From: Adrian Tymes (email@example.com)
Subject: [PW!] It's Academic! ("AC-A-DEM-IC")
Date: 2001-05-12 22:53:08 PST
Earl's smile continues as he and his double walk inside. "So, Mimic,
what did Oak send you here for? If you were a trainer, I would assume
you wish to take my classes like the rest of my visitors, but of course
you probably have other desires..."
"Actually, Mimic here learn too."
"Hmm. Hmm!" The instructor's eyes close as he summons a memory to his
mind's eye. "Ah, yes, yes, this is unusual but hardly unprecedented.
Other pokemon have sought to understand themselves as trainers have.
Learn you shall, though I will have to test you to find out what level
to start you at. Most people I insist on starting at the lowest level:
a refresher of the basics is usually a good idea, and you never know
what someone may have missed. But perhaps I should make an exception
in your case, for you have lived the lessons, and a lesson lived is not
easily forgotten. Let us start you off in the battle arena." Earl
grabs his twin's arm and casually directs him towards a door to one
"Err...Mimic need battle?"
"It is the easiest way to ascertain whether you fo indeed posess the
knowledge that Professor Oak says you do. I must admit, I was slightly
jealous when he said he just downloaded a pokedex into your mind.
Imagine how easy my job would become if I could just download my
teachings into my students."
"You mean like using psionic machines Silph Co. researched many years
ago? Upload knowledge using telepathy during hypnosis."
Mimic courteously does not wince. "Silph Co. never bring to market
after research 'dissapear'. No question was stolen, only question who.
Though Mimic wonder why Silph Co. never bother redo research; surely
profit more likely since is known possible now."
"Ah, yes, yes. Thank you, I shall make a note to investigate. Anyway,
here we are." Earl gestures to the cleared-out room, apparently
converted to a "temporary" indoor arena quite some time ago, judging by
all the damage without the reinforcements one normally finds in gyms.
Around the room, seven trainers lounge around, studying with great
intent. "This is my best beginner's class. Think of them as a League
"Mimic just beat trainers? No seem prove anything."
"Ah, but it's not just if you win, but how you win. Win the correct
way, using type and other advantages, and you pass. But battle without
thinking, and win or lose, you lose."
"Hmm..." Mimic shrugs, returning to his normal form, then nods. "Ok,
Mimic go along with that."
"Hey, Earl!" one of the trainers calls. "Mind if I go first? I just
got my computer back online, and I'd like to get some more data while
Earl looks at Mimic, reflecting the question in his expression. Mimic
shrugs again and steps forward.
"Thanks. My name's Melvin. I'm trying to learn about the weaknesses
of fire types."
Mimic nearly facefaults.
"...you know, people keep doing that. I wonder why."
"Why battle find out? Most trainers know weaknesses of fire types:
rock, ground, water. Just memorize. No difficult."
"But they *change*. Psychics used to dominate ghosts, and now it's the
other way around."
Mimic shrugs. "Fire weaknesses no change. Besides, change only once
in many years. Relearn if necessary."
"But...but...ooh, this is so confusing. Let's just fight, alright?"
Mimic frowns. Melvin is, by appearances, a classic super nerd...but
part of the stereotype is intelligence, which includes an ability to
learn. And why is the trainer at the academy if not to learn?
Silently dismissing the matter, Mimic steps towards the ring.
Earl coughs politely. "Aren't you forgetting something?" He holds up
"Umm...if alright with Earl, Mimic prefer fight own fights. Mimic *is*
pokemon, after all." Hoping that Earl does not catch the note of worry
on his voice, left over from his recent reminder of why he prefers not
to fight at all if possible, Mimic morphs into a nidoking.
"Very well, if you really think you can win one-on-three. Remember,
though, that every attack must exploit a weakness. Begin!"
Melvin quickly palms and tosses his first pokeball, producing a
magmar...who wobbles on its feet as soon as it comes out, soon
Mimic waits to see if this is some new attack, but when his opponent
fails to move, he cautiously walks up to it. "Mag?"
"Magmar mag." From Mimic's gestures, Melvin and Earl quickly deduce
that he is trying to tell the magmar about the battle supposedly in
"Mag...marrrmag..." The magmar takes in an obviously stressed breath.
"Magmar mar mar mag marmagmar."
Mimic frowns, looking now at Melvin. "Your magmar say no recover from
last matches. Say Melvin refuse take center, give potion, even let
eat." Mimic glances at the pokemon again, then back at Melvin. "Mimic
no think scars look too healthy, either."
Earl blinks. "Scars? On my pokemon?"
Mimic nods, tracing a claw along the immobile magmar. "See here? And
here? Mimic guess Earl work mainly with captured pokemon, no in wild
"Well, umm, that is to say..."
"No worry, no blame. If Earl live in city most of life, maybe never
see fire pokemon self-cauterize wounds. Is very common in wild, but
most healing machines and items make scars like that go away, if small
like these scars. In fact, Mimic say appearance of this many scars
sign of neglect. Is painful for pokemon no previously used to it but
forced to heal self that way."
"You call it 'neglect'," Melvin sneers, "I call it getting my data.
This magmar's been..."
"Melvin say," Mimic interrupts, the magmar's fire reflected and
amplified in his eyes, "do this on PURPOSE?!?"
"MELVIN HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT MELVIN DOING!?!?! HOW MAGMAR FEEL!?!?!?!?!"
Earl chooses that moment to demonstrate that he does, indeed, have at
least some of the requisite intelligence to run an academy, by
backstepping quickly towards the door and motioning the other trainers
to head for the exits.
"Like I said, getting my data. So long as that happens, I don't care-"
"GET THIS DATA!" Mimic shoots out a powerful jet of water, blasting
Melvin off his feet. "FEEL IT!" He stomps the ground, sending an
earthquake that explodes just underneath Melvin, catching him and
juggling him back into the air just as he was about to land. "FEEL
IT!" Mimic picks up a small boulder, overbalancing himself to let the
weight of the boulder pull him forward as his feet flail to maintain
his charge at Melvin. "FEEL IT!"
"ENOUGH!" Earl runs forward, with speed much higher than one would
expect given his girth.
Mimic lets the boulder fall. He and the boulder skid to a halt just
short of Melvin's head.
Seeing disaster averted, Earl slows down to a trot, eventually clapping
one hand on Mimic's shoulder. "Aha...umm, yes, well, you certainly
demonstrated that you know fire's weaknesses. Let's call that a win,
Mimic takes several deep breaths, visibly trying to control his anger.
Earl turns his voice towards the exits. "Ahem. Class? Kindly relieve
Melvin of the pokemon this institution loaned to him, under the now-
suspect promise that he would take good care of them. If you would,
please, take them all to the pokemon center for treatment? Thank you."
That said, he faces Melvin, and lets negative emotion enter his voice
for the first time that Mimic has heard. "As for *you*, I'll talk with
you later. At best, you're on academic probation. At worst...there
are other Melvins, ones that actually take care of academy property
when they say they will." He grabs Mimic's arm as he says that, then
gently pulls Mimic towards the door.
The ditto allows himself to be guided away, melting back into his
normal human form. "How anyone fail learn weaknesses of single type
for long? Mimic no get."
Once outside the room, and visually confirming that the rest of the
battle class is doing as requested, Earl closes the door and lowers his
voice, happiness and calm once again setting the tone of his words.
"Yes, well, there are certain trainers who insist on the superiority of
this or that pokemon type. I was not kidding when I said there were
other Melvins who could take that place; I can think of two off the top
of my head who are almost twins of his, *and* have the same bias
towards fire pokemon. I assign trainers like that to this class to try
to break them of that habit. It usually works, eventually, but
sometimes there are failures. But even the failures heal their pokemon
between battles. This...this is an outrage, Mimic, and I thank you for
exposing it." Only in the last sentence does anger return to his voice
and body language, and they again dissapear like a mirage.
Mimic turns a cautious look towards Earl. "Earl not saying that simply
please Mimic, Mimic hope."
Earl smiles. "I'd say I wasn't even if I was, you know. That having
been said, I'm not. I agree with how you feel."
"Hmm. Phrasing familiar. If Mimic no know better, Mimic say Earl
learned it from brother."
"Well, as a matter of fact, my brother *was*..."
"No, mean Mimic brother, Doppler."
Earl freezes on the spot. "You're *that* Mimic? Doppler's long-lost
Mimic stops too, trying to read Earl's suddenly masked emotional state.
"Earl speak as if know Doppler."
"KNOW him?" Earl pauses, then smiles, his normal joy magnified
threefold. "Come to my office, quickly."
Two possibilities race through Mimic's mind as he jogs behind the
abruptly sprinting Earl, and a quick psychic scan indicates that the
person in front of him is almost definitely not Doppler himself.
Earl pants and dabs his forehead with a hankerchief. Various grey
robed figures, revealed only by light shining through the door Earl
entered through, look up, radiating annoyance even though their faces
are masked. "This had better be important," one speaks.
"Gentlemen, ladies, and neuter, I give you Mimic."
"...a training machine?"
"Huh?" Earl looks behind himself, reaches through the door, and pulls
in the one who stopped outside to let Earl fetch whatever he was going
to fetch. "No, *Mimic*. The one related to your prophet?"
The robed speaker shifts slightly, facing Mimic. "Are you really,
"Well...yes. Mimic is Mimic."
All five robed ones look at each other, nod, then stand up and face
Mimic barely has time to notice Earl panic and dive away.
"HY" "PER" "GAT" "LING" "GUN!"
Hyper beams pour from the group, one after another after another after
another after another, each firer recovering during the other four
attacks, leaving Mimic no time to do anything but dodge and defend.
The cycle rate is slow enough that Mimic somehow manages to dodge most
of them, though a few do bash him into the walls and ceiling.
And then it stops, just as Mimic finds himself with nowhere to run to
and certain that one more hit would knock him out.
"What...that...for?" he pants.
"That was for confusing our prophet, the Doppler."
"Mimic...no...confuse. Mimic...try revive...fail. Doppler dead."
The five look at each other, saying nothing, though Mimic can feel a
few of the energies indicating their telepathic debate. Eventually the
speaker continues, "Perhaps you do not fully understand what you have
wrought. Five years ago, at a concert you gave, the Doppler was in the
"Mimic remember. That where Mimic lose Doppler's chance."
"We do not know exactly *what* you did, Mimic, but the Doppler walked
out of there just as alive as he walked in. Moreso, even...but
changed. He no longer trusted us as much, even as he worked to develop
"Like what just used?"
"Yes, like the team tactics. He saw the limitations of what one single
pokemon could achieve, so he taught us to combine our attacks, to cover
one another during our moments of weakness. The Doppler sought out
ways for us to triumph over the League and the Team. He felt that
their usual practice of on one-on-one combat was particularly
exploitable, even if that does mean we must now forego our strongest
techniques when we wish not to arouse suspicion as to our identities."
"So what happen? Sound to Mimic like everything go well."
"Like we said, the Doppler no longer trusted us as much. He withdrew,
became more secretive...and eventually dissapeared, about the time we
got sponsorship from Silph."
Mimic cocks his head, then addresses Earl. "Mimic no know who bozos
are, but Mimic positive no work for Doppler. Silph mortal enemy of
what Doppler work for."
"You'd think so," the speaker continues, "but we actually managed to
come to terms with them. We stop blowing up their facilities and
slaughtering their workers, and they pay us to put a stop to the worst
abuses of their equipment. Kind of a Pokemon Ethics Awareness Squad."
The speaker shrugs. "Hey, it lends itself to all kinds of catchy
logos. Like, 'Give P.E.A.S. a chance.' Or, 'Say yes to world
P.E.A.S.' We use that last one when opening up offices in new
"So, Doppler left about time you sell out."
"Mimic understand. Mimic believe, actually."
"It's not like that. We had some disagreements, and..."
"Forgive. Mimic no like dishonor brother with falsehoods and
platitudes. Mimic remember brother how was, and probably how still is
if what say is true. Call spade spade. You call what want; Doppler,
and Mimic, call 'sell out'."
"So, I guess there's no chance you'll join us?"
"Mimic no say that. On other hand, understand, Mimic necessarily
suspicious of corporate-backed 'ethics'. Corporate mean money above
all, and Mimic seen where that lead: Team Rocket."
"Feh. Those fools only want to better themselves. We want power
enough to improve the fate of all mankind and pokemon. We're sorry,
Mimic, but we can't let someone as powerful as you run around loose if
we can help it."
"Excuse? Mimic make own decisions."
"Like we said, sorry. Our hands are tied. HY-"
Mimic is gone before the next syllable comes out, the beams harmlessly
passing through the blue afterlight of his teleport.
"Well," Mimic mutters. "Karmic balance in action, suppose. Get friend
one day, get enemy next day." He glances at the academy. "One thing
sure, no going back *there* again soon." Knowing that he has to meet
Sarah somewhere, he decides to hit the pokemon center to heal up, then
trot to the gym to try to catch Sarah before she leaves. "At least
know Doppler alive...probably. Mimic hope."