From: Worry (Nuh@uh.dummy) Subject: Re: [PW!] ATTN: Worry "The Next Step" Newsgroups: Date: 2001-08-10 20:39:54 PST In article <9l0tgm$6qt6e$>, "Insanellama" <> wrote: >"Good. I always thought you had good taste." Insanellama and Jason turned >around and started the other way. "We don't really need to worry about >alarms at this point. Actually, tripping a few might be a good idea, get >'em to come at us in manageable groups." Insanellama didn't wait for >jason's reply, which probably would have been along the lines of 'or not you >suicidal llama you,' he waved at a camera, and then shot a motion sensor. >"That should bring the whole house down on us." Insanellama layed out a few >remote detonated demo packs and ducked around a corner. As Insanellama and Jason caught their breaths and waited to detonate the demo pack, Jason's cell phone vibrated. Jason pulled it out of his pocket and said. 'Little busy here, what's up?" He listened for a moment, swore, then hung it up and replaced it. "That was Lisa," Jason told Insanellama. "Apparently the commotion has drawn the attention of the locals. A whole swarm of them are in route right now. Lisa estimates ten minutes ETA. She and her fellow agents are pulling out now. But on the bright side, she says most of the red shirts are dead or scattered to the wind." "Great, that just leaves the hard core guys, and we are home free." Insanellama said brighlty. Before Jason could make a reply, three Rocket members rounded the corner. Jason had placed himself so that they could see him, and they gave a cry bringing machine pistols to bear. Jason moved calmly out of the way, and Insanellama thumbed the device. The explosion seemed to shake the entire base. 'Come on, we have only nine minutes left." Insanellama stated starting to turn the corner. "No, only five." Jason replied. "Once the locals are within four minutes away, they may see us making or escape and give chase. I would rather avoid that if possible." "Should be," Insanellama answered back. "its just the two of us. One flight of stairs and a short hallway out, then across the courtyard on Darkhorse and Rapidash. Hang a left at the gate and back over the mountain." "Right at the gate." Jason corrected. "left would take us back into the locals. But I agree with the rest. We better get moving." Before either man could move, however, they heard footsteps running beyond a door behind them. Both men got their weapons ready and took positions on either side of the door. Then they heard voices. "No! Stay away! HELP!' the first voice shouted 'Get back here, punk, you still have work to do." A second voice answered. then the door was pulled open and a man ran through. He almost died instantly as Insanellama and Jason both put their guns to his head. The man gave a frightened cry and froze on the spot. it was the prisoner they had freed earlier. A black gloved hand reached out and grabbed the man's color, the Rocket member the hand belonged to saying "Thanks guys, he's a slipper..." The Rockets eyes grew very wide as he saw who held the guns. he tried to bring his own gun up, but it was to late as Insanellama and Jason both shot him in the face at the same moment. The freed prisoner, once the guns left his temples, almost fainted with relief. he turned to the men that had saved him for a second time and said "Thank god I found you guys! you've GOT to get me out of here!' Insanellama turned and looked in askance at Jason. "Don't look at me, you're the one that freed him!' Jason said throwing his hands up. 'Best to leave him behind.' Insanellama said matter of factly. "We can't carry him along, it would slow our Rapidash down" "Please!" the man pleaded. "I'm just an archaeologist who got in over his head. Please get me out of here!" "there might be a way." Insanellama said bringing a look of hope to the man. 'there is something I have always wanted to know. Being a scientist, you should appreciate this." Insanellama added taking off his bottomless pack. "I'll take you along, but you ride in this!" "b-but those aren't designed to house humans!' the archaeologist balked. "Look, it's either ride in this or stay here." Insanellama replied firmly. "You would only be in it for three minutes at the most. just long enough for us to get out of here. Then I will release you and send you on your way. You're the one that decided to throw in with Team Rocket, i should be leaving you here to face the music for that. Decide now!" 'A-a-all right." the other man replied hesitantly. Insanellama grinned and slipped the bag over the mans head. It was weird seeing a full sized, six foot tall man disappearing into a three foot by four foot back pack. once the man was fully inside, Insanellama slipped the pack back on. 'Come on, don't make a liar out of me." Insanellama said finally rounding the corner. Jason followed almost bumping into Insanellama when he stopped suddenly. "Well THIS is convenient." Turning the corner himself, Jason saw what Insanellama was referring to. The explosion from the demo packs had collapsed the floor. The floor had fallen to form a ramp to the floor below it. Beyond where the ramp ended, light could be seen flooding in through an open door way. 'We will ride from here." Jason decided releasing his Rapidash. Insanellama nodded and let Darkhorse loose and mounting him. "You take point, I'll guard our backs." Jason said mounting his own Rapidash, but climbing on facing the rear of the fire horse." Insanellama chuckled and set Darkhorse into motion. The two Rapidash flew down the ramp and through the door. Turning immediately to the right, they raced across a court yard now littered with craters and dead bodies. There was no one left in the courtyard alive. Jason kept a careful eye on the building as they raced away from it. both hands held weapons. but only one face showed itself in the windows high up on the fortress, and Jason drilled it through the forehead as soon as it did. Reaching the gate without further incident, the two Rapidash turned right and raced along the wall. Jason swung his legs around using his butt as a pivet and righted himself on his fire horse. Reaching the end of the wall, they turned another right and rode up a steep slope. Once sure they weren't being pursued, Insanellama brought Insanellama to a halt, jumped down and opened his pack. the archaeologist came out feet first. he appeared the same as when he was put into the pack, but as soon as his head was free, he fell face down. Insanellama knelt and turned the man to his back, checking for a pulse. "he is breathing." Insanellama assured Jason. "Just out cold." Insanellama slapped the man gently a few times, and the archaeologist came to sitting straight up in alarm. he would have cried out if it hadn't been for Insanellama's hand over his mouth. When the scientist had calmed down to where Insanellama was sure he wouldn't cry out, Insanellama removed his hand and asked, "What was it like?' "Complete sensory deprivation.' The scientist replied. "I couldn't even feel my skin! And there was no air to breath." Insanellama nodded. helping the man to his feet then onto the back of Darkhorse, he said to Jason, "I've always thought these things could be used to smuggle humans. I had hoped that time was suspended within the packs. But all that is needed is a source of air. these things could be used to sneak an entire team in and out of certain situations. the two men turned their Rapidash towards the crest of the mountain. The ride was uneventful except for a tangela that jumped out to challenge them, then wisely retreated once it saw two Rapidash looking at it. They took it easy, and as a result, it was dusk by the time they reached their starting point. Dismounting at the entrance to the ruins, Jason took out two ski masks. he put one on, and threw one to Insanellama. then he took out two small rebreathers, passing one to Insanellama and keeping the other. Jason let out his Venonat. "We go in, put the locals back to sleep, let them loose, then depart." Insanellama nodded and put the rebreather to his mouth to test it. Then he grabbed the archaeologist by the scruff of the neck and pushed him towards the entrance. "You are going to take a nap with the cops." Insanellama informed the frightened man. "When you wake up, you can tell them that team Rocket kidnapped you. Your beat up enough so that the cops will believe you. Tell the cops anything beyond that, and I will hunt you down and kill you. Understand?" the archaeologist nodded and Insanellama gave him a small shove towards the entrance. Jason followed. as soon as the three entered the ruins, the room was swarmed by dozens of Ghastly Haunter and Gengar. The ghost types buzzed the party, moaning and shrieking. Then most disappeared. The talking Ghastly came floating up. "Beware..." It began. then suddenly it changed the speech. "Oh bloody hell, not you two again." the Ghastly stated sounding exasperated. "Look, I don't mind you exploring, but could you PLEASE quit blowing the place up? Those walls in the maze is going to take at least a week to repair and poor Mimester may NEVER be the same again!" Jason and Insanellama exchanged a glance. Turning back to the Ghastly, Jason addressed it saying. "All right, i promise not to blow anything up that isn't actively attacking me. But in return, I need a favor from you." ghastly sighed loudly and replied, "What is it? treasure? Artifacts? Power?" "No," Jason replied. "Just an attack. you see, the city of Pokemopolis has been discovered. i calculate it will take a year at least before the scientists discover this place. But with the officers and this scientist knowing of it, you are going to have swarms of people in here within days." Jason explained. "There are already swarms of people in here.' The ghastly replied. "Those humans dressed up in black seemed determined to throw themselves to their deaths on the traps in this place. Is the surface world such a terrible place that everyone on it wants to kill themselves?" "Those in the black seek riches. the greed for treasure makes them take the risks to achieve it." Jason answered. "but they have been dealt a serious blow this day, and may take time to reorganise their efforts to penetrate this place. And even as you have noted, they aren't to terribly bright. however, the men that this scientist will bring are much more careful. the will unlock all of this paces secrets if they find you out here." "The secrets of this place are meant to be discovered." The Ghastly informed Jason. "My master deep below seeks someone worthy to pass on the ancient secrets too. But no worthy challenger has shown himself in centuries. however, the master would not like it if swarms of humans appeared here. the challenges are set up for single people or small parties. So what is it that I can do to keep our existence here from the masses?" "Simply use an attack on these humans gathered here." Jason answered. "Convince the people we left earlier and their pokemon, and this scientist, that this is mearly a cave. Convince them that they have been wandering this cave through the day after becoming lost. then they will believe that there is nothing of interest here. Afterwards, you can do the same at the base outside where you stole the guns, let them discover the other entrance one at a time, and not reveal it to anyone else." The Ghastly hovered in thought for several moments. Then it said, 'Very well, this can be done. i accept your conditions and invite you to take the Challenge of the ancients. my master would test your skill." "Not today." Jason negated. "And perhaps not ever. I have what I came here for. i have everything I need. i only returned to free these men and women." the Ghastly accepted that without comment. it turned to Insanellama and said, "how about you then, human? You have proven resourceful, would you take the challenge of the ancients?" "I came here for a job." Insanellama stated. "that job now is done." Without another word to the two men, the Ghastly turned and floated over to the officers who were still tied up. They had followed the conversation and now shrank back in fear. Three Haunter joined the Ghastly and directed hypnosis attacks at the group. once the officers and the archaeologist were under the trance, Jason laid a story out for them that they would use to explain their absences from their jobs. he then told them where they could find their cars, and instructed them to return the archaeologist to the Pokemopolis site. They left the ruins still in a trance state and wouldn't snap out of it until they were well underway. Once they heard the cars speed off, Jason and Insanellama removed their masks and left the ruins themselves. the found the wagon they had left behind and hitched their Rapidash to it. Insanellama saw no reason to waste the wagon, preferring to sell it in Pallet. That reminded Jason and he pulled out his cell phone Jason dialed a number and put the phone to his ear. listening for a moment then keying in three digits, he listened once more than hung the phone up. "I have just transferred the rest of your pay to your account, and a ten grand bonus is addition. The bonus is for proving Lisa wrong and not stabbing me in the back, and for saving my life as well. you can check the account once we reach pallet." Insanellama nodded and, as the two men boarded the wagon, said 'So what's next?" "Well, first I have to get the heart back to Japan." Jason replied. "Then i have to make a few heads roll for letting Lisa infiltrate. Afterwards i need to spend a week or so making sure Mr Myamotto's affairs are in order. then i think I will take a vacation." "Oh, where ya planning to go?' Insanellama asked making conversation as he got the wagon turned and headed towards pallet town. "I think I will return here and take the challenge.' Jason replied. "What the ghastly said has me powerfully curious. i am suddenly filled with the urge to see a master that has lasted for centuries in that place." 'your fucking crazy." Insanellama said deadpan. "Maybe so." Jason agreed. 'Care to join me?" he asked with a smile... TBC?