From: "STEFFAN HEDD ALUN" <sha3@aber.ac.uk> Subject: [PW!] Mike's Mount Moon Mission Date: Friday, April 23, 2004 9:29 AM It was dark and cold. Mike had been hiding in Mount Moon overnight, on the run from the law. Accused of a crime he didn't commit, he had only his Growlithe, his daughter's Smoochum and a rich lady's Whismur for company. "Alright, fellows," said Mike half-heartedly. "We'd better get going if we want to get a good head start." "Mur mur," murmured Whismur. "I don't know what we're going to do." Mike rubbed his temples. "Seems there's nothing I CAN do now. I can't head for Cerulean. The police will be out to get me now. I can't stay here, though. It's too close to Pewter - they're bound to find me eventually." "Growlithe!" exclaimed Growlithe, sharing some of his puppy-dog optimism. "I have no idea what you just said," said Mike, "but I appreciate the sentiments all the same. I think." Mike continued to walk. "Whis!" exclaimed Whismur. Mike turned around. Whismur had vanished. "What the-" Mike scanned the dark cave. He could barely see a thing, but it was clear that Whismur was gone. "We have to get him back," muttered Mike. Smoochum threw him a curious look. Mike had never shown the Whismur any compassion in the past. "Its owner won't pay me if I can't return it," Mike added. PokéWars!: Mike Smith "Mike's Mount Moon Mission" Steffan Alun Mike was sitting on a rock, listening attentively. Whismur had never been one to keep quiet for very long, so Mike was certain that if he waited long enough, the familiar cries would instantly alert him of Whismur's location. "Choo," breathed Smoochum. "Don't worry," said Mike. "It won't be long." More time passed, however, and not a single cry was heard. Smoochum started to pace the floor softly. "Right," said Mike, massaging his temples. "New plan. Growlithe, get the scent." Growlithe looked up. Like all Growlithes, he had a superb sense of smell. However, he was young, and had never been trained to use his sense of smell. However, in the time spent at home, Growlithe had been subjected to many of Mike's daughter's favourite television shows, including Policewoman's Best Friend, a programme about a Growlithe who solved crimes. He'd yearned to try solving a case for himself, but in the absense of a crime, he was perfectly happy to settle for finding a missing Pokémon. He quickly set off, keeping his nose to the ground, trying to pick up the scent. Suddenly, he got it! Off he went, occasionally doubling back or pausing to look around. Mike and Smoochum followed closely behind him. They reached a tunnel leading downwards. Growlithe bounded down it, bouncing off the walls, happily sniffing the air. Mike started to climb down carefully. Smoochum followed. "EEEEEEEEEEH!" The cry was unbearable. Smoochum covered her ears, falling into Mike, causing both of them to slide down the tunnel. "Grrrowl," growled Growlithe in an undertone. "That wasn't Whismur," said Mike. "Be careful, Growlithe." Growlithe reached the end of the tunnel - which must have been at least thirty feet underground, thoght Mike - and quickly looked around the new cavern. The suspicion in Growlithe's eyes faded quickly, to be replaced by joy. He jumped into the cavern. "Wait!" Mike and Smoochum followed him. "Did you find-" Mike stopped. Whismur was here. He wasn't alone, though. He was attending to a small crater in the ground. A crater containing...something. Mike approached, and looked inside. He was shocked. It was full of Geo- "Dude!" squeaked one of the small rocks. It looked up at Mike, its young eyes glittering despite the darkness, and bounded over to him, clutching his leg in its still-weak arms. "I see," said Mike. "You found a nest of Geodudes." "Whismur!" whipered Whismur. "And you've managed to keep your voice under control. Interesing." Mike bent down and removed the Geodude from his leg, then replaced it in its nest. As soon as he let go, the Geodude bounced back and hugged his leg again. "This...is quite disturbing," said Mike. "So, Whismur. You just found a bunch of young Geodudes and decided to look after them?" "Mur..." There was a note of sadness in Whismur's voice. He pointed towards a tunnel leading away from the cavern. Mike approached it. The Geodude on his leg still refused to let go. He looked inside. "Oh my-" Inside was a larger Geodude - the babies' mother, Mike guessed - who'd been knocked out. This wasn't the result of an ordinary battle, however. The mother Geodude was chipped and dented, as though she had received several beatings even after she had been knocked out. "Duuude," squeaked the Geodude around his leg. "Who...what could have done this?" asked Mike increduously. "I was wondering that myself," came a voice from behind him. Mike turned. The man wore glasses and a white coat. He had a clipboard in one hand and a pencil in the other. He had long, greasy blond hair and a large, bushy moustache. "I've been assessing the breeding situation in here for quite some time," he said. "I'm a scientist from Cerulean City. You see, Pokémon in Mount Moon are almost always quite young. They don't fight each other much, and rarely do passing trainers fail to defeat them, so they don't get much experience." The scientist indicated the concussed Geodude. "That's why she's not a Graveller yet. Of course, this makes the place useless for most serious trainers. The denizens of the caves are too weak to serve as experience fodder." He walked over to the crater of Geodudes. "Someone, however, viciously attacked these kids' mother. Why her? And why continue to attack once she'd fainted?" Mike removed the Geodude from his leg, but this time did not replace it in the nest. He cradled it in his arms. The Geodude closed its eyes. "That one's taken a real shine to you," said the scientist. "Yes," said Mike. "Maybe I'll take this one. I'll call it Destiny, considering how we met. It needs looking after, and I could do with some extra comp-" Mike froze. Suddenly, it all came back to him. I'm on the run. I'm accused of a crime. There'll be an enquiry. There'll be wanted posters. This man will recognise me. I HAVE TO GET OUT! "Erm..." said Mike. "You know, if I take the mother to the Cerulean Pokémon Center with you, you could return her to her home." "Why would we want to do that?" "Well," said Mike, flustered. "She could take care of the babies as usual then." "She wasn't knocked out accidentally," muttered the scientist. "Whoever did this will be back. Back to do the same thing again. Maybe to the babies. Maybe to someone else." "Someone-" "Someone like you." Mike looked up. There was malice in the scientist's eyes. The scientist gave a small, sadistic smile. He looked into the caves, and roared. "ONIX!" "What the-" Mike turned around just in time to avoid being hit by the gigantic snake that slithered through a narrow tunnel in the ceiling. The snake turned around and attacked again. Mike dived out of the way. "Don't bother," laughed the scientist. "You're just an inconvenience now. I can't let you get away now that you've seen what you've seen." Mike didn't reply. He rolled into a tunnel to catch his breath. "My bosses don't want their whereabouts known, you see. I couldn't let you live with the knowledge that Team Rocket are still around." Mike had never heard of a team of rockets. He looked around the edge of the tunnel. The snake was almost thirty foot long. It also seemed to be made entirely out of rock. It wouldn't fit into this tunnel, though, thought Mike. Hopefully. "Come out!" commanded the scientist. He waited. "Alright, if I have to sort it out myself..." He pulled out a gun. He looked into the tunnel. At the same time, the Onix began to take an interest in the baby Pokémon. "GEEEOOOOOH!" "Destiny! No!" Destiny the baby Geodude had sprung from Mike's arms and landed on the rocky ground with a dull thud. It crawled on its arms towards Onix, a determined glint in its eye. Mike ran out after it, trying to scoop it up in his arms. "Ah, excellent," said the scientist. "I did need a random weak Pokémon." "Random weak Pokémon?!" spluttered Mike. "Leave these babies alone! What have they ever done to you? ARGH!" The Onix's tail had swung through the air and hit Mike's forehead. He dropped to his knees, feeling weak. His head throbbed and felt as though it was about to explode. Mike tried to stop the PokéBall flying through the air, but it landed and trapped Destiny instantly. The scientist retrieved the ball and kicked Mike in the stomach. Mike couldn't move at all. "I'm sorry I have to do this," said the scientist. "I genuinely am. You may think I'm overreacting, but...well, I can't let you live, I'm afraid." He snapped his fingers. "Onix! Kill him!" The Onix looked at Mike malevolently. It attacked. "OOOOOOOOOOOORGH!" Mike curled up into a ball, trying to shut out the world. "OOW!" His eyes screwed up tighter. "ORGH! ONNNG! NNNGOOOOOORGH!" It's working, thought Mike. I'm not feeling a thing. "WHIS MUR MUR!" What the- Mike opened his eyes. Whismur, little tiny Whismur, was taking on the huge rock snake! He slapped and kicked and hit the Onix with a flurry of attacks. None of them appeared to be particularly effective, but quantity more than compensated for quality. Tears obstructed Mike's vision. Was it the pain? Or was it because this creature, the creature who'd made his life so much more difficult over the previous month, was now risking his life to save him? Mike wiped away the tears and watched, disbelief flooding his mind, as Whismur dealt the final few blows to the snake. "NO!" The scientist pointed the gun at Mike. "GRROWL!" Growlithe pounced, causing the gun to fly from the scientist's hand. Mike picked up the gun. "Alright," panted the scientist. "Alright. I apologise. Call off your dog. I'm no longer a threat." Mike narrowed his eyes. "Let him go, Growlithe." Growlithe did so. The scientist threw Mike a PokéBall. "There's your Density back. I'll see you around." He disappeared into a tunnel, recalling Onix as he did so. Mike made no effort to stop him. "Growl?" "I wish I could turn him in," snarled Mike. "But I'm on the run myself. Still, we've saved these babies, and that's the main-" Mike froze. He looked angry. This quickly changed, as his face appeared livid. "I don't believe it," he said gently. "It's empty." The PokéBall he'd been given by the scientist was indeed empty. He still had Destinty. "We need to get it back!" exclaimed Mike. "And we need to get these little 'Dudes to a Pokémon Center. We'll take the mother in this Ball." Mike lobbed the empty PokéBall towards the knocked-out mother, catching her. "Now, Whismur, you carry-" Mike's eyes widened as he turned towards the place where Whismur had stood. In its place was a huge-mouthed, three-foot purple beast with large, round ears. "You evolved!" exclaimed Mike happily. "Finally! That snake must have been all you needed!" He grinned. "Good work, Whis- Sorry, what's your name now?" "LOUDRED!" shouted the purple Pokémon. "Right. Good work, Loudred. Now help me get these to the Pokémon Center. And be quiet." "LOUD. RED. LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD!" The sound carried through Loudred's ears as though they were loudspeakers. He continued to shout as they all helped to gather the baby Geodudes in their arms. They left through a side tunnel, Loudred's incessant shouting still deafening. Eventually, they reached daylight. A short distance away, Mike noted that they had almost reached Cerulean City. "LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD!" TBC?