Jun 14, 2021 3:09 PM
if you don't think eevee is the best pokemon you're lying to yourself tbh
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It's a fine spring morning when Ellie Pine, Junior Research Assistant, finishes the invention that will make her name. Eventually. Once she demonstrates it. And probably improves it a little, right now it requires psychic talent but-

Direct, two-way communication between humans and pokemon. It'll be a game-changer. She screws the cover plate shut and hooks it to the nylon strap.

She whistles. "Eevee! Here, girl!"

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Her eevee comes running with a happy trill, jumping up easily onto the table and sniffing at the things her human's been tinkering with forever.

Curious mrrp?

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She holds up the collar for inspection.

"What do you think? Cute enough to wear?"

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Sniff sniff, thoughtful mrrrr...

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And bright chirp!

She headbutts the collar.

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"Cool."

Ellie slips the collar around Eevee's neck just above the ruff and buckles it closed.

"Can you hear me?" she thinks in Eevee's direction.

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!!! "Yes!!!"

This is amazing, she can talk to her human! Her human is definitely the smartest. (Can her human hear non-word thoughts too?)

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"Ha!" Ellie laughs in triumph. "It works! I knew it would!" She doesn't seem to be able to hear Eevee's non-word thoughts as she gropes around for pencil and paper.

"Okay, gotta write this down... Can you describe, um, can you describe what this feels like for you?"

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"Yeah!" She stops to try to put her thoughts into actual words. This is really hard, actually, she's never thought in words - sometimes she'll imagine-remember her human saying things but it's hard to remember the exact human mouth noises spontaneously (though she can recognize them) so she usually imagines her human making normal noises and then in her head she just knows what her human means like she does when recognizing words. 

"I have to make specific words for you to hear me, apparently? And that's really hard. I'm not having to direct them at the collar I don't think? And I don't think it's just picking up on everything meant for you, since it didn't get normal thoughts I wanted you to have."

She scrunches up her face a bit. "This is giving me a head-full like I'm focusing too much," she says after pausing to let her brain think actual thoughts. Probably her human wants to know that. "But it might get easier; I don't imagine words very often." Another pause to have thoughts. " - This is one of the things where words are dumb, it isn't a headache because it doesn't hurt, it's that thing where a thing in your head is too big to have proper thoughts while you're doing it so I need to know what I'm saying before I start making words, and words are so slow and being patient is also a head-full thing."

The pauses to think are significantly shorter than how long it takes her to actually communicate, even though she's 'talking' faster than humans usually do when speaking out loud. (She has some emotional inflection, but not a lot, too.)

"Words are incomplete in general, they don't say all the shades of things I'm thinking because there's too few of them, and they get extra inefficient if you want to be at all specific."

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Scribble scribble.

"Humans learn words really young, you're older than that development-wise... But your vocabulary is still pretty good, even with the gaps you've identified... How would you compare this to communicating with other pokemon?"

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She likes being complimented by her human and trills about this.

"I like listening to humans so I've tried really hard to learn words! But making them means I have to run the recognition process in reverse."

And hum.

"It really varies? I can understand other eevees really well, but the less a pokemon is like me the harder they are to understand. With another eevee - " Pause to think, then: "There's two ways of talking? But they're not both 'talking,' your language just doesn't have enough words. But the way everyone uses all the time is the immediate way. It's body language and sounds, and I think there's a bit of kinda psychic stuff, because espeons are really good at reading people and really easy to understand, but umbreons come off kind of... Flat."

"You can communicate about emotions with that, and stuff immediately around you, and actions in the immediate past or future - like a command for someone to do something now, but there isn't a default thing that means a time so you can't say specifically when. You can also communicate... Simple? Emotional? Opinions and intentions about something someone else brought up."

"But then there's also the... Depth way? If you want to talk about distant stuff, or really abstract stuff, or complicated opinions with a lot of caveats and if-then. And that's psychic. It's harder if you don't know someone or trust them, and it's harder with non-eevees and harder with pokemon less like us. It's easier with psychic types, and impossible with dark types. So espeons facilitate discussions a lot, but umbreons can't really depth talk to anyone else."

"You can also kinda guess which eevees will be espeons or umbreons based on how reserved or communicative they are."

"And words are less communicative than the depth way, but more communicative but not as quick and easy as the immediate way."

Pause.

"Umbreons might actually have a words language, come to think of it, but I don't know it."

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"This is fascinating. Can probably get a paper just out of this..."

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Heee!

"That's great!" She brushes against Ellie, gently enough not to disrupt writing.

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She pets Eevee with her free hand.

"My other idea was to do a Gym challenge. Build a full team set up with the transmitters and see how far we can get. If you're up for that."

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She snuggles into Ellie's hand.

"That sounds fun. And I'd be excellent at it."

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"I'm sure you would be, clever girl." Scritch scritch, scribble scribble. "All the way to the championship."

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Trill!!!

"We could find an umbreon, too! And you could figure out how they talk."

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"All sorts of cool things could happen."

She switches to another piece of paper and dashes off a quick note. "Can you take this to the Professor? It's our leave of absence request."

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"Sure!" She grabs it in her mouth. "Can the Professor understand me too?"

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"Still won't be able to. He's not a psychic."

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"Aw."

She hops down, though, and goes to take the note to the Professor.

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Professor Oak is not that difficult to find. The genial, gray-haired man is showing a group of schoolchildren a trio of "starter" pokemon, so called because their individual typing and morphology are relatively easy to understand and differentiate between. The charmander seems to have the most young fans, followed by the squirtle, then the bulbasaur.

The professor spots Eevee coming into the room, sees the note she's carrying, and beckons her over. The starters blink curiously at her as he bends down to take the note, and the children make excited noises. "As you can all see," Oak says, "we have a visitor! Everyone, this is Eevee. She's partnered with one of my research assistants."

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Happy excited trill! Eevee lets the Professor take the note, waves her tail and flicks her ears in a fairly friendly manner at the three other pokemon (though they're different enough from her than their body language is kinda weird and opaque), then runs up closer to the children, mrrring.

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Many of the children would clearly like to pet the cute and fluffy eevee!

Professor Oak claps his hands for attention. "What's the first rule when you see another trainer's pokemon?" he asks.

"Don't touch without permission," comes the chorus.

"Very good. Now, as Miss Eevee is here at the lab often enough to count as one of my employees, I know her well enough to say she's all right to pet. So form a line, one at a time, stick to the top of the head and be careful of the eyes and jaw."

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She makes very appreciative, happy noises while she's being petted.

(She should tell Ellie to tell Professor Oak to actually let her know when there's kids here so she can meet them. And get pats.)

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Oak gets Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur lined up as well for the children who've taken their turn with Eevee or would rather go for those pokemon first.

After about fifteen minutes when everyone's had their turn, the kids' teacher reappears and gets them rounded up for the next stop on the tour.

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