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Merja “Mer” Aaltonen

Evergreen Library || Thursday Afternoon || @Letter Bee@Savo@LetMeDoStuff@Sync@Conscripts

Just as Mikhail started apologizing, a brown-blonde boy arrived, Mer recognizing him by his height and hair. If she remembered correctly, his name was Laurence, and they’d shared a philosophy class last year. However, since she’d chosen psychology over philosophy, they didn't share any classes this year, so she was surprised to see him now despite having never talked to him. While she didn’t understand the cryptic phrase he’d led with, she understood the rest, and she looked to check if Mikhail was okay with Laurence listening along. It was his past and pursuit, after all, and Mer was relieved when he responded by introducing himself. If more people got roped into the conversation, perhaps Mikhail would feel less of a need to ask for help from her specifically. After all, she’d given all the reasons she could, and at this point she was left with hoping he saw the sense in her words.

Soon enough, though, another person announced their arrival, and Mer was unhappily surprised to find that she recognized him. Alex—a familiar face, and an expected one, given that their biology study group was slated to meet up in a bit. He was, unfortunately, also one of the two people Mikhail had given nicknames to, and Mer hoped he hadn’t overheard. As he continued, however, it became clear that he had, and her eyes widened when he stated that he didn’t know why she was dating Mikhail. Glancing at Mikhail, then back at Alex, Mer found herself unable to find words to clear the situation up, but when Alex continued, proving that he had indeed overheard the nicknames, she cringed, deciding it’d be better to stay silent until he finished.

When Alex accused Mikhail of manipulating her, and she again did a double-take to Mikhail. The encounter had felt a little forced at times, but manipulation? That was a harsh word, and Mikhail had cited his reasons. For now, Mer wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, and an opinion from Alex, who’d misunderstood portions of the conversation, didn’t seem like something she should take to heart.

His choice of words for Mikhail also made her wince, and it dawned on her that perhaps Alex was the worst person to overhear all this. Her fears were confirmed when Mikhail spoke again, his language also taking a turn for the worse. While she was relieved to hear him clear up the dating situation, explaining the real sequence of events for everyone to hear, she was a bit stunned to hear the scope of his plan. Since when was she to purchase lab rats, and if Britain’s best doctors and scientists had failed to make an antidote, why did he expect her to do what they couldn’t?

Mikhail’s last jibe at Alex also made her wince, but Mer was distracted by Laurence producing a pair of glasses. Putting them on, he addressed the table in a way that stunned her. Was he playing a part? Where was the hidden camera?

Still, she was glad that he took control of the conversation, doing his best to diffuse the tension and clear the air. Alex did need to be called out, as did Mikhail, and though Laurence’s choice of words for Mikhail was rather unkind, Mer appreciated the sentiment. Then, as he tied it all off with thoughts Mer could agree with, Mer’s attention was called again to someone arriving, identifying himself as Romani from Laurence’s philosophy class. Feeling bad for him as he realized his mistake midway through, Mer watched as Laurence addressed him, then turned to address her, much to her surprise.

“Yep, nice to meet you!” she said, her voice pitching oddly when multiple sets of eyes turned to her. Given that she wasn’t about speak despite being spoken to multiple times during the past ten minutes, she realized that perhaps calling attention to herself wasn’t the best idea, but thankfully the arrival of yet another person distracted everyone from that. This time, it was a boy in a suit and tie rather than a school uniform, suggesting that he was probably a St. Paul’s student. Like any reasonable person, he’d come to inform the group that they were beginning to become a public nuisance, and Mer was horrified to note that she was part of that group.

Surprisingly—or not—it was Mikhail that jumped on the newcomer, recognizing the boy as Philip and piling on praise to him. By the way Mikhail addressed him before admitting his own attempts at flattery, Mer found herself glancing at Alex, reconsidering his words. Okay, so perhaps Mikhail had resorted to some manipulation, but that didn’t change the fact that he’d had a hard life. It showed the lengths he as willing to go to fulfill his mission, however hopeless it might be, and even if she couldn’t respect or understand his means and motives, Mer admired his persistence. More importantly, though, Mikhail’s words indicated that Philip was a much better candidate than her to help, and she immediately focused on him, hoping to help Mikhail’s case.

While his final jab at Alex didn’t help his cause since Laurence had already mitigated the situation earlier, Mer looked past it to Philip, who seemed like a person of reason. Perhaps he would agree with her, and perhaps he wouldn’t. Either way, she felt that she should try.

“Um, Philip, was it? I’m Merja, or Mer. Mikhail approached me first about making the antidote, and while it does sound impossible, I think you’re the most fit out of any of us to try. I’m not sure whether using lab rats would be considered animal abuse,” she said, giving Mikhail a meaningful look before turning back to Philip, “but I think Mikhail’s cause is a good one. So, please, could you consider helping him?”

Anthony “Tony” Carter

Freddie’s Apartment || 9:00 AM || @Jasper19

A holler from a room over woke Tony from his sleep, and he sat up groggily, his mouth dry and his head aching. As he took in the apartment around him, his memory of crashing on the couch falling into place along with the other pieces of the previous night, he saw Freddie rush past him, calling for him to lock the door.

“You got it!” he called back, then winced, a hand going up to his head to stabilize himself. Then, raking it through his hair, he yawned loudly, padding his way over to the kitchen. His own place was a bit out of the way, being between the town and the closest park, so Freddie’s place was naturally the next best thing. That is, of course, discounting the presence of his parents’ place, which he disliked staying over at, even if he was heading there now.

In the kitchen, he poured himself a glass of water, wincing and blinking a few times before he downed it. Then, stashing it in the sink, he made his way to the bathroom to swish his mouth, splash his face, and brush his hair back with his fingers, before headin out, locking Freddie’s door behind him. After unlocking his bike, he rode the few blocks home, waving to his dad when he pulled up.

“Yo, pops!” he called.

Benjamin Carter, or simply Ben, as he preferred, was the local plumber who’d taught Tony everything he knew about pipes and drains. Currently, he was exiting his truck, acknowledging Tony’s arrival by calling Tony’s name. With a flannel shirt tucked into a worn pair of jeans and a belt to hold it all in place over his still-growing beer belly, Ben looked as old as he was: well into his middle ages and faintly irked by whoever was unfortunate enough to call him early this morning.

Parking his bike in the garage, Tony walked over to Ben, taking what wrenches and tools he was handed. If he had his wrenches and screws straight, it seemed like someone’s backyard faucet had sprung a leak.

“You fix it up, Dad?” he asked, dropping the tools into a spare bucket and hefting that.

Ben snorted. “Of course, who do you take me for? Now, I won’t say no to free money, but there’s something to be said about learning to change your own garden hose. Leaking for over a month—unbelievable.”

Shaking his head, Ben led the way into the garage, setting tools and buckets where they were supposed to go. “So, how’d the show go? Any attendance?”

“Three songs, small crowd. Wednesday nights are hardly busy.”

Tony shrugged, handing Ben another wrench. “So, Danny’s coming home tonight, huh?”

Ben grunted but didn’t otherwise respond, instead continuing to busy himself with the few tools he’d yet to organize.

“Been a while since Dan’s been home. Is Mom gonna cook her famous seafood chowder for dinner?”

Again Tony’s words were met with a grunt, prompting him to fall silent as Ben finished sorting the rest of the tools. While Tony knew better than to push the subject with his father, staying quiet never sat right with him. His brother, Daniel, was visiting home, and their father’s open lack of enthusiasm annoyed him. Would it hurt for Ben to just pretend to be happy for a night?

“Right, I’ll go check on Mom,” Tony said, setting the last tool onto the workbench and heading inside. When he opened the door, Tony was greeted by the warm aroma of melted butter and pancakes from his childhood, and his mother appeared around the corner with a plate almost immediately.

“Oh, Tony! Welcome home!” Mary said, cheerily hugging Tony with one hand while managing to balance the plate in her other. “Sit, sit! And have some pancakes. You haven’t eaten, have you?”

“Nope, been waiting for your pancakes, Mom,” he said, sitting and picking up his fork and knife.“You eat yet?”

“I’ll eat in a bit. No, eat, eat, I’ll go get another plate, and—Ben! Ben! Breakfast!”

Main Street || 11:00 AM

It was while biking back from the grocery store, a bag of last-minute essentials his mother had requested on hand, that Tony’s phone rang. Pulling over, he checked the screen—Jake—and picked up.

“Hey Jake, what’s up?”

“Tony, my man, I can’t find that bass guitar. You have it with you?”

Tony felt a spike of alarm as his mind rushed through last night’s events. “No, I don’t. I must have—damn it. I must have left it at Redcap.”

“The bar? Tony, bro, that guitar cost me good money. I can’t be losing that thing.”

“Yeah, yeah, I got it,” Tony said, glancing down at the bag he was carrying. It was light enough. “I’ll head to Redcap now. Call you when I find it.”

“Alright, man. I’ll be waiting,” Jake said, hanging up.

Pocketing his phone, Tony swung his bike around, riding back down the street towards last night’s venue. Redcap usually opened in the evening to serve burgers and beer, but maybe he’d get lucky and catch some cook or bartend heading in to prep. His mom needed the ingredients, but they were mostly seasonings, and Jake’s guitar was expensive. Though he’d lent it to Tony for free, Tony didn’t like the thought of losing it since neither of them had a hundred bucks just sitting around. So, priorities in place, to Redcap it was.
@Jasper19 You good with Tony waking up in Freddie's apartment? Anything to note about it? I'll probably just have him crash on the couch or floor

Ferris Talese


As Ferris had predicted, his teammates took the news of his paranoia without much of a problem. While he was grateful for Octavio’s comment, giving the man a nod after he spoke, Ferris had expected a reaction like Chres’: wordless acceptance, since there was nothing good about his magic-induced flaw. Though Ferris wasn’t ashamed of it because he was, as he’d said, largely able to control it, he also wasn’t proud of it. There were instances in the past he’d regretted, of course, and sometimes the paranoia yielded thoughts he was unable to shake. Being a lone wolf suited him well in these cases since relationships weren’t built on broken foundations.

Lynx introducing himself wasn’t surprising for Ferris because the hunter hadn’t given a thought as to whether the familiar could speak. From experience, he knew that most could, and the few that couldn’t were often still able to communicate with their holder mentally. In this case, however, Ferris was clued into the fact that this should be surprising by the Lynx’s word choice and by how Chres responded, turning to the familiar with a mixture of surprise and unease. His expression made Ferris do a double-take at the Lynx as well since Ferris had been prepared to brush the situation off entirely. Throughout his life, he’d met many a strange or secretive familiar. Some held their tongue to spy and blend in with the natural fauna while others pretended only to have one form to work subterfuge in a similar way. All this only fueled Ferris’ general dislike for familiars since it was due to their existence that he had to wield caution regularly, and he wouldn’t be surprised if either familiar he’d met was hiding a secret form or two.

At this point, Ferris was aware that his thoughts had drifted into the usual territory of second-guessing his teammates, and he decided he’d stop it there. It was a thin line between being watchful and distrustful, and the second required proof that Ferris didn’t have. Instead, Ferris chose to turn his attention to Octavio, watching the man whose familiar was speaking. Personally, Ferris wasn’t too keen on treating Lynx as an equal since familiars were always an extension of their holders, yet here was a familiar asking such of him. Perhaps he’d best play along, at least for now, as he didn’t want to stir up trouble over a minor issue.

The silence, though, was broken by Lynx asserting his opinion on the matter of his tail, and Ferris watched blandly as Sil went back and forth with Chres in what was assumedly a half mental, half vocal conversation before Chres started voicing his thoughts. Thankfully, Sil seemed rather easy to read, at least when she wasn’t trying. His eyes wandered off to their surroundings, though his attention was drawn up with his teammates when a voice spoke down to them. Drawing a hand up to his mask to loosen it, he breathed in, trying to pick out the scent that hadn’t been there before. There was the usual stench of the city underbellies as well as the placeable scents of his companions and their familiars, but otherwise the vulture familiar’s metallic scent failed to stand out, be that due to the direction of the wind or the vulture’s position. Considering that the familiar had chosen to out itself, Ferris doubted it was a threat, and that the vulture chose to take up a dialogue with Sil further convinced him of this.

“Whose familiar are you, Talon? And why have you sought us out?” he asked, hoping to redirect the conversation in a more useful direction. A glance at the door behind which the innkeeper disappeared told Ferris that the scared man had yet to return, and Ferris wondered whether things were amiss.
@Stitches Now thinking of a girl whose mother took off in her childhood to return to Delville. Probably gonna make her college-aged or just out of college, theology and philosophy double major cuz she’s convinced her mother went back due to religion or smth (is there a church in Delville)

Natsuko Rinha

Morning || Land of Fire: Konohagakure — Rinha Compound

“Mother, Father, I’m heading out!” Natsuko called down the hallway of her house. Silence followed her words, but after the pause came an affirmative grunt that indicated that her father had heard.

So off she went, down the stone porch and out the wooden gate, dashing through the streets with a grin on her face. Her hair was tied up to allow the Rinha sign to show on the back of her light purple shirt, which she tucked into her shorts to add an edge of “put-together-ness” that she’d come up sometime during the morning. While breakfast had been an unremarkable affair, with family already busy into their daily schedule, the tow around her was anything but. Along the streets were vendors calling out names of various brunchtime foods, and it took Natsuko a bit of effort not to get sidetracked when she heard “mochi” get called too.

Soon enough Natsuko reached the street that turned onto her sensei’s street, and at her destinated corner she was surprised to see a familiar figure holding an unfamiliar bag as he paced. With a grin on her face, Natsuko sped up her pace, though Kazuhiko looked up before she even got close enough to pounce.

“Morning, Kazu-kun!” Natsuko called, waving as she sprinted towards him, but he turned the corner before she had a chance to catch up and grill him on why he’d been standing there and what he was holding.

Muttering under her breath about how a certain male teammate of hers could thank his lucky stars she wasn’t inclined to ask Koharu boost her into fly-kicking his ass, Natsuko turned the corner as well, spotting that same teammate again as he spoke with Minoru outside their sensei’s house.

“Thank you… gift… didn’t know… mochi,” Kazuhiko was saying to Minoru, but Natsuko was too far away to make out more. From what she did make out, though, it sounded like Kazuhiko had brought a gift she could appreciate as well: mochi.

“Kazu-kun, wait for me!” she called, but again Kazuhiko simply ignored her, entering into the house before her without so much as a second glance. So, okay, she’d have plenty of opportunities to talk to him in a minute or two, but did he really need to ignore her so many times?

“Ugh, morning Sensei!” Natsuko said, finally reaching the doors. “I need to teach Kazuhiko not to ignore me. Now, I know you told Haru-chan not to use that ice thing again with me, but hear me out: What if we use it to check Kazuhiko? Please? If not for me, then for my honor! They’re not the same, promise!”

Once inside, Natsuko was greeted by the delightful smell of lunch already being made. Spotting her teammates with Azumi in the kitchen, Natsuko dashed over as well, pulling back just as she got within distance to hug the Hyuuga. Would she hurt the baby if she hugged Azumi too tightly? Well, not if she was gentle!

“Good morning, Azumi-san! The food smells good!” she said, hugging Azumi gently around the waist.

Spotting Kazuhiko and an open box of mochi and sesame powder on a counter, Natsuko ran over as well, a grin on her face as he vocalized some surprise before she wrapped him into a hug as well.

“Morning, Kazu! Thanks for the mochi!” she said, swiping a bite and popping it into her mouth before Kazuhiko could stop her.


“Nope, too late, it’s gone.” she said, opening her mouth for him to see.

Kazuhiko pulled a face, then sighed, turning back to Koharu. “So, again, new sword right?”

“Oh, new sword?”

Natsuko’s eyes stretched wide as she crouched down next to Koharu, looking her teammate’s new acquisition over. Truth be told, it looked about the same as her old one, though clearly more expensive. That its quality had gone up was about the only thing Natsuko gleaned from looking at it, and soon she was back on her feet, listening to Koharu chatter on to Kazuhiko. The talk didn’t interest her much, being of swords and the like, but both her teammates were invested. Kazuhiko seemed to show an open curiosity for it, but Koharu was much more animated, indicating some sort of deeper interest that Natsuko could only admire on the surface in this case.

Instead of listening to them, Natsuko found her eyes wandering to their casual clothes. They’d all opted for shirts, which was just as well, considering most shinobi’s limited wardrobes. Practicality over all and all that. For Kazuhiko, that meant a black shirt and baggy cargo shorts of a similarly dark shade, calling into question whether he owned anything that wasn't in tha range of grey to black. His clan sign was a lot simpler than either Natsuko's or Koharu’s, being a circle with a line through it, but the line had a sort of elegant curve that suited Kazuhiko well. Resembling a brushstroke more than a cut like Natsuko would expect, the line reminded Natsuko of the refined stiffness she’d seen in Kazuhiko’s father, but she quickly moved on to admire the intricacy of Koharu’s clan sign, which was much more to her liking. Symmetry could be tacky, but clan signs and symmetry went together like water and tea leaves: They’d been used together for so long Natsuko couldn’t imagine a world without them.

“Azumi-san, when’s lunch?” Natsuko called, eyes drifting to Kazuhiko’s mochi again.

When his hands swept the box closer to him, Natsuko’s eyes shot to his, and she pouted. “Oh c’mon, Kazu-chan. I’ve been so good this morning—give me some reward.”

Kazuhiko Taketori

Late Morning || Land of Fire: Konohagakure — Kawaguchi Household

“Buy your own, or eat them after lunch with everyone else,” he said, putting the lid back onto the box. “I didn’t buy them just for you.”

“You should’ve,” came the retort, which prompted an eye roll from him. He’d wanted to bring an impromptu gift to set the tone for his apology to Azumi and Minoru, not feed the endless well that was Natsuko.

“Anyway, Wakahisa swords. Do they get passed down? Or is it just the techniques that get transferred from generation to generation?”

Same here (obviously)
@Stitches Okay, that makes more sense. Let me clarify: I wanna play a newcomer who gets pulled in recently by a returning resident. That should be okay right?

On the other hand, is Discord a thing for this RP?
@Ryik Making another thread sounds fine to me, and I'd be down to continue
Aedre Charbonnet

— Mesalon Pokecenter —

“Nice!” Aedre called, clapping as Reaper cut through the thrown grapes. Now that they were outside the Pokemon Center, she was more relaxed, the concern of dirtying the floor lifted off her mind.

When Reaper almost cut into Ty, though, Aedre gasped, raising a hand to cover her mouth as she watched, transfixed. Though Reaper recovered from the situation by returning himself, which allowed Ty the space he needed to do the same, the scene stayed with Aedre in her mind, the two’s sudden discoloration and horror replaying in her head. The ease at which she could command Thea and Little had caused her to forget that Pokemon were, in fact, wild at heart. They were capable of hurting humans as much as they were of other Pokemon, and they were arguably more dangerous to humans on account of their weaker natural defenses and healing properties. While Aedre wasn’t too concerned about Thea or Little injuring her since she trusted that they wouldn’t, Decus was a different story. He’d only made her acquaintance a few days ago, and while she trusted him, she couldn’t help but entertain the thought of the same happening with his as it did with Reaper. Would he look equally horrified, or would he—as a Pokemon who was used to sapping the energy of others—be comfortable with it?

Listening to Amber and Sophia’s reassurances to Ty, Aedre tried to take their words to heart and reassure herself as well. This was trainer life: mundane training, countless losses, and the possibility of injury all for the possibility of adventure and success. It was more exciting than lab life precisely because it held the thrill of the unknown and sometimes the unknown could hurt. She’d have to accept that as much as she’d have to accept the responsibility of being a trainer for her Pokemon, and for the moment, she could only think to set aside her worries to ponder over at a later date.

A ruffle of feathers from her shoulder reminded Aedre that Little was with her, and she raised a hand to smooth out the feathers on his neck as the conversation turned to the matter of the local gym. Sophia, for one, seemed rather confident in her victory even though Aedre seemed to recall her not getting the badge once before. While Aedre admired Sophia’s assuredness, she also wondered whether Sophia really was as confident as she let on. After all, it hadn’t been much time since her last loss, and if she failed to get the badge this time… Well, she needed all the support she could get.

When Amber brought up that Aedre could use the training exercise with the grapes for Decus, Aedre smiled, nodding.

“Yeah, I’ll definitely try some fruits or berries with him. I was thinking trees at first, but they don’t move, and cutting down trees isn’t the best idea anyway.”

Then, glancing at Sophia leading the way forwards, Aedre lowered her voice a bit. “I think Sophia’s got a fair shot this time, since she’s gone through the battle before, but should we watch? Do you think she’d mind?”

Personally, Aedre liked to deal with her failures alone, and—judging by Sophiai’s casual flippance—she thought maybe Sophia might be the same. After all, having people there to watch a possible failure meant more pressure and anxiety, and Aedre wouldn’t want to burden someone with that.

Then, turning to Ty, she grinned. “I don’t think we’ve properly met, have we? I’m Aedre, a research assistant. I'm, um, trying trainer life on for a bit, but my roots are still in research, like Amber. This is Little,” she said, indicating the Fletchling perched on her shoulder, “And Decus, or Dee, is my Honedge who could use some skills like Reaper. By the way, how did you get Reaper? Did you catch him here in Kosei, or?”

@luckyblackcat @Zanavy
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