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Destiny Colosseum ~ Training Rooms

Negrek

Die by the Sword
Staff
The scyther dodged most of the flamethrower, as expected. She was fast, but she couldn't keep dodging forever--and she didn't, instead streaking forward with a quick attack that knocked Rocky back with a surprised yelp.

"Oh, yeah, guess you really didn't need any advice," Nate said while Rocky fell back, harried by lightning-fast aerial ace strikes. "Fucking masterful."

"S-stop distracting me!" Rocky said, arms raised in an attempt to shield himself from the scyther's attacks. His flames blazed bright as he released an undirected last of heat, not even a properly-formed attack.
 

Dragonfree

Ace Trainer
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
Mia was winning. She could take this one.

She pressed on through the heat; her form bubbled erratically, but held its shape. A low Feint aimed for the legs, to throw off his defensive efforts, then knock him down with Acrobatics? Something like that.
 

Negrek

Die by the Sword
Staff
Rocky stumbled back when the scyther made a dive for his legs, then fell down completely when she followed with a vicious upward strike, one that looked like it nearly tore his ectoplasmic body in half. "N-no, I'm not going to..." Rocky started, putting his hands up again to block the scyther's inevitable finishing blow.

The familiar's flaring mane vanished, and from being uncomfortable warm the room suddenly grew cold. Then deadly cold. Nate barely managed to throw up a protect before a wave of energy swept over him, and a second later found himself inside a glittering dome of ice. The fragile shell fell and smashed when he let go of the protect, revealing Rocky on his back and looking a bit dazed in the middle of a glittering skating-rink of ice, icicles hanging off punching bags and training dummies, jagged waves of frost climbing up the walls.

"Oh, so you can do this shit, too?" Nate asked dryly, reaching over to break the tip off a jutting spire of ice. It was perfectly clear and crystalline and finger-numbingly cold.
 

Dragonfree

Ace Trainer
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
Mia was about to deal a final blow when everything changed. The flames disappeared, the heat gave way to icy cold. Her goopy body rapidly froze from the outside in, leaving her suspended in a pillar of ice. As the cold dug in towards her core, Mia only barely had room to narrow her eyes at the other familiar, one intrigued thought sinking in before she blacked out: he wasn't an Infernape.
 

Negrek

Die by the Sword
Staff
Rocky probably hadn't even heard Nate. After a moment of lying there, getting his bearings, he must have noticed he didn't end up with a scythe at his throat.

"I won!" The familiar leapt to his feet, fire blazing back to life. "I won! See? I told you I didn't need your help!"

"Yup. You figured out being a cheating asshole all on your own. Shoulda seen that one coming. What the fuck even was that? Sheer cold?" And, come to think of it, where had the scyther gone? Frozen, presumably--but the first time looking over the arena Nate missed her entirely. Her shadow body had retreated back into its stone, suspended in a ragged wave of ice.

Nate's stomach lurched when he saw it, but that was fine, right? Like going back into a pokéball. Still. "Went pretty fucking hard for a practice battle, didn't you?" Nate said, hopping over the rim of ice that marked the perimeter of his protect and making his way towards the shade-stone. "It's not to the fucking death, Jesus."

"She's fine! It's just a battle," Rocky said. He blew a flamethrower at the ice encasing his opponent, and Nate had to duck to avoid getting hit, too. The shade-stone thudded down amidst steam and melting slush, and Nate got as close as the heat would allow, squinting to get a better look.

Yeah, same as Rocky's, basically. Super uninteresting-looking rock. There were maybe a few shadowy wisps around it, or maybe that was his imagination, or the steam. Again like a pokéball, he supposed. You'd have no clue what was in one, no idea that it was even something special, if you didn't already know what it was for.

"That was a pretty good battle," Rocky said cheerfully, leaving steaming footprints in the ice as he came over with a reviver seed and a couple orans. "I like fighting! We should fight more people."

"Well, we can't do the actual colosseum, that's for sure. Pull a stunt like that and they'd chuck you out of there in no time."

"It's not cheating," Rocky said with a frown. He pressed the reviver seed against the scyther's stone, its green glow leaching away into the stone's dark fissures.
 

Dragonfree

Ace Trainer
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
Mia awoke again at the touch of the Reviver Seed. She reformed her body in a few seconds, squinting at Rocky.

"What are you?" she asked. "Infernape can't use Sheer Cold."
 

Negrek

Die by the Sword
Staff
Rocky tugged on one of his spectral ears, frowning. "Well, it's complicated. I mean, I'm a familiar! I'm kind of like a version of somebody else. And Mudkip doesn't actually know exactly what they are, so that means I don't actually know, either. But I can do lots of cool stuff! See?" Rocky spread his hands, and water blossomed in the air between them, forming a cluster of stars, their edges glowing blue and razor-sharp.

"Oh, I know exactly what they fucking are, and it's a fucking sociopath," Nate said. 'And them losing all their bullshit powerups when Celebi smacked them three thousand fucking years into the future was pretty much the only positive thing to come out of that whole fucking mess." Rocky'd been doing a good job of keeping up the infernape act, and Nate had assumed he was imitating the Freak-as-infernape and not the Freak as its fucking self, but of course that wasn't it. If you were going to be the Freak for some fucking reason, would you honestly pick the one that was "just" an infernape when you could be breathing dragonfire and raising tidal waves and shit instead?

Rocky went on like he hadn't heard. "They could change into a lot of different things, too! Just like you. You did a pretty good job on the scyther, except maybe the head. Heads are hard! Is scyther your favorite? I like it, too, but I'm a lot better at infernape."
 

Dragonfree

Ace Trainer
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
'Sociopath.' That was a word people often used to describe Mia. Rocky didn't seem very much like what they meant by it at all, though. Maybe only the other him was, but then why would he not be the same? She frowned. The most likely explanation was Nate just didn't know what he was talking about, which made sense, when he was also saying some nonsense about time travel. (Or was there really time travel like that in Cibus? A lot of other things that didn't make any sense were. She would have to ask Dave later, or see if she could find a book on it.)

Rocky was talking to her again. "I don't change into other Pokémon," she said. "Or maybe I could, but the other me couldn't. My head is different because I'm part human. The other me was mostly human with some Scyther genes, but it's much better to be a proper Scyther, so I made my body like this. She had no wings and her scythes were too small and her arms were always in the way so it was hard to use them properly."
 

Negrek

Die by the Sword
Staff
"Ohhhh," Rocky said, his glowing eyes widening as the scyther... girl?... gave her explanation. "Human with scyther genes? That sounds like science." He spoke the last word in a hushed tone, as though afraid he might somehow wake it by speaking its name.

Nate rolled his eyes. But yeah, that did sound pretty fucking science, didn't it? This was the poochyena's familiar, and what people had been saying about him... Nate scowled. Well, obviously you didn't have any choice in what your familiar turned into. It could mean anything, really. But a guy couldn't help being suspicious.

Meanwhile Rocky was thinking along entirely different lines. "But then does that mean you, uh, who you're based on, they were an experiment? Did they get made by a mad scientist? In a lab? Did they escape from the lab? Were there other experiments, too? Now are all of you, are you all looking for revenge?" Rocky's tail was thrashing around like crazy with his excitement. Yeah, "win" a battle, meet another person who seemed like they could have stepped out of one of his fucking stupid shows, this was probably the best afternoon the familiar'd had in, like, his entire fucking life.
 

Dragonfree

Ace Trainer
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
Mia tilted her head. They were both weird about science for some reason. A lot of people were, of course, but usually not quite like this.

"There were eight of us," she said. "Dave and the others made us, and they did it in a lab, but once we were born they just took us home, so I don't remember being in the lab except later when visiting. They were going to abort us before we were born but they weren't allowed to. My parents picked me and my sister but I like Dave better."
 

Negrek

Die by the Sword
Staff
Yeah, there it was. "Oh, so Dave fucking made you," Nate said. "Or your person you're based on, whatever the fuck. What a fucking surprise." He honestly didn't know whether it was better or worse that the asshole hadn't even wanted her to grow up in the first place. Jesus fucking Christ.

Rocky gave Nate a look like he was the one who was a problem here. "Oh, that's funny. Usually I think, umm, experiments, they don't like being made in a lab. So you don't want revenge?" He appeared to struggle with the concept for a second, then brightened. "Oh, so are they training you to fight crime?"
 

Dragonfree

Ace Trainer
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
"Yes. It was his idea but they all worked on it." Mia looked searchingly at Nate. He was being sarcastic, implying he wasn't surprised. But people didn't say that when they actually knew, either. "Why?"

Rocky seemed to be very confused and assuming a lot of strange things. Did he know some Pokémorphs in his world? "I don't remember being made in the lab. It wouldn't make any sense to not like something that happened before I was born." Fight crime? "We tried fighting some kidnappers once. But two of us died and our parents were mad about it. They don't usually like us fighting anyone, except I can fight my sister because she can turn insubstantial. But here, where I'm in a better body, Dave thinks it's fine."
 

Negrek

Die by the Sword
Staff
(( Love that Mia gracefully fails to mention that (Morphic spoilers) one of the "two of us" who died is her original version. ))

"Why what? Why ain't I surprised?" Nate growled and ran his fingers through his gills. "Let's just say there's a long, long fucking history of guys getting it in their head to, like, make themselves a kid or a girlfriend or shit like that. For whatever fucking reason."

"Umm," Rocky said nervously, glancing between Nate and Mia. "T-that sounds really scary! I mean, not getting to fight is no fun, but..." He put his ears back, his tail curling in around his legs. After a moment to recover he took a deep, unnecessary breath and kept going. "But, well, at least you had other people like you to be friends with! Humans are weird, and even pokémon don't make sense a lot of the time."
 

Dragonfree

Ace Trainer
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
"Why what? Why ain't I surprised?" Nate growled and ran his fingers through his gills. "Let's just say there's a long, long fucking history of guys getting it in their head to, like, make themselves a kid or a girlfriend or shit like that. For whatever fucking reason."
Mia tilted her head. "That doesn't make any sense. Most people make kids but usually girlfriends are people who already exist. If you tried to make one it would take way too long before she grew up enough for it to be legal and it would be very impractical. Even if she grows up faster." She paused. "Dave didn't want kids, though. Or a girlfriend. It was supposed to be for medical research."

"Umm," Rocky said nervously, glancing between Nate and Mia. "T-that sounds really scary! I mean, not getting to fight is no fun, but..." He put his ears back, his tail curling in around his legs. After a moment to recover he took a deep, unnecessary breath and kept going. "But, well, at least you had other people like you to be friends with! Humans are weird, and even pokémon don't make sense a lot of the time."
Maybe Rocky was a little like her, in a different sort of way. "Most people don't make sense," she agreed. "But the other Pokémorphs don't make sense a lot of the time, either. They think like normal people. Dave says I'm different because they accidentally affected something in my brain. Genes are complicated."
 

Negrek

Die by the Sword
Staff
"Medical research, huh? If you were going to smash a human with a pokémon for 'medical research,' scyther seems like a damn interesting choice for the pokémon half." Never mind the argument that anybody who went around doing freaky genetic engineering gave even a single fuck about the legality of anything. Nate tugged on his gills and scowled. Jesus Christ. And the poochyena had even seemed like one of the halfway-reasonable ones. Just... Jesus. Honest to God, what had Nate even been expecting? He was fucking scientist, after all.

"Oh," Rocky said, deflating again. "Well, I guess it's still good to have some people who know what it's like to be a pokémon and a human at the same time, at least. Were your friends scythers, too?"
 

Dragonfree

Ace Trainer
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
Nate still seemed oddly upset about this for some reason. The way he talked reminded her of Dave when he was annoyed or being weird about something, but Dave wasn't annoyed or weird about science.

"They picked a lot of different species," she said. "They were trying to show the viability of the method across many families of Pokémon that were as different as possible. Scyther was interesting as a Bug Pokémon and because the scythes were a good example of a distinct feature in a Pokémon that they thought their method could apply to human anatomy even though it's very different. They published some research papers on it, but they probably don't exist in this world."

She looked back at Nate. "Why are you weird about science?"
 

Negrek

Die by the Sword
Staff
Yeah, sure, blah blah, whatever kind of fig leaf over what was clearly going on here. Either they were hoping for some real lucrative applications for their kid with super reflexes and stabby bits or somebody had some real interesting tastes, or, you know, both. Knowing what all those other mutants had been spliced with would probably show some real interesting patterns. "I ain't weird about fucking science," Nate said. "But people ain't tools, and making one because you want somebody really good at fighting, or psychic, or just cause you want to study them, is super incredibly fucked up. People are supposed to be who they are. You ain't supposed to make them like what you want."

"Oh, lots of different kinds of friends! I wish I could meet them," Rocky said, though most of his attention appeared to be on Nate. Yeah, sure. Here it came with trying to get him to calm down, like he was the fucking unreasonable one here. "Anyway, that was a great battle. We should fight again sometime! I think we need to go, um, buy some more reviver seeds, though. Right now. Bye!" And the little shit actually started walking to the door like anybody was going to buy that shit.

Nate wanted to say he wasn't fucking done here, but what was the point? The fucking scyther wasn't the one he was pissed at. If anything, he should leave and go find her dirtbag partner to beat his fucking face in. On the other hand, fuck Rocky, he couldn't just drag Nate around like some kind of fucking misbehaving child. For a moment Nate was frozen with indecision, halfway wanting to yell at Rocky and halfway wanting to charge out of there right that very second.
 

Dragonfree

Ace Trainer
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
Mia frowned at Nate's speech. She had already said it was for medical research, but sometimes people just didn't listen to what you said and then it was usually no use to bother trying to keep talking to them about it.

Rocky was pretending to be in a hurry for some reason and ran out like he expected Nate to come with him. Nate had followed him earlier when he didn't want to, too. Why?

"You know you don't have to go where your familiar goes. Dave is somewhere with Brisa right now."
 

Negrek

Die by the Sword
Staff
"Uh?" Nate blinked. Where the fuck had that come from? He shot a glare over at Rocky, who'd paused in the doorway, looking nervous. "Yeah, I kinda noticed that most people run around without their familiars no problem."

"Well, I'm special," Rocky said, drawing himself up straight. A band of glowing golden light shone from Rocky's shoulder down to his hip, the same reflected deep in his chest, where gold encircled his core. "Remember?" He plucked at the shining band like it itched.

"So you're saying Arceus fucked something up when he did whatever with the psychic link?"

Rocky shrugged. "I guess. Now come on! I thought you didn't want to stop for a battle in the first place!"

"Hmm." Based on what Arceus had said he'd done, Nate couldn't imagine the psychic link would be stronger between him and Rocky than it was with most familiars. Who the fuck knew with that guy, though?

It was a question for some other time, anyhow. Rocky was standing still for now, but that wouldn't last, and whatever the cause Nate certainly did have the experience of getting dragged along for the ride when the guy decided he really wanted to go somewhere right this moment. He sighed and glanced back at the scyther-girl. "Anyhow, looks like we're leaving. Take... care of yourself, I guess." Fat load of fucking good that was going to do. Anger prickled in his gut. Whatever. Hanging around here wouldn't do anything good, either.
 

Dragonfree

Ace Trainer
Staff
Location
Iceland
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partners
  1. butterfree
Mia looked at the band, intrigued. They didn't seem to know what was going on with it either. Arceus had done something? But they were going to leave, and it didn't sound like Nate knew very much about what Arceus had done either, anyway. That was fine. Maybe somebody else knew more.

Nate prepared to leave, and told her to take care of herself, which was one of those things people said that didn't make a lot of sense. Why would a person need to be told that? "Okay. Goodbye."
 
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