The sweep was uneventful until Kiera and Dusa came back around the front to finish the sweep. As the main entrance came into view, they saw someone walking out of the building.
"That's not one of ours," Kiera said. "Don't' attack, but be ready just in case." She released Espeon, and Dusa released an Umbreon.
As they closed in on the unknown woman, Kiera saw that she had a Glaceon out. [i]Well, there's a funny little coincidence.[/i]
"Who are you?" the girl asked as Kiera and Dusa came to a stop in front of her.
"We could ask you the same thing," Kiera said.
The girl thought for a moment before replying. "My name is Evangeline Drake."
[i]Hmm... I've heard that name before. Wait.[/i] "Eva? PokeTalk 92.9?" She supposed that she usually wouldn't have known the name, but she'd been in Goldenrod for a couple weeks now, and had heard Eva on the radio several times.
"That's right," Eva said. "And you are?"
"I'm Kiera, and this is Dusa."
"What are you doing here?" Eva asked
"There's several of us hiding out here. We met during the attack, and I ended up leading the group."
"Hmm, not just this city either. When the pokÃ©mon attacked us I was reading out a headline about Vermillion City in Kanto being hit by a similar strike."
[i]And not just Vermillion, either,[/i] Kiera thought. "Well," she said as she and Dusa recalled their Pokemon, "I think you can be trusted, especially since you were caught in the attack, too."
"Well I'm glad you think so," Eva said as Glaceon returned to her side.
"If you're joining the group, then I'd appreciate it if you would tell me your Pokemon team. Aside from the obvious, of course."
"Glaceon, clearly," Eva said, "Blaziken, Mightyena, Donphan, and Ampharos."
[i]Odd.[/i] "Only five? Not a full team?"
"....Yeah, guess not..." Eva replied hesitantly, placing her hand on the Pokeball hanging from her necklace.
[i]Not that simple, then,[/i] Kiera thought. [i]Did her sixth die? Maybe not; she doesn't look like she's thinking about a loss. Could be wrong, though. Well, I'll have to ask her about it. In private, I think.[/i] "Come on," she said, "let's go meet up with the rest of the group."
The three of them, plus Glaceon, stepped inside.
Kiera turned towards the voice to see Daniel and Terrence approaching. "Who's this?" Daniel asked, indicating Eva.
"This is Eva," Kiera said. "Eva, this is Daniel and Terrence, two others from the group. Did you two find anything?"
"No," Terrence said. "Well, nothing you haven't found. We thought we had something, but lost it as it moved this way."
"Yeah, that was me," Eva said.
"As I thought."
"Well, this works well," Kiera said. "Dusa, you go with Daniel and Terrence. Finish the sweep, then return to the group. I'm going to take Eva on a supply run."
"All right," Dusa said. She headed off with the pair.
Kiera took her bag off-[i]And I should make sure to tell people to keep their packs with them[/i]-and opened it up. She reached in and pulled out another bag, an empty one.
"Wait," Eva said, "you keep a spare bag in your bag?"
"Yeah," Kiera replied. "What if my bag fails? I don't want to be in the wilderness and end up having to leave almost all of my supplies behind. And it's easy to fit an empty bag through into this one. Although it needs to stay off, of course, since stacked compression can have... interesting results." Which was why most bags made a lot of noise if anything with active compression, such as an occupied Pokeball, came near an open pouch. "Anyways, here. We're set up in the outdoor department, so I'll get another spare when we get back there. Anyways, come on."
"Okay," Kiera said as Eva loaded food into her bag, "if you're going to stay with our group, then you need to know the rules. If you don't follow them, you're out of the group. First of all, I'm in charge. I didn't ask for that position, but when we all ran into each other, I was the only one who'd managed to stay calm enough to think clearly, so I ended up in charge. If you have thoughts on something I say, feel free to say so, but in the end, I'll expect you to go with whatever I end up deciding. Especially if we're actively in danger; I can't have anyone second-guessing me when we're in the middle of a fight."
"All right," Eva said. "What else?"
"The only other set rule I've made so far is that nobody goes anywhere alone. I don't care what you're doing; have at least one other human with you-and within sight-at all times. Yes, even if you're using the bathroom. I've already had one person slip away to do that in private," she explained after a questioning look. "Privacy takes a backseat to safety."
"Makes sense. Anything else I need to know?"
"Keep an eye out for symbols like that one by the entrance, or the one we'll see when we reach the pharmacy section. I think they may be related to whatever's going on."
"All right. Is that all?"
"Pretty much," Kiera said, "although I do have something to ask you."
"What is it?" Eva replied, but Kiera could tell that she knew what was coming.
[i]She was ready for me to press this. Definitely a sign that she's hiding something.[/i] "I''m fairly certain you've figured out what this is about," Kiera said. "You only named five pokemon when I asked for your team earlier."
"I only have a team of five."
"And yet you've got a sixth Pokeball on a necklace."
'It's... it means something to me."
[i]Let's see about that.[/i] "Did your sixth die?"
Eva's surprise at that qoestion briefly showed on her face, but she quickly hid it, although not quickly enough to keep Kiera from seeing it. "Um-"
[i]As expected[/i] "No need to answer," Kiera said. "It never occurred to you that someone might think that, did it? I can tell you weren't expecting the question. You do have a sixth, don't you? You just don't want to say what it is."
"If you want it kept secret, I won't tell anyone."
"And yet you're asking me to tell you."
"The difference," Kiera said, "is that I'm in charge of this group. Nobody else needs to know, but I won't accept having something like that kept from me. So out with it. What is your sixth Pokemon?"
"I'm not going to tell you."
"Then you're not going to come with us. It's your choice. I don't want to be a ***** here, but I need the group to do what I say. If you have objections, then by all means, voice them, but in the end, I can't have people going against me, not if we're going to get out of this alive. So I'll ask again: what is your sixth Pokemon?"
"I don't want people to know I have it," Eva said after a pause.
"Then I won't say anything."
There was another pause. "All right," Eva said eventually. "My sixth is a Latias."
[i]Latias? How the hell did she pull that off?[/i] "Well. All right, then. Thank you for telling me. And don't worry; I won't say a thing about it. And again, sorry about the rigid ***** routine. I don't like having to be like that, but, well..."
"It's all right," Eva said.
"Okay, then. Now that that's over with, let's get this supply run over with, shall we?"