Epidemic Johto

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Welcome to New Johto;
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...
Will you survive?


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(ELITE) The MAHOGANY Team

Starbits
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Post by Starbits on Sun May 24, 2020 8:06 pm

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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!

"I..."

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."


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oh, ms. believer
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Post by Silverishness on Sun May 31, 2020 7:48 am

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Mahogany Town/ Hideout||Night



Archer was glad that his indifference to her proclamation of murdering his traveling companion didn't cause any uproar. Ariana was distracted now, yes, but she might come running if there was any shrieking their way. "My biggest obstacle is the Nidoqueen," the blonde began after a moment of thought. Archer was inclined to agree with her, but remained quiet. "That fat, soulless monster is the only one who has a risk to me and my team. The rest I have no fear of no matter how much they would like to pretend otherwise. Ariana herself is no threat once the Pokemon are dealt with, just a wad of used up tissue that is too trashy to even realize someone missed the garbage can when she fell out."

A brow quirked at Fenix's hubris; she had a total of, what, two pokemon now and she thought she could overtake a team of five? He spared a glance at her. Did she not realize that Ariana's battling style wasn't always committed to brutal displays of power? She must have written off Belladonna because she was a grass type and Fenix was a fire trainer... Under normal circumstances, Archer would agree, but it was a large assumption thinking that Bella would even allow Fenix's pokemon to fight her. "While brute force may be the eventual tactic to take out the Pokemon it will have to be in a carefully crafted blitz attack. No chance for them to rally. Which means.... I'll need help."

He spared a glance at the grieving trainer, arms still folded over his chest. "Queen is an issue, yes," he agreed quietly. "And is often Ariana's go-to choice when it comes to decimating threats. You shouldn't write off the rest of her team, however. Despite their trainer, they work well together. If it were that easy to beat her, I wouldn't be here." His eyes returned to the mysterious barricade and sighed.

"You will need help. Unfortunately, I can only offer so much. You'll need to enlist the other hostages. Not that I think they'll refuse-- the main obstacle is asking them and planning an attack without Ariana or one of her goons listening in. Find a way to do that, and I'll create an opportunity for you." He looked down to Tyranny, who simply offered a worried expression. They'd tried to leave before, after all... and that experience alone was what kept them at her side.

"I'll also offer you are on a deadline: knowing what we're looking for down here, I doubt Ariana will let you live once we find it." He looked back to Fenix, wondering if she was aware as well. "This new development has granted you some time, at least."



"Yeah, I'm good," the hostage called back, which Justice took as a cue to start moving. His head lifted a little as she addressed him further: "If you need me to loosen up, let me know." With a hint of a smile, the Tauros nodded and continued to follow the two flying pokemon, occasionally glancing curiously to the Ponyta beside him.

"Don't you ignore me, you featherless mouth monster!" Fop squawked indignantly as he hopped on the tile. He hated how he couldn't fly here; the others were moving too slow and the hallways were too small for his impressive wingspan. "You've always been jealous, and now when our trainers aren't in sight and you outnumber me, you show your true colors! Well, I won't be fooled. I won't be blindsided! I'll decimate the both of you and then take my trophies of your misshapen heads to your pathetic, whimpering trainer!"

The slight against Archer didn't cause a reaction from Anarchy, but Justice let out an angry snort. The Honchkrow immediately turned to him, feathers puffing upward. A sneer appeared on the avian face and he hopped to the bull and his passenger. "Oh? What was that, you matted, over-sized hamburger? Did you want to say something to me? Disagree with me? Give me a single reason to pluck out those beady little eyes and rip out that tongue. I hear cow tongue is quite the delicacy." Justice was forced to stop in his trek as the Honchkrow continued to berate and threaten him.

Anarchy turned to face the two, but didn't otherwise move. His expression was unchanged, though he seemed to be staring at Justice more than Fop. The Tauros stayed still and silent until Fop was satisfied. The bird gave a haughty, "Hmph! That's what I thought," before turning and continuing to hop along the hall. There was a last look from the stoic Crobat before he followed, and Justice brought up the rear.

Though the entry point Ariana described wasn't far, walking in silence felt an eternity. The oppressive silence, the tension-- it increased with every echoing clack of Justice's hooves. Still, they pressed on. Finally, Anarchy stopped and hovered around a small spot in the floor. "Ok. We need to go here." He looked to the others. "How do we collapse the floor without Justice and the hostages falling?"



”No, it’s certainly not dementia,” came the doctor's reply, earning a string of grateful "Ohmygods" from the venomous snake. ”Isn’t her name actually ‘Grim’?”

Cleo scoffed. "Yeah, but that's a dumbass name, Dr. Doctor Lady. 'Grim'? Like, ew. Reminds me of, like, dust and cobwebs and shit. Grimey is also gross, but it makes me think of green things and she's green, so it's OBVIOUSLY the better name. Duh." She laughed and slithered closer to the Serperior. "I thought doctors were supposed to be, like, smart?" She lightly tapped Grim with her tail. "She's so fucking stupid, isn't she?"

[color-#009A53]"Mhmm,"[/color] was the grass type's only reply. She didn't pay much attention to either her companion or Daisy and simply slowly made her way along the tile, staring at the walls.

After a moment, Cleo stopped and looked around them. "What are we supposed to be doing again?"

"Looking for holes in the walls," Grim replied. She turned to Daisy and gestured to the opposite wall with her head. "The sooner we get done, the sooner we can leave."



Queen was utterly silent as they walked. She didn't care about the boy next to her, only that his constant trembling was annoying her. She was too good for this menial work. Even killing the boy was beneath her[; it looked like he was about to keel over anyway, without outside assistance. He mind drifted to the Arcanine she'd killed barely an hour ago and scoffed. That might have been a good kill if Cleo didn't have it completely pinned.

Where was the sport in that? The entertainment?
She knew she could break an Arcanine's neck. She knew she could snap this little twig beside her in her sleep. Big fucking deal. She wanted a challenge. She wanted to have to use her strength and wits and actually feel something. Instead, she was given the weakest of their charges to babysit. Boring. And kind of insulting.

Sick of the boy already, even without him speaking a word, Queen glanced around them and spotted a wall. Ariana wanted him to go in one, right? Right. She huffed a bit and punched one, causing a sizable hole to appear. She turned to the boy and pointed at the hole, glaring. "Go."



"I..."

Ariana turned to her nervous daughter, not knowing what to expect. How alike were they? Did she fancy the same kind of music, food, TV shows? Did they share a favorite movie or Pokemon? Or did she inherit things from her father? Her heart fluttered thinking and mulling over the possibilities, nearly giddy with excitement.

And then...

"I want my best friend back," was the answer. She hadn't thought there would be a wrong answer to the question 'tell me about yourself', but there it was. Ariana's hopeful smile faded a bit as her daughter continued. "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."

With a sigh and a roll of her eyes, Ariana shook her head. "Honey, no. You're still young, so you might not have figured out what guys are supposed to be." She turned completely to face Mars, hands on her hips. "That boy? Is not your friend. He thinks you are, but that's the only thing that makes him useful. He is a tool, like all boys, and sure-- if he kept you alive this long, then I suppose he's fulfilled his purpose. But now? It's time to let that scrawny little toddler go.

"You don't need him anymore. We're together now and while I appreciate the idea of keeping a little toy around for fun, not that one. You need better taste in men. He's barely a man, for shit's sake; I think one of my tits weighs more than he does. Move on."


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Post by Phoenix on Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:06 pm

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Mahogany Town/Hideout | Night
Fe -63 / Fl - 46


"Queen is an issue, yes," Archer's deadpan reply unnerved the Gym Leader for some reason. "And is often Ariana's go-to choice when it comes to decimating threats. You shouldn't write off the rest of her team, however. Despite their trainer, they work well together. If it were that easy to beat her, I wouldn't be here." Well that was fair, but she was also a gym leader. Type advantage wasn't her only strength when it came to a mastery of fire types, she knew how to deal with type disadvantage and team battles were her specialty. Her entire team had been built around double battles back when she was actively running Cinnabar though in this situation...especially with Pompeii gone...her preferred match ups were now limited to one beneficial duo.

"You will need help. Unfortunately, I can only offer so much. You'll need to enlist the other hostages. Not that I think they'll refuse-- the main obstacle is asking them and planning an attack without Ariana or one of her goons listening in. Find a way to do that, and I'll create an opportunity for you." Fenix crossed her arms and pondered Archer's suggestion. It was true they would have to find some way to coordinate and that was another problem. She knew waht needed to be done but getting the others on the same page was going to be an obstacle she hadn't actually considered. She was used to her Pokemon who could practically read her thoughts they had fought together so long.

"I'll also offer you are on a deadline: knowing what we're looking for down here, I doubt Ariana will let you live once we find it. This new development has granted you some time, at least."

Looking at Archer Fenix's frown deepened. She had her suspicions why Rocket would be infiltrating their own abandoned base but didn't want to give up all her cards just yet. She liked Archer, hell she even found him attractive and a more than competent trainer, but that didn't mean she was ready to trust him with everything she had. Right now he was only amenable to change his own situation so she couldn't treat him like they were friends. Maybe she should dig into what exactly had the redhead so obsessive a little harder-

"I can help," Flynn interrupted with his own calm reply. Fenix looked down at the finally vocal Sylveon and arched one eyebrow, silently questioning what exactly he was considering for a plan. He had been utterly silent this entire time so hopefully whatever caused him to break it was better than her half a plan. "It's already been proven she has it out for you now," he continued, "but if you notice she didn't even mention me when she split up the different groups. Or hardly any Pokemon other than her own. I may be able to act as a go between if she continues that trend. If I stick to only speaking with other Pokemon and only when someone else is the focus of her attention we can relay information right under her nose."

Fenix smiled for the first time since beautiful Pompeii's death. "Didn't know you had it in you to be sneaky, Ruffles," she teased lightly, earning a swat from one of Flynn's ribbons. "But it's an idea. Even if it isn't you we could use other Pokemon in much the same fashion. Especially yours if you are actually willing to do this, Archer. As her second your Pokemon have more freedom to move about the hostages. What do you think? Is it viable?"
Maximum
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Post by Maximum on Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:36 am

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Mahogany Town |Night [45]

Max tried to focus on literally anything other than the burning on her back, and unfortunately for her, that ended up being listening to the giant ball of feathers that wouldn't shut up. "Don't you ignore me, you featherless mouth monster!" He squawked towards the Crobat. "You've always been jealous, and now when our trainers aren't in sight and you outnumber me, you show your true colors! Well, I won't be fooled. I won't be blindsided! I'll decimate the both of you and then take my trophies of your misshapen heads to your pathetic, whimpering trainer!" While she didn't really have a horse in this race, Justice clearly did and the angry snort caught the damned bird's attention. "Oh? What was that, you matted, over-sized hamburger? Did you want to say something to me? Disagree with me? Give me a single reason to pluck out those beady little eyes and rip out that tongue. I hear cow tongue is quite the delicacy." He hopped into Justice's way and stared him down. The silence was thick with tension, and Max had to force herself to let go of Justice's fur before she hurt him.

A glance to the side where Misty had been walking told her that the Ponyta was absolutely terrified. The backwards pinned ears, an unfortunately common sight by this point, seemed even lower than usual. It was almost a miracle that she was standing her ground instead of bolting or hiding behind the much bigger bull. Not that Max really thought of Misty as a coward, but she had expectations for a Pokemon that was still growing used to fighting instead of running.

Turning her eyes back to the Honckrow, Max recognized the power struggle going on, and knew the only way they could get through this was if Justice kept quiet. Please just stay quiet. It'll be over quicker if you do. The thought kept going through her head on repeat. She didn't see Anarchy's pointed look at Justice until Fop declared, "Hmph! That's what I thought," and continued hopping down the hallway. A breath she hadn't realized she was holding was released. She wasn't entirely sure what the quiet communication entailed, but she stored it away for later. Just in case.

If anything, Justice clearly didn't like his trainer being bad talked, and Max was going to grab at anything that meant he might listen to her plea.

Eventually, Anarchy stopped and hovered over a specific spot on the floor and said, "Ok. We need to go here." Max leaned a little forwards in an attempt to see what was so special about the spot as he then asked, "How do we collapse the floor without Justice and the hostages falling?"

Max turned her head in thought as she tried to figure out a solution to the problem. If they didn't have any ideas, she needed to come up with one. Fast. Unfortunately, construction was something she never really looked into beyond casual glances at unfinished housing, and other than knowing they absolutely did not have the tools they probably needed, she was at a loss. The spot the Crobat was hovering over, however, looked off from the rest of the floor. Was it a natural weakness from years of disuse? "We just need a hole right? A big one?" She bit her lip in thought. "I'm not strong enough to break through the first layer with my bare hands, but we don't want to bring the whole building down by having you guys attack the floor..." She mused aloud. Some part of her hoped one of the others would supply an answer.

Glancing down towards Misty, she had a thought. "C-can I look at that spot on the floor?" She didn't want to give the Honchkrow an excuse to attack her when he was already itching for a fight.

((If you need her to move forward a bit more to the actual digging, you can move her around as needed))
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Post by Abysswalker on Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:17 pm

(please skip me, this post just won’t work with me. feel free to move Daisy if need be, sil)


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Post by Starbits on Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:32 pm

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Mahogany Town | Late Morning
35 | 35



Saturn was peeking around a hallway, having finally stopped trembling, when the smashing happened.

He almost jumped a mile, struggling to swallow the yelp (and mostly succeeding) as he whirled around to look. He stared in confusion and mild horror at the hole she'd made before remembering Ariana's prior words, and the horror grew.

She pointed at it.

"Go."

Her voice was low, but it didn't need to be loud to ring like a death knell.

He stared at the hole for a moment, taking a deep breath, willing the stilling of his body.

This was happening. All I can do is work with what I have.

And... there was probably nothing behind that wall that was more dangerous than anything they could run into, here.

Saturn grabbed one of his backpack straps with one hand and climbed through.




Mars was actually, for a brief second, a little pleased with herself for keeping her voice so level. Sure, it wasn't happy or anything, but it was civil. She'd like to think Saturn would be pleased, too.

Tangoing with that tiny measure of pride was still the yawning hole in her center as well as the fear that she'd immeditely set the woman off anyway but hey, nobody could say that if things went sideways it was her temper that got the best of her.

Instead of an explosion--relieving--the response was a sigh and an eyeroll--immediately infuriating. Mars bit the inside of her cheek and willed herself to unclench her fists. "Honey, no. You're still young, so you might not have figured out what guys are supposed to be."

Uh. The fuck?

[color=#a00000]"That boy? Is not your friend. He thinks you are, but that's the only thing that makes him useful. He is a tool, like all boys, and sure-- if he kept you alive this long, then I suppose he's fulfilled his purpose. But now? It's time to let that scrawny little toddler go."[color]

Good god, was her face punchable. Ariana continued on, oblivious. Concieted. Condescending. As if she had any understanding of the shit she and Saturn had gone through.

"You don't need him anymore. We're together now and while I appreciate the idea of keeping a little toy around for fun, not that one. You need better taste in men. He's barely a man, for shit's sake; I think one of my tits weighs more than he does. Move on."

"He's not a toddler; he's a grown man." Shit. Even though she just barely kept from shouting this wasn't going to end well. What the fuck was wrong with this woman where did she get off thinking guys were tools what the fuck- "Wait-"

She blinked, eyes widening as a realization slammed into her with the force of a battering ram.

"Is-" she struggled to make her mouth work. "Is that all my father was to you? A toy?"

It was one thing if he was abusive, or a deadbeat, or dead- she'd expected that.

This was something else.


_________________

(ELITE) The MAHOGANY Team - Page 10 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 Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:34 pm

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Mahogany Town/ Hideout||Night


"I can help." Archer turned slightly to see the Sylveon suddenly in his vision. Well, that certainly was a credit to the pokemon's usefulness. He'd nearly forgotten the fairy was there.  "It's already been proven she has it out for you now," he continued, "but if you notice she didn't even mention me when she split up the different groups. Or hardly any Pokemon other than her own. I may be able to act as a go between if she continues that trend. If I stick to only speaking with other Pokemon and only when someone else is the focus of her attention we can relay information right under her nose."

Hmm. There was that. It seemed Ariana forgot he was around as well... or simply didn't care. Either way, he was off her radar. "Didn't know you had it in you to be sneaky, Ruffles," Fenix praised, "But it's an idea. Even if it isn't you we could use other Pokemon in much the same fashion. Especially yours if you are actually willing to do this, Archer. As her second your Pokemon have more freedom to move about the hostages. What do you think? Is it viable?"

Archer's eyes darted to the hostage when his own pokemon were mentioned, his frown increasing by a small fraction. "...I doubt mine will be available, honestly," he sighed. "If you'll notice, she commands them, and myself, as if we were hers. There is... not as much trust between us as you would hope. She split up my own pokemon with hers for most of the hostages, but not the small boy or to go with herself and the smaller woman that looks like her. I, and therefore my pokemon, are not as trustworthy as her own pokemon.

"I have no doubt that Ariana is ignorant of any mutiny on my part. However, her Vileplume... I would not put it past her to be suspicious."
A shadow came over his expression, and for a moment he seemed distant. "Bella has... thwarted me personally on several occasions. She will be watching me and my pokemon very carefully; I'm sure the only reason she isn't here now is because Ariana commanded her otherwise." He returned his gaze to Fenix, his expression unreadable stoicism once more. "However, that may be enough to allow your man to spread the word."



Anarchy wasn't looking forward to having to listen to Fop much longer, and he'd braced himself for some moronic plan that might collapse the entire building on them come out of the dumb bird's beak. However, happily enough, the hostage spoke first. "We just need a hole right? A big one?" The Crobat turned to look at her, all four wings beating against the stale air to stay aloft. "I'm not strong enough to break through the first layer with my bare hands, but we don't want to bring the whole building down by having you guys attack the floor..." Anarchy sighed in relief. This one was sensible. Thank the Gods.

"C-can I look at that spot on the floor?" she asked, to which Justice looked to his fellow teammate for approval. When the large bat nodded, the Tauros obliged and walked her forward, almost completely over the spot. He snorted a little as he felt something beneath his hooves strain a little; yes, this was weak flooring indeed. Tossing his head in a display of nerves, he settled just above it so his passenger had the best view.

"What do we do?" the bull quietly asked of the young woman; despite being a fierce creature, he was still a domestic pokemon. He needed guidance from humans, even if that human was considered an enemy.



((I can't for the life of me write more for them without input, so more of the same here lol))



Queen watched as the blue-haired twig climbed through the hole, almost grateful for the obedience. Almost. She would rather have stuffed him in herself; feeling his tiny bird bones crack and shatter beneath her power would have been a little more cathartic than him just scrambling about beneath her sturdy glare. But then again, that would take effort and just wasn't worth her fucking time. This tiny wretch of a human was barely strong enough to lift his own chest as he breathed. Why, exactly, had Ariana charged her with him?

She was just sick of him. Damn what Ariana thought she'd do with him, Queen was simply done. With the boy completely swallowed by the wall, her massive paw reached in and shoved him in harder, then started to gather debris and began to clog the hole she'd made. She wanted him gone, but killing him was not worth the effort. So better to just... bury him. Say he tripped and fell and broke his useless neck or something. Not like it was all that unbelievable.

Disregarding any sounds he may have been making, Queen blocked his only way out with the various debris and a fist reared back, wreathed in flame. No more stupid stick person. With a Fire Punch, the wall was melded and sealed against the boy's escape. "Fucking twit," she grumbled before turning and leaving the room. Where was her damn trainer?




"He's not a toddler; he's a grown man." Ariana snorted aloud at the comment. That little shit? Grown? Where? He was 80 pounds soaking wet! But as Ariana laughed over the incredulous claim her daughter made, something seemed to occur to the younger ginger. "Wait-"

Ariana turned, pausing in her stride to look down at Mars, quirking a brow. "Is-" Her brow ticked a little higher as her daughter struggled to speak. "Is that all my father was to you? A toy?"

Rolling her eyes at Mars' dramatic delivery, Ariana sighed and shook her head. "Your father is a magnificent man," she began with a swoon. "He was a toy for a while, but... then we grew up and I fell for him. The other men I've known, however... Archer? Toys. Things to bide my time while I wait until I find your father again." She looked over the younger woman, considering something to herself before continuing.

"It was... out of respect for him and his potential that I... well. I suppose I'll need to tell you one day, so it may as well be now: your father is Don Giovanni, leader of Team Rocket. With how things went sour with your brother, I... kept the information of your existence from him. He had other things to focus on, you know? I didn't want to distract from that."


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"...I doubt mine will be available, honestly." Fenix's face fell at his confession. While she hadn't expected much to begin with the small spark of hope that Archer was just as eager to escape as the rest of them seemed to be flickering. But...she should be willing to hear him out. She had put enough trust in him to confess her own plans so it was her only option to see it through. Besides, people around here kept surprising her.

"If you'll notice, she commands them, and myself, as if we were hers. There is... not as much trust between us as you would hope. She split up my own pokemon with hers for most of the hostages, but not the small boy or to go with herself and the smaller woman that looks like her. I, and therefore my pokemon, are not as trustworthy as her own pokemon." Well that made a lot of sense. Crossing her arms Fenix let out a loud, distressed sigh as she contemplated their future while Archer continued. Ariana was an idiot, but not as large as one as Fenix had originally pegged her. That made this a little more dangerous.

"I have no doubt that Ariana is ignorant of any mutiny on my part. However, her Vileplume... I would not put it past her to be suspicious." Fenix's expression soured darkly at the thought of that vicious little plant, eager to set it ablaze in any way possible. It had fucking bounced  on her beautiful- Fuck that shitty plant and it's disgusting nature. "Bella has... thwarted me personally on several occasions. She will be watching me and my pokemon very carefully; I'm sure the only reason she isn't here now is because Ariana commanded her otherwise. However, that may be enough to allow your man to spread the word."

Both Fenix and Flynn were stunned into silence at the end of Archer's explanation. He had tried before? More than once? Then no wonder he seemed so broken in Ariana's eyes. Even if she were aware of any previous attempts the fact that all of them failed could have led her to believe there was no way Archer would leave her now that their only hope of survival was each other. Where else was he going to go, after all? If the only one truly sniffing around was that shit stain of a grass type then there were ways around that. They just had to keep the suspicious eyes somewhere else while Flynn did all the work.

"Is there a way we could...distract them?" the Sylveon echoed her thoughts aloud, likely unaware she was even thinking along the same lines. "A show of faith that you are indeed on Ariana's side but enough to keep the Vileplume sufficiently distracted from my own movements as well? Surely such sadists could be placated with some kind of display."

"Torture, maybe?" Fenix continued, looking between the pair. "I'm strong enough to take it, personally, unlike the kids. Besides she's already had her own turn at them and I don't want to see them subjected to it again. If anyone needs a punching bag they can have me instead and she hates me enough to think it funny. I might even try to cry for her if that helps. Give them a good show or a good story and they won't be looking at Flynn while he moves. Could anything like that work in our favor? Or do we need to dig deeper?"
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Post by Maximum on Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:02 am

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Mahogany Town |Night [46]

Justice looked towards Anarchy for confirmation before moving forward. Okay good, they were going to play nice. Once they got fairly close to the spot, Justice tossed his head suddenly, and after glancing towards the Tauros to make sure he was okay, she then turned her attention to the floor. It was holding up, but it was apparently straining against the weight. Shit, she better have him move back off as soon as possible. "What do we do?" Well, there went the hope that one of them would come up with something.

Sensing his nerves, one of her hands started to do a petting motion on his back as she thought through her admittedly shoddy plan. They could quickly go through this if they applied the right amount of force, but they had to do so with precision. And even then, it could still be dangerous. Having Fop, Anarchy, or Justice do this was not an option. She didn't know enough about their training to know if the word "Precise" existed in their battling vocabulary, and that was assuming they would even listen to her.

So that left her with using one of her own. Melody would be the obvious answer since she had Extrasensory, but Max didn't know if she could keep the Noctowl from starting a hopeless 3 vs 1. Grigori was not an option at all, even if she had him. Holly was an absolute NO. Spidey was... No. Which left her with Misty.

She could make this work as long as Misty didn't lose her nerve.

The first thing she said was, "Uh, first go ahead and back up, I really don't want to test our luck here. And we're gonna need everyone to kinda back away from that weak spot." She hoped that request didn't come out too much like an order, but the words had already come out. Thankfully, the Pokemon all gave the space she needed, and she looked down at Misty. "Hey Misty," She quietly said, causing the Ponyta to look up at her. "So you know how we've been working on Bounce?"

Not following where Max was going with this, Misty's gaze was full of confusion. "Yes?"

Max took a deep breath as she made herself say her plan out loud. "I need you to use Bounce. Several times. On that weak spot until it gives in. You're light enough that the force shouldn't affect anything other than that one spot."

Guilt ate at Max at how scared Misty looked. Misty asked weakly, "But what if I fall through?"

With the gift of bullshitting on the spot, Max vaguely explained, "There's insulation and other stuff in there, and since there's a weak spot, that must mean they didn't put any of the heavy lifting building stuff in. If you go all the way through, I'll return you back into your ball, and check you for injuries, okay?" When that didn't have the effect she had hoped for, she then added, "We've been working on preserving your momentum and changing positions in the air; I know you can do this. Just be ready to change your jump when you feel something give."

That did a much better job of reassuring Misty. The Ponyta straightened up a little, and while she still looked nervous, it was a far cry from the earlier terror. "Okay."

Max then pulled out Misty's Fast ball just in case, and then pointed towards the center, "Start there."

The first Bounce didn't do much, but the second one caused the weakened area of the floor to visibly dip. Seeing the change, Max then directed Misty to Bounce near the edges. After a few more attacks, there was an audible groan when the Ponyta's hooves hit the floor, and Misty quickly changed the angle of the jump. As a hole in the floor formed with the collapsing debris, Misty landed on the far side with heavy breaths.
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Mahogany Town (Hideout) | Night
{33}

Clearly, Cleo wasn’t impressed with her.

”Yeah, but that's a dumbass name, Dr. Doctor Lady. 'Grim'? Like, ew. Reminds me of, like, dust and cobwebs and shit. Grimey is also gross, but it makes me think of green things and she's green, so it's OBVIOUSLY the better name. Duh."

It felt like arguing with a child-albeit an exceptionally dangerous child-who refused to take no for an answer. If this was a real conversation, Daisy would say Grim was a pretty name-it suited the seemingly quiet nature of the Serperior. But it wasn’t real, and her opinion didn’t matter here, so she kept it to herself. Besides, Cleo was already slithering away, laughing at her expense. It was an ugly sound. "I thought doctors were supposed to be, like, smart? She's so fucking stupid, isn't she?"

..Right. As if she needed any more proof that the snake was exactly like her trainer. Daisy kept her neutral look, but she would have loved to glare daggers at Cleo. The insult had, absurdly, stung, despite the fact it came from someone who didn’t even know her name let alone her intelligence. Why am I listening to her again?

At least her companion didn’t seem to care, not commenting either way. They moved on, and the ‘conversation’ was left behind.

Unfortunately, it took very little time for Cleo to pipe up once more. "What are we supposed to be doing again?"

There were a lot of things Daisy could’ve responded to her with, each one more petty than the last, but she pushed them away. No point in wasting energy on that.

"Looking for holes in the walls," Grim replied, "The sooner we get done, the sooner we can leave."

The Serperior gestured towards the other side, and Daisy took the cue. Leaving sounded good to her, even though her situation wouldn’t improve either way. She’d already been looking along the walls as they went down the hall, but a closer inspection would be better. Not that Daisy expected much... so far there hadn’t been anything indicating an alternative path.


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Post by Starbits on Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:09 pm

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Mahogany Town | Late Morning
36 | 36



He really shouldn't have been surprised when the big paw splayed itself onto his back and shoved.

No one could have withstood that amount of force. He tumbled over, shoved several feet, and by the time he was scrambling back up and turning around in the tiny space the Nidoqueen had filled the hole in halfway.

"Hey!" the cry of shock ripped itself from his throat before he could stop himself as the dim light disappeared and plunged him into blackness. By the time he ran over he felt a roar of heat emmenating from the rubble and swiftly drew back.

He stood there for a few moments in the dark, shaking before he closed his eyes and breathed.

"All I can do is work with what I have," he reiterated to himself. It was a little freeing to be able to speak. "And I'm going to survive this."

If he didn't survive, it wouldn't be because he laid down and let himself die. There was heat in his belly. No. He would not give them the satisfaction of that.

He would not deprive himself the satisfaction of wiping the smug look off their faces.

He could accept his death at the hands of someone who deserved their revenge. He did not accept this.

First thing was first. "Can't do anything if I can't see," he reminded himself in a mutter, feeling for his bag's zipper and opening it to retrieve his flashlight.

It felt comforting in its heaviness in his hand. He flicked it on, relief at the strong beam of light flooding him.

Okay. What did he have to work with here.

"Tiny space. Can't stand up. Looks at least stable enough from here; shouldn't fall through the floor or experience a cave-in." He would have to crawl around--less strain on his knees than crouch-walking--and feel for a floor weak enough to come up through. "Plenty of those rooms were tiled," he noted as he began to crawl, "and tiles are more easily knocked out of place and shifted aside or discovered to have come loose than, say, breaking through a weak spot in concrete, if I could even find one. Still might take awhile."

That was fine as long as Ariana didn't cave in the whole hideout. He was hungry, but there were some rations in his bag. He had water. He wasn't claustrophobic, and his flashlight had its batteries replaced just three days ago, so he wouldn't have to worry about light.

There was the fear of finding a smaller undead down here. Ratatta were a favorite of Rocket grunts, as he dimly recalled.

But if he dwelled on that he'd freak himself out. He had the flashlight at least, and that would work as a weapon. He could do this. He could do this.

He had to do this.

Saturn began stopping every so often and gently testing the limits of the floor above him.




She rolled her eyes like the bitch she was, the cold, hollow feeling burning hot for a second when she did.

But the response, even with everything that had happened so far, was still nothing she could've predicted. Maybe Ariana herself was just never going to be predictable.

"Your father is a magnificent man," she swooned, and the 180 in mood made Mars blink, hoping to bring the world back into focus and maybe also back into sense. "He was a toy for a while, but... then we grew up and I fell for him."

She... had actually loved her father? This woman was capable of love? She wasn't sure she bought that.

"The other men I've known, however... Archer? Toys. Things to bide my time while I wait until I find your father again."

Ah yes that flare again fuck you woman.

Ariana watched her a moment, and perhaps her rigid, stock-still posture was enough obedience (or perhaps there was some other motivation) for Ariana to continue. "It was... out of respect for him and his potential that I... well.

This woman is capable of respect-? bullshit.

"I suppose I'll need to tell you one day, so it may as well be now: your father is Don Giovanni-"

What.

"-leader of Team Rocket. With how things went sour with your brother-"

WHAT.

"-I... kept the information of your existence from him. He had other things to focus on, you know? I didn't want to distract from that."

"I... my father- is Giovanni- I have a brother!?"

Who, how old, where was he, what happened to him- how did you hurt him-

There it was again, that tangle of emotions she didn't have a name for but knew a few individual pieces of. She was in shock, probably? She was angry- furious, definitely. She was sad. More than sad. There was such a snarled knot and she didn't know where to start and Ariana was staring at her-

Maybe she would at least elaborate a little more on the whole having a brother thing.

Unless this was all some wild lie?


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There was a beat of silence between them all as they considered their options, though Archer didn't need to contemplate much to know there weren't many open. "Is there a way we could...distract them?" the Sylveon queried, earning Archer's gaze. "A show of faith that you are indeed on Ariana's side but enough to keep the Vileplume sufficiently distracted from my own movements as well? Surely such sadists could be placated with some kind of display."

"Torture, maybe?" The casual manner the blonde spoke would have taken anyone else off guard, but Archer had since learned that this woman was not like many others he'd met. Still, he found his neutral expression falling. "I'm strong enough to take it, personally, unlike the kids. Besides she's already had her own turn at them and I don't want to see them subjected to it again. If anyone needs a punching bag they can have me instead and she hates me enough to think it funny. I might even try to cry for her if that helps. Give them a good show or a good story and they won't be looking at Flynn while he moves. Could anything like that work in our favor? Or do we need to dig deeper?"

A small grimace had formed on Archer's face; the thought of engaging in Ariana's flavor of torture was... sickening. "...Well... while that is a viable option, I do need to remind you that it might take a bit of a hard sell to torture you proper." His grimace didn't leave as he stared at her a moment. "You have successfully advertised yourself as a sort of unbreakable mustang: an appealing target for her to be sure, however, she has found your soft spots are your pokemon. I am not trying to convince you one way or the other; I am simply offering you the information that if you were to be tortured, it would either be one of your pokemon in your stead or... something truly repulsive. She wouldn't whip you, like she did the young woman earlier. This would not be cosmetic. She'd... more than likely take something, like a trophy. A finger, an eye, your tongue or... she would have me..." Archer finally looked away. The probability of it being that last option was high, as it tortured them both in Ariana's eyes.

With a shake of his head, he returned his gaze to Fenix, once more schooled in neutrality. "I think you are smart enough to understand my meaning. In any case, I implore you to make sure you are willing to pursue such a drastic measure, even though I understand the need to do so." There were heavy footfalls echoing in the distance, and Archer stiffened. "We won't be alone for much longer, however. That might be Queen returning."



"Uh, first go ahead and back up, I really don't want to test our luck here. And we're gonna need everyone to kinda back away from that weak spot." Fop huffed at the commanding tone, but he deigned not to acknowledge it. Instead, he simply seemed to get distracted with something and hopped away and definitely not in compliance with the young hostage. Justice and Anarchy, however, did as she said, even if the Crobat watched her with much the same expression his trainer wore. "Hey Misty," She quietly said, causing the Ponyta to look up at her. "So you know how we've been working on Bounce?"

Anarchy listened as the young woman carefully instructed her Ponyta. It was interesting to see the exchange between them; the hostage seemed to be a capable, intelligent trainer and her pokemon was open and receptive to direction. In time and with practice, the two could become formidable opponents. It would truly be a waste if either of them died here, especially to Ariana's unpredictable and destructive whims. He earnestly hoped they made it out of this alive.

"Start there." The command was firm and the Ponyta obeyed without question, executing her attack impressively enough with the delicate power she wielded so accurately. Anarchy remained in his spot hanging in the air and observed the tiny horse, even more impressed as she actually succeeded in creating a hole. "Well done," he complimented softly to both pokemon and trainer.

Fop was less impressed. "She did the bare minimum, woo hoo," the bird snapped. "Give her a gold star. Now get in there and take a look! Do your damned job!"

Justice huffed at the nasal-y command, but he kept his mouth shut. The scolding he'd received not long ago was still fresh in his mind, and he knew that being defiant here would help no one. So when Fop turned a combative, challenging glare the Taurus' way, he glanced down. In the meantime, Anarchy went down into the abyss.

His sight was unaffected by the absolute darkness. Carefully, he hovered just under the hole, sending out chirps to see just what had been laying dormant beneath their feet.

What he'd found was the storage chambers for the trapped hallways.

Cages, empty and full, were splayed out as far as his echolocation could reach. There was no sound anywhere, and the air itself was nothing but stale death and dust. The few that had attacked them seemed to be all that was left of the hundreds of pokemon trapped here. Anarchy's eternal frown deepened; to imagine dying here, hungry or thirsty in complete and total darkness as his fellows turned... What a truly horrific way to die. Unwilling to disturb the remains, Anarchy made his way back out, shaking himself free of old dust and cobwebs.

"Well?" Fop demanded the instant Anarchy resurfaced. "You weren't gone very long."

"Dead end," was Anarchy's monotone reply. "There's no way forward."

As the Crobat tried to flap back the way they'd come, Fop angrily squawked and blocked his way with his own large wingspan. "I watched you-- you barely moved out of the hole's light. There's no way you made a thorough search!"

Anarchy's stale glare didn't change. "It's the storage space for the trap door pokemon," the Crobat began to report in the same monotone. "Any true exits are up to the hallway, and if there were any holes in the floor, they would either have already collapsed from the weight of the cages and corpses or are too precarious to traverse. Either way, there is no way forward through that place. Not for us or the hostages." He shifted to the side and continued on his way. "We need to report back. Enough time has passed."

Fop clacked his beak, angrily trying to come up with some sort of rebuttal. Instead, he turned to Justice and Max, glaring. "You two! I have decided to report back; hurry up and do not dawdle." With that, he began to hop along after Anarchy, desperate to get in front of him and set the pace. Huffing again, Justice slowly started up again, not wanting to jar the young woman on his back too much.



Trying to find holes that could lead to anywhere besides places they'd already been was excruciating, and was trying absolutely everyone's patience. Grim was not a pokemon that routinely found herself aggravated or impatient, but the fact that their time scouring the walls was forced to feature the soundtrack of Cleo's constant chattering was grating on the other snake's last nerves. More often than not, Grim found herself staring at a single spot in the wall not because it held anything of interest or note, but that it seemed to be a prime, pristine location to bash Cleo's head through it. Imagine, as her inane face would be crushed by the power of the force that put her through such a barrier, the comically sized and shaped hole that bore her resemblance. Truly, what a wonderful boon of a thought.

"Oh my GOD I am so BORED," the Arbok wailed. "There's nothing here-- why did we get put on the stupid mission? Why can't we go do something fun like kill people above ground or like go eat or like both? You know? I'm so hungry and bored and hungry and BORED where's Ariana? Why'd she send me with the two most BORING people oh my god what am I supposed to do with a stupid human and decrepit Grimey? UuuuUUUUUuuugh I just want this to be OVER." She leaned her serpentine form against the opposite wall and slowly slid down. "Dr. Doctor Lady do you have anything useful like, I dunno, snacks or something I'm so hungry and you're, like, our hostage so you should give me your stuff."

The thought seemed to have traction and she righted a bit, as if something dawned on her. "Oh my God, you're our hostage!" A giggle accompanied her words. "So yeah, totally-- give me something to eat, hostage or I'm like... I dunno, gonna eat you or something."

Grim sighed and glanced to the infuriating Arbok. She could suggest for Cleo to go and try eating that Arcanine they'd left behind and hopefully she'd choke on it and die. But knowing her own luck, she'd just get her trainer in trouble for splitting off from Cleo. Unfortunate. "I'm sure Ariana has food for you once we get back. Food that is not a valuable hostage. Why don't you go find her and ask?"

"Oh my god, you know what, yes." Cleo pried herself off the wall and began to slither away. "You've got the hostage, right?" she called back without looking, quickly leaving the two alone.

With a great sigh of relief, Grim turned to the doctor and looked her over with a stale look reminiscent of her trainer. "You're not going to try and escape, are you? You seem smarter than that. Please be smarter than that."



Ariana's face softened as her daughter seemed to implode. It was cute, watching her learn she had an entire family of prestige. Well. A mother and father, at least. "I... my father- is Giovanni- I have a brother!?"

"You do," was the calm response. "A younger brother. I forget what he's calling himself nowadays, but your father was... obsessed with finding him." Ariana's smile soured at the memories. Such a waste of money, manpower and time... So much more could have been accomplished if Silver hadn't slithered into Giovanni's mind and embedded himself there.  "He spent so much... effort in trying to track that little brat down that it ruined us. Don became so distracted, a child managed to... just..." A disgusted groan escaped her.

"It wasn't like I let him know the little shit existed on purpose. That brat stirred up an entire shitstorm and the guardians in charge of him contacted me, so... well. Don found the correspondence. All of our plans meant nothing anymore. Your brother destroyed your father; imagine if he'd known about you too. I couldn't risk it." Ariana sighed and turned back to Mars. "However, I wish I could have had you around... Raising a little daughter... you know, I did dream of it when I was younger. And you've grown up so well..." For once, her expression didn't seem to hold the normal slime it usually did; a rare moment of genuine, though careful, adoration. "I can answer any questions you might have about them, though my information on your... despicable little ingrate of a sibling is a bit lacking."


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Mahogany Town/Hideout | Night
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Fenix couldn't help but sigh as Archer acknowledged their plan but still proved it would be a hard sell. It would figure. Ariana was stupid but also wildly unpredictable beyond what would successfully piss her off. "You have successfully advertised yourself as a sort of unbreakable mustang: an appealing target for her to be sure, however, she has found your soft spots are your pokemon. I am not trying to convince you one way or the other; I am simply offering you the information that if you were to be tortured, it would either be one of your pokemon in your stead or... something truly repulsive. She wouldn't whip you, like she did the young woman earlier. This would not be cosmetic. She'd... more than likely take something, like a trophy. A finger, an eye, your tongue or... she would have me..."

Fenix's eyes widened to the size of saucers at the implication, her whole body stiffening so sharply that even Flynn jumped. He was worried for a second she sensed a predator nearby but instead it was her own imagination that was the monster. When her fingers dug into her arm hard enough he could smell blood the Sylveon wrapped one of his ribbons around her leg to try and soothe her tension. It was practically rolling off her in waves which wasn't going to be very helpful once they rejoined the others.

"I see..." she finally muttered, closing her eyes like it would shut away the visions playing only in her mind. "Well...if it comes to that...we'll cross that bridge when we get there. But I still leave myself open as a candidate for distraction if it serves our mutual goal." The emptiness behind Fenix's words worried Flynn to no end but there was going to be no arguing with her as this plan was really all they had.

This time it was Archer's turn to go rigid as the sound of thundering footsteps echoed towards them. "We won't be alone for much longer, however. That might be Queen returning." Still emotional from their conversation Fenix's mask she had kept up since Pompeii's death slipped and her lip began to quiver, her eyes misting over with unshed tears held back only by her eyes closing once more. The sorrow and rage that bubbled just below the surface could only be contained so long before it erupted. They needed to start towards their escape before everything boiled over. It was their only chance.

Her only chance to kill that fucking Nidoqueen.
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Mahogany Town |Night [47]

"Well done," the Crobat said in clear approval. Max couldn't help smiling at the compliment before giving Misty a thumbs up.

Between the much stronger Pokemon and her trainer giving her praise, Misty stood a little straighter. For just a second, she was just getting complimented on a job well done. Before deflating at the Honchkrow's derisive comment. "She did the bare minimum, woo hoo," Fop snapped. "Give her a gold star. Now get in there and take a look! Do your damned job!"

Max looked down at the floor as she bit back a snappy comment about how delicate that work had been. Just one fuck up could have caved the whole building in at worst or just the floor under them at best. And since there wasn't a lot of room for his big ass wings, Fop could have been in just as much danger.

The anger almost distracted her from the horrifying realization that Anarchy went alone, while Fop remained up top with them.

There was no way she could talk to Justice with Fop there. Her heart sank along with the rest of her body as she waited for the Crobat's return. Tears started to well up in her eyes, and she tried her best to wipe them discretely. She had risked Misty's safety for nothing, and she couldn't help the feeling of helplessness weighing her down. Once she swallowed the worst of it down, she waved for Misty to come back over to where she and Justice were. The Ponyta was quick to join them and looked up at Max in concern. Shit, she must have seen the tears.

Before anything could be said, Anarchy returned, and Fop demanded, "Well? You weren't gone very long."

In the usual monotone, Anarchy replied, "Dead end. There's no way forward."

"I watched you-- you barely moved out of the hole's light. There's no way you made a thorough search!"

"It's the storage space for the trap door pokemon," Anarchy calmly explained. "Any true exits are up to the hallway, and if there were any holes in the floor, they would either have already collapsed from the weight of the cages and corpses or are too precarious to traverse. Either way, there is no way forward through that place. Not for us or the hostages. We need to report back. Enough time has passed." With that done, he started floating back down the hallway.

Indignant, Fop huffed before squawking at them, "You two! I have decided to report back; hurry up and do not dawdle." He then started hopping down the hall after Anarchy, and Justice slowly followed after as he tried to keep jarring Max too much. Misty followed beside him in a somber mood; she wasn't sure why Max had been so upset, and it bothered her that she couldn't comfort her trainer either.
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Post by Abysswalker on Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:03 pm

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Mahogany Town (Hideout) | Night
{34}

Daisy had been right to think of their search as a fruitless effort. The decrepit walls of this place were just that-decrepit walls, leading either to nowhere or places that could not possibly be helpful. Cleo’s voice bouncing off of them didn’t make the situation any better. Though she did nothing while the two of them worked, the Arbok’s loud whining still carried on ceaselessly. Daisy tried to block Cleo out until she became droning background noise, but it was the definition of a Sisyphean task; she wasn’t ignoring her hard enough to miss when the Arbok mentioned her title (or, rather, a mangled version of it).

"Dr. Doctor Lady do you have anything useful like, I dunno, snacks or something I'm so hungry and you're, like, our hostage so you should give me your stuff." Cleo rambled, and unfortunately for Daisy, her own idea seemed to encourage her further. "Oh my God, you're our hostage! So yeah, totally-- give me something to eat, hostage or I'm like... I dunno, gonna eat you or something."

She would... okay, not thinking about that... flippant as Cleo said it, it was still disturbing. Daisy could not find the right response to the Arbok’s demands; yes, the thing she wanted to say was a flat out no, because why would she ever give anything to Cleo of all people, but that was begging for trouble. The last thing she needed was to make a huge, venomous snake mad, no matter how casually she talked.

Grim, however, had no such hesitations. "I'm sure Ariana has food for you once we get back. Food that is not a valuable hostage. Why don't you go find her and ask?"

That mollified Cleo, thank the legends; she slithered away from them, not bothering to spare a glance backwards even as she spoke to her counterpart. Now it was only the two of them. Daisy contemplated this same thing earlier, but it’d happened easier than expected; she wondered what to say, what could be safely said. Grim wasn’t a part of Ariana’s little messed-up circle, but that didn’t automatically put them on the same side. They were still guard and hostage.

Grim gave her an inscrutable look. "You're not going to try and escape, are you? You seem smarter than that. Please be smarter than that."

For a second, that surprised her, if only because of how blunt it was. Daisy shook her head slightly. As if she’d try to run when the other hostages were still stuck here, far away from safety. And truthfully, she didn’t want to have to fight Grim either. ”I’m not going to try anything, don’t worry. I know better.”


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Post by Starbits on Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:53 pm

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Mahogany Town | Late Morning
37 | 37



One of the tiles was loose.

His heart broke speed records instantly. As much as he'd tried to keep his thoughts from turning towards the thought he'd be stuck down here forever, as much as he avoided voicing that fear in the privacy of his own head, just keeping himself from thinking it in words hadn't stopped the anxious squirm of his insides, the muted alarms of his brain screaming danger.

But here he was. With a tile that was moving. And as he shifted it carefully, it felt like a big enough tile for him to crawl up through. Thankfully these were of the large variety; tiny little kitchen-like tiles would've allowed him maybe an arm and nothing more.

Still, no reason to rush right into possible danger on the other side. A swift wave of fear crashed over his head as he recalled the Electrode. No, as much as he desperately wanted to be out of here, better safe than sorry.

He shifted the tile upwards slowly and swallowed. There was a weight on it. Why was there a weight on it.

... It wasn't moving though. That was promising. He took a deep breath and finally pushed it up high enough to peek through.

There was definitely something on top of it, but he couldn't see well enough. There was light--his flashlight was tucked against his armpit to allow the use of both hands--but it was too close to see properly.

But whatever it was, it moved because he'd moved where it was lying, and nothing had come running over immediately to rip his face off, so...

He drew his breath in again and heaved it aside.

What happened next, exactly, was difficult to tell. Something fell, and his flashlight fell in the commotion, and part of the floor above fell in, and thankfully for the most part not on him.

Unfortunately, something did fall on him. Sitting up and groaning, rubbing his head, the flashlight beam illuminated what lay on his lap.

It was a mummified head.

It took Saturn a moment to realize the shriek had erupted from him. Or that he'd chucked it off of himself and scrambled back. When he returned to his own head he was sitting a few feet away, shaking and staring, flashlight beam still thankfully illuminating the area so as not to leave him stranded totally in the dark. His breaths came heavy and ragged.

Idiot. One hand grasped at his thudding heart as he heaved himself up, crouch-walking over to his flashlight and then, finally, standing up properly in the opening in the floor above. Dead people can't hurt you.

The caveman portion of his brain objected with bad sign bad sign death dead body means death nearby as he hauled himself up onto the floor properly from the hole, and he huffed and swatted it aside.

He was mostly up and through the hole, one leg excepted as it dangled down into the crawlspace below, when he his eyes caught a glimpse of it.

It started with the dimmest glimmer of color in the corner of his vision that immediately set all senses on high alert, and his head whipped around to look at it properly.

A bird, A Chatot, specifically. For about a half a second there was some manner of relief at the sight of another person before the sickly, ragged, purple tinged feathers, unhealed wounds, and emaciated body registered. The bird's chest moved ever so slightly with a death rattle of a breath.

He stared back at him with glowing red eyes.

Saturn stopped breathing.




"You do."

Her response was way too calm, way too... nonchalant. Almost relaxed. It made her skin crawl and also set her stomach on fire. Mars wanted to vomit lava onto her stupid boots.

"An older brother. I forget what he's calling himself nowadays, but your father was... obsessed with finding him." Her little smile turned into a sneering frown of bitterness. "He spent so much... effort in trying to track that little brat down that it ruined us. Don became so distracted, a child managed to... just..."

That kid. Everyone had heard of that kid who took down Rocket. Mars didn't remember his name anymore, but good on you, kid.

"It wasn't like I let him know the little shit existed on purpose. That brat stirred up an entire shitstorm and the guardians in charge of him contacted me, so... well. Don found the correspondence. All of our plans meant nothing anymore. Your brother destroyed your father. I couldn't risk it." Ariana sighed, a sound of irritation and regret, looking back at her.

At her. Her daughter. This was almost definitely her mother. Her mother.

Her mother who had an entire baby and didn't let his father know. Ice water slid down her back.

"However, I wish I could have had you around... Raising a little daughter... you know, I did dream of it when I was younger. And you've grown up so well..."

She was not prepared for the hesitant but definitely present adoration she regarded her with. It was like the mule kicks wouldn't stop coming, wouldn't let her get a handle on processing anything before throwing something entirely new and just as confusing, horrifying, and difficult at her. "I can answer any questions you might have about them, though my information on your... despicable little ingrate of a sibling is a bit lacking."

Questions? Her head rang with- with so many.

You threw away my brother? You hid him? Why?
Why did you do all of this?
You murdered a person and attacked my best friend why are you looking at me like that-?
Why do you think I'd return that look? Is it real? Really real?
What do you MEAN he destroyed my father? Didn't he destroy himself?

"Why'd you leave me at the firehouse?" was what tumbled out. It wasn't intentional, but of all the things bouncing around that was probably the one that wouldn't get her attacked.

Please be selfish. Please be despicable. Say it was because you hated me, say it was because children are awful, say it was because I hadn't proven I'd be worth it, say something vile please please please-


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(ELITE) The MAHOGANY Team - Page 10 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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