Hailey and Iron are starting Pokémon Journeys
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It's a crisp, fall day. Fluffy clouds are rolling through the sky. A slim, green-eyed girl of about thirteen sits on the edge of a meteorite crater in rocky Veilstone City, Sinnoh. A messy, windswept bob of black hair frames her face. Black jeans hug her hips, with a pokéball belt hanging slightly askew — only one ball at the moment. Above that, she wears a midriff-bearing t-shirt in dark green, with a sharp-looking abstract pattern in black, and over that a short, rugged, black utility jacket. A dark green messenger bag hangs from her shoulder, resting on the rocky ground.

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There's the soft sound of footsteps down the oddly installed stairs in the crater. The source is a slight, androgynous figure, starting to grow into something resembling maturity on their own journey. They wear a soft grey tunic that makes them look slimmer still, hands in their plain black shorts. Besides them floats a Metang - their surface well-polished, humming faintly as their powers feel out the space as their trainers' eyes sweep through the space themselves. 

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The metang's psychic exploration of the surroundings might discover a ghost lurking somewhere on or around the girl.

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The girl looks up and nods at the other trainer as they approach, then goes back to watching the city, the crater, and the sky. She's certainly had people talk her ear off when she's not up for it before, so she won't force anything.

She intermittently drums a short pattern on her thigh, and occasionally tilts her head a bit thoughtfully.

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Their metang turns a little, angling up to brush against her side. 

"Meta. Metang?"

They taps their fingers atop their head, a little bemused turn on their lips. 

They slide on past, and poke at the walls for a moment, taking a few deep slow breaths as she sort of... unfocuses, a little, the way that Hailey's probably seen countless affinitied trainers calling on their little special something.

...It really is a nice cool day, today. 

 

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A faint little curious smile flits across Hailey's face for a moment. Affinities are neat. 

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"You know..." 

They tap their lips together for a moment. 

"It's surprisingly well attested that Clefairy and their line came from the moon? I think there's some other pokemon that came from outside this world as well, and I wonder how many others came from the stars or some stranger place. There are pokemon associated with all sorts of forces, and things, and I wonder how many metallic mons are of meteor iron, rather then something more terrestial or..." 

They sigh, and closes their eyes, their metang letting out a little toneless hum of bland bemusement. 

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"Huh. Good question." She tilts her head for a moment, then shakes her head. "I feel like there'd have to be, with enough time and enough craters. Be hard to track down which ones, though. Archaeologists have a hard job. Wonder if there are any secret things in common between meteor pokémon."

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"I'm not sure at all, myself. Even if pokemon did come from somewhere else,, with a different set of resources and a different world, how would we really know, thousands of years later? Either they couldn't survive in this world and would be likely lost to time, or they'd look more or less like what we'd expected of a pokemon adapted to our world. Still..." 

There's a faint touch of laughter in the tip of her chest. 

"Pokemon aren't always the most... rational things. For all I know, tommorow someone will run into Uxie and get all of our theories confirmed. Certainly, there's a... certain trend for pokemon to evolve with certain stones based on the sorts of forces that they're best attuned to. I'm hardly a professional geologist but 'moonstones' are perhaps rather telling. Or perhaps we'll run into more - certainly, it's easier then ever to find out if any novel pokemon pop out by the crater." 

She exhales gently. 

"Though perhaps I shouldn't read too much into it, given the multitude of other stones and methods for evolving out there." 

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She snickers quietly and nods. "Yeah, fair point. There's just no way to know, unless someone invents time travel or a legend takes pity on us."

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Something about her shadow seems to pulse ever so slightly. It seems very faintly amused, if one were to read into it.

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She shakes her head, smiling slightly. "Can't help but wonder how much is lurking quietly in the dark, though. Be cool to find a mystery, y'know?"

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"Of course, of course." 

They glance down reflexively at her moving shadow. 

"I imagine you're better qualified then most to tell of what lurks in the dark, coincidentally, then?" 

She smiles faintly. 

 

 

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A quick smirk steals over her face. "You imagine right. Today, at least, it's ghosts in the dark."

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"And..." She tilts her head thoughtfully. "At a guess you could tell me a thing or several I don't know about the metals in those pretty little space rocks."

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She nods sharply. 

"Quite, though I'm not sure it's too interesting. Iron and nickel, mostly, with a handful of heavier elements. The more... arcane analysis is a bit beyond me, though it does seem like it's a little like moon stones, somehow? Might have seen something like another set of the traces before, but I can't recall too well, and Concurrance doesn't recall anything that matches while they've been a Metang, at least. The... asteroid itself I believe ends up with a certain collectableness, at least, and perhaps power, but I've not yet heard what use, if any, those people have for it." 

 

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"Huh."

Score another point for affinities matching starters, at least.

"Wild stab in the dark, almost all those collectors aren't gonna do jack shit with their asteroids. Feel like there's got to be something to learn from those patterns, though. Just no clue what, yet."

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"Quite... " 

She hums. 

"I suppose it was never going to be that easy. Still, there's certain possibilities a metagross can eliminate that a metang cannot, which is justification enough in my eyes to keep up my journey." 

She pauses for a moment, and takes the time to properly lock their eyes on hers. 

"Is there something specific in the shadows that you are looking for yourself, if you don't mind me asking?" 

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She stares off at the trees for a time.

The shadows inside her coat almost seem to turn to faintly rippling liquid for the barest moment.

"Freedom. Respect, maybe. Or enough of an ace up my sleeve to keep me and Neo safe."

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They take a deep breath in. 

"For me... I suppose it's about pride, perhaps, or simply... taking what's given, being grateful for what I have. The hospitality and kindness I've experienced is... flattering, to say the least, and It's still sometimes a little hard to believe that I can just... wander, like this. Or maybe it's about finding some - trick or secret or title to call mine, that I can show others, to make a home in 'the clever metal one', if not something more... permanent." 

 

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She nods.

"Certainly better hospitality than 'home'," she mutters.

A slow exhale, centering herself.

"A trick or title would be nice, for sure. I'll believe in something permanent if it happens, though."

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They... nod, a bit still and awkward, eyes not really... looking anywhere in particular, beyond 'not quite at her'. 

 

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After a moment, she says, "Hailey."

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A faint quirk of her lips up, to if not a smile, something more... relaxed. 

"Iron." 

They extend out a hand to shake. 

"A pleasure to meet you."

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She reaches out and shakes their hand. "Likewise."

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A misdreavus pokes her head out of the shadows of Hailey's jacket, pink-tipped tendrils drifting slightly on an absent breeze.

She smiles curiously.

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