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 Alexander Fitzgerald's Travels, Korosensei
Flight
 Posted: Oct 3 2015, 06:30 PM
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{ Welcome back to Harper! You know the drill. }

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Prologue


Midmorning, End of Summer

When Alexander stepped outside, he'd find that the "someone" that Lord Folgart had mentioned was leaning against a nearby wall, legs crossed and shoulders supporting her weight. There was a quiet, consistent sound of a piece of wood hitting a palm, even as she caught it for one last time as soon as Alexander appeared. Only after she pushed off the wall to face him would the Guardian be able to see her fully--tan face, dark hair cropped short at the ears, sharp grey eyes, a standard scalemail shirt, the brown cloak with the Guard's Harp on the left shoulder. If she had any weapons on her, it wasn't visible.

Then the stern line of her mouth broke into a friendly grin, and she stuck the piece of wood in her mouth, between her teeth. "Nice ta meet ya," she said brightly. The hands went at her hips, and her eyes looked at him up and down, assessing. It passed soon enough, and she stuck out a hand for him to shake. There wasn't any trace of hesitancy or falsehood in the expression or action.

"'m Valerie, but e'eryone calls me Val. I've been wit the Guard for a bit, but this's my first time seein' ya. Not 'xactly a wonder, though. 'm outta the Guard's HQ long enough." She gave him a considering look, waited for him to speak and introduce himself. The moment would only be that, though--a moment--before she gestured them both down the hallway and started walking.

Val chewed on the piece of wood as she walked, the end of it bobbing up and down. It looked thin, a modified version of a toothpick, but it didn't impede her speech at all. "Now tha's outta the way, we should prob'ly talk 'bout what the Lord put ya wit me fer. Y'see, I run the borders, check 'em and make sure no bandits're gettin' in. Not tha's all that I do." She looked sideways at him, gauged his reaction. They turned a left, went a little ways more down, then a right. Alexander might recognize that they were heading toward the stables.

"Did the Lord tell ya anythin' 'bout what we're doin'?" She shrugged, not waiting for a reaction. "It don't matter, I suppose, but 's simple enough--we've got word'a some shipment comin' in, somethin' tha's destined fer the Order. It ain't gonna be easy, but we'll manage."

Val stopped them both at the door that led outside, turning around to look at Alexander. She had to look up--couldn't be more than five-foot-five, actually--but the stare made it not matter. "I'll be honest wit ya, I don' usually take a partner wit me. But ey, if the Lord wills it, then we do it." She shrugged again, a movement of shoulders that said What can you do? "Jus don' get yerself killed, alright? What I do ain't like the rest o' the town guards. Ye get down t' it, stare the rogues in the face, deal wit a knife held t' yer ribs like ye'd do a missin' child. Ye fight through it, and don' lose yer temper. Got it?"

There was another hard stare, a warning, and then Val set her hand to the doorknob and pushed. She led the two of them outside, where the wind was cool with the end of the summer season. They crossed through the courtyard relatively quickly, Val's hands in her pockets and leaving Alexander to follow her. They only made it halfway, though, before she turned on her heel to face Alexander and nod at his waist.

"Now, 'ere's a good 'nough place as any t' see yer 'mon. I know the Lord gave a new one t' ya, and it's better t'know that we can count on it a'fore we get int' any trouble." There was a sharp smile on her face, even as she chewed on the toothpick in her mouth. I hope it's trustworthy, went unsaid, but perhaps Alexander could hear it all the same.

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Eryn
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Korosensei
 Posted: Oct 4 2015, 10:57 PM
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[OOC: Can Pinsir be named Corvus and Corphish be named Amarie on Alexander's profile? Thanks!]

Egg Count: 1

Alexander walked out of the room where Lord Folgart delivered his ultimatum to find a shorter woman standing outside the door tossing - and then chewing on - wood cut into a small and manageable shape. He felt a bit bemused by this, but wasn't going to judge based solely on this one factor. When she spoke, it was with a friendly tone, and she reached out a hand for him to take.

He took her hand and offered her a smile that he felt strong enough to muster at the moment. "Alexander Fitzgerald. You can call me either," he said, albeit more out of being used to both names than true flexibility. "It's nice to meet you too. I haven't been out of HQ in a while so I haven't met too many Guardians on patrol. I usually work in here - investigative work," he said, fairly sure she would understand that by "investigative" he meant "beating the crap out of people until they talked." He hoped she wouldn't mind his career record with the Guardians, but it wasn't like there was anything either of them could do. If the Lord wanted them on a mission together, he would cooperate, and he was sure she would as well.

He walked alongside Val as she started advancing, not entirely sure where she was going at first. He listened to her as she explained her job, and his jaw tightened as he heard that she worked with catching bandits. He wasn't entirely sure how he felt about that - he definitely approved of disrupting the underground system that benefited the Order, but at the same time, the individual bandits tended to be people not involved too deeply in Order activity but were sucked in too young by the prospect of power. Much like his brother. Regardless, he couldn't afford to have a soft spot. "Good work. Necessary work," he said, hoping that would be enough to demonstrate his approval.

Then she mentioned something slightly more interesting. The mission they were embarking on was no simple task - they would be disrupting a shipment going directly to the Order. Now, this was his kind of thing - and he could feel the beginning of adrenaline coursing through his veins at just the thought. He would get to do the exact thing he wanted, and perhaps begin to feel like he was doing some good in terms of avenging his brother. "I approve," he said with a savage grin. "Anything that messes with the Order is good in my book."

But she had some more to say about the mission. Dealing with these bandits, she said, would need a certain type of precision. A control over oneself that might be difficult to hone due to his current anger against the Order, but nevertheless one that he had trained and cultivated over several years as an interrogator. He knew how to take raw anger and channel it into a cool calm demeanor that would feel as chilled as an articuno's breath. It could scare the daylights out of some people because they didn't know what his reaction would be next. He could forgive or slaughter, it was never quite clear from the glint in his eyes and his enigmatic words. "I have some... experience with something like that. As an interrogator, I often had to keep my calm while hearing the gruesome details about what happened to other Guardians, friends and the like. I've heard I can be quite frightening when I'm calm." He gave her a small smile, yet at the same time he felt some doubt. He could hear the details of his friends' deaths, but what if he encountered one of the rogues who had helped the trictess kill his brother? Could he be calm then?

About halfway down the path to the stables, Val stopped, and Alexander stopped accordingly. At her instruction, he pulled out the new poke ball, admittedly curious about what could be inside. He knew the pokemon had been taken from the body of an Order rogue at the scene of his brother's murder, but aside from that, he knew nothing. After giving the ball a quick twirl in his hand for good luck, he released the pokemon.

He was faced with a pokemon only about half a foot shorter than Val, with pincers at the top of its body clicking together. He checked his pokecard just to make sure of its species, and was impressed to find out that it was a pinsir. He had encountered several in the forest when he had been growing up, although they weren't exactly common. There were never more than two or three pinsirs in the area where he explored the most, and he had never been this close to one before.

Before Alexander could greet his new pokemon in any way, the pinsir took a single step back and addressed him with a cool "Pinsir."

Relieved that the pokemon hadn't attacked on sight - he had seen a pinsir do so before, albeit many years ago - Alexander spoke up. "Hello. I'm Alexander, and it looks like we're going to be working together now." He noticed the pinsir looking around warily, perhaps seeking a familiar face. "Your previous trainer fell in battle. I'm sorry." Even though he wasn't at all sorry that the rogue had died, he was sorry about the look that briefly flashed across the bug-type's face.

"Pinsir," the pokemon said again, this time standing his ground yet not maintaining an aggressive posture. His tone was amiable enough that Alexander felt like he could trust the pokemon even though they hadn't had much of an interaction. It was enough for him to see that the powerful bug type could corral its baser urges, even in the presence of a new trainer, and he appreciated the pokemon's willingness to work with him.

"I don't want to just call you pinsir. Mind if I call you... hm, how does Corvus sound?" he asked, not entirely sure where the idea for the name had come from. It just sounded like a good strong name, and clearly the pinsir agreed, as he took two steps forward and nodded slightly. Not quite enough for his pincers to touch Alexander, but enough that Alexander could see the bumps up close. Clearly this pokemon was dangerous and would prove quite useful in a battle, and Alexander was eager to test Corvus's capabilities.

He turned to Val again. "I've seen pinsirs in Edgewood before. They're not usually this docile. Clearly this one has been trained. The fact that he didn't attack on sight means that he's got my trust, for now." Nodding at her, he asked, "We're heading to the stables, correct? Where will we be going?" He would start walking again as soon as she would, and Corvus would follow a few tentative steps behind, unsure of his role quite yet.

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Moth
 Posted: Oct 11 2015, 10:43 PM
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Val, with her eyes like a Fearow's, was attentive, even if her demeanor was bright and light. She shook his hand, taking note of his answers, even as they conversed and moved. She knew what he meant by 'investigative work'... although he would make it much more obvious, later on, but if she had any particular qualms on the subject, it did not show on her face. On the other hand, just as Alex was concerned about what she thought of his work, it seemed she was similarly concerned of his opinion; although what she thought it was, with the interrogator's short words--- 'necessary', 'good'--- that was something that she kept to herself.

She went over the things that they had to do, the mission that they were to undertake... and similarly kept up her observation. His enthusiasm was good... but would he have the temperance to balance with it? She mostly nodded, continuing her habitual chewing as he spoke of his experiences in keeping calm.
"Well, 's not 'xactly the same... ye 'ave to keep your head on wit ye, and 's not just secondhand stories. Better alive than frightening, but well, 'll see." She might not be completely approving, but she did not seem disapproving, either; it looked like it was up to Alexander to show his mettle on the field.

Well, but after that, it was meeting the Pokemon Alexander had newly acquired, and to see its nature, if it could be depended on. The encounter between new trainer and new Pokemon went seemingly without a hitch, although considering the Pinsir's history, Val was still a bit skeptical; it might, in the future, meet people who its original trainer considered friends, and there its loyalty might be tested. Ah, but that was a grim thought, and nothing that she said aloud, although the same thing might occur to the Fitzgerald.
"Fo' now." she echoed, nodding back. She might be friendly, but she was also cautious; a wrong step in her line of work could mean death, after all.

At the mention of the stables, Val grinned.
"Ye right. We're just goin' there to pick up m' ride. After that, we'll be on our way." She seemed rather proud of this fact. She motioned to Alexander that they might continue their walk, and soon enough they were at the stables, where various Pokemon, who could be steeds, were being tended to; while there were exotic ones, most were the usual Ponyta or Blitzle. The woman quickly moved to a certain station, where a tall Rapidash resided.

"There, there, Elisa. 's me. Ready t' go?"

The fire horse was a splendid creature, although she seemed to have a few scars on her flank... perhaps the reason she was here, in the stables, and not in her trainer's Pokeballs... or perhaps Val simply wanted to give her a treat in between jobs. The blazing steed neighed, raising its head and then bowing, eliciting a laugh from her handler. She then turned to Alexander, to address him.

"We're goin' t' need mobility in this mission." she told him. "Yer Pinsir's going to be helpful in a pinch, but ye need a ride." She gestured towards the office of the stablemaster. "The officer-in-charge could rent ye one. Jus' tell her it's for the bandit run." She gave Alexander a piece of paper as authorization. At that moment, a young page caught up to the two of them, carrying a bundle, and giving it to Val. "Oh. 's for ye." she simply commented, handing over the bundle as well, which contained an egg and then a Pokeball--- which, if he opened, he would see contained a Corphish. With it came a note that it was for Alexander Fitzgerald, of course.

"'ll meet ye outside." With that, she focused her efforts on leading her Rapidash out of her station. It would be up for Alex to ask for the required Ponyta or a Blitzle, and then catch up as soon as possible, although he might wish to do other things, or inquire for other steeds as he so pleased, although they might not be as available as the normal ones.

...well, that was supposed to be the end of it... until, quite suddenly, without much warning, Alexander felt the presence of a new limb from his back... a tail. If he would look at it, he would know that it looks like a Herdier's. Why it had suddenly appeared, well, was a mystery... but at the very least Val was not there to comment on it. Although if it stayed, she would probably see it, sooner or later...

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Korosensei
 Posted: Oct 12 2015, 11:22 AM
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Trick Post 1 of 4

Alexander watched Val as carefully as she was watching him. She didn't seem to be put off by what he was saying, which was definitely a good thing. If they were going to work together, it was imperative that they had some level of trust. Of course, he wouldn't trust her completely right away, and he was sure she was equally doubtful to trust him, but he felt confident forming a working partnership with her for now. He listened carefully as she went over the mission and even more carefully when she gave him instructions about his behavior. Apparently the fact that he was used to being calm in the face of pressure was not enough for the mission she had planned; it was also imperative that he thought through absolutely everything. Cultivating his demeanor was less important here than figuring out how to use his brain wisely, he figured - and he made a mental note to be especially careful. He would not repeat others' mistakes that he had heard about in stories - no, he would make sure to think about all potential alternatives and consequences before doing anything. This would have to be balanced with timeliness, too, especially if he or Val were being physically threatened. Thsi was clearly not a mission for a beginning Guardian if it involved so much thought, but with his five years of experience, he felt more or less confident.

When he met his starter pokemon, a pinsir who was now plodding along behind the pair of Guardians. Alexander was both excited to train the bug-type who looked quite powerful and wondering if this pokemon could ever be fully loyal to him. The pinsir had looked around for his original trainer and looked disappointed when Alexander said he had died, but he hadn't attacked Alexander. This was a first sign of trust between the two, but he would have felt more comfortable bringing along his machamp. His usual partner was not only physically imposing but also aggressive, and the sight of a raging machamp was usually enough to quiet any sort of situation he didn't want to continue. Machamp might not have been the best for this mission because of his aggressive nature, but Alexander trusted him more. A pokemon that had until very recently belonged to the Order may have been brainwashed into loyalty in some way, and might be biding his time for an attack. He nodded somberly when Val pointed out that "for now" was probably the best way to describe Corvus's loyalty, and yet at the same time he felt a bit guilty for feeling this way. The Guardians hadn't trusted his brother who had worked with the Order either, and yet at the end it appeared he had died demonstrating loyalty to the Guardians. He wouldn't judge immediately, but he would keep a cautious eye on his new pokemon.

It didn't take them long to reach the stables, where Alexander saw a rapidash who looked larger than usual, although that may have been its height. She bowed to Val, who laughed before she turned to give Alexander some more instructions. He would need a mount for this mission, and from her remark about needing mobility, he got the impression that she wanted him to return Corvus to his ball. "Time to go back in your ball for a bit, okay? I'll let you out again soon," he said to the bug-type, who cooperated and returned to his ball. He then took the slip of paper authorizing him to rent a mount for the mission, which he picked up on Val calling a "bandit run," before a page came by with a mysterious package. It was apparently for him according to the note stuck to the front, but there was no other immediately visible information about what was inside. He rummaged around in the bundle to find a pokemon egg that he tucked carefully in his bag and another pokeball, which he noticed was warm. When Val took her rapidash outside, he took a moment to release his new pokemon.

The corphish emerged from her ball and stretched; clearly she hadn't been out of her ball for a while. She walked over to Alexander and clicked her pincers. He wasn't quite sure what this gesture meant, but considering she wasn't attacking him, he assumed it was her way of saying hello. When he opened his pokecard to take a better look at her, he found out that she had a rather unusual move he had never heard of called Trump Card. He wondered if it would be useful in battle, but first he would have to earn his pokemon's trust. "Hello, I'm Alexander. I'm with the Guard and we'll be working together on a mission. Sound okay?" The corphish clicked her pincers again, and he recalled that Corvus had made a similar sound when they first greeted each other. Apparently he was creating a team of pokemon with pincers. This wasn't his intention, but perhaps it would mean that the two pokemon would like each other more or work together better if they had something in common. "I've got to take a ride now, but I'll let you out again soon. You can meet Corvus, my pinsir." Belatedly, he realized he hadn't given the corphish a name. He tried to think of something feminine yet fierce, and settled on "Amarie - is that an okay name for you?" She clicked her pincers again, which he assumed was a form of assent, before he recalled her back into his poke ball.

He clipped her ball on his belt next to Corvus's and sauntered over towards the officer in charge of the stables. He presented the paper Val had given him and asked, "Can I rent a mount for the bandit run? I'll be traveling with Val. It doesn't matter to me what pokemon I rent," he added, trying to convey the message that he would be comfortable riding multiple kinds of pokemon. Whatever was presented to him, he would accept with a "Thanks" and he would lead the mount outside, calling it by name if he was told its name. Just as he was beginning to walk outside with his newly rented mount, however, he felt something odd near the base of his spine. He arched his back and leaned over and finally reached a hand back to see what was happening... and he felt fur.

"What the..." he exclaimed, trying to see his own backside, which of course wasn't working. As he moved his hand around more, he could tell that he had grown some sort of a tail, and although he couldn't see it fully, he got a few hurried glimpses and found that it looked like it belonged to a herdier. What in the world was going on? He was about to try to ask someone about it (although he had no idea who would even know about grown men growing tails randomly) before he remembered that it was autumn. Perhaps a ghost was playing a trick on him? He could only hope he would still be able to ride with the tail. He casually tried to mount his rental pokemon, trying not to concentrate on the fact that he was sitting oddly to try to conceal the tail and prevent it from showing to Val. What in the world would he be able to say if she saw the tail? Sighing, he urged his mount forward with his thighs and hoped Val wouldn't ask any funny questions when he emerged from the stables, ready to go on the mission.

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Moth
 Posted: Oct 23 2015, 11:39 AM
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the Rain-loving Volcarona
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(0.7 EXP! With the level up and the PCR, you have a total of 5 egg counts to add to your count. ^_^ Ghost-type Pokemon coming once they come out of Dedrius!)

With introductions and interactions with his new Pokemon in order, the Guardian made his way to the stable's keeper. Most of the stations contained Ponyta, Blitzle, or their evolutions, but once in a while there would be a Doduo, or a Stantler, or a Gogoat. After all, this building housed not only those Pokemon the Guard kept ready for their people to rent, for duties and emergencies when their people did not have the appropriate Pokemon, but it was also a place where one could leave one's steeds and be assured that they would be cared for.

The man was old--- he sported white hair, a mustache, and a prodigious beard--- but looked still quite spry; and while perhaps he might not be sent outside to deal with rogues anymore, he looked healthy enough to deal with a bunch of different Pokemon that the Guardians needed to traverse land quickly and efficiently. He regarded the younger sentry as he approached, a bright eye twinkling as he heard his request. "Hrm... let's see... bandit run... ah, there it is. And you said you were with Val, ha?" he pronounced. "You don't care what you ride, huh, boy? That's almost like saying you don't want any one of them at all!" The old man chuckled, so it must have been a jest, but he also looked thoughtful. "Well, but if you really want to leave the choice to this geezer..." After some pondering, some tapping of his chin, he wandered over to a stall and brought forth...

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/41-Gogoat_zpsb40f5ee1.png Lv. 32 http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/e335251.gif

"Well, don't you look similar!" the stablemaster joked, even as the Grass-type pokemon snorted, but trotted over to Alex, ready to be directed. It seemed trained, well enough, and it had the necessary saddle and reins; the old man threw a Pokeball at Alex, which was probably the steed's container. It might not be as elegant as Val's Rapidash, but the Gogoat looked like it could do the job. "Bring Groggy back safe and sound!" trilled the keeper, as he skipped back to his office. Perhaps it was a good thing he did not notice Alexander's new tail, or he might have some other playful things to say.

With that done, he came outside, where Val was already up and about her Rapidash. While he had managed to keep the tail hidden from the stablemaster, from Val who was positioned quite higher up, and Alex's lack of mastery in handling something foreign to his body, it was inevitable; the woman quickly spotted the strange appendage and smirked. "Well, tha's somethin'." she commented. "'ve heard of things like that happen t' people around 's time... but 's is the first time 've actually seen it." She allowed herself a chuckle. "Shouldn' be a problem, and I heard it wears off after a bit." she assured him, although her amused expression was far from assuring.

Once Alex had seated himself well enough on his ride--- maybe he should take a better position to stop concealing it, or was he concerned about the thoughts of any passerby who could see? ---Val would begin encouraging Elisa into a walk, towards the city gates. She still looked a bit amused, but for now she was talking business. "D'you want t' pick up any supplies before we're on the way? 's might be your last chance, for a while." she inquired.

If Alexander answered in the affirmative, they had time to swing around one of Dedrius' shops. If it was negative, well, they would soon be on their way to the exit of the town, and onto the wilderness.

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Korosensei
 Posted: Oct 24 2015, 02:58 PM
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Trick Post 2 of 4

Alexander listened carefully to the stablemaster, wondering what kind of mount he would get. Ponyta and blitzle were by far the most common steeds that he observed as he looked around the stables, yet here and there he saw some interesting-looking pokemon he didn't have much experience with. As a more senior member of the Guard, someone who'd served as long as he had would typically have their own mount, but he never really had a need to leave Dedrius before now. It hit him all of a sudden, almost as quickly as the tail had grown on his backside a few moments before: He was leaving. He was leaving his hometown to go on some sort of mission for justice. He didn't know when - if - he would return, and yet his heart was not filled with sorrow. Dedrius had too many memories he would need to escape from, and if he escaped their presence, perhaps he could escape their hold on his mind.

He saw his brother everywhere. In the many young men roaming the city who had light brown hair, even if that hair wasn't nearly as long as Casper's had been. He saw his brother in every person he saw fussing over a pokemon. Everyone he saw treating a pokemon with love and respect turned into Casper before his eyes. And yet, he also saw his brother in the merchant crying that rogues had taken some of his things. In the sneering men wearing leather armor who were clearly not Guardians. And in the eyes of the last prisoner Alexander had interrogated, before he had taken things too far.

But none of these were actually his brother. If Casper had actually survived in some miraculous fashion (which he most definitely hadn't, considering the testimony of everyone he'd heard plus the rumor that the Trictess had nabbed herself a shiny noctowl recently), he truthfully didn't know what he would do. He wouldn't know whether to hug him or punch him or just draw his own sword and hold it in front of his brother to keep him safe. Different ideas occurred to him in dreams, but when he woke up, he was always struck by the stark reality that he was never going to do any of these things to Casper again. He was never going to talk to him or hear his voice in response. He would never see the pokemon his brother was raising - and was willing to die for. He would never be able to recommend Casper to Lord Folgart and take him under his wing, present him proudly as his brother no matter what other people said. Because no matter what anyone said, he couldn't feel the shame others thought he should be feeling every time Casper's name was mentioned.

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair as the stablemaster walked among the mounts, not responding to his odd joke. Alexander was not in a joking mood on the best of days, particularly now that he was contemplating his brother's death. The thought had even occurred to him that any of these mounts, any of them, would have been enough for Casper to escape. But he also remembered Casper had a noctowl, a fine mount of his own. He didn't escape because he didn't want to, not because he couldn't.

Alexander was jostled out of his musings by a large goatlike pokemon rubbing up against him. He looked down to find a gogoat nuzzling into his arm. He caught the proffered poke ball with his right arm and used his left to pat the grass type. "I'm Alexander Fitzgerald. Pleased to meet you," he listened to the stablemaster, wondering what the pokemon's name was, and almost letting out a chuckle when he heard how ridiculous it sounded. "Groggy..." he tried out the name, and was pleasantly surprised to see the goat raise her head in acknowledgement. She seemed well-trained and friendly, but Alexander didn't know if a gogoat was fast enough to keep up with a rapidash. Not that he was going to reject the pokemon, though - he had never trained a grass-type pokemon before, and was actually quite curious to see how their attacks worked. He had heard that grass pokemon supported others with status effects and boosts, but he had never seen a gogoat in action. He couldn't deny some excitement at the thought that, since he was going into a battle situation, he might be using Groggy.

Now that he had gotten his mount, there was no more delay. He would have to walk outside and he was sure Val would notice his tail. She did almost instantly, and found his predicament quite amusing. "I think a ghost must have done it - although I haven't seen any around here. We should keep our eyes out, thought." Ghost was not a type he was exceptionally familiar with, but he did wonder sometimes... there was a legend that some humans turned to ghost-type pokemon when they died. But this couldn't possibly be what he was thinking, could it?

Alexander introduced Groggy to Val while he tried to climb up the goat, grabbing onto her leafy mane for balance. She snorted in amusement, but didn't stop him. "This is Groggy the gogoat, she'll be my mount for this journey. I hope that's okay with you?" he asked, even though he had already decided to use Groggy no matter what she said. The goat was simply too friendly to not want to use, and he couldn't deny that riding a rapidash was something he had no interest in doing. Even if the pokemon dampened its fiery mane, the thought of the mane igniting at any second would be quite stressful for the Guardian.

Finally, Alexander managed to swing a leg around the gogoat's body and rearranged himself so that his tail was tucked under as best as he could. He kept the small bag that Amarie's poke ball came in behind him to hopefully hide the tail, but if Groggy started galloping too fast, he would probably have to adjust on the fly. Well, on the goat. puns puns everywhere

In response to Val's question, Alexander said, "I think I'm good for now. Oh - and in that bundle there was a second poke ball, a corphish. Looks like my team is going to specialize in pinching things," he tried to joke, but he wasn't exactly sure how he would train his team to do this effectively. "Just a guess, but I don't think she is used to having a trainer. I named her Amarie, and she has some interesting moves that we could try out if the situation arises." He had a very strong feeling that a situation would indeed arise, and two pokemon were better than one when facing an unknown opponent.

Groggy started walking slowly, although she would wait for the rapidash to move before picking up any actual speed. Regardless of when Val started the journey to leave Dedrius, Alexander would be ready to follow.

But his mind was conflicted. The matter of the ghost still troubled him as much as he could feel the tail bouncing as he sat on the gogoat. He wanted to get to the bottom of this mystery, and he had the strong feeling he wouldn't feel comfortable again until he did.

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Moth
 Posted: Nov 2 2015, 09:15 AM
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Perhaps the person who was known as Casper Fitzgerald was not the most trustworthy person, not the kindest person, who ever lived and died, but it was clear that his brother regarded him greatly in a positive light, despite his faults... or even because of them--- for sometimes weaknesses were merely strengths wrongly applied. As it was, right now, however, this appreciation was mostly a burden... it seemed Alexander was truly haunted, ghost or not; for the lingering shadow of the dead was in his mind.

Ah, but that was a matter of introspection, and not something easily realized by others... not by the stablemaster, and not by Val, unless he would give air to his sorrows with words--- and even if he would take that avenue, there was not much to be gained from such declamation, and it would not be very businesslike. The dead were the dead, after all; no amount of rhetoric would bring them back. The best thing Alexander could do, perhaps, was to prevent any other people from suffering a similar fate... to undertake the mission that was before him with the greatest rigor and assiduousness.

Still, the dead were not often merely left in memories... Val nodded at Alexander's statement, although she still kept her amused expression... it seemed like it was difficult to remove, as the tail wagged along, a constant reminder. "Well, I've heard of somethin' like that, too. Somethin' about curses or jinxes... although it usually is just a harmless prank." She looked around... and if Alex would do the same, well, there were no ready signs of a spectre, a suspect of this most villainous handiwork. "Keep an eye out for it... hrm, well, no harm to do somethin' like that, I guess. Still, when we near the area... we should keep our focus on what we should do."

Val regarded the Gogoat favorably. "Oh, so i's Groggy, huh? The stablemaster mus' be feeling pretty quirky today... or you gone and tol' him to give you whatever?" She paused, before explaining her statement. "Groggy's reliable and strong, but she can be a bit of a scaredy-cat. She can fight, but she migh' take you away if she thinks things migh' be too dangerous."

After the steed, the conversation turned to yet another Pokemon of Alexander's... a Corphish. At this, Val just mostly nodded, digesting the information; it was hard to tell whether she got the joke, or if she was still amused with his thumping tail. She had already warned him that the mission might be dangerous; if he felt that he could test new things while they were on it, then that was his choice. "If we're goin' to list our Pokemon... well, I have a Honchkrow and a Persian, besides Elisa here." she informed him.

With that, they were off; since Alex seemed more concerned about other trifles, Val assumed he would not be going to any shops, and slowly, or rather, gently, made her way to the exit, to avoid any altercations with pedestrians. It was only after they were officially out of the city's gates that she began to accelerate, although her steed's speed was always enough for Groggy to follow.

After they had reached a certain distance from the city's limits, she gestured towards Alex, and turned right, beginning to circumnavigate the area around Dedrius. The pair of Guardians passed through trees and grass, through little critters and shades and shadows. It seemed they were to patrol around a certain part of the outskirts of Dedrius, to sniff out the rogues that would be coming.

They were at it, for a while, when Val abruptly stopped, under a canopy. "Seems like there's no sign of 'em yet, but..." She nudged Elisa the Rapidash, and the horse spouted a little flame--- not meant to burn, but rather, to illuminate a certain portion behind them. The light from the spurt of fire, revealed...

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/BWPokemon/562.png http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/e335252.gif Lv. 17

"Seems like a ghost is followin' us after all, Alex." Val said. It seemed it took her a while to be sure; after all, Ghost-types could be rather stealthy when they wished to. There were a couple of peculiarities about this particular ghost, however, beyond its natural rarity; it seemed to be carrying a Pokeball in one of its strange hands, and... its mask... the face on it was awfully familiar, at least for the temperamental Guardian. Could it be... Yamask were fabled to be the spirits of dead humans, as opposed to other ghosts which simply come about from other ghosts, or the deaths of other Pokemon... could it be that this creature... was a remnant of the person once known as Casper Fitzgerald?

Val knew nothing about that, though. "Well, shall we get rid of it? We'll have to put all our attention on any rogues that may be comin', and if this Yamask keeps on followin'... seems to be followin' you, I reckon..."

Alexander had been recently sentimental, but for his job he had to rein in his temperament. Was there a way to know for sure, without wasting much time, without upsetting the balance?

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 Posted: Nov 2 2015, 05:07 PM
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Alexander's mind was not on earthly matters as he and Val began their journey. His mind was on the tail bobbing behind him every time Groggy moved forward. Val had been amused to see Groggy and offered Alexander some useful information about her battle habits, which he would have to be sure to keep in mind during the upcoming mission. He listened politely to her pokemon team and said a polite "Your team sounds great" before returning to his own musings. It was easy to concentrate on his own mind as Groggy carried him out of Dedrius for the first time in years, and the rhythmic clopping of hooves soon lulled him into a semi-awake state. He was thinking about so many things from the past that it almost felt impossible to be in the present, and he didn't really mind. He turned around to look behind him as they left the city behind. This was the first time he was going anywhere besides Dedrius for the years he had been in the Guard - and the second time he was leaving his little brother Casper behind.

As Groggy bumped along the low brush, scattering skittering critters in her wake, Alexander couldn't help but think about his childhood spent in the Edgewood. He was comfortable with the forest, although not nearly as much as his brother had been. Alexander was the older son, so when there were chores to be done or things to learn, he was the one who was fetching the logs or trying to study pokemon, while his younger brother was able to grow up with more freedom of choice. He was comforted by his parents that he was their older son and he was their child who understood them the best, and then there was this little wild boy living with them whose eyes were bright and shiny and who never seemed to really fit in. Alexander looked around the forest, remembering how every time he had been in the Edgewood, he had been looking for firewood or food and he hadn't taken the time to stop and observe what was going on with the pokemon there, with the growing things that he was essentially ruining by harvesting them. There was an element of newness to this time in the forest outside Dedrius, not only because this wasn't the Edgewood proper but because he wasn't used to just observing, just looking.

He and Groggy followed Val around the forest for what felt like a while, and they didn't seem to find any nearby enemies. He tried to stay on alert, considering that anyone could jump out of a wooded area at any second and have the advantage of stealth and surprise, but neither he nor Val saw any people or any unusual pokemon for a while. Suddenly, Val stopped under a small canopy and nudged into her pokemon. The rapidash let out a flame and Groggy seemed startled but thankfully didn't bolt, only making a snorting noise instead. Alexander's eyes followed the light of the flame and tried to focus on what looked like an apparition behind him. He could see a glowing red eye, then a bit of a black hand brushing over something golden and vivid hanging a bit lower than the eye. Distantly, he heard Val comment that there is a ghost, and he didn't even have the energy or the motivation to tell her that he hated being called Alex.

He was busy staring at his brother.

At first, he had thought the golden mask was trying to imitate him, that a pokemon like ditto was manipulating its body to look like him. A ditto was an unusually rare find, but he couldn't think of any pokemon other than a ditto that could change its form into a golden mask. Then he thought of the word mask - was the pokemon a yamask? That could be even rarer than a ditto. He had heard that a yamask didn't mimic strangers' faces, but instead, it had a face of its own. This pokemon was rumored to have a face from... its time as a human. Casper's hand flew to his mouth and he covered his lips as they hung open and agape. His ears rushed and his head pounded. This was his brother - his brother - his little brother whose body had been seen by multiple witnesses and whose pokemon were in the possession of the Trictess (at least he assumed so) and who Alexander would recognize anywhere.

He didn't know how to feel, at first. The ghost was incontrovertible proof that Casper was dead, something that in his heart of hearts Alexander was not completely accepting even though there were witnesses. His brother was dead. His grief was real, his mourning was solid. He could deny it no longer, nor could he pretend that it didn't exist for a moment. He would need to tell his parents.

But at the same time, he felt like the dearest hopes of his heart had come true. He had been hoping all along that there was some way in which Casper was able to survive. He didn't want to think that he had failed his brother, that he was the reason why his brother had died, even though that was a bit of a stretch. He wanted to be able to find his brother and see him again, help him get out of whatever he needed to get out of, do anything he needed him to do. Even though he had just now seen the ghost for the first time, he was feeling his heart begin to pound and adrenaline was coursing through his veins. He felt like he could barely catch his breath and his lungs filled and emptied rapidly as he sat on the gogoat, who thankfully remained still and didn't panic at the sight of the ghost.

He was broken out of his musing by Val's words. All he heard was "get rid of it" and he was ready to contradict her, even though she was his partner on this mission and they would need good rapport. "We can't get rid of him," he blurted out, then realized he would likely need to explain himself. Val was probably assuming he resented the ghost because of the prank, or that it wouldn't help, but he knew his brother. He knew that any ghost bearing his face was trustworthy, and considering it wasn't attacking and was in fact holding out a poke ball in one of its hands, he decided it would be okay for him to trust the yamask. "I don't think he's going to attack. I think he's a... well, perhaps not friendly, but he seems to come here in peace." He thought of the adage "Rest in peace" and wondered if a part of his brother was resting in peace or if his brother's soul was instead wandering in this yamask. "I've never seen a yamask before, but I've heard that yamask carries a mask that looks like its face from when it was alive. From when it was human." Phantump was the only other pokemon he knew that could spawn from a human's death, and even in that case, it wasn't always clear what was happening since there wasn't a face to look at, to trust. "This might sound crazy, but I think this ghost is my brother. Casper."

When he said the name aloud, he realized that he would need to talk to the ghost-type at some point. He would need to put all of his wild thoughts together and think of something to show the pokemon that not only did he mean it no harm, but he also wanted to make sure that the ghost knew that Alexander had been looking for him. Yearning for him, in fact. There was no love in the world quite like a brother, and Alexander had not been at all the same since he found out about that one night and that one fateful clash against the Trictess. He realized belatedly that the ghost could be feeding off of his emotions right now, but he couldn't keep himself calm. He was nervous and exhilirated at the same time, filled with a mixture of brotherly love and rage at the one who had decreased their interaction to this odd meeting of man and ghost in a forest. He knew he didn't have forever to stay with the ghost, but he wanted to show him that he was trustworthy. He was not the betraying brother. He was not the traitor, and neither was Casper. No one would hurt the ghost ever again, Alexander would make sure. They would have to kill him first.

But when it came time to speak, all he could get out at first was, "Casper, I'm so sorry."

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Moth
 Posted: Nov 9 2015, 04:48 AM
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Was there really no room for doubt? For Alexander, it seemed, there was none. Each Yamask had a unique mask, the face they had when they were living and breathing humans, or so lore said--- it was unsure what the mask would be if the Yamask was not a human before, but right now that uncertainty was irrelevant. Perhaps the countenance on the mask the apparition carried could be mistaken for someone else, but on the other hand... there was no fooling a brother's eyes. There, indeed, on the mask that the Ghost-type carried, was the frozen facade of Casper Fitzgerald, unless he had some sort of doppelganger who similarly died.

Appearances notwithstanding, the spectre's actions were not better evidence. While it followed Alexander, it merely gazed at him, and there was not much proof that the gaze the creature was leveling at the Guardian was of recognition or some other sort of fixation. It was hard to tell from its silent regard, from its stillness. It hung about, and whether or not its stare was of judgment, reverie, or some other emotion, was a mystery... for both guardians did not have Psychic Pokemon in their group to facilitate conversation with the spirit... as it was not their duty, after all.

Val, for her part, had a serious expression. "...we can't?" she reacted, first and foremost, although even before the Fitzgerald explained himself, she already had an inkling of what this situation entailed, considering how the stern Guardian reacted, uncharacteristically, and what she knew of his condition. "Tha's what they say in stories, arright." she said, when he had finished his statement, his assumption. "It does look like 's just hoverin' aroun'... but we can't really be sure... and we still have things to do..." She seemed rather torn, although perhaps not to the point of her bereaved comrade; while they had a job, a mission to do, she also recognized that the situation was special and personal.

The Yamask seemed to make a sniffing sound--- yet again, it was uncertain whether it was smelling or crying, or some combination or some other thing. Was it... tasting what Alexander felt, assessing him, through its ability to feed off his emotions? There was certainly some sort of metaphysical pull, although it might be the morose guard's imagination, or perhaps an emotional manifestation of his longing... not that all those were mutually exclusive.

It remained, unmoving, before chucking the Pokeball at Alexander--- it seemed to want to give the ball, and its contents, for it was warm, to him... and then, slowly, slowly, it turned away... until Alexander spoke, upon which it circled around to gaze at him again, as before, as if waiting for something. The tail attached to his back seemed to itch, or wish to move. Was it connected to how the Yamask felt?

Val spoke up, again. "We can't remain forever here, Alex." She nudged her Rapidash to readiness, again. "I'll be goin' on ahead, but I expect you to catch up. I don't know if tha's your brother... but settle things quickly." With that, she began to trot away, earning a longing look from Groggy... it seemed she liked the safety of numbers. Her--- Val's--- words might be a bit insensitive, but she felt compelled to say them--- there were pressing issues, after all, even if this might be a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

The Guardians served the living, and not the dead, after all.

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 Posted: Nov 9 2015, 06:03 PM
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Trick Post 4 of 4

Alexander heard the doubt in Val's words at the beginning, but when he explained that the ghost following him around was holding the death-mask of his brother Casper, she seemed to be rethinking her original statement. She sounded slightly more sympathetic, but at the same time, she was considering her mission. It was an unusual situation, to be certain, and it seemed she wouldn't put it aside for the ghost of Alexander's brother. With a pang, Alexander thought that his brother was used to messing up Guardian plans, and this was nothing new. It only served to further his idea that he was interacting with his brother's soul. A shiver ran up his back, pulsing in time with the tail flopping over Groggy's back.

The yamask then made an odd sound, something that sounded like a mixture of crying and smelling. The nose on the mask didn't move, but the pokemon carrying the mask seemed to be interacting with Alexander in some way. He felt uncomfortable, unusual, not sure what he could say or do to help. After all, he was the one who had been left alive, and he was at least partially responsible for his brother's fate. Had he known of Casper's presence in the barracks, though... what would he have done? What would he have been able to do? If the ghost was sniffing his feelings now, the ghost would most likely smell a mixture of guilt, confusion, and determination to do something right, even though he didn't know what would be right in this situation.

The yamask then tossed a poke ball in his direction. Originally, he had thought that the ball was the yamask's own, but it appeared the ball had something else inside from the way it felt warm in his hands. He ran his fingers over the ball, finding a few dents and dings and indications that the ball was well-worn. Whatever pokemon was in here had been caught a long time ago, or had gone through at least some amount of struggling. Perhaps this was a test? Perhaps, Casper wanted him to have this pokemon? For a moment he felt overly optimistic and imagined that the pokemon in the ball was the shiny noctowl he knew his brother had been training at the time of his death, but he knew that a legion of Order members would not have let a noctowl get away so easily, especially a differently colored one. This might have been a different pokemon of Casper's, though, perhaps his starting pokemon from the Trictess, or something he had caught along his journey. Whatever it was, the soul of his brother wanted him to have it, and he was going to take incredibly good care of it.

When the yamask began to turn away, Alexander fought his indecisive mind to find something to say, anything to make the yamask stay. All he could blurt out was that he was sorry, and to his surprise, the yamask turned around and chose to stay. The pokemon stared at him with wide, open eyes, yet Alexander found himself drawn to the face etched onto the golden mask. He found it hard to address the pokemon when he could see such a clearly human face there in its grasp.

He was still staring at the golden mask when Val spoke again. She leapt back up on her rapidash and began moving away, urging him to follow when he was done. She didn't believe him completely - after all, this could just be the sign of a mind going insane - but he wanted, needed, to believe in his heart that the yamask was his brother. He heard her words to get everything settled quickly, but he didn't know what the yamask wanted. He was willing to stay forever, talking to the pokemon until he had nothing left to say, but he found himself struggling with where to begin. He had apologized and it seemed like the yamask was listening, his tail flopping casually back and forth - the tail -

"I think I get it - the tail," he said, reaching down and brushing his fingers against the fuzzy tail protruding from his pants. Against his will, the tail started thumping. He wondered whether, or how, he could control its movements - but now was not the time to investigate it. He had just discovered its reason for existing, after all. It didn't matter that this was simply the time of year when ghosts ran rampant around the Harper region, this prank was specific enough and coming from a particular ghost. It had to have a reason. He thought of what his brother might want to say, and how his brother might not be able to communicate with words. He was communicating with a pokemon who had peculiar abilities. The tail was for a clear reason. "I've been an ass. To you. I've treated you worse than I treat my own backside. I went off for my own glory and didn't even consider where you were or what you were doing. And the one time you needed me, I was too busy torturing someone to come to your aid. I'm an ass - and now I have a tail," he said, wondering if the ghost would have any sort of reaction to his admission of guilt.

Bringing his hand up from his tail, he brought it over the surface of the poke ball. "Did you want me to have this pokemon? Maybe - it could help us communicate?" he wondered, thinking about the fact that there were certain kinds of pokemon that could speak the human tongue. Some were ghosts, and others were psychics. He had little interaction with either type, but he knew he would need to interact with the pokemon in order to seem like he was making gestures towards reconciliation with his brother. He aimed the poke ball outward and pressed the circle in the center, watching as the red light expanded into something large, something huge, in fact, about human-sized, reminding him of his machamp except with the normal number of arms. The pokemon he released had a humanoid shape but scary, haunting eyes, boring into his soul. The pokemon looked almost disinterested in its fate at first, yet when it turned to look at Alexander, he felt like his mind was being bombarded with several images all at once. So the pokemon was psychic after all - but only half, for he couldn't hear any words in his head. Even though he didn't know much about mr. mime, he suspected it might have been one of the species affected by the fairy typing released from the Pennant Isles. The mime was clearly strong from the force of its illusions - but what was it doing here?

At first, Alexander could only see one vision: a young-looking blonde woman, perhaps a girl by how young she looked, speaking a few soft words. Alexander couldn't make out much more than the word "Victor..." He pondered this. Was it the pokemon's name? And he started to wonder other things about the scene, too - who was the woman? Was she his previous trainer? Why were they in such a poorly lit indoor area? Why was there an underlying emotion of hurt straining to get out of his chest after he finished watching it?

The mime stood, waiting for Alexander's reaction. He shifted from foot to foot, playing with his balance, as Alexander took out his pokecard and scanned the pokemon. The mime was so high leveled compared to the rest of his new team; it almost felt like he had his old machamp back. The mime - Victor, as he would call him, if the memory he was shown was what the mime wanted to be called - seemed to be quite the battler, and his moves came from a range of types showing that he had been well-trained. "Victor," he called, and the mr. mime turned around to look at him right in the eyes. The mime had a creepy facial expression, but he wasn't attacking on sight, and apparently Alexander was using this as his standard for determining whether a pokemon would be a good fit for this team. "Are you okay working with me?"

Victor didn't seem to have an immediate reaction. It looked for a moment like he was thinking, and then he peered from Alexander to the yamask and back to Alexander. Perhaps Victor wanted to test him - did he want to see how he would treat the yamask? How he would treat his brother - and a pokemon? Surely such a powerful pokemon was not afraid of being hurt? "Okay..." he said calmly, then turned to face the yamask. He tried to look at the pokemon's eyes, but often found himself staring at the golden mask instead. It took him a moment to start speaking, but once he started, he felt like it was nearly impossible to stop.

"Casper... I'm sorry. I really mean it. I didn't realize that when I left home, I was leaving you behind too. I didn't know that Mother and Father's plan meant that you would feel neglected, underloved, perhaps even abused. I didn't know. I was a little boy thrilled to be the favorite, and it seems like all my life I've been the selfish one. I've been the ass who can't think about other people," he said while looking down at his furry tail. "I don't know why you came here, but I like to think it's a second chance of sorts. A second chance to be a real brother, to protect you and keep you safe, to have you not as someone to battle with but as a friend..." He tried to think of all the things he wanted to do with his brother - he wanted to talk to him again, but he also wanted to show him the world, show him that the world could be a safe place as well as a place filled with horror. He felt an odd tingling as he got lost in thought and realized that Victor might have been prodding around in his mind, but at this point he didn't care. He needed to talk to his brother at the moment.

"I'm not sure why you would come back - or even how you would be strong enough to. I don't think I would have been able to face you if our roles were reversed. I don't know what you're thinking or what you would say if you could, but I want to listen. I have all the time in the world to listen, and I want to keep you safe. I can't promise that other people won't try to hurt you like they did before, but I can promise you this: I will go after the Trictess. I will avenge you. And you can watch. You deserve a front-row seat, brother," he realized from the salty taste in his mouth that he must be crying. He hadn't cried like this since he was a child but now that he was facing his brother, now that he could see the face he had mourned and missed and had a chance to make things right, he would never give up. Not for anything in the world.

Victor turned to the yamask curiously. He was intrigued by Alexander's words, wondering if he really meant them, and wordlessly attempted to speak to the ghost. He wanted to see if Alexander was sincere. If he was... then he might be a human it could be worth not to kill, at least for now.

Alexander tucked Victor's poke ball into his pocket and addressed his brother one final time for now. "You'll notice I'm not holding a poke ball. I'm not trying to force you to come with me or make you do anything you don't want to do. You are free from all of this and you can leave if you want. But the fact that you're here... I want to believe that you want to work through this just like I do. I'd be happy to spend the rest of my life working on this, poke ball or no. I want you to pick. You're in charge, little brother - and while I'm around, you'll be safe to do whatever you want." He took in a few deep breaths and steadied himself, wondering what either the yamask or Victor would do next.

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Moth
 Posted: Nov 16 2015, 10:54 AM
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The creature's eyes, all too wide, merely peered at Alexander as he spoke... as he thought what the tail was for, what it was supposed to do, what it was supposed to mean... and he neither nodded or shook his head. It was... hard to ascertain, if any of the conclusions the troubled Guardian was making was correct, was true, or merely products of his miserable imagination, of his hope and despair swirling together into a certain flavor of madness. Still, the Yamask remained as he blithered and blathered, and perhaps the simple presence was an answer, a statement, all on its own.

The Yamask seemed content to merely watch him, even as he held up the Pokeball he tossed to him, even as he opened it and unleashed the creature inside... a Mr. Mime, and a very powerful one at that. The psychic looked at the Yamask, and then at the Guardian, sporting rather ferocious eyes for a type of Pokemon so known and prized for their intelligence... but at any rate, much like the ghost, it seemed to be waiting, biding its time, as Alexander talked and spoke, only projecting a certain memory, although there was a nervous energy in the mime's hands, which he clenched and unclenched. If the Ghost-type seemed to keep to a facade of neutrality, the Psychic-type... seemed to harbor animosity for the Guardian... and the Yamask as well, though it seemed it was holding off on any aggressive actions for now, for good or for ill.

There seemed to be tests happening, although... who really was being tested, and who was testing?

Perhaps, a bit unwisely, the Guardian looked back to the wraith who might be Casper, in his assumption that the mime wished to see his action, his reaction. He confessed... with great breadth and depth... and perhaps it might just be his imagination, but the Yamask seemed slightly more interested than before. The ethereal being slowly neared as the man began crying, and, while remaining wordless, soundless, touched his cheek with a wispy arm.

And then it recoiled, turning back to the mime.

"Yamask." the apparition spoke, finally.

"Mime." Victor replied. Alexander might not have been aware of it, but the Psychic-type had approached him even as he teared up... and there was a certain bloodthirst in his eyes. Did he... did he fail something in Victor's assessment? Or was he not so interested, after all? Did he merely wait for the Yamask, before, before...

"Yamask!" "Mime!" "Yamask!" "Mime!"

It seemed... they were having an argument? For a moment, they paused, and the Yamask quickly motioned towards Victor's pokeball--- even as Victor fired a Psybeam at Alexander, surprising Groggy the Gogoat, who narrowly moved herself and her rider out of the way. At last, it seemed, there was a clear message: recall the murderous mime, quickly! Had the Yamask... had Casper... wanted the mime to kill Alexander, and was now rescinding such a request?

Almost as an afterthought, the Yamask waved a ghostly arm, and Alexander's tail was gone. Still, there were more things to worry about... like recalling Victor--- the Pokeball that was his, that was in Alex's hand, seemed possessed, as Victor was trying to telekinetically grab it from the Guardian; it flew part of the way, but the spirit intercepted it, making it clatter in the middle of the two parties. Alex would have to get it, and fast; he couldn't afford a battle, an infighting, no less; time's a wasting, after all.

It seemed this mime was more trouble than he was worth.

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Korosensei
 Posted: Nov 16 2015, 05:13 PM
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Stupidface McNoctowl
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As Alexander spoke, as his words flowed out of him in a confession of everything he had done wrong towards his little brother, the ghost observed carefully. The golden face showed no reactions - Alexander wondered if the face could move anymore, in fact - but the ghost remained, hovering in place, listening as Alexander spoke.

He kept going, eventually toying with the poke ball the yamask handed him and releasing the pokemon inside. After the mime seemed to tell Alexander his name, there wasn't any more conversation. Mr. Mime was only half-psychic, after all - and perhaps he didn't feel like talking to a new trainer. Victor certainly didn't seem to be the most amiable pokemon, after all, and perhaps he was simply not chatty.

Alexander broke down, finally feeling his brother's presence near him, closer, finally a cold touch on his cheek. The yamask uttered no sound, but when he touched Alexander, the Guardian looked at him with amazement. "Casper? Are you...?" The Guardian who usually had a very strong command of the spoken word found himself unable to speak. His emotions were out there, public, raw, and gutteral. The touch of the ghost on his cheek was oddly comforting even though he could feel his skin starting to bristle against the cold. The warmth of the love he felt even from this small gesture was enough to counteract the cold, at least for the moment.

And then the yamask's arm moved. He swiveled around to face Victor and said the name of his pokemon species. It was an odd thing for the ghost to say; in his emotional state, Alexander had forgotten that he wouldn't be able to speak with human words even if his soul was Casper's. He would have to learn a new way of speaking and interacting with the world, coinciding with this new word: "Yamask." Victor answered with a curt "Mime," and from the volume of the statement, Alexander could tell that the mime was very physically close to him. Why had Victor approached like this? What was he looking for? Alexander turned around just in time to see the mime's eyes filled with a bloodthirsty rage. He had to catch himself from recoiling from the mime. If Casper wanted him to do something with Victor, he wouldn't disappoint - but he was beginning to doubt that Victor had any say in this plan at all.

Victor and the ghost - Alexander was already calling the ghost Casper in his mind - shouted at each other, and suddenly the yamask dove for the poke ball at the same moment that Victor brought his large white hands together and fired a beam of pink psychic energy at Alexander. Groggy bucked, jumping out of the way of the attack. "Okay, Groggy... Okay..." Alexander said, holding his hands up in a gesture of surrender. Only one thought was in his mind: keep the mime from hurting his brother. He didn't even think that the mime might have been a planted assassin. He was in solid guarding mode, pure protection mode. He was not even thinking of why Victor was attacking or what he could do to help - he just needed to get him out of the way until he could talk to the mime in a calmer setting and try to work things out. One attack wouldn't make him give up - his machamp had thrown some punches his way, after all - but he would need some time to strategize and with the yamask's presence muddling his mind, there was too much else going on at the moment.

He felt a strange sensation near his backside as the yamask moved his hand, removing the tail. "Did I get it right?" he asked softly as he turned around to look at his backside. When he turned to look, though, he lost a valuable moment of recalling Victor back to his poke ball. The ball flew out of his hands, but then the yamask dove in between the ball and the mime, and the ball clattered to the ground.

Before he could even come up with a solid plan, he jumped off the gogoat and started running towards the poke ball. It wasn't a very far distance, but he could feel his heart pounding and sweat beginning to pool by his clavicle. He dove for the ball, making his best move to grab it. "Get away from my brother!" he growled, reaching out fingers to press the center of the ball. He would wiggle around on the ground and use every skill he had gotten from five years as a Guardian to ensure that Victor was successfully corralled in his poke ball. Later on, he would clarify. He would tell Victor that he meant him no harm, but he had to protect. It was what he was born to do, even though he was just now realizing it.

As he lay on the ground, panting, he spoke up to the ghost again. "I... I won't let you get hurt... was this... did you want to see if I really meant it? If I meant what I said? I do, Casper. I do mean what I said. Victor's not going to hurt you again." He made his best possible effort towards a smile.

He had almost forgotten the fact that Val was farther along the path until Groggy made a loud snorting noise, pawing at the ground. "Do we need to get going?" he asked her, and she walked over to him on the ground and nudged him.

Alexander stood, holding the poke ball, allowing his heartbeat to settle before speaking up again. "I'm here for a Guardian mission... I don't know what your purpose is for coming here. I appreciate sincerely the opportunity to see you again, and I hope you feel the same way." He took a moment to stall and figure out how he could include Casper in what he was doing. "You are completely welcome to come with me. I won't order you around or make you do anything you don't want. Selfishly, I want you to stay, but I understand that you might want or need to leave." He was finding his words again, yet even as he spoke he found himself overwhelmed by emotion again as he walked back towards Groggy. "I hope you stay. And I hope you can teach me to live a life as powerful as yours."

--------------------

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The Stonehearted Lady

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Moth
 Posted: Nov 23 2015, 11:31 AM
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the Rain-loving Volcarona
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(0.5 EXP! Remember to add 2 egg counts... and 3 more, since level up! Sorry for the shortness, and sorry, the RNG decreed you didn't make the Pokeball dive. >.>)

Alexander was free to believe as he pleased, regarding the nature, the motive beyond Casper the Yamask's actions--- but at the very least, he was right that the ghost was not hostile towards him, even if it might have been like that, before. Perhaps love might be too strong a word--- although of course Casper and Alexander had a familial bond--- but at the very least, the apparition was ready to give his estranged brother a chance.

Still, such a chance would have to be tackled later, as greater problems have to be resolved. Alexander's dive for the telekinetically-handled Pokeball was skillful and wondrous, but perhaps luck was simply not in his side at the moment... or perhaps Victor the Mime's skill was simply greater. At the last moment, before his hands could grasp the containing sphere, before his fingers could press that important button, the ball rolled and drifted off his hands again. The movement was slow, but the Psychic-type shot another Psybeam to deter the Guardian from lunging more... or maybe he wanted the human to lunge and actually get hit.

The Yamask wasn't going to take the whole situation just sitting... well, floating around, though. The spectre closed the distance between himself and the murderous mime, inflicting a swift Astonish unto Victor's face as he charged. It was somewhat ironic, and possibly amusing, if it had not been Alexander in the state that he was in; he was being protected by a wild Pokemon from attacks of a captured one, one that was technically more his than the free creature. It seemed Casper would at least protect Alexander, even if his allegiance was still tentative; after all, it was the Guardian who the Psychic-type had his sights on.

The mime flinched, growling, halting the movement of the rolling Pokeball once again--- but they weren't out of the woods yet, for intimate conversations and such. Alexander was losing time as this conflict dragged on--- he could always dive in again for the ball, and hope this time the Yamask could distract the mime so he could recapture the disobedient Pokemon successfully. Or he could use any of his other Pokemon to subdue, or at least further distract, the Psychic. Groggy the Gogoat was hanging back, but she might be receptive to commands... and he had other options, as well.

Victor might not need to be completely beaten, but it seemed his subduing would require more effort.

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Korosensei
 Posted: Nov 23 2015, 01:46 PM
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Stupidface McNoctowl
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Egg Count: 15+2+3=20! Time for some egg magic http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/20.png

Alexander swore under his breath as his plan didn't go how he was... well, planning. He needed to figure out a way to get the poke ball back - and fast - before Victor could harm Casper at all. He had no doubt in his mind that this was a test, that Casper was using the mime to test how much he would be able to protect him. A ghost needed no master, and while Casper had some measure of loyalty to Alexander simply because of family relationships, it was unlikely that he would choose to stay with Alexander if he didn't prove somehow that he was in the game to protect his brother, he had no doubt the ghost owuld depart quickly and find somewhere else to spend the rest of his... well, not exactly life.

Alexander would have to think fast. Victor was much stronger than he had thought, and it was clear that he couldn't fight against the pokemon alone. He didn't want to suck up too much time getting into a fight with his own pokemon - he was still on a mission and needed to report to Val as quickly as possible. He was already taking up time trying to convince Casper to come along with him, and he most certainly didn't have time for Victor to start rebelling.

He landed on the ground from his first attempt, scrabbling fingers pushing the poke ball away rather than bringing it closer. He had to roll quickly to avoid another psybeam from the mime. "Victor, I mean you no harm!" he called out, then very nearly panicked at the sight of the yamask shooting an attack at the mime.

"Don't!" he yelled, his heart pounding as he realized what was about to happen if he didn't figure out what to do about the mime - and fast. He didn't know how strong his brother's ghost in pokemon form was, but he knew that Victor was extremely strong, and a wrong move from either of them could result in another corpse. Alexander was having enough trouble dealing with the fact that his brother had died at all - but to see the spectral form of his spirit die for the second time would be too much for the Guardian. He couldn't let that happen. No, he wouldn't - and he needed a new plan, quickly, before Victor would turn on Casper for attacking him. As a first measure, he called out to Victor, "He didn't hurt you! Leave him alone! If you want to go for anyone, go for me!" he yelled, making as much noise as possible as he wiggled along the ground. He hoped his armor would protect him from any more physical attacks.

He knew he needed a pokemon's help to counter Victor's attacks, but it was a complicated decision to choose which one. He didn't have his steadfast partner, his machamp, so he would need to pick one of the new team members he had just met. His first thought went to Corvus, but thankfully his brain managed to catch up to his fingers before he could let the pinsir out of his ball. Although Corvus would likely be very useful in this situation, he knew that the pinsir had belonged to a rogue who had died the night Casper had been killed. Perhaps Casper had even seen the pinsir. Perhaps it was one of his last sights before his human eyes closed forever. He knew enough about ghost-type pokemon that they could be triggered by things about their previous life. He already had one pokemon attacking him, he didn't need a second - and he needed to respect Casper as much as possible. The ghost was clearly in a moral quagmire about whether to join Alexander and calling out a pokemon that had previously potentially hurt him was not a good idea at all.

Then, he wondered briefly about Groggy. He heard her making some small noises as she shifted positions, but when he looked back, it appeared she was doing everything she could to stay out of the fight. Val had been right in that she was somewhat cowardly, it appeared - or perhaps she simply valued her own life too much to get into a fight. Much like Casper had been back when Alexander knew him, back before he made his big sacrifice. Alexander only took one moment to look back at the gogoat and give her a small smile before making his decision.

Amarie was his only other choice. He released her and was surprised to see her scuttle over to him on her stubby legs as he looked at her from a ground view. "Casper, Amarie is here to help you. Victor, please, I don't want to attack you, but I will if we can't come to an agreement," he said as a last-ditch measure. Assuming the mime didn't respond - he hadn't responded before, and would need far more training, after all - he instructed Amarie what to do. "Start with Harden, protect yourself - and then use Body Slam, try to get him off his feet!" Alexander said, hoping that sending Victor to the ground would hamper his movements, but he knew at the same time that this would mean Victor would be on the ground, at the same eye level as him. He would have to act quickly.

Amarie rushed forward towards the mime as Alexander propped himself on his elbows, dragging himself forward towards the poke ball. "I'm gonna get him back, Casper, I'm gonna get him back. I won't hurt you. Either of you. We just need some peace and quiet," he said, hoping his words would encourage Casper to help him in his fight against Victor. "Thank you for helping me out. I don't deserve it - but I sincerely appreciate it," he said. Out of the ground, he felt a vibration as a few green vines burst out of the ground. Was Groggy trying to intervene? She wasn't approaching or getting closer, but he didn't know any other pokemon around who could do a grass-type attack. The vines wiggled on the ground, but Alexander couldn't tell if she was trying to knock the ball closer to him or knock Victor away. Either way, she was trying to help - "Thanks, Groggy," he called out, but didn't turn to look at her in case Victor would switch his attention again.

Suddenly, Amarie snapped her pincers as she moved forward, trying her hardest to make her shell shine with an impenetrable sheen. Even though she was objectively far weaker than Victor, she had a fighting spirit, Alexander was beginning to realize. She relished battles - and he thought it might be a good idea to train her, to hone her skills. She'd enjoy it, he thought as she finished shining her shell and rushed forward to slam her body against Victor's leg. Alexander lunged again, making a sudden movement even though he knew it might scare Victor but he didn't have any other choice. He reached out his arm and hoped Victor would fall from the impact of Amarie's slam just long enough to -

He reached his fingers forward and tried to secure a grip on the ball. As soon as he got it - if he got it, his negativity reminded him - he would press the circle in the center and then take a few moments to take some long, heaving breaths before easing himself to his feet. First he would check on Casper to make sure he was okay, and that Victor hadn't hurt his little brother, and then he would praise Amarie for any good work done. Then he would return to the statements he was thinking of, and what he intended to say.

I don't want you to get hurt, I won't let you... I don't know why you're here but I know what I'll need to do...

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http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/41-Gogoat_zpsb40f5ee1.png http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/e335251.gif
Groggy
Condition: Spooked, but physically fine
- Used Defense Curl twice (+2 Def)
- Attempting to use Grass Knot to trip Victor, trying to not be obvious or get directly involved

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/341corphish.png http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/e335251.gif
Amarie
Condition: Fine
- Used Harden (+1 Def)
- Attempting a Body Slam on Victor
- If he dodges, she will try to use Waterfall directed at his face, not ordered by Alexander

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The Stonehearted Lady

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Moth
 Posted: Nov 30 2015, 10:52 AM
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the Rain-loving Volcarona
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(0.5 EXP! Also, I might have been a little frustrated with Alex while I was writing this, so I apologize >.>)

Alexander continued in a particularly mistaken train of thought--- if anything, the ghost had already been slightly convinced by his words before, and if the Yamask was going to be further convinced, it would not be through some convoluted plan that required him to get a Pokeball while being shot by psychic energy. That measured more luck and athleticism rather than intent, although of course a case could be made for determination. Still, the Guardian was not thinking rather rationally, although of course that may have something to do with how personal the situation was... but if he kept this up, such a perspective might be to his detriment, if not now, then later on.

It was good, though, that he also remembered that the world didn't exactly stop for his sentimentalities--- for all he knew, Val might be experiencing, right now, some sort of trouble that he could have helped with, had he not wasted time here, had he not opened Victor's pokeball... ah, but what-ifs are generally useless unless one had the powers of Celebi, and so there was not much use in dwelling in it.

Bearing speed in mind, his actions were at least on point; it was simple enough, if not as easy as it looked--- get the Pokeball before getting shot, or the ball getting telekinetically moved, again.

Victor gazed at the trainer murderously. Did the human think that words and gestures could prove his goodwill? His actions, or lack thereof, had already cost him his brother. What more his Pokemon? It was better that this man was gone, even if his brother had changed his mind and disagreed. The mime might have been impeded by Casper's strikes, but he soldiered on. How annoying that you persist in your misunderstanding, human. It is you I'm going for. You need not ask for it. It was not exactly in the language of humans that the message was sent, as Victor was only part-psychic, but the point was conveyed clearly, nonetheless, as the Mr. Mime did not attack the Yamask; it was a fairly simple, hateful message.

Before Victor could mount another attack or move the ball further from where it was, though, Alexander released new factors into the fight, emotion translated into action. His Corphish, Amarie, toughened itself and charged towards the mime's legs, at the same time that grasses twirled around those very same limbs, sending the Psychic-type crashing down onto the ground. While Victor was stronger, the objective was to get him off guard, off balance... and it was a success! The Guardian's efforts finally paid off, and he managed to get the orb, and with a disdainful cry, the Mr. Mime was resealed. Next time, perhaps the Guardian should think twice before releasing Pokemon from Pokeballs when he was not certain what was within... and, well, when he was dealing with another Pokemon with an unknown temperament, already.

The Yamask dipped, as if bowing, and floated back to Groggy the Gogoat, who continued being spooked; after all, even if the Fairy-type had been recalled, the Yamask had come with it. It seemed, for the time being, that Casper would follow Alexander, although perhaps he wouldn't... wouldn't be willing to be a permanent fixture of his team, yet. Still, Alexander's irrationality had to count for something... there was a tentative trust, even if there were no words to confirm it.

He should probably go check up on Val now. Trouble might be afoot. Ah, but that egg in his pack was wiggling, it seems to have hatched...

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/352kecleon.png http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/e335251.gif
Egg moves are Dizzy Punch and Fake Out.
Name?

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