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New Fizz City: The Metropolitan Zone

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blu3shift- Before Woody heads back to the kitchen, you quickly ask whether he can do anything to help the two worn out Pokemon you have in your possession. In preparation you recall Epoch into its Pokeball and thankfully Woody gives you a positive answer. "Of course, one of the local Pokemon Centers gave us their old healing machine when they upgraded recently, I'll give them a quick run through on that overnight and they should be right as rain come morning. You'll have to fill me in on this Fomantis situation, sounds interesting." Woody leaves you to relieve yourself, taking the two Pokeballs from you. He also takes the broken TM, although he doesn't exactly seem confident about it.

By the time you emerge from the bathroom, Woody has the fire lit and a cup of hot coffee for you. He also produces a couple of leftover pastries, hardly a healthy dinner but free food was free food. "I did a quick check over the clearing and garden earlier, they both look fantastic, you did a better job than I thought you would. I can't afford to pay you, we're over budget as is but perhaps you can make use of this?" Woody produces a small plastic card which he hands to you. "That's a Transport Card, as a city employee I get free transport anywhere in the city. Taxi, boat, train, you can even use it to borrow one of those bikes from the kiosks you see littered everywhere. Figured it would help you get around the city a bit faster. I don't really use it, never go too far from the park anyway. As for the TM, its beyond anything I can pull off. You could always try finding a shop, maybe even the Foundry?"

Woody directs you to some soft lounge chairs spread out around the fireplace. As you sit down, Woody produces a copy of the local paper. He rifles through it before pulling out a section which he tosses to you. "Give this a look over, might interest you. I might have you run the odd job for me to keep the roof over your head, but consider yourself free to roam the city most of the time. I know you're meant to be a trainer first, not a park ranger."

Looking at the section of the paper, it seems to be different jobs around the city asking for assistance. Grey Matter Labs was looking for test subjects. The Foundry was having issues with some of its furnaces. A researcher was looking to run a species survey off the Cape, while another researcher was calling for urgent assistance on Sunder Island.

It had been a long and eventful first day in the city. You could feel your eyelids getting heavier, despite the work of the caffeine in the coffee. There was still so much more of the city to explore, at least now you had somewhere to spread out from.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​

This concludes this chapter of your adventure. I am more than happy to keep updating you if you wish. You're welcome to time skip and 'explore the city yourself' before picking a new area to head off to. Two of the items you obtained during this adventure are plot device linked to this zone and cannot be used elsewhere, details below:

Broken TM- May be restored but requires the work of an expert, you should be able to find a few throughout the city.

Transport Card- Simply a way for you to get free and quick transport around the city.
 
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- yeah i'm not going to make this post any longer than it already is, just look at the post above this one -
Elijah stared at the dark elixir in the mug that he was holding in his right hand. A bit too bitter, a bit too hot, but pretty much anything tasted like a divine gift from the heavens at this point. A half-eaten pastry was lodged in his left hand, its jelly-filled innards gleaming in the light of the fireplace a few feet away. It wasn't the healthiest food out there, but after all of the exercise that he put himself through today it was what he deserved to eat. The lounge chair that he sat in wasn't exactly luxurious, either; it was a little firm and it sort of rocked back and forth depending on the way that Elijah sat in it. Taking a swig from the coffee mug, he sighed and rested it on the table next to him, swapping it for a copy of the New Fizz Herald that Woody had given him earlier.

Is it really this easy to get some work? Elijah wondered. It seemed like all of the odds were against him earlier—he must have had like 175 emails telling him to go find somewhere else to work at this point—yet here he was, opportunities falling on top of him like a prejudiced Teddiursa from a particularly shady oak tree. It kind of struck him as odd, actually—he was more than capable of pulling his own weight as he learned today, so why was he being immediately rejected by everything that he had applied to in the past? Something was definitely up with that, and he was going to find out one of these days.

For now, however, he simply relaxed, basking in the warm glow of the fireplace. Elijah had actually accomplished something today, even if it wasn't in a way that he expected. He'd found a place to stay while he got settled in Fizzytopia, he powered through his first couple of battles, and he... might have caught his first Pokémon? It was... kind of fun, actually. Maybe being a Trainer wasn't as awful as Elijah thought it would be.

Despite all of the closure that he'd received, there was just one more question burning at the back of his mind that he had yet to answer. Taking out his Pokédex, he tapped on the "map" icon and watched as it zoomed in on Amity Gardens. A blinking blue dot was positioned directly on top of an overhead view of what looked like the ranger station.

You've gotta be kidding me.


---

"Ugh, what time is it?"

Sunlight streamed from the many windows that lined the walls of the living room. Distant voices blended together with the chirping of bird Pokémon and the rustling of trees in the wind. Charred logs sat in the darkened fireplace which had been burning brightly just last night. Elijah had apparently fallen right to sleep in the chair reading the classifieds page, evident by the unfolded newspaper resting on his lap. Stirring, he glanced at the screen on his Pokédex, which was helpfully displaying the current time: 11:30 AM.

Either he had some jet lag to take care of or he was seriously tired last night; probably the latter after all of that hard work. He looked back at the table to see two Poké Balls that hadn't been there last night, probably his own Pokémon that Woody had healed last night. Might as well get that one out of the way, too—he picked one up and opened the first one to reveal Epoch, obviously in a way better shape than the last time he saw it. His Pokédex beeped—"COMMUNICATION ERROR", it displayed in bright cyan letters. Strange, maybe Epoch was behind whatever was happening to his Pokédex? That sounded like something to look into. Elijah's eyes then moved to the second Poké Ball on the table.

...Yeah, a promise is a promise. Better release her before she starts getting antsy. He grabbed the second Poké Ball and opened it, hoping that he wouldn't get immediately attacked as soon as the Fomantis materialized on the floor. As the energy arcing from the Poké Ball faded, a familiar sight laid before him. Pink body, leafy arms, giant bud on her head: there she was, in the flesh. (Did plants even have flesh? Biology was weird.) It looked like she was alright, even if she did look kind of tired—the Pokédex told him that Fomantis were a nocturnal species, so it wasn't hard to see why.

"Okay, enough stalling, let's get you released."

Elijah looked over the Poké Ball, examining its circumference for some sort of button that would release the Pokémon that was bound to it. It didn't look like there was one; the two halves of its surface covered in uninterrupted smooth plastic. How do Trainers do these things, anyway? He was about to try looking at his Pokédex instead when he felt something poking at his shin.

The Fomantis was at his feet, staring at Elijah like it wanted something from him. It almost looked like it was making the same face as the Trubbish from earlier, even if it was kind of hard to tell with the lack of a visible mouth. Maybe it didn't want to go? He did save its life, after all...

"Are you telling me that you're, uh—"

Elijah didn't even finish that thought before the Fomantis nodded decisively. That was enough of an answer for him—she was officially his Pokémon, then. Elijah tried to hide his excitement, but he couldn't help cracking a smile at the thought of catching something that was actually his for once. He was moving on up as a Trainer already; at this rate, he'd have a full team by next week.

...of course, he couldn't just stay here forever. He looked back at the newspaper, looking at some of the possible odd jobs that he could take on. Be a test subject, fix some furnaces, survey some Pokémon, something happening on Sunder Island...

Okay, this was actually a little too much to think about for now. Elijah jotted down some of the jobs that he could take up in his Pokédex's notes app, intending to look at them later. He knew what he wanted to tackle first: getting that TM fixed. There were probably some repair shops downtown that he could make use of while he thought about where to go next.

"Alright, let's roll! I've got a few things that I want to do today, so we should get around to them as soon as we can."

With that, Elijah grabbed the Transport Card and broken TM as the Fomantis climbed onto his shoulder, walking out the door with Epoch following behind him.
 
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blu3shift- If you needed anymore proof that your first day of work was exhausting, waking up just before noon was a sure indicator. Having slept half the day away, you quickly rise and get your stuff together, including the two Pokeballs that Woody had left for you. Epoch was in much better shape, his programming having fulling recovered, while Fomantis seems to have come to a bit of a realization. She's tired, Fomantis are generally nocturnal, but she's also thankfully for everything you'd done for her. Looks like she'd be sticking around after all. The newspaper had given you a lot of options to pursue, but right now you wanted to start with something small. You had a broken TM that you still hoped could be repaired. There were plenty of shops around, particularly out on Commercial Boulevard which was conveniently close by.

You head out of the Ranger's Station, Fomantis sits perched on your shoulder, eyes closed as she goes about absorbing the sunlight that streams down on you. Epoch follows close behind, time would tell whether the Porygon took issue with not being your only Pokemon. You make your way out of the park and follow some signs directing you towards the Boulevard.

There is an overwhelming number of shops, a lot of which appear to be high end and out of your price range. There seem to be a number of smaller shops tucked into the alleyways and as you pass one, a sign with a disc on it catches your interest. Swerving down the alley to get a better look, you read the sign above the door.

Taz's TM Emporium
This was exactly what you were looking for! It didn't look very busy. Through the window you can spot a single employee standing behind the desk, spinning a TM like a top, likely out of boredom.
 
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Petal? Too clichéd. Flipside? Nah. Slice? That's silly...

Elijah pondered about what he would call his new Fomantis as he headed towards Commercial Boulevard. The Fomantis perched on his shoulder basked in the sunlight between the towering skyscrapers that had intimidated Elijah earlier, while Epoch trailed behind as it always did. The walk was thankfully very uneventful, only lasting about fifteen minutes—a far cry from the time that he spent getting turned around yesterday. Streets lined with window panes and workers quickly turned into massive shopping centers and restaurants as he crossed into the commercial district.

Everything here looked expensive. High-end boutiques practically screamed at him through various windows to try on various brightly-colored clothes and steakhouses proudly boasted their top-of-the-line food. Elijah didn't have all the money in the world, so finding a place to get the broken TM repaired was easier said than done. Eventually a peek down the various alleyways in between buildings bore some fruit; a lit sign advertised Taz's TM Emporium. This was a boon for him, especially since it looked like it wasn't really busy at this time of day.

The store wasn't really much to write home about, but it still impressed Elijah. Rows of brightly-colored discs lined various shelves around the store, each one containing some sort of move that various Pokémon could learn. He also spotted some vinyl records perched in various places—apparently TMs came on those, too? Strange. He stopped gawking at the store's impressive collection as he approached the counter, where a very likely bored sat twirling a TM on the desk—probably Kaz, if his intuition served him well.

"Hey, I found this broken TM lying around a while back. Do you think you can fix it for me? It looks like it might be a bit beyond repair, but I think it's worth a try."

He dug into his backpack and placed the pieces of the TM on the counter, hoping that at the very least he'd be pointed in the right direction if it couldn't get fixed.
 
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blu3shift- Intrigued, you enter the store, a bell gently ringing as you push through the door. It was only a modest little store but it was well stocked with glimmering TMs. You make your way to the front desk, approaching who you assume to be Taz. He looks up from the disc he is spinning as you open your mouth, explaining how you'd found a broken TM and were hoping he could fix it. He stares blankly at you, before accepting the disc, giving it a look over. The label is faded, but he produces a small magnifying glass that he uses to get a better look at it. It's at this point his eyes light up. He looks at you, then back at the broken TM. It is only then that he opens his mouth.

"Hmmm the damage is pretty bad, it would take a fair bit of work to get it fixed up. The repairs would probably set you back $250 as is. Although, I'd happily relieve you of it and let you help yourself to a couple of TM's from the bargain bin if that's of interest to you." You had two options, pay to get the TM repaired, or exchange it for two TM's from the bargain bin that Taz has just gestured to. For some reason you get the feeling that Taz would like to get his hands on the TM. "So kid, what'll it be, fix or swap?" It seems Taz is getting a tad impatient, only making it more of an oddity that he is interested in the broken TM.
 
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blu3shift- Intrigued, you enter the store, a bell gently ringing as you push through the door. It was only a modest little store but it was well stocked with glimmering TMs. You make your way to the front desk, approaching who you assume to be Taz. He looks up from the disc he is spinning as you open your mouth, explaining how you'd found a broken TM and were hoping he could fix it. He stares blankly at you, before accepting the disc, giving it a look over. The label is faded, but he produces a small magnifying glass that he uses to get a better look at it. It's at this point his eyes light up. He looks at you, then back at the broken TM. It is only then that he opens his mouth.

"Hmmm the damage is pretty bad, it would take a fair bit of work to get it fixed up. The repairs would probably set you back $250 as is. Although, I'd happily relieve you of it and let you help yourself to a couple of TM's from the bargain bin if that's of interest to you." You had two options, pay to get the TM repaired, or exchange it for two TM's from the bargain bin that Taz has just gestured to. For some reason you get the feeling that Taz would like to get his hands on the TM. "So kid, what'll it be, fix or swap?" It seems Taz is getting a tad impatient, only making it more of an oddity that he is interested in the broken TM.
Initially, Elijah was set on digging through the bargain bin in the corner. It would have been the better choice for a beginning Trainer like him; it wasn't like he was going to end up using some super-powered attack right out of the gate. But the more that Taz stared at the broken disc, the more that Elijah was fascinated by it. Judging by the way that the store owner was looking at it, whatever was on there was seriously good. Maybe it was completely worth the money after all. He checked his bank account on his Pokédex to make sure—how did his funds go up that high?! He'd be able to easily afford the repair.

"You know what, I'll take it, it seems like it's a pretty good find. I've got the cash for it," Elijah said, taking out his wallet. "How long will it be until it's ready?"
 
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blu3shift- You couldn't help but feel like Taz was doing a bad job of concealing the value of the broken TM. He likely hoped the $250 price tag to fix it would be enough to push you towards taking up his alternative offer. To your surprise though, your bank account had significantly more in it than when you last checked. You inform Taz that you'd like to have the TM repaired and transfer him the money, his face says what his mouth doesn't, he is pissed. "It'll take a few minutes, be patient."

He stomps out to the back of the shop, leaving you to browse the shop. The shop is suddenly filled with an odd odor, likely Taz melting down whatever he is using to repair the damaged disc. You head over to the bargain bin the store owner had pointed out before, if you had the cash, why not buy some of the bargain TMs while you were at it? Unsurprisingly, most of the TMs are rubbish. A mountain of False Swipe TMs, although they're reasonably priced at $200. You do managed to find a couple of gems though, an Aerial Ace TM marked down to $400 and a Double Team TM for just $500. You weren't exactly privy to the normal prices of these TMs but if they were marked down, that had to mean they were cheap right?

Taz reappears from the back of the shop, repaired TM in hand. He grabs a fresh label out from under the counter, fixing it over the old one. "There you go, a TM Zap Cannon. A lucky find kid, now is there anything else, it is time for my lunch break." Taz is all but ushering you out of the store, if you wanted to make anymore purchases, you'd have to do so quickly before moving on.
 
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Cape Effervescence

SpinyShell: With your best offense doing little to subdue the gnarly cnidarian, it seems there’s no escaping this crushing demise. A resounding creek cuts through the ocean hum as the ship’s stern edges closer, enveloping your dive crew in shadow. There was just one glimmer of hope left, shining through the rust of a shattered anchor which was wrestling for sweet freedom. Inches from a watery grave your party spring into action, Atla setting any doubt aside as she unfastens the steering wheel and pitches it ahead.

Limestone elongates for the catch, both hands reeling back like a trebuchet before catapulting it at the wayward seaweed. Without any eyes or ears to speak of, the entity appears to sense its missing half hurtling inbound; the sea tangle wraps around the wheel in mid-air, using its momentum to free its anchor from the seabed and unveil its finished form; with its sole compass blinking to life the Dhelmise spares no time in taking aim on your crazed captor, stealing her attention with a decisive Anchor Shot.

That’s enough folly from you, young madam!


Who- who are you?

I happen to be the captain of this fine vessel – and I must kindly ask this harlequinade cease and desist!

Wha- You’re the captain? So this is all your fault?!

Balderdash! It was a sea monster that fated her untimely demise, though she put up quite the fight I’ll have you know – now if you wouldn’t mind, my crew and I have a course to return to, so kindly hand over the ship so I may make the necessary repairs!


You’re going fix- no- you’re NEVER getting this ship back! I’ve waited too long for my revenge!

What ensues is a psionic tug of war between the two Poltergeists, the colossal dreadnaught rocking to and thro as each tried to claim ownership with equal conviction. Neither were about to let up, although the outcome made no difference to Atla who didn’t seem intent on sticking around.

“C’mon Sil– now’s our chance!” the diver wasn’t wrong; with the lost souls of the forgotten shipwreck locked in fierce combat, they would pay little mind if your party were to slip away. She scoops up her weary web spinner in preparation for a quick ascent, although it comes to realisation that with the two incapacitated comes an opportunity to get through to them, perhaps helping them wrong this right. Will you bring your mediation skills back into play, or leave the spectres to squabble for an eternity?
The Corsola was far more powerful than she looked, shrugging off both Limestone’s and Dewy’s attacks as if they were a gentle sea current. She recovered with a Strength Sap before tearing them apart with a Power Gem. Knowing that they posed little threat to her, the bleached coral resumed her advance, swallowing them in shadow as she lifted the ship’s bow off the seafloor. It seemed there was no hope, the coral’s vengeance all but guaranteed. Her wicked smile twisted even wider.

With death slowly but steadily approaching, Sil desperately looked around for anything, anything that could serve as a distraction or give them a needed edge over their ghostly foe. Her eyes homed in on a struggling anchor, no, Dhelmise, tugging desperately to free itself from the bottom of the ship. But there was an issue the Dhelmise was missing its lone eye. And it just so happened that the compass Atla picked up was identical to the eye of a Dhelmise. If they could get that compass to the possessed anchor…

Sil quickly explained her plan to Atla, the diver hesitantly agreeing to the hairbrained scheme. She loosens the compass from her belt and tosses it to Limestone, the Binacle stretching to grasp the instrument between each of their heads before hurling it at the Dhelmise. Despite lacking eyes, the Pokémon appeared to sense the compass hurtling towards it, the green seaweed reached towards the eye, the momentum enough to free the ghost from the ship.

With its sight restored, the Dhelmise crashes into the Corsola with an Anchor Shot.

That’s enough folly from you, young madam!


Who- who are you?

I happen to be the captain of this fine vessel – and I must kindly ask this harlequinade cease and desist!

Wha- You’re the captain? So this is all your fault?!

Balderdash! It was a sea monster that fated her untimely demise, though she put up quite the fight I’ll have you know – now if you wouldn’t mind, my crew and I have a course to return to, so kindly hand over the ship so I may make the necessary repairs!

You’re going fix- no- you’re NEVER getting this ship back! I’ve waited too long for my revenge!

The ship rocked back and forth as the two ghosts attempted to take it from the other. Despite their opposing goals, they both seemed to want the boat just as much as the other. Without intervention, they would probably be locked in this tug of war for all of time.

“C’mon Sil– now’s our chance!” Atla said, eager to escape while the two Pokémon were occupied. She picked up Dewy and prepared to ascend to the surface.

But Sil was a bit hesitant about leaving the two poltergeists. Maybe the battle knocked some sense into them, maybe she could try talking to them. She got through to Limestone, maybe she could get through to the Corsola and Dhelmise.
 
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blu3shift- You couldn't help but feel like Taz was doing a bad job of concealing the value of the broken TM. He likely hoped the $250 price tag to fix it would be enough to push you towards taking up his alternative offer. To your surprise though, your bank account had significantly more in it than when you last checked. You inform Taz that you'd like to have the TM repaired and transfer him the money, his face says what his mouth doesn't, he is pissed. "It'll take a few minutes, be patient."

He stomps out to the back of the shop, leaving you to browse the shop. The shop is suddenly filled with an odd odor, likely Taz melting down whatever he is using to repair the damaged disc. You head over to the bargain bin the store owner had pointed out before, if you had the cash, why not buy some of the bargain TMs while you were at it? Unsurprisingly, most of the TMs are rubbish. A mountain of False Swipe TMs, although they're reasonably priced at $200. You do managed to find a couple of gems though, an Aerial Ace TM marked down to $400 and a Double Team TM for just $500. You weren't exactly privy to the normal prices of these TMs but if they were marked down, that had to mean they were cheap right?

Taz reappears from the back of the shop, repaired TM in hand. He grabs a fresh label out from under the counter, fixing it over the old one. "There you go, a TM Zap Cannon. A lucky find kid, now is there anything else, it is time for my lunch break." Taz is all but ushering you out of the store, if you wanted to make anymore purchases, you'd have to do so quickly before moving on.
As Taz went to the back of the store, Elijah looked towards the bargain bin. Maybe it was worth a look while he was waiting? It wouldn't hurt, especially if he found a deal too good to pass up.

The bargain bin was, well, exactly what Elijah imagined that a bargain bin in a TM store would look like. He wasn't sure what the value of these moves were, but judging by the sheer abundance of some of them, they were probably there for a reason. There were a few things that stuck out to him, though: False Swipe for $200, Aerial Ace for $400, and Double Team for $500. Something told him that they were absolute steals that he probably wouldn't be able to find again. In fact—

"There you go, a TM Zap Cannon."

It sounded like Taz was done. Peeling himself from the bargain bin, Elijah walked up to the counter to collect his TM. The yellow disc on the table reflected the store's ambient light beautifully, almost like the TM itself was glowing. He could practically tell how powerful it was from a distance. Why would anyone throw something like that away?

"A lucky find, kid, now is there anything else? It's time for my lunch break."

Correction: Taz wasn't just done, he was done. The sheer irritation that underscored his voice all but told Elijah that if he stayed in the store any longer he'd probably have security called on him for being a public nuisance. As much as he wanted to take advantage of the bargain bin, it was in his best interest to hightail it out of there before he started infuriating the man in the counter even more than he was already. Grabbing the restored TM with an apologetic "thanks" and storing it away, he left the store just a little bit more on edge than he was when he walked in.

So, where to next? Elijah looked over his notes from earlier. He didn't want to take on something with too much manual labor, his arms still feeling sore from all of the cleanup work from yesterday, so that ruled out the Foundry. There was no way that he'd be exposing himself to anything dangerous, which meant that the test subject thing and Sunder Island were also out of the question. That left the survey job at Cape Effervescence, which sounded exactly like what he needed—a way to take in the sights without completely wrecking himself in front of a gang or something. He was probably at a disadvantage due to his general lack of Pokémon knowledge, but he could probably do a little brushing up on the way there.

Turning to find the nearest subway station (there was bound to be one in an area this dense), Elijah started down the street, transport card in hand.
 
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With your Transport Card in hand, you set out to look for the subway to take a ride to Cape Effervescence. Fortunately, this didn't actually take you very long as you came across a City Map posted upon a billboard and you easily located where you were and where you needed to go.

Not much after you found the map, you soon found yourself within the Central Station, one of NFC's largest subway stations spanning the whole region itself. Despite being as old as the City itself it didn't look to be, Polished and clean floors, Large Archways that support the whole section, and pretty fast-moving ticket lines to the appropriate stations.
You took a small glance at the signs above the ticket lines to see which one you needed and then stepped into line. After presenting your transport card to the Rotomi dispenser, it printed a ticket for you and you passed through the rotating barrier to the Cape Effervescence Station.

The train didn't take very long to pull up to the station, opening up its doors and allowing instream of boarding passengers and an outstream of exiting passengers. Looking around as you boarded, the Train was relatively clean and even smelt pretty nice, although it did have a pretty notable scent of sea salt and sand.
Within two minutes the Train got back up and started to move back out of the station, starting out slow but then building up into a pretty nice speed.
Once the train left the tunnel you could look outside and watch the City grow small in the distance, and watch the ocean and bay grow larger as you approached it.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The train started to slow down as it pulled into the above-ground station at Cape Effervescence, an electronic voice came upon the intercom thanking the passengers for choosing Central Station and to have all exiting members leave from the doors in the front of the train and wished everyone a wonderful day.

As you left the station you heard a woman's voice let out a stream of profanities, and you looked for the source of it.
The source of the foul-mouthed profanity came from a woman in a white lab coat bent over an opened suitcase with a bunch of paperwork spilling out across the ground along with vial casings, While a Zorua giggled mischievously along with a Gengar.

She looked up and started to direct her attention to what appeared to be her two pokemon, "PENUMBRA, AKUMA! HOW DARE YOU TWO LITTLE SH~" Her next words were cut off abruptly as she gathered herself for a moment and then sighed exasperatedly.

What would you like to do next?
 
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Elijah felt like he was in a different city entirely as the train pulled into the station at Cape Effervescence. Gone were the dimly lit tunnels of the densely-interwoven subways of downtown New Fizz, replaced with a breathtaking view of the sea beyond. Bubbling waves from the endless silken fabric of the deep blue ocean crashed against the walls of the harbor in the distance while numerous tourists and fishermen crowded around a hut in the sand below. The sand and surf provided a perfect backdrop for what was a new beginning for Elijah. This didn't mean that his purpose for arriving at the cape was lost on him, however. All he had to do was find the researcher who had posted the ad—

"PENUMBRA, AKUMA! HOW DARE YOU TWO LITTLE SH—"

Elijah had descended the steps leading out of the station to find a dark-skinned woman in a lab coat fumbling with her Pokémon, papers and lab materials spread out all over the pavement around her. Any air of professionalism around her was quickly cast aside as she sighed in exasperation, her colorful language indicating that she wasn't exactly having the best of days at the moment. It was totally understandable; the sheer amount of work that Elijah was doing yesterday made him feel the same way. He would have thrown in the towel on the spot if it wasn't for the promise of not having to blow his entire bank account on a hotel room afterwards.

Anyway, this seemed to be the person that he was looking for—"Krelia," if he recalled correctly. He approached the woman with an apologetic yet curious expression on his face, obviously a little troubled over walking in on her dealing with a couple of rowdy Pokémon.

"You, uh, don't happen to be the one that posted the ad in the paper yesterday, are you? I heard that you needed help with a species survey."
 
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BluShift

Krelia nodded and quickly gathered up her paperwork and vials and shoved them back into the suitcase.
Then she sent a dirty look that seemed to express to her Pokémon to behave or else!, and after that look she dusted her coat off and redid her hair bun, temporarily letting her long mahogany hair loose while she combed it out with her fingers and then tied it back up into a tight bun.

"Indeed I am, Quite Surprised to see my Help Request to be answered so quickly, that I haven't even gotten all of my stuff properly set up at the Cape.
You see I just got here yesterday and well, New Fizz City is rather huge when you're new. I had all sorts of trouble at the offices, I proposed to do two things, the city officials want simple survey documentation of how the pokemon species that are in the bay are doing, meanwhile, I wanted to get permission to gather DNA samples of these said Pokémon to aid in a personal project I am in the midst of working on."

Krelia then extended her hand out to you, " So, what's your name? I also want to let you know that I currently Do Not have your reward ready for you once you help me finish this survey, simply because my package that was sent by my brother from home has gotten lost along the way and the Mail Carrier system hasn't recovered the package yet."

As she spoke to you, her Gengar shifted upon its feet and then began to stare rather... oddly at you from Krelia's left side, while her Zorua stared from the gap between her legs, looking up at you with a genuine curiosity
 
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Huh, she's new here, too? Guess the presses work fast around here, Elijah thought as he shook Krelia's hand. The look that her Pokémon gave him (he wasn't sure if it was Penumbra or Akuma) sent a really vague chill down his spine, but he ignored it. He had to stay professional talking to someone as a potential volunteer.

"Name's Elijah. I just got here yesterday, too—you wouldn't believe what I had to go through just to get a roof over my head last night."

Okay, mostly professional.

So, what was the deal again? Take count of the Pokémon in the bay? That didn't sound hard. Sure, he probably couldn't name everything in the National Dex and he'd have to walk for a really long time, but it was a walk in the park compared to... yesterday's walk in the park. He'd be able to fill out that Pokédex and learn something in the process too, which seemed like a pretty important thing to do as a Trainer. Elijah briefly considered getting a head start by taking out his Pokédex to figure out what the one next to her Zorua staring at him was, but decided against it—that was also bad form.

Speaking of staring, Epoch had taken interest in the two Pokémon, eyes pointed directly in between them. Elijah didn't question it; at this point, anything went with that Porygon. That thing was more of an enigma than anything else in his life, and that was saying something. Thankfully, his Fomantis (which he still had to come up with a name for) wasn't acting out of line: she had impressively stayed perched on his shoulder the entire time, soaking in the sunlight that covered Cape Effervescence.

...Anyway, a deal's a deal. This definitely wouldn't hurt him...

"I'll take you up on the job. What do you need from me?"

...Hopefully.
 
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Noticing your eyes and your shiver, Krelia looked to her side and gave the Gengar a slight smack on the head,
"Akuma, Behave. I swear you and Penumbra are little devils"
Turning back to you she clasped her hands together and you saw happiness well up in her eyes as she began to speak about what she, and in turn, you would be doing here within the Cape.

" To put it simply I need someone to manually write down, input, and take pictures of the Pokémon along with DNA samples of said Pokémon of the area with me. We have to log out the data on paper for the City I will log the data I need in this handy device-

Krelia reached within her lab coat and pulled what looked to be a modified SilphCo. SilphScope and a few unusual discs.

" I took and made this from an old broken SilphScope of mine from back then and modified it to act as a scanner and load data onto these discs. Now I know we have apps for these things on rotomi phones and printers etc. etc. But get this. My~ device- Krelia did a little dance as she said this

"My device can log information for us underwater and allows us to actually work underwater at our leisure, with the disc's being waterproof. So in short we are going to be exploring the coastline with the rockpools, then we will be taking a submarine ride down to the bottom of the bay where you and I will set out with another scuba diver Instructor to research the Pokémon underwater

Now you won't actually have to worry much about battling nor really doing strenuous work, because I've got loads of Pokeblocks and poffins that we will be using to lure in the Pokémon and to allow us to safely get close. IF we encounter trouble, Akuma here will be following us underwater outside of his Pokeball. But Penumbra will be here above land allowing us to cast illusions for us to escape. If all else fails I have borrowed a few Pokémon from my brother that will allow for us to combat the pokemon on land and under the bay."

As Krelia talks, explaining things to you Penumbra the Zorua comes out from in between her legs to sniff you, and Akuma the Gengar decided he was no longer interested within you and started to get into a staring contest with "Epoch"

It sounds like she took a lot of things into account and made sure that her help would be able to help her regardless of their previous experiences.
 
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As you swam up to the surface you couldn't help but feel that maybe you could talk both of them to cease their fighting. You mulled over these as you kept rising to the surface, but then you heard a huge creaking groaning noise coming from the dreadnaught below you. The boat rocked far enough to one side that it rolled over onto a different side pushing it in a different direction as the two Pokémon were still locked in their tug of war with the ship...

But something caught your eyes as you looked back, underneath the broken parts of the dreadnaught you could see something glimmer with color. A color that looked vastly out of place within the barren wasteland that was once left from the reef...
Wait.. could it potentially be?...

You'd have to swim back down to actually confirm your suspicions on what this is that you saw, That would mean putting yourself back into harm's way between the two spirits who could still be seen to be warring... But, if this is what you thought it could be, there is a slim chance you could put the spirit of Corsola to rest. You'd have to grab a piece of this and you would have to show the corsola this. But you could do it and it could mean that this tug of war ends with no casualties to anyone else.

Atla noticed you weren't within her peripheral vision anymore and stopped to look back down at you,
"Sil? Sil?! What's wrong? We have to get back to the surface!"
Sil then looked to where your gaze was focused upon and gasped " Is that what I think it is?? "

Will you continue your ascent to the surface or will you go back down to attempt to stop the two warring spirits?
 
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Okay, so the big purple one is Akuma, and the Zorua is Penumbra. Good to know, I guess, Elijah thought as Krelia reprimanded her Pokémon. Getting their names down was far from the most important thing at the moment, but if he was in a pickle then knowing which one was which would help a bunch. He watched as Krelia turned back to him to explain what she needed him to do.

"To put it simply, I need someone to manually write down, input, and take pictures of the Pokémon along with DNA samples of said Pokémon of the area with me," she started, aptly rattling off her expectations for Elijah. He wasn't sure about the "DNA samples" part, but the rest seemed like something that was completely within his ballpark. It wasn't like there was a catch or anything, right?

Elijah was instantly proven wrong when Krelia pulled some wacky goggley thing out from under her lab coat. "I took and made this from an old broken Silph Scope of mine from back then and modified it to act as a scanner and load data onto these discs..." She explained as she danced excitedly in place. What the hell was this woman talking about?! A "Silph Scope"? "Rotom Phones"? Printers?! Krelia's technobabble made Elijah's head spin at a million miles per hour as he struggled to comprehend what exactly "her device" did in the first place. Her voice became nothing but noise as he stared at the gizmo and back at her, almost missing her mentioning something about researching Pokémon underwater wait what?!

Yeah. Scuba diving. Swimming. Underwater. He could totally handle it. It wasn't like he didn't know how to swim or anything.

Arceus help me, I'm about to take my first swimming lesson today, Elijah's intrusive thoughts echoed as he silently considered whether he made the right choice coming here. Maybe being endlessly tested on, or being exposed to a whole bunch of fallout, or fixing things up at the Foundry wouldn't have been as dangerous as whatever he had just walked into. But whatever, he was beyond the point of no return, and he probably should have seen this coming considering that he was at the beach and all. He'd have to fake it until he made it.

Krelia went on to mention something about how her Pokémon would assist the researching duo in case things got hairy, but Elijah didn't care; his attention was almost entirely devoted to steeling his nerves in preparation for literally diving into the unknown. This was also going to be a long day.

"U-uh, sure thing, when do we get started?" Elijah asked Krelia, covering up his nervous demeanor as Akuma and Epoch stared at each other intently.
 
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BluShift


Krelia smiled and tucked her Silph Scope away, and picked up her suitcase and started walking to the direction of the shoreside restaurants and food joints.

"We will start in about an hour from now, I was going to go grab some food and then scout out the rock pools. Are you hungry?
I've already budgeted more than enough money to feed myself and anyone else and pay for the scuba suits too!
We have sometime before we need to start diving into the bay, which I was going to spend prepping and then studying the pokemon along the shoreline

Krelia started to walk further and further away from you, kind of forcing you to follow, but Penumbra and Akuma had no difficulty tagging behind their trainer, in fact, Akuma seemed to be quite literally _tied_ to Krelia's shadow... How odd. You wondered why that would be. But you really couldn't afford to dally on it at the moment. Taking a big breath and gulping down the nervousness you felt, you followed Krelia as she started to browse items on a menu at one of the local joints, A food truck.

" You don't have to be afraid of not knowing how to swim ya know~

Krelia startled you by practically reading your mind, how she was able to do this, you don't know... Maybe perhaps you were too visibly nervous about the thought of diving for the first time ever in your life...

" I have hired a local friend of mine to help out whoever my assistance turned out to be, in terms of being a diving buddy. You see I can already swim pretty adaptively and back home used to be known for being glued to the water. But I didn't know if the person who would answer my Help Request, would be able to swim or dive on their own or not so I took a two pidgey with one geodude situation and hired my Subnautican friend who already teaches diving lessons."

Man, this woman really did think a lot of things through...
 
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Now that Krelia mentioned it, Elijah was feeling kind of hungry. He hadn't had anything to eat since last night, and even then all he had was a throwaway pastry funded by a supposedly miserable parks & recreation budget. That wouldn't have nearly been enough to get him through all of the research that he was about to do, much less somehow manage to make it through whatever this scuba diving thing was without suffocating. That part still scared the living daylights out of him, but he couldn't just walk back on his own commitment. Vaguely reluctant, he followed Krelia towards a nearby street, hoping that his nerves wouldn't get the best of him.

While Krelia led the way, Elijah wasn't deterred from fixing up any loose ends, however. Akuma still kind of mystified him—what was that Pokémon? He recalled seeing it before, but its name eluded him. Figuring that he'd be able to sneak a quick scan in while nobody was looking, he fired up his Pokédex and pointed it at the purple figure moving alongside the researcher.

A Gengar, huh? Elijah was surprised that he hadn't recognized it earlier, considering how much he kept hearing the name being thrown around by practically every Trainer he'd ever met. It seemed to track, too; Akuma was practically attached to Krelia's shadow, just like the Pokédex entry implied. He once again made a mental note to really get those foreign Pokémon down whenever he had the time; if he recalled correctly, he'd be running into Pokémon from every known region here. That part would definitely come later; by the time that he looked back up, Krelia was already at a food truck. He couldn't quite make out just what it sold, but he'd be happy eating anything right now.

He was just about to speak up when Krelia mentioned his inability to swim. How the hell did she figure that one out? Elijah had gone to great measures to remain professional throughout this entire ordeal and she still managed to read him like a book. Did she have any Psychic types on her team, hidden somewhere where he couldn't see them? Was she psychic?! Maybe he just tried too hard to act like nothing was wrong and looked suspicious anyway, but considering his Fizzytopian track record so far, he wouldn't be surprised if she managed to pull a fast one on him; this place was full of surprises.

Nevertheless, Elijah still had a stomach to satisfy—maybe even three, he didn't really know if Porygons or Fomantises actually ate anything or if they just... absorbed energy or whatever. Awkwardly dodging Krelia's explanation, he tried to shift the topic to the food truck.

"Uh-huh... did you say that you had enough money to cover my lunch?"
 
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"Of course I did, I have more than enough. What kind of person takes a trip out into an area and doesn't plan out their meals or money?"
Krelia stopped a food truck that seemed to catch her attention, mostly Asian food with this truck. Krelia was absorbed in the menu and was debating internally if she was feeling this for lunch.

Noticing you being a bit lost on the matter, Krelia turned back to you and pulled out her wallet, taking out several bills and putting it into your hands
"Here, go find something that you want to eat, and I made sure that there's enough for you to get a full meal and then some. That includes food for your Porygon and Fomantis... if they want to eat that is"
She then pointed over to the walkway overlooking the bay where several benches and tables were set up for the public " When you've gotten your food, or are finished eating, I will be over there, and take as much time as you want. I'm in no rush to get this job done."

Krelia then reached down to the ground and picked up Penumbra who was suspiciously smirking while lifting his rear leg to disrespect the food truck owner and then took him to a different place to do his business without causing trouble. Effectively giving you some space from both her and her pokemon so you could gather your thoughts and decide what you wanted to get to eat. Doing a quick rundown of what the average full-sized meal cost at the food truck you were currently standing in front of, and then the money she gave you, she indeed gave you enough, in fact, she gave you enough to buy three full-sized meals if you were to assume that all the trucks and stands had about the same priced food ranges.
 
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Somehow, Krelia's bold statement seemed hypocritical. When Elijah took the money, he noticed her eyeing the menu on the food truck that they were standing next to, engrossed in it like she didn't really know what she wanted. He didn't really say anything, though; she probably didn't want to be put on the spot for it like he was with his very lackluster survival skills. For now, it was time for lunch, and he had just about enough to grab three meals for his entire team if he wanted to—the only question was if they wanted to. He turned to Epoch while trying to keep the Fomantis on his shoulder in view.

"So... are any of you hungry?"

No response. Epoch just kind of floated there like they always did and the Fomantis was asleep, soaking in the sunlight. Silently wondering if there was a "quietest team" award, Elijah looked up and down the street to see what he could find. There was some Asian cuisine directly in front of him, burgers to the right, street tacos a little further down... now that he was thinking about it, what did his team eat anyway? Porygons were just really souped up computer programs or whatever, so Epoch could either eat anything or nothing at all. Fomantises relied on photosynthesis during the day, which meant that his was kind of "eating" already. It wouldn't hurt to get something for them though, just in case they actually were hungry and he just didn't notice.

Figuring that it would be a quick and easy way to knock out lunchtime without too much of a hassle, Elijah approached the teal street taco truck. Money in hand, he looked up and down the menu—probably just something simple for the road.

"I'll have three Originals, please."
 
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