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 Rue

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Lord E V
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PostSubject: Rue    Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:54 pm

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(This thread takes place after another thread, "For Once," and contains spoilers pertaining to that thread.  Pls don't spoil yourself. Mada that means you.)

Bad memories, bad vibes, bad sensations, bad atmosphere, bad, bad, bad bad badbadbad.  Sova didn't like Venen Gulch, and he wasn't having a very fun day, or week... or month... or life.  Nothing about this trip was pleasant, and yet it was still somehow tolerable.  Not only had he found some level of solace in himself, but he now had someone else to help him carry his burdens.  Still, he didn't enjoy being in the gulch yet again; his last experience in the area had been unpleasant, to say the least.  He had met a very demented scyther, and despite his best efforts, he'd failed to avoid conflict with the presumed serial killer.  In the end, Senya was the one to handle the situation, as he recalled.  He regretted giving up such a burden, and in hindsight, that was a running theme in his life.  Despite his best efforts to take burdens from others and handle everything himself, he'd really just ended up becoming the burden.  Fortunately, that was in the past, but he still didn't enjoy being in a place that dredged up such memories.

He was fun.

The thought surprised him, though perhaps it shouldn't have.  He knew it wasn't his own, even if it felt so very... real.  He really should have been used to the experience of hearing Senya in his head, and yet he wasn't.  He wondered if that would ever change.  "You have a concerning definition of "fun," my friend," he responded aloud since they were alone and thus didn't run the risk of looking insane.  He was glad to be out of the guild if nothing else; he'd made the decision to change his behavior for the better, but he still wasn't a fan of laying around in that place socializing and whatnot.  His solitude wasn't something he was quite ready to entirely give up.  Still, he wouldn't have picked such an unpleasant place to go just to get away from everyone.  No, this was for a mission...  He hadn't done any actual guild work in quite some time, having been too distracted with trying to fight deities and whatever else.

The white, silken cloak around his body lifted up behind him, caught by a gust of wind.  He glanced down at his exposed legs and stopped, reminded of why he had a ghostly sheet draped over him.  His fur was torn away by scars, and his left leg was wrapped close to his chest by a makeshift sling composed of some piece of white fabric.  He doubted any of it would ever heal, which only made him want to take a mission and get out of the guild even more.  He couldn't stand another minute in that place with everyone looking at him like he was some crippled war veteran.  Walking was more a task than usual, especially with the strange ribbon making it all so much harder as if being down a leg wasn't bad enough already.  Every step elicited pain, albeit faint enough to ignore now that he was getting used to it.  Fortunately, the strange red markings seemed to have gone away for whatever reason, but in the case of their return, that was just one more reason to cover his body.  He didn't want to be seen as disabled and in need of help, but at the same time he didn't want to look like some monster either.

So, what's the plan here?  We're not exactly at our best, I mean.  You really think we can save that kid?

Sova knew Senya was trying to distract him from his own thoughts.  The gesture was appreciated, but he was finding it difficult still to let it all go.  The white cloak fell back around him as the wind died down.  "This isn't getting any better.  If I can't do my job now, I'll never be able to do it again," he spoke with an eerie calm to his voice.  Given it was him in question, the matter-of-fact indifference to such a concept was a bit unusual.  For most of his life, he had been one to lash out and falter due to unchecked emotion.  He was rather bad at keeping himself under control, or at least he had been for about as long as he could remember.  However, his recent experiences had brought him to seek change, and more importantly, put him in the mindset to enact this change.  The thought of being incapable of continuing his work saddened him a great deal, and yet he was able to keep himself calm despite this.

That doesn't mean you have to do this right now.  Is some runty 'vee really worth your trouble?

He knew Senya meant well.  He was in a bad state and definitely didn't need to be running around through a toxic and relatively dangerous environment.  Unfortunately, he felt he needed to, for him if no one else.  That, and he couldn't help but feel obligated to protect one of his own kin.  And besides, if he didn't save the little eevee, who would?  Most members of the Grassveil Guild didn't even have the appropriate rank to take such a mission, let alone the capabilities to reliably see it through.  Then again, was he really any different now with a bum leg and an evil ribbon crippling him?  He intended to prove that no, he wasn't, even if it was the last thing he did.

"Yes."

Besides, he was already there, inhaling the fumes and wandering through Venen Gulch.  He hadn't reached the "river" nor even come upon any steep drops or any other difficult environmental hazards, but still, he wasn't interested in turning back now.

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Last edited by Lord E V on Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:06 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To tell Mada to go away.)
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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:11 pm

Sova seemed to explain that he'd talked to the parents of the kid before he came out to the Gulch, and while he didn't have an exact location to look for, he did have a general area they were supposed to get to. Shintara figured that made sense, simply nodding her head in turn to the Glaceon. Part of her wondered what that must have been like, and if anyone in the guild ever got used to having to do that kind of thing. Talking to distraught parents that lost their child somewhere, having to deal with them and ask questions...the Absol didn't exactly envy that part of the job.

She wanted to ask how close they were to the spot he thought they were supposed to be, but as if on cue, Sova stopped and seemed to turn his head, most likely to look around the area. Coming to a halt as well, Shintara stood still for a moment and decided to try something herself. Taking in a deep breath, she began to focus, drowning out the ambient noise around them as she stayed still, the area she could "see" beginning to increase in its radius...

That was when Sova yelled out, very nearly causing the Absol to jump out of her skin. She gasped slightly and quickly turned towards the Glaceon, calming down and letting out a sigh of relief as she realized it was just him calling out to the kidnapper. Part of her wondered exactly how smart of an idea that was, and even assuming he knew better than her and had more experience with this kind of thing, Shintara still couldn't help but feel that yelling about having ransom money on you in the middle of a place like this wasn't the best idea.

For the moment, though, she went back to her focusing. Taking a deep breath once more, she stayed still and reached out to the surrounding area. Considering her method of vision involved tracking the wind and air itself flowing in an area and bumping into things, she was able to increase her radius of "vision" a bit wider at times, at the cost of her focus and energy. Taking in the area they were in, she finally picked up on some movement. To their right, on the high ground, there seemed to be a shape that was moving ever so slightly, generally staying still but moving enough to be registered as more of a living thing than just a piece of the environment. The figure seemed to be a bit large and fluffy, and she planned to ask Sova what a Skuntank was shaped like, but...

Her head was already starting to ache from her deep focus on the surrounding area, but suddenly there was an additional flash of pain that coursed through her horn and into her head. The Absol's eyed widened, and she let out a quiet groan as she stumbled in place from the feeling in her head. She was familiar with it, of course, but that didn't mean she ever got quite used to it. The figure in the distance was giving off a negative feeling, something hostile that seemed to trigger something in her. The entire situation now felt like it had an ominous air to it, and Shintara was certain that something bad was going to happen.

"S-Sova...th-they're planning s-something..." She whispered out to the Glaceon beside her, turning her gaze his way and letting her concern show freely in her face. Part of her worried that he wouldn't take her seriously, and she hoped deep down that he'd listen to her. Something was off. It was deeply, innately wrong. She could sense it.

"B-be careful, l-look out f-for the kid..." Managing to finish what she was saying, the Absol shook her head and took a few breaths, trying to recover. Her field of "vision" shrank back down to its usual radius, but the feeling she was getting from their observer was still present. After a few moments, her headache began to die down, enough for her to feel fine in taking a few steps over towards Sova, and in turn, towards the high ground the figure was standing on.

Pikashock carried out 4 launched of one Venen Gulch (Image not informed.) :
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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:59 pm

Sova stared up at what he was confident was the skuntank, and he knew it was staring back at him, probably wondering where the child's parents were. Well, he had the ransom, or so he claimed, so he would probably be allowed to meet with the kidnapper on behalf of the child's parents. He stared up and could practically feel the silhouette above looking back down, and this went on until Shintara spoke from beside him. "They're planning something," she said, as if that somehow wasn't already obvious. Yeah, duh, they were planning in holding the kid for ransom; they were planning to get money. What, did she think they had just kidnapped someone for fun and planned to give the child back for free? Sova felt compelled to ignore the comment and attempt further communication with the outlaw, but before he could, Shintara continued, urging him to be careful. She seemed genuinely worried all of a sudden, but shouldn't she have known already that they were dealing with a criminal who probably wasn't planning on being a nice guy?

Then he remembered a very important detail about her species: they could sense disaster, and that extended beyond ones of the natural variety. He had been personally confronted by an absol before about being a walking disaster, so to speak, and in the end, she had turned out right. If Shintara was sensing a coming storm, then... perhaps things were going to be more complicated than the glaceon would have preferred. He let out a sigh as his initial acknowledgment o the claims, still gazing up ahead as he contemplated what to do next. Regardless of what the skuntank's plan was, he supposed it didn't really matter; his own course of action remained the same. "Well, that doesn't change what happens next. He has the kid and I don't know where, so I've gotta go talk to him," he responded matter-of-factly before starting off toward the steep climb he had waiting for him. He didn't care what else Shintara had to say; he had to cooperate for now if he wanted to secure the target, and that was worth any risk that happened to present itself. Maybe he was putting himself right in the middle of a trap, but... what trap could possibly have been worth his concern?

Sova knew he couldn't stop his tagalong from coming if she wanted to, or at least, not without forcing her to obey him. He wasn't going to do that, and so he figured if she was going to come, the best he could do was let her and just make sure to look out for her. Having to take care of the eevee and focus on the skuntank too at the same time would probably prove challenging, but it seemed he had little choice in the matter, save for begging Shintara to leave this to him, which he wasn't going to do. As he neared the wall, the figure above came into clear view, and it was most certainly a skuntank looking right down on him. "I don't suppose you'd like to come down here to talk?" he proposed, his voice a bit quieter than before now that he was somewhat close to the intended recipient of his words. Predictably, he received no response, which was indication enough that the kidnapper was turning his offer down. That meant he would have to climb up into the skuntank's home field, which he knew was a bad idea.

Unfortunately, he saw little choice, and so the glaceon leapt up onto a rocky outcropping near to the ground. He had only three legs to work with, but as long as he was careful, he doubted this climb would be an issue for him. He looked up again just in time to see the skuntank turning and walking away, but he wasn't too concerned; it was moving slow, which showed it was in no hurry and thus probably wasn't fleeing. It was waiting for him. He jumped up another level, not bothering to look back at Shintara to see what she was doing as he carefully scaled the steep, rugged terrain.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:59 am

When he first sighed, Shintara frowned and got ready to press her point, but before she could say anything Sova spoke up. He seemed to acknowledge that her claims weren't invalid, but still said that he had to press on. She wanted to argue, but...really, he was right. With this being a hostage situation and all, they really had to be careful. If the Skuntank knew they weren't getting what they wanted, who knew what they might do? Plus, they still had no sign of the kid being around, and that was another piece of information they would need. For now, if the Skuntank wanted them to come on up, they'd have to do just that. Surely, Sova would at least consider her warning and be even more careful with the situation.

The bad feeling in her horn persisted, but as Sova continued on forwards the Absol knew she couldn't just stay back. At least, not for the whole time. She stayed put at first, letting the Glaceon approach the wall and questioned the Outlaw while she stayed back a short distance. No answer seemed to come from the Skuntank. After a moment of silence, she could sense Sova begin to jump up to different outcrops on the wall. Once he began to do that, she stepped forwards and began to follow after him. Approaching the wall, she prepared herself and jumped up to the first level once Sova moved on to the second.

She was managing pretty well, considering she came from the desert and currently had an injured leg. She landed with a bit of a stumble, but she made it to the first level, feeling an almost innate sense of direction when it came to climbing up the rocky wall. Sure, her injured leg made it harder, but it felt almost natural to her. Of course, because it felt natural to her, that also gave her time to think about what exactly she was doing.

What had she gotten herself into? She had just come out here to get stronger and fight Sova, and now she was confronting an Outlaw with him that had kidnapped someone. Neither of them were in top condition, and while Sova seemed strong enough to still be able to handle herself, would she really be able to keep up if worst came to worst? What if this Outlaw was willing to kill? It was possible they were a coward, but if they were a more serious Outlaw, then...

The Absol took a breath and pushed those thoughts out of her mind for the time being, waiting for Sova to advance another level. Her plan was to follow him up level by level once he left one, and when he got to the top, she'd climb on up to the top and stick with him as they confronted the Outlaw. As long as nothing happened on their way to the top.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:23 am

Climbing wasn't one of Sova's favorite activities in general, let alone with a dead leg, but he could do it.  This wasn't his first time scaling a wall, and it wasn't even his first time in the gulch, so he had plenty of past experience backing him up.  At that, he was a naturally capable explorer, or at least a well-trained one, so navigating harsh terrain had never been much trouble for him.  He didn't bother to take his time despite how he probably should have with the condition he was in.  There was a lot of jumping with very little stopping on his end, and so it didn't take much time at all for him to reach the top.  He was prepared for a cheap shot from the skuntank, but the crook actually didn't go for it.  He placed his front leg over the top of the outcrop to pull himself up, and before he even had his back legs on the ground, he could see the purple-furred figure standing a good ten feet from him.  Under the skunk's front legs was a small, brown ball of fluff with eyes full of tears; it was definitely the kid, which meant this was the right skuntank.

"I-" Sova began only to be cut off by what was a more obnoxious voice than expected.

"HAH, so this kid's parents were too scared to make the drop themselves and sent some glorified mercenaries?" the dirt-gargling voice of the skuntank spoke.  Before Sova could get a word in, he continued, "And those idiots couldn't even get the good guild members!  They sent two cripples to meet me!  I'm insulted!"  He clearly did not actually feel insulted; rather, he was cocky, flaunting his confidence at what he thought to be a harmless cripple with equally crippled backup on the way.

Sova's head hanged, allowing the white hood of the cloak to shroud his face and hide the agitation in his eyes.  He wanted to do this without violence if he could, but already, the kidnapper was trying his patience.  However, there was still the child to worry about, and the skuntank had him held as close as possible.  Sova was confident in his own speed even now, but not enough so to gamble this child's safety on it.  Unfortunately, now that he was finally facing the perpetrator, he was at a loss for what to do.  He couldn't just attack without risking the eevee, and he didn't actually have any money to trade.  If he admitted to coming empty... pawed, then the child would become nothing more than a hostage, but there didn't seem to be many options.  He doubted he could rely on Shintara to help with this, and he couldn't think of a good next move for himself, so it was all he could do to hope that perhaps he could reason.

"Just let the kid go and you can walk away," he promised, hoping the skuntank would see reason and make the right choice.  He actually meant it, too; he was willing to just let this kidnapper go as long as he cooperated and freed the innocent child.  This was a rescue mission, with apprehending the perp being secondary and optional, and even if this weren't the case, he still wasn't willing to put the life of a child at a lower priority than catching some scumbag.  He just hoped this worked, because he didn't have any other particularly good ideas at the moment.  Unfortunately, the only immediate response he received was silence, prompting him to further attempt to sell his offer to just walk away from the situation.  "He's a child.  Just let him-"

"Where's my money?" the skuntank... growled?  It was hard to tell since his voice constantly sounded kind of like a growl, but his tone was different and now seemed a bit more serious.  Granted, he still didn't seem to be taking the situation or his opposition seriously, but at least now he was making his demands clear, which was progress.

Sova wondered if he could land a shadow ball without hurting the kid, and fast enough to stop the target from making any moves.  He wasn't confident enough to try it if he didn't have to, but he was ready.

Times like these... he really wanted a friend to do the talking for him.  Varda, Acro, Skylar...  Anyone, really.  Anyone but him.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:29 pm

Shintara had taken a little more time on her climb, making sure to situate herself on each outcropping and carefully prepare herself for each jump. She did her best to keep up with Sova though, and on the last outcropping before the top she stayed absolutely still and focused on the Glaceon's form above her, making sure to wait and see if the Skuntank would attack him before he could climb up. Luckily, he seemed to be able to climb up just fine, and so she followed.

The Absol jumped up to the top of the wall and managed to pull herself up with one working leg just in time to hear the...incredibly grating and annoying voice of the Skuntank berate them for being knock-off mercenaries and cripples. She felt her throat vibrate as she held in a growl, narrowing her eyes in a glare directed towards the outlaw. That wasn't the kind of insult she took lightly normally, and while she didn't react like this to normal Pokemon, she wasn't about to take the insult from a sleazy, scummy criminal that got his kicks on stealing children from parents.

For the moment, she held her tongue, deciding to let Sova do the speaking at first. He seemed to try and defuse the situation by convincing the Skuntank to just let the kid go, but clearly, he didn't seem to be having any of that. He wanted the money that he was expecting, and he wasn't prepared to leave without it. Shintara turned her head towards Sova, as if to show that she was waiting for him to say something, but he didn't seem to speak up just yet. The combination of that and the previous insults made the Absol decide to speak up, for better or worse.

"Y-you think th-that-"

She didn't even get to make it through the first three words before she was interrupted.

"A-a-a-are you serious? Two cripples, and one of you can't even talk right? This just keeps getting better and better! What, was it take your kid to work day or something?" The Skuntank...definitely seemed confident. Clearly, he was having a field day with the two Pokemon that had come to meet him.

The Absol was having decidedly less of a good time with this. The outlaw's insults and generally smarmy voice pushed a few different buttons for her, and without thinking she began to move forwards, just about ready to attack the guy. However, before she could get too close, she felt Sova's tail swing out in front of her, and that was enough to give her the message: he still had the kid, and she couldn't just go storming off and attack him. Honestly, neither of them really could in their current situation. Not while he still had the kid.

"...just...g-give us the kid first..."

Energy: 0/26(Encounters), 26/26(Reviver Seed)

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:40 pm

Shintara tried to respond, but she was at an obvious disadvantage when it came to words.  Sova knew he would have to do the talking himself here; still, he was unsure of what the correct thing to say was.  Negotiation had never been his strong suit, and trying not to provoke others... well, he often did the exact opposite.  He was good at getting into fights and winning, and perhaps just as good at being a shield, but this?  He was no good at this.  Unfortunately, it seemed he was the best option; the only thing the absol behind him managed to get was more ridicule and... the implication that they were related.  For some reason, that bit was the part Sova felt a burning desire to respond to and correct, but he restrained himself in favor of focusing on the eevee.  The skuntank's voice and words were annoying, but fortunately, Sova was used to dealing with unpleasant things.  Compared to what he had experienced in the past, this was nothing.  Shintara, on the other hand, seemed to be having a bit more trouble; barely having gotten herself past the climb, she was already looking to fight for her pride.  He heard her pawsteps and figured she was considering running past him and ignoring the safety of the child.  The glaceon flicked his tail out in front of the absol in a gesture to stay away

Just when he was about ready to speak up and continue on his own, Shintara finally managed to get a sentence out, and surprisingly, it wasn't too bad.  She requested for the eevee to be returned safely before the money would be traded; Sova doubted this would work, but it was still a better idea than anything he could think of.

"HAH!  Now THAT'S funny!  The second I give this kid over, you two'll run back off to whatever disabled care facility you came from," the fat sack of poison mocked and spat, admittedly trying Sova's patience as well.  He wanted to hit the guy just as much as he assumed Shintara did, but that wasn't the best option at the moment.  "I'm the one with the leverage, and I'm not stupid enough to give it up.  You give me the money and I'll give you the kid," the glorified rat continued, reiterating his demand for the money.  It seemed the only option was to give him what he wanted, but... they didn't have it.  That left but one course of action.

Sova sighed.  "We don't have your money.  We're here for the kid.  I wasn't sent here to take you in, so if you give him over, you can walk.  If you don't-" he was interrupted yet again.  He was getting very sick of that.

The skuntank gave a hearty laugh that tapered off into a real response.  "What, you'll arrest me?  You and what crippled army?  Nah, not as long as I've got this fuzzy little shield," he spoke, taking a step back and lifting his right paw above the eevee as if in a threat.  The child stared up at him with teary eyes, then recoiled as he brought his paw down... to pat him on the head.  He let out a very audible, choked sob, then fell silent.

Sova gritted his teeth at the sight, but made no attempt to intervene, knowing the risks it would present if he tried.  "Well, there's no money coming.  You can try to fight us and get nothing out of it, or you can just leave," he restated his offer, trying very hard to ignore how badly he wanted to bludgeon this scumbag to death.

The skuntank fell silent and looked down at the eevee, his paw rested atop its head.  He then looked between the two explorers.  "Your bags, then.  You're explorers; you've got all kinds of goodies, probably worth more than what I asked for!  Hand 'em over and we'll call it a day!"

Sova's fur bristled.  This demand was a good one; he had quite a few valuable things in his bag, and he knew from poking around in Shintara's that she did too.  However, therein was the problem: he really didn't want to give up his stuff.  He found himself not wanting to answer either way, resulting in him giving no immediate response, instead simply continuing to glare from under his hood.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:26 am

Predictably, the Skuntank rejected the Absol's direction to give them the kid first. Of course, he was right. The kid was his leverage, and it would've been stupid for him to hand the Eevee over...but was that too much to ask, to just have an outlaw that was a little bit stupid in the right ways? Thankfully, Sova spoke up, giving Shintara the time to silently simmer in annoyance and frustration as she listened to the conversation. The Skuntank's obnoxious interrupting didn't help her feelings, nor did his stupid voice.

As the Outlaw brought his paw up as if to strike the Eevee, Shintara felt her stomach lurch, and she flinched herself. Luckily Sova's tail being in front of her kept her from fulling running over towards the other two, as the Skuntank simply brought his paw down on the Eevee's head and patted it. She was able to let out a sigh of relief as the kidnapper didn't hurt the kid, but the act made her realize what exactly they were dealing with. This wasn't just someone who was doing this because they thought they had to, this was someone who was doing it and enjoying what they were doing, going out of their way to scare and most likely hurt a child. She had to take a moment to wonder how someone could do that, but her semi-existential thoughts on how pokemon could be such monsters would have to wait.

It seemed like both of their attempts at negotiating had failed, and it seemed like the Skuntank was willing to settle. Specifically, settle for everything they had on them. Shintara had a decent amount of items on her, most importantly, her mega stone. She didn't want to give up her bag, but...what else could she do? Besides, it wasn't like she was planning on using the mega stone often. It was a crutch, nothing more. It made her more powerful maybe, but that wasn't her power. It was power she hadn't worked to achieve, reliant on some stone. She would use it if her life depended on it, but...other than that, she had no plans to use it until she had trained herself to become strong. When she gained, refined and mastered her strength, then she would let herself use it more leniently.

Of course, if she no longer had the stone, plans changed a bit, but...she couldn't be selfish here. With a quiet growl, the Absol lowered her head and shimmied the bag off of her, dropping it onto the ground. Picking it up in her mouth, she tossed the bag over towards the Outlaw, hoping he would be satisfied.

"C'mon, don't pull any fast ones on me, I want everything!" The Skuntank seemed to be looking over Shintara's way. At first, she was a little confused, but the more she thought about it, the only things she had left on her were her Joy Ribbon and the Reaper Cloth.

"I-I need the cloth on m-my leg..." The Absol protested, but she had a feeling she wouldn't get anywhere with this guy. She hadn't so far, why would she get anywhere now? She reluctantly brought her head down and tugged the Reaper Cloth off of her leg, revealing the wounded limb as she tossed the now bloody cloth on the ground by her bag. It seemed like the blood on her leg was starting to dry, but there were still some oozing bits, and the wound itself still looked bad.

The Joy Ribbon was a bit more of a challenge to take off, but with a little pulling she managed to free the ribbon from her neck, tossing it out with the rest of her stuff and glaring at the Skuntank. That was everything she had. Now, she focused on Sova, wondering what exactly he was planning to do...

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:07 am

Sova stared in silence, growing increasingly frustrated at this outlaw's... everything. The voice, the attitude, and now the demands were all a lot to tolerate, and yet he had no choice. Still, he found it difficult to part with his bag and all its contents; it held his collection of mega stones, also known as useless rocks; and then there was his trusty spike, which had been with him through a lot of tough times; and, of course, there were all the supplies he had with him. Some criminals would probably be willing to pay a lot for a guild badge and bag, too, but he didn't know much about that. He did, however, know that the bag and everything inside it were worth a lot in total, and Shintara's bag wasn't much different. His eyes darted to the side as a shape rushed past him; he tensed up for a moment but relaxed when he saw it was just the absol doing as instructed. She was actually giving up her belongings, which was a bit surprising, considering she had a mega stone she could actually use. Sure, it was pretty clear that there wasn't much choice, but she didn't even try to protest before just tossing everything over to the crook.

Then the skuntank gave a demonstration of petty cruelty that was... surprising, even coming from an outlaw. He wanted everything Shintara had, which apparently included the bloody cloth she was using to dress her wound. She forfeited what little she had left, which wasn't surprising at this point, then the kidnapper turned his attention to the silent glaceon. "And you?"

Sova's gaze slowly lowered to his bag, and in silence, he lowered his head and allowed it to slide from around his neck, over his head and onto the ground.

"Don't make me repeat myself," the skuntank spoke, looking up at the glaceon and gesturing down to his bag. It was clear that the same rules applied here as to Shintara: he wanted the cloak.

Letting out a deep, stressed breath, Sova bit onto the hood of his cloak and tugged at it. Getting it off with his... condition was a challenge, but it wasn't as if he had it any worse than Shintara, so it wasn't as if he could complain about that in specific. After a bit of work, the cloak came undone; he then stepped on the side of the cloak hanging on the ground with his good leg and pulled against it until the hood slipped off of his head, his big ears being pulled through the two slits cut in it for them. A custom-made, silken cloak, and he had to give it away to some pathetic lowlife holding a a child hostage. He had only just gotten it, but it was comfortable, and fucking expensive, so he was just a tad bit upset to see it go. When he finally got the cloak off, he stuffed it in his bag with his leg, not wanting a stray gust of wind to carry it away and upset the keeper of the child's life. He then picked his sack of supplies and all kinds of other expensive things up, preparing to throw it over, when he suddenly received another order.

The skuntank, apparently, was not pleased. "I said everything." He took his paw off the eevee's head and patted his chest, showing that he wanted the thing dangling from the same place on the glaceon.

Sova tried to restrain himself, but he was now biting down so hard on his teeth that he was worried he would break them if he didn't speak. "No," he responded in a firm-but-strained tone, clearly holding back a great deal of pent-up emotion. He could feel his body temperature lowering despite his attempts to keep himself under control; his breaths were shaky and forced, and his paws were digging into the ground. Then, the next thing out of the skuntank's mouth nearly pushed him over the edge.

"Yes." The disgusting blackheart raised his paw back over the eevee's head, then lowered it to the child's neck, placing his claws against it. They looked sharp. The poor child could only shut his eyes and try not to burst into tears. With how he was acting, Sova could only assume the criminal had threatened to do something to him if he didn't behave and keep himself calm.

The glaceon stood still, head hung low, and sat down. He released the strap of his bag from his mouth. The look in his eyes grew weary while retaining the displeasure in them, which had been amplified. Now his blue eyes were filled with a bloodlust he could do nothing to sate. No one was allowed to threaten his necklace, and yet... His head lowered enough to allow the trinket to slip off of his neck; he took care not to damage it despite the fact that it was currently being stolen. Staring down at the small, white sphere, he could feel a tingle overcoming him. He was growing lightheaded, and-

"Kill him."

Of course. Right now, the last thing he needed was the demon in his head essentially telling him to put this kid's life at risk. He fought the oncoming feeling of detachment from reality, keeping his focus on the world and refusing to give up control of his body. Senya seemed reluctant to take no for an answer, but he wasn't taking over, so... Well, perhaps it was due to force of will, or maybe he was actually willing to listen for once. Either way, the feeling wasn't fading, and that certainly wasn't helping Sova's struggle to focus. He carefully picked the string of the necklace up in his mouth and placed it gently in the bag, then moved to pick the strap of the bag back up, only to receive yet another order.

The skuntank still seemed unsatisfied. "What, you think that pretty-boy ribbon around your neck doesn't count or something? Give it here," he spoke, seemingly growing annoyed with the glaceon's apparent lack of cooperation.

Sova had had enough of this. "I can't! It's a cursed relic; it doesn't come off!" he exclaimed, lifting his head and leaning in toward the absolutely infuriating skuntank. Violence surged through his head and heart, he was shaking, and it was all he could do to keep his eyes clear of tears. He was giving up one of the most important things in the world to him for someone he didn't even know. The necklace wasn't even worth anything in its condition, and yet this waste of oxygen wanted it just because! Without waiting for a response, Sova grabbed the bag and hurled it over toward the big tub of fat, nearly hitting him. The glaceon was no longer interested in simply parting ways with this individual, and yet he kept his tail practically frozen in front of the absol behind him as a reminder for her not to make any stupid decisions.

There was a silence on the skuntank's part as he stared down at the two sacks of assorted items presented before him. It was eerie and miserable and Sova just wanted it to be over... and he got his wish. "Well... a deal's a deal. I'll let the kid go." His words were suddenly so calm and matter-of-fact. His head fell down toward the eevee in front of him, who stared back up with fear in his eyes. With hesitance, the eevee turned forward and put his right side forward. Then, he lifted his right paw.

He froze as the skuntank stomped down on his tail.

In harmony, Sova's own tail fell limp and dropped to the ground.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:08 am

The Skuntank seemed to give Sova much of the same after she'd handed her stuff over, stating that he meant everything, including the Glaceon's cloak. The insufferable jerk was already getting on her nerves, but with each demand and every peep made in his stupid voice, Shintara found the outlaw getting on nerves she didn't even know she had at this point. What the hell was the point of all this? At this point, he had to have been just messing with them. The urge to scratch the undoubtedly smug look the jerk must have had on his face was rising in her, and even though she was blind, she just knew from how he was speaking that he had one.

As Sova removed his cloak, the Outlaw persisted in demanding more from him, and from what Shintara could tell he seemed to be pointing towards the Glaceon's chest. Specifically, the necklace he had put on earlier. He refused, and the Absol could feel the air thicken around him, cooling with his own internal temperature. The refusal made Shintara's eyes widen as she turned towards the Glaceon, as if to place emphasis on her surprise with him.

On one side, she had a feeling the necklace was important to him. He hadn't put it on until she'd unwittingly brought his parents up, and if he'd been avoiding wearing it, maybe that was for a reason. Maybe it was a keepsake, or he just didn't want to wear it while on a mission? Either way, it was clearly important to him.

But on the other side of things...the Skuntank still had the Eevee. They couldn't predict what he'd do if they didn't meet his demands, and the kid was suffering enough already, there was no way they could just refuse and let the Skuntank do what he wanted with him.

Luckily, the Glaceon seemed to agree with the latter thoughts, and reluctantly removed the necklace and put it in the bag. She couldn't tell for sure what Sova was thinking, but in her mind, she wanted to think there was an unspoken agreement between the two: they weren't going to just let this guy get away once the kid was safe. And if there wasn't an agreement, well...there was at least a promise, from her. This guy had proven to be absolutely terrible, and Shintara was decided. She wasn't going to let him off easily.

However, one more request from the Skuntank lead to an outburst from Sova, one that gave the Absol cause to think. The scum had asked him for a remaining item, one that Shintara barely noticed on him: a ribbon of some kind, apparently. The Glaceon had said he couldn't take it off because...it was a cursed relic? What did that mean? She thought it sounded at least vaguely familiar in her mind, but she had no idea what it was other than that vague familiarity with the idea. It was probably something she'd heard in passing before, but it definitely gave her more questions to ask Sova when they were through here.

After that final request was resolved, there was a palpable silence that covered the area. The tension felt thick in the air, and the wait was killing Shintara. Finally, the outlaw spoke up, and said he'd release the kid.

She let out a breath she hadn't even realized she was holding, and stayed focused on the Eevee as she sensed him prepare to step forward.

Then the Skuntank stomped down, Sova's tail dropped from in front of her, and Shintara lost any and all reasons she had to stay back.

"Y-you...! W-we did wh-what you asked, s-so just...just let him go!" She felt her fur bristle up down her back as she immediately stepped forwards, only moving up a step or two past Sova while she made her own demand to the outlaw. There was a level of anger fueling the Absol, anger and panic. They'd done everything the scum wanted them to do, they'd done everything they could do in the situation, they did everything right, but...was that really not going to be enough? And on top of all that, the feeling she had, the dread...that sense hadn't gone away since they'd approached the Skuntank. Something was going to happen, and she could only hope it didn't have to do with the kid despite the situation at hand.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:07 am

Sova could feel his heart pounding in his chest, adrenaline rushing through his body and empty thoughts clouding his mind. With no movement whatsoever, his body was already straining itself so much that he could feel the burning pain from the ribbon's influence. He had given everything he could; he had given his necklace, which was the only material object in the world that truly meant anything to him, and yet this heartless criminal still didn't seem interested in cooperating. He made no move to stop Shintara from walking past him and shouting at the skuntank, remaining still and silent as he listened. He couldn't help but remember how she had told him that something bad would happen, that she sensed it. Aside from this stray thought, his mind felt blocked, with raw emotion dictating most of his mental process. He knew he felt anger, dread... sadness. On some subconscious level, he knew why, but he couldn't quite process it. As if the thought was too much for him, he sat in what was almost a state of denial toward what was happening. Unlike his companion, he had no outburst of emotion, and in fact, no real reaction at all.

Shintara tried to persist in convincing the fiend to hold true to the agreement, but it didn't seem to have any effect. It looked as if he was smart enough to know that the child was the only thing shielding him, but what did he plan to do? "I'm not stupid. I know the second I give this kid over, you'll try to rush me... and I know what a curse can do. But, I said I'd let him go, and I'm no liar," he responded, slowly lifting his paw from the eevee's tail. The poor kid seemed uncertain as to whether he was actually allowed to leave, but the look in his eyes said it was all he could think about doing. It was a look that said "help me," and... he was looking at Shintara.

...He was looking... at Shintara. Sova knew he didn't look like a hero. His cloak was gone and one of his legs was held up in a sling; the reason that hadn't been taken along with everything else was probably because it was just a scrap of fabric, and perhaps also because his leg didn't have a fresh wound to be pained by removing it. He looked pathetic, and probably intimidating. His species was feminine, his build and stature were lackluster even for a glaceon, he was covered in scars, he had a very clearly useless leg, and he probably looked pretty mad. Of course the child wouldn't look to him for aid... but he needed to be there anyway, no matter what. "Please..." he spoke just barely loud enough to be heard, his voice wavering in fear. The purple figure just stared, showing no change of heart whatsoever.

He tried again, this time louder and with more emphasis behind it; he was clearly begging and making no effort to hide it.

"Plea-"

His eyes widened. Everything seemed to slow down, every detail suddenly perceived with a miserable level of attention.

The eevee's body moved forward, but before a step could even be taken, the skuntank was upon him, biting into his scruff and ripping him off the ground. With a spin for momentum, he was flung violently through the air toward the steep decline to the gulch below. Sova was torn in what seemed to be a timeless void; the skuntank was running in one direction along with his necklace, having thrown the eevee in the opposite direction to certain death. The glaceon could feel his body move, but it was like watching someone else, all so distant and foreign. It felt like a dream. He mouthed words, but he couldn't hear them and had no idea what he was saying.

"Don't let him run!"

He was running straight for the ledge as fast as his decimated body would carry him. He was letting his necklace go, and without so much as a second thought, to save a child's life. He didn't even know if he could. Was he saving a life, or was he simply forfeiting his own? It didn't matter. He watched the scene play out through his eyes, but it still seemed so... surreal. He looked down as he jumped into the purple sea below; his sight instantly locked onto the brown object drifting toward the ground. He could feel the wind crash into him from above, carrying him downward. At this high speed, he caught up with the eevee, wrapping his capable front leg around him and spinning around so that his own back faced down. Ice coated the fur around his spine and spread outward while his chest and belly remained soft, unchanged. He shut his eyes tight and could feel agony shoot through his limp leg as he instinctively struggled in an attempt to make it wrap around the child. He was incapable despite his best efforts, but he still had one leg to grip this precious life with, and he held on as well as he could, taking so much care to do no harm.

The world spun in this darkness behind his eyelids. He expected to feel the shock of hitting the ground, for the devastating pain to shoot through him, the sound of ice shattering to reverberate through his ears. There was nothing. In an instant, all the pain, all the sadness, all the struggle was taken away. There was a flash of light, of red... and then peace.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:15 pm

Shintara was shaking as the outlaw responded to her, explaining his thought process just enough for her to understand one thing very clearly: he wasn't going to let the kid go. He said he was going to, but with everything else he had said before it, those words felt empty. She didn't know exactly what his plan was, or what he'd do with the kid, but the intense dread she was feeling lingered and intensified, sitting in her stomach like a lump. The Absol could sense the Skuntank lift his paw from the Eevee, and for some reason, that didn't make her feel any better. She knew he was planning something, she could feel it, but what...

She could also feel something else. She could sense the Eevee moving ever so slightly, and she could sense that his face was turned her way. He was shaking, probably scared out of his mind, and he was...looking at...her?

No. Shintara couldn't accept that. He had to have been looking at Sova, maybe his face was turned her way, but his eyes were looking to him. Maybe he wasn't even looking at either of them. Maybe...

She couldn't keep denying it. More likely than not, he was looking at her. For help, for some kind of comfort, for all sorts of things she couldn't give him. She could barely even take care of herself let alone someone else, yet here he was, looking to her for help, help she simply couldn't give him. She wasn't fast or strong enough to get him away from the Outlaw. She couldn't talk him down. She couldn't even convincingly tell the Eevee that it would be okay, because she was scared too, and she knew it wouldn't be. There was nothing she could do, and she felt so useless, and she couldn't keep herself from hating the situation.

Sova spoke up from behind her, and when she heard his voice, she knew that there was nothing she could do. His voice wavered, and he couldn't do anything but beg the Skuntank not to do whatever it was he was thinking. If Sova couldn't do anything to help the Eevee right now, what could she even hope to do? Maybe if she was stronger, if she could be more help to the Glaceon, maybe they could have done something...

Time slowed, and everything seemed to happen at once. The Skuntank grabbed the Eevee and threw him towards the edge of the cliff, then turned and ran the other way. She felt her eyes widen, her body freezing up for one crucial moment as things unfolded. Something ran past her, something Sova shaped, and he yelled out to her, telling her not to let him run. She didn't understand at first, but suddenly, in one gut-wrenching moment she understood. She understood completely.

The Glaceon was running towards the cliff, after the Eevee...he was...

Finally managing to regain herself, Shintara lunged forwards and ran after Sova, trying to run as fast as she could. She didn't even know what she was doing. Was she going to stop him? If she even could, the kid would surely die. Was she going to try and jump after him herself? No, Sova had better chances of surviving that fall then she did. She had no reason to run after him, so why was she still chasing him, even as he jumped?

Maybe...maybe she just wanted to go to the edge and see that they were alright. Maybe she didn't want to be alone.

"S-SOVA!"

And that was exactly what she was now. Alone.

She skidded to a halt at the edge of the cliff, and she could sense their shapes plummeting down through the toxic fog that clouded the area until it hurt to focus on them, and she had to stop. There was no outcropping to catch them, nothing for them to hold onto, nothing that she could sense to keep them from falling all the way down. There was just...nothing.

"S...sova...?" Her voice broke as she spoke in a whimper, knowing that even if he had survived the fall, he wouldn't be able to hear her. The Absol stood by the ledge for a few seconds, before suddenly scampering back, tripping over her own paws and falling onto the ground.

"S...s-s...s...s..."

The Absol felt so, so sick, especially so when one final thought came to mind: if she hadn't come out here and fought Sova, would he have been in better condition to do something? She hadn't really landed a hit, sure, but...fighting her had still tired him, and he'd clearly been affected in such a way by their fight that it seemed like he'd been hurt. Was this...was this her fault? Were Sova and that kid...were they dead or dying now because she...?

She blinked a wetness away from her eyes, and stood back up, managing to find the strength in her legs to do so...at least, the uninjured ones. She took a few haggard, tired breaths as she turned away from the ledge. Part of her wanted to go back down, to go after Sova and the kid, make sure they were alright.

But...

When she had fought him before, she'd sensed something from him. A resolve. He'd tried to avoid fighting her, and he'd held back at first. He'd even outright told her he was trying not to hurt her. Considering how strong he was, he could have easily just come right out of the gate swinging, take her down quickly and be done with it. He hadn't wanted to hurt her. Maybe that was just because he didn't want to seriously injure her, but when they confronted the Skuntank, he could have just attacked there. Sure, maybe the Eevee would have gotten a little hurt in the process, but he could have saved his items, including that necklace...and lastly, there was his decision to go after the kid instead of the Outlaw.

For all of his strength he had at his disposal, he was using it to protect. That was why she had to believe in him, that he could survive the fall and that he could take care of the kid.

On the very edge of her senses, she could feel the Skuntank's shape continue to run off. She'd inadvertently given him a head-start, but he wasn't so far away that she couldn't catch up. Not if she pushed herself. She felt herself shake once more, and while she was still afraid, she felt overcome with anger. She wouldn't let him get away, and she would make sure when she beat him, he wasn't just defeated. He needed to hurt.

"GET BACK HERE!" The Absol shouted in a rage, and she ran. She ran as fast as she could with her injured leg held off the ground. The Skuntank had run all the way over to another ledge, and he seemed to be looking downwards, searching for a safe way down. Upon hearing her voice, he looked back at the Absol and guffawed in that insufferable voice.

"Hah, ya see? This is why I had to throw that kid, you really expected me to believe you all wouldn't come after me? I told you, I'm not stupid!" He jumped down, finding a well-placed outcropping to land on. By the time Shintara managed to get to the ledge, he'd already hopped down to another further below, getting ready to keep going.

The Absol took a deep breath, and she didn't hesitate. She needed to catch up with him, and she wasn't going to be able to do it running after him...

Before she could tell herself it was a stupid idea, she slowed herself just a bit as to not overshoot her target, and she jumped. Partly out of anger, and partly out of her nerves, she let out a yell as she fell down towards the Skuntank, who had but a moment to look back up at her and register the fact that she'd jumped down after him.

Shintara fell on top of the outlaw and bit down on his fur, grabbing onto him and dragging him along with her as her momentum forced her to roll along the ground with him. While it wasn't a huge fall, the impact was still painful on the Absol, but that made her sure that it was probably painful for the Skuntank too. The rocky ground dug into her sides and back, scratching at her as she and him rolled along the outcropping, until there was no longer anything beneath them and they were falling, falling down towards another level on the side of the cliff.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:34 am

He could feel the impact, but it didn't hurt; at least, not like he'd expected it do.  With someone else wrapped around him, taking most of the shock for him, he was protected.  Even with the soft body cushioning him, the landing was still enough to take his breath away; he felt the cold leg wrapped around him go limp as the glaceon fell to the opposite side, setting him against the ground.  He still had the lifeless paw draped over him, the fur of his savior against him, making him feel safe for a moment; he was nearly completely surrounded by the blue form, but it still didn't make him feel safe enough; holding his eyes shut tight in fear, he pushed himself against the one protecting him, trying to get as close as he could.  After the initial terror wore off, he could hear his sobbing and feel his shaking, demonstrating how distraught he was even now, after being saved.  It took him a moment to open his eyes and look at his defender, but... he wasn't awake.  The glaceon's eyes were shut and his body was completely limp; there were melted bits of ice surrounding the two of them from where his armor had broken against the ground; at least, it seemed like it was armor, based on the bits still stuck to his fur.

The eevee lifted himself weakly to his legs with a gulp and a sob, then pressed his front paws against the glaceon's shoulder, shaking him lightly.  "Mr., are you okay?" he spoke quietly, lacking the energy and confidence to be any louder.  There was no response, and he began to grow worried, shaking the glaceon with more force.  Despite his exhaustion and small stature, he was able to rock the unconscious man's body a bit.  "M-Mr., wake up...  Wake up!  Please wake up!"  Now he was scared enough to make himself heard, but despite his efforts, there wasn't the slightest response.  Was he...  The eevee shuddered and pressed himself against the glaceon, pushing with even more force, desperately trying to bring about some sign of life.  Then he froze.  Pressing his head against the glaceon's fur, he could hear... nothing.  No breathing, no pulse...  His cold body seemed to be warming itself, which surely wasn't normal for an ice pokémon.  The eevee slowly backed away.  "No... no-" he muttered before tripping over himself and falling to the ground on his side.

He propped himself up with his front legs, and for a moment, simply stared at the sight before him.  He wasn't too young to understand.

Then he heard something behind him.  Slithering... and a hiss.  A shadow loomed over him.  He spun to see a tall, purple serpent staring down at him.  His heart sank and his tall ears fell flat as he stepped back, too overcome with fear to do anything else.  He turned his head toward the glaceon in search of help, but was reminded that he was now alone.  He moved to run in no particular direction, but froze, looking back toward the body of his savior.  This brought him to a realization: someone had risked their own life to rescue him, and now they...  Even though childish naivete, he could tell it was too late, but he still couldn't bear the thought of just running and leaving him.  Still shaking, tears running down his face, the eevee slowly stepped around to face the arbok towering over him.  "Go away!" he shouted, stepping forward.  The snake slunk toward him, ignoring his command and causing him to recoil away in fear.  Still backing up to match every inch the serpent moved toward him, fear painted on his face and throughout his posture, he shouted again, "Go away!"

He felt his tail brush against something; not a rock, but something... softer.  He shrank back against the fur of the glaceon, still trying to face the arbok and scare it away.  He was instinctively pressing against the unresponsive figure behind him as if in some futile attempt to hide or seek protection, but he knew he would find no solace.  Running would have been the better option for self-preservation, but he wouldn't.  "LEAVE US ALONE!!" he screamed as loud as he could in a cracking voice; he tried to look angry, to glare and step forward again to show a false lack of fear.  The snake was barely a foot away from him now, and it just... stared.

Then it reared up high above him.  His heart skipped a beat as it opened its maw and brought its head down on him.  He screamed, then there was silence.

_͔̭̪̰̬̦̞̙͚͔̹̟̭̼̙̦͎ͅ_͍͎̲̲̺̻̟̺̖̥̰̦͍̖̙_̭̙̺̲̞_͍͙̫̤̬̜͕͔_͚̥̮̙̠͓̟̺̻̟͙̱͖_͚̟̬̞_̦̙̠̳͕̘̼̦̫_̟͎͚̩̖̼_̩͔̮̭̠̫͍͍͎̘̥̩̜̙̱̝̟͇ͅ_̺̩̮̪͚̲̼_̙̱͚ͅ_̼͉̤̹̗̬͈̝̘̗͓͙̞͉̫̯ͅ_̫̫͇̰͉̞͇̙̪̲ͅ_͕͇̘͈̼_̟̦̖̦̤͎̥͎͉̘̞̫̗̲̜̰̮͎̥_͕͍̼͓͉̝̤̝͓̠̻̞͙͖͙̘͍_̮̖̗̲̭͚͇̠̼̙̮̯_̹̝̠͇͔̱̤̘͉͈̲͓͎_̖̫̲̱͖̭̜͍̙_͇͈̩͖̙_̣͙͔͕̘̫ͅ_͙̲̪̣_̱̯̰̙̹̭̬̱_̯͍͉̣̝̱̫͉_͕̺̠̼̭̦̟̠̟̫͙̼̱͈̜_̘̠̖̳̻̯͓͈̮̤̟̼̖͍͙̤̮̙_̦͎͇̘̱͎̝̪_̼̝̩̼͉̘̖͇͚͕̦̤͔͈͙̲_̥̜̝̠͉̹̭̞̜̘̲̻̜̩̱_̪̝̠̥̮̟͍̜̩͚͔͔̱̫̭̝̺_̥͍̩̺ͅ_̪̭̥̤̮̮̳̠̘̯̥͙̱̯̖_̭̖̳̗̘_̤̯̳͉̞̳̤ͅ_̭̬̠̥̝̖͇̹̙̪̲̝͎̰̳̠̗ͅ_͕̻̭̠̲ͅ_͉̲̞̲̣̘̦ͅ_̬̳͉̮̞̜̮̯͔̩͍̪̣̞_̬͍̻̠͙͇̠̮_͓̭͙̠̣̱̩̙̲̺̝̜̝ͅ_̖̗͙̟͍͓̞̗͚̝͈̜͉̪_̼̠͍̣̹̮͓̼͚̰͉_̻̜̱͇̙͙̜͙̣͉̩̱͈̳̹͍̟̣_̮͙̼͓̪̺̱̺̬͍ͅ_̫͍͉̰̭̰̳̹̙̞͓̞͍͖͔̺͕ͅ_͍̻̦̯̥̱̜̻͇̳͔̲͚͎̤_̼̗̜̖̗͈_̗̱͚̪̺͍͉ͅ_̞̩̪̘͈_͕̗̦͖̲̹̘͉̲̯̤͙̬̼̙̞ͅ_̪̗̰͈̫̲̘̝͇̗_̼̹̙̼̫͇͎͕͔̲͇͇͔̲͓̹̖̙̗






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Pikashock
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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:26 am

One thing was certain: everything hurt. As the two fell to the next outcropping of land beneath them, Shintara was hard pressed to name a part of her body that didn't ache, sting, or otherwise pain her. It didn't help that as the two landed, the Absol took the brunt of the fall on her shoulder and the Skuntank fell right on top of her already injured leg, the impact crushing it against the ground. She felt a sharp cry of pain escape her as the rocky sediment on the ground stuck onto the open wound, further aggravating it, and all the while she struggled to hold back tears that still managed to creep out despite her best efforts.

Maybe her entire body ached, but that leg of hers? That was the killer. There was only so much of a beating something could take, and after everything that had happened to it she wished she could say she couldn't feel it anymore, but she could. Oh, how she could feel it. It had been crushed, shredded, foolishly used to run, and she could feel far too much pain radiating from the wound. At this rate, she was starting to wonder if it would even have a full recovery, but that wasn’t something she could afford to think about yet.

She felt the Skuntank's weight come off her leg as he scurried back up, and she could sense him lift his paw up to strike at her while she was down. Three small, parallel bits sticking out of the paw seemed to indicate that his claws were out. Shintara instinctively pulled her legs in close against her body and rolled to the side just in time to feel the outlaw's claws graze past one of her uninjured legs. The Absol scrambled back up onto her three good legs and stumbled back upon standing, very nearly losing her footing on the edge of the outcropping before stepping forwards and catching herself. Lowering her stance, she turned towards the Skuntank, her fur bristled up and her eyes narrowed into a glare that did her no personal good, but just maybe she could make the Skuntank feel something with it.

Confusion. Anger. Sadness. Fear. All sorts of emotions ran through her system as she faced down the Pokemon in front of her. He'd kidnapped the Eevee from before, kept him held hostage, poked and prodded at her and Sova at every possible opportunity, and then he took their stuff and threw the kid off a cliff. Which, in turn, lead to Sova jumping. How could a Pokemon be so monstrous? So terrible? She wasn’t dumb, she knew there were horrible Pokemon out there, but to come face to face with one…he was the reason for all of her and Sova’s troubles they’d experienced today. If he hadn’t kidnapped that Eevee, they wouldn’t have even been out there, and that wasn’t even accounting for the Skuntank being the reason Sova had jumped to his…

No. He’s not dead. He’s not…

"Alright, now you listen here. Tossing the kid notwithstanding, I'm a pretty stand-up guy, so I'm gonna give you one last chance to make the right choice here. Run on off back wherever you came from, kid, and I suggest-"

"Shut up!" The Absol snarled, refusing to let the Skuntank finish speaking. Lowering her head downwards and tucking it in towards herself, she barely took a breath and lunged towards her opponent. For a moment, all of her thoughts and feelings were focused, everything was pulled together and aimed in one direction, one specific goal. One target to place everything on. She drove her head into the Skuntank's chin, expecting to feel some kind of satisfaction, but what she felt from the hit wasn't pleasant at all.

The second she made contact, the focus she'd garnered in the prior moments vanished. It was as if it itself had taken the brunt of her attack and shattered under the pressure, leaving her headbutt as nothing special. Her eyes widened, and the outlaw grimaced from the blow, but he didn’t do much else. He was pushed back a step or two and let out a grunt of mild irritation, shaking his head with some slight pain, but otherwise he seemed to show no other reaction. The Skuntank brought his paw up in an immediate act of retaliation, and already taken aback by the failure of her Zen Headbutt, Shintara didn’t manage to back away fast enough. She staggered back and grimaced as he lunged forwards and slashed his claws across her cheek, sending her stumbling backwards faster than before as the warm, stinging pain of the cuts made itself known to her.

"Aw, I almost feel bad for ya at this point! You really thought that was gonna work? C'mon!" The Skuntank let out another one of his awful, irritating laughs, stepping closer towards Shintara with a lackadaisical gait. He wasn't taking her seriously at all. He was just strutting over towards her like he could take all the time in the world and be done with her easily, and his attitude did nothing but infuriate her.

Maybe because he’s right...isn’t he?

What could she do to him? In her current state, it was hard to believe she could do much. She’d need someone’s help for that, but as she thought about help, the reality of the situation finally set in for her.

She was alone. There was no way of telling if Sova and the kid were alright, and even if she did know, it wouldn't help her. And yet here she was, with one currently bum leg, chasing after an outlaw. She knew she wasn't strong yet, that's why she'd come after Sova to help her in the first place, and now she was in a serious fight all on her own. Her mega stone wasn't even available to her if she needed to rely on it. Did anyone even know that she and Sova were out there? He had checked in with the Eevee's parents, so they would know he went out there, and when…if he failed to return with their child they would maybe contact the guild or the police, but...they didn't know that she'd went with him.

Sova was alive. He had to be, she couldn't let herself believe he was dead.

But...

But if he was dead, who would come find her? Nate knew she was looking for him, but he wouldn't have any way of knowing she found him in the first place. She hadn't told anyone else she was coming out this way, and that meant if for any reason Sova couldn't talk, then...

Whatever happened to her here, if she never came back, nobody would know what happened to her. She was truly, utterly alone. And that terrified her.

"Ah, well. You really should've taken my offer, kid. Don’t you know? You’re way, way, way out of your league.”

"Wh-what the hell do you know?" She spat out, her senses going all haywire, on edge as she searched the environment. The next closest steppe she could sense was on the Skuntank’s side of the platform, and while there was one more on her side, it was a further ways down…not a lethal fall, but if she landed poorly there would be consequences. She was already dealing with enough physical consequences as it was. Shintara needed time to think about her next move, and that meant she’d have to stall. "You kidnapped a kid! You’ve probably done it before, and…and…you’re an attempted murderer! You just…you threw him…"

"Ah, I’m gonna have to stop you there on this “attempted” business, kid.” The Skuntank suddenly interrupted with a chortle, his grin sleazy and sickening. Both stolen bags dangled from the outlaw as he stood there, and the Absol took a quick breath. She needed the bags, or at least one of them. If she got hers, she could get her Mega Stone, and if she got Sova’s, well…hopefully he would have something she could use in there. She just needed to get a bag from him first…

"You really think the kid or your cripple friend there could have survived that fall? Please! I’ll tell ya what, though. As soon as we’re done here, I’ll go back and make sure to check on them. Just for you. Kapeesh?” Shintara’s eyes widened for a moment, and the Skuntank laughed, recognizing that he’d struck a chord. If Sova and that Eevee were alive and badly hurt, then…

"D-don’t…! Don’t go anywhere near them!" Unable to help herself, she growled out and charged forwards, rushing the outlaw in a blind rage. Or, at least, seemingly blind. As she hobbled on over to him as fast as she could, horn held at the ready, but as she got closer she could sense the Skuntank’s tail twitching. The tip of the tail seemed to quiver, and some sort of thick, liquid goop spurted out towards her. Unable to come to a complete stop, and unable to go straight forwards, the Absol tried to move to the side to avoid the hit. The result was a stinging, searing pain in her shoulder as the goop made contact there, eliciting a yell from her. If her plan had been to hit the outlaw head-on with her horn, she’d failed. Luckily, that wasn’t the plan. She moved past the Skuntank and kept her head tucked in, her horn scratching across his side and managing to catch onto a certain leather strap hanging around him as she fell to the ground.

One of the bags fell to the ground too.

As the Skuntank’s Acid Spray worked its way into her shoulder, Shintara cried out and rolled back and forth on the ground, rubbing her shoulder against the ground. She could still hear and feel the sizzling as the acidic goop worked its way into her hide, but the rolling and writhing she did on the ground seemed to help ease the pain. Luckily, or maybe unluckily, he hadn’t caught the shoulder of her already injured leg, instead catching her relatively fresh shoulder. As she writhed on the ground, all the while, the Skuntank laughed some more, shaking his head.

"Geez, you got anything going on in that head of yours? You forget, I don’t really care about the crippled ice statue, or the kid. I’m messing with you, I ain’t gonna bother with them. I’m sure something else around here can finish the job if they aren’t splatted already.” The outlaw’s laughter began to die down, and he seemed to regain himself, beginning to walk ahead and away from Shintara. He passed over the bag that had fallen under him, not seeming to notice that he’d lost it. The Absol quickly reached out with her good paw and pulled it closer to her by the sliced strap.

"Matter of fact, I don’t think I’m gonna bother with you, either. You’ve been real fun to play with, but I’m a busy guy, ya hear? I’ve got places to be, things to take care of. I can’t spend my whole day toying with a kid like you. Give the locals my regards when they come to pick ya off, yeah? You’ll be my gift to them for their troubles.” He didn’t look back as he continued to the edge of the platform. Shintara could sense his head tilt downwards, probably looking below and realizing that the next closest steppe was on the other side. The side he had been on. The side he’d now left her by.

Before he turned around, the Absol looked to the bag and thought for a brief moment. He was going to leave her alone. If she just left the bag there, she’d have no supplies, but…he would probably take it and go. She’d be in terrible shape, but maybe she’d be able to get out of the gulch. Why did she even need to fight this Skuntank? Take him down, bring him in? She wasn’t a guild member. This wasn’t her job, and nobody, not even Sova, could have expected her to take an outlaw down herself.

Nobody would know if she gave up and let him go to save her own skin. Nobody would question that she’d tried, but she’d been beaten up and left there. If she let him go on his way, she’d have a better chance of making it back out. Back home.

The kid…that Eevee back there. Whether the Skuntank succeeded in it or not, he’d tried to take that chance away from him and Sova. A chance to go back home. On top of that he’d belittled her, taunted her, hurt her pride. There was only one way forwards for her. No backing out.

Shintara managed to stand back up and limped just a little on her acid-sprayed leg, still keeping her other, more injured leg off the ground as she picked the bag up in her jaws. As the outlaw turned around to head her way, he paused. While she couldn’t exactly see what his face looked like, she could tell from the flustered way he turned his head back to look himself over that he must have been confused after seeing her with a bag.

"M-missing something?" The Absol spat out, her voice muffled by the bag in her mouth. Despite that, her voice was audibly trembling just as much as she was. The Skuntank tensed up, and the confusion she was sensing seemed to turn to anger.

"You, kid, are making a big mistake.” The outlaw spoke, his voice losing some of the affability it had before. Now, he seemed more serious. "Drop the bag. Now. I’m not settling for half my trawl.”

For a single moment, Shintara reconsidered as she focused on him, her eyes wide and frantic. This was a terrible plan. It wasn’t even a plan. It was just terrible. Last chance to drop the bag and run.

She bit down harder on the bag. Then, she turned and hobbled as fast as her three good legs could carry her, jumping off towards the next outcropping, and the next, trying to ignore the sounds of the Skuntank chasing after her as she made her way to the ground. Maybe when she got down there she could dump the bag out, find something useful. At least, if he didn’t catch her first.

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PostSubject: Re: Rue    Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:38 pm

Silence. White. This wasn't a new experience; Sova recognized where he was, but he wasn't used to seeing it so empty, so quiet. It was his mind, his... shared mind... but there was no one else there. It didn't take long for him to remember what had happened and for questions to begin forming, but there was no one to answer them.

"Senya?" he called out.

Or tried. He attempted to speak but found himself to be silenced, unable to manage even a single word. His lungs suddenly felt crushed, suffocating him and stripping away his voice. He collapsed and gasped for breath, but his throat was closed. He propped himself up weakly with his usable front leg and frantically scanned the white abyss around him for someone, something. He saw nothing, but he could hear a faint sound echoing all around him. After a long moment, he recognized it as sobbing, and that of a child or perhaps a girl. He remembered that he was supposed to be protecting one of those and traveling with the other, which made him dread the sound. He recalled jumping off a cliff to save the kid, abandoning Shintara to a heartless criminal. Was this his punishment for failing to protect either of them? Was that what had happened? His body went limp and he fell flat like a puddle of himself in his confusion.

Was he dead? Was he dying? Was this his Hell?

...Would the child die without him? And the absol who'd put far too much trust in him? They didn't deserve to die just because they happened to be with him instead of someone more capable, less crippled.

Suddenly, Sova felt a painful pound in his chest. He breathed in on instinct, and his lungs responded. Another stab in his chest, this time with an audible thump. He was breathing, albeit weakly. Another pound and his vision began to blur before melting to black. He felt more piercing pain in his back and side, and the shoulder of his injured leg; this one felt different, but it hurt all the same. He could no longer hear the miserable crying, but for some reason, the sound of a scream was stuck in his head. He opened his eyes to see... a very dull mix of brown and grey. He immediately recognized the barren ground of the gulch before his gaze trailed down between his legs to a shivering ball of brown fluff. He craned his head up to see an arbok latched onto him, and he knew. Unfortunately, his body was unarmored and left defenseless to the fangs sinking into him, but he ignored it; rather, he couldn't feel it over the pain already shooting through his body.

The glaceon's fur froze to a coat of icy needles, and from his side shot bristled quills into the arbok's throat, forcing it to release and slither away in recoil. Sova's body relaxed as the force he didn't realize he was pushing against suddenly lifted. His head turned toward a movement in his peripheral and revealed to him the figures of a nidoking and queen approaching from the mist, He swiveled his head around to the opposite side and spotted a skuntank which he doubted was the one he was after. There were pokemon encircling him. Of course there were. Just moments ago, he had been raving aloud about how he had money, and now there was a crying child; hungry predators and criminals alike would have been attracted. He could feel his body shaking with every breath, and the ice covering his fur was beginning to crack and melt. He could barely keep his eyes open through the pain. He didn't know what was wrong, but he was concerned. He had none of his supplies and felt like he was actively dying; he needed time to think of a way out of this.

The arbok, having recovered enough to attack once more, lunged forward. Sova strained himself for the energy to whip up a blast of wind, but in his withered state, it was to no avail; one may have called his ability to do something as simple as stand a miracle. He stepped back in absent concern before remembering the eevee hiding under him. His demeanor shifted as he steeled himself.

>Maestro<

The snake's maw opened wide, revealing its sharp fangs and granting a view into its throat. There were limited options for how to deal with this problem and no time to think them over, leading Sova to the reckless decision to rush straight into the venomous creature. His priority was keeping it away from the child, not keeping himself safe. The shadow of the serpent's gaping mouth shrouded him, but he didn't plan to just sit there and take it again; in an impressively quick motion for his condition, he lifted his functioning right leg and slammed his paw down on the beast's tongue while ramming his skull stright into the roof of its mouth. He now had the arbok effectively pinned to the ground by its lower jaw, holding its mouth open around him and rendering it harmless. This gave him only a moment's solace to think since there were more presumed hostiles showing up, but he wasn't a big fan of thinking anyway.

He was too weak to control the wind, but how about his internal temperature? He took a shaky breath and held it for a moment, putting all the energy he could spare into cooling himself. His body began to shiver as if in reaction to the cold as he further exhausted himself. He was forced to exhale after only a few short moments, being too weak to do so much as hold his breath, but it was enough. He blew forcefully into the arbok's mouth, releasing an icy mist, and he could feel its body begin to flail around as it attempted to free itself from him. It'd been a long time since his "frost breath" had been revoked, but in the heat of the moment, he found himself trying to replicate it out of habit. It wasn't exactly the same; it didn't burn his lungs, for one thing, and it was actually freezing the foe's throat. Alas, he ran out of breath rather quickly and it wasn't enough to subdue the target.

He took a sharp breath in desperation and blew with as much force as he could manage. Another puff of freezing mist bit into the arbok's throat, flowing out between its jaws as the cloud grew bigger. Stopping only briefly for another breath, Sova continued until black splotches burned through his vision from the lack of oxygen, forcing him to finally stop and release his hold on the foe, stumbling back as he struggled to catch his breath. The arbok collapsed, mist still leaking from within its mouth, open wide to reveal that everything from throat to fangs was almost completely frozen. The attack wasn't as strong as his more authentic blizzards, but it worked well enough. He stepped back toward the eevee in a drunken state, head spinning and legs shaking, having to will himself to stay upright. His lungs were now beginning to hurt, but it wasn't the same as the burn of frost breath. His head swung to the leaf, bringing his body with it in a klutzy motion, then to the right. He was surrounded by dark figures in the smog, encircling and creeping closer by the second.

A real blizzard would have made this easy, but it wasn't an option. He felt something brush against his front leg and glanced down to see the eevee, practically hugging him in fear, shivering and sobbing. "Stay close," he spoke in a weak, raspy voice that probably didn't convey reassurance. He wanted to bark some kind of threat at the predators to dissuade them, but he couldn't afford the waste of energy to shout, and he doubted it would have worked to begin with. He waited for what seemed like an eternity for one of them to make a move, struggling to make out what he was up against through the toxic air and his own failing eyes. Two particularly large and close figures were easily identified as a nidoking and nidoqueen, while one of the more distant ones had a familiar shape that made his fur bristle. After his recent encounter, he was able to recognize the body of a skuntank, but he had to remind himself that it wasn't the same one he'd been after, for he had fled the area.

The standoff finally ended with the nidoking suddenly making a beeline straight for Sova and the much smaller eevee cowaring against his heel. The child's crying was suddenly stifled as he placed his front paws against the glaceon's leg, but he had no time to question it. His lungs filled with air despite the agony brought with it, and he loosed another blast of freezing mist. Something was wrong, however; rather, something was a bit too right: it was more powerful, to the point of stopping the large foe's advance and nearly knocking it off its feet. He felt one of the eevee's paws tap him again, this time noticing a chill running through his veins from the point of contact. He felt... not exactly energized; it was as if he was just... stronger. A vibrant orange glow emanating through the freezing mist drew his attention to the nidoking's mouth. He glanced down at the ground between them, coated in frost, then back up to see fireball erupt from the big purple lizard's throat. A violent growth of icy spikes erupted forth from the frozen ground, spreading forward until finally meeting with the blaze. Unsurprisingly, the fire managed to melt through the field of ice, but what little was left of it faded away before even reaching him.

...And in the absence of the elemental storm, the nidoking was visible once more, much closer and approaching rapidly. Its head was lowered, horn pointing forward, and Sova was too weak to take another breath or make more ice fast enough to stop it. He felt the child's paw tap his leg again, and by this point, he understood. The cracks in his decaying armor began to mend themselves; he failed to fully repair it before the rampaging beast was upon him, but it was enough. It would have to be. He ducked under the horn and rammed straight into the big ugly lizard's forehead, halting its progress. Instead of backing off and trying another attack, it stayed locked with the glaceon, pressing against him. It took a heavy step forward and he could feel himself sliding back along the ground. Not only was he weaker than this thing at the current time, but he was also much smaller and lighter than it, leaving no hope for him to physically overpower it even with the eevee's help.

To make matters worse, he managed to catch movement to the left in his peripheral vision. He took his eyes off the king for just a moment to see the queen now coming straight at him. Of course they couldn't just take turns and come one at a time. As the nidoqueen neared and reeled its right arm back, Sova kicked the eevee away from him before diving in the same direction, leaving the nidoking to fall forward and slam straight into its female counterpart. Sova tumbled and rolled to the ground clumsily, further emphasizing his exhaustion for all to see. Every fiber of his being pleaded for him to stay down, but he didn't even hesitate to do the exact opposite and get right back up. He searched for the eevee in his warped vision of the world, but his ears were proving more useful at this point, allowing him to locate the brown ball of fuzz through the sounds of groaning from being tossed. It didn't matter in the end, as a scared screech from the eevee made it painfully clear where he was, and that there was a... something approaching.

Sova bolted forward and rammed straight into the thing trying to get to the child, fortunately still fast enough to intercept it. He heard a grunt as he made contact with what he now could tell was a croagunk, throwing it clean off its legs and sending it tumblind backward in a heap. He could hear his armor cracking again. As the croagunk strained to get up, Sova lunged for the first limb he could reach, biting onto its left leg before lifting its whole body off the ground and slamming it back into the ground like a ragdoll. A sudden pain and irritation in his throat forced him to cough, sending even more pain through his body, but he ignored it the best he could. He spun around and limped back toward the eevee and literally fell over him just in time to block a big glob of something purple. As the fluid rushed through the cracks and holes in his armor, soaking into his fur, his skin began to burn almost like the shock of electricity. Finally reaching the limit of what he could handle in stoic silence, he let out a mix of a scream and growl; even muffled through his clamped teeth, it was still plenty audible.

Through it all, the glaceon still rose from the ground and planted his legs into the ground, venom dripping from his fur and staining the ground below. Not only was it agonizing, but it was also turning his fur a nasty purple, and it smelled repulsive. With all this in mind, when another ball of the stuff came flying at him, he was all too eager to put a stop to it. He felt a familiar paw from the right, tapping the thigh of his back leg just as black particles began swirling and forming an orb in front of him. Unable to complete the shadow ball fast enough to fire it out, the blob of purple muck splashed into it, causing an explosion that knocked him to the ground. He couldn't see through the black mist now surrounding him, but that meant the thing attacking couldn't see in, either. Another dark orb formed in front of him as he lay on the ground, this time to completion, and shot straight out in the direction he recalled the attacks originating from. The launch of the shadow ball let off enough energy to disperse some of the smoke around him, giving him a clear view of it colliding with whatever was attacking him and engulfing it in a blast of darkness.

Moving on without waiting to see if it would get up, Sova set his sights on something still surprisingly far away and bolted straight for it. He only got close enough to see it was a koffing before being forced to stop as the holes in its body expelled a thick cloud of toxic fumes around it. He didn't want to get close enough to physically strike it and risk finding out what kind of fun that cloud would be. Stepping back to avoid being engulfed in the smog, he took another breath in preparation for another blast of mist. He felt as if his lungs were being ripped open, stabbed from the inside, and it only got worse when he exhaled. He could barely keep his eyes open well enough to see the purple air around the koffing being blown away by his icy... blue... mist....?

He loosed a gust of freezing, misty breath, and the koffing quickly dropped out of the air as a blue tint of frost coated it... but something wasn't right. The mist had a pink tint to it, faint but... He shook his head and dismissed it as a hallucination of sorts; he already knew what kind of condition he was in, so it wasn't exactly surprising. Allowing himself to relax and finally bask in the misery his nerves were putting him through, he looked down at his side to see a familiar splotch of brown right next to him. His vision was blurry, but he could still tell this was the eevee, apparently having followed him the whole time instead of running away. A faint smile crossed his face in relief that the fight was over and the kid was safe.

His heart sank when he heard the very loud sounds of something stirring. He turned to see nidoking getting up, with the queen already standing and slowly stomping toward him. He could see the unidentified sludge-blasting creature getting up too, and he could now make it out to be a skuntank. His vision was beginning to clear up as his body was allowed a moment's rest, and he could see the nidoqueen glaring at him. Pieces of his brittle armor were falling to the ground and shattering around him, and his entire body hurt in ways he could barely even comprehend, but he didn't have much choice but to stay standing. The nidoking finally got to its feet, turned to him, then to the skuntank... and ran straight for the latter. The skunk was barely on its legs when the nidoking drove its sharp horn straight into it. The skuntank collapsed as the nidoking ripped its horn free... and turned its attention back to Sova.

Then the nidoqueen suddenly froze. Its eyes, previously locked with Sova's, slowly trained down his form to the shuddering eevee at his side. It simply stared for a moment before its eyes snapped back up to meet the glaceon's. The king didn't make a move, instead staring at its queen as if awaiting some cue to attack. Sova's ears flattened, eyes narrowed, and his body slowly lowered toward the ground in preparation to pounce the second the nidoqueen finally decided to act.

And act it did, but not in any way he expected. "You're... protecting this child?" it spoke, questioning him in a surprisingly unintimidating and feminine voice.

Sova's aggressive posture fell apart all at once. His eyes widenened in surprise, and he nearly collapsed as his muscles relaxed.

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