The Battle Tower [7th Floor] || Midday
Cinder 189 || Faux 149
Shuffling her paws to sit more neatly the fox quieted her mind and let her focus spread to the area around her. Her sling pouch at her side was weighty and irritating, but with a breath she pushed her thoughts past it to the sound of steps coming her way. No alarm sounded, her cold gaze settling firmly on Bastet as she approached them. While the fox was more than capable of babysitting on her own safety in numbers outweighed any pride she may have felt. With only a small tip of her head to acknowledge the other Pokemon she continued to listen and steady her mind.”Faux, make the smell go away. I.. umf.. don’t wanna smell it anymore.”
Arry gagged, his distress not soothed in the slightest by making them stay behind. The fox felt her body growing tense but tried not show any discomfort. The smell of rot was strong and sharp, and her delicate, sensitive sense of smell had picked it up immediately upon arrival. However, living in this hell of a world had made her accustomed to the acrid scent that seemed to linger everywhere. She was not immune to it nor did she enjoy it, and it was important to always be aware of carrion, but she had long sense learned to live with it as a constant.
Yet Arry's distress was more unusual than it was concerning. Had he managed to live a carefree existence even in this hell, or one where he simply avoided such smells? It was uncanny that an metal beast would be more susceptible to the vile reek than a snouted Vulpix, but the fox knew the tender soul was easily bothered by the slightest upset. It was natural to be set off by the disconcerting, nauseating smell that filled the halls. Rot was a harbinger of disease, death, and a hunting ground for opportunists, none being a safe place for a child. Yet, where they sat, as long as the rot did not move
it was no risk to them and should not be a concern. "We could look for something to stuff your nose."
She suggested, though his plated face made that difficult. "Try breathing through your mouth for now."
She followed up, knowing it would only be a temporary help.
Aside from that there was a general lack of conversation. Faux's efforts to be quiet must have been noticed, or perhaps the space felt cold without lighthearted chatter, and Bastet decided to fill the dead air. ”I can smell something as well but its coming from the same direction they’re going."
Their companions were quick to disappear out of slight, their quiet voices already faded away as they put distance between one another. "Nothing we can do about that over here."
She commented dryly. "Arry won't move."
They were stranded, and if the others ignored the source then it was a moot fact.
Then, unprompted, the Espeon continued, ”Faux, I can tell by your expressions that your still unsure of me. I’m sorry if I come off like that. To tell the truth, I’ve been trained to rely on my psychic powers and there’s times where I wish I could turn back the clock and just be an Eevee again."
...What? Where was this coming from? I voted for you.
She thought bitterly. Was that fact so easily forgotten? The fox blinked her eyes slowly and took in a long breath. Both of their newcomers had an odd sense of conversation, she reminded herself. Despite her reservations for the Espeon and her constant babbling of nonsense the fox could tell she [and Mathias] had good intentions. "The innocence of youth is a cherished time."
She conferred on an exhale, her eyes narrowing as she pushed her misgivings away. Who didn't long for a simpler, more ignorant time in their life, especially
given the state of the world? Legends, if she could go back, if she could do things over.."Only reason why is because when mine and Mathias’ trainer went to Orre, all the psychics that went with their units were put into the front lines. When it got to the point where we didn’t have a chance to escape alive, every psychic I knew was killed or infected. Our trainer though, he... he was eaten by the undead. He told me to run and find a way back home. Please understand that I do what I do because I just don’t want to lose anyone anymore.”
Feeling the hairs along her neck raise Faux struggled to hold back a sharp retort. You really think this is a good time to spew your life story?
Had Bastet stayed behind for the soul purpose of confessing her tale to her? The fox did not understand, this was so out of left field, and the detailed death was not appropriate chatter around their youngest who was already feeling unwell. "Everybody's lost something to this hell."
She gawped while watching the Eeveelution play with her charge. "Everyone has to protect what they have left."
These Pokemon were her friends, her charges, her wards. She would not forsake them or bend for something that could put them in harms way.
Her many tails thumped the ground in quick succession. If she was exhausted by this short interaction she could not imagine Cinder was getting along well. "Arry, wouldn't you rather put a stop to the smell than sit here and stew in it?"
She asked, trying her damnedest to make her voice playful enough to entice the child onward. Grievances aside, the child needed to be brave and face his troubles if he were to survive in this world, especially against something as minuscule as a scent.
The stranger seemed hesitant, rightfully cautious as he stood before a group of unknown Pokemon, but not at all aggressive. Any motions or glances that came from him were weary but calm as questions were hurdled his way. Cinder remained on guard but felt no urgent need to get hostile with the unknown Pokemon. Even with the unease of this sudden meeting there was an air of peace among them; no one intended to start a fight. "My apologies, I am new to this place. I only recently arrived here, so I have not had the chance to scout too much."
The Pokemon answered quietly. Pity,
the Quilava thought, as having any sort of map to this place would be invulnerable. Guess he won't know what had happened here either.
But, that was neither here or now, and instead she pressed on for a more pertinent thought. "At least it seems like you haven't run into trouble."
She mused, grateful for the lack of fresh blood on him. At least she could assume there was nothing threatening in the immediate area, dead or otherwise, and that gave her hope for safe journey. But then, where did that leave them? The fire Pokemon hesitated; he already said he didn't know the area, should she bother asking about his meager sightings? It wouldn't be revealing too much to say they needed healing supplies, hell they already looked rough as it is, but acknowledging their sorry state so soon felt unwise.
Knowledge wasn't a Pokemon's only use, but she hesitated even further to take her other option; did she invite him along or bid him farewell? Was this Pokemon looking for the exit, perhaps, or just exploring? He seemed more than capable of handling himself but safety in numbers always won out. Yet... after the shit show of their last addition Cinder was not ready to welcome another to their ranks, especially with the culprit at her side-- Cinder turned her head, eyes widening as she realized her fellow flickering flame was not among them. "Mathias?"
She sibilated, shocked that an entire Charizard could disappear from sight without notice, but the fear was short lived as he popped out from a nearby room.
Excitement filled his voice, more than she could recall ever hearing and for a few moments her hopes raised for medical supplies. "Cinder, I think I found what was making Arry sick!"
He exclaimed, clearly finding this 'discovery' to be more important than the stranger standing before them for their needs. Cinder's expression fell flat, disappoint palpable as a paw dragged across her face. "Gore isn't exciting, Mathias."
She sighs through her teeth with a passive aggressive groan, though she had already grown accustomed to the strong smell of decay in the air. "Pardon,"
she apologized to the Togeren before dodging their chat to investigate the findings herself.
The tattered room was hardly different from the others, disheveled and abused, though the smell was certainly its most defining feature. Picking her way closer to its source Cinder recoiled at the rotting carnage. Whatever creature it was before was indiscernible, no more than a hunk of meat that was left to decay now. It was riddled with teeth marks; someones meal had been interrupted lay abandoned now. In this state no one would eat it now, it was well past its safe point, but the powerful reek meant it had been killed sooner than she would have liked. Was something nesting here, hiding out, just passing through hence its meal being forgotten? Time had passed since then, but now long, how many days or weeks?
No matter the time frame it was uncomfortable. Kicking her flames up higher Cinder breathed a powerful Flamethrower as the chunk, sizzling and burning it crisp beneath her flames. The blackened surface was quick to char and give off the burnt smell of ash, but it was leagues more appealing than the scent of decay.
Rejoining the group that remained in the hall the starter Pokemon sighed a puff of smoke. "At least that should take care of the smell,"
she puffs, her thoughts still focused on what could have been in that room at one point in time. It was the most recent sign of activity they had come across, and not a good one at that. "Sorry, I guess the introductions got away from us."
The Quilava says absently as she tried to refocus herself on the new Pokemon. "My name's Cinder, and this is my team."
She paused to let anyone else say their short peace. "Though I may not know too much about this area, I am willing to pull my weight to help, if you do not mind me coming along. My name is Xiao."
Before seeing the meat the fire type had her doubts, but now it felt unsafe to let this Pokemon wander alone. Even if the predator was long gone it meant creatures did
come in this building, this high up nonetheless.
Noddings to acknowledge his name and request Cinder forced another cheesy grin to show some sort of welcome. "By all means. Its better than wandering about this place alone."
Tipping her gaze back toward Mel's splinted leg her expression was quick to furrow. "We're looking for any healing areas."
She was quick to explain while putting her past apprehension behind her. "There should be several on this floor. Ones gotta still have supplies."