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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

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[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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Lumin

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:23 pm

Though Cracker was still caught up in his own emotional turmoil, the lack of response didn't go unnoticed. However, at first, the monkey got annoyed. With a scowl he said, "Hey... are you even listening? I'm trying to say I'm s... sorry?"

The Aipom watched the delirious Electrike take a step towards him and then promptly collapse on the ground. Suddenly his anger vanished and was replaced by concern again as the monkey descended from the tree onto the nearest rock he could find. Unfortunately, it was nowhere close to where Trace had fallen. Which meant he'd have to traverse the prickly forest floor.

Just thinking about it gave him chills up and down his spine, but he told himself over and over, You're doing this for a friend! That made it a little easier to make the final descent to the mossy, nature-littered dirt, but once both feet were firmly planted, an involuntary spasm made all his muscles quiver in revulsion at the squishy earth between his toes. With a cowardly yelp, the monkey sprang up into the air, using his tail to support his mass as he propelled himself towards the downed Electrike.

With Trace immobilized and out of conventional reach, he had no choice but use the meaty hand on the tip of his tail as a makeshift platform to keep his more sensitive feet safe. He stood poised atop it as he looked the electric-type over, worriedly. The poor Pokemon had only taken one poisonous dart, but he'd ran himself so ragged that his body was struggling to fight it. Without immediate attention, he'd be in serious trouble.

Even if Cracker hadn't been versed in medical treatment, the answer was obvious. He needed a berry to counteract the poison, to give him a better chance to heal. It did just so happen that the Aipom had the perfect remedy in the pouch he kept hidden beneath his leafy garb, but there was just a small issue...

When he dug into his bag to retrieve the lum berry he'd found so long ago, what he pulled out was a discoloured, squishy little fruit with bruises and just the faintest odor of vinagar, suggesting it was close to completely spoiling, if it hadn't already. Cracker squinted at it, sniffed it, and immediately gagged in disgust. The monkey looked even more upset now, looking around the small clearing as if he might find another solution.

But the truth was, this was his best hope. Even if he could find another ripe berry in the woods, he needed to prepare it for consumption. Trace certainly didn't look like he had the strength to chew. So with no other alternative, the monkey said, "I'm gonna help, don't worry. Just... stay here."

Without another word the monkey launched himself up into the trees overhead, in search of water and a crude mortar and pestle. The former was easy to find from a stream nearby, but Cracker had to spend nearly five minutes crafting the tools he needed out of wood. Fortunately though, it meant that by the time he'd returned, the drink was prepared. In fact, on his way back to where the Electrike was laying, the monkey had found a few herbs to mix in as well, which would hopefully remedy the unpleasant aroma and likely bitter taste.

When he finally returned, he found the Electrike in the same position he'd left him in. Cracker came swinging into the area much more gently than usual, guiding himself straight to the ground in front of Trace. He forced himself to bear the skin-crawling sensation of ground beneath his feet long enough to place the curved bowl of bark in front of the other Pokemon's nose. If he'd lost consciousness by now, the smell of the Aipom's conoction alone would've been sufficient to rouse him.

However, after Cracker had returned to the safety of his tail's little peach-coloured island, several moments went by without any reaction and he whined worriedly. Reaching out with a paw, he gently nudged the poisoned electric-type.

"C-come on sleepy head, time to wake up and uhm... take your medicine," he stammered awkwardly, "Go ahead, I... I made it like a drink. Y-y-you don't even have to chew, just... lick it up, you know? Please...?"

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TraceNoil

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:56 pm

(When you want to go to a theme park but your muse is like "No wait! I now know what I want to do" haha)

This was the second time in recent memory that Trace had to run while poisoned, and unlike the first he wasn't within a town where there was an abundance of kind and helpful pokemon. But even in Pecha forest, such help was hard to come by. Thankfully nothing chanced upon the prone electrike while the aipom was away.

Trace was floating somewhere between lucidity and unconsciousness. He had put up mental walls to shelter himself from the pain the poison was putting him through, and it numbed his senses to the rest of the world. His eyes were wild and unfocused. Everything seemed far too bright, and the splash of purple color that heralded Cracker's return was wholly unrecognizable. As before, all he could hear was a garbled mess of base tones as the purple form squatted down in front of his face.

For a few moments nothing even happened, but then Trace's next labored breath brought a new scent with it. It smelled more like wild herbs than anything else, but the scent alone brought a sense of clear-headedness that allowed him to finally bring the world into focus. The green canine blinked forcibly, as if the action could reset his sight to normal levels. It was the first conscious move he had made since his collapse.

His eyes focused first on the being who was prodding him in the belly. It was the aipom! He looked worried about something, but why was he even here? Trace blinked a few more times, but this time it was in confusion. What was going on? Wait, the monkey was saying something about medicine, but what medicine was he talking about? The electrike's eye wandered down and spotted a crude wooden bowl that was placed right in front of his snout. Ah, that is where the reviving scent was coming from!

Trace worked his tongue in his mouth and swallowed. His throat felt dry and stiff, but if just smelling whatever the pokemon had brought to him was good enough to revive him this much he had to drink it. He managed to lift his head enough to peer over the rim. The liquid inside was an odd shade of green, but the fresh scent coming from it didn't correlate with anything terrible in his memory. So he stuck out his tongue and started to slowly lap up the liquid.

When the first bit of the mystery fluid entered his mouth, Trace clearly hesitated. Thankfully it didn't taste horrible, but it was a strange combination of bitter, dry and a hint of spice all watered down to the point where it was only mildly unpleasant. In a normal situation, there would certainly be better things to drink, however the healing properties of whatever was in it could not be denied from even the first swallow. Trace steeled himself before he went back to work finishing the last of the herbal soup.

Trace felt much better when he was even half way through the concoction, but he doggedly finished the rest of it before trying to do anything else. He swallowed one last time before looking up at the aipom and allowing a small smile to show on his face. "Thank you." He said simply; his throat still felt a little hoarse so he didn't want to talk much. The electrike then rolled onto his belly and stood up. Some debris from the forest floor was sticking to the side he had been laying on, but a good shake dislodged most of the clinging material from his fur. However a pair of pointy sticks have managed to somehow tangle themselves quite firmly into the canine's coat. Thankfully they weren't in a position where they were constantly jabbing his side, but they would have to be removed by hand later on.

The electrike swallowed again, working his tongue in his dry mouth. Man he needed some water! "Hey umm, do you know of any water around here? I could really go for something to drink." He asked hesitantly as he turned to the aipom.

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Lumin

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:27 pm

The whole time he was watching Trace lap up the hastily prepared tonic, Cracker had been pacing nervously atop his tail-hand, paws over his mouth with great concern plastered all over his face. He wasn't sure it would work at all, or if he'd only make the other Pokemon sicker. The berry had been dangerously close to spoiling after all. A few more hours in this weather and it would've been unedible. And like his teachers back home had tried so hard to drill into his head, medicines were best made with the freshest of berries.

So when the Electrike had finally drank up every drop and was actually starting to look better and much less purple, the monkey was visibly moved. Big tears streaked down his cheeks and an enormous, delighted smile blossomed behind his stumpy paws. He didn't seem to register what Trace had asked him though, perhaps too wrapped up in the moment. But then, the electric-type couldn't really know just how lucky it was that Cracker had happened upon him--and before the wrong Pokemon had--after they'd gotten so completely separated. The Aipom however, was fully aware of the impossible odds that had been in play.

His relieved smile started to waver and tremble as more tears flooded down him cheeks, his previous joy morphing into shame. This was all his fault. He could've gotten Trace killed with his earlier actions, and yet it seemed fate was determined to give Cracker a second chance. "Y-y-y-you're okay...? Y-you're really okay?" he implored with a quiver in his voice, like he might cry at any moment.

Then he suddenly launched himself at the Electrike, wrapping his little arms around the canine's neck in a big tearful, embrace. "I--I'm sorry! This--is all because of me; everything! It's all my fault! I-i-if it wasn't for me, none of this would've happened to you! I--I almost got you killed!" he blubbered loudly.

He didn't overstay his 'welcome' before returning to his self-made spit of unblemished land, but he continued to confess the shame in his heart: "If I hadn't taken your scarf... y-you wouldn't have gotten hurt...! A-a-and if you hadn't gotten hurt, then... maybe you wouldn't have gotten hit with that poison dart, and... and... And if I hadn't stolen the Nido-clan's food in the first place, they wouldn't have even set that stupid trap for me! I'm so sorry... I just... I wanted a friend..."

"Y-you probably hate me now, don't you? Just like everyone else...!" he lamented sadly with his head and gaze cast downward, "A-a-and I don't even know your name..."

That seemed to bother him more than anything as he buried his face in his arms, uncharacteristically despondent compared to his usual, happy-go-lucky self. Then again, he'd also never truly felt guilt or shame so strongly before. The emotionally immature Aipom didn't know how to handle such a massive influx of these new, negative emotions.

"C-can you... forgive me?" he asked in a small voice.

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TraceNoil

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:07 am

(Whoa boy, this is the first time I had to respond to someone being super emotional like this and I felt like it set me at a major crossroad on how I want to define Trace's current personality. This is actually my third attempt at writing a response here. First time was something of a boo hoo my problems are bigger than yours kind of response; which would set presidence for Trace being a whiny b!tch, and that just didn't feel like Trace should be like that. Second idea was a more mature response to have Trace try to comfort and wish to protect Cracker. The problem with that is it would be a huge leap in character development, and there would be little to no room to further grow from there... Personal distractions aside, I just felt like I needed to give an explanation as to why it took so long for me to figure out a good response to here. I hope you like it!)

Trace was caught off guard when the other pokemon jumped him. His face was frozen somewhere between an 'uhh, what?' expression and 'I think I left my fire going somewhere far, far away' look as he could do little but listen to the aipom's babbling. This was just all too much for the poor Electrike. Deep down he was still reeling from his near-death experience, and now he was being saddled with this heartfelt outpouring from this pokemon in particular. Up till now, Trace couldn't even be sure what he should count the purple monkey as. Was he a thief, a lonely pokemon with severely misguided attempts at making friends, a friend, or even an enemy? He couldn't even be perfectly sure if This wasn't just some massive act and the crazy monkey would soon sucker punch him in the shoulder while shouting "psyche!" before running away giggling. All these uncertainties and feelings whirled about in his mind like a maelstrom, dragging webs that muddied his thoughts and formed thick tangled knots over his heart. In the end, he did the only thing he really knew how to do: The electrike fled.

Not literally this time, but emotionally. He didn't know how unravel the thick cocoon his jumbled emotions had become, so he quite simply didn't. Trace squelched his turbulent emotions and buried them under a rug somewhere in the deep back recesses of his mind. Let them sort themselves out, just as long as he didn't have to deal with them right now! What he did need to deal with, however, was the fussing pokemon right in front of him. Accomplishing that would require him to answer a question he currently could not answer: Should this pokemon be his friend? The electrike still harbored some doubts, but at the least he shouldn't spite the purple monkey's attempt at making amends.

Trace was still frozen with the same expression he formed from when he got hugged, even after Cracker asked for his forgiveness. The aipom could even begin to wonder if he had somehow petrified the electric pokemon, however the green canine's expression swiftly dissolved as a sound began issuing forth from his maw. Laughter, yes indeed laughter, was his first response to the distressed aipom. "Oh come on, are you performing an eulogy? I'm not dead!" Trace exclaimed as he continued laughing, but the laughter after that sounded too hollow even for his own ears. So he swiftly stopped and defaulted to a smile directed at Cracker. His eyes drifted off to the side and ended up focusing on the bowl the purple monkey crafted, and the sight somehow gave him enough courage to say the following response. "Well... The first step at forgiving a friend is to know the name of the friend you're forgiving right?" Trace said sheepishly as his black irises refocused on the Aipom.

"Mine is Trace the electrike! What's yours?" He added in a nearly perfect cheery voice before the aipom could respond to his previous question.

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PostSubject: Re: Monkey Business   Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:57 pm

For the duration of the silence that had followed Cracker's meek plea for forgiveness, the Aipom could only quiver on the spot as he watched the stunned Electrike. Had he hugged him too hard? Or was he just paralyzed with rage towards the monkey? Whatever the case, he'd put himself at the electric-type's mercy and was expecting some kind of karma for his felonous deeds.

When Trace finally reacted though, it was with a sudden and odd burst of laughter. Tears were still streaming down Cracker's cheeks as he held his paws over his little frown, but seeing the other Pokemon give in to such mirth was having an effect on the naturally cheerful Aipom. The Electrike proceeded to dismiss all of the monkey's earlier concerns, and infected him with a false sense of delight. Unfortunately, he wasn't nearly observant enough to notice how forced it was for the electric-type to laugh in the face of his own mortality; he was just grateful that Trace was willing to give him another chance.

In fact, after the other Pokemon's peculiar laughter died away to a simple smile, he spoke as if he might actually want to be friends. He... wants to be friends...? Even after I...? The Aipom wept for an entirely new reason now, as his sad little pout twitched involuntarily into a fresh, toothy smile. For a few moments, as Trace introduced himself, the monkey looked as it he might explode with joy, but instead he quickly wiped the tears from both of his eyes at the same time, flicking his wet paws in the air as he bounced excitedly on his tail's hand.

"Y-yes, yes! Of course! Names!" he practically shouted, looking vexed with himself. "I always forget that part... A-anyway, I'm Cracker! I'm an Aipom and I love trees!" As he offered his own name, the monkey extended his paws as if he might shake hands with Trace, but he quickly realized that the other Pokemon needed all four feet to stand on. So instead he pat him on head, awkwardly.  "Hah... I'm so happy to know your name, Trace the electrike, but is that like.. your whole name? Does that mean 'electrike' is your last name..? Or is that what kinda Pokemon you are? Oh! I bet that means you know electric-type moves, right? Electric? Electrike? Get it!?"

Just like a switch had been turned off in his brain, Cracker suddenly went from sad and ashamed, back to cheerful and loud. He was more than happy to bury his own emotional problems, just like Trace had, but even though he'd reverted to his more boisterous state, he hadn't yet forgotten the Electrike's earlier request.

"Ah! I almost forgot! You're still thirsty, aren't you?! Never fear, Trace! Cracker's on the case! I know these woods like the back'a my head!" he declared in a surge of energy as he rose up and puffed his chest out, completely oblivious to the lack of faith that unfortunate simile inspired. "I think there's there's a stream around here somewhere, I'll go take a quick look. Be back in two shakes of a tail!"

The monkey promptly jumped off his own tail and used it to launch himself up into the trees overhead, vanishing into the foliage as he took off to scout the area. To be fair, he hadn't frequented this region of Pecha Forest that often, as it bordered too close to Shadowhue; and the nefarious types sometimes liked to hop that invisible border for easy pickings. In fact, Cracker wouldn't have been surprised if the Nido-Clan had originated there before setting up camp in Pecha. Right... the Nido-clan. He'd almost forgotten about them. No doubt they were still on the prowl, trying to track him down so that they might exact vengeance for his liberation of their stolen goods.

He couldn't linger away from Trace too long or they'd surely catch up to him while he was alone. He might've shown considerable talent when rescuing the Aipom previously, but he'd also paid the price for attempting a two-on-one battle. And though he was cured of the poison acquired from that bout, he was still weak. Cracker had to take care of him; it was the least he could do. And with a hard goal in mind, it was a lot easier to maintain his focus. As such, he found the stream he'd mentioned with little difficulty, and it was thankfully only a short walk from where the Electrike was resting.

The purple monkey had been gone for nearly three minutes, returning with surprising stealth as he suddenly appeared, hanging upside-down by his tail near Trace's head and saying out of the blue, "I found it! But we should go, before those Nido-Clumps find us. C'mon, just follow me! It's this way!"

Cracker was already starting to lead the way, thus far having given the Electrike almost no room at all for a reply, when he suddenly had a better idea. Normally, it was difficult to carry on a conversation when he spent all his time up in the trees, while other Pokemon kept to the ground. But the Aipom still hadn't gotten over his irrational fear of setting foot on the forest floor, so instead, he returned to Trace with a gleeful offer.

"On second thought, we might get separated that way.. soooo, how bout I just ride on your back, instead?" he implored with giant saucers for eyes and an extremely hopeful look on his face. Of course, before the electric-type could even open his mouth to undoubtedly refuse the twenty-five pound burden on his back, the Aipom suddenly dropped down from the branch he was hanging on, spinning upright and catching himself with his tail to lessen the force of his landing onto the four-legged Electrike's back. "Hehehehe, this is--yeek! Pointy!"

Just as quickly as he'd landed, he sprang up and looked at Trace's back to spy the culprit. A couple of sturdy, sharp sticks had gotten lodged in the Pokemon's fur. It would've been a struggle for a quadroped like the Electrike to remove, but for an annoyed monkey with highly dexterous fingers on his tail, it was a simple matter of 'grab' and 'tug'. As Cracker plopped back down on his impromptu mount, he held the sticks in front of Trace. "Hey, look what I found! I bet these'll come in handy if they find us. We could just poke their eyes out!"

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