Session 77

Crowd: "Pe-TRI! Pe-TRI! Pe-TRI!"
Shadows move outside the subway station's windows, though it is hard to make out detail from inside the subway car.
Linnea: "Well, time to wake up and face the stupid."
The station holds the car, a few windows, a door to the outside that appears unlocked, and an entrance to the rail tunnel leading back undersea.
According to the party's pokedexes, Tim is currently…inside the subway car? That can't be right. He is clearly not.
Esme rubs the drool from her chin, unceremoniously sliding everything from her workdesk back into her bag. "Mmmrr. One day I'll get to sleep in again."
The subway station seems a bit warmer than inside the car. Maybe it is the tawny-brown adobe rock construction.
Linnea peers out one of the windows.
The first impression out the window is of the town. More buildings made of the same, typically low, with wide awnings casting lots of shade. Sand everywhere; not a paved path in sight. Truly, this is a Ground-type town.
Sam Spade: "Given the name they're chanting, I don't think I'd say 'stupid.' I'm more worried about facing the crazy."
Linnea: "Yes."
Esme: "Both?"
The air seems to shimmer a bit, here and there.
Esme squints.
Then Linnea finds the crowd. Mostly pokemon but some humans too, chanting and cheering as the lady from Detective's picture demonstrates gadgetry, including what looks like a makeshift or prototype pokemon center.
Linnea: "Hey! There's humans here!"
Esme: "Blech. It's gonna be way too hot out here."
Not-Petri then gestures to another machine that seems to be a giant fan - maybe an air conditioner? It seems to be blowing all over the crowd.
The crowd's cheering pumps up a notch.
Linnea: "Sweet merciful Melo."
Linnea: "Well…we gonna get this over with?"
Sam Spade: "Well, try not to do anything crazy, alright? There's a chance she may be trying to reform."
Linnea: "Figuratively or literally?"
Sam Spade: "If she's doing what Arceus wants her to be doing, then I don't want to interfere."
Sam Spade: "If she's trying to do what Arceus wants her to be doing and failing, then I guess we try and set her straight."
Not-Petri addresses the crowd, but it is impossible for the party to hear her. It is questionable how much the crowd is even hearing her. A line has started forming for the healing machine, though the crowd's enthusiasm dims just a touch when the humans are turned away.
Sam Spade: "And if she's not, we try to arrest her without getting torn apart by an angry mob."
Linnea: "Hey… why are the humans being turned away?"
Max Thorn: "…Probably because it's machinery designed for pokemon, not humans."
Sam Spade: "Because it's a pokemon healing device."
Esme moves in to get a closer look.
Sam Spade: "Does ours work on humans?"
[OOC] WC GM: Opening the door, then?
[OOC] Esme: ye ye
Max Thorn: "Nope."
Linnea: "Man, I'm way too used to Amodan privilege."
Sam Spade follows Esme out.
Linnea steps on out.
Sure enough, opening the door feels for a moment like opening the door to a blast furnace.
Heat washes over the party, and the subway center literally loses all chill.
Linnea: "Whoof-"
This place feels like a desert city.
Esme: "Bleeeeh…Gervy, don't go digging anywhere. You'll end up broiled."
Max Thorn: "…Knew I should've gotten Nook out, or Suijin back, at some point."
Linnea: "I never thought that the antipodes would be so close together, here."
Which probably explains Tim's gleeful expression as he and Sands leap down into the party from the roof. "Hiii~! Did you miss me?"
Chicklet: "It's not so bad Miss Esme!"
Linnea: "Yeah. We'll try to lead you a little more next time."
Complete deadpan.
Esme: "It absolutely is!"
Max Thorn: "I really hope they have stillsuits in stock."
Linnea: "Still-what?"
Tim: "Hehe~. So, did you find anything important down there?"
Linnea: "A murder squad."
Max Thorn: "A very xenophobic little undersea city, and some information."
Sam Spade: "I wonder if they'd have reacted the same way to you as they did to us? Apparently they blame Amodans for a lot. But not those from Dojji."
Tim: "Oh?"
Sam Spade: "But not for any reason that I could see. I mean - Dojji had pokemon trainers before the invasion, right?"
Tim: "I…think so? That was before I was born."
Sam Spade grimaces and hopes that none of the locals are close enough to have heard that.
None of the locals are in line of sight.
The crowd's chants can be heard around the corner, though they seem to be diminishing.
Sam Spade: "True. I suppose that could explain…but it's hardly relevant."
Max Thorn quietly wanders 'round the corner, Antheia and Amaterasu in tow.
Linnea pads along with Max.
Tim: "But…" He puts a finger to his chin. "Maybe they just never had many visitors from Dojji?"
Esme: "Wouldn't surprise me."
Around the corner - and it is much cooler, Max, Linnea, and company finding themselves in the path of that air conditioner's exhaust. Though with it carries the light stench of a sweating crowd between them and the unit.
The crowd is starting to disperse, or form into a line for the pokecenter. Not-Petri has left the stage.
Linnea tries to get the attention of someone nearby. "Hey, what just happened?"
Linnea: "We're kind of late to the party"
Sam Spade: "Where'd the Professor go?"
A phanpy turns out to be the closest, and turns to Linnea. "Oh! Miss Petri showed up and showed off these wonderful machines she's been building for us!"
The phanpy's ears flap in the breeze - though there is not that much wind; the motion is obviously exaggerated, perhaps to catch more of the cool air. "Isn't this just maaarvelous?"
Sam Spade: "It is, yes."
Phanpy: "Too bad it'll have to go back inside later, but she said she'll leave it running for a few hours."
Linnea: "The cooling machines? Huh."
Phanpy: "And then there's the healing machine! Though…I dunno, apparently it can't do humans? I'm sure she's working on it."
Sam Spade: "I'm sure."
Sam Spade: "Is that her place, then?"
Linnea: "Is there anyone in need of immediate attention?"
Max Thorn: "There's…other technology for humans, but I don't think a pokemon expert like me or, apparently, her would be able to replicate it without detailed specifications."
Phanpy: "Her place? Oh, you mean where she lives? Uh-uh, she has a house."
Phanpy: "Say, I haven't seen you here before." The phanpy looks at the subway terminal. "Oh! Are you miners, coming up for some fresh air? I was going to check out the machine, but if you'd like I could show you around town instead."
Sam Spade: "Oooh, that sounds interesting. We've never seen the place."
Sam Spade: "…Um, if you want to know more about the machine, I know Professor Thorn here has worked on them before. He stopped the one that was in the Port of the Snow from melting from overuse."
The phanpy smiles a loose, serene smile going right up to the eyes. "It would be my pleasure! My name's Flan. What's yours?"
Linnea: "Linnea. Call me Lin if y'want."
Flan peers at Max. "Oh? You make them too?"
Sam Spade: "I'm Sam!"
Chicklet: "And this is Esme, and that's Max, and I'm Chicklet!"
Tim: "Tim, and my partner's Sands."
Flan side-glances at Chicklet. "…a barbarian name? Heh, at least you can talk."
Gervais looms. "Nido?"
Sands growls, but Tim puts a hand on his muzzle.
Max Thorn: "Something like that, yes. My partners here are Antheia" - he gestures to the florges floating beside him - "and Amaterasu" - here he scritches behind one of Ammy's bone-ears.
Flan eyerolls at Gervais, before resuming the absent smile toward the humans and Chicklet. "Aaanyway. First stop, the harbor! This way!" And begins walking away.
Sands blinks, but follows once Tim does.
Linnea plods along, Mia and Lulim following.
Max Thorn follows along, though he eyes the machinery somewhat suspiciously for a moment before he does.
Esme pats Gervais. "Now now, don't start any fights. Yet."
Flan: "Normally it's kinda quiet, but there was a commotion this morning when a wailord showed up! She's just hanging around, though; apparently she's ferrying someones quite important. She won't say who, but there's a skitty hanging around - really, that skitty's doing the talking."
Linnea: "Oh, we're familiar with that Skitty. What's the good word?"
Max Thorn: "…Man, I hope Petri realizes her machine's going to fall apart in a few hours."
Flan: "You know her? She's a charmer. I think - oh, there she is now - what, she's *still teaching*?!?"
Sure enough, Melo-Skitty is leading a bunch of pokemon through what looks like an impromptu dance class.
Sam Spade: "Melo."
Max Thorn: "Song and dance are important to her, yes."
A short ways behind her is the wailord, looking bemused.
Linnea: "She's doing what she does best! Bless."
Sam Spade: "I'm with Moby on this one."
A port stretches to the left and right, none of the piers sized for a wailord. Small warehouses line the beachfront property.
Melo-Skitty spies the party, and speaks quietly to her students. In a flourish, they dance around her in what almost anyone else would have had to do practiced choreography for, then form a line and bow in the party's direction.
Sam Spade bows back.
Max Thorn waves a greeting.
Linnea does a little spin followed by a salute.
Tim: "Honestly, I think she did that as a distraction so Sands and I could sneak off."
After a moment, Melo-Skitty mirrors Linnea's spin-salute.
Sam Spade: "I believe it. Though this place probably feels a little like home to you and Sands, huh?"
Max Thorn: "I'd believe it."
Tim: "Oh, YEAH!" Tim wears the biggest grin the party has seen on him since leaving Fort Blaston.
Tim: "C'mon, let's say hi." Tim walks over to Melo-Skitty.
Linnea darts on over, grinning like a fool.
Max Thorn just walks, nothing fancy.
Sam Spade follows a bit more sedately. She respects Meloetta, but isn't…
MeloSkitty: "My champion, my friends. You have a mission here, and it seems so do I." She gestures to her students. "My new acquaintances promised to show me sand sculptures, if I could teach them to dance. I believe I will be done first, so I will find you afterward."
Esme: "Sculptures?"
MeloSkitty: "Very intricate ones, that move on their own. Inspired by one of the human mechanics who lives here."
One of the students, shying away from the party, tiptoes up to Meloetta and whispers in her ear.
Max Thorn: "…How interesting! I will have to observe these."
MeloSkitty: "Apparently a recent inspiration?"
The student whispers more. Melo-Skitty double-takes.
MeloSkitty: "…"
MeloSkitty: "…I…shall arrange an unmissable signal if I need your assistance on this, my champion."
MeloSkitty: "The inspiration was 'Miss Petri'."
Linnea: "Welp."
Max Thorn: "…I wonder."
MeloSkitty: "You have a direct investigation. I shall handle this indirect end."
Sam Spade: "Thank you, Captain!"
Esme: "Works!"
Max Thorn nods, then does a slow 360, taking in as much as he can without focusing on anything in particular…
The sand here is that of a beach, the air cooled by the ocean. But a warehouse-port district is a warehouse-port district, even if this place runs almost entirely on pokemon labor with relatively few (but not zero) humans in sight.
[OOC] Max Thorn: Any TM shops?
There are indeed shops nearb-that is an exact replica of Ignacia's self-service TM machines from Rustle Fields, or perhaps it is fairer to say those were replicas of this, attached to what looks like a TM shop.
Linnea: "Ooh!"
Linnea: "Finally, some new wares!"
Esme: "These things again?"
Linnea: "Again?"
Flan: "Again?"
Esme: "Yeah, again."
Sam Spade: "Iggy set some up in Rustle Fields."
Sam Spade: "And I'm not going to say why given our location."
Esme: "They were all-" She pauses. "Yeah let's not say why."
Tim: "She means Ignacia. She's been…ah…exporting some Gaelan technology."
Esme goes to see what TM they're rigged with this time.
Chicklet shudders and hides behind Sam's legs.
Flan: "Oh! That makes sense."
The machine has no TM inserted. There is a kiosk nearby where one can insert coins and select a TM for temporary insertion; there is a selector dial that can select 1, 3, or 5 minutes.
Sam Spade: "I imagine most of the local PDAs wouldn't be capable of loading a TM, Esme."
The dial is set to 5 minutes, and from the dust, has not been moved from that setting for a long time.
Esme: "Ah. Well that's…far less immediately concerning."
Linnea: "Wait, this is different."
Tim: "You weren't with us when we ran into these before."
Tim: "See, this is TMs for pokemon with…ah, not doing it the way Amoda does."
Flan GLARES at Tim.
Max Thorn has a look at the TM shop's wares. He's looking particularly for Incinerate (for Ammy) and…hmm.
Tim: "Aheh…aaanyway! Insert a TM disc in this slot here, pokemon goes on the scale here, pokemon learns move."
It does not take long for Max to find the button for Incinerate. Rental is 1,400 pokeyen.
Indeed, the machine is a brass pole with a gibbet, from which a large scale hangs - not big enough for a wailord, but big enough for most pokemon.
Max Thorn puts down the coinage, then Amaterasu hops up into the scale as Max loads the TM in.
A robot arm slides the disc from storage inside the shop into the machine. Reddish light bathes Amaterasu for half a minute before the cycle completes.
Esme: "Well, while you guys do that…" She pulls out her rods. "Gonna dowse."
Amaterasu hops back down, wagging.
Flan: "Oh! Mind if I watch? This is one of your mining techniques, right? I've always wanted to see it in action!"
Esme: "Not /quite/ mining. I mean technically? But yeah, sure."
Flan just observes eagerly.
Esme gets to scouring the sand. "I really should just integrate these things into the rest of my gear at some point…"
Esme rolled up 13d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 2 5 2 1 2 3 6 6 1 3 6 2 4 5 2 3 (3 explosions)
Esme rolled up 13d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 4 4 1 2 3 6 1 3 6 6 1 3 5 4 1 4 (3 explosions)
Esme rolled up 13d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 2 3 6 2 1 3 4 5 5 6 4 5 1 1 4 (2 explosions)
Esme rolled up 13d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 4 6 5 5 1 4 6 3 6 4 1 4 1 3 3 2 (3 explosions)
[OOC] Esme: 31 Successes. Virtuoso Occult baby!
Linnea wanders away from the TMs for dowsing.
This being a Ground-type city, it is no surprise the shards are green. They stick out against the yellow sand.
Linnea rolled up 7d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 2 2 2 1 6 1 3 2 (1 explosions)
Linnea rolled up 7d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 3 5 3 3 2 3 6 6 4 (2 explosions)
Linnea rolled up 7d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 3 1 1 1 6 4 5 1 (1 explosions)
Esme is unsurprised and still perturbed. "Always more green…"
Flan: "Did you learn that from Miss Petri too? Or did she learn it from you?"
Sam Spade: "Neither, I think."
Esme GLARES at Flan.
Esme: "Absolutely not."
Sam Spade: "I'm pretty sure Linnea and Esme both learned from teachers in different parts of the continent, and Petri from someone else, too."
Sam moves in to distract Flan.
Sam Spade: "So what has Prof…Miss Petri been up to?"
Flan: "Oh. I just…well, she's been teaching folks how to find shards like that. She buys them for candy."
Max Thorn loads up Strength for Ammy as well, then once she's done with that he wanders around the port, one ear open for anything juicy.
Flan: "Did you want to sell them to her?"
Sam Spade: "I think they have their own uses for them, just like Petri does. What else has she been doing, though? When did she get back?"
Sam Spade: "The last I'd heard, she'd gone to Dojji, and then to Amoda."
Flan: "Not that long ago. About a week, I think? Maybe a bit longer?"
Sam Spade: "And did she really just…appear…in town?"
Linnea perks up as she suddenly has an idea. Once she finishes dowsing, she heads back over to the TM machine, helps Lulim into the scale, and… selects TM68. Giga Impact.
Flan: "Hmm…well, she did just show up one day. And…you know, now that I think about it…"
Flan: "Well…when first she showed up she was…kind of darker colored? But then I saw her again the next day and it was like she was a different person. I didn't know humans evolved into shiny types. I didn't know humans evolved at all."
Sam Spade: "We don't, normally."
Sam Spade: "But Petri…"
Sam Spade: "…well, she left a lot of questions behind her in Dojji."
Flan: "And there was something about her at first - something that set me uneasy. It was all gone the next day!"
Sam Spade: "Huh. You know, Detective told us something similar, when she went through the mines to the Port of the Snow."
Esme: "How utterly convenient and not foreboding at all."
Flan: "It was…I dunno…I mean, I'm no psychic type, but it felt like an aura or something?"
Sam Spade: "Like she'd…but anyway. Is there anything else in town you want to show us? It's a very nice town, by the way."
Linnea comes back from TM time just to overhear bits about an aura. Her eyebrows go waaaaaaaaaay up.
Flan: "Oh, thank you! Well, let's see. I mean, if you wanted to sell those shards to Miss Petri I can take you to her house. I know where those sand sculptures your friend was going to see are, too. Oh, if you're into technology we have solar panels inland, powering our entire town. And then there's the Plaza, where everyone goes to soak up the sun!"
Sam Spade: "Let's go talk to Miss Petri, then!"
Esme: "I don't think I'll be selling to her again, but sure."
Flan: "Okay! This way!" The phanpy lopes off into town.
Max Thorn returns in time to follow the phanpy.
[OOC] Max Thorn: Going to guess Max didn't hear anything interesting?
Max's investigation turned up not much else. The warehouse district seems metaphorically as dry as the sand underfoot.
[OOC] WC GM: Just general talk about how Petri's been building things to help the town, and teaching pokemon to dowse because she buys shards.
[OOC] WC GM: Also that some of the shards went into the sculptures.
Max Thorn 's eyebrows raise at this tidbit.
Max Thorn whispers to Lin and Esme, "(…Apparently some of the shards they gather for Petri go into the sculptures. Might explain the animation.)"
Toward the inland edge of town is what is best described as a villa. A large house, three stories making it one of the few more-than-single-story buildings in town, with walled off grounds, the wall having a single iron gate with an intercom.
Linnea: "Whoa, who the heck lives here?"
Flan: "Miss Petri, and her servants."
Linnea: "That is an awesome house."
Through the barred iron gate can be seen a grassy lawn - short, brown in some parts, but still more lawn than in most parts of town.
Esme totally doesn't grumble at this information. She idly finishes *TWING*ing together a [Ground Plate] from her collected as they reach the villa.
Esme: "It's…ok."
To one side can be seen sandstone sculptures in the shapes of enlarged pokemon, 1 to 3 meters tall, some of them broken - or more properly, not yet assembled, brass skeletons and electrical-looking bits poking out.
Linnea: "…okay, this kinda breaks the mood a little."
Flan: "She said she's tinkered with them, but mostly lets others build those."
Sam Spade: "Huh."
Max Thorn: "…"
Flan: "You know…it's odd. I know someone used to live here and it wasn't Miss Petri."
Flan: "I used to be good friends with her. But I can't remember her name or face now."
Linnea: "…That's concerning."
Esme: "Very!"
Linnea: "Does anyone else know?"
Max Thorn: "This whole thing is concerning."
Flan: "I…" Flan frowns. "…she was a mechanic. She…rrrh, why can't I…?"
Flan shakes her head. "Anyway. I'm friends with Miss Petri now!"
Flan: "You're the first I've told."
Max Thorn: "You should tell the skitty about that, I'm sure she'd be interested to know too."
Linnea: "I'm a lil bit terrified now."
Flan: "I'll try that, if I see her again."
Linnea: "Do you remember when you first realized you forgot?"
Flan: "I hadn't thought about it until just now. Anyway."
Sam Spade: "I think she first realized when she walked up here with us, Linnea. Petri has only been here for a week."
Sam Spade: "…Probably."
Flan reaches up and pokes the intercom. "Oh Miss Petri! I've brought miners with shards to sell you!"
The gate creaks open on its own.
Sam Spade strides confidently through the gates.
Flan: "Heh. Must be the butler." She walks on through the gate.
Max Thorn: "(Watch our six, Ammy.)"
[OOC] WC GM: Yes. The butler did it. :P
Linnea follows along. Miator glances around warily.
The walk from gate to front door is short but ominous. The party gets a strong sensation of being watched, and examined down to their souls by judging eyes.
Amaterasu chuffs, eyes and ears open for anything. She elects to stay by the door rather than follow Max in-she figures she can probably break the door down if need be, whether through force or flame.
Linnea: "Oh, I don't like this…"
Max Thorn: "(…Yeah, that's not creepy or anything.)"
Gervais keeps a low profile - well as low as a giant purple dinosaur can - eyeing the statues as they make their way in.
Sam Spade skips on ahead, as if she has not a care in the world. She's already prepped her first line.
The mansion, while being adobe like the other buildings, is more gray, and carved in a style best described as "gothic" .
Linnea: "…what a mansion!"
A few steps lead to a dias in front of tall, arched double doors inlaid with a recessed grid. Said doors glow faintly purple for a moment before they swing outward. An alakazam floats there, arms folded, frowning eyes sweeping over the party.
Flan giggles. "Hello, Butler! Being a grouchyface again?"
[OOC] Sam Spade: Mandatory reminder: Sam has Iron Will.
[OOC] Sam Spade: If she is being scanned, however, she is thinking about Arceus.
Sam Spade: "Hello!"
Sam Spade bows in greeting.
Max Thorn bows, as well.
[OOC] WC GM: You mean Iron Mind? Oh yeah, this alakazam is scanning her.
Sam Spade: "I am pleased to meet you! Less pleased that you're in my head."
Linnea bows politely, but still looks wary.
Sam Spade: "I do think we are entitled to some level of privacy, don't you?"
Linnea is thinking that there better not be any zombies in this mansion.
Butler's gaze fixes upon Sam. His echoing voice booms without his lips moving; that the speech is telepathic is apparent. "Why do you believe you are Arceus-sent?"
Flan: "…what."
Esme: "Here we go~"
Sam Spade: "Because he said so."
Sam Spade: "I mean, honestly, I don't think we are Arceus-sent. He said He sent Petri here, but we're not here because of her."
Butler's gaze flicks to Flan. "Begone, friend. Their business concerns you not, and the truth would frighten you. Fallout is likely to happen; please do not be here for it."
Sam Spade smiles at Flan.
Flan's voice drops to monotone for a moment. "As you say." She quickly but a bit robotically runs away.
Sam Spade: "Butler is probably right. Thank you for guiding us around town!"
Linnea: "…"
Max Thorn: "…"
Esme: "Mmm…"
Linnea: "Y'know…"
Tim: "…"
Once Flan is gone, Butler's attention returns to the party. "It is for her own protection."
Linnea paws at the handle of her knife, but doesn't actually try anything. She'd be a fool to.
Max Thorn: "I appreciate not letting the innocent bystanders be affected, but…"
Sam Spade: "Oh, I quite understand. At best…"
Sam Spade: "…yeah, at best what we're going to talk about would scare the crap out of her."
Butler: "You are here for one of the Petris. Do you seek my master or my slave?"
Linnea: "I don't understand."
Sam Spade: "Well, that answers my question right there."
Sam Spade: "Butler belongs to Professor Petri, in as much as he can."
Sam Spade: "The Miss Petri here is a pawn of the Alakazam."
Sam Spade: "Perhaps a remote-controlled robot?"
Linnea: "A body double…?"
Butler: "It is the opposite."
Sam Spade: "The opposite?"
Butler: "I am assisting the Arceus-damned to perform her duty, as is my…trainer."
Sam Spade: "Ah."
Sam Spade: "I'd wondered."
Linnea: "…okay, Sam, I think I'm missing something here."
Sam Spade: "Give me a second while I try to put things together in words?"
Max Thorn: "I…see."
Sam Spade hesitates.
Sam Spade: "…Is your, uh, 'trainer,' also a Petri?"
Max Thorn: "So…what's with the brainwashing, then?"
Butler: "She is now, by her command."
Sam Spade: "By her…"
Butler: "She was too ashamed of what she believed to be her past reputation."
Linnea: "…"
Sam Spade: "…so…your trainer is Miss Petri, who asked you to brainwash her?"
Esme: "As she probably should be."
Butler: "Not her. The town."
Butler: "Anyone who knew her."
Butler: "Even I may not speak her past name."
Sam Spade: "Ahhhhhhhhh."
Linnea rummages through her pack for a flask, which she takes a quick swig from.
Sam Spade: "Okay, I think I get it."
Sam Spade: "Just to make sure, Miss Petri and Professor Petri, they aren't the same person, are they?"
Butler: "There are two Petris within. They are not the same. One…thinks of herself as a professor, it is true."
Linnea: "So, a split personality…?"
Sam Spade: "No, no."
Butler: "The other has had no such thoughts, and I do not wish to encourage them. Please keep your voices down; she sleeps now. And while she sleeps she can not give me new commands."
Sam Spade: "A duplicate."
Linnea: "A dup-"
Linnea groans. Quietly.
Butler: "You mean a clone? No, an impostor."
Max Thorn: "…A bender. After this is sorted, I'm going on a bender."
Butler seizes up in apparent pain.
Sam Spade: "Yeah, a clone was possible but unlikely."
Linnea: "I'm with you there Max."
Sam Spade: "…Ah. She's awake, I see."
Butler: "Aaaah…too close, too close…"
Sam Spade: "Or…"
Butler: "…she…sleeps…do not…do not push me to say…"
Sam Spade: "…Huh, I seem to be going through this whole conversation thinking I know what's going on."
Esme: "Is uhh, he ok?"
[OOC] WC GM: Pokemon Ed check - Max especially.
Max Thorn rolled up 6d6: 24 (3 2 5 5 3 6)
Max Thorn: "There's…older technology at work here."
Linnea: "What?"
Linnea: "What do you mean?"
Esme: "How old?"
Max Thorn: "Centuries old."
Linnea: "What IS it?!"
Max Thorn: "Basically, it's like this. Modern pokeballs latch on to friendship as a way of guaranteeing compliance. Older technology used pain and loyalty, instead."
Linnea: "…"
Butler takes in a breath audibly, then a few smaller ones to steady himself before resuming telepathy. "Not…centuries old…"
Esme: "…Ah."
Max Thorn: "However, it's quite possible for someone reinventing the technology from scratch to do the same thing."
Esme: "The old shock-collar method."
Butler's gaze turns to Max. His harsh expression softens.
Sam Spade: "So that is why we're here."
Max Thorn: "Entirely by accident. Hence that reputation he was talking about."
Sam Spade: "Because it's where Ignacia got what she used when she visited Ho-oh."
Linnea crosses her arms and remains silent, trying to connect the dots.
Max Thorn: "Essentially, the person who gained this alakazam's compliance used *that* on *him*."
Butler: "Ignacia visited my master several times. Ho-Oh went missing after that."
Butler: "My master never went after Ho-Oh."
Butler: "Please do not ask me any closer than that."
Sam Spade: "We won't."
Butler: "Thank you."
Esme makes a motion of zipping her lips.
Sam Spade: "When she gives you an order, any order, it hurts, doesn't it?"
Sam Spade: "Even if she doesn't mean to."
Butler: "No. Only if I disobey does it hurt."
Sam Spade: "Ah."
Butler: "But my master believes otherwise, despite my reassurance."
Butler: "She believed herself the object of ridicule for any slight she found in herself."
Sam Spade: "I see."
Max Thorn: "Hm. Let me think about this."
Butler: "Only in the past week have I seen her willing to go out on the town, and show off her inventions. Only in the past week have I seen her…happy."
Butler: "And the Arceus-damned is Arceus-damned. My master ordered me to pry that aura off her, though, as it was making even her uncomfortable."
Sam Spade: "I think that's probably a good thing."
Max Thorn: "Huh. I was wondering where that went."
Max Thorn: "Antheia? Could you…quiet as you can, please…search the house, please?" Antheia floats into view and nods to Max, then floats around.
Butler: "I have pried her mind, and I agree with Arceus's judgment. That, at least, is my own work from my own opinion, even if my master does concur."
Antheia finds the mansion is just as large inside as out.
[OOC] Max Thorn: Looking, particularly, for apricorns.
A spacious lobby going up all three stories, with carpeted triple staircases. Rooms either unused or dedicated to workshops; many were apparently originally designed as guest bedrooms, sitting rooms, or the like. One upper story door is locked, and light snoring can be heard behind it.
One of the second story workshops has piles of acorns in various stages of preparation - including quite a few going rotten from having been plucked and left alone unprepared for too long. Half of that room is dedicated to device preparation. There are enough fully ready apricots here to catch the entire town (humans excluded).
The next room over has enough guns and ammunition to kill the entire town (humans included). The room after that looks like where they were made.
Antheia returns, periodically, to project her findings to Max, who quietly shares them with the other three.
Linnea is inwardly glad she's still in her magical form.
Sam Spade: "Antheia, how recently were those rooms used?"
Esme: "There's a lot going on here."
Max Thorn: "Given that the unprepped apricorns were rotting when she went through…"
Sam Spade: "But they wouldn't predate Petri's trip to Dojji and Amoda."
Max Thorn: "All right. There's really only one way to set free anyone caught with such primitive technology: destroying the hardware."
Max Thorn: "And I bet I know where the alakazam's pokeball is."
Linnea: "Somewhere in here?"
Max Thorn: "Upstairs, with his master. Behind a locked door."
Linnea: "Oh boy."
Max Thorn: "I…don't think that particular room has windows, either, as foolish as that would be in this climate."
Sam Spade: "I don't suppose you could tell us what orders you're acting under, Butler?"
Linnea: "…I have an idea."
Butler: "Many. If she wakes while you challenge her, she will doubtless order me to destroy you. But I am not the strongest of her guards, and you would do well to address the others first."
Linnea: "Hey, Esme. Did you bring that interesting Porygon with you?"
Butler's gaze fixes on Esme and Linnea. "You in particular would do well."
Sam Spade: "That sounds like a good idea. Where can we meet with her other guards?"
Max Thorn: "Are the others the sculptures outside?"
Linnea: "Uh-yikes…"
Butler: "Most of them, yes."
Max Thorn: "Figures."
Looking again at the sculptures, they have quite a few places where weapons could be hidden.
[OOC] Max Thorn: pun entirely intended mwahaha
[OOC] WC GM: :P
Butler: "She also keeps a trio of thralls with my prison. They get to sleep - ah, your term is 'suspended animation'."
Linnea: "The more I hear, the less I like it."
Sam Spade: "Your prison being the primiball, I suppose."
Esme perks at Linnea's inquiry and pulls out her 'PDA', giving it a shake. Lucrece gloops its way out of, happily plopping onto the floor with a chirp.
Max Thorn tries to control a wince at /that/ happy news.
Linnea: "Right, so…"
Max Thorn: "How long have they been under?"
Linnea: "Maybe Lucrece could slip under the door and unlock it from the other side."
Max Thorn: "And…"
Max Thorn: "…"
Max Thorn: "I may develop alcohol poisoning once we're done here."
Max Thorn: "Just, y'know. Fair warning."
Linnea: "Just don't die."
Butler: "I do not believe I have seen any of them with my own eyes since just before the now-slave Petri showed up."
Linnea snorts.
Sam Spade: "Where is your prison, Butler? If you can tell me."
Max Thorn: "So over a week?"
Sam Spade: "If you can't tell us, don't try, please."
Max Thorn winces again.
Max Thorn: "Even modern pokeballs, it's not recommended to keep pokemon in their balls for more than a few days."
Butler: "Over a week. And…on a necklace with the others. Specifically, in what my master refers to as her 'vault'."
Butler taps his chest.
Linnea: "That can't possibly mean what I think it does."
Butler: "She never takes it off."
Linnea: "Good grief."
Esme: "Great."
Max Thorn: "Suspended animation, well. The old tech degraded them. In long enough, they lived only minutes after release. As sort of a congealed puddle."
Linnea: "…I'm gonna be sick."
Max Thorn: "And I don't want to be the one to tell Cheri if that's what happened to Ho-Oh."
Linnea: "Wait…the old tech can degrade a god?"
Linnea: "But that's…"
Max Thorn: "Any pokemon thus stored would've been degraded. Any."
Linnea: "Mmph."
Esme: "Guh."
Esme: "Well, if anyone gets degraded, Ho-Oh is at least probably the most likely to recover."
Max Thorn: "No records, that I'm aware of, of the tech being used on that caliber of pokemon, though."
Esme: "Rising from the ashes, and all that."
Linnea brightens a little. "I guess there is that."
Max Thorn: "Their force of will may be sufficient to prevent it…or not. We simply don't know."
Butler: "Please, I implore you. I sense your desire to fight my master, but please find a better way. In outright force, I would be compelled to fight you - and either I would slay some of you or you would be forced to slay me. I…have been altered at my master's hand. I see in your memories that you fought a more basic version, without implants, near Port of the Snow."
Linnea: "Hey, I have no intention of getting rough unless pushed."
Linnea: "This is just a shitty situation all around."
Esme: "I'm not going to say I don't…/kinda/ want to."
Butler: "There you were able to bring things to a halt before things became fatal."
Esme: "But if it can be avoided, absolutely."
Linnea: "Wait…you mean…"
Linnea: "The ones that kept on fighting?"
Linnea: "Mrrrgh…"
Max Thorn: "The Froslass and glalies, yes."
Butler: "As I would be compelled to. And enabled to."
[OOC] WC GM: Medicine Ed check - or Pokemon Ed or Tech Ed, at higher difficulty.
Max Thorn rolled up 6d6: 19 (3 2 2 1 5 6) (Pokemon Ed)
Linnea rolled up 6d6+2: 27 (4 4 2 6 3 6) (Med)
Esme rolled up 6d6: 17 (3 3 1 3 5 2) (Science Maybe)
Max Thorn: "If we can wrest the prisons away from her without waking her…"
Sam Spade: "Or we could talk it out."
Linnea: "… Ah, I see."
Linnea: "It's some kind of auto-medicine unit…"
Max Thorn: "Yeah, that'd do it."
Linnea: "Loaded with potent revivification drugs."
Esme: "Oh! That whole mess."
Max Thorn ponders. "I think I'm going out on a walk. Antheia will stick around if you need her, Sam. I hope you won't, though."
Butler: "I would beg for the lives of the others upon her chest, but I do not know them that well."
Sam Spade: "We don't want to kill anyone, Butler."
Esme squints, drawing ever closer to Butler. "Speaking of chest…"
Sam Spade: "Especially if you're doing Arceus' will."
Max Thorn: "I can channel Shaymin to restore them, if we can get the prisons off of your master."
Esme sees a lump on Butler's chest.
Esme frowns. "Yeah, out of scope for me."
Butler perks. "A walk may be advisable. My master stirs."
Max Thorn: "But…yeah. If Sam wants to talk, I'm going to get out of the way so I don't accidentally torpedo it."
Max Thorn nods, and quietly lets himself out.
Sam Spade: "Will we cause a problem if we wait here for her?"
Butler: "What business do you wish to claim?"
Esme goes and scoots outside to get a look at those half-finished statues, before they have to completely vamoose.
Esme recognizes pokebots when she sees them up close. Crude, amateur, but quite functional.
Sam Spade: "I think perhaps we wished to discuss the overheating problems with her healing machine."
Esme: "I knew it!"
Max Thorn: "I presume the shards empower these bots?"
Butler: "They do. So long as you stick to topics that flatter my master's ego, and play along with her new identity, there should be no problem."
Sam Spade: "We may cause a problem later on. I hope…"
Sam Spade hesitates a bit.
A voice calls down from above. "What's the chitchat, Butler? Do we have company?"
Esme: "Probably as a rudimentary replacement for energy. If left alone they could probably slowly recharge over time…"
Sam Spade: "But I don't want to."
Butler responds, actually speaking now. "Indeed, Petri. Travelers from Amoda, who wish to assist you with your pokecenter."
Petri: "Oh? Wonderful! Let me get dressed and I'll be right down! *MAKE THEM COMFORTABLE*, won't you, dear?"
Linnea: "…"
Butler seizes up for a moment. "Yes, Petri!"
Butler gestures into the lobby. "Please, come in and be seated. May I make some tea or snacks for you?"
Sam Spade: "That would be wonderful, thank you."
Linnea: "Tea would be brilliant, thanks."
Sam Spade leads Linnea into the lobby.
Linnea: "Finally I can relax a little."
Linnea is more or less dragged along by Sam.
Sam Spade: "I'm sure we will be comfortable when we sit down, though."
Max Thorn: "Mmm. Perhaps…" Max looks one over. Are there ports for recharging or similar?
An array of plush seats and sofas surround a glass coffee table with an arm-sized mechanical sculpture, constantly reshaping its…those are eyes, that is a ditto transforming over and over again.
Sam Spade: "That's a wonderful sculpture."
Linnea doesn't say aaaaaaaaaaaanything at all.
Sam Spade then thinks as 'loud' as she can, 'it is a sculpture, right?'
Max soon enough finds power sockets. They seem to be much more professionally made than what he can glance of the upper-story workshops, and thus probably not by Petri's hand.
Esme: "I almost got into building some of these when I was younger, but Gervy always got upset and thought I was going to replace him."
Butler thinks back, "It was an experiment of my master's, to give infinite endurance to use a move. It was there when I first met my master. I can find no mind to contact in it."
Sam Spade: "That makes me much more comfortable."
[OOC] Esme: That's not unsettingly at all
Linnea groans and just flops into a sofa, shoving her face into a pillow.
Max Thorn: "Heh. Not surprised. I guess the shards are for more than just power, then."
Butler disappears into the kitchen, soon returning with a tray containing teacups, a steaming kettle, and crackers. "Here. Are you comfortable?"
Sam Spade: "Yes, definitely, thank you very much."
Linnea: "Mmph." Lin gives a thumbs up.
Butler relaxes, projecting into Sam's mind, "Thank you."
Petri: "Alright, ready!" From above emerges a woman in black overalls and sandals. "Figured I'd get a work outfit in case this conversation goes there. Hiii, I'm Petri!" She smiles and waves as she makes her way down the stairs.
[OOC] WC GM: https://images.urbanoutfitters.com/is/image/UrbanOutfitters/47144191_091_b?$medium$&qlt=80&fit=constrain but all black.
Sam Spade: "Hello!"
Linnea turns her head out from the cushion, then wiggles herself back up to a sitting position. "Oh, hi."
Sam Spade: "I'm Sam, this is Linnea."
Looking close, she is indeed wearing a small gold chain necklace, weighted down by something that dips into her clevage behind the overalls and thus is not readily visible.
Linnea waves cheerily. She's not sure if she actually feels the mood behind it or not.
Sam Spade: "And these are Chicklet, and Antheia, and Miator."
Sam Spade stands, and bows deeply to Miss Petri.
Linnea waves to her partners. "And Lulim!"
Petri looks over the pokemon. "Oh. …oh! You're THAT sort of travelers from Amoda."
Petri: "And you say you're mechanics? You know how their technology works?"
Linnea: "I'm more of a mystic than a mechanic, but yeah."
Sam Spade: "Well! I'm afraid our mechanical specialists took a step outside to look at your sculptures."
Petri: "Could you call them in here?"
Sam Spade: "If you'd like."
Sam Spade pulls out her PDA, taps in a message to Esme and Max.
Esme is taking pictures to go with her notes, only to be interrupted by Sam's message. "…Our presence is being requested!" Back inside she goes.
Max Thorn: "That was quick." He follows her in.
Sam Spade: "So I understand you're buying shards?"
Petri: "I am! But, ah…oh, hello!" She bows to Max and Esme as they enter. "Hello, there. Ah…I know this is a bit sudden, but I don't suppose either of you could explain in detail how Amodan pokeballs work?"
Petri: "Please?" The desperation in her voice is palpable.

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