Mahogany Town | Late Morning
35 | 35
The silence was so unbearably unnerving.
Saturn didn't say anything- he didn't dare. And frankly even if he weren't terrified he still wouldn't be inclined to make small talk, because while Saturn personally felt that there was a lot you could get away with when trying to survive--he would never claim to be above tricking certain kinds of people, say, bandits--trying to endear himself to someone so vile didn't really sit well with him.
No, he would not talk to Queen unless she demanded it of him.
Even if the silence was making him want to crawl out of his own skin.
Also incredibly unbearable- the realization after they were alone that he had no weapon. And- yes, true, if he had one there was a decent chance he wouldn't be able to use it on Queen. Nothing short of a good, steady shotgun would help.
But it would be nice if he didn't have to rely solely on the giant, heavy rock dinosaur that had just brutally murdered another pokemon to protect him from things like the undead. Or their possible guest.
That was actually the part that sat the worst with him besides his own possible impending messy death at the hands of this pokemon who clearly didn't like him. Some random person who's left everyone else well enough alone is maybe going to be hunted down today.
Now granted, Ariana's order wasn't to do that. It was to find another way through. And also whoever this was was almost certainly Rocket-affiliated so there was a decent chance they were not some innocent victim.
But Saturn wasn't in much of a position to judge anyone, much less someone he knew nothing about, and he also knew that should they happen to find this person, Queen would either kill them herself or haul them back to Ariana who would probably kill them.
So until then, all he could do was... walk. He made sure to stand up straight, at least- if he couldn't suppress the faint tremor in his body, then he would at least not hunch over.
He sure did wish he had his flashlight out, though. It was dark. He couldn't see well, and he didn't trust Queen not to react violently if he reached into his bag. Also it would make a decent enough blunt weapon.
He started glancing in random doors and down random hallways, chewing on his lip. He didn't have a lot of faith in turning up much, and he hoped Queen wasn't expecting him to actually find anything.
If only Mars was here for counsil... or even one of Archer's pokemon. Everyone else got one of his pokemon in their group, he remembered with a resurging pang of horror.
He prayed that wasn't a sign Queen was just going to kill him. But realistically, one of Archer's pokemon being present wouldn't stop that, so...
What was going to happen to him this entire detour was really anyone's guess, huh.
"...You know..." Ariana began, and Mars only noticed at the last syllable that she was talking to her, still staring where Queen had herded her best friend away, "I had... hoped... to meet you a long time ago."
Ariana looked around, almost as if making dead sure they were alone. Mars wasn't sure what she was feeling, but it was making her gut churn in a way she super did not appreciate.
"I... I couldn't take you in when you were born," she continued, her voice still soft. Something about her voice was making her feel worse. "It wasn't the place for a baby back then. But... when I could finally support you on my own, even if your father was willing, I... I couldn't find you. They'd lost you, the people that took you in. And I... I thought..."
She took in a sharp breath. Mars remained frozen, though her eyes darted down to the Vileplume giving Ariana's leg a supportive, gentle pat.
She cleared her throat, shaking her head. "But you're here now. So tell me about yourself, dear. I want to know absolutely everything."
Talk. Say something. Speak!
What did she say to this monster woman? What could she say that wouldn't immediately get her shot?
Her entire lexicon of curses were bouncing around in her head like those cheap little super bouncy balls they sold out of gumball machines.
Mars did not consider herself a restrained person. Or even much of a smart one. While she might not openly admit the latter, she was more than willing to tell anyone who asked that Saturn was definitely the calm, collected one between the two of them. He handled negotiations. He planned ways around bandits, obstacles- anything in their way. Saturn was always the clever one, the planner, the thinker. She was the doer. He pointed her at a task and she dug in with gusto. Because she trusted him not to steer her wrong, and he trusted her to do the job right, and they both trusted each other to have each other's backs. That was just how it had always been, even as teenagers.
Whatever bullshit he'd gone through since Galactic had made him more paranoid and twitchy, but he hadn't lost his sharp mind. If anything that paranoia made him smarter. He had backup plans for almost everything before she had even half of one plan.
And the Saturn in her brain right now was warning her above the din of screaming curses that she had to play at least halfway nice, because she had no idea what exactly Ariana thought of her and how much the woman would let her get away with before deciding bloodlines didn't matter, actually.
Besides the screaming rage and the warning miniature Saturn there was also...
Well, she didn't think she had a name for it but if she had to ascribe a sound to the feeling it would probably be something like 'sobbing little girl.' And she had a decent idea of why she was feeling that but now was absolutely the wrong time to think about it. Really, if Mars had her way, the wrong time to think about it would be always until she died.
It had been a hot minute hadn't it been shit-
"I want my best friend back," tumbled out of her mouth, and okay yep already off to a stupid start, but it was out and she had to roll with it and not rake Ariana over the coals about it. "You're glad I'm alive, right? He's the reason why. I'd have probably gotten killed when I was a teenager if he hadn't been there to warn me away from doing stupid shit when I got mad."