THE PATIENT TYPE

by: Curtis Wildcat

I can't remember who owns Pokemon off the top of my head, but I can say that I certainly don't.

This story is sort of...weird. Just thought I'd tell you before I forget.

Constructive criticism and comments welcome. Flames, on the other hand, require a glass of water in case of emergency.

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Not long after Cyrus made Mars one of his three Commanders, he instructed her to take the lead in several important projects. One of these was, of course, to discover a means of harnessing the energy produced when a Pokemon evolved.

There were several ways of going about doing this. One was to train said Pokemon hard enough and work with it often to evolve it to the next level, but this was too time-consuming; gas money was on the rise, so they couldn't afford to cart all the equipment around. So, Mars decided on the next best thing: evolution stones. They didn't need to go through the trouble of carrying around their equipment; they could keep the Pokemon situated in the confines of their machinery, evolve them, and use the energy spikes to their advantage.

Along the way, Mars was struck by a curious thought. Most Pokemon had a three-stage evolution pattern---Chimchar, Monferno and Infernape, for example. What about those whose evolutions weren't as obvious---like say, Shuckle or the Ponyta line? Was there some special method for evolving them, or was there already a stone on hand that would solve the problem?

One day, Mars took the subject up in a closed-door meeting. And, as she had partially expected, a few of the grunts just laughed at her. "There isn't any means of evolving them," one of them claimed. "They're already as high as they can go. Any second-grader knows that."

"Well, obviously I'm no second-grader," Mars said, "so there has to be something we're missing. We're trying to collect as much as we can, by any means that we can...even if this means forcing evolution."

"Here's an idea," another grunt sarcastically said. "Why don't we just use every evolution stone at once? There's so many around, you'd have to get results at least once! Sheesh..."

Mars blinked, then thought about this for a few seconds. She made up her mind almost immediately. "Not a bad idea for your next mission."

"...Eh?"

"I want those of you here to take one of the choppers and gather at least one of each evolution stone known to exist in Sinnoh," Mars instructed. "Take them back here when you're finished. Don't let any of the Pokemon in storage touch them, understand?"

"...What's the matter? Don't you recognize sarcasm when you hear it?" the grunt said, disbelief coloring his voice.

Mars shook her head. Why in the world did she hire this guy? "You know what your problem is? You don't recognize a good idea when you think of it. Use your brain for a minute; that's what it's there for."

"I know how to use it," the grunt snapped, "unlike some people. Because of you, we had to widen every doorway in this facility!"

"You're treading on dangerous ground," Mars warned, a vein on her hand pulsing. "Are you insinuating that I'm fat?"

"Your weight has nothing to do with it!" The grunt's voice rose in volume. "It's that ridiculous skirt of yours. I saw you go through the back door; it took five minutes to get yourself unstuck!"

"I didn't ask for this outfit; Jupiter had already taken the nice one! Now don't take this meeting off-track!"

It was too late, of course. The two of them were already embroiled in a shouting match, and efforts by the other grunts to stop them were futile.

Half an hour later, after the meeting was finally adjourned, one of the facility's scientists approached Mars. "Permission to speak freely?"

"Go ahead," Mars said. "What is it?"

"Why are they closed-door meetings, anyway?"

"Trust me. You don't want to know."

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A few weeks later, the grunts in question returned to base, carting several sacks; each sack continued a complete set of evolution stones, from the Water Stone to the Dawn Stone. The next question was: what Pokemon should they test the theory out on?

Another grunt had a Wobuffet, left over from an excursion as a traveling trainer about ten years previous. At first unwilling to part with it, he was told that it was for the sake of science...and for the sake of Team Galactic. "Well, can't argue with that logic..."

And so it was that in one of the structure's hidden laboratories, the Wobuffet---albeit a very confused Wobuffet---was placed in a wide, glass cylinder. There were circular openings in the cylinder, enough room for a small pincer to fit through; each pincer clutched an evolution stone.

"Alright," Mars said, examining the area before deciding it was satisfactory. "Everything looks ready." She turned to one of the scientists. "Alright, Frank. Push the button."

"As you wish, Madam Forrester," the scientist replied (the sweatdropping Mars recalled that he was the brother of the grunt that she'd argued with beforehand), pressing a large red button labeled "Start".

Each pincer poked through, and each stone touched the Wobuffet simultaneously. For several long moments, nothing happened, and then...

A blinding white flash filled the room, and everyone was forced to shield their eyes or else risk becoming blinded. "Well, hand me a Magikarp and slap me silly," the argumentative grunt murmured in amazement. "Looks like it's actually working!"

"See what I mean?" Mars loudly replied. "You should never doubt me!"

"When have I ever doubted you?"

"Do you want me to answer that?"

Before the grunt could answer, one of the machines overloaded and exploded, throwing a scientist to the floor. "The readings are too high!" he exclaimed, shocked. "The system can't take it!"

"What?!" Obviously Mars didn't believe this, or else she wouldn't have said that. "There shouldn't be an evolution strong enough for our technology! Cyrus paid top dollar for this equipment!"

As the blinding light slowly receded, the sarcastic grunt answered: "Top dollar? What were those systems running---Windows 98?"

Mars started to respond...but found that she couldn't. Her jaw was hanging loose, her eyes fixed on the end result of their experiment...and it was a real doozy.

The Pokemon stood about four inches taller than its previous form and possessed a greenish tint to its skin. Its eyes and mouth seemed connected in a T-shape, with the lower half split off at separate angles; the head seemed vaguely helmet-shaped. Its four feet---yes, it actually had feet---were somewhat better-suited for walking than for waddling. The tail with the eyes was still there, but the backside had gained a conspicuous bump near where the neck should be. There was a dark green stripe around its belly, and its arms seemed to possess natural gauntlets of hardened flesh and bone.

The newly evolved psychic/fighting-type stared at everything and everyone, taking in the situation around it...then uttered a hoarse statement. The manner in which it was spoken not only made it clear what it was called, but---as Mars realized later---it would haunt everyone's dreams for the rest of their lives.

"Boooo-bafett!"

The next few seconds were a blur...at least on the Pokemon's part. Holding up its arms, it unleashed multiple bolts of glowing red energy and sent huge chunks of the ceiling crashing down. A burst of flame from the bump on the Bobafett's back propelled it through the new exit, and it was gone before anyone could react.

Multiple explosions rocked the lab, the result of the Pokemon making a grand escape, and Mars stumbled backwards. Her hand brushed up against the emergency alarm, triggering it. "Everyone, get out!" she yelled. "It's not safe here anymore!"

Racing for the exit as the building crumbled around them, Mars' head seemed to spin with all sorts of information...and questions. With the experiment a failure, what will Cyrus think? Where will the Bobafett go? What would---

Her thoughts cut themselves off as she realized that she was stuck in one of the exits, the skirt of her uniform wedged in the doorway. Holding back a curse, she pulled herself free. The delay nearly cost her, though; she escaped the facility no more than a few feet from disaster, the building imploding and collapsing on itself.

A little while later as everyone was being treated for any injuries they sustained, Mars began considering---not for the last time---whether a career change was in order. If the experiments were going to go as badly as this, she didn't want to know what existing in another time and universe was going to be like.

She also resolved to pay Cyrus a visit; she was not going to wear something this ridiculous again.

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A few days later, several police officers in Hearthome City heard a muffled thump outside the station doors. Hurrying outside, they recognized the unconscious forms of several wanted criminals. Standing over them was the strangest Pokemon they'd ever seen, carrying a sign that read: 'I am a bounty hunter. Tell me where I receive my reward.'

One officer turned to the other. "That settles it. I'm officially off caffeine."

"You and me both, Gerald."

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Author's Notes

This little idea's been hanging around in my mind for a few days, and I finally couldn't take it anymore; this just had to be typed out. More than once in recent years, I thought: "Wobuffet's name bears a close similarity to Boba Fett." And, well...you know the results now.

I know the story's not exactly high-quality, but it was almost entirely a stream-of-consciousness process. I did what I could in only a few hours of work.

In any case, I hope you enjoyed it.

---Curtis Wildcat