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Junko Takashi

"To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage"-Wip

0 · 198 views · located in Kanto Region

a character in “A Girl and Her Magikarp”, originally authored by Azazel, as played by RolePlayGateway




”Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nickname: Jun | J.T.

Age: 23

Gender: Female

Trainer Type: Breeder

Hometown: Cerulean City

Hair Color: Black

Eye Color: Red

Skin Tone: Pale

Height: 5’6

Weight: 130

Physical Description: Junko has pitch black hair. There are no other colors present, at least not to the naked eye. With a trained eye, you will notice subtle hints of medium brown highlighting her hair. She takes extreme care of her hair and as a result, it has a lustrous shine and healthy glow to it. Although she takes care of her hair, she doesn't style it often and prefers to leave it down. It falls down to her waist in soft waves, settling nicely on her hips. When she does style it, it is often held in two pigtails tied with red ribbons. Often times she will pull it up so that it hangs on one side of her face, initially the left side. When she doesn't want to style it, nor leave it down, she'll throw it up in a quick ponytail. Her bangs are cut so that they fall from the tip of her eyelids to the bottom of her chin. They frame her face nicely, accenting the roundness of it. She wouldn't be considered a short girl, standing roughly five foot six inches tall. With her stature, she can almost appear intimidating, especially with her eyes. She weighs in at a healthy one hundred and thirty pounds, most of the weight coming from muscle. She isn't bulging with muscle though.

She has a rather willowy frame. She doesn't have many curves and doesn't have a big bust. She is rather fragile in appearance despite owning muscle. Her legs are not very thick and all around, her body could be compared to an athlete's physique. Her legs, however, are long, giving her a taller appearance. She has good balance in her core and is extremely flexible due to her build. Her complexion is rather pale in color. Despite being in the sun often, she doesn't tan fairly easily. She does have light coloring, mainly to her cheeks, giving a natural blush. She doesn't have the time to bother with make-up. Her lips are probably the only thing she'll color, and usually it's with naked colors. She doesn't want to look like a clown with all the make-up piled onto her face. Her eyes are a rather interesting color. They are a deep crimson color, almost appearing an auburn color. The red color appears lighter around the pupil, giving it a lustrous glow to them. They are accented by thin eyebrows that curve slightly in the middle, giving her a mischievous look.

Potential Interest: Not applicable. Will update later.

Skills and Abilities: As a Pokémon breeder, she is an excellent cook...for her Pokémon. She can make a meal out of any type of berry or ingredient she comes across. Her nose is extremely sensitive, allowing her to determine if anything is wrong with a dish or if it needs more ingredients. Her memory is unprecedented. She can remember anything down to the last detail. This can be something that happened yesterday, or something that took place over five years ago and older. She is extremely agile, able to avoid anything that is thrown her way: literally and figuratively.

Other: Junko has a rather flattering tattoo of a Magikarp on the inside of her left hip. If one were to guess, she would say it is Setia from when she first met her. In reality, she wants to always remember her first Pokémon before the evolution. Plus she seems to have developed a soft spot for Magikarp. She is a bit of a frugal person and has saved quite a bit of money in doing so. She will, however, splurge from time to time on the well-fare of her Pokémon rather than herself.

Personality: Junko has a rather interesting personality. She isn't an overly hyperactive person, but when she is on a sugar high, she has no respect for anything or anyone. She tends to be a blabber mouth, often saying things she ought not to and getting herself into predicaments that would usually embarrass most people. She has no shame as some have said and she will flaunt everything and everyone. She doesn't take advantage of people, however, and really just loves to be around people. Because she is starved of human affection, she often cannot control her mouth and will usually insult someone or state something rather bluntly. also, if you spilled a secret to her, more than likely half of the population will already know what it is. She tends to get into trouble easily, which isn't surprising at all really because of her blunt tendencies. She is a headstrong woman, often trying to make sure she is capable of handling herself and being on her own rather than relying on someone. She doesn't take to being helped very kindly because she feels she is being suffocated. Altough she will readily lend a helping hand, receiving help is on a whole different level for her. Not that she'll outright reject a helping hand, and on more than ocassion, she could use it.

Despite this quality, Junko is a friendly person. She enjoys being around people and is a free-spirited woman. She can take a hit, literally, just as well as any man and isn't afraid to get rough should she need to. She doesn't have violent tendencies, however; she can have a bit of a temper if provoked. There are only a handful of people who have suffered her wrath, and have never provoked her since. She is an intelligent child, figuring things out within a matter of minutes that usually take hours for others to figure out. She isn't a genius by no means, but she isn't exactly incompetent. Although she may seem like an out-going type of person, she has her times when she can revert to a withdrawn state and become extremely shy. This is usually caused when she is under a lot of stress or when she meets someone for the first time and takes an immediately liking to them. It isn't a head-over-heels kind of attraction and it doesn't last long, usually only a few hours after meeting. When she is interested in someone, she tends to hide that fact and will usually just try to act as normal around her interest as possible. She is really a nice person deep down and has odd tendencies from time to time.

History: Junko was the second born to Hiroshi and Jun Takashi. As a child, she spent most of her time under th wing of her older brother, often trailing behind him like a lost puppy. She loved her brother dearly and never left his side. Of course, people whispered that it was an unhealthy attachment, but since she was just a child, she would grow out of it. when she was growing up, Junko was always considered an odd ball, ignoring the other children in her town. Because of this, she was often teased as a child whenever she went to school. She always kept to herself and endured the onslaught of name callings and shoved gum in her hair.

This never strained her personality and she remained a sweet child. On her seventh birthday, she received her first Pokémon from her brother. It was a Magikarp. At first, she that it was a cruel joke. Why would her brother give her such a useless thing? when he spoke of how the Magikarp reminded him so much of her, she reluctantly accepted it as her own. By the time she reached ten years of age, she receieved her very own Pokédex. Ecstatic would be an understatement for the way Junko felt that day. She was going to be the best Pokémon trainer and surpass her brother one day. She left to challenge Gym leaders across the Kanto region an soon found herself facing off against the Elite four. Of course she only had four Pokémon at the time, she still managed to fight her way to the second Elitist before succumbing to defeat. For two years, she trained to become stronger so that she wouldn't fail again, however; an accident with Harag caused her to change her ways.

Instead, she opted to learn the ways of becoming a breeder. By the time she was sixteen, she knew mostly all the basics of handling Pokémon. As a breeder, she opened her own day care facility, taking care of other trainers Pokémon when they could no longer do so or if they wanted to make room in their party without having to have their Pokémon sent through a PC. She worked for two more years until she received a letter, informing her of her brother's disappearance. As of now, she has left the daycare in the hands of her senior helper and is traveling the world in search of her brother, starting in their home town of Cerulean City.

"Even though we've changed and we're all finding our own place in the world, we all know that when the tears fall or the smile spreads across our face, we'll come to each other because no matter where this crazy world takes us, nothing will ever change so much to the point where we're not all still friends." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


Pokémon Species: Gyarados
Pokémon Nickname: Setia [Loyal]
Pokémon Nature: Lonely
Setia was Junko's first Pokémon and her starter. Junko received the Magikarp from her brother as a present for her seventh birthday. Initially, Junko was upset at owning such a Pokémon. She complained to her brother about it and he only smiled at her. He told her that, just because Magikarp are seemingly weak, with enough care and love, they could become magnificient creatures. He wanted to entrust Magikarp to her because he thought they were alike in so many ways. They were both misunderstood creatures. Junko eventually warmed up to the idea of owning a Magikarp as her first and would often visit her in the pond. Junko had begged her father to place a pond in their backyard so that Magikarp wouldn't have to say inside of her Pokéball all the time. It wasn't until Junko was older that she noticed the odd coloring of Magikarp. She didn't think anything of it and thought that it was just a thing for Magikarps. As she grew older, Magikarp had becoming inreasingly attached to Junko and would often splash happily in her pond when Junko came home from school. By the time Junko came of age, Magikarp and she were inseparable. Although the only move Setia knew was splash, she was determined to be the best. There were a few battles that had Junko worried about Magikarp, in particular against Lt. Surge from Vermillion City. Because he had a type advantage over Setia, he nearly caused massive damage to the poor carp Pokémon.

Setia evolved during the final battle with Viridian Gym Leader. He had mocked Setia and Junko for battling with such a 'weak' Pokémon and nearly wiped the floor with her. In her last ditch effort, Setia evolved into Gyarados. She eventually won the battle and earned Junko the rainbow badge. Because of Gyarados' reputation, Junko was hesitant at first to use Setia in battle again, afraid that she'd ignore her commands. This strained Setia and Junko's relationship a bit to the point where Setia would pop out of her Pokéball and cause trouble for Junko. It was only when she was in the Johto region battling against a wild Tentacruel, that Setia and Junko rectified their friendship. The Tentacruel had attacked Junko, severly injuring her in the process and caused Setia to go into a rage. She destroyed most of the area she and Junko had been in and nearly destroyed a city. As Gyarados were known to be that destructive, Junko tried her best soothe Setia. When she finally managed to calm her, Junko smiled at Setia and thanked her. Setia is currently Junko's most powerful Pokémon and is her current mode of transportation when she needs to cross the ocean's.
- Ice Fang
- Aqua Tail
- Thunderbolt
- Dragon Pulse
- Bite

Pokémon Species: Rapidash
Pokémon Nickname: Fiamma [Flame]
Pokémon Nature: Brave
Junko met Fiamma on a Ranch. Although a wild Pokémon, Junko immediately fell in love with her and wanted her for her own. She battled the Ponyta with Setia as a Magikarp, and surprisingly lost a few times. This made her more determined to capture the creature and battled with it for days. Finally, she managed to weaken Ponyta long enough to capture her. At first, the two didn't see eye to eye and were constantly fighting. Ponyta would often burn Junko if she tried to ride her, or even get near her for that matter. It took a solid three months before Ponyta began to open up to Junko and another four months before she stopped burning her.


- Flamethrower
- Solar Beam
- Wild Charge
- Drill Run
- Fire Blast

Pokémon Species: Luxray
Pokémon Nickname: Cerah [Bright]
Pokémon Nature: Relaxed


- Crunch
- Ice Fang
- Night Slash
- Thunder
- Thunderbolt

Pokémon Species: Haxorus
Pokémon Nickname: Kovaa [Fierce]
Pokémon Nature: Quiet
Kovaa was an accidental capture. Junko had traveled to the Mistralton Cave and had trippped over the poor creature, literally. Startled, Kovaa had attacked Junko and ran away. Junko had never seen such a Pokémon before and ran after him. She eventually found him deep within the cave, and after a few Boldore accidents and being chased by Woobats, Junko managed to battle the small Dragon Pokémon and captured him. Over the course of three months, Junko tried to battle with Kovaa but found that he was a bit reserved and didn't like battling as often. Instead, Junko used Kovaa as a training partner. She'd often challenge him to small things, like a test of strength (even though he'd win) or just a staring contest. Kovaa eventually found his calling when Junko challenged Drayden. Even though Kovaa wasn't an evolved Pokémon, he managed to hold his own for the first round before succumbing to Drayden's Haxorus. Kovaa grew fond of what he could eventually become and started training hard. Junko became concerned for Kovaa as he had become obsessed with his training. It took a firm Ice Beam from Setia in order to snap Kovaa out of his stupor and he calmed down. He took it a bit easier with his training, and it wasn't long before he reached his first stage of evolution.

Kovaa evolved not in a typical way. He wasn't in a battle against a trainer or anything, but more of a it was his time. After months of training, Kovaa had finally reached a level to where he was ready to evolve. This was a time period Junko enjoyed. He had become rather docile and liked to hang around Junko's shoulders. Even though he weighed in at eighty pounds, it didn't deter him the slightlest.

- Aqua Tail
- Draco Meteor
- Dragon Claw
- Dragon Pulse
- Earthquake

Pokémon Species: Houndoom
Pokémon Nickname: Harag [Anger]
Pokémon Nature: Hardy

Harag is a recent Evolution. He evolved three days after Junko arrived in Kanto, right before she captured Zeki. His evolution occurred
- Crunch
- Dark Pulse
- Fire Fang
- Flame Thrower
- Shadow Ball

Pokémon Species: Meowth
Pokémon Nickname: Zeki [Clever]
Pokémon Nature: Sassy
Zeki was a recently caught Pokémon upon Junko's return to Kanto. The Meowth had stolen Junko's bag in the hopes of finding food, causing Junko to chase after it.
- Headbutt
- Night Slash
- Dark Pulse
- Shadow Ball
- Thunderbolt

So begins...

Junko Takashi's Story


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#, as written by Azazel


“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems”

The morning, although vibrant and beautifully warm, had been the complete opposite for Junko. She ran her thumb over an I.D. card that had been handed to her by officer Jenny and wiped the crust from her eyes. She hadn't slept well last night, and the fatigue of the previous day had caught up to her. She could feel her muscles contracting and stretching, trying to relax and failing. With much effort, Junko rolled from the couch she had slept on and began to dress herself. There was a spark in her heart, like a jolt of electricity pumping through her veins as she pulled on the last article of clothing. It couldn't be true, and she refused to believe her brother was lost.

"Jun?" a voice called out as Junko turned to the source. A small smile adorned her lips as a woman came into view. Her already-graying brown hair was tucked into a high bun and her gray-blue eyes held as much warmth as the morning sun as she glanced at her daughter. A nod of understanding following after had Junko wrapping her arms around her mother. Jun rubbed her daughter's hair as Junko glanced up at her mother.

"I promise I'll find him," she stated as she released the woman and grabbed her bag. She stole a final glance at her childhood home, the cherry wood desk that lay against the wall in particularly caught her stare. She forced her way out of the door, Zeki following behind her as she latched onto her trainers shoulder. The sun blinded Junko as she shielded her eyes with her hand and waited for them to adjust. Zeki yawned and swatted at the loose strands of black hair, tangling her claws in them in the process. Junko removed Zeki from her perch and held her at arms length. She stared at her Meowth, their eyes connected as she smiled.

"Alright Zeki, here's the deal," she began, speaking to her Meowth, "you and I are going to find my brother. He's missing," she continued, her voice low and fading with each word. Zeki placed her paws on Junko's cheeks and squeezed them, causing Junko to chuckle lightly. "You always know how to cheer me up Zeki," she stated as she placed Zeki back onto her shoulder. She stared at the vibrant city, so full of life and happiness.

Cerulean City had become a bit more popular over the years thanks to the new Hotel that had been built. It has been about two years since Junko last visited Cerulean, and honestly, she missed it. Pushing all other thoughts aside, she began to make her way towards Route 24.

"Maybe, just maybe, Bill has seen him. I know it's a long shot, but I have to start somewhere," she muttered. She had met Bill on her journey, nearly ten years ago. He was the one that introduced her to her first Eevee and had educated her on evolution patterns between Pokémon. It had fascinated her to no end and he had mentioned she resembled someone he saw not too long ago. She knew he was talking about her brother, and it gave her reason to believe that perhaps he had seen him again.

With that in mind, she soon found herself walking down the beaten path of Route 24, making her way towards Bill's Sea Cottage before a loud explosion caused her to stumble. Zeki fell off of her shoulder perch and landed on the ground with a soft thud. She hissed at the contact and turned to stare at Junko, who was staring at a plume of black smoke.

"What the," she groaned out as she tried to balance herself. She glanced down at Zeki who stood on her paws, glancing in the direction Junko had just been looking. "Zeki, in your ball," Junko stated, bringing out Zeki's pokéball. Zeki made a grunting noise, but obeyed her trainers command. With Zeki safe in her ball, Junko took off in a light sprint, heading towards the direction of the explosion. It was close to Bill's home.

Maybe he set it off himself; after all, it wouldn't be the first time one of his experiments went wrong. It took her a few minutes before she reached Bill's house and saw people dressed in black outfits with a bright red R upon their shirts. She noticed they were carrying equipment out of the building, more than likely Bill's research and his Pokémon. She reached for Harag's pokéball and pulled from her waist. Tossing it into the air, a clicking sound signaled the release of the Houndoom that happily stretched his legs before turning his attention towards his trainer.

"Bill might be in trouble. C'mon Harag, we need to help," she spoke as Harag nodded. The both of them ran towards the group, and with a glare, she boldly shouted, "Hey," and prepared herself for a battle.


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Kael stretched and let out a satisfied groan as he walked out of the hotel and into the warm morning air of the day. A few more minutes of sleep would have been perfect, but he was glad to be up and about nonetheless. After all, he couldn't sleep all day. It had been a long day previously as he made the last leg of his journey to the water-loving and blue-tinted city of Cerulean. And he still had an errand that needed to be completed before he was on his way to....well, wherever he felt like going.

Pulling out the letter again, Kael examined the marking that addressed the letter:

Poké Maniac Bill
Route 25, Sea Cottage
Cerulean City, Kanto

The letter had fallen into his hand's just before he left Cherrygrove on his way to Kanto as he decided where to go first. 'Start in Cerulean, and drop this off while you're at it!' Kael had sought out Mr. Pokémon for a bit of advice on where to go and what to see in his house North of Cherrygrove City before he had set out for Kanto. The man had done quite a bit of traveling in his day and Kael figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. And in doing so, he was rewarded with a task and destination with the letter. At the very least, it had given Kael the necessary push to finally get out and travel again after all these years. And happy to do so, he thought to himself as he returned the letter to his bag.

A thump on his back reminded him to get out from in front of the door to the hotel as his Carracosta gave him a stern bump with its armored head and reared back for another. Kael got a wicked thought in his head and moved quickly to the side of the door as the turtle's head came forward. Its head lurched forward in another attempt at whacking his trainer's back, but found nothing but air on this attempt. Off balance and lurching from the momentum, Carracosta toppled forward with flippers flailing and slid forward on hard shell protecting its belly with a slight grunt. Kael nearly lost it at the sight and doubled over laughing, doing as best he could to contain most of his enthusiasm.

The laughter was short-lived as a loud blast filled the air and the ground began to tremble. Kael braced himself easily enough against the hotel wall, but his Pokémon's strong suit wasn't exactly balance, and Carracosta's head shot forward as it toppled over to crack Kael's knee. Between the tremor and sudden blow to his knee, Kael went down as well and clutched at his now bruised knee. "Holy mother of.....Aagh!" Kael shouted to no one in particular as the shaking stopped. His turtle companion set its features in what Kael could only assume was a smile and laid the long flippers on its imaginary hips in triumph. "You sir, are an ass..." But the remark only caused the turtle to tilt its head in an expression that seemed to say 'No sir, I am a Pokémon.'

Returning to his feet again, Kael cast his gaze about and caught the ominous haze moving in on the city as a few lesser explosions began to erupt. The direction they seemed to be coming from just happened to be the way he needed to go. And coincidentally, near the Sea Cottage where the letter was to be dropped off. "What the...?" Something must be happening at the cape that Kael was unaware of, but whatever it was, it didn't look good. Returning Carracosta to his pokéball, Kael pulled the first one in line from his belt and released the Pokémon from inside. Arcanine let out a short howl at being released and stretched its paws out before Kael hopped up onto its back. "Let's go!" He said, pointing in the direction of the cape.

Arcanine's speed and long leaps ate up the distance as they quickly moved through Route 24 and into Route 25. The house came into sight soon through the smoke and debris in the air around the area. A woman stood with her back to him beside a Houndoom as he came up and dismounted Arcanine. People were coming and going from the house, and none of them looked to be Bill with their black clothing and the unmistakeable 'R' logo on their chests.

"Great, I bet normal mailmen don't have to deal with this kind of crap..."


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#, as written by Azazel


Seeing the girl with the Houndoom and the young man with the Arcanine arrayed in front of them and seemingly looking for a fight, two Rocket Grunts quickly dropped what they were carrying and reached for the pokeballs at their belts. The angry-looking male of the pair was the first to act, throwing the orb with a sharp motion and narrowing his eyes at the two behind his spectacles. He left the talking, however, to his counterpart, a much taller, reedy-looking woman with blond hair to her shoulders. "Should have stayed out of Team Rocket's business, kids," she warned, and like her, her voice was high and thin, with something of a nasal undertone.

From the man's pokeball emerged a Diglett, and the woman's issued forth a Treecko. It was clear that they intended to act in tandem, but the advantage in speed belonged to the others, as their pokemon had been released beforehand and were ready to go.

Rocket Grunt Stefano and Rocket Grunt Alexis
Pokemon: (Stefano) Diglett, Golbat | (Alexis) Koffing, Treecko
Difficulty Level: 2

"Well," Kael said as he leapt down from his Arcanine and strode up next to the woman with the Houndoom, "these guys don't look too friendly." Two familiar 'cracks' filled the air as the two grunt trainers released their Pokemon and looked on over at Kael and the Woman. "And not too smart are they..?" His Arcanine walked forward and stood beside the Houndoom as it began to sense Kael's anticipation. Looking over at the woman beside him, Kael adressed her once again. "Looks like we're doin' this together. Shall we?" Kael's fingers snapped sharply and Arcanine leapt into the air at the command. "Fire Blast!" From the air, Arcanine's head drew back as tendrils of flame escaped its mouth, gearing up for the blast.

The fire hit with a vengeance, and though Treecko's speed let it duck out of the way of the blast with only minimal singing, the Diglett was not so lucky, needing to rely on its toughness to keep it upright. Even so, it already looked a bit woozy, and its trainer's face darkened into a scowl.

Junko cringed at the sound of the woman's voice. It sounded like something had pushed its way through her nasal passage and clogged it. Nevertheless, Junko turned to the arrival of a young man and his Arcanine. The two of them quickly approached and fell in line next to Harag and herself. The two grunts released their pokemon, a Diglett and Treeko, and prepared to challenge the two arrivals.

"Team Rocket never surprises me these days," Junko replied before turning to Harag and the two Rocket Grunts. "But I'll never pass up an opportunity to a beat down," she added with a grin. "Harag, let's show them what we're made of, use Shadow Ball on Treeko!" she ordered as Houndoom howled. A purple blob of a ball formed in his mouth before releasing it towards his target. Treeko dodged the attack and countered with a Quick Attack. Houndoom tried to move out of the attack, but was hit head on.

"Shake it off Harag! Use Flamethrower!" Junko shouted as she tried to encourage Houndoom. Harag shook of the attack and did as he was told, releasing the flames from his mouth and towards Treeko.

Kael followed up his attack against the injured Diglett while keeping an eye on the Treeko his female teammate was engaging. "Crunch!" Kael shouted the command and watched the Diglett escape under ground just as Arcanine drew close enough to attack. The Treeko dodged the Shadow Ball attempt that was launched at it and quickly countered. The speed of the Treeko would be a bit of a problem if this continued. As Kael heard the other trainer call out the Flamethrower command, the wheels inside his head sprang into motion. "Extreme Speed Arcanine!" Kael shouted and marveled at the intense speed change of his Pokemon as it slammed into the back of the Treeko, sending it flying into the direct path of the Flamethrower. Leaping back from the attack to land close by, the Diglett chose that moment to resurface and slam Arcanine with the Dig.

"Damn," Kael said aloud at the hit. There wasn't much he could do about it without being able to see the Pokemon's movements. "Got anything for ground-types?" The statement was addressed toward the woman beside him. Team battles were about teamwork and rescources, and Arcanine wasn't the best equipped to deal with this situation.

Junko watched as the Arcanine slammed the Treeko into the line of fire, smiling in amusement at the string of curses flowing from the female Grunt's mouth. Harag barked in triumph as Junko assessed the situation. The Diglett was proving to be a bit of a problem, working and attacking from underground.

"Setia, but she's too big to fit in that hole," she replied. She glanced at Harag who strode over towards the hole in a nonchalant fashion. "Ah, I know," she stated as she rummaged through her belt and pulled out a ball. She recalled Harag to his, much to his dismay and threw the ball. "Kovaa, use Earthquake," Junko stated as Haxorus emerged from his ball. Without hesitation, Kovaa obliged his trainer and struck the ground, causing it to shake in the process. Junko kept her balance as she watched for the Diglett to appear once it did, she prepared for the next attack.

"Use Dragon Claw!" she stated as Kovaa attacked the small Pokemon. The two grunts were displaying their beautiful vocabulary with a string of curses as the male grunt quickly tried to order his Diglett to evade. The woman cracked another ball open, a Koffing appearing in place of the Treeko and ordered it to attack with a Smokescreen.

"Have a flying-type by chance?" Junko asked as Kovaa missed the Diglett shrouded in smoke.

"Hm? I have Scizor, but..." Scizor could fly, but blowing away a smokescreen was something he might not be capable of. The emergence of the Koffing only complicated thigs more in the case of the Diglett. And now there was a second Pokemon they couldn't see as well? An idea popped into his head as he contemplated what to do. "Arcanine, make a circuit around that smokescreen!" Bounding off at a quick pace, Kael watched as the smokescreen at the edge of Arcanine's path moved and followed with his Pokemon's movements, getting caught in the draft behind. "Perfect. Alright, more speed Arcanine! Extremespeed again!" Arcanine took off once more at the intense speed while keeping his current circuit around the smokescreen, creating a vortex that began shifting the smokescreen. It was slow at first, but spun faster and faster with each circuit until it began to dissipate and reveal the Koffing hiding in its midst.

"Who needs a flyer anyway when your can run that fast?" Kael laughed as the rockets gaped at their strategies falling apart one after the other against the duo. The Koffing looked as panicked as its trainer and Kael wasn't about to waste an opportunnity. "Arcanine now! Thunder Fang!" Leaping at an almost dead angle to the Koffing, Arcanine lashed out with its jaws as electricity crackled around them.

"Alright Kovaa," Junko stated as she cracked her knuckles, "Let's finish this! Use Aqua Tail and finish that Diglett!" she shouted, watching as Kovaa followed through on his end. The Diglett could not see the attack from the Smokescreen and failed to dodge, sending it back to it's trainer's ball. The male Grunt threw his last pokeball, releasing a Golbat from the process. Junko glanced from the corner of her eye and spotted the Arcanine land it's Thunder Fang. The Koffing fell, eyes swirled as it lay on the ground. The woman grunt flailed her arms before leaving her partner in attempt to receive back up.

"You want to finish this alone?" she stated towards the Golbat's owner. "Kovaa," she began as the man tried to keep his tough façade as he ordered a supersonic, effectively confusing Kovaa. "Kovaa! Return," Junko stated as she returned her confused dragon. She pulled out Harag's ball and released him once more. "Alright Harag, lets finish this off with a Flamethrower!" she ordered as Harag spewed the flames from his mouth, missing the Golbat by mere inches. Harag growled and tried again, nipping the Golbat in its wings and forced it on the ground.

Kale let out a surprised whistle as the Koffing thumped on the ground and fainted after only one attack. “Really?” He said to the Rocket as she recalled her Pokemon and ran. Two on one wasn’t exactly his idea of a good time, but as the other man released his Golbat , Kael wasn’t too heartbroken remembering the explosions earlier. “A flyer, huh?” The woman brought her Houndoom back to the fight and nipped away at the Golbat in an attempt to lower it as Kael took the opportunity to give his Arcanine a rest. “Alright, you’ve done enough. Let’s finish this Carracosta!” Drawing the Pokeball and releasing it, his turtle charged the field with a mediocre roar and charged after the Golbat and Houndoom pursuer…

But the enthusiasm was a little premature as the Golbat and Houndoom easily outran the slow turtle. He heard the Rocket trainer begin to howl with laughter as Carracosta struggled to catch up to the other two. Kael waited on patiently, obviously unconcerned at his Pokemon’s horrible speed. The rocket’s Golbat was forced low and tried to skirt around the Houndoom before launching a Wing Attack at the easier and slower of the two opponents. Kael smiled as the Golbat drew close and shouted his command. “Shell Smash!” Suddenly, Carracosta’s shell fragmented and he rushed toward the foe faster than before.

The rush wasn’t nearly as significant as the Houndoom’s speed, already close on the Golbat’s tail, but it was enough to surprise the attacking foe and give Carracosta an opportunity to leap up and over it as it swooped low. “Now! Smack Down!” Turning in the air, Carracosta used his large flipper to slam the Golbat into the ground with a violent impact.

Signaling to the woman beside him, Kael stepped to the side to give her a better view. “He’s all yours.”

"It'd be my pleasure," Junko grinned as she thrusted her hand forward, "Harag, finish it off with Flamethrower," she continued as Harag howled and freed his flames. The Golbat couldn't move as fast and was hit by the flames, effectively knocking it out. The grunt let loose a fly of words before recalling his Golbat and running after his comrade. Junko bellowed a laugh and watched as Houndoom set off a few flames after the grunt before trotting back with a victorious smile. "Well, I guess we win the first round. And would you look at that, they even dropped their coins," Junko stated as she walked over towards the spot the two grunts were once standing.

"So, that's a nice Carracosta and Arcanine you got there," Junko stated as she turned her attention towards the man now that the battle was over. "Thanks for the hand," she added, dropping the coins in her pocket before shoving the rest towards the helping man. "And I suppose a little thank you is in order," she stated as she handed the coins over.

"Bill might still need help, we should go check on him," she continued as Harag snorted, pawing the ground in anticipation. She spared a glance at the red-head before jogging towards Bill's Sea Cottage.


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"So, that's a nice Carracosta and Arcanine you got there," the woman said as the remaining Rockets took off after their departing colleagues. Kael almost laughed at the way she nonchalantly threw the compliment out there. Almost like she was complimenting on the skies being clear. But as she began to shove the money the Rockets had dropped in his direction, he held his hands up in a defensive gesture to politely refuse.

"Thanks, but you keep it," he said, "I'm not a big fan of change. You can buy me a drink later or something if you want to thank me." He couldn't imagine any woman ever being upset at an offer of more money, but he still hoped he at least didn't come off rude by refusing.

At the mention of the Poké Maniac, Kael suddenly remembered the entire reason he was here. Reaching back in his bag, he found the entrance to where he stashed the letter wide open and empty. Whipping the bag around to his front where he could get at it better, Kael began digging frantically though the contents searching for the letter. "Crap! Where'd it go?!" He shouted and started whirling around to search the area in hopes of spotting it. As he turned once...twice...and a third time, he caught sight of his Carracosta standing by the edge of Bill's house looking toward the roof at something. Following his gaze, Kael spotted the envelope balancing delicately on the edge of the building.

A small sigh of relief escaped his lips and he began walking toward it slowly, wondering how to get it down. The puzzle was easily solved by his friendly turtle as it reared its head back in a familiar motion before smacking his head hard against the side of the building with a loud THWACK! As the hard head connected with the building, the letter teetered on the edge for a moment before catching the breeze and falling toward the earth where it stopped, balanced perfectly again on Carracosta's head still looking skyward. Letting out a satisfied sound at his Pokémon's actions, Kael addressed the turtle. "You know, you're alot smarter than anyone gives you cr--"

"YOU IDIOT! NOOO!!!" Just as Kael went to finish his previous statement, Carracosta opened its mouth and chomped down quickly on the letter and drew the rest into his mouth afterward. Kael sprinted up and grasped his head in both hands to shake it violently. "Spit it out!" But just as he got the sentence out, he felt a movement between his hands and heard the audible gulp. Stopping his shaking, Kael released his Pokémon from his grip and slumped over in defeat. "Just get back in your ball...." He said silently as he recalled Carracosta.

Turning back to the woman before him, he felt slightly embarrassed at the sight. He shrugged and lifted his arms to put on his best 'oh well' face. "So...let's just pretend there never was a letter if Bill happens to ask." Walking back to enter the house, he caught up to her quickly.

"Oh, and I'm Kael by the way. Kael Skye."


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Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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By this point in the operation, the two supervising administrators were busy double-checking that everything they needed was loaded into the balloon, which was carrying the most vital of their haul, with the less-important bits of machinery and so on being loaded into the truck. It was not lost on them that there was some kind of disturbance taking place, but they'd expected as much, from the Cerulean Police of nobody else. As it was, it looked like the intruders were just a bunch of trainers, which was hardly a concern when you had so many Grunts just laying around and ready to buy you time, which they were managing admirably for the moment, or so thought Annabeth. Whether they won or lost in the end was hardly important- they were Grunts, which meant they were effectively meat-shields until they proved they were worth being something else.

Xavier was looking with something she vaguley recognized as longing towards the area where the sounds of chaos were coming from, and the scientist rolled her eyes. The moron would always be a trainer first and a criminal second. She was more interested in science, but at least she didn't let it distract her from achieving the boss's ends. "Come on, Xavier. Get your head out of the clouds and let's go." This earned her a glare, but nonetheless he complied, and the two plus their immediate squad of Grunts were casting off in moments, the balloon carrying them high and away from the carnage. "What's with you, anyway?" she asked him testily, because he still seemed focused on the ground.

"Nothing," he replied flatly. "One of those interlopers just reminded me of someone I knew once, that's all." Annabeth shrugged and didn't question him further. It wasn't like she cared, after all.

Meanwhile, as the last vestiges of smoke cleared from his home, Bill was finally free to move, since those holding him in place had left with the supervisors. He was worried, not just for his stolen data, but for his pokemon, as he doubted very much they'd just left all of his pokeballs intact when they knew he researched rare ones. There was also the matter of Ravenna, who was helping him out this morning, and whoever else was out there, opposing the Rockets and causing a commotion. He sincerely hoped nobody was hurt, though they'd at least been courteous enough to leave behind his medical supplies, both for pokemon and people. He'd seen the redheaded man eyeing them, and then consciously stopping a Grunt from taking them. Why that was, Bill couldn't say, but as it was the one bright spot in his situation, he didn't consider it too much.

Picking up the box, he started outside, intent on finding his way to the people that had tried in vain to help him and doing what he could to repay the favor. Then maybe he'd be able to figure out a way to recover his life's work and his pokemon. One step at a time, for now.

Junko arrived at the front of Bill's Cottage and stood just outside. She heard the boy speaking to his Carracosta about the letter. Apparently the sea turtle decided it would make a lovely meal and ate it. Junko shook her head lightly before cracking a small smile. The turtle made her think of her mother's Wartortle. He had ate her homework once and the teacher had tried to call her bluff. Luckily Wartortle managed to spit out some of it and let her off the hook. Just as she was about to step into the house, the boy introduced himself as Kael. She in turn offered her name.

"Takashi, Junko Takashi," she replied and returned her attention to the half destroyed cottage. It was a shame really. The Cottage was so beautifully decorated and placed that it almost made Junko sad. Almost. She cautiously approached the door, peeking through the door frame to inspect further. Most of Bill's equipment was either destroyed or taken, leaving nothing but a pile of papers scattered around the floor. Junko sighed as she knelt down, picking up some of the papers and rummaging through them. There was nothing of importance left behind, just a few messages from fans and the likes. A click caught her attention as Zeki popped out of her ball. The Meowth yawned and allowed herself to stretch.

"Zeki," Junko started before watching Zeki disappear. The Meowth decided to a little investigation of her own and wandered through the damaged home. A noise caught her attention and she found herself staring up at another human. She tilted her head and let out a mewling sound before hissing and readied herself to attack the human. Before she could, Junko swept up the Meowth and turned towards Bill, who seemed to be carrying boxes of things. Probably equipment that he managed to save.

"Good evening Bill," Junko stated as if nothing happened, a smile lingering on her face as she quieted the hissing Meowth.

"Ah, hello Junko," Bill said morosely, shifting the box in his hands. "I suppose you saw everything that happened, then?"

"We were sort of a part of it," Kael announced, walking up behind Junko to peer around at Bill. "Sorry about your yard by the way. The burn marks are probably from us, but the holes definitely were not!" Looking back around at the front of Bill's cottage, Kael took in a few of the singes and a particular spot where Golbat had slammed into the ground, creating a small crater. "Well, that one might have been us....."

Kael took in the sights around the inside of Bill's house as well, computers destroyed or missing, various equipment scattered everywhere, the house was a complete wreck...."Mr. Pokemon sends his regards, and there was a letter too, but it is kind of unreachable now...." Scrubbing a hand through his red hair, Kael felt a little more guilty about letting the letter get eaten now.

"What exactly were they after?" It seemed like a pretty useless question seeing as how almost everything was gone, but Kael still had to ask.

Bill seemed numb to the news of his destroyed yard and whatever Mr. Pokemon had to say to him. This morning, he'd wanted nothing more than to put in a new berry garden, but now, he supposed he should count himself lucky that his house was mostly intact. "They took basically everything," he replied. "All my research data and equipment, my notes... but most of all I'm just worried about my pokemon. Glaceon's egg had just hatched, and the pup was in the bunch they stole. They were all young ones, actually, but..." he trailed off, shaking his head. "Even if I could do anything about it, I have no idea where they went. Team Rocket is much more secretive lately; trying to find their bases would be like looking for a couple of Cacturne needles in a haystack."

Junko listened to the conversation, taking in every word Bill said as he mentioned his pokemon. It was a shame that they stole his pokemon, and it caused Junko's eyes to narrow a bit. Team Rocket had tried to steal Cerah from her when he was still a Shinx, only because of his color. She turned back to Bill, placed Zeki on her shoulder and smiled.

"We can retrieve them for you. Team Rocket couldn't have gotten that far yet and besides," she paused, pulling out Fiamma's pokeball and pushed the button to expand it, "Fiamma here is a champion at playing catch up," she stated as she mentioned Rapidash. "And I believe his Arcanine, with it's extreme speed, shouldn't be a problem at playing keep up," she finished and glanced towards Kael.

Kael felt a sharp pang at hearing Pokemon were taken as well as all of Bill's work and research. To be perfectly honest, it really didn't surprise him. He had never personally had a run-in with the Rockets before now, but their deeds were common knowledge these days. Just a buch of thugs and criminals that used Pokemon to hurt others and get what they wanted.

He was a little happy at hearing Junko's voice speak up so quickly. She sounded more than ready for another battle with the Rockets, and determined to get Bill's prized posessions back for him. Another one of her pokeballs burst open to admit a Rapidash to their sight and she mentioned his Arcanine before glancing back to look at himself. "He sure can." Pulling Arcanine's pokeball from the first slot on his belt again, he released the large firepup beside him and gave him a reassuring pat. Arcanine let out an enthusiastic bark at being called again so quickly.

Pulling another pokeball from his belt, Kael looked at Bill and Junko with a smile. "Let's just make sure we don't lose them." Releasing the Pokemon inside, a red flash whizzed into the air as the pokeball burst open. Scizor flew a circle around himself and the others before hovering slightly in front of them. "I saw a balloon heading away from here as our battle wrapped up. Figure out which way it went Scizor, but keep your distance." Scizor nodded and shot straight up into the sky and peered about. After a moment, his claw shot out to point in the distance and buzzed off in the same direction.

"Shall we?" Kael said as he leapt onto Arcanine once more. "Wouldn't want the Rockets getting bored without us to entertain them."

It was during this time that Kenji poked his head into the house, surveying the rest of the people congregating there. None of them wore the obnoxious red R inherent to Team Rocket, so that was a good sign. He paused for a moment, trying to find the words before dashing all that against the wall and barging into conversation head on. "Does anyone have some potions and an antidote? I could really use them," He said, stepping the rest of the way into the door and revealing the pair of injured Pokemon in his arms. "Ran into a bit of trouble outside, does this happen often?" Kenji quipped, but a smile didn't find it's way to his lips just yet. He'd laugh as soon as his friends were safe.

Bill looked a little overwhelmed, but at least the newest visitor had asked for something he could certainly do. "Oh, yes, of course, here you are." Fishing in the box, he retrieved a dose of antidote and three potions and handed them all off to Kenji. Turning back to the other two, he was about to comment when the next person peered inside the house, and a brief look of relief crossed his face. "Ah, Ravenna, it's you. Thank goodness; I wasn't sure what had happened."

The girl in question needed only a cursory glance around the house and a brush against Bill's obvious distress to understand what had happened, and her mouth turned down into a frown. "I'm sorry, Bill. There were many, and I..." The researcher shook his head. "There was little that could be done. I'm just glad nothing bad happened to you, to any of you. Thank you for your help, very much. If you really do intend to go after them," and this was directed primarily at Junko and Kael, "Then I suggest you head down to Vermilion first. I think the police department down there is running a special investigation on Team Rocket's reappearance; they might know more. That balloon's probably too fast to follow... It's a risk, and I don't want you to harm yourselves, but... if you did find them, I'd really appreciate it. My work, I can replace, but my pokemon..." He trailed off, looking haggard and distressed.

At this, Ravenna turned her attention to the two new strangers. "You're going after them to retrieve the Eevee? I'd like to come, too, if I may." Bill fished out a few additional potions and handed them to her, which she gratefully accepted. She could probably wait until the Cerulean Pokemon Center, but if they really were pursuing Team Rocket, she doubted the extra medicine would go to waste.

Kenji quietly listened, too busy as he was applying the potions and antidote. He had let Sabre back out of his ball, and let him have one of the potions as well, using the antidote and other potions on Flower and Light. His pokemon slowly came back around to their senses, but just to be safe he still wanted to visit a Pokecenter. He didn't want to eyeball their health and leave them to their devices, he'd done that before and it didn't turn out well. It never did. Finally sure that the items were working, he allowed his pokemon to slip back into the balls, though he still carried Light. She was always with him, no matter what, and he wouldn't tuck her away in a Pokeball for anything

He looked up just in time to catch the rest of the conversation. "So we're chasin' the bastards down now, is that it? Hm," He said, biting his lip. He looked down at Light who in turn looked back up at Kenji. Surprisingly, it was her who nodded first. She didn't want to leave the man while they could help, and Kenji couldn't say that he didn't feel the same. He just wished he could do that without putting any of them in any more danger. Still, they had to find the man's Pokemon. He already did this much, and he never half-assed anything. "Why not? We're game. Sounds like fun," he quipped, though the tone a bit more serious this time around. He'd have to remember to slug the jackass who planned all this.

"I'm Kenji Akihiko," He said, standing and bringing his full six foot three frame to bare. "And this is Light," He added, pointing at the Pikachu in his hand. She gave a shy wave to people and then pushed back against his chest. "If we're gonna do this, then figured ya might want to know our name," He explained.

"Ravenna Fiori, or Fio if that's nicer," the pastel-pated woman offered mildly, before glancing at the two large fire pokemon standing in the yard and figuring that they must be in need of fast transport. As she had an Arcanine of her own, she released him, and for the moment he remained patiently standing on the grass with the others.

As Junko made to respond, a trainer with equally bright red hair appeared followed by a woman with pink locks. Junko raised an eyebrow as they approached, staring at the man who barged into the conversation asking for potions. Bill answered the man and gave him what he wanted. So I suppose Bill knows them, she thought as he addressed the pink haired girl. Junko stayed silent for a minute or two, listening as they conversed until Bill addressed Kael and herself. She contemplated the course of action. If she followed after the balloon, she'd probably be lead towards the Rocket Hideout, but on the other hand; if she went to Vermillion, perhaps Officer Jenny might have had word about her brother. She pushed the thought aside and shook her head.

"Vermillion City would be our best bet. We can stock up on supplies if we plan on making a journey," she began as she rummaged through her pack and pulled out her Xtransceiver. She opened it up and glanced at the two. "If we plan on splitting up, it would be wise to have each other's numbers just in case something happens. It's always a good thing to be prepared y'know," she continued and glanced at the two in front of her.

"And it is a pleasure to meet you, Kenji and Fio," she replied as the two introduced themselves. "I am Junko Takashi, and this little beast here," she stated as she grabbed the Meowth from her shoulders and thrust her out towards the two, "is Zeki, my Meowth," she finished as Zeki just stared at the two, hissing at Kenji before mewling towards Ravenna. She watched as the woman named Ravenna released her own Arcanine and glanced at Kenji.

"Do you have a pokemon you can ride? It'll make traveling a bit faster. If not, you can share Fiamma with me," Junko stated as she patted Fiamma's neck, earning a pleasant neigh from the fire horse.

Unfortunately for the group, their options were soon to be rendered moot. High in the air, the balloon they were piloting kicked in a specially-developed technological advance: a thruster. In this case, the scientist aboard deployed a few Pidgeot to scout ahead and behind for possible pursuit, and a combustion engine to move the ship faster once it was clear of any possible collisions. Unknowingly, they were escaping Scizor's ability to follow, sailing ever higher and faster into the atmosphere.

Kael waited atop Arcanine with a little impatience as the two newcomers appeared suddenly and joined the conversation. It wasn't their appearance so much as his Scizor slowly getting smaller to his sight as it sped in pursuit of the Rocket's balloon. Recalling Scizor might mean letting the Rocket's get away altogether with no hope of reclaiming Bill's stolen Pokemon. And the mention of detouring to Vermilion seemed like a decent enough plan at first until Kael thought about it. What if the Police Department doesn't have information on their whereabouts? It could mean a wasted trip if the Police department only brought up more questions than answers.

Bill mentioned the balloon being a risk and possibility of injury to the trainers present if they followed that course of action, but even while saying the words, Kael could hear the sorrow in his voice. If it was any of my Pokemon being taken away... Kael thought silently before finally adding his voice to the discussion. "We are all Pokemon trainers Bill, whether we battle them, breed them, or just study and research them as a whole. We opened ourselves up to risk and harm the moment we stepped out the front door with our first Pokemon."

As he was in the middle of his speech, Kael heard a familiar buzzing and turned to find Scizor nearing their group on its way back. Looking past the bug Pokemon and to where the balloon had been shrinking in the distance, Kael saw absolutely no trace of the retreating blimp. "No good?" he asked as his Pokemon came within earshot and received only a shake of the head, indicating the balloon was either too fast, or too far gone for his Scizor to follow. Kael recalled the red steel companion of his and turned back to face the small group again. "Well, I guess my speech a moment ago is a little null now, isn't it? I guess we're going to Vermilion then..."


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Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Ion

The group had elected to take the most direct route to Vermillion City, which was southward through Saffron and then on to the coastal town of sunshine. Since there was less urgency now, as the information would not be going anywhere, they’d stopped at the Pokemon Center in Cerulean, where everyone was still talking about the obvious explosion and speculating wildly on what could possibly have occurred. Ravenna answered all queries of this sort directed at her with a glassy-eyed look that seemed to vaguely reprimand the asker, and so it wasn’t long before nobody else was inquiring of her, focusing their attentions fully on the other three.

After everyone’s friends had been healed up to full health, there was a short stop at the mart for any necessary purchases. She’d picked up a few things and tucked them away in her bag, but hadn’t really needed much. She’d been fully-stocked before coming into Cerulean the day before, and so nothing else was particularly needed.

With that, they were at last on their way, turning southward along Route 5 with a sort of shared determination that make Fio a little bit happy, even despite everything. Of course, she didn’t really give much indication of this. She’d elected to recall Prometheus to his pokeball, letting Castor out since it was his turn to walk outside with her. She’d always preferred walking to alternative means of transportation, even the bike folded up into small parts in her bag. She felt more… connected to her surroundings, that way.

The day, it turned out, was as stiflingly-hot as the morning sun had promised, the sun beating down on their heads without mercy. It had clearly been a few weeks since the last rain, and the dirt beneath their feet puffed up into dry clouds as their shoes landed. It was at times like this that she rather wished she had garments in another color, as black was truly unfortunate under such direct light. Honestly, she was used to travelling at odder hours, and didn’t often have to worry about such direct contact with the sun.

Half an hour into the trip, she was rummaging through her bag, pulling out a tube of sunblock and applying it liberally to her face, hands, and knees—the only parts of her that were at all exposed to the direct force of the flaming orb over her head. Her scalp would probably burn anyway, and she was regretting the loss of her borrowed straw hat from early that morning.

Drawing up next to Junko, Ravenna offered the tube in case the similarly light girl didn’t have any of her own. Maybe she didn’t burn that easily, but Ravenna certainly did. “Need any?” she asked of the group at large, blinking as she passed out from under a tree and was hit full in the face with light again. Castor seemed to be handling it much better than she was, but then, he was tougher generally. She could hardly count herself surprised.

“Tell me about yourselves?” she offered tentatively, glancing between the other faces present, including the pokemon. After all, she could understand them just as well, and sometimes better, truly. They might as well converse a bit; they had the time, and it wasn’t like it would do them any good to walk in silence, all the more aware of the oppressive heat in the air.


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Kael retrieved the poke balls for his Arcanine and Carracosta after they were seen to by Nurse Joy as their group of four made a quick stop at the Cerulean Pokemon Center. His mood never seemed to change, and he kept the quick smile planted on his face, even after his attempts at flirting with the Cerulean's Joy were met with almost complete rejection. Trainers and townspeople alike seemed intent on getting to the bottom of what happened at the cape and the causes of the explosions. With these questions, Kael played up Junko and his battle against the Rockets, claiming the explosions were a result of the ferocity and domination of their side over the opposing trainers. Gesturing wildly as he painted the slightly exaggerated, and in some cases untrue, recollection of what had actually happened. He left the part about a highly terrifying criminal organization in their very town out for the sake of trying to suppress as much uproar as possible.

Upon leaving the Pokemon Center, Kael followed along after the others as they progressed through the mart, and then onto the start of their journey on Route 5. He took in everything they came across and gestured toward certain landmarks or surroundings that stood out. Kanto was almost a completely new experience to him. He had traveled nearly everywhere there was to go in the Johto region where his home lay, but aside from the Indigo Plateau that was jointly shared by the two regions, Kanto was full of new sights and lands to be seen.

Kael packed his jacket away almost immediately after leaving the Pokemon Center and found himself rolling up the sleeves on the white button-down he was wearing. The sunshine itself was delicious, casting light and illuminating everything for Kael to see as they proceeded, but the heat was a bit stifling for a trip South. Still, he found himself humming the tune to an old song he knew but would never sing. Traveling again brought back so many memories to mind. Even though there had been some of his worst memories of his life the last time he was on the trek, some of his best were a part of that journey as well. His hand reached up and grazed the 'A' hanging from the silver chain around his neck. The movement brought a pang of sadness at first, but remembering the woman still kept his smile in place.

The pink-haired woman named Ravenna was the first to really kick up the conversation within the group as they proceeded forward in the heat of the sun. A drop of sweat had worked its way under the black eyepatch and started bugging Kael enough that he was forced to wipe a finger under it to relieve the itch-like sensation and make sure the patch stayed in place, covering the damaged eye.

"Any specific requests?" Rummaging through his backpack as he walked, he found that he coincidentally had four individual bottles of water and tossed one to each of the other three trainers around him. He left the last one in his pack for himself later if he wanted it and searched a second longer for what he really wanted. "I guess the basics are quite obvious already. I'm a trainer from Cherrygrove City in Johto. I help out the Gym staff in Violet City with whatever they need and stand in to ref or participate in a few matches every now and then. While my brother and sisters are out exploring the world for themselves, I get to chase down bad guys with you lot. And I love these!" He finished off the sentence as he pulled his arm from his bag to reveal the bright red apple.

Spinning the glistening fruit on his finger for a second, he tossed it slightly to catch it and take a rather large, crisp bite from the red surface. "What about you Hulk? Any particular food you fancy?" He turned his eye on the leather worn beast of a human walking along with them. "Seriously though Kenji, what the hell do they feed you?!"


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Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Azazel


Junko clicked the mouse to the PC, searching through any mail before the ding of Nurse Joy signaled her pokemon's return. She thanked the pink haired lady and took her pokeballs from Nurse Joy and hooked them on her belt, Zeki's pokeball left in her hands. She released her Meowth, allowing the feline to cling to her shoulder with a bright smile. She pat Zeki on her head, eliciting an approved purr from the Meowth and turned towards the four she was traveling with to Vermilion. It seemed that they had two things in common; one was their drive to find and return Bill's pokemon.

She glanced at the three, noticing the way their heads would tilt ever so slightly to the left. They all had, except herself, a form of auburn colored hair. Although Ravenna had pink hair, it was still a shade of red. Junko pulled at her black strands, combing her fingers through them before smiling and falling in stride slightly behind the group. A question popped into the air, or rather a statement as Kael was the first to answer. Junko chuckled to herself at his question to Kenji and had to wonder the same thing. The guy was rather large, but she figured he must have either trained with his pokemon as a youth, or had a rather interesting childhood.

"Ah, well," Junko began as she began rummaging for the right words. "I am a pokemon breeder hailing from Cerulean," she began, stroking Zeki as she stared at the Meowth, "I own my own daycare which is in the hands of a trustworthy trainer. I," she paused. Her gaze fell to the floor as she found her feet interesting.

"I am hoping to find information about my brother. He is missing," she stated, twirling Zeki's paw with her hand. The Meowth patted her back and cried out it's name in a soothing tone. This caused Junko to smile and shake her head.

"But you don't need to hear that," Junko stated as she waved her hand in front of her to dismiss the thought. Zeki sighed at her trainers sudden change and allowed herself to fall slightly off of her shoulder. She clawed her trainer's shoulder, earning a wince from the girl as Junko turned to stare at Zeki. They held a staring contest for a good five minutes before Junko succumbed and glanced away. They don't need to be dragged into my problem, she thought while stroking the Meowth, ignoring the group as they continued to walk.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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At some point during the trip, Kenji had managed to find a shirt tucked away in his seemingly bottomless rucksack. He donned the white button up shirt and rolled the sleeves up, leaving the buttons unbuttoned as he did, giving his barrel chest free range. Hell, even if he did button up, all it would take was one wrong flex and the entire thing would have been ripped to shreds. Just as well, Kenji really didn't care what he looked like. He had taken Junko's offer of riding her Rapidash with her, seeing how his current team was too small to carry his beefy self. Silas was still a ways a way from a Pidgeot after all.

At the pokecenter and pokemart, he went through the checklist, had his team healed, picked up some necessary items from the mart, a couple of pokeballs, and some food as well, and before long they were off on their adventure once again. It was a hot day, sure, but then again Kenji was more bereft of clothing than the others. Indeed, the heat didn't even seem to bother the man, him just throwing it off like it was any other day. It hadn't been the hottest day he'd experiences, but then again it wasn't the coolest either. Light on the other hand wasn't so lucky, as she was tucked away in his rucksack with a bottle of water. Kenji could feel her rustling on his back, taking drinks from the battle. Meanwhile, Flower seemed to have made her a nest in Kenji's hair, enjoying the sun shining down on her. She also managed to block some of the violent rays beating down his neck.

"Heh, it takes a lot more than this to fry leather, sweetheart," Kenji replied to Fio's offer of sunblock. As to prove his point, he lifted one of his arms and pinched a bit of the rough skin. "The perils of not wearing a shirt," he said with a wink. "Anythin' and everythin'," Kenji replied to Kael, "What can I say? I'm a growin' boy." he chuckled. After Junko offered her own answer, Kenji figured it was his turn to offer up his.

"I'm a simple man from simple beginnin's. I was born in Castelia City, in Unnova, to a family of six. Bein' said, I spent most of my time on the streets-- like all good hoodrats do. Once I was old enough, I got the hell out of that city and began to travel," At this point, he began to scratch the back of his neck. He never told his story all that often, if ever. He couldn't remember if he's even spoken of it before. Not even to Light. That being said, he was sure to pick his words carefully, and didn't reveal too much information about himself. "I wasn't a happy child, some kind of outcast-- if the steel mill in face didn't give it away,"

"So I trained pokemon. Actually made it to Unnova's Elite Four. Got shut down on the first round, consistantly. Wasn't strong enough. So I retired for a bit, let all my pokemon go, and settled down in Goldenrod for a bit."
That was an uncomfortable time in his life. A hint of melancholy hung in the air as he spoke about that, but other than that, his face was impassive. Then as he spoke about Goldenrod, the mood brightened considerably. "That's when I met this bundle of joy," He said, hooking a thumb back toward Light, whose head poked out of the rucksack for a moment before ducking back in. "It was recent, very recent. After that, I hitched a ride on a boat to Cerulean, and then traveled all the way to Pallet Town before making my way back. So this is my third time on this route," He said, regarding the landscape around him. As his head tilted around, so did the Butterfree on his head shift.

Then he turned his attentions back to Kael, "Yeah, I gots a request. What's goin' on here, Cap'n?" He said, pointing at his eye to indicate Kael's eyepatch. That was a curiosity. He didn't think there were pirates. All the kid was missing was a peg leg and a bird perched on his shoulder.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Ion

The simple query produced a myriad of other questions and several answers as well, something that it had been designed to do. The conversation was lively, and for the most part, Ravenna was content to walk beside them all and let it eddy and flow over her, listening without really participating all that much. She wasn’t usually too skillful with talking, so the fact that her inquiry had gone so well was more than enough to satisfy her. She caught the water bottle tossed in her direction with a grateful nod, pressing it briefly to her forehead before storing it in her bag, away from the oppressive heat.

There was, of course, an extra dimension to this as well, and that was the feelings that the others experienced while they spoke. There were moments of amusement, of nostalgia, good-natured frustration, but also an undercurrent of sadness beneath many of the words, playing a melancholy harmony to the more playful trebles, blue intertwining with silver and gold. As the rose-pated girl stowed her sunblock back in her bag (apparently nobody else needed any, which she supposed must be nice), she rubbed absently at the bridge of her nose, leaving behind a white streak of the stuff across it and over her left cheekbone.

She might have noticed it, except she was distracted by something. One particular string of words had caught her attention, though they were spoken softly, and she felt the need to respond. ”Missing?” she echoed quietly, clasping her hands behind her back. They tugged at a familiar place in her soul, one where she’d gently enclosed all the memories of her best friend, her sister-at-heart, the woman who’d taught her what little she understood of sharing your life and dreams with others.

Grief was oblong, distended; a warped version of love’s friendly circle. “What… happened?” If there was another, better way to phrase that question, it was not available to someone of so few social resources. Still, she didn’t press, and if Junko didn’t want to answer, she didn’t have to.

Kenji wasn’t the only one who’d traveled this route before, and Ravenna judged that they were about halfway to Saffron, the halfway point between Cerulean and Vermillion. Her own hometown wasn’t too far away, either; no more than a day or so walking after they hit the city, but of course nobody had any reason to want to go there. Few people ever visited the town of spirits and mourning, and if they did, it was usually only because it was the first settlement with a Pokemon Center after Mt. Moon.

She was a little envious of the others, especially Kenji, who could brush off the heat as though they’d been living on Cinnabar their entire lives. She’d spent most of her early days inside the uncanny coolness of the tower, or else in the shadow of the mysterious mountain, at least until she’d undertaken her journey. Funny, how that seemed so long ago now, and yet she could remember the details perfectly.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Kael listened on to the others talk a bit more and was more than content to have a few minutes to relish the delicious taste of his apple. The sweet red treat was made even more enjoyable by the fact that it was such a hot day and the sweet, yet sour, bites were like a splash of amazing as they continued on their new journey.

Kael was a little intrigued as Kenji continued on with his story, the man certainly had a similar sense of humor to Kael at the short quips he directed at himself about his 'leather-based' skin and 'steelmill face'. But he couldn't help but feel a bit envious of the man as the story went on. Kenji had made it to the Elite Four and, despite losing in the first round, that was still a feat worth noting as a Pokemon trainer. And the man had traveled quite a bit from what it sounded like to Kael. He had always wanted to travel, but never really had the chance to leave the Johto region up until now.

Kael shrugged off the thoughts as he finished his apple and threw the core out into the taller grass alongside their route. He knew by the end of the day, the core would be completely devoured by insects or some Pokemon wandering by. Wiping his hands clean of the juices, he peered over with his good eye as Kenji addressed him, indicating his eye patch. "Hm? Don't you know me?" Kael decided to play up the "cap'n" remark as much as possible. "Patches the Red! The most feared brigand on the high seas! We roamed the waters in our fearsome Gyarados ship pillaging and looting any who got in our way!" As Kael went on, he wildly slashed and hacked the air with an imaginary sword to stress the points of his story. Looking around to see the face of his companions, he dropped the farce with a laugh. "Or maybe I was tricked a few years ago. My Pokemon was taken from me and I got it back. In the course of all this, the machinery around us exploded and a large piece of shrapnel decided my face looked like home." Shrugging off the statement like it was nothing, Kael pointed to the patch. "It still works for the most part, my eyesight and all. Not as well as it should though. But the damage is a bit....ugly I guess would be the word. Who knows? If the shrapnel was any smaller, I'd probably be dead."

As Ravenna's soft words were spoken, he glanced over to see what was going on. There was clearly something he had missed, but he chose to focus on something the woman herself had missed. " have a little something, ALOT of something..." He scribbled a finger around his own face to indicate the sunscreen on hers. "I think you're supposed to run it in..."


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Azazel


Junko stared at the ground in front of her as Zeki played with the strands of her hair. She smiled at Kael's display of a pirate and allowed a laugh to escape the confines of her lips. The thought lingered a bit longer than it should have as she placed her hands in her pockets, fingering the small I.D. that held her brother's picture. She turned to Ravenna as the question fluttered through the air. She hadn't meant to tell them of her brother, and she silently cursed herself before sighing.

"A few days ago, his trainer badge and a few of his pokemon were found with no sign of him," she spoke in a hushed voice, almost as if she were still trying to grasp the concept that he was gone. She forced a smile before continuing, "So, my team and I are out on a search for him. Although we still have our mission first, I am hopeful that I'll find something about him along the way," she finished, rolling her hand over Zeki's head, eliciting a purr from the cat pokemon. She glanced in Ravenna's direction and noticed the cream Kael had mentioned all over her face.

She smiled, walked beside Ravenna and grabbed some of it off of her. She walked next to Kael, the cream still in hand and smeared it all over his cheek. "There, now you have something all over your face," she stated while smiling. She rubbed the rest of the cream on her arms, trying to get the rest off of her hands. She would keep a smile on her face. She didn't want to be depressed over her brother's disappearance, and she didn't want it to radiate from her body, causing an vibe that would affect the others. Although the group she is with is rather interesting. The Pirate, the boy who reminded her of a Primeape without the anger issues, and the small, quiet girl.

An interesting group indeed.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Cassandra Thorne Character Portrait: Kojiro Takashi (WIP:Poke History) Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori
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#, as written by Ion

The young woman listened as the other relayed her trouble, and frowned. It wasn’t quite the same, but… she could certainly sympathize. Her best friend, the only one she’d had, and the closest thing to a sibling she’d ever known, had gone similarly missing, only… she had dreamed Mykeisha’s death, felt with the uncanny reality of nightmare the sensation of a heart ceasing to beat, before she was startled awake by a crack of thunder. She hadn’t been able to sleep that night, nor any of several after, too afraid that the dream would revisit her in all its terror. She could imagine how Junko must feel, not knowing.

It wasn’t that she had anything to say; any soothing words that she could offer would be just that. But… she could do something, surely. ”When we’ve helped Bill… if you still haven’t found him by then, I will help you look.” Maybe if Junko took her to some significant location or another, she or one of her pokemon would be able to read a clue off an object or something of the like. It wasn’t the strongest of her powers by any means, but she was willing to give it a shot if it could help somehow. It was not as though she had any urgent business of her own to attend to, after all—she was just a wandering Trainer without much of a goal.

Their conversation was playfully interrupted at this point. For a moment, Ravenna just looked blankly at Kael, clearly uncertain as to what exactly he was talking about. She was just reaching up to mirror his gesture when Junko seemed to catch on much more quickly and reached up to Fio’s face, swiping an index finger over her cheekbone. The rose-haired girl repeated this, and blinked when her digit came away with sunscreen still on it. ”Oh,” she observed mildly, then tilted her head sideways at the antics of the other two. A tiny smile played at the edges of her mouth, but she offered no further comment than this.

By late afternoon, they were in Saffron, the city with buildings tall enough to scrape the sky. She supposed that somewhere around here, her father was cloistered away in his office, but she felt no particular need to go locate him; they had lived entirely separate lives for as long as Ravenna could remember. Her mother had given her a name, and her father had provided her with everything she needed to live, but she couldn’t say that either had ever been able to provide her with much else. It wasn’t so bad—she’d just found the rest elsewhere.

Glancing around at the three people about herself, she wondered if maybe she’d be finding something else soon… something wonderful and important. But, the elderly mediums had always reminded her, it never did to get ahead of oneself. So she scanned the buildings and the people around her, enjoying the way their surface-level thoughts buzzed at the edges of her consciousness without really registering, like radio static or something of the sort. Everyone was a slightly-different color, too, though none so vivid as Junko, Kael, and Kenji. It made her happy, that she was next to the brightest, most brilliant colors of all.

It was at precisely this moment that her musings were interrupted by a loud crash, and a shift in the wind, coming from some distance away. Castor, ever the brave pokemon that he was, immediately turned towards the sound, looking troubled and taking off in the direction it had issued from. ”Castor?” she questioned quietly, both with her mind and her voice, but his only response was to send her an impression of great urgency, and with some reluctance, she took off after him, boots surprisingly light on the pavement. ”Wait, Castor!”

But he didn’t relent, and the few times he moved out of her visibility, he sent mental images her way, guiding her after him with obvious intent. For what, he refused to say, and she could do little else but trust him and follow. Eventually, she could see what looked to be a large sandstorm ahead, battering the buildings on this side of town within a rather impressive radius. Basically everything inside it was of course impossible to see from this distance, but she had the feeling it was dying off.

At last, her Lucario stopped, right at the edges of the storm. Ravenna drew up beside him, and even as the swirling sand tugged furiously at her hair and clothes, it began to die down. Her arm went up to shield her face; she hadn’t thought to don her go-goggles in her haste to follow him. Still, she caught the roar of an engine, and a motorcycle passed her by, what looked to be two people aboard it. She didn’t think much of this, too absorbed in examining what the flying sand left behind: scorch marks, rivets in the ground, and three flabbergasted-looking Rocket Grunts.

”Oh dear.”


Cassandra had scooted forward from her perch on the back of the motorbike and now sat straddle with her elbows propped on the handlebars, hands cradling her chin, watching the goings-on with some interest. She hadn’t been aware that Kojiro used code with his Lucario, but that was probably to be expected. Why turn down an advantage? Unless of course you didn’t need it, but there was nobody who could say that all the time, and frankly, this bunch looked considerably tougher than your average lot of peons.

They were well-coordinated, too, from the looks of things. Scanning their body language carefully, she decided that the leader was the blond one with glasses. He looked the most satisfied with how things were going, as though he’d expected as much. The girl just looked impatient—she probably relied on speed for most of her fights. The other guy was durable, brawny, and had the pokemon to match. It was funny, how things like that worked out, wasn’t it?

Kojiro glanced over; well, perhaps the more accurate term was glared, but Cass just raised a brow, entirely nonplussed. She waited for him to detect the trap, and she wasn’t disappointed. She really would have to challenge him some day, just to see which of them was really the stronger. She currently sat at a comfortable number two in the organization, and frankly, she didn’t want to lead, nor even hold the more contentious top spot, but it would be fun. Not yet, though; the entire team was still too fledgling, and needed some stability for a bit. Besides, he’d started the whole thing; she was just along for the ride.

The rest of the battle was interesting if not particularly surprising in the end, and she watched with the cool eye of a professional as Kojiro went for demonstration rather than total humiliation. Huh. she frowned slightly, a thoughtful rather than angry expression. She wondered why- oh. His words explained well enough. “Well well well,” she replied with all the languid ease of a smug Persian. ”Lucky them.” She couldn’t say she was all that thrilled with the idea, but if she refused to work with former Rockets, she’d have excluded half of Team Cataclysm.

So she shrugged, using the time that Kojiro needed to conclude the show to dig a few business cards out of her pocket. They contained little more than some contact information for an alias of hers—Astrid Valentine—and a number through which she could be reached. More accurately, a screening program would be reached, and run several identity checks before patching someone through to a low-level employee with further instructions, but you couldn’t be too careful when building an empire, even if most of them just thought they existed to destroy things. With a sharp flick of her wrist, Cass tossed a card at each Rocket’s feet, glancing up at Kojiro’s bloody eyebrow with a sly smile.

“Got a little enthusiastic with the sandstorm, did we? They make eye protection for that, you know.” Nevertheless, she remained in the driver’s position on the bike, the engine already on since she’d needed to move it out of the way just a few minutes earlier. Tossing the three Rockets a mock salute, she revved the engine. “You heard the man, kids. It’s been fun, but places to be, you know.” Starting forward, she’d already picked up a blurring speed by the time the first civilians—a group of four people probably averaging a little under her own age—arrived on the scene, and she paid them no mind as she passed by.

They were back at the base much more surreptitiously than they’d entered town, and Cass pulled the bike into the underground parking garage, hopping off and killing the ignition in a smooth movement. Glancing behind her, she shrugged. “Come on then; let’s see if pretty boy and the ghost made it back while you had fun. And find the first aid kit while we’re at it; you look like you could use it.”


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Kojiro Takashi (WIP:Poke History) Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait:
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"I would," Junko paused as she glanced towards the sky, a small smile creeping onto her face. Zeki pushed her head back down, urging Junko to accept the help. "appreciate that," she continued. It wasn't long before they reached Saffron City, a place Junko remembered a bit too well. She had challenged Sabrina to a gym battle and lost...ten times. It was an embarrassment for her and she couldn't help but lightly laugh at the memory.

A loud crash and the sudden disappearance of Ravenna's Lucario caused Junko to stare in the direction they both ran off towards. She quickly recalled Zeki into her pokeball and ran after Ravenna. She caught up to the pink haired girl, and as a motorcycle sped by, it felt as if time had stopped the moment she was beside it. Locks of unkempt black hair, eyes closed, but the couldn't be?

The motorcycle sped past, leaving Fio and the others standing in a heavily-damaged clearing with a trio of windswept-looking individuals wearing the uniform of Team Rocket, though the one with the blue hair was eying his speculatively, as though something new had just occurred to him. Ravenna wasn't exactly sure what to do, but she figured that maybe one of them might have some indication as to where Bill's pokemon had been taken. She could try to mentally intrude and find the infromation, but minds were complex things, and unless they were thinking about it anyway, she probably wouldn't have any luck. Plus... they looked kind of grey, and she felt a bit sorry for them because of that. She turned to glance behind her, to see if any of the others had followed, or if she might maybe have to find them again. They did all have the respective XTranciever or Pokegear numbers by now, she supposed.

"Kojiro," Junko whispered as her head snapped in the direction the bike took off in. She ignored the devastated area and zoned in on the three flabbergasted grunts, the bright red R staining their shirts. Quickly, she made her way towards the three and her hands shot out to the first one in reach, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt and pulling him up to meet her crimson gaze.

"Who was that!?" she demanded, hands situated firmly on the collar. "Where are they going!?" by now her eyes were on the brink of malice. Her mind seemed to close off towards any danger she might be in. All she cared about was getting the information she needed. If there was a slight possibility that had been Kojiro, she wanted to find out. Before he could answer though, a lumbering figure came from behind her and took the goon's collar's from the lady's hands. "Please. Allow me, lovely," Kenji said, wrapping a branch like arm around the neck of the Rocket grunt. Meanwhile, Light bounded off of Kenji's trouble watched the other two goons intently for any sign of trouble.

"Now listen carefully buddy. I expect you'd better answer the nice lady, else I'll have to twist your head off like a toothpaste cap," Kenji warned, tightening his grip. Sure, the information might have been gleaned better by negotiation and subtlety, but Kenji was neither in a negotiating mood, nor was he any shade of subtle. Junko didn't seem too fond of negotiating either-- thus why he lent a helping hand (or arm, considering). Sure they could be in danger, Light was awefully small to be guarding two Rocket goons, but then again, danger never did phase Kenji. Rather, he basked in it, wallowing like a newborn in it's crib. The information Junko wanted seemed to be important-- to her-- and that's all that mattered right now.

Kael strode up behind the others and put on an unusal slight frown for his face. Junko's demeanor had completely changed in a matter of a few moments between the bike they had all seen speed by, and seeing the Rockets as she inquired into the identity of the riders. "Easy," he said coming up and pulling her away from the Rocket as Kenji stepped in to take over the slightly more agressive interrogation. "They'll talk."

In his statement, he was fairly confident. Rockets weren't exactly known for their courage and undying loyalty. Still, he had no idea how Junko was feeling, he could only imagine one of his own siblings missing and staring down someone with a chance of finding out where they were. These Rockets might be in a lot worse shape if that were the case.

Kenji had the Rocket in his grasp well under control and Kael couldn't help but call a little counter-productive encouragement to the big man. "Maybe popping his head off will put these other two in a more talkative mood?" Leaving Junko for the moment, Kael stepped up and brought his face close to the helpless Rockets' in Kenji's grasp and pushed his eyepatch up to reveal his eye. " could always just start talking. You see, this guy has a temper when he doesn't get what he wants." Kael pointed a finger at his damaged eye. "He did this because I wouldn't give him an apple, and he likes me, imagine what he'll do to you..."

Kael figured he had enough fun with his scare tactics and stepped back over to Junko to give her a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder as he replaced the patch. He joined Ravenna and watched the other two Rockets along with Kenji's Pokemon. "You alright?" He asked the pale girl.

Ravenna's mouth was set into a thin line, her lips compressed tightly, and she was surveying the scene through half-lidded eyes. This wasn't nice; not at all, and she didn't like the yellowness of it. She could feel the fear of the Rocket in the headlock, and the anger and wariness of his companions. She was opening her mouth to say something, though whether in response to Kael's question or to make the suggestion that they ask nicely before assuming that the people before them would be hostile to sharing what they knew. It was understandable, in a way-- Junko was clearly in distress, but... that didn't justify acting like the bullies in the situation. This was why people didn't like Team Rocket, after all.

Perhaps fortunately, she was cut off by the other Rockets. "Dammit, chill out, man. We've got no idea who those people were," the blue-haired male said quickly, glancing down at his bespectacled friend under the violent one's arm. His companion, the dark-eyed female, nodded vigorously, flinching a bit and shifting from foot to foot repeatedly. She seemed to be constantly in motion, that one, and her color was a nervous yellow-green. "Not before today's operation, and we don't have a name or anything. Just--"

"--Team Cataclysm," the man with glasses finished, looking a little bit purplish over the cheekbones. "Gave us... business cards. Wanted to... recruit us." He seemed to know better than to struggle, and Ravenna placed her hands on her hips and fixed Kenji with a mild look that was supposed to be stern but succeeded only in looking a bit like a slightly-irritated Skitty or Emolga or something. Still, the message was clear enough, if perhaps not very strongly-worded: please let him go now. Kenji shrugged and acquiesced, dropping the goon to the ground before dusting his hands off. "Glad we didn't have to get too violent," He said before holding his hand out. "The card, if you please? Else pop goes the Buizel," Ravenna sighed slightly, but said nothing.

"Here ya go!" Fujiko said, flinching again when Finn hit the ground with an obvious oomph, signifying that the wind had more or less been knocked out of him. Handing over the card, which really didn't say much, she shrugged and helped Eric get Finn to his feet. "Can we go now?" the latter asked, getting his feet under him and using his hand to push his glasses up his nose. "It's not like we had a prolonged chat; he and a bunch of wackos attacked our base this morning, then left. We battled, end of story." The card itself was a simple affair, black in color and inked in gold. Astrid Valentine, Consultant, it read, though exactly what kind of consultant this person was wasn't clear. There was a number below the name, but nothing else at all.

Junko was slightly startled when Kenji took the grunt from her hands, locking him inbetween his biceps and squeezing slightly. It didn't take long for the Rocket members to spill the information that Junko wanted, and when the card was handed over, she quickly scanned it for any recognizable names. There were none that she had seen, only a Astrid Valentine and the name: Team Cataclysm. She rose an eyebrow at the name, slightly confused. There was a new group? Her head snapped towards Kael as he gave her a reassuring squeeze on her shoulder, eliciting a sigh from her before she dropped her shoulders.

"I don't know if we should let them go, or let Officer Jenny deal with them," she stated, shoving her hands down her pockets and trying not to kick one of the grunts. She was still angry at the fact that she didn't recognize the man on the motorcylce and the fact that these rockets hardly knew anything. It really wasn't their fault, but Junko didn't feel like letting them off so easily. "Ugh, this is leading us no where!" she shouted in frustration, combing her hands through her hair. She glanced between her companions and then towards the grunts. Something seemed a bit off; she couldn't quite tell and she sighed in defeat.

"Well, we still need to find out where Bill's pokemon are at," she stated, calming herself as she thought about any hope of finding Kojiro. She made a promise to Bill, although second, and she was going to follow it through. She'll call the number later and find out where the base was located. If the man she spotted was part of Team Cataclysm, then perhaps they might be holding him somewhere. Or maybe that was him?

Kael looked from Ravenna, to the Rockets, and back to Ravenna again. Lifting his shoulders slightly, he let out a slightly audible sigh. She was clearly unhappy at how the situation was being handled, and he could see why, but they were Rockets. They had chosen a path of crime in their own right and any consequences that followed.

At seeing Junko calming down slightly, Kael smiled approvingly. She's handling it better than I would... he thought to himself. Still eyeing the Rockets as she spoke of handing them over to the authorities, an idea sprang to his head when the mention of Bill's Pokemon were mentioned. "I dunno," he said as he crouched down to the eye level of the Rocket on the ground, "maybe we should just hand them over to Officer Jenny. Doesn't seem like they have anything useful to say after all. Unless..." He let his gaze wander up to the woman who had spoken out before, clearly a bit more intelligent than her counterparts. "My friend here is referring to a Rocket incident earlier at the Cape of Cerulean. You wouldn't happen to know anything about it would you? It's okay if you don't, I'm sure the lovely Miss Officer Jenny will have other questions for you to answer at the police station."

Resuming his standing position, he let the Rockets think it over and stepped back near the others once more. Looking to the frowns on Ravenna and Junko's faces, he let a grin spread across his face once more. "C'mon, cheer up! Let's not let some Rocket's ruin our day!"

"Cerulean Cape?" Finn replied, looking faintly perplexed. "I don't know about any operation near Cerulean. The boss doesn't always tell the left hand what the right hand is doing, you know? In case something like this happens." He shrugged, glancing back and forth between the others and the group of youths in front of them. It looked like these people would be calling the cops; fortunately, they didn't know that he and possibly Fujiko still had pokemon to use. For now, though, he gave no indication of this, instead choosing to cast his eyes about this way and that, looking for any features of the environment that might be helpful. If worst came to worst, Eric could probably just release Hippowdon and cook up another sandstorm...

"Easy there Sketch, don't go gettin' any funny ideas," Kenji told the Rocket Goon. Kenji had seen Finn's shifty eyes scan the area, and he knew what they usually entailed-- he'd been the proud owner of those particular eyes once upon a time. However, Kenji seemed nonplussed about the whole ordeal, and in fact seemed more like a dissappointed parent than anything else. Crossed arms and toe-tapping included. Light had wandered her way back to Kenji and leapt to her perch on his shoulder, also staring down at the Rocket, though much less seriously than her trainer. In fact, she seemed a bit bored about everything. "Sounds like a magnificent job you got here, chief. Always worried about the cops, leaders keepin' stuff from you, those tacky-ass outfits they make you wear... The pay's got to be killer." Kenji rattled off.

"Are we stayin' or are we goin'? Bill's stuff isn't gettin' any closer," Kenji called back to the trio behind him. They had bigger things to worry about than these small fry.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kouji Ichigaara Character Portrait: Mykeisha Bruma Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Kael Skye
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#, as written by Azazel

"I agree, they obviously are not the ones we need...probably too ignorant to have information entrusted to them," Junko stated flatly to Kenji's question. As she made to turn around towards the city, the call of her name stopped her in her tracks and she turned towards the source. Messy black hair and familiar blue eyes caused Junko's own eyes to widen a bit before narrowing dangerously thin. She stampered towards the male, her finger pointed towards him in what was supposed to be an intimidating appearance.

"You!" she shouted, as she poked the male in his chest, "You left me there without a word! Do you know how long I stayed at that clearing waiting for you!" her voice growing a decibel with each word. She resisted the urge to slap Atomsk as her hand flew up. She placed it down at her side before sighing. Turning towards her group, she shook her head before returning her attention towards Atomsk.

"You and I have a lot to catch up on, but we have other pressing matters at hand. Our business will have to wait," she spoke, her tone in a flat, monotonous style. In all honesty she was seething. He had told her to meet him the day before Kojiro disappeared at a small clearing. It was one of her favorite spots as a child as the three of them used to stare at the stars, counting them, naming them, silly things like that. She waited for hours and he never showed. Kovaa had woken her up the next day as she had fallen asleep in the clearing, waiting for Atomsk to appear. It seemed important, at least to him and she was furious when he never showed.

Atomsk smiled. Strangly enough, he enjoyed the scolding. Just like old times. She turned away and put her attention on the Rocket Grunts once more. He looked forward to talking to her. He walked up behind her and wrapped a single arm around her shoulders. He gave her a tight hug. "It's good to see you again." He said, leaning down so he could whisper it to her.

He let go, and walked over to a nearby building. He leaned up against it, observing from a distance. He made sure he was in sight, that way Junko knew he wasn't going to run. It was then that Nano began yelling at him. He looked down to the Pokémon. She looked upset. He leaned his head to the side, a signal to jump onto his shoulder. Nano complied, and began playfully chewing on his ear once she was a top her perch, She growled angrily. Atomsk could tell she was jealous. He raised his hand to pet the small Eevee. She ceased her chewing and enjoyed Atomsk's affection, although it was clear on her face that she was still unhappy.

Atomsk looked intently at the group. He knew what he had been ordered to do. Saving the grunts. But he had no such plans. He was going to let them be captured. This was a small act of defiance. All he would allow himself. He wondered what Junko and her companions would do to them. He pushed the thought from his mind. Not really caring in all honesty. They were Team Rocket. Scum as far as he was concerned. Although he was no better. He smiled to himself. He couldn't be sad now. Junko was here. He looked forward to catching up.

A woman stood among the trees, off of the clearing, and grinned, a Beautifly fluttering around her, despite such a Pokemon not being native to Kanto. Clearly Atomsk had some kind of connection with Mystery Woman. Mykeisha always felt as if she needed to 'know things' about mysterious people, probably out of, and her Boss was first on that list, and if she was bored again, she'd find stuff about her seemingly not-as-interesting teammates. She'd gotten a clue Atomsk was involved with him in some way. Of course, she wasn't a direct person, and Atomsk wasn't the most open of people either. So, she got most information by eavesdropping all the time, and the fact she was a ghost really helped with that, which is why she could simply stand in semi-clear view and simply observe behind people, or even in front of them, though the latter wasn't the case. She was only interested in Atomsk's peculiar decisions and the identity of the mystery woman, whom of which Mykeisha knew little else than her existence. Of course she had yet to notice somebody else whom of which would have been much more important to her.

Kael eyed the man as he walked into view with a little more caution than he normally would have when dealing with strangers. The man's whole demeanor seemed to scream shady to Kael. The fact that the guy didn't seem at all at odds with the fact that there were three members of the most notorious criminal band in the region was a clear warning indicator in his eyes. Or eye rather... He thought ruefully.

Junko seemed to know the man though as she stalked over and, less than subtly, began greeting the newcomer. Even with her obvious knowledge of the man, Kael frowned. He wondered if it might be her brother she spoke of finding, but dismissed the fact based on the way she was dealing with the appearance of the new guy. Kael leaned a little closer to Ravenna to see what her thoughts were regarding this new development. "Who do you suppose he is?" Even though the man didn't appear all that hostile, Kael still kept a hand close to his belt, ready to call on his own Pokemon in a moment's notice.

Ravenna looked a bit distracted, though her eyes were fixed on what was quite obviously an emotional reunion. She didn't need empathy to tell her that. But that man... he was such a dull shade of blue-grey, as though he'd once been brighter, but all the color had bled right out of him. She almost didn't notice, though, because something pinged on the edge of her awareness, the sensation of another's presence. It would have gone unnoticed in a city as large as this, with a population so dense, but it was too familiar for her not to notice. And yet... it couldn't be. Surely, her mind was playing tricks on her. Kei was dead. She'd dreamed her friend's demise as though she'd lived it, and the end had felt so final. Kei had known she was going to die, and then there had been only blackness. It was a nightmare that still gave her shudders, and unconsciously, Ravenna brought her hands up to wrap around her biceps, as though trying to ward off the cold.

She might have even turned around, but Kael spoke then, and the question let her focus on something much less worrisome than old memories. Tilting her head to one side owlishly, she blinked as he walked away, taking up residence against the side of a building. "A Minun to a Plusle," she said softly. A friend, perhaps even a counterpart; it was too muddled to tell. Feelings weren't things she always understood, even if she could detect them, and in the end, Junko's irritation overpowered nearly everything but the affection anyway. The depth of that, she couldn't gauge, but it seemed important.

It was all a few too many developments for her, perhaps, and with the niggling sensation of being watched in the back of her mind, she chewed absently on her lip and turned back to the Rocket Grunts. By now, though, they weren't alone. Of course not; the events had caused major structural damage, and people were beginning to gather. In the distance, she could hear police sirens-- in all likelihood, someone had called in the officers. The Grunts were by now looking very uncomfortable, but clearly too frightened of Kenji to risk running away. The blond one felt resigned, if irritated, and the other two weren't even thinking clearly enough to read, probably as overwhelemed by the goings-on as she was. The milieu of emotion and thought here was making her feel faintly nauseous, and she swallowed thickly.

"The police will be here soon," she announced, seemingly to everyone and no one simultaneously. "Maybe we should..." she stopped, truly unsure as to how to continue the thought. Press on to Vermillion? Would Junko's friend want to come? Would the others prefer to stay? She found herself unable to ask the questions, her brain addled by the intensity of what was occurring.

"Yeah, I suggest we book it. The fuzz gives me the jitters and I don't like the look we're paintin'. The last thing I want is to be affliated with these fools," Kenji suggested, backing away from the trio of Rocket's and back toward his own group. The first thing he noted was the arrival of a stranger pairing off with Junko. This earned an arched eyebrow from Kenji and a look to Light. Both shrugged at each other in unison. "Yappin' isn't gettin' us anywhere quick, so let's get this show on the road, yeah? I say we leave these stiffs to their own devices." Kenji posited. He really didn't want to have anything to do with the police. "Dunno, but we can find out later," Kenji answered Kael.

"We still got a job to do, and we can't do it if we're bein' questioned."

"Yeah, because everyone loves talking about everything and nothing all at once," Junko replied to Kenji. She turned her attention towards Ravenna as she spoke up. Taking a final glance towards Atomsk through the corners of her eyes, she returned her attention towards Ravenna and smiled. "We should press on towards Vermilion. We should leave these guys," Junko stated, jabbing her thumb in the direction of the grunts, "to Officer Jenny," she finished, crossing her arms against her chest. She tossed a glance over her shoulder towards Atomsk.

"If you are coming with us, I suggest you come introduce yourself to the group. I am not doing that for you," she shouted over her shoulder and smiled back to the group. "Shall we?" she asked as she began walking away from the group. She didn't want to waste any more time by standing around doing absolutely nothing to help further her goal. And to find Bill's Pokemon of course.

Kouji departed the Mart a few supplies wealthier, and Croqua gaining a berry to hold onto. Croc was especially vulnerable to to status infections, so Kouji figured that a Chesto Berry would help his developing immune system some. As he began to reunite with Atomsk, however, he noticed that the pair of them had suddenly become quite a handful!

Not really attempting to stay out of sight, himself and Croc stood at the outskirts of the Mart. Kouji was a fair distance away, but still close enough to make out significant features in each of the new faces. Closest to Atomsk was a female trainer whose posture signified a persona of confidence. He heard her say something in an irritated tone towards his companion, though he couldn't decipher anything coherent.

"That's gotta be the chick Atomsk was ordered to tail..." Kouji reasoned, seeing only one other girl present.

Other girl? Kouji's eyes were immediately drawn to the trainer farther back, closer to the red-haired trainer. Her stance seemed withdrawn, indicating that she felt withdrawn, or at least introverted from the rest of her companions.

Before he could indulge in this girls beauty, however, Kouji was drawn to the other two trainers present. He wasn't so much interested in the brawny guy, but rather the crimson-haired trainer who stood comforting this beauty. He seemed familiar, though he couldn't put his finger on why exactly...

There was a lot to think about- it didn't help that the group appeared to be moving. Police sirens could be heard in the distance, and as the group pressed onward, the apprehended Rocket Grunts came into sight. It was here that Kouji needed orders- should he stay behind and be Atomsk's backup, or head back to HQ? He stayed within eyesight- if the other members saw him, then so be it, but he needed confirmation from his "leader" now on what his priorities should be. As curious as Kouji was now about these 'friends' of Atomsk, Kouji's task was complete.

"Wait, what?!"

He blurted out the statement without thinking as Junko called out to the 'scruffy' newcomer leaning against a building. Kael had been, rather enthusiastically, nodding along as Kenji suggested leaving the site and the grunts behind to continue on their own 'errand' while dodging the, arduously long, questions of the local police; but his nodding was interrupted as the new individual was invited over and, even more so, to accompany them. Junko seemed to know him, but still....

His arrival seemed to be all too convenient in Kael's mind. Perhaps the appearance of the Rockets and the days' events were starting to get to him and he was possibly becoming paranoid, or maybe Ravenna's '...Minun to a Plusle..." comment was still lingering in his head as well. But the nagging feeling persisted in the back of his mind when he looked over the man once more. "Hmph..." Kael let out the sound without warning as he gave up on trying to rationalize everything. "Let's just go, this waiting around is starting to grate on..."

He left his sentance trail off as he caught the sight of someone standing out from the scenery. The wiry, black-haired youth stood staring at their group from a distance, not showing any signs of coming closer or retreating. At first, Kael thought the guy was curious about three Rockets in the middle of the streets, but his eyes seemed to be locked on to where Ravenna and Kael stood, a bit away from the Rockets.

Not remembering a time anyone had stared at Kael for more than a few seconds before averting their eyes, he surmised the man must be staring at the pink-haired woman next to him. Kael lifted his eye again as he realized he had just been 'checking her out' himself as he mulled the question over in his head. "Uh..." he tapped Ravenna lightly on the shoulder and pointed in the direction of the man, "I think you have an admirer..."

"You sure he ain't yours champ? You're quite the handsome catch," Kenji teased as he followed Junko away from the center of trouble they've found themselves in. In his eyes, the further away from the fuzz, the better.

"Eh?" Ravenna emerged from her distracted thought process at the statement, following the direction Kael was indicating, trying to decide if she recognized the person there. But she didn't, and she shook her head. "I don't think so," she replied simply, if with a small amout of residual puzzlement. It wasn't like she'd never been stared at before; people had done so all the time back home, largely because they thought her weird. Folk were naturally curious, and she didn't let that sort of thing bother her.

That said, this situation was hardly the most comfortable overall, and her shoulders slumped in visible relief when the group started moving again by consensus. The man Junko had spoken to hadn't moved yet, but she knew, in that strange way she sometimes knew things, that the faded fellow would not be leaving them quite yet. Being a relatively trusting sort, she shared none of Kael's reservations about this. Junko, despite her words, did not seem uneasy to have him around, and that was enough for her, at least for the moment. Maybe, when they were further away from the crowd and all the distraction, she'd put her more unique talents to use, but they were all but pointless with so many people in such close proximity, all of them feeling one thing or another with strength: anxiety, suspicion, curiosity... it was a heady mix, certainly.

Eager to be away from this place, Ravenna spared one last look for the Rockets and followed in the wake of Junko and Kenji, already anticipating the relative peace and quiet of the road. She'd not quite expected this much excitement when she'd awoken this morning, that was for sure.

To Mykeisha's disappointment, she could hardly hear a word of what any of these people were saying. Not to mention that nothing hugely interesting was going on, the most intriguing thing was probably the tied up Rocket grunts (and perhaps one of the girls had some of the most beautiful pink hair she'd ever seen). She contemplated letting them escape, but decided against it. Mykeisha decided it was best to return to the base, so she could eat, and hopefully something interesting was going on. That was how Mykeisha operated, to her own amusement, which came in the form of curiosity. However, witnessing a fellow spy, she decided there was one more thing she could do, and hid behind a tree.

"Hello, Mister Stalker." the ghost woman's voice greeted behind Kouji, in a similar matter as she did to Atomsk, being rather close to him like the creeper she was. How she ended up there as if she appeared out of thin air was unexplainable beyond the Pokémon universe.

Mykeisha's sudden appearance quite startled the usually un-flappable Kouji, though her meddlesome demeanor hardly surprised him. Croc was even more startled, to the point that he began angrily chattering at her, bearing his fearsome teeth with hopes of intimidating her. "Oh my," she responded to the pokemon in false astonishment, bringing fan up to her face.

"You're lucky I didn't bring my sword- with my reflexes the way they are, I might've cut you in two..." Kouji retorted, quickly withdrawing Croc to avoid drawing further attention to himself, "And I'm not stalking anybody. Atomsk is in charge of the op- I'm waiting for his word while observing these other guys. They look friendly enough, but you can't be too sure."

" And again I am asked the question of why a Psyduck gets a headache when another one already has, I've already taken care of it." she responded.

Kouji scratched his head, "And I had been doing so well avoiding this crazy chick...oh well, may as well indulge her and be done with it..."

He was in no way interested in anything this bizarre officer had to say- still, if Atomsk was simply going to send the two back to HQ, it may be good to get in cozily with another officer should things turn sour. Kouji's recent conversation with Atomsk left him with the impression that not all was what he thought Team Cataclysm would be. Not that he didn't have his suspicions before- he simply needed to hear it from a fellow member.

Mustering all of the patience and mock interest he could, Kouji spoke, "So, Mykeisha, what brings you here? Atomsk was pretty deadset on doing this op alone- I imagine curiosity got the better of you?" He made sure to take a few steps back, being understandably uncomfortable next to the woman who believed she was dead.

"Well, I could ask the same question, but as I said about the Psyducks..." she faltered a bit and gazed at Atomsk. "A servant like yourself wouldn't mind doing one task for me, call it a dying will, if you may." she played with her fan and glanced at him. "After all, we had so much fun this morning without you, right? You must be becoming like me to do something new and exciting, right?"

Kouji went from confused to irritated in a matter of milliseconds. He had learned to simply go with the flow when she started spouting off nonsense like the bizarre Psyduck analogy, but he wasn't too keen on being referred to as a servant. It was bad enough that he was technically supposed to take orders from her, but being belittled at her expense was where he drew the line. Especially when he was fairly sure that he was every bit her equal in a fight.

"Let's get something clear- I can't do anything about you pulling rank, but nowhere in my contract did it say I had to put up with being called your servant. I'm getting paid to fight Rockets and run ops for you guys, not put up with your bullshit." Kouji paused to let himself cool down- he was usually good about keeping his emotions in check, but something about this bizarre woman rubbed him the wrong way.

Composing himself, he calmly replied, " any case, it sounds like this 'task' of yours is gonna be more of an order. If that's the case, I'm all ears."

Mykeisha frowned under her blue and pink 'mask', but then went back to smiling, as if never offended at all. "Ever hear the expression, 'ghosts have no mouths'? Anyway, I was hoping you'd follow Atomsk, if you please, for the Boss's sake, perhaps? He's not in trouble, but I want you to report his actions to me whenever possible, alright?" she ended with a light smile, but then she turned to face away from Kouji.

Kouji put both of his hands into the pockets of his black dress pants, putting the weight on his hind leg. Was Mykeisha serious? Why would she be interested in the happenings of Atomsk? Even more curious still was why she was asking him to do it, when she was more than capable of spying herself. Either way, Kouji wasn't having any of it, and he had justification to refuse this order.

"Sorry, but maybe you missed the part where I mentioned my contract. Spying on my colleagues has nothing to do with overthrowing the Rockets." He paused a moment to reflect on the fact that she mentioned Kojiro, "If Kojiro's got suspicions that Atomsk might be a Rocket, then I'll go and hear it from his own mouth."

He had no delusions that Atomsk was an enemy, as it contradicted all of his observations- this was simply to get Mykeisha off of his case. Still, he grounded himself a bit more- he wasn't sure how Mykeisha would react. She always seemed to have her own agenda, and he wouldn't put it past her to react a little more violently. Calmly standing a bit taller, he would put the ball in Mykeisha's court, "I think we're done here, unless you've got something else for me?" He sincerely hoped that the former was not the case.

"Do you honestly think I signed any contracts to become this?!" she shouted, not daring to turn around or make a move. She went silent for a few seconds, but then spoke up again, her voice wavering slightly, "N-no, It's okay... I can do it myself..." She paused again, standing like a statue facing the crowd she was watching before, at Atomsk, the mystery woman, the pink-hair, the big guy and the cyclops. She turned her head slightly and looked back at Kouji. "I only ask you this; Do you want to become stronger?"

Kouji was once again taken very much off guard, even jumping a little at her sudden outburst. Kouji was used to seeing Mykeisha engaging in her own idiosyncratic devices, but now she seemed almost vulnerable. Kouji retraced his words, trying in vain to figure out what the catalyst was for her abrupt distress. He could tell that something was genuinely troubling her, but he hadn't enough information (nor enough motivation) to decipher what.

He only became more puzzled as the question about becoming stronger escaped her lips. Kouji caressed Bignacious's Pokeball, fearing that anything he responded with might send her down a more violent outburst. Rational wordplay was all but lost on this one, so it seemed.

Kouji decided that it would be prudent to be frank with her on this answer, fearing that antagonizing her any more would draw unwanted attention.

"Stronger, huh? There's a loaded question. I guess I could warn you that curiosity killed the cat, but apparently death has no real hold over you these days..." The quip was intended to give him some time to ponder the surprisingly deep question, "I guess my quest for strength started with Dad. I never cared much for any sort of confrontation- Pokemon battles, arguments, debates, they were all kind've a drag. I only took up battling as a way to get Dad's attention. At least, that's how it started. Our Pokeball shop got hit by some Rocket Thugs back when I was just getting started. Nobody was hurt- nobody that mattered anyway. But watching my Dad fight them- I guess that's when I knew my purpose. All my life, I kinda stood by the sidelines, never picking a side or standing for anything for fear of stepping on someones toes. Dad fights to be the worlds best Dragon Trainer- I guess I fight for myself."

He paused for a moment, "Well, I guess I can give myself a little more credit than that. I guess Pokemon training was sort've my way of making a stand. If I could battle, I could protect what was most important to me. At the time it was my family, but now that I'm here, I guess I have some crazy notion that I'm gonna make some sort of noble contribution to getting rid of an evil syndicate. I'm not looking for glory- I'm just tired of standing on the sidelines."

He made eye-contact with his superior, "So I guess the answer to your question is 'yes.' I do, in fact, wanna become stronger. Why do you ask?"

Mykeisha was close to being teary-eyed from Kouji's story. Listening to the life story of a living man was not too different from listening to that of a dead one, but rather, instead of ending in eternal regret or peace, the story had a continuance. It also caused Mykeisha to remember she had not spoken with real ghosts in a very long time.

She rotated her head more so her eyes would meet his. "As long as you have the resolve to get stronger, you're good enough for this Team. If you do it to protect someone, that is true honor." If only she had another protecting her that time, not just another Pokemon, but another human, then just maybe...

Mykeisha was a paragon of unpredictability this day! Kouji was astonishingly at a loss for words, simply because he had no idea how to read this woman!

"Geez, one minute she's talking down to me like I'm some sort of puppet, then the next, she's trying to build me up as some sort of hero...what in the world is her angle in all of this?"

Sensing no malice or ulterior motives to her words, Kouji responded in kind, "Um...well, thank you Mykeisha." He wasn't used to talking about himself at this length, so he wasn't really sure how to react to someone's judge of his character. Still, as grudging as it was considering the source, he was a little relieved to hear some genuine words of encouragement.

He would've felt bad not returning her sentiments, but given the nature of their relationship, he didn't feel he had a lot to say. The girl believed that she was dead- for all he knew, she may interpret a compliment as an insult! Still, ever preferring forgiveness afterwards in favor of permission beforehand, he would try his luck.

"Look, I know we aren't exactly the best of friends, and I can't really sympathize with you. But empathy is something I've gotten good at over the, uh, I hope things start looking up for you." Kouji decided that this whole encouragement thing was something he dreadfully needed work on.

Atomsk smiled at the invitation. The perfect excuse to tag along. He planned on doing a little sweet talking, but it turned out to be unneccesary. Atomsk looked to Junko and her group of companions. "Hey give me one second to tell my friends! I'll be right back." Atomsk turned tail, and briskly jogged over to Kouji and Mykeisha. The two were talking, and Atomsk didn't particularly care what it was about. He looked to the two of them, speaking up as to grab their attention. "Hey you two! I'm going a ways farther with these guys. Why don't you head back? All three of us missing would leave us vulnerable. Especially an officer. I'll head on alone." How I wanted it in the first place, he thought to himself.

Mykeisha frowned. Them going elsewhere meant it was about impossible to track them. Not to mention Kouji refused to take on her task, of which she'd issued precisely for this type of situation. However, Mykeisha was never, ever, the one at lost, as she did have another plan. "But what of your task?"

"I'm performing my task. I'm following the girl. I never planned on saving the grunts. It is far too risky, and the information I'm likely to obtain is invaluable. I'm not going to give up this oportunity for just three grunts." He paused to think. Maybe these guys coming along had some use. "Since I'm going this part alone, you guys can make yourselves useful, and we can fulfill both parts of this mission with some bonus to boot. Considering the size of Saffron City and the previously huge occupation that Team Rocket had here, I'm sure that there are more then just those three Grunts that you will find locked up. I know it's risky, but if you two could stage a jail break, we would not only be releasing potentially hundreds of Grunts, we'd also be giving them a reason to come over to the side of Cataclysm. You think you two are up for the challenge?"

"Ask the Boss for large scale things, but I'm not up to that sort of thing..." Mykeisha responded. At that, she simply started walking in the direction of the base. Her appetite at that time as equal to that of the human energy consumption rate.

Kouji couldn't help but feel that Atomsk was simply saying "Piss off" in a very candycoated manner. Even more ineresting was Atomsk, no higher up on the chain of command than Kouji himself, was giving orders to an officer. It was a day of strange occurrences, and as curious as Kouji was about the emergence of this new group and their relation to everything, he decided that today was not the day to solve this mystery.

Instead, he decided that it may be prudent to take advantage of this offer presented to him. All this time he had waited for someone to ask him to do his job- with Atomsk's proposal, he would do one better in that he could make a significant splash without having been "officially" told.

As soon as Mykeisha brushed aside the proposal, Kouji chimed in, "I'll do it. This op isn't an official order, right? I'm low man on the totem pole, so I've got less to lose than Mykeisha does. She can go back to HQ and relay all that's happened here. I'll stage the jailbreak- one man will be easier to breach the prison with, or if worse comes to worse, it'll be easier for just me to escape."

Not that he was particularly interested in making any friends, (or for that matter, springing Rockets from prison,) but this act of unsolicited servitude might grant him the loyalty and trust of some of the higher-ups. Kouji didn't care to be in the dark, and to that end, would do anything to find the truth.

"Well then by all mean Kouji. In the meantime..." He turned around and began walking back towards the group. He paused, before he was out of earshot, and turned back. "Thanks for earlier Kouji. It was......nice!" Atomsk turned away, and walked back to Junko's group. "Since I'm tagging along, I'm Atomsk." He said without looking at anyone in particular. He was far too nervous. At this point, he didn't care if Junko knew. He stuck a cigarette in his mouth and lit it up, calming himself greatly.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Hoga
Atomsk and Junko

Atomsk walked along with the group, making sure to hang in the back, avoiding pretty much everybody. This made him look incredibly suspicious, and he wasn't comfortable with that. He also wasn't comfortable with a large group of unknown people around him either. So really it was the lesser of two evils. Besides he had Junko to vouch for him. She would chalk up any of his odd behavior to him just being nervous. He hoped the others would do the same. He took another drag of his cigarette, trying to calm himself. Nano was yelling loudly into his ear. She didn't like him smoking. He made sure to keep it out of her face when she rode on his shoulder, but she still complained, more for his sake than her own. He sighed, dropping the remaining stub to the ground. He looked over to the small Pokémon, with a look of apology on his face. She didn't like Junko, but that was the whole reason they were there. He petted her softly. He kept thinking he was sorry, and he believed she got the point because she calmed down some.

Atomsk was growing anxious, and decided that, as opposed to sitting there longer and just beating around the bush, he would simply bite the bullet, and would confront Junko. Atomsk gave Nano one last pet, and picked up his pace to a light jog, easily making his way to the front of the group, towards Junko.

"So hows it going then beautiful?" He knew it probably wasn't apropriate, but he could think of no other way to address her, and hoped to break the tension some.

As soon as they left Saffron, Junko could feel the silence and awkwardness creep around the group. Most of the team either stayed quiet or tried to hum to themselves a tune to break the silence. She smiled slightly as they continued to walk, quietly and just hands stuck in the pockets. Zeki poked at her cheeks, a bored expression on the Meowth's face as she stared at Junko. Junko merely swatted Zeki's paw away before picking the pokemon up and setting her on the ground, forcing her to walk beside Junko. A triumphant smile forced its way to her lips as Meowth tried her best at annoying Junko by crying. Thankfully, Atomsk approached, the smell of cigarette smoke following after him, and spoke.

"[color=##0D4F8B]You have a lot to explain mister,[/color]" Junko stated in a flat tone, her crimson gaze focused on the blue-eyed male beside her and ignoring his statement. "What was so important that you left me there, waiting for you in that field?" she continued, the same monotonous tone lingering. She placed her hands on her hips, her gaze narrowing into slits as she continued to stare. She had waited the whole day or Atomsk to show up. It seemed so important to him that she actually took the day off from training to see what had him so riled up. When he hadn't shown up, all the anger just built up and was slowly exerting through now that he had appeared. Zeki hissed up at Atomsk before jumping back onto Junko's shoulder, the pokemon giving a flat stare as her tail flicked back and forth.

"Well I heard about Kojiro and........I panicked. I promised myself I would protect him, and the moment I forgot that for even a second, the moment I try to find some happiness for myself......" Atomsk trailed off, looking away as he did. He felt guilty. He had left her. His feelings were a stew of pain and regret. Most of all though, above all else, he wanted to tell her why he asked her to meet him there that day. He looked down now, obviously looking for the words that he so desperately wished to convey to her. But in the end, he couldn't. Why wouldn't he let himself tell her? Why did he follow Kojiro on his insane endevours? He didn't know anymore really. He was just going along the motions now. He was a horse who was chasing a carrot. A horse who had long ago learned the trick, but still chased the carrot, because it was all he knew anymore.
Today sucked. All these emotions. He had been okay. He had been happy for so long, or as close to happy as he could get. He exhaled. He couldn't finish. He hung his head, and then rose it, looking to Junko with his signature, goofy smile, looking to her for something. Anything.

Junko rose an eyebrow to Atomsk's explanation. Kojiro had disappeared not too long ago, so how had he known about it before she did? She was about to question him further when Zeki poked her head, pushing it forward while glaring at her. Junko pushed the pokemon down her shoulder and returned her attention to Atomsk. With a sigh, she slumped her shoulders and watched as he hung his head with a goofy smile appearing on his lips.

"Whatever, you know I can't do anything against that face," she nearly stuttered as she resisted the urge to punch him. She wanted to though, and the urge was a lot stronger than her control, but in the meantime she wouldn't. "Seeing as you're still around, I take it your search hasn't gone as well as mine has," she stated, barely above a whisper. She was worried now. Kojiro was missing and she had no idea where he was. She brought her arms up, almost as if she were trying to warm herself up from an imaginary cold. Zeki rubbed her head against Junko's as she patted the pokemon, eliciting a purr as she curled into Junko's hair.

"I haven't seen him in such a long time," she continued. She turned to Atomsk and pushed his head a bit, in a friendly gesture as she had done so many years ago.

Atomsk let out a small laugh as Junko pushed his head. He smiled, but her most recent comment hurt more then any other could. Atomsk was lying to her. It hurt him to his core. But he smiled through it. He looked over to Junko. His smile was awkward and misplaced considering the somber atmosphere. "Yeah.....I miss him too." He trailed off again. He stopped, and grabbed her shoulder, firmly, but not painfully, in an attempt to reassure her, making sure to turn her towards him so she could see him so he could properly convey his feelings.

"I know that after leaving you like that, my promises probably mean nothing, but I will find him. I've always been looking. I never stopped looking." He raised his other hand, and extended his pinkie finger. It seemed childish, but no matter how old they got, pinkie promises always showed Junko how serious Atomsk was about something. "I promise. I'll bring him back to us"

Junko stared at Atomsk as he spoke. The group had already stopped for the evening, and one of the Arcanines had lit a small camp fire. She sighed in defeat, knowing she couldn't stay mad at Atomsk for too long even though she wanted to be. She wanted to be angry with him, to tell him to go away and just leave, but their friendship had pushed all the negativity away. Something in his eyes told her that he wasn't telling her everything, but she let it go for now. Before she could return the gesture, Zeki popped her hand in the way, grabbing Atomsk's pinky in her paw and shook it, giving him a rather odd look in the process.

"I guess Zeki made the promise for me," Junko laughed as she rubbed the Meowth's ears. Zeki purred happily before grabbing Junko's belt, handing it to her so that she could release her pokemon. "I suppose I should let the gang out then," she spoke as she grabbed the four balls and tossed them, releasing all of her pokemon at once. She smiled as Harag trotted up to her, nudging her gently with his head before staring at Atomsk. Something must have set the Houndoom off as he growled his disapproval of the male. Junko flicked his nose, softly before stooping eye level to the Houndoom.

"Don't be like that Harag, or I will put you back in your ball for the rest of the night," she threatened with a smile. Harag whined but obliged his trainer. Cerah had sat, watching with amusement in his eyes before sitting next to Junko, his golden black fur shining with the twilight aura. Kovaa hadn't minded so much and had stalked towards the other group, looking for something to eat while Fiamma neighed happily as she munched on the grass. Setia, however, remained in her ball. Junko didn't want to let the Gyarados out of her pokeball simply because she knew something so miniscule would set her off. She didn't want to have to explain to her new found friends that the red raging Gyarados was hers.

Atomsk knew his friends were around. they always were. He told them to hang back, but they kept close enough to keep an eye on him. He put his fingers in his mouth, and let out a loud whistle. B. A. E. G. E. It was the signal to come back to him. He waited a moment, and like clock work, his companions returned. He pulled out Sumo's ball, and tossed it high into the air. It opened revealing the large Pokémon inside. She roared as she was let free. She growled happily upon seeing him, and reached down to "hug" him. He cringed, and let her put her arms around him. She gave him a big slobbery kiss. It was pretty standard. After that little bit, Atomsk enojyed Sumo's presence greatly. She was enjoyable. He reached his arms around her massivee head, and gave her a big hug. Rai and Thai appeared together. The two were never far from eachother. Hothead swept down from the sky, and perched comfortably on Sumo's horn. Broke walked into camp with a casual strole. He saw others tense up as he approached. Zwelious were normally violent, and any other Zwelious he was sure would have the intention of tearing up the camp, but Broke strolled in and began licking his face calmly, as a dog would. He scratched Broke's heads, one hand for each head. Sumo laid on her stomach, making herself a wall and overhang for his group. He laid aginst her stomach casually. Rai and Thai took there places at his sides, as they always did. They always looked so serious, something he appreciated, and at the same time he wished they would lighten up some. Hothead stayed atop his pearch on Sumo's head. Broke laid his heads on Atomsk's lap. and Nano remained on his shoulder.

Atomsk crossed his legs, and placed his arms on his lap. His hands hanging over his knees.He closed his eye's and began meditating. A strong body was only attainable through a strong mind. Atomsk had begun meditation many years ago. It alowed him to detach himself from everything. Even if it was for just a short while, he liked being able to distance himself from his problems. He took a deep breath in, and let his mind go free.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Ion


The following morning, the group rose and broke camp, Ravenna at least pleased to find that she woke quite warm, as the fire had not died overnight. Yawning and stretching her arms towards the dawning sun, she recalled all of her pokemon except Artemis, who was quite insistent that it was her turn to be out and about. Normally, she probably just would have walked with all her pokemon, but given the volume of people around her lately, she didn't want to block the entire route or anything. It was actually a funny thought, what they'd all look like with all their pokemon released and walking down the street, but she shelved it for the moment and kicked a bit of ash over the flames to bank them to nothing, throwing her bag over her shoulder.

Her hair, she'd just brush on the road, and everything else could wait until they hit Vermilion. The Pokemon Center there was bound to have rooms they could occupy for the night, not being nearly as large as Cerulean in terms of trainer population. Most of the denizens of Vermillion were artists or retirees, or at least they had been last time she was there. That was only a couple of years ago, though, so she had no reason to believe it would have changed much.

Indeed, when they at last arrived, it was to a scene quite lovely: the temperature was quite moderate today, a light summer breeze toying with their hair and the fabric of their clothing. Beyond the low-lying buildings, one could easily spot the docks and the glimmering sapphire expanse of the ocean's pristine waters. Off to the west lay the Gym, and she smiled fondly at her recollection of her battle there quite some time ago. It had been a real growing experience for her pokemon and herself both. But most of all, she had missed that ocean.

Bill had told them to seek out the police here for further information on Team Rocket, and they didn't have to look far. One of the many sisters, cousins, and aunts named Officer Jenny dashed by them even as they entered the main part of the city, holding a sheaf of document in one hand and shouting into a communicator of some kind, held in the other. Beside her, her Growlithe ran apace, looking intently in the direction she assumed the police station must be. "Well," Ravenna said airily, blinking slowly, "I suppose that must be the direction we want."

"No use standing around then," Kael said as he watched the little Growlithe running along beside Officer Jenny. It looked as if her tiny puppy was much smaller than his had been so long ago, but it could have just been him getting used to the increased size of his Arcanine. Stretching a kink out of his neck that had arisen from waking up frequently the previous night to tend to their fire, he began the steady trot after the policewoman. "Let's catch up!" He was unsure whether his enthusiasm stemmed from getting more information on their current 'mission', or the fact that he was now chasing an attractive woman...

Panting as the group reached the Police Station, Kael was amazed at how fast a woman could run in heels. "Holy crap..." he said between breaths. Reaching for the door handle, he forced himself back upright as he tugged the door open and stepped into a scene of complete and utter chaos. People ran about in every direction, papers were flying on and off desks, and it looked as if a Pidgeot had just finished whipping up a hurricane inside the building.

Eying the officer at the front desk, Kael let out a groan at seeing that it was someone other than one of the many Jenny's that littered the Police Forces. Any hope of using his charms to get the show on the road were hopelessly dashed at seeing the man. Lacking the subtle tact necessary in any situation so close after chasing a woman, Kael walked straight up to the man's desk and smacked a hand down. "Yo, Buddy! Who do we speak to around here for information on the Rockets?"

"... 'Yo buddy'[i] he says, like he owns the place. You sir, have a pair," Kenji muttered behind Kael. Never in all of his run-ins with the cops, had he ever called one buddy. It was always [i]"yes sir" or "no ma'am" or "please don't throw my ass in jail, I don't have bail money." Once over that threshold between police station and not police station, Kenji visible became more anxious. True, he hadn't done nothing wrong this time, but last time he was in a police station, he had a nice shiny pair of bracelets to go with the trip. Sure, he should have known this was going to happen, considering Bill told them, but it didn't make him any more comfortable. To his credit though, he presented himself very well. He even had a shirt on.

Even so, he tried to hide his goliath frame behind the rest of the party-- to no avail. Light saw what he was trying to do, and laughed at his plight. "If his ass gets put in jail, I vote we disown him. 'No officer, we don't know this heathen.' What do you think?" Kenji whispered to Ravenna. It was a funny joke, and maybe it helped him with the anxiety he felt. Or maybe he wasn't joking. His facial expression and tone certainly didn't do him any favors.

Ravenna fought to keep a straight face, clearing her throat a tad awkwardly. "Probably the only thing they'd arrest him for is being too... friendly?" She wasn't exactly sure what to call the demeanor Kael was going for here, and apparently neither was the officer at whom it was directed. Looking up at the hand and then following the trajectory to the face of the man with an eyepatch, he raised a single dark brow.

"That would be nobody, unless you have something more specific. We don't give out information on active investigations," he said simply, glancing the entire group over. He looked a smidge suspicious of Kenji and Atomsk, but the fact that they were in a group with two women as nonthreatening in appearance as Junko and Ravenna and a guy as... straightforward as Kael apparently eased any concern he may have had. Ravenna, for her part, felt the shifts in his emotions as he looked upon all of them in turn, and decided to press what little advantage she had in a situation like this, which was to say her slightly vacant-looking naivete.

"Please excuse us, sir," she said demurely, "but we're friends of Bill's, and his pokemon were recently kidnapped by Team Rocket. He sent us here for more information." She adjusted her own emotional barometer somewhat, sending subtle wavelengths of reassurance throughout the room, which resulted in the occasional easing of tensed shoulders or the smoothing of a creased brow, but not much more than that. Her goal wasn't to force anyone to do anything, just to help a bit.

Being a bit closer than the rest, the officer at the desk picked up on it quickly, and the slight frown he was wearing disappeared. "Look, I'm not in charge of who gets that information. I'll talk to the boss, but I can't guarantee anything. Wait here." Standing from his desk, he disappeared into an office in the back of the station, and didn't reemerge for a good ten minutes. When he did, he looked vaguely nonplussed. "The boss is really interested in meeting you," he said, tone echoing his mild surprise. "Please follow me." He led them to one end of the building, opening a meeting room for the lot of them. At the center of the room was an oval-shaped table, with black swivel chairs arranged around it. It was as yet empty; presumably, they would have to wait on this 'boss' person a bit longer yet.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait:
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#, as written by Azazel


Junko woke to Harag nudging her face, trying to get his trainer up. She pushed his head away and glanced around, noticing a majority of the group was already awake. She yawned, stretching slightly as Zeki rolled to her side, purring still as she slept. Junko poked the pokemon's side, earning an annoyed meow before picking up the Meowth that lay limp in her hands. Junko laughed as she placed Zeki onto her shoulder and recalled all of her pokemon back into their balls. She didn't do much with her appearance, just throwing her hair into a ponytail as the group made their way.

Before she knew it, they had arrived at Vermilion City. It wasn't exactly as she remembered it, but it had been awhile since she had been there. Things change over the years, and it was nice to see that the City was still somewhat familiar at least. Officer Jenny ran passed the group, her Growlithe in tow as Ravenna took the opportunity to point out the direction they needed to go in. Junko remained silent as they followed suit. Her mind was still too preoccupied with other things than to join the conversation. Although she did have to chuckle slightly at Kael's approach to the station and Kenji's response to it.

"You forget, he's a pirate remember" she whispered to Kenji as he spoke about disowning him. "When did you adopt him?" she countered. The group was led away to a room. She took a seat in one of the chairs as the others did and waited for whomever was to appear. Her interest was peaked a bit at the rather unusual reply the officer stated. They were expected.

Atomsk opened his eyes to the rest of the group getting up to continue their little venture. Atomsk took no time in waking up his friends, returning Sumo to her ball. and following the rest of the group He had missed morning training. Normally Rai and Thai would have woken him up, but they slept through it as well. It was rare, but a day off was deserved every now and then. He remained silent, not particularly concerned with many of the others. He lagged behind the group very deliberatly, popping a cigarette into his mouth every 30 minutes or so, leaving a tail of smoke to follow behind the group. His friends began to scatter as they approached Vermillion City. They almost always did this, none of his Pokémon were particularly fond of cities or people other than himself. Only Nano remained, sticking to her shoulder perch as she always did.

As they approached the police station, Atomsk made sure he was taking in his surroundings. Any information that could be gained would be useful for Kojiro. He took the cigarette from his mouth and laid it on a ledge above the door. He had just started smoking it, and he had no intention of wasting it, regardless of how long they were going to remain in there. He walked in with the rest of the group, following an officer to the back of the building. He was unaware of the situation before, but now it seemed that Bill, a genius in the world of Pokémon, had his companions stolen from him. By Team Rocket none the less. Useful information already. If Atomsk could find a way to get these Pokémon into Cataclysm's hands, they could make for some nice bargining chips for some future endeavor. At the same time, they might draw unneccesary heat onto Cataclysm. Atomsk decided to see what the best option would be. For now he sat back listening for the information he desired.

Following the others into the room, Kael chose to remain standing and took a position at the far end of the room. His 'up front' approach with the desk clerk wasn't an entirely successful venture, but had gotten the ball rolling at least. He was beginning to think he would be better suited to listening and observing while the others explained their situation as he crossed his arms and leaned his shoulder against the wall. Having only one mouth and one, useable, eye, perhaps it was better using the ears he was gifted with. At least he had two of those. 'Why couldn't everything be as straight-forward as a Pokemon battle?' he thought. 'See and act.'

Suddenly becoming consciously aware of a rock lodged inside his shoe, he decided to claim one of the chairs and sat down, trying to dislodge the small stone. Leaning in the chair further, and further, and even further still.... There was a sudden blur of movement as a wheel on the chair broke off and Kael plummeted to the floor while the chair shot from under him. He tossed the miniscule pebble away from his new position on the floor and sprawled out with his arms spread to either side of him. "Let's say that chair was broken when we got here..." He said, pushing the toppled and wheel deprived chair away from him.

"This is kind of comfortable..." Crossing his arms behind his head, Kael was content at trading his embarassment for comfort. He could always listen in from the floor he supposed. 'Enjoy the simple things....' "See? ... Heathen," Kenji repeated beneath a mask of his fingers.

Naturally, it was at that moment that the man the desk clerk had termed 'boss' decided to walk in. He didn't really look like what one would expect of such a person, maybe, though Ravenna recognized him as having the color she'd been supposing he would: steely grey, metallic and resilient. To more conventional perception, he was young, perhaps in his early thirties, and lacked the uniform stiffness of the majority of the other officers, helped along by his slightly-shaggy dark hair and the glint of precipitous intelligence in his sea-colored eyes. In short, it was a simple matter to discern that he was far from the normal cop.

Spotting Kael on the ground, he arched a black brow but said nothing, choosing instead to scan over the rest of the faces, expression unreadable. "You're the ones Bill sent? He told me to expect you." He fixated for very brief seconds on the color of Ravenna's hair, then Junko's eyes and Kael's eyepatch. Kenji's tattoos produced a nearly-impreceptible nod, but he stopped short at Atomsk. "You're not one of them." It wasn't a question.

Atosmk looked at the man with an unwavering gaze. He didn't take particularly well to this man. He didn't like him the moment he walked into the door. He gave off this air of superiority that bugged Atomsk. He had no idea if this supposed observation was dead on or completely off, but he stuck with it for now, and it meant that Atomsk didn't like the man. He had to seem like he wasn't suspicious though. He needed to be firm, but not defensive. Atomsk hated these balancing acts. Facial expretions went a long way. So did tone of voice, posture, manarisms. A lot could put Atomsk in a position where he was being suspected of something.

He responded snarkily. "I wasn't aware it was invite only. But I'm sure Junko would put me down as her plus one." Atomsk made sure to look at the officer some, and then have his eyes trail off, as if he had lost interest. He assumed that it would piss the officer off, but he also assumed that it would get and suspicion and heat off his back at the same time. Better to be hated than suspected.

"Right, now that the pissin' contest is out of the way," Kenji broke in, almost tiredly. The last thing he needed was another one of his team to get in the face of an officer. Hell, if he was going to jail, then it'd be on his terms, not because of this mouthy Atomsk or Kael's shenanigans. Light couldn't help herself but chuckle at both Kael's misfortune and Atomsk's snark. "We're here because we can help. The faster you tell us what we can do, the faster we can do it, and then the faster we can get Bill's pokemon home. I don't know about any of you, but I'd be worried about them if they were any of mine." This garnered an approving nod from Light who had migrated from his shoulder to the top of his head. It gave her a better view of the room.

"So if you'd please, officer?" Kenji said, taking a seat in his chair and motioning for the detective to do the same.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait:
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"Hm." If anything, the man seemed entirely bored by the whole situation, though it didn't stop him from narrowing his eyes just a bit at the attitude Atomsk had assumed. He was above such childish levels of deception, but for the moment, he didn't particularly care what the man's issue was; it was bound to be less pressing than what he was dealing with now. He turned instead to Kenji, who had spoken next, and blinked owlishly, a bit amused to be offered a seat in his own building. Still, he took it, crossing his legs underneath him, and set the manila file folder he was carrying on the glass surface of the meeting table. "For reference, I'm Steele. Ian, that is, if you prefer." He shrugged as if to say it didn't matter much to him, then flipped open the file.

"Currently, I'm head of the ARTF- the Anti-Rocket Task Force. Don't ask me who named it that-- I have no idea or I would have fired them." It was hard to tell, since he was so deadpan, but Ravenna picked up on the hint of humor and smiled, something echoed in just the barest twitch of Steele's own lips. "At any rate, we've been operational for about a year now, and our moles in the organization have been feeding us a steady diet of information. Perhaps bad for the digestion. Regardless, when Bill referred you to me, I think he may have had more in mind than helping him retrieve his own pokemon. He realizes, as I do, that Team Rocket is a menace that will not be eliminated through the usual method. So, I find myself in need of the unusual."

He paused, steepling his hands and leaning backwards in his chair to glance over the group with half-lidded eyes. "This would be entirely voluntary of course, and if you are anything less than perfectly certain of your desire to assist in this matter, you will be encouraged not to participate, but there is something you could do to help bring down Team Rocket, and in the process return Bill's pokemon to him. I will say no more unless you're interested, of course." Another small pause, then a sly half-smile. "You should know that it would be quite dangerous."

Kael listened on from his, quite comfortable, position lying on the ground as the man known as 'boss' entered the room and began rattling on with the others. In his opinion, he would have figured anyone labeled as the boss in a place like this would have at least had a slight problem with a broken chair and man lying on the ground. This man didn't seem to have a care in the world and was a little more serious than Kael would have normally liked, but he smiled nonetheless as Atomsk was pointed out as an outsider. Hell yeah he is, Kael thought. He's creepy and smells like ash.

Kael kept silent about the matter and stayed out of everything to listen as the conversation continued. That is, until the man spoke his own name. Something in the back of his mind buzzed a warning suddenly and Kael lifted his head off his hand to listen closer. He knew him from somewhere. His name sounded so familiar, but Kael couldn't quite put his finger on it. The man's last sentance seemed to trigger the connection for no apparent reason and Kael rose from his position on the floor to really look at the man.

"We can't exactly say whether we're in or not until we hear what it all entails," Kael said to the man. "Regardless, we've already started this trip, and I don't think any of us are ready to throw in the towel just yet." With the exception of Atomsk, the four of them had already dealt with Team Rocket more than most people would over the course of their lives.

Returning his gaze to the man, Kael looked him right in the eye and was sure of his thought. "But what exactly can we do that a trainer such as yourself cannot? I would think it a simple task for the former Champion of Johto's Elite Four to deal with a few Rockets."

"Well said, Cap'n," Kenji remarked, agreeing with Kael. They had come too far to just walk out the door right now. Of course, Kenji had gone further on less, but still. He wasn't the one to give up quite so easily, especially when words like "danger" are being tossed around. In fact, that was the metaphorical hook to his magikarp-like mouth-- Also metaphorical. Kenji leaned back in his own chair (careful not to smack Kael with the back of it, of course) and rested his hands on the back of his head, and by extension, behind Light. While his hands dangled back there, he went ahead and scratched her gently.

Kenji shrugged and propped a leg on top of another leg, giving off an air of nonchalance-- a stark contrast only a few moments ago. He decided he wasn't worth getting worked up over. He'd been in jail once, he could survive another night in a cage if it came to that. It wouldn't come to that, hopefully, but he was prepared for that possibility. "Right. You've got me like a Rattata with a piece of cheese. Whatcha got for us?" Kenji asked, raising a crimson eyebrow of his own. He wasn't one to shy away from danger. He enjoyed it, willing to throw himself headfirst into the first notion that he might get hurt.

"If the matter were as simple as an application of brute force, you can rest assured I would have taken care of it already," Steele replied, apparently unfazed at having been recognized. "As it is, a more impulsive trainer of a similar reputation tried that, and wound up nearly fatally wounded and missing all of her pokemon afterwards. You can see why I advise caution." He turned to the other three present, awaiting their confirmation before he continued. What was to follow was somewhat confidential, and though he was taking an enormous risk by passing it on to these people, he was willing to trust Bill's recommendation and take the risk. The other youth though-- he'd be doing some research on him.

"Oh, I'm going," Ravenna remarked with a distant smile. There was something to this, and though she was rarely blessed with bona fide visions of the future, she had a good feeling about it. There was trial coming, she knew that, but hadn't somebody once told her that it was only by doing the tough things that you accomplished the great ones? Besides, she owed Bill more than she could ever repay, and if this was a way to make a dent in that debt of gratitude, she'd jump in headfirst, no questions asked. She was curious what the iron-sphere man had for them, anyway.

Junko listened intently as the group spoke. She listened as the man named Ian, began speaking about another possible mission: the downfall of Team Rocket. Junko would have scoffed if she didn't respect the man, however; she wasn't here to help deal with what seemed to be his problem. She had other things to do, like save Bill's pokemon and find her brother. Those were her priorities at the moment and she didn't particularly care if there was a chance to finish off Team Rocket once and for all. A sudden thought appeared in her head as she leaned onto the table, folding her hands underneath her chin as she stared at the inspector.

"Is there any news of another group, possibly a sub-group, forming?" she asked in an authoritive tone. Of course, she might have just been a trainer, however; she was in need of certain information at the moment and if playing nice would help her get this information, then she would. "I don't think it was your group to say the least that caused that explosion in Saffron. I don't think you'd risk exposure," she continued. If one were to have walked in, they would have that Junko was the inspector, not the other way around. If there was a possiblity of finding out information, especially if it led to Kojiro, then she would perhaps join the group in this side-quest of sorts. Of course her main priority would always be Kojiro, she needed to find out where he was first.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kenji Akihiko Character Portrait: Junko Takashi Character Portrait: Atomsk Walker Character Portrait: Kael Skye Character Portrait: Ravenna Fiori Character Portrait:
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Atomsk continued his casual observation from the back of the room. They were going even farther. Atomsk needed to continue along. He had to play this carefully if he wanted Bill's Pokémon to be his. He was prepared to keep up the ruse, but he wasn't prepared with betraying Junko. This was a trying dilemma for him. He would have to make some difficult decisions.

When Atomsk heard Junko bring up something about a sub-group of Team Rocket, Atomsk worried some. Junko was always quick, but she had already picked up on Cataclysm's trail. Granted they weren't a sub group of Team Rocket, but her idea was close enough to get her on the fast track to finding them. His cover would hold as long as they knew he was associated with them.

Atomsk thought for a second, and decided that it might be a good idea to use this situation to his advantage. He had legitimate information on Cataclysm. He just had to seed some false information in with whatever he decided to leak to these guys. This would help get him in good with the police cheif as well. He raised an eyebrow, as if he had been suprised at Junko's statement.

"I think you may be onto something Junko." He paused, and walked over to the nearby table, putting his hands down firmly as he got there. "Some mysterious characters have been popping up all over the region. They hand out flyers, they act like recruiters, and they are trying to get people to join their team. They call themselves Cataclysm." Atomsk raised his arms up and crossed them, taking the brief few seconds to fake a story. "I've tailed more then one of them, but I can never seem to find where they are based. They hide well, they certainly make sure to cover their tracks. I don't know if this has anything to do with Bill's Pokémon, but I can certainly tell you they are up to no good. They are incredibly destructive for seemingly no reason. Their battles always leave a mess, and even some casualties."

"That explains the warzone we found the rocket goons in," Kenji noted. He nodded, "They did mention a team Cataclysm thoroughly stompin' a mudhole in 'em come to think of it. Rules out them bein' on friendly terms," he added. Light pulled a lock of his hair, trying to get his attention, and when she had garnered his eyeballs, she pointed at his pockets. His eyes lit up and rememberance and began to fish out something from his pocket. "They.. Gave.. Us.. Dammit, where is-- Oh, found it! They gave us their card," he said, tossing the card with one miss Astrid Valentine, Consultant and her number on it on to the table.

He scoffed at the thought and shook his head. "Bunch of idiots, if you ask me. Goin' to tear up a road just to recruit a bunch of rocket scum. Stupid is what it is," he said, throwing his gaze to Atomsk. "Tailed them? You're not very good at that, are you chief? If they are as destructive as you say, then followin' them should've been easy. How do you lose track of a path of destruction?" he chuckled. Not to mention that one fellow was riding a bloody loud motorcycle. Not only that, but if they were actively recruiting (with flyers no less) then finding them shouldn't be hard-- hell they had their consultant's number, and they got it by accident. Atomsk's story was fishier than a Magikarp. Kenji wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but he could add things up. His story didn't. Either way, the man didn't win a friend in Kenji.

"But, we aren't here for those jackasses, we're here for Bill and his pokemon-- Maybe we can stay on task?"

"Probably couldn't see their trail through the cloud of smoke...." Kael muttered about Atomsk losing his way when tailing the other group, a little louder than he intended to. It was becoming quite apparent Kael wasn't a fan of the man, there was something that had nagged at him since the moment Kael saw Atomsk. If only he could put his finger on it...

"I have to agree with muscles here." Kael gestured in Kenji's direction. "While I love a good, random discussion every now and then, spending my day stuck in a dreary police room isn't exactly my idea of a good time." He paused to let out an over exaggerated yawn and looked over to Atomsk. "You can go have fun with team Cataracts and friends, if you can find them of course, but the Rockets were the ones who took Bill's Pokemon. Who cares about some wannabe gang members right now?"

Addressing the detective once more, Kael was starting to get annoyed at the cliffhanger of finding out what they needed to do. "So what do you have for us Champ? Er...chief....or whatever the hell your title is..."

Ian would have sighed if such gestures weren't beneath him. Still, he decided to address what he saw as the relevancies in order. "He speaks more or less truly about Cataclysm," he replied, "and they will eventually be a problem. Right now, they're a much smaller problem than Team Rocket, however, as they are poorly-organized at best and their leader as far as anyone can tell has a head for little more than senseless distruction. If your goal is truly to retrieve Bill's pokemon, however, you will need to confront the Rockets, and to do that, you'll need to know more about them. That is why I offer the mission I do," he continued, answering Junko's unvoiced but obvious implication that his suggestion was irrelevant to their cause. It was anything but.

The standing man with the dark hair, he now certainly distrusted, but the others seemed honest enough in their intentions, and a few of them likewise suspicious. It was enough to tip the scales in favor of revealing some small part of his hand. "You may well run into Cataclysm where I intend to send you, as at the very least, their intelligence and technical resources are somewhat competent." He half-smiled at Kael's confusion over how to address him, and shrugged. As he'd indicated earlier, either of his actual names would suffice-- he preferred not to stand on formality.

"My mole informs me that there is an upcoming... event. A gathering of sorts, for the big fish in the criminal underworld. Such events are held only infrequently, and their places and dates kept quite secret. It is a way for the elements of regional and national crime to keep in contact with one another, and to gauge the relative strength of one another. Essentially, quite a lot of showboating that occasionally leads to new business arrangements. Team Rocket is sure to be in attendance in force: administrators, technicians, perhaps even the boss. If Cataclysm knows, they'd be fools not to crash the party, as it would be the easiest way for them to secure a financial windfall-- assuming they can usurp someone else's place in the pecking order to get it."

There was a small pause, and then the strange girl with the rosy hair spoke. "You're suggesting that we sneak into such an event. Surely not as participants?" She looked from herself to the other members of her little band, and he had to smile at that. No, they did not look like the right kind of criminal at all, though admittedly the suspicious one was shady and the tattooed one vaguely thuggish. That could be for any reason, though, and he wasn't going to speculate at present.

"Perceptive, and correct. There are more than simply criminals at this event, after all. Usually, the host hires a number of entertainers, and of course it's hard to keep track of which members of security are really supposed to be where..." Opening his folder, he removed two small objects from it and slid them across a table. From the looks of them, they were ID badges, with a scanner code running along the bottom. "My mole procured these-- they can be programmed with the image of the person they're intended for. The rest of you will have to go as an act of some sort, which he can enter into the systems from Rocket's computers. It is, after all, a Rocket-hosted event this year. What exactly you can do, I'll leave to you to decide, but you should know that time is short. You have three days."

"... I can juggle?"