From: Marco262 ( Subject: [PW!]Old friends and new beginnings Newsgroups: Date: 2000/05/03 Darian and Pardus travelled through the streets of Pallet Town. On each side of the street were shops of all different variety: a drug store for Poké-pick-me-ups, a fast food restaurant run by a group of gourmet Butterfrees, and a gift store featuring pictures of Pokémon in business suits. "Kind of a strange way to make a living," mused Darian, right before he walked face first into a hanging sign. "Persian?" Pardus asked sympathetically as he watched his master vigorously massage his aching nose. Suddenly, to both of their surprises, the door of the shop opened and a long robotic arm extended out of extended out, grabbing and dragging in first Darian and then Pardus! Darian sat on the cold, linoleum floor holding his aching ribs, the second art of his body that was injured in under 5 minutes. He looked over at Pardus, who was laying spread-eagled and dazed on the floor next to him. "What was that all about?!" Darian yelled into the darkness around him. As if to answer him, omninous music began to play. Well, not really omninous because it sounded like it was being played from an ice cream truck. Two spotlights snapped on, shinging in Darian's eyes. They were so bright, he could barely make out the man and the woman standing back to back, silhoutted by the bright lights. "You want some bubblegum?" the man said. "Why not make it double, chum?" the woman added. Pardus facefaulted at the bad rhyming. "To protect the world from starvation." "To become known throughout our nation." "To give you the best dessert you ever had." "To make ice cream that's not half bad." The man jumped onto the table in front of him, brandishing an ice cream scoop. "Ben!" The woman joined him, saluting with a soda gun. "Geri!" "TBIC will give you a treat!" "So whip out your wallet and get ready to eat!" The two held their awkward poses on the table, waiting for the imminent applause. When it didn't come, they looked down and saw the youth was rubbing his eyes in pain. The man snapped his fingers. "Aw, shoot! We blinded our customer! Hit the lights!" The spotlights snapped off and flourescent lights flickered on, revealing an ice cream parlor painted in psychedelic shades of color. At least this is what Pardus saw; Darian was still trying to chase away the spots that insisted on vacationing directly in front of his eyes. The memories of bad rhyming and annoying music weren't helping either. The man and the woman waited silently until Darian squinted up at them painfully. There he saw a short middle-aged man wearing an apron, a paper hat, and an exaggerated handle-bar mustache. The woman was dressed the same as the man, except all her clothes were cameo, and she had a distinctly more muscular build. "Who are you? What is this place?" he asked. The man and woman glanced at each other and jumped behind the freezer that displayed the ice cream for sale. Darian could just barely make-out what they were saying. "Didn't he hear us the first time?" "We need to make our motto more descriptive." They jumped back out from behind the counter, and helped Darian to his feet. "This," said Ben, dusting off Darian's shirt, "is TBIC." "What does that mean?" "The Best Ice Cream (you ever tasted)," replied Geri, vigorously shining Darian's shoes, "Now, let's get you seated." Much to Darian's surprise, she wrapped her arms around his waist, and placed him bodily in a chair next to the door. Pardus bounded up after him, amused by this odd duo, but not the least bit threatened. "I'm still a little confused about something." remarked Darian after a stunned silence, "Why did you have to drag us in here?" "We don't get much business." said Ben, cleaning his ear with the tip of an ice cream cone. "Why's that?" "People think we're weird." said Geri, avoiding imaginary mortar shells. "Go fig, huh? So what'll it be?" "I guess I'll have one to go." asked Darian. "You got it!" yelled Geri enthusiastically. "Um, in a bowl," Darian quickly added, when he saw Ben go for the cone that was in his ear. He watched as they went through an elaborate act of making his dish, obviously savoring every moment of it. "Here you go," said Ben, handing Darian his ice cream, "That'll be 8 bucks." Darian jaw fell open. "What?! For a bowl of ice cream?!?!" "And," said Geri, "Two gallons of double chocolate chunk." Darian looked to where she was pointing and saw Pardus laying on the floor. There were quarts of ice cream everywhere, with the Persian in the center, moaning softly and looking very bloated. Darian sighed and payed for the extra ice cream. "Pardus, what were you thinking?" The Persian had tried to walk outside with Darian, but was so full that Darian had to carry him. "I'd give you some medicine, but I'm afraid if you ate anything else, you'd throw up. We'd better get you to a Pokémon Center." Pardus looked up at Darian through glazed eyes. "Perrrs...*hurk*" Darian ran the rest of the way. "Here you are, Mr. McCain. Your Persian is all better." said yet another Nurse Joy at the honorary Ketchum Pokémon Center. "Thank you very much. How you feeling buddy." Pardus jumped onto Darian's shoulder from the countertop. Nurse Joy looked up from her computer. "Mr. McCain, you have a delivery on transfer pod 1. Darian was surprised. "Uh, thanks. I'll go...uh...check that out." Pardus was surprised as well. the only time Darian had ever talked to anyone was in person, let alone receive something from them. Darian typed in his name and the transfer area started to glow. A few seconds later, there rested two pokéballs and an open pokédex. There was a message on the screen that said, "Press the flashing button." Darian pressed a large cirular button under the speaker. He heard a beep, followed by Tiki's voice. The message told Darian about the disappearance of Lewis, Mike, and Bridget, and their last wishes. As a P.S., Pipian added how to program the pokédex to give Darian a fake trainer ID. Darian fingered the shrunken pokéballs. "I guess I'd better let them out." He pressed both buttons twice and an Alakazam and a Fearow appeared. Both pokémon looked a little tired and confused. The Alakazam noticed Darian first and held up his spoons menacingly. The Fearow followed suit and aimed his beak at Darian's jugular. Darian felt he was in big trouble until Pardus jumped between them. The pokémons' expressions quickly went from threatened to wary to confused. Darian, who was puzzling over their behavior the whole time finally figured it out. "You guys don't know what happened do you?" They both shook their heads. Darian closed his eyes. "I'm as confused as you are." TBC?