From: "Chet Weaver - YOUR HEAD A SPLODE!"
Subject: [PW] Mute Point, Plan A
Date: Sunday, April 25, 2004 12:23 AM
About as soon as Mason "Mace" Adams arrived in Team Magma's base in
Fallarbor Town, he was escorted to the office of the commanding Admin.
As Magma Grunt Mason took a seat, he could not help but sense a certain
level of distrust and disrespect one does not usually associate with
being one of their top trainers. It was if they thought of him as a
rookie, which was probably understandable given his amnesia and foreign
Mason noted, after a breif and decidedly compulsory-feeling
introduction, that all of Team Magma's Admins he had met so far had
feminine names regardless of gender and that this one was no different.
Jennifer explained that it was merely a code name and assured Mason
that his real one was far more masculine and impressive. To this, Mason
voiced his opinion on the rather absurd notion of giving code names to
operatives with desk jobs. Jennifer defended the position by merely
stating that explaining the reasoning behind the code names would likely
take all day and Mason argued that he was in no hurry.
Changing the subject, Jennifer passed Mason a file folder containing
information on his next mission. His target was to be an
average-looking young man about his age named Lute with rather
unremarkable Pokemon who had done something quite remarkable. Despite
being completely mute and apparently lacking psychic talent, he had
found a way to train Pokemon without saying a word. Rather, he
commanded his Pokemon with a red flute made of glass. Lute the mute and
his flute had been making headlines recently as a public interest story
about a disabled person overcoming adversity. The official story was
that Lute had trained for years to overcome a disability that would've
otherwise prevented him from training Pokemon, even with a translator,
but the Magma brass had a differing and on the whole wildly fantastic
Even without the mention Mason knew that they meant the Legend Siren, an
artifact so powerful it had to be disassembled and scattered across the
Pokemon World. Clearly, Lute had somehow come across the Siren's Ruby
Shaft, which evidently had the power to control Pokemon. Why or how
this came to be was irrelevant. All that mattered getting a hold of the
Jennifer found Mason's laughter at this point to be both immature and
inappropriate and insisted that he get a firmer grasp of the situation.
This didn't abate Mason's jocular reaction, who inquired as to what
Jennifer wanted done to Lute's PokeBalls. The Admin didn't consider it
an important matter, but Mason insisted that focusing solely on the
Shaft would only bring them so far and that taking his 'Balls would make
for a more satisfying climax. Jennifer told Mason that, whatever his
obsession with another man's 'Balls was, he should handle it on his own
time and not Team Magma's.
The plan was, currently, to merely steal the flute, which Lute was
almost never seen without. While this could be accomplished by just
about any gang of thugs, the power of the Ruby Shaft had to be taken
into account. Should it come to a Pokemon Battle, they would need
someone like Mason, whose control over their own Pokemon would cancel
out the flute's magic. It would be a long shot, but they were working
on the assumption that someone had a magic flute so they didn't exactly
have betting odds in the first place.
Where Mason was to be the muscle, the actual stealing of the flute was
to be handled by the rest of his unit whose profiles were found in other
folders nearby. One was Cher Raud, an expert con artist and pick pocket
who practically made a killing stealing people's wallets and then
returning them for the reward money. Second was Penny Trate, an
infiltration specialist who could sneak her way into anything
undetected. She once attempted a string of daring break-ins that went
flawlessly aside from the fact that she always wound up trapped inside
what she had snuck into and once had to be rescued by the fire
department. And last by not least was Cad Avers, known as The Sniper
of a Thousand Faces because of his preference for headshots and his
frequent cosplays at anime and video game conventions. Mason objected
to use of an assassin, deeming it excessive, but Jennifer assured him
that Cad would only be used as a last resort. This failed to alleviate
Meeting his team wasn't what he'd call an enlightening experience.
Almost as soon as he entered the loungue, Penny greeted Mason with the
professionalism and restraint of a lovesick Furret on a sugar rush. To
say Penny was excitable was like saying Electrodes were suicidal.
Within seconds, she had moved from a death grip of a hug to an
unwarranted piggy-back ride, all the while asking Mason a bazillion
questions about the Orre Region that he probably couldn't answer even if
he didn't have amnesia. The bit about Shadow Pokemon caught his
attention, but Penny wasn't so clear on the subject herself.
It was just as well, as Mason didn't consider her to be all that bright.
Mason had to wonder how she could be any good at sneaking into places,
but wasn't too surprised that she couldn't sneak back out. Cher Raud
assured him that Penny was far more talented than she let on and helped
extricate her from his back. Penny pouted for a second before moving on
to play "what does this button do?" with the sniper rifle Cad was
cleaning. With an air of annoyance, the assassin silently snatched
various components out of her hands as he reassembled his weapon.
Cher seemed genuinely curious about Mason's amnesia, like how much he
could remember and for how long. He assured her that while he had no
recollection of his past prior to waking up in a Magma medlab in Hoenn
he was making new ones just fine. Mason caught Cher's hand as she
attempted to filch one of his PokeBalls. Cher was reportedly quite
impressed with his skills of perception and handed him back his wallet.
Cad Avers seemed the strong, silent type. His sole answer to Mason's
various prompts was an icy glare. Before Mason could taunt him into an
emotional response, the sniper shot a fly out of the air with barely a
sidewise glance. Cad chambered another bullet, a challenge to even
think of making a snide remark that Mason declined to answer.
With introductions out of the way, the team got down to business. The
first plan was simple. Penny Trate would intercept Lute when he passes
through town to the ash fields on Route 113 for his usually morning
training routine. While she distracts him, Cher Raud would secretly
pick his pockets and steal his flute. Cher had recently purchased a red
flute almost identical to the one Lute had and planned to leave it in
the original's place. Lute would never know it was gone.
When Mason asked her where she managed to get an identical red, glass
flute, Cher informed him of the glass blower on Route 113. The old man
uses the ashes collected by various trainers to make various items for
them, including flutes and furniture. The flutes contained special
properties, mostly ones that cured status conditions, but none were on
the level of the Ruby Shaft. The red ones in particular merely snapped
Pokemon out of a state of infatuation. Mason made a mental note to do
some shopping when he got a chance.
Morning soon came and Mason's crew disembarked for Fallarbor Town.
While the base was in, or rather under, Fallarbor Town, they were to use
the entrance on Route 113. The elevator opened to a flurry of volcanic
ash, which Mason learned came from nearby Mt. Chimney. The ash was
almost like snow, and similarly a chilly wind greeted the crew outside
the elevator. The combination of northerly winds and sky-obscuring ash
conspired to simulate a winter wonderland. Mason half-expected to see a
snowman as the elevator receded back into the ground to be concealed by
mounds of falling ash.
Mason caught glimpses of small figures darting about the trees and
mounds of ash. He remained wary, although Cher assured him that the
Ninja Boys weren't likely to be a threat. They knew better than to
challenge Team Magma, at least not until they could figure what Team
Magma was planning. Even then, Mason's skills were such that he was
likely to drop their entire team with a single Pokemon. Mason felt that
was an exaggeration, but not one that was too far off.
Penny and Cher had disguised themselves in civilian clothes while Mason
and Cad kept themselves hidden. There was every need not to draw
attention to themselves. If Lute even suspected that Team Magma was in
town, they would never be able to get close enough. The Magma Grunts
got themselves into position and waited for their quarry to show.
Right on schedule, the silent trainer made his way down the street with
a Jigglypuff on his shoulder. Penny, in her cutest outfit, casually ran
into him and almost immediately began gushing over his Jigglypuff. The
Jigglypuff was quite flattered and Penny squealed with delight when she
discovered it could talk. This particular Jigglypuff was specially
trained to speak not only in human verbal language but Hoenn Sign
Language (HSL) as well. Penny, of course, had already known all about
this from an earlier breifing but pretended to be quite fascinated.
Lute eventually managed to get enough of his translator's attention to
be able to talk with the peppy young lady himself. As it turned out,
Penny was also quite fluent in sign language herself and the two of them
struck up what looked like a very engaging conversation. Mason couldn't
tell what they were talking about, but assumed it was one of those
topics that became all the more fascinating as it got easier to picture
the other person's clothes laying on your bedroom floor.
As Mason pondered the level of difficulty in reading a girl's hands and
t-shirt at once, Cher Raud made her move. Having spent a good deal of
time and money in a nearby grocer, she was now totally encumbered with
grocery bags and fully prepared to blunder into all sorts of people.
With the grace of a drunk Donphan, Cher toppled into Lute. Groceries
and Jigglypuffs spilled everywhere.
Mason and Cad froze as the Jigglypuff bounced into the alley they were
hiding in but remained calm. The Jigglypuff eventually rolled to its
feet and took stock of its surroundings. Cad nearly went for his gun,
but Mason stopped him. Killing it now would blow their cover and botch
The Jigglypuff dusted itself off and bounded out of the alley, picking
up groceries and apologizing profusely as he returned to his trainer.
Cher, Penny, and Lute had already gathered up most of the groceries and
Cher and her cargo were soon off for whatever imaginary location Lute
assumed she was heading for. Once the trainer and his Jigglypuff were
suitably distracted again, Cher ducted into the alley and dropped her bags.
Her mission accomplished, Cher triumphantly produced a novelty tube of
candy. Mason was astounded at the critical error, but was enlightened
to know that Lute had yet to notice the disappearance. Unfortunately,
he was bound to get suspicious when he would later discover that his
M&Ms had magically transformed into an extra red flute. Cher was not
ready to move on to plan B just yet and put on a large overcoat.
It had been fun and Penny was going to have to see Lute later when Cher
made a signal from the alley. Penny started making plans to meet Lute
at a later time and segued that into an entirely new conversation. Cher
then shuffled out of the alley in her new disguise, completely with a
fake cold. She hacked and wheezed her way back to Lute, bumped into
him, apologized, coughed, apologized again, and shuffled back into the
Cher had a red flute, all right, but Mason inquired how she knew it was
Lute's flute and not the replacement. Cher looked at the flute and
sighed heavily. She was about to head back out when Penny stepped in.
It seemed that Lute had already left to continue his training.
A quick test of the flute on some feral Pokemon showed no sign magical
abilities. Chances were this was not the Ruby Shaft at all and it was
still in Lute's possession.
That night, they were going to move on to Plan B.
To be continued...
[NS: This post was an experiment in writing without using dialogue. My
plan is to write that way in any post that includes Lute, so as to
convey a sense of silence. I probably failed to have any sort of style
here, though. Feedback would be appreciated.]
Chet "Tech" Weaver
eMail: zeroohki at netscape dot net
Yahoo! Messenger: tech_weaver
My Adventure Quest character:
You can play Adventure Quest at http://www.battleon.com
Q: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo or the
A: We both do.
A: We do.
Q: You do?
A: Yes, voodoo.
-- Actual court testimony