Session 85

Sandbar Harbor has lived up to its name once more. Dmitri's boat is well and truly stuck, some distance from port.
Linnea: "Wurrrr…?"
Dmitri sighs. "Alright, let's get this unstuck and…"
Linnea: "Arceus damn, I hate sand."
Petri: "Actually, this might be for the best. Ah…there are some people there who, well…"
Linnea: "But not Sand. Little-s sand."
Esme: "It's not great."
Sands nods to Linnea and gives a claw-up.
Sam Spade: "…Will try to kill you on sight?"
Linnea: "Ah. Well."
Petri: "Ah ha ha ha maaaybe?"
Sam Spade: "For implanting a bunch of crystal bullets in children's skulls?"
Dmitri gives Petri a look.
Dmitri: "Okay. So I need to run her through the 'Utility of Ethics' course, show her why respecting people's rights isn't just a good idea but makes experiments more effective, right?"
Sam Spade: "That would be very helpful, yes."
Linnea: "That'd be amazing."
Esme: "/Please/."
Linnea: "Despite our apparent reputation we'd like to leave things in a better condition as we go, rather than a wake of destruction."
Sam Spade: "I…thought our reputation was better than that, Linnea. At least in Amoda."
Skel is staring overboard, at the sandbar just visible beneath the rising and falling tides - or perhaps at the tides themselves.
Sam Spade: "Back in Gaela, of course, they hate us for being Amodans, end of story, but."
Linnea: "Maybe I'm just grumpy, then."
Max Thorn: "Among other things, yes. Give her lots of examples of 'well-intentioned' science that went badly because it wasn't conducted will due care."
Esme: "I mean, Cave Ins, giant ghost tidal wave, that time we got attacked by a tank, exploding blimp…"
Sam Spade: "Sure, but all those places were better for it."
Max Thorn: "But…when we debark, keep her out of sight?"
Esme: "Still better, oui!"
Esme: "Just a little charred or damp."
Sam Spade: "I think I might have enough materials to disguise her enough to keep her safe."
Sam Spade: "Then we can take her to the hospital to see if the children still need any help."
Dmitri: "I will, but my course focuses more on science that wound up better because it followed sound procedures, and how it avoided going badly. And…y'know, maybe it's best if we just don't dock. We'll back out of here, after you get off."
Sam Spade: "Arceus bound her to undo the damage her work did, and since we were the ones to undo the aura enforcing that…"
Skel: "Err…"
Sam Spade: "That works too."
Sam Spade: "Skel? Is something wrong?"
Skel: "Aheheh…Iii kiiind of left my diving suit back in Gaela?"
Max Thorn looks over the place. Is there a relatively dry path from here?
Linnea: "…"
Sam Spade: "…I suppose we didn't really give you an opportunity to pack, huh."
Max Thorn: "…We could carry you?"
Max Thorn: "Or Tim could, rather."
Allegedly, the sandbars are thick enough to just walk on - if you know where they are. Waist-high at the worst of tides, and currently it looks like knee-high.
Tim is holding up Sands. "Sorry, my hands are busy."
Tim: "Umm, can any of you navigate?"
Max Thorn considers. "Antheia, you want to lead the way?"
Malta: "Tal!"
The florges looks across the harbor, then hops down off the boat, "landing" just above sea level.
Max Thorn: "…Oh, right. Antheia can levitate you across, Skel, if that would be fine…?"
Skel: "That…would be most acceptable, thanks." She climbs down, trying to land on Antheia once Antheia seems ready to catch her.
Sam hops down to the sandbar, followed by Chicklet. Malta takes to the sky.
Antheia smirks gently, and a cup of psychic force forms around Skel, levitating her from where she's waiting.
Tim stands near the railing, eyeing the party.
Skel closed her eyes tight when she jumped. As she comes to a halt, she opens them, looks around, and visibly exhales in relief.
Esme drops down. After all the ocean shenanigans, this won't be that bad.
Linnea hops over to follow.
The sandbars are a little too deep to see normally. To the naked eye, there is just water that the party is somehow standing tall in.
Sam Spade: "…This is going to be awkward, huh."
Sam Spade: "Antheia, can you sense where the sandbars are?"
Antheia indicates points in the water as though there were markers placed there, not that the party can see them. She bobs once, then takes the lead.
Sam Spade follows, Chicklet in her wake. Literally.
Linnea: "Huh. Magically-marked pathing. Neat."
Max Thorn: "She says there are psychic markers set up," Max says as he follows.
Linnea: "Yeah exactly!"
Tim waits until the party is underway, then hops down and follows at a brisk jog, Sands held as high as he can.
Sam Spade: "I remember hearing that the big problem with Sandbar Harbor was that the Jaggies had the psychics locked up, which meant no navigators for the sandbars…"
Max Thorn: "Yup. I think someone forgot that flabebes can learn Psychic."
Dmitri gets out a couple extendable poles - looking to be around 3.5 meters (just over 10 feet) - and hands one to Petri. They begin poking the sandbar to push the boat back out into open waters.
It takes several minutes to reach dry land, about 10 meters south of Sandbar Harbor's southernmost building.
Antheia gently sets Skel down as soon as she can get Skel in place, about a minute before the rest of the party arrives.
Sandbar Harbor seems to be on the mend. There are signs of construction deep within town, and notably, not a single gunshot echoed during the party's approach.
Sam Spade: "Well, no gunshots. That's good."
Skel gives Antheia a hug. "Thank you thank you thank you!"
Skel: "Aheh. Sorry if I seem to be overreacting."
Tim shakes his head, emerging from the sea and depositing Sands on the sands. "No, we get it. Ocean of acid."
Tim: "Max, that's how it is to them, right?"
Antheia smiles and curtsies at Skel.
In the distance, the boat is finally pushed free and reengages its motor, backing away further before turning north toward Scale Mount.
Esme flexes slightly as she reaches dry land, her aura drying her off. "So no downtown standoffs this time, right?"
Max Thorn: "Ehhh…It's more that they strive to avoid water specifically because *water-type* pokemon inhabit the water. I'm sure she'd be fine in an enclosed space with a tub and no risk of water-type exposure at all."
Max Thorn: "Not that I'd propose conducting experiments in that regard, mind you."
Skel just stares and gapes at Max.
Tim: "Rrright…anyway, do you think they have the gym back up by now?"
Max Thorn: "They might."
Skel: "Sooo…uuuh…how, er, how should I present myself in town?"
Sam Spade: "Just be yourself. If that needs to change, we'll improvise."
Sam Spade: "We might call you an ambassador?"
Max Thorn: "Oh. That's a brilliant idea."
Max Thorn whips his 'dex out (badge case reattached) and sends a message to the university, asking what'd need to be done to get ambassador status granted to an individual from Gaela.
Esme: "Plus as long as you're with us, you should be fine. The Jaegers at least sort of like us?"
Sam Spade: "But I don't think it'll come up. Especially given the weird status of Team Jaeger's Boss, who everyone is *pretty* sure is Moth, but *might* be Moth's Mewtwo."
Linnea: "Things are weird."
Sam Spade: "And we at least nominally answer to Moth's kid here, and Moth's Sandshrew, who has some authority of his own."
University Via Text: "That might not be possible. Only Team Jaeger could formally give accreditation, and even they might not recognize it. You've seen how competent they are."
Sam Spade: "…Though I don't recommend leveraging Iggy's name."
Sam Spade: "Because she's crazy."
Esme: "She's also one of the ones that doesn't like us."
Esme: "For good reason!"
Skel looks at Tim. "Sooo…just stay near the kid, then?"
Tim: "Hey!"
Esme: "Oui."
Max Thorn sighs. "We can't get her accredited, unfortunately."
Sam Spade: "Oh? Why not?"
Max Thorn: "So yeah, stick with Tim."
Max Thorn: "Only Team Jaeger can give formal accreditation and individual operatives may not recognize it even so."
Sam Spade: "Well. We can at least make it an issue. Tim, can Skel be an ambassador?"
Tim: "Uhh, sure?"
Tim: "I guess."
Max Thorn texts back, "Can we at least get paperwork to fill out, though?"
Sam Spade: "Done. Now we can say that any TJ that treats Skel like a wild pokemon is going against Team Jaeger authority."
The university sends back an image file of an old Amodan visa application. This does not quite seem applicable.
Max Thorn facepalms.
Sam Spade: "Alright. Max, can you look up where the gym is?"
Max Thorn: "I ask for paperwork for ambassador status and I get back a visa application."
Max Thorn calls up the map for Sandbar Harbor.
The map comes up, then flickers - looks like the map database is updating.
Max Thorn: "Uhhh. Map's updating, please hold."
Linnea: "Updating…? I wonder what's different…"
Max Thorn: "Construction."
Sam Spade: "Half the city, given that we interrupted an active civil war with a flood of ghosts."
Linnea: "OOoooooooooooooooh."
Linnea: "Damn, how could I have forgotten?"
Sam Spade: "Well, Gaela was a trip, too."
Then comes a glow, which Max has only previously seen in tutorial video: the visual effect of a new building just now being added to the map. The glow condenses into a star across half the map, which then shrinks into an icon that glitters for a few seconds. The label "Sandbar Harbor Gym" fades in under the icon.
Max Thorn: "Aaaand there's the gym."
Linnea: "oooooh."
Max Thorn gestures a route, vaguely, and gets movin'.
Esme: "Let's see how they did!"
Linnea follows, Lulim at her heels. What's this about a psychic gym now…?
There is still scaffolding around the gym - a classic affair, with four columns holding a roof over the front patio, bracketing the main double door.
Linnea: "Oooh, swank."
Sam Spade: "Yeah, I can't wait to see it when it's finished."
The columns appear to be made of crushed and fused crystal.
Max Thorn eyes the columns.
Traces of blue and purple light flicker through the columns, then into the stone, tracing out circuit-like paths.
Max Thorn: "…is that what I think it is?"
The wisps gather in the doors, which glow then swing open.
Nurse: "It is. We couldn't think of a better use for what was left."
Max Thorn: "Probably safest this way, honestly."
It is the nurse from the hospital, though decked out in leather instead of scrubs. She stands in the doorway, smiling confidently at the party.
Linnea: "…Wow."
Sam Spade: "Looks like someone has a new career?"
Nurse: "You're damn right. And they asked me to look over it."
Nurse: "SOMEONE had to step up, and with what I've seen…"
Linnea opens her mouth, considers a moment, closes it.
Max Thorn: "Probably best you or someone with your qualifications took charge, yeah."
Nurse: "And I just remembered, I never did introduce myself properly." She bows. "You, my friends and savior of my town, may call me Haley."
Haley: "And it would be a great honor if you were my first gym challengers…" Her smile gets a bit strained. "…once my team's ready for a challenge."
Linnea: "Oh! Anything we can do to help with that?"
Haley: "We-e-ell…" She stands back up, her smile now clearly partial embarrassment. "…the first step is, you know, the team has to *exist*. I need to recruit a team."
Skel flinches, and tries to hide behind Tim.
Sam Spade: "As you may have guessed, our visitor from Gaela is not interested."
Linnea: "I have every bit of faith that you can come up with something challenging."
Haley: "I intend to! Ah, in the mean time can you make sure those Jaeger soldiers are taken care of? Maybe send them back to wherever they came from now that their mission is complete?"
Linnea: "Hmm, probably."
Tim: "Hmm. Where would they be at this hour?"
Max Thorn: "Could do a general broadcast, perhaps…"
Esme: "Maybe at the Pokecenter, if that's still around?"
Max Thorn: "I don't know why it wouldn't be…" He checks the map…
The pokemon center is but a single block down the road - a logical distance for the gym to be located at.
Max Thorn: "It's just down the road, in fact."
Indeed, it is almost within line of sight. But peering that way, there is a distinct absence of military vehicles parked in front.
Max Thorn: "…Hm. Tim, could you go look around? You'd be the logical one to be doing so, anyway."
Tim: "Alright. Do you want to help Haley recruit, then?"
Max Thorn: "Sure."
Tim nods and walks off, followed by Sands and Skel.
Haley: "You mean it? Thanks! Hmm…most of the wild pokemon within city limits were scared off by the fighting and they wouldn't have returned yet…"
Haley: "Hey, if you're helping out anyway - maybe you can help me decide on a team? What pokemon would best represent this town's character? Besides *just* psychics - of course they'll all be psychic types. But which ones?"
Linnea: "Hmm…"
Max Thorn: "Well…if my parents were around I'd suggest an espeon, but…"
Linnea: "Starmie, for sure!"
Max Thorn: "A slowbro or slowking would fit."
Linnea: "Maybe a Gardevoir or Gallade?"
Max Thorn: "Gardevoir, sure. Gallade…overlaps with Dojoholm."
Linnea: "Or, on the other side of the aesthetic, Gothitelle."
Max Thorn: "Chimecho, perhaps?"
Haley: "Hmm. I suppose at least one water-type would fit. We are Sandbar HARBOR, after all."
Linnea: "That's what I was thinkin'!"
Max Thorn: "Exactly."
Haley: "And…Max, you said your parents might provide an espeon?"
Linnea: "Though, Starmie and Slowbro are on entirely opposite ends of the speed spectrum, just to be aware."
Max Thorn: "If I can find 'em. They went in to hiding a few years ago, just before the Jags came in."
Haley pouts. "Another one, huh?" She shakes her head. "I had to send my own daughter all the way across Amoda for safety when they came. I haven't seen her since."
Sam Spade: "…Where did she go?"
Sam Spade: "Because if she went to Dojoholm…"
Haley blinks. "She did. Her dad's the gym leader. Why, have you been there?"
Max Thorn: "Yup, went through a while ago."
Max Thorn flips his badge case open.
Esme: "Oh, that loose thread coming back?"
Esme: "Did you teach her to use a big sword?"
Haley brightens up. "How is she?" She looks at the badges. "Oh! Heh heh, is Diablo still training new trainers?"
Haley: "Big…sword? She wouldn't hide her telekinesis, so that's why I had to send her away, but…"
Max Thorn: "Training, yes. Not sure about new trainers, since Jaeger's been " discouraging " the kids that go out."
Sam Spade: "I think the PC network wasn't helping."
Max Thorn: "As in, deliberately setting them up to fail."
Sam Spade: "It's hard for a gym leader to properly challenge a new recruit when they've been in this game for twenty years and all their pokemon are all but unstoppable."
Esme: "We've managed pretty well, but…"
Esme: "Circumstances have been in our favor."
Sam Spade: "…Ice Cove's gym challenge was a joke, and Cheri actually came to Dojoholm because she expected Diablo's to be one, too."
Max Thorn: "Metro Beach's gym was a joke too, at first."
Haley: "I mean…" One of the columns glows and twists, popping free and twirling like a baton around Haley, who is not breaking a sweat. "…my daughter got her power from me, but…sword?"
The column is about twice as wide and three times as tall as Haley.
Max Thorn: "The gym leader only had the one high-level pokemon and he'd originally been giving badges to kids who delivered their best possible shot, since there was no way their starters could do anything to his pokemon. We, and Cheri, helped fix that."
Max Thorn: "Presumably the sword is cover, since it's ridiculously large."
Haley: "Oh." She slots the column back into place and twists it. Looking close, it appears that the other three columns are designed for such use too. "Well that's nice, then. U-umm…" She bites her lip. "She doesn't…hate me for what I had to do, does she?"
Esme: "She had a nice little shop!"
Haley: "Hmm. And…how safe is she?"
Esme: "We had a bit of a run-in with some ghosts…but she was doing well when we left."
Sam Spade: "She had a rough time the night we arrived, but I think that was at least partly because Moth was there."
Sam Spade: "I get the feeling he riled them up just by being present."
Esme: "Kind of what he does, wherever he is."
Haley: "Maybe I should go see her. I…don't think there's much call for a gym leader here, right now, other than for you."
Max Thorn: "As long as there's a deputy to keep an eye on things, I don't see why not."
Haley: "Hmm. And…you said the father to my child was having trouble matching new trainers' pokemon to his own? I have seen what you are capable of, and I think I might have the opposite problem."
Haley: "How weak are your weakest pokemon?"
Max Thorn: "I have one in reserve who's level 23…"
Esme: "Luc is…31?"
Linnea: "Uh…"
Esme: "I could in /theory/ hijack the storage system and hatch something by tomorrow."
Esme: "But shouldn't let a baby fight, either."
Linnea: "I have a level 20 Feebas in the system but that's hardly sporting."
Haley closes her eyes and nods. "How many level 5s would be a fair match for your pokemon? Or maybe level 10s?"
Max Thorn: "…It might be better to develop a challenge that requires cooperation between trainer and pokemon, just like navigating Sandbar Harbor's sandbars does."
Esme: "Too many."
Max Thorn: "That way you don't need to worry so much about pokemon's power relative to your team's."
Max Thorn: "Like an obstacle course, perhaps."
Max Thorn: "Your team can be involved as referees or guides, in case someone gets in to trouble they can't get out of."
Haley: "Hmm…hmm, that might work!" A devious glint shines in her eyes. "I mean, I should recruit a team anyway. But you won't need their help. If that's the challenge you want - meet me at the south end of town, at the shore, in an hour."
Max Thorn: "Sounds good."
Linnea: "Oh boy."
[OOC] WC GM: Doing anything over that hour - such as dowsing - or shall we skip to it?
[OOC] Esme: dowse dowse dowse dowse dowse
[OOC] WC GM: Roll it. You have access to sandy terrain.
[OOC] Esme: sec
Linnea rolled up 7d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 6 4 1 1 5 5 3 2 (1 explosions)
Linnea rolled up 7d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 4 1 6 1 4 5 6 3 2 (2 explosions)
Linnea rolled up 7d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 1 4 6 4 6 1 4 1 6 1 (3 explosions)
Esme rolled up 12d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 4 6 1 2 4 4 5 5 2 2 3 6 3 4 (2 explosions)
Esme rolled up 12d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 6 3 2 3 5 1 3 2 1 1 4 6 4 6 2 (3 explosions)
Esme rolled up 12d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 1 6 3 4 6 1 6 4 1 6 4 6 4 6 4 5 2 3 (6 explosions)
Esme rolled up 12d6, success >= 4, exploding >= 6: 1 4 1 6 6 5 3 3 4 1 6 2 3 5 2 (3 explosions)
[OOC] WC GM: Red shards, naturally.
[OOC] WC GM: Anything else?
[OOC] Esme: I got what I came for 8D
[OOC] Linnea: same
Shortly under an hour later, Tim staggers up, leaning on Sands and Skel. "Heyyy guyyysh. *hic*"
Linnea: "Oh no."
Skel: "Hmm, and I thought SLAVERY was as bad as Amodans got."
Sands shrugs with his free shoulder. "Sands."
Sam Spade: "Oh dear."
Skel: "You said it."
Max Thorn pinches the bridge of his nose.
Skel: "I see the legends of what militaries do when not in battle were not exaggerated in the least."
Skel: "At least the bartender's making enough to rebuild this city by himself. Well…maybe not THAT much…"
Max Thorn: "Well, now we know where they are. I guess after the challenge we can go tell 'em to bugger off. Unless you did that, Tim…?"
Tim: "I tried. I really did."
Skel: "They were too drunk to listen. Hmph, at least their pokemon were in good sorts. They weren't even slaves, just some auxiliary corps…I think? Though some of them looked familiar."
Max Thorn sighs.
Max Thorn: "Some of their number came from Gaela before the war, I think."
Skel: "Oh? Oh, that's right, now I remember. So they recruited Team Stormcloud to look after their weapons?"
Max Thorn pinches the bridge of his nose again.
Linnea: "Why."
Max Thorn: "Those /idiots/."
Sam Spade: "Oh great."
Max Thorn: "Those bungling /fools/."
Sam Spade: "…Was Stormderp's pichu there?"
Max Thorn: "I'm sure he was. Because Arceus forbid he grow a clue."
Sam Spade: "Well sure, but that doesn't mean he's *here*."
Skel: "Yeah, that's how I remembered. I saw him atop one of their armored vehicles, ordering a crew inside. I thought they were going to go joyriding while the humans were occupied…and the pokemon with the humans in the bar were just there getting drunk with them."
Sam Spade: "…Or Stormderp is stealing Jaeger's vehicles."
Max Thorn: "Probably-yeah, that."
Sam Spade: "…That does make a little more sense, at least."
Skel blinks. "…oh. Yeah, yeah that would make sense. Many of their guns too."
Sam Spade: "And now Stormderp is armed."
Skel: "Well, at least the Jaegers aren't?"
Max Thorn: "*Those* Jaegers aren't."
Max Thorn: "There are plenty of others."
Sam Spade: "Yeah, but that'll make them short-tempered and probably pick a fight with the locals on the assumption that the locals - who they just had a pretty big fight with - took the guns."
Linnea: "There is little else more dangerous than a fool with a weapon."
Sam Spade: "…Ah, Stormderp. I really, *really* wish you'd change…"
SKel: "Maaaybe if we went back and…"
Tim slides off and hits the ground, asleep.
Max Thorn: "They've probably run off by now."
Sam Spade: "…And *we* have a gym challenge."
Skel looks at Sands. "Maybe if *I* went back and left a note for them to find?"
Chicklet: "Why would they believe you? Maybe Sands, though…"
Max Thorn: "I'd send Sands. You shouldn't wander unsupervised."
Sands looks at Tim, then the party.
Sam Spade: "We can take care of him, I think…"
Skel: "Right, right. Sands, can you? I'll look after your human."
Sands claws-up, then hugs Skel.
Sands then runs off the way they came, Skel watching him go.
After a moment, Skel sidles over to Sam. "Say, umm, how well do you know him?"
Sam Spade: "Sands?"
Skel nods, blushing a bit. "Mmm!"
Sam Spade: "Uh, from what I've seen he's a good guy, and he really cares about Tim. He's pretty dang experienced, too. He was with Moth back in the old days, and he's been around since before the war."
Sam Spade: "…But I have to admit I'm still a bit handicapped. I'm a human, and we don't understand pokemon speech that well."
Skel blinks. "Before the…wait, but that'd mean he's…"
Skel shakes herself. "He's ANCIENT! Way too old for me. Thank you for the warning!"
Max Thorn: "I dunno that I'd consider age that much of a barrier."
Max Thorn: "I mean…if you like each other, that's what really matters, right?"
Skel: "Well, that's just it. I don't know how he feels about me. He's loyal, that's for sure. He went on about he and Moth served Tim's father, so he's helping out Tim to continue that duty."
Sam Spade: "…So he considers Moth to be the Mewtwo."
Max Thorn: "You could ask Chicklet, perhaps. Or Malta, she's been with us longer."
Skel: "MewTwo? He didn't mention anything about that. He did say Tim's father was born and raised to partner with Moth, and he blames himself for destabilizing that by befriending Tim's father before Moth was introduced."
Sam Spade: "Ooof."
Skel: "I thought he meant, like, a few months ago. He speaks of it like it's a fresh thing in his mind."
Skel: "But if it was before the war…it'd be longer ago than Tim has been alive."
Max Thorn: "It's been weighing on his mind."
Sam Spade: "It would have."
Skel: "But he said Tim's father died back then, so…"
Max Thorn: "In a sense."
Sam Spade: "Well, it's a weird situation."
Max Thorn: "It's…complicated."
Max Thorn: "And Moth has asked us to uncomplicate it, if we can."
Sam Spade: "Yeah."
Skel: "Wait. Waitwait. I know how this goes. You in Amoda…have a way to get the dead to make eggs, right?"
Linnea: "Wha-"
Linnea: "Well, there's Fossil Machines…"
Linnea: "But uh, that's specific."
Skel: "That's all he said on the way over. I'll ask him more later, if you want, but I think it's stuff he doesn't want Tim to hear." She looks at Tim, still asleep. "So we've got time."
Sam Spade: "So, here's the thing: *nobody* really knows what's going on with Tim's father and his Mewtwo."
Sam Spade: "Petri and apparently Sands both believe Moth is the Mewtwo, puppeting the human, and deluding himself into thinking he *is* the human."
Sam Spade: "Moth thinks he's the human, puppeting the Mewtwo and using it to control himself."
Linnea: "Wow."
Linnea: "And I thought fey law was convoluted."
Skel laughs a bit. "That old philosophy thing? 'Am I the human dreaming that I am the butterfree, or am I the butterfree dreaming that I am the human? Neither: I am the magikarp whose delusions of grandeur sustain and evolve me.'"
Max Thorn: "Except in real life."
Just then, Haley splashes forth from the waves on the beach, dismissing a bubble of psionic energy that has kept her dry, landing near the party. "Alright, your challenge is ready. And with luck, you won't even drown."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License