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    It was not every day that a person expressed genuine curiosity at Quinn’s condition, and Quinn took full advantage of Briget’s invitation. He told Bridget about its abduction, how xe was found dead on Mount Coronet, and how only a spirit and Cassiopeia remained. Even when a shorts-wearing Youngster ran up and demanded Quinn battle his brand-new Starly, Quinn’s focus was still mostly focused on her new companion. It was a good thing Normandie was used to fending for herself. “It does not affect my usual day-to-day activities as much as you would expect. I still walk along the material plane. I still consume food for nutrients, although, of course, more spiritual fare is preferred. Oh, use Tackle!” Quinn called out. Normandie hissed and charged right at the Starly, who flapped its wings in an attempt to escape, but by the time it was airborne, it had extra Ratffian weight keeping it down, and the two tumbled to the ground in a pile. Quinn continued, “Perhaps the part that is most odd to me is the occasional reaction I get. People identify me as strange, which is understandable, but when I explain my situation, it only seems to amplify their assessment. I do not see anything strange about it. You said it yourself. Ghost-type Pokemon exist. Can Human ghosts not also exist?” Bridget nodded. “You’ve got a really good point! Tho’, ‘sides yourself, all I’ve ‘eard of ghosts is just rumors. Bet everyone’ll fink this’s just hearsay too when I go back an’ tell ‘em about you.” “I understand,” Quinn said, returning Bridget’s nod. “I do not have a way to prove myself, but I do not have a particular desire for one either. Tail Whip, Normandie, let us make this next hit count!” Normandie was in the middle of dodging the Starly's counterattack but as she ran around the field of battle, she did manage a few cracks with her tail as requested. Quinn said, “Thankfully, I do have other things outside of being a full-time ghost. I have my art. I have this journey.” They broke zir attention completely away from the battlefield and stared at Bridget directly. “What are you besides a Pokémon Professor to-be?” It took a moment for Bridget to respond with anything more than “Hmm, difficult question, that.” She watched the two Pokémon battle even when Quinn did not. She came up with the answer: “A gym battle fan, I suppose. Dunno how the rest of the world handles ‘em, but in Galar they're a big deal. I’d even bet I’m one of the top fans of my hometown’s gym leader.” Quinn widened hir eyes. “Oh, your town has a gymnasium as well? Everyone in Eterna City knows the movements of our gymnasium leader, Gardenia. She is surely the city’s foremost celebrity. Even those who do not follow League movements know Gardenia. And why should they not? Everybody sees the influx of fresh young upstarts. We all want to succeed.” Quinn felt herself get a little melancholy, but ey pressed on anyway. “I want to succeed. What I did not have the opportunity for in life…” But the moment passed quickly. Quinn whipped back around to the battle. The Youngster seemed annoyed and was recalling his Pokémon, but Quinn put a stop to that. “Now, Normandie! Pursuit!” It was amazing how fast the Ratffian could run when she needed to, glowing with that purple aura as she raced forward to catch the Starly before it could fully retreat into its ball, a snarl so loud that even Quinn had to flinch. But Normandie did let up as soon as all could confirm the Starly had fainted. Quinn was glad for that, at least. “Well done, Normandie!” Quinn said, digging through faer bag. “Come get your reward!” The Youngster pouted. “It’s not as fun when you’re just battling a Pokémon. I wanted to banter too,” he said. Only then did Quinn realize just what he had done. “Oh! I apologize. Here, if you go and heal up your Starly we can go again if you like.” The Youngster wanted to sulk instead. Quinn forewent taking any money from the boy, though. It was the least ze could do. All Quinn could do after that was wish the Youngster luck on finding an opponent who would better respect his time and effort. Yet still, Quinn was happy for the victory. E turned back to Bridget, a smile escaping their lips despite her best efforts. “I think it is time for me to go looking for more Pokémon,” Quinn said. They pointed at the statue off in the distance. “I am going to go this way and see what I can find.”
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    It took Carmen a moment to realize that she hadn't just looped back into the previous room. Only when Brian mentioned the time did she look at her own phone again. She had used it as evidence to figure out that she was in some kind of fake room but she didn't even realize how long the whole thing had gone on for. It was at this moment that Brian started taking a step towards her and the girl's instinctive response was to back away, though on the floor she could only hope to shuffle her position without moving very far. As the man reached down and grabbed for her hand, the girl's terror that the monster was coming for her again was soon abated as she realized he was just dragging her through the building. With the man's forceful nature pushing the both of them forward the girl let out a sigh of relief, knowing that if he were a fake he would've asked anything about her well being or need to take a break first. Wordlessly following along, the girl's silence was only broken with a small, "geh," in surprise as she saw Shiki. As it turned out her night wasn't over yet, though that was clear enough from how the last mission she and Brian had been on ended. As Shiki introduced themselves, Carmen's eyes widened as she pointed to herself saying loudly, "I- I'm Carmen!" She looked back and forth between Shiki and Brian as if too say, "you have to believe me," before her attention turned to the burgers. The girl's face lit up with excitement at the sight of the fast food, only to then drop and blink several times. She was positive she had just mentioned McDonalds not a moment ago...the girl looked back towards the driver's seat, before looking back to the burgers. Oh well, it was free food. The girl's hunger was enough to at least keep her paranoia from getting in the way, as she grabbed a burger and began to eat. After a brief period of choking, having eaten her first burger at an alarming speed, the girl looked back to the driver's seat and said, "u-um...thanks...." After a moment longer the girl then asked, "do you uh, think it was a ghost or demon?" To the both of them.
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    All the Aeons come up to you offering to give you the power of their path. You don't know how the power will manifest or what will happen once you accept what do you do?
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    wtf i didn't have to bump it myself what is this anyway it's kinda tough because the paths are sorta intentionally extremes in a way. Like Destruction there's some stuff there that actually fits but obviously I don't want to break everything. Honestly it's probably somewhere between Nihility and Preservation even though that feels almost at odds. It's actually Voracity because I always hunger 138
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    Walking up the road, not paying any heed to the conversation the two of her teammates were having Jacklyn said, "oh there you guys are. You'll never believe this! There was some guy with a cool looking mask just now. I wonder if he's also an adventurer?" Before she could get her answer though Jacklyn's eyes immediately shifted to the statue in the center, "Whoa! What the heck is that?" The girl walked on the path, curiously eyeing the statue before walking into the marsh proper. The girl seemed to be bothered by her shoes sinking into the mud at first, disliking how much harder it made it to walk, but shrugged and persevered without much worry. Up close and looking at the statue, the girl couldn't help but feel this strange sensation in her head as she tried to figure out just what it was supposed to be. It certainly wasn't a person but if it was supposed to resemble a pokemon she didn't have the faintest idea of which one it would be. It didn't help that she was developing a growing headache, of all the luck, making it harder to figure out anything about it. Furrowing her brow in annoyance, closing her eyes as she put a hand to her chin the girl opened them back up as she thought of something. She then looked back at her map and raised an eyebrow. "Why is there even a statue here?" Jacklyn had grown up in a big city and as such she was very familiar with statues being every which way. She didn't know the purpose of most of them but she generally thought they served some kind of symbol beyond just decoration, or they were some rich person's very expensive decoration for the whole city to see. Not to mention, even the older ones, she still had some idea of what they were trying to depict. Perhaps this was what lead to this sudden insight, though the girl didn't really have anything else to offer. Looking back to the rest of the group with a smile on her face she said, "someone take a picture. After all, this is our first major landmark on our journey, so we gotta capture it in a photo right?" The girl winced as her head still hurt, growing a little impatient though her adventurer's spirit still burned brightly. "Oh, I'll take one for you guys if you want too!"
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    Brian didn’t do anything to the new Carmen that appeared in front of him -- she just fell over on her own. There was a part of him that wondered if he was supposed to test this new person in front of him, like, get her to say something that only the real Carmen would know or whatever, but two things stopped him. The first was he didn’t want to get too paranoid. A password just set the point of failure back a bit. Who was to say what someone could and couldn’t figure out? And if he went down that road, well, then he’d just be back where he started. The second reason, though, and the more important one in his eyes, was there was no way something trying to copy Carmen could ever be as dopey as the real thing. The fake Carmen had tried, but it had to give up the ghost eventually. His phone buzzed. Brian’s first reaction to the news was, “Holy shit, we spent how long trapped in there?” But he didn’t want to think about it, so he just let the expression hang in the air while he read the notification. “Yeah, okay, we’re done.” He grabbed the box of seals and a flashlight in one hand and offered the other hand out to Carmen. Unless she picked herself up, Brian dragged her along out of the building. It was relieving to see Shiki, if only because it meant he didn’t have to drive this time, especially this late at night. Becoming aware of the time made Brian’s brain realize how tired it was supposed to be, even with a sleep schedule as weird as his was. That inner paranoia bubbled up again in a “How could he be sure anything was real anymore?” sort of way, but Shiki seemed to know exactly what Brian was thinking. “We ARE Shiki,” they said. In fairness, Brian thought, nothing could be as weird as Shiki was for the same reason nothing would ever be able to replicate Carmen. But he didn’t let that get in the way of a good snark. “Well, you’re welcome, I guess,” Brian said. “Had to deal with a worse version of Carmen that I think was about to eat me, but the seals are still working, so I guess that’s good. Do we have to go apologize to this ghost too? Oh thank god, you got McDonald’s.” Not that he was a particular fan of hamburgers -- there was a reason he took Carmen to tacos the night they’d met -- but just as he had only just now realized how tired he was, the missing hours had not negated his growing hunger. He snatched the top burger in the stack and unwrapped it messily. He grimaced after one bite. “Get them without pickles next time,” Brian said, but he kept eating.
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    i have 2 whole posts on this forum how crazy
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    you right I did open it and i'd fuckin do it again
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    "What keeps you up at night?" The fact that my sleep schedule is fucked beyond belief.
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    Nate struggled to follow the conversation between Quinn and the newcomer. The woman had an incredibly thick accent, and he had no idea what region she must have been from judging off of it. No one in Hoenn or Kanto or Johto sounded like that; he had met or been to all three places at different points in his life. Quinn didn’t sound like that, and she was from Sinnoh. That left Alola, Galar, and, uhh… Nathan blanked. There’s so many regions. How can they expect me to remember m’all? He really had tried to get it down back when he was in school. It was just, well, studying individual climates and weather patterns and the best ways to survive in them had seemed so much more worthwhile than studying the cultures or the names of land masses. Nate realized he was zoning out of the conversation when he heard Quinn say, “Of course he is alright with that,” while gesturing to him. Wait, what was he alright with? Oh well. He was sure Quinn wouldn’t agree to just anything on his behalf. The boy seemed smart enough to trust. A moment later he pieced together that the new person was asking to travel with them. Nate smiled at her and stepped forward eagerly, offering her his hand to shake. “Yeah! ‘Course you can! Journeys are better with good company, right?” If the woman accepted the handshake, she would find that his grip was firm, and his hand surprisingly calloused for a trainer just starting on his journey. Nate would pull his hand back and immediately reach for the Poké Ball on his belt. He clicked the button once to enlarge it to full size, then again to release Peat. The sea-bear materialized in a glow of light and butted his flippers into the ground playfully, rumbling when he saw the newcomer and waddling up to her to push his cold nose into her leg. “This is my best bud, Peat. He’s the only Pokémon I got right now, but he has enough personality for a whole team!” Peat showcased this by rumbling again and blowing a stream of bubbles into the air, showing off his newly learned move. A thin mist of water showered down on the party. “We’re aiming to be champions!”
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