Total Posts: 1393
Member No. 1923
Joined on 24-February 15.
Alexander Fitzgerald | Emilie Chartoire | Talia
Eggs Count (Starter and Horsea): 1
Talia was definitely not expecting the next words out of Barrie's mouth.
Getting accepted into the Order meant that she would have to do strange things. She knew this, but a Guardian party right off the bat? It was ludicrous at first glance. She was far older than the average Guardian, and between her age and her stature, she was likely to be noticed nearly immediately. It felt almost like she was being thrown into a soiree of Caledonian nobles with nothing but her wits to keep her safe. If this was a test, it was certainly a high-risk one.
And yet, she would have to accept it. She knew the patronizing tone Barrie then adopted as she implied that the mission might be too hard. There was always the possibility that Barrie was testing Talia's ego, seeing if she would deliberately take on a mission that was too difficult for her because of her prior station, but that was not what drove Talia forward. If she asked for something easier, she would likely get stuck in a rut, taking on deliveries and simple things best suited for those without a lifetime of experience of conniving. Talia could do far more than that, and showing Barrie could help her move up the ranks of the Order.
"I'll take the party," she confirmed her choice, "but there is more I will need to know. How will I get in, given that this lieutenant is likely to have security, and is there a way to convince this group of Guardians who all know each other that I am one of them?" She did not mean for Barrie to do all the work, of course, but by showing her thought process, perhaps Barrie might be more inclined to see her as valuable, and thus, worth helping.
She looked to Joshua for answers as well, noting the way he held himself and the nondescript clothing he wore. She would listen to him carefully, trusting in his expertise, but she would also try to shine on her own and demonstrate her own merit. Too long had she depended on the merits and deeds of others to create her reputation; now, it was time to do it herself.
Not quite by herself, she realized as she contemplated the egg inside the bag that she already wanted to protect, and the poke ball Barrie had given her upon joining the Order. The ball was warm, making Talia suspect a fire-type, but she considered her location and doubted it. Why would there be a fire-type in Maritime? It would just make her stand out. Mentally, she ran through a list of types, wondering what kind of pokemon she would get to train as her own. It would be her first pokemon to train by herself, and the curiosity began to eat at her as she wondered what it could possibly be.
Soon, the curiosity became too much. She hoped she didn't presume too much as she said,
"I would want to know who my partner is on this mission before I depart," relishing the warmth of the poke ball in her hand as she sought approval. Once she obtained it, she would press the white button in the center of the ball, wondering what Barrie would see fit to give her. Thoughts and ideas churned in her mind, but when the red light resolved, only one remained.
You smell like home.
She looked down at the small creature, a bittersweet smile cracking her face as she beheld the numel. How could Barrie have known exactly what she wanted? A common fire-type, one that often worked with its handler to maintain heat at a forge or a smithy, generally regarded as a working man's pokemon - and it was beloved to her for that exact reason. She had never seen one so small - this one looked like little more than a baby - and its eyes widened as it looked up at its new handler.
"Numel?" the pokemon said softly, the voice feminine enough for Talia to recognize that it was a girl.
"Hello, little one," Talia whispered, nearly overcome with emotion. But there was a part of her that knew this numel, this sweet taste of her past, would be a test as well. How would she deal with a pokemon she used to see every day when she lived peacefully with her brother and sons, a pokemon she knew all too well and whose mere sight threatened to bring tears to her eyes? She had to look tough for Barrie, not like some sniveling widow.
Then again, it would help the "blacksmith's widow" disguise quite well. She would say this numel was bred from her husband's camerupt, if anyone asked - and, if not for the distance between her current location and her former home, she might even suspect that Barrie would think of something like that to trip her up. According to her pokecard, however, the egg moves were different from the one that used to work near Thomas' forge, so her fleeting thought was good for nothing more than something to bolster her disguise.
And to make her feel more confident. Somehow, with the frightened-looking baby numel by her side, Talia felt strong. Her memories were a weak point, yes, and the one weakness that would be easiest to exploit, but they could also be a great strength. Her thoughts of Thomas and her boys would propel her forward, and the little numel would remind her that the world would continue to turn, and there would always be more to fight for.
"Zuna," she eventually said as she looked down at the numel, recalling the name and its meaning from her homeland, and the small turtle pokemon crouched near her legs, accepting the name and seeking comfort from her new handler.
She turned to Joshua once the numel settled down, asking simply, "How would you like to begin?" She had her own ideas, of course, but deference was important in this early stage. She couldn't let Barrie see her as a Stoneseeker woman who still sought something above her station. At least until the Trictess left, she would be a model of obedience and restraint.
And once she was gone, well. Only time could tell what Talia would do with her new life.