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Destiny Colosseum ~ Training Rooms

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ExplosiveTurkey

gib bludoge pls
Pronouns
him/his
"Mm... I don't think that's quite it," Aria replied, looking him up and down with a scrutinizing frown. "That necrozma on your team had some weird ability to draw our attention to him. Wasn't just him acting like a fuckwit in need of a punch — there was radiant energy involved, so it was definitely an actual technique of some sort. Which means the opposite should be possible too. Mental manipulation seems pretty on-brand for the Blacklight."

She chuckled, drier than sand. "And to be honest, it'd make sense. You don't like fighting, but people keep trying to punch your face in. Stands to reason you'd want them to not do that, and our powers tend to manifest based on desires. If that sounds batshit insane to you, then sure, I could just be making shit up. I'll leave that for you to decide, though."
 

Negrek

Whole of the Moon
Staff
"What? Are you saying you think I'm afraid of getting punched?" Nate asked, scowling. "Fuck that. I ain't big on battling, but I fucking do it."

"It would be pretty funny if Marshtomp's Radiance did something that was the opposite of him," Rocky said, giving his host an appraising look. "I dunno, though. I guess you would know better than me. I'm just disappointed it wasn't a laser or something!"

Nate grunted something inaudible. He wished he could claim he wouldn't have wanted a fucking laser.

"How did you find out about your Blacklight powers?" Rocky asked. "It's so cool that you can mega evolve! And, well, it's not Blacklight, but you're so fast! It's like zoom!" He grinned.
 

ExplosiveTurkey

gib bludoge pls
Pronouns
him/his
"Extremespeed isn't all that special — I'm far from the only speedster around," Aria said, waving her paw dismissively.

Then, she grinned. "Mega-evolving, though? That part is pretty cool. Lot flashier than the rest of my powers, at least. They're all about controlling raw Blacklight energy, and most people can't even see that."

Aria used Brilliant Hollow on Nate!

"Like so. Came in handy when everyone's powers were first manifesting... including mine."
 

Negrek

Whole of the Moon
Staff
Nate tensed when the lucario did... whatever it was she was doing. It didn't hurt, though. It didn't feel like much of anything at all. Maybe he felt a little less... buzzy?

Nate sniffed and looked down at his hands. "I'll bet. We sure coulda used somebody who could suck up some of the corruption shit on our team. Fewer people blowing themselves the fuck up, maybe."

Rocky snickered. "That was funny, though! And now they're pretty good at it."

"Guess so." Nate sighed and let his hands drop again. "Well, we got what, like twenty minutes left on the clock? What do you say, you hang out and give Rocky some tips on his form and all, then we go grab a beer down in Pasta Plaza?"

"Ooh, yeah!" Rocky said, eyes alight. "I haven't even shown you how fast I can be yet. I can be really fast!"
 

ExplosiveTurkey

gib bludoge pls
Pronouns
him/his
"Oh? Here's hoping my eyes can keep up, then," Aria said, chuckling. Then, with a smirk, she looked over at Nate. "And assuming you don't get any barfights going, I'd be down to down some drinks later, yeah."

Team Spectrum seemed to love their alcohol, which was perfectly fine with her, all things considered. Social drinking was nice, especially when she didn't have to care about drinking responsibly.

...Even in her own head, that sounded mildly concerning. Oh well.

<><><><><>​
 
EPILOGUE ~ Miracle Owen and Mergo

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. charizard
  3. milotic
  4. custom/zoroark-soda
  5. sceptile
Ten Substitutes lined themselves up in strange ways around one of the training rooms, each one with a head that glowed oddly. That wasn't natural. Crawling around on the ground, tail up, eyes focused, was a Charizard. His wings were folded back and his orange scales were covered in a thin layer of soot. "Almost..." he whispered to himself, adjusting the arm of a doll by a few inches like it actually mattered. "Just a little more... Yeah, that's it. Okay, now for this one..."
 

MadderJacker

I do not catch bugs
Location
Washington
Pronouns
He/Him
The door creaked slowly open, more out of politeness than anything else, as Mergo emerged into the room. Owen had to have seen his arrival coming a hundred yards away, making no effort to hide a cold sense of purpose. Tense but certain.

It wavered, however, and Mergo blinked as he took in the sight of the strange ritual. He couldn't make anything of the way the dolls were arranged, but even stranger was Owen, laying on the floor. With his back to Mergo. And his tail up.

Mergo averted his eyes. "I almost don't want to know what any of this is," he said bluntly.
 

MadderJacker

I do not catch bugs
Location
Washington
Pronouns
He/Him
"... Make it quick. I'm not here to just sit back and watch."

Why was he humoring Owen? He'd seen how this would play out with everyone else before. He'd been through this song and dance across two and a half worlds now. Any more of this and Owen would be halfway to defusing why Mergo came here in the first place. Unacceptable.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. charizard
  3. milotic
  4. custom/zoroark-soda
  5. sceptile
"Perfect." Owen hopped back and and held a single hand forward with a devilish smile. He snapped them, and the doll in front of him abruptly exploded from its core, sending bits and pieces flying everywhere. But the arm of this doll smacked into the doll to the back on the nose, where the second explosive had been hidden. This doll burst next, and the doll's ear sailed over Owen's head and onto the third doll, destroying it when it landed on the shoulder, where its own explosive had been hidden. This went on until every doll was destroyed, its bits and parts evaporating into ethereal mist.

Owen flapped his wings once and the chunks that were still strong enough to remain came together. The arm here, the leg there... Of the ten dolls, all of the pieces that had been intact enough to not dissolve was enough to reconstruct a single full doll, almost perfectly.

"Yesss!" Owen pumped his fist in the air. "That was my biggest one yet! ...Oh! So what did you want to talk about, anyway?"
 

MadderJacker

I do not catch bugs
Location
Washington
Pronouns
He/Him
Relenting a bit, Mergo raised his hands to offer Owen a short round of applause. Even if his abilities made that feat far less impressive than it looked, it was still an accomplishment. And terrifying.

"Mm. So I can speak normally now," Mergo replied. "Apologies for neglecting most of you until now. Much time has passed for me, so I needed to... process things." He paused. A hint of shame crept up his spine as he tensed just so slightly. "Remember things. Especially at the end."
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. charizard
  3. milotic
  4. custom/zoroark-soda
  5. sceptile
Owen blinked, tilting his head in the way that was always so easy to read. Maybe it was out of courtesy, because he could so easily read others. Or maybe it was because this Owen--compared to the one Team Spectrum spoke of--was still soft and bright and ignorant of whatever hell was around his fate's corner.

"Remember... things at the end," Owen repeated, his eyes urging Mergo to go on.
 

MadderJacker

I do not catch bugs
Location
Washington
Pronouns
He/Him
"When you killed me, Owen," he stressed. Reviver seeds might have prevented that from meaning anything, but it had been a decisive loss despite everything Mergo had thrown. "And everything you said after that. It's... I've had a long time to reflect on that."

He folded his arms again and leaned against the wall of the training room, eyeing it over carefully. Smooth walls. Terrain was neutral. Classic design for the arenas that Mergo understood but didn't appreciate. He hummed.

"... Five summers, to be exact," Mergo added. "I don't know what that number means to you, but it's still quite some time to learn. A shame that this body won't change to show how I look now."
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. charizard
  3. milotic
  4. custom/zoroark-soda
  5. sceptile
And to this, Owen paused, blinking. "It..." He stumbled over his words again, and then stared at Mergo in disbelief. "Y... your hero's aura faded, and that much time passed for you? Five whole... summers, so that's like cycles, or years..." Owen brought his wings down and squeezed his toes against the ground.

"...I think I was pretty harsh on you. Must have been a lot of pent up frustration, or something. You really awakened something in me, you know."

Near the end of their own fight against the Blacklight, Mergo and Owen had challenged one another to a duel. They both took it seriously in their own way; Owen saw it as a game, but one as serious as a Colosseum fight... But Mergo must have seen it differently. So much pain and self-justification and a need for validation in that victory that Mergo hadn't achieved.

Had that loss, and Owen's and his Cal's harsh words to him--Owen, trying to build Mergo back up, and Cal, chiding him for his pride and the reasons he lost because of it--come back to Mergo, five summers ago?

"A-are you doing alright now?" Owen asked, because of course that was his top priority.
 

MadderJacker

I do not catch bugs
Location
Washington
Pronouns
He/Him
“I’m just fine,” Mergo answered, giving the beginnings of a tight-lipped grin that held the tiniest shred of humor. Maybe he even meant it.

Perhaps it hit harder for Owen because he had an example of how time could change someone just ahead of him. Spectrum’s Owen was a different beast entirely. A major uncertainty.

Regardless, Mergo then cocked his head to the side as he looked Owen over. “Bitter though I may sound, I assure you that I’m nothing but thankful. You showed me that I had a glaring weakness. If everything I had at my disposal, if months of psychological preparation, was not enough to defeat you, or a threat like you…” Mergo tilted his head the other way. “Then I needed more. And now, Owen—”

A long, slender, violet blade manifested in his hand with an ethereal hum, brighter than any attack before it. Just where the guard would protrude from his grip, the normally bright star-like white core was now as black as pitch. Perhaps it was a trick of the eye, but light seemed to bend just around the outside of the conjured blade.

“Now I’m certain I can end it.”
 
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Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. charizard
  3. milotic
  4. custom/zoroark-soda
  5. sceptile
Owen looked at the blade, then at Mergo himself, frowning a little. "Catching me at the end of my training, when I'm not even expecting a proper fight, huh?" he asked, smiling. "That's smart, too, isn't it? ...Well, sorry, Mergo, but... I think I'll surrender this duel right at the start." He started to stitch the Substitute doll together with what looked like extremely thin vines that came from his claws.

"We aren't even at our proper power anymore," he said. "The reason these dolls aren't totally obliterated is because it used all of my energy to make it... and it still wasn't a lot. I'm not sure how real that blade is, but it probably can't last. You know how weak we are now, in the end."
 

MadderJacker

I do not catch bugs
Location
Washington
Pronouns
He/Him
“… What?”

he blade evaporated to stardust as Mergo almost started to step back. This wasn’t going according to plan. Owen was supposed to love fighting. Even if their nonsensical powers were gone, they still had something to work with. Enough. They had enough for it to work.

Did Owen see through him? No. No, he couldn’t have. Mergo had been careful and controlled as he always had been. Nothing should have been that off.

Wind robbed from his sails, Mergo leaned forward as if he’d merely misheard him. “Are… Are you sure?”
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. charizard
  3. milotic
  4. custom/zoroark-soda
  5. sceptile
Owen nodded. "I already know that if I fought you, right now, I'd lose," he said, "and... I don't like fighting my friends unless I'm at my best. By the rules of dueling, that means you won, isn't it?" He tilted his head. "Dueling is a serious affair, right? You can't really choose when to duel or when someone is truly battling for your honor, but... I think you win by that logic, if I remember how that works..."

He paused, glancing around.

"Also, I kinda already got in trouble with the staff for scuffing up another one of their rooms..."
 
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