Diamond Dust Task: Researchers 1 and 3

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"Eeeeeeeeeeeee! I can't believe it!  I'm gonna make fireworks!  With advanced Guild materials!  This is so exiting!" Ronnie squealed in delight as she skipped down the hall.

  I'm very well aware that you're exited; you don't need to remind me every five seconds, Edith wanted to say, though she refrained from doing so.

  Ever since the Tasks had been announced, the young Sneasel had been talking her older partner's ear off about the fireworks; first trying to convince her that it wasn't too dangerous, and then repeating, again and again, how much she was looking forward to it.  The Aurorus knew it was to be expected of children, but she was still baffled by how such a small mouth could expel so much noise.  It had been rather tiring, and she was looking forward to some peace and quiet once the ordeal was done with.

  The two Ice-Types found a door labeled 'Firework Station' and went inside.  The room was clean, bare, and filled with row upon row of shiny white tables.  Numerous Pokémon moved about the room, carrying all sorts of substances and machinery that Edith couldn't identify.  To her, the bustling scene was chaotic and somewhat overwhelming, but Ronnie seemed completely unperturbed as she weaved her way through the crowd.  Soon, the pair stopped at a long table in the back, where many potential ingredients were laid out for use.  The Aurorus was unfamiliar with all of them, but it didn't really matter; her partner had all the knowledge they needed.

  "Let's see," the Sneasel muttered, thoughtfully examining each item before her.  "Brightpowder's a must for what I want to do, and Bright Clay.  Ooh, and Flarevine Extract!  That'll be cool.  Don't need this, don't need that...  But what about these?  Hmmm..." She paused for a moment, her claws hand hovering over a pile of small, shriveled pods labeled 'Compressed Vibrapod Seedlings'.

  "Don't choose those," Edith warned quickly.  "The Guild Leader said they were dangerous."

  "Awww, but Ediiiiith!" Ronnie whined, pouting.  "They make lots of awesome sounds and stuff!  That could make my fireworks even better!"

  "No.  It's too risky; one wrong move, and they'll explode in your face," the Aurorus replied.

  "But fireworks are supposed to explode!" the Shiny protested, stomping her feet in frustration.

  "I don't want you to get hurt." Hoping to distract her partner from the dangerous plants, Edith gestured to the final object on the table: a pile of slimy, black muck.  "Perhaps you should use that instead.  We get a Merit if we figure out what it does."

  With one last glance at the seeds, Ronnie turned to stare reluctantly at the 'Gooey Black Stuff', as its title card called it.  The Sneasel cautiously poked it with a claw, grimacing at the blob's stickiness.  Leaning forward, she tentatively sniffed it, then immediately reeled away in disgust and exclaimed, "Eeeeewww!  It smells like- like- like the liquified remains of someone's dead neighbor!"

  Edith blinked, frills turning a dark yellow-orange in a mix of surprise and morbid amusement.  "It smells like what?"

  "Uh...  I was reading a book earlier, called Real-Life Horror Stories, and it mentioned something like that.  First thing that came to my mind..." Ronnie trailed off, obviously embarrassed by the odd comparison she'd made.  Straightening, she stammered, "W-well, the point is, I am not using that stuff!  Now, let's go find a place to work."

  With that, the Sneasel marched off, her oversized lab coat dragging behind her.  Edith coiled some shells and fuses in her tail and followed.  Soon enough, the duo found an available table, laid out their materials, and began to work.  Or rather, Ronnie began to work; while Edith occasionally offered assistance, she knew far too little about the project to do more than watch.

  "And...  Done!" The Sneasel held up her completed firework, which, in Edith's opinion, could do with a bit of decoration.  "It should look really cool when it's used.  Once the fuse is lit, the Flarevine Extract will start to burn, but because it's mixed with some Light Clay, it won't combust immediately.  When it does, it'll set off the Brightpowder, and since that's also mixed with Light Clay, it's light should be magnified.  The color change will add some extra flare, I think.  How do you like it?"

  "It's, uh, very nice, dear," Edith responded, having no idea what had just come out of her partner's mouth.

  Thankfully, Ronnie didn't seem to notice the Aurorus's confusion.  "There's an outside area set of for testing.  Let's try this one out!" She scampered away towards the door, with Edith following behind.  The team walked out the doors and through the halls, each member absorbed in their own thoughts.

  Everything's so neat and orderly here, the Aurorus remarked idly to herself, staring at the polished walls and spotless floors.  Even the ceiling was perfectly clean.  It seems to give the impression that here, nothing could ever go wrong.

  A sudden series of crashes and bangs resounded about the corridor, interrupting Edith's thoughts and causing Ronnie to yelp in surprise.

  "What in Parai could possibly be making all that noise?" the Aurorus murmured, sails orange with curiosity and confusion.

  "Let's find out!" Grinning, Ronnie sprinted towards the clammer.

  "Wait, Veronica!  Come back!  It could be dangerous!" When the Sneasel didn't answer, Edith broke into a run, hurrying as best she could after her younger partner.

  The racket lead them to the open door of a large, cluttered laboratory, filled with beakers, microscopes, and all sorts of other scientific instruments.  Cowering in a corner was Archimedes, and towering above him was an oddly sluggish Snorlax, who was about to claw the small Guild Leader to pieces.  Thinking quickly, Edith let loose a wave of crackling sparks, hitting the Normal-Type and stopping it in its tracks.

  "Oh, thank goodness, a team!" the Inkay exclaimed, taking notice of the two Ice-Types.  "Please get this thing out of here, before it tries to kill me again!"

  "Looks like making fireworks isn't the only Task we're doing!" Bouncing excitedly on her toes, Ronnie stared up at Edith.  "So, what do we do?"

  "I am going to push the Snorlax out of the door before it starts using Sleep Talk again," the Aurorus replied.  "You are going to wait here and avoid getting hurt."

  The Sneasel opened her mouth to protest, but Edith was already approaching her target, wondering how to move the 1,014 pound Pokémon.  Arriving at the Snorlax's side, she tried to nudge him towards the exit, cautiously at first, then more forcefully when he didn't move.  She tried numerous times, but the only reaction was a slight static shock from the paralysis.  Glancing at Archimedes, who had, so far, simply stared in curiosity, she remarked, "A bit of help would be appreciated."

  "Oh, but surely not from me!" the Inkay replied all too hastily.  "Look at my size; how could I possibly assist?"

  "You're a Psychic-Type," Edith reasoned.  "Couldn't you just use your powers to try moving him?"

  "Well, we wouldn't want to injure the test subject, now would we?  Psychic is a damaging move, you know," Archimedes argued snarkily, the lights on his head flashing.

  "But you can pick up object without damaging them, can't you?" Edith responded.

  "It's different!" the Inkay snapped, glaring.  "You should know better than to ask such dumb questions, especially when you have work to do!  Now, please hurry up, if you would."

  Edith frowned, frills red with annoyance.  Kali was right; he really is awful.

  Out of nowhere, the Snorlax let out an earsplitting roar and began swiping violently at the random with glowing orange fists.  Several of the punches were aimed at Edith, but thanks to his sleep-caused slowness, she was able to avoid them.  The bulky Normal-Type began to wander around the lab, destroying equipment left and right.  The Aurorus tried to steer him to the door, but found the task impossible.  Just when it seemed like the situation couldn't get any worse, the Snorlax suddenly began spewing fire from his jaws, quickly burning multiple scrolls and the large desk at the room's center.  Within minutes, the laboratory was filled with flames and clouded with smoke.  The heat was, naturally, quite uncomfortable for Edith, and she was just about ready to bail on the nagging Guild Leader.

  "Hey!  Over here, you big lump of fat!" Near the exit, Ronnie was yelling and waving her arms, though the latter seemed rather pointless.  "Come and get me!"

  "Veronica, what do you think you're doing!?" Edith yelled, eyes widening in fear as the Snorlax turned towards the Sneasel.  "I told you to stay out of this!"

  "Well, your plan obviously isn't working, so I thought I'd try mine!" Ronnie replied, jumping to avoid a stream of fire.

  "You could get hurt!" the Aurorus protested as she tried to make her way through the flames to where the Snorlax was.

  "So could you!" Ronnie responded.  Edith saw her worry clearly reflected in the houng Sneasel's eyes.

  The Normal-Type stood over Ronnie now, fire flickering between its fangs.  It shot forth another Flamethrower, and Edith's frills went white with terror.  But the Aurorus had underestimated the young Shiny's speed, and the Sneasel quickly leaped aside, easily avoiding the blaze.  Edith relaxed slightly, only to tense up again as the Snorlax leapt forward- only to get stuck in the doorframe.  Ronnie's amused laughter could be heard from beyond the exit, and the Aurorus smiled despite herself.  Walking forward, she lifted a leg and quickly shoved the Normal-Type out into the corridor, where he fell down and began to snore.

  Edith felt something on her foot; looking down, she saw Ronnie clutching her leg and shaking.  The Sneasel looked up at her partner with big, watery eyes and whispered, "I'm glad you're okay.  That was really scary."

  The Aurorus gently nuzzled her with her nose.  "It's all right, little one.  You were very brave.  I'm glad you're safe, too."

  "Well, now that that's done with, I suppose I must reward you," Archimedes remarked, completely oblivious to the moment he just ruined.  Uncaringly, he dropped before the duo a blob of glowing green goo. "Take this.  I don't know what it does.  That's for you to figure out.  Now, of you'll excuse me, I need to go find some Water-Types."

  "He's weird," Ronnie sniffed.  She carefully picked up their 'reward'.  "I guess this stuff is okay, though.  Better than that black goo from earlier."

  Edith glanced at the Snorlax; he was sleeping more deeply now, and showed no signs of going berserk again.  And if he does, then maybe Archimedes can finally stand up for himself.

  "Come, my dear," she murmured, gently nudging Ronnie to her feet.  "Let's go test your firework."
"BrittaWater Filters!  Filters out bacteria, harmful chemicals, and the liquified remains of your dead neighbor.  Buy now!"
From this video:… at 6:42.  You should watch all of it, though.  It's pretty interesting. :3
There were a lot of italics and semicolons in this, but at least it's done!  And since I combined two Tasks, I only have one more piece to do!  Also, you were saved from any potential cliffhangers you'd have gotten if this was in two parts.  Double yay!  I'll get to the last Task soon.  Right after I finish playing my new Portal 2 game.  YAYZ I GOT IT HEHEHEHEHEHEHE!!!  Now to see if my sister will let me use her laptop, since the computer I use won't run it... Sigh....
Reward: Custom Fireworks Recipe and Globular Compound X.
Diamomd Dust:
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