Route 113 | Late Morning | 1
"Whose bright idea was this, again? Where the hell even are we?"
"Weren't you the one who wanted to go investigate the volcano?"
"No, that was King!"
"I distinctly remember you saying you wanted to check out the volcano."
"And you thought the ashes falling in the distance meant we should head that way to get closer."
"And now we're lost"
"We're not lost. We're... uh... in the shadow of the volcano, yeah."
"And where is that, exactly?"
"Near, um... what's it called... that town... nice little town... a city maybe-- oh what does it matter? Seriously! It's the end of the world; it's not like we're looking for a town, 'cause there'd be no people in it anyway!"
"Guys, I have a headache," the human grumbles to her Pokemon companions. The Chimchar on her shoulder sticks his tongue out at the Lucario and Gardevoir picking their way through the ash-brushed grasses.
"Yeah guys, cool it; she's not feeling well."
"That means you need to be quiet too, buddy." Her finger pokes his side, and he sulks.
So much for some friendly banter cheering her up.
"Ah... well... maybe you should lie down for a while. Y'know. See if that'll help your head."
"I dunno if that'll help without shelter, Flame..."
"Maybe there's somewhere we can hide for a bit... even a thick patch of trees would work..."
"I don't see any that are close together enough to keep the ashes off," the Gardevoir murmurs, glancing around.
"Yeah, me neither-- hold up." The Lucario halts, eyes wide as he glances around.
"Mattimeo, something wrong...?" Sara-Anne's fingers curl into trembling fists, which then relax into hands and grip her arms.
"I sense... something. An aura. Definitely an aura, and it's not red, so not infect-- that's a human aura." His eyes widen in shock. "Guys, that's a human aura."
"Should we go check it out...?" The fairy is wringing her dress, chewing on her lip. "It didn't end so badly last time; we could get lucky again..."
"I mean, between me, Matti, and Joy, we could take out any squishy human that tries attacking..."
"There's more." Joy is staring at Mattimeo, who winces. "We both know that."
"... I think this human's injured. That aura doesn't look so hot." The Lucario watches helplessly as his human flinches.
"We'll g-get c-closer," she decides with a shaking voice. "So that one of y-you guys can s-scout it out. And if it's t-too dangerous, we'll just r-run."
The pain in her head worsens and her stomach twists. She should be running to the rescue--Mattimeo said the human was injured; they're not faking it. She should want to help, but instead worries about supplies and the still lingering threat of danger whirl in her mind. Humans are supposed to help other humans; why is she so reluctant...?
"L-let's g-go. Matti, lead the w-way." Mattimeo nods and turns a sharp left, at first keeping a brisk pace but then slowing his steps for his human's benefit. Flame leaps from her shoulder to land on Joy's, trying to scent the air and growling as all that reaches him is the smell of ashes.
I guess this was a pretty stupid idea after all...
Several minutes later, Mattimeo spots red and blue through the trees, pointing the human out. "There." Sara-Anne chews on her lip.
Should they approach...?