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Leocadius Carles

Why is there abandonment in our lives instead of friendships?

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a character in “Pokémon: Darkness Unbound”, as played by Koromaru

Description

Name: Image (Leo)

Picture:
Image


Description: Leo is a thin man with a somewhat noticeable muscle structure around his abs, forearms, and chest from running and climbing. His brown messy hair caresses the sides of his head and make bangs that cover his eyes if he doesn't brush it out of the way. His tan complexion reflects how long he has been traveling on the road, dirt lightly resting against his otherwise smooth skin. His eyes are nothing noticeable with a flat brown glimmer in them and thin eyebrows curving above them. His nose has a slight slope on it and is often referred to as a button nose.

Despite originating from the countryside, Leo dresses and looks more like someone from the city. He wears a dark red V-neck that has somewhat shorter sleeves than a regular shirt since it is aged he tucks into his pants. He wears a stylish white jacket that has several pockets with with two metal buttons on each to keep its contents sealed. The jacket is also warm since it is lined with a thin layer of fur on the inside and a zipper on the front - but there is no hood on it at all. He wears black jeans that tightly fit against his legs to show off their slimness and a black belt for the style. His shoes are simple black hiking shoes that have excellent treads on the bottom for gripping against rocks. To complete his outfit, he carries an very old looking acoustic guitar in a black canvas case on his back at all times.


Age: 26

Sex: Male

Date of Birth: April 16 1988

Birthplace: Sippnh

Sexual Orientation: Straight

Height: 5' 11''

Weight: 145lbs

Body Type: Trim

Voice Type: Baritone


Trainer Class: Pokémon Trainer

Starter Pokemon:
  • Mudkip
Image

Current Pokémon Team:

  • Talonflame (Ray), Marshtomp (Elise), Skourpi (Cutter), Bronzor (Tenzin)
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Equipment: As a traveling trainer, Leo carries several Pokeballs, a Pokedex, several cans of packed berries, a sleeping bag, a rope to maneuver around cliffs or to safely tie himself to something if he gets into a dangerous situation, guitar picks, and a few Super Potions and Revives for dire situations.


Family:
  • Michelangelo Carles - Father
  • Rita Carles - Mother
  • Cameron Carles - Younger Brother


Personality: Leo is often considered a gentleman despite his rural upbringings on a farm. He speaks in a playful and polite manor that is similar to most upper class families throughout the world. He believes that in order to make the world a better place for himself as well as others around him, the truth should always be told and people should be valued rather than abused. He movements and gestures are like that of a relaxed man living out in the country side. While he does have spurs of youthful moments if he is motivated enough, he enjoys lying down in the grass and relaxing with his Pokemon and friends around him just as much. Embracing the idea of making friends rather than enemies, he tries to get to know everyone around him and memorizes every fact he can about them so they can become as close as they can be. He even utilizes his skills in guitar to make better friends since he has always heard that people like music. Because of this attitude he can become attached to people around them and develop intense crushes on girls despite his control over his other emotions. Whenever something frustrates him he never gets too mad, and same can go for happiness so he never becomes overjoyed.

Because of his constant attempts to get to know everyone around him, he can be blunt on occasion and offend people around him. By always telling the truth many people have struggled to confide in him since if asked about a secret he will always tell. He never is the starter of confrontation, but if pushed to it he will be the one to finish it, either with his Pokemon or by himself. When he is by himself though all of his strengths break down and he freaks out. Not having a single Pokemon or friend around him brings back horrible memories of his childhood as an orphan, so he chooses to surround himself with someone at all times if he has the chance. Additionally, while he does have his fear of thunder under control, typically he will be startled by it and then quickly regain composure to show he is not weak. He feels that if he shows weakness, he will be abandoned, so he keeps himself calm and maintained.

Strengths:

  • Emotional self-control
  • Athletic
  • Vitality

Weaknesses: (At least three)

  • Blunt
  • Eremophobia
  • Tonitrophobia


Biography:

Leo's actual birth date and location are unknown to both himself and everyone that knows him. Abandoned as a newborn baby in a park, Leo was found and adopted by Rita and Michelangelo on April 16 1988, which was later decided on to be his birthday. For the first few years of his life Leo was an only child and enjoyed all the attention he received from his parents. By the age of four though his younger brother was born and the attention had to be split between the two. At first he was upset, but he quickly grew to love Cameron and they became the closest of friends. Growing up out in the country side didn't give Leo many friends to play with since his family owned a farm 30 miles away from the closest city, and to add to his exclusion from society he was home schooled with his brother. He would often help on the farm by doing manual labor, and the family was able to get on by with their lives without really seeing anyone else except for a few travelers on occasion.

Leo was content with his life on the farm where he was able to learn guitar and relax whenever the farm needed no tending until the age of 17. On his 17th birthday, his parents told him that they were not related and he was adopted. While the idea of being adopted did not bother Leo, he was upset at the thought of someone not caring about him enough to be his parent. His adopted parents told him that the guitar he carries was left with him in the park he was found in, giving him his only lead to who his parents are. He decided that day that he would go across the world to track down his biological parents, and after a year of waiting, he left home to go and get a starter Pokemon. After traveling a few days, he was able to obtain the starter Pokemon Mudkip and they began their journey.

After five years of traveling, Leo was able to catch three other Pokemon and they started their own little family together since they were all so close. Going across Crescious, Sippnh, and Fluor, he was unsuccessful at finding any information about his biological parents. He has no idea who they even are, be it famous or poor and misfortuned, but he is determined to learn. Throughout his journey though he met enough interesting characters to make him interested in becoming a Pokemon professor just to know what causes Pokemon to like their trainers and be willing to obey their commands. While he hasn't made much of a name for himself in battling, those who have heard his music never forget it.

So begins...

Leocadius Carles's Story

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Character Portrait: Ricky Rolland Character Portrait: Leocadius Carles Character Portrait: Xia Leingod
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"My Breeding Center is my life now, and caring for Pokémon has become my ultimate passion in life. But now I am being exposed to a new level of evil, and I'm not sure whether or not I will have what it takes to make a difference."




Xia was about to answer the man but another young man entered the room and interrupted her train of thought.

"Hello, um, mind telling me what exactly this place is? I'm looking for a place to stay the evening and work if possible. Are you the people I should be talking to?"

She smiled, letting escape a soft and adorable chuckle from her lips as she covered her mouth with the back of her right hand.

"Oh my. The Breeding Center sure is popular today," she joked, giving a light chuckle again at the end.

She took a moment to breathe, and regarded the new arrival with a courteous bow of her head.

"Well, as I mentioned this is my Breeding Center. There is a town about three miles down the East road where you can rest and find work, and I was just about to provide my new acquaintance with a map of the town and all the places to look for work. I'll give you one as well, so please wait just one moment," she said, offering the newer arrival a smile.

She turned away and reached for a drawer just below the carrier Pidgey, and pulled out a pair of folded pieces of paper. Once she unfolded them on her desk, it was revealed they were indeed maps of the city and she took out a pen and circled a few locations before sliding them to the edge as a gesture for the men to take them.

"Here you are gentlemen," she said with a polite and courteous tone of voice.

"I will be visiting the town later this afternoon myself around 5pm as I have a few errands to run as well as a few supplies to pick up. If you'd like to accompany me there, then you are welcome to wait here at my Breeding Center and rest before we leave. However, I'm sad to say, as this is not an inn, I don't have spare accommodations for visitors beyond that sofa over there," she said, pointing to the sofa in the corner of the room.

"Please do excuse me gentlemen, as I have a lot of work to do before I leave for town. You're welcome to leave whenever you'd like, but if you decide to rest here please make sure to leave everything as it is. If you require anything, please ask my assistant Maiya via the carrier Pidgey here," she said, gesturing to the Pidgey as it gave a little call to display its stature.

With that, she gave the two men a courteous bow and left the room to go back outside. Making her way back to the Breeding Pen, she asked Maiya to be ready just in case anyone sent the Pidgey to fetch her while Xia took over watching the Lapras and its newborn. She knelt down in the water with them, rubbing the mother's nose and gently stroking the baby's neck as it lay against it's mother's side. The two of them both seemed to enjoy the contact, closing their eyes and relaxing under her most loving touch. Xia smiled and cooed to the infant, and decided that it was time to give it a name.

"What to call you?... Ah, I know! Aquasia! From now on, little one, your name is Aquasia!" She happily declared.

The infant seemed to like its name as it gave a happy call, earning it a nuzzle and a lick from its mother before the two settled down to sleep.

Xia left the Pen and returned to her duties, taking time to restock the food bins and clean up after the Pokémon who'd left her presents in the grasses. The Persian was still resting, nursing its broken foot and keeping a wary eye on Xia. Even though it held a small amount of trust in her, it was still not perfectly happy letting her too close. She aimed to change that, but it wouldn't happen right now. But she was fine, as she had the patience of a redwood tree and could stand to let the Persian open up to her in its own due time. She finished cleaning the fields of excrements and made her rounds in the fields greeting the Pokémon in her care and giving them each a bit of contact time giving them massages and cooing to them to help keep them relaxed and to help build further trust in her as their temporary guardian.

Time ticked by so quickly that before she even knew it, the time to visit the town was upon her. It was approximately 4:55pm, and she had to leave quickly if she was to arrive before the shops she needed to visit closed. She ran inside, changed her clothes, had a quick glass of milk, and grabbed her wallet and bag before heading downstairs to the lobby to see if the others were still there. If they had left, she wouldn't be surprised. They had their own lives to lead, after all.

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Character Portrait: Ricky Rolland Character Portrait: Leocadius Carles Character Portrait: Xia Leingod
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He wasn't that sweaty now, was he? Ricky arched a curious brow as the man came in. Another worker maybe? But upon listen he understood. Heh, well at least he wasn't the only one lost. When he had asked who he should talk to, Ricky just flashed his pearly whites in a wide grin and pointed his thumb towards the girl as if to direct him to her. He looked back at her when she had giggled, how cute, and would listen to her give the similar speech that she had given him. Though it was nice be considered an aquaintence by someone for a change.

When she had came back from fetching the maps he gave her a nod and an even wider grin,"Thank ya, much. You be doing me a favor, if you see me around in town, let me know so I can be repaying ya back in kind. I don't wanna be intruding on ya so I will probably heading out here soon." He said, trying to be polite. She was a nice girl after all, and he would to be an inconvenience to her.

He did stay long enough to watch her get back to work,"Thanks again!" he said one last time to her as she excused herself. So this Ricky with the other man, with his grin still primed he extended a hand to shake the other man's hand. "Whad'ya say, buddy? If we be heading to the same place, wanna head together? Company do might be making the road seem a good bit shorter, if you're up for it." He offered.

It sounded like fun to Ricky, anyway. He certainly wouldn't mind having someone to talk to who can talk back. He been without company for a while, and he was sure his pokemon wouldn't mind that of another trainers. Isn't anything that can beat a good trail buddy on a day like this.

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Character Portrait: Ricky Rolland Character Portrait: Leocadius Carles Character Portrait: Xia Leingod
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"Oh, a Breeding Center, how wonderful. I'm surprised I haven't seen any of these on my years of travels, all things considered." Leo looked towards the sofa that the girl pointed towards. It looked extremely comfy. Almost as if he could just sleep there and never wake up. What he was truly surprised about though was the fact that a breeding center looked so nice for being out of the way of any sort of town. Assumptions began to form in his head about how she was maintaining the place, especially since he didn't notice many Pokemon in the general area, but he decided he better not assume things about someone he barely knows.

"Here you are gentlemen,"

Leo was startled by her statement because he was so entranced in thought. He took the map without much though from her hand, glanced down at it, then looked back up towards her with a smile. As she continued to talk he took mental notes of her, paying mind to how polite and how professional she was. Not many people he met in his five years of travel ever acted this way around him; and those that did were especially smart. Additionally, she seemed very capable of handling herself and she wouldn't be taking much help if she could avoid it anyway.

"Why thank you very much. I don't want to be a burden so I feel it would be best if we met somewhere in town if you would like. To tell the truth I just wanted to meet some new people." Leo comfortably scratched the back of his head as he spoke, relaxed expression on his face as Ray stared at the other man standing next to him. "Thank you for the hospitality though!"

Leo turned away as the woman got back to work, putting the map in his left coat pocket and buttoning it up. Ray continued to stare at the man across from him, studying his physique and attitude that was completely different from his trainer's.

"Whad'ya say, buddy? If we be heading to the same place, wanna head together? Company do might be making the road seem a good bit shorter, if you're up for it."

Leo glanced up at the man, taking in everything he could get about him. The man was dressed very... interesting compared to Leo, but he really didn't mind. Leo noticed that the man himself was relatively rough and gruff, giving him an air of 'life' that Leo also never is really around. In fact, everything about the man in front of him was unlike anything he really had ever experienced. It was very exciting for Leo though, as it became obvious from the excited smile that came across his face when he saw the man's extended hand.

"Sure, I would love some company down to the next town." Leo said as he strongly grabbed the man's hand and gave it a shake. "My name is Leo, and this here is Ray. What's your name?" Leo pointed up towards the Talonflame sitting on his should - who was still just looking at the man in intrigue. Leo grabbed the map out from his pocket and pointed at the closest town"Why don't we take this road here? The town is only two miles and this is the shortest route without cutting through any of the forests around here."

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Character Portrait: Ricky Rolland Character Portrait: Leocadius Carles
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The strong handshake, energy in his smile, Ricky liked this guy already. He would shake the mans hand vigorously before letting go."A real treat to meet ya, Leo. A real treat. Name's Ricky, but feel free to call me what you like, buddy, I won't mind none." He said with a laugh and gave him a look over. A young looking chap, Ricky couldn't quite tell if they were the same age or not. Surely close if not younger. Didn't matter much though to Ricky.

He then looked the Talonflame over in respectable admiration,"Ray, huh? You know what? I like that name. I do bet he's a fast one, ain't he?" He chuckled. Ricky couldn't say he had a flying or a fire type. "Where did you two meet? I don't see many of them flying around here." He commented.

When Leo pulled out his map, and made the suggestions to Ricky, he just nodded. Sounded like a good plan to him. "Makes sense to me. Let's take it. I surely won't mind walking on an actual road for a change." He would tell Leo in agreement. He tightened the sleeves of his jacket around his waist and adjusted his handkerchief again to block the sun from his eyes for when he stepped out side.

Once on the road, Ricky touched one of his pokeballs that were on the sides of his belt. Two on either side. "Hey Leo, would Ray mind some company as well?" He asked. It was still a good walk away, and Ricky didn't want to hog all the company to himself. He knew that Louie at least would be anxious to run around or play.

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Character Portrait: Sofia Gallagher Character Portrait: Ricky Rolland Character Portrait: Leocadius Carles
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Sofia was approaching the cottage as two guys came on to the pathway. One of them was fairly normal-looking, with brown hair and a tan. The other one was a bit more... eclectic? Was that the word she was looking for? She was pretty sure that's what she was looking for. At any rate, the guy's jacket made him kinda look like a Typhlosion.

And both of them were very, very tall.

Not that that bothered her too much. Sofia'd rescued guys around 6' before, and they were much heavier-looking than these two. She'd be good, although if she had to do a double rescue she'd have to get Flora to help. (Sofia probably needed to get Flora certified the next time she went home. It would make lifeguarding so much easier.)

Sofia figured they looked friendly enough, and from what snippets she could hear they sounded friendly enough, though you couldn't be too careful. She pulled her sunglasses back onto her head to get a better look at the pair. She noticed the... the... what Pokemon was that? Some sort of fire flying type, she knew that much. Sofia felt Flora's pokeball wriggle a bit nervously, and she readjusted her pack in assurance. They were close enough that they'd probably been spotted (or heard) by now, so there wasn't any point in trying to skulk around and gather more info. Sofia was a bit loud to be stealthy. Oh well.

"Hey Leo, would Ray mind some company as well?"This came from the Typhlosion guy. She was just in range to hear them clearly now.

"Well I don't mind at all to be honest. I say the more the merrier! Plus Ray hasn't met someone new in ages and it's time he got to be social again anyway," the tan guy (Leo?) said cheerfully. Eh, Minerva always told her not to worry so much about this kind of stuff. It wouldn't kill her to at least introduce herself, and if worse came to worst Sofia had faith that her Pokemon could help her out of the situation. Although Flora was a bit iffy right now with that flame bird flying around. Flame bird? Talonflame, that was it! She'd figured it out.

"Heeyyy!" Sofia called, jogging a bit to catch up. The pots and pans clanked together, giving an interesting sound to her jogging. "If you guys are headed to town, d'you mind if I tag along?"

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Character Portrait: Sofia Gallagher Character Portrait: Ricky Rolland Character Portrait: Leocadius Carles
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Leo's perception of Ricky was quite astute. And Leo's excitement could very well set off a chain reaction that would increase Ricky's own excitement as well. Which would in turn create a lot of excitement. Ricky was just happy enough that this guy wasn't put off by his exuberance. As Leo told the story of him and Ray, "Sounds to me like a lovely twist of fate! Ain't nothing like kindness to fuel the fires of friendship, or some sort. And hey, I been to Sharaana once. Well, not very long, I caught me a scraggy over there. It was a nice trip, though I do kinda wish I stayed longer."

Ricky laughed again when Leo told him the tale of the talonflame having tried to chase him down."Is that right? Well geez, I must'a been pretty focused on that center not to notice something like Ray blasting towards me. If I knew that I would let him caught me just to seen what would'a happened."

Ricky then grinned as he touched the button on one of his pokeballs. The more the merrier, now those were some words to live by. Light was released from the pokeball to the ground as a jolteon exited it's confines but a few feet away. "This here is Louie, and we been together for years now. Was given to me on my birthday, not the most dramatic of meetings, but we do be closer than two peas in a pod." He introduced as the jolteon shook out its yellow fur and stretched, before quickly coming to take pace with the walking duo. "Louie, this here is my good buddy Leo, and his good buddy Ray." He continued, gesturing to Leo then to Ray in turn. Louie trotted beside Ricky as it looked at the talonflame with it's head tilted.

He was about to recommend they go play but then another voice rang out and he paused in his stride to track down it's source. A girl swimsuit and shorts, Ricky loved summertime. Though he should probably get some swimming trunks... Now he had the sudden urge to go jump in a river with Monty. The jangling of the pots sounded comic enough to Ricky's ears for his grin to widen "Heeey!" He called back to the girl, "O'course you can! So come on and step in stride, we two were just now getting to know each other so you'll fit right in." He said as welcomed her. Now with a group like this, Ricky was sure this little trek will go by in a flash.

"So what's you're name? You can be calling me Ricky. And this jolteon here goes by Louie." He said, holding his hand out to her as he had done for Louie. Ricky wasn't shy when it came to introductions. After all, it wasn't easy to meet anyone if you held back.

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Character Portrait: Sofia Gallagher Character Portrait: Ricky Rolland Character Portrait: Leocadius Carles
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As Sofia ran up, the taller boy called back, “Heeey! O’course you can. So come on and step in stride, we two were just now getting to know each other so you'll fit right in." She clanged into rhythm with the boys’ steps. "So what's you're name? You can be calling me Ricky. And this jolteon here goes by Louie." He stuck out his hand in a greeting to her.

Sofia took his hand and shook it hard, like she’d been taught by her old boss. It usually left a good first impression; as long as she didn’t crush the other’s hand. ”I’m Sofia! It’s nice to meet you guys. Your Jolteon is a cute little thing, isn’t it?” One of the other guards had had one; his brother had a Vaporeon and his sister had a Flareon. The other guards liked to joke about the three being Eevees in a past life.

Antimony’s Pokeball was wriggling now, but not in nerves. The Gardevoir wanted to meet the Jolteon and Talonflame and the two new people. She loved meeting new people and was extremely friendly. "Okay, girl, okay! Hold on!" Sofia said to her, then adjusted her pack so she could grab Antimony's Pokeball. With a flash the Gardevoir was out and stretching. "This is Antimony." She took an elegant bow, making Sofia laugh. "She's a bit of a show off but she's a good kid. She's been with me the longest out of my little group, haven't you?" She patted Antimony's head. The Gardevoir blew a raspberry at Sofia and grinned. She was being far more mischievous than this morning. Probably had something to do with meeting new people. Such a goofy Pokemon.

"So, what brings you over to this side of Dunmetaal?" Sofia asked the boys as the trio walked, accompanied by their Pokemon and the quiet clanking of some of her cooking utensils.

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Character Portrait: Sofia Gallagher Character Portrait: Ricky Rolland Character Portrait: Leocadius Carles
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Leo smiled at Ricky's Jolteon. The little guy looked adorable as it walked along next to his master. Those two had a very close connection that no one would be able to break, a friendship that could last until the end of their lives. "Louie huh? Well it is a pleasure to meet you little guy. As much as I would love to pet you, I think I'm gonna hold off on the account of your spikes." Leo placed his hand behind his head and ran it through is hair, sticking his tongue out in a humorous way to show he was kidding around.

Ray glanced down at Louie and flew closer to the ground, about a foot above Louie's head. Ray, not wanting to be too aggressive, made small circles in the air with soft caws in an attempt to initiate a conversation. Ray never had it easy getting along with other Pokemon since he was always in the air and never could walk along with the others if they were in a group. Leo always encouraged him to try though, and he would so he wouldn't disappoint his master.

"Heeyyy! If you guys are headed to town, d'you mind if I tag along?" A girl's voice came out from behind the duo, and a strong looking woman came out to provide a face for Leo to match it. Leo was cut off from responding to Ricky's comment about Louie, but he didn't mind much. Leo continued to smile but looked over the girl as she was talking to Ricky. She looked very self assured and powerful, not succumbing to anyone easily. He figured she wouldn't like being told what to do since her air of confidence made her seem like she was her own person. While she definitely did not look like his ideal woman, he could tell that he already liked her because she was so independent.

Leo waited for Ricky and Sofia's introductions to be over before he introduced himself. "Well it is a pleasure to meet you Sofia. I'm Leocadius Carles, but please just call me Leo." Leo extended his hand as a sign of good faith and hoped she wouldn't reject him. (Author's note: Just gonna move on from this point to speed us along)

When Sofia brought out her Gardevoir, Leo was impressed by how close they were as well. Most Gardevoirs he had seen were very regal and proper in their every day lives, but Antimony treated Sofia like a close sister, portrayed by the raspberry directed at her. Whoever this girl was, she definitely was a lot kinder than Leo first thought. "Wow, Antimony looks amazing, I must say. Both of you must have really raised each other well to look this amazing."

Ray would typically jump at this moment to snap Leo out of making stupid comments like he just did, but there was something stopping him... or rather distracting him from doing anything. Ray was smitten by Antimony's looks and couldn't help but fall for her, literally. Ray fell onto the ground right next to Louie, beak wide open and eyes filled with hopes, dreams, and aspirations about their future together. Ray made a swift recovery though and flew back in the air, this time trying to land on Antimony's shoulder out of a sign of friendship...

Leo was perplexed at Ray's actions, but decided not to make a big deal about it since his Pokemon made a swift recovery. "Well Ray, I'm glad you're alright from that, but you should be more careful. You almost hit poor Louie." He silently wondered to himself what his Pokemon was up to though. As he became lost in thought, Sofia interrupted his thinking.

"So, what brings you over to this side of Dunmetaal?"

Leo decided to be honest with his answer since he wanted these people to travel with him for some period of time. "Well, I'm a traveling musician. I go about learning songs to play them at different events or on the street so I can make enough money to go on with my life. I usually save my money though to get information. See, I was abandoned at birth and I'm out looking for my biological parents. All I have from them is this guitar on my back." Leo motioned to the case residing on his shoulder. "I don't even know their names to be honest. I've already gone across a few continents looking for them, but I have nothing to show for it. I just want to know why they left me really."

Leo realized he said something sort of depressing and tried to recover from it with something optimistic. He didn't want to come off as alone and afraid to Sofia and Ricky. "I'm doing fine though, and I have more than enough family traveling with me wherever I go. I always find it important to look towards the people you are with anyway than back on those in the past." Leo felt he was slowly digging himself deeper into a hole of depression. The subject needed to change quickly.
"Hey look! I can see the town. Last one there buys drinks for everyone else!" Leo sprinted off from the others, hoping they wouldn't think too much about what he said. (Author's note: Leo is fit. He isn't nearly as impressive as Sofia and Ricky though, so it's up to you if you let him win or not).

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Character Portrait: Sofia Gallagher Character Portrait: Ricky Rolland Character Portrait: Leocadius Carles
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When Sophia shook his hand, Ricky knew that he had found himself another winner and he shook her hand back with an equal vigor. And at Sophia's comment, Louie's chest puffed out in pride. Quite pleased by the compliment. This coupled with the attention from Leo and Ray had left him a pretty happy camper.

Ricky ran his hand through the proud Louie's fur, showing to Leo that it was soft,"Well it only get's spiny when a current runs through it. When he bein' docile like this, then it's perfectly soft. Though... there do be a few night I wake up and got to pull a few of the needles from my backside." He said with a laugh.

Now regarding Ray and Louie, he was taking this fine opportunity to take a good sniff of the talonflame. His nose in the air to satisfy his curiosity and learn more about the bird. Normally he was blasting birds out of the sky, so meeting up close was interesting change of pace. Louie would yip back at Ray's caws in response. He certainly didn't mind any aggresion, and as Ray flew around him, Louie was getting excited. He had quite a bit of pent up energy, especially with the prospect of something to play with.

The Gardevoir that Sophia revealed, Ricky found it very amusing. He wanted to teach his pokemon to give raspberry's! "Whatta beauty!" Rick exclaimed."I tell you what, I don't think I seen a gardevoir in person yet. But ain't nothing wrong with being a show off, everybody has be gotten something about them to be flashy about. I bettin' you she gots some energy. She be awesome!" He complimented with a grin. Ricky liked energy, and Ricky liked flashy. This gardevoir sat real well with him.

Louie too found interest in Antimony, and skipped over to her with Ray. Though it was a skip because he was trying to keep himself from running. And his ever active nose was sniffing around at the ground, before looking up at her and Ray. Bouncing on his front paws in excitement and anticipation. Louie seem to have entirely forgotten, or didn't mind in the least, about being almost hit by Ray.

"Me? Well I been a training these past few years. And I be fixing to take on the gyms again. Maaan, they beat me down pretty hard last time. So I be making sure that I am ready for them next time. Heheh, though I have been kinda procrastinatin' on that. Grandpa wants me to challenge the League. My mother wants me to join the Rangers. But there is just so much out there to see! I have no idea what I am doing and I'm lovin' every day of it. I plan to make it big one day, I ain't got no clue how or what, but a guy can dream of having a dream, ya know? So to sum it up, I'm just kinda wingin' it. Flying by the seat of my pants and whatnot." He said with a hearty laugh. "What abouts you, Sophia?"

Musician? Hell! Ricky loved music! Why didn't Leo say nothing? Well... that guitar was a pretty big giveaway on that... But still! Ricky was definitely going to have to ask Leo to play now. Though upon Leo's continuation, Ricky's mind did not immediately register anything he said as depressing. It sounded very life affirming to him. Something important. And before Ricky could give Leo a pat on the back and some positive reinforcement... Leo issued the challenge.

Now, things immediately switched over in Ricky's head, and everything prior forgotten. His fiery and competitive spirit was jump started. He loved a good challenge! That reason, and Ricky didn't exactly have any money to buy anybody drinks, which was even more reason not to come in last. "Hey! No fair!" He shouted, but he wasn't unhappy in the least. Like a flash, Ricky launched himself into a full on sprint to catch up with Leo and pass so that he could set a pace for himself. Louie had quickly sprinted to catch up to and pass Ricky, wanting to be a part of the race too. It was like morning all over again!

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Sofia was certainly getting good first impressions of her possible new travelling companions. Both boys were friendly, as well as their Pokemon. Ricky seemed a little more exuberant, and Leo looked like he needed a hug and a quiche, but still good guys. Especially if their partners were anything to go by. Ricky's Jolteon came off as jolly as Ricky himself, and Ray appeared to be more of a caretaker for Leo than the other way around. Sofia couldn't say much on that, though. Calla and Antimony had had to make sure on occasion that Sofia didn't run herself into the ground, so...

The compliments to Antimony probably would have gone straight to the Gardevoir's head, had Ray not tried to land on her shoulder. Antimony stuck out her arm a bit so that the Talonflame had a bit more room to perch and smiled at the bird Pokemon. She laughed when Louie bounded over and started a conversation with the two about something or other.

Sofia rolled her eyes at Antimony and gave her a look, which made the Gardevoir laugh even more. Such a goofy Pokemon.

She listened to Ricky's reasoning for travelling, a little surprised at the comment about his mother wanting him to be a Ranger. Sofia couldn't imagine this guy as a Ranger. He was too.... what was it? Not arrogant? Too flamboyant? Granted, she'd only known a handful of Rangers, but none of them had left good impressions on her about the group as a whole. In her opinion Ricky was better off taking on the League. He'd probably be a lot happier there.

Aannd Sofia was doing it again. These guys were probably older than her! They could take care of themselves. But...
Ricky's laugh shook her out of her thoughts. "What abouts you, Sofia?"

"Me? Good question. I'm supposed to be training to take on the League myself, but I haven't gotten around to taking on a Gym yet. I've only been on the road for about two years, so." She shrugged. "I like the idea of being a famous Trainer, but Hugo- that's my little brother- keeps telling me to open a battling restaurant. My sisters think I should try going pro in Pokemon swimming, and I still don't know what I want to do." Sofia really didn't know, and it bothered her more than she let on. She knew she was still young, but if she went off and did something (more than this travelling business, that is) then who would take care of her family? Her momma was getting older every day, and even with the twins almost out of the house she still had Hugo to take care of.
But enough with the negative thinking!

Leo's story reminded her a bit of Minerva and Rosalinda, especially since the twins were so musical. Sofia's mothering instincts kicked in and she was doing her best not to try to comfort him. She did make a mental note to figure out what Leo's and Ricky's favorite dishes were and make them at a later time. (Sofia figured she was going to be with the two for a while, considering how well their Pokemon were getting along. If Antimony approved, they were probably okay.)

Of course, before she could do much of anything, Leo issued the challenge. Now, normally Sofia was a competitive person, and a great runner. Antimony, however, despised running almost as much as Sofia hated dresses. And while Ray and Louie started off as soon as the boys... Antimony decided to sit daintily on the path.

Sofia had to literally throw Antimony's Pokeball at the Gardevoir to get her to go in. She almost ended up passing Leo but was far enough back when she started that she came in third. "I never was much of a land sprinter," Sofia panted lightly, "so it looks like drinks are on me, boys!" Not that she minded too much. These guys were good company, if nothing else. She laughed. She hadn't bought drinks in forever. This'd be good for her.

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Ricky stopped as soon as he reached the sidewalk into the city, where Louie was waiting on him. He won! It looks like all those early morning runs were paying off. Taking a deep breath, to catch the breath that had left him, he put his hands on his hips and stretched his back. Looking over his shoulder he waited for the others to catch up.

He had considered his victory the fact that he wouldn't be put on the spot to pay for drinks with money he didn't have. "Ya know... I think I am good on racing for a few days. I am ready to do some sitting for a change." He commented. "You know what, Sophia? Why don't you start a battling restaurant, but instead of it being a building. Make it a battleboat restaurant!! Where you got ta swim to your tables and fight for your food,and all the while relaxing on the waves while you get to watch the employees master the water to make sure you have a good time!" He exclaimed as he spread his arms wide."Imagine! It would be famous! You sail the beaches of every region and become a welcome rest stop for every swimmer in between! You can give it, like, cannons and diving boards, and maybe even make it go underwater where they can dine on seafood and watch professional swimmers do tricks and awesome stuff! That would be awesome!"

At least Ricky thought it was a good idea. Maybe a little over the top, but Ricky was an over the top kind of guy. "And you can be the famous trainer that is the champion of the battleboat! That way you get the best of all those suggestions." He said with a laugh. As he was ranting on about his idea, Louie went awol and decided to investigate a trashcan near a close by alleyway. And as Louie was sticking his nose inside, Ricky called out."Louie! There ain't never anything good in those trash cans, get out of there. We got company, show some class, mate. I know you ain't going to be wanting Monty to give you no bath." And the threat of the bath did seem to do the trick, Louie came trotting, playing it rather coolly.

With Louie at his heels, Ricky scratched him behind his ears and pulled the map that Xia had given him from his fanny pack and folded it open. "Well... Let's see here... I think this is whereabouts we are right now." He said pointing at the edge of the city."And we got a cafe that is pretty close by. How about we rest some there and decide what we wanna do next? I know that I gotta earn a few bucks before I move on. I got some stocking up to do."

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A battleboat restaurant… That sounded kinda ridiculous. Not in a bad way, though. Sofia laughed heartily at Ricky’s enthusiasm. She’d have to remember that one. She did like boating, and she could definitely get on board, so to say, with that kind of idea. But she had other things to take care of first. ”That’s a pretty crazy idea, Ricky, but that’s definitely not out of the question,” Sofia grinned.

Sofia could clearly see the cafe that was on Ricky’s map through her sunglasses. ”Sounds good to me! I could use a bit of a rest,” Sofia said. She probably needed to take a good inventory, and she bet that Leo and Ricky both could as well. Plus, it was getting close to food time, considering Sofia hadn’t eaten in a few hours. (Pesky swimmer habits. She couldn’t seem to shake the whole ‘I have to eat every few hours because if not I won’t have fuel for practice’ mental thing. It was probably because she was walking and running everywhere now.)

So, the trio headed over to the cafe. It was a nice little place, nothing too fancy. It had a home-y kind of vibe from it, even if it was a bit small for Sofia’s taste. There were some delicious smells coming from the kitchen as they walked in that made her stomach gurgle a smidge. They grabbed a table over by the window, and Sofia offered to buy the group something to eat or drink. (She hadn’t even touched half of her savings; she could afford to buy these guys a meal and a round. Leo looked like he could use some kindness, and Ricky looked too skinny for his height. Sofia supposed they both did. Or maybe not. She guessed she was just used to her mother feeding anyone that needed food.) {Note: It's up to you guys if you take Sofia's offer. I'm just going to go ahead a bit to catch us up with Xia, if that's cool.}


The meal was pretty good for the price, and did pretty good at killing some time. Sofia’d gotten a chance to check up on her supplies to see what she needed to get (a portable washing machine had jokingly been suggested at one point.) It had gotten later, around five-thirty six-ish if Sofia was reading the clock right.”So, what now? You two have any specific plans for the rest of the day?”

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Leo's mad dash paid off in more ways than one in his eyes. For one he was completely able to avoid the conversation he started himself; plus he was able to get a free meal out of the deal. When Leo ran off from the group, Ray was quick on the uptake and quickly chased after his trainer to make sure he didn't make any more stupid mistakes. Leo loved a good run every now and then, the wind blowing through his bangs and the pounding of his heart with every slam of his foot. The run itself was longer than he anticipated though, leaving him more out of breath than he initially expected though. He made a mental note to himself that he needed to exercise more as he watched an enthusiastic Ricky sprint past him like it was nothing.

By the time he made it to the end he was able to recover his breath and make it seem effortless on his part. Ray silently perched himself on Leo's shoulder, tilting his head as he looked around the new town. Leo himself also did an excited spin, arms out and smile stretched across his face like he was ready to fly across the town to learn everything about it. His daydreaming of unrealistically sitting on Ray's back as they flew around town together was quickly interrupted when Sofia came running in as a close third.
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"You know what, Sophia? Why don't you start a battling restaurant, but instead of it being a building. Make it a battleboat restaurant!! Where you got ta swim to your tables and fight for your food,and all the while relaxing on the waves while you get to watch the employees master the water to make sure you have a good time!" As Ricky explained his reasoning on why this was such a good idea for Sofia to pursue, Leo himself got excited with the idea of it, getting equally as excited as Ricky was to show his support.

"Yeah! That would be so awesome. I've seen too many restaurants that do the same exact thing and it does get boring." Leo was clutching his fists with his arms pulled tightly into his body, shaking them up and down like a five year old does when they get excited. Leo was easily influenced by those he wanted to befriend so he got hooked into the act. "I would love to come and be one of your first customers too! Maybe even perform for you if you'd like. No charge even! Just as anyone on the west, they can vouch for me!"

Ray made a little jab at Leo's neck for getting excited again, snapping Leo into a much more polite person. "Uh, that is if you'd want to. You haven't even heard me play anything so I don't see why you'd want to. Give it time though, you'll hear me at some point." Leo placed his hand behind his head and begun to scratch it, a silly face was plaster across his head to hide his embarrassment for being too blunt about what he was wanting.

Eventually they made it over to the cafe, the kind of home that hosted Leo's first shows with their open mic. Eventually he was picked up by several larger business owners and private parties to play for them, resulting in a larger savings that gave him a bit more luxury to live with than most (i.e. he could stay in a hotel for a week straight instead of a inn if he wanted to. Still not a lot but more than most) He loved their environments with their calming atmosphere and 'cool' vibe to them. It was a place to socialize and grab a quick bite to eat, which he quickly snatched up the opportunity when Sofia offered.

After drinking a round and eating eating a BLT (Tepig noooooooooooo), Leo was feeling more than satisfied. He was able to think his best with a full stomach, and he was able to come to the conclusion that the best way to obtain any information on his parents at all was to get his name know to the public.

"So, what now? You two have any specific plans for the rest of the day?”

Leo knew that even if he wasn't going to travel with these two for a while he would at least leave a clear image of himself in their minds. "You guys don't have to stick around if you don't want to, but I just want to play one song here - It'll only take a few minutes and then I'll be done. It reminds me of when I first started to play for people and I just can't pass up the opportunity... plus maybe my parents could be here and recognize this guitar... Oh if you guys stick around I'll come with you wherever you go."

Leo turned towards a small stage in the back of the room, pulling off the guitar case from him back and tossing his satchel to the side of the stage. As he was walking up, Ray remained at the counter, watching what his trainer did best. Leo pulled up a tall, scratched up wooden stool and calmly sat down on it, unzipping the case that carried his prized possession. The guitar showed its age with a failing finish and dents all around it, but what really stood out was the carvings on the front of it. A knife carved in C47 in large block writing, but it didn't look sloppy at all - rather it was elegant with details like shadows to each symbol and a wet look to them like they were soaking in the rain and left to dry out.

Leo rested the guitar on his right knee, let the neck of the guitar rest softly in his left hand with finger softly stroking the metallic strings. He knew it was in tune without even having to play it. He decided in the moment he was sitting up on stage that he was going to play a song that he was taught by a young man the first time he visited a town with his adopted father. The man himself had been on a long journey and faced many struggles, but still looked towards the lighter side of life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYI2Og2Ps-g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO60ahwc8FI

(One of these is the acoustic part he plays and the other is the lyrics. If you don't feel like listening its SAO opening theme translated into English - and no I did not enjoy the show [animation and music were good though])

The song was perfect in his eyes as he played the last note. He took his right hand and wipe the hair away from his eyes as he got a standing ovation from the crown, a pleased smile came across his face.

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Ricky was rather pleased with himself that they were at least amused with his idea. Which was good because he had thousands more. But he tried to refrain from showing too much crazy at once as they chatted over the meal. Which his empty stomach greatly appreciated, he had gotten a BLT, having gotten a sudden craving for one after Leo had mentioned it. He told himself he would pay her back, especially as it seemed that they would be hanging out a bit longer after this. He told them of his plans on what he needed to do while he was here, to earn a bit of money to fund his adventure some more. But when Leo said he was going to be playing, procrastination set in and Ricky knew that he just HAD to attend.

And he did, even ending up humming along. He claimed himself a seat in the front row, and did his best to cheer the loudest for his new friend at the end. And it was not just so that he could cross off being a groupie from his bucket list. Ricky loved music! Especially when the words seemed to hold the kind of passion that Leo sang with. All seemed to be going great!

At least until something unexpected happened. The ground trembled and a thunderous sound of an explosion seemed to drown out everything, followed by screaming and pandemonium. "What the friggin' fuck was that!?" Ricky exclaimed over the screams of the denizens of the cafe, forgetting to censor himself in the chaos. "Sophia? Leo? Ya'll alright?" He called, well he knew where Leo was, on the stage, but the rush of the crowd made finding someone within it a little harder. And he didn't want to leave them behind.

He had half expected Louie to run between his legs, but he should have known better about the bravehearted jolteon. Louie had ran to the window, barking his head off towards the center of town. Knowing something was wrong.

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Sofia wasn’t quite sure what it was about Leo’s singing, but something in it made her even more homesick. The lyrics just struck a chord with her that made her want to check up on Minerva, Rosalinda, and Hugo. And her mother, of course. She wasn’t sure why that was, though. At any rate, Leo certainly deserved that standing ovation. Ricky especially looked pleased with the performance, cheering Leo on at the end. Sofia managed some half hearted clapping herself, but something was bothering her. When was the last time she’d phoned home? How was Momma doing, and had she let the twins get jobs at the theatre like they’d wanted to? (It had been a fight for Sofia to convince her mom to let her work, much less the twins.) And did she need to send money to keep the girls in music lessons and Hugo in paint and pencils?

That worrying was quickly pushed to the back of her mind. A tremendous tremor and horrifyingly close explosion jarred Sofia out of one set of worries and into a rescuer mindset.

"What the friggin' fuck was that!?” Sofia heard Ricky swear loudly in the confusion. She’d stayed at their table, and in the panic it was all she could do to not get pushed to the ground. "Sophia? Leo? Ya'll alright?"

”I’m fine,” Sofia yelled back at him, ”but my Pokemon are freaking out and there’s bound to be injured, considering how big that tremor was. I’ve got to get down there to make sure no one got hurt.” She would have gone even if either of the guys had protested. Even if the emergency was on land, it was her job as a lifeguard to at least help with the injured. In a smaller town like this, she might be one of the only people with any kind of medical training (other than the other Trainers, although her lifeguard first aid had been somewhat more in depth.) ”You and Leo, meet me by the explosion when you can, okay? I’m heading there now!”

Sofia was far closer to the door than the boys, and managed to get outside fairly quickly. Louie had been barking towards the center of town, which had to be where the explosion was. She ran as fast as she could, doing her best not to drop her pack as she went. Sofia followed a dark trail of black smoke to the local Pokemon Center, where the roof was on fire. Screams of Pokemon and people alike could be heard inside. And of course, her only Water type was pyrophobic.

”Damn it!” Sofia cursed. (She only cursed when the situation called for it. Sofia was pretty sure this was an acceptable situation to curse in.) She sent Flora out of her Pokeball. The Quagsire was already trembling from the explosion, but her eyes widened in fear at the flames.

”Flora, I know you’re afraid but you have got to help me out here. I’m scared too, okay?” Sofia definitely did not want to go in. But there were people in there that needed help. ”You don’t have to go in. Just try to help put out the fire on the roof, okay?”

The Quagsire nodded, still trembling. ”Good girl! Now, try to see if you can get your Water Gun up to the roof.” Sofia looked around. She noticed that another girl, around her age or so and well dressed, had also arrived on the scene. Flora busy with figuring out how to get her Water Gun to the roof, Sofia finally dropped her pack on the ground and dug for her first aid kit. As she was doing this, she yelled over to the girl. ”You got anything that can help with this mess? Cause I have no idea what kind of situation they’re gonna be in if somebody doesn’t get in there soon.” And yes, Sofia knew that going into a burning building was completely against her training, but she’d be damned if she couldn’t at least find a way to help out herself.

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Leo scanned across the crowd to see where Sofia and Ricky were, hoping they decided to stick it out. Immediately he noticed Ricky applauding like a maniac in the front row, a reaction he didn't see too often. Leo gave a small smirk and a nod to the exuberant man as he placed his guitar back in its case. As he took a final bow, he noticed Sofia had a worried expression on her face, as if something was bothering her. Was it his music; what if it wasn't good enough; what if she thought he was mediocre? Leo made a mental note to confront her on it later to see if there was any way he could improve.

Leo was stepping down off the stage, satisfied smile spread across his face, when mass panic ensued. Just outside the cafe Leo saw an explosion burst open a building like a rock being thrown through rice paper. The tremor caused by the explosion caused him to trip and fall off the stage, landing flat on his chest - knocking the wind out of him.

"What the friggin' fuck was that!?” Leo looked up, out of breath as his friend was showing concern by looking around for the both of them. "Sophia? Leo? Ya'll alright?"

Ray flew off from the stool he was resting on and came to his trainer's aid, clutching his shoulder and flapping heavily to get Leo to stand up. With some effort, Leo regained his breath quickly and was on his feet scanning the crowd with its hysteria. He turned towards Ricky and gave the affirmative response, "Yeah, I'm all good. We need to get out of here though - too many people are just confusing me."

”You and Leo, meet me by the explosion when you can, okay? I’m heading there now!” Leo was just able to catch the last part of what Sofia was saying, prompting him to follow suit. He was able to get up to a brisk jog to grab his bag from the bar they were sitting at, he motioned towards Ricky to follow him, and then ran out the door a minute after Sofia did.

Because he was still a little out of breath, it took Leo a little bit longer to arrive at the scene of the explosion. Ray flew on ahead to scan the area above the Pokemon Center, despite the smoke impairing his vision. He saw Sofia and a few other trainers trying to put out the fire with their water Pokemon, so he figured he would do the same. Leo pulled out two Pokeballs and called out their contents. "Elise, Tenzin come on out, we need your help."

Elise the Marshtomp and Tenzin the Bronzor emerge from the white light, alerted by their master's call. "Alright Tenzin, Elise, we need to work together without any messups here. " Leo's voice became much more serious due to the heavy tension, dropping his bags next to Sofia for safe keeping. "Could you keep these safe for me? I have a feeling there are still Pokemon or trainers trapped inside."

Leo sprinted towards the front door of the center, both Pokemon in tow. He knew Pokemon centers were always filled with racks of Pokeballs that trainers left there so their Pokemon could be healed while they walked around town. He wasn't willing to let their lives be ruined just because they were trapped in their containers. "Elise, use water gun on the door. Tenzin, use psychic to keep the door frame up so it doesn't crush us when we run in." Like in synchronized fashion, both Pokemon performed flawlessly and the trio ran into the flaming center in search for anyone that was trapped inside.

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Leo, accompanied by Elise and Tenzin, sprinted into the buring Pokemon Center. Despite the intense heat and choking smog, Leo wanted to help every Pokemon he could find. As he sprinted across the cracking marble floor, pieces of the ceiling were falling down around him. Tenzin, to the best of his abilities, was able to redirect falling rubble just in time not to crush the trio inside.

Elise on the other hand was attempting to douse the floor with her water gun, but to her dismay, it was too hot inside for her to produce any water without it evaporating instantly. The panicked Marshtomp began to break down at the thought of disappointing Leo, failing at the one thing he requested her to do.

Leo quickly glanced down at Elise who looked like she was going to cry. On one hand he wanted to stop and comfort her, saying he understood why she couldn't do it and it was alright; but the building was going to collapse on them at any moment and he needed to get a move on. He pulled out her Pokeball and said "Elise, I know you want to help, but right now you need to be back in your Pokeball." Leo saw this crushed her emotionally as the red beam went around her and pulled her back into the capsule. While he couldn't help but feel bad, he kept pushing on until he reached the medical bay for sick Pokemon.

When he reached the medical bay, he noticed that all of the operating tables were empty... weird for a Pokemon Center. Maybe they all were taken out by the panicked staff? A lot of the chords and medical equipment looked like they were recently used too and were hastily ripped off of the Pokemon, blood and chunks of flesh were resting all over the instruments themselves. Leo felt like he was going to be sick from the smell of burning flesh, but he remembered that Pokemon Centers also had racks of Pokeballs that employees held for trainers.

"Tenzin, collect as many of these as you can and get out of here! I'll be right out after you!" Leo was fully aware that his Bronzor would only be able to carry about a fourth of the Pokeballs, but it was something he would have to accept. They only had one trip in them before the building collapsed on them. Tenzin collected all the Pokeballs he could and flew out of a hole in the ceiling, delivering them all safely to the crowd of people outside.

Leo took off his jacket and made it into a little carrier, allowing him to hold more Pokeballs easily compared to using just his hands. To his dismay, he was only able to gather around thirty himself, leaving over half of the Pokeballs still on their shelves. As he began to turn around and run out, he noticed Ricky running in through the burning archway of the center.

"Ricky! Grab as many Pokeballs as you can. We need to give every Pokemon here a figh-" Before Leo was able to finish his exclamation to his friend, an enormous chunk of the ceiling came collapsing down onto one of the shelves, eliminating a quarter of the Pokeballs that were there in the first place. A look of horror spread across Leo's face - the slaughter of dozens of innocent and defenseless Pokemon.

Then it came to his attention that the smog was starting to suffocate him. He became lightheaded and started to sway back and forth towards Ricky, who was running over to him. "Ricky..." Leo was barely able to to speak with the lack of oxygen in the area. Another part of the ceiling came crashing down and destroyed the remaining Pokeballs on the shelves. "Take the Pokeballs and get out. Keep them all safe."

Leo began to lose consciousness, collapsing to his knees and coughing out soot. He quickly succumbed to the lack of oxygen and passed out as the flames around the area were pulled away by some outside force.




When Leo regained consciousness, both Ray and Tenzin were next to him, but weren't staring at him. In fact, the large group of people weren't looking towards his direction at all but rather towards an area with a loud, sharp ringing. Leo struggled to stand up, coughing out black spit as he wobbled towards the crowd. After a few steps, he collapsed again forehead digging into the cobblestone road. Blood ran along with the soot as he stood up again and wobbled along the streets. Ray and Tenzin followed him, but kept a safe distance around him as well, unsure how he would react to what he saw.

All Leo saw was the lady from the Breeding Center covered in blood, her Rapidash with scars and gashes, and his two friends already looking over at her.

All he heard from her was "No..." over and over and over... It was a crushing noise she was making like the world she lived in was shattered right before her eyes.

Leo's mind was not there though, and he began to pass out again, right into the girl's pool of blood, face first.

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Ricky had fallen a little behind, haven gotten caught in a crowd of fleeing people. And he would not blame them. When he got to the pokecenter. He stopped beside Sophia in time to see Leo run into the burning building. "Leo! Leo!" He shouted at the dangerously heroic boy. Good lord. He was going to get himself killed! Frick... Ricky wasn't going to about to let him handle this alone. Running towards the building he brought his handkerchief down around his face, to help block out some of the smoke. In turn he released his swampert and his scrafty.

"Monty! Make sure we got a way out." He ordered the swampert, who nodded in confirmation. Though did not like the idea of letting Ricky inside. Monty would take his place by the entrance to keep the flames under control there. "Homer! You are coming with me." The scrafty pulled the skin over his head like a hood and charged in behind Ricky. Homer was lazy, but he always had Ricky's back. This stunt was reckless even by Ricky's terms.

"Leo!" He called when he finally found him. The pokemon, there was no doubt that they needed help. And he began gathering up as many as he could, using his own jacket much like Leo was using his to hold as many as he could. But there was still too many for just the two of them of carry. This was where Homer came in, without even asking, Ricky began shoving pokeballs into the scrafty's baggy elastic skin as if it were a bag...

Then came the explosion... Ricky covered his head to protect himself from the falling debris, he grit his teeth in pain as the stirred up embers fell upon his bare shoulders. But the burns seemed insignificant when he opened his eyes to see the destroyed pokeballs... He felt his stomach churn... what if that had been Louie? Or Winnie? They just died...

Things were taking a turn for the worse now, Leo seemed to not doing so well. "Leo!" He exclaimed as he watched him fall to his knees. "Don't worry bro, I'll get them all out. But I ain't leaving you-" He was trying to say but was cut off by the strange activity of the flames and Leo's passing out. Shoving the rest of the pokeballs in scrafty's skin, he tried to pull Leo up to try and carry Leo on his back with whatever pokeballs he could fit in his pockets and scrafty's skin.

Then came to finding a way out... Someone had put out the flames, but Ricky did not believe that they were safe. The ceiling could collapse again. The aftermath was not very pretty... Many times he had to swallow pretty hard. It was slow progress, but Monty was there at the entrance, waiting loyaly.

There was so much commotion outside, but Ricky was more worried about Leo. Pulling him over to the crowd, Homer on his heels."Sophia! Help!" He called, trying to find her. She was a life guard wasn't she? Surely she could help him. But when he saw the reason for the crowd, that girl laying in on the ground, the dead and injured pokemon, the blood... What on earth happened... The scene was horrifying. And with what Ricky had already scene inside the pokemon center, his grip on Leo weakened and the boy slid off.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sofia Gallagher Character Portrait: Ricky Rolland Character Portrait: Leocadius Carles Character Portrait: Xia Leingod
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This evening was going to haunt Sofia for… well, she wasn’t sure how long it would take to get over this...

She’d stood there and watched as the girl, then Leo, then finally Ricky ran into the building. She couldn’t bring herself to do so, though. She just couldn’t. Which was probably for the best, since there became an influx of injured people and Pokemon. Trainers that were still okay began to care for their own Pokemon to the best of their abilities, and most of the people were just badly bruised or suffering from smoke inhalation. Nothing too hard to handle.

At least, until the girl came back outside.

The men in black had shown up out of practically nowhere. One moment, Sofia was encouraging some people to keep coughing, and the next, she heard a Growlithe snarling. She had turned around quickly to see what was going on, only to recoil in shock at that thing. That Pokemon had something seriously wrong with it. Before she could help the girl, though, her off coloured Ponyta had knocked the… (Was it entirely appropriate to call it a monster? It had seemed to intentionally draw blood.) Whatever it was, the Ponyta had easily knocked it out with a hard blow to the head. ”Whew,” Sofia had sighed to herself quietly.

She’d said it too soon, though. As the girl cradled the Growlithe in her arms, a gunshot had rung out. The girl had fallen.
And there wasn’t anything Sofia could have done to stop the men.

She’d frozen.

Entirely unlike her. She wasn’t sure why she’d frozen, even. Something about the situation had said ‘run, run, run as fast and as far as you can’.

Sofia had stood there as the paramedics came in.

She hadn’t helped Leo when Ricky had pulled him out of the building, or when Ricky had called out for her to help him.

The paramedics had checked Leo out and verified that he was okay. Not that Sofia had seen this. She’d fled down the street a ways, leaving behind her bag. She still had her pokemon, though. Sofia wasn’t going to forget them.

After she was clear of the scene and out of the way, Sofia slumped down in an alleyway, panting. What the hell was wrong with her?!? She should have been there helping! She could’ve at least patched up that girl, and made sure Leo didn’t have a head wound… That girl could wind up dead, and it would be all her fault because she didn’t assist.

Sofia was a monster. A heartless, selfish human being who couldn’t put herself in the heat of battle.

A coward.

Sofia curled up into a ball against the wall of the alleyway and wept quietly into her knees. She'd failed her new friends.

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Character Portrait: Sofia Gallagher Character Portrait: Ricky Rolland Character Portrait: Leocadius Carles Character Portrait: Xia Leingod
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Ricky had been sitting cross legged off to the side, he had lit himself a cigarette to try and calm his nerves and was trying not to let it get wet. He had his shirt off, and Monty was insisting to drool cool water over his bare shoulders to try and help ease the minor burns he had received from that shower of embers. The paramedics had already checked him out, nothing serious so they had left for more serious cases.

Homer had dumped out the rescued pokeballs to the proper authorities, then returned to his own... This situation was something else... All those pokeballs and the lives within squashed out without them even having a chance. At least they had saved some. But there were other pokemon in that building... ones that were not in their pokeballs. Ricky saw several on his way out that hadn't had any chance. Dead pokemon, not something he ever thought he would see. Then there was that one growlithe that got shot. Who would shoot their own pokemon like that?

Ricky was not feeling very good. Part of him wanted to turn up the meal he just had eaten peaceably but moment before, and he doubted his knees were strong enough to walk from the shock of it all. But he would not complain. Others had it worse. Like his buddy Leo, who he had kept casting worried glances towards. Sophia looked pale as a sheet... But his mind kept going back to that girl, the one who got shot. That was the girl he had met earlier. She was so nice, why did bad things have to happen to good people...

As the streets began to clear, slowly but surely. He had lost track of Sophia, it worried him some, especially with those bad guys out there. He hoped she was okay. He needed to find her. With a tired groan he got up, Monty giving him another splash for good measure, and happened to have accidentally put out the cigarette in the process. Ricky had too much on his mind to care about that, though his shoulders immediately began feeling warm again and he began missing that cool water pretty quick.

He stopped, something in the street catching his eye. A blood covered pokeball, just lying there. They should have all been turned in. A quick glance around revealed to him it's likely occupant. That blue ponyta, one like he had never seen before... But that was Xia's pokemon, or at least the one she had used against that growlithe. Looking down to his hand, he began to wish he hadn't picked it up. The blood on his hand was Xia's. He swallowed hard and looked away, towards the ponyta. It was just left here. That should not be the fate of any pokemon.

Ricky recalled back to that morning, he had told her that he would return her kindness. Now was a good time to do so, though he wished it was under different circumstances. But why was he just standing around? The poor thing was injured and without it's owner. He would approach warily, not knowing how the ponyta would react to the stranger approaching her.

He held out the pokeball,"Is this your's?" He asked, trying to gentle as he attempted to get its attention. "Your owner went to critical care, will you let me help you instead? Then we can see about bringing you back to her." He was half afraid of getting burned again, but walked slowly forward anyway. He could imagine how helpless and alone it must feel. And sure as hell not want any of his own pokemon in the position that the ponyta was.

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