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Ask to Join Kickin’ it Kanto Style

Zephir tilted his head in confusion, as the human he was trying to help stumbled back and let out a scream. Rick stared at her with widened eyes and gaping mouth. "Err... that's just Refresh, it's a healing move!" He said. Before he could walk back, Alex steped in and casualy grabed the girl to take her outside, despite the girl's protests. Rick looked on as Alex passed by him, rubbing his chin and trying to understand the girl's unusual behaviour. Zephir eventualy came in and jumped onto Rick's back. "Weird..." He muttered, before exiting the tunnel.

Once outside, Alex sat down the girl of a bench, where she finaly seemed to calm down and introduce herself. For a bit, he simply heard Stacy from behind the group. She didn't tell them exactly what was causing her reaction, though judging by her mention of pokémon and how she freaked out when she saw a Leafeon, he started connecting the dots. "Sooo... you have pokephobia?" He asked, before recalling Zephir to his ball.

Rick started to think how Stacy would react once she saw Iris, as her ball was left in the boat. For now, the mare was still meters ahead in Vermillion's harbor, still waiting for either Rick or Chris to show up... and with a ticket fine shamefully pinned on her horn, she hoped for either of them to arrive soon. She had seen Lewis wandering around and getting into the Center, so at least Rick shouldn't be too far. Him arriving before Chris though, seemed strange.
Amelia saw Stacy freaking out a bit and decided to back off, returning Hito to help ease her nerves. For once in her life, she was quiet. She just kind of watched on the sidelines. She wasn’t sure what to do, or what to say to make the situation better, or less awkward. She was just there.
Connor had been thankful he kept his Pokemon reserved as he moved by Amelia in a show of comfort to his closest friend among the group as he eyed Stacy who seemed to explain she had a bit of an uncomfortable reaction around Pokemon. Pokephobia? Ouch, that had to be a struggle if true which Rick seemed to ask as she seemed to be catching her breath as the idea seemed to be to take it easy and give her a chance to catch herself. Hopefully they'd be able to get on a good leg without everyone jumping up on her and having created a more chaotic situation than intended.

"Well, sorry if we made things worse for you. It wasn't our intention just, stumbling in a tunnel and hurting yourself while being panicked well had us concerned is all." Connor clarified though he like others gave her some space as he tried to offer a friendly smile. "Take the time you need to collect yourself, I mean it." Connor insisted as he seemed the patient type and tried to convey they idea they intended well for her best as he'd be able to.

The Heart of Frostfire.

Previously The failure
Before Alexis could continue, her eyes went completely dull and she stood staring blankly at a rock wall, as if getting a vision. "I feel a disturbance in the air... We will soon be joined by a mysterious stranger, if these feelings are correct." She said in an eerie tone and ran out of the tunnel, staring up at the sky. She held her arms out and her eyes began to glow again, trying to tap into her strange foresight.

Meanwhile, Lewis, after healing his Pokemon and making his purchase at the nearest bar, headed towards the group at the edge of the tunnel. Giving a concerned glance to his companion who seemed as if she was trying to summon an otherworldly being, he showed a bottle of good Unovian whiskey, and a more local brand of cheap vodka. "It took me some time to locate a source of alcohol, but I've finally obtained the strongest vodka they had on sale. It should have a good antiseptic. As for the whiskey... Well, that's for a special project I'm working on." He spoke, his no-nonsense attitude wavering as he gave a sly smirk to Rick.

He was about to continue when his words were interrupted by the screech of a Staraptor. For a few minutes, there was no sighting of the source of such a screech, however the sudden appearance of such a bird pokemon lined up with a second screech. The creature was mounted by a trainer and divebombed towards the ground, seemingly going in to attack Alex. However, at the last moment, just when one would think a crash was inevitable, the bird sharply pulled up with practiced ease and landed safely next to Lewis. The scientist seemed in awe as he recognized who the trainer was as she pulled off a protective helmet and removed her bomber jacket, revealing a full body black uniform with dark blue stripes on the arms and legs, and the symbol of Nanocorp on the very centre, emblazened with gold.

"Ya should see the look on yer face, Lew Lew! Looks like ya saw a ghost!" She spoke with a clear Irish accent, but with just enough of a Unovian twang to make it obvious as to where she came from. "When I heard ya went on a vacation, I didn't expect ye to make friends so easily!" She continued, returning her Staraptor to his ball. "Ahh, I should introduce myself, since me old bastard won't. I am Evilane Dnalk, Ace Trainer and first class peacekeeper of the Nanocorp special operations! I'm here to assist the local police on an issue that is highly classified, but is of the utmost importance!" She exclaimed, crossing her arms as Lewis finally snapped back to reality. However, Alexis was still out of it, tapping into foresight that was already made present.
Stacy nodded sadly, "Yep... I... I have pokephobia," She looked as if she were ashamed by the fact, "I am hoping to get over it but... I... I don't know if I will..." She looked saddened. She didn't want to be a little crybaby forever. At least about pokemon.

She kicked her legs out a bit letting them sway back and forth, "I know... I just wasn't expecting all the attention was all... And the pokemon..." She shivered a bit as she said it, "I can handle pokemon a bit... I just don't like them touching me..." Her mind flashed back to when she got bitten by the venipede. She shook her head quickly trying to not think about it. "You all have been very nice to me even if it was a surprise... So I would just like to say thank you." She smiled sheepishly (or should I say mareepishly-)

Stacy looked over to the man that had just joined the group again talking about how he bought he some whiskey and vodka and what not and how it was a good antiseptic. If he wanted to get an antiseptic, why didn't he just get one? Why buy the strongest vodka he could find? The thoughts traveling around in her mind suddenly disappeared as a sudden screech pierced through her mind and she turned quickly to see a staraptor heading straight towards the man with the whiskey to attack him!!!

Stacy jumped back quicky behind the bench staying close to the ground as if something was about to explode or she was in a building lit on fire. The shaken closed her eyes tight not wanted to see the eventual death of the man but the screams never came... She opened one eye and say a woman sitting on the staraptor laughing at the poor man who had almost been attacked!
Hearing about the alcohol, Alex facepalmed. "You do know that they sell antiseptic at drugstores right? How much did that stuff cost?"
Before he got his answer, a new trainer arrived that identified herself as Evilane Dnark. "This day is just full of surprises."
Sky looked out over the water. There was a thin wisp of fog rolling over the ocean. It reminded Sky of a woman's nightgown. She knelt down close to the edge, scanning the area for sea life. Goldeens. Tentacools. One thing in particular. The fog began to stretch until covered most of the landscape. It looked less like a gown and more like a rippled curtain with Mothim holes in it. The image took Sky back to that fateful encounter.
She had stood at this exact shore. Her skin was damp from the moisture in the air. The hair on the back of her neck prickled with anticipation. It was at that moment the Pokémon broke the water's surface. Sky still recalled every detail, its long, slender neck, the knobby shell on its back, and the beads of saltwater dripping from its Olympic Blue skin. It craned its neck down to where Sky stood, obsidian eyes staring into her own.
Sky watched as the fog dissipated. She sighed. No Lapras awaited her this time. It was probably migrating with the rest of its kind. Sky had not seen it for nearly seven years. Still, she had hoped that coming here again, returning to where the Lapras once stood, would somehow reassure her. She removed a Pokéball from her belt, light blue with yellow markings. She tossed it high into the air. As if on cue, a brown-and-cream-colored bird burst out. He cried with delight and did a few somersaults in the air before settling down. Sky stroked the red and yellow feathers on his head. "Well, Icarus," she said, unable to get her smile to reach her eyes, "what do you say we go for a ride?"
The Pidgeot flapped his wings. As Sky climbed onto his back, she thought about how appropriate it was that he shimmered in the morning light. The Pidgeot raced off, his trainer hanging on for dear life. Both were unaware that they were being followed by another large brown bird Pokémon. One with a long neck and a crown of red feathers.
Connor raised an eyebrow as Alexis seemed to get spacy for a second and seemed to muse of some vision she was having, he had to admit this was the first time he saw her psychic powers in action so he seemed to be intrigued if a bit confused over what she had meant. Either way he listened to Stacy confirm her Pokephobia as he seemed to nod with a sympathetic expression.

"Hey, stuff like that probably doesn't come easy. Just about us respecting your boundaries and you getting a little bit more comfortable around them each day. I think I speak for us all when I say we appreciate this clarification and will keep your wishes in mind going forward." Connor said as he once more tried to comfort Stacy as he figured things finally seemed to be settling. Then Lewis seemed to return to them with alcohol, and a Staraptor appeared out of nowhere to attack him which caused his eyes to widen.

"What the...?" Connor asked before a new figure emerged, the owner of the Staraptor who seemed to be an Ace Trainer named Evilane Dnalk. Huh, seemed more faces old and new continued to emerge though the focus was on Stacy who seemed to be reasonably alarmed at this arrival and sudden attack upon Lewis.

"Uh n-nice to meet you miss Evilane, but uh, a friend of ours is a bit sheepish around Pokemon so this probably didn't help." Connor explained sheepishly as things seemed to take a turn for the odd with this group. Which seemed to be the norm the more he had tagged along with them which hey, he had not been about to complain about.
To be clear, Sky had no qualms about flying. Every creature with wings should be able to experience the air at least one point in their life. The problem was Sky didn't have wings.

"Did you have to take off so fast?" she hollered to Icarus. She was too busy grasping for dear life to notice the Pidgeot's grin.

The bird Pokémon expanded his wings in an attempt to stabilize. Sky had to admit that, from here, flying wasn't all that bad. The view was nice. She could make out the trees below, and the clouds were so close she could touch them. If it weren't for motion sickness and the existential dread, she'd actually be enjoying herself.

"Just breathe," she told herself. Breathing was important at high altitudes. Especially at really high altitudes.

Icarus looked over his shoulder at Sky and cooed to assure her that everything was alright. Just then, a brown blur smacked into him, nearly knocking Sky off. What now? Icarus straightened himself and found that he was in a face-off with an enormous Fearow. Not just any Fearow! This long-beaked bird had a distinctive red scar across her left eye.


That's what Sky imagined Icarus's caw meant. The Fearow seemed to respond in kind. The two birds began circling each other. "Icarus, wait!" Sky shouted, but it was too late. The battle was on!

The Heart of Frostfire.

Previously The failure
Evilane chuckled again and shook her head, her eyes glimmering. "Oh, you don't need to worry about my intrusion, hun. Yamato, return." She called, returning her oddly named Staraptor to his ball. "You don't need to fear me, I won't bite, and nor will my Pokemon. Well, unless you're a threat, naturally!" She chuckled again. She was about to continue when Lewis pulled her into a hug, giving a soft whimper.

"Evilane, I really missed you. I suppose you're not here to pay me a visit though, huh? That is fine, I'll leave you to whatever you came here for." The scientist spoke, his own eyes glimmering behind his glasses. Evilane, in turn, returned the hug and then walked a few metres away from the group. "While my goal is something else completely, I chose this location specifically to check in on you. Wouldn't want to see you involved in criminal affairs again, after all. However, I suppose I should reveal exactly why I'm here. I was hired by the local police to investigate a criminal organization calling themselves Team Rocket. I'm not sure why they chose me, given I'm from Unova, but I'll do my best in investigating the matter!" She spun, striking a pose! "And you, I'd like you to come with me! I was told someone of your description had a run in with them, which means you're the best suited to assist me, if you'd like to take on this mission." She pointed at Rick. Her energy was even greater than that of Alexis, which would explain why Lewis had taken a liking to the psychic. She reminded him of an old friend.

While Evilane prepared to leave, hoping to take Rick with her, Lewis sighed, glancing at Alexis who had taken to standing near to Stacy. The girl was surprisingly silent, perhaps she saw something terrifying in her vision. "Oh, to answer the questions on the alcohol, it's not just for antiseptic. I have a project I have planned, and it requires some level of alcohol. The vodka wasn't too expensive, and neither was the rum." He commented, his voice taking on a quiet tone. Alexis finally decided to speak something, though it was in a quiet tone. "I... Think I know what happened to your friend... Rick, was it? I... Had a vision, and while it was hard to tell what was going on... I think I saw him being captured by a group I wasn't able to identify... At least, I think it was him... His captors... They definitely weren't the group that I was regretfully a part of..." She seemed almost ready to burst into tears, however she seemed to be holding together. For now, at least.
Having walked into town on her own, Roxanne let Drake and Link back out of their PokeBalls, the Aerodactyl and Meowth once again perched on her shoulder and back respectively. Walking around she could not help but notice a familiar Fire type. "Iris!" Roxanne quickly made her way to the Rapidash, instantly spotting the ticket attached to her horn. "Oh geez. Well, I'm pretty sure this was Rick's fault so let's go get him."
While she was talking to the equine, Drake heard the aerial battle happening somewhere and flew off to investigate. The second he saw the Fearow though, the young Aerodactyl saw red and sped towards it, screeching as he went. He was never a fan of the larger Bird Pokemon, having been attacked by one for no apparent reason before. Since then, Roxanne would always return him whenever she realized there was a Fearow in the immediate area. Drake immediately opened with a Bite before transitioning to a Wing Attack.
Icarus dodged out of the way when he saw the Aerodactyl racing towards him. Instead of attacking him, the Aerodactyl went straight for the Fearow. Icarus looked annoyed. Sky, however, couldn't be happier. She recognized this Fearow from when she and Icarus first met. This was the same bird that used to bully Icarus when he was just a Pidgey.

The Aerodactyl's Bite caused the one-eyed Fearow to flinch. When the Aerodactyl transitioned to Wing Attack, the Fearow used Roost before countering with Drill Run.

"Look out!" Sky hollered. Would the Aerodactyl dodge in time?
Barreling out of the way, Drake quickly turned around and used Ancient Power, striking the bird from behind before speeding after it and unleashing a Supersonic at it. Said attack managed to hit the Fearow, confusing it greatly. The seemingly undersized Aerodactyl charged with his jaws wide open before landing another Bite on the bird's tail. The only downside was the mouthful of feathers that were promptly spat out before hitting him with another Wing Attack and making distance between them. Needless to say, the Fearow was still in the fight, even if it was still confused. @Charlotte Pryce

Meanwhile, back on the ground.

Sensing Stacy's new position, Alex walked around the bench and placed a hand on her shoulder. While doing so, the blind man shared some of his aura with her, hopefully helping her emotionally. "I've not felt the presence of a Staraptor since I left Sinnoh." @JoyPaws
The Fearow shook its head in disgust. Its attack had missed and it was clearly confused. That said, Icarus was not about to let her get away.

"Let's get out of here!" Sky urged. Icarus wasn't having it. Why did he have to be so difficult? "Come on you stubborn son of a Pidgeotto. Can you forget your stupid rivalry for two seconds?"

Before Icarus could dignify that with a response, the Fearow's tail feathers smacked him in the face. Icarus recoiled. The Fearow attempted to hit the Aerodactyl with Wing Attack. Instead, it hurt itself in the confusion. It decided to turn tail and run. Icarus was furious. How dare this Aerodactyl steal his glory!


What the? Icarus looked down. Sky was presently tumbling through the air. The Pidgeot had accidentally bucked his trainer off!
Hearing the scream and content with chasing off the Fearow, Drake turned to see Sky tumbling through the air. No longer seeing red, the Aerodactyl dove towards her, grabbing the top back of her shirt and reopening his wings. While he did sorta catch her, he was neither big enough nor strong enough to be able to properly maneuver with her in his clutches. The least he could do was slow her descent while frantically flapping his wings to stay airborne. He was somewhat confused about how she wound up in this situation, seeing as he was so focused on the Fearow he pretty much failed to notice this human riding her Pidgeot nearby. Oops.
Sky had to think fast. She frantically pulled a red and white Poké Ball off her belt, almost dropping it in the process. The Aerodactyl was slowing her descent, but they were both falling. She could only think of one option. Pressing the button in the center of her Poké Ball, she said, "Ka, if you can hear me, Teleport us to safety!" The result was a flash of light, two Pokémon and one human hovering a mere three feet off the ground, and a Kadabra levitating beside them.
Realizing that they were suddenly closer to the ground, Drake stopped his frantic flapping and hovered to the ground. Once he was sure Sky was actually standing he let go and landed on the ground next to her stretching his tired wings and taking deep breaths. Having witnessed Drake's stunt, Roxanne ran over to the pterosaur and picked him up, Iris in tow. Roxanne had actually removed the ticket from her horn for safekeeping saying she was going to give it to Rick. Looking at the trainer Drake helped save, Roxanne asked. " Are you okay?" @Charlotte Pryce
While Iris was staring at the sea, still waiting, one ear turned towards the call of a familliar voice of a human. Iris gave out a greeting nicker as Roxanne approached. However, it didn't take long for her attention to span towards a commotion in the sky, as a Pidgeot and a Fearow - and soon Roxanne's Aerodactyl - started a dogfight. Two on one were bad enough odds to send the Fearow packing. Iris followed Roxanne as the latter ran towards the Pidgeot's trainer.

A few meters ahead, Pearl was also making her approach to the harbor. She let out a cry upon seeing Iris down below. The mare looked up with narrowed eyes. No boat? Something felt off. The Dragonair descended, and started uttering something to Iris. The mare groaned with gritted teeth, before turning and galloping off towards Route 6, with Pearl in tow.

Meanwhile, on said route, everyone started bringing their pokémon into their respective balls, as Stacy confirmed Rick's suspicions. Little by little, things were starting to get under control. "Well. You may not like this, but the best way to overcome a fear is by being exposed to it. And in your case, the best thing you have to do is to get a pokémon of your own." Rick told her.

And as the girl was starting to get confortable, another unknown trainer came out from the sky on a Staraptor, causing Stacy to quickly find cover under the bench. Rick sighed. "Well, we're back to square one..." He muttered, rubbing his face. Turns out the trainer wasn't a complete stranger afterall, and was actualy friends with Lewis. She introduced herself as Evilane, and she would quickly get Rick's attention when shesaid was tasked to help the police with Team Rocket.

What Rick didn't expect was for her to direct to him specificaly, inviting him to join up. "First they tell me not to intervene, and now it's okay?" Rick said, raising an eyebrow. Then his attention shifted towards Alexis, who warned Rick about a vision she had of Chris being taken hostage. Rick frowned, before looking at Evilane. "If I can help sending those Muks into jail, I'm in." He told her. "First I need my pokémon. Also a phone would be nice."

This was when Rick heard the whinny from Iris, who was sprinting towards him. She kicked up dirt as she had to hit the brakes to not run over her trainer. Rick coughed before speaking. "Why such a hurry?" He asked. The mare noded towards the sky, as Pearl followed behind. "Huh. Nevermind! They're all here afterall!" He said to Evilane. Normaly, Rick should be happy. But Pearl's unneasy cry and behaviour wasn't one of happiness. Neither was Iris's... who had also been told to stay at the harbor in case Chris showed up. The vision that Alexis supposedly had, also didn't help. Rick frowned. "What happened? Where is he?" He asked.

Pearl stretched herself low next to Rick for him to mount her, before lifting off. She stoped above for a few moments so that Rick could talk. "Sorry Iris! I left your ball in the boat! Go with the others and I'll catch up!" Rick shouted, before Pearl headed off. Iris's eyes narrowed as she let out a soft groan.
Sky dusted herself off. "I'm fine," she told the new trainer. "In no small part thanks to this guy." She gestured to the Aerodactyl. "I take it you are his trainer?"

Icarus the Pidgeot landed beside the group, looking a little ashamed. Sky's Kadabra shot him an expression that said, when she's through thanking them, I'm going to make sure you get the chewing out you deserve.
"Roxanne Stone from the Hoenn Region. This little guy is Drake, one of my fossil pokemon. I'd introduce the rest of the gang, but some of them are kinda large and are better let out in a more open area than in the middle of a town." Roxanne scratched Drake's chin absentmindedly while Link raised a paw and meowed in greeting. "Oh yeah, this is Link. I only caught him a little while ago but he loves attention."
"Nice to meet you," Sky said, nodding at Roxanne and her Pokémon. "This is my Kadabra. I call him Ka sometimes but he doesn't have an official nickname."

The Kadabra tugged on Sky's sleeve, then pointed to her backpack.

"Oh! Sorry. He wants his Scrabble tiles," Sky explained while she unzipped her backpack. There were four Poké Balls nestled in the bag against a purple pouch. She tossed the pouch to Kadabra who poured out the titles and used his telekinesis to spell the word GREETINGS in the air.

"Better check on these guys while I'm at it. Icarus really took us for a tumble."

The Pidgeot pecked Sky's backpack strap to show he was sorry. Sky patted him and opened the remaining Poké Balls. A Ninetails, Arbok, Gardevior, and Meganium came pouring out of their respective balls.
Sensing Stacy's new position, Alex walked around the bench and placed a hand on her shoulder. While doing so, the blind man shared some of his aura with her, hopefully helping her emotionally. "I've not felt the presence of a Staraptor since I left Sinnoh."

Stacy moved her head a bit to look at him. She was still rather anxious but seemed to have relaxed a bit whether or not the aura helped.

"I've never been to Sinnoh... Last region I traveled to was Unova and uh... I don't want to try traveling out of the region again..." She shivered like she was thinking of something wanted to forget about. "So I've never seen a Staraptor... I studied the pokedex a while back, but I've never seen a Staraptor..." She eyed the pokemon crawling a bit away from it.

The Heart of Frostfire.

Previously The failure
As Rick got ready to take off, Evilane let out her own Staraptor again, quickly putting her long bomber jacket and helmet on, quickly closing the visor. "Hey, I'm not going out there without backup! If the psychic is to be trusted, it's going to be dangerous for you to go alone!" She called out, quickly mounting the bird who let out a quiet screech, sensitive to the fear of Stacy. "Lewis, hold down the fort, will ya? I expect you'll let us know if anything happens." She called out, briefly glancing at her old friend before making all the preparations for takeoff.

"Ahh, Evilane... You need to take things more slowly, rushing into things is just going to lead to you getting hurt, or worse." He quietly sighed, staring sadly at the ace trainer. Not wanting to get involved with the whole team rocket business, he turned to the newcomer, sighing once more. "And here I was thinking our group would only have a few people. Looking at your team, I take it you've spent a lot of time with your Pokemon? I respect that." He spoke, his voice slowly starting to perk back up. "I wouldn't bring those pokemon around her, from what we understand... She has quite the fear of Pokemon, if I've heard correctly." He comments, gesturing at a Stacy who was hiding under the bench again.

While everything was happening, Alexis decided to crouch down next to Stacy, assisting Conner in calming her. "H-heh... There are too many people here... When I joined Lewis... I didn't expect he'd get involved with a lot of people..." She spoke in an uncharistically anxious tone. Her energy was replaced with a bit of fear, especially after witnessing the aerial battle of bird pokemon. "Umm... Connor? Do you think we should go someplace else? Even I'm getting a bit anxious with everyone here... I'm... Still not used to large groups of people, heh heh... And while we're away from the others... I can share my story, if you want... It might help Stacy understand why I claimed I can sympathise with her." Her eyes were also rather dull, being a dark purple and looking to be more like obsidian rather than brilliant amethysts.
Against Roxanne's wishes, her remaining four Pokemon came out of their own Pokeballs in response to Sky's own Pokemon. Roxanne could not help but sigh. "Forget I said that last bit. The Aggron is my first partner and her name is Panzer. The Bastiodon is Tank, the Tyrunt is Rexy and the Amaura is Tundra. I have more Pokemon but they're all staying with Professor Birch at his lab. There wasn't enough room on my parents' ranch." While Roxanne introduced the rest of her party Pokemon and explained her situation, her crew decided to greet Sky's team. Tundra immediately walked over to the Meganium, likely because the two of them resembled sauropods and introduced herself to the fully evolved Grass type.
"Looks like Tundra may have taken a liking to your Meganium. My mom actually has one back in Fallarbor. It's nice to see familiar species when traveling abroad."
"I know the feeling," Sky said. "I lived in Kanto for a while but...then I had to move." It was probably best not to bring up 'the incident'. "I got Blossom in Johto. That's my Meganium."

Blossom the Meganium seemed to be admiring Tundra. She attempted to lean back on her hind legs and extend one of her front feet. Sky laughed. "She's trying to shake hands. I taught her that as a Chikorita."

"Sorry girl," she told Blossom. "I don't think that's going to work."

"Beh?" The Meganium looked a little disappointed.

"My Arbok is called Adam. He's usually shy in crowds. Sune is my Ninetails. He's even more prideful than Icarus. I caught most of them here, except for Blossom and Diana. Diana's the Gardevior."

The Gardevior and the Ninetails bowed to Roxanne's group. Years of partnering in double battles made them in sync.
"Aur!" Seeing Blossom extend her front foot, Tundra mimicked the gesture with one of her own forefeet, touching the Meganium's foot with her own. Roxanne smiled. "Tundra's actually a pretty quick learner, so Blossom doesn't have to worry about that." Tipping her hat in greeting to the other Pokemon, Roxanne continued. "If anything, Panzer's the one I worry about the most. Ever since she evolved into an Aggron, she's acted like a brood mother to any younger Pokemon I acquire. The motherly affection does wear off after they evolve thankfully. The downside to that is she has a tendency to overreact and go nuts when any one of them wanders off." Panzer let out a low growl. Roxanne gently pat her massive Steel type. "I'm not saying it's an entirely bad thing Panzer, but you did almost trample our traveling companions when Tundra wandered towards them a couple of days ago." While Roxanne was talking, the rest of her team decided to approach Sky's team, excitedly introducing themselves.
Stacy was about to agree that they show head inside when she her the Staraptor screech again and she went back to her hiding place under the bench shaking like a wet Lillipup. Stacy closed her eyes tightly covering her hand with her head with her hands when she felt something nudge her hand.

Stacy opened one eye and was met with a sand-colored armadillo pokemon. Its shell was coated in sand and dirt looking as if it had been rolling around in it. Its large black eyes looked into Stacy's grey eyes. The creature rubbed up against her hand as if in a comforting motion whether it was meant to comfort Stacy or the creature itself. It seemed as if it had also been spooked by the sudden screech of the bird pokemon too.

Stacy's heart began to race as she stared as she stared at the creature more. Why was it rubbing up again her hand!? What was it doing!? Stacy started shaking more and the creature stepped away and sniffed her and then sat down seeing she wasn't a threat. But that this Sandshrew a threat to Stacy she wondered as she stared at it. Would this small round chubby looking pokemon hurt her? Sandshrew was a ground type she remembered from when she used to study the pokedex. So maybe it wouldn't hurt her? But maybe it would also hurt her! Maybe it would blind her by throwing sand in her eyes!

Stacy lowered her hands covering her eyes trying not to think about the Sandshrew. Instead of leaving the Sandshrew stood up and rubbed up against her head licking it softly with its sandpaper like tongue. It reminded her of her first pokemon. An Eevee. The Eevee always seemed to care for her when she was nervous, and she felt regret knowing to had to give it away to a neighbor because of her fear. But again, what pokemon would want a master who was scared of it?

The sandshrew continued rubbing up against Stacy's head in a comforting way. So, it was comforting her. That was sweet.
Kadabra teleported around all of Roxanne's Pokémon, excited to see new faces. Using his psychic powers, he rearranged the scrabble letters to form a new sentence: HELLO! MY NAME IS KADABRA. DO YOU READ?

Sky didn't know what the other Pokémon were saying to each other, but they all seemed happy to meet. Icarus seemed a little wary of Drake, but he started chirping politely. Blossom's face lit up when the Amaura copied her greeting. She squeaked happily and smiled as if she had just discovered sunshine. The only one who seemed shy was Adam. The Arbok coward behind Sky, despite being much taller than she was. He seemed especially wary of the Aggron.

"You seem to have a strong bond with your Pokémon," Sky said truthfully. "It's important to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses."

"Not that there's anything wrong with being protective!" Sky assured Panzer. "I've been in pretty tough scrapes. If it wasn't for my team, I wouldn't be here today." Which is what makes this so much harder. She mumbled in afterthought.

The Heart of Frostfire.

Previously The failure
Lewis sighed and turned away, looking to the distance. "If anyone needs anything, call my name. I will be nearby, there are too many people here, and... The noise is hurting my sensitive ears. I'm going to see if anyone needs assistance down at the harbour. I'm sure my technical skills might help me earn some extra money." He turned away, starting to leave. Of course, Alexis looked at him with a sad look, but was too scared to say anything. Instead, she turned her attention back to Stacy, who had seemed to have lured the attention of a Sandshrew.

"Ohh, you found a friend? I guess it's just as scared as we are, huh?" She gave a sad smile, scooting backwards to give them space. "I'll let you two get to know eachother. If you need a Pokeball... I have some spare. I hope this can help you get over your fear, as... It wasn't that long ago that I was also scared of pokemon. However... My own issues were... Wild pokemon..." She spoke softly. Letting out her Umbreon a respectable distance away, she stepped away from the bench and gestured at the creature to do what he could to cloak her in darkness. After doing so, when the darkness cleared, she was back in her red robes, hoping the hood would help to conceal her face. "Thanks, Allure... The robes help me feel... Safer..." She nodded, returning him back to her ball.

She kept looking towards the other trainers, desperately wanting to get to know them, but her anxiety had peaked and there was little more she could do but hide behind the bench. She hoped that putting her robes on in darkness would at least make her seem more confident than she was. While she stayed quiet and watched the Sandshrew attempt to comfort Stacy, Lewis was already at the docks. Quickly increasing the opacity on his glasses so the sun reflecting off the water wouldn't hurt his eyes, he was focused on looking for someone who required his assistance. While he had claimed the alcohol he bought wasn't too expensive, in reality, he was left with little money and felt as if he had to make up for a rather pricey purchase.
Roxanne nodded. "It also helps to know what they like to eat. For example..." Roxanne brought out the nugget that Rick gave her and wiped it off before continuing. "Panzer loves eating these. It's not something we find often so we treat it like candy. The quickest way to get Panzer to love you is to feed her one of these." Meanwhile, Rexy noticed Adam the Arbok hiding behind Icarus and tilted her head before approaching him, waving a little arm in greeting.
Alex "looked" at Stacy and noticed the Sandshrew's Aura as it attempted to comfort her. Figuring it would be better not to interfere, the blind man sat down on the far side of the bench to give his legs and feet a rest, Gwen popping out of her PokeBall. Seeing her trainer sitting down, the Gardevoir went behind him and started rubbing his shoulders to help him relax a bit, nevermind the other Gardevoir whose presence she felt a distance away from them.
"This...got messier than it needed to..."

Connor blinked a bit as all of this happened so fast and on top of each other it had given the young man damn near sensory overload. First the new woman with a Staraptor seemed to explain she was some investigator, here to look into that Team Rocket attack Rick had been tied up with earlier. Speaking of Rick, this Evaline seemed to ask him to tag along on her mission given he had prior experience. Connor himself partly wanted to join in but then again, he had just met this group and to fracture further had caused some hesitation in this regard. Alexis seemed to have a vision that someone, Chris, being taken hostage while a pair of Pokemon Rick had seemed to return and only seemed to caused a panic sprint as some of the group moved to an alternate path as Connor blinked having not even had a chance to get a word off in all of that.

TO top if ott, Stacy seemed to settle in only for one of these new developments to cause her to panic, and she'd settle only for something else to come up which caused the panic to surface back. It had been quite the roller caster as Alexis tried to move close to her after someone else, a newcomer who seemed to have a gentle touch of sorts tried to ease her concerns prior. Both efforts seemed to have some success, but a Sandshrew seemed to appear to startler her. However, it began to nuzzle at her as it tried to calm her down, and even Stacy seemed to understand it wanted to help as Alexis made quite the gesture relating to her own experience as she expressed her wishes.

"Touching words, I admire your path tot his point." Connor said to Alexis before he walked over to Stacy though had kept a respectful distance from her and her new ground type possible friend as he smiled at her.

"We all get used to our Pokemon friends at different levels. Can be quite scary at first, but if you give them a chance to open up to you you'll find no better partners or friends who stick by you though thick and thin." Connor advised, as he had spoken from his own experience as he also tried to encourage Stacy.
The Sandshrew continued its mission to have the scared girl calm down. It nuzzled it's head up against hers in a way that did seem to help. Stacy lowered her hands from her face getting a good look at the creature to seemed content now and had chosen to hug her head.

Stacy looked over at Conner and mumbled, "The Sandshrew reminds me of my first partner... She was an Eevee but..." Her voice got quieter until it was eventually nothing. The Sandshrew clung onto Stacy's head in a hug licking her forehead trying to help her calm down.

Stacy had finally relaxed and had seemed to have excepted her fate of the Sandshrew trying to comfort her and it evidently seemed to have worked. She looked at the Sandshrew and whispered, "Hi..." The Sandshrew replied with a noise that sounded like the mix between a bit like an angry meowth but it was clear it wasn't mad at her as it was nuzzling up again her head.

Stacy to be honest was rather dumbfounded at the appearance of the Sandshrew and it was loving on her so much to the point the only thing she could think to say was, "I think it likes me..." as she blinked a few times in surprise.
Connor listened as Stacy seemed to mumble something, something about how this Sandshrew reminded her of her first partner and...ooooh. While Connor had no way to know the story her tone seemed to suggest it had less than a happy ending and had decided not to say much of anything, as she wanted her to get this moment alone with the Sandshrew as he nodded to her with a sympathetic expression.

Damn, if what he figured happened happened then Stacy has had it rough, and probably in part tied to her Pokephobia. Still, the fact she seemed willing to let the Sandshrew help calm her showed that there still had been an accepting heart at the core which had been a good sign far as he had seen it.

"Yeah, it seems to." Connor said with a small smile as the Sandshrew had taken a liking to Stacy which hopefully would help her going forward as this connection might've been just what the doctor ordered.
Amelia spoke up at this point, largely brushing off all of the things that had happened all at once, all so fast. She focused mainly on Stacy and the Sandshrew who had taken a liking to her.

“Aw, it’s so cute! I bet he wants to be your friend!” She said, trying to reassure the girl.

The Heart of Frostfire.

Previously The failure
The robed Alexis sighed and started slowly calming down, her eyes starting to gain more of their normal purple colour. "It... It's nice to see that a Pokemon has taken a liking to her." She replied softly. She held her amulet-like necklace before her, as if trying to use it to ward off evil thoughts. "I remember when I met Allure, when he was just an Eevee. He acted as my grounding rod, and... Even when things got bad, he was there to make sure I was okay. Since then, he's been a loyal boy, and a good friend. I hope your Sandshrew can act as your grounding rod." She attempted to smile at Stacy, getting a bit closer.

She wanted to let out her Misdreavus to meet the others, a Pokemon who decided to come with her shortly before her current journey, but didn't want to scare Stacy. After all, she only just accepted the Sandshrew. The girl in red robes pulled out what seemed to be a rather unique ball, seeming to be the opposite of a moon ball. While it seemed to be the sun version of a moon ball, it wouldn't have had the effects of a moon ball except with a sun stone, and rather was just a great ball modified to look different. She placed it on the ground and rolled it towards Stacy, giving a nervous smile. "If you want to capture the little thing and make it officially yours, try using that. When I was with the organization, I had a lot of spare time, and one of the things I enjoyed doing was giving generic Pokeballs a little bit more of a custom look. Unfortunately, when I left... I wasn't able to take as many of them as I'd have liked."

While Evilane took off, her bird chasing after Rick, Lewis managed to find some work assisting with some repairs. It seemed those who owned the boats docked nearby were more than happy to have an expert like himself to lend a hand, and while he wasn't very experienced with boats, he quickly adapted and found the work a special form of therapy, a kind of relaxation away from the commotion of so many trainers in one place.
Stacy stared at the Sandshrew. Just stared at it. Was she really going to catch it? Should she? Would it react horribly? Would it hurt her?!

The Sandshrew continued to lick her forehead.

So it wasn't going to hurt her... So maybe... Stacy reached into her bag and pulled out a red pokeball ignoring the one that Alexis rolled over to her and held the red pokeball out to the Sandshrew.

"Would you like me to-" Stacy was cut off when the Sandshrew started rubbing it's face up against the pokeball. Stacy decided to take that as a yes. She held the pokeball in her hand and tapped the button of the pokeball onto the Sandshrew's head. There was a blinding red light as the Sandshrew was caught in the ball.

The pokeball wiggled once...



And with a ding! The Sanshrew as caught!

Stacy crawled her way out from under the bench holding the pokeball in her hands like a delicate object that wasn't meant to be rolled and thrown around. She just stood staring at it softly whispering, "I caught it." Stacy looked up at the group looking a bit and smiled.
As soon as he heard the words leave Stacy's mouth, Alex smiled. "Congratulations on your first catch." Turning towards her, he continued. "Now that it's official, how about you let him back out? I'm sure he'd love to spend even more time with you." @JoyPaws
@Draco Nightshade Icarus the Pidgeot gave Adam a reassuring nod. The Arbok slithered closer.

"Sound's like this boy here," Sky told Roxanne patting her Arbok. "He's crazy about sweet things. Mostly poffins. And for some reason he likes Fancy Apples. Is that normal for an Arbok?"
Adam cocked his head from side to side, studying the Tyrunt. He thumped the end of his tail.

"Oh, Adam don't. He might not like..." Too late. The Arbok coiled his body around Rexy, giving him a hug.

"I'm so sorry," Charlotte told Roxanne. "Sometimes, he's such a ham. I can make him stop, if you think that's wise. He's never hurt anyone but some pokémon don't like it for obvious reasons."