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 Posted on: Feb 14 2018, 01:12 AM
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"'course we're fuckin' lost."

he had failed to properly plan out this particular venture. now the researcher was likely several miles into this huge forest without any real idea of where to go. the man hissed out a breath through clenched teeth, just barely managing to keep his temper from flaring in reaction to his own idiocy. he had no one else to blame for this mishap, after all.

"i'll figure this out..."

the man prided himself on being a fairly intelligent individual despite his usual demeanor and speech pattern. his mind would work at a decently-held pace, potential solutions popping up within the confines of his skull as he sought out an answer to his problem. he had numerous tools at his disposal - a map being one of them. but he doubted the forest would be presented as anything else besides a sizable blob of green.

"yo, johnny. think ya can use that nose of yours to get us outta here?"

the growlithe - situated comfortably at the man's heel - merely wagged his tail lightly and blinked up at the human with the slightest hint of bewilderment pinching at his handsome features.

"useless," the man sighed.

but despite his words rick offered the canine a light scratch, the pokemon responding positively to the attention with a pleased grumble.

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 Posted on: Feb 14 2018, 01:03 PM
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Wren rarely did anything without a well-thought plan in place first. It was his nervous nature as well as his desire to succeed that made him painstakingly thorough. There were only a handful of occasions where Wren had allowed his curiosity and more geeky desires of discovery and exploration in the pursuit of science to get the best of him—only a handful, but those few had always turned out poorly. Fortunately for him, and likely fortunately for Rick, today’s venture into Millford woods had not been one of his hasty decisions.

He had, stowed away in the pocket of his oversized jacket, a semi-detailed map and a compass. It was a more archaic way of navigation than he typically did, but the tall trees with their gnarled branches often left his gps unit confused, earching uselessly for satellites, and of absolutely no use to Wren. With the map and compass, however, he merely need to know his direction and he could navigate himself out fairly accurately; he had been, after all, (at least for as long as his mother and father had made him) been a boy scouts.

Sounds of cussing first alerted Wren to another person’s presence. He stopped short and abruptly looked up. They weren’t yet in sight, and while a well-put together human being might thought to seek them out Wren’s first thoughts were those of a paranoid, jittery man; villains, shady activity, being stabbed in the woods…

It was likely the thoughts would have gotten the best of him and spurred him onwards, but eventually the voice continued and, by context clues, Wren deduced they were lost. It didn’t mean they still couldn’t be shady, but he was more inclined to help now. His phanpy, Crash, wasn’t giving him much choice anyhow. With a trumpeting squeal the blue pokemon charged into the underbrush towards Rick and his growlithe. Wren moved more cautiously. ”Crash—hey Crash you need to wait for me!” He hollered. Then, more quietly. ”You don’t know what you’re heading into.” And indeed neither did he.

The man appeared to be as big and scary as Wren had imagined. He only blinked wordlessly as he pushed his way into the open while Crash danced around their feet.



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 Posted on: Feb 14 2018, 02:00 PM
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the sight of a stout, blue pokemon had entered his field of vision, the pokemon in the midst of rushing toward both himself and his own companion. at first, rick had assumed the creature was of the wild variety, and had grown the slightest bit tense despite its smallish frame. phanpy - and it was most certainly a phanpy - were renown for their strength. but it appeared to be quite friendly, seeming to delight in their presence as it pranced about.

"yo," the man greeted, somewhat lamely.

his gaze would abruptly shift as a stranger slipped into view. he was a smaller man - at least when compared to rick's - boasting a lean structure and attire that could be considered neat and even professional in appearance. rick would blink owlishly in reaction, an almost awkward silence befalling the pair before he raised his hand in greeting.

"hey, man."

rick promptly pointed toward the overeager ground-type.

"i'm guessin' this one here is yours?"

that would make the most sense, seeing as they had appeared almost simultaneously. his growlithe had proceeded to join phanpy in its frolicking, bouncing upon his paws to mimic the joyous jig of excitement. the slight curl of rick's lip betrayed his amusement as he eyed the pair before addressing the stranger once more. he would approach as he drawled out a greeting, a noticeable swagger in his step as he sought to properly introduce himself to the man. rick offered a hand expectantly and a grin that was borderline roguish in nature.

"name's rick," he said. "what's yours, bro?"


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 Posted on: Feb 14 2018, 03:42 PM
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If anyone knew not to judge a book by its cover, or in this case human by their appearance, it was Wren, but in this moment he was failing miserably at it. The man before him had the appearance of a hoodlum, and the lingo, Wren discovered when they greeted him, to match. Having already been expecting the worse in meeting a stranger in the middle of the woods Wren was anything but surprised, but he was fearful and wary—both those emotions were likely plain on his face despite efforts to mask them, and a dull blush followed when he realized he’d yet to say anything in response.

”O-oh hello,” He corrected with only a minor stutter. His eyes were wide as he continued to take the sight of Rick in. He didn’t know what to make of him, and each time he talked he felt more flabbergasted and confused. Instinct told Wren to be afraid, but the man was giving him no reason to be; his choice of words were odd, but otherwise perfectly pleasant. Wren habitually smoothed his jacket, eyes to his feet, as he took a moment to collect himself.

When he next looked up he was a bit more put together, but the nervous, flighty air hadn’t quite gone away—not totally. ”Yes that’s my…that’s Crash.” A small smile hinted at his affections for the troublesome pokemon. ”He tends to do what he wants.” He said in way of apology. ”I hope we weren’t interrupting, but by the sounds of things,” Wren had overheard a bit. ”You seemed lost.” Wren was beginning to explain, but went no further. The man, the big, tousled-haired man, was coming closer. He had a confident, easy swagger to his step that was both intriguing and intimidating to Wren; part of him wanted to shy back, but he only watched in an admittedly dumb stupor until a hand was thrust in front of him. Slowly Wren took it in his smaller one. His eyes never left the roguish smile on Rick’s lips.

”My name is Wren.” Bro? Wren hadn’t heard such talk since college, and he was reminded of the sporty, athletic types. ”Do you…need assistance? I’ll gladly help if I’m able.” He offered somewhat lamely.



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 Posted on: Feb 14 2018, 06:43 PM
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rick's expression froze for a beat before he offered up a sheepish grin.

"well - shit - was it that obvious?"

the man scratched the back of his head in a mostly absent fashion, a touch embarrassed that such a thing had been lain bare.

"yeah - yeah, man, i could totally use the help 'n all."

his gaze would fix itself upon the man's freckled face before he openly preformed a once-over of the stranger. he had managed to successfully identify that the smaller fellow had failed to relax within his presence in a few short moments. rick resisted that urge to cock his head to the side and bear his teeth in a grin once had made the observation. instead, his smile grew the smallest amount in size, a hint of amusement managing to bubble to the surface. once they had shaken hands, he tucked his own into his deep trouser pockets, his dark gaze presently clashing with the smaller man's.

"i'd be in your debt 'n all," he continued. "ain't that right, johnny?"

the pokemon would halt abruptly and release a bark in agreement, the canine's rear wiggling alongside his bushy tail.

"so, how ya gonna get our lost asses outta here, wren?" he questioned, the man's respective title purposefully drawn out. "tried usin' my own map but it's real vague when it comes to this forest."

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 Posted on: Feb 15 2018, 01:27 PM
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Crash, Wren noted, seemed more than comfortable around the man and his growlithe. It might have meant Crash was a bad judge in character, but Wren was instead inclined to believe it meant he could relax—that these were folk who could be trusted. By no means would he let his guard down so quickly, but he’d make an extra effort to seem…less nervous and flighty. With his line of work he would often be expected to work with others, and while he could, his personality didn’t always make it easy; it was something he needed to consciously work on, and since he wanted to begin climbing the ladder in his career he needed to brush up his social skills quickly.

He smiled a lopsided smile and shrugged his shoulders apologetically at Rick. ”A little, yes.” He admitted. ”You’re colorful vocabulary was easy to hear. It’s…refreshing.” Wren hadn’t grown up in a family, or even an area, that had much use for curses or catchy slang; even in college Wren had been surrounded by more stuffy academics, and as a result he was quite rigid with his choice of words. It was his hope that being away from that all—internships and professional settings—he would begin to loosen up (as the saying went).

”Well,” He began searching his pockets. ”Did you accomplish what you came out here to do?” He hoped it hadn’t been anything bad or dangerous (and almost regret asking). ”Crash and I were just strolling—Crash likes to look for caches of food that pokemon like emolga and pichu bury and help himself.” An affectionate frown at his phanpy. ”Helps train his sense of smell in any case, and keeps him exercised. He can be hard to keep up with.” Wren admitted. He obviously wasn’t the most physically fit of people, and with his avoidance to battle, this was the least he could offer his pokemon in way of mental and physical exercise.

Blushing and smiling an amused smile Wren finally pulled out his map of the forest and compass. ”Old school navigation. You see you just have to know how to orientate yourself; your place in the forest with the location on the map. Really, once you know what direction you’re going it’s quite easy.” He blinked and blushed more fiercely. ”I was a boyscout as a child and some skills never leave you. Habit and all that.” He said to explain away his obsessive preparedness.



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 Posted on: Feb 16 2018, 03:13 PM
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"yeah," he confirmed. "got all the shit i needed ta do done."

rick had been seeking out a migrating flock of murkrow, and had managed to successfully capture several glimpses of the gathered dark-type's. unfortunately, whilst in the midst of his pursuit, he had thoroughly displaced himself from the set path he had chosen prior to this trip. thankfully, he had managed to collect several samples for examination - so all had not been naught.

"so i've got myself a boyscout, 'ey?"

there was a teasing edge present in his voice as he spoke to wren, an amused look having surfaced in reaction to the flush that colored that heavily freckled face.

"huh. that's a real nice compass ya got," he commented.

rick would move to situate himself at the man's side, his larger form likely to brush against wren's as he peered down at the map and directional device within the smaller fellow's grasp. wren's set up was far more superior than his own, the man appearing to be competent in relation to the art of navigation.

"let's get a move on, then!" he said. "i'm so fuckin' tired of this place, ya know?"

he held a preference toward areas that could be considered 'urban' and 'heavily populated', after all. forests weren't exactly his scene, to put it quite bluntly.

"so - uh - i noticed crash here looks pretty fresh. have ya had him for long?"

every single pokemon within his own roster were relatively young. johnny was likely to be around a year or so at the most. and it would likely take a good while before the pokemon was properly prepped for evolution.

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 Posted on: Feb 17 2018, 01:38 PM
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Wren bobbed his head at the other man. ”Good, good,” He spoke quietly. ”We can be off, then. Crash can continue to look for his, uh, treasures along the way, I think.” He looked up from his map to glance at the phanpy; he seemed to have no objections, and was rather tickled looking at having another pokemon around he could pester. Meridian, Wren’s feebas, was saved from the experience by the fact she, when out, dwelled in water, and Crash would have nothing to do with that. He hoped soon to add to his team, but the occasion hadn’t come up, and quite frankly his existing pokemon needed the training and attention before then anyways.

He wouldn’t have thought his face could flush more crimson beneath Rick’s gaze, but having sensed the teasing tone in the other man’s voice at the boyscout comment his face did just that. Wren took a moment to collect himself—for the whole lot of good that did—before smiling smartly, a trace of humor evident beneath the blushing of embarrassment. ”Yes, well, lucky for you, hmm?” He tried to tease back, but it may have come off as awkward with his lack of experience, and slight fear that he might end up offending, but the boy tried.

The slight fluttering of his hands as he figured out their direction, relative location on the map, and in which direction they needed to go to leave the forest came to a pause as Rick knelt down beside him. Wren wasn’t a person who was accustomed to physical contact, beyond the quick and casual handshake, much less the close proximity of those much bigger (and assumingly stronger) than himself. He may have trembled.

”Thank you. I’d be happy to, mm, point you in direction of some handy outfitting stores who can set you up with similar maps and gear.” He offered. He was rather unsure if Rick’s compliment had been heart-felt, or just a passing comment. Either way Wren thought Rick could benefit. He seemed a rather nice man despite his rough appearance, and he’d hate to see him get lost in the forest—or anywhere at all. Danger lurked everywhere, after all.

With a slight surprised, slack-jawed look Wren eventually chuckled and stood, brushing dirt, snow, and leaves from his pants as he stowed away his map and compass once again. ”Right—we need to go this way.” He motioned to a path, likely made by stantler or a similar pokemon, through the woods. ”What were you doing out here that got you so lost?” He asked reflexively, but flinched and looked almost wide-eyed to Rick. ”If you don’t mind me asking, of course.” Wren still didn’t know if it had been drugs or something nefarious, and he’d hate to get tangled up in that.

All too eager to change the subject he latched onto Rick’s comment of his phanpy and shook his head. ”Not long. He’s quite new to me. My work right now is fossil focused and he’s to help me find and collect them in the field.” Wren explained.



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 Posted on: Feb 17 2018, 06:40 PM
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"i was dealin' with a murder."

that signature smile of his increased dramatically in size, his lips curling to reveal teeth as an uncomfortable silence befell the pair. he would break out into laughter immediately after, the entirety of his form trembling as he struggled to contain the noisy bout. after all, he was still very much aware of wren's wariness. it was subtle yet easily detectable by the larger male, whom offered him an affectionate - and hopefully comforting - nudge with his broad shoulder. rick's expression grew warm as he calmed, though his tone revealed his amusement.

"just fuckin' with ya, wren," he assured. "i'm talkin' 'bout murkrow."

he revealed his formerly rolled up map and promptly gestured toward various locations. certain areas were marked with ink, and the occasional hastily scribbled note was printed upon its slightly crumpled surface.

"just mappin' the locations of a migratory flock and figurin' out where they decide ta nest - how long they stay - and where they're goin' next. sucks that i lost track of 'em, though."

rick tucked the map into his pocket, and as they stepped upon the well-trodden path, he would continue to speak. he was genuinely intrigued by wren's focus of research, having only met the occasional someone who studied that particular branch.

"you're one of them - uh - paleontologists, right?" he said. "ya mentioned fossils 'n all."

the man appeared to mull this over for a bit.

"when i was just an assistant - back in the day - i only got ta handle lookin' into prehistoric plant life. do ya know how borin' it was just studyin' what prehistoric poke' ate instead of lookin' at the pokemon themselves? most mind numbin' two month of my fuckin' life, bro."

such an experience had successfully veered him away from that path.

"guess that means you're a professor, too?" he inquired. "ya have the look. but i hate makin' assumptions."

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 Posted on: Feb 18 2018, 11:00 PM
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Wren’s faced paled. ”Wha-are you, I mean, you didn’t murder—?” He fumbled over his own tongue as confusion, fear, and dread found a home in the pits of his stomach if only for a moment. Rick, bless him, was quick to laugh and reveal his statement for a joke, but even so it took Wren a moment longer to comprehend it. Eventually color returned high up on his cheeks—another crimson blush—and he hastily tugged at the button of his coat.

You really had me there.” He tried to laugh his embarrassment off, but it had been pretty clear even without him stating it that Rick had had him convinced—along with confused and terrified—for more than a few seconds there. With a loud exhale Wren nervously, though with much relief, ran his hand through his mop of ginger hair to brush the dislodged waves back and away from his face. He took the moment to study Rick a bit more closely; the man continued to shock and amaze him.

”That’s…surprisingly interesting. Not at all what I suspected I must admit. Though I’m relieved it wasn’t murder.” He tilted his head at the man, a reserved smile on his face. ”I’m sorry, I just—well I’m embarrassed to admit that I made assumptions myself based solely on your appearance. Please, forgive me.” He asked humbly. He had taken Rick for a hoodlum, and would have never guessed the man to be a man of science like himself.

”Mm, my bachelors degree was in biology, but my masters degree, because of the woman I did my study under, focused heavily on historic sciences—paleontology being just a portion of it. We looked at ruins, a lot too. I haven’t gotten my doctorates degree yet, though it’s in the work, but I hope for it to focus on marine studies—fossils and ruins of the ocean would be highly interesting to me, but I’d like to look more closely at the ecology and behaviors, individual and socially, of the pokemon, too.” It was perhaps the longest chain of words Wren had said since meeting Rick—a nod towards the fact that he was confident and quite enamored with his work if nothing else.

”If I’m being honest I’d like to,” He smiled shyly—embarrassed already before even finishing his sentence. ”Be something of a treasure hunter in the deep ocean. Make new discoveries…” His eyes were bright. ”I’ve got to get some more experience before I can do that though—raise some pokemon up, for one.” His lean shoulders shrugged.

”Do you have a particular area of study. Besides the murkrow, that is.”



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 Posted on: Feb 19 2018, 02:36 PM
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"nah, man. it's just how i talk and walk," he said, dismissively waving his hand. "i know what i look like. ya ain't the first ta mistake me for some gangbanger."

his sense of fashion originated from his time spent parading down the streets as a young man. he was practically raised among a crowd that could be accurately described as 'hoodlums' or 'troublemakers' by the average onlooker. and despite uprooting himself from such a notorious lifestyle, a portion of the culture in which he was raised remained embedded within the man. rick had always been unwilling to trade in his usual attire for something that could be considered professional in nature despite his position as a researcher.

"it's aight."

he listened intently to the man's words, mulling over each precious tidbit of information that had been kindly offered to him. rick would quickly notice that when wren spoke of himself, his features would brighten considerably as he mentioned his schooling and line of work.

"got myself a bachelors in biology," he responded. "with a focus on genomics. imma admit that i've reached the bare minimum when it comes ta my schoolin' due ta time constraints and all that jazz. i could start up again since my kid's outta the nest - but i decided ta take my research directly ta the field once i got the chance. always wanted ta dabble in sociology so i could observe dark-types in the wild, but i had ta wait up 'till now for obvious reasons."

the man would lean down and promptly scoop up his growlithe, adjusting the pokemon in his hold as the canine wriggled.

"i prefer this over homework, if imma be completely honest."

mention of 'treasure hunting' caused rick to raise a curious brow.

"you'll need one of them water-type's for that kinda shit," he remarked. "ya huntin' for anythin' in particular? got any idea of what kinda team ya want?"

he paused, briefly.

"i wanted all dark-types - but ended up with this one here and a freakin' torchic. gotta houndour and a scraggy, though. so i guess everythin' balances out."

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 Posted on: Yesterday at 02:36 pm
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Wren was grateful, where he was once wary, of Rick’s attitude; understanding and surprisingly kind where Wren had only assumed was trouble and deceit. If nothing else came of this venture into the woods than he had at least earned a humbling lesson on judging one based on their appearance, and why he was wrong to do so. Had Crash not ran to the man and his growlithe it was unlikely Wren would have come on his own, and he was quite glad he did. Rick was good company—even with the teasing—and a large step for Wren in the way of progress towards being a more socially astute person.

One of the corners of his mouth pulled up in an awkward display of a half-grin. Rick was passive and dismissed Wren’s judgements easily when others might have taken offense. It certainly made the situation easier for Wren who was all too happy to be forgiven and let the matter drop.

”Genomics is a highly fascinating subject,” Wren gushed. ”Quite interesting.” He thought it might be interesting to map the genomes of deep-dwelling pokemon, and perhaps, if ever got the funding for some deep dives, he’d come to Rick to help him do just that. ”Homework isn’t fun, even if you are good at it. I struggled to focus when I was younger myself, and it was only the desire to grow up to be a scientist like my mom that eventually got me to buckle down. I still didn’t enjoy much of it, and that’s why I fancy myself to be more of a field scientist than I’ll ever be a professor or strictly limited to a lab. It’s more fun this way, I think.” He smiled.

”My first pokemon was a feebas. We’re looking for a prism scale to see her evolved—with her I could do a lot of ocean studying, but I’ve found most of the pokemon I’m interested in are water types. Having some of the fossils I search for and collect revived would be interesting. Kabuto especially.” He was keenly interested in that one. ”I never knew I needed a phanpy until this one showed up and helped me smash through the rocks I was picking away at.” He laughed affectionately. ”Even if it’s just companionship I’m sure your fire-types will serve you well.”

Wren quieted and shifted a little uncomfortably, tugged at his jacket, before he looked back to Rick with questioning and a bit of embarrassment in his eyes. ”Rick…do you have any experience with pokemon battles?”



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 Posted on: 54 minutes ago
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rick blinked in response to the question before his gaze shifted skyward. he would cross his arms, appearing to carefully consider his response. it required a few short moments before he cobbled together an adequately-worded reply.

"not much," he said. "ya remember when i mentioned my research 'n startin' out? i'm fresh. basically, my team and i ain't shit."

the man had decided to remain completely honest about his position as a trainer. he was a novice at best. his first official battle with a legitimate trainer - professor noire - had resulted in failure. it had been an embarrassingly quick match, with both rick and his scraggy being completely run over by the woman.

"they're all young 'n wild caught, though. so it ain't their fault. they'll figure their way 'round a battle real quick after puttin' in some practice."

rick offered up a grin of encouragement, keeping up with wren's pace as they progressed down the pathway.

"did ya wanna battle or somethin'?" he questioned. "i'd be down for that."

the researcher reached into his deep pockets, producing a half-emptied packet of gum before popping one into his mouth - strawberry flavored.

"want one?"

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