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The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Starbits on Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:07 pm


Johto's Power Plant | Morning | 25


Today just keeps getting better, doesn't it?

"Fu-fuck stairs."  The gym leader glares up the steps as if each one has personally offended him.

"Easy Ro; your face'll stick that way."

"Fuck y-you too."  He gives his friend a thump in the side with a fist.  Pach chuckles and nudges him.

"You can do it, bud.  No stairs are gonna defeat you."

Yeah, I'd like for my death to not be by stairs.  What a stupid way to die.  He's not letting stairs stop him, no.  Even though his head is killing him.

All right.  Here we go.  He steps up one stair with one foot, then the other.  His head swims a little.  Roark grits his teeth and waits a moment.  Then the next stair.  And the next.  And the next.  One at a time.  The lighter in his pocket reminds him that at least something good came out of this nonsense.




"I really hope you realize I can hear you."  

Oh.  They'd never been quiet pokemon, but still... he'd hoped they'd have indoor voices enough to carry on a conversation quiet enough to be private.

Maybe Zapdos just has really good hearing.  Wouldn't surprise him.

"And if your human were such a 'friend', he would have taught you better patience. Just sit and wait and be quiet."  

Anom grits his teeth.  "Fine."

Don't explode, please.

At the sound of footsteps, he looks up.




At last, the top.  There's a landing with a door, and with Pach's help he limps over to it, pushing it open.  A corner turned and then a hallway, and he sighs.  Yes, he remembers this hallway.  Won't be more than a few minutes.

"St-Stering?"  As they pass the room he leans into it, able to walk on his own now but still wincing at each step.  The Bastiodon sighs in relief and allows himself to be recalled after a brief few minutes of fussing over the human.

"Finally," the dinosaur sighs as they step through the huge, doorless doorway into the area where the others are waiting for them.

"N-no kidding."  He gives his Pokemon and Zapdos a shaky smile.  "H-hey; sorry i-it took- took so long.  The- the floors h-here c-can be unst-stable.  But- but I g-got a lighter at l-least, so mak-king fires will- will be easier."


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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Zapdos on Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:31 am

(I just lost my post and I don't want to write it again. Zapdos did nothing as Roark returned and said, "....You look awful. All of that for a lighter?")
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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Starbits on Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:57 pm


Johto's Power Plant | Late Morning | 26


"...You look awful. All of that for a lighter?  The thunder god is staring at him in mild shock, eyeing the piece of metal Roark is holding up like a character in an RPG game who just received a special item.  His face colors.

"We-well, it- it'll m-make lighting f-fires easier?"  In terms of food that really only matters to him, but still, everyone ought to appreciate it when it comes to keeping warm.

And generating light because fuck nighttime.

"You do look pretty bad though.  Sit down a while."  He's bruised and exhausted.  

"Maybe start on dinner.  You need food."

"... A-all right."  Little point in arguing.  He does need the energy, however much his appetite does not exist anymore. 

"Can you put me back in the ball?  I'd like to sleep a while."

"S-sure."  He returns Sterling's pokeball to his backpack and retrieves Anom's recalling the bug before crouching to ignite the fire that he'd started on earlier.  It catches, and he sighs in relief.  

"Might want to get some rest after eating?" Pach suggests as Roark pulls the can from his backpack. "Would do you a lot of good."

"... Deba-batable.  Be-besides it's..." He checks his bloodstained watch.  "Only late morning."

A nap will do absolutely nothing if he dreams about any of the bloodshed he's seen.  At best.  At worst it will collapse his mind for a little while, and that's always dangerous.  

On the other hand, can he really afford for Zapdos to think he's weak?  "We- we'll... we'll s-see."

(I will make all the dumb video game comparisons I want and you can't stop me)


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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Zapdos on Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:04 am



Johto's Power Plant||Morning
[46]



"We-well, it- it'll m-make lighting f-fires easier?" Though Zapdos loathed the human he'd found himself accompanying, the sheer earnestness of his naive answer was too much to simply ignore. The grand bird couldn't help a soft chuckle at the display, though he covered his amusement with a cough and turned. If he wants to throw his life away for a tiny lighter, then fine. But only after he frees me.

Zapdos' fellow bird took to fussing over his human, however, instead of being mildly entertained. "You do look pretty bad though. Sit down a while."

"Maybe start on dinner. You need food," the hard-headed one agreed.

Zapdos felt no need in joining in on telling the human what to do, as the other pokemon seemed to have it handled. It wasn't like the human was particularly stubborn, as he acquiesced without much resistance. "... A-all right."

The large-faced steel type then requested to be put away into his ball, which the human adhered as well. It would have been a lie if Zapdos was sad to see him go, as he was the one that openly defied and enraged the Legendary bird maybe an hour prior. The dumb rock bug was recalled as well and Zapdos felt he was less outnumbered by idiocy. It was a nice feeling, at least.

"Might want to get some rest after eating?" the Rampardos asked. More fussing? For a nap of all things? In the few hours they'd been together, it was all he'd really heard the human's team do. Fuss, fuss, fuss. Nothing but fussing. Was the human so incapable of taking care of himself that he constantly needed to be reminded by his pets, the ones that should be overseen by him? It was ridiculous in the grand Legend's mind and completely baffled him. They were trying to put their little toddler human down for a fucking nap. Hilarious. "Would do you a lot of good."

"... Deba-batable. Be-besides it's..." he stuttered out, glancing down at his wrist for some reason. "Only late morning."

"We- we'll... we'll s-see."

Zapdos sneered as he allowed himself to chuckle, the deep rumble of his voice like distant thunder. "No, please, I insist." His laughing grew in tandem with the jokes in his head. "Growing boys... need their strength!" He was outright laughing now, his tone nothing but mocking. "I'd hate for you to miss your afternoon napsies. And your nannies are very insistent; you should listen to them."
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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Starbits on Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:20 am


Johto's Power Plant | Late Morning | 27


"No, please, I insist. Growing boys... need their strength!"

He's laughing now, and Roark turns redder.

"I'd hate for you to miss your afternoon napsies. And your nannies are very insistent; you should listen to them."

"Wow du-"  He breaks off as Roark holds up a hand, back straightening.

"O-okay.  Look," he says, and all of his Pokemon start a bit at the tone in his voice.

Anger. Calm, controlled, but unmistakable.

"They're w-worried about me.  If- if you w-want to be bitter, f-fine.  Y-you're free t-to leave.  B-but I'm n-not cutting you o-out, be-because I don't w-want to be fried, so you'd h-have to leave like that.  A-and if you keep being a giant dick, th-then I w-will leave.  Im-mediately.  Without finding a living P-Pokemon survivor who w-won't take a-advantage of the s-situation to- to leave you with, wh-who would c-cut you free.  A-and you can t-try to find someone to help you all by yours-self.  Before the undead do."  

His eyes flash behind his glasses and he folds his arms across his chest, glaring at the thunder god.

"I am t-trying to be kind; th-there's been enough b-blood and I d-don't want to leave you to probably die, b-but I have enough issues without you being a raging cock a-all the time.  Spit in m-my face and I-I'll leave you to your f-fate.  St-stop now before my pa-patience wears out."  

He sits down and begins to start the fire, moving to set it up so that he can cook his meal.  

He's not my friend; I don't have to care what he'd think.


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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Zapdos on Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:49 pm



Johto's Power Plant||Morning
[47]




Though Zapdos had enjoyed his little quips at the human and his pokemons' expense, it seemed that they had been the last straw for the stuttering fool. "O-okay. Look," he began, the firmness in his normally trembling voice surprising the Lightning Bird. "They're w-worried about me. If- if you w-want to be bitter, f-fine. Y-you're free t-to leave. B-but I'm n-not cutting you o-out, be-because I don't w-want to be fried, so you'd h-have to leave like that. A-and if you keep being a giant dick, th-then I w-will leave. Im-mediately. Without finding a living P-Pokemon survivor who w-won't take a-advantage of the s-situation to- to leave you with, wh-who would c-cut you free. A-and you can t-try to find someone to help you all by yours-self. Before the undead do."

He would kick me out of my own home?! Zapdos roared in his mind, feathers puffing and rising in between the bits of fence wrapped around him. The human's words stung, however, even as he tried being indifferent.

"I am t-trying to be kind; th-there's been enough b-blood and I d-don't want to leave you to probably die, b-but I have enough issues without you being a raging cock a-all the time. Spit in m-my face and I-I'll leave you to your f-fate. St-stop now before my pa-patience wears out."

Leave me to... my "fate"... he repeated in his mind, watching silently as the human went to making his food. His fate... The word had had little meaning to him before, as he'd never really mused over his own mortality. He'd been aware it existed, of course, but... now it was a very real possibility. In his own territory, nestled in his home, he could die because of this God-forsaken fence he'd managed to trap himself in.

His scowl deepened, but not at the human or any of his annoyingly adoring pokemon. If this human decided to fuck off, then... that was it. He couldn't defend himself, hell, he could barely even eat on his own! As much as he loathed the lanky bastard in front of him and would love nothing more than to spear his stupid neck with his beak, he... he had to rely on him. And here he was, Zapdos himself, getting scolded like a fucking child.

What would Father think of you?

He flinched at the thought, yearning and loss flooding his soul at the thought of his lost family. Father, his brother and sister... He hadn't seen them since... years before all of this happened, save for Father. And he was once more in that horrible, dark form that he humans forced upon him. His burning hatred for the bastards that imprisoned them and his own incapability of helping them or himself nearly drove him to tears, but he couldn't let them see. They wouldn't understand. They'd never be able to fucking understand. And even if they did, they wouldn't care. He'd already dug that hole for himself; it was time to lie in it.

He'd always been selfish. Even before the world ended, he never ventured out to see his family, even when they came to see him. Too proud to admit he missed them. Too proud to admit that he cared for them enough to leave his home. And when they'd all been captured and tortured and turned into monsters in that God-forsaken region, he'd been too proud to admit he'd been scared. And now, he was too proud to show he was scared to these people that were only trying to help him. They could have killed him and had a feast or tried capturing him like all the other humans he'd met. But they hadn't. The human had even hand fed him. And what did Zapdos do in return for their kindness? Mocked them, jeered. Spat on their friendships and hard work.

Ashamed, he merely shifted his weight to face away from the campfire and into the gloom of his home. He felt undeserving to speak and thus, wouldn't.
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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Starbits on Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:22 pm


Johto's Power Plant | Late Morning | 28


He's gone quiet. His face fills with something Roark can't identify-- he smothers it well enough, but there's definitely something there, and Roark turns his head as the guilt crashes in.

Was I too harsh?

He literally said he'd leave him to die if he kept being rude.

Rudeness doesn't warrent death. What is wrong with him!? He's always been fair! He swore to be fair, always; to take into consideration all the little things someone else might not, like Da-

Don'tgothere  

He pulls his beans off the fire and begins to eat, silent, keeping his face blank-- no sulking from him. He's above that.

I don't know what to think. Again.  Why does that keep happening? Why does the rug keep getting yanked out from under him just as soon as he makes up his mind about how he feels? Maybe if he cared less that wouldn't happen; it's always his stupid brain and his stupid feelings that keep tripping him.

He finishes the meal and goes to toss the empty can away, then stops and shoves it in his backpack. Pach looks at him, confused, but says nothing.

But if I don't care while we're out here, someone will die. No other way around it. Maybe someday, if they ever find someplace safe, he can hand them all off to someone who deserves them and- and-

End it?

Allow the person he is to die on the inside and become a shell?

Who knows. No answer for that yet, and besides, it's not like that will happen anytime soon.

If ever.

He lays down and curls up, exhaustion overtaking him.

Johto's Power Plant | Dusk

It's not always dark.

Sometimes it's bright and sunny, sometimes it's snowy, and sometimes sunset is falling, like on that fateful day all that time ago, like it is right now, and there is distant roaring and cries and fear and blood and make it stop make it stop stop stop STOP-!

He jerks awake.

For once the dream fades immediately and his tired brain can't hang on, the remnants of it slipping away wherever bad dreams go, taking his memory of the events within with it.

Thankfully.

Warm, is the first thing he notes, and he realizes the fire is still going beside him. The crackles and hisses make him shudder as he rolls over to warm his other side, the muzzy feeling clearing a bit with the movement. The roaring rain outside is now soft patters, and he sighs in relief. Maybe by tomorrow it'll be clear outside.

Bonus points if it's sunny.

He sits up and rubs his eyes, glancing at his watch, eyes widening. Dusk!? He slept right through the afternoon!?

... Not surprising. As much as he hates to admit it, he needed that sleep. He hadn't slept that many hours in a row for a long time. My head actually feels kind of... clear.

He glances at his Pokemon. Pach stands watch, Archae sleeping. His other Pokemon are right where he left them, in their balls, safely stowed in his bag. Pach smiles and nods at him, but refrains from his usual greeting nudge. Zapdos must be awake.

And there's nothing to do. He must be out of his mind with boredom by now. Roark knows he soon will be unless something is done.


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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Zapdos on Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:14 am



Johto's Power Plant||Morning
[48]


Zapdos, by virtue of his Legendary blood, was not as prone to fatigue or hunger as other creatures. So when the human drifted off to sleep soon after their row, he felt little need or want to do the same. Besides, it wasn't like he would have been able to find a comfortable position with all the barbed wire wrapped around him like some sort of macabre shawl. He glanced back to the human and his pokemon once, to make sure he was asleep, before turning his head back to the darkness ahead of him.

And for hours, he thought.

He pondered on his own life, on his family's. He knew he'd always been the more obstinate of his siblings, likely the most spiteful and distant, especially towards Father. Zapdos knew he held onto grudges and anger and that there were reasons behind them, but was there a point in holding onto them anymore? Was keeping his guard up constantly really worth the effort anymore? After all, if he'd been less hostile, he wouldn't have wound up in the fence in the first place, or the human would have been more eager to cut him out. He wouldn't be sitting here, helpless and useless, staring into the void that was once his bright and teeming home.

But he was. And he had to remedy that.

Outside, the ferocity of the rained slowly died down to a gentle patter; a sound Zapdos one used to love. Now, it was little more than something to fill the silence as his mind trekked through his own short-comings and limitations set on by his hate. His eyes narrowed at the dark. It wasn't like his hatred was unjust or uncalled for. His entire long life, humans had only sought to capture or use him. There were the odd group or cult that had worshiped him, sure, but for what? For good rains or his favor? Even when humans had tried being subservient to him, it was to use his power indirectly. And then in Orre...

He closed his sharp eyes against the memories, of the pain and the blurred images of his father's feathers bleeding darkness. His memories of being a Shadow Pokemon were a haze, but becoming one was still fresh in his mind. How could he forgive humanity when it had done that to him and his family? To scores of other Pokemon? And for what? Zapdos had never even really been sure why any of it had happened. All he knew was that the moment his heart was free again, he took off into the clear blue sky and never looked back.

Quickened breathing and a sudden shift behind the grand bird caused him to turn, spotting the human abruptly waking from his hours long nap. He exchanged some glances with his Pokemon, but Zapdos didn't much care to watch much longer than was necessary. He turned his head back to the dark and sat quietly, continuing to muse on his past and his anger toward it.
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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Starbits on Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:37 pm


Johto's Power Plant | Dusk | 29


Zapdos is staring at the wall.  Unable to help himself, Roark wonders what he could be thinking.

Does he regret his cruelty earlier?

Is the silence making him uncomfortable?

Maybe the place reminds him too much of before.  With a pang, Roark has to admit that if they were holing up in the ruins of his old home, he'd probably be a lot more emotional than the thunder god is right now.  Maybe he's being too hard on him.  Too harsh.  Too...

Too much like Dad...

He's never going to escape the man's ghost, is he?  This is... what, the second time he's thought of him in a day?  Can't he go one day without moping over this?  He rubs his temples to calm himself down.  Keep it together, Roark...

Now, what is there to do?  He doesn't have any games.  He spends most of his free time training with his Pokemon or sleeping.  But Zapdos is right there so... no to the training.

Or storytelling; that could be something else; sometimes when his mood is decent he'll exchange stories with his Pokemon.  But again, Zapdos is right there.

He may as well try talking to the bird.

"... Are... you hungry again?"


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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Zapdos on Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:41 am



Johto's Power Plant||Morning
[49]



"... Are... you hungry again?"

Zapdos turned slightly at the timid question, unwilling to move his neck much due to the fence and barbed wire. Though he had to admit to himself that even if he were free of the imprisoning metal, he wouldn't have fully faced the human then, either. Yes. was his instinctual reply. But even as he tore down the pride he'd held so dear, taking more food from the human felt wrong and obscene.

"...No." His simple reply wasn't angry or sullen; it was the most neutral he'd been since they had been stuck together. Assuming the conversation now over, he turned his head back to the gloom, content to forever mull over his life in silence.
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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Starbits on Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:17 am


Johto's Power Plant | Dusk | 30


"...No."

Well that's... super definitive.  No wiggle room there at all.  Roark sighs and looks back to the fire, poking it a bit with a stick.  Maybe he should just shut up and let the silence drive him off the deep end.

"... Did you ever come to someplace like this before the world ended?"   Roark looks over in surprise at Archae, finding the bird turning his head as he looks around the room.  "You said you travelled places."

"I- I d-did, yeah, b-but not- not here.  A-actually I only went to J-Johto once or twice."  He frowns, poking the fire with one hand while folding the other across himself.  "I t-think my l-longest trip was... was the U-Unova one."

"Oh right, the Gym Leader Tournament!"

"Well it was more than just Gym Leaders, but yeah.  It was a hell of a lot of fun, too."

"I... y-yeah... I miss... the other G-Gym L-Leaders..."  One of the best part of dear old dad's mistake was getting to meet all these other wonderful people.  People he never would ahve met if not for his Gym Leader position.  Really, the only thing that could top it was watching the passion light up the young faces of the children who came to battle him, watching realization dawn on their features as they realized, yes, this is what battling does, this is the bond between human and Pokemon...  And to realize he was part of that experience, that epihany; that challenger by challenger he was opening eyes and building a brighter future...

He wonders if he'll ever get the chance to do that again.


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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Zapdos on Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:45 pm



Johto's Power Plant||Dusk
[50]



Zapdos was relieved that the human didn't push the subject, instead allowing the grand bird to sit in silence. But it seemed that his pokemon were of a different mind, finally tired of the on-going quiet between them all. "... Did you ever come to someplace like this before the world ended?" The ancient bird asked. The odd question earned Zapdos' attention, however, as he slightly turned his head to see over his yellow shoulder. "You said you traveled places."

"I- I d-did, yeah, b-but not- not here. A-actually I only went to J-Johto once or twice." Zapdos himself had little idea of where regions ended and began, as he was unused to human borders and rules. He only knew of the large landmarks that marked different regions from the air. "I t-think my l-longest trip was... was the U-Unova one."

"Oh right, the Gym Leader Tournament!"

"Well it was more than just Gym Leaders, but yeah. It was a hell of a lot of fun, too." Zapdos' eyes narrowed. He'd heard that term before-- "gym". Many of the idiotic lunatics that trespassed on his territory and challenged him claimed to be owed his companionship and power simply because they had beaten or trained at a "gym". He was ignorant of the actual meaning, but he hadn't expected the word to come up here.

"I... y-yeah... I miss... the other G-Gym L-Leaders..."

"What are you talking about?" he quietly queried, watching them from over his shoulder still. "What is a 'gym' and why does it need a leader? Can it not function on its own?"
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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Starbits on Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:27 am


Johto's Power Plant | Dusk | 31


"What are you talking about?"  Roark jumps a bit in surprise at the quiet and... polite voice the legend used for that question.  "What is a 'gym' and why does it need a leader? Can it not function on its own?"

"Well," he starts slowly, hoping to explain this properly, "the g-gym leaders h-help manage the c-country.  Th-there are thirteen special t-trainers in every countr-try.  E-eight G-Gym L-Leaders, F-Four Elite F-Four m-members, and the Ch-Champion.  You m-must beat e-every L-leader before you can take on the F-Four, then must defeat the F-Four, and then you can challenge the Ch-Champion.  The Champion is th-the head.  Th-the idea is that we d-don't want someone who doesn't c-care about Pokemon running the entire region, so this sy-system prevents that.  You need power, w-wisdom, and a strong bond with your Pokemon to make it that far; you might be able to sc-scrape by with only two for a while but-"

"If you don't have respect, a strong bond with your Pokemon, you will fail before reaching the Champion."  

"Y-Yes."  Roark nods.  "S-so the G-Gyms themselves are a building where the Gym L-Leader res-sides.  A L-Leader manages the city their Gym is in, and has several trainees who t-train under them.  E-Each L-Leader has a preferred t-type.  M-mine is rock.  A ch-challenger must def-feat not only the L-Leader, but any of their t-trainees that might spot them.  M-Many Gyms also have puzzles; for example, one of my fellow Leaders' Gym is a maze that a challenger has to navigate.  M-mine has no puzzle since mine i- was the first one in the region a challenger would go to..."


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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Zapdos on Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:59 am



Johto's Power Plant||Dusk
[51]



"Well," the human began slowly, "the g-gym leaders h-help manage the c-country. Th-there are thirteen special t-trainers in every countr-try. E-eight G-Gym L-Leaders, F-Four Elite F-Four m-members, and the Ch-Champion." Zapdos blinked and turned more toward the human, as this explanation was apparently much lengthier than the bird had anticipated. What a strange hierarchy humans constructed. "You m-must beat e-every L-leader before you can take on the F-Four, then must defeat the F-Four, and then you can challenge the Ch-Champion. The Champion is th-the head. Th-the idea is that we d-don't want someone who doesn't c-care about Pokemon running the entire region, so this sy-system prevents that. You need power, w-wisdom, and a strong bond with your Pokemon to make it that far; you might be able to sc-scrape by with only two for a while but-"

Zapdos squinted as his archaic mind tried to process the new names and strangeness the human was trying to explain. "If you don't have respect, a strong bond with your Pokemon, you will fail before reaching the Champion."

"Y-Yes." Zapdos couldn't help but tilt his head. He'd never seen any emphasis in love or respect with the trainers that fought him in all the years he'd traveled the lands. Of course, he never knew these humans intimately, nor their partners. All he'd ever heard was that they wanted him by their side for one reason or another. "S-so the G-Gyms themselves are a building where the Gym L-Leader res-sides. A L-Leader manages the city their Gym is in, and has several trainees who t-train under them. E-Each L-Leader has a preferred t-type. M-mine is rock. A ch-challenger must def-feat not only the L-Leader, but any of their t-trainees that might spot them." Zapdos kept quiet, absorbing the foreign information. "M-Many Gyms also have puzzles; for example, one of my fellow Leaders' Gym is a maze that a challenger has to navigate. M-mine has no puzzle since mine i- was the first one in the region a challenger would go to..."

For a while, Zapdos remained quiet. Was the entire point of these governing bodies really meant to perpetuate love and kinship between pokemon and humanity? It clashed with everything Zapdos had ever accepted as truth, that humans only sought power and ways to exploit it. But he couldn't deny the friendship between the hu-- ...Roark... and his pokemon. It had been what was rubbing Zapdos raw the entire time they'd been stuck together; there was no denying that it existed. So... was Roark and his pokemon the norm? Were the bastards that interrupted his solitude simply a poor sampling of humanity?

Perhaps. If Roark was a normal person, he had no need to seek out Legends for his own gain. He had those who were already around him. Zapdos' hard stare didn't leave Roark for a long time as he pondered, his stoic expression revealing nothing of the reverie he entertained. After a long time, he shifted, looking to the other pokemon currently out of their balls. "And... the training? Fighting other pokemon for your human's gain, you... like that?" His voice was quiet, pensive even. "You enjoy being pitted against others for the benefit of your human?"
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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Starbits on Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:41 pm


Johto's Power Plant | Dusk | 32


"And... the training? Fighting other pokemon for your human's gain, you... like that?"  Roark jumps a bit in surprise at the quiet and... polite voice the legend used for that question.  "You enjoy being pitted against others for the benefit of your human?"

The Rampardos stares at him for a moment before everything clicks, his eyes widening.  "... Oh.  Oh.  Oh I see what's-- no wonder you've been so pissed off-- Zapdos, Pokemon fight against each other all the time in the wild.  Like, we train by ourselves if we have no human with us.  We have since the dawn of time.  I mean, not every Pokemon likes battles, but a lot do.  But the thing is, we don't really get very far on our own.  When we bond with a human and we go up against other Pokemon that way, we get stronger than we would on our own.  You're a Legend; your power doesn't work quite the same way ours does.  You're born super strong.  The rest of us are born super weak."

Archae takes over.  "As for liking it... it's more about brute strength.  There's strategy involved.  Plus, hurting a Pokemon really badly is super illegal; no one is supposed to get seriously injured or die in these battles.  Granted, I didn't get to see the human world before it went to shit, but I've participated in one or two battles with a couple friendly humans we've met over the four years and let me tell you; there is no bigger rush then when you and your human are working together to overcome your opponent's strategy.  There's a lot of pride in knowing all of you together, your human and your teammates, overcame a strong opponent.  And what kind of strategy your opponent uses, as well as the way their human directs them and what species the human has with them, can tell you a lot about them as people.  It's weird, but you kind of learn about them throughout the battle.  And honestly it's tons of fun.  It just really sucks that nowadays the same type of people we might've enjoyed a friendly fight with now want to actually kill us out of desperation for our stuff..."

"My j-job as a Leader was- was not only to be an o-obstacle to challengers, but to in-inspire them, too," Roark explains, cleaning his glasses as best he can.  "To teach th-them through example the things my f-friends just explained to you, but also to show them what- what a strong bond between human and Pokemon can do.  N-not only in a fight, but at all other times, too.  There's so many w-ways humans and P-Pokemon can coexist.  There's the battling sc-scene, but many Pokemon and h-humans prefer contests; they like the spotlight and dressing up and putting on sh-shows.  And then there are Pokemon and humans who just like to live together-- just- just a q-quiet life side by side, maybe travell-ling, or maybe staying h-home.  A-and I as a G-Gym L-Leader was s-supposed to help them f-find their way in the w-world.  To sh-show them the t-true strength of their b-bond but also t-to show them you d-don't have to battle to be close to one another."


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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Zapdos on Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:18 pm



Johto's Power Plant||Dusk
[52]



There was a pause as they seemed to be confused by Zapdos' question and for a moment, the large bird wasn't sure how to be much clearer. But suddenly, the large Rampardos appeared to realize what he'd meant. "... Oh.  Oh.  Oh I see what's-- no wonder you've been so pissed off--" Zapdos could only blink and stare in open bewilderment, completely caught off guard by the observation. "Zapdos, Pokemon fight against each other all the time in the wild. Like, we train by ourselves if we have no human with us. We have since the dawn of time. I mean, not every Pokemon likes battles, but a lot do. But the thing is, we don't really get very far on our own. When we bond with a human and we go up against other Pokemon that way, we get stronger than we would on our own. You're a Legend; your power doesn't work quite the same way ours does.  You're born super strong. The rest of us are born super weak."

The sentiment blew Zapdos' mind right open. In all his years, he hadn't considered that the mortal pokemon around him were struggling to survive. Sure, he knew some died if they were too weak, but... it had never truly sank in. "As for liking it... it's more about brute strength. There's strategy involved. Plus, hurting a Pokemon really badly is super illegal; no one is supposed to get seriously injured or die in these battles. Granted, I didn't get to see the human world before it went to shit, but I've participated in one or two battles with a couple friendly humans we've met over the four years and let me tell you; there is no bigger rush then when you and your human are working together to overcome your opponent's strategy. There's a lot of pride in knowing all of you together, your human and your teammates, overcame a strong opponent. And what kind of strategy your opponent uses, as well as the way their human directs them and what species the human has with them, can tell you a lot about them as people. It's weird, but you kind of learn about them throughout the battle. And honestly it's tons of fun. It just really sucks that nowadays the same type of people we might've enjoyed a friendly fight with now want to actually kill us out of desperation for our stuff..."

"My j-job as a Leader was- was not only to be an o-obstacle to challengers, but to in-inspire them, too," Zapdos turned to Roark as his mind continued to reel, eyes wide with shock. "To teach th-them through example the things my f-friends just explained to you, but also to show them what- what a strong bond between human and Pokemon can do. N-not only in a fight, but at all other times, too. There's so many w-ways humans and P-Pokemon can coexist. There's the battling sc-scene, but many Pokemon and h-humans prefer contests; they like the spotlight and dressing up and putting on sh-shows. And then there are Pokemon and humans who just like to live together-- just- just a q-quiet life side by side, maybe travel-ling, or maybe staying h-home. A-and I as a G-Gym L-Leader was s-supposed to help them f-find their way in the w-world. To sh-show them the t-true strength of their b-bond but also t-to show them you d-don't have to battle to be close to one another."

Still stunned into silence, Zapdos couldn't think of words to reply. This entire time, this is what the human world was? Not a dirty, cacophonous metropolis built on the backs of Pokemon slaves, but a working, functioning symbiotic community? It was beyond foreign, beyond alien, and Zapdos immediately wanted to reject it because he honestly couldn't picture such a place on his own. But Roark and his pokemon... He couldn't deny their relationships. He couldn't deny their bonds. He couldn't deny the fact that any of them would be willing to die for the other.

It seemed that in the world that had burned in the wake of the Epidemic, even the weakest of pokemon had a chance to truly become something. Anything. Maybe battles Zapdos had fought had been against surprisingly tough pokemon he normally wouldn't think twice about. A tiny caterpie could achieve dreams of greatness with a human. But him... The Rampardos had already mentioned Zapdos was not like other pokemon. He had no need for training, for human strategy or guidance. Did that also mean he had no place in a situation like theirs? That any and all kinship with other pokemon of humans would... not happen with him?

Was... was he incapable of having friends?

He had his family, sure, but... even then, his solidarity and wildness of himself and his kin kept them apart for decades at a time. Sorrow gripped his heart once more as he realized he'd unknowingly brought this upon himself again. "I..." he finally began, also realizing that they were likely waiting on some sort of reaction from him. "I see... Thank you for... explaining it. I... don't think I've ever heard it put... like that." He stared at the fire nearby, losing himself in the flames. "Every human I've ever met has only wanted to capture me or use my power for their gain. No one has... wanted... friendship." His voice quieted at the last word, a strange pain in his chest he didn't know the name of making it difficult to speak. "No one has wanted... to help... me."
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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Starbits on Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:36 pm


Johto's Power Plant | Dusk | 33


It's silent for a few moments, Roark's hands trembling from the tension.  A bead of sweat slips down the side of his head.  What will the thunder god say?

"I..."

He's... hesitant?

"I see... Thank you for... explaining it. I... don't think I've ever heard it put... like that."  Zapdos's eyes move from the three of them to the fire.  Is he avoiding looking at them?  He is, isn't he?  "Every human I've ever met has only wanted to capture me or use my power for their gain. No one has... wanted... friendship."

Oh.

"No one has wanted... to help... me."

"I... I w-would." Roark begins, tempted to fiddle with his glasses but realizing that now that they are clean, no longer provide an inconspicuous way of avoiding eye contact.  Damn it.  "I... I know we... we've g-gotten off on the-the wrong f-foot.  I under-understand why, now.  And... I'm s-sorry.  I'm sorry h-humans have been awful to y-you.  I'm sorry that th-that happened.  It w-was wrong.  And if I c-could have, I would have pre-prevented it.  But... we're here now, and I'd l-like to help, and n-no, that doesn't mean you have to go in a Pokeball.  We can- can... just be friends th-the way we are n-now.  Plenty of hu-humans and Pokemon b-become friends wi-without the c-capture technique.  It's n-not a requirement u-unless you want to do b-battle, I don't th-think.  Maybe not even th-then."

"If you're not gonna zap-fry our trainer; if you're willing to try to be nice, we'll get that mess off you as soon as we can find cutters or something, and we can travel together.  Maybe we could help you look for any missing friends you might have?  Or family?"

"And in return you can help us look."

"We'll have your back and you'll have ours, and if you wanted to part ways, you could."

Roark gives Zapdos a smile, the kind that crinkles the corners of his eyes.  "Wh-what do you say?  Does that sound good?"


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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Zapdos on Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:13 am



Johto's Power Plant||Dusk
[53]



"I... I w-would." Roark interjected, drawing Zapdos' gaze to him from the flames. He seemed to try and fiddle with his glasses again, but then stopped himself. "I... I know we... we've g-gotten off on the-the wrong f-foot. I under-understand why, now. And... I'm s-sorry. I'm sorry h-humans have been awful to y-you. I'm sorry that th-that happened. It w-was wrong. And if I c-could have, I would have pre-prevented it. But... we're here now, and I'd l-like to help, and n-no, that doesn't mean you have to go in a Pokeball. We can- can... just be friends th-the way we are n-now. Plenty of hu-humans and Pokemon b-become friends wi-without the c-capture technique. It's n-not a requirement u-unless you want to do b-battle, I don't th-think. Maybe not even th-then." Zapdos wasn't sure whether or not to take the words to heart, as he couldn't simply purge himself of a prejudice he'd held for... so long. Centuries? Something like that. Too damn long.

"If you're not gonna zap-fry our trainer; if you're willing to try to be nice, we'll get that mess off you as soon as we can find cutters or something, and we can travel together." Travel... together? Zapdos' anxious gaze turned down from Roark to the Rampardos, still silent. "Maybe we could help you look for any missing friends you might have? Or family?" The grand bird flinched at the word "friends", as he'd just stated he hadn't had many -or any, really- at all. But family... His siblings and Father and Uncle... Father's visage melted into the shadowy pelt he'd last seen at Viridian. Was Father still like that? Back as that nightmare?

"And in return you can help us look."

"We'll have your back and you'll have ours, and if you wanted to part ways, you could."

The multitude of voices broke Zapdos' concentration and he looked back to Roark and his pokemon. "Wh-what do you say? Does that sound good?"

It was the best offer he would get at this point, he knew, but still he remained hesitant. So many years of humanity's greed and callousness toward everything he held dear was difficult to set aside, even in the light of his new epiphanies and physical needs. He was wounded, trapped, and even now when Roark offered a way out without animosity, he paused at the threshold. "I..." They weren't going to hurt him. They weren't going to try and capture him. They weren't going to use him. "I... accept." He looked to each in turn, his wariness softening as the seconds passed. "I want... to know... what it's like. ...And I want out of this fence." The latter sentence was more or less grumbled as he looked down at his own body in annoyance.
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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Starbits on Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:19 pm


Johto's Power Plant | Dusk | 34


It's silent for a few moments, Roark's hands trembling from the tension.  A bead of sweat slips down the side of his head.  What will the thunder god say?

"I... I... accept."

Roark lets out a breath he didn't even know he'd been holding.  Oh, thank god.

"I want... to know... what it's like. ...And I want out of this fence."  The great bird looks at his body with no small measure of annoyance, to which Roark gives a sympathetic wince.  Even when he's protected from danger that thing must still hurt, and besides, being rendered totally helpless will prove fatal if they end up in a situation where the only option is fleeing...

"We're going to s-see what w-we can do about th-that," the Gym Leader promises.  "G-going to need t-tools to- to get that off y-you."

"They'll have to be strong, too... regular scissors won't cut it."  He looks over at Roark.  "Think there might be some in this building?"

He leans back a bit, frowning, brow furrowing.  "Hmmm... I'd say yes.  They'd need something to cut wires and cables, right?  Or the zipties I bet they use to secure cables in place."

"Yeah but... the floor's unsteady," Archae points out.

"Only in some spots.  We really should have paid more attention to the state of that floor..."

"Y-yeah..."  He rubs the back of his head, feeling his face color.  "Live and- and l-learn though, I suppose.  M-maybe we could s-search the first couple f-floors now, and the o-tther tomorrow?  Zapdos, you c-can come with us, if you want, o-or you can stay here with one or more of o-our group.  Y-your ch-choice."


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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Zapdos on Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:38 am



Johto's Power Plant||Dusk
[54]



"We're going to s-see what w-we can do about th-that," Roark promised, and Zapdos had to quash the immediate reaction of snide cynicism. He had to trust this man... no matter how much his prejudices complained about it. "G-going to need t-tools to- to get that off y-you."

"They'll have to be strong, too... regular scissors won't cut it." Zapdos' eyes bounced between each member of the conversation, silent as they discussed how to obtain his freedom. When he got out of that damned fence, he was going to melt it with his lightning. "Think there might be some in this building?"

Of course, even as he swore his vendetta against the metal trapping him, he still couldn't really make sense of the options they were discussing. For the first time in his life, he wished he knew more of the human world so that he could add to the conversation. "Hmmm... I'd say yes. They'd need something to cut wires and cables, right? Or the zipties I bet they use to secure cables in place."

"Yeah but... the floor's unsteady," his fellow avian added.

"Only in some spots. We really should have paid more attention to the state of that floor..."

"Y-yeah..." Zapdos frowned. He hadn't really been aware of the decaying state of his home... not that he could have done anything in the meantime, even if he had. Or if he wasn't trapped in a sharp metal fence. "Live and- and l-learn though, I suppose. M-maybe we could s-search the first couple f-floors now, and the o-tther tomorrow? Zapdos, you c-can come with us, if you want, o-or you can stay here with one or more of o-our group. Y-your ch-choice."

"I'm... not sure what I could provide by going with you," he admitted quietly. But after a quick moment of consideration, he let out a sharp sigh. "But I really don't want to sit and wait here anymore. There's only so much self-reflection I can handle in a single decade."
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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Starbits on Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:16 pm


Johto's Power Plant | Dusk | 35


To be honest, there's nothing Zapdos can do in this state, but he couldn't help but offer anyway.  Sitting around must be dull.

"I'm... not sure what I could provide by going with you."

But barely a moment later: "But I really don't want to sit and wait here anymore. There's only so much self-reflection I can handle in a single decade."

He hadn't considered self-reflection.  Yikes.  That would be a disaster for himself and he was just a puny little human; he could only imagine what troubles a legendary must suffer in the world these days.  Probably being blamed a lot for the plague, or people trying to catch him to better survive said plague.  

Really, no wonder Zapdos doesn't trust him.

"W-well, fear not!  W-we'll rescue you from that."  Roark manages a nervous smile.  "Hopefully the second floor will be sturdier than the first floor."

"Welp, here's hoping," Pach says as he looks over at Roark, watching him rise and stretch.  "We found a lighter so we know they left stuff here.  The question is if other people raided this place."

He leans back a bit, frowning, brow furrowing.  "P-probably, but!   N-no harm looking, right?"  His smile is a little brighter, a little more genuine.  

"You can recall me so that there's not so much space being taken up.  I'll be there if you need me."

"Y-you got it."  The Gym Leader retrieves his backpack and affixes his pokeballs to his belt, recalling Archae.  "O-off we go."

It's but the work of a few minutes before they get upstairs, and thankfully, the stairs show no sign of decay.  It looks like the rest of the building is pretty rock solid.

Hah.  Rock solid.  He allows himself a grin.

The second floor looks about as sturdy as the stairs.  There are eight rooms to look through, four on either side, and since the hallway appears to break off into a corner, Roark guesses there's another side to the second floor that will also have eight rooms, mirroring the first floor.

"A gun would b-be nice," he muses in a murmur as he peeks into the first room.  It would make hunting easier.  "B-but if not, h-hopefully there's a-at least a room with- with a lot of w-wires on this floor that'll have the c-cutters we n-need."

There's nothing of value in the first room.  Nor in the second, third, fourth, or fifth.  The sixth has a skeleton, or most of it, up against a wall.  Roark makes a face as he searches the room and mumbles an apology to the dead human as he searches what can barely be considered a corpse anymore.  Still nothing.

He stares in worry at the tear patterns on its clothes.  

That doesn't look like a knife did that.


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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Zapdos on Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:29 am



Johto's Power Plant||Dusk
[55]



"W-well, fear not! W-we'll rescue you from that." Roark declared almost confidently. Zapdos couldn't help but appreciate the supportive notion from the human; he hadn't expected the other to so readily accept the change in plans. "Hopefully the second floor will be sturdier than the first floor."

"Welp, here's hoping," the Rampardos echoed, the grand bird in the meantime now worrying more and more about the stability of his home. He was likely one of the heavier Pokemon there. Without wings to catch himself in a fall, he'd simply plummet down... and likely skewer himself on the fence stubbornly wrapped around his body. Not a pretty picture. "We found a lighter so we know they left stuff here. The question is if other people raided this place."

Roark considered it. Zapdos had little trouble believing other humans or pokemon had pilfered his home; desperate times and all that. "P-probably, but! N-no harm looking, right?"

"You can recall me so that there's not so much space being taken up. I'll be there if you need me." Zapdos perked at his fellow bird's statement, not entirely sure of what he meant by it. But as Roark moved, he soon understood-- the bird was willingly going back into the poke ball?

"Y-you got it." Zapdos blinked as the pokemon disappeared into the red light, his fear of the contraptions flaring. Didn't that hurt? Wasn't it uncomfortable? Every time he'd been assaulted by those horrible little traps, he'd felt like he was about to suffocate. Was... it not like that for normal pokemon? "O-off we go."

Though Zapdos was immensely curious to know what the inside of a pokeball was like, he kept quiet as Roark led the way. He stayed behind the trainer and his Rampardos, willing to make as the rear. It was unfortunate that his electricity was of no use, but Zapdos had his long, wicked beak to help defend himself, as well as his sharp talons. They'd have to do.

"A gun would b-be nice," Roark mused as they quietly explored. It was a sentiment that caused the Legend's expression to sour; he hated the things. Zapdos had to remind himself that he trusted this human more than most, and so perhaps the human having a long-range weapon, especially since Zapdos himself was so defenseless, wasn't such a bad idea. Despite their practicality, he still hated them, though. "B-but if not, h-hopefully there's a-at least a room with- with a lot of w-wires on this floor that'll have the c-cutters we n-need."

Only really willing to nod his understanding, Zapdos continued to follow, eyes open for any skulking Undead in the shadows. For a long while, the only sounds that echoed in the empty halls were that of Roark's shoes, Pach's heavy feet and Zapdos' talons. It was almost maddening having naught but his own voice in his head; he'd already had all the conversations with himself he was willing to have for the next five generations. Eager to move his own mind from the macabre decorations adorning his home as well as the strange, awful things in his mind, he gave the newly discovered old corpse a last glance before speaking. "Pach..." he began carefully, "What's it like... to be in a poke ball?"
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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Starbits on Sun May 01, 2016 11:37 pm


Johto's Power Plant | Dusk | 36


"Pach..." though Roark hears Zapdos speak up, he doesn't answer; whatever is about to follow isn't for him.  He ducks into another room, Pach standing at the doorway to listen to their companion speak.  "What's it like... to be in a poke ball?"

Roark makes a thoughtful little noise, but continues to pick through the room rather than give any other indication he heard.  He wants to learn about us now.

"Well, it sort of varies?  For me, personally, it's- it's like... darkness, but not the kind that's frightening.  It's like- like curling up in a cave at night with your mother, sort of, when you're still little?  And it's dark, but it's warm and safe and you feel sleepy."  Pach chuckles a little as he watches his human rummage through drawers, flashlight in his mouth to free his hands.  "I'm not sure if legendaries have moms, though, so I'm not sure how helpful that anology is.  But uh.  Yeah, that's what it's like.  It's a safe darkness.  And it encourages me to sleep.  Actually, I've noticed it tends to encourage lot of pokemon to sleep.  I guess in part because it's a safe place to sleep?  Especially nowadays.  The Pokemon inside doesn't die unless the ball is crushed."

And may we never witness that firsthand.  God, please no.

"But we've also met Pokemon who don't like the pokeball.  Some don't like the idea of something surrounding them on all sides, so they describe it as suffocating.  And others didn't like the human who tossed the Pokeball at them, and they described feeling the same sensation.  So it's really a matter of how the Pokemon themselves feel-- somehow that translates into the environment of the pokeball."


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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Zapdos on Mon May 02, 2016 1:26 pm



Johto's Power Plant||Dusk
[56]



"Well, it sort of varies? For me, personally, it's- it's like... darkness, but not the kind that's frightening. It's like- like curling up in a cave at night with your mother, sort of, when you're still little? And it's dark, but it's warm and safe and you feel sleepy." Zapdos frowned at the unfamiliar imagery. He didn't recall his childhood, if he ever truly had one to begin with, nor did he recall if he had an actual biological mother. But the way Pach spoke of it, of the comfort it provided... Once again, the great Legendary bird found himself almost jealous. "I'm not sure if Legendaries have moms, though, so I'm not sure how helpful that analogy is. But uh. Yeah, that's what it's like. It's a safe darkness. And it encourages me to sleep. Actually, I've noticed it tends to encourage lot of pokemon to sleep. I guess in part because it's a safe place to sleep? Especially nowadays. The Pokemon inside doesn't die unless the ball is crushed."

Zapdos winced at the mention of pokeballs being crushed. How often did that happen? Did he even want to know? He eyed the colorful spheres at Roark's waist-- just how sturdy were those things in the first place? Though he had always despised them, this was the first time he'd actually ever felt anything akin to fear toward them.

"But we've also met Pokemon who don't like the pokeball. Some don't like the idea of something surrounding them on all sides, so they describe it as suffocating. And others didn't like the human who tossed the Pokeball at them, and they described feeling the same sensation. So it's really a matter of how the Pokemon themselves feel-- somehow that translates into the environment of the pokeball."

Zapdos considered the words a moment, immediately aligning himself with the other half of the explanation. That... would likely be the most probable outcome, considering everything. The only comfort he ever felt was... was... He closed his eyes a moment, digging deep, deep, deep into his memory. Hazy, dark shadows danced over his mind's eye as he recalled a storm long ago, flying over the ocean. The winds were fierce and the rain merciless and he remembered flying in a panic, trying to find land in the dark. But the rain was too thick, the winds too brutal... And then....

....then....

A cry from the depths. A melody that somehow filled his entire being. A song that, despite being so soft, overpowered the storm's fury. A power surrounded him, guided him and aided his tired wings and the next thing Zapdos knew, he was within sight of land. It was one of the oldest memories he held and one of the few where he had felt comfort from his Father. He opened his eyes and shook his head a little to clear his mind of the old, old memory.

"So it's... uh... case by case," Zapdos reasoned, not wanting to linger on the awkward silence he'd produced. "Good... Good to know." He tried to peer after Roark, suddenly impatient for news. "Any luck?"
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Starbits
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Re: The MEETING Team II (PLOT)

Post by Starbits on Wed May 04, 2016 11:59 pm


Johto's Power Plant | Dusk | 37


It's silent for a few minutes as Zapdos digests this information and Roark busies himself with searching the room as the quiet stretches onwards.  The concept of being capable of being held in a little ball... he's thought of it before, but he's never considered the environment his own mind would produce.  I don't have a mom either.  What WOULD it be like...?

Would his father be in it- no, probably not.  Maybe Riley... or Gardenia...

"So it's... uh... case by case," Zapdos says, breaking the silence at last.  "Good... Good to know."

A second later:  "Any luck?"

"No," Roark sighs in frustration as he sits up with a pair of pliers.  "Why is th-this even up h-here?  I can- can find pliers b-but not cutters?"

"The universe hates us?  That'd be nothing new, Ro."  Roark snorts; yeah, it sure wouldn't be.  "We still have plenty of room to che-"

A crash sounds from the other room.  Roark's head snaps over to the other room, heart in his throat.

Ohno.  

"Stay behind me," the dinosaur whispers to Roark and Zapdos as the human rushes over to his Pokemon.  The door to the next room is open and so is its window, which explains the rotting Pidgeot flapping uselessly as it staggers around the office, squawking in irritation.  Or something.  Who knew how capable of emotion it still was?

Unfortunately it moves much faster than anticipated.  Before they even really comprehend it in the room it launches at them, howling a bird screech into the air.  It slams into Pach, trying to peck at his eyes; Roark cries out in horror and swings his pickaxe at it, burying the tool in its side.  Its attention shifts to him, moving forward to stab him with its sharp beak, but too late for it.  As it moves forward, rocks form and shoot from the wall, the stone edge's rocks pointy rather than blunt, stabbing the bird straight through and pinning it like a fly to the wall.  

But it missed its brain and the bird is still squawking and fighting.  The next stone edge silences it.

Shaking, Roark rights himself and staggers over, ripping his weapon from the now-permanently-dead bird's side.


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