From: Roberto Perez-Vila <RobfromVoid@prodigy.net> Subject: [PW!] If You Can't Take The Heat... Date: Friday, October 29, 1999 3:35 PM "WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE GYM IS CLOSED?! ARGHHHHHH!!!" Mithril-rama covers her ears in pain. She's never heard Robert scream so loud. "I woke up earlier this morning than I ever have, I was crammed into a cargo room with a ton of boxes full of Pokemon products headed to Cinnabar, stopped halfway there on a pathetic patch of sand, I made Slowbro Surf faster than he's ever Surfed before, my girlfriend had to ride on my Golduck... sure, that was kind of kinky, but that's not the point! The point is that to get to this crummy Island I've gone faster than I've ever gone in my entire life, and the Gym is closed?!" Robert's eye twitches out of control, waiting for the Surfer Dude standing outside of the locked Cinnabar Gym to reply. The surfer rolls his eyes, "Yeah, dude. Gym's closed. Duuude, what's the big deal? Just come back tomorrow." Robert starts banging loudly on the doors of the Gym! Because he had a visionary dream full of symbolism the night before, the Pokemon trainer is convinced that today is the only day he'll get the Trivia questions inside the Gym correct, "LET ME IN, BLAINE! I NEED A VOLCANO BADGE! OPEN THE DOORS, YOU OLD DIRTY BASTARD!!!" Mithril-rama gasps. She tries to remember the last time Robert used profanity, but can't remember any such occurrence. "All that bangin' on the doors ain't gonna work, dude." The long-haired surfer guffaws, "Old man Blaine went into the Volcano to get away from it all for a while! All his assistants have the day off. No one's in the Gym today. Sorry, dude, but I gotta go catch some waves! Cowabunga!" The young man runs off to the beach, his red surfboard under one arm. "ARGH!!!" Robert falls to his knees while still banging on the doors to the Cinnabar Gym. "Why?! WHY?!" It seems that Robert has picked up some of his Slowbro's characteristics, because he doesn't fully process what the surfer had said until the surfer was already shooting the curl, "...Wait a minute, did he say that Blaine went *into* the Volcano?" "That's what it sounded like to me." Mithril-rama nods, hoping her calmness will rub off on Robert. Robert turns his head to the side, facing the gigantic Volcano that sprouts from the center of the vacation resort known as Cinnabar Island, "If Blaine's inside that Volcano, then I'm inside that Volcano too. Let's go, Rilli." "Into the Volcano?" Mithril-rama questions Robert's decision, figuring it must've been made in a fit of anger, "No, Robert! That's dangerous! We can't go in there, the heat from the lava will burn us. Besides, there's no entrance to it..." "D'oh, you're right!" Robert angrily shakes his fist at the Volcano, "If Farfetch'd knew how to Fly, he could drop me off at the top and I could climb down, but that worthless duck can't even hover over the floor for more than a few seconds without getting tired!" Mithril-rama places one of her hands on Robert's chest to calm him down, and feels her boyfriend's heart beating extremely rapidly, "We'll just challenge Blaine tomorrow, when he's back in the Gym. We should just try to relax until then. Today is Halloween, after all! How about we go to the world renown Hot Springs, relax there for a while, then go buy our costumes and go trick or treating? I already have an idea what I want to be for Halloween..." Robert's irregular breathing slows down, when he starts to picture his girlfriend in many "interesting" costumes. In fact, the blood that was boiling in all his veins and arteries heads to just one certain area in his body. Since his brain is getting less blood when this happens, he instantly calms down, "Yeah... Good idea, Rilli... Hot Springs... That would be nice..." In under an hour, Robert is wearing his blue and red Slowpoke trunks while relaxing in half of a large pool of warm water. The Hot Spring is divided by a thin brown wall, and Mithril-rama is on the other side, wearing her blue bikini and accompanied by her Horsea. Though the locals insist that the Springs are more enjoyable when one is fully nude, both of the children are too ashamed of their own bodies to be naked, even if no one is watching them. Robert tries to remember the all of the dream he had the night before, "That dream... It was a vision, I'm sure of it. But by tomorrow, I'll have forgotten most of it, and I'll lose against Blaine! It'll never be today again..." Robert splashes around in frustration, but gives up when depression soaks in. He sinks his head into the hot water for a moment, and when he surfaces, he moans out loud to no one in particular, "I'll never earn a Volcano Badge... I'll never be a Pokemon Master..." Robert decides to play a game to see how long he can hold his head under near boiling water without dying. Before Robert can sink his head into the water to play the potentially suicidal game, the thin wall dividing the Hot Spring comes crashing down. The sight of Mithril-rama in her blue bikini makes Robert immediately forget any suicidal thoughts, and both him and his girlfriend blush. Mithril-rama explains, "Ooops. It looks like Horsea has found a secret passage..." "A secret passage? I thought those went out of style with the Middle Ages!" Robert peers into the dark cavern that had opened up on the rocky wall behind the Hot Springs. He notices that a warmness exudes from it, and figures it must lead into the Volcano. Since that is where he wants to go, he says, "Sure! I've played RPGs before, I'm up for the adventure!" Robert puts his black shirt, belt, and sneakers back on and Mithril-rama puts on her flip-flops and grabs her purse before heading into the secret passage. After a brief distance of walking through the heated cavern, Robert and Rilli discover a staircase heading down towards large metal double doors. Mithril-rama is sweating from all the heat, even though she's half-naked, "We should go back, Robert, I'm hot!" Before Robert can comment, she adds, "Hot from the heat here!" "Let's find out what's behind those doors!" Robert is determined to continue exploring, and he runs down the staircase. When he's at the bottom, he notices that Rilli didn't follow him, "Rilli, come on! It's not so hot down here!" This said, the wick on a nearby candle spontaneously combusts due to the surrounding heat, lighting the candle. Robert sweatdrops and his sweat fizzles into vapor the moment that it forms on his forehead. Soon, Robert is exuding a great deal of steam! Mithril-rama shakes her head, "I'll wait for you here until I feel like I'm about to dehydrate, then I'm heading back." Robert turns away from Rilli, "Fine then!" He puts his hands on the metal doors blocking his path to push them open, but his hands almost literally catch fire when he does so. Robert starts flailing his burning hands around, "Feelin' hot, hot, hot!" Mithril-rama's Horsea, who is resting in her trainer's arms, spits out a Water Gun which curves in such a way that it hits Robert's hands! "Thanks, Horsea! At least *someone* cares about me." Robert gives a disapproving glance to his girlfriend who stands at the top of the staircase, "Now, if I remember correctly from my dream, I walked through a door... but it was actually my Graveler's mouth. And from the Type Chart I memorized, Rock Pokemon are strong against Fire, so Graveler should be able to open those flaming doors. Graveler, go!" Robert throws his third Pokeball and a giant gray boulder with eyes and limbs appears. The Graveler grunts, "Grrrav!" Robert points to the doors, "Graveler, use Rock Slide on those doors!" The Graveler curls up and closes his eyes, so that he ends up looking like a regular scaly boulder. After yelling his own name loudly to focus his energy, the Graveler Rock Slides his heavy body onto the metal doors, crashing them open! Unfortunately, it is hard for the Graveler to stop once he's started, so he continues rolling until he crashes into an old man wearing red clothes, violet spectacles, and a long-haired wig, knocking the poor old man over. Robert's eyes dart wide open, his face contorts to show pain, and he runs over towards the fallen old man, helping him up, "I'm sorry, mister! I didn't mean to..." Robert freezes, despite the warm environment around him, when he notices that the man behind the wig and spectacles is Blaine, the respected Cinnabar Island Gym Leader, "I'm so sorry, Blaine! I'm so very sorry! Please don't hold this against me! Please let me challenge you to earn a Volcano Badge!" Blaine adjusts his wig, which was knocked out of place when Robert's Graveler knocked him down, "You look familiar, whippersnapper, but I've beaten so many trainers that I forget their names. What's your name?" Robert smiles and shakes Blaine's hand, his mind focusing on trying to impress the Gym Leader, "My name's Robert, sir! I challenged you once a long time ago, but your Magmar beat my Slowbro and Haunter by itself. I tried to challenge you a second time, but I got two of the questions in your Gym wrong and lost the battle that ensued. I'm trying to become a Pokemon Master, and I need to earn a Volcano Badge! I challenge you to an official Gym match, Blaine!" "Well, today is my day off. I usually take Halloween off and come to the Volcano to avoid the trick or treaters. It also gives my employees at the Gym a day to spend with their children. I would normally deny your challenge while on vacation, since I'm only forced to accept it when I'm in my Gym..." Blaine rubs Robert's black hair, which was wet earlier but has dried due to the lava around him, "...but you seem all fired up about earning a Volcano Badge, young man! I admire that! This place..." Blaine motions to his Volcano-based retreat area, "...used to act as the Cinnabar Island Gym when my actual Gym was bankrupt for a brief period of time. It shall once again act as a Gym today..." Robert is so happy that he laughs! He hugs the old Gym Leader, "I'm so sorry I called you an old dir...errr, nevermind. I'm just... just... so happy! The best part is that I don't even have to answer a bunch of stupid trivia questions!" "Stupid trivia questions?" Blaine shows a stern look of discontent on his face, "Pokemon trainers must show that they are wise, and I do not like your attitude. I haven't officially accepted your challenge yet, and I won't unless you answer two of my following three questions. Question one, which is the first move a Poliwrath learns after evolving from a Poliwag?" Robert remembers his experiences from the pond outside Rosetta Town. He is glad that he stopped to smell the roses, instead of hurrying onward to the University, "That's easy! It uses its large new hands to Doubleslap the opponent!" Robert recites what Rilli's Pokepedia had said, trying to remember if he's ever actually seen a Poliwhirl, wondering how a Poliwag could grow arms. "That's correct... and impressive." Blaine nods, smiling, "Most people don't know anything about Poliwag and their evolutions. Question two, which Fighting Pokemon can master using at least three different elemental punches?" "There's a Fighting Pokemon that can learn different elemental attacks?!" Robert's eyes sparkle in awe, "That's amazing! My goal in Pokemon training is to have a well rounded team with many different elemental attacks, and I happen to be missing a Fighting Pokemon. This one sounds perfect for me! What's this Pokemon called, Blaine? I must know!" Blaine is not amused. He growls, "That's what I'm asking *you,* and from what I gather, you don't know the answer." "You gathered correctly." Robert looks down sadly, "But can you tell me anyway?!" Blaine shakes his head, lowering his eyebrows, "I refuse to spoon-feed answers to those seeking them. If I simply tell you, there is no thinking involved. If you conduct research, there's a much higher chance you'll better remember the knowledge. Now, it's time for the final question. What is the only thing that can awaken a sleeping Snorlax?" Robert chuckles. This was the first lesson that Mithril-rama ever gave him, "Duh! A Pokeflute!" Robert even reaches into his backpack and withdraws his own Pokeflute to demonstrate. He is so happy that he's gotten two of the three questions correct that he puts his lips on the Pokeflute and starts playing a happy tune, which sounds just plain awful, even to those who know nothing about music! Blaine places his hand on Robert's Pokeflute, covering the holes, stopping the horrible noise, "Now that you have proven that you are wise enough, I accept your challenge, Robert. There will be a two on two Pokemon match. Prepare yourself." Blaine walks to one side of the platform suspended over boiling lava from the Volcano. Robert recalls his Graveler and takes his place opposite Blaine. He remembers that Graveler, Golduck, Slowbro, Haunter, and Snorlax had all been in his dream, but he can only choose two of these for his upcoming battle. He wishes that Mithril-rama would show up, not to give him advice on who to choose, but to cheer him on... -Robert