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This is what remains of the region after the virus hit.
Undead pokemon lurk behind every corner, infest every city, haunt every cave.
Dark Days are Ahead...
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(ELITE) The MAHOGANY Team

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Post by Abysswalker on Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:11 pm

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Mahogany Town (Hideout) | Evening
{28}

Maybe it was the last scraps of her optimism speaking, but Daisy wanted to believe that Fenix’s reluctant obedience was the end of it. Most of the Pokemon used for the fight-her own included-had been recalled. The Electrode were dead, nobody had been killed. In a different world, this would be considered the best outcome for a terrible situation.

She really should have known better.

"You don't seem to understand your situation, dearie, since you keep talking to me like that," Ariana said, her voice too sweet. It was a red flag, and Daisy tensed up hearing it. What was she planning to do? "You keep shrugging off my threats, even after I literally whipped one of your fellow hostages. I guess you don't care about a bunch of strangers and that's fair, but getting line after line of nothing but lip from you... Well, I'm fucking sick of it."

Ariana was still holding the Pokeball given to her, her smile screaming danger.

"You just don't give a rat's ass about when I point this gun at you, yeah? Well. Maybe this'll push you in the right direction. Queenie, Cleo darlings, I need your help. Archer, make sure she stays there."

When the Arcanine was rereleased, there was the briefest moment of confusion upon her face before Ariana’s Pokemon struck. Daisy watched, rooted to the spot, as the canine was bound and the Nidoqueen hung its tail over her neck like some sort of makeshift guillotine. It wouldn’t be a quick execution; she remembered what Ariana carved into Max’s back. She was like a predator who played with their food first; they wouldn’t be happy until their prey suffered.

The tail came down, and the Arcanine screamed.

She screamed over and over again as that Nidoqueen kept slamming its tail down onto her neck, whimpers and horrible cracking noises blending into a sickening chorus as the attacks continued. Daisy wanted to block out the sounds, those awful shrill yelps, but her arms wouldn’t move from her sides. Nobody could do anything. Not her, not Archer, not even Fenix as she watched her Pokemon die slowly and painfully.

Even when the Arcanine’s spine snapped, her agonized screams  continued, echoing in their underground prison alongside the sharpening of the Nidoqueen‘s claws. With how bad her injuries were, Daisy knew there was no chance of this poor, tormented Pokemon surviving. She had seen countless others die; so many of them had trusted her to be able to heal them. But even if by some miracle Ariana called off her Pokemon and let Daisy try to keep her alive, there was no saving the Arcanine that’d done nothing but help them survive. Helped them survive, and died because Ariana could not handle sarcasm.

The Nidoqueen finally took her life, caving in the canine’s skull, but even though it ended the pain there was no mercy in it. Mercy would have been letting her live. Mercy would have involved Ariana being dead a long time ago. No, this was nothing less than cold-blooded murder. A life had been taken away, Fenix had lost what was clearly a close companion, all because of a whim.

She couldn’t do anything except stand there, tears pouring down her face. Her body trembled; whether from barely-contained fury or the shock of watching someone die so brutally and needlessly, Daisy had no idea. It didn’t matter either way. She hated Ariana; she hated her Pokemon, both the ones that had helped carry out the murder and the ones that had stood by and let it happen. More than anything, she hated herself for once again being unable to save someone even when they were in so much pain.

Pain. That was what Ariana deserved to feel, not them-especially not Max, nor Fenix. She despised her fake sweetness, the smug superiority with which she’d sentenced that poor Arcanine to her death. Daisy wanted to rip that gun out of her hands and see what her face would look like when she was the one at the mercy of another.

After what she’d just done, that would be too good of a fate for her.


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Post by Starbits on Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:00 pm

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Mahogany Town | Late Morning
30 | 30



Saturn realized (one of) Fenix's mistake the moment he saw Ariana staring at the ball in her hand with that tiny, evil little smile beginning to perk its way onto her mouth.

She gave the ball to Archer. Not Ariana. It strike him like a lightning bolt, an icy zing flashing its way up his spine. She gave the ball to Archer because she respected Archer. Not Ariana.

And that smiling response was not much better than raging.

"You don't seem to understand your situation, dearie, since you keep talking to me like that," the woman said in a calm, lulling purr. Saturn felt his heard speed up to near painful levels. "You keep shrugging off my threats, even after I literally whipped one of your fellow hostages. I guess you don't care about a bunch of strangers and that's fair, but getting line after line of nothing but lip from you... Well, I'm fucking sick of it."

Saturn didn't move. He barely dared breath. Without moving his head he glanced at Mars to find she, too, had frozen, though the look on her face was a brewing storm. He willed her to shut the fuck up.

Movement from Ariana had his eyes darting back to her, stomach twisting at the poisonous syrup in her voice, in her smile. "You just don't give a rat's ass about when I point this gun at you, yeah? Well. Maybe this'll push you in the right direction. Queenie, Cleo darlings, I need your help. Archer, make sure she stays there."

Archer, face blank, obeyed. Saturn felt himself starting to detatch from the situation, though he was faintly aware he was trembling. One hand clutched the pendant dangling from his neck that he didn't remember pulling from its hiding spot underneath his sweater. Ariana released the Arcanine and instantly a giant Arbok wrapped around the frightened and confused dog.

"So long as you have pokemon for me, Princess, I can do with them as I please," She gave a little chuckle, turning her smile to her Nidoqueen.

"Kill it."

The Nidoqueen turned and brought her tail down onto the Arcanine's neck--not her head, which might have ended this faster, her neck--without hesitation. Without flinching. Without, even, the telltale emptiness of someone who was only obeying to survive.

Mars couldn't tear her eyes away. Wouldn't tear her eyes away. Her nails tore into her palms, blood roared in her ears. There were no coherent thoughts, just churning, screaming rage.

Eyes flicked to Saturn. His face was buried in his hands and she watched as he staggered back into the wall, sliding down it when his shaking knees decided they'd had enough of this.

She looked back to the Arcanine. Her cries choked with blood and what felt like a lifetime later a snap rang out. At the sound, the Arbok released her and returned to Ariana's side.

She was still screaming. No words anymore, but there was still terror and suffering and Mars wanted to vomit all over Ariana's face. The Nidoqueen began to swipe her claws against each other. Hone claws. Like a butcher preparing their knives. The Nidoqueen observed the Arcanine for a moment and then brought a glowing purple fist down on her head, caving in the skull and finally putting an end to this.

Across the room, Saturn made a tiny noise. Mars barely noticed, nor did she notice the tears on her cheeks. She couldn't look away from the victim, ever fiber of her being screaming for retribution.

I'm going to kill you. I'm going to kill you. I'm going to strangle you with my bare hands I won't need a pokemon or a weapon I swear to fuck-


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Post by Silverishness on Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:43 am

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Mahogany Town/ Hideout||Evening


The silence that hung in the air once the Arcanine was finally killed properly was oppressive, and Archer felt his stomach churn. The weight against his hands as Fenix slackened on the floor before him indicated that it might not be safe to remove them, but he wasn't sure he could afford to keep touching her without invoking some sort of wrath from the bloodlust-high Ariana. Who, as he glanced at her, was sporting a grin so wide one might think it was Christmas. His stomach churned again.

Knowing it was in everyone's better interest to let go, he didn't bother trying to offer Fenix some sort of condolence. After all, how empty it would have been for it to come from her pokemon's murderer's compatriot? With her and the other hostages as his best means away from Ariana, and that not even he could discount the loss she must feel at the moment, he knew it would be best to simply go back into the background. Archer looked to Treason and the worried Mienshao nodded, shifting so that his grip could keep Fenix at least balanced as Archer let go and walked back to Ariana's side.

His footsteps echoed in the silence, far too loud for his tastes, even as the hound's screams still sounded in their collective memory. He pulled his gaze away from Queen's disgustingly messy work, knowing that Giovanni would have found it distasteful. Clearly, the Nidoqueen had been in Ariana's care much too long. All of her pokemon had. He wasn't sure how she'd managed to find so many terribly sadistic pokemon to meld with her own personality, or if they had adapted it out of defense.

With an invigorated sigh, Ariana stepped forward, kicking the corpse a little. "Too bad the bitch is so big-- she could have made Cleo a great snack. Still, a body this big is going to stink, and there's already blood everywhere. So come on, let's fucking move before its useless blood stains my boots?" She led the way forward, tossing the ball back into Fenix's lap as she walked past. "Archer, get another one from her."

Archer's face fell a fraction, but he sighed and resumed his neutrality. It was to be expected, just... he didn't know how the blonde would react. Moreover, he needed to get a message to her and the others that he wasn't complicit in this, so when the eventual revolt happened, he wouldn't be lumped in with Ariana. Maybe they would offer a quick death instead of the long suffering crucifixion the others were likely planning, given the expressions they all wore. He gave another nod to Treason, who in turn took the opportunity of being behind Fenix to relieve her of another ball. After ensuring she wouldn't fall over, Treason took the ball to Ariana, then retreated back to his position next to his trainer.

Archer scanned the room a little, unwilling to look at the mutilated Arcanine before clearing his throat. "...Come on, everyone," he spoke softly as the pokemon stirred around him. He frowned at Bella, who hopped onto the Arcanine's middle and began to bounce and giggle. "We need to move."

"Today, hostages!" Ariana called from the hallway, tapping her foot impatiently. "Show's over, hurry up!"


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Post by Phoenix on Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:54 pm

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Mahogany Town/Hideout | Evening
Fe -58 / Fl - 44


Fenix slumped a little more as Archer's grip released but thankfully the Mienshao was there to keep her from slipping her entirely to the floor. Fenix was still replaying the sound of her beautiful girl's cries so no sound made it through to her conscious mind until she heard a string of words that had no business ever being in the same sentence as long as Ariana was still alive. "Archer, get another one from her."

Tensing beneath the Mienshao's grip Fenix watched with a sharpened gaze at every one of Archer's movements as he turned to her. He was either unable to meet her gaze in return or simply didn't care as he looked only to his own Pokemon who silently relieved her of another one of hers. The flash of black and gold told her instantly that it was Bonfire's ball that had been taken and she felt herself twitch as she tried to fight a sadistic chuckle. That Flareon was meaner than anything Ariana's limited imagination could conjure.

Flynn took the chance that once Ariana had the new ball in her hand to return to Fenix's side, a ribbon curling around her wrist as he waited for the inevitable. There would be no mourning, no chance to recover from the horror they were put through. Ariana wouldn't allow that. And true to form the call was made, at least by Archer who was far kinder about it. "...Come on, everyone. We need to move."

Helping Fenix to her feet the Sylveon scowled at the Vileplume who began gleefully jumping up and down on the poor Arcanine's corpse. He could feel Fenix's tension and ire rising as they began to shuffle past and could almost hear her mind screaming that she was about to drop kick the grass type. Pushing his calming aura toward her as best he could he all but guided her away using his ribbon as a strange kind of leash. He couldn't let her fly off the handle right now or they all risked being killed by the blood fueled monsters already summoned by Ariana.

"Today, hostages!" Ariana called out as though she hadn't just joyfully traumatized the entire congregation. "Show's over, hurry up!" Fenix's face didn't change as Flynn led her away but inside her voice was screaming.

'Get the fuck over yourself.'
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Post by Maximum on Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:47 pm

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Mahogany Town |Evening [40]

There was so much blood. A sight she thought she had gotten used to, but there was brain matter, teeth, an eye, and they were all in the wrong places. Unable to properly vent her feelings, Max's body elected to strengthen the flow of her tears. When she finally pried her teeth apart to spare her tongue, her shoulders started to heave, and she couldn't tell if that was the scream or vomit trying to claw its way out. She finally had to turn away from the awful sight to even make an attempt at controlling her emotions from spilling out and making things worse.

Pressing her forehead against the wall, she took controlled, deep breaths and yanked her thoughts from the situation at hand. Immediately, she started focusing on the words of the most recent earworm song she had been dealing with. Due to all this, she missed the specifics of what was going on other than hearing Ariana saying something about taking another Pokemon from Fenix.

Which would have been a fatal error if not for Misty. The Ponyta bit her pants leg and tugged on it to get her attention. She whispered, "C'mon," And her eyes darted to the side to emphasize the fact. That made Max turn and notice that their "leaders" were already on the move, and Fenix was being half dragged away by her Sylveon friend. It also meant that she noticed the bitchy Vielplume was using the dead Arcanine as a trampoline.  

Taking a few shaky steps away from the support of the wall, Max closed her eyes and took another deep breath as she forced herself to look away. The emotional high of the moment was starting to wear down, and that left her feeling emotionally and physically drained. Eyes still red, she glanced around to the others, and she noticed Saturn not too far from her against his own section of wall.

He looked so horrified and upset that instead of immediately following after Ariana, she shakily went towards him and offered a hand. She didn't even think that her trying to help him stand up might make her back hurt, but she did look behind her to make sure they weren't falling behind. "We gotta go." Her voice was scratchy from crying, and it took all of her control to keep it from cracking loudly and calling unneeded attention to them.
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Post by Abysswalker on Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:48 pm

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Mahogany Town (Hideout) | Evening
{29}

Everyone was either shocked or horrified into silence after what happened; the entire room was heavy with tension, and not a single person spoke up. Nobody other than their gleeful captor, that is; she wasted no time in stealing another Pokemon from Fenix, because of course she would. Why not? It was the perfect way for a sadist to keep someone in line. Put someone else’s life in your hands, and crush it if they don’t obey, all with a smile on your face. It was disgusting. Seeing Ariana’s cheery grin in the midst of the carnage her own Pokemon committed made her sick.

Daisy tried not to think of how she couldn’t do a damn thing about it, but that didn’t help her calm down.

"...Come on, everyone. We need to move."

Already? Well... she hadn’t actually expected any respite, but she would give a lot to be able to simply say no, to refuse to be Ariana’s cannon fodder. Not that Daisy could call the feeling tempting after what just happened, but god she was tired of this. After what they’d all witnessed, she wanted to sit down and not have to move for at least a few days. She certainly didn’t want to see that evil little Vileplume making a mockery of the Arcanine’s dead body, jumping up and down without a single care in the world. Petulant thoughts, maybe, and pointless, but still.

"Today, hostages!" Ariana shouted at them, already far ahead from the group-but then, she hadn’t been slowed by little things like shock and trauma, had she? There was nothing Daisy could do but grit her teeth and follow with the others, even though she hated every second of it. ”Show's over, hurry up!"


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Post by Starbits on Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:37 pm

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Mahogany Town | Late Morning
31 | 31



Archer's footsteps were too loud but nobody took notice. Mars and Saturn were both silent, or at least mostly-- Saturn's attempts to keep silent produced tiny hiccuping noises as something inside him fought to claw its way out. Was it sobbing? Screaming? Vomit? He couldn't tell. He didn't want to know. He didn't want to know anything in that moment. He wanted to slide back out of this plane of existence and cease to be. What just happened couldn't have happened...

But it had. And all he could do was shake despite trying his hardest not to.

"Too bad the bitch is so big-- she could have made Cleo a great snack," Ariana mused, Mars staring at her. Her blood thumped in her ears. "Still, a body this big is going to stink, and there's already blood everywhere. So come on, let's fucking move before its useless blood stains my boots?" She left the room, tossing the now-empty ball into Fenix's lap as she went. "Archer, get another one from her."

He obeyed, with help from his pokemon. Nobody else moved. Nobody had the will to.

"...Come on, everyone." There was a softness to his voice, something that looked out of place coming from such a stern face, and the tone was what prodded Mars from her fury just in time to look up and witness the Vileplume--vile--start bouncing on the dead body for no real reason what the fuck Arcanines were flesh and blood there was no air in there? "We need to move."

"Today, hostages!" Ariana called. Her tapping foot drove nails into Mars's head. "Show's over, hurry up!"

For one wild moment she considered just pelting into the hallway and tackling her, (it would be easy, so easy, her Pokemon isn't even right at her side right just do it just go running you match her weight maybe and you don't even need a weapon just strangle the bitch-) but movement from the others drew her attention. The Sylveon had helped Fenix to her feet and was guiding her out, Daisy following. Lynn and her pony were pulling themselves together as best as could be expected, but they didn't leave the room.

They stopped at Saturn.

"We gotta go," her quiet, scratchy voice told him. Saturn blinked, the world returning to focus. Horrible, horrible focus. One hand had found its way to his pendant and he winced as the muscles in his hand screamed. I shouldn't have been squeezing that so hard, ow.

Glancing beyond her, he spotted Mars. They locked eyes, glanced to the Vileplume, and Mars jerked her head towards the door.

Despite the fact that they both knew she should probably leave immediately, she waited. Saturn stuffed the pendant into his sweater and accepted Lynn's hand, letting her help him to his feet. "Thanks," he croaked, and once he was on his feet and talking, he saw Mars's shock of red hair leave the room.

He followed behind, matching pace with Lynn.


_________________

(ELITE) The MAHOGANY Team - Page 9 Tumblr_inline_oslquwfPtW1r82t0h_100
oh, ms. believer
my pretty sleeper
your twisted mind
is like snow on the road
your shaking shoulders
prove that it's colder
inside your head
than the winter of dead



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Post by Silverishness on Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:06 pm

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Mahogany Town/ Hideout||Night


Ariana took the lead through the now empty hallways, confident and smug in her dominance over the sorry little group trailing after her. Little Bitch Princess was properly toppled off her little throne, her Probably Daughter was staying quiet and not fraternizing with that scrawny fuck, and everyone else was staying nice and obedient puppies. There wasn't much else that should be an issue with the hideout, but then again, they were in the apocalypse. Couldn't hurt to be a little cautious.

The double doors that headed into the main thoroughfare were hanging on their hinges, barely staying in place. Without much thought and earning a hard cringe from Archer, Ariana kicked a door in, sending the metal careening into the dusty laminate floor with a loud bang. It echoed a bit, but nothing else sounded around them. It seemed that they were somehow still alone. Triumphant, she led the way down the stairs and toward the hallway that would lead her to her goal. However, she paused when something odd caught her eye.

The light around them was dim, of course, from the few flashlights and the ambient light one of the hostage's pokemon put out. But something shone out in the middle of the hall and she motioned the others closer, glancing back. "Archer, send one of your pokemon to investigate. Something's ahead."

Archer sighed. Now she was being cautious? Nodding Tyranny ahead, the Persian padded closer, her slitted eyes seeing easily in the dark. At first she approached slowly, carefully, but then seemed to relax and move forward more quickly. "...It's... It's a blockade," she called back, staring up at the still intact ceiling. "This isn't debris... At least, it didn't fall here naturally. I think... this was made."


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Post by Phoenix on Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:23 pm

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Mahogany Town/Hideout | Evening
Fe -59 / Fl - 45

Once again the group strolled through the halls of this decrepit hole in the ground with Ariana practically floating on air like she hadn't a care in the world. Fenix couldn't stand it. Her beautiful baby was lying in the other room could for the first time in her entire life and the only mercy that her sweet Arcanine had been granted was that they destroyed her head so she couldn't come back. Oh...her precious pup...

Flynn watched Fenix carefully as they walked behind Ariana and company, beyond worried when he saw her begin to shudder with anger the further they got from the room. His calming aura was doing little to soothe the rage boiling just beneath the surface and he hoped Ariana didn't turn around any time soon and notice the change. Her echoing slam of the door she carelessly kicked open causing both of them to flinch didn't help ease that worry. She was close to gloating again, he could feel it.

Without warning, though, that feeling changed. Ariana grew quiet and suspicious after so loudly announcing their presence. She kept eyeing a strange shape in the distance that was far enough back the feeble light of their flashlights couldn't quite reach it. Even Fenix's rage took a pause to try and puzzle out what was in the way. It didn'tlook natural...so what could it be? "Archer, send one of your pokemon to investigate. Something's ahead."

Fenix rolled her eyes at the cowardly command. Once again Ariana couldn't be bothered to risk herself or her copious and healthy pokemon so she was picking the only one she didn't have the need to cow. Why Archer? Why his Pokemon? But true to form the other Admin did as he was told and sent his Persian to go investigate.  Fenix felt bad for her since she actually liked the kitty cat. It felt like forever sitting in silence before they heard the feline call back with news of the unusual obstruction. "...It's... It's a blockade. This isn't debris... At least, it didn't fall here naturally. I think... this was made."

Well shit. Just one more thing to the list. Some other fucker had been down here before them.
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Post by Maximum on Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:07 pm

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Mahogany Town |Night [41]

The poor guy took a moment to process her offer, but he soon put something he had been squeezing back into his sweater and grabbed her hand. Max had expected the pain, and she held back a hiss as she helped him to his feet. "Thanks," Saturn muttered.

"No prob," she whispered back. She turned to leave the room, and that's when she noticed Mars finally leave. She focused on the shock of red hair in order to not look at the disgusting Vielplume, and with everyone accounted for, she and Misty followed the group out.

The hallways afterwards were blessedly quiet from outside sources and from Ariana's infernal crowing. Even though her body language screamed her pleasure, at least she wasn't bragging about it. With absolutely no regard for caution, she kicked in a set of double doors that were barely holding on their hinges. The sound caused Max to flinch, and she couldn't help glancing around to see if they disturbed something. It was almost beautifully karmic that Ariana got unnerved by something almost instantly afterward. She beckoned them forward and then ordered, "Archer, send one of your pokemon to investigate. Something's ahead."

No words were spoken, but Tyranny moved forward to inspect whatever was ahead. The dim light made it difficult to see, so Max nor Misty could tell what exactly was going on in the room. After a few minutes, Tyranny called out, "...It's... It's a blockade. This isn't debris... At least, it didn't fall here naturally. I think... this was made."

The fuck? Wasn't this place mostly abandoned?
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Post by Starbits on Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:46 pm

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Mahogany Town | Late Morning
32 | 32



Saturn stayed alongside Lynn, trying to block out the world as much as possible. One foot in front of the other. Breathe.

If he focused on just those two things, maybe by the time something else went sideways he'd be in some frame of mind to deal with it.

At least Ariana was mercifully quiet. It provided precious small space to breathe, but even so, he glanced at her now and again. Just because she was quiet didn't mean she couldn't have another mood swing again, especially if she spotted something she didn't like.

It was a smothering reminder they were all trapped under a building with a bomb. The more time passed the more he felt the air choking him, and he chewed on his cheek to focus himself, trying to pull himself back to tasks he could do, something to direct his attention and force it onto something even mildly productive to the situation.

Mars. How was Mars? He looked. She was scowling, unsurprisingly, but she was quiet, too. For now. Everyone was. Fenix's stance was... uh...

Well she didn't look ready to explode at least, though his relief about that became guilt when he remembered why that might be.

He glanced at Max, grateful she was walking well enough. Probably best to not offer his help with her bag right now. He shifted his own on his back to a slightly more comfortable position.

Shortly after he'd looked over to check on Max, they came to a pair of double doors, and Saturn had only a moment to brace himself for whatever might lie behind them before Ariana kicked them in like an overzealous child playing at being a superhero.

You idiot! he shrieked inside the safety of his head. Oh god she was really going to get them all killed even if it wasn't a fit of sadism! How had she lasted so long!? Did you MISS the undead earlier!? USE YOUR HEAD THERE COULD BE MORE!

Nothing came running, Saturn swallowed and followed the group down the stairs, but it was in the hallway at the bottom that Saturn felt his heart thud in his chest.

There was a shape in the darkness, their flashlights illuminating it from down the hallway.

Ariana tensed, motioning them all closer. Saturn didn't move. He was safer by Max than anywhere near her, and given what Ariana did to her just yesterday, the same was probably true for Max. "Archer, send one of your pokemon to investigate. Something's ahead."

Archer sighed and Saturn did too, dragging a hand down his face. They'd made enough noise that acting like they might remain undetected was the dumbest thing he'd heard in at least a month.

Archer nodded to his Persian, who slunk ahead. Nothing happened to her. Probably not alive, whatever was ahead- objects, maybe?

"...It's... It's a blockade," she called to them, lifting her head. "This isn't debris... At least, it didn't fall here naturally. I think... this was made."

Made. Someone made that?

As shock settled, Mars finally exploded.

"Oh great," she snapped, a look from Saturn--who had left Max's side specifically to walk up here to stare at her, probably--able to quench her fire enough for her to lower her voice to a more irritated hiss. "Should've guessed this from the start- world ends, nowhere to go? Come hide in that hideout that only a small portion of the population knows about! Of course there were gonna be Rockets here at some point! Probably still here, too, if they're alive. Awesome. Just what we needed."


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(ELITE) The MAHOGANY Team - Page 9 Tumblr_inline_oslquwfPtW1r82t0h_100
oh, ms. believer
my pretty sleeper
your twisted mind
is like snow on the road
your shaking shoulders
prove that it's colder
inside your head
than the winter of dead



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Archer frowned at Tyranny's description, then strode forward a little to investigate himself. While he trusted his Persian's cognitive ability, he knew Ariana would want him to look closer anyway. With his flashlight in hand, he drew to his pokemon's side and looked it over with an increasing frown. "Yeah," he called back. "Blockade. Someone else must be down here."

That news did... not go over well with Ariana. As he turned around to gather his next direction, he flinched slightly when he saw her eyes almost comically wide. Her nostrils flared and she stomped her way forward, likely to look at the blockade herself. He and Tyranny stepped back without hesitation as they didn't want to be run over. Ariana's good mood banished, she looked the structure over and snapped her head to him, looking in his eyes for her answers. Since Archer wasn't even aware of the questions, he stared at her, lightly confused.

Irate that her minion couldn't read her mind, she growled under her breath. "...Who... could be here, Archer? Only we had access afterward. Only we, a few trusted, and that shit-eating Lance and his child lackey. They'd have to be one of those to know how to not set off the hallway traps. You knew they were there and you still set them off! Who the FUCK is down here?!"

"I'm sure I don't know," Archer sighed. "Maybe it's one of ours that was squatting here and got trapped by the hallway. It might not be an enemy--"

"Of course it's a fucking enemy," Ariana spat. "Everyone is. And if they've been down here this whole time, that means they probably have what we're after. They might have... moved them or ruined them!"

Archer spared a glance back at the others, knowing their conversation was completely audible thanks to Ariana's lack of an inside voice. "...We can look for another way forward," he suggested in his trademark monotone. "With all the structural damage, maybe another wall has opened up we didn't see. But for now, I think it would be wise to turn back and find another way instead of going through this. We'll be too loud and in a terrible position to be ambushed otherwise, if your assumption is correct and this stranger is hostile."

That was as civil as he could be, and he dearly hoped it would work. Ariana chewed on her lip and growled, not wanting to admit defeat to a wall of trash. Still. Now that they knew they weren't alone here, she felt pressured to go faster. They had competition. "Fine," she growled, then whirled back around to face the others.

"Change of plans," she snapped. "Seems like there's an intruder here. Archer and I are here for a very specific item, you see, and if this intruder gets their grubby little hands on it first, that renders the entire point of you staying alive completely moot. So. You all need to be as motivated as possible to find a way either through that stupid blockade or another way into the main area before this intruder gets what we want. Got it? You help us, we keep you alive. You act slow, lazy, or defiant," she shot a pointed look to Fenix, "then that Asshole gets it first and we kill you anyway. Fantastic. Start looking."


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