Subject: [PW!] Thanksgiving At The Ecruteak Dance Theater Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 00:14:14 GMT From: Rob <> Organization: EarthLink Inc. -- Newsgroups: Sarah wakes up sprawled face down on a bed with an intense headache. She's wearing everything she usually does, including her sandals and wooden crook, two things she usually removes from her person before going to bed, and she's clutching something in her right hand. She closes her eyes tight, and tries to remember what happened last night. She clearly remembers losing a battle with Roxie, the mean biker, in the Burned Tower and remembers that Roxie told her that she's a horrible Pokemon Trainer who should just go home. Sarah also recalls doing humiliating things for Roxie, including swearing for her, buffing her boots with her Mareep's fleece, and giving her the only Badge she's ever won. After that, all she can recall is her own sobbing. Sarah opens her eyes, "...where am I?" The confused shepherdess looks around the room with her eyes, not moving her head from its place on the bed's pillow, and she recognizes the room she's in as the interior of a Pokemon Center. When looking around, she also notices that her hand is clutching something. She opens it up to see her red and black Hive Badge stuck to the palm of her hand, "What's this doin'... oh yeah..." Sarah remembers that after what seemed like almost an hour of sobbing in the Burned Tower, that kind young man she knows called Bob approached her and gave her her Badge back, explaining that he had taught Roxie a lesson. She also recalls having asked Bob about leaves growing out of his arms, but doesn't quite recall the answer he gave, then remembers he led her straight to the Ecruteak Pokemon Center. Sarah struggles to get up out of bed, despite her headache, pins her Hive Badge back onto her leather satchel's strap, then looks around the room for Barbie and her baby Teddiursa. The nervous Mareep and the newborn Pokemon is no where to be seen in the room. She even searches under the bed to no avail. Sarah starts to worry about her Pokemon, "Have they been... stolen? Ma was right about the world outside of the farm. It's not a safe place for a young girl like me and it's certainly not a safe place for Teddiursa, who was born yesterday." Before panicking, she runs outside of her room and heads to the Pokemon Center's front desk. Sarah approaches the Nurse Joy stationed there, who's wearing a pilgrim's hat instead of her usual nurse's cap, and asks her, "Have... have you seen m-my Pokemon? I c-came in last n-night... with a y-young man..." Nurse Joy nods, "Of course, Sarah. Bob told me to give you a room here and to heal your Pokemon before he left. You weren't paying much attention since you were crying so much. I'm glad to see that you're better now! I'll go get your Pokemon." The nurse turns around and walks into the Center's back room. While Sarah waits for Nurse Joy to return, she notices that there's many more clocks on the walls of this Pokemon Center than in others she's visited - there's Pidgey clocks, grandfather clocks, digital clocks, and many other kinds of clocks too. Before Sarah can examine all of the clocks, Nurse Joy comes out of the back room holding a tray that has a Fast Ball, a Lure Ball, a Love Ball, and a sleeping Teddiursa with his paw in his mouth on it. Joy also has a leash tied to her wrist that pulls a scared Mareep out of the back room. Sarah sighs in relief that her Pokemon weren't stolen, then comments, "You sure have a... a lotta c-clocks here." "Oh yeah." Nurse Joy points straight up, then puts her tray down on the front desk, "This Pokemon Center's second floor was the first place that the famous inventor Bill got his Pokemon Time Capsule to work. We decided to turn that floor into the Original Time Capsule Museum, so we decorated the first floor of the Pokemon Center with all sorts of clocks. My favorite is that digital calendar over there." Nurse Joy points over to the digital calendar hanging from one of the lobby's walls. Sarah turns to face a black rectangular device with glowing red characters on it that read: "Nov 22, 05: Happy Thanksgiving!" Two realizations dawn on Sarah. One is that the reason Nurse Joy is wearing a pilgrim hat is that today is Thanksgiving. The other is that today is her sixteenth birthday. When she thinks about how these two special days have been wrapped into one, something that hasn't happened since she turned eleven, five years ago, she starts to sob... Nurse Joy releases Barbie from her leash and the Mareep immediately runs over to Sarah and rubs up against her legs. Joy asks, "What's wrong, Sarah? Are you remembering that bully that Bob told me about? You shouldn't pay any attention to..." "No, it's... it's not... not that." Sarah cries, waking up her Teddiursa, "It... it's that I... I'm not... not with a family... to-today... on m-my... six-sixteenth... birthday... and... and on... Thanks... Thanksgiving and... and we always have... have big celebrations on... those occasions... and I... I just ran away... from them..." Nurse Joy walks over from behind the counter and places a hand on Sarah's shoulder, "Oh, Sarah, don't worry - all Pokemon Trainers, especially the younger ones, go through stuff like this. One time Pokemon Trainer Ash Ketchum spent Christmas with Santa at the north pole instead of at home with his mom. Try to have a Happy Birthday and a Happy Thanksgiving with your Pokemon here in Ecruteak City. There's many sights to see here, including a wonderful Dance Theater that has a special Thanksgiving Show today. It's right behind the Pokemon Center. Maybe you should go - I think it'll cheer you up a bit!" "The... theater?" Sarah wipes some tears from her eyes, "...I... I'll ch-check it out. Th-thank you... nurse..." She grabs the three Apricorn Pokeballs on Nurse Joy's tray, drops them in her satchel, picks up her sleepy baby Teddiursa, and shepherds Barbie the Mareep out of the Pokemon Center. A short walk later, Sarah and Barbie are facing the doors of the oriental building known as the Ecruteak Dance Theater. The shepherdess and her Pokemon head inside to see that chairs in the wooden building are just large blue pillows placed in front of the stage, where the Thanksgiving show has already begun. Seeing a bunch of shoes on the floor near the exit, Sarah removes her sandals before walking to an available pillow. She sits down with her legs underneath her bottom and watches. The five girls on stage are wearing themed kimonos. Two of the kimono girls are dressed in kimonos that look like pilgrim clothing, two are dressed in kimonos that make them look like natives, and one is dressed in Farfetch'd-colored kimono and she's carrying a green Stick. The native kimono girls point at the Farfetch'd kimono girl while dancing around her. One of the pilgrim kimono girls is carrying a fake musket. That pilgrim kimono girl twirls around her musket as if it were a baton while dancing around the Farfetch'd kimono girl, who's doing elaborate leaps and splits in order to avoid the gun-toting kimono girl. The other pilgrim kimono girl grabs a net, throws it onto the Farfetch'd kimono girl, who gestures being stuck, and the musket-carrying kimono girl pulls her musket's trigger. A loud gunshot sound effect later, the Farfetch'd kimono girl falls flat onto the stage, then points her stiff long bare legs straight upwards to emote her own death. "Mmm, I may be against eating Pokemon, but those Farfetch'd legs look delicious!" This comment is issued by one of the male audience members, but the kimono girls, who are used to being ogled and heckled, especially by an old man who owns a Surfing Rhydon, go on with the show... Sarah looks over to the black-haired goatee-wearing young man who said this. He's sitting right next to her and he's now sweatdropping while whispering to his left wrist - or rather, a small purple device strapped to his wrist. She works up the courage to tap him on the shoulder and whisper to him, "Th-that... w-was... rude..." "I was just kidding!" The young man shakes his head, "Geeze, first my girlfriend doesn't find it humorous and now a complete stranger doesn't either." He puts his hands up to the sides of his mouth and calls out to the performers on stage, "I apologize for what I said earlier! It was disrespectful and I have a serious girlfriend who I love dear-" He's silenced when everyone in the audience surrounding him, including Sarah and the device on his wrist, simultaneously make the infamous "shhhhh" noise in his direction. He once again talks into the device on his wrist, "... great, now everyone in the theater thinks I'm more rude because I apologized!" Sarah raises an eyebrow in the man's direction, wondering why he's talking to what looks like his wristwatch, "...uhm, wh-why're you... talkin' to your... your wrist?" "I'm not talking to my wrist - I'm talking to my girlfriend using my Pokegear's videophone." The young man shows the Pokegear on his wrist to Sarah and she sees a black-haired girl who's older than her on the Pokegear's screen, then he says, "She wanted to watch the Thanksgiving show too, so... oh, that reminds me." He points the Pokegear at the stage, where the two pilgrim kimono girls and the two native kimono girls are happily dancing around the Farfetch'd kimono girl, who has white chef hats on her feet now. Once the celebration dance is over, the Farfetch'd kimono girl stands up, then all five stand in a line and bow twice. Sarah and everyone else in the audience applaud the show, then as people start to leave, Sarah asks, "Wh-why c-couldn't your girlfriend... come here her-herself?" "Well, I decided to come over here to Johto to catch new Pokemon and I wasn't about to leave my girlfriend's little brother back in Lavender Town to take care of the Diversity Gym!" The young man chuckles at the thought, but when he notices that Sarah has no idea who he is or what he's talking about, he says, "My name's Robert, the Diversity Gym Leader. You've never heard of me?" "N-no..." Sarah lowers her head, more intimidated since she's learned Robert has a somewhat high status, "S-sorry... I d-don't know much... much ab-about Gym Leaders. I'm Sarah... I know... h-hardly anythin' a-about Pokemon... Pokemon Trainin'... th-that's why I'm thinkin'... about givin' up to-today... and goin'... back home. Last night... I w-was... told that... I have... bad technique... and I th-think she's r-right... sin-since I've lost th-three Gym battles... and... and only won one..." Robert strokes his black goatee, "You sound like me when I was a couple of weeks into my first Pokemon Journey. I kept losing against Gym Leaders and there was this guy called Jeremy I kept bumping into who called me a 'looser'. I'm pretty sure he meant 'loser', but the point is, he would've convinced me to give up on my dream to become famous for training a wide variety of Pokemon and gather all the Kanto League Badges if my girlfriend hadn't convinced me to keep on trying, no matter how little I knew about Pokemon or how often I lost in Gym matches, and believe you me, it was QUITE often! I'm glad I didn't give up, since just look at me now - I'm a Gym Leader who has a bit of fame in Kanto and check it out..." He gestures at the eight Kanto League Badges pinned on his black shirt. Sarah looks up to see the eight small Badges pinned on Robert's shirt, then looks back down at the Hive Badge on her leather strap, "I... I guess I sh-should... keep my dream a-alive... but m-my Pokemon aren't... aren't very strong... I h-have a hard time... c-catchin' st-strong Pokemon, so I'll j-just keep on... losin'..." Robert pats Sarah on the back, "Pokemon get stronger over time. I started out my first Pokemon journey with a Haunter and a Cubone, and I now have ten rather strong Pokemon. I left eight of them with my girlfriend Rilli, partly to diversify her Pokemon Team since she's acting as Gym Leader back home, but also because I wanted to specifically train two of my weaker Pokemon." Robert then gestures down at the two Pokeballs pinned on his belt, "These Pokeballs contain my Farfetch'd and my Horsea. They aren't too strong, but I'm confident they'll evolve into stronger Pokemon when I train them during my Johto Journey! I may have lost my Gym match against Jasmine the Olivine Gym Leader last week, but that's no big deal, since my Pokemon gained some experience from the battle." Just then, in a flash of red light, an angry Slowpoke pops out of the Lure Ball in Sarah's satchel, having finally realized that Sarah said he wasn't very strong a moment ago. He shouts out, "Luthor does not approve of your belittling tone, Supergirl! Apologize or face the ultimate wrath of this universe's supreme ruler!" "S-sorry..." Sarah sweatdrops, then looks up at Robert to apologize for her Slowpoke's outburst, but is surprised to see that Robert's grinning widely at Luthor. Robert crouches down and examines the angry Slowpoke, "Wow, you own a talking Slowpoke! That's so cool! Sarah, would you like to be a member of the club I started? It's called the Slow Pokemon Appreciation Society, or SPAS for short. As a member, you get a bunch of cool benefits such as..." "...n-no, that's... okay..." Sarah shakes her head, hoping Robert won't ask her to explain herself since she doesn't want to tell him that she would prefer to have fast Pokemon than slow ones. Luthor narrows his eyes at Robert, "Luthor has already claimed Supergirl as his minion! You cannot take from Luthor what belongs to..." Luthor's speech is cut short when Sarah recalls him back into his Lure Ball and drops it into her satchel. She looks up at Robert briefly and asks, "S-so y-you think my P-Pokemon will g-get stronger?" "Definitely, as long as you continue to train them. In fact, do you want to challenge me to an official Diversity Gym match?" Robert reaches into one of the pockets of the black laptop case strapped on his shoulder, pulls out a small round Badge, and points it at Sarah, "If you win, you get this Oasis Badge! How about it?" Sarah once again shakes her head while looking straight down, "N-no... I... I think I sh-should... train more... be-before ch-challengin' any Gym Leaders..." "I can understand that." Robert puts the Oasis Badge back into his laptop case's pocket, then looks around to notice that the Ecruteak Dance Theater is now empty except for himself, Sarah, and Sarah's Pokemon. He tells Sarah, "I must be going to train, myself. I'm getting ready to battle Morty, the Ecruteak Gym Leader, in a couple of days. If you're ever in the Kanto area and want to visit the Diversity Gym or just want to learn more about it, just visit my website at . You can find my e-mail on that page too. I hope to see you again someday, Sarah. Good luck on your journey, and Happy Thanksgiving!" Robert waves farewell to Sarah, puts on his shoes, then walks out of the Ecruteak Dance Theater, talking into his Pokegear as he leaves. Sarah stands in silence for a while, thinking about Robert's final comments, then looks down at the Mareep at her side, "Barbie, do you have any idea what a website is? Or an e-mail for that matter?" After Barbie shakes her head, Sarah shrugs and heads over to the Dance Theater's entrance to put her sandals back on. -Sarah