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Thread: Wandering Hearts [Moemon Fanfic]

  1. #121
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Twelveseal's Avatar
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    Heh. Scyther would probably end up looking like KC's Mantis, yes. As for the Scizor, that's another matter. A Scizor would probably have pincers extending from the forelimb near the wrist that circle around a more human hand. Rather than clinching fully shut, said pincers would probably just serve as weapons alongside the hand structure.

    And yes, they would be chitinous, though not over all of their bodies. Unlike true arthropods, Bug-Type Moemon possess an endoskeleton with an exoskeleton-like form of natural armor, especially on the limbs.

  2. #122
    Convocation Lycodrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soldat der Trauer View Post
    @Lycobater: Deino...
    Eh, I already stated my other 4 "possible choices", and that detail really has nothing to do with it.
    Fuzzy dragon that was originally meant to be a call-back to Megatron: i.e. multi-headed tank dragon?
    Last edited by Lycodrake; February 19th, 2013 at 04:22 PM.

  3. #123
    An Absolute Terror for Absolute Territory Soldat der Trauer's Avatar
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    Oh my god, I haven't seen that in forever. Such an awesome show, and what a villain! I still have the action figures; Transmetal-II Dinobot remains my favorite.

    >///////<
    Let the victor...be justice.







    Quote Originally Posted by Mcjon01 View Post
    Metal Gear's conception of cyborgs has now convinced me that the real reason there were no more Holy Grail Wars is because Servants became obsolete in the near future, and that past humans and their superiority can just bend over and take it from modern technology.


  4. #124
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Twelveseal's Avatar
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    [Got Woods?]
    After a bit, I ask mom how to clean the clothes. She happily informs me that she’ll prevent me from seeing the tags for Chu’s sake, but she’ll tell Chu how to wash them. I, in turn, will refuse to take responsibility for this.
    Basically, the girls are making sure I’ll never even be able to guess what Chu’s sizes are without cultivating my eyes into ero-vision like an eroge pervert.

    I head back into the kitchen in defeat. Chu… Why’d you have to murder the wiring last night? It’s too damn hot in here. Mom’s probably staying cool with that cold bath water, but I’m steaming to death here. The rain last night pumped the humidity up, so the air feels like it has substance.

    Two hours… This sucks. Boredom always sucks so much more when it’s hot. The heat saps your energy, so you just want to lay there, but then you feel even more bored, and you just end up in this absurd cycle of suck.
    “Blargh.” I don’t even think I’m thinking straight anymore. I idly wonder if the heat might be the reason why I’m a little more irritated than normal.
    I decide it’s time to change the scenery. I head outside to the backyard, grabbing my new ‘phone’ and a baseball bat. I’ll see if I can’t find a nice shady spot out here where I can catch a breeze. The house is too stifling. I know mom must have called the electrician, again, on her cell, so I won’t bother with that. She’s really reliable when it comes to keeping the house going.
    I settle for sitting under the tree line at the edge of the property. Pretty much everything beyond this point is going to be wilderness. There might be an old wall, foundation, or maybe even a shack out there, but nothing civilized people have lived in for generations. You hear stories about inbred mountain men and half-Moemon, ghosts, undiscovered Breeds, and sorts of other silly legends, but that’s just because people can’t really venture into those places alone.
    I sigh.
    Maybe coming out here wasn’t such a good idea. It’s cooler, sure, but now I’m thinking about what Chu wants me to do. She wants me to go see Guru, somewhere in the mountains. There aren’t any Routes out there, no city streets or roads. Not even hiking trails. The only paths will be the ones made by Moemon and animals, game trails cut through the brush by things that wear fur, scales, and feathers instead of cloth.
    It’s something I did once before, a long time ago. When I was a child, I went somewhere I shouldn’t have. I followed a path that wasn’t made by things that wear clothes. That was how I earned my first scars.
    I look off into the dark woods, the secret byways hidden beneath a canopy of spring green and shadow.
    I wonder if I can handle this.

    “You’ll be fine.” I didn’t hear her walk up, but at least I didn’t jump. Chu’s beside me, and soon enough, she sits down. She’s within arm’s reach, but not pressing against me. Maybe she’s as hot as I am.
    “Maybe.”
    “If it isn’t, I’ll protect you. That’s the duty of a Starter, yes?”
    “Something like that. But it’s kind of strange to me.”
    “Mmm?”
    “Being protected by a Moemon, and by a girl.” I’ve always been the kind of person who protected himself and others, not the one that needed protection. The one time it was the other way around, what I needed protection from was what’s protecting me now.
    “Mmm. If you wish to protect me, I do not mind. You have already done so, after all. But I don’t believe you are strong enough to protect yourself from everything. Certainly not both of us all the time.”
    “Heh. So you’re saying I’m weak.”
    “Mmm… No. I do not think so. If you were weak, you would not have beaten me in the first place, or been able to help me. But you are not strong, either.”
    “You know, I’m pretty confident in my abilities as a human being.”
    “And there is the problem. Yours are the abilities of a human. Mine are not.” I turn my head and click my tongue.
    “Oh? A male’s pride is wounded. But that’s good. If you can feel like that, then you’re not useless. Just improve, and that feeling will go away~” She says it with a smile that reveals understanding. She knows that’s a lot easier said than done.
    “I see. So I’m going to be traveling with a demanding girl like this.”
    “Mmm.” She smiles at me.
    Shit.
    I lean back against the tree and close my eyes. I just listen to the sound of the birds in the trees, the wind in the leaves, the cries of the insects and the rustling of clothes.
    Wait a sec.
    Rustling of…
    “What are you doing?” I look over to find Chu…
    “The cloth catches on my fur a bit. It’s itching.” Scratching herself.
    “…”
    I have nothing to say to this. Her pants and panties are pulled down, and she’s scratching the patch of yellow and black fur just above her crotch. It’s both somewhat disgusting and somewhat appealing at the same time.
    “You really don’t care, do you?”
    “Mmm?”
    “That you’re exposing yourself in front of me.”
    “Should I?”
    “It’s not really something you should do. Definitely not where people can see.”
    “Why? Modesty?”
    “Er… Well, yeah. But not everyone wants to see you naked, so you shouldn’t do that in public.”
    “Hmm… Alright then.” She continues to ruffle her fur. No sign of pulling her pants back up.
    “You’re not going to fix them?”
    “No.” She looks like that’s obvious.
    “May I ask why?”
    “Because you want to see me naked.”
    “…” I see. So if everyone present wants to see her naked, then she thinks it’s alright. Logically, that works, but… I think it’s missing the point somehow. Also, a part of me would like to deny her statement, but it’s overridden by the part of me that admits it’s true, and knows she’s aware of it. This morning especially was proof. The fridge, the bathroom, the doctor’s visit, even the bus stop and talking about mating. I can’t really say I’m not interested now. But…
    “You know, if you do that, it’s like teasing me.” If I can’t deny it, then I’ll try another tactic.
    “Mmm~” She nods.
    I see. So it’s intentional. She’s intentionally teasing me after she said she didn’t want to fuck. You’re evil.
    “Are you done yet?”
    “No~” I sigh. This is a kind of torture. If I touch her, she’ll just shock me. She’s already told me she doesn’t want to right now. The only things I can do are sit there and let her play around like that, or walk away.
    If I walk away, it’s either going to be out into the sun in the yard, deeper into the woods, or back into the furnace of a house. The house is out, and so is the yard. And I have no intention of heading deeper into Moemon territory.
    Maybe if I sit here and ignore her, she’ll get bored.

    I lean back, close my eyes, and try to tune out the sound of her playing with her fur. After a while, I stop hearing the sound of her fingers scratching her soft fur.
    Wet.
    I’m hearing a wet, squelching sound instead. I can hear her gasping quietly, and there’s an odd smell.
    Chu…

    YOU’RE EVIL!
    Mustering my willpower, I stand up, keeping my eyes turned away from her, and walk off into the woods. I walk through some spaces in the trees, bat in hand, before finally settling on a limestone outcrop. And yes, I checked for snakes and such first.

    Just what is that girl thinking? Is she really just teasing me? Or is she telling me to act? She said she wasn’t interested before, and that I needed to prove myself, but then she goes and does that right beside me. Is it because that kind of thing is normal where she’s from? Does she just finger herself whenever she wants out in the woods? Even if there are others around? Or is she trying to entice me?
    Shit.
    Shit!

    Why do women have to be so complicated? No, even more than that, that girl isn’t even human! If that had been a human, there’s no other way to look at it but an invitation, but Chu’s not! Like I understand what she’s thinking! She always goes on about humans complicating things, and then she goes and…
    Oh.
    Shit.

    I made a mistake, didn’t I?

    Wait. Maybe I can turn this around… I look at the outcropping. Ideas, ideas… I set the bat down and head back. I didn’t walk for very long, so…
    When I get back, she’s still going at it. Coming up from behind her, I see the posture she’s in for the first time. Her shoulders pressed up against the tree, her hips are up in the air. Her knees are bent as if she were crouching and she’s resting on the balls of her feet and her left hand. Her shorts and panties are slid down to her knees. Her right hand is resting on the gold and black fur, and I can see her knuckles flexing as she moves her fingers. I can hear her heavy breathing, see her big ears twitching. I guess she didn’t want to stop, even after I left.
    Looking at her like this, I realize she’s completely visible from the house. If mom came to one of the windows or the enclosed deck, there’s no way she’d miss this view from the front. I don’t think you can see her from the road, though, and not from the neighboring houses.
    I look back down at her, at her big ears shifting while her hand struggles between her thighs, hear the wet sound of it. I take a deep breath to calm my nerves, but all the air I inhale is filled with her smell and the woods. I can feel my heart pounding.
    Needless to say, I’m ‘ready.’
    I reach out a hand and slide it along her soft ear. Her body wriggles a bit, her panting changes for a moment. I squeeze her ear lightly, still positioned behind her. I have to reach around the tree to touch her, so I move around beside her.
    She turns her head to look at me, her ear hiding all of her face except for those emerald eyes. Their moist, shimmering, half-lidded. I can feel her hand slow down, stop moving. Her eyes feel like they’re asking me what I’ll do.
    I slide a hand behind her back, curl the arm around her body, and the other beneath her knees, gathering them up. It’s a little awkward because of her posture, with her knees spread out like that, but I don’t care right now. I pick her up and carry her into the woods. She’s heavier than I expected. Heavier than she looks, at least. I kind of forgot about that. At least she’s supporting herself now, though. I head for the stone outcrop again. It was flat enough, and out of sight of the house. Her body feels hot in my arms. Her ear falls away, showing me a cheek that’s a bright pink color. It doesn’t look like a human blush. Those spots on her face that store electricity are sparking again. Is she talking, or something else?
    She shifts her legs slightly in my arms, opening a space between her thighs again. It makes it harder to hold her. Her right hand moves back to her crotch and starts plunging again. I can hear it, every time her fingers slide in and out, there’s a wet sucking sound. Her smell, sharp, tangy, a smell faintly acidic and like ozone at the same time gets stronger with every move of her hand, with every jostling step I take. Her gasps are speeding up, and I can see little beads of sweat forming on her brows as they knit. Her smell becomes something that reminds me of a storm coming, the smell in the air before it breaks. I can hear the pattering of drops on the loam, like the first spatters of rain.
    The trip that took only minutes before seems to take an eternity.
    I see the outcrop. I see the bat, fallen from where I left it leaning. Almost there!
    And then she thrashes in my arms. Her eyes squeezed shut, the pink ‘blush’ turned red and sparking, her mouth opens.
    “PIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!! !” The hell!?! My arms go numb instantly, but my ears clearly hear the sound of something splattering. The numbing sensation spreads through my body and…

    My arms stop working. Chu drops like a rock. My legs stop working and I unceremoniously join her in the dirt.

    Why me? Why? I almost made it…
    Note to self… Chu shocks things when she comes. The numbness is fading slowly, my body tingling all over. Chu, meanwhile, points at me accusingly.
    “You dropped me!”
    “Couldn’t help it. My arms stopped working. So did my legs. I don’t think I can move.”
    She looks at me with teary eyes. “Good!” She stands up and pulls some leaves off a nearby bush, wipes herself, and throws them aside before pulling her clothes back on. Then she introduces my ribs to the toe of her metal-reinforced shoe.
    Stars… I see stars…
    As my vision swims and Chu walks away on unsteady legs, I contemplate the error of my ways. In hindsight, even though I realized she was allowing me to touch her at worst, actually have sex with her at best, I complicated things again. If I had really understood the message, I wouldn’t have tried to move her. That was the deeper meaning behind the look, I’m sure, and why she continued to do that while I carried her.
    The point was to just take her right then and there. She comes from an open society, right? She already told me that they shit and stuff in public. Of course they’d fuck in public, too. I wasn’t supposed to take her anywhere. I was just supposed to not care that we were in view of the house or anything else.
    It might have gone better if I had been less ambitious, or if I hadn’t tried to hide the mistake I made at first. If I had only taken her a little ways into the woods and just done it in the dirt, or up against a tree…

    Shit.

    To make matters worse, I have a feeling that electric shock had an effect on me. I can’t really tell due to full-body numbness, but… I may need new pants.

    Shit.
    ……………
    ………
    Last edited by Twelveseal; February 20th, 2013 at 11:18 PM.

  5. #125
    An Absolute Terror for Absolute Territory Soldat der Trauer's Avatar
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    Welp, guess things to go according to plan, huh? Hahahahaha.

    Fascinating how Aurum constantly second-guesses himself when it comes to Chu's cues, though for good reason.
    Let the victor...be justice.







    Quote Originally Posted by Mcjon01 View Post
    Metal Gear's conception of cyborgs has now convinced me that the real reason there were no more Holy Grail Wars is because Servants became obsolete in the near future, and that past humans and their superiority can just bend over and take it from modern technology.


  6. #126
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Twelveseal's Avatar
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    Heh, in his case, he's never dealt with anything quite like her. Or perhaps I should say, he's never been close to someone and really worried about what they thought of him. With Chris, he's just some guy that Aurum looks at as more-or-less his equal. They hang out, they have similar tastes, and they don't rag on each other seriously about their differences. Fargo is more Chris's friend than Aurum's, and Aurum gives him a similar measure of respect because of that, even though they're not really as close as Chris and Aurum are. So even though Aurum thinks Fargo is a little weird, he doesn't really care, and he doesn't really worry about what Fargo thinks of him. They're just guys that hang out.

    With Chu though, Aurum's second guessing himself because he actually cares about what she thinks of him. With Chris and Fargo, he just does his own thing and knows it'll be all right. With Chu, he doesn't know if just being himself is good enough. The fact that she points out that she has seemingly high standards doesn't help, since Aurum's never really had much luck with women due to his problems and his reputation. In effect, he's stressing himself out over her, acting like some guy on a date with a girl he has a crush on. It just happens to backfire because he overthinks things, and then comes to the wrong conclusion.

  7. #127
    Convocation Lycodrake's Avatar
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    Being Aurum is suffering; but in this instance Chu seems to have had that reflect on her. 'tis sad but true.
    Also: daaamn. XP

  8. #128
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Twelveseal's Avatar
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    [Pervert, Again]

    After I recover enough to move, I pick up the bat and head back home. Chu’s probably lurking somewhere, waiting to give me an earful for that disaster.
    I get out a change of clothes and have a shower. As embarrassing as it is, that shock pushed me over the edge. Besides, she was dripping on my pants while I carried her. The icy water clears away my lust brutally.
    I get out of the shower shivering, towel off, and change, then make my way back downstairs. I drag out a chair at the kitchen table, the legs scraping on the floor, and sit down to sulk.
    I made a mistake. Thinking things through… Shit. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, but I wish I had that on the spot. If I had really thought about what she was doing, when she was doing it, that wouldn’t have backfired. I’m sure of it. I rest my head in my hand as I lean on the table.
    So… What do I need to do now? I basically just made myself look like an idiot, ruined her afterglow, and generally pissed her off. I feel like I should be pissed over this, especially that parting kick and the nice big bruise on my side, but the only person I can really be mad at is myself. I sigh.
    I guess the first thing I need to do is apologize. I just have to find her.

    Realistically, if she came back to the house, she’s probably in the guest room or talking with mom. The second one makes me worry. On the other hand, she could have gone back under the house, since she was living there for a while.
    The other option is that she’s somewhere in the woods. I don’t particularly want to go in there alone looking for her. Not only do I not think I’ll find her if I do, there’s a chance I’ll find something that I don’t want to.
    The only other places around here are the windmill and generator in the backyard and the tool shed.

    First things first, I check in with mom. She’s still washing clothes and hasn’t seen Chu. I can validly use the excuse that it’s getting to be around time to check on her reading ability now.
    After mom, I decide to check the guest room. The room is mostly clean, but the bed looks like an animal slept in it. There’s black and yellow fur on the sheets, and the blanket and top sheet have been pulled up and wadded into the center of the bed. It makes me think of the ‘nest’ under the house. She must sleep curled up in the fetal position or something. I poke the mass of cloth, but there’s nothing in there besides some fur.
    Since she doesn’t seem to be in the room, I decide to head back outside. I check in with mom again as she’s finishing up the wash. Still, she doesn’t want me to hang them up outside. Apparently, she’s being pretty serious about hiding the sizes Chu wears, too. It’s kind of annoying, but I don’t feel like protesting right now.
    I sigh and head out, bringing the flashlight and a bat, just in case I have to check under the house and in the woods. The first place I check, besides a cursory glance over the main yards, is the windmill generator. Chu likes electricity, right?

    I walk up to the thing, which is fairly quiet right now. The air is hot and still, so it’s only slightly turning. What sits in the back of almost every yard in town is a turbine and battery array the size of a small car, attached to a slender white windmill on a rotating axis.
    This is the device that generates electricity for a home. A long time ago, people experimented with electricity provided by wiring in and above the ground. That didn’t work out for very long, though. The wires attracted electric-type Moemon and were easily damaged. Even roving Moemon sometimes would damage them by accident. Putting the wires underground didn’t work, either, since there are many types of Moemon, like Diglett and Sandshrew, that burrow underground. Eventually, with the need for electricity great, people developed a process of allowing individual citizens to generate their own power.
    Specifically, we lease the equipment from the electric company, who’s responsible for the maintenance and repair of the windmill, the generator, the storage batteries inside it, and the wiring in the house. Really, the last one’s mostly our own business, but there are situations where the electric company is held responsible, such as damages incurred by wild Moemon. In other words, Chu.

    Anyway, the thing can be pretty noisy, so most houses have it at the edge of their property, with a short wire running from the generator to the house. Said wire is then run through the back wall and under the house, keeping it out of sight and out of the way.
    With something like this, there’s no need for major power installations to supply the ordinary citizens with electricity, so big constructions like the dam at Falls Ridge are only needed to power government facilities and major factories, all of which end up removed from the private sector due to the difficulties in drawing power over long distances.

    Unfortunately, my wonderful understanding of the windmill in my back yard does not miraculously make Chu appear there.
    I check the shed next, which is a simply the place where we store odds and ends that we don’t usually need and keep the gardening and yard supplies. It’s dark, and smells funny, but there’s no Chu. Stands to reason… The shed was locked to begin with.

    And now for under the house. The door is once again open. Oi.
    “Chu…”
    “…” Silence, but I can hear her breathing in there, and a rustling sound. Sounds like cloth. Is she undressing? My mind starts running through images of naked Chu…
    No wait, why would she be undressing? I just pissed her off, and then left her. Or, well, technically she walked away from me, but I didn’t chase her until now, so…
    I turn on the flashlight and check the space. I find her almost immediately.
    “Bright!” She complains as the light hits her full in the face. She blinks as I turn it to the side. She’s sitting on her nest, the source of the rustling sound. She’s still fully clothed.
    “Did you come down here to beat me?” She says it with a hint of worry in her voice, which confuses me.
    “Uhhh… No. Why would you think that?”
    “… That,” she points at the bat. “And I kicked you.”
    “Ah.” So that’s what it was. “No. I just brought this in case I had to go looking for you in the woods.”
    “Idiot.”
    “Look, about earlier… Sorry.”
    “Idiot! Did you think about your mistake?”
    “Uhh… Yeah.”
    “And what did you learn?”
    “That I shouldn’t have worried about being seen.” At least, that’s part of it. “And in the first place… I… I should have just accepted the invitation.”
    “A little bit, you understand.”
    “Eh?”
    “You’re still too complicated.”
    “Oh.”
    “Hmph. Some progress is better than none. You should know better than to drop me now, too.”
    “Ah, hey! I couldn’t help that! You shocked me!”
    “Hmph. That’s nothing but a feeling of pleasure. If you intend to mate with me, you’ll learn to savor it.” Uhhh… Well, it didn’t hurt at least. But savor the total loss of the ability to move, or even support my own body? I question that. Doesn’t this mean I’ll be paralyzed if she comes?
    “Anyway… It’s about time to check on your reading ability.”
    “Mmm? It has been long enough?”
    “Ah, yeah… We were kind of messing around for a while.”
    “Mmm. Then let us see!” Her mood seems to have turned around. It’s kind of amazing, really. Is it because she has something else to focus on, or is it just part of her personality?
    I’m reminded that I don’t really know this girl.

    We head back into the house, and Chu immediately starts looking at the same boxes and cans as before. I can’t help but feel skeptical about the Machine’s ability to work, but, well… If it’s from the Joy’s…

    “Sinnoh Potatoes.”
    “Eh?” She’s looking at a sack of potatoes stored in the cabinet. They’re Russet spuds from a company that takes its name from the Region.
    “Mmm… White Gold brand Rice.” A sack of rice.
    She goes on to list off several other bag items stored in the shelves under the counter, bags of dried beans, peanuts, vegetable oil, salt, sugar, and other items. She reads off the names and contents of boxes of cereal, banana chips, crackers, cans of soup stock and vegetables, and then moves to the cleaners under the sink.
    I can feel my eyes widen as she reads off ingredients, then explains what some of the weird-ass chemicals actually are.

    This is ridiculous. She actually recognizes the chemical names on the back of foods and cleaners. She… She has a bigger vocabulary than I do…
    Did she inhale a dictionary!?! Was that what was in that little can!?!
    Shit!

    “I don’t think you’ll have a problem with that test now…”
    “Heee….” She smiles at me, her tail flicking happily. Why do you remind me of a cat right now? Her ears are even perking up, the big pointy things standing up almost straight. It’s really cute.
    “I guess we can go see that Professor now.”
    “Mmm.” She nods happily and puts the bottle of dish soap she’s holding back under the sink. I grab a bottle of water for each of us, let mom know we’re heading out, and pick up my bat again.
    “You’re bringing that weapon?”
    “… We’ll be going by that field from before.” To be honest, I want to grab a second bat. As absurd as it sounds, I’m not bad with two at once. When no one has your back for years, you learn ways to make up for it.
    “Ah… Mmm.” Actually, it might not have been a bad idea to get her into that combat gear, but… I have no idea how long that will take to dry, or how bad it will chafe her if she walks around in it while it’s wet.
    “We’ll just stick with what we’ve got.”
    “Mmm?”
    “Ah, sorry. Thinking out loud. Anyway, let’s go.” She nods and we head out. A breeze has started to blow, so maybe it won’t be too bad. It’s a shame really. Buses don’t run out to the Research Center. I guess, in order to be near the Moemon, you need to be a bit away from civilization. It’s really inconvenient though.
    I don’t really need to guide her this time, at least. It’s the third time we’ve walked this road together, after all. I let her read the certificates she earned at the Clinic this morning. Seems like she wants to read, now that she knows how. Modern technology really is an amazing thing. I’m still having trouble understanding just how it’s possible to learn something instantly like that.

    Yet she continues to prove, time and again, that she really can read. She reads me her own certifications, and every road sign we see along the way. The first time she does that, she turns to me with a beaming, sparking smile, puffs out her little chest with pride, and informs me that we’re currently on Route 781 at the half-mile marker. It’s a medium-sized blue sign of machined metal imbedded in a thick wooden post standing above my head. The writing is in big, clear letters. It’s probably been coated with some sort of stain-protection, since I’ve never seen the front of one of these things dirty or marked on.
    Of course, the post and the back of the sign have become works of art, sort of, since whatever protects the front of the sign doesn’t do shit for anything else. The post is carved with names and shapes and figures and symbols. From Runes to a little sign that says Eric <3’s Mia. I silently wonder which one of them scratched it into the wood. If either of them did. The back of the sign is covered in tags. Most are pretty small, but there’s a big one in black and maroon, a capital ‘T’ with two smaller capital ‘R’s flanking it, sharing the vertical bar of the ‘t’ as their own vertical stroke. It goes without saying that the first ‘R’ is backwards. I can’t help but frown when I see that thing.

    “Mmm? Did I read something wrong?” Chu apparently noticed my look. I feel kind of bad now.
    “Ah, no. You’re right.” That thing isn’t something I particularly want to think about. Time for a topic change. “So, why exactly are you so proud of being able to read this thing?” She didn’t exactly inflate like that for any of the other things she’s read so far. I mean, it’s just a road sign.
    “Hmhmm!” She smiles brightly again. It’s actually really cute to see. Except her cheeks are sparking, which makes it kind of scary at the same time. I’m been fried enough times already, thanks. “I have often seen these signs, including this one, but until now I couldn’t read them!” Ah, I see…
    “So you’re feeling like you’ve improved a lot.” Even though, really, it was the Technical Machine that did all the work.
    “Mmm!”
    “I guess that means you got something good out of talking to me, at least.” Well, besides the clothes. My poor wallet…
    “Among other things, yes.”
    “Your clothes were expensive, you know.” You should repay me in some way. Like not cooking me from now on. Maybe I should add this as a stipulation on our Quest at some point? Assuming she passes this exam thing, anyway.
    “Mmm. Those two, but you’ve given me better things than that.”
    “Eh?” Like hell. Those are the most expensive things I’v-
    “You’ve given me memories. Experiences that I could not have had without you. You showed me Guru’s wisdom. You welcomed me into your home and gave me your food. You gave me freedom when others would not have and you shed your blood for my sake, to buy my safety. These are more valuable things.” She says it with a gentle smile that makes her almost look angelic.
    “Ah.” I guess, looking at it like that…
    What do you say to that?
    “S-sure.” I think I’m probably blushing right now.

    We walk for a time in silence from then on, punctuated only by her reading road signs and mile-markers. It makes me think she’s assuring herself that she won’t lose her ability to do so. Like she doesn’t really believe it worked.
    Needless to say, we stop at the small rest stop on the way to the Research Center. It’s not to buy food, though we do get some water and use the restroom. And yes, she seems to have taken the short lesson at the Clinic to heart. Mostly, though, she just wants to read the signs and packages in the store. She wanders up and down the aisles, picking up various items and reading labels while I try to occupy myself.
    I end up wandering the store. I probably look like some kind of shoplifter.
    It’s only when I walk past the small section of office supplies that I realize she might be required to write for the test, and that she has no experience with it. I vaguely remember learning to write when I was little, and that it took a while to learn how to make the characters look right.
    I add a small notepad and a pen to my purchase while she’s wandering around. That TM was supposed to teach her how to read and write, in theory. But I don’t know if it actually worked on the writing aspect, since that’s at least partially muscle memory at work.
    After she’s gotten her fill of reading, we leave the store.
    “Hey, come here.” I direct her back to the table we sat at last time and take out the notepad and pen.
    “Mmm?”
    “I want to see if you can write, since it will probably be on the test.”
    “I should be able to. The Machine granted that ability.”
    “Yeah, but at least part of it’s muscle memory. I want to make sure you know how to do it. Do you know how to hold a pen?” I hand her the utensil and push the notepad over to where she sat down. Her grip is… horrendous. She grabs it in her fist.
    “That’s… Not going to work right. Like this.” I show her how to hold the pen. “Here, try writing the letters of the Alphabet on this thing.” She blinks at me and then starts moving the pen.
    Her movements are awkward at first, clumsy. But surprisingly, she picks it up quickly, and by the time she’s reached ‘z,’ her movements are completely fluid and natural. I have her go back through with the capital letters, which she completes with the same fluidity.
    “… Damn.” It’s an unnatural action, but she picked it up quickly. Is this the effect of that Machine? Even so it’s not a movement she’s used to, so she’ll probably end up with hand cramps before long.
    Still, she proves she can form sentences as well.
    ‘Aurum Birch is an idiot.’
    “…” She smiles at me with a smug look.
    “Fine. So you can write. Try something a little more complex. How about writing about what happened today?” She quirks an eyebrow, but she does it. As I watch, she fills two pages and then some with a reasonable description of the day’s events.
    Fine, I see. You’ve got it down. But honestly, I don’t know if I should be more impressed with her, or that Machine. That’s some insanely efficient stuff right there. Makes me want to see if I really can learn things from them. I mean, the Potion Spray worked, right?

    Note to self, scrape up some spare cash and see if one of those things works on me.

    Should I try something that’s easy to pick up, like a language, or should I go for something more… Me?

    Ah screw it, I’ll think about it later. Right now, we should probably get going. I point out as much and we head continue on. After a while walking up and down twisting mountain roads, we reach the Research Facility. Nothing much’s changed since the last time I was here. The same receptionist greets us, though she seems a little surprised to see Chu with me again.
    “So you didn’t let her go?”
    “I… Guess you could say she followed me home?” Chu gives me a quirked eyebrow, but doesn’t say anything.
    “That outfit looks cute on her. So you like sporty girls?”
    “Actually, she picked it herself, so…”
    “Eh? Hmmm. She has good taste.”
    “Mmm. Thank you.”
    “Ah! Ah. I see, so you must have given her a TM! Planning on keeping her as a pet, then? You’ll need a Trainer’s License. Ah! Is that why you’re here?”
    “Sort of.” On pretty much all counts there.
    “Mmm. I will be his Starter.”
    “Oh. Oh! So then you’ll need the license and ummm… And I’ll need to see her health certificates and your Temporary Registration.” I take out the papers and registration card as she rummages around in some manila folders in a cabinet behind the desk. Finally, she pulls out a form with two carbon copies, and a small packet of papers. “You’ll need to fill this out to complete your registration,” she hands me the form, “And this for your Trainer’s License.”
    Shit.
    Was not expecting paperwork. At least I still have a pen!
    “Yay…” My enthusiasm has successfully been curbed. “Do you have somewhere I can fill this out?”
    “There are some tables right around the corner on the left. I’ll buzz the Professor and let him know he has an applicant for the Eligibility Testing.”
    “Thanks.” We walk over to the tables and sit down. I find myself glaring at unwanted paperwork. It reminds me of homework. I wasn’t supposed to have to fill out this kind of thing for the whole rest of the year, damnit.
    I sigh and start filling it out. Basic info, mostly. Name, address, home phone, the new cell phone number I have to look up on the Moedex, birthdate, contact information, social security number, gender, ethnicity, and…
    Oh hell, there’s a personality quiz. Damnit, this is going to take a while. I sigh again. While I’m working on that, one of the Professor’s Assistants takes Chu back to the testing room for her written and oral exams. She explains before she goes what’ll be involved, and that, to prevent cheating, I won’t be allowed to observe. After the first two tests, she’ll be given a practical exam to test her ability to interact with people and civilization, and some basic exercises to test her physical capabilities.

    As I’m finishing up the personality quiz, Professor Sequoia sits down across from me. He’s got a strange smile on his face, not disturbing or anything. Just kind of… I don’t know, caring?
    “So it looks like things worked out, huh?”
    “I guess.” I glance up from the test.
    “I wondered about that. I had a feeling she’d be willing.”
    “Really? Is it even okay for a scientist like you to rely on something like a feeling?”
    “Heh. Of course, Mr. Birch! Of course! Theory is nothing more than idea, feeling, and belief until it’s tried and tested! Besides, it’s not like psychic powers don’t exist.” I suppose he has a point there.
    “Anyway, this means I can take you off the waiting list now. At least, so long as she passes.”
    “How’s she doing?” I really want to know, but I manage to stay calm.
    “Pretty good so far. She seems to not like money though. It doesn’t hinder her basic functions, but… I have a feeling she might not understand arithmetic that well, either.” Oh shit! I can feel my eyes bulge, as my jaw drops.
    I’m an idiot!!! I totally forgot numbers, math and shit! Son of a bitch!
    “Hey, don’t worry. So long as she does well on the rest, she should be able to pass. Just make sure you either use a TM on her that will teach her some basic math, or teach her yourself.”
    “Ugh.”
    “Don’t worry. She seems like a bright girl. She should handle most of the tests fine. I wouldn’t be surprised if she even learns from it. Though it’s not like I see very many wild ones in here these days.” He keeps talking as I finish up the last of the quiz.
    “Done? Greaaaaaaat! Let’s get this thing processed, then!” He grabs the registration forms as soon as they’re done and starts walking to the back room. “Hey, you can come along as well, you know.” Eh?
    I get up and follow him into a back room. The Research Facility is larger than it looks at first. There seem to be several small labs that remind me of chemistry class, meeting and lecture rooms, a small room with a white screen and a projector, and a computer lab. Not to mention several bathrooms and a break room. There’s even what looks like a sort of operating room. I wonder just what on earth goes on in this kind of place.
    Eventually we reach a hall ending with a pair of heavy double doors. Instead of going through them, though, the perv heads through a small door on the left. Inside is a small, clinical looking white room. There’s a PC in the corner on a small, tidy desk, and a long, narrow table up against the wall on the right. Above that wall is a long window that runs almost the whole length of the room. As I look out the window, I can see a small, paved lot, marked off like a road and parking lot. There’s a few faux buildings alongside a couple of actual structures.
    “What’s that?” I ask him as he takes the paper clip off of the packet of papers and begins feeding them through some kind of scanner for the computer. I didn’t even notice him turn it on.
    “That? That’s the rudimentary practical.”
    “Eh?”
    “It’s not really to my liking, honestly. But we have to do it like that. We should really take applicants into Fall’s Ridge and have them walk around under supervision, perform some basic tasks and such. But we’re just too far out of town for that, especially if we’re only handling a single applicant.” Uhhh…
    “Wait… So… I’m not supposed to walk around with her until she passes this test or something?” He glances over his shoulder at me.
    “Not really, no. Technically, it’s illegal. But the law is pretty lax, honestly. I mean, how exactly do you expect to get a Moemon certified? It makes it illegal to have a wild one certified up until it actually is certified.” He sighs as he finishes feeding sheets into the scanner.
    “So… I could have…”
    “Maaah… Not really. Unless she did something like attack someone or disturb the peace, most of the time no one asks for registration. It’s mostly just an additional fine the police tack onto other tickets. I mean really, people catch wild Moemon everyday and bring them into civilization. If they carded everyone, well over half the country would be in trouble.”
    “Heh. So I’m fine then.”
    “Of course.”
    I look out the window at the mock city block as I hear voices pass by the door. I hear the double doors in the hall open and see people start entering the set. It takes me a moment to realize that they’re probably there to serve as part of the test; either as judges or as people to interact with. Maybe both. Just looking at this, though, I’m starting to feel more and more confident in Chu’s success. At least with this part of the test, anyway. She didn’t have any problems when we went into the city, after all.
    I guess it’s not time for her to take this part just yet, though, since I don’t see her anywhere. So instead, I turn to the perv.
    “So… I thought you said I wasn’t allowed to watch the testing?”
    “For most of it, yes.” He looks up from his work. Seems like he’s through entering my application, and has moved on to processing the data. Mostly, it just looks like he’s verifying things on the computer. “It’s sometimes easy to distract a person, Moemon or human, if someone they want to impress or otherwise feel strongly about is watching them test. Especially the written exam. So we can’t allow a Trainer to be in the same room, or be where the Moemon can notice them. Of course, that also prevents would-be Trainers from giving hints to the applicants, too. Anyway, it helps keep their stress low, usually. But this room is soundproofed and the glass is one way. A Pichu won’t be able to detect you through that.”
    “I see. So… What exactly is she supposed to do here, anyway?”
    “Hmm? Mostly just interact with people, show she knows how to handle basic traffic laws, that she can deal with being in an enclosed space with a lot of people, you know… General things that happen in everyday life. She should be fine.” I nod. “Can you stand against that wall for me?”
    “Yeah. Sure.” He pulls a digital camera out of his pocket and takes a photo of me. I guess that’s for my Card. I move back to the window once he’s done.
    “Oh, by the way... I’d like to get that blood sample from you today.” Urk. I was afraid that’s how this was going to be. I can already see the gleam in his eyes. That evil smile.
    “Uhhh… I guess.” Quick, subject change now. Become a test subject? DO NOT WANT.
    “Uh, yeah. While I’m thinking about it, Chu said something weird earlier that didn’t make a lot of sense to me.”
    “Hmm?”
    “She said that Moemon can inherit the learned skills of their parents. But that’s just…” I was going to say stupid, but before I can even finish, he responds.
    “They can. Abilities learned like that are called Egg Moves.”
    “THAT’S NOT HOW HEREDITY WORKS!!!” What the fuck!?! He looks at me sideways like I’m an idiot.
    “You do know that… that’s actually how heredity works for Moemon, right?” No. No. This is a troll. This is a joke.
    “Moemon aren’t like most other organisms. Their genetic structure is mutable. It’s why they can Evolve, and even Devolve, in a single organism, instead of over the course of generations. Where most organisms just have variable genetic expression, the genetic structure of a Moemon can actually change in response to external stimuli. So when a Moemon learns what we call a ‘Move,’ it becomes ingrained in their genetic structure and can be passed on to future generations.”
    “Wha… What the hell!?!”
    “Ah… I see. That’s fairly common knowledge in my field. Sorry about that.” He looks sheepish as he apologizes. “I forget that the specifics of Moemon aren’t covered in compulsory education yet. Give it a few years.”
    “So they seriously… Things they learn are inherited by their children?”
    “Sometimes. It has to do with compatibility, really. If you’re dealing with different Breeds mixing, then sometimes you can get oddities, but for the most part if it’s the same Breed, the offspring will know all of the Moves that are shared by both parents. If they don’t share Moves, then the offspring is more likely to be the same Breed as the father, and to have his Moves. Of course, there are other things that can modify Egg Moves, too, like time of day the breeding took place, location, and certain objects carried or in the immediate vicinity. Even during gestation, if the mother has regular contact with certain materials, then it can sometimes alter the Egg Moves learned.”
    “That’s ridiculous.” IT IS! The hell do you explain that!?
    “Eh. Doesn’t change the fact that it’s the way things are. I did tell you that my profession exists to try and understand things like this, yes?”
    “Then explain it.” Please.
    “Honestly, we don’t really know. Current theory suggests it’s similar to why some Moemon will spontaneously Evolve when exposed to certain minerals, and Devolve when the mineral is taken away. We think that the genetic structure of some Moemon might be susceptible to alteration by the vibration frequency of certain crystal lattices. For example, if a Pichu is bred while the parents are exposed to yellow quartz, or if the mother has regular contact with it during pregnancy, the Pichu will hatch with the ability to channel electricity through their entire body, what we call the Move Volt Tackle.”
    “But… Why would that cause them to be able to do that?” I’m reminded of Chu trying to charge into me when we first met, sparks dancing… Was that Volt Tackle?
    “Like I said, we don’t know. There’s no real correlation between quartz and electricity to my knowledge, let alone the specific mineral array that produces yellow quartz. Mineralogy isn’t my specialty. For whatever reason, though, it causes changes in the fetus. Really though, that kind of thing is part of what I study. Mating, breeding, development of the fetus, and the early stages of nurturing and child rearing. It’s quite interesting, really.”
    “Wai… Wait. So then, random objects and stuff can cause a Moemon to Evolve?” I think about what my mom said, about her Starter and a Dawn Stone.
    “Sort of. It’s really more Professor Elm’s specialization than mine, but certain types of Moemon Evolve when exposed to specific crystals. So far, we’ve only observed those relating to gemstones, usually semi-precious ones. Oh, and sometimes metals. Of course, there are other things that can cause a Moemon to Evolve as well, like sufficient levels or endorphins in the blood stream, or sufficient physical and mental development. Even the presence of other specific hormones, like melatonin, can have an effect on Evolution.”

    This is messed up.

    “So you’re saying that they can basically randomly change species?”
    “Sort of. The line between Breed and Species is a bit blurry with Moemon, since a lot of the different Breeds can, well, interbreed. We classify them into ‘Egg Groups’ to represent which pairings are viable and which aren’t. So long as the Breeds are in the same Egg Group, they’re basically the same species, even if they have dramatically different appearances or capabilities, and can produce viable offspring. Further, in most cases, even if you were to pair two Stage 3 Moemon, like say, two Raichus, the resulting offspring would always be a Pichu. Which really makes the Evolutionary Stages look more like life-stages. However, since there’s an actual genetic difference between the Stages, we can’t consider them such when compared with other organisms.”
    My head is starting to hurt.
    “So basically, Moemon just look like people and animals. But genetically, they’re something completely different. And we don’t know why, or how.”
    “Pretty much. The genetic instability that results in Moemon Evolutionary Process is what defines a creature as a Moemon rather than another organism. It doesn’t really matter what it looks like, so long as it has that trait. After all, there’s even one Egg Group that can breed with all of the others, regardless of what type, so again, it’s not like we can really consider them to be different species.” Moemon Evolutionary Process… That was something mentioned on the computer I used to get the Technical Machine. And he mentioned Moves and learning them earlier.
    “So… I guess you’d consider learning a whole language a Move?”
    “Hmm? Are you talking about those TM’s Creatures, Inc. makes?”
    “Yeah. I got one for Chu this morning so she could learn to read and write. So, that would be a ‘Move,’ and she learned it by going through some sort of… micro Evolution?”
    “That’s my guess. That stuff’s all copyrighted though, so the information on how it really works hasn’t been circulated, even in the scientific community. Honestly, the medicines they make for Moemon, like the Potion Spray, probably use a similar mechanic, but I don’t really know.”
    “I… see.” So that’s why he wants to study me so much. He thinks I might have this genetic weirdness. Shit. I turn away from him and look out the window again.
    “Do you think I could use one?”
    “Hm?”
    “A TM.”
    “Ah! I don’t know. It might be that you’ve just got some kind of abnormality that responds to the chemicals in the Potion Spray. Honestly, I’ve never heard of a Moemon that could appear to be wholly human though. I mean, it would have shown up in medical examinations and blood tests consistently if you were an actual Moemon, even one belonging to the Human-like Egg Group.”
    “…” I don’t look at him, instead just staring at my ghostly reflection in the glass. Just what am I? That doesn’t really sound like something a random mutation would be able to do. I mean, he’s talking about me being able to use a medicine that’s custom tailored to work only for creatures with a genetic anomaly that modern science doesn’t even fully understand.
    I think back to the weirdness of my mom’s family. The Joys. A family of people who have naturally pink hair, and who all look almost perfectly identical. Or at least, all of the women.
    It’s natural to think this is related, right? I want to ask mom, but… I’m sure she won’t answer. Just thinking about the way she was after the phone call yesterday, and how quickly the whole mess with my sudden recovered just vanished.
    Not just ‘what am I,’ but… What are the Joys? Should I be afraid for my life here? I swallow, thinking about what might be ahead of me.
    At some point during the conversation, Chu entered the practical testing site, and has started interacting with the various staff members involved. I can see her talking to some of the people who helped get her off of me the other day. As she goes through various scenarios, I mull the conversation over in my head. Professor Sequoia has already left the room, presumably to get my completed Trainer Card.
    I sigh, alone in the room, wondering. Chu seems to be doing well, at least.
    Before too long, Sequoia comes back with a small, green, laminated card. It has my picture on it, probably entered in the computer while we were talking. My personal information is listed on there, and…
    “Quirky?” It seems I have an odd personality. I wonder if I should feel insulted by this?
    “Yup. Don’t put too much stock into it. After all, mine described me as Perverted.” He says this with a straight face. YOU DON’T EVEN REALIZE IT!?!?!
    I realize this means I’m Quirky. Hrm.
    “Anyway, it looks like she’s almost done, so if you’ll follow me, we’ll go ahead and get the blood sample.” Great…
    We head back to one of the rooms we passed by earlier. It looks like an examination room at a doctor’s office. Collecting the sample from my arm doesn’t take long, but I wish he’d just put a bandage over it instead of using more Potion Spray.
    “You just had to do it, didn’t you?”
    “I still can’t get over it.” There’s not even the slightest mark on my arm. Apparently, it’s not a fluke.
    “Do I at least get something out of this?” I mean really, this guy’s basically asking me to volunteer for his research.
    “Compensation? Hmmm… I guess we could pay you? We don’t really keep cash on hand here, though. I should be able to make some arrangements by tomorrow, if that’s okay with you. You can stop by here in the morning, or call. Maybe I’ll even have some information on your blood sample then.” Ah. Wait, you can do something like that so quickly? Really? Doesn’t lab work normally take weeks? Maybe it’s because they’ll be doing it on site, and don’t really have anything else to do? He doesn’t really seem busy at all.
    I nod and agree to it. At least if I get paid for it, I’ll have a little extra money to spend on the trip. It might help compensate for buying Chu’s clothes and all this registration mess.
    It’s probably about time to check on Chu now.
    Did she pass, or…
    Last edited by Twelveseal; May 11th, 2013 at 10:22 AM.

  9. #129
    Convocation Lycodrake's Avatar
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    Aurum Quirky nature? I was kind of expecting Rash or "Sassy" (I prefer to use the term "Sarcastic" for obvious reasons =P ), but Quirky works, too.
    Too bad he doesn't get any sort of +10% boost. XP

    Chu is literate savvy now. Oh the havoc just from that. XDDD

  10. #130
    is eclectic. ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
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    This just in, Lamarck has been vindicated at Aururm's expense.
    Spinach: Tina is my spirit animal.

    Mcjon01: [Fate/EXTRA]'s still a rock paper scissors simulator. The skills simulate the part of rock paper scissors where you get mad at your friend for obviously cheating all the time because you know it's impossible for you to just be that bad at rock paper scissors so you punch him in his stupid cheating mouth.

  11. #131
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Twelveseal's Avatar
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    Indeed. Aurum's just not clued in, really. Though I suppose having a phobia about something for so long would naturally make you avoid information regarding it. As it is now, he's starting to realize just how fundamentally different Chu is from him, and humans in general.

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