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Unread 07-28-2013, 11:56 AM   #51
Menarker
OMG! WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?
 
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"Renny's eighteenth birthday, eh? I call dibs on being inside the cake!" Catherine spoke quickly, and knowing Catherine, she most definitely meant to do exactly that.
"I imagine he'll have as many friends as he can get to come to this party, won't you, Renny?" Whitney asked him. "Do you think it'll be possible to provide fanservice for the entire party?"
"A private cake, then," Catherine said stubbornly.
Milsha tilted her head in thought. "Can Renny even eat a cake by himself that's big enough to contain a mature woman like you, Cathie?"
Catherine froze at that remark, then sighed, defeated. "And to top it all off, he'll probably be so full from the cake that he won't have any room to eat me."
They all laughed at that.

Renny smirked at the suggestions, but he privately mused out loud...
"I'd imagine that stripper cakes aren't actually made of real cake, what with all the hassle of bits falling onto the floor or furniture or getting into your hair. Probably for the best too, since I was hoping to get some ICE CREAM cake among a few others, which would probably be a bit chilly to crouch inside long-term. It'd probably melt a bit too, gradually covering you with a layer of cool cream... soft cookie bits..."
The more he spoke, the more his eyes lit with hunger and 'excitement'. Additionally he peeked a glance at Milsha whom he guessed would react favorably to the selection of ice cream cake. He then replied to Whitney's question.

"But yeah, I'd like to get as many of my friends to this party as I can. You have all made my arrival and stay in Honmyr and PATCA very special, and helped me out through some very tough spots too."


Soon after the door knocked and Milsha answered it, revealing Irene on the other side who clearly was not expecting a swimsuit dinner party in Renny's apartment. He greeted her warmly even as the others joked about and Irene sitting herself at the table and joining them for the meal.

Irene thanked them and seated herself. "I had Aster check and see what the next mission will bring us," she said. Always about business, eh Irene? "So I figured I'd stop by and inform our dear Sortie Coordinator about it so he had ample time to prepare for it."
"And?" Catherine asked for the rest of them.

Renny lead slightly over the table's edge in attention, giving Aster's words a significant amount of weight. He listened earnestly, but then came the punchline.

"Anyways, it's what happens afterwards that frightens me a little bit. Aster expects us to be separated...somehow, into very small groups. I get the feeling that something's going to happen when you enter the Hungry World. Therefore Renny, I'm asking that you setup a handful of formations based on a couple of unique requirements."

Renny looked quite serious as she said this, but didn't interrupt as he listened on for the requirements. They essentially summed up into having the core members each having an enforcer and a different specialist, with one being a Kimono for guidance.

"... I also talked to Miss Phelps. Harliette's condition is very stable and it's expected that she'll awaken any moment now, but Lola doesn't think she'll be in any condition to fight this time, and Lola doesn't seem to want to leave her side until Harliette can fight on her own."

"It's good to hear that Harliette is recovering nicely. Yeah, they can take the time off. It's probably for the best, since Lola also told me that the Corpsemire, with all its stories of unburied deads of the past wars, gave her the creeps and otherwise made her feel depressed."

"So, what do you think we'll be fighting in the Hungry World?" Milsha asked anyone in particular.
"Unless the Hungry World has duplicated a part of our Pokemon World into itself, you won't be fighting any Pokemon," Irene mused. "I'd wager that you'll come across enemies of each attribute. You know, humanoid, mechanical, undead, demon, that kind of thing. I'll talk with the Kimonos about it so that Renny will know how best to deal with each attribute so that he can build an effective series of formations."

Renny was thinking for a moment. "I'll probably have to talk to one of the Kimonos for details on the Hungry World, how it is structured and the inhabitants it would have. Especially for fighting demons, something we haven't really had the chance to fight in the past."

"Oh, by the way, I'll be introducing Opticka to the rest of the Watchmen in just a couple of days, but I figured I'd bring her with me just so that Renny could see her first," Irene said.

Renny looked quizzical as he didn't see anyone enter with Irene. For that matter, he didn't see her when she offered her assistance in the previous mission. But he was interested in the meeting.

"Opticka is the only Scout we've got so far that cannot function as an Enforcer, so you probably won't be bringing her with you on the next mission regardless."
"Oh, that's soooo super mean, Master!"

The sudden unexpected voice coming from under the dinner table surprised Renny for a second.

"It's da truth, ain't it?" Irene said as she reached beneath the table and then brought out a very small machine for all of them to see. "Ladies and shota, I present to you Opticka."

Opticka was an eight-inch tall Fairy Sexy trope wearing the attire of a Sexy Jester trope. Between her blush stickers and pale blonde hair, she was weaponized kawaii desu to the power of a million.
"Don't not squeeze her," Irene cautioned very firmly. "She's very expensive and takes a long time to repair."

Renny held out his combined cupped hands in front as if giving the newly introduced pixie girl a platform to stand as he introduced himself in turn.
"I'm Renny. I hope we'll get along well as part of a team."

After a few moments of Irene sharing some more details about Opticka and the other scouts, Renny changed the topic a little. He decided to keep Opticka entertained by summoning Shaymin to the table. At night-time, Shaymin's Land-forme was tiny, also 8 inches tall in height. The flowery and shy hedgehog sniffed about around Opticka in curiousity. Shaymin's cuteness was a more understated natural look, but it was still charming to see, especially paired up right beside the mechanical pixie girl.

"Ah! while you're here Irene, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind coming to my birthday party that's coming on the 24th, which is about a day or two before the Corpsemire mission. Open invitation to all my friends at PATCA. Err, I know you told me that Rayleen and Dormond are probably busy with other tasks, but if you could pass the invitation to them as well, it would be nice to see them again, if they have the opportunity to make it.

He then glanced warmly at Opticka. "I know I only just met you, but you can come too Opticka. Now that I think of it, Irene, maybe you could pass the invitation to the new recruits. It might help them make some connections in a more relaxed environment and it'll help me know more about what sort of people they are and what capabilities they have before potentially assigning any one of them to any of the groups."

Last edited by Menarker; 07-30-2013 at 07:25 PM.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 05:18 PM   #52
Astral Harmony
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Renny, Catherine, Whitney, Milsha, Irene & Opticka: "You're my new husband! I just decided!"

Opticka seemed to be blushing as she flew up and landed gently into Renny's hands. "And just like that, Renny ropes another love slave," Irene said with no hint of sarcasm.
"Bullshit," Catherine retorted. "Renny likes 'em busty. I mean, just look at us and Lola."
"I don't think I'm that busty," Milsha said. True, she was the smallest of Renny's inner circle of babes, but she definitely wasn't humble in that department.

As time passed and Opticka decided to turn Shaymin's Land Forme into a mount, Irene heard Renny's invitation. "I think I can swing on by and I'm sure I can get the others to come. You'll probably want to get to know just how effective they are in combat. Just don't hit on the raven-haired one too much. She's got a boyfriend, and he knows how to swing a length of steel. Not that I expect a man like him to be much of a threat to a fighting type Pokebrid."

-----
Irene & Daisy: "Daisy, when a woman and a giant mysterious and suspicious source of power love each other very much..."

"Whoa, you have a secret room in your office!" Daisy exclaimed.
"Yep. It's the only place in the entire landmass where I feel like I can sit my ass down and come to terms with who I am," Irene sighed as she sealed the entryway. "And the clusterfuck that perhaps only I can defuse."

Daisy waited patiently as Irene made herself comfortable, and then turned on a monitor on the wall across from the entrance. Daisy saw that it was panning horizontally to see the left end and then the right end of something she couldn't quite recognize. A large black object with blue specks on it and a white misshapen thing moving around it.
"What's that white thing?" Daisy asked.
Irene glanced at the monitor. "That's Phosphode, a legendary Pokemon. A very unfriendly legendary Pokemon."
"And that other thing? The big black thing in the back?"
"We'll discuss that in a moment. Now, tell me about the fight between you and your mother."

Daisy recounted the battle between herself and Yuzuru, her mother and Irene's sister. They were deep in the summit of Mt. Sugaroma and the legendary Pokemon Belzybrand was circling overhead after having made a huge journey overseas. "At first I was having to deal with this couple of goons from a group called Chariot, and they were actually starting to beat us, but then I was able to take them both out singlehandedly. It was that Signature Technique that I learned here in Honmyr. You know, Golden Voice. That's when I knew that the Rezonscape had reached the Jurich region. I mean, I can't use Signature Techniques like that without the power of Rage, right? Of course, mom had her own Signature Techniques and she was so much of a better fighter than I was. Belzybrand helped out a bit but I didn't have the opportunity to get away until...that weird power emerged from my arms."
"Can you describe it in as much detail as you can?"
"It was really weird. My arms were glowing and then pieces of my arms came off. Then my hands transformed into guns! I shot my mom with them! She looked okay as we were getting away but...oh god, Irene. I didn't hurt my mom, did I?" Daisy actually seemed concerned about her mother's well being. Irene smiled at that. At least it was a much better relationship than what she had with her own daughter.
"Pfft. Yuzuru? Nah, don't worry, my sister's built tougher than any Steel Pokemon you'd care to name," Irene said, standing back up. "Then again, she has the same powers...and so do I."

Daisy didn't seem too surprised by this revelation. "Where do the powers come from?" she asked, then, turning her face to the monitor, she suddenly had an idea. "The powers come from that big thing in the back, don't they?"
Irene nodded and told Daisy everything in a matter-of-fact kind of way.

"I don't know much about it myself, and I honestly don't think I can trust it. No source of power should ever come at absolutely no cost. But then again, when you've seen as much crazy shit as I've experienced and done as many crazy things as I've done, you can't even bring yourself to trust your own reflection in the morning."
Daisy slowly turned away from the monitor to face her aunt Irene. "And that's where I come in," she said.

-----
Renny & Whitney: "So ummm, about applying psychic force to your own attacks..."

Whitney and Renny were standing apart from each other, about to face off. This always drew a crowd, particularly those were looking into becoming Pokebrids. "Gallade versus Gardevoir," Whitney declared. "Let's see if you know how to merge your fighting and psychic abilities as a single force!"

BGM: RBY Gym Leader Battle Metal Remix

"Given how intelligent you are, Renny, I'm surprised you haven't figured this out for yourself," Whitney teased. "Using your psychic powers to bolster your own attack power isn't really difficult or even unconventional. Us psychic types are always using powers like telekinesis and teleporting to...well, 'get around' problems that most people solve with a good kick to the chops. Like punching while teleporting so you're instantly inside the target's defense zone where they have no chance to react. Or using telekinesis so that the punch lands with a lot more force than if you merely threw it without psychic help. Or both."

Whitney paused, then thrust her right hand out to her side and created some kind of sphere that Renny automatically knew was constructed from highly condensed psychic force. "Best way to learn something is to practice it, right?" Whitney asked no one in particular. "So, Renny, try punching this sphere of psychic power. Now, if you just use your fighting energy, you're going to get repulsed about ten yards. Nope, you're gonna need to strike it a lot more oomph, and that's where channeling your own psychic power into your fighting techniques is going to make the difference. If you punch it just like I explained it, you'll burst it like a bubble."

Whitney remained quiet after that. Guess it was now up to Renny to see if Whitney knew what she was talking about.

-----
Pierce, Irene, Shizuka, Jeanette & Chizuru: "Yes, you're going to be taking all of us out, Pierce!"

One day Irene called Pierce into her office during one of those rare occasions that he wasn't already in her office and, to be more specific, in a certain place in her office and, to be even more specific, under a certain piece of furniture.

"Find some good ol' fashioned 'gettin' some' clothes and prepare for a night on the town tomorrow night, Granger," Irene said in the same tone of voice she would use when discussing missions. "Because you're taking all four of your favorite girls out for a night on the town."

"The problem is that while Shizuka-san, Jeanette, and myself are relatively okay with the idea of being dated by the very same man, Chizuru-chan is a little reluctant. Don't worry, though. I attribute this more towards her total inexperience with men in general, not out of any real malice towards a guy who wants his cake and can eat it while having three other tasty looking cakes in case he's still hungry."

Then, without even leaving her chair, Irene grabs her larger Brymstone sword and directs it so the tip of the blade hovers just inches from Pierce's nose. "So, in order to help Chizuru warm up to you, I've decided that the best way is for all five of us to go out for one big date. Kinda like a girl's night out but then there's this guy who we think is cute that we invited with us for some reason. And don't worry because this won't cost you one damn dollar. I'll be footing the bill because honestly, I kinda wanna hang out with some girls too from time and time, and not even for any kinky reasons."

-----
Matthias & Moon: "Once you understand the technology behind something, it'll be child's play to fuck it up with your Porygon Z form."

Moon found Matthias in the HQ one day while Moon was seeing if he could improve on his own Evoliths and then had a sudden inspiration. "Mr. Sona, can I talk to you for a moment? Or would you prefer just being called Matthias? You remember me, right? Moon Travorian, one of the former Thirteen Eevee Threat and fellow PATCA agent. I know this is sudden since we haven't really had much excuse to speak with each other but I think I might be interested in seeing just how far your powers can really go. Ah, that is, specifically your Porygon Z form."

Moon explained that as Matthias might become even more comfortable with his Porygon Z form, he would find it helpful and even humorous to experiment with all kinds of electronics just to see what he can do to them. Moon was a very intelligent guy, and was probably speaking as fast as he did because that's how quickly ideas were overcrowding his mind. Hacking Pokeballs so that they could forcibly recall and lock in their own Pokemon? Hacking advanced weapons to lock them up and even make them explode? Hacking advanced items so that they couldn't be used?

"I would like to experiment with you and see if I can't reprogram your Inquiry Visor," Moon said. "And if successful, the Inquiry Visor could point out certain enemy attacks, items, and Pokeballs and indicate them as hackable or "Matthack"-able. Then you can use your powers to really screw up the enemy's strategy. But if you don't really like the idea, I'd understand. It's just that electronics and stuff like that are a really big part of my hobbies and what I like, and I think you have a lot of talent in that area, perhaps without even realizing it. I mean, how much potential did you expect you could get out of your Porygon Z form before you had the DNA processing done?"
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Unread 08-19-2013, 05:42 PM   #53
Menarker
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Renny, Catherine, Whitney, Milsha, Irene & Opticka: "You're my new husband! I just decided!"

Opticka seemed to be blushing as she flew up and landed gently into Renny's hands. Renny face was quizzical, caught off guard by the declaration of matrimony. "And just like that, Renny ropes another love slave," Irene said with no hint of sarcasm.
"Bullshit," Catherine retorted. "Renny likes 'em busty. I mean, just look at us and Lola."
"I don't think I'm that busty," Milsha said. True, she was one of the smallest of Renny's inner circle of babes, but she definitely wasn't humble in that department.

"I don't choose my friends based on their chest. I mean Rachel is one of my closest friends, the first one I had since I moved to Honmyr and joined PATCA. She's definately not busty, but that was never a turn-off. Interesting thing is, when I gave her that Light-Ball bracelet for her birthday, she thought I was proposing to her and said she wouldn't have minded if I did."

"I think I can swing on by and I'm sure I can get the others to come. You'll probably want to get to know just how effective they are in combat. Just don't hit on the raven-haired one too much. She's got a boyfriend, and he knows how to swing a length of steel. Not that I expect a man like him to be much of a threat to a fighting type Pokebrid."

Renny nodded. "Getting to know how they operate in combat would be nice, but I won't take up that much of their time. It would help if they could make some connections with the others prior to partaking in any of the missions. I can always look at their dossiers when they become completed anyhow.

By the way, what is our ultimate objective for the mission? I thought that we were seeking Nosferasu who was in the Corpsemire. So why would we need to pass through the Hungry World? Did he change locations?"


-----

"Given how intelligent you are, Renny, I'm surprised you haven't figured this out for yourself," Whitney teased.

"Different type of intelligence perhaps. I haven't even been a pokebrid for a full year and now I'm trying to bolster its performance to slayer standards! So it might be self-awareness that is lacking instead of tactics stuff."


"Using your psychic powers to bolster your own attack power isn't really difficult or even unconventional. Us psychic types are always using powers like telekinesis and teleporting to...well, 'get around' problems that most people solve with a good kick to the chops. Like punching while teleporting so you're instantly inside the target's defense zone where they have no chance to react. Or using telekinesis so that the punch lands with a lot more force than if you merely threw it without psychic help. Or both."

Whitney paused, then thrust her right hand out to her side and created some kind of sphere that Renny automatically knew was constructed from highly condensed psychic force. "Best way to learn something is to practice it, right?" Whitney asked no one in particular. "So, Renny, try punching this sphere of psychic power. Now, if you just use your fighting energy, you're going to get repulsed about ten yards. Nope, you're gonna need to strike it a lot more oomph, and that's where channeling your own psychic power into your fighting techniques is going to make the difference. If you punch it just like I explained it, you'll burst it like a bubble."

Whitney remained quiet after that. Guess it was now up to Renny to see if Whitney knew what she was talking about.

The Gallade had extended the length of the blade on his forearm as he busied himself with trying to accumulate psychic energy within the blade itself. In practice, he was attempting to do an improved Psycho Cut, but for this exercise he then bolted up close, leaping into the air and then swung the length of the blade down hard to collide with the sphere itself while trying to keep the psychic energy contained within it.
Renny's attack was pretty good. The sphere nearly gave in and when it repulsed, he merely landed a few feet away, easily able to land on his own feet.

"Sometimes it's all about hitting it from a certain angle. I don't mean that the sphere is more vulnerable to destruction from a particular angle, just that you might be able to wield more power into your attack when attacking from a certain point. Like, I dunno, leaping at it from underneath? I can move it around for you if you want."
"If you can, please Whitney."

He was fairly happy that he wasn't fully repelled, but he still had a slight plea to his voice. For all he knew, that might have only happened because he used a move that was already psychic innately.
"I want to be able to use this in any given situation regardless of whom I might face."

"Up, up, up she goes," Whitney said mindlessly, raising the sphere so it hovered in place roughly ten feet from the grass. Renny craned his head a little. He'd have to jump twice his body height to reach it. Ah the misfortune of a (slowly growing) shortie.

Renny then attempted to change it to a fighting type move, Rock Smash. Trying to force the power into his fist, he darted once more into the fray, digging his heels into the ground and sprang from the dirt as he forced his clenched hands to connect with the orb from above in an uppercut of sort.

"Rock Shoryuken!" Whitney called out after him. The sphere held this time as well, nearly slamming Renny into the ground.
"Maybe not so high," Whitney said, lowering the sphere by about two feet. Renny could reach it without any kind of supernatural jumping.
Renny actually felt like he should have been the one to call out the name's attack, but it just never occurred to him. Whitney stole the best line! He groaned as he staggered onto his feet. But he changed his approach yet again to a simple Slash attack. It wasn't in the same scale of power as the other moves, but it was simpler and maybe if he could succeed in a plain move, doing it with the others would follow suit. He jumped again, his arm swinging out to the side to accumulate velocity as it swung over his head and swiped at an cleaving angle, this time trying to just wrap the energy around his blade like a coat.
Renny found the repulsion sphere much more responsive to his attack this time, and quickly discovered why. Whitney looked a little exhausted after Renny successfully burst it. It must've taken a lot of energy to maintain the repulsion sphere, and even more so to keep it holding strong when Renny struck it.
He noticed her exhaustion and stood beside her, putting one arm around her shoulder. He was starting to have doubts about whether his attack would have been effective if she was in perfect shape.

"Thank you for helping me Whitney. But how about we stop right here, take a break and go out for a bit? Anywhere you'd like to go?"
Whitney kept Renny from looking directly at her face. "Can we go absolutely anywhere?"
"As long as we can both go and enjoy ourselves, I imagine."

"Then...maybe we can go to a love hotel or something?"

He looked a little flustered by the proposal, although not quite as much as he had been in the past for similar comments. While she had made it a bit more difficult to look at her face, he glanced in her general direction with a more... intent observation. She was clearly very fine to behold and he could not deny there was a sort of attraction to be had.
"I, err, I don't think I'm legally allowed in one of those. I wouldn't want you to get in trouble. Maybe we can save that for later? Like after my 18th at the very least?"
Whitney came alert and, in a flash, had Renny's pinky finger wrapped in her own.
"That's a promise!" Whitney said, with her cheeks red and a serious expression on her face that was very difficult not to find funny.
"Well, I guess if we can't do that now, then maybe we should check out the Sparta Colosseum. As operatives of PATCA, let's not forget what Marionata seems to know about the locations of the other rogue Ruin Generals."

The younger Gallade was taken off guard by the zeal and earnestness that the suggestion made and the expression she made as she initiated the pinky swear. It was an odd mix of maturity and cuteness. Then she made another suggestion.
"Ah?" Renny's eyes arched from the information which was somewhat new to him.
"I suppose it would be worth a look if there is evidence of a Ruin General. I half expect it to be a fighting type if it hangs around in the arena. Although that might just be narrative coincidence, haha." He chuckled at the idea that the ruin generals followed sterotypical literary convention.
"Shall we?" He offered her his hand as he leaned half a step to start walking.

----------

Sparta Colosseum was having one of its slower days. The place always had a lot of people there, but it usually isn't packed unless some bigtime celebrity shows up.

"I think my brother actually had kind of a crush on Miss Spartina," Whitney said, observing what Renny would probably call a rather uneven Pokemon match. Spartina was there, and this was the first time Renny had seen her other than on the net. She was a lovely, fit-bodied brown-haired woman who wore golden-colored armor, equipped with a spear in her right arm and a large shield in the other.

Renny looked at Spartina with a cursory glance.
"Well... your brother seems to have good tastes. She is nice to look at." He admitted, although he spent more time looking around for the ruin general or looking at Whitney.

"Any location you want to start looking?"
He had pulled out his wallet once he saw a food stand selling churros although he'd probably have to pay for admittance too he gathered.
Whitney frowned. "If the Ruin General is really here, I should think it would be really big and clearly noticeable. I guess we should ask Miss Spartina about it. She looks bored out of her mind."
"Well, Marionatta isn't that big, but it's entirely possible. But yeah, let's go ask her."

Leading the way, he approached the magnificently cladded warrior. "I beg your pardon. I'm Renny Tresserhorn and I'm from the PATCA law enforcement. I was wondering if you could spare a moment for a few questions?"
He left out Whitney's introduction in case she wanted to remain anonymous or just a moment to relax.
"Renny, we should probably not go for broke and simply ask if she's seen any giant monstrosities in the colosseum," Whitney offered quietly. Renny nodded, heeding her words.
"Are you the one we should talk to regarding security within Sparta Arena?"
"We have security?" Spartina actually sounded surprised. "Well, we do, I admit, but it usually shifts between what people with guns happen to be handy at the time. Sometimes it's the Republican Guard, sometimes it's the Prideguard, sometimes I think it's military cosplayers. I don't even freaking know half the time."

Whitney gently elbowed Renny. "I don't think this chick is completely right in the head."
Renny ignored the comment, trying to avoid any possibility Spartina might overhear it.
"We're acting on rumors to avoid a possibly preventable disturbance. I was wondering if there has been any new additions to the staff or contestants within Sparta Arena."

Spartina looked thoughtful for a moment. "Well, you might just be able to find that out for me yourselves."
...Huh?

"There's been an...uncharacteristic zeal, in both the competitors and the crowd as of late. I've had more riots in the last two months than I've had all of the year before," Spartina said. "Security's been increased, but I don't even think it's dissuading any possible rioters. Fortunately, nobody's dead, but I just don't get it. And then so I said to myself that maybe it has something to do with the mind, you know? Which is why you could probably help me out. I'm thinking that maybe it's some kind of bizarro psychic effect of sorts. I'd like to investigate it myself, but momma didn't raise me to be a bright girl, just a sharp one."
Spartina demonstrates this with a few quick jabs of the spear. Despite its size and length, she was quite adept of wielding the heavy thing with one hand.
"Ah, I see. Ah, my companion here told me your name is Spartina, but I was wondering if you could tell me more about what you do here and maybe a little detail about the arena? "
"Okey dokey, smokey. Right this way."

Spartina pretty much lead them on a length tour, starting with a rather large digital bulletin board of sorts.
"A lot of people like battling Pokemon, but more often than that, a lot of people like battling Pokemon where lots of other people can see them. I guess it's so they can impress attractive members of the opposite sex or something. And that's where Sparta Colosseum came from."
"That's a rather simple and honest philosophy," Renny thought to himself, but didn't interrupt. He wondered for a second if she chose this particular introduction to appeal to the Gallade/Gardevoir pair she was entertaining with the tour.
"I myself am a former soldier of the First Successionary War. Yep, I used spears and shields back then, too. Those Hiroshiho samurai never knew what hit 'em. Anywho, even when I saw just how many zeroes the president was going to put into the colosseum's construction, I though he was a loon. Placed as well as it is, I just couldn't see how explosively popular the place would become. Some Pokemon trainers actually stop journeying when they reach Fainas because of this place. Four badges and that's it. The Elite Four would probably be lonely as hell if they didn't have each other, heh."

Spartina continued the tour by stopping near a number of statues. Renny recognized Irene's statue and Spartina's along with...that one woman with the arm cannons that we fought only a few weeks back. Shibito?
"Hall of the Destroyers," Spartina said. "Whenever we have a bigass tournament, typically called a Gauntlet of the Gods, the winner has a status erected of them right here. We usually have one every year."
Spartina turned back towards Renny and Whitney. "And that's the gist of it."
Whitney tilted her head. "Uhhh...seriously? That's it?"
Spartina shrugged. "Aside from those two points of interest, there's the actual colosseum grounds that you already saw, I'm sure, and the various department rooms that sponsor this or that competitor and the various stores for buying food or souvenirs. But really, the Sparta Colosseum isn't a big or complex place."

The explanations covered a bit, but the hall provoked a question of its own.
"I got one question to ask before I ask about how the colosseum works. I recognize those two statues over there, but not that one of the woman with the arm cannons. Who is she? Did she stop being a contestant recently?"
"That would be Shibito," Spartina said. "Odd girl. So obsessed with being the most powerful Slayer there ever was that she pretty much legally had her name changed and then did everything to prove she was the best. So naturally she held the championship title for several years. That all ended when we managed to convince Irene Crosswald to take part in the tournament. And would you know it, she won. That was about the last time I saw Shibito. From what I overheard, she went on a pilgrimage or something trying to find greater strength through enlightenment or whatever."
Renny thought privately to himself "And somewhere down the line, she was snagged into that Prideguard slave collar..." with a grim expression on his face before he re-adopted a professional expression.

"So how exactly do the fights operate? I mean, what are the various formats of the battles?"
"We do have a battle type matchups. Sometimes Pokemon. Sometimes Slayer. Sometimes the Super Romantic Tag Team Battle."
Whitney looked at Renny. "A guy and a girl and their Pokemon versus another guy and a girl and their Pokemon. I guess the whole format is to get lovers together or something. We should try that sometime."
"Are there any restrictions on contestants? Age, forbidden weapon types, criminal status?"
"That really just depends on the battle formats. Specifically, I try to restrict them from using overwhelming power which would kill their opponents, but generally we don't try to screw with the contestants. That's what really draws the crowd. I swear it's like Caligula up in here."
"What measures of protection is afforded to the audience? Any security regarding audience? Is betting permitted within the arena?"
"We have a really big ol' window surrounding the entire rim of the battleground that has so far stopped all wayward attacks on both sides," Spartina said. "And of course betting is permitted on matches! Who the hell is going to watch these fights, then?"
"People who simply like watching really kickass battles?" Whitney suggested innocently.
Spartina looked thoughtful. "Your point has merit, but it's just not enough."
"I imagine some of the proceeds go toward maintainance of the buildings as well as possibly providing reward money for the combatants to draw in competitors just so there would be something to watch in the first place. Fighting, among other risky professions, is simply not something that all people would do if it didn't profit them in some way."
"Absolutely," Spartina said. "Just think about all those kids out there going on Pokemon journeys. They usually owe about 9/10s of their entire income to beating up the less capable trainers along the way."

"Anyhow, this tour is really helpful, but maybe we can get down to the details?
"Details? You mean like application? Well, it's not hard, just filling out some forms and then a small practical exam. You basically fight me and my Pokemon. You don't have to beat me, you just have to prove you know how to take a beating and dish it out."
Renny looked a little sheepish as he clarified. "I meant the details behind the riots. Like any new contestants that came just before the riots, changes in technology or something that happened that might have led to the thing you want us to investigate."
"But I thought I already told you, it's gotta be in the mind," Spartina sounded a little more desperate. "They're just plain going nuts out there and nothing else has changed. I think they all have a fetish for going for the throat now, competitors and spectators. I tried to figure out what it could possibly be. The Rezonscape's influence doesn't seem to have changed and the doctors aren't detecting any physical changes of the brain. It's gotta be some kind of hypnosis or suggestion effect."
"I see. Can you give me a moment with my friend here?"

Renny stepped aside with Whitney.
"Do you have any ideas on this? Otherwise, I might as well considering fighting a single round just to see if I detect anything."
"I can sort of feel what I think Spartina is talking about, although I don't think it's actually trying to make me angry for now," Whitney told him. "My guess is that this 'battle zeal' is kinda like an on-off switch operated by the Ruin General. Since PATCA will likely be fighting the Ruin General, you might as well go ahead and register by taking on Spartina now. There's no strings attached. She's not going to make you fight anyone you don't want to."
Renny thought for a bit. For a moment, he had an impish grin.
"I'm kinda tempted to make a bet myself. If it works out well, I could partly fund my party. It's probably going to be pretty expensive with all the food I have to get. Although I dunno if betting on a trial fight with Spartina is allowed... or if there are ways to tailor the bets... you know, like 'first to 5 hits' or something like that, since her expertise as a slayer is probably significantly higher than mine."

Renny approached Spartina. "Are the combatants themselves allowed to put bets on their own match or is that strictly against the rules to prevent arranged throwing of matches?"
"No, you're not allowed to do that, but...BUT, I'm still very certain you can make a lot of money on this. Don't worry, you'll see. Whenever you feel you're up to this, you can go talk to one of the colosseum receptionists you met when you first arrived. They'll register you for the trial match and you can pick your sexy title. Try not to make it humiliating because it will be shouted out for all to hear before the match."
And with a wink, Spartina turned on her heel and left them alone, clearly to prepare for the match.
"Thank you for everything Spartina. I guess I'll see you soon!"


He turned back to Whitney.
"Alright... No betting allowed on my own matches, but she reassured me that the money shouldn't be that much of an issue. And that's not really what we're here for anyhow. So it's all good. Shall we move on?"

As they walked, Renny stopped by one of the refreshment stands, feeling a bit peckish and in the mood for some of the churros he saw earlier. He also grabbed a few fruits for his pokemon.
"Would you like something to eat?" His young face all lit up with sugary anticipation.
"No, but you care to have a side of advice to go with those churros?" Whitney asked him, then without waiting for a response, continued.
"It looks like Spartina and her Pokemon gravitate towards three types; Steel, Fire, and Fighting. It's probably going to be a physically brutal matchup."

Renny thought for a moment regarding his pokemon team composition. Swampert (good against steel and fire) was practically born to fight in the Collosseum, and Togekiss (good against steel and fighting) would be pretty handy too. Mollesk (Good against fire) and Shaymin (Good against fighting) would be useful as well while Umbreon and Magnezone (not very effective) would mainly be running support and otherwise staying out of the way. He himself could still come in handy (Good against Steel and fighting).
"Thank you. That would really help a lot... You wanna choose my stage name?"

Whitney agreed to help out with the introductory announcement while Renny was told the rules of the trial match.
"After having sized you up and heard of your reputation courtesy of Irene Crosswald, Miss Spartina has gone ahead and decided the nature of your match. The rules are simple: you will use yourself and any two of your Pokemon, swapping them out as tactics deem necessary. Items are not allowed for the match. You win when Spartina says you do. Now when you're ready, just proceed through the large automatic doors that open slowly and dramatically that are behind me."
Renny thumbed his Swampert and Togekiss pokeballs. Shortly before the matches started, he gave them a little bit of the fruit he had bought for them as a snack and gave them a heads up on the battles they would engage in. Swampert, in particular, was all giddy to compete, stomping the floor on one foot and pumping his arms with glee and boastful enthusiasm.
The colosseum battleground was very plain and basic, but then again this was merely a trial match and thus the terrain wasn't going to make any issues for the contestants.

"Welcome, one and all, to a special trial matchup!" shouted a tall black woman in a sparkling red dress. "Place your bets everybody because we've got a very special challenger here to challenge Miss Spartina for the honor of battling within this prestigious colosseum!"
"That's Plum, the vocalist of the all-female death metal band Mass Martyr," Whitney advised Renny to his Inquiry Visor. "Now I know why there's so many spectators for a mere trial match. She's not as big a celebrity as Alphonsine, but there isn't much a gap between their popularity, either."
"Entering the arena from the Azure Dragon door is the beauty of the Sparta Colosseum who can entertain all night without you even being able to touch her! Put your hands up and give your praises for the warrioress forged in the flames of hell itself, MISS SPARTINAAAAAA!!"

For a relatively small crowd, the roar was pretty damn loud as Spartina walked majestically through the door and onto the battlefield, spear and shield at the ready.
Then Plum gestured to the door on the other side of the battleground, the door that Renny was walking through.
"And coming from the Ivory Tiger door is our challenger. Receiving unbelievably high praises from champion Irene Crosswald and the very lovely Gardevoir Pokebrid he arrived here with, he's a genius tactical prodigy and relentless fighter all wrapped up into one of the cutest goddamn young men you'll ever lay your lucky eyes on. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the living Deus Sex Machina of Honmyr, RENNYYYYYYYYY TREEEEEESSERRRRRHOOOOOOOORRRRRRRN!!"

Swampert burst through the door powerfully, roaring in a hammy fashion as Renny rode in on Togekiss right after, swooping down low near the ground before creating a sudden updraft of wind that caused the graceful pokemon to soar to great heights. The audience can't quite tell, but his face was embarressed by the title.
"Is that going to be my title for all my future matches?" he thought to himself quickly in disbelief, before he refocused his gaze on Spartina.
"Ahhh, a very graceful and noble first impression, folks," Plum marveled. "But can this youthful prodigy back up his boastful style with some actual substance?"
"It's so weird to hear her talk like that,"
Whitney said. "I mean, she's a death metal vocalist for crying out loud. She's usually screaming like a female Exploud."

Spartina watched him carefully with a carefree smile."You don't have to work so hard, the women are already throwing off their tops," she said, clearly enjoying herself.
Renny didn't know if she was just being figurative or if the crowd was literally stripping off their shirts, but he focused on the fight, mindful that Whitney was presumably watching him.
"Well, I only get one first impression. I might as well go the extra mile for everyone." He responded politely to his opponent.
Spartina responded by tossing up two Pokeballs, catching them on the length of her spear's shaft, and flinging them onto the battlefield. "I'm deploying my Pokemon! Heatran! Infernape! Let's turn on the brutality!"
Two very large, very imposing Pokemon showed up and dutifully assumed their places. Obviously, they and Spartina had been partners for a number of years.

Renny smirked as he saw the two pokemon in question. Typewise, Togekiss and Swampert both had the advantage. Water type for either one, Ground type for Heatran, Flying type for Infernape, Togekiss having Fighting moves for Heatran, and Renny being effective against both too. Although he was trying to be mindful of the most hidden factor, Spartina herself.

Overall, Renny didn't have as much trouble with Spartina as he expected, but it did pay to be careful. Spartina had her own special abilities that actually allowed her to guard and counter moves directed at her own Pokemon. This ended with Spartina taking quite a bit more damage than her Pokemon when Renny was really aiming to take them out. She countered with her spear, a defense-ignoring steel type attack that stung quite a bit, but wasn't a strategy breaker. To make matters even more absurd, one of Spartina's Signature Techniques was Shield Berserker, which taunted all attacks to her while she guarded and then countered with an AoE shield bash that dealt its share of steel damage and a single turn Fear effect that caused flinching in the next round. Renny observed that Shield Berserker activated at the very beginning on the round and didn't actually deal damage until just before the upkeep phase.

Regardless, despite all of Spartina's techniques, Renny still had an easier time dealing damage to her than vice versa. She seemed to be themed after her own Pokemon, being resistent to fire, steel and fighting damage herself and was immune to bleeding, burns and a loss to her own physical statistics, which helped her a lot since she was definitely a physical girl, having high ranks in both her attack and defense.

After nearly ten turns, they had pretty much wiped out each other's Pokemon or severely injured them to the point that merely coughing on them would knock them out. Spartina was soaked in sweat, covered in wounds, and had discarded her broken shield out of all the damage it took.
Renny was bruised quite a bit, his clothes ripped in chunks in several places, to which he was thankful he wasn't a girl and he was finding that although Spartina was heavily damaged, more so than he was, 1 on 1 she was definately a formidable opponent. He thought he had at least an advantage with his ranged Psycho Cut, but against her defenses, the attacks mostly did chipping damage and she was able to close the gap.
Spartina was really bad at dodging things, and Renny felt that she was somewhat like a drug-addicted freak. His attacks staggered her and made her stumble but he could probably drop a skyscraper on her and she just wasn't going to buckle. Her attacks were kind of predictable as well. Spear thrusts which she was careful not to aim at his vitals and if she missed or was deflected enough times, in came a kick or a shoulder charge. Granted, they were powerful kicks and shoulder charges, the kind that elicited the vomiting of tasty churros, but predictable kicks and shoulder chargers nonetheless.

Renny's breath was increasingly raspy as he focused on dodging more and doing glancing blows at her side with his blade arm, but often enough her attacks were fast enough that he'd abort his attack some of the time to avoid his arm getting a nasty poke. The few times he did connect, the attack seem to partly bounce.

"My attacks aren't, *Wheeze* really making the cut."
He dodged to the side with a slight stumble as he tried to stand guard, to which his eyes shot open as she slammed the shaft sideways against his belly causing him to nearly double over.
"I... it's so hard, but I must keep... fighting? *Cough wheeze* I... I just... I just want to breathe. I need air!"

He stood his ground as he took his focus away from attacking, his arms held in a cross-guard in front of him as he breathed. First they came in sharp gasps, still feeling the effects of the blow, but then his slower and deeper second wind came in. When next Spartina swung her weapon, his mind felt just a little bit more clearer... As he breathed once more deeply, he subconsciously wrapped his entire self in compressed psychic energy. Then he exhaled sharply right as he stabbed his right heel against the ground which caused the compressed psychic energy rocket him to the left. As he breathed again in mid-air, his left foot shot out to stop himself on the ground as he exhaled again. As if each breath was reloading his movement with inner power like a bullet. Raising his right arm near his head as he breathed in, he expelled a large breath in time with the next blow, which pounded in so much harder than he ever expect it to.

"False Swipes." Calling out the attack as the blow connected. Normally a weak move, it hit with all the force of a slayer attack, which exceeded even that of his normally strongest move.

"This was a good fight... *cough* But I don't want you to get hurt any more than neccessary..."
He said this courteously and while this was true, he also had enough punishment and would rather hope he didn't have to leave the match as a defeated challenger.

Spartina started to chuckle, which only grew until it was complete laughter.
"You know...you pretty much won ten minutes ago," she told him. "C'mon, let's get you some churros."
"And the winner of a trial match that went on entirely too long while still giving the fans what they fucking asked for...the Deus Sex Machine, Renny Tresserhorn!"
"Before you get any weird ideas, Spartina, I had Whitney choose the name." Renny said with an aside voice and with an embarressed blush.

Renny staggered a little as he went back in. He called out his pokemon and tended to their wounds while he waited for Whitney to come back. "We won. Thanks you for helping. Great job."
As he said this, he took a deep breath and punched the air at an invisible target as if rehearsing the movements that took hold of him before he'd forget. After a short bit of fresh air for his pokemon, he called them back in.
Spartina had been bandaged and dressed up in more attire that was more appropriate for non-violent settings but was equally sexy.

"One agent down, thirty of you people to go," Spartina said. "Although since you're helping me out, I might as well not have bothered having anyone go through the trial match. I mean, it makes sense. Some of your agent buddies look like winners right from the get-go. Like that Lucian fellow. I don't even want to know how he wields a three-bladed axe with one arm."
"Yeah, PATCA has lots of amazing people inside. Being part of it is really quite an honor." He then glanced at Spartina. "Thank you for being my opponent. It was right near at the very end, that I felt like I learnt something that made me stronger at that attack. I've trained with lots of people, and somehow I think the fight help brought everything I learnt together."
Renny smiled as he ate his churros with lots of little nibbles.

He then looked at Whitney.
"How did the match look from your seat? Did you see anything odd the entire time?"
Whitney blinked. "You...you mean you weren't aware? I was sensing it in you and Spartina. The trial match doesn't go on nearly as long as it did. You're lucky you're not eating those churros through a straw...although I guess churros are kinda straw-like, aheh."
He chuckled. "Maybe that was the case for a bit... But Spartina was holding back on hitting my vitals, I think... and at the end, I did use False Swipes, something incapable of KOing someone, instead of a more powerful move. So it's not like we were completely under its influence... But yeah, it is odd that the match lasted as long as it did. So... did whatever you sense seemed like it came from a ruin general?"
Whitney folded her arms. "There's no way I would know something like that, you big doofus. But I can say that it isn't as natural as the Rezonscape...y'know, relatively natural, I mean. Something here is trying to deliberately fuck with us."
"I see. Then it'll be worth investigating in the near future probably by bringing another ruin general with us when we return. Maybe they'll be able to identify one of their own. But yeah, I guess that's pretty much it for today. He held out his hand for a warm shake.
Thank you for everything today Spartina. It was a pleasure meeting you."

Spartina offered her hand, but in it was a considerable amount of money. "Your earnings from the wagers. You might wanna take one of the side entrances or something. There are a lot of young ladies who'll probably jump you on the way out."
Renny didn't need to look at Whitney to tell that was probably a good idea.
"Ah, thank you!" He took the hand again for a shake and bid farewell, taking the side-door with Whitney as suggested.
"We'll see you again soon Spartina!"
Even using a less common door didn't really save Renny from fangirls, but there were several tricks in place. Spartina and Plum lent a hand, throwing soft punches and high heel kicks to the stomach while Whitney and Renny partnered up for some teleportation leapfrog tricks.

They had finally lost the fangirl crowd after about traveling seven city blocks down the street.
"You are no longer allowed to show off in front of girls," Whitney told him quite firmly. "Unless it's in front of me."
"So I guess that mean today's was fine." Renny glibbed. "Spartina said the girls were excited enough to be throwing off their tops during the match, but I didn't look in case it was a ploy to catch me off guard. Although... I suppose I should have looked in your direction at least." He joked, while imagining Whitney gone wild with the shirt-stripping too.
"No worries there, Renny," Whitney said with flushed cheeks. "I'll use Flash on you later."

Last edited by Menarker; 08-20-2013 at 08:56 PM.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 10:40 PM   #54
Aldurin
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Donovan and Calisto
*NOTE: Due to Calisto and Donovan sharing the same color, Calisto's speech color will be RoyalBlue during this conversation.

As Donovan proceeded down the hallways of PATCA when he felt a small bit of familiarity nearby, something that he couldn't quite place. Looking around one of the corners he almost bumped into Callisto, explaining his premonition.
"Calisto? Well I guess I shouldn't be surprised that other MIU affiliates wound up here."
Calisto blinked. "I uhhh...sorry, Donovan, but I don't think I know you from there," she apologized. "But yes, I guess it is good to know you're from there. Kind of inspires confidence in your abilities, eh heh heh heh."
"Oh right, sorry about that. I forgot we never actually met, I just remember you were on the database when I was gathering intelligence for a job once. But I guess because I was never in Honmyr until recently I wouldn't actually have acquainted with anyone here. Hell, I don't even know much about the MIU outposts here."
He shuffled a little, embarrassed by the confusion about someone he really knew nothing about.

"What brought you to PATCA? I know it's a decent gig, but the stuff we deal with seems a bit . . . abnormal for what the Union established a price range on."
Calisto placed a clenched fist on her chest.
"I guess I just have a desire for justice. You can almost feel it yourself, can you not? That for some reason, you're drawn here just like so many others. I always kind of thought that it had to do with the Rezonscape, but maybe it's something even less tangible, like this instinct that this is where you belong. I know it's where I belong. Me and my rifle."
She closed her eyes. "Then again, I probably would have never thought of leaving MIU if it weren't for the Bower Incident."

Donovan had vaguely heard of it. One of the senior members who made his bread and butter by doing all of the quick, easy missions. But as MIU numbers increased, Bower was running out of work, and eventually went on to snuff the lives of anyone who took his work away from him. He's dead now, with the rumors being a headshot from a sniper. Could it be?
"I believed in MIU for a long time, but that man's actions sort of ruined all the devotion I had to it. So I ended up quietly leaving and drifted here, where there's no shortage of work for someone who knows which direction a rifle's barrel is supposed to go."

Donovan turned away for a moment, the talk of justice hit close to home, but he tried to shrug it off.
"I don't believe in justice, not when the law bends to a wallet, not when we risk being marked as the monsters we're trying to destroy. For me, I guess being here is for truth. In Hoenn I'm not going to find out much about why I ended up as a Pokebrid there years before the tech was perfected in this region, nor will I be able to bury everyone that had a hand in it."

He turned back,
"I guess I was never truly devoted to the MIU, but it was a home for me. Something to do while I coped with being an outcast. I've had my own share of dark experiences during those days, but never anything like a person in the MIU killing off his own associates. I guess I was already prepared to accept that the world is a flawed place, driven into the ground by flawed people."
He paused for a moment,
"I do envy that you had the luxury of remaining distant, even in problems you're involved in. It's not easy to put a pistol to a man's head and pull the trigger, regardless of justification."

Calisto tilted her head. "It gets easier when you try to understand the value of those lives that you extinguish, odd as though that might seem. Just as every life means something, usually by simply being alive, I can bring myself to pull the trigger again and again by knowing and understanding that a life also means something when it ends. Life and death are nothing more than a change, the kind of changes that happen every single day. So it really falls down to one thing, Donovan; will you be the one who stands there and watches change occur all around you, or will you be the one who wields the power of change with your own potential? I think about it all the time, and I've come to the conclusion that only by wielding the power of changing things myself will I be able to build the future I envision, the kind of future in which I can one day just put down this rifle and never need it again."

Donovan turned toward the window, overlooking a large portion of the city.
"But how do you know whether that day shines on a thriving, peaceful world or a barren graveyard? Many people that see things to change in the world become overwhelmed by the drive to change, often themselves becoming the monsters until the only good thing left to do is turn the gun on themselves. I don't see the kind of change you want happening, and I'm not going to drag myself down a dark path to struggle against the inherent problems of humanity. There do need to be people who try, who use hope to convince themselves that one day there won't be evil to fight, but I've seen enough to know that the sides aren't clear and the middle ground is the best way to observe and decide what needs to be done. A peaceful world is a nice prospect though, and there's enough shit poised right above the fan that maybe this cycle can change in the aftermath. I do wish you luck though, maybe you can find the right people whose deaths ensure the lives of everyone else."

Calisto listened carefully.
"So uhh...I guess you believe the truth lies in serving PATCA?"
"Well, it currently serves as the best means of finding the truth, although I did originally come here looking for a line of work with a company I didn't have to constantly question and investigate in order to stay safe."
"I uhh...wish you luck with that, but I don't think it's possible," Calisto told him with an anime-style teardrop in her hair.
"The more battles I participate in working here, the more I realize that Honmyr's secrets run deep, and that we may never know who is the real puppetmaster. I'm personally banking on Chief Crosswald. I guess that's why I'm still here. Even though I'm sure I can trust her, I'm intrigued by her, and I'd like to find out just what her true angle is in all of this."
"I know there are other motives here, I'm just sure the web became tangled enough before I came here for me to avoid being seen as anything bigger than a pawn. It's still a risk, but I've learned the hard way that it's necessary to know when to back out, so I'll take my chances."
Calisto didn't seem to have a response to that, so she walked up to Donovan and placed her hand on his shoulder as she passed around him.
"Don't wait too long. I think you can tell that the future is going to very complicated."
And that was about it. Calisto continued down the hallway in the opposite direction.


-----------------------------
Donovan Within His Mindscape


"The wayward nomad of his own mind returns."

Donovan found himself inside the nightmare world again. It was different this time, but not by much, creating a startling contrast. The ground seemed to randomly shift between rusted, bloody steel and verdant fields of flowers. The sky was a maelstrom of dark swirling clouds and beams of pure sunlight. A large opening that lead into a bottomless void of darkness was being fed crystal clear water from a lake that didn't seem to be draining at all.

"I can see into your mind," the voice called out to him. "You are slowly being subjugated by the powerful will of the Rezonscape. You might already be able to tell this on your own. If you should see pleasant imagery, that is the will of the Rezonscape taking form, so do try not to be enthralled by it."
Donovan looked around the area for the source of the voice,
"And what happens if this . . . change . . . overtakes whatever this place is? Why does my attunement to the Rezonscape draw me here?"
"Everyone has an attunement to the Rezonscape. You're just...conflicted,"
the voice struggled. "It seems that as part of you is surrendering to the madness, another part of you and pulling it back and away from the abyss. I find it rather interesting. Nothing seems to be holding you back from just going insane, and yet you struggle to retain your sanity and morality. How could this be possible?"
"Early innoculation? Trauma that already takes up too much room for the Rezonscape to take hold? I felt the influence of this place long ago, once, during darker times."

Donovan continued to search for the source of the voice.
"Just how far does the Rezonscape's influence truly go? And just who are you, as being the only person able to speak with me while I'm here does raise questions?"
The voice was silent for a little while, allowing Donovan to notice that the terrain wasn't really static. In places the rusted steel was suddenly awash with greenery and then the nightmare reclaimed the land.
"I think the first thing to do is to help you escape from this place yet again. You might find it odd but you should try to retreat further into the nightmare. Do not be lured by the lush scenery or anyone that invites you to join them there. They are victims who are already lost, victims of the madness, and are definitely not your friends."

The terrain was much easier to negotiate this time around. No tower scaling or chasm crossing, just a bunch of short jumps across gaping voids between solid platforms on heaps of bloodied steel.
"The Rezonscape has consumed all of the land you call Honmyr, even stretching out a good distance into the ocean. The effects that it has on humans are obvious, but for some reason it does not seem to effect Pokemon. I guess it has something to do with their much simpler natures as beasts. Anyways, you're doing rather well, just keep it up."


Donovan saw something up ahead after a minute or two of traveling that he wasn't sure was a good encounter. Another person. And they seemed to be perfectly content, just smelling the nearby flowers.
"That is a Madsoldier," the voice informed Donovan. "Although they aren't dangerous when encountered on this side of the facade. Downright friendly, obviously. Whenever an individual from the other side of the facade speaks to them, they temporarily see the reality and that can often lead to bouts of psychosis and violence, which is what people observe when they try to communicate with them from outside of the facade. You can talk to him if you really want to, but I wouldn't expect any entertaining dialogue out of it. It's like talking to an infant."
"So their minds aren't destroyed, just . . . displaced? Would it be possible to bring this part of a person out of this place, restoring them to their madsoldier body?" He asked the feminine-voiced void.
"It is too late for them. I try to protect whoever I can, but you're the only one I've ever been able to get through to. They're completely lost, their minds irreparably damaged. Be careful when you encounter them in the real world."

Donovan noticed that the facade seemed to be breaking down. He could continue to hear the woman's voice, but it was getting indistinct, randomly decreasing in volume and becoming unintelligble.
And that was when he woke up. He nearly registered the whole thing as a bizarre dream but, just for a brief second, he saw it again. The flowers, the blood-soaked steel, and that pitiful person. And then it was gone.
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Unread 08-20-2013, 03:06 PM   #55
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Kicked Upstairs


For an organization with such high-risk missions, PATCA sure made a big deal over losing an operative. Ray frowned as he filled out yet another form in duplicate, one copy for the Internal Casualty Commission, the other for the Police Union. That Charlotte had neither been unionized (thank god) or actually confirmed dead (regrettable) was, apparently, not relevant. He finally finished the forms, and signed both papers with an exhausted sigh. He didn't really answer to anyone (he reported to the President, in theory, but Andricksen had enough on his plate not to bother him), but Bureaucracy was unrelenting. It demanded its price, in blood and triplicate, and ignoring it would only cause trouble. He shuffled the forms into his "out" folder and picked up the next document. Just a short memo from Irene, he saw to his relief, reminding Ray that a replacement would be needed for the Watchmen's Field Officer. She'd even listed a couple of candidates. And... she'd recommended...
Oh for the love of god.
Barely a minute later, Pierce's pager buzzed.

"Pierce.
In my office, ASAP.
-Ray"


Knock knock.
Pierce stood outside of Impact's office, curious as to what the new boss wanted.
Ray looked up from yet another form (this one an agreement with a major pharmaceutical, for the sale of 200 max revive) and sat back in his chair. He pulled out Irene's memo again, giving it one last thoughtful look, before letting out a tired "Come in".

The door opened and Pierce stepped into the room, giving the man behind the desk a curious look.
"You rang?" He asked, closing the door behind him.
Ray half-smiled. "I believe I did. And you answered rather quickly. Did I interrupt your training? Didn't think you'd be here on a Saturday."
He gestured to a straight-backed chair, opposite from him. "Have a seat. We might be a while."
Sleeping on a couch was some kind of training, somewhere in the world.
"Yeah, I was training." Pierce replied, then walked across the office to sit on the offered chair.
"What's this about?"
"I don't think I have to remind you of the unfortunate conclusion of the Watchmen's last mission. I might have to remind you of the fact that Charlotte was, in fact, your squad leader."
"Wait, really?" Pierce asked in perfect deadpan sarcasm.
Ray scratched his chin.
"She didn't really play the part, did she? In any case, she's... Missing In Action now, which means we're going to need a new Squad Leader. Given that none of our past candidates have seemed to be capable of holding the position for more than a few months at a time, we're trying to refine procedures a bit."

That last line was bullshit, but Pierce didn't necessarily know that. Ray would be lying if he said he didn't like duplicity, but he certainly didn't enjoy conversational cat-and-mouse as much as he used to.
Pierce resisted the urge to mention that Impact was one of those past candidates, and let the man continue his spiel.
Ray paused, then shrugged.

"In any case, given that the post of Squad Leader has been... somewhat democratic in the past, we figured that approach might be fruitful. No official process, of course, I'd just be interested in your input. Got any candidates you'd like to see lead?"
Pierce shrugged. "There's Renny, I suppose. Rayleen did nominate him once, and if I recall correctly we shot him down. He's got the brain and the heart for it, I'm just not sure I or anyone else could take him seriously."
Ray tried, and failed, to hide a grin.
"Harsh, but... reasonably accurate. Youth is a problem. Besides, he's been doing a sterling job managing loadouts and formations as Sortie coordinator. I don't think stacking on responsibility would be a good idea. Any others?"
He tilted her his head up, stroking his chin as he looked up to the ceiling in thought.
"There's Shizuka, she's got experience... but I somehow doubt she'd accept. And... Milsha? I dunno, she's smarter than you'd think and doesn't seem to have any issues that might get in the way, and she seems honest and competent."
The man seemed honest. Ray had never had the best sense for lies (too busy telling his own, he supposed, to watch out for others'), but as far as he could tell, Pierce was genuine. Which meant the cocky bastard had not, in fact, asked for this.

"As it happens, Station Chief Crosswald has also nominated a candidate. This one officially." Ray looked up from the memo to meet Pierce' gaze for the first time this meeting.
"Would it surprise you to find out that she nominated you?"
Pierce met Impact's gaze and sighed at the revelation. "I suspected it when you asked me who I thought should be leader. Did she say why?"
"I'm sure that, if I asked her, she'd have a reason or seven. But I haven't asked her. What do you think she'd say?"
Ray's voice had dropped a bit, not quite a whisper, but certainly conspirational. Maybe a little sinister.
"I honestly don't know." Pierce shook his head.

"Alright. Listen, I don't think you asked her to do this. Whatever..." Ray sighed. "Else you may be doing, I don't think you'd want her to privelege you. That's not what this is about."
Ray paused a second, looking at Pierce in silence. "What it's about, I suppose is... do you think you're qualified?"
Pierce raised an eyebrow and barely suppressed a smirk.
"Considering the last person to hold the job, I'm surprised there are qualifications."
"Charlotte filled a certain requirement. But you know that's not what I meant. And I don't think, when you proposed Renny and Milsha, you were doing so out of false modesty. I'm asking you if you think you're the best choice for the job. If you're ready."
Pierce sighed again.
"I don't feel like I'm the best, no. Shizuka, or Sakuya probably would do a better job, but I doubt either of them would accept and in Sakuya's case, well... she's the empress of Hiroshiho. And at the end of the day neither of them are from here. I don't think I'm ready, either. Sam's in the hospital and I've got this whole monetary situation and a living situation..."
Another sigh. Then he met Impact's stare, hard.
"All I can say is I would do my best to put my personal crap aside and do the job. But if you've got another candidate, then I'd rather you didn't pick me."

"Given that any watchman is eligible, and we seem to have dropped our hiring standards recently, there's plenty of alternatives. But... I'm not gonna go looking for them. For two reasons."
Ray's voice softened, he looked off to the side.
"You know who else Irene put forwards? Threw them into a leadership position without so much as asking them first? Booted right up when they really weren't ready to play that kind of role yet?"
Ray paused, a moment, two.
"Yeah, me. Probably not a huge surprise. Hell, two years ago we'd barely begun at PATCA, and now I'm here? Nobody does that good a job, and I sure as hell didn't. No, that was Irene. Making Plans. She puts people where she needs them. And she needs you here. And, unless you ask me to, I'm not going to deny her.
Not just because, frankly, she's scary, but also because she has... a nose for things. For potential. You're not ready now. But, if you take the post, in a few months, you will be. People develop depending on their environment, you're the last person i need to tell. And Irene can find... the right environment for the right person, to produce the right result. For me, that was command. Power mingled with danger. I think, for you, that's split-second responsibility."

Ray sighed. "Listen, can I trust you not to go running back to her with this?"
"I was planning to talk to her and ask why she nominated me." Pierce replied.

Ray snorted. "Because she believes in you, because she knows you have potential. And both of those are true. But it's also true that she knows you'll rise to the occasion. And you change. Like you said, if you end up being promoted, you'll put your personal crap aside. Focus on work. Become stronger for it, harder."
Ray sighed again. This was hard.
"Look. Irene has a good cause. The best of causes. But, in pursuit of that, she uses people. She uses me. If you do this, she'll use you. Not to your detriment, necessarily. But I don't think she's doing this to advance your career. She's doing this so you'll be ready when she needs you for real."
He paused again, frustrated. None of this was coming out right.
"I'm not trying to ruin your relationship here. She's perfectly capable of both caring for someone and still use them for her ends."
When he looked up, his eyes were haunted. "Believe me on this one. I'm just saying... think about it. I'll promote you on the spot if this is what you want. But it might hurt you."
Pierce couldn't help but look curiously at Impact's haunted expression, wondering what that was about. In the end, he just sighed again.
"I probably will. But I think I need her to convince me of all this first."
"By all means, talk to her. But I doubt you'll get much. And mentioning I said this will probably just make things more difficult. for everyone involved. I stuck my neck out to tell you this much, don't make that bite me in the ass."
"Yeah, yeah. I only intend to tell her that you offered me the job and told me she nominated me. That good enough for you?"
"Just fine. Good luck with her." Ray smiled weakly. "And not just in this, either. Dismissed."
"Mm, thanks." Pierce grunted and stood, leaving Impact alone in his office.
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Unread 08-20-2013, 05:03 PM   #56
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*A few days after the events of Nanny Village and a little over a week before Renny's birthday.*

It was just before noon and the breakfast table was crowded. Pokemon were swarming around a platter of sliced fruit and bowls of nuts, berries and pre-sliced small fish for the carnivores. Swampert were practically racing against the more nimble Umbreon and Shaymin trying to get at some of the treats before they all disappeared

"Thank goodness I buy in bulk." Renny thought to himself as he nibbled on a cantaloupe slice and on a crispy croissant. He was sitting on the couch in the den with a small table in front of it, which had a few papers he was working on as the pokemon ate. The most note-worthy of them all being a list of PATCA members, some of which had their names scratched off. "In fact, I'll probably need to buy much more for the party. "

"Anyhow, who is next on my list?"
He consulted the list with overly cautious intensity, hating the possibility he could alienate someone by forgetting to invite them. He then pressed the buttons on the visor, as it started dialing for Liz. As the dialing sound could be heard, he recalled the exchange with Moeni from the previous mission, where she dropped the hint that Liz was part of this White Lily Project, the origin of the Weeping Lily Project.

Renny kept calling for a while, but there was no answer. Weird. He couldn't imagine Liz would turn down one of his calls.
Renny tried once more, with the intent of leaving a message if he failed to catch her on the phone. Once the machine picked up, he summed up his invitation.

"Hi Liz. It's Renny. I hope you and Leprihare are doing well. I'm throwing a party in a little over a week for my birthday and I wanted to give you some of the details such as how to get there and so on. When you have a moment to spare, could you give me a call? Thank you!"


There was no reply, of course, and Renny continued sending out his invitations uneventfully. Renny then decided to help himself to a shower after he had finished his brunch and ensured that his pokemon were all fed and healthy. It was a relaxing break from all the invitation sending.
As Renny soaped himself up, he felt the shower was a lot warmer than usual, and there was a nice flowery scent wafting in, as the soap caressed his body, almost like a pair of hands...

He paused for a briefest moment. His thoughts all sprang up in the same instant, as he started to turn his torso and face.
"Eh? What's that scent? I never used something like that before. Did I forget to lock the door again? Is Milsha sneaking up on me for one of those little brother duties while Lola isn't around?"
"You rang?" A familiar voice said happily, as Renny was greeted by a faceful of supple breasts, and a pair of tender hands continued to soap him up helpfully.
"Oh my gawd, Liz!"
Startled, he recoiled for an instant, although there was little room to actually step back, the knobs for the shower close to his back. His sense of modesty and shame kicked in as he covered his manhood with his hands as best as he was able. The sight of her was stimulating to the point of mental overload when combined with the shock of her unseen entry.

He was going to say something along the line of "What are you doing in here?" but the question had a blatantly obvious answer.
"How did you get in here?"
"Hi Renny!" The blonde mechanic greeted him, stopping his escape by pulling him into a hug and pressing his head into her chest. "Thanks so much for inviting me to your party! I'll be there, definitely. What exactly are you planning for it, hm? And why wouldn't you let me throw you a surprise party?"
Knowing her it'd be a naked surprise party, much like the current situation.
"Oh, the door was open." Liz replied dismissively to his question.
"Even the apartment door?"

He feared that he had screwed up in such a monumental scale. He didn't think he was that irresponsible regarding the apartment.
His face was red from blushing as he was buried into her chest and the warm water didn't help much.
"Sure, why not that too." Liz responded again. "Don't ignore the matter at hand, though!"
He took that answer as to mean that that particular door was locked and that she managed to get herself in somehow. He reminded himself that she had confessed to having been a thief in the past. The fact that she sent him those photoshoot pictures meant she also knew where his address was, so that was nothing odd. At least that was one bit of relief for him, however slight.

"Well, uh..." He stammered a bit as he tried to collect his thoughts. "I didn't really have any specific plans that much for the party. Lots of food, drinks. Inviting lots of us from PATCA to relax. I haven't thrown one since the welcoming party for the Kimonos a while back... which Lexhur and a bunch of Faynoc's men crashed into... that was not exactly the sort of party I meant to throw. I, err, I got the photoshoot photos that you and Leprihare sent by the way. They were quite... stunning."
"Aww, I'm glad you liked them! You've got the real thing here with you now, though, and none of your roommates are home..." Liz trailed off, slightly pushing him even more into her chest.
"Well, it is good to see you, but I'm not ready for something like that. At least not now."
He then remembered what he had wanted to ask her before his mind went into chaos. He blushed as he removed his hands from his genitals which was frankly becoming difficult to hide, grasped her arms and pull himself apart, but still keeping her at arms distance, gradually being desensitized from the surprise. So driven he was in getting answers that the thought of actually getting out of the shower to strike a conversation didn't occur to him.

"I actually had something I wanted to talk with you about though. I don't know if you heard about the last mission that I was in, but the PATCA group I was in went to Nanny village to suppress some Team Rocket forces. While we were there, we came across this... lady called Moeni. Although she is Lola and Harliette's mother in blood, she is a real nasty piece of work. She had done lots of body-altering experimentations, some on her daughters themselves, mainly under the code of 'Weeping Lily Project'. She claimed that particular project to be borne from the previous and more benign project that was researching the Rezonscape called the 'White Lily Project'."
He took a moment to catch his breath. "She said you were part of that project too. Is that true?"
"Alright, alright." Liz conceded with a sigh. "But if we're gonna have this conversation here, we'll do it while washing up, since it's impolite to waste all the hot water."
She said with a grin, and leaving no room for discussion she took hold of Renny's shoulders.
"Now turn around, c'mon." She said, turning him so his back was facing her, and she began washing him with a pair of soft... sponges, that's what Renny wanted to think they were.
"Yes, I was part of White Lily, but only one part. I don't know Moeni or her research, and I wasn't privy to every part of the project. I designed the Rezonscape Dampening Field, which is a very important piece that keeps the Rezonscape epicenter from turning everyone in Honmyr into Madsoldiers, y'know. I'm kinda proud of it, which is weird since it was an entirely legal endeavor."

That was a significant feat, as Renny's impressed face would have shown, if he wasn't turned in the opposite direction, although he felt more at ease for not being in the position to inappropriately flash her even if she was in the mood for it.
"Incredible! I never knew there was such a device! All along I thought that everyone who didn't turn had significant willpower."

For a moment, he wondered who was in control of that device and if there were redunant tamper-proof systems to avoid weaponizing it. However, he shelved that particular worry and addressed a different one.
"I wanted to ask partly because I wanted to understand more about what we are dealing with. But also because the Weeping Lily Project might get publicly revealed, maybe even soon if the hospital that Harliette is in can find traces of the Weeping Lily Project drug that she took. In that case, people from the White Lily Project might become investigated or put under pressure for the illegal outcome of the project that used data from the project that you were part of, even though yours was a fringe portion of research that was used. I don't want you to get in that sort of trouble, so I wanted to give you that warning."

"Aw, jeez..." Liz sighed, giving Renny a loving stare. There seemed to be an actual blush on her cheeks as she pulled Renny into another hug and kissed his cheek.
"I'm so happy you care so much, thank you Renny. You're a great friend, you know that?"
He smiled warmly, returning the hug earnestly, although he still blushed heavily from the naked contact.
"Well, you're a great friend for me too. I'm just doing what I think I can do."
Liz smiled fondly at him. "I really just wish you wanted to be more than friends..." She sighed, and the smile faded and turned into a forlorn look.
"I know I come off as just wanting to sleep with you, but I really care about you, Renny. Your innocence, your pure heart... you're just infectious. I imagine that's why I'm not the only woman wishing to be at your side." She admitted, staring deeply into his eyes.

The confession touched him a bit, but all the same he was firm in his position.
"Well... it's not like I only ever want to keep it at 'just friends'. At the very very least, I don't want any of my friends to get in trouble for the affection when it's only a few weeks more to wait until it is acceptable. I would feel guilty if I caused anyone that sort of trouble for not being a little patient. But it would be a pleasure to go out and spend some time with you."
Liz smiled again, a genuinely happy smile, and kissed his cheek again.
"I'll take it, and hey, we can do that even before your birthday." She winked. "And maybe... on your birthday, you'll hopefully... consider me?"
"Well, I suppose we'll see how the party goes. With all the people that want to come, I imagine it'll be robust with all sorts of activity. Still have to decide where to hold it. It's not like I can fit 30ish people in this apartment! Especially if it turns into a slumber-party like my last one!"
Liz sighed, but kept up the smile as she pressed one gentle finger onto Renny's chest and started twirling it in slow circles.
"Well, what I meant was... when your birthday comes by, and you're eighteen and you don't have to worry about legal ramifications, so you can be with whoever you want, that you'd consider... me."
His chest was heavy from the atmosphere and it somehow felt twice the weight with the touch of the finger.
"I understood that. I... in all honesty, I'm still sorting out all my thoughts and all my feelings. I know it's difficult to try to make everyone happy, but all the same I want to try, even when I worry I might screw up once or twice somewhere down the line. I might not even do it right away. I hear what you're saying... and a large part of me wants to say yes."
He hoped that Liz wouldn't retort about a particular large part he was trying not to bring attention to in this profound and awkward moment.

Liz, it seemed, decided to be tactful for once.
"Okay, I understand." She pulled her finger away from his chest and wrapped her arms around his neck instead, pulling him closer.
"But, right now... there's just you and me, and no one else has to know... about... this..."
Closing her eyes, she leaned in and pressed her lips into his.
His heart was flushed as it painfully pumped with intensity, but Renny for a few scant seconds returned the kiss before he pulled away, lest he be drawn into something more.
Liz refused to release him as he broke the kiss, opening her eyes and pleading him with her stare.
"No, please, just a kiss, Renny."

He touched her waist with one hand and her back with the other, as he stepped in a little and pressed his lips into hers, still self-conscious, but he put some passion and force into the embrace for as long he could hold breath for that one breath before he released it softly.
Liz smiled as their embrace broke, cupping his cheek gently as she looked into his eyes.

"Thank you. I think you're clean enough now..." She said, wordlessly saying that she was done accosting him in the shower.
"I suppose I am." He blushed as he gazed at her. "Next time, I suppose I should do my part to wash you too."
"That... would be excellent." Liz chuckled. "Can we still go on a date before your birthday?"
"I'll give you a call if I can. I think so, but I haven't checked my schedule for work for this coming week yet."
"I'll look forward to it, and I won't even try to hijack it. Something tells me you're going to need dating practice." Liz winked at him. The two of them proceeded to turn off the water and dry off, and a few minutes later Liz was standing at his front door.
"Thanks for entertaining me Renny, I had a great time. Good luck!" She said, kissing him on the cheek one final time.
"You're welcome. It was... a pleasure. I'll see you soon, especially for the party."
Renny then proceeded to continue with the organization of the party, especially the plans to book the needed hotel facilities for the event...

Last edited by Menarker; 08-21-2013 at 01:29 AM. Reason: Removed the Donovan spar at Gem's request, to be posted later.
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Unread 09-12-2013, 12:56 AM   #57
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*In which Matthias heavily derails the conversation for Moon and plans are made*

He takes a moment at Moon's offer, staring off into space and thinking. Clearly this offer was very tempting to one such as Matt, so tempting that he could be heard muttering to himself. "Matt...hackable. Mathackable....Mattackable. I'm not really sure how those words meld together. What a curious question. What do you think Moon?"

"Well, it's going to be your technique so you can name it whatever you want," Moon said, fiddling with his Inquiry Visor. "Maybe you'll figure out the right name for it as you start experimenting at your enemy's expense."

Matt responded almost immediately, his mind clearly fascinated with this naming nomenclature. "This is important though. Pokemon have to be told what to do and pokebrid's -- especially ones with new abilities -- can find their new abilities are only triggered by names and if I don't have something to name it at the start it could trigger some psychological block."

"I like yo' style," Moon said. "But sometimes you often can't think of a good name for a technique until you've actually seen what it does. Umm...do you know the game series Wild Arms? The game lets you name the spells, and that's what I'd like to do, but now until I've actually cast the spell in battle just to see what it looks like. It really helps me figure out an excellent name for it."

"I'll name it something dumb and after you if you don't help me think of a name. Like, Moon's CD Tray is a Drink Holder." The threat voiced and the tone of Matthias making it sound like he's only partially kidding.

"Yeesh, fine, mister grumpy-moth," Moon said. "All I can think of right now is the Sona Pulse."

"Let's call it the Sona Scrambler and call it a day then. So.....how does this even work? Do we stick needles in my arms? I'm used to that at this point." Matt ended with a smirk, clearly pleased with his terrible move names.

"I...don't think so? I'm really new to this as well, but here's the hypothesis behind it," Moon paused, presenting Matthias with an average Inquiry Visor. "Unlike us who are separated from our Inquiry Visors, you are not. You can wirelessly connect yourself to the visor and then...I dunno, probably have it scan mechanical and electronic enemies in a much more detailed way. And then you can just figure out how you wanna Sona Scramble it from there."

Matthias nodded sagely in response and then paused for a moment. "Do you want eggs? I find myself with a craving for eggs."

"You...don't mean raw, do you?" Moon thought about it for a moment. "I...think I would eat eggs, but I would prefer that it be on top of a slab of chicken-fried steak between two pieces of roasted buttermilk toast."

Matt looked puzzled at the concept of the sandwich before shrugging it off. "That sounds like a heart attack. I'll let you have the heart attack, I just want scrambled eggs. Maybe with some cheese on top. Are there any Chanseys around here? Have you ever wondered if you have to cook Tepig? I mean is it just bacon as it is?"

"I'm sure it's bacon, but pigs offer a lot of different meat products, from common pork to pickled pig feet," Moon actually seemed interested in this bizarre conversation. "Can't imagine who would eat a pig's feet. I prefer my meat to not look like the animal it came from."

Matthias nodded, already thinking ahead. "I wonder if Alice would be interested in hunting down a wild Pignite. I'm feeling like some pork, sausages and bacon to go with eggs now. I'm sure we'd have enough if you'd join us Moon."

"I...sure," Moon said. "Sounds really interesting to go get the ingredients as opposed to just buying them at the store."
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Unread 09-22-2013, 11:39 PM   #58
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Renny, Catherine, Whitney, Milsha, Irene & Opticka: Continued-Ending
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"You're my new husband! I just decided!"

Opticka seemed to be blushing as she flew up and landed gently into Renny's hands. Renny face was quizzical, caught off guard by the declaration of matrimony.

"And just like that, Renny ropes another love slave," Irene said with no hint of sarcasm.
"Bullshit," Catherine retorted. "Renny likes 'em busty. I mean, just look at us and Lola."
"I don't think I'm that busty," Milsha said. True, she was one of the smallest of Renny's inner circle of babes, but she definitely wasn't humble in that department.

"I don't choose my friends based on their chest. I mean Rachel is one of my closest friends, the first one I had since I moved to Honmyr and joined PATCA. She's definately not busty, but that was never a turn-off. Interesting thing is, when I gave her that Light-Ball bracelet for her birthday, she thought I was proposing to her and said she wouldn't have minded if I did."

"I think I can swing on by and I'm sure I can get the others to come. You'll probably want to get to know just how effective they are in combat. Just don't hit on the raven-haired one too much. She's got a boyfriend, and he knows how to swing a length of steel. Not that I expect a man like him to be much of a threat to a fighting type Pokebrid."


Renny nodded. "Getting to know how they operate in combat would be nice, but I won't take up that much of their time. It would help if they could make some connections with the others prior to partaking in any of the missions. I can always look at their dossiers when they become completed anyhow."

He paused for a moment as a realization bubbled within his thoughts.

"By the way, what is our ultimate objective for the mission? I thought that we were seeking Nosferasu who was in the Corpsemire. So why would we need to pass through the Hungry World? Did he change locations?"

"Some of us are and some of us aren't," Irene shrugged. "If you don't have any business in the Hungry World, I suppose you can find something to keep you busy...like all the women you're bringing with you."

"... So we don't have an official objective? I mean, I imagine several people will be aching to go just out of curiousity, but it would help if I knew what purpose we have for going there, especially if we'e going to end up seperated at some point. Having a general direction to head to and all that."

Irene leaned back and stared at the ceiling. "Well, then, let's see...this isn't an official mission, but we are going prepared for combat just in case we run into trouble. That...shouldn't happen inside the Corpsemire. The Shadow Pokemon and Nosferatu itself are more or less the only inhabitants, unless you consider human corpses to be inhabitants. Those who are looking to visit the Hungry World and gain powers of that nature should expect combat. Our objective there would be to safely arrive at Kimono Kastle, where the Kimonos hold authority over their patch of land. I really can't say much on the subject, since it's a place I haven't been to, either. Maybe you should talk to Mika about it. Y'know, the youngest-looking girl in the yellow kimono."

"Well, if you talk about powers of that nature, I suppose you're refering to the Magatamas that the Kimonos showed us back at my party... my first one I mean. I had another party that PATCA showed up at as well before you woke up from your coma."
Renny was perfectly understanding about the fact that Irene was out of commission at the time and would probably not have known about those exact details.
"The little scorpions that you consume whole and get demon powers and immortality once you wake up from a pain induced coma lasting a few hours."

Renny hoped that if no one would mention about the sleepover aspect of his previous party, especially since Rayleen was one of the ones sharing his bed, along with Lola, Harliette... and Whitney. He glanced at Whitney as he thought this.
"Although I wouldn't want it myself. Mika is stuck as a 12 year old due to it and I still have room to grow! And honestly, I don't know what would happen if we tried mixing demon powers with pokebrids and I really don't want to risk it."

"Nor what it would do to potential offspring,"
Whitney mused to herself, not aware of Renny's eyes on her. "Then again, I would guess all this demon stuff has nothing to do with DNA and more to do with the soul. When it comes to mortals, angels, and demons, I always thought the difference was in the soul."
Renny listened as his Shaymin prance around on the kitchen table, Opticka mounted on top.
"I suppose that's possible. But I wouldn't risk myself on that just yet. I don't need demon powers or immortality. At least not yet anyhow."

"Me neither, but I think I'd still like to go," Whitney said, looking at Renny. "You know, break up the monotony of what we usually fight."

Monotony? You would call the bizarre and insane villains that PATCA has to deal with monotony, Whitney?

"At any rate, we have a destination to go to at any rate. And I suppose we should probably catch whatever magatamas we can find while we're there. After all, if other people in PATCA really want the demon powers, we shouldn't have to pester the president for permits for another expedition each time. I'll try to think of how we can improve our chances of success over there."
"It will undoubtedly be difficult to prepare. It's a new world with new creatures and perhaps even new rules. So it's a scenario of hoping for the best and preparing for the worst."
Irene said, then looked around.

"I don't really feel comfortable being fully dressed when everyone else is lettin' it all hang out. Mind if I strip?"
"... do you need someplace to change?" Renny felt nervous about the sudden shift, but he kinda got the feeling that it was kinda pointless to object.
"Nope!" Irene said cheerfully as she stood up with one hand dramatically raised. "Contestant #666, Irene Crosswald, ready to bare it all!"
Irene didn't have a bikini, and was content to simply strip down to her underwear.
"Not fair," Milsha said. "My underwear isn't nearly that sexy."
"I've totally seen that brand at Veronica's Secret," Catherine marveled. "You wear it well, my lady."
"I know. Sometimes it's a curse," Irene feigned sadness as she had herself a beer. "This is nice. I should get almost naked at Renny's place more often. We should totally go with an underwear theme at Renny's party."
"Best idea ever!" Catherine chimed in. "I think it would actually help us all get to know each other a little bit better."

Renny was red-faced with surprise and admiration from the sheer audicity of the strip-show and the raciness of the underwear barely covering her figure.
"... you're definately very... alluring in that Irene."
Suddenly, the other girls stood up and, with a big huff, exitted the kitchen. "Game on," Irene chuckled.

And then Renny was treated to a lingerie dinner. This was starting to get really out of hand. He couldn't even look at Catherine. Her lingerie was practically transparent. Milsha was a lot more appropriate, wearing pure and simple cotton white. Whitney preferred red, lacy lingerie, which seemed to reflect her surprisingly fiery passions.
"Nice, girls, very nice," Irene nodded several times. "Looking damn good in lingerie is an important skill to have in PATCA."

How the fuck is that an important skill?!

Renny held his naptain to his nose, rubbing it discretly and hiding the slightly red thing in his pocket.
"... Wow."
The normally talkative lad was pretty much breath-taken. The bikini party was already an awesome thing, but now he couldn't notice his food as his eyes feasted on the flesh that they so boldly presented.
Renny privately deliberated for a moment as if conflicted with his inner thoughts, but somehow he made up his mind on something.
"Will you please excuse me for one moment, ladies?"

He disappeared into his bedroom, Shaymin nipping at some of his potatoes, when Renny came back after a minute in swimwear shorts. After several long months of physical training and sparring, while he had only become a few inches taller, his muscle tone and abs had definately changed. Something which he attempted to show off, given that the ladies were doing the same and it wasn't exactly fair that he didn't do a thing in return.

"This coming mission, I'll be a full-fledged Slayer. But I won't be using their weapons though, so I've been hard at work training building my body to as fine a quality as I could make it." He commented as he showed off the fat-free body that was lightly toned with muscles.
"Yeah, take it all off, baby, wooooo!"
Irene and the other girls looked at the really excited Opticka.
"Yep, definitely gotta get her fixed," Irene sighed.

The day was starting to wind down. Irene and Renny were discussing other details Renny had about the party.
"I can throw in some words with Cecilia," Irene concluded. Renny then remembered that Cecilia's family owned the hotel they were staying at and presumably would be using for the party.
"You know, I don't think anybody in all of Honmyr is so overexcited about their birthday than you are. Not that it's a big deal, mind you. Just wait until you get my age and you'll regret the damn things half to death."

"Well, I'll try to enjoy them while they last. I hope it'll also be good for everyone to kinda relax and wind down. We did seem to lose Charlotte. While she may not have been the best of us, it's yet another reminder that we aren't invincible, no matter how much we try. Frankly, I'm lucky that I got everyone's support since the day I joined."

Irene looked towards the window.
"I would think that the reason Charlotte hasn't come back is that she believes she is invincible," Irene sighed. "Not that I would've stopped her if she want to leave, but you'd think she could've left a note, even if it was something stupid like 'gone fishing'."
"Ahh, that would explain why there was never any funeral service, eh?" Catherine asked.
"They ain't dead until there's a dead body," Irene said. "It's something I've believed in ever the First Successionary War. Really helped in making sure that I didn't leave living enemies behind me as I made progress."

Renny nodded although not necessarily out of agreement but in understanding.
"Well, it's been one crazy night. Thank you for coming over and... sharing everything."
Irene stood up and made her way to the door. "Sure thing, although I think the girls here would prefer if you shared a little something of your own?"
Renny decided to power through, leaving that question unanswered for now.
"Are you going to go out with just your underwear, Irene?" Milsha asked.
Irene looked thoughtful for a moment. "Surprisingly, yes. But mostly I'll be riding in the skies with Balor, just to enjoy the evening breeze. I guess I should depart from the balcony, though."

Our glorious leader, ladies and gentlemen.

"Sure" Renny opened the sliding door out to the balcony. "Well, I hope you have a good night. Same to you Opticka."
Irene stepped out and deployed Balor.
"Eh, why don't you keep Opticka for now? You can figure out all that weird Scout stuff. Besides, it's important to spend time with your diminuitive fiancee before you tie the knot."
And before Renny could respond or object, Irene stepped onto the edge and hopped aboard her big purple dragon.

"I guess then we've gotta find a bed for her...or does she even sleep?" Catherine said, gently poking Opticka.
"I can shut off for the night," Opticka said, playfully shoving Catherine's finger away.
"Does someone need to turn you back on after?" Renny said with a little bit of concern.

Ha ha, double entendre!

"You can turn me on all you want to," Opticka said without a hint of a smile.
"I like her even more than before," Catherine chuckled.

Renny yawned a little, "Well, I got some stuff to do for the party and such, so I'll probably head to bed before long. Thank you for coming over! It was... very exciting."
He looked to Catherine and Whitney. "Will either of you need to stay the night?" It was getting pretty dark and Renny would have liked to know they were safe the next morning.
"Eh, we'll be fine," Catherine shrugged as she put her clothes back on. "This is a nice part of the neighborhood and we're both fighting women."
"Besides, I can handle portpooling," Whitney said. "Looking forward to the party, Renny."
And just like that, it was just Renny, a nearly undressed Milsha, and a happy little mechanical fairy perched on Milsha's head.

Renny hugged Milsha quickly. "Thanks for the dinner and the show. I think everyone had a good time."

Renny quickly put the dishes away, giving some of the leftovers to the pokemon, although Shaymin had some to eat already from the looks of things. He then headed over to his room to end the night as his nightly thoughts turned toward future expectations of the party and the still boldly lingering mental images of the bikini/lingerie dinner show.

Last edited by Menarker; 06-19-2016 at 12:09 AM. Reason: text color fix
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Unread 09-23-2013, 10:13 PM   #59
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Pierce and the surprise

It had been a couple of days since the Nanny Village mission, and Pierce was busying himself with helping the workers finish the dojo. He was so consumed with worry that he needed to do something to pass the time. Sam had been held at the Police HQ for the last two days, until they got around to processing her, and while Pierce had gotten in to see her a couple of times, she'd been just as raving a zealot as she'd been back at Millennium House. He still couldn't believe his sister had turned into one of Faynoc's flunkies. She couldn't have.

*Ring ring!*

Wiping sweat from his brow, Pierce went to pick up his inquiry browser.

"Hello?"
"Yes, this is he. What do you need?"
"WHAT?!"
"She what?!"
"Where is she?!"


And after getting his answer, Pierce hung up, hurriedly picking up his shirt and pokeballs and running out of the dojo.

Oh God, oh God.

Sam had a seizure in her cell. They'd called an ambulance and taken her to Fainas General Hospitals. The cops present said it looked like drug withdrawal.

Dammit, this was not how he wanted to be proven right.

-------------------------------

Pierce and Irene: Maximum Kink

Pierce's latest arrival in Irene's office found the woman speaking with a lovely young but physically honed woman with teal hair.

"Oh, Granger," Irene noticed her lover. "Don't worry, I was just getting finished with this one."
"This one," the woman retorted. "You make it sound like you don't want me around."
"The same could be said for how you feel about me, Jen," Irene laughed.
"Granger, you know Police Chief Jenny, right? She was just here because we decided to call off the search. No way is Beaufort anywhere near the site of her disappearance anymore. I won't declare her dead, yet. She would'nt have died from that. But since she's still alive, just what the hell is she doing, you know?"

"Well, everyone knows Chief Jenny. Nice to meet you, ma'am." Pierce said pleasantly, waving to the police chief.
"And don't mind Irene, she has so many women up here I expect even she gets sick of it sometimes." He joked, smirking.

He turned to Irene as she explained why the chief was here.
"Knowing Charlotte, she's probably capping a bitch. I'm not too worried, really. That may be because I didn't like her much." He replied dismissively.

After a brief moment, Jenny left the office and Irene went scrambling for something hard, and she didn't mean Pierce.
"Fuck, nothing but beer. Oh, well, time for beer, and beer, and beer-beer-beer."
"Am I that annoying?" Pierce asked, mock hurt in his voice, though the smirking made it obvious.
"Most people like Jen know me to be doing either one of three things: killing somebody, getting crunk, or doing something random with you, although that third one started kinda recently. So, what it be today, homey?"
"Irene, you're like the whitest woman alive." Pierce chided her.
"Yes, sir," Irene said, shoulders hunching. "Now I don't even want to get drunk anymore. You're nothing but a huge meany."
"Hahah, sorry." Pierce apologized, chuckling. "You want me to get under the table and make it up to you?"
"You should probably get out of that habit," Irene sighed. "I can only imagine how badly damaged your neck will be when you get my age."
"Eh, I feel fine so far, and you seem to enjoy it." Pierce shrugged.
"Well, it does get my mind off of things," Irene said thoughtfully. "But that would be because I can't focus on acount of the stimulations. But seriously, Pierce, it doesn't seem like the reason you came here was to see about the remodeling of the place under there."
"Nope."

Pierce took a seat across from Irene and his expression turned serious.
"I actually came here from Impact's office."
"Now I'm wondering why you aren't drunk," Irene shot quickly.
"He offered me the team leader position, said you recommended me."
"Oh, I'unno, I recommended lotsa people," she countered.
"I think I even recommended Elizabeth. Kind of as a goof, you know, but then I think she might've remodeled the whole PATCA HQ into some kind of sex palace and I actually would've liked to see that."

Goddamnit, this woman is always so hard to get under control.

Pierce chuckled. "Yeah, she'd probably do that. Though really, if you want you can just give her an empty building. Then you can have your sex palace.
So... no particular reason why you nominated me? You were just throwing names in the hat?"

"Pierce, if you're asking if I might've nominated you because I love you, I would've actually came and asked you. Truth be told, if you do become the leader of the Watchmen, we're probably going to be working together a bit less. I'm uhh...running out of time on something."
Pierce raised an eyebrow in curiosity. Right... he'd circle back to the time thing.
"Well, it'd be nice to hear the L-word, make no mistake, but really I was wondering what you thought my qualifications actually were."
"Fine, then," Irene said, then clasped her hands together and had a really dreamy look on her face.
"Pierce Granger the Watchmen Leader and Renny Tresserhorn the Sortie Coordinator working closely together in a really dark room with dim lighting-"

Oh god, no!
There was a loud smack as Pierce facepalmed.

"Look, what do you want me to say?" Irene shrugged. "I voted for Pierce Granger because I believe I can trust him with the lives of others and when questioning said others, the opinions were rather favorable. But I think that had more to do with how their loins felt over their minds. Why the hell did I pick a playboy to be my boyfriend? This must be what Lola feels like."
He sighed. "Sorry. I just thought... well, you're my girlfriend, and an experienced leader, I value your opinion on this."
Irene walked up and placed a strong hand on his shoulder.
"Pierce, you're destined for great things..."She lowered her gaze slightly. "...whether you like it or not."
He looked up at her curiously. "I don't put much stock in destiny, you know. Not that I don't believe in it, I just refuse to drive myself crazy over it."
"That's good," Irene actually sounded relieved. "So do you wanna do it? Leadership, I mean."

Pierce sighed.
"It's... kind of scary to look at, I'm not sure I'm capable or emotionally ready. But... apparently I'm the best candidate, so Impact believes. I think I might just do it, thanks to you. Nice to know I have people's trust. I hope I can put aside my crap and do the job right."
"Put aside your crap? What the hell do you even do?! Sometimes you spend up to six hours under my desk,"
Irene went on and on. "You know what? Nevermind, I'm not sure I want to know what else you do."
"Well, there's this whole business with four girlfriends and also taking care of my sister in the hospital, not to mention like ten rowdy Pokemon as well as money troubles and part-time jobs, and evading my landlord so he doesn't ask about the rent because I haven't actually been taking any part-time jobs because I've been taking care of Sam."
Pierce explained jokingly.
"You could always let me take care of Sam,"
Irene suggested.
"Anyways, don't feel pressured to meet my expectations or anything like that. Commanding units ain't so hard. Or maybe it is. I dunno how Renny does it. Guys like you and him, those wars in the past would've been a lot more one-sided if you crazy bastards were on the front lines."
"Hah, thanks for the compliment. Though if I shouldn't worry about your expectations, I guess I should return the penis pump?"

Irene was now six beers down.
"I guess I should tell you to try and keep your hands off the other girls, particular my niece Daisy and the blonde girl who's always with her. Attractive though they might be, my niece is already pretty much gonna marry the guy she's dating and the blonde isn't currently in any condition to be corrupted by guys like you. You know what I mean."
"Oh, you wound me." Pierce jested, clutching his chest dramatically.
"I already got you to agree to a threesome with your daughter, and I'm sure I could snake Daisy away from whoever that guy is. I'm not that evil, though."
"Well, my ambition to own the entire Crosswald Collection aside, what did you mean when you said you were running out of time?"

Irene folded her arms. "Kind of for the same reason I want you to be a good leader on top of being the talented warrior and Pokemon commander I know you are, Honmyr has far more problems on the horizon than just a collection of giant ancient monsters and a heavily trained military force run by a madman. This whole world will one day be under siege, lover boy, and I still have a lot to do to prepare the battlefield for threats coming from high above and deep below us."

And if Pierce thought Irene might've been exagerrating a bit, Irene decided to show him something that would make him take her a little more seriously. Unfolding her arms, Irene held out her right hand which began to change as though willed by Irene alone. Pierce could only describe it as some kind of crystalline dragon claw.
"I think you already know this, but Honmyr's a really special place with some really special people. But until you've seen things like my unique Pokebrid form, it's really hard to discover just how fucked up Honmyr really is."
"Pokebrid form...?" Pierce trailed off, just giving Irene's arm a look of surprise. "Huh... that's kinda hot."
"I don't know whose tastes in women is more fucked up, you or Ray,"
Irene sighed, though it looks like Pierce made her very happy.
"I got my form from my father. Ergh, my second father. He's a giant rock living deep underground. I'm still not sure how my form is that of a dragon when the one I inherited it from was a rock. Oh, do you think Aria will be jealous? Y'know, us dragon girls kind of have a complex about these things."
"Well, she's already jealous to the point of bursting, I gotta do something about that. Anyway, sounds like you have some fun childhood stories, I'd love to hear them sometime. But first I wouldn't mind if you brought the arm and all the rest of it to bed."
Irene blinked once, then blew out a sigh.
"Yep...weirdo fetishes from you boys," she said, and almost eagerly joined Pierce for whatever absurd deviant activities he had planned for her and her claws.

"Anyway, you still haven't said exactly what you're running out of time for." He noted.
"War is on the horizon, Pierce,"
Irene said. "Honmyr is a wonderful place, but all of its wonders came from somewhere else, and I don't mean from a different nation or excavated from the ocean or anything like that. And soon, all too soon, we're going to have to deal with those who originally owned all the nice things we have."
"Oookay? I'm not sure I see how this relates to the two of us working together less, but I get it, stuff is serious."
"There are still things I cannot show you or tell you about. It's important that I keep certain secrets secret, lest the revelations of who I am and what I've done destroy everything that I've worked so hard to accomplish. I'm sorry, but that's just how it is."

"Well... alright. I could argue that nothing you tell me could make me any less in love with you, but something tells me you're determined. Don't worry about it."
Pierce said with a smile.
"You're a good boy, Pierce, and good boys get a little something special from me," Irene chuckled, and then Pierce was subjected to some of the best minutes of his life.
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Unread 09-23-2013, 10:14 PM   #60
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Pierce, Irene, Shizuka, Jeanette & Chizuru: The Sequel: The Game: The Book: The Cartoon: The Comic

"Yes, you're going to be taking all of us out, Pierce!"
One day Irene called Pierce into her office during one of those rare occasions that he wasn't already in her office and, to be more specific, in a certain place in her office and, to be even more specific, under a certain piece of furniture.
"Find some good ol' fashioned 'gettin' some' clothes and prepare for a night on the town tomorrow night, Granger," Irene said in the same tone of voice she would use when discussing missions. "Because you're taking all four of your favorite girls out for a night on the town."

"The problem is that while Shizuka-san, Jeanette, and myself are relatively okay with the idea of being dated by the very same man, Chizuru-chan is a little reluctant. Don't worry, though. I attribute this more towards her total inexperience with men in general, not out of any real malice towards a guy who wants his cake and can eat it while having three other tasty looking cakes in case he's still hungry."

Then, without even leaving her chair, Irene grabs her larger Brymstone sword and directs it so the tip of the blade hovers just inches from Pierce's nose.
"So, in order to help Chizuru warm up to you, I've decided that the best way is for all five of us to go out for one big date. Kinda like a girl's night out but then there's this guy who we think is cute that we invited with us for some reason. And don't worry because this won't cost you one damn dollar. I'll be footing the bill because honestly, I kinda wanna hang out with some girls too from time and time, and not even for any kinky reasons."

"Not even for kinky reasons? Well now I'm disappointed." Pierce joked, grinning at Irene.
"You don't have to threaten me with a sword to get me to go out in a date with four gorgeous women, you know."
"Well, what's the point of even having a sword if I'm not going to threaten you with it," Irene said.

Our glorious leader, ladies and gentlemen.

To begin with, there was the obvious thing that girls and women do when they're together.
"I'm sure there are plenty of colors that suit you well other than black, Chizuru,"
Irene said, showing Chizuru a green dress.
"Besides, black works with anyone. It's a cheap-o color worn by those who don't even wanna try having any fashion sense."
"To be fair, you wear a lot of black in your clothes too, Irene-san," Chizuru shot black.
"It goes well with the red," Irene said defensively.

"Well, I can proudly say I've never worn black. Wait no, I did have a black leather jacket for the longest time." Pierce shrugged. "My fashion sense has never been any good anyway."
"Besides, it makes sense for her to wear it," Shizuka said. "Chizuru's the Black Kimono. She can't really be the Black Kimono if she isn't wearing a black kimono."
"Couldn't she change to a teal kimono and be the Teal Kimono?"
"Ooo, great idea!" Irene said, then hung the dress up and went sifting through colors. "Let's have her try on all kinds of colors that aren't used."

And this quickly went out of hand. From different clothes to different hairstyles and makeup, they dolled Chizuru up.
"I'm not sure how I feel about twin ponytails," Chizuru said. "The back of my neck is very sensitive."
"At least just wear it for tonight," Irene suggested. "Maybe you'll warm up to it. I know Pierce is."

Then again, Chizuru would be sexy wearing a trash can full of medical waste. Flaming red pumps combined with white thigh-high hose and a black denim miniskirt. A studded belt, a matched red strapless top with a short black leather jacket and a compliment of makeup. She seemed to be really uncomfortable in the getup.
"It's hard to walk like this," Chizuru admitted, leaning heavily on Pierce for support. Irene secretly gave him a thumbs up. Maybe that was the evil plan?
"W-well, if you don't like it you can change it. For what it's worth, though, you look amazing." Pierce complimented her, blushing as she held onto him.

Next stop was a sort of 'Pokemon petting zoo' that Chizuru became extremely excited about when she saw the sign.
"She has her own Pokemon," Jeanette said to no one in particular. "Why doesn't she just cuddle with them?"
"I...think they specifically breed the ones here to be extra friendly and playful and cute and-oh god, I need a beer," Irene groaned. "But I guess if you wanna get a close to a girl who's into this kind of thing, this place would be heaven."
The playpen was full of fluffy Pokemon like, you guessed it, Flaafy, Biberal, and Jumpluff.
"Well, this date is to help Pierce and Chizuru build some chemistry," Irene shrugged. "We should focus on places she likes...at least until we get 'er hammered."
"I really don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to cuddle cute Pokemon, frankly. They seem to like it well enough. Frankly I'd do it more if I had any tiny Pokemon." Pierce noted.

And then came...something that Pierce couldn't quite describe.
"They call it Psychotic Smorgasbord," Irene said. "Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, and Karaoke Hero all in one game. Popular amongst ladies who wanna go down several dress sizes in one week, but not recommended if you're trying not to break your hip."
Jeanette had to be coaxed to even give it a shot, and was even worse than she said she was going to be.
"I told you I didn't wanna do it!" Jeanette cried, shaking Irene by the shoulders. "This is so embarrassing!"
"You're only saying that because you're not drunk yet," Irene said. "Just wait until you've had about two more mugs. I bet you'll be a pro at this shit in no time."
Irene and Shizuka weren't bad, but it was Chizuru who really owned this game. Who knew a wannabe housewife could be a master at the six-string?
"Are you sure you still want me, Pierce?" Irene joked. "Everytime we turn around, she kicks my ass at something else."
"Well, it's hard not to touch your ass." Pierce teased back, after a humiliating defeat at Chizuru's hands. "I'm glad Chizuru's having fun at least, even if I'm terrible at it."
Irene smiled. "Eh, the point is to have fun, and if your spirit's into it, having fun is something you'll never be terrible at."
"I didn't say I wasn't having fun. I just said I was terrible at the game." Pierce shrugged.
"Well then, what are you good at, Granger-san?" Chizuru asked innocently, wiping her own brow.
"Se-"
"Don't say 'sexy time'," Irene whispered to him.
"Dammit."

"Um... well, there's fighting, obviously. And I'm kind of a science afficionado. And basically any videogame that doesn't require using my feet." Pierce said bashfully.
"Huh. Kinda makes me wonder why you never became a Poketologist or something," Jeanette said. "You seem to have a good, strong relationship with your Pokemon."
"Well, I probably would've, but then my parents died." Pierce noted matter-of-factly.
"Oooo...touchie subject," Jeanette sounded wounded.
"We already touched on it back in Millenium House, remember? I really don't have anything left to hide from you guys."
Irene looked towards the outside.
"Something up?" Jeanette inquired.
"I...see someone that I know but I never talked to them in a long time," Irene said, already backing away. "If you'll excuse me for a while."
Then it was Shizuka's turn to mysteriously vanish.
"Maybe she saw someone she recognized, too," Jeanette said. "Kind of odd in a world she doesn't live in. Damn, I'm out of booze. I'll go get some more."

And then it was just Pierce and Chizuru.
"Hmm," Chizuru looked thoughtful. "Maybe this is an opportunity for us to get to know each other better? I've read this in a manga before. A gathering is planned but then everyone but one of the guys and one of the girls cancels at the last possible minute and it just turns into a date."
"Sounds a bit silly, and I can't say I've heard of it. Would that be so terrible, though?" Pierce asked, with a hopeful smile.
Chizuru seemed to be building up courage.
"No, not terrible at all," she managed to say, then reached out and hugged Pierce's arm. "So where would you like to go?"
"Hm... I'm not really sure. I would've suggested the zoo but we already went there. Maybe we could get some food, if you're hungry after kicking our asses up and down the arcade?" He suggested with a grin.
"Totally, I could probably eat an entire Hippowdon at this point," Chizuru said, and let Pierce lead her off.
"Hm, I know this italian place not too far from here, would you like that?"
"Ahh, noodles. The main diet of us japanese girls," Chizuru said in a sarcastic tone, but it sounded like she was totally for it.
"Right then, off we go." As they walked, Pierce was acutely aware of Chizuru's chest pressed against his arm, and did his best not to blush.

When they finally got to the place Pierce mentioned, one of the things they couldn't help but observe was that the waiters sometimes sang to the patrons.
"I didn't recognize who Irene was talking to, but Shizuka was talking to Tsubasa and Sophia," Chizuru said, mostly to make small-talk. "I've never known Tsubasa to have a friendship. She can be rather dutiful to a fault. It's nice to see her with a friend."

Oh, if only you knew, Chizuru.

"Yeah, Tsubasa seems nice, but not the type that makes friends easy." Pierce noted, remembering a certain white kimono's part in his first date with Chizuru. He approached the greeter and asked for a table for two, and not long after he and Chizuru were seated.
Chizuru didn't take long to order. Shrimp with noodles, an undeniable favorite.
"So, uhhh," Chizuru fumbled with her fingers. "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

"Hm, well..." Pierce looked thoughtful, after ordering meat raviolis for himself. "I don't really know, considering everything that's going on. I sure hope I'll be alive."
"But, in five years... I hope this is all over, and I hope to have gotten my life straight by then. I hope I'll have settled down and found the people I want to spend the rest of my life with, you know?"
Chizuru leaned back at gazed at the ceiling.
"A life where all the problems are over, huh. That must be nice," she said. "Life isn't that easy for us. I think we just get dragged behind the more energetic of us. Shizuka, Kirie, and Rio. They always have to go save the next world and the next world. Not that I mind, it's fun to see new sights. I just wish I didn't have to fight everything at those new sights."

"Your life is great too, I think. I mean, you get to save worlds, all the time, all over. The scope of that isn't lost on me, Chizuru. That's why I admire you so much. You can do so much good and see so much bad stuff, but you keep your kindness. If I had a life like yours in five years... I don't think I'd mind that either, if I had someone to keep me company."
Pierce admitted, staring fondly at Chizuru.
"Oh, ah aheh heh...really?" Chizuru blushed and was averting her eyes. "Well, I would certainly love to have you by my side more often...if you don't mind terribly."

Aww yeah. Pierce had a knack for targeting that particular weakpoint.

"That's... great. I'm really glad, Chizuru. I'd like to have you by my side often too."
Pierce continued to admit, now blushing at her reaction.
This time Chizuru actually found within her a decent topic to discuss.
"So, are you looking forward to checking out the Hungry World?" she asked him. "I'm sure it'll be quite a trip. It was for me. One day I was just a normal woman in Sengoku Era Japan and the next thing I know I feel like I'm on an entirely different planet. I don't know what I would've done if not for Shizuka-sama."
"I am, actually, I'm really curious to see what it's like. You guys have done a good job of describing it, but I get the feeling that actually seeing it is gonna be something else."
"I'll be praying that the experience is nice. There are some really horrible Reality Shards in there. Places that will make you question your faith in humanity."
Chizuru's eyes were really serious and sad. The Hungry World wasn't all fun 'n' games.
"In that case... could you come with me? I get the feeling that no matter what, as long as I've got you and your kind spirit beside me, I'll be okay."
Pierce blushed fiercely and averted his gaze from Chizuru as he made his rather forward request.
Chizuru took his hands in hers. "Of course. Well, also because I'm a little scared, too. I guess we'll just be scared together."
Pierce smiled as she held his hands. "I- well, to be honest... I'm scared in every mission. I think if I weren't scared, that be worrying. I wouldn't want to become jaded."

Time passed and they really did end up being the only ones left.
"Shizuka texted me," Chizuru said. "Looks like Irene's gonna catch up with friends and Shizuka will take care of Jeanette. I guess the professor isn't a really good drunk."
"Well, I imagine Jeanette's gotta unwind somehow. Um... is there anything you'd like to do now?"
"Oh, I dunno," Chizuru shrugged, offering her takeout bag to a couple of Houndoom in the nearby alleyway. "Maybe we should call it a night? It's getting pretty late and all."
"That sounds okay, if you want. It's been a great day, Chizuru, thank you."

Chizuru bowed deeply to him.
"Of course. Please, let us do this again sometime."

As they stepped out of the restaurant, Pierce decided to try something bold. He took Chizuru's hands in his, and leaned in slowly for a light kiss.
Chizuru seemed to resist, though in actuality it was because she froze like a statue.
As she froze, Pierce pulled back and let go of her hands, a worried look on his face. "I- I'm sorry, Chizuru, I shouldnt've..."
Chizuru's arms waved wildly to the point Pierce was certain she would start flying.
"No, no, no, I really should've expected it and it was really good and oh my gosh, what'm I saying?!"
"It- it was really good for me too." Pierce said, a small smile peeking through his worried expression.

An awkward moment, but still a really good one, to be sure. As far as dates went, this probably couldn't've gone any better.

-------------------------------

A NEW CHALLENGER ENTERS


Amelia stood before the illustrious headquarters of the Pokemon Advanced Tactics and Counterterrorism Agency. She was here for two reasons: now that she was no longer dean of her own academy, she found herself with no end of free time. It was nice, but having absolutely nothing to do was starting to drive her nuts. So she figured it was best to get into the counterterrorism business. Never a dull moment there.

The second reason was that she really hadn't seen Irene Crosswald in a long time. This made sense as they were both really busy women. Amelia had to admit she was kinda curious as to how Irene may have changed over the years.
"Like I wonder if by some miracle she actually found herself a boyfriend," Amelia pondered out loud.

At the desk was the usual receptionist.
"Welcome to the Pokemon Advanced Tactics and Counterterrorism Agency," Daphne repeated her hundred-times rehearsed line. But then the girl halted and stared at Amelia.
"But you look like the kind of badass that doesn't really need counterterrorism agents."

Being so bored that Amelia decided to come here after her morning jog, wearing workout pants and a tank top, the woman leaned on the desk with one arm and smirked.
"Nope. I'm the kind of badass who wants to be a counterterrorism agent. Is Irene around?"
"Yeah, I think she's just having her morning deskwork. Could I possibly get your name?"
"Amelia Reinhart."
Daphne blinked, then did a quick take of surprise.
"I know that I knew you somewhere! I see you on TV! Ah, hold on, let me see if she's taking applications right quick."
"Huh, I heard PATCA would take in pretty much anyone at any time."
Daphne picked up the nearby phone, set it for loudspeaker, and dialed Irene's internal number.
"Oh, we definitely are. Seems like the terrorists are just coming out of the woodwork these days. First it was dealing with this or that violent criminal, now we've got giant beasts of legendary power rampaging everywhere, but Miss Crosswald can fill you in on all the details."

In just seconds, that familiar voice chimed in on the phone. "Crosswald, go ahead."
"Miss Crosswald, you're not going to believe this but Amelia Reinhart's here to see you."
There was a slight pause at the other end of the line before Irene's voice could be heard again.
"I'd say 'it's always nice to reunite with friends but I have a feeling she's not here for the sake of courtesy. Go ahead and send her up and apologize to her because I don't think I have her favorite alcohol. Although we can go out for that later."
Then a beep. Irene hung up on her end.
"You can reach her office by entering the elevator behind me. The chief's office is straight ahead once you exit the elevator on the top floor."

Irene seemed to be a bit flustered when Amelia entered her office. Had Amelia caught her at a bad time or something? Irene stood up from her desk and walked around to take Amelia's hands in hers.
"You came at a weird time with weird attire, and by that I mean 'let's go out drinking immediately' since it's been so long."
S'up with her?
"It's the middle of the day," Amelia told her.
"Hey, six p.m. was only eighteen hours ago," Irene said. "C'mon, it'll be fine. I'll just need you to step outside for a bit while I get ready real quick."

Irene politely shoved Amelia out of her office, and then returned to her desk and kneeled underneath it.
"Pierce, sorry, but I'm going. Something just came up. And no, you can't keep them this time. I'm tired of going lingerie shopping every two weeks."
Pierce groaned. "Oh come on, it'll be hot if you go without them."
"Oh, hush. I'll bring them back to you later if you really, really, really need them."

Several minutes later, Irene was driving Amelia down the road towards an establishment called the Mouse Hole.
"Are you sure you couldn't have just dropped me off my house real quick?" Amelia said. "I'm not exactly dressed for bar hopping."
"Eh, it's cool, I come here all the time."
A large man was standing just to the side of the entrance.
"A fine day to you, Miss Crosswald," the large man said politely. "Getting started a little early today, aren't you?"
"I can drink when I want to, Cole," Irene told him jokingly. "You're not my real dad!"
"And who is this? A business deal or perhaps an...acquisition?"
Irene looked thoughtful for a moment. "Both, probably? Anyways, this is Amelia Reinhart. She's the dean of a strong rival academy to my own."
"Not anymore," Amelia sighed, but quickly rebounded with a mischievous smirk.
"Though I was hoping to acquire a new job and maybe something else today." She added, giving Irene's ass a light smack to give the bouncer the wrong idea. Or the right one.
"Sounds like a rough reunion or something," Cole said sympathetically. "Anyways, I won't keep you two. Go on ahead."

Amelia had never been here before, and more often than not a drinking establishment's name would color the kind of atmosphere one would expect within. However, she was surprised to find that the Mouse Hole was a very clean and professional night club. The staff wore trendy suits and dresses. There were two women on the small stage in the far corner, one singing and the other playing the piano. And although the bartender had quite a wild haircut, he seemed to be quite the gentleman.
"Welcome back to the Mouse Hole, young mistress," the bartender bowed politely while he thoroughly cleaned a glass. "Are you already prepared to order? Or would you like to take your time? Allow me to get you the Rat Poison menu."
Amelia spared a glance at Irene. "Rat Poison?"
"The Mouse Hole's special menu for the most intoxicating and tasty alcoholic cocktails," Irene told her. "Basically, if you want to get shitfaced and do something incredibly stupid as fast as you possibly can, that's where you would start."
"Stupid like joining PATCA? I want to see this menu." Amelia replied.
Irene offered Amelia the menu and ordered several glasses of ice water, just in case Amelia desperately needed it.
"So, joining my agency, eh?" Irene sighed. "Alright, girl, just what the hell happened? I sort of read something on the Internet about it, but I knew a lot of the shit that really must've happened never got mentioned."
"Okay, gimme a sec. If I have to tell this story I need to be shitfaced first." Amelia said, and then ordered several drinks off the menu.

Irene started off relatively light. She wanted to be able to get everything she could out of this meeting. Maybe she could do something.
Amelia regretted ordering so many drinks. Yes, they were really good. Yes, Amelia felt a lot better. But she wasn't quite prepared for how powerful these cocktails were.
When Amelia could finally begin to register the situation any more, they weren't even in the bar.
"Not bad for your first time," Irene sighed gently.

After Amelia passed out, Irene must've paid the bill and dragged the poor girl off to the nearest place where she could rest...a love hotel. God forbid they just sit on a park bench or something, but then again the Mouse Hole was located in the seedier section of the city.
"Toilet's in there if you're going to puke. Let me know if you need me to hold your hair. Feel free to shower if you feel like it."
Irene apparently already had showered, and wore a large towel, having left her clothes folded neatly in a nearby chair.
"Jeez, I must've lost track of how many drinks I had, that was some strong stuff. I can usually hold my liquor better." Amelia said, rubbing her eyes.

"Not this kind of liquor. Mouse is really particularly proud of his original concoctions. I think I hit on him in the past when I was just getting started on that stuff. Not sure if it progressed to anything. He won't tell me. I'm not sure how that makes me feel."
"Well, at least I don't need to puke, though now I'm mad you didn't wake me up to shower together."
"Eh, I just figured you probably have a boyfriend by about this point," Irene admitted, then leaned her head back to gaze at the ceiling.
"Your academy does have a lotta handsome guys, after all, and it's your academy. Have all the bizarre relationships you want."
Amelia raised an eyebrow. "I don't know what kind of a ship you run, but when I was dean everything was strictly professional. I hadn't gotten laid for close to ten years until I got fired, thanks for reminding me." She gave Irene a mock pout.
"But I wouldn't call the hookups I've had since then boyfriends. I just needed to blow off steam. A lot of it. Funnily enough, a few were my former students."
Then she leaned forward, studying Irene. "Don't tell me you've got a boyfriend." The former dean smirked.
"Yeah, well, the appearance of giant monsters that dwarf even most legendary Pokemon isn't the only weird shit going on Honmyr, because apparently I do have a boyfriend," Irene admitted. "Though, it's more out of him being a really persistant man than out of any real need I had for companionship. And now that I got him, I kinda wondered why I was so fine with being alone before. I'm starting to think men only exist to drive us ladies batshit."
Amelia laughed. "Well, I'm glad you got yourself a guy. You might say you don't need companionship, but I know you're the only person in the world who could compete with me in the work-obsession department. Frankly if you didn't have a boyfriend I'd be offering to take up the position myself."
"Knowing that pervert, he probably wouldn't mind if I brought another girl into the relationship," Irene sighed. She had a feeling that Pierce was still under her desk.

"Alright, let's get down to business, shall we? Just who the fuck did this to you? Something major must've happened for you to be showing up at PATCA looking to blow off some steam by blowing off some heads."
"What, I didn't tell you at the bar between drinks? Shit, this is why I wanted to be drunk first..."
"You kinda did tell me, but you kinda did other things while you were telling me and...well, we just won't get into that."
Amelia took a deep breath.
"Alright, bottom line is there was a lot of tension between me and the board of directors and a few of the teachers about the way I ran things. I wanted to keep tuition fees low and keep a strong scholarship program so the school could take in more students and train them, but the other guys wanted to be more exclusive and raise tuition fees and make more money, not to mention redo a lot of the curriculum. They accused me of being unable to adapt, when I'm the one who saved the college from anti-Hiroshiho sentiment after the war." Amelia added bitterly. "I just didn't sacrifice the school's values to do it. A name is a name, but the college is what it teaches and how it teaches it, and they just couldn't understand that. Or, I guess they did, and just didn't care. Anyway, it all came to a head when the two teachers who most supported the board, Alastor and Schneider, came to my office and threw down the gauntlet. They challenged me to a fight, and if I won they'd drop the whole thing, but if I lost I'd have to step down-"
"Got it," Irene said with finality. Then she stood up and moved over to the cupboard which contained, you guessed it, more alcohol.
"Alrighty then, welcome aboard the PATCA pain train. I'm almost so happy that you joined that I forget it came after all that terrible shit happened to you, but I think a whole lot of good could come from this experience."
Amelia pouted for real as Irene interrupted her, and spoke up anyway.
"Hey, I had them, even when Schneider cheated with an Aggron, but he drank some weird-ass liquid and then laughed while I lopped off his arm, and Alastor suckered me." She finished defensively.

Irene poured herself a glass and swirled it around. Her eyes were somewhere else, and that meant she had some evil thoughts on the horizon.
"Yes...I think this could work marvelously."
Amelia raised an eyebrow in suspicion. "Just what're you thinking, Irene?"
"Oh, don't worry about it," Irene said after draining the glass in a split second.

"I think we should be careful about you. Who knows what'll happen when you start your work as a PATCA agent? I bet you'll be super popular."
Amelia shrugged. "Eh, I can deal with it. Or are you worried about me stealing your boyfriend?"
"Actually, I'm more worried about him stealing you. Like he's stolen me. And I think three others. Not that I really mind. I'm keeping a lot of secrets from him about myself and I don't think our love can truely be real until he knows everything and I just can't show my true self to him right now. Maybe after all the crazy shit is over."
Amelia touched a finger to her cheek thoughtfully. "I think someone's just scared to fully commit."
Down goes another glass. "Gawd, if only that was the problem!" Irene threw herself backwards on the bed.
"Let me tell you something, Amelia. Sure, everyone's got skeletons in their closets, but me? It's a goddamned boneyard in there. And in the end, it's the perks that came with that boneyard that's holding me together."
Amelia just laughed. "Okay, now I wouldn't date you because you're kind of a drama queen." She chuckled and poured a glass for herself.
"Really though, Irene, it sounds to me like the real reason is you're scared of what he'll think, and maybe you're right, maybe he won't understand. But in the end it comes down to whether or not you trust and believe in this mystery guy."
"Can't now, too strange," Irene said childishly. "So when would you like to start working? We don't have much going on, and I'm not sure if you'll want to do our next mission. It's in the Corpsemire."

Amelia knew the Corpsemire well, but the difference between her and Irene was that Irene had actually been there and seen the Shadow Pokemon face-to-face. Amelia scoffed.
"You think I'll pass up a chance to go to the Corpsemire? Not a chance. I can start tomorrow, I'd like today to finish drinking and finish seducing you." She grinned.
"Besides, if I show up dressed like this I'd probably have to beat all the boys and girls off with a stick."
"I wouldn't worry. You'll almost be apalled at what some of the agents wear," Irene said, then gestured to the bathroom with a flick of her head. "Now, about that whole 'showering together' thing..."

Amelia tackled Irene and dragged her to the bathroom and against the shower wall faster than a Dodrio on speed.
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