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Open Tale of the Dustborn


It's feeding time
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Night had fallen upon the forest of concrete towers where the pale ones made their homes. With most of them currently in their dwellings eating, resting or doing whatever they choose to do, the streets were now safe for the wild Pokémon that lived amongst the pale ones. It was a risk in and of itself, but in return food and shelter was plentiful. Though with the sudden influx of Pokémon appearing in the area, that particular saving grace was losing it's credibility.

Climbing up one of the concrete towers still in construction was the orange reptile, this time follow by a group of various other creature. Having reached the highest level still with stable footing, the reptile turned towards the group, seemingly satisfied with herself.

"Right then." She said, crossing her arms. "Sorry I had to drag you all over the place, I would have taken the underground path but a certain one of you wouldn't have fit in there, you dig?"

She turned her head and pointed towards a dilapidated structure adjacent to the one the group was currently on. "That right there's my pack's place, and it's most likely going to be your place as well, because you won't survive on your own, and no offence but no other pack wants your sort."

She turned towards the group and once again crossed her arms. "With that said, I'm not going to force any of you to join, so you in or not?"
"Wh-what do you mean..I mean...why does no other pack want us?" Ayame stammered. "I'm just...so confused."

Ayame pawed at the ground.

"I can't even remember anything. Everything...just hurts." she muttered. "I know something occurred...but what...I don't know."

Ayame looked at the reptile.

"I have no other choice." she said. "I accept your invitation. Maybe you can tell us something that will jog our memories."

Vincente looked about, seeing that they were up several dozen feet above the ground, and that this was likely going to a busy place the next morning. He saw that the Pokémon who had been leading the group was looking at another structure, and made indication's that would be the future home for most of the group.

"So there's somethin' off about us, eh? Somethin' no one else is willing to risk the chance on, save you? Well that's real damned reassuring!" Vincente remarked in a grumpy tone. "You're our one saving grace, eh, only hope? Well fine, then it looks as though there's little other option, I accept your invitation."

"Begrudgingly" Vincente remarked in the back of his head. He knew he was likely lashing out due to his current discomfort, which also confused him, how could he be uncomfortable in a body, it's not as though he were a ditto that could just freely change form, nor was it possible to suddenly have a new body. This, of course, didn't change the fact that he wasn't going to apologize, no sense in it, at least not to him.
Too many secrets. Abserath could feel them, like... thorns or claws, she supposed, sharp but unable to pull them out yet. Not until she figured out what they were. She had kept her tongue for most of the journey, if only because she also had to struggle with something even more unnerving than so little knowledge. They went hand in hand, really - how little she knew and the feeling of once knowing more. Of having more to herself, more... people? Allies? More memories, maybe? It was impossible to guess. Just a pang of longing and resentment that she had lost... whatever it was.

She wanted to find that again. Or at least find out why she had lost it.

Turning her attention back to their motley group, she tapped her claws on the ground. "Because rushing in to such an offer is clearly the best decision we could make right now," she drawled. "Why don't the other packs want our sort? Can you give us any proof? Why are you willing to have us?" She tilted her head, the tapping picking up in tempo before she ceased it completely. "Having some of my... some of our questions answered would make me far more inclined to consider joining." The question of just what their sort was still lingered. Answers. She needed some, and soon - but being any more insistent would probably not do any good.

It wasn't that she was unwilling to join this pack, if it helped her survive. She needed to live, after all, if she wanted to seek out those secrets, find what was hidden and cut it to ribbons. But things were rarely every clear-cut - she wasn't sure if that was memory or intuition that told her that - and besides, the way the first two had agreed so quickly was aggravating. Couldn't any of them think for themselves, outside of what this stranger had told them? They were all pathetic, clearly.
Blake sat looking out the half-finished walls and saw the sparkling lights of the concrete jungle below, thinking about what to do. He was confused, no doubt about that. He was also drained from climbing, and he felt as though he had been woken up moments ago. Worst of all, he didn't feel quite right. His legs had barely managed to carry him to where he was, and his arms felt strangely light. Even his fingers were hard to coordinate. He had tripped several times on the way up, which wasn't normal for him at all.

"At least, I don't think it's normal for me," he thought to himself. " Probably just groggy. I mean, I've always been in this form... right? I can't remember when I evolved... Actually, I can't remember much of anything right now. The only thing I can fully say I know is that my name is Blake."

Behind him, the group of Pokemon he had traveled up with were regarding their "savior" with mixed emotions. Tones of anger and confusion drifted toward him, jarring him out of his pseudo-meditative state. The Zorua and the Ninetales had agreed to go with this reptile.

"Probably out of fear. I'd go with them too... I mean, it's apparently the only option now. But still, I wonder if she has anything to do with this mental fog I'm experiencing... She may at least know something about it. I'm not that keen on traveling with the first friendly face I've seen. Especially since it's the only face I've really seen so far. I can't remember any faces either. Did I have any friends? Any family? None of these people look familiar..."

Blake picked up the black scalchop from his side. He turned it over in his hands several times. The two shells, one white and one black, had been the only things that had felt familiar to him so far. He couldn't remember where they were from, or why they were colored like they were, but they felt comfortable in his hands. Just having something that felt like it belonged was reassuring to him.

The Weavile then began talking, asking for answers.

"Heh. Answers would be good. Might be a good idea to listen to what this reptile has to say about us. Not that she'll tell us anything. I have a feeling there's something bigger here than just a bit of confusion. If she does though... Might help me make the right decision."

Blake sat silent, still turning over the shell. He did, however, make sure to listen to whatever else was going to be said.
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Gestahl was only half listening (or rather, one-third listening) to what that reptilian creature was saying. He knew going in that the only sensible thing would be to go with whatever route promised life, for that route meant he could continue his... mission. No, not mission, he chided himself, mission implies that it was assigned by a higher power. This is a course I've taken on my own terms, and it's a necessary one. So perhaps... no, terminology can wait. Focus on the current task at hand.

Said "task at hand" was the simple act of trying to steady himself. This body was carried on six skeletal wings and only two legs, and thus was better suited for flying everywhere as opposed to walking. However, it was the fact that these wings were six in number that made moving so difficult. If he wished to even hover, Gestahl would have to flap all six wings in a perfect rhythm, and so far he hadn't yet found said rhythm. In the time that had passed since he'd woken up, the Hydreigon's movements had consisted of either clumsily half-flying around for a good thirty seconds, or simply trudging. Neither movement type was dignified for him. Neither movement type was befitting.

So that led to what he was doing as the orange thing was speaking: trying to flap his six wings correctly and steadily enough to actually hover. He didn't care about the specifics of whatever was going on right now; they meant next to nothing. What did matter was that this reptile was giving them... a second chance, he supposed. Another opportunity to make their life... something again, instead of the nothing it was when he awoke.

As for what his once was? Well, that was hardly relevant.

Yet now, even in the face of this empty world - no, the world that is waiting to be empty - one of the number was already questioning. That... Weavile was questioning the reptile. In doing so, she was potentially singling herself out among the group, making her an easy target.

"I accept your offer," one of his heads said offhand, and I look forward to seeing what consequences result from that acceptance.
Xander was wondering exactly how the hell he got here.
After being woken up by the mysterious Pokemon, he had run a quick diagnostic which revealed that he was physically fine- though his memory cores were deeply corrupted. Curious to what he did have on file, he spent the whole adventure with his body on autopilot and his mind perusing the entirety of his databanks. Or, rather, he stopped five folders later after he found a huge stash of D&D 7e documents.

Man, that game was confusing.

Well! Back to the task at hand- running back through the footage of their romp through the city at 7.158x speed.


Wow, everything looks weird going that fast.
Caught up, Xander turned towards the orange stranger.

"Before I contemplate your proposition, I must ask: who are you, and what makes us so peculiar as to discourage others from accepting us into their 'packs'?"
Aennix glanced around him. "It is quite the motley crew we have around here", he thought to himself. He blinked his eyes and the beings around him suddenly flared as their auras glowed around them. He blinked again and the blazing auras disappeared, at least, he thinks they were auras. He honestly had no idea. It was just a feeling he had inside of him. For all he knew everyone, including himself, were burning with fire that only he can see. He looked down at his paw and blinked. As he did so he saw his paw pad glow with a sort of dark fire, although he did not feel anything sinister coming from it. He sighed to himself. This 'aura' is something he has to investigate. Who knows? Maybe he can weaponize it... Wait, what was he doing again?

Oh yes. This lizard. He glanced around him once more taking in the group he has found himself in. It was true no other pack took him in, escpecially when he when he first woke up and was completely disoriented. It was odd inside this body. It was alien. He grinned to himself. "Oh well. More things to learn about," he gladly thought to himself. "And more secrets to be discovered all around me." He was vaguely aware that the others were talking. He didn't pay much attention. "I think they agreed...?" he asked to himself.

And then the weavile asked her question. "Answers? I would very much like answers."

"Join you? First I would very much like answers to the questions these other... People ask. However, I doubt we have that much choice in the matter, do we?"
The reptile sighed, scratching her head as she did.

"Talkative lot, aren't you," she said, "But really, I think that came out wrong. I'm not gonna force you to make a choice right now." Not that they have a lot of other options, she though to herself as she rolled her eyes. "I can't really give you any answers right now, except one. No other pack's gonna take your sort in because Metrophanes is out for your blood and no one wants to mess with Metrophanes's lot."

The reptile stopped for a bit, took a deep breath, and then continued. "Alright, listen. My job is beating up intruders not answering questions, you dig? If you want answers, then there's a guy in the building over there who will give them to you. Just trust me for a sec, will you?"

Having said that, the reptile turned towards the derelict building again and started yelling.

"Oi, Stanford!"

A figure made out of grey and red stone with what looked like metallic facial hair looked out the window and seemed most delighted when it noticed the reptile standing on the other side. "Good evening, Beat." It said, "I cannot help but notice you seem to have made plenty of new acquaintances."

"Whatever." The reptile responded. "Just get the wine pile over here so we can get across, will you?"

"Of course, Wait just a moment." the stone figure said and disappeared into the building again. The reptile turned back to the group once more.

"Give him a while, once we get inside you'll get all the answers we can give you."
Amber didn't know what to do. All of these people... er, Pokémon, wanted answers. She did too of course, but she wouldn't be so vocal... yet. So she started with looking at her unfamiliar body. She was covered in soft white fur, with little paws just the same.

She turned her head to look around, and noticed then hr nose was running. So not thinking, she sniffed, and went about looking at the others as it dripped again. Amber felt a small sense of panic. She couldn't figure out what she was and her nose was running. Was it possible for her to be sick and not even realize it. Looking back up at the reptile, she decided she had to ask if it knew anytin.

Standing and walking unsteadily, falling onto all fours at least twice and with her nose still running, she approached the reptile. She's much bigger than I thought she was...

"Um... excuse me. I can't really remember what I am. Could you tell me why it is that my nose keeps running?" Amber asked, sniffing a few times to emphasize her question.
More of the group agreed to join, and a few others reiterated a need for answers. Good - some of them weren't entirely stupid or prone to being fed knowledge. Not that it would help them - as soon as possible, she would do her best to free herself from both group and this pack. She was not, in any way, a team player - she knew that, even if everything else seemed hazy. Despite all these holes and secrets, she knew who she was.

"That's acceptable," she said now, eyes narrowed at the mention of someone called Metrophanes. A leader of another pack? She couldn't be sure, of course - best to wait until she had the answers that were promised. Abserath clicked her claws on the ground again, the pace slower now, more idle as she thought. This pack could be useful for some time, and if she aided them, played along for a little while... she could learn more. Perhaps as much as she needed to know before she made her own path. Yes... it seemed like a good enough plan for now.

The others were, well, an incredibly motley group. From the hulking golem and hydra to... the far less imposing cub that was speaking now. Most of them seemed strong - as much as one could judge strength by appearances - and she was certain that she too was powerful. She didn't know how just yet, but... another secret to uncover, something else to learn. If she was strong, she would need that. From what their reptilian guide had said, this place was not welcoming or merciful. Well, neither was she. Regardless, she would have to stick with the group a little longer, and then...

Things would work out.
Blinking both sets of eyes, Polito scurried quietly out of hiding within the shadow of the strange blue mechanical individual, whose bulk he had been using to shield himself from view up until this point. He'd been watching and listening very closely, attempting to profile all the people who'd spoken out.

"I'll accept your offer too, with gratitude! By doing this you're probably saving most of our lives after all." he spoke out in a simpering voice, regarding the orange reptile with what was the closest he could come to a duchenne smile, pushing up his lower eye muscles and nodding his head feverently. Ambling along with his four legs somewhat awkwardly, he made his way over to the sniffling young bear cub and reached out to wipe away the drippy mess from under her nose with one of his feelers. The sensation itself was disgusting... but he forced himself to do it, and to be seen doing it by the group assembled here.

Quite frankly, this whole situation delighted him. The people here were desperate - every last one of them! Even if some of them were too proud to admit it. Asking pointless questions as a way to try and make themselves feel like they had some control, or even a choice in the matter. This unnamed pack were desperate enough that they needed members... and apparently nobody else wanted them. It wasn't hard to guess why from the way most of them - himself included - could barely even walk properly.

This offer to join a larger group was a lifeline. So what if it was done for the wrong reasons?
Metrophanes. Yet again, Gestahl extracted from the conversation the only thing that actually mattered to him. The only thing he felt would seriously affect his life in the immediate future. He knew not who (or what) they were, of course. But that was hardly relevant. What was relevant was that this... Beat fellow said that they wanted him killed.

"These 'Metrophanes' are clearly the enemy, then," one of his heads hissed, "and if you can be informative about their capabilities... I suppose all the more reason to trust you." He let another head eye the others of the crowd. That insectoid, willing to go along with the lifeline thrown to them, was one that he could trust, for now. The... Cubchoo, so lacking in complete understanding of her form, was a liability, one likely unfit for what this world threw at them.

"And if entering that dwelling is what it takes to learn what I require, then... there's nothing left to wait for." He trudged forward, well aware that his flying wasn't quite... prepared yet. He was still far from accustomed to what this shape was fully capable of. No matter yet, he thought, if things continue as they are, I will have a good enough deal of time to... prepare. Prepare to become what I rightfully should be.
She flinched slightly at the sudden helpful... bug. Amber didn't know what it was about it but something seemed... off about it. And he seemed to look fairly different from what she could remember about that spider-like creature. Wait... how do I know he looks different? Ugh, this is going to be a very long process of remembering...

She decided just to ignore it and try to have a conversation with it. "Hi... um, thank you for that but it doesn't really help... my nose keeps running and running. You look sort of odd too... is that fur on you? I'm... furry too. I've got these white paws and white body, although I think my face is blue." She sniffed before continuing. "And I actually think I would like to ride on your back... I don't think I'm too heavy and I can try to do something for you in return when we get to safety... and well, I can't see very well over the others." Amber smiled at the creature, doing her best to be social and get something out of it.

Although right now she didn't feel happy, sad, or angry, so she was hoping her smile would seem real. "Oh, yes, my name is Amber... I'm pretty sure. I don't really remember much anyway, because I don't really know what I am and I'm not too sure what you are... hahaa." She sniffed again before smiling once more

Something snapped, or tweaked in Vincente's mind. Little progress had been made, save for a Probopass being called to get something out so they could enter the hideout, or den, or whatever. Let alone the fact that the little Cubchoo nearby was starting to get on his nerves, the sniffing and such. Despite his sudden urge to rant, he held it back, as he knew it was best to pay attention, such as to the statement regarding another pack leader, one who, apparantly, wanted this specific crowd of Pokemon dead and gone. Vinente found it difficult to believe that one pack leader could single out a crowd of Pokemon of this size and variety in the night that they all, apparantly, arrived.

"WHY DOES THIS "METROPHANE'S" WANT US DEAD!" Vincente shouted, using the illousion of a Loudred to exemplify the auditory volume he was aiming for. And that startled him, as he wasn't awar he had the ability to cast illousion's near him. A sudden timid urge forced him to scrunch, as he had startled himself, and no doubt everyone was staring at him by this point...
Beat leaned against a large stack of bricks, sighing. It wasn't hard to figure out by her the body language that she didn't really want to be where she was currently.

There was talking, a few questions she could answer. And someone yelling really, really loudly, which startled her.

"Dude, not cool." she said accusingly towards the Zorua. Then she sighed again.

"Regarding your question," she then said, pointing towards the Hydreigon. "The problem with Metrophanes's pack is that's really big. Most of them are just pussies who want to feel strong by being in the biggest group around these parts."

Beat stopped for a moment, crossing her right leg over her left.

"The only members we know off worth mentioning are Helel, a Banette and master prick. Alexander, a Tyranitar and Metrophanes's right hand and lastly Metrophanes himself."

She stopped again, this time crossing her arms.

"Metrophanes wants you all dead because he's a goddamned lunatic." Beat pointed toward the side of her and spun her finger to accentuate her point. "That's why the boss wants to let you join, he seems Metrophanes's actions as pointless, systematic slaughter. He pretty much wants protect you."

Beat sighed once more, turning her head towards the derelict building.

"It's very like him to do such things."
Polito let out a nervous laugh, "Eheh... hehehe?" as an attempted response to the Cubchoo's sudden attempt to latch onto him, quite literally. The bear seemed quite content to invite herself up on his back without even a second thought. How... very forward. Backing away slowly, he felt no inclination whatsoever to allign himself in a symbiotic partnership with the creature, having intended his gesture to be a show of support and nothing more.

Besides, there were far more appealling candidates to choose from. The hydra for instance - he classified the obstacle presented by Metrophanes as an immediate concern and declared him an enemy abruptly. Wasting no time in worrying over petty matters like their amnesia... instead remaining focused on the here and now, where they could not afford the luxury of being distracted by too many things at once. The others were a comparatively fussy and rambunctious lot. Empathizing with the orange lizard for being the one to deal with all their eccentricities, he scuttled after the Hydregion, following him inside the structure.

Leaving the others behind temporarily, where they could continue to pester their host with inane matters of limited concern, he managed to match the rather slow pace of the three-headed lizard. Falling into a scurrying stride beside him as he trundled along on his stubby legs. Making no attempt to interact with the dragon beyond a single moment of shared eye-contact, he instead stuck close to his side, as if imitating his shadow. Showing his support non-verbally with that simple gesture alone.
Aennix grunted. "Well, I guess I will have to accept that... For now." He sighed as the lizard explained what this Metrophanes is. "That... What is he, a gang leader or something? Anyway, he sounds like a pain, and insane. Nether of which you want to be after your blood. And I prefer my blood inside my body thank you very much." He turned his gaze to the Probopass, named Stanford apparently. "So he has answerrs eh?" He asked himself. "I guess that's better then nothing." His mind raced at all of the possiblities of what is going on. He had to know why this Metrophanes wants to kill them. Maybe he can sneak off and spy on them? Perhaps join them? No, that is stupid. He wants them dead after all. Maybe he can- He stops himself and brings his paws up the length of his chest as he breathes in and pushes down as he breathes out. "Stop it. You're getting obsessed again." He hadn't noticed but he was shaking.

He sat down on a comfortable looking piece of rubble and sat cross legged. It was not comfortable. He was about to gather psychic energy around him in order to calm himself down when a spider seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. Or at least, he hadn't noticed the diminutive spider. He shook his head as he began to gather psychic energy around him again. Soon his obsessiveness slowly melt away... For now at least.
Ayame nodded.

"That makes sense," she said. "....Sorta."

Thoughts nagged at the back of her mind though.

The creature said it was like the boss to do such things. But wouldn't it make this group more of a target? Why would he risk his life for us? Unless he's gonna use us in some way. But how....why did I give this group my trust?

Ayame let out a whimper as the bad thoughts continued to multiply.
Finally, some answers - even if they were still less than she liked, Abserath could hardly complain. Given that their guide had seemed close-mouthed and secretive before, even these scraps were welcome. Of course, they had to be taken with some suspicion, but... still useful, nevertheless. "Your boss sounds quite... sympathetic," she said now, feathered ears twitching. It wasn't quite sarcasm, but for someone to be so nice to complete strangers, well.... Perhaps it was just pack politics, or an urge to protect innocents from someone corrupt and quite possibly insane. "How nice of him to want to protect us, when we have so little idea of what's going on." She straightened up and shook her head. "There really is nothing else to do than to trust you." The hydra was already moving - along with a spider she hadn't noticed before following along, almost shadowing him.

Were factions already beginning to form, this early on? Well, it didn't matter. Let them split up or stick together - she wanted no part of it. She'd play along for now, of course, learn as much she could about the packs, but then... she'd go off on her own, once she was sure of more than a loss of memory. The others were no concern of hers.

There really was no point in just waiting around here, especially with the occasionally inane comments and actions of the others. Perhaps they suffered the same loss of memory and knowledge she had, but they didn't have to be so... well, stupid. After a moment, she followed the other two. It was time to move, and seek out anything that could help her. She had learned all that she could just standing around and gossiping.
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