Dec 02, 2022 2:12 AM
scholomance water trio in dystopia pokemonverse
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They have a frankly boring graduation strategy. They go in daubed up in all the most poisonous-looking colors Ennis can churn out. They wear Wilbur's magic clothes. They have good spells Lucy coaxed out of the Void for them. Nia's in the front of the formation, crooning and spraying mals into unconsciousness; Sean, tall enough to see over her, is behind her, passing her mana and clearing the way for them to run through with a wave-control spell and his decanter of endless-as-long-as-you-keep-feeding-it-mana water. Ennis is right behind him with Wilbur and Lucy bringing up the rear flanks, occupied casting out-of-affinity to keep off anything coming at them from above and behind. They've run it in the gym a hundred times. It works fine as long as they don't fuck it up or get unlucky, which is as much as you can say for any graduation strategy.

So it's not remotely obvious what may have happened when they get within spitting distance of the gates and Sean's wave laps at their ticket home and then the water doubles back, angrily bluer than it should be, and crashes over them and then some of their team - Sean and Ennis, who'd expected to land in the same place, but also Nia - fetches up on a deserted island.

Total: 72
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They're on a little shelf of rocky beach between a cliff and the sea. The water is shockingly blue, and the plants higher up the slope are unfamiliar to all of them. A strange bird wheels in the sky overhead, shrieking, and a flock of enormous multicolored butterflies floats over the ocean a ways out.

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"- where are - we -"

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"It cannot be that all England has fallen into the sea and this is all that was left for our landing on!"

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"It can't! There would be more people if it was that!"

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"Are that bird and those - bugs - mals - or just alchemist projects for, uh, decoration -"

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"Alchemist has good taste in decoration, prettier than quattrias, but we are not in any enclave where they would be decorating!"

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One of the butterflies breaks off from the swarm and comes toward them. It's kind of unreasonably large and it doesn't look happy.

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"- maybe it was supposed to be decorative but actually it is a mal after all. Who has mana."

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"I probably have more than either of you." She steps forward and pulls out her slingshot. Her ammo isn't in-affinity, but she's still an alchemist. She whispers a chant for accuracy and loads and releases a sticky-bomb.

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The critter gets a sticky bomb to the wing and yells "Vivillon!" Being covered in sticky clearly isn't good for its aerodynamics but it flaps harder and keeps coming. 

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Shit. What else does she have left. She used up all the acid ones. There's a fire one? She tries the fire one.

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Now it's partially on fire and flying somewhat erratically! Its high-speed collision with Ennis's head is still pretty purposeful, though. It's a bit like getting dive-bombed by a medium-sized dog.

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Nia has by this time had a chance to get the dregs of Sean's mana and howl, "DORMEZ-VOUS!"

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It doesn't quite fall asleep but it's definitely impaired. It mumbles "Vivivi. . ." and disengages, clearly getting space for another tackle.

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Ennis is not fully out of ammo but there are like several dozen more of these things out there. She gives it a swift kick in the eye and then then starts urgently doing squats.

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Sean is on wall-sits.

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Nia does jumping jacks. Pushups would be better but leave one in less of a state of readiness.

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When they have enough to get up the cliff they circle-cast the climbing spell they all learned the time Nia had maintenance on a busted staircase and needed to get up and down the wall. They scale the cliff.

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The rest of the swarm doesn't seem to care about their injured erstwhile comrade, and are moving on. Said injured comrade slowly pulls itself together and flaps up the cliff after them.

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Ennis and Sean's power sharers are no longer linked, which is a crying shame, if they were one of them could build while the other stood ready. Ennis bends into the most uncomfortable neck stretch she can hold while also keeping her eyes on the butterfly, waiting and waiting as her mana builds and her options open.

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It . . . might not be attacking this time? Just sort of flapping woozily in their general direction. "Vivill?" it chirps.

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"Running builds mana," Nia snarls, and they turn and bolt.

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It flaps along, keeping pace and occasionally emitting more chirps.

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They run until Sean trips, narrowly avoiding a tumble, and demands a pause to drink from the decanter. Ennis stands between the butterfly and her partners again.

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The butterfly . . . slows down and lands gently on the ground nearby. "Vivillon."

Total: 72
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