Subject: [PW!] Out For A Whirl Date: Sat, 30 Nov 2002 20:45:43 GMT From: Adrian Tymes <> Organization: Prodigy Internet Newsgroups: "Aww, c'mon! You've *got* to let me into the qualifying match-ups!" Nurse Joy shook her head. While normally she would comply, in her present role as registrar for the Whirl Cup, sign ups had been rather low this year. "Look, I told you before: there won't be any qualifying matches unless we get more people. With you, we've barely got enough to fill the main tournament. Most trainers would be thrilled." "Well, yeah, but...I just caught my water pokemon last week, and I still haven't trained it enough. If I'm going to lose, I'd like to get it over with as soon as possible. If I'm going to have a chance to win, I *have* to find suitable opponents to train against, and I haven't been able to find many out there." The trained patted his marowak's helmet, as the marowak leaned on a shiny, J-shaped stick that almost seemed alive. "I know, I spent a long time training my main pokemon, but I can't use him in this tournament." "Sorry, but..." She blinked, noticing a shadow towards the ceiling. "Umm, you, up there. Can I help you?" A cloaked figure leapt from its hidden perch, making a three-point landing next to the trainer. Black was definitely this one's motif: a black cloak that covered everything the black sombrero, black gloves, and black boots did not. "If a challenger is desired, then a challenger I shall be. My gyarados shall meet your pokemon in the arena. Make sure your marowak gets a good view of how to beat a water pokemon." The trainer smiled. "Okay! Thanks, mister!" Joy shrugged. "Well, if you two really want to go at it, give me ten minutes to announce the match so you can have an audience, and get a referee." --- "Well, folks, looks like we've got a sudden start. The green trainer is ready, but we're still waiting for the red trainer to arrive." Slowly, the audience gathered. Appetites whetted by memories and stories of previous Whirl Cups, most of them had not yet caught on to the organizers' near panic at the low number of entrants. All they knew was, qualifying matches had been nonexistant until now, yet the tournament started tomorrow. Hungry for some hero to cheer on, they cheered the unlikely looking trainer whose main companion was staying as far away from the water as possible while still standing by its trainer's side. The officials were hungry for something to do, too. While the Whirl Cup Stadium was still submerged, there were areas along Red Rock Isle's coast that could serve as impromptu arenas, where the qualifying rounds were traditionally held. The official staff was usually spread thin, monitoring all the various simultaneous challenges, but this time, they all descended on the one match. The commentator was seated atop a news van, side by side with the cameraman who was sending images of the fight to a few nearby screens, to further serve the growing crowd. Suddenly, a burst of red light materialized from the mob, materializing into a gyarados. "It looks like the red trainer has arrived, and what an entrance! Still no sign of the trainer himself, but so long as his pokemon is ready and under his control, that's what counts." Surprisingly, the gyarados turned towards the camera and nodded. "O...kay, it seems this trainer is going to let his pokemon speak for him. Now we're just waiting on the green trainer to get this match started!" The other trainer took this cue to stop gaping, and lamely held forth a pokeball. "Umm...magikarp, go." More than a few laughs erupted from the crowd as the apparently outmatched pokemon materialized, until the commentator offered, "Hey, folks. Anyone bringing a magikarp to the Whirl Cup probably has some tricks up his sleeve. We'll have to see what they are, but he could just win this one!" "Magikarp, SPLASH!" "...or maybe he's just desparate." As the fish obediently sent a small wave of water towards its opponent, the opponent sank like a stone. Within seconds, a vortex appeared in the center of the arena, quickly sucking the magikarp in. "Oooh, a whirlpool from the get-go! It looks like *this* battle may be all underwater, folks. Fortunately, we've got divers with underwater cameras moving into position to catch the action if that happens." Just as the commentator finished, the vortex inverted, turning into a waterspout. It quickly grew to fill the arena, sucking up both marowak and trainer. "Uh-oh! Folks, stand back from the edge if you don't want to get caught in that! And if that marowak does get brought into the arena, the rules are that it counts as part of the arena until it leaves - if, of course, it does nothing but try to get out of the arena as quickly as possible." The waterspout soon disappated, leaving no sign of pokemon or trainer, until some yells came from above. "yaaaaaaAAAAAAAA*whump*" yelled the trainer as he landed, spread-eagled, on the arena's central island, just barely large enough to keep him out of the water. "waaaaaAAAAAAAAA*whack*" yelled the marowak as it landed on its trainer, trying to bounce off its familiar club only to find it missing. "kaaaaaRRRRRRRRP*splush*" cried the magikarp as it landed in the water, leaving barely a ripple on the surface. Stunned murmurs rippled through the crowd, until the commentator announced, "Folks, reports from our divers confirm there is no sign of the gyarados. I don't know quite what happened, but the gyarados has left the arena. Victory goes to the green trainer!" --- Far away, the cloaked figure landed, brandishing the J shiny unown. His eyes gleamed for a second, then closed. Ripples of red energy washed over him as he struggled with something; eventually, he melted entirely into red, absorbed the J unown, and came out in Mimic's normal form. Mimic contemplated the subsiding urge he felt from the unown within him. The instant they had seen their friend, they demanded its company, by any means necessary. Only an iron will had kept Mimic from slaughtering the kid and his marowak on sight as they had demanded, yet still they maintained enough control to force him to steal, turning the assassin's disguise - voice and all, as Team Rocket had drilled into him so that form could not be traced to him - into a mere disguise. Now, he could feel them growing stronger for their added member - but they were content to sleep, for now, until more could be found. This could be a problem for anyone who had gathered a bunch of them... Aerie. Even as he thought it, he felt the unown react, and send a signal to their companions. Perhaps they felt it easier to draw her to him, than to force him to her; logic with which he could not disagree. And in her current mind, he knew they might easily force her to carve a bloody trail to find him, and to those who held the rest of their kind. Best not to get too close, then: they would hopefully not force her to violence unless another of their kind was near and bloodshed would help acquire their friend. Hopefully. TBC?