From: Adrian Tymes <wingcat@pacbell.net> Subject: [PW!] If It Bleeds, It Leads Date: Saturday, September 11, 1999 10:23 PM Seth sighed. "You know, a girl could get *very* annoyed at this." He rolled his eyes from the ground to his right, where an unclad Aerie was crawling across the bed's sheets to the foot of the bed, where he sat. "Five hours straight, and you're depressed. Most guys would at least smile." "Sian." "You're right, Slasher. Most guys *would* be asleep from exhaustion by now. But at least they'd be happy. By the way, how'd you get in?" "Purrsian." "You picked the lock with a Payday attack? How?" "Sian, purr..." "Forget I asked." Aerie shuddered. There were some aspects of Persian anatomy she *didn't* want to know just yet. Seth sighed again. "Hey, now!" Aerie squirmed into his lap. "Look, if I can't get you to smile using the oldest pleasure technique in the book..." She pinched his cheeks and molded his face into a smile, then grinned winningly. Her grin faded when his face returned to normal when she let go. "I'm sorry. It's just...I can't help feeling my father's abandoned me." Aerie crossed her arms. "Wasn't that long ago you didn't know he *was* your father." "I know...but..." "BUT NOTHING!" Aerie thrust her face into his - a little too forcefully, as the slight *bonk* attested to, but her mind was too focussed to feel the pain right now. "AT LEAST YOU HAD A FATHER WHO CARED ABOUT YOU AS A CHILD, NOT A TOOL! DO YOU SEE ME MOPING ABOUT DOPPLER?!?" "...*sigh*." Aerie rolled her eyes, playfully shoving Seth backwards while sliding off him. "You're hopeless." "Sorry." "Look, there's a whole festival out there. If you're not going to cheer up enough to let us enjoy it, I'm at least going to watch it." "You don't have to stay..." "Seth, maybe I'm being paranoid, but while there's the *slightest* chance you'll do something I'd regret, I'm not letting you out of my sight." She stretched her leg towards the TV, grateful that she had chosen a motel with some amenities, and nimbly flicked the power switch with her toe. "...and in sports today..." "Bah, news. Come on, somebody's got to be..." "...this just in: Celadon City is under attack!" Seth, Slasher, and Aerie all perked up at the news. "Hello..." "We go now, live, to our news 'copter on the scene. Clark?" The scene switched to an aerial view of a rubble-lined street, with masses of people on the neighboring streets moving away. "This is Clark Forrester, reporting live from over Celadon City, where it looks like a Pokemon battle has gotten out of control. Details are sketchy at this time, but it looks like several people and Pokemon are ganging up on a high-level Charmander, with no regard for the city around them. At least one building has already been demolished, and reports are coming in that it was not evacuated. As you can see on the adjacent streets, it's mass panic as people try to get out of the way. Pokemon League authorities are reluctant to bring in artillery like they did when a giant Magmar appeared near Maiden's Peak earlier today..." Seth and Aerie blinked at each other. They had wondered, briefly, whether the shaking they felt earlier was merely their own actions. "...citing concern for the surrounding property. If you ask me, though, they probably wouldn't hit anyone, and the area's going to have to be rebuilt anyway. Frank, can we get a reading on the combatants?" "I'm trying, but I'm having a problem with the equipment." "Push the button, Frank." "(I did,)" Frank whispered, obviously not meaning to be heard. "(But it's saying there's a Ditto belonging to Professor farfing *OAK* down there! That *can't* be right.)" Seth and Aerie blinked again. "Mimic..." Aerie shook her head. "Ten to one, that's my dad if it's either of 'em." "Ahem," the TV newscaster interrupted. "Frank, Clark, you're still on the air." "Oops...uhh...uhh...right! Technical difficulties are preventing us from ascertaining the combatants' identities, but we will give you more information as we have it. This is Clark Forrester, signing off. (Frank, you know that swear word's coming out of your paycheck.)" The scene cut back to a newsroom. "In response to this and other attacks by Pokemon on people, a citizen's group is forming to, quote, 'make the streets and forests safe to walk again'. Already, reports are flooding in of random searches and seizures of Pokemon, especially highly trained Pokemon. Rumors are flying as to the identity of this group; the two most credible ones point to a new wave of Team Rocket burglaries, and an underground movement aimed at stopping the capture of wild pokemon. Pokemon League officials discount both of these rumors. Gym Leader Lieutenant Surge had this to say..." A stock photo of the electric trainer popped up; the speech sounded like it was recorded from a broadcast. "I don't know who's responsible for spreading panic, but I'd just like to point out a few facts. One: most of the incidents involve people who aren't wearing any Team Rocket uniforms and, if pressed, don't give out fancy mottos. Team Rocket ain't big on not taking credit for its sucess, if you know what I mean, so I really doubt this is them. Two: this 'resistance' is preposterous on its face. Calling capture of pokemon 'inhumane'? Saying we should respect pokemon as equals? C'mon...I mean, sure, we know they can fight and do grunt work well, but the smarter ones've got the brains of a peanut! It's a proven fact that trained pokemon live longer and healthier and become stronger than wild pokemon. We know how to take care of 'em better than they do themselves. I'm sorry, I just don't see how *anyone* could be so stupid as to think the way things are ain't the way it outta be." Slasher and Seth were both looking a little irritated. Aerie was nearly glowing, her battle aura only held in check by the fact that smashing the TV would do nothing but up their bill, and she knew it. The TV's image switch back to the newsroom. "If anyone has a lead on these mysterious raids, you are urged to contact the authorities immediately." Slashed flicked off the TV before Aerie could get angier. "Sian." "You said it. The *nerve* of that...that..." Seth silenced Aerie with a kiss. "Now, now. People didn't know that much about pokemon sentience in this day. Lots of people truly beleived pokemon couldn't think, not really. It wasn't until..." His face's color drained. "...uh oh..." That got her attention. "What?" "I just remembered. About twenty years ago, lots of people and pokemon rose up to protest the regular abuse of pokemon. They called poke balls 'brainwashing'. They also flushed out industrial use and disposal of pokemon, where large companies would buy whole teams of pokemon only to routinely send them on dangerous...or sometimes suicidal...jobs." "Twenty years ago? But that's *this* year." "I know. It was called the 'Poke Wars!' - people insisted on the exclamation point to emphasize how much happened, and how much everything changed thereafter. At one time or another, every square mile of this island became a battleground...and we've already seen it starting. Remember the fight in Pallet Mimic dropped us into?" Aerie nodded. "That was small, compared to what's ahead." "Seth..." "Aerie, I just want you to know. I love you. And I'm scared." Aerie smiled. "Then let's do something about it." Seth blinked. "Umm...Aerie...five hours wasn't enough?" She snorted a chuckle. "No, I mean about the wars. Even if this *is* our past...which I'm not convinced it is...we can change things. We know who won, eventually. If we can get people to see how things will be, we can head off the fights. We could win the Poke Wars!, Seth, by stopping it before it really starts." "Hmm..." Aerie pecked him on the cheek, and let the thought flow. At least this had gotten him to stop thinking about Mimic. "I wonder if Mimic would help." #D'oh!# TBC? - future historian at large ^.-