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 Boomerang, Give me all you got [Development]
Amissa
 Posted: May 15 2018, 03:12 AM
Quote


Player


[[Takes place directly following Try Everything]]
[[Development goals are to gain loyalty and experience for all pokemon involved]]
[[Two Crater City residents training on the field without a (paid) professional]]


Soren hurried to finish up his work as quickly as possible. Luckily, he seemed to be growing more skilled at handling Genesis. Either that or she was learning to better anticipate what he wanted and identify his verbal and body language. It was probably a combination of both, but for whatever reason the second half of the day passed much more easily than the first. It helped also that the cart became lighter and lighter the more deliveries that they made. The sun was beginning to set as they headed back to the farm, and Genesis and Soren both felt almost cheerful. Soren could hardly wait to meet up with the ambassador so that he could learn more about how to train and care for his pokemon. Genesis, however, just wanted to have her tack removed so that she could eat, rest, and relax.

As soon as Soren got Genesis home and into the barn, he scrambled to undo all of the straps and fasteners. Once free, Genesis gave a deep sigh of relief and shook her body all over, sending up a cloud of dust that had collected in her hair from being on Crater City's roads all day. Soren sneezed and put the tack away. "You need a good brush, but we don't have time right now. We need to hurry so that we can meet with the ambassador for training." Soren told her as she watched him expectantly.

She personally had no interest in training after she'd already worked hard all day. She'd only told him that she wanted to train because she'd thought it would make him take her tack off sooner. All she wanted to do now was sleep and eat. Genesis tapped her empty food barrel with a hoof and looked at the boy. "We'll have to eat on the go today, girl. I'm hungry too." Soren told her as he began stuffing his bag with carrots and apples for her to eat later. They'd had to skip lunch since they'd started off so far behind. He'd need to feed Cumulonimbus too. His mareep hadn't been out of his pokeball all day.

Soren had been torn about whether it was a better idea to keep his mareep in his pokeball while he and Genesis worked or if he should let the mareep out and leave him on the farm. Having the lamb out of his pokeball and trying to follow them in the crowded, dusty streets as they worked seemed like a serious hazard. However, Nimbus was so young that Soren was afraid of what he'd get up to even in a relatively safe place like the farm without supervision. Thus, Soren had opted to carry the mareep along even if it made him feel guilty that he hadn't had time to play with him. He packed even more carrots and apples and a couple of berries too for treats.

Genesis didn't like the way Soren was behaving, and she didn't intend to cooperate with this madness. He called her when he went to leave the barn, but she stayed in her stall. She laid down, and when Soren came to check why she wasn't following, she pretended to be asleep. Soren was just as tired as she was though, and he didn't have patience for this. He simply tapped the button on Genesis's pokeball so that she was sucked inside. She didn't have to walk if she wanted a short rest, but he wasn't going to miss training tonight.

Soren quickly ran inside the farmhouse and grabbed a large chunk of cornbread made with vegetables and herbs that he found on the counter. The other workers, including Soren's father were gathered around on a blanket on the floor where they normally sat together for their evening meals.

"Hey, where do you think you're going?" Ivka demanded, shooting Soren a glare.

"I have to go! I told Ambassador Aster that I was going to meet with him to train my pokemon." Soren explained. The others regarded him with wide eyes. His father looked surprised, but he didn't comment.

"Oh, you're so full of it!" Ivka accused, but instead of retaliating verbally, Soren looked at her with his eyes crossed and his tongue hanging out grotesquely before bolting right back out the door with his stolen prize.

Now all he had to do was skip on back to the ambassador's house. Hopefully he'd still be waiting, but if not he'd already told Soren where to find him. Before he left the farm though, he passed Ivka's personal flower garden. The spring had brought up a riot of colorful blossoms. Soren briefly looked left and right to see if anyone was watching him, and finding himself unattended, pulled out his bone knife. He cut the stems of a few flowers, lilies, gaillardias, queen of the prairie, black eyed susans, daisies, and lupines. They were the kind of flowers that grew like wild weeds on the plain, but Soren thought they were beautiful anyway. Once he'd arranged what he thought was a passable bouquet, he ran off through the farm's gate.

By the time he reached the ambassador's house, the sun was low in the sky casting everything in hues of deep lavender but for an orange glow to the west.

@Rixie

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Rixie
 Posted: May 23 2018, 09:53 PM
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Lore


When the boy hurried off, Avery watched him for a few moments before turning back to the house. He hmm'd thoughtfully and entered the house, slamming the door behind him. Rachel was nowhere in sight. She was probably in her room, or in the kitchen. It didn't matter. Avery crossed over to the far side of the living room and stared down at the shelf that rested beside a writing desk. A very small library of leather and wood-bound books sat there, a fortune's worth of knowledge and cloth. He shifted a few of the smaller ones at the edge out of the way, revealing an enormous tome that was pressed against the back of the shelf. Pulling it out, he rested it on the writing desk, spine first, and allowed it to fall open. He was extraordinarily careful with the pages. Luckily they were made of a fairly durable cloth, but he still took extreme caution to flip slowly and gently.

Bluebell grumbled with boredom and ended up curling into a ball in the corner. She fell asleep and quietly snoozed as Avery found the entry he was looking for.

He pulled a scrap of writing cloth out of the small drawer under the desk, a quill, and a small pot of black ink. First he wrote down a few generally known facts about the rare Pokémon. There wasn’t as much there as there was for some other Pokémon, but it was better than nothing. It boiled down to: “Normal/Psychic. Plains-dwelling herbivore. Tail has own central nervous system (CNS), bites anything too close, alerts main CNS of potential danger.”

Then, glancing at the book, he made a list of moves and abilities that Girafarigs were normally found with, as well as a list of moves that were possible for it to learn through dedicated training. He frowned at the scrap and added a few definitions, realizing that some of these may very well be beyond the scope of what was taught in school. Common, simple moves like Tackle and Ember probably didn’t merit much explanation, but differences between moves like Psybeam and Psychic were probably worth explaining. His handwriting was large, but the letters were squeezed close together horizontally. Even so, he needed a second sheet of cloth before long.

Eventually he finished. He closed up the ink and carefully laid the two sheets of writing cloth aside to dry. With that done, he found himself flipping to the next page, reading it, and flipping to the next. The boy probably wouldn’t be back until past dinner time. He settled himself down for a session of reading and reviewing the book that he’d already read many times before.

Hours later, the spring sun was beginning to set, and Avery rubbed his eyes. The light was starting to grow dim, so he very carefully closed the book and almost lovingly returned it to its place at the back of the bookshelf. He rearranged the other books, hiding the masterpiece that had taken him many hundreds, possibly even thousands, of hours to copy.

Something smelled good, and he realized Rachel had slipped right past him while he was reading and was now humming loudly in the kitchen. Bluebell was gone, too. His mouth watered when he realized he’d forgotten to eat lunch, and he lumbered to the joint kitchen-dining room. He stood at the entrance for a while, frowning slightly, partially out of habit, and partially because Bluebell was following Rachel’s every step, eagerly licking the tiled floor whenever a splash or drop of food escaped from Rachel’s busy hands.

"Bluebell," he growled. The young lion chirruped in alarm and her tail flew straight into the air. She promptly slinked away, going to join her much better-behaved mother and sit at the corner of the room. She flopped on the cool, stony floor and turned lamplike eyes on Avery.

He sighed slightly, but in a few moments Rachel came up to him, holding a bowl full of a hearty meat soup. "You should eat before you head out, Ave. Careful, it's hot," she pressed the bowl into his hand, followed by a large, rock spoon. He gave a small nod and took the bowl to the table, pushing a chair out of the way. It was hot. Too hot to eat comfortably. He didn't let that stop him, though, hastily shoveling spoonfuls of it into his mouth.

He paused to chew, and felt Rachel's eyes boring into him. He glanced up and swallowed. "What do you want?" he asked brusquely.

She shifted her weight to the other foot and frowned unhappily. After a few seconds of silently staring at one another, Rachel asked suddenly, "You're going to watch out for Soren, right?"

Avery's brow knitted deeply in a scowl and he replied evenly, "Of course. I watch out for everyone in Crater City."

Rachel didn't look assuaged, and she quietly commented, "Yes, Avery, but that's not what I mean. You'll tell him not to go wandering on his own? You'll be sure he doesn't? If he gets caught out there, with just a few young Pokemon..."

He spoke firmly, "He knows. Trust me. I was that way, too."

His mother smiled sadly and murmured, "I remember." Avery resumed shoveling hot stew into his mouth. The discussion was over.

Rachel returned to the stove and began ladling the food into a second sturdy wooden bowl, and then a third. She placed them on the table with spoons beside them, then glanced over the high counter just in time to see Soren coming along the road. In one hand, he held a bouquet of yellow and white and pink: fluffy flowers, elegant flowers, flowers that displayed rays of petals. She gasped and put a hand to her mouth. After a moment of shock, she quickly crossed over to the front door and flung it open. "Hi, Soren!" she beamed. "My, what beautiful flowers. Please, come in! I made too much stew for us, so you must have some! I won't take no for an answer!"

She ushered him in, half-pushing and half-pulling him through the main room and into the kitchen. Wave lifted her old head to see who the newcomer was. Bluebell, meanwhile, perked her ears up and made a growling purr when she saw the boy. Rachel practically dragged Soren into the seat across from Avery and set him down in it. She bustled about finding a vase for the flowers, filling it with water, and busily setting it on the table so Soren could put the flowers into it. Then she sat down as well and began eating some stew.

Avery regarded Soren, still chewing on a thick cube of meat. He glanced towards the writing desk, noting where the sheets of writing cloth were. They were dry by now, of course. He had forgotten to fold them away. No matter. He could give them directly to Soren now. "Eat quick. We don't want to wait around forever." He shoveled another mouthful of stew.

@Amissa
1159

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Amissa
 Posted: May 24 2018, 12:20 AM
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Rachel greeted Soren at the door before he even got the chance to knock. He actually drew back slightly in alarm, but not fast enough to escape the woman. As he struggled to string words together, all he managed to stutter out was, "H-hello again ma'am." as he was basically dragged into the house. He couldn't argue with her. She was his superior, and even if she wasn't a higher rank she was still an adult. Besides, Soren was hungry and the smells coming from inside were delicious.

Soren's eyes widened as he entered the comfortable little home. He was afraid to touch anything, and he certainly didn't want to get anything dirty. He couldn't help but smile though as he saw the two feline pokemon lying so casually on the floor. They looked so tame, but Soren had no doubt that they would tear an unwelcome intruder to ribbons. He imagined the ambassador and his mother could always sleep soundly knowing that they were safe with such powerful pokemon protecting their house.

Soren was led to a seat right across from the ambassador, and he nervously sat and offered the man a shy tentative smile in greeting. "Hello Ambassador." Soren tried to will himself not to shake as he placed the flowers in the vase offered. Steady on, Soren thought to himself as he inhaled a deep calming breath. They're just people like any other people really, and they wouldn't have asked you to come back if they didn't already like you at least a little bit. Though they do have very strong pokemon, and they have tables and chairs in their house. The food's not too different though. "Thank you both very much. Oh, I brought something to eat actually. We can share it."

Soren reached into his bag and pulled out the great big cornbread he'd grabbed before leaving home. He unfolded the napkin he'd wrapped it in and set in on the table, watching Rachel for approval. He'd let her decide what to do with his offering, as it was her house. The ambassador lived there too, of course, but Soren sensed that Rachel was the true domestic ruling power within the home.

Soren then turned his attention to the stew, eager to eat quickly just as he'd been ordered. He glanced up at Avery as he spoke, watching the man's powerful jaw muscles work. He nodded in confirmation and set to eating. He slowed down after the first bite, however. Ew! This stew was full of meat, and not cut into tiny pieces and hidden inside something Soren actually liked. It had big chunks of the stuff, and Soren hadn't examined it closely before taking a whole mouth full of it. There was no way he could politely spit it out, so he just had chew and swallow and pretend to enjoy it. Soren tried to disguise his first involuntary grunt of disgust as accidentally burning his tongue on the hot stew and gave a very fake smile of pleasure as he forced himself to chew his food.

Soren's dislike of meat was partially innate. He'd never been especially fond of it. It often had a heavy stringy texture, and without proper seasonings the flavor could be pretty bland too. However, growing up on a farm, even a berry farm, a child was bound to find out sooner or later exactly where the meat came from. Knowing that meat was the prepared carcass of a once living pokemon was horrible. The mudbray and miltank on the farm weren't there for meat, but if one died, then it's body wouldn't be wasted. It would be carved up and put on a table somewhere in Crater City. The only pokemon on the farm where Soren lived that ever got axed was the pudgy pidgey. These pidgey were bred and fed to be too fat to fly. They lived in their own cozy little coop and the workers collected their eggs as an important source of nutrition in their diet. However, every so often a pidgey was butchered for meat.

Once, in a perhaps misguided attempt to toughen Soren up and teach him more about how tasks around the farm were done, Soren's father took him out to watch as a pidgey was killed and prepared. Gaspar still regretted this moment. Soren was in tears even before the pidgey was killed, and when the bird's final moment came at last, Soren dropped to the ground in a dead faint. Soren, for his part, didn't even remember this event when he came back awake. He did, however, decide he'd rather go hungry then even touch a bite of the pidgey soup that was made that night for dinner. In fact, Soren became physically ill anytime he was presented with a plate of cooked meat. Gaspar would admit that he was no parenting expert, but he was pretty sure that kids needed the protein and nutrients in meat to grow healthy. Thus, the man and his fellow workers (they were not quite blood relatives to Soren, but the boy still called them all his aunts and uncles) began hiding small amounts of meat in Soren's food.

Perhaps Soren's food preference made him a true product of Crater City. What other place in Terrene had enough bounty that a child could grow up as a picky eater? Soren didn't think there was anything wrong with his food choices, but he didn't expect people to cater to him either. He was simply more cautious about eating his stew, carefully eating around any meat chunks and scooping up any vegetables and broth around them instead. He was stealthy about it, and his eyes darted between Avery and his mother to see how closely they were watching him. If he saw an opening, he's slide a chunk of meat out of the bowl and into one of his hands. He'd then hold that hand behind his back so that the meat chunk was hidden from the adults but perfectly visible to Bluebell.

There was no need to waste food, after all, when the house was full of carnivorous pokemon. Just because Soren didn't like meat didn't mean someone shouldn't enjoy it.

@Rixie

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Rixie
 Posted: May 28 2018, 11:57 PM
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Lore


Avery gave a small, curt nod in before pushing more food into his mouth and chewing quickly. He was glad the boy would get some hearty food to eat before they headed out to the training field. The last thing he wanted was for the kid to get too hungry and pass out on him or something. That would be incredibly annoying.

"Oh! Why, thank you!" Rachel beamed. "This bread looks delicious! What a sweet boy you are. Flowers and food, too? You are just too dear. Avery, get some cornbread to go with your stew," she ordered.

The man barely suppressed a sigh, a drawn out breath that exited through his nostrils as he reached forward and broke a chunk of bread off. He dipped it into the stew and ate it. It was delicious, and his mouth watered even as he chewed. He stared at the cornbread in his hand, analyzing it and turning it this way and that.

Soren made an involuntary grunt, and Avery glanced sharply at him. He spoke roughly, "Careful," before looking away and back at his cornbread. He dipped it in the stew again, observing the way the bread soaked some up before he shoved it into his mouth. If he focused on eating, he would surely finish eating sooner. The main disadvantage to having such a large body was the fact that he needed to eat a tremendous amount in order to keep it fueled. Still, in Crater City, he could afford this, and his strength was needed.

Rachel was busily taking a chunk of cornbread, and staring cheerfully at the bouquet of flowers. She would notice nothing.

Bluebell, on the other hand, would notice the moment Soren's hand slipped behind his back. Her eyes lightened up and her ears perked. She slid a stealthy glance towards Avery. He was still staring intently at his stew as he chewed furiously. Bluebell stood up and stretched with her legs splayed out in front of her. She carefully sidled along the edge of the kitchen until she found herself sneaking up to the back of his chair. With a last cautious glance, she was assured that Avery couldn't see her. She flicked a large, rough tongue out and licked the gravy off the meat before delicately picking it up between her teeth. Her breath was hot against his palm as she gulped down the tender meat that fell apart before she could even dig her canines into it.

She would wait, somewhat impatiently, for the next chunk of meat, then gulp them down as soon as he offered them. When there was too long of a pause, she would lightly nuzzle his hand or his thigh to get his attention and look up at him with enormous, pleading yellow eyes, though it probably would bring too much attention to her if he looked down to see her.

Within a few minutes, Avery finished his stew. "Whenever you're done, let's head out to the training area," Avery spoke roughly, glancing at Soren's bowl.

"No rush, though," added Rachel, with a significant glance at her grown son.

Avery hesitated uncertainly for a moment. Of course there was no rush. But he supposed he should make that explicit. "Well of course." He glanced over to where Bluebell and Wave were... only to see she was missing.

He froze. What kind of trouble was she getting into now? He stood up suddenly, looking towards the fire stove, then towards the door. Bluebell felt a jolt of panic and she hastily shot under the table, paws working quickly to send her around Avery's chair so she was just behind him.

She yowled cheerfully, and Avery's face relaxed as he turned around to find the mischievous young lion hiding behind him this whole time, as far as he knew.

"Ah, there you are," he spoke with surprising softness. He knelt down and reached a hand out to rub behind one of Bluebell's ears, then frowned. "You smell awfully like stewed meat." He withdrew his hand and stared suspiciously at the innocently, earnestly purring cat. He couldn't see it, but she was practically sweating and sparking. "Perhaps it's just because we're in the kitchen," he finally said, standing up and looking back at Soren.

Whenever the boy said he was ready, Avery would give a sharp nod, "Good." He walked over to the writing desk, grabbing the two sheets of writing cloth and handing them to Soren. "I wrote some general information down, as well as some of her powers. You should study it when you get home. Keep it somewhere safe."

With that, he shouldered the large sword which thudded lightly as it hit his broad back, and opened the door. Bluebell hesitated. She was awfully full now. And rather sleepy. Her desire to train drained away as soon as she was well-fed. Avery glanced at her, and she pretended to be busy washing. He frowned. "Alright, no Shuca berries for Bluebell then." She turned a pouting face to him. Even though she was full of meat, she would've loved a little bit of dessert... but no. She didn't think she could run all the way to the training field after such a delicious meal. Her belly was heavy and she desperately wanted a nap.

Avery raised an eyebrow as she returned to the corner with Wave and curled up into a tight little ball, promptly falling asleep. "Maybe it wasn't my imagination after all, and she did somehow steal some meat..." he murmured, mostly to himself. He shook his head before turning to Soren, "No matter. Come. The training grounds are this way."

Avery led the way along the path, through the gates of the great walls, and out to the training field. He was fairly quiet during his walk, though he would answer any questions if Soren asked.

"Here. Let's start here," he said and stopped abruptly as they reached his desired section of training grounds. It featured a long running track, and a number of obstacle courses and agility sets. He had already decided, during the walk, which Pokemon he would use. Anthuria was a long-necked herbivore, and would someday be a mount, much like Genesis. Cosmos, however, was much closer to her strength. After pressing the third and fourth pokeballs clipped to his black belt, he turned to Soren, "Call out your Pokemon."

Cosmos and Anthuria appeared beside him. Cosmos gave a sleepy yawn and blinked at the world around him. This was a new part of the training grounds to the youngster. Anthuria, of course, was much more familiar with it, but her gaze dropped as she looked shyly at the stranger who was standing near her.

@Amissa
1122

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Amissa
 Posted: May 29 2018, 04:14 AM
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Soren was careful not to look at Bluebell as he carefully sneaked her meat from his bowl. He ate a piece of cornbread too, taking whatever was left after both Avery and Rachel had taken a share. Despite avoiding the meat, he still felt pretty full by the time the meal was done. Bluebell seemed happy too. He'd been a little bit worried that she might bite his hand, but she was very gentle. Soren liked how she affectionately nuzzled his hands when there was no more meat left, and he tried to give her a discreet pet under that table without ever letting his eyes betray where she was hiding. Maybe she only liked him for the moment because he'd given her food, but Soren interpreted it as a sign of genuine friendliness. Thanks to Bluebell's quick work, it looked like Soren was finished a little before Avery was. Soren gave the man an eager, innocent smile.

"Yes, I'm ready too!" Soren could hardly wait to begin training. The meal had replenished most of his energy, and he felt wide awake. He took a few moments to help Rachel clean up while Avery looked for Bluebell. He straightened nervously when the man noticed that the luxio smelled like cooked meat. Soren hadn't realized that he might be outed by cat breath. He quickly relaxed and tried to carry on without looking too guilty. He joined Avery right after, following attentively at the man's heels. Avery gave him a couple pages of cloth, and Soren briefly scanned them over with his eyes. There wasn't time for an in-depth read right now, but Soren's lips formed the words "central nervous system" as he caught sight of one of the most fascinating details. Soren knew from school that a central nervous system consisted of a person's brain and spinal column. According to the ambassador, Genesis essentially had two brains!

Soren quickly folded the cloth and placed them safely in his bag. When he looked up, the ambassador was already equipping his sword. The sword was legendary. Nearly everyone in Crater City had heard of it, and Soren found it was even bigger than he'd expected. It seemed strange that the ambassador would equip it when they were just traveling within the city, however. Soren didn't ask or bring it up though. He had a feeling the answer was something about being prepared for combat at all times and all places.

Soren was a bit disappointed that Bluebell wasn't going to join them in training, and the boy overheard Avery pondering the possibility that Bluebell had managed to get some stew meat without him realizing it. Think innocent thoughts, Soren reminded himself, as the ambassador had not yet come around to suspecting he was the culprit and Soren wanted to keep it that way. He happily followed the large man out the door, waving brightly at Rachel as they left. "Goodnight Ms. Aster! Thank you again for dinner!" He shouted and hurried off after Avery.

Soren walked quickly, taking occasional skipping steps to keep up with the ambassador's longer strides. The sun had set entirely by now, but Soren wasn't afraid of the dark. It only added to the danger of the experience. Even though they weren't leaving the city, Soren thought of this entire day as a bit of an adventure. He'd spent it traveling around, meeting terrifying and delightful strangers, and he'd been with Genesis all day. Almost all day. Hopefully after resting in her pokeball for a bit, she'd be feeling somewhat more cooperative.

While normally very inquisitive, Soren couldn't think of any questions to pester the ambassador with during the walk. He was too busy taking in excitement of being out at night and wondering about what was going to happen once they reached the training field. Once they arrived, Soren looked around at all of the equipment that was set up to use. His eyes were adjusted to the darkness by now, and by the light of the stars he could see the track.

Once commanded, Soren fumbled awkwardly for his pokeballs. He didn't have them clipped neatly to his belt like Avery did, but had them in his bag where he kept basically everything else. On the farm, he almost never put his pokemon in their pokeballs at all, and it was easy to forget that pokeballs were even necessary. The ambassador had his pokemon out before Soren had even found his pokeballs. Eventually his fingertips brushed the distinctive polished round surfaces, and Soren pulled out the two that he was looking for. He pressed the buttons, and his pokemon appeared. Genesis was still sitting with her legs folded beneath her. Nimbus, his mareep, stood with his hooves slightly spread apart and looking curiously at the starry sky.

"Genesis!" Soren bounded over to the girafarig, excited to show off her power and urging her to get up.

"No," she hummed.

"We're going to do some training."

"If you'd decided to do this earlier, when I wanted, then I'd have been more than happy to romp around with you. But I'm not just going to jump every time you think that I should," Genesis ended with a snort of defiance. She was usually analytical and curious to the point of ignoring discomfort, but it was perhaps important to consider that she was actually very near to Soren in her stage of development. While intelligent beyond her years and decidedly well developed for her age, Genesis would be considered in the development stage of a young teenager. Like Soren, she was just old enough to begin thinking and acting independently, and she felt highly offended when her independence was taken from her. She'd followed Soren home because that's what she chose to do. She chose to allow him to capture her. However, today it had been him making all of the choices, and it felt like she'd just been expected to comply. That ended right now. Whatever he wanted from her (and while she had her suspicions, she wasn't entirely sure what it was since she didn't understand human) he wasn't going to get it unless she chose to cooperate.

Soren stared at her, taking in her posture and what looked like a distinct glare on her features. "Oh, are you hungry?" He asked, figuring that must be why she was so cranky. He pulled the carrots and apples out of his bag and laid it in front of her, holding back a berry for after training. Then he reached out to give her neck a placating stroke.

Genesis, at a loss for what she else she could do to communicate that she didn't want anything to do with him at this very moment, bit him. It wasn't hard, and at least it was with her front head with her flat herbivore teeth. However, she got the point across and Soren yanked his hand back, giving her a wary hurt look as if she'd slapped him across the face. Soren didn't make a sound, but he stood up and walked away from Genesis holding his hand and trying to see how bad the damage was in the darkness. It didn't hurt badly, and it didn't look like she'd drawn blood. He just didn't understand why Genesis was suddenly being so mean. He'd thought that she wanted to train. Worse, she was embarrassing him in front of the ambassador since she was making it pretty obvious that Soren had no idea how to handle his own pokemon.

Nimbus, meanwhile, was innocently wondering why he was outside at night when normally he'd be cozy inside a barn sleeping. His more adventurous brothers would have been thrilled, but Nimbus was a little afraid of the dark especially since his brothers were no longer around to protect him. There were other pokemon nearby though. There was a yellow long-necked pokemon that reminded Nimbus a little of Genesis. Except this one had a leaf on her head and smelled like spices. More interesting was the smaller white pokemon. Nimbus trotted right up to this one, looking at it curiously. "Oh no, you don't have any legs!" Nimbus bleated, alarmed when he walked closer and saw that indeed, this pokemon had no arms and feet but only strange floppy flat limbs. "How do you walk?" He asked. He didn't mean it to sound rude, but he was honestly curious and he'd never met such a pokemon before. Both of the pokemon were much larger than the little mareep lamb, and they had a much larger human too. Nimbus trotted around the two pokemon and right up to the man, gazing up into his serious face.

Nope! He thought, and he looked around for his own smaller and much less frightening human trainer. He saw Soren feeding Genesis and remembered that he was hungry too. He hurried over and was just about to take a big bite of an apple when he saw Genesis bite Soren. "Why did you do that?" Nimbus bleated, nearly as upset by Genesis's behavior as Soren was. "That wasn't very nice!" There was an accusing tone to his baas, for while he wouldn't dream of picking a fight with Genesis, he didn't like seeing what looked to him like bullying.

"Shut up and eat your carrots. This is none of your business," Genesis hummed, laying her head down and ignoring the food. She felt awful. Not just tired and hungry, but now an uncomfortable guilty feeling was gnawing at her too.

@Rixie

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Rixie
 Posted: Jul 2 2018, 10:45 PM
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Lore


Boomerang


At least on the way to the training field, the boy was surprisingly silent, which suited Avery well. While Soren took a rather long time to find his pokeballs, digging around in his large bag which didn’t appear to have any separators or organization, Avery removed a precious trinket from his deep coat pocket. He turned to Anthuria and fumbled with the ribbon until he’d tied a small knot with a floppy end. The Lucky Egg glinted dully under the moonlight.

Finally, he righted himself and stared at the two young Pokémon Soren had called out. There was the rare Girafarig, whom he had already met, with plenty of strength right off the bat. And a Mareep, a stereotypically docile Pokemon that would need immense training before unleashing it’s surprisingly potent potential for power. Avery nodded to himself silently, finding that he approved of these Pokémon, though it meant that Soren would need to train them even more.

Unfortunately, it seemed that the Girafarig was in need of discipline in addition to just training. Not only did she refuse to get up from a resting position, she was snorting at him obstinately and refusing to be placated by the sweet fruits and vegetables he offered. Avery's lips tightened into a straight, displeased line as he stared at the Girafarig.

He was just considering warning the boy against trying to touch her, but he was a bit late on the draw. Sure enough, she reached out to his hand and bit him sharply. Avery locked his jaw and watched as Soren silently jerked away and walked away. He was relieved to see that the boy didn't appear to be bleeding. and he handled the situation quite well all things considered. He didn't scream or cry, and he didn't lash out or retaliate violently; he simply walked away. If Soren looked to him, Avery would give a small nod, hoping to indicate that he chose the right course of action.

Cosmos turned his head and regarded the fluffy excuse of a Pokemon that was addressing him. He sighed and spoke with sarcasm in his voice, "Oh, how perceptible of you... No, I don't walk. I just drag myself along with my flippers."

Anthuria chuckled nervously and shook her head, "Now, now, Cosmos. Be nice." She lowered her head to the young Mareep in a friendly gesture. He hopped away to look at Avery, but quickly ran away from him, too. Cosmos was content to roll onto his back and stare up at the sky, belly exposed. Anthuria, however, watched the young one go, amused at his reaction. She remembered her own reaction to first meeting Avery, when she wasn't much older than the Mareep was now.

He rushed over to the other Pokemon, and Anthuria's attention was drawn to her. She was older than the Mareep, but not as old as Bluebell or Carnation. Perhaps she was around Anthuria's age? She had never seen such a Pokemon. Interested, she sidled after the Mareep, but she stopped short quickly. The Pokemon bit her human! The Mareep bleated accusingly, and Anthuria made a small, stressed sidestep.

Avery focused his attention on his Bayleef, wondering if she'd find a way to defuse the situation with Genesis. It seemed the Mareep was also upset and protesting.

Anthuria watched as the Girafarig told off the youngster and laid her head down. She was on edge, her muscles tense -- too on edge to even eat the delicious treats placed before her. After waiting an awkward second, Anthuria approached quietly. She asked, "Are you alright? Forgive me for saying, but you don't seem well... May I help?" She took a few more steps closer to the Girafarig, stopping when she was just a foot away. Her long neck stretched as she leaned down to the other Pokemon, and a pulsing, light pink energy began emanating from the stubby buds around her neck in a ring. The Heal Pulse glowed beautifully in the darkness as it rippled through the air, finding its way to the Girafarig and washing over her tired body.

user posted image
Anthuria: Female Bayleef
Ability: Leaf Guard || Nature: Gentle
Level: 16 || Loyalty: 38%
Health: 100% || Energy: 75%
Status: Healthy || Held Item: Lucky Egg
Moves: HEAL PULSE ◒ GRASS WHISTLE ◒ Tackle ◒ Growl ◒ Razor Leaf ◒ Poison Powder ◒ Synthesis
Anthuria used Heal Pulse! -25% energy

user posted image
Cosmos: Male Seel
Ability: Thick Fat || Nature: Lonely
Level: 4 || Loyalty: 26%
Health: 100% || Energy: 40%
Status: Healthy || Held Item: None
Moves: PERISH SONG ◒ Headbutt ◒ Growl








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Notes: none
Tag: @Amissa
Word Count: 680 words

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Amissa
 Posted: Jul 3 2018, 04:05 AM
Quote


Player


Soren did look up at Avery, though it was because he feared that the man was watching and judging him poorly. When he’d brought Genesis back to the city with him, she hadn’t come with an instruction manual. He handled her much the same as he handled the mudbray on the farm, but Genesis was different. She was not tame, not used to the new rules and expectations that were suddenly thrust upon her. Soren saw the ambassador nod at him as though he had done something right, but he couldn’t fathom what it was. Clearly he’d done something very wrong if it ended in him getting bit.

Nimbus didn’t take offense from the seel’s sarcasm because he didn’t understand or recognize sarcasm. It seemed to him that the poor legless creature had just given him a compliment, despite its unfortunate condition. Nimbus had other questions to ask Cosmo later perhaps, but at the moment he was distracted by the drama between Genesis and their trainer.

Nimbus was not a naturally courageous creature, but he had a strong sense of justice and it bothered him terribly to see anyone treated unfairly. It seemed to him that Genesis was being mean to Soren for no reason. Even if he was a human, and he couldn’t understand simple pokespeak, he still had feelings and appeared to do his best. It didn’t appear that Soren was hurt badly, but Nimbus knew his feelings would be hurt if someone he liked bit him like that. He didn’t want Soren to feel sad, so Nimbus picked up an apple in his teeth and walked over to the boy, offering it up to him.

This seemed to do the trick, and Soren smiled at his little lamb. “Silly,” Soren said as he crouched down and rubbed Nimbus’s wooly head. He accepted the apple, though it was a bit slimy from the mareep’s mouth. “I’ve already eaten. I brought that for you and Genesis,” Soren said, though he took a bite to be polite and show that he appreciated Nimbus’s thoughtful kindness. After that, he gave it back to the lamb who happily finished it off, wagging his glowing tail cheerfully.

Genesis meanwhile was looking up at the new pokemon that approached her. It was similarly shaped to her, though it smelled very different. It was a bit smaller than her too, but she seemed well-intentioned anyway. An energy pulsed from the buds around the creature’s neck right at Genesis, and she attempted to get to her feet in alarm. There was no way she could dodge it, and she cursed herself for assuming that the pokemon in the city wouldn’t attack her. However, the energy that surrounded her wasn’t painful. In fact it felt wonderful. Genesis could feel her muscles, sore and tense from her first day of hard labor, relax. Her pain eased. Genesis stretched, feeling her body, lifting her hooves one by one and swinging her neck left and right. “That feels much better, thank you,” Genesis hummed, genuinely surprised.

Genesis’s view of the pokemon was changed now. She had a long neck and yellow coloring like a girafarig, though she was far too different to be mistaken for one. The energy she’d used felt familiar to her own though, and Genesis felt herself overcome with an unexpected wave of homesickness. She didn’t think she’d missed her herd. She’d been so distracted by her own curiosity and research that she hadn’t allowed herself to feel. Now, in her moment of comparative weakness, she felt it powerfully. This creature may not be a true girafarig from her herd, but maybe she was close enough to understand Genesis in a way she’d been longing for.

“Who are you? What are you?” Genesis asked without showing the courtesy to introduce herself, but she did lean forward and would touch her nose gratefully to Anthuria’s if the bayleef allowed it. “That boy has been leading me around all day. He hooked me to a cart, and I had to pull it. Then, after all of that, he brings me here and expects me to....I don’t know what he expects of me.” Her tone was accusatory as though Soren was being cruel to her. “When I was on the plain, I travelled wherever I wanted and didn’t need to pull carts for anyone.” Of course, she’d also lived in constant danger from predators and there were very few human specimens to study out there. Soren was a particularly fascinating case study for her, and she had to admit that she was developing something like fondness for observing him. “And he doesn’t understand me, and I don’t understand him. Maybe I was mistaken to allow him to capture me. Perhaps we are not suitable together.” Genesis had felt herself developing a jealousy over how easily Nimbus seemed to get along with and understand their boy despite the fact that he hadn't been around as long as her. It made her wonder if perhaps she simply wasn't an acceptable companion for any human. Or any pokemon. Maybe she wasn't acceptable at all for anyone.

To Soren, the interactions between Genesis and the ambassador’s bayleef appeared to be going well. He dared a hopeful smile, and tried again to approach Genesis. The girafarig’s head snapped in his direction and she fixed him with a glare. “No,” she snorted at him.

“No?” Soren asked placing his hands behind his back and lowering his eyes, looking every bit the part of an apologetic child being scolded by his parent. For once, he did seem to understand her. He didn’t come any closer, but waited. He looked at the ambassador again, half-hoping that the man would tell him what he should do or give some signal.

Nimbus decided this was a great time to make some friends. He went back over to the food Soren had put down for them and picked up a carrot. This, he carried over to Cosmo with his tail bobbing back and forth joyfully. “I brought you a carrot,” Nimbus bleated, dropping the carrot as soon as he opened his mouth to speak. The other pokemon had rolled on his back and appeared to be watching the stars. “Are you hungry? Do you want to be friends?” Just as most human toddlers were, Nimbus was a very straightforward creature. “Will you be my friend?” was a more important question than tedious exchanging of names and such.

@Rixie

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Rixie
 Posted: Jul 6 2018, 05:51 PM
Quote


Lore


Boomerang

Soren didn't seem pleased, even with Avery's small nod, and he practically froze as he tried to figure out how to convey what exactly he was approving of. Luckily Soren's attention was drawn away by the approach of the small Mareep and the actions of Genesis, giving him some time to think.

Nimbus brought Soren an apple, and Avery observed silently as he interacted with the young Mareep. The friendly gesture of bringing an offering of food, even though, as Soren pointed out, the food was brought specifically for the Pokemon, was accepted with a small bite taken from the fruit. Avery's initial instinct was that he should have given the entire apple to the Mareep. Even a symbolic bite taken from the food led to a lesser amount of nutrition for the Pokemon. It took a few moments before he remembered the importance and significance of accepting gestures, even when they were useless ones.

Cosmos was silently relieved when the rest of the Pokémon, and even Avery, turned their attentions elsewhere. He stared up at the stars and let his mind wander in a meaningless, meandering path. They were beautiful, in a cold, bright, unwelcoming way, like a particularly dangerous patch of ocean full of strong currents. He recognized a small cluster of stars from one of his previous stargazing sessions. It was unchanged for as long as he could remember. According to Carnation, they had always been that way, and they always would be. They slowly shifted as the sky moved behind them, spinning endless patterns of night and day, but they never moved from their spot in the sky. Sometimes, Rachel told him stories about the stars, but they didn’t really make sense. She said stuff like fate was written in stars, and that the stars brought hope and granted wishes. Even if that was true, it only reaffirmed Cosmos' thought that those stars, unmovable by the ceaseless struggle that played out below them, were long since done changing for people's destinies or granting wishes. Whatever was written there was hopelessly set by now. His tongue lolled out and his round, black eyes reflected the starlight as he sighed softly.

Anthuria was concerned when the Girafarig attempted to scramble to her feet and get away from her, but that was quickly replaced with relief and joy when she stopped and stretched. She responded with a cheerful wave of her leaf and a beaming, "Of course! You're welcome." Her gaze softened slightly as she watched the other Pokemon. She couldn't help but notice the fearful response -- the distrust towards her-- and the sudden melancholy that seemed to overtake the Girafarig.

Anthuria gladly reciprocated the gentle nuzzle on her nose, her eyes brimming with emotion and joy at being accepted quickly. Heal Pulse wore her out fast, but it was always well worth it. She spoke, "I'm Anthuria, Avery's Bayleef." She flicked her leaf towards the large man as she spoke his name. The question answered, she quieted down to simply listen, holding a sympathetic look in her deep reddish-brown eyes. She was an excellent listener, bobbing her head slightly in understanding at key points and offering a gentle, sympathetic huff.

The boy in question tried to approach, and Anthuria swung her neck towards him at the same time as Genesis, looking at him with curiosity. Her self-consciousness got the better of her, and she shyly looked away, returning to Genesis. She ventured, "That sounds really difficult. Especially after having to pull a cart for the entire day.

"The Pokemon who were hatched around humans always seem to have it so easy, since they've been able to learn how to understand, and how to make themselves understood, from day one. But that doesn't mean wildborn Pokemon can't learn, by any means! It just means it takes a little while. It's totally normal to have trouble understanding one another at first. Though it seems he's starting to catch on!" she encouraged, glancing at Soren from the corner of her eyes. "At least he figured out what 'No' means." She gave a small snorting chuckle of amusement before becoming serious again, "I'll admit that I don't know you all that well, yet, but I don't think it was a mistake. In time, you'll figure out how to work together with him. I believe in you. Both of you." She turned her head to look up Soren.

Avery was prepared this time when Soren looked at him. He spoke in a quiet, rumbling voice, "Leaving her alone when she bit you was a good move. Don't raise your voice, and don't hit back; those actions escalate the situation. Retreat to assess why it happened and how to prevent it in the future. Understanding and trust are key.” He paused, feeling a slight dizziness in his head, and reminded himself to take a long breath before continuing, ”Sometimes a Pokémon needs time to develop that trust, especially a wildcaught one. Show her you understand; show her you can be trusted. The difficulty is discovering how each individual comes to trust you.” He took another breath. Talking for a long time posed a different set of challenges. He wondered how Rachel and Beta managed to do it. He turned towards Anthuria and Genesis. ”If she does not wish to train, she can stay on the sidelines for today. She’s gotten exercise already, after all.”

His Bayleef perked up at his attention, and she glanced towards Genesis briefly. ”I’m going to start training soon. If you’re still too tired, though, you could stay here and watch for today.” She stretched out a bit, taking a step out and leaning forward on her front legs, then shifting all her weight to her back legs. Avery walked over and stooped down to offer his arm, which she pressed her head against and used to stretch her neck as she pushed her full weight and strength into it, first pushing to the right, then to the left. She followed by dipping her head under his arm and then raising it until the base of her head was pressed against his white sleeve. She pushed up with all her might, though his arm didn’t move an inch, before relaxing and moving her head above his arm. She rested her chin on it and gazed lovingly at Avery before pressing down hard enough to raise her front feet half an inch off the ground.

Avery’s shoes ground into the dust as he held perfectly still and waited for her to finish her neck stretching.

When the Mareep came blundering over, the Seel turned his head to look at him with an apathetic blink. "Oh. A carrot. I guess it shows you care." Cosmos fell silent for a few seconds before adding, "Yep. Look at you. Carrying it. 'Cause it's a carrot." An expression that would have been a smug little smirk appeared on the Seel's face as he looked away and back towards the stars. If the Mareep was going to be annoying and disturb his peace, at least he could make some bad jokes.

His asking whether or not he was hungry made Cosmos shake his head. A thought came to him, and a sly grin appeared on his face before he responded, ”No, I’m not Hungry: I’m Cosmos. And who are you?” If his previous experience was to be any indicator, the Mareep probably wouldn’t get the joke. But that didn’t matter to Cosmos much. The joy was in the telling, for him. He thought about ignoring the Mareep’s second question for now, but in the end he just sighed softly to himself and rolled into an upright position, ”Sure, why not. We can be friends. I’d hate for you to feel sheepish if I said no, after all.” He smirked to himself again.

user posted image
Anthuria: Female Bayleef
Ability: Leaf Guard || Nature: Gentle
Level: 16 || Loyalty: 38%
Health: 100% || Energy: 75%
Status: Healthy || Held Item: Lucky Egg
Moves: HEAL PULSE ◒ GRASS WHISTLE ◒ Tackle ◒ Growl ◒ Razor Leaf ◒ Poison Powder ◒ Synthesis

user posted image
Cosmos: Male Seel
Ability: Thick Fat || Nature: Lonely
Level: 4 || Loyalty: 26%
Health: 100% || Energy: 40%
Status: Healthy || Held Item: None
Moves: PERISH SONG ◒ Headbutt ◒ Growl








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Notes: Ahhh Anthuria wants to be Genesis' friend now. Cosmos is not so sold on Nimbus, sadly. I’m not sure who taught Cosmos puns but you can be sure it makes Bluebell incredibly happy, and makes Carnation wonder what they did wrong.
Tag: @Amissa
Word Count: 1310 words

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Amissa
 Posted: Jul 7 2018, 07:27 AM
Quote


Player


Soren was aware that the ambassador was watching him, but he had no idea how closely or how the man seemed to be analyzing his every action. It was probably best that Soren was left somewhat oblivious to this, since if he knew he might become to nervous to do much at all. He walked closer to the man when Avery began speaking to him to ensure he'd hear every word clearly without the ambassador needing to repeat anything or raise his voice.

It was encouraging to hear that he'd at least done something right, and that the correct behavior was the one that came to him naturally by instinct. Soren couldn't imagine hitting or yelling at a pokemon as a means of discipline, perhaps because he himself had never been disciplined in such a manner. His father Gaspar could be thanked for that. A shadow of concern crossed Soren's expression as the ambassador seemed to take an unusually deep breath before continuing and then did it again a few sentences later. The man seemed all right physically, but there was something a little strange about how he spoke that Soren couldn't quite identify. It wasn't an accent or a speech impediment. Soren took mental note of the trait, but he wouldn't mention it. He didn't want to be insensitive and draw attention to it, and he certainly didn't want to distract from the topic at hand.

"Genesis has bit me before," Soren confessed. He felt like now it would be best to be entirely honest. "But it was with her second head while I was brushing her. The second head always tries to bite me, even though she doesn't seem angry or distressed when I brush her. In your notes, there was something about her second head having its own brain, wasn't there?" Soren's gaze turned inquisitive. He hadn't had time to pore over the ambassador's notes the way he wanted to, and he was wondering how much sense and autonomy that second head had. Was Soren actually trying to train two pokemon who shared one body? Did Genesis's second head need its own name?

Soren was greatly relieved when Avery said it was fine for Genesis to sit out the training session. He didn't really want to fight with his pokemon, and maybe Genesis would feel better if she was allowed to rest and watch what the other pokemon do. At least Soren had one pokemon who he hoped would cooperate tonight. He looked over to where Nimbus appeared to be trying to share food with the ambassador's seel. Seel weren't common pokemon, but every so often they could be spotted in Crater City's bay mostly during winter time. Soren knew it was a water type pokemon, and an elegant predator that typically hunted at night. Soren didn't think they ate carrots, but Nimbus was so friendly and eager to be loved that it wasn't a surprise that he was trying to win the creature over.

"I think Nimbus will train though, that's my mareep. He's still real little though. I just got him, but he's a good boy." Soren offered amicably. He really wanted to train, even if Genesis didn't. Mostly he wanted to see how the ambassador handled his pokemon and learn from him, so he watched very closely as he seemed to help his bayleef stretch. She was a pokemon that Soren had never seen before, but he could guess just by looking at her that she was a grass type. "What's your pokemon's names?"

Genesis listened to Anthuria solemnly, paying close attention to her words but not sharing in her amusement at Soren's painfully gradual education in pokemon language. Then again, Genesis didn't really feel amused by anything. She didn't like being told that learning how to communicate with her boy would probably be a struggle. As driven as the girafarig was by curiosity, she became quickly frustrated with tasks that did not come to her quickly or naturally. She was so intelligent that she normally didn't have to try very hard to learn new skills, but language and communication particularly with a human seemed to be a different sort of difficult. At least Anthuria seemed optimistic, and Genesis had to admit to herself that it would be well worth it once she'd mastered the fine art of understanding human communication.

As Anthuria walked to her human to begin training, Genesis laid back on the ground. She was still feeling persistently stubborn. She wanted to defy Soren just to show that she could, but Soren didn't try again get her up or to approach her. It seemed that the boy was finally giving her some peace, which was a great relief. Genesis enjoyed being left alone and given time to simply think and be with herself every so often. Genesis felt better after the heal pulse and her talk with the bayleef, so she began at last to sniff at the food Soren had left for her and Nimbus. She began to eat, crunching placidly and observing everyone else from her little space on the field.

"I do care," Nimbus bleated, coming very close to the seel. The lamb didn't react to the puns, but he got the feeling that Cosmo might be trying to tease or play with him and he simply couldn't understand how he was supposed to behave. "I'm Cumulonimbus," Nimbus replied, wanting to impress Cosmo by saying his full name. "You can just call me Nimbus though. Most people do." He didn't know what to say to the other stuff. He was glad that Cosmo would be his friend, but surely he must have noticed that Nimbus was a kind of sheep. He spent all his life feeling "sheepish". Nimbus did not yet understand that this word had multiple meanings. Since Cosmo didn't want the carrot, Nimbus went ahead and ate it himself. After he finished, he was feeling pretty happy and well-fed. He looked around at the others, at Genesis eating alone and the two humans conversing while the bayleef stretched. "I wonder if we're going to play a game. I sure hope that's what we're going to do."

@Rixie

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Rixie
 Posted: Jul 15 2018, 11:55 PM
Quote


Lore


Boomerang

Avery looked at the Girafarig when Soren mentioned that her second head had bitten him as well. He stared at it, seeing it sitting there and making the same expression it always did, that creepy black sphere. He nodded knowingly, because it didn’t surprise him that the second head bit the boy even though Genesis didn’t seem upset about anything, He shrugged a bit when Soren asked his question, giving a noncommittal grunt before elaborating, "Calling it a brain is... generous. It appears incapable of thought, just a large collection of neurons. It can accomplish the simplest tasks: biting nearby objects and keeping watch for moving creatures while the real brain sleeps."

With the stretches complete, Anthuria raised her head to look expectantly and fondly at Avery, but the man went silent for two or three excruciatingly long seconds after Soren asked his question. He stood up and turned his head to look at Soren, analyzing his face as he answered, "This Bayleef’s name is Anthuria. The infant Seel is named Cosmos." He paused and looked at the Seel, correcting himself, "Though I suppose he’s nearly half a year old, so perhaps no longer an infant." He looked back at Soren, wondering what the boy’s reaction would be.

Anthuria turned a hopeful glance back towards Genesis when she heard a crunching noise, and her leaf waved back and forth happily when she saw that the other Pokémon was finally eating. Though she was sitting firmly down once more and seemed to be content to not move from that spot for quite a while, she was at least feeling better enough to eat, so she would be fine.

Cosmos suppressed a small sigh at the young Pokemon’s complete lack of understanding. He expected it, but that didn’t actually make it much better. The sheep introduced himself as... a rather long name. Cosmos was silent for a long time, committing it to memory. Cumulonimbus. He’d have to ask someone what it meant, later, so he could use that in his wordplay too. He turned black, dull eyes to Avery. "Yeah, a game. Something like that. We'll start soon."

After silently and emotionlessly observing Soren's reaction, Avery turned his head towards Cosmos and Nimbus. Cosmos, noting the attention, set out to give himself the appearance of being busy. He wriggled forward and slapped his front flippers against the ground to drag himself towards Avery.

Avery turned away and headed over to a grid of items laid out on the ground, compact but organized. He reached out and leaned down, grabbing a long belt-like contraption that had a burlap sack of sand firmly attached to it. It was nearly a foot long and a foot wide of compacted sand, but he carried it as though it were full of straw. He brought it to Anthuria and slowly set it down on her back, looping the belt around her neck, over her other shoulder, and returning it to her back, where he buckled it firmly in place.

As he took a step away, allowing the full weight to rest on her back, she looked up with her neck pulled back and her head cocked to one side, a perplexed and concerned look in her deep reddish-brown eyes. Before she could ask, though, Avery jabbed a finger towards the Mareep and said, "You'll be keeping up with and leading Nimbus."

Anthuria turned to see the small Mareep, and she took a few steps closer. When she was close enough, she lowered her neck so she was face to face with him and offered a friendly snuffle, "Hello, little one. Come and follow me, okay? We'll go around the track together. Avery says it's as long as a furlong. I'm not sure what that is, but it's a bit far, so don't tire yourself out too fast, okay?"

Avery appeared behind her with just a few long strides and he spoke quietly, "Ready?" Anthuria turned to him and nodded vehemently. He glanced at Cosmos, who barely suppressed an enormous eyeroll, but finally nodded as well. "Go," he ordered, once both had confirmed.

The Bayleef took off at a steady, ambling trot. The weight of the sand was much lighter than the load she usually carried, barely slowing her down from her natural pace as she lumbered along the dirt track. She glanced back to make sure Nimbus was following her and gave him a wordless beam of encouragement.

Cosmos had a much more difficult time. He lunged forward and caught himself on his front flippers before pushing off and kicking his tail against the ground to push forward again. Once he got into a rhythm, he focused with a grim determination on keeping that rhythm going. Forward, catch the ground, bounce and push off forward again. The slightest error would cause him to lose his bouncing momentum or his flippers to flail uselessly in midair instead of against the ground.

Avery watched for a few seconds, silent and aloof. Then he turned on his heel and whisked back over to the grid of items, his white long coat billowing behind him. He glanced back out at the track, judging the size of Nimbus once more, before grabbing several hurdles: six inches tall, nine inches tall, twelve, eighteen, and twenty-four. They were made mostly of stone, simple rods carved out and lashed together tightly at the joints with multiple knots. He pulled them into a group and then shoved one arm under their top bars, lifting them all at once even as they clattered against one another and threatened to crash into his torso with the sudden, jerky movement. He carried the lot of them out to the track, dumping them unceremoniously and glancing at Soren.

"Set them up in a straight line. Shortest to tallest. Not too close together." He demonstrated with the first one, placing it upright and straightening it out so the top bar was perpendicular with the direction of the track. Once again, he whisked away to grab more hurdles. In about a minute, he brought a whole set of eighteen-inch-tall bars. He glanced at Soren's work before beginning to set up his own line of hurdles, making sure there were a couple of yards between each one. If Soren's hurdles were any less than that, he'd wordlessly gesture for Soren to come over and fix them.

Anthuria kept her steady pace well, practiced in not rushing ahead and tiring herself out immediately. She glanced about occasionally for Nimbus and Cosmos. She would slow down a bit if Nimbus was far behind her.

The unfortunate Seel, however, was out of breath in less than half a minute. It didn't help that every time he bounced off the ground, it felt like the air was being shoved out of his lungs. He stopped and then flopped on his belly in the middle of the track, panting heavily and his tongue lolling out into the dirt and dragging back and forth slightly with his every heaving breath. Whenever he saw Avery was looking in his direction, he struggled back into a slow, bumbling rhythm. He would soon slow down and glance in Avery's direction, though. Once he saw the man was busy attending to something else, he instantly stopped and flopped flat on the ground with his head turned slightly to see if he was being watched again.

user posted image
Anthuria: Female Bayleef
Ability: Leaf Guard || Nature: Gentle
Level: 16 || Loyalty: 38%
Health: 100% || Energy: 75%?
Status: Healthy || Held Item: Lucky Egg
Moves: HEAL PULSE ◒ GRASS WHISTLE ◒ Tackle ◒ Growl ◒ Razor Leaf ◒ Poison Powder ◒ Synthesis

user posted image
Cosmos: Male Seel
Ability: Thick Fat || Nature: Lonely
Level: 4 || Loyalty: 26%
Health: 100% || Energy: 40%?
Status: Healthy || Held Item: None
Moves: PERISH SONG ◒ Headbutt ◒ Growl








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Tag: @Amissa
Word Count: ~1220 words


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Amissa
 Posted: Jul 16 2018, 05:53 AM
Quote


Player


Avery didn't appear surprised by what Soren told him, but most importantly, he didn't seem angry or annoyed. He didn't say that Soren had done anything wrong, which was what the boy was really worried about. Nor did he ignore the question entirely or become frustrated with Soren, which was Soren's worst fear. Before today, Soren had only known of the ambassador's existence and a few other superficial facts about the man. This was his first time alone with the man, and Soren hadn't known what to expect. Most likely Avery wouldn't have invited Soren to train with him at all if he didn't have the patience for questions, but some adults didn't. Plus, Avery kept his expression so neutral that it was difficult to read any emotion from him at all. Thus, while the ambassador's informative words were precious to Soren, the information that he gave away about himself was even more so because it could only be obtained through exposure and experience.

Avery took so long to answer Soren's second question once he'd asked it that he feared he wasn't going to get an answer at all. Some people didn't name their pokemon, after all, but that seemed a cold and uncaring way to treat a creature you planned to raise and train. He knew Avery's luxio had a name. He'd heard him use it back at the house. It was a relief when the man finally spoke. For one, the awkwardness had been inching towards unbearable. Secondly, Soren decided that he simply couldn't trust a person who didn't bother to name their pokemon. "A bayleef? She smells nice. Hello Anthuria! It's very nice to meet you." Soren said, the last two sentences were spoken to Avery's pokemon directly. Soren smiled at her, but didn't dare reach out to touch her even if he really wanted to know what her skin and leaf felt like. After Avery introduced his seel, Soren greeted him too. "Hi Cosmos!" Soren waved at the seel with one hand. He didn't really expect Cosmos to wave back, but if the water type did grace him with a raised flipper, Soren's face would split in an ear-to-ear grin of pure delight.

When Avery abruptly turned and walked off, it took Soren an extra second to realize he was even gone. He hadn't given any warning or said what he intended to do. After a short moment of mild confusion, Soren trotted after the ambassador. He hadn't been called, but he still followed after the man like an eager puppy pokemon just in case he was needed both towards the items and back to their waiting pokemon. The belt that he used to attach the bag of sand to Anthuria's back looked like the kind of leather strap used in many kinds of tack for pokemon who carried riders or pulled carts.

After Avery issued instructions to Anthuria, Soren felt he should do the same with his own pokemon. "Nimbus, come here!" Soren knelt down and opened his arms to the lamb, beckoning him forward. Nimbus bounced over to him eagerly and stretched his head up to watch the boy's face. "You just need to follow Anthuria, okay? She's really nice, so you just stay close to her and do what she does." Nimbus baaed at him, which Soren took for affirmation even though the mareep didn't understand much more than the words "follow" and "stay close". Anthuria's greeting and explanation made it all much more clear, however.

Nimbus wagged his tail and stretched his neck up to touch noses with Anthuria. The bulb on his tail gave off a faint comforting light that brightened slightly when he moved. "Okay," he bleated to the bigger pokemon. He became enchanted by Anthuria the moment she spoke to him. Her voice seemed so gentle, and she smelled nice too. Nimbus would happily follow her anywhere, even a "furlong" or whatever.

When Anthuria and Cosmos's trainer told them to, the pokemon took off. Nimbus, at least at first, did a very good job of doing as he was told. His shorter legs had to work much harder to keep Anthuria's pace, and he had to fight his immediate urge to sprint ahead of her in an effort to show off, but he managed to match her. He trotted right beside her, and when she beamed down on him, the light on his tail brightened as he gazed back at her.

Soren was so busy watching the pokemon go that he once again missed the ambassador moving on to do something else. By the time Soren glanced in the man's direction, all there was to see was the billowing of his white coat. Once again, Soren started trailing behind the man watching with eyes wide and impressed as he lifted a bunch of hurdles all at once. Once he was given his orders, Soren got to work, feeling privately thrilled that Avery had given him a job to do. (And even more happy that it wasn't anything too hard.) Soren set up the hurdles as he'd been told. He could already guess that these were intended for Nimbus to try and jump over, so he tried to estimate enough space for the lamb to land and leap over the next hurdle. Soren had some doubts about the exercise. Some of the hurdles were even taller than Nimbus was, but then Soren was no expert on average mareep jumping heights. Avery walked by again with more hurdles in his arms and silently indicated that they should be further apart, so Soren quickly adjusted them again. Once everything was set up, Soren looked up at Avery for approval, hoping that the hurdles met with the ambassador's satisfaction.

As for the running pokemon, Nimbus was able to keep pace with Anthuria without exhausting himself too badly, but he was becoming increasingly worried about Cosmos. The seel was far behind them struggling along, and Nimbus felt terrible leaving him behind. He began to lag and struggled to look over his shoulders to see where the seel was. If he could at least see Cosmos, he could know he wasn't hurt. Why had his trainer even told him to do this if he didn't have legs? "Wait! Wait!" Nimbus bleated to Anthuria as he slowed to a stop. "We have to help Cosmos," he told her before turning around and trotting backwards until he was beside the exhausted seel. Only then did he realize that he had no real idea how to help. He couldn't lift the seel or carry him. He was much heavier than Nimbus was, and the lamb wasn't very strong. Thus, the mareep settled on giving moral support.

"Come on! You can do it! We're almost there!" Nimbus bleated, keeping up with Cosmos's slow and erratic pace. "Go! Go! You're doing great! Here, I'll stay with you."

Meanwhile, Genesis simply ate, rested, and watched. She was happy not to participate in this exercise. After what she'd endured today, she thought she might really lose her patience if Soren strapped a sandbag to her back. She pitied Anthuria for being saddled with both a weight over her back and the task of leading Nimbus. It seemed to start well enough, but it eventually became clear that the lamb couldn't even follow basic instructions. Watching the humans was more interesting. The way Soren followed behind the adult male reminded Genesis of the way ducklett chicks followed their mother. Most creatures might find it adorable, but to Genesis it looked a little pathetic and needy.

@Rixie

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Rixie
 Posted: Jul 26 2018, 09:34 PM
Quote


Lore


Boomerang

Upon being introduced, the two Pokemon regarded Soren with curious eyes. Cosmos did not deign to wave back at the human hatchling, however. He was much too busy. Anthuria, on the other hand, blushed and bowed her head slightly with the warm greeting and compliment. She had to admit that she quite enjoyed his pleasant attention.

Anthuria was pleased that the little Mareep agreed to follow her, and touched noses to her. His little glowing tail was the cutest thing she'd ever seen, and she felt like he would make the best little brother she could ever imagine having. Certainly a lot better than Cosmos, though she'd never say such out loud. As difficult as the Seel was, she felt like he needed her... and every other possible positive influence.

Their trot around the track began well. Each time she looked back, Nimbus was still following along, and his tail would glow, which made her unreasonably happy. Until... "Wait! Wait!" the shrill bleat stopped Anthuria in her tracks.

“Nimbus!” Anthuria called, somewhat alarmed. She turned her neck to watch him as he quickly trotted back towards the Seel. Didn't he know that they had a lot more to do? Cosmos would only need to make it once around the track, and then he'd be done. But for the four-legged creatures, that wasn't nearly enough exercise. Nimbus would just tire himself out. She lifted her head up high and looked anxiously towards Soren and Avery. They were setting up hurdles. She wasn't sure what to do, and she was terrible at making quick decisions like this. She wanted to keep going and complete her task. But she also wanted to stay with Nimbus and convince him to go with her. Besides, wasn't part of her task to lead Nimbus? She picked up her front feet one at a time, back and forth, trying to make up her mind.

Cosmos came to a stop as the Mareep charged towards him. He groaned. What did the hatchling want now? He was bleating some weird, cheering phrases that were probably designed to encourage Cosmos, but really they just made him feel like sinking into a puddle of despair and never moving again. It would take more effort to explain that to the Mareep than it was worth, so he simply gasped between puffs for air, “Nuh... I’m fine. Really.” He panted a few times, “Go on. Git. You look lazy. Like a cloud. Go.” He wanted to come up with something a more clever than that, but right now he was having trouble even remembering the Mareep’s name. In case that wasn't enough, he puffed out, "Seriously. Go. Just looking at you... is making me tired. Get out. Of here."

Anthuria finally decided that she needed to bring Nimbus with her. She started walking towards the Mareep, calling out, "It's okay, Nimbus. He'll be fine. Cosmos is a strong young Seel, and he'll make it around the track on his own time. We have somewhere to be, Nimbus. Come on!"

Once Soren adjusted the length between each hurdle very slightly, Avery gave a small, single nod of approval. Then he looked out to the track, and he was surprised to see that the Pokemon hadn't made much progress yet. He raised an eyebrow, but otherwise remained silent and non-expressive.

user posted image
Anthuria: Female Bayleef
Ability: Leaf Guard || Nature: Gentle
Level: 16 || Loyalty: 38%
Health: 100% || Energy: 75%?
Status: Healthy || Held Item: Lucky Egg
Moves: HEAL PULSE ◒ GRASS WHISTLE ◒ Tackle ◒ Growl ◒ Razor Leaf ◒ Poison Powder ◒ Synthesis

user posted image
Cosmos: Male Seel
Ability: Thick Fat || Nature: Lonely
Level: 4 || Loyalty: 26%
Health: 100% || Energy: 40%?
Status: Healthy || Held Item: None
Moves: PERISH SONG ◒ Headbutt ◒ Growl








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Notes:
Tag: @Amissa
Word Count: 550 words

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Amissa
 Posted: Jul 27 2018, 05:00 AM
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Nimbus's eyes glistened with hurt as Cosmos shooed him off. It sometimes felt to Nimbus like he was always getting shooed off by someone. He just wanted to help, but he didn't know how. The poor seel was clearly struggling, and the herd instinct in Nimbus told him that leaving the other pokemon behind was a bad idea. He shuffled his hooves but couldn't feel right about just moving on. Then Anthuria came back to him and told him that he should leave Cosmos behind as well. Nimbus looked sadly up at her, but surely she must know best.

By this time, Soren had also realized that the pokemon weren't moving along very well, and he could also see why that was. Nimbus was refusing to leave Cosmos behind him. Of course, Nimbus would see the seel as part of the herd. Traditionally, a mareep that got left behind by the herd was in danger from predators or it might get lost. "I'll go help them," Soren told Avery before trotting across the lawn to where the pokemon were gathered on the track.

"Nimbus! Come on, boy! You have to go this way. Come on and follow me and Anthuria!" Soren encouraged the mareep until Nimbus finally took a few tentative steps away from Cosmos. Eventually, Nimbus began running along the track again, this time with Anthuria on one side of him and Soren running on his other side. Nimbus jerked once more to try and go back to Cosmos, but Soren was faster and skipped in front of the mareep to block him and then herd him forward. Only then did Nimbus seem to entirely give up on helping the seel and focused wholly on his own task. Soren kept up a steady stream of encouragement as long as Nimbus continued in the right direction. The pokemon that could understand human words would recognize that Soren's words sounded just like Nimbus's moments ago. "You can do it, Nimbus! We're almost there! Stay with me and Anthuria!"

Soren's voice was cheerful and energetic. Despite working for a full day already, it didn't appear to be a struggle at all for Soren to jog along with the pokemon. He enjoyed it in fact. After spending day after day following routines and instructions, it felt good to run especially beside his pokemon. Soren hadn't been a trainer very long, and having his own pokemon beside him felt amazing. It felt like having a friend. It was becoming a bit tiring for Nimbus though after going back and forth. Nimbus wanted to stop after a while, but he kept pushing himself so as to stay with Anthuria and Soren.

@Rixie

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Rixie
 Posted: Aug 2 2018, 04:54 PM
Quote


Lore


Boomerang

Nimbus looked up at her with the saddest, biggest eyes, and she felt her heart go out to the little Pokémon. She tried to reassure him, “Don’t worry, Nimbus, little one. It’s not your fault. Cosmos is just a little different from us, so his training is different, too. It doesn’t mean you can’t be friends. He will catch up with us later.” Her eyes flicked to the Seel and then back to Nimbus. Cosmos was still puffing air, and staring straight ahead. He didn’t want to deal with Anthuria or Nimbus right now, understandably. Though, to be honest, he usually didn't want to deal with anyone.

Anthuria spared a last glance in Cosmos’s direction before she heard someone approaching. She was a bit worried at first when she saw that it was the small human running up to them. Usually Avery only came running like that when someone was in danger. Was Nimbus in danger?! She glanced at him sharply then turned her head to frown suspiciously at their surroundings, but she found nothing out of the ordinary: just the training track, fresh spring grass, and the moon rising in the distance. She looked curiously at Soren as he finished his approach. What was he doing out here then? Why did he come so quickly?

She was pleasantly surprised when Soren’s words managed to stir Nimbus back into movement. She happily trotted right by his side. Even when Nimbus tried to wheel around and make a last dash towards Cosmos, Soren’s agility allowed him to jump in front of him and keep him headed forward.

Anthuria smiled privately to herself. If Cosmos could hear Soren’s egging on of the Mareep, he’d probably laugh at the irony. At least she liked to think he would. She wasn’t sure if she’d ever heard Cosmos truly laugh...

Nimbus started to flag a bit, but Soren kept up with her quite well without seeming to get tired. Anthuria was grateful that Avery had lessened her weight today. Backtracking after Nimbus, and having to run that length once again, took its toll. By the time they came around the last corner, she was breathing hard and her thick, sturdy legs were starting to ache.

Avery watched silently. He figured out what went wrong when Soren reached the Pokémon and convinced Nimbus to keep going, leaving the white blob on the dusty track in peace. Even then, there was a small hiccup a few steps later where Nimbus tried to turn and bolt back to the Seel’s side. He believed Nimbus would be a compassionate Pokémon one day, and based on what he knew of Soren so far (which admittedly wasn’t that much yet), he’d make a fine companion for Soren.

He glanced at Genesis, who had finally eaten and was still resting. His cold blue eyes sought eye contact with her own intelligent eyes, but he didn’t say anything or move towards her. Instead, he was lost in thought. It would take the boy a while to bring this one around, he believed. A Pokemon should be an extension of its trainer, a companion that could be trusted and a tool that could be relied on as well as someone could rely on themselves. Without any real common ground, though, would Soren and Genesis be able to form such a bond? Even the usual goal of mutual survival was a questionable one here, as Soren and Genesis lived in a place where they didn't need to scrape every last possible advantage that they could. Normally, they could have their common ground of having to work together to complete their jobs and grow stronger, but Genesis didn't seem keen on any of that, either.

Avery's intense, frowning gaze was finally torn away from Genesis when Anthuria came puffing up to him. She looked up at him, her mouth slightly agape. "Brought... him back..." she flicked her leaf towards the Mareep. Avery awarded her a small nod of approval, and she practically glowed in radiant joy.

"Warmed up?" he asked the Bayleef. She nodded and stretched once more, putting all her weight on her front legs and allowing her back legs to drag ever so slightly. He waited quietly for half a minute or so for her to catch her breath, then he pointed at the Mareep suddenly. "Nimbus, watch her," he commanded, pointing to Anthuria next.

"Jump!" he spoke sharply, and Anthuria took off at a lumbering canter towards the line of taller hurdles, which barely came up to her thighs. She was not a creature made for jumping very high, after all. When she came to the first one, she reared up onto her back legs and pushed off hard, sending her front half over the hurdle. She pulled her back legs up as much as she could and extended her front legs to catch herself. In less than a second, the entire jump was complete, and she continued cantering off to the next jump. Once again, she reached the hurdle and made the coordinated movement of running forward, rearing up, jumping off with her back legs, tucking them in as close as she could while extending her front legs, and resuming her steady cantering gait. It wasn't quite graceful, as her build was more chunky than sleek, but she managed the leaps without knocking the hurdles over.

Once she came to the end of the line of hurdles, she turned and trotted back to Avery, Soren, and Nimbus. "Think you can do that, Nimbus?" she asked brightly. She cocked her head and lowered her neck to get a closer look at him and his face. "You can take another minute to catch your breath if you need." She turned her beck back towards the hurdles, sizing up what Nimbus' line looked like. It seemed that he had a line of hurdles gradually increasing in height. They probably wanted to get an idea for how high he could reasonably jump. Anthuria turned back to him and gave him a gentle, reassuring nuzzle, "Just do your best, okay? It's okay if you accidentally touch some of them. As long as you do your best!"

Meanwhile, poor Cosmos was inching his way along the track. At least the Mareep was finally gone. He was eternally thankful for that much. He struggled and panted and heaved himself to the halfway point, before flopping down again and sneaking a peek towards the humans. It looked like Anthuria and Nimbus made it back. Good. Avery would be distracted, and he could rest a little longer than he really needed to.







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Notes:
Tag: @Amissa
Word Count: 1085 words


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Amissa
 Posted: Aug 3 2018, 10:24 PM
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Genesis stared back at Avery, wondering what the human was thinking of her. Unlike Soren, who was very expressive, the adult male's face never seemed to change. If she had some fairy in her, she might be able to better discern his emotional state, but she was unsure how useful that would be even if it was possible. She found the man's stare uncomfortable, and she suspected that he might be pondering ways to put her to work. Good luck with that! She thought as she watched Soren and the other pokemon running around the track. It was likely intended to build speed and endurance, but it also looked dreadfully boring. Nothing like running in the open plains. The humans then set up hurdles that the pokemon were intended to jump over, and she had to repress the urge to roll her eyes. What was this meant to accomplish? When was the ability to leap over a hurdle ever going to be useful? It was useful research at least, to see how humans trained their pokemon when they lived in a place where they could largely avoid life or death combat.

Once they'd finished running, Soren and Nimbus both took a moment to catch their breath. "Good...boy," Soren whispered, in part because he didn't have the breath to speak much louder. He crouched down and wrapped his arms around Nimbus's neck in a hug, and the mareep wagged his tail in appreciation and pride. Soren almost jumped when Avery abruptly pointed a finger at Nimbus, and he could feel the little mareep's heart jump too in surprise. He understood the command, at least, but the big human scared him. Nimbus wondered what Avery might do to him if he couldn't do what he was told. Nimbus didn't want to be punished.

"I'll try," Nimbus baaed weakly to Anthuria, his tail drooping a bit as he looked at his line of hurdles. He'd never needed to leap over anything before, but he wanted to make Anthuria and Soren happy. When Anthuria nuzzled him, the lamb brightened and his tail wagged again. "Okay! I'll do my best."

Once Soren and Nimbus caught their breath, Soren ran ahead of Nimbus beside the hurdles, keeping an eye on his mareep. Nimbus followed Soren out of instinct, and hesitated just a bare second before the first hurdle. He reared up on his hind legs and folded his front against his chest, using his tail for balance. It only took a little bounce to get over the first one, and once that one was passed, Nimbus's confidence went up. That wasn't so hard! "Great job! Come on, Nimbus! Let's do the next one!" Soren cheered, leading the way. Nimbus felt a thrill of delight at the sound of his boy's encouragement. This was actually kind of fun! The second hurdle wasn't too difficult either, though he did touch the hurdle with his back hooves and knocked it over. "That's okay! Keep going! This time tuck those back legs up!" Nimbus didn't really understand the instruction, but Soren's tone was still cheerful and urging. He'd felt his mistake though, and he remembered what Anthuria looked like when she jumped with all her legs tucked up against her. The next time he sprung, he too tucked his legs up and made a nice clean leap.

The hurdles were getting taller, but by now Nimbus knew how to do the jumps. He'd developed a rhythm, and he was even enjoying himself. The only one that gave him a real challenge was the last one. Even with his legs tucked in and jumping as high as he could, he only got the front half of his body over it and he tumbled forward, loosing his balance and landing on his side. "Whoops! Are you okay, Nimbus?" Soren asked, leaning over the lamb as he scrambled to regain his feet.

"I'm fine!" Nimbus bleated, more annoyed than hurt. His soft wool cushioned his fall, but he glared at the fallen hurdle reproachfully as though it had tripped him on purpose.

Genesis was beginning to wonder if these exercises weren't intended to have the additional benefit of creating bonds between humans and the pokemon that they enslaved. Nimbus seemed to be benefiting, at least. Of course, this was the first time all day that he'd even been out of his pokeball. She'd already had to put up with Soren's shenanigans all day, and felt no desire to have him egging her along an obstacle course too.

@Rixie

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