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New Fizz City: The Metropolitan Zone

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Milcery Patisserie

Lilbluecorsola:
With the café’s untarnished review score (and owners’ marriage) at stake, the ragtag lunch party put their culinary skills to work in efforts to return the kitchen to ship shape. With a touch of Telekinesis the workspace was scrubbing up well, allowing its newest recruits to fall into their assigned roles like Ducklett to water. And those not assigned a role, well. While Mimi was happy enough with her crayons, Patty’s feelings of neglect begin to flare up. She pays little mind to the sister she was tasked to supervise - the Mimikyu beginning to colour outside of the pages and onto the floors - as she lets her pent up emotions get the best of her with a kick to the drinks station, a small Payback for ruining her day.

As one of the restaurant's namesakes, Miruku bobs through to the front of house to rally its agitated attendants. A chemical reaction sets off within her essence as she deploys a Therapeutic scent to the already delectable Aroma of pastries and roasted beans, calming the nerves of her creamy colleagues. With an encouraging pep talk and a kitchen back in order, the waitstaff settle down and return to bussing the tables. The calming scent must have rubbed off on the patrons some too, most accepting the wait time while those in a rush politely cancel their orders and go about their day.

Back in the kitchen the pots, pans and surfaces had been scrubbed to a sparkle and its staff were functioning like a well-oiled machine. Blue was Cutting vegetables with michelin star precision, as much comfortable in this kitchen as her own. While no frozen dessert orders had come through, Kimball had proven quite the capable cake decorator, Momo lending a Helping Hand here and there too. The Vanillite would also fall onto dish duty between orders, blitzing through piles of dirty plates with the Automation of a high range dishwasher. And while no confident kitchen hand yourself, with some practice you get the hang of the beverage station, wondering if the talk of tampering had been hearsay after all. Ticket orders were disappearing before your eyes and the little chefs were soon enough able to work at a more leisurely pace. Hours seem to fly by with the activities providing their own flavour of fun and team bonding, if not quite what you had bargained for.

“That’s the lunchtime rush all cleared!” Malori exclaims with delight as a few tables shuffle out, “I think it’s time you had something to eat too, no? Please take your pick of anything you like.” With the café starting to quiet down your team take up Malori’s offer and start to wrangle up lunches of their own, having built quite the appetite from such honest, hard work. Bellies rumbling everyone’s lunch orders were soon accounted for, except for Patty and Mimi, who you come to realise have been missing for hours...


The Foundry

Myahoo:
Were you in a video game induced dream? Or had life ended with the explosion at the Foundry? Both theories were more plausible than the strange reality you had found yourself stranded in. Having figured out the mischievous captor has plopped you into a game of Pac-Man there was nothing else for it but to play, or else risk the Tricky Fox Pokemon corralled in the maze’s centre being locked away forever. With the four ghouls on your fix the Pac-Rotom springs into action, mouth flapping open and close as he zoomed down the corridor, greedily hoovering up energisers and racking up points. Dusknoir was hot on your tail leaving no room for hesitation nor error, the pixelated Reaper Pokemon matching your speed and trajectory perfectly. While you could go on evading for a while longer, the Mismagius appears from around a corner to intercept. With a foe in either direction, there was nowhere left to run or hide, game over looking surely inevitable – until!

Hint swallows one of the larger energisers and the music shifts tempo, the enemies flushing a shade of blue as they make a break for it! The hunters just as quickly became the hunted with the Pac-Rotom sucking both into his vortex belly and making a beeline for the Gengar. While able to eat the fleeing Ghost/Poison-type in no time the ability is fleeting, the remaining Golurk returning to its usual colouration and shifting back into aggressor mode. You had the hang of the game now though; with more quick evasion and another giant energiser, Hint is able to overcome the final spectral sentry and clear the level!


High score!

Perhaps you’ll make it out alive after all? Bzzt!

In a flash you’re returned to the lobby, the red sphere in your hand with Kaito safely inside. You obtained a Red Cyberball
That wasn’t so hard, with a choice next between blue, yellow and green you would be advancing to the next level before you knew it. So, which will you chose?

Cape Effervescence


SpinyShell: “You will?!” She grabs your hands in enthusiasm, “Thanks so much Sil, I’m not sure if I could have braved going alone!” Those final words linger for a moment but it is much too late for second thoughts, the diver making final preparations to set sail. It was a modest boat compared to the countless others moored about the pier, yet it was sound and seaworthy enough to take to the waters. Your party find comfortable seating at the front of the deck while Atla parks herself at the stern of the vessel, tugging the engine’s pull string until it grumbled to life. The propeller pushes the boat out from the docks from there, setting course for the open ocean.

From out sea you had an amazing view of the cape, the fishermen dotted about its coast looking like small Durant. It was a bumpy ride as your vessel sliced through the waves in eruptions of foamy spray, a school of Lanturn diving in and out of the water beside you in curiosity. The visibility beneath was improving too, several Dragalge wading inconspicuously through the fields of seaweed. After about ten minutes or so the city’s signature skyline was nothing but a shrinking silhouette, and a wide berth from all the seat traffic several bleached but lively coral beds began to carpet the ocean floor. The boat’s propeller comes to a halt and an anchor drops down into the trenches with a thud, keeping the vessel from drifting.

Atla lends a hand zipping up your wetsuit as well as finding a pair of fins close enough to your size, which you wrestle on like a great pair of Empoleon flippers. You then each heave on the oxygen tank which tug at your back like a rucksack full of bricks, the strap of your masks snapping against the back of your head as the deck suddenly looked a whole lot blurrier. A small air gauge dangles from the tanks fastening to your waist, its dial fixed on 200 bars of oxygen allowing for about an hour of marine exploration. In lacking a pintsize stock of scuba gear for Hailstone, it looked like he would have to keep watch on the surface; Limestone on the other hand would be more than comfortable peddling alongside you, having grown up in these same waters. Atla thinks it prudent to bring company along for the dive too, brandishing a Net Ball which she lobs down the deck, cracking open with a shimmer reveal a Dewpider; the skittish bug looked a match for your scuba gear as it crawled up the diver’s body and gave her an affectionate nuzzle, soaking her with its water bubble in the process.

“I’ll go after you, to make sure you don’t hurt yourself of course… It’s not hard though!” Her reassuring smile helps to ease your nerves some, “You just have to put in your breathing apperatus and fall into the water back first!” Shuffling to the edge of the boat there was nothing else for it but to let go of your inhibitions and take the plunge...

Faiyaa: While troubled skies were a welcome sight a troubled sea dweller was not. With an affinity for all things aquatic and a degree to show for it, you’re quick on the scene for closer assessment. Without the cool of the ocean the beached Wailord was Thrashing and kicking up sand with snowballing anxiety, requiring a delicate touch to return to open water. In a sudden brain wave you bring Pickle to the fray, barely sizing up to the Float Whale's eye which elicits several laughs from nearby bystanders. They would see soon enough that big things often come in small packages as the Sea Cucumber Pokemon begins its hike up the blimp-like creature and gets to work Soaking it down. Pickle’s sticky membrane allows her to fasten on as the Wailord flails with diminishing resistance, the water soothing its dried-out skin some. A pair of nearby trainers follow your lead, their Dewott and Corsola shifting from ploughing efforts to hosing the Wailord down with gentle Water Guns.

Although the crude oil runs off in some places it’s just as stubborn in others, demanding Pickle’s Purification technique to finish the job. The Wailord didn’t seem to mind as the little Pyukumuku got between all the tight crevices and sopped up the impurities, not dissimilar to the symbiotic cleaning stations that existed for the species in the wild. Spectators who had initially scoffed at Pickle were now cheering her on, one of the two trainers clapping you on the back as he made for an introduction. “I’m Elijah and this is my sis, Renee.” She smiled at you and her brother warmly before fixing back on the task at hand. The pair of outwardly avid beachgoers looked like they could be twins, sharing the same matted surfer hair and sunburned completion.

“That purification technique is pretty handy, huh. We were thinking once it’s safely off the beach we could use our Pokemon create a current out to the open ocean. We could really use your help purifying the path if you don’t mind getting a little wet. Say, where did that little thing get to?” The Wailord was all of a sudden wriggling like an upstream Magikarp, Pickle inadvertently finding her way into one of its tickle spots! The tremors while muted by the sand are almost enough to knock you off your feet, while the Pyukumuku’s sticky mucous fails to keep her fastened as she bounces about the Float Whale’s back like a bouncy castle. She finds stability lodged in the Wailord’s blowhole, the gigantic Pokemon sensing the blockage and unclogging with an almighty Water Spout! Plan averted, the Pyukumuku is sent flying into the clouds before careening back down at even greater velocity. While the species were known for their resilience, it would be kind to spare her such a death defying drop. What will you do?
 
Last edited:
~¤Sea Priestess¤~
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Milcery Patisserie

Lilbluecorsola:
With the café’s untarnished review score (and owners’ marriage) at stake, your ragtag lunch party put their culinary skills to quick work in efforts to get the kitchen back to ship shape. With a touch of Telekinesis the workspace was scrubbing up well, allowing its new recruits to fall into their assigned roles like Ducklett to water. And those not assigned a role, well. While Mimi was happy enough with her crayons, Patty’s feelings of neglect begin to flare up, paying little mind to the sister she was tasked to supervise, the Mimikyu beginning to colour outside of the pages and onto the floors. Instead, she lets her pent up emotions get the best of her with a kick to the drinks station, a small Payback for ruining her day.

As one of the restaurant's namesake, Miruku bobs through to the front of house to rally its agitated attendants. A chemical reaction sets off within her essence as she deploys a Therapeutic scent to the already delectable Aroma of pastries and roasted beans, calming the nerves of her creamy colleagues. With an encouraging pep talk and a kitchen back in order, the waitstaff settle down and return to bussing the tables. The calming scent must have rubbed off on the patrons some too, most accepting the wait time while those in a rush politely cancel their orders and go about their day.

Back in the kitchen the pots, pans and surfaces had been scrubbed to a sparkle and its staff were functioning like a well-oiled machine. Blue was Cutting vegetables with michelin star precision, as much comfortable in this kitchen as her own. While no frozen dessert orders had come through, Kimball had proven quite the capable cake decorator too, Momo lending a Helping Hand here and there. The Vanillite would also fall onto dish duty between orders, blitzing through piles of dirty plates with the Automation of a high range dishwasher. And while no confident kitchen hand yourself, you even start to get the hang of the beverage station, wondering if the talk of tampering had been hearsay after all. Ticket orders were disappearing before your eyes and the chefs were soon enough able to work at a more leisurely pace. Hours seem to fly by with the activities providing their own flavour of fun and team bonding, if not quite what you had bargained for.

“That’s the lunchtime rush all cleared!” Malori exclaims with delight as a few tables shuffle out, “I think it’s time you had something to eat too, no? Please take your pick of anything you like.” With the café starting to quiet down your team take up Malori’s offer and start to wrangle up lunches of their own, having built quite the appetite from such honest, hard work. Bellies rumbling everyone’s lunch orders were soon accounted for, except for Patty and Mimi, who you come to realise have been missing for hours...
With a plan firmly in place, Jess and her Pokémon swiftly set about getting the pastry shop back in proper order. Miruku made her way to the front of the store and emitted a comforting fragrance to her fellow cream mates, calming them considerably as she informed her friends were currently covering the kitchen and not to worry. Anarchy subsided as the waitresses all assembled once again under a new leadership, who proceeded to further explain the situation to any remaining patrons - most of whom understood and decided to wait patiently, whilst others who had somewhere to be politely withdrew instead.

Meanwhile within the kitchen Blue was taking full charge with such skill and expertise it was as if she herself were several chefs at once, juggling almost all orders simultaneously with ease. Chopping, slicing, dicing, boiling, broiling, baking - the balloon bobbed from task to task without even breaking a sweat, clearly at home in her element. Even Kim with her enhanced speed found herself having trouble keeping up with the Drifloon's indomitable energy, barely processing plates as fast as the cook finished frying them. She and Momo felt the heat and pressure driving them half-crazy as they scrambled to arrange eggs on the many Moco Locos, drizzling gravy and carefully drawing Snorlax's slant eyes atop the ground beef patties. (Incidentally, in all the hustle and bustle amidst the chaos of the kitchen, none seemed to notice Patty and Mimi hadn't made a peep in quite a while...)

As they began to clear orders one by one though, the gang discovered a steady rhythm and relaxed as they fell into their regular sync, with Kim even finding time to quickly scrub the dirty dishes piling up beside the sink in between tickets. When it came time to decorate the desserts, she did her best to meet the standards of her boss's scrutinizing inspection, utilizing her own vanilla swirl as a reference. Though the exacting examiner wouldn't permit anything less than perfect to pass, the Vanillite's practice with serving soft serves certainly came in handy when handling the pipette. (Meanwhile Momo assisted by heaping bountiful helpings of honey on the Combee Waffles - whilst also helping herself to a smotheringly sweet mouthful here and there.)

As for Jess, she found herself experiencing relatively little issue with operating the drinks machine, puzzling if perhaps the ruined results from earlier were simply a fluke after all. By the time the lunchtime rush had cleared, surprisingly zero complaints had cropped up and the final customers departed full and satisfied, safely leaving 5-star review scores intact. Malori in the meantime had fully recovered her composure and thanked the group for rescuring her restaurant's reputation, allowing free further use of the facilities to finally fulfill their own food cravings. Blue promptly whipped up some quick lunches for her and the kids, starting with some Dugtrio Sandwiches as appetizers to snack on whilst waiting for the main courses. (Since Kim couldn't handle hot meals anyway she got started first on the second round with simply enjoying an Eiscue Caprese Salad.) With the dining area now empty and expectedly quiet until dinnertime, Miru returned to the smell of deliciousness as Blue also offered her some Rainbow Oricorio Popcorn to share with her cohorts - as a treat for working so well together and managing to keep the communications side under control. Soon Momo was munching happily on a platter of Pikachu Piquant Curry, and Jess was just about to fork into her Yummer Yamper Pasta when Blue pulled a fresh Rowlet Pizza piping hot from the oven and called for Mimi - only to receive no answer. Strange, the vegetable soup she had lovingly prepared for Patty was also sitting untouched, gratin growing cold in its Pumpkaboo bowl...

Glimpsing around anxiously, her mother's instinct alarmed as she started to panic, bouncing all over the countertops as she cried out for her lost babies, checking even inside the cupboards in case they were playing Hide-and-Seek. Her colleagues strove to try and get her to calm down as Jess nervously looked towards the beverage station, recalling she last saw the pair near there. There was Mimi's coloring book splayed open on the floor, with crayon marks leading outside the lines and onto the clean white tiles - but no sign of the avant garde artist or her supposed supervisor. The girl gulped as she glanced back to the hyperventilating inflatable, who was breathing in and out of a brown paper bag provided as she went back and forth from the size of a grape to a beach ball within seconds; this time being the one to burst into hysteric sobs upon losing not just one - but two of her loved ones. Jess's other Pokémon watched in concern as their normally strict but level-headed employer collapsed in on herself, deflating dramatically and crumpling into a crying raisin. Unsure how to help, they shook their heads when Jess questioned to indicate they had no idea where the missing Liltwick and Mimikyu might have gone to, having been too preoccupied with their own duties. Possessing no other leads, Jess turned desperately to Malori in hopes she might have witnessed something despite her own emotional outburst at the time.

"Ms- er, Mrs? Malori, you wouldn't happen to have seen where my Lilt- Litwick and Mimikyu went, did you?" She stammered and winced internally at the Freudian slip, realizing she really had to get used to the candle species' proper pronunciation around others (especially humans), let alone carrying a conversation with confidence. "They're Drifloon's adopted children you see, and it's not like them to wander off like that without telling their mom first..." More quietly, she added: "Well, Mimi maybe since she's still young, but Patty should know better by now. I can't imagine how they could've just vanished since we were in a confined space all this time, but I'm afraid if anything bad happened to them while we weren't looking..."
 
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The Foundry

Myahoo:
Were you in a video game induced dream? Or had life ended with the explosion at the Foundry? Both theories were more plausible than the strange reality you had found yourself stranded in. Having figured out the mischievous captor has plopped you into a game of Pac-Man there was nothing else for it but to play, or else risk the Tricky Fox Pokemon corralled in the maze’s centre being locked away forever. With the four ghouls on your fix the Pac-Rotom springs into action, mouth flapping open and close as he zoomed down the corridor, greedily hoovering up energisers and racking up points. Dusknoir was hot on your tail leaving no room for hesitation nor error, the pixelated Reaper Pokemon matching your speed and trajectory perfectly. While you could go on evading for a while longer, the Mismagius appears from around a corner to intercept. With a foe in either direction, there was nowhere left to run or hide, game over looking surely inevitable – until!

Hint swallows one of the larger energisers and the music shifts tempo, the enemies flushing a shade of blue as they make a break for it! The hunters just as quickly became the hunted with the Pac-Rotom sucking both into his vortex belly and making a beeline for the Gengar. While able to eat the fleeing Ghost/Poison-type in no time the ability is fleeting, the remaining Golurk returning to its usual colouration and shifting back into aggressor mode. You had the hang of the game now though; with more quick evasion and another giant energiser, Hint is able to overcome the final spectral sentry and clear the level!


High score!

Perhaps you’ll make it out alive after all? Bzzt!

In a flash you’re returned to the lobby, the red sphere in your hand with Kaito safely inside. You obtained a Red Cyberball
That wasn’t so hard, with a choice next between blue, yellow and green you would be advancing to the next level before you knew it. So, which will you chose?
They sped down the marked paths, Hint hoovering up the little white balls and...racking up points somewhere by the little bell sounds he wasn't paying much attention to. Aiden checked behind them and spotted the Dusknoir hot on their heels.

"We're...not exactly losing it," he told Hint, though it couldn't really reply between making split-second decisions and eating the little white balls.

Of course, that was when the Mismagius turned the corner and trapped them between two ghosts.

Aiden flinched backwards with a yelp and Hint had to pause for a second so he didn't fall off, but, if they managed to get out of this, Hint was probably gonna yell at him for not paying more attention to the other ghosts. He recovered his balance as Hint raced straight ahead, aiming for a white ball that looked bigger than the others, clearly hoping that they would function just like the ones in the actual Pac-Man, and the Mismagius in front of them went blue the moment Hint closed his mouth around it! Yes!

They raced after the Mismagius, taking it out of the game, and then spun around to chase after the Dusknoir. Aiden urged Hint on, glancing around to plan their next target and spotted the Gengar not far away. He pointed it out to Hint as it ate the Dusknoir and they raced after the third ghost, both aware that the white ball probably wouldn't last much longer. They managed to get the Gengar before things went back to normal, but the Golurk went right back to chasing after them the moment it returned to its normal colors. They dodged around the maze until Hint could eat another of those larger white balls and then ran down the blue-shaded Golurk.

As Hint closed its mouth around the last ghost, their captor's voice came from somewhere above them. "High score! Perhaps you'll make it out alive after all? Bzzt!"

There was a bright flash and they were back at what probably functioned as the game lobby. Hint was back to its floating, pixelated, Rotom-self and--Aiden glanced down at his hand--they had the Red Cyberball! Probably occupied, but Aiden was gonna check in a minute.

Hint gave the impression of a raised eyebrow over its flat look.

"Yeah, yeah, I know." Aiden waved it off sheepishly. "Should've been paying more attention."

"I can probably get out myself, assuming I can dodge past the--I assume--Porygon-Z, but I'm pretty sure you guys can't," Hint pointed out. Somewhat pointedly. "And we mostly need you to ensure we can get out, so..."

"Try not to take stupid risks," Aiden finished more seriously, nodding in agreement. He tossed the Cyberball in his hand before Hint could say anything more and Kaito materialized in a red flash. The Zorua was just as pixelated as the two of them and very grumpy as he looked around.

After a moment, he huffed, "Where are we? Last thing I remember is the machine malfunctioning and getting bowled over by a wave of energy before ending up in that cage."

Aiden rubbed the back of his neck, which was weird because the whole...pixel thing made it look like it shouldn't be possible but he managed it anyway. "Um, yeah, about that..."

"We got sucked into the machine and now have to play three more games with the captor before they'll let us out," Hint explained, deadpan. "Oh, and they stole a Cyberball."

"Three more games?" Kaito glanced around and frowned. "Oh, for Tase and Dust and the extra?"

"Yeah," Aiden sighed. "They grabbed all of us and all the Cyberballs, so we're stuck until we win their game."

Kaito frowned some more. "I'll hop back into the 'ball and then you guys should get going. Who knows what the others'll be stuck in."

That said, he returned himself and Aiden exchanged a look with Hint as they turned to face the Cyberball lineup once again.

Hint shrugged. "He has a point: faster we go, faster we get done and faster we get out of here."

"I know," Aiden sighed before changing the subject. "Tase said green for him, right?"

"I think so?" Hint frowned. "Red for Kaito, green for Tase, and...aqua for Dust?"

"Sounds about right." And he reached out for the green pixelated Cyberball.


Claiming 1x Red Cyberball for my Zorua.
 
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SpinyShell: “You will?!” She grabs your hands in enthusiasm, “Thanks so much Sil, I’m not sure if I could have braved going alone!” Those final words linger for a moment but it is much too late for second thoughts, the diver making final preparations to set sail. It was a modest boat compared to the countless others moored about the pier, yet it was sound and seaworthy enough to take to the waters. Your party find comfortable seating at the front of the deck while Atla parks herself at the stern of the vessel, tugging the engine’s pull string until it grumbled to life. The propeller pushes the boat out from the docks from there, setting course for the open ocean.

From out sea you had an amazing view of the cape, the fishermen dotted about its coast looking like small Durant. It was a bumpy ride as your vessel sliced through the waves in eruptions of foamy spray, a school of Lanturn diving in and out of the water beside you in curiosity. The visibility beneath was improving too, several Dragalge wading inconspicuously through the fields of seaweed. After about ten minutes or so the city’s signature skyline was nothing but a shrinking silhouette, and a wide berth from all the seat traffic several bleached but lively coral beds began to carpet the ocean floor. The boat’s propeller comes to a halt and an anchor drops down into the trenches with a thud, keeping the vessel from drifting.

Atla lends a hand zipping up your wetsuit as well as finding a pair of fins close enough to your size, which you wrestle on like a great pair of Empoleon flippers. You then each heave on the oxygen tank which tug at your back like a rucksack full of bricks, the strap of your masks snapping against the back of your head as the deck suddenly looked a whole lot blurrier. A small air gauge dangles from the tanks fastening to your waist, its dial fixed on 200 bars of oxygen allowing for about an hour of marine exploration. In lacking a pintsize stock of scuba gear for Hailstone, it looked like he would have to keep watch on the surface; Limestone on the other hand would be more than comfortable peddling alongside you, having grown up in these same waters. Atla thinks it prudent to bring company along for the dive too, brandishing a Net Ball which she lobs down the deck, cracking open with a shimmer reveal a Dewpider; the skittish bug looked a match for your scuba gear as it crawled up the diver’s body and gave her an affectionate nuzzle, soaking her with its water bubble in the process.

“I’ll go after you, to make sure you don’t hurt yourself of course… It’s not hard though!” Her reassuring smile helps to ease your nerves some, “You just have to put in your breathing apperatus and fall into the water back first!” Shuffling to the edge of the boat there was nothing else for it but to let go of your inhibitions and take the plunge...
As soon as Sil gave her answer, Atla’s face broke out in a wide smile and her eyes sparkled with happiness.

“You will?!” She grabbed both of Sil’s hands in a tight grasp, barely able to contain her joy. “Thanks so much Sil, I’m not sure if I could have braved going alone,” she said, and Sil felt a knot of worry form in her stomach at her words.

“I’m not sure if I could have braved going alone…” I thought she had experience in wreck diving? What am I getting myself into? Sil thought. She glanced down at Hailstone, who looked similarly worried. But despite their concern she couldn’t muster up the courage to call off the dive, Atla’s glee making her feel guilty at even the thought. And, at any rate, it was too late for that now--Atla was already setting up the final preparations to set sail.

With a strong yank, the diver tugged at the engine’s chord until it roared to life and the party sped out from the docks. While the boat was rather modest compared to the luxury liners anchored near the pier, the newly formed group still found comfortable seating at the front of the deck.

From their perch, they had a fantastic view of the coastline--the fisherman dotted along the seafront like tiny Durant, a streak of white where the surf met the shore, the twinkingly city skyline rapidly disappearing behind them. However, the amazing views weren’t limited to the distant shore and city. Right below the boat, they got a view of a school of Lanturn, their glowing lures like stars in the night sky, who leapt out of the water, just as curious as they were, and a few Dragalge wading between the seaweed, nearly indistinguishable from the kelp forest. As they sped out further a few beds of coral began to appear, bleached but still lively, a plethora of fish Pokémon swimming about them.

Finally, the boat’s propeller whirred to a stop, and the anchor was lowered into the depths, a softened thud rising from the waters. Atla handed Sil a wetsuit, helping her to zip it up, as well as a pair of relatively fitting flippers, which Sil awkwardly tugged onto her feet, waddling around like an Eiscue as she went to pick up the heavy oxygen tank, which weighed down on her back. She fitted the mask over her head, the lens a little blurry and scratched from use, before attaching the air gauge to her wrist, the needle hovering at roughly 200 bars of oxygen, providing about an hour of exploration. Unfortunately (or fortunately, perhaps) for Hailstone, Atla lacked a Sandshrew sized and shaped scuba outfit, so he was constrained to keeping watch from the boat. Limestone, on the other hand, would be more than happy exploring these waters considering the two Binacle had spent their entire life swimming around here. However, Limestone would not be the only Pokémon assisting them; with a flick of her wrist, Atla tossed a Net Ball that opened with a net-like flash, and a small spider Pokémon that looked uncannily similar to the scuba gear burst forth. The Dewpider swiftly skittered up onto her shoulder, giving the diver a little nuzzle with its water bubble.

She flashed Sil a reassuring smile before providing some instructions, “I’ll go after you, to make sure you don’t hurt yourself of course… It’s not hard though! You just have to put in your breathing apparatus and fall into the water back first!”

Sil nodded, before turning to Limestone. “You guys have experience with this area right? Could you please jump in first and lend a Helping Hand if Atla, her Dewpider, or I need it? Thanks.”

The Binacle hobbled to the edge, lugging their rock with them, before peering into the blue. Seeing that it was clear, they leapt into the ocean with a spray of foam and water droplets. The two surfaced a bit ways from the boat (the mechanics of how a mystery considering their attachment to the heavy rock) to give her and Atla some room. Lime felt his excitement bubble up inside him, not only would they explore part of the reef, he and Stone would also have a chance to be super helpful too. Stone, however, frowned with concern; he knew how hectic the ocean could get.

Once Limestone settled, Sil waddled to the edge of the boat, feeling the Butterfree flutter in her stomach, and turned around, preparing for the plunge. With deep breath, she steadied her nerves, put on her breathing apparatus, and then took the plunge.
 
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Milcery Patisserie

Lilbluecorsola:
If only she could see her doting mother now. Blueberry was bounding and rebounding from cupboard, countertop and pantry in search of the strayed sisters, phasing into every nook and cranny to no avail. There were no drippings of wax, no scribblings of crayon, nothing so much as a trace of their last whereabouts. Deflating like a leftover party decoration, there was nothing else for it but to flag the disappearance with the jilted cafe owner, despite what struggles were bearing down on her already. Before she can even respond a movement behind you steals away her attention, colour draining from her face as though she’d seen a ghost. You could only hope so, spinning around to investigate.


All work and no play makes Pat a dull man!
All play and no work makes Pat a dull mon!

The childlike voice permeates through the very walls, fading into laughter as the lights and appliances flicker on and off with a mind of their own. Malori releases a high pitch shriek as the crockery comes to life before your eyes, an unseen Poltergeist releasing pots, pans, plates and cutlery from their gravitational ties and into a kitchen whirlpool. Its invisible ebbs and flows paid little mind to the kitchen staff as you duck to avoid the wayward cookware. Some of your teammates weren’t so lucky as the spiral turned with dizzying intensity, a saucer wedging into Kimball’s head while a teacup scoops up Momo and pulls her into the swirling vortex like an amusement ride. A flustered Miruku enters the scene to check in on the holdup, only to be met by the swing of a runaway rolling pin! Against the strobe lighting you peer into the eye of the storm, spotting an ornate tea set dissimilar to the contemporary cafe fare. Malori was wide eyed and shaking as she covered her mouth in terror; fixated on the teapot and cups above all else, there is a peculiar sense of knowing behind her blue eyes. Were the girls playing tricks? With sharp knives revolving a hair's breadth away, the supernatural goings on felt far from child’s play. It seemed behind the spiralling crockery there was a new presence in your midst. Or rather, a presence that had been there all along. What will you do?


The Foundry

Myahoo:
In spite of a landslide victory the games were getting to you, and they were only just getting started! Casting the feelings of inertia aside, you gingerly select the green orb, which on touch propels you and your electrified companion into lift off once more. The array of colours speed through your peripheral at blinding speed as you travel lightyears to the next world in the cybernetic series, a two-dimensional setting not dissimilar to the one that came before. In spite of his miniscule and pixelated stature there’s no mistaking him, Tase bouncing up and down just a stone’s throw away. It would be easy enough to reunite with your furry friend, if not for the horizontal road with racecars, trucks, and bulldozers speeding along it. It appeared the Joltik would have to wade through opposing lanes of traffic to avoid becoming roadkill. Once past the road, there was a strip of river with logs and friendly Squirtle granting passage, when not taken by the current’s undertow. Through jumping on the swiftly moving logs and the backs of the drifting Pokemon, it would not take long for the Joltik to reach its safety. Not the sort to pass up on an opportunity to taunt its captors, the mischievous Porygon-Z pipes up yet again, its crackly voice permeating throughout the blocky cyberscape.


Why did the Joltik cross the road?

Who knows? It was squashed like a bug before anyone could ask! Bzzt.

Play Frogger and get three Froggers Joltik across the road, then share the result in your reply!

Cape Effervescence


SpinyShell: With a last breath of fresh air, you slip off the boat and into the deep blue. Bubbles rush off the rubbery wetsuit as your ears fill with the hum of ocean, muffling the caws of Wingull flying overhead. While your hearing was dulled your vision was clear, goggles providing a perfect view of the reef below. Your eyes widen as the coral glistened in muted tones against refracted flecks of sunlight, a far cry from a tropical reef yet still was teeming with its own assortment of wildlife. Eager to get a closer look you give your flippers a kick, turning your head in awe as a school of Mantine intercept your marine decent. One of the Mantyke brushes past Limestone - struggling to paddle in tow due to his rocky anchorage – who shakes a claw scoldingly while the juvenile stingray glided out of sight. Closer to the seabed you make out a few well-camouflaged Octillery slinking from beneath one rock to another.

“Pretty cool, huh?” exclaims Atla in a muffled tone, “Looks like the walky-talkies built into our scuba masks are in working order too, even your Pokemon should have no problem hearing your commands. Now, let’s head this way.” She ushers you to follow her into the deeper trenches toward a fissure in the seabed, the Dewpider on her flank proving more adept beneath the water than above it. Kicking your flippers as fast as you can to keep up, you find the colourful and lively atmosphere of the shoals replaced with gloomier fixtures, bits of broken coral and fish bones sending shivers down your spine. You continue to submerge until you uncover a rusted frigate, choked in seaweed and strewn with colonies of Binacle not dissimilar your own. The warship had been lost to the murky depths long ago by the looks of things, and yet still evoked a feeling of mystique. Atla paddles excitedly to what looks like a hatch, giving the door’s wheel a budge to no avail. She ushers you in for a closer look, wiping away some of the slime from its surface to reveal a set of instructions:


Turn the wheel clockwise and counterclockwise to the correct three-digit increments to open.

You notice from there that the wheel featured numbers from 001 to 999 inscribed in a circle, similar to a dial you might turn to open a safe. “Look below,” Atla points to an inscription below the wheel, “It’s either a crudely written poem, or a riddle of sorts. Perhaps it’ll give us a clue on how to open this hatch?”

The Emperor commanded his ships to sail Right,
The armies Left swiftly on their Transport,
And in their Discipline were sent Right to a watery grave.

“Well, I’m stumped – does this mean anything to you?”

Please send me a message if you get stuck with this challenge!
 
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Little Kanto

Maskerade:
It takes every bone in your body not to walk away from the impending schooling while you still had a morsel of dignity. It then strikes you that said dignity had left you somewhere in your downward spiral, shifting to the appropriate stance therein. Twisting your arms to and fro feels clunky at first, your mind doing everything but calm as you effort to mimic the master’s slow and graceful flow. She seems unphased by the profanity as she slips in to make small adjustments, tapping the underside of your slacked arm then jabbing the base of your spine and coaxing it to straighten. The elder appeared to hold masterful expertise over human pressure points, the rapid knocks seemingly pushing you into perfect formation.

“You are quick to learn the physical aspects of martial arts, yet still, I sense the spiritual aspects are escaping you,” she gestures to Red Devil and Over Mind, eyes closed as they gracefully drifted through the steps with a look of pure zen. “Perhaps the best way for this lesson to sink in would be for you to fight together as one…” Tailing on a cryptic note she gestures two Pokemon to the centre of the class, a scrappy cream and red fighter with arms adorned with baggy fur sleeves, and a serious blue and black fighter with steely spikes on the backs of its forepaws. The Meinfoo and Lucario would make an even match for your fighters in both size and stature, following their sensei into fighting stance.

“I want you to move in tandem with your Pokemon, while you and I will not exchange blows our Pokemon will. The exercise is intended to benefit mind over body but nonetheless, I’d like to see the full range of your team’s skills, not just the steps I have taken you through today. No verbal commands, just fighting movements, like so.” Without warning she leans into a lunge, arms bending before cupping in a circular motion. Her Pokemon followed the movements to the letter, channelling their chi into a pair of Aura Spheres and propelling them at your allies’ feet as a warning shot. The unprovoked assault catches your party off-guard, the elder giggling playfully as she invited you to retaliate.

For this battle you’ll have to act out the move through martial arts rather than verbal commands. You can order two attacks per Pokemon, which can be the same attack as demonstrated or different. The moves don’t necessarily have to be fighting-type either.
[/SIZE]
Despite his innate stubbornness and acquired bitterness, Blake wasn’t stupid. He knew, well before he’d met her, that the old lady was a master; he even knew what made her such, and that it was precisely what he’d always lacked. But his way of doing thing shad been good enough up until that point, so he’d never cared much.

But now “good enough” ain’t gonna cut it anymore…

Somewhere along the way, he’d lost that spark that no Fighting-Type expert should ever lose. That almost mandatory drive to seek perfection. Now he was asked to find it again, and to finally master a style that he’d never cared for in his hubris.

Always thought I could handle things full-force with a Single Strike and be done with them. But that was only because I was never patient enough to commit to another way of doing things. A bullet can only travel in a straight line – water flows and adapts, and Arceus knows I need to adapt… or fall by the damn wayside.

RED DEVIL grinned in silence, sensing something stirring within Blake. The elder’s challenge would be nothing they couldn’t handle; after all, fight each other had been part of their training regimen for decades. They were two sides of the same coin, knew every habit, every move the other made. The ape stood on a single leg with the other bent, arms spread outwards waving slightly for balance – one of his preferred battle stances.

OVER MIND was different in that it hadn’t known Blake for long, and the full potential of its Psychic powers was yet to be unlocked. When it was, reading its Trainer’s mind would come effortlessly, but until then, it could only pick up a faint hint of his intentions through his movements – this challenge would unquestionably be harder for the Meditite than the Infernape.

The opponents had been chosen already, and rather fittingly – a dignified Mienfoo stared OVER MIND down, while a magnificent Lucario looked silently at RED DEVIL, intense and unreadable. The warning shot, in the form of two perfectly coordinated Aura Spheres, only served to accentuate the difference between the elder’s elegant methods and Blake’s brutish ones. Still, it was a challenge, and he’d rise to meet it.

“Mouth shut and keep watchin’ kid.” Blake looked at his Infernape a few feet away, but continued to address the Pancham close to his leg. “Laugh and I’ll kick your ass.”

With a sudden motion, he threw his right fist forward without wind-up, and RED DEVIL almost instantly bolted forward, fast as lightning, to deliver its trademark Mach Punch. As Infernape approached the solemn-looking Lucario, Blake then crossed his arms in front of his chest, and RED knew he was signaling for a combo – if the first move hit, he’d follow up with a point-blank Crossfire!

OVER MIND watched on, as it always did, absorbing knowledge of the tandem’s fighting style. They really knew one another remarkably well to be able to fight without speaking. When Blake turned to face it, the Meditite felt strangely inadequate. There was no way it could perform as flawlessly as the prodigious Infernape.

“Get over yourself.”

The single, dry line was so brutally direct that it snapped OVER MIND out of its spiral of self-doubt completely. Blake was right; this wasn’t about the Meditite alone, this was about them. Not that long ago it had marched forward all on its own to take on Primal Dialga, just to prove to Blake it could handle itself – but it couldn’t, and it fainted miserably during the battle. It was frankly a miracle OVER MIND had survived the clash against the god, but since then, its resolve to stay by and learn from Blake had only strengthened. Now was the time to show it – not the strength of its fists, but the strength of their bond.

Blake extended his right arm, keeping his hand open, and slashed the air as if it were a sword. Then, in the same motion, he rotated his body slightly and threw his left palm forward, outstretched. The human’s motions were clumsy by the Meditite’s standards, but they were mercifully crystal clear in their message – target Mienfoo, move in close with a Psycho Cut, then string together a Force Palm with the opposite hand using the swing’s momentum. In a rare instance, OVER MIND smiled – he may be a brute, but Blake knew what he was doing. Thank Arceus for that.

“Go get ‘em”, the middle-aged man muttered to himself.
 
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Milcery Patisserie

Lilbluecorsola:
If only she could see her doting mother now. Blueberry was bounding and rebounding from cupboard, countertop and pantry in search of the strayed sisters, phasing into every nook and cranny to no avail. There were no drippings of wax, no scribblings of crayon, nothing so much as a trace of their last whereabouts. Deflating like a leftover party decoration, there was nothing else for it but to flag the disappearance with the jilted cafe owner, despite what struggles were bearing down on her already. Before she can even respond a movement behind you steals away her attention, colour draining from her face as though she’d seen a ghost. You could only hope so, spinning around to investigate.


All work and no play makes Pat a dull man!
All play and no work makes Pat a dull mon!

The childlike voice permeates through the very walls, fading into laughter as the lights and appliances flicker on and off with a mind of their own. Malori releases a high pitch shriek as the crockery comes to life before your eyes, an unseen Poltergeist releasing pots, pans, plates and cutlery from their gravitational ties and into a kitchen whirlpool. Its invisible ebbs and flows paid little mind to the kitchen staff as you duck to avoid the wayward cookware. Some of your teammates weren’t so lucky as the spiral turned with dizzying intensity, a saucer wedging into Kimball’s head while a teacup scoops up Momo and pulls her into the swirling vortex like an amusement ride. A flustered Miruku enters the scene to check in on the holdup, only to be met by the swing of a runaway rolling pin! Against the strobe lighting you peer into the eye of the storm, spotting an ornate tea set dissimilar to the contemporary cafe fare. Malori was wide eyed and shaking as she covered her mouth in terror; fixated on the teapot and cups above all else, there is a peculiar sense of knowing behind her blue eyes. Were the girls playing tricks? With sharp knives revolving a hair's breadth away, the supernatural goings on felt far from child’s play. It seemed behind the spiralling crockery there was a new presence in your midst. Or rather, a presence that had been there all along. What will you do?
Before Malori could even reply, something seemed to catch the woman's eye as the color faded fast from her face, and Jess spun around to see what could've whitened her expression to such an extent. A sing-song voice rang out, elated and elevated in pitch like a child:

All work and no play makes Pat a dull man!
All play and no work makes Pat a dull mon!

The lilt giggled and lights began to blink on and off as Malori screamed, stimulating silverware to seemingly waken and rise at the alarm's sound, swirling violently into a vortex formed in the center of the room. Pots and pans flew haphazardly everywhere, as Jess desperately dodged sharp knives and forks whilst a loose plate even lodged into Kim's forehead like a discus; soft frozen fresh fortunately more slighted than significantly harmed. As the slurred slush struggled in an attempt to remove the foreign topping, a cup simultaneously swooped down and scooped up Momo, who squeed with delight as the container spun her around like a twirling tea ride. Meanwhile Miruku re-entered the kitchen after distributing the colorful corn treats to her cohorts only to find a scene of complete chaos once again, barely ducking to avoid a surprise strike out by a rolling pin - battering up against the wrong kind of batter.

Seeing this, Blueberry stretched out one of her strings and snagged the wooden instrument as it whizzed by, still straining the other to cling onto a cupboard handle to prevent being sucked into the cyclone herself. Squinting into the middle of the maelstrom, she spotted a strangely decorative drinking set which seemed to be the source of the supernatural wind, which Malori's horrified gaze was fixated on as well. The balloon's beady eyes narrowed as she glared at what she assumed to be their uninvited ghostly guest's vessel. Whatever this mysterious, mischievous manifestation was after, Blue at current didn't care the least bit as it clearly knew something about where her girls had gone to. The presence invoking Patty's name was a big mistake, as she'd make the pot spill its liquid guts if she had to in order to bring her daughters home safe. Focusing her energies in an effort to DISABLE the dancing china, the mad mother released her hold and sailed straight into the eye of the storm with a primal war cry, angrily raising the blunt club above in preparation to smack and shatter the porcelain poltergeist, threatening to chop off its head if it didn't reveal the location of her children - or else release them from whatever prison the kidnapper had spirited them away to - right this instant.
 
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SpinyShell: With a last breath of fresh air, you slip off the boat and into the deep blue. Bubbles rush off the rubbery wetsuit as your ears fill with the hum of ocean, muffling the caws of Wingull flying overhead. While your hearing was dulled your vision was clear, goggles providing a perfect view of the reef below. Your eyes widen as the coral glistened in muted tones against refracted flecks of sunlight, a far cry from a tropical reef yet still was teeming with its own assortment of wildlife. Eager to get a closer look you give your flippers a kick, turning your head in awe as a school of Mantine intercept your marine decent. One of the Mantyke brushes past Limestone - struggling to paddle in tow due to his rocky anchorage – who shakes a claw scoldingly while the juvenile stingray glided out of sight. Closer to the seabed you make out a few well-camouflaged Octillery slinking from beneath one rock to another.

“Pretty cool, huh?” exclaims Atla in a muffled tone, “Looks like the walky-talkies built into our scuba masks are in working order too, even your Pokemon should have no problem hearing your commands. Now, let’s head this way.” She ushers you to follow her into the deeper trenches toward a fissure in the seabed, the Dewpider on her flank proving more adept beneath the water than above it. Kicking your flippers as fast as you can to keep up, you find the colourful and lively atmosphere of the shoals replaced with gloomier fixtures, bits of broken coral and fish bones sending shivers down your spine. You continue to submerge until you uncover a rusted frigate, choked in seaweed and strewn with colonies of Binacle not dissimilar your own. The warship had been lost to the murky depths long ago by the looks of things, and yet still evoked a feeling of mystique. Atla paddles excitedly to what looks like a hatch, giving the door’s wheel a budge to no avail. She ushers you in for a closer look, wiping away some of the slime from its surface to reveal a set of instructions:


Turn the wheel clockwise and counterclockwise to the correct three-digit increments to open.
You notice from there that the wheel featured numbers from 001 to 999 inscribed in a circle, similar to a dial you might turn to open a safe. “Look below,” Atla points to an inscription below the wheel, “It’s either a crudely written poem, or a riddle of sorts. Perhaps it’ll give us a clue on how to open this hatch?”

The Emperor commanded his ships to sail Right,
The armies Left swiftly on their Transport,
And in their Discipline were sent Right to a watery grave.
“Well, I’m stumped – does this mean anything to you?”

Please send me a message if you get stuck with this challenge!
SPLOOSH!

A blast of bubbles flowed off Sil’s wetsuit, rushing towards the surface as she dove in. The water muffled her ears, dampening the squawks of the circling Wingull soaring high above the water. Her eyesight, unlike her hearing, wasn’t reduced, the goggles allowing for clear view of the reef below despite their wear and tear. Sunlight dappled the coral, muted in color due to their bleached condition but still teeming with a plethora of aquatic Pokémon. Sil kicked a little to get in closer, watching in awe as a school of Mantine and Mantyke swam past. One of the stingrays, a small Mantyke, bumped Limestone, the Binacle struggling to keep up with their hefty rock. Lime scowled after the Kite Pokémon as it swam into the deep blue while Stone just shook his head. Sil smiled to herself at the two, before her attention was drawn to the seabed, some Octillery in her peripheral shifting their camouflage as they glided across the rocks.

“Pretty cool, huh?” Atla said, her muffled voice coming from a speaker in the mask. “Looks like the walkie-talkies built into our scuba masks are in working order too, even your Pokémon should have no problem hearing your commands. Now, let’s head this way,” she said, gesturing towards a wide fissure in the deeper trenches ahead of them, her little Dewpider agilely swimming ahead of her. As they descended deeper and deeper, the reef gave way to a more foreboding atmosphere, with broken corals and stark bones replacing the lively Pokémon from the shoal, sending shivers down Sil’s spine; now she sort of understood why Atla was afraid of going alone. She glanced over at Limestone, however, if either Binacle was afraid, they didn’t show it, not even the worrywort Stone.

Soon, out of the murky waters a sunken frigate appeared. The ship was so covered in seaweed and Binacle colonies reaching out into the gloom for marine snow that it was hard to see the actual boat underneath, rusted and rotted due to years and years of lying at the bottom of the trench. Atla scanned the outside of the boat, before swiftly paddling to what appeared to be a hatch, free from the choking seaweed and barnacles. The diver tried to twist the door’s wheel but the hatch didn’t budge, even with the assistance of her Dewpider. The two looked over it once more, before the diver wiped away some of the grime. She gestured to Sil and Limestone, pointing at an inscription on the door:

Turn the wheel clockwise and counterclockwise to the correct three-digit increments to open.

Wrapped around near the edge of the wheel, Sil noticed, were numbers from 001 to 999, similar to the dial of a lock or safe. Atla then pointed at something scrawled beneath the wheel. “Look below,” she said, “It’s either a crudely written poem, or a riddle of sorts. Perhaps it’ll give us a clue on how to open this hatch?”

The Emperor commanded his ships to sail Right,

The armies Left swiftly on their Transport,
And in their Discipline were sent Right to a watery grave.

“Well, I’m stumped – does this mean anything to you?”

Hmmmm… Sil thought. The capitalized directions, right and left, seemed to be indicators of which direction she should turn the wheel: right first, then left, and then right again. However, she was puzzled by the capitalized nouns: emperor, transport, and discipline. None of them seemed to share anything in common. Maybe it’s based upon the number of letters in each word, Sil thought, but that seems a little too obvious. It has to be something else, but what exactly… ?

Sil’s train of thought was interrupted as she watched Limestone awkwardly swim over to the wheel. Lime wrapped his head claws on the wheel, and with a discussion too muffled by the water to be heard by the observers, Stone also reluctantly placed his head claws in a similar position opposite Lime. Paying no heed to the inscription, the two attempted to open the door to no avail. No matter how hard they twisted and tugged, the door wouldn’t open. However, despite their failure, Sil was still impressed by their handiness--they were in sync, more like the hands of a person rather than two independently-minded Pokémon.

They certainly live up to their category, the Two-Handed Pokémon, Sil thought.

Category… category… category… wait a minute! Two of the words inscribed on the hull door, emperor and transport, are Pokémon categories. Maybe it’s connected to that!

“I, uh, think it might have to do with Pokémon categories.” Sil said. “You see, I'm, uh, from Sinnoh, and, one of the starters from the region’s top professor is Piplup, and its final evolution is known as Empoleon. During gym matches and such on TV, the announcers will state some information about the challenger’s Pokémon, including their category.”

Sil pointed to the words scrawled under the wheel, feeling her confidence build. “Empoleon is known as the Emperor Pokémon, and I know Lapras is the Transport Pokémon--you can find them in Sinnoh’s Victory Road, that’s how I know,” Sil said. “But who's the Discipline Pokémon? I suspect it might be a Water type considering both Lapras and Empoleon are both Water types, but beyond that… wait, my Pokédex. I could search by category.”

She looked at her left wrist, where a small waterproof screen linked wirelessly to her Pokédex was. With a few taps on the touchscreen, she brought up the search function and typed “Discipline Pokémon” into the search bar. A few seconds later, the results flashed on screen. There was only one entry for Discipline Pokémon...

“Dewott--that seems to be our third Pokémon,” Sil said. “Empoleon the Emperor Pokémon, Lapras the Transport Pokémon, Dewott the Discipline Pokémon… how do those connect to numbers?”

Sil glanced back down at the screen on her wrist, before her eyes focused on the little number towards the top of the screen, 502, Dewott’s Pokédex number. Several quick taps later she brought up the pages for Lapras and Empoleon, and took note of their Pokédex numbers too. Maybe that’s what she was looking for.

“I think,” Sil said, getting her thoughts in order, “I think we need to first turn the wheel clockwise to 395, then counterclockwise to 131, and then clockwise to 502.”

Sil paused for a moment as she glanced at the gauge attached to her right wrist.

“Atla, how much time do we have left? And, um, after we unlock the door, do you think we’ll have a shot at breaking it off using our Pokémon? Maybe I’m paranoid, but I’m a little afraid of it shutting on us and locking us in. Maybe my Binacle could smash the hinges with Liquidation.”

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

High above the trench, a boat bobbed on the waves, with only a lone icy Sandshrew as its passenger.

Hailstone sat near the edge of the ship, peering into the deep blue below, lost in thought. After the diving party had disappeared from his sight, he had spent a few minutes tossing Ice Shards into the water to distract himself from his worry, watching them sink into the sea like frozen missiles, but his concern got the best of him.

He scratched absent-mindely at the life vest awkwardly fitted over him. He figured the group had swam down to the deepest of trenches, having watched them slowly descend downwards into the pit of the sea, too dark and deep for him to see from the surface. Even Dewpider and Limestone, despite their Water typing, might not be able to handle whatever swam in those waters.

...

He hoped their dive would be uneventful...


(OOC: You don’t have to do anything with Hailstone, I just felt like adding in something for him)
 
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King Ghidorah:

The vendor seems completely oblivious to your presence for a long while after you address her. It isn't until a bit of a commotion starts up behind her that the woman snaps back to reality, spins around and yells.

"CUT IT OUT! NO, NOT "CUT", DON'T CUT! STOP IT!"

She hangs head in defeat then lumps her body over the counter, as if dead.

"Arceus take me. Please, make it end..."

It's only then she notices you standing right there, and immediately springs back up, clearing her throat.

"U-uh... Welcome!! We got the finest Farfetch'd in all of Little Kanto! All of Big Kanto too! Y'know, the other Kanto. The place. Best ones there too. But here!"

The woman is probably about your age, has light brown hair, wears large glasses and a red bandanna on her head. She sighs loudly and half-heartedly motions to the birds behind her with her head.

"How many you need? Please, take all of them. End my misery..."

She takes off her glasses and tries to clean them with the even dirtier apron she's wearing.

"Look, sorry, I know this is unprofessional. But they're driving me nuts! They're fighting all the bloody time, especially those two! They all smell, they're loud, their excrements are everywhere... heck, I don't even eat meat!"

Glancing over her shoulder, you spot the two birds she's referring to. A Kantonian Farfetch'd stands in a samurai pose, without twitching a muscle, holding its leek like a katana in its sheathe ready to be drawn; its gaze is fixed on a Galarian Farfetch'd standing across it, also in its own battle stance, in turn holding its larger leek like a zweihander. Six other Farfetch'd surround them, excitedly waiting for the epic clash, making a ruckus as they encourage the display of violence about to happen. The moment is tense, you can almost feel the bloodlust in the air...

"You get a leek for free for each bird you buy," suddenly interjects the woman, who swoops in to take the warriors' weapons from their grasp and casually places them on the counter, ruining the moment. "It's this crap I gotta deal with every day - please, buy either of them, I beg you!"

But suddenly, as if only then remembering she's running a business, she clears her throat again.

"$6000 each. Won't find cheaper in Little Kanto! Won't find more expensive either, but hey, monopoly!"

Well then...




DannyDrawsaLot:

Looker seems decidedly non-enthused by your attitude. You keep up your defiance, backed up by your undeniable innocence which, with every word and action, seems to become less and less relevant to your cause. Cooperating with the local authorities is probably best for any young Trainer looking to get somewhere in life, but you're not about to concede here. You were unjustly accused, after all.

"Here's the deal, bud... Even of you were innocent as far as stealing the railway iron is concerned, which I doubt it, you sure as hell are guilty of a bunch of other stuff. So I'm not sure what kind of immunity you think you have, but by Arceus have you been making a lot of questionable decisions since I met you."

Looker whistles, calling Growlithe to his side.

"Got a bunch of my men around the railway, just in case you were thinking about escaping again, like "innocents" do. So here's what we're gonna do: you and your lizard are tagging along with me - you're gonna help me find that other Pokemon you say is the real culprit. If we do, you'll have proven your innocence. You say a Scraggy did it? Then it's about time you start putting your money where your mouth is and help me track it down."

Looker pauses for a while and grins at you.

"Unless you wanna keep doing things your way. I can tell you're dying to have a swing at me. What's it gonna be, tough guy?"

Embers escape Growlithe's mouth, as it keeps shifting its gaze between your Helioptile and Drizzile.

Looker is getting straight to the point now: are you going to cooperate with the police that falsely accused you, or are you going to keep resisting?
 
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The Foundry

Myahoo:
In spite of a landslide victory the games were getting to you, and they were only just getting started! Casting the feelings of inertia aside, you gingerly select the green orb, which on touch propels you and your electrified companion into lift off once more. The array of colours speed through your peripheral at blinding speed as you travel lightyears to the next world in the cybernetic series, a two-dimensional setting not dissimilar to the one that came before. In spite of his miniscule and pixelated stature there’s no mistaking him, Tase bouncing up and down just a stone’s throw away. It would be easy enough to reunite with your furry friend, if not for the horizontal road with racecars, trucks, and bulldozers speeding along it. It appeared the Joltik would have to wade through opposing lanes of traffic to avoid becoming roadkill. Once past the road, there was a strip of river with logs and friendly Squirtle granting passage, when not taken by the current’s undertow. Through jumping on the swiftly moving logs and the backs of the drifting Pokemon, it would not take long for the Joltik to reach its safety. Not the sort to pass up on an opportunity to taunt its captors, the mischievous Porygon-Z pipes up yet again, its crackly voice permeating throughout the blocky cyberscape.


Why did the Joltik cross the road?

Who knows? It was squashed like a bug before anyone could ask! Bzzt.

Play Frogger and get three Froggers Joltik across the road, then share the result in your reply!
The green Cyberball emitted a beep as Aiden tapped it, the same white flash from before blinding him and then the same dizzying array of colors flashing past. This time, though, they landed outside. Or, well, a semblance of outside if everything was two-dimensional and there was minimal shading.

Aiden blinked the spots from his eyes and took stock of their surroundings. There was a river in front of them with sets of Squirtle and logs heading downstream. A strip of grass. And then a road with cars, trucks, and...was that a bulldozer? Aiden glanced incredulously over at Hint to check if the Rotom was seeing this also, but it didn't seem to be paying attention to that. It was squinting at a little yellow pixelated arachnid bouncing up and down on the far side of the road.

Their captor spoke from overhead, once again heralding the beginning of the game. "Why did the Joltik cross the road? Who knows? It was squashed like a bug before anyone could ask! Bzzt."

Aiden felt his heart jump, even as he shot a scowl at the sky. "It thinks it's funny, doesn't it."

"Probably," Hint replied distractedly. "You give him directions, while I watch the traffic? Or will you actually pay attention if you watch the traffic this time?" Hint eyed him skeptically.

"I can pay attention," Aiden shot back and then considered the layout of the level. "But you should probably do the traffic watching. You can hover, after all."

"Alright." Hint circled until it had a good vantage point. "We start...now!"


Screenshot 2020-09-26 215310.png
 
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King Ghidorah:

The vendor seems completely oblivious to your presence for a long while after you address her. It isn't until a bit of a commotion starts up behind her that the woman snaps back to reality, spins around and yells.

"CUT IT OUT! NO, NOT "CUT", DON'T CUT! STOP IT!"

She hangs head in defeat then lumps her body over the counter, as if dead.

"Arceus take me. Please, make it end..."

It's only then she notices you standing right there, and immediately springs back up, clearing her throat.

"U-uh... Welcome!! We got the finest Farfetch'd in all of Little Kanto! All of Big Kanto too! Y'know, the other Kanto. The place. Best ones there too. But here!"

The woman is probably about your age, has light brown hair, wears large glasses and a red bandanna on her head. She sighs loudly and half-heartedly motions to the birds behind her with her head.

"How many you need? Please, take all of them. End my misery..."

She takes off her glasses and tries to clean them with the even dirtier apron she's wearing.

"Look, sorry, I know this is unprofessional. But they're driving me nuts! They're fighting all the bloody time, especially those two! They all smell, they're loud, their excrements are everywhere... heck, I don't even eat meat!"

Glancing over her shoulder, you spot the two birds she's referring to. A Kantonian Farfetch'd stands in a samurai pose, without twitching a muscle, holding its leek like a katana in its sheathe ready to be drawn; its gaze is fixed on a Galarian Farfetch'd standing across it, also in its own battle stance, in turn holding its larger leek like a zweihander. Six other Farfetch'd surround them, excitedly waiting for the epic clash, making a ruckus as they encourage the display of violence about to happen. The moment is tense, you can almost feel the bloodlust in the air...

"You get a leek for free for each bird you buy," suddenly interjects the woman, who swoops in to take the warriors' weapons from their grasp and casually places them on the counter, ruining the moment. "It's this crap I gotta deal with every day - please, buy either of them, I beg you!"

But suddenly, as if only then remembering she's running a business, she clears her throat again.

"$6000 each. Won't find cheaper in Little Kanto! Won't find more expensive either, but hey, monopoly!"

Well then...
Hugo eyed the situation. Clearly this woman was in way over her head in trying to manage this gaggle of sword-wielding ducks. He needed to bring one back with him, that was for sure, especially after having been usurped on the needed berries. He didn’t see his Galarian nemesis nearby, but knew he needed to act swiftly should he be lurking. The asking price was high, though. $3,000 was all he had been given, and each Farfetch’d was double that. He would have to spend his own money, and was he really willing to do that for someone who was essentially a stranger? Not to mention that he would still need to get his hands on the berries…somehow.

Even so, Hugo thought he may have a little bit of bargaining leverage here. This vendor was practically begging Hugo to take these birds off her hands. It was evident that they were wearing her down with their quackery, so perhaps Hugo could seek to exploit that.

But which Farfetch’d did he need? Kantonian? Galarian? This was Little Kanto, based on Kanto, one would assume that it would be a Kantonian Farfetch’d. Then again, Galarian Farfetch’d were known for being more muscular…more meatier. Perhaps that would do better for what was needed? Hugo wasn’t sure.

“Well,” he said to the lady, “they certainly are a lively bunch, are they? It looks as though those two are about to tear this place down. How are you going to stop them?”

He paused for a moment, feigning pensiveness.

“You know, actually you may not need to. I would be happy to take them off your hand.

Both of them.

But for $6,000 total. A little buy-one-get-one, if you will. Your asking price is a bit steep and it’s pretty clear to me that these two have some…behavioral issues that need to be worked through. I will take them both of them, but you need to meet me halfway.”

And then….
 
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Milcery Patisserie

Lilbluecorsola:
It was a culinary cabaret! Momo squeaks with delight as she’s pulled into its gravitational well, your buffeted teammates meanwhile failing to see the fun in it, least of all Blueberry with a supposed kidnapper at the thick of the calamity. Her motherly instincts fire her up like a hot air balloon, one string tied to the kitchen fixtures while the other fastened around a stray rolling pin, primed to pulverise the porcelain poltergeist. Where others were rightly spooked, the Driftloon bobs right into the epicentre of paranormal activity. There’s a short battle of willpower as she Disables the puppetry one piece of tableware at a time, a wayward kitchen knife succumbing to gravity seconds before it can burst her bubble. You cover your ears against the ensuing clang and clamour, the Pichu springing from her cup and escaping a crash landing in the nick of time.

To everyone’s surprise the tea set falls with the rest of the crockery, a few of its cups and saucers shattering entirely while others were preserved with minor chips and cracks. The decoy teapot had been brewing something though, its essence spilling out over the tiled floor. You peer past the ceramic mosaic to no ordinary black tea puddle, but what appeared to be a window into another world. Whatever ethereal entity had the kitchen spellbound was no longer in the room with you, likely on another plane entirely. The ripples made it impossible discern where exactly, although you notice a faint candlelight flicker amidst the shadowy abyss.

“That tea set...” Malori murmurs, still visibly shaken. She lowers herself into the debris and examines one of its chipped cups contemplatively. “I know it, it was up in our attic – older than the property itself, we think. Our boy – Remi, against his father’s wishes would sneak up there and play with it. He was such a strong willed little boy...” The maître d's mind was clearly elsewhere, she’d be no help to your rescue efforts in such a fragile state. It seemed few of you would be on that note; the liquid anomaly seems only to react to Blueberry’s touch, it was a passage laid exclusively for the undead.


The Foundry

Myahoo:
The next challenge was underway, Tase crossing the busy highway with the ease of his own spider web while Hint droned above, keeping an eye out for any surprise shifts in the traffic flow. Standing just a few pixels in stature, the vehicles were like huge freight trains by comparison - one misstep and he’d be unceremoniously flattened beneath their tyres. No such steamrolling occurs to your relief, the pair reaching the virtual waterway where the bouncy bug finds passage on a drifting log, a friendly Squirtle then rafting him through the final stretch. It was quite the breeze, much to the abductor’s chagrin. You then feel your body discombobulate again, your growing party zooming back to the lobby with a Green Cyber Ball
in hand.


Two down two to go. BzzT. But fear not!

ThiS is tHe lAst vIdeo gAme wOrld. Bzzzt.

Something seemed even more unhinged about the Porygon-Z than usual as its sentence stifled in parts; perhaps losing to you at so many turns was taking its toll. Just as the Virtual Pokemon forewarned, the set of orbs ahead are replaced with four new colours signalling your advancement to the final stage: magenta, cyan, aqua and violet. You knew the drill by now, selecting your preferred choice and warping to the final video game world.

In a dizzying flash you had traded cyberspace for outer space, captaining a starship of questionable sophistication. Sat in the captain’s chair of a vessel taken straight out of science fiction, you were joined by a crew of your Pokemon, which included Dust the Vulpix! It appeared that the objective of this level was not to free your captive Pokemon, but rather free yourselves. Peering through the viewscreen into the pixelated galaxy ahead, an entire alien armada was homing in on your location and fast! The fleet of Magnezone, Metang and Ferrothorn were lined in a meticulous formation; it would be impossible to evade, so there was nothing for it but to punch your way through. Hint being the technopath in your ranks possesses the ship, soon enough having all of its systems manned with shields and weapons initialising. You brace against the arms of your chair as the interstellar dogfight wheels into motion…

Play Space Invaders and get a score of 1,000 or more, then share the result in your reply!


Little Kanto

Maskerade:
While the master bends in perfect harmony with her Pokemon, it takes the ally side a while to get into step; the more in sync the Hero Maker and Red Devil became, the more out of sync Over Mind was pushed. The burgeoning mind reader struggles to get into your head, and subsequently out of his own. This results in him receiving unprotected blows from the opposing Meinfoo, struggling to parry the Force of its Palms with his lithe limbs. The Lucario rushes Red Devil with the same technique, but the ape strikes first with a right hook Punch at Mach speed. While throwing the Aura Pokemon off, it doesn’t stop the pair trading blows with intense ferocity, neither really showing the upper hand – that is until the Infernape’s gauntlets burst into flame, unleashing a wicked Cross Fire which sizzles against Lucario’s block forcing him into retreat, the fresh breeze tinged with the smell of burnt fur.

Over Mind’s defeat in the city’s temporal calamity plays over in his mind like a movie reel, giving the opponent free reign to deliver left hook after right. It takes a few choice words to snap him back to reality, following your lead and striking the aggressor in the shoulder with a Psycho Cut. The point-blank chop almost knocks the Martial Arts Pokemon clean off its feet, a backwards roll repelling it out of harm’s way. The opposing sparring partners took their master’s flank and fell into another mediative flow, channelling their fighting spirit with masterful Focus and sending it Blasting down the lawn. Infernape attempts to dodge, the sluggish ball of energy managing only to clip his tail. The Meditite instead goes to rebuff the attack with its Force Palms, triggering an explosion which sends him tumbling down the hill like a ragdoll. While the fight looked like it could go either way at this stage, the dissonance between your teammates was starting to show. The elderly lady shoots you a wry smile before shifting into another fighting stance, following the steps for an Aura Sphere and directing both Pokemon to take aim on your Infernape.


Cape Effervescence

SpinyShell: While Hailstone was relegated to minding the deck, unstimulated as he idly skimmed shards above – the scuba divers were decidedly overstimulated, stumped by the warship’s riddle below. You rack your brain as precious time ticks on, wondering if you would have to blast the door open through brute force. Soon enough a brainwave hits and the encrypted message becomes clear as water. Your smartwatch has no problem functioning under the extreme conditions, churning out the increments needed to twist the wheel and open the hatch. Atla seems a little sceptical at first, an err of caution as she followed your directions, twisting away against years of rust. You feel a sense of satisfaction as the door unbolts on the third turn, granting passage to the sunken ship’s innards.

“Well aren’t you a bright spark,” Atla grins, manoeuvring herself above the hatch in preparation for descent, “We still have plenty of air left, about an hour if I had to guess. Don’t worry Sil, we’ll be in and out in a jiffy.” Lime was decidedly sold as he peddled ahead, Stone shooting a look of protest as he’s pulled along for the ride. You take the Binacle’s flank, curious at least to see what lay at the end of the dank tunnelway. On entry you’re swallowed by pitch black, the diver flicking on a pair of flashlights and passing one back to you to restore your vision.

The narrow passage brings you to a hull shrouded in algae, a rotting skeleton of rust and decay. It must have been a fine vessel in its heyday - fitted with sophisticated sonar equipment and weapons stations - but the ship lay quite forgotten in its demise, bit by bit becoming a part of ocean floor which eroded it relentlessly. In a century’s time it wouldn't even be a memory. While it was an eerie setting Atla was simply awestruck, setting her Dewpider to scour the crevices for lost treasures. The first trinket that catches their attention is the ship’s wheel, noticeably damaged with six spokes and just four handles, stubs where two had been lost. There was a compass fixed to one side of the wheel, resembling the eye of a familiar Pokemon... It would be worth a pretty penny even in its condition, the forager removing it from its axle and strapping it to her side. Beside where the wheel had been you notice a captain’s log, still barely legible after all the years:


The boss’s plan to awaken Kyogre was a success and soon the world will return to its beginnings.
All dreadnaughts have been commanded to return to the Hoenn region immediately.
I pray the sea grants us safe passage – even from this far off land we feel ripples of the ocean’s wrath.

DEWY!” Bubbles rush from Atla’s mouth, her exclamation snapping you from your reverie. She was visibly shaken, one hand covering her mouth while another pointed ahead. You follow its direction to what looked like an old Bewear trap, no doubt sprung by the scavenging spider. Its metal teeth were clamped tight, the Dewpider within showing visible resistance from the inside. It appeared the
wasn’t about to let up easily, you’d need to pry it open from the outside or else risk aquatic arachnid becoming fish food. What will you do?
 
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SpinyShell: While Hailstone was relegated to minding the deck, unstimulated as he idly skimmed shards above – the scuba divers were decidedly overstimulated, stumped by the warship’s riddle below. You rack your brain as precious time ticks on, wondering if you would have to blast the door open through brute force. Soon enough a brainwave hits and the encrypted message becomes clear as water. Your smartwatch has no problem functioning under the extreme conditions, churning out the increments needed to twist the wheel and open the hatch. Atla seems a little sceptical at first, an err of caution as she followed your directions, twisting away against years of rust. You feel a sense of satisfaction as the door unbolts on the third turn, granting passage to the sunken ship’s innards.

“Well aren’t you a bright spark,” Atla grins, manoeuvring herself above the hatch in preparation for descent, “We still have plenty of air left, about an hour if I had to guess. Don’t worry Sil, we’ll be in and out in a jiffy.” Lime was decidedly sold as he peddled ahead, Stone shooting a look of protest as he’s pulled along for the ride. You take the Binacle’s flank, curious at least to see what lay at the end of the dank tunnelway. On entry you’re swallowed by pitch black, the diver flicking on a pair of flashlights and passing one back to you to restore your vision.

The narrow passage brings you to a hull shrouded in algae, a rotting skeleton of rust and decay. It must have been a fine vessel in its heyday - fitted with sophisticated sonar equipment and weapons stations - but the ship lay quite forgotten in its demise, bit by bit becoming a part of ocean floor which eroded it relentlessly. In a century’s time it wouldn't even be a memory. While it was an eerie setting Atla was simply awestruck, setting her Dewpider to scour the crevices for lost treasures. The first trinket that catches their attention is the ship’s wheel, noticeably damaged with six spokes and just four handles, stubs where two had been lost. There was a compass fixed to one side of the wheel, resembling the eye of a familiar Pokemon... It would be worth a pretty penny even in its condition, the forager removing it from its axle and strapping it to her side. Beside where the wheel had been you notice a captain’s log, still barely legible after all the years:


The boss’s plan to awaken Kyogre was a success and soon the world will return to its beginnings.
All dreadnaughts have been commanded to return to the Hoenn region immediately.
I pray the sea grants us safe passage – even from this far off land we feel ripples of the ocean’s wrath.
DEWY!” Bubbles rush from Atla’s mouth, her exclamation snapping you from your reverie. She was visibly shaken, one hand covering her mouth while another pointed ahead. You follow its direction to what looked like an old Bewear trap, no doubt sprung by the scavenging spider. Its metal teeth were clamped tight, the Dewpider within showing visible resistance from the inside. It appeared the
wasn’t about to let up easily, you’d need to pry it open from the outside or else risk aquatic arachnid becoming fish food. What will you do?
Below the boat and the Sandshrew, the two divers racked their brains as they tried to solve the riddle, the clock weighing heavily on their minds as their oxygen slowly depleted.

Sil felt panic bubbling up inside her every moment she breathed, and in a moment of desperation entertained the idea of just bashing open the door, studying the hinges for a weak spot. Fortunately, a bolt of inspiration from Limestone gave her the brainwave she needed, and probably with more air than she should, she hastily told Atla of her idea. The diver gave her a skeptical look, or, at least it looked skeptical--it was hard to tell due to the mask--but cautiously followed her lead anyway, slowly placing her hands on the wheel beside Sil’s. The two divers turned the dilapidated object, struggling a little as it scraped and grinded against the years of rust.

CLANK!

As the wheel clockwise to 502, it unbolted with a satisfying clang and a pop. The door swung open with an ominous grinding sound, a gateway to the dark unknowns. Atla and her Dewpider swam over the hatch, preparing to enter. “Well aren’t you a bright spark,” she said, “We still have plenty of air left, about an hour if I had to guess. Don’t worry Sil, we’ll be in and out in a jiffy.” And with a kick of her flippers, the diver swam into the ship, her Dewpider darting alongside her.

Sil and Limestone followed their lead, swimming in hesitantly after them. Lime was twisting every which way with excitement trying to take in everything he saw--not much, considering the darkness--while Stone tried to sink deeper into his rocky home, frowning with disapproval. Sil swam beside the two and tried to give Stone a reassuring smile through the mask. Once the darkness closed around them, Atla turned on a pair of flashlights, handing one over to Sil.

The claustrophobic hallway opened up to the hull, rusted beyond repair, the area covered in a green carpet of algae. Despite the severe state of decay, from what Sil could see the ship appeared to have been quite the vessel during its sailing days, decked out with all sorts of interesting tech. However, now it was pitiful, forgotten and left to rot in despair at the bottom of the ocean. An eerie setting to be sure, the gloomy atmosphere making Sil’s (and Stone’s) stomachs twist in nervousness. Atla on the other hand was fascinated, her Dewpider scuttling over and in every crevice for hidden treasures. The little spider scanned the hull before it swam excitedly over to the ship’s wheel, pointing to a fancy compass embedded in the wood. Atla slowly removed it with delicate hands and showed it to Sil and Limestone, the tool reminding them of a certain Ghost type, before fixing it to her side.

As Atla and her Dewpider swam off to a different area of the room in search of more treasure, Sil and Lime, with Stone along for the ride, inspected the wheel some more. It was severely damaged, missing two of its six spokes, and the wood was rotted beyond repair. Alongside the wheel, as pointed out by Lime, was the captain’s log book, still legible despite the conditions:

The boss’s plan to awaken Kyogre was a success and soon the world will return to its beginnings.
All dreadnaughts have been commanded to return to the Hoenn region immediately.
I pray the sea grants us safe passage – even from this far off land we feel ripples of the ocean’s wrath.

Kyogre? Beginnings? What does this all mean?
Sil thought. Her curiosity was only heightened by the look of concern that crossed Lime’s and Stone’s faces as they read the log alongside her.

“What do you guys make of th--”

“DEWY!”

Sil and Limestone spun around in panic to find Atla frightened and visibly shaken, one hand over her mouth, the other trembling and pointing at something ahead. Sil flicked her flashlight over to where Atla was pointing at, her light illuminating an old Ursaring trap. Suddenly, the trap thrashed around violently, and Sil realized that it wasn’t a trap but (according to her Pokédex) a Galarian Stunfisk. Between its sharpened teeth Sil could see the Dewpider struggling to free itself, too large to simply slip between the jaws of the Trap Pokémon.

Knowing that was too dangerous for a human to try to pry apart the jaws, Sil turned to her partner Pokémon, who were watching with a mixture of horror and rage on their faces. They had to act fast. Racking her brain for ideas, Sil sputtered out something akin to a command.

“Quick” she said, panic creeping into her voice, “strike the Stunfisk with a Liquidation to stun it! And then, um… once you’re in close, then try to pry open its jaws and lend a Helping Hand to Dewy! If you can’t open the Stunfisk’s jaws wide enough for Dewy to escape, uhh… then maybe, maybe try to coat the Dewpider with a Sand Attack to trick the fish into thinking its mouth is full of only sand--hopefully it will reset and give the Dewpider enough space to escape. Once Dewy’s free, swim away as fast as you can!”

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

Blissfully unaware of the struggle going on down below, Hailstone slowly grew tired of his icy antics. There were only so many icicles one could fling into the ocean before the whole thing got boring. Understimulated, he wandered all around the boat in search of something to do and distract him from his fears, but came up empty-pawed. Flopping down back at the front of the boat, he sighed as his stomach grumbled in displeasure, though whether that was due to hunger or due to the Butterfree in his stomach, he could not tell.

All he could do now was pace nervously back and forth.
 
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Cape Effervescence

SpinyShell: Your torches fix like searchlights on what can only be described as a scene from a deep sea horror, the Stunfisk’s teeth jam shut as the Dewpider wriggled and wrestled helplessly within. It was powerless to escape so perhaps you could lend a hand from the outside – fortunately, you had two. The Binacle paddle inbound in a rare show of bravery from both parties, bonking the metalic mudfish on the head with a Liquidated arm. The predator reels, baring its teeth at the Binacle which glisten like Metal Claws before snapping down against their boulder. Bits of pebble break away as Limestone barks in discomfort, remembering to take their opening and sandwiching themselves within the creature’s jaws. With one pushing against the base and the other the roof, they proceeded to pry the fish’s maw open like a jack. This gives the imprisoned Dewpider the Helping Hand needed to Lunge to freedom, the teeth raking against its abdomen but leaving it for the most part unscathed. The Galarian breed scowls and emits a earsplitting Metal Sound, most of the remaining portholes shattering, the sound travelling much faster than above surface. In losing its catch it sets its sights squarely on Limestone, less appetising but a meal all the same. With enough force the metal jaws could pulverize the rock to dust, the more cautious of the pair greeting its sudden advance with a Sand Attack. The bits of mica spat up from their rocky home are enough to stop the predator in its tracks, sand infiltrating its trap and sending it into a coughing fit.

“We’ve got it on the ropes Sil – one more show of strength ought to scare it off. Dewy, trap the trap in a Sticky Web – then follow up with a Liquidation of your own!” While close to eaten alive, the watery web spinner confidently obliged for the sake of its two rescuers, who were now the predator’s sole target as it veered in for another attack. What will you do?
 
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The Foundry

Myahoo:
The next challenge was underway, Tase crossing the busy highway with the ease of his own spider web while Hint droned above, keeping an eye out for any surprise shifts in the traffic flow. Standing just a few pixels in stature, the vehicles were like huge freight trains by comparison - one misstep and he’d be unceremoniously flattened beneath their tyres. No such steamrolling occurs to your relief, the pair reaching the virtual waterway where the bouncy bug finds passage on a drifting log, a friendly Squirtle then rafting him through the final stretch. It was quite the breeze, much to the abductor’s chagrin. You then feel your body discombobulate again, your growing party zooming back to the lobby with a Green Cyber Ball
in hand.


Two down two to go. BzzT. But fear not!

ThiS is tHe lAst vIdeo gAme wOrld. Bzzzt.

Something seemed even more unhinged about the Porygon-Z than usual as its sentence stifled in parts; perhaps losing to you at so many turns was taking its toll. Just as the Virtual Pokemon forewarned, the set of orbs ahead are replaced with four new colours signalling your advancement to the final stage: magenta, cyan, aqua and violet. You knew the drill by now, selecting your preferred choice and warping to the final video game world.

In a dizzying flash you had traded cyberspace for outer space, captaining a starship of questionable sophistication. Sat in the captain’s chair of a vessel taken straight out of science fiction, you were joined by a crew of your Pokemon, which included Dust the Vulpix! It appeared that the objective of this level was not to free your captive Pokemon, but rather free yourselves. Peering through the viewscreen into the pixelated galaxy ahead, an entire alien armada was homing in on your location and fast! The fleet of Magnezone, Metang and Ferrothorn were lined in a meticulous formation; it would be impossible to evade, so there was nothing for it but to punch your way through. Hint being the technopath in your ranks possesses the ship, soon enough having all of its systems manned with shields and weapons initialising. You brace against the arms of your chair as the interstellar dogfight wheels into motion…

Play Space Invaders and get a score of 1,000 or more, then share the result in your reply!
Between Hint's overhead view and Aiden's 'street'-level view, they managed to get Tase across both the highway and the river without...anything happening to the tiny arachnid. The moment the Joltik reached their side of the riverbank, there was another flash of white light and they were returned to the 'lobby,' Aiden holding a Green Cyber Ball like he had been after the last game level.

"Two down, two to go. BzzT. But fear not!" their captor said. "ThiS is tHe lAst vIdeo gAme wOrld. Bzzzt."

Aiden exchanged a wary glance with Hint. "Is it just me or did that sound...not good?" he asked, voice pitched low even if that...probably didn't matter since he agreed with Hint on just what their captor probably was.

"Can't do anything about it right now anyway," Hint muttered back. Aiden nodded grimly and tossed the Green Cyber Ball to release Tase. A moment later, he sent Kaito out too.

"Just missing one more," Kaito said after taking stock of who was here now.

"What happened?" Tase skittered up Kaito's front paw, clinging despite Kaito's reflexive attempt to shake him off, so he could perch on the Zorua's head. "Where's the warehouse and the humans and the heat? And Dust, where's Dust?"

Aiden ran a hand through his hair. "We got sucked into the machine from earlier and our kidnapper wants us to win two more games in order to get free. After stealing a Cyber Ball," Aiden finished sourly, still frustrated about that. One for each of his current team that didn't have one, one for the Aerodactyl that got away, and one more for whoever would round out his first six. That was the plan, at least. Of course, now...well. He'd be happy with five if they all managed to get out of here whole and hale.

Tase hummed thoughtfully. "So, one for Dust and one more against...the kidnapper?"

"That's what we figure." Hint glanced at the lineup of pixel Cyber Balls, everyone else following its gaze. The lineup now consisted of magenta, cyan, aqua, and violet.

"Dust said aqua for him," Kaito reminded them, eyeing the lineup warily. There was a beat of silence as they all considered the pixel Cyber Balls. "We should hop back into our 'balls and get going. Who knows how long it'll keep us or Dust if we don't keep going?"

"Right." Aiden returned Tase and Kaito and tapped the aqua Cyber Ball, closing his eyes through the whole white-light-color-tunnel thing that he didn't need to see a third time. He did, however, open his eyes the moment he heard Tase, Kaito, and Dust(!) exclaim in surprise. They were on what looked like some kind of sci-fi space ship's bridge with Aiden seated at the captain's seat, Tase on radar/navigation, and Dust, Hint, and Kaito at loose ends.

"Uhhh, this doesn't look good," Tase said, staring down at whatever was displayed on his screen.

"If whatever you're seeing is the same as the view out the window, then, yeah, I very much agree," Aiden said, staring wide-eyed out the, for lack of a better word, windshield at the literal army of Magnezone, Metang, and Ferrothorn lined up in formation facing them. "Hint?"

Hint glanced back at him. "Take over the ship?"

"Take over the ship." Aiden tore his eyes away from the window to glance at Kaito and Dust. "We'll catch you up if--when we win," he told his Alolan Vulpix. "But, in the meantime, find something to hold on to and hold on." If this was going to be anything even close to video game aerial combat, they were gonna need to.


Collecting 1x Green Cyber Ball for my Joltik.

Screenshot 2020-09-28 180916.png
 
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King Ghidorah:

The birdkeeper (well, maybe not "keeper", really) gives you a blank stare.

"... That's a complete rip-off and you know it. You're trying to take advantage of my predicament to force me into poverty, you monster!"

Just as she says it, the commotion behind her gets louder. Peeking over her shoulder, you see that the two Farfetch'd have starting brawling, the Kantonian form slashing away repeatedly with its katana-like leek, while the Galarian variant ripostes with violent swings of its big leafy plant.

Hay and feathers fly everywhere, and the woman starts sneezing uncontrollably.

"For that *achooo!* price I can only *achoo!" give up one of them or I *achooo!* won't make it to end of the *achooo!* month!"

Amidst her allergic storm of suffering, she musters the strength to bend her knees and nimbly grab each of the dueling ducks by the legs. Hoisting them high, one in each hand turned hopelessly upside down, she makes her final offer.

"One for *achooo!* $4500. Best I can *achooo!* do for you. So take your *achooo!* pick already!"

The two birds continue to try and slap one another with their wings even while upside down in the woman's grasp, flailing rather pathetically in their desperate attempt to settle whatever feud they have.

"By the way, I'm kinda curious, *achooo!* what are your acquaintance's plans for *achooo!* the stupid bird? It’s only gonna *achoo!* give ‘im trouble, as you can tell…"

As she poses the question, the two Farfetch'd stop struggling for a very brief moment... almost as if wanting to hear the answer too.

Well?...
 
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Milcery Patisserie

Lilbluecorsola:
It was a culinary cabaret! Momo squeaks with delight as she’s pulled into its gravitational well, your buffeted teammates meanwhile failing to see the fun in it, least of all Blueberry with a supposed kidnapper at the thick of the calamity. Her motherly instincts fire her up like a hot air balloon, one string tied to the kitchen fixtures while the other fastened around a stray rolling pin, primed to pulverise the porcelain poltergeist. Where others were rightly spooked, the Driftloon bobs right into the epicentre of paranormal activity. There’s a short battle of willpower as she Disables the puppetry one piece of tableware at a time, a wayward kitchen knife succumbing to gravity seconds before it can burst her bubble. You cover your ears against the ensuing clang and clamour, the Pichu springing from her cup and escaping a crash landing in the nick of time.

To everyone’s surprise the tea set falls with the rest of the crockery, a few of its cups and saucers shattering entirely while others were preserved with minor chips and cracks. The decoy teapot had been brewing something though, its essence spilling out over the tiled floor. You peer past the ceramic mosaic to no ordinary black tea puddle, but what appeared to be a window into another world. Whatever ethereal entity had the kitchen spellbound was no longer in the room with you, likely on another plane entirely. The ripples made it impossible discern where exactly, although you notice a faint candlelight flicker amidst the shadowy abyss.

“That tea set...” Malori murmurs, still visibly shaken. She lowers herself into the debris and examines one of its chipped cups contemplatively. “I know it, it was up in our attic – older than the property itself, we think. Our boy – Remi, against his father’s wishes would sneak up there and play with it. He was such a strong willed little boy...” The maître d's mind was clearly elsewhere, she’d be no help to your rescue efforts in such a fragile state. It seemed few of you would be on that note; the liquid anomaly seems only to react to Blueberry’s touch, it was a passage laid exclusively for the undead.
Like some kind of culinary ninja, Blue darted and dodged projectiles as she dispelled each one, stopping a sharp silver blade in its tracks right before it skewered her into a fruit kabob. A mother on a mission, she had no time for nonsense as she sternly pulled the plug on Momo's ride, the panicked Pichu preemptively abandoning ship to avoid capsizing. Whilst Jess had been covering her ears against the grating sound of so much glass and ceramic breaking, she quickly extended her arms and caught the little one as she leapt overboard, shielding her sensitive hearing instead.

Blue continued to battle on through the storm, however when she reached the center and prepared to strike, to everyone's surprise the targeted tea set dropped dramatically with barely even a tap, shattering to pieces on the floor beside its fallen brethren. The pot itself split open entirely, pouring its murky contents all over the clean tiles. Like a dream, the drink seemed to swirl and ebb, opening up into pitch darkness. A black hole leading to a milky way galaxy, with wayward candlelight twinkling somewhere beyond like a distant star.

"That tea set..." Malori spoke up softly, hardly a step above silence as she gingerly bent down amongst the broken wreckage and fingered the fragmented remains. "I know it, it was up in our attic – older than the property itself, we think. Our boy – Remi, against his father’s wishes would sneak up there and play with it. He was such a strong willed little boy..."

Blue however wasn't paying attention, for as soon as she saw the faint flicker of flame she knew Patty must be somewhere within the well - meaning Mimi was surely there too - and she'd stop at nothing to get both her own girls back home safe and sound. When Kim and Miru hovered curiously over though (after the latter assisted the former in extricating the external object imbedded in her and reshaping to satisfaction), the portal didn't seem to react to their presence at all. Puzzled, Jess knelt down as well and placed her palm on top of the puddle, which rippled slightly to her touch as any normal water would, but contacting only cold solid surface underneath. Testing tentatively, Blueberry dipped half a heart into the liquid like a phantom fondue, steeping for but a moment before pulling back. Confirming that indeed, only ghosts could pass through the gate into the unknown.

The thought of one of her Pokémon going alone on such a journey to who knows where made Jess incredibly nervous though, reaching out to tug on the Drifloon's string to prevent her diving in recklessly. Blue mulled for a moment, before floating over to the girl's bag and fishing around inside, retrieving a spare Pika Doll - the same one Patty had planned to use in her Trick-or-Treat performance display for Halloween a few years ago, but didn't get a chance to due to her younger brother's interference at the time. Cradling the reminder close, she planted a kiss on the plush's forehead in parental blessing, BONDing her DESTINY to the doll. Returning to Jess, she handed the toy to her trainer with a smile, indicating that they'd be able to tell she was okay so long as it stayed standing. If the figure fainted, then...

Before Jess could ask what to do if such an event did occur, Blue flew to the pool and waved back with a reassuring beam, descending without warning into its depths. Jess watched in helpless horror as the space swallowed her friend whole, realizing it was impossible for her to follow as she and her remaining comrades regarded each other anxiously. There was nothing they could do but simply wait and see, praying for her to return. Much like a special media scene from her memories, of the moon looking on from above and singing a lullaby of encouragement to the lonely rabbit, as she struggled to obtain a flower for her love...

While a worried Kim and Miru continued to circle the wormhole in an attempt to angle their view so they could still catch a glimpse of their brave boss, Momo slid down from Jess's sleeve with the substitute, propping the likeness of her own model up as she determined to keep an eye on it and make sure it didn't move even an inch in the downward direction. Meanwhile, Jess glanced at Malori, who was still gazing solemnly at the porcelain in pensive meditation. Clearly she knew something about what was going on, and so steeled herself to strive to pry as much information as she could out of the woman.

"Sorry, I know this must be painful for you, but could you please tell me more about your son and what this tea set meant to him? Anything you know could possibly help us find out what happened to the children, so that no one else gets hurt..."
 
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Eyes of Ruby
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Cape Effervescence

SpinyShell: Your torches fix like searchlights on what can only be described as a scene from a deep sea horror, the Stunfisk’s teeth jam shut as the Dewpider wriggled and wrestled helplessly within. It was powerless to escape so perhaps you could lend a hand from the outside – fortunately, you had two. The Binacle paddle inbound in a rare show of bravery from both parties, bonking the metalic mudfish on the head with a Liquidated arm. The predator reels, baring its teeth at the Binacle which glisten like Metal Claws before snapping down against their boulder. Bits of pebble break away as Limestone barks in discomfort, remembering to take their opening and sandwiching themselves within the creature’s jaws. With one pushing against the base and the other the roof, they proceeded to pry the fish’s maw open like a jack. This gives the imprisoned Dewpider the Helping Hand needed to Lunge to freedom, the teeth raking against its abdomen but leaving it for the most part unscathed. The Galarian breed scowls and emits a earsplitting Metal Sound, most of the remaining portholes shattering, the sound travelling much faster than above surface. In losing its catch it sets its sights squarely on Limestone, less appetising but a meal all the same. With enough force the metal jaws could pulverize the rock to dust, the more cautious of the pair greeting its sudden advance with a Sand Attack. The bits of mica spat up from their rocky home are enough to stop the predator in its tracks, sand infiltrating its trap and sending it into a coughing fit.

“We’ve got it on the ropes Sil – one more show of strength ought to scare it off. Dewy, trap the trap in a Sticky Web – then follow up with a Liquidation of your own!” While close to eaten alive, the watery web spinner confidently obliged for the sake of its two rescuers, who were now the predator’s sole target as it veered in for another attack. What will you do?
Limestone paddled as swiftly as they could to the spider-in-distress and its captor, who seemed less concerned with the barnacles as it did with securing its meal. As they got close, however, the Stunfisk glared fiercely at them, squinting in the harsh light of the torches, unsure if they were rescuers or another predator coming to steal its freshly-caught prey. Irregardless, it seemed that the Stunfisk was prepared to fight back fiercely.

In a surge of bubbles, Lime coated himself in a torrent of water before he slammed down hard on the Stunfisk like a fist, catching the fish off guard with a blow to the side. Staggered by the Liquidation, the Trap Pokémon flashed its metallic teeth before scraping them across Lime and the boulder like Metal Claws in retaliation. Both Binacle let out a squeal of pain as bits of broken rock sunk to the shipfloor, their cries sending a bolt of fear into Sil’s heart. However, they swiftly steeled themselves and seized the opening and wedged themselves between the mudfish’s jaws, their tough claws clashing against the steel teeth. The two of them winced as they struggled to keep the hungry fish’s jaws from closing in on them, and with a Lunge, Dewy shot out from the Stunfisk’s maw a little cut and bruised from its ordeal.

Enraged that its quarry had escaped it, the Galarian fish let out a piercing screech like the Sound of grinding Metal. The harsh sound echoed all throughout the ship, shattering whatever glass remained. Sil grimaced in pain and covered her ears, seeing Atla do the same out of the corner of her eye. She looked over at Limestone, who seemed dazed having been so close to epicenter of the auditory assault. The Stunfisk noticed this as well, cautiously approaching in preparation for another devastating bite. Stone, however, was aware enough to halt the Stunfisk’s advance with a spray of Sand, the Attack sending the fish into a coughing fit.

With the Stunfisk momentarily distracted, Atla called out to Dewy. “We’ve got it on the ropes Sil – one more show of strength ought to scare it off. Dewy, trap the trap in a Sticky Web – then follow up with a Liquidation of your own!”

The little spider paddled high above the mudfish and unleashed silvery, Sticky Threads from its spinnerets that wrapped around it, entangling its stubbing fins and jaws. Surging like a tidal wave, the Dewpider then slammed into the Trap Pokémon with a Liquidation. The Stunfisk gnashed its teeth at its assailant, but the Dewpider swiftly swam out of reach, leaving Limestone to be the only suitable prey nearby. Already anticipating what was going to happen next, both barnacles quickly Withdrew into their rocky home as they tried to paddle out of biting range. They nervously glanced over at Sil for further instruction, only the tips of their heads visible as they peeked out over the stone.

“You guys did great,” Sil said, hoping the nervousness in her voice wasn't noticeable. “Now chase it off with a duel Mud-slap Water Gun combo!”
 
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King Ghidorah:

The birdkeeper (well, maybe not "keeper", really) gives you a blank stare.

"... That's a complete rip-off and you know it. You're trying to take advantage of my predicament to force me into poverty, you monster!"

Just as she says it, the commotion behind her gets louder. Peeking over her shoulder, you see that the two Farfetch'd have starting brawling, the Kantonian form slashing away repeatedly with its katana-like leek, while the Galarian variant ripostes with violent swings of its big leafy plant.

Hay and feathers fly everywhere, and the woman starts sneezing uncontrollably.

"For that *achooo!* price I can only *achoo!" give up one of them or I *achooo!* won't make it to end of the *achooo!* month!"

Amidst her allergic storm of suffering, she musters the strength to bend her knees and nimbly grab each of the dueling ducks by the legs. Hoisting them high, one in each hand turned hopelessly upside down, she makes her final offer.

"One for *achooo!* $4500. Best I can *achooo!* do for you. So take your *achooo!* pick already!"

The two birds continue to try and slap one another with their wings even while upside down in the woman's grasp, flailing rather pathetically in their desperate attempt to settle whatever feud they have.

"By the way, I'm kinda curious, *achooo!* what are your acquaintance's plans for *achooo!* the stupid bird? It’s only gonna *achoo!* give ‘im trouble, as you can tell…"

As she poses the question, the two Farfetch'd stop struggling for a very brief moment... almost as if wanting to hear the answer too.

Well?...
Suddenly, Hugo was overcome by a wave of guilt. He always knew that eating meat meant eating…well, something living. But he never really had to look his meals in the eye; he always chose to ignore that part. But now here, with these two feathery combatants staring at him…and with him knowing what his intention was…well, Hugo was having trouble coming to grips with that.

“Well, uh…I mean…he intends to…cook…them…”

Hugo could barely get the words out, feeling immediate regret as he said them. He realized it was time to do an about-face.

“Okay, look,” he said to the woman and the birds, “I can’t go through with this. I wanted to help this down-on-his-luck chef…I still want to help him…but I don’t think I can help him this way. And you…you seem to hate what you’re doing. You don’t even eat meat; you said so yourself. Let me help you too. I understand you need to make ends meet, but…I mean look at these two. Look at all of them. They’re alive. They want to live. Let me take this money back to Edogawa…I will help him some other way. And you…you need to let these birds go. They deserve to live…to fight…rather than to end up as someone’s lunch. I will help them. I will help you find something else to do…something more fulfilling. I know this all sounds crazy. I know you’ll say “there’s just no way” and that you don’t even care about these birds because they drive you crazy. But deep down…I think you do…otherwise you wouldn’t be a vegetarian.

Please. Let me help them. Let me help you. Let me help Edogawa. I don’t know how, but I just know that this is what I need to do.”
 
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Milcery Patisserie

Lilbluecorsola:
The thought of sending the dead zeppelin on an ethereal expedition solo is enough to put your nervous system into overdrive. The decision requires no deliberation on her part, although sensing your worry she leaves behind a lifeline in the shape of a Pikadoll Bonded with her Destiny. You watch on as her strings and body melt away into the swirling blackhole, no telling where she was going and when she would ever return. You refuse to let these thoughts linger, probing Malori in efforts to shed some light on the hauntings.

“Patrick was right…” She sobs, “Right all along and I dismissed him, called him crazy. You see our son, our beautiful boy… He passed away the year we opened this café… We were passing over the Alto Bridge, the heavy construction work must have been disturbing the local wildlife, as a powerful Pokemon broke onto the freeway…” It pained her to go on, but it was easy enough to fill the blanks from there. “These strange goings on, they only started to happen in the past few months. It seems the more Patrick and I would argue with one another, the more things would go haywire. I wonder if the poltergeist is taunting us, feeding on our suffering... Why else would it bring that tea set down here?” You do your best to console her, peering into the paranormal portal all the while, wondering if Blueberry might happen upon the answer to any of these questions…


Sinistea Patisserie

The darkness weighs heavily on the balloon as she drifts on through to the other side. What materialised before her was a shadow of the cafe in every way, a mirror match taking on the monotone look of old movies. The kitchen fixtures were in a sorrier state than the one that came before, not just messy but dirty. Blue could barely count all of the health code violations, from undead Rattata scurrying in and out of holes in skirting boards to undead Grubbin feasting on spoiled ingredients in the pantry. It was a chef’s nightmare realised, although her spirits lift upon finding a clue amongst the clutter. There was no mistaking the only shred of colour in the room as Mimi’s haphazard doodling, the entire kitchen wall her canvas without any adults to supervise her. The colourful mural featured stick drawings of all her friends and family… and what looked like the reanimated teacup. Blueberry inflates with fresh resolve, following the crayon as it trail off into the front of house. Her senses pique to childlike play on the other side, a familiar nursery rhyme filling the eerie silence...


‘Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake baker's ‘mon
Bake us a cake as fast as you can!’

The usually lively front of house was decidedly dead: shutters down, chairs stacked on tables and a door sign turned out to ‘closed’. The only flicker of illumination came from a candlelight that was unmistakeably Patty’s. Sitting in the kids’ area, the three children were giggling in unison, blissfully unaware of the mother’s presence. They were throwing a tea party, piping hot beverages for the girls and empty cups for the stuffed toys filling the vacant seats – save for one which had a teacup suspended above, belonging to seemingly no one. The vessel turns on the spot revealing a lacy pattern resembling a face, its childlike smile animating with laughter. They seem older than Pan but younger than Patty, if Blue had to hazard a guess. On being the first to notice the balloon in the room, the chipped cup’s smile cracks. It comes to her realisation that the tea’s behaviour may be more mischievous than sinister, but having been sent worried sick, she would be well within her rights to stop the child’s play and scold the naughty children. What will she do?

The Foundry

Myahoo:
In a galaxy far far away, you find your team manning the helm of a starship heading into enemy space. This would be the virtual villain’s last-ditch effort to trip you up in arcade fashion, leaving you no time to strategize as the alien armada encroach on your vessel. In melding with the ship’s circuitry, Hint takes no time putting his new toys to work: raising shields, initialising weapons and firing up propulsion systems. You hold onto your seat rests as the engine gives an 8-bit roar, accelerating the ship at intense velocity and setting the space battle underway.

An impassable formation of Magnezone were lined up to meet your approach, the Rotom punching an opening with a well-timed photon blast, corkscrewing through the debris left behind. The field of Metang were up next with more warning to return fire, your shields beginning to falter under the incessant showering. The sentient ship meets their assault with another photon blast, clearing a pathway to escape while sustaining heavy damage. Hurtling in range of the last line of offense, it looks like the ship’s safeguards might be reaching breaking point. A blaring claxon warns you to brace for impact as shields go offline, a deafening crash rocking the spaceship. Everything that wasn’t strapped down starts spiralling into the microgravity; the force pinwheels your teammates about the hull, an impact that would tear the breath from your lungs if you had any. Ruptured air hoses hissed oxygen into the cabin, swaying like a cluster of Ekans whose heads had been severed. Hint wrestles for control of the failing ship and in the nick of time propels a volley of torpedos which set off a chain of detonations – taking out the Ferrothorn fleet with it. With the alien army decimated in a dazzling explosion, the ship has room to safely jump to warp speed and away from the calamity – your high score flickering on the black canvas, much to the captor’s chagrin.

You had grown all too accustomed to the feeling of hurtling through cyberspace, as familiar with the lobby as your own living room as you pocket the Aqua Cyber Ball
and make your way to choose the final colour on offer. Sensing your touch, it sends your party zooming to the last level – bearing an uncanny resemblance to a televised game show. You and your reunited friends were stood behind a podium with a bright red buzzer. The audience welcomed your sudden entrance with applause, dozens of Porygon bobbing in their seats, spinning their legs excitedly. Your host? The crazed captor itself! The cheering reaches its crescendo as the Porygon-Z glides onto the set, donning a bow tie and a stack of question cards as it readied to quiz you and your teammates.


So you are a gifted gamer, but how is your general knowledge? Bzzt.

If yOu can outSMart mE then you mIGht win yoUr fREEdom yet! BzZzt

1. Which two abilities negate the effect of Follow Me?
2. Which Hoenn Pokemon was once capable of changing genders upon evolution?
3. How many Pokemon evolve through learning a move?
4. Which ability is identical to Soundproof?
5. Put these moves in order of which goes first: Crafty Shield, Obstruct, Smart Strike, Beak Blast, Baby-Doll Eyes
6. Which Sinnoh Pokemon had their types changed between generations?

7. Which manmade Pokemon is the strongest?

Cape Effervescence

SpinyShell: The predator sets sights on a new prey as it swims inbound, trap snapping. Both Lime and Stone Withdraw into their rock and reel back, evading the first bite while the second and third do nothing but break off a few pebbles, not the sort of sustenance the mudfish had in mind. It considers the Dewpider again only to find it vanished from the dank hull entirely, the crawler creeping down from the ceiling, spinning it in Sticky threads before it can pry its jaw back open, tussling as its ensnared in Webbing as easily as a Cutiefly. This creates an easy opening for the Binacle, popping up from its shelter with a handful of Mud each, taking turns to Slap the foe silly and send it bowling toward the port side of the hull. The pelting fuels it into a rage, tearing the web to bits against its Metalic Claws which continue to snap until they latch onto both of Limestone’s heads! Before their branches can be snapped in two they Gun a torrent of Water directly against the foe’s face, the Dewpider surging in like a tidal wave and dealing a Liquidated beatdown to its exterior. The gang up tactics are too much for the Stunfisk to stomach as it releases its latch and slinks off into the darkest reaches of the ship. Binacle gained two levels!

You give the Binacle pair a hi-five for a fight well fought, one of the hands passing you an Aqua Ball
prized from the predator’s mouth, likely the bait used to lure Dewpider in. “Nice find Sil!” Atla swims in for a closer look, “This frigate must have been one of Team Aqua’s – they disbanded about a decade ago if memory serves, I guess the ship must have sunk before that, huh.” The ocean had not been kind to the vessel, a decade of rust and ruin leaving it a ghost of its former self. With oxygen stores at a generous level the wreck diver is keen to exit out through the rear of the ship, coaxing you into an apprehensive follow. The hull opens up to a wide set of corridors, Atla testing the doors at either side to find them jammed shut; dejected, she returns back to the doors you entered from, only to find those locked too. You were boxed in completely, but how?


“Uhm… did the door lock on itself?” the diver starts to panic as she wrestles with its handle, meanwhile you shine your flashlight about the sunken hallways in search of clues out. If luck is on your side, you might just stumble upon on a way forward that would save Limestone puncturing a hole through one of the ship's bulkheads.


Can you find the hidden key tucked away in the shipwreck's passage?
 
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