Strong icy winds dominated the mountain air as Caleb pressed on through the snow, glancing back from time to time to make sure the moogles behind him were still moving. He warned them, but he supposed their fur made them less miserable than he felt at the moment. Nevertheless, he pressed on until he arrived in a vast snowy plain. Not far ahead he spotted the cave he was searching for.
Gizmo is pressing on just behind Caleb, bundled in a scarf and gloves. It had, unfortunately, been summer where she'd come from. Mogwai is taking up the rear, a little dismayed that they couldn't just take the bus up here. Sure, there were no roads, but that never stopped her. "What are we looking for up here anyway? I've never seen anything but dragons..."
"An old friend of Kalin's, hopefully. And if not..a means to track him." answered Caleb, moving forward until he entered the cave.
The inside of the mysterious cave seems to hold very little inside of it, part of what makes it easy to tell something is living inside. The snow that should coat the entire floor has been pushed back from the mouth of the cave, leaving a bare stone floor. Pieces of wood are arranged in a not-lit campfire in the middle of the room, and in the very back, the figure of a man sleeps on a bed of snow.
Mogwai steps inside, her eyes barely adjusting to the darkness. She can make out a shape in the back, but nothing certain "I thought I'd met all of Kalin's friends... never met one here." Gizmo takes the direct approach, walking over to James and nudging him with her foot "Get up Jameson. Our team needs you."
Satisfied to have found who he was searching for, Caleb took a step forward to wake the man but stopped in his tracks as Gizmo took matters into her own hands. 'Strange.' he thought. 'I don't remember her being around back then.'
Jameson opens one bloodshot eye as he looks to the offending nudger. "I don't know who the hell you think you are." The man moves slowly as he sits up, glaring the collection of people in his temporary home. "OR how you know my name, but you can all get the hell out."
Mogwai blinks, surprised at Jameson "I'm sorry. Jameson, it's me, Mogwai. This is Gizmo, she's a friend of mine, just nod when she knows things she shouldn't. Easiest way to deal with her. Anyway... we do need your help. And I'm curious what you've been up to all this time."
Jameson lets go of something he had put his hand on under the snow, and then sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Isn't that just fucking great. I get away from civilization to try and sort myself out, and now people are actively looking for me." He stands up, moving around both the moogles in his cave to the collection of wood in the middle, which he lights with some effort. After eyeing the silent man, he looks back to Mogwai. "So? What do you want?"
Mogwai gestures over to Caleb "You can ask him. To make a long story short, Eevee's in trouble, and Caleb here is someone who knew him back in his world. We're assembling a crew to rescue him, but Caleb here is the one with the master plan."
Caleb nodded, folding his arms. "It's a pleasure to meet you personally, Jameson. I wanted to thank you for looking out for Kalin. Like Mogwai said, he's in trouble. I was hoping you could help us."
Jameson's eyebrow slowly raises until it hits, quite literally, the highest point it can physically go. "And? What's in it for me? In case you don't know, he chose a life apart from me." Jameson motions to the shattered remains of Kalin's pokeball, lying on the ground nearby.
Mogwai shakes her head "He never spoke much about what happened between you two. I suppose it was a bit much to expect you to have any affection for the little guy... umm... we get to beat something up I guess? You like that right?" "Surviving." says Gizmo "We're off to go beat up someone who thinks he's a god. If we're lucky, we can add killing an actual god in there as well. Or you can stay here, and watch as this maniac kills everyone. Starting with those closest to Kalin."
Jameson looks between the two, and smiles as he rests his back against the side of the wall. "Neither of you have any damn clue do you. So what if someone thinks they're a god. The difference between that, and reality is still pretty vast. I think you, of anyone Mogwai, should understand that, what with the little excursion we met on. How did that go anyways? Did you and those damned idiots that followed you ever gain the power you wanted?"
Mogwai nods "I found what I needed, yes. And I know that just because someone thinks they're a god, doesn't mean they are. It means we can stop them. It means they quite likely fully aware of what they're doing. It also means they're likely very, very dangerous. In any case, what about what you want? Is sulking in a cave truly what you desire?" Gizmo whispers something in Mogwai's ear "Oh yeah, and the thing we're after is another pocky man." "Pokemon" "Whatever."
"What I desire? No, not in the slightest. You want to know why I'm in this cave?" Jameson pulls back the sleeve of his jacket, and then settles his hand into the small campfire in the center of the cave. "Because. Unlike some people, instead of being changed and using the change all willy-nilly, I decided it'd be smart to understand what happened to me, In a safe enviroment." After a short time, he pulls his hand back from the fire, which seems unburnt. "I figured it was the safest way to go about things, up here where no one would find me. We see how well that went though." Jameson settles back again, rubbing the hand he had just placed in the fire before fixing Mogwai with a gaze, all of the trainer's bullshit falling away for this moment. "You want to know what I want? I want you to get rid of these 'blessings'. If you call them that. I can't feel heat anymore. Or cold. It's like all of my nerves are dead, but I can still feel other things. That's what I want. Warmth."
"Why..." starts Mogwai before Gizmo cuts her off "I sympathize with that. Everything has it's price, and we don't always have the luxury of finding out... until it's too late. I can't guarantee we can get rid of the blessing. But there's always a way to get what you want, even if it just means exchanging one price for another. In any case, Kalin would be your best bet. It may have been Mogwai's quest, but he's dealt with the spirits more than anyone I know. You want your cure? Help us get him
Jameson sighs, closing his eyes for a while and just thinking. After a few moments, he nods, getting to his feet with the help of the cave's wall. "Hell. I guess I might as well help you kids out. If this god wannabe actually is a pokemon, you're going to want a Responsible adult there to handle the thing." He gives a glance over to Caleb. "I've seen what kids can do with those things."
Mogwai grins "Hooray, kupo! I knew beneath that gruff angry exterior was a gruff angry interior that wante to punch some bad guys. How about a hug?" Gizmo looks at her counterpart as if the dancer has just completely lost her marbles.
Jameson rolls his eyes at the moogle. "You know, I used to be a perfectly well adjusted person. I just haven't gotten anything to drink the entire time I've been up here. Or anything more than burnt meat. Fucking dragons do a number on whatever they don't eat." He looks around the cave for a moment before sighing, and rubbing at one of his eyes. "Also I hope you realize if you're just lying to me to get me to help you, I'm going to have to kill you."
Mogwai nods "Oh, I'd kill me too if I were lying to me just to use me. First things first, we'll head back to Truce and good some food and booze. Umm... Truce is near where we'll be going, right?" Gizmo nods "That city is a nexus for the weird. Our destination isn't IN Truce... but it's not far from there."
After a long silence, Caleb nodded and spoke up. "What Gizmo says is true. Kalin was summoned to the Mana Holyland itself, and even saw the Sword of Mana with his own eyes. If anyone can get the mana goddess' attention, it's him. I'd also like for you to..show me a few things. I believe I'm what's called a 'pokemon trainer' as well, though in my world..it's nothing like I've seen here. I was wondering if you could teach me a thing or two, maybe show me how those..balls work."
Jameson stares blankly at Caleb. "Oh stop fucking trying, kid. If you don't know what a pokeball is, then you're not a trainer. Either that, or you are the shittest trainer that ever possibly lived, and I'm going to need about two more bottles of whiskey than I currently have to deal with you."
Caleb unfolded his arms. In the past, Jameson's comments would have struck a nerve. But the time spent in Darkrai's heart had cast a shadow among his own, no longer able to feel his emotions as strongly as he once did. "I believe we can arrange that. At any rate, thanks for your help. I can track Darkrai's movements, but we'll need to start in Guardia."