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Pokémon Crossroads (IC/PG-16/Not Accepting)

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Pokémon Crossroads

OOC

Welcome to the World of Pokémon!

This world is inhabited by many creatures called Pokémon, each more unique and fantastical than the last. The people of this world have learned to coexist alongside Pokémon. Living with them, proving themselves in battle alongside them, and researching their many mysteries. There is a wide variety of Pokémon, just as there are a variety of Pokémon Trainers! Some challenge the Pokémon League, some attempt to rise to the top of the Contest world. And some take a different path entirely, one that leads to a grand adventure...

 

Aether Paradise

 

The island was artificial; Man-made to house and service Pokémon. A large, stark white collection of rectangular structures all welded together upon a central floating base in the middle of Alola's ocean. The soft rolling of the waves and the screeching of the Wingull that flew through the air were the only sounds that surrounded the great Aether Paradise. 

A video feed was playing, projected on the wall of a dimly lit office. It was a wide shot from far away, depicting a rolling hill that rose up high above a small village, up against the bright morning sky. The plume of debris and the large moving object that had collided with the hilltop was exceptionally visible against the backlighting of the sunrise. The thin form in the desk chair leaned forward, surveying the feed as it was paused, looking intently at the spherical form that was frozen against the Alola sky.

"Do you think it could be one of them?" asked his companion, her voice sounding quite loud in the quiet room. 

The thin form at the desk considered briefly before saying, with a steady, calm voice. "Perhaps not... The signs aren't identical to past incidents... But it wouldn't hurt to check."

"Paranoid, are we?" asked his companion cheerily. But his tone did not lighten as he answered.

"Aether's made enough mistakes. I'd like to get ahead of one, for a change. Get us past what got us here in the first place."

"You say 'us' like they were your decisions, Mr. President. They were your mother's."

"I'm just the acting President... And my point stands. Who here can go?"

"I'll see what I can wrangle up. We have some adventurous new hires lately; Perhaps they'll do!"

 

A Day In Paradise

The rest of the island was not so somber. A whirlwind of activity abounded in the Conservation Area on the second floor. A great sprawling array of greenery and artificial rivers ran through the floor, all framed by sleek railed walkways that collected at rounded platforms. Often these walkways would be crowded with the visitors that now regularly toured the place, invited by the acting President. But today the greenery was where the real action was. An absolute mess of Pokémon were scattered throughout the garden, of all types and shapes. Corsola, Wingull, Crabrawler, Fomantis, Mudbray, Pichu, Staryu, a few Exeggutor that stretched high up above towards the domed glass ceiling and the bright sun beyond, and even a massive, sprawling Snorlax were crowding up the garden, with a handful of white-uniformed Aether employees struggling to move their way through them without trampling on the smaller ones.

"Alright, everybody, hustle, hustle! And no, I do not mean the ability!" A tall, lean man in Aether white with slicked-back hair and a large pair of green spherical sunglasses over his eyes marched through the ranks of employees, clapping his hands together loudly to punctuate his words. The empluyees largely tried to stay out of the way; Assistant Branch Chief Faba was well known to be an unholy terror when he didn't have his orders followed to the letter.

Faba held out a white bag, composed of a biodegradable white material and filled to the brim with lozenges of an orange and blue color. "Every Pokémon in our care needs their dose of medicine for inoculation!" he called out, almost being drowned out from the various calls and trills of the Pokémon underfoot. "Be sure to apply the proper dosage, ESPECIALLY to the Snorlax! But first... Somebody needs to take care of the Exeggutor!" He pointed up the great trunks of the four massive Coconut Pokémon, who were staring down at him and smiling dopily. "One dose for each head!"

He scowled, pivoting on the spot as he squinted through a small flock of Pikipek. The ones that were more old hat at the Foundation quickly dove out of his sight, some behind trees, others into the nearby river, and one behind the Snorlax, narrowly avoiding being crushed as it rolled over. Finally, Faba's eyes settled on his chosen victims for the task.

"You! You! You! Aaaaaaand... YOU!" he called out dramatically, pointing with a flourish on each one. "You four! Take three of these," he yelled out over the din, holding out the bag of medicine, "and get them to those Exeggutor! I don't care if you get them to lean down, lie down, or if you shimmy up their neck, just get it done!"

Spoiler

Here we go guys; Small little round of posting to introduce your characters while dealing with these Exeggutor. Feel free to narrate that however you please. And welcome to the RP, mates!

 

Edited by Faytl

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"You! You! You! Aaaaaaand... YOU!" Faba called out dramatically, pointing with a flourish on each one, ending on Kai. "You four! Take three of these," he yelled out over the din, holding out the bag of medicine, "and get them to those Exeggutor! I don't care if you get them to lean down, lie down, or if you shimmy up their neck, just get it done!"

"Ya really could've just chosen me for this, y'know!"

Rushing forward, Kai snagged the bag from Faba's hand, flashing a grin from ear to ear. However, she slowed as she approached the Exeggutor, gently placing a hand on it and looking up at it with a smile. As she walked around its body, she kept her hand going along the body, down the tail... And eventually gently patting the head at the end of the tail.

"Alrighty, stay still for juuust a moment..." She cooed softly as she produced the lozenge and attempted to feed it to the smallest head, "I know, you guys are skittish, so take your time."

Kai hummed softly as she waited for the head to respond, giving it a pat and nod of approval once it did. With that done, she walked past it, climbing up the body of the Pokémon, then quickly shimmied up the neck, finding herself just below the three heads looking down at her. She gave each a quick pat to their cheek, grinning up at them, before producing one lozenge each and feeding it to them. These three were much simpler than the little head, who could set them all off if it wasn't handled properly. Once the three heads had chewed, she swirled around the body as she slid down the trunk, hopping free and leaning against the big Pokemon.

"They're really sweet, y'know? Just big and awkward."

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Amelia hummed to herself as she pulled herself out of bed slowly, a little sigh escaping her as she rubbed at her cheek gently. She took a small glance around, occasionally when she woke up, it still felt a bit odd to see her new surroundings, even though she had been here for a couple of weeks now…

She set her feet down on the ground as she moved herself to her trunk, opening it up to dig around a tiny bit. The uniform she had been given was settled on the top of it, but a bit further down… She pulled out a small journal, opening it up to jot down something real quickly… And then closed it, slipping it back into the trunk as she got that Aether uniform out and set it across her bed. As she did, a little fluttering noise from the other end of the room caught her attention, a little smile on her face as Artemis hopped around a bit. “There you are…”

She moved over to scoop up the tiny bird, holding him up into the air as he started to wriggle around in her hands, an agitated caw escaping him. She snickered gently, “You really shouldn’t be hopping around the room first thing in the morning. If you need something, just wake me up.”

The little bird tilted its head for a moment as it looked at her, that eye narrowing just a tad, before she let it flutter free. He perched at the end of her bed as she returned her attention to preparing for the day… She was scheduled to deal with tasks in the Conservation Area today… She had been in there a handful of times since she arrived, one particular task involving injured Corsola stuck with her particularly thanks to the pain they had been in…

She collected the outfit and entered the attached bathroom, closing the door behind her to start getting dressed. It took a few minutes to get herself ready, between changing clothes, brushing her teeth, straightening her hair and tying it back into a ponytail… But it was definitely worth it. It might not be her usual style… But she felt like she looked the part! She was ready for the day.

⊱ ────── {⋅. ✯ .⋅} ────── ⊰

She made her way out of her room after a few minutes of waking up, she had time to get a quick breakfast, but… She really didn’t want to. Something warm to drink would’ve been enough, but honestly, she didn’t want to do that either right now, mostly from laziness. As she closed the door, Artemis hopped from the ground into the air, fluttering up before perching on top of her head. That hat that came with the Aether uniform definitely made a good cushion between the two of them. She let out a little laugh, reaching up to give the bird a pat, before starting to make her way through the foundation towards the second floor…

As the elevator brought her up to the brightly lit real-fake habitat, her hand moved up to cover her eyes a tiny bit. The real light was an adjustment when she was coming out of the artificially lit interior of the massive floating fortress… She took a small look around, keeping an eye out as she moved to avoid stepping on any of the wandering, smaller Pokemon. Things weren’t due to start getting busy just yet, but… She took off from the main path towards a smaller, beach-like section where a small handful of Corsola were. She hummed gently, looking over them, the stubbed horns that had been gnawed on were still bandaged up, which was a relief...

"Alright, everybody, hustle, hustle! And no, I do not mean the ability!"

She blinked, the voice… That was the Assistant Chief… She had heard some rather unsavory rumors about the man from some of the longer term volunteers at the branch, bits of idle gossip probably, but she still wasn’t super excited to be working around him. He seemed a bit… High strung. Either way, she wasn’t quite paying attention as people had started to dive out of sight, she was still a bit focused on her examining of the Corsola that were injured before…

Right up until the moment he started to call out who was doing it. She blinked, sitting up as she turned her attention towards who was being called out… And she was one of the few who hadn’t ducked out of the way. She gulped for a moment, rubbing at her cheek for a moment as she started to stand up, that was… Unfortunate. She wasn’t quite sure how to deal with one of these creatures… She approached Faba and plucked up the medication for the Exeggutor…

“Okay, Artemis, I need you… H-Hey!” The Rookidee had taken off from her head already, fluttering its way up towards the giant tree Pokemon. Her eyes widened as the bird rested itself on top of the leafy top of the Exeggutor, a low groan escaping her, “Hey, I didn’t say you could do that!” She waved up at the bird… Which promptly hopped around, turning it’s back to Amelia as she huffed out gently. “Stubborn little…”

As she tried to get the bird’s attention, the Exeggutor watched her hopping up and down, those dopey looking heads alternating attention between her. As the other girl started shimmying up the neck of her charge, the one that Amelia was dealing with had started to kneel over slowly, that neck bending down. She blinked for a moment, a little laugh escaping her, “Aw. Are you helping me get that lazy bird back?” She grinned, giving the side of one of those heads a little, gentle pat, before starting to fish around for the provided medicine.

“If you could each just take one of these…” She hummed gently as she started to administer the medication to the different heads… Then hopping up, she grabbed her Rookidee right from the Exeggutor’s top. “Hmph! You’re lucky that the Exeggutor was nicer than you right now.” She turned the little bird around in her hands as it started to wriggle about, chirping about before it popped free, settling back down on top of her hat as she let out a tiny sigh, “… That works...”

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"You! You! You! Aaaaaaand..."

This... was not part of Tia's plans for the day. The goal was to fill out her checklist of daily tasks in Aether Paradise, slip out before Faba noticed her, then meet up with Stacy from accounting. While Tia never cared much for causing workplace gossip, she'd be lying if she did anything to stymie the rumors about the two. Which... was Stacy's idea. Come to think of it, a lot of stuff was Stacy's idea. Made sense, since Stacy was smarter, had more life experience, and--

"YOU!"

Oh, right, the task Faba had set his victims to. It was time to give the exeggutors their meds. She wasn't as athletic as Kai, who could just climb straight up their necks apparently, but Tia could handle a job like this just fine. She wouldn't be much of an Aether Paradise employee if she couldn't, would she? Checking out the ones that hadn't been medicated yet, Tia set her sights on the one nearest the snorlax, doing snorlax things, lazing about and sleeping peacefully. Hopefully he wouldn't mind a bit of foot traffic on that big belly of his. Tia begrudgingly took her share of the medicine from Faba, and trudged on over to the big sleeper in the room. With a jumping start, Tia started climbing up the round creature, onto its belly. That only got her some of the way up though.

Damn. These things were tall. With some more jumping up and climbing onto things though, Tia was just about able to make it to the Exeggutor's heads. "You're an awfully tall bunch, aren't you?" Tia asked, pulling the meds out of her pocket and giving each head its dose, one at a time. Once she was pleased with her work, and after a bit of hesitation, Tia jumped from her perch, grabbing the tree pokemon by the incredibly long trunk, and shimmying down its length, back to the floor. If only I had wings or something...

But that was the immediate task done. Now she could return to her regularly-scheduled afternoon. Meet up with Stacy, and... come to think of it, where was Primo? Not that he was a regular in this room - if anything, this was the least likely place to find him - but Tia didn't want him causing any trouble. Or was today fridge cleaning day? Was that today? He loved helping with that. No small wonder, with the bottomless appetite he had. Finding him was probably a good idea, just to make sure he wasn't getting into something he wasn't supposed to.

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"You! You! You! Aaaaaaand... YOU!"

While it wasn’t visible underneath the bug-catcher’s ensemble, Charlie’s eyes were wide, his teeth chattering silently. Why did he say ‘YOU’ all extra-loud when he pointed at me? What is he thinking? What does he know? Charlie did his best not to hyperventilate as the other new recruits were so eager to help out. How does everyone else know what they are doing? Did they used to work in Pokemon Centers? Bibi hovered closely behind Charlie, lightly nudging on his back as if urging him to join in and help the rest. It felt like only an instant later that two had already climbed up and down the tall trunks, and another somehow even convinced the pokemon to lean down. Charlie felt incredibly in over their head.

His eyes darting back and forth between Faba and the other newbies, Charlie was struck with inspiration. A place of respite! Like lightning, Charlie had unwound the scarf from his neck, letting loose about five feet of fabric, though his face was still almost completely obscured by yet more coils of the seemingly endless garment. I have never seen one of these things before, but it shouldn’t be much harder than climbing that light post in Motostoke when I wanted a closer look at the Ribombee sitting on top! With a series of deep breaths, Charlie puffed his chest out to psych himself up. He could practically feel himself mimicking everyone else’s confidence as he mistakenly swallowed a huge mouthful of air. ”That’s some pretty good climbing technique, but you all ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Let me show you how it’s done!”

Looping the end of his scarf around the trunk of the last remaining Exeggutor, Charlie began scaling the pokemon, using the scarf for horizontal stability as he walked upward, as if it were a gravity-defying log bridge. When he reached the top, he lowered his scarf just enough for only the Exeggutor to see his face clearly, matching their grins with one of his own. Bibi followed closely, buzzing in conversation with the grass-type while Charlie administered the vaccine. Now for the best part… Triumphantly, Charlie sat atop the huge leaves of the coconut pokemon, looking down upon the rest through his protective shroud. A bit of personal space. Much better. His smile was smug as his Combee cheerfully buzzed beside him.

”C’mon, Mr Fava, don’t you have something more difficult?”
 

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Faba stood with crossed arms and cross expression, watching the four go about the medication of the Exeggutor pensively from behind his sunglasses. Watched Kai shimmy up the Pokemon's neck, Amelia coax the head down, Tia make the treacherous climb up the sleeping Snorlax, and Charlie make a vertical bridge with his scarf. The first and last in particular seemed to cause a thin smile to move across his face, one that didn't reach his large sunglasses.

"That's Assistant Branch Chief Faba, Charles!" he yelled up. He seemed to deliberately be putting less emphasis on the word 'Assistant'. "And if that's not enough for you four..." A diabolical smirk painted itself across his face as he gestured behind him to a pile of large bags overflowing with the same medicine. "Someone still needs to feed the Snorlax."

The word 'feed' stirred something in the sleeping Pokemon. The rhythmic snoring slowed as its great bulk shifted, looking up with a sudden, dedicated interest. The other Aether employees drew away, whitening as they looked to where the four were gathered at the base of the Exeggutor.

At that point a pleasant female voice came over the intercom. "Branch Chief Wicke to Assistant Branch Chief Faba!"

Faba blinked, looking over his shoulder with surprise to the nearest speaker. "Eh? Wicke?" He scowled visibly.

"Can you please send Kai, Tia, Amelia aaaand Charlie to the briefing room in Observation? I'll need them for the day... and maybe more beyond that. We're not quite sure yet, we'll let you know once we figure it out!" A cheerful giggle crept through the speaker that seemed to fill Faba with rage, if his stiffened posture and clenched fists were anything to go by. "Hope you four are ready for a bit of adventure!"

"... Fine!" he barked, whirling on the four and waving a hand. "Go on! That leaves the rest of you to-" he turned back and saw that all the Aether employees aside from Kai, Amelia, Charlie and Tia had rushed away at the stirring of the Snorlax. "feed... the Snorlax..." His face drew itself into an expression of horror as he felt a large, rotund shadow pass over him completely. He turned with a sweating brow to see the great beige belly of Snorlax, looking down at him with a big, dopey smile. "N-n-now... Easy-"

THUD

- - - - - - -

Melemele Sailing!

The wind blew past as the four stood upon the deck of the small boat, not able to hear each other too well over the roar of the motor and the whipping of the wind. They had only known they were close to their destination when they had seen the driver (an Aether employee named Nicholas who had apologized for the motor's noise in advance) wave to them from his spot at the helm. It was just over two hours since they had been called away from Faba, and been called to Observation...

- - - - - - -

"Oh! Hello, all of you!" The violet-haired Branch Manager Wicke had been embroiled with a collection of photographs on the central table of the small briefing room that overlooked the glass canopy of the Conservation Area they had just left. She straightened from her seat, greeting each of them with an excited ushering to their seats. "I've got something very interesting to show all of you," she had told them once everyone was seated. She slid the photos towards them. They were various angles of a squat mountain, each one showing an oblong shape silhouetted against morning sky before it crashed into the high rock. "We detected this earlier today, some foreign object falling on Melemele, as you see here," she explained, pointing to the oblong shape. 

"We're a little short-handed on our exploration and observation teams after all the restructuring the President- Well, acting President, I mean, with all the restructuring he's been doing." The mysterious acting President. None of them had spoken with him, just seen the thin blonde boy who couldn't be much older than they were as he stood at the fringes of Aether activity with a serious expression on his face at all times, contrasted sharply to the ever-pleasant Wicke at his side. 

"SO, because of that, I figured I'd go to all of you guys! Your employee paperwork shows you all have a penchant for exploring, seeing what you can find." She gave Tia a good-natured smile. "I thought you all might be interested in looking into this; After all, it might be something that's harmful to the habitat of the Pokemon wherever it landed. If it is, we'd like Aether eyes on it, so we can see to its removal safely. And who knows; A lot of Pokemon are supposedly from space; Maybe you four will stumble on one waiting for you up there!" She clapped her hands together. "So: What do you say?"

- - - - - - -

When the four had left, after securing enough of their belongings to hold them over for a day or two, Wicke had assured them that someone would be waiting for them at the Ferry Terminal to escort them to lodgings for the night, but she had been so excited that by the time they were all seen onto the boat she had quite forgotten to tell them who it was. Fortunately, it was rather apparent. 

"Take a look!" Nicholas called out to them over the quieting motor as he coasted the boat towards the great city of Hau'oli. "Think that's your guy?" He let out a good-natured laugh as he pointed to a tan-skinned man wearing shorts and a lab coat open over a bare chest in the afternoon rays of the Alola sun, arms high over his head to reveal a white sign almost as long as he was tall, with "AETHER!" scrawled across it, standing on a Ferry Terminal that looked more like a miniature boardwalk, littered with pedestrians and their Pokemon sitting at various tables and benches as they took in the scenery of the beach city.

"Alola!" the man called, waving cheerily. He tossed the sign aside to rush down the Ferry, catching a line and tying it to the boat. "You must be the four Chief Wicke sent!" he said happily, reaching out to help any over the small gap between boat and dock who needed it. "Kukui's the name, pleased to meet all of you!" He noticed a gust of wind snatch at his sign, and he hurriedly reached out and grabbed it, looking sheepish. "Woo! Better be careful of that. And THIS!" He reached down to the ground where he had been standing, pulling a long box towards him. "Wicke told me you might be heading into something a little hairy up there tomorrow, and that most of you, except the scarfed gentleman here-" He paused to give a cheerful salute to Charlie- "only had one Pokemon to take with you! Figured I might be able to do something about that, just in case you need 'em!" 

He reached out with a foot, giving a deft kick to the side of the box. It popped open, briefly exposing three freshly polished Pokeballs. They swiftly burst open, and onto a nearby deck table laden with malasadas flashed three darts of white light that coalesced into-

"Rowlett, Litten, and Popplio; A touch on the uncommon side, which Wicke told me might interest you!" The three Pokemon all called out as they settled themselves comfortably on their own corners of the table. Kukui strode around the table, pulling chairs away and giving the four a welcome smile. "So eat up a bit, I imagine you must be a bit tired from your ride; We'll get to know each other a while and we can work out if these guys will head up towards this falling object with you tomorrow! Sound good, cousin?"

 

Spoiler

Alright! Feel free to ask Wicke any questions in flashback, I can let you know any answers she would give you to include in your posts, converse with Kukui, even each other on the boat if you like! And naturally, you guys (with the exception of Charlie) have a group of starters to contest for. You do not have to take them, but may if you like. Feel free to work that out in the Discord 🙂 Speaking which:

For these starters they each have predetermined moves but you may determine things like nature and gender yourselves as you see fit. Here are their moves:

Rowlett- Leafage, Peck, Growl, Steel Wing

Litten- Fury Swipes, Ember, Growl, Shadow Claw

Popplio- Water Gun, Growl, Disarming Voice, Icy Wind

 

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The task assigned to the group by Wicke seemed like one Kai would like. She knew most of Alola by the back of her hand by this point, and it would give her a good chance to show others how great it was! Sure, it was also to investigate, but that was fine. It was probably just a small concern, considering how united Alola tended to be.

While the others took the ferry, Kai simply left her belongings on the boat... then let Noa out of her ball and straight into the water, earning a smile and wave.

"Hey there~" Kai called out, taking off her top to reveal the swimsuit beneath, tossing it onto the ferry as well before hopping into the water, earning an enthusiastic tackle from the Mantyke. "I know, I know, I can't let you out as much when we're here, but I we're gonna be out and about for a few days. Ready for some surfing?"

Climbing atop the rather large baby pokemon, Kai quickly found her balance, flashing the rest of the group a thumbs-up. "Don't worry, I'll just ride alongside you guys! I prefer surfing with Noa to riding on boats!"

The two spent the trip back to Melemele doing tricks and spinning around in the water, laughing... even when Kai fell off and Noa jumped on top of her for a moment. It was all in good fun, thought it eventually became closer to paddle boarding as they neared the large island. She had planned to catch the line for the boat, but... Professor Kukui introduced himself and met them instead! While she had seen the professor before, she was still enamored seeing him again, because he was absolutely someone she looked up to! As she climbed out of the water and wrung out her hair, she gave Noa a pat before recalling her and joining the others, wide-eyed and bushy tailed. Kukui was the cooles- wait, no, second coolest person in Alola. Second only to the Masked Royal, and she wanted to get closer!

"Rowlett, Litten, and Popplio; A touch on the uncommon side, which Wicke told me might interest you!" The three Pokemon all called out as they settled themselves comfortably on their own corners of the table. Kukui strode around the table, pulling chairs away and giving the four a welcome smile. "So eat up a bit, I imagine you must be a bit tired from your ride; We'll get to know each other a while and we can work out if these guys will head up towards this falling object with you tomorrow! Sound good, cousin?"

"Ohmigosssssssssh" Kai whined out a bit and squished her cheeks, looking at the three pokemon, between them... "Um, th-thank you, sir!" She stammered a bit, before adding, "Er, cousin!"

Turning back to the Pokemon, she looked them over again, but the shy little owl peeking over its shoulders nervously caught her attention the most. Heading over to it, she knelt down, walking over on her knees slowly to meet it eye level, smiling softly.

"Hey there... I'm Kai. Wanna come with me?"

The Rowlet hopped a bit, seemingly out of surprise, even with how patient Kai had been... but slowly waddled back over, nuzzling against her softly as the biggest grin spread across Kai's face.

"You really are a sweet one! I think I'll call you... Lani!" She hummed as she picked up the owl and held it close, gently rocking back and forth, before her eyes suddenly shot open, "Oh, I'm sorry you two! I didn't mean to jump ahead, I just saw him and he was so cute!"

kaibanner2.png

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"Can you please send Kai, Tia, Amelia aaaand Charlie to the briefing room in Observation? I'll need them for the day... and maybe more beyond that. We're not quite sure yet, we'll let you know once we figure it out!"

Amelia blinked for a moment as she heard the voice over the speaker calling for her… She had barely even been here for two weeks, why would they be calling for her in the first place? She felt her hand tense up for a moment as she glanced towards Faba, waiting to hear what he said…

Of course, he wasn’t going to object.

She gulped for a moment, thinking about what she could possibly be in for. Her hand trembled for a moment as she reached up, her fingers gently running through Artemis’ feathers lightly, making them ruffle a bit as the bird adjusted on top of her head. Her fingers gently ran through the feathery down as she sighed out, pulling herself away, Sorry, Mr. Faba. Good luck with the Snorlax, everyone!”

She waved her hand to the members of the foundation, turning herself away as she took a deep breath, bracing herself for what was to come…

⊱ ────── {⋅. ✯ .⋅} ────── ⊰

"So: What do you say?"

Amelia wasn’t sure what to think, honestly…

On one hand, she definitely wanted to know what that strange shape, the crash, what all that was about. But she had only been in the Foundation for a few weeks, and in the region barely longer. She took a deep breath as she rubbed at her cheek gently, “...I’m not sure I’m the best choice for this, ma’am, but… If you all want me to go, I will. I’m still relatively green to the foundation, but I won’t let you down!”

⊱ ────── {⋅. ✯ .⋅} ────── ⊰

Amelia took a deep breath as she made her way back to her little room, her hands trembling a tiny bit. It was hard to believe she had actually accepted this task. Her hands quickly scooped up the backpack she had brought with her, the sack was barely even a backpack to be honest, but whatever, that didn’t matter.

She quickly changed her outfit to something less immediately Aether uniformy, it seemed unnecessary to wear it when she was going to be away for a few days, maybe even longer depending on how long this took. She scrambled to collect her necessary supplies, toiletries, a few bits of spare clothing just to make absolutely sure she would be fine… “Artemis!”

Amelia puffed gently as the Rookidee hopped his way underneath her bed, forcing the girl to get down, her arm reaching in to grab the small bird. He cawed at her as she pulled him out of the makeshift nest he built underneath the bed, “Get… Outta there, we gotta… Go!” She yanked him out, plopping him down on her shoulder as the bird seemed to pout, “Alright…”

She took a deep breath and prepared herself… It was time to leave.

⊱ ────── {⋅. ✯ .⋅} ────── ⊰

To be fair, she wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. The entire affair was pretty low energy, they got an escort to a boat… And then they were off, taken off into the endless ocean. Artemis had insisted on sleeping inside of the rucksack which she had carefully placed besides her now, waiting for him to eventually emerge and demand feeding as he was prone to doing.

"Think that's your guy?"

It wasn’t until their guide had spoken up that she tore her attention up from her bag, looking towards the coast as they approached the beach city. She took a deep breath, glad to be close to land once more…

"You must be the four Chief Wicke sent!"

Amelia shakily pushed herself off the boat, jumping to land as she took a deep breath, "That's better... Oh, uh, yes! I'm Amelia, it's nice to meet you, Professor." She smiled to Kukui, once he had introduced himself, it was hard to not realize who he was… She had read a lot of books back home about the various studies different Professor’s specialized in, she’d love to have a conversation with him sometime…

But it seemed like it wasn’t the moment for that, because almost immediately, he had fished out a small box which flashed with light, and out popped a collection of little Pokemon. She let out a little squeak, they were all adorable…

Unfortunately, she had to rule out that adorable bird immediately. One of her companions had already swooped in, which wasn’t a problem on it’s own, but Artemis… She knew that bird would pick a fight if she tried to introduce another little, round avian to their group so soon. She wasn’t quite ready to deal with that…

Luckily… The other girl, Tia, she didn’t seem to be making any move. That meant that Amelia could take a few steps forward cautiously, bending down at the corner with the deep, sea blue seal… “Aren’t you cute… Is this really okay, Professor?”

She glanced back to him, her hand gently cupping the Popplio’s chin, rubbing underneath it for a moment as the ‘mon tilted its head up towards her. She let out a little laugh, “Aw, you’re affectionate, aren’t you? Ceto, maybe…”

She trailed off as the Popplio nudged itself against her hand again, clearly not quite ready for the affection to stop. She let her hand draw around her head slowly, a small smile on her face, “I can certainly take you with me for now… This is really generous Professor, it’s nice to have some extra help for, well, whatever’s about to happen… Did you maybe have any clues about the crash? The Aether Foundation didn’t seem to have a lot...”

She settled down as she took one of the malasadas from the table, she didn't eat that much at breakfast today, she was definitely a bit peckish after the boat ride... But after a moment, she blinked. "Oh, I guess getting to know each other means no work talk, huh...?"

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The open sea! The wind against her face, the gorgeous blue sky above her, and the tropical sea beneath her! This was more like it! When Tia had traveled to Alola, she had always imagined adventures more like this instead of working some on-call job holed up in Aether Paradise! Ms. Wicke seemed to recognize the fact too. What a kind lady she was! This kind of job was right up her alley. Explore Melemele Island, find the foreign object that had descended from the skies, and make sure the object in question was not dangerous. A mysterious space rock was just the kind of excitement Tia had longed for! Enough medicine and conservation, it was time for some bona fide adventure!!

Even the greatest of journeys started with a single step. In this case, the step Tia took to get off the boat, and onto dry land again. Where she and the others were met with a tanned man with a big sign that read "AETHER!"

"Alola! You must be the four Chief Wicke sent!"

Tia had seen this man's face once or twice before, hadn't she? Who was he, again...

"Kukui's the name, pleased to meet all of you!"

Oh, of course! The region's leading professor!

"Wicke told me you might be heading into something a little hairy up there tomorrow, and that most of you, except the scarfed gentleman here only had one Pokemon to take with you! Figured I might be able to do something about that, just in case you need 'em!" 

Kukui then kicked at the briefcase by his side, opening it up and revealing the poke balls inside. Which opened up to reveal...

"Rowlett, Litten, and Popplio; A touch on the uncommon side, which Wicke told me might interest you! So eat up a bit, I imagine you must be a bit tired from your ride; We'll get to know each other a while and we can work out if these guys will head up towards this falling object with you tomorrow! Sound good, cousin?"

True, she had never heard of these pokemon before. They all looked cute enough though! A round little bird, this blue sea creature with frills and a big pink nose, and last but certainly not least, a red and black cat! Now, it was her opinion that feline pokemon were best off as companions, not used for fighting or labor. Their fluffy tails, soft ears, and those big eyes they had basically made them the perfect pet! Before she had much of a chance to think about her own choice of the three - if she even wanted one - Kai took the initiative of the lot.

"Ohmigosssssssssh! Um, th-thank you, sir! Er, cousin!"

She seemed to be interested mostly in Rowlet. Fine by Tia; birds weren't of much interest to her.

"Oh, I'm sorry you two! I didn't mean to jump ahead, I just saw him and he was so cute!"

As Tia was left with just two options - were she to pick one - she had to consider this even harder. Suddenly, she could feel something shaking in her bag. From inside, her own poke ball burst open, with its resident pokemon leaping out into the open. The ever-hungry Deino eyed up Kukui's own pokemon warily.

Could it be... he's jealous?

“Aren’t you cute… Is this really okay, Professor?”

Amelia took her pick of the lot, choosing Popplio. That just left Litten...

The cat looked at Tia. With those big, yellow eyes. And Primo looked at Litten, with his considerably smaller, covered-up eyes. And Tia, not sure how this would go, kept her own eyes on Primo. Much to her relief, once the two pokemon gave each other their attention, things seemed to go well enough. The two were just sniffing each other, trying to get a feel for one another. Maybe adding this cute little creature to the family wouldn't be a bad idea after all. That was what Tia thought, anyway. Until, that is, Primo lifted his head up high, made a distinct noise that did not sound happy, and swung his head down onto Litten!

"HEY!!"

Tia wasted no time intervening, hurrying over to the two pokemon and picking hers up. "Primo, how dare you! He's not our enemy!" There would have to be a long talk about this later. For now, Tia turned her attention to the good professor. "I'm so sorry, Professor Kukui, I don't know what's gotten into him. As much as I'd love to, maybe it's for the better I don't bring Litten with me after all, if this is how they're going to get along." All the while, the angry dragon baby wriggled around in Tia's arms, trying to escape. Like hell she'd let him go right now, after that display!

And here I was going to buy treats for myself and both of them after getting to keep Litten. Well, nothing for you, then.

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Kukui watched the group pick from the Pokemon assembled before them with a warm smile on his face, leaning back in his chair, one hand up to adjust the rim of his hat. Rowlett and Popplio going to their new Trainers just seemed to bring a smile to his face. "Absolutely," he assured Amelia, as she took the Popplio into her care. "Nothing makes me happier than seeing new bonds between Pokemon and a Trainer... Though looks like your Dieno disagrees!" He let out a laugh as he saw Primo start to take shots at the Litten, reaching forward to scoop the fire cat Pokemon out of the danger zone. 

"No worries," he assured Tia, chuckling as he calmed Litten with a few scratches to the back of the head, the Pokemon giving Primo a bad-tempered glare. "Your own Pokemon being happy with new friends is important as well... Hopefully it's a phase he'll get over." He looked down to the Litten in his lap. "Looks like we'll be spending some more time together, friend," he said softly, taking a malasada and tearing off a chunk for the Pokemon.

After getting the rest of the names from everyone, Kukui turned to address Amelia. "No, no, that's absolutely alright," he assured her once again, giving a reassuring smile. "I'm sure you're all wondering exactly what it is Wicke and I dragged you all out here for. We can talk about that now, we've got til tomorrow anyway!" He reached into his lab coat, pulling out a series of photographs. Similar to the images Wicke had shown the four, they all depicted various stages of that same projectile hitting the peak of Melemele Island. 

"This was early this morning," he explained. "This rise here is the highest point on Melemele, at the top of the Mahalo Trail." He reached up to point, and through the clear Alola sky the group was able to see the very hill depicted in the picture. "That object fell from the sky roughly up there somewhere." Gone was the laid-back tone, and he now spoke with utmost seriousness. "Whether it's a local projectile or something that came from beyond our planet we don't know yet; Aether's reaching out to the Space Center of Mossdeep to retrace its trajectory, but we likely won't know for sure til tomorrow."

He leaned back in his chair. "Course, whether it's from space or not isn't the concerning part. What I'm concerned about is where it might have landed." He cast his eyes back to the hill, which was backlit by the softening pink of an encroaching sunset. "The Ruins of Conflict sit atop that hill," he said, a strange sense of foreboding in his words. "And that projectile may have disturbed the guardian of the place." He said guardian with a strange tone, which anyone native to Alola would be able to figure out why.

He turned back to the Aether workers. "We're not certain if it landed in the Ruins or just around them," he went on. "If the Ruins are damaged... its guardian might be pretty angry. That's part of the reason I'll be going, to assess any damage to the ruins and see what I can do to fix it. For the sake of the guardian and of course as an important piece of Alola's history." He raised a hand, some good humor returning to his face and pointing to the rest of those assembled. "Meanwhile you four are tasked with finding that projectile. Determine if it's dangerous, if it's hurt any Pokemon while landing, and of course, if it's worth dragging back to Aether for further study."

He clapped his hands together. "Course, that's not til tomorrow. In the meantime, get to know your new friends better," he told them, gesturing to Rowlett and Popplio. "Look around the city a bit, especially those of you who've never been to Hau'oli City." He spoke the next through a mouthful of malasada. "Leave getting the essentials for tomorrow to me, enjoy yourselves a little. Once you're all tuckered out for the night, just walk down the beach til you're by that there!" 

He reached out to point along the beach to a massive hill of grass and brownish-orange stone. "That's Ten Carat Hill there. My house is on the other side of it, you can't miss it." He shrugged with a mock 'woe is me' expression on his face. "My wife is on business on Akala right now, and will be til' the end of the week, so you should all fit in quite nicely."

- - - - - - -

Elsewhere...

"We have a lead, it actually looks promising."

"Where did it come from?"

"Our plant in the Mossdeep SC."

A brief shuffling of papers. "Hmm... Alola. Melemele. Do we have anyone stationed there?"

An irritated sigh. "One. I told you Alola was stretching us thin."

The harsh glare was almost audible. "Well what do you expect with those riffraff banging around the place? Well... I suppose one is better than nothing."

"Aether is investigating it."

"Of course they are." A light scoff. "... Have them observe, for now. Tell them not to intervene unless they see a good opportunity. After all, we don't even know if this is worth pursuing. Not yet."

"Understood."

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"I'm sure you're all wondering exactly what it is Wicke and I dragged you all out here for. We can talk about that now, we've got til tomorrow anyway!" He reached into his lab coat, pulling out a series of photographs. Similar to the images Wicke had shown the four, they all depicted various stages of that same projectile hitting the peak of Melemele Island. "This was early this morning. This rise here is the highest point on Melemele, at the top of the Mahalo Trail. That object fell from the sky roughly up there somewhere. Whether it's a local projectile or something that came from beyond our planet we don't know yet; Aether's reaching out to the Space Center of Mossdeep to retrace its trajectory, but we likely won't know for sure til tomorrow."

So far, the job was pretty much what Wicke had explained. A mysterious object fell from the sky, and it was the team's job to investigate. If only for the sense of adventure the notion gave, Tia was rather hoping that the object in question came from space. Even if it was merely a completely normal chunk of rock. "A rock" and "A space rock" had dramatically different rings from one another, after all! But more than the possibility of space rocks, what really caught Tia's attention was what the good Professor said next.

"Course, whether it's from space or not isn't the concerning part. What I'm concerned about is where it might have landed. The Ruins of Conflict sit atop that hill. And that projectile may have disturbed the guardian of the place. We're not certain if it landed in the Ruins or just around them. If the Ruins are damaged... its guardian might be pretty angry. That's part of the reason I'll be going, to assess any damage to the ruins and see what I can do to fix it. For the sake of the guardian and of course as an important piece of Alola's history. Meanwhile you four are tasked with finding that projectile. Determine if it's dangerous, if it's hurt any Pokemon while landing, and of course, if it's worth dragging back to Aether for further study."

The guardians of Alola. Yes, Tia had done some reading up on them before coming to the region, but she had to admit, it was more of a "cursory glance on the internet" than any actual research. All she really knew was that each of Alola's four islands had a legendary guardian. For a guardian to live in a place called the Ruins of Conflict of all things though... that one seemed odd. Must have been a temperamental sort living up there, she figured. She'd have to keep a close eye on Primo if such a guardian presented itself. Knowing this feisty little dragon, he'd try to pick a fight regardless of legendary guardian status.

"Course, that's not til tomorrow. In the meantime, get to know your new friends better,. Look around the city a bit, especially those of you who've never been to Hau'oli City. Leave getting the essentials for tomorrow to me, enjoy yourselves a little. Once you're all tuckered out for the night, just walk down the beach til you're by that there! That's Ten Carat Hill there. My house is on the other side of it, you can't miss it. My wife is on business on Akala right now, and will be til' the end of the week, so you should all fit in quite nicely."

Right. No matter how fascinating this all was becoming, Tia wouldn't get to investigate until tomorrow. Today, was a day for relaxation, and checking out the city. While Tia had been to Hau'oli City before, it wasn't for very long. A quick rest stop at most. Procuring Primo's spherical abode from her bag, Tia opened it up, causing the pokemon to withdraw into its ball. A damn nice one too, she hoped, considering that was the entire selling point of this type over a regular poke ball. With the tiny troublemaker put away for now, Tia brought her attention away from him and from Kukui, to her teammates. Two of whom now had a new pokemon partner to bring along for the adventure.

"Well, we won't get to see the sights by just standing here. I don't suppose any of you could go for a malasada or something? I'm buying." Arguably the most important part of a tourist location besides the sights. The cuisine! It was tragic, she had to admit, but for all this time she'd been spending in Alola, Tia never got to have a proper malasada. The best she'd gotten so far was instant microwaved variants, but if nothing else, Tia was fixing that today! With or without the others.

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Amelia listened patiently as she folded her hands over her lap. The situation wasn’t much more developed than what Wicke had told them after all, which wasn’t surprising. Still, she had hoped that something would have come up that they could use to get a bit more information. She closed her eyes for a moment, humming gently as she did. If where that object had came from didn’t matter, then…

"The Ruins of Conflict sit atop that hill and that projectile may have disturbed the guardian of the place."

There it was. She wasn’t entirely sure what the Ruins of Conflict were, but considering the name being as ominous as it was, it was likely something important. He went on to say that they were an important part of Alola’s history, which meant she was right on the money. She opened her eyes, only to find that Artemis had emerged from her bag, now sitting on her lap while glaring at the Popplio. The seal, meanwhile, had just taken to curling up in a small ball beside Amelia. She let one hand pet along her back gently, the other one rubbing across Artemis’ head. The bird let out a low coo in approval of the attention, a little sigh escaping her as she let her hands work along the two.

“So… We should expect the guardian to not be happy to see us, most likely…”

She wasn’t sure what to make of that. Admittedly… She didn’t exactly do her homework when she jumped on a plane. She did a bit of light reading on the way over… She knew there were four Island Guardians, but beyond that, she knew basically nothing about them.

"Well, we won't get to see the sights by just standing here. I don't suppose any of you could go for a malasada or something? I'm buying."

Amelia blinked for a moment in confusion as she looked down at the assorted malasada’s in front of their little group, then back up to Kukui. She really hoped that didn’t hurt his feelings. Either way, she took a little breath as she rubbed at her cheek, “Well, I’m not super hungry now, but… I’d still like to see the city a little bit. I haven’t been to any of the islands other than Ula’ula so far… So I’d like to see some of the others. I’m in!”

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Even with the scarf and goggles, the smugness on Charlie’s face was more than apparent. “It must be awfully lonely with only one pokemon each! Good thing Professor Cookie can help you guys out, huh?” With a short snicker, Charlie lifted up his scarf to cover the tip of his nose, “Not that any of these pokemon are of interest to a... man of such distinguished taste as myself!” The other three all introduced themselves to their new pokemon, as Charlie leaned an elbow on the hovering Combee beside him, pulling the brim of his hat slightly downward. It wasn’t long before the professor pulled out some photographs, similar to those shown by Wicke earlier.

Charlie eyed the images with as much seriousness as Cookie spoke, looking out into the distance at the hill depicted within the photos. Charlie had heard about a few different pokemon that may have originated in space, in different regions such as Kanto, Hoenn, and even in Unova and Kalos, but he couldn’t help but suspect that the current incident had something to do with the events here in Alola in the recent past, the reason for Aether’s change in direction. As Kukui spoke about some kind of guardian of something as intimidatingly named as “The Ruins of Conflict”

Was Charlie in over his head?

Of course not!

Fortunately, Charlie wouldn’t have to prove himself until the next day, and his task seemed to be out of the way of the fabled “ruin guardian”. Hopefully.

Tia suggested that the group get food together, but before Charlie could shut the idea down, Amelia chimed in, herself not really in the mood to eat either. Thank Arceus… Sharlie straightened his back, and puffed out his chest for a split second before deciding that that might not be the best idea. “Of course we should check out the city together! Isn’t Alola the place all the rich folks go on vacation? Let’s enjoy our stay before we have to start working!”
 

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"Hm... The guardian might be upset, but I can't imagine they'd attack us outright... Well, at least not me or the professor," Kai mused whimsically, her tone more tied to the owlet she was poking the beak of than the conversation, "Even when angry, they tend not to hurt the people of Alola. Hopefully that isn't the case, at least," picking the tiny bird up, she sat him on top of her head, tilting it back and forth with a hum, "As for what to do tonight... I'd like to go surfing with Noa and Lani, but it's probably too dark for baby bird. So, if you guys want, I can show you around?"

"Well, we won't get to see the sights by just standing here. I don't suppose any of you could go for a malasada or something? I'm buying."

"Good idea! Although, this isn't my favorite island for those... I like the fusion styled ones on Ula'ula a lot more. But, the shop in Hau'oli is a great place for trying your first time!"

“Well, I’m not super hungry now, but… I’d still like to see the city a little bit. I haven’t been to any of the islands other than Ula’ula so far… So I’d like to see some of the others. I’m in!”

“Of course we should check out the city together! Isn’t Alola the place all the rich folks go on vacation? Let’s enjoy our stay before we have to start working!”

"Hm... I'm not sure if the mall is open, but Hau'oli also has a boutique right next to a hair salon? I think Akala has better options, but the 'rich' options are here, if that's more your thing. Hau'oli is kinda one of our two tourist traps, in all honesty," Kai laughed awkwardly, Lani tilting his head a full 90 degrees from atop her head, "I wish I could show you guys the rest of the island, but it's best not to do that at night, even with how friendly the wild pokemon are. After all, you wouldn't get to see how beautiful everything is! But for the night, let me know where you wanna go, and I'll show you the best places, even if a lot of holes in the wall are closed up!"

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Fortunately for the four, they were out and about on a weekend. True to Kai's words about the city being a tourist trap, Hau'oli City was alive and well even in this late stage of the day. The setting sun behind them was more than capable of illuminating the many places that were still open. The boutique offered many a different piece of Alolan-made clothing, mostly in the vein of surfing tanks and the like. Most of the citizenry were dressed in a similar manner, with Charlie sticking out quite a bit amongst the four. The Tourist Bureau held many other souveneirs, such as coconuts carved to look like the heads of Exeggutor, miniature rocking horses in the design of Mudbray, and decals of the various islands as seen from above.

The Tourist Bureau also had a small section set to the side, where information on other regions was laid out. It was mostly for the benefit of any native Alolans about to make a trip of their own, though there was actually a decent-sized group of people over there this evening. They were collected around a wall-mounted television that was playing a news station sourced in the Kanto region.

"Mirabelle here with Indigo News! We're here on the scene of the Viridian City Gym, where today there was yet another bout of seismic activity!" The camera panned over a rectangular building with a brownish-green roof. It appeared the eastern wall had seen some amount of collapse, which the camera focused on briefly before panning back to the dark-haired newscaster. 

"This is the third such incident in as many months at this prestigious facility of the Indigo Plateau Pokemon League, but it is the first time the Gym has seen such significant structural damage! I'm here with Gym Leader Blue Oak for commentary."

The camera cut to a brown-haired young man, tall and dressed in blue and green, and his face with a considerably more relaxed expression than the scenario seemed to warrant. "Yeah, the previous Gym Leader was really into Ground-Type Pokemon," he commented carelessly, looking over his shoulder at the collapsed wall as if it had scuffed his shoe. "Left a lot of structural damage that's only really become obvious recently."

"Are you confident you'll be able to halt further accidents?"

A snort. "The previous leader may have disappeared without cleaning up his mess first, but he left the Gym Trainers behind. They know a thing or two about Ground-Type Pokemon themselves, and it's not like I'm a slouch with my Rhyperior myself."

"Mm, that's good to hear!" The newscaster bit her lip before continuing. "And what do you say to the rumors recently about strange, unidentified individuals being seen around the gym? There are... certain rumors about this previous leader-"

"Unwarranted," Blue responded flippantly, turning and heading back towards the Gym. "People like to spread things around, but most of it's nonsense. I gotta help clear away the debris. Smell ya later!"

"Oh, please sir, can I just get one-"
 

- - - - - - -

 

She shut off the radio in the midst of newscaster's plea. She gazed up at the roof of the small beach hut she had been living in for the past four months. No company, just herself. She didn't like to go outside much. It ran a risk. Risk of being recognized. Not that she figured it would bring her trouble she couldn't fix. Just trouble she didn't want to have to encounter to begin with. 

And yet, based on the message she had received ten minutes ago, she would have to eventually. 

"Idiots," she muttered lowly, giving a glare to the radio as she started to get dressed. She was out here in Alola by herself for months on end and the rest of them got up to... She took a deep breath, trying not to lose her temper. Not all of them were adjusting to this the way she was. Which was apparently to have some sense and do what she was told, she thought bitterly.

The wide straw hat she wore out of the house was much darker and lower on her head than the other similar ones that peppered the streets of Hau'oli. It was designed to shield her face from eyes rather than her head from sun. The blue of her clothes was muted, engineered not to stand out when combined with her long, dark hair. One hand held her thin jacket closed in the ocean wind, the other clenched within the jacket around a single Dive Ball.

"Aether..." she mused to herself, eyeing the white boat in the harbor and beginning the long ordeal of tracking her targets. "Please... Please let this be something."

- - - - - - -

The Hau'oli Mall was not as busy as the daytime hours, but there was still a night scene there. Especially as the weekend began and the turnouts from the local Trainer school were able to partake in the food and fervor of the Battle Buffet.

Easily the most crowded sector of the mall, it was hard to take one's eyes away from the large throng of young trainers inside. Long tables crowded with Trainer and Pokemon, ringed by long countertops with all assortment of local cuisine. Towards the back were several cordoned-off areas where small battles were taking place, Pokemon diving to and fro while excited cheers were called out from the sidelines.

It was a lively bunch, talking about battling and the Trials of the islands, and a few even about the strange object that had fallen from the sky that very morning. Especially the great group that was gathered by the front entrance. All younger boys and girls, circled around a grinning boy with his hair tied back in a ponytail, leaning back with his sandaled feet up on a table.

"Are you really gonna go for Illima's Trial, Koa?" asked one of his entourage.

"Sure am," he bragged, voice carrying through the Buffet despite the din of battles. "Heading out there first thing tomorrow. Pa says that thing that fell from the sky was a good omen for me; The Totem Pokemon doesn't stand a chance!

"Matter of fact," he continued, voice rising even louder, "Best bless my battle with a few good rounds! Anyone who can beat a Trainer blessed by something fallin' from the sky, I'll pay for your meal!" This brought a clamor of challenges from those assembled, loud enough that a few passing Aether workers were sure to notice...

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Amelia was delighted as they walked into the boutique, she hadn’t had many opportunities to explore the islands in the first place, but more importantly, she hadn’t had time for clothes shopping! She browsed through those racks of clothing, swimsuits weren’t exactly her favorite, but there were plenty of other options too…

She had to make sure to put Artemis back inside of her bag as the stubborn bird wanted to fly around the shop, but once she did, she was free to dig through those racks. She didn’t have much to spend, her allowance was relatively small at the moment considering she was still rather fresh to the foundation, but she could afford to pick up a few little things here and there. Right now though, it seemed like the best thing to grab was a pair of sunglasses… If they were going to be out and about when investigating those ruins, it seemed like a good investment!

The continued exploration brought them to the Tourist Bureau next, a little gasp escaping Amelia as she made a beeline straight for the television, listening to the news story as the broadcast carried on. She had read some of those rumors online at one point, when she was looking up what the Kanto Gym Leaders were like…

“I remember… Everyone said that the previous Gym Leader there was super secretive and hardly ever showed up. The gym used to be locked all the time, it was really weird…” She frowned for a moment, tilting her head slightly as she looked up, “Of course those rumors are still going around, the whole gym was just weird…”

She was glad, at the very least, that it looked like no one was really hurt in the situation at the gym. The Gym Leader, Blue… He was pretty famous at this point, but she didn’t know enough beyond the fact he was a bit cocky and he liked to smell people, which was also strange…

“...Maybe that’s why he took over that gym.”

⊱ ────── {⋅. ✯ .⋅} ────── ⊰

Sitting down for food sounded good… She wasn’t that hungry earlier, truthfully, but roaming around in those shops and around the island had worked up a bit of an appetite. She waved towards the others once they had entered the mall, a grin on her face as she did, “Hey, over here! This place looks good!”

Her hand waved towards the Battle Buffet, a little hum escaping her softly, “Plenty of people in here too, it’s gotta be a good spot!” She slipped into that restaurant, blinking a tiny bit at the chaos. It was busy, there were plenty of people around and there was something even more interesting than the food… Those battles in the back of the shop! She tilted her head a tiny bit, listening to the chaos of the shop…

"Heading out there first thing tomorrow. Pa says that thing that fell from the sky was a good omen for me; The Totem Pokemon doesn't stand a chance!"

“Urgh…” Amelia muttered underneath her breath a bit, the constant bragging… It reminded her of some of the challengers of the Galar League back at home. One year there was a trainer who was so fill of himself, you’d think he was the reincarnation of Arceus himself. He wound up dropping out when the stretch to Motostoke and Hammerlocke beat him down after an unfortunate encounter with a Rhyperior…

She glanced back to the others, her face suddenly soured, “...If you guys want to find a different place to eat, I’m good to leave now.”

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