Viridian City | Morning | 63"You called these people 'soldiers', right?"
Roark nods, even though Zapdos is looking around at all the dead people rather than at him. "Meaning they were trained by someone. Ordered by someone. You really think that us barging into an entire colony of these people is a good idea? What if they're normal people, like you? If the trained ones went off the rails and shot at us, what would an entire place of them do against just me?"
He... does think it wouldn't be a bad idea, but...
That's for him, a human survivor with a reputation as a gym leader who clearly still has enough sanity left that he's not going to snap and attack anyone. Who would likely not be attacked by a colony of survivors.
Given that this entire group tried to kill Zapdos, what the bird says next is no shock."I can take you there, but I am not going in. You'd have to look on your own.""Th-that's underst-standable.
The gym leader nods again. "I can g-go in, talk to th-them, and then le-leave again with whatever news I f-find."
He examines the map again, then folds it up and stores it away, pointing."We n-need to head th-that way. M-maybe we should walk for a while; w-wouldn't be a good idea to strain your wings so s-soon after getting them back, a-and any medicine we f-find for Pokemon pr-probably wouldn't help a strained or pulled muscle."
Pokemon are incredibly strong, but after having lost his wings for a couple days and carting a human around... no sense in risking anything. If there's anything at the Plataeu, it'll still be there whether they get there in a couple hours or a couple of days.
And at the affirmative, they set out.
Forest | Early Afternoon
The fastest way to the Plataeu would be to cut a diagonal path straight through the forest and fields that spanned a nice, large chunk of the edge of the region, rather than following Route 22 onto Route 23 and then up through Victory Road.
Truth be told, he doesn't even really want to imagine the state of Victory Road or its caves, so this is definitely the better call.
That being said, traveling through the forests always brings an air of uneasiness... at least, usually. This time he has a companion of god-like status, and hopefully, their luck is only bad enough to meet humans like they had at Mahogany one time.
Undead were of no concern, as long as someone kept an ear out; they're not very quiet, as the undead don't know the concept of subtlety, and they're also less mobile in the daytime anyway. Though the random undead or two needs to be picked off, most of the hours are spent walking in the sunlight dappled shade of the leaves above, chatting about random nonsense. Pach is happy to supply Zapdos with antecedences of times past before the world ended, and Roark doesn't let him get a story out without sharing one of Pach's silly misadventures, as well.
He feels lighter than he has in a long while.
Until he sees the smoke.
It's not hard to spot the plume and Roark holds out an arm to halt the rest of the survivors, which is frankly unnecessary as they spotted it at the same time he had, but, well... force of habit."Th-that's not a good s-sign,"
he mumbles, his hand nervously straying to his pickaxe."No it isn't,"
the dinosaur agrees, glancing around."Sh-should go a-around."
He moves to step on ahead, and then pauses. Something is...