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[Evaluated]Water under the Bridge
Topic Started: 28 May 2018, 03:01 PM (120 Views)
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The tram car shook as it rode along the tracks. The few passengers on the train didn’t make eye contact and Josh didn’t try. He held a pokeball in his hand, occasionally looking down at it and stroking the ball.

Inside, his Bounsweet didn’t respond. Not that she could, he wasn’t sure exactly how the things worked, but it seemed a bad sign to him. Maybe he was just reading too much into it.

He looked up from his seat to see a pair of small eyes peering over a seat to look at him. The girl kept looking at his torn duster and then at the pokeball. Finally, she spoke.

“What kind of pokemon?”

“Alina, hush!” The woman next to the young girl hissed. The girl, chastised, sunk lower in her seat, but the eyes still lingered on Josh and the pokeball.

Josh leaned forward, tapping the side of the pokeball. “Its a bounsweet.” He whispered to the girl. Her eyes widened, and she spun around, messing with something he couldn’t see. When she returned, she was holding something like a pokedex, its illuminated screen showing a picture of a bounsweet.

“Like this? That’s cool!” She said, a little too loud, and the woman nudged her. She smiled at Josh before turning around in her seat.

He looked back at the pokeball in his hand, a sad smile on his face. The pokemon in the ball had been hurt trying to protect him, and she’d been horribly outclassed by a stranger’s weavile. He hadn’t had time to stop by a pokecenter in Wisteur, so he hoped whatever method kept the pokemon in their portable container would keep her from getting worse until he could heal her.

The tram shuddered as the breaks engaged. Men and women stood as they waited for the tram to complete stop. Josh didn’t bother rising. He’d wait for the bulk of the passengers to finish their prep and leave.

Besides, it wasn’t like he had much to grab. Ever since he’d come from Arkeido, the entirety of his possessions could be held in a single rucksack.

They were held in a single rucksack. The thought was both comforting as he thought about the traveling he had to do and disconcerting as he considered how little in the world was truly his. He wasn’t a man of extreme ambition, but there was little security when all of one’s hearth and home could be carried on a single shoulder.

He was grateful the train station had a similar layout to the one outside Wisteur. The less he had to interact with other people, the better Josh found it. He trudged up the stairs into a world completely unlike what he had expected.

Josh didn’t have a frame of reference for the various towns of Godai, but as the road wound into the town, he was blown away by the site of it. Limestone white walls bracketed deep, reflective canals as long slender boats traversed the waterways. People milled about on what seemed to be small islands made of buildings

He marveled at the site of it until somebody bumped into him and he found himself apologizing and ducking his head. He was sure it looked suspicious, but it was a force of habit born of years in a government that watched everything you did. He kept his profile low as he worked through the crowds to the Pokemon Center.

Inside, he gave the pokeballs of his hurt pokemon to the attendant, and spent the time waiting trying to figure out the pc. He found the way to send an apricorn to the professors for a ball, grateful that someone had figured out a way to make it mostly automated. Had it been any sort of ordeal, he doubted he would have bothered. The green ball vanished in a flash of light and his xtranciever beeped, acknowledging receipt of the item.

The next part was more difficult. He wasn’t sure he could care for six pokemon. Not and give them the attention they deserved. Looking through the balls he still had on hand, he set two aside. Starting up the machine, he inserted two pokeballs, sending frillish and honedge into the pc system. Watching them go, he made a silent promise to them that he would see them again soon.

It made him feel both silly and more competent as a Trainer at the same time.
Edited by Chaos_1x, 28 May 2018, 03:25 PM.
Josh Warden • Historian • Total EXP Gained: 87 • Dians: 9472 • Location: Skytouch

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“Sir, here are your pokemon.” The Nurse Attendant said as she handed Josh a tray with his pokeballs. She pulled out a sheaf of paper from the clip attached to the tray and began reading off the wounds his pokemon had suffered.

“All in all, not terribly bad given most cases that come in here. The Honchkrow had some poisoning, but it wasn’t serious. Mostly, they just needed rest, however.” Her tone shifted and Josh felt his stomach turn.

She cleared her throat, as if to make the point even more clear, “However, your bounsweet suffered severe lacerations and frostbite. What exactly were you doing? Do you not like that particular pokemon?”

Her accusations made Josh’s temper rise up, and he almost declared that he didn’t, in fact, care for the small annoyance. However, a second look at the young attendant caused him to mull over his words carefully.

“We were… Attacked by a trainer. He hit both her and me.” He said, holding out the ripped sleeve of his duster for emphasis.

The young woman swallowed, then nodded. “I see… Just, try to be careful. She’s a fighter, and if she wasn’t so strong, she might not have survived.” She handed the sheaf to him, waited for him to gather the pokeballs, and took the tray with her as she left.

He slipped the balls into his belt and looked around the pokemon center.

It was fairly active, with small clusters of trainers discussing battling, breeding, and even just where to find certain pokemon. The groups seemed rather tight knit, probably friends that had set out together or had been made while on the road. They probably wouldn’t take kindly to a stranger interrupting their merriment, and Josh felt a slight recoil at the thought of drawing that much attention to himself.

He caught sight of his reflection in a window and paused. He looked terrible. Dirt caked his eyes and his duster was torn in several places. He rubbed at his hands self consciously and decided the first of his list of tasks was going to be finding a place to clean up.

Navigating the streets seemed confusing at first. The lack of proper streets and thus having to rely on sometimes conflicting directions quickly went from frustrating to infuriating. Several times he had to completely backtrack due to a blocked bridge or in one case, a bridge that hadn’t even existed outside of the townsman’s head.

When he reached the first hotel, he had to immediately turn around. Just the exterior of the thing was more than enough to tell Josh it was outside his meager means. Gold and blue stones adorned the limestone white walls as murals of fish pokemon glittered in the afternoon sun.

The next hotel was much the same, while the third one he visited might have been within his means, but didn’t have any vacancies until sometime in the summer. The woman cheerfully asked him if he would like to make a down payment on a reservation, and he left without a word.

Aside from the mounting pressure to find a place for the night, Josh found the streets of Cascadia fascinating. Everywhere there was room, a vendor of some sort had set up shop and was selling everything from iridescent shell charms to fresh fish kept cold by ice pokemon. It wasn’t just people visiting the stalls, and on more than one occasion a fight broke out as the vendor’s pokemon had to fend off some feral creature trying to steal a bite to eat.

Afternoon was quickly fading into evening when Josh decided to try to head back to the pokemon center. There were too many people there for his taste, but it was bound to be safer than sleeping on the streets. He sat on a wharf pylon as he tried to figure out how to get back to pokemon center, scratching at a wound on his face that itched.

“‘Scuse me, but are you goin to be there all day? I’d like to unload.” A man asked in mock politeness. Josh nearly jumped as a small boat came up to the side of the canal and the man tossed a coil of rope around the pylon and began tying up his small vessel.

“Don’t suppose you’d mind helping me unload? I’d be mighty grateful.” The man asked as he tossed crates of what smelled like fish onto the white stone of the causeway.

Josh nodded, and hopped into the boat, only eliciting minor swears from its occupant. Between the two of them, they were able to unload all of the crates before the sun went down. Once on the pier, they were loaded into a cart and a bill of sale was given to the man from the boat before the crates were hauled away.

“Well,” the man said, wiping his brow with his sleeve. “I thank you for your time, stranger. Name’s Jason Donner. I suppose I owe you dinner for your help.”

Josh shook his head, “That’s not-” He started, but Jason shook his head in return.

“Nonsense! You didn’t have to help me, and one good turn deserves another. Come on, I’ll even set you up in the guest room!” The man declared, grabbing Josh by the shoulder and pulling him along.
Josh Warden • Historian • Total EXP Gained: 87 • Dians: 9472 • Location: Skytouch

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Jason’s home was a small affair, nestled in what must serve as an alleyway in Cascadia. The canal connected too it was too small for heavy boat traffic, and as such, several men with fishing rods lined the sides of it, seemingly more focused on conversation than actually catching anything.

“Yo, Jason, catch anything today?” One of the men shouted as they walked past.

Jason smiled, turning without stopping and walked backwards as he waved at the man. “Sure did! Might actually pay my bills for once!”

“Or maybe just your tab!” Another man shouted and they all laughed. Josh smiled so as not to stand out, but he wasn’t sure he really understood the humor. He trudged along after Jason without speaking, wondering if the man would come through on his offer of food and a place to stay. Hospitality was the way of life where he’d grown up, but in the cities, nobody trusted strangers, and one would never tell you where they lived, much less invite you into their home.

Yet Jason did. He held the wooden door open for Josh and made a grand sweeping gesture at the small den they stood in. Fishing rods adorned one wall, complete with wooden replicas of trophy catches. On the other wall was a collection of military medals and a pressed green suit.

Jason smiled as he caught Josh looking at the suit.

“Fifteen years in the army, yes sir.” He said proudly, rendering a salute that hadn’t lost a touch with age.

Josh took that moment to give his host a more thorough appraisal. He was older than a first glance might imply, but still retained a hard edge from his manual labor. He had blond hair that was trimmed short, though slightly longer than would be found in a traditional buzz cut. He had steel grey eyes that shone as if always finding something humorous.

Jason pulled off his outer layer and waved a hand at Josh’s duster. “Linda can patch that up for you. Make yourself at home.”

Josh frowned, crossing his arms. “Sorry, I don’t want to sound rude, but…”

Jason smiled, “Why?” He patted Josh on the shoulder and lead him to the wall, pointing at the collection of medals. “Because you have that look of someone who’s seen battle. I don’t mean pokemon battles, either. I was lost once, and someone took me in, maybe I can do the same.” He rested a hand on a picture of younger Jason standing next to a woman in civilian clothing.

Josh was reminded of Luna, in a way. He thought of her smile, and found himself flushing.

“Jason, dear, who is this?” A woman asked as she stepped into the room. She looked Josh up and down, her attention lingering only long enough to make a judgement of him before returning to Jason.

“Ah, I don’t even know your name!” Jason clapped his forehead and the woman shook her own head.

“Josh…”

“Well, welcome Josh. I assume my husband volunteered me to fix up that coat? I’ll do my best.” Linda sighed, but she didn’t seem terribly upset. More resigned. Josh shrugged out of the coat, reluctantly handing it to the woman. He felt a slight paranoia as it vanished with her, but he fought the feeling down.

“Oh! You’re a trainer, Alina will love that. Though I will warn you, she might end up showing you her own pokemon. Please be nice.” Jason clapped his hands at the sight of Josh’s pokeballs.

Josh frowned, the name was familiar, “Of course.” He replied.

“Alina, your daddy’s home!” Linda’s voice sounded from somewhere in the house, and the sound of furniture scraping on the floor came from upstairs. There was the sound of bare feet slapping on the wooden boards and a flash of color bounded into the room, tackling Jason and nearly knocking him over.

“Daddy!” the girl from the tram cried out.
Edited by Chaos_1x, 28 May 2018, 04:44 PM.
Josh Warden • Historian • Total EXP Gained: 87 • Dians: 9472 • Location: Skytouch

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Dinner was far from fancy. Consisting primarily of potatoes and sausage cooked over a fire started by Linda’s magby. Linda, it turned out, had been a TIS goer herself back in the day, and she seemed to smile every time Alina asked if she and Josh could be excused to show each other their pokemon.

The whole scene was rather wholesome to Josh, and he felt a pang of longing for his family back home. He wondered how long he would see Arkeido as ‘Home’ or if he would ever come to accept Godai as his home. The thoughts must have shown on his face, because Jason clapped him on the shoulder, knocking him out of his reveries.

“Come, why don’t you take Alina into the courtyard and show her your pokemon? I’m going to help Linda with cleanup and then I’ll show you the best fishing spot around here.”

It didn’t escape Josh’s notice that Linda rolled her eyes at the comment.

Alina took him by the hand, guiding him along the white stone walkways until they reached something between a park and a courtyard. It was framed on all sides by buildings, but featured actual grass and even a single tree.

“Okay Oddi, come on out!” Alina shouted, much louder than necessary as she tossed a pokeball. There was a flash of light and a small blue creature with a mess of green leaves on its head appeared. It cooed at Alina before giving Josh a wary glance.

“Here, I’ll show you my first pokemon,” Josh said, tossing Bounsweet’s pokeball gently. She appeared in her own flash of light, immediately running over to Josh and looking up at him. He patted her on the head, and she spun her calyx in excitement.

The oddish, which had made no effort to hide its mistrust of Josh, seemed enamored of Bounsweet. It timidly approached the small grass type, and the two began to speak in hushed whispers. At one point the oddish must have said something that upset Bounsweet, because she spun her calyx rapidly and nearly hit the oddish.

“Maybe we should break them up.” Josh said, holding bounsweet’s pokeball in front of him. The light suffused her and she vanished. The oddish looked up at Josh, its leaves rustling in agitation.

“Oddi, stop it!” Alina said, wrapping her arms around the grass type. She looked up at Josh, her eyes big. “One day, Oddi and I are going to beat all the gyms. Aren’t we Oddi?” She picked up the oddish and kissed it. It squirmed a little, but didn’t seem to hate the treatment.

Josh knelt and smiled at the girl. “I’m sure you’ll do it. Oddi looks like a great partner.”

Both girl and pokemon beamed at the praise.

Back at the house, Jason met Josh with a pair of fishing rods and a cooler. He had Josh carry the rods while he held the cooler up, its contents sloshing as they walked.

They walked until they reached a pool, the surface calm and reflecting the stars and haze of the city. Nothing seemed to stir, but Jason assured Josh this was the best place to go fishing.

Since Josh had never actually been fishing, most of their time was spent discussing baits and the types of rods to use. The ones they were using, Jason explained, were shorter rods meant for places like the canals. He stretched his arms out to emphasise how much longer ones for the lake or on the river should be.

Josh and Jason sat in the quiet evening, listening to the city come alive. Beyond the dim canals, it seemed a party was going on, the city pulsing as if it had a heartbeat, but here, in this place, all was quiet. After an hour or two, Josh began to get suspicious.

“Are there even fish in here?” He asked, trying to peer into the water.

“Nope!” Jason declared, smiling at his own private joke.

“Then…” Josh trailed off.

Jason began to shake with laughter, “That’s why its the best fishing spot. You come here to drink and don’t have to worry about anything catching on your line.”

Josh’s mouth hung open and it took him several seconds to respond.

“Then why bring the poles?”

“To make it feel more authentic!” Jason’s laugh was more of a bark.

Josh considered this, then set his rod aside and leaned back, enjoying the crisp coolness of the spring air. The people he’d met in Godai had all been strange in their own ways, but he was beginning to feel like he knew more about them than any of his peers back in Arkeido.
Josh Warden • Historian • Total EXP Gained: 87 • Dians: 9472 • Location: Skytouch

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Morning came too quickly for Josh, who was enjoying the comfort of an actual bed. The unaccostemed comfort was such that he slept well past sunrise and had a hard time waking up. He sat at the table blinking at his breakfast before downing his cup of coffee and wincing at the heat of it. Linda dropped a package on the table next to him and set his patched coat on the chair. She looked tired and joined him in downing the coffee.

“That’s one of my spare rods,” Jason called from the kitchen. “I thought you might be able to use one all your own. Its not top of the line, but it will do for light use.”

“Thank you,” Josh called back, opening his bag and tucking the item away. He picked up his duster and looked it over, fingers lightly running along the all but invisible patches and mends. He nodded in a half bow to Linda. “Thank you so much!” he said, wanting to say more, but unsure of how.

She smiled wearily. “Oh, don’t mention it. Besides, Jason will have to make up the favor.” She said, volume increasing so he would have no problem hearing the last part.

“Yes dear..” Jason said with mock regret. Linda smiled and sipped at her coffee, her eyes closing in delight at the aroma.

“So where are you headed?” She asked Josh.

Josh was pulling his duster on, and froze as he considered the question. “I have to pick up supplies and then I’m headed north.”

She opened one eye, “Are you going to the monastery or the lake?”

“The lake.”

She nodded, “Then its a good thing you have that rod. I’d recommend stocking up on potions if you hadn’t considered that already. Its a long way back here without a pokemon to protect you. Always be prepared.”

Josh nodded, “I’ll keep that in mind, thank you.”

He stood, gathering his bag and heading towards the door. It felt awkard, like he was supposed to say or do something else, but both Jason and Linda smiled at him and waved, and without another word, he stepped into the world outside.

Even this late in the morning, Cascadia was still somewhat sleepy. A few stragglers on the fishing boats were still headed out, but for the rest of the population, the day was still just starting. Josh found the pathways easier to navigate without the crowds, and though fewer vendors were set up yet, he picked up supplies as he walked.

Soon, his bag was noticeably heavier with supplies, and he nearly jumped when his xtranciever beeped, alerting him he had an item waiting in his pc storage. Searching his brain for what it might be, he recalled having sent in the green apricorn for processing. The Pokemon Center was in the opposite direction of where he was headed, but it was probably worth picking up.

Besides, Luna would kill him if she heard he’d just left it. He still didn’t know why she got so upset about it, but he was fairly certain she would be upset.
Josh Warden • Historian • Total EXP Gained: 87 • Dians: 9472 • Location: Skytouch

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“I can’t believe you didn’t say goodbye! That’s very rude!”

The voice made Josh jump, and he turned around to see Alina standing with arms crossed behind him. A few people looked there way, but much like the day before, the pokemon center was full of crowds minding their own business.

Josh offered an apologetic smile. “You are absolutely correct. I am very sorry.”

Alina nodded, “You have to come back and show me your other pokemon.” She said. For such a young girl, Josh had to marvel at how comfortable she seemed with ordering others around.

He smiled at her, “Of course. But you have to keep training Oddi, deal?”

She beamed and nodded, “Deal! Mom says you’re going to the lake. Are you going to catch any water pokemon?” She pointed at the apricorn ball in Josh’s hand.

He held the green ball up, looking it over, “I doubt it. Fish aren’t really my thing.”

Alina nodded sagely, “They are creepy.”

Josh choked, “Very creepy.” He agreed.

Satisfied with this, Alina turned and walked up to the counter, handing over her pokeball to the attendant. She waved at Josh as he left, and he bowed, flourishing his hat, which made her clap her hands.

Outside, he held his hands against the glare of the white buildings. He found he was still smiling, and he shook his head. Had he ever been like the little girl? He supposed he had to have been, but it was so long ago he couldn’t remember.

The road north was fairly crowded with traffic to the lake. People spoke in hushed whispers about some sort of monster, but Josh cast the topic aside as gossip. If there was something dangerous at the lake, Cassandra wouldn’t have sent him.

Or would she? Luna had said she’d been sent into the valley before.

He quickly decided that it was something he’d rather not think about, and so cast the thought away. He found himself pulling the green pokeball out again and turning it over in his hand. Somehow, the green coloration just seemed wrong. He ended up taking it out a few more times over the day, coming to the same conclusion each time.

At camp that night, he let bounsweet run around for a bit. She instead chose to stay close to his side, ignoring the other pokemon. In the morning, he rode Gabby for a few hours, which was much faster than walking, but made him sore. He made good time however, and was seeing road signs for the lake well before sunset. Gabby it seemed enjoyed the exercise, and he found himself looking for places to purchase a saddle for a rhyhorn. To his relief, such a thing wasn’t unheard of, but they didn’t come cheap. Maybe he could convince Cassandra to chip in if he sold it as a way for him to travel more quickly in order to collect samples.

It couldn’t hurt to ask.

He set up camp that night within line of sight of one of the road signs. The sign itself looked to have been bitten by something, and Josh shuddered to think just what might be roaming the area that might have taken a chunk out of the cast steel. Hopefully he didn’t find out. Instead of lingering on that thought, he turned his attention to the lake, and the things he would need to do when he arrived. He did the math for his rate of travel, and how far the sign said the lake was.

He would arrive in the morning.
Josh Warden • Historian • Total EXP Gained: 87 • Dians: 9472 • Location: Skytouch

CHARACTER’s Pokemon
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"Do you think God ever gets stoned? I think so... look at the platypus."

Thank you for your patience. Your topic has been evaluated!
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RP Notes
 
  • Site or sight?
  • Not what?
  • Fancy place *Whistles*
  • *Blinks and smiles* What’s this? Flushes at the thought of Luna~ <3
  • Hah! I like that man!
  • D’aw, already?

Topic Record
 
  • Josh Warden arrives at Cascadia City
  • Josh visits a PokéCenter and heals up his team
  • Josh Boxes his Frillish and Honedge
  • Josh is invited for dinner from a man after he helped him
  • Josh spends some time with the family members, and spends the night
  • Josh leaves the City for Serenity Lake

Chaos’ Topic Evaluation
Water under the Bridge
TAT:
Seeing the Sights: 5 AP
Making Friends: 6 AP
Nursing: 3 AP
Topic: 0 EXP
Evaluation: 4 EXP
Total: 4 EXP
Dians:
*dian* 644
Bonuses: None
Penalties: None
Evaluation Wrap-Up
Apricorn

Note: Bonuses/Penalties have already been calculated into your rewards!

This topic has now been concluded. Please submit in a Modification to update your character with your new rewards!

This topic is now closed without further ado.
Hendrickson Novelton

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Credits go to Bones

Leonard Arden Collier


One fine day in the middle of the night,
Two dead men got up to fight,
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other.


~With great power comes great mental instability~
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