From opposite sides of the grimy glass window, the two Survivors watch at each other. The hoodie-wearing man inside, and the unkempt-but-well-dressed man outside, staring each other down.
Thanks to ‘Mr. Hoodie’, the interior is clear of Undead, and neither he nor ‘Mr. Suit’ can see any zombies outside, should they look. Right now, they’re probably too busy sizing up the competition or something, of course, but who can tell how such extended isolation has affected them?
Richard was the first to break the stillness. He stood up, standing straight and tall, arms at his sides, as much unlike a zombie as he could muster without being ridiculous. He signaled for Rob and Leah to follow, and moved to enter the building, his movements all deliberate and slow, so as not to appear alarming.
Once he and his Pokemon were safely inside, he removed his sunglasses, clipping them to the breast pocket of his suit, and looked the newcomer up and down. After a moment of deliberation (and perhaps disbelief), he simply said:
"You're the first live human being I've seen."
He held out his hand as if to have it shaken. He was at first unsure, but his hand steadied alongside his voice.
"My name is Richard Zhang. I don't mean you any harm."
Gareth stood stock still as he desperately tried to make sense of what he was seeing. Another survivor, another person, right here? Was this real? Did he trip and hit his head and this was all a dream? It was unlikely that the man on the other side of the window knew just how momentous of an event this was for Gareth. He had been lacking human contact for a year now, all alone with only his Pokemon in this godforsaken world overrun by the undead.
But as the man moved in a way very much unlike the aforementioned nonliving denizens of the earth, the young man couldn't deny that he was real. A real person. He had Pokemon with him too. They were following him as he- he was entering the store. Gareth shook a little as he waited for the man to arrive. What should he say? What should he do? He hadn't expected to meet another living being so suddenly. As weird as it sounded, Gareth had fully expected to be searching far and wide for signs of human life until he would one day stumble upon a hidden community, upon a place that he could call home. He didn't expect it to happen in rundown shop which had just been cleared of zombies.
The man spoke and held out his hand. It took Gareth a second to compose himself, but he took the offered limb in his own right hand and shook it, weakly at first, but then more firmly.
"Gareth Arakin. Nice- nice to meet you. You're the first living human I've seen since this whole mess started too." He had stumbled a little over his words, unsure and still somewhat shocked as he was, but he was slowly gaining more confidence. He was unsure what the man meant by harm though, Gareth didn't expect to be attacked by the living. Only the dead were dangerous. Right? Yes, it couldn't be any other way, Gareth assured himself.
"We... we should talk. About ourselves maybe. This place is safe from the zombies, we- we won't be interrupted here I think. There might be supplies too, behind a door at the back. But let's talk first, we can sort out anything else afterwards." Gareth took a deep breath. This stumbling over words was getting a little annoying, so he took a moment to calm himself.
Oh! He remembered something he had forgotten. He waved over to his two Pokemon, pointing out the Braixen first and then the Joltik. "These are Arcane and Aureolin. Arc and Reo for short. What should I call your friends?" Gareth was really trying to be a good conversationalist, but he was basically just speaking from the top of his head. He hoped he hadn't said anything wrong or weird yet.
"Friends? Right, of course." Richard replied, turning to the Pokemon behind him. He first motioned to the Tynamo.
"This is Roborovski. I call him Rob for short, Roborovski is a bit of a mouthful, as you probably noticed." He then points out the Audino. "And this is Leah, my lookout." He kneels down to her level, putting a hand on her shoulder. "Leah, my dear, if you could please keep watch out the window while we talk. Let me know if you see or hear anything unusual, alright?"
He gets back to his feet after the Audino nodded to him and plunked herself down to keep an eye through the glass front of the building, eyes open and ears pricked up. Richard turns back to Gareth.
"Leah is an excellent spotter. We shouldn't have anything sneaking up on us from outside while she keeps watch." he continues, trying to reassure Gareth, who, now that he had gotten a better look, seemed to be even more nervous that he was, although he supposed it wasn't because of being harassed by any more zombies. "So, if you want to talk, we should be safe to do so." Richard, taking a quick look around the room, finds a spot on the shop counter to sit on, next to the till, which had long ago been opened and emptied. He places his pack on the floor near his feet.
"Perhaps you should start. You were the one who suggested it, after all." he said, leaning forward on his makeshift seat, lacing his fingers together.
"Right," Gareth starts, he did suggest it so it was only fair that he should start. "Basically I was thinking that we should team up. I think two people have a much greater chance of surviving than one person alone. I figured you wouldn't want to live with a stranger though so let me introduce myself." Gareth pauses for a moment.
"You already know my name, but I'm 22 years old, and I'm a botanist by profession. I grow berries and herbs in a portable grower and with the help of Pokemon, like my Tropius. I've, well, I've spent ages looking for other survivors, for some kind of community, but it dawned on me when I saw you, that a community won't be found, it will have to be made. And I was thinking that the two of us could be the start. I'm sure there must be other survivors out there, looking for other people just like I have been. If you're up to it, I'd like it if we could look for them together."
There is a determined gleam in Gareth's eyes that hasn't been there since the world had been overrun by zombies. As he waits for a response however, the certainty that had showed in his words began to retreat from him. "I, well, I can understand if that's asking for too much," he says, rubbing the back of his neck a little.
While Richard and Gareth converse, not much appears to be going on. The inner areas of the store appear quiet, or else very nicely soundproofed, and the outside is equally bleak.
The zombies Aureolin felled look as dead as ever, lying on the floor. Why, they could be actual corpses, with how still they were.
Leah doesn’t appear to have found anything of note outside, but that could also be the grime-covered window. She didn’t hear anything either, at least, and Audino had sharp ears, didn’t they?
Should either of you investigate the doors at the back, you will immediately note that they are very sturdy-looking. As well, both are locked. They do have key-holes, though, so maybe there’s a key in this front area? If not, since there aren’t any zombies around, you could just break the things. It isn’t like it’s a crime, anymore...
If you’d like, have Leah and Arcane roll Perception, respective Survivors. Or, in Gareth’s case, anyone else who’s out right now, it wasn’t specified…
As stated above, the zombies are still dead, and the doors are locked. If you’d like to look for the key, either of you, roll for Perception or Intuition. If you specify where you’re looking, maybe you’ll even get a bonus… Barring that, you really can just break the door down. Nothing stopping you, after all.
"No, teaming up at this point is a no-brainer" Richard replied. "I would have offered if you hadn't mentioned it. There is safety in numbers, and safety is a grand luxury around here."
Richard looks down at the floor pensively, cupping his chin in his hand as he perused his memories. The actual time since the disaster struck hadn't actually been all that long, but it already felt like a lifetime away.
"I was employed in the government." he began. "It wasn't terribly impressive, a white-collar managerial job in a comparatively unimportant section. But working in a government position, information trickles down. You could say I was prepared for the disaster to strike. No one believed me, of course. They never do. They just called me a tinfoil hat-wearer and told me to let it go."
Richard's hand, absentmindedly exploring the countertop he was sitting on, came to rest on a slip of paper, a business card of some kind, and he picked it up, flipping the card between his fingers as he talked.
"I've been training myself in several useful skills. For starters, I've shielded my mind from outside forces." Richard taps the side of his head for emphasis, before gesturing towards the two corpses. "There are nasty things out there, nastier than these simple undead, things that can take over your mind from miles away without even looking at you. But I also learned some more hands-on skills. I'm good at making and setting traps." he looks around at the piles of various junk strewn across the room, and did a little mental calculation. "I bet I could have this entire room rigged in half an hour, if we needed it."
"And finally, I even have a safehouse of a sort set up. Before I ended up here, I has a sort of a fortification in the marshlands outside of the city limits, about five klicks out, and I would come here into the city to find supplies when my stock ran low. It's a modified root cellar from before the wetland restoration project, and I've camouflaged it and rigged the swamp around it with snares. It's not big by any means, but if we need a safe place to retreat, we can go there."
Richard hesitated, then looked towards the floor, a little shamefaced.
"At least, that's what I would be saying, but I had a momentary lapse in memory recently, no doubt done by one of the bigger nasties prowling the city laying a psionic attack on my mental bastions. As a result, I'm in unfamiliar territory, and don't know the way back to my swamp. If I had a map of the area, I bet I could navigate back there, but I have yet to find one."
"Of course, that's mostly moot, at this point. Any other survivors would undoubtedly still be here, in the city, hidden in some sheltered nook or staying on the move, like we are. If we want to find them, we can't go running off back to my swamp."
Gareth listened carefully. His eyes widened as Richard talked about his job with the government and the information that he received. Information trickled down, he said. Did that mean he knew the cause of this goddamned plague? That question was one that had been... Plaguing Gareth ever since he had returned from his sabbatical to a post apocalyptic world, full of death and decay. It was strange, he knew, it wasn't as if knowing the cause would make things better, but for some reason without that knowledge it felt like there was a part of him that was missing, as if he couldn't live a full live without if.
Richard hadn't finished talking though and so he waited for the right time to ask, mentally noting key information as he listened. A shielded mind. Trap setter. A safehouse in a swamp. Richard had truly prepared for the apocalypse. With that kind of skill set, it was no wonder that he had survived.
Wearily, as if prepared to be disappointed, Gareth finally decided to ask. "You said you worked for the government and received information. Does that mean you know what happened? Why the dead are walking around?"
"My original theory was that nanites were being distributed into the water table." Richard began, his enthusiasm growing the further he explained. "These nanites were initially supposed to enter the bloodstream and boost immunity, shorten injury recovery times, and otherwise monitor and protect their occupants, while simultaneously sending information back to the government offices. Three years ago, a promising young student, who's name was Raoul Qamari, thought up of the idea and built a prototype of the nanite in question, one that could be injected into the human bloodstream. The government caught wind of this, and attempted to further develop these nanites, with Qamari as the head of the development team. Due to the controversial nature of essentially putting robots into people, not to mention the troubles they'd already had getting citizens vaccinated, the government opted for putting them into the water. Unfortunately, testing on lab Rattata revealed that the nanites had unpredictable effects in both immune response and cellular metabolism, and oftentimes would leave most specimens in a similar, although not identical, state to the zombified humans we are plagued with today. After a full year of research with no solution, they closed up shop and moved to new things, putting their nanite research into archive."
Richard got up off his seat, after much fidgeting, and begans to pace around. He was now in full lecture mode, now, and his hands swept and danced as he punctuated his speech with gestures. "And that's the way it stays until perhaps four or five months ago. Enter Deep Dream. Deep Dream is an underground bioterrorist organization, which most people know as nothing more than an affluent gang with more ego than actual influence. They infiltrated our information archives in a surprise maneuver, taking with them the research notes about the nanite plans, among other things."
Richard finishes pacing, turning back to Gareth, spreading his arms wide. "But, at that point, things go dark. Deep Dream did a good job at covering their tail, and there's only limited information I could gather from that point. I know that, recently, either Deep Dream, or another organization that either worked for Deep Dream or had the notes sold to them by Deep Dream, made threats against multiple government offices, with with very cryptic and alarming statements. I also know that, at the same point where Deep Dream stops appearing in records, Raoul Qamari also stops appearing. But, beyond that, I have nothing further. I'm assuming that they went ahead with their threats, which undoubtedly involved a modified version of these nanites, and most likely lost control of their incident, leading to the widespread 'infection' we're seeing. Or it was their plan to cause a disaster of this scale, although I can't see anyone gaining benefit out of it."
"Unfortunately, this information's foundation has been shaken, now that I've explored the city somewhat. There are bigger, nastier, and significantly smarter things out there than just zombified living beings, and no amount of nanites makes beasts like that appear overnight. Either Deep Dream has pulled something really, really big, or there's some crucial piece of information I've yet to find..."
Richard puts his hand on his chin thoughtfully. "I suppose that's my second goal. Figuring out how things happened. Finding Deep Dream. If they're still around, that is. If I can figure that out... there might be a way to fix things."
He looks back, out the grimy window, more out of reflex of watching his back than anything else, before turning back to Gareth. "That's what I know. Take from it whatever you will. In the meantime, have you already searched this building? I'm looking for food and supplies, as I'm running low, and have a full team of Pokemon to feed, and if you haven't already scoured the place, then I'd like to get started on that."
Gareth’s mouth was wide open. When he had asked what for the cause of the plague, he hadn’t expected this… this conspiracy. Sure, he’d been expecting something controversial, like a top-secret bioweapon, but this mess? It was a little convoluted and at some points hard to follow, so Gareth had to repeat the information to himself in his head in order to process it.
So this guy, Raoul Qamari had created the nanites that would eventually lead to the zombification of almost everyone on the planet? Gareth wondered if the guy was still alive to see the results of his research. Would he feel guilty for being involved in the apocalypse?
And this group, Deep Dream. Why would someone, even a group of terrorists go out of their way to use failed research like that on people when the consequences were so clear, having been displayed on the lab Rattata. It seemed like there was nothing to gain from actually carrying out their threats. Had they perhaps expected a different outcome? Gareth couldn’t fathom what they had been thinking.
When Richard mentioned bigger things, Gareth got a little worried. He hadn’t explored too much of the city, but all he had encountered were zombies. Just what monsters could be out there that were worse than the zombies?
Gareth resigned himself to asking later. Richard was right, there was still a store to be looted.
“No… I haven’t searched the building yet,” Gareth said. He was clearly still somewhat distracted from the info dump that he had received. It was a good kind of distraction though. Gareth had been asking himself what had happened for ages and now he actually had an idea, even if it wasn’t quite complete. Gareth was seriously wondering if it had been fate that had brought Richard here. So far, he’d been the answer to all of Gareth’s problems. He felt like a certain weight had been lifted from his shoulders and survival was finally not a burden to him anymore.
The young man pulled himself together with a shake of his head. He pointed out the door that he had been talking about earlier. "There's sure to be some kind of supplies behind that door."
Richard When you turn to survey the parking lot, during your lecture, you don’t spot anything immediately alarming. You don’t remember the ornament on one of the cars nearby, but you had come from a different angle. You can’t be expected to remember every last little detail in this wasteland, right?
Still, when you tried to focus on the odd half-ball shape, you couldn’t quite suppress a shiver. Gareth In the midst of Richard’s lecture on the origin of this infernal plague, you feel what you can only describe as a tickle in your mind. Maybe something he said reminded you of something you’d heard somewhere before?
He was right, though, there were more important things to think about than that, at least right now. You might not be out in the open, but after all that talk about things more dangerous than your average zombie… A quick look at the doors reveal that both are, unfortunately, locked. It would probably make a lot of noise, blasting through them, but you could, if you wanted to. Or maybe there’s a key nearby? Or at least a more graceful way of getting through… There’s bound to be something useful, in such a large building, and since these doors don’t look damaged, it stands to reason they probably weren’t raided!
"It looks quite sturdy. I could probably get us through it, but it would be very loud, and certain to bring attention to our building. If we can find the key, or pick the locks, that would be much better for us."
Richard shrugs his shoulders. "Unfortunately, I've no experience in lockpicking. I'm going to try and find the key. Odds are the owner took the key with them when they abandoned this place, but it might still be here, if we're lucky."
Richard begins the tedious process of searching the room for the key, in particular any drawers, registers, and other possible hiding spots at the front desk. He easily gets distracted, however, with all the random junk lying about the place. Almost absentmindedly, he begins cobbling bits and pieces together.
"Ah, let me help you," Gareth said as he watched Richard search for a key. As he made his way around the place, looking on and under counters and such, something niggled at his mind. Something Richard had said earlier resounded within his brain, not quite calling up any memories or such, but still leaving him with a strange feeling of having forgotten something.
Feeling like they would have more luck in this search with more eyes, four pairs were better than two after all, Gareth calls to his Pokémon. "Arcane, Aureolin. Help us look for anything key shaped please."
Setting about searching for a key, Richard’s first instinct is to check around the counter they were near. Before he can get too engrossed in his search, though, he is distracted, and gives his new partner space to continue searching while he tinkers.
It isn’t until a little while later, when Richard is nearly finished making… something… that Arcane brandishes a single, nondescript key. It looks to be the right sort for that door, but there’s only one way to be sure…
"Well done, Arcane!" Gareth exclaims. He gives the fox Pokemon a pet on the head, scratching softly through her fur just the way she liked it. The Pokemon yipped in happiness as she handed him the key.
"Richard, we found it," he tells the other man, just in case the man was still distracted by building... whatever it was he was building. It looked dangerous, which was probably a good thing considering all the zombies.
Gareth walked towards the door and with minimal fiddling inserted the key into the keyhole and turned it.
Gareth Before turning the key, you notice Arcane and Aureolin both look to the ground simultaneously, although you can’t fathom why... It looks like Leah, Richard’s Audino was scared, too. You don’t notice anything, though…
Getting back to the door, Arcane doesn’t seem to have any issue with you unlocking it - met with a very satisfying thunk sound - and the door slowly swinging inwards. The room behind it is pretty dark, though, even compared to the gloom of the room you’re in right now. At least nothing jumps out at you. Richard Your trap completed, you look up to see Gareth open the door to the next room. No zombies leap out, at least while you both stare into the impermeable darkness…
Gareth frowned as his Pokemon suddenly look downwards. "Huh," he says. "What's wrong, guys?" He wasn't a Pokemon whisperer, but maybe they could get him to understand what was wrong. With their reactions, he was now a little hesitant to enter the room, but the idea of finding valuable or eatable loot beyond is too tempting. The Pokemon didn't seem to have an issue with him opening the door though, so hopefully whatever had them worried wasn't laying in wait in there.
"Come on, let's see what's in there," Gareth told his Pokemon. He entered the room with his partners by his side. "Arcane, can you give us a little light with your flames?" The Pokemon gave a yip of assent and with a whooshing sound, lit up the tip of the stick she carried with flame.
"Thanks, Arcane," the botanist said, petting the Pokemon's head a little. The Braixen grinned, enjoying the gesture. With the little amount of light he was given, Gareth could now peer around the room properly as he walked slowly.
Gareth Arcane’s torch provided some much needed light, not much sadly, but enough to see almost two meters out, you estimate.
Within those two meters, you can see what looks to be a large shelf. Not a strong one, though; it looks like you could knock it over, or have one of your Pokemon destroy it entirely pretty easily. Albeit loudly.
Straining your ears, you can hear a faint… sizzling sound? Somewhere to the left. As well as an occasional pat, like a step. You can’t place the direction for that one, though. Or even if there’s only one…
Welcome to Pokémon-by-Post, a forum dedicated solely to play-by-post games of Pokémon Tabletop United and other Pokémon forum RPGs! Grab your virtual dice, open your PDFs, and get ready to catch 'em all!
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Hi there! I'm Seya, a 24 y.o. editor in Atlantic Canada. I enjoy writing, reading, webcomics, art, worldbuilding, and video games (I can talk for ages about SotC and Monster Hunter...). Although I'm relatively new to playing Pokémon Tabletop via forum, I've been putting together sites like this for a long time, and I'm really excited to work with you all to create an awesome environment for Pokémon roleplay. While my job here is primarily to keep the site running smoothly, I'm always happy to chat, offer advice, and deal with any problems you run across. Let me know if I can be of any help. Inbox is always open! Cheers! xx :)
Hello! I'm Sly, the East Coast mod representative! I'm a 22 year old tax accountant who is exactly as exciting as that sounds, I'm sure. PTU is my major hobby, I run several games (of which the Geode games are my pet project), and I read a disgusting amount of fanfiction. I've been a member of the community for about a year, consider myself more GM material than player material, and am dedicated to helping make your time here enjoyable! If there's ever anything you need, don't be afraid to send me an owl! (Or a PM, I guess, if that works better for you.)
Hey there! I’m DataNinja, the West Coast representative. I'm the most active Staff member on here, so if you need something, try giving me a poke first, and I'll see if I can help sort out your problem. Always happy to help!
(1 May 2015): "For our first pack, we’re focusing on utility character options. Hopefully, this will give you both interesting insights into our dev process as we make changes over time and another focused avenue to give us feedback on what you’d like to see out of PTU."
People are out there, yes, but if you're looking for a game, sorry to say that things seem to be winding down overall. There's basically been... 3 games in the last 2 years, none of which got off the ground.
Jun 8, 2021 4:55:15 GMT
Hello anyone out there!
Jul 31, 2020 17:55:59 GMT
Does anyone know where the latest Roll20 JSON Exporter for the Fancy Sheet is?
May 22, 2020 23:59:17 GMT
UwUs into the void...
May 14, 2020 2:56:43 GMT
It's very slow, yes. You'll probably finish working on your game before one pops up here, and if you create a recruitment for it you can expect to be swarmed with applicants.
May 7, 2020 4:47:37 GMT
New games seem to open up slowly here, but if new people are still welcome, I don't mind waiting around (or working on my own). It looks like there's some useful stuff to browse in the meantime.
Feb 24, 2020 7:31:23 GMT
Dec 25, 2019 11:21:14 GMT
Happy Holidays Poke-EEE-MAN enthusiasts!
Dec 25, 2019 7:30:23 GMT
Merry Christmas, Pokemon Play by Post community!
Dec 18, 2019 17:33:11 GMT
Dec 18, 2019 14:53:25 GMT
Hi folks! New here and excited to try this place out!
Dec 11, 2019 21:47:02 GMT
Dec 11, 2019 19:20:07 GMT
Anyone else here a Hunter x Hunter fan?
Dec 3, 2019 1:40:48 GMT
Keep an eye on the recruitment area of this website. They're rare nowadays, but any new games that crop up will show up there. If it's a live game you want though, you're outta luck.
Dec 2, 2019 19:05:30 GMT
but how else do i find games then?
Nov 28, 2019 6:17:00 GMT
Sounds to me like they weren't a group you'd want to be part of anyway.
Nov 27, 2019 22:17:34 GMT
i wanted to join a living server on roll20 to learn the system but they ignored my application for 2 weeks then blocked me
Nov 24, 2019 19:37:47 GMT
Basically, GMs post recruitments in the appropriate section, and then players apply to the open games. Unfortunately, there has been a rather... small amount of games posted lately, but there's one currently recruiting right now.
Nov 24, 2019 13:08:10 GMT
How does this site work?
Oct 1, 2019 13:10:32 GMT
Post on the Game Masters Seeking Players page. There are plenty examples there to go off of.