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Frontier Town The Wanderin' Zera

Wes was at a loss as to what to say. I’m sorry? Best of luck? That’s rough, buddy? At length, he said, “Well…looks like we’ve all got our own messes to deal with back home. Here’s to hoping we get back safe and sound.” He drank from his glass again.

He perked up as Gerome spoke again. So now he had a name to work with…or, well, two name. Jesse Stranger and Brisa…Escarpa, was it? Luxio? Wes couldn’t help but feel these two had to have some connection, somehow. He nodded along to Dave’s question and waited for Gerome’s response.
"Vigoroth named Jaak, helped us get here. Seemed very gung-ho about humans. Immediately volunteered Stranger as a historical human, said he hadn't met him himself but some relative or friend or something had, that he was a great hero who stopped some crisis." Dave picked up his glass again. "Of course, given all you said earlier, the whole big enthusiasm about humans sounds a lot less cute. Think he's with the supremacist people? Is Stranger with them?"

He turned back to Wes, lifting the glass as he raised an eyebrow. "To getting home to deal with our respective messes. Hope you manage to get the hell out of Orre."

He took a swig of the drink. It was definitely catching up with him. He suspected Gerome would kick him out if he tried to get another one after this, anyway. Whatever.
Wes watched Gerome’s reaction carefully. The guy wasn’t eager to give up details, and Wes didn’t want to get on his bad side by prying too much. Instead, he addressed one of Dave’s questions. “Don’t think Jaak is one of those types. For one, he never said he was human himself. And for another, he seemed to treat us all fairly, whether everyone admitted to being human or not.”

He kept his voice low and his face impassive as he spoke. “And if Jaak isn’t part of that crowd…then it seems to follow that this Stranger guy isn’t, though no guarantees there. We don’t know enough about him yet to say one way or another.”
"Mm. I'll be nervous about anyone obsessed with humans nowadays, if y'ask me." Gerome shrugged. "Call me a conspiracy theorist like Dayle if you want, but obsessions are creepy. It's only one step away from worship, and we all know where that goes.

Dunno of Jesse's with those supremacists. Doubt it. If he is, dunno if it's by choice. Who knows. Times change."
Dave waved the glass vaguely in Wes's direction. "Eh, I've encountered enough bigots to know you can't always tell. People who seem perfectly normal and sane until the day they casually bring up they believe the most batshit racist conspiracy theory you've ever heard. Sometimes people manage to believe in the superiority of races that aren't even their own. You can't reason about bigotry. It's a fucking force of nature. Works in mysterious ways."

Sounded like Gerome was pretty much on the same page. Dave nodded fiercely at the mention of worship. As for Stranger... Well, sounded like at least when Gerome'd known him he wouldn't have joined up with that crowd. But who knew, if he hadn't talked to the guy in a long time.
"Mm. Sounds to me like I won't have to worry about either of you looking at Pokemon as tools or fodder to lead." Gerome nodded. "That's good. Hope the rest of your ilk're the same way, or we're gonna have problems."

There was... something extra in that last word. Was it protectiveness? Disdain? Fear? But it was an emotion. And that was rare.
The word tools brought a bitter taste to Wes’s mouth that had nothing to do with the alcohol. He replied in a low growl. “I know Pokémon here are different from my world, but rest assured, I will be the last person to treat them like tools.”

His lip curled. He thought of Neo and Novo, of the other Shadows and their empty, haunted eyes. Of the way Trudly and Folly spoke about them as if they were nothing more than pieces of machinery.

He drained the last of his glass and snarled. “When we find those thugs, I’ll be more than happy to give them a piece of my mind.”

He may have been powerless to do much in Orre, but he would be damned if he couldn’t do something about such lowlives here.
Dave gave a lopsided half-grin at the conviction in Wes's voice. At least here was a guy who'd go to bat against injustice. Could always use more of those in the world.

"Yeah, I don't know about all the rest of the arrivals, but rest assured if we've been saddled with any fascists-in-waiting for this I'll be having some fucking words with the cloud."

He chugged down the rest of his glass. Everything here was backwards, the notion of being here to advocate Pokémon equality bizarre. But over here, they were people. Obviously people. That should've been the fucking end of it.

"Thanks for the drinks, and the talk," he said, standing up and digging some money out of one of the pouches on his belt. "See you around."

[[OOC note for Namo: talked with Jackie/Chibi and rather than try to get into the weird headache of Why Dave Would Go To The Bar With No Money we are assuming he did in fact first Obtain Money offscreen]]
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Gerome nodded idly and then looked at Wes. "You two take care," he said. "World here is... nicer than what I've heard from you. But it's still got problems... just as many fer folks like you.

"If somethin' seems hairy, lay low. You're not strong enough to take on the world's problems yet. And some folks don't have the will t' bother in the first place."
Wes grunted at Gerome’s reassurance. “Nice to know this place isn’t as much of a wreck as Orre, at least.” Not that that was a high bar to clear, but still.

He nodded to Dave. “Likewise. Was a…pleasure chatting with you both.” Pleasure wasn’t quite the right word for it, but to be honest, Wes had no idea if there was a word for their interaction. He’d learned a lot more than he bargained for, that was for sure.

He acknowledged Gerome with a grateful nod and hopped from his seat, testing his weight on his tender leg. Better than before, after some drinks and sitting for a while. Wes wasn’t sure how to feel about the slight buzz from the drinks—probably hadn’t been the best idea to drink so much in such a small body. But whatever, it would be fine.

“See you around, then,” he said to Dave on his way out the door. “And, uh. Best of luck.” Was that a weird thing to say? He had no idea.

Then, ever so slightly unsteady on his feet, he pushed through the saloon doors and back out into the desert heat.

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Ch01: Opposite sides of the law
It was a nifty Saturday morning when Kalas found itself at a table at the Zera, mulling over his lack of understanding. The place was nice enough that the Spearow could come in and have something to drink while he ran through his notes, thinking of how to get some pointers towards the underworld of the town.


Kalas gave the table a frustrated peck. He had to admit, Forlas did not function like back home. And between the dreams and the tiredness of the few last days having gone in a daze, as if he had been absent from them, didn't really help.
Lyle drifted into the Wanderin' Zera, much as he had over the past couple days since meeting Mhynt. Nothing had really stood out to him that he hadn't already seen at the Sun Stone Saloon... except for Gerome's baffling ability to seemingly mold sand around as he pleased. That was definitely different.

He started to make his way over towards the counter, when a thumping noise pricked his ears. He turned and spotted a Spearow pecking at one of the tables, which made him tilt his head with a puzzled frown.

"Something the matter, Spearow?" he asked. "Didn't think your kind was the type to find wood tasty."
"Something the matter, Spearow?" he asked. "Didn't think your kind was the type to find wood tasty."

Kalas gave the Cyndaquil a glare. "Ha ha. Well, was this outside a town, wood is where to find the morning worm. And the name's Kalas."

He shuffled some of his notes, quick included quick rundowns of outlaw notices and a makeshift map of the town, and made an attempt to sort them out. He spoke in a somewhat hushed voice. "As it happens, I'm... new around here, and I'm trying to figure out how to track down a group of people. As for you..." he looked the Cyndaquil up and down, "you are with the group of 'new' too, right?"
"…Kalas. Name's Kalas." The Spearow pointed a wing at the nearest conveniently placed chair. "Started here, and been mostly wandering ever since. How about you?"
Kalas held a long stare trying to think back of what to say to someone who had been pretty much left for dead somewhere off civilization. The Spearow had to admit, the ones of the party to spawn right into the town had been lucky; the cloud authority in charge of this mission hadn't even let them start with a map!

In the end he gave a nod. "At least you made it out of that one. I can't speak for all the others but," he offered a few notes, mostly copies of notices from around town and a few [WANTED] posters, "it seems so long as you have clothes and a job around here, things work out. I'm still looking out for a job though... what about you?"
"Oh, I lined up an apprenticeship a few days back, but..."

Lyle trailed off after seeing the wanted posters. Boy did those faces look familiar.

"... Those are the same 'mons that ditched me and my group in the desert," he said. "Where did you get these from?"
"... Those are the same 'mons that ditched me and my group in the desert," he said. "Where did you get these from?"

"...What, they *are*?"

Kalas looked at the papers once more. He had not considered the notices to be of much value, considering he was not up to the challenge of going after them personally. Certainly not starting with the Floragato.

He turned to Lyle.

"...These outlaws are truly despicable! Abandoning a good Pokémon to the whims of life and death. Pah!" He was quick to scramble some pointers on one of the notices and handed it over to Lyle. "There's notices of them in various places around town... rather set up in random places, I'd have to say. But I'm sure the group has already caught wind of this, so maybe if we ask around we can sign up to some outlaw-hunting group!"
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