From: "Bandraptor" <bandraptor@yahoo.com> Subject: Re: [PW!] Better Slate Than Never Date: Thursday, May 20, 2004 6:29 AM STEFFAN HEDD ALUN wrote: > "<-NOW!>" > > Karl jumped. Apparently, the last word Blizzard said was the only one he'd > heard. > > "Shan!" Blizzard started. "Persian shan purr-" > > She stopped. She was watching Nurse Marcia. She looked strange. > > "That's..." started Marcia. "That didn't really... I mean, I thought he > ignored..." > > Blizzard suddenly realised. Marcia had seen the vision as well. > > Karl was still on the floor, cowering, apparently oblivious to the fact that > Blizzard and Marcia had not been doing anything for the last several > minutes. > Nurse Marcia squints her eyes closed and grips her forehead with one hand, still feeling dizzy as a result of Ess's Psychic technique. She braces herself against the counter of the Nurse's Station with her other hand, and massages her temples vigorously until the yellow and green spots in front of her eyes have disappeared, and she can think clearly once again. Opening her dark brown eyes one at a time, she immediately narrows them again when she catches sight of Karl. "Get that Unown into a Pokeball." Karl knits his eyebrows in confusion. Since he isn't aware of Ess's ability to project its thoughts, he doesn't know why Marcia is upset, and as a result, her demand seems very abrupt to him. Deciding that the nurse must want his Pokemon to get some rest following its surgery, he recalls it and says, "How long do you think it'll take for Ess to recover? When can I let it out again?" "Honestly?" Marcia sighs, "You shouldn't let it out. You have no control over it, and it has the potential to be dangerous. Unfortunately, that will be punishing your Pokemon for a problem that you've caused." Seeing the clueless expression on Karl's face and realizing that he isn't going to use her advice as grounds for introspection, Marcia chooses to be direct. "Leave it in its Pokeball until you get off the ship; and get out of my Pokemon Center." Karl wrings his hands, deeply upset by the fact that the nurse is angry with him. "But--but...I was just about to tell you why these Pokemon came into the Pokemon Center!" He kneels down in front of Blizzard and whispers to her, desperate to get her to talk so he can finally appease the irate nurse. "Come on, Persian, won't you please tell me what you're doing here?" Blizzard turns up her nose in disdain, "Persian." If she gives the boy free information now, he won't take her requests for payment seriously in the future. Karl attempts to reason with her. "You can't speak English, and the nurse can't speak Persian. If you'll just tell me what you want, I can let the nurse know, and then she might be able to give it to you." Blizzard's eyes light up expectantly. "Persian. Persian, shan, pehruu." Karl's face pales in horror. "I'm not telling her that!" Marcia suspiciously eyeballs the Pokemon who just spoke, then glances warily at her Tyranitar bodyguard. Fairly certain she'll refuse the Persian's request, but believing it's in her best interest to humor the Pokemon, she questions Karl, "What did she say?" "Um..." Karl stammers uncertainly. Blizzard continues, "Shan, persian. Persian, persian shan." Marcia drums her fingers against the counter impatiently. "Well?" Karl sighs miserably. "She said that this ship is her new home, and if you want to stay here, you'll have to let her eat one Pokemon for every three you treat." Seeing the shocked expression on Marcia's face, Karl apologizes lamely, "It sounded a little bit nicer when she said it." Marcia presses a red button on the underside of the counter. "That's it, I'm calling security." "Wait!" Karl begs, terrified by the prospect of being arrested. "I'm not trying to cause trouble, I just want to help--" The door to the Pokemon Center swings inward, hitting the adjacent wall with a resounding bang. Karl leaps up in shock! Blizzard, Avalanche, Cerberus, and Iceduck all turn towards the source of the noise. Nomak readies his leek-sword, pointing it threateningly into the dark hallway. Sting flattens himself against the floorboards, trying to make himself as inconspicuous as possible. "<We're> COOL<ED>." A gritty looking man is standing in the doorway, his enormous body filling the entire area inside the doorframe. His hands are tucked casually inside his trench coat pockets, and the foot that he used to kick the door open is still held out in front of him. The man leers up at the group with piercing little eyes that are half hidden under the brim of his ragged hat, sizing each of the room's occupants up with one brief glance. Seeing the awe his arrival has brought, he chomps down on the butt of his cigarette, and twists his tight lips into a self-satisfied smile. "There a problem here?" Marcia glares at the newcomer in disgust, annoyed that he's abusing Pokemon Center property for the sake of making himself look cool. "Are you the security guard?" "I'm *Detective* Graham," the man emphasizes. "You're the security guard," Marcia confirms. "Good. Kindly escort that Trainer and those Pokemon off the ship." Graham takes a long drag from his cigarette. "It's a good thing you called me. These are some dangerous criminals you've got here." Unexpectedly, the detective moves forward, closing the distance between himself and Karl with three long strides. He gets right up in the Trainer's face and shouts, "You thought you could give me the slip, didn't you Lauren! Look who's laughing now!" Karl backs away, intimidated by this newcomer who is clearly insane. "Wh-what are you talking about? Who's Lauren? I've never laughed at you! I've never seen you before in my life!" "You can change your disguise, Lauren, but you can't fool me!" Graham scolds. Gesturing to the Brotherhood members he continues, "Quite a collection of Pokemon you've got here. Where were you planning to fence 'em? Tell me the name of your contact, and I might be willing to press for a reduced sentence!" "Those aren't mine!" Karl protests. "Aha!" Graham grins triumphantly, "So, you admit that you stole them!" "What?!" "Let me guess--Diego is hiding inside the Psyduck costume. It seems about the right size for him..." "Who?!?" "Excuse me. Detective...Graham, was it?" Marcia interrupts their conversation. "I've been talking to this Trainer for the last thirty minutes, and I can vouch for the fact that he isn't a criminal. He doesn't have the brains for it." "Yes!" Graham exclaims, "You've given me an exact description of the criminal I'm looking for! This Lauren character lacks brains, but she makes up for her weakness by being a master of disguise! She may be an idiot, but she's still a criminal!" The detective grabs hold of Karl's cheeks and starts tugging on them, trying to remove his 'mask'. Marcia lowers her eyelids partway as she reiterates, "He isn't a criminal, he's just an idiot." Karl yelps in pain as his cheeks are stretched, "Ow, ow, ow!" Graham releases his hold on Karl's face, realization dawning. "One moment, Ma'am...are you trying to tell me...that this shady fellow *isn't* a criminal?" "You're remarkably observant," Marcia comments patronizingly. "I thought I'd have to repeat myself at least three times before the message started to sink in. He isn't a criminal, he's just a nuisance that I want out of my hair." "All right, kid," Graham says gruffly, "you're coming with me!" He slaps a pair of handcuffs around Karl's wrists, and starts to muscle him through the door. "Your little stunt here cost me valuable time that I could've spent tracking down those two Team Rocket members! As punishment for the aggravation you've caused me, I'll see to it that you're thrown off this ship!" "What stunt?!?" Karl protests before getting shoved into the hallway. Sting the Tentacool wants to know, "<What punishment? That dried up> tac <called him in here to bounce us...>" Nomak explains, "Fetch," reciting the full amassed volumes of psychological research from the western world. The assembled Pokemon all shrug, and follow Graham out into the hallway. As the door to the Pokemon Center slams shut, the door to the treatment area swings open, and Omelette the Blissey waddles out, carrying a tray full of medical forms that need her Trainer's signature. Marcia flops down in her chair and turns her face towards the ceiling, enjoying the newfound silence of the room. Closing her eyes to better appreciate the tranquility of the scene, she addresses her Blissey quietly, "Omelette, if I don't have to deal with another human being for the next few months, I'll be the happiest nurse in Hoenn." TBC? --Beth