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 Monkey Business

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TraceNoil

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PostSubject: Monkey Business   Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:36 pm

[Energy: 17-5=12]

Trace was bored. Who knew that after a couple years of wandering and running away from one danger to another that you quickly became stir-crazy when you're given the opportunity to relax for a change? It certainly surprised the electrike. He thought that since he was finally safe, he would be more at peace. But no, with an ichy sensation much reported by addicts, his body yearned for some kind of activity.

So, in an effort to satisfy this backwards craving of excitement, Trace found himself traveling along the floor of Pecha forest at an easy lope. His eyes and ears were alert and attentive, twitching to zero in on even the slightest disturbance around him. A defense scarf was wrapped around his neck like a short triangular cape, the only appearant thing this pokemon possessed. The scarf had remained in place ever since Jet, the buizel who once saved his life despite not knowing anything about him, had tied it there. Granted part of the reason he never removed it was because he simply couldn't, the knot was out of range of his jaws or his paws, but even if he could he would not have wanted to. It was a constant reminder that the world isn't all terrible.

As a whole, the day was pleasant. A cool breeze tempered a slightly hot mid-day sun to a level anyone who wasn't an ice type could enjoy. There were a few scattered clouds that trailed across the sky at a snail's pace, but that was largely hidden by the forest canopy stretching far overhead. The weather put Trace in a light mood despite himself. Perhaps he should have gone into the denser Shadowhue forest if he wanted something exciting to happen, this place might as well not be a dungeon! He was just going to have a stroll down the paths worn into the forest by various explorers from town, find a few items and come out none the worse for the trip.

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:30 am

For what had felt like hours now, Cracker sat upon a low hanging branch above a narrow but often travelled path through Pecha Forest. It was one he'd come to rely on for supplies when money was scarce, but also for identifying likely suspects for whom theft was a minor inconvenience. You know; the 'rich' types. The very sort of scum he was sworn to defend against. Of course, his idea of villainy was terribly skewed, considering he was using his new 'herodom' to excuse his own petty crimes.

He'd never really needed a reason not to pickpocket before, though. And now all he had were good reasons to keep up the habit. Unfortunately, his obsession had begun to fill his nearby treehouse with so much useless junk that he could barely move around. Even his bedroom was stuffed, so now he just slept in a hammock outside. But he just couldn't stop himself. And every time he tried to control himself, someone else appeared, with a bag of goodies just dying to be pilfered.

And today was no different. Even after hours of pointless waiting without a single soul in sight, his perseverance inevitably paid off. Today might have been unusually slow, but it was worth the wait to see that small, green Electrike coming down the path from the direction of Grassveil Town. Cracker didn't have to move an inch, nor worry about being seen, as he'd cleverly disguised himself with leaves that helped him blend into the foliage overhead.

It was a little trick he'd picked up after having too many wary Pokemon sensing him well before he appeared. The results had been... less than desirable. He idly rubbed a bruise from his last encounter with such a perceptive target, watching as the electric-type passed beneath him. The entire time he was looking for something to snatch, but all he could see was the scarf they were wearing. It didn't look very valuable, but that rarely affected his impulsiveness.

What mattered in his little monkey brain was that they had it, and he wanted it. And he always got what he wanted. Even if it was just for a few seconds before he got beaten up and relieved of his prize. This tiny Electrike hardly seemed all that threatening, though. In fact, aside from the fact they could easily give him the jolt of a lifetime, he saw no reason not to help himself to that pretty little scarf.

When he finally moved, it was quickly, and with all of his simian prowess. But really, all he did was reach down with his tail as the Pokemon passed under him, his long, dexterous limb doing all the work. In just a second or so, the big hand at the tip of his tail, with its skillful, bulbous fingers, handily unfastened the long-secured knot that kept the ribbon in place. Then it swiftly swept the fabric away from the Electrike's neck, his tail arching up over his own head so he could claim his reward.

As the fabric spilled into his stumpy little paws, Cracker giggled excitedly to himself, completely forgetting he was trying to be stealthy.

"Wow, what a pretty scarf!" he commented from his perch.

[Energy: 25]

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Last edited by Lumin on Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:56 pm

To say that Trace was taken by surprise would be an understatement. Of course he had been listening for anything that sounded close, but his daydreams about the perfect little adventure he was about to have made it all too easy for the meaty paw to swipe the only thing the electrike owned. Even if he had been expecting it, the action was so sudden that an attempt at avoidance still might not have mattered. As it were, Trace wasn't quite sure what had even happened beyond a flash of something yellow and purple and then a sudden tug.

A new feeling settled over the pokemon, like one experiencing deja vu at seeing something in a long forgotten dream occurring in reality. The sensation made him pause, a concerned knot forming in his bellly. Before he could get a grasp on what had happened, a giggle brought his attention skyward. There was quite the strange sight: A living shrub with purple hands and a long tail that ended in a large three-fingered hand was perched on a sturdy tree limb and chattering excitedly. In its hands was... a scarf.

Trace blinked his eyes a few times, a bit slow to connect the dots on what just happened. When he did, his jaw dropped as the knot of worry tightened into something a lot closer to dread. That was HIS scarf! If the unidentified pokemon had immediately fled, they would have been long gone before Trace even got a clue. As it were, the sight of the thief so tauntingly near but out of reach above him made the pokemon panic.

"H-hey! That's mine, give it back!" He choked out through a tight throat, bouncing on his hind legs and pawing at the air in a futile effort to reach the branch. The action would be comical if not for the fact that his precious scarf was on the line here. Perhaps he had placed too much value on that old scarf, but he had taken it for granted that it would always be there hanging on his neck. Now that it was not, Trace felt uncomfortably bare. If he didn't get it back-no! Don't think about that, he must get it back. He will!

Of course, if he wasn't panicking then he would have realized a much simpler and effective manner or reaching the leafy pokemon. A paralyzing thunder wave would stop them in their tracks and then all it took was a more effective jump than the silly little hops he was currently doing to gain the branch. He wasn't thinking clearly.

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:04 pm

When he realized he was busted, Cracker initially tensed in panic as well, tightening his grip on the scarf. But then he looked down at the small Electrike frantically jumping at him, trying to recover his stolen property. The sight was so amusing that the Aipom broke into another fit of giggles. Standing up, he shook off all the extra leaves, twigs and vines he'd added to his otherwise unimpressive leaf-tunic and hood. As the debris fell to the ground below, the monkey held up the electric Pokemon's precious scarf, allowing it to unravel to its full, rectangular shape.

"It was yours," the Aipom replied with a big mischievous grin as he grabbed hold of the two closest corners of the fabric and swung it around behind him to tie around his neck. Now it looked like a cape, which made Cracker quite giddy as he continued, "But now it's mine! See?!"

With a gleeful monkey screech, the purple menace promptly jumped from his branch, using his tail which had preemptively wrapped around it, so that he could fling himself off into the next tree and away from the beaten path. His home wasn't far away, which was bad enough for a budding criminal, but Cracker had completely abandoned any sense of stealth now, which meant following him wouldn't have been difficult.

As he swung from tree to tree, snickering loudly, the Aipom delighted in every movement his newly acquired cape made in the wind. It made everything he did that much more amazing and epic. Except it was apparently a large distraction as well, since he got so caught up in his own narcissism that he neglected to see his own tree-house. He'd been moving at such a fair clip too, that when he realized he was on a crash course, the only thing he could do, was tuck his limbs in mid-flight and cannon-ball through his open window.

If the Electrike had by some miracle managed to lose the thieving monkey, the subsequent clatter of useless junk as he slammed into his dwelling surely would've remedied that. As it was, a flock of Pidgey took flight at the disturbance. Unfortunately for Cracker, his landing had resulted in a new head accessory in the form of a crate the exact size and dimension of his over-sized cranium. The rest of his body was poised in the air upside-down, legs kicking pointlessly and his small arms thumping the box as he complained loudly and incomprehensibly thanks to the wood muffling his voice.

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:21 pm

He was being mocked. The unknown pokemon's laughing fit was proof enough of that. A growl broke through his throat as anger mixed with his desperation, but it wasn't nearly vicious enough to have the intended effect. Still the pokemon finally got to see the true identity of the thief as he stood up and shook the camouflaging foliage from him. It didn't really help: Trace never studied the innumerable forms pokemon took well enough to name each and every one. The best bet he had was the thief was some kind of poison type. Of course he would be wrong there.

Trace's frantic little hopping stopped as the aipom unfurled the scarf, struck dumb as the pokemon promptly wrapped it around his own neck and happily declared it as his own. It was only after the monkey started to flee by jumping from tree branch to tree branch that the electric pokemon was jarred into action. He gave chase, practically tearing through the underbrush in an effort to keep up with the retreating figure above him. The aipom was a little faster, but not fast enough for Trace to lose sight of him.

Soon enough he had chased the cavorting monkey all the way to his hideout. It was a treehouse, high above the forest floor. "Oh come on!" Trace tackled the tree in frustration. A resounding crash from above scattered a flock of pidgeys and made him look up sharply. How strong was that tackle he just did? Shrugging, the electrike started to circle the tree and decided to wait out the pokemon if he had to. There was no way he was going to let this trickster get away with his scarf. He solemnly swore that he would chase him to the ends of the land in order to get it back. Fortunately a much better option presented itself.

A series of tree branches zigzagged their way up the tree trunk all the way to the hideout. Trace stopped in his pacing and looked up at them, trying to calculate the possibility of scaling the natural platforms. They were a bit too spaced out for him, maybe if he was twice his size he could quite comfortably hop from one to the other. But it still looked passable! Crouching down, the electrike put a good bit more power into his leap and managed to gain enough air to hook his forelimbs around the top of the branch. Not for the first time, he wished his forelimbs operated more like arms as his back paws scrabbled for enough purchase to throw himself onto the branch. Repeating this process took a few precious minutes and left Trace panting, his abused ribcage having had the wind knocked out of it several times in a row.

Still, he finally was able to enter the treehouse and see what had become of the thief. The aipom was more than a little stuck, flailing helplessly upside down in a wooden crate apparently just big enough to neatly fit his head. Now it was Trace's turn to giggle at the other's expense as he padded around the chaotic mess of random junk strewn about the floor. "I'll be taking this.~" His voice nearly sang with the sweet feeling of revenge as he neatly plucked his defense scarf off the struggling pokemon's neck and trotted away with it in his maw.

He was nearly out the door when something stopped him dead in his tracks. Trace gave a hard look back over his shoulder at the purple monkey still trapped in the karmic prison, and something flashed in his eyes at the sight. Empathy. Of course empathy had to rear its ugly head at this very moment. Trace knew how it felt to be trapped like that. The terror that grips your heart at the heavy realization that you can't escape. Trace gritted his teeth and swore under his breath. No one deserved to go through that, no one! And so, with a self-loathing stamp of his foot the electrike charged the box to smash it with a tackle.

For a rescue, it was ungracious and most likely left the aipom a little dazed. Yet Trace left it exactly like that. It was more than the thief derserved. Without a word or a backwards glance, the electrike exited the tree house and made his descent. It was much easier getting down, but it still gave the aipom enough time to gather his wits enough to at least figure out what had happened if not follow.

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Last edited by TraceNoil on Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:35 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Fixed the strikethrough comment error)
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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:06 pm

For several long, frustrating minutes, Cracker had struggled to unstick himself from the crate. Unfortunately, his big cumbersome ears ensured that the melon-shaped hole he'd made, was a one-way trip. But it was okay because he was in the safety of his secret lair--wait, what was that? The Aipom stopped squirming just long enough to confirm what he'd heard; the pitter-patter of foot-steps invading his turf!

Cracker was already squirming again before Trace made himself known with the casual retrieval of his stolen property. And despite his complaints being muffled, he still hollered, "Hey, what--that's mine! Give it back you-you... thief! Criminal scuuuum!"

He continued to kick up a fuss as the Electrike was departing, his feet flailing until they finally found purchase on the box, but it didn't give him anymore leverage to remove his head from it's wooden jaws. Frustration made him revert to feral screeching, the monkey's rump bounced up and down as he kicked at the crate, completely unaware of the electric-type Pokemon's change of heart.

The Aipom let out a startled squeal when the box suddenly exploded upon impact with Trace's head, splinters of wood accompanying him as he was catapulted across the room into another pile of garbage. Cracker laid on his back, temporarily stunned by the impact and too dizzy to move. However, the second he regained his senses, the perky monkey was back on his feet.

Using his tail as a springboard, Cracker vaulted back to the opposite side his tree-house. The Electrike was already half-way down in his descent before he spotted him and took off in pursuit. "Hey, wait! Get back here with that, you dirty criminal!" he called out, taking a convenient short-cut via free-fall. When he caught up to Trace, his tail instinctively snagged the branch just above him, so the monkey could hang upside-down in front of the Electrike as he barked, "Halt, thief! Hand over the stolen goods or else!"

Either Cracker had taken too hard a hit to the head, or he was just consumed by his perceived persona, but he seemed to have completely forgotten just who had stolen what. There was certainly a noticeable welt on his head, and his 'clothing' was looking a little worse for wear, but he had a stern look on his face now, with a scowl instead of his smile. But that lasted for a few seconds at most. Cracker couldn't help cracking a grin again and giggling softly, like he was amused by his own performance.

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:05 am

Trace could only stop and stare, once again surprised by the absurd turn of events, as the aipom came barreling after him before he had even made it back to the ground. The pokemon was even claiming that he was the thief this time for taking back what was rightfully the electrike's in the first place. Although whatever fierce persona the aipom was attempting to make was drastically marred by the large lump that had grown on his head.

Indignation lifted his muzzle into a snarl. "Yuu waf to hall mee a fief! Hah!" Trace tried to retort, his words coming out garbled thanks to the now slightly damp scarf still in his maw. He couldn't tie the scarf around his neck on his own, so he'd have to go back to town and see if anyone would be willing to do it for him. But his first task would be to get away from this would-be pickpocket.

Trace was already preparing a paralyzing thunder wave when the aipom's anger broke down and he started laughing again. Disarmed and more than a little confused, the electrike felt his electricity he was bearing up fade away as he tilted his head at the monkey. Was this all some kind of elaborate prank, or was he just insane? One of those options was worse than if he were just some kind of petty criminal. And that option was looking more and more likely as the soft giggling turned malicious in Trace's mind.

Wary, the canine tried to backstep to create some distance between them. A little too late did he remember where exactly he was. Where he expected solid ground behind him, his back paw only encountered open air. His eyes opened wide in a combination of surprise and horror before down he went, crashing all the way to the forest floor. Thankfully, he was already half way down so the short drop wouldn't do more than leave a decent bruise on the side of his hip that he landed on.

That is the last time I try to climb a tree! Trace thought as he shook himself off. Getting back on all four paws, he looked back up at the aipom. "Uhh, orr yuu ofay?" He asked hesitantly, tensing his legs as he prepared to bolt. He didn't want to tempt fate and risk a repeat of the incident that brought him here, but this pokemon was turning into such an oddball that he almost felt compelled to pause for a few more moments.

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:57 am

Cracker was already giggling openly to himself, but when the Electrike responded with an angry, nearly unintelligable retort, the monkey lost it. He clasped both paws over his mouth just to stifle the laughter than bubbled up out of him. As he wiped a tear from his eye, he said in amusement, "Uh... snrk! What was that? Heehee, maybe you shouldn't talk with your mouth full!"

Tickled pink as he was, the Aipom still managed to notice the other Pokemon backing away. However, before he could call out a warning, Trace backed right off the tree branch he'd been precariously standing on. As he plummeted, Cracker dropped down from his current perch, peering over the side of the limb Trace was just standing on in alarm; and to watch him fall. To accompany the terrible sight, the monkey whistled, flinching when the electric-type hit the bottom with painful thud.

By the time Trace looked up at the tree to check on him though, Cracker had already disappeared. Using his impressive acrobatic prowess, the monkey had swiftly swung down to ground level, planting himself on a rock behind the Electrike. A rock the clumsy Pokemon had come dangerously close to landing on when he'd made the mistake to take the 'shortcut' down. He was sitting there with a mix of curiosity and worry on his face when Trace inquired about his well-being. As if he'd been the one to fall.

"What?! Am I okay? I didn't just fall twenty feet!" he cried, "What were you even thinking? You could've gotten hurt, you silly thing! Trees are no place for your kind. You should keep all four of those feet on the ground, Mister. Now gimme back that pretty scarf...!" Just like that, the Aipom was reaching out with grabby paws, but he didn't seem overly interested in actually reacquiring his prize.

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:27 am

Could have gotten hurt? Try did get hurt. Trace's side was smarting as he turned to face the acrobatic pokemon who alighted onto a tall rock, and he winced from the pain as he tried to put his full weight on the leg. Still, he blinked at the other pokemon's response. He was concerned? Ten points in elaborate prankster category, but it still didn't mean the aipom wasn't crazy. Perhaps not demented crazy but a different, less dangerous kind of crazy. If the electrike was the analytical type, he would have been able to build a character out of his inklings and realize the pokemon was much like a child who had yet to really grow up. As he is though, he only has the vague idea that the aipom's thievery had more playful origins than he originally gave it credit.

The impression made it hard to take the pokemon's renewed attempt at restealing the reclaimed scarf very seriously. However he didn't have time to dwell on it. The aipom was coming, and trace had to leap back to get out of range of the grabby hands. Upon his landing, a cry of pain escaped his maw as his bruised side sent a sharp report of 'ouch' to his head. He favored his injured back leg, but didn't collapse as he glared back at the monkey. He just couldn't summon any heat to the glare anymore. "Lifin I-" Trace stopped talking and made a face that showed he knew just how ridiculous that just sounded. He then spat the scarf onto the ground and placed a paw on top of it. It was the best he could do to keep it secure while also freeing his maw to talk clearly. Of course it did make the scarf dirtier than it had been in a really long time.

Now finally able to talk in a clear voice again, the electrike focused back on the aipom. "I'm not letting you have this scarf. It's very valuable to me." He stated, trying to find the right words to say without saying too much. This was the closest he had ever come to talking about his past, but with his injured leg he knew he couldn't evade the other pokemon. For that matter he wouldn't be able to chase him down if the scarf possession was reversed again. He was getting cornered in by circumstance alone.

The realization made the hairs on the back of his neck to stand up, and he none too subtly widened his posture into a defensive stance. Yet he didn't bring forth any electricity. There was still that nagging intuition weighing him down. If there was a chance that this situation could be defused, he wanted to hold out for that chance.

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:01 pm

The Aipom couldn't help but giggle when his attempt for the scarf was met with a swift retreat from the other Pokemon. He'd stopped shy of leaving the rock though, his smile turning into a frown very briefly as the Electrike landed on his bad leg and cried out in pain. The monkey felt a pang a guilt then, holding his stumpy paws to his face with worry. But then Trace tried to speak with the scarf in his mouth again, and they were suddenly trying to contain another wave of manic laughter, instead.

Stifling his amusement, Cracker watched the electric-type spit the bundle of fabric onto the ground, pinning it there while he spoke clearly this time. The monkey met his gaze with a neutral expression for once, as if actually giving what Trace had to say serious thought this time. He seemed to understand though, as a grin returned to his face and his snickered profusely.

"Oooooh! Well why didn't you just say so!" he replied loudly, looking completely blown away by the revelation. Whether he was legitimately surprised however was uncertain. "But uh, if it's so important, why're you getting it all muddy?"

The Electrike's shift to a defensive posture hadn't gone unnoticed, but the monkey didn't seem too concerned about it, as he happily sprung from his spot on the rock, up into the tree once more. Bypassing the ground to get closer to Trace, he settled onto the very lowest branch, hanging upside-side near the wary, wounded Pokemon. He had a look of concern on his face again.

"That's a pretty bad bruise, huh? I'm really sorry about that, I didn't think you'd just go and walk off a tree branch. You gooonna be okaaay?" he asked apologetically, and yet his tone of voice still held an ominous ring to it. Almost like he might've planned the whole thing. Or... at least part of it. Actually, he wasn't really capable of planning anything, but his actions all had a singular motive that went beyond simple pick-pocketing.

"What's so special about that thing anyway, that you'd go and climb a tree for it?" he continued to inquire, clearly no stranger to asking more questions than any one person could reasonably answer. "It's just a dirty, old defense scarf...Especially dirty now!"

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:49 am

Starting energy: 12

In response to the first question posed by the Aipom, Trace opened his mouth to inform him of the miraculous power a lake has at removing unwanted dirt from precious articles of cloth. However, before he could utter a syllable, a new question was posed about his injured leg. It relieved him to find that his intuition that there was more going on than the pokemon being a scarf-snatcher. He changed tract, wanting to assuage his concerns and tell him that he just needs a few minutes and he'll be just fine. Then the third question was posed, and what a big question it was.

Trace's mouth snapped shut with an audible click. That was the one question he couldn't readily answer. The electrike felt sweat pool under his long fur. "Um, it's an, ah...." He struggled, trying to buy time despite the relatively easy questions. Of course he could just say that the scarf came from a buizel who saved his life, and he had kept it as a memento of the greatest kindness he had ever experienced. But with what had happened after, his absolute fai- NO! Make up something, anything will be better than thinking about that!

"Heirloom!" He finally blurted out, seemingly to his own surprise as well. The word is already out, go with it. "It's really the only thing I have to remember them by, my parents." He lied, and then his eyes widened as he realized what he had just said. Mentally, he cursed. Of course he had to mention his parents of all things! Trace clenched his jaw as he anticipated the rush of emotion before it even hit him. Just where WERE his parents? Why can't he even picture their faces? Why did his own pack chase him off like that? Was he aban-

Trace jumped from the flood in his own mind like it was a living thing that had bitten him. His eyes narrowed into a glare that he focused sharply on the Aipom who had just shown such concern for the injury he had inadvertently caused the eletrike. "What's it to you anyway?!?" The canine growled, wearing rage like an armor. "I saw the state of hideout. I bet you already had three more scarves just like mine buried somewhere in that rubbish! If mine is such a dirty old scarf to you, why did you want it so badly?" He demanded loudly, and raged on without giving the other pokemon a chance to respond either.

"And IF I had hands, I'd already be tying my scarf around my neck! Since I don't, I'm going to have to go back to the village and ask someone to tie it back on me. Right now though, this is my best option to speak and guard my scarf from would be theives!" He finished his tirade with venom, almost spitting out the word thief as he fixed the aipom with a pointed glare. A more reasonable part of his mind said he was being harsh, but he squelched that reasoning. Right now, he didn't care. This anger felt good, and at least it was much better than THAT. He sheltered himself in this mind-consuming rage, his breath coming out his tight huffs of fury as he stared down the other pokemon.

TraceNoil carried out 10 launched of one Pecha Forest (Image not informed.) :
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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:19 pm

As the other Pokemon struggled to answer his flood of questions, Cracker continued to dangle by his tail, both paws on his cheeks and a big grin between them. He was more than a little confused though, when after a few seconds stumbling over his tongue, Trace declared quite loudly that the scarf was an heirloom. The Aipom's brows sank slightly in response, picking up the subtle indications of unnecessary stress in the Electrike's voice.

Unfortunately, the electric-type's bizarre answer to the question only made the monkey more curious. Particularly when Trace carried on about his parents. The subject of family was a surprisingly sensitive topic for Cracker, considering he never knew his parents. His communal upbringing had precluded the necessity for familial bonding, but there were considerable drawbacks to being raised by his Nanna, whom had been in charge of caring for all the baby Aipom in his village. Such as the nature of that care. Specifically for a troublesome little monkey like Cracker.

Being treated like all the others rather than like the individual he was, had caused him to act out on many occasions. And his lack of parental figures, essentially ensured he'd never properly understand right from wrong, even despite the mandatory schooling he'd been expected to participate in. Just thinking about it made his belly feel weird, but it seemed that Trace was having a much stronger reaction. Not only did he look tense and uneasy, but the Electrike suddenly jumped at nothing, and then locked onto Cracker with an angry glare.

All of a sudden Trace wasn't being so nice anymore. He wore a furious expression on his face, and held a stance that was as equally defensive as it was offensive. The change in demeanor had Cracker tucking his limbs inward, as if expecting a rage-fueled attack. For what reason he couldn't imagine, but it frightened him all the same to see a potential friend becoming an enemy instead. His grin remained however, right up until the Electrike started snapping at him.

The first few words out of Trace's mouth made the Aipom flinch like he'd been struck. Then his smile promptly dropped into a frown, and stayed there as the angry outburst continued uninterrupted. Of course, Cracker tried to jump in, to perhaps explain himself, or maybe at least apologize, but the Electrike's fury drowned him out, such that when he attempted to offer his assistance with the scarf, he was swiftly shamed into silence. What hurt him the most though, was being called a thief.

Still dangling upside-down and no longer smiling like his usual self, Cracker held both of his stumpy paws over his mouth, as if he might hide the fact he was upset. It was only after Trace had finished berating him that the giant crocodile tears formed in his big, wide, trembling eyes. Of course, because he was still upside-down, the tears welled up and trickled towards the top of his head, forming droplets off the tips of his head fluff.

If he was trying to look like his hopes and dreams had just been shattered, he was succeeding quite well. Although he was used to rejection and being shunned by everyone he encountered, this interaction had struck him particularly hard. And he would've tried to hide that fact, if not for the tears streaming up his head in full force now.

"I.. I was just..." he eventually replied with a quiver in his voice. Cracker promptly climbed back onto the branch above him, wiping away his tears and trying very hard not to openly weep. As much as he wanted to show the Electrike he could be helpful and friendly, Trace had made himself quite clear. He didn't want anything to do with the Aipom, and that somehow hurt most of all. "I--I'll... leave you alone, then..." he sniffled softly, "I'm sorry... a-about your leg."

Without waiting for a response, Cracker swiftly launched himself into the air, snagging the next nearest branch to throw himself further into the surrounding forest. Even though they'd been standing outside his own home, the Aipom was compelled to give Trace the distance he seemed to desire, leaving behind a trail of tears. Once more the monkey's attempt to socialize and make friends had failed, and he was so stricken by it this time that he neglected to see the trap poised in front of him as he made a mad dash through the trees.

Before he even realized it, Cracker had swung himself straight into a hand-made net, composed of vines. His arms and legs passed straight through the holes, but the rest of him was brought to a sudden, unceremonious stop. Something overhead snapped then, caused the net to plummet, with him tangled up inside, towards the forest floor. The Aipom screeched in terror, more from the potential landing on pointy twigs and pine needles that littered the ground, than his own capture. However, the trap stopped him just a few feet from striking the earth.

Barely thirty meters from his own home, the monkey had walked right into a snare. One designed specifically to catch him unawares. And where normally it wouldn't have worked nearly so well, thanks to his compromised emotional state, it couldn't have been more successful. Now suspended in a net, he was at the mercy of a pair of Pokemon that suddenly emerged from hiding nearby. A Nidorino and a Nidorina were grinning from ear to ear as they stared up at their prize.

"Hah! I told you it would work!" the male declared triumphantly, looking quite pleased with himself as he came closer. "Welcome to your worst nightmare, you little menace!"

Behind him, a smaller, daintier Nidorina rolled her eyes and snorted. "We've been putting up nets for weeks, Rothgar. I think you just got lucky," she commented with an arrogant tone. "Not that I'm complaining. That furball's got a lot to answer to."

As the two Pokemon chattered, Cracker continued to writhe in his newfound bondage, trying to gnaw through the vines with his blunt teeth, when he finally complained in frustration. "W-who are you?! What do you want from me?!" he cried, tears still streaking down his cheeks as he continued to struggle pointlessly.

His captors seemed quite amused by his actions, but it was the Nidorino who spoke up first, "Who are we? Just how thick is that big ugly head of yours? You know exactly who are. We're the leaders of the Nido-Clan!"

"Precisely. And we're here to make you pay for your transgressions against us," the Nidorina huffed indignantly.

The monkey responded with a loud, unhappy whine, and yet more struggling. "Noo...! J-just leave me alone! I wanna be alone!" he screeched, kicking and writhing in the net uselessly.

"Oh... don't worry, we'll leave you alone," the Nidorino replied with a dark grin on his face. "How's a month in a deep dark hole sound?" The Pokemon proceeded to cackle, but his partner in crime just shook her head.

"That's hardly punishment enough for the one responsible for interfering with our business. No, I've got far worse things in mind for you, 'Hooded One'. You'll regret messing with us, I assure you," she said ominously, her head low, but glaring eyes focused intently on the captured monkey.

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:58 pm

Energy:12-53=0 (Status=Poisoned)

The sight of the other pokemon's tears sent a cold lance through the flight or fight instinct that he had reverted to in an effort to get away from his own thoughts. Guilt welled up inside him as he heard the aipom's defeated response met his ears. He had pushed it too far. The electrike started to step forward, to apologize or do something to try to take back the words he had said, but hesitated with one paw poised in the air with indecision. Slowly, he placed the paw back in its original position and stared at the defense scarf he was standing on. Wasn't this what he had wanted in the first place? To be rid of that troublemaker. Surely after this, the other pokemon would go through great lengths to avoid him. That was a good thing, right?

He was still standing there, trying to rationalize the past few moments when a terrified screech caused his head to snap up in the direction the pokemon had fled. That was the aipom's voice! Trace's paws were moving before he even realized it, starting to sprint in the direction the cry came from and leaving his scarf there in the dirt. His frantic mind conjured the most likely scenario. The aipom must have ran right into another pokemon after he had been chased away by him. The electrike's eyes widened as ice seemed to run down his spine. Suddenly he knew why he felt so uncertain about seeing the aipom leave like that. Trace had chased him away! The same sort of thing that had plagued him most of his nightmarish life, and now his outburst had done the exact same thing.

Tears welled up in the electrike's eyes now, and they were whipped out of his eyes by the air as he poured on the speed. Feeling them, Trace screwed his eyes shut. He couldn't believe what he had just done, but he didn't have time to regret it right now. This was his fault, and he will do something about it! When his eyes opened again, they were hard and determined. The mask was back on.

It was then that he tore into a small clearing and the scene of Aipom's capture unfolded in front of him. The nidorina and nidorino had their back turned to him, but the netted aipom would have clearly seen him enter. The sight of the two pokemon set Trace's teeth on edge. They were even ganging up on him! "Hey!" He blurted out, causing the pair to pause and glance his way. The electrike was at the edge of the clearing, already in a combat stance with his breath coming out in low growls. Golden electricity crackled through his fur, but his eyes were shifted up at the Aipom. He had to figure a way out of this, and fast!

The pair of pokemon noticed where his eyes were pointing, and the nidorina shifted her gaze between Trace and Cracker. She couldn't comprehend that someone could come to the rescue of this troublemaker. No, her mind reached for the only conclusion she could and so she turned back to Trace with a smirk on her face. "Hey, if you've got a bone to pick with this little nuisance then you're going to have to get in line."

"Yeah!" The nidorino chipped in. "We caught him first, and he has a lot to answer for!" Dismissing the electrike, the pair were already turning back their captive as they prepared to deliver whatever punishment they had planned for him. Trace couldn't have that. He needed something to keep their attention on him! Thankfully their response to his presence gave him an idea, as long as he could pull off the deceit. "Yeah, I've got a bone to pick with him, and I'm not about to have your way until I have what I want!" He said, stressing a growl into his voice. It was a challenge, and the Nido-clan leaders took the bait. The pair turned back to him with defiant hisses. "You clearly have no clue who we are!" The nidorino huffed. "We are the leaders of the Nido clan, and this furball insulted us in front of our entire clan by snatching the food we were guarding right under our noses!" The pair took a step toward Trace, intend to defend their right to their quarry. "And we intend to return the favor." The nidorino finished darkly.

And with that the battle was on, as short as it was. The electrike charged for the pair, seemingly intent to bring the fight up close. However a twin stream of poison darts had him jump to the side and run in a circle around them. He managed to keep just ahead of the barrage of poisonous barbs, but his focus wasn't on taking down the pair of strong pokemon. When he was close enough, he lept up towards the vine net that held the aipom captive. A single ice fang would shear right through those vines, but then pain blossomed in his shoulder as a spray of needles found their mark.

The nidorino had been puzzled by the electrike's appearance. Sure he had gone along with his mate's assumption, but the doubt nagged in the back of his mind. Trace didn't seem like a pokemon who belonged in the forest. No, the electric type seemed like he'd be more at home in a wide open plain somewhere. If that were the case, there was no way he'd have had any serious interaction with Cracker. He could be from that village then, and might intend to actually rescue their prey. His suspicion proved correct when the pokemon started running around them in the direction of the trapped aipom. The nidorino predicted the jump and succeeded in scoring a direct hit with his poison darts, however it was not enough to stop Trace from cleanly biting a wide gap in their net.

Trace landed heavily on the ground after biting through the net and did his best to ignore the pain. There was no way they could win against the nido pair, and he didn't want to stick around to try and prove that statement false. He spared a glance at the now freed aipom to utter a single command that he himself was planning to follow. "RUN!" Adrenaline pumping through his veins added a note of hysteria to his voice, and he immediately kicked up dirt in his effort to get away. The nido pair gave angry cries as they started to give chase, but it was already a lost cause. If both of them had taken off there was no way they could keep up.

Panic kept the electrike's feet moving for quite a while, but then a new sensation started to crawl through his system. He started to feel woozy and a little sluggish. Trace's pace slowed to a stop as he realized what that meant. He had been poisoned! Hopefully at least, they had both made it out of there. At least as far as he knew. The electrike started to look around for the aipom, immediately grasping he was quite certainly in an unfamiliar part of Pecha Forest.

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:51 pm

After realizing there was no escaping the Nido-clan's well crafted net, Cracker had resigned himself to moping. Since upsetting the Electrike, he was feeling overwhelmingly emotional, and he couldn't stop crying, despite wiping away the tears as quickly as they formed. A multitude of conflicting emotions swirled around inside him, but he was too distraught to decipher them. All he knew was how mad and equally sad he was, right now.

He'd gotten himself captured as a result, and he almost didn't care. A part of him felt like he deserved it, for all the things he'd done. Of course, the louder, angry voice in his head demanded retribution and freedom. It was the one he usually listened to most, but now, for all its mad shouting, it was just noise. And in that incoherent haze of rage, feelings of regret peeked through.

The Aipom was certain of his doom, right up until a familiar green and yellow quadroped suddenly appeared. Neither member of the Nido-clan had seen him yet, but Cracker saw him plain as day, leaning forward against the net in a mix of hope and worry. He promptly slipped, plunging his small arms and legs through the holes in the net. Then he proceeded to flail as Trace called out to the Pokemon.

Cracker was on the verge of panicking, fearing for his own safety as much as that of the electric-type that had come back for him. Although, before he could warn him of the danger, Trace had drawn the Nidorino and Nidorina's attention. During their verbal exchange however, the monkey was compelled to pipe in loudly in his defense.

"B-b-but you stole all that food!" he whined, just as a fight broke out amongst the earth-bound Pokemon.

Flinching with concern for the Electrike, Cracker watched the quick-footed electric-type charge the Nido-clan, only to be met with a hail of poisonous darts. Trace's agility was most impressive, even despite his wounded leg, but he could only stay ahead of the attacks for so long before the Nidorino caught on to his plan. It was just a little too late, though. The poison dart struck its target, but not before Trace had become airborne, with glowing white fangs primed to slice through the net.

Upon contact the vines themselves were flash frozen, which made them shatter with ease. However, as Trace returned to the ground and shouted for him to run, Cracker was too busy falling. In fact, he landed face first in the dirt just as the Electrike kicked up chunks of earth in his escape. Left to fend for himself, the Aipom need only do what he did best. Which was run for the hills. Unfortunately, he was now surrounded by the two Nido-clan leaders, both glaring at him furiously.

They were going to attack, but Cracker's instincts were quicker. Before they could launch another volley of poison darts, the monkey kicked himself into a spin, picking up speed as fast as he could before digging his tail into the ground around him. In lieu of the proper material for his Sand Attack, the Aipom instead flung forest debris and thick clouds of dirt up into the air, obscuring himself completely just as the poisonous projectiles came down on him.

"No! Not again!!" the nidorino fumed loudly, only to be barked at by his partner.

"After him! Don't let him escape, this time!" she hollered, but it was already too late.

The moment the Nido-clan had lost sight of him, Cracker absconded into the trees above, racing back to his treehouse with reckless abandon. They still didn't know where he lived, which was why he needed to flee as quickly as he could, before they could follow. It didn't take him long to get back though, and when he finally came to a stop to catch his breath, he spied a most disturbing sight on the forest floor below.

At the foot of his tree, where Trace had abandoned his scarf, was a little Pineco. It must have stumbled across the old piece of fabric, which Cracker had only just learned was of great, personal value to the Electrike. And now, the limbless Pokemon was rolling upon it, wrapping the material around its form like a cloak. The monkey snorted at the sight, mumbling to himself, "Stole my idea..."

With its 'brand new' scarf, the Pineco began to hop away into the nearby brush, and suddenly Cracker's heart leapt into his throat. Siezed by a panicked obligation to retrieve the poor Electrike's prized possession, the Aipom flung himself after the small, swaddled Pokemon. Once he'd lost sight of the Pineco though, it was game-over. It took him ten minutes of searching to realize it, however.

Oddly enough, by the time he'd given up his search for the scarf, he inadvertently found the very Pokemon in belonged to. Trace hadn't seen him yet, giving Cracker plenty of time to observe and realize to his dismay that the Electrike wasn't only hurt now, but also poisoned. The familiar, painful, purple glow that seized the electric-type's muscles periodically was a clear indication that he'd paid the price for rescuing the monkey. The guilt began to pile on the longer he watched in silence.

Eventually Cracker couldn't take it anymore, and grudgingly made himself known. With a small sigh, he swung down to a lower branch, the weaker limb creaking under his weight. "H-hey..! Um... thanks for that. F--for rescuing me, I mean. I know you... didn't have to," he stammered awkwardly, unsure how to broach the topic of Trace's now missing scarf.

"I'm really sorry... about all this. And... I'm sorry about your scarf. I did everything I could, but..." The monkey looked genuinely ashamed of himself as he fell silent.

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:44 pm

The poison settled over him like a cloak, setting his vision awash in colors he thought he could even taste. His mad dash had accelerated the toxins through his system at an alarming rate, however adrenaline had kept him from noticing it until this critical state. Vertigo made him stumble and sway drunkenly until he slumped against a tree. Trace's breath came out in shallow rasps as he struggled to regain control of his body.

He couldn't stop, not ever. Phantom ghosts nipped at his heels, keeping him from answering his body's pounding calls to rest. He could hear their roars in the rustling of the leaves, see them rising out of the shadows in the bushes. There was the Gyarados who roared at him for disturbing his lake for a drink, the Marowak who smote him with a bone club for disturbing her solitude, the Manectric who chased him away from his own pack. His poison addled mind brought these nighmares to life as he stumbled foward, step after plodding step.

A voice broke through the haze, and the visions fled at its presence. Trace swivled his head in the direction of the sound, but his eyes couldn't bring the blob of purple and cream into focus. He couldn't make out the words that the blob was saying, but the electric type somehow felt comforted by it. Trace's mouth started to curl up into a smile as he lifted a paw to take a step in Cracker's direction. Yet it was then that his quivering muscles finally gave out, and he spilled down onto the forest floor like a sack of potatoes.

As if it wasn't clear enough that he was poisoned, the electrike would feel feverishly hot to the touch. His long fur has also taken on the familiar purple tint of the condition. Normally one could tolerate the effects of poison, as long as they took it easy their body would eventually fight it off on their own. However Trace had done quite the opposite, and now the poison has spread throughout him. There's a chance he would live if he slept it off, but it would be a serious gamble.

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