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New Fizz City: The Metropolitan Zone

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blu3shift- Fomantis was proving itself to be relentless, but you could feel it begin to spark a fire within yourself. Its determination to beat you only made you all the more determined to beat it. You just had to keep wearing it down, surely it wouldn't be able to last much longer? Tackle wasn't a great option now, but thankfully Epoch had an move that didn't rely on its attack stat. The Porygon follows orders, quickly charging and firing another Psybeam. The attack looks like its dead on target, but then......

SWOOP

Out of nowhere a Spearow drops in, sweeping Fomantis up with its talons. This must be what a Fomantis's nightmare looks like as the tiny Grass type that had just been trying to destroy you flailed helplessly in the Flying type's talons. It stood no chance of fighting back, especially after it had expended so much energy fighting you. The Spearow Pecks at its prey, weakening it further. It lands in the same tree the Kakuna are taking refuge in, on a branch a bit higher up than the recently evolved Bug types. That was a bit of an anticlimactic ending. You were now free to quickly finish the trimming bushes so you could head off to your final task. However the shrill cries of the Fomantis would probably be a bit distracting, the Grass type still struggling helplessly in the talons of the Spearow. Epoch looks at you, emotionless as always, but you get the feeling that he is unsure how to proceed.
 
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blu3shift- Fomantis was proving itself to be relentless, but you could feel it begin to spark a fire within yourself. Its determination to beat you only made you all the more determined to beat it. You just had to keep wearing it down, surely it wouldn't be able to last much longer? Tackle wasn't a great option now, but thankfully Epoch had an move that didn't rely on its attack stat. The Porygon follows orders, quickly charging and firing another Psybeam. The attack looks like its dead on target, but then......

SWOOP

Out of nowhere a Spearow drops in, sweeping Fomantis up with its talons. This must be what a Fomantis's nightmare looks like as the tiny Grass type that had just been trying to destroy you flailed helplessly in the Flying type's talons. It stood no chance of fighting back, especially after it had expended so much energy fighting you. The Spearow Pecks at its prey, weakening it further. It lands in the same tree the Kakuna are taking refuge in, on a branch a bit higher up than the recently evolved Bug types. That was a bit of an anticlimactic ending. You were now free to quickly finish the trimming bushes so you could head off to your final task. However the shrill cries of the Fomantis would probably be a bit distracting, the Grass type still struggling helplessly in the talons of the Spearow. Epoch looks at you, emotionless as always, but you get the feeling that he is unsure how to proceed.
The next few seconds were a blur. Epoch fired off a Psybeam, the Fomantis had begun to defend itself, then something swooped in, grabbed it, and took off, landing in the same trees that the Weedle evolved in.

...Wait, what?

Elijah's tunnel vision faded as he stopped to make sense of what had just happened. He was staring down a Spearow (at least that's what his Pokédex told him) pecking at the Fomantis that he was battling not even a minute ago. How... convenient? He couldn't help but stare at the scene unfolding above in confusion as he trimmed the last bush, the shrill cries from above demanding his attention. Did... he win? This sure didn't feel like winning. It sure didn't feel like losing, either.

In fact, who was even on his side here? The Weedle helped him clear out the weeds, but they also had set off the Fomantis. Did they even know that it was a Pokémon? The Fomantis started attacking his Porygon, but was it doing it out of blind rage? The Spearow helped him take out the Fomantis, but didn't it just want to rest? Shouldn't he have just walked away from the battle entirely? Epoch looked concerned as well, probably. Elijah wasn't too sure about it, but considering the amount of times that all of these computers started acting like they had a mind of its own today, it was definitely a possibility. Whatever was happening, it was getting out of hand. He felt like whacking that tree out of frustration, but he knew that it would just make him a target instead.

Elijah briefly contemplated just walking away and dealing with the next thing that he had to work on. This was an absolute mess, and letting nature take care of itself was definitely the path of least resistance. But wasn't he supposed to clean up messes? This seemed like it would get even worse if he just let it happen, and he still kind of a responsibility to protect the wildlife in the park. Didn't he just say to himself that he was going to see the battle through to the end, anyway?

"Uh... I think we should do something about this," he said, turning to Epoch. In what seemed like the next in a long line of risks that he took today, Elijah decided that he'd take on the Spearow too, even if he was admittedly getting battle-weary. The Fomantis was probably still going down, but at least he'd have the satisfaction of actually triumphing over it instead of having his last hit stolen by something else. That was still up for debate, though—it was probably just as tired as him. He'd probably cross that bridge when he came to it. "Let's Tackle that Spearow and hope for the best."

Was that "Contrary" thing still in effect? Elijah hoped not, but he was about to find out. Besides, whatever ability that the Spearow had would probably give him some sort of edge.
 
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blu3shift- of course there was a twist. Of course you weren't allowed to just finish the battle. Had you won? Surely that counts as a win by default? You can't stop thinking about it as you finish off trimming the last bush, the cries of the Fomantis causing your hair to stand on end. You consider your allegiance here, but eventually you come to the realization that your allegiance is to yourself. You'd promised yourself you'd see this battle to the end and Spearow had prevented that.

A decision made, you order Epoch to attack the Spearow. The programmed Pokemon rushes through the air as you contemplate whether its ability had reset or if it still had Contrary as its temporary ability. Epoch has nearly closed the gap before Spearow spots it. Not wanting to be disturbed, it dances around on the branch, flicking up a barrage of feathers to try and deter the would-be savior. It as this moment that you thank your lucky stars, as it seems the ability Epoch traced from Fomantis is still in effect. Rather than deter the Porygon, the feathers only seem to strengthen it. Epoch slams into the Spearow's chest, causing it to utter a pained caw as its hold on the Fomantis is broken. The tiny Grass type falls through the air, landing on the grass with a soft thud. It lays there, barely moving, a stark contrast to the frantic Fomantis who was trying to tear you apart mere minutes ago. It was hurt and in no small amount of pain, it needed help.

The Spearow glares angrily at Epoch, it had cost it a snack. It lunges forward, Pecking the Porygon. Epoch isn't sure how to proceed, it had done what you'd asked of it, Fomantis was freed but there was no way it could continue to battle. The Porygon could feel strength surging through its system. It had already taken a bit of a beating though and Spearow was fresh, was this a fight worth sticking around for or was it time for a tactical retreat?
 
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blu3shift- of course there was a twist. Of course you weren't allowed to just finish the battle. Had you won? Surely that counts as a win by default? You can't stop thinking about it as you finish off trimming the last bush, the cries of the Fomantis causing your hair to stand on end. You consider your allegiance here, but eventually you come to the realization that your allegiance is to yourself. You'd promised yourself you'd see this battle to the end and Spearow had prevented that.

A decision made, you order Epoch to attack the Spearow. The programmed Pokemon rushes through the air as you contemplate whether its ability had reset or if it still had Contrary as its temporary ability. Epoch has nearly closed the gap before Spearow spots it. Not wanting to be disturbed, it dances around on the branch, flicking up a barrage of feathers to try and deter the would-be savior. It as this moment that you thank your lucky stars, as it seems the ability Epoch traced from Fomantis is still in effect. Rather than deter the Porygon, the feathers only seem to strengthen it. Epoch slams into the Spearow's chest, causing it to utter a pained caw as its hold on the Fomantis is broken. The tiny Grass type falls through the air, landing on the grass with a soft thud. It lays there, barely moving, a stark contrast to the frantic Fomantis who was trying to tear you apart mere minutes ago. It was hurt and in no small amount of pain, it needed help.

The Spearow glares angrily at Epoch, it had cost it a snack. It lunges forward, Pecking the Porygon. Epoch isn't sure how to proceed, it had done what you'd asked of it, Fomantis was freed but there was no way it could continue to battle. The Porygon could feel strength surging through its system. It had already taken a bit of a beating though and Spearow was fresh, was this a fight worth sticking around for or was it time for a tactical retreat?
Epoch was fast, but the Spearow was faster, the latter quickly reacting by dancing around in a flurry of feathers... Feather Dance? Elijah mentally congratulated himself for figuring that one out. If he kept this up then he'd probably not suck at this by the end of the day. Apparently Epoch's Trace hadn't worn off either, the effects of Contrary coupled with the Feather Dance allowing it to crash into the Spearow with the force of... two Porygons? Three Porygons? He wasn't entirely sure how much that stat change did, but it sure did something because the Spearow was startled enough to let go of the Fomantis, allowing it to plummet to the freshly-manicured garden below with a very worrying thud. The Spearow also retaliated with a Peck aimed directly at Epoch.

That... wasn't good. The poor thing had already been through enough for the day, and by the looks of things it probably wouldn't see the next if he didn't do something about it. Epoch was also looking a little worse for wear despite finding some newfound strength in the midst of battle. And on top of all that, Elijah was really tired of all this battling. Again, the thought of bailing crossed his mind—he wouldn't get anything out of this, but on the plus side he'd finally be able to take a breather from all this fighting. Then again, that Spearow seemed pretty agitated, which probably meant that it wouldn't let him go without it chasing him down and pulling him back into the fight anyway.

Elijah didn't really have a choice here, did he? He begrudgingly decided to keep fighting, knowing that eventually something would give, freeing him from the clutches of these endless shenanigans. Hopefully it wasn't anything on his side, but knowing his luck so far he wouldn't be surprised if his Porygon got knocked out during battle. There was also the Fomantis to worry about—one misstep and that thing would be today's dinner. Status moves were off the table, too—he didn't even want to know what would happen if Conversion 2 made Epoch weaker against the Spearow, even if he had a hunch that it wasn't even affected by the ability. This was definitely a good plan in the—

Wordlessly but visibly, Epoch prepared a Conversion 2 with the intent of following it up with a Psybeam.

...Okay, something was definitely up with that thing. Elijah would probably have to ask about it later. For now, he silently tossed one of his remaining Sitrus Berries to the Fomantis' side, hoping that it would at least have enough strength to eat it.
 
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blu3shift- Fight or flight? Fleeing from Spearow would be a risky move, the bird was fresh and would surely be able to pursue. Pecks to the back of the head weren't your idea of a good time. You do your best to come up with a plan, but Epoch seems to have other ideas. The Porygon had been acting weird all day, but this was next level. After taking a Peck from the Spearow, the Pokemon's programming decides that another Conversion 2 is the best course of action. As you stand there shocked, Epoch runs the program, shifting its type to something that resists Flying this time. The Porygon glistens as a silvery sheen spreads across its surface, signalling a shift to Steel type. Seems like Epoch's programming was proving to be pretty precise. The Spearow pecks at the Porygon again but is met with harsh resistance. A point blank not only deals a powerful blow, but skittles the Spearow's mind. The confused bird has no idea what is going on, it flaps around haphazardly, doing its best to orientate itself towards its target. The Spearow rushes at its target with Fury, however the attack doesn't hit Epoch.

thunk

Spearow smashes into the trunk of the tree, knocking itself out. How fortuitous! Epoch floats back down towards you, stronger and more experienced from the frantic battling.

Epoch gained 2 levels!

Meanwhile, you've managed to lob one of your remaining Sitrus Berries towards the critically injured Fomantis. It takes a while for it to comprehend the gesture, but it soon manages to pull itself close enough to the berry to eat it. The nutrient rich treat manages to give Fomantis enough energy to pull itself up, but its clear that its injuries are beyond what the berry can heal. If it was left in this condition, it would be easy pickings for the next predator to spot the easy meal. Epoch stares at the Fomantis, its programming perhaps telling it that it had yet to finish the fight. So far the Porygon had won when its opponent had fled or been knocked out, perhaps there was another way to wrap up a fight?
 
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blu3shift- Fight or flight? Fleeing from Spearow would be a risky move, the bird was fresh and would surely be able to pursue. Pecks to the back of the head weren't your idea of a good time. You do your best to come up with a plan, but Epoch seems to have other ideas. The Porygon had been acting weird all day, but this was next level. After taking a Peck from the Spearow, the Pokemon's programming decides that another Conversion 2 is the best course of action. As you stand there shocked, Epoch runs the program, shifting its type to something that resists Flying this time. The Porygon glistens as a silvery sheen spreads across its surface, signalling a shift to Steel type. Seems like Epoch's programming was proving to be pretty precise. The Spearow pecks at the Porygon again but is met with harsh resistance. A point blank not only deals a powerful blow, but skittles the Spearow's mind. The confused bird has no idea what is going on, it flaps around haphazardly, doing its best to orientate itself towards its target. The Spearow rushes at its target with Fury, however the attack doesn't hit Epoch.

thunk

Spearow smashes into the trunk of the tree, knocking itself out. How fortuitous! Epoch floats back down towards you, stronger and more experienced from the frantic battling.

Epoch gained 2 levels!

Meanwhile, you've managed to lob one of your remaining Sitrus Berries towards the critically injured Fomantis. It takes a while for it to comprehend the gesture, but it soon manages to pull itself close enough to the berry to eat it. The nutrient rich treat manages to give Fomantis enough energy to pull itself up, but its clear that its injuries are beyond what the berry can heal. If it was left in this condition, it would be easy pickings for the next predator to spot the easy meal. Epoch stares at the Fomantis, its programming perhaps telling it that it had yet to finish the fight. So far the Porygon had won when its opponent had fled or been knocked out, perhaps there was another way to wrap up a fight?
For a Pokémon that apparently had no form of sentience, Epoch was very adept at using its skills to its advantage. Scarily adept, in fact. Somehow it had flawlessly converted itself to the Steel type and delivered a point-blank Psybeam that almost immediately knocked out the Spearow. Elijah hadn't seen a display of strength this powerful... well, ever, actually. If he was having any doubts about this Porygon being different earlier, then they were more than put to rest at this point. This was next level—

Beep-beep.

Speaking of next level, apparently Epoch had leveled up again, if Elijah's beeping Pokédex had any say about the matter. He took it out of his pocket for what seemed like the hundredth time today and glanced at the screen.

Code:
Epoch gained 2 levels! Epoch's level is now [9].
Epoch learned Agility!
You're doing great so far.
Keep it up.
Uh... what? Epoch leveling up wasn't out of the ordinary, but that message at the bottom was. That sure wasn't Epoch saying that, because it was too busy staring at the Fomantis that had just eaten Elijah's Sitrus Berry. It definitely wasn't anything else installed on the Pokédex either, considering that he hadn't installed anything that could possibly interfere with the battle log... right? He'd have to chew out his friends later, maybe they just pulled a weird prank on him. It definitely wouldn't be out of the ordinary for at least one of them.

Anyway, the Fomantis wasn't doing so hot. Despite the berry healing it enough to at least stand up, it was obviously not getting any better from its near-fatal encounter with the Spearow. It needed some extra care: something that Elijah wasn't able to provide at the moment. Leaving the park to get it to a Pokémon Center didn't seem like a good idea—he was still on duty and he still had work to do. He definitely didn't have another way to heal it either, and if he just let it lie there then it was bound to get picked off by something else. There was only option left, and neither he nor the Sickle Grass Pokémon were going to like it.

...This is going to be a temporary solution. I'm taking it to get it healed, then I'm going to release it later.

Subconsciously holding his breath, Elijah took a Poké Ball out from his backpack, wound back, and threw it... only for it to land in front of the Fomantis' feet.

It turned out that his aim wasn't exactly the best thing either.
 
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blu3shift- Things only got weirder as Epoch rejoined you. An alert from your Pokedex contained more than just an update on the Porygon's level and moveset. An additional message was cause for some concern, had your Pokedex been tampered with? It could've been a harmless prank, courtesy of one of your friends, or it could be something else at work....

After looking Fomantis over, you realize the only place that could treat the damaged Grass type would be a Pokemon Center. The only issue was that you didn't have time for that right now. You still had to stake out the vandals and there was no telling how long that would take. Epoch would probably appreciate some treatment as well after all it had been through today. You couldn't just carry Fomantis around until you could get to the Center, you'd have to capture it. You were sure the Fomantis would resist, but it was weak and there wasn't any other option. You select the red and white ball from your bag. You'd almost used it earlier on the Trubbish, but now you found yourself nervously lobbing it towards the Fomantis. Your aim is shocking and you wonder how on Earth trainers get so accurate with these contraptions as the ball skids along the grass, stopping a couple of inches in front of Fomantis. The Grass type takes one look at the ball before glaring up at you. Were you serious? Times like this were when you wished you were psychic, what was going through its mind? It shoots a quick look at Epoch before surprisingly lunging forward to tap the button of the ball with it's sickle like leaves. The ball pops open and a red light draws the little Pokemon inside. It snaps shut before shaking back and forth violently. After a short struggle it settles and a resounding click signals a successful capture!

Congratulations! You've caught a lvl 7 Female Fomantis! It knows the Egg Move Leaf Storm!

You'd done it, your first capture! Even if it wasn't permanent, it was still a milestone worth celebrating. Perhaps not for too long though, you still had one task to complete, hopefully the vandals hadn't already been and gone....
 
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blu3shift- Things only got weirder as Epoch rejoined you. An alert from your Pokedex contained more than just an update on the Porygon's level and moveset. An additional message was cause for some concern, had your Pokedex been tampered with? It could've been a harmless prank, courtesy of one of your friends, or it could be something else at work....

After looking Fomantis over, you realize the only place that could treat the damaged Grass type would be a Pokemon Center. The only issue was that you didn't have time for that right now. You still had to stake out the vandals and there was no telling how long that would take. Epoch would probably appreciate some treatment as well after all it had been through today. You couldn't just carry Fomantis around until you could get to the Center, you'd have to capture it. You were sure the Fomantis would resist, but it was weak and there wasn't any other option. You select the red and white ball from your bag. You'd almost used it earlier on the Trubbish, but now you found yourself nervously lobbing it towards the Fomantis. Your aim is shocking and you wonder how on Earth trainers get so accurate with these contraptions as the ball skids along the grass, stopping a couple of inches in front of Fomantis. The Grass type takes one look at the ball before glaring up at you. Were you serious? Times like this were when you wished you were psychic, what was going through its mind? It shoots a quick look at Epoch before surprisingly lunging forward to tap the button of the ball with it's sickle like leaves. The ball pops open and a red light draws the little Pokemon inside. It snaps shut before shaking back and forth violently. After a short struggle it settles and a resounding click signals a successful capture!

Congratulations! You've caught a lvl 7 Female Fomantis! It knows the Egg Move Leaf Storm!

You'd done it, your first capture! Even if it wasn't permanent, it was still a milestone worth celebrating. Perhaps not for too long though, you still had one task to complete, hopefully the vandals hadn't already been and gone....
If Elijah had to be honest, he didn't expect his first catch to be like this. That Fomantis seemed pretty beat up and distrustful of him, and he wasn't really catching it. It was more like he was just... keeping it safe until he could get to a Pokémon Center. Sure, it might have been a cause for celebration, but was it really celebrating if he didn't feel like he won? He didn't even hit the Pokémon with the ball, it just kind of caught itself in what seemed like... pity? Accepting that it was the only way for it to get healed like he did? Either way, if he wasn't celebrating then his Pokédex was, its screens filling up with all kinds of information about the Fomantis that he just caught. It... no, she had an "Egg Move" of Leaf Storm, a detailed description about her species... did he really need to know what a Fomantis' footprint looked like? Whatever, he probably wouldn't be looking at that screen again unless she was going to be a permanent member of his team, which was about as likely as him... wait, no, he was actually a Trainer now...

Whatever. Two down, one to go. He just needed to take care of this vandalism problem and hopefully not get interrupted like the last two times, then he'd be in the clear. He needed to hurry up, too—from the looks of things sunset was probably going to be in an hour or two, and he didn't want to end the day being this close but yet so far from accomplishment. He also needed to return the hedge clippers that he'd been holding to the maintenance shed; there were probably some cleaning supplies that he could use in there, too. Not to be deterred, he picked up the hedge clippers that he'd somehow dropped during battle as well as the Fomantis' Poké Ball, which he stashed in his backpack. He then set off back towards the maintenance shed, keeping an eye out for any closer facilities that he could make use of instead.
 
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blu3shift- overloaded with information on your temporary team member, you realize it is getting late and you really needed to get a move on. You stash the hedge clippers in your backpack and quickly hustle back towards the maintenance shed. You know the route like the back of your hand now. You here some rustling in the bins as you reach the shed, seems Trubbish was still gorging itself, its appetite seemed to be insatiable. You quickly dump the rusty hedge clippers and search around for some cleaning supplies, unfortunately the shed's bounty seems to have run dry. You would just have to hope that you could catch the vandals before they can cause too much damage.

You head off down to the south end of the park. The sun would likely set within the hour and most of the park's patrons were making their way home at this point. As you near the South Gate, you notice from a distance that the trees seem to have some added decoration. The decoration is unmistakable, white toilet paper drapes from the branches, discarded rolls lay littered across the grass. Were you too late? As you get closer you're relieved as you spot the culprits. Two kids, likely in their mid to late teens, were still launching rolls up into the branches of the trees. Both sport leather jackets with a large silver skull emblazoned on the back. They were both rather unkempt, one a boy with long black hair hanging over his face, the other a girl with bleach blonde hair pulled back into a messy ponytail. There were no Pokemon in sight, but that didn't mean they didn't have Pokeballs on them. With the two Pokemon on you being in a weakened state, it was probably a good idea to avoid dragging the pair into a battle. Neither of them had spotted you yet as you conceal yourself behind a nearby tree, how should you proceed?
 
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blu3shift- overloaded with information on your temporary team member, you realize it is getting late and you really needed to get a move on. You stash the hedge clippers in your backpack and quickly hustle back towards the maintenance shed. You know the route like the back of your hand now. You here some rustling in the bins as you reach the shed, seems Trubbish was still gorging itself, its appetite seemed to be insatiable. You quickly dump the rusty hedge clippers and search around for some cleaning supplies, unfortunately the shed's bounty seems to have run dry. You would just have to hope that you could catch the vandals before they can cause too much damage.

You head off down to the south end of the park. The sun would likely set within the hour and most of the park's patrons were making their way home at this point. As you near the South Gate, you notice from a distance that the trees seem to have some added decoration. The decoration is unmistakable, white toilet paper drapes from the branches, discarded rolls lay littered across the grass. Were you too late? As you get closer you're relieved as you spot the culprits. Two kids, likely in their mid to late teens, were still launching rolls up into the branches of the trees. Both sport leather jackets with a large silver skull emblazoned on the back. They were both rather unkempt, one a boy with long black hair hanging over his face, the other a girl with bleach blonde hair pulled back into a messy ponytail. There were no Pokemon in sight, but that didn't mean they didn't have Pokeballs on them. With the two Pokemon on you being in a weakened state, it was probably a good idea to avoid dragging the pair into a battle. Neither of them had spotted you yet as you conceal yourself behind a nearby tree, how should you proceed?
The trip to the shed was almost a waste of time. Elijah hadn't found anything to clean up whatever this supposed "vandalism" was, but he at least was able to return the hedge clippers to their rightful spot. The Trubbish was still gorging itself on all the trash that he had cleaned up hours earlier, which was surprising since it had probably eaten like five times its body mass at this point, yet somehow it was the least strange thing that had happened today. Remembering to close the door behind him this time, Elijah moved towards the south side of the park while a battered Epoch followed.

The trees near the south gate were... strangely decorated, to say the least. Stripes of white were draped over them haphazardly, almost like a pitiful TPing attempt. In fact, that's what it actually was: as Elijah approached, he was able to distinguish the perforations in the long strips of paper that waved in the wind. It was thankfully a far cry from what Elijah was anticipating—he did NOT want to figure out how to deal with graffiti without anything to clean it with. It looked like the culprits were there, too—a boy and a girl, probably just a bit younger than he was, emptying their entire supply of toilet paper into the canopy above. They certainly were textbook examples of wrongdoers, both sporting messy haircuts and leather jackets proudly boasting shining skulls. Were they part of a gang or something? Elijah was aware of Team Rocket and Team Plasma through the many history lessons he sat through at school, having witnessed the latter's shenanigans himself, so it wasn't out of the question.

Either way, there would definitely be trouble if he confronted them directly. There didn't seem to be any Pokémon nearby, but the two vandals probably had some on them, which would probably end in disaster considering the only ones that he had on hand were pretty roughed up as is. He'd have to find a way to shoo them off without getting into a fight, which was easier said than done because they were pretty dead set on messing this place up. Maybe there was a way that he could exploit their weaknesses or something? Whatever it was, he couldn't see one right away.

It was probably a good idea to stay back and get a grip on the situation. Taking cover behind a tree, Elijah watched the pair of troublemakers intently, trying not to be seen. Hopefully he could try to find a way to get them to leave without trying to be assertive, because he was definitely not good at that and that would just set them off anyway. If he could only call in some backup...

Wait, wasn't he handed a walkie-talkie earlier? He must have forgotten in the midst of all of the chaos of the day's events. Trying to be as quiet as he can, he held down the button on its side and started talking.

"I think I just found the vandals, but my Pokémon got seriously roughed up earlier. Can I get some backup? I'm at the south gate."
 
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blu3shift- Upon spotting the vandals, you quickly put together that they must be affiliated with some gang. The matching jackets was a dead give away. That meant they were definitely not the types you wanted to mess with. With engaging them in battle being an incredibly risky and reckless play, your left to consider your minimal other options. It is at this point that you remember that Woody had given you a walkie-talkie, to be used in exactly this sort of situation. You scramble to pull the communication device from your bag, holding down the button and praying to Arceus that the noise isn't loud enough to catch the attention of the vandals. Eyes fixed on them, you wait patiently for a reply, not that you're left waiting for long.

"Excellent work kid, knew I picked a good one. I just sent an alert to the local police, they should have a patrol nearby but you'll need to keep the vandals busy for a few minutes for them to get there. Don't risk your Pokemon, think on your feet, I'm sure you can pull something off."

The walkie-talkie falls silent, the vandals still have no idea where you were. They looked to be running low on toilet paper, they'd likely be moving on soon. If they were gone before the police got here, they'd likely get away with it. You had to distract them, but how? A battle wouldn't work, not without putting your Pokemon in real danger, but perhaps there was something else you could do to keep them around for a bit longer?
 
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blu3shift- Upon spotting the vandals, you quickly put together that they must be affiliated with some gang. The matching jackets was a dead give away. That meant they were definitely not the types you wanted to mess with. With engaging them in battle being an incredibly risky and reckless play, your left to consider your minimal other options. It is at this point that you remember that Woody had given you a walkie-talkie, to be used in exactly this sort of situation. You scramble to pull the communication device from your bag, holding down the button and praying to Arceus that the noise isn't loud enough to catch the attention of the vandals. Eyes fixed on them, you wait patiently for a reply, not that you're left waiting for long.

"Excellent work kid, knew I picked a good one. I just sent an alert to the local police, they should have a patrol nearby but you'll need to keep the vandals busy for a few minutes for them to get there. Don't risk your Pokemon, think on your feet, I'm sure you can pull something off."

The walkie-talkie falls silent, the vandals still have no idea where you were. They looked to be running low on toilet paper, they'd likely be moving on soon. If they were gone before the police got here, they'd likely get away with it. You had to distract them, but how? A battle wouldn't work, not without putting your Pokemon in real danger, but perhaps there was something else you could do to keep them around for a bit longer?
"Roger that."

Thankfully, a response came quickly, even if it wasn't in the form of backup. Woody had apparently sent the police to catch the vandals red-handed—while Elijah was raring to deal with them himself, he figured that letting the cops handle them instead was probably the better idea for him and his Pokémon. He just needed to keep the duo distracted long enough for them to get busted, which was a task easier said than done because it looked like they were running out of toilet paper fast. If they took off now, there was no telling where they'd be next.

Think on my feet, huh... Elijah looked down to see if there was anything by his feet. Was that a rock? Probably? It was hard to tell what was on the ground next to him in the fading daylight, but it sure felt like it could make a sound if he dropped it somewhere... or threw it. It wasn't exactly the safest thing to do, but it was probably worth a try. Aiming behind the skull-jackets, he lobbed what he was holding into the air, intending to distract them long enough for the police to arrive. Hopefully he had a better aim this time...
 
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blu3shift- this was a tricky situation, yet you feel instincts start to kick in. You had to keep the pair of vandals here until the police arrived, but they looked like they could turn tail at any moment. Your hand fumbles around at your feet, grabbing what feels like a small rock. If you could lob it up and over the vandals, the clash of it against the path might just draw their attention, at least for a moment, giving you an opportunity to come up with something else. Cocking your arm back, you let the rock fly. As it leaves your hand, you can't help but feel like you might've made a mistake. Your attempt at throwing a Pokeball not long ago was laughable and now you were trying to accurately throw a rock? What could go wrong? It whizzes awkwardly through the air, rising nicely. Then it starts to drop, quicker than anticipated. The projectile drops like a, well, like a rock, heading towards the worst possible location.

Thwack!

"Ahh fuck!" The young boy screeches as he grabs the back of his head, fresh blood spilling from the split in his head. The girl scrambles around stunned as to what just happened. Looking around she spots the rock you'd thrown, stained with the blood of her partner in crime.

"Isaac are you alright? Where the hell did this rock come from?" She scans the area, her eyes hawk-like as she attempts to locate you. Your chest shakes as your heart and lungs work over time. Huddled behind the tree, you pray to Arceus that the pair don't locate you.

"Ahhh, I'm alright", the boy claims. Using some of the remaining toilet paper, he wraps it around his head before holding it in place with a black beanie that he pulls from his pocket. "Whoever it was has to be close by Taylah, let's find them and beat the shit out of them!"

Things weren't looking good for you. The pair were angry and on your scent, if you didn't do something soon, they'd likely find you.
 
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blu3shift- this was a tricky situation, yet you feel instincts start to kick in. You had to keep the pair of vandals here until the police arrived, but they looked like they could turn tail at any moment. Your hand fumbles around at your feet, grabbing what feels like a small rock. If you could lob it up and over the vandals, the clash of it against the path might just draw their attention, at least for a moment, giving you an opportunity to come up with something else. Cocking your arm back, you let the rock fly. As it leaves your hand, you can't help but feel like you might've made a mistake. Your attempt at throwing a Pokeball not long ago was laughable and now you were trying to accurately throw a rock? What could go wrong? It whizzes awkwardly through the air, rising nicely. Then it starts to drop, quicker than anticipated. The projectile drops like a, well, like a rock, heading towards the worst possible location.

Thwack!

"Ahh fuck!" The young boy screeches as he grabs the back of his head, fresh blood spilling from the split in his head. The girl scrambles around stunned as to what just happened. Looking around she spots the rock you'd thrown, stained with the blood of her partner in crime.

"Isaac are you alright? Where the hell did this rock come from?" She scans the area, her eyes hawk-like as she attempts to locate you. Your chest shakes as your heart and lungs work over time. Huddled behind the tree, you pray to Arceus that the pair don't locate you.

"Ahhh, I'm alright", the boy claims. Using some of the remaining toilet paper, he wraps it around his head before holding it in place with a black beanie that he pulls from his pocket. "Whoever it was has to be close by Taylah, let's find them and beat the shit out of them!"

Things weren't looking good for you. The pair were angry and on your scent, if you didn't do something soon, they'd likely find you.
So that was probably the worst thing that Elijah could possibly do.

The good news was that he had somehow managed to hit something with his impressively bad aim. The bad news was that what he hit was one of the vandals. Somehow, in his attempt to stop a crime, he had accidentally all but committed one instead. It looked like it had hit pretty hard too, if the blood trickling from the wound on the boy's head and his subsequent screaming were anything to go by. This was bad, and it was probably going to get even worse.

...That and they were definitely on his trail, even if the two weren't exactly sure where the rock came from. If he was caught, he'd be in for one hell of a fight, and in the state that he was in it was pretty obvious that he'd be on the losing side. He needed to do something, and he needed to do it fast.

Could he just bluff and try to pretend that he was a legitimate park ranger who was concerned for their health? That was a bad idea and a half, considering that they'd suss him out within a heartbeat with how thoroughly they were searching for him. Maybe he could throw something else to try and confuse them? Not in a million years if his horrendous aim had anything say about it. What if he just turned around and ran? That would probably get him spotted faster.

There wasn't really a way out of this, was there? If things got super bad, he could probably try to stall them with Epoch, but it probably wouldn't be able to keep them at bay for long. It was still better than nothing, though—a strategy just sane enough for Elijah to give his Porygon the Leftovers that he had stored in his backpack earlier. For now, though, he'd have to wait it out in his hiding spot behind the tree, preparing for the worst.
 
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blu3shift- What could you do? They were going to find you, sooner or later. The best you could hope for was later, late enough for the cops to be here to stop them. When they did find you, you knew you were going to be in for the biggest beating of your life. You needed to at least be prepared for the inevitable and to that end, you decide to give the Leftovers that Trubbish had gifted you to Epoch. The Porygon accepted the item and immediately began extracting the energy from it. With the Pokemon's programming slowly repairing, you hope that you can hold out long enough for it to make a difference.

Peering out from behind your hiding spot, you notice the situation is getting considerably worse. The pair have been searching near some trees nearby and have reached a point of frustration that drives them to the next level. The girl digs into her jacket, producing a scuffed up Pokeball, the red half of the ball worn and scratched. With a flick of her risk she releases an odd pink Pokemon. It looks vaguely canine, however it seemed to prefer being bipedal. "Snubbull", the girl snaps, "give this a sniff and see if you can pick up on the scent, we need to catch this bastard." She tosses the rock you'd thrown to her Pokemon, who gives it a good smell. It then sniffs around in the air, trying to pick up and eliminate the myriad of smells it must be experiencing. Despite the scent of the blood on the rock, it appears the Pokemon has picked up on your scent as it now glares straight towards the tree you're hiding behind. "Ha, he's got the scent, that way!"

They're heading straight towards you!
 
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blu3shift- What could you do? They were going to find you, sooner or later. The best you could hope for was later, late enough for the cops to be here to stop them. When they did find you, you knew you were going to be in for the biggest beating of your life. You needed to at least be prepared for the inevitable and to that end, you decide to give the Leftovers that Trubbish had gifted you to Epoch. The Porygon accepted the item and immediately began extracting the energy from it. With the Pokemon's programming slowly repairing, you hope that you can hold out long enough for it to make a difference.

Peering out from behind your hiding spot, you notice the situation is getting considerably worse. The pair have been searching near some trees nearby and have reached a point of frustration that drives them to the next level. The girl digs into her jacket, producing a scuffed up Pokeball, the red half of the ball worn and scratched. With a flick of her risk she releases an odd pink Pokemon. It looks vaguely canine, however it seemed to prefer being bipedal. "Snubbull", the girl snaps, "give this a sniff and see if you can pick up on the scent, we need to catch this bastard." She tosses the rock you'd thrown to her Pokemon, who gives it a good smell. It then sniffs around in the air, trying to pick up and eliminate the myriad of smells it must be experiencing. Despite the scent of the blood on the rock, it appears the Pokemon has picked up on your scent as it now glares straight towards the tree you're hiding behind. "Ha, he's got the scent, that way!"

They're heading straight towards you!
Those vandals were definitely on edge, if the events that had unfolded previously weren't enough already. The boy—Isaac, if Elijah recalled correctly—had been scouring the nearby trees despite what must have been the world's worst headache, and the girl, Taylah, looked like she was getting fed up with the fruitless search for the person who had stoned her cohort in the back of the head. At least they were still confused about it; if Elijah could manage to keep a low profile long enough then he believed that he could get himself out of this mess without a scratch.

...That was what he thought until Taylah dug into her jacket and released an uncharacteristically petite magenta canine—a Snubbull, if what she was addressing it by was any indicator. She instructed her Pokémon to sniff out the culprit from the rock, which Elijah didn't believe would actually work until it glared directly at the tree that he was hiding behind, immediately followed by the troublemaking duo giving chase.

Welp, I'm screwed.

Elijah frantically took off from behind the tree, hoping that it would at least buy him enough time for the cops to arrive. Isaac and Taylah would definitely give chase, but it wasn't like they weren't doing that beforehand.
 
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blu3shift- The jig is up, you'd been made. A couple of seconds head start was the best you could hope for at this point. You leap from your hiding spot and proceed to run as fast as you can, Epoch trailing behind you.

"There!" Isaac shouts, "there's the bastard that stoned me! Get him!" The pair pick up pace in pursuit, Snubbull struggling to keep pace with the gang affiliated teens. You weave back and forth between trees, doing your best to make yourself as hard a target as possible. Epoch beeps wildly, alarmed by the situation. You find yourself running circles of the area, not wanting to lead them further into the park as that would mean taking them further from the police you were hoping were getting close. You shoot a look over your shoulder and to your surprise, only Isaac is still chasing you. Where was Taylah?

As you round a couple of trees, you're forced to stop dead in your tracks as Taylah and her Snubbull leap out in front of you. "No where to go you Torchicken. Get ready for the beating of a lifetime." She clenches both fists as she approaches, you can hear Isaac's footsteps getting closer behind you. Then, suddenly.....

"STOP RIGHT THERE! DROP TO YOUR KNEES AND RECALL YOUR POKEMON!" Your head swings over towards the gate where a pair of Police Officers a surging towards the three of you. A Growlithe and Electrike bound out in front of them. Taylah and Isaac shoot each other a look and Taylah quickly recalls her Snubbull.

"You're going to regret this punk, no one screws over the Silver Skulls." Taylah spits at you before her and Isaac make a run for it, heading deeper into the park. They likely wouldn't get far, the two police canines that were in pursuit were gaining ground quickly. One of the officers runs after the pair, while the other approaches you, pulling out a notepad.

"Looks like we got here just in time, guessing your Elijah? You did a great job, are you alright? Before I let you go I'll just need to grab a quick account of what happened."
 
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blu3shift- The jig is up, you'd been made. A couple of seconds head start was the best you could hope for at this point. You leap from your hiding spot and proceed to run as fast as you can, Epoch trailing behind you.

"There!" Isaac shouts, "there's the bastard that stoned me! Get him!" The pair pick up pace in pursuit, Snubbull struggling to keep pace with the gang affiliated teens. You weave back and forth between trees, doing your best to make yourself as hard a target as possible. Epoch beeps wildly, alarmed by the situation. You find yourself running circles of the area, not wanting to lead them further into the park as that would mean taking them further from the police you were hoping were getting close. You shoot a look over your shoulder and to your surprise, only Isaac is still chasing you. Where was Taylah?

As you round a couple of trees, you're forced to stop dead in your tracks as Taylah and her Snubbull leap out in front of you. "No where to go you Torchicken. Get ready for the beating of a lifetime." She clenches both fists as she approaches, you can hear Isaac's footsteps getting closer behind you. Then, suddenly.....

"STOP RIGHT THERE! DROP TO YOUR KNEES AND RECALL YOUR POKEMON!" Your head swings over towards the gate where a pair of Police Officers a surging towards the three of you. A Growlithe and Electrike bound out in front of them. Taylah and Isaac shoot each other a look and Taylah quickly recalls her Snubbull.

"You're going to regret this punk, no one screws over the Silver Skulls." Taylah spits at you before her and Isaac make a run for it, heading deeper into the park. They likely wouldn't get far, the two police canines that were in pursuit were gaining ground quickly. One of the officers runs after the pair, while the other approaches you, pulling out a notepad.

"Looks like we got here just in time, guessing your Elijah? You did a great job, are you alright? Before I let you go I'll just need to grab a quick account of what happened."
Elijah's feet were on fire and his heart was pulsing. He raced for as long as he could, pure adrenaline coursing through his veins as everything became a blur. All that he knew was to run, run like the wind, don't let them catch up, don't let them leave. It did strike him as odd when he only saw Isaac chasing him when he shot a glance behind his shoulder, but it didn't matter because if he stopped to think then all of it would be over and he'd lose everything. Elijah rounded a corner and stumbled, tumbling face first into the dirt below while Taylah jumped out of the bushes to catch him in the act. There was no escape, he'd been cornered, he should have thought this through, sirens wailed in the distance, he turned his head...

Thank Arceus, the fuzz had finally arrived.

Flashlights blinded Elijah as two officers rushed onto the scene in an instant. It was pure sensory overload: yelling, Pokémon burning and sparking, footsteps running, lights flashing, a faceful of pain. He couldn't make heads or tails of the situation and his overworked instincts weren't working in his favor. His dilated eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness that had returned as one of the officers gave chase, taking the light with them. His heart slowed as his breathing steadied, feeling an odd sense of safety after one of the worst scares that he'd experienced in the 18 years since he was born.

"Looks like we got here just in time, guessing you're Elijah? You did a great job, are you alright? Before I let you go I'll just need to grab a quick account of what happened."

A police officer approached Elijah as he pushed himself off of the ground and back onto his feet. They grasped a notepad, probably full of notes and sketches that told stories of crimes long past. Not tall, not short, gender unknown—it was hard to tell who they were in the fading twilight. A strip of toilet paper fell from a tree just behind Elijah, crumpling on the ground in a messy pile of white, probably less so than whatever he looked like after the climactic chase. They wanted answers, and Elijah was more than happy to divulge them, even between shaky breaths.

"I- I was trying to take care of some vandalism in the park, found those two throwing toilet paper into the trees, tried to distract them long enough for you to arrive but accidentally hit one of them in the head, had to make a run for it, I think they said something about the 'Silver Skulls...'"

He spoke rapidly but slowly enough so that the officer could understand him. Epoch hovered nearby, staring at Elijah.
 
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blu3shift- As the sun sets, you give the police officer a rundown of the events from your perspective. You'd caught the vandals in the act, called for help, accidentally cracked one's head open and then ran for your life until just now. You also made sure to mention the name of the gang that Taylah had let slip, the Silver Skulls.

"Ahh yes, one of the upstart youth gangs that have been spreading out of Hoodlem recently. Normally they keep to their district but recently they've been branching out, looking for new territory and trying to make a name for themselves. You're lucky you only stumbled onto some vandalism, they've been known to get up to much worse than this. We'll probably only be able to keep them overnight and slap them with a fine, not that they'll be able to pay it. I'd probably avoid Hoodlem for a little while, these gangs hold grudges. Thanks for your assistance." The officer heads off to catch up with his partner, who'd likely secured the two criminals by now. As if on cue, Woody pulls up in a golf cart, Malloy perched on his shoulder.

"You look like you've had a long day kid, hop in, we'll worry about the mess in the morning." Exhausted, you hop in alongside Woody, Epoch nestles down on your lap. Its a rather quiet drive back to the Ranger's Station, Woody sensing you needed a bit of time to calm down. The accommodations at the station are modest, a small kitchen, a living room with a fireplace and decent size television. Most of the space is taken up by the bedrooms, one of which Woody directs you to. A small single bed, a wardrobe and a desk is all you find in the small room. "Bathroom is the room next to you, why don't you throw your bag off, I'll make you a cup of coffee and you can give me a run down of your day." Woody was being surprisingly compassionate compared to what he was like when you first met him this morning. Perhaps he felt bad that he'd put you in danger? It wasn't just you though, your Pokemon had been through a lot as well, perhaps Woody could help with that?
 
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blu3shift- As the sun sets, you give the police officer a rundown of the events from your perspective. You'd caught the vandals in the act, called for help, accidentally cracked one's head open and then ran for your life until just now. You also made sure to mention the name of the gang that Taylah had let slip, the Silver Skulls.

"Ahh yes, one of the upstart youth gangs that have been spreading out of Hoodlem recently. Normally they keep to their district but recently they've been branching out, looking for new territory and trying to make a name for themselves. You're lucky you only stumbled onto some vandalism, they've been known to get up to much worse than this. We'll probably only be able to keep them overnight and slap them with a fine, not that they'll be able to pay it. I'd probably avoid Hoodlem for a little while, these gangs hold grudges. Thanks for your assistance." The officer heads off to catch up with his partner, who'd likely secured the two criminals by now. As if on cue, Woody pulls up in a golf cart, Malloy perched on his shoulder.

"You look like you've had a long day kid, hop in, we'll worry about the mess in the morning." Exhausted, you hop in alongside Woody, Epoch nestles down on your lap. Its a rather quiet drive back to the Ranger's Station, Woody sensing you needed a bit of time to calm down. The accommodations at the station are modest, a small kitchen, a living room with a fireplace and decent size television. Most of the space is taken up by the bedrooms, one of which Woody directs you to. A small single bed, a wardrobe and a desk is all you find in the small room. "Bathroom is the room next to you, why don't you throw your bag off, I'll make you a cup of coffee and you can give me a run down of your day." Woody was being surprisingly compassionate compared to what he was like when you first met him this morning. Perhaps he felt bad that he'd put you in danger? It wasn't just you though, your Pokemon had been through a lot as well, perhaps Woody could help with that?
Apparently, the Silver Skulls were one of the many gangs that had been spreading from New Fizz's slums. That wasn't as bad as Elijah thought that it would be, but they were apparently still a formidable opponent judging by the officer's warning to stay away from Hoodlem. He wasn't planning on it, anyway; that was the perfect place to get robbed, beaten up, and exploited, and he did not want to go there as someone who'd probably easily end up affected by all three of those categories. As he waved the policeman off, Woody pulled up in a golf cart, offering him a ride back and calling off the toilet paper cleanup work. Elijah immediately took the offer without thinking: he'd had enough ranger duties for one day.

As he climbed in the golf cart, Elijah realized just how utterly tired he felt. He'd been toiling all day, cleaning up messes all over the expansive park, walking a stupidly far distance several times, and getting nearly beaten into submission twice. Epoch was also... tired too, apparently, judging by the way it settled down in his lap. Do computers even sleep? Elijah mentally added that to the growing list of mysteries centering around his Porygon, hoping that he'd be able to get to the bottom of them at some point. He leaned back in the seat as the vehicle started moving, grateful that he finally had some time to breathe.

The ride to the station was a little bumpy, but ultimately serene, the park under the cover of night providing an odd sense of comfort to Elijah. The station itself was equally as cozy to him, even if the accommodations there weren't exactly inviting—after all that time working outside, having a roof over his head was exactly what he needed. Woody showed him around the place—a central area with a kitchen and living room, his very temporary suite with just the bare essentials, and a bathroom right next to it. The head ranger was just about to leave to make some coffee when Elijah spoke up, realizing that he still had some loose ends to tie up.

"Hey, before you leave, can you do me a few favors? My Pokémon got pretty beat up out there, do you think you can heal them up a bit? I also found this broken TM earlier and I was wondering if you could do anything with it."

Elijah recalled Epoch into its Poké Ball and handed Woody the items related to what he was talking about—the shards of the broken TM and his two occupied Poké Balls.

...Wait, there's also that Fomantis problem, actually...

"One more thing, please let me know if the Fomantis does anything weird. I don't think she trusts me."

As much as he wanted to move on, Elijah wasn't too sure about the Fomantis. He was thinking about releasing her earlier but the thought of holding onto his first catch was kind of... growing on him? He didn't want to have a Pokémon on his team that didn't really appreciate him though, especially this early on, so he was still kind of on the fence about it. He'd definitely cross that bridge when he came to it, though—that bathroom seemed mighty appealing to him after a long day of not using one and he was planning on using it as soon as Woody left.
 
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