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Sethera

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Union of Stars [IC/Not Accepting]

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Posted (edited)

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<OOC>

BGM: Personality Quiz - Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX

Listen.

Can you hear the voice carried by the winds of time?

"You...you can hear me, right?"

You cannot ignore it. Only those with willing hearts can hear the call across the boundary of space.

"Could you be a human? If you are, then that means...I finally found you!"

After all, you are one of those extraordinary beings we call humans.

"This world...needs your help. Please come...and lend your strength!"

O you have undergone the test of the soul. You who have proven yourself worthy. I await your arrival in the world of Pokémon.

"Be strong! Stay smart! And be victorious!"

And remember.

Wherever there is light, there must also be shadow.

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In the belly of an ancient ruin, several people woke up at the same time. Now, they could have woken from the steady trickle of nearby water, or the jagged blue edges of the broken cobblestone beneath, or the damp chill that clung to their forms, or even something else. Regardless, they were awake.

Surrounding them were sandstone walls webbed with cracks thick with moss. Water dripped from a ceiling that had previously held a honeycomb pattern, but now showed a broken mosaic. Here and there, once mighty cylindrical pillars lay collapsed into piles of stone, while others still stood proudly over crumbling foundations. To the side, a clear spring-fed pool wore away at the sharp edges of its confines, spilling out into a canal that ran underneath one of the brick walls.

Though one could not call the atmosphere cozy by any means, it carried a certain serenity to it. The air was still and heavy with moisture. Shadows smudged the sharp edges of the room in the dusky light from the cracks above. Even the cries of distant creatures were but a faint echo.

Despite this peace, the people gathered there would find their minds clouded by confusion and uncertainty. Their names and experiences in a certain forum shone clearly, as if lit by a spotlight, yet beyond that there was nothing. No history, no semblance of who they were beyond their life on that forum.

In addition, a strange feeling of wrongness lingered in the backs of their consciousnesses. Something about them had changed.

Map

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OOC

Spoiler

The RP begins! Everybody has woken up in a strange, unknown ruin, and there are many questions to be asked. What’s going on? Where are they? Who are they? And what about that mysterious voice they heard earlier? However, they shall have to discover the answers for themselves...

So welcome...to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Union of Stars!

As for the posting schedule... I’m thinking of capping the hard limit to one post every two weeks. However, I may move us forward sooner if circumstances encourage it. Also, unlike many other RPs which mostly depend on host posts, including my other RP, I may not always write one here! This is because of the gameplay of PMD. I am hoping to make an RP that reflects said gameplay in a fun and smooth way. Optimally, I am planning to give you guys most of the information and let you run wild with some guidance here and there from me. But we’ll see how things go.

Note: The only people who can go over the canal easily are Es and Noibat. This is to follow the games where water types, flying types, and those with levitate can cross water. The rest can cross as well if they can swim but it will take some time.

Edited by Sethera

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Shawn felt...off. He was sure there was supposed to be a bed under him but, then again, maybe not? He couldn't quite remember what his room was like now that he thought of it. And what was that sound, water? Was the ceiling leaking? Why did he have the thought "Not again..." was that a common occurrence? Shouldn't that be something he knew?

The last thing he remembered was his hand on his mouse, finger hovering over the button that would post his newest failure to the forum and....what then?

His panic increased and his eyes flew open as he tried to work out what was happening. He saw....A pool of water? His face was pressed against what seemed like stone, which didn't feel quite as uncomfortable as he'd normally think (in fact everything had a strangely soft feel to it he noticed, he didn't remember being particularly fat but that's what it made him think of), and he was looking directly at the water. Well, that explained the noise. But it didn't explain what he was doing here. So he decided to look the other way to see what else there was in this place.

"Oh what the hell is this?" He said. Shawn was in a ruin of some sort that much was clear but it wasn't what he was really focused on.

There were goddamn Pokemon there. He'd assume they were just plushes except that he was pretty sure he saw some of them breathing.

He leapt to his feet. Or rather he tried to. As Shawn started to get up he felt a tugging. As if his hand was caught under something and he couldn't pull it out.

Shawn looked over...and instead of an arm he saw a tentacle. One that ended in a bulbous orb that resembled a boxing glove. The reason for the tugging became clear as an orange-colored blob attached to it seemed to be stuck to the floor.

Hastily Shawn pulled, and pulled, and finally with a pop the thing came off the ground and he was able to get to his.....

Where were his feet?

He looked down and saw more, smaller, tentacles where his legs and feet were. He took a step, well what he thought was taking a step, and the tentacles moved in a way that he was pulled forward. It was an odd sensation as it was less like he was walking more like he was pulling himself along but at least it came more or less naturally. Though how he was supposed to move without getting these bits of rock stuck in him....

"What the heck am I talking about this ain't natural at all." Shawn muttered to himself as he tried and failed to slow his heart rate. This was a dream, right? Only even as he thought that he knew it wasn't true. He was far too alert and everything felt far too real for him to think he was dreaming. And anyway whenever he started to think he was dreaming he'd normally wake up.

So then, what? What could this possibly be? Shawn didn't have answers and he was growing more and more fearful that something horrible had happened. He wanted to shout at someone but there was no-one...well, actually, there were.

He looked around at the Pokemon strewn about. One of them might know what's up, right? Right.

So he glanced around to decide which one, of those that were coming to, didn't seem too threatening and he made his way there as fast as his tentacles (god, fuck, "his tentacles" sounded so bizarre) would take him. When he got near he raised one of his....boxing gloves? What was he supposed to call this, hands? Either way he raised it towards the Pokemon and said, "oi! The fuck is going on here? Is this some sort of sick joke? Well I ain't laughing!"

Spoiler

Left open-ended so that whoever wants to be accosted by a Clobbopus can take the hook

 

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Posted (edited)

Hector woke up with a chill in his bones. He had felt it before, when he had… when he had… Where had he felt it before? Chasing the memory was like trying to grasp rivulets of sand—the more desperate he became to hold onto it, the more of it slipped between his fingers, retreating into the deepest recesses of his subconscious. 

He gave up with a frustrated sigh. What’s going on? I feel so… faint. It was true. He felt distracted and unable to focus, like his brain itself was sluggish and confused, and all of his thoughts were trying to pull him in different directions. Was this what ADHD felt like? Hector was fairly certain he had never been diagnosed with the disorder before… but his memory also wasn’t working, so how would he know for certain if he was or wasn’t? Not that it really mattered anyways, considering the end result was the same either way. 

Hector forced himself to focus and look around to figure out where he was. It was easier said than done; the second his eyes adjusted to the dim lighting of his surroundings, the urge to puke hit him like a sucker punch to the gut. What he saw wasn’t possible. It was complete and total sensory overload. He squeezed his eyes shut before he lost his lunch.

“What’s…” “What’s…” “What’s…” 
“What’s…” “What’s…”
 “What’s going on?” 

Hector jumped at the sound of his own voice(s)—all six of them! He knew his own voice, had heard it enough in recordings from YCM and NCM to be familiar with it, and none of those six nearly identical high-pitched voices were his. On instinct he opened his eyes to look at himself and the first thing he was struck by was how close he was to the ground (which he noted from six different angles). He had never thought about it before, but he was used to being fairly tall and far from the ground. Did I fall? Am I lying on the floor? It was ridiculous to be asking himself if he was prone on the ground, but at the moment, Hector was unsure of anything but his name. 

Fighting through the sense of nausea that came with his kaleidoscope-like vision, Hector forced himself to look up. 

The answer was no—he had not fallen without realizing it. What he found in the place of his prone form was a group of six stout little blobs in gold-and-red spartan helmets, with piercing blue orbs for eyes and tiny little blobs for feet. “Falinks,” the six voices mumbled in confused unison. His six voices. “... I’m a Falinks?” Hector realized this time that in the chorus of voices, one of them was a bit deeper and gruffer. It was coming from the most heavily-armored blob with the biggest plume on his helmet. Or. . . on my helmet? This is way too weird.

With that realization came another. While he could somehow see from the eyes of all six of the Spartan-Blobs, the… the mental link(?) from the gruff-voiced Spartan-Blob was at least five or six times stronger than any of the others. When he focused on the link with the gruff-voiced one, the sensory overload receded to a manageable level. The other five were still there—he could still see from their eyes when he focused on them—but almost all of his feedback came from the big one now. 

His concentration was ruined by someone suddenly shouting, "oi! The fuck is going on here? Is this some sort of sick joke? Well I ain't laughing!" That’s right. There were others… other Pokémon, as strange as the thought was, around him. Based on the reaction, maybe they were just as confused as he was. 

Hector focused intensely on his connection with the leader of the Falinks. “I’m not either. I have no idea what's going on. You’re human too, aren’t you? Or were human, I guess. Now you’re a Clobbopus.” Finally able to study the area without puking, he realized they were in a scene straight out of a video game. Decrypted and waterlogged ruins of what had to have once been a glorious room, with six other Pokémon excluding the two of them.

“This isn’t a dream, is it? Feels way too real. I’m…” he trailed off.  He knew his name was Hector, but for some reason, his username from NCM felt like a more natural title. His concentration had slipped when he picked back up. The five troopers, who had suddenly gone quiet and lost some of the brightness in their eyes, flared back to life. All six spoke as one. “I’m Hector. Or… He screwed his eyes shut and focused hard on his connection with the big guy again. After a second, the troopers sagged slightly and their eyes dimmed. “... or maybe NewGamePlus. I’m not really sure. I’m having a hard time focusing right now. Feels like someone cut my head into six uneven pieces.”
 

Spoiler

Bold = all six talking at once.

 

Edited by Cheshire Toon

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-BGM-

Gah...my...head...

Marvin's thoughts were racing slightly as he held his head and looked up to the strange ceiling over head. This...wasn't where he was prior...was it? No it couldn't have been. After all, his laptop on his desk nor his drink on his little TV table beside it were anywhere near available...nor did this place look friendly to electronics to begin with. So where was he? And more importantly...what was he doing before this?

Closing his eyes again, he began to concentrate a bit...not getting much in the way of just some general brain fog, but did remember something...Nincada's Custom Monsters...NCM, that Pokémon forum...now he remembered what he was doing. He was putting in a post in an Role-Play he was in...off the top of his head, he couldn't remember the specific one...he was in way too many to count. After that, he was responding to a random Private Message regarding...

That's right...that strange Personality Test... he finally recalled, nodding slowly.


Marvin, or rather, Order Shadow, simply looked over the Private Message he received before finally sighing and giving it a bit of a shrug. What else did he have to lose? It would kill some time for him at least...

Q1. Do you want to be famous?

A1 - Yes. Who wouldn't be?

Q2. You want to jump rope during recess, but everyone else wants to play tag...

A1 - Give in and play tag with my friends. If they want to play tag more, then I'll happily join in too.

Q3. You're about to buy a popular game when someone else gets the last copy! How do you feel?

A3 - Shed a few tears. I was really looking forward to that game.

Q4. Do you prefer to be busy or to have a lot of free time?

A3 - In between. There's got to be a balance to it all.

Q5. Halfway to school you realize you forgot something. You'll be late if you turn back...

A1 - Hurry back to get it anyway. If it's important, then I got to get it.

Q6. You've been invited to a wonderful party. It's time for the party to start, but there's nobody there! You think...?

A2 - Maybe I have the day wrong? That's a bit embarrassing.

Q7. You see a big and comfortable bed. Your first reaction is to...

A3 - Curl up. Time for a nice long rest.

Q8. Do you think it's important to always aim to be the best?

A2 - No. If your always aiming for the best, then your missing the time to stop and smell the roses and enjoying life.

Q9. Are you a boy or a girl?

A1 - Boy

Q10. All right! Vacation time at last! What kind of music fits your mood?

A4 - Anime theme songs. They're just so catchy!

The results complied and the user simply said the following afterwards...which Order Shadow didn't find too strange in the long run...
You seem to be...the lonely type, at least a little bit! You might find that surprising, but do you think it might be a little true? You know what they say, though... We're all a bit lonely every now and then! You probably keep this fact of life to yourself, though. But if there's one thing that brings us all together...it's our need to go it solo! So, a lonely and solitary type like you...


After that...what...happened after that? he thought, finally bringing himself to sit up and survey his surroundings. About this time, he realized not all was what it seemed...not one bit. He saw the strange room in it's fullness and even various Pokémon plushies...they...they were plushies, right?

"oi! The fuck is going on here? Is this some sort of sick joke? Well I ain't laughing!"
“I’m not either. You’re human too, aren’t you? Or were human, I guess. Now you’re a Clobbopus. I’m Hector. Or…... or maybe NewGamePlus. I’m not really sure. I’m having a hard time focusing right now.”

He couldn't believe his eyes...a Clobbopus and Falinks...TALKING. He finally stood up, about now finally noticing his hand...it was...green. His eyes went wide (not like they weren't already) as he began to look at himself quite a bit. Green skin...red stomach...and....and...A TAIL?! He began to have a silent freakout before coming to realization on what he was: "I'm...a Treecko...?" he muttered to himself.

Looking at the Clobbopus and the Falinks squad, Marvin began to make his way towards the group...though it seemed he was positioned in a way to be able to talk to them anyway. "You guys...so I'm not the only one having this weird dream...or living this nightmare?" he asked, looking at the Clobbopus and then to...they said their name was "Hector" as well as "NewGamePlus". Something clicked in his mind at hearing that latter part...it sounded like a username...wait...he remembered that username. That was a user who tended to hang around the Club section...yeah that was it. Least, he figured that was the right thing...he couldn't make heads or tails if the mind fog he had right now, but to him it sounded right. "Right...um, Hector...or NewGamePlus...whichever your name is...and...Clobbopus..." he said, rubbing his temples slightly. "I...take it you don't have a clue where we are then...? Just my luck..." The now Treecko let out a small sigh, before looking at the two Pokémon. "You gave your name...I guess I can give mine..." He paused for a moment, about to say his name but all he could really get out in his mind was two: Order Shadow, his YCM/NCM username...and...Marv. It was odd, that name never once came up to him before...but he decided to roll with it.

"I-It's Marv...or...Order Shadow was something else I was k-known as..." he mustered up the words, his hand holding his head still.

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It was… Cold. Not overly-so, but still noticeably so. It’s like when you go to sleep after working on something that requires a lot of physical effort, and so while you’re overheating, you find yourself kicking the blankets off and sleeping without them. Or when it’s at that sweet spot, so you sleep with one leg kicked out, only to be startled awake at the wee-hours of the night due to the feeling of an animal brushing against your bare skin, or the sudden chill which pierces you to your core. Or worse yet, when you’ve fallen asleep somewhere other than your bed, and so it isn’t only the sudden chill, but also the lack of comfortable, familiar stimuli.

It was this exact, worse-case scenario, that might have caused the inert, orange ball embedded in the cobblestone, to wake up. It wasn’t immediate, rather with a loud popping-noise, that the spiked-orb came to shift, slightly. It was very small at first; a single blue spark of electricity arcing off of the spike stuck straight-up into the air from the orb. That is all anyone would have seen from the Pokémon, before a veritable torrent of plasma came to pour from every-inch of the creature, fluttering wings appearing in an instant as the orb shot up off of the ground.

“Hey! H-H-H-H-Hey!” A loud voice, not unlike what Es was used to sounding like - though altered slightly by the warm plasma that coated her - would announce into the area, likely echoing off the walls as the orb itself moved with every attempted ‘Hey’. It started in a Z-Pattern, spasming upwards to ever greater heights, before immediately shooting back down in one, clean, straight-movement as the final ‘Hey’ was spoken, leaving the Pokémon, a Rotom, floating above the ground; plasma wings beating faster than eyes could perceive. It was only then that two eyes finally opened, peering into the room with blue irises that were split down the center by a black line on either side. 

“Now that’s what I’m talking about!” She’d announce, absentmindedly floating in a circle, moving with sudden, spastic-jolts rather than clean, fluid movements. “Warmth, as far as the eye can see! Or at least, as far as I can feel.” She’d laugh a little to herself, as she opened her eyes again and blinked, glancing around the room again; this time, actually taking the room, and its inhabitants, in. 

It was times like these when Es found herself wondering just what other people’s dreams must have been like. She heard people discuss nonsensical dreams all the time. Nightmares where you’re running on an endless road, trying your best to outrun an ever approaching menace, but never making it away from them. There were also dreams where people had to confront some deeply intimate part of themselves, though… She couldn’t remember many exacts of those, other than that they often had people in uncomfortable situations, like in a public setting without proper planning or forewarning, like a test that they hadn’t studied for.

And yet, here was her nonsensical dream. A floating orb, surrounded by something warm, something… Liquid-like, which propelled her, at least, as far as she could tell, surrounded by others with curious bodies, with those who were moving obviously doing their best to try and adapt to their own new forms. It was only after a few moments of deliberation that she realized the forms of those in front of here were that of Pokémon, though she couldn’t remember any of the species’ names. “Wow! W-W-W-Wow! What a weird dream!” She’d announce, once again seemingly to get caught on a single phonetic sound as her form sporadically climbed in a zig-zag pattern, before falling again. 

And, to be honest, it was a pretty weird dream, wasn’t it? In most dreams, at least that she could recall, nothing ever felt quite as solid as reality. Sure, you might feel a vague warmth when pushing your hand into a river, but you didn’t feel it actually flowing around you. Es, on the other hand, could feel the (supposed) liquid around her moving with every fiber of her being, as if she was intrinsically connected to it. As she looked around, it became particularly evident that that was likely because that (supposed) liquid was the only thing keeping her off the ground, propelling her around as she moved. And yet, the more she tried to move around consciously, trying to utilize the (supposed) liquid to propel herself, the harder it became. Perhaps it’ll be best if I don’t think about it then!

It was only then that she paused, taking in the fact that the others appeared to be introducing themselves; at least two of them did! And they gave both a Usernames AND their own name. “But, hey! If we’re making introductions, I’m…” She trailed off, the beating of her ‘wings’ slowing as she continued to float in space. As she did so, those paying particularly close attention might have noticed the black line on either side of her iris rotating, not unlike a loading screen, as she did her best to piece her thoughts together. “...Es! I’m Es! And that’s all I can remember. It’s a pleasure to meet you all!” The Rotom would happily cheer, vibrating in place as she rotated to look at the rest of the others.
 

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Posted (edited)

“What are you?”

“None of your fucking business.”

God, that felt so good to say. The question was as vague as a forum rule enforcement on a foggy day, and to ask for clarification was just entertaining the thing as legitimate. It was better to shut the whole thing down entirely. Not to mention there was the whole self-actualization part of it. “I am who I am and there’s nothing you can do to change that,” Z. felt like they were saying.

Then, because of course it did, everything changed.

The room they found themselves in upon waking up was dank, and not in the internet slang sort of way but actually dank. The floor felt wet, everything was pretty dark even after Z. woke up and managed to shake off their remaining unconsciousness, and everything just smelled like a science museum exhibit on the ocean. The more Z. took it all in, the more they started getting uncomfortable with it all. It was a safe environment, sure, there weren’t any obvious threats, but that didn’t mean it didn’t feel hostile.

“Malefic.” That was a good word. Z. remembered putting someone on blast for using it wrong in their eyesore of a story, “The Little Primarina: What if Disney Princesses Were Pokemon Trainers?: The Grand Convergence Saga Part 1.” The snark was something like, “Maybe you can return this misused two-dollar word and use that money on something useful, like hiring a goddamn prereader to tell you you’re using two-dollar words wrong.” In any case, the ruin/cavern/whatever they were now in felt malefic. It made the hair all over their body stand on end.

It suddenly clicked what “shaking off unconsciousness” even meant. It was a simple three-word phrase, but two of those words needed a little more examination. The first was “unconscious,” implying that they’d been asleep in the first place, because Z. didn’t remember going to sleep or getting knocked out at all. They barely even remembered what they had been doing before that. The other word was “shake,” and not because that didn’t feel right to do -- in fact, it felt too right. It felt incredibly natural to just pull themselves up onto all fours and make sure all their blood was moving in all the right ways, and now that they were thinking that, well, what was the deal with being on all fours anyway?

There was a pool nearby -- that must have been the source of the dankness, Z. realized -- and they dragged themselves over to get a look at their reflection.

There wasn’t any other way to put it. They were a Zorua now.

Okay. So.

On one hand, the wrongness of the room instantly faded, the realization recontextualizing that feeling, turning it into something internal, which they could, well, they could deal with it easier. On the other, well, that was when the thousands upon thousands of follow-up questions started piling up. Adrenaline started coursing throughout Z.’s bloodstream, especially as the other Pokemon behind them started going through similar realizations, the shouting and commiserating only serving to quicken their heart rate even further. It was the sound of six voices all trying to introduce themselves at once that finally got Z. to act. They wheeled around, “Shut up, shut up, shut up!”

It didn’t quite work; a few more names slipped through the cracks. Z. made sure to remember both of them so they could give them both an earful later. “We’re not going to learn what’s going on just standing here, and we can do all the getting to know each other we want while trying to find a way out,” they said, “so I, at least, am going to go fucking do that.”

That wasn’t to say they weren’t worried, just that the “actually being safe, actually getting out of this mysterious dungeon” was much higher on the current hierarchy of needs than the certainty that this was all a dream or whatever. Z. picked a direction, choosing left, to follow the water flowing out of the pool, and started walking. They made it to the edge of the stream before they turned around one more time and said, “Call me Zeta- Call me Z.! But don’t think I’m gonna double back if you suddenly need my help!”

With that, they pushed off into the water and started paddling across.

Edited by radio414

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Chester wasn't a stranger to falling asleep in places that weren't his bed. Many a time when he had something important to work on he would end up falling asleep wherever he was working. Usually these were chairs or even the floor if he was truly that tired. So it wasn't strange for him to wake up feeling sore or uncomfortable. But no floor he had fallen asleep on was ever quite this hard of cold. For that matter, what was he even working on that demanded him to fall asleep in such conditions in the first place? 

While no floor was ever quite this hard, he also had to say that the ceilings were never quite this leaky either. Well, he presumed they weren't anyway, otherwise he would've had to bring that up to...someone? Well, that didn't quite matter right now. What did, was that there was water falling onto his face. There were also people shouting, which was quite discourteous of them when someone was so clearly sleeping here and so early in the morning at that. As the young man opened his eyes, he had to have that second part of his thought come into question. It was most certainly still dark in here, wherever here was. He didn't think he had a habit of going into caves to work on whatever it was, but he also wasn't so sure of his habits either. 

Regardless, it had seemed that there was something of a situation going on, and where there was a situation there was solving that needed to be done. Picking himself up off the ground, Chester struggled for a moment as he realized that he was a lot top heavier than he remembered. He was also a lot back heavier then he remembered - and is if on command that "back heavy" part started waving itself around. It was a sensation that was entirely foreign to the man but also naturally recognizable as "having a tail." Being perplexed about this for a moment longer, Chester finally pushed himself up onto his feet, before getting his balance proper. 

Looking around, he saw a sight that was not quite what he expected when he woke up. There was nothing but Pokemon. Pokemon and gave rock and some water. Chester blinked for a moment, and then stared as if he was lost deep in thought. He was in a cave with a bunch of pokemon that were surprisingly level with his own height. He had a tail and no thumbs. He hadn't any idea how he had gotten here and no one else seemed to as well, and he was positive that all of these names were hauntingly familiar to him. "Zeta" especially stuck out like a sore thumb to him, yet in this baffling situation there was no way it could possibly be the Zeta he knew of. Yes, such were the thoughts that Chester had that his deep thought had instead circled back to "no thought," and with his head empty he declared, "I will sort that all out later."

Clearing his throat loud enough for everyone to hear, the man continued, "since we're introducing ourselves allow me to as well. I am Chester! Or, by another handle Appletun!" Proudly declaring his screen name, he paused for a moment as he couldn't help but suddenly feel like he was appropriating something. "I don't know what's going on but in times like these it's best to stay put, stay calm and - hey! That is doing neither!" The man shouted out to Zeta as she hopped into the water. Rushing ahead of the other he shouted, "get back over here now, it's not safe to go into a cave all by yourself!" 

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There were seven other people in the room. Adriana could hear that much. But calling them people was odd too because they didn't sound human-shaped. But how did that make sense? She'd read up on synesthesia because of it popping in up in the one-off anime or manga but from what she could recall about it this didn't seem right. Her eyes shot open as she sat up abruptly from what she saw was a stone floor. A small cry escaped her... ears? An incredibly high pitch noise sounded for a fraction of a moment and by the time she heard the echo, Adriana could now hear the size and shape of the room. Nothing of that was right, her hearing wasn't that good. Looking around she saw Pokemon of all things around her. There were seven others. The seven people she'd heard that weren't shaped like people? They had to be there was nothing else around. But Pokemon weren't real. This wasn't possible. 

"Okaaaay, time to wake up" She thought to herself as she raised a hand to poke her face. But instead of a fleshy finger she was poked by a sharp claw. What's more the claw was coming off of what she saw was a wing. She had two wings even. "No no no I'm a human not whatever this is." Her thoughts continued as she looked over her body. She couldn't see her face but everything so far was lining up with a bat or a flying squirrel and neither of those were human. Similar small bursts of sound would escape her ears again as the other Pokemon began speaking and even yelling in words she could understand. She heard them so well the yelling especially was a bit difficult on the ears. Nervously following the Zorua's lead, only after they had made their declaration they were leaving, Adriana moved to the side of the pool of water in this cave she found herself in. Sure enough, a bat face with rather pronounced ears presented itself in her reflection. She had to poke herself a few more times to be sure the movements she was making really were coming out in this very non-human body.

"A Noibat? Whaaaaat come on. If you're gonna isekai me at least make me a Murkrow or something." she thought as she limply flapped her new wings up and down a few times. But wait. She'd been isekai'd. "That's not fair! I was supposed to get sent somewhere with magic and I'd be a mega-genius cuz of Earth stuff I knew!" she complained to herself again in her head. Despite the others speaking she either didn't trust this new body of hers to be capable of it or else felt that hearing her voice come out of a Noibat would seal the deal and she'd be stuck here. Maybe she could still reroll and end up as an evil witch in some high fantasy setting. Her hearing soon locked in on specific words some of the others were saying. Were the others human too? Did they get isekai'd with her? She wasn't with seven other people before so that seemed weird. "That's cheating that eight random strangers all got sent to the same place when they weren't together." she determined in her mind. Usually group isekai was because of some magical nuke at a school but she was only with one other person before. Or at least she was pretty sure. All she could clearly remember were things about forums. She knew for sure she was with a girlfriend these days but what specifically the two had been doing before any of this happened to her escaped her.

Of course eventually Adriana put together some of the other things she was hearing. Several of the Pokemon had offered what sounded like usernames on the forum she could remember. And suddenly the thought that these Pokemon might know some of the embarrassing things she'd done on her time there filled her with a dread she hadn't been expecting and that trumped the concept of being stuck as a bat in a cave in the middle of no where. What was right for a situation like this? Aggression like the Zorua? Even they had introduced themselves so maybe that much was in order. Not everyone had introduced themselves yet either so maybe there was still a chance her girlfriend had gotten taken along for the ride but even if it was possible she simply could not bring herself to give them the name Fleur. A Chespin apparently named Chester, a nice joke some god was playing there, seemed to have a more level-headed approach to things and so that was what she decided to try and follow for the moment.

"I-i'm uh.." She started before looking back at the puddle briefly "Noibat, I guess. I don't know much of what's going on either but.." she trailed off. Was that really what she was going to go by? Adriana only felt vaguely like her name. Fleur was the strongest in her mind but what if all of that was the messed up part? What if she was really just a Noibat that had been having some really wild dreams after like a concussion or something? It could explain the general amnesia. But some of those memories of the forum were so specific and the feeling she was supposed to be human was nearly undeniable. And something in her heart told her that if anime was purely an invention of her rattled brain then life wasn't worth living.

"I need a nap..." Noibat sighed as she lowered her wings she had been keeping nervously close to her mouth prior. Under most circumstances she would have wanted to try and take charge, but she already felt so in over her head. Was there even a point to trying? She was a bat now and she was in a cave. It was like fate was speaking to her that this was her life now, why fight it? Though there didn't seem to be much in the way of food so at some point she'd have to get herself out and about. Probably better to try while there were still others with her.

With the beating of her own heart ringing clearly in her ears, Noibat began flapping her wings with vigor while squinting her eyes shut. When next she opened them she was hovering about a foot off the ground before realizing she was flying, losing her balance and falling back down. Confusing as things were that was still an accomplishment. One that could energize her to try and take the first step.

"R-right! Getting out of here!" she called a bit more confidently despite the blundeer. "Someone's gotta know what happened to us so we just gotta find em! But splitting up is how you end up dead in like everything ever so we're definitely going with Chester's 'don't go in the cave by yourself' idea." she said, nodding with her false bravado as if she understood anything.

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His dream was fading.  It wasn't as if he remembered most of his dreams, but he could feel the warmth coming from the voice.  It gave him faint words of encouragement, but he could barely make it all out.  Soon, the voice was drowned out entirely by repetitious dripping.  Had someone forgotten to turn the bathroom sink off?  How incosiderate.  His thoughts were interrupted when a droplet splashed on top of his head.  Had he fallen asleep underneath the sink!?  That would be a first!  He had been up all night the evening before, trying to get some splice orders done, maybe he passed out while brushing his teeth.  

Jamie sat up straight.  He went to brush the water out of his hair, but was met with a smooth, and hard surface.  Had he gone bald!?  He groggily opened his eyes, finding he could only see out of two holes, as if he were wearing a Halloween mask.  He blinked a couple of times.  This was the weirdest way he had ever woken up.  Maybe he was still in a dream!  Where was that voice coming from, from before?  His limited field of vision caused him to turn his head from side to side.  He finally got a good scan of the room.  The walls were rocky, and the area was filled with a pool of water.  Water?  Cave?!  Where the heck was he!?

Jamie looked around some more, and found a group of.....POKEMON!?  And they were all talking with each other!?  AND HE COULD UNDERSTAND THEM!?  He was getting dizzy.  He was getting light-headed.  This was all so much to take in.  He would've fallen over, if he hadn't caught himself with the bone club he held in his hand.  BONE CLUB!?  The shock almost caused him to drop it, but it felt glued to his hand.  It was then that he realized what he was....what he had become.  

"I'M A CUBONE!?!"  He shouted out loud, almost drowning out the arguing that was happening now amongst the others.  

This dream was crazy.  He had heard of lucid dreaming before, but he'd never tried his hand at it before.  Why would he be so good at it now.  Another drop of water tapped against his head...well...the skull covering his head.  It travelled down his forehead, and into one of the eye holes of the skull.  The water was so cold it sent a shiver down his spine...and so did the realization that he had felt the water itself.  This wasn't a dream...this was happening for real!  

Jamie plopped down on the ground, as his eyes began to well with tears.

"This isn't home....I wanna go home..."  He said, as he began to sob.  Through the tears, he could see the other Pokemon of the cave had already gotten themselves together.  What would his brother do in this situation?  With tears still soaking his cheeks, Jamie walked over to the group with his Bone Club trailing behind him on the ground.  He hiccupped, his voice still shaky.  They were all offering introductions now.  And they all seemed to be using their usernames from that forum.   At least he was somewhat familiar with these people.  Sniffling, he was able to get out a sentence.  "I...I'm Hera....HeraX....pronounced Hera....Heracross.  But I'm obviously not a Heracross...so call me Cross...I guess...."  He was still wiping the tears from underneath his helmet.  This was so embarrassing.  

"What do we do now?  Is there a way out across that water?"  

Edited by Mr. Hyde

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“I’m not either. I have no idea what's going on. You’re human too, aren’t you? Or were human, I guess. Now you’re a Clobbopus.”

Until he...they, er, the Falinks voiced it Shawn hadn't quite thought about it so directly. Yeah, he's a Clobbopus now wasn't he? If he had to be a Pokemon a Galar fighting type wasn't the worst he could have become but...wait, no, that wasn't the damn point!

"This is way too messed up." Shawn said as he looked around at the waking Pokemon. Were they all humans then? Humans somehow trapped in Pokemon bodies and brought...wherever this was.

He almost missed what the Falinks said next. Which was a real gut punch, or maybe Sucker Punch was more accurate, during all this madness.

"NewGamePlus, you gotta be joking..." He recognized the name. It was one of the few things that he could remember so it cut through the fog. He didn't know them well but he knew the name. One of the people from the forum.

Despite having intentionally went up to only one of them most of the rest of the Pokemon, humans, whatever, began coming up to introduce themselves. A lot of them gave names that sounded like they were part of the forum too, and a couple he knew damn well were, which only made this weirder. For whatever reason he was sent here with a bunch of people he vaguely knew online.

He was sure they expected him to announce who he was too but hell no he wasn't going to do that. Especially with his reputation he couldn't imagine that'd go well. So he stayed silent instead.

This felt especially a good idea after a few introductions in. Zeta was a familiar sounding name and he was sure he knew who that Chespin was. And if he was remembering right both him and the Zorua weren't people he wanted to reveal his name to.

No one seemed to know what to do and Shawn wasn't exactly full of ideas. He didn't like this place that was sure and the more he stayed here the more uncomfortable and on edge he felt. To the point where, when the Cubone asked "What do we do now?  Is there a way out across that water?" he couldn't help but snap back.

"And how're we supposed to know? Doesn't seem like any of us know anything does it?" He felt bad as soon as he did, given how the Cubone had been crying moments ago, but he just pushed that down and began moving, somewhat reluctantly, towards the Chespin and Zorua. "I don't care if we stick together or not but if you all intend to then we probably should follow the one that's wandering off ."

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Sensory overload was already a recurring phenomenon to Hector in his new body. Seven scattered introductions followed his own, most of the names sounding weirdly familiar to him, though the one that stood out the most was the Zorua who shouted at him to “shut up, shut up, shut up!” at the top of their lungs. The memories associated with the name they provided—Zeta, better known as Channel Zeta—were both very clear and very, very tiresome. I lost count of how many times they got brought up in the mod forum. I guess they stir the pot just as much in person.

It was strange. His memories of Zeta’s forum shenanigans were perfectly clear, but when he tried to recall anything unrelated to the forum his brain was blanketed by a dense fog that blotted out his mind. 

"What do we do now?  Is there a way out across that water?"

"And how're we supposed to know? Doesn't seem like any of us know anything does it?"

Some protective paternal instinct possessed Hector. The Brass puffed up to his full height and the five troopers around him snapped to attention; six sets of blue eyes narrowed to ice chips, all fixed on the Clobbopus. “Hey! Don’t talk to him like that,” he said, but the Clobbopus had already turned to leave. Hector sighed and turned his attention to the Cubone. “I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by that, Cross. None of us have any more answers than you do, sorry to say, but we’re gonna figure it out, alright? Just stick close to us.” Hector wished that he could offer him more reassurance. Cross sounded young, scared, and desperate for the guidance of an adult. It struck a chord in him for some reason. …Do I have kids? Younger cousins? Siblings? It was infuriating not knowing who he was.

He shook his head softly to rattle the troubled thoughts away, but the fact that six heads shook instead of one was a grim reminder of where he was. “Come on, lets go catch up with the others. Maybe we can use me and the crew here to make a land bridge across the river, eh? Heheheh.”

Walking turned out to be a struggle that Hector had not anticipated. When he started to move forward, all six of him stepped toward the same spot at once, causing them to hit each other head on and tumble to the ground. “Sorry. Just gimme one second to get the hang of this and we’ll head over Cross.” How hard can walking possibly be? I do it all the time… I think. It took him a few more tries and another headache, but Hector eventually figured out that the best manner to walk was in a single file line with the Brass standing in front of the troopers. “Sorry about that. To the river, take two, lets go.”

Things went smoother that time. Marching felt natural and came easily to him; he wasn’t sure if he had experience marching as a human or if it was natural instinct as a Fanks. It was exactly what he did though, waddling over to the river where a small crowd was just starting to gather. Zeta was paddling across the river in spite of Chester’s valiant attempt to nag them back to the ledge, and the Clobbopus had found his way over as well. 

Hector took a deep breath before he spoke. Focus on the big guy. Just… focus on the big guy. “Hey! Hold off a minute Zeta. Hear me out before you run off on your own,” he said, the troopers fanning out behind him as he did. “Man… you’re as much of a hurricane as I remember. Good to know some stuff never changes,” his voice softened and the troopers at his back sagged and started to fade. The Brass seemed to grow more animated as the rest stilled; little blue dots grew to blazing blue orbs that scanned the room. “Is everyone awake now? Got some foggy memory? Good. We only know a couple of things right now. First is that we’re somehow all Pokémon. Second is that we were all members of NCM or YCM—at least from what I’ve heard so far. Third is kinda shaky, ‘cause I can only go off of my own knowledge, but… I can only remember stuff directly related to the forums.”

Hector broke off, panting. His shiny helmet was beaded with sweat. “Sorry. Taking a lot longer than you would think to adjust to the new body. Anyways, like I said, I barely know anything not related to NCM. I know my name. I know I’m a human. Aside from all of that… nothing. Any of you guys doing any better?” He paused and waited for people to respond before continuing.

“Right. So we’re all in about the same boat. For now we really should stick together, but sitting around won’t do us any good. Sorry Chester but Zeta has the right idea. We need to start trying to get moving and figure out where we are. I suggest we take the path of least resistance though… which doesn’t involve crossing the river. I can barely walk in this body as is.” He shuddered. All five troopers suddenly came to life and stood back at attention. “I don’t wanna risk swimming.”

He forced himself to focus. “Anyways, any objections?” 
 

Edited by Cheshire Toon

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It took longer than Z. expected to cross the stream, but, in fairness, the dog paddle (Zorua paddle?) wasn’t the most efficient stroke in the first place, better for minimizing noise and keeping one’s head above the water than speed. It turned out fortuitously, though, as both of those factors allowed Z. to at least listen to what was going on behind them, attaching names to voices even if they couldn’t see who said what, hearing everyone’s updates on the scant little information they knew, and actually getting a little amused at hearing Appletun -- or Chester or whatever he called himself -- waddling after Z. enraged that they might try and actually do something. “Wonderful,” Z. grunted as they paddled onwards, giving little heed to Chester’s actual orders. “Our hard-working mods are here to save the day.” When they reached the other side, they took a breather and added, “Well, ’mod’ singular, I guess. One of you is just an ex-mod. Really, you’re both ex-mods now that we’re here, now that I think about it. So that’s even more of a reason not to listen to you.”

Z. pulled themselves back up out of the water, shook themselves dry (it really did feel like an uncannily natural thing to do), and turned back around. There were more of them gathered over by the now-opposite shore than they expected if they were being honest with themselves. It made sense, of course -- nobody had suggested anything better -- but still. And yet, suddenly, as more and more started to gather up again, hesitation started to ripple through the crowd. “Definitely shouldn’t go in the cave by yourself,” the Noibat had said. Cross the Cubone was unsure following the stream was even the right way to go.

The worst, though, was Hector, who, even after saying Z. was in the right, still argued that they were wrong. “I suggest taking the path of least resistance,” he said. “I don’t want to risk swimming.

“Any objections?”

“Yeah,” Z. said. “A couple, actually. First of all, I’m already over here, so your ‘path of least resistance’ shit can go do exactly what shit does as far as I’m concerned. I already said I wasn’t turning around, too, so that’s double the reason. Second, I mean, I count at least two of you over there who it doesn’t matter which way you end up going -- not like a Rotom or a Noibat’s gonna have to swim. Honestly, it really just sounds like a you problem.

“But that’s just set dressing. Accoutrements, if you will. My biggest complaint is that this water’s the only clue we’ve got, and it’s pointing this way. This ruin we’re trapped in… If the spring was made this way, I figure it was with a purpose, and it’ll flow out of here. If not, if it’s just a spring that welled up afterwards, I mean, the water’s gotta go somewhere. Even an idiot could figure that out.

“So yeah, if this sends me and whoever decides to come with the wrong way, sucks, but then at least we’ll know. Knowledge is what we’re short on right now, and it’s not like we can get any more lost than we already are.”

Z. turned back around and faced the unknown passage out of the cavernous ruin, but one final thought struck them and they looked back over their shoulder. “And the ‘don’t go alone’ thing, that’s for you to solve. You don’t want me by myself? Better learn how to swim.”

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Marv, for more or less, was just rubbing the bridge between his rather large eyes. This was already becoming a headache on top of a headache he already had. Where to begin with addressing these issues? From the top, he supposed...

First: these Pokémon were all human, apparently...and all were from the same place of origin...or at least, they all were in the same place at the same time for most of the time...the YCM and NCM forums...those Pokémon forums. NewGamePlus, Zeta, Appletun, HeraX...it was obvious that the common occurrence that bound them all was simply that they all were on these forums.

Second: the Zorua, Zeta, was already having themselves go off ahead without so much of a care of the others. Marv specifically had a slight issue with this, given the current situation of the group that was around. Zorua, Rotom, Clobbopus, Falinks, Noibat, Chespin, Cubone...and himself, a Treecko. Out of the eight of them here, one would be at a huge disadvantage with anything dealing with water, that of course would be HeraX or Cross. The Falinks, Hector, was another issue...not due to Type Advantage or Disadvantage...but namely due to sheer weight of them. Everyone else would be perfectly fine...but that would mean these two would have to fend for themselves. It...struck a chord with Marv, more than he thought.

“And the ‘don’t go alone’ thing, that’s for you to solve. You don’t want me by myself? Better learn how to swim.”

"That's really going to be impossible for at least two of us, you realize..." Marv huffed slightly, crossing his arms with a slight shake of his head. "Same time, we may as well follow them. But I'm not giving up on you two just yet..." he glanced at Hector and then at Cross. "...it's just not my nature..." Was it though? He honestly couldn't tell off the top of his newly green head.

The Treecko began to pace back and forth for a moment, surveying his surroundings a bit. It was a cavernous ruin, that was for sure, ancient as the day was long. Cobblestone flooring, brick walls...it was obvious whatever this place was...it wasn't naturally-made. Glancing upward, Marv noted that the light that came in from above was dim and murky, the air is heavy and damp...were they underground or above it...? It was hard to tell even that. Looking at the stream, he rubbed his chin slightly before returning to surveying the area...noticing something on this second sweep of looking at everything.

Broken...pillars... he thought, moving towards one and immediately putting his hands up to visualize his thought process. After a few moments, Marv snapped his fingers and turned back towards the others. "I think I have an idea! Though, it's probably going to take us all to do it..." he said, before glancing at Zeta. "...well, all except for Zeta at least." Waving his hand a bit, dismissing that small thought, he pointed at the broken pillar. "If we can push this to the stream...it should be able to cover it and we use it as a bridge!"

It was a pretty sound plan in his mind and Marv threw it out there without so much of a second thought. "It's the only thing I can think of to make sure we all get over there..." he walked towards Cross, knelt down and gave him a thumbs up. "Cause I won't leave anyone behind."

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As Chester was attempting to call Zeta back over, his attention was gotten too as the Falinks started informing everyone about what was going on and what to do next. He remembered from earlier, all of five seconds ago, that he had identified as NewGamePlus; a name that Chester was certainly familiar with. He hadn't thought much of any of these incredibly familiar names, in fact he hadn't thought much of the situation at all. He was a pokemon now and there were other pokemon here so he figured this might've all been one crazy dream and he was just placing random names on to them. Of course as the man talked and mentioned NCM he was starting to think that this kind of random ascribing of details in a dream was starting to break down a little. Thankfully, both NG+ and Zeta's speeches had made him completely shove that to the side. 

As the Zorua spoke with the confidence that they did about their situation Chester couldn't help but wonder if they had some kind of experience in cave spelunking before this. Certainly it would be helpful if they did if it wasn't frustrating who such experience was attached to. "Even if this is the correct way what do you think you're going to get done by yourself?" Frustrated the Chespin shouted, "but if you want to see someone swim then - " As he went to go jump into the water, he stopped as Marv had brought up an idea. "Excellent thinking!" Walking over to one of the pillars that the Treecko had pointed to the boy thought aloud, "well, I have no idea how strong I am in this body. But Chespin's are known for their physical might...eventually...so!" The grass type flexed their tiny arms before getting ready. "Let's get pushing everyone!"  

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A lot happened next, to be honest; a Zorua jumping into the water, a Chespin running after them to call out… It seemed everyone else was awake; that was what Es had picked up on as she idly floated in circles, still trying to focus on moving. It was so weird, it wasn’t anything like walking, instead it was more like instinct than anything else. Even as she had told herself she wasn’t going to think about it, even that seemed easier said than done, but this moving thing was even stranger. She had thought about trying to turn her ‘wings’, though they seemed to be made for decoration at best, into feet, but… Why was she so sure walking would be easier? Had she ever walked before? She sure couldn’t remember walking. 

Though, walking wasn’t the only thing she couldn’t remember. In fact, she couldn’t come up with any reason why she should know how to walk; even if she distinctly remembered being a human before, she didn’t remember anything about what being a ‘human’ meant, or was. Did humans walk? If so, how did they walk? Two feet? Three? Four? Two seemed the easiest, but was that just because she only had two wings now? There was just so much to think about. And even then, it wasn’t so much that she was bothered by it all, that she was curious; just what did she know, that she didn’t know? What secrets were locked within her mind? What-

Oh, hey, she had made it to the edge of the river. When had that happened?

“Wo-a--a-a-h ho! Stop right there!” Es cried out to herself as she came to a stop just at the edge; voice ringing out as the Rotom tilted backwards, plasma flickering with each syllable of her ‘woah’. It was only after she stopped speaking that she came to listen to everything everyone had to say, rotating in place to face the majority of the group.  Or at least, pretending to as the Falinks began to speak. He said a lot, an awful lot, but from what she was able to tune into, he brought up some good points. Primarily, that it would be easier for the most of them to go the way that wasn’t covered in water; a predicament that she might have thought more about had the Zorua, Zed, Es thought their name was? Fired back. By now, the Zorua had made it over to the other side of the river, and so-

Oh, she was crossing the river, or stream now, herself, wasn’t she? And at a good clip too, huh?

It was so weird, floating in place wherever one thought she should go, even if there was no… Physical component to it. It was made worse by the fact that it seemed subconscious at best, given that she wasn’t consciously trying to move over the river. Yet, still, the Rotom jittered seemingly along the river towards the Zorua, all while still facing the others, doing her best to pay attention to at least their plan as she subconsciously moved to follow the one furthest along. It was about then that the Treecko (Marge?) among them, came to suggest that they use the broken pillars to cross, though, they expected that it would take most of them working together to do that.

And it was because she came to rest beside the now-dry Zorua as she heard this, that she came to a simple conclusion. “N-N-N-Nope, sorry! Looks l-l-l-ike I won’t be able to help you with that one, gang!” She called out to the other side, voice jittering as she, in a triangle position, zipped in a circle with each repeated syllable, an almost comical grinning mouth appearing as the Rotom seemed to laugh in place. “Mostly because if I stop moving, I might die like a Sharpedo!” She joked, before coming to a rather sudden stop, even plasma halting and pausing in the air for a moment as her eyes came to stare at the group. “That means that since I still have so much to learn about my body, you guys probably do too! So it’s probably best that you all work this one out on your own, to practice, right?” She asked, her tone dropping a bit more than was intentional, as the plasma began to flow around her again, rather than stagnantly pause around her. “Don’t you agree?” She’d turn to face the Zorua, as she tried to cover for the fact that she likely wouldn’t have been any help to begin with, as weak as this body felt.

Edited by Tiamat's Circus

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"And how're we supposed to know? Doesn't seem like any of us know anything does it?"

Cross recoiled at the Clobbopus' response, worried that he would get more than just a tongue lashing.  However, the Pokemon backed off.  

 “Hey! Don’t talk to him like that,” Hector berated the quicktoangerpus.  Cross sniffled a bit before waddling over to the group of Falinx. “I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by that, Cross. None of us have any more answers than you do, sorry to say, but we’re gonna figure it out, alright? Just stick close to us.”

Cross nodded, and came walked closer to him, eventually grabbing ahold of one of the smaller Hector's spikes.  

"Thanks NewGamePlus..."  He said through some more tears, snot, and sniffles.  

“Come on, lets go catch up with the others. Maybe we can use me and the crew here to make a land bridge across the river, eh? Heheheh.”

Cross followed closely behind the stumbling gaggle of soldiers.  It was kinda funny watching them all clumsily walk about, it was starting to take his mind off the situation.  But he made sure not to laugh too hardly.  It must've been really hard for your original human body to be split up among all those little armored orbs.  When he could, he made sure to help the one he held onto as it stumbled.  As they came to the water, it was obvious that they needed a plan.  Being a Cubone, that meant he was probably going to be weighed down by his helmet and club...practically a death sentence.  With some more discussion, it was confirmed that somehow they had all been involved with NCM at some point in their lives, and now they were Pokemon.  Rudely, across the river, Z began to hound some more.

“And the ‘don’t go alone’ thing, that’s for you to solve. You don’t want me by myself? Better learn how to swim.”

"That guy's really mean..."  Cross noted.  He had since stopped with the waterworks, and his voice was back to normal.  "What's his deal anyway?  Is he a toddler?"  What did it matter now.  He rolled the dice, and got a lucky pick of Pokemon...one that could actually traverse water.  If he felt like the group wasn't needed, than phooey to him.  Order of Shadow...or Marv, was the first one to come up with a plan

"I think I have an idea! Though, it's probably going to take us all to do it..."  He walked over to a pillar of stone in the cave, "If we can push this to the stream...it should be able to cover it and we use it as a bridge!"  Nobody objected, so it sounded like a good enough plan.  Cross' only idea was to have Hector float as some sort of bridge for everyone to ride on, but that would risk his life in that new couple of bodies of his.  A no go indeed. "It's the only thing I can think of to make sure we all get over there..." The Treeko walked towards Cross, knelt down and gave him a thumbs up. "Cause I won't leave anyone behind."

Cross smiled, and nodded.

"Mhm!"  Was all he could muster.  Between Hector and Marv, he felt really safe!

Chester the Chespin seconded the plan.  

"Let's get pushing everyone!"  

"Yeah!  I'm in this with y'all!"  Cross made his way to the pillar, before pushing with all of his might.  "Together!"  

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Posted (edited)

Whatever confidence Noibat had built up for herself was quickly crumbling as none of the others seemed to take much notice of her. She had effectively said nothing thinking on it and it's not like 'go into the cave after the Zorua' wasn't going to be the literal next thing out of her mouth so in effect everyone was still following the plan. Still, it seemed better to keep to herself for the moment. This was immediately challenged by Cross, who was now a Cubone, crying. The sound alone registered so clearly in her ears it nearly drove her mad with how bad she wanted to help the kid. But helping kids was definitely outside of her skillset and some of the others seemed a lot more up to the task. For now, making sure everyone could out seemed to involve bringing a pillar down for the less swimming oriented Pokemon in the room to manage their way across the stream. Playing leader hadn't gotten her anywhere so follower seemed just as good for the time being. Only as she tried to walk after them Noibat immediately took stock of how ineffective walking was proving to be as a mode of transportation for her.

"Right... Noibat now..." she muttered to herself as she flapped her wings limply a couple times. At this rate she was just going to fall behind so putting her doubts behind her for the moment she took to more vigorously flapping again. The more she flapped the more she could hear own heart racing. Incredibly fast at that. There was no way that was healthy but just something else to ignore since it wasn't exploding yet. With a bit more exertion she found herself hovering somewhat stable in the air. Awkwardly leaning forward in the air started moving her off toward the others. Attempts at corrections quickly became overcorrections and she had very little control of her speed or height. The next thing Noibat knew she was about to ram face-first an upright pillar near the group that was trying to push one on the ground. With a panicked extra flaps she rammed the top of the pillar with the side of her body rather than her face and was soon tumbling through the air and down onto the broken pillar. Happy to be not in the air for a moment she didn't immediately register where she was or that she was sort of in the way.

"Flying always looked so much easier in..." Noibat trailed off through her own heavy breathing. The idea of several different shows were coming to mind but only in the form of things she'd seen discussed on the YCM or NCM forums. For the life of her she couldn't remember what the things actually looked like. What kind of cruel god would flood her mind with her own descriptions of all these awesome things and not the things themselves? With a groan she pushed her head up to get a better look at the others. She looked at the Chespin in particular who if her brain was serving her right had introduced himself as a current mod of NCM. Several of the others sure had rallied to his call after he approved of the Treecko's idea.

"Since when does this community listen to mods?" Noibat chuckled as she thought to herself. Except this thought was not actually to herself. It had been sent directly to the minds of those aiding the in pillar effort, not that she knew. "Here to help gang." she said, still clearly jumbled from the fall. She raised a wing up for a moment like she was trying to wave with a human hand. Eventually it was going to register she was on top of the thing they wanted to move and only making things more difficult but now was not that moment.

Edited by Doggo

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Posted (edited)

Hector resisted the urge to roll his eyes at Zee. He was fairly sure of at least two things; one, they were being an immature brat, and two, the presence of a stream that all signs indicated was man-made was not really a clue on their location. Arguing with them won’t solve anything though. The saying ‘don’t feed the trolls’ sprang to mind. He remembered telling people that all the time on YCM and NCM. They’ll drag you down to their level and then they’ll beat you with experience, so the only way to win is to not take the bait. That probably meant it was time for him to sink-or-swim, in the literal sense. 

"That guy's really mean..."  Cross said. Hector was happy to see that his tears had dried. "What's his deal anyway? Is he a toddler?"

“Not he. They,” Hector corrected the Cubone softly. He was very gradually starting to get a handle on talking. “Z. goes by they, okay?” Hector had no idea why he felt the need to correct such a mistake. He could remember them informing the forum, and there being a certain degree of controversy, but he had not been personally informed. There’s gotta be some kinda social connotation I don’t remember. I just know it’s important to get it right. “I’m sure they’re just stressed. We all are. Don’t take anything anyone says right now all that personally.” It was the second time he had told Cross that, but that was because the fact remained they were all probably various degrees of panicked and none of them (him included) were in their right minds.

It wasn then that Marv—should I use real names or usernames?—had an excellent idea. They could take a fallen pillar and push it over to make a bridge. The moderator, Chester the Chespin, was quick to endorse the idea. 

“Good catch Marv.” Hector waddled over to the Treecko. Walking still proved to be a real battle, a tiresome endeavor that required him to try and keep six pairs of legs in-sync so that no one got stepped on. At the moment his most effective strategy was to envision a clumsy Scolipede. Move the six right legs forward, then the six left legs forward, all while accounting for the fact that the Big Guy had slightly longer stubs-for-legs so his gait was different than the troopers. He was more than relieved to stop when he made it to Marv. "High-five my man," he said, raising a polished golden shield into the air. The five troopers behind him did the same.

"Uh, thanks...you guys? Guy? Jeez this is a little much..." Marv chuckled nervously, high-fiving the golden shield Hector rose up.

Hector moved the shield forward to meet the high-five. “Heh, don’t sweat it. If you have a—ow! Ow ow ow… ow!” The five troopers mimicked the motion; each one hit the other in the back of the helmet with their shield, filling the cavern with the sounds of clanging metal and soft shouts of pain. “. . .” Hector’s ears were ringing. His head hurt, and also he probably seemed like a huge idiot. Oh well. Learned something at least. Apparently I feel every bit of pain all six of… well, all six of ME do. Also that he needed to be sure to only act as the Big Guy and not all six of them.

God, he had his work cut out for him.

He brushed it off and precariously waddled over to the pillar the others were pushing. It took some very careful finagling, but he managed to get in position to help by switching from a straight line to a horizontal line where they were shoulder-to-shoulder. “We won’t get very far if we don’t work together,” he said, being very deliberate with his focus. “On three, push as hard as you can for a few seconds and then stop. That okay with you all? Alright. One… two… thre—whoa!

Suddenly there was a voice inside of his head. With his mind already such a mess, it cut through all the weaker thoughts like butter. “Since when do we listen to mo--did… did you just talk in my head? Did anyone else hear that? Did you mean to do that?” Hector fired off questions rapid fire, almost all of them probably hard to understand in the jumble of his voices. Hector calmed himself down after the surprise. “You get mind powers and I turn into a team of uncoordinated toddlers in helmets? And you can fly too! Could you be any cooler?”

“Sorry. Sorry. I can ask later. We gotta get moving right now, before we get left behind.” Hector braced his stubby little feet on the ground and pressed his shields flat against the pillar. “On three! One… two… three!” He pushed with all his might, as did—hopefully—the others. The pillar groaned before it began to roll, loose chips of stone flaking off and falling to the floor. “Woo! We got this! One… two… three!” It rolled further. 

Hector enjoyed the physical labor and teamwork. It grounded him and made it easier to focus than when he had just been standing around; the Brass seemed to naturally draw most of his attention when it came to working together.

Though he swore that second trooper was a few seconds out of sync. What was going on with that?
 

Edited by Cheshire Toon

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The water was freezing.

It felt as if Z. had dipped themselves into an icy midwinter stream, liquid only because of its swift current. The chill seeped through their fur, past their meat, into their bones, stealing their breath away, and only after they climbed over the sharp edge of the canal and shook off the droplets did it loosen its chokehold. But now the Zorua was cold and damp in a cold and damp place, and that was never pleasant. Bearable at the moment, but uncomfortable.

Across the canal, the other Pokémon pushed against the fallen pillar. Even with Noibat's added weight, the column shifted with a slow, grinding sound. Each brush against a cobblestone caused it to shiver like a landed fish, making for a bumpy ride. With every judder, it threatened to leap out of their hands, but the combined strength of the group, especially that of the fighting types, kept it moving.

When the Pokémon finally reached the canal and pushed, everything went well at first. Shortly before the pillar settled into place, it swayed ominously before sliding down. Unless the group moved fast or somebody lifted it from underneath, their bridge would tip into the canal.

Meanwhile, Z., and whoever followed them, could see into the passage up top after advancing. The corridor widened into a circular room, inside which another canal ringed a brick column. At the front, across a land bridge, a single marble stone block bulged out from the brick. Cut into the center was a large keyhole.


OOC

Spoiler

Whoa, it's the third round already! Or the second round? Not sure what to count this as. Either way, it's a round. Same rules as before. Just have to make one post in the next two weeks and you're set, but if you want to make more so that the pace moves faster, that's up to you.

Also, some stuff happened in this post. Not a lot, but they happened. So, you can react and stuff if you want. Or don't react and twiddle your thumbs. Whichever works.

I decided to put the maps into Discord from now on. This makes it easier to reference the maps and also keeps my Imgur from getting cluttered. The second reason may or may not be the actual reasoning behind this decision.

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 “Hey! Don’t talk to him like that,”

"Whatever, just my luck getting yelled at cause someone else said something stupid offline too." Shawn grumbled. He was in a foul mood. He didn't have any better idea of what was happening and he still had no clue where they should be going. The others seemed to have their own thoughts on it but no solid answers.

He really didn't like not knowing. It made him feel jumpy. As if this cavern was going to come crumbling down at any moment.

Trying to shake off the feeling he listened in on what the others were planning. Apparently they were going to push a pillar across the stream. He couldn't help but laugh at the idea of the Zorua having got all wet only for them to make a bridge. So much for acting fast. Shawn never liked to do things on impulse....wait, he didn't? He wasn't sure what this was based on, what he experienced that made this the case, but it felt correct.

So he supposed he should go with that?

In any case with a sigh he moved to join the rest. "Fine, I'll do it, but don't boss me around or else."

Shawn was the last one to join the pushing yet, at least he thought, it only really started moving when he joined. It was a weirdly prideful moment for the now-Clobbopus. He pushed with all he could, a lot more than he'd expect from such stubby arms (no, tentacles), and the pillar made steady progress. Now and then it would bounce and judder and yet, despite not having fingers to grip, Shawn never actually lost his hold.

They managed to get it across but it was much too soon to celebrate. "Ah, hell, you gotta be kidding me is it not long enough?" The pillar looked to be about to fall in on one side which would defeat the whole point of this.

"Guess someone gotta stop it huh?" Shawn said, knowing he probably should be the one given his apparent strength advantage. Yet when he went to pull back he found himself, once more, stuck. This time both tentacles were attached to the end of the pillar.

And then the pillar began to slowly sink on the other side and lifted their end, along with Shawn, into the air. His legs....bottom tentacles were lifted up a few inches and left him dangling from the end of the pillar.

He tried to pull off but, having just spent a lot of energy pushing the thing, and not having proper footing (tentacling? Ugh.), he couldn't quite get unattached. "God...damn...stupid suction cups!" he said, frustrated and panicked at his defenseless and useless position.

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Z. was about to say something actually rather nice to Es the Rotom as she made observations about the virtues of practice (or rather, they would have if they didn’t have that mental note still lingering to yell at her for not shutting up when asked), but they were interrupted by more antics from the other side of the stream before they could. The most pressing was the Cubone, whose insults were rather tame except for the part where they thought Z. was male for some reason. Z. flinched at that thought, and the only reason they didn’t leap back into the water to give Cross the lecture/beating they deserved was Hector managing to get there first (It did mean they got to store up some good licks for the next time, though).

“Yeah -” Z. said. This time, they were cut short by a powerful voice in their head, Since when does this community listen to mods? It didn’t feel like their thought, but they sure did agree with it, and they very nearly freaked out again, but stopped just short remembering how cold the water was the first time around. Like, they would, obviously, if they had to, but at least they could wait until the Cubone or anyone else dared try again.

Speaking of trying again, “Yeah,” Z. said as they turned back around to head onwards into the rest of the dungeon. “Practice is hard, though. You can’t just do the thing, ‘cause if you do it wrong, even if your results are good, you’re just going to keep doing it wrong. Not ‘practice makes perfect,’ but ‘perfect needs perfect practice,’ right?

“I mean, I hope they do well. It sucks to see ruined potential.” Z. paused, almost like they were done speaking, but then added, “So let’s get the hell out of here,” and walked into the misty darkness concealing whatever else the dungeon had in store for them.

“It sucks to see ruined potential.” That was one of the first headers for their fic review series. It had cycled through a few throughout the years, generally in keeping with whatever their most recent entry had contained (other highlights included “Sturgeon’s Law is bunk -- it’s all garbage” and “Putting the ‘fix’ in ‘fix fic’”). That particular header was in response to “La Rose De L’Academie // The Rose of The Academy,” a crossover between two-decades-old anime that, while technically proficient (aside from a clear overuse of em-dashes), demonstrated pretty clearly that the author had no understanding of the themes of either work they were ficcing from. Z. remembered that it sprung out into a whole argument, about death of the author and the subversion of expectations, none of which was very interesting. Z.’s final message before moving on was, “Listen, you can go buy a style guide, you can memorize all the rules, do all the homework like a good little yuppie fuck, but that’s all skin. And you know what else has really good skin? Fucking red delicious apples. You know what else the red delicious is known for? Not living up to its fucking appearance.”

Why did they remember that, aside from the word association? Maybe it was the lack of other memories? That because there were just vacant holes where their real life should have gone, all they had were forum experience? The last time this had happened, there was all that hubbub, but now, away from most everyone else, the reality of what they were and what they were doing started to set in. “If I stop moving, I might die like a Sharpedo,” Es had said. Maybe that was the same for Z.

Further introspection was ruined by the corridor they and Es were walking/floating respectively widening out to another room, this one about as big as the one they had just escaped from. It also had water, though it encircled an area walled off on all sides save for one opening, which was simply blocked off by a door with a large keyhole. The rest of it wasn’t featureless, but none of it helped with the both literal and figurative central mystery of the room (or the ruins as a whole, for that matter).

“Well, piss,” Z. said, walking up to the door and giving it a good shake. Either it was way too heavy or simply locked like the keyhole implied. Worse, though, was having to go back and tell everyone else, as even though they’d hoped their “if we’re not supposed to go this way first” speech had prepared everyone for this, they still expected an earful for just facing everyone again, and while they could deal with that, obviously, it wasn’t about to be a fun experience. “Well, unless you can ghost through that or something, I guess,” Z. said, but they started heading back all the same.

They came back to the most scene of all time. Apparently, someone had had the bright idea that, instead of swimming, they should roll one of the pillars over to make a makeshift bridge, not considering that at some point enough of the pillar would be hanging over the edge that it would just tip right over. The Noibat on top certainly wasn’t doing them any favors either. Even worse, it appeared to have taken the Clobbopus with them, and he was now dangling off the front while Hector the Falinks and the rest could only watch on.

“Jesus Christ, I leave you alone for like five minutes and now look what you’ve done.” There were small things they didn’t want to admit, like how the trip back was made much easier by just jumping onto the fallen pillar and avoiding the water entirely, but they still couldn’t help but chuckle at everyone’s misfortune. Z. only just managed to calm down enough to talk to the Noibat again, “Hey, scootch your butt, we’re gonna see if we can’t push this thing back down,” but getting up close to the helpless Clobbopus just opened the floodgates back up again. “How’s it hanging?” Z. cackled. “Bet you feel like a sucker, don’t you? You pull a mussel or something?”

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With Noibat's help, some semi-hearty cheering and encouragement without moving, the team was able to start moving the pillar across the stream. The path for the less water-worthy Pokemon among them was becoming clear. That was until they had almost reached their goal. The pillar proved short enough to start dipping down into the stream before it finished bridging the gap. A dip of her toes into the cold water was enough to prompt some movement on Noibat's part, primarily scooting up some on the pillar before her lower half got submerged with it. The other side of the pillar was raising into the air with the Clobbopus who had decided to help too still stuck to it. If she wasn't about to take a freezing bath she might have laughed at the situation.

The feeling almost left with Zeta's arrival back on the scene after being so adamant about leaving everyone behind. But go figure no one could be that heartless and here the Zorua was looking to help. They addressed Noibat directly though, telling her to move her butt out of the way which prompted Noibat to finally stand up and maybe start moving. Weighing down the end that was tipping up was certainly an idea, one that made enough sense. Noibat wasn't sure how much weight she had to offer to the situation but in the worst case scenario she could just get off the pillar and cheer the gang on again. That'd do it for sure. But first Zeta started a slew of puns about the Clobbopus' situation. Noibat snorted, trying to stifle a laugh but failing miserably.

"No, come on." She started berating herself mentally. "Puns are stupid, don't laugh at that." she thought again while her body clearly disagreed. She raised a wing to her lips as if trying to stop herself from saying something. "He looks a little octopied." Noibat thought again against her own attempt at better judgement. This pun however did not stay in her own mind. Like her mod comment before it she unknowingly broadcast it into the minds of everyone nearby. Still oblivious to this new power the bat couldn't stop herself from actually laughing now that she had joined in mentally with Zeta.

"God I needed that." Noibat managed to say as she calmed down and continued walking toward the other end of the pillar to aid in the effort of weighing it down. Of course she soon cleared her throat briefly as if to say that was over now and she had regained her composure. "Not that it's cool to laugh at his misfortune" she started saying to Z. while trying to keep a straight face. She was a bit uncertain which side of this she landed on despite how good laughing like that had felt for her nerves. She was trying to garner favor with the Zorua but not alienate herself from anyone who may have disapproved. A losing battle no doubt but nothing a little extra good faith couldn't aid with. "Hang on, we'll get ya down! Or the pillar at least, sorta on you to let go of it." she called to the dangling Clobbopus before having to stifle another chuckle at the absurdity of the situation she found herself in. It was almost enough to forget the dread of being ripped away from her proper life as a human and turned into a bat. At least for a little bit.


OOC

Spoiler

Decided for improved clarity, thoughts Noibat keeps to herself will just be italicized, while thoughts she telepathy's to everyone else will also be bolded.

 

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Posted (edited)

Her first reaction was simply, to nod along, which looked an awful lot like the Orb was simply floating there, suspended, but there was the added intricacy of the fact that the orange ball in the center was, in fact, moving up and down along to the Zorua’s words. “Mh-hm!” She agreed with them, jittering slightly with the noise as they absentmindedly floated alongside them as she opened her eyes back up, intent to listen to their philosophy as they looked for something else in the ruins. It wasn’t until they finished, having stated that it was time for them to get moving, that Es felt the need to open her mouth again.

It was an interesting discussion to hold, given that it was proving to be true. The more she tried to force herself to focus on it, to learn how to move around, to float, the more she felt it was… Difficult. It wasn’t right. She couldn’t get herself to figure it out by simply trying to practice moving, focusing on it every inch of the way. No; while that got results, it wasn’t right. That was clear, given the fact that as soon as she began to focus on it she came to a sudden start. Meanwhile, when she let it slip from her mind, it was… Easy. She could follow, she could move, and she was fast. Erratic, spastic, maybe. But she moved, and it was right. She wasn’t sure how she knew, but she clearly saw it in her mind's-eye, so to speak. She moved the way she was supposed to, when she wasn’t paying attention.

“Ex-----” She paused, jumping forwards with a sudden line of plasma, before seemingly being pulled backwards. “-Actly! Practice does nothing if rushed, y’know? Felt like a better idea t-t-t-to leave them to figure it out at their own pace so they figured it out right, y’know?” She explained, thinking out loud as she repeated the same question, her actual movement turning to a sudden jump forwards in a “Z” pattern, before returning to her position beside the Zorua, as she got caught on the voiceless alveolar stop. “...Though, I hope I figure out how to stop that gl-gl-gl-glitch sooner, rather than later.” She’d make a joke at her own expense, the plasma coming to a sudden stop, no longer halting, as she repeated the [gl] sounds.

Oh, they had made it. The darkness hadn’t stretched on near as long as she expected it to; though, that solved any problems of having to potentially hold any further idle-conversation while she needed to figure out the source of her new vocal-tic. This left her standing… Or… Floating beside the Zorua, as they came to the new room. What looked to her like a little keep, a little castle with a moat - though she wasn’t sure where this description had come to her from - was nestled perfectly in the center of the room. The only really exciting part of the formation was the center of it, a door with a large-keyhole. The rest of it, while interesting in its own way, didn’t seem to be… Really useful for progress.

“You said it.” Was the Rotom’s only response to their fast-friend’s frustration, as they both approached the door. The door was large, as was the keyhole, though the first thought that came to her mind wasn’t exactly the smartest solution, given that she had no idea if she could actually fit in the keyhole. The Zorua had come to a similar conclusion. “...Nnnope. I think I’m the… Uh…” She paused, plasma coming to a sudden halt as the two, translucent wings bent unnaturally to point inwards towards herself, before returning to their normal ‘flapping’ idle-state. “Orb. And it’s, unfortunately, quite tangible, if what I felt when I woke up is anything to go by. Sorry,” she’d give a slight ‘shrug’, as the Zorua began walking back; trailing behind them all the while, dutifully taking up the rear.

They got back to the group faster than they had left, at least, she thought; that’s what it felt like, at least, to her.  It was a reasonable amount of time, at least. That much she could tell easily, as they reached the river, across the pond from where everyone had woken up. It was only as she came to this conclusion though, that she also came to the conclusion that… Her grasp of time was… Off, wasn’t it? It had to be. After all, she had no idea how long they had been walking before they reached here the first time, nor this time. Shouldn’t she have had some frame of reference? Had it been minutes? Hours? Days? Yet nothing really came to mind. Why was that? That didn’t make a lick of sense. Yet it also felt natural, like… It’s what she was used to. Why did she feel like she was used to wasting her time? Like wasting her time was the only way she got through everything before?

“Geez…How much freetime do you have, anyways? You seem almost omnipresent anytime your field is brought up here, Matter_Shaper…”

Why did that thought, or rather question, keep coming to as she tried to figure out why she felt this way about time? 

It was only then, as the Zorua leapt to the pillar, and went about berating someone on the other side, that her own introspection was brought to a sudden end. “Ah! Right, we’re here.” She murmured as she once again took stock of her location; above the water, watching the scene unfold from the side of the pillar falling into the water. Though she knew she would be useless to actually moving the Pillar, she couldn’t help but feel like the others weren’t exactly doing their best job at helping, as she came to float to the side of the Pillar, finally able to see the full picture; including the person hanging off the side of the Pillar that was in the air.

“...You know, when I said you needed t-t-t-t-to practice, strength-training isn’t exactly what I had in mind.” Es called out, plasma suddenly stopping-and-starting with each repeated consonant. “But hey, if you wait to let go until it’s got more momentum, it could fling you over!” She continued, not even bothering to go over the mental-math to see if the physics of that would even actually work out. “...Though, it’s not like that would matter, given that there’s nnnnowhere to go in that direction.” She explained with a bit of an exasperated sigh.

Edited by Tiamat's Circus

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Hector had no way of knowing that he was an expert at juggling multiple tasks. He could not remember that he had captained a soccer team since he was a boy, or that he was a former drum major in his high school marching band. He couldn’t even recall that he had made his living as the head chef of an extremely busy California restaurant; that cooking six or seven dishes at once in the hundred-plus-degree heat of the kitchen was a normal Tuesday for him. All of that knowledge had been snatched from him by some mysterious unseen force that had decided to turn him into a Pokémon.

The instinct and ability sharpened by those experiences, however, remained. A fragment of who he had been that stood in steadfast defiance of that unseen force. 

Hector was very grateful for that tiny fragment of self. The marching and the cadence he shouted to the others, the flame-hardened focus that allowed him to brute force his way through his inability to control his body, everything that he was relying on to forge ahead and keep going. All of it came from that little fragment that remained of his forgotten life. The only problem is… it doesn’t feel like me. Objectively Hector knew that made no sense at all. Those skills, that muscle-memory, all of it was his own. He had obviously trained all of it up at some point. And yet… it didn’t feel that way. 

“One… Two… Three!” Hector spoke only as the bulkier Falinks known as the Brass, but all six of the armored blobs pushed into the pillar. They were close to the edge of the stream now. “Spin it first,” he called. “We wanna push it straight across!” 

Hector realized as they rotated the pillar that he and the Clobbopus  (he had given no name) were probably the majority of the muscle behind the movement. Does our typing give us some type of advantage? He was far from an authority on the stats of the video games. He knew Fighting-types typically had a high attack stat, but was it their typing or the stat itself that granted them their strength? That doesn’t really matter, he realized, pushing the question to the back of his mind. He had to focus on the task at hand. 

Said task took a turn for the worst at that moment. The front end of the pillar dipped into the stream before it could reach the other side. The current was too weak to drag it away, but there was still the threat of it completely falling in. Plus the Clobbopus had somehow gotten stuck to it and was dangling helplessly in the air. 

“Language,” Hector scolded. “Hang on! We’ll find a way to get you down!” That was easier said than done. Hector lunged into action but once again bumped into himself. Two of the troopers tumbled onto the ground from the impact. “Grr… Stupid…” Every moment that he struggled to do something as basic as walk added onto his frustration. Hector was a rather patient man but even he had his limit, and he was fast approaching it. Z. didn’t do a whole lot to alleviate the situation on their return either… though Hector had to give them credit, the puns were good.

He caught himself when he realized he was chuckling. All six of the helmet-clad Pokémon shuddered softly, feathered plumes shaking with tiny bouts of laughter. “Not the time you two,” he scolded Z. and Noibat, but his voices lacked any weight. It took all his control to force himself to stop giggling. He supposed he ought to thank Z. for that when he got the chance. Just wish the laughs weren’t always at someone’s expense. Hector couldn’t stand a bully, and Z. had toed the line between mischievous and mean-spirited basically as long as he had known them.

Hector had an easier time focusing than before. His head was clear of the small mountain of frustration that he had amassed since waking up. The Brass stepped forward while the troopers jolted to attention. “I’m gonna try to get up there. Watch out, ‘cause I don’t have a clue how this will work out!” he warned the others.

Then Hector focused. He visualized what he wanted to do; he just wanted all six of him to jump at once. Six brows scrunched; six sets of eyes squeezed shut. Six pairs of very stout, stubby legs dug into the cobblestone, and then… six Falinks flew into the air with a gravity defying leap that shot them far above the pillar. 

“Whoa!” Hector’s shields swung wildly looking for purchase. Through sheer dumb luck, five of him landed on top of the pillar—the Brass and four troopers, though none of them were grouped and two of the troopers had landed helmet down, legs flailing in the air searching for ground that wasn’t there. The sixth and final trooper (which Hector had begun to refer to as Hector C) missed by the tiniest margin and landed in a heap beside Chester. His eyes had been replaced by swirling blue vortexes synonymous with being dizzy. 

Hector was completely disoriented. His head spun and it took everything he had in him just to keep the rest from falling off the pillar. "Urgh... everyone okay?"
 

Edited by Cheshire Toon

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Great, now they were laughing at him. Well at least he found out that he couldn't blush in this body but that didn't make it much better. "It's not my fault these stupid things are so goddamn sticky. How do animals move around with these things all the damn time." He couldn't do much but grumble, and groan at the jokes, as the others tried to weigh the pillar down.

Once his...tentacles touched the ground Shawn found that it was easier to get some leverage. He began to pull with even more force than before and, though he felt as if he was almost pulling the arm-tentacles off, he was able to release the suction's grip on the edge of the pillar.

“Urgh… Everyone… okay?”

"No, not at all. And you stop your laughing," he looked up at the Zorua. "I heard what the Rotom said, your way was a bust wasn't it? Where do you get off making fun of anyone else huh?" He hadn't wanted to confront them, of all people, but he couldn't help but snap back after the embarrassing situation.

Shawn was growing even more frustrated by this place by the second. "If there's nothing over there then I ain't gonna waste any more time trying to get that stupid thing across. If you all want then you can just do it yourself." He began looking in the other direction and tried to figure out what might be that way. "Anyone else think we should just go the way that doesn't make us do a buncha pointless crap?"

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