Welcome

Our old universe has
fallen into impossible chaos and destruction, but the Legendaries will save us; are saving us; have saved us. Soon many lives and memories will fill this new world, and give it purpose.

Events

Terrene continues to heat
up, both in temperature and in conflict. Beta is asking for spies to infiltrate Omega's camp, while Dentelle simply wants to inquire after the scientist's progress. Later in the season, Beta is hosting his annual crater city tournament, where people can test their Pokemon and their leadership and strategies against one another.

Season

Summer will be here until
September. The heat of summer is here in full force, as well as the accompanying summer thunderstorms. Bug, electric, and fire types all thrive while others wilt under these conditions.

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Pokemon: Terrene Pokemon: Terrene

 
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Jani
 Posted: Nov 17 2017, 09:21 PM
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(I intend to make this adventure very much like an introductory dev, but I wanted a chance at catching another Pokemon for Zahir, in case something appealing was spawned. At the very least, having a battle could provide some drama, and a good way to build initial loyalty with cute Burmy~)

Colors. All he could remember were colors. Blue, yellow, red... orange...

Gods, he was too dizzy. He couldn't concentrate, he could barely stand.

He stood, swaying slightly, blinking as he tried to regain... himself. He felt like he had fallen a great distance, but a brief glance around told him that there was nothing here to fall from. Besides, he was standing upright, on his feet. So where had he just been...? And what had he been doing?

He... couldn't remember anything.

A movement caught his eyes, something near his feet. Heart beating fast, muscles tensing in preparation for fight or flight, anxious dark brown eyes shot down and tunnel-visioned on the creature that approached.

It was small, maybe half a foot long. Pink. Orange eyes peered up at him. This...

This was his. It had to be. He recognized it... or he thought he did. Something about it felt familiar. It was the only thing about that felt familiar.

Moving quickly, he crouched and lurched forward, scooping up the pink creature in his hands and bringing it in to his chest. It wriggled, and seemed to be fighting to escape, but his fingers were long and strong enough to contain the small creature. He kept his grasp gentle- he certainly didn't want to break this thing, whatever it was- but firm.

He hummed at it, a wordless but comforting tone, and wrapped his jacket delicately over the creature. He then zipped up the jacket, effectively containing and protecting the Pokemon.

Yes, Pokemon, the word suddenly came to him. That was a correct word, though it didn't feel specific enough to him. It would do for now.

He could feel tiny feet and antennae exploring the space, tickling against his belly. He hummed at it again, and the movements paused for the duration of the noise.

Okay, he had his Pokemon. Now... the city in the not-so-distant distance. That was where safety would be found. He took a step toward it.


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AjSol
 Posted: Nov 17 2017, 10:05 PM
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@Jani


a wild Kricketot has appeared!
3 ◒ Male ◒ Shed Skin ◒ Growl, Bide

a wild Vullaby has appeared!
5 ◒ Female ◒ Overcoat ◒ Gust, Leer, Fury Attack, STEEL WING

a wild Bunnelby has appeared!
5 ◒ Female ◒ Huge Power ◒ Tackle, Agility, Leer, ROLLOUT

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Jani
 Posted: Nov 19 2017, 07:09 PM
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Something dark and feathered burst out of the tall, thick grasses; Zahir had no time to react before the creature was pummeling at his chest and stomach. He felt the creature he shielded within his jacket panic, flailing about before releasing a squeak and becoming still. Zahir himself panicked as well, throwing his hands out at whatever had come at him, beating it back with loosely clenched fists, skin brushing against feathers and bone.

He stumbled back from his attacker and was able to get a look at it, as it seemed to be doing the same. It was a bird, that, summed up, seemed to be too small for its britches. It was thin, frail, unhealthy looking. There was bone around its torso that it seemed it couldn't quite fill up.

Looking at the skinny bird, he suddenly realized how hungry he was.

He stood crouched, ready to spring into action as soon as his mind decided on what action was appropriate, but he wasn't given time to think before the bird was attacking again. With frantic movements, it beat its wings, not to gain altitude but to send a burst of air at Zahir and the insect that it was after, who had just peaked its little antennae and face out where the zipper was half-zipped up on Zahir's jacket. Zahir threw his arms out, making a cross with them as he attempted to block the wind with only minimal success. He dropped his arms just in time to see spheres of light pulse out of his jacket, which morphed from a pure, green-ish light into rock as they flew toward the starved bird.

They struck, and the bird stumbled backward, crying out weakly. It then turned and fled, stumbling back into the tall grasses, its wings propelling in a circular motion to add to its momentum as it left it's would-be victims behind.

Zahir exhaled. He glanced down at the Burmy, who in turn looked up at him; they stared at each other for a short moment while they processed the brief yet furious event that had just occurred.

They were safe, now, weren't they? Perhaps not. Hunching over ever so slightly, he broke his gaze with the creature in his jacket and started forward once again. The Burmy hesitated a moment, and then lowered itself back into the depths of the jacket again.


[Turn 1: Vullaby uses Fury Attack on Zahir/Burmy -> Burmy uses Protect -> Zahir uses panicked flail on Vullaby -> Burmy ~94%, Vullaby ~95%. Turn 2: Vullaby uses Gust on Zahir/Burmy -> Burmy uses Hidden Power [Rock] on Vullaby -> Burmy ~88%, Vullaby ~ 65%. Vullaby flees.]


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Jani
 Posted: Jan 12 2018, 12:33 AM
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His progress was slower, now that he had been taught- reminded?- how dangerous the world was. He felt idiotic for having forgotten. Zahir was now crouched and stooped, hiding as much of himself behind the tall grasses as he could, his eyes scanning the grasses as he moved toward the civilization that he saw on the horizon. People, walls, safety. That was his goal.

There was a sudden cry from ahead; Zahir dropped to the ground on all fours, earning a muffled squeak from the bug. He crawled forward, oh so slowly, until he could see what the ruckus was.

It was that dark bird again, this time attacking a new victim: a rabbit. It seemed like a typical prey for a predatory bird, right? Except that the small rabbit... was very clearly winning the skirmish, even though it had just started. She kept rolling into a ball and throwing herself at her attacker, and in it's weak and starved state, the bird couldn't manage to avoid the repetitive attacks. Yet it seemed that either desperation or stupidity made the bird keep trying.

It was getting to the point that the bird could hardly move. It stumbled, then fell over, and- Zahir's stomach rumbled, and he thought- mmm, poultry. The rabbit had done most of the hard work already.

Bursting from his hiding place and landing on his feet, he reached into his pocket to grab his knife and- came up with a pokeball. Um, what? There had been a knife in there before, hadn't there? He distinctly remembered putting a knife in that pocket... didn't he? He suddenly wasn't sure. Did he have that memory? But if not, why would be have been so certain that there was a knife there?

But now both wild creatures were staring at him, and he had to think quick. Letting out a throaty growl, he chucked the pokeball at the near-dead Vullaby. He wasn't sure why he was doing it, but he was a man of instinct, not thoughtful reflection.


[Turn 1: Vullaby uses Steel wing on Bunnelby -> Bunnelby uses Rollout on Vullaby -> Bunnelby ~70%, Vullaby ~44%. Turn 2: Vullaby uses Gust on Bunnelby -> Bunnelby uses Rollout on Vullabay -> Bunnelby ~51%, Vullaby ~ 9%. Vullaby faints. Zahir tosses pokeball at Vullaby.]


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AjSol
 Posted: Jan 12 2018, 12:54 AM
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encounter results
Alright! A solid 50/50 chance and you luckily lady got a 44! The demon bird is now yours~ She will start with 5% loyalty, so be careful when you called her out!

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Jani
 Posted: Jan 17 2018, 12:24 AM
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As the ball made contact with the bird, there was a flash of dull red light that seemed to... vaporize, and then absorb, the creature. It was odd. Zahir felt like he had seen something like this before, and yet at the same time, it felt like he never had.

The real question was, why were his memories so foggy? No, not foggy. Practically nonexistent.

He watched the pokeball rock weakly on the ground before rolling to a halt. He stared at it a moment, then turned his gaze to the bunny, who was standing completely still other than she was breathing a bit heavily from the battle. She stared straight back at him as they silently sized each other up.

They stared at one another for quite a long moment; long enough that the little bug in his jacket wriggled up to pop her head back out over the zipper of his jacket to see what was the matter. The bug made a small sound, somewhere between a whisper and a squeak, almost like the creaking of a door.

Zahir had no idea what the bug said, but the bunny's stare reduced greatly in intensity, and she sat back on her bottom. He moved forward and swiped up the now-full pokeball. He considered it for a moment, weighing it in his palm, before sliding it into a jacket pocket.

Then he turned and considered the rabbit, just a bit out of the corner of his eye, pretending to busy himself with his jacket pockets and zipper. It looked... young. Ish. And it kept nervously glancing at him and fidgeting with its ears.

It had taken down that bird so fast. Its attacks had done a lot more damage to the bird, it seemed, than the bug's attack. It was the strongest creature he had met so far, and it wasn't being violent to him.

That seemed like an opportunity.

Hadn't he had an apple in his pocket before? He remembered an apple. Then again, he had remembered a knife, too, and that hadn't been there. Still, he reached into his various pockets, searching- and only coming up empty. He grunted. He let go of the plan that had been half-formed in his mind.

'Goodbye, then' Zahir thought as he began once again to stalk towards the wall on the horizon.

The next few minutes were quiet and uneventful. Just how he liked. He was beginning to be able to distinguish rooftops that poked above the city wall that lay spread out ahead of him. He could see shapes moving outside of the wall. People. People that seemed to be leading normal, calm lives. The picture of it struck him as both odd and promising, though he couldn't put his finger on why. Those lost memories again.

The tiniest of squeaks came from behind him, interrupting his thoughts.

He turned about very casually; it was the bunny. It held in its tiny paws, a fanny pack. Clearly, that was a human item, not a rabbit's item. It held the pack higher... was the bunny... offering him the bag? The bunny tilted its head, as if inquiring. Did the rabbit think it belonged to him and he had lost it, or was this a gift?

Zahir couldn't tell, but it didn't matter to him. Moving slowly, he bent down and grasped the fanny pack, then straightened up. The pack was heavier than he expected- how much was stuffed into this thing? He undid the two buttons that kept it closed. Three pokeballs, one of them oddly designed. A clay bottle, similar in color to his bug. A strange grey mechanical device. And... three berries, two larger, one smaller.

He took out the berry of middling size, the bright yellow one that came to a point. A Nomel, though he didn't know it by name himself. Digging through its skin with his fingernails (and suppressing a shudder that threatened to surface in reaction to the sensation of juice and berry skin beneath his fingernails), he tore the long berry in half. He shifted his gaze to the bunny, who hadn't left.

He offered half of the berry to the bunny. The rodent took the berry, then took a large bit out of it. It proceeded to make a bit of a face, complete with a comical eye twitch, but then smacked its jaws as if in approval.

Zahir took a step to one side, then inclined his head toward the city, as if to say, 'Come with me?'


[Bunnelby befriending attempt on Zahir~ Befriending attempt on Bunnelby!]


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Kaien
 Posted: Jan 22 2018, 01:18 PM
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befriending attempt !
A befriending is attempted on the Bunnelby. Bun bun seems super friendly with Zahir and deffo would approve of bonus snacks. He did remove the bird from... existence? Even though the bunnelby didn't need the help, it's still appreciated. I'll set the chances at 55%. RNG says... 89! OH NO D:!

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Jani
 Posted: Feb 9 2018, 08:38 PM
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The bunny hopped towards him once, but then glanced past him at the city and hesitated.

Okay, so the bunny was fine with him, but going to the city wasn't what it wanted to do. Zahir's brow furrowed somewhat. The appeal of having such an innocuous and simultaneously powerful creature was strong. But he wasn't willing to live out in the wilds in order to have the rodent on his side.

He crouched down, pushing aside his need to be on the move toward the city, just for a moment. Closer to eye level with the beast, he opened his mouth to speak to it but only a harsh rush of air came out. He cleared his throat and wondered how long it had been since he had last spoken. He couldn't remember. But he could speak, right?

"I'd like you to come with me." He stated (lamely) once he had adequately cleared his throat. "I helped you, didn't I?"

The bunny squeaked something that Zahir of course couldn't understand. The furrows of his brow deepened. He held up the uneaten half of the berry, then thrust the hand holding the berry in the direction of the city on the horizon.

The bunny squeaked again.

Zahir was on the verge of giving up when he felt the bug in his jacket wiggle back up again to peek her tiny face out over the zipper. She made her soft creaking noise again; the rodent squeaked in response. Zahir couldn't understand a word, but it seemed like they were getting into a conversation. Feeling a mite grumpy, he huffed and busied himself looking at the items in the pack that the rabbit had brought him. He'd give the creatures a couple minutes to talk, but no more than that. It was uncomfortable, being out here in the open. He eyed the bunny for a second as it conversed with his bug, then pulled out the grey device. Might as well try to figure this thing out while the two things were talking.

▣▣▣

//What?// She chirruped, twitching her nose, in response to the human's unintelligible speech. She'd no idea at all what he was saying, but it saddened her that he didn't look happy. She had brought him that bag she'd found the other day- that was a human thing, and he was a human! So why didn't it work? He'd never even smiled at her. Humans could smile, couldn't they? She'd never dared to get so close to one before, but... this one was just suddenly there and then he'd made the bird disappear. That was amazing. She wanted him to like her. Of course, she wanted everyone to like her but this was the first human she'd met, so, this felt extra important. But then he pointed at the city again.

//Can't... can't you stay out here? The human place is scary, isn't it?//

She twitched her nose as there was a quiet shuffling sound and the bug from before emerged from her hiding place again.

//We stopped again?// The Burmy's voice was tinged with impatience. She wanted to get out of this open space already. She felt somewhat safe nestled into this human's shell, or armor, or fur, or whatever this was- but the city was the safest. There were so many less predators there. She was left well enough alone for the most part, although sometimes humans would brush her or kick her away, they didn't seem to find her enough of a threat or pest to do much besides that. And she was absolutely fine with that. But here they were, stopped again, which was the opposite of what she wanted.

//The human is going to the big human nest!//

//But now he's stopped to talk to you.//

The irritated tone went entirely over her head, but the Bunnelby blinked in surprise at the bug's words. //You're not scared to go?//

//That's where I live.// This was way more chatting than she wanted to do. The human himself wasn't even talking to the Bunnelby anymore. She turned herself enough to cast a dead-eyed stare in the human's direction, but he was distracted with whatever human item he had in his hands.

//But they eat Pokemon there! Everyone always tells me so! Don't go near the human place, they say, the humans will eat you!//

The bug would have scowled if she'd had the eyebrows. The Bunnelby just kept talking. ]//No different from out here! There's always someone bigger! Like that Vullaby. Now please go hop on your merry way and let us go!//

Well, that hurt. The Bunnelby looked down, after the bug's sudden outburst and shuffled her feet in the dirt. //But... the human wants me to go with him.//

Huh, well, that made a difference, the bug supposed. She wrangled in the impatience and irritation that had gotten the best of her. It had been a very, very long day. She'd walked all the way out here from the city and she didn't even know why she felt she had to but she did. Now she was with a human which was strange but felt sort of right even though she didn't know why it did but it did. All she wanted to do was go home where there weren't birds jumping out of nowhere to try and eat her and where she could resume her calm life of collecting odds and ends to add to her cocoon.

//So come.//

The Bunnelby's ears twitched backward. Hadn't the bug heard her? Humans were frightening. Okay, but maybe the human in front of her right now wasn't that frightening, but, take for example those two humans who were approaching from the human city- those were frightening! Right? Sure, she liked to think the best of everybody, and she'd like to be proved wrong about humans, it'd be so nice if they were really all nice, but-

Wait.

//Humans!// The bunny cried out, putting the human-that-was-almost-a-friend between herself and the two humans that were approaching from the direction of the big human nest.

//Say you're his. They won't hurt you.// The last of the bug's words were muffled as she sunk back down into the jacket.

▣▣▣

Zahir frowned at the machine in his hands. He'd gotten it to turn on through trial and error, but found that he couldn't interpret the symbols and designs that it displayed. At the same time, though, he felt strongly that the letters (yes, letters, that was the word, he realized) were very familiar to him.

The bunny suddenly let out a shrill cry and leaped behind him. He turned, sharply, still crouched low to the ground, ready to run- but then saw what it was that had upset the rabbit. A man and a woman in official looking clothing approached from the direction of the city.


[Attempt number 2 for Bunnelby!]


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Kaien
 Posted: Feb 10 2018, 08:05 PM
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befriending attempt !
A befriending is attempted on the Bunnelby. Humans are SUPER SCARY! And human nest is SUPER SCARY! But, there are humans approaching... To run, or follow the burmy's words and... claim to be this savior's poke and be safe??? The bun bun is still super conflicted, so I'll still roll and say the chances are 60% - I think the bunnelby is still more on board with the idea than not, if barely. RNG says... 49! Befriending successful!! @Jani

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Jani
 Posted: Mar 9 2018, 09:48 PM
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Zahir straightened up and his eyes focused on the two people that approached. A man just shorter than him, short and choppy blonde hair, serious brown eyes, thin build. A woman bouncing just behind, hot on his heels, a bit taller and rounder, striking light blue eyes and crazy curly auburn hair pulled into a messy bun. As they grew closer, the woman couldn't contain herself and stepped past the man to greet Zahir.

"Hi, good day! You're new here, aren't you?"

Her tone of voice was eager and expectant, and Zahir's attention was automatically drawn to her. The other man with his straight-lined mouth in the background stayed in Zahir's peripherals.

"Yes, I- I think so." His own voice was quiet and calm in comparison to the woman's, but loud enough to be heard clearly by both her and her companion. There was an air of authority about them, particularly the man, so in response his body language and tone of voice was submissive and somewhat hesitant, allowing them to be in charge and to take the lead of the situation.

"Yes, we thought we saw a flash of light out here. Is this cute little Pokemon yours, then? The Bunnelby?"

Pokemon. That was the word that had come to him before. Bunnelby, then, must be the more specific word for the grey, long-eared, buck-toothed kind, as the woman had crouch down a bit and nodded toward the rodent that was cowering behind his legs.

"Mine? I suppose so." There must have been enough of a questioning tone or expression that the woman felt the need to speak reassuringly.

"I imagine it is, otherwise it wouldn't be clinging so closely to you. It's completely expected for you to have a Pokemon companion by your side when you first arrive."

Zahir soaked up the information greedily: this event that he was experiencing was not uncommon. Presumably, everything that was happening to him now, happened to others with some frequency. That meant there was likely some sort of procedure that was in place to deal with this, which was likely why these two were here. He remained silent and still as he thought, and waited.

"My name is Kiku, and this is Damian." Zahir noticed a twitch in the other man's face. Either he didn't enjoy having his name shared, or he didn't enjoy being spoken for. "We're going to take you into Crater, the city just over there. You'll be given food, a home, and a job."

By this point, she had approached him and was moving as if to take him by the arm. She hesitated and looked at him, silently asking permission. He acquiesced, moving his right arm away from his body. Flashing him a full smile, the woman looped his arm in hers and began gently pulling him toward the city. Zahir allowed himself to be pulled, after all, he had been intending to go this direction from the start. Now he had guides, and what they were offering sounded quite appealing. The male that had been silent thus far sent warning bells off in his head somewhat, however.

"I don't suppose you remember your name, do you?"



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Jani
 Posted: Apr 8 2018, 09:41 PM
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"Yes, I- ah- mm."

Of course he remembered his name. Except that, he didn't. "I'm sure I do, but, it's not coming to me." He stated, tinging his voice with a bit of curt disappointment.

"That's just fine! Many people don't. I chose my own name, actually. Maybe you can choose yours, if it doesn't come to you later on." Kiku responded, chipper as ever. She seemed to be trying to speak with some consolation and compassion, Zahir sensed from her tone, but her own cheerfulness betrayed her.

He gave her a small closed-mouth smile, as if reassured, knowing that was what she wanted. Kiku smiled back at him, and then looked over at the man called Damian. Clearly, she was waiting for some sort of permission, or signal, from him. Meaning that Damian was the one in charge. It made sense; despite the male's young appearance, he practically oozed authority. As he and Kiku paused in their walk toward the city, Kiku waiting on Damian for some unspoken thing, Zahir met Damian's eyes and then bowed his head ever so slightly, dropping his gaze again. He certainly didn't want to be on the bad side of anyone in authority.

"Let's get back into the city."

The three of them- four, counting the rabbit that trailed anxiously behind them- then traipsed toward the city, their rather quick pace set partially by Damian's long-legged stride and partially by Kiku's apparently boundless energy and enthusiasm. Zahir managed to keep Kiku from literally skipping on past Damian by virtue of being connected to her at the elbow; he allowed himself to be pulled onward, but he gave just enough resistance to keep her from passing Damian. He was just fine letting the apparently higher-ranking one do the leading, and he certainly didn't want to be in the middle of any unintentional power-struggle that Kiku might unintentionally cause with her eagerness.

They made it to the city in a matter of minutes- though Kiku had to relinquish her armhold on Zahir as the rabbit that was apparently his grew both tired and unbearable anxious and needed to be carried the rest of the way, to Zahir's disdain. The fuzzy creature made Zahir's nose itch, but he tolerated it. For the time being.

He just wanted to get a move on. Get into the city. If he could have, he'd have sprinted past both Damian and Kiku. He released a subtle breath of relief when they finally passed to the other side of the wall, which was shorter than it looked from a distance. Up close and personal, it was almost underwhelming. Still, it felt good to be on the civilized side of this wall.

"There are a couple of matters of business to attend to before you settle in." Damian stated, interrupting Kiku's incessant rambling. She'd been speaking nearly nonstop, describing Crater- which was apparently the name of this city- as well as giving an overview of the world as a whole as she knew it, and asking him questions that he didn't know answers to. She hadn't been put off by his simple shrugging and apologetic smiling, however, and had been completely content to carry the entire conversation by herself.

But Damian's words managed to quiet her. Not just for the moment, but for the rest of their walk as Damian took the lead and Kiku gave Zahir back his arm and took up the rear as they continued on single file, Kiku's spirit seemed more... tame. The sudden quiet disturbed Zahir somewhat, but he didn't slow his pace or say anything. He didn't even dare to sneeze, regardless of how much his nose tickled.

Now was not the time for resistance. Now was the time for submitting, and blending, and surviving.


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Jani
 Posted: Yesterday at 01:17 am
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The trio of people entered a small building. It seemed mostly bare. There were a couple of shelves by the door they entered from, organized neatly with sheets of what looked like paper and a few other things. There was a desk with three chairs around it, and a couple other chairs randomly placed near the edges of the room. A fireplace was built into the right wall. It was currently empty, but Damien moved over to it and began to load it with kindling and a few small logs that had been sitting in a basket next to it.

"Take care of the paperwork, Kiku." Damien instructed as he worked on the fire. Zahir didn't think much of it- it was a bit cold here, after all. He vaguely wondered what season it was. Or what month.

"Sure thing!" Having an assignment put a bit of pep back into the woman's step. She came up from behind him and gestured at one of the chairs, saying, "Take a seat, friend!"

He did so, of course, setting the slightly shaking Bunnelby on his lap. He felt the little bug creature in his jacket shifting slightly, but it didn't seem to want to reveal itself. He heard Kiku rustling through some of the items on the shelves behind him. Soon enough she was seated opposite him at the table, spreading out a tall cloth that had writing on it. "Usually, we try to take down a name for our new arrivals. I don't suppose you remembered it on the walk here?" Zahir shook his head in response. Kiku just smiled and continued, "Try and remember it, or think up a new one, if you like! I'll get all of the other information written down first to give you a chance to think."

The man found it hard to focus on a thing as trivial as a name. It seemed like bigger things were happening here. But he tried his best. He didn't even know where to start, he didn't even know what letter his name might start with... But that thought gave him the idea to go through the alphabet, which he suddenly recalled. He went through all twenty-six letters, and hesitated on the final one. Z. He found a word was just on the tip of his tongue. His name? But he couldn't quite remember it.

At least he had something to say when Kiku returned to the subject. "Z? That's something, at least! I'm so glad you've remembered something, even if it's just the one letter. It's a great place to start. I'll put that down in our records. I hope the rest comes to you sometime, Z."

The two exchanged smiles, but the moment ended as Damien approached the table. The fire crackled at the other side of the room. Kiku's smile faltered (though she tried not to let it show) as Damien asked, "Is everything ready?"

Kiku nodded silently. All of Zahir's senses were on high alert all of the sudden. Something was about to happen. It was not pleasant. He thought of remaining silent, but he decided that he wanted the answer. And perhaps speaking of it would relieve the tension between the three of them. "What else needs to be done?" For the first time, Zahir's eyes moved to meet Damien's, their gazes locking.

"A mark must be branded onto your head, so that we know you are one of us, and not an outsider."

Movement drew Zahir's eye back to Kiku. Looking suddenly ashamed and guilt-ridden, she was brushing a few curly flyaways off of her forehead, holding them back to reveal the raised skin that had been slightly hidden beneath them. A scar, in the shape of the letter B.


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Jani
 Posted: Yesterday at 12:00 pm
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Kiku let her hair fall back over her forehead. She kept looking down and away, unwilling to meet Zahir's eyes. "The brand lets us know that you are a worker. You are to be taken care of, kept healthy and full and safe." She spoke quickly, and her tone sounding pleading. Almost desperate. She clearly expected him to be angry or afraid.

Zahir's breath caught slightly as Damien approached, brandishing a wrought iron pole, the end of it glowing red-hot in a shape that precisely mirrored the mark on Kiku. He stared at it silently for a second, his face blank.

The woman suddenly couldn't stand it anymore, and she rose quickly from her chair, causing it to clatter slightly behind her. She murmured something that Zahir didn't quite catch to excuse herself, and made to move past Zahir and Damien and head to the door.

Unexpected by anyone in the room, even himself, Zahir's hand reached out to grab Kiku's, stopping her before she could leave. It wasn't to plead his case to her. It wasn't for his own comfort. It was for the woman's comfort. He looked up at her, smiled a gentle smile, and said. "Don't worry about it, Kiku. Everything's fine."

She hesitated, but just couldn't resist returning his smile. It was so... unexpected. This wasn't the reaction that any of the previous to-be-Branded had. His bravery charmed her, not to mention his generosity and compassion toward her in this moment that was no doubt more harrowing for him than it was for her.

She'd never know that it was neither bravery nor compassion that drove Zahir, but what did that matter? He had intended to comfort her. She knew that his intentions were to comfort her. She had successfully been comforted. She would remember him as a kind soul who had helped her when she had been having a small crisis, meaning that he had at least one friend who ranked higher than he did. And that was the bottom line: he had his first human ally in this place, where he was fairly confident that he would be staying for a good, long while. Free food, shelter, and safety... these were not boons to be scoffed at.

Zahir dropped Kiku's hand, and then picked up the Bunnelby from his lap and settled the rodent beneath his chair so that she wouldn't be in the way or cause any trouble. The pink insect he trusted to remain hidden where it was.

He turned to Damien, who had returned to the fire to heat up the brand again, as it had cooled too much in the past few moments. "I'm ready," he said quietly, somberly. Damien nodded. Zahir leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes, so that he wouldn't have to see the red-hot iron approaching his face. He felt Kiku slipping her hand back into his, squeezing it, trying to provide him reassurance. He squeezed her hand back, holding onto it tightly to reveal a little bit of the fear and anticipation he felt.


Ras . 5 . Shed Skin
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