From: Bandraptor ( Subject: Re: [PW!] Viridian at last Newsgroups: Date: 2001-01-05 00:50:45 PST Continue wrote: >One pokeball was removed from Damian?s backpack. The pokemon >contained within was put there because of his last gym battle, not less >than a half-hour ago. After what he had just gone through, he didn?t feel >too sure about getting out of the tree on his own, and after what he had >just felt and now saw, he knew he had to get out of the tree. > >"Bulletproof, I need your help." with that he opened the ball and a blob >of white energy issued from it. The energy coalesced into a Magnemite, >which asked out of its disorientation "Mag?" > >"Teleport me down to the ground there." Damian ordered while pointing >to some unbroken ground not too far from the tree he was perched in like >a helpless Meowth. The Magnemite?s eye looked from its trainer to the >area pointed to and then it inclined its body, acknowledging the command. >It floated over to the young trainer and glowed as it made contact, causing >both to disappear. > >Appearing on the ground, Damian looked at the others. He had some >trouble focusing through his somewhat addled thoughts, but from what he >saw everyone aside from Sarah Jane, Nori, and their pokemon was tensed, >awaiting a confrontation. He almost didn?t notice when someone put a >hand on his shoulder from behind. > >"This could end far worse than it is now, if there is any sort of battle. If >no one steps in-between them, giving them the time to think about what >they really want, they could end doing something that they will later >regret. Someone has to do that." > >Damian turned and saw the partially-gloved hand quickly withdraw. The >man that who the hand belonged to turned before Damian could catch >sight of his face, escaping quickly and quietly. > >The young trainer again looked around and saw that everyone else?s >attention hadn?t drifted to him, so it appeared that had not noticed the >temporary intrusion, and he was the only one that could act on what had >been said. He caught one more thing that the others seemed to miss in >their focus. After being incapacitated just as much as everyone else had, >the Dodrio had begun to stir. > >Cerberus had felt pain this strong before. It had almost died from the >injuries that had been inflicted when this happened. It wasn?t long ago, so >recalling it wasn?t hard. This pain was different, it wasn?t born of >injuries >to its flesh. The fact that it was not connected to a part of its body was >even more maddening. All it could find when it searched was an image in >its head. The image closely resembled the human in front of it, the one >cradling the body of the opponent it had just killed. With a target again, >Cerberus? aggression kicked in again. Maybe if it had gotten a few >moments more, it would have remembered feeling a pain almost exactly >like this a long time ago. If it had remembered the pain that it felt >without >its parents to care for it, maybe it would have reacted differently. > >"Oh, no," Damian saw the one conscious Dodrio head lock onto Sarah >Jane "Bulletproof, teleport us over there!" The young trainer pointed to a >spot a few feet from Sarah Jane and grabbed a pokeball from his >backpack. Once again, the pair disappeared from one part of the tableau >and reappeared in another. Seeing the large bird pokemon about to >pounce, Damian let fly the pokeball he was holding, trusting it would find >its mark as well as it had anytime that a trainer threw a ball to catch a >pokemon. > >The pokeball hit the one unfainted head directly in the center of its side, >bouncing up from the impact. The sharp pain caused the angered bird to >turn its head and give a shriek of warning to the one who had struck it, a >message to that human that it was next after it finished its current prey. > >Damian couldn?t really make out the Dodrio?s shriek over his own shout >of "Go, Remy!". After this verbal command, the pokeball he had just >thrown popped open. > >Cerberus prepared to pounce again when it noticed the shadow that had >just appeared. Survival instinct kicked in and it looked up, just in time to >see a massive rotund body about to fall on top of it. It was fast enough to >move, but not fast enough. The Snorlax fell with a thunderous impact, >trapping all but Cerberus? one conscious head. The one head soon >squawked in frustration, not being able to move anything but itself. Even >that couldn?t move very much as most of its spindly neck was also trapped >beneath the sleeping Snorlax. > >Still in as much shock as he had been previously, Rubix nonetheless >reacted to what had just happened and reflexively commented "Where can >I get me one of those? That people-squishing feature could come in >handy." > >With Cerberus? squawking intruding, Sarah Jane was pulled out of her >memories of Shields. She looked up and saw Damian standing in front of >her, blocking out Nori. With sympathy evident in his voice, he told her "I >know nothing I say or do can bring back Shields. I also can?t imagine >what I?m saying will be any comfort, but I hope it will. Shields died >protecting you from harm. It?s hard to think of anything but striking back >at what killed him, but I think you?ve got to try. I don?t think he would?ve >wanted you to be harmed by your own regret over what you do here now." > >Sarah Jane?s other pokemon, Cuddles, Spunky, and Pteryx approached >her cautiously, eyes wide with what they had just experienced. > >"Sheesh," Rubix muttered "If the kid were any more sappy, we?d be >fending off bug pokemon right now." > >Nori shot him a deadly glare, effectively communicating that expressing >anything but genuine concern right now was a very bad idea, no matter >what impulse struck him. > As Cerberus' voice drones on, Nori's mind begins to wander. She's more upset than she's willing to let on, and she knows she's upset for all the wrong reasons, which is doubly upsetting. She feels bad for killing the Mr. Mime, of course...but aside from that, she feels sorry for Sarah Jane, and the fact that she feels sorry for Sarah Jane enrages her. She can't stand the thought of being indebted to her enemy. Being unable to feel sympathy for a slain foe had been awful, but this is a million times worse. It's a feeling of helplessness, and the more she thinks about it, the angrier she becomes. She is fairly certain that, if she wasn't so overcome with pity for her adversary, she'd be able to finish what her Pokémon started. She'd be able to destroy Sarah Jane in her moment of weakness, make off with the Aerodactyl, and complete her mission. But as it stands, she can't do that. She wonders how it's possible for her to feel sorrow for someone she despises so; and begins to question whether the emotions that she's experiencing are genuine, or if they're simply a result of Sarah Jane's psychic tampering. Either way, they seem alien. She glances around the field. Damian has his back to her, and is blocking out her view of Sarah Jane, with whom, he is apparently still speaking. Jon and Runt are poised, ready to throw their Pokéballs into the fray, should the situation call for it. Rubix is watching them carefully, plotting to grab Pteryx the instant they create a diversion. Officer Jenny is surveying the field, trying to get the full scope of things before making any accusations. Cerberus has ceased its screeching, and the middle head is lying slumped on the ground, either unconscious, or pretending to be unconscious. Nori holds out the Dodrio's Pokéball, "Cerberus, return." Upon hearing Nori speak, all heads reflexively turn towards her, as those present await her next action. She pays no attention to the three boys, or the one adult; but turns to Sarah Jane, and addresses her, quietly. "I can't hope to justify my Dodrio's actions, I can't even explain my own. All that I can do is apologize for them. I'm sorry for Shields' death. It was a horrible way to die, and he didn't deserve such a fate. I'm sorry for Cerberus' rage. I'm sorry I caused you pain." She grits her teeth, "...But more than any of that, I feel sorry for myself. Sorry for the things I've done in the past, and sorry for what I can't do now. Looking back on my life is like seeing into a nightmare. Starscream...Bombadier...and now Shields..........To think, I set out on this journey because I *liked* Pokémon. What a joke." Nori shakes her head, "I hate everything that I am, but I don't think that I would have taken this path by choice. After you abandoned me, I did what I had to do, in order to survive. If that makes me an evil person, then so be it. I may be evil, but always remember, Sarah Jane, it was you who made me so. You've ruined my life, and it's my sincere hope that someone does you the same courtesy, since obviously, I'm incapable of finishing you, myself. May we never meet again." She turns on her heels, "Rubix, let's go." "Wait, what about Gwyth--" "Forget it." She mutters, as she pushes past him, "We'll steal an Aerodactyl from someone else. This is more trouble than it's worth." "..." Rubix glowers at her, furious that all his fighting has been for naught, but also aware of the fact that if they waste any time arguing, they're both likely to end up either dead, or incarcerated. He vents his frustration, by using his Hydro Pump to take down the now-advancing Officer Jenny, and follows Nori, as she retreats into the Viridian Forest. "Ya na kanji." TBC, but not for Nori. -Beth, of the ever changing sig.