From: BBD127 ( Subject: [PW!] Close Encounters of the Bird Kind Newsgroups: Date: 2000/05/08 "Metapod, Butterfree, Growlithe, Starmie, Horsea, Goldeen," said Procyon, counting on his fingers as he spoke. "Six new entries for the Pro-dex. Not bad, eh?" Taron shrugged. "What're you up to, now?" He tapped a button on the little blue computer in his hand. "Twenty-five. Not bad at all." Taron nodded. "Yep. That means you're, what.. one sixth of the way done with it? Just under 17%. So, for any given Pokemon I might think of, the odds are four to one that you *don't* have an entry for it yet?" "Argh.. some friend you are," he said, shooting an annoyed glance at Taron, who just grinned. "So where are we going next?" asked Suikuaktu, eager to change the subject. "Well," said Procyon, taking out a map, "the next city with an official gym is Vermilion. Lieutenant Surge is the leader there. How does that sound?" "All right," said Taron, and Suikuaktu merely shrugged; he was in no hurry to get anywhere. They set off in the direction the map indicated, but they had barely gotten out of Cerulean City when a man with a large black mustache called out to them. "Hey! You kids! Come over here! I have Lapras ferry rides, real cheap!" "That might be fun," said Taron. The three of them wandered over to where the man was standing. It was near a lake shore, and a Lapras was floating nearby. The man smiled when they came near. "Hi," he said. "How'd you like to take a nice, relaxing Lapras ride over to the other side of the lake? You can wander around a bit and then get back on the Lapras and come back whenever you like. Only $15 for the three of you." "How come it's so cheap?" asked Procyon. By way of answer the man pointed to a sign nearby that said in small black letters, "We are not responsible for ANYTHING." "Oh." Suikuaktu read the sign aloud and Taron sweatdropped, but Procyon grinned. "Come on, where's your sense of adventure? It'll be fun. And I think I see some kind of building on the other shore, we could check that out. Let's go!" So after a bit of convincing, the man with the Lapras became 15 dollars richer and the three travellers set out to explore the old building. Procyon dismounted first and rubbed his leg. "That shell is not nearly as comfortable as it looks," he mumbled. Taron just grinned at him. "Where's your sense of adventure, eh, Procyon?" he said, mocking his earlier words. Procyon glared at him. Suikuaktu led the way as they entered the old building. "Power Plant," he read. "Looks like it's not putting out much power anymore." "Hey, maybe we'll see some electric Pokemon around here," said Taron. "Maybe," replied Procyon. "I guess we'll see." "What's that?" asked Procyon. Suikuaktu turned to where he was looking. "What?" He pointed. "That." "Oh." He stared at it a moment. "I think it's an Electabuzz." He paused a moment, then exclaimed, "I'm gonna catch it!" He reached for a Pokeball. "Dratini, GO!" "Draaa!" "Dratini, Ice Beam! A blast of swirling frost rocketed through the air, connecting with the Electabuzz. Its body froze into a block of ice and Suikauktu grinned. Frozen Pokemon were easily captured. "Pokeball, GO!" He hurled a red and white sphere into the air, and it connected with the creature. It opened and sucked the Electabuzz inside. The ball shook for a moment, but it gave up quickly and the light went out. Suikuaktu picked up the ball with a smile. "Electabuzz is mine!" he said. Taron and Procyon exchanged glances. "Two Pokemon in one day," said Procyon with a smile. Taron didn't reply. "Cool!" said Procyon. "Another Electrode!" They'd been wandering around for just over two hours, and Procyon had been having a field day. He'd written entries for Magnemite and Magneton, Pikachu, Voltorb and Electrode, and even for the one Electabuzz they'd seen. The abandoned Power Plant seemed to be a refuge for all every type of electric Pokemon imaginable, and Procyon was not about to miss any opportunities. He fiddled with his Pro-dex as his two companions trudged along behind him. At first Taron and Suikuaktu had been as interested in the Power Plant as Procyon was, albeit for different reasons, but they'd been exploring for a long time and it was starting to get old. "We've seen a million Electrodes," said Taron. "Aren't you ready to go yet?" "Just a few more minutes," said Procyon for the millionth time. "I don't want to miss anything." Taron sighed and they continued their expedition. Suddenly all three of them heard a loud crash. They whirled around to face the direction of the noise, but saw nothing. They froze for a moment, listening. After a moment passed without any further noises, Taron let out a breath. "I think it's-" The crash was heard again, much louder and nearer this time, from the same direction. And then again, and again. The third crash was accompanied by a sharp crackling, as of electricity jumping from one contact from another, followed by a short hiss. Again they listened intently, but nothing more was heard so Taron began again. "I think it's coming from that way," he whispered. Procyon nodded and approached the wall he'd pointed at. He opened the door cautiously and the three of them slowly entered a pitch-black room. The door closed behind them, making them jump as they entered total darkness. The sound of their breath seemed deafening in the absence of all other noise; only Taron seemed unaffected by the darkness. Suddenly a blinding flash lit the room, accompanied by a loud crackle of electricity as they had heard earlier. The three of them looked upwards in unison towards the source of the light and noise. Suikuaktu gasped at what he saw and Procyon froze, mouth open in disbelief. Taron couldn't see what they were looking at, but from their reactions and the sounds he'd heard, he could guess what it was. "Zapdos..." he murmured. And it was. Thirty feet over their heads, a giant yellow bird, covered in sharp angles and crackling with electricity, shone bright with power. It gave a deafening screech and then gave off even more energy, lighting the entire room as if they were outside in the sun. Procyon's mouth hung open in disbelief while Suikuaktu simply stared. "The second Legendary Bird..." he murmured. The three watched the massive bird for a time, and then it simply flapped its wings and flew away, smashing a hole in the ceiling as it went. Within moments it was out of sight. They recovered from the awesome sight moments later. It was silent for a second, then the three of them all began talking at once. Suikuaktu was smiling and Taron wondered aloud whether anyone would believe them. Procyon just grinned and flipped open his computer. "An entry for a Legendary," he muttered. "I can't believe I actually saw a Zapdos. I wasn't even sure they were real." He finished writing and was about to go when he noticed something on the ground. It was shining like a spark in the dark room, half hidden under a piece of cardboard. He picked it up and examined it closely, then smiled. "Taron! Sikatuka! Come and take a look at this!" Suikuaktu muttered something about getting people's names right, but came over quickly, Taron close behind. Procyon held up his treasure. "Look!" he exclaimed. It was a golden feather, shining brightly and sharp on the end. It felt very stiff in his hand. "What do you think it is?" he asked, though he thought he knew already. "Probably a Zapdos feather," said Suikuaktu. "Cool!" "Some people get all the luck," Taron said. "Pretty cool though. Now, if we're done collecting souvenirs, can we please get going?" There was no argument this time and the three of them made their way back to where the Lapras was waiting with little trouble. "Well," the man asked, "did you have fun?" They all nodded in unison, and the man laughed. Kids are so easy to please, he thought. Anything old and mysterious they love. Great way to make money. Procyon, however, did not feel the least bit cheated as he stroked his feather proudly. As they made their way to Vermilion City, he could not stop a smile as he commented, "I still can't believe we saw a Zapdos. That's like the kind of thing you only read about in stories." He could have sworn that, just for a moment, both of his companions were looking at him very oddly; but then it was over, and they both smiled at him and nodded assent. Putting the feather back in his backpack, Procyon sighed. They were on the road once more. TBC