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[Astrid] Lively Town

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Astrid stood in the middle of town feeling somehow alone despite all the others that walked past her. They all ignored her; all of them were just shadowy apparitions that walked like she didn't exist. Like she never existed at all. It felt like it was daytime based on the activity, but the sky was a deep purple and she could only see a little past the main square.

They were all whispering when they spoke to one another, but Astrid couldn't hear a word. Sometimes they glanced at her and, despite their faceless bodies, she had the impression that they were glaring, or frowning, or pitying her. And then they looked away and went about their business.

It felt like someone was watching her.
 

TheGOAT

🗿
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
  2. custom/alolatales-goat
Despair gave way to nothing. Then nothing was drowned out by a flash of light, followed by the cacophonous expanse of Lively Town, just as she’d left it. Not a speck of dust was out of place, save for the sky.

Delirious, she rubbed her eyes. Was she dead? Dumb question, but she couldn’t be sure; she’d fallen into the storm and lost consciousness, and now she was here. In Lively Town. She was probably dead.

Disappointed, frustrated, and unsure what else to feel, Astrid forced herself to her feet.

And yet… she was still a Ninetales. Same body, then? Just to test it, she sparked up Radiance in her paw, then Shade across her tails, and indeed, they still worked. But, to her furthered horror, all her training and tempering of the mind—that was gone. So many things were gone, in fact. Particularly things that Myles had channeled through her, she realized with a deep frown. What happened?

Hey.

Myles.

You there?


The ‘passerby’ surely couldn’t help her; they probably weren’t alive or real, lacking faces and all that. Astrid cringed at one that got uncomfortably close to her, rubbing her nose to affirm that she had not become like them. Good. Snout was still as pointed as ever.

Myles, she tried again, are you here? Are you in the crowd somewhere? Her bag was still with her, but the weight of the Ultra Stone was noticeably missing, as it often was when she went anywhere. Except important missions, of course. Which this was. Or had been. She didn’t know what this was anymore. She just had to find him, or a way out.


Astrid’s Fate gave her +3 Speed!

She began walking towards the Expedition Society HQ…

Astrid Focused on the crowd!
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
The whispers were getting louder. And some of them, Astrid could understand.

". . . ran away?"

"Not supposed to be here . . . "

"Never seen one like that before."

" . . . family problems . . . "

"His sister? . . . "

"Hey."

That one was louder. Amid the crowd, only one person seemed to be solid, or at least, more solid than the rest. And he stood right at the entrance to the HQ, staring her down.

"So what's all this, huh?" Myles asked, his red eyes strikingly bright against the gloom. There was a similar glow wherever he moved...

"Need something?"

Myles is watching...
The crowd stopped moving. They're all staring...
Myles: 1000
 

TheGOAT

🗿
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
  2. custom/alolatales-goat
Everything had shifted—seemingly against her. She was the center of faceless attention now, all except for Myles, whose red eyes were very much real.

“Myles,” she mumbled, staring back. His gaze was intense against the cloudless storm in the sky; her gaze… was exhausted, unable to match his. She looked away. Dammit. What was happening?

“…This is Lively Town. Or some imitation, or something. That purple building behind you, that’s where I, um…”

The crowd hadn’t moved, but their presence oddly felt like it was closing in on her. It didn’t help that the town itself was so detailed. As if it had been pulled straight from her memories—

Ah.

And that look Myles was giving her.

She hadn’t seen it since…

“…Myles,” she said again, shaking her head, trying to be firm, trying so desperately hard to be firm under that stare. But oh, how weak she was. Her legs were shaking a bit. Not knowing the fate of her friends tugged at her heart, made her push deeper than she normally would. “I-it’s time to go. We need to figure out what happened to the others. And to us. C’mon, we… I don’t want to be here.”


Astrid is nervous…

She’s pleading with Myles!
 
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Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"Oh, is that it?" Myles asked. "Of course that's what you'd say. Time to go, don't want to be here? Now, where have we heard that before?"

Myles made a motion with his paw. A wave of Blacklight coursed through the ground in a deep pulse before ensnaring Astrid from below--but she narrowly dodged out of the way in time.

Myles used Blacklight Hold on Astrid, but she resisted being Trapped, barely!
Myles' Accuracy went up...

Myles: 1,000
 

TheGOAT

🗿
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
  2. custom/alolatales-goat
The whirl of Blacklight energy—energy not her own—was all too familiar as it closed in. Astrid meeped and leapt out of the way, barely.

“Myles!” she snarled. It wasn’t really him. No, it was him instead. She’d recognize that dismissive tone anywhere.

How many nights had she spent envisioning this moment, in variable settings under variable circumstances? Daydreams, nightmares alike. What she’d say, what Myles would say, or what she wished he would say. Who she hoped he would have become. How she prayed he would have changed from the short-sighted, well-meaning, narcissistic idiot that has been enraptured by their Way of Life.

“I knew you’d find me here. I knew you wouldn’t let it go.” Then—a smile. “I know what a fake you are. You may turn the environment against me, but you can’t do the same with the new Myles.”


Astrid used Psych Up on Myles’ Accuracy!

Stats: +? Accuracy
Stamina: -29
Shade:
Radiance:
Misc:


“You always kicked my butt when we sparred as kids. When you got me all alone, that is.” Astrid glanced at the crowd. “…Well, here I am. I’m alone.”
 
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Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"Oh? Alone... and you're not running away, either?" Myles stepped toward her, and they walked in a circle along the front entrance to the main building. Little flickers of Blacklight ice trailed behind Myles, flecked with red electricity...

"Interesting, interesting... Maybe I don't have to trap you here. Maybe you're actually stronger. Or maybe... you just thought you had a plan."

Another wave.

Thunder boomed in the air. A thick rain poured down, going from dry to flooded in a matter of seconds.

It's too Damp to explode!

Myles: 1,000
 

TheGOAT

🗿
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
  2. custom/alolatales-goat
In seconds, her fur was matted against her body, having absorbed all the pouring rain that it could. As if Astrid cared.

“I think I know why he always encouraged my explosions, even when they nearly killed me… he was afraid of you. He was running from that feeling of restraint. I wonder how much restraint you think you have over me, now.”

Her vision clouded with anger. So much pent up despair, so many days spent under the weight of the whispers. So many anxious days…


". . . ran away?"

"Not supposed to be here . . . "

"Never seen one like that before."

" . . . family problems . . . "

"His sister? . . . "


“You have none.


Astrid used Shadow Recurve! It chained into Brilliant Metanoia, which was stored!

Stats:
Stamina: -71
Shade: +20
Radiance: +80
Misc: Recurve: Metanoia
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"No control?" Myles said, pacing along in that same circle. "It isn't like there's anything to control. You are just uncontrollable, aren't you? All that trouble you cause because you want to do things your own way... alllll that grief, all because you can't stay in line. Can't follow directions. To the whims of your own fate." Myles paced, and paced, and paced. "You nearly lost Brisa to your own folly, didn't you?"

Myles used Torment...
The storm is getting harsher.

Myles: 1,000
 

TheGOAT

🗿
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
  2. custom/alolatales-goat
“Not gonna pretend like you have me wrapped around your tails anymore? Good. Tell me how much you can’t stand it.”


Astrid Focused!

Astrid is pacing…

Stats: +2 Accuracy
Stamina:
Shade: -20
Radiance: -20
Misc: +Endure, Metanoia


“Brisa’s from another world. Of course she was never mine to lose in the first place,” Astrid spat. “But you were. You asshole.”

Her heart was hammering. So much hatred. So much fire. She didn’t need any inspiration this time. The confidence that her friends gave her… they were nowhere to be found, yet it filled her with strength, with malevolent strength. They had to still be alive. Motivation? Her motivation was pacing in a circle right in front of her. Fuck.


Astrid got low on her haunches… she’s preparing an attack…!


“You know, I think I do have a plan, Myles. It’s to stay right here. I won’t leave you this time.

“And you… you will not haunt me any longer.”
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"Ohh," Myles cooed, bringing a few tails in front of his face as if to hide a laugh. "Look at you. All grown up. So full of confidence and wonder. Because of your friends that you'll never see again. That's certainly one way to adapt. Pretending it's all going to be fine, all fine, when really, you're leaving everyone behind, even me. Just like before. It's really no different.

"Go on, attack me. Is there really any point to it, though? What are you trying to prove?"

Myles Taunted Astrid.

Myles: 1,000
 

TheGOAT

🗿
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
  2. custom/alolatales-goat
Astrid: 1 HP


“That I love you,” she replied with a tired smile, “and never stopped loving you, as much as I never stopped hating you.

“Maybe I can’t have my brother back, because reality doesn’t work like this place. I-I think I get that part now. I’m going to try, but… I’m not going to change myself to make it happen. Maybe you—the real you, wherever he is—should accept that you can’t have me the way you want me.

“But I can have the new Myles! He risked himself for me as a Ninetales when you watched me struggle on as a Vulpix. I don’t care if he had to be there. He adapted with me, and I became better for it. He’s nothing like you!”

The crowd… the condemning energy they radiated… it was just like the tribe. She understood, now. What they were saying was right. But it didn’t mean a thing. It was just noise. Well, they could keep their noise.


Astrid used Flail…


“So, I’m bringing him back. And you aren’t stopping me!”


“I’m running away! And you aren’t stopping me!”


…on the crowd!




Stats:
Stamina: -29
Shade:
Radiance:
Misc:
 
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Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
The crowd made various hissing and loud whispers in response as Astrid's attacks passed through them. But it was enough that it warded them away and sent them fleeing. Myles watched, truly taken by surprise, as the audience truly left them behind... but the rain still poured, and the Blacklight binds beneath Astrid's feet continued to swirl, threatening to grasp at her at any moment.

Myles barked out a single, high laugh. "So that's your answer?" he asked. "You're going to beat everyone else up, just to get back your hypothetical, fake brother back? Is that it?"
 

TheGOAT

🗿
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
  2. custom/alolatales-goat
Astrid threw herself with all her might at the faceless apparitions, not that she was very mighty this way. She braced herself for impact—and then it never came. Not when she expected it to, at least.

The crowd was not solid, which she probably should have guessed. Nonetheless, their agitated murmurs made their opinion of her Flail attack evident. Barely a moment of proud respite was allowed before Astrid’s head was filled with a painful ringing. Her chin had slammed into the cobblestone below, but at least the whispers had vanished. Good.

Spitting out a ball of saliva (no teeth, thankfully), she forced herself halfway up and glanced around. “…Beat everyone else up?” She shook her head. “No, no. It’s not about that, no. I just wanted to make this place feel a little less real.”

She pawed at the ground, which was beginning to accumulate water faster than it could absorb it. The tiny waves she made were instantly cancelled by the cascading rain making thousands more. Yikes. This rain is building up fast…

But she got up. And she kept pacing as if nothing had changed.

“Hey Myles. Having fun?”


Astrid: 1 HP


“You know, you can keep quipping, keep flipping up your hair at me,” she barked. “Keep taking my options away. Every time, back and forth, back and forth. Y’know. It’s like I finally get to talk to you again.”

A dismissive yawn of her own followed; she had to get it from somewhere, after all. And boy did he hate those.

“But, mm. I did tell you I’m not leaving. Soooo… that means it’s your turn! Go on then! Why don’t you show me something for once—!”

Pivoting at once, she suddenly lunged high, left her fate up to gravity, and then loosened up her body for an incoming blow. She acted on a whim, but not in any hurry. If Myles wanted, he could easily intercept her…


Astrid used Voidbound! It chained into a basic attack! [Physical; Crit]


Stats:
Stamina: -58
Shade: +80
Radiance:
Misc: +1 Sure Crit
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Astrid's attack dealt 113 damage to Myles!

Myles blocked the blow with a raised paw, glaring at her. It did something, but he looked like he had a lot more left in him...

"...And now what?" he whispered to her. "Look at you. Covered in Shadows. Losing yourself to all this darkness. If I left you now, you'd wander this place as a darkened, lost spirit..."

Myles struck Astrid, dispelling the darkness! Astrid's Reviver Seed activated!

The rain overwhelmed all other environmental noise. The waters were up to their chests, now, completely flooding the town and entering the upper buildings, including the headquarters. The water was surprisingly warm.

"Everything you do, it's always without regard for what happens next. If you fail to take out your foe... what's left of you? What happens... when you finish too early? Will you just rely on the others to carry on? Oh! But you do." Myles scoffed, turning around. "In the end, it's all the same. Those who stray from their proper way are doomed to die quickly."
 

TheGOAT

🗿
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
  2. custom/alolatales-goat
“Well, I’m here for a good time, not a long time.”


Astrid used Umbral Repulse! It chained into Brilliant Metanoia, which was stored to activate on the first action next turn!


The Radiance that permeated her body froze with the falling rain, creating bullets of ice that instantly splashed into nothingness. Then, clink, clink, clink—the very water surrounding her was encased in ice. It would fade shortly, but for now, she had ground to stand on.

“Ngh—okay, but really, you see, I’m okay with this Myles. I’m okay with leaping into the great beyond without a plan. That’s freedom you guys never could’ve given me… freedom as an explorer. I want to die with that freedom. And if I die quickly…”

Her tired smile remained, but it was strained now. She only had so much time; he wasn’t wrong. But neither was she.




Stats:
Stamina: -85
Shade: +40
Radiance: +80
Misc: +Metanoia
 
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Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Myles struck Astrid, sending her across the water! ...But Astrid endured the hit! It was False Swipe!

Myles sighed, stepping forward. "...You really don't get it," he said. "Right there, right then... that would have been the end of it. Your rebellious phase, running away from home, throwing caution to the wind... What is it all for? Is it all just to defy everyone? What happened to the promises you made to take care of yourself?" The water level rose. The rooftops were below them, yet Myles stood on the water like it was solid ground. "Does any of it matter to you? Tell me. Why should I care about you, if you hardly care for yourself?!"
 

TheGOAT

🗿
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
  2. custom/alolatales-goat
Her world tumbled. She knew she was better than this, but that extra burst of life she always mustered at the end… that had been Myles too, hadn’t it? These really were were her last legs, and she couldn’t find her footing.

Instead, she kicked and flailed until she could find the surface. And when she did, the rain beat her back under more than once.

But she fought, and fought, and clawed her way up.

“Because… we’re… stronger together than alone!” Astrid screamed with such ferocity as her head broke the surface, as if she’d never gone under at all. “Because we can hold each other accountable for those fucking promises! That’s what Brisa did for m—”

The tide yanked her under again, nearly swallowing water. She wouldn’t have that; controlled Radiance burst from her paws in an instant as her higher form took over. Blues and reds and yellows streaked across her midnight body as residue, fading and forming again. Breaking from the water with ease, she ascended above Myles and faced him at a new angle.

“Of course it all matters to me! That’s why I make that leap, Myles! You think I would’ve made it this far doing things your way? You think you know what’s best? You would only guarantee that I’d never have what matters to me! And now I do, and I did it without you! Your path can’t keep me happy or safe, but my way, I can find friendship, I can find love, I can find MYSELF!”

The rain began to bend around her, attracted inward by something harrowingly bright and dark at the same time. A rotating ball of energy, growing by the second before her Unleashed form. Unstable beams of light reflected off of her fierce, equally-bright eyes.

“My way, I burn out fast, but I burn out bright!”

It pulsed once, twice, sending countless drops of water scattered. Violent circular waves burst from beneath and crashed into whatever rooftops managed to peek above the surface.

“My way, I can wield the power of Team Spectrum!”

Then, the energy and its cacophonous song stilled. The rain did not, but for a brief moment before the world collapsed around him, Myles would hear her fine.

“Witness… and tell me if this would’ve been the end for you, too.”


Astrid Unleashed!

Astrid used Z-Burst on the water below! [if it was used on Myles: 180 BP; UE, STAB, +2, Crit]


Stats: +2 Valor
Stamina: set to 211
Shade: set to 0
Radiance: set to 0
Misc: Z-Busted
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Blacklight energy flooded the waters, sending electric shocks and flames in all directions. The oceans turned to vapor that rose into the sky, darkening the clouds even further until only the gentle glows of their two forms lit the way. Deafening, churning waters surrounded them on all sides... but despite it all, Myles' calm voice cut through it.

"So that's your answer... huh?" He chuckled, stepping toward her. No matter her guard, he did not flinch. "Always trying to get the last word... always trying to burn brighter, even though you'll just burn out. Never really cool and collected... once it all gets put on you." Myles looked toward the main building. "...Hmph. They don't really know, do they? How much you'll press on..." He sighed. "...Whatever. I guess the real Myles doesn't care one way or the other, does he?"

He stepped to the left. "Fine. Live your life. Just remember that you don't have to compete with anyone if you're gonna die for it. The real Myles might be a total ass, and he might just be some conformist prick... but maybe there's something you can learn from it, too. Don't overcorrect. But who knows? I'm just... a figment from you, in the end."

His lights flickered; now that Astrid was closer, she would see that he was missing his core.

"Ah, damn," he said, sighing. "Guess I'm out of time."

And just as his lights went out, the waters came flooding back.
 

TheGOAT

🗿
Location
Houston, Texas
Pronouns
Him/his
Partners
  1. serperior
  2. custom/alolatales-goat
If only the universe had given her time to process, she might’ve said something more to him. She knew it wasn’t her real brother, but it felt close. She had so much else to say. Too many things.

He had crumpled to the pavement, still, silent, and without his core. The water above them would soon be still too, but not before ravaging everything beyond recognition.


Astrid: 1 HP


But, somehow more important than that… their connection was back.

She could feel him again.

“Myles!!”

A horrible sound rang above her, in all directions. The water was fully liquid now, and falling. Like always, she only had seconds.

Whizzing down, then horizontal to the ground, she scooped him up in her paws and rocketed towards the Expedition Society building—but no! The water had just grown taller than it had, somehow; it wasn’t safe enough.

Astrid flew up instead.

Up?

Now she was staring at it.

So, she went faster. And faster.

And then, she held Myles’ unconscious body close, and knew he would be safe with her, doing things her way after all. He was her ally, and he mattered to her too. She rested her head against his and smiled; this wouldn’t hurt either of them a bit.

Water slammed into them, at first a trickle that grew exponentially, until—


Astrid used Blacklight Meltdown!
 
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