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 stress in the pokecenter, [Starter]
Kite
 Posted: Jul 10 2018, 07:23 PM
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"Ariel, we need that Potion!"

"Please, can't you help my Mandibuzz?"

"Hey, we've been waiting for an hour and a half!"

"Sir, we really do need your help!"

"ARIEL WE NEED ANOTHER HAND!"

This was so not his day. His hair was frizzy from stress, gaining another haggard strand of hair whenever someone else approached him and told him to do something. Usually, Ariel absolutely adored his job. He loved healing Pokemon and reuniting them with their trainers, it gave him such a rush! He gave Nurse Poppy a tired smile as he rushed around the corner, a package of hyper potions firmly tucked under his elbow.

Earlier he had pulled his hair from its ponytail, and the little band was stuffed in one of his lab coat's pockets. The woman who asked for the Potion found a box of them stuffed in her arms, before Ariel turned into the waiting room and gestured for the person with the Mandibuzz to follow him. The angry cries of the family waiting for an hour and a half echoed after him as the man beckoned his dazed Mandibuzz into the room.

"A doctor will see to you in a bit," he said shortly, coming back out to gesture to the angry family with a flick of his wrist. "Right, what can I help you with?" It was a family of five, a single father with four young daughters congregating around his pants. One kid was hiding behind her taller sister's skirts, peering up at him dolefully. "We were supposed to pick up our Joltik and Spinda. Where have you been?"

Oh, this one made him grit his teeth. Grinding his molars down, he exhaled slowly. "Sir, we are extremely understaffed and we can't just drop whatever we're doing to tend to you." He motioned for a local aide that volunteered, gesturing for them to take over for him. This was an exhausting job, at times utterly aggravating, but it was so rewarding. Ariel ran a hand through his dark hair, making it only frizz more from the skin contact.

He pulled it into another low ponytail, taking a moment to stop in the breakroom and rest his forehead against the wall. He just needed to stop for just a moment. Just for a few minutes to pull himself together, get something to drink, then back to work. He shoved his hands into his pants pockets, ignoring the calls of the other doctors for his aid. His short-sleeved t-shirt was tucked into his pants, his lab coat hanging open and loosely off his shoulders.

The Pokemon he usually carried were sleeping in their Pokeballs, located in the lockers. He would get back to work fairly soon, just a few minutes to himself and everything would be fine.

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Jani
 Posted: Jul 12 2018, 10:34 AM
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Although no one else would be able to see it beside Ariel, things suddenly began happening. Ariel would not be returning to complete his shift.

A blindingly bright white flash filled the air above, bright enough to illuminate the world around Ariel for nearly a mile in all directions, passing through all objects and casting no shadows. Time almost seemed to slow for just a moment- or perhaps the next few events happened so fast that his mind could only understand them in slow-motion.

Following the bright flash, the world around Ariel began to dim- first gradually and slowly, and then exponentially. After only a couple of seconds, everything had lost all its light. In the moment absolute darkness was reached, there was another burst of white light; then, plummeting abruptly from the sky and passing through all objects in its path as if it were incorporeal, fell what seemed to be a comet swathed in and trailing a yellow and blue light. It made no sound, and indeed, it seemed as though there was no substance to it. Although it appeared as if it was going to crash directly into Ariel, there were no sounds of impact, no force of impact. Ariel would feel nothing, but he would be blinded by the fierce glow of the shooting star that had nearly plummeted into him.

And then the very air around Ariel seemed to change instantaneously. All sound vanished. The air currents vanished. The ground beneath him vanished, though no sensation of falling accompanied it; if anything, it would feel similar to floating on water. Weightlessness. And everything was black.

As Ariel's vision returned, his eyes would confirm what his other senses may have already told him: he was no longer where he had been mere moments ago. He was... nowhere. He was in blackness. Surrounded. Darkness beneath, above, and on all sides. It was deep and absolute. But right before him, like a single star in a deep space, floated a fairy-like creature, whose brightness was dimming to a much more reasonable, dulled glow than the light he had been exuding previously. As the fae's light faded, his form became discernible; he was somewhat humanoid, but small.

The main part of the creature's body was white; his arms were long and clothed in white sleeves that seemed as much a part of him as anything else. His legs were comparatively short, though he did not seem to use them for much, as he was floating rather than standing. His stomach had an odd crease in it, shaped like an upturned semi-circle. His eyes were large and black, with little green triangles beneath them. There were no eyebrows nor any facial creases to determine his expression with, but the openness of his eyes and the slightly upturned thin lips seemed to indicate contentment and interest.

Atop his head were three pointed, pale yellow extremities- reminiscent of a star- each with a dangling rectangular blue tag that seemed to shiver slightly in a nonexistent wind. The pale yellow growth also came down to frame the sides of the fae's milky white face. Two long, ribbon-like appendages of that same pale yellow color extended from the base of its neck. They levitated delicately behind the creature.

My name is Jirachi.

The voice that this Jirachi spoke with was clear as a bell and was just as cheerful and musical, though it seemed as though it spoke with a slight echo, or as if there were multiple melodic voices speaking nearly at the same time with a slight delay, which would force Ariel to pay close attention to the words if he wanted to be able to understand exactly what being said by the lone companion he had in this strange, empty place.

What do you remember?

It was a question Jirachi needed to ask first. People's memories faded from them at varying rates in this in-between place; some lost all memory immediately upon entry into the void, others lost them gradually during the course of their conversation, and some seemed to retain most of their memories and sense of self all the way until their final moments in the void. It was important to ascertain their level of remembrance at the beginning, as it would affect the style of conversation and the types of questions he could ask.

Are you injured?

If Ariel revealed any injuries, Jirachi would incline his head and the air- or space, or void, or whatever- above Ariel would glitter somewhat, and any injuries would cease hurting, and would be mostly healed by the time Ariel left this in-between worlds to enter the next. But that was the future. This was now, and there were questions to be answered.

@Kite


Welcome to the void between universes. Ariel will begin his journey through this vacuity by conversing with Jirachi, who will learn as much as he can about the human. When Jirachi feels he has learned enough, or if Ariel chooses to end the conversation, Celebi will take the information Jirachi has obtained and present Ariel with a number of challenges- mental or physical- to determine which of the Pokemon that Jirachi suggests would be the best partner for the human. Enjoy!




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Kite
 Posted: Jul 12 2018, 11:22 AM
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He rolled his shoulders, taking in a deep breath and preparing himself to set out into the chaos of the Pokecenter. Only to be immediately blinded by a bright white light. Ariel took a step backwards, blinking rapidly in his confusion to make sense of what was going on. This light... he couldn't see quite yet, but- oh. Why was everything slowing down?

As it did, he could feel a sense of his self dim slightly. The light seemed to be there for an eternity, but it was slowly fading, by the next blink it was gone and everything was dark. However, once it became dark, it once more became illuminated by something that Ariel could only describe as a shooting star- a comet.

Annd.. it was coming straight forward? Ariel took an instinctive step backwards, hand flinging up to block his vision and his eyes squeezing shut. Despite that, he was still blinded from the streak of bright light. Any sound that he recognized as such disappeared, and what he firmly believed was solid ground disappeared beneath his feet.

When Ariel opened his eyes again and cleared his vision of bright white spots, the vast darkness that laid out in front of him made his stomach churn restlessly. The inherent curiosity that was such a part of him was already hammering questions across his mind. Where was he? What was this place? Why was it black? What was he standing on? Is there anything else in here like that Pokemon in front of him?

The fae-like being spoke, it's voice ringing around him in a multitude of ringing voices. A bell, clear and ringing around as if the echo was coming back to speak with each other. It was difficult to discern what he was saying, but as Ariel focused in on the small being, he became forcefully aware that the Pokemon's name was Jirachi. Immediately, the man's mouth went dry.

This Pokemon was important... right? But as he focused in on why this Pokemon was important, his temples began to ache. The moment he relaxed his mind and stopped searching, the pain slightly let off. However, he had to remain focused on the little being in front of him. What was his question? Confusion marred his face briefly as he processed Jirachi's question of "What do you remember?"

Ariel licked his dry lips, trying to focus on his memories this time around. It was like there was a cloud over his mind, causing confusion whenever he tried to remember something. "I... was stepping out to take a break. The others were very demanding and it was like I was being suffocated. I.. oh." His face twisted in concern. "I can't remember where I was." he mumbled under his breath.

Oh. Oh dear. Panic clogged his throat, almost losing his concentration on Jirachi's voice. "No, no I'm not hurt," he blurted out, his voice an octave higher than he would have liked. "I- just- where am I? I was supposed to- I was supposed to-" Ariel couldn't remember what he had been doing, what needed to be done. He muttered under his breath some numbers, trying to calm himself and pushing up the rim of his glasses.

"I'm Ariel," he had to force himself to squeak out, belatedly remembering to introduce himself to the being.

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Jani
 Posted: Jul 16 2018, 02:44 PM
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I am glad you aren't hurt.

Jirachi stated politely, keeping his voice calm even as he heard the panic begin to edge into Ariel's voice as the man continued speaking. It was an understandable reaction, but one that Jirachi tried to soothe if he could. Panic was unpleasant to experience, and was detrimental to his process.

This is an empty space, a place between the old and dying world and the new one I am taking you to.

It was a simple explanation of a more complex idea, but it was all Jirachi really had time for, and it was usually enough of an explanation to satisfy the curiosities and insecurities of most. The human's question answered, he turned his thoughts to what he should ask of him next.

I am tasked with learning a little bit about all those who come through here.

This was both a brief explanation of what he was doing, as well as a way to stall for a moment longer while he solidified what to ask and what to converse about with the limited time they had together here.

You cannot remember anything, so I cannot learn from you that way. So let's try to speak theoretically of the future: what is it that you would like to do or to accomplish?

Hopefully, Ariel retained enough knowledge to answer the questions. Aside from their own personal memories, the amnesia often affected a lot of a person's basic, abstract knowledge as well. Some did not remember what a world populated by humans was like, or even that there were other people that existed. He wouldn't know until he tried, though, so the question still stood as his best potential option to learn about the human.

If that question seemed to be too difficult for the human to answer, Jirachi would pose this question instead:

Let's speak more abstractly, more creatively, if you can. We are here in a dark void. But if you could add colors and shapes and objects to this void, how would you change it? What would it look like?

@Kite



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Kite
 Posted: Jul 17 2018, 10:35 AM
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The more that they conversed, the foggier and heavier his brain felt. The mistier his brain was, it was getting more difficult to remember certain things. Blearily, Ariel rubbed the upper right side of his head (the temple, his mind whispered) as he processed what the little white creature told him. Soo, this dude was named Jirachi. Seemed legit. Why did it seem so familiar?

So when the little yellow and white Pokemon asked him about the future, Ariel hesitated. There was something at the very tip of his tongue, something that he couldn't quite dredge up. However, as his forehead creased and his eyes crinkled slightly in the effort to try to tell the Pokemon what he would like to happen. What was it that he would like to do or to accomplish?

At the moment, he didn't really know. However, his fingers brushed gently over the frames on his face (glasses, his mind whispered again) and the other hand clutched firmly onto the white hem of the sleeve. "I can't quite recall what it's called, and it's a little difficult for me to describe it," he said honestly, seeing no reason to lie to the floating Pokemon.

Though this last question made the man tilt his head. For all that he loved counting things (like the little points on Jirachi's head), making shapes, colors, and objects seemed strangely appealing. Hrm. Well... in his mind's eye, he could see a dark cream color that slowly seeped into the black of the void beneath his feet.

"This would become a cream color," he mused softly as he bent down, fingers curling aorund what wasn't very solid (how was he standing?) and peering curiously around him. Straightening his spine, he gestured around him with his hands and a soft smile of his face. "Perhaps there would be various rectangular prisms about two feet wide and thirteen feet tall? All in a warm, earthy brown."

Hmmm, what else could he see? Ariel closed his eyes contemplatively, turning around and eyeing the void with a faint gleam of curiosity. "A hall, with cream-ish flooring," he said softly, slowly turning back around to face Jirachi. "A long, shag rug in the shade of freshly spilt blood rolls across the middle of the hall. Tall earthy brown pillars hold up a pure white ceiling. At one end, there's a dark wooden table with six chairs around it. On it is a map of some sorts. The walls... the walls behind the pillar are a kind of pale green."

@Jani

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Jani
 Posted: Jul 20 2018, 12:01 AM
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I see.

Jirachi replied, imagining the room well in his mind as Ariel described it. The color of freshly spilt blood caught his attention in particular. Ariel had given more description to that color than the others, and it was a stark contrast to the other, more natural and earthy tones he had selected. Beyond that, it also hinted that the man had a lot of experience with fresh blood. Jirachi was not sure if he should be concerned or not for or about the man, but given the man's lack of memories, there was no use in prying any further into that. He had enough information to proceed now, anyway.

I'll ask one more question.
Do you have any unfulfilled wishes?

As Jirachi spoke, he bowed to the human in a gesture of farewell. If the man was looking at the fae, and was observant in that moment, he would see written upon the three blue tags that dangled from Jirachi's star-shaped headdress, a record of the brief conversation that the two of them had just shared. Each answer he had given was written in compact, scrolling text, as if on some enchanted parchment.

As Jirachi bowed, his dull glow began to increase in brightness. It was gradual, at first, but as he straightened from his bow the lightening was exponential. Before the light became too harsh for Ariel's eyes, Jirachi spoke his goodbyes to the human.

I wish you luck.

With those final words, Jirachi swiftly flew up into the air, his trailing lights of yellow and blue following him as he took a position high above Ariel, finally settling into place as some sort of star or moon, much larger and brighter than the little twinkling stars he had created before in this false sky. He cast a slight bluish light over the black void, though there was nothing yet save Ariel himself for Jirachi's light to illuminate; but soon enough, his surroundings would change.

I am Celebi.

The new voice that greeted Ariel was disembodied; no source revealed itself and it sounded from every direction simultaneously. The voice sounded nearly like a whisper, like a light breeze blowing over a delicate wooden flute; breathy, and yet sober, with full, velvety undertones. The voice was both more feminine and more bold in comparison to Jirachi's. Judging by her next choice of words, she was even more direct than Jirachi, as well.

I desire to test you and thus make a judgement and determine what will await you in your new world.

As the disembodied words reverberated through the inky black void, the human's environment began to change, to come to life. All around, little green saplings- tinted slightly blue by the light that Jirachi was radiating down upon everything- sprouted up out of the nothingness and matured right before the human's eyes into healthy, tall, magnificent trees. Celebi herself remained out of sight, and her voice echoing from all directions.

Do you agree to be challenged?

@Kite



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Kite
 Posted: Jul 20 2018, 11:20 AM
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Ariel stared blankly at the yellow and white being floating in front of him, eyeing the blue parchment like things curiously. Hmm. Any unfulfilled wishes? As far as he was aware... no not really. Maybe whatever he had been doing before he came through to this... void was good enough that he was happy with it. Beneath the emotions of confusion, slight fear, and his previous panic, there was an odd sense of satisfaction.

"Nooo?" He voiced, taking a deep breath and looking around him with some faint curiosity now. Glancing over at the floating fae in some sort of faint bow, he noted that the parchment from his ears was now full of scrolling text. He frowned slightly, but he moved his gaze elsewhere. He didn't want to appear nosy to Jirachi, so Ariel focused on him with a vague sense of uncertainty.

He watched with some dulled alarm as the being began to glow brighter, the shade almost growing harsh, but then a murmured I wish you luck and he was streaking high above Ariel's slightly tilted head. Twinkling lights spread across the void above the man (stars, his mind breathed) the being melting in them and becoming much bigger and brighter than its siblings.

For a moment his mind blanked, did that really happen?

I am Celebi.

Ariel very nearly jumped out of his skin, almost immediately feeling like he should have suspected this. However, nothing really appeared in front of him. Instead the voice reverberated through the void, a slightly breathless quality in it's otherwise somber and full voice. It was a whisper that caressed everything like a soft creek, washing over the void in it's otherwordly, slightly feminine tone.

At least, it sounded more feminine than Jirachi's voice. Nor did he expect her to be much more than direct than Jirachi. At least he could clearly see this one's intentions? He was focused enough that he could only barely see the habitat around him begin to come to life. As he turned his attention to the trees, he could only feel muted surprise come from him as he observed the trees.

How did they come out of nothingness? There had to be something there for them to grow from, and even though there was a bluish tinge to them, that was probably an effect from the glowing stars above him. It had to be faux, though if they were real Ariel could come up with no real reason for them.

They appeared to be fully healthy, baffling Ariel further. Running a hand against his face and causing his glasses to become slightly crooked, he shook his head slightly. His dark eyes crossed briefly as he realized his vision became oddly obscured. Shifting his frames back into position, Ariel stared at the forest of trees around him.

"...Sure?" Ariel felt he really should be asking all sorts of questions about the environment and he was brimming with them. He could barely bite his tongue, his wide and fascinated gaze flitting from tree to tree, settling on the strange sky every now and then.

@Jani

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