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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Vernal Ventures [IC/PG-16/Not Accepting]


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#1
Fisho

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OOC Thread

 

It was something of a beautiful day in Thicket Forest. As beautiful as a day could be with the constant overcast gloom that dominated the skies in the area these days. A small green pokemon with what looked like a large tooth jutting out of both sides of mouth sat by the banks of the Thicket River. He looked up and down the length of the flowing channel, scanning whatever was visible from his position in the woods. There didn't seem to be anyone else around him. Maybe things were finally calming down now. Over the last few months there had been so many new Pokemon coming into town. He hadn't even been there very long himself but between the strange new arrivals and people flocking to the town for the upcoming Guild Festival there was never any shortage of excitement. But for now there was simply the calm trickle of the river and swaying of trees in the wind.

"Today's gonna be good." the Axew mused before standing and beginning his way back to town.

Never was Thicket Town more alive than the time of the Guild Festival, held twice each year. The Helios Guild was a constant source of visitors to the city as it was. Many who visited stayed and over the years the community had become one of the larger gatherings of Pokemon in the world. A stage had been assembled in front of the entrance to the guild where the leader of the guild would eventually address the people and begin the examination for new recruits. But the town square was where all the fun was happening at the moment. The usual stores and businesses were open as usual. But everyone seemed to be gathered in little stands. Food carts full of different family recipes dotted the area. A Smeargle was offering body paintings for a small Poke fee. The quality of his work was astounding so there was a naturally long line. While once a settlement of grass and bug types, one now saw nearly all types of Pokemon running around. The energy was palpable and infectious.

One of the senior members of the Helio Guild, a gruff looking Sandslash, stood by the south edge of the town square. He had a stand with the guild name proudly on display above. The purpose of the booth was to register those who sought entrance into the guild. This service would close down some ten or fifteen minutes prior to the opening address from the guild leader so any who wished to try their luck at entering were advised to sign up right away. The line for this was of course as, if not more, impressive as the Smeargle's line. But there was little to be done about it. This was one of the top guilds and there was very limited acceptance. Any aspiring explorer would want to come through this institution. Now there were more applicants than ever with the addition of the humans-turned-Pokemon who flocked to the guild for answers to their predicaments.

In the excitement of the day, it was almost easy for one to forget the sun no longer shone directly upon this scenic town. While still standing strong, the trees of the surrounding forest were slowly losing their strength with the limited amount of light they now received. Nature itself was in chaos the world over but just this day, maybe everyone could just be happy. Maybe that wasn't too much to ask. And maybe, just maybe, one of these eager young Pokemon would prove to be the key to figuring the mysteries of the world out.

OOC


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#2
Wind Rider

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As the pokemon of Thicket Town enjoyed the festivities, a blue glow slinked out of the shadows. A rather curious looking salandit, by the name of Karliah, looked around at the events taking place. The crowds of pokemon hustling and bustling around made Karliah shy away a bit, but the growling of her stomach persuaded her to push on. She bobbed and weaved through the crowd, hoping to find a stand that may have some food on hand. Stopping in her tracks, she spotted one, a fruit stand that was carrying baskets full of all types of berries.

The stand was being manned by a Breloom, who was happily handing small baskets to festival goers. Karliah had no Poke to her name and stomach begged for at least a little food. She made her way towards the stand and waited to the side of it. Once the Breloom was distracted enough, she zipped on by, snagging a couple of pecha and oran berries before disappearing back into the crowd.

Being a pokemon had it's quirks it seemed, if she were human she may not have been able to do that as well as she did. She didn't enjoy the notion of stealing, but she was penniless and hungry, plus it's not like that Breloom was going to miss a couple of berries from his large inventory anyway. Finding a spot to sit, Karliah dug into her bounty, snacking on the two pecha berries and saving the oran berries for later. Her stomach was satisfied, but she needed a way to get money, otherwise her small thievings may come back to bite her in the tail.

#3
God Emperor Cow

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Thicket Town was bustling more than usual. Cassidy had kept near the town during her time here so far due to needing a place to rest when she wasn't exploring the forest for people in trouble.
 
She didn't much like going into the town itself very often. She didn't feel all that comfortable with how many people lived there. Which made her wonder if she was from somewhere isolated...originally.
 
But there was something important going on today. The chance to join a guild. While Cassidy wanted to do this on her own she realized that she had no idea what to do in this world. Evidently joining this guild could help her learn why she was here and open up more possibilities.
 
But first she had a challenge to overcome.
 
"Step right up and test your strength!" The Machoke shouted out. He was hefting a large wooden mallet, which was multiple times larger than Cassidy herself, and standing beside a structure with a bell on top and a button at the bottom. The other people wandering about seemed to be giving the man a large berth. But not Cassidy. She floated on over to the man who was aggressively waving the mallet around and almost desperately trying to get people to try out his game.
 
He noticed the girl, out of the corner of his eye, and turned with excitement. Only to be disappointed when he saw the little Tynamo floating over. "I don't think this is the game for you, little lady." He said with a grunt.
 
Cassidy's eyes flashed as the Machoke said those words. So that was how it would be huh? "Just step aside. Unless you want me to knock you over, first."
 
The Machoke snorted and shrugged before stepping out of the way. Cassidy took a breath and aligned herself before charging forward and crashing into the button meant for the heavy-looking mallet. A little metal block shot upward, more, more, until it hit the bell with a resounding "ding".
 
Smug, Cassidy turned towards the Machoke. "Maybe your game ain't so hard after all." She said before floating off again.
 
She needed to get to the guild sign ups after all.
---
She glared at the gruff, older, Sandslash who was manning the stand. "I'd like to sign up." She said, holding back on shouting at him for the look he was giving her. "My name is Cassidy and I'm going to help people whether you like it or not." She then practically slammed her face into the paper she was given to mark and she had to hold back to not just tear through it.
 
Stupid grumpy adults....


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#4
radio414

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Every so often, sometimes as frequently as once every half-hour, Felix would go down a mental checklist. Some of the items were things to do, some of them were checks of his environment, but they were all equally important. So, in order:

Weather Forecast: Cloudy as always. But hey, if the sun wasn’t still there behind all those clouds that always threatened rain even if they rarely did, you wouldn’t even be able to see the clouds in the first place, right? Really, if you thought about it, every day was a sunny day. Check.

Guild Sign-Ups: That was the first thing he did. It was a little confusing (how were they going to differentiate his signature from any other Starly? Was there going to be a comical case of mistaken identity? Was that part of the sign-up process?), but he managed well enough. One of the benefits of getting it done early was the Sandslash in charge of the process didn’t look quite as miserable as he did when facing the enormous line he did now.

Maybe, Felix decided, if he were accepted into The Helio Guild, he could take over that particular responsibility or at least help out a little. Anyway, Check, but speaking of which…

Meeting New Pokémon: That’s what festivals were for, of course! Well, apart from the food and the activities and whatever event the festival was dedicated to, of course. Above everything else, this was a convocation of creatures and the ideas they represented, and Felix had already gotten started with at least the idle chatter while waiting in lines. But with so much time between now and the main event, and with so many pokémon still out there un-met, it was still the most daunting task Felix had on the docket for today.

And that wasn’t even getting into the pokémon that were just like him! Not other Starly, no, but other humans! They’d definitely need a bit more attention, especially if they were coming here for answers to questions nobody had the answer to. To not soothe their fears at least a little bit would be negligence, and if there was one thing Felix wasn’t it was negligent. So this was a Half-Check and a promise to do better.

Resolving Old Grudges: Well, there weren’t any that Felix was aware of, but that didn’t mean they didn’t exist. Someone out there, probably really hated him. They probably had a deep-seated loathing of “that flightless Starly who’s in everybody’s business all the time” and Felix didn’t even know it. Maybe it was the Sandslash running sign-ups, who kept glaring at Felix every time he walked past, thinking that he wouldn’t notice but of course he noticed! Why wouldn’t he notice?

So yes, if he did manage to join Helio’s ranks, that would definitely be something he’d have to fix. And just because the notion that he couldn’t fix it right now ate away at him like a Starly (any Starly, not one in particular) ate a berry, it didn’t keep him from Checking the task off the list.

And last, but not least, New Memories: Un-Check, but not for lack of trying. Sure, Felix was at the “acceptance” stage of the five levels of grief, but that didn’t keep him from waking up every morning desperately clawing at his dreams, searching them for new meaning and despairing a little when he inevitably found none. He’d close his eyes and he’d be back on that elevator again, sure, but if he learned anything new in those particular dreams he’d forget it as soon as he woke back up.

Of all of his tasks, this was the one Felix was the most okay leaving Un-Checked. That gaping memory void that started only a few years ago and stretched back to the beginning of time was actually getting gradually smaller in proportion to his days as a Starly. Soon, it might not even matter if he was actually a human or not, and wouldn’t that be something?
With his mental checklist out of the way, Felix could dedicate his full attention to the fair. Even without his dedication to meeting new pokémon and helping wherever possible, there still was so much he could be doing. But with such an abundance of things he could be doing, Felix had trouble picking any one thing specifically to do. Body painting was an option, but was that an efficient use of his time?

He could get food, but was he really that hungry? Maybe he could order something, but that seemed wasteful when there were so many food stalls with food so mouthwatering that any pokémon working a delivery shift at, say, Delibird’s was probably stuck in line trying to get food for themselves (though he’d have to confirm the veracity of that particular statement with Jeremy later).

What about games? A Tynamo had just proven that at least some of the games were winnable, though Felix wasn’t sure he’d be able to match that particular feat of strength. Some other game perhaps? With his beak he’d be pretty good a bobbing for fruit, but with all that fruit in his mouth he’d be unable to find new pokémon to talk to and wasn’t that really the point of these sorts of games?

No, he should probably make friends first and then just do what they wanted to do. He singled out a single face at random -- new, old, it didn’t matter -- hopped up to them and said, “Hi! Enjoying the festival so far?”


#5
Lewyn

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Wrong.

 

He stood up slowly. The world was spinning, everything... Yet as soon as he stood, he fell back down again.

 

Wrong...

 

He couldn't say what exactly was wrong, just that everything was. His height, his weight, hell, even his balance, center of whatchamacallit, felt wrong.

 

"What the f*** is going on?" he spat, immediately afterward pausing. Even his voice sounded wrong. "F***. Shit. Damn." What am I even saying? I don't even know what the f*** I'm saying! There was something really pathetic about that. All I know is that, whatever I'm saying, it sure as f*** feels fitting.

 

His head pounded suddenly. Oh that's right, I'm--

 

.

 

Yeah, that's my name. And...I'm swearing, yeah. It had taken a while for him to remember, but now that he had, he felt a bit better, a bit less like the world was ending, or something. Amnesia's a bitch, he thought, and paused. It is amnesia, right? I think so.

 

Giving up, he decided to walk forward, automatically falling down on all fours. It still felt wrong, but that's how his body wanted to walk, so who was he to say otherwise? Except he wouldn't stop tripping, so he gave up, and stood up on two legs, which felt...less wrong, but harder. Though it was easier with his tail to help balance...

 

Wait, tail?

 

Damn, this is some dream I'm having, he thought. Pinch me and wake me up, man. Was it really a dream? And what good would pinching do?

 

He kept walking, kept falling, kept tripping, kept getting up. No f***ing way I'mma let a little something like bad balance stop me from moving forward, he thought, slowly but surely making his way toward what sounded like a river, whatever that was.

 

He could hear it before he saw it. Smelled it too, which for some reason struck him as weird, but there wasn't much that wasn't weird at this point. A burbling sound, and the scent of wet earth, metal, grass, and fish. But you couldn't ask him what any of those things meant, only that they were.

 

He couldn't even explain why he was moving toward the river, only that it was water, and that water was comfortable, familiar. And usually helped him figure out where the hell he was at. Stumbling toward the sound, the smell, and finally the sight of water, a trickle of silver slipping through mossy stones and--what the hell, he was no poet. It was a river. Everybody knew what that was. Everybody except for him, apparently, as he had clearly forgotten until just now.

 

"This sucks," he grumbled out loud, finally making his way to the bank. Or shore. Looking around, he was...just as lost as before. Great. Plopping down on a nearby rock, he stared glumly down at the water flowing beneath him. And promptly blew his shit.

 

"The hell?! I'm a f***ing pink teddy bear! Are you shitting me?!" the shout echoed throughout the area.



#6
)e//!s0P

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Blake was overwhelmed by the atmosphere of the festival. It was almost wild, and felt disorganized. 'Well, guess it was to be expected,' He thought. 'At least I can hover above the crowd.' He hovered up to approximately 10 feet in the air, close to his limit, and searched for the guild sign-up area, twirling around occasionally to check his six. He eventually made it, albeit slowly. The line at least was not bad, just a few minutes. Although, when he got there, he had trouble grabbing the pen with his cloth arm. "You make one 'The pen is mightier than the sword' joke and I swear, " He said to the Sandslash as he marked it. 'Well, now what?' He asked himself. 'Well, time to get out of here, ' He thought to himself as he floated away, back into the crowd.
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#7
Niko

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Hours before the festivities had actually begun, Kiera floated through the town square taking a look around the town once more. She had only been here for barely a few days at this point, and thankfully had been given a place to stay thanks to the help of a kind Roserade. She drifted around, offering help to the various Pokemon who had been setting up stands and preparing the festivities, but a lingering concern over what she had seen in the forest was still popping up in her thoughts from time to time. The image of the glade dying around her still seemed to be burned into her thoughts, and with the months she had spent in it, it seemed like the image wasn't going to be leaving her any time soon.
 
So off she went, trying to occupy her time by helping with small tasks that she could help with. The ability to grow out these vines had made it possible for her to start handling small amounts of manual labor, but she quickly overworked herself and was forced to rest by order of the Roserade she had been staying with. It wasn't like she wanted to be over quickly or anything, more like... She didn't want to just be sitting around with her thoughts more than anything. Now that she wasn't allowed to work on helping with set up the festivities, the best she could do was just rest and try to control her wandering mind. She settled down on a grassy patch in the village, her arms wrapping around the flower to make sure it didn't get carried away from her as she laid down. The clouds might be annoying when they were permanent, but now...

────── 〔✿〕──────

A little rest had turned into a longer nap, unfortunately. The lack of the sun peeking through the clouds had made it a lot easier for her to fall asleep, even with all the preparations that were taking place around her. It wasn't until the town square at begun to grow more and more crowded that the building noise had actually woken her up. She drifted upwards a little bit as she repositioned herself, hand rubbing at her eyes a tiny bit as she took a little glance around the bustling crowd. Things hadn't quite gotten to the point where she couldn't maneuver, but she knew that if she was going to register, she needed to get moving... Fast.
 
Between what the Ariados and Roserade had mentioned, the guild sign ups always went fast. She needed to make her way through the crowd fast, which thanks to the tiny body she was sporting now, it didn't seem like that was going to be too hard to do! She was able to duck and weave her way through the larger figures without too much trouble, and even with the fact that the line had already been... Well, growing. It was getting longer as the festival had begun to kick off, but thanks to her smaller size, Kiera was able to just... Quietly slip into the line. She wasn't even noticed right away, a little grin on her face as she realized she got away with it! She wasn't quite close enough to the front of register on that... Slightly intimidating Sandslash's radar, but not too far back that she wouldn't be able to register in time for the actual event.
 
The line moved forward steadily as Pokemon continued to sign up for the chance to enter the guild, and as she stood there, Kiera just fiddled with the flower she rode on. Her hands clenched around it gently as she waited for the line to move again. Each time a Pokemon signed up and moved away she grew a little more tense, at least until she saw one Pokemon slam their face down onto the paper. She blinked for a moment, stifling a small snicker as they quickly left as well, until finally it was her turn to move to the front of the line. She quickly 'signed' the paper with a handprint as she glanced up at the Sandslash running the station, taking a quick breath as she spoke up, "My name is Kiera. I'm here to register... That's o-obvious huh?"
 
She coughed a little bit as she quickly drifted away from the table, a little grumble escaping her as she smacked her forehead lightly, once she was a fair distance away from the stand. She sighed to herself as she rubbed at her head, "He's going to think I have no sense and there's no way I'll be able to get in if they think that!" She took a deep breath as she picked herself up, brushing off her embarrassment quickly as she prepared to just... enjoy the festival! She had done the hard part, now it was time for fun!
 
“Hi! Enjoying the festival so far?”
 
She jumped at the sudden arrival of the Starly, her eyes widening a tiny bit as she glanced around quickly. She nodded her head, holding a hand up as she did, "Oh! Yeah! Uh. Sort of? I just got away from the guild sign up booth..." She motioned behind her, rubbing at her neck a tiny bit as she did, "I haven't had a chance to check things out yet! It seems like everyone is really starting to have fun."


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#8
Dova

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Today was the day.

Corbin hadn’t been able to get this thought out of his head for days, and, as his rapid pace drew the Duodo closer and closer to the hustle and bustle on the other side of the town, it grew stronger still. He knew what was fueling it, of course; joining was the ambition of at least half the town, for whatever reason, and he’d heard the way people talked about those who got in and spent many a day fantasizing about actually being looked up to as a member of the guild. A proper part of the town, who really belonged. Finally.

“And that’s enough of that,” he murmured, cutting off his train of thought as the massive gathering in front of the Helio Guild came into view. Corbin entered the crowd at speed, letting out the occasional “Pardon me!” and “Sorry!” as he ducked and weaved past various Pokemon. He was mostly showing off in case any guild members were watching, but he’d had enough experience and previous impacts to navigate his way safely through.

The Guild stand was dead ahead, the sign-up queue relatively small, considering he had somehow gone against all the odds and woken up late today. Corbin remained focused as it rapidly approached, ready to make his mark-

"Step right up and test your strength!"

A loud grinding filled the air as Corbin dug his talons into the dirt, both heads whirling around at the sound of the challenge. There was a pretty buff Machoke there, manning some sort of strong-man stand, complete with a rather hefty mallet and a metal bell at the top. The machine and its overseer made quite an intimidating image, but it wasn’t that which kept him at bay.

“There’s no way I can lift that thing…” his left head muttered, eyeing both the hammer and its eventual target warily. His right side, on the other hand, was busy surveying the crowd around the Machoke, or lack thereof. “Doesn’t look like anybody else has tried it though, so I could at least make an impression!”

Just as he finished psyching himself up for the task, a small Tynamo made its way to the otherwise unvisited stand. The Machoke standing vigil seemed as incredulous as Corbin himself did, and yet the challenger defied both of their expectations with one massive ram that sent the metal block flying upwards towards the bell.

*DING!*

"Maybe your game ain't so hard after all."

Even more determined to try it out now, Corbin dashed over to the recently vacated spot in front of the stand. By now a few other Pokemon had started to take an interest as well, and Corbin felt their many eyes upon him as he looked up at the massive mallet. The Machoke grinned as his new guest approached, although not unkindly. “So, are you also going to defy my expectations?”

“Of course!” Corbin replied quickly, “If I just…” He maneuvered his heads this way and that, trying to figure out how he was actually going to use the mallet. “Pretty sure I can,” his left head added eventually with a little more uncertainty in his voice. He knew he didn’t have to use the hammer, but any alternative would probably be very painful. Still, he could feel his faces reddening underneath their feathers as the many stares of the surrounding Pokemon intensified, so he knew he had to come to a decisions

With a sudden cry, Corbin charged at the button, lashing out at it with one of his claws with all of his might. His closed his eyes as it impacted, initially from resignation but then from pain, and so didn’t see the metal block fly upwards as he, in turn, fell backward.

*DING!*

“See!” he groaned as he opened his eyes, featuring both a grin and a grimace upon his faces. He picked up his previously limp form, gave himself a quick preen, then hopped away on his uninjured leg. “Not...not hard at all…”

It wasn’t long before Corbin managed to locate the somewhat larger Helio Guild queue again, but his leg still ached as he eventually hopped up to the Sandslash who was managing the guild’s stand. A little grim, but what could you expect after an hour of accepting signatures?

A few pecks later and Corbin was returning to the main gathering, having a quiet debate as to whether he wanted the important guild member to have seen his earlier display. This continued even as scanned the rest of the fair, looking for something else to try his hand at.

“Beak at,” Corbin corrected himself hurriedly. Even after weeks of living in Thicket Town, it seemed that his past, or what little he remembered of his past, wouldn’t leave him.

“All the more reason to join the guild, then,” he said, finishing the thought, then hopped gingerly over to the largest queue in the square. Corbin wasn’t normally one for arts and crafts, but he might as well sit in a queue if he wasn’t doing anything else anyway, and besides, anything that made him stand out would surely be a boon today.

“Not to mention that that’s some sweet painting!” he commented brightly, admiring the Smeargle’s recent handiwork on a Hakamo-o, which had just come out of the queue with some very interesting purple designs all over. His interest further piqued, Corbin continued to glance around the square for something to do afterward.



#9
Mr. Hyde

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Business was sorely lacking today at the Teleport Stand.  It was his first Guild Festival since he had become a Pokemon, and he was excited for a boom in profits.  However, he was sorely mistaken, as the masses took there time walking around Thicket Town.  Sightseeing wasn't as fun when you were just whisked away from one sight to the next.  At such a pace to get through this many customers, they'd probably complain about headaches.  He sighed, bending over his crudely built stand.  It was about time for him to go on break.  His mind quieted for a bit, allowing him to drift cozily to sleep, until a sudden thought crossed his mind.

 

"Ah.  That's right.  I gotta find that guy who saved me."  It was a guild member who had first found him once he had been sent to this world as an Abra.  He had no memories, nor any clue how to be a pokemon, so it was rather fortuitous that Heracross and his gang were able to rescue him.  On the way back to town, Zee had fallen asleep, and forgot to thank them before they left out for another mission.  "Hehe...whoops.." He said to himself, reminiscing about his blunder.  Well it was all the more reason to find him now!  What better time than the Guild Festival?  Before he could doze off for real, he set his sights for the Guild.  He picked up something from under his booth, and placed it on the desk in front of him.  It was a little leaf on a stick that had 'Out to Lunch' written on it.  After that, he wondered if he should take his time and see the sights of the festival, or just get there instantly..  Naturally, he opted to Teleport.  Zee appeared midway through the line in a blink.  "Ah.  Is this the line to meet Mr. Heracross?  He must have a lot of fans.  He probably saves so many people."  As soon as he realized, he could feel hot air on the back of his head.  Turning around, he could see a rather large Hippowdon staring at him angrily.

 

"Hey Kid...no cuttin' in line."  Zee couldn't help but stare at the giant Pokemon.  He was intimidating, but Zee's grogginess lead to quite the poker face.  

 

"But I've been here the whole time, Mister.  You probably didn't see me because you're just so big and strong!  Maybe you just hadn't noticed until now."  With another huff, the Hippowdon nodded.  

 

"I guess you're right!  I can't be bothered to notice every little scamp in this town."

 

"Right?"  Zee agreed, before falling asleep in line.  When he woke up next, he was at the booth.  Sandslash, one of the resident members of the Guild, headed the station.  On the desk was a paper that had a lot of signatures on it.  "Oh man...now I get put on a waiting list?  That kinda feels bad man."  He wrote his name rather lazily, and left a hand print.  "I hope I get in!"  He said, clasping his hands together.  Hopefully he would hear back from them soon.  As he slowly levitated back to his stand, he could see a pokemon grab some berries from his favorite shop.  It darted through the crowds quickly, unseen by most.  Zee sighed, as he made a slight detour to chase after the pokemon.  He eventually found it snacking on the berries they had snagged.  "You're gonna pay for those, right?"  Zee asked.  "As a business owner myself, I'd hate to see them lose out on some profits..."


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The Past is a Cyber Dino

#10
Fisho

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A call had pierced the tranquility of the Thicket Woods. Someone was yelling. Yelling in a nice peaceful place was typically a sign something bad was happening. The young Axew hadn't gone far on his walk back to town before the sounds caught his ears and drew him once again to the banks of the river. He saw nothing immediately but headed in the direct he thought he'd heard the sounds from. The pokemon hugged the river, not knowing if he'd need to cross it or not to help whoever it was that had been screaming. Before long something caught his eye. Something big and pink. There were some pink berries but they didn't get this big. Getting a closer look he saw the big pink thing was a big pink bear sitting on a rock and looking at the river.

"Oh wow a Stuffal!" he said said quietly to himself. There were many types of Pokemon the boy had been taught about or shown pictures of but he had yet to meet. The prospect of meeting new Pokemon was exciting and it wasn't long before he was trotting up to say hello. "Hey Stuffal!" he called excitedly. "Are you the one doing the yelling? You alright?" he began asking as he approached. It never even crossed Axew's mind that perhaps whoever had been shouting maybe didn't want to be bothered. But he'd heard enough about Thicket Town and strangers appearing in the woods to hazard a guess as to what was going on here. It just remained to be seen if his hunch was correct.

Sandslash hated this job. Manning the guild booth for sign ups was the worst. He had made it explicitly clear to the guild leader this wasn't the job for him. All seemed well as another member of the guild had been set to handle this until quite literally this morning when it was found they had fallen quite ill. With most of the rest of the guild staff either out exploring or helping with the festivities in other capacities, the cursed work had fallen to Sandslash. He hated how there were so many annoying kids that had no business being here. Even if they didn't have annoying questions or personalities, it was still a lot of paperwork managing he'd have rather not been doing. But most interactions had something to bother him. Like the little fish, proclaiming her intent to help people whether or not they approved. That was nice and all but if she didn't get accepted there was nothing she could do about it. 

Then you had kids like the Flabebe that had provided her name as was expected yet also felt the need to mention she was there to register for the guild. An aggravated sigh escaped his mouth but no actual comment on the matter followed it. Most were like the Abra who had signed up. A bit disheartened at the number of participants yet still hopeful for getting into the guild. Sandslash had to wonder if these pokemon actually knew anything about what life was like as a guild trainee. No doubt they were romanticizing it. The lucky few who made it in would soon learn that. Though another thought crossed his mind. Most pokemon simply identified by their species name. Yet a lot of the applicants here had different names. No doubt many of them were those nut jobs who thought they were human in a past life or something. Or worse, they just had a human sounding name because parents these days thought it was cool after years of hearing stories of these otherworldly visitors. He didn't buy into any of it. But then the leader was very devoted to figuring everything out so he had to at least pretend to care he supposed.

While the various activities continued a group slowly got up on the central pavilion of the town square. The ground was slightly raised here and there was a shade structure built overhead. In the true center of the town under this structure was a large water fountain. Around it gathered a group of a dozen or so bird pokemon, accompanied by a Maractus and a Kricketune. In front of the semi-circle that had formed stood a lone Chatot who called the group's attention and began conducting. Soon there was music spreading across the square, setting a lovely background to the day's events.


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#11
radio414

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Felix never meant to hurt anybody (well, as far as he could remember, at least. Maybe in a past life?), so when the Flabébé jumped back like she had just seen a ghost (or Ghost-type pokemon (was there a difference?)) she nearly cause Felix to jump back as well. “Whoa! Sorry!” Felix said, fluttering back a little in an effort to keep his balance. “Sorry! Um, I didn’t mean to startle you.”

In all the confusion Felix almost missed her actual answer to his question. How embarrassing would that have been? But he did manage to catch the second half of her response (the “I haven’t had a chance to check things out yet” part), and it seemed like that part was the part that mattered anyway so he didn’t feel too bad? At least, he didn’t feel bad enough to ask her to repeat herself.

It wasn’t important anyway. What was important was the fact that he could turn that pesky Half-Check he had under “Meeting New Pokémon:” into a full Check. Of course she was a new arrival to Thicket Town. Of course she was. It was a point of pride for Felix that while he didn’t know (like, know know) every Pokémon in Thicket Town, he could at least recognize them on sight (Well, sometimes. Eight times out of ten if he was being generous. The point was, sometimes he just knew), and she was not one of those Pokémon.

Immediately his instincts as a representative of his hometown kicked in. He had previously decided previously that he was going to do whatever his new friend (hopefully? Was he being too forward?) wanted to do, but now that he’d gotten it in his head that they were new new and not just new to him new, he had to give them the full Thicket Town experience.

And what a day for it! There couldn’t have been a better day to give someone “the full Thicket Town experience”. Even now a Chatot was directing a choir of birdsong (and bugsong and… grasssong?) that made the day all that much better for teaching the glories of his hometown.

But he was getting ahead of himself. Before any of that could happen, he had to introduce himself. “Uh, I’m a Starly, but you can call me Felix,” he said, extending a wing out in greeting.

The Flabébé paused for a moment, seemingly both confused and a little relieved. She sighed a little (that was the relieved part) and reached out to reciprocate Felix’s… wingshake(?) (that was the confused part) before she seemed to realize what a silly idea the whole thing was and opted for a wave instead. “You must be another human then,” she said. “I’m Kiera. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Oh, gosh, I hope I was a human,” said Felix. “That’d be pretty weird if I was just walking around with an actual name and no memory and I wasn’t a human, wouldn’t it? But, uh, it’s nice to meet you too, Kiera. Are you just here for the festival or were you hoping to join The Helios Guild too?”

Kiera stifled a small laugh as she rubbed at her cheek, smiling softly as she did so, “Well, it can’t be as weird as waking up as a Pokémon, right?” She blinked at Felix's question, a little uncertain. Was she new to the whole “Pokémon” thing in addition to being new to Thicket Town? Such questions were doomed for later as Kiera continued, “Well, I just got out of the line for the sign-ups, but I don’t think I’m gonna be able to join. Plus the Sandslash there is kind of scary… Are you trying to join them too?”

“Trying, yup! It’s a longshot, yeah, but I really do want to help. And if I don’t get in, I mean, I can always help out around here giving tours or running errands or whatnot. Speaking of, do you want me to show you around a little while we wait for Heliolisk to give his address?”

Kiera glanced at the ground and her hand dropped, “I’ve only been in town for two days now and I haven’t really left where I’m staying…” she said (She was new!). “I would love to see more though! I helped with setting up a little bit of the festival things, but I haven’t taken a look around now that all the stuff is up for real.”

“Great!” Felix chirped. “Let’s, uh, let’s start over here. Are you hungry?”

If a photo montage could be created out of the written word, Felix would have made it possible. He tried to show Kiera a little of everything, dashing from the food stands to some of the various games (not all of them, of course. Even after seeing it done, that game with the bell looked pretty hard) to the art stalls to the various exhibitions of skill or strength or creativity (or sometimes even all three!). And when they both were exhausted from all the running around they returned to the food stalls for a drink and relaxed listening to the bird/bug/grasssong in the central clearing.

Check,” Felix thought to himself. Yeah, today was going pretty great so far.


#12
Wind Rider

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"You're gonna pay for those, right? As a business owner myself, I'd hate to see them lose out on some profits..."

Karliah turned to look at the sleepy Abra, it seems she didn't get away unseen after all. She sighed and just scratched her cheek. "Not like a few berries will be missed..." she mumbled quietly. She flicked her tail at the Abra and turned around to start walking away, what was an Abra going to do anyway? By the time he told on her she would be hidden away, but then she would clearly be labeled as a thief and people would be on the look out for her.

She stopped in her tracks and thought things over, she didn't want to be a criminal, she was just trying to survive. After a moment, she turned around and walked back to the Abra, placing the two remaining berries on the ground. "I... Was starving..." she said quietly.

#13
Mr. Hyde

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"Not like a few berries will be missed..."

 

Zee thought about the simple statement, and contemplated for a moment.  Either let this little bandit sneak off and continue her ways, or at least try and stop her.  He sighed.  This was all too tiring.  However, the Salandit turned around, and dropped the other two berries.  

 

"I... Was starving..." 

 

"Ah.  So that's how it is."  Zee picked up the two berries, but returned them with the exact amount of poke needed to purchase all three berries she had stolen.  "Why don't you go pay for them...pretend like nothing happened."  He then wagged a finger at her.  "But don't expect to keep relying on me.  You should learn to make sure sure that you don't have to steal by making your own money."  He crossed his arms and nodded.  "If you're in that much of a bind for cash, why don't you join the Explorer's Guild?  They have reasonable compensation for adventurers, and you seem like you have some abili..."  He started to snore mid sentence, but quickly woke back up again.  "Ah.  Refreshing.  What was I saying?"  It snapped.  "Oh that's right!  Yeah they're having sign ups today!  Why don't you go take a look."  He snickered to himself.  "I'd offer to teleport you, but you're broke!  heheh."  He took his time levitating away, and spoke up again, drowsily.  "My name's Zee.  I run the Teleport Stand.  Drop by, if you earn some money!"  With that, he promptly made his way back to said stand.

 

Once he got behind the desk again, he gingerly removed the 'Out to Lunch' sign, and placed it back in it's holder underneath.  

 

"Well...there goes my daily allowance."  He said, as he started to nod off. 


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The Past is a Cyber Dino

#14
Lewyn

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"Goddamnit!" He glared at the water sullenly. He wasn't sure why, but he knew that whatever he was seeing, whatever he was now, wasn't what he actually was. He was really...human. Not that he knew what that meant, exactly, but whatever.

 

"Hey Stufful!" a voice called out. "Are you the one doing the yelling? You alright?" a creature with two tusks sticking out of its mouth approached.

 

How does he even speak through those? was his first thought. His second was, I've seen this guy before. Or at least, something that looks like this guy. It's a...

 

Something. It was a something.

 

Oh wait, he had been asked a question, hadn't he?

 

"Who you calling stuffed so full of it they can't even shit straight?!" he yelled out automatically. "Wait, who the hell are you? What are you?" He paused. "And I'm just peachy!" his tone bled sarcasm. "For some reason, I'm a stupid pink thing instead of a human, but ya know, can't even figure out what a human fu-fudging is!" he amended, seeing for the first time just how...young this...something was.

 

"Look! I've got a fu-furry tail!" he quickly corrected himself, turning to stare at his behind in the water's reflection. "What kind of manly man goes around with a tail--" he stopped, bug-eyed. "Is that a tag on my ass?!"



#15
Hakima

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Machoke was having a rough day. All around him the town was glowing and full of cheer, yet he felt as if his booth had been cursed with bad luck. He had come to Thicket Town and set up his High Striker game to impress everyone with how strong he was, but the first two contestants—a teensy Tynamo and a lanky Doduo, of all things!—rang the bell on the first try.

 

A rustling from behind the booth caught his attention. Machoke hoisted his mallet on his shoulder. “Hello! Come to test your luc--huh?”

 

There was no one there when he turned around. Instead, he found a neatly wrapped white sack tied off with a red ribbon. “What’s this?” He knelt down to get a closer look at the mysterious bag. Steam was wafting out of the top, carrying with it the mouth watering scent of a freshly brewed broth.

 

Machoke picked it up after a moment of hesitation. When he did, a card out of the bag and into his hand. It took him a moment to sound out what the writing on it said. “Delibird’s Delicious Dish Delivery, courtesy of Guild Master Heliolisk.”

 

He propped his mallet against the booth and smiled. “From the Guild Master, huh? … I guess I’ve got time for a spot of lunch…”

 

• • •

 

Jeremy slithered through the shadows of town quietly. Sweat drenched his brow, but his delivery bag was thankfully almost empty. “Just one more…” he mumbled, stopping to check the list of Pokémon fashioned to his tail. The last delivery was… Sandslash.

 

Jeremy double-checked to make sure he had read the name correctly. Sandslash, as in “the most bounties ever collected for the Helios Guild” Sandslash? He wriggled his way up the trunk of a tree and hid inside of the foliage. There was no way he could deliver to Sandslash. He was infamously short-tempered and mean.

 

What would he do if the order was wrong? What if he didn’t like the food?

 

Jeremy climbed higher into the tree and wrapped himself around the smallest branch. It bowed underneath him precariously, bouncing, but settled down. He could see the winding line of the Helios Guild’s booth from his vantage point.

 

Sandslash was standing behind it with his arms crossed. Jeremy swore he could feel his scathing glare, even with all the distance between them. It made him want to run. “No. No, I’ve got to do this!” He liked to say things out loud to convince himself. It made it feel more real.

 

Sandslash was depending on him for his lunch. He couldn’t let such a great hero starve… even if the idea of interacting with him made Jeremy feel sick. Before his fleeting resolution could fade, Jeremy hurried off the tree and wiggled over to the back of the line to sign-up.

 

The wait to get to the front felt like both an eternity and an instant. Jeremy was dreading it, but the moment finally arrived that he was at the front of the line.

 

Face-to-face with Sandslash. Sandslash the Bounty Hunter. The Pokémon known as the Fury of the Sands. A Pokémon who had collected dozens of bounties without his enemies ever seeing him. One of a small handful of veterans who had been with Master Heliolisk since he had started the guild.

 

“I… Erhm…” Jeremy’s voice failed him. He stood in front of Sandslash, awestruck and unable to form words. “S-Sand…”


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#16
Fisho

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"You were a human? I knew it!" Axew cheered happily as the Stufful before him continued rambling about his confusion over what he was and how he looked. This lined up with the rumors he'd heard about the human-turned-pokemon that appeared in the area. They often showed up near Thicket River and would always be confused about what had happened to them and who they were. But they knew their name and the fact they had been human. Even amidst the colorful language Axew knew the story matched the others. He had to laugh a bit at the bear's confusion at his own biology but if he'd been human it only made sense. Thankfully the tusked lad had paid enough attention in his schooling about the different species of pokemon to provide some information.

"That's a scent gland silly. It's like some crazy secret code Stuffuls use to talk to each other. If you ever meet another Stufful you should try it out. Though this isn't usually where you find 'em." he explained while scratching at his face some. It seemed almost fitting for a pokemon to arrive today he thought. "Oh yeah. I know you're probably really confused and all but today's a really special day! The guild's gonna recruit some new pokemon. And Heliolisk really wants to figure out what's going on with you humans that have turned into pokemon. You should come to back to town with me and apply! If you get in you'd have a place to stay and it's your best shot at figuring things out." he continued, practically hopping in place with excitement as he spoke of the guild.

"What do ya say? Or would you rather just stay here and yell at your reflection some more?" the boy said with some playful snark.

"Come on, speak up already kid." Sandslash grunted with clear irritation as Jeremy stumbled over his words. The older pokemon's attention was clearly somewhere else as he did not register the Dratini was there on delivery duties. Anyone who came up to the booth had to be applying he thought. The whole world was applying and bugging him so this kid had to be too. Without a second thought he set an application down in front of the boy. "Let's get on with it. I need your name and then sign the bottom however you wanna do that." he nearly barked out not wanting to drag the moment out any longer than he had to.

Meanwhile in the center of the town square, the performing bird choir had been joined by a dance group. Four pokemon stood in front of the singing birds; three Bellosom in back with an Oricorio Baile style in front leading and stealing the show. The anticipation throughout the town was building more and more as sign ups continued. Whispers began passing through the body of the town that someone had spotted the guild master somewhere. Everyone was waiting for the big announcement to gather in front of the guild.


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#17
Lewyn

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"You were a human? I knew it!" the tusked creature cheered happily, before answering the question that hadn't actually been directed at him, but whatever. "That's a scent gland silly."

 

"A what? Scent gland? The hell's that?"

 

"It's like some crazy secret code Stuffuls use to talk to each other. If you ever meet another Stufful you should try it out. Though this isn't usually where you find 'em," the weirdo explained while scratching at his face some.

 

"I don't even know what the hell-heck a Stufful is, unless you mean this pink bear thing I've turned into," he replied flatly.

 

"Oh yeah. I know you're probably really confused and all but today's a really special day! The guild's gonna recruit some new pokemon. And Heliolisk really wants to figure out what's going on with you humans that have turned into pokemon. You should come to back to town with me and apply! If you get in you'd have a place to stay and it's your best shot at figuring things out." The tusked thing continued, practically hopping in place with excitement as he spoke. "What do ya say? Or would you rather just stay here and yell at your reflection some more?" the boy said with some playful snark.

 

"Whoa whoa whoa hold on there a hot minute. What's a guild and who the hell is Heliolisk? And town? There's a town for you freaks?"  He looked down at himself. "I guess, us freaks."

 

"Freaks? You mean pokemon? Are there not pokemon in the human world?!"

 

"Pokémon? That's what's we're called?" Now that this guy mentioned it, it did sound familiar. "Yeah...guess that's what we are, huh? 'Cept I'm human, not a...Pocket Monster? Where did that come from?" he mumbled the last bit. "Well, doesn't look like I'm a human anymore, but least I'm still myself. Still tough."

 

"Tough... Well nice to meet you Tough! I'm... uh... Ax... I mean.... drrrrrrraaxew. Draxew yeah! Heh. Head must be all jumbled up cuz it's festival day!"

 

"Yeah thanks, I know I'm tough," the Stufful replied with some confusion. "And...good to meet ya...Draxew?" for some reason, that name sounded familiar. "Festival day? You mean the guild thing?"

 

Draxew let out a breath. "Yeah! The Helio guild is where a bunch of pokemon come together to explore new places and fight bad guys! But because Heliolisk is so well known lots of different pokemon wanna join. So we have these big parties that go on all day while the lucky ones get in. It's a ton of fun and you'll probably even find a bunch of other humans that turned into pokemon like us!"

 

"Fu-udge, all this weird shi--crap is giving me a headache," the Stufful moaned. "And like you? So you're a human too? Or were one? Was never good with this stupid past-present crap." He shook his head. "But seems like as good a place as any to go. Lead the way."

 

"Uh.... yeah! Totally was a human. Been a while since I got here though so you just kinda forget you know?" Draxew laughed, but it sounded off. "Don't worry there's a lot going on but I'm sure you'll get the hang of it!"

 

The panda nodded back, and the two headed through the forest, until various scents started to filter into his nose. Fruit, and what smelled like...many different creatures, some with sharp, metallic scents, others with grassy scents, but most smelled like fur and feathers. Next came the sounds. Lighthearted chatter, whispers, and above all, the soaring notes of a song. Soon after they emerged into a wide clearing filled with various...well they had to be Pokémon. It was a bit overwhelming, honestly, but something about it also felt familiar, though he wasn't sure why.

 

They passed by a weird flying thing selling honey in small glass jars, a thing wearing a hat offering body paintings for a small fee--and what little the Stufful saw of them looked to be top quality--and a thing with large muscles challenging people to test their strength. The bear stepped forward to answer the call...and promptly tripped over his own limbs, swearing up a storm when the watching Pokémon laughed.

 

Eventually, they made it to a rather short line, short enough it didn't take them long before they were standing in front of a grumpy-looking thing that made the bear want to bristle up just looking at him. Draxew, on the other hand...claw, didn't seem to have that problem. The Pokémon started to bounce again. "Hey Sandslash!"

 

The grumpy guy, who it turned out was Sandslash, let out what the bear was pretty sure was an aggravated groan.

 

Draxew didn't seem to notice this, or didn't care. "I brought a new friend to sign up! He's Tough!"

 

"Tough is nice and all but it takes a lot more than that to get in. Just get your name on the paper and sign the thing."

 

"Yeah yeah, hold your Ponyta...whatever those are," the Stufful grumbled, before pausing as he stared at the paper and what looked like a black pad next to it. "How the hell do I do this?"

 

Sandslash groaned again but didn't reply. However, Draxew was all too willing to, dipping his hand...claws? Hand into the black pad, before slapping it on the table. "Like that! Just ink up one of your paws there." He received a death glare from the guild Pokémon for that, which caused the boy to tense up and look down.

 

"Oh, well that's easy," the panda said, dipping his paw into the pad and letting it sink down and collect ink before stomping it onto the paper. "There! I signed it!" he still had this niggling feeling that he was supposed to sign it a different way, but whatever worked. "You gonna go next?" he asked, glancing at Draxew.

 

"Who, me? Uh, funny story about that... uh I already signed up! Earlier. You know before you got here Mr. Tough. You should have seen the line, you got it good!"

 

"At least that's one thing going for me today," the bear mumbled. "So what now?"

 

OOC


#18
Hakima

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"Come on, speak up already kid,” Sandslash grunted.

 

Jeremy flinched. His fins started wiggling uncontrollably, twitching, one of the most obvious signs that he was upset. “I-I-I, D-D,” he stuttered.

 

Sandslash slapped an application down on the desk. "Let's get on with it. I need your name and then sign the bottom however you wanna do that,” he barked, his face twisted into a permanent scowl.

 

Jeremy swallowed rapidly. His mouth was suddenly dry and he couldn’t wet it no matter how hard he tried. Sandslash continued to stare expectantly at the paper on the desk.

 

Jeremy panicked. He dipped his tail into the ink and quickly scribbled his name on the document, and then darted away as fast as he could. Town Square was twice as packed as when he arrived. He darted, ducked, and weaved through the crowds as if he was made of liquid. He flew between the legs of a Doduo, blasted past Axew and a pink fluffy panda Pokémon he didn’t recognize, and finally rocketed into the nearest tunnel to the underground subway.

 

He was hyperventilating by the time he got there. His throat was tightening each time he swallowed, and he could feel the need to throw up creeping up on him. “Stupid… Stupid… Stupid…” He had really signed up for a guild. Why had he done that? They wouldn’t want someone like him. He was weak.

 

Weak.

Weak.

Weak.

 

Jeremy hung his head low as he slowly slithered through the dark tunnels. So close… He had almost finished the entire day without any problems. How was he supposed to explain this to Delibird?


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#19
Wind Rider

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"Why don't you go pay for them...pretend like nothing happened." He then wagged a finger at her. "But don't expect to keep relying on me. You should learn to make sure sure that you don't have to steal by making your own money."

Karliah gave a curious look towards the Abra after he had given some money for the berries. He willing to help her?

"If you're in that much of a bind for cash, why don't you join the Explorer's Guild? They have reasonable compensation for adventurers, and you seem like you have some abili..." He started to snore mid sentence, but quickly woke back up again. "Ah. Refreshing. What was I saying?"

An explorer's guild... Her mind drifted to a stand she had seen earlier, one with a rather grumpy looking Sandslash manning it. Joining a guild sounding interesting, maybe it'll also give her what she needed to figure things out for herself in terms of being stuck in this strange world.

"Oh that's right! Yeah they're having sign ups today! Why don't you go take a look." He snickered to himself. "I'd offer to teleport you, but you're broke! heheh." He took his time levitating away, and spoke up again, drowsily. "My name's Zee. I run the Teleport Stand. Drop by, if you earn some money!"

A teleport stand? People really paid to be teleported to places? Karliah shrugged and took the little bit of Poke that Zee had given her, putting it away for herself. She needed every little bit, as much as she didn't like it, Zee was the only one who saw her, so she didn't see a point to giving the money to the berry stand. Turning away, she slinked over to where she last saw the sign up stand. The line was long, but with a bit of patience, she eventually made it to the front. Leaving her print on the sign in sheet, she left with the Sandslash making a comment on her sneaky appearance. Great... Already being judged... She would be lucky to even get in, especially with how many others had signed up.

#20
Fisho

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Sandslash's endless torment was finally coming to a close. It was time to close the sign up booth in preparation for the guild master's opening address. The happier but still grumpy pokemon gathered up all the straggling forms and piled them into the big master box of all guild applicants. He placed a sign stating the booth was closed before picking up the box of papers. It was big but not overly heavy. At least not for one as strong as Sandslash. He began his way down the south street toward the guild. Any minute now the other senior staff members would be arriving to begin reviewing them prior to the beginning of the examination.

"So what now?" the funny Mr. Tough had asked of Axew after getting himself signed up. The tusked boy had taken the bear around the square with him to introduce him to some of the normal shop keeps and what not. Due to the festivities there were of course all sorts of little businesses that weren't normally open. But he made sure to point to the Kecleon General Store as well as the Bank and Item Storage facilities run by a Meowth and Kangaskhan respectively. There were lots of great little shops along the streets of town but the big places were all here in the square. As the duo moved about, the musicians and dancers in the center of it all quieted down. A shadow passed overhead of several in the crowd and with a gasp of excitement many began looking up to the sky. A dark figure flying through the air contrasted the light gray of the clouds. It was moving fast but it was heading toward the Helio Guild.

"It's Noivern!!" came the hysteric cry from several in the crowd. With the sign up booth down and Noivern spotted in the sky, the bulk of the crowd began moving all at once down south to the base of the hill that was the guild. It was more than a bit chaotic as quite literally everyone in town would be trying to go see the coming events. Amazingly, there was somehow space around the stage that had been built. Upon arriving those who had applied to join the guild would be asked to sit further up and apart from the main crowd. The guild officers wanted to be able to get a good look at them all from the get go. Atop the stage stood several figures, most rather well known to the town. They stood in descending order by height from the audience's left to right.

The largest figure was a Mudsdale. A large brown-bodied horse with a black mane and orange flairs about her legs. She looked out over the crowd with a warm smile surveying the large group of applicants. She had been spending the day pulling a cart for young pokemon to take rides in but despite having been running around up until this point she still seemed to radiate energy. Beside her stood the smaller but still rather large flying figure from earlier. Noivern was a bat creature, black in color with purple and green accents with strikingly red claws and a fluffy white collar of fur about her neck. Her large ears towered over her head and twitched about among the commotion. Unknown to most she was able to filter what she listened to even in the noise of a crowd such as this. In particular her ears focused on the applicants, curious to see what ran threw their minds at a time like this.

Beside Noivern stood a smaller pink and cream colored pokemon with long single curls extending down from her fluffy looking ears. This was Audino. Her focus seemed no where in particular but a general happy expression was stuck on her face. She had spent the day tending to the ill guild member that Sandslash had had to cover for at the booth. Speaking of, Sandslash stood next to her and appeared more than ready to have the day over with. Finally in the line was a younger looking Buizel who seemed incredibly nervous to even be there. One would think he thought he had to address this massive crowd.

"Hey, look up there Mr. Tough! Those are all the leaders of the guild... well all except one." the young Axew whispered excitedly to his bear friend he'd walked to the guild with. In line with his false story of having applied earlier he stood with the Stufful among the other applicants. Almost as if on cue from the boy, Noivern stepped forward and raised her arms high over head before a might flap send a wave of air over the crowd which gained their attention and quieted most of them.

"Thank you, one and all for supporting us in yet another wonderful Guild Festival." she began in a strong voice that reached to the edges of the crowd with seemingly little exertion on her end. "To the townsfolk, we thank you for your hospitality and services during the events. I am certain our guests from other towns greatly appreciate the hard work you have all put in to making today a success." she continued, a bit stiff as if she would rather be avoiding the formalities of being the first to address the crowd. And right in line with this impression she moved on ahead to the business at hand. "We all are aware what we're here for so I shall not delay us any further. Today, dozens of pokemon from across the world have come to try and prove themselves and gain entrance into the Helio Guild. And while we are sure that many of you are no doubt capable explorers, we sadly lack the resources to take on all of you at once. Thus, there is to be a test. A means to eliminate all but the most able and fit for the positions. Here now to explain this process to you all is our beloved guild master, Heliolisk!" she called out and a wave of applause and cheers erupted from the crowd. From behind the stage popped out a small yellow lizard with a black head and orange frills about his neck. He was no imposing figure and the way he walked had a certain silly air about it, as if he were walking through a dream. After a moment he came to Noivern's side and then proceeded to affectionately hug her which she seemed flustered at. Yet she ultimately returned it and lowered her arms to the ground while Heliolisk got up onto her back.

"Uh... testing.... testing..... hello.... one... two... three...." came the oddly loud sounds of the lizards soft spoken voice. It seemed he was using Noivern's ears as amplification so as to not have to yell himself. Something about this seemed to be very much implausible yet none of the townfolk challenged it. "Yes very good. My, there are a lot of you out there today. I'm not seeing double am I Noivy?" he asked of his partner below him, using his pet name for her which only served to fluster her more. She quickly confirmed this was indeed the legitimate size of the crowd. "Ohoho! Yes I thought as much. This must be one of the bigger ones yet! Welcome everyone! I wish my guild were bigger so we could all sit inside. We could all have a lovely meal and it would be wonderful. But I suppose the guild isn't nearly big enough yet so we'll have to go on ahead with that nasty old test." There was something odd about this one. He almost seemed to lack a sense of the seriousness of the matters at hand. Was he really this happy-go-lucky or was it all just a game to him?

"You know, just about any old Pokemon can go about and be an explorer. It's really not so hard. One just runs off to some unknown land and discovers the secrets of it for themselves. And I suppose just as easily one could take it upon themselves to fight bad pokemon and help bring them in. So in those functions I don't think the members of my guild are all that special." Heliolisk spoke with a pondering tone to his voice. At this end of this comment he closed his eyes and brought a hand to his chin for a moment. "No, where I think being in the guild is special is in the sense of family that one must of necessity come to foster and embrace. While any individual could go and explore or fight on their own, nothing can compare to the support of friend and family. Only in this bond of unity will we ever be able to tackle the problems of our world. In line with this I would like to make a special announcement regarding a new member of our family here." He motioned into the crowd of applicants and waved someone up. From among them hopped up a nervous Axew who wouldn't have been able to explain much to Tuff what was going on.

"Yes, everyone please say hello to Axew! His father Haxorus is a good friend of mine. He's got a guild quite like this one, perhaps you've heard of it. They're way up north at Glass Lake Town, you know it's very cold up there. Or well usually it is. These days I hear they're getting the sun we should normally expect here. Regardless, Haxorus thought it best his son get some proper training in a bit safer of a place. He arrived only a few days ago but will be joining those lucky few who pass the test today in guild training." the lizard continued before excusing Axew to return to the crowd. The boy seemed incredibly nervous. Some of it was from the crowd but a lot of it was knowing the lies he'd told to Tuff about being a human once directly contradicted what Heliolisk had just said.

"Now then, it's high time we got to testing you all. We've got to see who's going to be joining young Axew in the guild. So your first task is to gather together into little groups of about, oh, three or so of you. Yes that should be good. Now what you'll need to do after you've banded together is come up with a strategy. For what you might ask, well indeed I will tell you. We're going to have ourselves a bit of a contest to see who can get one of their team members the highest up with a good throw, no flying mind you. Noivy and I will come around to each of you and when you're ready you'll employ your strategy and we'll determine how high your partner made it and judge you for other things like how evenly the work is spread and such. An- oh what's that? Yes, Noivy reminds me that catching your teammate is in fact one of the criteria for passing. We'd rather not anyone get too hurt today, that would be a sad turn of events. Well, if that's understood then off to it!"

This was it. Everyone's first task was to get together into teams... and throw one of their group as high up into the air as possible while still catching them. Everything about it from Heliolisk's presentation to the task itself seemed, well, unprofessional. The guild master stepped down from Noivern's back as the two looked over the bustling applicants would be rushing to form their groups. As Axew was already in the guild he backed off from the group so as to not be asked to join. He felt bad for the confused state he'd no doubt left his Stufful friend in. But he was Mr. Tough! He'd probably just get into the guild anyway. There was no real time crunch here. Just more a scramble among those present to team up with the bigger and stronger looking pokemon thinking that would give them the natural advantage. Everyone's plan of attack was to be left up to them. The guild examination was underway!

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