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[Starr] Team Rocket HQ

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Starr awoke standing up. The fur on her body felt heavier; the air smelled foul. Something was burning. She was in a cell, but the way she was positioned, it suggested she was not the one who was supposed to be there. In fact, she had entered on her own volition... hadn't she?

Her paw felt like it had briefly been used to spew fire.

Someone wheezed in the back of the cell, and then laughed. "Nice try... real nice try..."

Lexx.

The Ultra Shade, the false Zeraora, was tied to a chair, immobile by some strange enchantment. His ectoplasmic fur had scorch marks on it and his eyes were a deep red color. Electricity of the same color crackled along his core.

"Sorry, sis. You aren't getting any info from me... no matter how much you try."
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
  3. palkia
  4. custom/lucario-shiny
Everything happened in an instant. One moment, Starr was clinging to Owen's back for dear life, eyes screwed shut, teeth clenched. The next, she opened her eyes to see Brisa falling through the air, disappearing into the storm. Time slowed to a crawl. A sickening horror stabbed through Starr's chest; her arm stretched out uselessly, not even close to reaching. Everyone screamed. The wind ripped her from Owen's back. Then everything dissolved into a swirling haze of red.

Brisa would be okay. She was always okay. Except for that time she wasn't.

---

Now...

Starr blinked stupidly at Lexx, unable to process what she was seeing, bile rising in the back of her throat. "The fuck are you even talking about? Info? What??"

The Incineroar whirled around, very deliberately avoiding his gaze. She tried to take in her surroundings, but her eyes kept sliding away from anything she tried to look at. A burning nausea had settled into her gut. She knew this place. She'd never forget it. Never.

"This some kind of sick joke?!" she snarled at the ceiling. But no one answered.

Starr glanced over her shoulder to see Lexx still giving her that same pained, ironic, insufferable grin. Like this was all amusing. She turned her back to him and walked forcefully out the cell door, leaving him there. She was about halfway through when she stopped suddenly. Her teeth were clenched, fingers gripping the metal so hard she thought it might bend.

She spun around and jabbed a finger at him. "Look, I don't know who scrambled your lack-of-brains, but I gotta find Brisa, and if I don't drag your sorry ass with me, half my shit won't even work right."

In the back of her mind, she had the nagging feeling that she was already missing that familiar energy that had been there for the past few months. She shoved that feeling aside--she'd probably need him for something else anyway, right? Right. Otherwise she could just leave him here.

Lexx probably said something as she walked back over to him, but she ignored him and focused on his restraints. There wasn't... anything physical she could tear at. Just the same red energy that seemed to permeate the walls.

"How the hell do I get you off this thing?" she demanded.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"Playing comedian, now, are we?" Lexx asked with what little energy he had. "You were the one who put me in this thing... How would I know how to get out? Besides... I'll just run away if you let me go. You really want that? What'll he do if he finds out?" Another smirk, and it seemed genuine, despite how depleted he looked. The Core in his chest looked like it was about ready to shatter.

Steps. They echoed. In the silence of the place, it was the only thing Starr could hear aside from the faint crackle of whatever bindings were around Lexx. They were from shoes. Human shoes. And that gait... Starr would recognize those footfalls anywhere. He seemed to be pacing a few halls down, stopping now and then, before continuing.

For only a moment, there was a flash of dread in Lexx's eyes, but he masked it soon after. Starr could feel it through their weak telepathy; Lexx's mental barriers were weak. And through the cracks, Starr had the sense that he knew something that he didn't want her to find out.

"Go on," Lexx said. "If you want to let me go... who am I to refuse? We'll fight our way out together..."

What information does Lexx have?
Lexx: 250
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
  3. palkia
  4. custom/lucario-shiny
Starr gaped at him incredulously. "What are you talking about? I didn't put you there—you're not making any goddamn sen—"

But the moment the words were out of her mouth, she immediately found herself doubting them. A hazy image flashed through her mind--herself, carrying the unconscious shade into the room. Dumping him unceremoniously into the chair. Generating the red light that held him there.

That was a goddamn lie. She hadn’t done this. She hadn—

Starr clutched her head, muttering a string of incoherent curses under her breath. She had to get out of here. Now. But the moment that thought entered her head, she heard the footsteps just outside. Pacing. Waiting. Expecting. She couldn't afford another failure. Not again.

It's not him, it's NOT HIM, NONE OF THIS IS RE—

Fear clawed at Starr's insides. She forced herself to look away from the door, facing Lexx's pitiful form once more.

“Don't screw with me," she snarled, but the words had lost their edge. "Just what the hell do you know, anyway?!”
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"I dunno. What do I know?" Lexx asked, smirking again, like this was some kind of mind game to him. Even though he was definitely close to being killed if he pressed himself too long, either by Starr, or by...

"Maybe it has to do with where we are right now," Lexx went on. "Maybe the true nature of our false selves. Maybe if we're working with the enemy. Or maybe... you just got tired of my antics, and forgot what you did to me in the meantime. After all, this is your reality, isn't it? Where else would this world come from?"

Lexx shrugged...

Lexx's other arm made an odd motion behind his back.
Lexx: 250
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
  3. palkia
  4. custom/lucario-shiny
Starr clenched her hands like she wanted to strangle him. "Oh my god, would it kill you to just give a straight answer to anything in your life?!"

She paced back and forth next to his chair, tail lashing. "You wanna know what info I want? How about why the fuck you told the boss I was friends with Ajia, back then?!”

Starr drew a fist back like she was going to punch him... and then froze. She stood there, glaring at him, fist shaking.

“The boss never let me hear the end of that. Meanwhile you got to fuck around in Johto doing whatever the hell bullshit you wanted with zero consequences. He always went easy on you!”

She slammed her fist into the wall hard enough to leave cracks in the concrete and then sat down next to him, breathing heavily. While also doing her best to avoid looking at the cracks tracing the surface of his core.

“The worst part is that you don’t even know, she muttered in a low voice. “You can’t know.” The shade's memories all came from her, and she didn't know herself.

You could have known, if you'd just asked.

Thanks, but I'd rather gargle rocks.

He offered to talk a dozen times. You always turned him down.

Because he just would've used it to play another one of his dumbass games.

But even as the thought entered her head, she wasn’t so sure. Seeing this Lexx here now, in front of her… it wasn’t so hard to believe that he’d just been scared.

Think. He didn’t let it show because he never let any of that shit show. Just brushed it off with jokes like always.

…Yeah. Part of her had known that all along.

Wasn't that the same thing that was happening now? He was scared. She had him at her mercy. She could do whatever she wanted to him. Make him hurt for things he didn’t even do. She had all the power in this situation.

She didn't want it.

Starr clenched her teeth so hard she thought they might break. Then her claws lit up with Radiance.

Starr used Shining Renegade on the restraints!
-40 Stm, +40 Rad
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Lexx flinched enough that when the binds were destroyed, his arms immediately went up to protect his face. It revealed the Blast Seed that was in his free hand, like he'd been prepared to detonate them. He glance dat it, then at Starr, and then swiftly hid them behind his back again. Not that it meant much now that he was standing up. Closer to Starr's glow, his semi-transparent body showed the seeds right there behind him...

"...Okay, look. I'm naked. And see-through. Can't really hide anything unless it's dark."

Despite the casual tone, his breaths were shaky, and his core wasn't stabilizing anymore...

Lexx's eyes trailed to the ground, spotting a shadow. His ears twitched to the sound of incoming footsteps...

There were two shadows. One walked. The other... drifted forward. They were perhaps just around the corner of the outer hall...

Lexx: 250

"All right, 'sis.' Now what?"
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
  3. palkia
  4. custom/lucario-shiny
Starr snapped her eyes to the approaching shadow and felt her blood run cold. He was close. On top of that, she could now feel the telltale psychic pressure accompanying him. Dammit, dammit, dammit.

"I'm working on that," Starr muttered. She could already feel the buzzing of Radiance in the back of her head, so much stronger than usual. This is your fault--why do you think the storm became this place? Tediuous. Distracting.

Starr focused! [-20 Radiance]

A bit of clarity returned. But she still felt so much weaker than normal. And she didn't have her aura tuned to the usual boosting moves. Maybe she could've beaten Mewtwo before, but not now, not alone.

(Well, she wasn't technically alone, was she?)

"Keep that Blast Seed handy--if we both attack when he rounds the corner, we can make a break for it while they're stunned." She wasn't sure, but it was the best chance they had.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"Always got a plan, huh?" Lexx asked, leisurely stepping by her side as he toyed with the Blast Seeds in his hands. "Alright." I'll follow your lead.

The steps were getting closer. Their shadows, more defined. They were right around the corner.

Get ready...

And then, abruptly, Mewtwo appeared in a flash of light at the short side of the hall.

Mewtwo is about to use Psychic on Lexx!
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
  3. palkia
  4. custom/lucario-shiny
Starr leaped back the instant Mewtwo appeared, fur standing on end. Shit, shit shit. Then a half-second of relief when she realized that he was gathering Psychic energy--what, did he just forget she was dark-type? Then she realized he was aiming at Lexx and God DAMN it--

"Get out of the way!" she barked, shoving him aside and lunging at Mewtwo with flames roaring to life across her body.

Starr used Flare Blitz on Mewtwo!
[+2, STAB] -24 Stm
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Starr's Flare Blitz dealt 437 damage to the Mewtwo haze! Mewtwo took a decent hit from that! Starr took 44 damage in recoil.

Mewtwo's Psychic was misdirected from Starr's interference, striking her harmlessly. And yet, despite that--and after a distinct POP! sound, a sharp pain in her chest followed anyway. Down the hall, pointing something at Starr that was smoking from a discharge... was him.

Starr took 212 damage! It was a very accurate attack!

Lexx: 250
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
  3. palkia
  4. custom/lucario-shiny
Starr recoiled backward, clutching her chest. “Fuck…” Her hand was wet. Her breath hitched.

They were trapped. Just like last time, facing down death in the form of Mewtwo. It was a total fluke that she'd made it out last time. She wouldn't get so lucky a second time.

......

No. No, she had to get ahold of herself. This wasn't like last time. She was a Pokemon now. She could fight back. This wasn't over. Her last attack had hurt Mewtwo, but she had no idea how much energy he had left. She could keep going. She had to. She had to.

Two targets, and two of them. If they attacked both at the same time, maybe they had a shot...

"Throw the Blast Seeds now!" Starr yelled, lunging at Mewtwo once more, fangs cloaked in a life-draining green energy.

Starr used Leech Life on Mewtwo!
[+2, SE] -19Stm
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Starr's Leech Life dealt 330 damage to Mewtwo!

"Alright, alright! But I'm gonna regret this!" Lexx lobbed his whole fist at Mewtwo, intentionally disconnecting it from his wrist. Mewtwo countered with a Psychic blast, but that only exposed the seeds. "Just as pla--"

The explosion sent Lexx flying backward with Starr, but Mewtwo also disappeared from the blast. Not nearly as tough as the real deal...

"Urgh..." Lexx rubbed his head, his red lights flickering before refocusing on Giovanni, who remained. The gun was trained on-- "Nope!"

Starr heard a gunshot, as well as the sound of a bullet striking something hard, but no new pain. Someone fell onto Starr moments later...
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
  3. palkia
  4. custom/lucario-shiny
Starr's ears were ringing and her head spun. A weight was on her chest. She pushed it off of herself… and then froze.

Lexx. His face was screwed up with pain, his core crackling with red sparks.

Starr’s throat clenched up, and her chest tightened. “You—you were supposed to throw the seeds at the boss, idiot!”

She threw a hurried glance over her shoulder. Couldn’t tell if he was preparing to fire again. She could maybe reach him in time if she rushed him now—

The sound of a cough yanked her attention back to Lexx. Her eyes fell on his core crumbling into bits, and her blood ran cold. And before she knew what she was doing, she’d grabbed his arm, shadows flaring to life around the two of them.

“You’re not allowed to die, you goddamn moron!”

Starr used Void Catharsis on Lexx!
+336 HP, -69 Stm, -15 Rad, +80 Shd
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
"Oh, the boss?" wheezed Lexx. "I'm sorry, I was too busy saving your life to notice."

He chuckled weakly before falling onto his back again. "Ahaha, ahh, hurts to laugh."

But as Lexx continued to focus on his breathing--despite being healed, his core was still falling apart faster than Starr could repair it--the footsteps came closer. Too close, like a nightmare.

There was a metallic click right behind Starr's head. The gun was drawn. Just one twitch...

He stared at her with a faceless smirk.
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
  3. palkia
  4. custom/lucario-shiny
The next few seconds seemed to last forever. First the wave of cold dread clutching her insides with an icy fist. But with it... a moment of clarity. The boss was going to kill her? Death meant he couldn’t own her, couldn't keep her as a trophy, couldn't hold her here forever. That wasn't him...

But then it had never been him, had it? This was Cibus. He was a world away.

Starr focused. [-5 Rad, -20 Shd]

Starr glowered at Lexx. 'I don’t need you saving my ass. I’m the one that can come back from dying, not you.'

She didn’t want to die, though. Diyem would be pissed. And… she didn’t want to make Brisa go through that pain that she knew all too well. So if there was any way to escape, she had to take it.

"Can't die right now," Starr said with an ironic smile. "I've got a date."

And she had to get a certain idiot to safety first.

Starr used U-turn!
[+2] -28 Stm
Starr used the momentum to grab Lexx and run!
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
Starr didn't even have time to see what impact the strike would have caused. However, when she tried, the hazy human instantly pulled the trigger, which was staring her right in the face...

But then, there was a dull noise, like something had jammed, or gotten in the way. And Lexx was smirking while Starr carried him off.

"Good, good," Lexx said. A bullet fired a split-second later, but it missed Starr as she rounded the corner. She knew the base by heart--it was her memories, after all--so the exit must have been down a few more halls. "Say," Lexx said, "did you know... heh... did you know that while we can get scorched... our bodies aren't that flammable? And pretty soft, too. If, say... part of a spattered paw were to gunk up the chamber of a gun, for example..." Lexx chuckled again. "Anyway, I think I'm gonna pass out now..."
 

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
  3. palkia
  4. custom/lucario-shiny
“Yeah, yeah, I bet you think you’re real smart right now,” Starr grumbled. Still, her tone had noticeably softened.

Down the hall, past the moving walkway, up the stairs—her legs were on autopilot as she carried him toward the exit. Every so often her eyes slid back to his core and she forced herself to look away.

“Already told you you’re not allowed to die,” Starr muttered. She wasn’t sure if he could hear her. Maybe he was just pretending to be out cold. She could hope.

One last staircase. In her mind, she saw herself dragging Jade out of that detention block, in the version of events that never was. If she hadn’t been such a fucking coward…

At least… now it wasn’t so hard to believe that she wouldn't do it again. It wasn’t much, but it was something.

At last, they reached the door. Starr threw it open, but instead of the alley into Celadon’s entertainment district, nothing but swirling red mist awaited.
 

Namohysip

Dragon Enthusiast
Staff
Partners
  1. charizard
  2. milotic
When Starr exited the building, she saw that, behind her, there had been no building at all. Stepping out, she would turn to see nothing but a flat doorway that led into the labyrinth of a base, but no wall to accompany it, only the frame. When the door closed--showing only a flash of Giovanni smirking at her from the far end of the hall--it fell backward with a decisive, final crash. It sank into the dusty ground, like it was never there.

Shadowy figures walked this way and that, paying them no mind, making little gestures at one another as if interacting in a normal city. Some were sitting on benches that were not there; others gestured like they were opening doors, and then disappeared through an invisible wall.

"Did I ever tell you..." Lexx said breathily, "that I hate crowds? ...Dunno if that's the real Lexx talking... or me... but it doesn't really help with being able to concentrate..."

A figure riding an invisible bike breezed past them, leaving smoky trails behind.

"But we made it out... How about that. It's... almost peaceful, huh?" His core was gone; the red lights of his body dimmed... and then went out completely.
 
Last edited:

Chibi Pika

Stay positive
Staff
Location
somewhere in spacetime
Pronouns
they/them
Partners
  1. custom/pikachu-chibi
  2. lugia
  3. palkia
  4. custom/lucario-shiny
Starr glanced down at Lexx. "Probably because you've been spending all your time holed up in the lab and the library. You could do with getting out more." She probably would regret giving him more of an excuse to talk people's ears off, but whatever.

The Incineroar took one step forward from where the base entrance had vanished. Then another. It was like her body knew where to go without her telling it. Despite the lack of buildings--or any landmarks, for that matter--the phantom doorways and the flow of passersby still vaguely followed the street layout near the Game Corner.

"'Peaceful'... that's one way to put it."

She crossed a street that had no cars and reached an empty clearing that probably would have been a small park. The real thing was trash-strewn and pretty much only used for battles between bikers and thugs. In this space, it was perfectly clear. Starr sat down on the smoky wisps of what almost looked like grass and took that moment to rest her arms. Her eyes lingered on the space where Lexx's core had been, and a hollow feeling took hold in her chest. Between that, and the lights going out...

There was still this lingering wisp of a psychic presence back of her head, though. That was something.

'If this is another one of your jokes, I swear I'll kill you myself,' Starr thought, forcing a bit of levity into her voice.
 
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