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Beat By the Heat

Joined: June 12th, 2018, 7:39 pm

July 14th, 2018, 12:12 am #1

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Pokemon

Salandit
Caught at Level 5
Nickname: Queenie
Gender: Female
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Queenie seems determined to live up to her name. Rather vain and egotistical, she requires great deals of admiration and attention to keep her happy, preferably about her appearance but she will also accept compliments regarding her battling skills, intelligence or just about anything else. She is also rather lazy, preferring to lounge around for most of the day and expecting to be waited on hand and foot, especially by males. As with many females of her species, she has a rather low opinion of the opposite sex and at best, will regard them as admirably talented servants. She can also be quite aloof with other females that she doesn't know, primarily regarding them as potential rivals, but once she is more familiar with them she is typically more friendly, albeit still rather conceited and egocentric. Some females who prove themselves competent in her eyes, usually by managing to best her in some fair contest, may even manage to earn her respect and be treated as equals, though this is a rare occurrence.
Type: Poison/Fire
Ability: Corrosion
Height: 2'0''
Weight: 10.6 lbs
Health: Low
EXP Rate: Medium Fast
EXP Gauge: (22/26)
EXP Gained: 15
Level: 10
Division: D8
Total Stats: 110
  • Attack: 26
  • Defense: 9
  • Sp. Attack: 32 (29%)
  • Sp. Defense: 9
  • Speed: 34 (31%)
Vitamins Used: None
Moveset:
1. Scratch
1. Poison Gas
5. Ember
8. Sweet Scent
Unique Moves:
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-
-
Item:
Elizabeth typically prided herself on her composure and self-control, never allowing any sign of discomfort or unease to betray her if she could possibly help it. Nevertheless, there were some signs of fatigue that could not not be contained and some physical limitations that could not be powered through. For instance, no amount of mental fortitude could halt the sweat that insisted on coating her brow and staining her shirt or force her legs to move faster than a trudge, her usual brisk stride a thing of the past. This was not due to any lack of physical fitness on her part but rather a result of the day's relentless, searing heat.

It seemed that summer had decided to start off at full force rather than gently easing into its highest temperatures. Not a cloud remained in the sky to shield Elizabeth from the burning rays and abnormally for the area, there wasn't even a soothing breeze to alleviate the worst of the torment. The wild grass that was so pervasive throughout Verdant, that gave the Highlands their very name, stood completely still bar where Elizabeth's passage disturbed it. Elizabeth's heavy footsteps were the only sound to be heard, most of the local Pokémon having had the good sense to remain within their various dens, nests, burrows and assorted other dwellings, hoping to avoid the intense heat and leaving their business until later in the evening, when it would be cooler. Even Queenie, while having no problems enduring the heat herself, had been recalled to her ball to prevent her not insignificant body heat from contributing to Elizabeth's problem. There was no sound, no movement, barely even any scents of the greenery, smothered as they were by the hot, still air. There was nothing to distract the new trainer from the sweltering, overpowering heat.

Elizabeth had considered making a similar decision to the local Pokémon, of course, finding shade under some tree and resting until the weather was more amenable to travelling. However, though it galled her to admit it, she had failed to take this ridiculous heat into consideration when planning her journey. She had made allowances for weather, of course, but she had not anticipated such a drastic rise in temperature so early in the year. If he were to delay any further, she would fall behind schedule and that was something she was adamant would not happen if it could possibly be avoided. She thus pressed ever on, forcing her legs to move as quickly and steadily as her fatigue would allow.

So absorbed in the task of putting one foot in front of the other was Elizabeth that even in the maddening, oppressive silence it took her a moment to register the sounds of joyous activity coming from up ahead. Raising her head to try and locate whoever was insane enough to be making merry in this hellish heat, she quickly zeroed in on a cluster of trees just slightly off of the overgrown path. There were perhaps a dozen of the large trees, gathered more closely than most that she had passed so far, and she could just make out figures running in between them, presumably the sources of the laughter and cheering that had drawn her attention. While the trees did cast some shade on those playing among them, it wasn't enough to explain their energetic behaviour in what would only be a slightly cooler area.

Despite herself, Elizabeth couldn't help but feel a stab of irritation that these juvenile louts had the gall to be playing and having fun while she was undergoing such torment, her resentment no doubt only further aggravated by the discomfort and stress she was already suffering, but she quickly smothered such immature feelings and focused on how she should respond to this development. While it was slightly out of her way, the delay would only be minimal and it was possible that these people had something that could help to alleviate the heat. With that in mind, it was an easy decision to shift her heading slightly, leaving the oh-so-heavily-beaten path path and making for the trees.
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Profile
Name: Elizabeth Keller
Dians: 1000
EXP Gained: 0
Last known location: Union, Central Godai

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Nickname: Queenie
Gender: Female
Level: 5
EXP: (7/9)
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1. Scratch
1. Poison Gas
5. Ember
Item: None
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Joined: June 12th, 2018, 7:39 pm

July 15th, 2018, 1:44 am #2

As Elizabeth approached the thicket, she began to make out more details. Most of the people there seemed to be a little younger than her, though there were a few older exceptions. They were all more lightly dressed than her, though that was hardly surprising as Elizabeth's shirt and beige, formal trousers were far from ideal for the weather. T-shirts and shorts seemed to be the order of the day and several had apparently decided to forego the former entirely.

Elizabeth's examination of the merrymakers was interrupted by sweat running from her forehead into her eyes and she briefly closed them as she raised a hand to wipe away the stinging sweat, not slowing her pace as she did.

"Head's up!"

SPLOOSH!

Elizabeth reeled back in shock as her head and shoulders were suddenly engulfed by a wave of cold water. Her usual composure broken by pure shock, leaving her spluttering and blinking stupidly, she opened her eyes and beheld two teenage boys approaching her, somewhat bashful grins on their faces and one rubbing the back of his head awkwardly.

"Hehe, sorry about that," the head rubber chuckled nervously. "I was aiming at Jonah here but he ducked and, well," he trailed off and held his up helplessly. His friend, Jonah, merely shrugged, evidently deeming that to be sufficient contribution to the apology. They looked to be about in their mid-teens and were both tanned and athletic, slightly more evident on Jonah's part on account of his bare chest though the speaker's soaking wet t-shirt didn't provide much cover. He had short, golden blond hair and grey eyes. He was handsome enough, she distractedly observed, with strong features and a surety to his movements, even as he apologized, that bespoke a complete, casual confidence in himself. His friend, Jonah, was quite tall, having a full head on his friend, and had shoulder-length, chocolate brown hair, currently dripping wet, and matching eyes. Their expressions seemed genuinely apologetic but not overly concerned, their nonchalant attitude being further evidenced by their casual, languid posture.

"Wh-what-? You-?" she stammered, cursing herself silently when she realized how unprofessional she sounded. The shock of the completely unexpected dousing combined with the resulting surge of conflicting emotions - anger that she had been so indecorously soaked, confusion as to exactly how and why said soaking had occurred, an annoyingly great amount of relief that she no longer felt like she was about to spontaneously combust - had temporarily robbed her of her precious sense of decorum, the loss of which threatened to quickly swing her emotional balance away from gratitude and towards relentless fury. It was thus a greater fortune than he would ever know that the unnamed boy decided to try to explain before she could fully collect herself and determine her response.

"This? It's, uh, it's the First Annual Verdant Summer Water War!" he announced with a half-hearted attempt to sound dramatic. A glance downwards revealed several red scraps of material floating in the puddle that hadn't been there moments before, no doubt the remnants of a water balloon. Her unwitting attacker was bearing a sheepish grin when she looked back up at him. "Don't be surprised if you've never hear of it. Me and Jonah actually just came up with it maybe four hours ago. And in all likelihood, it'll be the Last Annual Verdant Summer Water War," he admitted. His grin then faded as he took in Elizabeth's face, which was quickly regaining its usual, tightly controlled expression. Which, to any who didn't know Elizabeth fairly well, was exceptionally easy to mistake for an expression of thinly veiled anger. "We really are sorry about hitting you," he hastily assured her, jabbing an elbow into Jonah's side, earning only a nod and a quiet hum of agreement. Evidently, he wasn't much of a talker. "Ah, and I'm Oz, by the way," the finally named speaker added on quickly, giving her a somewhat nervous smile.

"Elizabeth Keller," she responded automatically, lips pursed in irritation as she considered how to react. Her immediate instinct was to lambast the pair, the indignity of being assaulted with a water balloon of all things more than her already stressed nerves could take. Oz's - some part of her rebelled against using what was most likely a juvenile nickname but they hadn't given any more than that and it would be rude to demand their full names at this point - obviously genuine remorse did help to ease her temper somewhat and she couldn't deny to herself, even though she would never admit it out loud, that the soaking, ignominious and unexpected as it may have been, had done wonders to cool her down.

"That's... quite alright," she finally said, removing her glasses to wipe the excess water off of them as she spoke. It was easier to ignore her lingering anger with a menial task like that to divert some small part of her attention. "It was an accident and I suppose there was no real harm done," she allowed magnanimously before replacing her glasses on her face. With her vision once again clear, she could see that Oz was now sporting a much more relaxed grin. Jonah seemed unmoved by her forgiveness and she was suddenly struck by the certainty that if it was Oz's silent companion alone who had come to offer his apologies, she would have been much less inclined to be so gracious.

"That's great," Oz enthused before glancing over his shoulder at the 'Water War' still going on without them. "You're welcome to join in, if you want," he offered. "We arranged this whole thing as a way to cool down while still having a good time and it's a long way to go to Cascadia," he pointed out. He seemed to be trying to be friendly and conciliatory but he was also inviting her to take part in a water fight. That had to be shut down hard.

"No," she said curtly. It didn't matter how hot it was, she was not going to lower herself to actively participating in such a juvenile activity. "I really don't have the time," she offered as an excuse though in this case, she wouldn't be overly concerned if she were judged rude so long as it prevented him from pressing the invitation. He seemed a little disappointed but shrugged it off easily enough - Jonah barely even reacted to the offer or to her refusal and Elizabeth was now starting to wonder if he wasn't a bit dim - and she was about to take that as her chance to leave when something he had said earlier caught her attention.

"Wait, did you say you only decided to arrange this... event four hours ago?" she asked, not quite able to mask her incredulity. A glance at the battlefield behind them let her see several people darting in and out of the trees closest to them and from the sounds of voices emanating from further in, there were many more, about two dozen Elizabeth estimated. Those she saw were armed with an eclectic mix of water guns, water balloons, Water Pokémon and in one case, a large bucket. The whole event seemed a touch haphazard, true, but still, this was a lot of people and they were some distance from either Union or Cascadia. "This seems a rather large event to have been arranged so quickly," she pointed out, a touch of skepticism present in her voice but mostly drowned out by honest curiosity.

"Oh yeah, and this isn't even the whole thing," Oz said with a dismissive wave back at the thicket, where a sudden command of Water Pulse was immediately followed by alarmed shouts and multiple cries of "foul!". Oz glanced back, a frown flickering across his face before he gestured for Jonah to head back. The taller boy gave a simple nod before turning and leaving without ever saying a word to Elizabeth. When Oz turned back to her, his easy-going grin had returned. "Like I was saying, this is the main event but a lot of people broke off into groups and scattered around the highlands. I think there were maybe, hmm, about fifty? That I saw anyway. More people may have shown up since we started," he explained casually, not noticing the slight rise of Elizabeth's eyebrow. She was, it had to be said, impressed.

"I see. That's quite an accomplishment," she remarked, higher praise than most of her acquaintances would ever have expected to receive from her. She was genuinely surprised by Oz's apparent efficiency and drive. Her initial impression had been of a layabout, good natured but lacking in any real work ethic or ambition. If he had so quickly arranged such an event, apparently for purely altruistic motives, then she had clearly misjudged him.

"Hmm? Oh no, I didn't really do that much," Oz immediately refuted, surprising Elizabeth once again. "I mostly just got in contact with people and encouraged them to do the same with people they knew. Aside from that, I just helped arrange transportation for anyone who needed it. Jonah took care of the logistics side of things," he explained. Elizabeth begrudgingly admitted to herself that perhaps she had misjudged Oz's silent friend as well, though that didn't mean she was about to change her opinion on his manners, or rather, his lack of them.

"I see," she remarked simply before remembering the schedule that she was currently failing to keep. "Anyway, I must be going," she excused herself and almost turned to leave before leaving. She found herself regretting her earlier, brusque attempt at leaving, given her newfound respect of his organisational capabilities. She thus found herself feeling compelled to offer some further pleasantry before departing. "I hope your... Water War goes well," she offered after a moment's thought, a touch awkwardly, perhaps, but she felt it was serviceable enough. Oz at least didn't seem to find cause for objection in it as he waved her off with a smile.

"Thanks. Safe travels," he offered in return. He turned to head back into the battlefield only to pause and look back at her. "And look out for any of those other groups I mentioned. Some of them might think you're taking part as well, and I'd hate for you to get caught in the crossfire. Y'know, again," he added the last part with a cheerful grin. Elizabeth didn't return it but she did incline her head to him slightly.

"I will. Thank you," she said before turning and heading back to the path, Oz heading back to his water fight at the same time. A water fight which, despite her begrudging respect for its organizers, Elizabeth would come to loathe before she was through the highlands.
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Profile
Name: Elizabeth Keller
Dians: 1000
EXP Gained: 0
Last known location: Union, Central Godai

[+] spoiler

Nickname: Queenie
Gender: Female
Level: 5
EXP: (7/9)
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1. Scratch
1. Poison Gas
5. Ember
Item: None
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Joined: June 12th, 2018, 7:39 pm

July 15th, 2018, 8:44 pm #3

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Here
Though the water balloon that had hit her had originally left Elizabeth's head and shoulders dripping wet, that relatively meagre amount of water quickly proved to far from sufficient to keep the sun's heat at bay. It wasn't long before the last of the moisture evaporated off of her and though the reprieve had been pleasant, her journey was once again turning into a gruelling endeavour. With Oz's warning fresh in her mind, however, she could no longer cease her conscious thoughts and simply trudge along on auto-pilot. No, now she had the added burden of paying attention to her surroundings lest she be taken unawares by some careless lout hoping to ambush a fellow participant and not taking enough time to distinguish their prey from hapless passers-by. It was simply fortunate that in this stifling stillness, uncomfortable as it may be, she would be highly unlikely to miss any signs of impending attack.

Sure enough, a rustling in the waist-high grass to her left drew her attention a moment before a figure popped up and hurled two balloons directly at her head and torso. The brief advance warning the figure's movement in the grass had betrayed gave her the chance to leap backwards, out of the path of at least one of the flying projectiles which continued on and burst against the ground behind her. Unfortunately, the second one caught her shoulder and she was once again subjected to an unexpected and... mostly unwanted deluge.

"Got y- huh?" her would-be assailant cut off his exultant cry of triumph - and it was a he, bare-chested and all - in favour of staring at her, befuddled. He seemed to be about her age, with a red bandanna wrapped around the lower half of his face and there was a black, tribal tattoo spread over his right shoulder and bicep. Even having come to regret her hasty judgments about Oz and Jonah earlier, Elizabeth was immediately struck by an immense disdain for this person and found it extremely unlikely that her feelings towards him were about to change, an opinion only reinforced by the several seconds it took for the confusion evident on his face to shift to comprehension. "Oh, my bad. I thought you were Jules," he said dismissively, craning his head in every direction to see if anybody else was approaching.

"Well I'm not, so good day to you," she snapped curtly. It was rude, true, even if it did technically conform to polite phrasing, but on the other hand, Elizabeth felt that it was a testament to her own self-control and patience that she had not released Queenie with instructions to set this mannerless dog aflame. Of course, she seemed determined to achieve the same end purely through the intensity of her glare but alas, the subject of her ire remained not only entirely unburnt but also apparently completely oblivious to her irritation. That being the case, Elizabeth quickly reasoned that to spend any more time with this dullard would no doubt be an unproductive waste and highly unpleasant besides, thus electing to turn on her heel and stride away as quickly as it was possible to do so without breaking into a run. Her desire to escape from this particular encounter impelled her to maintain her hurried pace until she was safely out of sight, aided by the cold water once again offering her some reprieve from the intense heat, before finally slowing to her usual, still brisk but less obviously hurried walk. She continued on as such for a while longer but whether due a smaller volume of water or its less central impact on her, the payload of this water balloon had even less of a lasting effect than the previous and as she once again began to suffer under the heat, her pace once again slowed to what she would ordinarily consider indecently sedate. Between her lingering frustration at having been doused again and the heat and fatigue that wore on her, it is hardly surprising that she forgot to maintain her vigil against further water ballooners. When she heard more rustling from the grass she had just passed, therefore, she turned to locate the source of the sound rather than immediately jumping aside and thus laid eyes on a large, green water balloon, twice the size of any she had yet seen, flying directly at her face.

With a startled and rather undignified yelp of alarm, Elizabeth threw herself to the ground, the balloon shooting just millimetres over her head. While this meant she did manage to avoid a third soaking, it also meant that she came up with grass and dirt stuck to her damp clothes and her frayed patience was just about exhausted.

"Whoah, I'm real sorry there," her latest attacker, a girl her age this time, said, actually sounding rather contrite as she hurried out of her hiding place in the grass towards Elizabeth. "I thought you were my friend come looking for me." Had she not already been in such a tense mood, Elizabeth likely would have recognized this remorse and accepted the apology, perhaps not with good grace but at least with minimal indignation. As it was, however, when she turned to look at the other girl, she never even registered her face. Instead, her eyes instantly homed in on the red bandanna wrapped around her head, identical to the one worn by that last buffoon. Were she observing this from a more calm position, Elizabeth likely would have noticed that this was fairly weak evidence of a connection between the two - the bandannas were not exactly unique, after all - but caught up in the throes of her ever increasing rage, she seized upon this tenuous link and used it to further fan the flames of her fury.

"Jules, was it?" she all but hissed in her fury, the volume of her voice remaining steady in a dark mockery of her usual calm. Taking the startled expression on her face as confirmation, she opened her mouth to figuratively rip into her, possibly to be followed by literal ripping, only to be distracted by the sound of further rustling from the grass behind her. Anger burning to a new height at the thought that a third moronic miscreant could think that this was a good time to try and drench her once more, she whirled around on the spot, inhaling deeply so that she could let this fool have it... only for all that air to escape in a shocked gasp as she recognized that what stepped out of the grass was most definitely not a moronic miscreant. Or any sort of human at all, actually.

Evidently, while Elizabeth had managed to dodge the giant water balloon, this unfortunate Pokémon had not been so lucky. Despite the fact that its fur was plastered down over its own face, despite the fact that the coloured patches of fur were blue in spite of the normal red, Elizabeth recognized it easily.

It was a Zangoose. It was a shiny Zangoose! It was a wet, miserable-looking Zangoose that she had to remind herself would probably be very angry at its unceremonious soaking and thus would not appreciate being hugged no matter how cute and adorable it was.

"Whoah, okay, I think we should back away slowly," Jules said, audibly alarmed but Elizabeth never took her eyes off the Zangoose. She had forgotten all about her anger at Jules and her idiotic friend. While she knew that Zangoose tended to be aggressive and territorial at the best of times, traits which would no doubt be exasperated by being splashed with cold water unprovoked, she couldn't find it in herself to be annoyed or upset or even nervous. She could only focus on one thing.

She absolutely had to have it.
[+] spoiler
Profile
Name: Elizabeth Keller
Dians: 1000
EXP Gained: 0
Last known location: Union, Central Godai

[+] spoiler

Nickname: Queenie
Gender: Female
Level: 5
EXP: (7/9)
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1. Scratch
1. Poison Gas
5. Ember
Item: None
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Joined: June 12th, 2018, 7:39 pm

July 17th, 2018, 12:43 am #4

Once her initial shock passed, Elizabeth immediately grabbed Queenie's Pokéball from her waist and released her starter. As the Salandit formed, she was already stretching herself out languidly. She paused briefly as she caught sight of the Zangoose but after a moment's consideration she merely flicked her tongue at him dismissively and finished stretching, evidently not impressed by the waterlogged opponent.

"Oh, you're gonna battle it?" Jules observed, now sounding less nervous and slightly intrigued. Elizabeth felt a minor stab of irritation at the rather pointless interjection but quickly stifled it. Her previously volcanic fury had been mostly cooled by the appearance of her new target and she refused to be distracted from the task of determining the best strategy to take down the Zangoose... a task which she suddenly realized might be far more difficult than she would have preferred. Zangoose were known for their fierce rivalry with Seviper, which resulted in them typically having an immunity to poison, even the particularly potent poisons of Salandit, thereby removing her primary avenue of attack.

On the bright side of things, no pun intended, the intense sunlight would only increase the effectiveness of Queenie's Ember. Unfortunately, that same sunlight might make them too effective. Elizabeth was painfully aware of the fact that the current battlefield was covered in and surrounded by wild grass, which was likely rather dry due to the hot weather. That meant that any fire could easily spread rapidly and as much as she wanted to catch this Zangoose, starting a wildfire would admittedly be a touch excessive. That meant that her only option as far as offence went was to use Scratch. Against a Zangoose, known for their sharp claws. As much as she loved Queenie, Elizabeth didn't see her starter coming out on top in that exchange.

"Use Sweet Scent," she ordered, deciding she would have to rely on hit-and-run tactics and hope that Queenie's speed was sufficient to keep ahead of her foe. Sweet Scent might serve to distract Zangoose, making it lower its guard and thus rendering it more vulnerable to such a strategy. Queenie didn't hesitate to wave her tail at the Zangoose, an almost invisible gas with a powerful, highly sweet odour rising from the appendage and scattering about the area. The scent was a touch strong for Elizabeth's tastes at the best of times and in this still air, its sweetness became almost cloying in its intensity. Fortunately, Pokémon seemed to enjoy the smell and hopefully this Zangoose was no exception.

Sure enough, the waterlogged Pokémon visibly relaxed somewhat upon sniffing at the air and Elizabeth was about to order an attack when she noticed something odd; the Zangoose was not just relaxed but seemingly completely calm. Its claws were not raised, it didn't seem poised to lunge or even move at all. It was, quite simply, just standing in place, dripping onto the ground and now apparently enjoying the scent of Queenie's pheromones. In hindsight, it hadn't made a single aggressive move since emerging from the grass which frankly just seemed anomalous. Zangoose were known for being territorial and aggressive. Everything Elizabeth knew about them suggested that being suddenly sprayed with water would almost certainly prompt a violent response.

"Hsss!" Queenie hissed menacingly at her foe, evidently annoyed at the delay in Elizabeth's next command. Before Elizabeth's eyes, the Zangoose actually cringed away from Queenie, finally raising its claws but holding them defensively, seemingly more concerned with warding Queenie away than actually attacking. Realizing that this Zangoose was not displaying typical behaviour, Elizabeth's mind went into overdrive trying to factor this in to her strategy.

'Abnormal timidity implies lack of battle experience and/or combat skills. Queenie might win in a fight but it could flee', she rapidly thought, eyeing the long grass behind the Zangoose. If it retreated in there, it could very easily escape in a hurry. This added a whole new level of risks to trying to battle and catch it. Fortunately, while Elizabeth's experience as a trainer was still limited, she had spent most of her life preparing for a career in business, which meant she had other ways of dealing with uncooperative but unsure parties.

"Queenie, step back," she commanded imperiously as she strode forwards, quickly brushing the worst of the dirt and grass off of herself as she did. She wasn't at her best in terms of appearance but hopefully a Zangoose would be less judgmental than a board of directors. She made sure to keep her eyes on the Zangoose's and not on its sharp claws which she was desperately hoping it would be too intimidated to use. "I'll handle this," she said, voice not betraying a hint of her fear that she had misjudged this Zangoose just as she had misjudged Oz and Jonah earlier.

Queenie stared at her as if she had gone insane, which she could admit wasn't an unreasonable worry at the moment, but obediently backed away several steps. She remained tensely poised, however, prepared to lunge into battle again should the Zangoose try to attack her trainer. The wild Pokémon in question seemed rather nonplussed at the sight of a human approaching him seemingly without fear, just as she had hoped.

"Zangoose, my name is Elizabeth Keller," she began, not entirely sure if it was formally necessary to introduce oneself when entering negotiations with a Pokémon but choosing to observe the proper forms just in case. "The Salandit you see behind me is Queenie, my Pokémon, and I am quite prepared to have her attack and defeat you if that is what is necessary to capture you," she explained clearly and evenly. That caused the Zangoose to take an alarmed step back, eyes darting between the crazy human announcing her plans to hurt him and the Pokémon she intended to do it with. After a brief hesitation, he started to turn back to the grass but Elizabeth had been waiting for that. "Do not attempt to flee," she quickly instructed, causing the Zangoose to freeze in place. "If you do so, I will be forced to have Queenie chase you down and battle you into submission," she stated calmly. She was by no means sure of Queenie's ability to do either of those things but she said it with enough conviction that Zangoose would think she believed it, which would make Zangoose believe it and Queenie aided by hissing menacingly at the Zangoose again and taking a menacing step forwards. Sure enough, the visibly panicked Zangoose remained frozen in place, eyes now shifting between Elizabeth, Queenie and the grass as it tried to weigh its options. Of course, Elizabeth had no intention of giving it the time to make a rational choice.

"That said, there is no need for this to come to violence," she said, focusing on how damn huggable the trembling Zangoose looked to inject some warmth into her tone. The Zangoose's eyes immediately locked onto her, seizing on the hope she dangled before it just as she planned. "If you come with me willingly, I assure you that you will be well cared for. All your needs will be met the event that an adversary would do you harm, know that Queenie, rather than being your aggressor, would be your comrade and protector," she explained reassuringly. At that last part, Queenie's head shot around to glare at Elizabeth with narrowed eyes, clearly not pleased at the idea of being relegated to the role of bodyguard. Fortunately, the Zangoose was currently too focused on Elizabeth to notice. He was now trembling violently and Elizabeth suspected that underneath the water covering him, he was sweating heavily and not from the heat. For a period that only lasted moments but seemed to stretch on for several minutes, neither Elizabeth nor the Zangoose moved, except for the latter's eyes which at first only glanced back at the grass briefly but quickly started to focus more on the potential avenue of escape than on Elizabeth. Watching carefully, Elizabeth noticed the moment that the Zangoose's paw started to turn, indicating it was about to make a break for it, and she reacted accordingly.

"Queenie, Scratch," she barked the order and Queenie, still tensed, instantly sprang forwards and raked her foreclaws against the Zangoose's belly. Her target yelped in pain and lashed out with a claw in response but the attack was clumsy and panicked, easy for the smaller and faster Pokémon to duck under and back away. Before the Zangoose could decide to pursue or to escape, Elizabeth spoke up again.

"As you can see, my threats are not empty and Queenie is much better to have as an ally than as an enemy," she pointed out, the warmth gone from her voice. "Now I will offer you one more chance," she announced firmly, grabbing an empty Pokéball and holding it out to the Zangoose. "Surrender and be captured now or I will assume you mean to resist and will have Queenie... subdue you," she threatened, leaving a meaningful pause in the middle to ensure her meaning got across. To be honest, she was rather uncomfortable threatening such a cute Pokémon like this, especially when it was soaking wet and so sad looking, but she steeled her resolve and allowed none of this to show on her face. In business negotiations, even with wild Pokémon, it was important to be ruthless.

The Zangoose was breathing rapidly, eyes moving from Elizabeth to Queenie to the grass and back so quickly that it was a wonder it could see anything. For a moment Elizabeth worried that it might break into a full panic and run but just when she was preparing to order Queenie closer, it suddenly sagged down to the ground, supporting itself on its forepaws and knees with its head bowed. It stayed in that position, motionless save for its panicked breathing and shaking, refusing to look up at Elizabeth or Queenie.

"Well," Elizabeth said, once she was sure it was showing its submission. "I'm glad we could resolve this peacefully," she said honestly as she closed the short distance between them. "I assure you, you've made the right decision," she said before holding the Pokéball up to the Zangoose's forehead point blank and pressing the button, causing it to pop open and suck Zangoose inside in a stream of energy. The ball then clicked shut and instantly released a soft chime to signify a successful capture, the Zangoose not having tried to struggle.
[+] spoiler
A wild Zangoose appeared!

Elizabeth sent out Queenie.

Queenie used Sweet Scent.

Wild Zangoose does not want to battle.

Elizabeth used Aggressive Negotiations. It was Super Effective!

Queenie used Scratch.

Wild Zangoose used Scratch.
-It missed.

Elizabeth used Ultimatum.

Wild Zangoose surrendered.

Queenie... wins?

Elizabeth used a Pokéball.

Elizabeth caught Zangoose.
"Wow," Jules said from behind Elizabeth, startling the trainer into whirling around, having forgotten she was there in her focus on the... well, it was still a battle of sorts, she supposed, just with wills instead of Pokémon. Jules was staring at her with a bemused smirk on her face. "That was simultaneously extremely disappointing and bizarrely hardcore," she commented and while ordinarily such a blasé critique of her technique might have annoyed her, at the moment she was simply too happy with her first catch to be concerned with such trivialities. True, she felt a little guilty about how she had caught it and would probably have to spend some time treating her new Zangoose to make up for the stress she must have caused but that didn't change the fact that she was ecstatic to have caught it at all. Honestly, she hardly even remembered why she was so angry in the first place.

SPLOOSH!

"Aw man, just a few inches to the right and I would have got you," an aggravatingly familiar voice called out from behind her. Her mouth opened and closed several times silently as the contents of the latest water balloon ran down the back of her head and down her shirt. She turned around slowly and rigidly, seeing the same idiot from before approaching her, looking more annoyed at having wasted his balloon than repentant at having hit her.

Ah yes. Now she remembered why she was angry. She remembered it very well indeed. She was dimly aware of Jules apologizing on her friend's behalf but she didn't hear a word of it. She was too busy looking at Queenie, the fire in her eyes making it all to clear what she wanted.

"Queenie," she called quietly and the Salandit stood up on her hind legs, hissing excitedly at the prospect of actually getting to attack something after the aborted battle with the Zangoose. The fool proved he was not completely oblivious when he came to a halt upon seeing Elizabeth's expression and her battle-hungry Salandit, starting to back away nervously.

Unfortunately, it was far too late for that. This time, there would be no escape.
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Name: Elizabeth Keller
Dians: 1000
EXP Gained: 0
Last known location: Union, Central Godai

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Nickname: Queenie
Gender: Female
Level: 5
EXP: (7/9)
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1. Scratch
1. Poison Gas
5. Ember
Item: None
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Joined: June 12th, 2018, 7:39 pm

July 17th, 2018, 8:59 pm #5

The sun, although it had dipped slightly lower in the sky, continued to shine down on the Verdant Highlands, blanketing the area in smothering heat. There were still no breezes to alleviate the effects of the heat, no sounds bar those of Elizabeth's passage to break the monotony. And there was still some distance to go to Cascadia, likely greater than she could hope to traverse in time to keep up with her own schedule. All in all, nothing of the general situation had improved and arguably they had even worsened, as the delays she had encountered had put her further behind schedule and despite her best efforts to wipe the water, dirt and grass off of herself, her appearance was still a good deal more dishevelled than she was at all comfortable with. Yet in spite of all this, she found herself far less stressed than she had been earlier in the day.

Her new catch had done wonders to buoy her spirits, enough that even now, the corners of her lips twitched upwards from her usual severe frown whenever she looked at the ball containing her new Zangoose, Bolty. It also helped that she had had a chance to vent much of her earlier frustrations, even if she was somewhat embarrassed now to have lost her composure so thoroughly. It had been unbecoming of her and she was only glad that there had only been two witnesses to her little tantrum, neither of whom she was likely to have future interactions with. Plus, her victim was so far beneath her that his opinion honestly meant as little to her as a three-year old's opinion might matter to the Queen. Jules had seemed a good deal more polite and intelligent and upon coming out of her fury and seeing that Jules had fled along with her witless oaf of a friend, Elizabeth had felt a not insignificant measure of guilt to go with her shame. Regardless, as regrettable as her lapse in control may have been, dwelling on it did her no good and it was surprisingly easy to put it out of her mind, thanks to the much more pleasant memory of her capture.

Jovial attitude or no, however, she was still keeping on high alert for any further ambuscades along the path and thus she heard the sound of an engine approaching from behind long before the vehicle it belonged to cleared the horizon. Moving to the side of the road, Elizabeth intended to pay it little further attention but was surprised when rather than racing by her, it began to slow down as it drew closer and ground to a halt next to her. It was a large, dark red off-road van with three doors along each side, perhaps capable of holding eight or eight or ten people, a dozen at a stretch.

"Hey, it's Elizabeth, right?" the question came from the middle of the vehicle and Elizabeth was surprised to see a familiar, blond head leaning out the window to address her.

"Oz," she responded with a brief nod of confirmation. A glance past him revealed a little over half a dozen teenagers, including Jonah, sitting in the car with him, some talking amongst themselves while others were staring at her curiously. Jonah briefly glanced at her before electing to lean back in his seat and close his eyes, ignoring her. "I take it your Water War has been concluded," she asked, partially because it was polite but also because she was hoping this meant that she could stop worrying about being soaked at any moment.

"Yeah, just about," Oz answered and she briefly felt her hopes lift before he continued on, bringing them down again. "There are still probably some people still going but the main event has pretty much run down, he explained. He must have noticed the slight tightening of her features and her still slightly damp and grass-stained clothes because his smile turned slightly nervous and guilty. "I guess you got caught up in it again, huh?" he asked sympathetically. Thankfully, neither Jules nor her friend seemed to be in the car so Elizabeth's poor reaction to getting hit could remain unknown. She simply nodded in response, hoping Oz didn't press for further details.

"I'm really sorry about that," Oz apologized sincerely before offering her a friendly smile. "But if you're headed to Cascadia, we can offer you a lift to make up for it," he suggested, gesturing back into the car with one hand. Elizabeth hesitated to answer, torn between the two possible responses. On the one hand, she was self-aware enough to realize that she was not the most social person in Godai and the idea of spending prolonged time in a cramped vehicle with a number of excitable strangers who likely knew each other far better than any of them knew her was far from appealing. On the other hand, it was still very, very hot and good mood or not, she was under no illusions that the remainder of the journey would be easy. Accepting a lift would spare her a great deal of unnecessary effort and also put her back on schedule. Plus, she still felt a touch guilty over her hasty misjudgement of Oz and Jonah when they first met and the former's hopeful smile pressured her into making her decision.

"Thank you, I'd appreciate it," she said after only a moment's pause. Oz grinned and opened the door, holding out a hand to help her in. She accepted his aid, more out of social obligation than actual necessity and was quickly sat in the middle of the van. It was slightly cramped and everybody in the vehicle was at least slightly damp but the mercifully cool air conditioning more than made up for that minor discomfort. As they drove back she occasionally traded pleasantries and questions with Oz but as Jonah was sitting between them and clearly had even less interest in conversation than Elizabeth, she was spared any lengthy or detailed discussions and fortunately, everybody else in the van seemed engaged in their own conversations. Elizabeth was thus mostly left in peace to reflect on her recent achievement and the remainder of the journey was surprisingly pleasant.

When they arrived in Cascadia, she said her farewells and parted from Oz and his friends, heading towards the nearest Pokémon Centre. Despite the relatively little damage sustained by either parties in her battle, she still wanted to get Bolty healed sooner rather than later. She had work to do in order to form a positive bond with the Zangoose after that rather unorthodox capture and she was determined to get a start on it. Once she was sure that Bolty trusted her then she would call Aster and share the good news. That was the plan for now and this time, there would be no setbacks.
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Name: Elizabeth Keller
Dians: 1000
EXP Gained: 0
Last known location: Union, Central Godai

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Nickname: Queenie
Gender: Female
Level: 5
EXP: (7/9)
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1. Scratch
1. Poison Gas
5. Ember
Item: None
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