Subject: [PW!] [WC] Carping About Possible Changes in Schedule Date: 6 Dec 2002 13:27:37 -0800 From: (Bandraptor) Organization: Newsgroups: "Hello! Three tickets please!" The woman who is working the ticket booth just outside the Red Rock Island Arena squints her eyes at the customer, who is clutching a Togepi against her chest with one arm, and holding her free hand out as if to indicate the number of tickets that she wants, even though she doesn't have any fingers to indicate with. The ticket seller looks the girl over from head to toe, glancing at her brown hair, pink shirt, blue jean shorts, and spiked tail. "You're a Pokemon, aren't you." "Yup!" The female Hitmontop says cheerfully. She gestures to her companions, "We all are. My name's Cappie, and if you could sell us the tickets now, that'd be great. We flew all the way from Violet City on Pidgeot when we heard about this tournament, and I felt pretty bad when we got here and learned that we'd already missed the first day of competition. We don't want to miss seeing any of today's matches, so--" The ticket seller sighs, "I have to tell you, I'm really not supposed to let any wild Pokemon into the stadium. Strict orders from Nurse Joy." "Why not?" Cappie asks. She thinks about this for a minute, then chuckles, "Don't worry, we're not going to hurt anybody. We're Pokemon, not mountain lions. We know how to behave ourselves." "It's for your own safety." The woman explains, "And that of the people in the stadium. Imagine what would happen if a Trainer decided to capture you, and a fight broke out in the bleachers. Someone could get hurt, or even die." "Don't worry." Cappie points to her waist, "Do you see this belt? It's a Silph Co. Anti-Pokeball belt. It binds to my genetic signature, and protects me from getting captured by Pokeballs, the same way that a captured Pokemon is prevented from getting captured by a second trainer's balls. If anyone in the bleachers tries to capture me, their balls will bounce right off, and they'll leave me alone, assuming that I'm a trained Pokemon." The ticket seller thinks about this. " sound like you know how to take care of yourself. And there're already three wild Pokemon and a hybrid in the stadium, so I guess a few more won't hurt." She prints up three tickets. "Okay, I'll let you in." "Thanks!" Cappie grins from ear to ear. She nudges a Magby, who has been hidden behind her leg up to this point, "Gar, thank the nice lady." Gar the Magby blinks in terror as he cranes his neck up towards the tall human. "Uh...uh..." He bends at the waist, and quickly stammers, "Thankyouverymuch!" before ducking behind Cappie's leg again. "This means a lot to us." Cappie tells the woman, "I've been training my students to use a variety of different techniques, but nothing teaches application like viewing actual combat. I want my students to see how professional fighters handle themselves in battle!" "Students?" The ticket seller queries. She catches sight of the pink Pokegear that's hanging around Cappie's neck, "By any chance, are you a Pokemon Trainer?" "Well, that depends." Cappie runs a hand through her hair, "I think of myself as more of a teacher, since I teach my students to use their full potential as fighters, but I don't drill them into total obedience like a trainer does. A lot of people call me a trainer, though, because that's really the only word there is for those of us who work with Pokemon. Why do you ask?" "Well, this might sound kind of presumptuous," the woman begins, "but I've received word that one of our scheduled contestants is sick, and we've been looking for someone to take their place. I've been instructed to offer their time slot to every Pokemon Trainer who comes through here. Of course, most of the people who come to buy tickets do so because they *aren't* trainers, just people want a chance to see a trainer battle. Granted, I haven't had much success finding a replacement..." "Well, I'd be glad to help," Cappie says, "except that my pupils are at too low of a level to compete in a tournament like this. I know that some people are willing to send their Pokemon into battle under any circumstances, but I don't believe in forcing my students into a fight they're sure to lose. It's damaging to their self esteem, not to mention dangerous." "Actually," the woman explains, "this is a tournament for Water Pokemon, so neither your Magby nor your Togepi would be eligible for entry, regardless. However, there's a Pokemon Rental shop right across the street from there, and if you were to register for the tournament, you would be able to borrow a Pokemon from there, free of charge." She looks at Cappie pleadingly, "Registering backup trainers is just a precautionary measure--you might not have to battle at all. And to thank you for your cooperation, the Whirl Cup administrators are willing to offer you and your party front row seats in the stadium..." Cappie thinks about this. "Okay, I'll do it!" She smiles, "Front row seats are hard to pass up, and prepping a Rental Pokemon for battle sounds like it would be a nice challenge." "Great!" The ticket seller says, sounding relieved. "I'll contact the administrators, to let them know that you're on deck. If you wouldn't mind loaning me your Pokegear for a few minutes, I'll get all of your registration information recorded, and in the mean time, you can pick out a Rental Pokemon for your first match." Cappie takes hold of the strings that hold her Pokegear around her neck, and lifts it over her head (believe it or not, it's possible). She hands it to the ticket seller, who, having dealt with Pokegear many times before, immediately finds the page that contains all of Cappie's personal info, such as her name and address. Cappie, meanwhile, turns around, and walks towards the store that the ticket seller indicated. "Hello?" Cappie calls, walking inside, "Hello? I was sent over from the arena. I'd like to rent a Water Pokemon." "Hello!" An old man greets her, as he steps out from behind a counter. "Let me guess, you're one of the trainers that signed on as a possible replacement for that poor boy who got sick last night." He shakes his head, thinking about Tempo, who, after traveling all the way to Red Rock, might have to miss his match. "Such a shame, such a shame. Well, let's get you set up." He walks her into a room that's filled with aquariums of various sizes. "You're actually the third person to come through here today, so I'm afraid our selection's a bit limited. Still, you're luckier than the girl who came here yesterday. She came in right before we got our shipment, and she only had two Pokemon to choose from! I can't tell you which one she took, though, since that would be in violation of my lender agreement. Anyway, have a look around, and let me know when you find something that you like." Cappie, Gar, and Togepy all gaze around the room. One of the aquariums is built low to the ground, and portions of the tank are filled with large amounts of the sand, which comprise islands that rise above the water. A Squirtle and a Poliwag are lazing about in the shallow water of the tank. A second aquarium is filled with coral of the non-Pokemon variety, and houses a single Krabby, who is scooting sideways through the coral colony, trying to find the Corsola who normally shares the tank with him. A third aquarium is wired to a large refrigeration machine, and the glass is slightly frosted. A Shellder is sleeping at the bottom of the tank, its tongue lying in the sand. A snowy white Seel appears quite content as it floats on its back at the surface of the frigid pool. The fourth tank is empty. It is an enormous tank, both wide and tall, and it's halfway filled with dark blue seawater. A note taped to the front of the aquarium says, "Mantine--reorder." The fifth aquarium is small, plain, and houses a Goldeen and a Magikarp. Cappie places Togepy on the floor, and suddenly screams, "AHHHHH!!!!!" The old man jumps. "What! What's wrong?" Cappie looks around the room a minute longer, then points towards the red fish in the fifth aquarium. "I'll take that one! I need a Pokemon that's fearless, and it's the only one that didn't flinch at my battle cry." The old man sweatdrops as he stares at her selection, "Magikarp don't have eyelids..." "That's okay." Cappie responds. "Er, are you *sure* you want the Magikarp?" The old man presses, "Maybe you should check its attacks before you take it..." Cappie approaches the tank. "Magikarp," she says, standing over the little fish, "show me your strongest attack!" The Magikarp flops out of the tank, slapping Cappie across the chest with the side of its body before falling back into the water. "Not bad!" Cappie applauds, "But do you know what would make that attack even stronger?" The Magikarp cocks its head at her, it's whole body tilting diagonally upwards in the process. "Karp?" Cappie narrows her eyes, and speaks very sternly. "First of all, you need to correct your posture. The fins on your side should be level, and your back should be parallel with the surface of the water. Secondly, watch your breathing. I know you're getting plenty of water over those gills of yours, so there's no need for you to gasp as if you're drowning. If you breath properly, you'll be able to put much more power behind your attacks. Third, when you Tackle someone, you want to hit the softest part of their body with the hardest part of your body. A hit to the ribcage with your stomach isn't going to do much. The next time you use Tackle, try hitting with your head. It's bonier, and more aerodynamic than your side, so you'll hit with more force." Cappie reaches into the tank, and sets the tilted Magikarp into a more vertical position. When she is satisfied with his posture, she pulls her hands out of the water, and steps away from the tank, "Now, try your attack again!" The Magikarp jumps out of the tank, and headbutts her in the stomach! Cappie grunts at the impact, but she doesn't fall over, since she's trained herself to maintain her balance after any type of attack. "That's much better, Magikarp!" She turns to the old man, "This Pokemon will be fine." The man shrugs. "I've never seen anyone voluntarily take the Magikarp before, but then, I've never seen Magikarp Tackle like that before, either. I'll go ahead and get its Pokeball for you." The old man leads Cappie back into the front room, and begins to rummage beneath the counter for Magikarp's ball. "Hey!" The chimes on the door ring loudly as the door swings open, and a boy walks into the room. He points at Cappie, "You're Cappie, right? I guess you'd have to be, how many other Hitmontop Pokemon Trainers can there be on this island?" He opens one of his hands, and presents Cappie with her Pokegear. "Your registration's all taken care of. Marissa down at the ticket booth told our boss that you'd signed up, and they told me to get you, and take you over to the preparation area inside the stadium." "What?" Cappie blinks in horror, "I have to battle now? But I've barely familiarized myself with my Pokemon!" "No, no! Nothing like that!" The boy reassures her, "We just want you to be in the preparation area, in case we need you! There's still a couple of hours before the matches start--you can use the time to train you Pokemon, and prepare for the match. We're trying to get all of the participants assembled in the preparation area now, though, because we have to go over some rules with you, and whatnot." He glances down at Gar and Togepy, and adds, "Your friends can sit up in the stands if they want, or they can stay with you, whichever you prefer. But we have to hurry, let's go!" Cappie motions to Gar and Togepy, and they follow the boy out of the store. Just as they're leaving, Cappie remembers her manners, and waves to the old man who rented her the Magikarp, "So long, and thanks for the fish!" TBC... --Beth