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Rachel Lacroix

A slim and armless girl with a deadpan and confusing personality. Unable to properly communicate her emotions at times. She is the current Champion of the Kalos Pokemon League.

0 · 2,203 views · located in Genesis

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by ClockworkTowers


Rachel is slim girl with average height. She has short hair that is green and pale, and murky magenta eyes. She wears magenta tights under a cream dress with black trim, and wears a large grey jacket over it. Her boots are brown and heeled. The heels of her boots conceal extending daggers she uses for self-defense. Much of her outfit looks to be of high value and quality.

Rachel is a creative person who can wax philosophical spiel seemingly at-will; it is not uncommon to see her muse about a myriad of topics unrelated, especially to annoy other people. She is not particularly skilled with words though, and has difficulty conveying her ideas to others most of the time. She also tends to take metaphors quite literally. She cares immensely for her Pokemon, and strives to take her duties as Kalosian Champion quite seriously.

Rachel was born without arms, a malady to which her father took offense, prompting him to try and rectify the problem. However, at her mother's wishes, he never did go through with it. Aside from growing without arms, Rachel herself was also found to have difficulty relating to others, something that Pokemon later helped correct. When her father chose to pursue a scientific endeavor, and later when a renowned investor stepped in, she was always helping her father with negotiating deals for equipment, her ability to confound even seasoned diplomats useful in dropping their guards. When she first was sent to become a Pokemon Trainer, the professor she went through saw something in her that prompted him to enlist her for his field project. She never really understood his intentions, but went along as it seemed fun. Little did she know it would kick start her career as a Trainer and Coordinator, a career that would reach its apex with her assuming the role of Kalos League Champion.

Trainer Card
Name: Rachel Nirvana Lacroix
Gender: Female
ID Number: 878591

Money (On Hand): ₽80,320
Battle Style: Milos Style

4x Full Restore
A medicine that can be used to fully restore the HP of a single Pokemon and heal any status conditions it has.

Mega Button
A special button attached to Rachel's bag that serves as a keystone, used to allow a Pokemon holding a Mega Stone to Mega Evolve.

Pokemon - On Hand

So begins...

Rachel Lacroix's Story


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Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix
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Standing near the center of town, a woman stood overlooking the beach path that lead to the Tower of Mastery. Her expression was a faint and vague smile, and it was clear that her sleeves were tied at the elbow level, but no arm or hand protruded. She seemed to be awaiting something, or someone.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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"All right, I've had enough of your lip, Gary. Return." Titania recalled Gary in order to look up his stats. Hmm. Not too good. Might need to head back to Alola and pursue this Hyper Training thing, but first things first.

The sea was at low tide. Good. The path was open. Titania walked briskly along the beach path, only to be stopped by a strange looking figure with no apparent hands.

"Uh...hi. Are you standing guard to make sure I prove myself worthy before entering?"


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Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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The woman looked back, over her shoulder. "I don't know. Am I? Perhaps. I have been wondering about it myself. I think I would know it if I was, though. I asked a few others, but they didn't know either. So the answer is unclear."

She shook her head and demonstrated a neutral smile as she turned to face Titania. "But, I guess that's okay. It's not too important. You seem pretty strong, but remind me of a Combusken. I can feel the fire and the recklessness. I can tell you're also very noisy when things don't go your way. However, you lack the feathers and bravery."

Tilting her head and body slightly ajar as she assumed a thinking posture, she shrugged. "Maybe lacking that means you're not a Combusken. The feathers and bravery, that is. Can we ever be Combusken? I don't know. I don't believe I can grow feathers, though perhaps you can. They are soft, and reassuring. Comfy too. They keep you warm."

In her rambling, the woman smiled a soft smile, eyes closed. It was more a grin, but a satisfied one, confident in its own conclusion. "Yes, you just need some feathers. You're too hard." Following the statement was a giggle. "You look like you haven't heard of me. My name is Rachel, since you will ask. They all do. It's a meaningless little title, but it makes them feel like they know me better. You can use it too, Titania."

She had an unintentionally smug look come across her face, entirely neutral in tone, yet somehow just condescending enough to create a conflict in someone not used to such looks. It was an interesting contrast. "Yes, I know your name. You do a lot, so you are well known. However, you need to take breaks every now and then. Perhaps you can 'save your progress' every once in a while too. Although, I am unsure of what that means. I assume it is something good though. Maybe you can figure out the secret to it. If you do, share it with me."

She left the words hanging at this time, almost as if opening up the floor for Titania to respond, yet somehow giving an air that she wasn't finished. However, she did not speak further, apparently anticipating a response.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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"Uh...what? Saving my progress? Becoming a Combusken? Look, clearly you know who I am. I got to where I was by putting the pedal to the metal and never slowing down. Even got a nice auto shop going back in Alola. I wanted to retire, but here I am, back in the driver's seat once again because some Unovan chick wants my help to stop a super weapon of some kind. That's why I'm here. Part of the reason, anyway."

She coughed politely. "I heard tell that this region is no stranger to super weapons, so I thought I'd see what I could learn about it, as well as something called Mega Evolution. I'm no professor, but if there's some sort of link between this thing and Z-moves, well, I'll do what I can to find a new gear. Even picked up a talking Garchomp on the way. Now are you gonna let me in, or am I gonna have to make you move?"


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Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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"You can not make me move. My own move must be one I create myself. You can make imitations though. It's an art form among Pokemon Trainers, to make imitations of moves in pursuit of making their own moves. Perhaps that is what inspires a Z-Move. Maybe Mega Evolution stems from it too? I already know, but you need to figure it out still."

Rachel smiled. "However, I doubt finding the answer will find you any new gears. The Tower of Mastery isn't known for a vast selection of machine parts. You might be better off searching for the Gear Pokemon. They are more likely to provide you a new gear if you truly need one."

She then looked aside. "Since you wanted to retire, that must mean you're all burned out. Yet you want to help this girl on her task. Perhaps you need to make sure you're capable of continuing."

Rachel looked back at Titania once more, as a smile crossed her face. "Not against me, though. There is a skill gap between us. A power barrier. Not the science kind. Or the move Protect. It's more like the kind of difference between someone who started their journey, and someone who has finished it."

She seemed almost smug somehow as she made her remarks, almost as if baiting a certain response, whether it was taken that way or not, or whether it was even intended or not.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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Titania couldn't help but chuckle a bit. Rachel was right, of course. "Yeah. I did want to retire. Get a real job, settle down, maybe start a family. But people keep dragging me back into it. So I guess I've got no choice but to get fired up again. But I did pick up a couple of things when I was in Alola. Guess it's time to show you what I've learned."

With that, Titania just walked right up to Rachel and tried to shove her out of the way, sumo style!


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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Rachel watched Titania walk up to her, though she did not react, as she wasn't sure what Titania was going to do. When it became clear Titania was going to do her best Hariyama impression, Rachel's expression became one of surprise, though it was already too late for her to react at this point. Rachel found herself stumbling back from the shove as she lost her balance, falling on her back, her body hitting the sand.


After a momentary period of the surprise wearing off, Rachel simply laid on her back and looked up toward the Tower of Mastery. Her face was back to its deadpan smile of an expression, and she didn't seem to be in much pain, if she was in any at all. Titania's actions didn't seem to particularly faze her as she focused her gaze back on the woman whom had shoved her, her face adopting a curious expression that always came right before she said something simultaneously profound and nonsensical.

"So you learned to be a Hariyama? First a Combusken, now a Hariyama. You should go and start a Dojo! Titania, the Master of Martial Arts! Kicking and punching is all in the mind, they say. Whoever "they" is. "They" say some funny things sometimes."

She didn't seem angry, but quite indifferent to what just occurred.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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  1. post is empty, should likely be deleted

    by ClockworkTowers
  2. post is empty, should likely be deleted

    by ClockworkTowers
  3. post is empty, should likely be deleted

    by ClockworkTowers

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Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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Titania just ignored the physically pitiful Rachel and marched right on inside the Tower of Mastery. The secrets of Mega Evolution awaited...and that monstrous machine was still out there somewhere as the brunette had warned her.


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Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Gary the Garchomp
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Rachel would toss a Poke Ball to release her Pangoro, the large panda turning to help her stand up by more or less picking her up. "Thank you, Georges. Now let us move on."

As quickly as she called him out, she returned him to his Poke Ball, looking behind her at Titania as the woman walked onward. Shaking her head, Rachel faced the city again before making her way back to the Pokemon Center, thoughts running through her mind. "Titania. What a mystery. Your arrogance will be your limiter. Once you understand, then the secrets may reveal themselves to you."

Fetching an Aerodactyl from her own PC, she would exit and take flight to another city.

The setting changes from Shalour City to Lumiose Catacombs

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Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Ahriman
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Deep within the catacombs, a lone woman in a large grey jacket silently walked around a corner. While brown heels making odd noises across the dusty floor within the catacombs, her murky magenta eyes barely gave anything away as to her thoughts. Pausing for a moment, she shook her head, her short pale green hair waving about. With what seemed to be a gesture of regaining her bearings, the woman continued onward.

It was only the sound of a small rock clattering along the ground in the dark ahead that made the woman stop and take up a defensive posture. Creeping forward at a slower pace, the woman closed her eyes and took a short breath before opening them again. Relaxing her stance, she looked into the dark ahead of her, and then glanced behind her.

"I already know you're hiding in the shadows around me, evil spirit. It's like hide and seek, only we're not playing a game. Not of that kind." The woman spoke as she turned around, still looking around her warily. Her face never changed expression. Again, the crackling of rocks and bones, though this time, a voice with a robotic bent followed.

"Evil spirit? It has been a long time since one used such a nickname for me. However, that means..."

The woman took a more solid stance in the direction the voice came from. As the pattering of something running towards her intensified, she prepared herself for the inevitable contact. Then, it came, a large black bipedal fox-like creature tackled the woman, pushing her to the ground as it positioned itself over her, the sound of metal quite prominent with every action.

"That you are she... Rachel, it has been a long time," it snarled with a sadistic joy. "It has been a long, long, time."

Finding herself on her back, pinned under the large fox, the woman's eyes met the light blue eyes belonging to it. "Time cannot be long. It isn't a material thing. It has been a while, however, Ahriman."

Tracing a claw down her chest, the bipedal fox smirked. "Still as peculiar as always. You always did irritate me. Your father, he's quite accomplished now, and I must thank him for being able to see you again like this..."

"So his experiments worked. That sounds like him. Always trying new things." Rachel's breaths grew more tense as she recalled what this fox used to be known for. While she never really understood her father's decisions, she never questioned them. Something made her feel quite uncomfortable however, especially pinned down as she was.

"Yes, it is a quality I find I like. It also means his daughters are quite the prey. The mere thought has me... excited."

The woman looked aside. "... Your cruelty is unusual among your species. Ahriman... I know you. You will try again..." She paused for a moment. "But you also know there are many who will try and stop you."

The fox laughed. "Like they could do anything to me! No. I feel like I have the strength to take on a thousand. Tens of thousands! They'll all kneel before me as I complete my revenge... Especially against that one woman, and my own offspring." In its anger, it dragged the woman as it ran the claw deeper, tearing part of the woman's dress as her jacket came unzipped and fell aside. Lifting her and pinning her against the wall, it snarled.

Without missing a beat, the woman looked back at the fox, her eyes meeting its own once more. "Revenge won't satisfy you. No matter how many you exact it upon."

Another claw, this time resulting in her dress being ripped down the center. "You still know how to make me angry! You Humans are all the same!" He threw her to the floor as he looked over her. "No one will stop my vengeance! I will not lose this time!"

"Ahriman... We are not enemies. My father will likely provide aid, though we will have to fight each other eventually. Even my ability to let you go about your evil ways will wear off." The woman sat up, silently figuring out how to stand on her own at the moment.

"Graaah! Take me to your father! Enough of your prattle! If you get in the way of my vengeance, I'll make you beg for forgiveness at my feet!"

The woman pulled herself up using a wall and her legs. "Fine. Follow me." The woman released a Probopass, which she immediately took to riding as the Pokemon made sure to fetch her jacket. "Ahriman... You know what is to come. I'll keep an eye on events. Let's see what happens."

"Yes... Let's..." The fox stated as it followed the woman out of the catacombs.

The setting changes from Lumiose Catacombs to Terminus Cave


Characters Present

Character Portrait: "Lord-Regent" Radegast the Trainer Character Portrait: Titania Brightsmith Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix
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  1. (co-written by HolyJunkie, ClockworkTowers, LawOfTheLand, and NeverEndingFlip)

    by NeverEndingFlip

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(Co-written between NeverEndingFlip, LawOfTheLand, ClockTower, and HolyJunkie)

Suros looked to Radegast as the two of them crossed a wide open plain. Once more, they were headed across Kalos- albeit in a different direction. The Talonflame knew about Terminus Cave, as well as the secret Elder and the others promised not to disclose. As much as she wanted to tell Radegast, a promise was a promise. The Lord-Regent would learn soon enough, and the Demonslayer could vouch for him later.

Shalour City grew smaller and smaller, as Radegast used psychic power to launch himself forward at high speeds. He wore his Go-Goggles underneath his helmet in order to protect his eyes as he effectively leaped and bounded like no human ever could. Reggie's single eye watched their back while Suros zipped around in the sky. Between the three of them, they didn't have a single blind spot for an incoming ambush.

Several hours later, a rest stop was taken. While Suros roosted like usual and Reggie hovered at-attention, Radegast meditated to rejuvenate his mind. The trip was uneventful, but a welcome respite after that close call with Lucy Reginald. The skies were only beginning to darken to twilight by the time they arrived.

The entrance ahead was somewhat obscured by the treeline, but he did sense a presence ahead. Before making their final approach, Suros swooped down and slipped back into her white-shelled Pokeball. With Reggie remaining fused and on his back and his Go-Goggles removed, Radegast stepped up the stone and gravel leading up to the cave entrance. He was in his full armour suit, and thus unrecognizable to pretty much everyone save for Crimson and his own family.

They weren't alone in heading to Terminus Cave. Turns out that a couple hours before, they had sent someone else there to learn the secrets of Mega Evolution as well, and prove her worthiness--because sometimes it takes more than defeating the right people in a battle to get what you want. An older-looking woman was standing at the entrance with a Lucario, apparently practicing martial arts...and mimicking the jackal's moves. She had gotten to the place, but was either too scared or working up the courage to go in.

"Um...who the fuck are you? Were you the guy they sent to make sure I do the trial correctly? I don't know about this...why couldn't I have just fought Korrina to get a key stone? Aside from the type disadvantage, I mean." She shrugged and went back to her kata, but now they were both watching him. The aura was of someone who was on guard and more than a little frightened, with a tinge of darkness suggesting past trauma. There was a reason they were being so paranoid and defensive.

Radegast was taken aback at-first. However, as he felt the aura around the two of them, he quickly shook his head. He might as well answer quickly and truthfully, especially with another Lucario around. "Nope, just a traveller," Radegast replied as he shifted his stance awkwardly, "Actually, I'm looking to find some key stone as well." He watched the exercise. The movements appeared to be quite different compared to the movements he had learned in the schools of Fuchsia, and more recently from Janine. "You uh... planning to head in?" He asked.

"Yeah, I am. But it's really dark and scary in there. Huntress here was showing me a few moves to calm my nerves." The Lucario gave a grunt of approval. "Well, no sense wasting both of our fuel with a battle. I got this mojo going, time to use it. Let's now we can watch each other's backs. This wouldn't be the first time I've had something bad happen to me in a dark cave. You're not who I thought you were, so I'm probably a's Titania. Maybe you've heard it."

Radegast nodded, "Dreads," he returned with his old nickname. Nowadays, 'Radegast' was not a name to be thrown about lightly, "I'm afraid to say i didn't know yours until now. It's a pleasure to meet you." Titania's time would have ben during a time when Radegast was deep in the wilds, away from civilization.

Radegast slipped the shield and blade into his hands, and with a quick wave of one arm, the white circle on the shield lit up, filling the forward path into the tunnels with light. Reggie wasn't called the "Shield of Light" for nothing. "I'll take point," Radegast offered as he moved in.

"That's...very kind and gentlemanly of you, Dreads." A brief shudder of her shoulders as the two went into the cave, filled with unknown horrors. After all, if it wasn't, it wouldn't have an ominous name like supposedly there was a legendary Pokemon living here. Perhaps that was the test, to wrest it from its clutches, or to complete a trial it gave? "Either way, I'm glad you're here. I didn't like the idea of coming down here all by myself." The way she talked, her thoughts were clearly still racing despite her earlier attempts to put the brakes on.

"Don't trainers usually have Pokemon?" Radegast asked, somewhat puzzled by the word 'alone'. Even he wasn't alone. He did, however, keep an eye on the forming shadows on the walls. He made a note to shine the light into the shadows to make sure there weren't any hidden passages. Between the light and Radegast's and Huntress' ability to feel auras, (Though Radegast's ability is nowhere near as potent as a Lucario's) they should be able to catch anything planning to attack from out of sight.

Something was still eating at this older woman, though. She was flinching at shadows that Radegast and Huntress weren't paying a second thought. Her muscles were getting tense and she was tiptoeing, as if a panic attack was in some sort of slow motion onset. "I...I have to fight this off. I did it just to get in here. I got my team, I got this dude, we're gonna be OK. It's not like those old guys would set me up for anything..." Then, a thought. "Say. Dreads. How do you know there's even Key Stones in here?"

Radegast stopped. He glanced back. His faintly glowing blue eyes shone through the visor of the helmet. "I was told there was, and it's my only lead at the moment. More importantly, Reggie..." The Aegislash unfused, and the ancient blade and shield's aura enveloped them- an air of machine-like calm, as Radegast softly pat a hand on the woman's shoulder. The glow in his eyes noticably vanished as the Aegislash unfused. "Are you gonna be alright? Do you need to rest?"

"I'm...I'm not tired." Titania pushed his hand away. "And please don't touch me. It's just...this legendary Pokemon, it could be anywhere, and who knows what it's capable of. Not to mention that there are apparently people with the power to harness their power into terrible weapons. If they knew something this strong was here, who knows what they'd do to get it, and what they'd do to the ones who stood in their way? That's what has got me on a razor's edge."

Radegast moved his hand away as he looked at her thoughtfully. After a pause of thought, Radegast then spoke. "If they're cool, we talk with them. If they're a threat, we beat them. That's the way of the wild." He replied as he turned back to continue forward, "Though personally, I don't like fighting..." The Aegislash fused once more. "I'd like to talk with such a Pokemon."

" can talk with Pokemon? That's incredible. I've always known that they can understand us, but not that it was a two way street. And I say this having met some that could talk like us. Sure, most of them wanted to split me in half, but it's still a lot to take in. Also, where do you think I can get a Pokemon like that sword and shield you have there? I'm fairly interested in the steel type, you see." Titania almost lost her balance, but managed to get it together at the last moment.

At this time, Huntress would be able to pinpoint an aura. An aura that glowed a mystic purple color, though it seemed somehow apprehensive, perhaps even frightened. Yet, at the same time, it was also quite strong and confident. It would not be much longer beyond the first detection that Radegast would sense it as well, just as a woman standing a short distance away came into view. She was timid in stance and seemed to be a scientist of some kind. Despite her nervousness, her labcoat, her cards, her notebooks, and her specialized equipment was a dead giveaway as to her standing in education. With the scientist, a smart marine blue aura, faint, reserved, but chaotic, wavering in and out in equal measure, almost with no patterns. She was an individual who was quite intense as she too stared into the dark, her large grey jacket quite the fashion choice with its unusual zipper and oversized sleeves. This woman was shorter than the scientist and had magenta stockings and a cream dress underneath the jacket that gaveaway her identity to anyone native to the region. Her green hair was short compared to the scientist's longer onyx hair, and magenta eyes contrasted the onyx eyes of the scientist.

As the light shone closer on the two, catching their attention, it was clear the scientist had what seemed to be scarring covering the left side of her face, tucked underneath hair. It was also clear she was not expecting them, her face panicked. The woman in the jacket was indifferent it seemed, almost as if she expected this, unlike her companion. Neither spoke, seemingly awaiting the newcomers to do introductions.

"Sup?" Radegast called as he waved his free hand. Reggie's blade remained on his back in order to make him seem less threatening. "Just lookin' for keystone. You guys doing an experiment?"

Titania didn't say anything. She couldn't. She just stood there frozen in fear, her hand twitching as if it was trying to grab a Poke Ball, but she couldn't. " Should I run?!"

The scientist stammered.
I... Uh, I w- was just...

Fortunately, the other woman intervened.
There's nowhere to run. So you shouldn't. Running in caves is a bad idea anyway. You can trip and fall. I wouldn't recommend it. Well, anyway... I wasn't doing an experiment. She was. I was in here waiting for something. Maybe a Pokemon. Or a Human. I wasn't sure, but I felt I had to wait here. She found me. Well, I'm not sure if she found the actual me. The me that is what I am. As opposed to the me standing before you.

The scientist pulled herself together.
Y-yes! I stumbled across her while doing my experiments! The energy in here i-is rather suitable for p-purposes related to forces of the earth itself. Perhaps more... I haven't seen any Keystones yet. But I heard they can be found in places l-like this!

Radegast nodded very slowly. I didn't just have a stroke, did I? he thought in the communication channel he shared with Reggie.

It would be humiliating for me to lose you in that way, Reggie returned the thought matter-of-factly.

"What sort of purposes?" Radegast asked with apparent interest.

U-uh, um. Studies of the Legendary Pokemon known as Zygarde. It's home was said to be somewhere around here, and that's why all the miners were scared away.

The woman with the jacket raised an eyebrow.
Zygarde. It's not only found here, you know. My father discovered items related to it on the islands of the Alola region. Something must involve it there. But regardless. You guys are here for Keystones. Perhaps that is why I was sent to wait. I am still unsure, but I suppose you both want to master the secrets of Mega Evolution. There'd be no reason to be here otherwise.

"T-that is correct. I'm a petitioner from the Tower of Mastery." Titania was finally starting to find her courage after that freak out a moment ago. "The sages of the Tower sent me here to prove I was worthy. Something about how not everything can be won through battling alone. Do you speak for Zygarde? Are you here to give us our trial?"

I'm unsure. A trial is not what you need. This should be a test. Then it'd be more accurate. However, battle is a part of any such test. Mega Evolution requires a bond with your Pokemon that exceeds the normal relations Trainers have with them. You must be inseparable. To be so trusting of each other that the immense release of energy can be controlled. This would be what battle would demonstrate. However, battle is half of the battle. The other half of the battle is simply finding your stone. Some say each stone has a specific attuning to the Trainer. I do not know how true it is. But I'm sure you'll find out.

" why didn't they just have me fight Korrina? Why make me come out all this way?" Titania still sounded nervous, but was slowly edging back into a standard battle ready distance behind her Lucario, who remained relaxed, aware that there was no real threat just yet and trying to communicate that to her paranoid Trainer.

Because, as I just stated. Half of the battle is finding the stone. If you cannot even manage that much, then you are nowhere near ready to actually try the fight. Korrina tested those who already found their stones. You do not have yours yet. So she cannot test you, nor can I.

The scientist nodded.
That seems to be the case. Um... If you'll excuse me! There are rock formations deeper in the mine... Perhaps you should take a look? I... I-Ihavetogodomyresearchnow!

As if suddenly spooked by something, she took off running, leaving Titania and Radegast alone with the woman that Titania had only encountered once prior.

"Uh...Dreads? Flip your flashlight, sounds like we need to find the stones first, then we have a battle coming up. I'm ready for this if you are."

Radegast didn't take his eyes off of the scientist who ran off. He didn't like the smell of the situation, but the presence of some sort of trial meant there had to be key stone here somewhere. If all else fails, he could simply unfuse and let Reggie carve a line in the proverbial sand. The last thing he wanted was to let his new companion lose herself to her plainly obvious anxieties. "I was afraid of that," he replied as he gripped and drew the silver Aegislash blade- which glinted in the light of the shield. "Did you bring any other buddies?" Radegast asked.

"A whole team. Huntress is more of a scout. I've been ambushed before, you enemies so powerful that my team couldn't save me. That's why I'm this way. I'm scared of it happening all over again. What if while we're down here, Zygarde comes out and I can't beat it?" The Lucario barked sharply and Titania finally snapped back to reality. "Right. Right. Now what the heck would a Key Stone even look like? I take it we have to dig for it? Hopefully we can find or make some tools."

The woman spoke up here.
The stones will be easy to see. They're shiny compared to the dull rocks in here. I am assuming you have your Mega Stones already as well. A Keystone will only be nice to look at without one.

Radegast, as always, took point. The Aegislash shield, after all, was capable of withstanding Lucy Reginald's Psybeam. Even Reggie was impressed at the durability of the shield, even though the impact nearly broke every bone in his body. "I don't have a good long-ranged attack," Radegast said, "So I'm counting on you guys."

"In that case, time for a switch. Huntress, return." Now that she had a role in the little group, it was easier for her to find a hidden reserve of resolve. Out came a Magnezone in her place. "Using its radio antenna, it should have some kind of ground-penetrating radar that we can use to find our way around, plus a compass. Onward, Tesla." With a series of beeps, it levitated out a sketch pad for Titania to use to map out the cave as they went. "Oh. Okay. I usually use this for when I'm designing a part, but it'll work." She had a plan now. That was a good step towards being less scared. "I guess I could use some of the tools I have in my box to improvise digging. But what was that she said about having a Mega Stone already in order to find these things?"

"I imagine something like this," Radegast produced the Galladite and held it up with the hand that held the shield. He was expecting some sort of effect, some kind of "hot and cold" sensation associated with the Mega stone he held.

"Oh, one of those? That shiny marble...that's a Mega Stone? Huh. I expected something more. I might have it in here somewhere, but let's use yours as a detector. I don't feel comfortable with stopping to rummage around in my pack for it." Titania started scribbling faint lines that looked like the outlines of the corridors, along with a compass rose with Magnezone's help.

"Best make sure we mark our location too," Radegast used the blade of the Aegislash to carve in a single slice. "That's 1." He also added an arrow pointing to the exit. "You got that on the map?" He asked.

"I do now. Good idea. Let's keep going."

Radegast marked forks in the road as Titania whipped together the map. Reggie said nothing- the blade hadn't dulled in generations, despite slashing against hides far tougher than stone throughout those many many years. Elder would have had a quip to say here; thinking about that made Radegast miss his friends- currently doing some field work for the Crimson Guild.

It's so different now... How did it all go so wrong...? Well, there was only one person to blame, but blame meant spit when there were steps to take. There was no such thing as destiny. However, there is his plan- Radegast's plan to make things right again. The only destiny at play was what he made himself.

The four of them- Radegast with Reggie, and Titania with Tesla, continued down the cave, marking and noting landmarks as they moved. Radegast kept an eye on the Galladite, though he wasn't quite sure how exactly this small stone was going to help him find the key stone material. He had no idea what it would look like if the stone reacted to the presence of such material- or would it even react at all? As their sole light sources moved, the change in light shining over the stone sometimes made Radegast think there was an unusual change- only to realise it was simply a false alarm.

Eventually, with a somewhat detailed map with at least one clear path quickly leading back to their first marking, the four of them arrived in an enormous expanse. The stench of stone and dust gave way to a less suffocating smell. Abandoned mining equipment lay scattered around the opening- which had been mostly left collapsed. Rubble had been moved aside before, likely due to trainers and explorers seeking glory and/or fortune in the previously unexplored tunnels. As for said unexplored cavern, natural formations of stone pillars and stalagtites held the ceiling over a somewhat smoothed-out cavern floor, pockmarked with pools of glowing green fluid that flowed to one another either visibly, or under cracks through solid rock.

Radegast felt an unusual warmth in his shield-bearing hand. Evidently, the Galladite reacted. He held it up to Titania's line of sight and nodded. There was key stone in this cavern... probably...

Radegast was about to ask what colour the key stones usually were. However, with the sickly green light emitting from those pools, everything nearby would appear green. Radegast instead kept a grip on the Galladite, feeling for any change in the warmth he now felt. The warmth grew and faded as he stepped cautiously, which led him to try to search for where it got warmer. Eventually, he came across a spot where any direction resulted in the warmth fading. Radegast shone the shield-light over the rocky ground, not seeing anything at-first, save for cracks. "Might be hidden in a vein," He noted.

With Titania's tools and Radegast's grasp on telekinesis, chunks of stone were dislodged and carefully removed. The Galladite grew somehow warmer, until eventually they saw what they were looking for.

An obsidian-coloured ore absorbed the surrounding green light, as well as the light of the shield. Radegast noted that it seemed oddly similar to the prismatic material that comprised the Limited. With a few taps along the outer edges, the vein was loosened, and Radegast hoisted the raw chunk out with unseen hands. There was plenty of keystone in this particular vein, although it would have to be refined into a usable state. Given the potential loss of material from said refinement, the two of them continued their exploring through the cave. They kept an eye out for wild Pokemon as they found a second and a third vein. Radegast slipped the raw key stone into his backpack for safekeeping- at least until they get out of the cave. They would have to forge them into the proper accessories in a workshop anyway.

"Welp," Radegast shone the light around for a quick scan. He then pocketed the Galladite and jerked a thumb toward their entrance. "Let's not overstay our welcome, eh?"

As if the timing was perfect, they would hear a low thud from the depths of the cavern...then another...then another. Each step was louder than the last and made the surrounding environment shake a little more. Then...a voice...a voice that would come off as a growl for Titania, but for the other three, they would hear this:

"Who dares enter my cavern?"

"Whoa," Radegast shifted his stance as he searched for the source. "Hey man, what's up?" He returned as casually as he could. "We were just leaving, actually."

From the darkness in front of them, two eyes appeared from the shadows around them. They glinted a bright blue as it reflected off the light the two were giving off. They did not seem friendly, "And what are you taking with you?"

"Ah, just some key stone," Radegast produced one of the chunks from his backpack. "I need it to Mega Evolve, same with them." He hesitated to explain his personal reasons further with Titania around.

"Hmm..." the voice seemed less mad this time around, but... "That's disappointing. All you humans ever seem to do is take." They heard a step rumble forward, "Take what you want. Take what you claim to need. You don't consider all the bad things your actions lead you towards. The terrible state that you as a species will eventually leave this world in. You've already taken most of the resources we've already had. And yet you still...keep...taking..."

As the eyes lumbered forward, a shape started to take form. A huge hulking figure with thick arms and legs and sharp, steel claws to match. Now that he was closer, they could hear the tail being dragged along the cavern floor, the slight screeching sound that accompanied it. It's head was fairly close to rhino shaped, but with two horns beside each other instead of one horn in front of the other. It's eyes seemed to only grow angrier and it's jaw clamped shut, giving the impression that it could crush diamond if it wanted to.

"I'm tired of seeing people take what they want. I'm sorry Brother, but I think...I should start doing something about it."

"To be perfectly honest, I don't like it neither," Radegast tried to reason, "But the people who want me dead won't defeat themselves anytime soon." He readied his shield all the same. An Aggron, a Steel and Rock-type. Radegast considered tapping on Suros' pokeball, but thought against it. There was still an opportunity to deescalate the situation. He lowered the sword, but kept the shield up so the light could still shine on the Aggron. "Is there a price I can pay in order to leave peacefully with what I need? A favour, perhaps? Arceus knows I don't want to make any more enemies."

The Aggron looked down, postulating Radegast's request, before asking another question, "The two women closer to the surface. Are you with them?"

"I never knew them until we entered these tunnels," Radegast honestly replied, "Are they bothering you guys?" He made a quick aside to Titania, "He's talking about the other two women."

"Never seen them before in my life. And if I had, I'd have regretted it a few times over by now," came Titania's answer. This Aggron clearly wasn't here to fight, but if not that, then what? Was it...talking to Dreads?! Wouldn't even crack her top ten of the weirdest shit she's seen, but definitely up there for the year.

The Aggron continued, nodding to the question Radegast had asked, "They are disturbing our home for the sake of their own desires. I don't know why they want to set up their noisy equipment here, but it won't be long before they do something horrible. Get rid of them and I'll have a reason to trust you'll make good use of that ore."

"Um, Dreads? What did he say? I'm kind of afraid to turn my back on this guy." Tesla moved into a defensive position in front of Titania, ready to cut loose as soon as she gave the word.

"What's your name?" Radegast asked the Aggron.

It did not hesitate to answer, "Scourge."

With a nod, the armoured Gallade turned to Titania. "Scourge says the wild Pokemon here are being bothered by those two ladies and their noisy equipment. We get rid of them, and we'll have this keystone with a clean conscience." Or at least, I would.

"All right. Good thing I made the map. We can retrace our steps, confront them, and we get out of here with the Key Stone. I guess that's our trial. I'm ready if you are, I'm certainly eager to avoid facing Zygarde if I can." Already Titania was unrolling the map and finding which ways to turn to get back to the entrance. "Tesla, return." She'd have to figure out what to lead with based off what they felt confident in running, the better to get an advantage before any moves had been exchanged.

Running back to the entrance was simple enough, and as surely as was expected, the woman in the jacket was still there. With her was the scientist again, having apparently been reassured by her. She turned around at hearing footsteps, and alerted the scientist to them as well.

So, you found them. Good, I suppose. Those stones are hard to come by. Well, they don't visit people on their own, so they can't really come over at all, but if they did, it'd be a rare occasion. I'd make some tea or something.

The woman gave a close eyed smile, the sleeves of her oversized jacket that ran above the elbow lifting to the side, while the length of the sleeve below the elbow was hanging loosely, drawn by gravity. The scientist nodded.

Yes, those stones need to be refined properly so they can be used. My machine would allow us to find them and refine them far easier... But I need to go deeper to set it up.

"Yeah, about that...the wildlife aren't too happy about how people come in here and just take, take, take. Dreads here was able to translate what an Aggron told us earlier. We can't leave unless we stop you from setting up your mining equipment...and I think we both know what that means. Get ready to lose!"

Radegast didn't like the idea of combat, but negotiations amongst humans was definitely not his forte. Titania seemed perfectly versed in the typical human traditions in striking bargains. There was plenty of light in the immediate area, so the Aegislash shield's light faded once more. Hesitantly, Radegast readied his blade. "Guess we're doing this then."

A fight? Well... For my research, I guess I'll do it. I can do this...
The scientist seemed to be shaking a bit, but she nonetheless fetched a Poke Ball. It seemed she was the type to toss underhanded. The woman in the jacket then spoke with a smug smile.
To lose? What will I lose? I have all my things. Because we all have things. Well, except for you. Your things will soon be what is lost. I think that much is true. You will have to payout to the winner. Because it's a contest. Well... Enough of that. I won't hand you a victory. I can't do that, actually.

You are challenged by Mysterious Scientist Megirege and Pokemon Trainer Rachel!

In what seemed like it would be a Multi-Battle, the scientist spoke again.
T-Two Pokemon each! No more, no less! Let us do our work, Gothitelle!

Rachel also spoke with her smug smile as she used an awkward leaning motion, letting a Poke Ball drop onto her knees like a hacky sack before she kicked it forward.
Look, Probopass! No hands!

From the Poke Balls emerged a Gothitelle and a Probopass, both assuming their standard positions, ready for battle.

Titania was quick to assess the lead. "Dreads. Start with something quick. Neither of them are very fast, so I'm thinking Gothitelle might have Trick Room. These battles go too quickly for hazards to be worth it. So if we can remove Gothitelle, we can make their lack of speed a weakness. Let's go, Mawile!" On hitting the field, it turned its back to present its fearsome horns to the enemies, trying to Intimidate them.

Radegast opened both hands, and the Aegislash hovered away to unfuse. The room would flood with Reggie's particularly imposing aura, but otherwise have no affect on the trainers, nor the fight proper. What do you think, Reggie? Radegast thought.

Sound tactics. Your parents would approve.

Radegast smirked. Though the faint glow behind his visor was gone, the armoured figure didn't seem any less imposing. Radegast put up his dukes, and loosened his stance with a couple of short hops.

As Radegast finished his lossening, Rachel maintained her smug smile, but raised the sleeves to her sides as the length below her elbows hung limply.
As I noticed. This will be interesting. Almost as interesting as Mawile being unable to leave now.

Megirege tried to put on a confident glance.
You'll also find your shadows are pinned in place. You're going nowhere! Gothitelle, use Flatter on Probopass!

"Didn't plan to," Radegast quipped as his legs glowed slightly pink. By applying Psychic energy into his legs, he willed his body to make a leap forward that normal humans couldn't do. He closed the distance to Probopass to send his fists flying. Radegast was quite good at close combat, even without the recent training.

"Wait, what the hell? I thought the Aegislash was gonna be...ugh, never mind! Mawile, use Crunch on Gothitelle!" With a high pitched battle cry, the little Deceiver ran into action, whipping its head around to bring its fake horn's powerful jaws to bear on the Psychic-type.

As Mawile closed the gap, the Gothitelle's neck accessory would shine bright, issuing a blinding glare that would make Mawile miss the mark. With Probopass surviving the Close Combat, albeit with plenty of damage, Gothitelle would proceed to Flatter Probopass, powering up its own Special Attacks while also confusing it. In its own duress, Probopass ate something it seemed to have been holding in wait, and afterwards, seemed perfectly ready to continue, issuing its own expanded version of the bright light, a pink magical shine of light that assailed both Mawile (to little real effect), and Radegast (to super powerful effect) simultaneously. After the attacks, Probopass seemed relatively weak, though Gothitelle was ready to take on its next order.

"Grrrrr...fucking hax!" Titania was visibly red in the face from the long walk and her anger at this unfortunate turn of events. Not knowing what Dreads had in the back, she changed gears and instead ordered a Sucker Punch on Probopass, trying to finish it off before it got off another dazzling gleam.

Radegast, on the other hand, shook his head. Dazzling Gleam's a pain indeed. The Gallade darted back a step to give Titania's pokemon the space needed to land a hit. He then focused on himself, and took a deep breath. If they were going to use attacks like that, he'd need to steel himself. Radegast's meditative breathing calmed his mind.

Megirege was emboldened at Probopass' success, and kept going.
Excellent! Gothitelle, use Psych Up on Probopass!

As she gave the order, Gothitelle prepared to use the move before being caught off guard at Mawile's sudden movements at Titania's equally as sudden command. Probopass was also almost caught off guard, but Rachel had her own quick thinking.

"Probopass, Protect yourself!

With an acknowledging noise, the Probopass shielded itself in green energy as Mawile connected, the energy exhibited by the clash being quite the spectacle, breaking the Protect, but leaving Probopass unharmed. Gothitelle would finish its chant as it copied the buffs Probopass had received the turn before.

Radegast, feeling tougher once more, darted forward after the Protection was dropped. He unleashed another flurry of blows against the Probopass. "Sorry buddy, not so sturdy now, are you?"

"Okay. That's some good information. Mawile, they're trying to wipe us out! Iron Head on Gothitelle!" This time, instead of trying to whip the fearsome maw around, it simply lowered its head and ran forward, using the horns to try to block the sudden glare of the Bright Powder and deliver the hit.

Before anything else could happen, the Probopass took the next blow and found its large form pushed back into Rachel, knocking the woman down as it returned to its Poke Ball. Seemingly unfazed by the act, she lay on her back for the moment, pondering what just occurred.

Megirege noticed the Mawile's new actions, and quickly gave orders to Gothitelle. No time to worry about Rachel.
Gothitelle, Substitute!

The Astral Body Pokemon spread her arms wide and quickly replaced her form with that of a small doll of a Gothitelle. It looked cute, and was made of stuffing, stuffing clearly showcased as Mawile's Iron Head almost literally made the doll explode on impact. Gothitelle was a short distance to the side of the decoy, ready to issue her next move.

Rachel, at this point, glanced idly at the ceiling, and rolled her body to the side awkwardly, fidgeting to release another Poke Ball. She then angled herself to nudge the ball enough to where she could kick it into the air and push it forward.

"Mawile, what's your name?" Radegast called as he took a quick step back and focused some energy.

In Pokespeak, it shouted back something that sounded like Pyrite before rushing back to a ready stance. Rachel had to summon her replacement to the field before the Multi Battle could continue.

Radegast nodded. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance, buddy." He then began pulling the few photons that bounced around within the cavern, and focused them into one of his elbow blades.

From the Poke Ball, a Gourgeist emerged. It seemed to be a Large one, and it's purple arms and darker body gave away its status as one of those rare Shiny Pokemon. Upon landing after being released, it would use those very arms to ready itself for the fight at hand.

Megirege would help Rachel onto her feet as well.
A-Are you okay?

I'm okay. Not good, nor bad. Okay. But I'm not named okay. So don't assume my name is okay.

"Dreads, I'll keep the Gothitelle occupied! Be careful, your defenses are very weak! Mawile, use another Iron Head on Gothitelle!"

Radegast nodded, but he wasn't about to drop anytime soon. From the experience taking on the Probopass just now, he knew that the Gothitelle would likely utilize supportive moves in order to make the Gourgeist just as much of a hassle. Can't have that He also considered his current state. I'm gonna have to heal up. He assumed a quick stance and breathed in and out. Within a moment, a wave of energy washed over himself and everyone around him- filling everyone present in a rejuvenating light. While the present humans wouldn't see it, the Gothitelle, Gourgeist, and Mawile would all catch a glimpse of a field- a foreign field, with pink-petaled trees bordering one visible side. An outstretched arm pointed skyward at a cloud that resembled nothing specific. To the right, a Gastly with a scar over one eye soundlessly guffawed at an unheard joke. As quickly as the vision appeared, it vanished, and the fight was their reality once more.

Radegast didn't mean for a memory to slip, and yet.

Gothitelle made note of the memories. That was all it needed to see, but more on that later. Right now, it found its wounds being patched as it noted the charging Mawile. Nodding to Gourgeist, as if sharing some mental note, the Gourgeist proceeded to vanish from sight somewhere with an eerie giggle as Rachel gave the command for Phantom Force. At Megirege's following command, Gothitelle proceeded then to face down the Mawile as its eyes flashed green, causing a small green circle of energy to expand outward from Gothitelle and encircle the Mawile before it shrank into the Mawile. The green orb formed from the process then returned to Gothitelle, suddenly making the Gothitelle appear a lot more menacing and Intimidating then it was before to Radegast and Mawile (though Mawile's jaws would mean it wasn't properly affected beyond a mental note). It then put up its arms as it took the Iron Head attack reasonably well, still standing afterwards.

Perhaps to Megirege's surprise, Mawile wasn't intimidated in the least! He still charged forward and rammed hard into her Gothitelle's lower body, but Titania had a new problem. "Dreads! I don't see Gourgeist anywhere! I have a bad feeling about this! Mawile, get ready to crunch Gourgeist when it comes back!"

"Phantom Force," Reggie spoke up, recognizing the attack immediately with his generations-old experience, "Do you require my assistance?"

"No need," Radegast replied, "It'll go through your protection." He then darted after the Gothitelle, forming a Leaf Blade with the few photons that crept through the cave from the distant entrance. He moved in close to slam the glowing yellow-green blade against the Gothitelle's form.

As the Mawile's Iron Head connected, and then Radegast's bladed arm connected, with the Gothitelle, it fell back, knocked unconscious by the intense blows. However, it was now that Gourgeist would reemerge from a purple portal behind Radegast, wrapping its arms around him as it squeezed tight, lifting him before slamming him hard a couple of times against the walls in the small cave they were fighting in for what was surely going to be enough damage to knock him out. This left it open to Crunch, but the Gourgeist didn't seem to be too hurt by the attack, albeit, it did float back a short distance following the bite.

Radegast's vision grew dim as he was slammed against the wall. Before he could hit the floor, he felt his heavy body grabbed. The Aegislash had darted over to him with untold speed.

"Phantom Force wouldn't go through me, mind you," Reggie pointed out.

"Probably not," Radegast admitted weakly,

"Should I just end this?" The Aegislash asked, albeit with some reservations regarding what the question implies.

Radegast shook his head with an almost drunken grogginess. "By Arceus, no... if we're gonna... get these guys out... for the guy... we gotta beat them... on their terms- not ours."

Reggie carried Radegast next to Titania. Radegast kept one eye open, but he did hurt all over. "Well now," The Aegislash moved into Radegast's place. He spoke to Titania and her Mawile. "How are you holding up?"

"I still got some fuel left in the tank. Good trade. Still interested to see how you're intending on continuing this fight, though. Gotta know so I know what to do going forward, depending on what comes out on the other side." Mawile let out a battle cry, which needed no translation...though Reggie would catch the subtle nuances, being a fellow steel-type. He complained of some foot pain and fatigue...he wasn't used to being forced to battle for this long and was ready for a rest now that the shadow tag user was gone. But if he had to keep the pedal to the metal, he would.

"This cave does limit me for safety concerns," Reggie admitted. If he went at full-speed, he'd unwittingly cause the cave to collapse. He'd have to make sure impacts against opponents wouldn't send them against the walls any harder than the Gourgeist opted to send the poor 16-year-old. The single eye glared at the Gourgeist with a cold fury. "As for you," Reggie spoke up, but said nothing further. Instead, the ancient powerful blade crackled with a deathly energy and fired a Shadow Ball at a terrible speed, directed at the Gourgeist.

Megirege would then send out her Beedrill.
Alright, Beedrill! You're up! Let's get some data!
The large wasp would begin glowing with energy as it Mega Evolved into a Mega Beedrill, though it seemed to hold its turn until after the Aegislash's Shadow Ball was fired. Before Gourgeist could do anything, it found itself being struck by the orb and collapsing to the ground, where it was returned to Rachel's Poke Ball.

The Beedrill then rushed down Reggie with a Drill Run, at the order given by a slightly razzled Megirege. Pointing its barbed stingers forward, they began to spin as if actual drills as they sought to strike the Aegislash hard in his recovery from Shadow Ball's firing.

Titania was able to recognize the danger as the Mega Beedrill geared up for its Drill Run. After all, her Excadrill used to do the same thing. "Mawile, use Sucker Punch!" Willing itself forward once more, the deceiver slammed into the bug at incredible speed, making sure that it would pay for trying to hit Reggie while it was (relatively) vulnerable.

"Appreciated," Reggie's body thrummed with dissipating kinetic energy as the Beedrill- having just been sucker-punched- managed to land the drill attack regardless. "I believe you are in our way," Reggie's eye glowed as his image seemed to vanish on the spot. If he couldn't overwhelm them with raw power on account of causing a cave-in, what was needed instead was precision. Reggie reappeared, swooping in seemingly from nowhere, and slashed at the Mega Beedrill with an Aerial Ace.

After its successful attack, having been struck twice, the Beedrill collapsed with expected posture as it was returned, though Reggie's apparent imperviousness to the attack did make Megirege panic, with the scientist's eyes wide in fear once more as she leaned back.

I-Impressive! Nowimgoingtogostudymycollectedatabye!

As the scientist began to run, Rachel smiled.
Well, you don't win them all.
The girl in the jacket stood there with her incredibly neutral smile, watching Radegast and Titania closely.
You win. I guess that means I must go. Well, I need to decide where I will go to. My father should be about finished with his grand project, so he may need me to help him with managing the after effects. But I suppose I should go solve the Lumiose disputes too. I have a lot of messages for those. Or maybe I stand here and assess the two of you.

With a bit of an uncertain look to the side, she returned her gaze to the pair, though she did not turn her head to face them.
Assessing you wouldn't accomplish anything, however. There is nothing to assess. You are solid Trainers. I wonder if you're ready for what challenges are to come? I wouldn't know, since I'm not you. That would just be weird. Like Ditto weird. Pink and gooey. Now I'm uncomfortable. Just like that time when...well, I don't need to say it. It's already awkward now.

Returning to her smile, she nodded.
The two of you should probably go and get those stones looked at. My father might be able to help, but any scientist here in Kalos would do the trick. Well, assuming they know the trick. Tricks are strange like that. Some know them, and others don't. They're tricky, because they're tricks. They aren't always funny though. Then they'd be jokes. Anyway, I've rambled enough. We will meet again soon. As friends? Or foes? Who knows? I'm happy either way, I guess. I can never tell.

Rachel then turned her back to the pair and proceeded to leave the cave at her own slower pace.

After a moment's pause, with the two women gone, the Aegislash looked to Titania, and Radegast- who had his eyes closed to rest. "Did I ever mention that I never liked Kalos?"

Radegast mumbled, which prompted the Aegislash to lift him gently to a seated position. The Aegislash's paper-thin hands carefully snaked between the joints in the armour suit. With a well-placed couple of pricks with the paper-thin fingers, Radegast gasped- suddenly awake. "Holy sffg-" The armoured Gallade clutched at his helmet. "Urgh.."

"I believe you used to do the same for your friends," Reggie noted. It did take precision and care, which wouldn't be achieved in the heat of battle.

"I didn't use any sharp bits, jeez." Radegast stumbled back to his feet. He reached into his leg satchel and produced a Super Potion. He popped the cork off and drank it directly.

"It worked regardless," Reggie's aura almost flickered with a feeling of pride, "With no wounds, I should add."

It was true, Radegast didn't feel any wetness on his back or chest. Even if there were any, this potion's effects would've been nearly immediate. "Thanks," He spoke after a deep breath.

"Where to now?" Reggie asked.

"Well, I think we're in the clear," Radegast replied, "But I'll check in with Scourge. Reggie, would you be able to escort Titania to the entrance?" He had a feeling she didn't want to be in this cave any longer than she needed to.

"Whoever or whatever the fuck you are...I've seen more than my fair share of weird shit, and this whole day is right up there. Come on, champ, before I cram you in a ball and take you to a Pokémon Center." Titania chuckled to indicate how she was half-joking, and made for the exit according to their map. After this, everyone could definitely use a long rest.

Radegast nodded slowly, but headed deeper into the cave as he looked for Scourge once more. Reggie watched Titania leave for a moment, making sure nothing befell her before she reached the exit, and then followed Radegast.


"Scourge?" Radegast called, "We got rid of'em, so we're square, right?"

The caves were just as dark as before, if a little more isolating, given the one fewer companion. Reggie had arrived by then, and the two of them fused once more. Reggie's shield shone its light once more.

"The sooner we get this refined, the sooner we can get back to fighting the rebellion," He muttered, frustrated and not thinking straight in the wake of his poor health status. The potion helped, and fusion gave him more strength, but his body still felt weak. He made a mental note on how he could potentially stop such an attack like Phantom Force. It was tailor-made to counter him, and the Psychic Rebellion would definitely have such abilities learned among their members. Heck, if Lucy Reginald could figure out how to emulate ghostly energy, she'd definitely learn to harness it.

"Scourge?" He called again, "We sent them packing, like I promised. Is, uh... Is everything cool?"

There was no reply, but there was something that caught Radegast's eye. Deeper in the cave shone a soft light. It was faint and hard to detect due to the contrasting light Reggie's shield put off, but it was there, adding a slight greenish tint to the depths of the cavern.

And they would hear another that didn't belong to Scourge, "Come closer please..."

"Uhh," Radegast spoke, as if he was feigning any time to think about his response. He was still weakened, and the last thing he wanted was falling into what could be a trap."You ain't Scourge, man. Do you know him? Not to suggest everyone in this cave knows each other."

"They might," Reggie spoke up.

"I just don't like assuming things, you know?" Radegast replied, "It's like talkin' about fate and stuff."

"I assure you I know Scourge very well," the voice answered, "The Aggron is a close friend of mine."

Radegast nodded. He didn't mention Scourge was an Aggron, so this voice had to know him. "Alrighty then," He stepped forward, deeper into the cavern. The green hue grew brighter, but no source was visible as of yet. Glancing around, he noticed a few green specks floating in the air, minuscule in size and not bright enough to be the root of the light. But he couldn't shake the feeling that this was related to it in some weird way. It felt eerie stepping forward.

The voice grew louder. "Closer. You're almost to me..."

Radegast shone the shield light around the walls, just in case, before entering a larger chamber, where the source of the green light was. This was different compared to the huge opening where he and Titania found the key stone. However, any geologist would know that the two were related. The light on the shield flickered off as the room was surprisingly decently lit, like a green drape across the atmosphere. The only light that remained on his person was the slight purple ripple that radiated from Radegast's body, as well as the glowing eyes that were barely hidden under the helmet's visor. It was a brilliant contrast to the look of the room, shining radiantly against the green hue.

The walls suddenly spoke, loud and clear, echoing across the cavern, "So you're the ones who rose up to protect our home?"

"To be fair," Radegast produced the keystone he kept, as Reggie's blade and shield moved to his back, "I kind of invaded first."

"That's not true, actually. They had arrived before you did." Now the green aura seemed to shift around them, ever so slighty as to give the pragmatic image that it was the one speaking to him, "But I see your point. Scourge explained what he saw. I wish to seek a better clarity of your rationale. Tell me, what is your name?"

"Dreads," Radegast replied automatically. The last time he encountered a friendly-looking stranger, when they discovered who he really was, he almost got killed- and even then some could argue on the nature of almost.

"Dreads," the voice repeated, "That name sounds familiar. But not around these parts."

"Well, I'm not from around these parts," Radegast shrugged with a chuckle.

"I agree," the aura continued, "What is your quest, young one?"

Radegast never thought about how to describe the thing he'd been working so hard to do. He knew what he was training for...he sought justice... or revenge.. or whatever... but there was a greater goal beyond all of that, like those two things were a mere stepping stone.

"I just wanna hang out with my friends again," Radegast sighed, "Despite myself, I've made enemies, and they're trying to kill me and others- er, I mean... they have killed others and... anyway, I feel I have to stop them. To do that, I need to get stronger. This keystone, and mega-evolution, that's a step to getting strong enough to fight back."

For a time, the aura was silent, as if contemplating what the knightly-clad Gallade had just said. The air shifted slightly, but never stirred too much. A slight wind here...a small breeze there. Finally, he spoke again.

"You have waged quite a war, young Dreads. Not just here, not just in a physical manner, and not just for yourself. You fight the very thing you don't wish to fight, take the route you don't wish to take, in the hope that one day...things will return to the way they were. That you will reclaim the peace you so desperately desire. And not just your desires, but for the desires of others...your friends...your family, to an extent."

Family? Radegast didn't mention family. He tilted his head at the mention of them.

"Yes, I know who you are. Even though you may not know me."

"Seems to be a running trend," Radegast muttered to himself.

"Worry not. I don't care where you came from. I care about what your intentions are presently, and going forward."

"Pokke for your thoughts?" Radegast asked sheepishly.

A deep rumble of a chuckle echoed through the cavern, "In light of things, and from what you've told me, you don't seem to be one to take advantage of the world around you. You seek to do things your way with as little dependence as you can possibly allow. And while that trait can be dangerous, you harness more good from it than evil. You've just stumbled into trouble more often than you want to admit. But not with the intent of provoking your will or demanding respect...more out of curiosity and a willingness to defuse trouble before it starts. You may mask it behind your friends, but you carry the same adventurous spirit as they do. You don't take them along for your ride. You go where they go. That and all of these things have made you into the individual you are today."

There was a slight pause, then, "Now how much Pokke was that worth?"

Radegast moved the keystone in one hand under his arm before he produced his coin pouch from the leg satchel. He then paused as he sifted through the coins. "Wait, if you're like a haze, how can you carry these?"

Another rumble emerged, "You can put that away. I have no use for money. And to answer your question, I'm not always like this. It just takes so much strength to muster a form that I can't always keep it. But I can still do many this..."

At once, the mist seemed to swirl around him, permeating in the space around Radegast for the first time. The keystone ore moved on its own, popping out from underneath his arm and floating in front of him. In front of his very eyes, the rock protruding from it seemed to erode away, crumbles of stone and dust whithering to the floor. What remained was the keystone, bright and shiny, smooth and refined, ready to be taken by Radegast.

"As a token of thanks, for your actions and your convictions, I have lifted a small burden from your arduous journey. I hope this stone tends to your liking."

"It's perfect," Radegast plucked the refined stone from the air to get a closer look at it. "I just need to make a bracelet, and I'll be set."

"Now you must be off," the mist said, retreating from Radegast's airways and giving him space once more, "You have your own journey to have I. If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask them. You know where I'll be, young Dreads."

Radegast began to head off, but then something came to mind. "Do you know anything about something called an Apex?" He asked, thinking of his cousin, and the word she used to describe him.

"Apex?" the mist questioned, its voice puzzled, "That term doesn't sound familiar to me."

"I feel like it's important," Radegast nodded, "But that's alright. Thank you for everything." He then headed out of the cave. "Oh, and give Scourge my regards!" He called back while he was in the tunnels leading back to the exit.

The setting changes from Terminus Cave to Unova Wilderness

Characters Present

Character Portrait: James Pentil Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix Character Portrait: Janice Lacroix Character Portrait: Netra Lacroix Character Portrait: Lovrina
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  1. Is Driftveil City a thing that should exist? Maybe ping the owner of Unova Wilderness?

    by Remæus

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Superior Automated Machines : Experiment Room A1

Inside a lab, four girls stood talking to each other.

The first was a teenager. She was wearing a white and light-grey collared mini dress that lacked sleeves, black full tights, and light-grey thigh-high platform boots with a respectable heel. She also had white gloves. Her eyelids had a faint application of a bright neon yellow eyeliner, and her eyes were a greenish yellow color. The standout design feature was her hair, however; bright pink in color, it was styled into twintails that were long enough to reach her shins. Cute green gem hair decs held them in place, and she had what looked like a pair of Safety Goggles on her head, colored light-grey with silverish lenses.

The second was also a teenager. She was wearing a fanciful white and light-grey sleeveless gothic dress whose skirt fell to her knees, matching detached sleeves with a dark-blue frill around the wrists, dark-blue full tights, and magenta colored stiletto heels that weren't less than 4-5 inches tall. She also bore magenta colored gloves and a dark-blue neck ribbon with a gem on it. Her eyes were too a yellowish color, though with a bit more brown than green. Her hair was styled into twintails as well, though they fell only to her neck. Her hair was light-green, and held by two hair decs; magenta colored ribbons.

The third was a slim teenaged girl with average height. She wore a plain but stylish cream dress with a black trim under a bulky and large grey jacket with a zipper, magenta full tights, and high-quality boots both brown and heeled with respectable heels. Her arms and hands, if she had any, weren't visible inside the clearly oversized sleeves of her jacket. Her eyes were a murky magenta color with a trend toward pink, and her short hair was eye-catching in just how green and pale it was. She wore a deadpan expression across her face that contrasted the others' smiles.

The last girl was clearly the youngest and shortest of the group. She wore a white open-back dress in a lolita fashion with a fishnet frill and pink trim, pink ankle ribbons, and pink Mary Jane platform shoes with a respectable heel and a white rose dec. Her gloves were pink and short, and she had a pink neck ribbon with a white rose on it as well. Her eyes were blue, but were not as standout as her hair. Almost as the first teenager's hair, it was nearly floor-length twintails, though these were also in a bright pink and bright blue two-tone that turned into drills towards the bottom. A strand of hair also formed a heart-shape atop her head.

You are so joking about that, Janice! I'm like, in disbelief that a Gym Leader would so decide that she had any right to attack other Trainers!

Well, that's just how it is! She was scared, as I stated. Weak people are always scared when they encounter something stronger than they are.

Hee hee! This will be fun; seeing what direction we go now! I like it a lot!

The three turned to the girl in the jacket.
Rachel, you are so quiet. You should so give your opinion. We so all want to hear it from you, as the Kalosian Champion.

After thinking a moment without actually showing such, the girl in the jacket looked aside, sporting a slightly smug expression.
I think you're right. In that, you all so want to hear it. My opinion, though, is more complex. I think you should finish what he started, Lovrina. Not actually finish, though, as in ending it. But the kind of finish that only continues the act indefinitely. Two entirely different finishes. I wonder if the act looks better when it's been finished, like the coating you apply to a surface to make it shiny. Minus the coats and the shiny Pokemon.

The girl with the extravagant hair continued.
That sounds great! Father clearly liked you enough to put you in charge of his work, Lovrina. So you should continue it!

Yeah, we're fine with it. Like, you're really capable if you made something able to defeat the Grand Champion.

Well, then I so won't let you all down. I so mean it! I'll see the rest of the experiment through!

Driftveil City : Market

The market was bustling at the current time of day. With the weather calming down, people were returning to their usual activities and business. The patterns of purple clouds that still rolled through the sky kept everyone wary, however. The lady selling the herbs gave an appreciative nod and word of thanks to James for his purchases before turning to express surprise at a crowd of excited people gathering around someone.

At the center of the crowd, James and Shirona would be able to see a slim teenaged girl with average height. She wore a plain but stylish cream dress with a black trim under a bulky and large grey jacket with a zipper, magenta full tights, and high-quality boots both brown and heeled with respectable heels. Her arms and hands, if she had any, weren't visible inside the clearly oversized sleeves of her jacket. Her eyes were a murky magenta color with a trend toward pink, and her short hair was eye-catching in just how green and pale it was. She wore a deadpan, if vaguely smug, expression across her face that contrasted the excitement of those around her.

Wow! Rachel!

Wait, that's Rachel?

Yeah! Rachel is great! She's the Kalosian Champion! She's said to be very tricky to beat!

Yeah, a legendary battler!

Rachel! Can I get an autograph?

Rachel, I'll be rooting for you in the World Tournament!

Where do I buy the merchandise?

Amid all the questions and comments, the girl spoke.

It's okay. I'm not tricky to beat. Just difficult. You need to win. Winning is what is truly difficult. So that is why I'm difficult to beat.

Seeing the book pushed into her face for an autograph, she gave a deadpan smile and replied.
Can you? I've always wondered if you could. I suppose you're like the other people, who are able to. That means you can then, I guess. I don't know. But I will sign your book for you. I can do that.

As a large bipedal humanoid Daunting Pokemon heard this, it turned to grab a small marker that had a shoot attached to the cap. Uncapping the device for Rachel, it held it out to her, allowing her to bite the marker between her teeth. Holding the marker with her teeth, she signed the book for the fan. After handing the marker back to the Daunting Pokemon, she smiled at the fan.
Now you have my autograph. You can do whatever you want with it. It isn't an auto or a graph, but I am sure it fits what you requested.

The fan seemed pleased.
Thank you, Champion Rachel!

Characters Present

Character Portrait: James Pentil Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix
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#, as written by Ritnio
"Huh, so that's the Champ of Kalos, eh? A girl. Then again, Iris is a little girl so that means nothing at all."

James just pocketed the herbs he bought as Shirona munches on a Custap berry they purchased as well.

"Yes. She's the Champion. She has a tricky battle style to boot. Main thing is though... She shares the last name with Nendal..."

"Great. So we have to worry about her siding with the Diance... Not good. Best thing to do is to play it cool. I doubt we could beat a champion out of the blue..."

"Are we all restocked?"

"We are indeed. Potions, berries, snacks and herbs. We're good for a while."

"Hm... If we leave now, there likely won't be too much resistance considering the crowd now. Also a lack of anybody at the gates of the place. We should avoid mentioning anything we've seen and our motives as well."

"Yes, Ma'am. But why not a casual pace instead of a rushed one? I'm a little hungry..."

Shirona nods as she finishes her berry. They do take a seat at a table to eat some food they bought.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emiko Touko Character Portrait: "Lord-Regent" Radegast the Trainer Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix
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Superior Automated Machines : Entrance

What greeted Touko and Radegast was a sprawling singular building of what appeared to be a metal and plastic-based construction in a futuristic and stand-out style, fenced off by what seemed to be a mesh fence that was tipped every now and then with small lights that blinked on and off. The occasional arc of electricity sparked through them, hinting at their true nature. The entire sight contrasted heavily with the natural design of the surrounding area, and it was simply unsettling to view.

The front entrance wasn't hard to find. A walkway, a guard station/checkpoint with a uniformed employee inside, and the one clear opening in the fencing made it abundantly clear. The clarity was only enhanced when a teenaged girl in an oversized jacket stopped to converse with the employee a moment before walking inside the complex, and further through the front doors that slid open on their own.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emiko Touko Character Portrait: "Lord-Regent" Radegast the Trainer Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix
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From a safe distance away from prying eyes, Radegast took note of the electric fence. His helmet-clad head tilted at the sight of the dangerous perimeter. While it would be perfectly suited to repelling human intruders, he wondered if the fence fared decently against a Pokemon. Radegast looked to the security checkpoint, seeing the girl with the oversized jacket head inside. Although the lighting of the tunnel did not provide a clear view of her face, Radegast did recognize the girl he had fought before alongside Titania. What’s she doing here? he wondered.

“We fought that one back in Kalos,” Reggie spoke up between Radegast and Touko, Alongside Titania.

“Not that I wanted to fight. I’d have been fine just convincing them to leave without violence.” Radegast grit his teeth. Indoctrinated into their slave-fighting crap…

Which makes us what? Reggie asked in Radegast’s mind.

I am not a trainer. My friends are not slaves. Radegast seemed upset somehow about the fight from Kalos, but it was hard to tell under all the armour suit. After a quick moment, he calmed down to focus on the task at-hand. Radegast noted that while he could easily jump the fence, doing so would be the opposite of inconspicuous.

“I don’t suppose you have a pair of rubber gloves?” Radegast asked Touko partially in jest as he scanned the perimeter for any overhanging trees- preferably any that could be climbed to reach a rooftop or at least close enough to leap to a door.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emiko Touko Character Portrait: "Lord-Regent" Radegast the Trainer Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix
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" I'm a Trainer, not a ninja! If you battled her before, let's just follow her inside. Maybe she'll vouch for one or both of us, and that will be enough to get inside. Anything else will take tools and skills that I do not have...along with more risk than I'm comfortable with." She looked up at the fence, smelling of ozone...just like her Zekrom.

"You walk behind me. If this doesn't work, then we try getting crazy." Spoken with the authority of someone used to being in charge, Touko proceeded to follow Rachel through the front gate.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emiko Touko Character Portrait: "Lord-Regent" Radegast the Trainer Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix
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“Wha- Oh,” Radegast double-taked as he saw that Touko was already marching directly to the front entrance. “Alright then,” he picked himself up and caught up to Touko. As an aside, he mentioned something to the Aegislash, and the blade and shield vanished into the wood-finish pokeball. Radegast, now unfused, kept his mouth shut as Touko’s supposed “bodyguard” whilst the former champion did the real dealings.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emiko Touko Character Portrait: "Lord-Regent" Radegast the Trainer Character Portrait: James Pentil Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix
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The guard at the checkpoint watched carefully as Touko ran to the door before recoiling in surprise. As the others went by as well, he made no move to stop them, rather reaching for a receiver and punching in a number code. As he did not directly stop the group, Touko would find the doors slide open as she approached; motion sensor based. When the last of them had entered, the doors closed behind them, leaving the guard outside with a concerned look on his face.

The entrance area was small, with only a single metal door at the back of the room allowing further access to other locations in the complex. Within the entrance room, there were only a few chairs and decorations, as well as a special flooring material that managed to clean one's shoes just by being stepped on. A spotless room. A receptionist present looked up to see Touko, Radegast, James, and Shirona, and quickly stood up in her chair, only taking steps back with a worried look on her face. She didn't say anything, looking too astonished at who was before her. Then, she bolted, running through the back door. She left the door open, allowing the party to enter the Public Access Lobby with zero trouble.

Superior Automated Machines : Public Access Lobby

The main publicly accessible area of Superior Automated Machines. A spacious lobby filled with sectioned off areas for public use, the entire lobby was clean and tidy, if metallic and heavy-duty in design. In one section off to the left, there were chairs, tables, and assorted bookshelves no doubt slotted with several compendiums and volumes on the research done in the facility. To the right side, an area was set up with a counter, a sink, a coffee machine, a minifridge, and a vending machine. Toward the front wall where visitors come from, there was a section featuring a small arcade cabinet, an air hockey table, and a TV with three remotes. Towards the back, a designated queue pathway was sectioned off with a metal railing that leads past a window in the back of the room, in a method that appeared designed to allow observation. There were four other metal doors exiting the room; two back doors flanking the wide and large window, each labeled with "NO UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS", and two doors opposite each other on the east and west walls labeled "EMPLOYEES ONLY".

-- A panicking receptionist is in the room, talking to a teenaged girl in an oversized jacket. The girl in the jacket seemed unperturbed by it all, with her expression only carrying an entirely neutral and confounding smile.

-- Two employees dressed in lab coats were currently taking their break it seemed, enjoying coffee as they talked with each other. A single Sewaddle was perched atop one of the men's heads.

-- A janitor was mopping a section of the floor near the air hockey table. He had his caution signs placed, warning of a wet floor. Beneath the signs, the floor tiles gleaned with dampness.

Available Exits:
West Side Room - Unlocked
East Side Room - Unlocked
West Side Hall - Locked
East Side Hall - Locked

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Emiko Touko Character Portrait: "Lord-Regent" Radegast the Trainer Character Portrait: James Pentil Character Portrait: Rachel Lacroix
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  1. "would" is unnecessary here, the Multiverse is explicitly in past tense!

    by Remæus

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#, as written by Ritnio
As the pair passed the guard out front, Shirona would turn and give him thanks for letting them pass. Upon entering the building, James would watch the secretary bolt out of the room.

"Woah! Hey wait! We're not going to- Ugh..."

James would head after the secretary and enter the lobby. He would look around and notice Rachel.

"Shit," he thought "She's here too. Best option is to play it cool. I'm only here to look around anyway, I'm not setting this place on fire."

He decided to calmly walk further into the room before speaking, "Uh, hi. Sorry for giving your secretary a scare there, didn't mean anything by it. I just want a small look around and stuff."

Shirona would calmly enter the room after James.

"James, you shouldn't run off like that."

Shirona would cringe upon seeing the Sewaddle and straighten up a bit upon seeing Rachel. She heard James from the other side of the door before entering and decided to follow suit with his play.

"My partner would be correct in that we would like to know more of what goes on around here. A character in a lab coat told us to come here."