From: Marco262, I _am_ the WooMaster (res0eymx@verizon.net) Subject: [PW!] I saw her face, now I'm a believer... Newsgroups: alt.games.nintendo.pokemon Date: 2001-07-25 14:54:48 PST Darian looked around. He couldn't see anything, but he knew what he would see if could. Torture racks, iron maidens, sharp implements and that was the pleasant part. Devices that looked like spiders, ready to clamp onto your head and siphon out your innermost thoughts and feelings, leaving you devoid of emotion with only apathy and self hate. Hours go by, you heal, but that's what they want. They want you to heal so they can do it again. So your torture can be fresh. So you can despise your very existence even more vigorously than the last time. And there was more... Nightmares. He'd had them and everything else thousands of times. They start harmless enough. A stroll in the park with your best friend in the springtime. The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, everything's perfect. But then you notice it. It's like a tiny little change, that makes you hunch down a bit more and look over your shoulder once more than usual. When you realize what's happening, it's too late. Anything could happen, like what was happening to Darian. The darkness was fading and a dark, dank alley came into focus. Trash cans and paper boxes lined the walls, and Darian knew something was happening. "Perrrsian!" Darian jumped a little, and round the corner of the alley, a Persian came bounding toward him. "Pardus!" Darian's eyes welled up with tears, "Pardus! You don't know how much I've missed you!" He rushed toward his friend. Pardus leaped equally happy toward him. A slight chill swept through the scene, and Darian felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. A gun fired, and the whole dream changed. Pardus lurched sideways in the air. A spray of blood hit Darian in the face. He fell to the ground, clutching at his friend's limp body. Hot tears intermingled with the blood on Pardus' fur. Darian pressed his face against his dead friend's body. "Don't leave me, Pardus!" He sobbed unashamedly. "You've got to come back, you've just got to! Please! Don't go!" The click of a gun sounded behind Darian's head. He rolled to the right. A bullet barely missed him and Pardus, ricocheting off the pavement. A large piece of pavement flew up and hit Darian in his temple, making him see stars. He sat down hard against the alley wall, unable to get up. He forced himself to look into his attackers face. From her flaming red hair to her pidgey skull necklace, she was just as he remembered her. "Minax," he growled. Hatred toward her seeped into his brain, almost overwhelming his grief at the loss of his friend. "Why'd you have to kill him?" She smiled at him. "But I didn't kill him." Her outline began to glow and reform itself, and her insides followed in its wake. Before he could blink twice, Minax had gone, and standing in front of Darian was his former superior, Iqo, smiling at him. "I killed Pardus." He leveled the gun at Darian and pulled the trigger. Pain coursed through Darian's chest, but not nearly as much as the mental pain he felt for the loss of his companion. "You know the penalty for disobeying the superiors." Iqo intoned. "Please let me go!" Darian begged. "You know the penalty for disobeying the superiors." "I promise, I'll never disobey you again!" The world began to get brighter. "You know the penalty for disobeying the applesauce." "I beg of you, I..." Darian paused, "Excuse me?" Iqo beamed at him. "Once you wake up, you can try some of my applesauce." The light suddenly got brighter. Darian's eyes snapped open. A bright light glared down at him, hurting his eyes, so he closed them again quickly. Where was he? He knew he was lying down, and the surface he was lying on felt soft, even sort of springy. It was moderately warm, and a strange, acidic kind of smell was marginally noticeable. He felt something smooth down the hair on the side of his head. It was warm, and soft. He liked the smell of it and wished it would touch him again. He felt his eyes had adjusted to the tiny amount of light that pervaded through his eyelids, so he decided to give opening them another shot. He squinted upwards and the originally bright light changed into a florescent light right above his head. He opened his eyes the rest of the way and looked around, trying to get a look at his surroundings. But, he could barely move his head, and he felt a coursing pain anytime he tried, so he settled on what he could make out in his range of vision. A quick glance around told him he was most definitely in a hospital. Warm sunshine lay across the floor. The strange combination of disinfectant and flower made his head spin slightly. He caught a movement out of the corner of his eye. A young girl leaned over him, checking a monitor positioned by the side of his bed. A stunningly beautiful girl. Her lips were slightly pursed. She gazed at the monitor with a mixture of concern and anxiety. "Your readouts are doing very well." Darian didn't see anyone else in the room so he assumed she was talking to him. "You should be conscious very soon now...oh!" She jumped back from the bed in surprise, when she just noticed him staring at her curiously. She quickly started the smooth down the front of her clothes. Those sad blue eyes captivated him. Darian mentally shook himself out of his trance. He couldn't get involved. Who knew when the superiors would call him back. But he wasn't under the thumb of the superiors. So how did he stand? And where was he? "Who are you?" The question came out more as a command. He mentally cursed himself. "M-my name's Lisa. I'm your nurse." She blushed slightly when she said this, and it wasn't immediately apparent to Darian why. "So this is a hospital?" Lisa nodded and regained her composure. "You bet, this is the Olivine hospital. You've been here for a long time, just over 5 years." Darian's heart stopped. 5 years? What had he been doing sleeping for 5 years? And where was Pardus? Where's Pardus? "Pardus?" Lisa cocked her head at him quizically. Darian hadn't realized he'd said that last part out loud. "Sorry, there's no one named Pardus here. And I should know, this is a very small hospital. Compared to some of the other ones on the mainland, of course. But you need to rest. 5 years is a long time to be in a coma." She pushed his head gently back onto the pillow. She opened to door to his room, smiled at him, and walked out, closing the door behind her. Darian sat up in his bed. He was in a one person room, with one door leading out to the hall. He looked to his left and saw a bowl filled with applesauce sitting on his bedside table. He picked it up. A spoon rested in the bowl. Lisa. She seemed nice enough, Darian thought to himself. 5 years ago she would have been younger than him, but now she was his elder by near the same amount. And he liked the way her sandy brown hair seemed to frame her face, making her look like a brown-haired angel. He could do with having a friend in this strange place. A friend. That thought brought back the memory of Pardus. It had been 5 years. For some reason he couldn't get that fact out of his head. Pardus was alive, and Darian was going to find him. If everything else in the world was a lie, these were the two inalienable truths. Darian dipped his head and inhaled the scent of the applesauce. It had just a touch of cinnamon. Pardus was alive. And Darian would find him. He set the applesauce back down on the counter, curled up under the sheets, and went to sleep. TBC...