From: Jose L. Solano (jsolano199@aol.comlink) Subject: [PW!] No, really. Just ignore this one. Newsgroups: Date: 2003-08-05 02:15:03 PST Ashura led Carol through the streets of one of Celadon City's older neighborhoods, one that had clearly seen better days. They had borrowed a Pidgeot from a rental service, as Carol had no flying Pokémon of her own and without Trent, Ashura had no access to any Pokémon at all. There were houses with rotting doors and broken glass thrown across the yard, and in more than a few places Carol noticed blood stains, on the street or on the sides of buildings. Graffiti was present almost everywhere, even on a few parked, broken down cars in their owner's driveways... or at least, she assumed those cars were theirs. "Ashura, are you sure this is the right place? I mean, you said you haven't been here in years, and this place is starting to look a little creepy..." "Slash?" "I didn't say I was scared." They walked past a liquor store, covered in all sorts of spray-painted profanity and drunken middle-aged men. A rather dirty-looking Houndour was with them, gnawing on an even dirtier-looking bone. The men started calling to Carol, but she decided it was best to just ignore them. "How much farther?" "Sandslash." They arrived at a house that made the others she had seen look beautiful. The house was covered with all sorts of damage and vandalism: graffiti covering other graffiti, stains where the house was hit by flying beer bottles, even bulletholes. The lawn had no grass, and the property was sealed off by worn police tape, at least in places that trespassers hadn't cut it down. "Slash." "So this is it. The house Trent grew up in. We're not going inside, are we?" "Slash!" Ashura cut down whatever police tape was still in his way and knocked the rotting, wobbly door down. "Sand?" "Oh, right." Carol lit the house with a small flashlight. Immediately, dozens of Rattata and Spinarak fled. The living room was devoid of any furniture, as it had all been stolen. Ashura wondered why the police didn't sell the house, or at the very least remove the tape, but then, Celadon police were lazy. He led Carol past the filthy bathroom and past two smaller bedrooms, which belonged to Trent and his older brother, and headed towards the master bedroom. Though the bed and dresser had been stolen, several smaller possessions were still there. "Sandslash. Slash." "What? You mean... William Retwin slept in this room? Oh right! It's so easy to forget that he's Trent's dad! I can't believe it! I'm standing in THE William Retwin's bedroom!" "...Slaaaaash?" "He was only one of the greatest serial killers in the history of Kanto!" "Sandslash. Sandslash slash?" "Well, he's kinda one of my idols!" "Slash..." Ashura ignored her giddy fangirl behavior and used his claw as a lever to push up a loose floorboard, underneath where the dresser had been. He motioned for Carol to pull out a black case, which she set down on the floor between them. Ashura opened the box and pulled out an item that made Carol double-take. "It's... no way! Is that... NO WAY! It... IT IS! That's William's violin! HIS VIOLIN!" "Sandslash." Ashura nodded. Though William had been executed long before Ashura was born, he knew a good deal of his history, more than Trent himself knew before he lost his memory. Of course, being the fangirl she was, Carol knew quite a bit herself, and didn't hesitate to explain to him what he already knew. "This is the violin William Retwin played since he was a kid! He used to play it for his family before..." Carol realized why Ashura had come for it. "You're going to play this to Trent, aren't you?" "Sandslash..." Ashura had no use for the violin. He had come for something else that was hidden in the box... a pure, white feather. "Slash!" "That thing?! You think THAT feather is going to make Trent snap out of his little powertrip?" "Sandslash!" Ashura berated. "Slash. Sandslash... Sandslash." "What?" "Sandslash. Sandslash!" "I'm sorry, but it's really hard to understand you sometimes, when you only ever say two words!" "SANDSLASH SLASH?!" "Well I'm not Trent, okay? So what kind of bird has a feather like this?" Ashura shook his head. He took a pen from his quills and, holding it as best as he could with his claws, he wrote on Carol's hand: DREADITE. "This feather is... what? Dreadite's a man, how could he have feathers?" "Sandslash slash, slash slash sand. Sand sand." "Okay... so we just have to remind him that he has a grudge. Why do we need the feather?" "Slash." "Oh... oh, I get it. So we're not going to try to bring his memories back?" Ashura shook his head. "Okay, but when did you get this feather? I thought that guy, what's-his-name took you after that fire." "Sandslash... slash slash." The feather had been acquired at some point during Ashura's brief solo travels, after arguing with Trent over a board game. Carol thought that Ashura had to be a lot smarter than she realized if he had the foresight to think that the feather would have some use to him someday, enough that he would go through the trouble of hiding it in such a place. Ashura sighed. "Slash slash slash. Sandslash? Sand. Sand slash slash sand." "I know how you feel. I've had friends before, too." Carol sealed the feather in a plastic bag and hid it away in her jacket. "Hey, since you know the area, how about telling me where we can find a good hamburger? I'm buying." "Sandslash!" As they started to leave, Carol quickly ran back to the bedroom and took the violincase. "Slash?!" "It's a valuable item! I can't just leave it here, it belongs in William Retwin's greatest fan's collection!" Ashura didn't care enough to argue. Besides, he was hungry. Jose L. Solano ------------------------------- A devious, degenerate defender of the devil