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Thread Description
A short-con artist must gather a team to pull off 8 dangerous heists… or lose his pokémon forever. Next update on the 27th!

Green Tea

Conqueror of the Violet Gym
Screenshotter
Pokédex No.
5195
Caught
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
197
Location
England
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Poison
Pokédex Entry
Considered bitter by many.
The theft was a success!

The mark... oh, Carlos. Didn't you learn anything from Zawa? Cons only work if you're the smartest person in the room, and a guy like Marango didn't get that far by being stupid.

I've got a hunch that Carlos has perhaps worked with the cafe staff to rig up some fakes. If he's made taffy fake Pokéblock already, then why not make one of each kind and pass them around? It depends on how much scouting he's done, but otherwise, I'm with SayleeK and I think it's time to break a window and run for it!
 
OP
Vivace

Vivace

Designated Meganium Defender
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
204
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,251
Location
Fochun
Nature
Brave
Pronouns
He/Him / They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Fighting
Pokédex Entry
The Lad Pokemon, Vivace's main powers are photoshop and chatting shit. Manages the unofficial nuzlocke football team.
♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️

...you know what con I hate? Wage theft. You know what's currently happening to me IRL? Also wage theft. I want to vent more but long story short, it's going to be an interesting couple of months for me if this continues. Anyway, here's more of Carlos being Carlos :3:

@SayleeK Yeah, me too! It was fun to write :D

@Green Tea

“Try this,” Mr. Marango ordered as he handed the piece of pokéblock to his Swellow. It recoiled at the block’s blazing red colour, but its trainer held it firmly under its beak. “Here.”

Carlos held his breath steady as the Swallow pokémon leant in to take a nibble. Briefly, he caressed a Poké Ball on his belt, although the Seismitoad was still giving him the eye…

“Swell, come on! Eat!”

The Swellow’s eyes closed in anticipation as it bit into the red paste. They opened wide as it looked at its trainer, beak agape.

“Well?” coaxed Mr. Marango.

The Swellow tilted its head to one side, then the other. Then, it gave its verdict with a chirp.

Mr. Marango turned to stare at Carlos, his jaw set. Before he moved, Carlos could tell by the creases around his eyes what the man would do: he reached out and shook the grifter’s hand with renewed enthusiasm. “Looks like you have a winner here, Kuo! Or, had. Now I’ve got it, and an adamant Swellow to boot!”

“I’m just thankful it works…” Carlos took the black case, gazing wistfully at the bags of Nature Seeds on the table before he went. “Do make the seeds affordable, though, won’t you?”

“That’s not your concern any more,” Mr. Marango sneered as he collected the seeds. “I conduct my business how I want, and ours has ended. Todd, let him out.”

Carlos pushed his glasses up and nodded at the Seismitoad when it turned to allow him through. He rounded the corner, took the stairs at a fast clip, then found the door to the café.

When nobody was looking, he leaned on the counter and whispered, “Let’s go!”

Immediately a Braixen emerged from the fridge, and they exited the building together. “Did you get the score?” he asked quietly, taking a bite of the Rawst Berry he’d swiped.

“Yes, it’s all here,” Carlos chuckled, lifting the case. “Your recipe was a hit, Art! We could start a bakery.”

Artemio’s grin was as wide and as smug as Carlos had ever seen. “And give this up? Never!”



♣♦♥♠​


“…Backup plan?” Tichu asked Carlos. “I thought Valentin was the backup.”

Carlos rubbed the back of his head. “Yeah… sort of. The thing is, this Marango guy is greedy but he’s not that gullible; no matter how well I sell an idea, he might want ‘proof’ it works. That could mean testing with a lab pokémon, whose tastes we definitely can’t change.

“That’s where Artemio comes in with the ‘switch’! He’ll make sure we get the right flavour pokéblock - or rather, the wrong flavour - to give Mr. Marango. I’ve scoped the place out and the only source for blocks other than myself will be the café on the ground floor. If they call out an order, Artemio will have just enough time to fix the berries and put them in view.”

“Ohh. So he’ll switch them?”

“Almost. The berries have to look the same, or they won’t use them.”

Tichu cocked her head. “But then, I don’t understand… How are we supposed to make the berries taste different without switching?”

“I can show you,” Artemio chimed in. “This is a trick Carlos and I came up with yesterday. What’s your favourite and least favourite flavour?”

“Sweet? And I hate sour stuff.”

“Alright.” As the Stunky watched on, Artemio hopped onto the counter - nearly bumping his head on the ceiling as he did so - and plucked a Nomel Berry from the bowl. “One Nomel shake, coming up!”

Tichu glanced up uncertainly at Carlos, who nodded to Artemio. “Keep a close watch, Tichu; this is important.”

With one paw, the Braixen snipped the top of the dull yellow berry, overturning it so he could squeeze its contents into the sink. With the other, he took another yellow berry with a leafy green base - a Shuca Berry, as Tichu recognised - and squeezed its juices back into the Nomel Berry. This whole process took but a few seconds. Finally, he crushed the entire frankenberry into a glass and handed it to Tichu. “Drink up!”

Tichu sniffed the contents, unsure of what to make of the duelling scents. Carlos smiled warmly. “It won’t bite.”

She sipped. She noticed the spices of the two berries first, and accompanying that heat was an undeniably sweet taste. There was a trace of something sour underneath it all, but nevertheless she gulped the mixture down until nothing was left but the skin of the berries caught on the side of the glass. “That was… delicious?” she announced in confusion.

Artemio let out a whoop and high-fived Carlos.

“There you go!” Carlos told her, patting her on the head. “From our perspective, you suddenly like Nomel Berries! How about that?”

Laughing, Tichu twisted her tail around Carlos’ hand. “That’s brilliant, boss! You really have it all figured out!”

“I should… I’ve been planning this one for a long time. It was kinda supposed to be the last con, once we were ready to start the League challenge.” Carlos’ face fell for a moment, though he recovered just as quickly. “I guess we have started, in a way, yeah?”

“Yeah!” Tichu said. She made a mental note to ask for one of those not-Nomel berries again next time her trainer was serving out pokéblocks!



♣♦♥♠​


“Everyone, please give a warm welcome to our new member, Teresa the Serperior!” Carlos announced with a flourish.

When Teresa was released from the PC, she looked down her curved snout at him, then the crew, then the PC. Casually, she bunched her tail against the table in the centre of the room, then flicked it.

The poor table slammed into a wall, clattered to the ground, then teetered onto a broken leg.

“So I’m really here this time,” she observed. “Good!”

“Teresa, you promised you’d behave,” Carlos reminded her, as Pier raised a nonexistent eyebrow. Teresa drooped her tail in apparent apology, but everyone else just laughed.

The crew greeted Teresa cheerfully; even Pier made an effort. When Dipa attempted a hug, the Serperior flinched away, though Dipa didn’t take this personally. She went back to nuzzling against Artemio instead. Having just saved the Marango con, Artemio was enjoying the extra attention from his teammates.

Since Teresa was far too big for a chair, she simply curled up by the table and watched as the team celebrated their success.

As Carlos held Mr. Marango’s briefcase over his head, he felt lighter than air. This was more cash at one time than he’d ever seen in his life, and he got to hold it! “Job well done!” he announced, then unclasped the briefcase.

The front fell, allowing the ₽5,000 bills to flutter down to the stone floor. The team gave another cheer. “One million! Million!” Carlos stressed. “That’ll pay expenses for… I don’t know, pretty much the whole trip from here!”

“We did it!” Tichu raved, jumping into the shower of bills. “We did it we did it we did it!”

Carlos beamed. “Couldn’t have done it without you, ‘Estée’.”

“Uh, boss?”

“Hm?”

Tichu had stopped to look through the pile of ₽5,000 bills that had coalesced around her. “Do these look different to you?”

As he looked down, Carlos’ eyebrows shot up. “Er, what… what do you mean?” He picked up a few of the bills… or rather, strips of paper cut out from The Dewford Sun. “Oh. Oh no no no NO!”

When they realised what was wrong, a gasp rippled through the team. “They’re FAKE!?” Artemio roared.

“Most of them, yeah!” said Carlos as he scrambled to collect the rest of the bills.

When the pieces of paper were laid out on the floor, the sum of real money came to a fraction of what it was supposed to be: ₽85,000. The top of the pile had been all newspaper, meaning…

“That cheat. He lined the top with real bills and padded the rest,” Carlos groaned. He scowled at the newspaper, trying not to dwell on what he could’ve done with a real million.

Valentin was livid. “You mean he didn’t pay out what he promised?”

“I guess not… ’spose I didn’t plan for everything after all. Anyway, we didn’t sign a contract, and it’s not like I can storm back in and confront him even if I wanted to.”

“But… I… He tricked us! I can’t believe it! That fraud! He was stringing us along the whole time, and we just took it!” Valentin squawked. “What do we do now!?”

Carlos had caught the Staravia’s eye, slowly breaking into a wry grin. Valentin followed, despite himself, and soon the crew was giggling together.

“We’ve been conned!”

“Nooooooo!”

“Damn you, Mr. Marango!”

“Crooks like him give honest grifters a bad name!”

Their lamentations filled the room, punctuated by Carlos’ belly laugh. Carlos never thought he could be in such high spirits after a loss like this!

“Wonderful. I’ve joined a circus troupe,” Teresa muttered under her breath.

Renege: To play an invalid card in trick-taking card games such as Bridge or Hearts, thus rendering the round invalid. Considered cheating if intentional, so various penalties may apply.
(I should probably add definitions to the gambling terminology I use for chapter titles. There's a lot of very interesting slang that's used in and out of Vegas, and I've been learning as much as I can!)

The fake money suitcase is a staple of Hustle episodes. If the mark is too distracted by everything else that's going on to check inside the shiny money case, expect this to crop up in some way! Or, Stacie might switch the cases entirely :v:

I think I figured out what to do in terms of past scenes like the backup plan explanation here: Two of those little transition lines instead of one, and a separate font. I believe that's enough to show that this is a special scene without using a scene header, but I'll add one if y'all think it's needed!
7HelZXx.png

Tichu (F)
Hasty, Starter (in-game)
Poison Gas / Screech / Smokescreen / Fury Swipes



frosmoth.gif

Dipa the Frosmoth (XF)
Mild, Route 116
Struggle Bug / Infestation / Attract / Stun Spore



staravia.gif

Valentin the Staravia (M)
Timid, Route 104
Tackle / Growl / Quick Attack / Wing Attack



braixen.gif

Artemio the Braixen (M)
Gentle, Petalburg Woods
Scratch / Tail Whip / Ember / Flame Charge



fomantis.gif

Pier the Fomantis (M)
Bashful, Dewford Town
Leafage / Fury Cutter / Growth / Ingrain



serperior.gif

Teresa the Serperior (F)
Lonely, Route 107
Tackle / Leer / Vine Whip / Wrap
shuppet.gif

Orville the Shuppet (M)
Careful, Route 105
Knock Off / Screech / Attract / Shadow Sneak
rookidee.png

Chelsey the Rookidee (X)
Level 6-12



chingling.png

Kristian the Chingling (M)
Level 5-5

♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️
 
Last edited:

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,045
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
  2. Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Loves music, worldbuilding, anthropomorphism, horrible puns, and Masquerain.
I mean... you conned the guy first... you kiiiiiiiinda had it coming to you.
 

Green Tea

Conqueror of the Violet Gym
Screenshotter
Pokédex No.
5195
Caught
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
197
Location
England
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Poison
Pokédex Entry
Considered bitter by many.
I reiterate my previous comments about it only being a good con if you're the smartest person in the room, or the one holding all of the aces.

To someone like Marango, 85G is nothing and while he might be irked about the seeds, he's expected the scam and so will be assured that he was right to do what he did. It's still not a bad sum of money, so it helps out a bit.

I wonder who looks most appealing to Teresa as a meal. Real snakes would eat insects and rodents, so that's Dipa and Tichu, but I assume the coldness of the moth (and the likely difficulty in catching it) would be offputting, given grass' weakness, and Tichu's a Stunky, so there's that side of things to consider...
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,046
Location
Scrivener
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
Hah, nice trick with the berries! The conman got conned... yeah, that's just funny, that's almost fair in the situation XDXDXD
 

Leon Yorunaki

I'll Spirit Shackle you!
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
453
Caught
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
820
Nature
Rash
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Ghost
No answer. Surely that was a Poké Ball they’d heard? Brawly was about to investigate when something else drew his attention. An eerie sound reverberated around the lightless Gym.

“oooooOOOOOOOOOOOoooooo…”
Oh, the classic scare, never gets old. Never works though.
Though Laurel yelped at the ghostly noise, it ironically set Brawly’s mind at ease. It’d been a while since some kid had tried to play such a prank on him. “Oh, no!” he called out, “is that a Ghost type?”
You should have believed the League Guide, Carlos. This kind of distraction won't work. Even though I know it did since you wouldn't make it a run if it failed, right?
“I’ve got you now! Where’s your- oh. Right,” Brawly chuckled as the Shuppet floated through the wall. “Yo, Laurel? It’s just a prankster, can you help me clear them out? Give ‘em a light battle if they want one.”
Seems about right. Just a mild distraction I see. I'm more scared of Laurel than Brawly in fact.
Gotcha!” Brawly’s kick went straight through the Shuppet, who blew a raspberry as it retreated through the wall. He listened intently, then heard the Puppet pokémon’s screech further down near the storage closet. Another screech sounded in the opposite direction… were there two of them?
First: A fighting-type move against a Ghost? And he calls himself a gym leader? bo-ring!
Second: Now that's a clever trick. Wonder how (and who) did pull that one...
“Laurel! Come help! I think we’ve got a burglar?”
It took you that long to notice? No wonder your gym is told to be the easiest of them all!
“Whoever it is, I don’t think they’re coming back,” Brawly sighed. “Let’s lock up properly, then get something at Driftwood. I… I need a burger, man.”
F68b.gif


“Did you see me, boss? Did you see what I did? I totally fooled Brawly!”

“Tichu, I didn’t see anything,” Carlos laughed. “None of us could!”

“I sounded just like Orville, didn’t I? He taught me how to use Screech, and Brawly was so confused when he heard mine! You should’ve seen the look on his face!”

“…Did you?”

Tichu’s face fell. “No… but I’m sure it was funny!”
That trade-off was so funny, not gonna lie, that's why Tichu is the best!

“Everyone has some small movement they might make without meaning to when they lie. That’s called a ‘tell’. It’s basically a sign that displays what’s on their mind when they’re trying to hide it. Since I could see yours, I knew you weren’t serious about attacking me.”

“What did I do wrong, then?”

He paused. “I’d need to talk to you for longer to know for sure… but I think when you bluff, you hiss a bit. That, or your tail shakes at the end.”
Well, I for sure don't want to play poker against Carlos. He wouldn't need to con me to take all of my chips away
“You did it again.”

“Damn it!”
Now I want Teresa on team so badly... but I don't want you to box any of the others nnngh...

“I understand, but… Mr. Marango, this is a prototype. I’m not about to skip steps in the development process here. Do you even have a lab Patrat?”

Mr. Marango’s eyes were cold. “Don’t you have pokémon?”
Some people are so easy to trick it's actually obvious (and I can totally picture lab Patrat being a thing)
“But a thought has… come to me,” the executive stated. His grip on his briefcase tightened; Carlos let go. “This is a lot of money. And, I met you just yesterday. So if I were to give you a fortune for what turns out to be a bag of Plain Seeds…”

Oh, Arceus.
You have a B plan, right? Right?
Paying him no heed, Mr. Marango pressed a button on his desk. “This is Wilfried,” he intoned to the plain black receiver. “I want a pokéblock brought up. Make it extra spicy.”
...fuck
The Seismitoad slid to one side so a young café attendant could enter the room. When Carlos recognised him, he leaned forward in his chair so he’d be harder to notice.
Oh, right, I can see the plan. What a clever setup, preparing your stuff even before you tried to con Mr. Marango with that inspection and replacing all of his berries with something else... clever one, mate!

I hope you survive, though.

When nobody was looking, he leaned on the counter and whispered, “Let’s go!”

Immediately a Braixen emerged from the fridge, and they exited the building together. “Did you get the score?” he asked quietly, taking a bite of the Rawst Berry he’d swiped.
Wait, what? How did you let him there unnoticed?
“Yes, it’s all here,” Carlos chuckled, lifting the case. “Your recipe was a hit, Art! We could start a bakery.”

Artemio’s grin was as wide and as smug as Carlos had ever seen. “And give this up? Never!”
Art just got extra points with me.
“There you go!” Carlos told her, patting her on the head. “From our perspective, you suddenly like Nomel Berries! How about that?”
Holy frankenberry, Carlos! That's some unexpected trick out there!
Tichu had stopped to look through the pile of ₽5,000 bills that had coalesced around her. “Do these look different to you?”

As he looked down, Carlos’ eyebrows shot up. “Er, what… what do you mean?” He picked up a few of the bills… or rather, strips of paper cut out from The Dewford Sun. “Oh. Oh no no no NO!”

When they realised what was wrong, a gasp rippled through the team. “They’re FAKE!?” Artemio roared.
That's how this Rockruff-eat-Growlithe world goes by (in portuguese, that saying goes with snakes instead of dogs, and the imagery of an Arbok and a Seviper biting each other's tails is much more powerful...)
Their lamentations filled the room, punctuated by Carlos’ belly laugh. Carlos never thought he could be in such high spirits after a loss like this!

“Wonderful. I’ve joined a circus troupe,” Teresa muttered under her breath.
Orville NOOOO!
(even though I love Teresa and wanted her on team so badly...)

Also, I feel you on wage theft. I've got 20+ hours in the time bank and no perspective of getting paid for them (at best they'll give me a day off to pay part of that). Hope things will be sorted out for you.
 

apocalypsewriter

Conqueror of the Fuchsia Gym
Writer
Pokédex No.
5390
Caught
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
56
Well, you have me in for the long con! Haul. Long Haul. This story is great so far and I look forward to the next chunk of it! Will Carlos get his team back? And what about the team he makes in the meanwhile? I'm so curious about both of those things, as well as reading all the grifts they get into on the way!
 
OP
Vivace

Vivace

Designated Meganium Defender
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
204
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,251
Location
Fochun
Nature
Brave
Pronouns
He/Him / They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Fighting
Pokédex Entry
The Lad Pokemon, Vivace's main powers are photoshop and chatting shit. Manages the unofficial nuzlocke football team.
♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️

Next gym on the wheel is Petalburg, but there's a bit more to do in Rustboro first!

@Trollkitten Carlos: scams people
Someone: scams him back
Carlos:
GYYnQuS.png


@Green Tea This is true! The key to a successful con is to allow the mark to feel as if he's the one pulling the strings without actually doing so.
Marango didn't actually know for sure, but he's a white collar scammer who's been getting away with stunts like this for a while
Pier's my pick. Fomantis is sort of an insect too, though I agree with you that Tichu's an option if it weren't for the Poison type and Aftermath ability...

@SayleeK Cheers! I had that berry flavour page of Bulbapedia up on a tab for a while trying to figure it all out :sun:

@Leon Yorunaki Oh. My. God. I am so happy for this comment! A live blog like that was a huge boost to see! And don't worry about Orville, he's still on the A team. Carlos is just cycling!
That trade-off was so funny, not gonna lie, that's why Tichu is the best!
I love this skunk so much <3
Wait, what? How did you let him there unnoticed?
Having worked in customer service, I can say truthfully that I wouldn't have paid enough attention either xD
All Carlos had to do was walk in, give the 'inspection', and leave without Artemio
That's how this Rockruff-eat-Growlithe world goes by (in portuguese, that saying goes with snakes instead of dogs, and the imagery of an Arbok and a Seviper biting each other's tails is much more powerful...)
👀 I'm going to start using this! That fits way better than with dogs!
Also, I feel you on wage theft. I've got 20+ hours in the time bank and no perspective of getting paid for them (at best they'll give me a day off to pay part of that). Hope things will be sorted out for you.
Thank you. I'm taking notes and am working on getting another job lined up just in case.

@apocalypsewriter It's good to have you! And welcome to the forum :yay:

On the west side of Rustboro City was a thin, rocky beach known as the Emerald Coast. Any actual gems or evolution stones had long been plucked from among the volcanic stones, leaving only round, smooth pebbles. The beach was dark grey unless the sun shone at just the right angle; when this happened, the stones reflected the sun’s rays and the floor was dotted with dancing lights.

Sticking out from this beach was a large wooden dock prepared to receive today’s ferry. It was perhaps the most gorgeous cruise ship in the region: the S.S. Vaughn.

The S.S. Vaughn cut through the Rustboro waters, its pearlescent hull gleaming in the sun.

With masterful steering, it slotted alongside the dock, giving a proud, prolonged toot! Passengers streamed out to enjoy the city’s views and burgeoning culture, or to return to business after their weekend holiday at Dewford Town.

Carlos and his gang of thieves did not leave the boat, for the simple reason that they never boarded in the first place.

They’d hired a cheap tub which drifted in a few minutes later.

“Excuse me?” Carlos flagged down one of the Vaughn passengers, a large man in a bowler hat. He seemed familiar with the crew, and the luggage he rolled behind him didn’t have any region stickers plastered on it. “I’m a bit lost. Do you live here?”

“In Rustboro? Yeah,” the man said.

Carlos skipped over and brought out a map. “Oh, that’s perfect! Mind showing me the way around? I’m trying to find my hotel, but it’s just a nightmare. These buildings all look the same, man…”

He nodded curtly, so Carlos began to unfold the rigid paper. As with most travel maps, it was excessively detailed; even though Rustboro wasn’t a big city, the number of roads, hotels, restaurants, landmarks, museums, pokémon training areas, clubs, and other places of interest meant this map was the size of a tablecloth. Both of them had their hands full keeping the map aloft, and it creased awkwardly when Carlos moved his arm to point. He had to raise his knee just to keep the thing steady!

“So you’ll need to go down this street-“

“Hold on, where are we?”

“Here.”

“And that over there is?”

“Rustboro Museum.”

“I thought this was the museum! See, there’s the blue dot.”

No, that’s the hospital. Blue dots are hospitals.”

“Okay, gotcha. Could they make this key any harder to read? This one here, then?”

“No! Tch, honestly…”

With the man’s help, Carlos was able to decipher the ‘simple’ and ‘convenient’ travel map. He bid a quick farewell, and once he turned a corner he was joined by a grinning Braixen.

“Too easy,” Artemio crowed as he passed Carlos the money. “So, what’s next?”



♣​


Later in the day, Carlos took a trip to the races. Rustboro City boasted one of the largest Rapidash-racing venues outside of Kanto, and though he’d never been here in person, the thief had seen this place plenty of times on the CRT screens of Mauville bars. While he recognised the tracks, the layout of the spectator area, and the clamour of the crowd, what he wasn’t prepared for was the sheer heat of the place!

It didn’t take long to find his mark: Daniel Faust had a lanky frame, and thanks to his bright yellow replica jockey uniform and his shiny black boots he bore the appearance of a blunt pencil. Like most of the bettors, he was wild-eyed and animated; every time the Rapidashes changed positions, his entire demeanour changed with them. He was one badly-dressed drop in an ocean of speculators.

Carlos sidled up next to this man and leaned on the fence, tracking the Rapidashes’ movement around the ring with a smirk on his face.

“Dull sport, isn’t it?” he asked after a while.

He looked askance at Carlos, wrinkling his upper lip. “Dull? Speak for yourself, jerkwad. Oh, COME ON! C’MON ARTFUL ASH, BRING IT HOME! EASY DOES IT!” He instantly forgot Carlos was even there as he waved a slip of paper at the passing horses.

“You look ridiculous.”

“NO, DON’T SLOW DOWN NOW! YOU’RE THERE! YOU’RE RIGHT THERE! AAAAAAGGHHH!” He bellowed in dismay - along with most of the crowd - as a different Rapidash closed the distance, then passed the first one just in time. He threw his chit on the ground and stomped on it, his face reddening. “Stupid, stupid horse!”

“That was quite the race, eh? How’d you make out?”

The bettor turned his frustration on Carlos. “I’m jumping for joy, can’t you tell!? Why are you even here?”

Carlos raised a hand, his arms still folded, to flash a chit of his own. “Winning some money. The smart way.”

“The hell are you talking about, ‘the smart way’?” Daniel asked, still red in the face.

With a quick look to make sure the crowd was distracted, Carlos produced a Poké Ball. “See this?” He brought out his Braixen, then quickly withdrew him again. “That’s a Fire/Psychic type. I’m gonna let you in on a secret: when you get up to this level of racing, every Rapidash’s speed is pretty much the same. That’s why the results are so random. You may as well go to Mauville and play the roulette!”

For the first time since the race had started, Daniel seemed to properly take in what he was hearing. “So… What about the Braixen?”

“Right.” Carlos lowered his voice. “Before the race starts, there’s a short window where the racers are there at the starting line and the bets are being taken. My Braixen here can tell me exactly what each Rapidash is thinking, how nervous they are, how much they ate beforehand, etcetera.

“Nobody’s going to run the same track at the same speed every time. You can’t do that, I can’t do that, the Rapidash can’t either. The betting odds and ‘speed stats’ are nonsense, but if you know their mentals, you can figure out the result. You just have to know how to play the real game.”

“…Why are you telling me this?” Daniel inquired, looking from Artemio’s Poké Ball to the betting station.

“I only have so long until they figure out what I’m doing and bar me, so I’m looking for someone with a lot of money to spend and the good sense to keep quiet about it. We’ll split it fairly; there’s still some risk, but it’s way safer than relying on those odds.”

Daniel’s eyes narrowed, and he seemed about to say something. Then he wiped his forehead and shrugged. “You’ve got the wrong guy. This is just a hobby for me… go bug someone who wants to be a stinkin’ cheat like you, yeah?”

Carlos bowed his head, then left without another word. He kept an ear out as he pushed through the crowd, slowing down as he got nearer to the exit.

“Wait!”

Carlos turned slowly. “Hmmmmm?”

Daniel was following him after all. “Alright, I do want in.”

“Good to hear. Let’s meet here in a few days for the next derby, and we’ll clean these suckers out together.”



♦​


Carlos found the options of travel to Petalburg City annoyingly slim. There weren’t any ships going that way this week, and the prospect of walking that distance didn’t excite him either. He’d considered the Fly Taxi as well, but it was still far too steep a price for his liking… even with the donations he, Tichu, Pier, and Artemio had been able to collect from the good people of Rustboro.

“You sure there’s nothing more we can do on this side of the city?” Artemio asked, again.

“Yes,” Carlos replied, again.

Tichu and Pier were satisfied with one small con each, but not Artemio. If anything, each con just gave him more ideas which he was eager to try. Carlos wondered if this was why the Fennekin line was considered so high-maintenance among trainers…

“I know!” Artemio suggested. “What if I were to fake an injury?”

Carlos nearly tripped. “What? Why?”

“Why not?”

“That should be obvious,” he snapped. “Why would I let you get hurt for a con?”

Artemio huffed impatiently. “I said fake an injury, not actually get one.”

“And how exactly would you do that?”

“Oh, that’s easy. I’ve already figured that part out.” Artemio turned to face him with his arms outstretched. “Wanna see?”

“Hm…”

“Oh, just do it! Hit me with a Hyper Beam!”

Carlos was too curious not to. He brought his arm up and pointed at Artemio in the same way some pokémon would when charging a special attack.

“Zap.”

At once, the Braixen was flung backwards, red erupting from his chest! Artemio’s magician stick fell to the floor beside him as he collapsed like a puppet whose strings had been cut.

“WHAT-“ Carlos coughed. When the initial shock wore off, he slapped his forehead. “Art! Get up, you ridiculous ‘mon, you! What if someone sees!?”

Artemio was doubled over in laughter at his trainer’s reaction, but eventually he raised his arm and allowed himself to be pulled back up. He ran a paw over his fur, licking at the ‘blood’ which had come from a hidden Tamato Berry. “Yum, spicy.”

Art!”

“Okay! I’m fine.” Artemio laughed again. “Pretty good, huh?”

“No! Well, yes, but… Art, if you could just focus less on these pranks and more on something that can help us with the Gyms…”

“Come on, there’s tons of uses for playing dead! You can get out of trouble with a mark, or we could find some rich driver who’s not paying attention, then POW! Suddenly I’m on the pavement and you get money from them for Hyper Potions!”

“Artemio.”

“Yeah?”

Carlos couldn’t hide his exasperation. “I might not be the best trainer in the world, but if you think I’m going to allow you to headbutt moving cars for money we don’t even need, you’re a few cards short of a full deck.”

“…I should think of something else.”

“I think you should, yes.”

The two of them walked on for a while. The grifter looked up at a couple of concrete towers, watching a trainer and his Mienshao as they jumped the gap between the two uneven roofs. A Sigilyph hovered below them, probably readying a gravity spell in case one of them misjudged the distance. It looked like fun, if a bit risky.

“I have an idea,” Carlos mused. “It’s not a con, but you might like it.”

“Shoot.” He didn’t sound overly enthused.

“What do you say I go get us a poker set? I’ll teach you to play.”

Artemio gave him a questioning look. “You want me to play against people? I’m Psychic-ish, but I’m nowhere near that level yet.”

Carlos grinned. “No, no. We’ll play each other!”

“Huh?”

“You obviously want to do more, and there’s only so much we can do before half the city is after us. So how about we play a round or two once we get back to the base? It’s a pretty simple game, and I could use the practice too.”

The Braixen thought the idea over for a while, then nodded. “Sure, why not?”

Carlos beamed. “Fantastic!”

Conversation became tougher when they passed by a construction area where Gurdurrs were setting up the foundation for another monolith. If the whirring of machinery and clanging of hammers wasn’t enough, Carlos’ eyes also watered from the amount of dust they were raising with their work.

They hastened their pace to get past this street, though the Gurdurrs themselves seemed to be having a great time. Two of them were even staging a sword fight with the iron beams!

“…Kyogre’s grace, that was loud.”


“WHAT?”

“I SAID-“

“I know, just kidding! But yeah, I can’t imagine living with that racket! Give me a quiet forest den any day.”

“Yeah. You get used to it in Mauville-”

“Hiya, Carlos!”

The bright, cheerful voice from behind nearly made Carlos jump out of his skin. “Who…” he blurted out, taking several steps back as he regarded the woman who’d ambushed him. Black hair, green eyes, a long winter jacket… he knew nobody who looked like that. “…are you?”

“Who do you think, you doof?”

On second look, Carlos did begin piecing together who this was. There were some things that no amount of stage props and hair dye could hide, he understood.

She was nearly a head taller than him. She had a dark complexion, though her freckles were absent today. When she closed the distance between them, her slight limp called back to the time her leg had been broken on the job; despite this, she’d still found a way to sneak up on him.

“Paula!”

“Hey, bro!”

Carlos would have hugged the Trick Trainer if he didn’t already know what would happen to his backpack. “How are you? Fancy seeing you here!”

“I’m doing great! I’m taking a break from the House for a while. Thought I may as well- woah!” Paula nearly tipped over. She looked down to see a Braixen tugging on a satchel which was attached to her jeans with a chain. “Hey!”

“Oh, Arceus, sorry!” Carlos tapped a Poké Ball, and the prospective pickpocket disappeared. “Art, not now!” he hissed into the ball as Paula smirked.

“Well, well, well! Nothing wrong with trying, but it’ll take more than that to get me!” she joked. “Anyway, you want to catch up?”

Carlos sighed. That was the absolute last thing he wanted to do…

“Sure!”



♥​


The two grifters sat together on a formation of brightly painted rocks that might have been meant as an art installation. Carlos had a bag of hard candy he’d bought from a family-run store. Paula held a can of soda she’d smuggled from the nearby supermarket. Considering where Carlos and his pokémon had gotten that money, though, it was hard to say who had the worse track record here.

Carlos did keep his distance as they sat together, him on the left and her on the right. She knew by now where he kept his real wallet, but the badge case in the left side of his backpack had to be his main concern. He did his best not to run his hand against that side too often…

“So,” asked Paula between drinks, “what brings you to this blocky city?”

“Just training pokémon,” Carlos lied easily. “You?”

“HA!” Paula slapped her knee. “Tell that to your pink hair! No really, tell me, what’re you up to?”

Carlos felt his brow furrow. How long had Paula been listening to him? Did she know about the Gyms?

“…Okay, we’re raising money,” Carlos admitted carefully.

Paula’s sly grin unnerved Carlos a little, but she didn’t press him further. “And you’re training your team up to be thieves?” the Trick Trainer surmised.

“Yeah…”

“I like it. Give ‘em some practice and you’ll be surprised what they can do. Has your Cleffa-“

“I’m still not coming back.” Carlos was firm in his interruption.

“What, never?”

“Never.”

“C’mon, the Trick House ain’t that bad!” she responded with a cackle. “You still have time to change your mind… Or is it that you’ve outgrown us?”

“Let’s talk about something else. How are your pokémon?”

Paula ignored him. “You don't want to give the Trick Master his cut anymore, is that it?”

Sighing, Carlos mulled the question over.

“I can’t say that isn’t part of it,” he said eventually. “I’m happy if I never have to give him another cent. The House isn’t bad, though! It isn’t for me anymore. Really, I miss it sometimes, but I just couldn’t last another day in that place or I’d have gone crazy.

“I enjoy this work way more when I know I’m not ruining anyone with it, but when I tried to tell him that, he laughed in my face! So honestly, good riddance.”

Paula shrugged. “If it’s that important to you, I understand. I try too… but we all have to survive, Carlos. There’s over a dozen of us in that one house, and we can’t all be so noble about where the money comes from. Food costs money, whether or not some grand Robin Hood play worked out for us.”

“I’m not saying… ugh. Doesn’t it bother you, though? Mauville’s a miserable enough place without us going out messing with the lives of people just trying to get by.”

“Of course it does,” she countered, “but food is food. Sometimes a Pyroar has to take down the slowest Gogoat.”

He nodded, and a silence settled between them. Though Carlos felt the pressure to say something in response, there was nothing he came up with that was very helpful… or that hadn’t already been said the last time this was brought up.

“…Anyway, Paula, how ‘bout you? You’ve changed your look too, so I’m betting you’re not here to visit family.”

“You’re right, bro. Though I don’t know, does finding you here count?” she suggested with a wink.

“Ha, no.”

She hung her head good-naturedly. “That’s such a shame. I guess I’ll just have to make do with my new best friend, Professor Yano. She’s got quite the pokémon doll collection, and there’s a shiny Entei that she’s always wanted to have, but she’s never been able to track one down! Well, I just happened to have it, totally by coincidence of course.”

“Great. Well, have fun.”

“Actually… There’s an idea!” Paula snapped her fingers. “You could help me!”

“Uhh-“

“Yeah! I could do with help, and you don’t have anything going right now. She’s filthy rich too, so you don’t need to fret about that. We can split the difference… 80-20!”

“…Nah.”

Paula laughed. “75-25, then. But I’m doing all the heavy lifting here, so don’t expect more-“

Carlos held up a hand. “No, I mean I’m not interested.”

“Aww, come onnnn,” Paula pouted. “You’d do well as a stuffy rival collector for her to get worked up by! You know marks pay out more when there’s competition.”

“Paula, I am not interested,” he insisted. “Sorry.”

Paula studied Carlos’ expression for a moment, then sighed. “Fine. If that’s your decision, I won’t stop you. I still think it’s a waste when we don’t work together…”

The two of them fell quiet again, Carlos reflecting on her offer and what it might have meant. No matter how nonchalant she’d been about it, her running into him like that was no coincidence. Of that, he was sure. He combed through his memory of what he and Artemio had been talking about earlier, wondering whether either of them had made any mention of the Gyms. If they had, when?

On the other hand, she might have genuinely wanted to team up one more time. Whenever the two of them had left on a job, they were almost guaranteed to come back with a result. Carlos thought back to some of the bigger scams he’d tried since setting out on his own, and how they had fallen short. He could not deny that having someone with a skillset like hers to rely on could’ve made all the difference; maybe she was feeling the same way.

Carlos came so close to accepting Paula’s offer, but then he thought of his team and all that he had to do. There was no time for yet another Rustboro con, let alone one of Paula’s which often took several days before the payoff. If he spent that much time with someone as shrewd as her looking over his shoulder…

“Well, I have more ‘training’ to do,” he said as he hopped off of the structure. “It was nice seeing you again. Good luck with Professor Yano?”

“Yeah. Good luck with your squad of thieves!”

“Don’t say it like that!”

Paula laughed and tossed her empty can down at him. “Alright, boy scout, suit yourself. Be sure to pick up any litter, while you’re at it!”

Carlos rolled his eyes, but he dropped the can in a nearby receptacle before he left. He kept looking back and waving even after he turned the corner. He took the long way to Petalburg Forest this time…



♠​


For a Normal-type Gym, Petalburg City’s Gym was quite unusual. The style of the Gym - a traditional dojo from the Johto region - was unlike any other building in Hoenn. No cameras, phones, or recording devices of any kind were allowed during opening hours. The Gym Leader was the father of the reigning Champion.

There was also no Gym puzzle or gimmick of any kind. As Norman had told the city, the job of a pokémon trainer was not to push blocks or solve riddles; their job was to cultivate strength in their pokémon and within themselves. Thus, the trainer gauntlet was organised. Every Gym assistant was allowed to conduct their battle in any style they preferred, and every challenger was given a limited choice of which room to enter next… eventually reaching the Leader.

No, Petalburg Gym wasn’t just any pokémon Gym. It was an experience, and the ‘Strength’ trainer, Jody, was proud to be a part of it.

Today had started ordinarily enough, with a list of challengers to drive off and a decent amount of downtime scheduled in-between for practice and healing. However, Jody had just received a call from Kenny with some concerning news about their first challenger.

After entering a convoluted password into her portable controller, Jody watched two heavy metal doors slide apart to reveal the Gym’s main room.

This was Norman’s arena, and while it looked just like the rest of the Gym, Jody knew the walls were far thicker here. Otherwise, as soon as Norman’s pokémon used their full power the place would fall apart like a gingerbread house. On the far side was a smaller metal door which slid open to reveal the Gym Leader himself. Norman walked briskly across the room, his elevated sandals clacking against the floor, until he was face to face with Jody.

“Is there a problem?” he asked abruptly.

“It’s about our challenger, Claus? I have some news.”

She paused as Norman folded his arms and cleared his throat. Whenever he did this, she wasn’t quite sure whether he was listening or about to speak.

He broke the silence. “Yes, yes? Go on.”

“It looks like he forgot to pay his entrance fee…”

Norman raised an eyebrow. “Claus did? Well, how could that be? He showed his ticket.”

“Yeah… Turns out that was an outdated one,” she explained.

The Gym Leader stared at Jody. His eyes had an uncanny glint to them, like a wild Zangoose. “Well, that won’t do,” he replied in an even tone. “Why don’t you send him in?”

Jody did so by pressing another series of buttons, including a master password. The doors between them and Claus were unlocked one by one, each emitting a loud mechanical noise as the locking systems disengaged. The first challenger of the day, Claus, strode into the room and glanced around with interest.

“So, this is the main room? Pretty cool” the trainer remarked. Norman just stood there, waiting. “I thought I’d fight the trainers first?”

Norman stepped forward. “I’m sorry to say, Claus, that someone here made an error with the membership fees. So, you won’t be battling me or Jody here today.”

The Petalburg Gym Leader never raised his voice, but he never needed to. People here knew not to interrupt him.

“…Who made the error?”

Shaking his head, Norman responded with, “You already know.”

Claus rolled his eyes. “Are ya sure? This is the first I’ve heard of any ‘error’. Come on, I’m ready for a fight!”

“Your ticket was invalid. If you want to challenge us, you’ll have to pay the correct amount at the proper-“

“-but I did! Your Gym guide must’ve made a mistake.”

Norman let a Poké Ball fall to the reinforced wooden floor and stepped back as a Slaking appeared. Jody guessed it was Gaius, but with how similar the two were and how little noise either of them made, it was never easy to tell.

“Aulus, please escort Claus here back to the Gym entrance. Kenny can teach him how to find the expiration date on our tickets.”

“Hey, I don’t need- HEY! I paid for my ticket!“ Claus continued to argue as the hulking mass of a pokémon led him out.

“And if he gives you trouble, you can escort him through the wall instead.”

Claus didn’t give Aulus any trouble.

“Right, that’s taken care of,” Norman remarked, as if Jody had simply reminded him to lock the Balance Badge box. “Hmm, I guess we can move the next challenger forward a bit. Let Alex know they can start at 10:30.”

Two of a Kind: Also known as a ‘one pair’ or just ‘pair’, this is a common poker hand where two of the five cards share the same rank.

I had some fun with references here!
- The S.S. Vaughn is named after the late great Robert Vaughn, who was the brilliant actor behind Albert Stroller in Hustle (among many, many other roles). The acting world lost a lot of class with his passing in 2016.
- The Rapidash racing gambler who we will be seeing again in a later chapter is named after Daniel Ingram and Lauren Faust, who are the main songwriter and executive producer behind My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, respectively.
- Artful Ash is a twofer, actually! Ash Morgan is my favourite character off Hustle so he was inevitably going to get a reference, and “Artful Ash” is one of many nicknames ‘endearingly’ given to the move Stealth Rock.
- Professor Yano, the pokémon doll collector? She’s from the Popcorn Pokémon project we wrote in early March! Definitely check it out if you want to see some chaotic prose!
- Gaius and Aulus, forever immortalised by ancient Pompeii graffiti as best bros 4 life

On a different topic, I can’t believe I forgot Braixen’s typing like that. I legit thought it was Fire/Psychic like Delphox because Braixen often exhibits psychic abilities. It’s a bit too late to change Art’s role in the Rapidash con without some major revisions, and I can see Carlos mixing up typings of a pokémon he’s only just caught a few days ago, so I’m leaving it in. Feel free to meme on him for this, and me by extension! ;)
7HelZXx.png

Tichu (F)
Hasty, Starter (in-game)
Poison Gas / Screech / Smokescreen / Fury Swipes



frosmoth.gif

Dipa the Frosmoth (XF)
Mild, Route 116
Struggle Bug / Infestation / Attract / Stun Spore



staravia.gif

Valentin the Staravia (M)
Timid, Route 104
Tackle / Growl / Quick Attack / Wing Attack



braixen.gif

Artemio the Braixen (M)
Gentle, Petalburg Woods
Scratch / Tail Whip / Ember / Flame Charge



fomantis.gif


Pier the Fomantis (M)
Bashful, Dewford Town
Leafage / Fury Cutter / Growth / Ingrain



serperior.gif


Teresa the Serperior (F)
Lonely, Route 107
Tackle / Leer / Vine Whip / Wrap
shuppet.gif


Orville the Shuppet (M)
Careful, Route 105
Knock Off / Screech / Attract / Shadow Sneak
rookidee.png

Chelsey the Rookidee (X)
Level 6-12



chingling.png

Kristian the Chingling (M)
Level 5-5

EDIT: I don't really want to post this in its own update, so I'm slotting it in here. I'm temporarily changing the schedule to a new chapter every 2 weeks instead of 1. I'm proud (and a little stunned!) that I was able to post 10 updates in a row with this schedule, but now that I've caught up with my framework planning I think I should allow myself a little more room to breathe. Once I've built up a buffer of a couple chapters, you can expect weekly updates again :sun:

♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️
 
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Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
3,045
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
  2. Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Loves music, worldbuilding, anthropomorphism, horrible puns, and Masquerain.
Carlos and his gang of thieves did not leave the boat, for the simple reason that they never boarded in the first place.

They’d hired a cheap tub which drifted in a few minutes later.
This is a brilliant piece of writing and I will entertain no opinions to the contrary.
- The Rapidash racing gambler who we will be seeing again in a later chapter is named after Daniel Ingram and Lauren Faust, who are the main songwriter and executive producer behind My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, respectively.
Kek.
 

apocalypsewriter

Conqueror of the Fuchsia Gym
Writer
Pokédex No.
5390
Caught
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
56
Introducing more moving parts into the story! I'm on pins and needles to know where it will all go. I had almost put Trick House out of my mind, thinking about all of the other things going on. But the Trick Master really wants Carlos back, huh? There's going to be some confrontation with that eventually, I feel, and it's not like there's a lot of time to get everything else taken care of. Aaaaa!
 

Green Tea

Conqueror of the Violet Gym
Screenshotter
Pokédex No.
5195
Caught
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
197
Location
England
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Poison
Pokédex Entry
Considered bitter by many.
I'm in two minds about Trick House and, ultimately, Trick Master. Part of me thinks they'll turn up as a major hindrance towards the end, as Carlos is closing in on completing his task, and part of me thinks that they might prove to be a massive help at some stage. Perhaps, towards the end, Carlos is running out of time when Trick Master turns up, knowing exactly what to do and how to help, furthering the notion of the Trick House being akin to a family. That's all wild speculation, though, and it's a way off before anything like that gets resolved. I think they'll be keeping tabs on Carlos, though, especially if news gets back that he's turned down Paula.

Ugh. Norman. Always seems to be portrayed as a self-righteous stick-in-the-mud. I look forwards to Carlos wiping that look off of his face!
 

Leon Yorunaki

I'll Spirit Shackle you!
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
453
Caught
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
820
Nature
Rash
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Ghost
… even with the donations he, Tichu, Pier, and Artemio had been able to collect from the good people of Rustboro.
Holy euphemism, Batman!
if you think I’m going to allow you to headbutt moving cars for money we don’t even need, you’re a few cards short of a full deck.
Loved the imagery you brought with this.

With that being said, the chapter is so lovely, with Art being so over-the-top it's actually funny. I want to see that heads-up between him and Carlos so bad... Although people tend to overrate bluffing in poker. That should teach him a lesson.

There's also Paula yet again, and I love seeing their trade-offs. Art again at it, but more than not they're pulling the big scams. Professor Yano is probably too confused after all that happened in Popcorn, good riddance to rip her off while she's dizzy from that. It's such a shame Carlos can't lose much time with that con, because I so much want to see those two working together. Also, do I smell shipping? Because I'm bound to ship them!

And on a last note, I wonder if Carlos know how big of a problem he's getting with Norman. I mean, that guy cuts no slack, how are you meant to steal his badge?
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,046
Location
Scrivener
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
Professor Yanooooooo! Wow Yano's really gone up in the world since her interdimensional shenanigan days :P

This was a fun wee whistle-tour of a bunch of cons. I can see the mark at the racetrack not knowing what type Braixen is, either, which means it functions a bit like the spelling mistakes in scam emails; it weeds out those smart or savvy enough to notice the mistake XD
 

MegaInfernape

Wisher for the Return of Megas
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
5257
Caught
Feb 13, 2022
Messages
29
Nature
Hasty
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Electric
  2. Fire
Pokédex Entry
Has a very erractic mind. It is not uncommon for it to be seen moving from one activity or project to another.
(Excuse me while I got get ROWE)
Anyways I got meself caught up and mmm love some good con shit.
thief mc thief mc thief mc
Story is really fun and watching Carlos get himself into wild messes purely by virtue of his con self is great
Tichu and Art are fantastic and I want more of them.
 
OP
Vivace

Vivace

Designated Meganium Defender
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
204
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
1,251
Location
Fochun
Nature
Brave
Pronouns
He/Him / They/Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Fighting
Pokédex Entry
The Lad Pokemon, Vivace's main powers are photoshop and chatting shit. Manages the unofficial nuzlocke football team.
♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️

@Trollkitten Thank you so much, that's such a great compliment :love:

@apocalypsewriter I'm glad! The Trick House will certainly feature in some way...

@Green Tea ...and one of your guesses comes very close! That's all I'll say on the subject at this stage :^)
Norman Try Not To Be A Tight-ass In A Nuzlocke Story Challenge (IMPOSSIBLE)

@Leon Yorunaki Thank you! I'm quite proud of that line too. In the original Hustle, Ash does that car insurance scam a lot, as he's got an old skull fracture to "prove" damages with. Obviously I'm not going to do that here, but I felt like a nod to that scam would be fun!
You'll see some of that in this chapter! Though it's early days of course, Art's still learning the rules
Darn you, Paula, building a ship with my asexual MC :argh:(joking of course)
That's gonna be a tough question to answer, but Carlos definitely knows it's difficult. How difficult? Well, this chapter will expand on that...

@SayleeK Absolutely! I wish her the best (outside of the whole 'being a mark for a scam' thing :v: )
A very good point! It also gives the mark an 'out', which is always very important.

@MegaInfernape Do it! The replay value is so high! Get the latest version, though, because some of the older ones are... glitchy.
thief mc thief mc thief mc
I'm so glad you like it, and those are two great characters to like! Welcome aboard, m8

The first thing Tichu noticed about Petalburg City was how quiet it was. The surrounding forest was swarming with pokémon, but here? The only noise she heard was the cyclists on their daily commute.

Wherever they had gone, be it Mauville, Rustboro, Dewford, or any other route in between, the birdsong in the background had always served as a harmonic accompaniment to the area’s unique theme. So, as beautiful as this new city was, Tichu couldn’t help feeling a pang of unease when she looked at the trees and houses and only saw leaves and brick roofs.

Carlos had mentioned a few interesting things about Petalburg to the young Stunky. Apparently, this city was prone to blackouts that were always blamed on wild pokémon. Therefore, most of them were shooed away while the city worked on repairing its infrastructure. Tichu wasn’t sure why it was such a big deal, but it apparently had something to do with the damage Magma and Aqua had caused here years ago.

They crossed a raised wooden bridge which marked the city’s western entrance. Tichu looked through the railings at the strikingly clear water below, searching for the usual Poliwags and Tympoles. A frilly white fin breached the surface as a Goldeen swam by. She smiled; the sight of another pokémon made her surroundings feel more welcoming. She listened to the creek softly bubble against its bank as she and Carlos followed it to a set of trees.

Most of them were short firs which couldn’t support a secret base, but when she spotted a wide redwood tree she dashed ahead through the vibrant, colourful flowers. “I got one!”

Tichu tackled the base of the tree. The tree shuddered slightly and made a sound like distant thunder; when she looked up, she saw the familiar square shape as it carved itself into the trunk. Another successful Secret Power!

“Amazing stuff. I don’t thank you enough for this, Tichu,” Carlos beamed as he pressed the indent.

“It was nothing!”

“Seriously, without this we’d never have a chance of finding shelter we don’t have to pay for, talk to someone for, answer invasive questions on a registration form for…”

Tichu laughed as Carlos counted the list on his fingers. “It’s not hard, boss. I dunno how it works, but if I hit it like this, it just appears!”

“Even so! Thanks.”

When they entered the room, Tichu noticed the table was back in its usual place with four unbroken legs. Carlos opened the other Poké Balls, stretched, then left for the shower room as Tichu’s new teammates began talking among themselves. Artemio and Valentin were chatting about cards and the flight here, and Pier was showing off some of his builds to Dipa. Teresa was bunched against the wall, watching the rest of the team listlessly. Tichu couldn’t help watching the giant pokémon.

Her head was as big as Tichu’s entire body, and her green, slender tail was several times longer. When she met Tichu’s stare, she tasted the air with her forked tongue. “What do you want?”

“H-hi!” Tichu marched over to sit in front of the Serperior. “I just wanna say hello. You’re our newest member!”

“No duh. Got a problem with that?”

“No, no! You’re cool. Do you… not want me to talk to you, though? You seemed lonely, and I just thought…”

Teresa rolled her eyes. “If I wanted company, I would asssk for it, morsel.”

“Okay… It’s just, making friends is important.” As the Serperior raised her head higher, Tichu had to crane her neck to keep eye contact. “And I wanted to ask you something, if that’s alright!”

Teresa waved her tail. “Fine, what is it?”

“Well… You’re the biggest pokémon I’ve ever seen! What’s it like to be so big?”

“What’s it like? That’s it?” Teresa huffed. “Yeah, it’s great being ‘big’, thanks for asking. I’m stronger, I’m faster, I can reach anything on the top shelf, and the best thing of all…” She leaned over suddenly, displaying pointed white teeth. “Little first-stagers know when to leave me alone.”

Tichu felt her cheeks burn. “…Okay! Thank you! Sorry to bother you,” she hastened to add as she retreated to her side of the room and waited for Carlos.



♣​


The thief emerged from the bathroom with a new hairstyle - black with a cowlick on the right - and cleared his throat. “Right. Everyone? It’s time for another badge.”

Though Orville was still in the PC, it hardly mattered to him as he was already intangible. He and the six other pokémon crowded around the table and waited for their new mission.

A Trainer’s Comprehensive Guide to the Hoenn League, 10th Edition was opened to its first and longest segment, headed with a picture of two trainers. The taller of the two was a stern figure who stared straight at the camera. The other trainer slouched slightly, looking idly to the right.

“Norman and Ruby,” Carlos began, “are two of the most powerful trainers in the region. If you don’t know Ruby, he’s the Champion, but today we’re focusing on his father.”

He pointed to the taller figure with the dark grey hair. Norman’s round, naturally friendly face was undone by the steely glare in his eyes and his pointed eyebrows which were drilling into the bridge of his nose.

“He looks fun,” Artemio remarked.

Carlos cracked a smile. “He’s bad news. Norman is well-connected in the League, but nobody likes him. The guy’s as toxic as a Garbador with the flu.”

Valentin raised a wing. “If he’s that popular, he can’t be so bad, right?”

“Well, he and Ruby are the most talked about trainers in the region… And yet they never talk about, or to, each other.”

“Oh.” Valentin looked down at the floor as he thought about what that could mean.

“Family issues aside, Norman’s Gym is way better protected than Brawly’s. I’ll get into the details after we’re done scouting, but if there’s one thing Norman likes, it’s control.” Carlos indicated the number of rooms in the floor map, arranged in the shape of a diamond. “9 rooms, each with a huge metal door that has to be unlocked to reach the next one. Then, to get into the badge room, that’s another door, and if Norman isn’t battling a trainer, he’s in that room from opening to closing.”

Tichu whistled. “So, distraction won’t work this time.”

“Not with that attitude!” Artemio snorted. “If we cause enough of a scene, I bet they’ll open some of those doors to come and shoo us out!”

“Nah,” said Carlos. “Even if we were to somehow clear a path to the badge, all he’d need to do is press a panic button, close all the doors again, and we’d have nowhere to go. I can’t say I fancy being stuck in a locked room with him and his Slakings.”

“Oh… Yeah, never mind.”

“Anyway, that’s not the only problem. Norman has cameras set up on the outside perimeter, so if I approach the building from the wrong direction I’ll be giving him a nice profile for the police.”

“Where are they installed?”

“The main one’s here, above the front door - of course - then there are three along this wall here. Then another here…”





“So, to summarise: Advanced mechanical doors, ten rooms, at least a half dozen trainers at all times, cameras, and Norman. Oh, and don’t forget the Petalburg Police HQ is just a block away.” Carlos doodled a Garchomp with cartoonishly angry eyebrows on the book’s margin, then sat back and clasped his hands together. “Who wants in?”

Carlos was half hoping for one of his pokémon to say no. Instead, all seven gave the affirmative.

“Shoot. Okay, we’ll have to figure out a team then. In the meantime, I think I have a plan, but it’s kinda cheating.”

“Like that’s a problem,” Tichu laughed.

He brought his pencil up to the picture of one of Norman’s metal doors. “Quick lesson in thievery. What’s the best part of a lock to target? I’m talking ‘bout any door, not just this one.”

“The latch?”

“The keyhole, obviously.”

“The internal mechanisms!”

Chuckling, Carlos drew an X on each part. “Really, you’re all right, but it’s simpler than that. You target whichever part is weakest.”

He scribbled one large arrow which curved around the door, ending with a flourish. “Ol’ Norman loves his security, so I’m sure these are the strongest doors you’ll see outside of the Lilycove Department Store. What he didn’t account for, though, is the fact that we can just go around!”

Carlos shared a grin with Orville. “And suddenly the super-strong remote-controlled doors are as much use as a ‘Keep out!’ sign.”

“So, when do we start?”

“Right now,” Carlos told the Shuppet. “Before we go in with half a plan, though, you’ll have to scout ahead. Check out the walls, the doors, the trainers, and whatever else you think I need to know about. Oh, make sure you stay out of sight, of course. We don’t want someone to get suspicious.

“If all goes well, we can get away with just cutting a hole in the back wall. That way you can float out with the badge and no one’s the wiser!”

Orville blinked. “Yes, boss!”

“First, we need you on the team of course. Tichu, I’m going to need you with me, so that leaves four spots…”

“Three,” Artemio said at once. “No way am I missing an opportunity to mess with the Champion!”

“The Champion’s dad, you mean?”

“Even better!”

“You’ll need me for this one,” Dipa buzzed. “I’ll block the cameras for you!”

Carlos looked warily at the Frosmoth. “Are you sure? Because if you leave to chase a lamp or something…”

Dipa tilted their head. “Yes, I might do that. But first I stun the cameras! Don’t you worry!”

“Oh, Stun Spore, that’s a great idea! As long as the lens is covered, that’ll do. Aaaaaand I’ll need a ride, so, Valentin? Are you up for this?”

“Of course, boss.”

“Great!” Satisfied, the thief looked to his last two teammates: Pier and Teresa. Though the two of them had been quiet up to now, the glances they’d been sending each other’s way spoke volumes.

He facepalmed when he realised what he’d done.

“A’ight, enjoy the box,” said Pier.

“You are NOT boxing me again.”

“And I’m staying on the team!”

The Grass types turned to argue immediately. Pier stared up at Teresa with a hardened expression, while Teresa regarded him as one might a noisy neighbourhood Yamper.

“Pier, it probably is best if we rotate…” Carlos tried to cut in.

“No! What does this table-tosser know about heists, anyway? You’re going to need me for Norman!”

“Need you?” Teresa’s voice dripped with scorn. “A tiny Fomantis? You’re so small, I can barely see you.”

“Ain’t that the point? This is a stealth mission! Boss, help me out here.”

Carlos grimaced. “…Yeah, Pier is right too. He’s got the skills for any heist, and nobody’s seen him yet.”

“See?” Pier fashioned a bow, then shot a seed at the wall. “Bullseye!”

“That’s nothing. I can do that, and when Norman’s pokémon see me they won’t squash me in one hit.” Teresa glanced at Carlos surreptitiously, perhaps checking whether her tail had moved this time.

“Okay. Okay okay. Does anyone else… Dipa, would you mind if I boxed you? That way both Pier and Teresa can work together.” He saw the simultaneous ‘No!’s coming as soon as he suggested this.

Dipa’s antennae wobbled in disagreement, too. “The cameras, the cameras! Who will block the cameras!?”

“And you’re as dumb as I thought if you think I’m going to work with that weed over there!”

“Weed!? You hearing what this viper just called me?”

Carlos sighed deeply, rubbing at his forehead. “Okay, this is going nowhere. Pier, Teresa, you’re both getting boxed. If you can’t get along, I can’t have you on the heist.”

Neither of them looked too happy about this, but into the box they went.

“…Well, that sure was something.” Artemio smirked after Orville was released from the PC. “Fancy catching a Fire type next? We can go for round two.”

“It’s not about types!” Carlos protested.

Artemio spun his wand. “Yeah, yeah. Guess it’s a good thing Chelsey left when they did. Between their ego and the two plants’, the rest of us wouldn’t have any room to breathe!”

Carlos scoffed; coming from Artemio, that joke was as rich as a hundred marks.





It had been at least an hour, and Orville still hadn’t returned with his report yet. His Poké Ball showed no sign anything was wrong, so there wasn’t really anything for Carlos to do except kill time with his team. The heist snacks were all ready, and, of course, so were the heist pokémon.

“I think I get it,” Artemio said, his eyebrows creased in thought. “So, if all five cards have a heart on them, that means it’s a good hand, yeah?”

“A very good hand. Is that what you have now?” Carlos raised an eyebrow.

Artemio’s ear fur brightened a shade as he looked back down at his cards. “Maybe… Maybe not.”

As Carlos set his cards on the table facedown, his Shuppet floated in through the closed door. He looked sombre as he drifted towards his seat, and Carlos noticed he had a cut on his horn.

“Orville! Are you alright? Did someone attack you?”

He shook his head. “No, I’m fine. I just ran into a wall.”

“A wall?”

Orville smiled wryly as Carlos fussed over him with a Potion. “Yes, a wall. I tried to get into Norman’s room, and it’s like the whole thing’s made of steel!”

“…I don’t get it. Are you sure you didn’t hit the door, or a support beam, or something?”

“No, it was definitely the whole wall. I checked: apparently the rooms at the back are made of the same stuff as the doors.” Orville gave his interpretation of a shrug. “I tried the roof, too. Nothing.”

Carlos ran his hand through his hair. “Blast! How in the hell are we going to get through now? Art’s not going to break down a wall like that…”

“But I also have good news!”

“Oh?”

“Yeah! I was able to watch some of the Gym trainers unlock the doors! They used a code on this remote controller thing, and it popped right open!”

“Awesome!” Carlos cheered. “It’s not ideal, but if we can snatch one of those we’ve got a chance. What’s the code?”

“Alright, so, the first door’s code is 8-5-2-6-2. Then, the next one is 4-9-1-6-7-4… No. 6-4-7.” The rippling of Orville’s cloth tail slowed to a crawl as the Ghost type concentrated. “The third one, that’s 7 numbers. 1-0-6-4-9… no, that’s not it. Hm. 1-0-6-5-9? And there was an 8…”

At this point, Carlos had already sunk back into his chair. “Right, I get it, Orville. It’s not happening.”

Orville looked away. “I’m sorry, boss. I tried, but they’re so quick entering those things, and nothing was written down anywhere; maybe if I went back and looked again-“

“Orville, it’s fine,” Carlos assured him. “Even if you had perfect memory, it sounds like each door has its own damn password. There’s no way Norman would keep a list of passwords lying around, anyway. We’ll just have to try something else.”

“Like what?”

Carlos shrugged. “I’ll think of something. We still have the whole evening.”



♠​


“No! That won’t work!”

Tichu saw Carlos tear apart another plan, then bury his head between his arms. The ideas had only grown more convoluted: this latest schematic included a tunnel underneath the Gym she was somehow supposed to dig. The pokéblocks were all finished by now, and the Stunky’s trainer hadn’t even started assigning roles.

“Are we going today or not? It’s past closing.” Tichu grumbled.

The grifter sighed again, trying to will a viable plan onto the table through his stare alone.

“Boss!”

“I hear you!” retorted Carlos. “Yes, we’re going tonight. We’ll have to.”

Tichu waited as Carlos began to scribble another diagram. His legs bounced up and down under the table, as they sometimes did when Carlos was nervous. He got halfway down the page, then balled the paper up and tossed it across the room. It bounced off Artemio’s ears, which shot up as the Braixen woke with a start. “Huh, wha? We’re going?”

No.”

Artemio tutted as he curled up, with his back to Carlos this time, and relaxed again.

“Why don’t we just come back later?” Tichu suggested. “We’ll find a ‘mon with door-opening powers and…”

But Carlos was shaking his head. “At this point, I want to, but there isn’t a Gym anywhere we can reach, hatch a new plan for, and rob within a day. Plus, once the news of us taking badges gets out - and it will - our whole job becomes ten times harder. Considering how tightly this place is locked down every day, I don’t even want to know what Norman will come up with if he knows we’re coming…

“So we definitely have to go tonight,” he repeated. “Not just for the badge, either: I have a wire con going in Rustboro and we have to be there by Thursday for the derby.”

“What’s a wire con?”

Carlos propped his head up and smiled at her. “It’s a classic con, Tichu. You could say it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book: say you’re watching TV and everyone puts bets on a football game. Now, you put money on the blue team. If blue wins, you get the winnings. If red wins, you’re out of pocket. Sounds fair, right?”

“Right…” Tichu tried to figure out the catch.

“It is. Unless someone knows something the rest of the room doesn’t. Suppose the game’s already been played. Suppose it’s just a recording?”

“Huh? So what if it’s a recording? It’s not going to change what h…” The penny dropped. “Ohhhh!”

“There it is!” he continued, his grin broadening. “If you know exactly what will happen, nobody can out-predict you! That’s all that insider information is, really. Knowledge you’re not supposed to have. Now, the wire is when you convince a mark that he’s in on the game. Have him stump up the cash, then suddenly, whoops! We bet on the wrong team by accident!”

Carlos went on to explain the mark he’d selected - some wealthy landlord named Daniel, whatever a landlord was - as Tichu listened eagerly. He even drew up an example of how the scam used to work, back when gambling centres weren’t allowed and results were much easier to fake. It was the most animated he’d been all evening!

When Carlos settled back down, he yawned, then looked back down at his papers. His expression darkened again as he refocused on their impossible task. “So yeah, that’s the wire. If we can’t get this badge tonight, though, we’ll have no time to get back there before the race. We might have to cut it.”

“Aww…”

“Yeah, Art was really looking forward to… To it…” He sat up. “Wait a second. Guys! Oi!”

“Got something?” Valentin asked.

Once again, Carlos was staring a hole through the schematics, but this time he drummed his fingers on the wood. A moment later, he stood abruptly, his chair shrieking backwards to make room. “Maybe. More of a question! Norman’s always in the back, right?”

“Yeah?”

“So, what happens when the power goes out? How does he open the doors?“

“I… huh. I don’t know.”

“Orville! When you saw the doors close. What noise did they make?”

Orville was barely floating above his chair by now, but he looked up and answered. “It made a ‘BEEEEP, CLUNK’ sound. Then it started humming. Does that mean anything?”

“YES!” Carlos whooped. “We’re in!!”

“What? How?”

Carlos held his hands together. “I thought the doors needed to be turned on to open…” He opened them, then clapped them together again. His hands vibrated slightly as he pushed them further into each other. “But instead! Instead he has it so they close when on! They’re being pushed against each other!

“So when something knocks the power out, say, we cut the right wire…” He released them, pounding the table in celebration. “The doors release! We go straight in!”

“Are you sure?” Valentin pressed.

“No, but we don’t have time to test it out. Tichu, Dipa, you’re with me!” Carlos called as he grabbed his backpack. “We’ve gotta catch some Electric types!”

Tichu scrambled to her paws, grateful for some actual progress! The fresh air felt wonderful on her fur as she set off with her trainer towards Petalburg Forest.

Sitting Out: To leave the table for one or more rounds. If a player sits out for long enough, they are removed from the game.

Carlos’ frustration as he tries to find a way in matches mine pretty closely… Setting up the Gym’s obstacles was easy (Norman’s room is very naturally well-defended in-game), but writing my way past them? That took a long time and a lot of scrapped plans.

It’s around this point that I caught a Mamoswine in-game! Thanks, randomiser! Abosede replaced Dipa and stampeded her way through a couple of the Gyms, but when it came to writing, I couldn’t A) justify Carlos trying to capture such a powerful pokémon who could one-shot most of his team and B) involve her in heists without trivialising the level of difficulty. Using a Mamoswine to break in is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut; it’d just get messy xD

Abosede will appear in a later chapter, though!
7HelZXx.png

Tichu (F)
Hasty, Starter (in-game)
Poison Gas / Screech / Smokescreen / Fury Swipes



frosmoth.gif

Dipa the Frosmoth (XF)
Mild, Route 116
Struggle Bug / Infestation / Attract / Stun Spore



staravia.gif

Valentin the Staravia (M)
Timid, Route 104
Tackle / Growl / Quick Attack / Wing Attack



braixen.gif

Artemio the Braixen (M)
Gentle, Petalburg Woods
Scratch / Tail Whip / Ember / Flame Charge



shuppet.gif

Orville the Shuppet (M)
Careful, Route 105
Knock Off / Screech / Attract / Shadow Sneak
fomantis.gif

Pier the Fomantis (M)
Bashful, Dewford Town
Leafage / Fury Cutter / Growth / Ingrain



serperior.gif

Teresa the Serperior (F)
Lonely, Route 107
Tackle / Leer / Vine Whip / Wrap
rookidee.png

Chelsey the Rookidee (X)
Level 6-12



chingling.png

Kristian the Chingling (M)
Level 5-5

♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️
 
Last edited:

MegaInfernape

Wisher for the Return of Megas
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
5257
Caught
Feb 13, 2022
Messages
29
Nature
Hasty
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Electric
  2. Fire
Pokédex Entry
Has a very erractic mind. It is not uncommon for it to be seen moving from one activity or project to another.
Teresa, Teresa, Teresa, you've just committed the cardinal sin of being a likeable character: you went and were a dick to Tichu. (this is a joke kinda)
In other news watching someone plan out a heist like that is cool and actually kinda fun to read. Meanwhile, Carlos's plan is really smart and I'm honestly kinda scared it's just gonna fail miserably
“Orville! Are you alright? Did someone attack you?”

He shook his head. “No, I’m fine. I just ran into a wall.”

“A wall?”
Also, a ghost type hitting a wall is funny as shit and I find it both smart and funny that the normal type gym leader has ghost proof walls
 

Green Tea

Conqueror of the Violet Gym
Screenshotter
Pokédex No.
5195
Caught
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
197
Location
England
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Poison
Pokédex Entry
Considered bitter by many.
Tichu continues to be adorable and reading some of her thoughts on entry to Petalburg only helped to further endear her. She's the real star of this run and Carlos is lucky to still have her after what happened to the rest of his original team.

Teresa has made her position known, but Pier has come out strongly from their interaction. I joked previously about which team member Teresa would find the most appetising, and you nominated Pier, which I suspect he probably knows too. To stand up so defiantly to a monster that could easily devour him has earned Pier some rather serious levels of respect, and a slight edge of awesomeness I wouldn't have expected from such a tiny bug.

I'm looking forward to the presumed new team mate and the gym con, and I'm sure that there is absolutely no way in which this can go wrong...
 

Leon Yorunaki

I'll Spirit Shackle you!
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
453
Caught
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
820
Nature
Rash
Pokémon Type
  1. Grass
  2. Ghost
Nothing like writing yourself in a corner, right? And nothing better than figuring out how to write yourself out of it...

Teresa might have been a great asset in-game, but here she's a terrible teammate. Seriously? Good thing she's out of this heist, because unlike Brawly a.k.a. morale builder, nothing can go wrong against Norman because, as Carlos already stated, being at the wrong end of those Slaking isn't something to look for.
Meanwhile... I can see those things working with an electric-type. Especially if he's lucky enough to get something from the Magnemite line (which should be common in a city like Petalburg, especially with the blackouts considered let's forget this is a randomizer and look at it using only the worldbuilding lenses)

Now watch Norman's gym having backup generators and sending the whole plan out of comission...
 

apocalypsewriter

Conqueror of the Fuchsia Gym
Writer
Pokédex No.
5390
Caught
Apr 4, 2022
Messages
56
I have to say, despite the fact they were not doing anything in this last update, it is one of my favourites. Just having the pokémon interacting with each other in a safe environment and getting to watch Carlos work at his plan was lots of fun to read. It is a little weird to realize that a Stunky is my insert for asking the questions I would need to know as a reader. Not because Tichu is a Stunky, mind. Just in general. I do love Tichu.

I can't wait to see whether Teresa eventually warms up or if her attitude eventually comes around to really bite the progress everyone is making. Also--can't wait for a Mamoswine! The Swinub line is one of my favourites, so I am happy to see any of them.

I'm also interested to read more about Norman, because having him as a toxic asshole is a take I've never read before. It is very interesting. I shall be waiting patiently for the next update, thank you for sharing,@Vivace!
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,046
Location
Scrivener
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
Between long periods of dormant slumber, this writer rises again for periods of activity that leave piles of dead fictional Pokemon in their wake
Ah-haaaa... bless you, safety mechanisms! A Mamoswine's definitely overkill, but can't blame you for going for it ingame XD

I may have read the manga too many times, Norman being a toxic asshole seems pretty natural XD No sympathy for him getting robbed today, but I'm gonna be interested to see your take on Ruby!
 

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