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Pokemon: A Slice of Life

Pokemon: A Slice of Life

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The quests here are the ones that you make. With approval from the Game Masters, of course. What is your goal here? To lead your life in the world of Pokemon.

7,766 readers have visited Pokemon: A Slice of Life since Vix created it.

BlackIceRocker are listed as curators, giving them final say over any conflict & the ability to clean up mistakes.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

http://www.pokemon.com/

Introduction

Still Under Construction

Welcome writers! To the world of Pokémon. I know many of you are used to writing in Pokémon stories that revolve around battling, prophecies, and all that jazz. But they seem to come to an end far too soon, no? So, I thought why not start up a Pokémon game that has only the goals that you set yourself? And no, this is not meant to imply that anyone and everyone can join and go about wrecking the story in a childish manner. If you do start acting stupid and start ruining the story for everyone else, you will be cut. Keep that in mind. There's really not much else to say besides that. I suppose that everything else will pretty much be explained in Da Rules. Which I will begin to explain now.

Da Rules
Warning: There are a lot, hehe. But they should answer any questions you may have and will not stifle your creativity.

Professionalism. This RP is intended for those who are able to make and bring a good story to an end, as such we expect each player to have a certain level of professionalism, present original and interesting characters, contribute to the story and not drop-out without even notifying. This is not Advanced so we are certainly going to take things in a more relaxed pace but this is also "High"Casual so a certain level of seriousness is expected.

Slight realism. I know that in the Anime and other Pokémon propaganda we see the characters get mauled, electrocuted, and blown two towns away and still seem able to walk straight within a twenty-four hour period. Well. That's not going to happen here. Oh, no sir. If a Pachirisu gives you all its got, you're going to be resting for quite some time. Pretty simple stuff.

The decisions taken throughout the story will influence and affect the world around our characters. Every choice made has a consequence and will count towards the different paths that can be taken.

This RP is intended to be somewhere around 17+ . As such, romance, gore and tasteful "adult" situations are accepted. What that basically means is that you are allowed to hint towards "steamy-romantic-situations" but nothing more, should you want to...emm... engage into detail then take that off site. Blood, gore and violence is allowed at just about any levels as long as you don't exaggerate. Strong language is also allowed but again, don't overkill.

Stay civil on the OoC thread - All personal spats should be taken to Pms.

No Metagaming. Some of you don't know what this means, so I'll explain. Metagaming pretty much means that your character has access to knowledge that he/she shouldn't. Yes, you the player may know everything about Mary and Jack, but unless Mary and Jack have told your character information about them or the player announces things that would be generally known, such as Pokémon team, hometown, etc, then don't use the information. Please keep your knowledge of the characters separate from your characters' knowledge of the other characters. I think that was simple enough.

No Mixing. Basically the key to keeping your real life out of your online roleplaying life is to remember that they're separate lives. You are not your character. When you go to turn off your computer, your character is turned off with it. You do not go around living a life with the mindset of your character. And when you slip into the role of your character, you do not exist in that fabricated world that your character lives in. I do realize that you cannot play your character completely objectively, else you'd have no passion for interaction but you have to remember that your character is not you. There's no need for you to cry when Mary doesn't want to be friends with Jack anymore, Felicia calls Tina a terrible trainer, or when Eric cheats on Yusef. Because its not real. We're all big kids here (I hope), so this shouldn't be a problem. If this pops up, expect a PM dismissing you until you can distinguish fantasy from reality.

No Autos or Godmoding. What is that? Well, you can't force a hit onto a character that isn't yours – You can auto NPCs, but don't go around murdering all of them. Anyways, you can attempt contact with another character whether its aggressive or intimate, but please ask the player before autoing. This doesn't include things like putting a hand on someone's shoulder, tapping them, etc. Godmoding means that your characters can't be touched by anything or anyone. I know that presents the question of “So...How do we battle other players?” That's simple – Discuss via OOC or Pms who the winner will be and then conduct the battle, or simply engage in battle in the IC. Though, I will warn you that I only accept T1 combat format. So if you don't know what it is, then please just go with option number 1.

Keep IC posts detailed - 250+ words of detail with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Try to refrain from multiple short sentences and runons. That's annoying. Also make sure to read everyone's posts and reply in accordance to whatever may pertain to your character. Also: When posting, don't post a bunch of meaningless BS just to take up word space.

Don't post multiple times within a small time frame for dialogue - Collaborate with the other player(s) in RPG Write and post the Character Interaction as one post. This is not a race to see who can post before everyone else, so I suggest that there should be at least two posts between your last post and your next.

Be active both In Character and Out of Character. I understand that you've got a life behind your screen to attend to and shit happens. But I seek active players. Don't apply to this RolePlay if you won't be able to keep committed to it. If you think that you might get 1/3 into the story and then lose interest, don't apply. If you're going to be gone for 4+ days, let someone know beforehand - I suggest that in the case of your extended absence, you should designate another player that you think would do well to play your character until your return. If you suddenly lose interest, don't just dip out and leave your character here. Abandon your character for another player to adopt.

Please try to be original and creative when making your character and don't make a Mary-Sue or a Gary-Stu. Your characters have to have some sort of flaws; Be it emotional, physical, mental, or psychological. Also, don't be afraid to make a character that is new to Pokémon. Its not a competition to see who's the strongest. And, please try to limit the number of child prodigies. You may also create celebrities and other people of high renown. But for every two “famous” characters you create, you must create one “newbie.” And absolutely no canons! Your characters may be related to canons, but you cannot submit them as a character. Canons will NPCs.

Tag your characters in your posts and post in your character's location, please. I did not spend ages adding Places for them to just sit there and look pretty.

I am God of this Role-play as this Role-play is my child. I am not a wrathful God, but I do not take kindly to those who usurp my throne. Please, let’s keep everything civilized and just have fun. If you would like to be my Co-GM, then please do not hesitate to PM me. I could always use someone to help me manage this role-play and move it along.

Regarding Top Coordinators, Gym Leaders, Elite Four, Frontier Brains, Crime Syndicate Bosses, Champions, and other major figures in the Pokémon community as well as owning or being partnered with a Legendary Pokémon, please PM me first to request it. Thank you<3

There is no limit to the amount of characters you may have, though make sure that you can handle them all.

Please use logic when picking your Classes and Skills. The Class you choose signifies your trainer's path in life and their passion. But don't make them skilled in every class besides their own. I don't want a Black Belt Hatcher Empath that happens to teach at a Pokémon University on weekends. Try to...coordinate things.

Try to branch out when classing your character - I've noticed that Classes under Breeder and Martial Artist seem highly popular, but please try to be a bit different from everyone else.

I know this may be common sense (to Pokéfans), but the newer the characters won't have strong Pokémon right off the bat or that many, really. And being a Master trainer does not necessarily mean that your character will have a ton of Pokémon. But trainers may carry up to 12 Pokémon at a time – Systems have been updated to allow trainers to carry double the Pokémon on hand. This will challenge the trainer's ability to care for so many at once. You will not start out with that many!

Most importantly....HAVE FUN!




Character Skeleton
I know that it looks long, but I crave detail and it really isn't that much and since there's no reservations (except on the “major roles” such as Gym Leader) there's no need to rush in your character sheets. Take your time and let the creativity flow!
Code: Select all
[center][img]Go to FontMeme.com for your character's name here<3[/img][/center]
[center][img]Character Image![/img][/center]
[size=300][font=Vladimir Script][i][color=???]“Quote”[/font][/color][/i] [/size]

[hr][/hr]
[center][color=???][size=200][font=Century Gothic]❝ More Than Just A Name ❞[/font][/size][/color][/center]
[hr][/hr]

[left][img]Image of your character or one of their Pokémon.[/img][/left]
[center][font=Century Gothic][color=???][size=190][u]BASICS[/u][/size][/color][/font]
[font=Pristina][size=300][color=???][i]“Quote"[/i][/color][/size][/font][/center]

[color=???][i][u]Full Name;;[/i][/u][/color]
First. Middle. Last.

[color=???][i][u]Nicknames;;[/i][/u][/color]
Don't go overboard – No more than four.

[color=???][i][u]Age;;[/i][/u][/color]
6+

[color=???][i][u]Gender;;[/i][/u][/color]


[color=???][i][u]Sexuality;;[/i][/u][/color]


[color=???][i][u]Hometown;;[/i][/u][/color]
Region/City, Town, Village, or Route.

[color=???][i][u]Residence;;[/i][/u][/color]
Region/City, Town, Village, or Route. Or wherever else they stay.

[color=???][i][u]Classes;;[/i][/u][/color]
Basically, what is your character's passion in life within the Pokémon community? There's a list, check it.

[color=???][i][u]Occupation(s);;[/i][/u][/color]
Gym Leader, Pokémon Connoisseur, Professor, Elite Four, Botanist, etc. Remember, your character doesn't have to be a Pokémon trainer. They can be that guy that owns the construction company or the woman that runs the restaurant.

[hr][/hr]
[center][color=???][size=200][font=Century Gothic]❝ Beyond The Disguise ❞[/font][/size][/color][/center]
[hr][/hr]

[right][img]Image of your character or one of their Pokémon.[/img][/right]
[center][font=][color=???][size=190][u]APPEARANCE[/u][/size][/color][/font]
[font=Pristina][size=300][i][color=???]“Quote"[/i][/color][/size][/font][/center]

[color=???][i][u]Basic Appearance;;[/u][/i][/color]
Height, Weight, Hair Description, Complexion, Eye Description, Etc. 

[color=???][i][u]Distinct Markings;;[/i][/u][/color]
Scars, Burns, and other marrings.

[color=???][i][u]Style;;[/i][/u][/color]
What kind of clothes do they typically wear?

[hr][/hr]
[center][color=???][size=200][font=Century Gothic]❝ Behind The Mechanics ❞[/font][/size][/color][/center]
[hr][/hr]

[left][img]Image of your character or one of their Pokémon.[/img][/left]
[center][font=Century Gothic][color=???][size=190][u]MENTALITY[/u][/size][/color][/font]
[font=Pristina][size=300][i][color=???]“Quote”[/i][/color][/size][/font][/center]

[color=???][i][u]Likes;;[/i][/u][/color]
At least seven.

[color=???][i][u]Dislikes;;[/i][/u][/color]
At least seven.

[color=???][i][u]Habits;;[/i][/u][/color]
At least three.

[color=???][i][u]Weaknesses;;[/i][/u][/color]
At least three. And “her pokémon/family/friends” don't count.

[color=???][i][u]Personality;;[/i][/u][/color]
Give me about three paragraphs here.

[color=???][i][u]Theme song;;[/i][/u][/color]
This is optional.

[hr][/hr]
[center][color=???][size=200][font=Century Gothic]❝ Behind the Scenes ❞[/font][/size][/color][/center]
[hr][/hr]

[left][img]Image of your character or one of their Pokémon.[/img][/left]
[center][font=Century Gothic][color=???][size=190][u]Special[/u][/size][/color][/font]
[font=Pristina][size=300][i][color=???]“Quote”[/i][/color][/size][/font][/center]

[color=???][i][u]Strengths and Special Attributes;;[/i][/u][/color]
What are they good at and what makes them special?

[color=???][i][u]Equipment and Personal Artifacts;;[/i][/u][/color]
So very self explanatory.

[color=???][i][u]Other;;[/i][/u][/color]
Random facts about your characters. Please put a ☠ next to the secrets c:

[hr][/hr]
[center][color=???][size=200][font=Century Gothic]❝Replaying The Past And Present ❞[/font][/size][/color][/center]
[hr][/hr]

[right][img]http://www.emptyblue.it/data/wallpaper/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi/11_0129sonozaki_mion_shion0021_thumb.jpg[/img][/right]
[center][font=Century Gothic][color=???][size=190][u]LIFE[/u][/size][/color][/font]
[font=Pristina][size=300][i][color=???]”A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life”[/i][/color][/size][/font][/center]

[color=???][i][u]History;;[/i][/u][/color]
Hello there! If your trainer is just starting out, there really won't be much here. The length of the history should match the age. I want detail. Not day-by-day, but what happened that got your character to where they are and made them who they are. If you include the history of how you came across your main Pokémon team here, you can leave it out of the bottom.


[img]http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/167/6/4/64c21dd925c6313b57a3335f9387f5de-d53r9nm.png[/img]

[img]http://i1249.photobucket.com/albums/hh501/DriftingPillow/Pokemon/pokemoninfo.png[/img]

[color=???][i][u]Preferred Type;;[/i][/u][/color]


[color=???][i][u]Starter Pokémon;;[/i][/u][/color]


[b][size=100]Current Pokémon Team[/size][/b]
[left][img]Insert Pokémon Sprite Here.[/img][/left]
[b][u]Name[/u][/b] ~ What did you name the Pokémon?
[b][u]Species and Type[/u][/b] ~ Self Explaining.
[b][u]Gender[/u][/b] ~ Male, Female, Genderless?
[b][u]Ability[/u][/b] ~ See list below.
[b][u]Personality[/u][/b] ~ [I]“It doesn't have to be any more than a few sentences.”[/i]
[b][u]History[/u][/b] ~ [I]“How did they come across this Pokémon and what are they like? No less than a paragraph.”[/i]
[b][u]Moves[/u][/b]
Beginners: 1-3
Novices: 1-4
Experts: 1-5
Masters: 1-7

[hr][/hr]
[size=100][b]PC Pokémon[/b][/size]
What Pokémon are in the PC?
[hr][/hr]


Pokémon Sprites found here and here.

Thanks to...
Bulbapedia for so much information.
Pokémon TableTop for the Class System (or at least parts)
Nintendo - For Pokémon and all of your other wonderful games. I bow to you.
And finally, h o w - t o - r o l e p l a y on blogspot for the explanation on Mixing. Youdama! Or...dapage. Whatever.

Toggle Rules

The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

Browse All » 12 Settings to roleplay in

Kanto Region

Kanto Region by Vix

"Welcome to the Kanto Region!"

Xanadu Nursey

Xanadu Nursey by Vix

"Why, hello there! How can we help you?"

Johto Region

Johto Region by Vix

"Welcome to Johto Region!"

Ilex Forest

Ilex Forest by Vix

"West of Azalea Town. Pass through here to reach Goldenrod City."

Pallet Town

Pallet Town by Vix

"Welcome to Pallet Town! Have you come to see the Professor?"

Ecruteak City

Ecruteak City by Vix

"Welcome! Come and see our lovely Kimono Dancers!"

Fuchsia City

Fuchsia City by Vix

"Visit the Safari Zone while you're here!"

Castelia City

Castelia City by Vix

"Welcome to the big city, kids!"

Goldenrod City

Goldenrod City by Vix

"Welcome to the largest city in Johto!"

Route 34

Route 34 by Vix

"Stop by the Day Care!"

Unova Region

Unova Region by Vix

"Welcome to Unova Region!"

Opelucid City

Opelucid City by Vix

"We are the home of the Dragon Gym!"

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 7 authors

Setting

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: J. T. Eische Character Portrait: Edehvé Mirym Petora Character Portrait: Angelique Romain
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

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#, as written by Vix
The mint-haired woman blinked for a few brief seconds, feeling the slender and petite digits of another along hers. "Eh-?" She turned to see that Evee had apparently followed her. She used her free hand to gently brush away the few stray tears and offered her usual gentle smile. "Sorry about all of that, darling - Er...What's your name?" Her big eyes looked back at the girl and then out to the playing Pokémon, heaving a large sigh.


Evee tilted her head slightly, well, the smile seemed genuine enough. Perhaps it had all just been a spur of the moment thing--the atmosphere had been a tense one. "Mnn, my name is... well, everyone just calls me Evee." She giggled quietly as she introduced herself.


"Angelique Romain -" For a moment, she had almost said 'as if you didn't already know', but she swallowed her words and instead gave another smile. "Evee. That's quite a pretty name." By then, Brutus and Judas were edging their way over, content with having given up on trying to steal Mint's egg. The two-headed dragon seemed to smirk as it snuck up behind Evee, intent on scaring her into the pond. "I dare you." Angelique cut off her conversation with the teenager to turn her gaze to the dragon behind her, her smie creasing into a frown and the gentle sparkle in her eyes going cold. The Zweilous snarled, baring its sharp fangs. "Zwei! Zweilous!" They complained. Angelique rolled her eyes. "I won't let you have any fun if it's trying to hurt others. Now go attempt to be nice. Or I'll push you in the pond." They growled at her once more before taking off to pounce on the Axew and Gible playing harmless pretend spies.


Evee faltered for a brief moment--was that cold stare directed at her? Her question was answered for her as she heard loud protests from over her shoulders and turned around to gaze at the two-headed pokémon she had noticed earlier. It seemed downtrodden for some reason, the pouty walks imitating that of a child caught in the act of wrong-doing. She returned her gaze to Angelique, partially wondering if now would be the appropriate time to let go of the woman's hand. "Uh.. t... thank you. Ah... er..." She trailed off into an awkward bit of silence and swallowed, leaving her sentence hanging oddly again for lack of knowing how to end it.


The silence was indeed awkward - Not exactly something Angel was used to. She was more used to the constant chattering of the Pokémon in Rainbow Valley, vying for her attention for food or other things. She was used to interaction nonstop all day with them. People...Not exactly. It was these awkward silences that made her glad that she surrounded herself with Pokémon. She was a social creature and silence just would not do! It was rare to find a Pokémon that didn't want to talk about something. Talking about anything would just about satisfy her. Even if she was talking with Brutus and Judas about why it wasn't socially acceptable for them to attack her customers or their Pokémon. She cleared her throat and looked back at Evee, watching as Ashdir and Chomper bit at Brutus and Judas' ankles, screaming 'Viva la revolution!' at the top of their little Pokélungs. Or at least, that's what Angelique heard. Evee would have heard just their usual Pokémon sounds. "Is there...something that you needed?"


She looked down at her feet--she was such a fuddy duddy sometimes. First with J.T. and now with Angelique. It wasn't that she didn't want to talk, she just didn't know how. An isolated life did that to a girl. She made herself look back up, nervously widening her smile. "Oh, well, I guess I wanted to check to see if you were alright..." She really needed to work on her social skills--she did like the company, really. "E-Er, and it's... um, I spoke to J.T. but he was preoccupied with something so... I think maybe the Professor was worried about how quickly you left the lab." She released a deep breath, comfortably having gotten through the sentence without too much of an uneasy pause. She still didn't retract her hand, though she did glance down at it as if to indicate whether or not it was the proper moment to let go.


"Oh, thank you." That was sweet of Evee - To not even know Angelique and to check up on her nonetheless. "I do apologize about the...display back there. I think it was just the tension from traveling talking. For both he and I." Why was she defending him?! He had just exploded on her. She was about to start crying once more, but she sucked it up by taking a deep breath and releasing it. "I am fine, though. I'll probably head back later to talk to Sam before I come back out here." Angelique intended on sleeping out in the Corral with her Pokémon. Partially because she didn't really want to be around J.T. and assumed that he was going to be staying at the Professor's house and the other half was because it was a nice summer day which meant that it was going to be another nice summer night with the stars ruling the skies. She would pray for a nice breeze to go along with it. Mmm - Campfire with some grilled pork chops and Watmel berries. Yeah - She was definitely going to be sleeping outside tonight. Aria, who had noticed her new acquaintance, jumped up happily and danced over the air, taking a perch on the air near Evee's shoulder, chirping in her ear. "Melo! Meloetta etta!" Her quarter note hands were flailing wildly about as she spoke, her eyes wide. "She wants to know if you're going to name the Cottonee and if so, what you will name it." Angelique smiled. "You don't have to answer, though. Aria doesn't know the meaning of personal boundaries."


She perked up immediately at mention of the small fluff that was in her arms. That was right! She hadn't named the adorable little thing yet and that was the best part about getting a new companion! She could remember all the times before when she had named all her assortments of stuffed animals and she had just the perfect name for him. "Actually! I did have something in mind..." She adjusted the little fluffball again, the creature giving a curious "neeeee?" in response to the movement. "I was thinking... Mr. Cotton Huggles McFluffenpuff!" The cottonee in her arms quite literally froze and if there could be a word to describe its little face, it might've been something along the lines of questioning and blank. It even stopped moving, as if so shocked by the name. Evee frowned a bit. "Er... not good enough?" She said while looking down at the baby who furiously shook its head as if to say 'absolutely not!'


Angelique laughed softly, kicking her feet in the water. Her laughter harmonized with Aria's, who was now lying on the air. Talk about 'rofl', right? The green-haired woman hid her mouth with her hand, trying to stifle the giggle. "I'm sorry...How old are you?" The girl was so...adorable. To say the very least. The initial name she had picked for the little fluffball was just the icing on the cake.


Evee cleared her throat, a faint blush beginning to coat her cheeks again. "I-I'm almost eighteen, so I'm not a kid or anything." She tried to puff up her chest a bit to make herself seem more firm on this point. But a sneeze from the baby in her arms told her otherwise.


"Co... cottonee." It said, almost mischievously at that. The girl sighed a bit and looked down at it, shaking her head a little.


"Ah - You're still pretty young. You've got your whole life ahead of you, hun." Angelique quickly changed the subject, not wanting to further offend the young woman. She gently patted the Cottonee before looking off towards where the sun had set over the tree tops. "Speaking of which - I don't mean to intrude, but is there anything in particular you had in mind for your life? At your age, I had already traveled the world. Well - I'm not saying that you have to or assuming that you want to -" Oh dear, there she went again.


The girl paused, unsure of how to answer. No, she hadn't seen anything outside of Pallet Town. And at times like this, she was most certainly aware of her limited exposure and how much others had seen or traveled. She shook her head faintly, settling her chin back down on top of the cottonee. "No... my parents were... are still pretty keen on keeping me in a lot. Not that I dislike it! It's just--I want to be given a chance to figure things out through experience... t-that's kind of why... when J.T. said that..." She took a deep breath, making herself continue. She felt like Angelique wasn't going to judge her. "I wanted to go to Unova too. So maybe.... I can discover myself... E-Er, sorry."


Angelique nodded as the girl talked, Aria moving to sit in her lap. She as well had not moved her hand - She didn't want to seem rude, or anything. The girl's company was nice, Angelique paying attention as she talked before speaking again. "Well, maybe I'll see you in Rainbow Valley - I'm going to be heading back soon, anyways. I'm sure you'd love it there." She didn't completely understand why her parents would keep Evee at home until she reached adulthood rather than letting her go out and experience the world - But it wasn't her place to question their authority. Her parents weren't really happy to see herself and her twin leave when they were ten, but they were proud. Thinking about her family made her homesick and forced her eyes to glaze over again.


Evee's smile widened again, genuinely this time. "That... that sounds pretty." She personally didn't know what the place looked like but she would have to make a notation later to look it up when she got the chance. As it stood... she'd have to talk to her parents soon about accompanying J.T. She had made the proclamation and had tried to tell him earlier that she was serious--but she wouldn't be leaving until she got the okay from them. Hopefully they'd concede... It wasn't as if she was trying to leave all on her own! She would at least have someone with her for the journey. Thinking of J.T. now made her wonder if perhaps she should head inside. She had spent ample time with Angelique and the woman wasn't going to be heading back inside--at least not for now. She glanced over her shoulder at the lab door vaguely before turning back to Angelique. "S-Speaking of going to Unova... I... think I really need to talk that over... I kind of announced it suddenly and I don't even know if J.T. knew I was serious... let alone my parents..."


Angelique quickly shook herself from her family-missing daze and gave a light, delicate sniff. "Oh! Right. I suppose you should head on back to the lab, then. It was nice speaking with you, Evee. I hope I'll see you again one day." It was a big world and Evee hadn't even put a dent in exploring it. While Angelique did live on the other side of the world, practically, Evee was headed there, so she assumed that she would see the girl again at least once. "Oh - Here." She pulled her backpack off and pulled a piece of paper and a pencil out, quickly jotting down her number. "I don't exactly have a cell phone right now...Brutus and Judas ate it on the way here. But that's my office number and if you call any time after next week, I'd be happy to talk to you about anything you need like Pokémon or whatever. Trust me, I have a lot to spare. And you sorta remind me of a younger me." She smiled. Some people would think Angelique was crazy to just offer some a Pokémon out of the blue - But it was her job not just to take care of Pokémon, but to provide them to people who needed them or wanted them; Granted, she was pretty strict when it came to giving them directly to Trainers, but Evee had a spark that she liked.


The red hue upon her cheeks deepened in gratitude as she listened to Angelique speak. She hadn't been given this type of kindness before and admittedly, it was just as overwhelming as it had been when she was given those items for her tiny cottonee. But she felt some form of gratitude--not a great many people would present themselves like this and it was touching to her. She took the number, sliding it gratefully into the messenger bag that she kept as she nodded delicately towards the woman. "I'll be sure to... I hope I have interesting things to tell you by then." She bowed her head a bit and turned, now holding the cute fluffball with both hands again as she walked back towards the lab door. She glanced one more time at Angelique, giving a polite wave before letting herself back inside. Perhaps J.T. had returned from his smoke by now...? She really needed to make sure he understood... and it wouldn't hurt to speak to the Professor either at that.

The setting changes from Kanto Region to Castelia City

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Character Portrait: Ginny Mekks Suttle
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It took only a minute for Ginny to realize her mistake. She indeed had removed the wrong part from her new invention, an upgrade to her old beta and broken "Snag Machine". Needless to say, by removing one of the primary gears, the machine failed to even start.

Fortunately, with this now identified, she made the appropriate changes, and powered the system on. A series of whirs and beeps, and the machine's lights glowed. Fully activated.

Well, what do you guys think, Recoil, Lektrobal? Pretty neat! It was this same device I used to obtain you, Recoil!


The Magneton, glimmering as it hovered, took a closer look it seemed. The Electrode was smiling as always.
Now, guys, let us take it for a field test. I heard there were supposedly some bad apples around the city. Ginny Suttle, engineer extraordinaire, will now save Pokemon from those who aren't responsible enough for one!


Whether the machine worked or not was to be seen, however, she did step out of the shop, and locked the door tight. A small sign was positioned outside detailing when she'd be back in the shop.

The setting changes from Castelia City to Ilex Forest

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Character Portrait: Les Torbert Character Portrait: Gemma Rhodes
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He looked up toward Gemma: one eye on the young woman, the other on the meat to make sure that it did not burn from the flames. "T'tell th'truth, Ah got no ide' wha' Ah'm doin' ou' here... G'ess Ah lik' th'outdoors, 'sall. Some'in' 'bout th'way th'stars twi'kl' i'th'nigh' sky jus' 'ppeals t'me..." he looked toward the girl head-on now. "Y'ain't a nat're g'rl, Ah c'n tell..." he pointed to the camera near her side.

"That obvious, huh?" Gemma asked in reply, picking up the device in question. "Well, I guess not, at least not yet." Disassembling the camera with a few swift motions, she laid all the parts out on the log beside her and tugged her bag over, intent on putting everything away for the night. It was a rather expensive piece of equipment after all; the number of tables she'd had to wait to pay for the thing was truly staggering.

"I do like it out here, though. Ever since I was a kid, I've been sticking my nose in places it doesn't belong, as dad would put it. Never had much of a survival instinct, but I can't say it's ever prevented me from running off into the wild blue yonder anyway." She shrugged. "Aderyn keeps me honest about what I can and can't do, most of the time." The woman reached over and rubbed the bird pokemon's head affectionately, earning herself a low, trilling coo. Worked every time.

"Y'talk tah yer bird?" he asked incredulously before letting out a chuckle. "Can't s'y Ah'm s'pris'd--Ah do th'same w'th Nix an' Ren." Les took a look back at the vespiquen who was busy eating the pinap berry she was given. "Can'cha a'leas' thank th'lady fer tha gif'?"

The insect shot her trainer a dirty look before returning her attention back toward the yellow berry in her hands. Nam, on the other hand, chirped once again and rocked forward and backward across the length of the log in delight. "A'leas' th'li'l one's got a bi' o' mann'rs..." Les chided Ren from across the fire before flipping the meat on the grate. "A c'upl' min'tes more'n th'meat shou'd b'don'."

"Of course I do. I'd have undoubtedly accidentally killed myself by now if she wasn't around." Sadly, that was probably true. Gemma tended to have not-very-good ideas when in pursuit of a picture she had to have, and more often than not, Aderyn managed to talk her down from them. Otherwise, she wound up doing things like tumbling down hills or falling out of trees.

Casting a glance at the Vespiquen, she shook her head. "Heh, she's welcome to it; no worries." Nam's antics drew the attention of Emrys, who approached the shellder curiously, pawing gently at her blue-purple exterior. "She carries her home with her," Gemma informed the young eevee simply. "Convenient, no?"

The shellder turned toward the eevee, curious as well to see a creature about her size. With everyone else being so much larger than her, Nam was already excited to see Emrys and stuck her tongue out at him. Les chuckled once more as the smell of the meat wafted in the air. "Tha's jus' 'er way'f tellin' yah she lik's ya," he told the apprehensive pokemon. "Ah dun' g't 'er all tha' much eith'r, bu' 'swha' she does."

Emrys looked somewhat surprised at the sudden appearance of a tongue from the depths of the shell, but he took the stranger for his word and refrained from running away, which was rather something for him, tentative as he was. Gemma dissolved into snickers, though, when he returned the 'friendly' gesture, sticking out his own little pink tongue.

"Smells nice," his trainer commented, as indeed the scent of cooked food, something she had not been expecting this evening, wafted over to her side of the camp from the fire. Aderyn also appeared interested, though Celyn kept his distance, probably being distantly related to the deer that was about to get eaten.

Les stood up for a brief second, pulling out the knife once more and cutting off two more chunks of meat, keeping these ones raw. "Nix, y'hungry still?" he called to the eelektross. She responded with a few flickering lights across her skin--Les knew that this was a signal of approval; after spending so much time with the pokemon, he picked up a few cues about their communication. He tossed a slab of meat toward the eel, who grabbed it out of mid-air and began to chew on it with razor-sharp teeth.

"Th'bird eat meat'r b'rries?" he asked Gemma, brandishing the raw slab of venison in the direction of the pidgeotto. "Sh'c'n h'lp 'erself tah wha' we got if she's hungr'." At his invitation, the absol yawned and sauntered up to Les, laying down next to his trainer and looking up at the bird with an almost lazy look in his eye. There was, however, a little glint of something that Les saw in the pokemon's gaze--he realized that Doomsday was attempting to size up these intruders; now that he had something to eat and the human was back with his site, the absol was on some level of attentiveness and was watching the bird carefully.

"Dam' dog..." Les muttered as he scratched Doomsday on the neck. The man looked up toward Gemma once before checking the meat once more. "'Sjus' abou' don'... Y'min' ch'ckin' mah bag? Th'r's a few plat's 'n ther' fer tha meat." He went back to poking at the cooking slabs of venison on the fire--any longer and they would become dry.

"Both, really," Gemma replied with a shrug. Aderyn wasn't too picky about stuff like that. Neither was she, when it came down to it. She flashed the wary absol a smile and picked her way across the camp to the indicated bag, trying to gauge which of the pockets would be big enough to hold plates. She didn't want to snoop anymore than she had to, even if her unexpected host didn't mind.

Opening the largest part first, she found that she only had to dig a little before discovering the aformentioned tin plates, in relatively good condition for all they seemed a bit aged. They actually prodded at a memory she had, and she spent a second in aborted motion, trying to place it. Ah, that was it: dad had a set like this, along with silverware kept together on a ring made of the same metal. And a canteen. She'd gone searching through his old camping supplies at one point in her childhood. Well okay, more like several times.

"Military?" she ventured a guess, quirking an eyebrow in his general direction and approaching with a plate in each hand. It would make a certain kind of sense, she supposed: what with the survival gear and the total comfort in the wilderness and all.

"Yer p'rtty obs'rv'nt," Les remarked, grabbing the plates from Gemma and stabbing the cooked meat with a fork. The meat continued to sizzle against the tin plate as he put the venison on the tableware, offering the meal to the young woman. "Ah 'pologiz' fer not hav'n' salt'n'pepp'r--som' 'ssent'ls fer any 'spirin' chef, y'know?" he tried to make more small talk as he grabbed the other cutlet and placed it on the remaining plate. "B'yeah, Ah w's in th'army fer a spell, back'n Ah was a bit y'ung'r... Qui' som' time b'for' now..." he focused on cutting the meat and placed it in his mouth. "N't too dry--turn'd out well, if Ah say so m'self."

"Not that observant, just familiar," she demurred with a one-shoulder shrug. "My dad has the same supplies." She hooked a thumb under the chain that hung around her neck, pulling the dog tags from beneath her t-shirt. Still, she accepted the shift in topic without needing to linger, tilting her head to one side as if to speculate on the state of the meal.

"Well, if that's the case, then I suppose I'll have to give it a try myself." She held her plate forth, a good-natured smile turning her mouth up at the corners. Honestly, the entire situation was a bit strange-- having dinner in the woods with a stranger, but she'd never been a closed-off person and it didn't really seem that Les was either, so it was turning out to be rather enjoyable.

Nam chirped once more, almost in agreement with Gemma's optimism. The shellder turned back toward Emrys and extended her tongue out once more toward the eevee, hoping that she could get the brown pokemon to repeat her gesture again. Doomsday was rather content with turning his gaze between Gemma and Aderyn, still not quite sure what to make of this new group but not caring enough to do anything about their presence. Nix, after finishing her meal, floated over toward the deerling and attempted to make conversation with the somewhat-neglected pokemon. Only Ren was left alone, but she seemed content with playing and eating her special berry.

"So wha'sser plan now tha'cha got'cherself lost'n tha woods, Miss Rhod's?" Les asked between bites. "Y'ain't plannin' on gettin' lost ag'in so soon aft'r y'foun' mah camp, are yeh?"

Gemma set herself down on the ground this time, huffing a quiet laugh when Emrys indeed mimicked the shellder, only this time while hopping this way and that, apparently trying to entice her to chase after him, which would have been rather a sight to see had she the legs to do so. He seemed content in the end to jump playful circles around her, which had his trainer shaking her head.

Celyn, a little more reserved than the other two, nevertheless rumbled a soft note in his throat, apparently quite interested in the flashing lights on the eelektross. Gemma pondered the question; her plans rarely ever extended far beyond a few days, and honestly she didn't really have any besides 'go to interesting places and take lots of pictures.' She kind of preferred being blown about by chance and circumstance-- it felt much more natural to her than regimenting every detail, something her parents had never really been able to understand.

"Well, I rarely ever plan to get lost. ...I rarely plan at all. But you know, I'm not sure. All I really want is to travel. Explore, stuff like that. Eventually leave Johto, maybe. But who knows? I'm pretty much okay with wherever I end up." Chewing the thought over (along with her food), she decided it was basically true, though perhaps a bit more underwhelming than it sounded in her head.

Les nodded as he watched the eevee run circles around the mollusk. "Y'know," he started, trying not to laugh at the sight of Nam trying to rock back and forth in order to chase Emrys to no avail. "G'ttin' los' ain't necessar'ly a bad thin', Miss Rhod's... Hell, tha's been wha' Ah've done fer tha pas' six ye'rs'r so... jus' wand'rin..." he took another bite of the meat. "Yer E'vee's pr'tty hyp'r, ain't 'e?"

"Not usually, really, but he's just a little one; I guess other kids bring out the energy. Normally he's just a worrywort," she replied. "And of course you're right; I've taken some of my best photos at times when I had no idea where I was. This is really good, by the way; thanks again." She gestured at the food with her fork. It was simple stuff, but really sometimes that was the best kind.

The fire was beginning to die down slightly. "Nix, git s'more'tha fir'wood, darl'n'," he called to the eelektross. "Camp's startin' tah die down a bit."

"Tross." The reply was simple and direct as Nix turned away from Celyn for a brief moment to grab some of the dry wood placed off to the side of the camp. With a bit of a light toss, Nix threw some of the fuel onto the flames, reigniting the fire and sending a surge of warmth across the campsite.

"M'ch 'blig'd, Nix," the man nodded before turning his attention back toward Gemma. "Y'n'yer pokem'n'r more'n welc'm' tah spen' tha nigh' here if yer 'ncomf'tabl' wit' trav'lin' in th'dark--promis' Ren ain't gon' git'cha'r nothin," he added with a sly grin.

"Ves..." the insect muttered, fluttering her wings to make a dull buzzing noise as she finished the berry.

"She ain't gon' do no harm t'yah'r th'others, Miss Rhod's," Les offered once again. "Got'n extr' bedroll if yah need'un."

"I think I will, thank you. That's very kind," Gemma said with a nod. "I'd feel pretty guilty if I didn't do something, though, so breakfast tomorrow morning is on me, okay?"

Les nodded. "So'nds lik'a plan," he replied, a grin on his face. "Now le's git'cha tha' bedroll..."

The setting changes from Ilex Forest to Kanto Region

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Character Portrait: Gregory Calieo Character Portrait: Lenore Steele
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Greg took a sip of his coffee before preparing his explanation. "You see, an appraiser evaluates items and antiques to determine their value. With my ability, I make an exceptional appraiser. I can see the condition the item had been in previously, and determine how it was handled before it was brought to me. I've defeated many fools who believed they could blindside me." Greg took another sip before addressing Lenore's second question. "Oh my, yes. There are quite a few exceptional sites around the region. The ruins in the desert, Dragonspiral Tower, Mount Twist...quite a few great examples. I don't visit them too often, as I have to tend to the shop. But my grandparents allow me to take a trip to one of the sites every so often." Greg paused a moment before asking, "What about you? What do you like to do, besides study?" The blond boy looked pretty honest when asking the question, as though he were genuinely interested. Which he was.

Lenore blinked slowly, considering the question. She'd never really had time for hobbies, then or now. Keeping busy was really her coping mechanism. "Well, I do like taking walks," she said, a bit embarrassed that it sounded so... uninteresting. "Honestly, I don't have a lot of time to just do whatever I choose. The Pokemon Center runs really long hours, and mostly I'm either there or trying to sleep. This is actually my first time actually just around town since I came here." She paused, sipping on her tea. "Even the walks are kind of work-related; I have to go out into the surrounding area to look for plants for medicine."

Ruins certainly sounded interesting, though. She'd heard a few rumors about the really famous ones, like the Ruins of Alph, but of course she'd never been. What reason would someone like her ever have to go? Though... maybe one day it would be nice.

Greg nodded his head, listening ever so intently. Walks were always nice, although he never considered them a hobby or an interesting activity. But hey, to each their own. Of course, Lenore didn't sound like she was one that got breaks often. Pokemon Centers were always on, always open. How anyone could do that 24/7, Greg did not know. Upon closer insepection, Greg definitely noticed the similarities between the local Nurse Joy and Lenore. "Ah, now I see the resemblance. You definitely look like a Joy. But I like the...different air about you. Very interesting. Are you training to go into a certain field of medicine? Or are you planning to take over a Pokemon Center? Oh, and I apologize for my constant questions. Bad habit, I suppose." Greg finished with a laugh. It really was amazing how many words he could fit in one breath.

Lenore was certainly astounded by it. Whether it was impressive or not was something she couldn't quite decide, but it certainly was... unique. She'd known a lot of talkers, but not any that also listened particularly well. She'd always thought those things kind of mutually exclusive. The questions were pertinent, they just... didn't really have answers, not yet. She sighed, staring down into her now-empty cup. "I really couldn't say," she replied. "I could run a center eventually, I suppose, but... I'm not sure if that's what I want. How did you know you wanted to be an appraiser?" Maybe if she knew how to even tell what was right for her, she'd be able to recognize it when she found it. It seemed like something that everyone would have a different answer to, but it couldn't hurt to at least have some opinions, right? He didn't seem to have any ulterior motives, so maybe the reply would even be an honest one.

Greg had to think for a second on that one. How did he figure this out? After some thought, he pieced together his thoughts. "Well, besides the fact that it was kind of a family thing, I felt so at home in ancient places. Like they were still alive, still pulsing with life. It made me want to figure out everything about them, every aspect. I strived to use my little gift to piece together the pieces, one by one. I thought to myself 'Maybe if I work arond these artifacts, I'll glean something about the past'. That single ambition drove me to where I am. Sure, I could have been a superb police officer or investigator. But why should I use what I have like that? I don't really care about the problems of now, as they can be solved by anyone. The problems of the past...they need special care and attention." Greg finished off his coffee. "That's how I knew...I wanted to be that person that uncovered an ancient civilization, one that was perfectly preserved and had volume upon volume of lovely history. I think all you need to do is find your ancient civilization...the one thing in the world you truly want to pursue." Greg gave a smile, honestly happy to share this tidbit of advice.

"You don't lack for confidence, do you?" Lenore observed, and for the first time that afternoon, her face cracked into a smile as well. Find her ancient civilization, huh? It was certainly one of the more interesting metaphors she'd heard. Setting her empty cup down, she propped an elbow on the table and rested her chin in her hand, appearing thoughtful. From his position on her shoulder, Bandit readjusted slightly, but he didn't seem to mind the movement-- he was used to more activity than that. From the way he spoke about it, it sounded like finding the thing that she was uniquely capable of was important. Nobody else could understand the ruins as well as he could, so what could she do so well that nobody else would compare?

Given that she wasn't particularly gifted in any special way, she doubted there was much, if anything at all. Still, it was a nice thought. And it made her a little curious. Glancing at her watch, she decided Aunt Joy wouldn't mind if she was out a bit longer; in fact, she'd probably be happy about it. "Um," she started, a bit awkwardly, "Sorry if this is a weird question, but... could I maybe see your shop? I'm a bit curious as to what such a place might be like." And she wanted to see what it all looked like, when someone was in the place they felt most at home. Nothing felt like home to her: not Solaceon, not Hearthome, and not here, either, really.

A little more warmth leaked into Greg's heart. Mission One accomplished: Make Lenore smile. Her face was beginning to get awfully unnerving, with it's not moving. The curiosity which she presented also made Greg happy. Curiosity was his lifeblood. "I was hoping you'd ask. It's a nice quaint place, really." He said, getting up to pay for his coffee. Of course, he had forgotten about who he had left at the antique shop. And that someone could be...vengeful. Taking out the last bit of Poké, he walked over to the cashier quickly, paid, and walked back. "Well, we should get going then. My shift begins soon, anyways." Greg and Clay opened the door, and held it open for Lenore. Chivalry wasn't dead in this young man.

"Thank you," she said, walking out the door after paying for her own tea. Bandit was purring in her ear, so she almost missed what he said about his shift starting soon. Well, if there were customers, she resolved not to bother anyone, but regardless it was surely nice to be seeing a little more of the place. And who'd think to look for someone like her in a place like that? It could, in fact, be quite the superb disguise, no alteration to her appearance required. If she had her guess, most of the customers would not be young, so the chances of getting recognized were slim at best. It was, in its own little way, perfect.

The quartet walked down the streets of Opelucid, sun setting over the historic city. Soon, they approached Anne & Zeke's, the local antique store. "Here we are. C'mon in." Greg said as he once again held the door open and they stepped through. The store inside had a brass, brown and black color scheme. Aged was the only way to explain it. Shelves created the short aisles on the sides of the room, and in the center glass cases held the pricey pieces. In the back was a glass counter, with a register and a door to the workshop. The store was eerily quiet. "Huh...usually Gram is busy." Greg muttered, as a shuffling sounded out of the corner, and a black shadow crawled across the floor. Greg didn't catch it in time, and Rune appeared behind Lenore, using his Shadow Sneak to get the best of her. The Spiritomb emerged from his stone, and wore a look of ferocity on his ghostly features...

At first, Lenore was quite entraced by the unfamiliar surroundings, and thought nothing of the unusual quiet. Indeed, if she'd thought anything at all about it, it would have been that the peace and stillness were quite nice. Unfortunately for her, however, her quiescence was quickly shattered. A rustling from behind her caught her attention. "Hm?" she hummed quietly, and turned to see if perhaps there was someone there. What she saw was practically a vision from her childhood nightmares. A ghost, looking to her quite massive, loomed over her, glaring, its shape horrendously suggestive of sharpened teeth and predatory intentions. "Gah!"

The young woman's eyes went comically-wide behind her glasses, and she half-whirled, half-stumbled around to more fully face the apparent danger, only she managed to foul up the movement and trip herself, falling backwards into a shelving unit with a loud thud. The wood dug painfully into her back, but she was more concerned with the menacing ghost, and also the fact that her collision with it had tipped the shelf dangerously close to falling over. It was save herself or save Greg's stuff, and in a move that was perhaps as ridiculous as it was beneficial, she could only think to herself that she really didn't want to break anything important, so she wrapped thin arms around the small shelving unit and clung onto it for dear life, closing her eyes and hoping that maybe the ghost would go away if she couldn't see it.

Well, nobody said that fear was rational, right?

Bandit, meanwhile, had leapt from her shoulder as soon as she started to fall, and now stood between the cowering form of his trainer and the malicious presence that had appeared from seemingly nowhere, growling.

When Lenore freaked out, Greg understood why Gram was absent. Hitting himself in the head, Greg sharply turned to see his own little bundle of trouble scare the living daylights out of their guest. Greg's heart lurched as she ran into the shelf, and hoped the items would be okay. She saved them, and Greg sighed in relief. That relief turned to anger briefly, and Greg removed a Dusk Ball from his pack. "Rune. How dare you scare company like this? When will you learn? I swear, you're lucky I don't have Clay put you out. We'll talk about this later. Alright?" Greg instructed, and returned the Spiritomb to his ball. He quickly went to pull up Lenore, and brush her off. "I am so sorry. Rune has always been...problematic. No matter how nice I am, or however I am, the vengeful spirits that compose him overthrow my efforts..." Greg explained, when his grandmother emerged from behind the counter. "G-Greg? Is that you? Is it gone?" She stopped short once she saw Lenore. Her bespectacled eyes grew so wide, you'd think they'd pop out of her skull.

"ZEKE! GRAB THE CAMERA! GREG FINALLY HAS A LADY FRIEND!" Anne yelled, to which Greg blushed. "Grandma, she isn't--" Greg shouted, but his grandma just wouldn't have it. "Oh hush now, child. No need to be embarassed. Your parents are going to be so happy!" After this, a beared, balding man in a button up tourist shirt and pants quickly raced out of the back, and snapped a picture of the pair. "There, now you can't struggle." Zeke smiled, and high-fived Anne.

Greg almost fell over. His face was beet red, and Clay was slowly floating over to the side of the room. "I...I just met her, Gram..." Greg mumbled, hoping Lenore was able to cope with embarassment. Because there was much more to follow when Mr. and Mrs. Calieo got wind.

Apparently, the horror from underneath her bed (okay, so maybe she'd just dreamed lots of similar things as a child, whatever) actually belonged to Greg, which probably should have reassured Lenore somewhat but really didn't. It wasn't until she felt him pulling her to her feet that she cracked an eyelid, glance darting all around until she was satisfied that the ghost was gone. Of course, the fact that she could now process her own absurdity caused her to clear her throat awkwardly. She couldn't believe she'd nearly knocked over an entire shelf! "Oh, um, no, it's really okay--" she was cut off by another voice, this one distinctly aged and feminine both. Turning towards the woman behind the counter, Lenore was contemplating the wisdom or introducing herself when the woman's eyes landed on her.

Her stomach dropped, as she at first believed herself to be recognized. Indeed, the first shouted sentence almost had her bolting from the shop, but the second stayed her. Wait... what? She glanced at Greg, slowly turning from pink to a most impressive shade of red, and smiled. Oh, was that all? She could definitely deal with this. She even managed a winning smile for the camera the bald man (presumably the woman's husband) held, which was honestly more an automatic reaction than anything else. Smile for the cameras, Lenore. Love them, and they'll love you. Pedantic advice from a manager she'd disliked immensely, but relatively true nonetheless.

Glancing back to Greg, she bit her lip to keep from snickering at his predicament. He was cheri-berry-red at this point, an odd contrast with his fair hair. She decided it was probably kinder to add her word to his, in hopes that his grandparents would believe them both where they seemed disinclined to take him at his word. Clasping her hands demurely in front of her, she bowed slightly, rising from it to speak. "I'm very sorry," she said softly, "but there's been a misunderstanding. Greg and I just met this afternoon-- I was curious about your shop, you see, and selfishly requested that he show me to it. He is just being kind and indulging me. I was quite startled by the ghost, you see." Well, that was an understatement.

Anne and Zeke looked at each otherm and then sighed. "Well Zeke, you'll have to burn that one too." Anne said, before turning her menacing gaze upon Greg. "One day. One day you'll bring us grandchildren. And we'll be waiting." Anne glared, and then softened. "Well dear, I am so glad that you are interested in our little slice of heaven. Yes, Rune can be a problem, but someone decided to keep him after he'd been sent to us." She explained. Greg had turned back to his normal complexion as Lenore bailed him out. He'd have to thank her later. "Gram, why do you think I'm dating every person I bring here?" Greg asked, rhetorically. He turned back to Lenore. "This is about it. You're more than welcome to hang around and browse, if you want. Time to take my place. And thanks." Greg said as he stepped behind the glass counter. One more crisis averted. If only it was the last...

The setting changes from Kanto Region to Ilex Forest

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Character Portrait: Les Torbert Character Portrait: Gemma Rhodes
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Johto, Ilex Forest



The sun was barely a sliver on the horizon the next morning when Gemma first stirred. A slanting ray of light fell over her eyes, a cue for the army brat to get moving, lest dad trudge up the steps to pound loudly on her door with all the force of a small earthquake, shouting things about work and indolence. The memory turned her mouth up at the corners, and she inhaled deeply, infusing her lungs with fresh oxygen and the lovely scent of Celyn’s fur. The deerling made an excellent pillow, and one she always seemed to end up using regardless of whether she had an actual one or not.

Cracking open her eyes, the woman sat up, patting her sleeping pokemon’s flank and then stretching both arms up and over her head, yawing unselfconsciously and cracking her neck both ways as she peered around the camp. She huffed a slight chuckle as she noticed Emrys curled up beside his new friend Nam, the eevee’s bushy tail draped over the top of the bivalve’s shell like a furry blanket of some kind. Aderyn, far more accustomed to Gemma’s usual waking times and an early bird herself, was already awake, perched in the same tree she’d roosted in, looking down at the campsite with a rustling of feathers.

“Morning, Sunshine,” Gemma greeted her, as she had every morning for years. Aderyn’s reply was also the same, the trilling croon originating from somewhere in her chest. Nix was also here, though both Les and his other two pokemon seemed to be absent. Perhaps he simply rose even earlier than she did. She wasn’t too concerned either way—it wasn’t like he was going to leave his pokemon here if he didn’t plan on coming back, and she had promised breakfast.

Actually, she should probably get to that. Sliding out of the borrowed bedroll, Gemma pulled her boots one and laced them up snugly, flowing to her feet and bundling up the thermal sleeping gear with a respectable amount of efficiency. Dusting off her knees, she straightened and turned to the eelektross. “Morning, Nix. Aderyn and I are going to go looking for breakfast, if you don’t mind keeping an eye on things?” She figured that was probably why she was here at all, but she’d feel bad just assuming that.

The eelektross nodded slightly, flashing an assortment of lights across her body. Despite Gemma's activity, Nam was still very much asleep, as was the eevee at her side. Nix looked back at the campsite, embers still burning slightly. Taking it upon herself, she threw a bit of the leftover firewood on the fire pit and exhaled a small stream of flame, causing it to catch fire. The eelektross then contented herself with stretching out and floating around the camp, performing random odds and ends in preperation for Gemma's departure and arrival.

Celyn, meanwhile, drifted over to Nix, still apparently quite curious about the electric type's flashing lights, stopping occasionally to help her with this or that task. He was rather used to maintaining Gemma's sorry excuses for camps mostly on his own, as he knew a significant amount about forests, and, curious as he was, had seen many humans camping in them before.

Gesturing to Aderyn, the Gemma grabbed a small pot from Les’ things, assuming he probably wouldn’t mind, and headed off into the woods, satchel back in hand. She had half a loaf of bread left in her bag from when she set out the previous morning, and she made a mean berry jam. That would, however, require more berries than she presently had, and perhaps something to go with would be useful as well. Hm, that looked leafy and green… but she knew better than to assume now.

“Ryn?” she asked, pointing at the plant in question. She bird shook her head, protesting stringently, and so Gem nodded and kept going. She could hear the distinctive gurgle of a small body of water nearby, perhaps a creek or something, and continued heading towards it, stopping to gather this or that berry or plant when her Pidgeotto voiced her approval. The creek itself was lovely and clear, and she was tempted to linger by the spot, enjoying it and waiting patiently for pokemon to come to drink. Of course, saying that reminded her of the incident at Lake of Rage…

Shaking her head at her own impossible thoughts, Gem knelt by the riverbank and dipped the pot into the water there, rising steadily to her feet and picking her way back to the camp, where she re-stoked the fire with dry kindling, rigging the pot to hang above the flames so the water could boil. Into this, she threw an assortment of berries, aiming for something on the sweet and spicy side with her choices, as suited toast. The grate from last night, she also set up again, slicing into her loaf of bread and placing these down in it to toast in noticeable stripe-patterns. The rest of the edibles she’d gathered, she sort of stared at for a while, then shrugged and skewered them on sufficiently thin sticks, which she then stuck in the ground and tilted over the fire to cook properly. It wasn’t the fanciest thing in the world, but it should taste pretty good.

A buzzing sound overtook the campsite as Les and the other two pokemon returned from Arceus-knows-where, somewhat dirtier than the night before but no worse for the wear. Ren took a seat near the half-filled baskets from the previous evening while Doomsday lazily curled up near the fire once again.

"Some'in' sm'lls good, Miss Rhod's--di'n' fig'r' y'fer a cook," the man in the trenchcoat chuckled as he brought over a bit of firewood to help Nix manage it. "Y'nee' 'ny'elp?"

"Nah, I should be fine," she replied, stirring the contents of the pot. It was beginning to have the right consistency now-- a few more minutes should get it to where it needed to be. Turning the bread over to toast the other side, a thought occurred to her. It was one that had initially struck her the evening before, but it was looking a little more feasible now. She decided to broach the topic and see what happened.

"Have you ever heard of a pokemon called Suicune, Les?"

"Y'me'n th'one f'om'th stori's?" Les replied, dropping some more kindling into the fire. "Ah me'n, Ah've he'rd'f it b'for'... Jus' f'om'th leg'n's 'n's'ch..." The eelektross was content on moving the pile of firewood toward her trainer. "Tha's good, Nix darl'n'--y'ain't gotta do tha' 'nymor'f y'dun' feel good."

Nix nodded slowly before settling down between Les and Celyn, content on amusing the deerling with the flashing lights across her body. It was at this point that the little bivalve, noticing the activity around her, began to yawn, sticking out her tongue in the process. "An' g'mornin' t'yah too, li'l' lady--bre'kf'as' sm'lls good th's mornin', don' it?" Les patted the shellder a few times before turning his attention back to the woman cooking breakfast. "Why y'ask'n', Miss Rhod's?"

Gemma cleared her throat. She wasn't exactly the self-conscious sort, but even she felt some measure of trepidation at really explaining this. "Well... I'm asking because I'm looking for it. I saw it once, maybe a year ago, and I was a big idiot who didn't even have my camera with me at the time, and well... I really just want to find it again." The experience had been a bit overwhelming, honestly, but it had felt so important, like it really meant something to her. She'd been disquiet since, unsatsified with something, and the observer and artist within her both demanded that she rectify this.

Taking the pot off the fire, she set it aside to cool down, fetching the plates from where they lay on the end of the log. Onto these, she placed the toasted bread and a few of the skewers, leaving the rest aside for the pokemon. Emrys took this as his cue to wake up, or maybe that was just Nam moving around next to him. Either way, she tossed one to Celyn, who swiftly snapped it out of the air with his mouth, though a bit late due to his distraction with the pretty shiny lights. Silly thing. Another went to Aderyn, who swooped into the clearing and caught it up in a talon before returning to her tree.

The others, she was more careful with, taking one each over for Emrys and Nam once she was certain the shellder wouldn't burn her tongue upon attempting to eat it. "I'm not sure if Nix and Doomsday would eat vegetables," she confessed, "but there's leftover venison if they don't." She offered another to Ren, unsure if the vespiquen would be interested.

At that point, the jam had cooled sufficiently, and she handed Les his plate before using a spoon to coat her toast in the stuff. This was best with spicy torchic eggs, but of course, there was nothing quite so homey out here in the middle of nowhere.

Ren stared at the berries being offered to her by Gemma and quickly snatched the skewer from her, buzzing in delight as she nibbled away at the meal. Doomsday felt completely disinclined to join the others in their toast and jam, but he did find the meat sitting on the log from the night before to be a nice substitute. The shellder rolled the berries along the ground with her tongue, using the muscle to pick them up and subsequently roll them into her shell for consumption.

Les remained silent, trying to digest the information that the girl had just given him. "...s'yer lookin' fer a leg'ndary pokem'n 'caus' y'f'rgot yer cam'ra..."

"When you put it that way, I kind of sound like an idiot," Gemma commented offhandedly. "But yes, that's more or less it, stupid or no." Actually, it probably was pretty stupid, since she expected that wherever Suicune was, it wasn't in the middle of a city, which meant that she was ill-equipped for this whimsical little lark she was on here. Naturally, this brought her to the point of the discussion.

"So. You mentioned that you have no place in particular to be, whereas I have a lot of places to potentially be, only probably not without disaster if I try to get there by myself. Ignore me if this comes way too far out of left field, but... would you mind coming with? I could use the company... and the help, if I'm being honest." She grinned sheepishly, rubbing a tad awkwardly at the back of her neck as she settled down to eat.

Les swallowed the bit of toast and jam presently in his mouth, reaching for a water bottle from his pack to take a swig. "Th'jam's qui' tasty, Miss Rhod's," he nodded before coughing quietly. "T'be hones', Ah think y'cou'd do rath'r well withou' me--y'know how t'cook, an' with yer luck, y'd pro'lly stumbl' 'cross anoth'r camp like y'did with me an' th'crew..." Nam turned suddenly toward Les, eyes wide as she looked between her trainer and Gemma and her new eevee friend.

Gemma chewed this over, giving it the thought it was due. Actually, she was kind of surprised that he'd even taken the question seriously-- she'd been known to throw people off with things of this nature before, strange ideas that seemed to come from nowhere or openly flout the implicit rules of politeness. "Hm," she pronounced, swallowing and tilting her head to the side. "You might be right. But something tells me that the next time this happens, the results may not be so amicable. I know I'm asking a lot, and if you'd rather not, I completely understand. But.... I don't know, it just seems like a good idea to me, so I thought 'why not ask?'" She shrugged, though Nam caught her attention after that, and she smiled, shaking her head a bit.

"I guess I do a lot of things because I can't think of a good reason not to," she murmured, more to herself than him, though perhaps it was audible all the same.

"Fr'm wha' Ah un'erstan' 'bou' th'leg'n's, Miss Rhod's," Les cleared his throat after an uncomfortable silence between the two, filled only by the sounds of the absol chewing on the raw meat. "This 'Su'c'ne' pokem'n c'n run's fas's th'win' an' ev'n ov'r th'surf'ce'f th'water... Wher'yah ev'n think'n' 'bou' startin' yer li'l' hunt?"

"Well, the whole incident happened at Lake of Rage," she said. "I guess I was thinking of going back to the beginning. Otherwise, there are people who profess to know about legendary pokemon back home in Ecruteak, so I might have to pay 'em a visit and see what I can learn. Beyond that, who knows? Have I mentioned I'm pretty bad at plans?" She seemed to take any lingering awkwardness with good grace, and she was back to amusement at her own expense in little time. She had no desire to press an unfavorable point, nor to convince anyone to do things they didn't want to do. If this conversation was all the human contact she had for a while, she was going to enjoy it.

The man in the trenchcoat chuckled. "So, lemme ge'this straigh'... Yer lookin' fer someon' who's gon' make sure y'dun' g't los'n th'wild'rn'ss, 's'at righ'?"

"Well, cooking delicious food and actually talking to me would be a bonus, but I'm not going to require it," she joked, nodding even so.

Nam looked back toward Emrys, chirping as she wriggled in place and watched the eevee continue to run around the mollusk playfully. Nix also seemed to have caught the interest of Celyn as well, who continued to stare in amazement at the flashing lights that danced across her serpentine body. Ren finished one skewer of berries and flew in to grab another, seemingly satisfied at the meal she had been given earlier. In fact, the only one that seemed apathetic about the whole deal was Doomsday, who continued to gnaw away at the flesh draped over the log--Les knew, though, that he was always apathetic and did not care much for interacting with others.

Les sighed and shook his head, a half-smile forming at the corner of his mouth. "...Ah g'ess th'pokem'n've made th'dec's'on fer us alre'dy..." he took a look around the camp. "Dun' think Ah'd hear th'en'f it if Ah took Nam's new fri'nd aw'y fr'm'er." He chuckled.

"Heh, s'pose not," Gemma replied, tone laced with amusement, glancing over at the pokemon before returning her attention to the conversation at hand. "Thank you; I do appreciate it. And don't worry-- I'm sure it'll be fun!" How many misguided 'adventures' had she started with that particular thought in mind? Probably far too many. But she was rarely wrong.

The setting changes from Ilex Forest to Pallet Town

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Character Portrait: J. T. Eische Character Portrait: Edehvé Mirym Petora Character Portrait: Angelique Romain
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The girl seemed to grow rather hesitant as J. T. attempted to clarify whether she was rather serious about heading off to Unova. Sure, he had mentioned about going home--which would involve travel by foot, minecart, boat, and off-road vehicle--but he was not sure she would be able to get away from everything in Pallet. It seemed rather... sudden to want to travel the world like that; then again, it wasn't necessarily unusual for teenagers to want to get away from their origins and see what else the different regions had in store for them.

But why him? Why not go with Angelique, the dream girl that could show her just about everything she ever wanted to know about pokemon before getting sick from overexposure? What did J. T. provide her that the breeder/trainer/elite/coordinator/showman could not? Or rather, was it something about Angelique that turned her away from trying to hitch a ride atop her dragonite all the way back to Rainbow Valley with the wunderkind? J. T. could think of a number of reasons, but he was completely and utterly biased in his opinions--he was unable to make any assumptions on Evee's behalf, but then again, it was not his place to do that. She would find out on her own if she chose to walk down that path, but for now, her fate was up in the air still.

"Scraggy! Scrag scra!!!" Hex yelled as J. T. watched the young lizard tripped over her loose skin and fell to the ground in a heap. A satisfied chirp escaped Zeke's mouth as the levitating tadpole crackled with electricity, content with wearing the scraggy out. The scene brought a slight grin to the intern's face--after being bombarded with so many negative feelings these past few days, it was nice to see something as light-hearted as his pokemon chasing each other around. He looked to his bag and pulled out a small red canteen-shaped container which rattled as he gently placed it between his legs.

"Hey, you two, c'mere," J. T. beckoned the pokemon as he opened the container. "You guys look a bit hungry..." He poured a few multi-colored berries into an open hand--some blue, some red, some pink. "Dig in, you two. We're gonna be heading back home for a while, so you're going to need to be nice and strong for another long walk back to the city with the boats, OK?"

Hex plucked the blue berries from the man's hand, bringing the fruits to her mouth and nibbing away at them with a smile on her face. Zeke swam down toward J. T.'s open hand and managed to take a sizable bite from one of the red ones. "You guys like those ones? I only have a limited supply for now--maybe mom'll have some more when we go to visit her."

The scraggy's eyes lit up at the sound of returning back to Nimbasa. Both she and her trainer knew that his mother was notorious for babying the yellow lizard; then again, she had a penchant for finding the best qualities of a pokemon in general. In Hex, it had been her appealing cuteness--she had even said something about possibly being groomed to make for a potential pageant winner, but that was something J. T. did not to get involved with personally. He did not see the need to boost Hex's inflated ego further, nor did he care to have to deal with it if he was never going to attempt to follow in his mother's footsteps. He had chosen his path; while this was something that she respected and encouraged, the intern could not help but feel that she was disappointed in him for not following the same path as her.

After the two pokemon had finished their snack, J. T. closed the canister once again before placing it back in his bag. He slung it over his shoulder before picking himself up off the ground and stretching his legs out. With a sigh, he slowly trudged back toward the center of the hamlet, knowing full well that he was serious about his word and what he had told Oak and the others. Besides, it had been over three months since he had heard from him mother--it was about time that he could finally get to go back home and at least spend a little bit of time with her.

"Scra?" Hex tugged on the intern's pants once again, ain, hoping that he would pay some attention to her before taking care of some serious business.

"No, Hex," J. T. spoke, his voice somewhat tired and listless. "This isn't the time for these antics... I've got to book a room on the ship, pack up my clothes, grab a bit of extra money, maybe clear the air with the professor if he's feeling up to talking with me after how I went off on him..." He stopped for a moment, collecting his thoughts on the matter. "...was that Evee girl being serious when she mentioned she wanted to go to Unova?"

"...gy...?" Hex shrugged, although she had a glint in her eye, one that hoped the young girl was in fact willing and able to accompany her trainer--if only because she had paid so much attention to her back in the lab.

"Mo..." Zeke added, not really meaning anything much by the verbalization but adding a bit of agreement by lighting his body with different patterns of blue and white lights.

"Well, I guess we'll have to cross that bridge if she's serious..." he muttered to himself before recalling both of the pokemon to their respective capsules. "It'll be easier for me to get everything done with you guys away, I'm sorry." J. T. picked up the pace, making his way into the lab and catching a glimpse of Evee and Angelique talking among themselves in the corral. He would have stopped to observe their body language--maybe see if they noticed him spying through the window (how hard was it to look through a pane of glass, anyway?)--but he had bigger things to take care of at this particular time.

J. T. picked up the pace as he headed toward the back of the lab toward a room with a bed and a desk, papers strewn about everywhere with random notes and scribblings and findings from all sorts of notes taken over a period of weeks. The intern rummaged through the various sheets, eventually finding a decent-sized camera hiding among notes of the sizes of adult miltank and the quality of milk produced.

"Can't leave without this..." he smirked as he placed the device in his shoulder-slung bag. He found another suitcase tucked away in a closet along with several changes of clothes--for the time being, he could cram everything into one suitcase; he'd just be washing it when he returned home anyway, so it would not matter too much if it all had to be crammed into one place for a few days. His mom knew a good dry-cleaning place in the city--she knew all of the good places in the city: just one of the many perks of being one of the city's most famous citizens.

After cramming his clothes in the suitcase, J. T. took a quick breath as he turned toward the hallway once again and grabbed his trenchcoat, throwing it over his shoulders and making sure that his bag was not caught on anything. He made his way out of the hall and was about to continue out the front and be free of this place for the next two weeks--

"Oh, there he is! J. T., a moment?" Oak's voice sound slightly lower than it normally had, which concerned J. T. slightly; the professor only took this tone when he was somewhat displeased. After his little outburst from earlier, though, the intern was not surprised by this at all.

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Character Portrait: J. T. Eische Character Portrait: Edehvé Mirym Petora
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#, as written by Igari

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She was leaning against the wall, the cottonee in her arms making occasional mewling noises as she waited nervously for the intern to approach. The girl tightened her hold on the creature, Mr. Cotton-Huggles (as she had no other name to call him at the moment); she hoped that J.T. would take it well. She hadn't exactly been as direct as she could've during their encounter just earlier and if his expression had been anything to go by, she probably confused him just slightly. Should she apologize for that too? Wait no, he wouldn't really like her that much if all she did was apologize to him at every step of the way. Besides, she was a Petora and she had been raised to be firm in her beliefs.

She took a deep breath--just stay calm, Evee!--forcing herself to keep her head held up high. Though honestly, she hadn't expected the Professor to act as fast as he did... It only took moments before J.T. entered the room--he looked relatively indifferent but it was hard to tell. She had never done well when guessing someone's emotions.

"J. T.," Oak stared at his intern as he entered the room. "If you are certain that you will be returning home after all, please take care not to let Aurea steal you away from me!" he joked, letting out a quick chuckle. "In all seriousness, though, this young girl--er... Evee--has expressed interest in traveling to Unova."

The intern looked between the professor and the girl at his side, slightly dumbfounded as he let go of his luggage and wiped his glasses on his shirt. "So, you were serious after all, huh?" he felt a slight tugging at the corners of his mouth. "Well, why do I need to get involved? Why not go flying through the sky with Angelique and her dragons of--" he cut himself off after Oak shot him a slight disapproving look.

Evee quickly pushed her face into the fluff of the pokémon to muffle the giggles that threatened to bubble up. She was tempted to finish his sentence (with something grand like, the dragons of Mordor! Wait... there were no dragons in Mordor...) but stopped herself. She blinked up at J.T. with wide, brown eyes and cleared her throat. "Well, ah... about that... As tempting as it sounds to do something like that, traveling atop dragons seems more like something you'd find in a fantasy novel or something." She paused--she rather hoped this didn't make Angelique some sort of amazon woman or heroine from a far-off land.

"I'd like to go with you. I... I broke your egg... or... it hatched," She stumbled through her sentence. She wasn't sure which way it had really happened but whatever way it had, she was sure she had done something. "And I wanted to make it up to you." She left her second reason silent. A large part of her wanted to prove to her parents that she was more grown up than they took her for. They still catered after her and kept her sheltered. But she was almost eighteen; other people had already left their homes to go exploring! And she was old enough by Unovan standards...

She hoped that perhaps by going on this journey with J.T. would show them that she was capable of taking on more responsibility. The fluffball gave a flail of its leafy stubs, fanning more air into the girl's face. "Nee, cottonee!" It chirped happily, getting a bit over-excited by the prospect of traveling and nearly propelling itself into the air.

The intern sighed as he placed two fingers on his eyes and rubbed them, trying to collect his thoughts from all of the different sources of stress on this particular day. "Well, getting up and leaving your home to go travel the world is a big order... Y'gotta make sure that you have all of your supplies--clothes, food, camping supplies, all those things that make wandering in the wilderness possible. Besides, have you talked this over with your parents at all?"

The small smile that had lit upon her face faded as she heard his question. "N.... no..." She managed as she looked down. No she hadn't. She had foolishly thought that she could just get up and leave without putting much effort into it. She was dreading that conversation and a part of her had been wishing that no one would bring her parents up. The cottonee finally succeeded in levitating itself from her grasp and stayed airborne for a few seconds before floating down to the ground lightly. It bumped up against her shins, continuing its happy mewling, oblivious to the conflict at hand.

"But," She began, trying to keep her voice even. "Well, I mean, I'm sure once they hear why I'm leaving, they'll be more apt to agree!" Well, not really all that sure, but she didn't want J.T. second-guessing her as well.

"There's only one way to find out," the intern chuckled. "You'd also need a bit of money--boat tickets from Kanto to Unova are pretty expensive..."

She paled--she hadn't considered that. And she had no formal job or any income. She heaved a deep sigh and muttered under her breath. "I really am going to have to ask them, aren't I...." She bent down, holding out her hands so that the cottonee could jump back into her arms. It bounced around a bit, accidentally bumping into J.T. and Professor Oak before it bounded back into her waiting arms. She lifted it up against her and straightened, glancing at the door.

"I..." How did she go about asking for his support in the matter? Did he even want her around? "You... don't mind if I go with you, though?" She asked hesitantly.

The intern looked back toward Evee before glancing once again at the professor, who flashed him a quick grin. "I guess I could use the company--besides, Hex was getting rather... fond of you..." J. T. shook his head. "Yeah, she's a handful and a half, but I guess it'd be nice having someone to talk to while we head back home--er, rather, as we head to my home..." he could feel his face growing a bit flustered as he tried fishing for the right words.

She felt some relief flood her--at least she wouldn't be a bother to him. "I... that's great!" She managed, her baby fluff flailing its arms again in approval. "My... parents should still be home... guess it would make sense to go talk to them now, huh?" She gave a nervous laugh, though it felt a bit forced. Evee had never liked the prospect of talking to her parents of matters that differed from their stringent views.

J. T. could sense the nervousness rolling off in wave from this girl. "Would you perhaps like the professor to go with you? I'm sure he'd be more than happy to vouch for you, plus it'd make a bit more sense than having a random intern say that he's kidnapping their daughter, right?" he chuckled slightly, hoping the joke would lighten the mood somewhat.

Kidnapping, huh? That sounded a bit like one of her videogames... but yes, yes that would help! She felt encouraged that he was going to try and help her--even if it was indirectly. "Yes... I'd really appreciate that. T.... thank you." A blush rose to her cheeks again and she buried her face in the cottonee. "My house isn't that far away... it's only a few doors down." She gestured out the window, pointing out one of the houses more towards the eastern side of the town.

She lowered her arm, shifting towards the entrance and keeping her gaze partially on the Professor. She wasn't going to leave the lab unless absolutely certain he was going to walk with her. Evee's parents were nice people, but sometimes her mother could be really scary.

"Hmm? Oh, yes!" Oak suddenly remembered his train of thought. "Would you lead the way, Evee? Also, could you remind me again what your parents' names are? My mind is slowly wandering the older I get..."

Professor Oak wasn't actually that old, was he? Actually... she didn't know his age. She just kind of considered him ageless, like one of those people that never seemed to get any younger or older no matter how much time passed. "That's okay! Um.... My father's name is Cecil and my mother's is Tatiana, Professor." Her voice was a bit soft as she let herself out of the lab, holding the door open for Professor Oak to walk through.

Perhaps it looked a bit odd, now that she thought on it. Evee led him towards her house, dread forming in her stomach the closer they got to it. She had to hope that her parents would say yes but her mother was known for being difficult... She visibly shrunk a bit as they reached her house, the girl taking several breaths before turning the handle to let them inside.

The first thing the baby pokémon did upon entering was leap out of her arms again and go stumbling in the direction of the kitchen. "Wait, Mr. Cotton Huggles, don't--" A crash from the room confirmed her fears. She entered the kitchen with a slight frown, finding the fluffball on the ground and one of the pots next to it. It must've dashed into the counter... A loud throat clearing made Evee turn slightly, the girl catching sight of the one and only fearsome mother.

Well okay, her mother had been nice enough earlier but now that she was disapproving, her threat level had raised significantly. "Edehvé Mirym Petora," Her mother said, enunciating each syllable. "Just what is that on the kitchen floor?"

"E-Er... um.... that's a cottonee, mother..." She said weakly, brushing a bit of hair behind her ear.

"I know full well what it is, Edehvé, I'm asking what is it doing here?" Her mother paused, seeming to have noticed the Professor standing in the doorway. "Ah.... Professor, we weren't expecting you. Is that pokémon yours?"

"Hello, Tatiana--please, just call me Sam," the professor cleared his throat. "There's been an... interesting development that I think your daughter would like to bring to your attention..."

"Oh?" Evee knew that "oh". The unamused, no-nonsense one.

"R-right... well, you see um..." She tried her best to keep herself speaking firmly but her voice came out weaker than she would've liked. "You know how I went to the lab to ask after the togekiss....? Well, when I got there, Angelique was there too and so was J.T..."

"Dear Arceus..." Her mother said quietly.

"And one thing led to another and this cottonee hatched. I-It might've been my fault and I really wanted to make it up to J.T. so I wanted to go with him to Unova so--" Her mother shook her head firmly, frown deepening.

"Out of the question. You have no business in Unova. And I'm sure the Professor would agree with me when I say you are far too young to be travelling far away from home."

"Actually, Mrs. Petora," J. T. spoke up this time after clearing his throat. "Many young teens venture from their homes in Unova at an even younger age than your daughter, some as young as thirteen. Besides, a lot of kids end up traveling with friends anyway and then are exposed to new people and places in their travels. I'm heading back to Unova in the next day or two, actually, making the journey from here to Vermilion and catching a boat to take me back to Castelia, whereupon I'll be heading north back to my hometown in Nimbasa City--" the intern stopped, feeling that he had been rambling for far too long.

"The long and short of it is this, Tatiana," Oak took over the conversation. "Your daughter feels she's ready to explore the world. She has an opportunity to go with my trusted assistant, and she is free to take it if she so wishes to."

Evee's mother seemed contemplative as she quietly took in what she had just been told. The woman's lips were pursed as she shook her head again, but less firm than before. "I'm still unsure... And this is rather sudden. We will need to have a... talk as a family before any further decisions are made." Evee nervously looked from her mother to the Professor and finally at J.T.

"As soon as you reach a decision, let me know--I'm planning on leaving as soon as possible, actually..." J. T.'s voice trailed off, not really interested in explaining the reason why he wanted to leave, nor finding it necessary to do so.

Her mother nodded as she took a few steps forwards, smiling at the two men. "Well! I'll keep that in mind. It was pleasant having you stop by. Thank you," She politely began to walk the men to the door, leaving Evee in the kitchen with the baby. It looked up at her with its overly large eyes, happily bouncing again. It must be nice to be that oblivious.... The same couldn't be said of the girl. She wasn't looking forward to the night's conversation but could only hope that in the end, her parents did decide to let her go.

The setting changes from Pallet Town to Ilex Forest

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Les Torbert Character Portrait: Gemma Rhodes
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"Yer think'n' tha' th'scav'ng'r hunt fer some'in' tha'may'r'may not exis's gon' be all sor's'f fun?" Les chuckled as he finished off the last of his toast and grabbed a skewer of the roasted berries before the vespiquen could grab the rest. "If y'think tha', why y'nee' me 't'all? F'n's stay'n' in on'f'thos' fancy-schmancy c'ty-slick'r hot'ls with room serv'ce." Nix seemed to even 'chuckle'--if one could call it that--at the man's remark, her body lighting up slightly in response.

Gemma rolled her eyes good-naturedly. "If I thought that was fun, I wouldn't be here at all," she shot back with a smile. "Most fun has a little bit of risk, too-- I'm just interested in remaining around long enough to actually get to the fun part."

Up in the tree, Aderyn trilled somesomething that sounded suspiciously like exasperation. Gemma shot her a glance and chuckled. "I've always been like that-- just ask her. Fell face-first into her nest when I was what, seven?" Another trill, this one carrying a distinct note of agreement. "Something like that, yeah. I've been lost in dark caves, fallen off... two ships?" A sharp squawk. "That last one doesn't count, and you know it. If that fellow hadn't lost control of his furret, I'd never have tripped over it."

The bird glowered, but remained silent. Gem shook her head. "Anyway, two ships, and well... I've lost track of how many times I've come out of a forest in a completely different place than I'd planned to. All well and good when you've got nothing else to be doing with your time, but a bit troublesome when trying to find someone. Er... something? No, I like someone better." Her eyebrows drew together as she gave it a moment's more consideration, but then she shrugged and let it drop.

"'S'no wond'r yer lookin' fer som'on' t'help yah--yer so dam' accid'n'pron', 's'a mir'cl' tha'cha ain't kick'd th'bucke' yet," Les chuckled as he bent down toward the ground and began to pack up his things, paying the dirty grate and the pot filled with jam residue on the inside. "Nam, yer on clean'n' duty ag'in," he instructed the shellder. To Emrys' surprise, the bivalve sprayed a jet of water into the pot, the leftover jelly sliding effortlessly off of the sides of the metal. The eelektross 'swam' through the air toward the occupied shellder and held out the metal plates that needed to be cleaned as Nam practiced her aim.

"Y'min' handin' me th'bedroll, Miss Rhod's?" Les asked, extending a hand to catch the bag from the young woman. "Wh'n Ah've pack'd ev'rythin', Ah g'ess we'c'n g't goin'... Y'got a place'n min' y'think w'shou'd check firs'?"

"Lake of Rage," she said, sounding relatively certain. "If there's a clue to be found still, it'll be there. Otherwise, I'll have to pay a visit to the old Sages in the Tin Tower, and the way they phrase things usually makes my head hurt a bit," she joked with an easy grin. Actually, she'd gotten pretty used to that sort of thing over the years; the Sages were kind of a fixture in Ecruteak, and she'd basically grown up with Morty the Gym Leader. If that didn't get you used to obscurity, little would.

Tossing the sleeping bag, she decided it would also be a good idea to stop somewhere so that she could contribute a bit to the supplies. She might be more than willing to request the generosity of others, but that didn't mean she expected a free ride. She'd pull her weight, too, in whatever ways she could. It wasn't lost on her that she'd probably be an inconvenience, after all.

"W'll... Firs' w'gotta git throu' Gol'enr'd'n th' Nati'n'l Park t'git tah Ecrute'k," Les caught the bag in mid-air, fixing it to his pack before pulling out a cloth and drying the dishes that Nam had sprayed with water moments before. He placed them back in a neat stack before stowing them away in yet another compartment on his bag. "'N'th'n y'gotta git t'Mou't Mort'r b'for' Mahog'ny Town--'S'all a coupl'a days aw'y yet. Y'up fer all th'walkin'?"

The absol rolled his head around his neck before standing up and stretching out his legs. He seemed bored, apathetic to the whole thing until Les mentioned moving around, at which point Doomsday lazily walked over toward the man in the trenchcoat and stood by his side, a focused but distant look across his face. Les tousled the absol's fur atop his head before hefting the pack onto his back and picking up the shellder from the ground.

"Al'righ', li'l' lady, y'know wha' t'do," he pointed the bivalve toward the fire pit. The group watched as the shellder sprayed the campfire with another jet of water, extinguishing the flames until nothing remained except for soaked firewood.

"Walking's never been the trouble," Gemma replied simply, popping the last of the berries from yesterday's satchel into her mouth and handing the empty sack to Celyn, who took it obligingly in his mouth. He liked to range relatively far away from the others while they travelled, and would from time to time pick up berries and other edible items. Aderyn shifted on her perch, more than ready to be moving again.

Digging about in her own bag, Gemma assembled her camera in a few seconds, placing the strap over her neck to accompany the several chains and cords already there. Shouldering her bag, she settled everything so it wouldn't jostle too badly, then turned to Emrys, who'd been caught in the crossfire of Nam's last water jet, and was now amusingly soaked on one side. He looked more than a little ridiculous, and she chuckled at his expense.

"Well?" she asked him, hands on hips. "You walking or riding, Em?" The eevee looked over at the shellder for a moment, then appeared to recognize that she wouldn't be walking, so naturally, he wouldn't either. Pawing at her pant leg, he mewled softly until, with a sigh, Gemma crouched to pick him up and settle him on her shoulder.

"Looks like we're ready to go whenever you are," she declared with a smile.

Les chuckled at the sight of the half-soaked eevee crying out for the woman to pick him up in her arms. "'Ey, li'l lady, y'bes' 'pologiz' t'yer new fri'nd 'bou' squir'in' 'im--Ah dun' think 'e'w's prepar'd fer some'in' lik' tha' t'happ'n, an' Ah dun' think 'e's gonna play wi'cha ag'in 'nless y'say yer sorry..."

The shellder squeaked in response before sticking her tongue out toward Emrys once again. The man in the trenchcoat merely shook his head and sighed at the sight. "Ye'h, she's a q'irky on', ain't she?"

"Sol," Doomsday cut in with a low growl, facing to the north as if to signify what their new purpose was--much to his chagrin, if he could articulate that particular thought. Ren even seemed to be growing antsy and irritable, plucking nearby flowers from the ground and tearing them apart petal by petal as the buzzing grew more intense.

"Q'it'cher buzz'n', Ren!" Les' demeanor suddenly grew cold and stern, as if repremanding a child. "Y'know we alw'ys gotta bre'k camp 'fore we le've..." He turned back toward Gemma, a bit of a sheepish look to his face. "Ah 'pologiz' fer all th'c'mmoti'n, Miss Rhod's--w'shou'd b'r'dy t'git mov'n' now... Now if yer think'n' tha' y'wanna head t'th'Lake o'Rage, tha's all th'way t'th'north... Ah'm r'peat'n' m'self ag'in, ain't Ah?" He blushed slightly, not quite used to directing someone like this.

Emrys, apparently satisfied with this form of apology, stuck his own tongue out in response, causing Gemma to snort. Apparently that was to be their form of communication now. Glancing back to the only other human being in this ragtag little band, she grinned. "Oh, no worries," she said waving a hand dismissively, "I don't mind. And you really don't have to call me 'Miss Rhodes,' you know. My name is Gemma, Gem if you're so inclined, and I really won't be offended if you use it."

North it was, then. Only... "Which one's north, exactly?"

"Well, Miss Rhod's, Ah'nly call yeh tha' out'f r'spec'--call it'a ba'hab't, Ah g'ess. F'rgiv' me'f Ah take a bit'f time t'git used'tah callin' y'by yer firs' name..." he blushed again before looking through the trees and spotting something above them.

"Li'l surviv'l trick'f y'git los' ag'in--n'matt'r wher' y'are'n th'world, th'sun's alw'ys risin' t'th'eas' an' settin' t'the'wes. If th'sun's t'yer righ'n th'mornin' or t'yer lef'n th'ev'n'n', yer head'n' north."

The embarrassment was just a little bit endearing, really. Seriously, how many people had trouble calling a person by their first name anymore? She'd never met any. Well, if he was really that much more comfortable with it, she wouldn't press the point. It wasn't like she hated her last name or anything. Tipping her head back to glance at the sky, she cocked a brow.

"Okay, but what if I can't see the sun? Like... if it's dark out, or raining or something?" It was a question that could be answered in transit, however, and so she did the figuring and struck off northwards, more than happy to be back on the road.

"Moon foll'ws th'same path's th'sun, altho'gh' Ah gotta ask why y'd b'fool 'nough t'feel th'urge tah wand'r a'nigh' when y'got th'stars t'look up tah," Les answered, his boots crunching through the undergrowth with his pokemon at his side. "If y'fin' yerself'n rain, jus' stop'n fin' some sort'f shelt'r or y'make some'in'. 'Swhy Ah've alw'ys got'n extr' canopy'r two'n mah bag."

Gemma nodded, accepting the advice if not precisely sure she'd always be able to follow it. She tended to get caught up on larks, and honestly if she was chasing a photo she really wanted, she was liable to forget to notice her surroundings at all. That was the fundamental problem, really: she wasn't an idiot, just... easily-distracted. "Fair enough," she said, "though it sounds like I might need to make a list of things I'm missing and should have."

Les cradled the shellder in one arm as he used his free hand to rub the back of his neck. "Ah'm sure y'c'n fin' some suppli's'n Gol'enr'd--city's big 'nough fer thous'n's'f peopl', gotta be som'on' who 'njoys campin'..." he flashed a quick grin toward the woman, although it was sort of tentative. "...Y'think w'could be... q'ick in Gol'enr'd? Big cit'es'r good a'makin' me fe'l out'a place, 'sall..." His sheepish side was coming through rather blatantly--could it just have been because he did not think through this whole thing before agreeing to help this woman--Gemma, he had to remember she was Gemma!--with her chase?

Sensing his rather blatant discomfort, she agreed quickly. "Of course. Truth be told, I like the outdoors a little better, myself. Too many people, and things start to smell funny." She wrinkled her nose in (partially) feigned distaste, but made a mental note to buy her supplies as swiftly as possible.

The setting changes from Ilex Forest to Johto Region

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Les Torbert Character Portrait: Gemma Rhodes
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Johto, Goldenrod City



A few hours of travel put them within reach of Goldenrod City, and even here, on a route (she had no idea which one) to the south, the tall buildings of the shining metropolis were visible on the horizon. Well, it gave them something obvious to walk toward, and that was about all the Gemma could say for it. Ecruteak might be a city, too, but there were trees everywhere and so much history it didn't feel like one. All the bright steel and glass reminded her of Castelia, and she'd always felt a little... out-of-sorts there. Sometimes, she thought she would have done better to be born a century ago, before all of this... urban had happened.

Still, the chances of her being less comfortable here than less were pretty much zero, and as they drew closer, she considered just leaving him at the edge and going it alone. But, well... that was probably impolite, and she didn't want to be rude.

Sighing, she recalled both Aderyn and Celyn, as it wasn't exactly completely kosher to wander around such busy streets with too many pokemon in tow. Emrys was small enough that nobody would care, and she was carrying him besides. "Uh..." she managed articulately as soon as their feet actually hit pavement, "the Department Store's thataway, I think." She nodded northwards and slightly... east? Yeah, east. Sun rose on that side, and was still a little more in that direction.

She felt a little dirty for even suggesting they go there, given that people like her parents ran local businesses that often got shut out but such major outlets as that one, but honestly, she was more likely to find what she needed there at a rate she could actually afford, and it would minimize their time here for Les's sake.

"Y'me'n th'big buil'n' ov'r there?" the man in the trenchcoat pointed out a multi-storied building with advertisements draping over the sides for all sorts of products and inventions and merchandise for a pink-haired girl hugging a rather large miltank. "Ah'm sure y'c'n fig'r' ou' wha'cha think yer gon' need i'th'wil'rness, Miss--" he caught himself in time before he finished off the rest of his thought, knowing full well that he had been not only given permission to address the strange woman by her first name but also encouraged to do so. Why was it so hard for him to remember that she was just Gemma?

"Y'min' jus' goin'n there y'rself? Ah'm... Ah'll b'waitin' fer yeh a'th'north gate wh'n yer finish'd, if y'dun' min'..." Les walked straght through the city, his... exotic pokemon at his side as he ellicted some strange looks from the locals as he passed through.

Gemma huffed a chuckle, but nodded anyway. He was clearly out-of-place here, just as much as she was in the middle of the wilderness, with one key difference: she liked it. So she hoofed it to the department store and tried not to think about how easy it was going to be to get lost in there.

After about an hour and a half, an unfortunate incident with a display of pokedolls, Emrys almost accidentally setting off an alarm, and more missed turns than she cared to think about, she was at last able to emerge, hair slightly askew but otherwise undamaged. More to the point, she was sporting new stuff. Her wallet was crying for the emptiness of its innermost parts, but at the very least she had a proper set of survival gear now. She'd mostly modeled her choices after a combination of her dad's stuff and what she'd seen Les carrying, so she was mostly sure she had what she needed, and probably quite a few things she didn't besides.

Oh well.

It took her a few more moments to arrange everything properly so that she wouldn't tip to one side carrying it all, but eventually she managed to get everything squared away and her new bedroll lashed to the top of her bag via bungee cord, and she felt quite pleased with herself. Of course, that was when she looked at her watch and blanched. Had it really taken that long?! She'd never been good with deadlines, but she was probably bordering on rude here; though in her defense she'd gone as fast as she could, given the ridiculous expanse of merchandise to be found in the place. She'd always known there was a reason she hated shopping.

Booking it to the north exit of the city, she pulled up just short of the doors to the small way-station and nudged one open with her foot. Given that her arms were currently occupied by a napping eevee, it wasn't the easiest thing in the world, but she stepped through, casting her eyes around to see if he was even still here.

"Oh, are you a 'Miss Rhodes', by chance?" a woman asked from behind a desk. "Your friend wanted me to let you know that he's just out to the north--he said he wanted to let his shellder go for a swim in the nearby pond." She flashed the woman with the eevee a quick smile before going back to the work at her desk.

Gemma let out a small breath she hadn't known she'd been holding. Well, how about that? She hadn't chased him off yet-- she wasn't sure which one of them was the stranger one, given that. Passing her thanks to the woman behind the desk, she headed out in the direction indicated, pausing a moment to release her other two pokemon now that they were outside of the city. Aderyn took to the sky immediately, but she wouldn't range too far away. Celyn contented himself with exploring anything and everything at the side of the road, sticking closer than he normally would.

As promised, the pond was close, and she spotted her fellow traveller's tall profile from a distance. Approaching the water feature, she could see the little shellder swimming around and smiled. "Would you look at that, Em? I bet she could chase you around in circles now." Crouching, she let the eevee down, and he approached the shore curiously. Straightening back up, Gemma placed her hands loosely at her hips and spoke off-handedly.

"At this rate, he'll be searching beaches and caves for water stones in no time."

"Heh, 'd'ja see, li'l lady? Yer fri'nd's back lookin' t'play wi'cha'g'in," Les flashed a grin to the shellder, who responded by diving below the surface and spinning under the water, hoping that the eevee would take note of her skill in her environment much like she did of him back in the forest. Doomsday sat idly nearby, his white fur almost giving off an unnatural glow in the sunlight as he stared at Gemma as she approached. Ren and Nix, however, were nowhere to be found at this point, but the man in the trenchcoat did not seem too concerned with their absence.

"So'd'ja git e'rythin' y'wan'ed?" he asked, turning his attention to the tattooed woman behind him. "Y'think yer bett'r prepar'd t'spen' a li'l time i'th'wild now?"

"Well, about as prepared as I can be," she said with a touch of ruefulness. "At any rate, I shouldn't have to borrow your stuff anymore." She watched with amusement as Emrys scooted as close to the bank as he could get without actually touching the water, looking a bit confused by the presence of such a large, still body of it. Now that she got to thinking about it, he'd seen rivers and an ocean, once, but never a lake in the middle of land like this. Maybe that had something to do with it.

Suddenly, the shellder rocketed up toward the surface, emerging and literally leaping out of the water and flipping in the air before landing next to the eevee. She stuck her tongue out in greeting with a quick trill of amusement following shortly afterward. Les chuckled before rolling his neck around his shoulders, getting the muscles to relax slightly.

"Ah dun' min' sharin' m'stuff, Miss Rhod--Ah, mean... Gemma..." the man in the trenchcoat tasted the name on his tongue, still not quite used to the texture it produced.

Gem cocked her head to the side, a slow grin forming on her face. "See, that wasn't so bad, was it?"

"Ma'am, wher' Ah com' fr'm, it's norm'l t'trea' th'ladi's with r'spect," Les slowly explained, feeling the blood flow to his face. "'S'not of'n Ah git t'call strang'rs--" he stopped, shaking his head as he was trying to find the right words to say. "Sorry, new 'qain'enc's..." he paused again before letting out another chuckle. "Y'c'n tell Ah ain't th'bes' 'roun' peopl'..." he finally finished rather sheepishly.

Gemma raised a hand to her mouth in an effort to stifle the obvious evidence of her amusement. I didn't know they even made people like this anymore. Smoothing her face out as best she could (and utterly failing to stop the mirthful glint in her eye), she shook her head. "Well, then I'll help: it's easier if you stop thinking in terms like 'lady' and 'new acquaintance' and start thinking like..." she paused, looking for the right phrase. "Future friend, or something like that. Nobody's perfect at this stuff-- all you need is a bit of practice."

She shot a glance at Emrys and Nam, the former of whom was now making his best effort to test the water with a paw, as if to see if he might join his new friend on her turf for once. "They certainly seem to be getting the hang of it."

"Y'see, they'r'jus' kids..." Les smirked slightly before letting it fade.

Her face turned pensive in response, and she frowned slightly. "Why does it have to be any different for adults?" she asked quietly. "You spend time with someone else, you teach and learn, you trust them with time... isn't it the same?"

Les sighed , tightening his lips before looking over the water of the pond. "Ol' habi's die har', Miss--" he caught himself again. "...Gemma..." he shook his head. "Damn, still ain't use' t'tha' qui' yet..."

"It's all right," she reassured. "I really don't mind, you know. And there's always time, besides. Arceus knows that if we all had to know exactly who we wanted to be right now and what we had to do to get there, I'd be the first one to fail." She shook her head with a bit of consternation. Maybe she wanted things to be as simple as they had been in childhood because she wasn't ready to leave that part of herself behind yet. Maybe she was the one who needed to change more, to grow the hell up.

A splash cut the silence of the group as Nam fell into the water once again before sticking her eyes out above the surface and wiggling her tongue at the eevee. "Li'l lady, y'bes' not think 'bou' try'n' t'git yer fri'nd'n tr'ubl' 'caus'e can' swim..."

But that was a depressing thought, and she'd much rather do something else. Toeing off her boots and socks, she padded up behind Emrys and nudged him with a toe, tipping his precarious balance over the edge and sending him into the water. "That's okay-- Nam can help him learn!" Wading into the lake after the eevee, she held him above the surface of the water with both hands.

"Wanna show him how it's done, sweetheart?" she asked of the shellder.

Nam responded with a chirp followed by a quick spray of water to Emrys. She dove underneath the water for a brief second before resurfacing off to the side and slowly "swimming" toward Gemma and the eevee, hoping that her new friend could see and understand how to play with her in the water despite the obvious differences in physiology.

Emrys kicked his legs experimentally, continuing the practice when Gemma gave a hum of approval. Within a few moments, he was managing well enough on his own, and she released him, straightening to her usual height again. The water here wasn't any deeper than her knees, and he was swimming in small circles soon thereafter.

Suddenly, Doomsday perked up, staring up the path to the north as a buzzing sound filled the air. Les followed the absol's gaze to find the vespiquen being chased by two young boys with nets and wide-brimmed hats. They were red-faced and out of breath, but they were intent on chasing the bug.

"She's mine! I saw her first!" one of the boys yelled, trying to shove the other off-balance so he had a clear advantage to get to the insect.

"Nuh-uh! You're not able to take care of an insect like that!" the other shot back as the vespiquen flew back toward the group.

"Wha' y'think y'boys'r doin' with m'Ren?" Les stood up, towering over the young bug catchers. "Y'ain't thinkin' 'bou' runnin' off w'her now, wou'd'ja?"

There was a small silence, during which something occurred to Gemma. "Oh! It's Saturday today, isn't it?" Realizing that this might require further explanation, she continued: "the National Park holds bug-catching contests on Saturdays-- they probably thought she was wild." Stepping back out onto the dry ground, she looked between the boys, Ren, and Les, hoping that was enough to diffuse the situation.

"Well, you normally don't find vespiquen in Johto, so we figured that she was in the Park and she was fair game--" one of the boys spoke up.

"I'th'park? Y'see a 'lektross with'er? Tha' should'a been clue enough t'not try'n ca'ch'er..." he shook his head. "Speak'n'f, y'see th'lektross with'er?"

"Uh... was that the big blue thing that tried to zap electricity at us?" the other boy asked, rubbing the back of his neck. "Because... Well..."

"If y'don' anyth'n' t'm'Nix..." Les' demeanor suddenly shifted to something rather cold and slightly threatening. Despite the fact that they were boys and their curiosity had gotten the better of them, he was never amused if anything happened to his pokemon out in the wild.

"No no no! It, uh... it's sort of hanging out in the park, and everyone's wondering what it's doing there..." the first boy cut in, offering a sheepish grin.

"Ah hope f'yer sake she's OK..." Les grimaced before throwing the pack on his back. "C'mon, y'all, we're head'n' t'th'Park t'fin' Nix..." Nam, hearing that it was now time to move on, launched herself out of the water and onto the shore once again. The man bent down and picked the bivalve off the ground before beckoning for the absol and vespiquen to follow.

Any traces of cheerfulness had vanished from Gemma's face, and she simply followed, scooping up Emrys and wrapping him in her sweatshirt, since she didn't have anything else to use. Shrugging on her bag, she picked her boots up in the other hand and treaded lightly after the retreating figures. She'd never have thought that the National Park would be a problematic place for a pokemon to be, but then maybe she should have at least said something.

The setting changes from Johto Region to Kanto Region

Setting

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: J. T. Eische Character Portrait: Angelique Romain
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#, as written by Vix
Night was soon upon the sleepy town of Pallet. Angelique had yet to come out of the Corral, having opted to spend her day playing with the Pokémon there. All day could the sound of hers and Aria's singing be heard along with the laughter of the Pokémon. She felt at home here in the Corral – Quite literally. Not including all the work she did back home, it was exactly how her days were in Rainbow Valley. But, all days come to an end and this one was no different. As the day did wind down to night, the noise from the Corral wound down with it. The telltale smoke and glow of a camp fire could be seen among the treetops, the scent of cooked meat and vegetables wafting around the forest. But, the food was long gone and all that remained were those whom had eaten it, lying around the campfire.

Angel was among the Pokémon, curled up on Atreyu's side with Chomper and Ashdir kicking each other in their sleep on her chest, catching her in the middle. She eventually rolled over, sending them tumbling into one of Atreyu's feet. Not a single one of them woke up. But, there was a single Oddish that was awake and alert, suffering from insomnia. He sat by the fire and relaxed, talking to himself about Arceus knows what – The others said he was just crazy from lack of sleep. Could be.

His head turned at the sound of beeping that seemed to be coming from Angelique's bag. He walked (or waddled, one might say) over to the bag and blinked slowly before moving to Angelique, bumping her with his head. “Dish. Oddish! Oddish!” Angelique would slowly stir, feeling the leaves tickling her flesh. “Wh-?” She gave a soft “Unnh” at being woken from such a pleasant dream, looking sleepily at the Oddish that was bouncing around her belt. The beeping was coming from her MPC – She got it from her friend Morganna after getting her Snivy to evolve. She flipped open the small thing that was about one third the size of a netbook and saw an e-mail from one of the other Elite Four back in Unova. [Heard you were in Pallet. Also heard there was some trouble around Kanto. Help check it out?] She sighed and closed it.

She could find out what Alexander meant...tomorrow. For now, she sleepily curled up with the Oddish and passed out once more.

It wasn't until later that night, nearly dawn when she was woken up again. This time it was by the Pokémon around her shouting out in confusion and fear. As soon as her eyes snapped open, she reached for her belt. It was reflex for her to grab her pokéballs and return her Pokémon whenever she found herself in a rather frightening and confusing situation. But, her belt was empty. There was only her PC. She blinked rapidly and looked once more. Nothing! She shot up and looked around before holding out her hands for silence. “What happened?!” She was bombarded with a number of answers that she couldn't decipher, leading her to simply shake her head furiously.

She snatched up her belt and backpack, putting them on simply as she ran through the Corral, headed for Pallet Town. She ran as fast as her legs could take her, fighting back the exhaustion as she went straight for Professor Oak's home. She found herself banging on his door, screaming out his name. “Sam! Sam! Sam! Wake up! Please!” It took a few minutes, but a light finally came on and she could hear him shuffling behind the door before opening. He took one look at her, seeing her eyes red, puffy, and damp from tears and exhaustion.

“Angelique, what's wrong? Did-”, he started, but Angelique cut him off. “My Pokémon are gone! All of them – The egg, too!” She was trembling. She didn't know what to do, really. She had always had them – Since she was a child! They were her A-Team. Yes, she had other Pokémon back in Rainbow Valley that she could have put into her PC so that she could use them now. But the point was that her Pokémon were missing. Was this what Alexander had meant by trouble in Kanto? Who would steal her Pokémon? Who actually had the resources? Well, to be truthful, it simply returning them to their respective pokéball and making off with them would be relatively easy. But. Who? Team Rocket came to mind...But they were disbanded. Some in prison...some dead.

She was about to rip out her hair as Oak put on some slippers and a coat, leaving his house and guiding her back up to the lab so that he could check on it. He pulled out his own pokégear and was in the process of contacting J.T. Assuming the intern picked up his phone, Angelique listened over the sound of her own labored breathing as Samuel spoke. “Meet me at the lab. Its quite important.” The walk wasn't too far – Not even two minutes. When they got there, the door was wide open, but it didn't look like forced entry. Most likely, the lock was picked.

Oak ran ahead of Angelique, flipping on the light inside. A cry of distress came from him, causing Angel to walk just a little bit faster. Coming up behind him, she saw that many papers and devices were missing as well as all of the eggs she had delivered. There was a giant red 'R' painted on his far back wall, denoting who was responsible. Jeez – What happened to being inconspicuous?

The setting changes from Kanto Region to Pallet Town

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Character Portrait: J. T. Eische Character Portrait: Angelique Romain
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The sound of his cellphone ringing at three in the morning was never something that J. T. wanted to wake up to... ever. Still, the surprised ringing of the phone caught him off-guard, and he groggily answered it as coherently as he could muster at dark-o'clock-in-the-morning.

"...hrgl... Hello?" J. T. managed to mutter after clearing his throat and putting on his glasses.

“Meet me at the lab. It's quite important.” It was the professor--he sounded rather troubled, moreso than normal. What could have been so important that it could not have waited until the morning? Was something hatching? Did something try and escape the corral? The intern sighed as he stood up and stretched before throwing on his shirt from the previous day and quickly grabbing his pants. After hastily putting the trenchcoat over his shoulders and neglecting to grab any footwear except for a pair of bland slippers, J. T. quickly shuffled his way across the sleeping town toward the lab, which, strange enough, had the front door propped wide open.

When the intern entered the lab, he was almost stupefied by the chaos that greeted him. The place was almost in complete and utter disarray--papers strewn across the floor, other aides standing by with puzzled and bewildered looks across their faces, but most intimidating was the crimson R that was painted across the far wall. Most confusing, however, were the frantic duo of Angelique and Oak scrambling around the area searching for something... or somethings. While J. T. was rather amused by the fact that Angelique looked frazzled for once, there was in fact sheer panic strewn across her face--even for someone that he did not see eye-to-eye with, he knew better than to gloat or show any sign of schadenfreude. There were more pressing matters than his petty squabble with her, and he knew it.

"...what happened here?" J. T. asked, although he could tell from the blatant vandalism that it was anything but good.

The Professor glanced over, catching sight of J. T., giving a slight "Ah." He cleared his throat and motioned towards his now messy (or messier, for that matter) fact. He then pointed to the giant red 'R' that was painted on the back wall. "That. That is what happened here. This certainly gives me reason to believe that Team Rocket has been here. Or some sort of new gang modeled after them. Either that or its just extreme pranksters, and my dear boy: This is not funny." His voice was stern, but still rather sleepy in tone. Oak enjoyed his sleep and no disaster could snap him wide awake in such short time. Angelique herself was pacing, rubbing the tears away from her eyes and mumbling incoherent sentences underneath her breath. It was quite possible that she would have some sort of breakdown. "Mister Eische, I'm going to have to ask you to stay here with me and help me dial up the police as well as the other Professors and notify them of this. I can ony pray to Arceus that this is just a silly prank." Oak knew better - But it was a mix of his optimism and exhaustion speaking. He turned to Angelique. "My dear, I'm afraid that J. T. and I can be of no assistance - or at least not much - in retrieving your stolen Pokemon. If I remember correctly, you have more at your disposal." He was answered only by a simple nod. She had ceased her pacing and hair-pulling, opting to sit down in a chair she had turned upright, placing her face into her hands. This was a disaster, indeed! Oak turned back to J. T. "Ah - Angelique woke earlier to find that her Pokemon and their pokeballs were missing." That was never a good thing. Angelique had to choke back a sob at the reminder, as if she had tried to forget and pretend it to be nothing more than a dream.

A very terrible and nasty dream. A nightmare. But it wasn't.

Oak continued on speaking to J. T. "I myself will call up our colleagues within the Kanto and Johto areas. You will call those in Hoenn and Sinnoh and we can split the Unova branch down the middle. We can only hope that nothing like this has happened there. That...wouldn't really be good."

The gravity of the situation hit J. T. in the chest like a brick. He had heard of the activities of the Rockets, but they had disbanded nearly eleven years before. Granted, they had never tried to come to Unova with the same intensity that Plasma had a few years ago, but this must have been a serious problem in Kanto if Oak was going to great lengths to warn the other professors. Angelique's pokemon had been stolen, too--this was something that someone would have needed a deathwish to even think to pull off on someone as reknown as an Elite. Still, the deed had been done, and Oak was absolutely correct--J. T. had never been good with battle theory, nor could he really control his pokemon well enough to get them to battle for him the way he wanted them to. Still, there was the ability to warn the other professors, even though J. T. did not have Professor Birch's nor Professor Rowan's numbers. Still, he had Professor Juniper's, and he could at least let her know--she would remember him from his days back in school, and she would take the situation to heart and let the others know. She had to!

"Professor, I'll call Professor Juniper and let her know--I can't call Birch or Rowan because I haven't ever met with them before..." In a flash, the intern whipped out his cellphone and found the professor's number saved in his contact information. He walked off to the side, away from Angelique's sniffling and muttering, just so he could ensure the best chance of communication.

"Angelique, you should hurry before they get too far away. There's no telling what amount of damage they could and possibly will do with a Pokemon team such as yours. I can't honestly say I have any sort of communication with any of the Elite Four - Of any region. Nor with anyone else that has experience with dealing with these thugs. You may want to aler -" He paused as J. T. called over to him, catching his attention.

"I don't think it'd be a good idea to just have Angelique run out with guns blazing... Think about it for a minute--are there any clues to where they could have gone?" J. T. piped up after telling the professor on the other end of the line to wait one moment. "Hadn't they made some sort of secret base in Kanto or Johto that got flushed out some years back?"

"This isn't my first rodeo. I know what I'm doing."

Before Oak could reply, Angelique had stood abruptly. She had made the transition from the stage of sorrow to that of anger, showing in her eyes and clenched fists. She pulled her small PC from her waist where it was nestled in her belt, flipping it open. "I'm pretty sure Unova is having some sort of the same trouble." Her voice came out as an irate sigh, recalling the e-mail she had received from Alexander. Right about now, she wished that she hadn't ignored it. Maybe she should have shaken herself awake and gathered her Pokemon and left for home immediately. Maybe if she had, she would have come across the thugs who had her beloved companions now. She could have dealt with them then. She was most worried about Ashdir and Chomper. And the egg. Ash and Chomp weren't exactly young, but they were so naive. And Caesar! He wasn't the brightest star in the sky - He probably thought it to be another of Ashdir and Chomper's games.

She felt...incomplete. She always had them with her. Whether out or about ot safely in their pokeballs on her waist. She had never thought about what would happen if she lost them because she never imagined it would happen. A groan slipped past her lips as she poked furiously at the keys on her PC. She was answered by the voice of a rather...unhappy sounding female. "What do you want, tramp?" Classic Morganna. She rolled her eyes and continued poking away at the keys. "That's your team? How weak." She never was going to get used to these damned messages. There was a soft click and a tray slid out from the side. Rather than the tray looking as though it would hold a disk, it had six holes that were deep enough to fit a pokeball not in use in each. Which was exactly what happened to be in them. She plucked out the small pingpong ball-sized capsules and clipped them to her waist in the places where the others normally went. Astin, Christina, Leonard, Emmy, Emmy, and Aretha had been her choices. She felt that the others weren't quite ready for what might come. She decided to play it safe and stick with her B-Team.

J. T. closed the cellphone at the sound of the new voice, having finished his phone call with Juniper moments before. It sounded familiar--he recognized the attitude in the voice... but he thought she was... He shook his head. It couldn't have been! Still... He turned toward Oak, his face locked with a serious expression as he turned toward the professor. "Juniper knows now and says that she'll help out in any way she can, which includes calling her colleagues through Unova and even to the other big-name professors in the other regions. I also told her that I'd be back in Unova in a few days..."

The professor nodded and went back to scouring the rooms looking for something that apparently had gone missing or he had misplaced--the intern could not tell. His mind was more focused on the woman typing away on her little device that spat pokeballs at her. These must have been other pokemon that had been stored away for her future use, but he had certainly never seen anything like that before! Still, he cast his wonder aside as he slowly approached the intense woman, hoping to make some sort of amends before this situation spiraled further out of control.

"...I... I wanted to offer my condolences for what happened to your pokemon..." J. T. kept his voice low, but he was being sincere. It was a terrible fate to befall anyone, especially someone as well-respected as an Elite. "...I don't know why they struck now or how they got away with it, but... this should not happen to anyone, least of all you...'

"Emmy, I'm going to need you to use yo-" Angelique had paused her speech, having been speaking to a smallish Riolu that was gazing up at her with intensity. The mint-haired woman watched as J.T. came closer, her small hands curling into fists as she slightly expected him to have something to say about her speaking out earlier. Normally, she would apologize for having used such a harsh tone. But she wasn't exactly in the kind mindset right now. Her eyes narrowed as he stopped near her, watching him intensely. Emmy let out a soft growl and took a fighting stance as well - She didn't know J. T. or what he had done that might have put Angelique on edge. But she simply took a cue from her taller companion, expecting a brawl. Oh, how Emmy loved to brawl! What had come out of J. T.'s mouth did something that rare people could do when she was angry: It made her speechless. It's not that she thought his sentence was random - She would say the same had it been him in her shoes. But she was quite sure from his earlier behavior that he wasn't exactly her biggest fan.

She had met her biggest fan once. He was a creeper.

She took a moment, blinking rapidly in the way that she normally and seemingly quite often does, her mouth agape. "Rii." Emmy nudged her, looking back up to her. "I know - Shut up." She sighed, irate once more. She then quickly shook her head and placed her left hand to her face, splaying her fingers. "Er - Not you, J. T. Emmy. You shut up." The Riolu rolled her eyes and delivered a jab to Angel's calf, producing a yelp and a light kick to her own shin. Emmy did her best to lighten the mood. Slightly effective! Angelique gave a soft smile to J. T., at least glad that he didn't hate her. Or maybe he did. But at least he wasn't being a jerk at the moment. "It could happen to anyone. I'm no better than anyone else that it shouldn't happen to me." She gave a light shrug, doing her best to compose herself. She wasn't going to leave in blind anger.

"...says the woman whose face is plastered across billboards all over Unova," J. T. smirked a bit at the joke, but realized that it might have been in bad taste. Shaking his head again, he crouched down, trying to get on the woman's level. "Look, about earlier... It's just been a long couple of days for me, let's just leave it at that. I apologize for acting like a jerk earlier... It's not quite the way I should present myself to people as a future professor, I admit... Like Oak said, I can't really help you get your pokemon back, but the very least I can do is maybe keep an eye out for anything suspicious in Unova while I'm there?"

His apology warranted a light smile from her, showing from underneath the base of her palm just a bit. She lowered her hand some, looking up a bit into his eyes. She did still have to look up some, considering she wasn't really the tallest woman in the world. "Thank you...I apologize as well. I really didn't mean to speak to you like you were a child...I didn't mean to upstage you or anything, either." She gave a light sniffle and brushed under her nose gently with her forefinger. "I'd really appreciate that...I should probably go now. I'll repay the favor somehow." Ha. A rhyme. Slightly better mood. Apology: Super effective! She stood slowly and took only a step towards him, her arms outstretch as if to hug. Though, her fingers started to twitch along with the muscles in her face as though she had been suddenly paralyzed. Her hands finally formed fists and she gave an awkward, tight-lipped smile before giving him an even more awkward light punch to the arm. "Uhnn...Good luck." Way to motivate, Angelique.

"...likewise. I should get a few more hours of sleep before I begin the trek to Vermilion..." J. T. yawned before turning toward the door and walking out, rubbing his arm as he did so. Of course she'd offer to repay me... The woman has everything in the world; she could afford to do that... Still, the offer was a nice gesture, even if he dreaded the thought of being given an egg for free--an egg, he might add, he did not need nor care about receiving. His thoughts began to wander toward the next day; he had yet to hear from that Evee girl...

The setting changes from Pallet Town to Fuchsia City

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Character Portrait: Kai Murakami Character Portrait: Talitha "Tali" Carter
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Talitha blinked and sat still for a second before reaching out to run her fingertips over the egg in front of her. She lifted the egg gently, cradling it to her chest as you would a baby. The egg seemed well cared for and she was sure a fine pokemon would hatch from it. Tali quickly thought about were she would put the egg and the temperature it would have to sit at. A little less than fire types...perhaps around the grass pokemon level. She would have to ask her boss. Tali was then reminded that there was still someone there. She looked up at the young man who had placed the egg on her counter top.

“Why thank you! I’ll go put this in a safe place. Anything else I can do to help, Mister...?” She trailed off, smiling gently. Her short blonde hair tickled her face gently as she looked up to meet his eyes. Unfortunately, since she was looking up, she didn’t notice the two pokemon sneaking back into the building. The Charmander went straight for tackling her legs while the Growlithe opted for a running jump. As the two smaller beings rammed themselves into Tali’s side, she toppled. In her panic, she clutched the egg to her chest tighter, hoping to cushion the blow. The squeal from Cuilean told her that the Growlithe hadn’t expected her to fall and was no expecting a game. The blonde groaned.

“No! No playing! Bad Cuilean! You too, Teine.” She chastened from her perch on the floor. She quickly examined the egg and was relieved to find it had survived the fall without a scratch. Lucky thing. Tali was rather sure she had bruised her backside...The Charmander leapt onto her stomach and let out a soft noise at the sight of the egg she held, his stubby little arms reaching out for it. Talitha narrowed her eyes but allowed her pokemon to touch the egg. Teine ran his hands across the egg and poked it gently, his face confused. She laughed softly as she realised what the pokemon was doing.

“You checking it too, huh, Teine?” She asked as the pokemon checked for cracks as she did on a regular basis. The small dragon had then toddled back outside, bored of the egg. Tali lifted herself up off the floor, the Pichu egg grasped tightly. She grinned at the young man at the counter, her hat askew and hair a mess.

“Sorry about that, sir. As much as I love those two, they always seem to get me into trouble.” She laughed before a thought occurred to her. Where was Cuilean? She hadn’t seen him go out...She frowned as she looked around the main building and peeked out the window. He didn’t seem to be anywhere. But he couldn’t have escaped...

“Say, you haven’t seen a Growlithe anywhere, have you? The one that pounced on me a minute ago?”

The setting changes from Fuchsia City to Johto Region

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Character Portrait: Les Torbert Character Portrait: Gemma Rhodes
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"Boys, y'bes' not b'lyin' t'me now, y'hear?" Les' voice was now cold and stern as he followed the two bug-catchers north along the trail from where they had come. Ren and Doomsday followed close behind their trainer, who was walking at a pretty quick pace just to make sure that he would get to the National Park as quickly as his legs could carry him. The shellder in his arms did not seem to mind the wind blowing into her shell, but Nam retracted her tongue to make sure that it did not dry out--she did not like that feeling very much, from what Les understood.

"I promise, mister, we're not lying to you!" one of the boys called back to the man in the trenchcoat. "It's over here!"

Over another hill and the group came across a breathtaking sight: a massive field area fenced off from the wilderness. Half of this area was covered in wild grasses and colorful flowers, while the other was completely darkened by thick trees. All sorts of people were running around inside the enclosure, searching through the grasses and trees for potential new pokemon to find.

"...Th's th'place, kid?" Les asked, his voice low.

"Y-yes, sir..." the second boy piped up, a cold sweat running across his brow.

"...G'd." Les' only response before walking toward the park. "Y'see th'lektross ou'ere, y'bring'er t'me, un'rstan'?" Both boys nodded before searching around the immediate area.

"C'm'n, y'all--le's fin'er 'fore som'in' hap'ns t'make m'lose m'temp'r..."

Gemma had taken advantage of the short pause in movement to actually pull her socks and shoes back on, though there was little mistaking that the soles of her feet were probably going to bruise a bit from all the stones and so on. She didn't bother too much with the laces, instead nodding firmly and taking a few extra, quick strides to catch up with the others. Aderyn was by now flying near them, and Gemma turned to her.

"Ryn, get up in the air and tell us if you see Nix anywhere, okay?" With a cry, the pidgeotto ascended, flying rapidly ahead of them. Celyn took off to the right, heading for the trees, to carry out a ground-level search and find anything Aderyn's eyes couldn't see from the air.

Les took off ahead of the others, running through the gate that allowed passersby into the park. Despite almost being stopped by a ticket collector in a booth that mistook him for a competitor in the bug-catching competition held every Saturday, the man in the trenchcoat pushed his way through the crowds of people and into the wilderness of the park. Grasses and flowers greeted him, along with sounds of dozens of buzzing insects and the unparalleled cutting of laughter and--

The sound of electricity caught his ear. Quick as he could move, Les whirled around to find a blue serpentine creature hurling thunderbolts at two blue bat-like pokemon with long tongues hanging from open maws. One after the other, they fell to the ground after taking a direct hit from a bolt of lightning, landing at the feet of two men wearing heavy jackets and combat boots. The smirks across their faces faded as the pokemon slammed against the grass.

"Now, Ah kno'a fair figh' wh'n Ah see'un', an' this ain't no fair figh', y'cowar's," the man spoke up to the men who had sent pokemon to attack the eelektross who appeared rather worn down. "Y'bes' back'way now b'for'yeh regr't it when's too late..."

The first man, clearly the leader of the duo, narrowed his eyes and reached to his belt for another pokeball. This one cracked open to release an arbok, which immediately lunged for Nix with a poison fang attack. "What's it to you, buddy?" He hissed, glancing to his companion just as Gemma caught up with Les, the rest of the pokemon trailing behind. This prompted the second man to release a raticate, and Gemma frowned upon noting the little red R on one man's wrist.

"Team Rocket? They disbanded years ago!" But sure enough, these men wore the uniform. Of all the things she could possibly have encountered on her journey, this had to rank right up there with a swarm of angry beedrill and stampeding tauros. But what on earth were they doing here?

Les smirked as the purple cobra sunk its fangs right into the eelektross' body. "Nix, y'know wha't'do..." Almost immediately after his little order, a massive discharge of electricity surged across the serpents' skins, harmlessly coursing over Nix while simultaneously frying the arbok. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched the absol ready himself to get in on the action.

"...Sic'm, Doomsd'y..." Les almost sounded bored as he watched the white canine slam into the raticate with an unnatural amount of force, sending the rodent sprawling across the grassy plain. A crowd began to gather around the battle scene, watching and cheering on the man taking on two combatants at the same time.

"Y'up fer roun' three? Ah g't th'bug'f y'wan' t'feel th'pain..."

"Dammit man, it's not worth it-- let's get the hell out of here," the smaller of the two trainers, and obviously the one with more sense, suggested, and turned to flee the scene. His companion looked less than pleased with the suggestion, but in the end decided to take it. Thinking quickly, Gemma bounded into the first man's path, sticking out a foot to trip him up. It actually worked with surprising magnificence, and he stumbled spectacularly, faceplanting into the ground.

Pressing her knee into his back, Gemma smiled down at him. "Y'know, I don't think you're gonna be going anywhere anytime soon."

"B-but the boss ain't gonna be pleased to hear we're coming back empty-handed..." the second, taller man replied.

"...S'yer plannin'n steal'n' m'pokem'n, then, y'two bi' crook?" Les quirked an eyebrow as he placed the shellder on the ground by his feet. After a brief moment, he began to charge the man who had confessed to their potential crime. The second man ran, fear wide in his eyes as the man in the trenchcoat followed in hot pursuit. With a leap, Les tackled the other man to the ground, rolling a bit before pinning his arms to his side with his knees, leaving his hands free to grab his collar and pull him up slightly off of the ground.

"'N'cas' Ah di'n't make m'self clear th'firs' time..." Les' voice was cold and sterile, something that he did not often like resorting to but felt that it was more than acceptable and necessary in this case. "Yer jus'a b'nch'a thugs'n fis's, lack'n' disc'plin'... Whaddya think yer doin', try'n' t'ste'l m'pokem'n anyw'y?"

"..." the taller man did not respond, keeping a fierce look in his eye the entire time in an attempt to intimidate the man pinning him to the ground.

Les sighed and threw the man to the ground. "Y'kno'... Ah dun' like resor'in' t'this..." he reached to his belt and pulled out his combat knife, which sparkled in the sunlight and glinted into the Rocket's eyes. "Twelv'nch's, mil'tary-grade soli' skarm'ry steel, jus' sharp'n'd i'this mornin'... jus'n case..."

"Y-you wouldn't...!" the grunt gasped, not wanting to believe that the man straddling him at this point would hurt him with the weapon.

"Righ... an' y'won' lay anoth'r damn fing'r on m'pokem'n--y'n'yer oth'r lacki's... righ'?" Les brought the blade close to the man's throat to bring a bit more intimidation to the scene. "'F'Ah s'm'ch's c'tch'a glim's'a y' or yer pokem'n foll'w'n me'r th'lady wit'cher fri'n' ov'r there..."

"N-n-n-no, sir!" the lackey's face was entirely drained of color.

Note to self: try harder not to piss Les off... Gemma thought to herself, eyes half-comically round at the appearance of the combat knife. The guy underneath her knee was apparently afraid that she was of a similar disposition, because he'd started shaking. It was a bit silly, but she almost wanted to pat his head and tell him she had no intentions of even looking like she was going to slice him to bits. But, well... this all seemed kind of important, and if they were in a mood to chat anyway...

"Right, so, while you're both being so nice and cooperative, please do explain why Team Rocket is back in action after almost a dozen years under the radar?" She quirked an eyebrow, but honestly she was half-focused on getting her Xtranciever to dial the local authorities. She really didn't want Les to end up doing that guy serious damage-- they sent people to prison for things like that. Probably better if some officers could come by, arrest the would-be thieves, and the two of them just washed their hands of the whole situation.

The communication clicked in, and she knew she'd been patched through to the Goldenrod Police. "Hi there," she began brightly, "I'm out just beyond the National Park, and there are a couple of thugs out here that would have very interesting stories to tell if you were inclined to take out the garbage today. Gotta keep our parks clean and all." The operator appeared to puzzle over this statement for a moment, and the grunt underneath her squirmed with additional effort, trying to get free. Sighing, she shifted so that all of her weight was on the knee pressing into his mid-back.

The voice on the other end at last spoke, and she nodded. "Excellent." Clicking the device shut, Gemma ventured a statement directed at her apparently quite angry companion. "Police are on their way, just so you know."

Les looked down to the man's wrist after Gemma's little announcement and subsequent phone call, spotting a crimson R tattooed to the man's wrist. The woman had been right after all--why was Rocket coming back after all of these years?

"...yer gon' rot'n pris'n, y'damn thief bas--" he caught himself as he saw a glimpse of a few children staring down at him. "...Ah m'n... y'petty crim'n'l..."

"Guys! He's just like Crobat-Man!" one of the boys cried out in surprise. "He caught the bad guy and everything!" A few of the kids took a step closer with eyes wide in wonder as the man in the trenchcoat put the knife back in its sheath and chuckled, blushing in the process.

"Kid, Ah'd lov' t'tell yeh that I was, but..." Another chuckle escaped his lips as Nix placed one claw on his shoulder, looking somewhat worse for the wear but still floating in midair. "...d'yeh happ'n t'have a spar' an'ido'e? Ah think she mi'b'pois'n'd..."

"I've got one, sir--thank you so much for your help." A man stepped forth with a small bottle of anti-venom in his hands. "I'm sorry about your pokemon..."

"Nah, 'snoth'n'... Nix's b'n through worse..." another chuckle along with a bit of blushing.

Watching the exchange, Gemma grinned and addressed the children. "Oh, don't listen to him," she said in a conspiratorial stage-whisper. "He's totally Crobat-Man. But you can't tell anyone, okay? He's got to protect his secret identity." She winked at the children, who all nodded their little heads with wide-eyed solemnity. She figured it was probably better they remembered this incident as the time they saw a superhero take down the bad guys than as an instance of the terrifying reappearance of Team Rocket or something like that.

It was at about that time that the police arrived, and she waved them over with perhaps somewhat misplaced cheerfulness, though it was largely for the benefit of the audience at this point. "Ah, officers! How nice of you to join us! We're just over here, thanks!" At the approach of the uniformed man and woman, she took the wrist of her captive and turned it so that the tattoo was visible to the law enforcement duo. "Familiar to either of you?"

The man sucked in a breath, apparently resisting the urge to let it out in a low whistle. "That's a problem," he stated oh-so-helpfully, and his partner rolled her eyes.

"All right, we've got them from here. You lot--" she said, gesturing to the audience-- "please stay for questioning. We need everyone's testimony to figure out what happened here. She bet to catch hold of the man Gemma was holding, and her partner did the same for the other, rotating both to face the parked police vehicle, which meant away from Les and Gemma. At this, the woman shot her traveling partner a look, jerking her head towards the nearby treeline. Unless you want to go back into town, now would be a good chance to get lost, no? she thought at him, but she was willing to bet the gesture was enough.

Inwardly, she smiled at how many of the 'eyewitness' accounts would include references to a superhero and wicked villains.

Seeing the opportunity arise, Les took a quick look up toward his companion and nodded, beckoning to the others to follow them off to the side and toward the east. With a bit of a grab, he managed to pick up the shellder and wrap the bivalve in his arms before sprinting off into the forest. He hoped that all of the attention he received for his little stunt would not come back to karmically hurt him later. For the time being, he was content with running off with his pokemon all at once, hoping that the group was too distracted with the events of the police officers to notice his disappearance before it was too late.

When he felt that they were far enough away from the crowd that had gathered around the police and the Rocket thugs, he took a seat on a fallen log and motioned for his eelektross to take the medicine. The unknown man's charity was rather welcome, considering Les had no idea where he was going to find the next cheri bush in the area. A few of those red berries would have done the job, but he'd settle for the medicine all the same.

"'S'gon' sting a bi', g'rl..." the man wheezed, trying to catch his breath as he applied the medicine to the bite mark near Nix's "neck". The eelektross winced a bit as the spray travelled into her wounds, but almost immediately after, she seemed to look better. The color came back to her skin as she sparked in content.

"Ther's th'g'rl Ah know..." Les smirked as he rubbed a hand across her body when electricity did not course across her skin. "...e'ryon' alrigh'?" His face was red and he was attempting to catch his breath in the forest. "Whew... Ain't ha't'do tha' sort'a runn'n'n a lon' time... Y'hol'in up OK, Miss Rhod's? Er... Ah mean... Gemma?" Les spat onto the ground. "E'ry time... An'ere Ah though' tha'i'd b'easy jus' say'n' yer Arc'usdam' name..." he could feel the blood rush to his face agan as he rubbed the back of his neck.

Gemma, who'd fallen a few strides behind, managed to catch up just as the question was being tossed in her direction. Still jogging into the clearing with the log, she smiled. "Oh, I'm f-eep!" The sentence was aborted, ending in a strangled little cry as one of her feet came down on the untiled laces of a boot and sent the rest of her crashing into the forest floor. As she was holding Emrys at the time, she devoted the precious few seconds she had before faceplanting to tossing him clear of the fall.

He landed, a bit startled but on his feet, and whirled around just in time to catch his trainer's nose hitting the dirt. "...owww..." she muttered, pushing herself into a seated position and holding her nose with one hand. "Dhat huwrt." Given her present state, her voice came out quite nasally, and she would have laughed if she didn't think it would hurt more. "Dhat'll teach be naht to tie by shoes..."

Taking her hand away from her nose, she sighed when she noted the sheen of blood on her palm. "Bluh..." Rummaging around in her bag, she came back with a clean handkerchief and held it to her face. "But anyway," she said, voice more or less normal. "I'm, uh... okay, actually." She waved a hand as if to dismiss his worries about the name thing-- if she'd known it would bother him so much, she probably wouldn't have asked.

"...wher' t'now, th'n? W'still head'n' t'Ecrut'ek?" Les asked after Gemma found a handkerchief to hold up to her nose. "Y'sure yer gon' be alrigh'? Yer bleed'n' pr'tty fierce there..."

"I'm good," she said, standing to prove it, though not before she'd tied her laces this time. "This sort of thing happens surprisingly often to me, honest." She grinned past the awkwardness of holding a bunch of linen to her face, then nodded. "Sounds good-- hope you don't mind dropping in on the folks, though. They'd blow a gasket if they found out I'd walked right past home without dropping in to say hello."

The setting changes from Johto Region to Fuchsia City

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Character Portrait: Kai Murakami Character Portrait: Talitha "Tali" Carter
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Fuchsia City



Kai wasn’t certain he was being addressed, as nobody he knew had ever had cause to call him something like ‘Mister’ before, and so that particular moment was left to pass in awkward silence that he did not recognize as such. Actually, for his part, he was trying to determine if either the girl at the counter had seen something he hadn’t (unlikely), was talking to the egg (possibly) or was just insane (hopefully not).

His ruminations on the subject were interrupted by the entrance of two pokemon, which wasted no time in assaulting the counter-girl, knocking her to the floor with little discernible effort. Blinking slowly, Kai leaned over the counter so that he was peering down at the girl, who despite being floored had apparently not lost her lung capacity, if her subsequent scolding of the fire-types was anything to go by. It was actually oddly reminiscent of the way his sister yelled at him, and he wasn’t quite sure how to feel about that.

“…You okay?” he asked, a tad belatedly, as she was already standing, though he didn’t remember to move out of the way until her head appeared to be on a collision course with his. That would probably hurt her more than him, as it certainly wouldn’t be the first time he’d knocked into something in such a manner, but he was concerned for the egg’s safety, given recent events. His sister would kill him if anything happened to it, and if that was the case, he couldn’t say he’d blame her.

He was drawn back to the present by the counter-girl’s apology, and he noticed that her hat was askew on her head. Reaching for it, he plucked it off with one hand and brushed a few strands of hair to their proper sides of her part, then stuck the hat back on, as though this was the kind of thing that complete strangers always did for each other. Of course, as far as he knew, it was, so he didn’t miss a beat in his reply. “It’s not a problem.”

The subsequent inquiry as to the growlithe’s location produced a general scan of the room, and his eyes landed on a suspiciously-open door. Cocking his head to the side, Kai raised an arm and pointed. “Probably that way.” Not one to generally leave a statement like that as a mere statement, he followed through on it, heading for the exit and pushing the door open further to admit the bright sunlight of the outdoors.

Looking for a rogue pokemon seemed like a much better thing to do with his time than chores and random labor for Janine, after all.

The setting changes from Fuchsia City to Unova Region

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Character Portrait: Gregory Calieo Character Portrait: Lenore Steele
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Two weeks had passed since Greg and Lenore met at the Opelucid Café. In between shifts, Greg would occasionally go say hi to her at the Pokémon Center, or maybe they'd run into each other around town and they would chat. In reality, it was the first time Greg had really taken to anyone since moving to Unova, and he rather enjoyed being more social. When all you talk to is broken clocks and your Pokémon, that's when, Greg decided, it was a good time to get friends. After these two weeks, a very special opportunity had fallen into Greg's lap: A chance to go and visit the lovely ruins of Twist Mountain. These ruins were rumored to be very sparse, but Greg knew better than to listen to silly old rumors. Maybe Twist Mountain had a secret waiting to be found? In any case, an idea popped into Greg's head when his grandmother informed him of his vacation time. Why not ask Lenore if she would like to go? A good walk to Irricus would be a nice chance to chat and get maybe even meet some new Pokémon friends. On the morning which Greg planned to leave, he walked with Clay (and begrudgingly, Rune. In his Dusk Ball, of course), to the local Pokémon center. Stepping up to the counter, Greg put on his biggest smile and greeted Nurse Joy. "Good morning, ma'am. Would Lenore happen to be availible for the day? I have quite the adventure planned today, and we were wondering if she'd like to tag along." Greg explained.

Joy, who was filling out some paperwork for the stay of a new patient, glanced up and met the young man's eyes. "Oh, you must be Gregory," she said cheerily, returning the smile. Glancing back behind her, she called into the room beyond. "Lenore! You have a guest, dear!" There was a short pause, then the doors behind Joy slowly cracked open. Lenore poked her head out, at first quite cautiously, then visibly relaxed upon seeing who it was, slipping out and wiping her hands absently on her apron.

"Hey Greg," she said, and for her, it was quite casual. It had taken a while to get used to the fact that someone seemed inclined to talk to her without really knowing who she'd been, but over the past couple of weeks, she'd come to a tentative acceptance of the fact that, indeed, this was the case. Joy glanced between the two, shrugged, and waved a hand.

"Take the rest of the day off, Lenore." The girl looked confused for a second, fixing her aunt with an unblinking look. The older woman just smiled and snatched the clipboard under the crook of her niece's arm. "Go on, have adventures while you still have the chance." She made a shooing motion, but left them after that, heading back into the innards of the Pokemon Center thereafter. For her part, Lenore just shook her head, shooting her friend a questioning glance.

"Adventure? What's she talking about?"

"Well, I'm thrilled you ask! I just so happen to be on a mini-vacation as of twenty minutes ago, and I plan on heading to Twist Mountain for a little spelunking. I recall you questioning about the ruins of Unova, and thought 'Hey! Why don't we all just go and find some treasure!'. Of course, the 'treasure' I refer to is history or historical evidence. Maybe some Shards and Gems. Anyways, whadya say? Care to go for a walk?" Greg said with a rather pleased look on his face. Clay, who floated next to him, simply rocked as he usaully did. Poor guy had no muscles to express things with. Greg would have to teach him to use telepathy with others...

Lenore appeared to give the matter some consideration, tilting her head to one side and shifting her weight from one foot to the other. In the end, though, there was no reason she could think of to decline. It could be interesting, anyway, and she hadn't really been to any of the neighboring areas yet. At last, she nodded. "Sure. Let me go grab a few things. I'll be right back." Fortunately, her own small residence was within the Center, and it was only a matter of a few staricases and some doors before she was in her own room, whirling around and grabbing things off shelves to stuff in a small satchel. It was nothing extreme, just some twine to bundle herbs if she found them, a few things to eat, and a canteen of water, plus anything she'd need for her pokemon.

Speaking of which... yes, probably best to bring them all along. Might be nice. Attaching the pokeballs to her belt, she ditched the apron and slung her bag over her shoulder, returning to the waiting room in about five minutes, all told. "All right," she said with a small smile. "Lead the way."

"Onward to adventure, then!" Greg exclaimed as he turned to the door and stepped out of the Center. It was a lovely day out and, despite the reports he'd been hearing about Team Rocket causing trouble everywhere, he felt confident they'd make a huge discovery today. Or they might just find tons of pottery Shards and those weird Gems he could never figure out. Taking the path to the Route 9 entrance, Greg walked rather leisurely in his jeans and black button-up, waving to passers-by and saying hello to friends of Anne and Zeke. Soon, the little team made it to the rest area for Route 8. The ticker and screen showed reports of Rocket attacking Professor Oak's lab in Kanto, and while this concerned Greg just a tad, he pushed on. The attendant behind the desk nodded, in her purple outfit. "Be safe, please. Report any disturbances to the police." She warned, and Greg nodded in reply. "Of course, ma'am. Enjoy your day." He walked onto the pavement, and stared up at the department store that resided on this Route. Many trainers were grouped here, but Greg turned to Lenore instead. "These people all look like they want to fight...especially those grumpy bikers over there." He pointed to an aclove near the river, where leather-clad men stood, tossing their pokeballs into the air and catching them. Tough fellows, indeed. "You think we can talk them down?"

Lenore grimaced, glancing over at the cluster of trainers. "We could try... but I don't like our chances." Sure, maybe a few of these people wouldn't even notice them go by, but the ones in the motorcycle cluster... they looked less likely to just leave them in peace. "Well, we can either try sneaking past or not making eye contact, I suppose." She adjusted her glasses on her face, chewing her lip, but unfortunately, it looked like they weren't really going to get the chance. One of the bikers must have glimpsed them from the corner of his eye, because he elbowed one of his friends and pointed at the two, saying something she couldn't quite make out. Both men laughed, though, and much to her chagrin, started making their way over to the two youths.

"What now?" she whispered, unsure what the etiquette even was in these situations.

The bikers both grinned, an irritating grin, and pretty much invaded Greg and Lenore's bubbles. "Hey there, kiddos. Haven't you heard? It's awfully dangerous out here now, with those Rocket folks messing things up." The biker on the left, a young, yet bald, man with a little more gumption than wit, said to the pair. "And it just so happens," the bearded man on the right began, "that they wrecked my bike in their hurry. I'm pretty mad, you know. Maybe a good fight would loosen all this stress." They both looked down on the pair, but Greg would have nothing of it. "Look, fellas, I'm sure you're mad. I feel for you, I do, but I think you have the wrong people. Let me help you out with some advice..." Greg looked around, as if he was about to tell the biggest secret in the world, got close. He was using his psychic power to scan the area, to see any leads as to what happened to the bike. A few hours ago, it just so happens, that another leather clad man hopped on the motorcycle, which was parked next to the entrance to the store, and drove off, looking happy as could be. Next to it, was a beaten down version of the same bike, left there by the bald biker. The same that stood in front of Greg and Lenore. Greg whispered to the bearded man, "You should probably ask your buddy here where he put it. I think someone was jealous of your sweet ride." Greg pulled away, with a grin, as he sowed his seed of success.

"WHAT?!" The biker turned to baldy, with a look of contempt that couldn't be matched. "You took Sadie and didn't tell me?! Oh, boy, I'm going to skin you alive!" This threat was emphasized by grabbing the bald one's collar and dragging him away. "Wait, no! I swear, it was Team Rocket! Bruce, please!" He pleaded, but soon the pair was behind the building, and Greg pushed his way onward. "And that, dear friend, is how you diffuse a heated situation. Shall we continue?" Greg put his hands behind his head, and Clay shot his approval to his Trainer. Excellent work, master. Absolutely phenomonal. Greg simply nodded. "Thank you, Clay. I try."

Lenore's expression was caught somewhere between amusement and confusion. Of course, being only privy to the non-psychic portions of this situation, it had all rather seemed to come out of nowhere, as far as she knew. Of course, she'd guessed that he might have been using his abilities, but still... she quirked a brow. "So... did the bald one actually steal the bike?" she asked curiously, jogging a few paces to catch up with her friend. He probably had, but then had it been her alone in this situation, she would have done with acting what Greg had probably done with his mind-- only she would have had to lie, since she couldn't tell anything about objects in the area or anything like that. She almost felt a little bad for the biker about to get beat up behind a building, but in the end, not really. She was kind of hoping that didn't make her a bad person.

Well either way, they were out clear onto the Route proper now, and hopefully, any other trainers would be either less inclined to challenge or easier to hide from.

The setting changes from Unova Region to Kanto Region

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Character Portrait: Morganna Whithurst
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“Are you kidding me?! I just fucking finished that, you piece of shit!”

Somewhere in the middle of Viridian Forest was a red-haired woman shouting at a Serperior. She watched as her Pokémon began to fight amongst each other before jumping into the fray herself. Of course, she was no match for them toe-to-toe, but they went easy on her. Morganna had spent the past two weeks hiding out in the forest while working on creating a device that would identify plants and their uses from small samples. Sure, there were bulky lab devices that could do that, but who had time to haul that around? All of her hard work had been for naught because Impetuous thought it would be hilarious to smash her beloved new invention.

The fight ended with her on her ass and glaring at her Pokémon in the dark of the dawn. She gave an audible growl before picking up a small pebble and hurling it at the grassy serpent's head with a hiss. She stood and brushed the dirt from her clothes, giving a 'hmph' before walking away. “I'm going to go and wash up. You can stay here and dawdle around like filthy animals if you want.” Her moods nowadays were much more erratic that they normally were, though she seemed much more at ease and much kinder than she had been in the days when they lived among human society.

She and her Pokémon did seem to slowly be losing their minds, though. Or at least she did. She would often end one conversation to start up another that had nothing to do with the previous, stare off into the distance mid-speaking and simply go quiet. Of course neither she or her Pokémon thought much about it. They didn't think much about anything except surviving and inventing. Morganna had been off the grid for a few years now, though that was mostly due to her lack of ability to interact civilly with the better half of society. People were fucking idiots as far as she was concerned. And spineless. Once upon a time she would have cried at not being accepted by society. That was decades ago when she was a child – Now, she just didn't give a damn.

Her Pokémon weren't too far behind her, splashing into the cool stream as she peeled off her own clothes and stepped in, wading into the deeper parts of the water. She had set up her camp on the banks a couple of days ago. She would always pack camp and move out to a new place whenever passersby would notice her and recognize her – She didn't want to be found. Well, she somewhat did. But then she would change her mind and decide that living alone was best. For everyone.

The setting changes from Kanto Region to Pallet Town

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Character Portrait: Edehvé Mirym Petora
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She was currently in a rather precarious position, tightly grasping the fabric of her sheets with her feet propped against the walls. She glanced downwards, still too far above the ground to make the jump without harming herself. Her sheets were partially wrapped around her waist to keep her steady, the rest dangling from up above. She hoped the knot she tied to her bed was going to hold. She felt like some sort of sneak--well, maybe she was... But for good reason!

The cottonee she had so recently procured was hanging onto her shoulder, not sensing the urgency of the situation as it made small noises of contentment. Perhaps it thought they were going flying or something--it seemed to want to flap its arms. Come to think of it, she still didn't know what gender the creature was... Then again, did pokémon have genders? Wait, no, they must've, because the Meloetta from yesterday was too pretty to be a boy. Her hands slipped a little and she hung on more tightly, nearly yelping as she slid a bit.

Now was not the time to have her mind wander.

Evee did feel a little guilty as she worked her way downwards, the progress was slow work and more than once did she question herself. She could easily scamper back up and into her room, pretend as if she had never left. But then J.T. would be gone and how long until he was even going to come back? Besides, she wouldn't have had to do this at all if her parents had just agreed to let her go! Her mother had been more than adamant about her staying home, insisting she wasn't "old enough" and was "too much of a child". But it was very unfair; there were kids half her age going out there and journeying all over. And she wouldn't have even had to go alone!

In the end, neither of her parents had agreed, their assertiveness on her staying only increasing with what happened last night. She had slept through most of the incident but was awakened by the agitated tones a few hours' previous. Her parents had been talking it over, some sort of attack on Professor Oak's lab. If she had had any hope of them changing their minds in the morning, that had been decimated in light of the situation. But that didn't even relate to her--it wasn't as if she was going to run into whoever committed that crime. And wouldn't it be safer to move away from the incident than stay so close?

Regardless, she had made her decision at that moment. She had a large backpack on her back, her trusty messenger back at her side. She had taken care to bring a few changes of clothes but had been unable to snatch any large amounts of food from the kitchen. She bit her lip, perhaps this was going to be a little bit of a burden on J.T. She didn't exactly have any money on her right now. Sure, she knew the account that her parents had set up for her when she eventually did leave but there had been no time to access it. And she was pretty sure that if she didn't withdraw the money soon and her parents discovered she had left, then that account would be cut off.

Evee was attempting a dangerous escapade, but she was sure that once she proved that she was fine, that she could survive, her parents would definitely see how wrong they'd been to keep her inside!

The sheets gave a sharp rip and she looked up, noticing that her weight had caused a small tear to appear. She loosened the portion around her wrist a little before taking a deep breath and letting go of her firm grip in order to slide down faster. The fall only lasted a few seconds, the girl taking the sheets back in her hands a few moments before she skidded to the ground. Releasing her breath, she dropped down. Somewhere in all of that, her cottonee had lept off of her shoulders and was happily gliding down towards her while flapping its leaf arms.

"Now's not the time, Mr. Cotton," She said, holding out her arms so that it could land in them. The creature complied, mewling a little. Hm, that name didn't have the ring she wanted but for now, it was the best she had. There would be no point in trying to rip off the sheets--her parents would be smart enough to know she hadn't been taken. Besides, leaving evidence behind would be the only way she could make it up to them--so they'd know she had just left and not gotten hurt.

She pushed her bangs away from her eyes, looking at the sky. It was still relatively early in the morning, had J.T. left yet? She had no way of knowing but she couldn't afford to linger. She had made up her mind and she was going to have to stick with it. Part of her couldn't believe her excellent luck. Normally her parents were very light sleepers and they would've heard the scuffle of movement she had made. Perhaps she had just gotten very fortunate today!

She adjusted her things, casting one more look at her home over her shoulders before hurrying towards the entrance of the town. If she moved quick enough, she might be able to catch up with him. Or make a good headstart. Either way, she wouldn't be coming back home in the immediate future.

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Character Portrait: J. T. Eische Character Portrait: Edehvé Mirym Petora
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He had not gotten much sleep after all of the hulabaloo from the lab. The return of Team Rocket was grim news indeed--enough for anyone to lose sleep over this news. The theft of Angelique's pokemon was also rather grim news; J. T. never thought that anyone would be so bold as to steal the pokemon of an elite, but it had happened regardless of his notions of common sense. He looked at his clock: four in the morning. Arceus, why could he not sleep now?

Perhaps it was due to his mind being fully awake this early after the events in Oak's workplace, but J. T. picked himself up out of bed, determined to shake himself awake however he needed to. If this meant leaving early to avoid potential Rocket-related activity in Pallet, so be it. Evee had not gotten back to him yet, so he merely shrugged and assumed that she would not be allowed to go with him. It was just something else he did not have to make sure stayed safe in his care.

The scraggy and tynamo were both sleeping in their respective capsules. J. T. smiled as he tucked them onto his belt and made sure that all of his supplies were packed away in his bag--books, some extra money, clothes, some food and water on the go... The intern told himself that he needed to make sure he picked up a pack of cigarettes just to make sure that he didn't run out in case Angelique tried to follow them and act all buddy-buddy with him... While he could act sociable if he wanted to, he would rather put the entire ordeal behind him and move on...

Throwing on his trenchcoat, J. T. wiped his glasses and lifted his bag, making sure that it was secure on his back. After this journey, he would be back and ready to work for Oak with a clear head and all of his other problems at home. Whether Evee was coming or not was... problematic, though. She had mentioned that she didn't have the money at this time--if he was to pay for a ticket for her, it would leave a huge dent in his underwhelming savings. Then there was further food, room and board, transportation costs, supplies--he shuddered as he tried to put all of this out of his mind.

The grass outside was covered in early morning dew as the intern stretchd and looked around the sleepy town. Nothing out of the ordinary for this time of the morning--except for the activity around Oak's lab. Of course, the police showed up to help survey the scene; J. T. expected nothing less from the law enforcement officials than to show up to a world-reknown professor's lab as soon as someone had broken in. He shook his head when something caught his attention out of the corner of his eye--a rope of bedsheets draped outside of an open window--

"Oh no..."

The intern began to panic. Judging by the current situation, the young girl ran off in the middle of the night, which probably meant that she would not have been allowed to leave even if she wanted to. There were two huge questions on his mind as this image lingered: how long ago had she left, and how far up Route One had she been able to get in that time?

Fearing more for Evee's safety than the well-being of her parents at four in the morning, J. T. ran out to the edge of Pallet, hoping that the young girl had not given herself the opportunity to get lost out in the wilderness. Sure, the path to Viridian was rather straightforward, but that did not mean the wildlife would appreciate someone wandering around their habitat and disturbing their sleep. The rattata in the area were rather keen on ensuring their comfort in the evenings--they were not nocturnal by nature, but there was always the occasional pack that moved from one place to the other in the middle of the night. He hoped that the girl had not the misfortune of stumbling across a few dozen purple rat-creatures in her exodus; that would probably not bode very well for her first steps in her journey.

"Evee!" J. T. shouted as he picked up the pace through the tall grasses, hoping that the quiet night would allow his voice to carry through the air. "Evee, c'mon! Where are you?"

After picking up the pace for a bit, the intern found a familiar silhouette on the horizon. He picked up the pace, feeling the burning sensation in his lungs as he tried to suppress a cough on his approach. Damn, I'm horribly out of shape... Note to self: the moment you begin to plan construction of your own laboratory, include a fitness area for yourself... and cut the smokes.

"Evee! Arceus, you nearly gave me a heart attack!" J. T. sounded both relieved and terrified to see the girl out here by herself. "What were you thinking, escaping from your room like that? Don't you know how your parents are--" he paused, realizing that the last thing the girl wanted or needed was some hot-shot intern she barely even knew playing the role of overbearing caretaker.

He sighed, collecting his thoughts and readjusting his pack on his back before crouching down a bit to get to her eye level. "OK, let me start over... Evee, are you all right? You're not hurt, are you?" Even in the dim light, he could not see anything glaringly wrong with the girl, but he wanted to make sure anyway. The biggest concern on his mind, however, was whether or not she was going to return to Pallet with him now; if the bedsheet rope out the window had been any indication, J. T. highly doubted that she would go back without a fight.

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It was the call that startled her.

The young grl had been attempting to walk along route one, clutching her cottonee close to her body. The creature was giving off odd noises that sounded like soft protests to being held so tightly. But she was hesitant to let her fluffy friend out of her grip. Even though the sky was beginning to lighten up, it was still dark enough to spook her when she saw a shadow move about in the grass. So it came as no surprise that upon hearing her name, the girl gave a squeak of surprise.

She started and turned hesitantly. Had her parents come for her already? No, it was too early, so who--Oh. The form of J. T. greeted her, the man looking a tad worn out. Had he run all this way? She blinked at him but wasn't able to get her question out. He was already speaking in an odd tone so it was difficult for her to make out if he was angry at her or just relieved to see her.

"Evee! Arceus, you nearly gave me a heart attack! What were you thinking, escaping from your room like that? Don't you know how your parents are--" The man took a breath and bent down a little so that the two of them were on eye level. She frowned. Even he was treating her like a little kid. "OK, let me start over... Evee, are you all right? You're not hurt, are you?" He asked her gently, looking her up and down.

She took a step back from him, puffing her cheeks a bit as she shot him her best glare. (Admittedly, not all that fearsome) While she was touched that he even bothered asking after her, the way he was acting around her clearly indicated that he did not think she would be well-enough on her own. "I'm fine!" She said shortly, the pokémon in her arms giving a pleased sound at the sight of the intern. She paused, realizing that if J. T. had caught up to her, that meant he hadn't left yet. Perhaps it had been silly to think he had departed so early in the morning.

"I'm not hurt, okay? So you can relax. I was going to the next town over anyway," She didn't finish her sentence, mostly because she was trying her best to make it seem as if she had everything together. Truth be told, she had no idea where to go beyond Viridian and had been hoping to rely on J. T. for that knowledge. But she wasn't about to ask now, not when she was trying to prove a point! She was most certainly old enough to be adventuring. And she'd show him too.

The intern breathed a sigh of relief when Evee replied that she was fine. Knowing the area, he was aware that rattata could be rather vicious creatures when disturbed from their slumber, but that was not to be the case--for now, at least. He realized that the quicker he could get the young girl back home, the less likely it would be to have either of them be attacked in the middle of the wilderness--a rather tame excuse for wilderness, but wilderness nonetheless.

"How can I relax when I woke up nearly forty-five minutes ago to see a rope made of bedsheets hanging out of a second-story window, Evee?" the intern asked, his voice slightly more intense. He figured that if she was going to protest returning home, he'd at least try and provide reasons for her to do so that were logical. "Especially with police everywhere? It's an Arceusdamn miracle that you weren't caught trying to run!"

Here he went! Her cheeks puffed up even more as she pouted, finally crossing her arms so tightly that her cottonee squeezed out from her grasp. "Nee!" It squealed, flailing around and hovering to the ground where it bumped against J. T.'s leg. The girl didn't pay it much heed, she was too upset at what he was trying to do! There was no way she was going to go back home, not after how much effort it took to get out in the first place! And it wasn't as if he minded her coming along yesterday. So why was he being such a meanie now?

"I'm nearly legal age anyway!" She retorted, huffing. "Besides, it's not as if there aren't other kids out adventuring anyway so what difference does it make? I have money"--That I'll need to take out pretty soon or I'll be cut off from my funds, she finished internally--"And I can use that as a means to get to where I need to go!"

She realized there was a flaw in her argument, a huge glaring one at that. She didn't exactly have a place to go or anywhere that needed her attention. She would've just been following J. T. But she was a bit too upset to care about that. Why couldn't he just see that she'd be fine? Sending her back to be confined just wasn't fair.

"So climbing through your bedroom window at dark'o'clock in the morning seemed the best way to get started on your journey?" he replied, raising an eyebrow as he stood back up to his full height and wiped his glasses on his shirt. "Speaking of journies, where exactly did you plan on going after you hit Viridian anyway?" He replaced his glasses back on his nose and inadvertently reached for his inner coat pocket, hand almost ready to pluck a cigarette out of the box hidden away when he realized that he had been chastised the previous afternoon by this same girl for it. Thinking better of it for the time being, he tried to play it off as an itch across his chest before bringing his arms across his chest, mirroring Evee's current stance.

A nervous blush worked its way on to her cheeks and she tried to fight it down. Of course he had seen her mistake, but that wasn't going to stop her! "I-I uh... was going to go get badges!" She proclaimed, her voice breaking a little at the end. Where had that come from? Oh well, it was out now... "And once I do, then I'll have proven all along that I was old enough to be out here and strong enough to handle things on my own!" She proclaimed, gaining more confidence as she spoke. Yeah, it was a good idea! She'd get the badges and then her parents would have to acknowledge her.

"With what, a newborn cottonee that doesn't know how to fight?" J. T. retorted, taking a step closer to the girl. "I don't understand what's gotten into you all of a sudden! First it was the conversation at your house (which I assume did not go very well otherwise this situation would not have occurred at all), then your escape, and now you're acting all stubborn for no reason! Evee, you asked to come with me--if you were so adamant about that, why did you leave without me? Especially with Team Rocket on the loose?" He did not want to be this confrontational with the girl, but he felt it necessary to have her see how rash her decisions had been and what sort of consequences she could receive because of them.

She could feel the first stings, the first signs that she was not coping well with this at all. She knew she wasn't being that rational and she knew that her stubbornness wasn't helping the situation at all. "I-I just..." She trailed off miserably, looking down at her shoes as her vision got a little blurry. She swallowed, trying to force the feeling back. "I didn't know if you'd left or not and I didn't... want you to leave without me." She tried to keep her voice even but still, the strain caused her voice to hitch.

Her cottonee looked up at her with its large eyes, seemingly confused at her dejected nature. She bent down, burying her face in the cotton so that she wouldn't have to look back up at J. T. "I don't want to go back there. And I thought you'd take me with you because you didn't seem to have a problem with it yesterday. I can't go back home a failure." Her words came out muffled but she hoped he heard her. It was always hard when she knew she was fighting a losing battle and her odds at persuading J. T. were low.

"You're absolutely right--I didn't have a problem with it yesterday because I didn't imagine that I would have had to chase you through Route One before dawn just to make sure you weren't attacked by Team Rocket or a swarm of rattata after escaping from your bedroom using a bed sheet rope..." J. T. was slightly winded from that sentence, but his resolve was still rather strong. "This is the sort of thing that your parents are afraid you would do, Evee... Just because you're old enough doesn't mean you're able to take care of yourself on your own. I mean, look at me: I'm what... six, seven years older than you? And I'm still barely able to go out in the wild and take care of myself in the wilderness..." he chuckled.

"The point is, Evee, that you think you're ready for this grand adventure for going off on your own... but you're not..." his voice trailed off, letting the words linger in the still early morning air. "Not many people your age are, to be honest. That's why most trainers leave in small groups with friends they trust--they take care of each other, survive with each other, thrive in the wilderness and make sure that they're all OK. Doing what you did--going out on your own without any sort of plan except for 'escape'--is exactly why your parents are afraid to let you go out on your own..."

She was silent for a few minutes after he finished speaking, wiping her eyes on the pokémon's fluff. She still did not bring her face up to meet his gaze, hiccupping slightly as she adjusted her weight. Nothing she said would persuade him she was set about leaving. How was she supposed to win this argument? Maybe winning wasn't the key here. If she could only somehow have him agree that she could journey in the first place...

"Then why can't we go together? You can fend for yourself and if you're around, then I'll be just fine." She hiccuped again and finally peered at him shyly from behind her cottonee. "And if I'm going to learn, then why not bring me?" She asked softly, hoping that he might concede to a different angle.

"And what happens if your parents react by sending police after me because I supposedly kidnapped you?" The intern unfolded his arms and cracked his knuckles, staring off to the side and hoping that someone was not listening in to their conversation that probably should not have been happening at all in the open air. "What if they start a campaign with flyers and advertisements asking 'Have you seen our daughter?' everywhere? They'd think I'm a criminal--" he paused, realizing that he was only making himself more nervous trying to think about that almost inevitable possibility.

"You're not a criminal..." She mumbled, not that her words made much of a difference anyway. "Just take me as far as Viridian. I-I just need to make a phone call." Angelique had said that she was allowed to call and maybe with the woman's endorsement, she'd be safe. "If it doesn't work, then... then I'll go back home without a fuss." She sniffled, looking at the ground again.

"If what doesn't work?" J. T. asked, raising an eyebrow incredulously.

"My phone call." She responded, trying not to give specifics. She had a strong feeling that J. T. would be heartily against seeking out Angelique's help, given what happened back at the lab. But she didn't exactly have alternatives at this point and this would buy her some time, at least, to think.

The intern sighed and finally let his arms drop to his sides. "...I guess I see no harm in that..." He took a few steps closer to Evee, crouching down to her eye level once again. "Come on, you coming or am I leaving you behind again?" he chuckled, trying to lighten the mood but not quite sure whether it was successful.

Relief washed over her at his words. She was unable to hold back her excitement and before she could stop herself, the girl shot up and wrapped her arms around J. T.'s torso. "Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!" She exclaimed, unaware that her cottonee had rolled away from her and was currently flailing helplessly in a nearby bush. She blushed with renewed embarrassment and immediately let go of him, looking away quickly. Oops! She had gotten carried away.

"U-Um, sorry!" She said, trying to busy herself by pulling her pokémon out of the bush. So she had gotten herself a few additional hours. Not much to work with but it was more time than she had had before. And maybe... she wouldn't have to return home if everything worked out. She crossed her fingers internally. Hopefully everything would.

View All »Arcs

Arcs are bundles of posts that you can organize on your own. They're useful for telling a story that might span long periods of time or space.

There are no arcs in this roleplay.

View All » Create New » Quests

There are no quests in this roleplay.

Add Group » View All » 2 Factions to align with

Here's the current leaderboard.

Elite Four(s)

"We run this League!"


Gym Leaders

"We run this town!"


Events

Soon™.

Game Master Controls

Welcome home, Promethean. Here, you can manage your universe.

Arcs

Arcs are bundles of posts from any location, allowing you to easily capture sub-plots which might be spread out across multiple locations.

Add Quest » Quests

You can create Quests with various rewards, encouraging your players to engage with specific plot lines.

Add Setting » 12 Settings for your players to play in

Settings are the backdrop for the characters in your universe, giving meaning and context to their existence. By creating a number of well-written locations, you can organize your universe into areas and regions.

Navigation

While not required, locations can be organized onto a map. More information soon!

Kanto Region

Kanto Region by Vix

"Welcome to the Kanto Region!"

Xanadu Nursey

Xanadu Nursey by Vix

"Why, hello there! How can we help you?"

Johto Region

Johto Region by Vix

"Welcome to Johto Region!"

Ilex Forest

Ilex Forest by Vix

"West of Azalea Town. Pass through here to reach Goldenrod City."

Pallet Town

Pallet Town by Vix

"Welcome to Pallet Town! Have you come to see the Professor?"

Ecruteak City

Ecruteak City by Vix

"Welcome! Come and see our lovely Kimono Dancers!"

Fuchsia City

Fuchsia City by Vix

"Visit the Safari Zone while you're here!"

Castelia City

Castelia City by Vix

"Welcome to the big city, kids!"

Goldenrod City

Goldenrod City by Vix

"Welcome to the largest city in Johto!"

Route 34

Route 34 by Vix

"Stop by the Day Care!"

Unova Region

Unova Region by Vix

"Welcome to Unova Region!"

Opelucid City

Opelucid City by Vix

"We are the home of the Dragon Gym!"

Collectibles

By creating Collectibles, you can reward your players with unique items that accentuate their character sheets.


Once an Item has been created, it can be spawned in the IC using /spawn Item Name (case-sensitive, as usual) — this can be followed with /take Item Name to retrieve the item into the current character's inventory.

Mobs

Give your Universe life by adding a Mob, which are auto-replenishing NPCs your players can interact with. Useful for some quick hack-and-slash fun!

Mobs can be automated spawns, like rats and bats, or full-on NPCs complete with conversation menus. Use them to enhance your player experience!

Current Mobs

No mobs have been created yet.

Spawns

Locations where Mobs and Items might appear.

Events

You can schedule events for your players to create notifications and schedule times for everyone to plan around.

Permissions

Add and remove other people from your Universe.

Orphanage

By marking a character as abandoned, you can offer them to your players as pre-made character sheets.

Character Portrait: Lenore Steele
7 sightings Lenore Steele played by Ion
"I sincerely hope you've never heard of me."
Character Portrait: Kai Murakami
3 sightings Kai Murakami played by Ion
"...huh?"
Character Portrait: Gemma Rhodes
8 sightings Gemma Rhodes played by Ion
"Oh, stop there! That would make a great photo, don't you think?"

The Forge

Use your INK to craft new artifacts in Pokemon: A Slice of Life. Once created, Items cannot be changed, but they can be bought and sold in the marketplace.

Notable Items

No items have been created yet!

The Market

Buy, sell, and even craft your own items in this universe.

Market Data

Market conditions are unknown. Use caution when trading.

Quick Buy (Items Most Recently Listed for Sale)

Open Stores

View All » Add Character » 14 Characters to follow in this universe

Character Portrait: Edehvé Mirym Petora
Character Portrait: Tilly Taylor
Character Portrait: Angelique Romain
Character Portrait: J. T. Eische
Character Portrait: Ginny Mekks Suttle
Character Portrait: Gregory Calieo
Character Portrait: Talitha "Tali" Carter
Character Portrait: Les Torbert
Character Portrait: Morganna Whithurst

Newest

Character Portrait: Morganna Whithurst
Morganna Whithurst

"Stop looking at me, jackass."

Character Portrait: Les Torbert
Les Torbert

"Don't feel tha need tah shackl' mahself 'nywhere--th'outdoors suits us jus' fine."

Character Portrait: Talitha "Tali" Carter
Talitha "Tali" Carter

"Don't ever look back: the future's waiting and it ain't gonna stick around all day."

Character Portrait: Gregory Calieo
Gregory Calieo

What a fascinating discovery...

Character Portrait: Ginny Mekks Suttle
Ginny Mekks Suttle

An overly sporadic girl with a sheer talent for engineering. Her knowledge of Pokemon is almost textbook item wise, and she's always looking to create new things. One of the worst battlers out there however.

Character Portrait: J. T. Eische
J. T. Eische

"There is a need for the professors--they illuminate the mysteries of the world around us."

Character Portrait: Angelique Romain
Angelique Romain

"They call me The Artist."

Character Portrait: Edehvé Mirym Petora
Edehvé Mirym Petora

"What will be will be... until we change the rules a bit!"

Trending

Character Portrait: Edehvé Mirym Petora
Edehvé Mirym Petora

"What will be will be... until we change the rules a bit!"

Character Portrait: Talitha "Tali" Carter
Talitha "Tali" Carter

"Don't ever look back: the future's waiting and it ain't gonna stick around all day."

Character Portrait: Angelique Romain
Angelique Romain

"They call me The Artist."

Character Portrait: J. T. Eische
J. T. Eische

"There is a need for the professors--they illuminate the mysteries of the world around us."

Character Portrait: Morganna Whithurst
Morganna Whithurst

"Stop looking at me, jackass."

Character Portrait: Les Torbert
Les Torbert

"Don't feel tha need tah shackl' mahself 'nywhere--th'outdoors suits us jus' fine."

Character Portrait: Ginny Mekks Suttle
Ginny Mekks Suttle

An overly sporadic girl with a sheer talent for engineering. Her knowledge of Pokemon is almost textbook item wise, and she's always looking to create new things. One of the worst battlers out there however.

Character Portrait: Gregory Calieo
Gregory Calieo

What a fascinating discovery...

Most Followed

Character Portrait: Ginny Mekks Suttle
Ginny Mekks Suttle

An overly sporadic girl with a sheer talent for engineering. Her knowledge of Pokemon is almost textbook item wise, and she's always looking to create new things. One of the worst battlers out there however.

Character Portrait: Angelique Romain
Angelique Romain

"They call me The Artist."

Character Portrait: Talitha "Tali" Carter
Talitha "Tali" Carter

"Don't ever look back: the future's waiting and it ain't gonna stick around all day."

Character Portrait: Les Torbert
Les Torbert

"Don't feel tha need tah shackl' mahself 'nywhere--th'outdoors suits us jus' fine."

Character Portrait: Gregory Calieo
Gregory Calieo

What a fascinating discovery...

Character Portrait: Edehvé Mirym Petora
Edehvé Mirym Petora

"What will be will be... until we change the rules a bit!"

Character Portrait: Morganna Whithurst
Morganna Whithurst

"Stop looking at me, jackass."

Character Portrait: J. T. Eische
J. T. Eische

"There is a need for the professors--they illuminate the mysteries of the world around us."


View All » Places

Kanto Region

Kanto Region by Vix

"Welcome to the Kanto Region!"

Xanadu Nursey

Xanadu Nursey by Vix

"Why, hello there! How can we help you?"

Johto Region

Johto Region by Vix

"Welcome to Johto Region!"

Ilex Forest

Ilex Forest by Vix

"West of Azalea Town. Pass through here to reach Goldenrod City."

Pallet Town

Pallet Town by Vix

"Welcome to Pallet Town! Have you come to see the Professor?"

Ecruteak City

Ecruteak City by Vix

"Welcome! Come and see our lovely Kimono Dancers!"

Fuchsia City

Fuchsia City by Vix

"Visit the Safari Zone while you're here!"

Castelia City

Castelia City by Vix

"Welcome to the big city, kids!"

Goldenrod City

Goldenrod City by Vix

"Welcome to the largest city in Johto!"

Route 34

Route 34 by Vix

"Stop by the Day Care!"

Unova Region

Unova Region by Vix

"Welcome to Unova Region!"

Opelucid City

Opelucid City by Vix

"We are the home of the Dragon Gym!"

Pallet Town

"Welcome to Pallet Town! Have you come to see the Professor?"

Fuchsia City

"Visit the Safari Zone while you're here!"

Ilex Forest

"West of Azalea Town. Pass through here to reach Goldenrod City."

Ecruteak City

"Welcome! Come and see our lovely Kimono Dancers!"

Goldenrod City

"Welcome to the largest city in Johto!"

Xanadu Nursey

"Why, hello there! How can we help you?"

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