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Season: Autumn

With the cooling season of Autumn, Ice-types are starting to re-emerge from their hibernation as Ghost-, Normal-, and Flying-types swarm in the largest numbers they will all year. In comparison, wild Fire- and Bug-type populations are falling in number. The migration of Flying-types to the south in search of warmer weather has also started, as Istin City starts to re-freeze and Autumn marks the beginning of Cypwater Point's rainy season. Handlers and Rogues alike should be wary: Ghost-type powers are boosted during this season, at the cost of being more prone to their triggers.

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 These Words Are My Diary Screaming Out Loud, Alexander and co. Development
Korosensei
 Posted: Nov 9 2015, 01:58 PM
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Stupidface McNoctowl
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Head Moderator
Total Posts: 1594
Member No. 1923
Joined on 24-February 15.


Characters:
Alexander Fitzgerald | Emilie Chartoire

Awards: 5




Setting: Edgewood
Pokemon: Victor and Tyrogue
Time: Early Afternoon

Goals:
- Introducing Alexander to Victor and working on an initial rapport, meaning he won't attack Alexander on sight
- Working on developing Tyrogue's personality (working towards hitmontop)
- Beginning to build rapport between Victor and Tyrogue
- Alexander works on aptitude: psychic interaction

=============

Alexander sighed and settled at the base of a tree, dropping his bag and heaving a great sigh. He brushed his hair back behind his ears and rummaged through his things until he found two poke balls. Two pokemon who he needed to get to know better, and perhaps, they might be able to figure out how to work together. This might have been a far-fetched goal even for Alexander, though. He wasn't too familiar with either Tyrogue or Victor's personalities quite yet, but he did know that Victor seemed like a tough personality to work with. One thing was for certain - he would never earn the mime's trust easily. It would take a long time and a lot of work, but he suspected - no, he knew - that it was worth it.

He released Tyrogue first. The fighting pokemon took a moment to center himself before turning to look up at his handler. As he prepared himself for whatever would come next, he leaned down and started doing a variety of stretches. Alexander doubted that these were actually pokemon moves, but whatever they were, the exercises seemed to be helping Tyrogue as he focused his eyes and ears on Alexander. "Hi, Tyrogue," he began. "I've been hoping I could get to know you a little better. What do you think?" Tyrogue nodded and, with a short bow, reached one of his hands out. "Great," Alexander said as he shook the small pokemon's hand. He knew, from working with his previous partner, machamp, that fighting-type pokemon tended to prefer clear directions and straightforward roles on the team, but he had never seen his machamp look for a handshake or offer a respectful bow.

"So I was wondering if we could see how... I don't really know to say this, but my brother's ghost gave me a poke ball with a mr. mime in it. His name is Victor and I think he's really uncomfortable around me, and to be honest, I don't know how to be comfortable around him. He... erm, he attacked me when he first saw me," he said almost as an aside.

"Tyrogue," the fighting-type said as he leaped forward with his fists out, then he quickly fell to the ground, on all fours, in a menacing pose in front of Alexander. So he would support Alexander for now - and this would enable the Guardian to meet the mime in a way that hopefully wouldn't get him killed.

"Do you think we could see if we could make him feel more comfortable on the team?" This question was as much of a test for tyrogue as it was for Victor. His machamp was not exactly cooperative and he had essentially forced Alexander to only work with him to the exclusion of other pokemon. Now that Alexander was working with a different pokemon who shared the same type as his old machamp, he was curious whether his machamp's proclivities were more due to his type or his personality.

Tyrogue seemed deep in thought as he considered the alternatives carefully. Alexander observed his pokemon as he pondered, and sincerely wished he could understand him. The little pokemon walked back and forth for a few moments until he stood in a wide-legged stance in front of Alexander with his hands balled into triumphant fists. "Tyrogue!" he exclaimed.

Alexander could only assume this was a positive message. He tapped the poke ball by his side and released the other pokemon. He stood as the red light erupted from the ball and by the time it faded and Victor was fully visible, he was ready to go. "Hello, Victor. I'm Alexander - I know I said this already, but I do want to get to know you better. I don't know about your history with trainers, but I do think I'm a good one. I've got five years of experience," he said in an attempt to sound confident.

"Mime," Victor responded coolly.

At first, Alexander was confused - he had tried to show himself as a good trainer in several different ways, and he had encountered a great deal of pokemon during his time as a Guardian so far, but it seemed like Victor was uninterested. "I... erm, I don't know what I did wrong, or if I did something to make you dislike me. I don't dislike you, though. I like you," he said.

More silence from the mime.

"I guess I thought this would be easier to work with you since you're a psychic-type... but don't think I'm giving up. I don't know if people have given up on you before, Victor, but I'm not going to. I don't give up - just like my brother... how did you meet him?" he asked curiously, wondering if Victor was going to communicate, and if so, how he would choose to interact with Alexander.

"My handler asked you a question," Tyrogue said, although all Alexander could hear was the pokemon speaking his name. Without Victor interpreting for him, he had no way of telling what they were talking about.

At first, Victor didn't even deign to look at Tyrogue. "Tell your trainer I am not interested."

Victor might have been determined, but it appeared he had yet to learn of the determination of fighting-types. He had yet to figure out that fighting-types would follow a foe to the end of the earth and would recruit allies along the way of veritable worth. Now that Tyrogue knew that Victor had enough strength to challenge Alexander, he knew he had two options left: to let Victor join the cause and participate as a full member of Alexander's team, or to chase him away and preferably ensure that he and Alexander would never see the mime again.

It was an odd measure of loyalty for a trainer who he hadn't been working with for a while, but that was the way Tyrogue was. He had the fighting spirit representative of his pokemon type, but at the same time, he carefully considered the alternatives of his actions, balanced his reactions, and tried to do everything he could to keep himself and others from getting hurt. And he firmly believed that having a trainer or handler meant that they were a pair and they owed their strongest allegiances to each other. It was with these thoughts in his mind that he looked at Victor, sizing up the tall, powerful psychic-type.

"Why won't you try? You are a powerful pokemon. You could do so much if you try," Tyrogue tried.

"What if I don't want to try?" he replied, slowly.

"Then you are less of a pokemon than I thought you were," he said in an even tone.

Even Alexander could feel the shift in the short conversation between the pokemon. Victor's eyes gained a dark glare and he looked down at Tyrogue. Alexander felt his body strain, his muscles tightened as he prepared to launch into action and counter the mime again. But it turned out this effort wouldn't be needed, not at all.

Alexander and Tyrogue both felt a strange tickling sensation in their heads, and before either of them had time to react, they were thrust into Victor's mind and being shown the cycle of his thoughts as if he was playing a movie in their minds. He set the setting first: a dark, dank building with water dripping from the ceiling and the dismal bricks let no sunlight in. Alexander could sense a strong feeling of something outside, of something happy, but he couldn't tell where that feeling was coming from. There were no windows and yet Alexander could see in the darkness. He could see some people approaching, their faces contorted in twisted grins. And then he felt pain, even though his eyes weren't finding what was wrong he felt as if his body was being ripped apart. And then the humans began to bleed. They fell to the floor and their bodies festered over time. And then one day when the bodies had eroded there was another human, a woman with a... a nidorina, was it?... and then his eyes opened again and he was Alexander again, out in the wilderness.

Victor stood in front of Alexander, eyeing him. Even though it had hurt the last time Victor was in his mind, he found himself not hurting now. He needed to take a few deep breaths, but he wasn't swaying on his feet and he didn't feel like he was about to vomit. Like his mind was assaulted. Instead, he felt like he had been told a story in the only way the pokemon knew how. He knew he would have to respond quickly. "Victor, thank you... thank you for telling me," Alexander's voice sounded odd, but he continued. "Did they hurt you? The humans?"

The response was a flash of images again, their smiles wide and then the pain. This time it was just a flash. Alexander managed to stay standing. "And the other human, the one traveling with a nidorina, did she help you?" The mime showed him another picture, this time of the woman smiling. Alexander didn't know her but he got a sort of friendly feeling from her. It might have been a sensation Victor was transmitting, or it might have been a result of the woman's smile not being quite so sinister, and the lack of pain immediately afterwards.

"She helped you. She got you out of there - what happened to her?" Victor sent the image of a relief of pain. Alexander could see Victor's hands on what looked like a human body joint. The woman smiled up at him as she stood up. "Did she get hurt? Did she die? Where is she?" he asked.

"I do not know," he said aloud, and only Tyrogue could understand.

"You lost her? Or she lost you?" The mime looked down at the fighting-type pokemon and nodded slowly. "My trainer lost his brother. He's been sad, so sad. He didn't save his brother when it mattered most."

"What happened to the brother?" Victor asked.

"I don't know. I wasn't with him at the time. I heard the brother was killed by the Order. By evil men who wanted to steal his pokemon."

"Did he let the Order take them?"

Tyrogue was a bit surprised that Victor instantly knew what the Order was, but he wasn't going to challenge him. "He died to keep them out of the Order's hands, but he didn't succeed. My handler is trying to save his brother's pokemon." He paused for a moment, wondering how deep to go. He was not an extremely cerebral pokemon, but if it took words to impress Victor, he would use his words. "My handler wishes he could have done more for his brother. He feels like he didn't do everything he could have to keep him alive."

A pause. "Neither did I," Victor said, simply.

Alexander watched the conversation eagerly, wondering why Victor was talking to Tyrogue like this and why the fighting-type pokemon no longer seemed to be preparing himself for a fight. He was no longer stretching or holding his arms to the ground. He was simply standing and talking, and yet the conversation seemed so short... just one name of a pokemon species for each pokemon at some points, but something was most definitely happening.

The mime approached Alexander, reaching out a hand tentatively. Alexander raised his hand in an attempted handshake - perhaps Tyrogue had instilled this tradition in him? - but the mime ignored his hand. He simply poked the Guardian harp on Alexander's armor with a finger, looking up at his new trainer when the poke failed to get a reaction.

"I'm a Guardian - you know about the Guardians?" he asked. He was prepared, this time, for the vision, even before it came. He knew that Victor was going to try to communicate with him and he took a moment to prepare mentally. This time he could focus a little more, as he concentrated on the blonde woman. He could see now that she was wearing... the same breastplate as he was. So his previous trainer was a Guardian as well... but what did that mean for him?

The vision snapped away and Victor stood still, staring into Alexander's eyes. "Your previous handler was a Guardian. You want to know what happened to her," he said, speaking as he thought. No wonder Victor hadn't attacked him yet - he needed information. The mime nodded. "Got a name?" he asked, and closed his eyes.

He didn't receive a name, exactly. He got several pictures consecutively, one after the other, flowing after him in a dizzyingly rapid way. There was a nidorina - no, a nidoqueen - standing by a booth and handing Victor a piece of something brown. Alexander got the feeling this brown thing tasted incredibly good. Chocolate, perhaps? But where would she have come by such a delicacy? And then there was a flash of something Alexander couldn't tell what it was - maybe a chaotic battle scene? Maybe not? And then the image settled on the smiling face of the woman as she opened a poke ball containing...

"A hoothoot?" Alexander exclaimed while still seeing the image. It was shaky, blurred with his speech and lack of concentration, but his mind was going about a million places at once. If this Guardian had a hoothoot, whether or not it was a special one like Casper's, perhaps she had known of him... perhaps she had met him. His mind started getting carried away with all the possibilities. He started hoping she would be safe, against all odds, that a hoothoot wouldn't be a death curse for everyone.

When he opened his eyes again, he could have sworn he saw Victor smile for just an instant. Then the mime nodded his head, clearly waiting for more of a reaction from Alexander. "Here's the deal. You're smart, I'm not going to talk down to you. I'll go to headquarters and find out anything I can about your previous handler and I'll tell you everything I know. And you won't kill me," he said.

The mime nodded, although with a glint in his eyes. It was almost as if he was saying As long as you don't deserve to die. Alexander noticed Tyrogue walk over to Victor, possibly in a gesture of conciliation. The mime scarcely looked down, so focused was he on Alexander.

"Come on, let's go. We've got some digging to do," Alexander said in a far more positive way. It was simply a small step, but when he turned around and saw both Victor and Tyrogue following him, he couldn't help but smile. Even the smallest step was still a step towards the cohesive team he wanted and needed to bring his goals to fruition.

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

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Past Characters


Korosensei's Post Count Rewards
Caledonia picture by August! Alexander and Casper sprites by Mackay!
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Flight
 Posted: Nov 25 2015, 04:31 PM
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judge of the stables
******
Admin
Total Posts: 976
Member No. 1433
Joined on 30-January 14.


Characters:
Eryn Norwood, Adelaide Hawksworth, Iuchra Nic Longáin

Awards: 1




This was a pretty good thread to establish a rapport between Alexander and his murderous psychic and the dutiful fighting-type. It's clear you put thought into both the relationship and the characterization.
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/236tyrogue.png
Tyrogue earns +1 bar of happiness.

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/122mrmime.png
Victor, on the other hand, is a vicious half-psychic that hates humans. As such, he earns 0 bars of happiness, but gains the following note:
"Learning to understand Alexander"


For the Aptitude Psychic Interaction, Alexander earns 3 exp, for a total of a Rate of 3 (3/10).

--------------------
Eryn
profile & travels
Addie
profile & travels
Iuchra
profile & travels
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please refer to me with they/them pronouns!

-
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PCR
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Korosensei
 Posted: Nov 27 2015, 09:39 PM
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Stupidface McNoctowl
*******
Head Moderator
Total Posts: 1594
Member No. 1923
Joined on 24-February 15.


Characters:
Alexander Fitzgerald | Emilie Chartoire

Awards: 5




Setting: Dedrius
Pokemon: Victor and Tyrogue
Time: Morning

Goals:
- Working on a tentative bond between Alexander and Victor
- Working on developing Tyrogue's personality (working towards hitmontop)
- Beginning to build rapport between Victor and Tyrogue
- Alexander works on aptitude: psychic interaction

=============

Alexander knew it was a long shot, but he had to try. He had told Victor he would, and even though he heard his little brother had been gifted at lying, Alexander preferred to tell the truth whenever possible. A bond built on lies was tentative at best, and he wanted to forge a true bond. Of course, this would take time, but he had nothing in the world but time.

He walked toward the Guardian outpost where he had lived for the past several years. Leaving felt odd, but coming back felt almost stranger, in a way. He was in the company of four new pokemon who he was beginning to get to know. He considered who to bring in with him, feeling the need to show his fellows that he was capable of functioning as a pokemon handler outside of the base. He didn't know Corvus well enough to trust that the pinsir wouldn't get triggered by possibly seeing other Guardians who had been there when his previous handler had been killed, and Amarie seemed a bit too eager to pinch people. Victor was out of the question for this, of course - he would bring in the mime later. He didn't want to risk Victor getting hurt simply due to an old fault of his old trainer, after all. So, it was Tyrogue who accompanied him.

There was a certain comfort in walking with a fighting-type towards the place where he and machamp had been so close. His bond with tyrogue was different - this pokemon seemed, if not less violent, then more willing to consider alternatives before and during a fight. Nevertheless, he seemed to have stellar reflexes and a keen mind, both of which were extremely useful to Alexander. "We're going to find out about Victor's trainer," he said conversationally as he walked. "You're going to meet some of my fellow Guardians, I think you'll like them -- " he stopped talking abruptly when he realized Tyrogue was poking him rather hard in the leg. When he looked down to see what was wrong, the fighting-type simply pointed at Victor's poke ball.

"He's still a bit violent, I don't know if I can trust him in a building full of Guardians yet. I don't want to end up like my brother," he said, trying to sound confident, but in truth, the more he said, the more he realized how stupid he sounded. Yes, Victor had a violent history, but if he had worked with a Guardian before, he clearly knew how to behave himself. He was almost certain that the mime hadn't caused his previous trainer's demise if only because he seemed so concerned to find out what happened to her. It would be a challenge, but then he thought - with a pang - when did a Fitzgerald boy ever back down from a challenge?

He patted Tyrogue on the head. "You're right. It's not fair to not at least ask him what he wants." He tapped the poke ball and Victor emerged, wiggling his fingers experimentally as Alexander released him in the middle of the street. Immediately, he noticed people keeping a wider berth around him. "Hello, Victor," he said, and the mime met his eyes for a moment but then didn't attack. Clearly Victor was keeping his promise, and now it was time for Alexander to keep his. "Victor, this building here is the Guardian outpost where I used to work. There's a record-keeper in there who I think can help us find out more about your previous trainer. I can bring you in there, but only on the condition that whatever negative things either of us hears, neither of us attacks." Tyrogue nodded his head slowly at the plan, and after several moments of consideration, Victor approached Alexander. He seemed uncomfortably close at first, if only because he had never been this physically close to Alexander before. He pointed at the building with a broad hand as if to say, What are we waiting for?

"Great," Alexander said as he approached the guards at the door. "Alexander Fitzgerald, can I come in?" he asked in a far more polite manner than he was used to. But he wanted to show the mime kindness and decorum, something he didn't know if the pokemon had ever seen before.

"Hey, if it isn't Fitz! Welcome back, buddy!" He opened the door and beckoned Alexander and his two pokemon in. "Dropping off some pokemon?"

"No, these two are with me. Tyrogue," he said and nearly had to hold back a chuckle as once again the fighting-type attempted to shake the human's hand, "and this big guy is Victor." The mime stood still, coolly observing the people around him.

The other Guardian shook hands with Tyrogue with an amused look on his face. "Well, he certainly didn't get this from you - kidding, Fitz," he said at Alexander's raised eyebrow. "Figured you'd have a fighting-type - your old machamp is nearly impossible to control some days without you - but I didn't peg you as the creepy mime type 'a guy." he said with a nervous chuckle and a glance in Victor's direction.

Alexander was worried for a moment, but true to his word, Victor didn't attack, only smiled a frightening rictus. "Yeah, I didn't expect to wind up with Victor, but few of us ever end up where we think we will." He took one more moment to make sure Victor wasn't planning some sort of attack before he continued speaking. "Know if Nell's in today?"

"When is Nell ever not in? She lives here, Fitz. Need me to show you the way?" he joked before releasing his grip on Tyrogue's hand. "Don't think I've seen anyone go in there today. She's probably available for... whatever you're intending," he finished with a not-so-surreptitious wink.

Alexander felt no need to explain his purpose for returning - he was a Guardian of Dedrius, he belonged here, after all - before saluting and walking down the hallway. Nell, the record-keeper, occupied the smallest office on the left hallway. Although it wasn't a flashy place, it was easy to find, and after greeting a few more old acquaintances along the way, he reached Nell's office and knocked on the door. "C'mon in," he heard from inside.

He pushed the door open to reveal a woman in her late thirties sorting through a pile of papers. "Fitzgerald, right? Alexander?

"Yes, Nell. It's good to see you again," he began before getting more serious. "I'm looking for a Guardian. The original trainer of my new Mr. Mime, Victor," he motioned towards the mime and Nell looked up from her papers for the first time.

"Gonna need more details than that," she said as she reached towards a short cabinet.

Alexander tried to remember everything he had seen in the visions from Victor. "She's blonde - yes, I know that's not very helpful," he said as she chuckled. "Victor doesn't know where she is. She traveled with a nidorina - maybe a nidoqueen by now, who knows - and, oh, she had a hoothoot," he said. "Not a shiny one like Casper had. Just a normal one."

Nell ruffled through some papers in the cabinet before taking out a stack. "That sounds familiar... hmm... ah, here we go. And some people think I'm crazy for keeping the old notices of missing Guardians, but sometimes they do come in handy. Whaddaya know," she said with a small laugh before continuing. "Does the name... looks like Oliva... Frisell... heard 'a her?"

At the sound of the woman's name, Victor took several steps forward and put both of his hands on her desk. Both Alexander and Nell took this as immediate confirmation. "I'm pretty sure that's a yes," Alexander said.

"Here's all I got on her. Blonde, not too tall, youthful looks and personality... ah, yes, 'last seen in Navdia Crater in the company of a nidoqueen and a hoothoot' ... oh, here's more - 'missing in action before mission with the Queen's Guard.' That's all we got," she said, turning the paper around to show a faded sketch of the woman in question to Victor.

Alexander processed the information as quickly as possible. This Oliva must have either had quite a lot of prestige or notoriety to be chosen to work with the Queen's Guard, although it could have been simply because of the hoothoot. He wondered where she and his brother had gotten their hoothoots - perhaps the birds had even crossed paths? There weren't too many of them... The presence of a nidoqueen on the sheet confirmed in Alexander's mind that they had the right woman.

Before he could think any more, Nell spoke again. "Oh, hold on, yer mime is showin' me some old faded text here... 'beware of nidoqueen, known to rampage...' ooh, that ain't nice... ah, 'do not open poke ball of mr. mime' - guess that's you, buddy... 'fancies 'imself a healer but is really a killer...' yeah, I dunno if they wanted her to answer to charges of having dangerous pokemon or to just show up, but we got this notice about... hmm, a year ago. Haven't heard anything about her since."

"Thank you, Nell," Alexander said as he prepared to leave. If there was no more information, he had no more reason to stay. Except for the fact that Victor was now sitting on the desk, and he was getting that strangely fuzzy feeling in his head that usually signaled an impending psychic vision from the mime...

It was the little booth he had seen before. The words painted on the wood were hard to read, and he definitely didn't think "hug booth" was a reasonable interpretation considering the pokemon in front of the booth was a nidoqueen. He saw the woman next, the trainer - Oliva, he had to remind himself. He couldn't recognize the face from the sketch, although sketches were generally known to be unreliable. The woman patted the nidoqueen on the shoulder before the poison-type reached over and grabbed her trainer, squeezing hard. "Oi!" Alexander wanted to shout, but he knew his words wouldn't affect anything. Oliva looked... happy, though, smiling as she rubbed her cheek into the nidoqueen's head. The nidoqueen walked into a crowd of children. He heard a female voice saying "Nola" and recognized it as the same voice from the previous visions. He watched the large pokemon bend down time and time again to pick up and cradle children and pokemon alike, placing some of the smaller pokemon on her broad shoulders. If he hadn't recognized things from the previous vision, he might have suspected Victor of inventing falsehoods. After all, he had never seen or heard of a nidoqueen that was gentle enough to hug children.

His eyes opened. He was still in Nell's office. The door was shut and he was the only human inside. He heard a voice through the door: "I got outta there as soon as the mime started lookin' at me funny -- " It appeared he would be safe for now, but he couldn't stay there too much longer.

He did have one major question, though. Was this the same nidoqueen who had been called dangerous on the paper Nell showed him? "She didn't seem dangerous there - Nola? Is that her name?" The mime nodded. "She seemed like the complete opposite of dangerous. Do you know why the note said that?" He prepared for another vision as an answer - after all, the question was complicated, and visions were Victor's most effective way of communicating with him.

When he closed his eyes, he could see a city square - Navdia, perhaps, although he didn't recognize it - and a nidoqueen. Oliva rushed towards the nidoqueen, who was stomping around as if driven mad. Something seemed a little off about the scene, a feeling which he recognized but couldn't quite place... until he remembered how he felt when he had first gotten a vision from Victor. The fuzziness and strange almost-swelling feeling in his head resembled the feeling of the nidoqueen in the vision. The perspective jumped out of her head, as if the presence had ejected Victor. Victor stood along the sidelines of the marketplace, watching the nidoqueen destroy everything in her path. He felt like he could almost tell what was going to happen before it did. Oliva reached Nola and reached her arms around her, trying to subdue her, before... a disgusting crunch as her body landed near Victor, one shoulder clearly out of place.

Alexander did not at all expect the next part, however. Victor got closer to Oliva and he could hear her pleading. He could hear the tone far more than the muffled words. It seemed like the strange psychic pokemon's influence was too great for Victor to bring back more of the vision as only a half-psychic. But before the images faded away and he found himself in Nell's office again, he could see Victor's white hands moving to Oliva's shoulder. Sending a wave of psychic energy into the joint. He could hear the crackling as bone slid along bone and the final pop when it was back in place. Oliva looked up with tears in her eyes and smiled at Victor.

Alexander snapped awake. He understood, now, what the paper had meant. Perhaps this had even been the last time Oliva and Victor had been together, but there was something there. The beginning of a bond. Enough trust that Victor had listened to her pleas and not only refrained from harming her, but actually helped her. And Alexander knew what the mime must be feeling as he sat on the desk, telling his story in the only way he knew how. He had been abandoned right at the moment he was beginning to feel that bond. Now, he was doubting. He doubted Alexander's capability to stay.

"I'm not going anywhere," he said, although even as he spoke, he realized that there was no way Victor would believe him. He had only just started to believe in Oliva, and Victor's agreements with Alexander resembled contracts more than friendship. "I don't know what happened to Oliva or Nola or the hoothoot. But I don't think they'd have left you on purpose. I know you haven't had much experience seeing love in the eyes of a human, but I saw it. When you fixed her shoulder. She looked at you with something more than gratitude. It was love."

Victor took several deep breaths. He scarcely knew what to believe. What was true? Was this Alexander speaking the truth? Did Oliva love him and leave him for some reason he didn't understand? He was confused, which was an uncommon feeling for a pokemon who knew how he wanted to live his life and what he wanted to do. Could it be that his resistance was keeping him from those loving gazes all along? But Oliva, she had looked at him with love... not just at that time. There was one other time. One that he had vowed with himself to keep close and never share, like a precious jewel. But he could share it, if only this once. Maybe Alexander could learn to look at him in that way, too. If he saw it.

He plunged Alexander and Tyrogue into the memory. He didn't know where they were or why they were there, but he could see Nola going into her poke ball and the tears streaming down from Oliva's eyes as she sent out a flying-type pokemon of some sort - it was almost too dark to see - with the poke ball, darting into the sky. Then Oliva turned to him. Her face looked blotchy even in the darkness. The memory only lasted a moment, but he would never forget the moment when she said, "Victor, you're beautiful... you fight back," and her eyes brimmed with tears and he was sitting on the desk again. Scrutinizing Alexander.

"She loved you," Alexander said after a long moment of waiting. "She didn't want to leave."

"You want to fight back," Tyrogue said, in a calm and measured voice. "You think her words were telling you to fight." He too knew the impulse to fight, the way he loved how his strength flowed through his body. It had taken him time to work towards moderation - he had not always been the steadfast tyrogue he was now.

"Yes," Victor replied, keeping his eyes fixed on Alexander. Watching him so carefully for the smallest sign of a reaction.

"But she called you beautiful. That's not a fighting word."

"I am not beautiful," Victor said tersely. "I am not a silly fluffy thing that follows the wealthy humans around."

"There is a beauty in resistance. In fighting back. In telling the world that it may be cruel but you can be crueler." Victor looked over towards Tyrogue for the first time. "But there is also a beauty in not fighting. In defending others. Your trainer saved you, I don't know from what, but she saved you from something. She didn't want you to get hurt again."

Victor stayed silent for a long moment, thinking. "How do you know?"

"From her eyes. I can't not know, the way she looked at you. She didn't want you to fight everyone you ever meet - she wanted you to fight for what is right. Like Alexander. She wants you to fight for her like Alexander is fighting for Casper. Even if she's just a memory, she loved you."

Victor stood up and walked towards Tyrogue. He bent his knees. Leaned down. And, with only minor hesitation, reached out his hand. Tyrogue gripped it tightly and began walking towards Alexander. He wished the handler could have understood what just happened.

Alexander wished so, as well. Victor was being... if not friendly, then distantly polite. And when he reached Alexander, he reached out his hand to him as well. "For me?" Alexander said. The mime rolled his eyes, almost as if reconsidering, before shoving his hand even closer to Alexander. And then their palms touched, human and mime, and in each other's eyes they began to find the beginning sparks of understanding.

"You're in?" Alexander asked, wondering if this was too good to be true.

"For Oliva. Not for you," he said, knowing very well that Alexander would not be able to understand. He could only rely on that flimsy, frail string of trust that reached between them, and although it was small, it beat with the fierceness of two hearts beginning to align to the same path.

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Flight
 Posted: Dec 1 2015, 09:58 PM
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This was a post of a decent length, with a lot of things happening here, but not enough for it to be truly effective in terms of bonding; you have the beginnings of bonds, but not much else. The majority of your choice of speech colors were also difficult to read, as they were too dark on the default skin of the site. However, you managed to weave together Victor's past as another's pokemon, which I liked.

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/236tyrogue.png
Gains the following notes:
"Moderate; steadfast"
"Has begun to understand Victor"

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/122mrmime.png
Gains the following notes:
"Has begun to understand Tyrogue"
"Begun to work with Alexander"

For the Aptitude Psychic Interaction, Alexander earns a further 2 exp.

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Korosensei
 Posted: Dec 8 2015, 05:21 PM
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Stupidface McNoctowl
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Characters:
Alexander Fitzgerald | Emilie Chartoire

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Setting: Small clearing outside Dedrius
Pokemon: Corvus, Karma, Victor, and Tyrogue
Time: Late afternoon

Goals:
- Working on bonds between Alexander and his pokemon
- Developing Tyrogue's personality and officially choosing his evolutionary intentions
- Beginning to build rapport between Alexander's pokemon as a team
- Alexander works on aptitude: psychic interaction

=============

It had been a long day of training. Karma was nearly asleep in Alexander's arms, Corvus was clacking his pincers at a much slower rate than he had been before running right into one of Victor's barriers earlier in the day, and Victor himself was panting from having tried to build enough walls to completely surround the team while they moved around. The only one who still looked like he had any energy was Tyrogue, whose muscles were bunched up and prepared to act even as he crouched in a more defensive pose.

Tyrogue had definitely been getting stronger lately. He was performing better in battles and seemed stronger every single day. His size had also increased, and his fists were callused and moved in a well-practiced way. His hazel eyes sparkled with determination and even though sweat rolled down his body, he was still standing firm. Alexander had no doubt that if a foe were to suddenly jump out of the trees, Tyrogue would be the first to jump into battle even though he had been the first to train that morning. He would easier die than give up. It was a fighting-type trait Alexander recognized from his old machamp, but as Tyrogue grew, the differences between the two fighting-types were far more apparent.

Tyrogue was determined to fight and win, but he was also cerebral, thinking about techniques he could use to maximize his energy in the times when he attacked. It might take him longer to beat a foe, but he would come out with more energy and less wounds in the end. It was a balance Alexander was unused to, and something that clearly meant a lot to Tyrogue. Towards the beginning of their partnership, this hadn't mattered as much, but now... every day, Tyrogue was growing, and the pokecard said that he would evolve in not too much longer. When Alexander looked at the pokemon Tyrogue could become, he was struck by the fact that there was a choice. Tyrogue would have to choose his own path. And he didn't have too much more time.

Alexander settled down in the grass; Karma lazily stretched and poked at Tyrogue to get his attention. Victor looked eager to get off his feet, but hesitated for several moments as he tried to decide where to sit. Eventually he settled somewhat near the rest of the group, but with enough distance that he wasn't quite in the loop. He stared at Alexander, clearly curious about what was going to come out of his mouth next. Corvus shuffled away from Victor a bit before sitting next to Alexander, basking in the human's protection.

Tyrogue approached and stretched out his hand. Alexander felt the pokemon's sweaty hand and began to talk. "Great work today, everyone. I know it's been a long day, but I think you're coming along so well. Before long we'll be a proper team," he tried to sound confident, but between Corvus's docility and Victor's refusal to listen more than he absolutely had to, they clearly had a long way to go. Perhaps bringing up the issue of Tyrogue's evolution could help bring the group together, he thought - if they all had something to concentrate and agree on and work towards, they might be able to communicate with each other better.

"I want to discuss something with all of you. This is going to impact all of us and how we work together as a team. I don't want to make this decision myself, and the decision-making doesn't even need to involve me. You can talk to each other," he said, aware that he was rambling, but he needed to set up the situation. "Tyrogue is going to be evolving soon - if you want? - " The pokemon nodded enthusiastically at Alexander's words, and he continued, "Tyrogue can evolve into three different pokemon. It's going to be a big choice for Tyrogue, so I want us all to be there for him as he makes this decision." He took out the pokecard and started flipping through the pages, eventually finding the information on the three different evolutionary possibilities. After a brief explanation from Alexander, it would be time to discuss and ponder, and ultimately, time to choose before the inevitable biological process took place.

"The first..." Alexander found the correct page, "is hitmonlee. It's known for kicking things and being highly aggressive. It can learn a lot of different kicks and trains with the kicks until it can knock out foes quickly," he read, improvising a bit where he thought it was necessary. He then showed the assembled pokemon the diagram from the pokecard, the tall pokemon with its forked feet and sturdy body.

Strong and powerful. Attacking first, finishing the fight before it even begins. Protecting those I care for with one strong kick after another, bending the elements to my will... Tyrogue thought, picturing himself taking over the tall body with the forked feet and being able to kick things at the height of their heads. It sounds right, yet it sounds so wrong...

"You are unsure," Victor's voice popped into his head. He only vocalized a bit, meaning that Alexander wasn't entirely sure what was going on. "It is only the first choice. Do not rush to hasty conclusions. It may be what's right, but you can miss the shades of grey when you only look at the black and the white." Victor was not usually this... eloquent, but it was clearly an issue that he had given some thought to. He nodded in encouragement at Tyrogue before shuffling his hands.

Before Tyrogue could ask what Victor meant, he was baffled at a strange tickling sensation. He had felt the psychic-type's presence in his head before, but it felt almost like suction now. Almost like Victor was looking for something, seeking a memory... He had the distinct impression as he viewed a memory in front of his eyes that the others could see it too, Alexander and Corvus and the little baby kecleon. There was no way to tell what they were thinking until Victor was done probing, until the tickling was done.

It was a memory he had relived many times. He hadn't always been alone, an easy mark to be captured. No, he had once known other tyrogues, and he had once been among pokemon of his kind in a small training group. He cringed at how small he looked in the memory. The other tyrogues outpaced him. He could get kicked to the dirt with one hit until his eyes glazed over. He heard their voices. Such a weak little thing. No talent for fighting at all. He remembered how his eyes had stung, how another tyrogue had kicked out at him even as he lay prostrate on the ground. "You're right. How is he ever going to be like us if he can't even fight?"

Alexander watched the tyrogues in the memory picking on the small one and felt guilt by association. Not too many months before, he thought picking on his own younger brother like that was completely acceptable. He pushed thoughts of Casper aside and concentrated again on the memory. He found that if he concentrated on small details within Victor's visions, he was able to remember them more after they left his head. This time he focused on the dust kicked in the little tyrogue's eyes. On the words the aggressor said: "I'm gonna be a hitmonlee one day. Tall and strong. No one'll be able to touch me. Not like this little thing." The other tyrogue left - the memory felt emptier somehow.

He didn't open his eyes until the colors behind his eyelids turned completely to black. "Tyrogue," he said, suddenly becoming aware that all four pokemon were staring at him. "I do think you're strong enough to be a hitmonlee. And there are more ways than one to be strong. You don't have to be a bully just because that other tyrogue was. There's lots of room between good and evil, and just being a hitmonlee doesn't make you evil. Nothing can make you do that." Here he allowed his thoughts to drift to his brother again, to the boy who joined the Order not to hurt others but in a feeble attempt to show off his own strength. It had shaken Alexander's black-and-white view of the Order. Not everyone was evil, some were simply misguided. But for some, it was the right path...

He was interrupted from his thoughts by loud clacking coming from his bug-type pokemon. "You are strong," the pinsir said almost as an aside. Alexander felt an odd sensation in his head and almost expected another vision, but none came. He looked back at the mime and found that Victor was raising his hands and concentrating intently. As soon as the pinsir spoke again, Alexander began to understand what Victor was attempting. He couldn't hear what Corvus was saying, per se, but he could get a feeling or emotion of some sort. He felt confident, although at first he couldn't tell whether this was an assertion of Corvus's feelings or his own pride in being able to understand even the smallest bit of what his pokemon were talking about. "An intimidating physical form does not always mean strength. People always assume I'm strong since I've got big pincers and I'm tall, but you don't have to be like that to be strong. You're strong like you are - but I assume you want to change in some way as you grow. Sometimes I wish I could, but I've never heard of a pinsir having an evolution." he rambled. Victor sent some sort of thought to Corvus that seemed to surprise him, but Alexander couldn't get a clear enough reading of the emotion behind it. "If you get taller, we could be training buddies. We could do our training together and get really strong," he said, and Alexander got another pulse of that confident feeling from before.

Tyrogue didn't answer right away. To be polite, he managed an eventual "Thank you, I will take your offer under consideration," but his heart wasn't in it. He didn't want to fight the pinsir, even in training, and he could tell that the pokemon was offering not out of a sense of desire to battle but because he thought it was the right thing to do. As inexperienced as Tyrogue was with team dynamics, even he could see that there was some sort of thing going on where the pinsir was attempting to prove himself as strong but also inherently good. Strong but inherently good... he looked at the picture of the hitmonlee again. He couldn't reconcile the two words in his head with the picture. He didn't look like a hitmonlee. He didn't need to, to be strong.

He approached Alexander and shook his head. Alexander felt a negative sensation almost like someone cracking a cold egg on his spine and he shuddered. "Okay, that one's vetoed... hitmonchan is the next one," he said as he flipped the page. Once again, he attempted to summarize what the pokecard said in his own words. "Hitmonchan’s like the opposite of hitmonlee. It's tall and strong-looking, but instead of kicking, it specializes in punches. It uses the elemental punches as a defense mechanism and holds its hands in front of it to block hits – then attacks the foes with built-up power.” He pointed out the diagram of the tall pokemon with the gloved hands. He couldn't help but notice that the gloved fists reminded him of Victor's large white hands. The mime was flexing his hands absentmindedly as Alexander spoke, but made no immediate move to communicate.

“You have feelings for this one as well. You have heard of both of these two already, but now you are intrigued about the third.” Victor said, and Tyrogue nodded a bit. He didn’t want to dismiss hitmonchan so easily, but he didn’t see how the pokemon made sense at all.

Strong fists not used for fighting but for protection of the self… Long lankly legs good at dodging. It was the weak choice. The one the other tyrogues didn’t want to make. He shuddered as he felt the mime inside his head again.

Alexander braced himself, but was still taken aback at the fervor of this second vision. He couldn’t see the other tyrogues, but this time he could hear their voices more clearly. He wondered for a brief moment if he would ever hear Victor’s voice before he gave himself over to the memory. He could hear the rush of a waterfall and voices that weren’t at all trying to be quiet. “He’ll take the weak path. He’s gotten stronger, but for what? He doesn’t have the resolve. He’ll die on the front lines. He needs a way to run away.” A laugh, then a new voice. “At least hitmonchan has the fast legs. But if he wants to have a head on his shoulders, he’s not meant to fight.” Alexander felt confused for a moment before remembering that hitmonlee’s head was attached to its body and the pokemon was neckless, shoulderless. “I want to help,” he heard a smaller voice, and somehow before he even saw the misty figure of the tyrogue coming out from behind the rushing water, he knew it was his tyrogue. “You have to pick one, but you don’t do either one well enough. We can’t work with you anymore,” a stronger voice said. Alexander looked up this time and saw the legs of what looked like a hitmonchan. He couldn’t see the pokemon’s face. All he could feel was the movement of the memory as Tyrogue ran away, eventually finding what looked like an old woman. The memory fizzled out slowly, and the next time he opened his eyes, he didn’t even know what to say.

Ironically, it took the youngest among the group to speak first. Karma leaped down from her perch on Alexander and approached Tyrogue where he sat, arms and legs folded, on the grass. She sat next to him, her body quivering with eagerness. “That wasn’t nice,” she chirped.

Once again, Alexander had the odd feeling that even though he wasn’t hearing the exact words his pokemon said, he could almost hear their emotions. He concentrated intently on Tyrogue and Karma, trying to pick up on everything he could. “It wasn’t right, but it was true. I’m not all one way or the other. I’m the strange one,” he said, beginning to doubt that he was even going to be able to evolve at all.

Alexander could sense the shift in mood, hoping that Karma hadn’t done or said anything to anger or upset the fighting-type. “I still like you,” she crooned, wiggling closer to him. “You’re way stronger than me. You’re like my big brother,” she said, and Tyrogue chanced a small smile.

Victor kept his eyes fixed on Alexander. The handler could feel the mime’s glare but wasn’t entirely sure what he meant until the mime’s gaze shifted towards the pokecard. Victor nodded. “Erm… Tyrogue,” Alexander said, and once again the fighting-type looked at him. “There’s still another option. Don’t lose faith,” he said in what he thought might sound like empty words, but the fighting-type walked over and sat in front of him. Karma sat to his right, nuzzling her head into him, not even trying to lick him. In a flash of mischievousness she flicked out her tongue towards Victor, but found it falling to the ground and she ate a mouthful of grass as she looked at Victor’s raised eyebrow.

“So,” Alexander said awkwardly, trying to get the attention of his team once again, “There is a third. It’s sort of… unusual – but by that I mean it’s just harder to find, not that it’s bad. It was discovered more recently, apparently…” he flipped the page for the last time and tried to explain the final option, hitmontop. “Hitmontop is as tall as hitmonchan, but it’s got a special feature. It can spin on its head and deliver kicks by spinning like a top. It doesn’t learn as many elemental moves as the others, but that kind of fits what it does. It’s like a specialist for both attack and defense.”

Tyrogue was intrigued. He had never heard of a third option, much less one that would allow a balance. But instantly he feared: Would I become weaker than a hitmonlee or a hitmonchan? Would all my training be for nothing? Would those other tyrogues have been right about me? He put a hand on Karma’s head. And what would it be like to be upside down? It could be dizzying and nauseating… he thought.

“You don’t need to pick one at all. You could stay a tyrogue forever, get stronger than any of your kind. You don’t need to evolve, I’m just offering it as a next step in your training. Most pokemon evolve, but what works for one doesn’t work for all,” Alexander tried to comfort the confused-looking tyrogue. Karma licked the pokemon’s cheek, but he didn’t seem to notice.

Alexander almost expected a memory to surface, but Victor could find none. There was no evidence in Tyrogue’s mind that he had ever heard of hitmontop before, nor that he had ever thought of becoming one. Victor could sense conflicting feelings in the pokemon – excitement over the new option and fear of failure – and he offered an idea in the fighting-type’s head, concealing his words from everyone but Tyrogue. What the pokemon decided now was his own business. “You may wish to take some time to think. You don’t need to decide right now. Try meditating. It can help,” he said in a stoic voice.

Tyrogue looked over at the mime incredulously. “You meditate?” he asked.

“From time to time,” Victor admitted, “But it’s not about me. I can’t make this decision for you. Neither can Corvus or Karma. It is yours alone, and your team will work with you whatever you choose.”

Tyrogue stood and bowed to Alexander before walking away towards an empty area. Karma attempted to follow, but Victor held her back either by a psychic thought in her head or a literal barrier. The psychic-type then put four barriers around where Tyrogue stood, concentrating on holding up the walls and ensuring that the pokemon could have his own space. Victor was not a conversationalist, and he knew all too well that the best thinking came when one was alone.

He was not prepared for when Alexander came up to him. “Thank you for helping him, and for helping the rest of us understand. I appreciate that you’re becoming more of an active member of the team,” he said.

Victor was taken aback. He hadn’t thought of it in that way, but indeed he was becoming closer with the other pokemon, in his own way. Especially with tyrogue – even though their types opposed each other, they had similar ways of thinking about the world, and now that he knew Tyrogue too had seen hate, he wanted to seek more opportunities for conversation with the fighting-type. Not now, though – he didn’t want to disturb the pokemon as he tried out various moves within the confine of the barrier, jumping high in the air to perhaps experiment with new height, and finally rolling over onto his head and trying to steady himself upside down. Victor knew all too well the feeling of being upside-down, of opposing the entire world. Although Corvus and Karma could give Tyrogue superficial support, he could give the pokemon real support.

Alexander got an emotion in response to his words of gratitude. It felt like a tentative thanks, perhaps with an explanation behind it. Perhaps it was the feeling that the mime was really talking to the pokemon, but he had allowed Alexander a window into his own head, into Tyrogue’s head. He was, at least for now, beginning to support Alexander’s role in the team. He didn’t know why, but he got another strong feeling of docility. No, wait – not docility – but rather, the idea that the mime was not going to ambush him in his sleep or hurt him unawares. It wasn’t quite trust, but it was more than anything he had gotten before.

“I trust you too, Victor. Together – all of us – we’ll be there for Tyrogue no matter what he chooses.” Even though he had a preference for the pokemon to choose to evolve rather than remain the same, he wanted the decision to stay with the pokemon. It was a moment of knowing oneself that only Tyrogue could do, and only a cruel trainer would force him to evolve simply for the sake of getting stronger.

He turned to face Tyrogue. He and Victor stood only a few inches apart, not quite touching, but with an energy and determination between them. Victor sent him a picture and he nodded, leaning over towards his bag and fetching what Victor requested. Then he got the feeling to wait. The time would come soon.

Looking at the world upside-down was strange for Tyrogue. The sky looked like it was beneath him and the grassy terrain floated above his head. He began to feel dizzy and wondered why any pokemon would want to be upside-down all the time, not able to see the world as it really was.

And then it hit him. Perhaps it is not the pokemon that is upside-down but the world, he thought to himself as he braced his body on his strong arms. He was pleased that he wasn't wobbling anymore, that his head had settled into a niche on the ground. I've never been the one doing anything right. Maybe it just wasn't right for them, but it's worked for me. I've gotten strong in my own way. I don't need to listen to what others say... I don't owe any pokemon a training buddy or someone to play pranks with. They are my team and I owe them my support, but if I am not what I am supposed to be, if I am upside-down all the time...

He knew in his heart that he was no longer thinking about being physically upside-down as he righted himself and walked over to Alexander, not even all that dizzy. He bowed politely and reached out his hand to each of the three other pokemon. Karma giggled and licked the hand instead of shaking it, Corvus knelt down to hold his hand and grinned, and Victor arched a single eyebrow once more before grasping his hand for a moment, tentatively. Then he approached Alexander, and in the time the pokemon took to think, the handler had listened to Victor and come up with a solution for the problem. A way for Tyrogue to be able to learn and grow and become who he had decided to be. There was no need to wait anymore.

In Alexander's hands sat three candies inside bright blue wrappers. Even though Tyrogue had never eaten one before, he knew the theory behind these candies. They were the key to gaining more strength, and with a push from his inner psyche, he might even be able to get enough strength to evolve at that very moment. Alexander looked at him with a smile. "If you don't want them now, just let me know. And I'll support you whatever choice you make. I may be your handler, but it's not my choice to make. Do whatever feels right for you."

Tyrogue looked at the three candies in Alexander's hand. He could still hear Victor's words ringing clear in his head, the only thing he had heard while he was inside the barrier, separate from the others. "There is no point in taking this step, in taking any step, if you are not following yourself." The mime observed the tyrogue carefully. The two met eyes over Alexander's outstretched hand the moment before the fighting-type embraced the bravery he had longed for his entire life.

He ate the first candy, relishing the buzzing sensation on his tongue. The fighting spirit of hitmonlee, fighting to defend the ones he cared for. Taking out an enemy in one hit, powerful, strong.

The second candy. The resolution of hitmonchan, the way it could never break, never bend in the face of a foe. Standing mighty like a great tree that could be shaken at its roots but would never fall.

The moment he first licked the third candy, he held the vision in his head. He would not permit his body to be anything but what he needed, what he yearned for. Who he really was inside. He was the oddball, the one who had never quite fit in. He wasn't meant for pure strength like a hitmonlee. He wasn't meant to be as solid as a hitmonchan. And this was mostly because he never wanted to pick between the two. He could be both, he knew, and he could still be strong. The other tyrogues in his youth had told him he was looking at things backwards. Perhaps, he thought as he swallowed in a great gulp, they hadn't been wrong. Perhaps he had been looking at things upside-down all along.

He was prepared for the glow. He was prepared for the moment when his entire body started to tingle, and roared an exuberant shout as his body faded into the light. He was ready for his next step.

The last thought he had as a tyrogue was that perhaps there wasn't anything wrong with seeing the world upside-down at all.

Koro's Guide to Tyrogue's Evolution

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Flight
 Posted: Dec 18 2015, 02:38 PM
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judge of the stables
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Hello, Koro.

Since this is quite the significant outcome you're asking to be graded for here, as well as numerous other goals, I've gone into detail about how I graded and why I did it that way. If you have any questions, you're welcome to PM me.

Grading



http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/237hitmontop.png
RNG said 78 on a threshold of 70/30 chance in favor of a hitmontop.
He levels up to Lv. 20 and gains 2 bars of happiness--one from the Rare Candies, one for this entire thread so far. He gains the moves of a hitmontop up to level 20.

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/122mrmime.png
Victor gains 1 bar of happiness for the progress made so far this entire thread.

Alexander gains 1 EXP for Psychic Interaction due to the lack of focus on increasing the aptitude in this thread.

Corvus and Karma do not gain anything.

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Korosensei
 Posted: Jan 3 2016, 12:06 AM
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Stupidface McNoctowl
*******
Head Moderator
Total Posts: 1594
Member No. 1923
Joined on 24-February 15.


Characters:
Alexander Fitzgerald | Emilie Chartoire

Awards: 5




Setting: Dedrius
Pokemon: Victor
Time: Morning, the day after the freeform Roguish Ties

Goals:
- Working on bond between Alexander and Victor
- Alexander works on aptitude: psychic interaction

=============

It had been a restless night for Alexander, and he suspected his pokemon would be none better. He couldn't stop thinking about the blaziken and the way he had tried to save it, the way he and the girl Skye had tried to do everything in their power. But even the two humans together had done far less than the pokemon who had used his power to do that they couldn't, in the end, and ended the blaziken's life. The pokemon who had thrown himself in front of attacks, put himself in danger from humans to protect his friend, and then given up. It was something, frankly, that Alexander hadn't expected from the mr. mime who his brother's ghost had brought to him.

After eating breakfast, he mentally prepared himself to bring Victor out. He was sure that Victor would need some time to process what had happened as he had processed it. Furthermore, he was finding a great desire to get to know the mime and figure out where the mercy had come from. The killing instinct, he could understand from the men in the warehouse he had seen in the visions the mime had shown him - but when had he learned to be merciful? The pokemon had a great deal of secrets, no doubt, and now that Victor had begun trusting Alexander enough to not kill him on sight and sometimes obeying his commands in other things, he longed to know what was going on in his pokemon's head. Sometimes he hated the fact that Victor was part fairy-type, if only because of how it hindered their ability to converse. Well, he would find other ways. And he would start today.

He found a small, secluded spot near the inn where he was staying, not too far from where the competition had taken place. Memories flooded his mind as he looked to the nearby trees. He contemplated bringing out some of his other pokemon, perhaps letting Hitmontop test his skills or Karma explore the world, but for now he just wanted to speak to Victor. No distractions, simply a man and a mime. He chose only one poke ball to release today, and he was confident as he placed his thumb on the white button in the middle of the sphere.

His memories burst into light as he did, and as he emerged they too emerged into the forefront of his mind.

Victor stood still for several moments, and Alexander wondered how he was faring. He didn't know quite how to begin the conversation, especially since it seemed Victor was having trouble communicating with him in the same language. He had gotten slightly more accustomed to Victor's psychic visions, but that was just about all he had seen from the mime. He wondered if there was anything more from a pokemon rumored to be very intelligent.

"Victor. I know yesterday was pretty horrible, are you okay?"

Okay had not even entered his vocabulary. There was too much. He had to start at the beginning. Every memory, every piece of time that had led to the ultimate fate of the blaziken. The blaziken had died, no thanks to him. He had failed. And Alexander was asking about 'okay'?

Victor seemed to stiffen up. He shook his head a few times and Alexander shivered a bit in the cold air. He couldn't help but feel that, although it was indeed a freezing winter's day, he was feeling more than the physical cold. He wondered if Victor might have been trying to say something, although he then shook his head. Victor couldn't control the weather, after all - he knew of only one pokemon that responded to weather, and it was almost impossible to find.

"I wonder what this note means," he mused aloud as he took the piece of paper out of his pocket. He had nearly worn it blank with the amount of times he had unfolded it to read its words again. He held out the scrap to Victor. And then he felt the strangest thing.

It was almost like pins and needles running up and down his arms. His head was assaulted by an unclear feeling, something that he desperately wanted to understand. "I don't get it," he said aloud, almost feeling as if his lips were vibrating. He looked over at the mime, who appeared to be deep in concentration. "I don't understand, Victor. I don't - "

And then, he did. He took out his pokecard quickly and with shivering fingers looked up what a psychic pokemon was capable of. "Are you trying to tell me something with an emotion?" Alexander asked, still confused. He puzzled about it for a bit as his body buzzed a bit more. Then he wondered... "Are you trying to tell me that you're confused about something?"

Victor nodded.

It was an unmistakable gesture and the first time Victor had used the human symbol for 'yes' on Alexander before. Immediately Alexander approached the mime. "Is it about this paper? Do you know anything about the paper?" A curt head shake from the mime told Alexander that he was no further along the process of discovering the secret hiding place for the leaders than Alexander himself was. "Something else?" He felt the wave of feeling again as he tried to think of what he could say to Victor, what else he could do to help eas the pain he was no doubt feeling.

He could still hear the voice in his ear, the way the blaziken had sounded so naive. He had wondered, even then, how the pokemon had survived until the present. He wondered if the pokemon was in an area that humans had not dared to invade before, that perhaps this was the first time their forest was being breached by enemy forces. He wondered how the blaziken had fared in combat, or whether perhaps it had grown with friends to the point that it hadn't needed to fight much. Perhaps its experience was simply lived experience rather than battles, he wondered. But he would never know. And yet this was the mystery of the blaziken that bothered him the least.

Alexander's mind too returned to the events of the previous day. It had been tumultuous, far more than Alexander had expected. He was expecting to maybe take out some rogues, but hadn't expected the two factors interfering in the battle, Skye and the blaziken his mime had ended up protecting and killing. The young girl, Skye, was the main mystery Alexander had been worried about at the time. She had seemed so naive when he met her, and yet she had been able to take out two rogues almost as if it was nothing. Her tyrogue also seemed powerful, and even though her personality seemed far more suited to the togepi riding on her head, she didn't seem to have a problem giving the fighting-type commands. "Blaziken," he vocalized when he thought of the second mystery. He hadn't known there were so many powerful fire-types in the forest, and yet the blaziken had been quite wounded and unable to defend itself before Alexander could get a good look at it. "Are you thinking about the blaziken?"

"Mime," Victor said, yet Alexander knew the response before he even heard Victor's vocalization. It was because he suddenly felt a lack of tension in his muscles, something he realized probably emanated from the fact that the pins and needles sensation had disappeared nearly instantly. It hit him in a flash - Victor had communicated with him.

"Are you thinking about the blaziken? I wondered about him too." He hesitated, but realized he would need to speak up again. He and Victor were not going to dart around this issue forever. "I was wondering what happened at the end. What he said, what you said. What you did," he said, wondering if he would feel another emotion come on. He didn't, at least not right away.

There were so many things he wanted to say. There was something so hard to express, something that Victor had never expected to say or see. And, surprisingly, it hadn't even been about the blaziken. The blaziken himself had been a brief distraction, something that he had only interacted with for a few minutes before he had failed to protect him. And, of course, he assumed that he had failed - for when he had failed to protect him, the scene had instantly been crawling with humans who had been charged to find the prize. He had heard Alexander talk about the mission and he had seen the flyers with the sketch of the pokemon on it. He hadn't wondered about what would happen to the blaziken then. He knew it was going to die.

And then Alexander and the girl arrived. The girl was younger than his original handler and had seemed unable to do almost anything. She had seemed quite weak, and yet she had incapacitated two rogues along the way. There was something about her zeal that had partially convinced him that she might not intend to kill the blaziken, if only because of how she had resembled Oliva. But Alexander... no matter how nice the Guardian was to him, he had doubts. There was much hatred in the human's heart and although Victor was incapable of reading his exact thoughts, he suspected that Alexander had wanted to turn in the blaziken for profit even if it wasn't dead yet.

And yet, he hadn't. It had been Skye's potions that healed the blaziken and no one but him had made the choice to surrender the blaziken. Alexander had followed politely, a step behind, waiting and watching for what he perhaps thought would be a permanent murderous streak in his pokemon. He had waited for the mime to complete his duty. Victor had sensed a surprising feeling from Alexander towards the end. Alexander's tone was not of hatred or resentment. He was helping, and he was actually seemingly doing it out of pity or compassion. Something Victor scarcely knew humans could possess.


"I wondered how you knew what to do. How you did what you had to without letting your feelings in, without letting them stop you. How you had thought selflessly for him and not at all for yourself." It was a goal Alexander had set for himself years ago, but for a long time, he had been an incredibly selfish person. That was not something that simply left overnight, no matter how noble his intentions or his employers. And yet, he felt a need to bare his true feelings to the mime. To share his soul. He almost didn't want to admit how he had really felt to Victor, although at the same time, if he ever wanted to become closer to the mime, he knew he would have to open up eventually. "I didn't want to save him, at first." He looked over at the mime and was hit by what felt like an internal slap in the face. Shock, perhaps? "I thought he might be more useful if he was dead. It was horrible to think, I can see that now, but for a moment I forgot he was a life and thought of how he could help the Guardians. I thought of how he could help with my effort to mess up with the Order after Casper... But Casper died too. And he had been considered less than human. I don't want to be like them. I don't want to consider anyone less than human again," he mused aloud.

He was indeed shocked. The human was admitting to the thoughts he had suspected him of having and then had explained himself in a calm way. Victor felt no need to attack or strike back even though he said this, if only because he had admitted his hypocrisy, he had admitted his own fault. He had given Victor a weapon to use against him, if he so desired. And there was only one way in which he would have willingly weakened himself.

He trusted him. Alexander Fitzgerald, the Guardian who always seemed to be trying to do the best he could for his brother but could forget about others, was perhaps remembering that his pokemon were sentient too. They could understand, and they could understand him. Victor could understand him, at least in this. He had felt so defensive over the blaziken he had only known for a few minutes. What of a brother who Alexander had known his entire life?


Alexander watched Victor's reactions carefully and yet was surprised as the mime got closer. He had to stop himself from flinching as Victor got within a distance that he could feel the mime's warm breath. He was afraid for a moment that he was going to be hurt, or perhaps even killed, but with all his might he tried to relax his body. He calmed his muscles to the best of his ability.

He is not afraid. He is not afraid.

Victor was concentrating intently. Alexander looked into the mime's eyes and for a moment saw a spark of understanding. It wasn't the whole world, certainly, but it seemed that without too much of a verbal exchange, he and Victor had managed to share some feelings and understand each other. They had communicated, in a way. They had shared their worries and aired their concerns. Alexander couldn't tell what was going on in Victor's mind right now, but he could sense some calmness not coming from him. The mime was not going to attack him. Neither mime nor man was going to feel pain from each other, not now.

Alexander was not surprised when he felt the buzzing in his head indicating a potential vision from Victor. He was surprised, however, when the vision seemed to take a while to arrive. The pins-and-needles feeling returned to his head and he looked deep into Victor's eyes. He could see from the way Victor was sweating that there was something he was struggling to do. Was he trying to use a different psychic power? Alexander was about to ask when he felt his eyes close from the mime's slippery gloved hands. For an instant he could see nothing, but felt in his heart an amplification of what he felt towards the Order. What he wanted to do them every day for murdering his brother in cold blood.

He opened his eyes and he was no longer Alexander. He could feel a shaky quality to his vision and even as he knew he was still Alexander and he could hear Victor's labored breathing and short huffs whenever the vision shifted, he also knew that he was Victor, at that moment. Their breaths were matched, and he felt the mime's emotion as if it was his own.

The men in front of him sparked as much hatred as the trictess, as if she and her two highest-ranked cronies were in front of him in a dingy warehouse. He inhaled as Victor did, and felt a power in his twitching hands. He brought his hands in front of his eyes and they were the white gloves. He was so confused but tried so hard to understand...

The hands moved, not of his own volition. He knew this feeling, this mindless rage. He couldn't even feel the nerves in the hands moving, although whether this was from Victor's inability to speak properly or from a total loss of control in that moment in his past, Alexander couldn't tell. He could see the scrawniest man collapse by the door, a torrent of blood rushing out of his nose. Alexander felt his - no, Victor's - hands contract into a familiar-looking position. The movements seemed rushed and uncontrolled, fueled by pure rage. The second man fell as the first man died. Alexander's vision was shifty but even he knew this to be fact. The ringleader was afraid. He called out "Mercy!" but it fell on deaf ears. Both white hands pinched. The third man fell. Alexander - no, Victor, he had to remind himself again - fell to his knees, and he was... in a forest...

Blaziken was in his arms. He could feel the heartbeat, hear it, sense it with every one of his five senses. Blaziken was in his arms and he heard his words. Alexander scarcely dared to breathe. He could understand, even without the common language of the Harper region, that the blaziken was begging. He felt his hand this time, felt every bone and sinew contracting as the hand made the same motion and the blaziken bled and the blaziken died and the heartbeat stopped and he was...

His eyes flashed open and he was dizzy but he looked down at his hands and he was Alexander again. Victor's face bore a sheen of sweat and was in front of him and as he looked into the mime's eyes, he couldn't help but feeling that he was staring into his own.

"Victor... it's not the same," he said, trying to think of what the mime had said, what he had done. He had known about the three deaths but seeing it in front of him, even to the point where he felt he had become the mime, was far more chilling. He had seen Victor kill senselessly out of rage, and now he had seen him kill out of compassion. And all that Victor was seeing was four corpses, a fourth to add to the pile.

"The three men. They were abusive and they were in power. They used their power against you and beat you again and again until you couldn't think. I understand that, I feel that every day," he confessed in a rush of breath. "Do you think I want to use the interrogators' tools of words when I could choose the torturer's way instead? I want to see them suffer. Every day I look at my hands and I want their blood on them."

He knew the feeling. He knew it, and yet he was no killer. This was no comfort.

"It's a choice," Alexander concluded. "Every time I see one of them and want to wring their filthy little necks. I have to think about my brother. I have to picture his face in front of mine. His eyes. I have to remember his eyes and the way he looked at me. Then I have to imagine how he looked at her. Caledonia. I have to picture him looking at the shiny noctowl he loved and not being afraid. And I have to remember him whenever I see any Order rogues. I have to put his face on theirs, or else I'd kill every last one."

He pictured the blaziken. The way he had laughed, the way he had seemed to think Victor's name was so amusing. He wondered if there was any good in the men he had hunted. No. There was no good in them. But he still listened. He listened for the hope that perhaps Alexander did understand, after all.

Alexander kept his eyes on Victor even as he thought about his brother. Casper was dead and any guilt he had about that would do nothing for the mime in front of him. He would put aside his own feelings for the moment. "You didn't have hatred in your heart or your hands when you killed blaziken. I could feel it in the first vision. The hate. The hands were moving on their own. But you were thinking about it the second time. You meant to kill him - "

What was he saying?!?!

Alexander could see Victor's anguish but he continued, he couldn't stop, he could never stop - "You did it from mercy. From love, not hate. You loved him, even if just for a moment. You heard his plea. You listened, even though I couldn't hear. Even though I was prepared to let him die from selfishness. You helped him. And for that love alone, you are not a murderer."

He was stunned. He thought back to the feeling in his hands. He flexed them even now, watching the fingers contract. He had felt that compassion. It was an odd beast and he hadn't known what to do with it. But he had felt it, and he had felt the impulse to murder not from hatred. What Alexander said was matching up.

Alexander, tired from speaking so emphatically and also from the restless night and the fervor of the visions he had experienced, sat down on the ground. Victor sat in response, not breaking his eye contact with his handler. It struck Alexander that this too was a way to communicate, to share feelings. In this case, both man and mime felt a connection. A shared emotion, even if no words could express it.

Alexander trusted Victor. He could see in the mime's eyes that his words had rung true. That he had begun to think of himself in a slightly more positive light, not as a murderer but as a friend. It was an unusual thing for Victor, to be sure, but he was not averse to the idea. As the mime looked at his handler, he felt this odd sensation again, the same one as when the blaziken had approached him as if he was normal, with no fear. Perhaps this was happiness. Perhaps even he deserved some of it, he thought as he looked at Alexander and smiled.

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Flight
 Posted: Jan 12 2016, 10:34 PM
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judge of the stables
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Total Posts: 976
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Characters:
Eryn Norwood, Adelaide Hawksworth, Iuchra Nic Longáin

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Wow lots of things going on here. Buuuut:

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/122mrmime.png
Victor gets +1 happiness bar for this post!

Alexander gets +4 EXP for the aptitude Psychic Interaction, since all he's working with is Victor at the moment, who a) still dislikes humans and b) is a half-psychic. You'll receive more EXP and/or get more experience faster by working with different psychics with different styles.

In addition, you need to be careful to keep in mind the current happiness bar level of your pokemon. Victor had two bars at the beginning of your post right now, which means that he'll be happy with what Alexander does every two out of ten times. Make sure your posts make sense with in line with that!

Because Alexander Levels Up To Lv. 5

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Eryn
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Addie
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Iuchra
profile & travels
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please refer to me with they/them pronouns!

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PCR
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Korosensei
 Posted: Jan 13 2016, 03:51 PM
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Stupidface McNoctowl
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Total Posts: 1594
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Characters:
Alexander Fitzgerald | Emilie Chartoire

Awards: 5




Setting: Dedrius - Guardian barracks
Pokemon: Victor
Time: Late afternoon

Goals:
- Working on bond between Alexander and Victor with the (1) serving of chocolate Oreo brownie in Alexander's inventory

=============

Alexander unwrapped the package and inhaled the rich scent of chocolate. It was a delicacy - he wondered where his parents had gotten it - and yet, something about the fact that they had likely sent a package just like this to Casper was gnawing at his mind. He and his brother had both loved the chocolate brownies their mother made, and even though Alexander knew Casper had resented him for being the favorite son, he had always made sure to share these treats with Casper. Not that there was anyone to share with anymore...

The taste in his mouth felt sour and he felt a need to get rid of the brownies somehow. They smelled so good that he almost contemplated selling them, but as he was putting them back in the package, he thought about what these holiday treats had meant to him. Somewhere to go in the cold winter - home - and the smiling faces of his family grinning at him. Nowadays, he thought, the only family he had around was his pokemon team, since he had so far been too ashamed to tell his parents what he had learned about Casper.

His pokemon! That was the solution. He would find a way to give one of his pokemon the serving of brownies. There weren't enough for more than one pokemon, but there was definitely enough to share with one pokemon. He contemplated who to share it with, but it didn't take long for him to pick Victor. The mr. mime had known human cruelty and deceit, and was so far unused to gestures of kindness or trust. Perhaps this little matter, even though it was so simple, could help Victor figure out how to trust him a little bit more.

It was too cold to go outside, so Alexander found his way back to the Guardian base where he had lived for years. After greeting several people, he found a quiet spot in the barracks where he knew, from personal experience, that no one would be there until after dinner. He closed the wooden door tightly, but chose not to lock it. Finally, he pulled over a small desk and opened the box of brownies again. The smell wafted around the room as he pulled Victor's poke ball out of his pocket.

Victor emerged and took a quick look around before bounding towards the door. "Victor, wait! Come back!" Alexander called out. Victor hesitated for a second, but opened the doorknob. Alexander followed him and managed to catch him a few feet outside the door. Now the smell of brownies was wafting into the hallway. Alexander hoped no one else would follow their nose and find him giving such a delicious treat to a pokemon. "I just wanted to talk," he huffed, a bit out of breath from his sudden run.

Victor stood with his arms folded, not saying or doing anything. Simply observing, for a moment. Then he indicated his hand towards the door.

"You don't like being locked up," Alexander said slowly. He chided himself internally for being so stupid. The mime simply looked at him, waiting for him to say something that might indicate his purpose. "Do you smell the brownies in there? I got them from my parents. Usually I'd like to eat them myself, but I'm feeling kind of... strange. Not in the mood for something happy, at least not right now. I thought you might like to have them... and we're in here because it's cold," he concluded lamely.

Victor's first thought was that the human was finally trying to poison him. How dare he try, after Victor had done so much for him! It made him feel stupid for even trying to listen to Alexander in the first place. He started loping down the hallway, away from the Guardian.

"Where are you going?" Alexander tried asking quietly at first, then he started getting louder as Victor got farther away with steady steps. "Victor, I need you to come back here - you might not be safe in there, some other Guardians might think you broke in and could hurt you... why are you leaving?"

Victor smirked. Did Alexander truly not understand? He sent a brief image of his old handler's nidoqueen to the handler.

Alexander closed his eyes for a second, long enough to get a brief flicker of a nidoqueen. "Do you mean your old handler? Did she used to give chocolate to the nidoqueen?" Victor sighed and kept walking away. Apparently this was a game to him. "Can I have one more clue?"

Victor sighed, and without turning around, sent a brief image of a purple puddle that had been left behind after the nidoqueen had done some sort of attack. The puddle had reeked of poison, he remembered, yet he had no way to share this part of the memory. Just the purple spreading on the floor.

Alexander was confused at first, but when he finally understood, he felt immense pity for the mime. Was he truly so afraid of eating goods made by a human for fear of poisoning? "My parents made these brownies," he started. "I know you haven't met them yet, but they're good people. They would never send me anything harmful, but if you doubt it... I'll try some first."

The brownies' meaning still lurked in Alexander's head, but when Victor turned around and gave him a look, he realized this is what he would have to do. He picked up the box and brought it into the hallway. Gingerly he picked up a chocolate brownie and inhaled the smell. Even though he didn't want to, he brought a corner of the brownie to his mouth and took a bite. He chewed and swallowed, keeping his eyes on Victor the entire time.

As soon as he had swallowed the bite, Victor took a step forward, then looked at him again. "I don't want the rest. But I feel completely healthy and fine. I chose you to give the brownies to you because they remind me too much of what I had, and lost, in my family. But you and the others are my family now, so I still want to share them. Will you try a bite?"

Victor huffed in a few strong breaths and then concentrated intently on the brownie box. A small piece was floating toward him in the air before long, and Alexander stood with his mouth agape as the mime looked at him and the brownie floated into his open mouth. Victor chewed a few times, almost as if he was wary to swallow... but it turned out this wasn't it at all.

"Miiime!" Victor... well, the sound nearly sounded like a squeal. Alexander wondered if he was in pain for a moment before Victor came towards him, his footsteps hurried, and the box was snatched out of his hands by two eager white gloved hands. Victor practically dove into the box as he picked up chunk after chunk of brownie until he had finished the entire serving, wondering all the while why Alexander had chosen him.

Victor knew he hadn't been particularly agreeable in the past, and he had doubted nearly everything Alexander had said. And yet the human presented him with this delicacy, with this "brownie" that tasted so delicious and even had some crunchier filling inside with cookies and cream. Victor had never eaten anything nearly as delicious in his entire life, and the human had willingly given it to him. He wondered for a moment why Alexander hadn't saved this treat for the hitmontop, and quickly pointed a finger at Hitmontop's poke ball.

Alexander was confused at first, but he then gave Victor the explanation he had been waiting for. "Victor, I know Hitmontop and I are close, but I'd like to get closer with you. I know you're afraid and that's not at all a bad thing. I'm just trying to help you, and... I think we're more similar than you might think. We have a lot in common. Strong feelings, protective instinct, powerful capabilities. We're a good pair, you and I. And I'm willing to do just about anything to keep our partnership intact. What do you think?"

Victor considered his words for a moment, and, biased by the taste of the brownies lingering on his tongue, answered with an affirmative "Mime!"

"Great! Then let's celebrate here. Just two buddies welcoming in the new year." Alexander found a chair and reclined, the smile on his face clearly displaying his happiness.

And Victor was happy too.

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

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Mackay
 Posted: Jan 18 2016, 01:31 AM
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I half expected Victor to fling the Brownies into a wall; he is getting a lot less creepy and a bit more friendly! This was short, but there was nice focus on the brownies. Definitely some sadness sparked by the reference to Casper and I think this is something you could tease out more in maybe a future dev/training thread with Victor.

Victor is half psychic, he can sense and feel things. What did he think about Alexander's sadness? How did he feel about the pain that his handler felt regarding his lost family? How does he feel about being part of Alexander's family? There's a lot to work with here and Victor has a special ability for sensing some of these things due to his typing.

I do think you definitely grew from your last dev thread and you certainly took into consideration what Flight mentioned in the previous grading. Overall nice job, Koro.


http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/122mrmime.png
Victor gains 1 Bar of Happiness from his interactions with Alexander!
Victor gains 2 Bars of Happiness from eating the Chocolate Oreo Brownies!

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Korosensei
 Posted: Mar 6 2016, 05:37 PM
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Stupidface McNoctowl
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Total Posts: 1594
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Joined on 24-February 15.


Characters:
Alexander Fitzgerald | Emilie Chartoire

Awards: 5




Setting: Small campsite outside Dedrius
Pokemon: Victor
Time: Early morning, a few days after this thread ends

Goals:
- Working on bond between Alexander and Victor with the Psychic Amulet
- Alexander works on aptitude: Psychic Interaction (learning how to communicate verbally with Victor)

=============

Alexander was awakened by the breeze. The morning was cold, particularly so because the sun had not yet finished rising, and yet his mind was completely awake and dissecting everything that had happened to him recently. He looked up at the skyline of Dedrius in the distance and felt terrible to see the church spire missing. Even though he hadn't set the fire himself, he felt personally responsible for the destruction that had been wrought in Dedrius. It was enough to make him doubt himself. Had he inadvertently become the thing he had sworn to eradicate? Had he become his brother?

Distraught by his thoughts, he stood up, packed the bedrolls, and reached for some of the packaged food he had brought from the healers after his latest mission. He started to nibble on some starchy cakes, wondering what he could do to get to the bottom of his discombobulated thoughts. He absentmindedly began sorting through his bag, looking for nothing in particular, when his hand brushed against the necklace Emilie had given him that still glowed with a purplish sheen like a radioactive week-old bruise.

He had nearly forgotten about it, that brief moment in which he had first connected verbally with Victor. It had been such an odd feeling, being able to talk to a pokemon who had done so much to distance himself from humans in the past. It felt like a bit of an honor to even have Victor talk to him, and yet he was so curious as to Victor's motives. Why had the mime been so quick to help? Why had his own self-interest not taken over any reason he might have had to help Alexander? It confused the Guardian greatly. He ran his thumb over the necklace in the early morning light, wondering, pondering...

Well, there would only be one way for him to figure out Victor's motives. He would have to talk to the mr. mime again, and ask for some answers. He was stressed about this conversation, and knew that Victor likely wouldn't want to talk for a very long time. He had to think about what to say, and consider his words and thoughts carefully... His heart pounded from anticipation and anxiety. He was about to abort the idea when he remembered the jocular tone Victor had taken in the healers' tent, when he had said there was no damnation for pushing someone into a fire. Victor had murdered for Alexander rather than for his own well-being, and Alexander couldn't be more curious...

Alexander pulled out Victor's poke ball and polished it until it was very shiny, giving himself some more time to think. He liked that the light was so frail and fading. It was weak and thin, just like the relationship he had forged with the mr. mime so far, and yet he was optimistic that the dawn would come in both the weather and the relationship. Victor had grown so much since he had first joined Alexander's team, and the Guardian knew he would be a great ally one day. The only thing now standing between them was a lack of communication and mutual understanding, and the necklace in Alexander's palm had the potential to fix that.

He swung the chain around his neck. He noticed a strange tingly feeling, but attributed that to the close proximity of the magical object. Well, it was now or never. He pressed the circle in the center of Victor's poke ball, and with a bright flash of red light, the mr. mime emerged into the early morning light.

Victor looked around, trying to see what might be going on nearby, but all he could see was Alexander sitting alone with the Psychic Amulet around his neck. Curious, Victor thought. Very curious - because why would Alexander want to talk to him? Then again, he thought, it was a huge assumption he was making. Alexander might be wearing the necklace because it was pretty or shiny or valuable. He might not care about communication. For all Victor knew, he might want to solicit the mime's services for something dirty that he didn't want his other pokemon doing, like picking up sludgy logs. Victor knew he wasn't going to make the first move. So he simply sat and waited for the orders he anticipated receiving.

Alexander looked at Victor, wondering why the mime didn't seem to want to communicate. Perhaps it was too ambitious to expect Victor to start on his own, after being so aloof and apathetic for so long. But perhaps that apathy spoke of a true dislike for him? Yet, if Victor disliked him, why had he saved his life? Perhaps it had been for the mime's protection, but still, that seemed like quite the strange thing to do... Well, there was only one way to find out. "Victor, do you feel like talking?" he asked.

Victor was instantly confused. Did he feel like talking? Was he given a choice? And if so, what did he want to do? The hatred he bore humans still seethed in his heart, but even he had to admit that Alexander treated him and the other pokemon well. And this perhaps stemmed from a strange sadness Victor had been able to sense in the man throughout the mission they had done most recently. Alexander had seemed not only sad about the destruction of Dedrius but about something else, something more raw and visceral that Victor could understand better. He could understand the blood and the loss, but he had never seen this before. He didn't quite know what to think or do. He looked into Alexander's eyes, searching for some sort of motive, and found that same confusion today that he had sensed during the mission. He would ask about this first, if he could figure out what to say. He didn't really know what to say to humans, especially when they were being serious. "What do you want," he said, trying to sound open-minded even though he didn't know if he actually wanted to get into a conversation with Alexander.

The Guardian paused when he heard the words. So Victor had said something, although his words were far from friendly. He wasn't exactly rude, but it sounded quite neutral. Like Victor had no emotion about Alexander whatsoever. This was almost worse than being hated, for now Alexander felt uncared-about. Perhaps if he said this, something might happen... "I... I just want to talk, Victor. I haven't had much of an opportunity to talk to people since I left the base. I know I wanted to be alone then, but I didn't think being alone would be so... lonely." It was a very honest feeling and one he hadn't shared quite yet. But Victor had saved his life. He had to care in some way... right?

Victor was surprised that Alexander was so forthcoming. "Why did you leave?" he asked, not quite acknowledging the emotion but offering further opportunity for Alexander to explain himself.

So Victor was curious, Alexander thought. Curiosity was somewhere to start, if not the ideal emotional position for his pokemon to be in. And it was still strange for him to communicate with a pokemon in such a way, to bare his heart and then know that there would be a verbal response instead of a pokemon noise at the end... It was strange. But he would try, if only to honor Victor's intelligence. A smart psychic-type would want to talk, he figured, and Alexander certainly wanted to talk about this. "I left after I... well, I was working, and I took a job too far. I got too angry and lashed out, and thankfully, Lord Folgart gave me a second chance." He realized this response said little about what Victor was probably asking about, so he tried again. He still felt rusty and awkward socially with his mr. mime, and this showed in the words he chose and his nervous demeanor. "I was upset because my brother was killed. My brother Casper - you saw his ghost, he's the one who helped me find your poke ball at first. Did you know him?"

Victor remembered the yamask. Its feelings of hatred were so profound that he was intrigued by how it managed to even survive like that. It was malnourished, not hunting its own food, and yet it seemed to thrive on its hunger that only served to exacerbate its pain and suffering. What the yamask hungered for was not food but revenge, and Victor had approached it because he had recognized the feelings that used to control his own everyday behavior. "The yamask is full of hatred, full of spite. As I once was." He concluded this was enough sharing for now, and if Alexander wanted to share more, he was welcome. Victor might listen.

"I can understand that. He was killed in cold blood. I think it was his hatred that brought him back," Alexander mused. He had given a great deal of thought to the matter, and yet the time he had spent with the Order rogues like Emilie in the most recent mission of his had proved to him that those in the Order could also have human emotions. He was confused. How could a human kill another in cold blood like that? "Did he tell you how he died?"

Victor shook his head. "He did not talk. He was too angry. He simply approached and we understood each other."

Now it was Alexander's turn to feel jealous. A random mr. mime who Casper had never met before was able to form a connection, yet he, Casper's own brother, was unable to do anything... "I couldn't do anything at all. He was in the same building as me, I heard afterwards. The same building. And he was trying to be good, I believe that, but he just wasn't good enough."

Victor paused. Alexander thought he might be about to offer some sort of comforting words, but instead the mime was poking at Alexander's mind. He was curious about two things, and only one of them could be answered with these memories, but he was more comfortable poking around than actually speaking. He poked, looking for pictures of the brother, images, something. He found a face that matched the golden mask on the yamask, complete with light brown hair partially obscuring the features. Now that Alexander's hair was so short, he scarcely resembled his brother anymore. Perhaps this was where some of the grief came from, Victor wondered... yet this only made him more puzzled about his second question. He decided to ask that one rather than engage in any more discussion about the brother. "Why?"

Alexander was surprised that Victor was engaging with Casper's story in this way. So he wanted to know why Casper wasn't good enough, or perhaps why he didn't survive. Alexander had wondered about this same question many times himself, and each time he wondered he could feel his faith chipping away. He had used to believe in Arceus so much when he was a small boy. He had believed in miracles and wonders and legends, and yet it had been Casper who saw the legend and died for it. "I don't know. I don't think Arceus had anything to do with it, I think it's just humans. Humans can be cruel and disgusting and you know that, I remember what you showed me. They've hurt you too... It's hard to believe in anything when people are like that, but I'm trying... It may be futile, but I want to try to be a good person. Whether that means rising through the Guardians and making others follow my choices or standing alone as a bulwark against the hate that took my brother's life. I believe in that, so I don't know why Casper had to die."

Now Victor was even more surprised. Instead of answering his question, Alexander had gone even deeper into himself, explaining even more of his own motives. Victor could recognize his own feelings in some of those statements. He too had felt alone in the past, he too had wondered why the humans believed in legendary pokemon. And yet he was curious about something entirely different. "I meant, why tell me?" He was unsure what to expect from Alexander's reply, and steeled himself to not expect too much. He had not given much, so why should Alexander, whose heart had so many other burdens to bear?

Alexander didn't need to think for very long about his response. "I'm alone now. All alone in this world. I can't face my parents and I can't go back to my old job at the base. I'm alone, but I need a family. You and the others - Gyro, Amarie, Corvus - you're my family now." He tried to smile, but found it tough to move his cheeks. It took him a while to move his face without jostling the tears building up inside his eyes.

Victor was shocked. He was in... a family? A family of his own? He nearly staggered away. What was that supposed to mean? And why had Alexander picked him of all pokemon to be in a family? He should have picked the sycophantic hitmontop or the enthusiastic corphish, not Victor. And yet with this thought Victor felt a small twinge of sadness, like he wanted this "family" thing to work... It was no use. No one would really want to be in a family with him. His own family had likely died from being poached years ago. He had been alone for so long that he had nearly forgotten what it was to speak and be understood, and yet with each word he spoke, he felt good. He liked it. So he would ask this final question, and see if Alexander really meant what he said. "The hitmontop is nicer," he began. "And the corphish has more energy. You should pick one of those, to be your family."

He couldn't even finish speaking before Alexander interrupted. "Gyro is nice, but the world isn't. Amarie has a lot of energy, but sometimes the world seems to drag on its axis. And Corvus is strong but not everything is about strength. You... remind me of myself a lot, more than I originally wanted to think. You're determined and headstrong. You try to do what's right for you but it doesn't always work and then you don't know how to deal. I think every man - and pokemon - needs to be able to talk to someone who's like him." He paused, hoping he wasn't pushing Victor away with his desire for closeness. "You saved my life when you didn't have to. I went back for Emilie and that put you in danger, and you saved me anyway. I think a family is made up of people and pokemon who love each other so much they don't want to live without each other, who battle together and get strong together and who can be weak together without being afraid. I know this is a lot, and I'm not saying we have to do this all at once, or start getting very close right away. It's just an idea... Now that I've got this," he pointed to the glimmering necklace, "I want to get to know all of you better. But you, Victor, you feel like someone who would understand me. Who might even want to. So, is it all right if I keep this necklace around for a little while longer?"

Victor was just going to nod. He liked the human's reasoning and he liked the way Alexander was seeming to understand him as well. He had stated his qualities without judgment or hatred, and that was something new for the mr. mime who tended to base his relationships off how much he hated the other person or pokemon. Perhaps now it was time to think of how much he didn't hate Alexander. How much he wanted to try this "family" and see what it meant and how it worked. "Yes," he said in a steely voice, but inside his heart felt warm like it hadn't felt before. For once, he felt a connection. And even though he didn't know how to articulate this connection to his handler, he wished he could say how glad he was to finally have a family of his own.

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

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Kaia
 Posted: Mar 21 2016, 01:59 AM
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Once again you've put effort into executing advice from the previous development and for that I commend you! It's nice to see Alexander opening up to someone after what happened at the church. I enjoy reading all of your developments, and I really enjoyed getting better insight into Victor's distrust and his own insecurities. I would love to see Victor opening himself up a little, not simply emotionally but psychically as well. He might not trust every human implicitly but he's grown from the vicious, abused pokemon Alexander first met.

Alexander receives 2 EXP for psychic interaction--while this was one of the goals, bonding was more developed than practicing psychic interaction, especially considering there was no big attempt to practice so much as there was to communicate. As Flight mentioned in a previous grading, the best way to gain more experience faster is to practice with other types of psychics and pokemon.

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/122mrmime.png
Victor gains 1 bar of happiness for his interactions with Alexander
Added note, Connecting with Alexander

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Korosensei
 Posted: Apr 2 2016, 03:47 PM
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Stupidface McNoctowl
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Characters:
Alexander Fitzgerald | Emilie Chartoire

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Setting: Woods near Dedrius
Pokemon: Victor, Gyro
Time: Late afternoon, after this Travels post

Goals:
- Bonding between Alexander and Gyro
- Bonding between Alexander and Victor
- Bonding between Victor and Gyro
- Alexander works on aptitude: Psychic Interaction

Now that his pokemon were recovering from the battle, Alexander thought it might be a good time to check on Gyro. The hitmontop had battled eagerly, and Alexander had been surprised at the speed with which Gyro managed to twirl around his foes until he got in some pretty serious blows. Alexander was so proud of the hitmontop, and he needed to tell him.

He could barely contain his excitement as he pressed the button in the center of the poke ball. He braced himself, halfway expecting Gyro to emerge spinning as he usually did. Surprisingly, he didn't feel any rush of wind, and when he opened his eyes, he found Gyro sitting on a nearby rock. Not even moving, just sitting with his elbows and knees tucked in. He looked down, his eyes fixed upon a leaf laying on the ground.

"Gyro?" Alexander asked. The hitmontop shrugged his shoulders briefly, but didn't respond in any other way. "Are you hurt?" Alexander approached the fighting-type, looking on his body for any wounds. Aside from the bruises from the battle that Alexander had attempted to treat before, it didn't look like Gyro was injured, and his movements, small as they were, seemed fluid enough.

"Gyro, talk to me, tell me what's wrong," Alexander said before feeling like a total idiot. Gyro couldn't tell him what was wrong. It was the same problem he had with Victor at the beginning, where he had talked at the mime for what felt like forever without getting a response. But why would Gyro be acting like Victor? The hitmontop was usually excited about life and raring to go; had the battle somehow changed something? Alexander racked his brains, trying to think of what might have been worrying the hitmontop, but before long he figured that it wasn't him that Gyro needed.

There came a moment in every pokemon handler's life when he acknowledged that his pokemon needed someone else, and in this case, Alexander felt like Gyro needed Victor. For whatever reason, Victor's former attitude had manifested in Gyro, and since Alexander couldn't use words to find out what was wrong, he would have to rely on Victor.

Alexander searched on his belt until he found Victor's poke ball and released the mime with no small amount of trepidation. Victor didn't miss a beat, his eyes quickly finding Gyro and darting back to Alexander. Wordlessly, Victor began to levitate a small necklace in the air with a great amount of effort. Sweat pooled at his temples as he worked.

"I think he'd appreciate you more," Alexander said. Victor looked taken aback, then peered at the hitmontop again. "I know about the amulet. I just don't want to disturb you two." With this, Alexander stepped aside, leaving a clear path for Victor to walk towards Gyro. With a disconcerted look on his face, the mime began to advance forwards.

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

Victor was confused. There was no other way to say it. He had been expecting to simply dig the necklace out of the bag and then go right back into his poke ball. He hadn't participated in the battle, and although it seemed like Alexander had wanted to interact with the pokemon who had battled, Victor didn't know why he was necessary.

At least, until he saw Gyro's face. Victor didn't like the hitmontop. He didn't like the way Gyro stole attention and made himself look so great when Victor himself was trying so hard to ingratiate himself with Alexander and his team. And the hitmontop's presence meant that Victor would never be the most eager or strongest battler. This bothered the mime more than he wanted to admit.

But he recognized the face the hitmontop was making. He knew that face. He had made it before, and yet the last time he made it, he had been crouched over the corpses of his three abusers, having just evolved and murdered them in a frenzy of power. He stood over the bars of his cage, using his mind to bend them and contort them in as many directions as he could until they were no more than balled-up scraps of metal. And then he had looked down with that look, horrified at the bloodshed he had caused. Even though his victims were the farthest from innocent, he had looked down at his red-flecked palms in shock.

And that was the look Gyro was doing now. Victor crept closer, prepared to put up barriers if he needed to. He didn't want to get hurt, and Gyro was definitely not worth getting hurt over. He was curious, though, the psychic-type part of his mind keenly wondering what had happened. Ironically, he was now edging closer with an excited look on his face. From just the looks on their faces, it almost appeared that the two pokemon had switched personalities completely.

"Gyro," Victor began. He used the hitmontop's proper name, even though he had never done so before. It felt odd. He usually thought of him as simply the hitmontop or the fighting-type, but if he could feel that sort of emotion, perhaps he was worthy of a bit more respect. Just a bit, of course.

Gyro looked up, his eyes wide. "Victor?"

The mime began to plumb the depths of his friend's mind before Gyro lashed out, hitting Victor across the face with his hand. The slap seemed much louder than it truly was, and Victor took several steps back. This was not a case where he could simply read the hitmontop's mind and report back to Alexander. Now, it was personal. Victor folded his arms and stood still, waiting to see if Gyro would attack him again.

Gyro's voice broke through the charged silence. "Please... I don't want you to see..." he blubbered.

It wasn't quite an apology, but the statement was clear. Avoid poking in the fighting-type's head, and he won't hit again. Victor smirked at first, amused at the thought of the usually calm pokemon at the end of his rope. And yet something about the tone of his voice made Victor feel even just a bit bad for the hitmontop. Something had happened, some sort of trauma, and he knew all too well how difficult it could be to recover from these situations.

"What happened?" Victor tried to ask, although he practically knew this question would get dismissed.

Gyro shook his head and started absentmindedly touching one of his bruises at the bottoms of his feet. From the bruises, it appeared he had been fighting a lot upside down, spinning at incredibly rapid speeds. It wasn't a stretch at all to imagine that he had accidentally hurt someone. Victor had to chuckle. Of course the goody two-shoes was upset about accidentally hurting someone in the middle of battle.

He tried to lighten the mood with a bit of a joke. Not that he was particularly clownlike, but he had a sardonic sense of humor that came out when he was feeling on top of things. "So you, what? Killed someone by accident?"

Gyro instantly looked alarmed. His eyes darted over to Alexander, who stared back at him confusedly. Had Alexander said something? Or had his own guilty demeanor given him away that he was now a disgusting murderer? Well, if Victor knew, there was no more point in hiding it - and the even more sinister truth behind Victor's intimation. "I killed him by accident," he began, yet not even this fact could excuse his conscience. "But I hurt him on purpose."

Victor would not have been more shocked if a shiny Arceus had suddenly appeared in front of his face. His joke had been... right? Gyro, the innocent hitmontop who loved to train and was so good that his morals were nearly blood-curdling... Gyro had killed a man? "Tell me," Victor said. When the hitmontop hesitated, he offered, "Or show me. I can help, I just need to know."

Mime and hitmontop stared into each other's eyes, each face filled with shock and curiosity. It was Gyro who broke first - inexperienced Gyro, unused to these feelings of guilt and shame, needed to share. Rather than lending words to his horrific deed, he lowered the barriers in his own mind, allowing Victor to poke around.

Victor could see everything now. He could see the rogue swinging his ax, going straight for Gyro. The burst of bright red blood from Alexander's arm. Corvus rearing up with the axew in his pincers. The ground spinning faster and faster as the crazed man with the ax followed him. How he started spinning faster, waited for that crucial moment to strike, then lashed out with his powerful kicks. The way the rogue's body had crumpled. The tangy smell of blood mixed with the earth. The way he had spun away and come back later, and the rogue hadn't moved since then. His glazed eyes. His open mouth. His prone ax, lying on the ground next to him. And blood on Gyro's feet.

Victor blinked a few times as he left Gyro's head. Even though Gyro was willingly sharing this information, Victor still found it tough to immerse himself in another's head. It was yet another frustrating physical limitation due to his part-fairy typing, but that mattered little at this point. He had seen all he needed to know, and now all that was left was to deal with the delicate conscience that somehow had a problem with this.

"He went for you first. It's self-defense. You hit back in the best way you knew how, to get him off his feet. Any sane pokemon would have done the same thing." he began, eyeing Gyro carefully for any signs of reaction.

Gyro still looked quite defeated. "But I killed him. My blow ended his life. He's dead," he huffed.

"I've killed four people in my life," Victor started, looking at Gyro's shocked face. "I don't know whether that look is surprise that I've killed so many or that you thought I killed many more, but it's been four. The first three kept me in a tight cage and beat me for years until I evolved and came for them. The fourth was back at the church. It was I who disposed of the corrupted priest."

Gyro stared at Victor, waiting for him to say more. When it was clear the mime was instead waiting for Gyro's response, he clutched at straws for something to say. "So you killed them on purpose?"

"Yes, to save my life. Contrary to what you or the others may believe, I do not kill for sport. I kill for necessity - and in this world, it is necessary, no matter how much of a 'good' pokemon you want to be."

"But that doesn't change the fact that I killed someone. With these feet." He lifted a foot and scoffed at the dried bloodstain on the bottom. He began to furiously scrape it against the ground.

"Clean that up - but not because you did anything wrong. The world belongs to the strong and those willing to fight for good are willing to sacrifice the evil ones. It's something I've had trouble seeing, but it's what our handler does every day." Victor barely even realized that he had referred to Alexander as both his and Gyro's, but the hitmontop definitely did. "I have been where you are, but if you lose yourself to this, you're letting the one who tried to kill you win."

Was that what it meant to win? Gyro was now even more confused about his ideals. "I don't want to win with brute force," he expressed, and was shocked to hear a barking laugh from Victor.

"You are a fighting type," Victor nearly snorted. "It's your job to fight for what you believe in. It's not always going to be pretty, but you'd better not stop your training because of this. I'll come after you if you do." For the first time, this threat sounded less than genuine. Gyro began to imagine Victor coming after him, but not in a violent way. Perhaps in the way of a concerned team member, even a friend.

Gyro reached his hand up and Victor pulled him to his feet. "I need time. Time to think more about this, and for these bruises to fade. But when they do... I challenge you to a training battle."

Victor had to fight the urge to smile. "And what makes you think you can beat me?" His tone bore only a hint of aggression under the veneer of friendliness. Perhaps Gyro was worth befriending, after all. The two pokemon now had a shared experience to talk about, and a key into both of their pasts. It felt good, helping another pokemon who had been in a similar position. And Victor knew what else would be able to help Gyro before he took a good long rest.

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

Alexander knew that whatever Gyro was dealing with wouldn't go away so quickly, yet he was relieved to see the hitmontop get up and approach him. He winced as he stepped down on bruised feet, and left a small trail of flakes of dried blood in his wake. Alexander also noticed Victor, walking alongside Gyro, lacking the usual animosity he tended to bear in his eyes whenever Gyro was around.

Victor nodded his head towards Alexander's bag, and although it took him a minute to figure it out, he soon grabbed the amulet and swung it around his head. Along with the familiar buzzing came two new voices.

"He thinks he is a murderer," Victor said.

Gyro began to shy away as Alexander took a moment to think. The hitmontop was completely unprepared for when Alexander reached out and put his hand into his own. "I have been where you are," he said, and it didn't take long for him to decide to trust both Victor and Gyro with the story of what had happened to make Lord Folgart fire him as an interrogator.

"When I think of my brother, all I can see is blood. All I want to see is my enemies' blood on my hands. But when I was in that interrogation room... The prisoner had already spoken. I don't know what broke in me. But something did. I couldn't stop... I wanted to see him dead not because I was defending someone or myself, it was solely for revenge. I respect you, Gyro, for using force to help me out. I thank you for saving my life. In this new life together, maybe we can figure out what we want to do in this world even better." Alexander bowed politely before his pokemon.

Before he could straighten his spine, he felt two strong arms wrapped around him. Gyro had leaped forward and caught his unsuspecting handler in a hug. Alexander took a moment to get his bearings and then began to squeeze Gyro as well. Victor stood to the side, an odd expression on his face. It looked like something between scoffing and jealousy. Whatever it was, he made no comment or move to get closer.

When Gyro disentangled himself from Alexander, he spoke to him for the first time, not quite knowing how to address the human who had become his dear friend. "Thank you... may I return to my ball now? I wish to rest."

Alexander smiled as he tapped the poke ball against Gyro's side, then looked over to Victor. The mime still stood at a safe distance, yet his eyes belied a desire to get closer. "Thank you for helping me, Victor. I don't know if I could have done what you did."

Unused to such direct praise, Victor attempted to change the subject. "He is not as bad as I previously thought."

Alexander laughed. "I think you two have more in common than either of you wants to admit. I know you're not his closest friend, and I appreciate your willingness to help. You and I are really becoming a team," he ended, wondering how Victor would respond.

Victor was tempted to think of his former handler. She was the first nice human he had met. And yet he had never spoken with her. He had never helped her with anything other than a dislocated shoulder. He had been her pokemon, but with Alexander... he was Alexander's teammate. It was an unusual thought and something Victor never thought would happen.

Alexander's eyes widened as the mime approached him. Was he about to get a hug from Victor, too? Warily, Alexander held his ground as Victor reached out a gloved white hand. "We are a team," Victor said nervously.

Victor's heart hammered in his chest. He might have been making the biggest mistake of his life, trusting a human like this, but he had done it and there was no way to go back. Alexander reached out his hand and touched Victor, willingly, for the first time. When his hand touched Alexander's, Victor tried his best to send some of the vision he had received from digging in Gyro's brain.

Alexander braced himself as the vision came. Before long, he was reliving the battle through Gyro's eyes. Even as he saw this, he tried to communicate with Victor, struggling to open his mouth as he kept his eyes focused on the vision. "Gyro did the right thing. And I don't know what you and Gyro were talking about, but I get the feeling you might have some experience like this too. What you showed me when we first met - that wasn't cold blood. That was self-defense too."

Victor couldn't help but think, as he pressed the center of his poke ball and retreated from the intimate moment, that he had killed in self-defense. Perhaps he didn't need to form his identity as a murderer. It felt good to have Alexander say this. Perhaps he would listen to Alexander again.

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Kaia
 Posted: Apr 11 2016, 12:10 AM
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Joined on 29-December 15.


Characters:
Kalliope Tamsin, Namid Waagosh'Giizis

Awards: 3




Lots of bonding goals to be untangled. We'll go in order of goals to make it simple. I like the way Alexander tries to relate to Gyro and show him another side of himself, and to reveal his past in full detail. That being said, the attempt to connect with Gyro was middling. He did open himself up to Gyro and was repaid with affection, so I believe he will get a nice additional note there. However he cannot gain more happiness bars, having maxed out.

Alexander and Victor. That Alexander trusted Victor in this situation was very well done. Not only had he allowed Victor the choice to help but he believed in the mime's ability to help as well. More over, his trust in Victor has been a very steadfast thing and I like how you've gone about showing Victor's reaction to Alexander's willingness to give Victor a chance time and again. His slow dawning of this idea of becoming a real team, and perhaps even friends, is wonderful growth in his character.

Victor will not receive any happiness bars. He has gone a very long way since the first day he met Alexander but I believe his wariness and uncertainties are still very much a part of who he is. He will, however, receive the revised note, "Loyal to Alexander". He might not be one hundred percent trusting and he has a long way to go. However, I think he's put a lot of hard work into his relationship with Alexander as well as grown as a pokemon into something more than the horrified mime with bloodied hands and corpses at his feet. Even when he doesn't totally agree with Alexander or even understand why his handler has given him a certain command, he has proven he will follow it and trust Alexander's instincts.

Between Victor and Gyro, a very noticeable change has been shown here. Your ability to express Gyro's fear and uncertainties was enjoyable to read. The slap in particular was fantastic though I'm surprised Victor didn't lash out. Both Victor and Gyro were able to open up to each other without requiring a middle man and did a very good job of it. They will both receive a note for this, and I look forward to their potential future friendship!

Finally, psychic interaction. Because most of Alexander's psychic conversation had very little to do in the way of practice, and the bulk of it was glossed over in Alexander's explanation of the past - not a negative critique, I like the way you went instead to show him connecting with his pokemon rather than describing a scene you can probably describe in your sleep - Alexander will gain only 1 EXP for the prolonged conversation between Alexander and his pokemon. This is mostly due to the final, if brief, memory sharing between Alexander and Victor toward the end as well as the extent of bonding via psychic interaction with Victor.

Apologies for the wall of text.


Results:

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/237hitmontop.png
Gyro receives the notes "Opening up to Victor" and "Cares for Alexander"

http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/122mrmime.png
Victor receives the note "Opening up to Gyro" as well as "Loyal to Alexander"

Alexander receives 1 EXP in psychic interaction which bumps him up to a level five rating!

--------------------
Namid and his Travels
PCR

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Kalliope and her travels
Incredible sprite by Mackay!


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Korosensei
 Posted: Apr 28 2016, 08:33 PM
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Stupidface McNoctowl
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Characters:
Alexander Fitzgerald | Emilie Chartoire

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Setting: Dedrius Guardian base
Pokemon: Victor, Maverick, Ayla
Time: Midday

Goals:
- Bonding between Alexander and Victor
- Initial bonding between Victor and Maverick
- Introducing Maverick and Ayla to Alexander, with potential initial bonding

As soon as Alexander took his pokemon to the healers at the Guardian base, he wanted to get to know the two new members of his team. He had hoped Lord Folgart would trust him with one of the pokemon he liberated from the rogues, but receiving two was a blessing he hadn't anticipated at all. In addition to the challenge of receiving two pokemon, Alexander knew it would be a tough road ahead to befriend the arbok he had saved from the clutches of the bandit leader. The arbok had obviously been abused - his tongue was removed - and Alexander was nearly unsure of how to introduce himself to the powerful poison-type until he thought of another scenario when he had managed to befriend an abused pokemon...

Alexander summoned Victor at his earliest opportunity. He put the Psychic Amulet around his neck, hoping to have a conversation with the mr. mime about what had happened in the last few days. "There are some new members of our team... Lord Folgart granted me permission to try to help keep an axew safe, and also... there's an arbok..." He stalled for a moment; even though he was quite comfortable with the mr. mime, he didn't want to trigger the pokemon's bad memories. Victor stayed silent, looking at him with an arched eyebrow until he continued. "This arbok was abused by his previous handler. I thought... maybe you might like to talk to him and help him feel comfortable, like there's someone here who understands him and what he's been through."

Victor was surprised by the request, especially by how Alexander phrased it. Lately he felt the most understood he ever had been in his life, and here Alexander was saying that Victor was the one who could get through to this arbok. He felt a surge of pride. He had helped himself enough that perhaps now he could help others - and it was thanks to his camaraderie... no, his friendship with Alexander. He had to keep reminding himself to use the word that the human presented him with the last time they had a long conversation together. Nodding, he approached his handler and poked at the Psychic Amulet. "Take this off. He will not trust you yet," Victor said, and he was pleased when Alexander put the amulet away.

Alexander took a deep breath. He hoped the arbok wouldn't attack him on sight, although from what he saw of the snake pokemon in their battle, the arbok didn't seem to favor a losing battle. Alexander had a full row of poke balls on his belt and a powerful elemental sword nearby. With luck, the arbok would realize he was outnumbered. Alexander crossed his fingers, hoping for a good outcome as he pressed the button in the center of the arbok's poke ball.

When the arbok emerged, Alexander was startled again by how large the pokemon was. When the healer saw him for the first time, even she had exclaimed that he was unusually long for an arbok. Upon feeling the warm sun on his head, he curled his body into a heap and stared at Alexander, not letting his gaze wander for even a moment. Alexander wondered if this was an attempt at intimidation or protection - perhaps the arbok feared what Alexander would do if he wasn't watching. At that thought, Alexander spoke: "Hello, I'm Alexander Fitzgerald. I'm a Guardian. I wanted to tell you you're safe now," he began, although the fact that he was a human was likely threatening the snake pokemon. "I thought you might want to talk to my mr. mime friend, Victor. I think you may have some things in common," he said, nodding in Victor's direction.

The mime stepped forward, poking at the arbok's brain slightly as he got closer. His first question, "Do you have a name?" was designed to see what the arbok thought of itself. Victor always thought of himself as a victor after his liberation, and he wondered if the arbok might feel a similar sentiment.

The arbok shifted around on his coil a bit, keeping his eyes fixed on Alexander. "I am Arbok."

"Well, yes, you are an arbok, and I am a mr. mime. But my name is not mr. mime. My name is Victor." He paused for a moment, waiting for a response that never came. "I was named Victor by the first human I met who was kind to me. It was a woman with yellow hair who saved me from the warehouse where I was kept prisoner."

The arbok didn't reply immediately; he let these words settle in his mind. There could be a human who was nice? "A nice... human?"

That reply cemented in Victor's mind, even more than the lisping way the snake pokemon spoke without a tongue, that he had been hurt by humans before. In fact, the poison-type's voice sounded like his own voice had when he had first encountered Oliva. This arbok was lucky, Victor thought. He wouldn't know the pain of abandonment. "This human is a good human. He trusts pokemon and does not hurt them."

The arbok looked over at Victor, trying to figure out if the mime was joking. Victor looked utterly serious. Tentatively, he asked, "How does he ensure his victories in battle?"

"He trusts his pokemon to do the right thing." Victor could see the look on the arbok's face, caught between scoffing and incredulous, and decided to explain further. "When we have battled together, he allows me to use whatever moves I believe are best for the situation. He may offer a suggestion, but I do what I want."

The arbok's mind was blown. A human could do that? A human could... be a good person? He looked over at Alexander, who held a new poke ball in his hand. "...Tell me?"

As Victor began to explain about his adventures with Alexander, the human in question rolled a new poke ball between his hands. He thought that Victor seemed to be getting along with the arbok. At least, the mime was talking a great deal, which was a good sign. Now he had to talk to the axew - but without the Psychic Amulet, so the arbok wouldn't feel threatened. He just hoped he would be able to get his meaning across...

The red light faded quickly and revealed a small green dragon. She bared her fangs and struck a daring pose, then looked up at the human watching her intently. "Axew! Ax-axew!" she said in a demanding tone.

Alexander was already unsure of what he was doing. How was the axew so confident? "I'm Alexander Fitzgerald... I'm afraid your previous handler fell in battle. I'd like to take care of you..." With these words, the pokemon looked disappointed. What might she want? "We could be a strong team together. You'd grow up big and strong."

"AXEW!" the pokemon shouted, startling Alexander. Victor and the arbok looked over briefly from their conversation, then resumed their hushed words.

"I hope that's a yes..." Alexander muttered, remembering how strong the axew was when he fought against her. The only thing that had brought her down was a coordinated effort from multiple pokemon on his team. "You could learn from Corvus - the pinsir - and the other ones who you fought against. You could learn how to surpass their techniques and become the strongest axew I've ever seen," Alexander continued. The fact that he had never seen another axew before didn't seem to matter much to the plucky young dragon-type, who stuck out her chest in a heroic pose.

"I'll take that for a yes - do you mind if I call you Ayla? That's a tough, strong name for a hardy pokemon like you." The axew nodded, then approached the other two pokemon conversing. He noticed Victor's face strain as he manipulated the opening of Alexander's bag. The Psychic Amulet came flying out, and the mime deposited it into Alexander's hand.

Alexander put on the amulet, and heard Victor talking... almost gently, to the arbok. "You can do it. He is kind. You may name yourself." He waved his hand, encouraging the poison-type to come forward.

Finally, the arbok slithered out towards his new handler and raised himself to his full height. "My name is Maverick. Victor the mr. mime taught me this word. It is my name," he said formally, nervously, but at least he was talking. Victor reached out a hand, and although he didn't quite touch the arbok, he offered as close as he could to a handshake.

"Welcome to the team, Maverick. I'll do my best to show you humans can be good, too. Like I've told Victor, we're a team. We work together. Win or lose, it's about the team, and now that you're a part of this team, I will defend you - all three of you - with my life."

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

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