Hidden 6 yrs ago 6 yrs ago Post by c3p-0h
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c3p-0h unending foolery

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Haven gave a nod to the man standing above her and reached up a hand to accept his cash in exchange for the painting she'd just completed. She was sitting cross-legged on Mauville City's indoor street, canvases of varying sizes sprawled out around her, each with fresh spray paint designs on them. Her tablet sat next to her, playing techno music from a playlist she always used when she worked in public to draw customers.

Her hands were a mess of color as she stuffed the money in her bag haphazardly (she'd organize it when she got back to her room at the daycare… probably) and pushed herself to her feet after hours of sitting on the hard paneled floor. The old, ragged blanket she'd laid down to keep the white floor clean didn't do much for comfort.

"Okay people, art show's closing," she announced to the small crowd that had gathered around to watch her work. A few people lowered phones that had been recording her. "If you see something you like grab it now. I might not be here tomorrow." Most of the people simply left, continuing whatever business they'd had before curiosity at the music and crowd had interrupted them. Some were sure to drop change in the plastic bowl she used as a tip jar. Three people bought paintings she'd done earlier in the day. One wanted a picture with both the painting and the artist. Haven obliged, thanked the girl for her purchase and stretched her arms up, locking her fingers together. Her spine gave a satisfying series of pops.

Doing live paintings like this was decent money and entertaining enough… but jeeze hunching over like that on the hard ground for hours had its downsides.

Haven turned back to her work station to see her Weepinbell, Blink, already starting to pack things up in her bag. Vines were curling around her blank canvases, finished paintings, spray cans, and the various tools she used for these – butterknives, a chisel, different sized cups, and a couple of spare pieces of paper – all messy and paint stained.

Really, that typically described everything Haven owned. She didn't buy anything unless she was willing to let it get covered in paint. Even her clothes, a black hoody, a dark pair of jeans, and some canvas shoes, were covered in bright splotches of color. Heck, even her bag wasn't safe.

As Blink cleaned up, Haven turned her head to look out at the courtyard entrance to see her Corsola, Lace, frolicking in the rainstorm. Lantern light reflected off of her pink coral horns, illuminating the otherwise dark night. Other water pokemon were with her, let out by their trainers to enjoy the weather. Haven let herself smile at the sight before giving a short whistle. Several pokemon stopped to look at her, but only Lace jumped up and scurried back over to Haven.

That was half her team accounted for… where were the other two? Hopefully they weren't doing anything too obnoxious. She wasn't really in the mood to run away from any angry authority figures. Then again, at least whoever it was probably wouldn't be angry enough to follow her all the way back to the daycare in this storm (rooms were cheaper there than at any Mauville hotels).

Haven glanced around, searching for her Scrafty and Granbull, Cloak and Dagger, as Blink finished packing up the bag and Lace helped by poking it with her horns. She heard the telltale sound of Dagger's snorting breaths and Cloak's chittering from around the corner and walked towards it.

She rounded the corner to see her two pokemon tossing something back and forth, looking for too pleased with themselves. They didn't seem to notice her.

"What's that?" she asked in a flat voice. Cloak and Dagger both froze, caught in the act.

She could see very clearly what it was – a cream colored oval shape with green spots. Those two knuckleheads had somehow snagged a pokemon egg.

It didn't have the ability to freeze mid-flight, and continued its arc to collide with Cloak's face. He took a step back, his heel catching on the bottom of his 'pants' and fell to the floor. At least the Scrafty's body managed to soften the landing as they both went tumbling to the ground. Dagger snorted in alarm but then started doing her equivalent of a laugh. Cloak for his part at least had the grace to seem embarrassed as he pushed himself back to his feet.

Haven's concern though was the egg they'd been playing catch with. She hurried after it as it rolled in a drunken line and scooped it up. Her eyebrows scrunched together as she looked it over carefully for cracks.

"Seriously, guys?" Taking some fruit or a trinket from a vendor was one thing… but an egg? She looked back over her shoulder at the pair, an eyebrow raised. The Granbull was still looking at Cloak with a mocking look at her eye and a toothy grin. Cloak elbowed her back and shrugged his shoulders at Haven. "Where'd you even –" she cut herself off as realization came to her. They'd been playing in the daycare's field that morning, roughhousing with other pokemon. Had those two been playing with the egg since then? Haven sighed and looked to the ceiling.

Moving the egg to one hand, she grabbed two familiar pokeballs in her jacket pocket and recalled Cloak and Dagger without more warning. Pocketing them again, she turned back around the corner to where Blink was patiently waiting and Lace was entertaining herself by blowing bubbles. They both looked up at her approach and eyed the egg curiously.

"Cloak and Dagger," she said. It was explanation enough it seemed, as understanding dawned in their eyes.

Haven turned her head to look out at the entrance to Mauville City and see the ongoing downpour. It'd been overcast, but dry that morning, and the storm had started without her noticing during the day. She hadn't exactly planned for this, and preferred to not get her canvases and art supplies soaking wet. Skewing her mouth to the side, she held the egg out for Blink to take with his vines and tugged her jacket over her head to reveal… a camisole. Fantastic. Haven draped the jacket over her bag and swung the strap over her shoulder. After digging out Blink's pokeball, she took the egg back and recalled him, too. Lace looked up expectantly, waiting for her own pokeball. But Haven just smirked in response, a conspiratorial light in her eyes.

She nodded towards the city's exit and started walking. It was only a moment before Lace hurried behind her. They stopped at the edge of the city, just before the ceiling gave way to stormy skies. Haven looked down to see her Corsola practically bouncing on her feet, looking eagerly between Haven and the rain.

"Whaddya think?" she asked, looking down at Lace. The pokemon froze, all her attention trained on Haven. "You gonna keep me safe?" The little Corsola brightened and gave a chirp in response. Haven gave her a small smile. "Guess that settles it, then. C'mon." Her Corsola ran/waddled out into the rain. Haven took a moment to huff out a laugh at Lace's excitement to play longer in the puddles, then she stepped out into the downpour as well.

Heavy drops bombarded her, plastering her hair to her head, and her messy bangs flattened against her forehead and cheeks in stringy black clumps. She could feel the rain soaking through her loose hair bun, turning it into a heavy, sodden knot. Her camisole (well, at least it was dark…) was no defense against the rain and already she could feel the cold soaking into her bones.

She was so getting sick after this. Lace was having a good time, at least.

It was an uneventful walk that seemed to take an eternity in the rain. Only a few wild Marill and Corphish were out, and were familiar enough with humans to have no interest in Haven as she made her way. The egg in her arms was growing heavy.

Eventually she saw the lamplight shining above the door of the daycare. Haven tried to sigh, but couldn't between the rattling of her teeth.

Why exactly had she taken her jacket off? It was doing shit-all as a shield for her bag. It was probably soaked through by now, along with everything in it.

Haven walked up to the door and maneuvered the egg to one hand to turn the knob with the other.

The bell chimed above her head, signaling her entrance. Escaping the storm, she felt the warmth of the building wrap around her, though it did nothing to stop her violent shivering.

The old woman sitting at the desk looked up with a warm expression on her face before she did a wide eyed double take at Haven's half-drowned appearance.

Haven walked forward as though it were the most normal thing in the world, leaving a trail of water in her wake. Lace trotted behind her. She placed the egg on the desk with a soft thud.

"I ended up with this somehow," she said, leaving out Cloak and Dagger. Her voice was composed if you ignored the way it quivered from the cold. "I think it belongs to you."
Hidden 6 yrs ago 6 yrs ago Post by DepressedSoviet
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DepressedSoviet A Sad Communist

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One Week Prior, Undisclosed Building, Kanto Region

"Alright, so that's 30,000 for the Arbok, and another 20,000 for a complete Kanto badge set..." Nicolas said, jotting down some notes onto a tablet. He stood in a dimly-lit warehouse with another man, a pokemon trainer Nicolas had assumed, based on the pokeball belt, and the large backpack with assorted items hanging out of it.

Nicolas' parter, an Arcanine named Bandit, sat on his haunches nearby, making the customer visibly nervous. The man glanced at the canine pokemon, which returned his look with a menacing, fang-filled grin. The man turned back quickly to Nicolas and stammered, finally uttering out "W-We agreed o-on t-thirty th-housand for th-the whole t-thing...", wringing his hands in nervousness. Bandit snarled at the man, getting up from his sitting position, until Nicolas held up a hand saying "Heel, Bandit."

He turned back to face the customer and said "There were some...complications. Someone tipped off the Rangers about illicit badgemaking, and nearly shut down the whole operation...You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you?" He gave the man a sinister look, lowering his sunglasses so that the man got a good, long look at his eyes, a hardened steel grey. The man stammered again, readjusting his clothes and saying "N-No si-!"

FWOOSH! CLAAAAAAANG!


A small metal box came clattering to the ground from under the man's shirt. A thin black cord traced upwards into the man's garment, and Nicolas suddenly grew pale. "He's wearing a wire! Bandit, we gotta get out of here!" he called, quickly rushing over to Bandit and hopping onto his back. As he did so, various windows and doors in the warehouse shattered as Rangers came rushing in alongside their parters. Nicolas ordered Bandit to run, drawing a small pistol hidden in his large overcoat.

Bandit quickly began rushing towards the exit, using the move Double Team to create a scattered series of afterimages, which all darted off in different directions. A few were instantly dissipated by Thunderbolts, Water Guns, and various other moves the Rangers used to try and stop the duo. Nicolas fired off a few shots from his weapon, not bothering to look to see if they hit their mark, and soon the two were out of the warehouse, and in the night air.

"To the docks Bandit, quick! Blaze has the boat waiting at dock 5!" Nicolas said to Bandit, who quickly began running through Fuchsia City towards the harbor, weaving and bobbing through buildings to aide in their escape from the authorities. Eventually they would reach the dock, with no sign of any Rangers or police nearby.

Nicolas hopped off of Bandit and let out a sigh of relief, patting Bandit's side, who gave a content grumble. "Alright, Bandit, time for you to go in your pokeball. The boat ain't big enough for you, and the police will be looking for an Arcanine." Bandit gave a firm nod and sat back on his hind legs as Nicolas took the pokeball from his belt, calling him back.

"So are ya gonna get on the boat? Or just stand around?" Blaze called from a small motorboat sitting next to the pier, a rope tying it to the walkway. Nicolas nodded and hopped down onto the watercraft, untying the rope from the pier, and Blaze set it off into the ocean. "Did ya get the cash?" Blaze asked, and Nicolas shook his head, looking out towards the city. "No, guy was wearing a wire. Probably the one who tipped off the police in the first place. We won't be able to operate in Kanto for a while. We'll wanna head off to another region for a month or two, let things cool down here." Nicolas said, and Blaze sighed.

"Well, I've heard that Hoenn is a great spot right now. Just about all their items go through the Fairfax family, so supply chains are kinda rigged. We find a way to import product, we could probably make some big money selling supply in the cities there. I got your stuff all packed here in the boat. We make a short trip to Cinnabar, get a bigger craft I've got stored there, and we can arrive in about a week or so." Blaze said, guiding the boat towards Cinnabar Island. Nicolas nodded, saying "That sounds good. Let's get to Cinnabar, and I'll start calling up my Hoenn contacts, let them know I'm coming in. Got a new I.D. I've been wanting to try out too."

Current Day, Slateport City Docks, Hoenn Region

Nicolas stepped onto the docks from the small yacht and let out a relaxed sigh. A new city, a new name, and new deals to make. He walked from the pier onto the concrete of the city streets, and reached for his belt. Calling out Bandit from his pokeball, Nicolas grinned and said "Well, we're here, Bandit. Why don't we head into the city, get ourselves acquainted with the place, then we'll meet up with our friend."

After a day in the city, Bandit and Nicolas went to get to work. It was getting late, and a storm that had been brewing for much of the day had fully hit, though it seemed to be drifting northward, and Nicolas guessed it was worse there. Still, it was enough for Bandit to choose to return to his pokeball rather than walk around in it. Nicolas obliged him, and eventually found the meeting point for their contact himself.

Rapping his fist sharply on the alleyway door of a seemingly abandoned office. A small slot in the door slid open, revealing a pair of beady eyes, and a sharp voiced that rasped out "You Johnny?" Nicolas held up a small business card, which identified him as one Johnny Ghastly, professional PokeMarketer. The man peering out from behind the door said "Good, good. Come in, quickly!" and slid back the slot cover. A series of progressively more complex-sounding locks were undone, one by one, from behind the door, before it swung open, and Nicolas stepped inside.

The man grinned, darting into a back room, before rushing out with a large glove-like device in his hands. "You'll want this. It's a repurposed Trainer Gauntlet a client of mine...acquired. It's linked to our own private digital transfer system, so no matter where you are on Hoenn, you just have to place in an order, and my client send the items straight to you." Nicolas took the device from the man and slid it on, under his coat sleeve. "This will definitely come in handy. Do I owe you anything for it?" Nicolas asked, and the man nodded slightly. "We want 20% of all final profits." He wheezed, and Nicolas nodded. "That can be arranged." He said, offering his hand to the man, who shook it gratefully.

Stepping back out into the rainy evening, Nicolas looked at the modified Trainer Gauntlet on his left arm. He powered the device on, and set about registering it to his current identity, Johnny Ghastly. Once that was complete, he set off into the city of Slateport, finding and introducing himself to people in need of product, and making deals.
Hidden 6 yrs ago 6 yrs ago Post by Xan the G
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Xan the G

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Just before Dawn-break, South Hoenn Coast: Roust 104/105, Hoenn Region


Jin had a knock at his cabin door. He didn't respond with haste, opting to turn onto his back and lean up from the simple, low-level bed he was sleeping on. He looked out the circular window, seeing the stretch of the ocean to one side, and shoreline beset with high reaching, dense forestry. He had been sleeping on the bed, not tucked in the covers and had used his backpack as a pillow. At the second knock he rolled to the edge of the bed, slipping his feet into his shoes and moved towards the door. It was louder and more forceful than the first. Jin opened the door as the third wave of knocks came, the first being the only to connect with the door. He opened it ajar, the hallway was dim, as was the light in the room. On the other side was a sailor with a message, though the massage was halted while he tried to look Jin up and down and get a measure of him.

"It's time. We're here." explained the sailor. Jin nodded, closing the door again, collecting his things and then exiting the barracks into the hallway, standing face-to-face with the sail. Jin had on black and grey coloured cargo pants and zipped up black hoodie, though he noticeably had on more upper body wears underneath the zipper. The sailor point and Jin followed the sailor while putting his back pack on. The men were being cautious as they made their way out onto the top deck.

"Are you sure about all this matey? The Cap'n doesn't have a problem with stowaways. If we just told him you were aboard-" began the sailor, as he watched Jin begin to attach an abseiling clamp to the metal railing.

"This is fine." replied Jin, hoping over to the other side. "No one knows I was aboard your ship, because I never was," he expressed on last time. The sailor nodded, causing Jin to do the same. Jin made a controlled free fall down the side of the ship into the water and the sailor detached the hook and walked away casually before anyone else saw him. Jin reeled in the hook and went under the waves. From his hoodie he pulled up a snorkeling apparatus, drained it of water and then attached it to his head before submerging. As the ship continued to sail around the continent, Jin was swimming towards land.

Eventually, Jin's hands and feet scuffed against the sand and he shifted his weight to stand. He pulled down his snorkel and began to slosh the deep edges of the water as he trekked onto land. The weight of his water-drenched clothes pulled against him. A Fisherman was far enough into the shore to see Jin emerge and had been watching him has he suddenly sprouted from the sea. Jin felt the fisherman's gaze, turning to meet him eye-to-eye. The fisherman tipped his hat.

"That's not something you see every day," replied the fisherman. Jin shrugged, still dripping with salt water.

"...Maybe you didn't," Jin replied. The fisherman chuckled briefly to himself.

"Maybe. I've been fishing a this route for most of my life. Enough time to see a lot of things, I've seen various sights and people wash up on this beach... but you walked out like you meant to wash up here" The fisherman looked back out to see, noticing the crown of the sun peeking up out of the horizon. "...by time and place, I figure you didn't expect anyone else around when you did" the fisherman said, standing to his feet. Jin glanced at the emerging sun, then at himself and finally back to the fisherman. "You're soaking wet, and the night was cold. If you don't deal with your clothes first, you're a dead man anyway."

"That's what I was thinking," agreed Jin.

"So maybe that's all I saw. A man about to die of hypothermia." the fisherman said, before turning away from Jin to fix his line.

"That works for me," replied Jin. Jin began to walk further up the beach, approaching what looked like a beach house.

"...the name's Briney, incase you survive the morning." added the fisherman. Jin paused as the name was given, then looked back at the beach house, seeing the same name 'Briney' printed on the sign board. Jin then looked over to the speed boat moored against the boardwalk. He pushed on towards the woods at the north of the beach.
Hidden 6 yrs ago Post by Prints Avoid
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Prints Avoid Disgusting Loser

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"Getting in a good @outragenutrition meal before our first night camping in Hoenn after a productive day of training. #goinhoenn"

Diego sat on the rock, staring at his phone while his Pokemon sat around him eating. He was trying to choose between three nearly identical pictures to put up on Chatter. With a few subtle differences, they all displayed the young man's selfie, sweaty, bare-chested and red-faced, with a semi-circle of bowls in the background. A grumpy Poliwrath and an ecstatic Emolga also stared at the camera. He was sure Cecilia would give him shit later, for another shirtless selfie, but hey if that's what got him and his sponsor likes, that's what allowed him to keep doing things like this.

Putting the phone away, Diego turned his attention to his own meal. It was very similar to the pre-portioned meals that his Pokemon ate. Anyone coming across them would assume he made a habit of eating like his Pokemon did. One only needed to watch him eat when anything else was available to quickly relieve themselves of that notion. His Joltik, having finished his own dinner, climbed up Diego's back onto his head. A light pull on his hair directed Diego's attention to the incoming clouds. He'd checked the weather and they'd only mentioned rain. But those large dark clouds said otherwise. Only a moment later, lightning flashed before his eyes followed by a crack of thunder.

"Oh thank goodness," he sighed in relief, only to catch sight of Darmanitan. The timid thing had just started to relax. After a particularly rough session with Conkeldurr has left him shaken up, Diego had let Darmanitan sit out and watch for the rest of the afternoon. At the boom, Darmantian had jolted up. Diego watched him panic and fidget, helpless to stop what he knew what was coming. Darmanitan took a few deep breaths and changed form before Diego's eyes. With another sigh, Diego recalled Darmanitan to his Pokeball. "Dude, it's all right. We did great today. But we gotta get moving."

He looked around at the rest of his team. "All right. Well looks like we're not camping out tonight. Get finished up then help clean up, cause we gotta find a place to stay. I think that Day Care place is the closest." He quickly updated on Chatter that he would indeed not be camping out tonight. What he didn't mention as how pleased he was. Despite the recurrent training retreats he showed off on social media, Diego hated living outdoors. The cold nights on Mt. Silver were bad enough, but somehow, camping out closer to civilization was always worse because he knew a warm bed wasn't too far away.

After he'd packed away his equipment and the now empty bowls in his gauntlet, he recalled the rest of his Pokemon apart from Joltik, Poliwrath, and Honchkrow. Joltik naturally wanted to stick around and feed off the increased static. Poliwrath enjoyed the rain. Honchkrow, though, had disappeared into the darkening evening. Diego could hear his cackling up ahead. "Come back here, bird-brain! You're gonna get lost!" His only reply was another cackle, and with another frustrated grunt, Diego headed off in the direction of the Day Care.

By this time, the rain had begun. It started out lightly, but Diego knew it could start coming down at any second. The sky had darkened significantly and the setting sun meant it was only going to get darker. Despite their hurried pace, Poliwrath walked calmly alongside Diego. Walking in the rain was one of the few times Poliwrath was visibly relaxed. One might even go far as to say he was in a good mood. Within fifteen minutes, it was pouring and the wind had picked up. Diego was now running, having recalled Joltik as well. Even with his raincoat, his face was getting soaked. Poliwrath, still jogging along, hadn't seemed to notice. Diego saw a light in the distance that must have been the Day Care. He had to wonder where Honchkrow was. He hadn't been seen or heard from since they'd left. He was beginning to worry, when another flash of lightning lit up the sky. He looked up to see a large shadow descending on them with a loud screech.

Against his better judgment, Diego came to a stop, his heart stopping. "WHAT THE HELL?!" Not even a split second later, he knew exactly what had just happened. Honchkrow's cackling was cut short by a blast of water to the face. Diego laughed. "Karma's a bitch, huh? Thanks Poliwrath." He recalled Honckrow, and then continued on his way.

A short time later, just as the wind seemed to be picking up further, Diego and Poliwrath ran up to the door. They walked into the the warm building, and caught their breath in the entrance. "Thanks for the company, but you're gonna get water all over the floor. Good night, Poliwrath." He recalled his Poliwrath then hung up his wet rain jacket on the hook. His wet shorts and shoes still tracked some water, but it was better than nothing. Running a hand through his soaked hair, he walked up to the desk. A girl about his age stood in front of him, just as soaked from the rain, though she clearly hadn't had the luxury of a raincoat. "I guess I'm not the only person to get caught out there, huh?"
Hidden 6 yrs ago 6 yrs ago Post by Phoenix
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Phoenix

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Pokemon Day-Care - Route 117
The old woman curled up with the Zigzagoon, Oddish, Skitty, and Zangoose on the matted floor as they laid down for a nap. It was the Zigzagoon's first day at the Day-Care and she wanted to make sure he was comfortable. The regulars took kindly to him, to her relief. His owner would be returning in a couple days, but she wanted to make sure he was having fun in a new environment.
Mrs. James had to keep him company most of the day on account of the weather. The little Zigzagoon seemed not too fond of water, which seemed slightly unusual. But she didn't mind reading to him and having him go through tunnels and toys. She just also had to keep an eye on the others to make sure they didn't get sick for being outside in the storm too long.
She was glad to have opened a Day-Care. Her profession as a Breeder was taking a toll on her body. She wished to continue her career, but not have to travel. Now she, alongside the Johnson Academy and the Fairfax Hospital, worked toward education in Pokemon health, training, and behaviors. She enjoyed learning new things from up-and-coming Breeders, but always advocated for the use of natural remedies. The Lavaridge Medical Centre and the Berry Farm were often her go-to recommendations.
A particulary round Azumarill gently rolled into Mrs. James' side just as she began to nod off. The blue orb squeeked and cooed. Mrs. James realized that someone had entered the Day-Care in need of some assistance. When she made it around the corner from the hall to the front desk, a girl and a boy, likely to have not known each other, could be seen adjusting herself from being in the downpour to being in a dry building. Despite the adjustment, they trailed water behind her upon the wooden floor.
"Joy," Mrs. James addressed the Azumarill. Her voice, though aged, was light and soft, almost a whisper. "Please grab a towel for these two," she finished with a smile full of warmth and happiness of a fulfilled life to the girl and the boy. "What can I do for you?"
The egg placed on the counter looked ordinary enough. However, Mrs. James hadn't known of an egg being produced at the Day-Care within the past month, even. "I'm sorry, miss," she said in her cloudy voice with an equally soft smile that pushed sagging skin in an endearing manner. "I've not seen an egg here for over a month, now."
Her eyes were filled with empathy, whether for the girl or the egg was uncertain. She touched the egg lightly with a liver-spotted hand. Joy had returned with towels for the two with a bright, yet tired, grin akin to the elderly woman. The egg was chilled from the rain, immediately putting Mrs. James in a concerned panic that she played through with "Come with me, dear. Joy, here, will take care of your pack," she said as she caressed the egg against her chest and led the girl further into the building. "And Joy," she began to add as they turned around the corner, "please show this young man to the bathroom to wash up and change." A light giggle could be heard echoing through the hall. She'd smelled the odor from the boy, indicating he must have been traveling for some time.
Past a couple nursery rooms was a space with a few empty incubators. They were utilized to keep the egg safe when she felt the parents weren't careful enough to not crack it or tend to it themselves. It seemed the light egg weighed 50 pounds in the arms of the old Caretaker as she lowered it into the box and turned on the heating blanket. Her hands worked gingerly to wrap the egg tightly in it's plush softness. It might have felt like a half hour's wait for the girl standing there, watching.
Eventually, Mrs. James turned around to face the girl. She gave another of her aged smiles, closing her eyes which smiled just as brightly. "Please, dear," she said, gesturing her tired arm toward a chair across the room. The woman paced behind her to take a seat next to the girl. "So, where did you find this egg, then?" she asked while acknowledging the Corsola that followed the girl closely. She reached her finger down toward the Coral Pokemon, knowing how rough their skin usually was, and allowed the Corsola to approach if she felt comfortable.

The Azumarill at the front desk hobbled over to lift up the girl's pack. But the poor thing was too old and round to lift it up very well. She squeaked and oo'ed to the boy to help her hang it up onto a hanger behind the counter. She then smiled and chirped with pleasure as he helped her. She waved him to the right, the opposite direction the girl and woman had gone. She showed him to a quaint bathroom with an antique bathtub fitted with a shower head. The Azumarill showed him where she'd gotten the towel he had currently as well as soaps, washcloths, shampoos, razors, and other toiletries. Mrs. James was always the gracious host and always made sure to keep her Day-Care stocked with anything and everything anyone passing by would require.

Slateport City
Far-off thunder rumbled in the sky. The thick gray clouds seemed unmoving. Still, the worst of it floated northwestward and the downpour had turned to rain. From above, Slateport was decorated with small dots of umbrella's and rain hats. The weather didn't do much to deter shoppers or natives on their usual schedules. Though the wet season of Hoenn could be brutal, it wasn't anything that would prevent people from carrying out their patterns of daily life.
Slateport was known more for its Marketplace more than it's Center for Marine Biology. Possibly because it was the only place in Hoenn to find rare and exotic goods, but more for the Black Market that, inevitably, formed from the lack of Fairfax oversight. Rangers were usually stationed at the Marketplace to deter patrons from practicing illegitimate purchasing practices. However, any investigations usually ended up fruitless. If you kept your head down and didn't attract too much attention (or too many enemies), you could do very well in Slateport.
The harvesting of "sentient products" was generally frowned upon. But, like anything else, there was still a market for it. Fairfax goods, specifically, could be sold at a much greater profit while selling it for less. Most could tell when goods being sold were "legitimate" or not simply from the pricing. However, most didn't care since they were the same product, regardless.
Even so, everyone cared for the aesthetics of the city and worked to keep it clean and functional. Against what most Black Markets would do to the state of a city, foreigners couldn't tell that Slateport was the underbelly of the region. Only when such practices negatively impacted individuals, Pokemon, or the environment would Rangers intervene.
Wildom was one individual that the Rangers were actively pursuing. He'd managed to establish a contact with someone working with the Fairfax Association directly. The audits and inventory seemed to always be off. It became such a problem that the Association began laying people off. But this did little in the way of rectifying the loss of revenue. Before it could get out-of-hand, Marilda Fairfax, the "Queen" of the Association, began to request the attention of the Rangers to Slateport, Lilycove, and Mossdeep. Months passed, however, the the deficit only remained steady. Whoever was stealing from her knew what they were doing, it seemed. So she paid the best money to hire a personal Detective, a man from a foreign Region but with a widely-popular reputation.
Detective Jin Azuma was paid the best money to travel from Alola to Hoenn to track down anyone to gain any knowledge that she could add to her web of conspiracy. She just requested that no one knew he was there and that they had no connection to each other.

Route 104
Air passed through pursed lips which produced a tone high and bright. The cool dawn air forcasted a storm later that day. The cresting ocean waves chopped and rippled with dull oranges and yellows. The sand formed cold and hard from the night. White sheets scattered the blue and violet sky. Far in the distance coasted a fishing boat, casting nets for Corphish and Clauncher. Goldeen and Finneon weren't their aim, but they certainly wouldn't dispose of them. Pelliper and Wingull circled around, unable to get close enough without a Swellow or Braviary darting through to push them back. However, there was one Wingull circling the waters low, unharrassed by the predators. It must have been there to guide the netting.
Honnings' vessel passd by the horizon. After its wake cleared, a blackened image was seen bobbing in the waters. It was a fateful fortune to not become the prey of any Tentacool or Tentacruel. Arceus forbid a Carvana or Sharpedo pass by. But these waters were generally too shallow for such predators. And there was much easier prey to be found, as well.
Fredrick Briney was the seventeeth son to be born in the long history of Briney ancestry. His own father died soon after he was born, lost at sea and found floating near Sea Mauville. His mother moved back to the Sinnoh region once Fredrick came of age, unable to continue mourning in the house where she'd lost her husband. His wife left him for a cousin of the Fairfax family, unsatisfied with the lifestyle (and lesser income) in the seafaring business. His son was the only family he had left. Having just turned 8, Fredrick began to worry his son would leave, as well, to adventure as a trainer or coordinator. He'd try to tell himself that he only needed his Pelliper and his ship, but knowing that he had family that chose to leave him left him slightly bitter, though rightfully so.

The stranger seemed adamant he forget ever seeing the man. However, seeing someone in such a state (and with a slight accent indicating he was foreign) made it difficult for Fredrick to just let him walk to the next city. By the stranger's trajectory, it seemed to be Rustboro, which could only be reached through Petalburg Woods. That was certainly an unhealthy choice to make. Traveling on foot and soaking wet was something he couldn't let go. So he started loading up his gear into his, almost antique, tackle box. Gripping that in one hand and clenching the rod under that arm, he paced through the sand to reach the stranger.
"Oi!, he shouted not-too-loudly but with enough force to grab the man's attention. "Oi, come on in and shower off that sea, yeah?"
Fredrick's tone was light and smiling over its rough sound.
"And we'll get ya some new clothes," he added after examining the man's size. He looked similar enough in height, but Fredrick's frame was noticeably wider than the stranger's. "What can I call ya?" he then asked, respecting his privacy.
An aged Pelliper alit next to the two men. "Ah, Daisy," Fredrick said with a sad smile. The creature reminded him of his wife, ex-wife, but this Pelliper had a heart infinitely more genuine than that leech. The Pelican Pokemon looked up to the stranger and cooed cutely, however tired.
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Hidden 6 yrs ago 6 yrs ago Post by Kymera
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Kymera Genetic experiment gone wrong

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Slateport City, late afternoon


It was absolutely Rai's kind of luck that he'd picked Hoenn's wettest season to arrive. By now, he really should have expected Arceus had some kind of a grudge to hold against him for crimes committed in a previous life, but one nice day to scope out the seaside town didn't seem like asking too much. It hadn't helped he'd spent the better part of the two day trip from Kanto, crammed elbow to elbow with a bunch of eager tourists. He was beginning to regret not sneaking aboard one of the larger shipping freighters, but experience had taught him it was easier to hide in a crowd.

Sure enough, the attendants waiting for them at the docks, scanning passports and doing their best to corral the eager crowd, were more interested in processing the mass of people than they were interested that the name and picture on the pass Rai presented them only bore a passing resemblance to him. So maybe the rain was just karma getting even for setting foot in the region and already lying to its populace. The plaintive sigh from down at his sigh couldn't have mirrored his own any more closely, as his charmeleon got his first good look at the weather outside. Rai looked down at his companion in time to catch the almost begging glance, plainly asking him: “Do we have to go outside?”.

“Trust me, bud,” Rai dropped his hand down to scratch the top of his pokemon's head, “I'm not thrilled about it either.”

He didn't expect anything less than the disappointed, but no less accepting huff in response. The fact was, they both knew this was likely only going to be the start of a very long couple of days that would make the boat trip feel like a luxury cruise. The ticket alone had eaten almost all of Rai's money, which meant they had next to nothing left for food or lodgings. He knew there were places trainers could stay, but places like that had far too many people for his liking and were certainly less than private. He had a small tent rolled into a tight bundle in his backpack, but he knew full well pitching it with an evening of rain to look forward to was only going to be an exercise in futility.

Oh well. It wasn't anything they hadn't dealt with before.

“Come on Kye.” Rai gave his head a small jerk, holding out his jacket some for his pokemon as he stepped out into the rain, “We aren't going to get anything done standing here.”

“Char, char...” His pokemon grumbled, begrudgingly stepping out to follow him into the weather.

“Oh, don't be like that,” Rai grinned, trying not to laugh at his sulking pokemon, “Let's go check out the Marketplace. Popular as it's supposed to be, I'd bet you anything there's got to be some place nice and dry to wait out the rain.”

That certainly seemed to help Kye perk up. Not that Rai could blame him; both of them hated being wet. Fortunately, it was too easy to follow the obvious stream of tourists and sightseers straight to their destination. Umbrella hats, the near constant flash of pictures taken, and excitable chattering were better than neon-lit signposts to guide the way. Not that it was hard to spot the impressive gathering of stalls and sellers, all doing their best to persuade every visitor to part with their money in exchange for some odd trinket or exotic bauble. Of course, there were plenty of others there selling far more mundane items, herbs, food and the like. Some for humans, some for pokemon, and it all came together in quite an interesting amalgamation of products. Rai could certainly see why it was such a popular spot.

Despite the rain, Rai walked several meandering laps around and through the Marketplace. Though he wanted to find a place out of the rain, he had his other motives too. The whole place looked and ran like a gleaming beacon of law-abiding commerce. Maybe the worst offense was someone overcharging for a cheap souvenir. Even the Rangers themselves seemed to take a personal interest in keeping the peace, vigilantly looking out to the crowds to ensure everything ran smoothly. Which was why Rai was willing to bet there was plenty more going on below this wholesome surface everyone was putting on. Slateport was a huge center of commerce. If there wasn't anyone who didn't think they'd be able to get a slice of the proverbial pie without going through the proper, and costly, channels then he was a Trubbish that walked like a man.

Money attracted crime, plain and simple.

It took a few rounds to finally find somewhere dry to sit, but Rai finally spotted a free bench tucked underneath an awning where he could watch the hustle and bustle without drawing attention to himself. Kye was quick to wiggle underneath it and hide from the rain, nudging Rai's feet apart so he could peak out between the gap. Rai leaned back and threw both arms out across the bench, hoping to dissuade any thoughts someone might have of joining him in his little refuge from the rain. He wasn't scraggly looking by any means, but the rough, worn state of his clothes usually put people off enough to be left alone.

Rai shifted once more, getting as comfortable as he could manage as he settled in and let his eyes roam the crowds for him. It was a practiced method he was all too good at after far too many years of practice. Watch the stalls, watch the people. There was always a pattern. Someone would be out of place, or perhaps they would fit in too well. Sellers a little too excited to see “loyal customers”, or two strangers just “bumping into each other” one too many times. It was like a game of poker, every region's tell was different, but the game was still the same.

All he had to do now, was wait.
Hidden 6 yrs ago 6 yrs ago Post by Phoenix
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Pokemon Day-Care - Route 117
The precious Coral Pokemon approached the kind woman tentatively, cooing as she hobbled over on her stiff "legs." She wasn't any smoother than the average Corsola, from what Mrs. James could tell by the slight touch, but there was a softness to this one's personality that indicated to the aged Breeder that from where she came, at least, they were often farmed for the pieces of coral they would break off to polish into divine jewelry. The Corsola discovered a small treat in the wrinkled hands of Mrs. James, to which she cautiously retrieved and nibbled with a shy look on her face.
Mrs. James' face never turned from the girl, however. Learning that two of her other Pokemon had returned from a day of mischief with the Egg made her slightly concerned for the owner of such a delicate form of life. "Thank you for bringing it here out of the rain, child," she said with another glowing smile and reached her hand to pat the girl's that was placed on her nervous knee. "Why don't you stay here the night and be on your way in the morning?"
The elderly woman wrestled to her feet, bracing herself on the back of the mahogany chair on which she sat. Her hand reached out for the girl's who offered her hand in support. "What's your name, dear?" she asked as she slowly paced toward the egg.
All others were usually "dear" to her, which didn't seem to bother strangers. Regardless, she'd often continue calling everyone "dear" if only because her mind was filled with names of Breeders she'd met throughout her life, and keeping track was almost impossible. She turned from the egg and said "Well, it's nice to meet you, Haven." Her eyes smiled as she led the girl into a separate washroom where the girl could bathe in privacy from the young man who'd entered behind her.
"I'll be back with some dry clothes for you. I'll put your supplies into a bedroom as well," she told the girl as she opened the washroom and began to situate it for use. "Is there anything you want me to do with your things so nothing gets damaged?"
She knew the girl was an artist, though never mentioned it earlier. However, Mrs. James made a trip into Mauville earlier that day and passed by the skillful young woman. She was equally concerned with her supplies as Haven must have been. "Supper will be ready when you are."

Joy took the boy's clothes after he'd entered the shower. She whisked them away to the laundry room and searched for dry clothes that would fit the young man and dragged his pack on the floor behind her due to its weight. Looking through his belongings, briefly, revealed only more wet, or, at least, musty, clothing that she threw on top of the washer with the mind to clean them after bringing him fresh clothes.
She had the mind enough to look at the sizing of his clothes and attempted to match them with whatever she could find. However, they were not a thrift shop nor a charity where hand-me-downs were donated. She found a white tank-top and a pair of brown Dether (a material of denim and leather developed for both comfort and durability) shorts. Both were a size too small, but she believed his physique wouldn't condemn the discrepancy in sizing. With no proper underclothes available, she hoped he wouldn't be too uncomfortable.
She returned to the bathroom and knocked on the door with her round fore-appendages and a blushed face. She looked away but stretched out her stubs in a gesture for the boy to take the clean clothes when the door opened. She squeaked an apology, which he seemed to take well enough.
Joy remained outside the door until the boy was ready. For only two articles of clothing, he seemed to take too long to get dressed. When he exited, she understood why.
His body was wrapped tightly in the cloth, accentuating the athleticism of his body. She blushed again, realizing how provocative her choice of clothing actually was. It seemed his own clothes came from a different region where sizing was determined by differing measurements. She bowed her obtuse body in a kind of apology, to which she almost fell immediately onto her face.
She was never known for her grace and often put herself into awkward positions. This only took away what little grace she actually had.
Joy waved one of her stubs for the boy to follow her to a small bedroom with a twin-size bed and a small desk. The curtains were heavy and warm, the color of the walls were a light mustard cream. The linens were light and airy with some quilts, apparently hand-made, folded at the foot of the bed. There wasn't much in the way of amenities, but a bed was what most travelers required more than anything else.
Joy cooed to imply she'd call him when supper was ready and then exited the room so he could situate what little belongings he'd had. His packs were place in the far corner of the room that felt more like a hallway cut in half in order to create a bedroom in such a small space. There was a pad of paper on the desk and an old pen that often went untouched simply due to the advanced level of technology on which their culture depended.
Before he could really get settled, a tap sounded on the glass pane of the window behind the heavy drapes. A muffled "Hey, bro! Hey! Let me in," passed through the pouring rain and the barrier between them.
When the drapes were pulled, a rather homely looking man in his mid-late twenties stood pathetically in the rain. A vest was the only piece of clothing on his upper body, which was pulled up over his head with long curly, almost matted, hair of a muddy blonde. His eyes were dark in the poor lighting and dark circles sank beneath his eyes. His muscles cut the only definition in his body, making him look malnourished.
Perhaps he'd walked from the Lavaridge Mountains and this was the first building he'd come across and needed to get out of the rain before hypothermia set in. He looked terribly desperate on the other side of the window.


Slateport Marketplace - Slateport City
The rain made the non-locals frantic and rush to drier locations. Just behind a stall were a group of young trainers (judging from their gauntlets) shivering in the wetness of Hoenn's weather. The rain would probably last a few days, but they weren't quite concerned with themselves. They'd trained too rigorously earlier that day at the beach on Route 109. They thought themselves not worn-out enough to partake in a friendly battle with some other trainers. Though none of them knew each other, they all fell victim to some of the more advanced trainers. Caught in the rain, they were desperate to treat their Pokemon before checking into the Slateport Hostel just north of the Marketplace.
Being in the Marketplace meant these trainers weren't fortunate enough to afford supplies from the one of the PokeStations nearby. They were hoping a keen eye, specifically charitable, would pass by and notice their sad states of being and take pity on them and their Pokemon for their own foolish behaviors.

At the other end of the Marketplace, where a young man sat on a bench under an overhang along, a small interaction occurred. They leaned into each other briefly and then walked away from each other in directions they weren't headed when they walked toward each other. They stood out rather noticeably to anyone attentive enough due to their apparent resolve to endure the weather without accessories against it. Then, they exited the Marketplace by the same path despite taking two different directions.
Following them was difficult for anyone. Either they were trying to keep ambiguous their destination or they believed they were being followed. Still, they took alleys into other alleys and behind buildings and in circles. A half-hour of walking lead them to a scrapyard near the Naval Shipyard, which was only a 15-minute walk from the Marketplace. Then the two disappeared behind a pile of beams and girders. They'd taken a secret passage into a bunker where other men, and a few women, circled around and watched Trainers and Pokemon brawl in a most barbaric and unsanctioned manner.
They didn't take well to new-comers and were often skeptical that anyone would truly be interested in such a manner of fighting. They also always had to frisk, and sometimes cavity-check, strangers who thought they could include themselves in their "sport." They couldn't risk allowing wires or drugs into the ring for the safety of themselves and the sanctity of this "art."


Briney Marina - Route 104S
There was no real need to be so suspicious of a stranger who washed himself onto the shore. There wasn't a thug out there that "Mr. Briney" couldn't wallop into the ground in a few seconds. Having lived as a deck-hand and sailor made him tough and resilient, but also patient.
"Up the stairs, your first left is the washroom. I'll take your clothes and get 'em in the wash. There's a bathrobe you can use if you don't like my stuff," he said as he headed away from the man and toward the kitchen. "I'll have breakfast ready when you get done."
His son was still asleep. He'd been traveling to Oldale to the Academy by himself for the past week and was clearly beat by the hike every day. Fredrick was proud of his son's determination and tenacity, but still worried deeply for his child's well-being. He hoped the stranger wouldn't awaken the boy.

The bathroom door opened when the water was turned off and the curtain pulled. A small boy ignored the exposed adult and used the toilet without acknowledging that it was a stranger and not his own father that was using the shower. "Are you gunna go to the Academy with me t'day, daddy?" he asked with a silent yawn. He tucked himself back in and turned to the man in the bathroom, rubbing his eyes with his forearm to focus his fuzzy eyes.
Though clearly no older than 10, it seemed the child was no stranger to hard work. There was some development in his musculature that most boy's his age wouldn't achieve for another three years at the least. His bare chest gave the illusion of soft pectorals and his arms had creases not commonly found in one's so young. His abdomen was cut with squares of thin muscles underneath. His pajama bottoms were the only thing he wore, but judging from the top, the bottom must have been just as toned.
The boy's hair hung in the air in a silly manner. He'd refused a haircut for the past few months and wanted to have it grow out. It was wavy and probably knotted to some degree. There was a bruise on his left elbow that suggested he'd taken a fall the day before. His arm fell to his side and he focused on the figure in front of him. His eyes widened and he froze where he stood.
Hidden 6 yrs ago Post by Prints Avoid
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Prints Avoid Disgusting Loser

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Pokemon Day-Care - Route 117

Diego fidgeted while he waited for the old woman to attend to them. The other girl seemed a little preoccupied with egg, and despite his usual social self he left her to her own thoughts while he warmed himself. Still he couldn't help but glance at them when the woman revealed the egg didn't belong to the daycare. Oh shit. It was actually kind of funny. In a concerning panicky sort of way. The egg was in good hands now though.

The Azumarill, Joy, returned and handed him a towel. Thanking her, he began drying off and made to follow the old woman and the girl, but was stopped short by her comment about a bath. Diego found himself blushing, which was weird. It usually took a lot to make Diego feel embarrassed. For some reason, this situation did. Maybe it was her age, just the fact that she was a generous host, or just delayed guilt at being so impatient with his generous host. Regardless, he self-consciously lifted an arm to smell underneath. It's not that bad.
After helping Joy with the other girl's pack, he followed her down a hallway to a bathroom. As she led him in to the well-stocked bathroom and showed him to the toiletries, Diego became aware he hadn't even asked for any of this. It was just in the nature of the day-care woman and her Pokemon to be so hospitable. Making a mental note to pay them back somehow, he set the water running and began to undress. He considered taking a bath, but knew that he'd end up soaking in the hot water for an hour. No, best to just avoid that possibility and shower. He unconsciously took another whiff under his arm.

After standing in the hot water an extra five minutes after getting clean, he came out and toweled off, only to realize his clothes were missing. True to form, they'd likely taken his clothes to dry them out. Problem was the rest of his stuff was gone too. Surely it wasn't all wet. He stood around awkwardly in his towel for a few minutes before he decided he'd have to venture out or at least call out to someone. Luckily, he opened the door to find Joy holding a set of clothes out to him. Sighing in relief, the young man thanked the Pokemon. Apparently she felt guilty, because she seemed to be embarrassed. "I really appreciate it. Thanks again," he said hoping to ease her embarrassment. Even then, he had to hold his tongue to keep form asking about his own clothes. He'd just search them out later.

They looked a little small, but a quick check of the sizing suggested they weren't far off from his own. He immediately regretted that thought as he tried to slip on the shorts. This... was going to be awkward. With some mild struggle, he got the clothing on. It was definitely tight, but the material wasn't too bad. He was definitely going to have to do something about the lack of underwear though. He glanced at the mirror to make sure he didn't look too scandalous, but it wasn't such a huge difference from wearing running shorts and a tank top, right? ...right? Joy's reaction told him it might cause some discomfort in public. Holding back a chuckle, he tried to assure her again. "It's fine, really."

She led him to a guest room and he was not surprised to find it very homey. A little old-fashioned, but he felt at home. It was small, but really it was about the size of his first apartment in Goldenrod. He caught sight of himself in the mirror. Grinning, he turned around giving himself a good look up and down. "Shit, I should be an underwear model." Of course, now that the idea had crossed his mind it was too good not to pass up the chance to post a picture online. He grabbed his phone and snapped a quick picture. He chuckled to himself. Cecilia was gonna give him so much crap over this, but it would be worth it. As he was typing up the caption, "When you get caught in a storm and gotta borrow some dry clothes... These shorts make my butt look big? #goinhoenn" he heard a tap on the window.

He tensed, startled by the sudden noise. Quickly hitting the submit button and tossing the phone on his bed, he walked to the window and pulled back the drapes to see what looked like a wet zombie outside. "What the hell, man?" Eyes wide, he stepped back from the window. He looked around, but he was still alone in the room and no one seemed to be in the hall. Turning back towards the man, he called out. "I'm not letting you in through the window, man. Hurry up around front. We gotta get you out of that storm, but you come in the front door like everyone else." He gestured to the man in the direction he assumed was the shortest walk around to the front of the building.

"Come on man..."

"GO AROUND." Diego, still tense, gestured once more. The man disappeared from window, and Diego sighed in relief. "Sketchy weirdo..." The man seemed harmless and definitely in need of help. But put off by his insistence on coming through the window, Diego quickly pulled on his gauntlet and called out his Azumarill and Scyther.

"Sapphire, go find the daycare woman or her Azumarill, let em know someone else is here. Zip, just go to the door. If it seems like he's taking too long, we'll have see if we can go out and find him. I'm gonna grab the guy a towel, but I'll be right there."

Zip bolted from the room, clearly intent on her duty. Sapphire left too, her self-assured and purposeful gait a huge contrast to that of the other Azumarill. Diego himself followed after Zip, popping into the bathroom to grab a large towel. He came walked to the front desk to find the man standing there now, dripping and shivering. He was eyeing the mantis Pokemon and the scythes on her forearms somewhat nervously. For her part Zip, was doing her best to be alert without being too threatening.

"Man, don't look so pathetic. She's not gonna do anything. Here..." He handed the man a towel. As he wrapped himself in the towel and slowly dried off, Diego got a better look at him. "When did you last eat? Umm... all right look, so apparently dinner's in a little while. In the meantime, take this." He materialized a protein bar and handed it to the man. It was actually pretty old, but it should still be good. The man took the bar and unwrapped it with shaking hands, and Diego realized he was really trembling pretty badly.

Unsure of what to do and wondering where Sapphire was, he looked around until he found a chair. Without really thinking about it, he walked over and picked up the chair and carried it to the man. "Okay, yeah just sit down there."

"Th-thanks..."

He considered bringing out Toasty to help warm the guy up, but who knew what would happen if he freaked out and overdid it. A familiar blue ball waddled in from the back with a cup in hand. With a chirp, Joy handed the cup of tea to the stranger. He had no trouble grabbing it in the same hand that held the protein bar wrapper, so he seemed not to be in too bad of condition. Still, Diego held back a curse when Joy helped the man remove his soaked vest. Oh right... the wet clothes.

Pulling on his hand, Joy gestured for the man to get up then waved Diego over to help her to move him somewhere else. Presumably somewhere he could change. But if Joy was here, where had Sapphire gone?
Hidden 6 yrs ago 6 yrs ago Post by Kymera
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Kymera Genetic experiment gone wrong

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Slateport City docks, late afternoon

Contrary to popular belief, waiting was hard. The way seconds sluggishly became minutes that stretched hours, while the same happy–go-lucky tourist trap in front of him continued on its business as usual. Kids dragging their parents over to look at some bauble, overly cheery vendors handing over treats, and friends, tired but happy, all meeting up for one last hurrah before the day came to a close.

Being forced to watch every single one play out with nauseating predictability was maybe the worst part. More than once, Rai found he could almost mine along with a bored roll of his eyes. It didn’t help his stomach was gnawingly empty, and though he had some money to get a bite for him and Kye, he knew he was going to need every cent if they were going to make a stay on Hoenn work.

By now, his jacket felt damp thanks to the air around them, and did little to make the drippy day any more comfortable. He felt even worse for his Pokémon, who had settled in under the bench and hadn’t moved more than to make a small sigh now and then. Then again, Kye never did complain much. He knew as well as his trainer there were just some things that couldn’t be avoided. So when Kye suddenly bristled underneath him with a low, rumbling growl, Rai’s attention snapped to what had his Pokémon so agitated.

To the dozens of passerbys, the two didn’t look any more out of place than he did at first glance. Trainers, the both of them, they looked like they might have just come back from a long day of training like so many others. They didn’t look as though they were the friendliest sort, but the two off on their own on the other side of the crowds certainly didn’t belong there. No gear, no umbrellas, nothing but the distinct red and white balls hanging from their belts. Rai feigned interest in the rest of the world, while keeping a sidelong glare trained solely on them. They didn’t speak long, before they headed out into the dripping evening. Rai waited until they were nearly out of sight, before he left his seat with Kye surging up out of his place under the bench.

"Got that one?” Rai asked, jerking his head imperceptibly toward one of the retreating figures and received a determined growl in response, “Don’t let them see you.”

That was all the order Kye needed, before shooting off down one of the unpopulated sections of the market and out into the city after his quarry. He watched and waited until even the flame on Kye’s tail was out of sight, before starting after them himself. They were already deep into one of the crowds leaving the Marketplace when Rai saw the two that had split off in different directions join back up again. He couldn’t help the small grin that curled across his lips as they wandered purposefully further and further away from the bulk of the crowd and off into the rest of the seaside docks. They were up to something and they didn’t want to be followed. Just a shame it was a trick he’d seen before.

Though the Marketplace enjoyed the open air layout near the docks, the rest of Slateport quickly swelled around it once again. Warehouses, shipping containers, heavy cranes and equipment made a veritable maze weaving in and around the seafront. Rai was out of his element here. These guys knew where they were headed and likely had a dozen different ways to ditch someone if they thought they were being followed, and likely would take a few of them just to make sure they weren’t. It didn’t help that the further they got from the busy center of commerce, the fewer people there were to blend in with and one or the other were already glancing back whenever it wouldn’t looks suspicious.

Rai decided to take a chance as they passed by an older building and swung himself up onto one of the old fire escape ladders and climbed. The guy was looking back, but he never looked up and mazes were always easier from a Fearow’s-eye-view. He knew Kye would be somewhere on the ground, but a pokemon without a trainer was a lot less suspicious than a trainer without his pokemon. Rai hauled himself up onto the roof and ran across the tops to catch up to his marks, glad to see he hadn’t managed to get too far ahead since he seemed more interested with a winding path than a direct route. More than once, Rai was able to watch him make several turns from the same vantage point, before he was forced to jump gaps to the next rooftop.

It seemed like ages before they made any kind of progress thanks to the twisting route the two had in mind. Neither one of them said a word to the other either. If they were worried about being overheard, they were doing a good job making sure there was nothing for prying ears to pick up. They finally ducked into one of the shipyards where great husks of once seaworthy vessels were in various stages of breakdown and repair, before they ducked behind a stack of massive beams and girders and never reemerged.

Rai swore to himself, as he abandoned his vantage point and snuck down onto the more open shipyard and made for the pile where he’d seen them vanish. He managed to sneak in a bit closer, straining to hear anything but the rush of the waves hitting the breakers, before a familiar orange head poked out of the pile and chirped at his trainer looking quite pleased with himself. He found Kye pacing and pawing at a small access hatch, cleverly hidden in the pile in such a way no one would have found it if they didn’t know it was there.

"Good work, buddy.” Rai said with a small grin, "I know it’s been a long day, but you ready to go make some new friends?”

"Char.” Kye growled, squaring his shoulders and baring a small snarled lip at the hatch.

"Atta boy.” Rai chuckled as he knelt down and wrenched the hatch open.

Almost instantly, Rai knew what they’d come across. He’d been hoping for an underground black market as close to the legitimate one as they were. But the moment he wrenched the hatch open and dropped into the hidden passage, he knew he hadn’t been anywhere near that lucky.

He could hear the shouts of men and women alike. The musty scent of dirt and sour sweat that choked the stale, humid air. The metallic tang of blood that was so thick, he could actually feel it coat his tongue. He knew long before he could see the scooped out, circular arena what it was they’d found.

It was a Pit.

It was the worst kind of pokemon battling humans had managed to come up with, more bloodsport than test of skill. They were all out cage matches where both humans and their pokemon participated in the fighting until only one side was left standing. Sometimes the trainers brought in weapons too, usually anything to help even the odds against squaring up with a pokemon bred and trained to battle. Most of the time it was just to make sure there was a good show.

This place didn’t seem to be any different. The crowd was smaller than the ones back home, but they were no less enthusiastic about the sport, as it looked like there was a fight going on already. Rai could just see the black and silver tufts of fur of a Mightyena laying in a bloodied heap in one corner of the ring, as a Sandslash and his trainer were advancing in on their only remaining victim who was desperately looking for some kind of an escape. But the copper stained walls of the pit rose over his head, and by the time he turned around, the Sandslash had taken a swipe at him, shredding his filthy clothes and opening long gashes across his chest to the delight of the crowd. The pokemon held its victim in place long enough for his trainer to take over and finish beating the poor sap into the arena floor.

"HEY! Who the hell are you!?”

Rai didn’t bother feigning innocence. He knew without turning around whomever had been tasked with keeping an eye on the patrons had spotted him. Lying was an equally bad idea. He’d seen what happened to people like that, and in a place like this, it was almost bizarre how honestly actually was the best policy. But despite being asked a question, Rai only turned around in time for someone to grab hold of him hard enough to throw and pin him against one of the walls near the entrance.

His head hit the back wall hard enough to daze him for a moment, but Kye’s snarl near his feet jerked him back to reality in a hurry. Rai threw his hands up disarmingly, knowing an instant later he was going to be frisked head to toe and the sooner this guy got on with it, the sooner a tense situation would calm down.

"Take it easy. Im not looking for trouble."Rai said evenly, as the guy went through his pockets, turning out nothing but a ticket stub and the remains of the granola bar he’d had that day. The guard ripped off his backpack and threw it to someone else to go through, forcing Rai to hold back a sigh as they tore through everything he owned.

"You’re either dumber than a Slowpoke, or have balls the size of a couple of Golem for waltzing in here,” The guard hissed at him.

"Well since you’re the one going through my pants, you would know.” Rai smirked, unable to help himself. He made a quick flick at Kye to wordlessly tell his pokemon to stay back, "You treat all your customers like this, or just the VP’s?”

"You think you’re funny?! Why don’t I get a couple of Tentacruel in here to check you over and make sure I didn’t miss anything-“

"Oy, Sorel. Hold up.” The other guard stopped his companion from trying to throttle a smirking Rai then and there, "You. I’ve seen you before. Johto, yeah? Yeaaaahhh…. No, no, I know this dude! I watched this guy fight last time I went to Goldenrod! Watched him beat the ghost out of and back into this dude!”

Rai could feel the thug’s grip on him start to relax, and he half shoved him off. The guy was still glaring daggers at him, but it sounded as if he at least had one person to vouch for his validity in this underground world.

"Wassamatter man? Those Johto wimps bore you enough into coming here for a real fight?” His fan laughed tossing his gear back to him.

"They might have,” Rai squared his shoulders. He hated the idea of stepping back into this ugly world, but the fact was, he needed the connections if could offer. And there was only one way to do that. “Unless those slap fights all you have going on. Or do you have an opening in the major leagues for me?”

The guard clapped him hard across the shoulders and guffawed as he started to lead Rai and Kye deeper into the complex.

"I think we got just the spot for you.”

Hidden 6 yrs ago Post by Xan the G
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Briney Marina - Route 104S, Morning (Still behind current time, sorry!)


Jin was caught out by the older man. It made no sense to disguise his voice or dialect considering the manner in which the fisherman first caught a glimpse of him. While he wanted as little as possible in the way of a traceable eye witness account, it would have been more problematic and suspicious to decline Briney. However, Jin was a little wary - nigh on suspicious of how open the fisherman was to him. He's senses told him the man might be lonely and before even walking into the house he began checking for signs of isolation. The talkative manner of Briney was a giveaway - so willing to divulge into conversation without even establishing anything about Jin. Jin deliberately didn't talk as Briney explained that he would provide him clothes food and shelter for nothing in return. At first he just stood in the hallway with his muteness, not making to discrete a point of how reluctant he was to embrace the mans hospitality.

He glanced back and forth, seeing a table which a dust-mark, denoting that something used to be on the mantelpiece but had been removed. glancing at some of the paintings and photos hung on the wall, Jin could appreciate there were spaces, spaces which denoted that something was removed and not replaced. Eventually he stepped forward into the Kitchen where Briney was initially waiting for Jin's clothes. Jin slowly removed his outer layers, but initially placed his bag on the floor alongside his pokebelt, opting to keep them with him as he handed over his clothes standing in his briefs. As the clothes were exchanged, Jin noticed the indent in Briney's skin around his ring finger, and got a good grasp on what he concluded Briney's loneliness stemmed from. Now he was just a man standing in underwear in the house of a stranger of a strangeland.

If he was anything other than an undercover international agent Jin would not be anywhere near as accepting of his circumstance as he chose to be. Even now, Jin decided it still wasn't the best time to talk with Briney. He had managed to avoid even giving his name at this point due to how distracted Briney was. Jin nodded in respect as he turned to exit the kitchen and head upstairs for the shower. He was shivering and his plan to makeshift a camp in the woods was a hell of a lot longer and inefficient than a second-floor hot shower. Jin marched upstairs, placing his equipment just outside the door to the bathroom as he stepped into the shower. Assuming that Briney was alone, with his behavior and the clean up response to a departed, wedded partner Jin saw no reason to lock the shower door or draw the curtain. If Briney was that was inclined, he had the best opportunity to make advances on Jin.

When Briney's son waltzed in to use the bathroom, calling Jin "daddy" in his sleepy stupor, Jin felt an awkwardness he had never experienced before. Of course, talking to a child you do not know in a bathroom while stark naked without parent permission was about as peodorific as it gets. Before the child was savvy enough to turn and glance at Jin in his morning glory, Jin slowly reached for the shower curtain with shower head still running. By the time he gripped it, however, the two had locked eyes in a deafening silence. Jin slowly pulled the curtain shut in a comically awkward manner as if it somehow retconned the fact an adolescent boy just say a naked stranger in his shower. He kept his silence, opting not to scare the boy by explaining himself, and simply stood on the other side of the curtain, waiting to the child to finish!

His heart was raising with embarrassment, but Jin was still fairly level-headed. The incident lay with Briney. The police officer in Jin wanted to reprimand Briney for his lack of attention in protecting a minor, being so free and open to Jin when he had a child in the house. Jin instantly determined that Briney must have had a wife who left him, most likely for absent behaviour like that. The request of the child to be accompanied to school allowed Jin to deduce that the child didn't get a lot of time to spend with his father, meaning it was probably a short term visit at the Marina. Maybe Briney had forgotten he had the boy in the confusion. Nonetheless, the fact he seemed to be on good terms with his son even though his aptitude as a father might be questionable Jin was much more willing to accept Briney was a good man.

...He just hoped this incident wasn't going to dry up the hospitality. Jin turned off the shower from behind the curtain. The shower was stopped, but the pitter-patter of rain from outside was now trickling in the silence.

Hidden 6 yrs ago Post by c3p-0h
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c3p-0h unending foolery

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Pokemon Day-Care - Route 117

Haven stared absently at the egg as the old woman spoke, a crease worrying her brow. If Cloak and Dagger hadn't snatched the egg from the daycare then where the hell did it come from? Had they stolen it from some unassuming trainer in Mauville? From a wild nest along the route? Haven leaned back in her chair and ran a hand through her sopping hair.

At least she was slowly warming up. Her shivering hadn't stopped yet though. And she could feel a new tightness around her throat that promised trouble.

Yeah. Walking all the way out here with no jacket in a storm hadn't been her brightest idea.

Haven told her that nothing particularly special had to be done with her bag – her spray cans were fine, her clothes were soaking wet, her... shit. Her sketchbook. She'd splurged and got a high quality watercolor sketchbook so it might've been ok. But who knew if the paintings in them had bled and run with the extra water they'd been exposed to.

"The only thing is my sketchbook… if you could lay that out and let it dry that'd be great." And with that Haven was dismissed with the promise of a shower and dinner. She nodded her thanks and forced herself to her feet.

The daycare was a small, homey building, old but still sturdy. With tired legs she made her way up to an empty room with the door that she assumed had been left open for her. A shower sounded wonderful. And food. And sleep.

Haven had grown up taking short, brisk showers, careful not to waste water or heat in her family's little apartment. And so, despite how heavenly the hot water felt on her skin, she was done in a matter of minutes. Stepping out of the shower she grabbed a large towel hanging on a railing attached to the wall and made her way back into the room.

A bath robe had been placed on the bed for her as she showered.

Haven raised an eyebrow at that. She hadn't even heard the door open.

But she wasn't exactly in top form at the moment (the shower had woken her up a bit, but she was still sore and exhausted and could feel the beginnings of a cold) and it wasn't as though she expected the old woman or her pokemon to do anything creepy. The robe was a pale mint color and clearly too big for Haven. She reached out a hand to touch the material – soft and promising warmth. Who cared if it was big? Big promised heat, and Haven had always preferred oversized sweaters anyway. Even if she did look like a kid playing dress-up.

Soon enough she was wearing the robe, the sash synched tightly around her waist causing the thick material to bunch awkwardly around her, and the sleeves rolled up several times until her hands were poking out. She was already smaller than average. The oversized robe was comically big on her. Her thick dark hair fell in long wet clumps over her shoulders and down her back, already beginning to soak through the material. Haven shrugged to herself and after putting her four pokeballs in the robe's pockets (they'd want food too, though she wasn't sure she trusted Cloak and Dagger not to roughhouse… at least Blink would try to keep them in check) she opened the door to her room and poked her head outside.

Haven could already smell the food. Wasting no more time, she closed her door behind her and walked down the stairs – only to run into an Azumarill when she reached the bottom. She remembered the woman running the daycare had an Azumarill… but this wasn't the same one, was it? No, this one seemed younger, more energetic as it bounced in front of Haven and beckoned her back towards the lobby. Haven raised an eyebrow. When she didn't immediately follow after the pokemon it turned back to her impatiently and waddled back. Very firmly grabbing her hand, it tugged Haven forward to the lobby. Too curious (and confused) to fight, Hven obediently followed until they arrived. The Azumarill released her hand and ran up to the guy standing by himself. It looked very proud of itself as it presented Haven to him.

Haven looked from the Azumarill to the man.

"Uh… hi."

Haven vaguely recognized him as the person who'd come into the daycare after her. She'd been a bit distracted at the time. He was young, maybe around her age, and was wearing clothes clearly too small for him (not that she was necessarily complaining). The corner of her mouth twitched up at that. It seemed the daycare had trouble sizing people. Or their clothing options were just sparse. Haven looked up again to meet his eyes.

"Smells like food's ready, so… was there something you needed, or?" Haven let the sentence trail off. The Azumarill had dragged her here for something but she had no idea what he could possibly want. And she really wanted to eat. Or just pass out. Whichever came first.
Hidden 6 yrs ago Post by DepressedSoviet
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Later That Day, Slateport City, Hoenn Region


Another vacant, dimly-lit warehouse, another shady deal. Nick stood facing a younger man, no older than 20 for sure, who was anxiously pacing back and forth as Nick swiped away at the screen of his black market trainer gauntlet. As he did so, he looked up at the man, his eyes hidden behind a pair of sunglasses, darker than the night sky in the city. "You wanted 10 Max Potions, a pair of Full Restores, and a...Fletchinder, right?" The youth stopped pacing, and shot a look that, if it could kill, would've caused Nick to go into cardiac arrest. "Farfetch'd damnit, I said a Farfetch'd." Nick pointed a finger at the man and nodded. "Right, right. My mistake. Now, if we tally all that up, plus the cost of my partners' delivery, it adds up to about...40,000."

The youth nearly screamed as he stomped over to where Nick stood, pressing a finger into Nick's chest. "Now you listen here, you no-good, two-timing, dirty, scumbag back-room dealer of a man. I'm not paying you something that ridiculous for stuff I can get legally for half the price!" Nick chuckled as the man said this, brushing aside his finger and saying "But can you really get it legally? Let alone for half the price? I may be from out-of-town, but I'm not stupid when it comes to current events. So either you pay up, or get out. And don't you ever touch me again."

The man's face grew red with anger, and he blustered a bit before speaking in an enraged voice. "Now you listen here! This deal is off, and you can forget about ever operating here again. I've got connections, ya see? And once they hear about this, you'll be ruined, left to rot next to some dumpster with a knife in your gut!" The man tried to continue, but stopped once he noticed what Nick was doing. With a clap of his hands Nick stepped back, as out from the shadows came rushing a heavyset figure.

Butch came darting out from the shadows, bullrushing the man and kneeing him in the stomach, causing him to double over and let out a cry of pain. "You see, friend, I can't just let anyone threaten to ruin my business and walk out a free man, let alone alive. Now my partner Butch here is gonna teach you a lesson, and then we'll finish up. Butch, if you would." Butch gave a grunt of confirmation, and pulled the man up from his hunched over position, before delivering a blow to the man's face. Letting the man stumble back, Butch swung with another two punches, hitting the man's abdomen and face in quick succession. The man keeled over, falling to the ground, a spurt of blood coming coughing up from his mouth and splattering against the concrete floor of the warehouse. Butch bellowed out what sounded like a laugh, stepping up to the man and planting his foot firmly on the man's chest, grinding it in and snapping a few ribs. Walking up to the two, Nick looked down at the man, lowering his sunglasses and staring him in the eyes.

Not saying a word, Nick reached into his coat, sliding something small, dark and metallic from inside it.

KRAAAK!


The sound echoed through the warehouse, and as the smoke wafted from the end of the pistol, Nick looked down at what remained of the former customer, and spat onto it, kicking it in the side. Returning his weapon to his concealed holster, Nick pulled a pokeball from his belt. "Return, Butch. Good work." The light of Butch returning to his pokeball glowed against the dark building, before fading away. Nick picked up the spent shell casing from the ground, and stepped towards the exit of the warehouse. Walking out into the city streets, Nick headed for his hotel room, planning to call it a day.
Hidden 6 yrs ago 6 yrs ago Post by Phoenix
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Pokemon Day-Care - Route 117
The man just stared at the narrow planks of wood he was lead along by the Azumarill with the help of the stranger. His knees were purple ice and his feet were probably turning black by this point. No one knew how long he was out in the storm, but from the look of his condition, he must have been at a higher elevation where the temperatures were lower.
Joy cooed for Diego to help the stranger undress further when they made it to the washroom. She directed him to sit on the closed toilet while she looked around for a first-aid kit or anything that could help the poor man warm up. At closer inspection, the ribs on his right side were protruded and the color of the deep waters of Route 127. It was a wonder he didn't groan in agony as he was, essentially, carried to the washroom. Perhaps he was so cold his entire body was turning numb. The blackened blue of the skin indicated some broken bones, to which needed more immediate attention than they could rightly address with so little supplies here. He needed to be taken to the Rustboro Hospital as quickly as possible.
Old Blue purred in grave concern for the boy and looked back at Diego. She pointed and squeaked to go fetch Mrs. James and notify her of the situation. However, he would have been stopped by seeing Sapphire with the girl he'd seen at the counter earlier.

A low shriek sounded not long after they introduced themselves and exchanged the normal pleasantries. The came from the direction of the Nursery, if Haven remembered correctly. Glass shattered and a loud thud sounded, as if a bureau fell flat on its face. "No! Please!" was shouted from a tired yet equally frantic voice.
Once they recuperated from the shock, it would have been discovered that Sapphire, Diego's Azumarill, was not longer with them.


Naval Junkyard - Slateport City
Knuckles cracked into cheekbones. Elbows crushed the cartilage of noses. Fangs sank deep into hides. Talons lashed at eyes and throats. Blood dried and painted the floors and walls with an interesting collage of brutality and passion.
Sorel, the only familiar face to Rai since arriving in Hoenn, led him through winding passages. They climbed through tunnels and had to break down some girders to get where they needed to go. They made sure only the toughest and most clever of combatants could actually make there way to this location.
A couple of combatants sparred while others were exercising with old and outdated machines. Some Pokemon worked on their speed, others on their endurance, and others on their strength. Despite the effort it took to get here, the dome-shaped cavern was impressively well-kempt and had an air of calm and comfort. Most would have turned back at the sight of this is they were looking for serious brawls.
"Oy, Dicky!" Sorel bellowed in a voice lower than his usual tone. It was as if he wished to be perceived with more authority than he actually possessed. "Gotta Foreigner, here. Johto."
A man standing no taller than Rai's collar bone, approached the pair. As he neared the convex and concave angles in his musculature became more pronounced and impressive. He looked Rai up and down with disgusted suspicion. "Yeah, and?" his voice was dragged across the gravel of the chords in his throat. Despite his size, the bass of his tone filled the entire area without much effort.
Sorel shifted where he was and looked at Rai as if to gather more information for this "Dicky" on which to judge the newcomer. "Well, I've seen him fight," he said, his voice still attempting to sound authoritative. However, following Dicky's voice, it sounded effeminate. "And he doesn't fight like a man..."
There was a pause from Sorel as he tried to think of something clever yet impressive. "He tears at his opponents like a female Ursaring."
"Yeah," Dicky seemed to shout with disbelief. "Fuck me if you're not as intimidating as a Teddiursa," he added and poked at Rai's breat to test its firmness. His dense finger pushed past what muscle was there and rammed against the ribs underneath with enough force to fell a man twice Rai's size, it seemed.
He turned to walk away, dismissing them without a word. Sorel looked back at Rai when Dicky called out at them. "Karen!" his voice shook the rocks. Sorel swore one day Dicky would bring this place down. "Fuck this boy up for me, yeah?"
Sorel's eyes widened as he heard this. Still staring at Rai, his chin dropped a little. "Um, sir..." he began to say in protest. His voice seemed to grow more childish as the interaction dragged on.
Dicky turned slightly, though not enough to look on directly. "If he has what it takes, he won't die." The threat was a mockery of a whisper through his neck.
"Shit," Sorel said. "Well, it's been good knowin' ya," he said and placed a hand on Rai's shoulder before walking out of the cavern.

"Ha! Dicky," a woman began to complain playfully. "You really want me to fight this little Bald-dick?"
She beautiful from the neck down. Her nose was misshapen and her lips crocked and uneven. Half of her left eyebrow was missing and half of her head with shaved with the other half no longer than Rai's. Her cheeks were bulbous, almost puffy. Her ears seemed to have been chomped at and twisted. Despite this, her body was hard but definitely feminine, and finely so. She wore only a sport's bra and compression shorts with light-weight sneakers.
"Kill 'im if ya want," Dicky responded and laid back down at the bench press machine with what looked like too much weight for someone so small.


Slateport Hotel - Slateport City
The streetlights nearby obscured his face as the storm continued to pass over Hoenn. The figure's head faced "Johnny Gastly." It was clear who his target was. Once near enough, he offered a few warnings to the stranger.
"There's a better way to go about dealing with loose-lipped customers..." The voice was intimidatingly playful.
His voice was low as to dissipate with the falling rain. His brows curved above his eyes in a relatively threatening manner. His hand was placed upon a Pokeball against his thigh in a gesture of self-protection. The long caw of a Mandibuzz wheezed high above. A low buzz of a croak sounded from around a corner. This man wasn't going to be threatened. Indeed, he was the one to do the threatening.
"Wildom told me to give you some advice. If he has to clean up after you or you lose another one of his customers, you're not going to see your business into the dry season." This suggested he was being watched at almost all times. However, it was also to look out for themselves, as well.
The man's foot pushed off the building and he stood at his full height about half a head higher than Nick. His body was hard, and not just from physical conditioning. His eyes were a dark steel-gray like the clouds above. He never broke eye-contact with his fellow criminal. In fact, Nick would have not noticed the man even blink. "And get rid of that gun if you know what's good for you. People here know what it looks like when you're gunned down. I know you're new here, but you'd be learn up on the local laws." He turned away from Nick and walked toward the shore without Nick able to respond properly.
Gun were illegal in Hoenn. The sport of hunting was outlawed. Hunting was only legal when survival was necessary. Murder with an illegal tool for such practices would have been a high priority for the Rangers of Hoenn.


Briney Marina - Route 104S
The boy's cheeks turned pale red at the awkward interaction. "Sorry mister" he peeped before leaving the bathroom. He felt awkward not knowing a stranger had been invited to their home and having called him "daddy."
Still, he rushed downstairs to see who it was that his father had welcomed into their home. "Daddy! Who's that?" he asked with a pep in his tone. He sat at the table, ready for the breakfast he'd started for them.
"Just a passer-by," Fredrick answered plainly. He turned to shovel some food onto the boy's plate while Leodin poured himself some Oran juice. "He's from far away. I caught him swimming in the Route."
"Oh," the boy said as he stuffed his little mouth with food. "So, ya goin' t'the Academy wit'me?" he continued through the masticated breakfast still sitting on his tongue.
"Swallow before you speak," Fredrick corrected warmly and patted his son's head. "Yes, after we see this gentleman off."
Leodin was about to finish his breakfast as the stranger descended the stairs. Fredrick was sat at the table, waiting for his guest to join them. "'Fore it gets cold, now," he said and gestured to the chair at the end of the table.
The only thing in the washroom was a robe, suggesting it was either the robe or just the towel he'd have to wear while he waited for his clothes to dry. "Your clothes should be done insome'. Eat up while ya wait, yeah?"
Hidden 6 yrs ago Post by Xan the G
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Jin came down slowly and humbly, choosing to double wrap. The towel was girdled as a loin-cloth with the robe tight bound by its belt. He glanced at the boy for all of two second as he entered into the kitchen, still not fully able to look at him without a feeling of shame or guilt. It didn't help much the way that both Briney and his son were willing to overlook the incident. Jin knew what it was like to arrest the kind of men that reveal themselves to underaged, vulnerable children. Even if by genuine accident, he still felt like he should atone for what Leodin had to see. Jin took a seat as he was invited to. He picked up the fork in his left hand, mulling it into the food, not actually taking a bite. It took him a minute but he eventually caved to the deafening tension plaguing his mind.

"I'm sorry." he muttered, looking into the food. "To you and your boy. I didn't mean to... I didn't know he... I'm sorry." he attempted, not being able to bring himself to admit what actually happened, but not allowing himself to breath until he had fully apologised either. His conscience was lifted enough for him to then try some of the food. "You asked me my name earlier. If it's all the same to you, since you found in the rain and waves, you can just call me 'Cloud'," suggested Jin. "I haven't got anywhere to be, but I have something to do. Your boathouse tells me you're the kind of guy who knows about getting around in the waves. If it's all the same to you, Briney, I'd like to just shadow you for the day. See this land from your eyes, from the eyes of someone who knows the course of the waves better than the course of the land." requested Jin, finding a more assertive voice the more he moved away from what happened earlier.
Hidden 6 yrs ago Post by Kymera
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Kymera Genetic experiment gone wrong

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Naval Junkyard- Slateport City


Rai didn’t say much as he followed Sorel down through the hand-hewn tunnels underneath the shipyard with Kye sticking close to his heels. The complex was a good deal larger than he’d been expecting, especially since it appeared to be entirely underground. He knew from experience most Pits baited in new gamblers and brawlers looking to get their feet wet with the kind of fights he’d walked in on at the start. A lot of showy pokemon, but with no more finesse than to simply wail on their opponent until their pokemon dropped and the trainer was screaming uncle to the tune of a jeering crowd.

But as the tunnels began to open up into a ramshackle gym with larger doors barred off to one side, he could only assume this was the facility they reserved for their proven brawlers. The ones people came to blow all kinds of cash on high stakes bets. Small fights would almost always end up with someone bleeding. The difference was in the small time rings, there were usually a few people ready to pull fighters apart before someone went too far. The only people in the big rings were the brawlers and their pokemon, and he’d seen fights that ended with a few more bodies hauled out to the sewers. Fact was, death drew crowds, and the more brutal it was, the more the Pit made off the betting.

So Rai was less than shocked at his reception by this “Dicky”. It was expected. All he had was the backing of one scrub who’d been assigned guard duty and had even managed to screw that up. Whether Dicky was this Pit’s boss or its senior fighter didn’t matter, his word was obviously the one that would matter in the end. Nothing Rai could say would improve this man’s opinion of him, but neither was he about to back down. He kept his gaze fixed hard on the other man, both hands crammed into his pockets even as the insults were hurled and a thick finger was jabbed into his chest hard enough to bruise. In the Pits, respect was bought with blood. And just a glance at the way Sorel’s face drained of color meant he was going to pay a high price for it indeed.

He turned to glance at Karen who already seemed utterly unconcerned, even whiny, about the supposed chore of taking him on in the ring. She’d certainly mastered the look of someone who’d seen more than their fair share of fights. Her face was scared from here to Kanto, but none of the injuries looked to be fresh. She looked and walked with the swagger of someone who’d been far too long without a proper challenge, and part of him was hoping it was true. Some vestigial part of him he hated to acknowledge was actually looking forward to a good fight.

“Hey, Limp-dick!” Karen barked at him, when she noticed his silent appraisal from across the gym, “You been taking it from behind for so long you forgot what a real woman looks like?!”

Dicky might not have been worth the wasted breath on a retort, but an opponent was another matter entirely.

“If you’re a real woman, then my memory is fuzzier than I thought.” Rai said, maintaining a bored expression in his tone, “The whores in Johto at least know they have to be attractive to make money. Or maybe you did figure that out and that’s why you’re here?”

He heard the scrape of heavy equipment moving and saw a rather irate looking hitmonlee starting to push through some of the equipment at him. Kye noticed it too, and Rai instantly felt the air around him warm as his pokemon let out a low growl in response. Karen only laughed as her pokemon strutted over to stand with her. She strode across the distance separating them and mimicked Dicky’s early gesture and jabbed him in the chest with a finger before dragging it up the length of his neck to flick his chin.

“Don’t forget to tuck that head between your legs and give your ass a nice kiss goodbye,” She said every syllable in her voice dripping with a threat, “Because in about 5 minutes, it’s going to belong to me.”

There was the sound of several more people moving somewhere behind him, and Rai caught a glimpse of a few musclebound trainers lifting themselves up off their equipment to form a kind of wall between him and the exit while Karen made for the arena. They weren’t going to let him back out of this even if he’d wanted too. He started to walk after her, as the heavy doors separating the gym from the Pit groaned as they swung open. The sound set every hair on his body on end in anticipation. He hated the Pit, he hated putting Kye in harm’s way, but he couldn’t deny the fact that years of fighting had ingrained this way of life into his very bones.

“Here.” Rai said as her pulled up short of the door and shucked out of his jacket and pack and flung them at the nearest person herding him inside, “Put these someplace safe for me.”

“Char.” He heard his pokemon snort as they stepped out into the gritty sand of the arena.

Rai sucked in a deep breath as he took a moment to adjust to the bright lights and the sudden roar of angry, excited voices. He could pick out bets being made, people angry at a supposed line up change, jeering that he would be a stain on the wall by the time this was over and done with. He didn’t doubt that last one so much. There were more than a few dark, rusty patches that littered the Pit’s walls. The wire cage over the top of the ring was probably the only thing that had stopped whatever made those stains from making it up into the stands. Rai kicked at the grit under his shoes, stirring up the musty smell of copper and sweat. It was a good mix of rough and fine sand for traction, packed down enough to make a firm surface with just enough traction. Kye scratched at it a few times himself, keeping his nose low to the ground as he inspected their new battlegrounds, oblivious to the crowds around them

“You like, Johto?!” Karen shouted at him from across the circular arena, “This a good enough place for me to bury you after I kill your sorry ass?”

“It’s easier on the eyes than you are, for sure.” Rai called back, gratified to see her face start to turn scarlet.

The doors behind them were starting to grind closed, pulling Kye’s attention back to the impending fight as the cheering reached a fevered pitch. Rai stood calmly at his end, watching Karen and her hitmonlee pacing back and forth on their side like caged houndoom, every bit as eager for blood as the crowd. Rai glanced up into the stands, just in time to see Dicky find himself a seat where he could watch the fight unfold, as the door behind them sealed with a clank that shook the arena. He felt his heart rate pick up and a grin curl across his face despite himself, as a Loudred’s bellow split the air and set the match in motion.

Rai and Kye both dove to opposite ends of the ring, as the Hitmonlee wasted no time in launching its first attack. The pokemon dashed across the arena with impressive speed and the sole of its foot collided with the retaining wall where Rai’s head had been an instant before. Rai ignored the sudden shower of rubble and rolled back onto his feet, every muscle tense and ready to spring. Kye was less passive, and the second he swiveled to face the fighting type he wasted no time unleashing a flamethrower to cook his foe. Rai heard the screech from somewhere within the flames, only a moment before Karen herself came up behind Kye on his blind side.

“Kye! Move!”

The charmeleon snapped his attention to the other trainer an instant too late, as she brought a fist down across his face and muzzle in a shower of blue sparks that took Rai by surprise. Kye dropped to the arena floor for only a moment, before a rolling kick sent him careening into the opposite wall of the Pit.

“Fakking amateur,” Karen laughed, as Kye slumped limply to the arena floor, “Bringin’ a fire-type to a fightin’ ring.”

Rai grit his teeth as he spared another glance over to Kye. He could see his pokemon move a bit, and Rai flicked a hand out behind him in a quick, wordless gesture for Kye to stay down, as Karen and hitmonlee advanced on him. He could see static practically dancing around some kind of patchwork gauntlet around her right arm. Experience had taught him electricity of any kind hurt, and he really could not afford to find out just how big a punch her improvised taser packed. Karen, on the other hand, seemed all too eager to give him a taste of it, as she swung out with a right hook meant for his face. Rai ducked under her arm, feeling his air stand on end from the static passing just above him, before ramming a fist of his own right into her exposed solar plexus. He heard the telltale “whuff” as the air fled her lungs, leaving her stumbling back clutching at her midsection as she tried to remember how to breathe. Rai charged after her, but only made it a few steps before her hitmonlee intervened.

Rai heard, rather than felt, the impact as he crashed into the wall. The concrete barrier was more than unyielding, despite the fact his skull was trying to tunnel through it at speeds slightly less than conducive for keeping his brain in its proper place. The world pitched hard around him, and everything suddenly became muted for a brief moment as his nervous system struggled to catch up to real time. Rai only vaguely felt something hot start to spread across his scalp, as he struggled to right himself again. It was only the adrenaline in his system that snapped the world back into focus around the same time he saw another kick racing at him. He shifted to one side just fast enough to miss the first blow, only for the low sweep to catch him hard in the chest and send him airborne once again.

Rai hit the ground with enough force to feel at least one rib crack. The sudden shock of pain caused the world to be thrown into sharp relief and to blur simultaneously as his body and consciousness warred over allowing him to stay awake. At least until Karen’s face appeared in his field of view, as she dropped her full weight down on to his sternum with one knee. Rai felt the pain blossom in his side again under the new strain, and a scream tore from his lips, as she started to laugh.

“That’s it, Johto! Scream for the nice people!”

Her fist connected with his face once, twice, three times, before Rai started to lose count. The metallic tang of blood filled his mouth after each blow rattled his skull. When he did nothing more than grunt with each impact, she pulled her right arm back, ready to zap him with a jolt of electricity. Rai peeled open one rapidly swelling eye and watched her reel back, as he dug his fingers into the grit of the arena floor under him and flung a handful of the rough sand right into her eyes.

She shrieked and pawed at her face trying to rub the grit out, spitting and cursing at him, when an orange blur collided into her with enough force to knock her clean off Rai’s chest. Rai only smirked as he heard Kye’s muffled snarl and her sudden silence, as he looked over to see his pokemon with every tooth bared as they gripped her neck with just enough pressure to start drawing blood. Rai could see her eyes go wide at the fire-type, but every little flinch made Kye snarl like a revved chainsaw and his teeth dug into her neck a little deeper. Rai sucked in a steady breath as he pulled himself back to his feet, shoving the sharp protests of his ribs to the back of his mind. He’d deal with that later.

“Keep her out of my way, Kye.” Rai said, spitting out a wad of crimson tinted saliva into the sand as he turned to face Karen’s hitmonlee. The only reply he got was another growl.

It seemed like his trainer’s sudden perilous position had the fighting-type stunned as it stood indecisively shifting from foot to foot, unsure if it should attempt to intervene and save it’s trainer while Kye did an excellent job making it clear that any attempt wouldn’t end well.

“Come on then.” Rai goaded Karen, “Are you just going to let your pokemon stand there watching?”

He swore he could see her eyes bulge out a bit more behind her puffy cheeks for a moment, before her chest started to heave enough to make Kye bob up and down in time with it.

“K-KILL HIM ALREADY!”

There. That was better. Rai smirked as the pokemon focused his gaze unsteadily on him. It was hesitating, and that was perfect. Unlike the kicks before that had taken him off his guard, Rai saw this one coming. The heel of the hitmonlee’s foot slammed square into Rai’s chest, meaning to knock him off his feet and flying again. Except this time, Rai was braced for it. Rather than flying, Rai grabbed hold of the pokemon’s stretched leg and wedged it’s foot firmly under an arm. He could feel the muscles waver for a second, the shock of being caught taking it off guard, before the hitmonlee tried pulling it’s leg back in.

Rai didn’t let it. Hitmonlee had notoriously stretchy tendons and muscles in their legs, but it was only an advantage while they were on the attack. Rai could feel the muscles tense and retract in his grip, and pulled back a fist and savagely struck at the pokemon’s leg. The first blow sent shockwaves through his own body, the second he felt the telltale rip of tissue, and the third was simply for good measure before he let go and watched the pokemon drop to the ground with one leg now hanging at an awkward angle.

“You know…” Rai started to laugh, turning to face Karen with a cold look in his eye and blood running across his teeth as he grinned at her, “Here I was really hoping Hoenn would have better fighters than this.”

He crossed over to where Kye still had a snarling grip around Karen’s neck, and dropped down to crouch next to her head, looking her up and down.

“Are you going to quit while you can?”

“Fuck you!”

Rai snorted.

“By all rights, I ought to let Kye just eat you.” He chuckled, “Crowd would absolutely love it. But that would be too nice I think.”

Rai reached past Kye and replaced the death grip his pokemon had on the woman with a vice like grip of his own and haled her back to her feet by her neck. Her hands flew up to claw at his arm, but Rai hardly noticed as he slung her into the walls he’d been making friends with most of the night. His heart hammered wildly in his chest, making his muscles twitch with anticipation. This was what he loved, this rush, this high.

“I could keep beating you the way you did me?” He called out loud enough for the crowd to hear, “Make you scream for all these ‘good people’?”

He picked her back up and slammed her back first into the arena floor, making her go limp for a brief moment. He could too. He wanted to do just that. In any other fight, he might have and enjoyed dealing the pain he’d received back one blow at a time. But any idiot with two fists could manage that.

“I could break your knee, like I did to your pokemon?” He growled, digging a heel into the muscle just above her kneecap.

“I could break your shoulder with the same effort it takes to get a glass of milk, I could ram the bones of your nose up into your brain, I could hit you in the tits hard enough to stop your heart from beating.” Rai listed off, almost as if he expected her to pick her own fate, “See your boss told you to get in here and kill me, but that’s such a waste, you know?”

Rai reached out with his free hand, and tapped her temple, leaving a red smear across her skin where he did. She met his eyes, finding a cold excitement reflected back at her, as if he were genuinely excited to share a terrible secret with her.

“See, if I hit you there? You start having seizures. It may kill you tonight, but chances are, you’ll live. You may even walk out of here on your own.” He said flippantly, “But the seizures don’t stop. They get worse and worse. You start losing control of your legs, then your arms, even being able to take care of yourself will be impossible. You’ll be strapped into a wheelchair while people look at you with pity, because while you were once some hot shit in this arena, you won’t even be able to stop drooling on yourself.”

Rai swore he could see tears actually start to well up in her eyes. From fear, frustration, or helplessness, he didn’t care. This was a Pit fight, and only one of them got to walk out victorious. The fact was, injuries would heal. People would come back for rematches, for revenge. But to completely break someone meant they’d never challenge him ever again.

“See, I don’t just kill people, I destroy them. I will take everything from you and leave you a shell of who you used to be.” He said leaning down to whisper into her ear, “It’s why people were afraid of me in Johto. I don’t kill people. I just make them wish that I had.”

For a second, neither one of them moved. Then out of the corner of his eye, he saw her start to tap her hand against the arena floor. One by one, Rai uncurled his fingers from around her throat, able to see the bloody teeth imprints under his own handprint. Even as he let her go, Karen didn’t move and lay starting up at the roof of the subterranean Pit with the slow rise and fall of her chest being the only indication she was still alive. Rai got back to his feet in time for the edges of his vision to start to blur and go black. His head was pounding and swimming while the world pitched under his feet. Had it not been for Kye limping over to lean against his side, Rai might not have managed to stay upright. He dropped a bloody hand down to the top of his pokemon’s head, ignoring the crimson dripping from his face to hit the ground in speckled drops.They couldn’t be weak here. Not now. Not with the crowd roaring with the upset and the feeling of so many eyes on them.

That was the first rule of the Pit: Only the strong make it out. So while Rai wanted to do nothing more than drop to the floor and let the darkness take him, he pulled in a breath that made his ribs shriek in protest and bellowed at the top of his longs to the rest of the crowd.

“WHO’S NEXT?!”

Hidden 6 yrs ago Post by Phoenix
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Phoenix

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Briney Cottage - Route 104S
Leodin was into his food, oblivious to the stranger joining them that morning. Briney simply gave a confused look and glanced at his son in an attempt to gather any clues as to the purpose of the apology. All he saw was a contented, if rather eager, boy shoving various breakfast foods into, and onto, his face. Fredrick brought a napkin to the boy's mouth, passively insisting he pay closer attention to how he ate.
Fredrick looked back up at the stranger, who'd begun to tentatively bring food to his mouth instead of just picking at it. He decided to not respond to the apology and just silently accept the gesture. He brought a cool glass of juice to his lips when the stranger began to speak again.
An amused huff was pushed from his lungs. "Aye," he said through a soft, yet coarse, chuckle. This was to the monologue "Cloud" had just performed. But he shook his head, silently apologuzing for letting down a man who he'd just saved from likely death.
"I'm gon' t' Oldale wit' muh son t'day. He want's me t' watch a demonstration with him."
He pointed his chin, signalling for the boy to get washed and dressed now that he'd finished his breakfast. "You're more 'n' welcome t' come along."
The table gave way to Briney's legs as he rose from his seat, the same motion grinding the chair across the floor behind him. The plates dinged and rang as they were gathered from the table and brought to the sink nearby. "But, if yer eager," he continued as the dishes sounded their descent into the basin, "my first,' Honnings, 'll give ya'h day at sea."
The dry clothes and privacy to change were provided. Little to no small talk was had while the men (and boy) were preparing for their day. The quite bustle of preparation filled the walls of the small cottage. A knock at the door interrupted their percussion and the passage whined open to reveal a man, young, perhaps, but certainly seasoned.
"Oi! Brine!" he called in a voice surprisingly spritely compared to his hard, tattooed and pierced appearance.
He didn't look the part of "sailor," but perhaps that didn't mean much. His hair was dramatic yet kempt. His body was clearly strong enough to be a sailor, but his skin was a canvase. His eyes were bright and his face angled. A torn, or ripped, plain black top showed the aesthetic of his skin. Accompanied with a full beard, and weathered jeans and boots, he looked ready for some kind of concert or a biker outing. Instead, he looked around expectantly for his boss.
"I got fuckin' shit t'do t'day, ya bastard! I'm not fuckin' 'round wit' some pussy-bitch 'cause you an't'e fuckin' assed!"
The language fit that of a man at sea for too long. It also insinuated he knew not a child could hear, or that he simply lacked the decency of censorship. Regardless, a short haw downplayed the level of vulgarity in his words.


Naval Junkyard - Slateport City
The crowd roared, whether in upset or excitement was difficult to tell. The ground trembled, vibrated with the powerful emotions and people surrounding. The individual standing in the center urged other competitors to not end up like the broken woman and Hitmonlee sprawled across the ring.
A single hand raised, hidden in the commotion, and silence replaced the cheers and jeers in just moments. Some kept their eyes on the beaten and broken foreigner looking for someone to kill him, while others looked expectantly at Dicky. He began to descend the bleachers around the ring, his stout posture keeping him from being easily followed by curious eyes.
"Someone get this damned foreigner out of my ring!" His voice still echoed in the hollowed earth despite his stature and the people to absorb the vibrations. "And get that bitch to the infirmary!" he added with a dismissive wave of his hand.
When he turned away, a few large men entered the ring to remove the combatants. A particularly misshapen couple escorted Rai with a lack of care of grace. The others picked up the unconscious Hitmonlee and Karen to get them healed up as quickly as possible so their "career" wouldn't end with a fluke of a child and his inflated head.
Rai was carried through a tunnel, a portal, that was disguised as part of the interior dome structure. A narrow passage forced the brutes to walk sideways, sidestepping, so their broad shoulders wouldn't scrape against its sides. It would have felt like hours for someone half-conscious before they reached a chamber looking more like an executive's office than that of a head of a Brawler's community.
Dicky was sitting in a high-backed leather chair. A wet clicking echoed throughout the "room," rhythmic like a faucet dripping onto metal. A woman stood beside him, wearing little and too pretty to be a fighter. The amount of cosmetics on her face and the manner in which she held herself and the way in which her hair bounced as she shifted suggested her profession wasn't so "professional."
The man flicked his hand and the woman waded across the stone floor in heels too high to look as if she glided across ice, sensual and elegant. She caressed a chair as she would the chest of a strong man to position it before the desk. When she returned to her spot next to Dicky, he thanked her with a series of gropes that suggested a carnal familiarity of her body.
The men carrying the Johto boy dropped him on the chair and were then waved out without a word. Dicky let out a contented sigh and shifted around at his waist. A boy, not quite as old as Rai but with a more impressive aesthetic unadorned with clothing rose from somewhere under the large desk. He wiped his chin and gave a pleased and pompous eye tot he visitor. He exited the "office" more gracefully and tented than when he left the womb.
"Johto, huh?" he pondered aloud. His small hand cupped his wide jaw. "And Rai's the name?" he continued, looking away from the boy.
His eyes searched for information he seemed unable to recall. "I don't suppose your General Kurin's bastard."
He lit a cigar materialized in the woman's manicured and sleek fingers next to Dicky's lips. "If so, you're lookin' in the wrong place, kid."
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Hidden 6 yrs ago 6 yrs ago Post by Xan the G
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Xan the G

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Jin smiled as Briney explained that he wouldn't be going out to sea, but having an eventful day with his son. He swallowed the morsel in his mouth and nodded approvingly.

"That's fine," he replied. "I'll follow your lead all the same. It would help even just to hear some stories of what you have seen about the beach over the years." explained Jin in reiteration. In a brief passage of time, Jin had all his clothes on, which included his multipurpose black-camo raincoat. He was heading for the front door, in the middle of the hallway when a voice as crude as it was impatient piped up from the outside. Jin noted that amongst all the natural faux pas the voice seemed to be taking an endearing liberty, suggesting that it was not simply being rude, but probably belonged to someone who knew Briney well enough that it would be taken tongue in cheek. To that end, Jin refrained from responding in any meaningful manner other than glancing to Briney for his cue. From his position at the table, Jin could see into the hallway where the beholder of the voice was approaching, able to appreciate both his stature and attire, soaking as they were from the continuing downpour.

By his dress sense, Jin didn't see anything about him that suggested he had any akin to boating, but the manner in which the man called Briney to action and the way in which he had no concern about the rain water nestling into his clothes suggested a man in his element. Jin was just glad that for once this didn't present yet another person seeing Jin in a compromising fashion. He tried to avoid eye contact with the man and rotate sideways to let him pass as he entered. Jin's intention was to fade into the background of whatever interaction he would have with Briney.
Hidden 6 yrs ago 6 yrs ago Post by Kymera
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Kymera Genetic experiment gone wrong

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Naval Junkyard- Slateport City


Rai was sure he had to have passed out on his feet. On moment, the roar of the crowds was buzzing in his ears, and the next he found himself roughly dropped into a leather backed seat in an office he never would have guessed existed within 100 miles of the Pit. For a moment, he wondered if the blows to his head weren’t making him hallucinate, though if they were, the very attractive woman wasn’t a terrible change of pace. One eye was almost entirely swollen shut, but it didn’t stop Rai from following her every move with a half-dazed look on his face.

It wasn’t until a young man near enough Rai’s own age climbed out from under Dicky’s desk with a self-satisfied smirk, did his attention pull back away from her. The level of familiarity in the room made Rai wonder, but he’d learned early on, those questions were better left unasked. Still, he was feeling dizzy and lightheaded, either from the blood loss or the almost certain concussion. He couldn’t help the half chuckle and drunken slur as he rolled his head to look back at Dicky with a raised eyebrow.

“You know, If I’d have known you liked my performance that much, I could have stayed and beat the shit out of more of your people.”

Dicky didn’t seem to hear him though, as his escort brought a cigar to him and smoothly held it out to his lips to puff. It wasn’t until Dicky mentioned not only his name, but his mother’s, that Rai’s blood ran cold and dispersed the comfortable haze around him. A migraine stabbed at his temples, as his brain kicked into overdrive, trying to think of how Dicky had managed to come across that kind of information so quickly, when he spotted his bag and jacket laying in a haphazard pile in one corner of the room. His pokedex. No doubt they’d torn through his things and found it. He’d yet to actually introduce himself to anyone, so that was the most likely culprit and the only scenario he’d ever be able to talk his way out of.

“Went through my shit, eh?” Rai jerked his head in the direction of his discarded things, “Dunno the Rai kid. I just jacked his ‘dex before I left the Region. Looked like me enough, I figured it wouldn’t set off the Rangers, ya’ know?”

That was an easy enough story. Pokedex’s were reprogramed all the time, especially when someone needed to hop the next boat out of the region. With any luck, Dicky wouldn’t think twice about him doing the same. His mother had been notorious amongst the Rangers as a Pit Killer, damn near a boogeyman in her own right amongst the underground rings. It made his own name a liability. There were still far too many people even a decade later that would love nothing more than to tie him out in the Pit and flay him alive if they figured out his heritage. Dicky certainly seemed like the type.

“I hope you destroyed that thing if it belonged to that toasted General’s brat.” Rai spat flippantly, sick through to his heart at his own words. That pokedex was one of the last things his mother had given him. It held the only pictures he still had of their family, one tucked just behind the screen cover as a reminder what he was doing all this for. “Thing was a piece of shit anyway. Look, if I’m straight with ya’ the name’s Rhode, lotta people in the Pit just called me Typhon though.”

Rai stuck out a bloodied hand to Dicky and was entirely unsurprised when the stout man sat like a stature and didn’t budge an inch. He shrugged it off and stuck his hand back to his still bleeding scalp, trying to staunch the sluggish flow further.

“I ain’t here to waste your time.” Rai huffed, mild annoyance disguising his own anxiety. “You’re gonna be down a fighter after tonight. That bitch is never getting back in the Pit. She’ll do it once, maybe, and you’d better bet on her opponent if she does. I know I made you money tonight, and I think the two of us can help each other out. I fight, I make you money, and you put me up and in touch with someone who can help me track down a couple of people who are in serious need of a personalized asskicking.”

The cloud of smoke around Dicky seemed to make the entire room hazy and his already aching head hurt even worse. He was starting to get nauseous and didn’t trust himself to hold out much longer, before the paper-thin façade of bravado fell away to reveal just how awful he really felt.

“Longer we sit here, the more I’m gonna just bleed all over your stuff.” Rai said, leveling a hard glare right back at the Pit Boss, "So are we going to do business, or not?”

Hidden 6 yrs ago Post by c3p-0h
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c3p-0h unending foolery

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Pokemon Day-Care - Route 117

Haven's head snapped in the direction of the shriek, suddenly alert. Her eyes went wide at the sound – that had been Mrs. James. She was stunned, frozen until she heard the sound of glass shattering. Then she broke into a sprint towards the nursery. Heart in her throat, she burst onto the scene to see Mrs. James collapsed on the floor, shards of glass littered around her. The incubator was tipped over, cracked and empty. Haven's lips parted in a silent gasp, waiting to ask for an explanation. Mrs. James saw her first, Joy frantic at her side. There was blood, a crimson splatter dripping from the broken window. Shards of glass glinted red on the ground.

"The egg," Mrs. James said, cutting off Haven's half-formed thoughts. Her Azumarill was helping her sit up. The old woman seemed alright, overall. Disoriented and likely sore from the fall, but otherwise alright as far as Haven could tell. The blood didn't seem to be hers. "He stole the egg." Haven's eyes widened and she looked to the incubator again, pieces snapping into place. Anger mixed with her alarm. That egg – her egg.

"Son of a bitch."

She turned and bolted through the house and out the front door, ignoring Mrs. James' calls behind her. The same recklessness that had pushed her into a storm without a coat to return the egg once again sang through her blood, spurring her out into the torrent – never mind the fact that she was in house slippers and an oversized bathrobe this time.

She was responsible for that egg. And now she felt responsible for Mrs. James, too.

The storm was familiar as she dashed out into the darkness in what she hoped was the right direction. Already it was seeping through her clumped, stringy hair, and through the thick cloth of her robe. Haven didn't feel the cold though, as it reacquainted itself with her bones. Not when fire was already beginning to burn in her lungs and arc through her muscles.

There was a flash in the sky. The crackling rumble of thunder shook the ground soon after, like a bellowed warning.

But in that brief moment of light, Haven had seen something on the path ahead of her: a figure trying to run with a limp, and keeping his arms close to his chest – as though he were holding something.

Haven grit her teeth and pushed herself faster, despite the pain each breath brought. Now that she knew where to look, she kept her eyes trained on that figure as it grew steadily larger. She watched him duck to the right, beyond some bushes on the bank of an overflowing lake that lined the side of the path. She ran after him, nearly falling in the mud as she took the turn too fast. She'd lost her slippers somewhere along the way, and now ran barefoot, mud squishing between her toes and under her heels. She heard the alarmed chirps and gurgles from the pokemon who called the lake their home as she ran. But she ignored them, searching again for the figure. She had to find him again, she –

"Get rid of 'em!" a voice shouted in the dark ahead of her.

A streak of light blinded her, the telltale call of a pokeball, and suddenly a Rhyhorn was before her. Haven let out a yelp (though it was no doubt lost in the storm) and tried to stop. But her heel only slid in the mud, sending her toppling backwards. Mud mixed with the lake water splashed around her, coating her robe and skin. The reeds and branches lining the lake cut into her palms, the only thing keeping her from the lake itself. The Rhyhorn roared down at her, and for the first time since she'd gone charging out of the daycare, she felt fear, frigid and petrifying in her bones. Her mouth parted as she looked up at it. The Rhyhorn surged forward. Something in her pocket clicked.

Another flash cracked through the night like lightning and then Haven's Granbull Dagger was between her and the Rhyhorn. Dagger caught the Rhyhorn's massive paws, and strained against its weight. The two were locked in a battle of sheer force above Haven.

Distantly, Haven felt a pinprick of warmth – of pride. They never had found a pokeball Dagger couldn't muscle her way out of.

And then Haven snapped back to attention, the reality of the battle around her crashing back into her.

Dagger glared at the Rhyhorn, a guttural snarl seeping through her teeth. But for all of her ferocity, she wasn't a match for the enormous pokemon. It towered over her, bigger, stronger, and Haven scrambled from behind her. Scuttling to the side, somehow managed to avoid the Rhyhorn's attention. It was too focused on Dagger as it edged the Granbull back, inch by inch towards the lake. Pink electricity began to crackle around Dagger's heavy jaw, the sound mixing with her growl.

Haven opened her mouth to give a command. And then shut it and pulled out Dagger's empty pokeball instead. In a flash of light, Dagger was gone and the Rhyhorn was alone. Without the Granbull to counter its weight, it tipped and toppled forward into the lake. But Haven didn't stay to watch.

As the sounds of the Rhyhorn thrashing in the water mixed with the angry calls of the water pokemon who had been disturbed, Haven was on her feet again running forward. There was another crack of lighting, this time almost immediately followed by the deafening rumble of thunder. Her eyes lit on the figure – the man, she could see clearly now – limping ahead of her. Already her hand was curling around another pokeball in her robe pocket. Brandishing it, she clicked the center button and released her Weepinbell in front of her.

"Reel 'em in!" she shouted, still running. Thick vines rushed forward as Blink followed her command. It was a reach, she knew, but still within Blink's range. His vines wrapped around his legs and he came crashing down with a shout. The egg fell from his arms and rolled through mud and puddles as the man landed on his face. Haven was still running as Blink began dragging him backwards. She ran as she passed him, cursing and sputtering as he tried to catch his breath, ran as his hand tried to reach the pokeballs at his belt. She ran until she reached the egg, muddy and freezing on the ground. Haven bent down and picked it up, frantically looking it over for any damage.

Then she turned back to see the man.
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Hidden 6 yrs ago 6 yrs ago Post by LegionPothIX
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LegionPothIX

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Orre Region:
Pokemon HQ Lab - Laboratory Wing 1


A small child no more than ten years of age sat restlessly with a large ditto hoisted up in both arms. It was about her size and it drooped like an overstuffed, and over-sized carnival prize that she had been squeezing a little too tightly.

"Are you sure we're meant to have this?" Professor Krane asked the child, "I know your father was a friend to this institution but this is a bit unexpected." He turned over the brand new Trainer's Gauntlet in his hand as to inspect it. It had only the standard applications, and had not yet been registered to the trainer whom provided it. As the professor browsed the app marketplace his assistant Lily spoke up.

"I think you're confused, professor." The doctoral assistant in the double-breasted labcoat colored for her namesake interrupted the Professor's inspection of the Trainer's Gauntlet by producing her Pokemon Lens. "Professor Ro worked on the integrating the Crown into the Lens, and did so in this very building," she said while tapping the face-plate of the device with her long manicured nails before continuing, "I think his daughter would rather have one of these, than one of those." Lily turned to the child and offered her a reassuring smile while the ditto oozed onto the ground. "After all, she's come a very long way to get one. Isn't that right, Sarah?"

Sarah was obviously uncomfortable as she too slid out of the chair, and into the pile of pokemon that was her dad's ditto. Talking about her father often made her feel that way because everyone seemed to know him except for her. She only nodded as the befuddled professor turned from her to his assistant, who dropped her own Lens back into her purse as casually as if it were a compact or lip-gloss.

"We don't have a Crown," he said before he realized what both women meant. He awkwardly laughed and corrected himself as Lily rolled her eyes. "Oh! Right! The Lens. For new trainers!" He patted the Trainer's Gauntlet and thoughtfully turned to Sara before adding: "You're a new trainer now, aren't you Sarah?"

Now that he was addressing her directly the child rose to attention and nodded. "Yep!" she exclaimed, "I'm a woman now!"

"My, my my," Lily chuckled, while resting her fingers against her cheek with one hand, and her elbow in the other. "Ten years old and already a woman?" She turned to the professor, who was rooting around in his desk, and she cooed: "Isn't that precious? They grow up so fast." To which the professor responded while producing a spare Pokemon Lens, "You've got a couple of your own, don't you Lily?" The professor's assistant swiped the Lens and checked its operating system for the latest updates. "One, and three," she said in reference to their age as her face lit up first with excitement, then with embarrassment, "and that hardly has anything to do with anything!"

The immodest implication of the assistant's age soared over Sarah's head, as she patiently awaited her first poke-tool. A poke-tool that really was her own and not her mother's or father's tools they let her occasionally play with. "It should be a simple task to clone the Hoenn apps onto this for you," the professor spoke to Sarah directly, before taking the Lens back from Lily, then placed it into a machine with the Gauntlet. It made the appropriate science-y lights and noises before he took it out again and presented it to Sarah. "I see you already have a pokemon," the Professor added, "So why don't you try scanning it, and then we'll test your lens with a battle?"

The child nodded and nudged her ditto with her shoes which prompted it to 'stand' up. After scanning the Pokemon Lens created a true-to-life 3D miniature recreation of the ditto and spouted off some facts regarding it:

"Capable of copying an opponent's genetic code, it can freely recombine its own cellular structure into other life-forms to instantly transform itself into a duplicate of the enemy. Ditto rearranges its cell structure to transform itself into other shapes. However, if it tries to transform itself into something by relying on its memory, this Pokémon manages to get details wrong."

Upon hearing the correct regional information being provided regarding the ditto, Lilly reached into her purse to produce a pokeball and her own Lens. She swiped the ball across the convext portion of the Lens and tossed it on the ground. "Alright, Sarah, are you ready? Because here we come!" Sarah's own Pokemon Lens spoke up, announcing: "Professorial Assistant Lily would like to battle!" as a Blissey exploded from the pokeball, which triggered Ditto's impostor ability. And, again, the Pokemon Lens recited the pokedex information:

"Blissey has a very compassionate nature. If it sees a sick Pokémon, it will nurse the sufferer back to health. It senses sadness with its fluffy coat of fur. If it does so, this Pokémon will rush over to the sad person, however far they may be, to share an egg of happiness that brings a smile to any face. Anyone who takes even one bite of Blissey's egg becomes unfailingly caring and pleasant to everyone."

The pokemon's true-to-life 3D representation was again displayed centered in the air above the convex Lens' center but also had a list of moves inscribed in 2D on the surface of the lens itself that the transformed Ditto had copied from the Blissey. "Everything seems to be in order," Lily noted as she compared her own Lens, "Shall we continue?" she asked Sarah before addressing her pokemon specifically: "Use Double Slap."

"Substitution!" Sarah shouted but her pokemon would not obey and instead used Me First. For the next few minutes the two pokemon proceeded to double slap each other all over the lab, as they crashed into computers, desks, and other equipment. Both of the actual adults laughed as Sarah tried to wrangle her pokemon into obedience.

"I," Lily was still laughing as she recalled her pokemon, "I think that's enough."

"Never forget," the professor began after drying his eyes, "Just because you're officially a trainer now, doesn't mean pokemon will just do what you tell them." Professor Krane bent down as to meet Sarah with eye contact on her level. "Quite the opposite in-fact. he said while giving her an encouraging noogie. "Your pokemon may always look to you for guidance, but only after you have proven yourself to be trusted with that leadership. Now that you're a trainer you must earn their respect as an equal, no matter how much they may have respected you as a person before."

Though she did not fully understand, Sarah nodded trusting that she would one day, before leaving the lab to return home to Hoenn.
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