edge." Even with Ryan's seal of approval Shannon couldn't fully relax and kept a wary eye on the Doublade. "We just want to make sure you won't try and stab us in the back. Literally." Corey looked over at Shannon and opened his mouth for a moment to reply, but then closed it, deciding that wasn't something he should try to nitpick. He did look at Shannon a bit curiously now that she'd caught his attention. He was about to say something, when Ryan cut him off. "Whatever happens, we should help fix your arm. I've seen how you've been in pain each time you move it - you sprained it or something while grabbing for that pole, didn't you?" "... Maybe…" Corey glanced to the side. "You should probably see a doctor," Shannon said, her expression softening a little. "I… don't do doctors." Corey said as he bit his lip. "Too many questions usually, and I've not really had any proper ID for a good few years because of ru--" The blonde-haired swordsman paused for a couple moments, then cleared his throat. "Because of classified reasons." "You don't do doctors." With an exasperated sigh, Shannon walked over to an old wooden pallet resting against a nearby dumpster. She pulled on a piece of the wood, but it didn't move. "Hey Ryan," she called out. "Can your Tyranitar break off a few pieces of wood?" It didn't take too long for the Tyranitar to do exactly that. Corey sighed in the meantime and slid down to a sitting position. "... Sorry about everything." "Don't worry about it," Shannon said as she dug through her bag for a shirt, ultimately deciding on the old dirty one Aori had been given at the refugee center. Tearing it into strips, she fashioned a crude brace for Corey's arm. She worked in silence, keeping her expression neutral. When she was done she leaned back to admire her handiwork. "That should help some," she said with a kind smile. "And . . . thanks for warning us about Phil. If he really is part of a criminal organization, there's no telling what he might have done to us." Corey nodded, though seemed a little uncertain what to say. Ryan cleared his throat for a moment, then glanced around as it already seemed to be getting close to sundown. "We should head somewhere to spend the night. Corey, if you wanna make it up to us, you're with us." Ryan gave the blonde-haired man a look at the first sign of protest. "You ran off the fourth person in our group, so you're the replacement. Plus, you know the area well from when you hung out with Kazuma, right? And Olivine from when hanging out with Olivia?" Corey returned the look with slight annoyance, but sighed. "Fine, fine. I guess everyone here in Goldenrod can hold their own for a bit." The man placed a hand on his hip. "Geez, you're just as bossy as ever, aren't you Ryan?" "Someone's gotta keep you in check, Corey." The black-haired rocketman grinned, then began to lead the way to where the hotels would be, ignoring his friend's exasperated sigh.
  13. -==IC: Chloe Hikari/Ray Hakuda - Warehouse, Dendemille City, Kalos==- "I don't think this is a Pidgey…" Chloe glanced around with a small frown. "The colours didn't seem to match." As if to emphasize what Chloe said, the mystery bird made another pass at the group. This time, Luke was ready. The Lucario jumped into the air with the weirdest battle tactic ever - to simply have the bird be blocked by his body. The bird crashed into the Lucario, but came to a halt as the unstoppable force met the airborne unmovable object. Then the two both fell. Chloe peered at what the dazed bird even was; she saw it was a Pokémon she recognized from looking through the Alola data, Pikipek if she was recalling correctly. As Chloe readied a Poké Ball for the bird, Ray noticed a blur of motion out of the corner of his eye. The crab-like Pokémon's fist met Ray's Bisharp's arm as the orange-haired trainer reacted to send out a Steel-type of his own. Despite the lack of powers, the Bisharp still seemed to be caught off guard by the attack. "Alright, pin it in place, we don't wanna hurt these Pokémon, they're probably just scared from what those Signs people did to them." Ray called out to Byakuya, who nodded. The Bisharp and the crab began to trade off blows, though for the most part it appeared that all the crab wanted to do was block blows. After Chloe had captured the dazed Pikipek successfully, she glanced over with a small frown. "Wait, Ray, something doesn't seem right." She said as she noticed how the Pokémon was acting. "Look, doesn't the Crabrawler look like they're trying to protect something?" "Protect…?" Ray faltered slightly - it was a good point and along what he had been thinking, but, what was here that would be in need of protecting? He scanned the room a bit more, then saw two more Crabrawler huddled in the corner. It was tough for him to tell a crab's age, but they seemed like they were about the same age or slightly younger - perhaps the crab's siblings? Ray held up a hand, as the Bisharp backed off. Warily, the fighting crab did too. "You're just trying to keep them safe, aren't you?" Ray asked, to which the crab nodded. "Alright. We'll make sure to get them out of here, would you like to help with that?" Again, the crab nodded. OOC: Species: Pikipek Nickname: Melia Gender: Female Trainer: Chloe Hikari Appearance: Same as a typical Pikipek. Personality: Mischievous and curious, she's interested by new people, but surprised when something shows up out of nowhere, even if it's a Poké Ball releasing a Pokémon. Ability: Skill Link Specialty: Speed+ Known Moves: Pluck, Fury Attack, Bullet Seed, Screech, Tailwind(Egg) -==IC: Colleen Llyan/Lucia Zyther/Olivia Seaton - Geosenge Town, Kalos==- Lucia stayed toward the back with a cautious look on her face as they hurried toward their destination. She was trying to not worry anyone, but it was obvious that she was distracted. In particular, she was distracted by her injury the other day; while it hadn't seemed to be anything serious in the long run, she was still nervous that getting into another fight would risk something happening again - and what if it was serious this time? She bit her lip and kept walking quietly. All she needed to do was leave the fighting up to the others, just like she always did, right? *** Colleen and Olivia, on the other hand, were up toward the front of the group. "Four, huh?" Olivia quietly said to try and break the unnerving silence on their way. "Yknow, I heard that in some places, that's--" "I think I know where you're going with that, and while it's nice trivia, probably not the best idea for a discussion topic right at the moment." Colleen replied, though she bit her lip as she wondered if it was worded more harshly than she had intended. Olivia didn't seem offended, though, as she just sheepishly smiled. "Right, right, my bad." The redhead said, but then glanced at the lab with a frown. "Seriously though, ya think they might be…?" "It's possible… I can't tell from looking at their aura, especially from here as it's extremely faint, but after what we found yesterday…" Colleen bit her lip, a troubled look on her face. "As much as Em wants to say that it was a coincidence, I don't believe it for a moment." -==IC: ???/Yamamoto Aori/Ryan Hikari/Shannon Willows/??? - Stacy's Mansion, Celadon City==- The drive wasn't too long, all things considered. When they made it to the neighbourhood where the mansion was, however, they decided to park on the road nearby and walk the rest of the way, due to a fancy car parked in the driveway. As the group approached the mansion, they saw one of the attendants talking to a brown-haired young man who was dressed in a rather fancy-yet-casual outfit. "... So she hasn't been back here yet? Alright then, that's fine." The man said with a sigh as the group approached. "She did say that she'd be a while the last time I talked to her, but do tell her to let me know when she's back." Finished with his conversation as the door closed, the man turned around. As he saw the three approaching the door, his face took on a look of confusion, as if he were trying to figure out who any of them were. "I take it you're here to talk to Ms. Dexter?" The man queried as he assumed why they might be here. "Well, I'm sorry, but she's out at the moment." "What? Natalie? No, we're here to visit my aunt Stacy." Ryan said, as he tilted his head slightly. "Oh." The man suddenly realized his mistake, as he studied the group again. "Oh, you're that Hikari fellow, aren't you? Brother of that Yuki, if I'm not mistaken?" With a sigh, the man shook his head. "Where are my manners; my name is Phil. I'm Natalie's fiance. It's a pleasure to meet you." The brown-haired man extended his hand with a smile. It felt like ages before Ryan finally stuck his hand out to shake Phil's hand. "Nice to meet you too. I remember Nat mentioning you to the rest of us back early last month." "I'm Shannon Willows." Shannon held out her hand to Phil next. "Ms. Stacy took me in when I was injured a few weeks ago. And this is Aori; she's a refugee from One Island. We don't want to intrude, but we were wondering if Ms. Stacy would let us stay the night." "Ah." Phil fell silent with a contemplative frown. "I take it you haven't heard the news yet?" "What news?" Ryan asked with a sinking feeling. Phil glanced down toward Aori for a moment. "Stacy…" He paused for a moment. "... had to go on a business trip, and will be a while returning." His look to Ryan and Shannon said that there was something else up, however. "Oh." Shannon glanced over at Ryan. "Aori, why don't we go wait in the car? I think Ryan had something to grab from the house, and it wouldn't be nice for all of us to intrude while Ms. Stacy's out." "That will not be necessary." A voice came from the now-open door. Ryan turned in surprise - when had it opened? Still, there was an older man standing in the doorframe with an assistant at his side. "You three are welcome to stay here as long as you want or need. I would not turn away people that Stacy cares about." It appeared the man was taking care about his words as well, as he gave a kind smile to the group. "You too, since I heard that you were hounding my door all afternoon." The man gave a more pointed look toward Phil, but stayed kind none-the-less. Something was definitely off, but Shannon couldn't place her finger on it. She pushed her worried thoughts aside as she bowed her head at the gentleman, who she figured was Stacy's husband. "I can't thank you enough, Mr. Trilan. Would it be alright if we spent the night here? I promise we won't be a bother." "By all means." The man said with a smile. "Oh, on that note, I almost forgot to introduce myself. My name is Vance Trilan. It is wonderful to meet you all." "It's nice to meet you, too." With another bow, Shannon led Aori inside. "Come on, I'll show you where the bedrooms are, and we can lay our bags down there. Ryan, want me to take your bag so you can catch up with your uncle?" "Sure, that sounds good to me." Ryan set his backpack down on the ground next to Shannon with a smile, then nodded to Vance as the two began to walk inside the house. Aori followed Shannon quietly, her brow furrowed. Something was wrong, and the adults were trying to hide it. Aori decided not to pry right now. *** Ryan and Vance headed toward the living room; Phil tagged along, but didn't seem quite as enthused about the discussion the two of them were having. Finally, the three sat down in the room, though something about the atmosphere of the house kept nagging at Ryan's mind. "What actually happened?" Ryan finally asked, since Aori was way out of earshot by now. "No-one's acting the way they should if Aunt Stacy was really just out of town on a business meeting." "..." Vance fell quiet, as he let out a long sigh. "She was attacked about a week or so ago. I have lost count of the days. She… did not make it." The man closed his eyes for a few moments. "There are claims that your mother did it. I do not believe that was the case, but she has vanished. There were reports of a strange man nearby on the night things happened, but the police stopped searching for him once they realized that Cassandra was on the run." Ryan sat there with a shocked look on his face for a long while, then put his head down with a small nod. "I… I see." The man clenched his fist for a couple moments; that suddenly explained the strange messages he had gotten from his mother recently. He was at a loss for words however; what could he even say? "I know it is tough to process, take your time." Vance said with another long sigh. "It still does not feel real to me. Every day I expect her to just walk into the room with her air of confidence. If you have any requests, I will do my best to keep them. It is the least that I could do to help at this time." "Alright… I'll keep that in mind." Ryan said with a slow nod, as he took a deep breath to try and collect his thoughts. "I'll… I'll keep to the story of the business trip for Aori's sake… I hope they do catch whoever did it, though." He wasn't sure he wanted to believe that it was Cassie either, but… if it was, then perhaps it was for the best that she be caught as well.
  14. -==IC: Chloe Hikari/Ray Hakuda - Signs Warehouse, Dendemille Town, Kalos==- Chloe and Ray nodded as they made their way toward the nearest room. "We might as well start with the closest. I'm not sure what we'll find in a meat locker of all places, but we could be in luck." Chloe said as she slowly pushed the door open again. The room was about as empty as she expected - there were some metal hooks hanging around here and there, but the most interesting thing was the hole in the roof and the resulting damaged light fixtures that dangled precariously from their former mounts. As Chloe stepped into the room, she heard the flapping of wings above her. She cautiously looked around, but didn't see anything out of the ordinary. "Careful. We don't want a repeat of what just happened to Ryan." Ray warned, as Chloe nodded with a chuckle. "I think I can handle myself pretty well." The psychic responded, though she sent out her Lucario just in case. Almost as if responding to the new arrival, a blur of red dive-bombed the Lucario and slammed into him before zooming off. "..." "..." Ray raised an eyebrow. "You were saying?" "Hey, whatever that was didn't go after me. Any sign of them, Luke?" Chloe asked, deciding to focus on her Lucario and finding the offending Pokémon instead. She frowned when the Lucario shook his head. "If anyone spots the Pokémon, tell me; they might be scared like the Litleo was, so we don't want to overwhelm them." She thought it over for a moment. "In fact, I wonder if that's why they attacked Luke, since he just suddenly appeared and startled them..."
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