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New Fizz City: The Metropolitan Zone

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King Ghidorah:

The birds' eyes widen as they hear of their intended fate. The woman doesn't look nearly as surprised - you reckon a large portion, if not all, of the birds she sells probably end up in a frying pan.

"I... I can't just let them go! Sure, I don't like them, but they're my livelihood! People pay well for this kind of Pokemon, it's not like I'm selling Pidgey. If they're gone..."

Suddenly, a voice speaks up from behind you. It sounds frail and tired, but friendly.

"I might be able to help..."

Turning around, you see the old woman whose entire Berry stock was purchased by the Galarian gentleman.

"Sorry, I was eavesdropping. You might not have any respect for your elders, young man, but it seems you're not all bad..." She turns to the Farfetch'd saleswoman and smiles. "That lovely gentleman bought everything I had. I think I might have more money than I know what to do with right now, but money won't help my back pain or plant new Berries to sell at the market for me. So your conversation had me wondering..."

As she listens, the girl drops the two Farfetch'd who, instead of resuming their battle, simply stand by listening to the exchange - likely keen to find out if they end up cooked or not.

"I could use someone young to help me plant and harvest the Berries I sell. With my whole stock gone it's going to be harder work than ever... Care to help me out, lass? I'll pay you for your troubles, and you won't have to be surrounded by feathers and excrements all day long. Well, there's still manure, but at least it's not bird droppings," she concludes with a coy smile.

"I-I... Well, I..." The girl stammers, eyes shifting from the Berry saleswoman to you and then to her birds. "I... That's too generous of you! Are you... absolutely sure?"

The elder nods almost immediately.

"If you'd like. You seem like an honest, hard-working girl... And these old bones can't farm at the pace they used to."

You can see the birdkeeper tear up for a brief moment, but she manages to hold it in at the last second and turns to you, clearing her throat.


"I don't really hate them, you know? They get on my nerves all the time, sure, but... every time I sell one, I wonder if I did the right thing. Even if they up in the hands of some famous chef... So you promise me," she says, unintentionally raising her voice at the end "promise me you won't chase after them. I'm letting them go... But you have to, too. I'm sorry about your chef friend, I am! But these are my conditions. It's the only way I can leave this stall with my conscience clean!"

With that, she takes off her apron and turns to her flock.

"You heard that, right? You're free to go. I... I hope you have a good life!" she says, voice trembling slightly. "It's... Well, it'll be a longer life than if you stayed, that's for sure. So... Well, get going! I want you to leave the market in an orderly queue, you hear that?!"

Almost in unison, the birds squawk in agreement, in an uncharacteristic display of obedience. One after another they fly up to the counter and leap down to the other side, each one landing in front of you and giving you a salute before marching in a straight line across the market. Bystanders look on in disbelief at the strange display, but none dares lay a finger on the newly-freed birds. Then, once they leave the market grounds, each of them clutches their leek in their beak and flies off towards their new life. The last to leave are the two rivals, who turn to look at you and the girl one last time with a grateful, if conflicted look, before going on their way...

You may have just done a mighty good deed, helping several lives in the process. And for your troubles, you are rewarded with zero Berries, and zero Farfetch'd.

With nothing left to do at the market, your only option seems to be returning to Edogawa empty-handed; maybe you can, in your own words, help him some other way, but it seems his Edogawa CLIMAX! masterpiece is nothing more than a pipe dream at this point.

Making your way back along the main street, you realize it's already dark. There are far fewer tourists than there were when you first left Edogawa's food stand, since many of the business venues have closed for the day... Were you in the market that long?

"Well well. Have you learned your lesson, insolent boy?"

The familiar voice makes your blood boil the second you hear it. Sure enough, up ahead is the Galarian gentleman, still dragging his sacks of Berries along the road, too proud to ask for help or simply leave them behind. And with how few people there are on the street at this hour, it's not like he could ask for help even if he wasn't being a self-important idiot.

"Culinary excellence - nay, culinary honesty - will never be erased by petty frauds like you and your Ducklett-cooking friend. That is why you return empty handed! Now run along child, it's almost past your bedtime!"

Well now.....
 
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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?
Hint immediately raised the shields, warming up the weapons and the engines, as the rest of them braced themselves for...whatever maneuvers Hint would end up pulling. Ahead of them, a formation of Magnezone blocked their way.

"Initiating combat," Hint announced before accelerating towards the Magnezone, a photon blast obliterating the entire formation into debris. It spun the ship around the mess and then they took fire as they went up against a field of Metang. Their guns flashed, clearing a path through the Metang, and they slipped past, turning to face the last line of attack.

"Just the Ferrothorn left," Tase told them, clinging to the navigation panel.

Warnings blared as something rocked the ship and Kaito went to check the nearest panel. He winced. "And our shields just went down."

The entire ship jolted as they took a hit, sending Kaito and Dust flying through the air with shocked yips, scrabbling for some kind of grip before they hit the walls. Aiden clung to his chair as Hint fought to stabilize the ship.

"I don't think the ship's gonna last much longer," Aiden warned Hint.

"I know. I'm working on it," Hint replied, sounding as though it was gritting its teeth. It sent a volley of torpedoes at the Ferrothorn, setting off a series of explosions that took out the fleet, and they darted away, jumping to warp speed the moment they were clear.

This time, Aiden immediately sent out all of his Pokémon the second his vision cleared and showed the lobby again.

Dust shook his coat out as he landed and sat down to do some grooming. "That was absolutely terrible flying, Hint."

"I'd like to see you do better," Hint shot back, glancing over at Aiden to check that they got the Aqua Cyber Ball like they were supposed to.

Kaito scratched at an ear. "Well, we got everyone back now. What color are you planning to go for next, Aiden?"

Aiden ran a hand through his hair and turned to the Cyberball lineup. Magenta, violet, and orange. Orange was right out, which left magenta or violet for the Aerodactyl. He studied the two for another moment. "Probably violet."

"Purple for the purple, flying dinosaur?" Tase asked from his perch on Kaito's head. "It matches. What are you gonna do about the last one?"

Aiden grimaced. "Not sure, but I'll figure it out when we get there." He walked over to the violet cyber ball and then paused. "Did you guys wanna stay out or--?"

"Out," Dust said flatly. Kaito nodded his agreement, while Tase exchanged looks with Hint before shrugging.

"Alright then." And he tapped the violet cyber ball.

When his vision cleared, he found all five of them on what looked like the set of a TV game show, standing behind a podium with a bright red buzzer. The audience clapping in welcome consisted entirely of Porygon with a Porygon-Z acting as the host.

"Do you think that's our kidnapper?" he asked his team in an undertone, watching the Porygon-Z glide across the set.

"At this point, I think I'd be more surprised if it didn't show," Hint replied. Kaito bared his teeth for a moment, while Dust flattened his ears in annoyance.

The Porygon-Z turned to them. "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."

Aiden relaxed a bit. General knowledge trivia. Should be fine, right? As the Porygon-Z started listing off the questions, he realized that no, it really wouldn't be. And, really, he should've expected it.

"...I wish I had a Pokédex," he muttered, at an absolute loss and already starting to fret about the consequences. If they lost, what would the Porygon-Z do? Keep them here? How would they get free?

Hint rolled its eyes and turned to the rest of the party. "I've hacked a database before, so I can answer...let's go with most of the questions."

The others exchanged glances. "Better than the rest of us could do, so..." Kaito gestured for Hint to go ahead, Tase skittering away from the buzzer.

Hint took its place before the podium, nudging Aiden gently out of the way, and dove in. "Stalwart and Propeller Tail negate Follow Me. Azurill used to be able to change genders upon evolution; no idea why they stopped. Eleven Pokémon evolve after learning a move. Cacophony is a theoretical Ability once proposed for Whismur, Loudred, and Exploud, but it was determined that they had Soundproof instead; it doesn't seem like there's much of a difference between them, but I'm not a researcher. It would go Obstruct, then Crafty Shield, Baby-Doll Eyes, Smart Strike, and finally Beak Blast. Mime Jr. and Togekiss had their types changed upon the discovery of the Fairy-type, if we're talking about purely Sinnohan discoveries; otherwise, the Kantonian Mimes, Toges, Clefas, Rills, and Ralts lines all changed with the discovery of Fairy-types. And, finally, I would say Mewtwo is the strongest manmade Pokémon."

Turning away from the podium, Hint drifted back to the rest of the team. "Hopefully, that's good enough, but I wouldn't be surprised if it used the ambiguity in the questions to get us."

"Then we'll fight our way through and make it regret taking us in the first place," Dust snarled quietly in response, watching the Porygon-Z carefully.


Collecting 1x Aqua Cyber Ball for my Alolan Vulpix
 
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King Ghidorah:

The birds' eyes widen as they hear of their intended fate. The woman doesn't look nearly as surprised - you reckon a large portion, if not all, of the birds she sells probably end up in a frying pan.

"I... I can't just let them go! Sure, I don't like them, but they're my livelihood! People pay well for this kind of Pokemon, it's not like I'm selling Pidgey. If they're gone..."

Suddenly, a voice speaks up from behind you. It sounds frail and tired, but friendly.

"I might be able to help..."

Turning around, you see the old woman whose entire Berry stock was purchased by the Galarian gentleman.

"Sorry, I was eavesdropping. You might not have any respect for your elders, young man, but it seems you're not all bad..." She turns to the Farfetch'd saleswoman and smiles. "That lovely gentleman bought everything I had. I think I might have more money than I know what to do with right now, but money won't help my back pain or plant new Berries to sell at the market for me. So your conversation had me wondering..."

As she listens, the girl drops the two Farfetch'd who, instead of resuming their battle, simply stand by listening to the exchange - likely keen to find out if they end up cooked or not.

"I could use someone young to help me plant and harvest the Berries I sell. With my whole stock gone it's going to be harder work than ever... Care to help me out, lass? I'll pay you for your troubles, and you won't have to be surrounded by feathers and excrements all day long. Well, there's still manure, but at least it's not bird droppings," she concludes with a coy smile.

"I-I... Well, I..." The girl stammers, eyes shifting from the Berry saleswoman to you and then to her birds. "I... That's too generous of you! Are you... absolutely sure?"

The elder nods almost immediately.

"If you'd like. You seem like an honest, hard-working girl... And these old bones can't farm at the pace they used to."

You can see the birdkeeper tear up for a brief moment, but she manages to hold it in at the last second and turns to you, clearing her throat.


"I don't really hate them, you know? They get on my nerves all the time, sure, but... every time I sell one, I wonder if I did the right thing. Even if they up in the hands of some famous chef... So you promise me," she says, unintentionally raising her voice at the end "promise me you won't chase after them. I'm letting them go... But you have to, too. I'm sorry about your chef friend, I am! But these are my conditions. It's the only way I can leave this stall with my conscience clean!"

With that, she takes off her apron and turns to her flock.

"You heard that, right? You're free to go. I... I hope you have a good life!" she says, voice trembling slightly. "It's... Well, it'll be a longer life than if you stayed, that's for sure. So... Well, get going! I want you to leave the market in an orderly queue, you hear that?!"

Almost in unison, the birds squawk in agreement, in an uncharacteristic display of obedience. One after another they fly up to the counter and leap down to the other side, each one landing in front of you and giving you a salute before marching in a straight line across the market. Bystanders look on in disbelief at the strange display, but none dares lay a finger on the newly-freed birds. Then, once they leave the market grounds, each of them clutches their leek in their beak and flies off towards their new life. The last to leave are the two rivals, who turn to look at you and the girl one last time with a grateful, if conflicted look, before going on their way...

You may have just done a mighty good deed, helping several lives in the process. And for your troubles, you are rewarded with zero Berries, and zero Farfetch'd.

With nothing left to do at the market, your only option seems to be returning to Edogawa empty-handed; maybe you can, in your own words, help him some other way, but it seems his Edogawa CLIMAX! masterpiece is nothing more than a pipe dream at this point.

Making your way back along the main street, you realize it's already dark. There are far fewer tourists than there were when you first left Edogawa's food stand, since many of the business venues have closed for the day... Were you in the market that long?

"Well well. Have you learned your lesson, insolent boy?"

The familiar voice makes your blood boil the second you hear it. Sure enough, up ahead is the Galarian gentleman, still dragging his sacks of Berries along the road, too proud to ask for help or simply leave them behind. And with how few people there are on the street at this hour, it's not like he could ask for help even if he wasn't being a self-important idiot.

"Culinary excellence - nay, culinary honesty - will never be erased by petty frauds like you and your Ducklett-cooking friend. That is why you return empty handed! Now run along child, it's almost past your bedtime!"

Well now.....
In many things in life, there comes a point where one must do a cost-benefit analysis of the situation in which they are in. Here Hugo was presented with what certainly looked like a ripe opportunity. The old bastard – who for some reason keeps referring to Hugo as a child; senility, perhaps? - alone on a dark street, precariously dragging along that which he more or less stole from Hugo out of spite. On paper, it would seem very easy for Hugo to strongarm the guy, give him what he has coming, and get on his way.

Too easy.

Hugo was no Wile E. Coyote. He wasn’t going to be goaded into another trap. Every time Hugo tried to do something heretofore, he was undercut. He didn’t get the berries. And the Farfetch’d – while he was happy they were able to go free and in doing so, essentially sabotaged his own quest to help Edogawa anyway – he had nothing to show for it.

Was Hugo frustrated? Absolutely. But let’s consider how this could go. He tried to stand up to this guy previously, in the name of defending the innocent. What happened? The citizens revolted against Hugo. Sure they weren’t around now, or so it seemed, but if Hugo made a move on the guy, it could almost be guaranteed that the cops (who this guy probably has in his pocket) or someone else would leap from the shadows and Hugo would be on the receiving end of some frustrating twist of fate. No, no. Hugo wasn’t about to let this anvil fall on his head.

Hugo knew that in life the bad guys win. A lot. Probably more than the good guys do. And most of the time, they get away with their behavior with no repercussions whatsoever. This was probably one of those situations. Cynical? Sure. But that’s life, and that’s most likely what was going to happen here. Hugo had done a lot trying to help Edogawa, but some things just weren’t meant to be. Should he risk his skin any further to help someone he barely knew for a reward to be named later? The costs were outweighing the benefits.

“You win,” he said to the man, shrugging. “I don’t need this. I’m out of here.”

And he walked away.
 
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The Foundry

Myahoo:

Welcome ladies and gentlebots to a very special episode of–

“Porygon’s Pop Quiz!” The artificial audience scream back in unison.

Today we will find out just how tiny and primitive human brains really are – give a warm welcome to our contestants from the organic world: Team Aiden! BzZZzt.

The droves of Porygon offer another round of cheer, legs whirling as they amp up with excitement. While you fancy your chances in a game of trivia, the questions come at you in rapid fire – confidence waning with each one. Without a Pokedex to fact check you were relegated to guesswork, a lifelong sentence in the pixelated prison as good as sealed. As luck would have it you had something better than a Pokedex, the Rotom’s antennae whirring as he gathered intel from the World Wide Web.

The game show quickly turns into a battle of wits between the two cybernetic Pokemon, the Rotom buzzing in and reeling off answers faster than the Porygon-Z can throw questions. The points screen ahead of your podium was climbing with each correct ding, and soon enough it feels like you might hit a home run. That is until the speakers emit a sad buzz on the penultimate question, indicating your lucky streak had run its course. The audience were growing to root for Hint, emitting disappointed whimpers as your scoreboard is marked with a cross.


You seem to have forgotten about yourself! BzZzt.

The Porygon-Z spins its head and flails its arms in wacky fashion, egging the audience into laughter while Hint sinks behind the podium in a mangle of irritation and embarrassment.

Rotom were once thought to have retained their ghost-type when possessing appliances, but it was later discovered that they acquire the typing of their appliance – since your base form remains the same, perhaps we could let this one slide. What do you think, audience?

The revved-up viewers erupt with agreement, the host nodding as it flips to the final question card. It was a strange show of mercy from the host, who had been playing anything but fair up to now. You weren't about to argue with free lifeline, focus falling on the final question and your ticket to freedom. The strongest manmade Pokemon? Even without Hint’s knowledge bank, the answer was indisputable. It was common knowledge that Mewtwo had been cloned in a lab using the DNA of the mythical Mew; at the time it was considered the most powerful Pokemon in existence, still holding that title as far as manmade Pokemon were concerned. Your team buzz in and confidently shoot off the final answer, a resounding ding indicating success.

The viewers erupt into their biggest rapture yet as a Violet Cyber Ball
emerges from a prize podium, meanwhile the host’s smile cracks – seeming so sure there were no manmade Pokemon stronger than itself. This triggers what you can only equate to an existential crisis, eyes twitching as the gameshow around it falls into critical error. The audience start to lag in their seats, the speakers emitting a piercing whir. The holographic studio starts to flicker in and out of existence like a broken lightbulb, a reaction to the creator’s increasing instability. With the world collapsing around you, your pore over the surroundings desperately for any sign of cover. The walls seem to vanish by themselves, giving way to an infinite black abyss, feet landing on familiar pink gridlines. Fixing back on the audience, the droves of Porygon don't look so friendly anymore as they start glitching out too, turning on your party. While you were ringfenced below with no option but to battle your way out, the Porygon-Z was swelling in size above...


BzzZZZzzt

syntHEsizing gravity
buiLding Probability MatricEs
 
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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?
With nothing to do but wait and worry, Jess questioned Malori in hopes of finding out more about the situation. The woman sobbed as she responded:

“Patrick was right… 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 Pokémon broke onto the freeway…”

Her voice choked as it trailed off, and Jess didn't need the details to imagine how horrific the experience must've been for the poor lady.

“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?”

As she continued to cry, Jess did her best to comfort despite not knowing how. Unfortunately it felt like her probing hadn't provided many answers either, increasing her guilt for piling on stress needlessly. Still, she was determined to press further in case any other useful information cropped up that could potentially help.

"Can you remember anything specific that triggered the hauntings? Please, try to think back..."


...Meanwhile, as Blueberry descended into darkness, her gaze was met with a monochrome mirror image of the surface world above, like a scene straight out of a grainy old movie. Rather than the homely picture of a '60s sitcom though, the kitchen was even more in shambles than the one she had left behind. The balloon wrinkled her snout at the sudden overpowering stench of death and decay, signaling the first of numerous flagrant red flags any sane health inspector should shut down a facility for: including Rattata scurrying across the floorboards and ghostly Grubbin greedily munching on rotten food covered in mold. Swiping her heart across the counter, she frowned at the thick layer of dust collected on it, forming a filthy film. Amidst the grey and grime though, she spotted a splash of color on the back wall, completely coated in chaotic doodles as the artist abandoned all reserve without anyone around to scold her for indulging inspiration. Whilst Blue would've normally tutted at such unruly behavior, she swelled with joy and pride to take in what was obviously her Mimi's multicolored masterpiece, especially on realizing it depicted a happy family portrait... To the side though where the Mimikyu had added in stick figures of her friends as well, in the corner there seemed to be a crude caricature of a smiling teacup... Strange.

Spying a squiggly line of crayon leading from the drawing to the doorway, she curiously followed to the front of the house, where she heard childlike laughter coming from in the form of a nursery rhyme:

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

In the center of the boarded up room flickered the only source of light, which Blue immediately recognized as belonging to Patty's flame. She breathed in relief to observe her sister sitting beside her, both crowded around a tiny table with stuffed plushes occupying other seats. Before them was spread a dainty tea party set, with steaming freshly made brews for the gals whilst their "guests" enjoyed a make-believe matcha. At the head of the gathering was presumably sat their host, who seemed to take the idea of an "imaginary friend" to a whole new level as their cup hovered magically in mid-air above the seat. As the container spun around though, a face of lace appeared to emerge on the porcelain, revealing itself as the singer of the silly tune. Its cheerful grin quickly quirked upon noticing their new arrival though, clearly exhibiting the same kind of innocently shameful expression Pan would present when caught doing something naughty. Some maternal instinct in Blue sensed perhaps the stranger's motives weren't sinister after all, as she glanced at the giggling girls who looked perfectly relaxed and having a grand time, still oblivious to their parent's presence. A part of her didn't want to disrupt her children's fun, but at the same time she still wasn't sure if she should trust this mysterious entity yet...

After a moment of frozen staring, she raised a string to her lips in a silent "shushing" motion, miming a zipper across for emphasis. Her eyes narrowed dangerously, making her still lingering suspicion known as she nodded dubiously for the festivity to continue - for now - but she would be watching very closely as she MINIMIZEd her mass in order to blend into the background, floating up to the rafters in order to keep a careful eye on the proceedings...
 
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Eyes of Ruby
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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?
With a flash of its metallic teeth, the Stunfisk snapped at Limestone but its fangs clamped down on only water and bubbles as the barnacles Withdrew into their rocky home. Not about to let a meal escape, the mudfish lunged forward again, its teeth striking hard rock. Clearly unsatisfied with pebbles for lunch, the Stunfisk mashed its fangs again, only to be rewarded with more earthen disappointment. As if it couldn’t get any worse for the Trap Pokémon, Dewy struck from the ceiling, tangling the fish in Sticky Webbing. The Stunfisk wiggled about in desperate panic, attempting to unravel itself. Sensing an opportunity, both Binacle popped out of the rock, flinging clumps of Mud, the gunk Slapping the unfortunate Bewear trap across the face. Enraged at the mucky assault, the fish thrashed and tore at the webs with its sharp teeth, ripping them to shreds with the power of a Metal Claw. Its rage unsated, the fish gnashed its teeth until it bit onto Lime’s and Stone’s heads, the two barnacles too slow to recede to safety. Panicking, they unleashed a coordinated Water Gun, the close quarters blast sending the mudfish careening backwards, straight into a full force Liquidation from the Dewpider. Too overwhelmed by the battle and its appetite lost, the Stunfisk grumbled to itself as it swam off to the darkest depths of the ship to nurse its wounds.

After the predator slinked off, Limestone swam back to Sil, who realized she had been holding her breath the whole time. Lime was beaming, a dirty Pokéball clamped in his claws, while Stone looked as though he was recovering from a heart attack. She took their prize from Lime, before giving each Binacle a hi-five.

Atla swam up to her, eager to see what the barnacles had brought back. Sil wiped the grime off of the Pokéball, a blue and black one with a white stylized A on the top. She held it out to Atla.

“Nice find Sil!” Atla said, looking over the ball. “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.”

Team Aqua… ? Sil thought. The name was familiar--she remembered it from her youth--but she couldn’t place it. But there was no time to dwell on that now. Atla was already swimming away towards the back of the boat, keen on leaving considering their oxygen levels. Sil and Limestone followed hesitantly after, Lime casting a disappointed glance towards the front of the hull while Stone looked relieved that their adventure in the ship was coming to a close.

A series of corridors greeted them as they exited the hull. Atla swam eagerly to the far end, pressing against the doors only to find them locked. Disappointed, the group swam back the way they came, only to see that the doors they entered through were similarly jammed.

“Uhm… did the door lock on itself?” Atla said, panic creeping into her voice as she desperately tugged on the handle. While Atla wrested with the door, Sil tried to find an alternative way out, shining her flashlight all over the corridors as she attempted to keep her breathing steady despite the fear clawing her stomach.

After a few minutes of panicky searching, she noticed that something sparkled as the light hit it. Filled with a glimmer of hope, she called out to Limestone.

“Lime, come with me--I think I saw something over there,” she said, gesturing to a spot by two pieces of rubble on the right hand side of the corridor. “Stone, while we’re exploring around, can you try to punch through the weakest looking door with some Liquidations?”

OOC: Key location

1602907492031.png
Code:
Silver obtained x1 Aquaball.

Limestone gained 2 levels.
Limestone grew from level 11 to level 13.
Limestone learned Fury Cutter and Slash.
 
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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.
(Sorry if this wasn't what you had in mind but it was a great opportunity for some character development...)

For a completely silent battle, this was proving to be more exciting than Blake had expected. Infernape and Lucario in particular seemed to be evenly matched, separated only by \RED DEVIL's more favourable Type.

OVER MIND, in turn, was struggling to keep up. It was to be expected, considering it hadn't been with Blake for nearly as long, and this exercise demanded a remarkable degree of coordination. Nearly knocked out cold by the collision between its Force Palm and the enemy's Focus Blast, it had fallen to the ground and still couldn't get back up. But the Meditite refused to yield. With fire in its eyes, it watched as both Lucario and Mienfoo launched perfectly synchronized Aura Spheres at RED DEVIL...

Those can't be dodged. RED could probably muscle its way through one of 'em, but not two. Best we can hope to do is...

It was a long shot for a number of reasons. First, he needed OVER MIND on its feet; next, he needed to convey his instruction quickly, and silently, to the Meditite, hoping it understood him; finally, it required his partner to flawlessly pull off a move it had only literally learned some minutes ago.

And so, Blake took his stance. The same one the four of them had seen the elder perform from a distance earlier - and fortunately, OVER MIND noticed it.

Vacuum Wave. Best case scenario we can push one of the Spheres into the other and make 'em both pop. If not, maybe we can steer them off-course long enough for RED to... Huh?

The Infernape wasn't moving. It stared at the incoming projectiles with a look of uncharacteristic peace, rather than its usual smirk. Without instruction, it bent its knees slightly, legs far apart for a wide basis, clenched its right fist next to its body and focused. The air around its knuckle sizzled with invisible energy; a blueish aura then escaped the gauntlet like a swirling mist...

R-Roaring Punch?!... Dammit you idiot, you ain't ready!!

Sure enough, seconds later, the blue aura burst and dissipated, vanishing into thin air, untamed and lost. RED DEVIL fell forward on its own, well before the Aura Spheres reached it, utterly exhausted and powerless to continue.

"RED! Goddamnit!" shouted Blake, unable to remain silent any longer. Rushing his movements, he urged OVER MIND to hurry up and release the Vacuum Wave.

The Meditite witnessed the whole scene, and something clicked. Despite its appearance, RED DEVIL wasn't invincible. Wasn't unreachable. Formidable, yes, but there it was, lying on the ground... And OVER MIND... wasn't!!

With every ounce of its strength, the Meditite got up, and with a firm movement, thrust both palms forward, hurling a mass of air straight at the Aura Spheres from a perpendicular angle, looking to push them away.

RED DEVIL, meanwhile, remained on ground, mostly unaware, all the fighting spirit it had collected onto its fist now gone, wasted...

Regardless of what happened next, whether or not Meditite could protect Infernape by countering the orbs, one thing was crystal clear in Blake's mind.

"We can't continue. We forfeit."
 
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The Foundry

Myahoo:

Welcome ladies and gentlebots to a very special episode of–

“Porygon’s Pop Quiz!” The artificial audience scream back in unison.

Today we will find out just how tiny and primitive human brains really are – give a warm welcome to our contestants from the organic world: Team Aiden! BzZZzt.

The droves of Porygon offer another round of cheer, legs whirling as they amp up with excitement. While you fancy your chances in a game of trivia, the questions come at you in rapid fire – confidence waning with each one. Without a Pokedex to fact check you were relegated to guesswork, a lifelong sentence in the pixelated prison as good as sealed. As luck would have it you had something better than a Pokedex, the Rotom’s antennae whirring as he gathered intel from the World Wide Web.

The game show quickly turns into a battle of wits between the two cybernetic Pokemon, the Rotom buzzing in and reeling off answers faster than the Porygon-Z can throw questions. The points screen ahead of your podium was climbing with each correct ding, and soon enough it feels like you might hit a home run. That is until the speakers emit a sad buzz on the penultimate question, indicating your lucky streak had run its course. The audience were growing to root for Hint, emitting disappointed whimpers as your scoreboard is marked with a cross.


You seem to have forgotten about yourself! BzZzt.

The Porygon-Z spins its head and flails its arms in wacky fashion, egging the audience into laughter while Hint sinks behind the podium in a mangle of irritation and embarrassment.

Rotom were once thought to have retained their ghost-type when possessing appliances, but it was later discovered that they acquire the typing of their appliance – since your base form remains the same, perhaps we could let this one slide. What do you think, audience?

The revved-up viewers erupt with agreement, the host nodding as it flips to the final question card. It was a strange show of mercy from the host, who had been playing anything but fair up to now. You weren't about to argue with free lifeline, focus falling on the final question and your ticket to freedom. The strongest manmade Pokemon? Even without Hint’s knowledge bank, the answer was indisputable. It was common knowledge that Mewtwo had been cloned in a lab using the DNA of the mythical Mew; at the time it was considered the most powerful Pokemon in existence, still holding that title as far as manmade Pokemon were concerned. Your team buzz in and confidently shoot off the final answer, a resounding ding indicating success.

The viewers erupt into their biggest rapture yet as a Violet Cyber Ball
emerges from a prize podium, meanwhile the host’s smile cracks – seeming so sure there were no manmade Pokemon stronger than itself. This triggers what you can only equate to an existential crisis, eyes twitching as the gameshow around it falls into critical error. The audience start to lag in their seats, the speakers emitting a piercing whir. The holographic studio starts to flicker in and out of existence like a broken lightbulb, a reaction to the creator’s increasing instability. With the world collapsing around you, your pore over the surroundings desperately for any sign of cover. The walls seem to vanish by themselves, giving way to an infinite black abyss, feet landing on familiar pink gridlines. Fixing back on the audience, the droves of Porygon don't look so friendly anymore as they start glitching out too, turning on your party. While you were ringfenced below with no option but to battle your way out, the Porygon-Z was swelling in size above...


BzzZZZzzt

syntHEsizing gravity
buiLding Probability MatricEs
"Welcome, ladies and gentlebots, to a very special episode of--"

"Porygon's Pop Quiz!" the audience yelled back, like any other studio audience.

"Today, we will find out just how tiny and primitive human brains really are - give a warm welcome to our contestants from the organic world: Team Aiden! BzZZzt."

The Porygon cheered again, legs spinning like fans as the Porygon-Z turned to read off the questions to them. Hint stepped up to the podium and then the two were off, the host shooting questions and Hint answering just as fast, the points on the screen climbing like a firework.

"They're really good," Tase said from Aiden's shoulder, startling the trainer.

"I'd hope so," Kaito replied darkly, glancing at the crowd. "I don't really like our odds, if things go south."

A loud buzz brought their attention back to the two computer-inclined Pokémon, Hint's grimace a good indicator as to what happened if anyone hadn't figured it out already. The crowd groaned in disappointment as a cross marked the scoreboard.

"You seem to have forgotten about yourself! BzZzt," their captor declared, head and arms spinning. The audience laughed at it, while Hint muttered, "It's not like I'd typically look myself up when I had access."

"Maybe you should've," Dust replied tartly, but he was clearly as worried as everyone else.

"Rotom were once thought to have retained their Ghost-type when possessing appliances, but it was later discovered that they acquire the typing of their appliance," the Porygon-Z explained. "Since your base form remains the same, perhaps we could let this one slide." Hint tilted its head. Weird. "What do you think, audience?"

The audience agreed and they moved on to the last question while Aiden exchanged looks with his Pokémon. That was...unusually generous for the Porygon-Z; what was it planning now? Kaito grimaced and tilted his head towards Hint and the Porygon-Z in a "we probably have to wait and see" gesture, which Aiden agreed with, even if he didn't like it.

Hint buzzed in their last answer and a ding sounded, a Violet Cyber Ball emerging from the prize podium. The crowd went wild, but Aiden and most of his team were watching the Porygon-Z and spotted its smile crack. Its eyes started twitching, the audience lagging in their seats as the ubiquitous computer-error whine sounded throughout the area. The game show stage flickered, the walls dropping to reveal the pink gridlines of the game lobby, and Aiden backed up a step. Dust eyed the audience as they turned towards them, baring his teeth as Kaito did the same to the swelling Porygon-Z. Hint retreated until the three of them formed a barrier between the digital Pokémon and Aiden.

Tase tilted his head as motion caught his attention. There was a kind of ticker tape scrolling under the Porygon-Z that his teammates hadn't noticed. Had that always been there or was something going on? He read through it again. Weird that only some of the letters were big...

He paused and frowned, feeling like he was missing something. Wasn't there something about...about...

"Hint? Do you remember when you showed us something on the computer about stories?"

"I don't think now's the time, Tase," Kaito called back at the same time that Hint replied, "What about it?"

"Wasn't there some kind of trick with capital letters?" Tase scanned the text again. ZZZ. H, E. L. P. ME help me oh shit. "It reads 'help me,'" he muttered and then raised his voice in a panic, "Guys, it's asking for help!"

"By kidnapping us?" Aiden demanded as the others hesitated. He glared at the Porygon-Z, fists clenched to hide their shaking. "What the heck kind of help do you need that you'd kidnap people to fix it?"
 
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Sinistea Patisserie

Lilbluecorsola:
Faced with a choice of reprimanding or embracing her missing girls, the Drifloon decides on neither. She shrinks down to the size of a blueberry and vanishes into the background, a fly on the wall able to gather intel on the Sinistea without risk of spoiling the child’s play. While nonplussed at first, the cleft cup goes back to conversing with the girls who remain none the wiser.

‘Ahem. More tea, Ms. Cake, Ms. Cake?’ it asks in mock elegance, eliciting giggles down table. The balloon spies on the play for some time, listening into all sorts of light chit chat. The small talk eventually moves onto the Sinistea’s history with the Patisserie’s proprietors, the balloon’s ears piquing with interest.

‘The poor papa and mama lost their boy. That’s why I moved in upstairs, I gotta stay until I fulfill my purpose!’ Before it can reveal what said purpose was, a ding from the kitchen oven interrupts their conversation, signalling the completion of a bake foreshadowed in their nursery rhyme. While Patty offers to fetch the dessert she had so dutifully assembled, the Poltergeist obliges with their shadowy levitation trick.

Bobbing in on a silver platter came an Old Gateau
. While the presentation was on the sloppy side, it came with a surprisingly delectable aroma, although having seen the state of the kitchen it was sourced from is almost enough to draw the balloon out of hiding. Before the kids can even cut into the cake, a loud rap startles them from their seats. There was a forceful wrestle with the door and upon realising it is bolted closed, a mob of ghouls phase on through anyway; it was a Gastly, Haunter and Gengar, all topped with a fedora and wicked smiles stretching from ear to ear.

‘Well lookie here’, the Gengar sneers, ‘You think you can just open a business in the underworld without tellin’ nobody?’ The mobsters scan the premises for an authoritative presence and upon realising there is none, dawn on the children with toothy grins. ‘Let’s see here… a teacup, a candle, and a Pikachu cosplayer?’ Gengar’s lackies erupt into laughter.

‘They don’t make ‘em like they used to!’ Chuckled the Gastly.

Who do you think you’re talkin’ to!’ the cup squeaked in a fleeting moment of courage, their voice cracking as they raised it, only eliciting more laughter.

‘So you’re the boss around here?’ Gengar goads, his tone taking a more menacing turn, ‘A fancy place like this, you’re gonna need to cough up some protection money, or we don’t need to tell ya what’ll happen…’ the racketeers circled in on the trembling cup, Gastly baring its fangs menacingly while Haunter pumped a floating fist into a floating palm. What will the minimised mom do?


The Foundry

Myahoo:
You were in the endgame now, the boss growing to gargantuan size while its drones homed in on you in a collective fit of fury. Something about its cryptic droning catches Tase’s attention – in reading between the lines, he deciphers a hidden cry for help. The virtual villain had some nerve after dropping you in the pixelated prison, fists shaking as you make it clear that helping it out is the last thing on your mind. Your protests fall on deaf ears, its seizure only intensifying...


optiMAL WARfarE
NOrmalizing TesselatINg protoCOls
syNThesizing RevOLvers

Your rage does nothing to stem the impending swarm of Porygon, the aggressive audience swallowing you up in a sea of pink and blue – and for the first time, you feel grateful that you can’t feel pain as they chip away at your team with a barrage of Tackles. The ramming does more to tickle than bruise, and yet with the number of aggressors in the double digits, the damage starts to rack up. Hint and Tase are able to wriggle their way to freedom thanks to their small and nimble bodies. Dust and Kaito on the other hand attempt to muscle their way out, the sheer size of the invasion making such a feat easier said than done. Their attempts to nuzzle their way through the cracks in the formation are met with Thundershocks, sparks dancing up and down their singed fur. While you were bent on taking down the crazed captor overhead, it seemed you need to deal with the drones first. With the cybernetic crowd more smothering than a Black Friday Sale at Celadon Department Store, it was time to coordinate a retaliation.

Little Kanto

Maskerade:
The sparring match was revving to a blistering pace and the opponents weren’t about to let up; Over Mind cast aside, the fighting-types only have eyes for Red Devil, the bluish Spheres of Aura bowling down the lawn at breakneck speed. The martial monkey makes no attempt to escape, eyes resting as it leaned into a technique of its own design – untested, the punch blows up in his face. The Infernape collapses in a pile against the freshly razed grass, the globules of fighting energy passing over him completely. While the Meditite efforts to redirect the projectiles it fails in its endeavour too. Lucario and Mienfoo look utterly nonplussed, the female elder sharing their reaction until her lips curl into a smile, a strange glint of knowing in her eyes. The battle was over before it had truly started, your adrenaline subsiding leaving utter deflation in its place. Infernape and Meditite gain one level! Your forfeit is met with no objections on her part, waving her Pokemon to stand down as she paces to the passed-out primate.

“I thought you seemed familiar”, the elder remarks cryptically, “Now, I am sure of it – please, come join me at the shrine. There is something you must see there.” The shrine she alluded to was fixed at the centre of the park, nestled behind a cluster blossoming sakuras and a tranquil pond only disturbed by its splashing Magikarp. The traditional Kantonian architecture was a stark contrast to the surrounding tower blocks; perhaps a tour would offer the serenity needed to clear your collective heads. So, will you entertain the old crone or slink away in embarrassment?


Cape Effervescence

SpinyShell: With the intrepid divers boxed in at every corner, optimism starts to deplete as quick as oxygen. Atla was wrestling against the handle with all her might, the door not giving an inch in return. You desperately pore over the debris for any aide to your escape, your torch light uncovering a glint of something shiny… an old key!
You swim inbound and scoop it up, before long finding its accompanying padlock. The lock feels stiff as you jig the key left and right, eventually unbolting. The bulkhead door emits a low groan as you lean against it, resisting as you kick your flippers to apply more force. Limestone waves for you to stand clear, socking the door with an impressive show of Liquidated force which blasts it clean off its hinges! Sudden daylight breaks through the crevice, your eyes straining to adjust. Peering ahead it seems the ship’s corridoors came to an abrupt end, the frigate seemingly split in two from its crash with the stern of the ship buried several metres away, driven down into the sandy seabed by its own tonnage. It was an eerie sight, but one you need not dwell on as the open ocean was mere inches away.


“That’s twice you’ve saved our necks!” commends Atla, “I reckon that’s enough excitement for one dive, let’s make our ascent back to the boat.” You had only turned to face Atla for a second, but in looking back toward the ocean you are greeted by an entirely new panorama; a lush carnival of corals and sponges painted every colour of the spectrum, dancing under flecks of golden sunlight. You twirl on the spot to find both Atla and the dreadnaught vanished. Your eyes dart around the surroundings desperately, familiar yet different somehow – livelier and more pristine. Limestone appears to share your suspicion, they knew this stretch of seabed like the back of each other’s hands and could tell something fishy was afoot. It seems the safest option may be to resurface and regroup back at the boat, until a soft crying steals your attention – travelling through water as clear as through air. The sobbing was emanating from a pink coral with a white base just a few metres ahead of you. It had its back turned away and didn’t seem to be aware of your presence. While you had your own problems to contend with, perhaps the coral could shed some light on what was going on around here?
 
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Little Kanto

Maskerade:
The sparring match was revving to a blistering pace and the opponents weren’t about to let up; Over Mind cast aside, the fighting-types only have eyes for Red Devil, the bluish Spheres of Aura bowling down the lawn at breakneck speed. The martial monkey makes no attempt to escape, eyes resting as it leaned into a technique of its own design – untested, the punch blows up in his face. The Infernape collapses in a pile against the freshly razed grass, the globules of fighting energy passing over him completely. While the Meditite efforts to redirect the projectiles it fails in its endeavour too. Lucario and Mienfoo look utterly nonplussed, the female elder sharing their reaction until her lips curl into a smile, a strange glint of knowing in her eyes. The battle was over before it had truly started, your adrenaline subsiding leaving utter deflation in its place. Infernape and Meditite gain one level! Your forfeit is met with no objections on her part, waving her Pokemon to stand down as she paces to the passed-out primate.

“I thought you seemed familiar”, the elder remarks cryptically, “Now, I am sure of it – please, come join me at the shrine. There is something you must see there.” The shrine she alluded to was fixed at the centre of the park, nestled behind a cluster blossoming sakuras and a tranquil pond only disturbed by its splashing Magikarp. The traditional Kantonian architecture was a stark contrast to the surrounding tower blocks; perhaps a tour would offer the serenity needed to clear your collective heads. So, will you entertain the old crone or slink away in embarrassment?
Blake approached RED DEVIL at the same time as the elder, dropping to one knee. BLACK FIST followed, but it was clear by its overall demeanour that the Pancham was more than just disappointed - it was angry at Blake for throwing the match away. The Galarian man was aware of his Pokemon's opinion, of course, but mostly just shrugged it off - in due time, and with age, BLACK FIST would learn to pick its battles too.

"We said we'd do it together, RED... Why the bloody hell would you go at it by yourself?..."

OVER MIND walked over to the group as well, limping and looking utterly dejected by its failure. By all accounts it should have done better, even if its bond with Blake wasn't as long-lasting as RED DEVIL's. It had battled and survived fights against both Primal Dialga and the self-entitled Eldritch Champion... why was it no match for a regular Lucario and Mienfoo?!

It was then that the old woman made a surprising remark, unsettling even. Because Blake took pride in his memory as much as his training skills, and the woman had just insulted them both in the span of a few minutes.

"I'm, uh... pretty certain we've never met before, sensei. Trust me, I'd remember an old badg... warrior with your talent. I mean."

That being said, her offer was not only friendly, but sensible. It stood to reason that a temple for martial artists would hold means to heal them after their training sessions, and both Infernape and Meditite needed it. Blake, in turn, could stand to take a load off after being so summarily reminded of his shortcomings, while BLACK FIST would certainly benefit from a peaceful atmosphere and less hot-headed company for a while as well.

"We'll follow; not sure what it is you wanna show me that this beating hasn't already, but fine."
 
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The Foundry

Myahoo:
You were in the endgame now, the boss growing to gargantuan size while its drones homed in on you in a collective fit of fury. Something about its cryptic droning catches Tase’s attention – in reading between the lines, he deciphers a hidden cry for help. The virtual villain had some nerve after dropping you in the pixelated prison, fists shaking as you make it clear that helping it out is the last thing on your mind. Your protests fall on deaf ears, its seizure only intensifying...


optiMAL WARfarE
NOrmalizing TesselatINg protoCOls
syNThesizing RevOLvers

Your rage does nothing to stem the impending swarm of Porygon, the aggressive audience swallowing you up in a sea of pink and blue – and for the first time, you feel grateful that you can’t feel pain as they chip away at your team with a barrage of Tackles. The ramming does more to tickle than bruise, and yet with the number of aggressors in the double digits, the damage starts to rack up. Hint and Tase are able to wriggle their way to freedom thanks to their small and nimble bodies. Dust and Kaito on the other hand attempt to muscle their way out, the sheer size of the invasion making such a feat easier said than done. Their attempts to nuzzle their way through the cracks in the formation are met with Thundershocks, sparks dancing up and down their singed fur. While you were bent on taking down the crazed captor overhead, it seemed you need to deal with the drones first. With the cybernetic crowd more smothering than a Black Friday Sale at Celadon Department Store, it was time to coordinate a retaliation.
"Ummm." Tase tapped his right foreleg against Aiden's shoulder, the way a human would tap their nails against a desk or table when uncertain or impatient. "It says there's malware in its system and it's not in control."

"Are you kidding me?" Aiden was trying not to let the terror of getting eternally trapped in a computer system overpower his mind, so he let it make him angrier. "The only reason we're even in this situation in the first place is because we installed the damn upgrade that would let us get extra colors?"

"Aiden!" Hint snapped as they were crowded backwards by the Porygon. "Be pissed off later. Orders now!"

Not that Aiden actually got a chance to try anything before they were actually attacked by the Porygon. He instinctively flung his arms up in front of his face as the Porygon Tackled them, only to frown as the expected pain didn't happen. Instead, he...seemed to be losing energy?

Tase glanced at Hint, who grimaced at him, and then surveyed the crowd of attackers. Spotting a way through, he leaped off Aiden's shoulder and called for Hint to follow him, skittering and dodging past the Porygon to emerge on the other side. No one else seemed to have managed, though, so they hovered uncertainly on the outside of the mob.

Dust and Kaito snapped and snarled at the Porygon surrounding them, trying their best to push through and getting Thundershocked for their troubles. Kaito jerked back as he took another Thundershock to the snout and growled, "This isn't working!"

"Obviously," Dust snarled back before yelling over his shoulder. "Aiden! A little help?"

Aiden peeked through his arms, flinched as he took another Tackle to his side, and then dropped his arms to survey the situation. "Right, right. Sorry. Umm, Dust, Powder Snow your half of the Porygon. Kaito, use Pursuit on your half?"

Kaito rolled his eyes, but nodded his agreement, as did Dust. Hint yelled from its position outside the mob, "What about us?"

"Uh, Electroweb them from behind?" Aiden winced as he took another Tackle to his side, waving an arm at his unprotected side.

"Right." Hint nodded, while Tase chirped, "You got it!"
 
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Fizzby Harbor Reply in Light Sea Green

The largest natural harbor on the Fizzytopian Coast and its busiest waterway, Fizzby Harbor welcomes thousands of ships carrying millions of metric tons of cargo from around the world each year. The harbor is also serviced by several cruise lines, commuter ferries, and tourist excursion boats; if you ask around you might just find a captain offering a sightseeing tour or a job on their boat. Further down the wharf, Fizzby Harbor is archetypical of a seaside funfair, with several attractions and a ferris wheel, though the promenade at night is a sight for sore eyes to drown their sorrows on.

Cape Effervescence: The main tourist draw of the harbor district, Cape Effervescence’s undersea vents leave the waters bubbly, but not chaotic enough to hamper swimming. While its coral reefs died long ago due to ongoing sea traffic pollution, water-types and other seafaring Pokemon can be nevertheless found in abundance. If you want a calm area to just fish and watch the ships go by, look no further. And don’t forget to record your catches! The cape’s famous fishing hut gives out prizes for the biggest or best catch of the day.
Karmas walked through the harbour looking at his phone, a very confused look plastered onto his face. When he looked up how to get to Cape Effervescence, it looked pretty easy to ge to the Harbor and then make your way to the Cape. So of course he may have already messed up those simple instructions.

"Where the hell is the Cape?" Karmas asked himself, his voice growly with frustration.

From atop his shoulder, his Pidgey chirped. A fairly new addition to his team, Karmas hadn't even managed to come up with a name for the little bird. That was actually part of the reason he had decided to come to the cape. It seemed like it would be a nice place to bond with his new teammate. And as an additonal plus, the Cape was near water which meant that Poisson would be able to go for a swim, which was always nice for the little pufferfish.

"Yeah I know little bird dude," Karmas said, addressing Pidgey, "We'll get to the Cape soon, just as soon as I find the danged place."
 
Fizzy Bubbles Resident Bird Keeper
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Would like to wish a warm welcome to PG as my first updatee in New Fizz City - here’s to new adventures! :>

PikaGod
With Cape Effervescence selected as the destination of choice to take your first adventure with your Pidgey partner, the two of you start your trip in the area most visitors find themselves passing through first: the Fizzby Harbour. Home to a number of resident liners, there was always plenty of people milling about the place, be that alighting or boarding the various vessels or simply in the area for the oceanfront experience. This didn’t help to make the place easy to navigate, though, with your bearings rather difficult to find for a while - that is until you follow a throng of tourists and spot a series of signposts for the Cape and its numerous different leisure spots along the way. At the sight of this, you quickly alert the Tiny Bird Pokémon on your shoulder and head in that direction at once.

Before long and with the hustle and bustle of the harbour a mere murmur behind the two of you, the road comes to an end with a number of picnic areas and a footpath that continues its way along the coast. To the left of the snaking path, the ocean’s waves crash against the rocks and you spot a number of Pokémon in and about the rockpools formed atop. In one, a Clobbopus and a Mareanie appear to be having a squabble whilst a Pyukumuku watches on from the sidelines. In another, a lone Seel basks, facing off into the distance with a wide grin on its face. In the sky above the two of you, the Wingull wheel and screech with abandon.

“Excuse me? I don’t suppose you could help me...” a voice pulls you away from admiring the seafront view. Turning to meet the word’s owners, you find yourself standing in front of a slender, glamorous looking woman in a billowing sarong and wearing a large sun hat. Though the shade from her headwear obscures her face slightly, you can see that she looks rather distressed and she keeps glancing down towards the tide below. Given that the two of you have just met, you can continue along the cape or choose to offer your assistance to this uneasy lady.

What will you do?
 
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 Uptown - The Culture & Entertainment Districts


Neon East Reply in Yellow Green

As you walk up the stairs from the dark underground subway, give your eyes a minute to adjust to the bright pulsating lights of Neon East. This futuristic district looks like something from a page of cyberpunk fiction, blocks covered in flashing billboards and holographic signage that blanket your field of vision; it’s said on a clear night the glow of its colorful multi-storey shops and arcades are visible all the way from the high-rise balconies of downtown! With unparalleled nightlife and entertainment, Neon East is a thrilling location to visit, as well as an interesting and vibrant place to live for those of means.

Grey Matter Labs: The tallest tower in Neon East lays host to a thinktank of the world’s most renowned professors and inventors. Grey Matter serve as an incubator for the city's startup scene, and are behind many of the district’s technological leaps. Resident geniuses are close to a breakthroughs in a range of fields, from fossil revival to dream monitoring. What they are short on however is subjects to test their experiments – volunteers will be handsomely rewarded.
New Fizz City. Following the collapse of Dialga's Gate suddenly, and the subsequent climactic battle many trainers were forced into against the progenitor of said chronospacial anomaly, the city itself seemed to reawaken and blossom into something spectacular and vast, with nobody effectively wounded or hurt in the aftermath, and all was well with the world, figuratively.

Hundreds of miles away from the booming city, at the outpost at Loch Bygone, there was little activity, as several major residents had vanished, searching for the one person who hadn't returned from what many were calling the Final Singularity. Indeed, the Dusknoir and her entourage had ventured to one of her missing trainer's good friends to look for clues and to beseech their aid, while the Swampert had corraled his Abomasnow companion and wayward Buneary to rumours of a spooky maze, leaving just a handful of pokemon remaining, idling. One such pokemon stood staring at the sky above, and did not budge or react one iota when a sudden flash emanated from behind her, and a familiar yet seemingly antiquated voice emanated into her mind. The Gothitelle did not smile, for the emotional energy from the source of the teleport was far from wholly positive. Nevertheless, Paine merely closed her eyes. and gave a silent sigh before addressing the fellow psion telepathically. No voice of her own, but time had led her to properly hone on her communication.

"Asclepius. It has been too long...I take it you request our presence?"

Silence. The Gothitelle opened her eyes at the pokemon who stood there, and gave a small chime. The response received was simple and to the point.

"Then the four of us shall venture and reunite with our wayward ward...for all the time they have left."

Another flash emanated as the psychic types made contact with the scant few at the lake, and were off on important business.

---

It was in front of the tallest tower in the area, and a strong contender for the entire city, that the human stood there, eyes oddly blank as he stared listlessly at not much in particular. He had been told to wait there, and so he obeyed unquestioningly, very abnormal behaviour for the subject in question. Grey Matter Labs, home to some of the world's smartest bastards, boffins and debatable buffoons. A flash from behind him didn't faze him in the slightest, and while the Gothitelle said nothing of the sort, the pain in her eyes at the sight of the Astral Body pokemon's trainer was enough to answer her suspicions.

Asclepius said nothing, but merely motioned the psychic forth, towards the entrance while he drifted to Alex Blackhall and took the man's hand in his own.

"Walk with us," the fairy said telepathically. "Within, we'll find what was lost..."

Wordlessly, the human nodded, and slowly followed his two pokemon, completely vacant. What had happened in the Singularity would have been enough to drive the most stable of minds to madness, and the trainer hadn't escaped unscathed at all, least of all due to the circumstances behind how he ended up there. For the other pokemon of his trapped in the midst of time's collapse though, he had to learn quickly how to adapt, and instead of losing his mind to the events within, Asclepius had embraced them. Not just figuratively either, as he saw in the reflection of the windows at the entrance the Gardevoir he had became.
 
Fizzy Bubbles Resident Bird Keeper
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Welcome to my updatee squad, Raves - hope you enjoy your time in Grey Matter Labs ^^

Raves
Home to the finest brains in all of Fizzytopia and rising higher than any other building in the sky-scraper filled Neon East, Grey Matter Labs was known far and wide for the innovative ideas, marvellous minds and tantalising technologies that have originated within this towering laboratory. Today, you find yourself arriving at the main entrance to this complex of knowledge, perhaps not in the best state for learning right now but led onwards through the revolving glass doors nonetheless by Asclepius the recently evolved Gardevoir and Paine the Gothitelle as they flank each of your sides.

The lobby looked just as fancy as the outside of the building with a large fountain at its centre, adorned and embellished with various Pokémon and plants from around the world. Around the large space, small meeting areas were set up with a mixture of strange shaped chairs and beanbags. Along the sides of the room, at least ten elevator doors open and close as numerous people important looking people go in and out, up and down. Between these doors and located alongside a corridor opposite the entrance, an information desk is manned by two similarly dressed employees. Seeing you, the uniform-clad man and woman talk quickly between themselves before returning to their seats behind the long desk to resume their work. Along the corridor, you notice a series of green decals shaped like arrows to direct guests through the complex.

“Good afternoon sir, how many I help you today?” The woman seated behind the desk across the lobby from you calls over to you and your humanoid companions, her voice thick with the sweetened tone of customer service. Not receiving any response from you in your listless state, she points towards a large illuminated map of the ground floor and visitor-friendly areas as a way of helping you to help yourself if you so choose.

“If you would prefer to explore and see things for yourself, just follow the arrows on the ground through the rear of the lobby just here to find the different visitor areas.”

What will you do?
 
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The Foundry

Myahoo: Hint offers the voice of reason needed to snap you from rage and onto the immediate threat ahead, and behind, and about every other direction. You were suddenly drowning in a sea of Porygon, a sweeping offense required to stem the tide and provide the necessary breathing room to deal with the malfunctioning boss above. Your vulpine teammates are first off the bat, Dust expelling a gust of Powdery Snow that sends the swarm back peddling, their spinning joints seizing up with frost. Kaito opts to muscle his way free with brute force, fur enveloping in dark energy as he rammed the nearest drones – Pursuing the dispersing Porgyon for good measure. The thunderous twosome were next up, spinning Electrowebs and casting them out wide like sailor’s fishing nets. The webbing works to corral the pixelated Porygon, their waning resistance met with nasty jolts of electricity. Hint, Kaito, Tase and Dust gain one level!

With the drones barely putting up a fight, you can’t help but wonder if your crazed captor was just buying itself time. Its growth spurt settles at about fifty storeys high – though a few thousand pixels would be more apt. Its booming voice continued to permeate through cyberspace, Tase tapping away at your shoulder as he drew hidden meaning out from the nonsense.


GRAvity iNegraTING
CHE
cking dATa COllection
DEconstructing ACCuracy ProcESSes

Before the mite can even reel off an interpretation, your ears prick to the sound of Hint going haywire – a million different processes running through his head all at once. Once the initial information overload clears, the Rotom sports a wry smile as it appears to have tapped into the system's mainframe, acquiring the power needed to set itself on par with the titanic technopath. The buff couldn’t have come a moment sooner, the Porygon-Z thrusting its arms and tail forward as it begins charging a Tri-Attack, globules of fire, ice and electricity swelling above, large enough to wipe out your entire team in a fell swoop!


Hint is now able to change appliance forms at will. On top of this, choose ONE power up to activate:

Get big – allows Hint to grow to gigantic size
Multiply – allows Hint to duplicate into an army

Action Replay – allows Hint to choose a new ability and use every conceivable move



Little Kanto

Maskerade:
Humiliation hangs in the air as defeat starts to sink in; the match was over before it had really started, your teammates robbed of the chance to demonstrate their potential. While you can’t help feeling the sensei has you confused with someone else, you decide to entertain her offer – if only for a chance to salvage some lesson from the disastrous schooling. She bows farewell to her students, most dispersing to the bustling city streets while others made for the temple. With her Pokemon drawing line, she ushers you to do the same, leaving the razed battleground behind and with any luck, the lingering sense of failure.

“You are welcome to call me Sensei, but my real name is Sen Hime, or Sen for short. Which is not that far from Sensei, now that I think of it,” Sen has the sort of playful demeanour that many lose in their later years, wearing a smile more often than not. She makes a point to escort you past the mob of mixed martial artists, their fighting style a complete juxtaposition to her’s.

“A people without the knowledge of their history is like a tree without roots,” She remarks, “Our descendants fight with the energy of the big city but they forget their ancestry; fighting for them is entertainment, where we came from it was a way of life.” She leaves you to chew on that thought as she guides you through a traditional Torii gate and into the temple grounds. You are greeted by the cloying aroma of sakura trees, blossoms coating their branches like pink frosting. The grounds were bustling with monks and spiritually inclined Pokemon, some chanting prayers while others sat in deep meditation.

“This temple exists as a reminder of the old ways, our roots in Kanto. It changes like the seasons, but at its heart remains the same – come and see.” She pulls you through the tranquil bustle to an ornate pillared structure. Soft candlelight illuminates its entrance, a fog of incense attacking your senses as you gingerly approach. The room has all the typical trappings of a place of holiness, lined with statues of Pokemon held sacred in the shared lore of Kanto and Johto – leading to an odd wooden box which seems notably shabbier than the rest of the fixtures. There were all sorts of offerings piled up in front of the unusual monument, from berries to gold coins.

“This shrine came from our homeland; it is not unlike the one in Johto’s Ilex Forest. Please, take a closer look.” She shoos you forward eagerly. Before you can step any further you are overcome with a strange sensation, triggered by merely locking eyes with the shrine. The feeling of inertia is not unlike that of the singularity at Dialga’s Gate. It was said that the trace energies lingered about the city to this day... but here, and now? Such thoughts were impossible to hold onto as the dizzying feeling intensifies and your vision starts to blur – memories of past, present and future playing over in your mind like a movie reel. You feel your legs give way as the ground falls from beneath your feet…

Mysterious Location

You come to with a weary groan, crawling to your feet and batting away the dust. Your mouth is dry with thirst, the weather all of a sudden humid, like you had been cast into a different climate altogether. It felt like waking up from a deep slumber, your mind taking a moment to recollect what had happened the moments before sedation; Red Devil, Over Mind and Black Fist appear equally nonplussed. You were spread about a deserted street, rows of traditional Kantonian houses on either side topped with thatched, pointed roofs reminiscent of a bygone era. There was a still silence in the air, the local taverns and bath houses shuttered without a soul in sight. Beyond the street you were surrounded by rolling hills littered in autumn foliage, and not a skyscraper to be seen. It was clear you weren’t in the big city anymore.

A beat of rapid footsteps breaks the silence, setting your team on high guard. The sound reaches a crescendo and a
and
break onto the scene, each sporting a green armband. The speed of their sprint sends the alley up in dust, the duo vaulting up onto the roof as a means of avoiding your unintended roadblock. They were gone as quick as they came, paying you no mind in their hurriedness. The noise of their footsteps against the rafters seems to stir a local proprietor out of hiding, dressed in traditional Kantonian garb and sporting a look of trepidation.

“What the hell are you doing outside my tea shop? Did you not hear that we are under siege?!”
 
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Eyes of Ruby
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SpinyShell: With the intrepid divers boxed in at every corner, optimism starts to deplete as quick as oxygen. Atla was wrestling against the handle with all her might, the door not giving an inch in return. You desperately pore over the debris for any aide to your escape, your torch light uncovering a glint of something shiny… an old key!
You swim inbound and scoop it up, before long finding its accompanying padlock. The lock feels stiff as you jig the key left and right, eventually unbolting. The bulkhead door emits a low groan as you lean against it, resisting as you kick your flippers to apply more force. Limestone waves for you to stand clear, socking the door with an impressive show of Liquidated force which blasts it clean off its hinges! Sudden daylight breaks through the crevice, your eyes straining to adjust. Peering ahead it seems the ship’s corridoors came to an abrupt end, the frigate seemingly split in two from its crash with the stern of the ship buried several metres away, driven down into the sandy seabed by its own tonnage. It was an eerie sight, but one you need not dwell on as the open ocean was mere inches away.


“That’s twice you’ve saved our necks!” commends Atla, “I reckon that’s enough excitement for one dive, let’s make our ascent back to the boat.” You had only turned to face Atla for a second, but in looking back toward the ocean you are greeted by an entirely new panorama; a lush carnival of corals and sponges painted every colour of the spectrum, dancing under flecks of golden sunlight. You twirl on the spot to find both Atla and the dreadnaught vanished. Your eyes dart around the surroundings desperately, familiar yet different somehow – livelier and more pristine. Limestone appears to share your suspicion, they knew this stretch of seabed like the back of each other’s hands and could tell something fishy was afoot. It seems the safest option may be to resurface and regroup back at the boat, until a soft crying steals your attention – travelling through water as clear as through air. The sobbing was emanating from a pink coral with a white base just a few metres ahead of you. It had its back turned away and didn’t seem to be aware of your presence. While you had your own problems to contend with, perhaps the coral could shed some light on what was going on around here?
As Sil swam to the sparkling curiosity that caught her eye, she could hear the muffled sounds of Atla wrestling desperately with the door handle, the noise a nerve wracking reminder of their ticking time bomb. Luckily, as she came closer to the shiny object with a kick of her flippers, she saw that it was a key! She scooped it up as quickly as possible, clenching it tightly for fear of dropping it with her shaky hands, and swam panickingly to the door opposite the one they entered, the rusted padlock an invitation to salvation. Jamming the key into the lock with enough force to rattle the door, she fiddled with it against the years of rust and her own nerves.

Click!

The padlock unlocked with a relieving click and tumbled to the floor in a dramatic fashion. Sil leaned against the door, finding it stiff and unyielding even after she kicked with force. Her breath came in panicked, ragged gasps as panic began to set in, until Limestone tapped her shoulder and gestured to give them space. She swam aside and watched nervously as the barnacles slammed into the door with a Liquidation, the hinges creaking in protest as the door was blown backwards by the force of the blow. Sunlight illuminated the hallway, the corridor opening up to the wide open ocean--it seemed the boat was broken in half, jagged metal peaks standing starkly against the bright blue. Atla and Dewy paddled up beside her, and the group of them swam to freedom.

Sil and Limestone took the lead as they swam towards the surface. “That’s twice you’ve saved our necks!” Atla piped up a few ways behind them, “I reckon that’s enough excitement for one dive, let’s make our ascent back to the boat.” Sil turned back to give her a smile, but when she did so, she noticed something strange. Atla and Dewy weren’t there. Panicking, she turned about every which way, and noticed something even stranger. The backdrop of dull seabed and broken ship was replaced with something more colorful, the seabed a canvas of jewel tones, lively corals glittering under the sunlight in a rainbow of shades. But, despite its beauty, Sil couldn’t help but feel the sight was unsettling. Limestone shared her suspensions, both their faces contorted in confusion and concern.

Wasn’t the seafloor covered in bleached white corals? Sil thought. And where’s Atla and Dewy?

She turned to ask Limestone what they should do next, but her train of thought was interrupted by a soft crying sound. Scanning the area for the source of the sound, she spun a circle, spotting a soft pink and pale white coral from which the sound emanated. She gave Limestone a worried look, before paddling in to investigate.
 
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Cape Effervesence

SpinyShell: Your escape from the shipwreck’s clutches had somehow left you spirited away in an entirely new coral bed, unsettling as it was dazzling. With panic taking rise, you find yourself drawn to a weeping sea dweller who perhaps harboured an explanation to the mysterious goings on.

It's coming… She cries on your approach, in a language you understand as clear as day. She waddles on the spot to face you, the unmistakable visage of a Corsola with tears as black as tar seeping down her face. It’s frightening enough to nearly send you tumbling into Limestone, who look just as disconcerted despite their hardy temperament. The coral doesn’t seem to notice your unease as it repeats itself again.

It’s here… Look up… It’s here… You oblige, as wary as you are of taking your eyes off of the unsettling sea creature. Your gaze follows the seabed up to the surface, nothing peculiar about the Squirtle grazing on kelp, nor the stray Tentacool drifting in the undertow. Your ears prick to the hum of a propeller, following the sound to a large silhouette approaching fast from the distance. It was an immense sea vessel, slicing through waves with increasing difficulty.

There was no mistaking it, the dreadnaught you had been trawling through shed of a decade of rust and algae. The engine’s vibrations could be felt as it drew close, dappled sunlight illumining several pockmarks down its glistening exterior, like the wounds of a great sea battle. Oil and fire were hissing from its ruptures as it creaked and moaned against the choppy waves above. It was clear that it could stay buoyant no longer and it was falling right toward you! The hull eclipses all sunlight as it loses altitude at increasing velocity, its vast surface area robbing you any chance of escape. There was nothing for it but to close your eyes and accept your fate…

“Sil! Sil!” The nightmare was over. Your open eyes to the original seascape, its gloomy trappings more inviting than you could have ever imagined. “What happened?! The three of you were just staring into empty space.” The ship was as wrecked and dormant as it had ever been, a decade of wear and tear added back onto it in the blink of an eye. Was this all a hallucination? Had the pressurised oxygen gone to your head? You don't have long to chew on these thoughts before something starts to stir ahead, an inconspicuous bleached rock emerging from the sandy seabed, as though it had been released of its gravitational ties. The coral suddenly sprouts a set of translucent branches, its red eyes blinking open and dawning on your party like menacing searchlights.

You took away everything from me… I will unleash worse on you…

The
emits a Night Shade that momentarily swallows your camp in darkness, Dewy tumbling rearward while Limestone hold their ground through the weight of their anchor, albeit reeling from the surprise attack. Inches from escape you have a new enemy in your midst, one that seems bent on sending your dive crew to a watery grave! What will you do?
 
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The Foundry

Myahoo: Hint offers the voice of reason needed to snap you from rage and onto the immediate threat ahead, and behind, and about every other direction. You were suddenly drowning in a sea of Porygon, a sweeping offense required to stem the tide and provide the necessary breathing room to deal with the malfunctioning boss above. Your vulpine teammates are first off the bat, Dust expelling a gust of Powdery Snow that sends the swarm back peddling, their spinning joints seizing up with frost. Kaito opts to muscle his way free with brute force, fur enveloping in dark energy as he rammed the nearest drones – Pursuing the dispersing Porgyon for good measure. The thunderous twosome were next up, spinning Electrowebs and casting them out wide like sailor’s fishing nets. The webbing works to corral the pixelated Porygon, their waning resistance met with nasty jolts of electricity. Hint, Kaito, Tase and Dust gain one level!

With the drones barely putting up a fight, you can’t help but wonder if your crazed captor was just buying itself time. Its growth spurt settles at about fifty storeys high – though a few thousand pixels would be more apt. Its booming voice continued to permeate through cyberspace, Tase tapping away at your shoulder as he drew hidden meaning out from the nonsense.


GRAvity iNegraTING
CHE
cking dATa COllection
DEconstructing ACCuracy ProcESSes

Before the mite can even reel off an interpretation, your ears prick to the sound of Hint going haywire – a million different processes running through his head all at once. Once the initial information overload clears, the Rotom sports a wry smile as it appears to have tapped into the system's mainframe, acquiring the power needed to set itself on par with the titanic technopath. The buff couldn’t have come a moment sooner, the Porygon-Z thrusting its arms and tail forward as it begins charging a Tri-Attack, globules of fire, ice and electricity swelling above, large enough to wipe out your entire team in a fell swoop!


Hint is now able to change appliance forms at will. On top of this, choose ONE power up to activate:

Get big – allows Hint to grow to gigantic size
Multiply – allows Hint to duplicate into an army

Action Replay – allows Hint to choose a new ability and use every conceivable move
Dust inhaled and blew Snow Powder over the sea of Porygon, forcing them back and making their joints frost over. Kaito Pursued them as they retreated, slamming into them and throwing them further back. Hint and Tase then cast Electrowebs out like fishing nets, catching and corralling the Porygon into a contained huddle.

Aiden then caught his breath as his team regrouped around him, turning to face the Porygon-Z to see why it didn't just smash them all while they were distracted. And had to follow its body up because it was now a gigantic, godzilla-sized boss.

"What the fuck?" he blurted out in disbelief, staring up at their opponent. "How're we supposed to fight that?"

Tase, who'd skittered back up to Aiden's shoulder, opened his mouth to read off the Porygon-Z's hidden message, but Hint abruptly started whirring like an overworked computer.

Aiden eyed the Rotom warily. "You doing okay there, Hint?"

"Uh, it mentioned giving us cheat code access?" Tase offered.

Kaito tilted his head to one side and flicked his tail. "I don't think Hint'll appreciate getting blind-sided by that. Even if it's useful."

Dust snorted. "It can be as pissed as it likes once we get out of here, so long as we get out."

"Ow." Hint blinked a few times and shook its head, expression going disgruntled for a moment before it clearly set the feeling aside. "I, uh, think it gave me the ability to swap between the traditional Rotom appliances at will and either go godzilla, become my own army, or pick something else and use every move."

"I'd go with the last," Aiden immediately said.

Hint shot him a skeptical look, though it was Dust who asked, "You sure? Because, honestly, I think I'd prefer having a giant Pokémon between us and the other giant Pokémon."

Aiden hesitated for a moment longer and then nodded. "Alright. Go big instead and Sucker Punch it. Then Charge and hit it with a Thunderbolt."


Hint goes from 28 to 29.
Kaito goes from 11 to 12.
Tase goes from 11 to 12.
Dust goes from 11 to 12.
 
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Eyes of Ruby
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Cape Effervesence

SpinyShell:
Your escape from the shipwreck’s clutches had somehow left you spirited away in an entirely new coral bed, unsettling as it was dazzling. With panic taking rise, you find yourself drawn to a weeping sea dweller who perhaps harboured an explanation to the mysterious goings on.

It's coming… She cries on your approach, in a language you understand as clear as day. She waddles on the spot to face you, the unmistakable visage of a Corsola with tears as black as tar seeping down her face. It’s frightening enough to nearly send you tumbling into Limestone, who look just as disconcerted despite their hardy temperament. The coral doesn’t seem to notice your unease as it repeats itself again.

It’s here… Look up… It’s here… You oblige, as wary as you are of taking your eyes off of the unsettling sea creature. Your gaze follows the seabed up to the surface, nothing peculiar about the Squirtle grazing on kelp, nor the stray Tentacool drifting in the undertow. Your ears prick to the hum of a propeller, following the sound to a large silhouette approaching fast from the distance. It was an immense sea vessel, slicing through waves with increasing difficulty.

There was no mistaking it, the dreadnaught you had been trawling through shed of a decade of rust and algae. The engine’s vibrations could be felt as it drew close, dappled sunlight illumining several pockmarks down its glistening exterior, like the wounds of a great sea battle. Oil and fire were hissing from its ruptures as it creaked and moaned against the choppy waves above. It was clear that it could stay buoyant no longer and it was falling right toward you! The hull eclipses all sunlight as it loses altitude at increasing velocity, its vast surface area robbing you any chance of escape. There was nothing for it but to close your eyes and accept your fate…

“Sil! Sil!” The nightmare was over. Your open eyes to the original seascape, its gloomy trappings more inviting than you could have ever imagined. “What happened?! The three of you were just staring into empty space.” The ship was as wrecked and dormant as it had ever been, a decade of wear and tear added back onto it in the blink of an eye. Was this all a hallucination? Had the pressurised oxygen gone to your head? You don't have long to chew on these thoughts before something starts to stir ahead, an inconspicuous bleached rock emerging from the sandy seabed, as though it had been released of its gravitational ties. The coral suddenly sprouts a set of translucent branches, its red eyes blinking open and dawning on your party like menacing searchlights.

You took away everything from me… I will unleash worse on you…

The
emits a Night Shade that momentarily swallows your camp in darkness, Dewy tumbling rearward while Limestone hold their ground through the weight of their anchor, albeit reeling from the surprise attack. Inches from escape you have a new enemy in your midst, one that seems bent on sending your dive crew to a watery grave! What will you do?
Sil and Limestone paddled to the sobbing coral, hoping that they could shed some light on where they were and what was happening. But, as they approached…

It’s coming…

A woman’s voice emanated from the pastel coral, filled with fear and dread.

Sil narrowed her eyes at the colorful clump.

That couldn’t have come from coral, could it? she thought. She gave Limestone a puzzled glance, but neither noticed her, clearly preoccupied as both their faces were wrought with fear as they stared at the source of the sound.

As if on cue, the Corsola spun around, pitch-black tears streaming down her distraught face like droplets of tar, standing in stark contrast to her pastel pink and white. Sil, startled by such a sight, instinctively kicked away from the coral, nearly slamming into Limestone in the process.


The Corsola took no heed, repeating her eerie mantra, her mouth twitching unnaturally as she formed the words.

It’s here… Look up… It’s here…

Sil looked around every which way, feeling terror claw at her, expecting to see some horrifying monster emerge from the abysmal depths. But she could spot nothing of note, only Squirtle munching on kelp while Tentacool drifted on the current towards the open ocean.

But then…

Whrrrrrrrrrr.


It was the unmistakable sound of a boat propeller slicing through the water, somehow ominous despite the mundaneness of the sound. Sil and the barnacles turned to the source of the noise, spotting a large dreadnought limping through the waves. The ship’s side was scoured with holes, oil dripping from the ship like black blood as fire surged from the gaps in its hull. It was the sunken dreadnought, albeit not sunken, years of rust and wear gone from its metal body. As it approached them, the propeller gave its last push before puttering out, and the ship began to sink… right on top of them! Its hull too wide and the trio too paralyzed by fear to vainly attempt to swim, all they could do was close their eyes and acce--

“Sil! Sil!”

The voice of Atla cut across the comms, the sound enough to jolt Sil and Limestone out of their nightmare, returning them to the gloomy dull seabed, a surprising comforting sight compared to what they had just witnessed.

“What happened?!” Atla cried. “The three of you were just staring into empty space.”

Sil panted heavily as her heart thumped in her chest, feeling suddenly claustrophobic, too disturbed by the… hallucination to respond. She looked over at the dilapidated ship, far from the wounded beast it was just a few seconds ago, tamed by the sea and time. She felt a wave of relief wash over her. It wasn't real. It wasn't real. Perhaps it was just the slowly depleting oxygen levels, or ocean madness getting to her head.

“I think…” her voice trailed off as some movement caught her eye. A bleached white rock slowly emerged out from the seabed, sand trickling down its form as electroplasmic branches sprouted forth from a set of holes on its back. Beady red eyes stared unblinkingly at the dive party, narrowing as they filled with hate.

You took away everything from me… I will unleash worse on you…

The ghostly Corsola began to glow purple, before a wave of shadow surged towards them, enveloping them in blackness. The Night Shade slammed into both Dewy and Limestone, sending the water spider tumbling back. Glaring at them, it seemed the Coral Pokémon was readying another attack.

“Quick!” Sil shouted, feeling panic take root. “Limestone stop her with a Liquidation!”

Lime nodded in affirmation as he prepared to strike, enraged that the Galarian Corsola would dare attack them despite their innocence. They didn’t cause this! But, Stone frowned and shook his head at his partner, sinking a little into the rock to signal that he would not attack.

The Corsola was grieving--she was suffering--and, while wrong to lash out at innocent passersby, Stone was still sympathetic to her plight. As she had said before, she had lost everything, even her life by the looks of her otherworldly appearance. Perhaps body slamming her into submission wasn’t the way.


Stone looked around at the dive party, at Sil paralyzed with fear, at Atla and Dewy, and at Lime, before turning back to the grief stricken coral.

If diplomacy could work with him and Lime, perhaps it could work with this Corsola as well.
 
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