Quick OOC for the beginning: I had this starter wrote out already, so that's why I posted so quickly lol. Anyways, My responses are pretty long, my starters are usually particularly long! Feel free to respond in any amount of length, even if you don't always match how long my responses are... I just get extra detailed haha.
Here we go!
The Floaroma Orphanage.
Home of all the children without one to call their own, filled with souls who hope to one day find families they can keep forever.
Dani, the Unfixable child.
Brought in at a young age from an unloving and violent home, she was brought into this orphanage as a problem child from the start. Behavioral problems, temperamental and stubborn, she was a difficult child to handle and not easy to change. She would be adopted twice into families who thought they might be able to solve her problems and fix her, only to bring her back after many unsuccessful attempts. Each time she was brought back she only became worse, more and more distrusting to those in her surroundings and less likely to find her forever home.
Enough years passed that she became one of the 'older' children that were categorized as harder to adopt, as most families wanted younger children, and it was deemed as though older children were less likely to improve from old behavior problems. those who worked at the orphanage wrote her off as most likely to age out of the adoption home when she'd turn 18, one of the rare cases that they'd not find a family to take the child in. Dani knew it, and accepted her fate with a promise not to trust anyone ever again. It made it easier to protect herself that way, and to avoid any additional hurt that came when trusting someone who would betray you.
Pink sunlight filtered through the window of her room as the sun began to set for another day. It looked like another good day for slipping out of the orphanage to go exploring by herself for awhile. Many times the workers had caught her sneaking out and tried to prevent it from happening again, but it never worked. She always found a way back out, and so eventually they caved in and decided that as long as she came back by the end of the night, they may as well try not to fret about it too much as she would likely find a way around their solutions anyways. At least she was old enough that they didn't feel they'd need to worry about her too much.
Often she liked exploring out to new towns she hadn't visited before, or revisit ones she had seen just to be by herself and think awhile. Today felt like a good day to visit Sandgem Town, not too far away and simple enough for her to have a calm walk. She explored her usual pathways for awhile, paying no mind to the curious glances around her as she did so. These were the only times she really enjoyed, when she got to feel like a normal kid for awhile just living life outside the walls of the orphanage.
After some time, the pink colors of the sunset got covered with grey clouds. The wind began to pickup and lightening flashed in the sky. It was obvious it was going to storm soon, but by the time Dani noticed it was too late. She started to head back home with hopes she'd make it before it began to rain, but it came sooner than she expected it to. A downpour fell over her drenching her skin in cold raindrops, and she quickly switched her plan from going home to finding some kind of shelter until the rain stopped.
By now, all the shops were closed for the night and there was no way she was going to knock on some random persons door. She continued trying doors around the town until she found one that was unlocked, which just so happened to be the old research building. Doors creaking as she entered, she took a deep breath of relief when she finally got herself out of the rain. The lights were off in most of the building which she was appreciative of as it gave her some kind of hidden cover. She didn't know if anyone was here or not, but if there was she would prefer to not be seen. Light came from around the corner, indicating there was one room that had the lights on. Slinking over silently, she let curiosity take hold of her as she peeked around the wall to see what might be in the room.
It was the tail end of a long, productive day at the Sandgem research laboratory. By now, only Professor Rowan remained inside, his assistants having left a while ago. He planned on turn in himself as well soon. He just wished to get a few data points added towards his research before he called it a day.
Lately, he had been taken a closer look into the realm of evolutionary Stones. Such items held key to many fascinating discoveries regarding Pokemon evolution. How an individual of given species first react to the corresponding Stone and how had such a capacity been inherited by the next generation? Why might a species of a Type commonly associated to a particular stone require such an item to further develop, while a comparable could do so solely through natural effort? And what did it mean in the context of what evolution actually represented in the life cycle?
Rowan held a Thunder Stone in one of his hands. In front of him, there were three subject atop measuring capsule platforms: An Eevee, notorious for being quite adaptive in manner of evolution. Then, a Luxio, the intermediate stage in a Electric evolutionary line that developed through natural growth.
And finally, a Pikachu, which conversely did require a Thunder Stone to further evolve.
Engrossed in his work, coupled with the characteristic vocalizations emanating from each creature every so often and the ringing of the apparel, Professor Rowan didn't yet notice any going ons outside the room.
Dani peeked into the room to find a man standing in the room, seemingly a professor of the lab by the way he was dressed. She blinked, eyeing something that was in his hand, though she wasn't able to make out what it was. It looked like some kind of orange/yellow colored stone.
Her eyes moved down to see Pokemon in the lab, which surprised her a bit. These were obviously no longer wild Pokemon, which interested her quiet a bit. Did this man catch these Pokemon? How did one catch Pokemon anyways? She had many questions running through her mind, none of which would be answered right now.
Wanting to get a better look, she took a cautionary step into the room. The professors back was turned to her, so she felt secure in that she would stay hidden. Peering over, she got a better look at the Pokemon, a smile forming on her face when she could fully see all of them. They were awfully cute, that was for sure.
Then, the Luxio caught wind of her being there. It looked over at her and made a roaring sound in her direction, making her smile fall immediately. She didn't bother to look at the professor, she knew that by now she was likely to have been noticed. Throwing away all stealth, she turned her heel and bolted back to the front door, her footsteps echoing through the rooms.
When she got to the front door, she opened them in hopes of getting out, but instead was hit with a harsh gust of wind and rain to her face, thunder booming in the distance. The storm had only gotten worse, and it wouldn't be even remotely safe for her to try and escape now. Closing the doors once more, she sighed to herself in defeat.
Slowly turning around, she watched toward the room she had just been in. Whoever the man was would likely be coming now, and she prepared herself for an angry response. After all, she couldn't imagine him being happy with her for breaking in her, sticking her nose in things she shouldn't be in while he was trying to do research.
Professor Rowan was taken back when the Luxio suddenly started growling and fretting a paw agitatedly against the floor of the platform. Clearly she had gotten surprised by something, most likely whatever seemed to be glaring at. Rowan quickly turned around to look behind him, just barely catching a brief glimpse of what appeared be a child fleeing away.
"Hey, wait -" He attempted to call out in alarm, but the kid seemed pretty gone by then. Rowan did want to go after and see if they were OK. Last he had checked, the weather had appeared set to pretty tempestuous. If they were alone and on foot, it might not be safe to leave yet.
However, the Luxio was sounded clearly still in uproar. He had to tend to that, lest things grow further wary. Turning back around, he saw that the female Spark Pokemon had her claws extended out, bits of visible electricity cracking around them. The male Eevee and female PIkachu were both of a meeker, docile temperament and seemed more scared by the Luxio's behavior than anything else, trying to cower away within their platforms and letting out yelps.
Dropping down the Stone on the floor behind him for now, Rowan strode over to in front of the Luxio's capsule and lowered himself down a bit. Holding his hands out with the palms open, he spoke soothingly, "Hey, it's alright. I think that was just a little kid. Sure took us by surprise, huh? But I'm certain they didn't mean any harm."
In a bit, the Luxio appeared to stand down somewhat, no longer seeming about to shock something, though she was clearly still a bit wary. With a quick glance to either side, he noticed the other two Pokemon appeared to relieved with the change, peeking back up. Rowan depressed buttons to lower the platforms. He cautiously approached, gently saying, "It's OK. You are safe," as he slowly reached to run a careful hand through the Luxio's mane. She seemed to tensed a bit at first, then relaxed and nuzzed against. She let out a soft, coarse, "Luxi." He then went to pat the Eevee and Pikachu in sucession, getting, respectively, a shy "Vee," and chirper "Pika," in return.
"Alright, after all this, I think it best to call it a day and let all us rest. See you guys later," Rowan said as he recalled each of them into their Poke Balls.
After compressing the items back into a smaller size, he stashed them back away, then picked up the Thunder Stone off from the floor and put it into a pocket of his suit jacket as well.
Then seeing his unexpected visitor returning, the professor walked over to meet them in steady, long steps He appeared concerned as he took in the sight of them. "Are you alright? I'm sorry if you ended up getting frightened," Rowan spoke calmly.
Dani wasn't sure what she was expecting, but this wasn't it at all.
Before her stood a tall professor, towering over her with the most intimidating look on his expression, of which she expected there to be a matching angry response. Instead, when he spoke he did so calmly, and seemed more worried about her than being upset about her being in his lab. She blinked, a moment of silence passing before she responded as she tried to collect her thoughts.
"I'm fine." She finally spoke, her voice coming out a bit harsher than she intended. Whenever people worried about her, or tried to insinuate she might not be okay, her response was always to be defensive and try to act as though she was fine. She didn't like people seeing her as weak, and so she did this even at the times she wasn't okay. This was partially one of those times... she was technically fine, but her wet clothes were heavy on her, and made her cold enough to visibly shiver in front of this man. She cursed herself for this.
Clearing her throat, trying to hide her shivers, she looked away from him. "I mean... I just got caught in the rain was all. This place was the only one open so I came inside. I'll leave and be out of your way as soon as it stops raining." She added in, crossing her arms in front of her. It was obvious she was trying to avoid eye contact and was being particularly prickly for some reason, though it seemed she was making efforts to try and be calm and collected. She was fuming over the fact that she was in this situation in the first place though, and even more so that she'd allowed herself to be seen. Why hadn't she gone home sooner? This could have all been avoided.
"You can just go back to doing whatever it was you were doing. I won't be in your way."
The young girl didn't sound particularly fine, despite her protest to the contrary. At very least, she was evidently soaked and chilled to the bone. She did seem to be otherwise unharmed though. There was probably not much of a point trying to press the issue, at least not directly.
Professor Rowan gave a curt nod, his face set into a neutral expression. He spoke evenly, "I see. Well, you are welcome to stay in at least until the storm blows over, then."
Leaving a child alone in a situation like this most definitely didn't sit very well with him. "It's fine. It is getting late, anyway. I could use a pause, at the very least." He gestured towards a door to his right. "There is a washroom there, if you need to dry up."
Dani observed the man carefully when he spoke. His demeanor didn't give off anything too scary, and he certainly didn't seem upset. On the contrary, his comment about how he could use a pause was something that indicated she was in fact welcome. She furrowed her brows at him in some confusion; why wouldn't he be annoyed about some grimy kid showing up at his lab while he was trying to do work?
When he gestured toward the washroom, her head turned to look in that direction. She seemed hesitant, as if any move she was going to make was calculated with caution. After a moment of consideration though, she decided it probably would be best to try and dry off a bit. She looked back at him briefly. "Thanks." She said quickly, walking toward the bathroom without giving him any time to say anything else to her.
She closed the door behind her, locking it. There was no trust here, and she wasn't taking any chances on that. Looking around, she found a towel hanging on the wall - it was small, probably meant for drying your hands after washing them, but it would have to do for now. Taking it, she wiped down her arms ad her face, getting as much of the water off as she could. There wasn't much she could do about her soaked clothes though, unless there was by chance some spare clothes here, which she doubted. He didn't seem like the type of person that had kids around anyways.
Though she was a gritty and bad behaved child in personality, she wasn't an impolite guest either. She carefully hung the towel back up neatly, giving it enough space that it should be able to dry out. The real thing to do was put it in a laundry basket to wash it, but she had no idea if there was even anything here like that, so hanging it up would do for now.
Looking at herself in the mirror, she sighed. She was a mess. Her short hair was disheveled and spiked out everywhere in a mess as it was still wet but beginning to dry out. Her clothes were soaked and a bit dirty, and she had a few scrapes and bruises visible on her arms from some misadventures outside. Her eyes had dark circles under them and an expression somewhere between exhaustion and annoyance. Taking a deep breath, she tried her best to calm herself down a bit - it was likely she would be here awhile, she may as well try not to be horrible about it.
She wondered if the professor would still be waiting for her when she came out of here. She hoped he wouldn't be able to catch on too much to how bad she looked, or at least would just assume it was just the look of a rambunctious kid. She didn't want him asking any questions, and if he did, she wasn't entirely planning on answering. Though who knows, everything about tonight was unexpected, so she really wasn't sure what was to come next. Turning the light off on her way out, she opened the door and exited the room.
It wouldn't have done any good to just keep standing there in the hallway. Besides, he was sure his surprise guest would not appreciate having him looming after her. She probably wouldn't be long, the facilities unfortunately not offering as help with her situation as he might have wished. Still, the professor decided to use to go back to the research room, properly storing the Poke Balls and shutting down some of the other machinery.
The storm seemed like it could very well keep raging for quite a while. Rowan really didn't mind keep company in the meantime though. He always liked to meet new people and she was just a child, even if one potentially old enough to be a trainer, so he felt responsible while she was here. The girl did appear to act somewhat guardedly, probably down to being around a much older stranger. From her reactions, it really did seem like she hadn't planned on actually meeting him, likely just had gotten a tad curious about what was going on in the lab. She also seemed like she had gotten herself into a scrape or two, but then, hadn't he too gotten into plenty during his own boyhood?
After he finished up taking care of things, he took a glance back and saw that the girl had returned to the hallway. He then prompt, but slowly walked back out towards her. Stopping a respectful distance away, with a polite smile, he greeted, "I'm Professor Rowan. What is your name?"
When Dani stepped out of the restroom, she looked toward the window first, scowling at the sight. It was still raining pretty hard, she had a feeling she wouldn't be leaving anytime soon with this kind of storm raging on. Before she could think about anything further, she tensed up as she heard footsteps approaching once more. Why couldn't he just leave her alone?
She knew the answer to that question. She was a child, lost in a storm, who probably looked like a disaster. To add onto all of it, she was shivering and soaked, with no one for supervision other than this professor. He likely wasn't going to leave her alone tonight.
When he came over, she tried to hide her scowl, the best she could anyways. She wanted to try and keep her negative emotions under control if possible, though she wasn't certain how long she'd be able to keep something like that up. When he asked for her name though, she straight up frowned. It was one thing to just be polite, but she didn't like giving away any personal information to someone she didn't know, or didn't care to know. She hesitated on giving her name. However, she knew that if she was going to be here awhile she may as well give him at least her name, but that was all. It was the polite thing to do anyways, right?
Finally, after a long pause, she sighed and crossed her arms. "My name is Dani." She murmured out, looking away from him. Her actual name was Danielle, but she never went by her full name. Sometimes the social workers would use her full name when they were trying to be stern to show they were being serious, but otherwise she just told everyone her name was Dani.
She wanted to get the attention off of her, so she looked back over at the professor with furrowed eyes. Not the just the professor now, Professor Rowan, she thought to herself. It was a pretty nice name, she supposed. "What were you doing in that room just a bit ago? With those Pokemon?" She decided to ask, hoping that he wouldn't be angry about her snooping in the room earlier.
Seeing the girl react somewhat badly to his question, Professor Rowan remained steadly patient. Their name usually wasn't something most people had much trouble giving, unlike something more sensitive such as where they lived. Still, the young girl might have her reasons for being so cautious.
He tried to relax and avoid staring at the girl while he waited, occasionally glancing about at the weather outside. He knew he could seem kinda intimidating and didn't want give reasons for his guest to be any more nervous than
"Well met, Danny," Rowan replied politely after she finally answered. He got a excited glint in his eyes once she asked about his work. He didn't mind sharing some about his research, quite the opposite, actually. To his mind, knowledge was meant to be imparted and could only grow by doing so.
"I have been looking at the differences between evolutions that do and do not depend on outside influences, such as Evolution stones."
"Now, why don't why we move somewhere more comfortable?" The professor added as he then went to lead them to the lobby. He indicated the videophone set behind the help desk. "You can use it, if you want," he offered. That seemed a happy compromise between letting her family know she was safe and reasonably keeping her privacy.
When he spoke about Pokemon research, her expression seemed to lighten up a bit from her stubborn demeanor. There was the first glint of something normal - childish curiosity sparking somewhere within her. It was something she hadn't felt in some time, and it was an exciting thing. Pokemon was the one thing that interested her, but that she had no real way of learning more about in her current situation.
She'd be a liar if she said that this man being a professor wasn't interesting from the start. She was shielded against anyone she met regardless of course, but the fact this man studied Pokemon was something that made her want to ask many questions. She would refrain from asking as much as possible, but it seemed like for now it was okay to ask a few things anyways.
When he mentioned moving somewhere more comfortable and the subject changed, she hesitated once more. Before moving, she looked behind her toward the window to see if there was a chance the rain had lightened up at all and she could leave. It had not yet, so she knew she'd need to be staying here for awhile longer. Sighing to herself, she turned to face the professor and followed him into the next room over. At least it didn't seem like he was unsafe at all, but she did hate the feeling of being some kind of nuisance.
When he gestured to the phone, she blinked with some thought. The orphanage would be closed by now, and they didn't take after hours calls generally. There was one number she could call, but she didn't want to risk Rowan seeing anything that would reveal that she didn't actually have any kind of family at home. She managed a small, polite smile to him to try and avoid any suspicion, and nodded at him. "Thanks, but I've got no one to call this late. I'll get home just fine, no one will worry about me." She said, trying to sound convincing. She kicked herself mentally as she realized that probably just sounded like she had family that didn't care at all, or something of the sorts.