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The Sap Sipper

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Seren

Lurking
Staff
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
So he let the comment about not asking how he was doing slide with no more than a tight smile and answered the actual question. "Yeah, they had some kind of heart-to-heart this morning, I guess. Don't know what all they talked about, though. You ain't one of those types who can understand pokémon, are you?"

Something in Mitch's expression told Kimiko that he was not pleased. She wasn't sure why, but he certainly had no shortage of reasons. Hell, just about everyone on the island had good reason to be ticked off.

"'Fraid not," she replied with a frown. Well, that was going to make gathering info difficult... unless maybe Olivia could piece together sufficient mental pictures for her. ...Or she went and found someone to translate.

Mightyena's little tail wag was less than Kimiko was hoping for, but again, she couldn't blame her. And still, she did look better than she had last night at the meeting. Maybe there was more to her behavior than just feeling tired? She'd heard that Steven's Aggron had been quite upset with himself after failing to protect him... "I'm sure you'll be feeling better again in no time," she said, doing her best to sound cheerful. "I bet you're eager to get revenge on whoever attacked you, huh?"

The espeon wanted to talk, though. Mightyena tried to focus on that. "Oh, thank you," she said. She wasn't feeling eager for lunch, but she really ought to eat something, if there was a fight coming for them later today. And if she did have to eat something now, it might as well be bacon. In two bites, she'd scarfed down one of the bacon strips. "Do all eevees like bacon?" she asked. "That's something I hadn't heard of before coming here. And have you met all of the eevees on the island? There's so many of them! Do you all know each other?"
Olivia trilled in delight as Mightyena accepted her offering. She celebrated by inhaling two more strips of her own. And then she was being asked a question. She sensed a dark-type aura around this pokemon, which meant it was unlikely she'd be able to speak into her mind. That was a shame... it was difficult to talk and eat at the same time.

"I don't know, honestly!" she answered. "I didn't even know I liked it until I got here! It's my favorite food now, though!" And with that, she ate another three pieces.

"Hm... I don't know if I've met all of them!" Olivia paused to think, head tilting the opposite direction with every name she recalled. "There was Neo, of course! He's really fun and likes to play! He's the one who showed me the bacon! And he had a brother, ummmmm.... Novo! Yeah, that was him! He's dark, like you! Oh, and Enora! She's nice. Her trainer's a lot like mine!" She'd also seen the other Wes' eevees, but she'd never actually met them... in fact, they were scary. Better not to even mention them. It looked like Mightyena had been through a lot, she didn't need any more reasons to stress.

A shoe nudged her lightly in the side and she instinctively looked up to see her human staring down at them. She was making those baby eevee eyes again - she wanted something.

But Kimiko didn't address her directly when she spoke, instead shifting her gaze to the other human's partner. "Hey, Mightyena. Would you be willing to tell Olivia here what you and Clink were talking about this morning? Were you just checking on him, or did you learn anything?"
 

Negrek

Windswept Questant
Staff
Figured. It felt like there were exactly two people on this island who couldn't talk to pokémon, so naturally the other would be the person to show up when he seriously needed to hear from Mightyena.

Well, maybe the girl just hadn't paid attention in whatever pokéspeech class she was supposed to have gotten in school. Maybe it really was just him.

"Oh, yeah, I'm ready for some fucking revenge," he said. "Whatever the hell it is out there grabbing people, it's got like all the legends on the island pissed off at it now. Can't wait to see it get nuked by like five of them at once." Keldeo had damn well better be as good as their word on that front.

Oh, wait, she'd been talking to Mightyena? Whoops.

Mightyena herself felt a little better watching the espeon eat. It was good that there was someone who could still be so carefree despite everything that was going on. Mightyena took another strip of bacon herself and chewed on it pensively. "Bacon is good," she agreed. It probably wasn't her favorite, though--maybe steak? Humans did have a lot of wonderful foods.

"That's most of them, I think," she said after the espeon recounted all the friends she'd made. "I'm not sure, though! It seems like every time we turn the corner, I find another one. And legendary pokémon, too! Has your trainer met any of--?"

She was brought up short by surprise when the espeon's trainer asked her a question. "Revenge?" she said. "Maybe." If anyone was going to be putting an end to whatever the kidnapper was doing, she didn't feel like it would be her. "But, yes. Clink..." She took a deep breath and raised her head a little higher. "Clink says they don't remember much about what happened. All they know is that they saw Orzo going to the forest and decided to follow because they were worried about them. Then they got attacked by the roserade and poisoned. That's all."
 

Seren

Lurking
Staff
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
"Oh, yeah, I'm ready for some fucking revenge," he said. "Whatever the hell it is out there grabbing people, it's got like all the legends on the island pissed off at it now. Can't wait to see it get nuked by like five of them at once."

Kimiko looked up in surprise as Mitch responded to her question. He seemed to realize she hadn't actually asked him afterwards, but might as well play it off at this point. Maybe it would help ease whatever nerves he seemed to have. Everything about the man seemed somewhat tense. "Honestly, can't say I blame ya," she replied in her best lighthearted tone. "If I thought it would help worth a damn, I'd find myself a baseball bat for when we do finally confront this guy. As it is, he's got just about every trainer on the island ready to tear him a new one, on top of all the legends. Personally, I'm looking forward to watching Odile play with him." A thought occurred to her and she paused. "That's a friend's pokemon, I mean. You've probably seen her. The short, angry-looking girl and her twin and her sylveon. I've seen her battle twice now, and... it's a sight." Maybe it might finally put her remaining unease about the demon 'mon to bed, too. She'd been much better at dealing with the knot in her gut whenever they were nearby, if nothing else.

"That's most of them, I think," she said after the espeon recounted all the friends she'd made. "I'm not sure, though! It seems like every time we turn the corner, I find another one. And legendary pokémon, too! Has your trainer met any of--?"

She was brought up short by surprise when the espeon's trainer asked her a question. "Revenge?" she said. "Maybe." If anyone was going to be putting an end to whatever the kidnapper was doing, she didn't feel like it would be her. "But, yes. Clink..." She took a deep breath and raised her head a little higher. "Clink says they don't remember much about what happened. All they know is that they saw Orzo going to the forest and decided to follow because they were worried about them. Then they got attacked by the roserade and poisoned. That's all."

"Oh yes, we've met some of the mythics!" Olivia replied casually. "My human got Celebi to trust us first, and then she and another human just talked to Cresselia this morning! That's all we've seen, but it's more than I expected to in my life!"

Mightyena's response made Olivia somewhat sad. "Maybe? ...You don't wanna help fight back anymore?" Just what had she been through to make her not want to battle? The thought was alien to her. "Battling is so fun, though! And we're gonna be fighting someone strong! It's gonna be fun!"

Olivia relayed the information to Kimiko as best she could, via images. A hoopa entering a forest, confirmed to be Orzo with a nod of the head when her human prompted. Then Clink, with a concerned expression, also entering a forest. The roserade, launching some poison attack. "Did Clink say why he got attacked?" the espeon asked. "He doesn't look like he's one of the bad guys..."

Meanwhile, Kimiko passed along the information to Mitch. "Sounds like Clink followed Orzo as an afterthought, not as a partner... but it was definitely Orzo, so that confirms the poisoning thing. But then, why was Clink attacked, too? Maybe Irene thought they were working together?" There was still that body-sharing possibility, too. Hadn't someone also suggested mind control?

She broke out of her pondering with a light embarrassed blush upon realizing Mitch was still sitting there, staring at her. Maybe voicing her thoughts would help, or maybe Mitch could make a connection she wasn't. "Something still doesn't add up here. If it really was Orzo was going to attack Irene... where do the dyes and the flakes come in? We've been assuming the culprit has been disguising himself as Orzo, but Clink seems to think it was Orzo himself going into the forest, which is supported by the poisoning... so what's the point of the dye disguises?"
 
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Negrek

Windswept Questant
Staff
"A baseball bat, huh?" Nate said. He smiled faintly. "Maybe for after the pokémon are done with the guy, sure. And I met Odile, yeah." He was deathly curious what the demon pokémon battled like. There was the weird humanoid form, sure, and that would be a trip to see in battle, but the little spiky look didn't seem all that intimidating. Of course, if she was a shapeshifter, she could probably turn into whatever fucking scary thing she wanted. "Gotta admit I'm curious about what the hell she does in battle."

There were more important things to think about now, though. Nate listened grimly to what the girl relayed from her espeon, with only a brief pause for Mightyena to clarify something. ("Clink thought the roserade didn't mean to attack him. It was an accident," Mightyena said.) So that was it, huh? Not exactly a smoking gun, but it got them closer, he thought. They were going to need to talk to the hoopa... but that was what they'd been planning to do anyway, of course.

"Agreed. Ain't no reason for Orzo to disguise himself, unless I guess it's a weird fucking redirect. And it don't sound like there was no dye shit involved here anyhow, or at least that's something I think'd be mentioned if it got noticed. So mind control, possession, okay, maybe something took Orzo over and made him go out there. Maybe he's just in cahoots and went to meet the real big bad or whatever. Or maybe Orzo was trying to catch the culprit himself, going on patrol, you know, like the other mythics, doing his own investigation, thought he felt a disturbance in the fucking force and wanted to check it out, who knows. Something like that's where I'm leaning, personally. Orzo being behind all this shit ain't never felt right to me, and I think it's less likely than before after hearing all this."

Nate leaned back in his chair so he could see Mightyena under the table. "Did Clink say he'd noticed anything different about Orzo? Like, he been acting weird or any of that shit?" Mightyena shook her head. "Yeah. I mean, if we assume Clink's telling the truth, hard to imagine Orzo's been getting up to a lot of shit without Clink noticing. Like, going out in the middle of the night, okay, maybe you'd be asleep. But people've been getting attacked at all times of day. Seems hard to miss." Nate shook his head. "I dunno. Yeah, memory editing or mind control or whatever. Who the fuck knows what you're going to get when it comes to psychics. But I think my money's still on somebody else being behind this. Like that Golden King guy being actually, you know, gold."

Could you have two hoopa in one place? Well, nothing to say the King had to be from here in the first place, if he could do that same interdimensional ring thing.

While the humans talked, Mightyena turned her attention back to the espeon. "Two legends!" she said, thumping her tail against the floor. "I don't know about Cresselia, but I've hear loads of stories about Celebi! It must have been amazing for you to see them. I know it was amazing to meet Keldeo." Amazing... and embarrassing. "The island hasn't all been bad. And I do like to battle! But I don't think I'll be able to do much of anything if we have to fight whatever's been taking people away." She rested her chin on the floor, letting out a sigh. "I just want to go home. Before something even worse happens."
 

Seren

Lurking
Staff
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
"A baseball bat, huh?" Nate said. He smiled faintly. "Maybe for after the pokémon are done with the guy, sure. And I met Odile, yeah." He was deathly curious what the demon pokémon battled like. There was the weird humanoid form, sure, and that would be a trip to see in battle, but the little spiky look didn't seem all that intimidating. Of course, if she was a shapeshifter, she could probably turn into whatever fucking scary thing she wanted. "Gotta admit I'm curious about what the hell she does in battle."

She started to reply, but hesitated a moment. "Well... I meant during the fight. I'm not exactly keen on beating a guy while they're down, y'know? Even if they are some scumbag kidnapper." Of course, should something happen to Olivia, or one of her new friends, that feeling could change dramatically... but Mitch didn't need to know that.

"Anyway, regarding Odile... I have a feeling you'll probably see first-hand at some point," Kimiko replied. "Suffice to say she gets much bigger and meaner-looking. She's both terrifyingly strong and... well, just plan terrifying."

She'd been imagining how the fight would happen for some time now; it had started as an intrusive thought, as she very much had not wanted to imagine herself in that scenario, but she wasn't going to back down at this point (she'd already told two mythics as such) so she figured she may as well try to make use of the imaginary scenario and try to play out different ways it could go. It was difficult to imagine that it would be a challenging fight, with all of the legends on her side... but she preferred that to the alternative that kept creeping up on her, where the legends were barely holding their own, and the trainers themselves were hopelessly outmatched. Odile had barely gotten a scratch from that mega alakazam... surely with multiple mythics on their side, it wouldn't go that poorly... right?

"Agreed. Ain't no reason for Orzo to disguise himself, unless I guess it's a weird fucking redirect. And it don't sound like there was no dye shit involved here anyhow, or at least that's something I think'd be mentioned if it got noticed.

Mightyena offered some clarification; Clink was caught in the crossfire. Mitch then raised a point she hadn't realized. "You're right, we didn't find any flakes found where Irene was taken, only the signs of a battle." She supposed they could have just been missed, but between her, Steven, Jade, Laura, and all their pokemon, plus Shaymin, that seemed unlikely. "That still leaves the question of why Orzo was attacked so brutally, badly enough for the poison that was used to affect a steel-type, if he wasn't the culprit."

Or why he'd gone into the forest, himself. Or why Irene just happened to disappear immediately afterwards. "I guess it's possible that Orzo was just patrolling, but then why would Clink be concerned to see him leaving in the middle of the night like it was unusual? Especially when Clink said Orzo hadn't been acting unusual."

Her head was starting to hurt again. "There's just too many variables here," she concluded. Then she looked around and lowered her voice, leaning forward on the table; not like there were many people around to overhear anyway, but better safe than sorry. "I guess we'll just have to wait. Tonight may answer a lot of this, or at least narrow down the possibilities." Mitch seemed to think someone else, not Orzo, was their culprit, and while there was certainly enough evidence to support that, there was also plenty of evidence to the opposite, too. Kimiko wasn't ready to settle one way or another just yet, especially when they already had a plan of action pending.

While the humans talked, Mightyena turned her attention back to the espeon. "Two legends!" she said, thumping her tail against the floor. "I don't know about Cresselia, but I've hear loads of stories about Celebi! It must have been amazing for you to see them. I know it was amazing to meet Keldeo." Amazing... and embarrassing. "The island hasn't all been bad. And I do like to battle! But I don't think I'll be able to do much of anything if we have to fight whatever's been taking people away." She rested her chin on the floor, letting out a sigh. "I just want to go home. Before something even worse happens."

Olivia perked up the more Mightyena became more talkative. "Yeah! I could feel their power just being near them! I mean, the ones we met were both psychics like me, so maybe that's why I could tell, but they're both really strong! Cresselia was a little mean though, but I think she just wanted to make sure my human and her friend were allies worthy of her help. You met Keldeo?" she then asked curiously. "I've heard of them since we got here but I have no idea who that is! What are they like?!"

The second topic was so much more of a downer. Olivia didn't like it. "Why wouldn't you be able to do anything? Whoever it is must be strong, yes, and maybe alone no one can win. But you don't look weak to me! And all the humans here keep talking about how no one is alone, and we're all gonna kick this guy's butt together!"

Her ears drooped as she continued. "I wanna go home, too," Olivia admitted, her voice lowering slightly. "Or... actually, maybe to a different island first. One without kidnappers or mysteries or all these negative feelings that are all over the air here. We were supposed to have a fun vacation, and this isn't what we expected. It would be nice to just relax for a while. We... can't really do that at home right now. What's your home like?"
 

Negrek

Windswept Questant
Staff
"No? Ain't gonna take a shot at that bastard if he gets clobbered by everybody else first?" Nate asked, still amused. "Well, maybe I'll borrow your bat for myself, then."

That was getting way ahead of things, though. They still had to even find this bastard, before he picked everybody off one at a time. "Yeah, I mean, there's some weird stuff still. Why Orzo got attacked, who knows? Mistaken identity? Aiming for someone else?" Nate shrugged. "That seemed to be what Clink thought happened to them, at least. Whether the hoopa was going out just that night for some reason, or he'd been doing it a while and the klefki just didn't notice because it was the middle of the fucking night, I don't know. But ain't no point guessing now. We oughta get some more answers later today." They'd better, anyhow.

He leaned back and considered the girl a moment. "You're the one who found that whole Golden King myth in the first place, right? You into all that mythology shit? I mean, you know anything about, like... regular hoopa?"

Under the table, Mightyena kept her head down between her paws but tried to let the espeon know she was listening with a couple encouraging tail-thumps. "Cresselia was a little mean?" Mightyena said. "I suppose Keldeo was, too. It was strange. He seemed unsure of himself, somehow. But he tried really hard to scare the humans." And the pokémon, too, she supposed. The bird-pikachu couldn't have liked watching his trainer nearly get impaled. "He did agree to help us in the end, though. Which is good." Mightyena averted her gaze from the espeon. "Because I won't be able to fight again for a while, after what happened when my trainer and I got taken."

She supposed the espeon was right, though. Going home would be better than staying here... but not by much. Another island, an actual vacation, would be much better. "Yes, I wouldn't mind staying longer if we could go somewhere safe. Have an actual vacation. Where we come from, it seems like it's similar to the world the charizard trainer comes from. The trainer with the aggron, too, and with the milotic. I don't think they come from the same world as me and Nate, but they sound very similar." She looked back at the espeon, curiosity piqued. "You must be from Orre, though! All the other espeon are."
 

Seren

Lurking
Staff
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
"Yeah, I mean, there's some weird stuff still. Why Orzo got attacked, who knows? Mistaken identity? Aiming for someone else?" Nate shrugged. "That seemed to be what Clink thought happened to them, at least. Whether the hoopa was going out just that night for some reason, or he'd been doing it a while and the klefki just didn't notice because it was the middle of the fucking night, I don't know. But ain't no point guessing now. We oughta get some more answers later today."

For some reason, Kimiko wasn't terribly surprised at the idea of this guy being so willing to clobber someone with a bat. She supposed at least it wasn't just some random target he wanted to take out some anger on, or something to that effect, but still... then again, the one thing that might cause her to snap had already happened to him, along with his partner. She decided to let that matter drop, more from the discomfort of the realization that if she were in his shoes, she'd have less hesitation about beating the guy who did it, too.

Her former kidnapper's face had already drifted into her mind, and suddenly she realized she wasn't very hungry anymore.

No. Stop it. Don't think about him. Focus on the stupid mystery. "Aiming for someone else..." she murmured, as though she were thinking to herself again rather than Mitch. But this time she wasn't going to let her mind wander again. "So Clink thinks he and Orzo were both victims of friendly fire, and Irene was attacking someone else? You'd think Clink would have seen something, then. Some hint of who it was. Why wouldn't he have shared that?" That, combined with how Mitch himself had just reminded her that they hadn't found any dye flakes at Irene's disappearance site, still told her that something was missing from this equation, and she had to fight back the growing dread that maybe the four of them had simply missed the flakes that day. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she was beginning to regret not taking Celebi's offer. Just like three seconds, that might be all they'd need to identify the threat... Ugh. Mitch was right. They should get answers tonight. Let some pieces fall into place, and she could work from there.

He leaned back and considered the girl a moment. "You're the one who found that whole Golden King myth in the first place, right? You into all that mythology shit? I mean, you know anything about, like... regular hoopa?"

Technically, Odette had heard the myth from Jirachi first, and Kimiko simply went looking for proof to support it, but she supposed that wasn't relevant right now. "Well, like... kind of? It's interesting, but it's not usually something I look up for fun in my spare time, either. My boyfriend might..." she trailed off, considering that. She'd already asked him to look into Cresselia so far... would his inevitable questions be worth it to rope him into researching hoopa, too?

She shook her head, poking one of her fries into a ketchup pile. "I've actually met another hoopa once... or, I assume it was a different one. Some other mutliverse bullshit, but that one was... more of a game. That hoopa had just been interested in playing with people, so it got a bunch of people together and we played some twisted version of a drinking game. That was a wild experience. I actually met Odette there, and I'm positive it was the same Odette and not a different version because she recognized me when we got here, too."

But now she was off on a tangent. "Um, anyway... we didn't interact with that hoopa much at all after the initial encounter, he just watched us all playing. So most of what I know about hoopa is stuff I learned while here. It's a psychic- and ghost-type, which tracks with the energies we've been finding at the attack sites, but supposedly can also transform into a different form that supposedly is part dark-type rather than ghost. The only dark-type energy we've found so far was at your attack site though, so we've just been assuming this whole time that it was from your mightyena fighting back.

"Oh, and last night at the meeting, Coleane mentioned that hoopa needs an item called a Prison Bottle in order to transform, though, which... well, is fitting, but doesn't sound good. I was half hoping the party tonight might end up finding one. Y'know, like, maybe it's actually a prison, too, so we could use it to lock up this Golden King. So that, plus the obvious fact that it's rings can apparently multiverse travel... that's about the extent of my knowledge. "

"Cresselia was a little mean?" Mightyena said. "I suppose Keldeo was, too. It was strange. He seemed unsure of himself, somehow. But he tried really hard to scare the humans." And the pokémon, too, she supposed. The bird-pikachu couldn't have liked watching his trainer nearly get impaled. "He did agree to help us in the end, though. Which is good." Mightyena averted her gaze from the espeon. "Because I won't be able to fight again for a while, after what happened when my trainer and I got taken."

"Yeah, she was," Olivia whined. "She tried to make my human choose between staying here and putting herself and me at risk, or going home, but she's too nice to just leave everyone here and run away, even if she's really scared and unsure of herself. But then Cresselia also asked the other human to choose between some people she cared about and which one she'd save or which one she'd sacrifice. It was only a test though. It didn't actually happen. It sounds like Keldeo did something like that, too, and so did Celebi, so maybe the pokemon here just really like testing people."

Olivia looked at the ground now, ears flat and tail still. That had been a situation where she had been powerless to help her own human. She'd felt bad afterwards, too. It occurred to her that maybe that's why Mightyena was so sad now, and thought she wouldn't be able to help in the upcoming battle. "But it was a mean question. My human didn't like it. She... almost had to make that choice, too, but not a test. Like really choosing. I don't know if she would have chosen me. I don't like it either. I don't want to think about it. So... so let's talk about something else!"

"Yes, I wouldn't mind staying longer if we could go somewhere safe. Have an actual vacation. Where we come from, it seems like it's similar to the world the charizard trainer comes from. The trainer with the aggron, too, and with the milotic. I don't think they come from the same world as me and Nate, but they sound very similar." She looked back at the espeon, curiosity piqued. "You must be from Orre, though! All the other espeon are."

"Oh, I remember Orre! That's where Neo is from!" Olivia trilled, trying to push some enthusiasm back into her voice. It wasn't that difficult, when Neo was involved. Or bacon. But the plate was almost empty now... "But no, I'm not from Orre. I've never been there. The place I'm from is called Vidiva. It's full of ghosts. They're mean, too. But we're trying to stop them!" she said proudly. "...But that's why I'd rather to to a different island instead. Going home wouldn't be a vacation."
 

Negrek

Windswept Questant
Staff
Something about what he'd said seemed to catch the girl off guard. Nate waited anxiously for a moment, not exactly thrilled at the idea of having another Ninetales-girl conversation on his hands. There was an obvious effort being made to turn the subject back towards the hoopa, but Nate was incredibly grateful to take the out instead of get into... whatever had just happened there.

"Well, not sure what Clink said one way or the other," Nate said, glancing down at Mightyena. She was talking with the espeon, of course... always out to make fucking friends. Right after she'd woken up, too. Nate felt his will to live draining out of him just thinking about it. "But if the roserade mistook Orzo for the kidnapper because the kidnapper's been dressing up as him, it might have attacked him by mistake, and Clink got caught in the crossfire. Of course, then that would have to mean that the actual kidnapper did show up then and grab them, without dressing up like usual, or maybe the evidence got missed, who knows. Then again... if the bastard grabbed the cop because she was planning to check on all the pokémon the next day, it seems like it would have to be Orzo, since whatever other thing is, presumably nobody knows it's here, it wouldn't worry about getting checked." Nate shook his head. "Like I said, ain't really worth guessing about right now."

Except when it made for a convenient subject change, that was. It seemed like they'd moved on to safer topics. Nate listened to the girl recount how she'd encountered another hoopa before... with Odette? If Nate hadn't had the misfortune of getting involved with all this multiverse nonsense himself, he would have called the chick crazy. As it was, he guessed it wasn't that much more insane than whatever the hell was going on around here. Pity it hadn't yielded much useful information, anyhow. "Well, shit. Wish I was a god or whatever the fuck who had nothing better to do than bother a bunch of random humans," he said. "That... prison bottle thing, though. That's good to know. Definitely something for us to look out for tonight."

"That does sound mean," Mightyena murmured. Having to choose who to save and who to sacrifice... that was something Mightyena didn't even want to think about, even if it was only a test. And the espeon said it had really happened to her trainer in real life. Was that something Cresselia knew, and they'd chosen to ask the question anyway? The espeon had just said they were psychic, after all.

Mightyena growled faintly and gave the espeon a gentle nudge with her nose when she turned her eyes downward. "I'm sorry that happened to you," she said. "The legends do seem to like testing people. What I don't understand is, if they want to help, they feel like they feel like they need to make sure people deserve their help first, instead of just helping."

But the espeon didn't want to talk about that anymore. That was understandable. Mightyena tried to stop thinking about Cresselia's question and focus on what the espeon said next. "Vidiva..." Mightyena said musingly. "I don't think I've heard of it. I wonder if it's part of my world, too, and I just don't know. I can't think of anywhere that's supposed to have so many ghosts, either." Besides Lavender Town, but "Vidiva" would be a weird thing to call Lavender Town. Mightyena supposed humans were weird, though. "My trainer doesn't like ghosts much, either. If we could go back to your world with you, we could fight them off!"

Ghosts would be a lot scarier for a psychic-type. No wonder the espeon said going home wouldn't be a vacation. Imagine the luck, having one of the types you were weakest to being the one that always gave your trainer trouble.
 

Seren

Lurking
Staff
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
"Like I said, ain't really worth guessing about right now."

She'd been nodding along as Mitch ran though some possibilities, but at this point they'd both pretty much agreed. There was nothing more to be gained until they learned the results of the raid.

"Well, shit. Wish I was a god or whatever the fuck who had nothing better to do than bother a bunch of random humans," he said. "That... prison bottle thing, though. That's good to know. Definitely something for us to look out for tonight."

"Or have your own pocket dimension to retreat to whenever you just wanted to be left alone," Kimiko offered. Since apparently that was also a thing the mythics here had access to. Gods know she wished she had her own corner of the universe to retreat to once or twice in her life.

"Yeah. We'd have to ask Coleane, or someone else who knows more about it, because I... really don't. She said it was just an item that allowed hoopa to transform, but the name... surely there has to be more to it than just that."
The legends do seem to like testing people. What I don't understand is, if they want to help, they feel like they feel like they need to make sure people deserve their help first, instead of just helping."

Olivia perked up a bit at that. "Exactly! I guess it would be different if they weren't already involved, or weren't really willing to help on their own, but they seem to already have been trying! Or, that's what Cresselia implied, anyway. She's the one who saved that human with the swampert at the lake!"

"My trainer doesn't like ghosts much, either. If we could go back to your world with you, we could fight them off!"

"All these universes seem different in some ways, and similar in others," Olivia mused. "There's a few others here who are from regions I've never heard of, either! I guess they could also be part of my world, but even my human had never heard of them."

Her own tail began to swish in the air again. "That would be amazing! We need all the help we can get! There's ghosts everywhere and we think they're gathering for something big, but we don't know what it is yet! They're tricky. But a dark-type like you would help a lot! I can fight them with my shadow ball, but even with that there's only so much I can do at once... and I'd rather stick to protecting my human and her mate rather than hunt go ghost hunting... I wonder if we'll even be allowed to go back to different universes when all of this is over, or if we'll have to go back to our own?"
 

Negrek

Windswept Questant
Staff
"A pocket dimension, yeah, shit, that would be nice." Sure would stop random people coming up to him when he didn't want to talk. Which was always. "But yeah, good call on the bottle thing." Coleane was the talking tropius, right? The talking pokémon still weirded Nate the fuck out, but you did what you had to do.

So that had been all the talk about Clink and Orzo and that shit, then. Nate took a glance around the bar, vaguely hopeful that it might offer him some excuse to leave. And, actually... Nate frowned at the diner at one of the other tables, another kid with a houndoom. "Hey," Nate said in a low voice. "That girl over there. She was around at roll call, right? Looking mighty suspicious about something."

Mightyena wasn't paying any attention to Nate's conversation, of course. "Well, it's good that she saved the swampert human, I guess," she murmured. The thought of other worlds was far more inspiring, though. "That's a good point! Why would we have to go straight back home? And after all, if we all made friends... Then getting to visit them would be the best! I could come fight ghosts in your world, and you could visit mine if you wanted, too."

Honestly, she hadn't had nearly as much time to make friends as she wanted. But she was starting to get very curious about Orre... in her world or in other people's.

"You aren't fighting the ghosts all by yourself, though, are you? You must have teammates."
 

Seren

Lurking
Staff
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
And, actually... Nate frowned at the diner at one of the other tables, another kid with a houndoom. "Hey," Nate said in a low voice. "That girl over there. She was around at roll call, right? Looking mighty suspicious about something."

Kimiko followed Mitch's gaze and spotted the girl. Yep, she recognized her from that morning, too. "Yeah, she looked rather... pensive about something. Think she'll be willing to talk?" And without waiting for a reply, she snapped her fingers in the girl's direction, and called out, "Hey, excuse me! Do you have a minute?" [[ @Flyg0n ]]

Mightyena wasn't paying any attention to Nate's conversation, of course. "Well, it's good that she saved the swampert human, I guess," she murmured. The thought of other worlds was far more inspiring, though. "That's a good point! Why would we have to go straight back home? And after all, if we all made friends... Then getting to visit them would be the best! I could come fight ghosts in your world, and you could visit mine if you wanted, too."

Honestly, she hadn't had nearly as much time to make friends as she wanted. But she was starting to get very curious about Orre... in her world or in other people's.

"You aren't fighting the ghosts all by yourself, though, are you? You must have teammates."

"I bet visiting your would would be really fun!" Olivia said gleefully, all prior thoughts of their kidnapping incident forgotten. "You could come help us get rid of the ghost problem! And then we could go to Orre together! If your world has an Orre... or we could just visit another one! I know Neo comes from Orre, so we could always go to that one!" Yeah, in fact, that would be preferable. Neo could be their guide!

"Hm? Oh, no, we have lots of help! My human and her mate have lots of partners! She was only allowed to bring one here though, and she picked me! Oh, and there's lots of others now, too! All the gym leaders around the region were fighting back, and some other humans were starting to form actual teams, too! " Her eyes almost sparked as she recalled the goings on back home. The espeon was practically vibrating with excitement at the thoughts. "They were gonna be guarding cities and things! I wanna join one when we get back, but I don't know if my human really wants to fight anymore. She... we've been through a lot."
 

Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. swampert
  3. ho-oh
  4. crobat
  5. orbeetle
  6. joltik
  7. salandit
  8. tyrantrum
  9. porygon
"Yeah, she looked rather... pensive about something. Think she'll be willing to talk?" And without waiting for a reply, she snapped her fingers in the girl's direction, and called out, "Hey, excuse me! Do you have a minute?" [[ @Flyg0n ]]

Lourine glanced over at them, her gaze casual, yet evaluating. "Ah, you lot," she said in greeting. By her side, her houndoom. Azar, woofed softly in greeting to the two pokemon.

"I might, why?"

She made a small hand motion, and Azar sniffed the air, before taking a moment to pace around, checking the area.
 

Negrek

Windswept Questant
Staff
All right, cool customer, then. Fair enough. "We were just talking about all this kidnapping bullshit," Nate said. "Looked like you had some stuff on your mind at announcements this morning. Got any theories?"

Mightyena was entirely absorbed in her conversation with the espeon. "Yes! That would be wonderful!" she said, and her tail drummed eagerly against the floor. "We could bring the other eevees, too!"

She hadn't realized there were so many people fighting the ghosts in the espeon's world... or even that ghosts could ever be so much of a problem that all those people would want to get rid of them. "I'm glad you have a lot of help," she said. "It's good you don't have to do everything alone! Especially not if your human's feeling tired." She spared a glance at the espeon's trainer, but it didn't tell her much--pretty much everyone on the island was looking tired these days. Tired and sad. "I hope you get the chance to fight, then, if you want to. And your human... your human to rest, if that's what she wants. I'm sure you'll figure something out."
 

Seren

Lurking
Staff
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
"We were just talking about all this kidnapping bullshit," Nate said. "Looked like you had some stuff on your mind at announcements this morning. Got any theories?"

"Yeah, pretty much that," Kimiko nodded in agreement, addressing Lourine. "We're trying to figure out who our mysterious kidnapper is, but we're missing some details. So we were hoping you'd share any information you might have." She eyed the houndoom - Azar - as he reacted to some sort of hand motion from his trainer. He seemed to be inspecting the area... but for what? It wasn't like anyone had disappeared here...

Mightyena was entirely absorbed in her conversation with the espeon. "Yes! That would be wonderful!" she said, and her tail drummed eagerly against the floor. "We could bring the other eevees, too!"

She hadn't realized there were so many people fighting the ghosts in the espeon's world... or even that ghosts could ever be so much of a problem that all those people would want to get rid of them. "I'm glad you have a lot of help," she said. "It's good you don't have to do everything alone! Especially not if your human's feeling tired." She spared a glance at the espeon's trainer, but it didn't tell her much--pretty much everyone on the island was looking tired these days. Tired and sad. "I hope you get the chance to fight, then, if you want to. And your human... your human to rest, if that's what she wants. I'm sure you'll figure something out."

Mightyena finally seemed to be looking a little more lively now, engaging with the conversation a bit more willingly than she had previously. Olivia knew her enthusiasm could be infectious, but it made her feel good every time, regardless. "Oh, oh! Yes, that's a fantastic idea! Neo could show us around, and we could talk to Enora more! Oh, and Novo, too, I guess!" There was a small tilt of her head as she added, "But maybe we shouldn't invite those two who were with the bad trainer. You know, the one they say attacked people at the cove. I don't trust them."

Olivia, too, was glad to have help, but she wished she could let them all handle it, if only for her human's sake. "Oh yeah, the ghosts are a big problem for everyone! I think most of the region is starting to organize against them. We couldn't fight them alone even if we wanted to! I'll definitely get to fight some more," she continued. "We're in it too deeply not to. I don't think the ghosts would leave us alone now. We made them mad. But thank you... I hope she gets to rest soon, too."

By her side, her houndoom. Azar, woofed softly in greeting to the two pokemon.

A sudden bark startled her, and Olivia immediately leapt onto her feet and crouched into a defensive stance, ready to pounce, upon detecting another dark-type presence in the area. But as she looked around, she realized her human - and Mightyena's too - had started talking to another human, and her pokemon was the one to bark at them. A greeting. "Hi! I'm sorry," Olivia called over to the houndoom as she relaxed again and sat back down on her haunches. "Habitual response to sudden noises. I blame the ghosts, but the stuff going on around here have me and my human on edge, too." Did the houndoom overhear their talk about the battle with the ghosts? Olivia wouldn't know, had that thought actually occurred to her. She made another tilt of the head. "You look like a friend of mine! Oh, but you probably don't know her. She didn't come to this world with us."
 

Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. swampert
  3. ho-oh
  4. crobat
  5. orbeetle
  6. joltik
  7. salandit
  8. tyrantrum
  9. porygon
"We were just talking about all this kidnapping bullshit," Nate said. "Looked like you had some stuff on your mind at announcements this morning. Got any theories?"
"Yeah, pretty much that," Kimiko nodded in agreement, addressing Lourine. "We're trying to figure out who our mysterious kidnapper is, but we're missing some details. So we were hoping you'd share any information you might have." She eyed the houndoom - Azar - as he reacted to some sort of hand motion from his trainer. He seemed to be inspecting the area... but for what? It wasn't like anyone had disappeared here...
Lourine waited until Azar returned a few moments later. She made eye contact and he nodded his head. "Okay I think its safe to talk." she spoke in a low voice, leaning a little closer. I haven't got much though." she drummed her fingers on the tabletop. "Just a theory. Azar keeps picking up a weird scent, flakes and crap. Dye right?" she hesitated, then continued.

"The thing is we were trying to figure out why bother with a disguise? If its really a Hoopa or even this Hoopa... who are they hiding from? We're the only ones on the island, why pretend to be a regular Hoopa? We wouldn't know them anyway. Then I remembered. We're not the only ones here, just the only humans. Maybe that Hoopa is disguising themselves from those mythical pokemon Xerxes keeps talking about."

She shook her head, her expression grave. "I've still got not idea what the hell is going on with this island, but thats the best I've got so far. Could be way off though. Can't even figure out why being a gold Hoopa would be a big deal either." Her expression shifted to an annoyed scowl. A unvoiced thought nagged at her. Even if they did figure anything out, what the hell did they do about it. "Don't suppose you lot have figured anything out?"

A greeting. "Hi! I'm sorry," Olivia called over to the houndoom as she relaxed again and sat back down on her haunches. "Habitual response to sudden noises. I blame the ghosts, but the stuff going on around here have me and my human on edge, too." Did the houndoom overhear their talk about the battle with the ghosts? Olivia wouldn't know, had that thought actually occurred to her. She made another tilt of the head. "You look like a friend of mine! Oh, but you probably don't know her. She didn't come to this world with us."
"It is good to remain vigilant and on your toes," Azar growled. "This wretched creature may be strong, but humans have brought down gods and legends before." He snorted, anger flashing in his eyes and a small plume of smoke drifting from his nostrils. "A friend of yours? Are they a fighter too?"
 

Seren

Lurking
Staff
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
Lourine waited until Azar returned a few moments later. She made eye contact and he nodded his head. "Okay I think its safe to talk." she spoke in a low voice, leaning a little closer. I haven't got much though." she drummed her fingers on the tabletop. "Just a theory. Azar keeps picking up a weird scent, flakes and crap. Dye right?" she hesitated, then continued.

"The thing is we were trying to figure out why bother with a disguise? If its really a Hoopa or even this Hoopa... who are they hiding from? We're the only ones on the island, why pretend to be a regular Hoopa? We wouldn't know them anyway. Then I remembered. We're not the only ones here, just the only humans. Maybe that Hoopa is disguising themselves from those mythical pokemon Xerxes keeps talking about."

She shook her head, her expression grave. "I've still got not idea what the hell is going on with this island, but thats the best I've got so far. Could be way off though. Can't even figure out why being a gold Hoopa would be a big deal either." Her expression shifted to an annoyed scowl. A unvoiced thought nagged at her. Even if they did figure anything out, what the hell did they do about it. "Don't suppose you lot have figured anything out?"

Ah, so Azar was scanning the area just like Olivia had been, just in his own way. Kimiko was inwardly thankful her psychic could keep an eye on things discreetly.

And then, as Lourine kept speaking, something clicked in her mind. "Oh, I get it! We've been assuming whoever it was was attempting to disguise themselves to pass themselves off as Orzo, so that they could roam freely around the island without arousing questions from us trainers. Which realistically, would only make sense if it was another hoopa, wouldn't it? Because the dyes would only change the colors, like camouflage. It wouldn't change the user's shape!"

Kimiko cast a glance at Mitch. They hadn't discussed prior how much they should reveal. At this point, she wondered if it was moot anyway; they were pretty confident that the culprit was something else now, not someone from the first boat after all. Still, she opted for a more measured reply. "We met one of those legends. Jirachi told us a myth about the Golden King, which we then found in one of the history books in the lounge. There's pretty strong evidence it's a hoopa... and I think shiny hoopa are gold."

She put a finger on her lips as she thought, piecing their information together. "So... if we're pretty sure it's a shiny hoopa that we're after, it would have to be dying itself to look like a regular hoopa. Which makes sense if it feared being recognized by the mythicals. Jirachi probably would at least, since she told us about the myth to begin with."

She frowned as she continued. "Still, that doesn't help us a whole lot at this point, since we're all pretty convinced we're looking for a hoopa already, anyway. I guess it does soft confirm that we're looking for a second hoopa though, rather than a mind-controlled Orzo or something to that effect. Orzo himself wouldn't need to dye himself to hide from the mythicals."

So... what did this mean for their break-in? Was the rest of the team tracking down a dead end?

Again, Kimiko turned to Mitch. "Anything stand out to you?"

"It is good to remain vigilant and on your toes," Azar growled. "This wretched creature may be strong, but humans have brought down gods and legends before." He snorted, anger flashing in his eyes and a small plume of smoke drifting from his nostrils. "A friend of yours? Are they a fighter too?"

"That's true!" Olivia said. "That's happened a lot in our world! I wanna fight a god, that would be so cool!"

The show of power unnerved her, she she didn't flinch away. She didn't think the houndoom was going to attack, but she was ready to protect her trainer anyway, should it be necessary. Azar had a good type advantage on her, though... neither of her two main attacks would so much, if anything, and even her new one would be resisted by his fire-type aura.

"Yeah, he is! He's a houndoom like you, and he's really strong! His human wants to be a gym leader, and he's helping her try to do that!"
 

Negrek

Windswept Questant
Staff
Seemed the houndoom girl was taking more precautions than pretty much anybody. Nate didn't see much point to it, given that if the kidnapper or whatever was listening in, they couldn't do shit about it anyhow. He could respect the spirit of it, at least. What the girl had to offer was more disappointing. Nate had been hoping for something new.

"Yeah, hoping to fly under the radar with the other mythicals, distract everybody and send them off after Orzo instead, something like that seems likely," he said. "If Jirachi knew about this 'Golden King' bastard, at least some of the rest probably do, too. And presumably he'd know that. Anyway, it's always possible Orzo's in on it, or being made to do shit against his will when the golden guy ain't able to be out and about himself, whatever. But I agree it's likely that the big bad is some other hoopa. The question is, how the hell do we even find him, if he can just pop off into whatever other fucking dimension whenever he wants? People've already tried to trap him, and it hasn't done shit. What we need to do is figure out how the hell we can pin hm down, then how we can take the fight to him. That's where I'm at, anyway."

"I'm not sure," Mightyena was saying. "It's true the human who kept attacking people shouldn't come with us, but I don't know about his eevees. Mostly they just seem confus--" But she broke off when the espeon leapt up, fur bristling. She jerked around to look, teeth bared, but all there was was a houndoom, The espeon relaxed, and Mightyena did, too, if only a little. The houndoom looked friendly enough, and Mightyena had to admire the way the espeon had responded, ready to jump in to protect her trainer even against a pokémon with such an advantage over her.

She couldn't be quite as enthusiastic about fighting gods, though. The espeon was a real fighter, that was for sure.

Mightyena nodded to the houndoom. "Hello," she said, a soft bark of her own. "Humans have fought gods in this world, is that what you mean? I'm sure they have in my world, too... but they usually don't win."
 

Flyg0n

Flygon connoisseur
Pronouns
She/her
Partners
  1. flygon
  2. swampert
  3. ho-oh
  4. crobat
  5. orbeetle
  6. joltik
  7. salandit
  8. tyrantrum
  9. porygon
And then, as Lourine kept speaking, something clicked in her mind. "Oh, I get it! We've been assuming whoever it was was attempting to disguise themselves to pass themselves off as Orzo, so that they could roam freely around the island without arousing questions from us trainers. Which realistically, would only make sense if it was another hoopa, wouldn't it? Because the dyes would only change the colors, like camouflage. It wouldn't change the user's shape!"

Kimiko cast a glance at Mitch. They hadn't discussed prior how much they should reveal. At this point, she wondered if it was moot anyway; they were pretty confident that the culprit was something else now, not someone from the first boat after all. Still, she opted for a more measured reply. "We met one of those legends. Jirachi told us a myth about the Golden King, which we then found in one of the history books in the lounge. There's pretty strong evidence it's a hoopa... and I think shiny hoopa are gold."

She put a finger on her lips as she thought, piecing their information together. "So... if we're pretty sure it's a shiny hoopa that we're after, it would have to be dying itself to look like a regular hoopa. Which makes sense if it feared being recognized by the mythicals. Jirachi probably would at least, since she told us about the myth to begin with."

She frowned as she continued. "Still, that doesn't help us a whole lot at this point, since we're all pretty convinced we're looking for a hoopa already, anyway. I guess it does soft confirm that we're looking for a second hoopa though, rather than a mind-controlled Orzo or something to that effect. Orzo himself wouldn't need to dye himself to hide from the mythicals."
"Golden King huh? Sounds like some pretty serious crap." Her mouth shifted to a scowl. "Seems like whoever is doing this is trying to cause as much confusion and chaos as possible, that's for sure."

She swirled her drink absentmindedly, staring into it as if it held the answers to the mystery. "I don't know at this point if it confirms anything." Maybe it was high time to speak to Orzo herself... "But something isn't adding up yet. I can't put my finger on it." She stopped swirling her glass before continuing, her tone shifting ever so slightly. "I know what being misled feels like, and this reeks of it. I hate mind games."

"That's true!" Olivia said. "That's happened a lot in our world! I wanna fight a god, that would be so cool!"

The show of power unnerved her, she she didn't flinch away. She didn't think the houndoom was going to attack, but she was ready to protect her trainer anyway, should it be necessary. Azar had a good type advantage on her, though... neither of her two main attacks would so much, if anything, and even her new one would be resisted by his fire-type aura.

"Yeah, he is! He's a houndoom like you, and he's really strong! His human wants to be a gym leader, and he's helping her try to do that!"
"Good," he growled, a spark in his eyes. "I've not fought one, but we have fought cruel and wicked humans who tried to use pokemon. And your friend sounds smart. Being a gym leader sounds like a worthy pursuit."

he cast a glance at Lourine. "I think we could do something like that one day. Something good."

"Yeah, hoping to fly under the radar with the other mythicals, distract everybody and send them off after Orzo instead, something like that seems likely," he said. "If Jirachi knew about this 'Golden King' bastard, at least some of the rest probably do, too. And presumably he'd know that. Anyway, it's always possible Orzo's in on it, or being made to do shit against his will when the golden guy ain't able to be out and about himself, whatever. But I agree it's likely that the big bad is some other hoopa. The question is, how the hell do we even find him, if he can just pop off into whatever other fucking dimension whenever he wants? People've already tried to trap him, and it hasn't done shit. What we need to do is figure out how the hell we can pin hm down, then how we can take the fight to him. That's where I'm at, anyway."
"Agreed. Once we know more, maybe we can confront this 'king' somehow. Although why disguises if he can use mind control? And it's still strange that the same night Orzo was poisoned the girl with that Roserade disappeared, isn't it? Hmm..." She glanced down at Azar, who gave a small nod of agreement. Definitely weird, in her opinion.

Mightyena nodded to the houndoom. "Hello," she said, a soft bark of her own. "Humans have fought gods in this world, is that what you mean? I'm sure they have in my world, too... but they usually don't win."
"They have," Azar said. "And they have found ways to win..." his voice trailed off at Mightyena's next words. "I... I am sorry to hear. Your world sounds challenging."
 

Negrek

Windswept Questant
Staff
"Strange, sure," Nate said. He fiddled unenthusiastically with his beer. "We're still missing shit somewhere." It didn't seem like anyone had new ideas. What Mightyena said made things more complicated... maybe. He didn't think they quite had what they needed to figure everything out yet. But they were close... they had to be close. "You know anything about hoopa?" he asked. "Even just regular ones, not all gold and shit. Haven't really met nobody who seems to know much at all."

"This is your world, isn't it?" Mightyena asked the houndoom. Something about all the people from the other boat being from here. "I thought it was supposed to be peaceful, but then how have you been fighting evil humans? That sounds like something that would happen in my world, but I didn't think it would be part of this one." She licked her nose, thinking. "Is your trainer a cop?"

Well, this world obviously wasn't as nice as everyone claimed, given what was going on here.
 

Seren

Lurking
Staff
Pronouns
He/Him
Partners
  1. sableye
"I don't know at this point if it confirms anything." Maybe it was high time to speak to Orzo herself... "But something isn't adding up yet. I can't put my finger on it." She stopped swirling her glass before continuing, her tone shifting ever so slightly. "I know what being misled feels like, and this reeks of it. I hate mind games."

Kimiko failed to repress a sigh at that. "You just summed up my last three days. I've felt like I'm just... missing something, but can't place what it is."

But Lourine also seemed to think they were being misled... what could that mean? Did she think Orzo was innocent and someone was framing him as a red herring? As Mitch asked her if she knew anything about hoopa, she checked her phone; the afternoon was quickly slipping away (why did it feel like the flow of time was so weird here?), but it wasn't dire as of yet... she figured she might as well go for it. "Misled how? What are your thoughts about what's going on?"

"I've not fought one, but we have fought cruel and wicked humans who tried to use pokemon. And your friend sounds smart. Being a gym leader sounds like a worthy pursuit."

"Oh yes, we've fought them, too!" Olivia said, oblivious to her out of place her excitement was. "Lots of bad people back in my world, too. My human has thoughts that they might be involved with our ghost problem, but we haven't found any actual connections yet. But she did fight a thief who stole one of my teammates once! Oh, and then there was that one guy who threw that party..." She trailed off as Azar responded to something Mightyena had said about her own world. Humans didn't usually win against gods there. That would be fun to try!
 
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