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[Brisa] Frontier Town

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Everything smelled of smoke and fire. Distantly, frantic screams rang out, steam plumed from below as Pokemon tried to put out the flames, and even more of the inferno rose up a while later.

Brisa was in the middle of a town square, just next to the gallows. The sky was blackened with smoke and the town was covered in a thick haze that made it hard to see just what was going on in any particular direction. Shadows of Pokemon rushed past her, all fleeing the same area, where there was a heightened amount of electricity.

It came to a spark--a great lightning strike slammed into the earth, and even more fire sprang to life ahead. The shouts became even more frantic, but there was a familiar voice was louder than all of them.

"Where's your savior NOW?"

That was Luz. But her voice was different...
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
Some Eterna bullshit, then. No surprise there. Brisa grunted, dusted herself off, blamed herself for not drilling that electromagnetic levitation technique more. Augh.

Chief? she sent to Diyem, Are y'gettin' this?

No reply. Fucking figured.

Then thunder struck, and the voice of her familiar taunted the phantoms of the town.

"Luz?" she cried. "Luz! What under the fuckin' sky is goin' on? Are you okay?"

Brisa called out to Luz!
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Down the streets and past the smoke, toward the thunder and finally where the screams had gone quiet, Brisa finally happened upon Luz, who spun around to face her with a wide smile. Her eyes were red. Her general colors had become red...

"'Course I'm okay," Luz said, and then she pointed toward another building. It burst into flames after a bolt of lightning smote it from above. "Ain't it time fer you t'be a hero?"

Luz is out for revenge!
Luz: 1,000

"These folks... they don't really know what you do fer them. Not a damn clue. Now look... how helpless they are without ya. Funny..." She pointed at another building. Someone screamed inside, but they were silenced after the explosion. "Maybe when this is over, they'll finally show some thanks..."
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
Brisa paced towards the zeraora-shade with her hackles high.

"This ain't us, Luz," she snarled. "We don't do shit like this."

They were just phantoms. This was a test, or a twisted, manic game, it wasn't real. Luz wasn't hurting innocents. Just phantoms. Phantoms. Brisa glanced at the smoking buildings. With Luz against her and not backing her up, she was downright outclassed. Sure, she could put out a lot of power, but she'd burn out fast...

"Stand down. You wanna take a minute t'get yer fuckin' head back on straight? You'd never attack civilians in yer right mind. Get it t'gether, Luz."

Brisa called out to Luz!
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"You don't know how long you've been gone, do ya?" Luz asked, her red eyes twisting and narrowing into a harsh glare. "Yer memories, then the new ones I've made. How many thankless days and nights... And then... it's all peaceful. No more duty. You know what they do, then? Drive ya out. Out, out, out, you freak."

Luz's fists lit up with electricity.

"Freaks are only welcome if we save 'em from other freaks. So, c'mon!" Luz grinned, and it looked a little too genuine. She crouched, then seemingly disappeared. "Be a hero! Otherwise... I'll just blame it on you!" She appeared in front of Brisa and slammed an electrified fist upward into her chest.

Luz used Plasma Fists on Brisa, dealing 123 damage!

Brisa's burn is settling in...

"Then maybe we'll finally get a simple thanks once they realize how much power we really have over 'em..."

Luz: 1,000
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
Brisa grunted with shock and pain as Luz's fist made a dull crack against her sternum. Fuck, that was more power than a shade could normally manage. A few more hits like that would take her out completely... And her usual toughness, haste, and mental focus were all absent. Yeah, that tracked. Without Luz lending her a suite of aura augmentations, there was no way Brisa could fight like usual in this storm that sapped her energy like nothing else.

Her brain automatically rifled through a dozen combat options before she'd even realised she was in combat, her fur erupting with uncontained arcflash plasma. She'd forgotten how badly it fucking burned.

"Then maybe we'll finally get a simple thanks once they realize how much power we really have over 'em..."

Brisa looked around at a town centre she'd hardly stepped paw in for years. At 'mon running for cover, afraid for their lives, in need of protection. At the fucking gallows where 'mon would hang on cursed days. Yes, they were fucking small-minded, fearful, provincial folk, fine. It didn't fucking matter! The Wandering Light didn't have power over people. The Wandering Light protected people. Who was Luz, if not that noble impulse?

"This ain't you," spat Brisa, as much to herself as to Luz. "You'd never say shit like that, this is just some Eterna bullshit!"

But Luz was past listening. Fuck. Combat options. Now.

Her Training said:
- Electric-type moves will be less effective on Luz than ordinary Facade strikes, even if Charged
- Corruption tolerance is at a premium here, you cannot afford to swim in it – no Paragon, no Arcstrike
- Without mastering the plasma burn, your vitality will hit nil in minutes flat
- Words aren't enough, who knows what will be, but you have to defend the town
- Even if it doesn't snap her out of it, at least playing hero will develop Luz's mental state
- Conclusion: your best bet here is to make use of Tenacity, at least for now​

Brisa clenched her teeth so hard she thought they might break. Time to fight, then.

She was good at that, at least.

Fight
Unleash Tenacity
Facade
Bag
Team

Run

Brisa took a lunging step forward, shifting seamlessly into that form that almost but not quite mirrored Luz's own body, silver plasma flowing over her and restoring her injury. It felt good to fight without so much goddamn pain. But she was ablaze with white-hot lightning nonetheless.

You only look like yer burnin' to death...

Brisa used Facade! [+1, 140bp, Guts]
Changes: Tenacity, +30/30 BL, -16 Stm, +32 hp

Brisa was all pain and fury as she went in for the strike. Goddamnit Luz, don't do this...
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Brisa's Facade dealt 184 damage to Luz!

She blocked the hit with her arms, but the wince couldn't be masked. She pushed back and spread her arms. "Some Eterna bullshit?!" Luz said. She feinted left, then grabbed Brisa by the right arm and slammed her into a wall, breaking clean through the stone. It wasn't reinforced the same way Destiny Village was. Luz, even in her natural state, before the storm, could have been an unstoppable threat in the real Frontier Town...

"I am Eterna bullshit," Luz hissed. "You know what's gonna happen once you're gone?" She threw Brisa into another building. "I'm gonna be exiled the moment I don't have a use!" She ran her fists into Brisa's chest. "Just!" Slam. "Like!" Slam. "YOU!"

Luz used Plasma Fists against Brisa, dealing 122 damage!

The gallows groaned...

Luz: 816
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
Brisa snarled defiance and parried what she could – Luz met her evenly. Better than evenly. She couldn't keep this up forever...

"Y'think I don't wanna stay with you?" she retorted, hindpaws scrabbling for purchase on rubble and dust. "Yer the one who has a life ahead of 'em, on Cibus or with God Squad! It's me who's got no fuckin' future!"

As she roared those words, she slammed a plasma-wreathed fist into Luz's, matching her blow with one of her own. The shock ran up her arm and she cried out, plasma flaring and flickering. She couldn't fight Luz like this. Couldn't flee. Couldn't surrender. Couldn't bring her best to bear. She needed a better plan. Fast.

As she fought, Brisa shot a glance at those fucking gallows.

Two partners - long ago said:
"What d'ya want me to do, huh? Blow some fucker's arm clean off soon as he touches rope?"

"If that would deter them. Yes."

"Sierra, I'm not gonna maim every last bastard in the town. We just gotta not give 'em a reason t'come fer her."

"She doesn't belong with them. You know this."

"She doesn't belong anywhere else!"

What was this place, anyway? A trap set by Eien in her madness? A nightmare borne out of all the shit in the memories Luz got from Brisa? Something worse? Certainly not the real thing.

Brisa tried to piece it together. See through the Eterna haze. Get it together, ranger.

You don't know how long you've been gone, do ya?

Brisa clutched her head, and spat blood. She fought a retreat from Luz towards the gallows, the focal point of so much anger. The townsfolk's. Brisa's parents'. Her own.

"Yer better'n this" she snarled. "You've always been better'n me. What the fuck happened t'you to send you wild, huh? Have you— Were ya waitin' in this wretched place fer me? Starin' down the worst shit as was ever in my head?"

She jumped onto the gallows platform and raised her fists, still wreathed in plasma. She stared down her doppelganger, panting, aching, hoping.

"Well the Luz I know wouldn't let this fuckin' thing stand," she growled. "And I never should've, either!"

Brisa used Plasma Fists... on the gallows! [+1, Stab, Guts, Charge]
Changes: -24 stm, +32 hp, +30/30 BL
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"Where do you think you're going?!" Luz roared, striking Brisa from behind even as she ran.

Luz used Plasma Fists again, dealing 126 damage!

"I can't believe it, now you're destroyin' the village, too?! What kinda idiot...! I... You don't know a damn thing! How can I ever have a future looking like this? If that's even what I'll be! What if that old coot is right and I'm gonna become some... mindless force of nature?! Then what? Then it all won't matter! Then I'll..."

The gallows groaned and snapped. Electricity cut through its whole structure, leaving cracks and charred splinters. The rope was alight from the electrical fire, but then that light trailed along from the top, where the rope was tied. It trailed further and further, toward Luz as she shouted at Brisa, and went around her neck. It fizzled away, and Luz stopped mid-sentence.

She felt around her neck. She hadn't even realized it was there, only noticing it when it had been destroyed. "What... wh-what... was..."

 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
Go on. Snap my fucking neck. Do it. I'll come back from where that sends me. I'll kill you. I'll fucking kill you. You'll never be rid of me, damn you.

Brisa clutched at her own neck, not sure if she was remembering something real or imagined. Maybe it didn't matter. That fucking thing was charred splinters now, and Luz...

"Luz?"

Brisa steadied herself against a smoking support beam, and fought to get her Radiance and Shadows under control. Fought to make sense of what she'd just seen. Fought for breath. The plasma around her sputtered and stung, but she held onto herself.

Brisa Focused! Her Tenacity ebbed...
Stm +50%, -20/20 BL, -32 hp

"Luz, what happened t'you?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"Don't... talk t'me... like you know..." Her words were weak, like she only spoke with her breath and no power, no thunder, behind it. She wobbled toward Brisa and swung at her, but the arc was so wide and the movement so telegraphed that a trivial motion would evade it entirely. "I... I'm gonna be alone. I'm gonna be undying. And I'm gonna be cast away... they woulda hanged me... I..."

Luz collapsed to her knees. Her core is covered in cracks.
Luz: 816
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
Brisa seized Luz's paws in her own and knelt with her in the wreckage of the gallows.

There was something important she had to remember...

Brisa Focused...
Brisa was hurt by her burn...
Blacklight: 20
HP: 145

Luz doesn't have the will to fight...
Luz: 816

"Could well be I'm due to become Eterna Luz given enough time!"

"Don't be absurd! Sword absorbed the corruption of a dozen Legendaries afore she turned into that thing! How can y'all be in danger of that?"

"Ain't it obvious? We're constantly bein' exposed to corruption. Your corruption. Team Spectrum uses Radiance and Shadow every battle we fight. If shades absorb that corruption just by bein' nearby..."

"Then we purify you! It's our duty to try to save every life we can. We don't get rid of folks just 'cause they might be a danger. That's the kinda shit what makes you a goddamn danger."

That was right. Bahamut had suggested something like this could happen, and Luz had seen the truth in it straight away. The shades were eldritch creatures, after all, not subject to the same kind of existence as their hosts. And they were exposed, constantly, to the Blacklight energies of those hosts...

Was all this what happened to a shade who absorbed enormous amounts of Blacklight? And Luz had taken on so much of Brisa's... Brisa's pain, her yearning, her fear, her will to be a hero in order to justify her right to live. Yeah. This... This tracked.

...What now?

She squeezed Luz's paws in her own and put her head against Luz's head.

"It's gonna be okay," she said, softly.

Brisa Focused...
Brisa was hurt by her burn...
Blacklight: 0
HP: 113

Luz doesn't have the will to fight...
Luz: 816

"You can't answer folks' concerns by refusin' to acknowledge 'em. You gotta air things out t'have the chance to clear 'em up. I'm a shade with a positive attitude, that's all!"

"You're fuckin' naive is what you are. Spinnin' an argument fer a terrifyin' possibility like that will just stir up mistrust and paranoia! I'm already snappin' at allies who ain't done anythin' wrong–"

"Darlin', listen. We don't win by keepin' quiet about our worst fears. We win by risin' to 'em. If I never said any of that stuff, you wouldn't have said what you said. You remember? 'It's our duty to try to save every life we can. We don't get rid of folks just 'cause they might be a danger.' That's the best in ya. That's yer truth. Ya gotta keep reachin' fer the best in ya until you win. Is that what you're gonna do?"

"It's okay to be scared," said Brisa, to the person who was at once herself, her hero, and her family. "It's okay to be angry."

She gripped the familiar paws as tightly as she could without squeezing Luz' gel-like flesh out of shape.

"What they did t'me weren't right. It ain't fair t'get rid of someone just 'cause y'fear 'em. They did that t'me, slowly, fer years... It hurt. An' I buried that hurt inside me... It must've been hard, soakin' up all that pain from me. Holdin' my need to do my duty, reach out to others, be a hero. Bearin' my fear of bein' a monster, resentment at my burdens, yearnin' not t'be alone."

She laughed, wincing at the way her chest hurt from it. Luz had got her good.

"You're not alone, though, Luz. I'm here. I know who you really are."

Brisa knew what she had to do next, but fuck, it was gonna hurt, especially if it didn't work the way she hoped... She reached into her bag and placed her emergency sitrus between her teeth, ready to clamp down on it when the light hit her.

Brisa ate her Sitrus Berry.
Brisa was hurt by her burn...
HP: 484

Luz doesn't have the will to fight...
Luz: 816

What was best in them? What was true? Brisa took a shuddering breath, and had faith that Luz had always known. And now Brisa had to remember it for her.

"You're what I always wanted to be," said Brisa, her voice breaking. "You do what's right, even when it hurts. You're an example to others. You're a light in the darkness."

Radiance erupted around the kneeling, broken pair, a brilliant, blinding light that burned at the touch...

...but the burden wasn't hardly so great when it was shared.

Brisa used Brilliant Paragon!
HP: 323

Luz is a hero.
Luz: 566
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Luz was on her knees, sitting up. She leaned against Brisa, holding her breath, if she had any--no. No... she didn't have any. There was no need to fake that anymore, was there? Her bones and her fur and her skin and everything she tried to do to imitate what it meant to be real...

And yet here, in this fake world, with these fake thoughts, and all these conjured aberrations that were now evaporating around them in twinkling lights...

It was here, out of anywhere, that perhaps she felt real.

"A light... in the dark... Ain't I both?" Luz asked, laughing a little. "Ain't I..." Luz winced. There seemed to be something wrong...

Luz is done fighting...
Luz's core took 1 damage.

"...Brisa..." Luz glanced at her. That red light was flickering, but still dominant. "...I figure... it's obvious. I ain't... myself. This storm... all this corruption... Eien. Some part of Eien is... controllin' me. And there's some influence from Luz, sure... but I'm sorry fer the trouble we caused... And fer... all the pain this all... dredged up."

Luz is tired...
Luz's core took 25 damage.

A little laugh masked the strange pressure she felt. Her core was falling apart, held together tenuously by little streaks of red light. The stone itself... was disappearing, fading like dust in the wind, dissolving into the ectoplasm itself.

"All your friends... n-no. All our friends... They're fightin' their own fights right now. It ain't easy. None of it is easy... I'm... sorry it happened like this. That it all happened like this..." She laughed weakly. "I dunno who's talkin' right now. Luz? Eien? ...Nah... the Eien half... I feel it ebbin' away. I feel..."

Luz is peaceful.
Luz's core took 500 damage.

"...Brisa... can y'hold me? Gonna be honest... I'm a li'l frightened... of... I dunno what..."


"Eien says... it'll be fine. But I'm... scared, a li'l... and..."

Luz's core...
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
Brisa took hold of Luz and pulled her close, arms around her torso and chin resting on her shoulder.

"I don't know what's gonna happen either, partner. And . . . I'm afeared too. But it's okay. I got you. Hold on t'me."

She bit her lip, trying not to think about losing Luz, about being alone, about being so goddamn helpless without her. She focused on what her friend was saying.

"And look... if y'can hear me, Eien? I forgive you. So no matter what happens, you keep holdin' on. I hear tell yer some kinda wanderin' hero! D-don't... Don't go without lettin' me meet ya."

The red light was fading. A little of Luz's normal electric silver-blue was showing through, but faint, so faint...

"And Luz?" Brisa's eyes welled up. Don't choke now, ranger...

She held Luz tighter, and didn't let go.

"I love you, partner."
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"Yeah... y'know... I..." Luz tried to say something more. It was obvious what she would say. But the words didn't come.

She smiled. The red lights were fading. The core's electricity was almost completely gone. But she wasn't afraid anymore. Because even if Brisa would leave... everyone had to move on eventually, didn't they? And perhaps sooner than later, sometimes. But Luz had the blessing... of being able to prepare.

The core finally gave way. The last pieces broke apart; the red lights completely faded. The stone dissolved into nothing, leaving only the body it stayed within behind.

For a brief moment, all Brisa had left was a pile of motionless, black Shade material. She didn't move. She didn't seem to show any sign of life... and, of course, she had no core. No core... Was that not where Luz's spirit was kept? Yet... somehow, Brisa still knew. Innately, in her own core, she knew that Luz was there.

And that was when the lights returned to normal... and Eien's influence faded from the shade. While Luz would be weak... everything seemed normal again.

Normal, of course, being relative. But there were two very clear differences. One... the Core was gone. Luz would awaken with the knowledge of what happened during her stupor... but would have a whole new set of sensations to live with. Touch, though pain was still hard to come by; scent, though it seemed to be fairly weak; taste, but that wasn't an easy one to test...

Luz... was born.

The connection between Brisa and Luz has become stronger, and yet also one that could be controlled and detached when necessary. Beyond that... a new, Eternal power bound the two to be closer than ever.

Brisa's Eternal Spirit has awakened!

"Don't y'dare hold back!" - Once per battle, if Brisa has at least 4 Charges, she can spend 1 to grant the effect to all Electric attacks that turn. Before the end of this turn, all stamina spent will be refunded by half.

The skies above them cleared to show the moon and the afternoon sun, but only faintly. Ahead, it appeared that more battles were underway...
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
Luz looked up at Brisa and chuckled.

"You held back," she said, quietly. "Y'could've kicked my ass if y'really tried."

Brisa scoffed lightly. "Really? Near-death experience, an' the first thing ya say t'me is that my combat performance was below par?"

Luz grinned. "I get that from you an' you know it."

Brisa nodded, smiling, all tension flooding out of her. Oh gods, please, never let her have to go through shit like that again! She looked up at the clearing sky and the distant flickers and sounds of battle, and set her jaw. They'd have to make their own way to the storm's eye, then... But she wouldn't be making the journey alone. It would be a tough challenge. It'd be dangerous. Worse things could happen. But...

She already knew what Luz would say.

"So how about it, partner?" she asked. "Shall we press on?"

Luz nodded. "Yeah. Yeah fer sure. Just... Let's go slow at first. I'm... I'm tired, darlin'."

"Of course."

Brisa stood, helped Luz to her feet, and hugged her, properly this time. Luz embraced her back.

"Could give you a lift," she offered. "As a luxray, y'know?"

"Nah. Wanna walk with ya."

"Sure. Any time, partner."

Behind them, the gallows burned and crumbled, a tool for ending lives returning to so much wood, metal and rope fibre as it should have done a long time ago. Perhaps when Brisa was sent home at last, she'd do it for real. Soon, the Eterna replica faded into nothingness, and the zeraora pair became two wandering lights in the storm, making their way towards their friends, and their next fight.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
It seemed like the path was getting clearer. Now that the fires of the false village were behind them, and the howling winds of the storm were in a calm patch where they stood, a new sound was clearer. It sounded like... a howl. A rallying cry.

Far ahead, on a large rock that oversaw an open field, there was Zacian, glowing with a strange energy. It seemed to cut through the Eterna storm with ease.
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
  3. custom/luz-companion
  4. custom/brisa-companion
Brisa grinned, and glanced sidelong to see Luz smirking with fatigue-laced delight.

"Zacian Sword!" cried Brisa. "Damn good t'seeya, gal. Will y'show us the way?"

The storm seemed more bearable in Sword's presence... The pair pushed on a little more boldly, strength returning with the presence of another heroic soul.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"Oh! Hey! You two!" Zacian grinned, tail wagging. "Perfect! I think I found the way to the eye of the storm. Eien is right there! And did you hear me howl? Pretty cool, right? I think that's, like, the best feature of this new body." She grinned, proud. "Hey--get on my back. I think I can sense a fight going on in the core, and it's getting pretty bad. Who do you think is fighting Eien right now?" She crouched down. "C'mon. I don't think we have time to just stand around wondering."
 
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