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 Toxic Personality

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PostSubject: Toxic Personality   Tue May 30, 2017 4:18 pm

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Much like the outpost, Venen Gulch was pretty much the opposite of a sight for sore eyes. There were virtually no living plants, no signs of water and, for the moment, nothing to suggest any living things in the area. The ground was barren and rough, with a clear, steep drop-off not far ahead. The actual gulch was this steep hole, having been carved out by a stream that had since all but ceased to exist. It stretched a ways across in each direction, like a gash in the earth, and even the width was quite impressive. Within, the smog was quite thick, so much so that it obscured vision of the bottom of the gulch from the top. The poisonous air was thicker in general here than it was at Grima Outpost, but it was especially bad within the treacherous ravine. Of course, it wasn't much of a ravine due how much the flow of water had been restricted over time, but it had certainly been one at some point.

Krikka had never ventured into this area before, and for good reason: it was incredibly unpleasant. However, unpleasant was perfect for what she had planned, and this place had just the right setup to give her the exact environment she was looking for. Her companion, a buizel, would be competing with her to see who could last the longest in this harsh place. The walk to the area had been relatively quiet, but he was still around, clearly still set on going through with the game despite the risks involved. But how would he take to actually seeing Venen Gulch for the first time and finally being able to truly understand just how dangerous it was? Would he still demonstrate such bravery as he had prior, or would his fear show through? This was one thing the sadistic game master was very curious to find out.

"I hope you're not afraid of heights. Better be good at climbing, too," she spoke up, clarifying that they would be going down into the gulch. Of course, she knew it didn't matter if Solus was afraid of heights or terrible at climbing, since he wasn't going to forfeit regardless. He had implied already that his pride transcended logic, and this was exactly what Krikka was hoping for. More specifically, she aimed to test the true extent of his pride and see if there was any point at which he would compromise it if not for someone else. He had already willingly given up when his friend was in danger, but now that it was just him, would he he be willing to throw away his life? Thus far, this certainly seemed to be the case, as he had agreed to the terms of this competition despite knowing he would essentially be forfeiting his existence to a sadistic criminal.

Solus had to know he wasn't going to win, and yet he had gone through with the challenge anyway. At this point, it seemed unlikely that anything could give him second thoughts about his decision, since even the steep price of his pride had done nothing to deter him. Granted, if he somehow won, he would have the safety of his friend guaranteed on top of getting a certain stolen necklace back, but he had already made it clear that these were not his reasons for playing. Or at least, neither of them were his primary reason, though they both probably made it a bit more important even if he knew he wasn't going to win. However, still, the more likely outcome was that he would lose to someone far more disciplined in pain tolerance, perhaps even passionate about it. Then his pride would become his enemy as it would force him to surrender himself and essentially give up his free will.

This was all assuming he really did intend to be true to his word, but with his behavior thus far, Krikka was fairly certain he would. For individuals with such heavy pride, their word was their bond, uncompromising and important beyond comprehension.

(I hope you don't think you're getting out of this chess game. I SAID NC6, BREAK YOURSELF.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:35 am

It's dead. I... Solus was struggling to comprehend exactly what was going on. He knew what happened, but could figure out how it happened or why. Where as his mind was overloaded with thoughts before, his mind was more or less empty now, like he had thrown the cluttered thoughts out with the Sonic Booms. He didn't feel any guilt or remorse. He didn't feel sorry or sad. He felt like he couldn't even find his anger at Krikka that he had just moments ago. He just felt... Lost. Confused.

He just stared at the ekans. It was still. It's tail was still trapped under the rock, but that wasn't necessary anymore. There was a red stain on the rock and a slowly growing pool of crimson near the head. The head wasn't in good condition. The expression was something like panic or fear. Solus experienced a strange sensation as he examined the expression. He felt like he was supposed to feel something worse about this but he wasn't. Maybe it was the shock that was suppressing his proper emotions, like some sort of coping or survival mechanism. He was still in serious dnager, after all.

He noticed all of a sudden that Krikka was talking. At first he was only able to pick up certain words. "... Impressed. Barely had to do anything... Breaking you... awful lot more... Good?" I impressed her. Good. I'm... That's good. Solus recalled wanting to do that. More details as to why he was here with her rushed back. He could remember why he was supposed to be angry with her now, but the emotion didn't return. The umbreon's next series of words he heard clearly. As she spoke he realised she had placed herself between him and the ekans. Somehow, he hadn't noticed her enter his field of view until now.

Solus blinked dumbly. His vision blurred and things seemed overly bright. When he spoke, his voice was quiet and confused. "I... Cracked? I don't..." He thought he might have understood what she was asking if he was in better condition, but the poison and exhaustion was wearing on him quickly. He suddenly felt ill; as if acknowledging the symptoms increased their severity. "... I can't think straight, the smog is too much and it stung me I think..." Solus realised he had failed to answer Krikka's question but he already couldn't remember what it was. "I forfeit, you win. Can we leave now? Please?" Again, that odd feeling of knowing how he should feel but not feeling it; this time he felt like pleading should have bothered him more than not at all. He tried to stand and fell and didn't try to get up again. He decided he'd wait to see if Krikka was going to agree to leave before exerting himself further.

((Solus did too much snek venom and poison smog and Iron Tail. *Flips the board, eats the pawn.*))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:58 am

Krikka's head tilted, left, then right, as she stared at the buizel and awaited his response. He seemed to be in shock, which made sense, especially if this was his first kill. She remembered her own... and admittedly, it hadn't been pleasant. She didn't enjoy thinking about that portion of her life in general, though, and as far as she was concerned, killing that street rat was still the best decision she had ever made. This situation wasn't quite the same, but if she was right about Solus, he would benefit from having killed something. He would surely be shaken up for a while, but he would eventually get over it and be stronger from the experience. Or at least, this was what had happened to Krikka... at least from her perspective. Her own perspective was the only one that mattered to her, anyway.

The buizel's confusion was made clear as he attempted to respond, clearly struggling to understand the topic. After a rather pathetic excuse for an answer, he attempted an equally pathetic defense for himself, but the umbreon was willing to tolerate it just this once. After all, he had performed so very well, he deserved to be shown just a bit of courtesy. It seemed justified for him to be in a bit of an annoying state of mind after experiencing such a thing for the first time. This was all on the assumption that it was, in fact, his first time with it, but still. Then, suddenly, he did something quite surprising that Krikka didn't expect at all. She tended to account for things well, especially after being "blessed," but this in specific was still a surprise. In hindsight, it shouldn't have been, but perhaps she had gotten caught up in the moment.

Solus was forfeiting. The one thing Krikka had thought he wouldn't do, and now, he was doing it all too willingly. He was quite literally begging to just be allowed to leave, which showed either that he was a coward after all... or that this situation had truly done something to him. It seemed most likely that the latter was the case, and Krikka was pleased by this. It made her all the more interested in seeing how her new pet would develop, but more immediately pressing was the fact that he had just signed the contract and forfeited his life. "Y'know I told you that if you lose, your life is mine," the umbreon began, standing up as she spoke. "By our agreement, I could end your life right now." She had no intention of actually doing such a thing, but she desired to clarify it just to be sure Solus was aware of his situation.

"Come on, let's go. Can you walk?" the mood of her words suddenly shifted, showing openly that she did not intend to kill him as he had done to the ekans. In fact, she wanted to make every effort to ensure this buizel's survival, as she was beginning to have high hopes for him. Maybe, just maybe, he could be useful if given proper... guidance. On top of this, Krikka was growing increasingly curious to know more about this interesting individual, as he seemed to simply grow more complex with every passing moment. More complex and, more importantly, more tolerable. It seemed possible that perhaps he wasn't quite as much of a do-gooder as their first encounter had suggested. At the very least, he was clearly more capable of being pushed out of this way of thinking than Krikka had initially thought. Her highest expectation beforehand had been for a new source of entertainment for a while, but now, there seemed to be a chance of getting more out of it.

(Pansy lightweight can't handle his poison.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:25 pm

Krikka's reminder of their agreement didn't bother Solus; one reason was the combination of poisonous smog, the ekans's venom, physical abuse from several sources including Krikka, and the mental-emotional aftershock of what he had just done was causing enough pain and disorientation to make it hard to think at all. The other reason was his almost subconcious awareness that she could have killed him without his concent anyhow.

Despite having just quite literaly forfieted his life to Krikka, the full gravity of the event didn't sink in at the moment. Solus was legitimately happy when Krikka announced that they would be leaving. Everything felt like it'd happened so quickly—too quickly. One encounter and he was already exhausted and defeated. At the time, though, it wasn't a huge concern for him. He was tired, hurting, and acutely aware of just how unaware he was. Survival was his biggest concern now, and that meant getting out of the gultch—fighting was not an option for him.

Upon being asked if he could walk, he tried to stand again. He went slower and wobbily made it to both feet. He took a few step and almost fell but didn't. "I... Yeah, I think." He looked forward and remembered that they had to climb down into the gulch. "I don't think I can climb, though... " The simple act of looking up made him dizzy enough to lose his balance and almost fall. The venom made his movements more ridged and impaired his motor skills. "No, I won't be able to climb, sorry." Appologising felt weird but necissary—though he wasn't sure why.

Solus tried to think through the haze of confusion and regain some grasp on the situation in full. He knew he was in a bad state and felt like there was more to the situation he was supposed to comprehend than he was. Something is... I'm supposed to feel something here... Lots of things. Krikka, the ekans, me, this place, an agreement... A headache was quickly forming and it was too much for him to keep a hold on any significantly coherent thoguhts. Whereas before he was experiencing an informational and emotional overload, he was now experiencing the polar opposite. All of his emotions seemed nullified and his awareness dulled. He was only aware of the pain in his body, his sluggish motor skills, and his inability to focus.

He realised he hadn't actually walked very far at all while testing to see if he was capable. He wanted desperately to be out of this place but he had to wait for Krikka. He wasn't sure he'd be able to even walk the full distance and he was sure that he didn't know where they were supposed to be walking towards. He slowly turned towad Krikka and kept his eyes fixed on her. Her blue rings and black fur were a notable contrast to the colour of the rock and earth around and below them and this made her easier to focus on. "Uh, lead, please."

((You shouldn't mix poisons it's never a good idea. From now on he'll be sticking to Krikka's brand.))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:55 pm

Solus could clearly barely think, but on the bright side, at least he could get up. However, Krikka had doubts in his ability to walk after the rather sad display she had seen within just a few steps. On top of that, he seemed to believe he wouldn't be able to climb, which the umbreon agreed with. She would need to figure out how to get him out of the gulch when he could barely walk and couldn't get past the steep sides, and she doubted he would be much help in thinking of a plan due to his current absentmindedness. She took a look around as she was directed to lead, deciding against saying that she was the leader regardless since she doubted it was even worth trying to talk to the buizel at the moment. Surely, there had to be an area where it would be easier to get out of the river of poison, but she couldn't see it through the thick smog. The background was a haze of purple in every direction with nothing particularly visible aside from the near wall.

Krikka huffed in a mix of agitation and exhaustion as she began walking further into the gulch. She didn't bother turning back the way they had come from because she knew that there would be no immediate way out there for someone who couldn't climb. Their best bet was go simply continue onward, which meant walking blindly into whatever else the gulch had to offer. "Well, I can't just magic us out. You'd better not die after all that," she spoke bitterly, a bit annoyed at the idea of her brand new slave dying immediately. She expected him to follow her, so she avoided directing him to do so. Though she also wanted to avoid wasting her breath as the poison was affecting her as well and she would likely have to deal with any further fights on her own. She needed to conserve what energy she had left so she would at least make an effort to ensure her own safety.

The only way to get both herself and her prize out would be to find an area in which the side of the gulch wasn't so steep and dangerous. Solus had said he was in no condition to climb out, and Krikka knew her own limits as well. She doubted she could carry him normally, but she was also being taxed by the poison and physical exertion, so she was fairly confident that there was no way she would be able to drag him out. Regardless, they would probably be fine as long as they avoided any further fighting. "By the way-" she decided to continue before the buizel got any ideas about speaking more of his half-conscious ramblings, but she was stopped by a sudden urge to cough. She tried to resist it, but in the end, she gave in to her irritated throat. However, she restrained herself after a single, light cough, not wanting to make it look like she was having too much trouble.

When she felt confident she could speak, she continued. "...You ever done that before? Like... any part of what just happened?" she tried to be clear about her question without being too blunt and sending Solus back into the shock that he seemed to be coming out of. She wanted to know if he had ever had such an episode of aggression before, mostly, as she doubted he had ever taken a life. She simply needed to know if a potential tool had any... flaws that could potentially make him harder to work with. Alternatively, perhaps such an issue with aggression could be a good thing if used right, but regardless, she needed to know what she was getting into. There was much more she wanted to know about this buizel, but she doubted he would tell her the more personal things, so for now, she was sticking to something simple.

Despite the fact that her plan had worked, the umbreon was beginning to regret having picked such a place as she was now in a bit of a difficult situation. She couldn't stay in this gulch forever, but she couldn't simply leave as she had to figure out a way to get Solus out. On top of that, the poison was uncomfortable and she had no real reason to happily tolerate it since it was no longer a competition. Then there was the risk of being attacked yet again, as they had been met with hostility very shortly after entering and thus, it seemed safe to assume there would be more if they stuck around too long. She wasn't sure if she had much fight left in her, and she was confident Solus would be useless, so she wanted to avoid any confrontation. The situation was becoming just a bit more annoying than she had originally intended for it to be.

(Krikka Incorporated, providing top-quality poison for all.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:47 am

"I'd like to not die," Solus responded absentmindedly. He was dedicating more thought processing to following Krikka than he probably should have needed. He kept his eyes trained on the umbreon to help walk in a more-or-less straight path. He wasn't absolutely positive, but he was pretty sure that they were walking farther into the gulch. He wanted to complain but didn't. He presumed that Krikka had some good reason to go farther in—maybe she knew of a place that was easier to climb out from. He didn't really have a say in the matter anyway; even if he wanted to be antagonistic toward Krikka it wasn't really an option to him. He was greatly dependent on her here, especially in the state he was in.

Krikka's sudden coughing spooked Solus. He hadn't realized she was speaking before hand, but was able to understand her after she recovered. It was a question. It took a long moment for him to figure out what she was referring to. When the recent-yet-distant memory of him attacking the ekans came to him, he understood what she meant. Had he ever attacked something like that? Have I? Uh... I can remember... "I... I remember one time somewhat recently. It was a day—I think—before we went to Pecha Forest and you attacked... Xeno." The image of a beaten and abused Xeno flashed in his mind. He felt sad suddenly, which ironically made him feel better; he was feeling things again. "Xeno told me about his parents. They were bad people. I was angry at them but they weren't there of course. I attacked a tree instead."

He tried to remember if he had ever done something similar before that. The vague feeling of similar memories came but nothing specific ever took shape. He returned to the memories he did have readily available and a question came to him. He said asked it allowed without thinking. "I wonder why I didn't do that with you?" He had fought her, but that was different, that was conscious. These sudden violent attacks were less so. They started happening before he was even aware they where happening. He wasn't entirely sure what could trigger or but if hearing about Xeno's parents did it, why wouldn't actually seeing Krikka hurt Xeno like she did trigger it? His own issue didn't make sense to him.

((Krikka Poison: Fun for the whole family!))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:45 pm

Krikka's rising agitation was temporarily quelled as she was given something else to focus on in the form of an answer to her question. Solus seemed to be regaining his lucidity, which was good as he would probably end up needing it in this environment. But, more importantly, this meant he could now be properly spoken with. Apparently, the umbreon's suspicions had not been unfounded, as her new toy did, in fact, have some already-present issues with blind aggression. It was somewhat disappointing to know that she was not the sole cause of this interesting development, but nonetheless, it was interesting. Plus, if it had already happened more than once, that meant it could definitely be triggered and potentially used. She wanted to know what the trigger was so as to attempt to... harness this little quirk.

The buizel then made a comment that could perhaps have been taken as a bit hostile. However, Krikka didn't care much about it; and in fact, she, too, was curious as to why this hadn't happened in their fight. After all, she had surely stressed him a great deal, what with stepping on his pride and mutilating his friend. What did a simple conversation over Xeno's lackluster parents and a confrontation with an ekans have in common that was lacking in the situation with Xeno being beaten half to death? Clearly, the other buizel was not the trigger, and it did not appear to be Solus' own safety or pride either. It didn't seem to be sheer stress, since she was pretty sure she had created quite the stressful situation in threatening both Solus and his friend. The question was proving puzzling to the umbreon, then a little detail suddenly occurred to her: the arbok and ekans were clearly together, and the way they had acted suggested a familial relationship. It didn't seem too unlikely that the arbok was a parent trying to teach its child some rather unsavory behavior.

Krikka felt it was a bit unlikely that the connection was actually just that Solus lost it when faced with bad parents, but regardless, it seemed worth delving into. At the very least, he seemed to have an issue with that kind of thing, based on his supposed reaction to hearing about someone else's poor family. "Your family life. You told me before that it sucked. Me beating your friend half to death didn't do it for you, but just hearing about his parents sucking was enough to make you assault that poor tree? It's pretty clear it isn't about him. Dunno what made it happen this time, but I think it has to do with your daddy issues," she decided to voice her thoughts, admitting that she didn't know for sure how it tied in with the snakes. She had her suspicions, but without any input from Solus, she had no idea if she was anywhere near right there. Regardless, she still knew he definitely had issues, and these apparent bouts of aggression seemed to stem from his own life.

(Feather Cafe now selling Krikka's Poison.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:56 pm

Daddy issues? Solus's relationship with his father was undebatably bad. His father was almost always distant to him. Solus had no good memories of his dad and a few bad memories, but the majority was little to nothing of note. They lived in the same house; that was about the only thing they did together. Solus had gotten in a bit of trouble every now and then, and on rare occasions he'd be dragged back home and his dad would be told what had happened. It never ammounted to anything. He was neither reprimanded or praised for his activities. The visitor would leave and everything would return to normal. Normal of course meaning total silence between the two.

The bad memories were the times when his dad was upset about something Solus never knew about. It was always passive aggressive though; there would suddenly be no food to be found in the house, or he'd find the door locked upon returning home and no amount of knocking resolved the issue. As far as he could remember he had never done anything like he had with the ekans or the tree at home. That said, he couldn't remember everything or anything particularly clearly at the moment anyhow.

"Maybe..." In spite of the headache that was forming, the buizel's cognitive abilities seemed to be slowly returning to their full function. It was still difficult to focus, and it felt like the aches and pains from his entire body where increasing slightly in magnitude. He tried to ignore the pain and continue the conversation—which was itself painful, with the poisonous smog renewing pain with each breath. His voice was starting to rasp. "Why do you care about it anyway? You seem so interested in my past, as if it matters now." He didn't think it did. In fact, he had been trying to escape his past, to a degree, but Krikka seemed intent on making it a focus.

Solus put in an effort to walk closer to Krikka. He was progressively growing more aware of their surroundings and figured it'd be best to be closer to each other. Not because he figured they could cover each other's back—Krikka was on her own if another fight started—but because he didn't want to get caught up in another trap without the umbreon's notice. The falling rocks, he had realised too late, was a trap either set up in advanced or improvised by the snake duo. Had a given rock fell a different way it could have seriously injured or killed me, Solus thought as he rather unsteadily tried to match Krikka's pace. Am I... Justifying what happened?

((You gotta change the name to something edgier tho. Feather Café is too fluffy.))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:17 am

It seemed Krikka wasn't the only one who wanted to ask questions, and she figured it was in her best interest to cooperate if she wanted her opposition to do the same. She was fine with answering questions about herself, though; since she would probably be keeping this buizel around for a while, it seemed like a good idea for her to get to know him and vice versa. At the very least, their time together would probably be a bit more tolerable that way. This question was a bit difficult to answer, though, mostly because it was one she had already been thinking about. She wasn't used to being particularly interested in others, and yet here she was, craving to know what made her little pet tick. However, she had managed to get a pretty good idea of why, exactly, she was so interested in the weasel.

"Well, I have one other theory," she began, seemingly ignoring the question entirely. However, she fully intended to acknowledge what Solus had asked, and in fact, she even planned to give him a legitimate answer. Honesty was very rare for her, but she doubted telling this quite literally nameless buizel anything about herself would be a risk. She continued onward into the gulch, walking steadily despite her growing exhaustion as she began to explain herself. "See, my life was pretty good... and then, suddenly, it wasn't. I mean, it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't exactly good. I realized that being "good" doesn't really make life give you the same treatment, so I stopped trying. Pretty simple concept, and so far, it's worked for me," she told what may have seemed like an unrelated story, though it had a specific purpose. She was leading up to the point she wanted to make to Solus, but she wanted to make sure to give him proper context first.

"Sounds like you had similar issues with not getting much attention. Now, I can't say my father is quite like yours, but... I've still been wondering why you're... different. I mean, what happened in your life to make you such a wannabe-good guy?" she monologued in an inappropriately nonchalant manner for what the topic was. Then, suddenly, she stopped and turned to face the buizel. Since he seemed to want to know, she figured she would tell him why she was so interested in his past. "At first, I wanted to know if your background was like mine; truthfully, I envied that it seemed like you were somehow still sticking to the "good" path and being treated well by it. But now that I've gotten to know you a bit, I don't think that's true," a faint smile slowly crept onto her face as she spoke, showing her joy at the thought that Solus wasn't happier than her.

She was dragging her explanation out a bit, so she decided to go ahead and get to the point. "These little outbursts of yours? Maybe they happen because that's who you really are. Maybe deep down inside, you don't want to be the good guy. Maybe you want to be like me." She was making a bit of a guess as she didn't have enough evidence to actually say such a thing for sure, but since Solus had asked why she was so curious, she was being honest. She thought that perhaps, he was more like her than he would want to admit; maybe he was just trying to fight his nature. Krikka didn't understand why one would want so badly to avoid being like herself, as abandoning her morals had been the best decision of her life, but alas, this buizel seemed to be someone with the capacity to be just like her... and yet he was trying to deny himself.

Or, perhaps, she was entirely wrong. Either way, with the state Solus was in, she figured she would make him think and probably end up even more miserable regardless, so she was content.

(Hey man no one would ever expect fluffland to be a criminal underground meeting area.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:27 am

"I—" I what? How do I respond to that? Krikka's answer was more than Solus had expected and snapped him out of whatever haze still remained. His mind was firing on all cylinders again—albeit still handicapped by the headache. She envied me? Because she thought I was doing better than her while trying to be a good guy? He considered the other ideas Krikka had offered too. Her "no good deed goes unpunished" philosophy was something he had never considered before. But what he was really thinking most about was her question: Why was he trying to be a good guy?

He wasn't sure what exactly the motivator was. Sure, he'd done some less-than-good things as a kid but now, in retrospect, he was starting to think it was all justified. Could he blame his father's inactions for his misdeeds? If he had been better... Even so, there was the biggest question. Was he really something else and just avoiding it? Was he supposed to be like Krikka and subconsciously trying to prevent acting that way? She's getting into my head. It's obvious she's trying to manipulate me. But... At the same time, I'm struggling to disregard any of it.

"No, I don't want to be like you," Solus responded. He intended the words to get the unbreon to drop the idea, but his tone and the long pause he had taken thinking over her words made it pretty evident that even he didn't believe in his denial fully. "I wasn't a good kid. Maybe that wasn't my fault but I still did bad things. I'm trying to make up for it. I—" I'm starting to justify things I shouldn't have done and denying that I'm a bad person. Solus inturupted himself with a thought he had compiled in the back of his mind. "... I don't know why exactly I was trying now." He paused for a second, his expression changed as if he'd just realised some terrible truth. He spoke again, now in an almost monotone fashion. "It doesn't really matter, now though, does it?"

The realisation that Krikka had him under her paw, fully and wholly, had just suddenly clicked. "You're not going to let me try to make up anything now. I really don't have a choice now. I'm stuck with you—that on it's own is the end to any good I would be able to do." Solus hadn't considered it before, but now it was all hitting him like a ton of bricks. Krikka planned ahead—that he knew. What he didn't know was what she planned to do with him. He could assume nothing good.

((That's valid but the name is still lame.))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:37 am

Apparently, the buizel had no desire to be an outlaw, but by this point, Krikka had her doubts.  Based on his apparent violent tendencies, it was clear he had more desire to inflict blind harm in him than he was willing to admit to, and judging by his delinquent background, he had found merit in criminal activity, at least in the past.  He was clearly hesitant to believe his own words, but even so, they annoyed the umbreon.  For some reason, seeing someone who seemed so much like her try to be "good" really got to her in all the right ways.  She disliked wishful heroes in the first place, but someone who was just like her and tried to pretend to be better was a whole different story entirely.  Many things annoyed her to varying degrees, but this... apparently, was high on the list.  Then, to make it even worse, Solus was trying to claim that he could no longer do good all because of her, when in fact, it was entirely his own fault.  HE was choosing his own pride over his supposed desire to be "good," and he was trying to pin all the blame on the big bad villain.

Krikka did not intend to let the buizel live the free life of a criminal all while telling himself he had no choice.  She had chosen for herself to lead such a life, with no one to make her feel any better about it when it was hard, and she was certainly not going to let someone else use her to get a better version of her own life!  She wasn't particularly interested in letting anyone use her for anything, but this in specific was a bit more meaningful.  She gritted her teeth and her eyes narrowed into a glare as she formulated her response.  "Why do you even care?  Did you really just think someone would wuv you if you tried really, really hard?  You think you can just be the good guy and everyone'll like you?  Tch, please.  You'll never be worth as much to the world as it is to you," she spoke, giving a mock-lovey-dovey tone for the first part to add a bit more insult to it.  She made no attempt to hide her displeasure, which was partly due to the fact that her mind was beginning to fog up from the poison.

She had originally disliked Solus because she thought he had a decent life without having to make it for himself, but now, she was upset because, as far as she was concerned, he wanted to use her to give him the life he wanted!  Well, since they were going to be spending a lot of time together, she wanted to clarify immediately that she would not be used to coddle someone's flimsy state of morality.  "You just wanna make up for your actions because you think it'll magically make your own life better.  Well, it won't, and once you learn that, I won't have to force you to do anything.  I won't make you do anything you don't already want to do deep down insi-" she stepped closer and closer to the buizel as she spoke, her tone progressively becoming more firm and hostile all the while despite her voice barely raising in the slightest.

However, she suddenly stopped and looked into the mist as a faint movement in the distance caught her attention out of the corner of her eye.

It was some kind of purple... fluid, apparently having been shot at them by something, and it was coming toward them rather quickly. Without thinking, Krikka moved to push the buizel out of the way as hard as she could just as the toxic fluid neared.  All she could see of the source through the smog was a faint silhouette, but she recognized the poisonous attack and that was all she needed to know.  She wasn't sure why she was bothering to protect Solus, they were both poisoned anyway, but it was too late to take back.  She had wasted her short time for reaction on choosing to protect her pest rather than herself, and sadly, there was not enough time to do both.

(Oh yeah well your name is lame so hah.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:38 am

Perhaps he wasn't thinking as clearly as he thought he was. Apparently he had really struck a nerve with something he had said this time, because Krikka wasn't just threatening him; she was verbally attacking him. As she pressed on and her tone grew more fierce, Solus tensed up—expecting her to lose her composure at any moment and strike out at him—like he had done to the ekans. He hated himself for it, but he could help but feel intimidated by the umbreon. He shrunk back a little as she advanced.

Her words were getting through clearly though. Is she right? Am I just using her as a scapegoat to get away with acting like her? It bothered Solus greatly that he Krikka had managed to make him so unsure of himself. It bothered him that he thought what she was saying could make sense. What had being the good guy done for him? I met Xeno. Then I got dragged away—no, I left him.
I didn't have to. She's right, I did it for myself. I came her because I wanted to.
His analysis of Krikka's word was interrupted when Krikka herself was interrupted. At first he thoguht she was going to hit him—and she sort of did. He braced himself for an Iron Tail but instead was shoved to the ground. Hard.

"Ugh! Krikka please—" He stopped his rather pathetic plea for mercy when he realised Krikka wasn't attacking but, in fact, being attacked. They both were. She had pushed him out of the way. Did she just save me from some attack? He tried to stand again but it felt as if there was constant shocking pain when he put in any real effort. He opted instead to try and see what had attacked them but saw nothing through the dense smog. He then turned his attention to Krikka. "Krikka are you alright?" His voice carried more concern than he though it should have. Why was he worried about her? She was the cause of this whole situation. Wasn't she?

((Wow r00d. Both you and this mysterious skuntank. It's so impolite to poison someone when they're ranting at their buizel.))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:17 am

Solus had been spared, but for Krikka, it was a different story.  When the purple liquid splashed against her, she recoiled, expecting some kind of burning pain.  However, while it did burn, this wasn't the most unpleasant... feature of the substance.  Dripping wet with whatever it was, she was beginning to notice a certain... smell.  It was coming from her.  She took a sniff of the air around her, which immediately caused her to recoil.  Alas, there was no escape from the foul stench that had coated her.  She tried simply breathing through her mouth, but she could taste it in her mouth; it was far worse than the smog.  She coughed, then gagged, prompting her to lift her left paw and place it over her mouth in an attempt to convince her body not to throw up.

She had barely heard Solus speak, but nonetheless, she somehow still knew what he had asked her.  She opened her mouth and moved her paw away in an attempt to speak, only to gag once more.  "Solus...  Run," she spoke in a strained voice as she stared into the mist with as much focus as she could muster.  She tried to breathe as little as she could even though she knew it would put more stress on her body and cause the poison in her system to spread faster; as far as she was concerned, it was worth it to avoid inhaling the awful fumes coming off of her as much as possible.  She was too preoccupied to be concerned about why she was telling Solus to run, as she currently smelled like the living embodiment of the gulch around her and that took priority.

The umbreon growled as the assailant came into view, showing itself to be a skuntank.  At this revelation, there was only one thing going through Krikka's mind: "That... better have come from the front."  She wasn't sure if this enemy would speak or simply be like the snakes, but regardless, she felt the need to voice this concern of hers anyway.  The result of this foul liquid she was drenched in having come from anywhere unsightly was... well, unappealing.  She knew a few unpleasant rumors about the species, but she didn't know if they were true, so she was choosing to hope they weren't.  She hoped this was just some kind of normal-ish poison that just happened to smell foul.

Instead of responding, the skuntank simply sat down, a bit too far away for Krikka to confidently take aim at it.  Her head tilted to the right to show her confusion at the sudden lack of hostility, but before she could voice this confusion, the burning sensation from the disgusting liquid coating her fur began to turn into a sort of... numb feeling.  It was quickly spreading over her body, which captured her attention and caused her to look down at herself; she pressed her left paw against her right leg, then on her chest, as she attempted to feel herself through the numbness.  She still had feeling, but barely.  Then, suddenly, the lack of feeling was replaced with an immense pain comparable to the feeling of pure electricity.  Taken by surprise, she yelped and collapsed from the pain, struggling to avoid making any more undignified noises. She directed her vision toward the skuntank, who was now on the move yet again, taking its time in closing the distance between them.

(On the bright side now Krikka's as poisoned as her bruizel.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:54 am

The smell did not go unnoticed by the buizel. Whatever it was Krikka had been hit by it was a thousand times worse than the scent of the Gulch's smog. The scent made Solus nauseous, and Krikka was literally the centre of it. He was surprised she was handling it as well as she was. When he heard her command to run, he did the opposite; he froze. He didn't know what to do. Krikka had told him to run and he was obligated to do so—both because of their verbal contract and because it was in his best interest. However, he found himself immobile. A fair bit had to do with his current physical state. He was injured and pain was constant now. Another contributing factor was fear. Krikka had went down in moments. If he ran, what was stopping the thing that attacked her from doing the same to him? Then, finally, there was a third factor. Solus didn't want to leave Krikka.

Like many of the things he'd been doing recently he couldn't say just why, but he couldn't bring himself to just abandon Krikka. He had plenty of reason to: he'd probably have a better chance of surviving if he was as far from their attacker as possible, and if they managed to both survive this Krikka would probably reprimand him for disobeying her. Still, he didn't move from his spot. He lied flat to the ground—a survival tactic to some extent. He knew he was in a bad state and that he stood no chance against this thing, and the last thing he wanted to do was make it think he was any kind of threat. Man, I'm just pathetic, aren't I? I'm scared of everything here. Everything here could kill me—most of it's trying to. I feel like a coward. But this isn't a time to let my pride dictate my actions, that's got the best of me enough today.

Solus avoided looking at Krikka—she certainly would not be happy with what he was doing right now. He hoped that maybe she could use the anger she'd have at him to gain a second wind and do some damage; ideally to the enemy and not him. The enemy, speaking of which, was approaching. Solus took it in. It was a bit bigger than him—though it seemed much bigger from his possition on the ground. A purple and cream-coloured pelt, It's appearance wasn't particularly intimidating. It's abilities, however, were.

((Wait no that's a bad thing.))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:16 am

Krikka glanced over to the buizel as her mind raced for a solution to this problem.  He wasn't running, but perhaps that was a good thing, assuming he could move.  She could see that this skuntank was focused and cautious, unlike her other recent foes, not to mention it seemed stronger than them based on the stabbing pains coursing through her body.  The shock of the strange, foul venom was making her want to stay on the ground, but she knew she would need to push through it.  She doubted she would have the capacity to defeat this foe, at least in her current state, but fighting had never been one of her true talents anyway.  Strategy, however, was something she was finding herself to be quite good at... and since she had someone around to form a plan with, perhaps she would have a chance.

"Look, run if you want; I'll distract it.  But if you're staying, then listen," the umbreon started up, speaking quietly so as to avoid potentially alerting the nearing skuntank to the plan she was forming in her head.  In truth, she wasn't thinking very far ahead, but she didn't have enough time for such things at the moment.  The two of them needed a quick strategy to at least stall the opponent for a moment so they could try to get away.  Her voice was still strained from a mixture of exhaustion, pain and nausea, but she did her best to speak clearly and quickly.  "It's gonna dodge my first attack.  I'll aim to its right so it'll move to its left.  Throw a sonic boom to the left of it.  That'll distract it so I can hit it.  As soon as you attack, run, and I'll be right behind you," she gave her plan, which she hoped wasn't too elaborate for the cloudy buizel to follow.

Krikka's body began glowing with the familiar dark aura as she spoke, prompting the skuntank to stop.  It was smart enough to avoid getting close so as to make her attack easier to avoid, but she doubted any level of intelligence would save it from this plan... at least, assuming Solus was able to follow along.  Otherwise, Krikka's second attack would be dodged just as easily as she knew her first would, and she knew it.  She was putting more faith in the buizel than she was comfortable with, but she figured that if he wasn't running, that meant either he couldn't or he didn't want to.  Either way, he was clearly in his best interest to listen to her and help fight off the clearly aggressive opposition.

Krikka's body let loose a pulse of dark energy as she lay on the ground, sent slightly to her left, toward the right side of the skuntank.  Her aura flickered out for a few moments after this attack, showing she was running out of energy, but the darkness began emanating from her body once more as she pushed herself onto her paws.  She was barely off the ground and her aura was clearly growing weak, but she continued regardless, preparing for her second attack. The pain was making her body want to drop back to the ground, and the exhaustion wasn't helping, so she knew she would need to at least stall the skuntank for a bit in order to have any hope of getting away.  She very much hoped Solus would come through on the first important thing he'd been asked to do, otherwise... well, the devious umbreon would have to improvise.

(It's a wonderful thing.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:42 am

Solus was glad Krikka wasn't bothered by his failure to comply. He now had a new order which he was much more willing to follow. The plan was simple, but it made sense, and unless the target was some sort of psychic Solus doubted it could avoid Krikka's pincer attack plan. Despite his unsure opinions of her in most cases, he was confident and trusting in her combat strategery. He also had no better plan, and if he didn't help he doubted either of them would stand much of a chance of getting out of this place.

He noted Krikka's attack preparations—as did the poison-type—and waited. He didn't want to give the enemy any clues as to what exactly the two were plotting. The moment Krikka made her attack, Solus hastily climbed to his feet and launched his own attack to flank Krikka's. Adrenaline was pumping again. The buizel ignored the pain his body was experiencing and proceeded to move away from the enemy. He was hesitant to move too far from Krikka in the event that she was unable to escape as well. Again he was faced with the question: Why stay with Krikka? He told himself he needed her to get out of the gulch despite knowing that wasn't necessarily true. Distance and cover would be key in escaping the poison-type. He doubted it could see them through the smog if they got far enough away, and even if they weren't able to stay ahead of it, they could lose it long enough to come up with a better idea.

Solus didn't bother to look back at the enemy, it wouldn't provide him with any useful information. It would only serve to slow him down—offer him a chance to trip on a rock or something. He looked at the side of the gulch in an attempt to find a way out. So far there wasn't any particularly easy exit routes. They could try to climb again, but he still wasn't sure he could make it even with the adrenaline. Climbing also took time and they were sort of pressed for time with a poison-type launching some sort of volatile substance at them. If I can blame Krikka for anything it's putting us in this mess. I thought she'd pick some place she knew better. I'm starting to doubt she has any real experience with this place.

((Who's side are you on?))

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