From: Rob ( Subject: [PW!] Robert On Ice Newsgroups: Date: 2003-09-27 03:57:53 PST "Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhrrrrrrrgh!" Robert falls flat on his face, straight onto ice-covered ground in Johto's most slippery cavern, the "Ice Path" leading into Blackthorn City. The frosty path is so dangerous to travel through that a documentary on Ash Ketchum's journey through the cave was banned from television in the western continent of Johto, as network censors feared children would try to explore the cave on their own and meet certain doom - or at least catch a case of the sniffles. "Sniff," says Robert sadly as he attempts to stand from his most recent crash. It's the thirteenth time he's fallen since he entered the cave, and he's yet to find the exit. Once standing, Robert hugs himself as he shivers, looking down at his clothes. He's wearing his long-sleeved black shirt, his usual blue jeans, white socks, and black sneakers, "My blasted sneakers - they don't provide enough traction! No one would be able to navigate through this cave wearing tractionless shoes!" "I beg to differ," A female voice that sounds sophisticated yet cheerful echoes throughout the cavern. "Huh? Who said that?" Robert turns his head towards where he believes the voice originated from just in time to see a beautiful, tall young woman with flowing blue hair and knowing green eyes skid to a halt right in front of him. Robert looks down from her face to see that she's only wearing a sleeveless form-fitting pink dress that flows down to her ankles and plain black flip-flops. "H-how'd you just STOP on the ice like that? It defies physics, woman! What with inertia and all that! And how come you're not shivering?! Your dress doesn't have sleeves!" The woman smiles before explaining, "I have had much practice working my way around Hoenn's Shoal Cave - its deepest levels make this place feel like a tropical paradise. So, what have you been up to, Robert?" "Oh, not much lately - I've just been trying to..." Robert blinks, "Hey, wait a minute, how'd you know my name? Are you some kind of psychic?" "Actually... yes." The young woman giggles, "But that's not why I know your name. You don't recognize me? I recognized you right away. Then again, you haven't changed much, at least physically, since we last crossed paths. I like your new goatee, though. It looks good on you." Robert more closely examines the woman's face and bites his lower lip. "Perhaps this will help you remember..." Suddenly, the woman forces her lips into a giant grin as her green eyes open wide and she stares off into oblivion with a vacant look on her face. Robert gasps, "BAMBI!" Instantaneously, the woman's eyes return to a normal size and her huge grin shrinks into a small smirk, "I go by Barbara now." "Whoa... WHOA!" Robert can't believe that the once-clueless girlfriend of his former rival has grown up so much in the eight years that he hasn't seen her, "You look like a completely different person! And I thought that Jeremy... er, P-Masta J, had changed a whole lot... But you! You're... you're a PSYCHIC? How did THAT happen?" "Oh, where do I begin?" Barbara rubs her chin, "If I remember correctly, the last time we saw each other, my ex-boyfriend Jeremy had just gotten injured while attempting to steal your recently-evolved Gengar. After I took him to the hospital, I began to think long and hard about my relationship with him. I had forgiven him for treating me poorly many times since we had met, but I simply could not date a Pokemon thief. Even in my foolish teenage years, I knew stealing was unacceptable. I broke up with him that day. Broken-hearted and unsure of how to proceed in my own Pokemon Journey, I went back home to my dad in Saffron City." "I met up with Jerem- uh, P-Masta J last year and he didn't tell me that you broke up with him..." Robert mentions, "He said that you cheated on him while he was in prison. He seemed pretty ticked off about that." "He didn't respond well to my breaking up with him," Barbara sighs and shakes her head, "I sulked for a few weeks after coming home, trying to cure my sadness by going on shopping sprees in the Celadon Department Store and bingeing on sweets. Eventually my dad convinced me that my problem came from depending on dating guys for happiness - he told me that I should follow in my family's footsteps and develop my psychic abilities, something I had been running away from for years, ever since he gave me my Jynx as a gift. He said that if I felt good about myself and my own abilities, I could be happy even without a boyfriend." Robert comments, "Smart man, your dad." "Well, he IS a psychic." Barbara winks, then continues, "I trained under the guidance of Sabrina of the Saffron Gym for three years. During this time, my mind developed rather quickly and I started dating a psychic I met in the Gym - a wonderfully intelligent young man who tutored me and treated me better than Jeremy ever did. A few months after I started dating again, Jeremy was released from jail and started stalking me, insisting that he had changed. He demanded I dump my boyfriend and start going out with him. I got a restraining order, but that wasn't enough - he kept following me, proclaiming that he couldn't live without me. My psychic powers weren't developed enough to keep him away, and he'd avoid the more powerful psychics who cared about me, including my dad, my boyfriend, and Sabrina..." Robert asks, "And then you told him to start wearing baggy pants and put his energy into writing and singing rap songs instead of stalking you?" "What?" Barbara seems confused, "Nooo... Jeremy is a rapper now? Is THAT why you've been calling him P-Masta J?" Robert nods. Barbara laughs, "Ahahahahahaha! The thought of Jeremy rapping! Oh, hehe, that's just... ohmigosh! Oh... give me a second..." After a few more seconds of giggling, Barabra regains her composure, "No, Robert, I didn't tell him to become a..." She snorts to hold back more laughter, "...rapper. When Jeremy wouldn't leave me alone and the police weren't able to catch him, my dad suggested that I should continue my psychic training with my twin cousins, Liza and Tate, in Hoenn's Mossdeep City. So I left for Hoenn - leaving behind my dad, Sabrina, and even my boyfriend." "It's a shame you couldn't continue training with Sabrina..." Robert shakes his head, "I mean, I'm sure your cousins are great and everything, but they're no Psychic Gym Leaders." "Actually... yes, they are." Barbara smiles, "Together, Liza and Tate are the Gym Leaders of the Mossdeep City Psychic Gym. I've learned a great deal training under their guidance." "Shows how much I know about Hoenn..." Robert scratches the back of his head, "So what brings you to Johto's Ice Path?" "I traveled to Johto when I heard about this year's Silver Conference," Barbara flips her blue hair back, "It's going to be held in December near Mount Silver and unlike in past years, they will allow any Trainer who has at least six Pokemon to participate regardless of how many Badges they have. I have five Pokemon - Jynx, Cloyster, Kirlia, Meditite, and Sealeo. I'm here in the Ice Path to catch a Delibird." "Uhhh... I lost you at Kirlia." "Kirlia's a Psychic Pokemon I got from Liza and Meditite's a Psychic and Fighting Pokemon I got from Tate. I caught Sealeo when he was just a Spheal in Shoal Cave. Delibird is... Right over there!" Barbara extends her index finger up to the ceiling of the cave, where a Delibird is reaching into a sack hanging from his shoulder, "Watch out, Robert!" Robert looks up, mouth agape in shock that a Delibird would show up right at that moment, just in time to swallow a small white pellet hurled by the Delibird. "Nooooo! Spit that out, Robert!" Barbara slides behind Robert, wraps her arms around him, and attempts to give him the Heimlich Maneuver, afraid that he's just swallowed an explosive pellet. "Mmm!" Robert licks his lips, "Normally I'm not a fan of bird excrement, but that Delibird's feces tastes like candy! I feel fully rejuvenated!" "Whew... Be careful, Robert! Most of Delibird's Presents explode... only a few of them are good for you." Barbara looks up to see the Delibird flying above reaching for another pellet, "Duck!" Robert argues, "It looks more like some kind of eagle to me..." Barbara rolls her eyes and pushes away Robert, who slides on ice for a few meters before falling flat on his face once again. She then slides away from Delibird's second Present, which suddenly explodes, breaking the ice where Barbara and Robert were standing just a moment ago, revealing a small pool of freezing cold water underneath the surface. "Jynx, help me out!" Barbara pulls a Pokeball out of her pink dress' pocket and releases her tall, slender Jynx. "Blizzard attack!" The already cold Ice Path becomes colder as a Blizzard rages inside the cavern, harsh hail and snow hitting the Delibird above as he rummages around his sack of Presents. One particularly large piece of hail hits the Delibird's back and knocks him onto the ice-covered pond below him. "Lick him good, Jynx," commands Barbara as she sticks out her own tongue at the Delibird who tried to attack her earlier. "Deli!" The Delibird takes out a Present and hurls it at Barbara's Jynx. It explodes at the Jynx's feet, breaking the ice below her! When the Delibird's opponent splashes into the pond below, Delibird claps his wings together, sure that the Pokemon was instantly encased in a block of ice due to the sub-zero temperature of the water in Ice Path. "Bird, bird, bird..." He waddles up to the pond to gloat at his opponent. However, what the young, inexperienced Delibird doesn't know is that Ice Pokemon cannot be frozen. He's caught by surprise when a very long tongue flies out of the water and rubs up against his face, the Jynx's chilled saliva paralyzing him instantly. Jynx's black hands surface next and the Psychic Pokemon uses them to climb out of the pond. She Doubleslaps the Delibird who had the nerve to throw an explosive at her. "Okay, that's enough, Jynx!" Barbara pulls a small Ultra Ball out of her pocket, enlarges it, and hurls it at the paralyzed Delibird next to her Jynx. The Delibird gets sucked into the Ultra Ball, which wobbles for two seconds before a ding proclaims that Barbara has caught the Pokemon! Right after Barbara's Ultra Ball dings, Robert finally manages to stand up straight without slipping on the ice. He rubs his aching back, "Good job, Barbara! I have one humble request..." "What's that?" Barbara walks up to her Ultra Ball without slipping, as if she were treading on dirt, picks it up, and puts it in her dress. "I'd love to catch up with you further, but..." Robert asks, "Can you please lead me to Blackthorn City before I fall over again or get attacked by another crazy Pokemon?" "Sure thing! Jynx, please help Robert follow me so he doesn't fall down again." Barbara's Jynx casually walks up to Robert, grabs his hand, and helps him follow Barbara as she effortlessly jogs towards the Ice Path's nearest exit. Within half an hour, both Robert and Barbara rub their eyes as they exit the Ice Path, entering the city known as Blackthorn. -Robert