In Her Dominion - A Pokémon Roleplay (Closed, Started)

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Belmarc:
Snip

Seems like a pretty decent sheet. One question though: Do Tyler's parents have the rest of his funds on hand? And if so, how do they plan on getting it to him?

@Pyroguy
@CrazyBlaze
@nuba km
@mcpop9
@anyone else interested

Just as a reminder, I will be making final decisions sometime this weekend. If you're working on a sheet or want to make edits, I'd advise you do it today or tomorrow.

Pappytech:

@Pyroguy
@CrazyBlaze
@nuba km
@mcpop9
@anyone else interested

Just as a reminder, I will be making final decisions sometime this weekend. If you're working on a sheet or want to make edits, I'd advise you do it today or tomorrow.

Awesome! I can't wait to see this get started!

skype: mcpop9
going to leave that here if you need to contact me about an open slot

Edit: You need my Skype don't you good sir. Tiger_Sora

CrazyBlaze:
snip

well... seems we've chosen two of the same pokemon for our teams. this should be interesting.
edit: and a similar personality.

And back by popular demand Kayla Denit.

Texas Joker 52:
Snap

Terratina.:
Cut

JokerboyJordan:
Slash

Arcanist:
Slice

CJ1145:
Censored

Mush:
Removed

Anayna:
Error

Belmarc:
Null

CrazyBlaze:
Specifically Kayla

Congratulations! It looks like your Pokémon journey is about to begin.

I should have the opening post up sometime today. Hopefully this afternoon, but if not, then most certainly tonight. In the meantime, if everyone could PM me their Skype usernames, I can get the chat thrown together.

To everyone else who applied: I'm sorry that I couldn't accept all of the fantastic characters that were submitted. There were some great sheets that I just didn't have room for. However, if somebody has to drop out or take an extended hiatus sometime during the course of the RP, then rest assured that you guys will be the first ones I turn to for more characters.

Goldenrod City was bustling with a surplus of life and energy. Its streets and venues were absolutely overflowing with crowds of people and Pokémon, some of them natives, some of them visitors in town for the upcoming tournament.

Somehow, the metropolis managed to accommodate the hordes of pedestrians, though it certainly wasn't easy. While there was room enough for all on the main roads and thoroughfares, some of the side streets and buildings were packed to the brim with bodies. Some tired travelers, having been turned away from a full hotel for the umpteenth time, cursed the crowds and their rotten luck. The merchants and landlords, however, couldn't help but stare with knowing and greedy eyes at the crowds of potential customers.

Various leaflets and posters were plastered against walls and shopfronts, some of them advertising products or promising low, low prices. Most, however, were simply emblazoned with pictures of Pokéballs and the Pokéathlon Dome, with various slogans spelled out in brightly colored, attention grabbing letters.

"8th annual Amatuer World Tournament! Tomorrow, 7 pm Johto Time!"

"Sponsored by Silph Co., Berlitz Inc., and ArkCorp! Watch as Trainers from across the globe battle it out for 1,000,000 Pokémon Dollars and a shot at the Indigo League!"

"Whitney! Wattson! Tune into station 107.7 for their exclusive commentary!"

A few million voices blended into a discordant sea of noise, and the products of a thousand different resturants mixed together to form a deliciously unique aroma. Today, and most likely for the next few days as well, Goldenrod was a chaotic melting pot of sight, smell, sound, and taste, an one of a kind setting perfect for this year's tournament.

And smack dab in the middle of it all was one completely lost trainer.

"The Sleeping Sunkern?" Thomas said, reading the inn's name off of the small brochure the Professor had given him. "It just had to be one of those tiny, back-alley places, didn't it?"

Just barely managing to hold back a sigh, the man stared blankly at the street map before him, desperately trying to divine which street he was supposed to take. For crying out loud, he'd read medical journals that were less confusing than this accursed collection of dots, lines, and squares. Were people really expected to find their way around with this useless thing?

After a good five fruitless minutes of blank staring, Thomas finally conceded. Shoving his way out of the small crowd that had gathered around the map, he simply took a look around, staring out at the endless sea of faces, most of which had to be just as new to Goldenrod City as he was. Maybe one of them would be kind enough to help him find his destination. After all, they'd need room and board too, and the Professor had said that the inn would have plenty of room.

"Besides," he thought as he searched the crowd of new arrivals for a friendly looking face, "it's not like they could possibly do a worse job than me. What are the odds that everybody else here is just as lost as I am?"

"We are so %*!#ing lost."

A young man with disgustingly poor posture blundered his way through the streets, bouncing from one person to the next. A crinkly map was held in front of his face, which he stared at without blinking. His slack stance let him weave his way through the crowds, but not without making a few enemies. The only one on his side seemed to be a little Dratini draped over his shoulder, staring at the map along with him. It wasn't much help, though. Dratinis can't read maps.

"I dunno Rankine, what do you think? Maybe we were supposed to make that turn a couple blocks back?"

"Dratini, tin!" exclaimed the little wyrm, trying to maintain its chipper attitude. The man scoffed, but the sound quickly turned to a sputtering sound of air as his lips grew lax.

"Some help you are. Uh... Sleepin' Sunkern, Sleepin' Sunkern..." He twitched his shoulders as he continued to walk, his leg sticking out of his sight and unknowingly catching a woman on it. The girl somersaulted through the air and landed flat on her face. Simon Wayne kept walking.

"Gh--Hey, klutz! Get back here, what th' hell d'ya think yer doin', walkin' around blind as a Zubat?! I'll tear yer face off, ya--"

Simon was so absorbed in his map that he didn't catch a single word she said as the girl's faithful Charmeleon dragged her onward, into the crowd and out of sight. Simon came up to the next intersection and lowered the map. His baggy eyes looked up and read what street they were on. "Oh. Guess this one's it. See, I told you you could trust me."

He looked at Rankine, who only affirmed his astute observation with a happy "Tin!"

Simon frowned. "You're useless. But I'm hungry. C'mon, let's go see what they sell here."

Haphazardly folding up his map, Simon shoved the uneven mess in his back pocket and began walking with a little more tact, managing not to anger anyone else before he stumbled inside what appeared to be a Unovan restaurant. A quiet little cafe that sold sandwiches and gourmet Pokemon treats. A dozen or so veranda tables stood on a hardwood floor, the light coming in from outside just right, so the whole placed was bathed in a warm, golden glow. Simon immediately felt out of his element. Out of his pay grade too, actually. But a quick glance outside, and at the impenetrable hordes of tourists gearing up for the tournament, told him that he didn't have the stones to keep looking for someplace better. He shrugged. "Eh... good 'nuff." He lazily picked three Pokeballs off of his pocket, and dropped them to the ground. In flashes of bright light, three Pokemon were set loose: A Tauros, who immediately spotted a water trough in the corner and bowled over someone's Croconaw to get at it; a Treecko who seemed none too pleased to be in such a crowd, and darted to the back room, which seemed much darker and calmer; and a Nidorina, whose posture was nothing short of posh, and stuck her chin up, surveying the little spot her trainer had found. Her cursory inspection seemed to prove it was to her liking, and she nodded in satisfaction to her trainer.

Simon blushed, smiling in a way that only his Pokemon could love. "Shucks, Milady, you do me an honor. Find a good spot; I'll handle food."

"Nido, Nid," replied Milady, who began perusing the tables for the most comfortable spot. Simon saw her shove some sap with a Purugly away from their table, staking her claim. He shrugged, his shoulders tugging again as he turned to the lady at the counter. She seemed unnerved.

"Um... good afternoon?"

"Er, yeah," said Simon. He scratched his chin, eyes darting across the menu. "Gimme the Krabby-Meat sub with extra Fisher sauce, hold the onions. And I guess three stuffed poffins, and a Mega-Veggie Party Platter, 'n that should be it. Thanks..."

The cashier gawked at him. "S-sir? You know that the Megga-Veggie Party Platter is meant for a full Pokemon team to share, right?"

"Well... yeah." He looked at her like a Miltank stared at an oncoming truck, and pointed with his thumb over his shoulder. "But how the hell else am I gonna feed that?"

She stood on her tiptoes to look over Simon, and had to hold in a yelp when she saw his Tauros hunched over the trough, viciously slurping up the water and kicking away anyone that came close. Apparently in the rush over he'd hit his head, and had yet to notice his horns were embedded in the walls and had pierced an expensive-looking painting. And knocked a few others off the walls. And had trapped a Pidgey by one of its pinfeathers.

"Yeah, he's gonna need more water, by the way."

Mel didn't exactly pay attention to where she was going, her feet simply lead her out of the station and into Goldrenrod City proper. Or rather, Grimm did. At least thanks to the Grimer, the crowds weren't a problem. Anyone with a nose, or common sense stayed away from the pungent cesspool of bacteria. Except for Mel, who had gotten a tad used to the smell of the Sludge Pokémon and its little habits. So, when Grimm made a beeline for the restaurants and their refuse, she just sighed and knelt down alongside the flies, the bits of rotten food and bin lids. Hopefully her tactical choice of kneeling spot would ensure that her clothing wouldn't get sullied by the mess in the alley, she had a tournament to participate in and arriving in dirty clothes wouldn't give the best impression. "The tramp with a lot of Poison-type Pokémon", yeah she could see the commentators having fun with that.

"You know that gunk isn't good for you? C'mon Grimm, we have to find a place to stay before we gorge ourselves silly." She teased.

"Grime, Grimm, Grimer!" The Pokémon protested.

"Y'know... We could get some proper food. Remember what happened in Celadon?" She whispered.

"Grimer!" At the mention of proper food, Grimm seemed to perk up immediately.

The Sludge Pokémon then dragged her to a to a restaurant and both Pokémon and trainer emerged out of the alley. Mel couldn't help but agree with Grimm's choice - the smell of food was simply intoxicating. But would she have enough money both for food and for an inn? Mel fished out her purse and the little amount of Poké Dollars in it. Were those Full Restores worth it? Only time would tell. Still, it would be a waste if she lost. All that money spent on the items that champion trainers supposedly used... But then again, surely the shopkeeper hadn't been lying when he had sold her those Full Restores? Such words made it her duty as a Pokémon trainer to buy them. Nevertheless, she hadn't really got a hold of the whole trainer thing yet. A little yell from Grimm snapped out of that train of thought, and the Pokémon fidgeted about impatiently. Food had been promised, and food had better arrive soon...

'Sorry Grimm, but I'd rather find a place to stay first. Maybe someone knows somewhere good... and cheap.'

To Grimm's dismay, the girl asked a waiter and no word even relating to food were in the sentence that made up the question. Mel took her time asking the waiter, with all of her umming and arring, but the answer came swifty: The Sleeping Sunkern. He even gave directions to. Though Grimm wasn't having any of it, he would get his food. The Sludge Pokémon rooted himself to the spot, filling in the crack of the pavement. Mel sighed, and decided that Grimm had enough exercise for one day. In a flash, Grimm was back in his Poké Ball and in his place was Kero. The Houndour was happy to be out, and wondered if it was time for walkies. Mel petted him and shook her head. The young pup's demeanor quickly changed, if it wasn't time for walkies, for fun and play, then it was clearly time to guard his master and to show her how good a guard dog he could be.

The pair made their way to The Sleeping Sunkern, where the receptionist there had to deal with a shy girl and a growling Houndour.

"Umm... Do you have a spare room? And... How much is for a night? Er... I mean for the duration of the tournament." Mel asked.

"Ah, we're here."

Trevor stretched his and back as he stepped off the Magnet Train platform making a series of satisfying cracks as he did so. The entire platform was swarming with people and it was all he could do no not to get swept away by them. Muscling his way past the crowds he found his way outside. It was beautiful sunny day in Goldenrod City but that wasn't the focus of Trevor's attention. The whole street in front of him was veritable ocean of people.

I've never seen so many people together in one place! Sure, Saffron is big but this is something else. It must be the Tournament. Must be pretty well advertised, huh. Well, it'd have to be for me to hear about it. Wait, so, where am I going anyway?

Trevor stood still for a few moments collecting his thoughts and slowly his exuberance of arriving in a new city turned to trepidation.

So, I don't have a place to stay, I don't know where I'm going, I don't have a map of this town, or indeed, this region, I haven't registered for the tournament and...

He dove into one of his pockets and pulled out a plain brown wallet.

Three and a half k? ...and I'm nearly broke. Great. I didn't really think this through.

He frowned. This could be a problem.

At least I still have some food. I think.

He vividly remembered innumerable lectures from his parents about how he needed to learn to be more organized. He visibly shuddered at the recollection. Putting aside his worry he began to relax and his frown shifted into a lopsided smile.

"Ah well, I'll figure it out."

Deciding that a map would be helpful he set off in search of one, wading into the sea of faces.

=HARLEY=

As the self-proclaimed Rocket stood in the middle of the milling crowd in Goldenrod, she sighed, even as her expression turned into a small snarl. Harley supposed that it shouldn't have been surprising. This tournament was bound to have a large turnout, not only with contestants, but spectators. After all, Pokemon battles were always entertaining. But, the fact that the city was packed to the brim, and then some, was not only inconvenient, but made it so that she was guaranteed to be lost.

After a moment, she simply started to push her way through the crowd in what she hoped was the direction of the City Square, or maybe Pokeathalon Dome at the very least. Someplace to start from to figure out where the hell she was.

"Busken. Com, Combusken.", came a bored squawk from beside her.

At that, Harley glanced over at her near-constant companion, Fahrenheit. His arms were crossed as he kept up beside her, and his own expression could only be summed up as bland. And he could tell they were lost.

In response, Harley hunched her shoulders as her snarl widened. "I know. I know we're lost. There's no need to rub it in. I'll find where we are, don't worry. We just need a point of damn reference.", she told Fahrenheit.

He replied with a soft snort, which caused small cinders to fly from his beak. As it was, he wondered just why his trainer ended up wandering so much, though he couldn't complain. The change in scenery was always nice, and it usually provided new opponents for him to fight. Not that that would stop him from needling her from time to time when she was lost.

Meanwhile, Harley herself continued to push passersby aside as she fought to find a landmark to guide them, each push punctuated with a small curse. After several more minutes of fighting against the current, she growled before pushing to the edge of the street.

"What the fuck?! Why are there so many goddamn people in this city?!", she cried out once she made it to the edge of the street.

"Combusken. Com, Com-Combusken.", Fahrenheit called, causing Harley to whirl around.

"What?!", she snarled, before she blinked.

The Combusken was facing farther down the street, and pointed at a sign emblazoned with a sleeping Sunkern. Her face brightened immediately, and she stroked the Pokemon's feather crest in appreciation.

"An inn! Great work, Fahrenheit, now lets get a place to stay.", she said, grinning as she took off in the direction he was pointing.

Fahrenheit simply shook his head, but he did enjoy the quick stroke. It was pretty nice whenever things worked out, he reflected as he followed his trainer.

As soon as Harley got there, she spotted another trainer, a purple-haired girl with a Houndour following her, stepping inside. Before the doors could close behind her, Harley slid in and held it open so Fahrenheit could stride in close behind.

The Combusken immediately locked his gaze with the Houndour, his eyes narrowing as the dog Pokemon growled threateningly. Then, he simply leaned back and looked as aloof as possible. He wasn't about to let some mutt get the satisfaction of thinking he intimidated him.

Harley looked over at her Pokemon with a quirked brow, before she caught what the girl at the counter had said.

"Umm... Do you have a spare room? And... How much is for a night? Er... I mean for the duration of the tournament.".

At that, she suddenly grimaced, then reached into her pants pocket for her wallet. When she looked inside, she had to chuckle grimly. Only $250.

When she looked up, she held up the bills. "I don't suppose this would be enough for at least a day or two, is it? I'm a contender for the tournament myself.", she told the receptionist.

Kayla was lost. At least it seemed that way to her. She could just not find the Inn she had she had stayed at the last time she was in Goldenrod. She could have sworn that it was on this street but she just couldn't see it. She felt as lost as a Magikarp in the middle of Route 111. She was just kept walking up and down the street, sidestepping everyone else as she kept her nose in her upside down map.

King just parked itself in front of a building as his trainer walked past it time after time. He just kept staring at a giant wooden sign with a Sunkern, lying down, sleeping. He was wondering how long it would be before Kayla even noticed what he was looking at. He loved Kayla to death but she wasn't always the most observant person in the world. He sometimes thought that if she was a Slowpoke she would never get anything done. Finally he decided to do something about it.

" Gro. Gro. Growlithe ," King barked out to his trainer. Kayla looked over at King and then up at where King was pointing his paw at.

"Oh. So thats where it is," Kayla turned her map ever which way until it was finally the right way up. "Huh. What do you know the map was upside down." King just bowed his head as he followed his trainer into the Sleeping Sunkern. Kayla was waiting behind two extremely short girls. Both of them had some sort of fire types out, had strange hair colours and Kayla heard both of them mention the tournament.

Kayla started to jump up and down, "Me too! I need a room for the tournament as well." King just kept walking and accidentally bumped into the Combusken and possibly knocked into the Houndour.

=HARLEY=

It wasn't long before another trainer and her Pokemon stepped into the inn. The Growlithe that followed behind her simply bumped into Fahrenheit without so much as a single care, and it looked like he probably knocked into the Houndour that he had been staring down as well. Predictably, the Combusken didn't take it well.

Turning to face the little dog, Fahrenheit snorted, once again sending some cinders from his beak as he stepped up to the Growlithe, towering over the puppy Pokemon.

"Com Bus-Busken, Com-Combusken?", he cawed softly, which roughly translated into: "You have a problem, pup?".

He wasn't so concerned with the Houndour at this point. He just figured that he had been acting as some over-eager guard dog, which was understandable enough. But, since he usually itched for a fight, being bumped into was another matter entirely.

Harley saw all of this as she glanced between her Pokemon, the Growlithe, and its trainer with a mildly interested expression. It was when the trainer jumped up and down, and pointed out that she was another contender that she smirked, and leaned back.

"You too, huh? Well, it looks like your Growlithe may have gotten its first opponent already.", she said, motioning to Fahrenheit.

She supposed she should have him back down, but really, that was a challenge in and of itself, and one she had yet to accomplish even once. Not that she minded, most of the time. After all, she really admired Fahrenheit's tenacity, and she hated backing down herself. It helped that he was rather well-behaved otherwise.

As Mel waited for the receptionist's response, more trainers had arrived and with that, more trouble. But they were not only trainers but tournament hopefuls as well and that wasn't the only thing that troubled Mel. While one of the trainers just looked like your everyday Pokémon trainer, the other was wearing a dark grey tank top with a red "R" emblazoned on it. With the news of the Pokémon thefts, not to mention what she had heard of Team Rocket from Mr. Fuji, Mel couldn't help but be a little cautious of her and to top it off, the newcomer's Growlithe had knocked into the suspicious trainer's Combusken, and with it, Kero. Mel was pretty sure the young pup would see that as a challenge, as would the Growlithe and the Combusken. That was not a good thing, if a fight broke out... Well, Mel certainty would not be able to afford to pay for any damage caused.

She turned to face the other trainers, "Er... Kero won't like that. Excuse me..."

She knelt down again and tried to help the Dark Pokémon up, but Kero rejected it - he wasn't a puppy anymore! He recovered from the bump and shook it off. The Houndour seemed to pick up on his master's uneasiness and growled even louder. Mel saw that any intervention would be pointless, stood back up again and faced away from the other trainers. She couldn't face them in such embarrassing conditions. Mel hoped the receptionist would reply soon, or that another trainer would stumble into the inn and break the grip of the uneasy atmosphere. Kero, on the other hand was busy trying to prove his dominance. He took up a threatening stance, and stared the other two Pokémon down. There were two enemies there, but that didn't matter to Kero.

"Hooooundooour!" The Dark Pokémon howled a warning to both the Combusken and the Growlithe.

Having struck out in a random direction, it wasn't too long before Trevor had stumbled upon a city map. There was a flock of people around it so he had to squeeze a little to get a good look.

let's see here, it looks like the Pokeathlon Dome is...North which would be this way.

He smiled. He'd always been good with maps. When he remembered to bring one along.

Although...registration will be open for a while yet but finding a room could get harder if I put it off too long. I could always sleep outside but...

Trevor spent a good long time trying to remember the last time he slept in a bed. He couldn't.

I guess I should ask someone if they know somewhere.

Turning around he picked a face out of the crowd at random. A thin, pale man, about his height. He seemed to be looking for someone or something. Trevor approached him casually.

"Excuse me, would you know a place someone could stay for the tournament?" A sheepish grin crawled across his face. "I didn't plan ahead very well..."

"Umm... Do you have a spare room? And... How much is for a night? Er... I mean for the duration of the tournament."

"Eh? What's that now?"

Behind the Sunkern's front counter, a wizened old woman slipped a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles over her eyes, her wrinkled fingers trembling slightly as they lifted the few ounces of metal and glass. With slow, careful movements, she turned herself towards the inn's entrance, squinting her eyes behind the thick, foggy lenses of her glasses as she tried to make out the figures standing before her.

After a few seconds of adjustment, the woman finally settled her gaze on a spot a few inches to Mel's left. Hmmming in satisfaction, she settled back into her chair, a small smile blissfully strolling across her face. "Oh, hello there, dearie. A room, you said? Let me check the ledger..."

Seemingly lost in her own little world, oblivious to the conflict brewing between the three fire-types or the requests of their owners, the elderly receptionist dug a thick, leather-bound book out of a pile of papers behind the desk. Laying it out before her and opening it with her semi-steady hands, she peered closely at the spidery script etched onto the pages, dragging a finger beneath the text and moving her lips as she read along.

"Oh!" she exclaimed after a moment, looking back up at the spot a few inches to Mel's left. "You must be the trainer the Professor was sending. Pleasure to meet you, dearie; any friend of Oak's is a friend of mine. Do hold on, I'll get you your room key."

With a muffled humph, the old woman pushed herself up from her seat and began to creep along to a rack of keys behind the counter. Then, almost as an afterthought, she called back to Mel, "Oh, and do ask your friends to calm their Pokémon down, would you dearie? We don't like to have battles here in the foyer; it doesn't set a good impression for other potential guests. There is a recreational area downstairs though, if they'd like."


"Excuse me, would you know a place someone could stay for the tournament? I didn't plan ahead very well..."

Starting a bit, Thomas turned to the face the young man. Jeez, he must've been more out of it than he'd thought, if he was getting startled like this.

"A place to stay?" he repeated, as though he was testing the way the words felt in his mouth. His brow furrowing briefly, the scholar gave the situation a quick thought, and stumbled on a solution that would hopefully suit both him and the newcomer. Professor Oak had said the inn would have plenty of room to spare, after all.

"Yes," Thomas said, his tone nothing if not professional and neutral, "I do believe I can help you there. If, of course," he continued, unfolding the brochure in his hand and quickly scanning its contents, "you can help me first.

"I've been trying to find a certain hotel, the Sleeping Sunkern, for quite a while now, but I seem to be quite lost. If you could help me find it... here," he said, pointing to the inn's address on the slip of paper, "I'm fairly certain they'll have lodgings enough for the both of us."

"Heeeeey..."

The Sleeping Sunkern was disturbed by the sound of a vitriolic bull shoving the door open. A Tauros trotted in the front door, but no trainer followed him in. This bull's trainer was currently slouched over on his back, riding him in like the world's most uncoordinated cowboy. The Tauros stepped past the other customers and up to the front desk. Simon had been staring at the floor from over the side of his bull, but looked up at the old lady working the desk.

"So, I'm Simon. And this is Maximum Bison!.." He patted his Tauros, who stamped his hoof in concordance.

"Aurooooo!"

"Basically, we need a room for the next few nights. Got anything for us, maybe?"

=HARLEY=

Fahrenheit was only mildly surprised to see the Houndour turn to both him and the Growlithe and howl, causing him to shift somewhat to face the two other fire Pokemon. His stance shifted only slightly, with his legs a little farther apart, his head lowered slightly, and his claws up just a bit. Not quite a fighting stance, but a stance that said that he was getting ready for a brawl all the same.

That was when the old receptionist spoke.

"Oh, and do ask your friends to calm their Pokémon down, would you dearie? We don't like to have battles here in the foyer; it doesn't set a good impression for other potential guests. There is a recreational area downstairs though, if they'd like.".

At that, he seemed to sigh, and he straightened. With a glance to the two of other Pokemon, he nodded once. "Combusken, Bus-Busken Com.", he told them, and it was clear what he meant: "We'll settle this later.".

Harley nodded with a small smile. She was glad that he backed down on his own, particularly since she wasn't sure she would be able to make him do so herself. When he walked back to her side, she gave his crest feathers a quick, affectionate ruffle.

"There we go. Anyway, how much is a room? And what else does this hotel have?", she asked out of curiosity, leaning against the front desk, before they were once again joined by a Pokemon and his trainer.

This time it was a Tauros, with his trainer astride his back.

"So, I'm Simon. And this is Maximum Bison!. Basically, we need a room for the next few nights. Got anything for us, maybe?".

Harley huffed once and looked both him and his Pokemon over. "Yea, but you'll have to get in line for that, unless by some strange happenstance they happen to have plenty of unoccupied rooms.", she sneered.

The old lady's words sent Mel into a spiral of confusion. Professor? Oak? Professor Oak? Mel had heard of the man and was pretty sure that everyone in the Kanto region had as well. But she had never met the man himself. What was the old lady doing? Suddenly the fact that someone associated with Team Rocket was in the same inn as her and the rowdy Pokémon were buried in the mists of confusion. Old dilemmas were replaced with new ones. Kero noticed the change in atmosphere and cocked his head towards the counter, but still kept a watchful eye on the other Pokémon. Mel didn't notice, she had been stunned by the receptionist's words and indecisiveness. What to do, what to do... Pointing out such a mistake would be kinda rude and it would stall the process of getting a room even further. Nevertheless, she tried.

"That's... No. Um..." The words died in her throat and Mel just stood there umming and arring.

That didn't work. However, Mel did arrive at a comprise: she would take the key, and wait for the correct recipient to come along. It was an idea which could work, and it was the only idea she had. Poor Grimm, it he would have to wait a little longer for that promised meal. Poor Vincent, he would have to wait a bit more than expected to watch TV and sing along with the theme tunes and jingles... Regardless, Mel was shaken out of that rut by the arrival of yet another trainer, one with a face full of stubble and a mouth that liked to yell out the nickname of the Tauros. It looked like a very strong Pokémon, though she hadn't really formed an opinion about the rider. Even so, with Pokémon like that as opponents, she doubted her chances of winning the tournament.

The man was slightly startled when Trevor talked to him. He could understand being surprised by something like that in such a large crowd.

"I've been trying to find a certain hotel, the Sleeping Sunkern, for quite a while now, but I seem to be quite lost. If you could help me find it... here, I'm fairly certain they'll have lodgings enough for the both of us."

Serendipity is a wonderful thing. Trevor was honestly taken aback by the man's response. He hadn't expected to get lucky on his first shot.

Taking note of the address he turned back to the map. "Alright, lessee here." He quickly located the inn and planned a route to it.

Piece of cake.

He turned back to the pale man.

"I found it. Hang on"

He took off his backpack and fished out a scrap of paper and a pen. Leaning on the map he wrote down shorthand directions to the Sleeping Sunkern.

"Just writing down some directions so we don't get lost. If I had a portable map I wouldn't need to but...well I don't."

He frowned. When he put it like that it just made him sound careless. Not the best of first impressions. He made a mental note to really try and work on that. Speaking of which...

"Names Trevor, by the way." He stuck out his hand, a half grin plastered across his face. "Pleased to meet you."

The guy's doing you a favor, the least you can do is be polite.

Anthony frowned as he took another look at the map. He hoped that staring at it with a determined look would eventually make the arcane collection of lines, characters and colors would cause it to make sense, through sheer force of will. Alas, much like his thesis work, the map's true meaning remained incomprehensible, despite his deepening frown. He was very, very lost, and there wasn't much he could do about it.

"So... do we get on Metro Line 3? Wait... I think that's what we just came off of. Right? Or... no..." Talking to himself again. He must look like a lunatic, or worse, a tourist. Not that Kelvin cared, of course. He gave a concerned whine at his master's confused state before taking a look around. Spotting a sign sporting lines and colors similar to the paper Anthony held, Kelvin excitedly tugged at his trainer's collar, his immense strength causing Anthony to stumble back. "Gah! Kelvin, don't do that! I'm not very strong!"

Kelvin paid little mind to Anthony's protests and jerked his head towards the sign, which read 'DIRECTORY' in dark green letters. Anthony's face lit up when he scanned it - this was much more intuitive than the map in his hands. A few minutes of more careful examination set him on his way to his hotel - a small affair called the Sleeping Sunkern. He'd booked a reservation online the weekend prior, so all that remained was to traverse the thick Goldenrod crowds to get there.

Keeping close to Anthony, Kelvin gaze settled back to the belt around his trainer's waist. Two pokeballs rested there, and he nudged' Anthony's side with another whine. Far from admonishing this intrusion of his personal space, Anthony gave his Arcanine a sympathetic pat on the head. "I know being in your pokeballs is uncomfortable, but there isn't enough room in the city streets for all of you. I'll let you all out to stretch when we get to the hotel, I promise."

Kelvin loosed an excited bark and trotted forward, newly eager to get to their destination. It was much closer than Anthony had feared, being only a few city blocks from the subway station. Even with the roiling crowds in the way, they reached their destination in short order: a plain-looking building with a sign announcing its identity. Making his way into the lobby, he was greeted by an odd sight - the tiny reception room was packed to the gills with people and pokemon, most of them at least the size of a person. The secretary manning the desk seemed to have stepped out for the moment, so Anthony took a seat to wait for their return. Kelvin, in the meantime, surveyed the room with a wary eye. Pokemon - especially such evolved pokemon - had a habit of causing trouble, and Anthony had enough on his mind.

Tyler hopped off the train as it came into Goldenrod Station, the sudden noise of the city hitting me as the doors opened up. He was still in the station, so it was muted and dim, but there nonetheless. He made his way through the crowd lazily, not pushing through or taking offense to mild jostling, and took the first exit out. He couldn't help but whistle. It was quite the view. He knew now where the city got it's name, or perhaps they colors chosen for the city came afterwards. It contrasted well with the sparkling blue of the ocean in the background, and he breathed in the open, fresh air. It was nice to be free again, and near the ocean. Thinking of freedom... The trainer pulled one of the Poke Balls off of his belt and let it pop open, releasing the small brown woolly pig. It shook itself and stretched slightly, before looking up at his trainer and grunting. "Nub! Swin swinub!" it squealed up at him, gesturing with its small body.

"You lazy pig," Ty responded, laughing and picking up his partner gently and holding him cradled in his arms. The Pokemon nestled in against him, the wind shifting its hair slightly. "What do you think, partner? Got nothing on home, but pretty cool, yeah?"

"Nub!" Collosus agreed excitedly.

"Now, let's just find a nice place to play and relax while we wait for the tournament." The two made their way through the city, no particular direction in mind, happily sharing the city sights.

"Sir..."

"No!"

"Please be reasonable, sir..."

"I will do no such thing, you harlequin!"

The young police officer really didn't deserve this. It had only been days since he earned his badge. He'd never been trained for this. He was about as well equipped for the situation as a Metapod was for a rock-paper-scissors contest. How did one move a surly old man from a hotel doorway, when said old man refused to let anyone touch him? Seriously, how? He desperately wanted to know.
People were getting annoyed. The white-bearded man was just lying there, straight as an arrow and with his arms crossed over his chest, smack-dab in the main entrance of the hotel. Visitors couldn't get in, hotel staff couldn't get out. If anyone tried stepping over him he stared hurling abuse at them. And so the police was called. And what with the influx of thousands of visitors to Goldenrod, all the police could spare was the young man fresh from the academy. And he was hopelessly out of his league.

"Sir, if the hotel has no room for you then there is nothing that can be done..."

"Don't give me that, you mameluke! You cannibal, you! This is the fourth hotel I've been to in this thrice-damned city and they can't spare a cabin anywhere! I won't stand for it! It's a conspiracy and you're all in on it!"

"Sir, that's ridiculous..."

"RIDICULOUS?! Ridiculous, am I now? I was wrestling Tentacruels before you were a glint in the milkman's eye, you gangster!"

"I... I apologize, sir. That may have been a poor choice of words..."

The officer was coming apart at the seams. The crowd around the two; he couldn't handle it. They were watching, judging. He needed to get the old man out of here, fast.

"You're a poor choice for an officer, that's what you are! Don't even know the first thing about your job! Your job is to protect and serve loyal taxpayers such as myself! To serve, you hagfish!"

"T-that's not strictly speaking true, sir..."

"I don't wanna hear it! I want me some quarters! I want a hotel! So come on then, you fancy-dressed fascist, SERVE ME!"

"..."
______________________________________________________________________________________________________

One hour later the old man, captain Herman Wash, was walking through a relatively quiet alley. In the end, there was nothing for the young officer to do other than find the captain a room. After an hour of networking with hotel staff and a lot of phone calls he had found Wash a place to stay. As Wash went over the instructions to find the place in his head, he felt just a bit satisfied with himself. Felt good seeing those fancy city-goers cave. As well they should. Spineless, those young folk.

Now, where was this Sleeping Sunkern? Should be close.

King was confused. He hadn't mean to bump into the Combusken, he just wasn't paying attention to where he was going. Now he was being challenged by this intense pokemon. He tried to apologize but then the Houndour at front of the line let out a loud howl, making King's fur stand on end. The old woman behind the desk was telling them to calm down and King was still trying to apologize despite all the commotion. He finally started to make headway when a Tauros walked in through the door, stomping and snorting as its trainer rode, looking like he was about to fall off at any second. King was forced to jump aside to avoid being trampled in the small, filling up quickly foyer.

"Combusken, Bus-Busken Com.", he told them, and it was clear what he meant: "We'll settle this later.".

King's mouth just hung open as the Combusken seemed intent on fighting no matter how long they would have to wait. It was exhausting. King just hung his head and wandered back to his trainer, who scratched his head as they waited for the old lady to get them keys to their rooms.

Eventually, the old woman made her back to the front of the desk, a collection of old-fashioned keys, each with a numbered plastic tag hanging from it, in her hands. There was easily over a dozen of them, enough for each room on the inn's top two floors, and then some. Still smiling, she leaned forward as best she could, holding the keys out to the confused looking Mel. "Here you are, dearie," the receptionist said, her voice warm with that strange sort of kindness only the elderly could muster. "I think this should be enough to get you and your friends all settled in. Do pass them out, would you; you'd probably have an easier time of it than me."

Climbing back up into her chair, the old lady sighed in relief as she took her weight off of her legs. "Now let me see here," she muttered, half to herself and half to the foyer's other occupants, "dinner is served at seven, and breakfast at eight. We don't provide lunches though; you'll have to take care of yourselves for that. The recreational area is downstairs. It might look a little sparse, but I think you can come up with some way to enjoy it. Ice machines are at the end of each hallway, though you might have to give the one on the second floor a good whack sometimes. It does enjoy getting stuck..."

Her cheery grin unfading, the receptionist seemed perfectly content to prattle on about the Sleeping Sunkern's various features. Whether or not she was aware of Mel's inner-conflict, the quite physical conflict developing between the Pokémon, or the recent intrusion of a full-grown Tauros into her (now quite cramped) foyer was unclear. If she was aware of any of the above, she apparently wasn't too perturbed, if her monologue was anything to go by.

"...and of course there was no way I could turn an old friend down. I even offered the rooms for free, but you know the old geezer; could never stand accepting generosity! Bah, but we like him anyway, even if he is a bit of a idiot. Don't let all his fancy degrees fool you, he's still..."


"Names Trevor, by the way. Pleased to meet you."

Thomas allowed himself a pleased grunt. It seemed that he guessed correctly; this arrangement would benefit the both of them. Reaching out, he took Trevor's hand and gave it a few quick, sturdy shakes. "Thomas," he replied, nodding his head once, "Thomas Meminger."

Releasing his new compatriot's hand, Thomas took one last look at the map that had given him so many troubles, adjusting his glasses ever so slightly as he did so. "You were able to decipher it so fast?" he asked, a slight hint of awe seeping into his words. "Impressive."

Then, glancing back towards Trevor, he continued. "But anyway, I'll just follow your lead, shall I? Personally, I've had quite enough of all this hustle and bustle for now."

"Thomas, Thomas Merminger."

The handshake was solid. Thomas seemed like a decent sort.

"You were able to decipher it so fast?"

And apparently not very good with maps. "I've had a lot of practice recently."

"But anyway, I'll just follow your lead, shall I? Personally, I've had quite enough of all this hustle and bustle for now."

"It is pretty busy, isn't it? Come on then, the sooner we get there the sooner I can register for the tournament." He paused. "Probably should've done that earlier too, now that I think about it."

Trevor began heading down the street, directions in hand, periodically looking back to make sure Thomas was keeping up. He wasn't moving all that fast but it's pretty easy to lose someone in a crowd. As he did this he began to wonder about his new companion. What was he here for? He obviously wasn't a local and he didn't look like your typical trainer either. Spectator maybe? No, there was something decidedly untouristy about him.

Spose I can always ask him.

"So, I guess you're here for the tournament too, huh?

=HARLEY=

As Fahrenheit sidled closer to Harley and away from the Tauros, giving it a wary look, Harley watched for the old receptionist lady, and smiled when she pulled out a small group of keys, handing them to the first girl who had come in.

"Here you are, dearie, I think this should be enough to get you and your friends all settled in. Do pass them out, would you; you'd probably have an easier time of it than me.".

Well, despite the fact that there may have been a minor misunderstanding, Harley saw no reason to waste an opportunity. So she reached over and plucked one of the keys from the girls hand before anyone else could object.

"Thanks! Though, I still have no idea how much a room is...", she said, even as the elderly woman continued listing off the features of the hotel itself.

She was a little worried about the receptionist's lack of concern regarding the myriad of trainers and their Pokemon, particularly since they had already threatened to start a fight. But, perhaps she simply didn't mind, as nothing had happened just yet.

It was at the mention of offering the rooms for free that Harley perked up a little, her eyes narrowing as she glanced between both the receptionist and the girl who had come in before she got there. Someone had connections, though she had a feeling that it was someone else that was scheduled to arrive.

After a few moments, she simply shrugged and started to sidle past the various Pokemon and their trainers. She figured there was no harm in staying until it got sorted out and she had to give up the room, and on the off-chance there was no problem with her staying, she'd simply keep the room for the duration.

If worse came to worst, she'd simply pay what she could for the old lady's trouble. After all, just how much could one room be?, she thought as she started to search for the room that went along with the key she snatched. Fahrenheit simply followed behind her, only giving a single backward glance at the other Pokemon still in the foyer.

"Thank you." Mel said the old lady, almost on reflex.

The girl frowned a little when the Team Rocket associate nabbed of the keys, however there were plenty there, so it wasn't a catastrophe. She took a few for herself, so that if she came across the correct recipient, she could at least give some to them. Well, it was probably someone or a group with connections with Professor Oak, but the Professor had met a lot of people, from the lowly novice trainer to other professors. Still, there was the possibility that she had taken keys reserved for a rather important person. Then again, she did have keys to give them if they turned up. Mel hoped that they wouldn't turn up; not out of spite, but because she didn't want to go through the ordeal of explaining the situation and dealing with a person who had a very good reason to be angry with her. Kero led the way as the girl walked out of the foyer, and out to a nearby eatery.

"Please... help yourself." Mel declared to the other trainers as she left.

"Come on Sprig! If we don't find a room now, we never will!"

"Grovyle!"

The two voices came from a young woman and her pokemon, both of them hurtling down a crowded market street at breakneck speeds, towards what seemed to be an ill-defined destination. They were ostensibly oblivious to the plight of everyday pedestrians as they cut a swathe through the crowd, the trend of people moving aside helping them to avoid any serious collisions.

At one point Alisia accidently careened a lone wagon, sending its full content of cruciferous vegetables falling across the ground. She stopped for a brief second to issue a few quick words of apology to the wagon's mortified merchant, promising to pay him back after she 'made it big', only to quickly return to sprinting off down the road.

"Grove!(Here!)"

Alisia immediately stopped in her tracks upon hearing her partners call, turning at the crossroads to see Sprig gesturing her down a side road on the left-hand side. Whilst normally eager to trust her starter's sense of direction, it had been no easy trip making it to Johto, with an unfortunately long delay for the Magnet Train making her doubt where she was going. Nevertheless, she was here in Goldenrod now, and that's what counted. She was finally going to participate in her first truly difficult test as a trainer, and to see if she has what it takes to go all the way.

If she could find a place to stay that is...

It seemed that everywhere in the city was jam-packed due to tournament, something that Alisia really should have foresaw now that she came to think about it. It was only natural for the sudden influx of competitors and spectators to place a heavy strain on accommodation in the area and it was only her naivete that lead her to think that Goldenrod would have enough rooms for everyone.

I've got to at least 'try' this place that that old man told me about. If it ends up as another dead-end I can always sleep rough for one night right? Until the tournament starts at least... After the first few rounds there's bound to be a few beds that'll open up, when people go home disappointed...

She briefly pondered over the thought of one of those people going home being her, before tutting to herself over even considering that prospect. She was here to win. She knew it.

"If you're sure this is the way Sprig, then let's go. There'll be hot food and warm beds before you know it!" she wishfully encouraged, before setting off once again. Though this time, emboldened by the promise of home comforts, Sprig blazed across the front of Alisia, determined to be the first one through the door.

"Aurooooo!"

From out of nowhere, a lone Tauros charged in through the front door ahead of the Grovyle, narily avoiding breaking down the door by the sheer luck of others leaving it partially open.

Alisia stood dumbstruck by the event. What kind of city was this?

"Well well well. Looks like the Sleeping Sunkern is pretty awake right now... " she mused.

She cautiously stepped inside the inn, not knowing what to expect.

"So, I guess you're here for the tournament too, huh?"

Thomas had been able to keep up with Trevor thus far, despite the seemingly omnipresent crowd. The going was tough, sure, but it was still going. Better that than simply standing still.

"You could say that," he replied, half-shouting so he could be heard over the background chatter of a thousand different conversations. "I'm not here to participate myself, just strictly to observe."

His motives explained, Thomas lapsed into silence for a few seconds. Then, after thinking on it for a moment, he continued the conversation. It wasn't like there would be any harm in it, after all. "I'm sure that you'll still be able to sign up in time, but yes, generally it's better to prepare for these things ahead of time. Is this your first tournament, Trevor?"

As he spoke, the researcher noted that the going was steadily getting easier. They'd turned off the main streets and onto the smaller, and less packed, side ones. Probably a sign that they were getting closer to their destination.

"Do you think your Pokémon are up to the challenge? I know it's an event for official amateurs, but that doesn't mean the competition won't be steep."

"I'm not here to participate myself, just strictly to observe."

That's a weird way to say he's here to watch. Sounds like a job or something. Hmm. Ah well, its probably not important.

There was a brief pause in which Trevor considered asking something else but Thomas beat him to it.

"Is this your first tournament, Trevor?"

"Yeah. Well no. I mean, I've competed in a few beginner level things but this is on a whole other level."

"Do you think your Pokémon are up to the challenge?"

"It's hard to say." Trevor's brow furrowed as he thought about how to phrase how he'd been feeling. "I've only been training for about a year. I feel like my team is pretty strong but I don't have the big picture right now. I think this tournament will let me see how we stack up."

Being able to talk to someone about this stuff was actually quite refreshing. Friendly conversation was something he'd had a lot less of lately. As he became more comfortable his cynical side began to show.

"And if we happen to get beaten to a pulp inside of the first round..." he said, grinning "then I'll just have to go back to basics. It'd be just my luck to get paired up with a child prodigy or some crap like that."

He was going to continue but he realized he was starting to ramble so he shut his mouth. Plus, he had just spotted the Sleeping Sunkern, dead ahead.

"There it is, no sweat." There seemed to be some kind of commotion near the entrance. "Hm, if you don't mind I think I'll let you take the lead from here." Whatever kind of trouble it was, Trevor didn't really have time for it.

=HARLEY=

As Harley moved down the first floor hallway, she glanced at the little plastic card that hung off of the key she snatched away, and looked back up to find the room that it went to, looking from number to number until she finally found it. As luck would have it, it wasn't too far off from the foyer. Once the door was unlocked and both trainer and Pokemon stepped inside, she stood in the middle of her room and nodded.

It was rather cozy, really. The room itself wasn't very large, all things considered, with a single offset bathroom. As for the amenities, there was a handy PC as well as a single TV which, when she turned it on, was already tuned to local news. She turned it off before sitting back on the small bed, and watched as Fahrenheit looked around on his own.

"Not bad. And probably loads better than the other vacant hotels in the city.", she said.

Fahrenheit turned at that and nodded approvingly. Shrugging off her travel pack, she quickly put away everything that she wouldn't immediately need, such as her potions and the like, before slipping it back on. She stood, then stretched, before stepping back out and locking the door.

And as she started back down the hall to the foyer, hoping that at the very least, the Tauros was gone.

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