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Frontier Town Sand Veil Archives

"Oh, yes... Ah, if I were a better artist I'd try and sketch something of the city I grew up in when I was a little kid... We had these things called 'Skyscrapers' and some really make the term seem borderline literal..." He decided to mostly leave it at that though, as he could sense that brief... ebb... that came from Ghaspius. Just a faint negativity, it barely lasted, but it was enough for Corey to move the subject to things the ghost type would likely find more pleasant. The subject of lovelife, or lack thereof, seemed mostly finished, but there was plenty of science to still discuss.

"Heh... I'm not much of a rulebreaker, but... I suppose I've come to learn in some cases, rules really are meant to be broken if they're getting in the way of doing the right thing, yeah? And I suppose when it comes to science... you always go in with the intent to break a few rules if you want to make any real progress, yeah?" Certainly an interesting way to connect both his passion and his recent moral conflict... but hey, whatever worked, he supposed.

"So, you're an alchemist then? That explains quite a bit... not least why you'd be looking into something like Electrolysis... and this sister of yours... Correct me if I've misinterpreted the topic somehow but... are you implying she studies humans when you say 'Anthropology'? I hate to sound ignorant or like I've missed something but... didn't you imply there aren't any humans where you live?"
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"Oh, so you mean like sensors that 'scrape' info 'bout the skies? Makes sense! We just had lots of Flying-types give the weather reports," Ghaspius replied completely misunderstanding the term. "Sides the occasional Rain Dance though, nothin' like weather control. Not that you'd want that. Nature likes to bite back."

He righted himself once more. "Exactly. If you don't challenge assumptions, you have no questions, and thus, no science! Only machination!" He seemed strangely proud of himself. "And you got that right! Even had my own lab and full set of wares back home. Course, trial-and-error means lots of mistakes, but ya do what ya can."

His head bounced from side-to-side. "Oh, no, y'all aren't around anymore on Crason. Big ol' gap in history between 'humans and 'mon' and 'just 'mon'. Lots of remains. Lots of tech to learn from." He himself didn't appear to be as knowledgeable on the topic. "Roya loved lookin' into that stuff. Got pulled into the biggest organization for recoverin' and repairin' whatever human stuff we can find before she even became an adult. So proud of her." Yet his brows raised and smile wavered in a hint of concern.
Corey decided to just let the part about skyscrapers go, after finding himself thoroughly perplexed by just how off the mark Ghaspius was regarding the word's meaning. Besides, his focus was ultimately much more on the fact that he was having a thoroughly engaging conversation with another man of science, even if they were coming from rather different epochs and perspectives, not to mention worlds... speaking of which...

"So... we're extinct then..." Now that was a chilling thought... especially with the lack of knowledge regarding how it apparently happened. Humanity vanished into thin air, leaving only remnants of technology that these Pokemon were now attempting to recover, analyze and put to use? Sure felt like a twisted form of archaeology from his viewpoint...

"I suppose it's rather flattering to know that Pokemon like your sister have enough interest in my kind to learn about us so intently. What's she up to lately?" Clearly he'd missed the brief flash of concern this time…
"That's the leadin' theory, at least. The other one is that y'all just bunkered down somewhere to escape something and never surfaced yet." Ghaspius shook as his head as he added, "Some even say y'all flew out into the stars, even I gotta admit that's a bit too out there."

He awkwardly shifted his scarf a bit. "Last I heard from Roya, she was out on a squad alongside her boss and her boss's boss to look into somethin' they managed to drudge up from the ocean. Couldn't give me any details, but said that she was workin' as hard as she could." He closed his eyes. "I really worry 'bout her. And, if I'm bein' honest, hope we can remember whatever we found out here in Forlas in our own worlds, too."
“Well, either option wouldn’t completely surprise me to be honest,” Corey said, the ralts tilting his head from side to side in contemplation. “We do have quite the drive to survive in the face of catastrophe… and at least in my world, space travel is already an established possibility, we’ve just never gotten around to using it as a means of surviving off planet for an extended duration… Perhaps your humans were even more advanced than us.”

Ghaspius’ explanation of his sister’s latest activities was certainly gripping in itself, but now, more than ever, Corey could sense just how worried he was for her… and yes, it helped that Ghaspius plainly said so, but this seemed more than just the usual brotherly concern, and the mention of wanting to remember what they learned in this world only made it clearer there was something wrong.

“…Ghaspius, I hate to pry too much in your personal business but… is your sister suffering some kind of illness?”
"You're kidding!" Ghaspius remarked as he leaned in. "Thought that was all just nonsense, but you're sayin' y'all managed to groove to the moon and stars and back and told the tale? Crazy!"

He slowly leaned back as his smile faded. "Narcolepsy. Unidentified kind," he said as he looked down towards the book an opened it to a random page. "Not contagious. Got it during our last years with the Sun Tribe." He didn't seem to be reading the words so much as just looking at them. "She's managin' well, but..."

He turned to look at Corey once more. A meek, bittersweet smile encroached his face. "Not much of a successful apothecary if I can't even help her with that, am I?" He shook his head. "She ain't the only one either. Lodes of 'mon get sick every day with no real hope of bouncin' back. I consider it sun's blessing that she can deal with it. But that all could change in minutes."

The Misdreavus looked down. "Truth of the matter is, there's people out there that'll bury the weak or ill before they croak. People that say nothing can be done. That it's 'destiny'." His eyes widened as he raised his head. A gentle ember stirred within his gaze. "So I say, that's a made rule to be broken. I'll help Roya, and then, help anyone else I can to. That's my promise."
"Nope, not kidding at all... Space is the final frontier after all, and the tech we've developed with that in mind has led to quite a few major discoveries. For instance, not too long ago, it was revealed we've had encounters with a Pokemon coming from an alien virus that was exposed to a particularly strong laser... Caused the folks in one region a fair bit of trouble till someone particularly capable stepped up and managed to scare it off, or at least that's what the reports say. Most of the details beyond that are still confidential. Man, it's a shame I'm not likely going to remember this whole incident, because I can only imagine the kind of uproar I'd spark if I had proof of soul-based multiversal travel... That blows regular space-venturing completely out of the water!"

As Ghaspius went on to explain his sister's affliction, Corey listened with a great deal of sympathy. Though he never had a sibling, he still could empathize with worrying about the welfare of a family member, and it was plain as day that the Misdreavus was worried, much as he seemed to try not to let it dominate him. It was rather noble that he would have such lofty ambitions to find not just a cure for his sister, but for everyone. Perhaps that was not truly possible, but just the ambition and drive alone was worth respecting.

"You know... the way I see it, destiny is interior, not exterior. The world can't be controlled, people can't always be predicted, but we are the authors of our own fate when it comes right down to it. Other aspects can sway us one way or another, sometimes in ways we could never have foreseen, but they cannot make our choices, nor can they act on our behalf. So long as we can breathe, and so long as we can move, we'll always have some say in how we end up." Even if it felt like that was far from the case sometimes... but Corey nonetheless wanted to believe it was true.
Ghaspius slowly blinked. He made a light whistle sound as his "hair" fluttered. Whether that was out of being impressed or simply because all of that went over his head was hard to tell. A question might've been on his tongue at one point, but...

He smiled at Corey's speech. "Right on, dude," he said as he floated up just a smidgen higher. "Or should it be 'write on'?" A hint of a snicker escaped the edges of his lips.

"Really, though, I can drink to that." He winked. "What 'bout you, then? What's your dream?"
Corey gave a quick chuckle as he shrugged his shoulders at the question. It wasn't that he didn't have an answer, but, the more he thought about it, the more he wondered if his dream would even seem noteworthy to someone with as grand ambitions as this Misdreavus.

"Well I guess my dream is to become a Professor... Y'know, to officially be recognized as a foremost expert in a field of research. Getting a chance to run a lab, to lead a whole team of researchers and help educate people about the amazing things Pokemon can do, it's what I've been aiming at for a long time... Unfortunately, I've never really been able to take that next big step forward... There are so many different experts out there already after all, and all over the world at that. Finding my niche within that line-up isn't the easiest thing to do."
"A Professor? Well, teachin' others while makin' discoveries got plenty of merit," Ghaspius nodded in delight. "Well, hey, you know never what just might inspire ya. Whether that's here or out there... you'll find it."

He flipped back to the chapter he was actually on. "Who knows? Maybe we'll remember enough 'bout these adventures that you'll get that spark. And if we're lucky, maybe we could visit each other and trade knowledge, eh? Bet sis would love to meet ya in the flesh." He chuckled. "I don't wanna keep ya distracted; I'll let ya get back to your own research. But I'll here if ya wanna chat some more."
It was… pleasantly strange… Corey had heard that sort of encouragement from friends and family before, plenty of times even, but to hear it from a Pokémon he’d virtually just met, and one who was super dedicated in his own scientific pursuits, there was a uniquely genuine feeling to it. For however brief a moment, Corey felt a great deal of his stresses lifting away.

“I really hope you’re right, Ghaspius. God-knows we could both use a positive change of pace… and I’d hate to just completely forget all of you guys when all this is said and done…” Already he’d made such fast, stalwart friends with Archie and Tarahn, and many of the others had left their own impact on him, for better or worse… It seemed fated to all be forgotten either way… but then, fate, destiny, however one wanted to label it… it was as they’d just discussed; such things were hardly so definitive as they made themselves out to be.

Corey mulled over this thought process for a time, subsequently returning to his reading. He still had plenty more backlogs to peruse before the day was over.

[Ch02] Laura & Isidora ~ Forlas Researchers
With the gala far behind her and some time to kill, Isidora figured it was finally time to start researching some of those topics she had been wondering about.

"D'you know, 'angel' and 'human' are the same word in Tenacindean?"
'Tenacindean.' That's what she was curious about right now. It probably had nothing to do with their current situation, but it was something new and interesting. And who knew, maybe there was a good story behind why 'angel' and 'human' were strongly correlated, one that'd prove relevant in the future.

So, she found a world atlas (I can probably find somethin' in here) and took it with her to sit down at a table, keeping her claws sheathed as she very carefully opened it to read.
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The western reaches popularly known as the 'New World' are principally divided into two great landmasses, comprising a northern and a southern continent. Though the matter of naming these parts of the world is yet contentious, and there are as many names both native and modern as there are colours on a painter's palette, this author humbly advocates the simple and evidently reasonable use of the 'Luctemar' for the northern continent, and 'Tenacinde' for its southern counterpart. The chief reason for this is that it reflects the predominant states that hold sovereign in each land – these being the Luctemarene Commonwealth, and the Tenacan Protectorate.

The world atlas Isidora had chosen went on in a similarly dry manner for many pages, but it was, at least, informative. For anyone with adequate patience, anyway.

It seemed that Tenacindean was the common tongue of a continent to the south by a similar name, and that it was fairly widely spoken in the west and south of Luctemar, too. The way the author told it, Tenacinde was a land of exotic vistas and hidden natural riches, but also countless villages of superstitious 'mon loyal to ancient traditions, who would fade into history as Luctemarene 'mon built the future. It might be best if Isidora took the writer's opinions with a grain of salt.

There was no obviously subtitled section on the etymology of human/angel, but Isidora may have noticed that Tenacan culture seemed to have a preoccupation with saviour figures from elsewhere. Not specifically humans, and not specifically from other worlds, but there were clues here and there. Folk heroes with astonishing strength who had forgotten their divine parentage, local Saints who lived apart from mortals and returned only to right wrongs and protect the innocent, and visitors from the heavens who appeared in times of upheaval and disaster.
It was times like these where it really sunk in just how big Forlas was. When Forlasans said 'continent,' they meant continent, real continents. And if this was called the 'new world,' that implied an old one. And nowhere was the world restricted by the reach of humanity. She wasn't sure she'd ever get used to this.

The author's feelings on the march of progress were uncomfortably familiar. She tried to skim past those parts.

The idea of multiple languages among pokémon was something she was still getting used to. She wondered how it would sound to her, then realized the 'auto-translation' made it a moot point anyway. Or, wait, how does the translation work? Would it translate Tenacindean?

In any case, it seemed that the correlation between 'human' and 'angel' was a leap on Sonora's part. Though in fairness, it sounded like an easy one to make. The idea of strangers with strange powers performing great feats seemed like such a universal trope. It kept raising the questions of why and how, but unfortunately the answers were still far out of her reach. It'd sure be nice and convenient if it was just lyin' in a book somewhere, she thought to herself, sighing.
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Or, wait, how does the translation work? Would it translate Tenacindean?

Yes. In fact, I already have.

Before Isidora could reply to the muffled voice in her head, she heard another in her ears.

"Uh, hey there! You're one of the offworlder team, right?"

A silver Meowth wearing a green scarf was waving hello from nearby.

"I'm Laura. I'm, um. Also on the team. I don't think we've properly met yet?"
"Huh?" Isidora's ears perked up and her head snapped towards the voice, her claws relaxing when it was just Laura. "Oh. Hey." She returned a small wave. "I mean, we've met a couple times, but we haven't properly talked yet, sure. Name's Isidora."

Her tail twitched and she traced a claw down the page somewhat protectively. Why did she have to get embarrassed now of all times? She brought her attention back to her book. "Don't mind me, just doin' some research." Good job Isidora, now you look like a shut-in. But is that a bad thing? Uh-

She shrugged. "Just figured there's probably somethin' useful in here," she added at an attempt at nonchalance. Nice save.
"Glad to finally get your name, Isidora!" Laura put a paw to the back of her head sheepishly, worried that she'd somehow startled the sneasel. "I've seen you in here a few times – I'm kinda getting around to saying hi to all the other bookworms on the team. I figure, between us we ought to be able to get a grip on what this world's like. I feel like I'll have gone through everything in this place by the time we get sent home, y'know?"

She held up her current reading material with her other paw – The Landsverd Almanac – and chuckled. "At least I've almost got the hang of the local calendar, I think."
I've seen you in here a few times – I'm kinda getting around to saying hi to all the other bookworms on the team.
Right, I probably already read as a shut-in to her.

Isidora moved her gaze onto the table and scratched under her feathered ear. "Yeah, the calendar's a bit weird." Should I ask her what's up with the year? Well, no, I'd probably seem stupid if she already figured it out. Another shrug. "I figured out my birthday at least."

She fiddled with the edge of the page. "I've just been looking into the continent south of here. 'Tenacinde,' I guess they call it. The book says it and Luctemar are together called 'the new world' or something, but I haven't read into what's up with that yet."
"Heh, I figured out my birthday too," said Laura, grinning. "Hey, did you ever hear that thing about the, uh, birthday paradox? Where you only need between twenty and thirty people in a group to have even odds of two of them sharing a birthday? Looks like there are as many days in a year here as back home, and we have about thirty people. There's probably a birthday pair in there somewhere."

She laughed nervously and scratched her neck.

"Um. I've read a bit about Tenacinde too, and it sounds like both continents were discovered and settled by overseas cultures a few hundred years ago. Something similar happened in my world, and those continents are sometimes called 'the New World' too, so it's a reasonable guess that my world's pretty similar to this one. Even if a lot of stuff seems strange to me."
At 'birthday paradaox,' Isidora finally looked back at Laura, her head at a tilt. "I don't think I've heard of that before." Huh. Maybe calendars everywhere have the same amount of days. It made enough sense to her. "Though I dunno if we have the patience to convert everyone's birthdays to find out."

That word 'people' kept coming up too. Maybe there's something about it I just don't get.

"It sounds like both continents were discovered and settled by overseas cultures a few hundred years ago. Something similar happened in my world."
There are some big worlds out there, Isidora thought bitterly to herself. "This place has a couple things in common with where I'm from, but most of it's only on the surface. On the scale of the world, they couldn't be more different." After a bit more thought, she brought a claw up to her chin. "Though, pokémon should have already lived here, right? So the New World couldn't've been 'discovered,' unless there was no civilization here or something. Seems kinda arrogant either way."

It got her thinking, though. How did a multi-species pokémon civilization start in Forlas in the first place? By the logic of her own world, it would've required some kind of motivated force, unless things really were that different. I should look into that later.
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