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Molly didn't even have a chance to confirm her earlier observation – the jungle around Ralph and her suddenly moved with a speed normally unknown to plant life.  Vines moved with purpose, sliding and snapping around one another and making a beeline for the pair.  They had no time to react as thick, tough vines wrapped around their limbs, knocking them off-balance and catching them by total surprise.

It was over as quickly as it started.  Next thing Molly knew, she was being suspended in the air, limbs held fast by unyielding vines.  Ralph was also ensnared in the foliage, hanging upside down facing sideways on from Molly, who had a good view of the Emolga's predicament.

Ralph promptly began struggling in his green bonds, cursing loudly and flailing about as best he could.  The vines gave a little but held him firmly, and in the end his efforts were for naught.  Molly for her own part simply laid there in the air.  This was by no means the work of any naturally occurring plant.  Either some plant Pokemon had used some sort of Grass-Type move on them, or somebody had been genetically engineering the local plant life.  Either way, this was an attempt to detain, not kill.

Now Molly understood why they had been having such difficulty locating their quarry.  One or more Grass-Types would likely have little difficulty maneuvering in an environment such as this, and be almost impossible to spot.  She had only hoped she hadn't accidentally killed any of them during one of her numerous path clearing endeavours.

Realizing this new threat, Molly relaxed her body and went limp in the vines.  Closing her eyes, she shoved out the distracting sound of Ralph's struggling and opened up her mind to the world around her.   If there was anybody hiding in the foliage, she'd find them soon enough.

And indeed, it seemed there was.  A single line of thought, coming from below, to the right, and slightly behind her.  It was alone, yet its mind carried with it feelings for others.  Its heart carried within it anger tempered with fear, but no malice or joy.  This was a sentinel, not a hunter.

Recalling her training in mental combat under David, Molly reached out towards this one thought line with her own.  To put the experience into words was like trying to describe the colour blue to a blind man; there simply was no way to properly describe it with words alone.  The best she could manage was to say that a mind was like a vast number of wires, connected and reconnected to one another in a perplexing ball of mental activity.  As thoughts occurred within an observed mind, different wires would spark to life as thoughts crisscrossed the jumbled mess.

Engaging in mental combat was as simple as reaching out to these numerous wires and manipulating them into a manner which led to a desired outcome.  The hard part was figuring out what each wire did.  Simply demolishing the entire thing and replacing it would take both time and effort, neither of which Molly suspected she had.

“Who are you?”

Molly observed a whole bunch of the 'wires' that made up her quarry's thoughts light up with activity.

“Why are you here?”

Mostly the same bunch of wires lit up again, but a few ones that had been dormant the first time came to life.  Beyond that, Molly became aware that the person she was observing was attempting to do something, though she was far too focused on the task at hand to notice what.

She was noticing the same bunch of wires continue to light up intermittently, with infrequent flashes from other areas.  Molly recalled from her lessons that she'd have to figure out how this mind worked before she'd be able to do anything useful.  Hopefully that wouldn't take too long – their situation was precarious enough already.

She tried to make sense of the lights and find some sort of pattern to them.  She had to admit, she was still just a novice at this whole mind reading business – telekinesis was so much simpler.  Every individual person had their own, unique mind constantly in flux; while objects never changed unless something or someone made them change.

That being said, there were a few things more or less constant between minds.  Certain activities would tend to light up the same general area in a mind, regardless of whose mind this was.  And Molly was noticing a lot of the more frontal areas lighting up and alternating with the regions just above and behind the middle, and the odd flash on the sides.

Molly thought back to the lectures she attended on brain function.  This meant... this meant the person was engaged in conversation, didn't it?  The front part – she couldn't remember the exact name of it - was among other things responsible for speech; while the second area behind the middle handled language understanding.  And the side areas were where memory happened.  Given the frequency of the flashing – how quickly one area shut off and the other turned on – she was fairly certain this person was speaking.

This was where mind reading could come in handy.  Language was merely a medium for the communication and expression of ideas in an audible form.  If she could dig past the various syllables and sounds and get to those ideas directly, she could get around the language barrier that was blocking negotiations.  These Central and South American countries spoke Spanish and Portuguese, neither of which Molly knew.

She focused intently on the frontal regions of her target's mind, looking for any sort of idea she could work with.

“This is our home!  Go away, American!”

Wait.

“We don't know anything of any Poke-human or Poke-extinction!  Go home!”

Or this person could speak fluent English and render the entire mind thing moot.

Well that was disappointing.  Well, if there wasn't a language barrier to overcome, perhaps Molly could at least learn a thing or two about this person.  As time was of the essence, she felt ready to move on to a more advanced method.  Instead of passive observation, there was a method where she could connect this person's mind with her own.  It was a quick and straightforward enough procedure for a telepath like herself to do, but it was somewhat intrusive.  And from the thoughts of the words being exchanged, speed just might be important here.

Molly paused for the briefest of moments to decide what to send.  Positive feelings were a must, perhaps some personal history for a better level of understanding, her mission here... what exactly were they doing here?  Mining?  Expanding?  She settled on 'stop Pokextinction', that'd sell better.  And to finish it off... Something about Ralph?  Augmentation?  That would do.

The hodgepodge of emotion and thought was assembled and sent in only a fraction of the time Molly had taken to monitor the stranger's mind.  Communication through telepathy had a tendency to vary wildly in terms of time spent, as one's perception of the passage of time could be quite different then from what a clock said had passed.  Then again, so long as they hadn't been spending hours and hours here in the forest, Molly and Ralph would be fine.  Hopefully.

The impact of the telepathic message was profound and direct – Molly could readily pick up the response.  Surprise was first, followed by a mix of comprehension, relief, some awe – most likely due to the whole augmentation thing, sympathy, some fear, and...

Wait.  Something didn't feel right.  There was something in Molly's package that had provoked a reaction, and a very noticeable one at that.  It was... sympathy?  Sympathy and relief, with a touch of... almost longing.

Molly felt compelled to examine these further.  She brushed aside the other responses for now, focusing all her efforts on understanding this sympathetic response.  As she approached, she became aware of other details; thoughts, emotions, memories, and even dreams were clearly discernible to Molly.  The closer she got to the core of this, the more information she discovered.  Apparently this person – whose name was Valeria Ramos – was a victim of Pokextinction experimentation as well.  This explained the sympathy; Molly herself had been born female, yet some cruel scientist had endeavoured to change her gender, apparently in hopes of better understanding the functions of Kirlia sexuality.  It was a part of her past that she could never get away from, and...

Wait... It seemed like it was almost the same for Valeria...  they wanted to see if they could change her gender too?  Ah... Liligants such as Valeria were nothing but female... So that was their plan.  Depraved and selfish, to satisfy no other curiosity then to understand Pokemon genetics.  That was typical of many Pokextinction bases... no regard to those within.  There were exceptions, of course, but not this time.

Molly took a moment to examine her handiwork.  Valeria was far less hostile now then she had been earlier.  Not quite tranquil, but at a level where she could be reasoned with using conventional language.  She disengaged herself from Valeria's mind, and returned her awareness to the world around her.  She was still entangled in the vines, as was Ralph; however Valeria's face now bore an expression that was somewhere between relief and awe.

Indeed, Molly's efforts seemed to have been a great success.  The only problem is that it left starting the conversation at an awkward spot.  Perhaps she should just start from the beginning?  “Hello there... My name is-”

“Molly, I know.”  Valeria interrupted.  “I've... You're... It all just makes sense now.”

The vines holding Molly and Ralph trembled for a moment before retracting into the earth and surrounding foliage, the Gardevoir promptly arresting her descent with her telekinesis.  Ralph was not so quick on his part; he failed to orient himself properly and he hit the ground with a thud.

“Oh, Ralph!”  Molly cried out.  “Are you all right?”

Ralph quickly dusted himself off and stood back up again; he seemed more embarrassed than anything else.  “Sheesh, gimme some warning if you're gonna do that!”  He complained, much to Molly's relief.  Ever since Ralph had gotten those prosthetic limbs he had become far more lively and social, almost to a fault.  He was also developing something of an ego, which had been both a good and bad thing.  Good in the sense that it was a marked improvement from the depressed mess he was before; bad because he could be somewhat obnoxious.  Still, he behaved himself well enough.

Valeria meanwhile had crept up close to Ralph and was looking intently at the machinery attached to the Emolga's body.  “How... those are metal?”  Valeria asked, awed by what she was seeing.  Her accent was somewhere between Latino and Caribbean, but she spoke fluent English.

“Oh these?”  Ralph replied with a massive grin on his face, the slight towards his person cast aside.  “Yep, got a set of machine limbs.  Long story, kinda messy, but honestly I never wanna go back!  Seriously, being a boring old Emolga sucked!  I mean, my attacks were puny, I couldn't take a hit, my movepool was trash... Oh, and even better, I can fly!”

The device embedded within Ralph's back lit up in a brilliant show of amber light, and Ralph abruptly lurched up into the air over the heads of Valeria and Molly.  He gently lowered himself down, not once rotating or spinning in the air, but staying upright throughout.  The grin on his face stretched from yellow electric chick pouch to yellow electric cheek pouch, and he gently coasted right up until he was level with Valeria's face.

The Liligant for her part simply stared dumbfounded at the display.  “How do you have that?  Is that some American thing, where you fly around with machines?”

“It's augmentation.”  Molly answered before Ralph could even draw breath.  “It's something we are looking into to help people who are physically disadvantaged.  Ralph here is something of a test case.”

Ralph didn't seem all that thrilled with that explanation; but it was good enough for Valeria, who nodded in understanding.

Molly continued.  “Our base in Arizona is at the limit for what we can do right now, so we've come here looking to expand.  We were hoping that your village or base would be open to negotiation or trade with us.”

“There is nobody here but me.”  Valeria responded with her head shaking in the negative.  “My family ran me out of home years ago when I started growing leaves.  They thought I had a disease, so I had to leave, or they would burn me.  I have been alone for a long time now.  One time men in suits come for me, but a big orange dragon came out of the sky and fought them off.”

“Did you get the name of the dragon?”  Molly asked.  She felt quite sorry for Valeria, but it was honestly a story that was all too common for Pokeumans all over the world.  However, she believed she knew who the dragon was.

Valeria rubbed her forehead in thought.  “It was a long time ago... I think it was... Edwin?  Edwon?”

“Edward?”  Ralph volunteered, in a tone that suggested he was hoping he was wrong.

Valeria's eyes widened in recollection.  “Yes!  Edward was his name!  He killed all the men in suits who came for me.  I was scared, so I hid in the woods, but I saw the fire and the big white beams.  I didn't know if he was going to attack me next, so I stayed away from him.  He left after a while, and I soon found all the dead men.  They looked like Americans.”

“I've totally met that Dragonite before!”  Ralph explained.  “Cocky bastard keeps jumping in on our rescues and stealing our transformees!  Augh, next time I see him I'm gonna kick him in the balls!”

Molly rolled her eyes at her companion's belligerence, and returned her attention to Valeria.  They had to find out whatever base or village was nearby.  “There is the chance that more men may come for you in the future.  We can offer you and anybody with you superior protection and technology, if your leadership is willing to meet with ours.”

Valeria shook her head.  “There are no others, I am here alone.  I have been here alone for... some time now.

This caused Molly's brow to furrow, though it was impossible to see anything under the green helmet-shaped crown that was part and parcel of Gardevoir anatomy.  She recalled being sent out after multiple contacts.

“We detected multiple Pokemon energy signatures coming from this area.”  Molly challenged.  “How can you be alone?  Have you only been living in a small area?”

“No.”  Valeria answered in the negative.  “I am sure I am alone.  I have many vines hidden in the forest,  they help me gather energy and warn me of danger.  I knew you were coming for me before you saw me.

If that was the case then Valeria probably had noticed them well in advance, and had probably been running circles around them.  Which matched both what the scanner was saying and what they had experienced.  Still, if there was only one person then that at least made travel and negotiation a more simple affair.  Hopefully.

“I see.  In that case, would you be willing to return with Ralph and me to our base camp?  There are many more Pokemon much like you there, you wouldn't have to be alone anymore...”

Valeria visibly paused when she hear the word 'alone'.  She turned her head away slightly, looking down at the ground in deep thought.  Had Molly said something wrong?  Or...

“It... It has been so long...”  Valeria muttered softly.  “I thought I was a monster.  That nobody would ever love me again.  I never thought there was anybody else like me out there.  I... I do not want to be alone anymore.  Please take me with you Molly.”

Molly let out the quietest sigh of relief of her entire life.  She hadn't even been aware she was holding her breath in, such was the tension of the situation.  “Oh.  Good!  Very well, we should leave immediately.  I'm sure we're needed back at the camp.”

Valeria nodded in understanding, and she walked over to Molly wearing a smile on her face.  Ralph meanwhile eyed at the Lilligant with a skeptical look, for some reason Molly couldn't fathom.

No matter, it was time to travel once again.  Molly withdrew a pair of her blades for platforms, one for her and one of Valeria.  The Lilligant was hesitant to get on board until Molly demonstrated her ability to control a disk a person was standing on with her telepathy.  It was only the slightest bit awkward for Molly to balance her passenger, but once she tapped into Valeria's own sense of balance things got a whole lot easier.

The trip back was far less harrowing; the forest itself seemed to part to facilitate passage, a far cry from the challenge it had been to find Valeria.  Molly wasn't sure if Valeria had been charged with some incredible power or if she had simply had time to hone her Grass-Type abilities.  It didn't matter though.  Today, Molly had done far more then find a Pokeuman alone in the wilderness.  She could tell from the way Valeria looked at her, and how Molly looked at Valeria in turn.  The warm expressions... the similar experiences... not to mention her good looks... his good looks?  Whatever.  Gender distinctions were more an inconvenience than anything else.

Soon enough the trio emerged from the forest into a clearing that looked very much like a mining site just getting started, with people moving to and fro carrying all manner of things.  On top of that, there as a significant number and variety of robotic machines carrying all manner of tools and items.  A handful of humans and Pokemon were scattered among the larger concentrations of those machines, each wearing elaborate helmets which Molly recognized as the headgear worn by drone operators.  Evidently construction had been making significant progress – she wasn't sure who she was supposed to report to now.  David most likely, but he could be busy with something else; in which case she'd want to meet with the sub-commander, whoever that was.  She turned to look at her companions and ask Ralph for his opinion.

However the expression of complete and utter shock on Valeria's face was something the Gardevoir did not anticipate.  So strong were the Lilligant's feelings that Molly couldn't help but pick up on them: surprise at seeing so many people at work here, astonishment at the machines at work, wonder at the various other Pokemon around her – evidently she knew nothing of the games, and... disbelief?  What was... oh.

“So many people here...”  Valeria softly muttered.  “Why?  Why are you all here now?”

Molly paused for a moment to choose her words carefully.  “I am only following orders given to me.  I was told we came here looking for resources to mine, but I don't know any details.  I am sorry I can't be more helpful.  If you want more information, we should fine somebody in charge.”

Valeria did not reply, but instead dismounted the blade platform she had rode in on and headed towards the crowd with a speed Molly and Ralph would not have expected from the Lilligant.  Apparently all that time spent alone in the woods had done well for her physical abilities.

“Wow, she didn't even ask what David looks like.”  Ralph flatly stated.  “She's more headstrong than Mackenzie.”

Molly bit her lip.  It was true, she hadn't mentioned anything about David or their operation.  Not verbally anyway.

Ralph slowly drifted directly in front of Molly, an audible hum coming from his levitation augments.  He folded his arms across his chest and looked at the Gardevoir sternly.

Molly knew what was coming.

“You broke into her mind, didn't you?”  Ralph accused, directly and plainly.

She said nothing.

“I was talking to her when you were doing that, you know?”  

She turned her head away, but Ralph simply hovered around to keep eye contact.

“She was yelling at me over coming into her country, she thought we were invading or something.  I saw the harshness in her eyes just die out for no reason, and it sure as hell wasn't anything I said to her.”

What could she do?  They were in danger.  Ralph wouldn't understand.  Using Psychic abilities in self-defence was an automatic response, not a conscious choice.  It was her only option.

At least, that's what Molly had told herself, even if she didn't know she had.

“You KNOW David's gonna rip you a new one for this.”

Hearing that name be said caused Molly to wince in apprehension.  She and David had worked together to explore the possibilities and potential of telepathy, but while Molly had seen this as a tool for self-defence and combat, David had seen nothing but danger.  And while he had warned about the dangers of taking over the minds of others – something about liberty and national security that went way over Molly's head - ultimately he had left it up to her to make the call as to what to do.  

There.  That would be her counter argument.

“David trusts in my judgment in regards to how I conduct myself in situations.”  Molly plainly asserted.  “I should point out that you were also at risk out there, and were doing a poor job of safeguarding your own well being.  I must also add that if it hadn't been for my efforts in pacifying Valeria, she could have easily snapped both our necks out there.”

“Are you kidding I totally had-”

“I distinctly remember what happened out there.”  Molly interrupted.  “If you are having trouble, I could assist you in recalling the incident.”

Ralph cringed and jetted backwards a few feet, immediately getting the message.  “...Fine.  I won't say anything to anyone.”

Molly wasn't sure if Ralph was more concerned about his own well being or his reputation.  She had been informed that the Emolga was particularly vulnerable to mental manipulation, and the two had been at odds on more then one occasion, but they hadn't openly fought each other... yet.  And in truth, Molly was not looking forward to that day.

The two wordlessly – and telepathiclessly – decided to drop the matter then and there before it got out of hand, and ran off to catch up to Valeria, Molly delaying only to recover her blade disks.  Fortunately the Lilligant hadn't managed to get too far away or get herself into trouble, and they met up without issue.  The three meandered through the working men, 'mon, and machinery looking for David or whoever he had left in charge, and were directed to a collection of tents which had been erected near the centre of the camp.  There they found David inside a large square-ish tents, staring at a small computer screen which displayed an image that Molly guessed was a map of something.

David noticed the trio and beckoned them closer before the three could say anything.  “Oh good, Molly, Ralph and... you're a new face.”  He stated, eyeing Valeria with a curious gaze.

The Lilligant gave a quick nod.  “Are you David?”  She asked, speaking quickly and assertively.

An inquisitive look grew on David's face, seeming quite surprised by Valeria's frankness.  “Yep, that's me.  What can I do for you?”

“Why are you here in my country?”  Valeria demanded forcefully, causing some of the passing workers to stop and look.

David just stared and blinked at the Lilligant in disbelief.  “Uh...  What?”  He stammered after a pause.

Valeria took in a breath to speak, but Molly interrupted her.  “This is Valeria, she's a local here.  She was that contact you told Ralph and me to investigate.”

“...The whole contact?” He asked incredulously, his head bouncing between looking at Valeria and Molly and back again.  “It was a pretty big contact!”

“Valeria has phenomenal skill in creating and manipulating plant matter.”  Molly commented.  “She was living alone in the forest for some time, and had created an elaborate maze of vegetation.  Navigating it was a challenge, but we managed to find her.  It was a team effort.”

Molly's explanation only seemed to further confuse and/or astound David, and an awkward silence fell over the tent.  She used the opportunity to look around, and noticed a number of people had stopped to look at what was going on.  She decided to break the silence.

“I'm sure Valeria would be happy to offer a demonstration of her capabilities”

“No!”  David shouted immediately.  “That's... I'll take your word for it.  Good with vines, gotchya.  Honestly you showing up here is the best news I've had since we touched down here.  Mining prospects are even more bleak then we thought, hopefully there's more stuff further down we can dig up, or this place is gonna be a bust.”

Valeria frowned upon hearing this.  “That's why I am complaining!  This is our country, American!  You live rich enough in your own country, why are you here taking our stuff?!”

A cringe grew on David's face with such slowness that Molly could swear she saw each individual muscle on David's face start and stop in the motion.

“Hoo boy.”  He sighed.  “Okay, I'm gonna be completely honest here.  We're not affiliated with the government or anything; hell at this point I have no idea how many of them are silent agents for Pokextinction.  We're here to gather minerals and whatever we can manage to make war against them, and I picked this country because it's absolutely dinky, the population speaks English despite being in Central America, thank you British imperialism; and the army here has fewer then a thousand people in it.  We actually outnumber it, if you count  all the drones...”

Molly sincerely doubted that claim; it was probably just a boast.  David was the type to exalt himself whenever he had the chance, at least in matters of engineering.  A few sarcastic chuckles from the people behind her confirmed her suspicions.

Valid or not, it didn't seem to sit well with Valeria at all.  Her entire body shook with barely contained rage, and the ground trembled as numerous vines erupted from the soil around her.  The reached up into the sky, and pointed at David threateningly.  Molly heard the clangs and clicks of weapons being drawn all around her.

David eyed the new vegetation around him with only modest intrigue; he didn't seem intimidated in the slightest.  In fact he seemed to be almost expecting this, which came as a surprise to Molly.  She knew David to be a somewhat fearful person, paranoid even.  Was he expecting this.

A long sigh escaped David's mouth, and a flat expression did not so much grow as merely become more pronounced on his face.  “Hoo boy... Okay look, the fact remains that this country is a tiny dot on the map, with no economy, no resources, no industry, no population, and no prospects for being anything of note.  I'd like to change that.  And no, we're not like any of the other 'western imperialists' you've heard about; we are working for no government or country.  Honestly we're a bunch of people a lot like you, we turned into these weird creatures and ended up with a whole score of problems because of it.”

Valeria did not press her attack, but she didn't retract her vines either.  The silence alone would be oppressive enough; but the weapons did add to the experience.

David continued his impromptu lecture.  “And given how you've been living alone in the woods for some time, I'm willing to bet you haven't had the best time with it too.  Well, you're not alone.  Many of us are frankly not happy with our circumstances and are not going to take them lying down.  It's separated us from our families, our homes, and our countrymen.  And worst of all, it's created a social divide with a depth that religion or ethnicity could never hope to match.  Make no mistake, the problems that everybody here face – including you – are going to be the defining challenge of our generation.  And yes, that even beats global warming.”

A scowl had been growing on Valeria's face, though whether she was agreeing with David or angry at him was impossible to tell.  He was pretty good at winning people over, Molly had to say; but if Valeria wasn't in the mood to hear any of this it would be for nothing.

Which meant it would be up to Molly to resolve this.

“Valeria,” she started, speaking warmly “we don't mean any harm to you or your people here.  We're only looking for things that can help us help people like you.”

Molly's sentence, as simple as it was, nevertheless had an extremely placating effect on Valeria.  The vines she had summoned withdrew just as rapidly as they had been called forth, sliding underneath the ground with a loud rumbling that shook the ground beneath all those present.  When it was over, Valeria stood in the centre of a ring of unearthed dirt, the crowd around her shocked and amazed to varying degrees.  Valeria herself looked very sheepish.

Ignoring the protests of some of the people around her Molly calmly walked up to Valeria, looked her in the eyes, and took her hands in her own.  The two stared directly into each other, neither one making a sound, while around them people made sounds of frustration, disgust, and general dissatisfaction.

Ralph facepalmed, his augmented hand hitting his face with an audible slap and causing him to yelp in pain.  Molly ignored him, choosing instead to keep her focus on Valeria.  At this close range, while making physical contact, and with the Lilligant's thoughts being so intense, Molly couldn't help but pick up on them.

Valeria's mind was racing with thoughts and ideas previously unknown.  It had been so sudden, so spontaneous, like waking up from a dream.  Or perhaps a nightmare – the forest had dangers aplenty, and with no weapons or tools she had been forced to learn how to survive on her own.  Fortunately she needed far less food then before, provided she spent a few hours in the sun each day.  She did need more water however, which was sometimes a trial.  During one trip to a stream she had an encounter with a jaguar which nearly cost Valeria her life; she was only saved by her timely discovery that she could summon foliage from the ground to defend herself.

But worse than the dangers of the wilderness was the crushing loneliness.  Being alone in the woods, Valeria had absolutely no contact with intelligent life, and consequently was quite lonely.  Molly had been the first person in quite some time to show her any affection, a fact which had not gone unnoticed.    And now that Valeria had been reminded of what the company of another was like, she was eager to keep enjoying it.

And for that... she would work with the people here.  She'd work for Molly.

“Apparently you two have a rapport with each other.”  David stated matter-of-factly, which snapped the two out of their psychic trance.  “That works.  ...And what are the rest of you doing, this isn't dramatic theatre!  Back to work, all of you!”

The crowd promptly dispersed without a word.  Ralph looked questioningly at David, and Molly couldn't tell whether the Emolga was waiting for another assignment or had some other concern.  David for his part rubbed his forehead with a fuzzy white paw.

“Well... You certainly seem talented... Valeria was it?  I'm not sure if that was a Grass Knot comboed with Growth or if you have some unique power, but that's a job for the scientists.  All I need to know is whether or not I can trust you to listen to instruction and not destroy anybody here.  Can I count on that from you?”

Valeria looked back and forth between Molly and David, before nodding twice to the Absol.

“Great.”  He replied, breathing a sigh of relief.  “I don't have anything else for you three to do, go report to William and makes yourselves useful.”

The trio turned around to leave, more or less happy to be done with the day.  Molly was looking forward to something to eat herself.

“Could you wait a moment, Molly?”

But it wasn't to be, at least not right away.  She turned back to David, having a suspicion as to what this was going to be about.

“Sit down.”  David instructed, pointing towards a fold-up cloth chair, to which Molly promptly sat in.  He took a moment to make sure they were out of earshot of anybody, and once satisfied they had their privacy,

“I have no idea what happened out there or what you went up against, so I'm not going to criticize your judgment today.  Ultimately what we'd like to see and what reality permits are often two very different things.  However I must impress upon you the seriousness of the situation you've placed yourself in here.”

Molly's blood ran cold once more.  How did he find out?  Was it that obvious?

“As much as I might want to rid the world of this sort of mental manipulation...”  David started, being slow and choosing every word carefully “the fact remains that there are some extremely powerful individuals out there, and the means available to restrain them are... limited.  Valeria is obviously very talented with her vines, and I'm positive she could destroy this entire camp and everyone here.  You have disarmed this danger, pacified it even, and walked away with a new companion.”

Molly felt like this was giving Valeria too much credit, but not by a large margin.

David paused to rub his temple before continuing.  “That being said, you have also put yourself in a challenging position.  Whatever manner of person Valeria once was, whatever she had before, whomever might possibly be missing her; you are now the person she trusts most.  She will do whatever you ask of her, unconditionally and without hesitation.  You now have a great deal of power over her, Molly, and as such you have a duty as a responsible person of society to respect that, and not abuse it.”

“I understand.”  She replied plainly.  If David knew the full truth, he was keeping it to himself.  Trust wasn't even close to the extent of their connection.  It was something so much more... something that had been missing from both their lives.

Something that Molly wanted to work to make happen as much as Valeria did.

David slowly nodded his head, apparently satisfied with this.  “Very well then.  Go be with your new friend, see if you can find out what she can do.”  Typical David, always putting work first.  It was one of the things that Molly disliked about the man.  Sure, he was fair and honest, and he'd seem friendly enough when you met him for the first time; but soon enough he'd start thinking of you as a means to something else.  Molly had always promised herself that she wouldn't treat anybody else that way, that people were people first and foremost.

And now, thanks to Valeria, she had a chance to fulfill that promise.  Even more so, she now had a friend.  A real, honest, true friend.

Mackenzie was going to be in for a surprise when they returned home.
And here's the second part.

Pokeumans still belongs to :iconpokemonmanic3595:

Special thanks to Google Maps and Wikipedia for information on Belize.

All other trademarks are copyright their respective owners.

Link to first part: fav.me/daz8nfl
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:iconyellowfire7:
yellowfire7 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
At first, I thought the blades would come into play here.  They had already proved effective at cutting through foliage.  But, that was not the solution for this situation.

This was strangely satisfying.  I want Valeria and Molly to talk more.

I also like that, while David and Molly are friends and work together, they have clearly distinct worldviews that affect what they say and do.
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:iconindiscriminatelyjust:
Sometimes violence is not the answer.  When your mineral prospects are bleak and you'd rather make friends, for example.

Glad you liked it!  I've decided to make Valeria one of my regular characters in my main story; she'll be showing up in later works!.

And indeed, different perspectives lead to different outcomes in different situations.  I really want to make that a big part of not just this, but all my writing here.
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:iconthedragon-empress:
TheDragon-Empress Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
*HYPED SCREAMING* 

YES

THIS

THANK YOU

I'm going to try to control my excitement for this for a few minutes. Romance is pretty tricky to write for me too, but you've very done it really naturally, and it's honestly better as a meeting/implied friendship-turned-love. While the sex experimentations impact on the two of them is vague, that does add a quality to it. And you know me, David is the best thing that has happened to this group and i enjoy pretty much everything he says Good thing his kids left before he transformed, imagine him having to read the minds of his teenage kids

Thanks again for writing this tHEY'RE A SHIP
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:iconindiscriminatelyjust:
Thank you, so glad you liked it!  Getting into too much detail about sexual relationships in a story immediately bumps it into the mature category, which was something I wanted to avoid anyway.

Personally I'm kind of surprised David turned out so well.  I need to make all my characters as complicated as him...

All aboard the shipping boat!
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:iconthedragon-empress:
TheDragon-Empress Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Technically none of them are male but I love this so I'll let it slide Implied romance is always the best because it opens so much room for various options. And are you planning on using Valeria in the future? 

Just make them grumble about things and they'd be perfect in my eyes, my favorite line here was about the teenagers.

:la: *spams ship things*
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:iconindiscriminatelyjust:
Well they're both anatomically male.  Lilligants are a 100% female species anyway, so some sort of shenanigans need to happen if you want a male one.  Gender is a malleable thing these days anyway.

All my stories with David and co. are connected in one straight timeline, so yeah, Valeria will be appearing in later works.  And everybody knows teenagers are the worst.
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:iconthedragon-empress:
TheDragon-Empress Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Well I'll skip the lecture on the differences in sex and gender since I didn't specify at all. Gender is more about feeling, so it's possible to be anatomically female but still be male. ANYWAY. I am hyped to see how this goes on. It's impressive that you can keep building and expanding while adding all these new characters to it, I'm struggling to find a good place to but in Toren's future boyfriend, much less an entire arc about him. 
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:iconindiscriminatelyjust:
Ahhh, that explains it.  Here I was thinking that gender was just a chromosome thing.  Learned something new today.

I find it helps if you make a nice, big, overarching plot first, before any characters come in.  Once you have that, you can just slot in whatever characters you need or want to use.  Don't get too bogged down in the details when making this big plot, those get filled in along with the characters.
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:iconthedragon-empress:
TheDragon-Empress Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Nah. I used to think that too, then I met certain people who explained it to me. 

I usually have no problem slotting characters in, but for a major thing, it's tricky. Especially since this might involve giving him some special attention away from the plot. 
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:iconindiscriminatelyjust:
Well, that's what side stories are for!
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