From: "William Rendfeld" <WARendfeld@aol.com> Subject: Re: [PW!] Inquisitions Date: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 12:07 PM Adrian Tymes <wingcat@pacbell.net> wrote in message news:<G2Fjd.39727$QJ3.20780@newssvr21.news.prodigy.com>... > Clayton wrote: > > Which brings us to the present time, with Bob sitting in a tree branch > > trying to > > focus on the cold and chilling feeling. It had taken a good hour just to > > find it > > again, but once he had it, the breeder locked on it. Below, Alex and her > > party > > walked under and to the side of his branch but payed little heed to the > > meditating breeder, if they even noticed/sensed him there. > > > > It took another hour of improvised sensing techniques and just plain dumb > > luck before something hit Bob like a ton of bricks. He clucthed his shirt > > where his heart would be, a pain shooting through him. It was enough to > > make him fall out of the branch and make a solid impact on the ground, > > adding physical pain to the emotional he was feeling. > > > > Raffy was the first one on the scene, and though he would admit it, he > > looked > > concerned. > > > > #What's the matter Bob?# > > > > "I don't know," Bob grunted out, the pain dulling now that he wasn't > > dedicating > > all of his attention on the cold chill. "I think I sensed a disturbance in > > the Force." > > > > #Are you sure it's not you that watches too much TV?# > > Which was when another burst of cold lanced through Bob - and Raffy. > But it was Bob that reacted first, lashing out with a vine to lasso the > spot his chill had come from, but bringing back only a rock. > > Bob shook his head and dropped the large pebble, but the pebble did not > fall. Raffy's vengeful visage and the aura that sprang up around the > pebble probably had something to do with that. #A-HEM!# > > #...Mimic...sorry...# > > Bob nearly fell off his branch. "Mimic?!? What do you think you're-" > > Another cold chill cut him off. > > #Stop that,# Raffy growled. > > #...wish...could...# > > "Is it that evil Mimic again?" Bob coiled his vine, ready to strike. > "If you want me to knock you out to stop him, I'd be more than happy > to." > > #NO! Please...must...save...brother...# > > "Jeff?" Bob sprang to his feet - and only remembered his current > location upon landing on the next branch down. "If Aerie's hurting > him-" > > #I think he means Doppler,# Raffy offered. > > #Yes. Doppler...in trouble...trying help...# > > #Someone's trying to close the door to your brother's heart, and you're > siphoning it off in bursts?# > > The grass hybrid blinked. > > #Yes. How Raffy know?# > > The girafarig shrugged. #Hey, I've been around breeder boy enough to > know evil when it comes for him.# > > Bob glared at Raffy, but another burst of cold from the pebble > interrupted his thoughts. Raffy's, too, judging from Mimic's slipping > from Raffy's psychic grasp onto the ground. "Look. If I'm going to be > feeling it anyway, is there at least a way I could help?" > > #Mimic...no want ask...# > > "I'm the one asking." He leapt the rest of the way to the ground and > picked Mimic up. "Please let me help. At least, I want to know what > this 'closing the door to his heart' nonsense is about." > > #...if...insist...# > > Before Bob could confirm, Raffy force his way into the nearly exhausted > ditto's mind, setting up a side connection for Bob to watch and lend his > strength too. > > --- > > "LET HIM GO!" A massive, and massively scarred, mightyena knocked > pokemon goons left and right somewhere in Doppler's oddly modified field > of view, as if he were looking through an occasionally blinking glass > lens. In a heartbeat, Bob became acutely aware of Doppler's lack of a > physical heart. Bob soon realized that he was looking out from inside a > pokeball, albeit one that had not yet tamed the ditto. An occasional > pulse of darkness shot into the mix, but Bob immediately felt Mimic > stick some sort of invisible rod into the image, and instinctively let > it discharge into him. It felt similar to the alternate personality, > yet different; fortunately, the same mental controls pushed it to the > side of Bob's consciousness, where it disappated without any soul of its > own to build around. > > Someone outside of the view laughed, as more goons piled into the > mightyena's path as fast as she cleared them away. "Why? He refuses to > find the true path on his own, so why not help him become our servant? > Did he not agree to fight for us, so we wouldn't harm his dear > daughter?" > > "You...you..." > > A pressure wave came down the cave-like corridor behind the mightyena. > Somehow parting around her, it swept away all manner of dust, debris, > goons, and other minor obstructions in its path. The mightyena > leapt towards Doppler once free, but stopped short. > > The off-screen laughter died abruptly. "Y-yyou," came a choked gasp. > > Silence reigned for a tense moment, until the canine pokemon broke it. > "What do you mean, Doppler isn't fighting the pokeball alone? ... I > understand." She backed away. > > A line of white split the lens, then their view faded to white. #Thank > you, friends of my student. I shall take it from here.# > > --- > > #That...# Raffy blinked. > > #...was...# Mimic nodded. > > "...MewTwo?" Bob boggled. > > #We knew he was in the area,# the naturally psychic pokemon commented. > #Didn't Aerie's group run into him?# > > "Speaking of whom..." Bob pointed upwards. > > At first, it looked like Jeff was flying overhead; a closer squint > revealed the wings were not his but the gligar's that was strapped to > his back, although he was clearly enjoying and apparently directing the > flight. Upon spotting his brother, Jeff motioned downwards, and was > soon dive-bombing the hybrid. "HI BOB!" he called just as he pulled out > and passed overhead, briefly patting his ducking brother on the head. > Jeff's joy-filled cries could be heard receding into the distance even > after the trio lost sight of him among the trees. > "Alex?" Alex shook her head. "Sorry, my mind's wandering. Spooky vibes, probably nothing to worry about." Returning her attention to Peabody as the lanky Aqua got to work, she asked, "Now, how big is this database?" "Between detailed copies of public records and a large network of shadowy sources, it's pretty big," Peabody noted. "Now, we just plug in the name ‘Canmore', ask for any member of the organization with that name or any derivative thereof, and wait for the results." Alex, Cass, Sven and Peabody now stood within the Mauville Pokémon Center, relatively alone in the large building. The other gathered members of the Search Party, with the exception of Nori, were elsewhere, and most likely would regroup in the building shortly. Nori, meanwhile, remained in her room, where she had been since the day before. "And how long will that take?" Alex finally asked. "Considering the database's size?" Peabody replied. "A few minutes, fifteen at most." Alex huffed in slight irritation. "Okay then." Stretching slightly and walking off, she added, "I've got something else I need to check on. Give me a yell if something comes up." - Elsewhere within the Pokémon Center, Nori silently sat, Big Time standing next to her and toying with her new Transformer. As the young Larvitar continued to idly move the large toy's joints, Nori noted, "At least one of us is enjoying ourselves." Her thoughts were interrupted as a gentle knock sounded on the doorframe. Nori turned to find Alex standing there, a light smile on her face. "Good to see you're feeling better." "I was," Nori nearly growled, her eyes narrowed slightly. "Why are you even here, anyway?" "To check on you," Alex admitted as she entered, "and to tell you something. I've had some time to mull over things, and you were right." "About you being a murdering psychotic psychic?" Nori asked with a raised eyebrow. "The jury's still out on that part," Alex noted as she sat down. "What I meant was what I did. You were right. Whatever my reasons for doing what I've done, it still wasn't right. The law may consider it self-defense, but in the end I'll still be called to account for what I've done, assuming the atheists are wrong." After a breath, Alex finished, "But I guess I can live with it." Nori looked at the taller girl and asked, "How can you be so arrogant?" "I'm being realistic," Alex countered. "I've done evil things, yes, but I'm not evil myself. If I were evil, I wouldn't have guilt over what I've done." Casting a firm look at Nori, she added, "The same goes for you." Nori gave Alex a sharp look and hissed, "You don't know everything about that." "No, I don't," Alex replied. "But from what I've been able to figure out, the mess you got into was something that you didn't want going that far. And now, to a certain extent, your recent near-death experience is causing you to reevaluate your life." Before Nori could interject again, she added, "Believe it or not, I've been through something similar." "A near-death experience?" Nori asked, her voice filled with disbelief. "A life-changing one," Alex replied. "Let me ask you a question. How do you think I came up with the idea that I was an alien, hmm? Reading a few too many comic books? Watching too much television? Simple insanity? Suggestion from two very unusual parents and Goddish knows how many others?" "The ideas did come to me," Nori admitted. "None of ‘em," Alex replied. "I didn't develop an interest in comic books until I was ten, and I drifted away until Dreamwave came along. Most of my television viewing was limited to animation, and very little had sci-fi. As for my parents, if they thought telling their kids they were aliens would help them, they would have done that to both of us; Cass is human, she and I both know that. As for insanity...well, like I said earlier, the jury's still out. But none of those is the reason why I believe it." She leaned back slightly, then continued, "Shortly before I turned fourteen, I found out about my heritage the old fashioned way. Seems there's one clear trait that separates Extaxians from humans; we have a very fast puberty. And by fast, I mean almost instantaneous." An eyebrow raised in disbelief, Nori asked, "Almost instantaneous?" "When I was thirteen, I looked almost identical to you now, just shorter and with even less of the feminine persuasion," Alex explained. "When the growth spurt hit, I went from a five-foot little girl to a six-foot-two, attractive young woman. Trust me, it isn't an experience that I enjoyed." "Suddenly gaining good looks?" Nori asked. Alex cast the smaller woman a hard glance, and replied, "You honestly think I'm happy about all of this? I experienced a lot of pain in the change, along with being ogled by just about every guy I came across afterwards. Not to mention the overall shock of finding out about my heritage; I was scared out of my wits." "And this has to do with me, how?" Nori asked. "I'm getting to that," Alex continued. "Between the revelation and my father's death, what little normalcy my life had then had been shattered. When my mother told me the truth, I ran, frightened and scared, all the way to my father's grave." "And you cried your eyes out, right?" Nori asked. "Yes," Alex noted. "And didn't stop until someone came along, a girl who'd been through something similar, except her life changing scenario was a bit more normal." Noticing the lack of reply, Alex explained, "She'd gone blind." Leaning forward a bit, she continued, "Anyway, the two of us talked, and I ultimately figured that if she could live with something like being blind, I could live with what I had. That applies to my heritage, what I did to Canmore, and if you want, to what's happened with you." Nori looked at Alex for a hard moment, then asked, "What makes you think I'm worth talking to like this?" "Human nature," Alex replied. "Besides, the biggest reason is sitting right next to you." Both girls looked to the young Larvitar, still fiddling with the toy in his hands. As Nori looked back to Alex, the taller girl explained, "I can give myself a second chance. You can do the same." She rose to her feet and continued, "If you need anything, just ask me." As Alex began to walk out of the room, Nori finally asked, "Why?" Alex turned back as she continued, "Why do all this?" "Because that's who *I* am," Alex answered. "A stubborn little mind-reader." Alex silently walked out of the room, leaving Nori to her thoughts. Nori looked to Big Time as the small Larvitar grew a contented smile, easily amused by the toy in his hands. - "<So you evolved, big deal,>" a gangly blue Golduck noted while idly reading a comic book. "<Doesn't mean much in the long run.>" "<I don't have to rely on chairs to reach items on high shelves now, do I?>" Surtur asked. Nosedive narrowed his eyes, then replied, "<Rub it in, why don't you?>" "Better get used to it, ‘Dive," Alex noted as she entered. "And what are you doing with that?" "<Hey, not my fault you have better taste than your sister,>" the Golduck noted. "<She hasn't picked up a comic book since the Clone Saga. Not that I can blame her.>" "That was Alex!" Cass quickly protested. Shifting her attention, she asked, "So, she okay?" "I think so," Alex replied. "She's just…distant right now." Cass gave her sister a half-smile, and assured her, "Don't give up yet, Alex. Who knows, you might just pull it off." "<I highly doubt that,>" Surtur noted with all the wisdom of a cynic. "Oh ye of little faith," Alex replied as she walked over to Peabody. "Anything?" "Yeah, I think so," Peabody noted. "I still think this is a bad idea," Sven added. "Leif said ‘help her', so we're helping her," Peabody reasoned as a semi-familiar face came up on the screen. "This guy look familiar, Miss Masters?" "He does look like Canmore with a few years chopped off," Alex admitted. "His name was Jakob Castaway," Peabody read off. "Joined Team Aqua about five years ago. Like you've been able to piece together, he was on the mission that led to your dad's death." "So he might be Canmore's son," Alex noted. "Leif mentioned in his letter that he was dead." "That's the general assumption," Peabody replied. "He was reprimanded by Leif shortly after what happened to your family. Not long afterwards, someone tried to get him off the base. We tried to stop them, and he ended up being shot by an Ice Beam in the crossfire. No body was found, and given lack of other evidence, we presumed him dead." "But he might still be alive," Alex noted. "Might," Peabody replied. "Considering what's happened, we'll get in contact with Leif and tell him what we've found out. Our intelligence network should be able to find something on him." Logging out of the database, he turned and noted, "Since that's mostly taken care of, I've got a few questions of my own. Why are you guys out here, why'd you come to our base at the Forsaken Ship a while ago, and why was Canmore after you to begin with?" Alex took a breath, and leaned against the table as she answered, "Myself and several other Pokémon trainers are currently taking part in the search for Adam Samson, better known as Smasher. He went missing at the Silver Conference, and we have strong reason to believe that he's here in Hoenn." "Between information provided by one of the most powerful psychic beings on the planet and finding his helmet, we've got enough evidence to back it up," Cass noted. "I remember that," Peabody noted. "But why did you go to our base if you knew we didn't have him?" "We didn't go for him," Alex replied. "You remember Bob Raiser?" "Yeah, the Grass-type hybrid," Peabody confirmed. "You came for him." "Pretty much, yeah," Alex replied. "Even though a member of your organization killed my dad, I wasn't about to wage war on a large group just for revenge. That isn't my style." "Then why'd your group tear a Magma base apart?" Sven asked. "Not everyone in this group is as subtle as I am," Alex replied. "That just leaves why Canmore was after you," Peabody noted at last. "So, why?" "It's a long, complicated story," Alex replied. "I'm not sure how, but he found out something about me that made him want to wipe me from existence ever since I was a baby. Something very personal." Peabody looked at Alex for a hard instant, then shrugged. "Okay. But if it turns out that the son is alive, I want all the details." "You'll get them," Alex promised. "I just hope he doesn't show up right this second. This group's got enough problems right now." "Nah," Cass noted as ShadowWarrior fluttered onto Alex's head. "At this point, Fate'll probably throw something else at us." "It's happened before," the raven-feathered bird noted in agreement. Alex sighed. It was going to be a long day. > >>[NS: Been a while, hasn't it?] > > > > [NS: Hai, it has. And while I'm at it, I see your development and raise > > you a > > plot twist, only because it seemed to be a good idea at the time.] > > [NS: So let's twist the twist. ;) ] [NS: Afraid I can't twist it any further; got a lot going on now, me. BTW; has anyone been able to contact Beth? My e-mails to her keep getting bounced back.]