Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by YourSecretWeapon
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Connor tried to keep a clear face while the man in front of him had used pretty much any excuse in the book. Connor looked straighed at him and asked "Mr. Hill, why do think you feel the need to justify your actions against me? I'm not here to judge you, I'm here to help you figure out a solution. I'm a therapist, not a judge."
The man sighed loudly. "You make it sound like I am the problem. Maybe I cheat on my wife because she's never in the mood."
Connor write something down on his notebook while replying "I didn't say you WERE the problem, I meant that you HAVE a pr-"
But Mr Hill wouldn't have any of it. "In fact, I am paying you to see things from my point of view. What a lousy therapist are you?!"
Connor had enough. "Look, Mr Hill, you came here to get my advise and I'm willing to do everything I can to help you. But I will not have that tone used against me in my own office."
Hill rolled his eyes and left the office while mumbling he'd find another therapist.

Connor sighed deeply, took the last sip of his coffee and turned on the radio. There was a broadcast about Team Rocket's latest crime and Connor quickly turned the radio back off again. Today had been exhausting enough without dealing with more bad news. As he walked towards the giant window of his office, he noticed his Noivern hanging upside down right outside the window. Connor opened it and Noivern's eyes opened. "Hey there, you wanna come back into your pokeball to rest a bit? Noivern nodded and Connor reached for one of the three pokeballs on his belt. He pressed the center button and Noivern got retreated. One can assume the two other pokeballs also contained pokemon owned by Connor. He stared at them, looked at his desk and then back to the pokeballs. Connor could remember his life before pokemon were discovered in the real world, back when they only existed in games and anime. At first it had felt so unreal that they actually existed but by now he had gotten somewhat used to it. He grabbed his office phone and dialed #01. "Please cancel the rest of today's appointments. Thank you."

Before he walked out, he changed into something more comfortable. Heading to the nearby lake, he wondered how he had ever gotten so tired of his job. Maybe that was why Ho-oh had brought him back? To give him a second chance in life, to not just go through the motions this time? Whatever the reason was, Connor was grateful that Ho-oh showed up during what could have been his final moments in life. Ever since, Connor looked at things differently. It was like his sole purpose was to find a higher meaning in life. Perhaps pokemon could show him the way.

At the lake he first released his Umbreon. It stretched and yawned, but looked happy to be out. Connor patted it on the head. "Let's spend some time outside." He then approached the lake and pressed the button of his third and last pokeball, unleashing a Gyarados in the lake. It looked absolutely fierce and yet somehow you could tell it was totally obedient to Connor. The minute Gyarados was out, a second Gyarados approached it with a certain hostile approach. At the edge of the lake, a well-built guy with a tan walked up to Connor. "Well, look who it is. Can your Gyarados mega-evolve yet? Or is it still weak?"
Connor frowned at the guy. "Gyarados is not weak, Julien. He doesn't need to mega-evolve in order to be strong. You have no idea how hard he has worked to be where he is today." Julien chuckled. "I remember the time when you had no clue how to train your Eevee, Noibat and Magikarp. I'm surprised they have even evolved." Connor gazed at Julien. "And yet they did."

While Julien walked off, Connor made a fist. He couldn't stand that guy. Umbreon came rubbing his head against Connor's leg in order to distract him from his frustrations. "You're right." he said to Umbreon. "I shouldn't let him get to me like that." They both sat down in the grass while Gyarados enjoyed his swim. Connor didn't let Noivern out for now because he knew it was resting. Connor looked towards the sky and wondered if he'd ever see Ho-oh again.

Hidden 9 mos ago Post by jetipster
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His barefoot trailed in the cold water as he swiped through this morning's emails. It had been far too long since he'd had any downtime and was finally glad for a break between jobs. He had only been a researcher at a broadcasting network when their world changed and he took a punt on pitching a documentary concept to his superiors. The past 2 years had since been a whirlwind of travel and experience as he'd become an associate producer on the very series he pitched. They were still deep into filming but releasing trimmed footage as it arrived to create smaller programmes in the meantime. Thus he was constantly either in meetings or traveling to various locations. It had been 4 months since he'd made it home to his humble apartment.

So he'd done his favourite thing... head out to the lake for some peace and quiet. He looked up after finishing a long email about an overdue budget report he was waiting for to admire his Lapras gliding through the shallows occasionally stretching his neck underwater and emerging with a mouthful of pondweed. This large floating shell was the perfect dive platform for his Vaporeon to use as she slid in and out of the cool water, leaping and flowing with majesty. He smiled as she paused to glance at him with her jet black eyes before, content that he was still there and safe, diving back into the water. He ran a hand through his Vulpix's soft white fur as she curled up beside him staring at the trundling Charjabug with suspicion. He thought back to a headline that had buzzed this morning about the renewed debate over the ethics of interactions with the Pokemon. The world was fraught with indecision. Firstly, no one knew where they had come from or how they had got there, but suddenly every Pokemon that had been designed existed and was found in the locations you'd associate with those creatures in the game. Immediately there were problems. Politically, accusations were thrown and no responsibility owned, spreading further distrust between nations who needed to work together to decide on courses of action, whilst all no doubt analysing the military benefits of certain species. Scientifically, these were creatures entirely new to science. Scientists knew less than gamers, who quickly found themselves as experts on a worldwide phenomenon. Yet accompanying the creatures were their abilities, seemingly magical, the psychic, dark and fairy were now real. Ecologically, they swiftly outcompeted many existing species with superior intellect and collaboration. It was an extinction event to challenge anything recorded in history. Ethically, there were far too many questions to tackle. They were obviously more intelligent than previous animals including apes, dolphins, pigs, and corvids - so how should they be treated and protected by law? They weren't animals but not human either... Could they be farmed? Was it right to keep them as pets? Was it right to use them as working animals e.g. laborers, transport, leisure?

It was the last question that troubled him. He used his Lapras for expeditions, a small habitation module on his shell. Charjabug was obviously a portable power pack for him. Yet Vaporeon and Vulpix both worked, no, helped, but were also neither pets, but companions. His reverie was broken by voices further along the shore and he craned his neck around a large rock to witness the macho display of two guys and their Gyarados. Blurgh! He shook his head as more of the article he'd read came flooding back... The controversy over the open source schematics for Pokeballs that had suddenly appeared as well. The debate over keeping the creatures in them and the more controversial one about fighting them. One camp, his own, argued the cruelty, the other that it was a purpose that they were originally invented for. The piece culminated with the profiles of the 'legendary' creatures from the game who's abilities were a terrifying prospect to imagine having been inflicted upon the world. He wished he could just switch off from the arguments and doom-mongering but his job required it. The 'Real Pokedex', name a work in progress, (note to self, contact Steve in Creative again about new name possibilities) was going to be a first of its kind and relied on cutting-edge exploration, discovery, science, and debate.

His eyes refocused on the now solo figure sat on the grass. Vulpix nudged him with her head. Damn their intuition, the biologists and neuroscientists were correct, they had an incredible emotional intelligence. Fine! he relented after a prompt nip. He rubbed his feet dry with his socks, stuffing them in his bag along with his tablet and Charjabug. He slipped his boots on barefoot, wishing he'd brought a spare pair, and waved at Lapras and Vaporeon to move along the lakeside to follow them. He glared at his Vulpix before standing up and walking toward the figure. She proudly trotted beside him. If a Vulpix could look smug - this was it! He had made a resolution to make some new friends now he was back in town for a while and this was as good a time as any he supposed, even if the guy had a Gyarados.

"Hi there," he proffered, hoping not to startle the guy. "That's a cute Umbreon by the way."

Hidden 9 mos ago 9 mos ago Post by YourSecretWeapon
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While Umbreon snuggled up close to Connor, the latter closed his deep blue eyes and enjoyed the breeze going through his semi-long blonde hair. He tried to forget about work and just focus on the peace and quiet.

Connor hadn't heard the guy approaching. Judging from the look on it's face, Umbreon had noticed him earlier. There was a Vulpix at his side that looked a lot whiter than the Vulpix Connor had encountered before. When the guy called Umbreon cute, Connor grinned while looking at Umbreon. He was pretty sure Umbreon wouldn't like to be seen as cute. Connor offered a handshake to the guy. "Hi. Thanks. That Vulpix is pretty awesome too." He gave Umbreon the let-it-go look and smiled. Connor wondered if the guy came over just to make conversion or if there was a higher purpose to making contact. "It is an ice type, right? I've seen a fire Vulpix before but not this one."

Behind them in the lake, Gyarados had splashed water all over Lapras by making a rough turn right before it. "Hey Gyarados, watch out for other pokemon, okay?" Connor shouted. With a little bit of embarrasment, he looked back at the guy with the Vulpix. "He can be a bit much." he explained about the Gyarados. Immediatly he realized that the Lapras might be this guy's pokemon too, as no one else was around. "Is it yours by any chance?" With a little stressed look on his face he quickly peered back at Gyarados but the latter had calmed down by now and was calmly making circles in the lake.
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He shook the stranger’s proffered hand and couldn’t help but notice the deep shimmering blue of his eyes, a stark contrast to the grey of his own. He hoped he wasn’t blushing as he sat down beside the man and nodded in confirmation at the mention of his Vulpix being an ice type. The white fox jumped onto his lap and padded in a circle before nestling down as Felix ran his hands through the exceptionally thick fur.

At the guy’s shout he followed his gaze to note the disappearing Gyrados fins through the water along with streams of water dripping off his Lapras. The large Pokemon turned toward him with, what can only be described as, the sassiest side eye possible, before diving once more to graze on the lake weeds, choosing to ignore the large sea dragon nearby.

“Don’t worry about him. He’s used to someone else messing around” Felix pointed out, motioning his head toward the Vaporeon that had walked up the shore toward them. Before he could say anything it shook its fur free of water sending droplets flying, splattering both humans, Umbreon and Vulpix with a spray of water droplets.

Felix laughed but stifled it to scold the eeveelution. “Now that was naughty!” he reprimanded the water type with a pointed figure, raised voice and scowling expression. Turning to the stranger again, “I guess it’s my turn to apologise. I’m Felix by the way.”
Hidden 9 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by YourSecretWeapon
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Both Connor and Umbreon didn't react very much to the waterdrops that Vaporeon had splashed them with. The lack of emotion possibly hinted a dark past between the two of them. A sharp contrast with the friendly conversation. Connor quickly tried to distract the conversation away from their overly serious reaction to the splashes. "Nice to meet you Felix. I'm Connor."

"You already met Umbreon and Gyarados. My third partner is Noivern." With that being said, Connor let Noivern out of its pokeball. It was well rested by now. "Both Umbreon and Noivern prefer nighttime but when I come here to take Gyarados for a swim, they like to get some fresh air too."

Meanwhile Umbreon was staring at Vaporeon with a particular curiosity. Could it be that the fact they were both eeveelutions, made them connect more easily? While Umbreon was usually quite reserved, his staring could not have gone unnoticed.

Connor's cellphone rang and he grabbed it out of his pocket. "Excuse me, this will only take a second." He pressed the green button on the touchscreen. "Connor speaking. Oh hi Damian, what's up? Yeah, I heard something about it on the news earlier but I turned it off. Rough day." He peered at Felix from the corner of his eye. "Well, a lot better now." he said with a secretive smile. "I am taking the rest of the day off. Maybe you should do that too? Your line of work is stressful to say the least. Alright, talk later."

While putting his cellphone away, he wondered how he ever became such good friends with Damian. It felt a little unnatural at first to be friends with someone who was associated with Team Rocket but Connor just knew that Damian was not the bad guy everyone tried to make him seem. There were a lot of worse people out there like that idiot Julien with his Mega Gyarados.

Connor tried to shake off those thoughts. Today was about relaxing the mind. Yet everytime he tried to, his thoughts went back to Ho-oh. It had been a life-changing event when he encountered it. With a soft tone, he asked: "Hey Felix, have you ever seen a legendary pokemon? I heard someone saw a Mew in Venezuela."
He didn't want to bring up Ho-oh yet as it was hard to explain how he thought he was revived by it. So he brought up Mew instead. A rumor he had heard from Damian earlier. Team Rocket inside information that shouldn't have gotten to his ears.

In the distance there was a lot of commotion in front of a building. Apparantly a pokemon gym was opening in the city, based on the gyms that existed in the games and anime. Whoever would be the gym leader would certainly have a lot of experience in battles. Connor had read about the gym being dedicated to the ice type. Rumors had it that the leader had an Articuno. Definitely competition for Neal and his Steelix, the leader of the steel type gym that was already in the city. Connor wondered if a city was actually allowed to have more than one gym.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Characters so far

Connor - Umbreon, Gyarados
Felix - Vaporeon, Alolan Vulpix, Lapras, Charjabug
Trainer Julien - Mega Gyarados
Damian of Team Rocket - Koffing
Gym Leader Neal - Steelix
Gym Leader Phoebe - Articuno

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hidden 8 mos ago Post by jetipster
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Felix raised his eyebrows in compliment at the impressive Noivern that emerged from it’s ball, pretending not to have noticed a brooding look that passed between Connor has his own Eeveelution. Maybe this guy wasn’t as friendly as he made out… Felix was especially concerned with the staring from Umbreon to Vaporeon…

He pulled a small microfibre towel from his bag as Connor took a phone call. He towel dried his Vaporeon, keeping one ear out on Connor’s conversation, blushing as he caught Connor’s glance, quickly looking away now with his own secretive smile. His Vaporeon cocked it’s head at his expression and nudged his hand to continue the rub down.

He was caught off guard by Connor’s question regarding legendary pokemon. “Erm... yeah I heard that” He was not sure what to say. He was a scientist and ran on fact so did not want to speculate on the existence on a range of creatures who wielded powers beyond the imaginations of humanity.

He stood up while he thought and drew his Lapras back into its pokeball leaving his VUlpix and Vaporeon to flank him. “Well I’m not really sure but fancy an explanation while we go and check out the gym opening?”. He made towards the edge of the park with his pokemon trotting in tow and took a deep breath.

“I was diving in the Pacific, filming Sharpedoes, in the middle of nowhere.” He stopped to emphasis his point, “Literally no land for hundreds of miles.” He then carried on with a more dreamlike look on his face. “We picked up an unknown frequency. It was similar to a whale song but of an unknown species. Our sonar then picked up an enormous mass deep beneath the ship moving at an incredible speed. The shape was like nothing any of us had seen before and the other members of the team put it down to a sonar distortion and a mass shoal of smaller fish in a safety response to the new predators. But I knew better. I knew that shape as familiar. Kyogre.” They had reached the edge of the park and picked up his Vulpix to cross the road.

“But the thought of a creature with such power and no reason to be benevolent is terrifying and who’d believe me anyway?” he finished with a shrug. They’d now reached the new gym but Felix led Connor and their pokemon around the swarming crowds desperate for one of the limited seats to a side entrance. He flashed his press ID at the security and led Connor inside. “So what’s your view on the these legendaries?” he asked as they emerged from a corridor into the light of an large arena.
Hidden 8 mos ago 8 mos ago Post by YourSecretWeapon
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Connor retreated his Gyarados from the lake in order to follow Felix. "What about you?" he asked Umbreon. Umbreon gave a quick look at Vaporeon and shook his head at Connor, indicating he would like to stay out for a bit longer. Connor nodded in agreement and started to follow Felix with Umbreon at his side.

While Felix talked about Kyogre, Connor listened with a great interest. What made legendary pokemon reveal themselves to normal people? Did they decide they were worthy or was it pure coinsidence? Whatever the case, Ho-oh did a lot more than show itself.

Upon arrival at the gym, they noticed how cold it was in there. A blonde woman dressed in white revealed herself as Phoebe, the new gym leader. She held a speech about how her gym would be nothing like the other gym in the city. She also explained that a second gym was legal as long as it wasn't in the same district, which it wasn't. Neal's steel type gym was in the west district while Phoebe's ice gym was in the east district of the city.

Next thing they knew, Julien walked up to Phoebe and challenged her. His Gyarados immediatly mega-evolved but was no match for Phoebe's Articuno. Connor gasped in disbelief. "Unbelievable! I've seen Lucien beat Neal with my own eyes but he didn't last a minute in there."

Connor quickly texted Damian. What intel does T.R. have on Articuno?
While he waited for the answer, he peered at Felix. "We are going to need to train before we even think of challenging Phoebe."

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Felix wasn't sure what to make of Connor's lack of reply. Did he think he was crazy like the few others he had told? Was his mind just elsewhere now they'd entered the gym? Was he hidden something himself? Was he just a journalist fishing for a story from him? Or worse, the new terrorist group modelling themselves off Team Rocket? He'd only just met him and already divulged his biggest discovery and led him (unauthorised) straight into the press pit of the new gym opening. He held his Vulpix closer to his chest as he both physically and mentally took a step away from the handsome stranger.

Felix watched in silent awe at the graceful power of Articuno. It was incredible. Having always obsessed with water and ice pokemon himself when playing the games as a teenager he desperately hoped there were more Articunos out there! The skill at which it evaded and then overcame the mega-evolution was simply effortless. He had no doubt that Pheobe had a stronger relationship of mutual respect with her pokemon than Julien had with his recently learnt mega-evolution however the independence and majesty of the glistening blue bird was breathtaking.

He was brought out of his reverie by Connor's voice. "You definitely are! But I'm not one for battling I don't think." Whilst tempted by his youthful experience of Nintendo games he saw the use of Pokemon to battle on a parallel with cock-fighting, dog pits and bullfighting - and therefore did not approve. However, whilst the law was yet to be decided, people of his viewpoint could only protest peacefully as many a placard wielding protester had done so outside this gym over the past few weeks of nearing completion. He liked the idea of team battles though and new that he would instruct his team to attack in self-defence of one another or an innocent.
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When Felix mentioned that he's not one for battles, it made Connor reflect on his own choices. Was he just battling beccause everyone else did it? Because that's what they did in the tv series and games? He wondered if he really enjoyed those battles or if he was just going through the motions. "Well..." he started and paused for a second. "I have been training with Gyarados ever since he was a Magikarp. But frankly, the main reason for that was because they made fun of him. He was a typical Magikarp, doing little more than splashing at first. I sympathised for him and started to show him how to battle. When our bond was strong enough, he evolved into the massive powerhouse you saw at the river."

He rubbed Umbreon on the head, who closed his eyes in pleasure. "Now Umbreon here is a different story. He doesn't seem to be motivated to battle like Gyarados does. Then again, it never seemed necessary." Connor smiled at Umbreon. It didn't matter at all that there was no battle spirit.

Upon Felix' subtle change in behavior, Connor frowned a little. Had he said anything wrong? Something seemed up. "Anyway, may I be so direct to ask for your reasons to not participate in battles? Just curious."
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Felix snuggled up with his Vulpix and Vaporeon as the stadium floor was quickly swept clean for the next challenger. "I just don't think I could send these these little two into any danger at all if I could help it" He glanced over to the entry way where the protestors could just about be heard. "I mean I've seen these creatures in the wild all happy and free so I'm conflicted. It's obvious that Pheobe and us have a companionship with our Pokemon and respect a duty of care. All of mine I've rescued. Charjabug from an illegal smuggling operation, Vaporeon from a fishing net, Lapras from an oil spill and Vulpix here from a fur trapper. I suppose seeing them as wildlife leads me to see battling on a parallel with cock-fighting, dog pits and bullfighting."

He sighed.

"Yet I can see a need to show the beauty, power and danger of these creatures. And if gym leaders and trainers can use their partnerships for good, raising money for conservation, educating the public and protecting both these creatures and humans." He looked at Connor. "Although I always loved double battles back in my gaming days" he said laughing as Vaporeon nuzzles Umbreon.
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"Those two seem to get along perfectly. I guess it would be cruel of us to seperate them." He smiled in the most innocent way. What was unspoken could easily be read by the mindful eye. It wasn't just Umbreon and Vaporeon that disliked the idea of getting seperated.

Connor's phone buzzed. "I checked for you but there isn't anything useful about Articuno in our files. Then again, if there was, I wouldn't be authorised to read those anyway. Sorry for not being more helpful." He scanned the text reply from Damian but didn't answer it and returned his phone to his pocket.

As they left the gym, the sun was started to go down for the day. Connor looked at his watch. "I didn't realize how long we have been in there. Do you want to join me for lunch? I know this great place where they have the best snacks for pokémon too."
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