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Desolate Land Diaries: The Life & Times of the Dangerous Dune Rats


Shampoo Thief
Desolate Lands: The Life and Times of the Dangerous Dune Rats [PG 15]
An AU RPG where Team Magma succeeds in screwing everything up. Welcome to the Desolate Lands.
Alternate title: Mad Maxie: Fury Route

It’s a whole new world we live in. And it sucks. After Team Magma awakened Groudon using the Blue Orb, a new era was ushered in. Groudon’s primal forme was unleashed, and soon Team Magma lost control. One valiant 10 year old faced off against the beast in hopes of calming it. However, they failed and were eaten. The extremely harsh sun that was summoned by Groudon began depleting the world of nearly all sources of water. Oceans evaporated (with rejoice from IGN), leaving behind desolate salt flats, deep depressions, and cavernous canyons. Without water, much of the land was turned to desert and wastelands. Many pokemon species died out, being unable to adapt to the new world. Water and Ice type pokemon reached the brink of extinction, and seeing one now was only slightly more likely than seeing a Mew. Society collapsed as famine and drought plagued the land. Governments were unable to handle the unrest and collapsed right along with it. Cities now lay in ruin, and many have begun to be swallowed by the ever expanding desert. In an effort to expand and develop civilization, Team Magma ended up dooming it.

That was many years ago, and now most people living in this barren world were born into it. People had to revert back to more primal ways of life. Many people had to become nomads, searching the scorched remains of the earth for food and water. Some people managed to create small communities that could support themselves. In some rare cases, city-states arose, powerful and often greedy. No matter if you were a tribal nomad or the ruler of a city-state, you had to fight for your own survival. This world was uncaring and unforgiving. If you don’t fight for what’s yours, it won’t be yours for very long.

Even in the bleakest of times, there still shines a glimmer of hope. Since the resurrection of Groudon, there have been tales of how to reverse it. The Blue Orb, the tool that failed to control Groudon, has been claimed to be what the world needs. No one has been able to locate it, though. It has been so long now that most people consider it a myth, akin to the Holy Grail. A relic lost to time, buried in the ruins of civilization. That doesn’t stop people from trying to get their hands on it, however. Everyone has their own motivations. Fame, power, glory; some even just out of the good of their hearts. If someone were to locate the Blue Orb again, they would be able to awaken and control Kyogre, bringing water back to the world.

You happen to be one of these people. What your motivations are are up to you. But you have found yourself in a gang of people with the same goal in mind: find the Blue Orb. The gang’s leader, Elara, is very open with her reasoning. She wants revenge. She wants to drown the emperors in the same resource that crowned them and return water to the people. And she will stop at nothing to reach that goal. Her ragtag group of outlaws and survivalists may not seem like a threat, but what she knows may be enough to bring an end to the Desolate Land.

* * *

Sign Ups (open)

Current Players:
Elara - Shampoo Thief
Bags - Shampoo Thief
Ander - Omegagoldfish
Whisper - Schade
Vern - Vern
Luna - Vern
Legna James Krad - Iegnak
Agatha “Bootstrap” Pridmore - Samayouru

* * *

The Desolate Lands are a world of dirt and death. A world built upon the ruins of what used to be, now merely a memory only held in the minds of the oldest survivors. Life itself has been pushed to the brink of existence. Everyday is a struggle for survival. Those who could not adapt to the desolation were consumed by it. The ones who did adapt became it: unforgiving, blood thirsty, desolate.

Along the craggy and mountainous paths between New Rustboro and Meteor Falls is a small group of travelers. Leading them is a woman. She is striking, but stoned faced. A red scarf covers her head and mouth. A few blonde curls spill out from under the covering. Far above her a Mandibuzz is circling. Close behind her is a dirty young man leading a Camerupt by a rope. On the back of the pokemon there are packs of supplies, tied down with mix matched ropes. The load was larger than normal, as two days earlier the group had stopped at a trading town and managed to purchase some supplies. This, combined with the rocky and uneven ground, was making the Camerupt walk at a slower pace.

To the East of the group mountains rise menacingly, tall and sharp. Craters blemish the ground, and they were getting more numerous the farther north the group went. In the distance Mt. Chimney can be seen, still spitting ash into the air. To the west, the rocky landscape meets what used to be the sea shore. What remains now is a slightly sloping, flat expanse that looks as if it reaches out forever. The ground out there is white and barren. When the oceans evaporated, only the salt from the water remained. There was nothing out there for travelers but certain death. Everyone knew that and everyone avoided them.

Elara looked back to the way from which they came, putting her hand to her forehead to shield her eyes from the sun. She was on edge because of the slower pace they had been keeping. There was smoke rising in a large column on the horizon. Her Mandibuzz has confirmed it was the town they had visited just two days before. The New Rustboro Army was gaining on them. There was no doubt in her mind that they were the cause of the smoke. If the group didn’t start moving faster, the army would be on them soon.

The New Rustboro Army was nearly as relentless as the Sun was. Since the day Elara fled the city, they have pursued her. She was too important to let go. She had escaped with her husband’s research on the Blue Orb. The information she held was invaluable. She may be Hoenn’s best chance at finding and using the Blue Orb. She could bring water back to the Sun baked world. She would die before giving what she knew to the Warlord that killed her husband. At this rate, that might be exactly what happens.

“Bags, get the Camerupt to pick up the pace,” Elara said to the boy leading the pokemon.

Bags spit a large, dark wad from his mouth. A tar-black liquid oozed from the gaps between his sharp teeth. “Lumps ain’t gonna go any faster’n this. We got too much shit on ‘im.”

Elara wasn’t satisfied with this. “Then you grab some bags and help it out. And don’t call it ‘Lumps.’”

Bags rolled his eyes but did as he was told. He continued talking as he unpacked some of the supplies. “Gotta call him something, he’s gotta have a name. Can't have a pokemon without a name, erryone knows that. And clearly you won’t be giving him one. Sides, Lumps is a great name I think.” Elara ignored him.

Bags tossed a large pack without warning to the green-haired boy walking a few paces behind him. “Here Cat Eyes, you take some too.”

Relieving some of the weight did help, and the Camerupt quickened. They could probably make it to Meteor Falls not too long after sundown. The route they were taking was forcing them to go very far out of their way, but there wasn’t much they could do about that. Unless they wanted to face the Rustboro soldiers head on, this is what they would have to do. She hoped that they would be able to lose them once they get through the falls.

“We will make camp when we reach the cave’s entrance.” She announced to the group. “Tomorrow we will go through the pass. It won’t be an easy trek, but hopefully that will work to our advantage.” She looked back once more, quicker this time. “No fire tonight.”

“You tryin to kill us, eh,” replied Bags. He knew she was right, they couldn’t have a fire with the NRA so close on their tail. They didn’t want to draw any extra attention to their position. Still, it got cold at night. They hadn’t been able to have a fire in days. All they had to look forward to tonight was a cold meal and a colder night’s sleep.

They may have more to look forward to, Elara thought. She hadn't shared her suspicions with anyone, but before the Desolation, Meteor Falls was home to a large waterfall that gave the cave it's name. Since the falls were protected from the sun, then maybe they were still there. Clear, drinkable water cascading down to them. She licked her parched lips. Enough water to swim in, how wonderful would that be. The thought excited her, but she tried to stay grounded. Most likely the falls have dried up with the rest of the world. And if they haven't, then you could bet someone else had found them first. If that were the case, they may be headed directly into trouble.


Rabid Dusclops Fan
Agatha "Bootstrap" Pridmore
Travelling to Meteor Falls​

Agatha Pridmore looked up, squinting at the Mandibuzz surveying the sky. It had only been a couple of days since she had finally decided that surviving alone wasn’t right anymore, and yet she still felt like she was struggling alone. Her Dusclops, Grimsby, walked alongside her, his fists clenched. He was on guard, as per usual, making sure that his owner was not in any danger. Agatha didn’t know what she’d do without him – he was, after all, her only companion since she’d ditched Rustboro. She thought of what the warlord had done to her father bitterly and almost spat, but thought better of it considering how dry her lips felt. Even spit was precious in this desolate wasteland, the best thing to do was to keep it in her mouth.

Of course, nobody actually knew who she was – when she’d come across the group she’d simply told them to refer to her as Bootstrap. The less anybody knew about her real name, the better. Eventually, the group leader – Elara, Agatha thought her name was – turned and began talking to the group. “We will make camp when we reach the cave’s entrance.” She said. “Tomorrow we will go through the pass. It won’t be an easy trek, but hopefully that will work to our advantage.” And then, a few seconds later, added: “No fire tonight.”

Agatha understood why she’d said that, for she herself had made the mistake of making a fire in the wastelands one night. She’d earned at least two of her scars from the unwanted attention lighting that fire had brought. Still, that didn’t change the fact that it meant eating cold food and a cold bed (whatever that bed might be). She kept her mouth shut, though, the last thing she needed to do was complain. At the very least she was used to colder temperatures, considering that her only Pokemon was about as cold as a corpse.


My will be done
Ander walked near the back of the group, keeping his Krookidile company. The terrifying Pokémon staring hungrily at Elara's Mandibuzz. Ander, meanwhile, glanced ahead, sand bouncing off of his goggles as he turned. He noted the person who only called herself "Bootstraps" scowling, her Pokémon not looking much nicer.

"Come on, Maximus," he said, referring to the Pokémon dragging a sled, "we've only got a little more to go," continuing to look around, Ander noticed Elara said there would be no fire. Ander sighed a bit and continued walking. "Whatever this NRA gang is, I doubt we'd have much trouble" Ander said as he looked at his companion, sighing. "Remember the Sand Watch? Last I heard, I'm a god to them now," Ander grinned at that memory, at the memory of bleeding their leader to death, and all of the blood he drank the next day. Regardless, he continued to walk, checking his rifle as he did so.


Well-Known Member
Short bio: cloaked in green and orange, dark skin. Has a Medicham with her. Used to be a tribe member, but now has escaped and doesn't like to talk about it. Speaks with an accent.

Willow walked quietly with the rest, they spoke with different tones and dialects, so she listened and watched for them all. She heard the woman who invited her, Elara, say "No fire tonight."
Busy people and their fire, Willow found it strange. She never slept with a fire, not even as a child, for the whole tribe would just gather together for warmth. It's not like they had wood anyways. And of course during her times as a guide if the people wanted to safely escape the city, no fire was necessary.

She noticed from looking up at the landscape that they were heading towards Meteor Falls. She had heard legends about the water there, but had never needed to stop there. She was curious, honestly.

The white cloaked man with the rifle had a raspy voice, his name was Ander, he was wearing goggles, which must be incredibly useful for sandstorms, she would have to consider getting some of her own. There was also Bags, the red and white man with dark eyes. Whisper had the brightest hair Willow had seen in a while. Vern was the man with two different eyes and green hair, and the eldest of the group was named Legna.

There was the strange woman with long black hair. It seemed incredibly inconvenient to have, yet the girl, Luna, seemed to do just fine. Willow shaved her head again last week, just to have it out of the way. The girl with piercing blue eyes was called "Bootstrap". Willow suspected she used to be a busy person, since her behaviors were similar. But she did not question. She certainly didn't want to talk much about her past.

She was familiar of their names, but not their spirits. She walked to the Camerupt and grabbed her things and strapped them to her back. She wasn't used to not carrying her load, and they needed the speed anyways.
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Why not both?
Travelling to Meteor Falls

“I hate this so much.” Vern grumbled, trying to get some sort of shade by balancing his bag on his head. Unfortunately, it kept falling off, so all it did was to add to his woes by landing on his feet with every other step he took. “Luna, can’t you do something about this?” His companion didn’t even bother to look at him before shaking her head. ‘How come she doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable?’ he muttered, breathing out a sigh. The sun here in Hoenn was even brighter than that of the Unova region, and it positively sucked to be in the heat without any respite. Even though he had been here for quite a long time, one does not simply get used to temperatures above 45 degrees celcius. Even worse, baring any skin would result in an almost instant sunburn. While he had heard about this mythical substance known as sunscreen, which was supposedly capable of blocking out the sunlight, it was nowhere to be found now that he needed it. Sighing, he bent down to pick up his bag, putting it back onto his head.

That was when Bags, a rather dangerous and shady-looking man, threw a large pack at him. Vern yelped and jumped backwards before it hit him in the face, but in doing so, lost his balance. The large pack, along with his own bag, landed on his feet. “Here, cat eyes,” Bags said, not bothering to look at him, “you take some too.”

Vern winced, then pulled himself to his feet. He slung his own bag over his shoulder, then put the pack Bags had given him over his head. Due to its large size and somewhat soft composition, it was a lot easier to balance than his own bag. It hung down at the sides, and, if one was far enough away, Vern could have been mistaken for a large, rather awkward mushroom. Fortunately, the bag did wonders in providing him with shade, and Vern seemed rather content for about another five minutes before he picked up on a snippet of conversation from the pair walking in front of them. Elera, the leader of their ragtag bunch of misfits, was conversing with Bags.

“We will make camp when we reach the cave’s entrance.” She announced to the group. “Tomorrow we will go through the pass. It won’t be an easy trek, but hopefully that will work to our advantage.” She looked back once more, quicker this time. “No fire tonight.” Vern almost puked, and the bag he had been carrying on his head tilted dangerously to one side. Vern quickly rebalanced it before opening his mouth - probably to complain - then stopped himself. Since Elera, their leader, was a wanted criminal (he assumed she had done something really bad to get so many people on their trail), it would be unwise to start a fire with the people trailing them so close behind.

“You tryin to kill us, eh,” Bags replied, voicing Vern’s own distaste of the decision. Unfortunately, his tone was one that indicated he wasn’t about argue, so there was nothing that could be done. Vern sighed and began steeling himself for a cold dinner and an even colder night’s sleep.


Shampoo Thief
"Whatever this NRA gang is, I doubt we'd have much trouble," said one of the group.

“Never underestimate an enemy,” Elara responded bluntly.

“Especially not them bloody Rustboro thugs. Thats a mistake if you value your head,” Bags added as he tapped his baseball bat gently on his skull. It hadn’t been that long ago that most everyone Bags could call his family had been brutally killed by the NRA. He knew exactly what they were capable of. Although, in the back of his mind Bags was hoping the army caught up to them. He had a few heads of his own he wanted to bash.

It was Ander who had made that comment, Elara noted. She was still unsure of her read on him. He was clearly a veteran of the Desolation. That was something she needed right now. He also had a lust for blood, you could see it in his eyes. He was skinny as Bags, though. She could snap him just as easily. If he gave her reason to think he was untrustworthy, she was confident they would be able to handle the situation.

In a few hours, the face of a large cliff came into view. They caught up to it quickly once it was in their sights, despite the craters they had to skirt to reach it. The face of the wall was a pale yellow. Probably due to exposure to sulfur from the volcano, Elara theorized. A small walk up the windy path was a foreboding gap in the facade. They had made it. Meteor Falls.

“We will set up camp here,” Elara announced to the group. There was a small overhang in the cliff that could offer them some coverage. The sun had set and there was already a chill in the air. The group quickly set to unloading and setting up camp for the night. As soon as the supplies were off of the Camerupt’s back, the large beast found a spot and plopped to the ground. He let out a large yawn and went to sleep.

Their camp was far from professional looking. Out of context, it may appear to be a dysfunctional camping trip. There was a hodgepodge of tents, tarps, or simply sheets. No one was used to luxury out here, though. For many, this kind of shelter was all they had known.

Bags was used to the routine. He had the food bag out and was offering the rations out to the team members who wanted it. Tonight's menu was salted numel meat. Same as last night. They had other options, but those would be broken out after this pack was used up. And they had water, glorious, clean water!

“Eat up!” he said as he handed out the food. “Need you all big and strong!” He had a toothy smile on his face.

The more social of the group ate together. Bags was chipper as ever. After finishing his food duty, he sat crossed legged on the ground. His Cacnea climbed into his lap and they shared a strip of the dried meat.

“Oi, Willow,” Bags said to the girl sitting to his left. “I need to talk with you and pick your brain a bit. I’m having trouble coming up with a name for you. Some’s are easy, you get ‘em just by lookin’ at ‘em. Cat Eyes, for example.” He nodded his head in Vern’s direction. ”And others come preloaded, like Bootstrap.” He needed to talk to her too and figure out where that one came from. “But you… I’m not sure yet. Tell me about you.”

Many of the group members hadn’t been with them very long. There was still much to learn about each other. For the most part, however, Elara left those familiarities to Bags. She didn’t sit in the main group of people. She took her food and a strip for her Mandibuzz, who was eying her impatiently. She tossed the vultures dinner in the air, and she swooped through and snatched it up. She flew up and perched atop a large boulder and guzzled the meat down.

Elara noticed Ander off from the rest of the group, riffling through his sled of supplies. She approached him.

“Hey Ander. I heard you mention the Sand Watch earlier today. Why would they consider you a god?”

The group sat under the stars conversing amongst themselves. Sleep would come soon, they were all beat after traveling all day. They would need to be well rested for the trek through Meteor Falls the next morning.


My will be done
Ander turned his head at Elara as she approached, grinning under his scarf.

“Hey Ander. I heard you mention the Sand Watch earlier today. Why would they consider you a god?”

"In case you didn't know, the Sand Watch believe the Desolation is a test before they ascend to Paradise, the Desolation is meant as an isolation from salvation, and only their faith can see them through several Trials," Ander said, fishing a skull from his bag.

Ander stated at the skull before clearing his throat. "The first of the Trials states that a 'nightmare walking the day' shall strike, and drain the group of their faith," Ander explained.

"It was shortly after Maximus here gained his true potential," Ander said, waving at his Krookidile, "and I had some supplies stolen. Now, I wasn't happy, and I found their camp. Big guard tower, mostly stone. Lots of guys entering and exiting a bunch of stone huts, with a massive tower in the center of the compound."

Several others started walking towards the two, seeming interested. Ander ignored them and continued to talk.

"Maximus and I dug pit traps, and managed to get a patrol confused, them, and I had my knife and and empty container. I managed to drag one of them away, and before anyone did anything, slit his throat." Ander paused, chuckling.

"So I realized, hey, I was wasting water. So I took my trusty bucket, and kept it under the blood flow. The rest of them ran as I watched, before enjoying the most water I ever had. Maximus kept watch over the night, I got interested when no retaliation strike showed." Ander took a breath before continuing. He took a small bit from his food and tossed it to his Pokémon, before shaking his head.

Ander paused and took a breath.

"So, turns out that guy was a seer, and their morale was at an all time low. Granted, there were a ton of prophets saying crazy stuff then, but this guy said the first Trial was upon them. I learned this when I managed to capture another member of the Watch. So, there I was, a rifle, knife, and nothing else, when Maximus shows up behind me. Guy was digging for a few hours, and the Watch's guard tower collapsed sending everyone running to it, looking for sabotage. I thought I could get some things, and ran into the biggest building in their fort. Nobody was there as I ran through the main room, spotting a door in the back. I kick it down, and some old guy's standing in a small room, shocked. So I decide, why not bleed this guy dry too? He collapses, and I look closer at the guy. He was wearing a gold medal, which I took, and I managed to run back away without getting spotted, bucket in one hand, knife in the other." Ander took a breath, before continuing his monologue.

"Now, I manage to find some guy alone, who tracked the tunnel back to my camp, and tackle him. He was a kid, and passed out from fear, so I bury him up to his neck, and wait for him to wake up. After about an hour, he opened his eyes, and told me everything I wanted to know, before he saw the medal I got. His face pales before he stammers something about the High Seer, and I thank him, before slitting his throat too. Then I remember what the first Trial of the Watch was, and laugh. They say I am an agent of the heavens, draining faith and hope from those who need it most. Some of the first patrol made it back, and told the others about me. Their First Trial had begun, and their leader had been struck down."

Ander looked back at the group, before saying one more thing.

"The skull I have? From the kid. I wanted a keepsake." Ander continued looking through his bags, as the group dispersed. Some disgusted, others fascinated.
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Rabid Dusclops Fan
Agatha "Bootstrap" Pridmore
Meteor Falls​

Dusk was fast approaching, but that didn’t matter. The group finally reached Meteor Falls. The temperature was sinking like a stone in water, and it wouldn’t be long before Agatha would have to zip up her coat to keep warm. She’d faced worse though – nothing was as bad as sleeping alone in the desert without so much as even a blanket. Arceus those were some terrible nights. Eventually she did manage to get a couple of sheets. It was awful compared to the luxuries of Rustboro – but after her father was changed, those mattresses were as cold and hard as slabs of marble.

Eventually food was brought out. The guy who stuck around Elara – Bags, she thought his name was – was serving strips of Numel meat to everyone. “Eat up!” he said as he handed out the food. “Need you all big and strong!” Agatha took her share of meat from him with a nod as thanks. Then she set out her tarp some distance from the others – she never was fond of sleeping with other people. Grimsby plodded over to help her set up camp, and when he was done, Agatha tore off a piece of meat and handed it to him.

“Here,” she said. “You’ve earned it.”

The Dusclops looked to her, then to the meat, and the corners of the protruding bits that made up his mouth curved upwards. He was smiling. And in some sense, Agatha found that she was smiling inside too. If there was one good thing that had come out of this mess, it was that she’d gotten to know Grimsby, and she wouldn’t give him up for the world.


Well-Known Member
They had arrived at Meteor Falls. The air cooled with the gradual setting of the sun, but despite this Willow kept warm with Koo by sitting close together and eating the meat provided. The man named “Bags” sat beside her.

“Oi, Willow,” he began, “I need to talk with you and pick your brain a bit. I’m having trouble coming up with a name for you. Some’s are easy, you get ‘em just by lookin’ at ‘em. Cat Eyes, for example.” He nodded his head in Vern’s direction. ”And others come preloaded, like Bootstrap.” Referring to the girl with bright eyes. “But you… I’m not sure yet. Tell me about you.”

Willow took a moment to pick apart what he said, her eyes heading downwards while her arms crossed, with her eyebrow furrowed. She was obviously deeply thinking. Once she had gathered herself, her eyes returned to match Bags, and her hands rested on her knees, at least until she spoke.

“Hm…well, I wear lot of scarves, you could call me “Scarfie” or um… something like that.” Her hands referred to her scarf, but then spun around and stopped in the air as she lost momentum. Damn this was hard, she already stumbled trying to translate nicknames. She had plenty of decent nicknames in her own language, but they didn’t translate very well at all in their language. Explaining it would ruin the purpose of a nickname. He was “Bags” simply because of his dark eyes.

“Before this, I used to work as a…” once again she needed a moment to think, her hands stopping in the air again “guide. I know the desert and it’s…land.” She gestures to the area around them. She took a moment to closely look at the man. From up and down, she had some questions herself, which were plainly stated with her expressions as she trailed his arms and shoulders.

“I know you have red skin and marks on your body. Why do busy people have those?” The red skin had always confused her. She had heard that the busy people can be very pale, and be harmed by the sun. What was the point of being born in a fashion unsuitable for the bright world? The marks also didn’t make sense to her. They were like stains, unable to get off with water or even soaps. This may be one of the few chances she has to learn more about the busy people, and it could be good for business if she knew more once the group had to split up. Plus, perhaps she could make a companion out of Bags.


Why not both?
Meteor Falls

They had arrived at Meteor falls and set up camp without being disturbed. When camp was set up, it was time to eat.

Luna had grown used to the meals up here fast. While they were dry and did little to help one’s parched throat, the meat they ate had a taste to it that put the old, soggy food from the Castelia Sewers to shame. It wasn’t much of a surprise, considering the state that food was in, but still, it was an improvement, and Luna liked improvements. Bags had began to go around passing out the food, and Luna took a piece for herself, chewing on it appreciatively.

She glanced around the camp from where she was seated. She had picked a spot near the edge of the campsite, far away from the centre, where most social activity would take place. Vern had opted for a space near the centre, where he would be in the thick of things, and have cover to shoot from if their enemies caught up with them. In fact, it appeared that most people preferred a spot closer to the centre of the camp, where socialising could be done, and where they would be closer to the fire if it was decided to light one.

Only one person seemed to share her liking of a spot towards the edge of the camp, where she would be alone, or as alone as one can afford to be in these conditions. Like her, this Bootstrap woman seemed to have a thing for solitude and ghost type Pokemon - her companion was a Dusclops. She was an interesting character, shrouded in a sort of mystery. Luna knew nothing about her, and, personally, liked it that way. Something about the way she acted hinted at some sort of troubled past - a past Luna was in no hurry to unearth.

It appeared that most of their group was going to stay up and chat. Since Luna was not much of a chatter and no important planning was going on, it would probably be a good idea for her to go to sleep right away. A good night’s sleep was rare out here, so she might as well catch some shut-eye while she still could.


(OOC: I am very sorry this took so long! I only saw that my character had been mentioned when I was halfway done with the post. But I hope we can overlook that...?)

Partner: Gengar
Following leads to the group

Another dead end. Another imposter. Another bigshot guy that thought that by stealing someone elses purpose, he could rob unexpecting people who wanted to help. Another bigshot guy laying face-down in the dirt, blood gushing from his head. Whisper hadn't alerted the group of his presence, and it would likely take a few minutes before they noticed that their leader was shot down. He had been laying in wait quite long from where the group was, just in case they didn't turn out to be the real deal after all. Whisper was careful like that. All the stories about the group wanting to end this desert wonderland had led him in different directions, and all of them, so far, had only been imposters seeking to make an easy living. Whisper sighed, disappointed yet again that he was on the wrong tracks. He did have a list of potential leads, and he was systematically going through it, to make sure he could find the right ones eventually. And why not shoot down imposters on the road? He had probably saved quite a few future lives by doing so anyway.

Unfortunatly for him, Whisper had been shadowing this group for a whole day, and had strayed quite a lot from his path. He figured he'd be somewhere around Fallabor Town, considering that was the last town he went through. Nice place, really. The people in charge paid a monthly fee to a raider gang nearby, who in turn kept the town safe for travelers. Though most people nowdays were only out for themselves, people like these existed. The trip there would only take a few hours, which suited him just fine. Though the wasteland was an unforgiving place, Whisper kind of liked wandering on his own sometimes. Gengar came out of his shadow and levitated next to him, looking at him. "Gen..?" he asked, his grin turning downwards. "Sorry, Geng. Another dead end. Literally." he chuckled a bit after the sentence, which made Gengar grin even more. Gengar was a god company nowdays. Though Whisper liked running solo, Gengar was kind of part of the package deal, always knowing when Whisper could use some cheering up, or when he just needed to be alone, of which, Gengar would just reside in his shadow. Whisper had more than once wondered how cozy it could be inside a shadow, and had built up quite a few theories around it over the past few months.

The trip back to Fallabor Town wasn't a very eventful one. Halfway there, he had to sneak past a pack of Rhydons. He was worried they might pose a thread to Fallabor, but they seemed to be heading West, for the time being. Wild Pokemon were a lot more aggressive nowdays, and whisper couldn't really blame them. The few Pokemon still timid were few in numbers, and greatly outnumbered by more vicious Pokemon. The less adaptable Pokemon were the worst, and throughout his years, Whisper had seen a Mightyena take out a small group of settlers. It was a grousome sight indeed, but t did the job for them, as he was running with the raiders at that time. Thinking back on his upbringing, the raiders.. R.J. It was always Depressive thinking back, almost as depressing as thinking forward. What was he going to do with his life if he didn't find this group of people? They actually had a goal in life, whichw as not "Try to live past 30 before you're gunned down by raiders, or eaten by a passingby Pokemon". This was what promted him to join their cause in the first place, considering he didn't really have anything else to do. Sure, he did help settlements out with potential threats they faced, but one can't make a living out of that. He sighed again at the thought, and shook his head. He was now at Fallabor town.


Several more hours later, it was late afternoon, and Whisper had restocked on supplies, and had something to eat. The people of the town were grateful that he had dealt with the imposing group, and had treated him and Gengar to a meal. He had then taken a powernap for an hour before deciding to pick up on the next lead. the next lead would take him towards the Meteor Falls. Apparently, some passerby's had told stories about a group of people with a particular goal which matched Whispers memo. A group of people and their pokemon, travelling together to find a way to change the climate. The plainness of the story made it more believable, as most imposters would drop details like, "donate stuff to contribute", and things like that. He was ashamed to have been part of such a group in the past.

He wasn't very good at tracking, but he more or less knew the way to Meteor Falls, after some directions from one of the locals of Fallabor. He had heard stories about the place before, and that there was supposed to be water there. He somehow doubted that was the case, but it was an exciting thought nontheless. Along the way, he eased up on the stealth a little. He knew this part of the region wasn't a frequent raider territory, and thus, he could rest easy, at least for the time being. Gengar stayed in his shadow regardless, just in case someone got the drop on them.

He managed to reach the cave by the time it started getting dark. Good thing is that too. At night, Cacturnes roam the wasteland, and they can be very nasty to come across, at least without backup. Grass-Types are very, very rare lately, and if you see one, it is probably a Cacturne, and it probably kills you. He shrugged at the thought. He had only seen them from afar through his scope once, before Shark had ordered the group to evacuate and find shelter for an upcoming Sandstorm. He was probably right too. Since Cacturnes are Grass-Types, they have gone vile after not having had any water for a looong time, despite their desert-adapting skills. It was also starting to get a little colder in the air, but Whisper didn't bother. He liked the cold, it was like a break from the deathly dry and warm daytime. Though, he wasn't an idiot. He buttoned up his coat.

The cave was big, and roomy. And.. Echoing. He could hear voices from afar, and though he couldn't make out what they said, he snuck closer, holding his rifle. He came behind a rock, and saw a small group of people further ahead. It was pretty dark, and difficult to see. Whisper took aim and looked through the scope of his gun. He still couldn't make out what they said. "Gengar. Sneak up on them and listen in.", he whispered, and Gengar Shadow Sneaked his way over there. It was easy for him to hide, even in plain sight, because of the dark cave. This was a tactic they used often. If Gengar gave the signal, Whisper would shoot them from his hiding place, and if not, he'd carefully walk over to them. They had a lot of Pokemon with them: A Camerupt, Medicham, Krookodile, Dusclops among others, so if they had to take them out, it could very easily prove to be difficult. He made up his mind. If these were imposters, he would simply back away.

Gengar returned after a few minutes, and peeked out from his place in Whispers shadow, though he had more room to roam now. "What's the word, Geng. You think they're imposters?" He asked, not looking away from his scope. he had his aim at the head of a tattooed blond guy with a basebal bat. Next to him sat a Cacnea. He looked like raider material, and Whisper thought he looked familiar, but the rest of them didn't. "Geng, geng!" Gengar said, shaking his head with a relieved look on his grinny little face. The imposter groups often talked about their scams, how foolish the commonfolks were, and planned their next victims. It was an easy scouting mission for Gengar to see if they were up to no good or not. "So you're saying these folks are the real deal?" Whisper asked again, just to be sure. Gengar nodded, and went back into the shadows.". "Very well then, here goes nothing." Whisper said to himself, anxious, before stepping out from behind his rock, lowering his rifle.

"Hey!" Whisper said, hoping he got their attention. "I've been hearing rumors that you guys are looking for a certain mythological blue object?", he said, walking towards them slowly, not to alert anyone. He also held his hands in front of him to show he wouldn't pull some wicked stunt. "If you're not, then I'm walking out of here. I got you all surrounded, so trying to mug me would be very foolish." He was bluffing, but it was a bluff he had done a million times before. Gengar laughed ominously from the shadows, to stimulate that they were, in fact, surrounded. Tough luck for him if they saw through it though.


Shampoo Thief
Elara listened intently to Ander’s gruesome history with the Sand Watch. Her face betrayed no emotion she was feeling. From what he was telling her, he had his supplies stolen by the tribe. The story began as any tale of retribution does. Something was taken, so he went to get it back. It was when he captured and killed a patrol that the story took a worrying turn. Ander drained the man of blood and drank it. It was common in the Desolation to resort to extremes in order to quench one’s thirst, but human blood was a new level of taboo. Elara often heard of people resorting to cannibalism due to lack of food. Those tribes descend into madness. Human meat distorts the brain. The people who consume it get consumed by it eventually. They become mad savages. She often wondered if it was due to something in human meat, or if it was that the horror of what they were consuming that made them go mad.

If the second option was true, that remorse seemed lost on Ander. He told that part of the story as if he was proud of it. Was he proud because it showed his resourcefulness? Or perhaps how ruthless he could be? Was he trying to scare her? It was hard to tell. He continued his tale. He managed to sink the Sand Watch's entire stone tower into the dirt by having his Krookidile burrow underneath its foundations. That was impressive, clearly his companion was powerful. He tells of another man he drained of blood. He didn’t mention if he drank it this time. Elara assumed he had.

He finished his recount of the Sand Watch by showing off his trophy, the skull of one of the people he killed. He mentioned it was a kid. Judging from the skull’s size, Elara placed it around early teenage years. Elara had been exposed to the outside world for over a year now. She knew what it takes to survive out here. However, sometimes the savagery still shocked her. And Ander was certainly savage.

“I see,” was all Elara said to the man before she turned and walked back towards her supplies. She sat on the ground and finished her meal, somewhat removed from the conversations happening in the center of the camp. A few others were on the outskirts of the camp, settling down to sleep. She sighed solemnly. Some of them were so young. She watched as Bags and Willow conversed.

“I know you have red skin and marks on your body. Why do busy people have those?” asked the girl. ‘Busy people,’ she called them. Elara wished to know more about where this girl came from. How did her tribe survive if they weren’t busy? Or maybe that explains how she ended up finding them, alone.

“My tattoos?” replied Bags. “They all got different meanings.” He looked eager to explain what they all meant.

“This one here,” he pointed to the skulls with an Ekans coiled around it on his left forearm, “it’s the sigil of my people. We called ourselves the Skull Snakes. Once I had proven myself to be one of them, they marked me. Its for life, you know. Once a Skull Snake, always a Skull Snake.”

Unfortunately, to Bags’ knowledge he was the only surviving Skull Snake left. He wore the tattoo with pride, but it held a different meaning for him now. No longer did it mark the brotherhood he had been welcomed into. Now it was a reminder of the family he had lost at the hands of the NRA. He still remembered that day in vivid detail. The army outnumbered his camp 5 to 1. They had been living in the valley near the Rusturf Tunnel. They had archers on the cliffs, they must have killed the guards they had up there. They rained down arrows upon them. Men, women, children, the army killed them all indiscriminately. The ones who tried to flee were met with soldiers armed with axes and swords. Steel weapons were no match from their scrap metal. Bags got himself onto the cliffs and smashed in some archers' skulls. The battle in their village was lost. It was hopeless, a slaughter. He fled. He should have stayed... He should have died with them. He quickly moved on to his next tattoo.

“And, uh, this one under my eye, I got it after I finished my combat training and was allowed to go on raids. All raiders from my tribe receive this mark. That one hurt like a *****. They say the pain makes you stronger.”

He went on explaining his marks one by one. Some were from different achievements he reached: first successful raid, first hunting kill, first human kill, etc. He went on for a while, reminiscing about each memory his tattoos marked. And he had a lot of tattoos. Elara wondered if that poor girl had known what she had gotten herself into when deciding to talk to Bags.

It was then that, unexpectedly, a man came out from behind some rocks.

"Hey!" The man said. Everyone stopped talking and looked at him.

"I've been hearing rumors that you guys are looking for a certain mythological blue object?" he said, walking towards them slowly. Elara stood up, unsheathing one her machetes from her back. Bags jumped to her side, his bat held up and ready to strike.

“Come no closer.” Elara said to the man, despite his hands being raised to show he was not about to shoot them with the rifle he carried with him. The man was young. Elara couldn’t tell if she was impressed by his height or if he was at a pretty normal height. He was youthful and rash. She couldn’t tell if he was going to pose a threat, or if he was simply dumb. However, he had mentioned the Blue Orb. How did he know who they were?

"If you're not, then I'm walking out of here,” the man continued. “I got you all surrounded, so trying to mug me would be very foolish."

On cue, a laugh emitted from the darkness. It sounded like one person laughing, but from all around them. What sorcery was this?

“What do you want?” Elara asked the man. “Try anything and it’ll be the last thing you do.” What a cliche she thought. She expected all of her travel companions would have their weapons on the stranger by now. Any trouble and they would be quick to act, she knew. She scanned the shadows for any sign of the people he said he had surrounding them. They were either hidden well or non-existent.


Rabid Dusclops Fan
Agatha "Bootstrap" Pridmore
Meteor Falls

Agatha and Grimsby sat together for a while after eating and just enjoyed each other’s company. Even though she didn’t show it, she really enjoyed sitting around and being with her Pokemon – he felt like family to her, just like her dad before everything happened.

It was then that a voice spoke up – a voice that neither Grimsby nor Agatha were acquainted with. "Hey!" it was a guy, walking very slowly towards the group with his hands raised. She rolled her eyes – obviously this guy was going to attempt an ambush of some kind – that was how it worked in the world. "I've been hearing rumours that you guys are looking for a certain mythological blue object?" he said. Agatha whipped her head up, now she was interested. "If you're not, then I'm walking out of here. I got you all surrounded, so trying to mug me would be very foolish."

As if the man had conjured it, a very eerie laugh echoed around the cave. To Agatha it sounded like one person, and yet several, all at the same time.

Elara opened her mouth to speak. “What do you want?” she asked the man. “Try anything and it’ll be the last thing you do.”

Agatha suddenly glanced at Grimsby and noticed that he was standing up, a serious gleam in his glowing, red eye. He was searching for something, and when he looked at his owner, she realised that he was asking permission from her to find out where that strange laugh was coming from. “All right,” she whispered. “Grimsby, use Foresight – the more we know about this guy’s men, the better.”

Her Dusclops’s red eye began to glow, and he was slowly walking over to the man within about a minute. One of his floating hands was raised to indicate that he wasn’t going to attack unless provoked, while the other pointed to the shadows behind the newcomer, staring at him with the sort of look that said “You’re bluffing, aren’t you?”

(OOC: I really hope I've not god-modded here. I did check to see if Duskulls can learn Foresight and they can, so if something's wrong, just say so and I'll change it!)


Partner: Gengar
Meteor Falls

The reactions were as anticipated once Whisper stood forward. The guy with the tatto jumped to his feet, holding up his bat, and a rough-looking blonde woman with him. She unsheathed a machete, ready to strike if Whisper walked out of line. “Come no closer.”, the woman said. It seemed these people weren't regular raiders, at least. Then they would have had his head already. Besides, they seemed genuinly worried, and didn't have that "lol punk what do you think you're doing?" look to them. It also seemed some of the others seemed interested when he mentioned the blue orb. He was fairly certain he was with the right people, and their hesitation is rightful. Gengar seemed to have frightened them.. well. most of them.

“What do you want?” the woman asked the man. She looked older than him, by quite lot if he was not mistaken. “Try anything and it’ll be the last thing you do.”, she continued, holding the machete tightly. "Well, I was looking for you lot, and... huh?" Whisper started talking, but was interrupted by the Dusclops, that came wobbeling over to him with its hand in the "I am not gonna try anything funny" way Whisper had his own. The Pokemon staring in direction to where Gengar had hid. The Ghost-Type then turned to Whisper, with a very disapproving look. He had seen through the bluff as if it was nothing! Whisper wasn't a Pokemon Expert, but he was fairly certain the Pokemons companion had told it to use some sort of move to see through.... Foresight! That was it. Whispers eye twitched as he slowly realized it. "Heh... heh... damn." he muttered for himself. The Dusclops woddled back to its companion; A rather pretty brounette that looked close to his own age, allthough she seemed to look pretty stern.
Whisper sighed deeply and put his arms down. "It's okay, Geng, you can come out." he said loudly into the room. Seconds later, Gengar emerged from one of the dark walls, looking just as down as Whisper felt. If this was a situation with real raiders, he would surely be killed off and laughed at. Gengar floated over to him. "It's okay, you did your best.", Whisper said comforting. Gengar cast a few disapproving looks towards the Dusclops, which in turn seemed happy to have called the bluff.

"So.. That didn't work." Whisper said, very much failing at sounding cheerful. He quickly changed his tone though, thinking this was the moment where he should explain himself before they actualy do kill him off. "You guys aren't exactly subtle. There are many tales of the heroic team that set out to restore balance to the world, and even more raider gangs claiming to be you guys under false pretenses so they can rob people off." he finished in a sour tone. "I have.. removed, 4 such groups in search for you.", he took a short break before putting the words together. "Consider it a.. career choice. I want in."
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Well-Known Member
Willow and Koo (Medicham)

Luckily for Willow, Bag’s either didn’t notice or didn’t care about her stumbling sentences, and was very excited when talking about his tattoos. He explained that the Ekans around his arm was for his people, the “Skull Snakes”. She hadn’t heard of them before, and her head cocked in confusion at the name. However it was soon clarified for her. His people, the Skull Snakes, seemed to put a high emphasis on violence, seeing as how Bags talked about his scars and how they were marked as achievements. He was honored for killing by being given a scar. That seemed strange to her. Why would you want pain as a prize? With so much blood on this man’s hands, she wasn’t sure how much she could trust him. She wasn’t fond of bloodlust, and saw killing as something necessary to survive, but not a thing of accomplishment. She shook her head, deciding not to dwell on it. Instead she focused on being thankful he was talking so much, that was much easier than speaking his language.

However, the pleasant mood was soon interrupted by a man with the brightest shade of hair she had ever seen.

"Hey!" the young man said, grabbing the group’s attention, causing immediate silence. "I've been hearing rumors that you guys are looking for a certain mythological blue object?" The man took slow steps forward. She felt the breeze as Bags left her side to stand by Elara. Willow was not quite so fast to react, since Koo was right beside her. Still, her hand rested on her staff. The man continued "If you're not, then I'm walking out of here. I got you all surrounded, so trying to mug me would be very foolish."

Laughter rang from all sides, Willow was alarmed. She had sworn she hadn’t seen anyone enter or leave besides the bright haired man. Her eyes bulged in surprise before falling into aggressive slits as she rose with her staff in hand and Koo by her side, glaring at the man.

“What do you want?” Willow heard from Elara. “Try anything and it’ll be the last thing you’ll do.” Willow spread her feet apart and crouched as her staff leaned over to join her other hand. She had braced herself for the worst, with Koo following suit.

A quiet laugh and curse came from the man. Her head cocked and arms dropped in confusion.
"It's okay, Geng, you can come out." He said, and the Gengar rose from the shadows. Her eyes lit up with understanding, her entire body getting back into attack mode, although now no longer afraid. It was simply a trick, and now this man was in some deep trouble.

“So.. That didn't work." He sounded dismayed, which confirmed Willow’s thoughts. It was strange that he wasn’t running. "You guys aren't exactly subtle. There are many tales of the heroic team that set out to restore balance to the world, and even more raider gangs claiming to be you guys under false pretenses so they can rob people off." He paused with a dismal face, as though he had just tasted something sour.

"I have.. removed, 4 such groups in search for you." Her eyes widened. That was very impressive. However that was a lot of killing. An unnecessary amount of killing she would say. Couldn’t he just confirm those groups were fakes then leave? She didn’t trust those with a sense of bloodlust, especially if they began their greetings with cheap tricks. "Consider it a.. career choice. I want in."

To join? She did not trust this man. She stood, maintaining the distance between them and pointed her staff at the man, her eyes still in slits.

“You ask to join but trick us!” She was yelling, unable to control herself as she gestured to the entire group. Why did she feel so passionately about that? She heard her own echoes, and paused scanning the room. She embarrassed and red at the cheeks before continuing on, quietly. “We know little about you. Not even name.”


Why not both?
Meteor Falls.

Vern watched as Luna quickly disengaged herself from the group, moving to her preferred spot - near the edges of the camp. While they had been travelling together now for a while, she was still a mystery to him. Her actions did have a sort of pattern to them, but were often mesmerising nonetheless. She seemed to hate people, for no better way to put it. She’d always position herself in a place where she would be isolated. It made him worry. While he did understand that some people preferred their own company, this type of deliberate self-isolation seemed… abnormal, to say the least. He knew better than to follow her. She didn’t appreciate it, and he preferred being near other people.

Ruffles, his Braviary, was sitting near the centre of the camp looking expectantly at Bags, who would be handing out food any moment now. Bags did not disappoint, and soon, both Vern and his bird were wolfing down their own pieces of meat. While the people in the camp usually had to share their own portion with their Pokemon, Ruffles was often an exception, due to the fact that he occasionally just took the food directly from Bags’s hands, leaving a painful cut behind. The thing didn’t know it’s own strength (or it’s own beak’s sharpness).

Dinner was the best part of the day. After a long day’s trek, Vern wanted nothing more than to eat, drink, and sleep. And that is what he usually did - at least on uninterrupted nights, which seemed to be growing increasingly rare. Today, however, seemed to be one of the lucky nights. So far, there had been no unwanted interruptions. Vern yawned, and lay down on the floor, using Ruffles as a pillow. The bird was already snoozing away, and would hardly feel the weight of his head on it’s wings. He was just about the close his eyes when a man stepped into the clearing.

"Hey!" he said, with a surprisingly friendly tone considering he had just walked into a campsite of thirsty, hungry, armed men and women. The desert was a harsh place, and, had they been more desperate (and less ethical), he would have been a goner. He wasn’t even armed. "I've been hearing rumors that you guys are looking for a certain mythological blue object?"

Vern blinked, trying to register this new information. Since he had been halfway into dreamland already, this interruption felt like someone had suddenly yanked him back into reality, and it was a rather disorientating feeling. Had he been more alert, he would have already put an arrow through the guy’s foot, but, fortunately for the guy, he was not.

"If you're not, then I'm walking out of here. I got you all surrounded, so trying to mug me would be very foolish." he said, not dropping his friendly tone. Vern was sceptical of that. Luna was on the outskirts of the camp, and she would have alerted them if anything went wrong. Besides, considering how alert his friend was, there was no way she could have been ambushed. Now, Vern was already on his feet, fully alert. His bow was lying a few feet away, but he still had his knives. Any funny business, and the guy was dead. At that moment, he heard an ominous laugh from the shadows. It certainly did help with the feeling that they were surrounded, but it was a little suspicious. What type of hardened survivor would laugh as they surrounded their victims?

“What do you want?” Elara asked the man, her tone accusatory. “Try anything and it’ll be the last thing you do.” She seemed to be scanning the shadows around the camp as well, and seemed to have come to Vern’s conclusion - that these attackers that surrounded them just weren’t there. In fact, Vern had relaxed by now, sitting back down on the ground, yawning.

That was when a Dusclops - Bootstrap’s, was it? - waddled out of the shadows with a rather harmless expression on it’s face (or as harmless as a ghost with a black hole in it can manage). It pointed at the shadows behind the man, and seemed to be laughing. Vern, satisfied with this, lay back down and made himself comfortable. Whatever happened, these guys would be more than capable of handling one lone man.

"So.. That didn't work." The man said, his voice losing the cheerful tone it had before, but he quickly regained it as he seemed to realise he had some real explaining to do. "You guys aren't exactly subtle. There are many tales of the heroic team that set out to restore balance to the world, and even more raider gangs claiming to be you guys under false pretenses so they can rob people off." he finished in a sour tone. "I have.. removed, 4 such groups in search for you.", he took a short break before putting the words together. "Consider it a.. career choice. I want in."

“You ask to join but trick us!” yelled Willow, seemingly out of nowhere. Vern wasn’t familiar with the woman, but he got the impression that she was quite soft-spoken. This certainly seemed to come out of nowhere. She seemed to think so too, and looked kind of embarrassed before continuing. “We know little about you. Not even name.”

Vern yawned again, then sat back up. This was going to be another long night. With all the ruckus that was sure to happen, there was no way he was going to catch some shut-eye for a while. “Oh, whatever.” he said, his eyes still half-closed and his tone nonchalant, like he was making some sort of small talk. “Just let him in already. We’ll find out his name soon enough. Right, mister?” he asked, addressing the intruder. There was an edge to his voice that would have sounded like a threat had one not known about his temperament. Those who did, however, knew that it was there because he was annoyed at being roused from his brief slumber.


My will be done
Ander stood near the back of the group, keeping his rifle trained on the stranger. When the man asked to join, Ander said nothing. When one of the girls yelled, he said nothing, still thinking. On one hand, more members means more supplies. On the other, more fighting over the Orb, decisions, and his trustworthiness was in question. The Gengar peeling off of the wall did not help his appearance at all.

Ander walked near the front of the group, cleared his throat, and spoke.
"Leave. You could be a spy, a raider seeking safety, or merely another mouth to feed. I cannot speak for the others, but I myself refuse to allow you here."

Ander walked away in silence, allowing the others a choice.
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Partner: Gengar
Meteor Falls

“You ask to join but trick us!”, an oriental woman shouted at him. she seemed.. somewhat erratic, and was accompanied by a Medicham, who was looking as wary as its companion. Understandable, but this woman probably didn't understand the value of tactic. If he didn't have Gengar playing backup and only walked out with his hands up, he could have been shot on sight, and that would surely put a dampener on his plans. She seemed to have understood that she was sounding.. somewhat insane, for she changed her tone to a more toned down voice before speaking again. “We know little about you. Not even name.”. she said, proving to another rather good point. Whisper rarely went about and told everyone his name. Made it more difficult to blend in, especially if you're a hired gun who has rightfully earned his place on every raiders sh*tlist in the entire region. Which again got him to think. If his old mercenary group learned that he was alive, and working towards this goal, they might come out looking for him. So much for keeping a low profile.

“Oh, whatever.”, some green eyed kid said. He was laying on the floor, apparently not bothering to participate in the ruckus going on. Charming.. “Just let him in already. We’ll find out his name soon enough. Right, mister?” he continued. It wasn't difficult to pick up on the subtle threat in his tone. Whisper had been raised with raiders, so he was pretty used to threats, and how to counter them. "Right now, all you need to know is that I'm not your enemy", he simply said.

"Leave. You could be a spy, a raider seeking safety, or merely another mouth to feed. I cannot speak for the others, but I myself refuse to allow you here.", a tall guy said as he was walking forward. He didn't sound threatening, more concerned for the group as a whole. Despite his stern appearance, the guy didn't seem to be much of a threat. Whisper sighed, and Gengar mimicked his action. They were understandably cautious, but this was bordering on Paranoia. Maybe joining this group wasn't a very good idea after all.. No. He had to join them. Only this way would his life regain a certain amount of meaning. And if he died along the way, tough luck.

"Well, I understand your scepticism, but if I wanted you dead i'd... Well... Likely lie face down in the dirt over there." Gengar laughed at this. "My name is Whisper, and I have.. my own reasons for wanting in on this little heist of yours." That probably sounded suspicious, but rather that than going on about his life story. "Look, I'm not even gonna charge you. You let me in and you got yourselves an extra gun." he then said. By the way he was negotiating, it was probably clear that he came from a mercenary group. He could only hope that they would losen up a bit by the honest tone of his voice. Gengar was staring at nothing over in a corner.


Shampoo Thief
Everyone was voicing their own opinions and concerns about whether or not to let the bold young man join their ranks. Willow expressed her distrust with him. How could they trust a man who tricked them? Vern was expressing his apathy and annoyance for the whole situation. Elara couldn’t tell if he just felt that safe in their ranks. He was advising to let the stranger join them and they could learn his details later. Then, Ander spoke his mind. Clear and to the point, he told the man to go. Before the man could respond, Ander turned and walked away.

"Well, I understand your scepticism, but if I wanted you dead I'd... Well... Likely lie face down in the dirt over there. My name is Whisper, and I have.. my own reasons for wanting in on this little heist of yours. Look, I'm not even gonna charge you. You let me in and you got yourselves an extra gun."

Elara pondered this for a moment. There was a scowl on her face as she studied the stranger. She noticed in his winded response, he had chosen not to give his name. In addition, he stayed very vague with his intentions. He did, however, mention not charging them. That revealed more than a name could. He must be a mercenary. In Elara’s experience, you couldn’t trust mercenaries as far as you could throw them. Their allegiance goes to the highest bidder. Loyalty was moot when compared with water and coin.

“I have too many people to water already,” Elara finally told him, ignoring his ‘if I wanted you dead’ comment. “We have plenty of guns as it is. If you leave us now, we will let you keep yours.”

Elara and Bags stood ready to fight, unsure of how he would take the rejection. Bags felt an itch in his left hand. He was ready to swing his bat. He wanted to swing his bat. Give me an excuse, he dared the man in his head. His toothy grin betrayed these thoughts. His cacnea stood by his feet. His spiky arms swayed to and fro, as if he was waiting for an excuse to swing them as well.

Elara’s Mandibuzz suddenly let out a loud caw. A warning. Elara and Bags both looked up to the bird in unison, ripping their attention away from the stranger in front of them. Something buzzed right past Whisper’s left ear, and then grazed Bags’ bicep. He let out a yelp as blood began to run from the cut.

“Raiders!” Elara called to the group. At least she assumed they were raiders. The night was dark and she couldn’t see where the projectile had come from. She jumped aside and got cover behind a rock. She was sure that the man was lying about having them surrounded. What else had he lied about?

She scanned the surroundings looking for the enemy. Her eyes had grown accustomed to the darkness. One by one they began to come into view. She counted, five. No, six. No.. They kept appearing as if crawling out from the rocks themselves. Men and women dressed in dark clothes. Most of them had on tattered cloaks that moved silently with the wind. Yellow war paint decorated their faces. They held weapons made of stone and bone: bow and arrows, clubs, spears. Nothing too impressive. Mixed into their ranks were some pokemon as well. Elara noted a few Bagon and Trapinch. Their appearance did not match that of the man with the Gengar. Maybe they weren’t his. In either case, he lead them here. Or at least distracted their group and allowed these raiders to approach undetected. She cursed under her breath as she tried coming up with an attack plan.

Bags, meanwhile, was ready for the fight. He made a dash for the rocks where the arrow that grazed him had come from. He ran in a serpentine motion while arrows whizzed past him. When he reached the rocks where his attacker was hidden, he launched himself into the air with his bat above his head. He brought it down hard on the attackers head. The nails at the end of the weapon bite into the man’s skull with a sickening crunch. Beside Bags, his Cacnea was beating the now dead man’s thigh with his own needle arms.

“Nice one, Mace,” Bags said to his companion as he pulled his bat from the man’s skull. That took some effort, and a good amount of blood and brains came off with the bat.

Without warning, a Bagon launched itself into Bags’ gut. The headbutt knocked the wind out of him. His bat slipped from his hands as the forced brought him to the ground. The small lizard then latched its jaw onto Bags’ forearm, drawing blood. Mace sprang into action, and started pounding on the Bagon rather than the dead man. Its hard shell that covered its head and back provided it with armor that made Mace’s attack far from effective. Bags began flailing his arm around frantically, smashing the Bagon into the rocks in an attempt to get it off.

“Get! Off! Me! You! Stupid! Bugger!” Bags yelled a word with each swing against the rocks. On ‘bugger’ the Bagon finally loosed its grip enough for it to go flying across the rocks. Bags’ hoped the little demon didn’t get too much satisfaction from being launched through the air.


My will be done
"Raiders!" Elara yelled, causing Ander to immediately react, turning towards whatever threat was visible. A large group of people, dressed in tattered cloaks, and wielding bows and clubs.

"Just when my day couldn't get better" Ander thought, before Maximus ran into the crowd of raiders, tearing apart people and Pokémon with joy, as Ander darted towards a raider and crushed his head with the butt of his rifle, before ducking behind a rock, dodging arrows.

The raiders were thin, but not starving, and had yellow war paint, the most prominent patterns being a star of ten points, and three horizontal lines on each cheek, not a pattern Ander recognized, but perhaps something the others would.

Maximus returned to Ander's side, with a few arrows stuck in him, and his claws and jaws covered in blood and brains, before both man and 'mon thought of something. Maximus tunneled behind one of the raiders, and kicked her towards Ander, who allowed her to crash into the ground before he clubbed her with the butt of his rifle, knocking her unconscious. Maximus returned, as Ander screamed, hit in the arm with an arrow.

"Maximus!" Ander yelled, as the colossal desert lizard stood in front of him while Ander grabbed his knife. Looking at the arrow, Ander saw that it wasn't particularly deep into his skin, so he merely cut the tail off of the arrow, before wrapping a cloth just behind the wound, acting as a tourniquet, preventing any possible poison from reaching his heart.

"Damn it all, there's more?" Ander muttered as he saw dozens of similar raiders step out of the cave, with looks of hate on their faces.

"Maximus, today's going to be a long day," Ander said, sighing.