From: "Bandraptor" <bandraptor@yahoo.com> Subject: Re: [PW!] Better Slate Than Never Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2004 3:23 AM Steffan Alun wrote: > "Purr," breathed Blizzard. She found this boy quite amusing. He was quite > flustered around the nurse, as though he couldn't deal with a member of the > same species, but left in a room full of Pokémon - who were, of course, much > more of a threat to his well-being than the nurse was - he confidently > demanded answers. She reached a decision, and jumped down from atop Sting, > keeping her eyes on Karl as she approached him. > > Karl, not understanding the body language of a Pokémon not owned by a > trainer, followed his instincts. > > "Iceduck! Use your Ice Beam!" > > Iceduck released a beam of ice, hitting Blizzard's face. Both Karl and > Iceduck realised that they'd made a huge error of judgement as they spotted > the look on Avalanche's face. "GRAAAAAN!!!" Avalanche pauses to let out a reverberating roar before lunging at Karl, mouth open and fangs exposed. "Oh no..." His first glimpse inside the maw of the advancing Tyranitar leaves Karl in a state similar to paralysis, but when the sulfuric stench of the Pokemon's breath permeates his nostrils, the sensation is enough to prompt him to action. With speed that is nearly unreasonable, he grabs his own Pokemon--first Iceduck, and then Nomak--and dives to one side, narrowly avoiding the snapping jaws. He scrambles across the floor and ducks behind the Nurse's Station; flattening himself against the back wall and hoping the four-foot-tall counter will prove to be a suitable barricade against the beast. "Graan!" Avalanche grumbles in annoyance, stopping short in front of the counter. Too lazy to step over the obstacle, and unable to easily reach across it, he opts for completely different plan of attack, and fires a Flamethrower at Karl's head. "You've gotta be--" Karl presses his Pokemon to the ground, barely managing to duck the powerful stream of flames. The flames dance out of existence a few inches above Karl's body, narrowly avoiding anything combustible, but still making him unbearably hot. The second that Avalanche stops for breath, Karl jumps to his feet, and begins pounding frantically on the door leading to the treatment area. "HELP! HELLLP!!!" From her work station inside the treatment area, Nurse Marcia hears the pounding, the shouting, and the roars that follow. Without taking her eyes off of the Unown that she's reshaping, the blue haired nurse grouses, "I gave that Trainer the simplest job in the world, and he's already asking for help. What's the matter with kids these days?" Disgusted by Karl's ineptitude, Marcia puts down her pair of pliers, reaches into a nearby jar of cotton balls, selects two puffs, and sticks them in her ears. "If I can't hear it, it isn't happening." Karl continues to pound on the door for another five seconds, hope fading as help fails to arrive. Hearing the sound of movement behind him, he turns to brace for another wave of attacks. As Avalanche prepares to exhale another blast of flames, Karl asks weakly, "Please don't kill me." "Pur." Blizzard is rubbing at her cheek with one forepaw, trying to brush the ice crystals from her fur. At the same time, she is monitoring the unfolding battle with the detached interest of a child who's watching a particularly boring television program. After listening to Karl's plea, she turns to her Tyranitar companion, "<Avalanche, that will suffice. Cease and desist.>" "Ran," Avalanche grunts. He's annoyed that Blizzard is ordering him around, but figures that as long as she's unharmed, there's really no reason for him to continue to bully Karl. He shoots the Trainer a dirty look, and sits down on the floor. Karl remains in his hiding spot, heart beating rapidly. He stares at the opposing Pokemon unblinkingly, unsure of what their next move will be. "Persian," Blizzard says after a few seconds, "<I like this human. He is courageous, yet not too proud to beg for his life. He has moxie, but he knows his place. I propose that we make him an honorary member of the Brotherhood.>" "Cool <that> tent, tenta!" Sting roars. "<The Brotherhood has too many> cool<ing members already! You let that> tacool <Dodrio join, and now any> tent <we score has to be split four> cool<ing ways. If *this*> ta coolta <joins, we'll be> cool<ed even worse, so> cool <that> tent, <and OFF the> tenta coolta <before he> tent<s up our bottom> cool<ing line!>" "Purr." Blizzard responds calmly, "<Sting, you are being rash. Please contain your emotions, and kindly consider both sides of the issue before making your decision.>" Sting thrashes around, enraged. "COOL! <You can't let every> tenta tentcool <we meet join the Brotherhood! We'll lose our mystique!>" Realizing that Blizzard isn't listening to him, Sting balls the tips of his tentacles in utter frustration. "Cool<ing> tent...<fine, let's hear your> coolta <argument.>" Blizzard nods politely. "Shan. <I have suggested that we allow this human to join our party. You have objected. I am double your size and quadruple your level. You are vulnerable to my Thunderbolt attack.>" Sting's eyes are suddenly the size of dinner plates. A full minute of silence passes before they slowly begin to narrow again. "Tent <you.>" He mutters, "<Do whatever the> cool <you want, I'm the> coolta <treasurer, anyway.>" A hesitant voice pipes up from behind the Nurse's Station. "Er...so...you're NOT going to kill me?" Karl thinks this point deserves clarification. "<Do not worry, human.>" Blizzard gazes at him through glistening blue eyes. "<Now that you are officially part of the Brotherhood, you shall be granted immunity. None in this room shall harm you.>" "What about people in other parts of the Pokemon Center?" Karl gestures to the door behind him. "That nurse is the one I'm really worried about." He ponders, "Actually, I think she'll spare me if you guys can just tell me a little bit about her Slowpoke. What do you say?" Blizzard smiles. "<Naturally, you shall be privy to such knowledge, as you are now a member of our in-group.>" "Member of..." Karl repeats, his eyes taking on a glassy look as the reality of his situation suddenly dawns on him. "Oh my god..." The four wild Pokemon exchange looks, wondering if Karl is about to be sick. "Oh my god," Karl dances excitedly, "I'm a member of a group again! Do you know how long it's been since I've been considered a member of a group?" The four Pokemon shake their heads. "It's been a long time!" Karl states emphatically. "Oh, I've encountered groups--the Search Party for Smasher, the Unown Hunters--but none of those groups ever invited me to join them. But now! I'm part of a group again! I'm a functional, interacting member of society again!" Nomak quietly murmurs, "Fetch," thinking that if a group intended for Pokemon is the only group that Karl can get into, Karl is probably less functional than he thinks he is. "I'm a member of a group again! I have people to travel with again! I'm--oh no..." Karl's eyes suddenly widen in terror. "I'm going to become a zombie again!!" "<Zombie?!?>" A loud voice booms from Cerberus' middle beak as the Dodrio uses his left and right heads to cross himself. "<By Lugia's wings--Cerberus likes not the sound of that! Warrior though he may be, this Earth-Bird does not wish to tangle with the occult!>" Karl cuts in quickly, "Oh, but I didn't mean that literally. See, it's just that the last time I traveled with a large group, I lost control of my actions for a while--" "<Then travel with us you shall not.>" Blizzard sniffs. "<We have no desire to deal with zombies.>" "Wait, you don't understand!" Karl's face falls. This is his chance to join a group, and he's blowing it! "I--" "Purr," Blizzard lies down on the floor and begins to groom herself. "<This is an unfortunate turn of events. After accepting you as my underling, I had intended to order you to brush the dander out my undercoat. However, I do not wish to see my fur tainted by the hands of the undead.>" Karl protests hotly. "But I'm NOT--eww, that sounds really gross." Blizzard is clearly offended. "<Ridiculous child, better men than you have risked their lives for a chance to touch my coat. If you cannot comprehend the value of my offer, then you clearly are not fit to join the Brotherhood.>" "You know..." Karl scratches his head, having second thoughts about joining the Brotherhood by this point, "...maybe that's for the best." Nomak and Iceduck both quack in agreement, approving of their Trainer's choice. The Brotherhood members simply shrug. Glad that the wild Pokemon haven't attacked him for refusing to join their group, Karl decides to press his luck. "So, for old time's sake, do you think you can tell me about that Slowpoke?" Blizzard and her cohorts huddle briefly. After a few minutes of deliberation they reach a decision, and Sting toddles over to Karl, one tentacle extended expectantly. "<Sure, we'll talk,> 'Cool. <Fee for non-members is $12.95 a minute.>" TBC? --Beth