Session 51

Several minutes later, in the pokemon center, Nurse Joy is scrambling on the controls, under apparent tutelage of Chansey - who only twitches in frustration that Joy should know all this already about once a minute.
Max Thorn: "…So I guess you don't really have any idea on what you want to do with the badge?"
Cheri, pacing in the lobby, hangs her head. "No. I just…had not thought about it?"
Linnea: "Strange customs for you, eh?"
Cheri: "And now…well. I do not want to give…to give away what you saw, to everyone."
Max Thorn: "Eh. Well, you could look at past badge designs, or you could choose a motif and work from there. For instance, the birds flying in a circle around the island."
Cheri shrugs. "When I agreed to take this role, I agreed to it all."
Linnea: "Or…"
Sam Spade: "Who would? Half the fun of secrets is keeping them."
Nurse Joy cocks her head at Max's comment, but is soon pulled back by Chansey to futzing with her equipment.
Linnea: "Little gem designs of red, yellow, and blue, connected by lines… it's the Triple Badge."
Cheri blinks.
Esme: "Well, do you plan on taking on any more challengers?"
Cheri: "That…hrm. Something like that, yes!" She smiles at Linnea.
Linnea: "You know, like Tri-Attack… except for badge bling."
Cheri: "I am a gym leader. More challengers will come for me until I resign. And this role is…useful, as things are."
Esme: "Hrmm."
Sam Spade: "Hopefully more challengers, too, although…"
Sam Spade looks regretfully towards Tim.
Esme: "Well if you plan on fighting with the same…uhh, team, then that badge should be fine I guess."
Sam Spade: "I suppose there aren't many minders who wouldn't prefer to snub you by avoiding the island."
Max Thorn: "You could also alter it based on the challenge taken. Take Lin's idea, and have the gems be socketed in based on which challenge was completed."
Cheri shakes her head, still smiling. "No. I will get a proper team. That…they are for special trainers, like you, who earn the right!"
Max Thorn nods. "So issue a metal version for standard trainers, and the gem version for special challenges like us."
Linnea: "Heh, heh."
Tim: "Wouldn't work. The systems are all configured for one badge."
Sam Spade: "Are the systems based on material or shape, then?"
Sam Spade: "I mean, digitally, no one would know the difference."
Tim shrugs at Sam. "Though you're right. Most minders don't get this far."
Max Thorn: "How not? The badge is the same, the only people who recognize the significance of the gem version are those who've completed the special challenge."
Tim: "Shape and color."
Linnea: "Okay, if we need to keep a consistent badge type… how about a stylized island, rising from the sea?"
Linnea: "The Rising Badge."
Linnea: "Also some pun about rising to the challenge that I can't be arsed to make right now."
Sam Spade: "So colored enamel for the standard challenge, gems for the special challenge?"
Max Thorn: "Was my thinking, yes, Sam."
Cheri: "Hmm…I t'ink I prefer a tri attack style. An…'in joke'." She winks at the party.
Linnea: "Well- there you go then."
Sam Spade grins widely back at Cheri.
Cheri: "Hmm. Gems for you, enamel for…" She smiles, shaking her head. "Why devalue it for th' others?"
Linnea: "All depends on the source material."
Tim: "…devalue?"
Linnea: "You wanna strike a balance between beauty and cost…"
Cheri: "I am sure this 'enamel' is worth something, yes? But mere gems for yours?"
Linnea: "…"
Esme snorts.
Sam Spade coughs, slightly.
Max Thorn: "For us *coughnormalcough* folks, enamel is nothing special."
Esme: "So uhh, is there a committee we have to submit the design to, or something?"
Cheri reaches into her blouse pocket and pulls out…there is no way she could have had a fist-sized ruby in there this has to be illusion or something.
Linnea: "……"
Linnea: "You know what?"
Linnea: "I'm not even gonna ask."
Linnea: "Gorgeous, though."
She likewise produces an equal-sized sapphire, then topaz.
Linnea: "But yeah! Materials like that."
And finally an emerald. "Hrm. This one will not be useful…oh! But badges are supposed to come wit' coin, yes? Here, could you accept this instead?" She offers it to the party.
Sam Spade: "Uh."
Linnea: "…"
[OOC] WC GM: Any relevant skill to appraise it.
Sam Spade: "Yeah, that'll work, I think."
Max Thorn does some quick fiddling with his pokédex, then points the camera at the gemstones.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Rolling Guile?
Sam Spade rolled up 6d6+1: 26 (3 5 5 5 6 1)
[OOC] WC GM: Sure.
Max Thorn rolled up 5d6: 24 (5 4 5 6 4) (Tech Ed)
Sam Spade: "Um. Yeah, split four ways, assuming we can sell it for what it's worth, it's…just about right."
Linnea: "This might take a specialist to sell to, though…"
Sam Spade: "There's a jeweler in town."
Esme: "We gonna fence it somewhere?"
Sam Spade: "I think if he or she isn't the best person to sell it, they'll know how to do it."
Max Thorn: "Might want to stop by the jeweler's before we leave, then."
Linnea: "R-right."
Linnea: "Hopefully there aren't any awkward questions."
Max Thorn: "But yes, this should do for the cash prize."
Esme: "Oh, there's bound to be questions."
Sam Spade: "Definitely. That's a lot of money in one place and I'd prefer to split it - not the emerald - the money - before I start getting tempted."
Cheri smiles a bit wider. "Good. I'm glad this worked." Then opens her eyes. "And now! Ze badge!"
Sam Spade: "But we can refer those questions to Cheri."
Sam Spade: "And she can just smile and look mysterious."
Linnea: "Oh… I guess that solves that."
Sam Spade: "And they'll just say, 'oh, right, Cheri is mysterious. Okay, then.'"
Linnea: "Gym leaders are usually loaded, right?"
Cheri: "I wonder 'ow th' badges are usually made? Well…" She regards the three remaining gemstones.
Linnea doesn't look nearly as sure as she thinks she does.
Sam Spade: "Nurse Joy is working on it."
Sam Spade grins at Linnea and gives her a quick peck on the cheek.
Sam Spade: "Don't worry about it, Linnea. Cheri's mysterious, remember?"
Max Thorn: "Well…this is what the badges we have look like." Max opens the badge case and holds it out for Cheri to look over.
Cheri leans over - apparently unintentionally giving Max (and anyone right next to him) a perfect view of her cleavage - and inspects.
Sam Spade flushes slightly and looks away.
Cheri: "Hmm. Si, I see."
Cheri stands back up and holds the gems, concentrating.
Max Thorn angles his gaze away for modesty, then closes the case and steps back.
Cheri tosses the gems up briefly, and…it is difficult to follow her exact motions, though there are strong echoes of Esme's crafting techniques, as if they ultimately branched from the same master.
Linnea: "That's… !"
Sam Spade: "Very neat."
Esme squints.
[OOC] WC GM: Which is to say: mostly-unarmed crafting.
Max Thorn gets his pokédex's camera on and recording within a few seconds of the crafting's beginning.
Even the shade of the flash it ends in seems similar. If only there were a spectrograph…fortunately, Max has software for just that sort of analysis, though no Esme crafting samples to compare to yet.
Max Thorn: "Neat trick."
And then, positively floating for a quarter minute before gently descending into Cheri's cupped palms, are four gym badges with equal parts from each gem, in the shape of three waves in a triangle each cresting over the next.
Sam Spade: "…Beautiful."
Sam Spade: "…Right. Nurse Joy, do…you think your equipment can copy those?"
Cheri lowers her hands and extends them toward the party, offering up their contents. "I shall call it ze Tri-Wave Badge!"
Esme: "Hrmm. More flash, less bang… Look into that later."
Sam Spade takes one of the badges, almost hesitantly.
Nurse Joy looks up, the equipment behind her finally starting up its familiar light and sound. "Oh? Oh, Cheri made some badges finally! Sure, put one on the desk and I'll scan it! You said…'Tri-Wave Badge'?"
Cheri nods.
Max Thorn accepts his, then places it on the counter for Nurse Joy to scan.
Nurse Joy gets out a pistol-grip scanner and waves it all around the badge, checking a monitor below the desk until it beeps.
Esme grasps hers, and gives it a look over.
Nurse Joy: "Alright, scan complete. Huh. Interesting materials."
Nurse Joy: "Artificial gems, huh? Didn't know you dabbled. I can order equipment so you can grow more, if you want."
Sam Spade narrows her eyes, but says nothing.
Max Thorn coughs. "The equipment would actually cheapen the value of these gems."
Linnea: "Y… yeah. Neat, huh?"
Cheri puts on a forced grin. "Eh heh…sure, if you please."
Max Thorn scoops up his badge and pockets it. He'll have the socket carved out for it in the case later.
Nurse Joy: "I'll charge it to your gym's account. Not like you've been using it."
Cheri: "…I…my gym has an account." Her expression is the flattest you have seen on her.
Linnea: "… … …"
Max Thorn: "Most gyms do."
Esme: "It is technically a profession."
Sam Spade: "And a part of the government."
Nurse Joy: "Yeah. Your pay's been deposited into it."
Esme: "You get money! For upkeep. Events. Prizes."
Cheri: "…I get paid."
Sam Spade: "I'm pretty sure that the money is coming from Team Jaeger, so you're sticking it to them!"
Cheri: "What."
Sam Spade grins widely.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Maybe widely. Maybe wickedly.
Sam Spade: "Naturally, Cheri. How else can you afford the food you eat?"
Cheri: "'Afford'? I just take it from ze sea!"
Max Thorn quietly pulls Cheri away so the conversation's held out of earshot of Nurse Joy.
Max Thorn: "…Other gym leaders don't have the luxury of being able to just whistle up food whenever they like. They have to pay for it, which comes from a stipend paid by the government."
Cheri bends, placing her ear next to Max's lips, curiosity finally returning emotion to her face.
Nurse Joy blinks. "…Cheri, are you just some kind of…fishing barbarian or something?"
Max Thorn: "Same fund pays for the production of the badges, the upkeep of the gym, the prizes awarded by the gym leader, and so on."
Linnea: "She's an… eccentric."
Esme: "Has an affinity for nature."
Nurse Joy: "Well she's a rich one now."
Sam Spade: "She's neat!"
Nurse Joy: "Here, let me pull up her bank account…"
Nurse Joy taps away under the counter, hiding the display.
Sam Spade gazes fascinatedly at Nurse Joy's face.
[OOC] WC GM: …Guile check if you're doing what I think you're doing.
Sam Spade rolled up 6d6+1: 16 (1 3 1 3 2 5)
The reflection is hard to read but Sam does make out eight digits where the total would be.
[OOC] WC GM: Like IRL yen, pokeyen don't come in fractions.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Also Sam gets to gaze into some very pretty eyes!
[OOC] WC GM: That she does! Although these are slightly below average for a Joy.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Aww.
[OOC] WC GM: Emphasis: "for a Joy". :P
Max Thorn continues to explain how human-style gyms work for Cheri's benefit while Nurse Joy's doing all that.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Yes, but…poor Joy =/
[OOC] WC GM: She'll never know.
Cheri nods at Max's explanation, absorbing knowledge like a sponge.
Tim wanders to the front door. "I think Cheri's going to have some thinking to do. In the mean time…Shady Narrows next? There's, ah, something you should know about it. I'll explain on the way. Anyone know how much it takes to buy a cheap boat?"
Linnea: "…it got its name from its people?"
Cheri looks up. "Oh! I can give you a ride. Non sarebbe un problema."
Tim FREEZES at Cheri's suggestion.
Sam Spade: "You have a boat?"
Sam Spade kind of pushes the group out of the pokecenter before Cheri has a chance to answer that.
Esme: "She has…a few things."
Max Thorn: "Uh…as much as we appreciate the offer, Cheri, we need to get there without fanfare. People would be-ack!"
Cheri smiles, going along with the push. "Better. Like the servizio I gave Linnea last night."
Sam Spade: "And she can afford a boat, too, apparently, but before we leave, we need to head to a jeweler's."
Sam Spade pulls the emerald out from a pocket that's definitely not the one Max put it into.
Linnea slowly puts a hand over her face. "Uhh… when you put it like that…"
Sam Spade: "This thing is just too much temptation."
Sam Spade grins suggestively at Linnea. "Oh, really, Linnea? I had no idea…"
Max Thorn: "Anyway. People'd talk, they'd demand to know how we were able to get a ride from someone of your caliber…"
Linnea: "Muhhhhh."
Tim: "Agreed. Err…Cheri, I don't think I can talk you out of this?"
Max Thorn: "…and I definitely don't want to have some high-powered chump from TJ come have a talk with us about how we're able to command a ride from, well, y'know."
Cheri smile-frowns, eyes smiling but eyebrows definitely not. "It would be my pleasure to take you t' your father."
Tim: "…"
Sam Spade stops, the smile falling off her face.
Linnea: "…Oh."
Sam Spade: "So Moth is there right now, huh."
Cheri: "Command? No. Be offered? So I can see th' look on 'is face as 'e learns just who 'e is dealing wit'?" Cheri's grin turns slightly predatory.
Max Thorn: "…Well."
Max Thorn: "…Okay, fine, we'll do it your way."
Cheri: "You do not know who this kid's parent truly is."
Tim: "…and you do?"
Cheri nods.
Linnea: "Ominous…"
Sam Spade breathes out a rough, harsh breath.
Sam Spade: "What we do know is…"
Cheri: "I 'ave dealt wit' 'im since b'fore you were."
Sam Spade: "…interesting. Intriguing. Worrying."
Cheri makes a dismissive motion in the town's direction. "Now. Go deal wit' your financial matters. I shall wait on th' beach, out of sight o' town…" She gestures eastward. "O'er there."
Max Thorn: "I would call it 'above our paygrade', but that's rapidly proving to not be the case." Max touches the spot where Shaymin placed his paw on his cheek.
Sam Spade: "We've known that for a while, Max."
Esme: "You saw that emerald, right? We're making bank, these days!"
Sam Spade: "Since the first legend we - well." She grins at Cheri. "The second legendary we met."
Cheri giggles, eyes still closed and smiling. "Paygrade? We 'ave both increased ours this day."
Max Thorn snorts.
Max Thorn: "A-anyway. About that emerald…"
Max Thorn taps an inquiry into his 'dex, then follows it to the jeweler's.
Sam Spade: "When we met Cheri the first time, she just wanted to put some of the wonder back into gym challenges. When we met Missingno…"
Cheri nods, and walks off. Tim follows. "H-hey! How much do you know about my father?!?"
Sam Spade: "Right. Jeweler!"
[OOC] WC GM: That scene done, +1 trainer level for finally getting the gym badge.
Sam Spade puts an arm around Linnea's waist for a moment, giving her a quick side-hug and definitely not slipping the emerald into Linnea's far pocket.
Sam Spade: "Time to get our paycheck cashed~"
Ocean Gems is the third building up from the coast on the north side of the river.
Linnea is very nervous about this turnaround of affairs but does her level best not to show it. (It doesn't work all that well.)
Signs in the windows advertise synthetic gems, grown while you wait into custom shapes, from minerals dissolved in seawater. A giant pipe leads from the back into the ocean. The proprietor is an aging, silver-haired, slightly heavily built man whose face seems to have frozen into a smile, in a shirt that sparkles as if it was woven from sapphire and emerald threads.
Linnea looks to the others, silently begging someone else to do the talking.
Machinery dominates half the shop. The rest is given to a more traditional showcase and store.
Esme: "Ohoo~"
Esme checks out the machinery. Gems are neat.
The proprietor waves as the party comes in - the only patrons at the moment. "Hello, and welcome to Ocean Gems. The name's John. Gem John, if you like. How can I help you today?"
[OOC] WC GM: Not Gem Jim: that's his brother. :P
Sam Spade: "We need to sell an emerald that Cheri gave to us."
Max Thorn: "We recently acquired a rather unusual gem, and was wondering if you'd be able to appraise it for us…?"
Sam Spade: "…Linnea's got it."
Max Thorn nudges Lin forward.
Gem John: "Oh? Cheri the gym leader? Alright, show me."
Linnea fishes around in her pockets, and gently places the absurd gem on the counter in front of her. Her expression is pained knowing what's about to follow.
Gem John BLINKS.
Linnea: "(And awaaaaay we go.)"
Gem John: "This is…hrm." He gets out a loupe and begins inspecting.
Next follows the laser, then more tools the party can not immediately identify.
Gem John: "…I'll be. And you say this is from Cheri? I'd heard rumors…"
Linnea: "She's got intuition and luck, that's for sure."
Finally he sets his tools down and fixes the party with a stone cold look, smile suppressed. "You say this is an 'emerald'."
Linnea braces for impact.
Sam Spade: "…Was I wrong?"
Sam Spade bites her lip.
Gem John: "I'll give you thirty six thousand for it."
Linnea: "Ooooooookay."
Gem John: "And that includes your silence. This isn't something young trainers should be getting involved in."
Sam Spade hesitates.
Esme snorts.
Sam Spade blinks and stops saying what she was about to.
Sam Spade: "That. Sounds. Um."
Sam Spade: "Ominous."
Esme: "We get that alot, honestly."
Max Thorn: "What she said."
[OOC] Sam Spade: Guile or Perception to guess what he's talking about?
Max Thorn rolled up 5d6: 14 (4 1 4 2 3) (Guile)
Gem John: "No, I'm serious. This was stolen from Lugia. You do NOT want to bring that kind of wrath upon you. I can placate it."
Linnea: "…!"
Sam Spade lets out a shaky breath. Those who remember the bomb that Cheri dropped earlier may realize this is a fake shaky breath.
Sam Spade: "Well, talk to Cheri before you do anything crazy…."
Max Thorn: "I…don't think that will be an issue."
Gem John: "I mean, good job getting your hands on it." He pulls out four 5,000 and sixteen 1,000 pokeyen notes, and puts them on the counter. "But take this and walk away."
Linnea: "Oooooooooooookay."
Gem John: "You said Cheri gave this to you? Yeah, I'll talk to her first."
Sam Spade grins widely, distributing the notes to the team.
Max Thorn: "I am confident that the matter will be smoothed over." Max pockets his cash, of course.
Sam Spade: "Thank you for your assistance, Mister John."
Sam Spade leaves the shop.
Sam Spade: "Cheri is really bad at that whole 'cover' thing, isn't she?"
Gem John: "Thank you for bringing this to me." His grimace breaks back into a smile. "Honest trainers like you, I wish you a good journey."
Linnea leaves hurriedly, looking quite pale.
Max Thorn makes his way from here to the pokémart and buys up a bunch of things…
Esme shuffles out with her gains.
Esme: "She's /really/ bad at it."
Esme: "But getting better. I hope."
Linnea: "That guy's just about as scary as the legendaries…"
Sam Spade: "Yes, well, if things get better then Bay Island might get a real gym leader."
Linnea: "People with knowledge like that…"
Sam Spade: "Really? After meeting the big guy, most of the legendaries don't seem quite as frightening as they used to."
Linnea: "It's not the bearing, it's the demeanor!"
[OOC] Max Thorn: 10 full heals, 5 hyper potions, 5 super potions, and…
Linnea: "Nobody else felt that little chill when he said what we did, even though that's not really what happened?"
Esme: "They're honestly all a bit different than I expected."
Sam Spade: "I'd been worried it was something else faked as an emerald for a moment, actually."
Linnea: "He Knows something. And when people Know things, that's huge…"
[OOC] Max Thorn: Nah, that's all.
Sam Spade: "Anyway, we have a meeting with our ride, yes? Is there anything anyone wants to pick up before we go?"
Max Thorn steps out of the 'mart. "Strongly suggest stocking up on restorables before we leave, if you haven't already."
Esme thumbs to Linnea. "I was gonna bum off hers."
Linnea: "Oh- yeah- and I know how to stretch our supply."
Sam Spade: "I was gonna bum off yours."
Linnea: "Makes them field use only, though…"
Sam Spade is conspicuously not looking at Max.
Esme: "I should probably whip up some Repels, though…"
Esme: "Gimme a few minutes."
Max Thorn: "…"
Linnea: "… I think I could get a few things for my new friend. If all goes as planned, there should be quite a dramatic transformation."
Max Thorn: "…If you're cool with ponying up 5200 pokéyen to help pay for it, then sure, mooch." Max is obviously no more than 50% serious about that, though. If that.
[OOC] WC GM: Let me know when you leave town.
Sam Spade pulls up her pokedex, bites her lip in concentration as she navigates the menus, and…bing! Max receives notification that someone has transferred 6500 pokeyen to his account.
Sam Spade: "…Please tell me I sent it to you."
Max Thorn: "Whoa. I said 5200, not 6500…"
Linnea wanders off to check into this and that. She has some key interesting purchases she wants to make.
Sam Spade: "I sent how-um."
A bit of whistling, mixing, bubbling, and canning later, Esme's made herself a batch of 8 Super Repels.
Sam Spade: "Well, um. Keep it?"
Max Thorn: "If you insist."
Max Thorn: "Anyway…think we're ready?"
Sam Spade: "I am. Linnea, Esme?"
Linnea sends a quick little message to the others - she'll meet them on the exits of town.
Esme holds up a finger, as she traces some symbol on the ground. "Almost."
Esme: "Hrmm. Nope. Nope. I'll do it later. Good to go!"
Max Thorn: "Any last-minute catching or dowsing or whatever?"
Linnea: "…Oh yes!"
Sam Spade: "I'm good."
Several minutes' walking later finds Lugia, relaxed and stretched out on the beach, tossing a curled-up Sands up and down with the top of her beak like a beach ball. Tim is on her back, massaging the base of her neck; Sam can tell at a glance he is trying to get his mind off of something.
Lugia, Tim, and Sands do not appear to notice the party - or if they do, they are enjoying messing around and are wringing out a last few minutes of play while waiting.
Max Thorn steps into view of the trio, then.
Sam Spade: "Hey, um. You guys ready?"
Tim stops massaging and wrings his hands. "Sure. Get on and next stop, the roof of Shady Narrows."
The rock formation known as Shady Narrows is not known for having a roof.
Max Thorn: "And, uh, what roof did you envision Shady Narrows having to hop off on to…?"
Sam Spade: "I'm sure we're about to find out."
Sam Spade hesitates for a split second, then climbs on Lugia's back.
Max Thorn climbs on up behind Sam.
Linnea quickly clambers aboard.
Esme hops on up.
Tim: "That shield Linnea and Lugia saw last night."
Linnea: "Ooh - yeah, that's kind of a thing…"
Tim: "She thinks you can find a way in."
Tim: "Maybe underneath. It doesn't seem to be stopping boat traffic, but it would stop someone coming in from above."
Tim: "She'd swim, but you can't breathe water."
Max Thorn: "If we want to stop by Scale Mount, we could fix that…"
Max Thorn: "…I'm kinda surprised that Bay Island genuinely doesn't have scuba gear, though."
Tim shakes his head. "'You can swim' is what she said."
Sam Spade: "Yeah, that sounds like her."
Tim: "I got the feeling she didn't want to link Scale Mount to…"
Sam Spade: "And so does that."
Tim closes his eyes and sighs as Lugia takes off. "Look. My father's there. So are a lot of Jaegers."
Tim: "It's kind of Jaeger's second headquarters in Amoda, after the League."
Tim opens his eyes, smiles, and shrugs. "Water paradise for desert dwellers!"
Tim: "AND Ignacia would never ever come out here!"
Max Thorn: "Just means we need to bring the sea to her."
Lugia soon picks up enough speed that everyone needs to keep a hand - or paw, for Sands - on her to avoid being blown away. "That's what Lugia said! …umm. I'm confused; do I call her Lugia or Cheri?"
Sam Spade: "So are we! I'd say call her Lugia now, Cheri when she can talk!"
Linnea: "Yes."
Sam Spade: "I have to say, it's kind of telling that so many Jaegers would stay in a place where Iggy won't go!"
Max Thorn: "Sounds like she only has her job cos nobody wanted to tell her she can't."
Esme: "Can you really blame them?"
Max Thorn: "Does kinda make me want to beat her in a fire-vs-fire match and win, though. So I can go, 'You're fired.'"
Sam Spade bares her teeth.
Sam Spade: "Yeah."
Max's pokedex beeps with a text message from Dmitri: "Boat repaired. Heading back. Good luck on your journey!"
Max Thorn somehow manages to respond, "Thanks. Godspeed." onehanded.
Much of the journey is silent, from the outside world. A flock of pelippers forms up on Lugia's wings for a time, none of them uttering a syllable, breaking off when the spires of Shady Narrows crest the horizon.
[OOC] WC GM: Occult checks, all but Linnea who autopasses.
Linnea: "… are we gonna just crash through that barrier-"
Max Thorn rolled up 2d6: 5 (4 1) (untrained Occult)
Esme rolled up 6d6+1: 23 (3 3 3 6 1 6) (Wizzahds)
[OOC] WC GM: Sam?
Max Thorn: "Dunno what she was concerned about, the sky seems fine to me…"
Sam Spade rolled up 2d6: 9 (5 4) (Untrained Occult)
Esme: "Yeah ther-" She pauses. "…Wait no, there's definitely something there."
Linnea: "Brace for impact, everyone."
Max Thorn braces.
Sam Spade braces.
Esme holds fast.
Sam Spade: "I gotta admit, I don't see anything, which I think is weird."
Lugia slows down, like an airplane coming in for a landing.
Linnea: "You're not a wizard."
Sam Spade: "INCOMING!"
Sam Spade braces tighter.
Esme: "Dodge right!"
Lugia banks right upon the warning. An explosion almost out of nowhere bursts where Lugia's left wing would have been.
Linnea: "Yeeesh…!"
And then another straight ahead; Lugia ducks under it - and then slows, as if scraping and crash-landing on some kind of invisible force field.
Linnea: "This thing has a magical flak cannon too, or something?"
Linnea: "The hell kind of barrier is this?"
Esme: "A good one."
Lugia spins very slowly, ducking behind one rock pillar that juts up apparently through the shield - which also takes a third explosion.
Linnea: "Somebody's not too happy…"
Sam Spade: "Can I look up no- nope, nope nope."
Tim: "It's just Jaegers down there. Who's firing at us?!?"
Sam Spade: "Yeah, who would be shooting at Lugia?"
Sam Spade: "Are you SURE Iggy's not here?"
Esme: "Maybe Jaegers? Who flies these days?"
Linnea closes her eyes a moment, trying to sense if there's something else out there. (Occult?)
[OOC] WC GM: So thoroughly autopass.
The party's pokedexes ping as they connect to local wireless and download the town map.
Max Thorn: "…I…think we're in?"
Linnea: "There's something way… way… WAY stronger than Lugia down there…"
Linnea: "I got a bad feeling about this…"
Sam Spade: "Well, yeah."
Sam Spade: "They said Tim's dad -"
Sam Spade: "Oh. You weren't with us when we met Tim's dad."
Sam Spade: "…Or his MewTwo partner."
Max Thorn: "Y'know what they say about the reward for a job done well?"
Linnea: "I can't believe I'm saying this, but it feels even stronger than Arceus."
Sam Spade: "More work?"
Linnea: "Possibly stronger."
Sam Spade: "Well, that's what we've been getting paid the big bucks for."
Max Thorn: "A harder job."
Linnea goes white as a ghost.
Linnea: "It's…it feels like…"
Linnea: "Mewtwo…?"
Linnea: "It's angry…"
Linnea: "I feel sick…"
Max Thorn: "Well, stop looking down, then."
Another rock pillar looms up ahead, Lugia and the party heading right for it.
Sam Spade: "Yeah, that would be Ten alright."
Sam Spade: "The question is whether he's mad at Lugia, mad at Iggy, mad at us, or just generally mad at the universe."
[OOC] WC GM: Perception checks, anyone looking in the pillar's direction.
Sam Spade: "I don't think it's us."
Sam Spade rolled up 4d6: 18 (6 1 5 6) (Perception)
Linnea: "It's gonna know we're going in and know where we're going and-"
Sam Spade: "Because Tim's up here with us, and Ten doesn't want to hurt Tim, I think. I'm pretty sure."
Max Thorn rolled up 3d6: 12 (4 3 5) (Perception)
Sam Spade: "THAT'S OUR STOP!"
Linnea: "Hurh?"
Sam Spade: "Lugia, can you get out of here as soon as we're off?"
Sam Spade: "Because I see a ladder on that spire!"
Lugia nods, furling wings and skidding toward the pillar.
Max Thorn: "…Just gonna say, I really don't feel like this is a safe maneuver."
Sam Spade holds on to Lugia with one hand, gathering herself for a, well, okay, controlled fall towards the ladder. "Come on, ladies, gentlemen, it's time for us to be leaving! Thank you for your help, Lugia!"
Sam Spade: "Now please get clear before Iggy or whoever does something no one wants to happen!"
Max Thorn prepares himself to follow Sam.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Focus to jump at the right time?
[OOC] WC GM: Sure. TN 10; anyone who misses, another PC who makes it can grab you.
Sam Spade rolled up 6d6: 19 (5 4 1 5 2 2) (Focus)
[OOC] Max Thorn: can I use Survival for this roll?
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah.
Max Thorn rolled up 5d6: 21 (5 5 2 6 3) (Survival)
[OOC] Linnea: Same, with Acrobatics?
[OOC] WC GM: Definitely.
Linnea rolled up 4d6: 20 (6 5 3 6)
[OOC] Esme: ATHLETICS
[OOC] WC GM: …I'll allow it.
Esme rolled up 4d6+1: 12 (1 5 1 4) (STRONGJUMP)
Sam Spade slides off Lugia, with a thoroughly terrible landing but squarely in the middle of the pillar.
It is a quick hop from Lugia to charcoal-black rock pillar, which indeed proves to be hollow with a ladder inside.
Sam Spade: "Thank you, Lugia~!"
Linnea lets go at just the right time, hitting the ground on her feet in a surprisingly nimble leap.
Esme lands with a solid plant. She waves back. "Thanks again, mon Cheri!"
Tim and Sands do not jump so much as curl into a mutual ball and roll up Lugia's neck onto the pillar, right into the hollow, falling out of sight - but not crunching with impact, so hopefully they grabbed the ladder.
Max Thorn manages to land on the pillar, sweating profusely.
Once the party is gone, Lugia stands up on the force field, then vaults into the sky, psychic flak blasts trailing in her wake.
Linnea: "S-such anger…"
Sam Spade: "See, Max?"
Sam Spade: "That wasn't so too terribly bad, right?"
Sam Spade: "We're all alive, here on an island covered by a force field and with an incredibly angry force and a MewTwo who may or may not be the same pokemon."
Linnea: "C-can we get to firmer, lower ground, please…?"
Sam Spade: "Now come on, we don't want our minder to get too far ahead of us."
Max Thorn: "You're barkin' mad, y'know that?"
Sam Spade: "Yeah, Jack would have loved this."
Max Thorn: "All right, let's get going."
Sam Spade steps onto the ladder and starts making her way down. Very, very carefully. She's not nearly as blase as she's pretending.
From below comes…singing? With an accordion.
Max Thorn follows Sam on down, knuckles white on the ladder as he very determinedly does not look down.
Sam Spade: "So…does anyone have a strategy?"
Esme slides on down the ladder after Sam and Max. "What is that music?"
Sam Spade: "I mean, we can always just say we're here to challenge the gym leader."
Esme: "If it's Jaggies we could always just show off our badges. They basically think we're with them, last I saw."
Esme: "Though it leaves a bad taste in my mouth."
Linnea takes a moment to sit down on the ground and curl up into a ball for a few moments.
Singing: "All the king's pirates and ALL the queen's crowns, cooouldn't save the ship so they they all near-drowned. Fooortune was with them AND KINDNESS TOO, 'cause their pokemon came back from the ocean blue. Fished from the deep and returned to the beach, the whole crew with gratitude preached, 'Fooourty years longer and a day more, we'll stay with our friends down here on the shore.'"
…those are some near-drunken voices.
Max Thorn: "…Are you /sure/ that's not Iggy?"
And that's the stench of booze, wafting up the column as the party comes down…into a tavern.
Sam Spade: "Singing? Seems unlikely."
Sam Spade: "I really don't think Iggy drinks."
Linnea: "Hurh- huh?"
Sam Spade: "Angry?"
Sam Spade steps off the ladder and waits for Max to do the same.
Sam Spade: "Yeah, I can see Iggy having a really, really powerful anger."
A tavern full of men and women in Jaeger uniforms in varying amounts of dishevelment. And a bar, with a bartender - the most formal and proper Jaeger you have seen yet - who is pouring Tim and Sands a couple glasses of what looks like fruit juice.
Max Thorn finishes descending, though his foot comes down rather hard onto the floor at the last step cos he's just /that/ focused on not looking down.
Most of the Jaegers brandish glasses toward the party and let off a "HEY!" .
Linnea: "H-hi…"
Esme blinks.
Sam Spade: "Hello!"
One with an accordion brings his melody to a close and bows. The Jaegers applaud.
Sam Spade applauds, too.
Max Thorn applauds politely, as well.
Linnea nervously claps.
Accordion Jaeger: "Thank you, thank you! And Tim's finally arrived, with his crew!"
Sam Spade smiles.
Accordion Jaeger: "You lot old enough for whiskey? Fresh out of wine, I'm afraid."
Sam Spade hesitates.
Linnea: "Ugh. I am, at least."
Max Thorn: "Nah. I'll have ice water, though, please."
Sam Spade: "Tim, are we old enough for whiskey? You're the boss."
Accordion Jaeger: "I'll pay yer tab if you'll tell this lot about your adventures. I hear ye've got some tales from Dojji to share."
Tim shrugs, knocking back his juice in mirror sync with Sands, both of them slamming their empty glasses on the bar in unison.
Linnea: "Yeah, we've seen some shit, believe me."
Esme: "Lots of dirt."
The Jaegers murmur, then laugh at Esme's comment.
Sam Spade: "Ghosts."
Sam Spade draws off, slightly, ghosts in her eyes as she thinks about the ghosts of Dojji.
Accordion Jaeger: "So hey, b'fore you get too far into it, lemme tell ya the rules 'ere!"
Linnea: "Explosions."
Max Thorn: "And plenty of metal. And mettle."
Sam Spade: "Yeah?"
Linnea: "Oh, hey?"
Sam Spade: "I think I would like one of those drinks, please."
Accordion Jaeger: "This is a place t' relax, to get away from your worries. So no stressin'. We carry that rule so hard, Moth can't get in 'ere."
Accordion Jaeger: "I 'eard what sounded like 'im lettin' off steam just b'fore you got 'ere."
Linnea: "Uh oh."
Accordion Jaeger: "An' believe me, there're a lot o' Jaegers what need relaxin'."
Sam Spade: "Right."
Sam Spade: "I bet you Iggy needs to be here more than anyone, huh. But she would never admit it."
Sam Spade: "Best if I don't talk about what we saw as we crossed Dojji, then. But on the way back…"
Sam Spade lets her eyes light up. "Rain."
Linnea: "The most beautiful thing."
A quick survey of the audience shows the truth of it. Playing cards, sharing meals - a couple corners have a few just cuddling quietly. Many of the faces show signs of prolonged stress and worry, but almost none of them are not smiling now.
Sam Spade: "It was beautiful. Stormy and dark, lighting that should have been ominous…but still, it just felt like hope."
Max Thorn: "Dojji's gonna need work, but…rain's a good start. So's having plants and suchlike."
Many of the Jaegers are listening, hope plain as day in their expressions as rain is mentioned.
Max Thorn: "I'd say 'and me', but my journey toward harmony's still in progress. Can't very well bring Shaymin's gifts into Dojji if I don't have 'em yet to give."
Esme: "We saved the tea!"
Accordion Jaeger: "Well, now. And yer right about old Torch Up Her Rear."
Accordion Jaeger: "So what brings you lot here today?"
Max Thorn: "Business, I'm afraid. So we're not discussing it here."
Esme: "Mmhm."
Sam Spade: "I dunno."
Sam Spade: "Pokemon journeys aren't about stress. They're an adventure."
Accordion Jaeger: "Hmm. A shame, but I hear ya. Bartender?"
Esme looks at Sam.
Esme: "Well yes, adventure, but we /have/ been on the same one, right?"
The bartender pours an ice water for Max, and whiskeys for the rest of the party.
Sam Spade: "Sure, some things happened that I'd rather not have seen, which we're not going to talk about, but the rest of it?"
Esme snerks. "Ok, sure."
Max Thorn: "Well, there's always jokes."
Linnea: "Oh no, this is going to get terrible. I can already tell."
Sam Spade grins at Max. "Yeah? Got one?"
The Jaeger with the accordion leans in. "I got one. You ever hear of the gym leader who liked gambling so much, he had his whole team learn and use nothing but metronome?"
Sam Spade blinks
Linnea: "… that sounds terrible."
Sam Spade: "….No?"
Max Thorn: "What happened to him?"
The Jaeger leans back and grins. "Well, that's the joke: what's GOING to happen to him?"
Accordion Jaeger: "I mean, from what I've heard? I can't think of a better punchline than you!"

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