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Extravanganza Accordian Demo
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!

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.
First of all god damn I don't know whether to laugh or groan at those Rapidash names. Second I have never seen someone so distraught at the prospect of winning that despite it being a ripe "oh shit" moment, there's a small part of me that just finds that so damn funny. Thirdly ayo Peir and Teresa
 
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.
♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️

@Green Tea I'm glad! I've made the decision to stick to a two-week update schedule and it's going well so far :D
It's a shame, I won't be writing any more Rapidash, but I'd still love to hear any name you come up with all the same. I'm sure you've got some awful (in a good way :v: ) ones in mind already!
Haha, yeah in a way!
Teresa's been an interesting character to write, and as she develops I'll miss writing her as an out and out scoundrel. Day 1 Teresa definitely wouldn't have held back against Pier

@Leon Yorunaki That compliment means a lot. I find it tough sometimes to take what's in my head and make a scene out of it that's at all satisfying
Sometimes, you've just gotta get some frustration out of your system with a fight! But don't try this at home, unless your home is a PC box that'll separate you if things go wrong 😉
For me, it's I Forgot To Name Him

@MegaInfernape "Where did I go right!?"

When Tichu saw her grifting trainer return for the case, she was shocked by how nervous he looked. “Did you lose?”

“No… we won.”

“Oh, good… Wait. Uhhh… No, that’s not good!” she said as she realised the situation they’d landed in. “Not good at all! What’re we gonna do!?

Carlos managed a grin. “Believe it or not, I made a plan B for this too.”

“Phew. What is it?”

“There’s another race starting in about 20 minutes. We’ll just have him bet on that and go again!”

She tilted her head. “…What?”

Her trainer was already opening the case and counting the money, too focused on this backup plan to explain it further. Tichu narrowed her eyes at the hole she had dug. Something about this felt... wrong, like food that had gone bad.

Carlos muttered to himself as he did the maths. “So, that’s ₽750,000 at 5-1 odds… ₽4 and a half mil, and since he gets half… that’s… ₽2,250,000. I need that amount.” He began to remove the wads of cash.

“That’s everything we have!” Tichu protested once she saw how much he was putting into the winnings bag.

“Almost everything. We’ve still got some change,” Carlos corrected. He then gulped nervously. “I’ll be back… wish me luck.” He turned to leave with the bag, and it took her raising her voice for him to stop.

“Carlos, Hold on!”

Carlos groaned. “What’s the problem?”

“This is a mistake! I’m sure of it,” she told him. “What if he just takes that and goes home?”

“Come on, Tichu, we talked about this already. It’s a Convincer; all I need is to invite him to play again and we’ll be fine!”

“You also said it was a risk… I-I don’t know, boss. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” She hopped up. “I know! Let’s just run! We’ve got the money already.”

Though he almost nodded, Carlos ended up shaking his head instead. “I like the idea. The thing is, Daniel knows I’ve got the money. He knows I owe him. I don’t know how long it’d take him to figure out something’s wrong, but when he does, a guy like him wouldn’t just get over it and move on. He’d want to report us, and since the theft happened here at the racing centre, that’s a lot of guards and cops getting involved-“

“Yeah, but-“

“I mean it, they take thefts seriously around here.”

Frustrated, Tichu paced around on the loose dirt. “But… it’s better than giving everything back to him! Surely!”

“Look, I know what I’m doing. Alright? This part’s scary, but it’s all under control.”

“Do you promise?”

Carlos stood there silently, the bag of money weighing him down on one side. Then, he turned and walked back to the track at a fast clip.

“You nitwit,” Tichu whispered as he disappeared into the crowd.



♣​


“We’re doing this again?”

“It’s fine, Art. Just… talk a bit. Tell me about the racers.”

The Braixen frowned, turning to the boxes. “Are you really alright, boss?”

“I don’t know yet.” Carlos sighed quietly. “For a second there, I thought he might… say no. He still could if he doesn’t like the odds we give him… And what if the same thing happens again?”

“Well,” Artemio said as he looked over the new set of ridiculous Rapidash names, “I’ll just have to pick a worse horse… How does ‘Spitfire’ sound? It’s 30-1.”

Carlos almost agreed, then found he couldn’t. He stood there, pressing his hands against his face as he stared at the names through the cracks between his fingers.

This moment was all too familiar to Carlos: he was watching the roulette, getting ready to make a call that could change his life. The last time he bet, he’d gone with Art’s suggestion. Did that mean this one was safe - that the ball would land on the other colour this time? Or would the same thing happen again?

“Well?”

His finger hovered over the various images of jumping Rapidashes as Artemio urged him to make his mind up. With his heart in his throat, Carlos chose.



♦​


“And coming in first, no one around him, it’s Fallout Phoenix!”

If it weren’t for Daniel Faust standing right next to him, Carlos would have sunk to the floor in giddy relief.

“WHAT?! WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?”

“…We lost!” wailed Carlos. “I don’t believe it! I’m ruined!”

You’re ruined? Shove off, I lost millions on this! How come Spitfire didn’t win when you told me it was a SURE THING?” Daniel snarled.

Carlos held his hands up as Daniel kicked the fence multiple times. He recognised the signs of a mark who was itching for someone to blame; it was time to wrap this up. “Well, I didn’t say that. Red said that, and he’s never been wrong befo- AAH!”

Before he could fully back up he felt a hand grasping the front of his shirt, and when Daniel pulled him up his ankle flashed with pain at the sudden movement.

“H-hey now. Don’t do something you’ll-“

Daniel shook him. “I’ll do what I like! You told me your pokémon had psychic powers, but look! It was wrong! What’re you going to do about that?”

“…Apologise?” Carlos was made to nod as he was shaken again.

“No! I don’t care if you’re sorry. I’m sorry I trusted you, how’s that?”

“Okay, okay! What do you suggest I do?”

Another shake. “You can give me back my money!”

“But… But I don’t have any cash left. I lost too,” Carlos argued as he turned out his pockets. He gripped Artemio’s Poké Ball, just in case…

“Then find a way! You owe me that money, Jack!”

“…Fine,” he relented. With some effort, he released his shirt from Daniel’s grip. “Let’s go to Hoenn Financial; I’ve got more money there. I’ll even give you a little extra for the drinks from earlier, okay?”

“Hmph.”

Daniel followed right behind Carlos as they left the racing centre and made their way to the main district. He was annoyingly good at keeping up with the grifter, but Carlos had experience losing a shadow. Once they were within range of a Poké Mart, he suddenly ducked inside. It was crowded enough that it was easy to hide behind one aisle, then the next, and finally escape out of the second exit!

Carlos rushed back to the tracks, withdrew Tichu, and closed the book on the wire con with great relief.



♥​


“I’m telling you, that was way too close,” said Tichu when they were back at the base. The Stunky was tucking into a Kasib and Pomeg pokéblock, waving her tail happily despite herself. “Like, what if someone found the money while you gave Daniel the slip? Or what if, I dunno, he didn’t give it back to you in the first place?”

Carlos rubbed at his eyes, which were now green, and frowned. “I suppose it wasn’t the best plan… A lot could’ve gone wrong, but hey, it didn’t! It all turned right in the end!”

“I guess so…”

“And, we managed to win ₽2,250,000, of actual, real money!” Carlos cheered again. He knew the figure exactly; he’d been recounting it for the past hour when he wasn’t busy making the pokéblocks for his team.

“Not just newspaper!” Pier added with a laugh.

He smiled at the Fomantis. “Not just newspaper.”

Since he withdrew Pier and Teresa from the PC, Carlos had kept an eye on the two Grass types. They tended to stay on their own side of the base, but neither seemed interested in keeping their feud going. What happened in Petalburg seemed to have been left in Petalburg, though Carlos had a feeling it would be a good idea to check with Tichu and the rest of the crew to see if Teresa was just playing nice when he was in the room.

As much as Artemio beamed whenever his part in the con was mentioned, it wasn’t a surprise when he asked to be withdrawn early. “Of course it was fun, but I could do with some quiet now,” he grumbled to Carlos.

Carlos switched Artemio out for Frida, wishing he had the same option…

Soon afterwards, Carlos interrupted the team’s conversations by hitting a spoon against his glass. “Alright, everyone! Your attention if you please.

“I know it’s been a long day, but it’s about to get longer: tonight, we’re hitting the Gym!”

“Wow,” said Frida. “So soon?”

“Yup. Tonight’s the best possible time for us to make this heist happen, and now the team’s together we’ve got some planning to do. I’ll tell you why in a minute.”

Frida bounded onto her chair as the team gathered for the briefing, though this time Carlos did not bring out the trainer’s almanac. Once everyone was situated, Carlos nodded. “You’ll notice this one’s a bit different, but I’m glad to say it’s because this is the easiest heist we’re going to pull of the eight! Roxanne, this city’s Leader, is in Unova right now, so it turns out we won’t have much to worry about at all compared to last time!”

Everyone murmured in excitement, though Orville looked slightly disappointed.

“I just want to make sure we take this one seriously regardless, ‘cause the city’s going to be on some kind of alert after what happened with Norman. The Gym’s security is going to be an issue we’ve got to solve, so we’ll pay the connected museum a visit just to see what we’re up against. Orville, you up for that?”

“Always!”

“Great to hear,” Carlos said with a grin. “Everyone else, take some time to get in the right mindset. Our main focus this time is going to be stealth; if we can get in and out without any alarms at all, maybe they won’t even know we were there until Roxanne does her inventory… and that’s assuming she even keeps track of how many badges she’s got stored. It’s more important than ever that we stay clean, alright?”

“Yeah!”

“They’ll have no idea, boss. You can count on us!”

Though Carlos left one thing out in his speech, he didn’t have to mention it; everyone in the room knew why it was so vital to him that their heist finish smoothly this time.



♠​


Not even an hour had passed before Carlos was back in the city, carefully making his way to Rustboro Gym. Orville floated behind him, asking about Roxanne whenever the conversation lagged. Most of the questions bore no relevance to the upcoming heist, but Carlos didn’t mind chatting about the city’s Gym Leader if it was for his pokémon.

Orville’s curiosity about the region’s elite trainers had only intensified with each city they went to; lately it was all he wanted to talk about. Carlos furrowed his brow. Was the Shuppet truly interested in how many times Drake had challenged the League or the various gadgets Wattson had invented?

A low breeze blew from behind them; it was cooler than the standing air, making Carlos check the sky periodically to see whether it was about to let loose. He was beginning to wonder what would happen if a storm would happen tonight, and whether that would make their job easier or harder…

“I don’t want to alarm you, boss,” Orville murmured, “but we’re being followed.”

“Oh, blast. Did Daniel find me? Which direction?”

“No, not him. Take a look.”

Carlos sighed in a mixture of relief and apprehension when he looked where his pokémon had indicated. “Ah… Paula. This’ll be interesting.”

Still wearing her green contacts, black hair dye, and long coat, Paula was far easier to recognise this time. Behind her prowled a Purrloin who was scanning the area for unguarded items; Carlos thanked himself for remembering to leave the badge case at home this time.

“Hey! Over heeeere!” He waved energetically at the Trick Trainer as if it were pure happenstance she was on the same street as him. “Good to see you!”

She grinned back as they closed the distance. “…Well well well, Carlos. Look who’s back in town!”

Orville looked bemusedly at the two grifters as they shook hands. “You know her?”

“Orville, this is an old friend of mine, Paula,” Carlos introduced. “Paula, this is another of my new pokémon. He’s great at magic tricks.”

“Awesome!”

And watching my back,” he said pointedly to Jace, who had been eyeing his backpack. Jace swiftly turned his nose up to stare at the periwinkle sky instead.

It wasn’t long into their conversation when Paula noticed something was off. She moved Carlos’ hair aside and squinted at his cheek. “Ouch… What happened there?”

“What? Oh, this…” Carlos ran a finger across the cut that still hadn’t finished mending. “It’s kind of embarrassing to say, but I got this from a mark. I couldn’t get away quick enough, and, well…” He twirled his right foot. “This happened when he kicked my foot, too.”

Paula winced sympathetically. “You’ve got to be careful, bro. I know you know what you’re doing, but…”

“Thanks. I know.”

“Take it from me, a con can go south quick if you don’t take every step seriously.” She shook her head, then her expression brightened with impending mischief. “Well, I’m sorry that happened, but I know what’ll cheer you up! Are you ready for some gossip?”

“Er… What kind?”

“Oh, something you’ll be interested in, for sure. Carlos, it seems the Trick House has some competition now!”

“Hm? What does that mean?”

“What it means is: if The Rustboro Echo’s right, someone here in Western Hoenn is putting us all to shame with some HUGE one-man operations!”

Carlos forced a bewildered look. “What?”

Paula looked up the street one way, then the other, then leaned in dramatically. “Hoenn… has a badge thief. Apparently someone breaks in after a Gym closes and takes a badge. Only a badge. Then, they taunt the Leader and lead them on a chase, until poof! They vanish. Two Gyms were hit already, and I’m dead certain whoever it is will be going after Roxy next.”

“Carlos? I don’t like this.”

“I know, Orville.” Carlos cleared his throat as he addressed the Shuppet. “That sounds awesome. Finally, someone’s levelling the playing field! So, what do we know about them?” he asked Paula.

“The papers aren’t saying, but they started in Dewford. Brawly’s was the first to go, then they went to Petalburg. Officially, they were stopped by the PPD, but that’s Mudsdale droppings if you ask me. Norman would’ve made the arrest public. No, they’re still out there, ready to strike again.”

“Ooh, cool. Good luck to them, I say!” Carlos said as casually as he could. “But… How are you so sure this mystery thief’s coming here next?”

“Ha, that’s easy! It’s the next closest, and Roxanne isn’t back yet from her trip to Unova.” Carlos nodded at his friend’s sound reasoning, but he froze momentarily when she added, “also, I hear she’s coming back early, so they’ll have to do it today if they want to keep things simple!”

“That’s… interesting.” He mouthed a swear when Paula wasn’t looking; he hadn’t seen anything yesterday about a change of plans. When did she decide that?

“Yeah, it certainly is.” she glanced back at him. “So, where were you headed just now? Got a new con going?”

“Nah, I’m done with that. Last one was my last one. What I was doing just now was heading over to, uh, the mall! I felt like getting Orville here something nice after all the work he put in last time!”

Orville giggled at the blatant lie.

“Oh, that’s cool! Let’s go together; Jace and I have some shopping to do, too!”

What a coincidence… Great! Let’s go!” Carlos sped his pace up excitedly, but after a few minutes he slowed right back down.


“Something wrong? It’s right around the corner, if you’re lost.”

He scratched the back of his head, slowly. “…Nah, I know the way. I was just thinking…”

“Yeah?”

Carlos turned to Paula with a full grin. “You know what? The mall can wait. I want to see if you’re right about this thief.”

Paula narrowed her eyes, and Jace copied her. “Oh?”

“Come on, you said it yourself! If they’re gonna steal the Stone Badge next, they’ve only got a couple more hours until Roxanne gets in the way!” Carlos started running gingerly as he changed his route back to the Gym. As Orville caught up and gave a questioning look to his trainer, he muttered, “Find a way to disappear and scout that Gym. I’ll keep her busy, okay?”

“Yes, boss! Good luck…”

“C’mon, Paula! Last one to Roxanne’s is a rotten egg!”



♦​


“I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t have any ‘Jack’ on record today.”

Daniel curled his lip. “Are you this dense usually, or did a Rapidash kick your head on the way here?”

Sir.”

“No, but what do you mean you can’t find Jack? He bet on the races TWICE TODAY!”

“Sir, please lower your voice or I will have to call security.”

“CAL-“ Daniel nearly exploded, then he took a second to calm himself. He had half a mind to demand security too. Something was wrong here, but as much as he tried to piece together what happened, nothing could explain how this Jack character was able to win without even betting.

It didn’t matter. Today wasn’t a complete loss. He still had plenty of money, and there were more races today. Daniel didn’t need any stupid pokémon to win! “Fine,” he said. “I’d like to put ₽1,000,000 on Phantump Lap to place in the Ponyta race. Can you remember me, at least?”

The attendant sighed. “…I’m sorry, sir, but betting is closed today. We’ve had to cancel the rest of Pyrite for the day.”

“THE HELL DO YOU MEAN, CLOSED?”

When Daniel slammed his palms on the wood of the counter, the attendant reached for his Poké Balls. “SIR! Do you need to be escorted out?”

“No, I need to know why you’re cancelling the races!”

While Daniel was arguing with this idiot bookie, the sky overhead had become a charcoal grey. He hadn’t paid attention to it - or the distant rumbling of thunder - but it became impossible to ignore once the clouds opened up. For a fraction of a second, Daniel saw the Emerald Racing Centre light up as a bolt of lightning streaked in the distance.

“…’cause of that,” the man replied with the faintest of smirks. “Have a safe journey home, sir.”

Hot Streak: A period in which a bettor performs better than they usually do, often encouraging them to take greater risks.

Of course I was going to include a Fall Out Boy reference somewhere! Expect a Caravan Palace reference next! I'm joking. maybe :^)

Meanwhile, Spitfire is a reference to the Fennekin in an old story of mine! It's not high enough quality for me to reupload on the forums (or even link, really), but it's nice to remember my roots sometimes.

Next time, we see Roxanne! And the weather continues to be a theme; hopefully an interesting one, since this is Hoenn and all!

(btw, moves are updated as I was grinding for the Roxanne Gym. I should've had Teresa learn Growth last chapter, that would've been fitting 😆
7HelZXx.png

Tichu (F)
Hasty, Starter (in-game)
Poison Gas / Slash / Smokescreen / Bite



frosmoth.gif

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



shuppet.gif

Orville the Shuppet (M)
Careful, Route 105
Knock Off / Screech / Will-O-Wisp / 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
Leech Seed / Growth / Leaf Tornado / Wrap



pikachu-f.gif

Frida the Pikachu (F)
Brave, Petalburg City
Electro Ball / Attract / Thunder Wave / Double Team
braixen.gif

Artemio the Braixen (M)
Gentle, Petalburg Woods
Psybeam / Fire Spin / Ember / Flame Charge
rookidee.png

Chelsey the Rookidee (X)
Level 6-12



chingling.png

Kristian the Chingling (M)
Level 5-5



staravia.png

Valentin the Staravia (M)
Level 5-20

♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️
 
Last edited:

Green Tea

Conqueror of the Violet Gym
Screenshotter
Pokédex No.
5195
Caught
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
195
Location
England
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Poison
Pokédex Entry
Considered bitter by many.
The main thought going through my head right now is whether or not Paula's put two and two together. She's sharp, and generally seems more alert than Carlos, so I can't help thinking that she's here to scope him out and see if he really is the badge thief. It's an easy excuse to be in the same town (and while thieves may think alike, Carlos should take heed of how obvious his "route" appears to outsiders - they'll start shutting gyms soon!) but to be in the same part of town, at the same time? Even if she didn't think it was Carlos at first, I would be surprised if she wasn't a little suspicious of him and his vagueness now.

Daniel's going to be smarting for a while, and I wonder if this will be the last we hear of him. Might he, or one of Carlo's other marks, turn up again later to cause chaos?

I look forwards to seeing how Carlos gets on next time with Paula breathing down his neck. Roxanne might not be too much of a concern, but she's not the one watching like a hawk right.
 
Last edited:

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
Oh boy, such an interesting chapter. I love being able to see Paula still in Rustboro, and the talk about this random thief (and Carlos's plan to bring Paula to the gym ought to end well. I don't know if he plan of framing her (he wouldn't go that low, would he?), or just having some ideas about this new con of his...

Meanwhile the race, oh the race... That one was something else. and with so many things going wrong, I'm surprised it went right. Like, if Zawa was around, then surely he'd be in trouble. Not saying he isn't, since Daniel is going to be an arsehole just like Norman... let's see how miserable he can (try to) make Carlos's life.

And, somehow, I expect his life to be a mess because I feel he won't be able to grift before she gets into the gym...
 

Garish Garchomp

Friendly Neighborhood Landshark
Administrator
Moderator
🌱Featurer
Writer
Pokédex No.
43
Caught
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
677
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Psychic
Pokédex Entry
he's ok i guess
I'm not gonna lie to you sir. I'm not quite caught up yet. I've been neck deep in TTRPG prep, training at work, and general loafing, so I'm working my way forward. 'bout halfway through so far?

But, y'know, I've read enough. Of Carlos. Of blessed Tichu. Of even just all these wonderful vignettes of con jobs that this lil shit has pulled. So I've got a nice shiny gift for you, and I promise this one ain't a scam. Probably. 😉
 
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.
♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️
This isn't a full update, but rather a post to say: Entry Hazard has been featured, and I am so thankful for the support and attention my wacky Hustle rip-off has gotten! :sun:

I was planning on posting this art with the next chapter, which should be out by the end of next week (fingers crossed on that), but all the excitement of getting a feature is pushing me to post it now instead: the very talented LilyCelebi did a Pride piece of some of the Entry Hazard cast! From left to right: Carlos, Orville*, Dipa, Lillie, Jace, Paula.

*minor spoiler if you intend on only following the story itself: By the end of Part 2, Orville will change her name to Natasha

carlos_paula_and_their_pokemon_pride.png


Thanks again to everyone who's read and commented, and I look forward to the next heist which will begin soon! 😄

♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️
 
Last edited:

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,045
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
Ooooh, they look great! Congrats on the feature, it's well-deserved!

I appreciate you adding in the detail that Daniel's a landlord so there's no guilt to be felt about how thoroughly Carlos took him for a ride :P
 

Alan900900900

Lurker extraordinaire
Globetrotter
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
183
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
379
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Ice
Pokédex Entry
This Pokemon is a master of having too many projects at the same time. Also, Pikablu.
Man, I binged this run over the past few days (before the feature, by coincidence), and I gotta say this has been a great ride!! I love Carlos and his little band of misfits. The fact that he only really steals from people who are well off enough to shrug it off really helps make him likeable, along with... well, everything else.

Out of the team I feel like my favorite is a tossup between Tichu and Pier, although they're all great in their own ways. Tichu is babey, and that's always fun in a nuzlocke where there's always a risk of death. :,) And Pier is just this cool little guy and I wish I could come up with more clever commentary but man I love all of themmm

Also I gotta say, with written runs I always get worried that I'll get lost on who's who, but the amount of personality on display with everyone's dialogue made it so I could keep track of everyone throughout the entire thing so far, and I feel like that's really commendable!

Overall, this is a fantastic little run, and rest assured I'll be reading along the rest of the way and hopefully give you some better commentary now that I can focus on each individual update.
 

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.
It is I again. I'm slow at commenting apparently. Anyways, get dunked on Daniel! Good on Carlos for using his real name to get into the stadium (assuming he did anyways because this is Carlos we're talking about) and then a fake name when scamming talking to Daniel

Also congrats on being featured!
 
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.
♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️

@Green Tea - That’s a good point, if Carlos keeps going to the closest Gym it’ll be pretty obvious where he’ll go next!
I’ve seen this happen in shows like Hustle and Great Pretender, it’s a really fun idea.

@Leon Yorunaki - You’ll get some more in this chapter!
The bright side is, Daniel doesn’t have any pokémon to send after Carlos, so his options are a bit limited even if he does find Carlos again!

@Garish Garchomp - thank you again 💖
There’ll be more Tichu to follow!

@SayleeK - Thanks, I appreciate it!
In the list of acceptable con targets, landlords are very high up there xD

@Alan900900900 - You don’t know how much it means to hear that this run can be considered binge-worthy!!
I think my favourite is still Artemio, but I’m happy to say it usually boils down to ‘whoever I am writing at the time’. What I like about Pier is how unflappable he is when faced with a bad situation, that’s definitely something that was inspired by Ash from Hustle
Thank you so much! I always try to give everyone a separate voice, and it’s great to see that effort pay off!
Glad to have you on board, Alan :3:

@MegaInfernape - geeettttttt dunked on!!!
Thank you!

Roxanne’s Gym hadn’t changed since Carlos last saw it. It was still a pointy mass of concrete and rocks, resembling a giant Toxapex that had been turned to stone. It beckoned the thief inside with its CLOSED sign, but before he could get started he’d have to find a good excuse to get Paula off his back…

“Ooh, Kyogre’s coming to visit,” said Paula.

She pointed to a distant storm cell which lumbered towards them from Rustboro’s west coast. The moody, dark clouds promised a heavy downpour once they reached the trainers; Carlos could see the air beneath those clouds light up briefly.

“We should get going, then. I don’t feel like getting soaked, do you?”

Paula elbowed Carlos in the side, causing him to check his pockets instinctively. “A little rain won’t hurt! You’re a Dewford boy, aren’t you?”

He sighed inaudibly. “Yeah…”

And so they sat there, staking the place out for a thief who couldn’t appear.

Eventually, a Shuppet drifted in, coming to a stop behind Carlos. “Boss, I’m back.”

“Oh, good! What’s it look like in there?” Carlos kept his voice low, just in case.

“It looks like a huge, empty room; there’s cameras, but not much else. The cameras are all in the museum area, too. They use card readers, so if we can get the key card we can go pretty much anywhere. It looks almost… too easy,” Orville said.

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know… Maybe I’m missing something. I can go back if you want.”

“Never mind that. Thanks so much for looking,” Carlos murmured.

Orville nodded and retook his position behind him. Briefly, Carlos considered asking him to just go ahead and pinch the badge now. If Carlos could stay in Paula’s line of vision, that would at least serve as some sort of alibi…

He pushed the idea away. While the young Shuppet had considerable talent and a sharp wit to match, he could not imagine sending him out to perform a heist alone. There had to be another way! Maybe Paula would get bored and leave on her own?

As they sheltered underneath a concrete ridge which jutted awkwardly from the second floor of the building behind them, Carlos and Paula shared a large bag of crisps and watched the weather worsen. At first, spots appeared on the pavement, but once the clouds overhead burst the street was blanketed with rain. The cover above them wasn’t perfect; when the wind changed direction, the two grifters and their pokémon were drenched until they found a new, drier corner.

Carlos coughed impatiently. The longer this waiting game continued, the more pressure he felt in the back of his mind. It was as if he could physically feel Roxanne approaching the Gym, but there was nothing he could do since every plan he came up with required him to give detailed instructions to his crew.

“…This was all a waste of time,” he finally admitted. “Let’s go.”

Paula gave a pout. “Aw, you’re going? It’s too bad, though. I could’ve sworn we were gonna see the thief in person! I wonder what’s holding ‘em up?”

“Actually, maybe nothing is. Maybe they already hit this Gym! Before we got here, that is. Or they just went to another city?”

“Hmm… I guess so. But if we were too late, we may as well stay and find out.” She pointed to the area outside the Gym’s entrance.

At first, Carlos had assumed the two people in front of the Gym entrance were just passing through. When he looked closer, he realised they were setting up a black tripod camera and two microphones. As the grifters watched, more of the reporters took their positions to wait for the Leader’s appearance.

A few minutes later, a burgundy car appeared from around the corner and came to a smooth halt in front of the Gym. Carlos realised it was the same colour as Roxanne’s ribbons as the door opened, revealing the young Gym Leader sitting in the back. At first, she stayed inside. A round pokémon with rock formations around its body floated out of the car instead.

Paula scowled. “Right… Of course she’d have one.”

Carlos agreed quietly as they watched the Solrock’s eyes glow. Its face stayed in one place, but the rocks around its side began to move in clockwise fashion. This was one of the few pokémon in Hoenn which could influence the weather, and here it was using Sunny Day.

Gradually, the constant drumming noise around Carlos grew quieter. He could still see the rain around him, but already it was thinning until it became a light sprinkling instead of a deluge. As the Solrock finished its dance, the individual drops slowed to a halt. They turned back upwards as a warm, gentle breeze pushed the rain away. Now Carlos could only imagine how bad the storm would get elsewhere in the city.

Once the coast was clear, Roxanne stepped out of the car, stretching out the cramps of a lengthy transit as she did so. She was immediately greeted by camera flashes and a storm of questions; the handful of reporters jockeyed for priority as the Gym Leader approached.

“Roxanne! How was Unova?”

“Are you concerned about the recent break-ins?”

“Was that a responsible use of your weather licence?”

“Hammerlocke University has finally reconstructed the complete Dunklevish! Your thoughts?”

“You’re early! Does this mean the Rustboro Museum is reopening today?”

Reluctantly, Roxanne turned to address the small crowd. “I’d love to reopen, but it’s too late in the day,” she told them. Carlos could hear the tiredness in her voice. “Even if I were to bring my staff here in time, we’d only have an hour or so before closing. And… I’d have to bring the stones and fossils out of storage, deactivate and reactivate my security systems, make sure everything’s working… It’ll have to wait, I’m afraid.”

As the paparazzi moved on to the topic of Roxanne’s Solrock, Carlos was almost too focused on the argument to notice Paula switching Jace out for Lillie. He saw her lean down and whisper something into the Brionne’s ear. Both of them smiled innocently back at Carlos.

Another reporter stepped forward to the front of the pack. “Gabby King, TVH. Are you aware of the series of break-ins victimising Gyms in Western Hoenn?”

“…Yes, Norman told me all about it. If it’s important enough to bring me home early I’ll take it seriously, but in my opinion it sounds as if he has it covered.”

“And if Rustboro Gym is targeted, will you be able to protect your badges?”

“Yes, naturally.”

“But are you sure-“

“If you won’t take my word as a Gym Leader, why’d you even ask?” Roxanne’s tone was as sharp as whittled obsidian.

Gabby leaned in further, her microphone invading the Gym Leader’s personal space as she pressed the subject. “Brawly and Norman are Leaders, too. Are you saying they’re not as competent as you?“

“Well, it’s not a measure of competence, but rather priorities," Roxanne countered. "Brawly and Norman don’t have much in their Gyms worth protecting. Our Gym houses more than just the badges, as you know.

“We have an extensive museum and the state of the art security system that comes with it; The last time somebody tried to break in here, they had to be dug out the next day. Therefore, if this thief values their life they won’t set foot into Rustboro Gym after hours. You can quote that. Now if you don’t mind, I’ve had a long flight, and…”

As Roxanne finished dealing with the reporters, she happened to look up at just the right time to see a single bubble floating above her. It was a clear blue sphere - about as big as her head - and as it burst Roxanne sprung to the side. The water contained in the bubble fell, but it missed its target, splashing her shoes but nothing else.

“Damn it,” Paula said with a snicker.

“Paula, you didn’t!” Carlos laughed.

Seeing as she in fact did, the two grifters hid as quickly as they could as Roxanne looked this way and that. “What?! Who did that? Show yourself!” she shouted, but she had no hope of seeing Paula or Carlos now.



♥​


“Will I see you here again, bro?” Paula asked, raising her voice as they walked down an alleyway to the south side of the city. The storm grew heavier the further they went from the Gym.

“Probably,” Carlos told her. “I think I’ll stick around town for a while. I really love the Rapidash races… Plus, I want to see if you’re right about Roxanne being next.”

“Sounds good.”

“Hey, I’ve got an idea! Maybe Flannery is next,” he suggested. “They might try and spread out a little more now that Norman’s on the case.”

The look Paula gave Carlos contained a faint smirk, but that could also have been his imagination. “Well, maybe I’ll go there and take a look,” she said. “Have a good time, bro! Send me a card if you hear anything!”

“I sure will,” Carlos said. “And stop calling me bro,” he added, too quietly to be heard over the rain.

She left, Lillie tagging along beside her. Carlos let out a sigh of both relief and irritation, then turned back north and set off for Route 115.



♠​


Back at the base, Carlos brought out the full crew along with A Trainer’s Comprehensive Guide to the Hoenn League, 10th Edition. On the Rustboro page was a detailed map of the building, and now that it was open again Carlos knew the team needed to learn it front to back.

As he briefed the team on what kind of a Leader Roxanne was, Carlos mentally kicked himself. His mind lingered on how easy it would’ve been to take the badge earlier and how badly he’d squandered that opportunity. If only he’d just shaken Paula off as soon as Orville saw her coming…

As Carlos looked at the floor of the Rustboro Museum, however, his eyes widened. “Oh, blast,” he broke off suddenly.

“What is it, boss?”

“Orville! You were right to be careful,” Carlos said to the Shuppet who floated beside him. “The heist was too simple. We didn’t account for this!”

Orville studied the simple square panels his trainer was pointing at, then raised an eyebrow. “I don’t get it. The floor?”

“Yes, the floor. Rustboro Gym - and the museum that’s connected to it - both have these floor panels and high ceilings. Remember what Roxanne said about the last thief having to be dug out?”

“I just thought she was acting tough.”

Carlos shook his head. “She’s a Gym Leader. We already know how capable she is; there’s no point in making up stories on top of that. Plus, that museum has some powerful stones on display, not just evolutionary stones but Life Plates as well. Of course they take security seriously.”

“So, what does this mean, then?” Artemio asked. “What happens if you step on those panels? Does it bury you?”

Carlos took a moment to consider this. “I don’t… think so. Making pitfalls like that doesn’t make sense. They’d have to keep filling them and digging them out again every time the museum closes; it’s just not practical. No, I think the panels trigger something else. Orville, did you check the ceiling at all?”

“Er… Yeah,” Orville said. “There’s a drop ceiling, a whole lot of rocks, then the real ceiling.”

Carlos exhaled. “A whole lot of rocks…”

The Shuppet’s cloth stopped rippling when he realised what Carlos was getting at. “You’re saying the ceiling opens?!”

“I’m afraid so.”

A murmur spread through the crew at this news. Tichu glanced up anxiously, as if she expected their secret base to suddenly cave in.

Carlos held both hands up, waiting for silence. “Alright, alright! It sounds bad, but we shouldn’t panic. There’s always a way around these traps. For instance, once Roxanne’s done for the night, she still has to make her way out without triggering her own trap.”

“There’s probably a safe route or two for employees,” Pier agreed.

“Teresa, how good is your sense of smell?” Carlos asked the Serperior. “Would you be able to pick out Roxanne’s trail and follow it?”

Teresa blinked slowly. “Do you even have to ask?”

“No, I guess not,” he chuckled. “Oookay, then. That’s our way around it. Here’s what we’re going to do:

“I’m going to visit the museum tomorrow. Before it closes, I’ll create a distraction. Pier steals one of those key cards and waits until after closing, then he’ll unlock the door from the inside. I come in, find somewhere safe to bring Teresa out, then she’ll trace Roxanne’s path through the Gym!

“Frida will give us light so we can actually see what we’re doing, and Orville will keep an eye out in case someone comes looking for us. From there, we’ll be safe as long as we stick together with Teresa, but until then we cannot touch the floor under any circumstances. If the worst happens and we do trigger a rockfall, well…”

Carlos gulped. “I’ll get us some hard hats, just in case.”



♣​


To the west of Mt. Chimney was an old, rugged mountain range which divided Rustboro City and Fallarbor Town. It was known as Meteor Falls, owing to its many waterfalls and Miniors. It also drew from local legends relating to the bizarre pokémon, Deoxys, who was rumoured to have landed in one of these mountains when it fell from space.

Meteor Falls’ myriad tunnels served as an echo chamber which amplified noises inside, so the faint sound of crashing water could be heard from many directions at once. Every so often, spring water dripped from the ceiling and collected into shallow puddles. The air, which was as cool and fresh as Lilycove in the springtime, cycled lazily through the cave as there was barely any wind.

It was here that Carlos and crew decided to spend their morning in preparation for Roxanne. They found a large cavern which was mostly empty of wild pokémon, and after a few battles they cleared the rest of the Zubats and Phantumps out. Now they had a place to properly train. Not everyone needed to learn new, specialised moves - Orville merely floated by a stalagmite and practised his Knock Off - but of those who did, it was Frida who required constant supervision.

The stump-tailed Pikachu could now create portable balls of electricity which lit up the cave in which they trained. However, she spent far less time learning how to move and attack with hers and instead used it as a flashlight to inspect the sparkling walls for Thunderstones. When Carlos threatened to withdraw her from training early, she turned her attention back to learning new moves… at least, until she learned how to create a copy of herself. The second Frida stayed in view, staring at the Electro Ball, while the original snuck out to check more of the wall.

Teresa was much more focused, possibly because it was her first time training since she’d been boxed. Carlos watched as she sharpened the end of her tail on a large rock and then swung it, splitting the rock in two. Then, she polished her tail further until the rough face of the rock had been worn down completely. That tail would be a fearsome weapon if she needed it to be…

When he wasn’t checking on his crew, Carlos was rehearsing his own part of the heist. There wasn’t much he could do to prepare for the Gym’s floor traps, but when Pier lent him a vine he was grateful for the opportunity to practice climbing up it or simply hanging on until his arms grew tired.

“Come on, boss! You can do it!” Tichu would cheer as he clung to the vine. “Carlos! Carlos! Carlos!”

Like Orville, Tichu’s main task was just to practise the moves she already knew. Whenever a Zubat approached the team, she would drive it back with her surprisingly sharp claws. Though she also raised her tail against the more persistent ‘mons, Carlos had to ban her from actually using smoke bombs. He didn’t want to be stuck in a cramped cave when she let one loose!

When Carlos couldn’t hold on to the vine any longer, he dropped to the dusty floor of the cave with a pained groan. He rubbed at his shoulders as they continued to burn from exertion. “Yeah, that’ll have to do for now. Thanks, Pier!”

Pier just nodded; from the way he stared past Carlos, it was clear something was on his mind. “So we’re really going to Roxanne’s tonight?” he asked.

“Hopefully. We’ve already lost one day so I’d really rather not wait another day.”

“Hmm.” Pier examined his leaves.

“Are you not sure whether you can do your part? I know I’m asking a lot from you for this heist, so if you need some more time to prepare-“

“No, I’m fine. It’s just… it would be so much easier if you could tell me exactly where I can’t step.”

“I wish I could,” groaned Carlos. “There’s nothing to distinguish the panels that are safe, and it’s not as if we can test them beforehand… I’ll keep an eye out for some kind of schematic when we visit the museum, but I doubt they’ll have anything as important as that lying in the open.”

The Fomantis shrugged. “Just one more question, then. How am I going to hide in the Gym while it’s open? Sure, I’m small, but if someone notices me it’s over.”

“You’ll just have to stay out of sight, I guess,” Carlos said, but as the words left him he realised how naïve they sounded. The look Pier gave him said it all. “Alright, yeah, that’s asking too much. What do you need with you for camouflage? Can you use your vines?”

“Yes, but they’ll still be bright green,” Pier pointed out. “Don’t tell me you have a can of grey paint in your makeup kit, too…”

Carlos shook his head, looking around at the haphazardly lit cave for inspiration. It would’ve been easy for a Geodude or a Dwebble to lie unnoticed in a grey-and-brown setting like Roxanne’s Gym, but hiding a green-and-pink Fomantis was a different story…

His gaze landed on one of the geodes which Teresa had been using as a grindstone. Though the outer crust was an ordinary grey colour, Carlos saw that the insides were made up of strikingly colourful amethyst crystals which winked in the light. He stared at them for a moment, then turned back to Pier. “Actually… I think I might have an idea!”

Meanwhile, Teresa had moved on from training her tail to practising with her vines. She tried some of the moves Pier had used during their fight, but she quickly grew bored of it; she’d mastered Vine Whip a long time ago when she was still a Snivy. She had to learn something new.

The Serperior summoned a few razor sharp leaves and whirled her tail around, whipping up a breeze. It quickly grew into a small twister as it picked the leaves up, then it collapsed again. She narrowed her eyes as she retried, concentrating on the leaves themselves this time. At first, the Leaf Tornado worked, but then it dipped to the right. Teresa followed after it, trying to hold the twister steady as it moved across the cave floor.

In a moment, the green leaves suddenly turned red as they caught fire! Teresa’s concentration broke as she watched a second, fiery vortex merge with hers, throwing burning leaves in every direction. “The hell?” asked a gruff voice.

Teresa looked past the spinning embers to see Artemio waving his wand. He gave it one final flick to cancel out his move, then he turned away to try it again. Teresa had to wait until the ground cooled down before she could approach him. She tapped him roughly on the shoulder. “Hey!”

Art sighed. “What is it? Bit busy here.”

Teresa swished her tail to indicate the still-smouldering leaves which decorated the cave walls. “You’re burning my Leaf Tornado!”

He rolled his eyes. “It’s not my fault. I can’t move a Fire Spin, so maybe keep your distance if it’s a problem.”

“Just keep out of my way when I’m training,” she snapped, thumping her tail against the stone floor.

“But this is my spot! You’ve got all that room over there, so go use it.”

She glanced back at her own cramped area of the cave, then at Artemio’s side which seemed so much nicer. Objectively, there was hardly any difference at all, but Teresa wasn’t about to give up territory to a Braixen. “It’s not enough. I need all this space until I can control my moves. Go train somewhere else!”

“Make me,” Artemio said in a low voice.

Teresa drew herself up. “Maybe I will.”

They glared at each other, neither willing to break eye contact as the tension in the air thickened. The fur in Art’s ears glowed slightly in the darkness of the cave, but his eyes didn’t change; they remained a bright scarlet with black pupils. There was also a cool intensity to them which was unusual for a Fire type.

Teresa hadn’t noticed before, but now she realised his eyes were almost exactly the same colour as a Serperior’s…

“…Well? Are you just gonna stare at me or what?”

She finally blinked and looked away. “Fine,” she grumbled, letting her tail relax as she reevaluated how much she cared. “It’s not worth the effort. Anyway, Carlos would just take your side.”

“Uh, yeah, ‘cause I’m right,” he chirped back.

“Shut up!”

“Okay, Teresa. Whatever you say.”

There was a hint of amusement in Artemio’s voice as he watched Teresa wrestle with herself over whether or not to keep the argument going. Teresa just shook her head and turned back to her part of the cave. She tried to refocus on her Leaf Tornado, ignoring the heat behind her as Artemio conjured another Fire Spin. “Stupid fox,” she hissed to herself.



♦​


Later that day, Carlos and Dipa restarted their search for large bird pokémon at the mouth of Meteor Falls. Finding them wasn’t difficult; neither was catching them since Carlos had plenty of practice at that. The real issue was convincing any of them to stick around. Two Golbats, a Swellow, and a Tropius had all turned him down, and with each failed recruitment the sun sank further behind the jagged foothills. Carlos had promised himself he would not leave without a flyer, but as the hours ticked on he became less sure whether he could afford to wait.

Dipa brought down another Flying type with a stream of freezing snow, and Carlos quickly used the Poké Ball and Sitrus berries before launching into another explanation of their mission. “…and that’s about the long and short of it. We need a getaway flyer,” he finished.

Apollo, a Pidgeotto with an impressive wingspan, perched himself on a rock as he listened to Carlos explain his situation. He hadn’t flown away yet, so Carlos crossed his fingers figuratively as he asked the big question. “Would you stay and help us, Apollo?”

He clicked his beak. “Hell yeah. Sounds like great fun!”

“Oh, Rayquaza, thank you! You don’t know how grateful I am!” Carlos said in a rush. “Okay, so first things first. My real name is Carlos, I weigh just under 11 stone - not including the backpack, of course - and we’ve got six Gyms left to rob. I’ll introduce you to the team as soon as we get back!”

Apollo raised his wings in a show of support and said, “Can’t wait. You’ll wonder what you were doing without me up to now, Carlos!”

“I like the enthusiasm!”

“How’d you even get out of the last two Gyms, anyway?”

“Oh… I did have a flyer for those, but…” Carlos hung his head.

“What?”

“But he died. A Garchomp got him. Sorry, you should know but I didn’t really want to talk about that yet…”

There was a prolonged pause, then the Pidgeotto spoke with a slight squawk in his voice. “What the hell? We can… die if we’re caught?”

“…Yes?”

Apollo overbalanced and fell off his rock. “Then no! No! If I wanted to put myself in harm’s way for a human, I’d just… Well, I’d join a real team!” he said as he scrambled to his feet. He took off before Carlos could even disable the Poké Ball.

Carlos looked hopelessly up at the bird’s disappearing figure, his hands clenched into fists and his breathing shallow. He would have shouted up at the sky, but before he could he was tackled in the side by a Frosmoth.

“AAAAAAAAAHHHH! You’re glowing again, thank you thank you!”

“WHAT THE- agh, come on, Dipa! Get off! No, I mean it, give me space!”

Once Carlos extracted himself from Dipa’s beating wings, he withdrew them, broke Apollo’s Poké Ball, then kicked a stone down the hillside for good measure. Trembling with frustration, he stomped almost the whole way back to the secret base until a memory made him stop. Perhaps because of what Apollo had said, Carlos was reminded of Cynthia. Quickly, he cycled through the events of the night she was stolen away. The last thing he and Cynthia had done together was argue.

Now he was staring at Dipa’s ball. What had Carlos done the day Valentin died? He’d snapped at Dipa and taken off. He wondered how many times he could afford to do that before the Frosmoth had the good sense to just leave.

The thief closed his eyes, sighing slowly, before popping the ball open to bring Dipa out again. He had to act fast to hold them at arm’s length as they flew at him. “Dipa!”

Dipa’s antennae twitched, but they backed off. “What’s going on?”

“Uh… Sorry. I’m not mad at you; I was just kind of surprised just now.” Carlos grimaced. “I think it’s time we talked about what you mean by ‘glowing’.”

Eagerly, Dipa tried to explain to him what their eyes saw, and while Carlos tried to follow along they talked so fast he had little chance of keeping up. Then, they listed off the moments when he had shone the brightest in the Frosmoth’s eyes, starting with that time he’d had to escape from a killer Kabutops. As Carlos sat and listened, Dipa leaned in closer. “Hey! You’re dimming again!”

Carlos waved dismissively. “Sorry, I’m not doing it on purpose. I think… I think I get what you mean now, though. You can see what I’m feeling, sort of.”

Dipa gasped. “I’m psychic?!”

“…In a way. You mentioned when you first met us that not everyone ‘glows’ like I can.” Carlos was pacing along the trail as he thought this through. “But would you say they had no light at all, or what?”

The Frosmoth looked up. “Uhhhh… Some light, I guess? But that’s how I see everything, human or pokémon, so that’s normal.”

Carlos sighed again. Though the pieces were starting to fit together, he wasn’t thrilled with the picture it showed. He picked his words to Dipa carefully. “Well, chances are I will ‘glow’ again in the near future. If I do, maybe you can come over to take a look, but don’t charge at me like a wild pokémon. Is that alright?”

“That’s ok!”

“Great. Hey, I’m going to the Rustboro Museum once I get the right team together. You’re not allowed in of course, but I can get you a souvenir if you’d like?”

“What’s the museum about?”

“Rocks, mostly,” Carlos chuckled.

Dipa’s expression stayed static, but he could tell they weren’t impressed. “Rocks!? No, no rocks for me! Awful, dull things.”

Carlos shrugged with a grin. “More for Frida, then! And depending on how tonight goes, who knows? She might even get a special one from Lilycove. Anyway, let’s get going. We’ve wasted enough time out here fighting birds.”

For the rest of the journey home, Carlos was absorbed in his thoughts about what he’d just learned.

As a grifter, he had made a living through hiding his true thoughts from others. Lying was an art, but without careful separation of himself and his persona it didn’t matter how good he was at it. If everything Dipa had said was true, however, it meant the dam Carlos had spent so long constructing was weakening somehow. Whatever was going on, he needed to fix it before the next con. If the dam were to break down while he was on the job, the consequences did not bear thinking about.

Grinding: When gambling, playing a minimal-risk style with small bets and small gains.

I'm sorry for delaying this one for a week! I didn't expect it to be as big of a chapter as it is, but if you ask me I think it was worth it. I'm quite happy with how it turned out :D

...Yeah, if Paula didn't know before she'll definitely figure it out after the heist attempt next chapter. The question is, how will Carlos respond?

Also, Apollo the Pidgeotto is purely a story invention. In-game, I did get a couple of Crobats, but one died pretty soon to a random Avalugg and the other just kinda hung around on the fringe of my team. In terms of catches around Rustboro, I found a Whismur in Route 115, but it died before I could catch it, and Xenon was the Rustboro City catch. I caught a Trevenant later on in Meteor Falls, but by then I didn't have much space on the team for a haunted tree. Sorry, Thad, maybe next run!
7HelZXx.png


Tichu (F)
Hasty, Starter (in-game)
Poison Gas / Slash / Smokescreen / Bite



frosmoth.gif


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



shuppet.gif


Orville the Shuppet (M)
Careful, Route 105
Knock Off / Screech / Will-O-Wisp / 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
Leech Seed / Growth / Leaf Tornado / Wrap



pikachu-f.gif


Frida the Pikachu (F)
Brave, Petalburg City
Electro Ball / Attract / Thunder Wave / Double Team
braixen.gif


Artemio the Braixen (M)
Gentle, Petalburg Woods
Psybeam / Fire Spin / Ember / Flame Charge
rookidee.png


Chelsey the Rookidee (X)
Level 6-12



chingling.png


Kristian the Chingling (M)
Level 5-5




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Valentin the Staravia (M)
Level 5-20

♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️
 
Last edited:

Green Tea

Conqueror of the Violet Gym
Screenshotter
Pokédex No.
5195
Caught
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
195
Location
England
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Poison
Pokédex Entry
Considered bitter by many.
Ah, there's a flying-type called Apollo. I was hoping for more for that name, but I guess it wasn't meant to be!

I enjoyed seeing Paula poke a bit of fun at Roxanne. Sure, she might have dodged it, but the point was still made - sunny day won't protect you from everything. The more she spoke, the better Roxanne came across. From the bit you had posted to the Discord before, she seemed like a brat, and while she's still somewhat entitled, she's not an overgrown child, and that's a big plus point for her.

As much as I love Tichu for being an adorable kitty-baby, I think Teresa's quietly becoming the most interesting of Carlos' pokémon. Seeing her re-evaluate vine whip after Pier's mastery of it doesn't surprise me, but seeing her fail with leaf tornado is a bit of a shocker. She's haughty, and gave the impression of being a pokémon that's so used to being good at things that she never needed to try. Having to learn a new move, and practice to get it right (not just to perfect it) shows a side to her that's not really come through so far. It's easy to see her as a "finished article" because she's a big, powerful, serperior that can easily wreck anyone if she chooses, but at some point, she was a small snivy, and I doubt that snivy have an easy time of it in the wild. She can make out that things are easy for her, but she's clearly not the kind of "genius" that just picks up new moves, she's had to do it the hard way.

I don't want Frida to get her thunderstone. She's an obnoxious little thing and doesn't deserve a reward. Carlos should find himself a new electric-type, even if recruiting isn't going too well at the moment.

Shame about the crobat, they're normally great. I can easily imagine them being fantastic heist pokémon, too.

Carlos should have just owned it and done the heist. Paula's smart enough to know what's going on, and he should know her well enough to know that, too. What's she going to do? Turn him in? I'm sure there's enough honour among thieves to prevent that.
 

SayleeK

Johto League Champion
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
260
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,045
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
Ohhhh, this one's getting a bit Indiana Jones... which I suppose is appropriate for a museum! Way to make me REALLY anxious about how this one's gonna go, though...
 

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
First things first: Would it be a Rock Tomb or a Smack Down?

This was a big chapter, not only for the amount of words but for how many things happen (and I love it). I can't get enough of your scenario, and the way you picture the small things is just... lovely.
For example, when you give us a glimpse of Roxanne and, before she even leaves the car, we've seen enough of her to be sure she deserves to be conned hard.
And hard will it be, because we've seen she has state-of-art security. And an ego bigger than that, which is lovely hateful on its own. I wonder if Norman cheats on Ruby's mom with Roxanne, because I can see these two matching... guilty af
Before I forget, I boo-ed at the fact the girl dodged that water bubble. She totally deserved being soaked.

Other than that, we have the needed training montage, and you went out of the way to make Teresa stand out for good. I used to despise that one, but talk about character development, first at the battle against Pier and now with having to learn new moves - and failing at it - shedding a brighter light at her and making her likeable, which is a surprise after all we've seen.

And, as a finishing note after I wish the best of luck in this con (and be sad for the lack of a flier)

Teresa hadn’t noticed before, but now she realised his eyes were almost exactly the same colour as a Serperior’s…
698336063466373171.webp
 
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.
♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️

@Green Tea Yup, sorry. I have rotten luck with Flying types, even if they don't die they end up cut from the story anyway!
Thank you! She's definitely cranky from having to fly back here to deal with this nonsense, though xD
I really appreciate you saying that! Teresa's been tough to write at times, but I now that I'm used to it I'm really enjoying watching her character grow.
>What's she going to do? Turn him in?
Worse! She'd join in!

@SayleeK haha, put some of the OST on for today's heist!

@Leon Yorunaki Considering how it's set up, maybe Stealth Rock? 🤔
Aww, thanks 💖
Training montages are a staple of any good story!! And so is a character who eventually redeems themselves after a bad first impression!
Yeah... it really sucks having to pull a heist without the getaway. Something for Carlos to think about for next time, I'd say.

If Carlos had been given the task of designating a place to build a scientific museum, ‘connected to a pokémon Gym’ would not have been his first choice.

Rustboro Museum carried the same theme as Roxanne’s Gym, so naturally there were rocks of all shapes and sizes strewn about on the sandy floor. The ceiling was high, giving this room its massive size, but on the ground level there was no space for a Gym puzzle. Likewise, if a new exhibit opened, Carlos couldn’t think of anywhere to put it without encroaching on Roxanne’s space.

In the Gym half, Carlos could see a rugged arena, characterised by its total lack of grass or water. At one end was a tall, blonde ace trainer who wore a stylish blue-and-white outfit; Roxanne stood at the opposite end, wearing her trademark dark grey skirt and a brand-new pair of black shoes which sparkled against the dull floor. Between them, a Duraludon was wrestling with an Aggron as the two trainers shouted instructions.

Carlos tore his eyes from the spectacle, scanning the room for museum attendants instead. There were a few milling about, patrolling the exhibits and discouraging people from touching the cases. One man had a key card in his back pocket, a fact Carlos made sure to relay to Pier before making his way to the front desk.

“I can get tickets here, right?” Carlos asked the woman at the register.

“Certainly! Would you like the Museum Pass, the Battle Pass, or Double Pass?”

“Double,” the grifter said. As he fished through his pocket, a penny spilled out onto the floor. “Oh, drat. You don’t mind small change, do you?”

“Oh. Sure…”

“Thanks! I keep meaning to cash it in at the bank, but you know…”

Meanwhile, the Gym battle was heating up. The Duraludon dodged a right hook from the Aggron and responded with a two-armed tackle which knocked the Iron Armour pokémon right off its feet! As it landed with a furious roar, Carlos jumped at the noise and the mountain of coins he was holding fell, scattering everywhere. “Aw, noooooo! My money!”

Carlos hurried to pick it all up, blustering all the while about how inconvenient Hoenn’s currency was. He was aware that everyone not watching the fight was now focused on him, and that included the museum attendant who knelt down to help him. “Need a hand?” he asked.

“Yes, please,” Carlos grumbled, making sure to stay in view as a smooth rock rolled up to the two of them. “Thank you. Man, is this embarrassing. I didn’t mean to cause such a scene; I just wanted to look at some cool plates!”

The manager chuckled at him. “Don’t sweat about it. If we can share this space with a Gym, we’re not going to mind someone dropping some coins.”

“Well, thanks! I feel better, then. Say, is that a coin there, or…”

As the manager looked to his left, the rock rolled away to his right. It hit the wall and stayed there as Carlos thanked the manager again and went on his way. From there, Carlos tried to enjoy his tour of the museum rather than worry about everything they’d need to do later that night.



♥​


Roxanne’s first day back at her Gym was an eventful one, but eventually it was time to shut it all down again. The traps were set, the glass cases were locked, and per Norman’s instructions she had every badge counted before she left for the night.

An hour after closing, it would have been hard to tell whether Roxanne had actually returned. All of the dust kicked up in her last battle had long settled, and the stones had been moved back to their proper places. Only one beam of light shone in from the east window, but the moon was nowhere near enough to illuminate the cavernous room. What had been brimming with life as a Gym and museum earlier that day was now as dark and as still as an undiscovered cave.

The tranquillity of Roxanne’s Gym was interrupted briefly when a pebble slid off one of the many cairns and landed softly on the floor. Then, another rock lower down began to shift. It rolled of its own accord through the dust until it smacked against a boulder and cracked down the middle! As it fell open in two neat halves, one half was completely hollowed out; the other contained a small green pokémon.

This Fomantis checked his surroundings as best he could in the crushing darkness then leapt onto the biggest stone he could see. In one of his leaves he held a small plastic card, and the other created a thick vine which he cinched around his waist.

“Here goes nothing,” said Pier as he crafted a leafy lasso next. He lobbed it into the air, where it caught on a light fixture and held fast. Pier tested it with a hard yank. Satisfied, he climbed halfway up and made a second vine. The second one held too as he swung from one light to the next, and in this manner he made his way to the employee entrance.

When he reached the door, there was still more to do. A few more vines were strung against the door and in front of the card reader - he was glad for the blinking LED light - as Pier made absolutely certain he had enough ways to avoid touching the ground. Finally, he swiped the card and opened the door.

Pier waited, feeling the cool breeze drift in from outside but nothing more. The machine that was connected to the door ticked insistently as Pier stared out at the empty street, hanging just above the dusty floor when the vines loosened.

“Come on, boss,” he breathed. “Don’t keep me waiting now.”

Before time could run out, Pier pushed the door closed again and thought about what to do next.

He took another minute to let the alarm system reset, then moved back to the card reader and opened the door again. Pier heard light footsteps approaching this time; they were confirmed to be Carlos’ when the thief hopped in moments later, grasping for the vine in front of him. At once, Pier took hold of the other end and, with great effort, held on long enough for Carlos to sway towards a boulder and land on it somewhat gracefully.

“You had me worried there,” Pier said quietly as Carlos dusted himself off and brought out his Poké Balls.

“Yeah, I didn’t notice in time on the first go! I’d been staring at that door for so long, no wonder I zoned out. Thanks for trying it again, Green,” Carlos told him.

“You think that was boring, you should’ve had my job,” Pier joked. “I spent hours in that rock!”

“Pfft, fair enough. I take it you’re ready to get the heist started for real, or do you want to sit in the dark a while longer?”

“I think we should get going.”

Carlos nodded with a smile, then held two Poké Balls in front of him. “Then let’s begin!”

Out came Teresa and Frida, who took their positions in front of and behind Carlos respectively. The Serperior had to coil tightly to avoid spilling out onto the floor. She moved her neck this way and that as she tasted the stale air, and her red eyes glowed in the dark until Frida made a light behind them.

“Here we are…” Teresa looked up at Carlos, pointing to a panel with her tail. “I can smell that perfume of hers. It’s fresh, so we’ll start here.”

“Are you sure?”

She wrinkled her nose. “‘Am I sure’? Carlos!”

“Okay, okay!” Carlos said, not bothering to correct Teresa using his real name. Before the thief took a step, he sat down and withdrew a couple bright yellow hats of varying sizes. “First, though, we need the hard hats. Put these on, quick.”

Teresa rolled her eyes as she accepted her hat, Pier and Orville donned theirs without any fuss, but Frida backed up with a “Nah, I’m good.”

“Yellow! Put it on!”

The Pikachu just shook her head. “I said no! It’s not my style, and anyway, it’s not like I’m gonna need it.”

There was no changing her mind, so Carlos heaved a lengthy sigh and turned back to the Gym floor. The sand shined innocently in the yellow light, as if daring anyone to stand on it. Slowly, delicately, he stretched one leg forward to the ‘safe’ spot… then shifted his weight to take one tentative step.

Nothing.

Carlos had been listening anxiously for rocks shifting above him, or an alarm of some kind, but the only thing he could hear was his own heartbeat. He let out a breath, then gave Teresa a thumbs-up. “Lead the way, Forest!”

The crew started slowly at first. Teresa would slither forward, sometimes taking a sharp turn or two, while Carlos crept behind her. Frida lagged behind. As she held the Electro Ball aloft, her body seemed to shift in and out of focus, but Carlos’ attention was fixed ahead of him.

Their pace quickened when it became clear the plan had worked; by the time the team were at the Gym’s arena, Carlos almost stepped on Teresa’s tail in his rush to reach his prize. The Serperior turned to stare daggers at him, but they continued without comment. Even finding the badges was easier than Carlos had dared to hope: the rewards cabinet was clearly marked, and none of the Gym's modern security features were present here. It took only one hairpin to pry the lock open and reveal the goods within.

“Third one down,” Carlos whispered as he eagerly pocketed the Stone Badge. “Now, let’s get the hell out of here!”

When they set off for the exit, Carlos led the way back himself. He’d planned it so that Teresa could follow behind and erase his shoe prints. Everything had been accounted for!

Everything, that is, except a second Pikachu who hopped into view in front of them.

“Haha, look!” Frida said, tapping the floor panel with one of her paws. “The floor’s fine, boss! You were scaring yourself over nothing!”

“Hey! Get back here!” Carlos whisper-yelled, but when he looked down, Frida was still behind him wearing a smug grin. “…What?”

The next few moments played out as if in slow motion. The Frida he was looking at flickered once, then disappeared. The true Frida bounded up to the Evolution exhibit with determination in her eyes and a rock in her paw. Before anyone could stop her, she’d found the Thunderstone.

“Finally!” she cheered. She took aim, then lobbed the stone against the glass casing!

As the alarms shrieked, a new, smaller case appeared around the stones; it was probably another security feature, but Carlos didn’t have time to think about it as he glanced up and saw what was happening to the ceiling. It was opening up.

Orville swooped down. “Take cover!”

Carlos braced against the tallest boulder he could find as the rumbling began. He could see the smaller pieces of gravel falling already! Pier wrapped a vine around Frida and flung her back towards Carlos. Before he could recall everyone Pier was struck by a rock, followed by more as the Fomantis was quickly taken out of sight.

“NO!”

While Carlos hammered at each Poké Ball he could reach, the Electro Ball disappeared. Roxanne’s Gym was thrown into total darkness as Carlos began to feel the rocks pelt his own helmet. As the trainer’s senses were kicked into overdrive, all he could see, hear, and feel were rocks of every size and shape.

The harsh wailing of the alarms grew clearer the more Carlos dug, sending new shards of panic into his head, but soon he managed to free his legs from the gravel surrounding him. He was out! Immediately, he took off his backpack and checked every Poké Ball he had, wishing he’d had the forethought to carve a name into each of them.


“Wow. So much for stealth, right?” He could scarcely recognise Teresa’s voice as she emerged from her ball. Her long tail brushed against his hand, making him shout in alarm. “Hey! What’s with you!? Is someone hurt, or-”

But Carlos was already running, scattering more rocks with every step as he raced to where he hoped the exit was. It felt as if he were running uphill, which turned out to be the truth once Carlos started thinking again: the closer to the exhibits they were, the bigger and deeper the rockfall had been. It was alright for him and Teresa on the Gym side, but Pier had been in the middle of it. He’d been in the middle of it, he’d been-

The rest of Carlos’ thoughts were buried by the heavy pounding in his ears as he searched for the exit. By some miracle, he found the blinking light by the door and lunged for it, ramming the key card against the lock. With each failed attempt, Carlos’ heart rate skyrocketed. Roxanne had to be on her way here by now!

Bellowing in frustration, Carlos threw a kick against the door, which did nothing. He tried again, throwing more weight against it, until something got in his way. Carlos was about to kick that, too, until he realised who it was.


“You’ll just hurt yourself if you try that,” chided Teresa as she pushed her trainer back. She lodged several vines into the left side of the reinforced door, then after a few precise strikes with her tail she busted it open as if it were a mere Clamperl to her.

He pushed through as fast as he could until he was sprinting outside, his backpack bouncing behind him as he clutched Pier’s ball tightly to his chest.



♠​


Carlos had never been as deep into a Pokémon Centre as he was now. It didn’t look much different from the front end, except there were no other trainers around. Only the nurses and their Chanseys or Audinos passed through the room in which Carlos sat waiting.

Once they’d escaped the Gym he couldn’t quite remember what happened next, only that he never stopped running. His legs were eager to remind him of this, wobbling badly whenever he tried to stand up. The thief slumped back against the plastic chair and just tried to manage his breathing.

He was covered from head to toe in dust and sand, and his shirt and trousers were ripped in a few places they weren’t before. This would’ve been a perfect time to run the prospector scam; he would’ve fit the part to a tee!

When he worked up the energy to ask one of these perpetually cheerful nurses about his pokémon, he was irritatingly vague in response, so Carlos had to sit back down in the waiting room and stew quietly. The longer he waited, however, the more anxious he felt. Even the splitting headache wouldn’t distract Carlos from the lack of news about Pier. If the Fomantis couldn’t make it, what kind of trainer did that make him? Losing two pokémon in a week wasn’t normal, even for someone who was challenging the League properly…

Carlos was standing before he’d even registered that the nurse who had walked in had just called his name. He rushed to talk to her. “Pier. Is he gonna be alright?!”

“You made a good decision coming to us,” the nurse began as she pursed her lips at her clipboard. “Your Fomantis is responding to treatment, so you’ll have him back within a few days…”

Though he breathed a sigh of relief, Carlos suspected there was bad news around the corner.

She gave him a reassuring smile before continuing. “He has multiple bruises on the body, and two of his leaves have been completely torn off. It will take a long time to grow those back, I’m afraid. Five to six weeks, maybe more.”

“…I understand. What’ll I have to do when I get Pier back?”

“There isn’t a lot to do, just a little extra care. Give him plenty of water and rest, natural sunlight would be best, and under no circumstances should he be battling. I can recommend some high-quality food options while he recovers.”

“I’d really appreciate that,” Carlos managed. He realised his eyes were watering again as he bent down to find some paper. The nurse smiled and waited for Carlos to compose himself. “Alright, gimme the names.”

They talked a while longer about how best to care for a Grass pokémon, and Carlos jotted down everything he didn’t already know. He also promised to be more careful around the mountainsides after the nurse scolded him for going there at night.

“…And if you have any more questions, you can of course ask for advice at the front desk whenever you’d like,” the nurse finished brightly.

“I do have one question now, please.”

She smiled again. “Of course. What is it?”

“Can we see him?”



♣​


It wasn’t easy convincing the Pokémon Centre to allow Carlos to bring five pokémon into a recovery ward with him, but as it turned out, being a League challenger with three badges had its perks. Pier’s ward was nothing special: an empty room which contained a large soil bed.

Carlos tried not to gasp when he saw his pokémon. His front and back leaves on the right hand side were missing, and his normally green hair was now yellow and wilted. When Tichu caught sight of the deep bruises on Pier's face, she reeled back, but when he looked over to them she steeled herself and poked her head around the door frame.

He waved his one big leaf as Carlos and the crew filtered into the bland, white room. “Hey,” he laughed, “did Roxanne send the flowers I asked for?”

Carlos immediately sat in the chair closest. “…How’re you feeling, Pier?” he asked in a hoarse voice.

“Doing a-OK, boss. Well… I probably wouldn’t be, but hey, they’ve got the good stuff here! I feel like I’m on a cloud!”

“H-ha, well, that’s good to hear. If they don’t give you the deluxe treatment, let me know. I’ll raise hell for you.”

Pier blushed. “Thanks, boss. You still got the badge, right? Tell me you didn’t leave it for me.”

“Are you kidding?” Carlos took the spiky pin from the case and showed his pokémon. It sparkled in the fluorescent lights. “There’s no way I was leaving this behind, or you. I’m done with losing!”

“I’d hope so,” Pier chuckled as he counted the number of well-wishers in his ward. “Wait a sec. Where’s… Frida?”

The room was silent, apart from Artemio giving a disgusted grunt. “Flushed into the sewers, I wish…”

“Art,” Carlos warned. “But, yeah, Pier. I’ve taken her off the team.”

The Fomantis nodded. “I was hoping to hear that. I don’t mean to sound over-dramatic here, but she almost got me fucking killed.”

“Technically she’s still with us until I can release her, but after what happened tonight? She’s gone. Artemio was right from the start; I shouldn’t have let her stay with us after Petalburg…

“I guess it’s a bit rich coming from a conman, but now I know the one thing we can’t gamble on is trust,” Carlos said in a firm voice. When he noticed a couple glances in Teresa’s direction, he cleared his throat. “Hmm, no. Teresa earned our trust today, guys. After the rockfall, I had no idea what to do, but she broke us out of the Gym. She didn’t do it for a reward or anything, but because she’s part of the team. I haven’t properly thanked her yet, so for the record: thank you so much, Teresa.”

Teresa, who listened to Carlos’ praise with an amused grin, bowed her head in response. “Guess you can call me ‘Green’ now Pier isn’t using it.”

Carlos slapped his face. “Oh, gods, Teresa! You could’ve said anything else there!”

“It’s fine!” Pier laughed, along with the rest of the crew. “And once I’m better, we’re having a rematch, Teresa! If you think this’ll slow me down, you’re in for a rough surprise… Oh! That’s right! I was wondering, Carlos, isn’t it a risk bringing me here? I mean, it couldn’t be more obvious you came from the Gym.”

Looking down at his ruined clothes, Carlos grinned sheepishly. “Nah. Don’t worry about it. Taking care of ‘mons comes first here! This Centre took in Magma grunts’ pokémon at one point so they wouldn’t just abandon the injured ones. Just, uh, don’t go chatting with anyone about what we’re up to, just to be on the safe side. If anyone asks, we were at the Falls and you got jumped by a random Lairon, alright?”

Pier tried to salute with his missing leaf, then winced. “Got it.”

Carlos stood up; his legs felt far sturdier than they had earlier. “Alright, we’ll let you get some rest! You did fantastic tonight, Pier.”

“Thanks, boss,” he said, closing his eyes contentedly.

“Look forward to when you get out of here, ‘cause we’ll have some shopping to do! You’ll eat like a king-”

As Carlos rummaged through his backpack for the list, however, he stopped. Frowning, he drew out another piece of paper, one with a stylised question mark on the back. He took a moment to read it as his team watched him intently.

“What is it?”

Carlos turned it over to show Tichu the messy handwriting, giving a laugh which made his chest hurt. “Well… I say! Looks like Paula’s not done with us yet!”

Diamonds: One of the four suits in a standard deck of cards.

The ace trainer fighting Roxanne is @SprungGeoduck , who played a normal run of R.O.W.E. with a Duraludon named Fryscraper!

Teresa vs Poliwhirl: Rock Tomb barely tickles, but it does get off a Rain Dance…
Orville vs Gogoat: Bulldoze would have killed if he hadn't gotten in the Will-O-Wisp, so I play it safe. Knock Off, switch to Abosede (the Mamoswine). Ice Shard finishes it off.
Frida vs Vullaby: Nuzzle works wonders, so I get a bit complacent before I realise I need to switch! Tichu uses Smokescreen, Vullaby knocks off the Black Glasses, and Abosede finishes it of with Ice Fang.
Pier vs Corphish: Corphish survives the second Razor Leaf on one HP… kills Pier with a Rock Tomb. It spams Protect but Teresa plows through with Mega Drain. Victory?

So, Frida didn't die in the run, but she stayed in the box for the rest of the run so she may as well have. A reminder to all you conmen out there, never collaborate with someone you can't fully trust! I guess the 'Released' name for the team section is getting less accurate now, with Pier and Frida still technically around.

Also, the font switch for Teresa was intentional. When you're right in the middle of a PA, you don't always register what people are saying. Carlos will be okay, and so will Pier.

And lastly, thank you to @Leon Yorunaki for beta reading this chapter! I appreciate the look over :sun:
7HelZXx.png


Tichu (F)
Hasty, Starter (in-game)
Toxic / Slash / Smokescreen / Bite



frosmoth.gif


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



braixen.gif




Artemio the Braixen (M)
Gentle, Petalburg Woods
Psybeam / Fire Spin / Ember / Flame Charge



shuppet.gif


Orville the Shuppet (M)
Careful, Route 105
Knock Off / Screech / Will-O-Wisp / Shadow Sneak



serperior.gif


Teresa the Serperior (F)
Lonely, Route 107
Leech Seed / Growth / Mega Drain / Wrap
rookidee.png




Chelsey the Rookidee (X)
Level 6-12






chingling.png




Kristian the Chingling (M)
Level 5-5







staravia.png




Valentin the Staravia (M)
Level 5-20



fomantis.png


Pier the Fomantis (M)
Level 5-27



pikachu-f.png


Frida the Pikachu (F)
Level 11-27

♣️ ♦️ ♥️ ♠️
 
Last edited:

Green Tea

Conqueror of the Violet Gym
Screenshotter
Pokédex No.
5195
Caught
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
195
Location
England
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Poison
Pokédex Entry
Considered bitter by many.
Frida. Stupid bratty Frida. Even death won't take her... rotting in a box is fine reward for one as obnoxious as her.

I know she's technically not responsible for Pier, but this is a story, and I'm reading the story. Who cares what really happened?

The sad truth is that this was a very successful heist, and those actively involved played their parts well. It shouldn't have ended as it did, and Pier deserved a lot better than that, but things had seemed somewhat foreboding recently. He and Teresa have both been featured a fair bit lately and it's hard to believe it's the serperior that's going to suffer over the fomantis.

I hope Carlos' recruitment technique gets magically better overnight. He needs more team members, and fast!
 

Alan900900900

Lurker extraordinaire
Globetrotter
Screenshotter
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
183
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
379
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Dark
  2. Ice
Pokédex Entry
This Pokemon is a master of having too many projects at the same time. Also, Pikablu.
Nooooo! Pier! I gotta stop mentioning my favorite characters, they always end up dying 😭

Interesting gym heist, nowhere near as hardcore as Norman's gym but I suppose that's to be expected.
 

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
wearing (...) a brand-new pair of black shoes which sparkled against the dull floor.
... I see what you did there.
But I guess she has just put the older ones to wash after the bubble fiasco. I mean, how ruined would they be after getting wet?

“Certainly! Would you like the Museum Pass, the Battle Pass, or Double Pass?”

“Double,” the grifter said.
I wonder why exactly. Carlos certainly isn't battling, what does the Battle pass do?

as it turned out, being a League challenger with three badges had its perks.
Little did they know...


Okay, with all of that said, let me get this thing outta my chest:
FUCK YOU FRIDA!!!!!
There. Better.
Not gonna lie here, Pier was my favorite member of his team. Yeah, even more than Artemio. And then she ruins it with that Thunderstone obsession, getting not only him killed but almost taking Carlos out as well. This is flat-out unacceptable. and good grief she's "dead" in-game as well. Never thought things could go that bad, and as they did...
Well, I only have myself to blame for not expecting it. Things were going a bit too well between him and Teresa. I just had to know something was off.

And I guess there was something else I wanted to talk about when I gave it a first pass but is not crossing my mind right now. Probably something about Paula being sure Carlos is the badge thief, or how Pier was surprisingly light-hearted for someone who almost died... I may edit it here if I remember and it's important. Or maybe just drop a dm, who knows?
 

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.
FRIDA YOU FUCKING SUCK!
Man, I really like Pier. Art is still my favourite but Pier was getting there. Then you mean to tell me that Frida fucks it up with her stupid thunderstone obsession. Good thing she got perma boxed in-game too.
How poetic. Frida joined because she wanted a thunderstone. And right after being so close to a thunderstone, she gets stuck in the box for a long time as a Pikachu just as she deserves.
 

crashcrashcrash

More like trashtrashtrash, amiright
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
3723
Caught
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
172
Location
Nimbasa City
Nature
Brave
Pokémon Type
  1. Fighting
  2. Flying
Dang, and I liked Frida too... OOF...

Woah. Losing Pier is a big blow, he’s been such a central character pretty much since his introduction, I was really expecting him to go much farther. But I’m glad he’s not ~dead~ dead! Hopefully he’ll appear as a character a little more, though he deserves some rest too. Very much wondering how Teresa’s arc is changed by this development.

Actually, same goes for all of them. This can’t help the way the team is feeling so soon after losing Valentin either T.T But yeah! Wouldn’t be a storylocke without some good ol’ grief and trauma, right? :’) Reeeally hope Carlos strikes some kind of recruitment goldmine real soon.

All in all, good heist, and good on Carlos for adapting so quickly to Paula’s interference. I’m so invested in her side of the story too, whether she’s officially caught onto him yet and what happens when that confrontation goes down. Readying the popcorn as we speak.
 

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