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Destiny Colosseum ~ Training Rooms

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Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
While the main arena was the attraction everyone paid attention to, there were side rooms that could be rented out for use by Pokemon that were preparing to fight, or simply those training in an enclosed setting. The Colosseum in particular had highly reinforced walls and floors, making it very easy to train without worry of anything collapsing into itself. Each room was equipped with sandbags, training dummies, weights that scaled up to truly ridiculous sizes and densities, and even a few donated Substitutes.

Near the training rooms were also showers, light snack service rooms, first aid, and other small utilities that anybody could use during their stay. If one was lucky, they would even see a Legend passing by the halls to train. It was a wonder whether they had to hold back within the buildings, reinforcements or not...

<><><>
 

Negrek

Triple Cross
Staff
Destiny Village wasn't bad, really. Almost homey. And it even had a proper colosseum, something Nate hadn't seen in ages. And the minccino hadn't been super interested in sticking around for a few fights, which, well, more than fine with him. The battles weren't great, which didn't surprise Nate in the slightest, but it had been way too long since he'd even had the chance to sit and watch a proper spectacle, with a crowd and even a proper announcer. If he shut his eyes on all the pokémon in the stands around him and listened to the commentary and the sounds of the battle down below, he could almost imagine he was home.

His stomach wouldn't let him stay forever, though, and he hadn't ever actually gotten a chance to properly talk with Rocky. The shade was quieter now--Nate couldn't feel him shaking through the side of his bag anymore, at least--but Nate doubted the shade was feeling great, somehow. He couldn't get away with ignoring that shit.

Food first, though. He grabbed some snacks at the concession stands near the base of the colosseum, but then managed to get turned around somehow in its innards. It was actually fairly quiet down here, roars and rumbles from up above notwithstanding--a whole bunch of little side-arenas and practice rooms set aside for pokémon to work out and hone their skills. Nate kept wandering, ostensibly looking for the exit, poking his head into deserted arenas, checking out the facilities. Plenty of weights, sandbags, all that. Were there pools somewhere for water-types to work out in? Did pokémon even do special terrains like some of the more exotic tourneys back home? With all the weird technology around here, it seemed like they could probably set up some real weird shit if they wanted to.

Oh, hey, and here was some kind of snack bar. Somewhat guiltily--he really would talk to Rocky soon--he made a beeline for the food.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"Oh, Nate!"

Breaking that tranquil solitude was Owen, who happened to be going for snacks at the same time. Balanced atop his head was his own stone, whom he named Shady. Despite how shiny and smooth Owen's skull was, it was able to maintain being there with practiced ease, like it was some kind of game.

"Looking for something to eat?" he asked. "I'm not sure what Mudkip normally eat, but maybe if you follow your instincts, you'll get an idea?"
 

Negrek

Triple Cross
Staff
Oh, wonderful. He'd just been thinking that exactly what he needed now was a bit of fucking company. Nate scowled briefly at Owen and then went back to browsing his food options.

"What mudkip eat?" he grunted. "That's easy. Pizza, and burgers, and nachos, and"--well, what was down here was mostly health shit, but--"and cookies." He snagged a package of them off a shelf. Those were probably raisins, not chocolate chips, but he'd live. At least until he went out on the town and found some real food.

There was exactly one good aspect to this shithole world, and that was that the food was pretty decent. The thought of going back to berries morning, noon, and night was too fucking depressing to contemplate. But what the fuck, it wasn't like he'd remember what he was missing out on anyway.

The presence of Owen's stone hadn't escaped Nate's notice, and despite himself he kept looking back at it, perched smugly on top of the fire-type's head. Comfortable as anything. Definitely not having some kind of fucking breakdown. Nate frowned again, holding his bag close against his side, and ducked away to go put the cookies on the God Squad's tab.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Owen tilted his head, frowning, and then tilted his head upward, like he was listening to someone. It did not appear to be Diyem, nor the stone, so perhaps he was just crazy.

"Looking for the good food?" Owen asked with an amused lilt in his voice as he followed along. He knew something was troubling Nate by now, but he wasn't really sure how to tackle it before Nate tackled him. Worth a shot, at least. "I brought in some food from outside if you want to try some of that. No rule against it. Loaded potato wedges."
 

Negrek

Triple Cross
Staff
The loaded potato wedges he had, what, shoved in his bag where they could go all cold and linty and get random shit stuck to them? Nate could pay for food (or make other people pay for food) here. He didn't need to eat whatever random shit people offered him.

He faced Owen full on. "Whatcha want? If you got something to say, spit it out. I got places to be."

He squeezed the pack of cookies until it burst and popped one into his mouth. Raisins. Motherfucker.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Owen wondered if he actually did have places to be. "I just wanted to talk," he said. "Checking on people when I can--you know, since... You seem a little troubled. At least, that's what it feels like. Ever since my Perceive kinda came back, I might've been checking things lately." As much as he hated to admit it, having that old power was nostalgic. He had felt so blind without it. Unfortunately, overuse made his Shadows too strong, so he had to ration himself out.

Owen made a motion toward one of the open tables.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"...You're eating cookies before--wait!" Owen made a motion to go after him. "Nate, I don't really know if you're fine, y'know? Like, sorry for being presumptuous or anything, but--" Owen nearly ran into a Tyranitar passing by and had to move out of the way, but by the time he did, he couldn't spot Nate. He was sure if he kept moving forward, he would have, but he had briefly panicked. And in that panic...

Okay, look for him.

The ground around Owen pooled into darkness that only he and Nate could see. Then, the shroud of darkness darted forward and past Owen, under a few diners, and appeared right in front of Nate, emerging and glaring down at him--the Charizard from the machine.

Owen followed, knowing exactly where Nate was, though the Shadows were starting to mess with his head...
 

Negrek

Triple Cross
Staff
(( Nate eats cookies whenever he DAMN WELL pleases. :P ))

Realistically, Nate wasn't going to be able to lose the charmander if he really wanted to have a heart-to-heart; he just wasn't fast enough. But through sheer luck, it seemed like he might have an opening. Nate wasn't about to literally run out of the place, not quite, but he set up a pretty brisk walk, and miraculously that seemed to be working.

Until a shadowy charizard loomed up in front of him, glaring down with burning yellow eyes. Nate yelped and froze on the spot. Fucking shadows? Again? Did everybody just catch a case of the fucking demon possession today, or what?

Nate rounded on Owen, tensed for a fight. "Yeah, so, you wanted to ask how I was feeling? Are you... feeling all right yourself, there?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
A few diners glanced at the Mudkip, wondering if he was at all troubled. He had just screamed at open air, after all. Was he seeing things?

"I've been doing okay," Owen admitted, taking a steady breath to quell the shadows that sputtered out of his tail flame. It became a gentle ember with a black core, stable but present. "I've been practicing how to harness those Shadows. I kind of had a head start because of, uh--practice back home." Creeping madness was like an old friend to Owen. "But Nate... this isn't just because I'm trying to be all warm and open and friendly like you probably think I am. It's for practicality. If you aren't okay... the Shadows can corrupt you easily."

They were starting to make a scene. "Should we get a room?" he asked.
 

Negrek

Triple Cross
Staff
"Harnessing" the shadows. Right. Nate looked from the charmander with the tail spitting black flame to the dark charizard glaring from his other side. No points for guessing who was really fucking in charge here.

"So, uh, what gave you the idea of, you know, trying to learn to use the darkness or whatever?" Nate asked, moving a bit closer to Owen. Shelve the part where apparently the shadows could fucking come back for later. Sometime when a dark charizard like ten fucking times his size wasn't giving him the glowing stinkeye, maybe. "I mean, no offense or anything, but you kinda ain't looking too great over there. Are you sure you ain't getting into nothing dangerous?"

God, he was going to have to punch the shadow out of this guy, wasn't he? He was no good at the fucking self-affirming pep talks. What a motherfucking day.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Owen's flame grew a little and the Charizard behind Nate narrowed its golden eyes dangerously. Owen held his hand up, staring the Charizard down--up, technically. He flared his wings, folded them back, and cautiously relented.

"Nothing you have to worry about," Owen said. "What gave me the idea is that he wouldn't shut up." Owen walked away from the crowd to a place where they could speak more privately. Then they wouldn't unnerve the Cibus natives more than they needed to. "I mean, he's me, or part of me. I see what he sees. He knows what I know. And no matter how much I tried to down out the sound, I couldn't ignore him. That fact is what made the Shadows take advantage of us in the first place when the Machine took hold of it. And if you don't confront that... it'll happen again."

True to his word, Owen's black flame did not expand, and Charizard drifted like a specter behind them, looking left and right like a sentinel.
 

Negrek

Triple Cross
Staff
Nate followed after Owen, keeping up an uneasy rotation of watching the charmander versus the charizard floating behind versus everyone else in the room. He didn't really fancy being alone with the guy... guys... when he was like this. He'd had enough of getting his--of shadows. He'd had enough of fucking shadows for today.

"Well, I know you say it ain't nothing to worry about, but normally somebody going on like they hear voices from some dark part of themselves that won't shut up is just a tiny bit fucking worrying, you get me? I mean, like. I ain't hearing nobody trying to talk to me or nothing." Thank fucking God. "So, you know. Forgive me if I maybe don't totally believe whatever shit shadowzard's been saying to you or that it actually ain't trying to take you over again somehow or nothing." He looked away for a moment and cleared his throat, scraping a hand against the floor while he tried to think. God, this fucking sucked. "But, you know. Hearing voices and shit. That does sound pretty rough. Maybe you can, uh, put the shadow charizard away, and we can talk about that a bit?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Owen frowned, thoughtful. "I guess when I phrase it like that it sounds worse than it is..." Or maybe he was minimizing it again like how Bahamut mentioned. Then again, Charizard had also told him he was doing the same thing. About... himself? Was that contradictory?

They entered one of the unoccupied training rooms, but Owen left the door open, sensing Nate's nervousness. If the door was open, then if something happened someone would hear it.

"I don't really know if I can put him away," Owen said. "He can be out of your sight, but it sort of feels like he's always there now. I mean, he's me, or my past self with a negative twist to it, so I guess if you want to get philosophical he's always been there..." Owen bobbed his head, and Shady atop him bobbed in the same rhythm. Charizard bobbed along, too.

"Oh, I'm rambling." Owen looked at Charizard, who appeared to roll his eyes based on the head motion, even if he lacked irises or pupils. He dissolved into a haze, and then it was just Owen and Nate. "Better?"

Owen's flame slowly lost its dark core.
 

Negrek

Triple Cross
Staff
Nate hung around near the open door, and was perfectly content to stay there even after the charizard dissolved away. Like the charmander was saying, with the shadow apparently always being there, it wasn't like he was really safe, even if he couldn't see it. At least it looked as though he had some control over the shadow, or it was letting him believe as much.

"Mmm, yeah, it's better," Nate said. "For me, at least. If it ain't gone for you, then that ain't exactly ideal."

He paced in small circles in front of the door, thinking out loud. "I mean, what you're saying, with the shadow always being there and all that, and, like, talking to you, that don't sound great, you know? That don't sound like the way things are supposed to be. Like if the whole idea is accepting the shadow or whatever the fuck, like what, err, Diyem was saying, then it shouldn't be acting like its own thing, you know? Like you said, supposedly it's part of you. So by treating him like this guy that's his own thing you still haven't really, uh, accepted that he's not past-you or past-you but negative or whatever, he's just you, and you shouldn't be feeling him all up in your head all the time."

Nate made a sharp turn and another wide circle, talking more to himself than anyone. "But then Diyem's also supposedly the literal, like, embodiment of pokémon's negativity or whatever the fuck, so who the fuck knows. Maybe it's just some fucking pokémon thing. Point is, it don't sound normal or good to me."

Diyem, do you know anything about this? Nate thought in the general direction of the heavens. He wasn't sure he could trust what the, uh, not-charizard would say in response, especially given the similarities between what Nate had seen of him and what he'd just seen of Owen's shadow, but it was worth a shot, at least.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Owen tilted his head, considering that explanation. If he was still talking to his old self, then that meant, in some way, he was still dissociating Charizard from himself. That... made sense.

My darkness did not typically behave in this way, Diyem said. This is an interaction between something more than a power related to mine. This is uncharted territory for me as well. But I do know that Owen is... an individual with significantly more baggage than he lets on. It's an open secret. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if everybody knows; he broadcasts his emotions like a beacon, thanks to his flame.

Owen, it seemed, did not hear this, because he was still considering what Nate was saying. "That makes sense," he admitted. "It's not really me if I'm talking to him. Or not as me as he could be. That's what you're saying, right? Then maybe, what if..." And once again, Owen was back to his thoughts.

Though... I will say this. Of the four who were Shadowed, Owen has adjusted the best. That Charizard is already aiding him in mundane tasks, not only as a second set of eyes, but as his Perceive, too. An old ability of his from home.

"...So you think I should let him actually take over?" Owen asked Nate. "Well, not take over, but..."
 

Negrek

Triple Cross
Staff
Nate had to stop moving, trying to concentrate both on the voice in his head and the one in the room. Well, it's good the shadow's not causing trouble or nothing, he reluctantly allowed to Diyem. Dunno that I'd call it a good thing, though. If you're trying to seduce somebody to the dark side or whatever the fuck, of course you're going to help out until you don't. Being a pain in the ass ain't exactly very seductive.

And Owen was thinking he wanted to just fucking give in to the darkness? No, really, that wasn't what Nate had been going for.

Maybe it kind of made a weird sort of sense from the perspective of shadows being some part of yourself that you'd been trying to hide. But from the much more reasonable perspective of them being things that got stuck in you by some kind of evil machine that were just looking for a chance to take over again that was literally the worst fucking idea.

"I dunno," Nate said at last. "Sounds pretty fucking crazy to me, but I ain't got the first fucking clue about none of this headspace bullshit. You should probably ask somebody who understands this kind of thing. But maybe it'll work. Who the fuck knows?" A thought occurred to him, and he grimaced. "Just, like, don't go trying it now or nothing, okay? If something goes wrong, I think you're going to want more people than me around to deal with it, you know?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"Well, you held your own pretty well in that last fight. I mean, most of it was Blast Seeds, but--" Bad topic. "Anyway, sure, maybe I can test it out later in a more controlled environment, but I think you would've been able to stand up to Shadow me just fine... But it probably would make a scene if I really did go berserk."

He looked disappointed, almost. "Diyem, what do you think? Is that Shadow self of mine something I should worry about?"

There is a lot that I worry about with you.

Owen crossed his arms, staring at the sky expectantly.

...As far as I can tell, there is nothing implanted within you. Perhaps there used to be something when you were first corrupted, but it is gone now. I can tell the same is true for Nate, Cabot, and Brisa as well. The only thing within them now is my own presence to maintain your power, and the Radiance from Maple. Nothing else.

"So it's different flavors of darkness?"

Never call it that again.
 

Negrek

Triple Cross
Staff
Nate's eyes narrowed when Owen mentioned the last fight. Maybe he should go a round with the little shit, just for that.

Well, whatever. Diyem insisted the shadows were totally natural and nothing to do with the machine, so if he was lucky, one of his teammates was just talking to some kind of split personality he'd developed after getting traumatized to hell and not actively being taken over by a demon spirit. Fucking fabulous. Things sure were looking up around here.

"Sounds great. Just another day of being made out of literal fucking darkness over here." Nate glanced over his shoulder, out into the hallway. "Well, it sounds like you got some shit to think about, anyway. Hope you end up figuring it out." And get to stop being fucking possessed. Jesus Christ. "I was kinda on the lookout for dinner here, so..."
 
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