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 Toxic Personality

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Lord E V
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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   Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:16 pm

As expected, the skuntank avoided Krikka's first attack only to move right into the sonic boom. This didn't seem to do much damage, but it was enough of a distraction for Krikka's second dark pulse to hit it, knocking it off its paws in surprise. The second she saw that her attack had landed, she turned and bolted in the same direction as Solus, not wanting to wait around and give the foe time to recover. She was quite certain the attacks had not been enough to keep the foul creature down, and she wasn't sure what to do in the event of a second confrontation now that it would be ready for her last plan. The odd substance she had been soaked with was still stinging her, but it was finally beginning to die down, letting her run without too much discomfort. It wouldn't have stopped her regardless as she knew running as fast as possible was pretty much the only option, but it certainly would have been more difficult to move so much while under extreme pain.

Then she felt a splash of liquid against her back, telling her a few very concerning things. First, the skuntank was back up already and hadn't been hindered in the slightest. Second, her self-assured ability to run shrug off the pain she had experienced earlier was about to be put to the test. Sure enough, first, the awful smell was renewed and intensified... and then she felt the familiar shocking sensation. This time, she didn't quite collapse to the ground since she was ready for it, but the pain still made her muscles contract, slowing her movements to a crawl if only for a moment. She growled in a mix of pain and annoyance, pushing through the pain and forcing her body to speed back up. It seemed she would actually be able to keep going, so perhaps she could escape this enemy after all. She saw a stream of the painful fluid shoot over her toward the buizel in front of her, but before she could see if it hit, something suddenly slammed into her back and knocked her to the ground.

The skuntank had caught up with relative ease and was now pinning the umbreon to the ground with a single paw, making it look effortless. While its right paw dug into her back, drawing blood with its claws, it lifted its left paw in preparation to strike her again. Krikka knew she was in trouble and doubted Solus would be able to do anything to the opponent alone, so she began searching for another solution. Then, she remembered what had happened with the arbok, when her body had suddenly started emanating light. She had done it on accident, but it seemed effective enough to daze an opponent, and it was pretty much her only choice since she couldn't muster another dark pulse. Her eyes were already shut from the pain, but she kept them closed in an attempt to help her focus in order to summon the power of being a glorified lantern.

Fortunately, Krikka already knew how to make her rings glow, though having them glow so brightly was new to her. But it seemed to work all the same: without much effort on her part, her body began to emanate the blue light that had helped incapacitate the arbok prior. Based on the fact that she didn't feel any more claws piercing her, she assumed she had at least stalled the skuntank. She was correct, and in fact, it was unable to even look at her. The light had blurred its vision, causing it to lose its balance, yet it still kept its paw planted firmly on top of the umbreon. Sadly, being new to whatever this new ability was, Krikka was unable to keep it up for long. After mere moments, the light faded, leaving her even more exhausted.

(I'm on no one's side. I'm in the front.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:52 pm

Hearing Krikka grow, Solus went against his better judgement and turned his head to see just what was happening and was met with a shot of the same substance that Krikka had been hit with. The smell was worse than anything he had experienced before. It was somehow exponentially worse than it had been from a distance. An incredible wave of nausea hit him like a brick wall. He thought for a moment he was going to vomit, but he wasn't given the opportunity. A poisonous, foul-smelling liquid that caused a feeling all too similar to being struck by bolts of electricity. Solus collapsed immediately.

Upon hitting the ground and forcing his eyes open, Solus was made aware of a few things. First was that the skuntank was atop Krikka—it outpaced them, which made sense considering it's condition versus theirs. Second was that Krikka was doing something new. Third was that Krikka's new trick was effective but not quite effective enough—the skuntank was still on her. The idea that he might actually die here was starting to set in and Solus wasn't sure how he felt about it. On one hand, he enjoyed living. On the other, he really didn't have any particular reason to do so. Whoa, that's dark.

Deciding he'd rather be out of his head that that moment, and being unable to do much because of seemingly unending numbness and pain, Solus decided to distract himself with trying to move. He didn't make much progress; his attempts only really resulting in reverbs of shocking pain coursing through his arms where he tried to lift himself. Still, he'd rather focus on the pain—which reminded him he was alive—than think about why he was alive.

He tried to formulate some kind of message to Krikka, but only managed a pained grunt. He tried to fire off another Sonic Boom but couldn't even begin to form the attack. He was definitely out matched here. Krikka was out matched here. He was pretty sure Krikka could pull of some unexpected last ditch effort trick or maneuvour in an attempt to get the two of them the upper hand—assuming whatever her light show was wasn't that trick—but if she couldn't, he was pretty sure they'd be good as dead. He hated that he was putting so much faith in Krikka but he didn't really have much of a choice. He had learned pretty quick that he was useless here.

((You're under a skunk.))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:05 am

As expected, Solus was entirely useless at the moment due to the same basic situation that was giving Krikka problems.  She growled once more, still feeling the multiple forms of pain assaulting her and making it difficult to get out of the skuntank's grip.  She couldn't push herself up through it as she simply wasn't strong enough, and she had been trying, so she knew this for certain.  So, instead, she planted her paws firmly on the ground and pushed to the left, causing her to slip out of the foe's single-pawed, confused grip and roll in the opposite direction.  The sudden lack of an umbreon under the glorified toxic rag's paw caused it to fall over due to the dizziness it was still suffering from, and it seemed to be having difficulties getting back up.  Krikka's eyes finally opened as she tried to get up, only to immediately fall once more as pain shot through her body and caused her to lose control of her muscles.

Since she was struggling to stand, the umbreon decided to take in the situation so as to do something productive while she was stuck on the ground.  Solus didn't seem capable of doing anything at all, and the skuntank seemed to finally be pulling itself off the ground, though it still appeared to be disoriented.  Despite her body trying to pull her down and keep her down, Krikka dragged herself up and rushed back toward the foe.  As she neared, her tail hardened and took on a metallic sheen.  She then lifted herself onto her front paws and spun, slamming her iron tail into the skuntank's face and knocking it back to the ground.  However, her movements were sloppy due to the exhaustion and pain, causing her to weakly collapse back to the ground in front of the foe.  For a moment, she stared into the eyes of the skuntank as it lay barely a foot away from her.  Then she rolled away and stumbled back up to her paws, immediately trying to run.

Trying, of course, was the key word, as she limped more than anything else.  The immense pain in her body was beginning to subside, but she now had a wound on her back that was proving to be debilitating in its own right.  Still, she moved as quickly as she could, focusing first on her buizel to ensure he wasn't left behind.  He didn't seem capable of getting up this time, so she didn't bother asking; instead, she simply bit onto one of his arms and tossed him off the ground.  She then stepped under him so as to catch him on her back, with the whole process showing little care for his comfort.  Living seemed more important than being comfortable.  Despite the extra weight, the umbreon could still move, though she was already struggling to run, making her very slow.  She knew their attacker would catch up again soon enough, so she was no longer focused on trying to run away.

Instead, she looked to the sky for a solution.  More specifically, she looked to the terrain with a plan forming in her head.  It had been made clear that her attacks, even combined with those of Solus, barely fazed this opponent, which meant they needed to seek an... indirect means of attack.  The wall of the gulch was very rugged and asymmetrical, with rocky structures sprouting out of it here and there, which was just what she was looking for.  She rushed toward an area of the wall that had many cracks and indentations in it, suggesting it would be unstable.  She then turned around and simply waited.  "If you can move, shoot up when I do," she spoke, unsure if she could execute her plan on her own with the state she was in.  Fortunately, she didn't see the skuntank yet, but that didn't necessarily mean it wasn't near since the smog considerably restricted vision.

(Or maybe the skunk's under me and just doesn't realize it yet.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:27 am

Iron Tail to the stomach, poisonous smog, beaten by rocks, constricted by an ekans, bitten by the same ekans, vomit-inducing-shocky-poison-stuff-ed. One point to Krikka, two points to the gulch, two points to the dead ekans, one point to this purple-tan thing. I think I get at least one point for killing the ekans... That's... Messed up. I hope this is one of the several poisons killing me right now that's making me think like this.

Solus had given up on trying to help for the moment. The shocking pains had dulled a fair bit and now his entire body felt numb—a numbness not unlike that brought on from having a noticeable but weak electric current running through you. Now that the sharp, searing pain was drowned out with an all-encompassing, full body numbness, he didn't have a decent distraction from his thoughts. They seemed to be all over the place today. One moment they were deep, meaningful, self contemplation; the next they were weird, uncharacteristic, and disturbing—like assigning points to things for harming other things. It bothered him, but at this point he had decided he'd deal with whatever all this mental stuff was after he got out of this place—assuming he would get out of this place.

He was granted the blessing of another distraction in the form of Krikka, who had managed to get him on her back and was making a surprisingly decent distance from their predator. She wasn't a particularly comfortable mode of transportation but he didn't have any right to complain about that. She stopped near a stone wall and from the looks of it Solus could guess what her plan was. His suspicions were confirmed when she told him what do to. He coughed dryly before speaking in a hoarse yet somewhat humorous voice. "I would say I'd owe you my life if this works, but... Well ya' know." He put all his efforts into trying to start up a Sonic Boom. He couldn't be sure he'd manage to pull it off, but there was no point not trying.

((And now you're under a buizel too.))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:48 pm

Upon getting confirmation that the probably-dying buizel was prepared to do as she said, Krikka redirected her gaze toward the mist in the direction she'd come from, waiting for some sign of the foe. Sure enough, a dark figure soon appeared in the purple haze, slowly creeping forward. It seemed to be taking its sweet time, as if it knew it didn't need to rush. She assumed it could probably smell Solus and herself due to the horribly strong odor coming from them, so it knew they were no longer moving. The purple-furred fiend's tail-tip suddenly began blowing flames as it walked, which admittedly took the umbreon by surprise, but she managed to sidestep to the left and avoid the flamethrower. The flames seemed to die out rather quickly, which made sense; she wasn't running and the skuntank wanted to conserve its energy. It probably planned to just come beat her to death since she was simply waiting for it.

She focused intently on the skuntank as it continued closer and closer toward her, refusing to make any moves until it was right in her face. As it neared, it suddenly lunged forward with its front claws thrown out in front of it, though the umbreon was thankfully quick enough to back away and evade the sharp claws. Upon close inspection, the paws of the skuntank appeared to be glowing a black hue reminiscent of her own dark pulses. Not wanting to find out what the dagger-like claws of her foe felt like when pierced through a more vital part of her body than some random location on her back, she decided this was a good time to play her trump card. Her body began to emanate black energy as she looked upward, quickly firing a pulse of her dark aura up toward the gulch wall above.

As planned, a sonic boom followed the pulse, causing the weak structure above to begin to give and crumble. "And to think, I could have just used you as bait and left instead," she remarked to herself as she bit onto one of the buizel's arms, spun and tossed him as far as she could manage in her weakened state. By now, the opponent seemed to be realizing what was going on as it began to back away, but it was already too late. Krikka rushed forward and bit onto the skuntank's tail as it turned to flee, just barely managing to hold it back. It spun and flung her off of it, sending her flying into the wall with a fresh surge of pain. As she fell to the ground, she wondered if this one buizel was worth so much trouble. Her chance of survival had she simply left Solus for dead was much higher, and yet here she was, doing something stupid to make sure she could keep her prize.

As stones of varying shapes and sizes began to crumble and fall from above, Krikka pushed herself back up to her paws and rushed forward. The skuntank backed away in surprise, prepared to counter what probably looked like some kind of last-ditch melee attack. However, this was not the umbreon's intention at all. She dropped to the ground just as she neared the skuntank's range and it swiped a paw at her, causing her to avoid the harmful claws and slide under the opponent as the rain of stones finally began to bury it. She hadn't planned to escape from the makeshift rock slide in the first place, knowing she was far too weak to reliably get out of the way in time. So, instead, she had opted to simply get Solus as far out of the way as she could and keep the skuntank in the danger zone with her.

(And now rocks. Under all kinds of things today.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:19 pm

No? Nothing? Solus was a little disappointed that Krikka didn't respond to his remark. Hear I am making a joke at my own expense AND complimenting her plan and she doesn't even— A jet of fire come towards then and Krikka evaded it. Oh right, that thing. It was surreal knowing your thoughts were so scattered, uncharacteristic, and inappropriate and yet you still think them. Krikka moved again and Solus assumed the purple-furred thing was attacking in melee now. He could tell by sight—he had his eyes closed and was putting more effort than it normally should have taken to ready the Sonic Boom. He probably could have done it on reaction, but he had to be prepared to fire it alongside Krikka and he doubted he could time it well if he didn't keep focused on it.

Apparently, the approach of the poison-type was cue enough for Krikka. Being literally in contact with Krikka, Solus could sense the formation of her attack. He opened his eye just long enough to get a rough estimate of where to aim, fired, and then closed them again. Poisons did a lot of less-than-fun things to the victim and the current most prominent feature was a dizziness and nausea. He felt keeping his eyes closed helped with the dizziness at least. It didn't keep him very aware, of course, and he was therefore surprised at the contact of teeth with his arm. For a moment he thought the overgrown rattata had got him and was separating the two. He was flung off of Krikka and onto the ground—hard, but not as hard as he figured the purple thing was capable of.

Upon opening his eyes, he realised, based on his new location, Krikka's position, and the slowly retreating enemy, that it was Krikka throwing him clear. Right, we were both in the falling rock zone. That never even occurred me... Solus laid on the dirt floor and simply watched the events unfold. The purple-furred thing tried to run but Krikka stopped it. It threw him off, and she returned to it to use it as cover. Immediately following that, rocks began pelting the thing. It was brutal, to say the least. It didn't take long for the rocks to trap the skuntank for good. Some rocks were blunt and bludgeoned the thing; on its head, over its back, crashing its tail against the ground. Other rocks were broken from the wall and where therefore jagged and sharp. While the bigger stones broke things, the pointed rocks broke through things.

The rock slide didn't last all too long in reality, but it felt like minutes to the buizel. He couldn't help but wonder if this counted as him killing another Pokemon—he had helped cause the avalanche after all. Of course, that was assuming it was dead. He slowly got up and stepped cautiously closer. It wasn't moving, and there was a particularly sharp-edged stone—not unlike the head of a shovel—broken apart and piercing near the neck. That's some luck... But who's luck and whether it's good or bad is up for debate. Solus suddenly remembered that Krikka was under the thing and was panic stricken; once again he had forgotten his hatred towards her. He rushed to the front of the thing, ignoring his nausea, doziness, and pain. "Krikka! Are you okay?"

((Why does Krikka "saving" Solus always mean send him to the floor?))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:54 am

As little as willingly placing herself back under the foul creature appealed to her, Krikka knew she needed to do so. It seemed confused by this action, but soon, the emotion was replaced with pain as the rocks began to come down on it. The weight of the creature as it collapsed on top of the umbreon took her breath away, causing her to cough and inhale a bit more of its odor than she ever would have wanted. The dust being kicked up by the rock slide didn't help ease her breathing experience, but she couldn't exactly hold her breath due to how she was practically suffocating from the weight of the big bag of sewage on top of her. Trying to breath wasn't doing much good, though, as she wasn't getting much oxygen out of her endeavors. Still, she persisted until the rain of stones finally ceased and the dust began to clear. Of course, the powerful fumes of the skuntank remained, but at least there was one less thing assaulting her lungs.

For a just a moment, there was silence, which should have been a relief. However, the first thing that came to her mind was the safety of Solus. Had she not managed to get him far enough out of the way, and had a rock hit him? Just as she began to grow concerned that all her effort had been for nothing, there came the voice of the buizel, and for once, it was actually a relief to hear. He seemed concerned for her safety, which she assumed to be because he doubted his own ability to escape the gulch on his own. "No," she groaned as she struggled to pull herself out from under the awful creature currently pinning her to the ground. Before she was even entirely free, the first thing she did was poke her head up to see what the damage was. A mixture of relief and satisfaction came over her as she saw what seemed to be clear conformation of the skuntank's demise. Now, the fact that it smelled dead was a bit more... appropriate.

"Oh, Venen Gulch is fine other than the smog!" she spoke in a mocking manner, implying she was quoting someone and making it clear that she was not happy about their words. "Remind me never to listen to the dumb*sses at the outpost again," she spoke to the buizel, wanting to rant to someone about the bad advice she had gotten. She hadn't been to the gulch herself beforehand, but she had asked around Grima Outpost to get a feel for the place, and everyone seemed to think it was nothing! Then again, most of them were poison-types, so they probably thought this place was just amazing! She felt a bit bitter about having let herself trust anyone else's word, but more importantly, she was agitated that she had gotten bad advice. In the future, perhaps she would pay them back for their... helpfulness, but she decided to focus on the present.

Figuring her new slave wouldn't have bothered to ask if she was okay if he didn't intend to help her out, Krikka simply allowed herself to collapse back to the ground and wait for him to pull her the rest of the way out from under the fallen foe. When she laid down, her head ended up at just the right angle to see something purple and sharp-looking sticking out of some of the rubble. She glanced down at the nigh-empty bag laying on the ground to her side, its strap wrapped around her neck. She then looked back toward the sharp object and reached her front paws out toward it, but sadly, she was a bit too far away to grab it. She would simply have to wait to be freed from the skuntank before she could investigate this odd-looking little spike. Even in death, the rancid-smelling creature creature was still managing to be an obstacle to her.

(Sometimes you just have to violently throw someone at the ground on multiple occasions to save them.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:16 pm

Krikka response—despite being a nagative—was a relief to Solus. She was alive, which was a good thing. Wasn't it? The irony of the situation was lost on Solus He was not at that moment acknowledging his opinion of Krikka; due in no small part to the fact that he was no longer certain of most anything he thought.With such drastic uncertainty, the buizel decided it would be best to act based on what he was thinking and feeling in the moment, even if he doubted said thoughts and feelings. At this moment, he was relieved Krikka was alive and thinking he needed to help her.

He tried as well as he could to help pull Krikka free of the debris and the pinning weight of the deceased skuntank. I'm pretty sure that my body is going to kill me when proper feeling returns to it, Solus thought as he pulled the umbreon free. Afterwards, Solus allowed himself to sit on the dirt floor a short distance away from the rockslide-made-cairn. "Okay, it's dead. We're safe-ish now. I don't think anything is going to come around here anytime soon with that thing and us smelling like this. I think it'd be more or less safe to rest here—if the poisons haven't killed us yet I don't think they will. Make us horribly sick maybe, but I don't think they'll kill us."

He paused for just a moment, making a snap decision on what to say next. "Look, Krikka, before this thing jumped us," Solus gestured to the dead skuntank. "You were in the middle of saying something about me and who I was or something. Please, let's just agree to save it for later? Once we're out of this stupid place and I've had some rest and I'm not suffering from... Everything that's happened here, and I can think properly again, then you can get in my head all you want. Just please don't do it now." Solus was quickly losing his distaste towards pleading. He wasn't sure if that was due to his current condition or an effect Krikka had on him.

((Solus might not say it but he appriciates being thrown around by Krikka.))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:37 am

Krikka allowed herself to be pulled out from under the skuntank, but when she was finally free, her desire to get up was... gone. Now that she had the choice to go look at the spike, she found herself simply wanting to lay down. It seemed Solus felt similarly, even going so far as to say the poison wouldn't kill them, but she knew this was false. Sure, the toxic attacks they endured wouldn't necessarily be fatal, but if they sat around and continued inhaling the poisonous smog, it would kill them eventually. And resting... probably wasn't going to do too much with the poisons still running through both of them. In fact, it seemed like a terrible idea to simply sit and breathe in the toxins when they could have been working on getting out of the gulch instead. Despite this, Krikka found herself in agreement with the idea of taking a short break, even knowing that it was a bad idea. She wasn't fond of sitting near the disgusting smell emanating from the skuntank, but that smell covered both Solus and herself as well, so it wasn't like there was much choice in the matter.

Deciding to simply go with the suggestion to "rest" even if she didn't believe it would do any good, she slowly propped herself up into a sitting position. She was exhausted, but that didn't mean she didn't want to stay on the ground looking all hurt and pathetic. She huffed and got up to go take a look at the object that had captivated her attention prior, ignoring Solus' words for the time being. It seemed to be some kind of thorn, or perhaps a spike or fang from a pokemon; it was a bit hard to tell. However, judging by the coloration and location of it, it seemed safe to assume that this little thing was toxic just like everything else in Venen Gulch. Krikka carelessly picked it up in her mouth, not seeing poison as much of a threat in her current situation. She then dropped the item into her bag, allowing it to rest with what little else she had with her until the event that she needed it. Perhaps it seemed redundant to want a such a thing when she could already poison people herself, but perhaps it would be useful later down the line.

Despite how she was neglecting to respond to Solus in favor of picking up trash off the ground, she was still listening and contemplating his words. He had behaved well enough and even exceeded her expectations in his own performance, so a reward of some sort did seem to be in order. If he wanted to wait to have his mental state be picked apart, then by all means, Krikka was willing to accommodate. It wasn't like she had a deadline or anything, after all. However, she still wasn't quite interested in letting him off the hook so easily. "You're the one in your head. I'm just helping you out of it," she responded nonchalantly, though she avoided delving any further into the topic. She would grant him this one request, but that didn't mean she was going to be nice about it.

(What a masochist.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:25 am

That's not helping. Solus gave a long sigh. "Yeah, you're right." Krikka was a schemer, that he knew. Still, Solus realised that she wouldn't be able to exploit an issue if it didn't exist. He also realised that even without Krikka's help he'd have to figure something out eventually. That said, he didn't recall it ever being as bad as it was with the ekans. There was the event with Xeno at the Small Pond, but even that wasn't as bad. Any similar events in his past were hard to recall the details of.

He didn't want to dwell on the subject here. It couldn't lead anywhere good—not in his current state. "Okay, change of subject then. I don't want to talk about me anymore. I'd ask about you and your history and your family but I don't really care—no offence. Not that that'd actually offend you." He didn't think it would. From what he understood she didn't care much for her family, whoever they were. "So I want to talk about us. I'm just now really coming to terms with what I've gotten myself into. I think—no, I know I'm handling it way too well. I'm pretty sure I should feel a whole lot worse about being claimed as property. Maybe it's the poison or something."

The buizel reached into his bag and pulled out the watmel berry. At this point it was probably just a bit overripe—it'd be quite sweet now. "I told you I'd bring lunch," he said, rolling it towards Krikka for her to decide how to open and divide it. "I just don't like being in the dark. Just tell me what's expected of me. I don't see any point in me being coy so I won't be—you do scare me. In a weird 'not frightening but I constantly feel in danger' sort of way; which I guess is kinda what you're going for. I'd rather not play a guessing game trying to figure out what I can and can't do and say, hoping I don't do the wrong thing and get punished for not knowing something."

Before any of this, Solus wouldn't have said anything like what he was here. He didn't like admitting he was scared of Krikka—especially when he wad admitting that to Krikka herself. However, he didn't like the idea of constantly wondering if he was doing something wrong more. He was opting to be an open book to Krikka, in hopes that she'd return some kindness in the form of clearly stated rules. It was weird that being told what he could and couldn't do was a reward to him now. That really helped frame the situation he had put himself in.

((Slowly but surely. Now quick Krikka, murder that fucking watmel berry it must die!))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:16 pm

Krikka listened intently as her new companion explained what he wanted to talk about. It was actually quite a reasonable request, and it was something she had intended to talk about anyway, so this was just perfect. She didn't care about the lack of interest in her past, as had been predicted, though she couldn't help but wonder why the buizel wasn't interested in knowing what circumstances had brought about her... creation. It likely would have been disappointing to him, anyway, as there had been no big trigger event in her life. There was no severe, deep-seeded trauma driving her to act how she did. She had simply been born selfish and self-serving, so realizing that being "good" wouldn't get her what she wanted was all the reason she needed to be a villain. Though she hadn't really done much other than torment random civilians, so perhaps calling herself a "villain" was a bit too much. At the moment, she was a petty thief and psychopath more than anything else, and she was aware of this.

She paid close attention to the large berry as its presence was revealed. In fact, she perhaps paid more attention than was appropriate, which was likely due to how she hadn't eaten in a while.
She was surprised to find that she even had an appetite, considering the nearby fetid corpse and the comparably foul odor still stuck to her. She dug her left paw into her bag and held it open with her right, searching through her belongings for something to cut the berry with since that was where the situation seemed to be going. She was surprised Solus wanted to share with her, but she wasn't going to complain. She considered using one of her golden thorns, but uncertainty as to which one had been used for certain... stabbing acts made her hesitant. There were many things she wasn't above, but cutting their food using the same thing she had used to cut the buizel's - presumably - dear friend was not on the list. However, the only other thing she had that seemed like it could work was the random, definitely-poisonous object she had just found on the ground.

The umbreon sighed as she contemplated which stabbing device to use. She doubted she could just break the berry open on her own, at least, properly. She could probably break it, sure, but then it would just end up going everywhere and being impossible to eat. "Now that the game's over, there's no reason to keep you in the dark anyway. I will be entirely transparent with you from now on, and I expect you to do the same. I'm still not gonna be nice to you, especially if you do something I don't like, but I expect you to do it anyway. Honestly, it's one of your most tolerable qualities. Now, I don't know what I'll have you do since I don't know what you'll be good at, but you're probably gonna be doing a lot of stealing and fighting," she spoke as she continued contemplating how to deal with the berry.

"All I really expect is for you to be loyal and listen to me, but don't count on that making your time with me too fun. If you're looking for a way to avoid getting hit again, look somewhere else," she continued, giving Solus a fair warning that she didn't intend to simply treat him well even if he behaved. She wasn't planning on using him as a punching bag, but in the spirit of transparency... her earlier tail swat likely would not be the last. "And... I see a lot of currently wasted potential in you. Expect that to be a topic of interest," she added on, though she figured this part was no particular secret with how she had been behaving toward him. After she finished speaking, she pulled the mystery-poison-thing and one of her golden thorns out of the bag, gripping them between her toes in a manner that made them look like claws. She dangled the items in front of her face, telegraphing her deep contemplation.

(Gotta poison it just to make sure it stays dead.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:35 pm

Krikka's answer was about what Solus had expected. Take orders—order that will most certainly include less-than-good acts. He could do that; he didn't want to take orders and his already fragile sense of morality would almost certainly be broken in the process, but he could do it. "I can do that. As long as you're not trying to kill me, or permanently cripple me, I think I can learn to handle an occasional beating—not that I want that." He was hoping to avoid such a thing, in fact, but he figured that if it was unavoidable he'd at least develop a decent pain tolerance.

He was actually glad Krikka said she wasn't going to be nice to him. He didn't want her to be nice; in fact, he was hoping her cruelty would help to remind him that he was supposed to hate her. She had seriously hurt Xeno, and she'd probably done worse. She wasn't a good Pokemon. She was a terrible, awful, vicious, dangerous monster, based on nearly everything he had seen. She had literally enslaved him. And yet, here he was, having a casual-sounding conversation with her, about to share food with her; he felt more or less indifferent to her. That indifferent feeling made him feel bad for Xeno. What would he think, seeing Solus here, under Krikka's lead, not seeming even the slightest bit resistant to the situation?

He let the thought fall to the back of his mind, and spoke. "I'm a bit out of practice on the whole stealing and fighting thing. Actually, I've never been particularly good at fighting. I'm not that strong." It didn't bother him admitting that. He knew she already knew that. "I'd like to be stronger. I suppose this whole thing isn't without some benefits. I'm generally not an optimist, but I'm kind of running out of ways for things to get worse for me. Let's see, what have I got going for me..." He paused for a minute, trying to think of what skills he possessed that would be useful to Krikka. "..." Wow I have basically no skills. Does making stupid life choices count as a skill? "... Well, I'm not dead so I'm clearly good at something. Or bad at dying." He fell silent, watching Krikka try and solve the puzzle that was the watmel berry.

((Yeah, no one wants the berry returning with a vengeance.))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:00 pm

Solus seemed to be understanding the guidelines being set for him well enough, and he appeared to be willing to cooperate with them.  It wasn't as if Krikka had given a large sum of rules in the first place, but she was still all the more content to see that she wasn't meeting any resistance.  She doubted her new minion would defy her much, at least, based on what she knew about him.  However, she understood that he was prideful and willful, which meant he could only be controlled to a certain degree.  She doubted she would be able to get him to do anything he truly held any deep desire to avoid.  Fortunately, thus far, he had proven himself to be... somewhat less bound by morality and selflessness than he seemed to prefer for others to believe.  This meant he would likely be deceptively willing to do dark things, though he still surely had his limit.  Krikka had her own limit, as well, no matter how much she disliked it, so she couldn't judge him for such a thing.

When the buizel came right out and admitted to his nigh-total lack of any use, perhaps this would have been a bother for most, but to Krikka, it was actually quite the opposite.  In fact, she couldn't help but laugh; not in a manic, insane nor mocking manner, but simply because she found it to be legitimately humorous.  "I'm actually not much of a fighter either, and that really isn't where my affinity lies in the first place.  You, however..." she paused and pointed the thorns still held in her paw at the buizel with a devious grin.  She then retracted her paw and raised her leg in a shrugging motion.  "Well, one thing at a time.  You want me to cut this with the random definitely-poisonous thing I found on the ground, or the thing I may or may not have stabbed your friend with?  I cleaned the latter, if that helps," she spoke indifferently, giving a relatively shallow and uncaring look.  The smile on her face was already gone, as was the case with all fleeting moments of true happiness in her heart.

Perhaps the indifference with which she spoke of torturing Solus' friend with the very weapon in her paw was a bit uncalled for, but this was just why she did it.  She didn't want him to get the wrong idea about her allowing him to pick his poison, so to speak.  It was simply that neither option seemed particularly appealing to the umbreon; both seemed... a bit uncivilized.  Besides, she felt it appropriate to show at least the slightest bit of hospitality to her brand new pawn, considering how well he was behaving himself.  She wanted him to know that good behavior would be rewarded, or at least moderately less punished.  Sure, he had just claimed that he could deal with being treated poorly, but that didn't mean he was going to be receive such treatment for no reason.

(Hence why its demise must be orchestrated with such care.)

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:22 pm

It only dawned on Solus that he was being humorous after the fact when Krikka started laughing. He couldn't bring himself to laugh or even smile, though. Old thoughts were catching back up with him now. Krikka's devious grin served to remind him that he was still having a conversation with a dangerous psychopath. Her following question and statement, along with her detached tone and body language were an even greater reminder. In a way, he was sort of relieved that this side of her was prominent again. Granted, she had never really stopped acting this way; but when she was simply talking about herself and him it somehow didn't bother him.

That's right; this is still the Pokemon who mutilated Xeno. I wanted to wait on this but if I wait any longer I'm afraid I might just stop thinking altogether, Solus replayed all the events from the recent path in his head again in fast forward. Met Xeno. Something is wrong with Xeno. Wanted to be friends with Xeno. Wanted to help Xeno. Found out about Xeno's parents. Assaulted a tree. Planned an exploration trip with Cirrus and Xeno. Decided to stop at the house first. Let Xeno head off alone. Regardless of everything else, Solus would always blame himself for that mistake. Stopped at home with Cirrus. House is a wreck. Dad is gone. Oddly, that was a positive note.

Leave for the forest. Split up to find Xeno. Cirrus finds Xeno first. Cirrus left Xeno with a stranger. The stranger was actually Xeno's attacker. Cirrus left Xeno with Krikka to find me. He put the long chain of thoughts on pause to pursue a new path. Why would Cirrus leave Xeno to find me? Didn't she want to be a medic or something? What did she expect me to do? Why didn't she return with me? Where did she go? He was beginning to form a new opinion of the togepi. It wasn't particularly positive. What if she had stayed with Xeno? Would he have still gotten hurt? Would it have bought enough time for Solus to show up? Would any of them be where and how they are now if she had just stayed?

He switched back to his original track of thought. I meet Krikka. I fight Krikka. I lose. We make a deal. I take Xeno home. I explain the situation. I leave. I meet Krikka at Grima. We clarify terms. I agree to bet my life on a game I know that I'll almost certainly lose. Krikka intentionally or unintentionally messes with my head. I literally ask for an additional disadvantage. Solus was starting to wonder if he really did want to be in the position he was now. First encounter. I nearly die. Krikka also struggles. We both miraculously come out on top. Krikka tells me to "Finish it."

He slowed his thinking down, giving the next few lines of thought extra consideration. I kill the ekans in what I can only describe as blind rage. I don't know why I did it. I don't know how I can justify it. I don't know if I can justify it. I'm not sure I want or need to justify it. And I don't think I feel bad about it at all. He thought that after some time, some realisation would hit him. He figured that eventually he'd be overcome with some feeling of regret or pity. Neither feeling had come, and he had abandoned any hope that he'd ever feel what he felt was a normal reaction to a murder. Maybe I'm subconsciously justifying it somehow. Maybe Krikka's right.

He summed up the last few events. The skuntank, Krikka saving him. Twice? Or was it thrice? Their combined efforts that resulted in the rather brutal murder of their attacker. He wasn't sure how responsible he was for that one. But where was he now? Who was at fault for each and every thing that had happened so far? What did he want now? None of this is Xeno's fault. He's a victim. Krikka is responsible for what happened with Xeno—though Cirrus might not be so innocent there, either. Krikka isn't responsible for getting me in the situation I'm in now. Everything that's happened since Grima, including my... Enslavement. That's all my fault. Whether it's due to my stupidity or some subconscious desire I don't know. And in the future? Who's to blame for my actions then, when I'm acting under Krikka's orders? ... Still mine, I suppose. All that thought didn't happen in a mere instant. It had been a noticeable pause between Krikka's question and Solus's deadpan answer.

"Use the golden one. Spike's a spike."

((The instrument of the berry's destruction has been decided. Finish it.))

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PostSubject: Re: Toxic Personality   Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:02 am

Krikka's patience continued as she awaited a response, still holding her paw in the air and dangling the two thorns. As it became apparent that she was not going to get a quick answer, she cocked her head to the left in confusion as she stared intently at the buizel. She understood the potential possibility that this was a somewhat difficult choice, but it was fairly straightforward at the same time, so she didn't see why it was taking so long. The options were very simple and she had no personal preference as to which was chosen. She was a bit surprised that her patience wasn't yet wearing thin, as she hated being kept waiting for things, but somehow, she was perfectly content here. She even had logical reasons to be in a hurry, such as the deadly poison and potentially being attacked again, yet she was fine just wasting time waiting for an answer to a simple question.

Then, at last, Solus gave his answer, and quite an impressive one at that. He willingly chose to have the weapon metaphorically stained with his dear friend's blood used to prepare his food, even over an item with which the only downside was something that wasn't of any particular concern at the moment. "Heh," Krikka couldn't help but let out a laugh as she dropped the purple spike back into her bag. She was genuinely impressed, not only with the buizel's choice, but with the stoic attitude he was presenting as well. If he could simply behave in such a manner at all times, or at least when it mattered, he would surely be able to find uses for himself. Krikka figured such a thing was wishful thinking, but still, if he was capable of doing it once, he would surely be capable of doing it again. All she needed to do was help him figure out how to...

But, for the time being, there was something far more pressing to tend to. She positioned her paw back over the berry and swiftly drove the spike into it, meeting little resistance since... well, it was just a berry. She then pushed against the golden thorn with one paw as she held the berry steady with the other, slowly tearing the fruit in half. It was a relatively easy task; her work wasn't the greatest due to the materials she had to work with, but in the end, the two slices were relatively equal. They weren't particularly pretty, but she didn't care much about such a thing, and she doubted Solus would be any different. She then pushed one of the pieces over to the buizel with the same paw she still held the spike in before dropping the utensil back in her bag with its brethren.

"I'm not gonna make you do anything silly and pointless like torture random civilians, by the way. That's a personal hobby of mine that I don't expect you to share in..." she suddenly spoke up, feeling the need to clarify this one thing. Her goal had originally been to find entertainment in this buizel, but now, she wanted to see if she could turn him into a useful ally. For this reason, she didn't intend to torment him for the fun of it... or at least, not too much. She carefully picked her half of the berry up with her front paws as she continued: "I mean, unless you want to." She was still curious about whether Solus was truly as good-hearted as he seemed to want to be. So far, she doubted it, making her wonder if he would actually be interested in the sort of activity she participated in for fun. If this turned out to be the case, he would surely be much easier to tolerate since they would have something in common, but regardless, he was surprisingly tolerable in the first place.

(The berry is dead. The deed has been done.)

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