Fizzy Bubbles Resident Bird Keeper
- Jul 24, 2006
- Reaction score
EmpIt was a classic casino caper – the figure in drag eluding to a shady underbelly beneath the guise of neon slots and spinning roulettes. Emp had to wonder if he had been spirited away to this art deco afterlife for a higher purpose, rather than a high stack of cash. There was a pain hidden behind Solosis’ beady eyes that reminded the tourist of a wistful Reuniclus he had met up in the clouds; if Emp had to hazard a guess, the lifelong guest had seen the establishment fall into a corruption beyond recognition. He felt compelled to right this wrong, not least because he was growing fond of the extrasensory embryo.
Following Bonnie’s tail of cigarette smoke back to the businessmen supposedly at the thick of all the thievery, the drifter was given one last chance to opt out of the reconnaissance and wrangle up a more innocuous assortment of contenders, for which the casino was in no part short of: an Electrike sniffing and dashing about the lobby like an excited pup, Gothita and Kirlia tugging at the coattails of gamblers with what could be premonitions, and Misdreavus locked in an haunting courtship around a magnificent chandelier. They could very well pass under the radar of any criminal activity altogether by selecting one of the options above, but Emp had already made up his mind.
“You know what they say about keeping your friends close,” he answered with a coy smirk, “Bonnie, how about we show these boys the race of their lives?” He gestured for a dry whisky from a nearby waiter before offering the drag queen an arm ahead of rubbing shoulders with the racketeers.
Bonnie was clearly happy with your decision despite having offered you an alternative arrangement, a wry smile forming behind her cigarette holder. As the impeccably-dressed waiter brings your beverage request, she grabs her own glass from the tray and winks at the gent as the two of you head back to the table where you had first met your fabulously dressed new companion and her shiny Zigzagoon. Taking a deep swig from the tumbler in her hand, she strides directly up to the two men, "Good evening, gentlemen. My friend and I are after a couple of gambling types to join us in a Pokémon race. Don't suppose you guys know anyone who fits the bill?"
As the drag artiste spoke, the two men looked her up and down before treating you to the same awkward treatment: eyeing up their opponents, trying to spot your weaknesses. Whatever the two of them saw in you or not, they shared a look between themselves and nodded in unison, "Sure thing, we came down here for a flutter on the Houndoom but them guys said the race was off. Reckon the winning Pokémon'll hit the jackpot?" The man closest to you spoke first, he was dressed in an old-looking navy suit with a pair of slightly scuffed brogues. It seemed Bonnie hadn't even considered the thought of prize money as she looked at you for more information before nodding in agreement with the man, "That'll be for my Zigzagoon to find out!"
Bemused by the drag artiste's confidence, the second man similarly dressed in a black suit, let out a hearty guffaw. It was clear that he had already started to underestimate Bonnie before they had even reached the track. She didn't seem to mind, though, she was too busy rifling around in her purse for a treat for her Pokémon. Knowing her plan, you sense that Bonnie is putting on a poker face and trying to come across as harmless. Solosis seems to as well, sharing a knowing glance with you.
"You guys sorted or what?" A shout reaches you from across the parlor. The taller of the two gentlemen who had proposed the race to you initially beckoned the four of you to the door carved in the likeness of a Houndoom. Having gathered the full roster necessary to kick things off, Bonnie links you once again and the two of you lead the way with Solosis alongside and the two businessmen and Zigzagoon following close behind you.
As you pass through the door and begin to ascend an ornate orange staircase adorned with painted flames, you hear the two men behind you whispering between themselves. Bonnie clearly hears this too, turning her head to one side as if to engage you to better eavesdrop the men. It's no use though as all of your footsteps muffle the words being spoken just metres behind you. It isn't long before the stairs come to an end, opening out into a thin oblong room with a bar at one end and one wall entirely made of glass. Beyond the wall, the impressive racetrack stood illuminated but empty at the base of unoccupied bleachers.
"So, tell me, good sir..." Bonnie took another cigarette from the purse at her side and lit it with one deft flick of a match before placing it in her holder and taking a deep drag once again, "What kind of prize money are we looking at for the winning Pokémon?"
The taller man eyed up the Zigzagoon at the drag artiste's feet. He too seemed to be underestimating the odd pair but he answered nonetheless, "The winner'll get about 50,000 smackers, give or take a couple'a thousand." Hearing this, the two men accompanying you dash forward. Clearly neither of them had realised what was at stake here and they seemed more keen than ever to be involved in the race, "Wait 'til the others get a load of this. Imagine the sort of wins ya could get with $50,000..." The man in the navy suit smirks to himself, already lost in ideas of how he could gamble his winnings before the starting pistol had even been fired.
"My associate will be notifying the casino's clientele shortly - first we need to get you guys set up and ready to race." With that, the shorter gentleman returns up the staircase from which you had just arrived as the taller man ushers you all towards a sliding door in the entirely glass wall before you. Beyond the door, a staircase cut between two bleachers down to the side of the racetrack and the starting line complete with traps where each of your Pokémon are expected to begin the race. As you and the rest of the racers arrive, you notice that the first trap at either end is already closed shut and occupied, presumably with the organiser's choices.
"Right, get your pep talks over with now, the race'll start once your Pokémon are all lined up in the traps and the starting pistol is fired. Unlike Magikarp racing, there's no rules so feel free to get dirty out there."
At the man's words, Bonnie and the two businessmen choose their lanes and begin to prepare. The man in the navy blue suit selects his Pokémon first: a Dodrio with the most gorgeous green plumage. Seeing this, his fellow businessman chooses an Ampharos, her fur a fine pale magenta. As anticipated, Bonnie chooses her Zigzagoon and Solosis bobbles in the air excitedly, visibly happy with himself for having elected to join the challenge before he disappears into the trap alongside yours.
[In terms of strategy, anything goes - you can order a series of up to four attacks against your fellow racers in any combination or simply focus on trying to win through similar means, utilising your attacks to further advance in the race - good luck!]