Geoda Tasks: Desert Skies-Part 3.

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Robin had gathered plenty for this little operation, he could see. Sonata looked around, tightening his bracers on his arms, and grimaced. And they were supposed to stay all low-key and the like. What was the point of this?

Oratorio caught the Kirlia grimacing –with totally good reason! - And he could see her huffing a tiny sigh out. As if she was the sensible one here. Well, he was right now! Sonata grimaced some more and turned his back to the Absol for good measure, totally not sulking about this turn of events which were obviously going to go terribly, why couldn’t his sister see it? Oh yeah, because she was being a lunatic right now.

Lord that sounded so wrong even in his head. Tori was the cool and collected type, not Sonata. Being the crazy asshat was his expertise.

“This is a stealth mission that the Hunter’s Guild Executive had ordered us to take, you realize?” Oratorio spoke, her voice quietly hushed amidst the whispering voices- Sonata pretended that he hadn’t heard, and puffed out his cheeks instead. Oratorio was not deterred, seeing how the Absol carried on.

“A stealth mission. We will be staying inconspicuous and the results of our mission will be unknown to most, if not all of the others that would not be present here. Also, backing away at the point where I had-” Another sigh here, as Oratorio spoke her next words with grace despite the effort it took to get them out. “-Regrettably lost my posture enough to expose my…disdain for Reuben would have been strange indeed. Enough to warrant looking into it deeper for other pokemon, perhaps.”

The higher-up of the Hunters, Sonata knew, had the access to all sorts of info not excluding their possible origins.

It was something neither of them cared for- and something that should not be exposed, at all points. Giving them less reasons to be suspicious seemed reasonable, Sonata thought.

Welp at least Tori was back to her analytical, strategic reasonable self.

“Now than, off to trounce whatever that poor excuse of a noble had planned out.” Oratorio had a sharp grin on her face as she said those words, striding off to the mass of pokemon before them- Polari, who had been burrowed up into her hood, poked his head out and sent him a pleading look for help. After all, he could not exactly flop out to the sands- and Oratorio seemed to be in a mood for obliterating things, which was just something Polari seemed allergic to. He probably would have done plenty of smashing and melting under the caverns before under duress, after all.

Groaning, Sonata valiantly resisted the urge to throw his hands up into the sands and followed the two to where Oratorio was already starting to talk about perspective and tactical formations and was vanguard even a word?

…At least she was using large words. Meaning that she was mostly back to her logical, plann-y, large word-using self. Mostly.

Woe betide the dumbasses who decided Reuben paid better than the Hunter’s Guild.

The hour was very late, Solstice and Flint were both presently not in the luxury suite, and everyone was in place.

There had been, apart from the three of them, plenty of others who had volunteered. A duo of Raichu and Cubone –Team Trifle- decided on a split watch, the Raichu -Achie- stationed just outside the door and the Cubone deciding to watch outside. Oratorio had directed the Cubone –Cody was her name, as she had been informed none-too-kindly- to a spot less visible, and to commit any excessive violence with as quietly as she could manage.

“Well, it’s not like I don’t know!” She had snapped to Oratorio, swinging her bone club to the fore threateningly and almost hitting the Absol in the face. Oratorio had slid back from the swing of the bone, which seemed to infuriate the Cubone more.

“Don’t talk to me about the stuff I know, and piss off!” She had told her, and Oratorio subtly suppressed an irritated huff.

Unfortunately, even this seemed to set her of even further since Cody’s head had whipped to her direction as soon as the sound was aborted. “What? Got something to say?” She growled, and Oratorio had to exert effort just not to roll her eyes.

“…Your loudness is making it difficult for the stealth.” Was the Absol’s flat reply, and Oratorio had to be away lest the Cubone got louder and decided that a brawl would be worth failing the mission. As it was, she’d left Cody seething about how much of a difficulty she was to the Cubone's temper.

Presently, she was padding off quietly to where Sonata was stationed- she would be battling alongside him, should that be required, since the two of them were better together. Apart from Cody, there were some others outside the building stationed to look out for trouble. There were others inside the building, outside the suite door, with a team hidden beneath the stairs –someone had to inform Robin if things began to get out of hand- and Oratorio and Sonata acting sentry with the Raichu along with someone familiar.

“Arbiter.” Oratorio greeted, coupled with a subtle dip of her head. The other Absol responded with a nod of his own, his nearly obsidian horn glinting sharply against the backdrop of lamplight. “Has anything changed?” She asked, knowing to trust the older Absol for his intuition and more finely-tuned disaster sense.

Above their heads, the muffled sounds of stringed instruments and alcohol flowed across the bar in equal measure while other pokemon danced to loud music only a wall away. Here, though, all was silent- and as the older Absol cast a steady look around before he spoke, Oratorio felt more keenly the expectation permeating the space.

Perhaps they were being slow yet… “No. Not yet.” And Arbiter’s words confirmed it. The Absol went back to intently watching the darkness after those terse words, and Sonata made a face at the tense silence, leaning against the wall at the right.

"Polari?” She asked to Sonata and the Kirlia pointed to where the two other Hunters –Team Ace Of Hearts- would be poised at, barely distinguishable from the lack of light. “Couldn’t convince him to go back t’ bunks, so e’s ‘ere with ‘em.”

Well, that was better than the youngling straight in the line of fire, at the very least. Though the solution was not ideal, this way, he was where escape would be swift should danger come. Oratorio nodded to where she could see the faint outlines of a Braixen and a Ralts -Sienna and William, apparently- beneath the overhanging shadows, and Polari uncurled himself from the floor close to them to wave a fin at Oratorio. The Absol waved back, a faint smile on her face- the silhouette of the Skerlp, barely distinguishable in the shaky lamplight, seemed to be less knotted up on itself afterwards.

In times, night vision was terribly helpful. Including times like these, where things were visible because she could see very well through the gloom. Oratorio waited, poised for readiness, the silhouette of Polari reassuringly visible before her eyes.

Polari himself was, while he was doing a good job of hiding it well, incredibly anxious- while the Skerlp had seen Oratorio and Sonata beating his former boss soundly, it was altogether a different story when he was the audience to their battle against an enemy unknown. At least he knew the Boss, crushing it might had been to know his strength and see the only -and the first ever- two people who cared enough for him heading for a battle with the Boss.

But they had beaten him- Polari reminded himself again, scrunching up into a tiny knot of conflicted feelings and anxiety, taking as less space as he possibly could.

Sonata and Miss Tori had beaten the singular figure he knew to be the strongest, and saved him. So they would be able to beat down their other enemies, who wouldn't be as strong as Boss was if what he heard was any indication.

The Skerlp reminded himself of that and tried to ignore how much it hurt that he could not help them, both before and right now.

Just a burden, right now and before- cowering in a corner under protection and unable to do anything more to help, despite how much he wanted to go out there and stand with them.

There was a tiny rustle coming above them, and everyone tensed in readiness. The Ralts who had been closer to him flicked his eyes up, putting a protective arm before his Braixen friend. Another, and the stairs started to creak- and because the young Skerlp had spent the most of his life in a dim cave, his eyes were well-adjusted into seeing in pitch black darkness. He blinked, scarlet eyes coming into focus, craning his neck above- and there. The faintest shadows of paws, pattering down the stairway.

The paws were presently joined with clawed feet and tiny pattering steps, a good deal more of noise than the previous near-silence the owner of the paws had been maintaining.

Now everyone was looking up, eyes glimmering in the near-dark, as the stairs began to creak louder at the addition of so many other weights- while it seemed obvious that they were trying to be quiet, it wasn't exactly working.

Now, a snippet of conversation- and more fragments of words drifted down, incomprehensible bits that slowly made sense as the voices got louder and stairs continued to creak.

"...This way?" Someone- was it a girl? Polari wasn't too sure. Maybe it was. Either way, she was being so quiet that it was difficult to hear what she was saying. After that, a babble of words followed from different pokemon, talking too fast for him to make up.

A huff of yet another voice, this one clearly male- "...Sure. As long as we split-"

"-don't forget that we'll play fair about..."

"Darling, I hope you really don't think that I do play fair."

The voices rounded a bend, and now the footsteps were alarmingly closer. Polari scrunched further up into a tiny ball of fins and scales, only his eyes peeking out in a nauseating mixture of anticipation and fear. He could see tails, paws, a blue fin- and an elegantly swishing tail  leisurely tapping the stairs as the owner of said tail sauntered down.

"...After all. It does look as if they won't be playing fair either." The male voice concluded, and Polari could now see that it was a Liepard- and a sleek Sylveon alongside him. Above him, crowded at the stairs, were three round Darumaka and a Gabite with bits of pebbles lodged in between his claws.

The Skerlp winced at seeing those pebble-stuck claws. That...did not look healthy. Or clean. Perhaps this was the advantages to having fins and a tail- there could not be anything like a pebble stuck in between them since there were no gaps for it to.

Besides him, hidden in the stair-canopied alcove, the Ralts and the Braixen both tensed as the Liepard moved to the fore- and Arbiter came up to meet the slimmer feline. Polari gulped, and wretched his eyes off the pebble-filled feet of the -doubtlessly local- Gabite. As the tension in the air seemed to escalate, the Skerlp craned his neck out as far as he would dare to see what was going on.

"Evening, gentlemen- and lady." Here, a gracious incline of head to Oratorio. The younger Absol did not say anything but narrowed her eerily-gleaming eyes at the pokemon at the stairs, glaring at the interlopers like she would kill with her eyes alone.

Honestly, he wouldn't be surprised if she could at this point. Though how Reuben evaded death would remain forevermore a mystery if Miss Tori could just kill by looking.

"How about we make this pleasant and allow us entry? We won't be doing...much, I assure you." The purring voice of the Liepard concluded, sleek like oil on wet stone, and Polari immediately concluded that he didn't like the way the Liepard sounded. Maybe he could douse the Liepard in water or something when the fighting got confusing.

Distantly, he could see Sonata bunching his hand up on Miss Tori's silvery mane. The Kirlia seemed tense, too, feet already spread apart in readiness and eyes trailed at the bulk of the intruders. But Miss Tori's shoulders marginally relaxed from their tense positions from that touch, and that seemed more important than the tension in the air to the Kirlia.

"You're not doing anything here. Leave." Arbiter evenly countered, the larger bulk of the Absol threateningly looming up against the Liepard- who didn't seem that much fazed by the silent intimidation act.

In fact, he stepped closer, a convincingly real smile curling up at the edges of his mouth. "Well, you know. No need to be so tense, so on and so forth- Really though. Must you be so uninterestingly bland?"

His tail swished back and forth slowly, while Arbiter -and everyone else- did not move a hair. "Hope you won't blame me for the mess you lot'll be in. Really." He blandly stated, putting one paw in front of the other- Arbiter gave off a threatening growl, and Polari could feel his bones rattling from the very sound of it.

Even with that, the Liepard did not seem any less eager to keep up. "I would tell you my name, but that wouldn't be agreeable for getting this over and done with." The catty grin on his face intensified, contrary to Arbiter and everyone else's serious faces- the lot at the stairs shifted around, impatient with all the banter ratcheting up the tension, and the Skerlp desperately hoped that the stairway didn't collapse above them because that was bound to be painful for everyone involved.

"After all-" A stretch of flexible spines, muscle and sinew moving together in a well-rehearsed symphony- Arbiter narrowed his eyes, electricity crackled from Raichu's cheeks, and Sonata shifted a minuscule step up front.

"It's all good business." There was a casual ease behind those words that belayed the Liepard's mercenarism. A low, graceful bow, the Liepard's fur gleaming against the low light-  

-and the Sylveon darted forth in a literal flash above the Liepard, using his lowered torso as a platform of opportunity and launching herself off it like a weirdly glimmering technicolour disco ball. A eye-searing burst of Dazzling Gleam, a round of distressed yelling, and Polari couldn't quite close his eyes in time as the attack left starbursts of shadows behind his eyelids.

When he had opened them, though, a shimmering green screen had covered the door- and Sonata hovering directly behind the screen, horns and hands bleeding Psychic power. As the Protect began to fold in, the screen beginning to contract in on itself, Arbiter's horn began to gleam in sharp-edged silver even as the Gabite and Darumakas started to run down the stairs in a frightful rush.  

As the Whirlwind started to blow out, debris starting to whip about, Polari squinted through the sudden haze- there was a gleam of Miss Tori's horn, a swift clatter of claws, and the purple nimbus of a Psycho Cut went flying at their enemies.

The Liepard dodged with a twisting leap, the Sylveon  ducking to the floor with her ribbons whipping about madly- but the locally sourced lot went staggering backwards, winded by the impact, and then the Whirlwind closed in on them.  Shouting, attempting to dig their feet in, the Gabite and the Darumakas were swept up in the winds, feet leaving floor for a split second.

The second seemed an eternity as Miss Tori and Sonata exchanged glances, the Kirlia running up -and vanishing, blue blossoming around his running figure. Teleport, the Skerlp thought, just before the blue blip came back into existence with a madly grinning Kirlia. Directly behind the locally hired lot, Sonata, far more familiar with maneuvering himself midair, grabbed struggling feet and claws and teleported the lot all off in an instance.

Which left the Liepard and the Sylveon behind in the dust, surrounded by three hunters very ready to beat them into a pulp.

"That," Miss Tori started, claws now lit in a black and red haze, her horn sparking an ominous black- "Is three against two. And you two do not seem to be of the local areas." Her white gaze narrowed at the Liepard, who smirked still- and the Sylveon giggled, her soft-looking ribbons unassumingly posed and ready.

"What a bother. And I put on my best outfit too." The Sylveon drawled out, ribbons undulating as she moved- one paw in front of the other, ankles daintily crossed with each other.

"Isn't that right, sweetie?" She said, turning to the Raichu- who had a dumb expression on his face, and subsequently collapsed when his name was called, a pink kiss mark plain on his face, just barely shy of his lips.

Miss Tori's expression seemed thunderous. "Draining Kiss." she ground out, eyes rapidly flicking over to other hunters with her- Arbiter and her, and the hidden team and Polari himself under the stairs. "Go get Robin." The Absol told the shadows, and with a flicker of eyes between the two others, the Braixen ran out- slipping away from the shadows and running for the stairs by a sharp turn as the Liepard moved, swift like a river, aiming to intercept. The Sylveon had tried to snag the Braixen, ribbons lashing outwards, but the Ralts had slipped out of the shadows, intercepting with a strong burst of Magical Leaf.

But that still left the Liepard, dodging narrowly away from Arbiter’s claws and taking off into a run,  his claws blooming with black energy tinted purple. The wickedly sharp things were about to rake down the Braixen's back- Polari, daunted by the possibility of blood, shut his eyes firmly only to wrench them open when a tremendous bam rang out, the sound of a body slamming against the wooden floor.

Miss Tori was pinning the Liepard down, her eyes ablaze with the palest blue of the sky- her eyes seemed white to him beneath the flames, orbs of pearls with the faintest ring of discoloured crimson. There was fire winding up on her horns, spreading from her eyes, and the sight was as magnificent as it was terrifying- for a brief second, the Skerlp worried about Miss Tori's eyes burning off because of the sustained blaze.

"I insist," A pause, umbra claws on the Liepard's throat tightening- "That you do not."

For a second, it looked as if the Liepard would shake the younger Absol off- the glint in his eyes seemed dangerous, and Polari tensed to spring up, some help it may have been.

Than there was a yelp, another thump- and when Polari turned, frazzled by the sudden progression of events, the Sylveon was flat on her back, the Ralts having already disabled her with a well-placed Fire Punch. The Braixen scurried off up the stairs, and the Ralts smiled thinly before planting a firm foot on the Sylveon's spine. The Skerlp hastily turned back where Miss Tori was, and could see the Liepard puffing out a bemused sigh.

"Well." He said after a pause, the stairs echoing with receding footsteps- "I suppose it's a strike for me and her."

Miss Tori seemed like she'd reply- but she did not manage to say, attention taken elsewhere as the telltale blip of a teleport came into existence, depositing Sonata in front of the Absol and on the Liepard's outstretched paw.

As the Liepard sucked in a pained breath, the Kirlia turned to the Absol with a happy grin. "Our locally-sourced issues're solved." He declared, not caring to step off from where he was standing. Polari started to slither out of the shades as Miss Tori laughed, the briefest of a note- sounding like it would leave impressions in the air in bright silver. "I suspect you've solved them creatively enough, than? You look happy enough to have done so."

Sonaya was still grinning. Polari almost felt bad for their enemies. "Yup! 'ported 'em righ' on a biggest cactus I coulda find. Pretty sure they're still clinging' ere."

"'re evil."

"Aren't I ever? Ooh, I could go an' port 'em into a sand dune-"

"Sonata, no."

As Miss Tori and Sonata started bickering again, Arbiter huffing a sigh at their behavior and going to guard the door himself, Polari was abruptly reminded of the fact that the two that have taken him in have stayed together for a very, very long time in partnership, through thick and thin- and he wondered of the possibility of joining them in truth, to one day realize that he had been long with the two that have saved him enough to count as an integral part of their group.

If he was indeed one of them, than he would not have to go when his wounds were covered with healed flesh and scales- would not have to lie sleepless in the night, wondering about what would happen when he was no sickly youngling Miss Tori and Sonata had seen in the caves.

If only he knew how to put all this into words. This want to be able to stay, worse than any long-time hunger gnawing at his stomach.

If only...

To be continued…
Part 2: [ ]
Part 4: [ ]


Team Medi Lunaris completed Hunters Task: What One Deserves and captured a wayward Hunter Team!
1 Merit and a Swindler's Coin was gained!

Cameo list: 

Team Trifle by IronMeow

Team Ace of Hearts by Kuroyami-san

The Chimera Hunters by Mandercloud


The concept of the NPCs/Geoda are a product of PMD-U.


Team Medi Lunaris is HERE.
© 2015 - 2023 sbd921
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