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 Perception

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Lord E V
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PostSubject: Perception   Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:29 pm

The chateau had been a chore thus far, but Krikka knew from past experience that it was only going to get much worse. There she stood in front of the Ruined Passage, a specific section of the nonsensical building that was known for making even the rest of its structure look sane in comparison. It seemed to feel like being a normal hall on this day, but she wondered how long that would last. She knew not how the house worked, but she knew enough to recognize the infamous passage when she saw it even if it looked nothing like how it did in her first encounter with it. The truly was not looking forward to this part of the trip, especially since she didn't have any unwitting powerhouses to guide her this time around. It seemed she was the powerhouse now, at least compared to the individuals with her. It was supposed to be her job to do the protecting, which wasn't something she was happy about; and worse, she had gone and made things worse for herself by injuring both of them, one of which to the point of having to be carried.

She knew Goro no longer trusted her if he ever did in the first place, and Solus was unconscious. Odds were she would be getting no help if she got herself into any trouble; she couldn't recall the details, but she had dug herself into a hole and would have to work her way out of it. She would have considered turning back if not for her knowledge that "back" wasn't exactly a thing that existed in this place; unfortunately, her only option was forward. "Keep your guard up. This place is stupid," she spoke bitterly, quick and to the point without even making eye contact with the croagunk. Then without a moment's wait she started off down the hall, expecting Goro to follow her. He didn't have much of a choice at the moment, given his choices were to stick with the one capable of properly fending off all the ghosts and the apparent occasional psychic... or going off on his own and taking his chances. He was a brute, but Krikka doubted he was actually stupid enough to throw away all sense of self-preservation.

Solus was showing signs of life in the form of subtle movements and occasional noises, which had to be a good sign. Probably. The umbreon could only assume he wouldn't be happy about his condition when he finally woke up, but he'd just have to deal with it. At the moment, there were far more important things to worry about than the feelings of her allies... or herself, for that matter. She focused solely on the hall and tried to ignore the still-looming confusion regarding her own actions; she couldn't see any end to the path despite the light of candles running along the walls. There were no doors in sight either, leaving an empty hallway of indiscernible length to traverse. She knew that could change at any moment, but it was still a bit disheartening to see. She doubted moving forward at a faster pace would actually help to speed things along, so she kept her stride relatively low so as not to waste any energy. She had a lot of dead weight to carry anyway, which would have made running considerably more tasking than normal. She knew the big heap of buizel was burdening her by her own doing, but that wouldn't stop her from blaming him for it.

She wondered if Solus would stay with her after this... or Goro... or if they would both leave. Maybe she could regain their favor if she stayed true to her word and did what she had come here to do. Or maybe they'd leave, in which case why did she even care? It wasn't like she needed anyone else to help her; sure, the assistance was nice, but it was far from a requirement. She had managed just fine on her own before meeting either of them, and at least one of them wasn't useful for much more than entertainment. The more she thought about it, the more she decided her guilt and concern were misplaced, and the more those feelings faded away. If her two allies left her, it didn't matter; if they died, it didn't matter; if they decided to stay with her, good for them, but it still didn't matter. All she needed was herself, and all she needed to look out for was herself.

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:05 pm

24 energy - 19 (entry): 5 energy

The foray into the Ruined Chateau had gone from sketchy to straight up disastrous. Goro had accompanied the Umbreon and her toady so as to get to know her: she'd proven her superiority over him back in the flatlands, and bid him to follow her. Seeing as how that was preferable to doing absolutely nothing in the marsh, Goro readily agreed, and he was starting to really doubt the snap decision he made. Since entering this strange hybrid of an abandoned house and Mystery Dungeon, the group had been through a hellishly desperate battle and had fallen fell prey to infighting. Or, rather, Krikka had fallen prey to a bout madness and beat her pet Buizel into a broken and bloody mess. It wasn't a huge loss, seeing as how Solus didn't offer much to contribute a lot against ghosts in the first place,  but now he was simply dead weight.

There was no question as to how Goro preferred him - it was much easier having Solus beaten unconscious and silent rather than awake and jittery. Still, it set a dangerous precedent, as all the water type had done was offer some valid, if harsh criticism to the dark type in charge. And that put them where they were now; Krikka was carrying the unconscious sea weasel on her back while Goro trailed behind her, leaving a healthy distance between him and her. If he had it his way, he'd have split off from her once she'd went mad, but he had no doubt that the strangely sentient Chateau would either keep him locked in or kill him off some way. Staying with Krikka was simply choosing the lesser of two evils, and the lesser danger of two predators. It didn't hurt that she seemed genuinely regretful about snapping, but it didn't do Solus much good at this point, either.

At her words, Goro stayed mostly silent, only uttering a soft croak to acknowledge the command. It was good advice, even if it could have gone unsaid. The last thing he was going to do at this point was strut through this mansion without a care for what it could do to him. Even now it was displaying strange, ethereal capabilities - the room through the doorway that opened for them was no room at all. It was a puzzlingly long hallway, and just with a glance, Goro knew that there should be no way it could exist, given the dimensions of the house. But it did, and now the group was trudging down it, about to subject themselves to whatever challenge the Mystery Dungeon put forward next.

"Ya mentioned ya've been here before..." As much as he wanted to stay silent and not even risk offending the vixen, he felt it prudent to at least get an idea of what he was getting into, this time. In for a Poké, in for a pound, and all that rot. Whatever put itself in front of him, he'd put it down with his fists, but it might not hurt to learn what it could be. "Did ya go this deep? What's next?"

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:26 am

[Energy=26 - 19 {Entry} = 7, more than enough to get us all killed.]

Consciousness came very, very slowly. At first, Solus couldn’t quite tell if he was still dreaming or not. His auditory senses came in first, muffled and indistinguishable at the start and slowly growing in clarity. He heard Krikka’s voice but failed to actually comprehend what she was saying. She was close—very close—but the buizel found himself far too disoriented to figure out why. He heard Goro’s croak but it took several long moments to actually realise what the sound was, only drawing to the realisation when he heard the croagunk actually speak. In that time, Solus had become aware of his other senses. He felt himself moving, and yet knew he was staying completely motionless himself. He found his mind working too slow to solve this paradox with the information he had gathered so far and decided to open his eyes in an attempt to gather more information, hoping to make sense of everything around him.

He immediately regretted doing so. The candlelight of the hallway was likely quite dim—relatively speaking—for most, but was painfully bright to the disorientated buizel. He had his eyes open for only the slightest fraction of a second before snapping them shut once again reflexively. Not only did the brightness hurt, but it brought on a sudden, full force headache and a bout of nausea and dizziness. His reaction to these sudden ailments was also reflexive. Not quite aware of the fact that Krikka was carrying him on her back, Solus buried his face into the umbreon’s fur and essentially hugged her in an effort to ensure he remained in place. This was all accompanied by a rather pathetic sounding, involuntary whimper.

After a brief period, the feeling of nausea subsided, but Solus remained static. His slow working brain eventually came to the conclusion that the soft thing he was feeling was fur and that Krikka had sounded so close because she must have been carrying him. This fact might have surprised the buizel—perhaps made him ponder as to why the umbreon would be carrying him. Why had he gone unconscious? Why would Krikka be the one carrying him? Where were they now? But these weren’t the questions Solus was concerning himself with. No, he was far more invested in questions like “Why is it so bright in this place?” or “Why does my head hurt so fucking much?” Of course he couldn’t actually ask these questions, what with his face buried into the umbreon’s fur and the head-splitting pain he was suddenly suffering.

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:15 am

Following the guiding candlelight, Krikka walked along the length of the hall, wanting to waste no more time sitting around than necessary. She didn't know whether to expect chatter or silence, but there was no reason to stay still regardless. She didn't know whether she wanted chatter or silence either; was the quiet and boring hall of unclear length really a better alternative to holding a simple conversation? She was unsure but fortunately didn't have to make the decision herself. Goro was the one to speak up, which was unsurprising since Solus was slightly-to-moderately dead at the moment. He clearly wasn't interested in just chatting though, instead voicing his interest in the house and what other dangers it would hold. He spoke like an uncivilized barbarian, but Krikka was beginning to understand that he wasn't quite as stupid as he seemed at a glance. He had the sense to prepare himself for whatever was to come, which was more than could be said for a lot of explorers. Unfortunately, the vixen whose job was to be the leader didn't really have too much insight.

"This place changes so much... the passage is nothing like how it was before. I can't give you much on that note, but I can tell you it supposedly leads to a room called the "Ruined Chamber." I didn't get that-" she set off explaining what she could to answer the frog's question until being interrupted by a disturbing sensation. She felt the weak arms of the buizel on top of her wrap around her sides while he buried his face in her fur. A concerned and uncomfortable expression crossed her face for a mere moment before she forcibly suppressed it to hide her embarrassment. Unfortunately, her body seemed to have different plans. The rings adorning her body lit up with a faint aura as if to announce to her comrades how she felt; she was beginning to notice a pattern with this apparently subconscious reflex. In retrospect, evolving into an umbreon was starting to look like an absolutely horrible choice. She tried to just ignore the glow in the hopes that Goro wouldn't piece it together.

Krikka wanted to just pretend that what was happening wasn't happening. At the same time, she also wanted to comment on the pathetic wimper that had come with the buizel's... whatever it was he was doing. "That's... just charming... really..." she spoke, her words practically dripping with unenthused sarcasm. She started up walking again and tried to just forget about the leech creepily wrapping himself around her. Fortunately, there was already a topic for her to jump back into. "Anyway, I never reached the chamber, which is where we're headed. But if this place is anything like it was last time I was here... prepare to throw away what little understanding you may have of how this place works," she finished with a sort of warning, though it was one she hoped wouldn't come to fruition. She remembered the passage as an exaggeration of the lack of logic found elsewhere in the house. It made absolutely no sense.

Fortunately, it had taken on a relatively tame form in comparison to what she remembered. She could only hope that it would remain so simple, but she knew from both from hearsay and her own experience that such a wish was unlikely to be granted. The passage was the highest point of the Ruined Chateau's reality-bending power. After all, the hall she was being presented with was nothing at all like what she had encountered before, which was more than enough testament to its lack of any rhyme or reason whatsoever. She wouldn't have been willing to subject herself to it again if not for the driving motivation she held to summon this evil god. Or something.

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:58 pm

Fortunately, it seemed Krikka had the decency to at least answer him. He wasn't sure when he'd opened his mouth if she was just going to blatantly ignore him, as she'd done the same thing a few times so far now. Unfortunately, she didn't have a lot to offer. The Chateau apparently was able to change itself so much that even she, who'd made it to this part of the manse before, was unable to recognize the passage that they were currently heading down. Apart from holding some actual significance, the next room she hadn't even made it to. Was it a question of her not having a reason to go, or was she unable to make it this far on her own? Was that his purpose here? To help extradite the process of whatever this Umbreon had planned on doing in this god-forsaken death mansion? He didn't know, and a part of him didn't want to know. While his frustration at her cryptic hints and unwillingness to lay out their real goal here was growing by the minute, he'd seen enough of her recently that he knew it wasn't a smart idea to press for answers.

Amusingly enough, the vixen ended up being cut off by the Buizel on her shoulders. Goro wasn't paying much attention to the pair of Pokémon apart from giving Krikka his ear, but by extension, he heard Solus' whimper of distress very clearly. The sudden silence just before the sound left him curious enough that he turned his gaze from steadfastly staring down the endless hallway and to the Umbreon carrying Solus on her back - a bad idea since she was doing that weird glowy thing when she got flustered. The Croagunk hurriedly jerked his gaze back forward, not eager to get caught staring at the Buizel cuddling up against her and attracting her ire. He had to give Solus props, though - from what he'd been able to feel when he tackled her to safety earlier, her fur was pretty soft. If she wasn't who she was, Goro wouldn't have minded combing his fingers through her coat for another feel. The unconscious weasel, though, seemed to lose all sense of inhibition and was actually hugging the Umbreon he was riding on rather closely. The little whimper made him a little uncomfortable - actually, he was pretty sure it made everyone uncomfortable.

With a sudden absence of anything to do or say, he was staring down the passageway, letting the awkward silence linger. The uncertainty of the extent of Solus' injuries left him really uncomfortable, actually. On principle, he didn't care much for the little shit. In fact, Goro would probably really delight in getting his hands on Solus and teaching him a firm lesson about respect, but just being annoying didn't warrant what Krikka did to him. He'd even made an effort to be less of a little shit before his clock got cleaned. Absently, he toyed with the psychic's pendulum that Solus had given up to him without even being asked. He rolled the cool metal piece between his fingers almost awkwardly, letting the chain drag across his leathery skin and delighting in the sensation. He wasn't sure he'd ever say it, but he appreciated it. He really liked the trophy, and what it represented. The only way it would be sweeter was if he'd defeated the Hypno on his own, but Solus had helped out on that front, too.

"I'll fight," Goro's response to Krikka's warning rang with a simple clarity. It wasn't so much to assuage any concerns she might have about his willingness to play ball anymore, but more-so to remind himself why he was here. And that was to live his life - he lived to fight, lived on the violence and pain he dealt to others and others dealt to him. The only difference between the Marsh and the Chateau was the inherent level of danger that came with the battles, and he had to remind himself that it was a good thing. He'd never have gotten his hands on a psychic's medium by cooling his heels in the flatlands. Actually, he hadn't brought a bindle or anything, and he lacked a bag unlike his two companions. As awkward as it was to ask, he'd need both hands to fight and he didn't want to risk breaking the pendulum during such a thing. Goro gave the Umbreon at his side a questioning glance and held the trinket out to Krikka, low enough that she could swipe the chain with her mouth if she so desired. "Before that, uh... you mind holdin' on to this for me? 'Til we get outta this place, I mean."

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:13 am

Despite his attempts to block out the hall’s irregularly bright candlelight, Solus realised that it probably wasn’t going to go away anytime soon. Turning his head to face a wall he begun the eye-stinging process of adjusting to the light through a series of random blinking—not a particularly efficient method, but he couldn’t get himself to keep his eyes open for prolonged periods of time with how bright the light seemed. It definitely wasn’t helping with his headache. As he lay on Krikka’s back blinking he listened into his companion's conversation. He wasn’t actually taking in any information—in fact, he wasn’t even really trying to listen at all. The croagunk and especially the much closer umbreon seemed far too loud to the buizel.

Head still aching, eyes unhappily open, Solus spoke. “You two are too loud...” It came out in a relatively quiet and uncharacteristically whiney tone that was probably as annoying to others as Solus found it was to himself. Before waiting for a response from either of the two, Solus suddenly came to the full realisation that he was on Krikka back and literally hugging her. His immediate reaction was fast—too fast, even for him. Especially for him. He released his grip and essentially rolled off the umbreon’s back in a manner that could be best described as the polar opposite of graceful, mumbling something along the lines of “Get off me” in the process.

Again, without waiting for a reaction from those bearing witness to his antics, Solus spoke again. “Where are we? Why was I being carried? Why does my head hurt? WHy is it so bright here? Did I not knock the psychic out? Did it do something to me—” The buizel lay on his back on the floor, paws holding his head, virtually motionless with the obvious exception of his mouth. He ended up cutting himself off by running out of breath, apparently having forgotten to breathe at any point between his rapid questions. He took a deep breath, then exhaled. “My head hurts.”

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:42 am

Goro would fight, he insisted. This wasn't too hard to believe with his track record of violence thus far. Krikka knew he liked fighting, and he really had no room to judge her for her own behavior when he just as willingly went out of his way to attack and antagonize others. Still it was nice to see his willingness, perhaps even eagerness to fight whatever would come their way. By this point Krikka was willing to to take the situation seriously as well. She was beginning to understand that she was nowhere near strong enough to be underestimating the house's inhabitants even with the inherent advantage she held over them. At that, she needed to be more wary of the house itself as well; she had failed to do both of these things and paid the price multiple times, and that needed to change. Despite the ongoing conversation, she was now more focused on the environment around her. She was attentive, putting thought into her every step unlike how she had behaved up until this point. Caution would be especially important in this particular area of the chateau, what with its high level of danger. This attentiveness served to distract her from the embarrassment of the buizel wrapped around her as well, the glow of her rings dying down as she walked.

She stopped when Goro raised up his... pendulum? It took her a moment to recall the fight with the ugly yellow thing in vivid enough detail to recognize the trinket. After realizing it belonged to the foe, she understood why Goro had it and why he wanted her to hold onto it. She rolled her eyes and grabbed the item in her jaws, yanking it away from the croagunk in a manner as if snatching a child's toy. She tossed the thing carelessly in her bag, mostly because she was pretty sure it wasn't exactly fragile. She was about to start moving again when the world threw yet another delay at her in the form of the buizel wrapped around her suddenly springing to life. First he remarked on how they were being too loud, which was more than enough for the umbreon to decide to tell him to shut the fuck up. However, he continued too quickly for her to get a word in; he suddenly threw himself off of her back, parroting her own words in the process. He was a fast learner if nothing else. Perhaps this would have warranted a "shut the fuck up" as well if not for the tinge of pride she felt in seeing him copy her attitude.

That, and he had just tossed himself onto the floor, which couldn't possibly have been pleasant with the condition he was in. Krikka looked down at him to see that he was holding his head in clear pain, confirming what she already knew. He seemed confused, asking a variety of questions that she regretfully didn't have all the answers to. "Get up," she spoke in an unamused tone and continued onward, figuring he would do as she said if he wanted to live. If it turned out he was still too out of it to move, she figured she'd just have to drag him along whether he wanted to be carried or not. The only alternative was sitting around waiting for him to recover, and that wasn't something she was interested in doing. Not only did staying in one place seem like both a waste of time and a bad idea, but it also sounded like a very boring endeavor. If he could bitch and whine and reject a free ride then he was clearly fine enough to walk on his own. He was fully conscious and... probably didn't have any broken bones, so he was good to go.

Krikka didn't even get a step in before being interrupted yet again. It all happened so fast she was completely incapable of reacting in time. A white blur shot out of the floor below, wrapping itself around her and carrying her up into the air spinning all the while. She let out a truly unbecoming and particularly girly, whiny shriek with her composure fell apart in the moment; it was relatively short-lived and died down as she realized what was happening and tried to push the attacker off of her to no avail. It didn't help that the creature was restricting her breathing with its vice-like grip, making it difficult for her to make any noise at all aside from a strained sound somewhere between a groan and a growl. She suddenly felt her assailant's grip around her loosen and became convinced it was about to drop her; the floor wasn't too far down since there wasn't all that much room in the hall, but it was still far enough to make her wrap her front legs around whatever the thing was so as to prevent it from releasing her.
She was getting a sense of Déjà vu.

But the release never came. The creature didn't drop her or try to inflict any form of harm. It just... held her, as if... hugging her? She finally allowed herself to steal a glance at its face and found herself staring at a froslass, and quite a cheery one at that. She realized she was basically hugging it back for fear of falling, and of course, immediately retracted her legs so as not to give the thing some idea that she was okay with what it was doing. "Wuh-" she muttered between bated breaths, too speechless and confused to form a coherent sentence. The luster of her rings made yet another appearance as she stared wide-eyed and speechless at this random thing hugging her so affectionately. She wanted to speak but was at a loss for words. She had just rid herself of one huggy child and already had another set of arms wrapped around her waist. Krikka was falling short in the speaking department, but the froslass fortunately had that covered. Well, the "fortunately" part was debatable.

"Hello!"

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:37 pm

Goro grew silent once Krikka snatched his pendulum from him. On one hand, he was glad it wouldn't risk getting harmed during any of the upcoming battles, so long as nothing went rummaging through Krikka's bag. On the other, he didn't think Krikka was above using the trinket as a tool against him like she did that strange necklace she used to prompt Solus into action back at Cattail Marsh - he really, really liked that pendulum. The sudden absence of it left him feeling a little sour, even, and he found himself rubbing the back of his hand, where the pendulum's cold chain had run over his skin. He wondered what he'd end up doing with it - wearing it somehow as a necklace or something else probably wasn't the best idea, considering he was presumably going to be doing a lot of fighting from here on out. And the group as a whole didn't have a place to lay low or store supplies, he was pretty sure, or else they would have gone there before coming to the Chateau. There was the option of leaving it at home, back in the flatlands, but he immediately discarded the idea. Travelers ran through there all the time, explorers especially, always searching for treasures and loot. His pendulum wouldn't last a week in the chest in his shack.

So deep in contemplation was Goro that he didn't react when Solus stirred from unconsciousness, his mouth immediately chattering off a mile a minute. Of course. I liked him better when he was knocked out. At least Solus did him the service of rolling off the Umbreon and falling to the floor rather stupidly, though it didn't serve to shut him up. Still, a part of him was impressed that the Buizel bounced back from his disciplining so quickly - it was a harsh beating. Either Krikka didn't pack as much of a punch with her Iron Tail as he figured, or Solus was simply just a lot more durable than he thought. Either or, or perhaps a little of both. He'd hoped it was the former, though, as the last thing he wanted was for Krikka to be a better physical combatant than he was. He had to have some kind of edge over her if he ever hoped to match her, and it'd always been his forte. It was the only way he knew how to fight, in fact.

Still as ruthless as ever, the Umbreon coldly ordered her Buizel to get the fuck up to join them in marching. The Chateau, on the other hand, seemed to have other plans. They'd just entered the Ruined Passageway, having started down the seemingly endless hallway not moments ago, and like clockwork, their first opponent made their appearance. Goro startled backward as a white blur shot up from the room's floor, phasing through it in the way only a ghost could. And of course, it made a beeline for the group's leader and best (perhaps only) defense against ghosts. Deceptively slender arms circled around the Umbreon's midriff and carried her bodily into the air, the mystery Pokémon twirling them about like... like he didn't know what. Was it some kind of move or attack? Krikka's girly little shriek shocked him more than anything about the ambush, and he took an instant to curse himself for dropping his guard right after he resolved not to.

Despite the speed with which the Pokémon had taken the dark fox into the air, it didn't seem to be in a hurry to do anything else. Instead, the two of them stopped in the air, and Goro had the sudden urge to pinch himself and check if he was dreaming. He resisted, of course, too busy staring dumbfounded up into the air as Krikka and whatever the fuck had snuck up on her floated in the air, hugging. He was grateful that it stopped moving for a moment, though, as he was afforded a better look at their mysterious assailant. It was probably the strangest ghost he'd ever seen, possessing a long, slender alabaster body with light blue colorations and a red sash around its waist. The Pokémon lacked any kind of feet or legs but considering it was fucking flying it probably didn't have much of a need for them. It was the creature's head that creeped him out the most. There were two protrusions of ice sticking out of its head resembling horns, and the white... coating, or armor, or whatever it was left openings for its eyes to peer out of. The creature looked feminine and ethereal, otherworldly and cold, and he did not like it.

Then the bitch spoke. Hello, it said. Not like I just flew out from the goddamn floor and abducted you or anything, how's your day been? The chirpy tone in her voice left Goro staring up at the pair of them stupidly, his arms hovering at his sides with clenched fists as if he could do anything to a floating adversary. The entire situation left him rather stupefied, frankly, so perhaps it wasn't a huge surprise when he opened his mouth and nothing quick-witted came out. "It... it talked," Goro's tone was astonished. It was more out of surprise that anything intelligent would actually live here. He hadn't been in the Chateau for more than an hour, at most, and already the first thing he wanted to do was flee.

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:10 am

Solus didn’t hesitate to react to Krikka’s order. He failed to comply completely. He made no effort to stand and follow, instead choosing to remain exactly where he lay. He wasn’t surprised that Krikka wasn’t very sympathetic toward him. He was a bit annoyed that she had completely ignored his questions, but that wasn’t any reason for him to ignore her order. He wasn’t getting up because he just didn’t want to. As fortune would have it, imminent events would make it so that he didn’t have to get up immediately anyhow. Solus was almost completely unreactive to the sudden kidnapping of his leader by some kind of Pokemon literally coming from below, through the solid floor.

They were definitely still somewhere in the Ruined Chateau, he knew, based on the fact that ghosts were coming through the floor and causing trouble. That still left many of the buizel’s questions completely unanswered, but he didn’t think he was going to get an answer from Goro or Krikka at the very moment, what with the umbreon being several feet in the air being held by some white Ghost-type Pokemon and the croagunk being… Well, Goro. Upon hearing the Ghost-type speak—and Goro’s astonishment to the occurrence—Solus assumed that perhaps they weren’t under attack at all. The thing sounded cheery and friendly enough.

“Hi,” Solus responded to the ghost’s greeting from his prone position on the floor below. “If you could kidnap our leader a little quieter I’d really appreciate it.” He spoke with a tired tone that seemed to lack any sarcasm. It was evident that the buizel wasn’t concerned whatsoever with the umbreon and seemed only concerned with mitigating the pain his headache was inflicting upon him. He wasn’t sure how Krikka would take the comment and, truth be told, he really didn’t care at the moment. He was a little regretful that he had abandoned the free ride he had earlier. If he had just pretended to stay asleep perhaps he could have avoided dealing with anything they encountered here. Or maybe he would have been thrown off anyway when the ghost grabbed Krikka.

The buizel decided that the floor wasn’t the most comfortable place to lay and sat up. It was at this point that he really took in his surroundings and found that they were in a hallway of some sort. A very, very, very long hallway at that. Almost illogically long and definitely unreasonably so. “Okay, really, someone please explain, like, everything, please? And, uh, floor ghost? Could you put our umbreon down, please? Before she tries to kill you, maybe.”

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:03 am

With fading fear Krikka stared up at the froslass, wondering why it was hugging her and why it seemed so happy to see her.  She was fairly confident she did not know this froslass or any froslass for that matter.  It was an extreme invasion of personal space and quite frankly rude to just swoop in and drag some stranger off the ground for an air hug.  She wanted down.  Being held off the ground meant she was vulnerable if the ghost decided to change its tune, and she didn't like that.  It was very clearly openly nice at the moment but could surely change at any moment.  She already knew how erratic wild pokemon could be; even the ones who seemed civilized enough.  She wouldn't have wanted to be at the mercy of some hypothetical individual she actually trusted, let alone some random stranger with no sense of boundaries living in a creepy-ass house.  Her first instinct was to blast the fucker as hard as she could, but all her recent mistakes came to mind and told her to think a little more carefully.  This thing was apparently friendly, and she had already exhausted herself fighting things in the chateau.

Goro and Solus both seemed eager to speak to the froslass but apparently uncaring about their leader's safety.  The latter did make a request for her to be freed, but it didn't seem very compassionate.  It wasn't as if she could judge him for being inconsiderate; still bothered her though.  She wanted to call out for their help and attack the froslass, to get it off her and teach it a lesson for putting its... really cold hands on her, but she was actually restraining herself.  She glanced back at Solus as he ended his... idiocy.  She wanted to hit him again.  She turned her attention back to the thing keeping her in its grip as it spoke back to the others.  "I'm a froslass, and of course I can talk!  And I'm friendly, so you don't have to worry about your uh... leader having to fight me," it put a questioning emphasis on the word "leader" as if showing uncertainty or looking for some form of confirmation.  What, did she not look like a leader or something?  Solus' concern was not unmerited; she wanted to kill this thing more and more by the second.

It seemed the froslass was ignoring the request to put the umbreon down, probably because it didn't understand that she wanted to be put down.  After a moment's hesitance, Krikka opened her mouth and did something that was perhaps unexpected of her.  "I'm... scared of heights.  If you could put me down, please..." she spoke with a voice that wore a genuine-sounding nervousness.

"Oh!  I'm so sorry!" the froslass responded.  It drifted down and slowly, carefully released her onto the ground, taking particular care not to hurt or even discomfort her.  The level of apparent compassion in this creature was sickening... but potentially useful.

Krikka inhaled, then exhaled, openly showing her attempt to calm herself down.  She was trying to alleviate her burning anger, but she figured it would look like she was just shaken up due to her nonexistent acrophobia.  She looked up at the ghost - who was now floating in circles around her group - and spoke once more.  "I'm Anivia.  These two are Braum and Taric," she nodded toward Goro, then to Solus, "Taric just hit his head pretty hard and he's been out of it.  Try to ignore him."  Solus apparently didn't have the sense to keep his trap shut so she was working to invalidate anything he happened to say ahead of time.  She was violent and liked to attack things for no reason, but that didn't mean she wanted her pet going around blowing her cover preemptively.  Besides, this froslass seemed naive enough to be worth keeping around for a while, maybe as an escort.

There was another reason she wanted to remove worth from anything Solus happened to say: he kept asking what had happened, and she didn't want anyone to take note of that.  She was confident enough that Goro would ignore him entirely, but this new face seemed sweet enough to try to "help" and pay attention to him.  Solus didn't need to know what had happened, and he certainly didn't need anyone encouraging him to keep asking.  "We're explorers," she continued with a wave of her left paw and a friendly smile; it wasn't quite as enthusiastic as the froslass, but still very clearly not Krikka's normal behavior.  She just hoped her two allies were smart enough not to blow the cover she was trying to establish.  With the way things were going, a potential guide was a blessing.

The froslass seemed to be buying it, at least for the moment.  It continued to swirl in circles around the group, occasionally focusing its spinning path around one of them in particular.  Its movements seemed to be semi-random and suggested it didn't like sitting still.  "Oh, great!  I love explorers!  You all are such a fun bunch, and everyone here's so mean and purple and it gets old," it spoke with nigh-painfully apparent excitement and an odd stress on the word "purple," apparently having some problem with the color.  It paused in the air for a moment to look at Goro before continuing, "...I mean... I'm sure you're fine.  You're... sort of bluish anyway."  It certainly didn't seem to think before saying things.  It spoke fast too, making it hard to get a word in.  Krikka very much wanted to control the conversation, but the thing wasn't making it easy.  She just hoped Solus and Goro could help her keep up this act without having to be told so, because she couldn't exactly give them directions at the moment.

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:34 pm

(0 energy lol)

While Krikka was abducted into the air by another ghost, Goro stood by and watched helplessly. On the bright side, it seemed that this ghost was at least intelligent, and apparently not hostile. Even better, it seemed willing to cooperate with Krikka's request - she was afraid of heights? - and he watched with a sense of growing relief as the Umbreon was put down. Still, the Froslass stayed airborne, floating above the group and twirling about overhead, just out of reach. If things got ugly, he wouldn't be able to strike her like this, but perhaps Krikka could shoot her down for him.

Talks with the ghost were when things got bizarre. As Krikka introduced herself, Goro's face scrunched up in confusion, and he silently mouthed the fake name she gave. Then she introduced him, and after repeating the motion, he realized what she was doing. He didn't see the point of it since they could just as easily strike down this ghost like the others, but Krikka probably had some sort of plan. After explaining that they were explorers, of all things, and that "Taric" had just hit his head, it became apparent that this ghost had something that Krikka wanted, and she didn't want to resort to brute force to get it. This was something new from her - in his experience with vixen, the Umbreon just liked to blast all of her problems away from her. He wondered why she didn't want to do the same with this one.

The Froslass seemed more like an excitable child than a malevolent ghost. While it did sneak up on them like all the others in the Chateau, it seemed much more interested in just... making friends, rather than tormenting or attacking them. Goro had no idea why this creature was doing such a thing in the Ruined Chateau, of all places, but he'd seen stranger things. He kept mostly silent while Krikka spoke with the creature and Solus babbled incessantly in the background, asking about what happened. He absently weighed the pros and cons of introducing Solus to another nap, but he didn't know how Krikka would react to such a thing, let alone in the presence of someone else. The thought crossed his mind that she didn't want this ghost to know that she'd brained her own subordinate, but what the hell did it matter what this lady thought? Or maybe this was the reason they'd all come into the Chateau, or at least part of it. Was she a fixture of the place?

"What's wrong with purple?" Goro muttered quietly to himself, taking a second to hold out his arm and examine it as if it were someone else's. His tone was perhaps a mite more offended than one would expect. For some reason, the Froslass' close examination and judgment of him left him feeling small and defensive. Still, he was never one to play defense for long. He took only a moment to gather himself and come to grips with this incredibly bizarre situation before lifting his head and speaking up. "What about you, huh? You got a name, lady?"

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:07 am

[Yeah like -1 billion energy rounded up to the nearest whole number = 0]
Even with his slower than normal thinking speed, Solus figured Krikka was lying when she said she was scared of heights. She sounded genuine enough, and it was possible that earlier events could further support the statement. However, Solus knew the umbreon well enough to know that she would never admit such a thing. He also knew that she’d admit a false fear if it meant she could get something by doing so. This was all but confirmed when she introduced herself and her group under false names. Very peculiar false names. Solus decided that the umbreon had made them up on the spot and also that she was bad at making up names on the spot.

Her comment on Solus—or “Taric” as Krikka had dubbed him—having hit his head gave the buizel pause for thought, though. He was much more ready to believe that this part was, at least to some degree, true. Despite knowing he couldn’t remember a reason as to why he awoke where and how he did, Krikka mentioning he had hit his head made him consider the full extent of what those lost memories meant. ...Actually, he didn’t know what that meant. He figured it meant he must have hit his head really hard and that it probably wasn’t a very good sign that he couldn’t remember what had actually happened. Almost unconsciously he raised a paw to his head in search of any signs of this apparent injury.

Sure enough, he found a sore—or sore-er—spot and what he could assume must have been blood. It didn’t seem to be flowing, though. “I… Did?” He asked as he examined the crimson liquid on his paw. “What did I hit my head on? ...I can’t remember any of it.” The question was more directed at Krikka than to anyone else in the room, He paid no mind to Goro asking the ghost what its name was nor did her care to hear the answer.

Thinking as hard as he could, he was able to remember beating the Psychic-type bloody. He found he could remember what he could only assume to be the details of a dream he had had after getting knocked out; quite vividly too. He shuttered a small bit. Try as he might, though, he couldn’t bring forth anything that followed his beating of the psychic up until the point that he actually woke up—dreams with a confusing sense of time aside. It frightened him a bit. He had never experienced any of these ailments to such a degree before and some not at all. All of them combined—the lost memory, the headache, the light and sound sensitivity, and the fact that his thoughts just seemed slower were all unsettling to him. “This is… Weird. I don’t like this.” There was a legitimate tone of worry in the buizel’s voice.

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:48 pm

(Boy I sure wish Krikka had usable energy.)

The froslass seemed to be buying the story, quite zealously at that.  It apparently liked explorers, which wasn't something Krikka had planned for, but it was a happy accident.  The more it liked them, the easier it would be to enlist its help in finding their way through the chateau.  She had already been here before and knew it was difficult to navigate, and yet the ghosts inhabiting the place seemed to have no trouble at all.  Perhaps that was due at least in part to their ability to phase through walls, but still, they had to be better at venturing through the house than someone who didn't live there.  Fortunately, Solus and Goro seemed to understand what the plan was, or at least understood well enough to know not to question what she was doing and why she was acting differently.  The froslass seemed pretty much hooked already, but still, Krikka didn't want to take any risks by having her lackeys act odd and put the creature off.  One of them liked hitting things and the other had a tendency toward sass, so she was thankful that they were both restraining themselves.

Not going against the plan was one thing, but it was surprising when Goro actually contributed something worthwhile by asking the froslass' name.  And a name he certainly got, "I'm Nevi!  I live here."  Its voice held such a disgustingly genuine warmness that annoyed Krikka, and she wasn't looking forward to having it around, but she preferred that to the alternative of continuing on through this deathtrap as they had been.  Unfortunately, before the creature could be... enlisted, it continued on with its dominance of the conversation.  It was a very fast talker and far more enthralled than Krikka; its interest in speaking seemed to beat out the others as well.  "Um... is he alright?" it pointed to the buizel with its question, having taken interest in his state.  Great, so now he'd gone and drawn attention to his injuries, which was the exact opposite of what Krikka had hoped for.  Fortunately, Krikka had chosen a facade that put her in a place to address this issue with faux compassion.

The umbreon turned to survey her battered ally in tune with her escort-to-be's addressing of him.  "He's just scared and confused.  I would be," she explained, only partially lying.  She was pretty sure she was telling the truth, at least about Solus, but in reference to herself... she was definitely lying.  In his position, she would have just been mad and looking for something to take it out on.  It wasn't as if she couldn't feel fear, but getting hit over the head and waking up in pain with blank spots in her memory would have just been annoying for her.  She normally would have told Solus to suck it up and get moving, but she figured it in her best interest not to, and so she took a different approach to the situation.  She crept closer to Solus, lifted her right paw and placed it on his opposite shoulder as if in a gesture of support and comfort.  "You're alright.  It must hurt, but you're gonna be okay," she feigned actual care in her voice, pretending she was trying to soothe him.  Of course, she had no actual desire to show such kindness, and the very act sickened her.

Krikka didn't care about her subordinate's injuries despite the fact that they were her fault.  She had dragged him to the Ruined Chateau, mauled his arm, beaten his head in and probably cracked a rib or two, but she didn't care.  He had saved her... twice, now that her memory was returning to her, but that didn't mean she owed him any pity.  Despite having a hazy recent memory at best, she assumed he had done something to deserve his beating.  She didn't feel bad about returning his protection with pain and mistreatment, and she didn't want to be here telling him it was all going to be okay.  It wasn't as if he deserved it, and even if he did, she didn't care.  He didn't deserve an apology either, and it could only be hoped that he wouldn't take this as one.  The very thought made the umbreon kind of want to hit him again just to make sure he didn't think there to be any true substance to her sudden sympathetic treatment of him; the thought of him being right, even more so.

She was beginning to spiral into a state of self-induced agitation, but it didn't show in her exterior.  She kept the stupid, sentimental look on her face, smiling and trying so very hard to make it look like she wanted to comfort "Taric."  She wanted something to pull her away from this nightmare, and fortunately, she got her wish.  "Well... I hope he's okay.  What brings you here, explorers?  And um... are you gonna be leaving?  I mean, what with Taric's head and all," it questioned, clearly conflicted about the two options being presented.  It seemed lonely and probably wanted them to stay, but at the same time, it was very clearly worried about the bloodied buizel.  Krikka couldn't come up with a good answer on the spot; she wasn't sure how to say they would be ignoring their friend's probably-serious injuries and pressing on through the chateau, and she also didn't have a good explanation for why they were here in the first place.  Fortunately, she didn't really have to come up with anything immediately, since a bit of hesitance would actually look perfectly normal in such a situation.

Yes, she could take a moment to think and come up with a good lie to tell, all the while looking as if she were just stuck contemplating the two choices.  She could only hope Goro and, more importantly, Solus, would keep their mouths shut and not try to come up with some dumb explanation on their own.

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:05 pm

The Froslass had a name. Nevi lived in this dungeon for some godforsaken reason, and for that reason alone Goro found himself very suspicious of the friendly ghost. She had been nothing but warm and amiable so far, even if she was a little too enthusiastic, but everything else they'd found in the dungeon had been hostile and clever. If she could live here and traverse these halls without a worry in the world, she had to be just as dangerous (if not more so) as the rest of the Chateau's denizens. The Croagunk's shoulders tensed up and his hands curled tightly into fists, his gaze trained on the Froslass hovering in the air with a visible sense of anticipation. Surely it would drop its friendly facade and attack them any minute now - or was it hoping to somehow gain their trust beforehand? Ghosts as a species tended to be ruthlessly mischievous and tricky. If this one preferred the long-con rather than a simple ambush, then it was going to have another thing coming - Goro resolved to keep an eye on the floating lady.

Still, the concern in her voice seemed nothing if not genuine when she asked after Taric's condition. She seemed actually really worried for the Buizel, and despite himself, Goro felt himself relax. She seemed rather nice, and if she wasn't going to attack them then he was suddenly not interested in her. What was more concerning was Krikka's response to the ghost's inquiry. Similar to how she acted before she threw her little tantrum and put Solus into the condition he was in now, the Umbreon faked warmth and concern in her tone, padding her way over to the Buizel and placing a paw on his shoulder. It was as scary of a sight as anything he'd seen in this haunted mansion, that was for sure.

Silence didn't seem to sit well with the Froslass, though. As Krikka grew silent with that same creepy smile on her mug, Nevi spoke up and asked after their reason for being in this Mystery Dungeon. It was something that Goro would very much like to know, as well, but he didn't expect Krikka to offer up an honest answer. The closest he'd gotten out of her was "summoning an evil god or something," and that didn't exactly paint a vivid picture. He didn't know much about gods, or legendaries, or any of that stuff really. He'd never seen one, and he knew no one that had, but most Pokémon seemed to believe in them whole-heartedly. If the vixen was actually being honest with him, then this could be an opportunity to get answers on that front. Still, it wasn't something he even wanted an answer to, and he wasn't about to offer that up to the Froslass.

And neither would Krikka. Either the ghost's question stumped her, or she simply elected to ignore her. At this point, he was going to stop guessing - by and large, he couldn't get much of a read on Krikka. Rather than offering up something himself, he elected to stay silent, merely crossing his arms and picking a spot on the wall to stare at. He wasn't sure what to think of her past his initial distrust. Even if she was a goddamn ghost in a haunted mansion, she did live here, and there was maybe a chance she could show them the way out of this death trap. Or at least pretend to. He didn't know what Krikka wanted out of her, and even if he did it wouldn't matter much. His job was to fight the battles, and that's what he'd worry about. He stayed silent, only staring down the seemingly endless passageway absently, occasionally glancing up at the Froslass in the air.

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PostSubject: Re: Perception   Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:09 am

Krikka’s sympathetic tone and actions could easily be seen as genuine. The ghost—Nevi—seemed to think they were. But Solus was very hesitant to trust that the umbreon was acting with any amount of legitimacy; especially now, when he was sure she was trying to exploit the overly positive froslass. He wasn’t sure exactly why Krikka’s false sympathy bothered him so much, but it did. He also wasn’t happy about being called scared in front of Goro. He didn’t want the croagunk to hang that over him at any point. He didn’t want anyone thinking he was a coward. Adding to all the things that were bothering him at that moment, exactly how he got hit or what hit him had still yet to be explained, as if Krikka and Goro were actively avoiding the topic.

As Nevi finished speaking—she was quickly becoming annoying, too—Solus stood proper, shrugging off Krikka’s paw and stepped away from the umbreon. His headache was far from gone and he felt absolutely terrible, but sitting around in this place wasn’t going to help anything. “I’m fine,” he practically growled it; the tone a stark contrast to what it was just moments ago. “We’ve come to far to just go back now. Not that I think we could actually go back anyway.”

Without waiting for a reaction from anyone else in the hall, Solus began walking down the hall. He had no idea what they were looking for and only had the slightest idea as to what exactly Krikka had brought them here to do. “Summon an evil god. Or something.” is what she had said. He wasn't going to mention that to Nevi—he wasn't sure how the overly friendly and kind ghost would react and he was positive Krikka wouldn't be happy about him informing strangers of her evil plans, so he was keeping quiet as he walked down the hall.

While he didn't like the idea of being separated from the group he wasn't to worried about that happening here. It was a hallway, after all. A seemingly infinitely long hallway at that. It would have been disorienting if it were sloped in any direction. Why was he walking ahead? He wasn't quite sure why himself. A part of him wanted to get this whole thing over with as soon as possible. Another part of him wanted to just get away from the others. For reasons he wasn't able to name he was beginning to grow very bothered by his company despite them not having done much at all to provoke him.

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