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Destiny Colosseum ~ Training Rooms

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Dragonfree

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Mia squinted at Rocky. "Is this like Dave's brain problems?"

Wh-- dear fucking God. "Yes, we're done here. Mia, we're leaving."

"I didn't say anything new. They already know about--"

"Goodbye."

Dave turned her around with a firm paw on her back and motioned to leave. Why the fuck had he even stuck around this long. He could think about Joule later.
 

Negrek

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"Uhh." Rocky glanced over at Dave, but the mightyena hustled Mia away before he could come up with a response. "Bye, Mia!" he called after her. "We can talk about it more later if you want."

"Yeah," Nate said, smirking. "Later, Mia." To Rocky's relief he was content to leave it at that.
 

Dragonfree

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Dave led the way out of the training rooms. In the empty corridor of the Colosseum, Mia spoke again, frowning.

"Do you want to merge with Joule?"

"Mia, what the fuck. I'm not a shade."

"If what Rocky was saying is like your brain, then if you were a shade maybe you'd want to merge with Joule."

Dave gritted his teeth. "Mia, stop it with the fucking brain problem thing. I don't want to merge with anyone, least of all fucking Joule. Christ."

"That's good. I didn't like it when you were gone. Or Joule. I tried to kill him after he killed you but it didn't work."

He came to a slow stop and took a deep breath. He should say something about the trying to kill Joule bit. He really should. But his throat had closed up unexpectedly and it was ages ago anyway and he'd been preparing to destroy a fucking continent at the time, hadn't he? Let it slide.

He turned towards Mia and accidentally bumped his head into her side, and then he just stayed there, leaning against her.

"Mia, there's... there's some shit going on," he said, quiet. "Remember Soda? He's... he's probably the spy that we're looking for. Apparently he's pumped full of five different kinds of corruption and secretly a fucking ascendant Arceus."

She cocked her head. "That makes sense."

Dave shook his head, jaw clenched. Of course it all just fucking made sense to her. "Look, I'm going to the park to meet him and try to find out more. I'm just... I wanted you to know. In case anything happens."

"You should bring me along," Mia said. "Some of the Pokémon in the Worldcore were immune to everything except familiars. If Soda's like that I can protect you."

"Mia, look, you shouldn't be protecting me from--"

She looked annoyed. "I want to and I can. Is your brain being weird again?"

"We just found out cores really aren't fucking unbreakable."

"I can be in your backpack and then Soda won't know I'm there."

Dave stared up at her for a moment, his insides twisting. Half of him screamed to leave her somewhere safe. But if Soda could destroy cores, and killed him (he wouldn't), what'd fucking stop him getting Mia anyway if she stayed somewhere else? There was some sense of safety in just knowing where she was, being there to keep her safe.

He took a breath that shook. "Fine. You can be in my backpack."

She nodded with satisfaction. "I'll come out if I need to."

He pulled off the backpack to let her into it, looking down the corridor. "Hey, Mia, what do you think about Soda? Do you think he's..."

"He uses illusions most of the time. Maybe you can't tell if he's lying. But he likes you. Otherwise he wouldn't keep talking to you."

Dave nodded slowly. Mia's form distorted and rippled, disappearing into the Ultra Stone.

Carefully, he picked it up and put it in the backpack.

<><><><><>​
 
[R13] Breaking Walls [Brisa and Icetales]

Cresselia92

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[Bechamel > Brisket]: Greetings, Brisa. It is Icetales here.

I would desire to discuss about a few important topics, especially… recent events. Just a simple discussion, to clear out a few details. I… hope thou art willing to listen to this humble soul. Image of a fox that bows.

I shall see thee soon. Image of a waving paw.

Another double-check to make sure that the message hits the right tone, a few seconds to breath in and focus, and then…

Beep~

That was it. The message had been sent.

Icetales sighed and paced back and forth, in the shadow of the Colosseum. Nervousness seeped from his pores in the form of blue smoke, but with another series of deep breaths he managed to cram his emotions back down.

While he waited for the message, he glanced at the clear sky. Ah, if only his mind was as limpid…

But… no. It was fine. Icetales was going to sort things out, yes. He even decided to get earlier so that he could discuss matters before the big fight.

There was no going back. Only forward.

“No hesitation. Let us get over with this… today,” said Icetales with determination, before marching toward the training rooms. If there was something he could say for certain, it was that he would most likely find Brisa there.

May the stars assist me…
 

unrepentantAuthor

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[Brisket > Bechamel]: Cynthian tells me you're joining us for the match. I'll be training at the colo facilities all morning. see you there

Brisa took it steady in the training rooms, avoiding the use of lightning, of sparks. They'd do her no favours against Sceptile Balm. Instead, she would conserve her energy. Stay smart. Use different tactics to her usual suite. She had a plan.

When Icetales arrived, she still had plenty of energy for the fight, and a heart full of determination. This was Cynthian's fight, really. Brisa would enjoy it, but her goal remained to support her friend. It made it easy to face Icetales with assured confidence.

"Mornin', fella. Y'wanted a word? I'll always have time fer a friend, partner."

He'd been troubled in the last meeting, sounded troubled over the badge, and looked troubled now. But this was Icetales. That wasn't unusual. She just hoped the guy hadn't taken exception too strongly to something...
 

Cresselia92

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Sure enough, Brisa was already there. Ever so punctual, especially if it was about battling and training.

She seemed in a good mood, too, and that was enough to make Icetales feel more relaxed. He managed out a smile and nodded as a greeting.

“Swell morning to thee, too,” he said, before approaching the Luxray. The posture was dignified as usual, but his tails twitched once in a while. “Well, yes. I wished to discuss something that has been on my mind, as of late. I shall not take too long.”

The Ninetales glanced casually at a nearby mannequin and gave it a quick swipe. The object barely moved, but that was enough to release some more tension from his mind.

“…I would like to discuss,” he turned toward Brisa, his expression having become slightly more serious, “about what happened at the meeting. Thou know, the whole issue with Soda, the Tree and… the confidential information.”
 

unrepentantAuthor

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Brisa nodded, and inwardly braced herself. How many more conversations about this...? She might not even try with Mellow.

"Spit it out, fella. I ain't made of glass."
 

Cresselia92

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“Very well. As thou desire.”

Icetales took a deep breath in, gathered his thoughts in a single place, and nodded to himself. He was ready.

“So, allow me to preface that I do not hold against thee nor anyone else for wanting to keep that information under wraps. I am fully aware of the importance of keeping some knowledge behind closed doors, and that was no easy situation with an easy answer. For these reasons, I cannot be angry for what happened. Merely… displeased, but only because Miss Maple is stuck in the Tree as a result.”

He paused for a while, both to gather some extra thoughts and to let his words be digested properly.

“I do not know if there was some way to prevent all of that, but… Well, if find it bizarre that you didn’t try to reach out for the folks who were the most close to Miss Maple. Perhaps they could have been able to persuade her?” He shrugged. “Not that there is any way to know, but I cannot help but ponder about that.”
 

unrepentantAuthor

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Brisa skewed her mouth, tilted her head and listened carefully to the ninetales.

"The bit about Maple bein' shadow-corrupted an' reactin' to Eien was general knowledge already, and it weren't enough to convince her t'stay benched. All I coulda told her was that Soda was a traitor, which she wouldn't've believed, or that there was a plan to keep her locked down once she berserked, which was precisely what we needed t'keep her from learnin'."

She shook her head, feeling suddenly tired.

"I had less than the better part of a day to figure out how to handle that shit, but it ain't like I didn't think it through, pal."
 

Cresselia92

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Icetales nodded in understanding. “Yes, Miss Maple is…obstinate, to put it very mildly. And from what I have gathered from Sir Koamaru, the time you had to act was indeed very little. So, yes. Awful situation to find yourselves in.”

Icetales sighed and rubbed his cheek with his leftmost tail.

“Unfortunate that this happened, but… it happened.” The Ninetales looked down at his tail. “And while, again, I understand the reasoning of the secretiveness, well… now some of our comrades feel like they cannot be trusted, and are starting to question the integrity and unity of our team.” He stared hard at Brisa. “…I know I had such feelings, a few times.”
 

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Brisa looked at Icetales and wondered if he really was as old as he claimed. Not physically, or even mentally, in emotional terms. Her expression remained even, and her tail still. She had a lot she could say to that. That of course not all the team could be trusted with sensitive info, for example. They had literal children, trauma victims, and even an unwitting spy in their ranks.

But that wasn't really what this was about.

"Y'weren't brought in on the plan, so y'feel . . . what exactly, Icetales?" asked Brisa, gently. "'Cause I don't doubt yer good intentions, nor yer dedication to the team, nor yer diligence. If it's somethin' like that that's eatin' ya we can dispell it right quick."
 

Cresselia92

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“…I feel like I do not belong here.”

The answer was so immediate that Icetales himself was surprised by his own words. Though, the dice had been cast, so all he had to do was to keep things rolling.

“I am not a warrior, Brisa. This much I have realized ages ago. Sure, I have a vast academic knowledge, and my training as a butler has made my mind swifter and my body sturdier. But… that is near trivial when it comes to fighting for our lives. Like, I cannot quite drop a two-hours essay on someone who tries to assassinate us.”

He chuckled humorlessly. By the heavens, he wanted to quench his sudden thirst with some tea, but he didn’t bring any.

“It is just… I feel like some folks do not trust me because I am a weak link with a soft heart.” He looked down at the floor and traced a few circles with his forepaw. “All I can do it is to divert the attention of our opponents toward myself, shout a few words of encouragement, and cast some defensive spells to protect the team. And despite trying my darndest to be of help for the team, I… I do not feel like I have improved as much as I desired.”

He sighed somberly, before turning once more to the mannequin. He swiped once more, and again it barely budged.

“Gods! It is like I still have the middling prowess of a Vulpix youth!”
 

unrepentantAuthor

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Ah, yes. That sounded like Icetales. Brisa offered him a dry, smile and walked a little closer.

"You're the goddamn lynchpin to half our battle tactics, so yer dead wrong about that," she said, carefully, "And I didn't tell anybody if I could help it, so it had fuck-all to do with you or yer trustworthiness an' you know it. But I don't reckon this is really about that. This is about the Voidlands, ain't it?"

She watched for the fox's emotional response.

"Thought so."

How to say this? How would she say it as if to herself...?

"Icetales, you don't have to open yer wounds t'prove yer worth. None of us were too hurt by our week's vacation in a peaceful, if morbid, afterlife 'cause we got to confront our deep-layin' conundrums an' struggles. But you... You've been in a place like that, only much worse, right? You've suffered. You've already done yer share."

Brisa bit her lip, wondering if she was on the right track. She was making an informed guess, here, based on something Koa had let slip during supper one night.

"T'tell the truth, I'm certain we'd struggle without yer aid. I didn't say y'should stay with Diyem 'cause ya wouldn't be of help, I said it 'cause I don't want ya to suffer."
 

Cresselia92

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So, Brisa was indeed worried about him. Bless her soul.

Icetales chuckled bitterly, a sad smile appearing on his muzzle. “It is too late for the wounds to be left untouched, I am afraid. They are already there, in the open, impossible to cicatrise. But… that is fine.”

The Ninetales diverted his attention from the mannequin and focused once more on Brisa. His eyes seemed to have become both brighter and darker at the same time.

“What I found out in the Twilight, in the afterlife of my world… It has opened my eyes. Revealed some horrifying secrets about my family.” He glanced downward, his smile still somber. “And about myself. It was not a pleasant truth, but… I am glad I found out.”

In that moment, wisps of darkness shrouded his pelt, the blue flames replacing his tails and the mane on his head. Shadow power pulsed inside the fox, but his stare… so deep, lucid and focused… he was in control.

“Now, I am in full control of my darkest emotions, Brisa. I have suffered enough, and it is time for me to march forward.” He smirked with confidence, revealing his black fangs. “I am darkness, but I have also a light inside of me. And that light… I wish to share it with our comrades. And… with Miss Maple. I shall not lose sight of it anymore.”
 

unrepentantAuthor

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Brisa listened with concern to Icetales' account . . . all the way up until his transformation. Now that was the kind of confidence and boldness they needed from their Blacklight-wielders. A thrilled, fanged grin slowly pushed its way onto her face.

"Fella, I dare say I'm ready t'believe it. Why don't y'show me what y'can do? We're about to face a downright elite combat team t'gether. Let's see what yer capable of, partner."

There'd be more to discuss later, but for now . . . this was reassurance enough. Time to put this would-be-warlock through his paces.

<><><><><>​
 
R14 - Mia and Owen

Dragonfree

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Mia couldn't find Nate or Rocky. They were probably out working getting everything prepared before they went to fight Eien, which made sense. Mia would rather train, though. Everyone else was already working on it, and adding more people would have diminishing returns. Technically Dave was asleep right now, which was annoying, but he was going to do things when he woke up.

She found an empty training room, grabbed some of the equipment with a temporary human hand - training dummies, Substitutes - and placed them irregularly around the field, before morphing her hand back into a scythe, aiming, and zooming zigzag around the room to strike each of them in turn.
 

Namohysip

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This went on for a short while as the idle buzz of other Colosseum goers came and went, but the mornings were generally quiet. That made it a lot easier to feel the ground rumble with the familiar footfalls of the oversized Charizard. The steps were normal at first, but then there was a stumble, perhaps because he ran into someone? No, with his Perceive, he certainly wouldn't have. The walking continued, and then the door opened.

"Oh," Owen remarked. "I thought I sensed an Ultra Shade... Hi, Mia."

Owen had to crouch to enter this particular room's doorway.
 

Dragonfree

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Mia knocked down the last training dummy and looked around. Owen had become too big to sleep in the house so he usually rolled around in a Pokéball. She hadn't seen him much in a while.

"Hi."
 

Dragonfree

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Mia narrowed her eyes at him. "I'm strong. But this body isn't solid. It absorbs impact. It would be better if it didn't."
 
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