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Pokemon DPPt: The Tale of the Red Chain (Aura x Zero Sifr)

Discussion in 'Roleplay Institute' started by Pixel, Nov 12, 2015.

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  1. Pixel

    Pixel Aether Child

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    After hiding out in the bathroom stall for a long time, she heard something over the intercoms.

    "Will all personnel involved in the recent Lake surveillance mission please report to Conference Room 3 for reporting immediately."
    Amai sunk lower into herself, knowing that she'd get punished if she didn't attend. But Damian was going to be there, and she really didn't need that now. So she decided she'd retire to her room, and if she did get called upon she'd use the horrible substitutes for food as an excuse. She slowly exited the stall, but was shocked to see the other female member of her team using the basin.

    "Idomi? Are you heading to the reporting now?" she asked. But Amai didn't respond. Instead, she bolted out of the bathroom, ignoring the woman's calls as she swiftly dodged many other grunts, who had stopped to look at her. Once she reached her room, she locked the door, meaning it could only be opened by one of her supervisors. This included Damian, but she seemed to forget that fact as she dived under the covers of her bed. Then, the tears started flowing. She felt like such an idiot, and was very embarrassed. Emma had been left to loiter around the room freely, and was shocked at her trainer's sudden entrance, so she hopped onto the bed and joined Amai under the covers.

    "Emma?" Amai sniffed. The Glaceon nuzzled up to her, and it didn't make her feel any better.

    "I'm such an idiot... Why did I let this happen?"
     
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  2. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Jeff
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    "I wish she would have told me where she was going." Damian said, walking through the residential wing of HQ, looking down each corridor. He knocked on the door to three different ladies' lavatories before pushing open the door to each and calling her by last name. He never got a response, and refused to check more closely, so either she was refusing to acknowledge him or was AWOL, and neither situation was preferable. After the third knock and call, he got the message over the PA to report for debriefing. "Fantastic." He muttered before starting a jog to the conference room. "I wanted to be there early, not just on time."

    Running through the halls again, he drew the same variety of comments as before, only now, some onlookers were under the impression there really was an emergency of some kind. When he reached the conference room, the window in its heavy metal door showing a fully lit room within, he took five seconds to catch his breath, checked for his USB drive with the report and photos, and entered the room. The attendance was almost the exact opposite of what he wanted, the only good thing was that Mars was there and Jupiter was not. To start off the bad, Amai -- Grunt Idomi -- wasn't there, dashing his last hope of finding her in time. Grunts Stone and Sun were present, meaning he was indeed late, and that he was forced to take the seat between them on one side of the long oval table. Mars was standing near a Sinnoh Map projected onto a screen at one narrow end of the table, and a pulled-out chair implied she would be seated immediately across from Damian once she left her place at the front of the room. Tied with Amai's absence in measure of quantifiable bad luck, Cyrus himself was sitting at the end of the table opposite the projector, ever-present scowl of discontent still stuck to his face. All this was measured in the few seconds it took Damian to cross the distance from the door to his chair.

    "Elite Grunt Castle." Mars said, less annoyed than he anticipated. "So good of you to join us." She smiled a genuinely pleased smile, with some other emotion or psychological predisposition mixed into it. Two years of working under her and still he had no idea how to label that other facet of her psyche. Still, she welcomed his advanced rank more than any other senior officer did, so the situation could be worse.

    After he excused his lateness, he noticed all four other pairs of eyes were resting on him. He looked around the table, measuring who was sitting where. Starting from Cyrus' end, it was Stone, Castle, Sun, Idomi's empty chair, which presumably meant Mars was alone on the other side. Sun probably arrived first and chose her place deliberately, coordinating with Stone, in pursuit of some ulterior motive involving Damian or Amai. Wait, Amai's empty chair. "I regret to inform you that Grunt Idomi isn't expected to make it." Okay now, how best to lie? "We suspect she has some minor illness, likely acute food poisoning. I sent her to the infirmary to be looked after."

    Grunt Stone didn't react well. "Pfft. After the hard time you gave my team about not getting sick, one of your own goes and--"

    "There's a difference between eating an MRE with a puncture in it and actually bringing home a communicable disease, Stone." Castle shot back aggressively. "You and your squad did everything in your power to ensure your own health and safety. I appreciate that, and everyone in Team Galactic appreciates it. My team also did everything in their power, but one of our rations was below specifications as far as our health standards are concerned. It could have been any one of us, but Amai was the unlucky one." He became aware of his error right when he finished speaking, and immediately regretted making such an elaborate lie.

    "Amai?" Sun asked, intentionally fluffing up the surprise in her voice. "Are you referring to Grunt Idomi?"

    "Yes." Damian answered, becoming aware of a defensive aggression manifesting in his voice and actively trying to keep it held down. "It's not exactly difficult to learn someone's given name." He considered using hers, and proof as it would be to support his point and incriminate her, but it would also dig his current hole that much deeper. "Since, you know, we all work together six days every week."

    "Excuse me if I'm misinformed," Sun went on, a note of dramatic innocence mixed with some know-it-all backtalk, "but aren't we instructed to address our teammates by their rank and last name?"

    "Only during missions." Mars interjected from her place at the head of the room. "While it would be more professional to use that system even in HQ, we want you all to be friends." She went on. "Get to know each other. Identify each other's strengths, learn to cover each other's weaknesses."

    Thanks for the save. That's another reason you're my favorite Commander. "Commander Mars, if I may?" Damian asked. "I think we're getting off topic here. I would like to move to commence the debriefing in Grunt Idomi's absence, and also ask that Valor's debriefing go last, in case the official team leader does arrive."

    Mars looked to Cyrus, and Damian moved his attention to follow her gaze. "I agree, and I'll allow it." Mars said and took her seat across from Castle's as he himself took to the front of the room. He placed his green USB drive, labeled with his name and rank, on a the pedestal, either for himself or Amai to use later. Damian looked at the map projection with its seven highlighted points. One at Veilstone HQ, one at each insertion point, and one at each lake. He recited from memory the objectives, goals, methods, and all other necessary details that applied to all three groups, and waited, wondering if Amai would show up as the others gave their reports.
     
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  3. Pixel

    Pixel Aether Child

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    After watching her trainer cry herself into a rough slumber, Emma decided that something needed to be done about this. She couldn't just watch as her trainer fell apart, but what could one little Glaceon do alone? She realised she'd need help, and the only person she could talk to was that Damian guy. Obviously not realising that Damian was the source of Amai's state, she fished the key card from Amai's pocket, managed to unlock and lock the door, sliding the card under the door so she wouldn't lose it, and proceeded to run around the base, sniffing out anything that seemed familiar. She eventually came up against a door that contained a smell she recognised.

    "Glace! Glace, Glaceon?" (Hello! Is anyone there?)

    "Weavile?" (Emma?)

    "Glaceon? Glace Glace? Glaceon, Glaceon!" (Nix? Is this your room? It smells like your trainer!)

    "Wea, Weavile!" (Emma, you should be in your room!)

    "Glaceon... Glace Glaceon! Glace, Glace Glaceon!" (My trainer is... There's something wrong with my trainer! I think she needs help!)

    "Weavile, Vile Wea Weavile." (I think that my trainer is at a meeting.)

    "Glaceon Glaceon!" (OK, thanks!)
    After her interesting conversation with Nix, Emma continued to run through the halls, trying to find that same scent she recognised at Damian's door to find Damian.
     
  4. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Jeff
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    "We didn't find anything of note around the perimeter of the lake," Damian went on, flipping through the photographs stored on the flash drive, thankful he had the foresight to delete the photos of Azelf back when he was still at the lake with the rest of Valor team, "but we did take the initiative of using our issued camera's various lens types as a detection method for anything in the cave from shore." He flipped through the uneventful frames of the cave's mouth from that morning, becoming aware of a scratching sound at the door.

    "Go back two frames." Cyrus said, quiet and calm, but commanding. Damian was so unprepared for the sudden request that he couldn't even properly respond, just did as he was told. "What's that?"

    He looked up at the projection: it was the mostly green photograph with lightning-like bolts of red crawling across the shot. "I do not know." He admitted. "This photograph was shot with the "Ralts Vision" filter. I don't know anything about how it works or what it sees." The scratching at the door continued.

    Mars and Cyrus shared a glance. "Thank you. You may be seated." Mars said.

    He nodded and went back to his seat. "I'll see what's at the door." He said before sitting. The vertical and narrow window above the handle didn't reveal anyone on the opposite side, so he opened the door to see who was pulling the prank. As the door opened just a few degrees, it was pushed open forcefully as a Glaceon pushed its way in and inadvertently headbutted Damian in the knee. "Hey there, girl." He said, leaning down slightly to rub the Pokémon's head. He poked his head out the doorway, hoping to see Amai approaching from farther down the hall, though it was more likely she'd be on the retreat than advance.

    "Elite Grunt Castle?" Mars asked. "Our guest?"

    "Oh, this is Emma, the Glaceon trained by..." He thought for a moment, remembering Mars' encouragement of getting more familiar with the Teammates. "Amai."

    Mars and Cyrus shared another glance, leading Damian to wonder if they had some kind of telepathy. Mars looked back up at the projection. "Debriefing is adjourned." She announced. "You are all free to go. But before you leave, Castle." She went on. "Expect to hear from us again."

    "Ma'am. I am at your disposal." He turned his head down as he backed out of the room. He didn't know for sure if Cyrus appreciated the antiquated gesture, but it surely wouldn't lose Damian any points to do it anyway. He nearly tripped over Emma on the way out, as she excitedly paced back and forth behind him, clearly wanting him to follow. "Okay, fine! Lead the way!" He said as he tried to keep up with the Pokémon excitedly trotting down the hall.

    Emma led the path to the residential wing and from there to one of the two halls Damian suspected had Amai's room among its numbers. One door near the start of the hall, Emma scratched at a door like she did at the the conference room.

    I don't have to be Detective Looker to guess where we are now. Damain hesitated a moment, then raised his hand and rapped his knuckles against the door a few times, starting gentle and turning up the volume for the latter of his knocks. He considered announcing himself, but for some reason decided against it. He took a deep breath. And now, we wait.
     
  5. Pixel

    Pixel Aether Child

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    Amai heard the knocka at her door and groaned, knowing she'd been caught out. Not even bothering to put on clothes, meaning she was walking around with a good 90% of her bare skin exposed, Amai stood up and walked over to the door, opening it. The first thing to catch her eye was Emma, zipping past her. Then she looked at the boy in front of her, puzzled as to who he was. It took her a few seconds to click, but when she did she went as pink as a Corsola.

    "D-Damian!!" Amai shrieked, slamming the door right in his face and running to the back of the room, shaking. As what had just happened processed in Amai's brain, she grabbed the teal hoodie from her nightstand and hurriedly put it on, before going back to the door and opening it, finding Damian standing there with an expression on his face that was beyond shocked. Amai grabbed him by the collar and pulled him in, closing and locking the door behind her. She then looked at him, knowing not what to do, and just crawled onto her bed, clutching one of the pillows in her lap.

    "Why are you here?" Amai asked, daring not to make eye contact with her higher-up.
     
  6. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Jeff
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    "I... don't know?" He said, turning his attention to the side for politeness' sake, since the girl was hardly dressed below her jacket. "Because Emma led me here? Honestly, I'd rather still be out in the hall. I feel as if I'm... intruding." Damian stole a glance distractedly before looking away again. Is this really my life? "But, but anyhow, speaking of me being here, why were you not being there? At the debriefing? I searched all over for you, and even had to make up a story about you being in the infirmary." Wheels started turning in his head. "Are you okay? You had me worried," he said, "and still do." He added under his breath.
     
  7. Pixel

    Pixel Aether Child

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    A sad smile crossed Amai's face.

    "You're a good kid, y'know that? Smart too. I'm surprised you haven't figured out what's going on here, either that or your not telling me. Or maybe it's not obvious enough that..." she paused, and it was a long pause. She felt the tears stinging in her eyes, her increased heart rate, her forehead and palms getting warm and sweaty. She didn't know if she could say it to his face. But what was there to lose? I mean, he was sitting right there, looking at her in what barely classified as underwear, and proving that he did care about her.

    "Maybe it's not obvious enough that I've fallen in love... with you..."
     
  8. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Jeff
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    A thought manifested in Damian's mind, and not the thought he intended. He was thrown back to a time several years ago, in a classical literature class in middle or high school. There was a classical-going-on-ancient play he and his classmates were required to read, taking turns bearing the mantle of one character's lines for a day at a time as they all journeyed through the tale together. The play itself was was the story of a romance between two young lovers, star-crossed, as they were described, forbidden to be together by their allegiances to greater powers, yet bound to be together by their predestined fates. The play, written by a timeless author of worldwide renown, was considered to be one of the greatest romances ever written.

    The main characters' whirlwind relationship lasted only three days (the entirety of the span they so much as knew each other's names), directly caused six deaths, two of which were their own, and likely resulted in years if not decades of political turmoil.

    Then another thought entered his mind. This time, a brief fantasy about cartoonishly plucking his own brain out of his cranium, glaring at it like Cyrus would a subordinate who questioned his superiority, fore- and back-hand slapping his misbehaving brain across its hypothetical face several times, then deciding whether or not to put the misguided yet well-meaning organ back in its place. And so the fantasy repeated itself, the desire to punish his own psychology for such pessimistic and otherwise detrimental ideas drawing away from the situation at hand.

    Pull it together, man. "This is very... sudden." Damian said slowly, measuring each word before he spoke them. Now he was unable to pull his attention away from Amai, let alone keep his gaze turned politely to the side. Painful honesty? Or beautiful forgery? "I care too much about you to lie," he beagn, still speaking slowly in hopes Amai would speak up and cut him off before he dug a himself an inescapable social pit, "I think it's too soon for me to say that I feel the same." Between the painful honesty and the beautiful forgery there may be a comfortable clarity, but what could possibly be the right thing to say? He couldn't resent her for pushing him into a corner like that, but he found himself internally begging for the next exchanges of the conversation to unfold in his selfish way, as far out of his control as it may be.
     
  9. Pixel

    Pixel Aether Child

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    "No, it's OK, I didn't expect you to... I just thought that, maybe..." she began, tears streaming down her face. She was smiling, but anyone could see how hurt she was.

    "God, I'm such an idiot. I make one friend in who knows how long, and now I've gone and screwed it up. Now I can see, for myself, why nobody wants to be friends with me. I'm such a freak..." she whispered to herself, as if Damian had just vanished. She clutched her pillow tighter, the area where it touched her chin now very damp from her tears. She managed to look up at Damian, but it was easy to see how much she was struggling to do so.

    "I understand if you don't want to be friends anymore. This isn't the kind of place for connections like ours to be made. If you want to stick to a purely professional relationship, I can oblige."
     
  10. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Jeff
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    "On the contrary!" He began, trying to patch up his sentiments, and taking a step forward. "I think we should spend more time together. You know, make time to figure it out. Like, like I said, I think it's just too soon for me to say something so... brave." He briefly distracted himself by reliving the fantasy of pulling his brain out of its skull, but this time with the goal complimenting it on doing a good job rebounding off its previous stupidity. "It doesn't mean I'll never get there. I'm sorry, but like I said, I care too much to lie to you, or even just lead you on. I'm always willing to learn new perspectives on anything. And this thing we have going on? This opening up and confessing and confiding? I'm willing to give it more time to learn and develop."

    (The previous three posts are déjà vu for me, and this one is 20-20 hindsight. I really shot myself in the foot back when that "déjà vu" was a "maintenant vu". Ah, but what's in the past is in the past, and stories strive to be better than life.)
     
  11. Pixel

    Pixel Aether Child

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    Amai looked up at Damian, completely taken by surprise. He wanted to make it work? To figure it out? She'd never thought that the cool calm and collected nature of Damian Castle could be broken, but there it was. Amai smiled and nodded.

    "I'd... I'd like that..." she said, getting up from the bed. She walked over to Damian, wrapping her arms around him and resting her head against his chest. she could hear his heartbeat speed up, but just feeling him, his strong presence, made her feel safe, comfortable, like she mattered. All the doubt she had was instantly gone, too. Because she knew, even if things didn't work out for hem to be a couple, she knew they'd still be friends, and good friends at that.
     
  12. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Jeff
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    Such a sudden change. Over the course of a week, Damian somehow evolved from a hermit too focused on rising in rank in the Team, to a junior officer who broke away entirely from solitary hermit-dom, in quality if not in quantity.

    "I'd like it too." He affirmed. He raised one arm from being wrapped around Amai and put a hand on her head, trying to soothingly calm her with the rubbing and flattening out some of her hair that went disheveled in the emotional tizzy into which she was thrown. For a moment, he became more transfixed by the pattern of Amai's breathing than any other particular sensation. "What's the hurry? Nice and easy does it every time." He said with a sway to his voice, almost in a restrained and faint attempt to sing the words. "We have all the time in the world."
     
  13. Pixel

    Pixel Aether Child

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    Amai blushed when Damian acted so caring and kind. A wae of confidence burst through her, and she pulled away from Damian.

    "I'm going to go find Mars, or Cyrus, and tell them why I was absent. Of course, I'll just be reaffirming the excuse you gave for me, which was... whatever it was, and then I'll meet you in the cafeteria? After that we can plan our trip to Sunyshore over cake and coffee."
     
  14. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Jeff
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    "That you were sick from a bad MRE ration. I had to say something that would keep Stone from getting self-righteous after that lecture I gave him." He shrugged. "Just remember that I sent you to the infirmary because I care about... you... and all of my Teammates, but you didn't make it all the way there, I guess." He smiled, and looked farther down at the girl, an honest accident due to their difference in height. "Just make yourself decent before you leave your room? I mean you're more than dec... okay, I'll just leave now." Damian pulled her in for another tight and quick hug, bid her a mumbled farewell and a weak joke disguised as suggestion of coffeecake, and slid through the door he opened by just a crack, taking a moment to lean against the opposite side and collect himself. "Way to go, self." He whispered. "Just do something right, would you?"
     
  15. Pixel

    Pixel Aether Child

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    Amai giggled softly to herself as Damian exited her room, flopping onto her bed. She grabbed her pillow, the same one that she had cried into earlier, and squeezed it with joy.

    After a brisk shower and a wardrobe change, wearing het same trademark teal hoodie but sporting black sandals and a skirt that was both a bit too short and translucent to fit to a school dress code, Amai walked down the hall to try and find Mars. As if her day couldn't get any better, it only took her five minutes of wandering to bump into her.

    "Miss Mars!" Amai called out, walking towards her.

    "Idomi? I thought Castle sent you to the infirmary for food poisoning..." Mars said, suspicion in her tone.

    "He did, when we got back, but I... didn't make it..."

    "Didn't make it?"

    "Yeah, I didn't make it to the infirmary. Have you ever food poisoning?"

    "I see. And where are you headed now?"

    "To the cafeteria. I asked Dam- Commander Castle to meet me there."
    Amai began to walk off, but stopped before she had even started.

    "Oh, there's one more... actually, I'll just let Commander Castle ask you later."
    Politely bowing, which caused a series of cheers and wolf-whistles from a group of male grunts behind her, Amai finally left Mars and headed towards the cafeteria.
     
  16. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Jeff
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    "That was probably a train wreck." Damian said, taking some deep breaths with his back to the door. He made a beeline for his room in a separate hall, thankful to avoid any conversation on the way.

    Once in his room, he saw Nix sleeping at the foot of his bed. The Weavile opened one eye, seemed to smile an arrogant grin, and pretended to curl back into sleep.

    "Okay Nix, I know you know something. Spill it." Damian said as he pulled a water bottle from the minifridge under his desk. "You're really no good at keeping secrets, we both know this." He unscrewed the cap, took a big swig and swallowed the entire mouthful in one go. "Except for our language barrier. You have me there."

    Again, the Weavile humored him with a second of attention and another knowing smile.

    "Keep laughing while you can." He warned. "If you keep sleeping all day, I'm going to start taking you to the training room every single day and let Don sleep in your space. Then we'll see who has the last laugh."

    Nix raised her head again to look at her trainer inquisitively, then again rested back down to sleep, curled like a feline.

    "You could use the extra EV. You say you're nature's Relaxed, I say it's Lethargic." Damian grumbled as his personal phone rang for a text message from an unknown number. "Saw you outside Idomi's room," he mumbled the message aloud, "Try to be more sneaky next time if you don't want people to talk. -H". He placed the phone on his desk and flipped open the laptop with the intent of referencing the number from which the message was sent against numbers registered with the team, technically an abuse of the privileges of his rank. "No. I'm not afraid of you, H." He said, closing the computer before even opening the database. He took another draw of his water, lightly screwed on the cap, and stood it on the floor near Don Gero, who was sleeping the day away like Nix. "But I do wonder if you saw me before or after I was in there." He tried to keep down a laugh of how sketchy it looked either way: whether he was yanked in by the collar or escaped out of the room in a hurry. Sketchy, perhaps, but also fun. He made his way to the cafeteria with sublime calmness to counter the oddity of his behavior outside Amai's room.
     
  17. Pixel

    Pixel Aether Child

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    Amai sat patiently in the cafeteria, this time at a table with two chairs. She wondered why Damian was taking so long, but her mind wandered off. Following her train of thought, she kept thinking about Damian, which led to their first meeting, which led to their first mission, which led to memories of their first mission, which led to Azelf. She frowned at the memory of the Azelf they had found in the cave at Lake Valor, and how it blamed them for problems that were occuring. She wondered what exactly happenes between Team Galactic and the Lake trio. Was Team Galactic, the organisation she was a part of, doing bad things? No, they couldn't be. The only public project she knew about was the Galactic Energy Program, which strived to make cleaner energy for the world. Surely there was no way the commanders were doing something shady behind everyone's backs. If they were, Damian would know, and he'd tell her.
     
  18. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Jeff
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    Hallway's quiet. Nobody giving me suspicious looks. I guess H hasn't blabbed yet. Damian pondered on the way to his meeting in the cafeteria. But on the other hand, maybe it wouldn't be so bad to have some outside talk. Work out some of this stuff.

    Amai beat him to the cafeteria yet again. The girl is punctual, if nothing else. "Hey." He began, pulling out a chair, and lowering himself down turned a few degrees away from straight at Amai. "Sorry about my..." My what? "Anyway, you seem like you have something on your mind. Do you feel like sharing?"
     
  19. Pixel

    Pixel Aether Child

    Thamill
    (Larvitar)
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    Ice Stone ★★★★Lucarionite ★★★★Dawn Stone ★★★★Decidium Z ★★★★★Galladite ★★★★
    "It's not really important, just riding my train of thought. So, let's get started organising our trip." Amai smiled, before adding, "Oh, and I saw Mars in the hall and cleared everything up. I also said you'd see her after, since you two seem to have a good connection, which will give us a higher chance of getting clearance."
     
  20. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Jeff
    (Spinarak)
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    "Our trip... back to Valor?" Damian asked, just to be sure. "I'm glad you're on board for going back so soon. Something is definitely strange around there. It doesn't sit well with me at all." His phone chimed in his pocket, probably another note from his invisible shadower. "Mars is the one who personally trained and later vetted for my promotion, so if anyone will let me bend rules and make my own assignment, it's her." Honestly, it was weird talking to Amai, maybe because it wasn't more weird. Less than twenty minutes ago, she professed her lo... lo... L-word to him, and already they're casually discussing an off-the-books mission, almost like nothing happened. "And that works out anyhow. After the debriefing -- which, by the way, I wish you were present for, since it would have been great practice for you -- she and Cyrus singled me out of the leaders for a follow-up later." And idea brewed in his head. "Maybe they want us to go back. We could use this to our advantage, not even worry about taking it off the books. We could do this mission with no risk of the higher-ups coming down on us. Or maybe they're just going to preemptively stop us? I don't know, I can feel my the anticipation like gravity."
     
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