• Welcome to The Cave of Dragonflies forums, where the smallest bugs live alongside the strongest dragons.

    Guests are not able to post messages or even read certain areas of the forums. Now, that's boring, don't you think? Registration, on the other hand, is simple, completely free of charge, and does not require you to give out any personal information at all. As soon as you register, you can take part in some of the happy fun things at the forums such as posting messages, voting in polls, sending private messages to people and being told that this is where we drink tea and eat cod.

    Of course I'm not forcing you to do anything if you don't want to, but seriously, what have you got to lose? Five seconds of your life?

Frontier Town Sun Stone Saloon

Nova heard enough in his free floating state to open the door that didn’t exist. He reappeared in front of Mhynt.

“Seeing the rangers in the dungeon proved I’m nothing but a liability right now,” he said. “I can’t battle… in a world where battling is apparently how you show your heart to others.”

Nova looked at the ceiling. “It’s exhausting trying to go about your day pretending everything is okay when there’s something squeezing your head to the point it hurts. And reminding you of how you’re a prisoner in your own body back home. Unable to control your thoughts or actions. Consigned to an inescapable fate.

“So, yeah, not much up for investigating secret organizations or shadows. All I’ll do is get in the way.” He looked down. “And I’m pretty sure I failed the rangers test of character, so that’s out, too. Only option left is to find a way to break this seemingly unbreakable thing and pray I can find some semblance of who I used to be.”

Nova was sure he’d just made things awkward. “Forget about me. Carry on with naming or whatever.” He stuck his hind leg out and opened the ball to recall himself again.
As the conversation moved away from dreams, Andre allowed himself a covert sigh of relief. He hadn't been singled out. Maybe it would never even come up that he 'hadn't' had a dream like the others. Maybe it would be forgotten, and his mistake would dissipate like ashes in the wind. Though that was really up to Ridley, wasn't it...

He stayed silent throughout the argument that followed, letting others do the talking. It wasn't as if he had the solution to the problem. It was only when the subject of names came up that he had something worth saying.

"I think we could go with something that expresses unity," he said regarding the team name. "We want to stress that we're in this together, humans and pokémon, right?" He brought a vine to his chin. "Of course, it shouldn't be so obvious that we'd alienate the Coven with notions of 'equality' that they so seem to hate."
"Unity, hm?" Mhynt said. "We are Shadowbane United," she hummed, then chuckled while gently placing Nova's ball in her bag, keeping its upper half just outside so he could still watch and listen idly. "The Bright Alliance. The Allied Shadowslayers." She brought a hand to her chin. "...Owen would've liked that..."

She didn't seem to realize she'd said that one aloud.
"Everyone who says that believes it, too. If you're a united front, then I want to hear what the Pokemon have to say, rather than humans speaking for them."

"I wouldn't go for unity. It's a fine sentiment, I get what you mean, but if it's vague enough that the Coven can't read it as egalitarian then potential allies can't either. Like it or not, even if it's not fair per se, most people's ideas of what a predominantly-human group united in purpose looks like will be the Coven, if that's an interpretation we keep open in hopes the Coven falls for it, we can't stop enemies doing the same. And it seems increasingly uncertain what our job even is. If we must have a collective name— though I don't know why we would— we should at least keep it simple and plainly descriptive. Wayfarers is probably fine, though we should run it by someone friendly who speaks the local language untranslated to see how it sounds to them first."
Bellatrix eyed the poké ball curiously. Fitting of the current level of technology present within this world, the make appeared rough, antique, not too dissimilar to— oh, what was it again?

When any answer failed to appear, she decided that it was not important and began to focus on the implications of its presence. There was much to question regarding its apparent source.

"That is a human-made invention is it not?" she asked Mhynt. "If it was given to Nova by the one who operates that bulletin board, then wouldn't that imply that they themselves are human or at least is working for someone who is? More importantly, we may want to see if these devices - poké balls as you called them - are at least known or commonplace among the Covenant. If it is, then it may be a sign that the one operating the board and the Covenant are at the very least cooperative with each other."

Her ears then swivelled towards the topic of the team name. "I am in agreement that it should be something simple that doesn't paint us as saviours. The Covenant of Light was a name created on the premise of enlightenment, to 'save' pokémon from their 'barbaric' natures. I doubt the Vanguard would be pleased if we came up with a group name in a similar manner. Too complex and we will simply be lost within meanings and we may not be taken as seriously. Of the suggestions, I do feel quite partial towards 'Wayfarers' myself." Something about the word elicited a sense of warm, bittersweet nostalgia that she couldn't quite put a finger on. And frankly, it was by far the least garish of the suggestions thus far. "At least, it can function as a suitable placeholder in the meantime until someone else comes up with something better," she then added.
"I still find it a bit aimless," Mhynt said with mild protest. "Wayfaring implies great travel and wandering, but we already have ourselves a bit of a home base here on Frontier Town, and we aren't very equipped for great travel yet."

But she closed her eyes and said, "...The Poke Ball itself, though... if it is under the influence of a human... then that human, or humans, have a very powerful ally. I'm sure you can deduce that whoever is running that board would have impressive psionic abilities to do those Teleports so regularly and with such ease. Only recently was he detected at all."
W-what the heck was going on?! Why were they talking about team names, as if they were some kinda music band or superhero squad? Weren’t they supposed to discuss the whole deal with the Shadows and the human jerks and all that stuff?

‘This is getting ridiculous!’ Silver mentally seethed, pinching the bridge of his muzzle while holding back a splitting headache. ‘I’m gonna need a nightshade tea after all of this. Extra strong.’

Silver stared blankly as the others gave their own opinions of the suggested choices. Darkness, light, wayfarers… Were they really that, though? It’s not like they were some wandering paladins that fought against darkness or that wielded light, so those names didn’t quite ring true to what they were: a team of misfits from different places.

“…What about Astral Alliance?” he blurted out after some musing. “Astral is… related to outer space, the stars, and we all are from different universes. And Alliance… well, I mean, should I even need to explain why we’re some sort of alliance?”

Silver huffed and slumped on his chair. Trying to talk to a big chattering crowd was so tiring, but someone had to keep their priorities straight and rerail the discussion.

“…But let’s be real. We aren’t completely united. Not yet, at least. But we can and should work together, as a team, so that we can figure out some way to sort through the messes of this world!” He began tapping his chin in thought. “Ah! Speaking of which, may I remind y’all that there are murderous shadow ‘mons out there, and that we still dunno a way to handle ‘em without potentially getting ourselves killed in the process?”
Yeah, that was about the size of it. "Yeah, I really couldn't care less what we're going to call ourselves," Dave said. "Can we talk about the fucking matter at hand? As I was trying to say before all these tangents, one of the things Nolan mentioned was that Shadow Pokémon are weak to some force of light. And after that meeting, Ridley and I went to speak to Beetle here and turns out that force is something called Radiance, and as it happens the patron saint of the Escarpa Clan, the 'Wandering Light', is an actual person who's known to use it. I say we head out on some kind of expedition to meet with the Escarpa Clan, try to find out more about how we can get an audience with her, and see if we can either recruit her to help take down this Shadow business or get her to teach us how to use this thing. That'd make all this considerably easier without relying on the fucking Covenant."
Laura felt a knot of tension unwind in her torso as first her big appeal to reason was met with relative acceptance, and then the topic of conversation turned to less contentious issues for a moment of reprieve. 'Betel', huh? Yeah, she could get behind that.

"It's nice to finally have something to call you, Betel," she said, quietly.

Thank you, Laura! It is nice to be called Betel.
As for the team name...

"For what it's worth, I think 'Wayfarers' has a nice ring to it," she chipped in, as the discussion bubbled along. "Makes me think of how we all got here."
More importantly...

"Holy shit. Okay, so, we have another lead to pursue? Right, alright—"

Laura pressed one silver paw into the other, and bit her lip. With that news, things seemed a lot more hopeful.

"Well, in that case, some of us should probably try and reach out to the Escarpa. If there are any other ways we can look into this 'Radiance', we should go after those, too... And if we can make use of that, I like our chances at taking on this 'Wolf' and any other Shadow pokémon. This could turn things around for us."

She eyed Isidora, frozen, and the rematerialised RKS chimera who'd drawn so many eyes with his unexpected capsule.

"As for the fucking pokéball, that looks like an apricorn-carved prototype. Voice— Betel, do you know if apricorns are native to Forlas? Does that thing use local technology?"

That device was crafted on Forlas out of local materials, yes! Apricorns are indeed endemic to this world and are used on occasion as a refuge for rest and recuperation by exhausted or injured pokémon. You called it a 'pokéball'. You are familiar with a similar technology from your world?
"Yeah," she muttered. "Seeing one here is a bit disturbing, though. Where I'm from, there are rules – agreements with sapient 'mon and laws in human nations to prevent their misuse. Seems like Nova can self-release, which is a relief, but I can't imagine there's any oversight for whoever's making them locally."
"Hmm." Mhynt closed her eyes, arms crossed. "It sounds like apricorns as they are known here are significantly less of a problem than your world, then. Perhaps the technology to prevent self-release is not yet here." They would hope, at least. "So by that logic... regulating them would be the same as regulating..." She whirled her hand in the air, "Portable tents."
the strong-minded sneasel said:
"It's important to keep in mind that we don't know yet how much the shadow situation connects to why we're here in the first place, and trusting Nolan to tell us how much it does is playing into his hand."
Steven regarded the sharp words of the sneasel whose name he didn't know. She looked frustrated, angry. Even more so after Laura stepped in. It was understandable with everything that was unfolding, and on some level, unraveling.

He gave her a sympathetic look. "No, it's true, we don't know the true purpose of why we were summoned here, but..."

A look of worry crossed over his expression, and he shook his head. "...It's not Nolan or the Covenant who is driving the need to find out more about shadow pokemon. Our position now, what we've gotten involved in here in Sojavena, I fear we can't avoid these shadow pokemon even if we tried... We need to learn more and be prepared. What we know now isn't enough for when-- not if-- we run into them again."

He let out a low reverberation, like a wearily exhaled breath.

"I saw an opportunity, and I made a decision that I hoped would help our group." Steven's gaze fell and his voice grew quiet. "What's done is done."

A small voice in the back of his mind gnawed at his guilt. And look what happened. Just like the last time you made a hasty decision. His eye flicked over to Koa for the briefest of moments before finding the floorboards again. What Bellatrix saw in him after all this, he wasn't sure.

"I'll try to make the best of the situation," he muttered before turning to Dave. "This Radiance, though, it sounds promising. Is there only one person in Sojavena who knows about it? I wonder if the Wardens in Sunward have heard of it, given they protect the embodiment of the Sun."
Leaf very much wanted to move on from being talked down to listening to these people tearing each other apart, but even she had to admit that was a hell of a whiplash. Something told her the ones who'd been angriest weren't going to let it slide that easily, and as far as she could tell they were still just kicking around what to actually do. (Coming up with names would've been fun at another time, maybe, but it was kind of hard to get excited about at the moment. It was good that Beetle liked their new name, at least.)

There were just. So many? Other things? Her head was definitely spinning at this point. Did they all have to worry about people they knew being here, being turned into monsters? (What if they had Minerva, what if they made her like that, what if they made her worse than she'd been before, more angry, more scared.) How many other groups of people with weird powers were they going to have to track down? The Rangers' help would make that easier, hopefully, but still.

The poké ball was plenty easy to focus on, at least. Again, what the hell, but also, if it was helping Nova at all... maybe only helping a little, though, given how miserable he seemed.

"You don't know that you failed. They didn't say you failed. That thing's messing you up but you were still fighting through it, even though you didn't have to help us! That doesn't mean you failed; it just means that piece of shit is holding you back. Getting the two mixed up isn't gonna help anything."

No clue what to make of the fact that Mew had been the one to give him the poké ball. Did he have more? Maybe he was or wasn't working with people who wanted to misuse them—she almost had to snort as she thought of Mewtwo, how friggin' ironic would that've been—but what did he think he was doing with it? "Do you think more of us who, uh, know about the guy who works the Board should go with you?" she asked both Mhynt and Nova. "I definitely want to know more about why they've got those. But only if you want—getting rid of that garbage is more important."
"I'm not against the idea," replied Mhynt. "It would be unwise to be alone with someone we cannot fully vet. But I personally... vouch for the person running the Board. I'm not sure how much I can safely reveal beyond that. It was asked to be kept a secret, of a sort. One slip in public, and a lot of things will get exposed. But if it becomes important, relevant, or dangerous... yes. We will tell."
"You don't know that you failed. They didn't say you failed. That thing's messing you up but you were still fighting through it, even though you didn't have to help us! That doesn't mean you failed; it just means that piece of shit is holding you back. Getting the two mixed up isn't gonna help anything."
And that was enough to get Nova to let himself out. His gray eyes were small. “I’m not mixing anything up.” He spoke softly. The null shifted around.

“Echoes of powers from home… makes me a liability.” Nova looked at his legs. The longer he stared, the more he saw chains that weren’t there. “I’m from a world where a single human controls me. Puppets me around. Forces me to act to grant him the power over fate itself. My powers aren’t my own. So if even a tiny bit followed me here, how can I be sure my thoughts are my own? That I’m saying this because I want to and not because someone else is putting the words in my beak?”

His talons curled. “I don’t expect anyone to understand. I can’t trust myself with this thing on. That’s why I’m saying do whatever you think is best. Cuz I can’t join like this. Because it’ll set you up for failure.”
Mhynt wasn't sure how true Nova's words were, and how much were delusions. But if echoes manifested from thoughts and memories, Nova would make it true... Which meant-- "The person who supposedly handles the Board has a solution for the mask. After this meeting, Nova intends to follow through with that offer. Perhaps, on his return, he will have more to report... But." She eyed him. "I am wary about him going alone. Not when we know so little."
“Don’t burden yourselves for my sake,” Nova said. “If this doesn’t work, I’ll just disappear. Assuming what Beetle says is true.” He shook his head. “But even in the worst case, the people who went to see the Rangers can attest I barely hit hard enough to pop a Protect.”
"You mean how we can attest to how we couldn't have succeeded without your help? Anyways," Koa said, shaking his head and turning to Dave. They had to focus on what they could deal with right now. The idea of radiance fascinated him. The power of the saints... "This radiance thing sounds really promising but if we want to ask the Escarpa for help we have another problem. I don't know if any of us are strong enough to. From what little I could research, they're very... reserved? It seems like they don't trust strangers easily without a good show in battle. Unless they allow us to fight as a team, then maybe we have a shot."

Although he was more than willing to try he was reluctant to make a fool of himself, or somehow disrespect them. He wasn't sure if they would be like Ayda, where it had just been sparring, and he'd still lost.
"Hm. I'm familiar with Radiance," Mhynt said. "I don't have the powers now. But if it behaves at all like how it does back home, perhaps I could help with training... when we find a means to gain that blessing."
"Blessing?" Nova's fur bristled. "Like... divine power? You want us pumping ourselves full of that stuff?"
"Depends on the nature of what we're fighting," Mhynt said, humming. "If we're fighting something at that level... we will probably need some form of blessing to keep pace. Granted..." She glanced skyward. "Our cloud buddy might already be doing that to an extent."
Top Bottom