1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. A reminder: If you want to ask an RP thread creator if you can join their RP, do so in private - via conversation or profile messages - or via the thread's discussion thread, if one exists. Do NOT ask if you can join an RP on the RP thread itself! This leads to a lot of unnecessary OOC chatter and that's not what the RP boards are for.

    This is clearly stated in our RP forum rules. If you've not read them yet, do so BEFORE posting anything in the RP forums. They may be found here (for Pokémon Role Play) or here (for General Role Play). Remember that the Global Rules of Pokécharms also apply in addition to these rule sets.

Private/Closed Frozen Over

Discussion in 'Pokémon Role Play' started by Trucro, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Clank. Clank. Clank. The truck made some worrying sounds as it trucked along through the snow. It was a large truck, with three rows of seats including the diver’s; plenty of space for eight or so people, although the current group was smaller. The vehicle was made for off-road travel through the heavy snow; in fact, from what Jacob had seen, it appeared that this sort of truck was the most common vehicle used in Korska.


    Korska was officially an uninhabited continent; it was so far north that there could be no people native to the area. Instead, it was a hotbed for scientists who wanted to study the climate, or the indigenous pokemon. Jacob had heard that there were many pokemon who thrived in the icy-cold, despite its inhospitality towards humans. However, aside from the pokemon he saw at the port when they had arrived, he hadn’t seen any at all. Just a vast, flat plan of white. It seemed to go on forever, with just a few mountains partially blocking the horizon in the distance.


    Jacob sat in the passenger’s seat in the front of the truck, just to the right of the driver. The man driving the truck was well known to him, but not so for everyone in the back seats. Professor Camphor was an instructor and researcher at Unova’s most prestigious university, where Jacob himself studied. He had taken several of the Professor’s courses, and was invited on this trip for precisely that reason. He, then, was able to extend invitations to the rest of the group that littered the back two rows. The Professor was a short man, balding with only a few grey hairs remaining, dotting the sides of his head. But he had more energy than anyone would expect, and he seemed particularly excited about this trip. The Professor hadn’t stopped talking since they had left the base camp earlier that morning.


    “See here, now,” Professor Camphor began as the truck rolled over a particularly emphatic bump. “All of this area used to be water, but several thousands of years ago, when the changing climate actually froze much of this area, expanding the continent significantly!” The Professor happily sighed as if being able to unload this information gave him some sort of relief. “Now it’s so thick, a heard of Mamoswine could walk over it without issue!” Jacob rolled his eyes. These little facts that the Professor had released got old very quickly. Instead of focusing on the Professor’s ramblings, he turned to look out the window. His Togekiss, Shakespeare, hovered alongside the truck, seemingly happy as ever. Jacob couldn’t understand it; he was cold wearing heavy coats and being inside the truck, shielded from the wind, but Shakespeare seemed totally fine without any protection. Maybe some pokemon just felt temperature differently. Or maybe Shakespeare was idiosyncratic.


    Whatever the case, Jacob was becoming increasingly tired. The group had been forced to wake up early to prepare for the journey, and the trip to the port was taxing as well. He could get away with falling asleep as well, as he was wearing sunglasses to counteract the glare off the ice. He fought off the urge to close his eyes as he turned away from the window, and he let out a sigh as he took a sip from his water bottle. They had been riding for what seemed like hours, but couldn’t have been more than one. He had forgotten the name of the mountain they were heading towards, but he hoped they arrived soon.
     
    Nygenn, PentheWonderful and Curtkid like this.
  2. Ever since they were little, Curt and Embertail always had a bit of an appreciation for the way snow could completely transform the terrain, like the weather would cover everything in a pure white sheet. Despite the powerful cold, they never minded the winters in his hometown of Cherrygrove, though that might be due to the fact of having the warmth of a Charmanders constantly on fire tail. Either way, Embertail and Curt found themselves getting lost in the rapidly passing by landscape and the majestic-ism of the snow, even the ground-type Cubone, Jasper, had her eye's glued out the window, lost in the wonder of the cold, pure mountain slope beside them...until their truck hit a bump, knocking them out of their day dream.

    "Sorry", Professor Camphor said, "the road gets a bit bumpy from here on out, but we should be at the camp shortly".

    "Uh, i-it's fine, just....could you please try to drive just a bit slower, one of my partners is...feeling a bit under the weather and I don't want them getting sick?", Curt asked the driver, his hand instinctively almost hovering over the balls on his belt, as though trying to project his desires onto his party members.

    "I say boy, if your Pokemon were sick, why didn't you check them in at the Pokemon Center back in town?", the Professor remarked, to which Curt replied with by opening his mouth, before quickly closing it, as though realizing his answer was weak, "'but either way, I'll do what I can, but I'm not making any promises, besides, we'll be their shortly like I just said." Curt decided to take what the Profeesor had given them and not try to push the issue further, besides, he was...hopeful that the newest member of his party could hold himself together till they got to camp. Curt had to admit, he was caught a little off guard when Jacob invited him and his team on this arctic excursion, but of course, Embertail wasn't, and immediately told Jacob "YES!" before Curt had time to full process what Jacob was asking him. They had just gotten done with the Johto League Tournament and dropping Whips off at the Dragon's Den in Blackthorn to visit his family, and Curt was considering taking a sometime to relax. But Embertail was always one to jump at a new adventure. Besides, the rest of his friends seemed to really want to go as well. Lockjaw was missing Whips something fierce( they all were, but Whips was like a big brother to him) and thought a trip would take him mind off things, Jasper was just always one for an exciting adventure, Raviel hadn't seen Dexter in a while and was looking forward to seeing him again, and Flare was curious about this forign kind of Ninetales that only appeared in extremely cold climates, and wanted to meet them. So there they were, traveling to a frozen mountain top listening to Professor Camphor drone on and on about ice and stuff. Well, at least one person seemed to be interested in his rants....

    "WOW, a whole heard of Mamoswine! Hey, do you think we'll really see a whole heard of them Professor Camphor, those guys are super rare aren't they, I mean, seeing a whole heard of them would be a once in a life time sight right?", Embertail eagerly asked the Professor. It was moments like these the Curt was thankful that Jacob informed the Professor about Embertails ability to talk, which really saved them a bit of time on an explanation. The Professor, of course, still had a few questions for them, and even treated Embertail as some sort of remarkable specimen, but after spending a few hours with the wiry Charmander he began regarding Embertail as just another traveling companion, albeit a goofy one.

    "I'm sure the professor was just using it as an example to give an idea as to how sturdy the ice is Embertail, Mamoswine herds haven't been seen since the Ice ages, Piloswines evolving into them are extremely rare now-a-day's, we'd be lucky to see even one during our trip, much less an entire hur- BAMB!

    Embertail, Curt, and Jasper were thrown a bit up in the air once again as the truck hit yet another bump, causing their stomachs to lurch almost into their throats. Curt spent a moment trying to stop his mind from spinning, before a violent shaking on his belt helped snap Curt back to reality, much to his horror. Desperately, Curt ripped the Master Ball from his belt, and began pleading with it, begging the creature inside it to hold itself together till they got to the camp. but alas, those please fell on deft ears.

    Master Balls were extremely rare and extremely valuable Pokeballs costing billions of
    [​IMG] to make a single one, you literally couldn't buy them. The very few that were produced were only given as gifts to Champions, Elite Four members, or people of extremely significant importance. How Cassie got her hands on one, even as rich and well known as her family was, was still a mystery to Curt, but not as much as a mystery as what motivated the ace trainer to give him said Master Ball. Now, Curt of course planned to use the legendary item on a mythical pokemon of extreme rarity and power, like a Salamance, or a Hydregion, or maybe even (Arceus willing) a legendary Pokemon, like a Zapdos or a Registeel....

    A Bidoof popped out of the Master Ball, a Bidoof that looked positively intoxicated, and one whose cheeks looked puffed out and whose face looked very green.

    "Oh shi-SOMEONE OPEN A WINDOW NOW! PROFESSOR, OPEN A ARCEUS DAMN WINDOW, AS QUICK AS YOU CAN, PLEASE!"

    "I say boy, what is the hurry, you act like..."

    "BLLLLARRRRGGGGHHH!!!!!", roared the Bidoof as it sprayed the inside of the vehicle with his vomit. The lowing of the windows was too slow, and now half the truck was covered in Bidoof vile.

    "Welp, should have seen that one coming, ugh, Arceus damn it Barry...", Curt said as he slumped himself in his seat. Jasper face palmed in disappointment while Embertail did his best to not burst out laughing (to him, Barry's antics would NEVER stop being funny), "well, this is as good a time as any I suppose...Jacob, Cassie, Nine, Peri, Lady...this is, uh, Barry, Barry the Bidoof, I caught him because a bunch of wild Pokemon wanted to kill him for being, and I quote what Embertail told me on this, "a total bastard"...he's well... he's kinda a mess". Curt let out a sigh as he dug through his backpack for some rags to clean up the puke. This had happened several times already in just the month Barry had been traveling with them, and you know, it was funny at first, but now Curt was beginning to think that Barry had a serious problem...O.K, more like he was positive that Barry had a serious problem.

    "Uh, sorry about that everyone, and uh, mister er- Professor Combur, sir, I-I promise we'll pay for a new rug", Curt said sheepishly, catching the Professor's irritated eye,", because we are really sorry this happened, right? Hehehe....Barry say you're sorry!"

    "Rehrougn naru mah renada!", Barry cried, blowing a raspberry at Curt as he staggered on top of Embertail's lap and began digging through Curts bag.

    "Yeah Yeah,I know I'm not your dad, but that doesn't...OH NO YOU DON'T! YOU ARE NOT DRINKING ANYMORE, UNHAND THAT WHISKEY!!!!", Curt roared, dropping his rages and attempting to rip the bottle of Whiskey that Barry just pulled from Curts pack from said Bidoof's paws. They all knew it was cold where they were going so, as a special treat for themselves, Curt bought his team a large bottle of Whiskey for the trip to keep them warm, as Whiskey often does. But Barry was a drunk (no one had any idea how that happened) and had been trying to get his filthy paws on that precious bottle of Whisky the moment Curt bought it. Curt thought that buying an extra, personal bottle of Whiskey for Barry would be enough to dissuade him, but the Bidoof had ended up drinking the entire thing in less then the fifteen minutes before they departed for them mountains. Even Flare was at a loss for an explanation as to how that didn't kill him. And right now Curt was getting into a semi-wrestling match with the newest addition to his party over said bottle of Whiskey, and Curt sure as Hell wasn't looking all that impressive as a trainer towards his companions by getting into a fight with a Bidoof over some hooch.


    "...So, you're being awfully quiet Jacob, anything on your mind?", said the Charmander with the scarf around his neck, smile still on his face as though everything was stil preceding as normal. Jasper was still face palming, but with BOTH hands now! Truly Curt was a trainer worthy of respect.
     
    #2 Curtkid, Oct 27, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  3. See here, now,

    Upon the gentle poke on her arm, Cassie flipped a page on the book opened across her lap, though her eyes were shut, and her head, leaned back against the seat.

    All of this area used to be water, but several thousands of years ago, when the changing climate actually froze much of this area, expanding the continent significantly!

    She listened to the guitars being strummed in her earbuds, drowning the metallic clangs of the truc as they played therapeutic music she found helped ease her PTSD as they came. Relaxing, unwinding. That was what her therapist recommended, anyway. After barely surviving the Route 15 hell and the Jinko Island death trap, she finally had enough credible witnesses (and money, from all the ‘prizes’ she managed to loot in her escape) to Team Rocket’s heinous crimes to arrange a counter case. It took eight long months, and never ending evidence gathering and insurance and protection filing. She recounted the thousands of papers, millions of words, and countless nights without slumber. Not that she ever could anyway.

    But she got her life back,

    And now she could afford luxuries such as desperately needed therapy sessions again.

    Her debts cleared, her trainer card re-issued, and she even had her badge case returned. Arceus knows where it’s been with all the dust it’s collected and the grime eating away the metal pins. But they were still her’s, and they still represented the victories she earned then.

    All thanks to one man, the childhood friend she re-encountered in a nightmare, Salem Archon. He gave her the courage to grasp the reigns of her life again, because he always did make her feel brave, and in hindsight, she supposed it was his fault she became the thrill seeker she was.

    But nevertheless, Cassie often wondered if he fared well, somewhere out there, after they parted ways in Jinko.

    Now it’s so thick, a heard of Mamoswine could walk over it without issue!

    Peridot flipped another page. Seated on her trainer’s lap, the Kirlia drank in words of philosophy and fiction strewn across the paper in place of the human. Lady, her Liepard, was getting a time out in her pokeball after attempting to steal the shiny metal rivets from one of the truck’s doors while Nine, the pale furred Ninetales in the window seat, had his tails wrapped comfortably around Cassie, allowing her to use him as a cushion for further comfort. He would occasionally glance at the open book, but he seemed more intrigued by the wide expanse of snow outside.

    They have yet to conquer such a terrain after all.

    Though the aforementioned reason was only one of few for their presence in that truck. The other being it had been a good amount of time since their last adventure as a team, as a family, and even longer since Cassie last saw Curt and Jacob. At the time she received the invitation, she was in the process of rebuilding her connections and relationships with some of the Kalos elite, as the publicity of her trial earned her quite a status among the upper class, and life was once again beginning to grow dull. Hence, it was about time she got back out to there to fulfill her wanderlust, so Jacob’s invitation was well received. Even more so when he mentioned it was an expedition to the arctic.

    Her therapist told her that her thrill seeking ways, her addiction to life threatening activities, was unhealthy and she should try 'safer' outdoor sports instead, but Cassie always thought of it as more of a suggestion.

    Nine usually did wonders in keeping her warm, but with the frost forming on the outside of the window, it seemed even thick layers of clothes and coats the cold would still somehow find its way to her bones, so she asked him specifically to keep the heat down, lest she end up even more maladjusted to the cold when she exits the car and die of pneumonia.

    Albeit she still can’t help but wonder what that would be like.

    “Hmm…”

    The ace trainer cracked her eyes open as the road began to grow turbulent, jostling the vehicle a bit too violently for comfort. She lifted her fedora out of her face and straightened her seating. The side French braids that held her wild locks, which she managed to grow out during the past few months, draped lazily over her shoulder, ending at the level of her rib, and her hand, gloved with a thicker, woolen glove, reached upwards to grab the hand railing on the ceiling.

    She was small, and light, and had no weight to anchor her down. Nine was just fine, however, the lucky bastard.

    Peridot was, fortunately experiencing the same predicament as her, and the Kirlia held onto her book as tightly as she could to keep it from flying away. Cassie had switched her therapeutic music off, and was now looking alertly ahead. Being seated next to Curt on the row right behind the driver and passenger’s seat, she had quite a good view of the road ahead, and one thing she quickly took note of was the particularly large pothole ahead.

    Bam!

    Hitting the hole with full force made Cassie question the professor’s eyesight. ‘Don’t tell me we’re being chauffeured by a dingbat.’ She thought cautiously, shooting Jacob an accusing look. Though from where she was seated, which happened to be behind the passenger’s seat, she could only see the back of his bright orange head anyway.

    The unmistakable rambling of Curt’s voice caught her attention instead, however. Turning her head slightly, she noticed the man pleading and begging to whatever was inside his Master Ball, the Master Ball she found in the Route 15 ruins. At the time, she hadn’t really been looking to catching anything above the level of an Ultra Ball, or any pokemon at all in fact, for she simply wanted to focus on her two new girls, so the capture sphere would have ultimately been wasted on her. Well, sure it would have made some nice piles of cash, but she had been indebted to Curt for taking care of Nine in her absence.

    But she hadn’t thought it would’ve been put to use so soon!

    Oh, her mind spun with all the possibilities of what might be inside. Something powerful, undoubtedly! Perhaps even a legendary? Her heart pounded at the thought.

    Nine and Peridot soon caught on to the excitement reverberating off their trainer, and they too gazed upon the Master Ball in curiosity, anticipation, and slight jealousy on Peridot’s part, but the moment it popped open, all their hopes were dropped to the ground and stomped into the mud.

    A Bidoof.

    Of all things to catch with a Master Ball, Curt had caught a Bidoof. Not even a Bibarel, no, but an Arceus damned Bidoof. Cassie’s face was already twisting into a disapproving expression when Nine offhandedly remarked, ‘Why do his cheeks look so swollen? And… Green?

    "Oh shi-SOMEONE OPEN A WINDOW NOW! PROFESSOR, OPEN AN ARCEUS DAMN WINDOW, AS QUICK AS YOU CAN, PLEASE!"

    "I say boy, what is the hurry, you act like..."

    "BLLLLARRRRGGGGHHH!!!!!" Vomit coated the interior and the window that lowered too slowly, but Cassie, Nine, and Peridot had been fortunate enough to be out of the line of fire. Despite that, they still scooted as far as they physically could from the blast site with cringes on each of their faces.

    "Welp, should have seen that one coming, ugh, Arceus damn it Barry..." Curt began, somehow able to relax despite being dangerously close to the creeping stomach bile. "Well, this is as good a time as any I suppose...Jacob, this is Barry, Barry the Bidoof, I caught him because a bunch of wild Pokemon wanted to kill him for being, and I quote what Embertail told me on this, "a total bastard"...he's well... he's kinda a mess"

    Pressed against the door, Cassie lifted a hand and clicked the button on the door, lowering the window beside them in order to let the smells escape while Curt began his string of apologies and clean up. “…Charming.” Was her only comment.

    Although she wished she could take it back the moment Curt began fighting Barry for a bottle of whisky he managed to snatch from his trainer’s bag.

    Peridot, with both hands over her mouth and nose, stood on Cassie’s lap and watched the rather… Unappealing struggle occur with mixed emotions. She was disgusted by the smell and the fact that they were essentially rolling in vomit, scared at the rather unexpected development of the scuffle into an indoor wrestling match, and angry that that mess got to be captured in a Master Ball! Frowning slightly, the Kirlia proceeded to push the button of her own Pokeball and return herself inside of it.

    However, recovering her composure, Cassie proceeded to pull several sheets of antiseptic wipes from the pocket of her messenger bag and scrubbed six inches of the chair clean from the splatter of Bidoof bile before she readjusted her seating, tossing the used wipes into the truck trash bin.

    "...So, you're being awfully quiet Jacob, anything on your mind?" Came the unmistakable voice of Embertail, thanks to the undertone of growls it had, and Cassie found she was still unaccustomed to hearing him talk. Sure Nine spoke, Peridot as well, but not… Directly. Well, after everything she’s been through, it didn’t faze her as much as it probably should at least.

    “I was sure he’d fallen asleep the moment he climbed on the truck.” Cassie said, deciding to join in on the conversation between the orange lizard and the orange haired man. “He’s been grumpy since he hauled his ass out of bed early.”

    The one good thing about insomnia was that you were always awake to see everyone else suffer in the morning, Cassie decided.

    Should’ve skipped that midnight poker game.’ Nine nodded sagely. Although, the two of them tensed the moment vomit splattered on to them from Curt and Barry’s wrestling match. For Nine’s case specifically, his fur had puffed out in resemblance to a Mareep. ‘Let me back in please.

    With her finger, Cassie flicked the speck of stomach bile off her cheek before clicking the button on Nine’s Pokeball, returning him with the distinct flash of light. With the window seat now empty, Cassie scooted further from the boys’ wrestling match until she had her side pressed against the door, which she nonchalantly leaned against before clearing her throat.

    “Curt, had it occurred to you to just… Return Barry?” She began, peering cautiously over her shoulder at the man and his Bidoof. Her shoulders were raised in case another splatter of bile came flying her way. “I’m not a very big fan of wrestling.”
     
    #3 PentheWonderful, Oct 27, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  4. Salem was in a constant state of flux. He was experiencing a range of conflicting sensations and emotions. He was both hot and cold, felt both free and confined, was both exited and disappointed, although this strange state of turmoil itself was rather new and exciting, therefor his happiness won out.

    Salem found himself in a land called Korska and it was unlike any place he had ever been before, or even could have dreamt up. He was a child of the tropics and as such had grown up naked and free and warm. The world around him had been his playground, from the deep blue seas to the soft warm beaches, to the shaded and humid jungles. The world had always been bountiful, vibrant, colorful and welcoming.

    Korska, by contrast, was a very cold place. He had to tightly wrap himself in multiple layers of thick and padded clothing, his head covered by a fur lined hood, his face hidden behind googles and a scarf. His hands were trapped in sturdy gloves which greatly restricted his dexterity and his feet were sealed in heavy boots which slowed his running down to a comical hobbling, much like what Ajax, his giant Blastoise companion, normally did. The Pokémon had not been amused when Salem had laughingly pointed this out earlier. The buildings and people here in Korska were always huddled close together, and the land was fairly barren. If Unova had been a shock to the islander because of how crowded and bustling it felt, then Korska was the opposite and it was more the wide open expanse of white silence that was shocking to him. Although silence wasn’t quite the right word. While it was true that there was little in the way of actual sound, aside from the howling of the wind and the crunching of snow, everything still seemed so… loud. The whiteness of the world was blinding, so pure and clear. Everything seemed extra sharp and crisp and well defined and it grated Salem’s senses a bit.

    So it hardly goes without saying that Salem Archon was having an absolute blast! The man had been out in the snow for hours now and was still as mesmerized and mystified by it as when he first saw it. Nothing could have prepared him for the strange new sensations. Wading through the snow was it bit like wading through very soft sand, but then less shifty. It was like really dense foam and Salem imagined that this is what it must feel like to walk on clouds. One of the first things he had done when he arrived and noticed the softness of the substance was to throw himself bodily into it and roll around like a child on the beach. It was crystallized water, he had been told so he had pulled his mark down and buried his face into it, opening his mouth to taste it. It sort off tasted like water, but with lots of air, and the stinging sensation all over his face quickly convinced him to put his scarf and goggles back in place, but his smile was a permanent fixture from then on.

    Salem was here in Korska at the behest of Benjamin Michaels. The scientist had caught wind of the research to be had in the frozen North and had asked his house guest for the last few months to go and collect some data for him. His wife, Jeanne René Michaels, and Salem’s personal instructor for the last seven to eight months, had signed off on this excursion with the argument that it would be a good training environment for him. Salem did not object, he rarely objected to anything and this was great opportunity to expand his horizon like never before. The wealthy couple had arranged for everything. Transportation towards-, and stay at one of the research facilities, stylish and functional clothing as well as other necessary supplies for an extended trip in an arctic environment. Their daughter, the sweet young lady Alice, had even gone so far as to arrange little Santa hats and scarfs for Tymolin and Emily, although even the ‘little’ hats turned out to be on the big side for the small Minccino and Emolga. Not That they cared, Tymolin absolutely adored his hat and scarf and Emily seems more than pleased to share a matching outfit with the spunky mouse.

    The pair had been playing in the snow right alongside Salem from the moment they all arrived at the facility and had eagerly assisted in the creation of a massive Blastoise shaped snowman right beside the main entrance where excess heaps of snow could be found. It had taken the trio the better part of an hour to finish the statue and it was thanks to Emily, in large part, that it showed even a vague resemblance to a turtle at all. Neither of the boys turned out to have any sort of talent for sculpting.

    The Emolga seemed to have discovered a new passion through this, and immediately after the Blastoise was done she started on a smaller snowman, this one shaped after Tymolin. The Minccino for his part was blissfully oblivious to these showings of affection as per usual. He instead was actively engaged with showing this snowy likeness of Ajax, his greatest rival, who the real king of North was by practicing tiny punches, kicks, and the occasional head-butt on it.

    Salem watched the small pair play for a bit and briefly considered letting Lenalee, his adorable Cherubi, out of her Pokéball to join them, but he eventually decided that it was probably too cold out here for the delicate little cherry. Instead he released Sorano and bade the Absol to assist him in exploring the surroundings a bit while they let the little ones have their fun. Eager for a run in these open white fields the dark type agreed and they were soon off.

    An hour later they had had not gotten much exploring done because Salem had discovered the joys of sledding. They had found a discarded sled around the side of the lodgings building and after it became abundantly clear that the proud Pokémon would not be going around pulling Salem along behind him they had set out in search of some nearby hills. They found a sizable one a fair distance away from the facility, far enough that the buildings could not be seen directly anymore at least, and here it was that Salem learned that running up a snowy slope in heavy winter clothing was a great deal more exhausting than the islander originally suspected. His goal had been to go up and down four times, but after the second time his legs were already trembling from the exertion. Stubborn as only he could be about silly little things he pushed himself and was all but crawling up the hill for his forth ride, his Absol companion happily trotting next to him.

    When he reached the top of the hill Salem slumped down and propped himself up against the sled to catch his breath and enjoy the view. He pulled his scarf down so that he could savor the frosty air and breathe more easily.

    “The world really is a beautiful place,” he mumbled absent mindedly when Sorano sat down next to him.

    The Pokémon couldn’t speak of course, but he answered Salem nonetheless by sending him a feeling of peace and acceptance. It had taken a little getting used to, but Salem had become decently proficient in figuring out the meaning behind these emotional waves. Benjamin had explained to him once that some Pokémon were capable of communication with humans through clever use of their innate abilities, and that some psychic types could even establish mind links and communicate through thought.

    Salem was reminded of the wild girl who he had met on Jinko Island, Lin had been her name and she had the ability to properly understand the language of Pokémon. How excited he had been then. He still was of course, and it was definitely one of the skills he would seek to obtain in his lifetime. He had promised Gerald’s Delphox June a conversation after all.

    Walking memory lane now he wondered how the others were doing after the ordeals on the savage island. His thoughts went out to all of them but quickly honed in on one girl in particular, as they always did. A beautiful young woman with silver eyes and an unbreakable spirit. Fractured sure, and some pieces were missing, stolen even, but she held it together somehow. It impressed him now just as it had impressed him then how she had managed to seem so large and so small at the same time. So sturdy and so fragile, so bright and yet so dark. She truly was an enigma, a mystery, a wonder of the world, well, his world at least. And as he had every day since they parted ways those many months ago, he thought of her lovingly, prayed for her safety, and whispered her name,

    “Karela.”
     
    #4 Nygenn, Oct 28, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  5. The hilarity of the following events was entirely lost on Jacob. First, the brandishing of Curt’s masterball went unnoticed, as Jacob was in the front seat, and he was looking out the window. The ice and snow reminded him of time he spent as a child playing out in the snow; of course, the area was entirely new. It was so familiar and so foreign. And it appeared to be untouched; miles of snow without a single footprint. It probably looked the same way it looked one million years ago.


    "BLLLLARRRRGGGGHHH!!!!!" Jacob snapped out of his thoughts as he heared the yacking of an unfamiliar creature. He turned to see a Bidoof, sitting in Curt’s lap, now swimming in brownish goop. Jacob quickly swung back around, looking away from the vomit as he gagged. “OH NO YOU DON'T! YOU ARE NOT DRINKING ANYMORE, UNHAND THAT WHISKEY!” Jacob furrowed his brow. Curt had brought whiskey? And he let his new Bidoof, named Barry apparently, drink it? Jacob was still trying to figure out what exactly was happening when Embertail leaned over from the back with his own question. "...So, you're being awfully quiet Jacob, anything on your mind?" Jacob had still not gotten used to Embertail’s speaking, and it through him off for a moment longer. Before he could answer, Cassies voice came from the other side of the truck. “I was sure he’d fallen asleep the moment he climbed on the truck.” He let out a sigh, before turning to face Embertail.


    “I wish,” he began in response to Cassie. The back of the truck had significantly fewer characters than there had been a moment ago, as apparently most of the pokemon would rather be in their pokeballs than sitting in vomit. “I’m just tired..” he began. As he said this, the sun shifted behind a cloud, noticeably dimming the area. Jacob spun back around to his window, craning his neck low so as to see the clouds. He hadn’t noticed them before; it had been so sunny he was wearing sunglasses. “Professor,” he began, turning to Camphor. “Is there a storm coming?”


    “There shouldn’t be,” the Professor responded, happy to not be talking about the deteriorating situation in the back seat. “The forecast was clear for the next few days. The clouds will probably just pass with some flurries.” The Professor seemed entirely unworried, or at least disinterested, but Jacob wasn’t convinced. “Yea… maybe,” he mumbled under his breath. He looked at Shakespeare who was still flying alongside the truck. The pokemon was also looking at the sky, clearly noticing the sudden change.


    “Hey, Cassie,” Jacob began, turning back to look at his friend. “I forgot to ask; how’s...” Jacob was cut off by Professor Camphors sudden jam on the breaks. Jacob fell forward, and might well have been thrown through the windshield had it not been for his seatbelt. The truck had come to a complete halt and now simply sat on the ice and snow. Shakespeare, still outside the vehicle, and flown down to the roof of the truck and now sat atop it. “What the-“ he said, turning towards the Professor. “What was that for?”


    “You don’t hear that?” Camphor responded, reaching forwards and grabbing the key before turning off the car. With the sound of the engine gone, a dull creaking sound hovered in the air. Jacob’s eyes grew wide.


    “The ice!?!”


    No… no… it can’t be the ice… the ice is thick enough…”


    “Thick enough for a heard of Mamoswine, but not thick enough for our little truck?” Jacob rolled his eyes in a sigh. What should they do? His mind raced without answer for more than a few seconds. Luckily, the professor took action.


    “Everyone, out of the truck!” he shouted as he opened his door. But before any of the others could escape the truck, the dull creaking gave way to one of the most sudden and loudest noises Jacob had ever heard.


    CCCRRRRAAAAACCCCCCCKKKKKKK!!!!!!


    Just behind the noise, like a sonic soundwave, followed a storm of kicked up snow and ice. Jacob, who was looking closely, managed to see just the shadow of a figure leap up into the sky before the snow and ice were on top of the truck. With great force, the truck was hurled into the air, dropping to the ground with a crash. The truck landed on its roof, leaving the entire carload hanging upside down. Jacob’s neck snapped back, and he slammed the back of his head on the headrest. The resulting hit was hard enough to daze him, and for a moment, everything went black.


    He woke up almost immediately, however, lying on the flipped roof the car, his Togekiss just above him. Shakespeare had grabbed hold of the back of his shirt, and dragged the limp Jacob through the window of the car. Jacob was still dazed, but even in that state he could feel the cold of the arctic air as he left the safety of the truck. His heart was beating rapidly, and he was breathing heavily. Blinking a few times, he struggled to fully regain his consciousness. He looked left and right, trying to get his bearings as quickly as possible. Everything looked fuzzy, perhaps because there was still snow in the air, kicked up from the impact, or perhaps because he hadn’t recovered. But even his that state, he heard the screech. It sounded like a low pitch whistle, but clearly wasn’t coming from any normal source.


    “HWHWUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHH!!!!!”


    Jacob hadn’t found any of his friends yet; Cassie, Curt or Embertail. But he had to see what was making that noise. Through the wind, against the backdrop of a dark cloudy sky, he could see it: a massive blue and white angelic creature with glowing white eyes floating in the air above him. His breathing grew shorter, and more rapid, and he began to shake. The creature raised its long neck before releasing another cry.


    “HWHWUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHH!!!!!”
     
  6. "BECAUSE! HE'D! JUST! POP OUT! AGAIN... GOT IT! I GO-GYYUUAHH!", Curt yelled, his brief cheer of success was cut short upon Barry biting down on his hand, which Curt retaliated with by knocking Barry on the snout, sending the stunned Bidoof tumbling into Jaspers lap. Thankfully, Barry didn't bother biting down hard enough to break Curts skin, which means he didn't have to dig out his medical pack while he put the Whiskey away.

    "Heheh, h-hey Curt, Barry, what do you guys say about meeting each other half-way and let Barry have just ooone more shot once we get to the camp, eh, that should be enough to tide you over, right Barry?", Embertail suggested with a smile, trying to be the mediator in this little conflict. Curt and Barry shared a quick, slightly intense look for a moment, before the light-brown haired trainer let out a small sigh of agreement.

    "Sure, that's fine I guess, so long as he doesn't end up hogging the bottle that's SUPPOSED to be for everyone, besides, after seeing him chugged that entire pint of Whiskey in the matter of five minutes, I'm not even sure if he can die from alcohol poisoning...", Curt muttered out as he slumped back into his seat. Barry let out a grunt, but his body language of turning away and climbing over to the now empty seats beside Pen showed them that he was willing to agree to that, of now at least. Besides, Barry now had a new subject of interest to focus on, what, did Cassie really think that little remark she made before was going to just be passed up by the Bidoof.

    "Reeeeh rhel rhna rengdra renga reh (Heeey gurl, heard you call me charming, sounds like someones into the Barr-ster, eh?)", Barry said to Cassie with a sloppy grin and a wink, clearly the raven haired girls obvious sarcasm was lost on the Bidoof. Unfortunately for Barry, his grin instantly dropped as Jasper wasted no time in reaching over, grabbing Barry by the tail, and yanking him back to his seat and as far away from Cassie as she could in this van. Barry turned to Jasper with a hint of fire in his eyes, angry that Jasper supposedly ruined his non-exsistant grove, Jasper couldn't give a crap less.

    "Sorry about that Cassie, like I said, Barry's sort of...Oh, right, I suppose we owe you an explanation as how Barry wound up in the...actually, can I tell you guy's later, just thinking about what happened causes me physical discomfort...", Curt said as he put his hand to his forehead as though he had a headache. Thankfully, everyone seemed willing to comply, allowing Jacob to take the floor, so to speak. Though things seemed to get a bit more foreboding when he and the professor began to express worry about the sudden shift in weather, which caused a nagging feeling in the back of Curts mind. If they were able to bring Whips along, they would have, the Dragonite could easily shape the weather to his will and they would have less then nothing to worry about from the weather. The professor's comments about the unexpected weather change brought back memories of authorities confronting him about the times Whips had suddenly changed the weather, something they later found out was highly regulated, but thankfully the cops just let them off with a warning as they didn't do any real damage to the environment.

    His flashback was broken up when the truck came to a sudden stop and they heard Professor Camphor voice starting to become panicked about some sort of noise that they couldn't hear, mainly something about the ice. At first Curt allowed himself to sincerely hope that the Professor was just being paranoid, but then he felt several of the balls on his belt, particularly Raviels and Flares, begin to shake violently, both of which had the best hearing on his team. Embertail and Jasper clambered over Curts lap and were curiously looking out the window, taken in with the rapidly changing weather, while Barry was still slumped over in a drunk stupor, but Jasper face had a strong expression of worry on it, also helping back up the Professor's concerns, she had spend a good deal of her life in the frozen North of Johto, and knew when a storm was coming. There was no denying it now, something bad was about to go down.

    "H-hey, uh guys, do you think we shou-

    “Everyone, out of the truck!”, yelled Professor Camphir, the sudden energy in his voice snapping the entire party (minus Barry) into high alert. Embertail was already right next to the door when the professor shouted, and wasted no time in opening it, which turned out to not be the best idea, as the moment he cracked open the door, and flurry of snow blocked their vision with pure white. The next thing they knew they felt as though the entire vehicle was being lifted up into the air. The last thing Curt remembered before blacking out was a the silhouette of two small figures and the van as and the rushing of cold air against his back.

    Curt woke up to a sharp pain in his face, the trainer woke up with a pop and sputter, shaking his head to clear his cloudy vision, eventually his eye's refocused to see the image of Barry, who was rearing back to slap Curt again.

    "WOAH WAIT, BARRY I'M UP I-OOWWW!", Curt said as he jerk himself up in response to the slap, causing Barry to tumble off him, "ergh, uh, thanks I guess Barry....you sure woke up fast..." Barry just rolled his eyes and took a swig from the now half- empty bottle of Whiskey that Curt had just put back (no doubt Barry prioritized getting that before even bothering to check up on anyone else). But really, this was so far from the first time Barry had blacked out or been knocked unconscious, it might as well been on the freaking moon. Thankfully, a quick glance around revealed everyone was picking themselves up without too much trouble or pain. Embertail seemed a bit dizzy, but fine as he started to stand up, Jasper, however was looking frantically for something. Arching his head, Curt could see that Jasper had lost her skull helmet, and while it wasn't from any close relative of hers (a great cousin twice removes, or something), it was still important head-protection.

    "Hehe, well, that was fun... a little bit painful but fun", Embetail said with a smile, but still rubbing his aching head as he took a good look around, "well, everyone seems alright, except for you losing you helmet Jasper, but don't worry, I bet it just came off in the...woah, that storm sent us for a trip, look at how far the truck is!" Embertail legitimately sounded impressed as he pointed to the truck, which now looked to be at least a half of a foot-ball fields distance way. From the distance one could barely make out Jacob and Shakespeare on top of the truck, which was now turned over. Still, at least they were safe, no sign of Cassie or Professor Camphir though, the Professor's condition worried his, but Cassie girl could take care of herself...most of the time. Embertail did have a point though, they did get launched far all things considered, he supposed the ice and the storm also knocked them a bit a ways, and the fresh snow covering the ice for absorbing some of the impact (and for Curt, his thick clothes), but they were lucky a few bruises where all they got.

    Curt tried to pick himself up, and almost fell on his face, the lake was still ice, and ended up tumbling back down, which caused his bruises to flare up again. Curts eye's grew wide, hoping to Arceus that his fall didn't damage the Ice even more, thankfully, no more cracking was heard, meaning no more harm was done. Embertail and Jasper made their ways over (their sharper nails and rougher feet giving them a bit more balance on the ice) to help Curt up. Barry just stood their drinking the Whiskey.

    "T-Thanks guys, the vans not too far away, so if we walk on all fours to distribute out weight and take it slow, we should be-"

    “HWHWUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHH!!!!!”

    "Ugh, really, what now! No, seriously, WHY AM I ALWAY'S...getting...inter-....", Curt's voice failed him as he saw a massive, figure rise up into the sky. The creature was massive, bigger then a house, and avian in shape, it's feathers were whiter then the snow, thick, black-bluish protrusions marked its face, with an olive-blue chest markings. Curt and Embertail knew this creature, they grew up in Johto, the land where they revered this creature as a deity, "The Guardian of the Seas. Curts mind was rushing, looking for some sort of idea of what to do, never in his life did he think he would be face to face with a legend such as this. Should they start running? Giving it tribute? Was here with benevolent intentions? Somehow, Curt doubted it, if the way if tore up their van wasn't proof enough, but, if Lugia itself was attacking them, then, what hope did they have against it?

    "Uh, C-Curt, w-what should we do, Jacob a-and Shakespear are still by the van, w-we can't just leave them there", Embertail stuttered out, his normally jolly face completely replaced by one with shock and even fear. Jasper was in a similar way, he face, now with out the mask, completely marked with an expression of total bewilderment. Hell, even Barry looked a little stunned at the sight of the legendary bird. Curt had no response, they'd been in tight spots before, and fought countless other power Pokemon, but this...this was just something else. All Curt could do was kneel there staring at the creature, like he was just waiting to throw himself at the great beasts mercy.

    "C-Curt? J-Jasper, are you...? COME ON GUYS, GET A HOLD OF YOURSELFS!, Embertail yelled as he suddenly leapt on to Curts knees, grabbed his thick brown coat and locked eye's with him, "we survived three Hell caves, a Deoxys, AND a Darkrai, are we really going to turn yellow after everything else we've been through!?" And there they were, Embertails words, somehow pulling them all to their senses, like they always had.

    "NOW LETS GO KICK THAT GIANT SEA GULLS TUSSHIE!", Embertail said, pointing vigorously at Lugia.

    "Y-your right Embertail, after everything we've been through, we can't just...run away here! ",Curt said, with Jasper letting out a cheer in agreement, "Now, I think I got a paln that will-...Embertail what are you doing"? Curt and Jasper looked over to suddenly see Embertail on his knees and his arms in prayer towards Lugia's direction.

    "Oh, I'm apologizing to Lugia for calling it a "Gaint Sea Gull" and saying we should kick his butt so that Arceus doesn't sent me to heck", Embertail said with a calm expression on his face, leading to Curt and Jasper sharing an eye roll.

    ..."OK then, well anyway's, like I was saying, I think I got a battle plan", Curt said he rustled through his belt. Flare wouldn't be able to maneuver the ice very well, Lockjaw might, but he was cold blooded, he could resist the cold in short burst, but any extensive exposure could ending up freezing him, that left him with only one option. Curt snapped a ball of his belt, popped it open, with a flash of light revealing a one eared Jolteon with a mildly pissed off look on his face and a tooth-pick in its mouth. Needless to say, the moment he saw the guardian of the sea's, his face immediately dropped.

    "R-Raviel, listen, I need you to do that, "electric bounce" over to the van and try to help Jacob and Shakespe-I know, I know", Curt said, the Jolteon giving Curt a look of total disbeleif, "what I'm asking you, I understand you're scared, we all are, and if it's too dangerous for you, then we can move in slowly toge-

    "REHNA!", Raviel barked. Sure, he was scared of the Great Diver Pokemon, but like Hell was he going to let anyone think that! Electricity cracked amoungest his spikes and with a ZAP! he was bouncing towards the flipped over truck. Curt and Jasper couldn't help but smile at Raviels determination to preserve the supposed image he built for himself, even if it came down to fighting a Legendary Pokemon. Embertail even gave the Lightening Pokemon a cheer to spur him on, Barry just grumbled and burped.

    "JUST BE REALLY CAREFUL, O.K RAVIEL...Alright guy's, let's get there as quickly as we can without breaking the ice", Curt said just as the mighty, diety-like Pokemon let out another roar. The rest of the group began to clamber over the lake to the truck, Jacob, Shakesphere, and one of the most powerful and rare Pokemon they have ever, and would ever, face.
     
    #6 Curtkid, Oct 29, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  7. "BECAUSE! HE'D! JUST! POP OUT! AGAIN...

    “Well, at least it would buy you some time to hide that whisk-“

    GOT IT! I GO-GYYUUAHH!"

    In the end, Cassie simply let out a long sigh through her nose, furrowing her brows slightly at the hyperactive man and his terribly drunk Bidoof, but just as quickly shook it off. After quite a while of knowing him, such comedic situations have become part of her norm.

    I wish,

    Cassie allowed the small upwards tug of her lips to form a faint smile. She moved her gaze back to Jacob’s bright orange head for a brief second before tilting her head downwards some, and returned her attention to the book now simply abandoned atop her lap. She noted the numbers on the footers of the page; Peridot had read ahead quite far. What page had she been on last? 245? 242?

    I’m just tired...

    ‘Aren’t we all?’ Cassie thought with a contemplative hum this time, but chose not to peel her eyes away from the ivory pages. The book still smelled of binding glue, fresh out of the factory. Its pages crisp and clear of wrinkles. But then most of her books were. When you’ve spent enough time growing up with your eyes glued onto them, you come to appreciate when they are not falling out of their spines or torn in places.

    "Reeeeh rhel rhna rengdra renga reh?” Cassie snapped her gaze to the side upon the garbled grunts and growls from the creature now sitting next to her, the vomit rodent, just in time to see his wink. She could feel the corners of her lips once again beginning their descent into a faint scowl, her ears hearing Curt’s apologies in Barry’s place but not quite processing it, and it was then when she realized something was slightly off in her memory log.

    Jacob’s sentence had ended in an incomplete note, and only then did she decide to look out, and up.

    The skies have grown darker all of a sudden, when there wasn’t a cloud in sight mere moments ago. Her eyes focus on the snow and the skies of the far horizon. There, she easily noticed the distinct line between shadow and light. An island of darkness in the midst of an ocean of light. Jacob’s Togekiss seemed to take notice of the abrupt change as well. There was something very wrong, and she could not help the quickening of her heart beat in anticipation. “Professor,” Came Jacob’s voice. “Is there a storm coming?

    And so, she ended up listening attentively to the exchange between student and professor while she began rolling her window up yet again. She could probably survive the impermeable stench of vomit and liquor for a few minutes.

    Hey, Cassie,

    “Hm?” The redhead’s voice snapped her back from her contemplative stupor, and upon turning her head, she was met with his blue eyes, to which she raised an eyebrow questioningly.

    I forgot to ask; how’s...

    His question, unfortunately, was left yet again unfinished. Intercepted by the violent halt of the truck which sent Cassie lunging forward from her seat, resulting in the soft gasp that left her throat. Had she not been hanging onto the truck’s hand rail, she would have surely slammed face first into Jacob’s head rest.

    What the-“ Jacob once again started, voicing the opinion buzzing about in her head. “What was that for?

    You don’t hear that?” The engines were switched off, and Cassie immediately tuned her ears to the white silence surrounding them beyond the safety of the truck’s walls. She could hear the winds, their faint whistle, ever increasing by the moment, and then, there, she noticed it, the heavy, omnipotent groan of complaint that surrounded and subdued them.

    Her heart fluttered, and her mind ticked with the cadence of a metronome as adrenaline rushed through her veins, and she relished that thrill, that fear of peril that made her feel alive,

    And she began to grin.

    “Haha…”

    Cassie reached for the door handle, but it was as if the world roared in disapproval the moment her glove grazed its metallic surface.

    CCCRRRRAAAAACCCCCCCKKKKKKK!!!!!!

    The noise was deafening, it rivaled even an Exploud’s best howl, and in the nanoseconds that ticked by, when her free hand reached upwards to grasp her ear, while the other, pulling back on the door handle, her eyes took note of the tremendous force heading right toward them like a massive tsunami kicking up snow and ice in its wake into one of the largest snowstorms Cassie has ever seen. It hit the truck dead on and her head was slammed into the thick window glass as a result. It was but a dull ‘thud’ to her brain as the adrenaline numbed her from the pain.

    But the next thing she knew, she was flying.

    Cassie watched the truck rotate on its axes around her. Snowflakes glittered in the air and cold winds stung against her face. Bodies hovering as if they had somehow escaped the clutches of gravity. And the last thing she remembered was thinking how Salem would have loved to do that, before everything went black.

    HWHWUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHH…!

    She remembered feeling very far away. Almost like an out-of-body experience. She felt as if she were still floating then, this time in a pool of black ink, and she wondered for a brief moment if somehow she was back in the ruins, still trapped in their dark clutches, and dying slowly. Dreaming. Imagining for one last time that she had escaped, and all the events that occurred after were but fleeting fantasies.

    What a sick twist that would have been.

    HWHWUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHH…!!!!

    Her eyes peeled open, her vision adjusting excruciatingly slowly, and the first thing she could note was how cold everything was. Arid, freezing winds pricked her face and urged her consciousness to return, and the next thing she noticed was that the seats were suddenly on the ceiling. She tried moving, but found her limbs were restricted by something heavy, very heavy, but the adrenaline in her blood refused her the pain she might’ve been feeling at the time.

    Turning her head to the left, she took in the sight of her left hand, pinned beneath one of the many equipment bags they had packed. Her legs and right arm fared no better and she realized her torso felt heavy and her back arched in an uncomfortable position. Did she snap her spine? No, she could still feel all her toes and fingers. That must mean her bag was still on her, at least.

    With a soft grunt, she proceeded to pull her hands free from the weight of the luggage, and eased the particularly large chest pinning her legs. Afterwards, she merely leaned over on hands and knees and crawled her way to the nearest exit, which happened to be an open door on what would have been Curt’s side of the truck.

    However, the moment her shaking hands pressed against the slick ice, they gave and slammed her flat onto the ground almost instantly. A wry, exasperated laugh left her throat as she planted her hands firmer onto the ice. One. Two. The dark fabric they were clad in contrasted starkly to the pure white of the ice.

    As did the smear of red where her head had been. And the three new drops that came to join it.

    “My therapist is going to kill me…”

    Still in a state of disorientation, lying on her stomach with her body only halfway out of the truck, Cassie noted the apparent absence of her fedora, and wondered about the shadow being cast still. Oh, she remembered there had been a sudden change in the weather just moments ago… Strange clouds forming over them. And so, Cassie reared her head back and gazed up at the darkened sky, and was faced with the most majestic Pokemon she has yet to lay her eyes on. A creature whose power made her shudder, sending her heart racing from excitement, yet mortal terror at the same time.

    “L-… Lugia…”

    And when she set her gaze forward, all she could really focus on was the flash of bright yellow emitting discharges of electricity bounding right towards her. And the fact that her boot had snagged on one of the luggage zippers.

    “W- Wait, wait…!”

    But her voice was so easily drowned by the howling winds.
     
    #7 PentheWonderful, Oct 29, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
    Trucro, Nygenn and BurbleBurble like this.
  8. Salem had been sitting on the shabby sled he found earlier, so that his pants and ass would not get wet and cold, for about fifteen minutes simply enjoying the serenity of his environment. When the sun shone directly on his face and the wind was coming from a different direction it actually felt pleasantly warm. The reflection of the light on the white snow made everything look rather… expensive, or at least he thought it did. Back in Unova Salem had once accompanied young lady Alice into what she had called; a jewelry store. A place with lots of shiny and glimmering stones and metals. Those things had been expensive, the girl had explained, meaning they were worth a lot of money. She had done her best to try and explain the concept to him, but Salem still did not quite understand. He understood that money was a sort of placeholder in trade because it was easier transportable than raw goods, what he had trouble with were the numerical values given to things and how items, or even services, could have set prices. It was a confusing system, especially when he saw people throw away exes food in one street while others were lamenting their hunger in the next street over. He had decided to just leave those matters to the Michaels and focus on his trainer studies instead. Still, seeing the world around him so sparkly and shiny now he wondered idly how much money snow would be worth, and if Lady Alice would like to have some.

    His musings were subtly disturbed when something inside his coat began to shift and move. After some fuzzing and opening the front of his outfit a little, Aeryn poked her dark head out and blinked her pretty green eyes. The baby Dratini never left his side and Salem felt uncomfortable putting the child in a Pokéball, so she had opted to coil herself around him beneath his winter coat where it was nice and warm. Something had clearly disturbed her though and prompted her to investigate.

    Aeryn was different from regular Dratini, or at least that is what Cassie had told him when the baby dragon hatched from the egg they had rescued from Jinko Island, and imprinted on the both of them. The Pokémon was shaped the same but colored differently as far as she could tell. Dratini were supposed to be light blue with a white snout and belly, Aeryn however was such a dark blue she was practically black and her eyes shone an almost toxic green, most likely a result of genetic alterations made by the Team Rocket Scientists also responsible for the virus that plagued Jinko Island, Cassie surmised. Salem had no idea of course, he had never seen a Dratini before, but had heared stories from the elders on Delmar. The mystical Dramino was supposed to be a rare and powerful monster, and its evolutions Dralucido and Draballero even more so. Cassie confirmed this and informed him that in English the Pokémon were called Dratini, Dragonair and Dragonite. Salem had once again been immensely impressed by the seemingly endless wealth of knowledge the Ace trained seemed to possess and had in fact been inspired then and there to become a proper trainer himself. He had seen the positive change in her demeanor when she spoke about Pokémon and wanted desperately to be a part of that world, for her, with her. This is what led him to Unova to search out Lady Michaels, who was supposedly one of the greatest Pokémon trainers of the previous generation. Cassie and Salem had decided to adopt the baby Pokémon together, but he would have to look after it until she got her life back on track. Fortunately Aeryn was not the first baby Pokémon he raised and the Michaels had been a great help later on. Sir Benjamin especially had shown a particular interest in the discolored pseudo legendary dragon.

    “What is it, querida?” he asked when the young dragon uttered some mournful notes and seemed fixated on the horizon. “Is there something wrong?”

    Salem looked over at where the Dratini was looking and apparently seeing something that distressed the baby more and more, but saw nothing out of the ordinarily himself. He locked eyes with Sorano briefly when the Cordia, or Absol in English, sat upright next to them, alarmed by Aeryn’s distress. Normally it was the disaster Pokémon who was always the first to take note of anything potentially troubling, a skill that Salem had unconsciously come to rely on quite a bit, however the Absol seemed as confused as Salem, even more so when a turbulent darkness began to form on the horizon proving that something was indeed happening. His eyes began to glow then, a sign which Salem recognized as him casting his awareness out into the world to detect irregularities or something of the sort. The man did not pretend to understand it, but he knew enough to wait it out and listen to what his friend had to say afterwards.

    About a minute had passed before Sorano’s spirit seemed to return to his body and immediately Salem was hit by a wave of panic from the canine, something was most definitely wrong. He had seen the clouds forming and gathering in an unnatural swirling pattern while he waited, but if Sorano felt the need to warn him that meant this, whatever it was, would affect him personally. He stood up, pushed Aeryn back into his coat and zipped it back up, then he proceeded to pick up the sled while he asked his friend, “Will the storm hit us here?”

    Sorano nodded thoughtfully and Salem felt like there was something more to it. He turned to look the Absol in the eyes and let his mind drift, not really focusing on anything. He had learned over time that if he did this Sorano could sometimes direct his attention towards something, a thought or a memory. He had spoken with Benjamin about the phenomenon, but even the knowledgeable researcher could not quite explain how it worked. He could only tell Salem that some Pokémon, which were sensitive to the world around them, could develop psychic-like tendencies and that perhaps Absol were such Pokémon. He also speculated that it was maybe due to Salem’s own open mindedness that Sorano was able to convey so much information to him. How it worked was not important right now however, only that it worked. Salem looked deep into his friends eyes and let his mind drift until suddenly he felt a sort of tug in his head and an imagine sprang to the forefront, the image of a large, fully round, silver moon.

    “Cassie!” he choked as he dropped the sled and reeled from the force of the vision. He has never had such a strong reaction before and whether this was because his bond with the Absol had grown stronger or because of who he thought the vision was about, did not matter. All he knew was that he needed to act, right now.

    “Let’s go!” he yelled, already diving onto the sled and racing down the slope in the direction of the research facility, Sorano hot on his heels.

    -----

    “Emmy, Timo, we have to go!” Salem shouted at the little Pokémon still playing in the snow when he approached the main building. “Prisa!”

    His sudden yelling startled Emily and the Emolga let go of Tymolin’s tail which she had desperately been holding onto to prevent the excitable Chinchilla from completely destroying the giant snow turtle they build earlier. The cold sculpture was already riddled with tiny holes all over its body from where it was subjected to tiny punches and kicks. The pair was standing on one of the icy shoulder canons when it happened. Tymolin stumbled, tumbled, and somehow managed to bounce himself up in a jump kick which collided with side of the fake Blastoise’s head, knocking it clean off. His subsequent boastful posing and flexing was interrupted when Salem tapped the button on his Pokéball when he ran past, recalling the violent mouse. Emily, not actually having a Pokéball of her own spread her little arms wide, jumped off and glided after him.

    The dark skinned man burst through the front doors and then the second pair of front doors into the facility and frantically looked around. The few people that were at the facility were all running around and shouting in a panic. Apparently their instruments had picked up on the sudden storm which was quickly growing in size and getting ever closer. Salem would have found this immensely fascinating under different circumstances, but his own panic was driving him onwards. It was an irrational panic he knew. All that Sorano had shown him was the image of a full moon which could mean any number of different things, and the idea that Cassie would be here in this frozen wasteland, while she was supposed to be all the way down in Kalos, was downright laughable, yet the possibility existed and that was enough for him. He would ride out into the storm to make sure.

    The doors behind him chimed and a woman with a helmet on stepped inside. Salem reeled on her and immediately ushered her back outside.

    “Hey!” the woman exclaimed, “what gives?”

    “I am sorry miss, I truly am, but judging from your protective hat you just arrived on one of those land Jet Skis right?” he asked her urgently.

    “You mean a Snowmobile?” she asked incredulously.

    “Probably,” he answered. “I need you to drive me into the storm.”

    Salem had seen the things in action soon after he arrived in the arctic environment. They looked like the Jet Skis he had seen people use at the beach near the Michaels residence back in Unova and like their aquatic counterparts they looked fast and easy to operate. A good thing too because after his little escapades on the snowy hill earlier he had no illusions about making it anywhere fast on foot or by sled. No, he needed one of these machines.

    “Are you insane!?” the woman proclaimed. A fair question to be sure, but one that Salem had no time to get into right now.

    “Please,” he begged, “lives may be at stake.”

    “Yes, ours!” she said exasperated, but then fell silent. Salem had pulled his goggles and scarf down to show the woman the desperation on his face and in his eyes, to show her that he was serious. She was quiet for a moment and due to her helmet Salem could not see what she might be thinking. He was about to say more when she suddenly spoke up.

    “I will show you how to operate one, but I am not driving into that storm.”

    Relief flooded his body and Salem made a mental note to thank her properly later. He followed the woman around the side of the main building where a hanger served as a garage. Its gates were still open as more people seemed to be hurrying back from whatever fieldwork they were doing to escape the oncoming blizzard. She led him to a section where several Snowmobiles were parked.

    “Get on this one, it’s already warmed up,” she said pointing at the nearest one.

    Salem wasted no time and sat himself down while she pulled out a plug on a cord and pushed it in the ignition. She attached the other end of the cord to his coat and then quickly explained the controls to him.

    “The right push handle lets you accelerate, and the left pull handle is the brake,” she said pointing at each in turn. “Hitting this large red button on the right will turn the thing off, while the little grey button on the left that says start will get it going.” She pushed the button while she spoke and the engine hummed to life.

    “Without this plug nothing will work, so don’t lose it.” She finished her tutorial by indicting the cord she had attached to him earlier, then stepped back. “I really hope you know what you’re doing.”

    Salem gave her a bright, confident smile before he pulled his scarf and goggles back in place. Emily meanwhile seated herself in the extra seat on the back of the vehicle and Sorano set out to get a head start.

    “So do I,” he said, his voice somewhat muffled. “Thank you.”

    He pushed the accelerator gently and steered the Snowmobile outside where he turned it towards the ever expanding snow storm.

    “So do I…” he repeated to himself before he sped off after the Absol.
     
    #8 Nygenn, Oct 29, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
    PentheWonderful and Trucro like this.
  9. Jacob took a few deep breaths as he regained full consciousness. The massive pokemon flying above him was enough to leave many a person stunned in awe, but Jacob had more experience than most with legendary pokemon. Having control of his body once again, as he lay on the snow, he did a quick check. He couldn’t feel much pain, but he knew is adrenaline was up. He forced himself to check his body parts one by one, and discovered that his left shoulder caused significant pain when he moved it. Other than that, and the pounding in his head, he seemed to be alright. Standing up, he confirmed that his feet, legs, and back were all in working order.


    With that, he began to analyze the situation. Curt seemed to be on top of things, several meters behind him Curt and his pokemon were already in action. He didn’t see Cassie, and began to do a quick search but his attention was quickly diverted when the Lugia began to move. It flew over top of the group, crying once more as it passed dangerously close to Jacob’s head. He could feel the force of the air the pokemon carried with it, and the pressure it exerted on its surroundings. It felt as though he weighed twice as much as normal, which was more uncomfortable than it was debilitating. Nonetheless, it impressed upon him the gravity of the situation. Even Shakespeare wasn’t immune to its effects. As the Lugia turned around back towards the group, it became clear the ancient pokemon had hostile intentions. Jacob watched as it opened its mouth, not to roar, but to begin collecting energy for an attack. A glowing blue orb of energy had formed floating just inches from the pokemon’s mouth.


    Jacob sprang into action, immediately grabbing the pokeball second from the back of his belt. In a flash of white, Jacob’s Golurk appeared, standing in front of him as a sentinel. Jacob had hoped to use Stargazer (his Golurk) to escape, but it quickly became clear to him he would need to use the pokemon for defense first, as the Lugia appeared to have chosen him as the first target. “Stargazer, I need you to-” he had begun his commands, but it was too late. In an aeroblast attack, the blue orb had become a beam of energy rushing towards Jacob and those around him. Stargazer, ever the guardian, took a quick step blocking the attack with its own body. The attack hit with more force than it had appeared at a glance to have, sending the large Golurk flying backwards several meters before Stargazer crashed into the ground, kicking up quite a bit of snow. Jacob turned to Curt, who had been running towards him.


    “We need to get out of here, ASAP!” he shouted. As he did, he could hear the wind around them gaining speed. Snow began to fall from the sky and rise from the ground, creating a torrent icy wind that surrounded the group. The wind actually felt refreshing due to the heat from all of the movement and excitement surrounding his circumstances, but it made it much more difficult to act. In no time at all, the snow created a fog so thick, Jacob couldn’t see more than a meter or so in front of him. He quickly recalled Stargazer to its pokeball before turning to Shakespeare. “Stay close!” The Togekiss nodded, and took off into the air, staying relatively low to the ground, just behind Jacob. In fact, Shakespeare stayed so close he could feel the Togekiss’s head digging into the back of his coat.


    Jacob quickly got to work trying to find Curt and Cassie in this mess. While he could no longer see the Lugia, he knew it was around somewhere. He could hear the occasional flapping of wings that was loud enough to overcome to increasingly powerful winds. He heard the pokemon unleash another attack, but he couldn’t tell where it was, or who it was going after.
     
  10. It had taken very little time for Salem and his companions to reach the storm. While they were racing towards it, it in turn was rushing to meet them, all the while growing at an alarming rate, swallowing the land like some hungry leviathan and casting it in a strange white darkness.

    The moment Salem entered the blizzard he had to fight to remain in control of his snowmobile and ended up swerving first left, then right. Powerful winds slammed against the vehicle, but fortunately the Snowmobile was a hefty utility model, build for heavy lifting and dragging of people and equipment. Salem too was heavy and secure enough to remain seated, but the same could not be said for Emily. The poor little Emolga had been blown right out of the seat on the back and only her fast reflexes had allowed her to grab hold of the backrest lest she be blown away entirely. She squeaked her distress and Salem reached back to pull her into his lap, bending over her to shield her from the brunt of the winds.

    Meanwhile Sorano had fared only slightly better. The disaster Pokémon was more resistant to these harsh elements, but was nevertheless reduced to a walking pace.

    “Get on!” Salem shouted and could only barely be heard over the roar of the wind. He was patting the seat behind him, now free, to indicate his intent.

    Sorano was not going to argue the point, in a storm this severe he would not be making any meaningful progress on foot, so he hopped, somewhat awkwardly, on the back of the snowmobile, and they were soon on their way again, albeit slower than before.

    As they went, the Absol steered them in a general direction by nudging Salem in his left or right side to indicate which way he should turn. For his part Salem was hunched forward over Emily and very grateful that this snowmobile came equipped with a windshield. Visibility was bad enough without globs of snow hitting him in the face. Growing up on a tropical island he was no stranger to violent storms, but this snowstorm felt heavier, denser for some reason. Visibility was a great deal less and he counted his blessings that there was no thunder involved, at least not yet. He had no idea if snowstorms produced lightning discharges.

    The group kept going and was steadily moving forward, Salem just hoped that they were actually getting closer.

    ‘Closer to what though?’ he caught himself wondering. ‘Cassie? Do I really believe she would be here of all places?’

    However, before doubt could get a firm hold of him he told himself that it did not matter how unlikely it seemed. The chance was there and Sorano seemed sure there was at least something, or someone worth pursuing out there, so he would go.

    ‘Besides,’ he thought, smiling wryly behind his scarf, ‘if Cassie really was here then surely the center of the storm is where I will find her. She can scold me for my stupidity after I make sure she is safe.’

    He pushed down on the accelerator and forced the snowmobile to speed up slightly.
     
    #10 Nygenn, Oct 31, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
    Curtkid, PentheWonderful and Trucro like this.
  11. Ice is hard, Raviel was reminded of this as he desperately tried to brake and divert his course away from Cassie, though he managed to avoid hitting the Ace Trainer, the one-eared Jolteon still took a tumble on the frozen water. Raviel let out a grunt as he forced himself up, throwing Cassie a quick, angry glare for not even trying to move out of the way. Still, he wasn't going to let himself go down by a freaking slip on the ice! The Lightning Pokemon knew he had to stay alert, especially now of all times, Lugia may have vanished from sight but the heavy beat of its wings still echoes heavily through out the frozen lake. He just had to hold on till Cassie pulled herself out of the truck and for Embertail, Jasper, and Curt to get here (he wasn't counting on Barry to give them much help, in fact, he was almost positive he was going to make things worse). Thankfully Jacob and Shakespeare were back on their feet and on their guard, their words, as much as Raviel hated to admit it, reflected what they were all thinking : RETREAT, as much as Raviel hated to flee, there was precious little they could do against The Guardian of the Seas, what it did to Stargazer was evidence enough of that.

    Raviel cast a quick look at Cassie, it just hitting him that she hadn't sent out any of her Pokemon yet to help defend them against Lugia! Did she not know what it was? But even if she didn't, certainty a two storey tall screaming ass pissed off bird would be enough to convince someone to throw out a Pokemon or two. That's when he noticed her struggling with something inside the truck, was she trying to save her luggage at a time like this? With a groan, Raviel made his way towards the ace trainer, initially giving her a quick but sharp bark in an attempt to tell her to abandon whatever she was trying to pull out. It was only when Cassie turned to look at Raviel did the Jolteon notice her boot strap, or more specifically, the strap that got stuck on one of the luggage bags zippers. Finally clicking for him, Raviel got on his belly, stuck his head inside the truck, and began gnawing on the strap that bound Cassie to the luggage. Thankfully, a Jolteons teeth, while not the sharpest a Pokemon could posses, were far from dull, and made quick work of the boot strap, freeing Cassie in no time at all. Raviel pulled himself back out of the truck the moment he saw that Cassie was able to freely move her legs again, hopefully they could stick together long enough for the rest of the team to meet up.

    It took a bit longer then they wanted, but they made it, Curt and Jasper stood side by side in front of the flipped over vehicle, Embertail just a foot or two behind them with Barry slung over his shoulder. Surprisingly, it turns out drinking an entire bottle of Whiskey before traversing a frozen lake wasn't the best idea, ones balance was already shaky on the icy plane, but hope for movement was lost for the intoxicated Bidoof. Luck for him, Embertail was a kind enough soul to sling Barry over his shoulder and lug him to their destination, Barry still taking swigs of the whiskey all the way to the truck, stopping him didn't seem like a big priority at the moment. Of course, now that they were by the truck Curt realized he could have just called Barry back instead of letting Embertail carry the beaver over the ice, Curt made a mental note to apologize to Embertail for that later. For the moment, the massive, avian shaped shadow being cast on them from above served as a repeated reminder of what their primary concern should be. The memory of the massive Stargazer being casually tossed aside was still fresh in their minds. The strength given to them by Embertails up lifting words was beginning to waver at the sight of the colossal sea beast, the full weight of what they were up against beginning to hit them once again.

    Lugia, the Guardian of the Sea's, one of the legendary bird deities of Johto right next to the mythical Ho-oh, officially recognized as "The Diver Pokemon". "The Diver Pokemon", Curt never understood why the scientific community gave a Pokemon like Lugia such a mundane sounding species name, Curt could immediately think of several more fitting names just based on the legends he heard through his life in Johto: "Storm Bringer Pokemon", "Sea Guardian", even something as straight forward as "The Shining Silver Pokemon" sounded better in Curts mind. He doubted the people who categorized Lugia ever saw one up close, if they did they would understand the sheer stress and pressure that just being near this Pokemon seemed to put on a being, a sense that Curt, Embertail, and Jasper had felt once before, the sense of facing something that was...just beyond what you could comprehend. Lugia's very presence forced one, clear thought to permeate through ones mind: You were standing before a god.

    "Rena...rhats newa reigh ehenacha", Barry said upon gazing upon the mighty Lugia.

    "Yeah, I suppose that is a pretty big chicken Barry", Embertail replied to the Bidoof on his back. Curt had to admit, he was almost impressed at Embertail and Barry's ability to keep calm in such a stressful situation, Barry's words made clear what with Embertail being able to translate for him. And that's when it hit him, Embertail could understand Lugia's words and convey them to them in human tongue! He could explain why it was angry and the could find a solution to this mess!

    "E-Embertail, you can understand Lugia, what is it saying, did we do something wrong, how can we fix this?", Curt said rapidly.

    "Uhhhhh, yeah, Curt, this, well, it isn't a flawless translation, but right now Lugia is basically screaming "I'm pissed!"... but I don't really have an idea what it's pissed about...sorry", Embertail said, a sheepish smile on his face.

    "N-no, it's alright Embertail, I should have known our problems wouldn't have been solved that easily...Raviel, how's Cassie?", Curt yelled the later part to the Jolteon, who responded with a few quick barks, the lack of urgency in the tone of his barks told Curt that Cassie wasn't seriously injured. That at least was a blessing as they watched Lugia reappear from the clouds and launching another massive blast of wind at them, forcing them to take cover behind the vehicle. While taking cover Curt was able to look under the truck into the interior, and for some reason it registered to him that Professor Camphir was no longer inside. Where was he? Was he safe? Did he manage to escape? Those were questions for later, right now they needed to focus on their escape, they'd worry about the professor later.

    "Alright, I think I have something close to a plan running through my mind, Raviel, try to paralyze Lugia with Thunder Wave, lets slow it down so we can make out escape!", Curt roared. Raviel made haste, popping from behind the vehicle and launching a Thunder Wave attack, his spikes cackling on his back before launching them towards the mighty sky beast, carrying with it their hopes of an easier escape. It did nothing, the parties hearts dropped as they watched the Electric attack was swept up in the turbulence of the storm, any damage it could have done was lost in Lugia's might. Raviels jaw dropped at the sight of his attack made useless, this storm, it was greater then anything even Whips could hope to conjure up! It crossed Curts mind that perhaps a Thunder might be able to strike the Lugia with the aid of its storm, but given what they've seen so far, all that'd probably do is piss it off even more! Curt, Embertail, Raviel, and Jasper looked at each other, their was clearly no fighting this, only running, but all their plans of escape seemed to be being countered. However, for one, more inebriated member of their party, the idea of escape, or even the weight of what they were up against, had not him them. Barry saw the Lugia, and heard its roar's of anger and being upset, how it demeaned them, but worse then that stinking over sized chicken's last roar startled Barry into spilling the last bit of his whiskey! That was unforgivable. With a light growl, Barry lifted himself up on Embertails back as his arm began glowing with the strength of a SUPERPOWER attack. Barry arced his arm back, took careful aim at the two or three Lugia's that were dancing around his vision, and chucked the empty Whiskey bottle at the Lugia in the middle's big dumb head.

    Curt was beginning to think "Arceus Damn it Barry" was going to become his new catch phrase as he and his friends watch, dumbfounded, as he and his friends watched the bottle sail across the sky, somehow maintaining trajectory through the storms howling winds, and shattering right dead center on Lugia's head. For a moment, everything was quiet in the roar of the storm, even Lugia seemed to be momentary dumbfounded at what had just transpired, casing his gaze directly at Barry, the great birds face twisted in a myriad of emotions ranging from shock, anger, and even a hint of confusion. But there it was, The Guardian of the Sea's was gazing down on Barry with its full intensity, letting the poor Bidoof know the extend of the blasphemy that he had just committed, and the relentless, divine retribution that was going to fall upon him and his friend.

    Barry flipped Lugia off with a mildly annoyed expression on his face.

    "Wow Barry, I didn't know you knew how to use Superpower!", Embertail exclaimed, once again attempting to keep spirits up in such a dire situation with a bit of humor. It didn't help much. Lugia let out another shriek, now more infuriated then ever, but making it clear to Curt what it's next course of action was. Another attack from the Sea Guardian was imminent and they couldn't afford to wait for it to make the next move.

    "RAVIEL, USED THUNDER QUICKLY!", Curt yelled, his voice rife with panic. The Jolteon, equally on edge hastily channeled his electricity into Lugia's raging storm, the clouds above them crackling with electricity, glowing brightly for a moments before massive bolts of electricity fired towards Lugia's position, hopefully at least forcing the beast to fall back or at least spend a moment defending itself.

    "O.K, that should keep it distracted for about ten seconds, any plans guy's?", Curt asked his friends as they took cover behind the truck yet again.
     
    #11 Curtkid, Nov 4, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
    BurbleBurble and PentheWonderful like this.
  12. The world was a humdrum of howls and energy blasts. A flurry of snow, and shaved ice.

    So much input, but not enough processing speed. So she chose to focus on one, and only one; Raviel, who managed to halt himself in time with a great amount of effort, and stumbling, and sliding, and that agonizing sound of claws against a slick surface. His bark rattled and echoed in her hollowed mind, but she stared blankly with pathetic attempts to remember what it was she was doing. Adrenaline had overcame her thoughts, and now even her thoughts were running away from her. There was only a very thin margin between peak prime, and gradual descent, after all.

    Brows knitted together, she moved her silver gaze upwards towards the sky, and it hit her. Lugia. Lugia was there, of all the places to be in the entire world, it was there, decidedly furious and unreasonable, decidedly hostile and unforgiving. But why them? Why did this have to happen to them? To her, specifically?

    Oh wait, that was because she got a kick out of this stuff. She hoped something would go horribly wrong, so, Arceus must really favor her to make all her wishes come true most of the time. That is, until she saw Jacob's Golurk being blasted onto the ground beside the truck. She should be running, right? Oh, Arceus, she was supposed to be running. Why wasn't she running?

    She wiggled her feet and found one of them constrained still, and it all came back to her. Her boot was stuck. She was trapped.

    Snap!

    The ace trainer blinked, and turned her head slightly to see Raviel there, laying right beside her. She moved her feet slowly, curiously, finding its movements no longer limited, and her heart began pounding yet again. A small grin pulled at her lips. Digging her fingers in the frozen ice beyond the boundary of the truck, Cassie heaved herself out, somehow being able to hear the gentle trickle of red drop down from her head, feel their warmth run down the side of her numb face, and she wiped it clean against her coat sleeve.

    Up she went, onto her own two feet and quickly punished by the buffeting winds and found she couldn't see anything. Everything was simply white, and cold, and she wondered if she was dead already. That was, fortunately not true, as she heard the dull thumps of bodies against metal, and upon looking, she noticed Curt and Embertail's distinct light huddled there.

    Another slight turn of her head revealed Jacob and his bright orange hair, someways away with his Togekiss almost perfectly camouflaged in the white terrain, and the Lugia just a few yards in front of him. Massive. Imposing. And she couldn't help a little grin. Her hands immediately latched onto the three balls on her belt and released the monsters inside. Nine, Peridot, and Lady appeared almost out of nowhere with how thick the white seemed to be.

    The three stood defiant against the harsh winds. Nine and Lady with their fangs bared, and Peridot with her glowing scarlet eyes. And after a long while, Cassie felt powerful again. Like she could take on any and every challenge and conquer. But she still had her wisdom, and every neuron in her brain screamed at her that she, even with Curt and Jacob's aid, would not be able to take on the Lugia in their condition. Frazzled, ill-prepared, and uncoordinated. They were sloppy, and if they stayed and dared their fates any longer, that would mean the end.

    Even if the Lugia was completely out of its element itself.

    Cassie watched a Superpower launch from Curt's terribly intoxicated Bidoof, the energy wave bopping Lugia one and earning its attention as the massive legendary stared the plump mouse down and roared its fury. It was at that moment a Thunder attack struck the Lugia from the storm formation, undoubtedly Raviel's work, which potentially prevented another lethal attack from it. Cassie had to respect Curt's quick thinking, and an idea of her own popped in her head.

    "Dot, get on Nine's back, now." Cassie said evenly, her eyes not moving from the Lugia now in close proximity of them. The Kirlia did as told as she hopped elegantly onto the Ninetales back and took a seat between his shoulder blades.

    'What's the plan?' Nine asked hastily as his tails whipped behind him.

    "Dot, I want you to Teleport." Cassie began, lifting her hand up to shield her eyes from the snow flurries.

    'I don't think I'll be able to take all of us. Or go very far at all.' But Cassie knew this. In order to be able to use Teleport, the user has to at least visited the desired location in person once. They wouldn't be able to escape with it, but that hadn't been her plan.

    "I know. You'll only be taking Nine." Which earned surprised glances from both Pokemon, and an ear twitch from Lady. "And I want you to take him right there." To which, she pointed to the Lugia's head. Nine unwound his muscles in realization of his trainer's tactic. "Right in front of its eyes, and I want both of you to hit it with Hypnosis as hard as you can. And don't worry about the ride down. I'll handle it."

    'I'll do my best!' Peridot nodded in determination before shutting her eyes, and she and Nine vanished in a blink of an eye, reappearing before the Lugia's face. They fell a few inches before they were perfectly in line with the Lugia's eyes, where they launched their Hypnosis attacks in perfectly practiced unison from point blank. The brainwave blasts from their ruby eyes merged together and amplified each other as they traveled to the Lugia, resonating and increasing each other's power before it seeped into the bird's head. From their close proximity, it was nearly impossible to miss, and they had been trained in target shooting often enough to have a decent success rate. And now, the could only pray it would work, and fall.

    Meanwhile, Cassie had gotten on Lady's back, and rode her straight to where the Lugia hovered. She kept her eyes trained on the Ninetales and Kirlia that appeared before the Sea Guardian and watched their eyes flash a bright red when they launched their attacks. And now, as they fell, Cassie was right below them with her clicker in hand, moving the object between her teeth when she whipped their pokeballs back out with both hands to return them before they could hit the ground. She then bit into the clicker, successfully drawing out a sharp 'click' which urged Lady to swerve and sprint back to the truck.

    And she watched from her peripheral vision for what the Lugia might do next.
     
    Curtkid likes this.
  13. As Jacob reached Curt's side, the storm began to pick up even further in intensity. He had trouble seeing Barry's attack through the snow that continued press against his face and eyes. He pulled his hood more tightly over his head to better protect his face. The wind was howling loudly now, but it wasn't enough to block out the sound of the wild Lugia continuing its rampage. He was able to catch a glimpse of Nine and Peridot's maneuver, but the ice and snow quickly blocked his view once more. Whatever had happened, it must not have been all that effective, as the Lugia released another screech. Shakespeare remained just behind Jacob, continually pressing his head into the back of Jacob's coat. It was a bit comforting to know the Togekiss was still with him.

    "Guys! Let's move!" he shouted more towards Cassie than Curt, but he was certain that Curt could hear him; Cassie was a bit farther away. The blizzard was now so thick he couldn't find the legendary pokemon except through the sounds it made as it yelled and crashed through the ice. Jacob, still leading his Togekiss, began pushing through the snow moving away from the most recent sounds that he attributed to the Lugia. He wasn't certain what direction he was moving in; he was still turned around from car crash. But he knew they had to keep moving, to get away from the Lugia as quickly as possible.

    It didn't take long to tell the plan was working. The cries of the Guardian of the Sea were becoming more and more faint. Unfortunately, the storm was not. The ice and snow continued to whip around in the wind, pushing Jacob this way and that. Walking in a straight line had become difficult due to the sheer force of the wind.
     
  14. The winds whipped violently. Back and forth, changing direction on its own will, hitting left and right without mercy. The snow, like glass shards, buffeting her face and any exposed flesh within reach. Cassie could hear them roaring in her freezing ear, her hood long resigning soon after the added momentum of Lady's sprint across the ice, and her braid flailed wildly behind her. Visibility was quickly nearing zero then, and the only direction she had left was straight; a line in the direction they had come from after a precise u-turn from their venture.

    Cassie thanked Lady's aerodynamic form, and her own small frame, allowing them to cut through the winds with minimal, well, as minimal as one could hope, resistance. And that meant speed. The feline cleverly utilized her razor sharp claws, digging them into the ice with each step to maximize grip and prevent slipping. Had they not been moving so quickly, the forces would have easily blown them both away with their measly weight. Even combined.

    "G...uys...! Let's... mo...ve!" Came Jacob's distinct voice, somehow reaching her, carried by the winds after the amount of deviation it must have received.

    "What do you think I'm doing?!" Cassie yelled back at the very top of her lungs. In part to be heard, and another part in slight irritation, just in time for a great roar and crash to boom from behind her, but they were beginning to pick up the forms of the upside down truck and the boys right nearby. Lady spun herself 180 degrees against her momentum, now facing backwards, and braked by raking her claws against the ice with an aggravating screech. But it worked nonetheless.

    They halted between Curt and Jacob, and Lady hissed her discomfort on her shivering legs. The Liepard hardly had any fat on her, and her fur proved to be insufficient against their storm. "Loud and clear, Lady." Was Cassie's response before climbing off of the lean feline and returning her to the safety of her pokeball.

    And the winds battered the petite girl almost instantly.

    Knocked left and right, Cassie could barely keep her feet beneath her, let alone walk. Heck, she could barely open her eyes properly, reduced to a squint at best lest the snow cut her and the cold dry them. Her mind wandered to her goggles, undoubtedly sitting pretty in the very bag she carried on her back, but it would be too risky to root for it now. They needed to keep moving, get as far away as they possibly could- like hell if she could only put one foot in front of the other!

    Two, three cusses left her fast drying lips the first few times the wind knocked her around, but quite soon she was swearing like a sailor each time. The anger kept her warm, at least. She was too far away from any of the boys to hang on to them, and at the moment it seemed impossible for her to close the gap. But at least she did try. Force her feet to move, stumble faster in order to grab onto Jacob who was in front of her. Though Curt was behind her, the winds made it just as difficult to and get to him, let alone needing to turn around to do so. But perhaps she could just stand still and wait for him to get to her... Until a gust knocked her forward and stumbling right into Jacob's back where she had to duck in order to avoid his Togekiss' rump.

    "Oofph!"

    Had her nose not been so numb, she was quite sure she would've been in a world of pain then.

    But hey, she still got what she wanted.

    "Pardon me!" Cassie shouted into the thick coat before pushing herself off of him. Steadfastly, she dug her gloved fingers into his coat, ducked beneath his Togekiss, the immediate, albeit demure protection from the elements certainly lifted her mood some. She even felt a slight grin pull at the corners of her lips. This was certainly a significant improvement.

    "Just like old times, eh Jacob?!"
     
    Nygenn likes this.
  15. For a while now the only sounds that could be heard was the howling of the storm around them and the rumbling of the engine beneath them. Salem had no idea how long he was out here braving the blizzard. The time should probably be measured in minutes, but it felt like hours, hours of blindly driving around the wild white landscape looking for someone or something that might not even be there.

    Eventually Salem had to wonder what he was doing. It didn’t seem like he was getting anywhere, and the longer he stayed out here the harder it became, yet despite knowing this rationally there was something inside him that pulled him forwards, something that urged him to keep going and having always been a man that favored feeling and instincts over common sense he pressed on. That is until a particularly harsh crosswind almost blew them all off the snowmobile.

    Salem felt some rumbling inside his coat and a moment later Aeryn poked her head out of his collar.

    “Aeryn, sweetheart, what are you doing? Go back inside!” he shouted to be heard even with their close proximity, but the dark Dratini did not listen. Instead she turned her head to look out into the storm and concentrated. She concentrated hard and before Salem could ask her again what she was doing, the tiny horn on her head began to glow. It was a soft glow but in the muddled darkness of the storm it was clearly visible.

    “What…?” Salem started again but stopped when he noticed a lull in the raging winds around him. The storm did not die down, nor did it let up, but it seemed that it somehow slowed down and mellowed out in a small area around the snowmobile.

    “Aeryn are you doing this?” he asked the Pokémon hiding in his coat incredulously.

    “That’s amazing, you’re amazing. I didn’t know you could do this!” he exclaim as proudly as any father would seeing their child accomplish something incredible.

    The dark Dratini did not respond and kept her eyes shut tightly in deep concentration. Salem understood and deciding to make the most out of whatever time his adopted daughter could buy him, he geared up the snowmobile and sped off full throttle.

    They were making incredible progress now compared to before, but it was clear that Aeryn wouldn’t last long. The child was straining herself, almost as if holding her breath, she would have to let go soon enough.

    “Are we getting anywhere!?” Salem called back to the Absol sitting behind him still, glad that he could now be heard over the roar of the storm.

    Sorano barked once in return, but it was the wave of growing excitement he projected towards Salem that told the man what he wanted to know.

    Salem turned back to face the front and sat up a little straighter so that he could look over the snow-covered windshield. Visibility was still depressingly low, but much better than before. Just as he did so he thought he caught sight of something to his left, shadows. There had been shadows before of course, rocks and trees, but those had been fairly easy to identify while these could be anything. He had to check it out, so he banked to the left hard and drove up towards them, the headlight of the snowmobile brightening the way and the rumbling noise of the engine announcing his approach.

    If these were indeed people or Pokémon he would help them onto the snowmobile, which could probably hold 4 to 5 people if they all bunched up. Sorano would have to go back into his Pokéball, his job would be finished then anyway.

    Regardless, they would have to turn back soon. They couldn’t stay out here in this blizzard for much longer. Aeryn was reaching her limits and without anyone guiding them on the way back it wouldn’t be a guarantee that they would find their way back immediately.

    ‘I miss Del’Mar…’ Salem thought fleetingly.
     
    PentheWonderful likes this.
  16. Curt and his team never took their eye's of the Guardian of the Sea's watching as Raviels Thunder attack crackled among the storm before loosing itself on Lugia. As Curt suspected, the storm based attack was able to be fired at The Great Diving Pokemon with much better accuracy then most other attacks, but it only seemed to make Lugia more upset, rather then doing any real damage it. Now, Curt wasn't exactly sure what type of Pokemon Lugia was, no had ever had a real chance to study one up close, but Curt figured he could safely assume Lugia was at least a Flying-Type, which meant that one of the most powerful known electric-type attacks slowed it down at best, even while being Super-effective. Thankfully, it seemed like slowing it down was all that needed to be done, as Cassie, now free from her trappings, called upon Nine, Peridot, and Lady, the entirety of her team, which meant she had half of what Curt and Jacob had to work with. But they knew Cassie, she didn't become an ace trainer by riding on families name,

    Utilizing that clever mind of hers, she had Peridot teleport Nine right smack dab in front of Lugia's face, an act so bold that it left Curt and his team more then a little impressed. One would almost expect an attack from such a position, but they knew as well as everyone else the fighting this beast wasn't an option, instead cleverly opting to try to slow Lugia down. The storms was picking up, and rapidly blocking Nine, Peridot, and even Lugia out of sight, but Curt still caught a glimpse of a familiar red glare being flashed from Nine's eyes, a flash similar to what Curts own Ninetales, Flare (who also had become sort of a friend to Nine since they met Cassie and her team), emitted whenever she attempted a move like Hypnosis or Confuse Ray. Curt had to admit though, as impressed as he was, he was also a tad surprised to see Nine do such an attack. Nine was extremely skilled at fire breathing and manipulation, his Flamethrower having the power to match Flare's, who was easily a few centuries older then her male companion, but was unskilled in utilizing the more magical, mind manipulating abilities that a Ninetales could utilize, according to what Nine himself had claimed. Then again, Nine had mentioned that a few months ago when he started traveling with them for that brief time, perhaps Flare had taught him a few tricks? Or maybe he even learned a few things from Peridot? Wherever he learned it, it was apparently enough to at least give Lugia a bit of trouble judging be the increasing intensity of the storm.

    "Guys! Let's move!", yelled a voice bring Curt back to the matter at hand. Jacob had flown to his side on Shakespeare, reminding them of what all their efforts had been for in the first place.

    "What do you think I'm doing?!, shouted Cassie from atop of Lady, the Leipard and her popping out of seemingly nowhere from the cover of the storm. Curt forgot how big those cats were, at nearly four feet tall they were certainly sizable felines easily capable of being ridden by more light-set people like Cassie.

    "O-Oh, yeah, right, uh, good job Raviel! Let's move guy's!", Curt half yelled to be heard over the roar of the storm. His team didn't need to be told twice as the left the cover of the van and began to plunge into the white abyss of the storm. It certainly wasn't the safest of moves, in fact, it was one that could end with them all freezing to death, but survival in the Blizzard was more certain then living through a battle with the Protector of the Seas.

    They ran, and they kept running, only allowing themselves to slow down once Lugia's wild cries faded from their ears. A cautious sense of relief was over Curt, hoping to Arceus that they had either managed to elude Lugia, or id decided that they just weren't worth the effort. However, this relief was soon replaced with a bone-shaking chill, as the storm had reached it apex and showed no signs of stopping anytime soon. They might have escaped Lugia for now, but they were still a far cry from being safe.

    The howling winds obscured almost all vision and almost all sound aside from the crunching of snow under their feet. Curt couldn't really make them out, but if he remembered correctly, Jacob had taken the lead with Cassie behind them leaving Curt and his companions to bring up the rear. Curt squeezed himself as tight as he could in his coat, turning his head to his left, trying to warm the small, exposed portion of his face by exposing it to Embertails flame. . His group had formed a sort of half-circle around Embertail, both in an attempt to shield the Charmanders tail-fire from the worst of the storms winds, and to equally share the warmth if provided. The fire reminded Curt of the summer days of their youth where they would go out in their backyard and pretend that they were camping, with Embertails flame being their own little campfire, thinking of that helped warm Curt, if just a bit.

    Embertail himself had stretched his tail out as far as he reasonable could in front of him in an attempt to make sure his fire was as evenly distributed as possible. Raviel was to the left of Embertail, desperately trying to quiet his chattering teeth in an attempt to avoid revealing to everyone how cold he was. Jasper had taken the lead of their little rear posse, she had taken Barry from Embertail so the Charmander could focus on keeping everyone warm with his flame, besides, Barrys (who had gotten around to blacking out) thick fur helped keep Jasper warm, which was especially welcomed seeing that she....

    "O-Oh crap! Jasper, w-we forgot to find your helmet!", Curt remarked, it only now dawning on him that Cubones trademark Skull-helmet was still missing, probably still among the wreckage of the truck. Jasper jerked her head at Curts sudden observation, raising her hand to her head, as though to feel for her helmet and realize "Oh yeah, forgot about that", before letting out a soft grunt and fanning her hand in Curts direction. It stopped being that big of a deal to her once Lugia took the field, getting everyone safely way from that thing was more important then finding her helmet, she was a little upset she disrespected her great-great uncle (at least, that's who she believed that's whose skull it was) a bit by leaving it, but she was sure he'd understand. Contrary to what most people believe, Cubones don't strictly wear their mothers skulls, instead the bones of the deceased are passed down among a clan and sometimes to someone their not even directly related too. Cubones believed that wearing the bones of the deceased helped the spirits of the dead find peace by knowing that they were remembered, honored, and still protecting their people even after they passed. Their was even an old tale that said an unhonored or vengeful soul would come back as a malevolent spirit, to consume those who had wronged them in life and consume them with the ethereal flames of the other world. Jasper heard that story a lot when she was young, and she attributed that as part of the reason she was afraid of ghosts, even though her clan had never been assaulted by one of these "vengeful spirits".

    "Y-you sure you're alright Jasper? Well, we can always go back and look for it once the storm blows over, speaking of the storm", Curt said as he reached towards his belt and popped out two of his Pokeballs, "Jasper, a Ground-type Pokemon like you can't be enjoying this cold much, and Raviel doesn't look much better, w-what do you say I get you all back inside your Pokeballs?" Those words were music to Raviels ears, he was a lanky Jolteon, and his spikes didn't do much for warmth, and though the discharge of electricity from the Thunder attack generated a little body heat, it had long since faded away since they started fleeing. However, right as Raviel was about to bark out a "go ahead" for Curt until...

    "Eeehpatk, keekepata", growled out Jasper, rejecting Curts offer. Though Curt picked up on the message, it left the trainer shocked with the finer details being lost on him. Thankfully, Embertail was their to fill in the gaps. Jasper was from the cold northern regions of Johto, the Cubone their prided themselves on being more tolerant to the cold then those from more moderate climate. Though she was forced to flee from her clan with her father at a very young age, she still prided herself on being from a clan in the cold north and her pride refused to let the storm beat her down!

    "W-What, J-Jasper, are you sure, it's freezing cold out here?!", Curt responded. But Jasper was insistent on staying outside of her Pokeball. Though Jasper wasn't a ridiculously proud Pokemon, she did it, and retreating to her Pokeball would feel like letting the storm win, besides, Embertail's flame would be more then enough to keep her warm. Curt let out a sigh, knowing the once the Cubone had set her mind to something, there was very little that could deter her, Embertail was left with beaming grin at Jasper's words, and Raviel was left with an expression that could best be described as though Jasper just insulted Raviels mother. Raviel knew what was coming next, and like Jasper could read his mind, the Cubone turned to him, matched his gaze, and give the Jolteon her a-typical smug ass grin, the one that she knew that got on his nerves. OH, so she was going to call him out, here of all place? Fine by him!

    "Well, alright then, I guess that just leaves..."

    "RENAH, BREWAKAN", Raviel barked, jumping ahead of Jasper, insisting to the not so lonely Lonely Pokemon that he'd take the lead.

    "W-what Raviel, what are you-? What is get-, oh no, really? Here? Now?", Curt groaned as he slapped his head, finally getting what was going on. It was another one of Raviel and Jasper's little squabble. In most cases, the Cubone and Jolteon were as different as night and day; Jasper had a strong sense of moral fiber and was the first to jump and help people, Raviel, on the other hand, was the leader of a gang of Pokemon who got a kick of doing a wide verity of crimes (nothing much worse the thievery, at least, that's he HE assured them). But if there was one common ground that the two Pokemon had, it was how fearless they were, and how hot-headed they could be, especially when a challenge presented itself. However, now a-days it seemed most challenges that came to these two came from each other, and apparently even a freezing cold snow storm wasn't enough to chill these two Pokemons fighting spirits. Before Curt could get another word out, Jasper had moved a good distance away from Embertails flame, loudly insisting that she didn't need it, that carrying Barry would be enough to keep her muscles warm, she could take the cold AND carrying a load no problem. Of course, Raviel wasn't going to take that laying down, so when he saw Cassie stumble into Jacob he immediately jumped at the opportunity to try and get the girl to let him carry her. Then not only would he have a heavier load then Jasper, but he'd also-

    "O.K, NO, B-BOTH OF YOU STOP!", Curt yelled over the roar of the storm, reaching out and dragging a surprised Raviel back towards Embertail, who also went out of his way to get Jasper and Barry back in line to reform their group(the lizard chuckling a bit at their display), "if you two want to stay out of your Pokeballs, fine, I won't force you back, but can we PLEASE stick together so we don't get separated and end up freezing to death?" The two competing Pokemon threw each other a quick glare before locking their eye's to the snow in front of them with a grunt, angry agreeing with Curts point. Just like most of the times when they'd butt heads, it was more of a "spur of a moment" thing that could be stopped if you nipped it in the butt before it got out of hand.

    "B-Besides, if Cassie really need's help traveling through this storm, I'm sure she can just call out Nine to give her a ride", Curt pointed out.

    "I dunno Curt, Jacob seems to be doing a pretty good job of giving Cassie a ride right now", Embertail said, a big, goofy grin on his face, "c'mon Cassie, I know you haven't seen Salem in a while, but what's he gonna say if he finds out you were snuggling with Jacob?"
     
    #16 Curtkid, Nov 19, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
    Trucro, Nygenn and PentheWonderful like this.
  17. Jacob continued pushing onward, not entirely aware that he was at the front of the line. He wasn't certain where everyone was; the blizzard remained too think for any sort of accurate accounting. He did know he'd have to keep moving, and he could still feel his Togekiss's head in back. The storm didn't seem to be dying down, which was not a good sign; if it was Lugia who created the storm, did that mean the beast was still in the area? Or could it create a storm, and then leave to a non-stormy area? Could Lugia create storms in places where it itself is not? These questions weren't entirely irrelevant, but Jacob shifted his thoughts to how to get out of the storm. If moving away from Lugia wasn't going to allow them to escape the storm, they'd need a different plan.

    Jacob was lost in thought when he felt a sudden push from behind it. It was surprising enough that his knees almost buckled, and he drooped over for a second before regaining his balance. He turned to see Cassie, who was now pushing him along, right beside Shakespeare, using him as a human shield to protect herself from the snow. His immediate reaction was anger; he was still tired after all, and this whole incident would make anyone cranky.

    "Just like old times, eh Jacob?!"

    With that, however, a smile crawled across his face. It had been some time since the group had been together, and while the situation wasn't the one planned, it could still be an interesting story. They had just seen another Legendary Pokemon; one more thing to cross off the bucket list. Of course, if they didn't find a way out of the storm soon, there would be a ton of things that would never be crossed off his bucket list.

    With both Cassie and Shakespeare pushing Jacob along, he found it a bit easier to maintain his position against the wind, but walking forward was certainly more awkward. As they moved through the snow, Jacob glanced over his shoulder to try to see Curt, but he couldn't; either the snow was too think or his hood was to restricting. He couldn't worry about it; only worry about moving forward.

    After stumbling around the snow for some time, the snow seemed to lighten, or more accurately, the wind died down just slightly. The snow continued to fall, but less violently. The relative quietness of the storm allowed Jacob to hear the motor of a vehicle not far away. He could see the two headlights as well, as it came close and closer. It appeared to be some sort of snow mobile.

    Over his shoulder, he yelled to Cassie, unsure if she could see.

    "Looks like someone's here!"
     
    Curtkid, Nygenn and PentheWonderful like this.
  18. It was difficult to stand, keep your feet beneath you, let alone walk. But with Jacob now involuntarily shielding her from the winds and snow, she finally found the time to better equip herself against the blizzard. With one hand clutching onto Jacob's coat still, the other reached back and frantically pulled at the hood of her coat, pulling it over her head and struggling to secure its clasps with her fast numbing fingers, trembling from the cold and slick from frost. Next, she pulled the hem of the mask hanging loosely on her neck over her nose and mouth. She knew she needed her goggles as well, to protect her eyes and the skin surrounding it, but she was also keenly aware of the fact both her zipper and gloves must be well coated with frost and ice. It would be like trying to grab a wet bar of soap with well soaked hands.

    All she could do was pull her mask up higher, high enough to cover her cheekbones.

    There was a distinct chatter coming from behind her, voices drowned and distorted by the howling winds, but Cassie at least knew it couldn't be the Lugia. Its roars and screeches had been powerful enough to overpower the winds each time, and she had to wonder what had happened to the creature. Had it escaped? Fallen asleep? Or was it still on the hunt for them? No, Cassie thought. She distinctly recalled it being a Psychic-Flying type, meaning it should be vulnerable to the ice. At least that was what her father taught her about that particular legendary. Perhaps the cold of the blizzard was backfiring on itself. That could only mean the faint voices she was hearing was Curt and his team.

    "B-Besides... Cassie... traveling through this storm... call out Nine... a ride..."

    "What?!" She strained to hear, it was almost impossible to pick up any sort of words at all. Brows furrowed in concentration and eyes squinted, she managed to at least infer that it had been Curt who spoke. There was a strange tickle on the left side of her face, reminiscent to liquid. Was she sweating? In this climate? That can't possibly be right.

    "I... Curt... doing... Cassie a ride..."

    Cassie pressed her finger against her left temple and quickly realized there was something off about it. The texture felt uneven, and the surface was strangely sticky, and after a short moment of prodding she came to realize that it hurt. And then the memory of the red smear and scarlet droplets hit her, and she found her fingers were coated by a glob of dark liquid.

    "C'mon... seen Salem... gonna... snuggling with Jacob?"

    "... What?!" She yelled back, quickly wiping the blood off on her dark pants and feeling terribly old, like an eighty year old woman who desperately needs a new hearing aid. But she could've sworn she heard Embertail mention Salem... Just the very thought of him sent a wave of warmth throughout her body; a sensation that she gladly welcomed in her predicament. Cassie strained to look back and perhaps find out what it was Embertail had been trying to say, but it was no use. She could hardly even pick up their silhouettes from the intensity of the snow. "You better speak up, mon ami!"

    However, in what could only be described as a stroke of luck, the winds seemed to slow, and the snow ceased to pummel them with a merciless vengeance. It was as if they'd stepped through a portal, a door, and entered a tranquil pocket dimension where time moved at a different pace from where they had come. She carefully loosened her grip on Jacob's coat, and she pulled back to take everything in. She could see further ahead than before, but found there was still nothing to see. Not the horizon, or even the sky above. It was simply a large stretch of white nothing.

    "Looks like someone's here!" Jacob yelled over his shoulder to her, and she heard him loud and clear. Cautiously, experimentally, Cassie released her grip on the redhead's coat altogether and found she could stand on her own without being knocked around by the storm anymore. She peered out from behind him, looking ahead to where his eyes were directed, and like him, she also came to notice the two headlights in the distance, and the hum of a motorized vehicle's engine that came with it.

    And it felt like a great weight had been lifted off her shoulders.

    As the vehicle came closer, Cassie was able to make out the silhouette of a snowmobile; the large, heavy duty variant commonly used for hauling cargo, and two passengers aboard it. One of them seemed to be a Pokemon... An Absol? Another thing that demanded her attention was seemingly a third, fainter headlight on the vehicle. It emanated from the driver of the snowmobile itself. Were they actually... Glowing? Or had that bump on the head done her in much worse than she initially thought?

    Straining her eyes further, Cassie stepped out from behind Jacob and took the first few steps forward. The snowmobile was approaching fast, and the closer they got, the clearer it became that it hadn't been the driver who was glowing, but rather, a small Pokemon in his coat. A dark-scaled serpent-like creature with a tiny, glowing bump on its head.

    A dark-scaled Dratini.

    Cassie felt her heart nearly leap out of her chest. "A- Aeryn?!" She yelled, hoping the baby would be able to hear. There was only one Dratini in the entire world like her, surely it must be... But that would also mean the driver of the snowmobile had to be...

    Salem.
     
    Nygenn, Curtkid and Trucro like this.
  19. Approaching the shadows, they slowly grew more and more defined until Salem could eventually recognize them as human. He stopped a few meters away from them and sat up straight to look them over when he felt Aeryn shiver and heard her mew softly in distress. Looking down he saw that she had her eyes squeezed shut still and was obviously straining herself now, her tiny horn still glowing, but pulsing more now.

    “Hang in there sweetheart, you’re doing an amazing job,” he told her softly, reaching up stroke her snout lovingly.

    He stepped off the vehicle then and refocused his attention on the people before him. The lights of the snowmobile shone upon them and he could make out features. Most noticeably was a man of similar height to himself with sharp blue eyes and bright orange hair, so bright in fact that Salem wondered how he hadn’t noticed this man earlier, he stood out like a beacon in the storm. Immediately after registering the man Salem’s gaze seemed to be almost pulled down towards the much smaller person besides him. Even with the heavy clothing on she was unmistakably female and very slim. She had a heavy hood pulled over her head and a mask covering her face, but her eyes were uncovered and his heart began to beat faster at the sight of them. Large, intelligent, silver orbs were focused on him and he would recognize those eyes anywhere, they had been haunting his dreams for over eight months now.

    “Karela,” he whispered carefully, as if saying her name too loud would somehow chase her away, or worse have him wake up from a dream as it had so many times before.

    He wanted to run to her and wrap her up in his arms, but noticed he couldn’t move. He had given himself to her soon after their meeting on Jinko Island, symbolized by tying his ribbon on her left wrist, but she had not officially given herself to him and so he couldn’t force himself upon her. Instead he remained where he was and only pulled his goggles up and his scarf down revealing a wide, confident smile.

    “Karela!” he called to her overjoyed.

    In the meantime Sorano had hopped off the snowmobile with Emily now on his back, clutching his thick mane tightly with one hand and keeping a firm hold on her Christmas hat with the other. The pair moved past Salem to circle around the two strangers, and a Togekiss they now noticed, with Sorano giving the small woman in particular a good inspection. When she began to move he looked away behind the other man where he sensed more lifeforms approaching. With a few large and nimble bounds he hopped over to this new group, thankful that the storm was being subdued for now by the dark Dratini. He circled them once taking in the motley group. A large human male with blond hair and a positive vibe to him that rivaled Salem’s. There was a fierce, one eared Jolteon, a Cubone he almost didn’t recognize as such without the typical helmet, on her back she carried what he could only guess was roadkill going by the messy appearance and awful smell, and finally they were all crowded around a large eyed, jolly Charmander. They looked like a band of misfits to the proud Absol, but they were in need and he would help. Emily, unlike Sorano did recognize the group, or most of them anyway, and she allowed a gust of wind to carry her off her current mound and onto Raviel’s back where she gave the Jolteon a tight hug.

    ("Ravi!") she squeaked happily.

    (“We have come to help,”) Sorano said, addressing the Pokémon in the group. (“Just a little bit further.”)
     
    #19 Nygenn, Nov 20, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
    Trucro and PentheWonderful like this.
  20. The snowmobile soon came to a halt, and with it, her own advance.

    Cassie found her feet cemented to the ice as the driver stood from his seat, a feat she could not believe she had managed to pull off considering the headlight's glare was now upon her. From the large bulk of the driver's person, she could easily tell that he was a man, and it pushed her hopes up further despite her attempts to remain grounded, and realistic. And yet, upon closer proximity now, she could clearly see that it was indeed a baby Dratini this man had in his coat, with her scales shimmering like millions of lapis lazulis beneath the glow of her own horn. There was nothing else like it.

    'Could it really be?' Cassie wondered, her emotions a mess of hope and skepticism. Her eyes flicked upwards from Aeryn, she was a hundred percent sure that it had to be her little baby, to the man's thoroughly covered face. 'Of all the places in the world for him to be, what are the odds that it would be here?"

    But her heart pounded still in uncertainty, eagerness, and anxiety. Eyes glued to the man's silhouette, the way he moved and carried himself. He seemed to observe Jacob first, as he was much more noticeable than her with his size and striking orange hair. However the stall it brought simply killed her. The seconds of not knowing, of not allowing herself to be sure or believe; reminiscent to giving a child a wrapped birthday present and telling them not to open it until the next morning. It was a torturous kind of wait.

    Oh, how she was tempted to call out to him.

    A temptation very soon revealed to be unnecessary, as the man finally turned to face her, and they quickly found themselves in a secret staring contest. 'He's the right height...' A voice compromised in her mind. 'About the right build too...'

    And then finally, finally, he pulled down those goggles and scarves, and Cassie was greeted with by a confident smile that managed to rival the sun's warmth and brightness each time, and a pair of sea green jewels; tranquil and clear. Eyes that always sneaked its way into her every silence, every pause and break in thought. Oh, she had almost forgotten how beautiful they were, and she always did have a soft spot for beautiful things.

    And what a beautiful man was he, though covered up from head to toe. It was a tad strange, she thought, for as long as she'd known him he had always been dressed in little more than a shirt and pants. Well, pants mostly. She could not even fathom him ever fully buttoning up his shirt, let alone be decked out in a full winter gear. But Arceus be damned if he didn't look good in it.

    "Salem..."

    "Karela!"

    All the who's, why's, what's, when's, where's, and how's were flung right out the window and the next thing she knew, she was running. Her feet had gained a will of its own, and it carried her quickly through the slowing winds and drifting snow, and leaped off the ground to tackle him in a long awaited embrace. Arms around his neck, their foreheads pressed each other, Cassie nuzzled into his face, closing any and all distance between them and she fit perfectly into the contours of his face, separated only by the fabric of the mask over her mouth and nose. But she could still feel him, the warmth of his skin and the mounds of his lips which she instinctively pressed her own against, and she felt incredibly warm from their reunion alone.

    Had her mask been pulled down, their lips would surely have been interlocked.

    But for now, in their current predicament, simply being in his arms and feeling him against her was more than enough, for despite their situation having turned around for better, they weren't out of the woods just yet.
     
    #20 PentheWonderful, Nov 20, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
    Trucro and Nygenn like this.
  21. "You better speak up, mon ami!", cried Cassie's voice over the roar of the storm. For such a little thing, she sure had a powerful pair of lungs.

    "Huh, oh, right, the storm! Can't believe I forgot how loud it was for a moment", said Embertail, finishing his sentence with a small chuckle at his own foolishness, "hehe, hey, wait a second, what exactly is a "Monamie"? 'Sounds like some kinda fancy painting!...or a sex position!" Curt began opening his mouth to tell Embertail that Cassie yelling such a thing was ridiculous, but quickly closed it as he ended up realizing Embertail did kinda have a point. Whatever this "Monamie" was, it did sound like it could be one of those two things...

    "Eh, E-Embertail, I get where you're coming from, but I think Cass was trying to say something in her native tongue, at least, i'm pretty sure that's what she was doing...", Curt informed his partner.

    "Huh, I think you're right Curt, anyway...", Embertail said, before taking a deep breath and, "HEY CASSIE, SORRY BUT WE DON'T SPEAK GERMAN, WHAT'S A "MONAMIE" EXACTLY?"

    For some really odd reason, Embertail and Cassie's shouting match reminded Curt of Gerald. However, mere moments it seemed after Embertail cried out to the Ace trainer, a bright flash of light flared out infront of them. At first Curt felt a tad bit confused and worried at the sudden appearance of the light, thinking it could have possibly come from some sort of powerful Pokemon . However, as they approached the rest of the group, they began to just barely make out the hum of an engine, and when they finally fell in lline, they saw person decked out in snow equipment with several Pokemon what turned out to be a snow mobile.

    "I-Is that a Snow Mobile, who would be crazy enough to ride a Snowmobile in this weather?", Curt thought out loud, albeit a bit relieved that it wasn't some ancient, mystical horror from the mountains come to lure them to their doom.

    "I dunno, it sound fun to me! Then again, it's hard for me to freeze to death, so I might not be the best person to give perspective on that hehe...hey, wait a minute isn't that...!", Embertail said.

    The person was almost unidentifiable due to being covered almost head to toe in snow gear which, considering the weather, wasn't surprising at all. But poking out of the mans coat was what Embertail, Jasper, and Curt immediately recognized as a Dratini, only this Dratini had a familiar, dark hue compared to the average Dratini. Then they turned their attention to the other two figures by the Snowmobile, one was a solemn looking Absol (then again most Absol's looked as such) back was a very familiar Emolga wearing a christmas hat, one that caused Raviel to back peddle just a bit. Raviels little reaction to the Emogla was all the confirmation they needed, the man taking off his head gear to reveal his face was little more then a formality at that point.

    HEY-HEY-HEY, IT'S SALEM! HEY SALEM, BUDDY, HOW'VE YA BE-oh...", Embertail cried, his cheerful greeting to the man cut off when he saw him and Cassie run to embrace each other. Granted, it shouldn't have been surprising, the man had informed them that he and Cassie were in a relationship, it was one of the reason why Curt's team had bothered helping the man locate Cassie's mother, after all, any friend of Cassie's was a friend of theirs...well, usually.

    "Salem..."

    "Karela!"

    "Ravi!"


    Three things happened at once; Cassie and Salem embraced each other, shared a sort of "kiss", and then Erin flew over to them to give Raviel a big hug. To the Jolteon's credit, he managed to NOT pull himself away, simply giving an awkward smile and patting the flying squirrel Pokemon on the head, growling out what could only be a "Happy to see you again too". Raviel wasn't exactly the most affectionate Pokemon, but he managed to grow a bit of a soft spot for the little Emolga, which elicited more then a few chuckles from Jasper and Embertail, seeing the Jolteon being forced out of his comfort zone. Of course, Jasper couldn't keep herself from making a comment on the situation, growling out some choice words to her fire-tailed friend.

    "Yeah Jasper, looks like Raviels gal pal really missed him!", Embertail said after stopping his chuckling, which the Lightning Pokemon responded with a flat glare. Curt also felt himself smiling at the scene along with his partners, till another gust of wind whipped across his face, reminding them of the freezing weather around them.

    (“We have come to help,”) Sorano said, approaching and addressing the Pokémon in the group. (“Just a little bit further.”)

    "Oho, we're near shelter? That's cool! Kinda bummed we aren't going to have to resort to building an Igloo to survive the night though, I always wanted to spend a night in an Igloo", Embertail remarked.
     
    #21 Curtkid, Nov 22, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  22. Salem steadied himself when Cassie ran up to him and jumped. There wasn’t much force behind her movements, which betrayed the resistance the snow offered and how exhausted she must be from trudging through it, so he bend the knees to meet her embrace and lifted her up as soon as his arms closed around her. Even with the multiple layers of clothing between them Salem recognized her body against his, it was really her. She pressed her cold, snow covered mask against his face, but he didn’t care and just held on, closing his eyes momentarily to relish the sensation. His nose was already cold from the brief exposure to the crisp air and he was sad that he couldn’t smell the woman in his arms, touch and sight would have to do for now.

    “I promised I would come for you,” he murmured into her hood, answering the unspoken question on her face. “Did you miss me?”

    This last question her asked her with a smug smile as he gently lowered Cassie down to the snow covered floor and pulled his head back to look at her properly. His eyes flickered to her left temple and his expression changed to one of worry upon seeing the blood there.

    “You’re hurt,” he stated matter of fact, suddenly reminded of the situation they are in and the danger that came with it.

    As if to accentuate the fact Aeryn cried out to indicate she would not be able to hold on any longer and that they should hurry.

    “We have to go, get on the Jet Ski quickly,” Salem urged Cassie and pushed her in the direction of the snowmobile before turning towards her companions.

    Only then did he realize that there was another man, one he recognized even.

    “Curt?” he asked surprised, then more excitedly exclaimed, “Sir Curt!”

    Salem moved over and embraced the blonde young man briefly, then pulled back and scooped Emily up in his left arm. With his right he reached into a pocket and pulled out a Pokéball with which he recalled the Absol.

    “Thank amigo, but we need all the space we can get right now.”

    To Curt and the other man he said, “Recall your Pokémon and get on,” indicating the vehicle he had braved the blizzard with. “We will talk later.”

    Without waiting for a reply he quickly made his way back to the snowmobile, climbed on and fumbled with the key on the cord dangling from his coat a moment before he managed to slot it into the machine. He held the little Emolga up to Cassie to hold onto and indicated for her to squeeze in front of him, leaving the back free for the two larger men.

    The glow of Aeryn’s tiny horn pulsed, faded and then snuffed out. Immediately the wind began to pick up again and soon enough their little funnel of relative safety would be swallowed up by the storm entirely.
     
    #22 Nygenn, Nov 22, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
    PentheWonderful likes this.
  23. "Uh, yeah, nice to see you again too Salem, I see you made a new friend", Curt said, looking at the Absol, "you remember Embertail, Jasper, and Raviel, the blacked out Bidoof is Barry....you'll get to know him soon enough, and the carrot top guy is Jacob, but I'll let him take care of introducing himself." Curt said, nodding towards Jacob, however, the other trainer would have to wait his turn if he wanted to exchange introductions, as a certain fire-tailed lizard was already right infront of Salem and extending his claw for a shake.

    "EEEYYY! Salem, long time no see, man, and hey, so you really are get'en on with Cassie, I mean, she's clearly more happy to see you here then I am! Anywho, is this your snowmobile, where'd you learn to ride it? You know what, it doesn't matter, all that matter's right now is...onetwothreeICALLSHOTGUN!", Embertail cried as he hoped on the Snowmobile, "Called it everyone, called it! I HAVE SHOTGUN! Aw man, this is gonna be so sweet, I've never been on a snowmobile before, and a front view is gonna make this an awesome first ride!" Embertail was literally bouncing up and down in his seat, the excitement was practically radiating from his body as he rubbed his hands (claws?) together in glee. The Charmander completely missed the previous social cue from Salem inviting Cassie to take a seat infront of him. Curt didn't bother to inform his friend about this, as he also missed the cue from Salem, instead quickly looking over the snowmobile. It was a bulkier model, with a large back seat that could accommodate all three of them well enough, and it even had had a guard rail along the seats!

    "S-So, uh, Salem, and I mean no offense, but are you sure you're a good enough driver to get us through a blizzard, I mean, I know we can all fit on it, it's a pretty big Snowmobile granted, but what are the odds of one of us falling off it while bouncing up and down the slopes", Curt said as he walked over to the snow to join Embertail in looking over the Snowmobile. It was very sizable to be sure, but all of them riding on it through a storm seemed a little...hazardous to their safety. But then again, considering everything they had been through recently, it didn't seem like safety had been a huge concern of theirs recently.

    "Well, I guess if we all sorta...hold on really tight, then we'll all be able to ride through the storm on this thing with out falling off, we should be O.K, I could even ask Flare to help guide us through the storm if you want, and speaking of which...", Curt said as he pulled out three of his Pokeballs, "sorry Raviel, Jasper, but I gotta call you back for a bit, room on the snowmobile is limited enough as it is you see, but I promise you can pop right back out the moment we're in shelter, O.K guys?"

    Jasper let out a disheartened sigh, not just because she was being denied her chance to test her metal against the storm, but because she also wanted to ride on the snowmobile too! Still, she knew even having Embertail ride along with them was pushing it, and everyone knew that the Charmander was...more then uncomfortable being inside a Pokeball. She'd swallow her pride and enjoyment of a snowmobile ride if it meant keeping her boyfriend from having a panic attack. Raviel, on the other hand, was secretly just happy to just get out of the cold, the only reason he was still out was because Jasper called him out and if she was going in her ball, the he felt no shame in going in his. Barry was still out cold, he didn't really have much to say on the matter. In a flash of red light, the three Pokemon disappeared into their respective balls, their minimized forms gazing at the outside world through the see-through red top, except for Barry, who was still unconscious due to chugging almost a whole 750 ml bottle of 120 proof Whiskey in about ten minutes.

    "Alright then, Salem, we're ready to go if the rest of you are!", Curt said getting on the back seat of the vehicle. Embertail was still hoping up and down on the seat, still completely oblivious he stole it from Cassie.
     
    #23 Curtkid, Nov 22, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
    Trucro likes this.
  24. Jacob stopped moving as a stranger stepped off the snowmobile and approached. He stood there, silently, as the following events happened. Cassie, released her grip of his back and rushed around to embrace the man, saying "Salem," which was either the man's name, or some kind of password for a Triple A service she had called. Jacob had not seen the man before, but Cassie appeared quite taken with him; he immediately assumed that the two had some sort of romantic relationship, and their embrace confirmed his suspicions. Jacob quickly noticed the dark Dratini, a rare coloring Jacob had never seen before. And then there was the Absol who watched over the group; this along with the man's relationship with Cassie and his bringing of the snowmobile gave Jacob a sense of loss of control of the situation. He had been leading the group; he got the nagging feeling, as Curt walked up to the man, that he wasn't anymore. As thankful as he was to be saved from the snow, he still felt a little bit intruded upon.

    When the man spoke, he spoke with a sense of urgency, ordering them to get onto the snowmobile. It looked as though it was one of the bigger vehicles, although to fit four people would be quite a squeeze. He looked over his shoulder at Shakespeare who had remained behind him, occasionally poking his head out over Jacob's shoulder to see what was happening. The Togekiss had always been shy; it was actually a trait that Jacob enjoyed.

    He watched as Curt introduced him, in his nonintroduction introduction sort of way. Jacob stepped forward as Curt finished, shooting out his hand. He tried to sound as sincere as possible, even forcing a smile as he outstretched his arm.

    "I'm Jacob, and my Togekiss here is Shakespeare." He raised his eyebrows in a quick up-and-down motion before continuing. "You're right, we should get out of here as quickly as possible. There's a Lugia probably not far down that path," he said, pointing in the direction they had come from. He took a few steps towards the snowmobile as he spoke. "Any chance you know how to get back to base camp?"
     
    #24 Trucro, Nov 23, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
    Nygenn and PentheWonderful like this.
  25. Warmth.

    Cassie remembered clearly that Salem had always exuded an unusual amount of warmth, whether it be in the humid, tropical jungle of Jinko Island, to the freezing plains of Korska, he was still the same, and she was very glad about that. She shut her eyes for a brief moment, greedily absorbing the heat he radiated through his coat, from his skin against her face, and very soon she found that she wasn't so cold anymore. At least, it did not bother her as much as it did before. Her previous anger towards the rigid winds simmered away. She didn't need it to remain warm anymore.

    I promised I would come for you,” He murmured, and Cassie could feel his voice vibrating through his chest and tickling her ear. She could not help the silly, girlish grin pulling on her lips.

    "With perfect timing too, I'm impressed." She murmured in response against his face, and she truly was impressed. Few, if any, would even dare consider driving out into a blizzard such as this, and yet he had, undoubtedly from gut feeling alone, that perhaps someone was out there in need of help. And so she allowed her grin to soften to a small smile in time for his next question; “Did you miss me?

    To which, she answered with an enigmatic, and playful hum.

    "Perhaps."

    Lowered back on the ground, it took less effort for Cassie to steady herself on her own two feet than it did several minutes ago. Her eyes flickered up to gaze into Salem's with thanks, only to find he had quickly taken notice of the injury she'd sustained on her head. Nothing she did got past him it seemed, she thought in secret delight. “You’re hurt,” He stated, and she responded with a light shrug in addition to her smile.

    "I'll live."

    She turned her attention to Aeryn then, who had given out a small cry of distress, which instantly roused her maternal instincts as she felt her brows furrow in concern. "Oh, the poor dear..." She murmured softly while stroking the baby's snout. "She's straining herself trying to control the storm for us..."

    We have to go, get on the Jet Ski quickly,” Salem proceeded to urge her in the direction of the snowmobile, and Cassie couldn't agree more. Aeryn could only hold on for so long, and at the same time, she also didn't want the newborn to hurt herself. With a few slips and slides, she managed to get a hold of the snowmobile, steadying herself, and she was quickly joined by Salem who sat himself on the very front of the seat as she was attempting to ease her bag open in order to pull her goggles out, which she finally managed to do, and was in the midst of equipping it when Salem handed her a shivering Emolga she hadn't noticed before. Was it his? Regardless, Cassie accepted his offer, considered the chattering squirrel for a moment,wondering why he didn't simply return her, before tucking the Emolga into her hood. The creature's fur was cold against her skin, but she would warm up before long, and then they would be able to share each other's heat.

    As she did so, there were the faint exclaims of Embertail that Cassie could barely decipher, nor had she paid any attention to them, but when she turned back to claim the spot Salem had saved for her, there was Embertail, hopping up and down in joyous excitement, and Curt, who had taken his seat behind Salem before she even knew what happened.

    And what happened in the next passing moment was indescribable indeed.

    By the time the glow of Aeryn's horn snuffed out, Cassie had a strong desire to unceremoniously relocate the Charmander to the back seating, and there had been a brief, almost surprised pause from the wind itself. It tested its waters, journeying into the forbidden bubble Aeryn had created before, and found it could. And almost immediately, they were swallowed whole by a typhoon and all of its vengeance.

    The winds and snow slammed into Cassie's light frame and she barely managed to grab the railing of the snowmobile's seat. Her feet were being pushed back, her body lifted, and she thoroughly felt reminiscent to a kite. All her previous thoughts had gone, carried off by the wind, and all that mattered was pulling herself aboard the snowmobile, and hang on for dear life.

    So she clamped her legs down on the snowmobile below her, and gripped onto Curt's coat in front of her.

    "Okay, let's get moving! Jacob, if you're not getting your ass on this thing, we're leaving you!"
     
    Trucro and Nygenn like this.
  26. Jacob had been making his way over to the snowmobile when the storm was let loose. The snow and wind crashed into his body, knocking him back a couple steps. Dazed, he struggled to maintain his balance. A few seconds passed as Jacob pulled up his hood and began pushing back against the wind. As he started to move, he felt Shakespeare nudging his back once more; the pokemon was fast, there was no doubt. It took him a minute or two to find the snowmobile, as the storm was obscuring his view. As best as he could tell, he was the last once to arrive, and he managed to pull himself up onto the seat. He stretched out his arm, forming a whole between his arm and torso. Shakespeare settled neatly in this gap, comfortably held close by Jacob.

    With that, the group left. Jacob couldn't tell exactly who was where, but he assumed Salem was driving the machine. "You know where you're going?" Jacob shouted, but he was almost certain no one else heard it. The wind was strong enough when the group was walking; now that they were zooming through it, it felt even stronger. Jacob barely managed to maintain his grip on both the snowmobile and his Togekiss. He just hoped they wouldn't hit any bumps large enough to dislodge Shakespeare.

    The snowmobile continued for what felt like hours. Jacob had his eyes closed for much of the ride so as to avoid the drying out that would come with the intense wind pressure. Luckily, at the back of the snowmobile, he was most sheltered from the blistering winds. He didn't have an accurate measure for time, as the sun was entirely blocked by the clouds. It had gotten darker, however, Jacob assumed that meant a significant amount of time had passed. They couldn't be stuck in the snowstorm all night; if they did, the cold would surely get them. What's worse, he was beginning to worry that Salem didn't know where he was going; if they were heading towards base camp, they'd probably have reached it already.

    Then, the snowmobile stopped. Jacob opened his eyes, and leaned to his right to see why. He couldn't see very well, but did manage to make out a grey structure several feet ahead. Had they made it to base camp? It was about time. Jacob was excited to get some warm food and sleep in a bed beside a fireplace. He released Shakespeare, who had some trouble flying in the wind before managing to create enough speed to reach the structure.

    When Jacob saw it, his heart sank into his shoes. They certainly hadn't reached base camp. In fact, there appeared to be only a single structure. It wasn't very large, and looked dirty. Entirely made of metal, the box didn't look like it would have heating, or a fireplace. In fact, snow had piled up along the walls, making it look almost more like an igloo than a building. He let out a sigh that he was certain no one heard over the wind as he tried to find the door. He followed along the walls, inspecting each area for the creases that would indicate a doorway. After a few minutes, he found it. He brushed the snow away, revealing a thick metal door. He grabbed the doorknob tightly and pulled, but the door wouldn't budge; the ice blocked it from being opened. After another few minutes of frantically removing ice and snow from the door's path, he tried again, pulling with all his might. The door nudged open, and Jacob stuck his hands in prying it the rest of the way open. He held tightly on the doorknob so as to prevent the wind from slamming the door shut. He motioned for the others to enter.
     
    PentheWonderful likes this.
  27. “You did good sweetheart,” Salem spoke into his coat before zipping it back up and shielding the tired little Dratini.

    Looking over his shoulder he saw that Cassie had taken a seat behind Curt and the orange haired man had taken a seat behind her. A warm bundle of excitement was jumping up and against Salem’s own back so he reached around and pulled the chatty Charmander in front of him then leaned slightly over him.

    “Hold on tight!” he called back and hoped he could be heard over the roaring storm.

    Salem pulled his scarf back up and his goggled back down before starting the snowmobile again just as the woman had shown him earlier. He steered the vehicle around and was soon driving back the way he had come, he hoped.

    The truth became quite obvious after only a few short minutes. They were hopelessly lost. Everything around them was either white or little more than dark shapes. The snow, blowing practically horizontally, reduced visibility to only a scant few meters in front of them. There was no way to know which direction they were going, but Salem figured that the most important part was getting out of the storm, they could always try to orientate themselves afterwards. So instead of worrying too much about the details he just focused on the path in front of them and tried to keep them going in a straight a line as possible.

    Minutes ticked by and much like before every one of them felt like an hour. They were all packed tightly and huddled closely together, the engine kept their seats warm as well, but they wouldn’t last long like this. They had to find something quick, or reach the edge of the unnatural storm.

    After what felt like forever and hundreds of kilometers Salem finally saw something looming in the distance, a large shape unlike the trees they had been passing. He slowed down as they neared for it could be a large rock with snow covered bounders surrounding it, but once they got close enough he could see it was a man-made structure. It wasn’t the facility he had hoped for, it was way too small and ill maintained for that. In fact, judging by the massive mountain of snow covering it, it was unlikely anyone had been here in some time. Still it was something and anything was better than continuing their blind dash through a storm that seemingly had no end.

    He stopped the snowmobile and was about to suggest to the others they should check it out when the man on the back jumped off and walked up to the building. Salem waited for the others to do the same and then parked the snowmobile next to the small building away from the wind. He had no idea how well these machines would weather the elements, but back at the research facility they had parked them inside and from what he had seen of this small structure there was no way he was going to get this thing through any door it might hold. Being out of the wind would have to do.

    He pulled the plug connected to his jacked from the vehicle to pocket it and immediately the engine died down. Salem then strode up towards the others and went to stand beside Cassie, shielding her from the worst of the winds much like the building was doing for their transportation right now. He was tempted to say something but the wind was howling too loudly to make it worth the effort so instead he just stepped closer and put a hand on her back.

    A moment later the orange haired man got their attention. He had found a door and was holding it open for them. Salem was relieved that they could get out of the storm now and would follow Cassie inside.
     
    PentheWonderful likes this.
  28. There were always those looming... Fears. A sense of anxiety that hovered above safety and hope. At the moment, those fears were of running out of fuel before making it anywhere safe, and the anxieties were that of racing against hypothermia. She focused on those nasty ghosts and in turn, fed off of the adrenaline they brought coursing through her veins. It kept her body warm despite sitting still, and the excitement was nothing short of pleasurable. Added by the Emolga curled against her neck, the heating of the snowmobile's seat and utter glee of being taken to safety, not just by anyone, but someone she had been thinking about quite often as of recent times, she was doing extraordinarily well given their current condition.

    'I'll survive this.' She told herself with a pleased hum. It was an arrogant thought, for sure, but the girl hadn't really cared then. It was a hope, a safety line, and she would hold onto it.

    Cassie hadn't quite minded the seemingly endless time they spent traversing the storm. In her current position, with Curt in front of her, and Jacob behind her, she was quite well sheltered from the winds. It was actually quite nice, and allowed her the recovery she desperately needed. She had no measure of how far the base should be, so she hadn't thought much of the prolonged journey. She had faith in Salem. Despite his aloof exterior, he was very perceptive and intelligent underneath, and from what she's seen of him on Jinko, she could rest easy with him around.

    A few more hours, minutes, ticked by and soon the snowmobile comes to a halt. Cassie felt her heart leap in excitement. Had they really made it? She couldn't see very well in her position, however, with a bit of adjustment and leaning to the side, she managed to make out a single square structure piled high by snow. One could easily mistake it for a rock, or snow pile had they not observe closely enough. It was by far underwhelming, and what was clear is that it couldn't possibly be the base camp. She had been told the base had several structures, and was quite formidable in size. This lonely box looked like it hadn't even seen any human activity in a long while. There was something almost... Eerie about it. But, shelter was shelter, and it would have to do for now.

    At least, just until the blizzard passes.

    And so, as the men climbed off of the snow vehicle, Cassie did the same. She kept one hand on the snowmobile's railing, lest the wind blow her away like a paper bag, and decided to allow the more densely built men to do the scouting. However, the gesture seemed unnecessary as soon, someone had come up beside her and shielded her from the brunt of winds with their body. She turned her head to the side and upwards, seeing a scarf and goggle covered face, but knew immediately that it was Salem when he placed a hand on her back.

    A smile pulled at her lips, and her limbs suddenly felt stronger than before. She could stand straighter, and even let out a soft chuckle. The gesture was extremely comforting, and for a moment, she forgot all about the eeriness of the structure.

    And she was able to walk right through its doors without a moment of hesitation.
     
    Nygenn likes this.
  29. "HAHA, thanks for that Salem, that was a blast! I mean, I can't feel or breath through my nose, but still, it was totally worth it!", Embertail exclaimed, hopping off the Snowmobile, the widest, cheeriest grin possible plastered on his face. Curt followed the rest of the group in getting off the back seat of the snow mobile, a little bit shaken with the whole ordeal. They were freezing, the ride through the storm had been far from pleasant, and Curt spent the majority of the ride in a bit of a panic attack. It only occurred to him after Salem had hit the throttle that they would be riding on a snowmobile through a blizzard, with virtually no visibility, and being driven through it by a man who had spent most of his life growing up in the tropics and had probably only just saw snow for the first time a few days ago at most. Even an experienced rider who had spent their entire lives in an icy environment would have been extremely hesitant to drive into a storm like this one. Then Curt remembered that the man had managed to find them in the spite of the storm without crashing and killing himself, so there had to be some sort of trick Salem had.

    It then hit Curt that Salem had an Absol with him, known as the Disaster Pokemon, and granted Curt didn't know much about it, but it did lead him to believe that the Pokemon would be capable of assisting Salem in guiding them through the storm. That put Curts nerves at ease for a bit, until he remembered that Salem called the Pokemon back into its ball, meaning he, and by extension, they were driving blind through an extremely powerful and magical storm created by a sea god. Curt's attempts at voicing his concerns were drowned out by said storm and turbulence of traveling on the vehicle at high speeds, so he just sat there, bracing himself for the eminent crash. Yet, it never came, and when the vehicle came to a stop at a large, seemingly abandoned building, Curt could hardly believe it. Salem had actually managed to guide them safely to shelter, by himself, without so much as a clipping a tree! That left the trainer stunned and confused at how the islander managed such a feat, was Salem just some sort of prodigy snowmobile rider? Even if he was, riding through a snowmobile with hitting little more then a bump seemed something that natural talent couldn't accomplish alone! Perhaps the Absol was guiding Salem from within his Pokeball? That was possible, Curt and Embertail had seen Flare exert some of her psychic powers from within her ball, and Curt had been lightly zapped by Raviel a few times from within his ball also. Or maybe Embertail was right and Salem really was a Wizard, hell, he had reason to believe his Charmander brother now...

    "Jezz Salem, gotta say, the way you navigated us through the storm was nothing sort of amazing, you should open up a business escorting people through blizzards with skills like that!", Curt half-yelled over the roar of the storm.

    "TOLD YA HE WAS A WIZARD!", Embertail chimed in with a grin, the Charmander also clearly knowing how impressive Salems snowmobile navigation was, "so anyways, anyone know what this place is, call me crazy, but why would someone build a house out here in the middle of nowhere, it couldn't have been the Eskimo's, cause then they would have built an Igloo!...Wait, that not racist to think that, right?" Embertail had a point, the place, though seemingly abandoned, didn't exactly look run-down, and even as small as it was, it still would have cost money, time, and effort to build. Perhaps it was an observatory of some kind, a facility used to gather data on the wild life, who knew?

    "Well, maybe it's government property? Eh, whatever is in there, hopefully it will be easier to deal with then this storm, shall we follow the group?", Curt said to Embertail. Curt almost wanted to say: "I'm sure whatever is in there isn't as bad as dealing with the storm out here", but he had been on the road long enough to know how bad things could get. For all they knew that building could end up being "Dead Mans Drop Two: Electric Boogaloo". Still, Curt felt that was a risk worth taking!

    "You know it Curt, and who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and it'll turn out to have some hot chocolate, I can even use my tail to melt the now in our pot for hot water!", Embertail replied optimistically as they trailed after the rest of the party into the small building.
     
    #29 Curtkid, Dec 5, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  30. Jacob followed the group into the building. Looking around, the first sensation was surprise. It had been difficult to judge the size of the building because of the depth of the snow that masked its structure, but Jacob had expected it to be bigger than it was! Barely 4-by-4 meters, the group would be very cramped had they all had to stay in this room. And certainly, there was no space for any pokemon. The floors were dark, grey-looking tile, and the walls weren’t much nicer looking on the inside than they had been on the outside. There was several, small rectangular windows at the top of the walls forming a strip around the small box, but the snow had piled up so high no light was let through. As such, the entire room was shrouded in a darkness. The only furniture was a single desk and a chair on the far side of the room, with papers messily strewn about. Looking more carefully at the room, it appeared that the whole place was a mess. A chipped mug lay on the floor beside the desk, and there was some sort of brown stain not far away.


    As Jacob let out a sigh in disappointment, his Togekiss was hard at work. Flying around the room, Shakespeare comfortably landed on top of the desk, sending several papers flying. The pokemon looked carefully around the room, breathing heavily, nearly frozen from the icy conditions outside. It only took the pokemon a few seconds’ rest before he took off again, soaring into one of the metal walls before falling to the ground. Jacob would have laughed had he been in a better mood; Shakespeare was generally annoying level-headed, and to see the pokemon drop like that was an unique experience.


    But then he noticed the crack in the wall; he hadn’t seen it before. Taking a few steps closer, he realized that what he had thought was part of the wall was actually a doorway. It looked as though it had rusted shut; Shakespeare clearly had been unaware of the strength that would be necessary to pull it open. Once again, Jacob gave it a shot, firmly grasping the door, and throwing it open, revealing a dark staircase. He glanced back at the others, nodding at them before heading down the stairs.


    The staircase was longer than he thought, and it was a few moments before he could see the light at the end of the tunnel. The light was brighter than he thought, and he had to rub his eyes as they readjusted. When he opened them again, he was amazed! It was a massive underground cavern, but it didn’t appear much like a cavern at all. Grass covered the ground, and what appeared to be a river ran through the middle. The cavern was so large he couldn’t see the other side. Somehow, it was much warmer as well, and Jacob quickly began to sweat in his thick coat. Confused, he stood for a moment, analyzing his surroundings. Shakespeare seemed just as amazed, landing on the grass just beside his trainer.
     
    Curtkid and PentheWonderful like this.
  31. As soon as he stepped inside the building Salem felt better. No matter what the place was, it provided much needed cover from the storm outside. Even dressed as he was in “fashionable winter gear” as Lady Alice called it, he doubted he would have lasted long in such an intense blizzard. At least, Salem hoped that was an intense blizzard and not just a regular one or he would seriously have to reconsider ever returning to the arctic region, fun as snow could be.

    Inside he pulled his hood back and pulled his scarf and goggles out of the way. The storm outside was still noisy, but at least they could converse in here. It was a bit on the dark side though, with the high windows blocked by snow.

    Behind him Salem caught the tail end on some shouting between Curt and Embertail, something about his navigation skills? He turned back to them and flashed the pair a wide grin and a thumbs up.

    “I had no idea where I was going,” he confessed merrily. “I figured we’d just go in a straight line so that all I had to do was look at what was ahead. Pretty lucky we found this place no?”

    He didn’t wait for a reply though and turned around to face Cassie. He wasn’t that interested in continuing the topic beyond that, there were other things that concerned him more. Salem zipped the top of his jacket open and almost immediately Aeryn slipped out to curl affectionately around her adoptive mother. The baby Pokémon had grown quite a bit since Cassie last saw her and could now fully wrap herself around the woman’s petite frame.

    “Good girl Aeryn, you hold her still so that I can have a look at that head wound,” he said, capitalizing on the Dratini’s loving embrace.

    Salem stepped up to Cassie and pulled her hood back slowly. An excited Emolga appeared from it and jumped up on his shoulder, but Salem’s attention was captured by Cassie’s silver eyes again. They managed to ensnare him every time, without fail, and had occupied his dreams for the last eight months. He indulged himself a moment and smiled softly at the woman he had fallen in love with. Then he placed his hands on her cheeks, brushing her mask down with his thumbs and briefly felt a strong urge to kiss her and forget about everything else. She blinked and the spell was broken. He quickly turned her face to the side so that he could inspect her blood caked head wound.

    “Hold still please,” he asked her as Aeryn brought her face up to rub her soft nose against Cassie’s.

    Salem gently brushed her hair out of the way but it was too dark to really see well. He sighed in resignation, knowing what he had to do next.

    “Sweetheart,” he called to the dark Dratini, “Hold mama tightly, okay?”

    The child nodded and rubbed her nose against Cassie again.

    To Cassie herself Salem said, “Don’t be alarmed. I am going to get some fire in here for warmth and light, it won’t harm you, I promise.”

    Salem put his hand in a pocket and brushed his fingers against the Pokéball he kept there. It expanded before opening and a swirl of white light burst from it to pool on the ground in front of Cassie, there it congealed, swelled and then took the shape of a small, angry looking Infernape. Immediately the room lit up and a rush of warmth swept across the people in it. Expecting it, Salem kept his eyes fixed on Cassie’s wound and saw that it was mostly superficial. The blood had made it look worse than it really was. He was no medical expert, but it looked like she would be just fine.

    Meanwhile the scowling monkey had looked around the room to take in its surroundings, looking for enemies to fight. Not liking what he saw he sucked in a deep breath and was about to give voice to his frustration when Salem reached an arm back and raised a single finger in silent warning. The infernape, Achilles, almost chocked on the breath he swallowed. He pounded his chest and glared at Salem’s back, but remained quiet and seated. He cocked his head at the small woman who looked vaguely familiar. She looked fearful of him and that appeased the little demon somewhat. He liked being feared, he should be feared. This woman at least knew to show the proper expressions. Achilles looked to the side next, where he saw a wide eyed Charmander. He sized the Pokémon up and immediately deemed him unworthy, indicating as much by thumbing his nose and sniffing dismissively. There was nothing for it then, so he sat back on his haunches and crossed his arms angrily in front of his chest, awaiting further instructions.

    “It looks like you’ll be fine, Karela,” Salem told her and stepping back from her, then to the side to block the Infernape from her view.

    Salem looked around then. The fire haired Pokémon reminded him that he had yet to introduce himself to the orange haired man who had ushered them all inside. He didn’t see the man, but instead saw an opening in one of the walls leading into a dark staircase. He looked back at Curt and Cassie then and decided he would just follow after them.
     
    #31 Nygenn, Dec 5, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
    Trucro and PentheWonderful like this.
  32. As small as the cabin was, it was a more then welcomed accommodation for escaping the storm. Curt brushed the snow off of his jacket and pants real quick before pulling his hood down, the chill against his exposed skin reminded Curt that, though they were now in shelter, there had been precious little heat produced in the cabin. Curt also noted that the size of the small size of the cabin, though he could let the rest of his friends out, it would be cramped with all of them, meaning that he couldn't let out the rest of his team to stretch themselves at the moment. Then again, considering how cold it was, maybe that was for the best, between the temperature and lack of leg room, he doubted his team would be very comfortable in here. Besides, the cabin needed a little work to become livable in, and their efforts were better spend focusing on sprucing up the cabin a bit to be better suited for them to weather out the storm in. The extent of the places furniture was a musty old desk and chair on the far right side of the room, there also appeared to be a fire place towards the back wall, but it was barren and looked like it hadn't been used in months, not that it would help them. All they had for kindling really was the desk, which didn't look like promising burning material what with the laqure and all, and the numerous papers strewn across the room which, unless they wanted to burn the cabin down in a hurry, they'd avoid using for a fire.

    "Well, I guess it's a little small...and messy, but hey, I won't turn my nose up at it!", Curt said, giving voice to what was on everyone mind.

    "Ah, it's not small, it's cozy, it just needs a little bit of a dusting, cleaning up the papers...oh, and we should start a fire! Just leave that to me!", Embertail said as he stretched his back, cracking his knuckles, and generally making a big display of getting himself ready to do a strenuous task. A few moments of doing that Embertail let out a breathe, before walking into the center of the room and plopping his rump down on the ground with his tail sprawled on the floor, slightly raising the tip above the floor so it didn't catch fire.

    "There, fire's done", Embertail said with a wide smile. Curt just let out a sigh, the trainer almost swore that his buddy had made this joke more times then he had been in battles and Curt had heard it just as many times. Granted he at least had the excuse of making the joke for the sake of their traveling companions, but Curt was fairly certain that they had all heard it before too.

    "Wow, thanks Embertail, you reeally pulled out all the stops for us...", Curt said, the words filled with the exasperation of a man who was hearing this joke for only the eightieth time, "...but, I think we're going to need a little more then just your tail-flame to warm up this cabin". Normally, if this was just a chilly autumn night, Embertails fire would be ample, but right now they were in the middle of the artic in the thicket of a blizzard, ample heat would be required to heat this place up properly. Salem apparently had the same idea, a snapping sound could be heard coming from the trainers direction, with an Infernape materializing from the Pokeball a second later, though, Curt had to do a double take to make sure he got the species right. It was an Infernape, a second look made that clear, but this Flame Pokemon was only slightly taller then its pre-evolved form Monferno at best. He had never seem this Pokemon from Salem before, Curt assumed he didn't like to call him out much, perhaps because it seemed to be, to put it bluntly, very pissed, something that was lost on the other constantly on fire Pokemon in the room.

    "Dawwww, look how tiny he is, he's adorable!", Embertail exclaimed, putting his hands up to his face in excitement.

    "Dude, shut up!", Curt exclaimed, kneeing Embertail in the arm while looking frantically at the Infernape that was probably easily agitated, and of course, the fire-monkey was looking right towards them or, more specifically, at Embertail. Even though the cabin was still cold, Curt felt his face growing hot, Infernape weren't just rare Pokemon, but very strong too, mainly with their offensive capabilities. They had strength enough to easily rip the arms of a man, and their fire was just as dangerous, capable of melting through re-enforced steel with easy. If Embertail set that living conduit of fire and rage off, then the blizzard would drop a few notches on their list of concerns. Curt wasn't sure how strong the Infernape was (though it had to be at least fairly strong, or else it wouldn't have been able to reach its final form), but Curt was hopeful that Embertail could at least stand his ground against him for a bit, but then there was the collateral. Two fire types fighting in an all wood cabin? Well, at least they wouldn't be cold anymore...

    However, it appeared that the Infernape either didn't hear Embertail over Salem and the initial rush of the cold, or was of more moderate temper then he let on. The ape Pokemon glared at Embertail for a moment, who intern was waving cheerily at his fellow fire-type, before letting out a disinterested snort and thumbing his nose at Embertail. Curt was quiet for a moment, watching as the Infernape lost all interest in Embertail, before speaking again.

    "...Sheesh, what an ass...", Curt muttered. He didn't really understand the Pokemon language, but he knew enough about Pokemon to know that Salem's Infernape did the human equivalent of giving Embertail the bird. Curts fear of an assault by the monkey was spontaneously replaced with a strong desire to challenge him and Salem to a battle just so Embertail could have a chance to Aerial Ace that stupid turd-thrower right in his grouchy, condescending face!

    "Awwww, don't get upset over it, he's probably just feeling a little grumpy because of the cold, I'm sure he's normally a really nice guy!", Embertail said, his optimism never seemed to falter. Curt wasn't so sure that was the case, but if Embertail wasn't offended, then Curt wasn't going to worry about it much, besides, it's not like this was a good time to have a fight anyways.

    "Yeah, well...H-hey, uh Jacob, if you want, I think we have enough room to fit Nero in here too, you know, if you want to let him out for a bit as well as giving us some extra heat.....Jacob?", Curt called out in confusion after a moment of not hearing the man respond to him, after all, it's not like he could be out of ear shot in a place so small. Yet, for a moment it did look like both Jacob and Shakespeare just vanished into think air. Then they noticed that Cassie and Salem were staring at what apparently was an open part of the wall, leading to a dark, cavern like stairway.

    "What the...,w-where did that come from?"

    "I-Is that a secret passage way...OH SWEET BELLOSOM FARTS IT IS !", Embertail exclaimed, running, practically skipping, towards the newly discovered passageway and looking deep inside it,

    "So long as it doesn't lead to another freaking cave...",Curt muttered as he followed the rest of the party down the cavern, not like there were many other places Jacob and Shakespeare could have gone. The decent was dark and quiet as they followed the stair way to wherever it lead, hopeful not to any danger for once. Curt pondered on the fact that they had decided to walk through this passage way without a second thought, but then again, it was not like they had much to keep them occupied while waiting for storm to blow over, boredom was a powerful motivator indeed. A faint light was soon seen before Curt had much time to process it though, they had gone a bit of ways underground, but thankfully not as deep as their time in the Glittering Caverns or Dead Mans drop. Stepping through the light, the group came face to face with...well, Curt expected a makeshift underground shelter, a smugglers den, or a small laboratory at best, what they saw instead was...

    "Wowow, it's like, some sort of hidden, underground meadow!", Embertail exclaimed, which was pretty much the best way to describe it. Grass, accompanied by the occasional patch of flowers and trees, covered the land as far as the eye could see, in the distance one could make out a river that seemed to run the stretch of the field. Embertail rotated his head around to get a full look of the field, the grass was lengthy but not wildly tall or out of control, the fields was so well polished and well tended, it almost looked as though there was someone taking care of it. Even the shrubbery surrounding the tree's seemed to be planted and grown with a decorative mind, right down to the one just a few yards away from them, except for that odd yellow and black thing sticking out of the bush.

    "Wait, wha-", Embertail murmered, refocusing his vision on where he thought he saw the strange object, but the moment he jerked his head back, the oddly colored appendage dissipated with little more then a faint rustle from the bush.

    "Something up Embertail...I mean, besides the obvious?", Curt asked, noticing his friend breaking from his awe struck state. Curt himself had been left momentary speechless upon stumbling on the underground bio dome, so much so he barely registered finding Jacob and Shakespeare. Instead he found himself occupied taking in the wonders of this secret meadow, and pondering how it could have possibly got here.

    "I think I just saw someone hiding in the bushes", Embertail said pointing towards the tree closest to them,"there was something sticking out of them like a weirdly colored root, or an ear...you think someone is living down here?"

    "Probably, I don't think something like this could have formed naturally, it's far to warm for this place to be a naturally grown...place in this environment...at least, I think it is, I haven't really studied underground bioms much", Curt admitted as he took off his coat and began storing it in his backpack, "if you ask me, I think a Pokemon did this, a powerful one too, probably like a Meganium or something". Embertail followed suite in taking off his scarf and storing it in Curts backpack along with the coat, they definitely didn't need them considering how warm it was. It wasn't as bright as they expected though, but then again, the only clear light source was from the cracks in the meadows "roof" from above. This place may get its warmth from a foreign source, but it clearly got it's light from outside, and seeing as there was currently a roaring blizzard outside, the place gave of the appearance of dipping into evening.

    "Awww, it's probably just shy then, HEY YOU IN THE BUSHES, IT's ALRIGHT, YOU CAN COME OUT, WE'RE FRIENDLY!!!", Embertail cried out to the figure he thought he saw in the shrubbery. But he received no reply as the bushes surrounding the tree remained still, if there was anything in there, it had either fled from the area, or was hiding itself in the foliage to avoid being seen.

    "O.K THEN, NO RUSH! YOU CAN COME OUT WHEN YOU'RE READY!", Embertail yelled, he was willing to wait a bit if it meant making a new friend. Curt was admittedly curious at what Embertail had seen, but was relieved that whatever he had saw was apparently more cautious of them then they were of it. Still, that did put a thought into Curts mind, there were apparently not alone down here if Embertail was to be believed, and if Curt was right in assuming that a powerful Pokemon was behind the creation of this meadow then experience told him that it wouldn't be smart to automatically assume it's friendly. Seeing a bit of an issue with their new accommodations, Curt decided it would be best to bring it up with Jacob, in addition to alerting the man that the rest of his party had followed him.

    "Man, you lucked out Jacob, I mean, normally when we wander into mysterious places like this, they usually end up being a death trap filled with things that want to kill us!", Curt said to his fellow trainer with a good-natured, half-smile, "anyways, I have to say, this place is a lot nicer down here then upstairs, but you, um, I mean we...uh, maybe we want to comb this place over a bit, just to make sure their isn't anything in here that might...you know...want to eat us? Flare can use her psychic abilities to try and find anything, and Jasper's a pretty good tracker, so she can help us too...if you want to that is..."
     
    #32 Curtkid, Dec 9, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  33. The air inside was cold and still.

    Not any warmer than what had been the freezing temperatures outside, but at the very least, without any wind to burn the frostbite into your skin. Cassie pulled down the snow covered goggles from her eyes and carefully considered the small, 4-by-4 metal box they had found themselves in. Small windows rendered useless by the snow pile building outside. A desk and chair sat on a far end of the room, cluttered with paper and aged coffee stains from a chipped mug.

    She twitched.

    Her hands itched, feet itched, dying to walk her over to the mess so that she may gather and organize, clean, dust, wipe the dull floors clean and discard the brown stained papers, reposition the mug back on the desk and fix the asymmetry of the chair’s awkward angle. Made even worse when Shakespeare landed on the desk, sending papers flying, and her eye compulsively twitched in restraint.

    Twine and vine, tied wrists, throbbing back. His tie was askew. She twitched and couldn’t move. “W- e- ll- Miss Mi- cha- els… Wh- at h- ave… Y- ou g- ot f- or us?

    Cassie blinked, her ears ringing out of the blue, and she placed a hand against her head. There was corruption in her head, cutting that voice resonating in her head into pieces. ‘It must be the concussion.’ She concluded.

    Yet all of a sudden, she was being constricted. A long, dark body wrapping around her neck, over her shoulders and she gasped for a brief moment, her heart stopped for a brief moment and she had honestly though she would be choked. But then she locked eyes with a pair of wide, bright, black innocent orbs gazing affectionately at her and she relaxed, let out the breath she had sucked in as her face melted into a warm smile. “Bonjour, mon cher. You surprised me.” She whispered tenderly, leaning forward and touching her nose to the Dratini’s small, soft snout. Aeryn, in response, mewled sweetly, shutting her eyes in what could only be classified as bliss.

    Good girl Aeryn, you hold still so that I can have a look at that head wound,” Came Salem’s deep voice, and her eyes immediately flicked upwards to him, smiling fondly as he pulled her hood down, freeing the Emolga who had been taking shelter in it, and her smile widened some more as he brushed her mask down, and she got her first good look of him in Arceus knows how long. He hadn’t changed much, of that she was unspeakably glad, yet there was still something new in his eyes, in the way he looked. There was a hint of… Wisdom, maturity, in him now that she didn’t remember being there when they parted ways on Jinko. But she decided it suited him well. Very well, in fact.

    But it ended all too abruptly once he turned her head to the side.

    Hold still please,

    After a soft chuckle, that was exactly what she did. Cassie enjoyed in the feeling of Salem brushing her hair aside, relished in it even, but at the same time she could feel her hair's resistance where they had been glued in place by her blood. It was honestly rather embarrassing for her to endure, and it immediately sent a blush of red over her cheeks, but Aeryn's reciprocation of rubbing her snout against her nose allowed her to not dwell on the matter.

    Instead, she simply closed her eyes and enjoyed the infant's show of affection, sighing contentedly. However, Salem’s sigh, coming shortly after her’s, immediately got her eyes open again. Without moving her head, she flicked her eyes to the side as far as it could possibly go, and looked at him questioningly.

    Sweetheart, hold mam tightly, okay?

    Cassie could feel her pupils dilate in apprehension and suspicion as they gazed at Salem with alarm. There was something in his tone, in the way he spoke, that made her suspect he was planning something unpleasant. And Aeryn’s nuzzles could only do so much. She glanced at the young Dratini in concern, before once again glancing back to Salem as he said, “Don’t be alarmed. I am going to get some fire in here for warmth and light, it won’t harm you, I promise.

    Fire.

    That one word jabbed a stake through her chest and locked her joints in place. Her muscle felt like wire, and her bones were concrete. She couldn’t move, and the color that had accumulated in her face was quickly draining.

    Cassie sucked in a breath as a pokeball from Salem’s belt popped open, watched the beam of light nucleate and take shape, and within the next moment, a wave of heat washed over them, accompanied with the crackle of fire and the smell of smoke. And her chest felt very, very tight, and her knees, very, very weak. She felt colder than when before they had any sort of fire.

    Just as she had remembered it from Jinko, the Infernape’s fierce gave scanned around the room. But the more he looked, the angrier he became, and Cassie felt her heart rate pick up in anticipation of the inferno that would explode from the blaze on his head, but then Salem moved instead, swift as he reached back his arm and raised a single finger in warning. And just like that, the ape’s building rage was cut down, stopped so abruptly that he choked on his own breath.

    And Cassie glanced to the man in awe.

    It took such an authorative force, such dominance on the trainer’s part, and an extent of respect and reverence on the Pokemon’s part, to accomplish such a seemingly mundane action. But she knew better. It had taken her mother half her life to be able to utilize it, and took her as long as she had been alive to even develop such ability. And yet she had parted with Salem for a little under a year and there he was, with full command of the ability.

    But then a part of her was not really surprised. She knew he was meant for greatness the day she had challenged him to the race in Jinko’s jungle. And the knowledge that she had been right, the fact that Salem had managed to live up to his greatness, made her swell with pride.

    It looks like you’ll be fine, Karela,

    At this, Cassie cocked an eyebrow playfully, a smirk tugging on her lips as she eyed him. “I already knew that. I didn’t need you to tell me.”

    However, Salem then broke their gaze, and Cassie let her eyes wander once again. She was not able to find Jacob anywhere, but what she did find was a large opening on one of the walls; dark and foreboding. And she knew that was exactly where they needed to go.

    She looked over at Curt then, listened to his heavy hearted lament that the passage would not lead them to another cave as he quickly descends the stairway after Jacob with Embertail by his side, before shifting her gaze to Salem, to whom she wiggled an eyebrow in an up and down motion, before turning lightly on her heel, and following after her friends at a much more leisurely pace with Aeryn still coiled over her shoulders.

    As darkness began to swallow her down the stairway, she focused her eyes on the light on the far end of the tunnel, and on the way, she decided it was time to get started on the long overdue catch up she has yet to have with her childhood friend from the tropics.

    “What brings you to the wonderful land of Korska, Salem?” She asks in amusement, turning her head back slightly to gaze at him. “Looking for a change of scenery?”
     
    Trucro, Curtkid and Nygenn like this.
  34. “I already knew that,” Cassie told him after he stated she should be just fine, and he looked away in response.

    “Well I still wanted to know,” he murmured softly to himself as he watched Curt and Embertail disappear through the dark tunnel. The pair was soon followed by Cassie with Aeryn still coiled around her.

    ‘Can’t blame her,’ he thought with a smile when he watched his baby leave with her mother. ‘I’d be coiled around her too if I could.’

    He turned to the only other occupant in the room then.

    “Lo siento, Achilles,” Salem told the fiery Infernape once everyone had gone, “I will find you a fight soon, promise.”

    He gave the scowling ape a sly grin then and continued,

    “The truth is that you’re simply too strong for most of what I encounter here.”

    This seemed to appease Achilles somewhat and he nodded to his trainer. Salem dipped his head in return and recalled the Pokémon to his ball with a flash of red light. His attention then turned to the little Emolga perched on his shoulder. He opened one of the large front pockets on his coat and indicated it.

    “Timo’s in here Emmy, do you want to keep him company?” he asked the flying mouse.

    She nodded, jumped up and failed around him once before diving headfirst into his pocket. A little rummaging later her head pocked back out so that she could see where they were going. She was no doubt seated on Tymolin’s Pokéball again as she so often did. Salem brushed her face affectionately, eliciting a pleased squeak and then he was off after Cassie and the others.

    The tunnel turned out to be a lengthy dark staircase downwards, and before long Salem wondered if he had perhaps been too hasty in his dismissal of the fire maned Pokémon. There was a feint light at the end, but it was far enough to provide him with anything more than a direction to focus on. So minding his steps and letting his gloved fingers brush the wall beside him he descended after the others.

    “What brings you to the wonderful land of Korska, Salem?” Cassie’s musically accented voice drifted up to him, snaring his attention. “Looking for a change of scenery?”

    ‘Looking for you,’ was the first thought that sprang to mind in response to her query, but while that had been why he braved the storm, it wasn’t why he was here in the frozen North, so instead he laughed before replying,

    “It wasn’t my idea to come here, but I am glad I did. It certainly seems a completely different world up here. All this white, powdered water is so much fun to play with! That is, when it is not trying to kill you of course.”

    Salem bounded a couple steps further down then until he was walking right behind Cassie and Aeryn and could converse with her more easily.

    “I am actually here to collect some data samples or another for Lord Benjamin,” he admitted. “And my master thought it would be a good test of my training. I am becoming a real Pokémon trainer now you know, like you.”
     
    #34 Nygenn, Dec 10, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
    PentheWonderful, Trucro and Curtkid like this.
  35. "Man, you lucked out Jacob, I mean, normally when we wander into mysterious places like this, they usually end up being a death trap filled with things that want to kill us! Anyways, I have to say, this place is a lot nicer down here then upstairs, but you, um, I mean we...uh, maybe we want to comb this place over a bit, just to make sure their isn't anything in here that might...you know...want to eat us? Flare can use her psychic abilities to try and find anything, and Jasper's a pretty good tracker, so she can help us too...if you want to that is..."


    “Heh,” Jacob responded, turning and smiling at Curt and Embertail. Curt was right; it was refreshing not to be fearing for his life. Maybe caves weren’t actually as bad as his experiences suggested. He did feel rather safe. Nonetheless, he was aware of how quickly the situation could change. Shakespeare, after a cursory circling of the area, flew back towards Jacob, landing on his shoulder. The Togekiss was a bit too big to fit comfortably on Jacob’s shoulder, and the extra weight almost tipped him over. Realizing Jacob was off-balance, Shakespeare quickly took off again, floating for just a few seconds before landing on a ledge about ten feet up on the wall of the cavern.


    “Sounds like a good idea to me, Curt,” he said, turning back to his friend. “I guess it’s better to be safe…” Jacob turned away again, looking at the rest of the cavern. “Man, I wonder how this was made; it doesn’t look natural but…” Jacob sighed, realizing at that moment he hadn’t officially said hello to the man who had saved them. He turned back to the stairway, only to find it empty. He shot Curt another look and rolled his eyes. He guessed they’d be down eventually.


    Lost in thought, he looked down at his feet, and noticed that he had stepped on a loose piece of paper. He leaned over and picked it up, quickly analyzing it. The paper appeared to be an inventory log, with a list of different pokemon along the right side, and specifications on the left. At the bottom was a good number of warnings to destroy the paper after receiving; the kind of warnings he had seen before on Team Rocket paperwork when he was working with them. “Hey Curt; looks like Team Rocket owned this place.” He glanced over at Curt before continuing. “Uh, I think you were right; we should definitely look this place over.” With that, Jacob grabbed one of the miniature pokeballs off his belt. Throwing it into the air, the ball enlarged before popping open. A stream of light landed just beside Jacob before vanishing, leaving his Blaziken, Nero, standing just beside him. The pokemon remained silent, looking around the cavern. On the pokemon’s wrist, even in the dimly lit cavern, the megastone stood out, reflecting the light in many colors.


    “Alright, bud, we gotta check this cave out!” With that, he and Nero began walking forward, heading deeper into the cave.
     
    PentheWonderful likes this.
  36. Cassandra heard Salem's laughter echoing from behind her, and in turn, her lips twitched upwards in a smile much wider than before. She was not a generally funny person. Her humor is for the most part, dry. If not sarcastic and witty. But that was why she laughed so much, why she always seemed so amused. Thus, during those rare moments when someone responds to her attempts at humor, it always gives her a small tingle of pride in her heart.

    It wasn’t my idea to come here, but I am glad I did. It certainly seems a completely different world up here. All this white, powdered water is so much fun to play with! That is, when it is not trying to kill you of course.” He continued, and she could not help but glance questioningly at Aeryn, eyebrow raised, at his mention of 'white, powdered water'. Of course, she was also curious on who's behalf it was that he come to Korska.

    She could hear him bounding down several steps, and soon, she could sense him right behind her. It was a comforting thought, she realized, for him to have her back. And she found it eased her nerves at having to traverse this seemingly passage. Time just... Didn't seem to move forward. So she smirked and mused lightly to herself, "Isn't that the case with everything?"

    I am actually here to collect some data samples or another for Lord Benjamin,” He continued. “And my master thought it would be a good test of my training. I am becoming a real Pokémon trainer now you know, like you.

    For the briefest moments, Cassandra paused in her steps. Benjamin, Ben, Ben Michaels, her father. She knew he was likely referring to someone else, but the mention of the name rattled something inside of her. She never realized how much she missed him, her sister... Her mother. Despite having cleared her name and debt and earning a generous compensation for what she had been forced to endure, her family, or rather, her mother, the matriarch of the family, had still refused to reclaim her as the child of her bloodline, her nuclear family. As a Moreaux, or a Michaels. She was estranged, still, and for the longest time, it had been the last thing on her mind with everything else that was going on, and in that time, it had swelled and festered.

    But now was not the time for that.

    Time resumed its pace, and Cassie moved forward once more, down the stairs where the exit was a mere meters away. Leaving her thoughts behind in the darkness. Instead, she let out a small chuckle, and fixed her gaze on the last few steps. "Well, someone certainly found their way into the elites. With your very own mentor and special tasks and everything." She hummed contemplatively, before stopping and allowing Salem to fall in step beside her, so that she may look him in the eyes seriously,

    "But you've always been a real Pokemon trainer."

    Letting that seep into him for a moment, Cassie proceeded to gently uncoil Aeryn from her shoulders, and helped her move to her adoptive father where she climbed up to his shoulders and nuzzled his cheek affectionately. "Real trainers connect to their Pokemon, share their feelings and experiences, and carry their fears and weaknesses. Bond with them, understand them, care for them, and grow together with them."

    As she spoke, her hand reaches up and gently adjusted the collar of his coat, straightened out the wrinkles and folds, and fixing the buttons that were not fixed properly and smiled up confidently at him. "But the most important thing is that real trainers have Pokemon that train them too."

    And with that, she continued forward, finally reaching the exit as she steps into the light, and for a moment, she needed to shield her eyes with her hand until her vision adjusted. And once it did, all she could do was let out a whistle. The underground pocket was huge compared to the 4-by-4 box on the surface. Serene meadows as far as the eye can see, and a river running down just on the horizon. It was also significantly warmer than the climate up top, and already her coat was becoming much too warm. Past the river, however, she noted larger, wilder plant life erected from the ground. Full grown trees and even a canopy layer. Certainly this couldn't have happened naturally. Could it?

    Ahead, Jacob was already marching forward with Nero by his side. At least they had the same idea. Things were never as they seemed, and it would be clever to have some extra protection on hand. Hence, brushing her hand over the shrunken Pokeballs lined on the belt she wore on her waist over her coat, she released her Pokemon in three simultaneous flashes that briefly illuminated the low-light of the cavern. The beams of light nucleated and took the forms of Nine, Lady, and Peridot. The two quadrupedal Pokemon stood tall and proud, at first. Until they registered the warm air and fresh grass beneath them, and they simply dropped on their sides and rolled themselves around on the grass.

    Peridot squealed in surprise at the abrupt change of her team mate's demeanors and facepalmed in embarrassment for them. Ever amused, Cassie simply chuckled in response to her Pokemon's unprofessional behaviors and walked passed the rolling bodies of Nine and Lady after Jacob once Salem had caught up to them, Peridot trailing closely behind them as she shot reprimanding glares to the vulpine and feline respectively.

    "Come on you two."

    And the moment those words were uttered, Nine and Lady shot to their feet in full attention and cordially began to trail after their trainer. Lady seemed keenly curious of her surroundings, but Nine seemed more interested in the light haired man that was alien to him. He glanced back at him curiously, almost suspiciously, before turning back to his trainer, 'Cassie, who is that man? I can feel him staring at me, it's rather unnerving.'

    Shifting her gaze slightly to the fox trotting beside her, Cassie chuckled softly yet again. "That's Salem."

    Nine shot another, this time surprised, glance at the islander. 'Salem... Archon?'

    "Yes."

    'I see.' The fox glanced back one last time, fully suspicious and alert, eying the man from head to toe, only to be interrupted by Cassie's suddenly ruffling of his mane as she laughed softly. It eased his tension almost immediately, and he pushed up against her hand with his tails wagging.

    "Don't be so serious, Nine."

    'Serious? Me? Never.' The Ninetales cooed, and once again Cassie laughed.

    'That was always Ryu's thing anyway.' She thought absently, but quickly shook it off. The further into the cavern they went, the hotter the air seemed to become. She was practically sweating under all her layers of clothing and it was quickly becoming uncomfortable. Hence, she proceeded to undo its zipper and slipped, peeling off the sweater underneath to leave the white, long sleeved turtleneck and remove her mask and goggles. Her gloves, however, she left equipped.

    Her sweater she managed to fold into her bag along with the goggles and mask, but the coat was simply too thick. So there she left it, tied around her waist just above her belt. Her eyes were set on the river. She fully intended on washing off the blood crusted to the side of her face and clean out her wound, which would have undoubtedly closed up by then.
     
  37. Salem followed Cassie in silence. He was mulling over her definition of what a real Pokémon Trainer was. His hand idly brushed his collar. He had been vaguely aware of her doing something, but her words had demanded all of his attention this time. In his time training with Lady Moreaux he had been so focused on acquiring knowledge and battle tactics, and learning the movement patterns of his companions that he had never stopped to think about the definition of a real Pokémon Trainer before. he had just been very impressed with Cassie and wanted to be more like her, so that he could feel closer to her.

    “That sort of makes me feel a little less accomplished now,” he finally murmured to himself in conclusion, but the thought was quickly lost when they reached the bottom of the stairs and the end of the tunnel.

    It had been gradually getting warmer and brighter as they progressed, but Salem hadn’t really paid it any mind. Now however, he took it in all at once. The massive underground space with fields and trees and even a river. It was surreal, but a wonderfully welcome surprise.

    Salem had come to like snow, but quickly decided that the cold made him uncomfortable. Down here it was nice and warm, hot even with his winter gear on. It wasn’t a thick coat he wore, but Lady Alice had assured him that it was high quality material which insulated and regulated his temperatures well. Salem hadn’t really understood what she was talking about, but the clothes had kept him comfortably warm and allowed him a surprising amount of freedom for movement. However, in his current environment it was quickly becoming too much, so he began to undress.

    He shrugged off his coat and snugly fitting dark blue sweatshirt underneath. Beneath that he wore a black, body hugging, vest with a turtleneck that went up to just below his chin, leaving his arms bare. The sweatshirt he tied around his waist and the white scarf he hung loosely around his neck. His goggles he stuffed into the pockets of his coat, from which he extracted his Pokéballs to clip back into place on his belt.

    Salem looked down at the coat on the ground. His first impulse was to discard it because he had no need for it now and it would be annoying to drag along, but then he remembered how Lady Alice had beamed at him when he put the coat on at her request. Looking up at the cavern ceiling and back the way they came he decided he would probably need the coat again later. Eventually they would have to go back out and he couldn’t imagine going out into another storm without this coat on.

    Rolling his eyes and huffing with exasperation he picked the garment up and tied it around his waist as well. It messed with his balance a little having so much material hanging around his hips, but at least his arms were free this way.

    Salem looked up to see that the others had all left him behind, so he jogged to catch up. He reached Cassie first, who was surrounded by three Pokémon, one of which he recognized immediately.

    “Miss Lady!” he called out happily to the elegant feline.

    He dove in her direction but she deftly evaded him as he had expected from the socially evasive Pokémon. He laughed merrily while he reached for one of the balls on his belt.

    “I’ve got someone here who missed you greatly, minino!” he called after her as he threw the Pokéball in the Liepard’s direction.

    The device curved low and struck the ground right in front of her paws. There it burst open, releasing the bright energy from inside before it shot away back towards Salem who caught it deftly with one hand.

    The energy amassed and took the shape of a truly enormous Pokémon. It was a massive Blastoise easily a good head and shoulders taller than the men around and several times broader as well. The Pokémon was reared up on his hind legs and had his arms thrown out wide as challenging the world and he roared upon release. With it being so cold outside Ajax had spend most of their time in Korska inside his Pokéball. He didn't particularly minded this, but it was nice to be out.

    After a moment Ajax glanced down at Lady, then pointedly looked away.

    (“Puss,”) he rumbled with his heavy voice, and only those paying attention would notice the small flush on his blue cheeks.

    Salem smiled at his giant friend, but went ignored. He didn’t mind however, since his attention was soon focused on the other Pokémon Cassie her with her. The elegant looking Ninetales in particular. What a beautiful creature that was. So sleek and strong, regal and soft all at the same time. Salem’s fingers itched to run through that rich fur and never having been one to deny his own urges that was exactly what he intended to do.

    Taking his lesson from Lady’s reaction, he approached Cassie and her Pokémon casually this time, then knelt down next to the white fox.

    While a different species Nine reminded him of Lady June, Gerald’s sexy fox companion. She had been a great beauty with a rich fur as well and Salem found himself hoping they would meet again someday soon.

    “This must be Sir Nine,” he said sounding very impressed. “Currents, he is beautiful Karela. You didn’t tell me you had such a handsome man in your life already.”

    Salem reached out with his hands, eager to stroke and scratch the soft looking fur, but he hesitated and let his hands linger between them in a sort of unspoken question. It would be up to the Pokémon if he touched him or not.

    Finally Salem turned his head toward the little Kirlia, and with his hands still craving to stroke Nine he just bowed his head in deference to the dainty little fairy.

    “A pleasure to meet you little Lady,” he told her with a smile. "I am Salem, what might be your name?"
     
    #37 Nygenn, Dec 12, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
    Trucro and PentheWonderful like this.
  38. "Well, so much for not stumbling into another potential death trap", Curt thought bitterly as he and Embertail read over the sheet of paper Jacob was showing them. It was a list, a very detailed list of a wide variety of Pokemon, export and import direction, as well as pick up directions, even Curt and Embertail could recognize that this list detailed an illegal Pokemon smuggling operation. It didn't seem likely that this sheet of paper just happened to flutter down here, and all things considered, this place would make a pretty decent hide-away, though that didn't explain how these caves got so...green. They were shocked further to hear Jacob's claims of believing that Team Rocket were the ones behinds this potential smuggling operation and that these caves were likely to be their base. Not that such a thing was beyond Team Rocket, kidnapping and selling Pokemon was one of their biggest MO's, it was. among other things, that idea that Team Rocket would want to position a base all the way out here, so far away from their home territory in Kanto.

    "You sure it's Team Rocket again Jacob? It's just, we've run into those guys so many times already and the chance that we've stumbled into them again is...uh, you mind if I...?", Curt said as he poked his head closer into the list. It's not that Curt didn't trust Jacob, it's just that the man and his Pokemon had a far more personal history with Team Rocket the Curt, Embertail and the gang, and he just wanted to make sure the man wasn't jumping to a conclusion based on old grudges and enduring hatreds. But as Curt read off the Pokemon on the list, he began to feel that Jacobs suspicions were well founded. If this list was made by an amateur Pokemon trafficking gang, the kidnapped Pokemon on this list would be as varied as the colors of oil in water, but the Pokemon on this list all shared a common theme. Team Rocket was smart, they knew stealing and holding powerful Pokemon was an extremely dangerous and expensive venture, and though those Pokemon sold for an extremely high profit, the actual market for them was fairly slim. Team Rocket knew where the money was and often targeted weaker, cuter Pokemon, ones that some rich asshole would pay a respectable amount for to keep as a dolled up pet not caring where it came from or what it had gone through, and almost every Pokemon on this list matched that criteria.

    "Dang, I think you're right Jacob, these Pokemon do seem like the ones Team Rocket normally go after : valuable, but probably not to dangerous", Curt said as he read down the list of Pokemon, "Buneary, Eevee, Meowth, Pichu, Litleo, a-.....the hell's a "Rowlet?", sounds like some sort of casino game...or a bowling league..."

    "Sooooooo...it's Team Rocket then?", Embertail asked, cocking his head to get a look at Curt over the paper and regain his attention.

    "Uh, oh, yeah, beginning to look like it, I mean, it might just be another Pokemon trafficking company that's smaller, less outfitted, and just knows more about the finer fundamentals of Pokemon kidnapping then the average poaching gang, but....knowing out luck...", Curt said as he handed the paper back to Jacob, rubbing his head as though expecting an imminent migraine.

    "Again huh? You know, just once I'd like to have the people trying to kill us be of those those kooky crime teams that are trying to take over the world! Like Team Aqua or Team Flare, now those guys are nuts, I mean think of it: how crazy would it be to be going up against a bunch of terraforming-obsessed pirates or a genocidal cult with a fashion obsession, but nope, Yakuza it is for us!", Embertail bemoaned. Leave it to him to complain, not about the fact that there were probably dangerous criminals running around the immediate area, but that he was bored of the dangerous criminals in the immediate area and wanted someone else trying to kill them. Curt had to admit that the idea of fighting Team Aqua pirates did sound fun though....

    "Well, if it makes you feel better, I heard that there have been a few real, uh....eccentrics making it into the higher up positions of the Rockets' Science Teams and even Executive Branch, apparently they've been starting to do some really crazy stuff lately...OH! Like, remember that fake tournament incident a while back, the one on that unmarked island!? That was them apparently...", Curt said plainly to the Charmander, as though he was just throwing out some statistic or a fact that he read to put his friend in a better mood.

    "Oh yeah, I think I did seeing an article on the news about that, like, some crazy scientist organized that whole thing to kidnapped a bunch of trainers and their Pokemon by luring them to a fake tournament to trap them on a island filled with rabid Pokemon just to see how long they'd survive, or something like that? See, now that's the kinda craziness I want to see!", Embertail exclaimed, "...oh wait, a bunch of people and Pokemon died in their because of that, uh, yeah, except that part, I don't want that last part to happen..."

    "Tell me about it, I mean we almost went to that thing!", Curt said, causing the big-eyed Charmander to snap up in shock, "Yeah, remember? We decided not to go because we just got back from Johto a few days before(and because I lost the invitation), the invite was for that very same death trap!"

    "Wait, it was that tournament? Woah, yeah I remember that...man, did we dodge a bullet there, and to think we were beating ourselves up a little for not going! I sure feel bad for whoever got dragged into that mess!", Embertail exclaimed. But they were just getting off track now, in the time it took for them to have that little chat, Cassie and Salem had arrived in the caverns and were beginning to let thier Pokemon back out for some fresh air. Cassie let out her entire team without a second thought; Lady, Nine, and Peridot, the former two who were taking a pleasant roll in the fresh grass. Embertail couldn't help but chuckle a bit at how adorable the two Pokemon looked rolling around so playfully in the grass.

    "Dawww, I just want to scratch their bellies!...Hey, does Flare do that, I've never seen her do that?", Embertail asked, Curt just responded with a shrug, the Ninetales was one of the newer and certainly more mysterious members of Curt team, no one really new THAT much about her, "Huh, I wonder if it feels good? I mean, they look like they're enjoying it.....you know what, I'ma try it!" And with that Embertail was on the ground, rolling around in the grass like his four footed friends as though nothing else in the world. Curt wasn't sure if Embertail looked cute rolling in the grass, or just stupid, maybe it was because he was bipedal and the activity was better suited to those who walked on all fours. He'd give Embertail this though, it looked kinda neat to see his flame hit against the grass without catching anything on fire, if he didn't know that Embertail learned how to cool his flame he'd almost think it was magic.

    "Welp, I didn't feel anything", Embertail remarked, suddenly bolting right up, "I mean, I guess it was kinda fun, but I think you need fur to really get it, doesn't work so well with skin, er, I mean scales....hey is that Ajax, HEY AJAX BUDDY HOW YOU BEEN!" While Embertail and Curt were examining the joys of grass, Salem had been busy storing his items back into his coat before wrapping said coat around his waist. Curt envied the man a bit for being able to travel so light, he doubt they'd make it in the wild without their numberous amenities. He then let out Ajax, his rather large Blastoise, and Curt happily joined Embertail in waving at the giant tank turtle. Their dad's Wartortle partner Rodney, who was his only remaining Pokemon from his own Pokemon journey from when he was a kid, had been almost like a second father to them in many ways, and though a bit...different then Rodney (mostly in the size department), they warmed up to the big guy very quickly. Salem was proud of Ajax, and he had every reason to be, but especially liked to boast about the turtle Pokemons size, claiming Ajax to be "over one and a half times bigger then the average Blastoise!". Though Ajax was certainly a good deal bigger then the average Blastoise he thought that "one and half times bigger" was just a bit of an exaggeration, unless the Blastoise's on Salems island were less then, like, five and a half-feet tall, then that claim would be accurate. It actually made Curt chuckle a bit, the idea of a Blastoise barely being tall enough to come up to about his shoulder, what was next, Charizards that were shorter then he was?

    "Oh wait, what am I doing?", Curt said with a jolt before he reached down to his belt and pulled out a Pokeball and a Greatball, he couldn't believe he didn't do this right away. The two spheres snapped open, letting Jasper back out into the open once again (much to her delight), and Flare, who brought the count of Ninetales in the room to two. Though of the same species, Flare and Nine still looked different enough to be told apart, the most noticeable being that Flare was a girl, her thinner face, leaner figure, and longer, wilder hair implied that even to someone who had never seen a Ninetales before. Though she kept her coat relatively clean it didn't look as pristine or polished as Nine's did, partly because Flare lived in a forest till they ran into her and didn't pick up the best grooming habits, partly because Curt didn't have the funds to afford the finest cleaning products like Cassie did (or at least, used to), and partly because Flare was a good deal older then Nine.

    Jasper let out a soft cry as she stretched her back in the cave, happy to be out somewhere that wasn't being bombarded by snow and wind while Flare began looking over the immediate area. Flare was a Ninetales with a curious mind, when she saw something new or mysterious she wanted to learn more about it, and right now the meadow in this cave was dominating her attention.

    "There, sorry I made you wait, spaced out you know?", Curt apologized, though the two girls knew how Curt could occasionally lose focus on something that wasn't urgent. That was just about everyone who would want to come out, Lockjaw didn't like being in big groups or crowds, Raviel probably still wanted to warm up a bit, and Barry was probably still blacked-out (and would probably be a handful if he was out anyways...). Everyone else had started moving, though it appeared Salem was introducing himself to all of Cassie's Pokemon as they walked, even going as far to shake their hands (or paws...) and refer to them as "sir" or "lady". Curt couldn't exactly pin point the name of feeling he got from seeing, those closest he could compare it to was drinking something warm on a cold day. The way Salem introduced himself Cassie's Pokemon was in the same fashion he'd address a member of the upper class or some other person of importance. Perhaps this was one of the reasons Curt and Salem got along, both of them, admittedly in different fashions, viewed Pokemon as more then pets, or even partners, they saw Pokemon as people in their own rights. They had desires, friendships, and even dreams of their own that separated them from the common animal you'd see, similar to what humans had. Granted, right now Salem was being far more formal then Curt would be, and the trainer decided NOT to think about the fact that the guy who didn't even know how to use a cross-walk when the first met now had better manners then he did.

    "Well anyways, we bette-Huh, w-wait you want to come out too?", Curt said as he removed another Pokeball, this one shaking from his belt, "why do yo-oh right, it's a meadow...alright then Lockjaw, I ain't gonna keep you held up". Curt snapped open one more Pokeball, letting out a Croconaw that was noticeably shorter then a average Croconaw. The Aligator Pokemon had a large, jagged scar running down the length of his right eye, which might have made him look kinda bad-ass, but Lockjaw was so wide-eyed an easily startled that any perceptions of that would vanish in a instant. Though right now he didn't look scared, on the contrary he looked rather happy! With a growl, he ran over to a small field of flowers, and began picking them. This would also destroy any image one would have of Lockjaw being a bad ass, not that he cared about such a thing.

    "Hey uh, Lockjaw, buddy, the groups moving, can you do that later?", Curt called to the Pokemon before turning back to everyone else, "...he likes flowers....". Thankfully, Lockjaw wasn't a very stubborn Pokemon, and he didn't like the idea of being left alone here flowers or no, and ran over to rejoin the group. Though not without a soviner, as wrapped gently in his claws were several flowers of varying color, which he was taking great pleasure in sniffing while they followed Jacob, Shakespeare, and Nero through the caves.

    "(Well at least that will help him keep his calm, he's not even worried about being in another cave, granted this one is far more pleasant then any of the past ones we've been in, perhaps all the more reason to be cautious..., speaking of past experiences, Nine, how have you been? We didn't have much of a chance to talk before we left for the base camp, from what I saw when you dealt with Lugia, you've improved quite a bit with your psychic capabilities, very impressive)", Flare said with a small smile to the Ninetales beside them. They weren't sure whether she was complimenting Nine the way a teacher would compliment their pupil, or if there was a more personal meaning behind her words.

    "Yeah, sorry we didn't let you out in the van, not enough room for two Ninetales, but hey at least this place is a lot warmer then a stingy old base camp, fresh grass, fields of flowers, dimmed lights, I'd almost call it romantic, eh, eh?", Embertail said, flashing a cheeky grin at the two Kitsunes, which elicited a loud laugh from Jasper. Though neither of them had flat out confirmed it, everyone knew Nine and Flare had a "relationship", the two made a connection way back when they first met in the Glittering Caves of Kalos, and they had only become closer since then but always hesitating in developing it past friendship. Then Dead Mans drop happened and, well, it became pretty clear to everyone after what went down their, and their hesitant to just flat out say that they were dating lead to a bit of playful teasing on Flare among Curt and his team. Embertail, however, had started playing match maker the moment he noticed that Nine and Flare had mutual feelings for each other and did never missed an opportunity to try to set them up on a date, something Flare found less then amusing. She'd be angry at the Charmander if she wasn't so sure that he had, at least, semi-good intentions

    "(Oh yes, a gilded cave that could possible hold unseen vicious, hungry beasts or the hideout of a powerful, notorious, and ruthless criminal organization, yes sounds very romantic indeed)", Flare respond, her defensive tone only got more chuckling from Jasper and smiles from everyone else, yet if you looked closely you'd almost swear there was a bit of red in those golden cheeks, "(really though, if anyone should go on a date her it should be you and Jasper)." Jasper's laughter slowed as she looked at Flare, who now had a wide smirk on her face. Not a good sign.

    "(Yes, you love adventure, stopping villains, the thrill of a bit of danger, all that stuff, I think this place sound perfect for you two, you can fight monsters, battle criminals, get good and dirty, just how you like it...and now that you don't have your helmet, we can see that flower Embertail puts between your ea-)"

    "GEHRA!", Jasper roared to silence Jasper before locking her eyes with the ground, redder then a tomato. She didn't want anyone to know about that, she always made a point to let people know she hated that kind of stuff, things that were so...so girly! The only thing she hated more then that was that she actually liked it when Embetail did...that! All Jasper could think about was how such an event came to Flare knowledge. Did Embertail tell her? No, Embertail made a promise over the fire on his tail he wouldn't talk, he never broke those, but then how?

    "I wouldn't mind going on date to pick flowers, have a picnic, and beat up bad guys, that sounds nice, OH! We could even make it a double date for the four of us!", Embertail said, a big 'ol smile on his face, causing Jasper to redouble her focus on the ground. Normally Flare would have tried to find a way to embarrass Embertail a bit too, but even she had a hard time finding a way to embarrass someone with almost no shame. Well, she knew of one thing that would embarrass him, but even the idea of using that against him filled her will disgust. Eh, she could settle with putting salt in his chocolate milk again...

    "But you gotta point Flare, I guess it is probably kinda dangerous at the moment with Team Rock-oh yeah, uh, hey Cassie?", Embertail called to the girl, tilting his body to get a better view of her, "you heard us talking about Team Rocket possibly being in here right? I-I know it's kind of, uh, personal between you and them and just want to make sure you feel...you know, O.K with being here?"

    Curts entire group at least threw a quick glance at Cassie. Jacob wasn't the only one who had a bit of a history with Team Rocket, Cassie had been kidnapped by them a while back, which lead to Nine joining them for a period of time. They weren't entirely sure about the finer details (she didn't like talking about it too much), only that her stay with them was far from enjoyable. Curt always saw Cassie as one of the strongest women he ever met, even after they saw her again after she had been released, he firmly believed that. Cassie was one of the best trainers they knew, certainly she could handle the possibility of encountering Team Rocket again...right?

    "I mean, I know we can't really head back to the cabin now that we know it's probably a regularly used secret passage way to a Rocket Base, it's just...", Embertail passed for a moment, looking to find the right words, "if you need one of my soda's I got some in the pack that I'm happy to share!" Embertail threw Cassie the warmest smile he could muster.

    "I mean, I'd offer you some of the Whiskey, but Barry drank it all...again."
     
    #38 Curtkid, Dec 12, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
    PentheWonderful and BurbleBurble like this.
  39. Miss Lady!

    Cassie and her team barely had the chance to turn around when a flash of rippling, golden muscle dove towards them. Well, Lady specifically. The dark feline had her fur stand on end and her pupils slim to thin lines, but adeptly she manages to step out of the way in time to avoid the barreling islander. Cassie retrained a laugh, holding her hand in front her lips, and turned her head slightly in order to hide her amusement.

    I’ve got someone here who missed you greatly, minino!” Salem announced merrily as he curved a Pokeball, accurately placing it right before Lady's fore paws, and a split second later, a massive creature emerged from the blinding flash spewed forth from the sphere's contents, and Nine had watched with slight intimidation towards the behemoth that was towering over him, ears pressing back against his head and his fur lightly puffing in realization that this giant was a water type of all things.

    Lady, however, had the complete opposite reaction.

    The pupils that had been reduced to lines swelled in size until they dominated the radius of her brilliant emerald eyes. A faint purr emanated from the big cat, and her tail began to swish lightly. "(Puss.)" He said in his deep, thunderous voice, turning his head away to hide the blush sweeping across his snout, to no avail. As natural as the sun rising from the east, Lady sprung upwards right onto the giant's shoulders where she draped herself between his canons and eliciting a slight jaw drop from the unprepared Ninetales. "(Miss me ya big lug?)" She purred teasingly into his ear. One thing was for sure, and that was the fact she was incredibly pleased to not have to walk on her own four feet anymore.

    Nine quickly shook himself out of his shock, and murmured to himself, 'Well I certainly did not see that coming,' turning his head to the side only to find Salem's face right there in front of him. His fur practically stood on end from surprise.

    This must be Sir Nine,” He said in awe, and immature as the fox truly was, he found himself puffing out his chest in pride. Or it could just be because he wanted to seem more impressive in front of the foreign male. He had been told that this was the man who helped keep Cassie alive during her time on Jinko, and it aggravated him how he was once again unable to be there for her himself, protect her. And this guy was. He knew he felt undyingly grateful deep down, but at the same time it hurt him to think about how incompetent he was, never being there when it counts. “Currents, he is beautiful Karela. You didn’t tell me you had such a handsome man in your life already.

    The man reached his hand out then, and Nine understood that he wanted to touch him, but seemed hesitant to. His hand simply lingered there, and it was his choice whether or not to permit him. The gesture flattered him, eased the hurt he felt not being able to protect Cassie, for he at least knew she had been in good hands. She was okay, and came back stronger from it.

    “Well, being surrounded by beautiful creatures is a talent of mine. It’s simply second nature, I suppose.” Cassie mused playfully, and her hand soon found its way in Nine’s mane, petting him and scratching that one spot behind his ear he could never reach himself, and the vulpine simply melted into her touch. “You know, aside from running into catastrophes.”

    Nine couldn’t help but chuckle lightly at her remark. Her touch felt reassuring and comforting, almost as if it were an allowance. That he had her okay. And so, as her fingers retreated from his silky fur, he proceeded to press his snout against Salem’s lingering hand, looking him in the eye to tell him that it was okay. He owed him as much.

    At this sight, Peridot peeped out from behind Cassie’s leg for a better look. It was a rare sight after all. It wasn’t every day that Nine bowed himself to strangers. The Kirlia had not been hiding from shyness, rather she was slightly intimidated by the gigantic Blastoise that had just emerged from the Pokeball and she needed somewhere to hide where she could huff and vent about how everyone all just seemed so much more powerful than her.

    As a Ralts sitting in a PC box, she had vowed to become stronger to prove to Cassie that she was worthy of being part of the official team, the main line up, that she could handle whatever obstacle was hurled at them and not be extra weight. But what good would she be if she were weak? Cassie would never take her anywhere because she will always have to worry about her getting hurt.

    She didn’t want to be just a placeholder.

    But in her non-fully evolved form, it seemed that even the undisciplined and unreliable Lady had a better chance. ‘But… Not if I can master my capabilities faster.’ The Kirlia decided. ‘I have to work even harder.

    A pleasure to meet you little Lady,” Salem’s voice snapped Peridot from her train of thought, and her ruby eyes quickly refocused to the man who was now bowing his head to her. And she felt big. "I am Salem, what might be your name?"

    (Peridot.)” She answered readily with her telepathy, her voice clear and light, a mystical blend of innocence, wisdom and feminine sweetness. Something you might find in a sharp, mild mannered girl below the age of ten. “(But I already know who you are.)”

    “(I can hear your thoughts. See inside your head,)” Slowly, the young Pokemon stepped out from behind her trainer to get a better look at him. “(And I must thank you. For protecting Cassie.)”

    With several more explosions of light, most of Curt’s team had also been released from their Pokeballs, filling the cavern with their usual excited and colorful chatter. And Nine soon found himself being greeted by a second Ninetales at his side.

    “(Nine, how have you been? We didn't have much of a chance to talk before we left for the base camp, from what I saw when you dealt with Lugia, you've improved with you psychic capabilities, very impressive.)”

    “(Oh, well, that was mostly Peridot really. I’m nowhere near her level, and she’s barely a year old.)” He responded humbly, not pulling away from Salem’s hand. He was actually quite good at handling Pokemon, and in all honestly the fox was enjoying himself quite a lot. Though despite his modesty, he had been training his psychic abilities quite hard, as per usual with Cassie, and his thanks to his newfound drive to protect his trainer and best friend, he had achieved some impressive results. “(As for myself, I’ve been alright, I suppose. As alright as one could possibly be when one’s trainer is trapped on an island full of blood-lusted wild Pokemon. You know, the usual.)”

    "Yeah, sorry we didn't let you out in the van, not enough room for two Ninetales, but hey at least this place is a lot warmer than a stingy old base camp, fresh grass, fields of flowers, dimmed lights, I'd almost call it romantic, eh, eh?” Embertail joined in, smiling cheekily, but his humor is lost on Nine who simply glances at him idly.

    “(I don’t think romantic is the right word.)”

    "(Oh yes, a gilded cave that could possible hold unseen vicious, hungry beasts or the hideout of a powerful, notorious, and ruthless criminal organization, yes sounds very romantic indeed)" Flare added, and the male could not agree more.

    “(Ominous. That is how I would summarize it.)” Nine concluded as he rolled over on his back, fully sprawled out in enjoyment as Salem worked his hands over his belly, standing back up only when the man decided he was finished.

    Cassie waited for Salem to get back on his feet, and as the Pokemon continued their conversation and their walk, she strode up beside the islander with her arms crossed and hummed quietly. “I think he likes you.” She smiled slightly. “Nine, that is.” And she was about to say more when Embertail turned slightly and called out to her,

    "Oh yeah, uh, hey Cassie?"

    Of course, her eyes were soon on the chatty Charmander. It still threw her off somewhat to see, or rather hear, him talking. “Hm?”

    "You heard us talking about Team Rocket possibly being in here right? I-I know it's kind of, uh, personal between you and them and just want to make sure you feel...you know, O.K with being here?" Cassie raised her eyebrows slightly. Not from fear, no. But rather… Astonishment towards Embertail’s consideration. "I mean, I know we can't really head back to the cabin now that we know it's probably a regularly used secret passage way to a Rocket Base, it's just... If you need one of my soda's I got some in the pack that I'm happy to share!"

    And as the Charmander smiled so wide his cheeks looked about ready to fall off, Cassie smiled too.

    "I mean, I'd offer you some of the Whiskey, but Barry drank it all...again."

    Finally, the girl simply let out a soft chuckle, and said calmly. “Well, you’re all here with me now. So I think I’m going to be just fine. I appreciate your concern.” She nodded gratefully, and then smiled a little bit wider. And it was sincere.

    As the Charmander turned himself back around to face forward, Cassie let out a small exhale, and took a good look around their surroundings, before musing softly to Salem,

    “You know, Embertail was right. I’d say this field is plenty romantic,” And then she smirked a little, “Wouldn’t you?”
     
    #39 PentheWonderful, Dec 14, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
    Trucro, Curtkid and Nygenn like this.
  40. Nine’s fur felt amazing and Salem couldn’t keep himself from giving the Ninetales a thorough rub down. Soon enough he had the Pokémon on his back and at his mercy.

    The sudden voice of Peridot in his mind startled him a little. It wasn’t the first time such a thing had happened, but it surprised him every time. He smiled at her introduction, and noted that she sounded quite well spoken and pleasant, at least for as far as one can speak of ‘sound’ in such a situation.

    “I am not sure my mind is an appropriate place for any young lady,” he told the little Kirlia.

    “Especially not one as cute as yourself,” he added with a wink to her, then quickly turned his attention to the arrival of two more Pokémon. In the presence of a mind reader it might be prudent to remember to keep his thoughts… focused.

    “It is great to see you again Lady Flare,” he greeted the other Ninetales, “Miss Jasper,” he nodded to the Cubone.

    “You are both looking attractive as always, you especially Jasper. I don’t believe I have ever seen your face before,” he said. “What happened to your helmet?”

    Salem took off his goggles and offered them to the little Pokémon.

    “I know it’s not the same, but you can have these if you’d like something.”

    He stopped scratching Nine after that, deciding that any more might drive the Pokémon delirious, and stood up. He looked over at Cassie as she sauntered up to him, looking all playful and pretty as she did. In the dim light of the cavern her eyes seemed to glow of their own accord, or somehow managed to find a way to reflect whatever source of light there was illuminating this underground place.

    “I think he likes you,” she said, her voice naturally musical and somewhat sultry because of her accent. A pleasant shiver ran up his spine, setting his hairs upright.

    “Yeah?” he managed to say, feeling himself drawn into her again.

    “Nine, that is,” she continued, and Salem shook his head, then glanced at Peridot, sending her a grin and an apologetic shrug.

    Embertail reentered the scene then and informed them, Cassie in particular, about the possibility of this place being a Team Rocket facility.

    ‘Really?’ Salem thought surprised, and took another moment to look around and really take in their surroundings. Between Jinko Island and this place he had to admit that Team Rocket had a great eye for exotic locations. Evil though they might be, they did allow him to reconnect with his childhood friend and he had found some good friends in Gerald, June, Floyd and Swift. In a life and death moment there, is also where he had met Achilles for the first time, who had inadvertently saved their lives by beating down a true monster of a Feraligatr, his life… and Cassie’s.

    He looked to her then, to see how she took to the news. He knew she had had prior dealings with the organization, from before Jinko even. He looked at her and in his mind he could see all the scars she hid beneath her clothes. He knew them intimately, had mapped them and committed them to memory and many of those had been inflicted by Team Rocket.

    Salem loves Cassie’s scars, or more specifically, he loves what they represented. Each one of them is a story, a serious one, and important one, one who helps define Cassie and show the world who she is and what she’s capable off. Every one of her scars is a reminder that she is a fighter, a survivor, that she is strong and Salem admires her for that. He respects her greatly. She had, in fact, unwittingly motivated him to pursue Pokémon training more seriously. She had impressed him with her skills and knowledge and it was her influence which had let him to travel to Unova where he met Curt, Embertail and the others, who helped him find Lady Moreaux, a great Pokémon trainer of no small renown.

    It was amazing that he should meet both Cassie and Curt here in the frozen North, half a world away from where they had parted ways. It could even let someone to embrace the notion of faith, or destiny. It certainly felt that way to him. Out in the storm there had been something, something intangible that he felt pull at him. He felt it now as well, faintly, when he looked at Cassie.

    She smiled.

    Salem found himself smiling in return. He should have known he didn’t need to worry. She was as tough as they came and she had her Pokémon with her now, and her friends surrounding her.

    The islander glanced over at Embertail and Curt beside him. He nodded at the both of them, a silent acknowledgement between men. He looked beyond them towards the orange haired stranger with his Togekiss and Blaziken.

    ‘If they are friends of Cassie and Curt then they are friends of mine,’ he decided, and nodded at them as well. He would go over for a formal introduction in a moment.

    “You know,” came Cassie’s soft voice from right beside him, reeling his attention back and latching it onto the petite young woman once again, “Embertail was right. I’d say this field is plenty romantic.”

    She paused for effect and to smile at him, and Salem had to concede that it did have an effect on him. His eyes furtively darted towards the little Kirlia again, apologetic once more.

    “Wouldn’t you?” Cassie finished.

    By the great current he wanted to just grab the woman and kiss her already, his fingers and lips were itching to do just that, but he restrained himself. It wouldn’t be the time nor the place for such things, and without her ribbon it wasn’t proper for him to initiate such actions. Of course he knew that she wasn’t schooled in the customs of his culture, and that it was silly to adhere to such things here, yet it was the thought that counted. He felt there was something between them, something real, but without her giving him a sign how could he know for sure? Perhaps she did not see him in the same light as he saw her and him acting impulsively with her would ruin everything. Salem wasn’t the kind to normally concern himself with such things, he would act and see what may come of it, but with Cassie he didn’t want to risk it. She was unlike any girl he had met before.

    ‘Think of something else Salem!’ he warned himself mentally.

    “Euh, romantic, yeah, it seems so, I think,” he tripped over his words, stalling while looking for something to distract himself with. And what better distraction than…

    “Oh that reminds me,” he said quickly.

    Salem reached into a front pocket of his coat, but found it empty. He looked down and saw Emily, the Emolga, had already taken out Tymolin’s Pokéball and was hugging it affectionately.

    “I’d like to introduce you to a new member of my team,” He told Cassie.

    Then to the Emolga he said, “Emily, could you let Tymolin out please?”

    The little squirrel squeaked and pressed the button on the front of the ball she was holding. It popped open and from it emerged a small, greyish Minccino with a Christmas hat on. The Pokémon appeared with a smug smile and a victorious pose as if he had just achieved something grand.

    Once he was fully materialized he looked around casually and started waving at the gathered people and Pokémon like a celebrity acknowledging his fans, until his large eyes fell on Ajax and they seemed to alight with a burning challenging passion. Emily, seeing this coming, grabbed hold of his tail just as the Chinchilla comically seemed to be stroking up imaginary sleeves and striding forwards in an attempt to assault his self-proclaimed rival.

    Ajax for his part was not paying the tiny Pokémon any attention and likely hadn’t even noticed him appear. The blue giant was doing his best to ignore the purple tail playfully brushing his cheek. He retained his stoic appearance well enough and lazily scanned the crowed singling out the other bosses of the gathered families. He nodded at Nero in the distance, and at Nine nearby. Then considered for a moment before finally nodding to Flare last.

    This only seemed to enrage Tymolin who looked about ready to jump at the enormous turtle until he spotted a sleek, purple furred, feline head looking down at him from on top of Ajax’s shoulders and he halted.

    “Timo, meet Cassie, Cassie, Tymolin,” Salem said then and the grey furred rascal immediately changed directions and leaped up into Cassie’s arms. It wasn’t like he was scared or anything, but it seemed that Ajax had company and it wouldn’t do to embarrass the turtle in front of his lady friend, that’s all. Besides, his trainer wanted him to meet another trainer, so it was only proper he would go and do as instructed.

    The Minccino buried himself into Cassie’s generous chest while Emily, who landed on Salem’s shoulder, stamped her little feet and crossed her arms with a huff.

    “I met Tymolin in Unova while on my way to meet my master,” Salem explained. “Emily, this cute little Emolga here, we meet not long after. She is not officially one of mine, she just follows Timo around and helps us out a lot, don’t you chica?”

    The Emolga clasped her tiny hands together and shrugged a little in embarrassment as Salem nudged and praised her.

    “I have also brought Sorano and Lenalee,” Salem continued as he released the Absol and Cherubi respectively and indicated each in order.

    “Sorano was actually the one who sensed you when the storm began and we were back at the research facility.”

    Salem seemed to consider for a moment, his hand idling over the last two remaining Pokéballs on his belt.

    “Achilles you have already met, and the last one is Princess Kaguya, but she does not like crowds much. You will meet her later I suppose,” Salem explained, then quickly moved on to complete his round of introductions.

    “Hinako is not with us this time. She stayed with Lord Benjamin to help him out with his research.

    Salem laughed heartily at that.

    “I guess I am too grown up for her now, believe it or not.”
     
    #40 Nygenn, Dec 14, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
    Curtkid, Trucro and PentheWonderful like this.

Share This Page