Session 87

…what husband to be?
Sam Spade blinks at that and looks at Linnea.
Linnea pinches the bridge of her nose. "You know we've been through this, Mother…no thank you."
Sam Spade: "You're engaged?"
Sam Spade actually looks a little bit crestfallen.
Linnea: "No, I'm not!"
Max's mother, Amelia, quickly walks over to the bikes and begins sorting them out. Max's and Linnea's fathers, Lambert and Luchs respectively, stand to the side with bemused expressions.
Linnea: "Melo's grace…what's all been going on while I've been gone?"
Sam Spade gives Linnea a quick, reassuring hug.
Linnea: "Guh…"
Saya sets Linnea down. "Now dear. We're not getting any younger, and we want grandchildren. You're not the type to go out and get a husband - except you have this fine young man now. And, honestly, the Thorn boy has the same problem. So this solves it for everyone concerned!"
Max Thorn is still too busy being swarmed, but he pipes up with, "Assumptions," before resuming trying to minimize the amount of licking his mouth receives.
Sam Spade takes the opportunity to whisper a question at Linnea. "How long should I wait before I start hammering them about Karen?"
Linnea: "(Please, get them off this subject before I do.)"
Sam Spade: "(Got it!)"
Sam Spade: "Excuse me, Ms. Maylithos, do you know the name 'Karen'?"
Saya and Luchs freeze for a moment.
Saya: "Yeees…what about it?"
Esme: "We ran into her back at Port of the…Sand, was it?"
Sam Spade: "…In Gaela?"
Esme: "Yea!"
Sam Spade: "…Funny thing, she was under the impression that her parents had gone away and never come back…"
Linnea: "Wh-"
Saya: "Oh! You found her grave, then? Did someone bur-"
Sam Spade: "Abandoned her, really."
Saya: "You say that as if she's alive."
Max Thorn: "Is."
Saya: "WHAAAAAAT?!?!?"
Sam Spade hmms and nods. "That fits."
Linnea: "Uh."
Esme: "…Yes?"
Linnea: "I'm lost already."
Luchs hugs Saya from behind as if on reflex.
Sam Spade: "The only witness was under the impression that Ignacia had killed you."
Sam Spade: "I suppose you were under the impression she killed Karen instead."
Saya: "Wh…but…the mansion burned! We saw it! There was no time to come back and even collect her ashes!"
Max Thorn: "Mansion's fine."
Saya: "We had Linnea to replace her, so there'd be someone to carry on the traditions. Karen can't be alive!"
Sam Spade freezes and glares at Saya.
Linnea looks up sharply. "Re…replacement?!"
Saya freezes up, apparently only just now realizing what she said.
Linnea: "Now you owe me an apology AND an explanation."
Sam Spade: "I can give you the explanation."
Linnea: "This had all better be good or…I…I don't even know."
Sam Spade: "Karen is your older sister. Ignacia is a bitch."
Linnea: "That would…but…I had a sister…?"
Saya: "I'm sorry. You're our only daughter - or so we thought until just now…" She glares at Sam. "…and we love you very much."
Sam Spade: "She chased your parents out of Gaela and both parties were certain she'd killed the other party."
Linnea opens her mouth, considers, and just…shuts it. Her expression is unreadable.
Saya: "I…err…" She blinks. "Your friend is correct." Tilting her head a bit at Sam, she asks, "Are you a psychic? Or a detective?"
Sam Spade: "Well, Karen didn't see your parents 'burn', so she was under the impression they'd left and not come back, but the other residents of the Port did and just didn't want to say it."
Sam Spade: "Detective, but I'd pretty much put most of the pieces together."
Linnea: "That would explain the…unsettling resemblance to you, mother."
Saya: "How is she?"
Sam Spade: "She is…okay."
Saya: "Would she forgive us if we said hello?"
Sam Spade frowns.
Sam Spade: "I think she would, probably. She doesn't hate you, from the glimpses that we got. But she's also not entirely…stable?"
Max Thorn: "In person."
Sam Spade: "If…I would talk to Butler, her Kadabra."
Linnea: "…I mean, we should probably moderate a visit."
Linnea: "Both in the sense that a visit would be necessary and that we should be there just in case."
Esme: "Later, though. Probably needs some time to re-adjust."
Max Thorn manages, eventually, to wiggle out from under the eevee swarm.
Luchs: "Indeed. But that's a concern for another time. Right now, welcome home, my daughter."
Linnea: "Yeah…it's about time I came back for a while. How's the city been, invading passersby notwithstanding?"
Sam Spade: "And how urgent are the invading passerby?"
Lambert: "And YOU, son." He helps extricate the eevees from Max, grinning all the time. "You've been busy!"
Amelia: "We took care of 'em."
Sam Spade: "Did you smack around the pichu at all?"
Sam Spade: "Because…yeah."
One eevee remains perched on Max's head and refuses to budge. "Quite, dad."
Luchs: "Brooktale is as Brooktale's always been. Quiet, except when it's not."
Amelia looks up and GRINS. "You had problems with him too?"
Sam Spade rolls her eyes, opens up her backpack, and hands Amelia the 'fanart' the Pichu provided her with.
Amelia: "He was the most uppity of the bunch. You should've seen those eevees team-beam and launch him. Even his comrades applauded."
Max Thorn: "…Please tell me you recorded that."
Sam Spade: "Heck, they threw him into a blast once."
Amelia nods appreciatively at the art, her arms still wrist-deep in bicycle parts.
Esme: "If there are records, I want a copy."
Amelia: "Sorry, too busy saving the town."
Max Thorn snaps his fingers. "Nuts."
Esme: "Boo…"
Luchs: "Actually, there was a security camera recording the whole thing. Lemma talk to the shop owner, see if I can get a copy." He walks off down the street.
Esme claps her hands together. "Good, good!"
With Luchs no longer in contact, Saya tentatively steps forward, then GLOMPS Linnea.
Linnea: "OOF."
Linnea: "Hey, mother."
Max Thorn gently nudges the eevee-hat to get off of his head. She goes, reluctantly, down to his left shoulder.
Linnea: "First-reaction-demands aside, it's really good to see you again."
Sam Spade throws a quick glare at Saya, then looks away.
Saya is not quite crying, but it is trivial for Linnea to tell Saya is still recovering from the shock.
Linnea: "I've been having a hell of a trip, and it does my heart good to come back for a little while."
Saya: "My daughter…my precious daughter…" Now tears flow down her cheeks, as she looks Linnea in the eyes. "Did you trash Fort Blaston?"
Sam Spade: "I regret to say that it was Stormderp who accomplished that."
Linnea: "Nnnnn nnnnooo."
Sam Spade: "…We managed to stick our thumb in Ignacia's nose in another way, though, so there's that."
Linnea: "My whole deal is helping people deal with the Jaegers, not wanton destruction."
Saya: "Oh. Well, did you do that?"
Esme: "We…fixed Dojji?"
Sam Spade: "Iggy sent us on a suicide mission. And we won."
Linnea: "No, I didn't blow up Fort Blaston."
Sam Spade: "…She was pretty upset."
Saya: "No, I mean, help people deal with the Jaegers."
Max Thorn: "We straightened Gaela out, too. I think she's going to hate that her stolen power's origin is free and well."
Lambert: "Hold on. You…'fixed' Dojji?"
Esme: "Recovered the tea and everything!"
Sam Spade: "…How much do you know about what happened there?"
Linnea: "Yeah."
Linnea: "There was a fair bit of magical work involved, tearing things down and building them up ri-"
Max Thorn: "I'm planning on returning to Dojji when my journey's over so I can help them recover…but I'm probably going to end up settling in Gaela."
Saya Lambert And Amelia In Unison: "We want to know everything!"
Esme: "Theeen we should probably go sit somewhere."
Linnea: "…Right. This is gonna take a while, we should probably discuss it over a meal."
Lambert: "Aheh, we haven't been paying that much attention to the news. The whole 'hiding' thing."
Max Thorn: "I really don't blame you. Still…"
Saya: "Right, right!" She squeezes Linnea once more, then releases. "You want some food. This way!"
Esme: "I'd be surprised if it was in the news, actually."
Saya leads the procession toward a nearby manor.
Sam Spade: "How much do you know about what happened to Dojji in the *war*?"
Linnea: "Now that's what I'm talkin' about."
Lambert's expression darkens for a moment. "I was there, child. In one of the tanks when we, er, 'stopped' the MewTwos."
Sam Spade: "Ah. Yeah, we…got to see that."
Sam Spade: "…Were you with Mr. Tommize?"
Brooktale is rather lush and green, for a city, but this manor is a pocket of greenery even within that.
Lambert: "He was in the tank next to mine. You've met him?"
Lambert: "I hear he never quite forgave himself for what he had to do. I sure did, though."
Sam Spade: "We were traveling with his daughter for a while, but…she stormed off and we haven't seen her since."
Lambert: "Ah. A feisty one, that Anna. I'm sure she'll be alright."
Sam Spade: "And…Moth showed us what happened, too. It was…vivid."
Sam Spade: "I sure hope so. I miss her."
Sam Spade: "…Well, do you know about the raidertanks?"
Lambert: "You've spoken with Moth and survived? Impressive."
Esme: "Couple times!"
Sam Spade: "He's…interesting."
Lambert: "Oooh yeah, I know about the raidertanks."
Sam Spade: "Well. Do you know about the raidertank feedback cycle?"
The manor has a wrought iron gate surrounding it, each section featuring a different plant or pokemon motif. The gate is formed from flattened sculptures of twin clefables.
Lambert: "The what now?"
Sam Spade: "Well, that was, I think, what killed Dojji. Basically, after the mewtwos - I think - there were still raidertanks running amuck in Dojji, and the raidertank factory there, too."
Saya opens the gate, and within…yes, this could very well be a building by the same hands that built Karen's place. But this is much more well cared for, with no piled-up robots in a corner.
Linnea: "Hooooooooooome."
Sam Spade: "And so the raidertanks…killed people…so there'd be more ghosts to pilot more raidertanks."
Indeed, no robots anywhere, though several pokemon tend and frolic through the extensive "lawn" .
Sam Spade: "And they smashed everything to dead soil so that there'd be only the kind of shards they wanted for power."
Sam Spade: "And so there were more raidertanks, and more, and more. And the mother raidertank - the mobile factory -"
Lambert: "Raidertank factory? I'd heard rumors they were building one. They got it working, you say?"
Sam Spade: "Someone placed a binding on it to keep the Legendaries out, so nothing could happen. No rain in Dojji, either."
The three-story stone building at the center is a better looking twin of Karen's. Same large foyer, same lines of sight to the second and third story bedrooms - even the kitchen is right in the same spot relative to the front door.
Linnea: "And that was a gigantic pain to reverse, let me tell you."
Sam Spade: "Well, Linnea managed."
Sam Spade: "And then Lugia and the three Legendary Birds flew in and…no more mother raidertank."
Sam Spade: "…And then there was rain."
Max Thorn: "Team Stormderp was assaulting Fort Blaston when we got back."
Saya: "A binding? What sort? Was it running on the souls they killed, or…wait, wait, you said shards, was it geomantic?"
Linnea: "I would think it's a little of both. A binding, and mechanical geomancy to drain the land into shards. Something like that."
Sam Spade: "I don't have the slightest clue, but Linnea was *amazing*."
Saya grins. "Of course she was! That's my daughter you're talking about! Why, if she wasn't engaged to Max, I'd almost think you're asking."
Sam Spade: "Asking what?"
Linnea 's expression is straight up masking.
Max Thorn: "My pardons, but I am not engaged to her, nor to anyone else in this group. Friends, yes. Betrothed, no."
Sam looks totally innocent, like she legitimately has no idea what Saya is talking about.
Saya: "For my help having her babies. She told you we study various kinds of magic, right? There's not *much* use for that line, buuut we do have the books in our library; we'd just have to find them and the formulae."
Linnea: "…"
Esme: "What."
Sam Spade stops. Blinks. Raises a hand. Opens her mouth. Closes it. Lowers her hand.
Max Thorn pinches the bridge of his nose.
Sam Spade: "…No, no, no, no. No."
Sam Spade: "…Much too young for that anyway."
Sam Spade: "…Ma'am, you are a little too devoted to the idea of grandbabies."
Max Thorn gives his mother a beseeching look, briefly.
Saya: "Well obviously. This isn't an *instant* thing. Nine months of-"
Amelia: "Er HEM."
Sam Spade: "Oooh, food!"
Sam Spade: "Yes, food would be good."
Amelia: "Max, dear, why don't you tell us about your part of your travels?"
Sam Spade: "You should tell them about Scale Mount."
Amelia: "Ooh, yes, how IS our home? Is it safe to go back yet?"
Lambert: "…yes. Food. You must be hungry; let me prepare something." He fast-walks to the kitchen.
Max Thorn: "Well…" He considers, briefly. "…We got the pokemon storage system back online, and before I left we'd set up a team of experts to go through the registry, particularly for those pokemon who were orphaned by the war, in one way or another."
The eevees, having been following the party, boil past, hot on Lambert's heels, at the notion of food.
Max Thorn: "The samples we'd decanted were…heartbreaking, is the word I'd use."
Sam Spade: "…I'm still a little sick of angry ghosts."
Linnea: "Big same."
Max Thorn: "But I had to get an idea of what the team'd need to focus on in order to be effective."
Esme: "Oh good! You're all joining the club."
Max Thorn: "But…while we were there, I had an encounter with Shaymin." He gestures at his hair. "This is *not* dyed, I promise."
Sam Spade: "…Way to bury the lede, Max."
Amelia: "Didn't think it was. You're not the type. Shaymin, hmm?"
Amelia: "Is it permanent?"
Esme: "And Arceus, but he got all…Shaymin'd up."
Esme: "Still not even clear on how it works, but here we are."
Max Thorn finds himself a seat. The eevee riding his shoulder hops down in to his lap. "For as long as I serve as Shaymin's Messiah, I think."
Linnea: "We've gotten some divine notice."
Amelia: "Then I guess we'll have to take another family photo while you're here."
Amelia ruffles Max's hair. "Hmm. Feels a bit like grass, too."
Max Thorn: "But…to get to that, we have to rewind a bit. While we were at Fort Blaston, we had an encounter with a professor, name of Petri. Among other things, she was responsible for developing Typed ammunition for firearms…and, we learned, for sacrificing her own daughter's soul to inhabit the girl's body."
Sam Spade reaches over and does the same. "Oh! I hadn't noticed that!"
Saya freezes up momentarily. "Did…you say…" Her voice drips ice briefly. "…'Petri'?"
Linnea: "Oh Arceus, I had purged that from my memory."
Sam Spade: "Yes."
Sam Spade: "She's…"
Sam Spade: "….well, she's still Petri."
Esme grimaces. "That she is."
Max Thorn: "Yes. We'd chased her to Scale Mount, then into space. Which is where we met Arceus and Shaymin, oddly enough."
Sam Spade: "I believe Professor Dmitri took her to run her through remedial ethics…"
Saya: "I'll thank you not to utter that bitch's name in this house again."
Sam Spade blinks and looks at Saya, impressed.
Max Thorn: "Arceus has…taken a firm interest in seeing she reform herself and behave."
Esme: "Wow."
Sam Spade: "Huh. You feel the same way about her as I do about Iggy, I take it."
Sam Spade: "Of course, given just the things we *know* she did, I don't blame you one bit."
Max Thorn: "Mm. I wouldn't pee on 'em to put them out if they were on fire, personally."
Saya: "Huh. Ignacia, on fire? She'd probably thrive on that, not burn."
Linnea: "Which is why I thought up specific countermeasures."
Sam Spade: "Yeah, I was thinking about that, but I think Max was talking about a certain crazy scientist."
Sam Spade: "…Oooh!"
Linnea: "A sharp stone in the right place, mostly."
Max Thorn: "…Or equivalent, in Ignacia's case, I guess."
Max Thorn: "I'd happily drop her into the deepest oceanic trench I could find, though. With lead weights."
Linnea: "If she's gonna make such a big deal about a Charizard then I'm gonna prepare myself."
Esme: "We have a friend who could help with that."
Linnea: "What's even funnier is that the forces she's trying to control…same typing."
Linnea: "It's a little sad, really."
Saya: "Heh. Drown Ignacia in piss. If she tries to flame her way out, she can choke on steamed piss. That'd be about right for her."
Max Thorn: "Anyway."
Linnea: "…That got weird in a hurry."
Sam Spade: "Honestly I'd just throw her in the ocean and ask Esme to tell Lugia about her."
Esme: "Would probably work well enough as a plan, honestly."
Max Thorn: "We fixed the PSS after we returned from our brief extraterrestrial excursion…went through Shady Narrows, then Onix Peaks - which was the first test of the abilities Shaymin'd given me."
Max Thorn: "From there, Elysium Valley. That…"
Max Thorn pauses. "…The less said about /that/, the better."
Sam Spade: "And I had thought angry ghosts were bad."
Esme: "They are."
Sam Spade: "Not compared with liquified ghost anger."
Max Thorn: "We uncorked their ocean, and surfed down to Sandbar Harbor. Then took a trip to Gaela, where we freed Ho-oh, found Karen, found She Who Shall Not Be Named again…"
Esme: "Just a state change, like ice to water. Still the worst."
Linnea: "Yeah, that was, uh…"
Max Thorn: "Met with Meloetta while we were in Sandbar Harbor the first time, too."
Linnea: "…Yeah."
Linnea: "That's who I'm working with."
Saya blinks. "You…MET…Meloetta?!?"
Esme: "Stopped the mini-war in Sandbar before we left, fixed up those bullet kids…"
Sam Spade: "…I…No, we met her in Dojji, didn't we?"
Sam Spade: "In Colony Three?"
Max Thorn: "I mean, the first time we were in Sandbar Harbor, we met with her."
Linnea: "Yeah, I have."
There is a sound. Glee, excitement, pleasure, anticipation, slightly terror-inducing from its intensity…all these things felt on a primordial level, at least when Saya makes it.
Of the party, only Linnea has heard Saya squeeing before, and even then rarely.
Linnea seems entirely unphased. Thank Melo for Soundproof. Still… "Mother, please."
Saya is looking at Linnea with full intensity. "Tellmetellmetellme! What's she like? Is she everything you thought she'd be?!?"
Linnea: "Uh - well, she's a Legendary, she can take many forms based upon her own whim…and sometimes that of what others want to see in her."
Esme: "Likes being a Skitty."
Linnea: "She was in a human form for…the whole deal with the badlands, then she was a Skitty for a while…"
Saya shakes her head. "I don't mean what's in the books. You. *MET*. Her. What's she like? What does she care about? Any quirks?"
Saya: "Did you make friends with her?!?"
Linnea: "She's a goddess of the arts, and of the heart and soul. Emotion. We're… slowly coming to more of an understanding, of what we can do together."
Linnea: "So, I'd definitely say so."
Saya grabs Linnea's shoulders, tears flowing freely. "My daughter. My wonderful daughter. Your first Legendary befriending. You're a woman now." …'first'?
Sam Spade raises an eyebrow.
Linnea: "…Interesting."
Sam Spade: "And just how many Legendaries have you…'befriended,' Ms. Maylithos?"
Linnea: "Who have you been making friends with, mother?"
Saya holds up a hand and stretches out all four fingers - then her thumb as well.
Linnea: "You've been holding out on me, mother!" She fake-huffs.
Linnea: "So why don't you elaborate a little?"
Saya: "Eh heh. Well…some are more 'friends' than others. But you have to contract - err, contact with each one on your own terms, to get their power."
Max Thorn: "And then, when we got /back/ from Gaela, Team Stormderp was taking the Jaegers's ordnance. Because they were so soused I half-wondered if they were wetter'n the ocean."
Linnea: "I am fascinated and terrified in equal measure."
Saya: "And they're not all from around Amoda. I went on a trainer's journey myself when I was your age, but it wasn't here. Still, I have a bit of their power."
Esme: "How much is 'a bit'?"
Linnea: "Is this one of those 'kiss and tell' things?"
Saya blushes. "We-e-ell…"
Saya: "Enough to help punch out those tanks?"
Max Thorn: "And then, after we did the Sandbar Harbor gym challenge, we made our way here."
Saya: "If she hasn't told you, I've been training Linnea in arts that go back in our family for generations. Mother to daughter, mother to daughter." She winks at Linnea. "It's why I want to make sure she HAS daughters."
Linnea forces a grin and nods.
Linnea: "Yeah, that's correct."
Esme: "I've seen her leyline work. It's very good! We've exchanged notes."
Saya: "Oh? Do you practice too?"
Esme: "Oui! Wouldn't be a Duval if I didn't."
Linnea: "She's amazing."
Saya blinks. "Duval?"
Linnea: "That's her family!"
Saya's voice abruptly goes neutral. "Are you one of the ones who's been blockading Petro Swamp with poison?"
Linnea: "Wat?"
Esme frowns. "No. That's something I'm actually heading to deal with after this."
Max Thorn: "Very opposed to that branch."
Linnea slowly turns to look at Esme, and…just starts laughing.
Saya: "Unapproved foot traffic gets sick and maybe dies."
Saya: "So…you're *not* one of those?"
Esme glares. "It's not a 'those'. I'm pretty sure the Jaegers are involved in that mess."
Saya: "They are. The Jaeger responsible married into the family and calls herself a Duval, now."
Esme: "…Tha-what now?"
Linnea: "Well ain't that just a son of a bitch."
Saya: "I heard the most accomplished of the younger generation missed the wedding because she had just started her journey. That would be you?"
Linnea: "How convenient."
Esme: "Ou-Y-…Yes. That must have been a quick development."
Sam Spade: "I think she's pretty darned accomplished."
Esme rubs her temples. "I knew I should have head back sooner, but I most certainly didn't want to. Good job, Esme."
Linnea: "This is gonna be fun."
Sam moves over and gives Esme a quick hug. "Don't worry, Esme. We'll take care of it."
Saya: "Well. It's just down Route 11 from here."
Linnea: "Neat."
Max Thorn: "Next stop, I think."
Amelia: "But not tonight. First you rest here. And you're on your journey, ain't ya? You'll want to get the badge here before you go."
Esme smiles at Sam. "Don't mind me, by the time we get there, I will certainly be less distraught, and more furious."
Linnea: "Quite, quite."
Sam Spade: "Good."
Sam Spade: "…You angry is a bit scary, but also very reassuring."
Max Thorn: "Certainly, mom. Wasn't planning on dining and dashing, after all."
Linnea: "It's her force of will."
Just then, Luchs comes in. "Hey everyone! Good news and bad-but-good news."
Sam Spade: "…I'm concerned."
Max Thorn: "…"
Linnea: "Oh boy let's hear it!"
Luchs: "I got a copy of the security footage. It's black and white and wasn't quite aimed right, but you can totally see Saya smack that pichu!"
Saya blushes.
Max Thorn: "And the eevee beam?"
Luchs: "Off-screen, unfortunately."
Luchs: "The other news is, there's a probertunity."
Linnea snorts. "Name it."
Sam Spade: "Prob…lem and opportunity…?"
Esme: "Hm! Good word."
Luchs nods. "Most of Team Stormcloud ran off, but some of them…well, they're hiding around town. We don't think they'll cause any problems after dark, but come the light…weeell, best if we hunt them down."
Linnea: "Great! I can add Local Enforcer to my resume."
Luchs: "Dunno if you want to catch them, drive them away - best if you can just talk them down."
Luchs: "Now, now, Linnea. This is *gym* business. It's more than enough excuse to give you a badge. Heck, all of you. Official gym challenge."
Max Thorn: "We'll get right on it."
Linnea tilts her head back and forth, then cracks her knuckles. "No time like the present!"
Sam Spade: "Yes, let's go!"
Amelia: "At dawn. You're going to get a good meal and a good rest."
Luchs: "Well, no harm if they *want* to scout a bit tonight, is there?"
Amelia harumphs. "How long until that food's ready?"
If there was any doubt that Sam was using food as an excuse to get away from Saya, the look of frustration on her face dispels that. For the split-second before it goes away.
Lambert: "Half an hour at least. I'd say, be back here in an hour?"
Amelia folds her arms. "Saya?"
Saya nods. "60 minutes, starting NOW. Be back here or we'll have the eevees 'collect' you. Right, Amelia?"
Amelia smiles and thumb-ups.
Linnea: "(Good grief…)"
Sam Spade: "…And we have a *time limit.* Yay."
Linnea's pokedex beeps. There is an animated message from Saya, counting down. Where and how she found a 60 minute countdown animation image is not immediately known.
Linnea: "… You're terrifying, mother."
Sam Spade: "Let's go!"
Saya smiles, curtsies, and giggles.
Linnea immediately unseats and starts heading out the door. Quickly.
Sam grabs Esme's hand and drags her out into the…out.
Esme: "Who bwuh-"
Max Thorn stands, and the eevee decides to hop down and follow Max as he leaves.
Esme: "So we need to flush out all the Stormies?"
Linnea waits until they're way far enough out of earshot before turning to Sam, her expression serious and apologetic. "That…that was my mother, Sam. I'm sorry."
The town outside is much as the tourist brochure description depicts it: cobblestone roads with no gaps, trimmed grass lawns, picket fences for most houses, a stream snaking through town with many bridges over it, and cute to an almost but not quite oppressive degree.
Sam Spade shrugs. "Could be an interesting challenge. …Though I gotta say, I was *really* not happy about one of the things she said when we ran into her."
Linnea: "I'm going to tell you something, and this is the truth, from the bottom of my heart. The Maylithos family goes way, way back, and…it's always been as much an adoptive family as it is a bloodline. It never mattered. The power of our family is the power of our souls. Bravado. Bravery. Inspiration. Call it what you will."
Linnea: "But if our lives do ever cross together…then you will be just as much a Maylithos as the rest of us. And anyone we may bring in, as well."
Sam Spade pauses, then gives Linnea a quick kiss on the cheek.
Sam Spade: "Come on! We have Stormderp to catch."
Linnea smiles, a whole hell of a lot more genuinely, then quickens her pace.
Sam realizes she's still holding Esme's hand and lets go.
Linnea just giggles relentlessly.
Esme coughs.
The pile of wrecked armored vehicles still smolders, but it does not seem to be in danger of explosion at this time.
Linnea: "You're great, Sam! You're a hell of a gal."
[OOC] WC GM: So where is the party looking?
Sam Spade draws a deep breath, then starts looking around the wreckage for clues. They may have left tracks.
[OOC] Sam Spade: Perception?
[OOC] WC GM: Sure.
Sam Spade rolled up 5d6: 19 (2 4 5 3 5) (Perception)
Unsurprisingly, a small squad of Stormcloud pokemon are still within the wreckage, taking shelter.
Linnea closes her eyes, thinking… (Would any of them leave behind magical or psychic traces I could use an Occult or spirit skill for?)
Sam moves into view, hands up, clearly empty. Her pokeballs are tucked out of sight, though Malta is circling overhead.
Sam Spade: "Hey there."
Not just taking shelter, on closer inspection, but actually nomming on the wreckage. Terravores and ergovores, obviously, even without seeing which specific species they are.
Esme tosses a Net Ball up, releasing Alexis to the sky.
[OOC] WC GM: Linnea: sure, Occult to try to pick them out. Higher TN, though, since these aren't psychic or ghost types.
One of the pokemon - an aggron - shifts into view, bodily protecting the smaller ones behind.
Sam sits down very slowly, cautiously.
Sam Spade: "We're not here to hurt anyone."
Linnea rolled up 6d6+2: 28 (6 3 4 4 6 3)
Sam Spade: "…Did anyone get hurt earlier?"
Sam Spade: "How many of you are from Gaela?"
The aggron makes a circle in the air with one paw.
Linnea: "An aggron family, of sorts…this is the big brother. There are five more in the wreck."
Sam Spade: "Ah. We just came from there, actually."
Sam Spade: "Does anyone need medical attention?"
Sam Spade: "Are the ones in the wreck injured?"
The aggron folds his arms and shakes his head.
Sam Spade looks up at Linnea, over at Esme, and back at the aggron.
Sam Spade: "So…the people who live here are a little worried you're going to hurt them in the morning."
Sam Spade: "Seeing as how, you know, you brought these things."
Sam reaches out and taps one of the wrecks.
The aggron shrugs.
Linnea: "Maybe we could shift these wrecks out of city limits?"
Sam Spade: "Are you going to?"
The aggron shakes his head, then tears off a chunk of steel, folds it bare-handed, then scarfs it down.
Sam Spade: "Going to eat up and then move on, then?"
Sam Spade: "I'm not going to ask where you're going."
[OOC] WC GM: Pokemon/Medical Ed check, anyone.
Linnea rolled up 6d6+2: 19 (2 3 6 2 1 3)
[OOC] Linnea: Med
Linnea: "Hey, uh…I don't think they're quite supposed to do that…that's -weird-."
Linnea: "Or at least…a lot less safe."
Linnea: "They probably need better, uh, food…than this."
Sam Spade: "…We can provide them with *something*, right?"
[OOC] WC GM: Anyone else want to check, and try to beat 20?
Linnea: "Wonder if there's a metallic vein of something nearby."
[OOC] Esme: Literally impossible
[OOC] Sam Spade: Same.
Esme: "Shards are probably a bit too… pure. I mean I eat them all the time, but I probably shouldn't."
Max Thorn rolled up 6d6: 15 (2 1 1 3 5 3)
[OOC] Max Thorn: gee, thanks.
[OOC] Linnea: I could have gotten to 20 if I had spent an AP xD
[OOC] Esme: Always spend dat AP, it refreshes per scene!
[OOC] WC GM: If you want to retroactively spend it, I'll allow it.
[OOC] Linnea: Yes please!
[OOC] WC GM: PMing updated results
Max Thorn: "You…Do realize there are non-metallic components in there, right?"
Linnea: "Y'know."
Linnea: "If we leave them to it…I think they're trying to clean up after themselves. They'll only eat what they think what they'll like, but there will be a lot less left when they're done."
Linnea: "And…well, they'll be too bellyachey to do anything afterward."
The aggron nods.
Linnea: "Think about how absurd that must have been to them, though. Like riding in a gingerbread tank."
Sam Spade: "…Please don't say that around Jack's parents. They might take it as inspiration."
Max Thorn: "Honestly, let's just put up some 'do not disturb' signs."
Linnea: "… What?"
Linnea: "Are Jack's parents just as weird as mine, then"
Sam Spade: "Alright. Do you know if there are any other St…members of Team Stormcloud around here?"
Sam Spade: "…I'm going to say 'yes' and leave it at that."
The aggron shrugs.
Sam Spade: "Alright. Don't be startled, we're moving away."
Sam Spade: Sam holds her hands open and palms-out, then stands up and backs away from the aggron.
Sam Spade: "Max, do you have any suggestions for a 'do not disturb, street clearance in progress' sign?"
Max Thorn: "Just requisition one from the town. Or two. The forms are online, and they do have an emergency clause."
Sam Spade: "…Oh."
Sam Spade: "…Can…you fill out the forms?"
Max Thorn: "Sure."
Sam Spade: "Alright. Now, if I were an asshole deadbeat dad Pichu, where would I hole up after a human punched the crap out of me…?"
Linnea: "Probably near a Pokemon Center?"
Linnea: "Maybe the nearby alleys."
Max Thorn: "…And a bunch of eevees launched him, remember."
Linnea: "Oh dear."
Sam Spade: "Ah, right. So he got blasted off again. Might not even be in town."
Linnea: "I'm beginning to recognize that there's more power in a simple Eevee than previously thought."
[OOC] WC GM: So, checking the pokemon center, or…?
[OOC] Linnea: I will, just out of diligence.
As the party walks up to the pokemon center, the doors open to let someone out - a short trio, just some pokemon.
Linnea: "Hey, friends!" She greets them, trying to size them up.
A pichu with a roselia on one arm and a kirlia on the other. A very familiar pichu. He does not notice the party until Linnea's call attracts his attention.
Sam Spade: "Your wife misses you, you know."
Sam Spade: "I think you're a dick to leave her alone."
The pichu staggers. The two pokemon on his arms stop, then glare at him.
Linnea internally respects that Pichu's style, because damn.
Side Pokemon: "Rose…" "…LIA?!?!?"
Linnea: "Oh dear."
Sam Spade: "Oops!"
Linnea: "Best get back in those doors, buddy."
The pichu backs away, grinning and waving his arms. "Pi…pi, pichu…chu?"
The roselia and kirlia glare and stomp toward him.
Esme is recording.
Linnea: "GOOD LUCK!"
Esme's recording starts just in time, because seconds later, the pichu breaks and runs, pursued by the roselia and kirlia.
The trio get out of town quickly.
Sam Spade: "…Think the prophet was here?"
Linnea: "I'm not sure but damn he should have seen that coming."
Sam Spade: "Well, you know what Gaelans say about Amoda."
Sam Spade: "What happens in Amoda…no, that's not what they say."
Esme: "Good, good."
Sam Spade proceeds into the pokecenter, looking for any other 'victims of the recent incident.'
Linnea follows.
Sam almost runs into a xatu, levitating out.
The xatu's entire body swivels, like a floating statue taking in the party.
Sam Spade: "Hi."
Sam Spade: "I was just wondering if you were here."
Esme: "Never too far behind, we see."
And then there is a telepathic voice. familiar to part of the party. "The stench of Lugia's favor remains, and has gotten stronger. You choose danger."
Linnea: "Ain't that the truth."
Sam Spade: "…We did and we will continue to choose so."
Sam Spade: "Did you not make a similar decision when you came to Amoda?"
Xatu: "I only endanger my body. All four of you have favors branded on your souls. Fortunately you no longer have the master invader with you."
Linnea: "… What does that even -mean-?"
Xatu: "You were not present upon my last encounter with your allies, so I will explain."
Xatu: "They were accompanying the master invader. The…how do you put it…leader of Team Jaeger."
Esme: "Oh right."
Esme: "Did we never explain that?"
Linnea: "Please do."
Esme: "Well, Tim."
Linnea: "Ah."
Xatu: "Has the master invader been reunited with himself?"
Sam Spade: "Not yet."
Sam Spade: "We have a bit more walking to do, I think."
Sam Spade: "…Assuming it's possible, and needs to be done, and you're not misinterpreting."
Sam Spade: "…You see the marks, so there's that. But still."
Xatu: "Curious. I-" The xatu suddenly turns towards Linnea's house, looking in its direction through the pokemon center's walls. "You are being hunted."
Sam Spade: "…Did your mom's timer go off?"
Moments later a multi-part howl reaches the party's ears.
Linnea: "Aw, shit."
Sure enough, the timer on Linnea's pokedex flashes "00:00" .
Sam Spade: "Welp. We'd best move!"
Linnea: "Well, let's head back."
Xatu: "May we talk again when you are safe."
Sam Spade: "I'm looking forward to it! Mostly."
Linnea: "See ya!"
Xatu: "Please survive long enough for that to happen."
Esme: "Planning to!"
The ground shakes a bit, and subtle menace darkens the air.
Sam waits till they are a bit away, then glances at Esme. "You know what I hate about dealing with prophets? You can never tell if they're predicting a genuine threat or just perceiving the world in strange ways."
Here and there in the shadows, movement can be seen.
Sam Spade: "Because I'm 90% sure that menace is a bunch of Eevees."
Sam Spade: "…And 10% sure we're going to be attacked with violence."
Sam's judgment is soon proven correct, as the eevee swarm bursts from cover to tackle, cuddle, and lick the party, emphasis on "cuddle" .
Linnea: "OH GODS."
Movement is hampered being in the middle of an eevee pile, though slow movement back toward the manor is possible.
Saya and Amelia step under a streetlight. Saya facepalms. "This is NOT what I thought you meant."
Amelia: "They're fetching. In their own way."
Sam Spade: "They are quite-" *lick* "-fetching, I think?"
Saya: "Yeah, yeah. C'mon, you! Dinner's getting cold!"
Esme: "Trying-" She gently digs her way out from the pile. "-Covered in Eevee."
Sam Spade: "We need to talk to the Xatu prophet later on. The pichu is running out of town chased by two ladies that weren't told he was married."
Sam Spade: "And some of the aggrons are taking care of the remains of the vehicles before they leave."
Linnea: "Yup. Pretty nifty way of dealing with the mess, I think."
Saya: "You're planning to talk them out of town?"
Amelia: "That's the kind of friends my boy'll make." She nods. "Good start!"
Sam Spade: "…If we hadn't just been to Gaela, that would have been a 'probably.' But we did, so that's a 'definitely.'"
Sam Spade: "Unless they try to fight us, in which case we'll let Nurse Joy talk them out of town."
Max Thorn: "The aggron family is cleaning up their mess, or at least the parts they can."
The eevees herd the party to a meal of sliced and sauteed beef, vegetables carved into figurines and dusted with sugar, bread with various cream-butter spreads with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, and apple cider that approximates light wine.
Linnea: "Whoa…amazing…"
Sam Spade: "That is amazing."
Lambert: "Ah, it's nothing special."
Amelia smirks and elbows him. "Ha! This is the fanciest meal you've made in a month. Tells us how much you missed our kiddo here."
Max Thorn: "Mooooom!"

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