Session 48

4 PM on the dot sees the party assembled at the docks. Dmitri is finishing preparations on a motorboat for the trip to Bay Island.
Sands is looking nervously at the water, Tim petting him but looking a bit nervous too.
Sam Spade is definitely not clenching her fist so tight that her nails are cutting into flesh. That'd be crazy.
Looking the other way, from down here at the docks, Scale Mount looks kind of like a giant staircase, albeit with only a few steps.
Amaterasu is padding along beside Max, wagging her no-longer-a-nub tail.
Dmitri: "Almost ready, just got to finish fueling. Hop aboard when you're ready."
Linnea checks to make sure all her supplies are stowed away safely, then boards.
Sam Spade glances up, to where Malta is circling, then heads out to the pier.
Sam Spade leans in close to the water.
Sam Spade: "We're coming to help you. You know that, right?"
Max Thorn: "All right, Ammy, I think we've shown you off enough for now…" She whinges softly, but agreeably taps her nose on the pokéball Max holds out and vanishes with a flash of red.
Sam Spade then stands up and boards the boat.
By "fueling" Dmitri apparently means "charging" , this boat having an electric power plant.
There is no response from the water.
Max Thorn boards the boat behind Sam, a little nervously. It's hard to tell, though, given how unflappable the man usually is.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Yeah, Sam didn't expect one, and doesn't know if Lugia heard her. But.
Esme rummages through her pack, making sure she got everything she needed, making her way onto the boat. "Should be good! I left a copy of my paper with one of your researchers."
Tim guides Sands onto the boat, and then short-runs with him to the dead center of the deck.
Esme: "I would've printed you a physical copy, but… went into space, and all that."
Dmitri: "That's fine. I'll read it when I return. Thank you!"
Esme: "Non non, thank /you/!"
Dmitri: "Heh." He disconnects and stows the cable - no, a pipe; looks like he was "fueling" a fuel cell after all. Dmitri hops onto the boat - right from pier into the pilot's seat, with obvious practice - and starts up the engine. "Alright, let's go!"
The general good mood of Scale Mount quickly fades into the background. Over the horizon can be seen storm clouds: it seems Bay Island is having a downpour.
Linnea: "Huh."
And then the top of a bolt of lightning flashes in that downpour, the rest likewise beyond the horizon.
Esme: "Huh indeed."
Sam Spade: "I get the feeling you-know-who needs something more than just a hug."
Dmitri grimaces. "Great, riding into a storm. You ever experienced harsh seas?"
Linnea: "Welp."
[OOC] Max Thorn: So what's the deck look like? Any shelter?
Linnea: "No, but 'hang on to something sturdy' comes to mind."
Max Thorn: "Personally, I prefer 'going belowdecks' as a step zero for that plan."
[OOC] WC GM: Very little. You know those small, one-deck powerboats with a small walkway in front of the windscreen in front of the pilot, with the only "inside" space being cramped storage here and there around the boat? That's what you're on.
[OOC] Sam Spade: It's a motorboat.
Sam Spade: "Belowdecks? That would be nice, huh."
Linnea: "Does this look like it's got belowdecks…?"
Sam Spade: "But we're gonna get wet."
Esme: "I'm actually going to put on a life jacket, as my own step."
Linnea snorts. And puts on a lifejacket.
Max Thorn: "That is an excellent plan." He follows suit.
Dmitri: "Sorry, there's only room for maybe-"
Sam Spade did that not long after getting on board, actually.
Malta dives onto the boat and tucks herself into an open compartment.
Tim is already crawling into the storage space to Dmitri's left, Sands into the one on Dmitri's right.
Dmitri: "…aaand we're full." His eyes are focused on the waters ahead. "The rest of you put on life jackets!"
Max Thorn: "…Tim, you don't have a pokéball for Sands?"
Tim is unresponsive just now.
Esme digs into her bag, pulling out an extendable net. "I don't think he cares for storms."
Linnea: "Eh? What's the deal with the net? Fishin'?"
Max Thorn: "Dowsing, probably. Which is a bit weird, since this isn't land, but…so is dowsing."
Esme: "Sort of! My options are 'try this out now', or 'take the storm as a challenge'."
Linnea: "You're loony and I love it."
Sam Spade: "Though would that net fit over the deck? Because that might be a good idea, if the waves get high enough."
Dmitri finally takes his eyes off the water and looks back at the party, nods that they all have life jackets on, then returns his focus to the controls.
Esme waves it around. It's basically one of those goofy bug nets you see those kids in shorts running around with.
Esme: "I could fit it over…someone?"
Linnea: "What. Why."
Esme shrugs.
Max Thorn: "So she can catch a man-sized Bug pokémon. Why else?"
Linnea: "Right, right…"
It's not immediately clear that this was a joke.
Esme: "Anywho-" She leans over the side, rods in one hand, net in the other, waiting for any sign of…anything. This is most definitely not safe.
Sam Spade: "Wouldn't you want a pokeball for one that big?"
The sea, which had been nearly glass-smooth at Scale Mount, begins getting a few waves. A mild cross-breeze adds itself to the wind of swift passage.
Esme rolled up 10d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 3 3 1 4 2 3 3 4 3 1 (0 explosions)
Max Thorn: "In the safari, maybe."
Esme coughs as she gets splashed, pulling herself back up. "Blech. Worked though."
Linnea: "Neat. Lemme try."
Esme hands it over, motioning to 'go for it'.
Linnea takes the net and gives the water a good sweeping. She seems far more enthusiastic about this than one might expect.
Linnea rolled up 7d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 2 5 4 1 1 5 5 (0 explosions)
A magikarp leaps high out of the water, clear over Linnea, as she focuses on the sea.
Linnea: "Ah-ha!"
Linnea: "I'll take that as an omen."
Esme: "As for /why/ it works…well, shards are basically like Rhodinger's Skitty. They're everywhere! But only if you're looking for them."
Linnea omits to specify whether it's good or bad, though.
Esme gives it a few more goes before things start getting really…well, wavy.
Esme rolled up 10d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 1 3 3 6 1 5 1 5 5 5 3 (1 explosions)
Esme rolled up 10d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 2 2 2 6 2 5 2 6 3 6 3 4 5 (3 explosions)
Another magikarp leaps up right in front of the boat, too late for Dmitri to veer. It bounces off the windshield and tumbles through the air…
Linnea rolled up 7d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 2 3 2 5 4 6 2 2 (1 explosions)
[OOC] Esme: 13 Blue Total, hooray, back to double digits
Max Thorn: "…Please tell me we're not going to meet a gyarados."
[OOC] WC GM: Max & Sam: Acrobatics or Combat check to dodge!
Linnea rolled up 7d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 3 6 1 2 2 4 2 4 (1 explosions)
Sam Spade rolled up 2d6: 7 (1 6) (Combat it is!)
Linnea: "Oh man…oh man, if there is…"
Max Thorn rolled up 4d6: 14 (5 2 5 2) (Combat)
Linnea: "I should have bought better pokeballs…"
WC GM rolled up 1d6: 4 (4)
Max Thorn: "You didn't buy any Net Balls?"
Esme: "I did! Once. Alexis is in it."
Sam gets smacked in the face (for 4 HP) before the magikarp flips away.
Linnea: "Hey, the storage system only -just- got back up! After so long it takes a while to remember!"
Linnea: "I had a particular kind in mind for a third partner."
Sam Spade: "……Ew."
Linnea: "…Gyrados wasn't one of them, but now that we have the free space…"
Linnea: "Not like that, you weirdo."
Linnea sighs heavily, pinching the bridge of her nose.
Esme snerks.
[OOC] WC GM: Technically 14, but Sam's got a Defense of 10, so…
Sam Spade: "What? I'm sorry, I missed what you were saying, I just got scales in my mouth."
Linnea: "You're a weirdo."
Sam Spade: "Why am I a weirdo?"
Sam Spade: "You know that Pichu was just making stuff up with that picure, right?"
More magikarp - and a couple gyarados - splish in and out of the water, but no more near the boat. They almost seem to be running (well, swimming) away from the storm.
[OOC] Linnea: Oh, I think I misread the context.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Hee, but the misunderstanding works~
[OOC] WC GM: NP. Linnea didn't see Sam get smacked.
Max Thorn: "…Um."
[OOC] WC GM: She might see Sam's red face in the aftermath.
Esme: "Because Magikarp makes terrible sashimi, of course."
Max Thorn: "…Why are the /gyarados/ running away from the storm?"
Sam Spade: "I imagine because it's not a natural storm and there's a very angry Legendary."
Linnea: "…right, what's more terrifying than a Gyrados in water?"
Linnea: "Probably something with electricity…"
Esme looks up at the clouds.
Esme: "Quadruple weakness."
Sam Spade: "I mean, no matter how bad a storm is, neither Magikarp nor Gyarados should care…they just swim a little deeper."
Sam Spade: "…Buut…"
Max Thorn: "Lanturns are deep-sea, though…"
Esme's view is blocked, briefly, by a wailord - eyes wide - surfacing as it heads away from the island. Dmitri veers around it.
Linnea: "Holy hell."
The party gets a brief glimpse of at least three lanturns cowering in the wailord's mouth.
Sam Spade: "Yeah, Lugia wants something more than a hug."
Linnea: "Lugia…"
And then the fleeing pokemon are past, leaving only increasingly violent water between the boat and the island.
Linnea: "We're really going into the thick of it again."
Sam Spade: "Well, someone's gotta right?"
Linnea: "Definitely. That means us."
Sam Spade: "At this point, I don't know who else Lugia would listen to."
Dmitri: "Well. I have good news and I have bad news."
Linnea: "Right, bad news first."
Sam Spade: "We're all gonna die?"
Dmitri: "According to the boat's scanners, I can deliver you right to the gym's door!"
Dmitri: "…that's also the bad news."
Sam Spade: "The gym's not on the shoreline, is it."
Linnea: "Oh."
Dmitri: "Nope. Dead center of the island."
Sam Spade: "Well…not supposed to be on the shoreline."
Linnea: "Are we going right through the front door? In the boat?"
Dimitri calls up the Amoda regional map on a display, and points to the northeast corner where Bay Island is.
Dmitri: "Scanner's picking up nothing but wind and water."
Dmitri: "And one structure."
Sam Spade: "Oh dear."
Max Thorn: "Uh. Well. We need to figure out why the island sank, I guess."
Linnea: "…reminds me of the legend of Cinnabar."
[OOC] WC GM: Amoda regional map as in the one on the wiki.
Linnea: "Except, you know. The opposite element."
Max Thorn: "And the opposite direction?"
Linnea: "…And the opposite direction."
Sam Spade: "Sooo should we be braced for impact?"
Dmitri: "I'll try to avoid that. I'd like to use this boat for the return trip."
Dmitri: "But you might have to, ah, dynamically dismount."
Sam Spade: "Uh. Okay."
Max Thorn: "…Good luck getting Tim to do that."
Linnea: "This is gonna suck."
Linnea: "Glad I stocked up…"
Dmitri: "I've only heard half of what you said back there, but it sounds like you have a plan to stop the storm?"
Dmitri: "If so, do you need Tim for that?"
Sam Spade: "We have an idea, if that counts?"
Dmitri: "If you need Tim, you'll have to dig him out. I've got to keep my hands on the controls here."
Max Thorn hmms. "/Do/ we need Tim for this?"
Esme: "I'm not sure how he'll help, exactly."
Lightning BLASTS the sea to the forward-left. Thunder washes through everyone's bones momentarily.
Linnea: "GRRRRGH WHY."
Linnea: "…phew. Okay. No. We're okay."
The waves by now are as tall as the boat. Dmitri weaves between the larger ones.
Max Thorn: "Okayyesletsgoalready."
Linnea: "We're friendly!"
Sam Spade is standing, but grabbing a line and holding herself braced against the deck.
A large wave rears up right in front of the boat - until another bolt of lightning slams down right in the boat's path, cleaving just enough space for Dmitri to pilot through. And then, beyond, the party can barely make out some kind of cement structure, sticking up through the waves.
Linnea: "NO WAY!"
Dmitri: "I only dare slow down for a moment. I'm going to drop you off then circle around until hopefully you can silence this storm."
Max Thorn: "Oh. Someone was being /helpful/."
Linnea: "That was awesome!"
Sam Spade: "Okay! Stay safe!"
Dimitri slows the boat to a near-stop in front of the main doors.
Max Thorn: "Right, let's go." Max hops off as soon as he gets close enough to do so…
Sam Spade waits for the best moment, then jumps.
Linnea disembarks before the boat explodes.
Esme braces, and leaps!
Dmitri: "Heh. You've got the more dangerous job. I'm just volunteering to stay alive."
Linnea: "You're the smarter one. Now get outta here."
Dmitri: "Good luck! And write a paper about it!" He waves briefly, then revs the motor - and is gone in a flash of sea spray.
Sam Spade grabs something - anything - that can keep her steady.
[OOC] Sam Spade: "…Oh, sorry Esme."
Max Thorn makes his way for the doors…
Almost anticlimactically, the glass double-doors - somehow not even scratched in all this activity - slide open.
Max Thorn sprints through, then pauses, dripping.
Sam Spade hauls Esme and Linnea in with her.
Linnea: "Oooof! Thanks, Sam."
Sam Spade: "So cold-"
Inside is relatively peaceful, not that that is hard. The lobby of the gym is a somewhat plain affair, tiled floors and walls covered with a mural of various water type pokemon.
Display cases here and there hold various trinkets and artifacts recovered from the deep sea - fossils, sunken bits from ancient ships, and the like.
Sam Spade: "Um. Excuse me, Cheri?"
Max Thorn pulls his pokedex out and tries to download a floorplan, if he can.
Linnea: "That was some A-grade nonsense right there."
Max finds no signal.
Esme shakes herself off, peering around.
Ahead lies a doorway, with a sign next to it with four buttons.
Max Thorn: "Welp. Network's down."
Linnea wanders on over to inspect the sign.
Sam Spade: "…Or…Lugia?"
Linnea: "Ah-ha! See, that's a trick question."
Max Thorn walks over to the door. "Oh. Quiz challenge."
Esme: "…Iunno."
Linnea pokes the button labeled "water" .
Max Thorn: "Answer's 'water', of course."
The door opens.
Beyond is a small chamber, walls likewise painted but no display cases, then another door with sign and buttons.
Max Thorn goes through.
Linnea: "Sure, there may be more normal-types recorded, but the waters pack more creatures to them."
Sam Spade follows.
Linnea inspects the new sign.
Sam Spade: "Is this a quiz challenge, or propaganda?"
Max Thorn: "Pfft."
Linnea: "Yes."
Esme: "Yes."
Max Thorn: "Yes."
Esme coughs.
Sam Spade: "….Jinx?"
Linnea pokes the water button again.
Esme: "No, that's Ice."
Linnea: "Oh no. I've seen some bad jinxes in my time and you don't want to invoke them lightly."
Linnea: "Ever meet a Hex Maniac? Scary folk. Good friends, though."
Max Thorn passes through this door when it opens, too.
The door opens, and another chamber appears, just like the second with one more sign. Sobbing - a voice familiar to all but Linnea - can be heard beyond this door.
Linnea halts.
Esme perks.
Linnea: "Who…?"
Sam Spade walks forward, quietly but comfortably.
Linnea edges cautiously forward.
Max Thorn pokes A.
Esme: "Waiwaiwai-"
Max Thorn /runs/ through this door.
A loud buzzer sounds.
Max runs into the unopen door.
Esme sighs.
Max Thorn faceplants.
A panel opens on the side…and nothing comes out.
Sam Spade sighs and taps the 'electricity' button.
Another buzzer sounds.
Esme visibly pouts. "You guys never listen to me when I'm lecturing, do you?"
Another panel opens. Looks like this was the kind of quiz to give a pokemon battle upon wrong answer.
Linnea: "…I knew it."
Esme presses D.
Max Thorn: "Oof."
Sam Spade: "No, never."
The door opens.
Linnea: "There's always got to be a trick question."
Esme: "No trick! Poison is everywhere."
Max Thorn tries the running thing again.
Beyond is a tiled room, dominated by a large pool in the center…which Max runs right into.
Sam Spade grabs Max by the shoulder and walks.
Sam Spade: "Don't freak her out."
The floor is slippery. Even in here, above the pool, is a storm cloud, raining.
Max Thorn: "…"
Linnea: "Yikes."
And there in a corner, curled up and bawling into her knees, is Cheri.
Sam Spade: "Hey. It'll be okay."
Linnea: "There's someone there…"
Max Thorn wades back out of the pool. "Hey, Cheri."
Sam Spade walks over to Cheri and hugs her.
Linnea: "Are you hurt? Do you need assistance?"
Esme …waits.
Cheri: "M…mi amore…where…where are…?"
[OOC] Sam Spade: Now I'm trying to decide if that 'human form' question came from Jenny or from Sam.
Linnea: "…oh dear."
It takes a moment for Cheri to register Sam's touch. She looks up, bleary-eyed.
Sam Spade just holds her for now.
Cheri: "Miei amici!" She sniffs. "I am sorry you saw me like this, but…"
Sam Spade: "It's okay. It's a hard time."
Cheri HUGS Sam and slowly stands up. The stormcloud over the pool rains itself out.
Max Thorn: "We're here to help. Nobody but us will know, promise."
Sam Spade stands up with Cheri, then lets go and takes a step back.
The party's pokedexes ping with a message from Dmitri. "Storm receding. Keep doing whatever you're doing."
Sam Spade bites her lip.
Sam Spade: "…Are…you…"
Linnea: "Was a rough trip, but arguably worth it. This place is amazing!"
Esme checks the message…then checks Cheri.
Sam Spade: "…No, that'd be rude."
Cheri: "Ah. You already have helped; I am cosi grato."
Sam Spade: "Is there something more we can do?"
Sam Spade: "I mean…"
Sam Spade hesitates, then looks at Esme's pokedex, then looks back at Cheri…
Sam Spade: "…I take it Ho-oh wasn't in Dojji after all?"
Cheri: "When you…what is the word…liberated Dojji. I thought my…well, you know 'im as Ho-Oh."
Cheri shakes her head. "Non. I searched and I searched."
Max Thorn: "At a guess, he's trapped somewhere else."
Linnea: "Sheesh…"
Sam Spade: "…And we have no idea where."
Esme: "…Well, sort of."
Max Thorn: "Mmm. I have a WAG, I think."
Cheri blinks, looking at Esme and Max. "Wha…?"
Linnea: "A guess."
Esme: "If not in Dojji or Amoda, that leaves…"
Linnea: "Cryptic stuff."
Sam Spade: "Well, Iggy had figured out that Lugia was in Bay Island."
Max Thorn: "Something about Ignacia and her love of fire suggests something to me."
Cheri clasps her hands, eyes pleading. "Please! Tell!"
Sam Spade carefully doesn't look at Cheri.
Max Thorn: "…He's proooooobably in Gaela."
Esme: "Mmm."
Cheri puts a hand to her mouth, eyes wide.
Max Thorn: "Or being held captive by Ignacia. One of the two."
Cheri: "Gaela? But…I'm…he's…"
Max Thorn: "We plan on going to Gaela, in any event, and if he's there you have my word that we'll free him."
Esme: "Maybe both. Which would be double unfortunate."
Cheri frowns. "Ignacia!" The name sounds like a curse word from her.
Linnea: "But, you know…"
Linnea: "We're good at putting boots in asses."
Linnea: "So to speak."
Sam Spade: "I don't know if we can take Iggy head-on, yet, though."
Sam Spade looks at Linnea and Esme worriedly.
Sam Spade: "…Yet, anyway."
Esme: "We've got time to prepare though, oui?"
Linnea: "Yet. Right. We gotta prepare."
Sam Spade: "Oh, that's for damn sure."
Linnea: "I mean, it's not like I'm tryin' to charge forward blindly."
Linnea: "I'm just saying - we are very good at what we do."
Cheri: "I can not go there. But you will? Grazie! Grazie mille!"
Esme snerks. "Plus we could always get her liquored up again."
Sam Spade: "I mean, if there are two things that this journey has taught me, it's that not all Jaggies are bad people and some have good reasons for what they do. And that doesn't apply to Iggy."
Cheri stands up fully, wiping tear streaks off her face. "Oh! But where are my manners? You 'ave a new friend I should introduce myself to."
Linnea: "Oh yeah!"
Sam Spade: "Ah, yeah!"
Linnea: "The name's Linnea Maylithos. Occult enthusiast, healer, studier of magic."
Cheri nods. "Piacere di incontrarmi! I am Cheri, leader of th' Bay Island gym. Also known as…" She begins to curtsy…
Sam Spade takes a step back, purely in case of transformation radius.
Linnea quirks a brow and also steps back.
Linnea: "…"
…and then there is just Cheri again, finishing her curtsy.
Linnea: "Y…you know."
Esme claps her hands together. "Called it!"
Sam Spade: "You would think…after meeting Arceus…I would be less…discomfited. But."
Linnea: "…headache."
Max Thorn: "It's a lot different when she's suddenly in your face, Sam. I would think."
Linnea shakes her head slowly.
Sam Spade shakes her head, seeming to throw off all that discomfort.
Cheri giggles, covering her mouth.
Linnea: "With all due respect, it's a lot for lesser mortals to take in."
Sam Spade: "Well, um. Thank you for all the support you have lent us on our journey."
Cheri: "Oh! Did you come t' see me, or did you come t' challenge th' gym?"
Sam Spade: "Both?"
Linnea: "You got it."
Esme: "Also, a question!"
Sam Spade: "We…well, we made a little side trip…out of the planet…and a certain fairy spirit suggested you might want a hug."
Cheri: "Hmm. Hrm. That…is a conundrum." She frowns in concentration - then looks to Esme. "Oh?"
Esme: "…Ice puns? Really?"
Cheri giggles nervously. "I want'd to seem…'ow do you say…'cool'?"
Linnea: "Augh."
Sam Spade giggles.
Sam Spade then covers her mouth hurriedly.
Esme: "That's even the same pun!"
Esme: "Yeah it's you."
Cheri: "I was trapped t' the waterways - and there were none o'er Dojji. Getting from coast t' coast was a pain."
Cheri: "Fortunately none challenged my gym while I was gone."
Cheri smiles. "Made a good cover identity t' operate, no?"
Max Thorn: "I don't think they could've, given how, y'know…there's no island right now."
Linnea: "Yeah, uh…you should have seen the place when we came in."
Cheri blinks, then grimaces. "Wha…?"
Linnea: "Hell of a storm, to sum it up."
Linnea: "Even the Gyarados were fleeing."
Max Thorn: "And a wailord."
Cheri's eyes grow a bit wide. "Yee! I am so, so sorry!"
Cheri: "I will 'ave t' apologize to them…later."
Linnea: "Yeah, don't worry too much. No lasting harm, I would think."
Cheri: "Fortunatamente, all upon this island was built flood-proof."
Linnea: "Awesome."
Cheri: "They were already worried about…crollo? How you say…"
Cheri: "…th' caves all snapping and everything sinking."
Sam Spade: "That…does seem like a legitimate worry."
Linnea: "…"
Linnea: "Yyyyyyyeah."
Esme: "Fortune definitely favors the prepared, this time."
Cheri: "Not t' worry 'ere, 'igh above th' waterline."
Cheri: "Though…" She looks at the pool. "Th' well is quite high."
Sam Spade: "Boat came up to the door."
Sam Spade: "I'm not so sure about the waterline."
Cheri: "…"
Sam Spade: "It's…very flooded right now."
Linnea: "Yyyyyyyyeup."
Max Thorn: "We came here cos we were told the island was sinking."
Cheri: "Oh. Oh. This will not DO! We must aumentare…un-collapse th' island!"
Cheri looks to the group. "You will 'elp, ya?"
Max Thorn: "You even have to ask? Of course we will."
Linnea: "Like I said!"
Linnea: "It's what we do. And we're very good at it."
Esme: "Of course, mon Cheri!"
Sam Spade rolls her eyes at Esme.
Cheri: "Miei amici! You do so much for me!"
Cheri sweeps the group into a hug.
Max Thorn hugs back, of course.
Linnea squeezes. Hey, friends. Terrifying friends. But friends.
Cheri: "And of course we should 'ave that gym battle you wanted too! B'fore or after, your choice. But, ah, un problema."
Sam Spade: "…Yeah?"
Cheri smiles and clasps her hands together. "So. You know who I am. You know my, ah, 'team'."
Cheri giggles, a bit self-consciously. "Miiight be a teensy bit potente."
Esme narrows her eyes. "We've met."
Max Thorn: "I'm not sure it's as much of a problem as you think it is…Arceus leveled the field for us when he challenged us…"
Sam Spade: "Aaand we've already established that you believe holding back to be disrespecful."
Cheri: "So! I will give you the choice! One, one at a time, orrr all tres at once."
Cheri nods. "Usually it would be irrispettoso. But, well…all of them? Against you?"
Cheri: "If you think you are up to it, though…"
Max Thorn: "Only really have the one suited for a water fight, so I'd have to go with 'one'."
Sam Spade: "I think she means…"
Cheri shakes her head. "None of them are this type."
Sam Spade: "Team battle, her three against us?"
Cheri sighs. "I 'ave no team of my own, save my servitori."
Sam Spade: "Ah."
Esme: "Oui."
Cheri winks. "Uno, Dos, e Tres."
Linnea: "Welp."
Esme rolls her eyes.
Sam Spade: "So, um."
Sam Spade: "If things go…poorly…would we be able to get our pokemon healed?"
Sam Spade: "Because this sounds like something that would be amazing to try, but might not be possible for us to succeed, and so I wouldn't want to throw everything away. Especially Malta. I really, really wouldn't want to throw away Malta. Or Chicklet. Or Noiseless."
Cheri: "Oui. Though…hmm…perhaps we should aumentare th' island first, if you'd want clear access to Joy's casa?"
Max Thorn: "I'm in favor of raising the island first, yes."
Sam Spade: "Yes."
Cheri smiles and nods. "Then it is agreed. So, then…"
Still smiling, Cheri tilts her head. "'Ow do you raise an island?"
Sam Spade is also still smiling. She looks a little sick, though.
Max Thorn: "Give me scuba gear for myself and Nook, and we could go undersea and apply his Ice-type. But that'd take a while, and anyway it'd require an /awful/ lot of ice."
Max Thorn is obviously not offering this as a serious suggestion, though.
Cheri's face lights up. "Oh! You need ice? Uno can fornire."
Cheri: "Would zap or mol be of use?"
Linnea: "If lightning can keep curious beasts at bay while we work…"
Max Thorn ponders, then taps an inquiry to Dmitri: "Can you think of any ways to reverse island sinkage?"
Sam Spade: "Um."
Sam Spade: "Can Moltres turn water into steam?"
Sam Spade: "Because that would fill the caverns with air."
Cheri: "Oui!"
Sam Spade: "…But it would definitely be best if we weren't in those caverns…"
Max Thorn: "Can use Zapdos to do the same, in fact."
Dmitri via text: "Geoscaping? This isn't the time for wishful thinking. There are people trapped underwater here."
Cheri: "Hmm…oui, Tres an' Dos should both be able to."
Sam Spade: "Yeah, not very helpful. Thanks, Dmitri."
Max Thorn texts back, "Well aware. We're trying to think of fast solutions here."
Sam Spade blinks.
Sam Spade: "So, ordinarily, Bay Island floats?"
Cheri pokes a button in the wall, causing the ceiling to retract, showing a cloudless night sky. She CLAPS once; five seconds later, Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres appear and hover overhead.
Max Thorn: "All right…Articuno can provide some lift by freezing the water in some places, while Zapdos and Moltres work on electrolyzing and evaporating water in others to produce air and steam."
Linnea: "…this is incredible."
Esme snaps a photo. "Neat."
Cheri looks at Articuno, frowns, and points at Max imperiously, nearly the picture of an empress commanding one of her subjects. Articuno gives a sigh, then lands next to Max.
She repeats the process for Moltres and Sam, then Zapdos and Esme.
Sam Spade bows respectfully to Moltres.
Esme waves. "Hi again."
Sam Spade: "Where shall we begin?"
Zapdos gives Esme a half-stinkeye.
Max Thorn bows lowly to Articuno, signifying deep respect, then straightens. "All right, let's get started…"
Cheri faces Linnea. "And your plans?"
Linnea: "I, uh…"
Linnea: "Honestly, I'm not sure. For now I can stand by and provide mending in case of overexertion."
Cheri leans closer to Linnea, getting a silly grin on her face.
Linnea: "Oh."
Linnea: "Unless you have ordersinwhichcaseyes."
Max Thorn downloads a topographical map of the island and, if available, a map of the caves beneath.
Cheri: "Well. If you are just in piedi intorno anyway…"
While the local net is down, Max is able to signal-boost from the boat and connect back to Scale Mount, which has ample maps.
Linnea: "If you've got something more useful for me to do, by all means."
Cheri: "…you are so cute I just want to kidnap you for a joyride."
Linnea: "Uh."
Linnea: "Okay."
Linnea: "I _think_ I'm okay with most of the contexts of that."
Max Thorn: "All right, Articuno…here's what I propose to do…" He projects the maps, then notes particular points that might be most suitable for iceberg-based support while Moltres and Zapdos do their thing.
Linnea squirms in place.
Intellectually, the party realizes Cheri shaped her transformation's increasing mass to scoop up Linnea. But in the moment, one moment Cheri is leaning toward Linnea, a few moments later Linnea is on Lugia's back as the two soar into the sky.
Max Thorn: "I would appreciate it if you could go form icebergs in these locations, as beefy as you can make them."
Linnea: "Yeeaaaah-haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"
Articuno nods at the map, then scoops up Max, takes off, and begins forming ice where indicated.
Sam Spade hesitantly puts a hand on Moltres' feathers.
Sam Spade: "So…um…the plan is to fill the caverns under the island with steam so that the water gets pushed out."
Sam Spade: "…Can…you can do that, right?"
Moltres extends a wing behind Sam's back and gently hugs her, before putting her on the legendary bird's back and taking off.
Linnea is absolutely yelling in delight as the two of them whip through the wind!
Sam Spade: "Oh my goodness this is-"
Esme: "Lookit Lin getting to have all the fun as usual…" She turns to face her assigned assistant. "Alright Z, let's do some rounds and see where we can support Sam in clearing out this water!"
Esme grins. "Also, thanks for taking care of that wave earlier."
Zapdos watches the others take flight, then nods to Esme, picks her up in beak, tosses her into the air, then takes off and catches her on the bird's back.
Esme: "Oof!"
Lugia takes Linnea up high into the sky, almost out of sight of the three focused on the island.
Max Thorn observes the outcomes from the ice-formations and makes corrections on the fly, as it were.
Moltres and Zapdos fly along, waiting for coordinates from their riders.
Articuno then dives into the water, jetting along just long enough to fire ice under a bit of land, before coming back out.
Max Thorn taps in suggestions for fire and lightning strikes to be sent to Sam and Esme respectively.
Sam Spade twitches when her pokedex buzzes.
Sam Spade: "What-oh, how do you work this thing again - uh. Huh. Okay."
Sam Spade: "Great Moltres, we should go this way!"
Sam Spade points.
Esme leans in to look over the big spiky mane of Zapdos. "Alright, we're going to swoop down over here and give it a good shock to clear out the water here! Then we'll move over there and do the same."
Moltres: "MOOOL!" The bird banks in the indicated direction.
Zapdos makes a beeline on the coordinates, sending down some of the straightest lightning Esme has ever seen - as if this one thinks in lines, to Moltres's curves and Articuno's angles.
Sam Spade: "Thank you, Moltres."
Sam Spade gives Moltres a hug.
By now, the water has receded from the gym's door. Slowly but surely, Bay Island gradually resurfaces.
Moltres: "Mol~." Moltres manages to very briefly tap Sam's back with a wing, in a very quick hug, before resuming that wing's flight position.
Esme: "Alright, making progress!"
Max Thorn: "Excellent work, Articuno."
Sam Spade: "Wow, Moltres! That was amazing!"
More work requires more dives beneath the water - from all three birds, now.
Sam Spade buries her face in Moltres' feathers, each and every time.
The water seems to almost get out of the way of Moltres and Zapdos, though. Or perhaps they project a barrier. Either way, Sam and Esme manage to not get wet, but it is a closer thing for Esme.
Max Thorn is, by now, used to the constant dunking.
Esme always takes a deep breath, but keeps her face forward. This sort of thing only happens onc- Well, twi- okay, several times. But it's always something to remember.
As the island raises up, artificial lights are uncovered underneath. It seems Bay Island was the rock version of swiss cheese underneath, collapsed by the underwater component of Lugia's tantrum. Various water pokemon pop out of hiding - or return; Max recognizes the same lanturns from before - to rebuild pillars to stabilize the island.
Once the island is up, the three legendary birds veer as one back to the gym, landing simultaneously in front of its doors.
Sam Spade slides off Moltres' back, and gives the legendary bird one last hug.
Sam Spade: "Thank you for your help!"
Lugia divebombs suddenly, then flies upside-down to deposit Linnea onto Sam before flying off.
Sam Spade grabs Linnea and collapses.
Sam Spade: "Wah!"
Moltres wing-hugs Sam (and Linnea) back before taking off after Lugia.
Max Thorn disembarks wetly. "I don't suppose you have an air-dryer move, Moltres?"
Linnea: "arglebarg-"
Sam Spade: "Um. One moment, please."
Sam Spade gently slides out from under Linnea.
Articuno headshakes, apparently on Moltres's behalf, but wingflaps furiously to try to dry off Max before taking off.
Sam Spade: "Articuno, I don't know if it was you that helped me out that one time, but if it was, thank you very much."
Sam Spade bows deeply.
Linnea rolls away.
Max Thorn: "It was an honor and a privilege to work with you, Articuno, and I hope to do so again, sometime."
Esme pats Zapdos as she hops down.
Sam Spade then turns back to Linnea and helps her up.
Articuno makes no intelligible response to Sam.
Sam Spade: "You okay?"
Linnea: "…that was an amazing view. Thanks, Cheri."
Zapdos bows, or at least deeply nods, to Esme before taking off.
Max Thorn: "…and n-now I kn-know what Icy W-wind feels like…"
Lugia and her crew fly past the gym and then are nowhere in sight. The gym's door seems locked.
Esme stretches.
A near-moonless (crescent moon) midnight sky yawns above.
Max Thorn: "Anyway…let's go down to the pokemon center."
Sam Spade: "Yeah."
At the pokemon center, Nurse Joy seems to be filling out paperwork. The outside of the building is still dripping dry, but it indeed looks like barely a drop of water got inside.
Linnea: "The engineering work on these buildings is incredible."
Esme: "…Wasn't wrong about being built to sink."
Sam Spade: "Ah…hello?"
Tim lounges with Sands on a couch, trying too hard to look cool. "Heeey~!"
Sam Spade: "Tim! You're already here? That's amazing!"
Max Thorn: "Lazybones," Max mutters Tim-ward.
Nurse Joy looks up with a frown. "Oh? Are you this child's guardians? Even if it was an emergency, please don't leave youngsters alone like that. He was so worried, looking for you!"
Tim: "…"
Max Thorn: "He's our Team Jaeger minder, Nurse Joy."
Linnea: "…"
Esme: "So, to answer your question, yes."
Sam Spade: "Oddly, he's technically our guardian."
Tim: "Sooo, aheh, Dmitri's going to be a while."
Sam Spade: "And his guardian is Sands."
Tim: "The island kinda raised fast."
Sam Spade: "…Right under the boat, huh."
Linnea: "Yeah, funniest thing."
Tim nods. "He's trying to get the boat back to the docks."
Linnea: "What you can do when you put some effort into it."
Linnea snorts.
Tim: "Iii figured, well, you're going to head here, so I might as well meet you here."
Linnea is completely ignoring the fact that she didn't help, either.
Tim: "I mean, here. Away from the coast. Away from the water. Safe, high, and dry. Yep, that's where we were going to meet, and I was right!"
[OOC] Max Thorn: Not true, you distracted Lugia so she didn't try to interfere. :P
Sands facepaws.
Max Thorn: "Uh huh. Whatever you say, Tim. Nurse Joy, can we get some rooms and a laundromat pass, please?"
Linnea: "And a load of hot cocoa."
Nurse Joy: "Sure. You're the only trainers visiting, so I've just left the guest rooms unlocked for you. Laundry room's the third door down."
Linnea: "Nice."
Sam Spade: "Thank you!"
Nurse Joy: "Cocoa? I'll have my chansey fix some up for you, and deliver it to your room." She looks into a corridor behind her and whistles.
Nurse Joy: "By the way, are you here to challenge the gym?"
Linnea: "Uh-"
Linnea: "Yyyyyyyyyyes."
Max Thorn heads to the laundry, then locks himself in while he dries off himself and his clothes.
Esme: "Oh right."
Sam Spade: "Yes, we are."
Nurse Joy: "Ugh, FINALLY." She sighs. "Cheri's sweet and all, but she needs some challengers. You're her first ones!"
Sam Spade: "I know! She's been so bored that she was one of the other challengers to another gym battle!"
Linnea: "I think we're all pretty excited to be put through our paces."
Nurse Joy: "I know, right? And I haven't even seen her back for months! Figures she'd return when that storm hit."
Nurse Joy: "And just in time for her first challengers, too."
Sam Spade: "Yeah, that was…rough."
Linnea: "Heh heh."
Nurse Joy shakes her head. "I mean…I do my duty, but do you know how boring it is? Really, I've helped more pokemon from Shady Narrows than I have pokemon who got hurt around here."
Max Thorn returns, dry but still smelling like seawater, for now. "Mmm. Was there much maritime traffic before Jaeger took over?"
Nurse Joy: "Mostly pokemon trainers. Commercial shippers went to Sandbar Harbor, but if you were riding a pokemon, this was the favored port of call."
Nurse Joy: "Not that there were that many long-distance riders."
Nurse Joy: "Unless you were from Gaela, or skipping over from Metro Beach or Dojji."
Max Thorn: "Well, things might pick up a little, then, now that Dojji's open once more."
Nurse Joy: "I heard about that! I saw the updated satellite maps, though. Dojji's harbors are just…gone."
Sam Spade: "Well, so are all the people who used to live in them."
Sam Spade: "It may take some time for them to move back and pick things up."
Sam Spade: "But it's raining there now, and that's a very good thing."
Esme: "Mmmhm."
Nurse Joy: "Heh. I bet THEY aren't built flood-proof, though!"
Sam Spade: "No, they probably weren't."
Sam Spade: "It was amazing how dry it was in here, though!"
Sam Spade: "You guys really put some thought into that, huh?"
Nurse Joy: "Sure did! By the way, since you did arrive shortly after Cheri got back…I was wondering. Have you met Cheri before? Were you the ones who talked her into coming back for her first challenge?"
Sam Spade: "Ah-ooh."
Sam Spade: "Nobody'd challenged her before, either?"
Nurse Joy shakes her head. "Nope! I mean, she only became gym leader a couple years ago, after Team Jaeger took over."
Nurse Joy: "Strangest gym leader challenge I've ever seen."
Sam Spade: "Oh?"
Nurse Joy: "Well…so, ah…" She glances at Tim. "…let's just say, we were without a gym leader since the invasion. Same reason as Rustle Fields."
Sam Spade hesitates.
Sam Spade: "…Ah."
Max Thorn: "Well…we'd originally met her in Metro Beach."
Nurse Joy: "So one day Cheri just shows up - as if she'd just walked right out of the water - and walks up to the Jaeger who'd been hanging out at the gym, chasing everyone away."
Sam Spade stops smiling.
Nurse Joy: "Says she'd heard we needed a gym leader, and she's up for the job."
Nurse Joy: "Jaeger guy asks for a show of strength."
Nurse Joy: "Now, as you know, the gym's miles from the beach, on the tallest point on the island."
Sam Spade: "Yeah?"
Nurse Joy: "She just whistles, how-you-do, and pokemon pop up out of the sea, all the way to the horizon in every direction, and cry out in unison."
Sam Spade is smiling again, as if nothing had suddenly angered her.
Max Thorn: "…That sounds like her, yes."
Nurse Joy: "They, uh, said that counted and gave her the job in haste."
Sam Spade: "Ha!"
Esme: "That would do it."
Linnea: "No joke…"
Sam Spade: "…Not that it changed much, if no challengers came anyway."
Nurse Joy: "I've been trying to find records of her, but there's nothing. I don't even know her last name. Just, 'Cheri'."
Nurse Joy: "I don't think she's from around here, though. Not with her accent."
Sam Spade: "Perhaps. But really, a girl likes her mystery, right?"
Max Thorn: "I don't think you will, either, but that's for her to talk about."
Nurse Joy: "She's pleasant enough, though, if a bit of a ditz."
Nurse Joy: "Oh! If you do win against her, one favor? Can I see the badge? I need to get it scanned to register it for the League."
Linnea: "Easy."
A chansey comes forth from the back with a tray of hot cocoa, and serves it up.
Sam Spade: "Thank you, Chansey!"
Chansey: "Chan!" She smiles, a bit empty-eyed.
Nurse Joy: "Thanks! I've been asking her about it every time I've seen her. She says she'll get around to making some…"
Max Thorn accepts his mug, and sips.
Sam Spade: "Well, we'll see what happens."
Linnea takes up the mug, raises it toward Nurse Joy and Chansey briefly, and sips. Ah, glorious chocolatey warmth.
Sam Spade: "Cheri doesn't believe in holding back in pokemon combat, and the PC network has only been up for days, so we might not be able to win this time."
Nurse Joy: "Well, even if you lose, can you ask her about the badge plea-"
Linnea: "In either event, we have to prepare."
Nurse Joy blinks, getting very still.
Sam Spade looks around.
Nurse Joy: "Did you say the storage system…is up?"
Sam Spade: "Yeah!"
Linnea: "Correctamundo/"
Sam Spade: "There…"
Esme: "De-ghosted and everything."
Sam Spade has a complicated set of emotions flash on her face before they go back behind the smiles.
Nurse Joy's eyes dilate, a grin spreading, a faint squee coming from deep in her lungs.
Sam Spade: "There were some problems….with some of the pokemon that were being stored there. Who managed to jam up the whole works."
Sam Spade: "But they're out now."
Nurse Joy ducks behind her desk, typing away quickly. "OhI'vegotsomuchworktocatchuponthankyouforthetipgoodnightnow!"
Max Thorn: "The champion's own pokémon, as it happens. They were transported to storage…somehow…when they fell."
Sam Spade: "Okay….have…fun…"
Sam Spade takes a cautious step, then goes to find some food.
Max Thorn blinks, then withdraws to the kitchen to do some late-night tacos or something.
Chansey shakes her head, sighs, and wanders over to the kitchen - almost running into Max. She opens the fridge and pulls out sashimi and sushi ingredients, which she begins to prepare.
Sam Spade: "She had some friends stuck in the network, huh."
Chansey looks at Max, then gestures to the rest of the party, then makes a thumbs-up/thumbs-down gesture with a questioning look.
Max Thorn: "…Sushi okay with you guys?"
Linnea: "Food sounds good."
[OOC] Sam Spade: "No, we will not eat Max!"
Linnea: "Sweet mother of arts, yes."
Max Thorn puts the taco stuff back, then helps Chansey do sushi, then.
This chansey could almost pass for a tentacruel, given how many operations she has going at once, flipping her arms from one station to the next to the next. She nudges Max toward a pot of oil on a burner, and some vegetables, apparently suggesting tempura.
Max Thorn nods, and takes charge of that, then.
Sam Spade steps out of the way and sits tight, thinking about the various puzzle pieces we've been handed.
[OOC] WC GM: Hmm…just for grins, Tech Ed to see how well Max uses the cooking equipment.
Esme yawns and stretches.
[OOC] WC GM: Also, for the logs: +1 trainer level for rescuing the island.
Max Thorn rolled up 5d6: 14 (2 5 2 1 4)
That is some worthy tempura. Could be better, but could be a LOT worse. More than suitable for midnight noms.
…ironically, the sushi and tempura on Sam's plate almost look like puzzle pieces.

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