From: Karnivax <> Subject: [PW!] Picking Up the Pieces Date: Friday, October 15, 1999 4:02 PM In an attempt to clean up as many of my rules violations as I can, I wrote this story, which is actually one of my shortest! This story alone... 1. Explains away Panopticon's high-tech weaponry (which has been around since BEFORE the "Weapons Rule," might I add...)! 2. Takes away all of Proteus's superfluous powers! (And as an added bonus, makes him one of THE most pathetic Ditto in the Wars! ^_^) 3. Assures that Protopticon AIN'T comin' back! (Sorry, Repticus... ^^;;;) 4. And gets Mewtwo right back to where he if nothing ever happened! This story has also been given Dreadite's seal of approval. As he put it: "Good save. ^^;" --PICKING UP THE PIECES-- Part 1 by Karnivax Panopticon slogged ever so slowly down the crude underground tunnel leading to Vorge's hidden inner sanctum. The saurian snarled to himself as he thought about how long the trip was going to take. There were several subterranean tunnels leading to Vorge's base, and the average length of such a tunnel was roughly ninety miles. With his rocket-powered rollerblades, Panopticon could have made it to the end of the tunnel in about an hour and a half. But with the rockets having been obliterated by Espio the Charizard, Panopticon was in for one long walk back to headquarters. The fact that Proteus the Ditto was sitting on Panopticon's back and happily singing in his native tongue did not help Panopticon's mood. In a way Panopticon was happy that Proteus's precious nanite ruby, the source of both his psychic powers and his intelligence, had burned out forever; it meant that Panopticon would be bossing Proteus around from now on. But Panopticon saw two downsides to the loss of the ruby as well. The first downside was that if Proteus and Panopticon were ever able to fuse into Protopticon again, Protopticon would be without its vaunted powers. The second downside was that without his ruby, Proteus was dumber than mud. The off-tune screeching that was Proteus's singing started to grate at Panopticon's tympana. Already Panopticon missed his plasma cannon and his eyelaser, both of which had been destroyed beyond repair by Torrasque. Panopticon stopped walking briefly and turned to look at Proteus. " a good little ssshapessshifter and Transssform into that rock over there," the dinosaur snarled. He pointed at a humble stone that sat on the tunnel floor. Proteus looked at the stone, and Panopticon almost swore he could see a flashing question mark form over Proteus's head...probably as a result of the fact that the computerized half of Panopticon's brain had taken considerable damage and was starting to induce hallucinations. "Dit to dit?" Proteus wondered. "The rock. Transssform into the rock, you idiot," Panopticon commanded. And an ephemeral light bulb seemed to appear above Proteus. "Dit!" he happily proclaimed, not realizing he had just been insulted. He started glowing, as well as growing. He took on the shape of a buzz-cut, tan-skinned, muscular man. Shorts, boots, sunglasses, and a Hawaiian shirt became his clothing. As he got off of Panopticon's back, Proteus raised one eyebrow in a glance that showed sheer arrogance. He leaned his head back and put one hand near his mouth as if he were shouting into an imaginary microphone, then yelled out in a deep, cocky voice, "DIT TOOOOO!!!" After that, he quickly changed back into his normal Ditto form and got back on top of Panopticon's heavily armored dorsal command module. Proteus looked quite proud of himself. The reference was lost on Panopticon, unfortunately. "You can not even turn into a rock correctly...posssitively pathetic," he snorted. "Let usss try sssomething organic, then. Can you turn into *me*?" Again Proteus looked perplexed. "Dit to, dit dit," he pointed out. Nonetheless, he got off of Panopticon's back again, then started glowing. Panopticon watched as Proteus's gelatinous body shifted and warped for nearly half a minute without forming anything even close to the cyber-saur. After a minute of unsuccessful attempts to duplicate Panopticon's complicated form, Proteus gave up. Viscous tears streamed from his beady little eyes. "You are the sssingle mossst ussselessss Pokémon I have ever ssseen!" Panopticon roared. "Are you not able to turn into *anything* correctly?!" Suddenly Proteus's face brightened, as if he were somehow happy to hear Panopticon's question. Proteus started glowing once again, and this time he formed a shape that could have been a useful one, in theory. Proteus turned into a Nidoking...the only Pokémon that he knew. "Dido!" Proteus growled. He stomped around briefly and tried to look as threatening as a five foot-tall lizard could look in front of a seven foot-long velociraptor. "DIDO!" Panopticon slapped himself in the forehead. "No, you mean 'nido,' not 'dido.'" Proteus looked inordinately surprised by this. "Dido?" Panopticon let out a pained sigh and continued walking. _What I would not give to have my plasssma cannon back,_ he thought, in an inexplicably sibilant mental voice. Meanwhile, back in the forest clearing that had held host to the battle with Vorge, reparations were being made. The survivors of Doppler's team were carting away the dead in plain view, while the survivors of the Pokémon Resistance strike force were off partying a few hundred feet away. Kyle was sitting on a moss-covered rock nearby, holding Torrasque's temporary coffin (a Pokéball) in his hand and mourning the loss of the Pokémon that had been his best friend for six years. Cathode the Pikachu was sitting on Kyle's right shoulder and wailing piteously. In stark contrast, Thanatos was off providing the music for the Pokémon Resistance's celebration. Death did not spoil the black Gengar's mood in the least. Even the most elusive of the combatants was still present on the battlefield. Having finished his games with Slasher the Persian and Repticus, Mewtwo had returned to the battlefield to keep an eye on his main enemies for as long as he could. Like Kyle, Mewtwo was sitting on a nearby rock, but the feline's pose gave him an appearance strongly reminiscent of Rodin's "Thinker." Jessica and Espio cautiously approached the vaguely seven foot-tall cat in hopes of getting some answers. Mewtwo did not seem to be paying much attention. --PICKING UP THE PIECES-- Part 2 by Karnivax "Hope we didn't catch you in the middle of anything important, Garfield," Espio irritably greeted Mewtwo. Jessica and Espio had agreed on a sort of "good cop, bad cop" approach, with Espio as the bad cop. Unfortunately, having Espio say the first words proved not to be the best arrangement. Mewtwo snapped his fingers, and an invisible wall of telekinetic force smashed into Espio, knocking the talking Charizard head over talons. Espio landed quite close to where Kyle was sitting. "For your sake, I hope *your* greeting will be more acceptable," Mewtwo snorted at Jessica. "All I ask for is to have a few questions answered," Jessica responded. "Please." There was a very uncomfortable silence for several seconds after that, but Jessica was able to mentally heave a sigh of relief when Mewtwo replied, "I suppose your friend's attempt to aid me counts for *something*...speak quickly, human." "Well...I'll be blunt," Jessica nervously went on. "If you're really the toughest, most invincible Pokémon in the world, like everyone says...and you were an enemy of could you let this happen?" Jessica pointed at the battlefield, which was littered with impact craters and corpses of human and Pokémon alike. Mewtwo raised one eyebrow. He did not know whether to be deeply insulted or extremely amused by the inquiry. Mewtwo's powers were so finely tuned that he could have easily scattered Jessica into a million pieces - no more, no less - right then and there. He did nothing of the sort, however. Jessica's second mental sigh of relief was even bigger than the first. An ever so slight grin appeared on Mewtwo's face. "You speak as if the lives that were lost here were of any concern to me," Mewtwo scoffed. "I was toying with Vorge, human. There were certain combatants present at the fight whom I would prefer went on believing that I am not as strong as the stories say." Mewtwo subtly glared at Doppler, then Phoo. "Those who try to battle me out of complete underestimation of my power...those who enter combat with me thinking that I have a weakness for them to exploit...prove much easier, and even more entertaining, to dispose of. Even Pokémon such as I need to entertain themselves *somehow*. "Vorge posed no threat to me whatsoever. Had I been fighting Vorge alone, I would have vaporized him with a single so." Mewtwo stood up, and the rock he had been sitting on floated up into the air. In the blink of an eye, the rock simply disintegrated. "Vorge's attacks certainly *looked* like they were hurting me, did they not? But all throughout the battle, I had a protective Barrier up that no one, not even Vorge, saw. Not a single one of his attacks even came close to penetrating the Barrier...observe my lack of bodily injuries. My use of Recover during the battle was simply for effect; I did not once need it." "If you had a Barrier up the whole time, how did he cut through that cord on the back of your head?" Jessica queried. "That was a very nice subterfuge, was it not?" Mewtwo laughed. He ripped the duct tape off of the organic cord, and showed that the cord had completely healed in less than five minutes. "The fact is, this 'cord,' as far as even I know, serves no discernible purpose. But I allowed Vorge, as well as everyone else present, to think it was of utmost importance...mainly because it does indeed *appear* important. I disabled the Barrier momentarily and let Vorge sever the cord. And in the future, those who fight me thinking that cutting that cord will render me powerless...are in for a rude awakening indeed. "Vorge's so-called 'ultimate weapon,' the psionic dampening field, was more of a detriment to Vorge than to myself. It negated all of Vorge's powers, but only an infinitesimal fraction of mine. Even when Vorge used the field on me once before - back when he sent his black Ditto ally to battle me - the field had only a marginal effect. I knew the Ditto was an agent of a greater power; I suspected Doppler at first. But quickly I started to sense that that was not necessarily true. So I let the Ditto 'clobber' me while the dampening field was up, thus letting his master - who was no doubt watching - think that he stood a chance against me as long as he had the dampening field active. I did so in an attempt to lure the true master out of hiding, in the event that Doppler was not the one who sought to capture me. "I put on quite a show for that Ditto...I believe Proteus was his name. I faked fainting under his attack, and I even used a little hypnotic suggestion to make it appear to him that I was (snicker) bleeding. The weakling did not damage me even once. And both Proteus's and Vorge's telepathic abilities, which could have potentially revealed my deception, were positively pathetic. I have heard of Abra with better telepathy. "Now, once word spreads of this battle, human after human will try to build psionic dampening machines, thinking it will drain me of my powers. But I worry not. Even the most powerful of psionic dampening armor - which I grudgingly wore during my time as a Team Rocket operative - failed to bring my powers anywhere near human control. No mere machine can challenge psionic might. "Vorge started out as a machine, as I understand. The humans who built Vorge did an admittedly impressive job...I would estimate that the strength of the psychic powers in Vorge's Nidoking body was very close to that of a Pokémon I once defeated, a level eighty Alakazam. I believe that Vorge's Nidoking form had better physical strength than that of any Alakazam, however." "You let all those people and Pokémon let Vorge and everyone else think that you were getting the crap beaten out of you...just to deceive a *few* people?!" Jessica cried. "Precisely," Mewtwo said matter-of-factly. "Consider yourself are one of the few humans to learn any secrets of mine. They will not do you much good, however. If you so much as *think* about telling anyone else, I will know...and you will be obliterated before the words can even escape your mouth." Mewtwo, ready to return to his home near Cerulean, started to float up into the air. "Ah...I feel better having gotten all that, as the humans say, 'off my chest.' In a way I feel...cleansed." "I don't get you at all," Jessica commented. "No one not let it concern you." With that, Mewtwo flew away like a glowing purple comet, breaking the sound barrier in the process. Never underestimate omni-cats who are, to quote Dreadite, "intelligent beyond reasoning." ^_^ --K * A * R * N * I * V * A * X-- "Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein Sent via Before you buy.