From: Bandraptor ( Subject: [PW!] A Blastoise From the Past Newsgroups: Date: 2003-11-28 12:18:22 PST It is a Friday afternoon in Goldenrod City, and a slow day at the Haircut Brothers' Salon in the Underground. Both the elder brother and the younger brother are in the back room of the salon, giving their full attention to a Ninetales, and taking their time, since the waiting room up front is devoid of customers. Twin television monitors near the entrance are showcasing the latest fashions to their nonexistent audience, and loud Eurobeat music is blaring over the intercom. A big Blastoise attendant, who looks more like a bouncer than anything else, finishes sweeping up behind the cash register, and closes his eyes in boredom. He rests his chin against the top of the broom handle, and stifles a large yawn. "Hi, Rubix!!!" "What the--?" The Blastoise's eyes snap open, and he finds himself face to face with a grinning, green-eyed girl. He stumbles backwards in shock! "N-nori?!? What the hell are YOU doing here?" "Heh." Nori chuckles, amused by his reaction. "Hmmm... Umm... You're looking well..." Rubix isn't sure exactly what to say. "Are you happy to see me?" Rubix shakes his head. "I don't know, I haven't decided yet. Why are you here?" "To see you, obviously!" Nori puts her hands on her hips. "You know, you're a tough guy to find." "Yeah, well..." Rubix looks over his shoulder to make sure that his bosses aren't listening, "With all the crap we did back in the day, I think it's best to keep a low profile." Nori laughs, "Haha, we had some good times. Why did we ever break things off?" Rubix shoots her a dirty look. "I believe the exact words were, 'leave me alone, or I'll kill you'." Nori stops laughing. "Yeah, that sounds about right." There is an awkward pause. After several seconds have passed, the Blastoise clears his throat, "So, how *did* you find me?" Nori looks at him as though the answer is obvious. "I just asked around if anyone had seen a big, talking Blastoise. Also, did you know that somebody posted your address on the bulletin board by the Magnet Train? It's attached to some weird manifesto about brotherhood..." "I know, I KNOW." Rubix looks like he's getting a massive headache just thinking about this. "...Anyway," Nori continues, "I was pretty surprised when I found out that you were living in Johto. I always figured that after I released you, you'd go back to that trainer in Saffron. You know, the guy I filched you from. I mean, you were always talking about him like he was God or something..." Rubix frowns. "Hrrrrrrmmm..." Nori's eyes light up. "You did go back, didn't you! What happened? I bet he caught a bunch of new Pokemon while you were away, and he didn't even remember you, and he wouldn't take you back because you're such a big blowhard..." Rubix scowls, "Okay, about three sentences ago? That's where you should've *stopped*." It takes Nori a couple of seconds to realize that she's hurt her ex-teammate's feelings. She fidgets self-consciously, "Heh, sorry. It's that whole lack-of-empathy thing." "It's that whole lack-of-a-brain thing..." "But really, I'm surprised to see you here. I mean, you're a pretty smart guy..." "Uh-huh." "'re well traveled..." "Uh-huh." "'re Poke-lingual..." "Uh-huh." Nori cocks her head, " why the heck are you working such a crappy, dead-end job? Is it because your skills don't have any real world applications? Or is there some sort of a glass ceiling for giant, mutant turtles?" Rubix slaps his forehead, "What was that advice I just gave you?" "...And why are you working *here*?" Nori stretches her arms out to indicate the building that they're in, "I always thought that the salon business appealed to Pokemon, Pokemon who..." "What?" Rubix dares her to complete this thought. "Pokemon who can learn Cut!" "I seek to dispel such stereotypes." Rubix points an accusing finger at Nori. "So, what about you? I hear you're Giovanni's little whore." "Huh?" "I heard you were working at the Viridian Gym." "What do you care?" Nori growls defensively. "No reason," Rubix responds, "it's just that you told Akuni and me that you were getting out of Pokemon training for good, and then you ran off to Viridian with Cerberus, and that lout Arcanine. How were we supposed to feel?" "Aw..." Nori gets a faraway look in her eyes. "Gym battling was a pretty sweet deal. Sometimes I got to eat three times a day! I wanted to stay behind after Gary Oak took over, but he said...he said..." "Yeah?" Nori spits it out, "He said he didn't want my type hanging around his gym!" "Who can blame him?" Rubix sighs. "You still haven't answered my question. Why are you here?" Nori speaks coyly, "Oh. No reason. I just wanted to visit my best Blastoise buddy--" Rubix stops her, "Cut the crap. You think those Dark attributes make you so mysterious, but I can still read you like a book. I know that you *want* something, so just come out and ask me, so I can say no." Nori gives it a shot. "Wanna come to Mt. Silver with me? I'm going to beat up some trainers in the name of good and righteousness." Rubix interprets, "You want me to fight in the Silver Conference..." "I don't *want* you to do anything!" Nori protests, "I'm inviting you to come with me, because I thought you would have fun!" "Yeah, well, in the past, your attempts at 'fun' always ended with *me* fighting off cops!" Annoyed that the Blastoise is dredging up old issues, Nori argues, "You know, if you hadn't bullied Magmar into leaving, he could've fought those battles instead of you!" "All I did was tell him the truth about Magby--and if you hadn't *insisted* that Delibird was his daughter, I wouldn't've raised such a big stink!" "And if you hadn't knocked him off of a *cliff*, he wouldn't have found that egg in the first place!" "If you hadn't dragged me to the Ecruteak Gym, I wouldn't've been so pissed off that day!" "If you hadn't spent all of my money on TMs, I wouldn't have had to battle Morty for cash!" "If you hadn't set those Arcanine back on our trail, I wouldn't have needed to know Earthquake!" Nori defends herself, "Well, if you hadn't led us into Johto, that never would've happened!" Rubix fumes, "If you hadn't killed that Mr.Mime, *none* of that stuff would've happened!" "Whoa." Nori whistles, "Listen to yourself. This job is making you tense and irritable. You need a vacation. You should come with me to Mt. Silver." "Why are you so set on entering the Silver Conference?" Rubix demands, "You won't be able to enter under your real name, so it's not like there's notoriety to be gained. The worst case scenario is that Officer Jenny will recognize you, and arrest you the minute you set foot off the mountain." He fold his arms over the front of his shell, in an irritated pose, "What makes you think you even have a chance of winning? You only made it to the third round of the Indigo tournament, and that was when everyone was in good shape. I know I'm giving you too much credit, but challenge me. Tell me that you've thought this through, and you actually have a legitimate reason for going." Nori punches the air self-importantly, "I've sworn to set right the ills perpetrated in the name of human advancement, to redress the crimes committed by the trainers of Johto, to champion the rights of all Pokemon, and to uphold the honor of the Tyranitar clan!" Rubix groans, "For the love of Raymond Johnson, not another plan that involves Tyranitars..." "What's wrong with Tyranitars?" Nori is very offended. "What do you have against Dark-types? Rubix, you are so racist." "I have nothing against Dark-types." Rubix says pointedly, "YOU get stupid around Dark-types." "I do not!" Rubix narrows his eyes. "How's that shoulder feeling, Nori? Healed up pretty well?" Nori raises her left arm halfway. "My shoulder? It's okay, yeah--" Rubix hits her with a Submission attack! Nori falls to the ground, clutching her injured arm. "Ow, ow, ow! What did you do that for?" "Because you have a short memory!" Rubix shouts. "That's how it feels to have your arm Crunched by a Tyranitar. Remember that pain, because I didn't carry your mangled carcass out of the Silver Caves just so you could repeat your past mistakes. The Tyranitars of Mt. Silver don't need your help, and they don't want to help you, so stop screwing around with them, before you get yourself killed." Nori grimaces, still nursing her shoulder. "Owwwww. Listen, this has nothing to do with what happened the last time we were at Mt. Silver." Rubix snorts. "Tell me another one." "This is more important than that!" Nori exclaims, "Mt. Silver is one of the few refuges for wild Pokemon, but once a year its sanctity is broken, when the Pokemon League invades it for the purpose of their tournament. Every year, when the Silver Conference rolls around, trainers descend on Mt. Silver en masse, and try to capture the Tyranitars who live there. All Dark-types are my brothers, and since I know that the Tyranitars are being targeted by trainers, I can't sit idly by. I'll defeat those trainers during the Silver Conference, and then, while they're still weak, I'll steal their Pokemon back, and release them. I'll make examples of those trainers, and then everybody will know that the Tyranitar line is not to be touched!" Rubix is unmoved, "Now that you've gotten the melodrama out of your system, would you care to tell me what you're really up to?" "I'm serious!" Nori declares, "I'm going to win the Silver Conference, and once I'm League Champion, I'll use my power to ensure that *no* Pokemon are captured, ever again!" "Oh. So, you're going to cause a scene at the Silver Conference, and then you're going to double-cross the Pokemon League," Rubix sums up. "I don't believe that for a second--that plan is too moronic, even for you. Look, if you're entering the tournament for the prize money, just come out and admit it." Nori locks eyes with the Blastoise. "I meant what I said." She looks down at the ground, with a sigh of concession, "If you help me out, I'll give you all of my tournament winnings." Rubix eyeballs her skeptically. "What?" "You heard me. If I forfeit my prize money, will that prove to you that I'm serious?" Rubix watches her a bit longer, thinking this over, and weighing his options. Finally, he says, "I do think you're telling the truth, but that doesn't mean I'm impressed. Cripes, you can be such a pain in the ass sometimes." He ducks down behind the counter. Nori gets to her feet. "What are you doing?" "I'm getting my stuff. Somebody needs to keep tabs on you while you're at the Silver Conference." Nori beams, "You're coming with me?" Rubix walks out from behind the counter, a black messenger bag slung over his shoulder. "Don't get too excited. I'm just coming along to make sure that you don't get hurt." Nori bats her eyes winningly. "Aw, Rubix, you really do care about me!" Rubix pauses midstep, and says gruffly, "What I meant was, I'm only doing it for the money." Nori smirks slightly, "Yeah, I know." TBC? --Beth Pokemon o ubatte kanemouke! Pokemon o tsukatte kanemouke! Subete no Pokemon wa Roketto Dan no tame ni!