From: "Steffan Alun" <sha3@aber.ac.uk> Subject: Re: [PW!] The case to end all cases... Date: Friday, June 25, 2004 9:55 AM "Jom Tones" <publicenemanumberone@hotmail.nospam.com> wrote in message news:<2k04liF16034kU1@uni-berlin.de>... > Suddenly, there came a tapping at his door. An unexpected flash of lightning > revealed the figure of a man behind the glass door. The letters on the > glass - rotagitsevnI etavirP STAO kcaJ - danced about the room. > > The thunder rumbled menacingly, the air had gone cold. The sun had retreated > behind a big black cloud. Persian sat up and hissed at the door as it swung > open to reveal a rather timid looking man with blonde hair and a green > tie... > > The silence was then shattered again... > > "LOUD LOUD!!!" quoth the Pokémon. > > "Shut up Loudred," the timid man replied, "Mr OATS and I have business." Mike looked around the private investigator's office. When he'd found OATS's contact details, he'd assured himself it wouldn't be like the films. He'd be an ordinary man who happened to be a detective. As he looked around, however, every detail looked as though it had been chosen specifically to create a noir feel. Mike had to check his hands to ensure he was still in colour, since the entire office seemed to be devoid of colours other than black, white and various shades of grey. Even the detective himself seemed very pale. For some reason, despite being inside his office, the man was wearing a heavy, dark grey trench coat and a wide-rimmed grey hat. The air was heavy with cigarette smoke, and this excited Loudred for some reason. "LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD! LOUD!" "I see," said Mike wearily. "You put things so eloquently, Loudred. Any other pearls of wisdom you'd like to share?" "LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD!" Mike sighed and turned towards OATS. "I have a problem," he said. "Only the one?" enquired the detective. "Half the people who walk through my door are so screwed up, they end up in an asylum before I've received a penny." "Okay," said Mike, taken aback. "I suppose I do have several problems, but I only want you to solve one of them." "LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD LOUD!" "It's unusual for a man to seek my help," said OATS coolly. "Think your wife's cheating on you?" "Certainly not!" spluttered Mike indignantly, whose wife was very timid, and would be horrified to hear OATS speak of her in such a way. "A missing person, then?" asked OATS. "That's the second most popular case." "Well, yes, I am trying to find someone who's gone missing," said Mike. "My boss dissappeared a couple of...wait, that's not important. That's not why I'm here." "LOUD LOUD!" "It's not your wife, and it's not a missing person," said OATS. "Is it financial troubles? You're in debt, and you need to track down some people who owe you money." "I am in financial troubles, I'll grant you," said Mike. "I need cash to pay for an operation to save my daughter's life...but nobody owes me money. That's not why I'm here." "Trouble with the cops, then." OATS was now counting the potential cases on his fingers in an uninterested manner. "LOUD!" "Yes!" gasped Mike. "How did you guess that?" "LOUD LOUD LOUD!" "I'm a detective. I detect things." "I see." OATS crossed over to a filing cabinet and opened a drawer marked "H – O". He pulled out a stack of papers and walked back to his desk. He didn't acknowledge Mike at all. Mike suddenly realised what the papers were – they were "wanted" and "missing" posters. As OATS flicked through them, Mike caught a glimpse of a few people. Towards the top were a nasty-looking Pikachu, a skater boy in a Marowak helmet and a girl named Judd. Nearer the bottom were a scarred man and his angry-looking Sandslash, several different members of Team Rocket and a montage of giant Pokémon destroying various towns and cities. "Gotcha!" said OATS gruffly as he removed a poster featuring a photo-fit image of Mike. He read the details. "Part of the drug scene, are you?" "No, I'm not," said Mike. "LOUD LOUD LOUD!" "That's why I want your help," Mike clarified. "I think I've been framed, but I can't think of a single person who'd have a motive to do so." "There are some twisted people out there," said OATS. "We'll find out the motive right before finding the man responsible, and no sooner." "Well, you're the expert," said Mike, although there was something niggling at the back of his mind – surely real-life problems couldn't be resolved like a story? "LOUD LOUD LOUD!" "Alright, enough small talk," said OATS suddenly. "LOUD?" "It's about time you talked." "I thought I WAS talking," said Mike. "Don't try to be funny, son. It's time for you to tell me everything. Leave out a single detail, and it could mean the difference between your freedom, retiring happily to a cottage in Vermillion, and rotting in prison for the rest of your natural life." Mike tried to keep control in spite of OATS's quick-talking style of speech. "You can start by telling me a bit about your past, Mr Smith," said the detective. "How did you know my na-" started Mike. He stopped when OATS impatiently indicated towards the wanted poster, on which Mike's name was written in block capitals. Mike started to tell OATS the story.