From: Karnivax <varanus@nospam.com> Subject: [PW!] Defense of the Heart (ATTN: MTSowbug) Date: Sunday, October 03, 1999 2:15 PM I just HAD to get Phoo, as well as Kyle's crew, to the battle against Vorge, and as quickly as possible. MTSowbug, if ya wanna D.V. this post, I'm fine with it...I honestly don't think my portrayal of Phoo here does him justice. --DEFENSE OF THE HEART-- Part 1 by Karnivax With Vorge and Protopticon away fighting in a veritable Ragnarok, it was the task of David Bradley and Phoo the Cockroach to guard Vorge's subterranean heart of operations and make sure that the extraction of Jessica Sullivan's unborn children went without a hitch. Jessica lay immobilized on an iron table, with the fearsome-looking extractor hooked up to her. David believed the machine had had sufficient time to warm up, and got ready to throw the activation switch. Jessica closed her eyes, not wanting to know where the metal tentacle-like appendage on the bottom of the extractor was going to go. "This might 'urt just a bit, miss," David informed Jessica. And with that he threw the switch. Jessica was then treated to roughly ten seconds of agonizing pain like she had never before experienced. It felt as if the metal tentacle were drilling into a rather sensitive part of her anatomy. During the ten seconds she imagined she was elsewhere; she dreamt up five different pleasant scenes at the speed of thought in an attempt to take her mind away from what was being done. But each scene was dreamt up and destroyed in the course of two seconds by the pain, which manifested itself in the pleasant scenery as various natural disasters. An impressive amount of adrenaline surged through Jessica during the ten seconds; her transformation went as far as giving her Scyther blades and wings. Even after the extractor had completed its task, the pain went on when Jessica's wings tried to find any way possible to sprout out from her shoulder blades. But with Jessica completely tied down to the table, there was no room for her wings to grow. "Make...it...stop!!!" she cried, squirming about as her shoulder blades felt as if they were about to explode. Other parts of her, namely her legs and feet, started getting more Scyther-like. Her hips in Scyther form were nearly twice as massive as her human hips, and her denim shorts were struggling to stay in one piece. That became even more difficult when Jessica started to develop a Scyther abdomen. David, just wanting Jessica to stop shouting, moved the extractor away from her, then removed the restraints from her arms and neck so she could sit up. The second she did, her wings erupted from her shoulder blades. The wings did not damage her tank top, but they grew so forcefully that they tore two large holes in the back of her leather jacket. That done, David once again put the restraints on Jessica. It was around that time that Phoo's antennae stood straight up. "Hmmm...I believe that someone is coming," he observed. "Eh, probably just another stray Diglett, mate," David suggested. He pointed to a hole on the floor of the cavern. Diglett had invaded the inner sanctum many times. But what entered the room was far more threatening than any Diglett. It was Kyle, riding on the back of the fast-flying Espio the Charizard, and followed by Torrasque, Cathode, and Thanatos. The typical Charizard flew by flapping their wings like any bird. Not terribly quick or efficient, but it got them where they needed to be. However, Espio, with his constant watching of television, was a bit more creative. He simply spread his wings out to their maximum wingspan and propelled himself along by firing powerful flame blasts out of the soles of his feet that worked like jet engines. He could not get anywhere near the distance and altitude that Grendel the Aerodactyl could, but for short-distance, low-altitude flight, Espio proved to be the superior vehicle. "Argh!" David grunted, seeing Kyle arrive. "Why 'aven't you died yet?!" Before he could draw out his Magnum, David was knocked over by Espio. Espio came to a stop, and Kyle jumped off of the dragon's back and ran over to where Jessica lay. "I knew I'd find you!" Kyle exclaimed as he ran to re-unite with his girlfriend. But before he could, Phoo jumped in between him and Jessica. "Stop where you are!" Phoo threatened Kyle. "Who's gonna make me, bug-eyes?" Kyle grunted. He raised one sneaker. Phoo was an abnormally large cockroach, but he was still a cockroach. However, as Kyle's foot started to plummet toward Phoo, Phoo blew him away with a pillar of flame that he caused to burst up from the ground. Kyle rammed into the wall and fell to the floor, saying only, "Ow." "Now try that on me, firebug," Espio goaded Phoo. So Phoo created another pillar of flame which launched Espio straight up at the ceiling. As Espio came back down, he blasted Phoo with a Flamethrower attack, shooting out an exploding ball of fire which did not hurt Phoo much, but did blast him across the room. Phoo got to his feet and flew a few feet into the air, then lit himself on fire. He proceeded to fly into the nearest wall...then he bounced off, gaining speed in the process. He bounced off wall after wall, getting faster and faster, until he was just a blurry fireball bouncing all around the room at blinding speed. The flaming Phoo purposely crashed into Espio many times during his bouncing. Phoo hit Espio twice in the arms, three times in the legs, seven times in the chest, and three times in the head, all in the course of about twenty seconds. Each blow to Espio hit like a jab from Muhammad Ali. "You deal with the Australian guy," Espio said to Kyle and his team, who were already clobbering David. "The roach is mine." Partially ignoring the fact that he was getting pounded from virtually every angle, Espio watched the bouncing fireball intently, and spread his arms apart. Seconds later he clapped his hands...and the fireball that was Phoo disappeared. When Espio spread his arms apart again, a damaged Phoo fell from his grasp. "Urghhh...what has transpired?" Phoo wondered, the jolt from getting squashed by Espio returning him to his normal state of mind. Phoo suddenly looked up at the source of a shadow that was falling over him, and he saw Espio's foot ready to stomp him into oblivion. Panicked, Phoo quickly teleported out of danger. He flew in front of Espio's face, trying to find out what was happening. "Why are you attacking me?" Phoo asked, dodging the attempts by Espio to swat him out of the air. "Possibly because you were kicking the crap out of me five seconds ago?" Espio retorted. "Impossible!" Phoo responded, flying out of Espio's reach. "Hrmmm...hmmm...the last thing I remember was admitting defeat before a fiendish abomination calling itself Panopticon..." Espio stopped trying to swat Phoo when he heard that he was an enemy of Panopticon. "You mean...you weren't always a jerk?" the Charizard asked. With that, the dragon and the cockroach came to an understanding, and Phoo was filled in on some of what he had missed. Meanwhile, Torrasque had just landed the mighty People's Slash upon David Bradley, sending him flying over the top of the giant mainframe that had once been the home of Vorge. David wanted badly to use his newfound psychic power on Kyle, but without Vorge around, David was not producing enough psi energy to pull the power off. After slamming to the ground behind the monolithic mainframe, David tossed out every Pokéball he had. Out came Clavicle the Marowak, Goliath the Golem, Rampage the Rhydon, Tassadar the Alakazam, and Fenris the Arcanine (who had once belonged to Kyle). "Look, guys, I don't care what it takes," David told his Pokémon. "Just annihilate 'em!!!" "We appreciate your being so specific," Goliath caustically snorted. Kyle was about to send out the rest of his Pokémon, but Tassadar twirled one of his long spoons, and suddenly Kyle's Pokéballs floated up to the ceiling. It was Torrasque, Thanatos, and Espio against all five of David's Pokémon. Cathode jumped off of Torrasque's head and ran to hide underneath the table where Jessica lay. "Chuuu," Cathode whined, knowing he would have been of no help to his master, but thinking that he should have stayed with Torrasque simply on principle. "Pssst...Espio," Jessica said quietly, as she looked over at the uneven fight that was about to break out. "Mind giving me a hand?" Espio looked at the thick metal restraints that were holding Jessica down. "They're locked tight," Espio noted. "I could burn through them, but I'd toast you in the process." Jessica sighed, "In that case, take the first two Pokéballs on the left side of my belt." Espio reached for the first Pokéball on the side of the belt that was to his left. "Errr...I meant from my left," Jessica corrected. So Espio took the first two Pokéballs to his right. "Atropos and Leviathan are in those Pokéballs. Send them out, quickly!" Espio spiked the two Pokéballs, and out came the red Scyther and the midget Dragonite. Leviathan glanced at the five enemy Pokémon, and moments later his language translator boomed, "Lookie here! Poor little lonely *everyone* wants some attention!" Leviathan ran over to where Thanatos and Torrasque stood fast against a pre- emptive "Super" Bonemerang from Clavicle, and blasted the Kabutops-scythe-wielding Marowak with a Water Gun attack. Atropos looked over at the mainframe, and saw David kneeling behind it, loading his two handguns. Espio went to help Torrasque, Thanatos, and Leviathan. Phoo leapt up on the table with Jessica to try his hand at gingerly burning away her restraints, but he balked upon noticing that Jessica was currently part insect. Phoo wondered what Vorge's men had done to the girl that had given her scythes, wings, and what-not. Atropos dashed over to where David knelt, and before David could even look up, Atropos knocked the guns out of his hands. "Withdraw your Pokémon now!" Atropos demanded, pointing her scythes at David's wrists. "This time you're in no position to make threats, bugger," David snarled. Before Atropos realized what was happening, David had formed his shapeshifting left hand into the shape of a spike and had rammed the spike into the red Scyther's chest. --DEFENSE OF THE HEART-- Part 2 by Karnivax "Atropos!!!" Torrasque shouted. He ran toward his injured fiancée, and as he ran, Goliath struck him with a Rock Throw, and Tassadar shot him in the back with a Psybeam. Torrasque did not even fall. He knelt down beside Atropos and checked the severity of the wound. It was not a fatal wound, but it would probably render Atropos out of action for a while, as the nearest Pokécenter was several miles away. As Torrasque frantically pulled his bleeding mate out of range of David, David reached for his Magnum and aimed it at Atropos's head. Now, David's plan was to say something dramatic, then blow Atropos's brains out. But such a plan had one fatal flaw. David began, "Don't worry, buggers...where the two o' ya are goin', ya won't ever be -" David's sentence was never finished. With blinding speed, Torrasque lunged at David and jammed one scythe into David's heart. The Magnum fell from the Australian man's hand. "We're not going anywhere," Torrasque snorted, as he pulled his scythe out of David's chest. David slumped lifelessly to the ground. There was utter silence for several seconds after that. Upon noticing of the Australian man's demise, David's five Pokémon froze like puppets without a master. "David...?" Goliath said, fear and possibly even sadness in his voice. Ever since joining up with his master, Goliath had never been separated from him. Even the mighty Rampage, who prided himself on fearlessness, looked stunned. Thanatos, Espio, and Leviathan, who had been getting decked by David's forces, were overcome with surprise at the sudden lull in the action. Kyle and Jessica were both astonished that the normally pacifistic Torrasque had killed a man. Atropos was silent only because she had passed out. Torrasque fell to his knees. "I...I'm a murderer..." There was no possible atonement for the deed, and Torrasque knew it. To make matters worse, while Torrasque was wallowing in self-pity, Atropos was bleeding profusely. The chain of inactivity broke all at once. Espio flew over the wall of David's galvanized Pokémon and swiped all five of David's Pokéballs, Leviathan carefully froze and shattered the restraints that were holding Jessica, and both Kyle and Cathode dashed over to Atropos. Thanatos just played They Might Be Giants' "The End of the Tour" on his guitar. Remembering Jessica's first aid on Torrasque in Celadon after the Scyther had been practically torn apart by Halberd the Farfetch'd, Kyle took off his denim jacket and used it to apply pressure to Atropos's wound. After five minutes or so, the bleeding stopped. Since the jacket was not exactly adhesive, Kyle wrapped it around Atropos's body, then pulled a roll of duct tape out of his backpack and taped the jacket down tight. "You really carry duct tape with you?" Espio remarked, as he beamed David's seemingly paralyzed Pokémon back into their Pokéballs. "Duct tape's the greatest invention in the world," Kyle said with utmost seriousness. "The second greatest is the Ziploc bag, because it can keep the duct tape dry." With the jacket taped down securely, Kyle got Atropos's Pokéball from Espio and recalled the fainted female Scyther. Cathode, realizing the danger had passed, went and perched atop Torrasque's head again. The young Pikachu babbled happily in his trisyllabic tongue. He wondered why his master did not seem happy at all. Cathode jumped off and sat down in front of Torrasque, then looked up at the Scyther and saw the remorseful expression on his reptilian face. "Pi?" Cathode wondered. Phoo skittered over to Torrasque to see if he could talk the fellow insect (or at least quasi-insect) out of his intense depression. "What should we do with the Fantastic Five over here?" Espio asked, as he held David's five Pokéballs. Espio booted the two Pokéballs he had taken from Jessica back to their owner. Jessica recalled Leviathan, then re-attached the Pokéballs containing Atropos and Leviathan to her belt. "Well, we can't abandon the four that are rightfully David's," Kyle responded. He scanned with his Pokédex for the ball containing Fenris, and took it back. "It's not their fault they wound up with a murderous slimeball for a trainer." "Are you saying you want to add these guys to your team?!" Espio shrieked. "You got a death wish or something?" "I'll stick the four of them in my cyber-storage space," Kyle said. "That way they can't do anyone any harm. Every once in a while, I'll take them out and give them food and what-not. And if they're as smart as they seem, they won't bite the hand that feeds them." Kyle took the four Pokéballs left in Espio's hand and used his Pokédex to send Goliath, Rampage, Clavicle, and Tassadar to cyber-storage. He then did the same to Fenris, whom Kyle feared had been brainwashed. _Not counting Cathode, I've got eleven Pokémon now,_ Kyle thought. _Not too shabby..._ It was at that point that Jessica noticed the spot where the extractor had entered her body. "Jeez, if I had a human abdomen right now, this would be *really* embarassing," Jessica noted, pointing to the hole that was now on the front of her shorts. "Kyle, do you have any spare shorts I could borrow?" "All I've got are khakis," Kyle replied. "Don't know if they'd fit you, though." He pulled a spare pair of khakis out of his backpack and tossed them to his girlfriend. She hid behind the iron table and rapidly got changed. The khakis were a little big for her, but in a way that was a good thing; her hips and abdomen, which were starting to change back to normal, were in no danger of ripping the large khakis apart. Her belt more than amply held the khakis up. So while Kyle and Jessica discussed what had been done to Jessica during Kyle's absence, and went on a fruitless search of the room for where Jessica's eggs had been taken, Phoo tried to console Torrasque. "You want something?" Torrasque sighed at the cockroach. "Hmmm...well...let me say that, personally...I feel your act was justified in this particular situation," Phoo responded. "Oh really?" Torrasque said sadly. "Enlighten me...explain to me how *this* could be justified." "I heard the thoughts that pervaded in your mind. You did not vanquish that fiend out of rage or because of some frivolous vendetta," Phoo said sagely. "You vanquished him because you knew innocent lives were at stake. Hmmm...in essence...the ends justify the means. Were that man left to his villainous machinations...he may very well have slaughtered you and all whom you hold dear." "I...I guess that makes sense..." Torrasque quietly admitted, somewhat in denial that he was seemingly being absolved for what was a serious sin, as well as crime, in human culture. "Hmmm...and I am afraid that right now, we all have an even more grave concern," Phoo added, as he started to dredge up a few of the buried memories of events that had happened during his brainwashing. "That man was but an agent of a higher power...one who threatens all life as we know it." Hearing that, everyone who was still in the room gathered around Phoo to hear what he had to say. Jessica had a deep maternal concern for what had become of the three partially developed eggs that had been taken from her womb, and naturally wanted to continue looking for the eggs, but if what Phoo had said was true, it did not matter whether Jessica found the eggs or not...her children would not have much of a future. She, too, went to listen to the wise arthropod. "Already that man's vile master...once an immobile but powerful mechanical construct...has possessed a living being and is walking the earth," Phoo went on. "The master's powers are unimaginable. Even the most powerful of creatures...human and Pokémon alike...are mere gnats compared to him. It is said that he has the power to effortlessly negate all but the absolute weakest of psychic abilities." Kyle said, "I only want to know one thing about this 'master': where he is." Phoo closed his eyes and meditated deeply for several seconds. "Hmmm...I can clearly sense a tremendous gathering of negative energy several miles north of our current location. The master will be found at that gathering, without a doubt." "That's just dandy...how are we supposed to get there?" Espio queried. "These underground tunnels don't exactly lead where we want them to." Again Phoo started meditating. "Hmmm...perhaps I can...grapple on to the dense field of negative energy...and pull myself toward it. Yes...as the humans say...it is 'worth a shot.'" Phoo started glowing with a reddish light. "Stand close to me, my friends," he told all who were gathered before him. Phoo prepared for the most powerful teleport his tiny insect body could muster. "There will be no turning back..." Seconds later, Phoo, Kyle, Jessica, Espio, Thanatos, Torrasque, and Cathode were teleported away in a bright flash of psionic fire. Okay, Adrian, if you're reading this, I'm ready to continue the Vorge saga...I think I should probably email you first, though. There are a few things I want Vorge to accomplish 'fore he bites it... ^_^ --K * A * R * N * I * V * A * X-- Rattrap: "This ship wasn't built; it was poured!" Optimus Primal: "Die-cast construction. It's a lost art." -- Posted via Talkway - http://www.talkway.com Exchange ideas on practically anything (tm).