Galar Blitz - Shock3600

A light, cool rain drizzles over an alabaster archway etched into the side of a hill. Deep shadows dance beneath the archway’s shelter, leading inward to an unknown distance to an unseen destination. Beneath the clouds, clusters of small, yellow-and-blue wildflowers sway, the hardy blooms gently waving in the wind.

Sheltered from the chill, and just able to make out the archway in the distance, Huifang Wen rifles through the Enigma Ruins Ranger outpost, searching frantically for Pokédolls. Fleets of Trainers have been tromping through the Enigma Ruins these past few weeks, and it’s left the supplies in a bit of a spot. Huifang’s remembered everything else she needs - Energy Herbs for her Pokemon, a pocket knife, matches, an umbrella, a bottle of water, a much smaller bottle of water purification tablets, tarp, trail mix, even a map in case the Enigma Ruins spits her and her Trainer out in the National Park proper - but she forgot to grab Pokédolls before she left, and she needs to take at least a couple of the dratted things with her in case her Trainer needs them. She has enough supplies to survive days lost somewhere, but no stuffed animals.

A chipper squawk draws Huifang’s attention. She turns to see her Archeops, Hongyu, having pulled a drawer to a filing cabinet near the door open. Inexplicably, the filing cabinet drawer is filled with the dolls - little Clefairies with drawstrings on the back to release a realistic Pokemon’s cry. Huifang has no clue which addled Ranger decided that a filing cabinet was clearly the best location to store vital decoys.

Whatever the reason, Huifang stocks her bag - though not before giving Hongyu a few scratches beneath her chin as a reward for finding the stash. Having nothing better to do, she begins to move the rest of the Pokédolls over to an actual supply bin. As she does, she tries to plan the day’s run in her head. She can’t predict what areas the Enigma Ruins will take her and her Trainer - one Drake Heln - to today, but she can figure out some things to watch out for. Drake, if the paperwork is in order, isn’t a complete stranger to the Park, but he’s relatively new, so Huifang resolves to keep a close eye on him. This goes double due to the fact that he’s brought two powerhouse Pokemon along with him - the Chandelure is an obvious wildfire hazard, but even the Swampert’s earth-shaking, whitewater-summoning abilities can pose a huge threat to the Park’s ecosystem.

The first armload of Pokédolls goes into the bin with a loud, indignant set of squeaks. Despite herself, Huifang snorts. Hopefully this expedition will be a bit more orderly than the Ranger outpost, she thinks, gathering another pack of plushies to move to its proper place.

Pokemon Stats
Trainer Stats
A ranger named Terry waited rather impatiently, tapping his foot and sighing every few minutes. He stood at the gate, having wasted 10 minutes of his life ready to let this guy through the gate. Admission wasn’t a hard job, he just had to make sure they had a scheduled park run, knew which way they were supposed to fly in to meet their ranger, and make sure they didn’t bring any “contraband.” He watched as the reason he was being held up rummaged through his own bag, trying to sort what he had and seperate what he didn’t need, all the while six Pokemon watched him. One of the Pokemon, a floating chandelure that sent shivers down his spine, stared directly at Terry, and he felt almost faint. Shaking his head, Terry sat down to rest.

Drake groaned out loud, finding an old peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the bag. Tossing it to the side, he closed the bag, having decided he had finished his job. Looking up at his companions, he frowned, not having decided on who to bring yet. He was only permitted two partners for the trip, and the rest had to be left at home or at the admission gate. Today would be a curious event, bouncing from spectacle to spectacle, a special promotion the park was running in partnership with Galar to boost tourism for the upcoming gym challenge there. Maybe, he pondered, he would even find a Galarain Darmanitan!

Infernape coughed, five of the six Pokemon looking at him expectedly. He had almost forgotten he had to make a decision. Without knowing what Pokemon he was facing, he needed to have someone reliable, that could take many hits and had few weaknesses. He nodded at Swampert. Next, as the relatively new fire novice leader, he needed something to cover Swampert’s weakness. He looked between the five left, thinking. Chandelure was reliable, serious, and of course his starter. The choice was obvious. Standing up, he recalled the four other Pokemon, and walked forward with Slimchandy and Skips.

“Alright Terry, I’m ready!” Drake frowned, looking at the man passed out on an old chair. Unbeknownst to Drake, Chandelure was still staring directly at the man, not having changed its gaze for seven minutes. He shook the man who jumped up, apologizing before taking Drake’s possessions and telling him how to get there. Drake nodded, continuing on his way.

Drake arrived at his destination, spotting a ranger tossing arm fulls of dolls into various bins. Drake walked forward, awkwardly half raising his arm in greeting.
Well, this is a stellar first impression.

"Good afternoon," Huifang says, attempting to sound as professional as one can whilst relocating bushels of wildly squeaking Clefairy plushies from a filing cabinet to a bin. Deciding there's no way to salvage this, she dumps the current haul of dolls into the bin unceremoniously, unleashing one last final chorus of protesting squeaks. Ignoring this, she reaches out to shake Drake's hand. "Drake Heln, yes? I'm Ranger Huifang Wen. I'll be escorting you through the Enigma Ruins today. And this is Honguyu," she adds, gesturing to the Archeops. Hongyu, for her part, lets out a quiet chirrup in greeting.

With the hood of her jacket pulled up a little carelessly over her head, Huifang leads the way toward the Ruins' entrance, giving Drake plenty of time to keep up. Though she's not too worried about losing him - she'll be the one leading the charge into the caverns today, after all. 

On that topic, Huifang reaches into her bag and pulls out a deep green canister. One Galar Region Spray - ONLY CERTIFIED FOR USE IN THE ENIGMA RUINS. USE ELSEWHERE MAY RESULT IN STRIKES AGAINST RANGER LICENSE. Ranger, immediately before entering the Enigma Ruins. Do not spray in eyes or mouth. Huifang pulls the cap off the spray can diligently and, as soon as she stands under the sheltering arch of the Ruins's entrance, she unleashes the blast.

The spray doesn't smell nearly as bad as Huifang had expected. She'd anticipated the overpowering stink of chemicals, but the scent is something far different - it smells like woodsmoke and leaves and sea spray, with the faint hint of something warm and savory. Huifang doesn't really grok how these few smells sum up an entire region to the Enigma Ruins and its Pokemon, but questioning the logic of a place named the Enigma Ruins is a habit that generally ends in frustration.

"I'll lead the way, then," Huifang says brusquely, strolling into the Ruins with Hongyu walking at her side. She pulls something from her belt - a flashlight, which she sets to its dimmest setting and points down the tunnel. 

Small talk isn't really Huifang's forte, but she's been told that small talk can help improve a Trainer's Park experience. "So, Drake," she says, "what brings you to the Enigma Ruins? I know we've been keeping Galar's Pokemon a bit under wraps in here - are there any particular species you'd like to meet?"

As they walk, Huifang finds herself having to up the brightness on her flashlight. The tunnel's walls are stretching farther and farther away, forming a cave, but it's not one Huifang can see entrance nor exit to. She frowns. Usually, the transition from tunnel to terrain is pretty noticeable, but Huifang can't help but wonder if this pitch-dark cavern is where the Enigma Ruins intends for them to be - 

- and if so, where are all the Pokemon?

Pokemon Stats
Trainer Stats
Drake nodded at the duo before him, ranger and prehistoric bird. Following the two, the excitement of what was to come started to fill him with energy. He owned a single species of Pokemon native to the region, and he was excited to hopefully catch more. From the Pokemon only spotted in Galar, to the regional forms of Pokemon like Darmanitan, they all were so interesting. As the spray bottle unleashed its innards, Drake followed them into the ruins.

“There’s a lot of Pokemon I’d love to see. Imagine catching a Drednaw, an Applin, Sandaconda, Toxtricity, a Scentiskorch, there’s too many to even list off. I’m sure no matter what we find it’ll be a great catch.” As he talked, they continued further into the cave, which seemed to go deeper and deeper instead of emerging into new terrain. He hadn’t any real expectations for the ruins, but he imagined they would have led somewhere. He frowned, seeing his ranger do the same.

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