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[Kate] Old Mountain Trail

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Kate stood at the base of a steep mountain, snowcapped at the top, but with evergreen pines at the bottom. Just another mission. Just another place to pilfer. Though, this was apparently a more noble goal, wasn't it? Instead of taking from other Pokemon, her assignment--according to what was on the mission statement in her claws--was to go on a recovery mission after the lead squadron took out whatever hostile Pokemon was terrorizing the peaks.

The trail was obvious and clear. Near the middle of the trail, on an offshoot path that was rougher, a red glow emanated from a cave. Apparently, that was where Kate was supposed to go.

It was sundown. By the time she'd get there, it would be nightfall.
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Partners
  1. nidoran-f
Kate looked around at her surroundings, and down at the paper in her claws. The last thing she'd remembered was gathering at Destiny Tower, and then getting sucked up into a twister. Next thing she knew, she was standing on a mountain path, with a paper lined with Varhydian runes... for a recovery mission from a guild?

"... Is this a listing for a Hunter's mission?" Kate asked. "How on earth did I get this without getting a team sicced on me for bounty money?"

Was this a dream? Or had everything that she remembered from Cibus been one all along? She was still a Weavile, so unless she'd gotten a really inconveniently timed case of amnesia, she was leaning to the former as an explanation.

Still, this didn't seem like something she could get out of just by pinching herself. The Weavile looked back down at the paper to try and see where she'd gotten it from and make sense of what could've happened... only to fail to make out roughly a third of the runes on the paper, including the one with the name the issuing guild. Her literacy always had been on the shaky side since she dropped out of school when younger, and of course it would come back to bite her in her feathered ass now of all times.

"And just where did I get dumped anyways?" she murmured. "Am I supposed to recognize this place? It feels vaguely familiar for some reason, but I don't remember ever being here before."

The Weavile shook her head and frowned, looking about her surroundings to try and see if she could recognize anything of it. Someplace mountainous and cold... was she somewhere in the inland frontiers? But at the same time, she couldn't place specifics of the mountain's shape or features. All that was there was the lonely path snaking up it, and the fast-setting sun behind her.

"Guess whoever dumped me here couldn't have been more subtle about what I was supposed to do, huh?" she sighed, before setting off down the path.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
The trail continued upward, and as it did, the ground trembled, threatening the beginnings of an avalanche should one unlucky rumble set everything rolling down.

In the ominous cave, shouts echoed, followed by a singular roar that drowned the rest of it out. Ice snapped and silenced most of those other, smaller voices for only a second, and then cries of terror followed. Shadowy creatures that resembled Pokemon poured out of the cave--it looked like two full squadrons. Stray beams of ice turned a few into popsicles instantly, which then rolled down the mountain unceremoniously.

A dark Kyurem's head emerged from the cave, breathing a plume of ice in a huff. Her eyes were a bright red and electricity crackled around a fragmented core that floated in her chest...

She doesn't seem to notice Kate...
Kyurem: 1,000
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Partners
  1. nidoran-f
Kate froze and darted behind a nearby tree trunk, stealing a glance over her shoulder towards the Kyurem with tense, shallow breaths. Götterverdammt, if this was someone's idea of a sick joke, then it wasn't funny! Sticking her with a mission she'd never have willingly accepted in the first place, and then pitting her against the one god that seemed like she might be open to hearing from an Outlaw like her!

Screw this noise! The mission said it was to recover things after other 'mons did the hard work of fighting. Well that obviously wasn't happening, so then what was the point of sticking trying to carry out a mission that she had no hope of completing against Melanie?!

Wait a minute- Melanie?! The Weavile stole a glance and realized that sure enough, the Kyurem's hide was jet black and not gray like the Kyurem of her world was supposed to be in life. No wonder why nothing seemed to be adding up! This was some sort of warped mind game by whoever had made this place!

... Except Melanie looked very real, and very angry, and could probably throw the entire mountainside's worth of very real-looking and real-feeling snow down on her without a whole lot of effort.

Kate ate her Abyssal Seed!

The Weavile quickly ate her Abyssal Seed and crumpled up the paper in her claws. She was here for a recovery mission alright, and she didn't need a fake mission listing to tell her it: she was snapping Melanie out of whatever it was this place was doing to her, and then they were getting out of this gods-forsaken mimicry of her world.

Kate balled up the paper and breathed in deep, before calling out and throwing her voice from her hiding place behind the tree trunk to try and misdirect the enraged shade. She wasn't sure if Melanie had seen her earlier, but if she hadn't, she might as well try and buy some time before they came face-to-face to try and figure out what on earth happened to her Shade companion.

"M-Melanie? What's going on?" she asked. "This isn't like you!"
 
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Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
The roar stopped right in the middle. It echoed into the air for a few tremendous seconds, and then the pupil-less eyes seemed to be facing Kate directly. The behemoth's whole head turned, solid, ice-like jaws opening to a snarl.

"How dare you... use my--"

She roared and it was a strange mixture of anger and pain. A horrible wind billowed out from the cave as she emerged.

Melanie used Icy Wind, dealing a grazing 21 damage to Kate! Kate was slowed!

"I should have known better than to trust a thief... Who are you?! Why do you look like her?! I'll..." She roared again, now completely out of the cave. "I'll make you pay... for everything she stole from me!" But Melanie had no true possessions. What, then, was stolen?

Melanie: 1,000
 
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Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Partners
  1. nidoran-f
Well, so much for throwing her voice... Kate jumped from the tree up into its boughs as Melanie's Icy Wind grazed her. Kate shook the blow off and wondered to herself if the abilities she'd picked up in Cibus had helped her, or if somewhere deep inside the raging Kyurem, Melanie was still trying to hold back.

Melanie's rant about ought to have known better than to trust a thief made the Weavile flinch a moment. Even if she was used to that sort of talk, it still stung to hear it come from the shade's mouth. The Weavile shook her head, firming up her muzzle as she spoke back.

"Yeah, well maybe I am a thief, but I don't steal from friends, Melanie," she said. "We were friends before this, and even if you can't remember it right here and now, we still are."

The Weavile breathed in sharply and braced herself to spring away at a moment's notice, shooting a pleading look back at the Kyurem.

"What was stolen from you?" she asked. "I dunno who ripped you off, or why you think I had something to do with it. But I want to help! And I can't do that if you can't explain what's going on here!"

Kate called out to Melanie!
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"Everything," Melanie snarled. "I know you aren't here. You can't be her! She's... been gone. Gone for lifetimes, you... liar!"

Melanie fired a beam of ice at the tree under Kate, but thanks to her reflexes and preparation, Kate dodged the actual strike completely.

"Kate was all I had!" Melanie shouted. "After Cibus was saved and everyone left, I was alone! She took... everything from me! I had nothing... nothing but hunters trying to beat away the False Legend, borne of nothing but an outlaw!

"HOW DARE YOU IMITATE HER FORM!"

Love, hate--Kate would sense both from the deranged Shade. She was aimless.

Melanie is preparing a huge attack!
Melanie: 1,000
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Partners
  1. nidoran-f
"After Cibus was saved and everyone left, I was alone!" Melanie's words stuck in Kate's head as she noticed Melanie winding up what looked like a huge attack, making her brace herself.

Kate used Detect+5!
Net stamina: -139

Wait a minute, so was this place even supposed to be anyways? Varhyde or Cibus? Since when did anyone call Rescue Teams 'Hunters' on Cibus?

"Melanie, wait. After 'everyone left'? As in we're on Cibus right now?" she asked. "I'm sorry, but if we are, I just don't believe I would've left you alone even if I couldn't take you back to Varhyde with me."

Kate paused a moment and cracked a small grin. There was one gaping hole in these false memories Melanie had, and she was going to milk it for all it was worth.

"After all, it wouldn't have been physically possible," she said. "We spent a lot of time with Pleo and Tempest together, who both would have stayed on Cibus with you. Am I supposed to believe that I'd have dumped you in the woods before going back to Varhyde instead of leaving you with friends we both trust?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Melanie used Glaciate on Kate, but it was dodged! It was a heavy attack and went through two Detect dodges!

"What do you mean? That... that's all the past! I... I don't remember any of that, I just... I've been alone!" Melanie shouted, but there were clear contradictions in her words. This storm was more around Melanie than over Kate--whatever happened here had distorted her perception of time. All in such a short instant...

"Time... it all passed. After the storm, we... I didn't see them again. You left me! I..." Melanie shook her head. "I had to follow... the future, my duties as... as what I was born as, right? But there was nothing for me... and I..."

Melanie seems confused...

Melanie: 1,000
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Partners
  1. nidoran-f
"Melanie, we've been in this storm for ten minutes," Kate replied. "None of those things you're remembering about being left behind happened. The future's not yet written, and I'll be damned if I let it play out like that!"

The Weavile shook her head at the mention of duties as Melanie tripped over her words in confusion. Maybe she wasn't the right 'mon to ask about whether the likes of Kyurem had some sort of purpose, but...

"Melanie, you don't have duties," Kate insisted. "I made you because I wanted a friend who could look out for me! There's no 'duty' to that!"

Kate called out to Melanie!
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Melanie hesitated again. "But... but if I was created to... to be your friend..." She trembled, then wailed aloud. "Then what am I supposed to do when you're GONE?!"

Melanie used Icy Wind again, freezing and shattering all nearby trees! Kate's Detect vanished!

Despite the outburst, it seemed like Melanie was starting to get things out of her system. She'd found something to grab onto. Now, Kate had to be talked down from it--before everywhere became some kind of frozen wasteland.
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Partners
  1. nidoran-f
Oh well that wasn't good... sorta. Kate always liked being in chilly environments, though this whole "turning one's surroundings into ice, ice, and even more ice" thing Melanie was up to was bound to end poorly.

As Kate braced for Melanie's next blow, it occurred to her that she probably could've phrased that appeal better. After all, even if things had started that way, it's not as if she wanted Melanie to only be her friend? Wasn't she technically supposed to be her mother? What sort of mom wanted her kids solely to make her happy?

Maybe... just maybe, if she could get Melanie to understand that...

"Then you'll be able to look out for the other friends we have!" Kate insisted. "I mean, just because things started that way doesn't mean I don't want you to have friends of your own or control your own destiny! You're my kid, and the last thing I want is you making yourself miserable over some stupid 'destiny' or 'purpose' thing!"

Kate shook her head, and called out over the howling winds.

"If I know that you're out there looking out for other 'mons, for the friends we both made here on Cibus... then that's purpose enough for me!" she insisted. "And to hell with anyone or anything that tries to tell you that's not good enough!"

Kate called out to Melanie!
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Melanie snarled at nothing, but perhaps it was meant to be a sniffle. A rush of cold wind blew over Kate, but it didn't seem to be a proper attack... only the natural cold that Melanie must have known for so long.

Finally, she collapsed on her two great legs, jaws buried in the snow that she'd created.

"...A-and I won't end up like this again...?" Melanie asked. "I'll... I'll have people with me again? How do you know...? I..."

She seemed calm enough to approach. The snow was up to Kate's chest by now, especially once she got up to Melanie proper, but it wasn't getting any higher. But up close, Kate would also see the state of Melanie's core, tiny in the center of her chest. It was practically bits and pieces like the remnants of a campfire...

"I don't want to be empty..."
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Partners
  1. nidoran-f
Kate pulled herself up out of the snow as best as it allowed and trudged up to the Kyurem, patting at her head.

"I get that, nobody wants to be," she said. "So won't you let me help? Let us help? All the friends we've made together?"

The Weavile looked up and gave a small smile back up.

"After all, it's kinda hard to go through life empty if you're sharing it with others, don't you think?"
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Melanie nodded. The winds were calming; that wasn't so hard. The red lights in her eyes faded quickly, and she murmured something about feeling tired. With the calming storm and the dying blizzard, the sky cleared enough to reveal the afternoon sun and the luminous moon.

Something changed within Melanie; her core disappeared entirely, as did the red lights. After a brief silence, she would wake up again, lights back to normal, with whatever odd influence within her gone...

Distant rumbles shook from the south, where red storm clouds were still churning powerfully. Could the others still be fighting?
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Partners
  1. nidoran-f
Kate looked up as Melanie settled into the snow, noting the core in her body had faded.

"Hey... Melanie, the Weavile murmured. "Are you alright?"

The Kyurem raised her head, and looked back with a tired growl.

"Uh... uh huh. I think I'm alright now," she said. "I don't know what just happened though."

Just then, the pair noticed the storms churning off in the distance, making Melanie shrink back uneasily.

"Looks like that storm's still going on," Melanie murmured. "Do you think everyone's alright?"

Kate said nothing for a moment before shaking her head back.

"I'm sure they're fine," she said. "It's not as if Team Spectrum's a bunch of pushovers."

The Weavile turned back towards the storms in the distance, as her face fell and she pinned her ears back with a low murmur.

"Still, it can't hurt to check up on them," she said. "Are you still well enough to fly? And think you're still good to lend a helping claw?"

Melanie nodded back and hardened her features back determinedly.

"Yeah, I think I can," she said. "Let's go."
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
They left the snowstorm and all those turbulent emotions behind, choosing instead to fly toward the Eterna madness that awaited them. It seemed like the battle was reaching some sort of high point, or perhaps it had just ended. One way or the other, however, they would arrive to see the others, and arrive with a new power between them...

Kate's Eternal Spirit awakened!
"Here's the work of a master!" - Once per battle, when Kate is both Unleashed and has the Barrage status, she can carry both effects onto all attacks on the following turn.

<><><>​
 
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