From: "William Rendfeld" <warendfeld@aol.com> Subject: [PW!] Ferry Bound to Dewford Town Date: Thursday, April 29, 2004 9:44 PM Ferry Bound to Dewford Town Once more, it seemed to be a peaceful morning at the Rustboro Docks. As multitudes of Wingull flew overhead cooing silently to themselves as the aged ticket seller sat and read from his newspaper, bored with his job and only expecting two things; more stupid questions and no customers. "Excuse me?" a feminine voice piped up. The man looked up to find a small group of five people and five Pokémon waiting before him. He recognized the spiny-haired girl with the Blastoise and the Larvitar from yesterday, but didn't recognize her new companions; a short brown-haired boy, a tall brown-haired girl with a Murkrow on one shoulder, a Combusken, a boy slightly shorter than the brown-haired girl with a Mawile keeping a firm grip on his shoulder, and another young man with good build. "Yes?" The tall girl explained, "We'd like six tickets for the 9 AM ferry to Dewford Town." The ticket seller blinked. "I'm sorry; I think my hearing's going bad. What was that?" "We would like to purchase six tickets for the 9 AM ferry to Dewford Town," the tall girl clarified. "The ticket seller blinked again. For the first time in a long time, someone had actually come up to his booth, not asked any stupid questions, and directly asked for what they wanted to purchase. Despite the fact that the ticket window was literally framed by signs declaring in clear, bold paint the times and cost for taking the ferry to Dewford Town, many simply came up to his booth and asked anyway, either out of stupidity or a desire to be a pain in the rear. With a smile plastered on his face, he gazed skyward and said, "Thank you," before returning his attention to his customers and saying, "That'll be six bucks." - "I wonder what that was all about," Jeff Raiser finally asked as the group occupied some benches while waiting for the ferry to be prepped for travel. "Normally, I don't ask," Alexandria Masters replied. "But I'm willing to bet that he must get a lot of problems from people." John Scriebb finally spoke up, changing the subject, "So, you have any advice about the Pokémon at Brawly's gym?" "I think being patient and wearing them down bit by bit is more feasible than anything," Alex replied. "And even then, we shouldn't have a problem. We both have Pokémon that stand a fair chance against Fighting-types, and there are plenty of Abra over in Granite Cave." With a glance towards her youngest traveling companion, she advised, "You may want to go with Ben and catch one while you're in the neighborhood." "I'll think about it," Jeff assured her. He then looked towards Ben and asked, "What about you? Are you going to the Gym?" "I've already won the Knuckle Badge," Ben explained. "I'm mostly here to help out, just in case." "Now that sounds wise," Alex noted. With a glance towards the fifth member of their party, she noted, "At least someone's willing to believe that part of the story." Ben darted a glance towards the person in question and asked, "Bummed that she doesn't believe you, huh?" "A little," Alex replied. "I'm not surprised, though. I can't give her any proof." "What about that memory beaming you did with Bob and Ben?" Jeff asked. Alex turned to him and shook her head. "Tsunade has Dark-type attributes. Nothing even remotely linked to psionics can break through, at least nothing I can pull off. Maybe Sabrina could pull it off, especially considering how close she is, but I doubt it." "How close she is?" John repeated. "Sabrina's been in town at least since yesterday," Alex explained. "Checking up on a few 'hobbies', she said. Why?" John shrugged. "No big reason." Meanwhile, ShadowWarrior the Murkrow fluttered over to where Nori was sitting, Big Time the Larvitar nestled in her lap and Rubix the Blastoise standing beside her bench, and asked, "Mind if I talk to you for a few minutes?" Nori looked at the small talking avian, then darted a glance towards Alex and asked, "This isn't about your crazy trainer, is it?" "Yes and no," ShadowWarrior admitted. "I realize that you don't believe Alex's story about her heritage. Frankly, I don't blame you, and I'm not going to address that. I'm more concerned about you believing Alex's story about being attacked." "What's there to believe?" Nori asked. "She probably knocked all of you around using that Beldum of hers." "Beldum can't learn Hyper Beam," ShadowWarrior said point-blank, "and I certainly didn't get hit by a Take Down attack. And before you suggest that it was that Unown Alex caught back in Petalburg Woods, that's impossible. Alex hasn't let that thing out of its Poké Ball at all since we arrived in town. Besides, Alex isn't the kind of person to hurt members of her own team on purpose." Nori raised one eyebrow, "Even in a battle?" "That's different," ShadowWarrior replied. "Pokémon are expected to be knocked around in matches, that's a given. But to inflict pain and injury upon her own Pokémon isn't in Alex's personality, especially without provocation." Before Nori could make a reply, Rubix laid a claw-like hand upon her shoulder, "Why exactly are you so willing to defend her?" ShadowWarrior took a breath, then said, "Because she gave me what I wanted more than anything else." He looked directly at the three, then began, "Let me tell you a little story. It's about a Murkrow born in the wagon of a traveling show. He lived with his family, and a few other humans, for several weeks. He was happy. Then strangers came, and took him from that family. He was alone, and afraid." After a quick breath, he continued, "And at this point, I may as well drop the 'third person' bit and give you the story straight. My time with my captors wasn't exactly rosy." -Flashback!- "What is this Pokémon?" "MURKROW!" "Wrong!"-BZZT!-"What is it?" "Murrr…Murkrow!" "Wrong!"-BZZT!-"What is it?" "Muuu...muk..." "Very good. Now, this one." "Murk..." Realizing that the button supplying electricity to his cage was within inches of being pushed, he amended himself, "Shellder." -End!- "I went through torture with every word I learned in this language," ShadowWarrior recalled. "But there was one word I learned of very early on, thanks to the constant television viewing I went through. 'Freedom'. That one, little, bi-syllabic word gave me a lot of hope, and it was only thanks to a trio of individuals, one of whom was another talking Pokémon, that I achieved freedom." "And you threw it all away by letting a crazy psychic capture you," Nori posed. "No," the Murkrow replied. "Alex asked me to join her team. If I had refused, she would have allowed me to go, I know it." "How?" Nori asked. "For all you know, all this could be one big act." "Look at Surtur," ShadowWarrior asked. "He's intelligent, not to mention suspicious of people at large. If Alex had done anything to even begin to destroy his trust in her, he wouldn't be with her right now. He trusts her, a lot more than he's willing to admit to anyone. That, combined with my experiences with her, tells me something about her." "And what's that?" Nori asked. The Murkrow smiled. "Forgive me for sounding like a naďve fool, missy, but it tells me the same thing that her instincts tell her about you." With a look towards Big Time, he said, "I don't know how you ended up with her, little one, but this is a good thing. Stick with her. You're bringing out the best in her." With those words, the raven-feathered Pokémon flew back to his trainer, leaving the three alone. "That's one freaky little bird," Rubix noted. "Still, he's got a point," Nori replied with a grin. "I think having Big Time was the best thing that happened to me." Her grin growing slightly wider, she added, "Certainly better than other Pokémon I've stolen." Both Rubix and Big Time sighed in response to that. Meanwhile, Sven and Peabody had themselves bought tickets, as had a pair of gentlemen. One was an aged man with an air of British aristocracy, the second a much younger man with blonde hair and some Swedish looks to him. Both men made a few small glances towards Alex as she spoke with her companions... TBC [NS: Okay, I realize that things are a little thinly-veiled here. Still, there was a lot to establish in a short amount of time. If anyone wants to pick up from here (hint hint), feel free.] William Rendfeld Creator of Echowarrior and Alex Masters 178,000 Excellent Author Points 1 'I knew odd pokefacts that confused a bread crumb' point. 20 Y2Tech Points