From: "Bandraptor" <bandraptor@yahoo.com> Subject: Re: [PW!] [SST] Let The Pokemon Games Begin! Date: Monday, February 02, 2004 8:05 AM William Rendfeld wrote: > Surtur narrowed his eyes; one of those he actually enjoyed the > company of was a Psyduck once upon a time, after all. He cast a glance > towards his trainer and said, "<May I?>" > > Alex shared the same expression as Surtur, only for a different > reason; she hated egotists. "Torch her," Alex said coldly. > > "Excuse me?" Diva asked seconds before Surtur's right hand became > wreathed in flame. She stared at the large fowl for a couple seconds > before realizing, "Fire-type." > > "<Evolved Fire-type,>" Surtur noted, putting emphasis on his first > word, before knocking the smaller Smoochum skyward, using his hand as > if it were a golf club. "<Fore.>" > > "Don't you think that was going too far?" Cass asked. > > "She was asking for it," Alex replied. > > Cass sighed, shook her head, then plucked Ariel's Poké Ball from > her belt and said, "And I thought I had problems," before recalling > the victorious Ariel. "Now then, let's get a bite to eat, shall we?" > > "Sounds good to me," Alex replied. "But let's wait for Nori or Ben, > see if they're willing to come with." Cassandra squints her light blue eyes and scans the crowd for familiar faces. She catches sight of Ben first--or rather, she catches sight of his seven-foot-tall Aggron, whose iron horns are shimmering brightly in the sunlight. Being slightly egotistical in nature, Nails the Aggron is somewhat despondent after failing to win the Tough Contest. Ben is patting the Aggron on the back in an attempt to encourage him. "Don't worry, Nails!" Ben says, "Once we get back to Hoenn, we can challenge the Rustboro City Gym Leader--then you can show everyone how tough you really are!" Nails perks up when he hears this suggestion, relieved that his Trainer isn't going to hold his recent loss against him. He smiles and nods in agreement, "Aggrrroooon!" "Sis?" Cass taps Alex on the shoulder to get her attention, then nods in Ben's direction. "I'd offer to get him, but I'm sure he'd prefer it if you offered the invitation." Alex smirks, and after beckoning for Surtur and ShadowWarrior to follow, she begins to work her way through the crowd, towards the blue mat where Ben and his Aggron are standing. Her task one-half complete, Cass resumes her search of the deck, looking for the other person that her sister mentioned. Normally, Nori would be fairly easy to spot, thanks to her distinctive hairstyle, but since she's been swimming, her hair is wet, and she's currently wearing it down. Having seen Nori during her Cute Contest appeal, Cass is aware of this, so she doesn't bother to scout the area for people with spiny hair. Instead, she keeps an eye out for Trainers with Blastoises. She doesn't have to search for very long. A minute later, Nori and Rubix come walking by, busily arguing about something. Cassandra can't make out the whole conversation, but the terms "Tyranitar," "excessive force," and "ungrateful little whore" come up. "Hey! Hey, Nori!" Cass runs after the pair, waving her arms in the air to ensure that they see her. Nori stops walking and turns around, a little surprised to hear someone using her real name. "Surely you have mistook me for someone else. I am Tsunade, disciple of--" Nori notices that the approaching person is Cass, and she promptly drops the act, "Oh, it's just you." "I would've preferred 'hello,' but I'll take that." Cass shrugs, not bothered by Nori's lack of civility. "Where are you off to? Alex and I are heading to the Restaurant Deck for lunch. Would you like to join us? Maybe afterwards, we can all go to the Mall Deck and pick out dresses for the Captain's Gala!" Cassandra becomes a bit starry-eyed as she thinks about the party that's going to be held after the Gala, and how much fun it will be to pick up boys while wearing her soon-to-be-purchased new outfit. "Um...sure!" Nori decides to be social, even though she isn't hungry and she doesn't really like to wear dresses. She motions to the prizes that she won in the Pokemon Games, "I want to drop this stuff off in my cabin. What if I meet you at the restaurant afterwards?" "Sounds good." Cass says, "I'll relay the news to Alex. We haven't decided where we want to eat yet, so we'll just wait for you by the elevator on the Restaurant Deck. Try to hurry!" "Will do." While Cassandra jogs back over towards the blue mat where her sister is talking to Ben, Nori heads towards her cabin, key card in hand. The open cabin door is Nori's first clue that something is wrong. The melted electronic lock is her second clue. Not wanting to accept the conclusion that first leaps to her mind, Nori glances from the doorway over to her dresser and poses the question, "Why are two of my Pokeballs missing?" Rubix frowns in concern, but says nothing. He's familiar with the line about shooting the messenger. "Crap..." Nori mutters under his breath, rushing into the room. She gets down on her hands and knees, checking the floor for potentially fallen Pokeballs. She looks under the bed, beneath the armchair, behind the dresser... "CRAP." Nori's profanity is audible this time. She speaks in a detached voice, unwilling to come to terms with the reality of the situation, "They grabbed Big Time, too..." Nori slowly pulls herself up into a kneeling position, trembling slightly as a feeling of very real fear washes over her. This is a situation that she's often had nightmares about, ever since the day, over six years ago, when she received her very first Pokemon. She still remembers how helpless she felt that day--alone in the woods with the night growing darker, separated from her Pokemon with no hope of retrieving it, afraid to return home to admit that she'd failed as a Trainer, afraid to move forward without a partner to support her. What she experienced that day was a sensation of total despair, and it was an emotion she hoped she would never encounter again. Little has changed in six years, and when Nori shakily tries to assess her current situation, she realizes that she's just as helpless now as she was back then. She has no way to contact her lost Pokemon--she might have been able to, had she not banished her empathic abilities years ago, viewing them as a source of weakness. She has no one to turn to for help--again, she might have, had she not made enemies of the law and its enforcers. There is a growing darkness surrounding her as she comes to grips with the fact that she's failed the two beings that mean the most to her. She's failed Giovanni, by neglecting to bring him the Persian she promised to capture, and she's failed Typhon, by losing track of the Larvitar that she swore to protect. Rubix is less than sympathetic to his Trainer's plight. "What's the matter, Nori? Don't you like being stolen from?" He points to the dresser and tells her, "You should feel lucky. Whoever did this left you with one Pokeball, which is more courtesy than you've given any of the Trainers who *you* robbed." Only hearing the words "left," "one," and "Pokeball," Nori snaps out of her pity-induced trance, leaps to her feet, and snatches the remaining ball from the top of the dresser. She points the battered orb at the floor, and jabs the release button. "Gardevoir. Get out here, now." Archangel the Gardevoir's Substitute materializes in the air in front of her, adopting an expression that is every bit as loathful as that of its progenitor. It looks Nori over, and shakes its head in disapproval, "Tsk. The people who think they look good in a bathing suit." Nori's fist finds the Substi-voir's face as she unleashes all of her pent-up frustration on the pseudo-Psychic. "I'm not in the mood for your lip," she snarls. "Who was in here, and where did they go? Answer me, or I'll beat the information out of you." "Spare me your threats," the Substi-voir says impassively. "As a matter of fact, I do know who stole your Pokemon, but I have no reason to tell you. At the moment, my true self is a safe distance away, no doubt defeating Team Rocket, and enjoying the affections of many beautiful women. By preventing his capture, I have already fulfilled my destiny, so I have no fear of death. Still, I possess his fighting abilities, so attack me if you dare. Assuming you survive, the most you can do is destroy a Substitute." "Substitute?" Nori freezes, one fist pulled back, one hand wrapped around the Substi-voir's throat, as she realizes what her "Gardevoir" truly is. Knowing that she has absolutely no chance of bullying an answer out of a Substitute, and seeing all hope of locating her missing Pokemon fading before her eyes, she lets out an enraged growl, and runs the pseudo-Pokemon into the wall of the cabin, determined to hurt it for refusing to help her. "How could this have HAPPENED?" She wails, "Blizzard and Big Time are gone! CERBERUS is gone! Why couldn't they have taken you, instead?" Nori tightens her grip on the Substi-voir, angry tears streaming down her cheeks. "How can you not tell me where they are?" The Substi-voir shrugs, "Is this going to be a problem for you?" "Yes," Nori wipes her eyes with the hand that she isn't using to pin the Substi-voir to the wall. She hardens her glare, "Yes, it is going to be a problem for me. But it's going to be an even bigger problem for you, because you've just eliminated every reason I had for keeping you alive." She cocks her fist threateningly. "Say goodbye to the world." One powerful blue arm wraps itself around Nori's waist, yanking her away from the Substi-voir, and hurling her onto the bed. Nori's first inclination is to charge right back over to the pseudo-Psychic, but a Submission attack proves to be a deterrent. "Nori, calm the hell down." Rubix orders his Trainer, holding her firmly by the shoulders to prevent her from standing up again. "It isn't his fault that your Pokemon were stolen--it's your own fault for leaving them in the room. Stop looking for a scapegoat, take some responsibility for a change, and get word to the ship's captain that somebody took your Pokeballs. He needs to issue a warning, because Cerberus is likely to kill the person who releases it." "Then let it!" Nori shouts, "If they stole my Pokemon, they deserve to die!" "Sorry, no." Rubix shakes his head, "You don't get to make that decision. In any event, if Cerberus kills someone, its ID number will be traced back to you, and I'd rather not have a police caravan waiting for us when we arrive in Hoenn. Think logically, Nori. You're running out of countries to escape to. The least you can do is--" Rubix hears footsteps in the hallway outside, and abruptly cuts himself off, deciding the current conversation is best left unheard by strangers. In the ensuing silence, two detached voices drift into the room, their words easily understood, since their owners have no reason to fear eavesdroppers. The first, and deeper of the voices asks, "So, Lynkeru, what did you think of the Pokemon Games?" The second voice, which is decidedly female, responds, "It's hard to say, Mamoru. I couldn't really see anything, since we were sitting so far from the judging area." "Brrr..." Mamoru's voice shudders, "whose idea was it to set up the Pokemon Games around a pool?!? Didn't anyone stop to think about the feelings of those of us who are hydrophobic?" "Well," Lynkeru reasons, "people who are afraid of water generally avoid cruise ships...so...I would say no, they probably didn't stop to think about it. Anyway," she continues with a pleading tone in her voice, "would it be such a bad thing if Yuki were to make an appearance? I really want to learn how to use that pocket dimension. I know that I'm on vacation, and I'm supposed to be relaxing, but I'd still prefer to have my swords handy. Cruise ship or not, one never knows when they're going to run into the minions of Ganondorf--" She pauses and corrects herself, "...er, into disagreeable individuals." As the chattering duo walks by the open door leading to Nori's cabin, Nori catches sight of them. The male is only a little bit taller than she is, though he appears to be much bulkier. The female is a girl who is even shorter than Nori, and is wearing a blue swim suit. Hovering in the air above the girl is what looks like a miniature Butterfree, but that isn't what catches Nori's attention. What catches Nori's attention is the Larvitar that the girl is holding in her arms. With a murderous expression on her face, Nori shoves her way past her Blastoise, and storms over to the pair. She taps Lynkeru on the shoulder, and waits for her to turn around. Lynkeru tilts her head to one side, recognizing 'Tsunade' as one of the participants from the Pokemon Games, even though she didn't have a good view of her Pokemons' performances. Not knowing what the teenager wants with her, the Elven girl queries, "Can I help you?" "How about this," Nori offers, "you hand over the three Pokemon that you stole from me, and I'll let you live. You don't hand them over, and I'll gut you like a fish." Lynkeru sweatdrops, "Um..? Mamoru, do you know anything about this? Indi?" Rubix joins the group in the hallway. He's willing to assist Nori in reclaiming her Pokemon, if necessary, but he's also prepared to knock her unconscious if she gets too far out of control. At the moment, the latter action has a greater likelihood of occurring. As Mamoru and Lynkeru try to make sense of the situation, the Blastoise raises a brow and asks, "Tell me. When you made the crack about 'disagreeable individuals,' was that meant as a prediction, or an open invitation?" TBC? --Beth