From: Karnivax (email@example.com)
Subject: [PW!] Anime-niacs, Part 1
(OOC: Shard, I hope you're reading this...)
Espio the Charizard came to a stop on a wide sidewalk near the
center of Saffron City. This particular sidewalk was swarmed over by a
crowd of elaborately-costumed folk, no doubt on their way to the otaku
convention at the Saffron City Convention Center. Espio, still
carrying passengers Kyle and Jessica, quickly joined the flowing swarm.
Kyle was in the middle of telling Jessica the story of what had
happened to him during her unconsciousness in the Indigo Stadium
Pokécenter. "So Enzo...was the were-Scyther that that creepy Starke
guy created?" Jessica asked.
"It makes sense, given what we know," Kyle told her. Jessica
responded with a sigh of relief.
As the team walked along, a young man dressed up like Magus
from "Chrono Trigger" looked up at Espio and told Kyle, "That's a
pretty lame Flammie, man."
"Magus" was stunned to hear Espio shoot back, "I got your Flammie
right here, punk..." Espio knocked the Squaresoft fan flying with a
Kyle slapped his own forehead and sighed to Espio, "You've lapsed
back into your 'jerk' persona, I see..."
Several feet behind Espio, Halberd the Farfetch'd landed with his
passenger Enzo. They, too, blended into the crowd.
And several feet behind Enzo, riding Smirker the Aerodactyl, was
Shard Fields. Smirker landed off to the side of the crowd, and Shard
quickly caught sight of Espio's unmistakable Charizard head. "Cover
me, I'm going in!" Shard commanded as he weaved his way through the
costumed crowd toward Espio.
Smirker shrugged his wings and grunted, "Whatever..."
When the quick-moving horde eventually reached the Convention
Center, Enzo took a brief detour into an alleyway. He gave Halberd a
new language translator to replace his broken one. Halberd
exclaimed "Thanks, boss!" shortly before being beamed back into his
After that, Enzo threw down a different Pokéball. From this
Pokéball came a plain Ditto. Enzo picked up the Ditto and rejoined the
crowd just in time to see Kyle and Jessica reach the Convention
Center's front gate. "Greetings, Morpha," Enzo told the Ditto. "Yer
mission, should ya choose to accept it, is to follow that brown-haired
girl over there an' bring her to me." He pointed at Jessica. "Use of
extreme subtlety is encouraged." He put Morpha on the sidewalk.
"Dittt!" the intelligent Ditto responded. She saluted with one
While Enzo found another alley to wait in, Morpha oozed toward the
Convention Center's entrance. As she did so, she scanned the crowd for
a human form that was to her liking. Eventually she picked up the DNA
of a girl who was dressed as Sailor Mars. Morpha slithered next to the
girl's feet and Transformed into an exact duplicate of the girl,
costume and all. Then, before the girl could scream, Morpha clapped
one hand over her mouth and pulled her out of the crowd. The apathetic
otaku paid little attention as Morpha knocked the innocent girl out
with a roundhouse kick to the face.
The security guards at the entrance stopped Kyle and told him that
he had to put Espio in a Pokéball. Kyle somewhat hesitantly
complied. "Enjoy Manganicon 2000," one of the guards said flatly as he
ushered Kyle and Jessica into the building.
After recalling Smirker, Shard made a vain attempt to hide the red
R on his shirt as he arrived at the entrance. "Hey, you're a Rocket!"
one of the guards said.
"No, I'm not," Shard countered. "I'm...Ryo, from 'Ronin
Warriors.' Hence the R."
The guard looked stupefied. "Oh...okay. Go on ahead, then."
Shard entered the building. _What an idiot..._
The duo entered the Convention Center's main lobby and went with
the flow down an escalator to the gigantic heart of the building. The
well-lit area was flooded with anime fans, manga fans, costume players,
and vendors peddling their anime- and manga-related wares. Large movie
screens hung from the ceiling and displayed scenes
from "Akira," "Darkstalkers," "Record of Lodoss War," and other animes
Kyle had not yet seen. There was a huge snack bar at the far end of
the room, and a stage to the right side of the room where some local
techno band was performing.
Close to where the escalator ended was a crowded costume shop.
Jessica guided Kyle toward it. "When in Otakon," she told him, "do as
the otaku do..." They slowly worked their way through the crowd into
the costume shop and started to look around. Morpha and Shard were a
few mere strides behind them.
Kyle was rather put off by the whole costume player concept.
_People must be getting lazier...isn't one typically supposed to create
their *own* costume for one of these conventions?_ he mentally
sighed. He paced about uncertainly until he suddenly came across a
costume he liked. The costume was actually somewhat practical...it
consisted of a heavy green trench coat, a visorless hat, white
fingerless gloves, a thick blue vest, and round red sunglasses. It was
most of the outfit of Bolt Crank, the star of "Eat-Man." _Hell, I
could probably wear some of this stuff in broad daylight,_ he told
himself. He gathered up the pieces of the costume and carried them
over to the cashier's desk.
The detailed costume was, naturally, costly. Kyle gave the
cashier a credit card. The long-haired male cashier swiped the card
and waited. He stared at the cash register. "Dude...this card's no
good," the cashier said dryly. He returned the card to Kyle.
It did not take Kyle long to figure out why his credit account was
tapped out. "Shard!" He clenched one fist. "I'm going to kill that
little - " But then he just let out a sigh and calmed down, as he did
not want to ruin this experience for Jessica. He paid for the costume
with cash just to avoid looking like a broke schmuck.
"Clothing lockers and dressing rooms are over there, dude," the
cashier said, pointing Kyle in the right direction. Kyle walked over
and leaned next to one of the dressing room doors to wait for Jessica.
Jessica emerged from the costume shop a few minutes later. In one
hand, she had on a coat hanger an incredibly accurate replica of Asuka
Langley Soryu's red plug suit from "Neon Genesis Evangelion". In the
other hand, she held the red hairpins that went with the suit. She had
a wide grin on her face which quickly disappeared when she saw Kyle's
expression. "What's with the gloom and doom?" she wondered.
Kyle responded simply, "You remember when Shard Fields stole my
Jessica's grin returned. "Oh, don't give that another thought,"
she told Kyle. "I'll pay off your credit card debts."
Kyle stammered, "But...it's not *your* debt..."
"Relax, I'll take care of it!" Jessica assured him. "It'll
barely put a dent in my wealth." She cheerily headed into one of the
dressing rooms. "See you in a few..."
Kyle sweatdropped. _How could a family like hers produce a girl
like her?_ he asked himself. _It really makes me wonder about
something..._ He took a cellular phone out of his backpack.
_...enough to actually disprove it._ He dialed Bill's phone number and
After two rings, Bill answered the phone. "Hello?"
"Hi, Bill, this is Kyle."
"Is anything wrong?" Bill nervously responded. "Don't tell me
you're not totally cured..."
"No, it's not that at all; I'm fine. I'm just wondering about
something my dad told me about. Something that happened about five
"My dad told me the whole thing about how that guy Diedrich Starke
held your family hostage. How he demanded that you find the person his
scientists had created and turn that person back into the Scyther they
had started out as. But I want to hear your version of the story. I
want the details."
There was a pause as Bill dredged up old memories. "Well, let's
see here...I remember Starke called me, told me who he was, said he was
holding my family. He said if I ever wanted to see them again, I had
to find his almost fifteen-year-old lab experiment in Cerulean and then
wait for further instructions...he told me that the experiment - some
sort of test-tube baby - had been adopted by some very rich family near
me, and that I should look for the wealthiest close-to-fifteen-year-old
kids I could find.
"I told him I knew two kids who closely fit that criteria - Enzo
and Jessica, of course - and that he would have to tell me the gender
of the person he was looking for. He said he didn't know that. He
said only his scientists had specific information about the test-tube
baby, and he had fired all of them. He told me that he himself had
only caught a mere glimpse of the baby. He described the little hair
the baby had as 'umber-colored.'
"And that clinched it. I knew it had to be Enzo. So for reasons
I wasn't aware of at the time, Starke told me to use my Telepods to
turn Enzo into a Scyther. It seemed like he knew more about my
Telepods than even I did.
"I hesitantly followed his instructions. I brought Enzo to my
lab, subtly dropped a Scyther scale into one of the Telepods, and sent
him through. I informed Starke that the Telepods had only made Enzo
into a were-Scyther, not a full Scyther like he had wanted. So he told
me to scan Enzo's Scyther form to gauge his attack power and other
statistics. I did so, and I told him the results. He sounded all
disappointed when I did. Told me to just forget about it. Apparently,
somewhere along the line, Enzo's Scyther DNA had lost whatever
enhancements Starke's team had made to it. In his alternate form, Enzo
was no stronger than an average Scyther. Starke left me alone, and
Enzo got stuck as a were-Scyther, because, well, I didn't have the
technology to cure him back then. And he was frustrated by that. As
soon as he found out that I knew Jessica, he threatened to gut me
unless I turned his 'fiancée' Jessica into a were-Scyther too. And,
well, I guess you know the rest. Weird, though, how Enzo no longer
wants to be cured..."
There was a lengthy period of silence.
"Hello?" Bill repeated.
"Bill," Kyle piped up, "Enzo has *black* hair."
"Yes, I know that," Bill answered. "'Umber' is black."
"No," Kyle explained, "'umbra' is black. 'Umber' is reddish-
brown..." A realization slowly came to him. "...just...like..." His
whole body felt weaker all of a sudden. "...Thanks...thanks for your
time, Bill. Sorry if I bothered you. I'll be going now..."
"Bye, then," a confused Bill said. He had not yet reached the
same realization. Kyle turned the phone off and returned it to his
While Kyle was mired in upsetting thought, Jessica emerged from
the dressing room wearing her new plug suit and carrying the rest of
her clothing (save for her belt, which she still had on tightly around
her waist). She looked at the seemingly catatonic Kyle and waved one
hand in front of his face. "Something wrong?" she asked. With a
joking grin she added, "Normally you'd be drooling by now."
"Eh?" Kyle very suddenly broke out of his respite. "Oh, no, no,
nothing's wrong." Forcing a smile, he added, "Your costume's
awesome!" As he strode into the dressing room, he told Jessica, "Wait
Jessica stood next to the dressing room door and waited. She
wondered, _Jeez, do I really look *that* bad?_
--K * A * R * N * I * V * A * X--
"Some have said there is no subtlety to
destruction. You know what? They're dead."
--Jaya Ballard, task mage