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Interloper Quest (Quest, Pokemon / ???)

Discussion in 'Questing' started by Gavinfoxx, Aug 4, 2017.

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  1. Threadmarks: Part 1
    Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    Here's my second quest, which hopefully will get a bit further than my last one! This one has themes of personal growth, forming relationships, strategy, and philosophy. I'm going to be running this on the main set of questing forums, you know the three, and will take suggestions from all three into account. Because of this, 'votes' will be VERY informal. Discussion makes me happy too, as do suggestions and typo fixes, and suggestions for appropriate tags. Anyway! Onward to the quest!





    It was sunny and very hot, and I worried I might get a sunburn and--

    --I woke up with a start, blinking, confused.

    Ah hell, this isn't my bed. Not again!

    Groggily, things started to take shape as a primal part of my mind screams Danger! Predator! Smoke--Fire! and I am instantly, completely awake.

    A few things immediately registered to me.

    I'm in a strange room....some kind of bedroom?
    This isn't the sort of room of the kind of woman I might go home with after drinking too much.
    I am not alone in the room, and...the being in the room with me is completely impossible!


    It was the size of a large Rhinoceros, or a small Elephant, and barely fit in the room with me. It was hexapedal, like one of the feral beasts from Avatar. The sci-fi one, not the airbender one. I didn't know how it didn't fall through the floor, which didn't seem to creak. It was built like a tank, hide covered in thick plating. It had yellow crests, like a series of collars, down it's long, giraffe-like neck. It's mouth -- more beak, really -- was framed by a quartet of nasty looking yellow horns. It had wings, black wings, where wisps of smoke emanated from the physical wings... and the wings looked far too small to cause it to be able to fly, but they were there still. It had hooves, of a sort, which were likewise bracketed by the armored yellow collars, and a thick tail extended behind it. It's neck menaced in dark red and black, but most of it's hide was grey. The heat I had felt in my dream was, was... the thing emanated an aura of pure, terrifying, biblical Power.

    There was also the fact that I recognized this creature. The color scheme, the method of locomotion, the number of limbs. But that was completely impossible. My breath caught, my mouth opened, my throat was dry but, I had to try.

    "...Giratina?"

    Immediately, I felt a pressure all around me. I gasped, but it was difficult to breathe. A voice spoke from everywhere and nowhere, all at once, searing into my mind with pain. "Interloper."

    Immediately, the intensity increased in my mind. It felt like memories I didn't know I had were being dredged up, looked at, discarded, faster than I could focus on them. I clutched my head and screamed, but no sound came out. After what seemed like an eternity, but was probably only a few seconds, the pressure in my mind decreased, and the pressure on my body decreased -- just enough for me to breathe.

    I gasped, ignoring the migraine out fear. Fear of the Lucifer-figure in front of me... judging me. Boring into my soul. A part of me objected, 'But he's not a psychic type!' and it was clamped down by the rest of me worrying that he can hear me think.

    "You that has come from another world. Know that I have read y our thoughts and your soul. You see this world as fictional, as nonsensical, as a game to be won."

    I felt a little push and my thoughts turned to...

    Yea, I've played all the games, and spent some time on Smogon, doing a bit of competitive battling. And he saw that I know animes, and mangas...

    -push-

    I had, when I was much younger, given some thought of 'what would I do in the Pokemon world?', which usually involved exactly how I would go about sweeping the local competitive circuit using my knowledge of the metagame, using the lack of law and order and law enforcement shown in the show to take all the cool stuff from a few of the villainous teams, maybe go catch a few legendaries, and generally raise hell. But I hadn't thought of that in ages? Surely, he didn't think I would plan on doing that?

    The pressure intensified, and he continued. "I see this world as a place to be maintained and protected. Your goals of running roughshod over everything with your..." and I got a sense of a... sneer? in his tone, as he continued, "...'outside context knowledge' have no place here! However, I am a magnanimous god, and shall aid you, should you swear an oath to follow your more noble goals of self-improvement instead."

    My self-improvement goals? I felt another mental push to... Oh! I had come up with an idea of what I would do if I found myself in a Dungeons and Dragons type world. Hell, I'd made it a game to figure out which class I'd get in any edition of the game, and it was mostly a fantasy of learning lots of magic and finding cool people to adventure with. And... I think I did that in other settings to, but I can't remember what. Could I apply that here?

    The deity's voice once again loomed in my head, interrupting my thoughts. "There are six special souls in this realm. Six pokemon who do not fit into this world, where your knowledge can actually benefit them, and their skills benefit you in the pursuit of your more noble quest. Find them, aid them, train with them, and befriend them. Should you succeed in this, I will help you all leave this realm for one more suitable to you, with my blessings. If you decline this quest, and do not swear to hold fast to your higher morals, I will vaporize you where you stand. Choose!"

    Okaaayyy. Wow dragon-ghost-bug-satan isn't really giving me a choice here. Either not swear to not be a complete tool, and get vaporized, or swear to follow my better morals and not mess up the setting, and maybe get home in the process? That's really not a choice. Did he think it was? Then again, alien god, who knows how they think. Oh shit, he can probably hear this thought process!

    "I'll find them! I'll train, be good, I won't win any championships or mess up this world or anything! Yes, I so swear!"

    Then, the entity stared at me, and the pressure built, and it felt like I was being... branded? Marked? Changed? I don't know. All I know is the pain of my migraine became piercing, like I was getting stabbed in the skull, and I passed out.

    ......

    ......

    ......

    I woke up to a clock radio blaring, some DJ talking about how it is a wonderful Fractal City or something like that. No, wait. That wasn't what it was. They were speaking... Japanese? Or something like it? Regardless, it seemed to have a vaguely... French accent? Am I in Kalos? Ugh, I wish I had paid attention to the names in the foreign translations. I got up, and a smell hit me. Urine. After last night, I had messed the sheets.

    Ffffigures.

    I looked down, for the first time noticing that my body wasn't my own. Ignoring the sheets and my wet bedclothes I rushed over to the bathroom, finding a mirror. I looked at myself in horror.

    I'm a scrawny, 12 year old boy! Shit! I have to go through puberty again! I don't even look like I used to! I had dirty blonde hair, this kid has black.

    Grumbling, I made my way to the medicine cabinet, took two aspirin -- I could read Japanese, hooray, or what probably is Japanese -- and then went looking for laundry in the tiny apartment. It was at the front, next to a tiny mudroom. Quickly, I stripped, and put the sheets in it to wash, then went to take a shower and freshen up. Puzzling over the fact that the whole bathroom was part of the shower for a bit, and that the toilet had a bidet in it (well, I guess both France and Japan do that, so...), I managed to get presentable and get some decent clothes on.

    This whole time, the talk radio had been playing local news, saying that trade with the other regions had been cut off due to the once every-century flocking and nesting behavior of Articuno. Apparently Hoenn's Articuno had just arrived to join the flock, bringing the total number to five, and they were doing some weird behavior -- perhaps mating or nesting or something -- off the coast, to the joy of everyone, but they were icing the entire coastline. Some local pokemon professor with a name I didn't recognize expected that a few more regions might get an Articuno of their own because of this, as there were a few regions where they had never been spotted.

    So whatever region I'm in, unless it's one of the ones contiguous with one of the others, I'm probably not leaving any time soon. Joy.

    I looked around 'my' apartment, as I had found no sign of any adults, and took stock of what I had. One laptop, with various attachments, including a way to charge it, a camera, a flashlight, a microphone headset, an optical mouse, and what seemed to be a metal rod or wand of some sort, and another that appeared to be a bar-code scanner. I opened up the laptop.

    By now, they had a Pokemon Ranger on the radio, talking about how a joint task force of the Pokemon Rangers and International Police were using hovercraft to prevent any would-be Legendary trainers or villainous team members from approaching the nesting Articunos. Whatever.

    No password. Figures.

    My eyes were immediately attracted to one of the icons on the desktop. An icon of Giratina. Not like I had seen, but the 'game' version, like from my memories. I clicked it, and a map of the entire planet started rotating in front of me, X-Com style.

    Well, looks like I'm in Kalos after all. And there's two blips in this area other than me... that's Sinnoh. And two in Unova. So three regions I have to visit, in the Pokemon World. Hey, I can zoom in. Looks like all the far-off ones are listed as 'Unknown'. And the nearby ones are Ralts and Noibat... Noibat is somewhere near Couriway Town, with Ralts actually in Santalune City. And I'm in Central Kalos. Looks like Snowbelle City, by a name I don't recognize. In fact all the cities have been renamed a little, damn. I should've paid more attention to the other region's translations, these names look familiar.

    Playing around with the laptop a bit more, I found that it had a cell phone, with no contacts saved. It had an ebook reader, with what looked to be a series of books appropriate to a twelve year old 'studying' for their pokemon journey should have.

    I got out a notebook, and made sure I could still write in English, and read what I wrote.

    Good. Hopefully people won't be able to read that in Unova, but I shouldn't treat it as confidential.

    I went back to the laptop and found what seemed to be the internet, over the wireless. Or intranet -- the entire internet seemed to be a list of all the sites that everyone had set up in town, with a message talking about a proposal to link Sandalwood City's network with theirs. A quick check at the map and... ah. Santalune City.

    Variant names, maybe? This isn't exactly the same as what I remember from the source material. I should beware other changes, I guess.

    As I looked looked more closely at the options in the laptop, I found a 'Digital Storage System', which, rather than having images of pokemon, had images of... bags of something? And an option to scroll down.

    I double clicked one, and, and a light on the back of the laptop flashed, and a bag of small bag of kibble exited the laptop with a flash. Inspecting the bag, it appeared to be labeled 'Pokemon Food', and 'Complete Nutrition for Pokemon and Humans! Shelf stable for six months! Resealable!'

    Gingerly, I tried one. It tasted about like those Mealsquares I tried in my short lived 'alternative food' phase.

    Not bad. I can live off of this. Let's see what else is in this storage.

    There's a map of Kalos, a multitool, four medium sized kibble bags of pokemon chow, six pokeballs, a flashlight, four pokemon healing potions, a human-focused small first aid kit, three Oran berries, two jugs of water, a roll of toilet paper, a sleeping bag, a backpack, and a small one-person tent with the stakes for it.

    Why is there a physical map stored digitally in a computer? If you have access to your computer, just use a digital map. The physical map should be in the backpack! As should the flashlight!

    I made sure to swap some of the things that should be outside of the laptop with a few that should be in it, and packed the backpack with some essentials that should stay in the realm of matter.

    Looks like the person I was didn't do much cooking of his own.

    I looked around, found a few more clothes, and 4000... pokeyen? And an ID card that had 'my' name on it, which, according to some little pamphlet I found laying around, apparently let me get free meals in any of the government food kitchens set up for pokemon trainers, as well as free lodging at any of the government funded youth hostels, free services in pokemon centers, and treatment at clinics. And apparently access to a very small monthly stipend and this apartment as an orphan ward of the state, and a basic OLPC-type laptop for general use as a pokemon trainer.

    Well that's an interesting twist on the currency. Still, that's about forty dollars with which to upgrade this stuff. And it looks like he has been begging, borrowing, or stealing to supplement this for quite some time. Half of this shit isn't on the government dime. That is if Giratina or one of the Legendaries didn't magic 'me' and my history up whole cloth for me to inhabit. Still, that gives me enough to start with, but I should figure out what to do next. Only problem is, I don't have a starter! And who knows what else is going wrong too!




    What to do next? Suggestions are for ideas only, feel free to suggest!
    [] Putz around on the computer a bit more. There might be more to learn.
    -[] Focus on what?
    [] Put on some winter clothes and explore the city. Maybe buy something?
    -[] Buy what?
    [] Start a journey to find that Noibat
    [] Start a journey to find that Ralts
    [] Do something else. What
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
    kalifianto and Alexander like this.
  2. Blue Magician

    Blue Magician Not too sore, are you?

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    Cool, sounds like fun. Haven't really seen a pokemon quest take off so lets hope. Giratina seems like a bit of an asshole though. Never liked people who take one point and run with it going completely unreasonable. Giratina acts like a childhood fantasy is a good reason to kill someone.

    Noticed one or two spelling/grammar mistakes but I've lost them now and it was all still understandable so I've no issues. Anyway, on with the planning.

    [x] Putz around on the computer a bit more. There might be more to learn.
    -[x]Plot a general route to Santalune city. Check what kinds of pokemon can be found inhabiting it. It would be really dumb if you just set off only to find out it was filled with poison types and you had no antidotes or something like that. Also make sure that there'd be enough berries and rivers and stuff along the route so you don't go out and starve. Or see if picking up more food/water is an option/depends how long it would take to get there on foot.
    --[x]If there are many pokemon that cause status effects such as poison or paralysis etc, check on how many antidotes or burn heals and whatever you could buy with your money. Might be a good idea to pick up one of each anyway even if there aren't.
    --[x]Also check bus/train schedules. There was a bus in that one Mewtwo movie, also there's that train line between Johto and Kanto. You don't have to take public transport but if there's the option, it would be stupid not to know it existed.
    ---[x]When you've done that check up on various evil organisations. Various apocalyptic events happen almost once a game/manga/region you get the picture. Considering the whole Giratina thing you don't think you'll have to lift a finger but this is the type of thing you'd rather not be surprised about later.
    ----[x]Also see if you can't figure out which continuity you are in and where in the timeline, or whether it's a bit of a mix and match (note: it probably will be a mix considering how much Giratina disdained your meta-knowledge).
    -----[x]Easiest way of checking would probably be seeing who all the gym leaders/elite four members are.
    [x]Speed read those books a 12 year old would study for their journey.
    -[x]Sure you have meta-knowledge but it's best not to assume quite everything will be the same. A skim read won't hurt.
    --[x]Check things like status effects and move limits. Status effects make sense in an RPG. You are now in real life. A potion probably won't instantly heal a pokemon in a moment and things like burns probably won't heal so quickly either/burns probably won't cut a pokemons physical atk in half. Move limits also make sense in a game. It makes less sense when you have moves like tackle and slam be complex enough to take up a move slot when you could do the same with a good whack.
    ---[x]Then again pokeballs can be transported instantly across regions and shrink animals into small balls originally made out of an acorn variant with little issues so science appears to be a bit better here. Don't assume anything.
    --[x]Also check on how to look after pokemon. Sure most of it seems to boil down to don't be a dick considering how smart they are, you've also never so much as touched a pokemon yet so you've probably missed out on things anyone living on this world would have picked up through osmosis.
    ----[x]Also check what rules you're subject to. It would suck to lose a pokemon battle and find out you had to hand over money that you don't really have much of right now.
    [x]Check either through your books or on your computer on how to get a starter.
    -[x]You have a trainer's license but no starter? Something weird is going on here. Or Giratina didn't bother fixing all of your backstory. Still going out into the wild without a pokemon at all is a big no no.
    --[x]Assuming your ID card is your trainer's license. You do appear to have various things only a trainer would have though. Also check what name is on your ID. Would be awkward to answer to/give out the wrong name.
    ---[x]Also check how common pokedexs are. How rare/common they are depends on the source material. It might end up being handy. Even if your computer could be a good substitute.
    ----[x]If getting a starter is impossible, check to see what pokemon live on the outskirts of where you are now. If they aren't any that are too dangerous maybe you can go search for one. Note that even a pack of 'level 5' pokemon would probably slaughter you, so 'not too dangerous' is probably just a matter of perspective.

    Oh wow that is a wall of text. I just added things to do and it kept getting bigger. I think I've covered everything we need to do. Hopefully a few more people join.

    Anyway, the general idea of my plan is check how things work here so we don't look stupid for something later. Also chose to go for the Ralts instead of the Noibat because...I like Ralts and its evolutions. Also my knowledge of pokemon gets a bit shaky after Sinnoh so I chose the pokemon I know. Did see that Noibat is part dragon so a good argument could probably get me to switch what we go for first.

    Also, way things are going it seems like the only pokemon we will take with us are the six that Giratina wants us to grab. Can I have confirmation on this? Just wondering how much it would be worth going out of our way to pick up other pokemon.

    Edit: Didn't notice this was crossposted. Anyway sad to see there doesn't seem to be much attention on any forum, pokemon doesn't seem to get as much attention as it used to.

    Anyway seeing how you want to hear people's opinions.

    First part seemed to drag a little. I'm not even sure why seeing how it seems you got to the point pretty quickly so...I already mentioned how I don't like Giratina. Mostly the reasons of why he hates us so much. A ROB holding a kill switch telling us to do the exact same thing probably would have annoyed me less, Giratina hating someone over a childhood fantasy which from their perspective was obviously fictional irks me a little.

    Second part set up where we were pretty well, didn't really give much idea of what to do. It seems I've posted the biggest plan so far but it's mainly filled up with 'where are we and how does this little corner of the pokemon multiverse work exactly'. You probably could've just as easily written a two line summary sorting that out so our options were more, how do you want to plan heading off into the wild and where are you going first.

    Also I'm sure you have a reason not to give a starter straight off but not even giving us a clue on how to get that sorted seems ... I don't know, like if it comes back that we don't have a starter and there's no easy way to get one I really don't know where to go from there. It seems like a simple thing that is necessary if we are starting off in pokemon that could've been solved with a vote like "you open a pokeball and from the white light appears [insert choice or multiple given choices here]" or perhaps "you don't have a starter, luckily you have a note telling you to head to 'professor so and so' to pick your starter today". Even a "you don't have a starter, maybe you should go search for one [insert place here]".

    Something like that probably would have gotten the same thing sorted faster, and given us a bit better of a guideline on where to go from there.

    Otherwise, it doesn't seem all that clear on what we will be doing. Will we be going Leyroy Jenkins for those six pokemon and scaddadle to another world? Will we be sticking around pokemon for a while making it worthwhile to build up? Will Giratina come down on us like a guillotine if we do any gym battles even if we don't go for the big tourneys? What kind of setting will we be going to later? Previous question might mean teaching our pokemon certain move sets depending on where we go. Like if we end up in Worm we'd plan things different as opposed to ending up in One Piece or something. One Piece would probably mean water attacks to counter devil fruit users, ending up in Bleach would probably mean going for Ghost/Psychic moves.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  3. Threadmarks: Part 2
    Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    [] Start a journey to find that Ralts
    -[] But go and get some repels first
    Bonus implied decision:
    [] Put on some winter clothes and go find a poke-mart to buy some repels, and then start to travel west to 'Sandalwood' city!
    [] Worry about all the things you don't know and which seem odd or confusing

    So I made sure to put as many useful things as I could think of in the computer storage, and then I got some winter clothes on, and put the laptop in the backpack. I noticed that part of the backpack was clear, apparently the actual laptop lid, which seemed to have a solar panel on it, faced the clear part of the bag.

    It's freaking Snowbelle City, I don't care if they were calling it Fractal City or whatever, this is ice-theme place! I guess this isn't designed like someone would steal a kid's laptop? It is OLPC-ish, I guess.

    I took the $40-equivalent and stuffed it in my pants, then exited down the stairs of the little apartment block. Finally taking a look outside, it was... invigorating.

    I have a new body, a new chance. I'm in a world that assumes that twelve year olds are perfectly capable of living on their own and travelling through an entire country. There's magic, fantastic creatures, and super-science out there waiting for me! All I have to do is not piss the local Lucifer off. Who has apparently put me under Geas or something. I have $40 of the local currency in my pocket, no starter, a backpack of supplies, and the day ahead of me! This is going to be great!

    I grinned, and walked toward the center of town, which seemed to be a bit of a commercial district.

    Should be able to find some Repels there. So, it's a ways away, what do I need to figure out... well, I need to figure out why I don't have a starter. I'd usually expect to get some starter from a Pokemon Professor. But I guess not everyone knows a professor? Where did all the other trainers get their pokemon, I guess through cleverness or contacts. I didn't see any emails, but I didn't look too hard, either. Nor did I browse my literature or look up my legal status. Am I a licensed pokemon trainer? Are there licenses? Do I have an obligation to do something in particular on my pokemon journey? And what's up with Giratina? Why did he look so different? Why does the icon on my computer look like what I would expect? Why did he act the way he did in general? What are the limitations of the Geas that he presumably placed on me? Can I go beat Gyms? Or is it just big stuff like taking over companies and beating the leaders of Villainous Teams or winning Championships? Already some of my meta-knowledge is wrong... What else might be wrong? Was Giratina rude about it because it was wrong, or because it was a threat? Why did Giratina act the way he did? What are the local pokemon in the area? Are pokemon still limited to four moves? How common are pokedexes? Is even a basic reference book good enough? Could I take a bunch of rocks and catch a level 5 outside of town? Do I even want to try that? What about releasing pokemon or the pokemon storage? Is the six thing from the games a hard limit? ...Mythicals, there's too many unknowns! Gotta get used to swearing by the local deities. Well, there's at least one thing I can double-check.

    I looked at the name on the card,

    [] Name?

    Well, it's me alright. Or the weird Japanese-French version of my name, at least. So was this person created whole-cloth to look like it would fit? Did I take over someone's brain? I don't have memories, other than muscle memory, it seems. More and more unknowns.

    My thoughts were scattered as I passed the various streets, and I noticed the look of the architecture and the city. Cresting a hill, I looked at a larger amount of the town.

    Seems to be a town of two, maybe three thousand people? And the look on the streets is more French, though the insides of the place I was living was more Japanese-ish. More focus on the old. Lots of wood and stucco, tall windows, arched roofs. But I guess you'd need roofs like that with the snow? And the city is pretty densely laid out, which makes sense if people don't have cars to go everywhere, I suppose.

    As I neared what passed for 'downtown', I slowed, noticing that it would be a bit more difficult than just finding a pokemart. The stores... were not what I expected.

    Tailor, Miller, Whitesmith, Blacksmith, Tinker... I can never remember what they do... they do technological things there I guess? Glassblower, Chandler, Cabinetmaker... Oh there's the distillery! ... I guess I shouldn't pick up drinking at my new age. There's a Clinic. Seems to have the icon for a pokemon center on it, I guess they heal both humans and pokemon there? I only remember a few references to hospitals for humans in the show. If it's a small town, I guess you might have only one facility. This is all not what I expected but ...I suppose this all makes sense. Well, when you live in a world where animist spirits with flamethrower breath enforce you only having a small ecological footprint, I guess you don't do heavy industrialization or lots of trade.

    Eventually, after a bit of searching, I found a 'General Store and Post Office'. I walked in, and the door dinged as I entered. The interior had more in common with a turn of the century General Store -- that is, the turn of the 19th century into the 20th. Bolts of cloth, staple foods by the pound, an area for firearms in the back, shoes and boots, dishes, various canned foods, the pharmacy was in here. I found a mail order catalog with a printed photo of a courier mounted on a Skarmory with a fancy saddle. Idly, I flipped through the book. Mostly, it had big things; furniture, stoves, vehicles. Prices seemed to start at 10,000 pokeyen for the basic stuff, and the bigger things like vehicles were over a million pokeyen.

    Looks like the economy that the protagonists of the games participated in was the economy of twelve year old's. A few dollars, a few cents, where the price of a soda is non-trivial, and someone is 'rich' if they have like $50. I'll need to find a way to break out into greater wealth if I want to do anything involving money.

    I made my way over to an area that had some other kids at it, and found the sorts of things found in the games. There was one brand of Repel, with a few versions, and normal, Super, and Max all had different active ingredients, of chemicals I didn't recognize. They reminded me of Off aerosols, and looked like it should have enough in it to be good for more than application, though I didn't really know how to take what was claimed by the writing on it. As I looked at the details, each was a bit small for something like an Off can, and the prices were what I remembered from the game -- 350, 500, and 700. They said, "Apply to external clothes and skin! Up to 12 applications per container! Each application lasts up to two hours!" and the only differences were the Repel said it would "Has a repulsive smell to most wild pokemon!" and the Super Repel said, "Has a repulsive smell to almost all wild pokemon!" and the Max Repel said "Has a repulsive smell to all* pokemon!" with a bit that said "*Excluding Legendaries and Mythicals".

    In the end, I bought

    [] # Repels, # Super Repels, # Max Repels

    When purchasing these, I showed the clerk my ID and asked, "Any mail for me? And is there any transportation going down Route 21 and 22?"

    The clerk looked, and said, "No mail for you. There's a Trade Caravan leaving for Sandalwood in two days. You can go look at the Caravan Inn and Pokemon Stables, they're getting ready."

    Trade...Caravan? What, is this medieval Europe?

    Curious, I managed to find the Caravan Inn. Taking a peek in the stables, I saw a group of Gogoat, Tauros, Dodrio, and Bidoof in the 'stables'. The first three seemed a lot bigger than I remember reading or seeing them be, each looked like it could easily carry an adult along with some equipment. The only that seemed too small for that was the Bidoof.

    An HM Slave, maybe? Oof, maybe should get in the habit of not using terms like that, not even while thinking. Maybe 'Field Move Expert'?

    They seemed to be conversing, and I noticed they weren't just saying their names over and over again, but I couldn't understand the terms they saying. Looking inside, I noticed a pile of a variety of berries and some indeterminate pastries (poffins? puffs?) between a group of them, and some dice on the ground. They all started to stare at me.

    Well that answers the question about pokemon sapience and pokemon language. And begs many, many other unsettling questions. Uhhh those stares are creeping me out. I should go...

    [] Go on my own immediately
    [] Go with the caravan, and putz around town doing stuff for a few days first (what?)
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  4. Professor Wormwood

    Professor Wormwood Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    I'd say explore the city; it's better to know your territory before seriously looking for anything in it.
     
  5. Threadmarks: Part 3
    Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    (Combined suggestions from the replies in the three forums. These will basically be the goals and attempted actions of the character)
    [X] Name: Edgar Gaston
    [X] Get 4 Max Repels at the general store
    [X] Pick up at least one Quick Ball, just in case
    [X] Check the existing pokeballs, see if they have anything in them, or anything weird about them
    [X] Try to get a weapon by visiting the blacksmith
    [X] Go with the caravan, asking them about work that could be done for some money, but putz around town doing stuff for a few days first
    [X] Walk around town, just observing how things work
    [X] Visit the clinic to get an idea of the healthcare situation
    [X] Check in with the local gym, focusing on the trainees, maybe they can help in obtaining a pokemon from the area
    [X] Check the laptop, at a park bench somewhere try to figure out where the timeline is with recent events, maybe checking who the Champion is?
    [X] Speedread at least some of those books for pokemon trainers
    [X] Check legal status, especially pokemon training license, what that implies, and so on
    [X] Check how common pokedexes are, how expensive they are, and if my laptop can do any of that sort of thing.
    [X] Investigate searching for pokemon. Try low-risk methods, like trying to feed pidgeys or other urban pokemon, if I can't get help of the gym trainees


    The stares had creeped me out, so I left that for a bit, planning to come back later, and found a park bench to sit at and think. The air was crisp, but it wasn't snowy.

    At least it is not actively snow-covered right now. It must be summer, there does seem to be crops, though I wouldn't expect a snowy alps town to have much of a growing season. Still, this place is crazy. Nothing here makes sense!

    I thought back to the General Store, and looked at what I had picked up. I had made the calculation of 'better to have and not need, than to need and not have', and picked up four Max Repels for ₽2800.

    They had even thrown in two 'Pester Balls', as a sort of bonus, one for each two Max Repels. It turned out that the only thing a Pester Ball actually was, was a bit of plastic that you emptied the entire Max Repel into, which you could throw as a sort of anti-pokemon stinkbomb for emergencies. They didn't have much too them, just a bit of flimsy plastic, made to split apart when it hit something. I also picked up a Quick ball, which they asked for my ID to see, leaving me with ₽200. That wasn't what had really bugged me -- what had really bugged me was when I looked into weaponry.

    There were some hunting knives, starting at 8000 and going on up. There were some ball-chuckers, which could certainly throw pokeballs as well as rocks. One of those was 3000 pokeyen. A set of heavy Bocce balls, which could certainly brain someone if you used a ball chucker, were 2800. There was a heavy duty slingshot for 3500 pokeyen.

    Then were the firearms. Those were behind glass cases, but the weirdest thing is... I recognized them, brands and all.

    There were older firearms set apart in their own case, listed as 'Surplus Military'. Colt M1911. M1 Carbine. There was a goddamn Thompson Sub-machine Gun, that looked liked it came straight out of World War II! The only difference was the lettering on them was in the 'probably Japanese but I'm not sure' language rather than English. The non surplus military firearms ones seemed to mostly be from Marlin, including the only one I had ever fired in my previous life, the Model 60 in .22LR, and several other calibers. Notably absent were high powered rifles as hunting weapons -- only the military ones seemed to do those. Prices of the firearms started at ₽18000, and went up from there.

    I remembered how the awkward conversation went, with me asking the clerk, "Sir? If I could ask maybe a silly question...If I had the money, would there be anything stopping me from buying any of these weapons and the ammunition for them? Would I need a license or anything?"

    The clerk had looked at me like I was stupid, and responded. "That certainly is a silly question. As long as you could pay for it, why wouldn't you be able to buy one? And no license -- they're not pokeballs! I wouldn't suggest it, though. If you want protection, just get a Pokemon. They're safer for you, as long as you treat 'em right."

    I decided to ask another question, "Say... if I wanted one of those fancy high-end Pokedexes, how would I be able to get one?"

    The clerk looked at me like I had asked a much less silly question, "Well, there are some lookalikes in the catalogue, those have to be special ordered. To get a REAL pokedex though, one of the fancy new ones with all the extra features and a portable satellite link to the pokemon storage system? Become friends with a Pokemon Professor!"

    I frowned, and then asked, "Okay, I don't currently have a pokemon, and I can't afford any of these things which would help with self-defense. Is there anyone that I might be able to do some favors for, or some work for, who might give me access to a weapon with which to defend myself, or subdue a pokemon?"

    The clerk frowned, "Well, you could try the blacksmith. He always seems to want something. But Jacques is a little... weird. But he means well, keep that in mind!"

    ...

    To distract myself from thinking about how crazy the world was, I left, found the aforementioned park bench, and got out my laptop. I made sure the laptop was set to 'outside mode', which apparently made it black and white, and that the solar cell was in direct sunlight, and then started looking at the ebooks for a bit. Quickly, I found an ebook reader, and started browsing my books. Notably, I found a book that said 'Your responsibilities as a Pokemon Trainer!' and 'Kalos Pokemon League Rules and Regulations'.

    Apparently the League refereed to the whole regional governing body of the sport in Kalos, and not just the most elite. And the actual rules of League-sanctioned battles, which a trainer was expected to hew to at all times, were a whole sport, with rules for fouls, forfeits, draws, standardized arenas, scoring, variant match options, and rules for sportsmanship and etiquette for Challenges, a whole host of rules that seemed to be intended to minimize property damage. Wagers by the participants that they would win in 'street' matches were allowed, but were discouraged from going above 10000 pokeyen.

    The Responsibility as a Pokemon Trainer talked about how I, being over ten years old and taken the half-day training course and passed the test, can purchase pokeballs and participate in League-sanctioned tournaments and challenge Gym Leaders. Apparently, they used the familiar calendar, if a different year system, and my date of birth pegged me as twelve years and two months old, and I had had my License for two weeks? Apparently as a ward of the state, they delayed my ability to take that class for two years?

    Apparently, the Elite Four were the four finalists of the most recent league, and the Champion was the winner of the most recent League, and the Championship tournament was held every three years -- and Kalos's tournament was just held last year.

    Let's see where I am in canon.. the current Elite Four of Kalos are Pachira, Narcisse, Thymeus, and Dracaena. The League Champion is Kalem. I guess if Dracaena is Drasna and Kalem is Calem, and the tournament already happened, than I am after the events of X and Y. Maybe I can find something about an explosion in one of the towns, or one of the Elite Four being linked to Team Flare? Ack, none of my materials mention anything like that!

    Gingerly, I closed the laptop, and investigated my pokeballs, including the new one. The pokeballs seemed to not be 'clear' like the manga, but they did have a little LCD display on them. If I pressed the button a little, the size swapped between two sizes. If I pressed the button fully, the ball opened and had some mirrors on the inside. It had a secondary button on the back, presumably the recall option, and the 'main' button seemed to have what looked to be a light on it. This button on the back had a special feature that required a tool like a coin or a screwdriver to rotate, and was labeled permanent release. Luckily, the Quick Ball actually came with the manual, and I determined that this was the button to release a pokemon from your service, which would have a distinct blue light.

    I looked more closely at the manual, for extra clues of how these things worked.

    Blah blah blah pokemon energy form... oh, they can see out of the button, which functions as a lense... the button is also the projection array for recalls, so you are supposed to keep your finger clear of that. Pokemon can hear from inside pokeballs, but their sense of time is warped and their physiological needs are mostly removed... certain toxins can still harm a pokemon even if they are in their pokeball, the LCD display will show a purple glow rather than an image of the pokemon inside if this is the case, though there effect will be slowed... they have their own power source, rated for 10,000 years -- what are these things Nuclear or something? Does not work on humans. If a pokemon stays out of his pokeball for five months, the 'mark' protection against other pokeballs will fade. Do not decorate the button, but the casing is safe to decorate... blah blah officially licensed seals and ball capsules, customize your pokeball experience... Compatible with several devices that can register ownership, manipulate the physiology of the pokemon inside, digital transfer system available at authorized pokemon labs... Oh, more expensive balls are less likely to be destroyed if they fail to catch a wild pokemon, that's nice to hear they aren't always broken in that case. Though damn, these things are complete bullshit, I have no idea how they cost like two to ten dollars. Yet another thing that makes no sense here.

    The blacksmith was less medieval and much more modern. There was a modern looking forge, and even a CNC machine hooked up to a computer, though it looked a bit home-assembled and it, and the computer it was hooked to, looked like they had seen better days. It even seemed to have several grinders of different types, as a machine shop, and even had some woodworking tools in a separate area.

    I guess the blacksmith wears a few different hats?

    "Hello! I'm looking for a Jacques!"

    I heard a crash and an OW and then a heavyset man with a thick black beard came out of a side room, removing some gloves as he went. With a toothy grin, he asked, "May I help you?"

    "Uh yea, I was wondering if you sold any weapons?"

    "Ah! You are here for the hammers, yes?"

    "I...guess?"

    "Come, come, let me unlock the shop, and I will show you!"

    Then, he led me to the shop part, which seemed to mostly be the front room of his house, and to a particular set of hammers, which he set on a display table.

    "This one here, is Wood Hammer. This one here is Hammer Arm. This one is Iron Tail." He says, showing a wooden, leather, and metal hammer.

    "And the effect mimics the moves they are named after?"

    "Yes yes! It takes very intricate balancing and design to mimic the moves, but yes! They will act exactly as their move, as performed by a Pokemon! Yes, you see what I was going for! Oh, you are a clever one!"

    "Okay, say I wanted something other than a hammer, like a sword, or a spear, or an axe or something. Do you have any of those?"

    "Whyever would you want something other than a hammer?"

    Okayyyyy...

    "Uh, never mind, forget I asked."

    My eyes look at the hammers he has laid out in front of me, and then at a hammer on the wall behind him.

    "What's that two-handed wooden... Polehammer, Longhammer, the Maul thing, on the wall, then? Why didn't you show that one?"

    The man straightens up, as if he was at attention. He very clearly says, "That... is Eloise."

    The heck?

    "Why is that one not named after a move, then?"

    All of a sudden, the man started tearing up, his shoulders slumping, as he started babbling, "Eloise was the best. I got her all the way from Alola, and she loved fighting so much. We were inseparable! We traveled the world together! Until one day, she got a disease, and nothing I did caused her to get better, and she... she passed. So, so she could still do her favorite move, and we would still stay together, I made this out of her remains... so she can still Dragon Hammer anyone who tries to wrong me! Just like old times!"

    Aaaaaand now he's crying his eyes out. Oh mythicals, he made a weapon out of the wooden corpse of a beloved pokemon? Well, Cubone did the same sort of thing first...

    I got found a cloth somewhere and handed it to him, and he blew his nose and cried some more, until he realized that he actually had a customer in front of him. Then it was back to at attention and speaking clearly and evenly, with a short, "How may I help you, sir?"

    "Uhhh. Well, um. I was wondering, I need a weapon, and I don't have much money. Is there any task or work I could do for you, where I might be able to get one of these hammers rather than money as a reward? Not, uh, Eloise I mean. One of the others."

    He then started to look at me appraisingly, much more calculating now, as if sizing me up for real, for the first time. After an awkward pause, he spoke, "Well, yes. There is something you can do. The town doctor... I have had my eyes on her for years now. But whenever I get up the courage to ask her out on a date, I chicken out at the last minute. If you can get me a date with her, I will give you one of the basic hammers."

    With grin, I responded, "You'll have your date by this afternoon!", and left to go investigate the clinic.

    After a bit of a walk to the clinic, I stood in front of it, staring at the sign. Dr. Joy, Doctor of Pokemon Medicine, Doctor of Dental Surgery, Doctor of Medicine.

    Wowww. I guess they aren't just Nurses, huh?

    Walking in, I noticed that there was only a Jigglypuff at the front desk. I went up and dinged the little service bell. The Jigglypuff looked up from a computer, where it seemed to be playing Solitaire, and said in a clear, unaccented voice, "May I help you?"

    I kinda gaped for a moment, because...she? frowned a bit and said, "I learned the human language to better help patients. Now, did you want to set up an appointment?"

    Finding the ability to talk again, I said, "Uh, I just wanted to ask Nur -- Doctor Joy some questions, figure out what services I could actually get with this card of mine, and maybe do a checkup? I'm thinking of going on my pokemon journey and I want to make sure I'm caught up on everything and that I'm healthy. Uh, one of the books about going on your pokemon journey said to have a physical before you go!"

    The Jigglypuff smiled and said, "Of course, I'll go get her. If you could wait in the waiting room, it shouldn't be too much longer."

    Unable to help myself, I asked, "Say, I thought Jigglypuffs and Wigglytuffs only learned Heal Pulse through breeding, as an egg move? How come you all are helping the Joy family in the medical field?"

    She smiled, and answered, "Well, that's an interesting story. First of all, it isn't the Joy family, it is the joy Clan. A clan is a group of families that share an ancestor. Second, the women of the Joy clan tend to go into the medical field, but the men, at least in Kalos, go into pokemon breeding to support the clan business of providing most of the medical expertise in Kalos. While other pokemon might have more easy access to medical moves, we've found that, of the local pokemon, it's the Jigglypuff/Wigglytuff line that have the best balance of bedside manner and aptitude for the medical arts. Other regions, with other lines of pokemon, act differently. Oh, here she comes!"

    Doctor Joy did not look like that traditional nurse outfit. Instead, she was dressed with one of the doctor's white coats, with a stethoscope around her neck, and a clipboard. She did have natural red hair, though. She was in her forties and... a quick glance at the ring finger, did not seem to be married.

    The physical didn't take long, and she apparently didn't have notes on me having one of the necessary shots, and as I expressed interest in traveling out of Kalos, she gave me a combination vaccine. It turns out that medical care -- both for pokemon and humans -- was free in most regions, with ID needing to be presented. If I hadn't shown the ID, it might have cost me 1500 pokeyen for most things I would otherwise be able to get.

    Well, that's one thing that's significantly better than America, at least.

    As I left the clinic, I realized I still had to do a few things.

    How do I get Jacques a date with Doctor Joy? If I do that, which hammer should I ask for? How should I approach the gym people to try and get a starter with there help? What can I offer a local ice gem? Do I even want to try that, or should I try to catch a Pidgey or something with the Quick Ball? As I walk around town, what should I keep an eye out for? What should I look for when browsing the websites that are in the local intranet that I saw people had set up? What sorts of work should I offer to do with the caravan? Should I try and do favors for other sort of people, to get other useful things? Maybe some more ebooks? What? Should I just stop putzing around quite so much, eat my free food at whatever cafeteria the card works for, and go with the caravan?

    [] Suggestions are wide open!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
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  6. Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    Uh hey everyone? I do actually need replies and suggestions to let this continue. It IS supposed to be interactive!
     
  7. Threadmarks: Part 4
    Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    [X] Walk around town, just observing how things work
    -[X] Try and get a handle on the schizo-tech and schizo-economy of this place. I mean seriously, WTH?
    [X] Investigate searching for pokemon. Try low-risk methods, like trying to feed pidgeys or other urban pokemon, if I can't get help of the gym trainees
    -[X] Check in with the local gym, focusing on the trainees, maybe they can help in obtaining a pokemon from the area
    -[X] Research ridiculously-easy-to-catch Pokemon in the area and along the caravan's route. See what the guides for aspiring trainers say.
    [X] Inveestigate whether you even CAN get pokemon of the types other than the six you are 'supposed' to get
    -[X] Investigate why six is apparently a cap, and if, like in canon, pokeballs enforce that. Or would Giratina also enforce something?
    [X] Talk with the blacksmith about himself, and note down a few details that Dr. Joy might find interesting or attractive.
    -[X] Then, outright mention to Dr. Joy that the blacksmith likes her, and would be interested in a date. See how she responds, and talk up the blacksmith's good points.
    -[X] Or just tell her 'Jacques has fallen head over heels for you, and can't get up.'
    --[X] If they go on a date, get Iron Tail
    [X] Talk with the caravan about potential jobs for someone like him, for traveling with them on this segment.
    -[X] Leave with the Caravan for Sandalwood City!

    Alright, first, I need to get a handle on this place. It's too, well, weird. Okay, so I've noticed that this is a tiny town, surrounded by farms, with lots of local industry that you would find in any small town in a medieval setting. Well, wait. Am I making assumptions here? The local industry in the town resembles any small town, that had to be able to function on its own, in ways that any town without access to reliable roads or a railroad did, all the way up to the early 1900's. I've been to one of those replica 'old west' villages, the stuff here wouldn't look too out of place.

    The problem is, then... there's no heavy population and heavy ecological footprint here, but then why the hell are there computers? An Intranet? I think I saw a farm tractor. What the hell is a damn Chandler doing here? Isn't that one of the first things that can be made much more cheaply in a factory? Well, I guess it would be a good place to ask.

    The bell on the door dinged as I walked into the building of the candlemaker. Oh, he also made candlesticks too, apparently.

    Smells like wax. How does this guy keep in business? There's electricity here... solar panels. Wait, where do they get the panels, argh!

    An elderly man looked up from playing with some cards with an equally elderly woman, probably his wife, and got up to go behind the counter.

    He smiled with a toothless mouth, "Welcome, welcome, young man! See anything you like, just let me know!"

    I responded, "Uh, I had some questions instead, actually. Mainly with things like... How are you still in business? With electric lights, people don't need that many candles. And even if they do, how come there's no factory somewhere turning out candles and selling them for a few pokeyen, by the hundreds of thousands? How do you make enough money to eat? I just don't get the economics of this."

    The man blinked for a moment, and grinned, "Well! A young man like you should be thinking about his pokemon, and having a pokemon journey, not wondering about economics. But sit down, I suppose I can answer some of your questions. But you're using a lot of big words for someone of your age. You'll go far, I'm sure! I suppose if you could get a few more factory in one of the big cities, lots of us folk in the small towns would be out of work. But... I suppose there's a mix of reasons. I guess no one's made a factory for this. Or maybe no one's tamed enough flying pokemon to transport more than the essentials."

    Why would you need... wait, this has something to do with the mounted caravan thing?

    The next words out of my mouth were, "Why don't people make more roads, or railroads, or airstrips or something?"

    The man frowned, "Well I don't know around elsewhere, but around here, they've always got to be re-making the roads, because wild pokemon tear them up. It's only places with lots of money that can afford to keep a working road or railroad somewhere."

    I frowned back, "Wait, but even if they did that, you could still take one of these fancy computers that can digitize things, to carry cargo across pokemon-back. Or just train more flying pokemon to carry people and things, or get cargo helicopters or cargo airships! I've seen advanced things, like my laptop and the local network and computers and solar panels! And a railroad can't be managed?"

    The man looked sad for a moment, and then quietly said to me, "Look, kid, you shouldn't be thinking about these kinds of things; it's history for when you're older, mostly... but you seem like you can make sense of what I'm about to say, so I'll drop the act. There's a reason you see solar panels and the only working power plants are solar, geothermal or wind. At some point someone, like those people in Kanto, want to use fossil fuels, and then some pokemon destroy it, maybe a vengeful Legendary or something, and they sort of get it working with electric-types that the power originally attracted. It doesn't work too well. The only big factories you see are ones that produce things that improve everyone's lives, that pokemon won't destroy, like pokeballs, or durable computer parts, or medicine. And it was the work of hundreds of years, of generations of effort, to find a way to make a textile factory that polluted little enough that pokemon wouldn't destroy it and cloth could actually be shipped to villages. Enough to make an aged entrepreneur want to retire in a small village in the mountains, have his son take over the business, and make and sell candles for a living and not think about this kind of thing. Lots of that stuff, like the computers they give to children about to go on their pokemon journey, are subsidized by the government or wealthy philanthropists, too."

    His voice then proceeded to have an edge on it, "Now, is there anything I can get you, young man?"

    Oh. Well, shit. Uhm, okay.

    In a small voice, I said, "But if large garment factories happened only in living memory, shouldn't the quality of clothing have a huge change, as better cuts happened? This doesn't make any sense! Mythicals take it! One last question -- How long ago was the Industrial Revolution?"

    The man looked at me appraisingly, "The steam engine and modern ways of making iron happened about six hundred years ago. And what makes you think that people haven't gone a little crazy getting new clothes, recently? Someone has to pay the taxes to fund the welfare state."

    "Right. Uh, okay. Thanks. Sorry to bother you, uh I gotta go." I found myself saying.

    Well, I didn't even get his name. That was awkward. But I got lots of information, I guess. What are the odds of the one person being the one able to answer my question like that? Narrative causality? Mucking by mythicals? Sheer coincidence? I've got no way to know yet. Argh, shouldn't worry about stuff like that. I guess... I should try and get a pokemon. I maybe should talk to the people at the gym? But I don't really want to talk to someone right now, that was so awkward. Uhhh, I guess I'll go looking for a pokemon? Something that would be considered a 'critter', I guess, something non-threatening in the area?

    I started jogging around the outskirts of town, keeping an eye out at the large patches of grass, fields, and nature surrounding the town, looking for a pokemon.

    Maybe it's a little too early to run around tall grass, hopefully I'll just spot one.

    It wasn't too long until I spotted my first wild pokemon. A Bunnelby, to the look of it. And it looked like it had been in a scuffle, one of it's ears had a bit of a scratch mark on it. It seemed to be eating some flowers in a field.

    I blinked, and for a moment, the look of the creature was a bit different -- it looked more like a real world hare, with the pink part of the ears going further up the ear, and the eyes a bit less obviously over-large for the head, except that the ears seemed to be articulated with what seemed to be small arms that came up from the back, around the shoulders, and made up part of the ears, connected by skin-flaps. Oh, and it was actually bleeding, the connection between the back-arms and the head-ears was damaged! And then I blinked again, and it looked closer to the depiction in the games, with ears that somehow had fingers on it, and simply 'scratches' that weren't bleeding.

    The hell? First it looks like one thing and then it looks like another? Whatever, I'm not going to get a better chance than this! It's still facing away from me!

    Quietly, I get out the Quick Ball, and started creeping toward the Bunnebly until I thought I could tag it with the ball, and then tossed it at the creature!

    C'mon... AHH! PAIN!


    While the ball was still in the air, suddenly I felt my arms and my forehead seem to catch on fire, and I screamed and fell, alerting the Bunnelby, which noticed the incoming pokeball and then bounded off.

    As the pain seemed to subside, I opened my eyes and saw the faint outline of what seemed to be glowing runes disappearing into my arms, where it felt like I was burning.

    Fuck, ahh, shit, okay okay, I'm not damaged, it was just pain, am I bleeding? Okay, I'm not bleeding, there's no burn, my forehead is okay... The hell? Think, runes on my arms... Giratina. That railroading, micromanaging asshole of a god! I am not going to just leave this, whatever he did, there has to be a way to undo it. But... maybe later. He obviously wants me to not catch any old 'wild' pokemon. Ugh, at least the Quick Ball didn't get damaged. Anyway, not as much reason to go to the Gym, then. I don't really want to check if someone can give me a pokemon. Well, maybe eventually, but not today. Okay. What do I have to do next? Uhhh, do I need to check on the limits of six filled pokeballs? Might as well.

    I went back to the general store, and asked the shopkeeper a few more questions. He didn't know the answers, but he did mention the book, "Everything you wanted to know about Pokeballs but were too afraid to ask!", which apparently was one of my ebooks. After a quick read, I had my answer, and I wasn't happy about it.

    Each pokeball that a person has on their belt, or in electronic storage, or in their back, formed an impromptu Personal Area Network, though apparently the abbreviation here was 'Pokeball Area Network', some of the features of which can be tweaked somewhat using a tool on a wifi enabled device like a laptop. Since every pokemon league on the planet agreed that Six pokemon is the maximum a single trainer can give sufficient 'care and attention' to, if they catch a seventh, the seventh will be unable to be released from the ball while it is near the other six balls. That said, at a Pokemon Center, a ball could be unlocked or with a Licensed Pokedex or at a Pokemon Lab, the 'main' six can be re-designated if the trainer had more than six pokeballs. Further, this Personal Area Network was unable to be turned off, and the communication between the pokeballs was completely unencrypted.

    Good god, if I get a pokemon, It's never going to be in a pokeball, or I'm getting some custom pokeballs made or something, that is absurdly hackable! Don't police use pokemon or something too? Ugh. I should go back to Jacques and ask him about himself. But I'm getting hungry.

    Eventually, I found a cafeteria that would accept my card, and found what the pokemon equivalent of France gave the poor to eat.

    Looks like vegetable stew with a bit of meat in it and bread on the side. The poor food the world over, I guess.

    The walk back to the blacksmith's workshop was uneventful, and I found him doing some grinding on what looked like a part for an engine of some kind. He noticed me and his eyes lit up, and he stopped what he was doing and asked, "Well? What did she say?"

    "I haven't asked her yet. I wanted to get an idea about your good points. What would you say are some of your best qualities?"

    The man looked like a Deerling in headlights, and let out a pathetic, "Uhhh..."

    Alright, enough of this. Let's try a different tact.

    "Jacques, do you mind if I look around? Your shop, your home, stuff like that?"

    He nodded, and I started looking around.

    Okay, the shop. Well set up, clean. He does some interesting ornamental stuff, lots of filligree. Is that a sculpture of a Pidgeotto? Hmmm. Let's check the house. Right, gotta take off my shoes, weird Japanese sort of look here. Incredibly clean, and, mmm... what's that smell? Is that some kind of doughnut he has made there? And the ingredients to make them, interesting. Let's see what else. The clothing is obviously set up for work clothing and home clothing, but he definitely has formal wear, and all of his clothing is neatly pressed. And is that a steel body resonator guitar? ... In tune, too. I think I've seen enough.

    "Jacques, are you currently making a piece of a motor right now?" A nod. "And did you make that sculpture of a Pidgeotto?" I ask again. Again, he nods. "And did you make those pastries in the kitchen?" He seems embarrassed, but he nods. "And how about that guitar? Did you make that? Do you play it too?"

    He shyly gave me a, "I strum a bit, here and there. And yea, I made it."

    I carefully got it out and what looks to be some thumbpicks, and asked him, "Show me."

    What happened then was some of the best blues playing I had ever heard, as he began to belt out a rendition of 'Deep River Blues' that had me in awe.

    "Well, uh, okay Jacques. I think I know what to say to her. I'll be back in a bit."

    I jogged back over to the clinic, and asked to see Doctor Joy, who looked concerned to see me back so soon, with a "Did you remember something that you forgot the first time here?"

    I grinned, and responded, "Not exactly. And this isn't about my health at this point. Look, there's a thing you should know miss."

    She looked at me, obviously this little snot-nosed kid, but her bedside manner was good enough to humor me, and she asked, "And what is that?"

    I doubled down on my adorably-cute grin, and said, "Jacques, the blacksmith, likes you very much. I think he's head over heels for you, but is too shy to say it."

    She gave me a face of disbelief, and said, "So... he sent you instead?"

    "Not exactly. I think I put him on the spot, and asked something he wanted, which was a date with you."

    "This is all... very abrupt. Why woould I go on a date with him? He hardly ever talks to anyone."

    Here's my chance, now I can make him look good.

    I noded my head carefully for emphasis, "Yes, but that is because he expresses himself through his hands. He is one that lets his creations speak rather than words. He's incredibly organized, his shop and home is spotless, and he makes things of beauty. Did you know that he's an artist? Not only does he keep this whole place running with his ironwork, he also finds the time to be a fantastic cook and baker, to make sculpture, and he's a fantastic musician that makes his own instruments! This is the sort of person who brings beauty and meaning into the world through the work of his hands! I think if you give him a chance, you'll find there's more to him than meets the eye. If you aren't doing anything, he would like to take you out on a date tomorrow."

    She pursed her lips for a moment, obviously thinking. After a bit of consideration, she sighed and said, "Well, I suppose I can forgive his shyness and sending you instead. Sure, I'll go set up a meeting with him after my workday is over. And no, you aren't invited."

    Okay, I suppose I'm being dismissed?

    Finishing my grin, I nodded and excused myself with a "Much obliged, ma'am."

    I told him the good news, and we traded phone numbers. Apparently, while in the range of a city's wide area network, my computer could act as a cell phone, and that was what the microphone headset was for. Good to know, I played a bit with the phone program, checking for contacts. Also apparently, once I left the region of Fractalia City's Wide Area Network, it wouldn't work.

    Apparently routing phone calls between cities is beyond these people, at least with what tech they seem to have. Maybe someone has a satellite phone somewhere? Hopefully this follows canon that someone has a space program, at least.

    Then, I went to the depot where the caravan was staying, and offered to work for passage to Sandalwood City and a bit of spending money. They agreed that I could help groom and feed the pokemon, as well as help with setting up camp and odd jobs, for 6000 pokeyen a day.

    That's a little low. Let me do some math, assuming a pokeyen is equivalent to a us penny, that's about 60 dollars, which given an eight hour day, is about $7.5 an hour. I guess they have minimum wage laws?

    Eventually, Jacques called me, and I picked up 'Iron Tail'.

    Apparently, he had a successful date.

    The caravan made decent time, only two days to get all the way to Sandalwood City. They were attacked by a Scyther that seemed to be interested in getting the camp supplies, but it was driven off. A few pokemon trainers were challenging people at the entrancce to the cave which led to Victory Road, which, outside of Tournament season, was selling tours of the castle (the cave itself being blocked off outside of torunament season as well; there was a more 'normal' path to the castle).

    Upon entering the city, I spent a bit of time freshening up at a public youth hostel, which seemed to be more of a 'free homeless shelter for itinerant youth on their pokemon journey' than what I would've thought of as a hostel. I opened up my laptop, and zoomed in to the map of Sandalwood City, focusing on the Ralts. She was on the other side of town, to the north near one of the many farms that surrounded the city, around the school, which seemed to be labelled simply as 'Sandalwood School' on my map.

    [] Go introduce yourself to your first pokemon. Nothing could possibly go wrong with the direct approach!
    [] Go buy something first? What?
    [] Be cautious, perhaps looking around first?
    [] OMG There were some totally badass off-road rollerblades at a shop back there! They have air tires and an aluminum frame! Totally go get those, and practice some sick moves!
    [] Just check out the school, it seems to be more than a pokemon training school, perhaps?
    [] What was up with the image and look of that Bunnelby? Maybe that should be looked into? How?
     
  8. Threadmarks: Part 5
    Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    [X] Just check out the school, it seems to be more than a pokemon training school, perhaps?
    -[X] What was up with the image and look of that Bunnelby? Maybe that should be looked into? How?
    [X] Once that's done, go introduce yourself to your first pokemon. Nothing could possibly go wrong with the direct approach! Don't throw the ball, talk first.


    I set to head off to the school, looking around as I went.

    There's that big fountain thing... lots of the housing seems to be condos or apartments. Very few one-household homes. Still solar panels on each roof, no wait, that one seems to have solar tiles, though they look a little more like 'obviously solar tiles' than Tesla's. Though the architecture still looks European. This place seems to be a bit wealthier than the other one. Oh, there's the gym I passed on the way in, it looks like the anime, though obviously older than in the anime. Alright, here's the school. It has a notice on front.

    Sandalwood City Public Academy

    Available Classes:
    K-12
    Pokemon Licensing
    Community College
    Vocational Training

    I looked at the size of the building. It was big, but not big enough to be the everything, as near as I could tell.

    Maybe they're exaggerating a bit? That's quite a lot of things to put under one roof. Even for a town of a few thousand. Still, if there's someone that would know the answers to my questions, it would be here.

    I went inside, and asked a student for directions to the teacher's offices. After being directed to the second floor, I wandered around the offices for a bit until I found one with an older man in a lab coat, typing away at an old-style terminal.

    Better play it a bit dumb...

    "Uh, hi, is this where I find a Pokemon Professor?"

    The man looked up at me, blinked for a moment, and then chuckled.

    "Hah! Hardly. It'll be a few more years yet before I am in the running for an honorary tree name! No no, I'm Professor Thomas. I teach the classes for licensing beyond a Pokemon Trainer's license, like for people who want to be nurse's assistants in a pokecenter or to run a pokemon day care, and most of the pokemon academy classes, or to be a Lab Technician in a Pokemon Lab. I suppose I'm the closest thing this town has to a genuine Pokemon Professor, though. I don't recognize you from classes, are you here to sign up for a class, or do you just have some questions?"

    I bit my lip, trying to push the look that I was just a confused kid wanting answers.

    "Do you mind if I take some notes on my laptop for what you tell me? It's the only way I'll remember what you say. I've got some pretty particular questions about pokemon."

    "By all means son, go ahead. If I didn't want people taking notes on laptops when I talked to them, I wouldn't have this job."

    I got out my laptop, and opened it. Luckily, it could run two things, and I put the 'Giratina's scan for he pokemon on my list' program in a window to the side of the notepad.

    Huh, it says 'Ralts, Female, Uninjured, Calm' now. And she's real close too. Must get extra detail as I get closer. Better ask my question now.

    "So I was just outside of Fractal city, trying to catch a wild Bunnelby that had been in a fight, and for a second, it looked weird. Like the eyes seemed smaller, and the ear-arms looked different, and it was more obviously bleeding than just scruffed up. And then it looked back to normal. Do you know what could cause that?"

    The man considered for a moment, and then referenced a book for a second.

    "Well, it could have been a Ditto that wasn't quite know how to Transform right. Or possibly a Zorua that had some trouble with it's Illusion power. Both those breeds had been reported south of Fractal City, according to the pokedex information we just got from Professor Sycamore right after the tournament. The only other thing would be some unknown sort of Form Variant. Otherwise, the anatomy would always look the same. Bleeding, you say? Usually, pokemon don't bleed in the fights they have outdoors; it's only surgery that could get it to bleed. You sure you weren't seeing things?"

    Uhhhh... I don't want to muck things up. Better cover for it.

    "Well, it was kind of early, and I had had a really rough night, without much sleep. Maybe I was?"

    Just then, I heard a crash coming from outside, and the display on my laptop changed from 'Ralts, Female, Uninjured' to 'Ralts, Female, Slightly Injured, Panicked'. My eyes widened for a bit as I sat straight up, grabbing my laptop and running out.

    "Uh, sorry Professor, something came up. I have to go. Thanks for the talk!"

    I ran outside to the last position I had saw her blip at -- a little north of the school, where there was apparently a construction site. Apparently, there was commotion with a large number of construction workers next to their equipment, and shouting, and a backhoe on it's side that had run one of it's tracks onto a pile of bricks and tipped, and a pink mist surrounding the area. There was no Ralts to be seen anywhere, nor was anyone pointing at anything as if they spotted a pokemon. A quick glance at my laptop screen showed she was still in the area. There's any number of places she could be hiding -- piles of building material and other pieces of equipment are all around.


    What to do?

    [] Do something to find her, convince her to go with me, and calm down the workers. Need a plan, fast!
    -[] What?
    [] Provide interference for her, doing something to get the workers to leave. She's obviously panicked, and a bunch of shouting workers wouldn't help. This way she can either calm down enough to listen, or to leave to go to a place of comfort. If she teleports out, I can always track her using the computer.
    -[] How?
    [] She's injured. Search for her, and force a capture using a Quick ball, then take her to a pokemon center quickly. Better to ask forgiveness than permission.
    -[] Look in what sorts of places first|
    [] Do something else clever and awesome. Maybe involving her powers. She's psychic, so maybe there's some angle there?
    -[] What?
     
  9. Threadmarks: Part 6
    Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    [X] Provide interference for her, doing something to get the workers to leave. She's obviously panicked, and a bunch of shouting workers wouldn't help. This way she can either calm down enough to listen, or to leave to go to a place of comfort. If she teleports out, I can always track her using the computer.
    -[X] Stay calm, ask the workers if they had seen anything, and then ask them to give you a bit of room so you can get a frightened pokemon out of there.
    Bonus:
    -[X] Keep an eye out for the odd 'realism' bit, time to collect data.

    Okay. First step, get the clueless workers away from the panicked pokemon. No time for a solid plan, time to wing it.

    I started by shouting and waving my arms at the workers. "HEY! HEY! CONSTRUCTION GUYS! LISTEN TO ME, THERE'S SOMETHING IMPORTANT!"

    One of the construction workers, a gruff, slightly overweight, middle-aged man with a thick mustache, started to approach me. A few others walked towards me, lagging behind. He looked at me with concern, "Hey kid, this is an active construction site. It's dangerous, and you shouldn't be here. We've just had an accident, thank the Mythicals no one was hurt though, but it's not safe here!"

    I looked at the spreading mist of pink well behind this man, and blinked.

    Does he seriously not know? How can he not know? Ugh, I have to show confidence. Maybe I can bluff them for how much of an expert I am. Here goes!

    "Seriously? That's what you're focusing on. You've got bigger fish to fry! Don't you know what that pinkish-blue mist is?"

    The guy blinked and looked behind him. "Uh? Maybe we hit some unmarked utilities when digging? That happens sometimes, people have been repairing things for -- wait, you don't need to know this! Gowon! Git! It's not safe here!"

    Time to double down on my choice.

    "No, it isn't safe here, but that's due to something else entirely. See that mist? How it's pink, sparkly, and part of it seems to be fading between blue and pink? That's a Misty Terrain, a Fairy-type move that some pokemon do when threatened. There is a pokemon here, and you've scared it! If someone doesn't calm it down, someone is going to get hurt!"

    By this point, some of the other construction workers had joined the conversation. One of them spoke up. "Ey, remember last month when we stumbled on that hive of Combees? We had to abandon that job for weeks, until we could get an elite trainer to drive them off."

    I have to keep the initiative here! I should get them back on track.

    "Hey! I think you're missing the important part. There's a scared, probably hurt pokemon here. If it panics, who knows what would happen. So I need you all to get away from the site, maybe over there, while I find this pokemon and calm it down. I can't do that with a bunch of construction workers stomping around making lots of noise!"

    The first construction worker, apparently the foreman, still didn't buy it. His scowl never wavered, "Why do you think we should let you do this, rather than go find an expert, like from the gym?"

    Alright, time to wow them, I can't believe I'm doing this!

    I struck an action pose with a peace sign, arm raised high, legs spread, and other hand on my waist.

    "Listen, I'm not just a Pokemon trainer, I'm an ACE Pokemon trainer! They call me the Pokemon Whisperer. Just give me five minutes looking around to try and calm the pokemon down. And... would you prevent a child on their Pokemon Journey from trying to solve a Pokemon Problem? Have you no heart?"

    One of the workers looked at the foreman, and spoke up; "Yea. It's his pokemon journey. You don't wanna mess that up. My sister messed mine up, when I was ten. Didn't want me leaving the area, so gave me a fake map. I gave up after two weeks. I never forgave her!"

    The foreman sighed, and replied with a, "Fine, but I'm sending someone to get someone from the Gym, just in case! You have five minutes." And with that, he yelled for the rest of the workers to clear the site and let 'the trainer' work, and I moved off to go look for the Ralts.

    Okay. Time to search this place. I should've asked if anyone saw anything, but... mmm, there aren't too many places she could've hid. So... lots of bricks, some dug holes, looks like some large metal drainage pipes they're installing. Huh, the construction equipment here reminds me of that LifeTrac I read about online once. Like they are making easily-repairable tractors and dozers locally, rather than shipping them in a big cargo ship? Ack, gotta focus.

    I checked under a cement mixer with a large base, then at a pile of bricks that seemed to make a small hidden that was outside of the main lines of sight, and then near the backhoe on it's side -- no hidden Ralts. It was in the pile of large steel tubes that I found her, cowering.

    Her green hair hid one of her eyes, and I saw several scratches on her arm, and then I blinked, and her skirt was...feathers? With the bowl cut being a crest, and soft down? And she's bloody...! And then after another blink, she was back to 'normal' looking for a ralts, with the 'scratches' rather than blood.

    She was shivering and her face was in a grimace, but her eyes were wide with panic. Suddenly, her shadow loomed at me, growing larger and rushing at me, as if to drive me off.

    Shit, Shadow Sneak! Gotta hold my ground!

    I planted my feet, and the shadow, after a moment, went back to normal.

    She's afraid... Ralts are psychic. Maybe I can communicate with her?

    I focused on feeling emotions extra strong, and made clear mental images as I talked.

    "I don't want to hurt you." Worry. Concern about her health. The image of carefully cradling her, picking her up, and cleaning her wounds.

    She stared at me, eyes still wide.

    "You can calm down. Peace!" The feeling of calm. The scene of being relaxed, the feeling of un-tensing muscles.

    Her eyes started to soften a bit, her breathing slowed a bit.

    "Can you communicate with me?" Curiosity of what happened, the image of her concentrating, speaking under her breath, then me having a feeling of understanding.

    She stared at me, as if confused.

    I have to try something else. How about....

    Strong desire to communicate. Strong desire to communicate!

    Suddenly, an emotion entered my mind. Confusion. Pain. Then, a scene; of seeing things while being very short, but walking next to a road, and then spotting a construction worker rushing to work. Then the strong emotional need to get to work soon, to use the backhoe to dig the ditch in order to get paid. Then climbing into the backhoe, with a need to turn it on, then pressing buttons, then driving up an incline, than falling, then pain, then teleporting away, then mist as others closed, then running to hide, and then being overwhelmed by needs -- pain, confusion, need to fix the backhoe, then a feeling of a massive headache.

    I blinked, clearing the vision.

    What was she doing? Does she not know how to turn off her telepathy? I... how can I help her with this. She won't want to be around anyone if I can't help her fix this. And the medical center was in the busy part of town. She communicated with me, but... how do I help her, and convince her to come with me, and not panic herself if she does?

    [] Need a Plan!
     
  10. Threadmarks: Part 7
    Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    [X] Try to convince Ralts to come with you to a place where there's less people. Somewhere quiet and comfortable where you can help with the injuries.
    -[X] Do this by trying to project calm and the intent to bring to safety, and visualizing the place

    Don't want to risk taking her deeper in town to get to a doctor. Vet? Whatever. I can manage first aid. I have clean water and a first aid kit and food and potions. I can do this. I just have to get her to go with me. Here goes.

    *Calm! Lack of Pain. Healing/Recovery/Convalescence. The image of me carefully picking her up and taking her and treating her wounds.

    I talked to her in a soothing tone, moving slowly, whether to calm myself down or calm her down, I wasn't sure. "Miss Ralts... I need to get you out of here. You're hurt. I need to pick you up now, and I'm going to carry you away from here where I can help heal you. Just stay calm."

    I slowly walked toward her, where she was laying, and crouched down and gently, ever so gently, picked her up. She didn't resist, and even grabbed at me as I cradled her like a baby. Carefully, I walked out of the construction site, the construction workers staring at me.

    As I left the construction site, I heard one of them say, "Well I'll be. He didn't even capture her. That's still a wild Pokemon he's holding! He must really be a Pokemon Whisperer!"

    I clamped down on a feeling of aggravation at their idiocy, focusing instead on the wondrous creature that was looking up at me with childlike eyes.

    I have to get out of town. I'm pretty near Route 4. Maybe I can find some privacy off the route. Okay, there's a creek running through what seems to be a park, but maybe off the side of the route itself? I don't remember any farms from the anime or manga or games, but that seems to be a farm there. Hell, I don't know a good spot away from people. Wait, I have an idea.

    "Hey, miss Ralts. Is there a place of safety, where I can heal you around here? Could you point the way?"

    *Image of her pointing to a place where I could tend her wounds, a need to carry her to safety.

    She looked around a moment, and pointed to a small copse of trees. Eventually, I found a small clearing in some trees with a rock in the middle, away from the Route itself. Gently, I laid her down, and got out my backpack.

    I had made sure to keep the first aid kit and the potions and some food and water outside of the laptop, and I set those down. I opened the first aid kit, and got out some alcohol wipes, and gently started to clean her fur.

    I saw feathers and blood with the other version. But now, it just seems to be fur and some scratches. Well, if it's me that's causing it, I shouldn't try to cause the 'other' version to show up. I don't want to bring about any unknowns into things. Just better clean.

    Carefully, I cleaned her, even pouring some distilled saline water that seemed to be for washing out eyes, on her fur.

    Whether this was the bloody version or the normal, this will help clean things.

    Then I used some antiseptic wipes to further clean the scrapes, and put some antibiotic jelly on the scrapes. Throughout all this time, she simply stared at me. Carefully, I got out the potion spray and then sprayed the potion on her injuries.

    Okay, she hasn't seem to have been favoring any particular limb. I don't think anything got really crushed, the limbs don't look extremely hurt... but I should try some other stuff.

    Carefully, I got out some of the plates I had taken from my 'apartment', and one of the Oran berries, a small handful of pokemon chow, and a bit of normal water, which I put in a clean cup.

    "Here, eat the berry. If you are still hungry, have some of the kibble, and have some water."

    With an exaggerated movement, I offered the food to her. Gently, she took the berry, and very daintily ate it. Then, she had a small meal of some of the chow. Her drinking from a human sized cup was comical; to her size, it was like drinking from a bucket.

    Okay. I'm going to have to protect her from others, if she is going to travel with me.

    I carefully got out the Quick Ball, and held it for a moment, making no move to throw it.

    "Uh, what do you think of these, have you seen this before?"

    She looked up from her meal, and then scrambled back from the ball.

    FEAR. It hit me viscerally, for a moment, I was actually afraid of the pokeball, and I gritted my teeth and carefully put the pokeball away. She immediately calmed down; still, she wouldn't approach again.

    Damn, uh, why did she fear it so much. I could get respect, maybe annoyance or anger, but that level of fear? Let's see if I can get this from her.

    *Need to understand. Confusion of her actions. "Why did you fear it so much?"

    She looked at me, and suddenly, I had an image. The view was hiding in a bush, as a Riolu, commanded by a trainer, a boy of only ten, battled a Wild Delcatty. The Riolu was completely dominating the Delcatty, and eventually, the Delcatty, injured roared a defiant yowl, which was immediately understood as a, "No! You shall not have them!"

    But the trainer threw a pokeball, and the Delcatty disappeared in a flash. Then the trainer went forward into the brush that the Delcatty was protecting, and there were three more flashes. The trainer walked out carrying four pokeballs.

    After a moment, the memory faded. I blinked at her.

    Shit. If my only experience with a pokeball was a friend and her children being taken like that... where I didn't know if they were dead or just stolen... I'd fear them too. I'm not going to be able to get out of this unless I can communicate with her in more than just these flashes. I need to try something a bit more extreme.

    Carefully, I laid down on the rock that she was back to standing on, having finished her meal.

    I don't know if this is going to work. But with what Giratina said... maybe this would help. Qui audet adipiscitur, after all!

    *Calm. Then I spoke, "I'm going to try something. It might help us talk. You don't have to do it if you don't want to." I carefully projected the concept of what I wanted, and that she would nod if she were okay with it, and shake her head if she weren't. Gently, she nodded.

    Carefully, I scooted up so that my head was directly facing her, lying on my belly as she stood in front of me, confused. Gently, I placed her hands on my forehead, and then ever so gently, I placed my hand on the side of her head, and pressed my head forward so that it gently touched her red crest.

    Quietly, I said the mantra, focusing on the concept. "My mind to your mind. My thoughts to your thoughts."

    ******

    Then, I was falling out of myself, as if from a great height, but I did not fear. Instead, I felt strangely thrilled, and I felt more alive than I had ever felt..!

    And then I blinked, and opened my eyes, blinking away a headache. The shadows looked a little different. The Ralts groaned, having fallen back a bit, and looked at me.

    "I can't believe I tried something from a TV show. Why did I think that would work? Wait, I sound weird. Uh, we're both talking at the same time?"

    I looked at her and replayed what I just heard in my head. She wasn't talking, she was doing a kind of chirping musical note thing, that I understood as talking. Since I wasn't hearing it, it didn't sound quite like a feedback loop, but she was 'saying' the same things as me, at exactly the same time.

    "We need to stop this connection!" We said to each other.

    I think I'm taking the lead here these thoughts don't feel... foreign. I need to help not override her!

    My mind raced.
    I have to do something, but I don't know what... ugh. The only thing I can think of is something I read from a book. Maybe something from the Wheel of Time or something? I don't remember, but it's better than nothing. Here goes.

    As calmly as I could, I said, "Imagine an invisible wall, around your head. The wall reflects those thoughts which are not yours. Inside the wall, only your thoughts remain. Put your will, and a bit of your power, into the wall. As you do so, feel connection of other person's thoughts start to quiet down, and any links you and them slowly dissipate."

    By the time I said '-them slowly dissipate', I was speaking alone again.

    She looked at me, and smiled in a cute little childlike smile and said and said, "Thank you." It still wasn't in Japanese, it was still a chirpy set of musical notes, apparently the same notes as before, but I understood it anyway. And it still melted my heart.

    I...I can speak Pokemon Language! And oh my g--uh, mythicals, she's so cute! Okay okay, she's still a wild pokemon who could seriously hurt me. Basics first.

    "Uh, hello miss. I'm Edgar. Do you have a name?"

    She looks confused at me for a moment, "A name? What's a name?"

    Ooohhh boy. She doesn't have any sense of what a name is.

    I swallowed for a moment, thinking, then spoke up, "A name is sort of...a way to call you, to mean just you, as a unique and important person different from all the other Ralts, or eventually Kirlia's or Gardevoir's out there. Do you have anything like that?"

    She shook her head, looking at me with wide eyes, apparently awed by the concept.

    I bit my lip for a moment, considering. "Names are often given in very important times, like when a child is born, and extra names are sometimes given for a big achievement. In fact, it's tradition for a trai--ah, a human to name a pokemon that stops being wild and starts traveling with him or her. Those balls from your memory actually didn't harm those who entered them. They are a way to show other people that the pokemon who enter them are..."

    Don't say owned.

    "...under the protection of the human who placed them there, and not to be stolen away."

    She looked at me, a little unsure.

    "You seem nice and all, Edgar. But why would I do that? Those balls are scary! And you're not telling me something!"

    Well, she's clever. How do I handle this?

    [] Need some sort of argument to convince her to be 'your' pokemon, or to not fear the pokeball, or something... but what? A good part of you views 'owning' pokemon is slavery, you're not sure you can really argue from emotion here.
    -[] If she does enter the ball, she will need a name. A wonderful one. But what should it be?
     
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  11. Threadmarks: Part 8
    Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    [X] Explain that there are some things that you aren't saying, and they are really complex and strange
    [X] Explain that you're on a really, really weird mission from a god. You don't quite understand it either, but you're supposed to find and team up with the Ralts and five other Pokemon, to help them find their place in this world. Ralts should be able to recognize your honesty.
    [X] Please! travel with me! I want to make friends! Have cool adventures! Train and become stronger!
    [X] Explain what you know about the pros and cons of a pokeball capture. Let her decide on her own, but warn of any dangers.
    -[X] Mention benefits like for travel, healing, being allowed places, safety, etc.
    [X] If she will let you, name her Deanna



    She doesn't make this easy on me, oof. So instead of a battle by combat to get her to join me, it's a battle of words. No, wait, that's not right. I shouldn't see this as me versus her. I did that kind of thing too much in my last life, and it did me no favors. Now's a new start, and I should treat it like one.

    She stared at me as I thought. Eventually, I opened my mouth, and began. "Miss Ralts, yes. There are things I'm keeping from you. It's mostly because they're really, really weird, and I'm not quite sure if I understand what's going on, myself. I think the truly weird stuff should wait until we know each other a bit better -- it's a little scary, and a lot weird. Please don't take the things I'm not ready to tell you yet from my mind, but you can weaken your mindwall to tell if I am lying. What I can tell you is that, a few days ago, I woke up in bed with the Legendary Pokemon, the God Giratina, looming over me. It gave me a quest: to find six particular pokemon, scattered throughout the world, and travel with them and learn from them and help them. They were described as pokemon that didn't quite fit in, and if I'm supposed to help them fit in here, or eventually take them...somewhere else, I don't know. You are one of those pokemon. But... please! Travel with me. I want to make friends, have adventures, to become stronger, and help you become stronger!"

    I paused for a bit, gathered my thoughts, and then continued, "As far as pokeballs... Come here, I have the manual for my Quick Ball, and I think one of the books on my laptop talks about pokeballs."

    Carefully, I moved the laptop to the shade at the side of the clearing, so we could see the screen, as even on 'daytime' mode it was difficult to see. Clicking around, I eventually found, 'Pokeballs and You! A Trainer's Guide!', and started skimming it, while I pulled out the paper manual that came with the Quick Ball. Ralts had followed me, and after a moment, I noticed her eyes were wide and her face had a look of awe on it.

    I cleared my throat and looked at her, "Are... you alright?"

    She looked at me with the most adorable grin, and chattered, "These symbols! I can read these, I know what these mean! I couldn't do that before! Is this the sort of thing you will do to make me stronger?"

    I grinned back, "Yes, among other things. I'll make sure to teach you as much as you can learn, if you travel with me. But... let me browse through this book for a minute."

    The book was short, being designed for a child, and it took me a few moments to skim and speed-read it. I frowned as I read it.

    She looked at me curiously, and asked, "Why are you not happy with that...book?"

    I sighed, "It's too simple, I think it makes it so simple it lies a bit. Here's what I understand about pokeballs and history. I could be wrong, but this is my understanding." I paused for a moment, thinking of what I knew from the anime and movies, before starting: "Many years ago, humans were equal to pokemon, in the sense that humans treated pokemon the same as any other human. They traded sometimes, they fought sometimes, they even married sometimes. But a human couldn't always have a way to get a pokemon to do what they wanted. Over time, several different groups of humans made different sorts of 'early' pokeballs. These were very difficult to make, and were usually made to either Capture -- or to put away in a way that the pokemon couldn't escape -- or Control -- to get a particular pokemon to do what they wanted -- a single Pokemon. These were often made to do this to a single particular Pokemon which was causing problems in the area."

    Now I'm getting to what the book talked about. But I'll put my own spin on it.

    "Eventually though, in the region of a place called Johto, the fruit of the Apricorn Tree was discovered to be easily modified to both Capture and Control pokemon. So the modern 'Pokeball' or 'Pocket Ball' or 'Monster Ball' was created. No longer were Pokemon the equal or the greater of Humans. In fact, it was only at this point when Pokemon got their name as something different -- Pokemon, or Pocket Monsters. A single human could enslave a large amount of pokemon, and, as long as he put a bit of effort in bonding with them and caring for them, they would do work for him, help him, or fight for him and be happy to do it. And he could carry these 'monsters' in his pocket when they weren't needed. A pokemon, who is more made of energy than a person, could fit in a tiny ball, a thing that no human could do. This allowed modern humans to thrive and build civilization. Of course, because of all of these changes, things like marriages between pokemon and human immediately stopped, and became deeply taboo. Quickly, people stopped making pokeballs out of Apricorns, and came up with modern, more efficient versions. After a few years, one of the most popular activities was having a trainer have their pokemon fight in a bloodsport known as 'Pokemon Battling'."

    She looked at me in horror.

    Maybe I laid it on too thick. Still, she has to know. Still, I should continue. "If you enter this ball, it will do one very important thing. This is in fact the only reason I am pushing it. It will prevent anyone else's pokeball from capturing you, unless they have a very illegal and rare device called a Snag Machine. That said, even without one, criminals can, by spending enough time and effort, take over a pokemon once it is in the ball. The only requirement for the basic protection is that you enter a pokeball owned by me once every five months or so, so if someone else throws a pokeball at you, it will just bounce off. Here's how they work. Don't touch it as I show you."

    I opened it, and pointed out the features.

    "If it touches you while closed, it will open up, you'll turn into a flash of light, streak into it, and it will close. Once inside, you'll be able to see out this transparent part here, and you'll think slowly, and not need to eat or drink. Once you are in there, it will 'mark' you as mine, so no other trainer could just throw a ball at you and take you. This lasts, like I said, five months. I just plan on never having you ever be in the ball except once every few months, unless you are injured and need medical care I can't give you. If you wanted to be 'freed', I would take a coin and turn a little slot on 'your' pokeball, here. As far as I can tell, nothing stops you from doing this yourself, but doing that ends the protection of the 'Capture Mark'."

    I continued, "The Control bit, which these books gloss over..."

    I looked at a blurb on the manual which said, 'Make sure to take your Pokemon out of it's ball, feed it, play with it, spend time training with it, and put it back in! The advanced features of the pokeball will help it remember what you did! If you want a pokemon to like you even more right when you capture it, be sure to try our Romantia Cityworks-brand Friend Ball, available where all Romantia Cityworks products are sold!', and scowled at it, which caused her to look at the place I was reading, causing her eyes to narrow at reading it, before I continued,

    "..is a nasty little feature that makes the pokemon want to follow the commands of the 'Trainer'. That would be me, in this case. It's not perfect, as trainers still have to treat pokemon 'well', and as near as I can tell,"

    ...Ash's Charizard, heh.

    "Pokemon of strong will can ignore it if they want. There are a few pokeballs that focus on doing more of this mind-manipulation, like the 'Friend Ball' that thing mentioned, and the illegal 'Dark Ball', which makes a pokemon into something terrible called a Shadow Pokemon. As near as I can tell though, it takes time for a pokemon in a ball to be fully 'controlled'."

    I paused and licked my lips, "So, here's what I would ask of you. Focus your will on keeping your mind your own. The ball will probably make you want to do what I say or want. Just remember... I want you to be your own person! With that thought and your mental walls up, touch the ball. It will feel weird and uncomfortable and wrong, but don't try to leave, it will distract you from the more important thing of resisting the control. After the five seconds needed to do the capture mark, I will release you, then put the ball away, and you will only have to go back if you are really hurt or five months have passed to do the mark again. Then, we can travel together, you will never have to worry about a trainer stealing you, we can have adventures, become friends, and learn things! I'll make sure you get healthy food, water, and medicine when you need it. We'll protect each other from dangers, and... I will help you come up with a name if you want it, as a reward! And then take you for sweet treats!"

    She looked at me, a bit of fear in her eyes, "Is there any way to get that capture mark bit without the control?"

    I sighed, "Yes, but not that I can get to. I don't know if the 'ancient' pokeballs would protect against a capture from a modern ball, and I don't know where to get those anyway, and I don't have a way to get a custom pokeball any time soon. And even if I did, I don't know if you could avoid capture as a 'wild' pokemon for long enough to get you to the right place. Just remember, any mind things that might happen won't last forever. And, I promise you, I will work to get to the point where I can go to one of these pokeball factories, and order a set of custom pokeballs, without the control bits, ones which you can leave whenever you want if you end up in it, so you will never have to worry about any of this again!"

    She looked at me, then at the Quick Ball I had been showing her, which I closed and set onto the ground. She slowly walked over, and then reached over as if to touch it, and stopped, looking at me. With hope and not a small amount of fear in her eyes, she asked, "Do you promise all of that? Everything you said?"

    I looked her straight in the eyes, and said, "I so swear."

    She nodded, and touched the ball. There was a flash of white light, and I could barely see her being converted into her energy form and entering the now opened ball. Quickly, crouched down over the ball, and I watched the ball rock back and forth for a moment, then a little LCD image of a Ralts showed up, the button glow and then started to fade for a moment, and I heard a small 'Ding'. An instant later, I pressed the button, causing the ball to flip open, and a white light to spring out in front of the ball, and then Ralts was there again.

    She looked at me with widened eyes. Quickly, I asked her, "Are you okay, Ralts? Do you feel any different? You don't want to do everything I say, right?"

    She blinked for a moment, then smiled softly at me before she spoke up, "I don't think so? That was weird, though. I don't want to do that again!"

    I grinned though, "Do you have any ideas for a name? I want something that you would like. Something elegant. When you are a Gardevoirs and Mega Gardevoir's are so elegant. You need a name that means elegance. Maybe.. Diamond?"

    She frowned, apparently picking up on my concept of what a Diamond was.

    Maybe telepathy is easier as we get used to each other?

    She tilted her head to the side, "That weird stone thing you are thinking of? I don't want to be named after a rock. I'm not a rocky pokemon!" I thought for a bit longer, "Okay, maybe something more natural, like... Dawn?" She thought a bit, before answering, "A sunrise? That's nice, but the name is a little short. Do you have anything else?" I thought a bit, and then grinned. "Deanna." She looked at me for a moment. "Like that...woman? She's beautiful. I like that name."

    Grinning hugely, I reached a hand down, and she grasped it tentatively. "Alright, Deanna. It's time to Raise shields, because I am going to take you into town. First, we'll go to the Pokemon Center, and then, I'm going to buy you something wonderful called a Poke Puff! Do you want some clothes? I can get you some. Maybe a backpack, even a little board that you could write Kanji on to talk to people that don't speak the Pokemon language like me, if you want!"

    She looked happy, but I got an emotion from her that she was a little overwhelmed with everything I was saying.

    I slowed my breathing for a bit, closing my eyes, "Okay, Deanna. Alright. I'm just excited. Just... follow my lead. If it gets too much, just let me know."

    We started walking toward town, and I had to slow down a bit as she walked with me. Eventually, she apparently got tired, and started teleporting short distances in front of me, then waiting as I approached, then teleporting again.

    It's less a Teleport and more a Blink, I guess. I suppose this likely isn't the Move 'Teleport', the pokedexes from the games say that Ralts teleport to get around. I'll have to ask her about it and her other moves.

    The Pokemon Center in town was actually a proper Pokemon Center, with a bored looking Doctor Joy playing Go --the board game-- with a Jigglypuff. As near as I could tell, the Jigglypuff was winning.

    This Doctor Joy looked at me and smiled, "May I help you? That's a healthy looking Ralts you have there!"

    I grinned, and nodded, "Thanks. I just caught her from wild earlier today, she's my first pokemon. She got a little scratched up, but I field treated her, and I also want to make sure she's healthy and there's nothing hidden that's wrong. I don't know if pokemon need vaccines or what?"

    The doctor smiled at me, "Already following you outside of her ball, I see. If only every trainer cared as much about their pokemon's health as you. Very well, get her in the ball so we can do a scan."

    I winced, "Uh, she doesn't like her ball. Can you do it the normal way?"

    The doctor looked at me suspiciously, "You aren't bringing a wild pokemon into my office without telling me, are you?"

    I put up my hands, "No no, she's captured, don't worry. She just doesn't like her ball. Please? She'll behave. Deanna, you behave for the doctor, she just wants to make sure you are healthy. Do what she says, alright?"

    Doctor Joy smiled patiently, and asked me to show my trainer ID and sign my name on a form before she led Deanna behind the counter, and after what seemed like forever, but was only about a half an hour, Deanna came out, led by the doctor and eating a poffin.

    "Good news mister Gaston, Deanna here has a clean bill of health. There's no parasites, you did a fantastic job patching her up, her bloodwork's clean, I made sure she's had all of her shots. You've got a very well behaved and healthy Ralts!"

    A few minutes later, as we walked to the pastry shop I had noticed earlier, I carried Deanna on my shoulders. She enjoyed the change, and I grinned at her, "If you liked the poffin, wait until you try these." I gave her two Poke Puffs for 200 pokeyen, and sat down to watch her eat them. She was hesitant at first, but after having the first bite, her eyes widened and she greedily ate the rest of them.

    Enjoying the spectacle, I asked her, "So, what are your moves?"

    She looked at me, confused, "Moves?"

    Okay, have to explain the concept of a Move.

    "Uh, humans call the sorts of actions a pokemon can do that is useful in a fight a 'move'. Think of it as kind of a special ability. I'm sure you have several, I've seen you use that mist thing. What things like that can you do?"

    She looked at me and said, "I don't know what they are called, but, uh, here."

    By now some people were staring at me and whispering, mentioning terms like 'talking' and 'Pokemon language'. I ignored them, as some concepts filtered into my mind as she visibly concentrated.

    A memory of growling at one of the Skitty's in a play fight, and it became more wary and halfhearted in a pounce
    A memory of that same Skitty stuck in a tree, meowing sadly, then swapping places with that Skitty in a blink of teleportation, then teleporting back down from the tree
    A memory of causing a light to flash, causing a Combee to fly drunkenly into a tree
    A memory of waving her arms, and causing angry, slightly hurt Combee to fly drunkenly into a rock
    A memory of using the pink-and-blue mist to hide what would have been an obvious escape blink from a Ledian
    A memory of her shadow elongating and moving in front of her, to knock an apple from a tree

    Let's see, that looks like Growl, Ally Switch, either Confuse or Confuse Ray, the other one of the two, Misty Terrain, and Shadow Sneak. What's up with her breeding, wow!

    I frowned a moment, "That's six moves. You can do all of those?"

    She looked at me, likewise confused, "Yes? I wouldn't have told you otherwise."

    I closed my eyes for a second and tried again, "No, I mean. You could do all of those moves -- today. If I asked you to."

    She shook her head, "No, I can only do four of them today. But tomorrow I could do a different four of them, if you wanted. I just have to sleep a night and then practice what I want to do a bit in the morning."

    What.

    Once again, for the umpteenth time in the day, my eyes widened.

    What. Pokemon are Vancian?

    [] The heck? Pokemon are VANCIAN? What, I mean, how does -- THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING! (Insert plan here)
     
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  12. Threadmarks: Part 9
    Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    [X] Make a note to snag some PP restores.
    [X] As the mind control aspect of pokeballs is sure to come up again, priority goes to getting less evil pokeballs. This is likely just a special order from the pokeball manufacturers, so we need to get money and find the guy who makes the local pokeballs.
    [X] Show her around town, see the sights. Look at neat shit humans have built.
    -[X] Ask about the location of some of the abandoned factories and other ruins. Rare Tech sells, and we need cash.
    -[X] At the local Pokemart ask who makes the pokeballs they sell.
    [X] Answer her questions. she is a mind reader, don't lie, just tell her when you don't know are aren't comfortable talking about something.
    -[X] Talk about cell phones and satalites. (humans are sad they aren't psychic). Try to explain the Intranets.
    -[X] Talk about actual psychic type humans... You live in a world with Psykers now. Weird.
    -[X] Do your best to explain what you know about the history of the pokemon world. As stories. Arceus. Blam! Giratina... nope. Regigigas is a cool dude though. Mew and Mew two also kick ass. (You met an actual god. These mythologies are now very likely your facts. Think about how Mew is probably the progenitor of the human race, including you.)
    -[X] See if you can steer her into talking about her own past. Any topic will do. Like what brought her out into a human construction site?
    [X] Head to the next Pokemon + train and learn info along the way?


    So, Pokemon are Vancian. I guess that answers the question of why the games limited them to four moves, and the movies and manga and anime didn't? Or at least they didn't focus overly much on the continuity of it outside of the games. I'll need to see if this is a hard and fast rule, or if it can be overcome. Mmmm, more research is needed. I also need to know if PP is a thing, she implied it was, but I should check.

    After she had a bit of water to wash down the last bit of the pastry, I spoke up, "So... you get tired after using these abilities too much? You have a limited amount of, uh, Power for them, yes? You can't just do these moves over and over again, right?"

    She looked at me like I was asking what color the sky was, and I quickly added, "Humor me, please. I promise you when I'm ready, you'll know why I ask weird questions like this."

    She turned her head like she was making sure I was telling the truth, and stared at me, "You promise? You'll explain all the weirdness?"

    I quickly nodded, and looked her in the eye. She seemed to take that well enough, and said, "Yes, I can't do these moves all that much. A few times, before needing to rest for a bit." Carefully I asked my second question, "So do you wear out each move on it's own, like it has it's own fatigue amount for that particular move, or do you get too worn out in general to do any difficult move?"

    She visibly tried to parse the question, then responded, "The second one. Once I'm tired, I'm too tired to do anything. It doesn't matter if I've been doing the bit with the shadow or anything else."

    I thought a bit, and commented, "You interacted with some other pokemon in a friendly way, from your memories. Do you think other pokemon acted the same way? Er, were acting under the same limits? You know, Four moves available at a time, each move based on fatigue overall, never ultimately forget any moves, and all of that?"

    She thought a bit, then answered with a, "I suppose so. I mean I didn't ask, but Mama Delcatty seemed to be doing the same?"

    So she uses a general energy or mana pool as well. And whatever is different for her is provisionally not, 'being more like the games than others'. Interesting. I guess a PP Restore is more a Mana Potion instead? Or just an energy drink?

    Eventually, she finished her meal, and we left to travel around Sandalwood City. I began to point out the different aspects of the city. There was a market area, with a number of shops, including a shop that seemed dedicated to sporting equipment, where I found the nifty looking off-road rollerblades. There was the gym, the broad boulevards, the fountains, and a place for imported clothing. I looked at my remaining Pokeyen, and then made a decision.

    Quickly, I found what I wanted, and noticed that it would take about 3000 pokeyen. That would be about a fourth of my remaining money, but I could always get more.

    Worth it, though. This is important that I do this.

    Before I went and made the purchases, I stopped and turned to Deanna, and told her, "I'd like you to make the purchase. These notes are money. They have value, and can be traded for goods and services at a shop. See these tags here? They show the price of these items. Also, it's probably rude to use Telepathy on someone without their permission, so I'd like you to use this pen and my notebook to write what you want to say to the person up front to buy it, alright?"

    She nodded, and we walked up to the clerk, and I handed her the items. She carefully teleported them and herself up to the counter, as the clerk, a young woman just out of her teens, confusedly took the purchase from a pokemon. When she was done, Deanna did the cutest little bow in respect, and then hopped over to me, presenting me with the items.

    I grinned, "The reason I had you do that, is that those items are yours, Deanna. And here's another ₽3000 of your own. That backpack, the little dry erase board, that eraser and those dry erase markers are all yours to do with as you want. You want some food, clothes, or anything you can afford and carry? Go ahead. With that, you'll be able to communicate with any human that can read. You don't have to bring your purchases to me or ask for permission or show me what you buy or anything. If you can earn money of your own, that's great too."

    She looked at me in what I could only consider awe, as she realized the power I had given her, and then smiled broadly. I helped her fit the tiny backpack to her arms, and place everything inside it.

    Only ₽6000 left. Enough to do this same with the next Pokemon in this region, which we will have to go find and help.

    Afterwards, I asked the clerk, "Uh, where do the Pokeballs you all sell come from?" She responded with a, "Oh! They're all local to Kalos. No imported balls here! They're from Romantia Cityworks. It's a city-owned factory in Romantia City, of course!"

    I thanked the clerk for helping me teach my Pokemon an important skill, and we left to wander the city a bit more. As we continued, I made a bit more conversation, "Say, do you mind me telling you which moves to use tomorrow? Now that we are travelling together, we need to coordinate this. Oh! One important thing. If you think it is very important to use Ally Switch on me, you can do that without asking. I give you permission ahead of time. Same goes for any other move if you think it's needed right then to protect my life or limb."

    As we walked around, I decided to explain some of what I saw, with the buildings and the houses. Eventually, I decided that I had to explain quite a lot of topics to her, to get those 'out of the way quickly.' With a note of hesitation, I spoke up, "So, uh, there's a lot of things I think are important for you to know. I'm not good at explaining things to the very young. Um. But I have a lot to say. Uhh... when I talk to you, you are getting some of it from words, and some from my mind, right? Could you... for the next few minutes, try to grasp the intent and concepts and understandings as I get to the weird stuff?"

    She smiled, and I got the sense of a connection as she sat closer to me, so I started with the first thing to come to my mind, the actual link. "Humans mostly aren't telepathic. There are a few that are, and I think I might be-- I would like to try and learn more psychic powers with you sometime. I don't really know how much you are enabling all of this between us, or if I myself am actually doing something too. I guess that would have to be after you master that aspect of your powers more, so you can teach me a bit? Is that presuming too much? Argh, I don't know. But I do want to help you train, and reach your potential! But, uh, my point. Since humans can't use their thoughts to communicate from far away, and can't usually teleport, they use their science to make technology to be useful. Each of these cities has built tools to let people talk and message one another from across the city. They have things called a Cellular Network and an Intranet. My computer here can use this headset and this program to make 'phone calls' using the 'cellular network' to talk to someone elsewhere in the city. It can even use the city's 'Wifi' to connect to it's 'Intranet' to see these pages people have set up. Like that Butcher's Shop we just walked past? They are having a Sale on... 'Pre-Seasoned filets of Cuy, Caterpie, and Magicarp?"

    I swallowed for a moment.

    I need to look into which pokemon are considered sentient or not, and to what extent there are normal animals around. Isn't Cuy Guinea Pig? Shouldn't that be Swinub, they are sort of Pokemon style guinea pig? The whole meat eating bit, is a bit of a mystery to solve later. I'm not one for cannibalism--er, xenophagy. But she doesn't seem overly alarmed at the idea, somehow.

    I continued, remembering one of the books I had skimmed through, "And wealthy people can even, on a clear day, use 'satellite phones' built into their computers to communicate between cities without having to go there. And in places where they can keep then working, people make devices like trains and make highways to use vehicles like cars on to quickly get from place to place. It's more than just this Trolley line that goes from one side of town to the other, humans often have greater things like that between cities too. Uh, that doesn't mean that there aren't psychic humans, who can do things like levitate items or read minds. In fact, there's a specialist trainer of psychic pokemon in Anistar--"

    Wait, the city names are different. I should check my map.

    I paused a bit to check the map for the city that seemed to be in the same location. "--I mean Fluxus City. The leader of that gym, Olympia, is herself psychic. That's one of those rare human psychics I was talking about earlier."

    Still, she seemed interested in what I had to say, and was looking at me intently, so I continued.

    "What else. You should know a bit about the world you live in. You live on a world with many regions, which each has their own mythology and history. It's a planet -- a round hunk of rock -- which is travelling around the sun in Space. There are various sorts of worlds that are other linked to this one in various ways, like other timelines, where different choices were made at some point in the past. It has five closely linked universes; the universe which has our physical world; a realm for the creator god, a realm for his two assistants, a heaven for most dead to have an afterlife, and a Hell -- a dark Distortion Realm for punishing the souls of the wicked. Beyond this, there are other places that don't fit into the category of those five, or the alternate timeline, like a version of the world with only pokemon and no humans on it, yet another alternate universe with different geography, and at least one strange place where strange, beastly pokemon that don't fit the pattern of the others in this universe come from. As far as the history of this, that's, in a large part, the history of various Legendary and Mythical pokemon, which I am calling 'Gods' due to their power and how they often run some part of the natural world."

    She continued to look at me intently, making no motion that she didn't understand anything, so I continued, "So this world, this universe was first created by a being called Arceus, which hatched out of an egg. Where that egg came from, there are some theories that it was a group of pokemon called the Unown, who might have been around before Arceus. He created the first gods to help him create everything -- Dialga, god of time, Palkia, god of space, and Giratina, god of either Antimatter or Gravity or perhaps just Dark Matter. There were later many, many more gods, and a long and complicated history of them. There are several god pokemon of different concepts, like of Life and Death, or Light and Darkness, or Order, or Weather, or concepts like Willpower, Knowledge, or Emotion, or even weirder ideas like Culture, Purity, or Victory. Of these, your direct ancestor was probably originally a Mew, of which there used to be many more than there are today, before they permanently shapechanged into a particular sort of Pokemon. It's possible that my ancestor is even a Mew, or possibly Tapu Lele, though I'm not actually a Pokemon. There's a few patterns to these legends, like how gods tend to be in duos or trios, and there is often a 'master' of the more quarrelsome gods, who keeps them in line. If you actually wanted to venerate a Mythical or a Legendary pokemon, I would suggest... mmm. Maybe Jirachi, god of hope, or Meloetta, god of culture and music, or one of the Lake Guardians: Uxie, god of knowledge, Mesprit, god of emotion, or Azelf, god of willpower. Or you could venerate the memory of the specific Mew that was your ancestor. Other than that, there are six Mythical and Legendary Pokemon of note in this region: Xerneas, a Nature god of life, Yveltal, a Nature god of Death, Zygarde, a Nature god of Order; Diance, a god of Gems, Hoopa, a god of Mischief and Spatial Warps, and Volcanion, a god of Steam. Oh! I just heard that there were several Articuno in the area. Articuno is a god of Icy Seas, or perhaps just a particular Icy Sea, if there's lots of them now."

    I looked over to her. She was panting, as if she were tired. I blinked, and looked at her in concern. "Sorry! I get carried away! Are you alright?"

    She beamed at me, still panting, "It was tiring to follow along with all of that. Taking the concepts from your mind took a lot out of me! But I think I got it. Though, why didn't you tell me about your own history? I could tell that you were about to ask about mine!"

    My mouth gaped a bit, and I stammered, "I'm... not really ready to say that, beyond Giratina giving me this quest, yet. And I don't want to lie and make something up!"

    She looked at me, and I felt her staring into my soul, "Well then, when you're willing to tell me, I'll tell you."

    I suppose that's fair. We don't have that great of a bond yet. Something to work on! Speaking of working on things, mmm, I should strategize. She doesn't have Double Team or Teleport, and Ralts has some of the weakest stats of any pokemon. She's, what, level 5, 6 maybe, depending on the version? She's probably an absolutely exceptional Ralts, and she has fantastic egg moves, but that only goes so far. Even with perfect...genes, I guess I should call them genes now, that's not too safe to travel yet.

    After letting her catch her breath for a bit, I asked. "So, Deanna. What moves do you have prepared right now? I think we should go toward that other pokemon on my 'quest' in the area, so you two can work and learn together."

    She gave me the image of the Combee again, and before she went to the next move, I quickly spoke up and asked, "Is that the one that causes a little bit of harm directly? Because you have two moves which confuse enemies."

    She thought for a moment, apparently searching her memories, and then said, "It's the one that actually hurts them."

    I grinned, "Okay, that's known as 'Confusion'. That's a good move, what else?"

    Deanna continued to show me the dark Shadow move, and I quickly named it for her as "Shadow Sneak", and then she showed me the mist, which I called "Misty Terrain", and then she played me the memory of Growling, which I named "Growl" for her.

    After that was done, I continued, "So I want to see how you would fight on your own, as a baseline. If you have to fight and don't think you can run, I mean. And pretend I'm not there and can't help, I need to know how this would normally have worked without me being here. Do you think you can do that?"

    When she nodded, I continued, "I think we should start travelling to Couriway Town soon -- er, I guess they call it..."

    I checked, "Uh, Mosaic Bridge. Not only is that close to a Psychic trainer, it's close to the other Pokemon on my quest here in Kalos. Then, when we've trained up together a bit, we can go find some places to scavenge. I think this region should be full of abandoned areas, places where people tried to put a factory or power plant or whatever and it got destroyed by angry Pokemon. There's probably at least copper wires and copper pipes to salvage, if nothing else. Though I'll probably need something better to make money somehow, or find a really good abandoned place to loot and sell."

    I grinned to her, and shouldered my bag, and after a bit of a breather, we set off -- back the way I had come with the caravan.

    Of course, it will take days to get through these routes, especially if we are taking time to train or have her show me the other moves. Hey! I think I see a dead tree, and she looks a little distracted, so now's a good a time as any, I suppose.

    "Deanna! That dead tree is our designated enemy like we talked about! Go!"

    In a flash, she sprung into action, sprinting toward the tree, while I made certain to watch her moves. She opened with a Misty Terrain, and started doing what I could only describe as 'Skirmishing'. She would run into the mist, do a Shadow Sneak, run back out, mix it with some quick Blinks for repositioning, and do things like move to run one direction but Blink to attack from another, using the mist for extra concealment.

    An interesting feint, good.

    Sometimes, she would mix it up with adding a Confusion -- but she mostly didn't seem to use Growl at all.

    It looks like, though there is some variability in where you can move a Shadow Sneak, it seems like it's only good to attack if you are attacking vaguely from the direction that light would cast the shadow normally. It's more mutable than a normal shadow, but it does limit the angles still. Interesting.

    As she was getting into a bit of a rhythm, I jogged closer to the tree -- by this point, looking much worse for the wear -- and pointed my flashlight at her with a click.

    To her credit, she immediately started mixing up the direction of the attacks using Shadow Sneak to come from the direction the light enabled as well.

    "Alright, that's enough!"

    She's panting.. no, she's not just panting, she is really exhausted. I think we need more endurance training!

    I grinned at her, and gave her some water, which she greedily gulped. "You did great, but there's a mistake you are making. One thing about Misty Terrain, it does more than just give you some concealment. It also makes Confusion not actually confuse anyone in it's area. Even though the chance isn't already that great normally, the Mist puts that chance down to zero. So if you are going to use Confusion, use it before the creature is surrounded by Misty Terrain on the off chance it'll work! Other than that, you did great! That skirmishing and the feinting and the misdirecting which direction you were coming from, it was great! We just need to spend some time exercising -- both physically, and your magic, to get you more endurance. I think you need a really good damaging attack, like Psyshock, which we could get from a thing called a 'Technical Machine', to give you the skill. I'll have to see if I can get that from the psychic trainer for you."

    The first day of travel was otherwise uneventful, other than teaching her some table manners and how to handle hygiene while camping. The morning of the second day, I told her what moves to use after resting, and it was that day we were attacked.


    VOTING BY MOVE. The top four individual moves with the most votes will be chosen

    [X] Ally Switch
    [X] Confuse Ray
    [X] Confusion
    [X] Growl
    [X] Misty Terrain
    [X] Shadow Sneak

    -[X] Any particular plans of things to talk to her about? Any plans on what to focus on while walking to the next town? Any training techniques that should be used on the way?
     
  13. Threadmarks: Part 10
    Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    [X] Misty Terrain
    [X] Confuse Ray
    [X] Confusion
    [X] Shadow Sneak

    [X]Try to talk and bond to her as a fellow sentient. Maybe play a RPG with her.



    The first I realized something was wrong is when I heard her look and point to the side of the road and scream, with a screech of alarm, "Danger! We're being attacked!"

    Without thinking about it, I put myself between the attacker and her. Then, I was hit by a firehose and knocked over.

    As I picked myself up and drew Iron Tail from my belt holster and dropped my backpack, thoughts came unbidden to me, one after another.

    Ooof. That's going to leave some bruises. How does this go again? 'You have been waylaid by enemies and must defend yourself!' Argh, focus! It looks like that's a Psyduck, and Deanna seems alright. But I can't let it get one of those off toward her she's no-where near tough enough to tank that! At least she's alright, so that wasn't a Water Pulse--that means the creature isn't THAT powerful. Ugh, it's going to resist Iron Tail. Nothing for it!

    I shouted toward Deanna, "I'll tank and distract it! Hit it with Confusion and don't stop! Don't let it touch you!"

    I sensed a, "Right!" coming from Deanna, and while I don't know if I heard it or just felt it, I still charged and screamed at the Psyduck with a "YAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!". It stepped back a moment, apparently taken aback at my actions and noise.

    Dunno whether that counts as a Growl or a Screech and I don't care! Here we go!

    I slammed the hammer into the Psyduck, which was pushed back a bit, it's flippers scraping back on the dirt. It did it's four-note screech that resembled half from a normal duck and half the cry from the games, angrily at me.

    The hammer didn't glow or anything. And the psyduck isn't that harmed. Either this isn't quite the power level of a full on Iron Tail, or I'm weaker than I thought, or it's a simple case of this not being very effective due to typing. Still, I'm in it's face, I can maybe prevent it from targeting her with that water.

    I snarled at it, "What, your mother teach you to speak like that, Psyfreak?"

    That was when the first light of a Confusion hit it, knocking it down. It looked over at her for a moment, and then I pushed my hammer at it with a, "Hey! I'm right here!" and then a quick feint at it with the hammer. With a snarl, it leaped at me, and suddenly I was looking upward at it and my torso and arms were full of blinding pain, and it was all I could do to hold it off with Iron Tail.

    Shit, those are Fury Swipes, aaarrghh!

    Desperately, I hammered at it, having apparently lost the hammer in the wrestling, punching it in the head, until another Confusion slammed into it, and it staggered away from me, holding it's head, beginning to flee. My eyes widened, and I staggered to my feet and started to try to get away from it.

    Oh shit, it's holding it's head, gotta get out of here, I can't take another---

    I saw a pink light and a glow from it's eyes as the uncontrolled Confusion attack began to radiate out from it, with a shadow placing itself between me and it, and then I was laying down on my back again, without any memory of an actual fall.

    Ooof. I really really don't want to get up right now. I'm just gonna lie here a bit.

    I was half-aware of Deanna walking up to me. She tried to lift me up to position me or something, I couldn't tell what she was doing, and I cried out.

    I need to treat you. Stay still and don't move any.

    "Mnot goin anywhere."

    I watched in not a little bit of apprehension as she teleported to my backpack, retrieved several things, and teleported back. It was her shadow sneak which actually cut my shirt open, and she poured the distilled saline water on my wounds, then placed antiseptic wipes, and then sprayed a potion spray on them. I grinned at her and chuckled, and then stopped when I realized how much that hurt.

    She started to offer me an Oran Berry and I thought to her, 'No no. Only pokemon get much better when they eat that. Just some normal food and water is fine.'

    My eyes widened as I watched her flip the laptop open, tentatively move a cursor over to the storage, and remove some chow and drinking water from storage, then bring it over to me, carefully feeding me from my stores.

    She saw me do this all of once, and I didn't explain what I was doing or anything. She's... she's so smart!

    She looked at me with a grin, and I could somehow tell she was blushing under her fur. After a few minutes, I sat up slowly, and gingerly stood up from there.

    "Thank you, Deanna. You were amazing. But, after I feel a bit better... I think we need to train. I think I know the next two moves that you should be able to train, and both of those would help us out a lot. Plus some of that endurance training we were talking about earlier. With a bit of experience and a little luck, you'll be well on your way to being a Kirlia!"

    Her eyes lit up, and she told me, "I'd like that! I would love to be bigger and more able to do things. You thought that Ralts were weak Pokemon earlier, I know."

    My eyes widened and a squeak apparently escaped my mouth. She just smiled and rolled her eyes, and said to me, "No, no. I know you didn't mean for me to hear that. I didn't mean to listen to a private thought like that, but... You're right. My body doesn't do what I want it to yet. But I'll be happy if you can help me be better!"

    My eyes teared up a little. "I would like nothing more than to help you be your greatest! I... thank you so much, you are the best friend a.. I... can I hug you?"

    She looked at me, and then teleported into my arms. I gave her a gentle hug, and she warmed--literally as well-- to the embrace. I gently petted her fur, and ran a finger over her horn.

    A part of me can't stop analyzing everything, heh. Well, it's Keratin, sort of like Rhino--er, Rhyhorn, but I guess the thing that makes it red ties in to her powers somehow. Her fur's very soft, I should help her brush it. I think I have a brush somewhere.

    For an instant I blinked, and she wasn't furred, but she was feathered, and the bowl-hear was crested rather than a full bowl cut again. And her feet had obvious bird talons rather than the sort of shapeless blob of furry legs that looked like a nightgown -- instead, it was her feathers that formed what looked somewhat like a nightgown behind her thinner, more functional legs, with wing-arms with fingers at the ends of them rather than, again, formless blobs. And there was, I noticed, a little blood caked in some of her feathers and down. She looked at me for a moment, and then tilted her head, then looked at the end of an arm, and touched the end of one arm to another, then looked at my eyes.

    Softly, she said, "What?"

    Then, she was back to 'normal'.

    I spoke up, quietly, "I... don't know what that was. It's been happening a lot. I see pokemon look different sometimes."

    She was pensive for a moment, then added, "I could tell in your mind that you saw me as different. But when I checked, I still looked the same to myself, and I didn't feel any different, there weren't any fingers. And... you have an idea why that might be happening, don't you? No, you have a guess. It's okay if you still don't want to tell me yet."

    I closed my eyes for a second and sighed, "No, no. You fought by my side, we saved each other's lives, and you saw some of the strange things that happened. And have no doubt noticed other weird things, and will continue to do so. I do need to tell you more, I just don't know how much it is wise to say right now. Please, let me think with some privacy for a moment."




    [] Tell her that there are other, stranger worlds and you are from one. One without magic, and with more laws of biology, more distant than the ones you heard as being linked to here. These laws would say that she should look a bit more like that vision, in order to be a viable creature. What is causing that to show up, though...

    -[] Tell her the above, and also about pokemon being fictional where you came from, and that's why you are getting some of the terms, like city names wrong sometimes
    --[] Lessen that blow via saying....what, exactly? (Insert ideas here)
    -[] DON'T mention that part. Nothing good can come of that

    -[] Explain that when Giratina found you, he took offense to your viewpoint and perspective, and put you under a magical geas. To the best of your knowledge, it is to make sure you don't mess the world up, but he could've done something else too
    --[] Anything else to add here (what?)
    -[] Better not talk about weird god magics, that could intimidate her!

    Or...

    [] Be vague in general. Explain just how you woke up in a strange bed, and some of your knowledge of things here seems right and some seems wrong, and you have a sense of what should and shouldn't be biologically plausible based on... what a part of you thinks an animal should look like, and sometimes you see pokemon looking like that, once in a while. It might be related to your encounter with Giratina


    When it comes time to training, though...

    [] Submit a training plan for what to focus on during the journey!
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  14. Threadmarks: Part 11
    Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    [X] Tell her that there are other, stranger worlds and you are from one. One without magic, and with more laws of biology, more distant than the ones you heard as being linked to here. Where nature dictates that she should look a bit more like that vision, in order to be a more viable creature. Hopefully it stays visions and does not progress to affecting reality.
    -[X] DON'T mention the fictional part. You aren't ready and she probably is not either. Also apologize for keeping things from her.
    --[X] At least let her know that it's something regarding the nature of reality and the universe that you are still grappling with for now, and that there are things beyond our limited viewpoint.
    [X] Explain that when Giratina found you, he took offense to your viewpoint and perspective, and put you under a magical geas. To the best of your knowledge, it is to make sure you don't mess the world up, but he could've done something else too.
    -[X] He seemed to think my world was a terrible place though, I dont think he would try to bring its rules here.
    -[X] My world... It is beautiful, and wonderful, titanic forests, billions, upon billions of unique animals. Wonders, natural and man made. It is sadly also incredibly brutal and unforgiving. Death happens quickly and often, especially in the wild. Here is so... different, everything is a lot tougher for example, in my old world a strong water gun would give me severe bruising, and maybe cracked a few bones if I was unlucky. In this one a human being can survive fire breath capable of melting stone, somehow. There also aren't any pokemon, just humans, and non intelligent animals. Believe me we checked, Humanity has looked from the deepest ocean trenches, to the highest mountain peaks, the furthest corners of the globe, and even on the surface of the moon. We even looked at other planets using robots, they dont even have life sadly. Your universe is rich in life, though. Pokemon like Clefairy come from the moon, and Deoxys was made from cells stuck in a meteorite.
    -[X] Investigate the Victory Road building for the Dragon Plate

    [X] Training Goals:
    -[X] Collect useful items like berries as you go.
    -[X] Come up with agreements for useful things to do in various 'standard' scenarios.
    -[X] Do physical fitness training
    -[X] Experiment with variations on moves, or using powers yourself (Ki/Chi/Qi?)
    -[X] Experiment with the limitations of moves and battling
    -[X] Remember defenses against moves, both you and her defending


    She waited patiently as I considered what to tell her. Eventually, I spoke up, my voice soft.

    "There are other worlds, other universes than the ones I mentioned. Ones that are further away, which have nothing to do w ith the world of pokemon. They have different physical laws, and different laws of magic. Some of them don't have magic at all -- no psychic powers, no internal life force, no ghosts, nothing. They often have different laws of biology and anatomy. I come from one of those worlds; one without magic. Because of that, though, I don't know how I got here -- no magic from an external world should have worked there... I just woke up one day in this world, knowing the language. But an important aspect of my world is that it had different laws of biology and anatomy. There, there were only normal animals, and no pokemon."

    I looked down at the ground, for the first time, truly looking. I picked something up, and watched it crawl over my hands "Like this ant. You would see an ant like this in my world, but no pokemon. You'd see a cat which couldn't talk or think rather than a Skitty." I flicked the ant back into the grass, and watched it scurry away, then continued. "The way biologgy is different in my world is that... since there are no pokemon, there's no 'pokemon exceptions'; every animal has to have animal anatomy to function as an animal. And for a moment, you looked like a, er, I hesitate to call it 'more realistic', but you know what I am trying to say when I say that?"

    She nodded, and I continued, "More fitting with the rules of my world, I guess. Or to the rules of this world, if you followed the rules of biology for an animal or a human rather than a pokemon, which seems to be more exception based. Another thing, I think creatures here might be more durable. I mean, look at this!" I said, taking off my shirt to point out what I meant, as now we had camped together and discussed hygeine and grooming, so I wasn't too worried about modesty. "I'm not sure why or how, but if I was hit with that blast of water like that at my previous world, I'd have major bruising, my entire chest would be a mass of bruises, not this one tiny bruise I have. I might even have some cracked ribs or something! I think this might have something to do with how I saw more injuries on you when I first saw you in the other form, at the pipe, maybe?"

    As I put my shirt back on, she commented, "I didn't feel any more injured or odd at the pipe, not even for a moment. It seems like an illusion, maybe?"

    I grunted, and continued, "I dunno. That's yet another thing that causes me to question fundamental aspects of the nature of reality and existence here. I suppose I can tell you some basic: the secret I can't go into detail about yet is something else on the topic of 'the nature of reality and existence'. I still need to grapple with it a bit more, before I can share it, okay?"

    She looked at me with concern, and then spoke up, "Whatever it is, I won't judge you if you do or don't say it. But maybe, if you do say it, I could help you talk about it if you want? It looks like this idea is hard on you, and it doesn't have to be!"

    I smiled, and then chuckled in relief, "Thanks. I really appreciate that. But for now, this is my burden, okay?"

    After a bit, I continued, "When I woke up in my room, the god Giratina looked into my mind, secret and all. He didn't like what he saw, either of my world, or my personality, or my assumptions... so to compel me to behave, he put me under a Geas." I made sure to pronounce it as the Gaelic 'Gesh'; the Japanese language in my head didn't seem to have an equivalent, 'Gesu' or 'Geshu' didn't have the same meaning. I noticed something, and grinned.

    And there she's taking the concept of what I mean when I say 'a Geas' from my head. Deanna, you should know you tilt your head when you do that. It's a tell you might want to work on.

    As she blushed, I continued, "As near as I can tell, it was either so I don't mess something up with this world, or just so I do what he says. Which is fine, I don't mind doing it, but he didn't have to be a jerk about it. He told me to befriend, train, and help you and five other pokemon in particular, and that doing that would help me follow one of my specific dreams, and not the other."

    She took the prompt, "And what dreams were those?"`

    Leaning back, I answered, "Well, the one dream is to become a Wizard. Or a magic user. I touched on this earlier, but in my world, there aren't any psychic humans, or any humans that can use Aura, or any of the other version of Chi, or anything else. I've always wanted to magically make changes to the world with only the force of my will and a little expertise, to be able to do greater, grander things than any normal human could do! And Giratina saw that I would be very interested in learning if I can practice all the sorts of magic that can be found here. You see, each type of Pokemon has some moves that could only be described as magical or mystical or supernatural. Like, a Fire type pokemon couldn't possibly produce as much flame as they can with only chemical reactions from the food they eat. Where does the heat come from? Some sort of internal magic! And here, humans -- or at least some humans, can learn these abilities. We could teach each other, and learn together! You'd be best at Psychic and Fairy magic, and maybe I could learn some of that, but there is a huge variety of what you can learn though -- and the Noibat, he or she would have access to magic of Air and Noise and Dragonfury!"

    She looked excited at the prospect, and clapped, "I'll teach you everything I can, Edgar! But I don't really know how I do what I do yet, I just do it."

    I gave her a hug, and she hugged back, "We can worry about that later, okay? Uhm. Right, more stuff. Legendaries, there's so much to cover! Uh, you should be very aware of when a pokemon is a bad matchup to you. Both pokemon and any move a pokemon has is categorized as one of eighteen 'types'. Some pokemon, like you, have two 'types'. This shows what sorts of moves are more or less or even impossible to hurt you. And it also shows what moves you will have... I don't know what the books call it, I'd have to get them out, but I always called it STAB. Same Type Attack Bonus. Which means that you, being a Psychic and Fairy type pokemon, will hit extra hard for Psychic or Fairy type moves that do harm."

    She considered for a moment, then responded, "But there's nothing stopping me from being good at the other types? If Misty Terrain is what it feels like to do a Fairy move, and Confusion is what it feels like to do a psychic move, which would make sense... than most of my other moves don't feel like that at all, so probably aren't those types, right?"

    I nodded, "That sounds about right, but I don't know if the feel of a move really corresponds to it's type. The typing of a move is related to it's effect and whether a pokemon will be strong or weak to it, more than anything. It's the reason a balanced team to cover each other's weaknesses is so important in pokemon battling. Humans haven't really been able to talk to pokemon that much to figure out the powers that go into a move, unfortunately. The important thing to realize is you will hit harder with Psychic and Fairy Moves, and you should be able to manage a perfect defense against Dragon type moves due your fairy nature, and a solid defense against Fighting and Psychic moves, and any pokemon with Poison type, Ghost type, or Steel type moves would do you extra harm. For example, if you can see through a pokemon, or it has some metal parts to hit you with, be wary. Offensively, your Psychic moves don't affect Dark-type pokemon at all, and are weak against other Psychic type pokemon, and your Fairy type moves are weak offensively against Fire, Poison, and Steel type pokemon. Don't worry if you can't remember all this, there's a chart I can make."

    She smiles, "That makes sense! So what are these other moves you mentioned I could learn? Maybe if I learned a whole lot of Psychic moves, I would have a better idea on what doing Psychic things is like in general? That might help me teach you!"

    I calmed down for a little bit, and thought for a moment, "The next moves you should be able to learn are Double Team, which somehow creates illusionary copies of yourself, but is still Normal typed. Then there's Teleport, which is a longer range version of your existing Blink, and can carry others with it. Then there's Disarming Voice, which is a Fairy-typed noise attack that has some sort of visual effect to go with it, like hearts or notes, and deals some kind of 'emotional damage' that still does actual harm. I would say we should start with Teleport, since you can already Blink, so that should be easiest. So first step! We should do science on your teleportation, to figure out it's utility, and get you practice with it by using it a lot in new ways. We can do things like, ohhh: see how far you actually can blink, whether you have to see where you're going to blink or can use memory, how much you can carry, whether you conserve momentum or can blink into or out of the air or water, or blink out of restraints or not, whether you go somewhere else or it takes any noticeable time to Blink, and practice that! If you have any instincts or something inside saying that trying something is unsafe, let me know! It's probably a hint."

    So as we traveled, we trained. It turned out that Blink could, so far, go about fifty feet, that anything she could carry, she could take with her, that even though I was outside her weight range, I could still go with her, but she couldn't blink a rock beyond her carry weight unless I myself was carrying it; that she could blink while jumping, that it deposited her in a place she could see or could clearly remember, and she could blink into and out of air and water without issue, and that she could blink to somewhere she couldn't see or hadn't been to as long as it was a wide open space and she could clearly imagine what it should look like, that merely defacing a familiar place wouldn't prevent blinking to it, and most importantly, she could conserve momentum, but only if she was actually trying to and took extra time to do so. Whenever she teleported herself or me, there didn't seem to be any noticeable time, nor was there any sense of being elsewhere; we were just at one place, and then another. She could teleport out of restraints, but not clothes, and any restraints that were so thorough that it might as well be clothing, she couldn't teleport out of, though she could bring it with her if it was not otherwise attached to something. Further, 'fancier' things like conserving momentum, or leaving restraints behind, or going to a place that had been defaced, or going into or out of water, seemed to not only require more 'energy', but focus and concentration and the effect was slower, so the actual mental preparation for the teleport took longer, and she needed to rest for longer after doing one of the greater feats.

    There goes some of the ideas about fighting like Nightcrawler, Blink... or Chell. At least for now. Maybe later.

    While I walked her through experiments, keeping track of the time and the results, I spent some time exercising. Pushups, sit-ups, lunges, jumping jacks, crunches, squats, leg lifts, jogging in place, some quick sprints; I was mostly trying to remember everything I could think of rather than do a specific regimen. Eventually, she started joining me. After we both had to take a break for some water, I spoke up, "Try to make a Double Team, or Shadow Clone, or Shadow Doppelganger, or whatever you call it. I don't know how it's done; you might have to be moving to do it, or you can maybe do it while stationary. Maybe they're see through, maybe not. Maybe it's just one other, maybe they're in groups of two and you can make several clones."

    While she practiced, I decided to start meditating.

    Maybe I have some internal powers. Psychic Energy from the mind? Aura, maybe, from the soul or the heart? Maybe I could sense things, feel the ground or the air. Most powers in the show were described as coming from life. I should try and feel life, or emotion. Since I live in a world where this exists, I should be able to notice...something? I... is that my imagination? I think there's something to this... or somethings? I feel-

    "I did it!"

    It was Deanna who said it, out loud this time, with a cheerful-sounding pokemon cry. As I opened my eyes, there were two of her there. Neither was transparent, and both were looking at me. I immediately noticed that one was fake, and turned to the real one. Her grin faltered a little, and my smirk increased, so I answered the obvious question.

    "The other you wasn't breathing. Which is fine, this is an illusionary copy, you shouldn't be trying to get exact duplication. The idea is that this is for combat, to immediately press the attack or otherwise give the enemy something else to think of. But I'm glad you did it. Anyway, we should get a move on."

    I couldn't work out a way to safely practice defending against Confusion or Confuse Ray, and after the ray successfully confused me three out of three times, I put a stop to that. Instead, we walked and foraged, extending our food supplies. We practiced keeping in telepathic contact, and when she was trying to not maintain contact, I determined that the range in which I could initiate telepathic contact with her blindfolded was ten feet, but hers was out to fifty feet.

    Seems like she's doing the heavy lifting with our telepathy.

    By the next day, we had made our way to Victory Road, which was still closed as it was not Tournament season. The whole place was locked up, but I easily hopped the fence. I hadn't found the waterfall that was in the games in this area, despite half a day searching in what I thought was the appropriate place, where we also practiced swimming. It turns out she was a relatively capable swimmer, once I showed her the basics. Which left only the actual Pokemon League building for the likely place of the Draco Plate, which was far more thoroughly locked than I could easily get into. The shows had often showed it in a temple or similar, and this was the nearest. If I could go all Indiana Jones on it. I boosted Deanna up so she could see in a few of the windows, and then she teleported me into the room that we determined was the Dragon chamber, the place most likely to have it.

    I turned on my flashlight, and then the last thing I expected, happened.

    A chuckle echoed from everywhere and nowhere, all at once.

    "Did you really expect to find it, here, Edgar? You know the games don't exactly match here. And even if they did, Calem or Serena already took it. Or don't you remember?"

    That voice is in English! And, I know that accent, that echo... Q? That's John De Lancie's voice! The hell? Better hold my cards closely, I don't want to give too much away.

    If it' is Q, I should get him talking about himself, he loves that.

    I spoke, hesitantly, "Who are you? And what's going on here?"

    Q responded, a tone of false hurt in his voice, still not visually showing himself, "Why, my third favorite dimensionally displaced interloper doesn't remember me? I'm wounded, truly I am! Surely you remembered the shows, didn't you?"

    Before I spoke, it was Deanna who stood in front of me, as if to protect me, and shouted at the darkness, "Show yourself like he asked! And stop playing games!"

    Huh, she can understand him? I'm hearing this as English. Questions for later.

    Q did finally show himself, dressed as a Pokemon Ranger, suddenly there when I turned, "Ahhh, so this must be the Deanna I have heard about. Frankly, I don't see the resemblance to the Deanna I know, but there's no accounting for the sentimentality of you humans, is there?"

    I chuckled as I stepped back, looking up at him, increasing the space between us two and him, "And I suppose my memories of the 'Historical Documents' didn't match what you remember in the specifics either?"

    He responded, "Yes, they could never get the sheer charm and charisma of my coiffure, quite correct. And it's not like I could pop over and tell them. Continuum rules about read-only universes, you see. But waiiit a minute. You haven't told her, have you? That's why you made the Galaxy Quest reference, hmmm?"

    I stiffened and Deanna took the chance to step up, forcefully asserting, "No, he hasn't told me whatever insights about reality you are talking about, and you know what? I don't care! He'll get to it when we're ready, or maybe never and that's fine! Stop teasing him and leave us alone!"

    Q looked positively, smugly, infuriatingly, tickled pink at that, and laughed for a only somewhat excessive amount of time, before continuing, "Well! She does have some fight in her, doesn't she? Well, I am definitely going to be keeping an eye on you two! But I have some sightseeing to do. Did you know that this local pocket of universes has three different hells? I don't know about you, but I'm going sightseeing. Oh! Let it never be said that I have never learned anything in my travels in the Alpha Quadrant. Here, let me do something actually helpful. This way, you only have to come up with a fun wager or some sport for me later, rather than right now."

    He raised his hand and my eyes widened, with a, "No, wait-!"

    And then he snapped his fingers, and there was a flash, and we were falling, and I landed on my feet with a stumble, in front of a sign for a town. One that clearly said, "Welcome to Mosaic Bridge!"

    Deanna looked at me, obviously upset, "What just happened?"

    [] Write-in only
     
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  15. Threadmarks: Part 12
    Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    [X] "We tried to scout Victory Road, Q appeared, and then he teleported us to a Bridge."
    [X] That was Q, a famous... well no one really knows WHAT he is exactly. Just that he is incredibly powerful and enjoys messing with mortal lives. A sort of god-like, sneaky trickster, with effectively unlimited power, who usually does his own thing.
    [X] Thank you for sticking up for me. It means a lot to me. Thank you.
    [X] Speaking of that, I feel the need to finally explain what I know, especially if Q is about. Back home, I had access to a lot of stories of various sorts, including supposedly fictional stories about this world, under the franchise name, "Pokemon" and of others like Q's, known under the franchise name, "Star Trek". When I was still home, I thought those stories and the worlds they took place in to be entirely fictional, but our presence here says otherwise. And the details are often different here than I remember back home.
    [X] Honestly, im just... Im not really sure WHAT that means. Does this change something? About me? You? The world? It seems like such a heavy realization, but at the same time I dont think it actually changes anything.
    [X] Before, we go further let's find some privacy. We did teleport out in the open.


    I felt myself answer, "While scouting the Victory Road system, Q appeared, and he teleported me and a member of my crew to a distant Bridge."

    Then I started laughing, and then I couldn't stop, and I sat down, and my laughs turned into crying, and then I started hyperventilating, having a panic attack.

    I'm hysterical and I can't stop. I have to try and breathe slowly. Oof, I can't stop crying!

    Eventually, I wound down, and I noticed Deanna was hugging me, projecting a sense of calm and warmth at me.

    Snottily, I gave her a "Thanks." And then swallowed and wiped the snot on some grass, finally able to speak. At some point, she had gotten into my backpack, and handed me a canteen of water. I drank and splashed my face, and then continued. "It was a bit of gallows humor. Uh, a sort of dark ironic humor when a person thinks they may be facing their immediate death, to try and not panic. What I just said, I mean. A reference to... oof. I'll have to explain that later. Um, I'm sorry I lost it. But that entity, if he wanted to kill us, there would have been absolutely nothing you or I could do to stop him, so I had to try and talk to him to keep him occupied. And I'm rambling."

    I took a deep, slow breath, and carefully let it out before continuing,

    "That was Q. A famous sort-of... well I'm not sure what he is exactly. Plot Device? Demigod? Trickster Deity? Whatever, he's sneaky, has effectively unlimited reality-altering power, and is known to be very capricious, sometimes being bening and other times malevolent, at his own whim. And he shouldn't be here. Not in this collection of universes.`"

    She looked at me in what I could only describe as soulful concern, and it did make me feel better, so I smirked at her, "Uh, I just want to thank you for standing up for me there. It means a lot, to have someone I haven't spent much time with yet sticking up for me so much. Thanks."

    She nodded, apparently sensing I had to keep talking, and I continued. "I wasn't going to tell you this early, but something truly weird is going on here. And I think you need to know what I know, even if it is a bit jarring." I took a deep, calming breath, then said. "I don't come from this world. Or even this local set of linked universes. Before I was here, I was in the body of an overweight single man in his late twenties, with terrible job and a drinking and philandering problem, with some of the worst sort of toxic people... but I couldn't stop. It's why I tried to read and watch about so many... fictional universes. I was... in a bad place, and my life was a downward spiral. But my woes aren't relevant here. What is relevant are some of the fictional media franchises I remember from that world. One of them was known as 'Star Trek', a sort of optimistic future science fiction setting, in which Q has played prominantly. Notably, that setting has absolutely nothing to do with here... because I know this world is from an entirely unrelated franchise from a different set of companies on a different continent, and this setting is known as 'Pokemon'."

    She listened intently, and I continued, "I don't know what this means. Have I had a stroke or a seizure and this is what my mind is making up? Was I transported here? Q mentioned my universe was 'Read-Only'; that's worrying, because if that's true, than how am I here? Am I a copy? What can explain what I am experiencing? This seems real, and the details here don't exactly match what I remember. My mind goes to two scientific theories, the idea of the Multiverse, and the idea of Ancestor Simulations and that we live in a virtual world. The problem is, I don't actually know the details of either, as my understanding is mostly colored by science fiction. And do these ponderings even change anything, about me, about you, about where I am and what I am doing? I just don't know."

    Deanna considered for a second, panting as she had obviously had to use her powers to keep up with what I was saying, prompting me to squeek out a, "Sorry.", which she waived off as unimportant. After a moment, she smiled, and said to me, "I think you should look at the bright side of this! You know this world from a perspective that no one else other than a Legendary can match! Own that, and we can do great things together, I just know it! So what if you remember me as fictional, I know I'm real, you know you're real, and that's what matters! C'mon, what's some stuff that you know about that others might not know?"

    I blinked for a moment, until it came to me. "This region has a scientist named Xerosic, who if my understanding of the timeline is right, is probably awaiting trial right now, who made something called an Expansion Suit, which is...a sort of power armor. The region also has a more traditional Combat Armor, and a sort of powered suit that will let you fly, known as a Wing Suit. More further afield in some cases, there are also Mega Bracelets and Z-Power Bracelets, the core of which use a Mega Stone and a Sparkling Stone, respectively, which can power up a trainer's Pokemon when the correct items are inserted into them, as well as some experimental armors called the 'Aqua Suit' and the 'Magma Suit'. If I'm going to be getting into trouble here or elsewhere, I'm probably going to want access to at least some of those technologies."

    She grinned and poked at me, "You just want to wear fancy clothing!" which caused me to blush. I looked down, embarrassed, and then tried to hide it by looking around as if to get my bearings.

    Well, I'm at the outskirts of a town of waterways and boats, Couriway Town, what the locals apparently call Mosaic Bridge. It seems to more closely resemble the anime, except that there are more solar panels and small wind turbines everywhere, and the water level is currently a bit lower than it was in the anime, and there's a lake where there seems to be what looks like a fish nursery or something like that. Uhhh, I don't think anyone spotted me teleport in, nor my subsequent breakdown, there doesn't seem to be anyone in view.

    After a polite silence, I spoke up, "Let's browse the town, get our bearings. Oh! I forgot."

    I took out my laptop, and opened up my tracker application. It said, "Noibat, Male" for the nearest Pokemon that was not Deanna. "Looks like we aren't quite close enough to tell the physical and emotional state a bit. It looks like he's outside of town near the Route to the north, and we're on the south side of the town, just at the southern Route. I don't think we should head straight there, we should get our bearings first."

    As we walked through the town, I got a sense of, well, 'tourist trap' from the place. Lots of stores selling things that travelers would need, several very small B&B type places, and even the actual Hotel Mosaic as seen in the anime, and we found places offering tours of the 'thousand streams' of the area, places where you could pay for shows, someone selling guided hiking tours, restaurants mostly serving fish, a trainer offering Lapras rides with the actual chairs on the shell, and on and on. We even found the actual namesake of the town, the specific 'Mosaic Bridge', which seemed to be a beautifully tiled ancient stone bridge, where the huge tile mosaics which decorated the bridge were stylized depictions of a plant. All over this bridge, various tourists were taking photos of the bridge and themselves on the bridge. I asked one of the guides what plant it was; apparently, it was Caraway.

    How come the games and the animes never show this stuff? Is it because it is from the viewpoint of a child which didn't care about these things? Budgetary reasons?

    Eventually, on the northern part of town, we found a government-supported Trainer's Hostel, and got a free meal and free food, which was a mostly forgettable stew with some sort of fish in it. I checked the laptop, and since we were closer to the northern side of town, the Noibat was listed as 'Noibat, Male, Uninjured'. I pointed it out to Deanna. "We aren't close enough to find his emotional state." She looked at it for a moment, then asked me, "Should we be worried about how it tracks us? How does it do that?"

    I blinked for a moment, and answered, "I would guess the power of a major god is how it does it. Giratina made sure I had this, I think whatever this is, it isn't a normal computer program and probably only works or is only here because he says so. I'm not going to question it overly much just yet. Maybe later, when I don't have a geas restricting my behavior? I would guess it's only useful for doing the things Giratina wants me to do anyway. He didn't seem to be given much to subtlety. In fact, he had about as much sublety as a brick through a plate glass window." I said, as I imagined the scene, which caused her to tilt her head.

    She asked me, "That's not subtle at all." So of course I smirked and said, "Exactly. And you still have the head-tilt tell."

    This place is a bit boring. I never liked tourist traps. We should go scout where our next friend is.

    I grinned with the energy of youth, "Hey Deanna, want to go make friends with a Noibat?"

    She twirled in an impromptu dance and grinned back at me, "I thought you'd never ask!"

    We followed the tracker on the laptop, to Route 18, which, right out of the northern part of the city, had some construction workers at a tunnel and a barricade set up. I approached one of the construction workers that looked like they were tasked with keeping people who weren't ready to handle the area out, and asked, "What's going on here? Why can't I get to Fluxus City?"

    The construction worker gave a long-suffering sigh and pressed her fingers against the bridge of her nose, and then told me, "I'm sorry kid. But a few months ago we had a Durant infestation. Some hotshot trainer cleared it up, but they had undermined the whole area of the tunnel, making it unsafe. We had to make an adjacent tunnel, but doing that apparently opened up the tunnel to a link to an offshoot of the nearby Terminus cave system, and now the two region's cave pokemon are mixing and, uh, they aren't getting along well. And some pokemon or group of pokemon seems to be intentionally sabotaging the rest of the construction. It's a mess and we're working on it. You shouldn't go in there unless you are powerful, have a way to see in the dark, and can handle a wide variety of cave pokemon. We're working on getting some Gym Leader here to take care of it, but they won't be here for weeks on account of some other obligation."

    [] Try to get past this person? The computer is indicating that the Noibat is in the mountain, so it's presumably with the set of pokemon she's referring to.
    -[] How? Make something up? Try some teleport sneaking?
    [] Go get some extra cash in town, and get some cave delving gear first
    -[] What sort of work should you look for, and what gear?
    [] Make sure that Deanna has a particular set of moves prepped
    -[] Which?
    [] Explore town a bit more
    -[] Looking for what?
    [] Spend some more time exploring what's on the computer. You get a sense that there's something you may have missed without investigating it deeply.
    [] Try to practice more psychic powers. Maybe have Deanna try to teach you. But at this point you're mostly the blind leading the blind. Is there a systematic way to investigate this?
    [] Talk to Deanna about something
    -[] What?
    [] Train Deanna some more, she should be able to get a few more moves -- and you aren't quite sure she has full use of Teleport, she still seems to have some range issues. Better make sure it is reliable first, especially if we're delving. Get ALL the kinks worked out first!
    -[] Try to get some of her next moves, get her levelled and do some grinding, picking some friendly duels with nearby trainers or just normal training. But how much to do? How far to go? The next set of moves beyond Teleport should be some combination of Disarming Voice, Lucky Chant, Magical Leaf, and Heal Pulse, and then she has a good chance of evolving. But in previous generations, Ralts didn't learn all of those moves before evolving. Should she focus on getting everything in the games? Skip something? Try to get to Kirlia as soon as possible? Try for something that wasn't possible in the games -- the anime was sometimes more permissive with creativity in powers and combining powers, especially with things like Confusion, and so far this world seems to have its own rules. If only we'd gotten to Anistar -- ah, Fluxus city. If anyone has the Psyshock TM, it will be Olympia, and this would be a moot point!
    --[] If you do get some more moves, what should the loadout for cave delving be, then?
    [] Something else entirely!
     
  16. Threadmarks: Part 13
    Gavinfoxx

    Gavinfoxx Armchair Strategist

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    Just a short update today -- not a lot of people suggesting plans, but I want to highlight some issues and worries and differences between the game and this world. Also you forgot he has a flashlight already! Hopefully with an update, someone might actually suggest a more in depth plan?

    [X] Go get some extra cash in town, and get some cave delving gear first
    -[X] Escape rope, at least 2.
    -[X] And a sturdy flashlight.
    [X] Then try to get past this person, telling him that we can handle the situation
    -[X] Teleport past the guard if he does not let you in.

    It was most of the afternoon before I found a place that would let me do some work; the Hotel Mosaic itself. They had recently hosted a wedding for some wealthy industrialist-type, and needed people to help clean up the banquet rooms, as well as wash lots of dishes, and didn't seem too particularly worried about a child doing the work. It was hard work, but I knew how to efficiently wash dishes without complaining. By the time I left, exhausted, and stumbled to the poke trainer hostel for a midnight meal and shower and a bunk, I had 6000 more pokeyen than I started. The next morning, I put on my last set of vaguely appropriate clothes, and went to a laundromat and did a few loads of laundry, and spent 300 pokeyen to do so.

    Despite me having explained what I was doing and why, Deanna didn't seem impressed with the whole ordeal. "Is this what normal life is? Spend hours, all the way into right before dawn, doing backbreaking work, go to sleep exhausted until the sun is directly above, just so you can get the money to get the resources to do the next thing which is important to you? Is this really the kind of life do you humans live?"

    I sighed, "We could have challenged other pokemon trainers. There's not a whole lot that I've seen around; very few on the roads, since it isn't tournament season this year, but we could do it. If we lost, though, we'd have to pay. But that's mostly just children trading tiny amounts of money. This is actually a decent way to get a decent amount."

    She looked at me with a friendly, if accusatory look, "You're avoiding the question."

    I sighed, "Yea. Very few societies have ways let someone with no social connections, no obvious skills, a weak body, no local knowledge of the local resources, be able to get the resources to do what they want. So typically such a person would have to do work that others don't want to do, in order to get the money to bu the things they need. I mean, I could try to forage some berries, but who would buy them? I don't have a place to sell; the pawn shop I saw mostly bought durable things. And if I tried to use my weapon to split rocks for things... I don't know a thing about mining or geology. Can you get things like evolutionary stones, z-crystals, and mega stones, or even normal gems from rocks? Of course you can--but I don't know the first thing about finding them, and this weapon is a weapon first, not a tool I want to risk damaging."

    Eventually, we got to a store that sold goods for 'nature expeditions', and I found some things I wanted. I wanted to upgrade my multitool to a proper survival knife, but I didn't have the money for most things; 10 meters of sturdy climbing rope with appropriate safety hooks was 3000 pokeyen. A basic survival knife, one that I wasn't quite sure was actually an upgrade to my multitool, but was at least bigger and would therefore give me more leverage if I had to pry something, was 3000 pokeyen. A actual quality survival knife was around 8000 pokeyen. A proper caving helmet, made to attach a light, was 4000 pokeyen. The cheapest helmet lamp I could find, which looked much lower quality than most of the others I saw, which were triple the price of it, was 1000 pokeyen. A simple hard hat, which I would be able to attach the helmet lamp with a bit of ingenuity, was 2800 pokeyen. A pair of rubber boots was 2500 pokeyen. Sturdy gloves, suitable for protecting my hands, were 1800 pokeyen. Kneepads were 1400 pokeyen. A set of two sturdy whistles with laynards were 400 pokeyen. A climbing harness was 3000 pokeyen. Some higher end flashlights seem to be priced around 2000 pokeyen; those were similar to my existing flashlight, but in a bit better repair.

    I looked at Denna in despair, "What the hell do I do? Going underground is dangerous, and I kind of want half of this stuff and don't have near enough money! Do you think you can use psychic power to glow? Either the Confusion glow itself, or just drawing power to yourself? Pokemon that are channeling psychic energies are sometimes outlined in a psychic glow. Maybe you could make your horns glow? Or your eyes? Or some energy right in front of you? Could you use the light of Confuse Ray, but just for light, without actually using the move? It'd be nice to have another source of light, other than my flashlight and laptop."

    She looked at the list we had written, where we had writtem prices of what I wanted for the cave trip, and how my money was woefully inadequate for it, then back at me. "Look, you mentioned before that I should practice teleporting more, because teleporting is useful for escaping bad things like caves, right? And I guess I need to practice lighting things up more. And I think you want to do another day of work to get some more money to afford this stuff. So why don't we split up? I can do some training on my own, you can do the work to afford what you want."

    I looked at her, as horrifying scenarios of someone pokenapping her started to fill my mind. My mouth was suddenly dry. "What if someone tries to take you or doesn't realize you're, uh, 'owned'?"

    She cocked a single eyebrow in a surprisingly Spock-like gesture, and asked, "Wouldn't the backpack be hint enough?"

    I chewed my lip for a second, "I don't know. I mean, people don't usually have their pokemon do things like run errands, unless it is a Mr. Mime or something? Umm. The only other way I can think of, of showing that you are supposed to be doing this... is one I don't like."

    She looked at me expectantly, "You could wear some more clothing than that... but the simplest and cheapest set of clothing to show that you are, uh, 'spoken for', would be a collar with a tag with your name on it and mine on the back as who to be contacted. But the problem with that is the connotations. I don't like them."

    She was silent as she waited for me to continue, "A collar with a tag on it is something you'd see on, say, a Delcatty. It means the pokemon wearing it is owned by a human... as a pet. Like, is only kept for companionship."

    Her eyes lit up in understanding, "And you worry that me wearing that would make me seem to be less important! But you forget, Edgar! We're doing it as an act. And what do you care what these people think? You've been ignoring their stares when we talk for the last few days. So what if they have the wrong idea, if they'll leave me alone? I know how to live in a city! You can find some work and buy some gear, I'll sleep just long enough to swap in some of the moves I want, and then train, and we'll meet up at the hostel, rest, pick the moves for the spelunking, and then go!

    [] Go along with her plan
    -[] Assuming you end up with maybe ~11000 total pokeyen to spend, after various expenses and getting her a collar and tag, what should you get?
    [] Suggest an alternative plan entirely
    -[] What should the alternate plan be? If you just buy stuff and go, what to buy?
     
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  17. Professor Wormwood

    Professor Wormwood Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    If you're going to go for a new Pokemon to add to the story, I would suggest something potentially dangerous or powerful like a Druddigon. Druddigon are known for being abrasive and savage in terms of personality and they can be a handle to try and train if you don't know what you are doing. Since our protagonist here is clearly just learning how to be a trainer for the most part, it could add a dynamic element to his development as a trainer and even amongst his Pokemon, as he and they work to earn the trust of such a beast and ultimately make it a better contributing member to the overall team. That offers up room for further character development in both protagonist and Pokemon, and could result in a stronger, more cohesive team as a whole by the end.
     
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