• Hey guys! Have you heard? We now have popup
    Yes, Popups!
    messages for your forum posts. Learn more about it here!
  • To keep up with the hype driven by Sword and Shield's release, we are taking applications for new moderators in our Current Events: Sword and Shield as well as Anime and Manga sections. Applications are due by November 26th.

    For more information, see this thread.We hope you all consider joining our team!
  • We hope you're enjoying Sword and Shield so far! So that everyone can enjoy it and not be spoiled, please keep the all story spoilers and any images from the games in the appropriate sections or in spoiler tags until January 3rd.

    Since spoiler tags are not allowed in signatures, please do not put images from the games in your signature either. You can list the names of new Pokémon if you want to list your team in your signature.

EVERYONE: Pokemon Shine Diamond

Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 62: Chim-Charred


Ash smiled as Tintri fired a Thunderbolt at a target. "I have to congratulate you on winning again." he told Dawn. "The fact that you did it on a major stage, just makes it all the more sweeter--not just for you, but me, as well." He let that hang as Tails fired a Water Gun at a higher up target.

"I'm amazed that you finished as strong as you did." Dawn agreed. "Have you coordinated before?"

"Yeah--once back home." Ash replied. "But it was an unofficial partner contest with May, so it didn't really count for anything."

"I see..." Dawn mused as she watched Lola rain sparkling ice crystals onto the grass. "Maybe if being a trainer doesn't work out, you can always be a coordinator."

"Maybe." Ash smiled as he watched Diddy fire an Ember into the sky.

"How's everyone doing?" Brock asked from his vantage point on a stump.

"I've been working with my team, and Dawn's been honing appeals." Ash explained as Stormy showed Brock a ring of Sparks as an appeal.

"If you guys need a break, I could use a test audience for a tale I've been working on for the Fantasy Stage." Brock offered.

"Sure!" Ash smiled.

"Go on and get tuned--we'll be happy to give you feedback." Dawn agreed as she motioned for Kori, Lola, and Stormy to join her.

---------

The twangs of a guitar tuning up echoed through the forest as Ash and Dawn led their Pokemon to gather around the stump. "Okay...Brock mused as he fine tuned a little. "This is called 'The Faithful Fair One'. It's an adventurous tale told around the world, but I'm going to tell the Kanto version."

With that, he began. "There was once a king’s daughter so beautiful that they named her Aurelia, meaning "the golden one" Her hair was unlike any in the world, soft and fine, and falling in waves down to her feet. She always wore it like this, loose and flowing, crowned with a crown of laurels. Even though such long hair was sometimes inconvenient, it was so beautiful, shining in the sun like waves of gold, that everybody agreed she fully deserved her name."

He started a soft interlude as he continued "Now, there was a young king of a neighboring country who was very handsome, very rich, and wanted nothing more than a bride to make him happy. He had heard much about Princess Aurelia--who was often called 'The Faithful Fair One' in the rumors--that eventually, without even seeing her, he fell in love with her to the point that he could neither eat nor drink, and resolved to send an ambassador immediately to demand her in marriage."

Just then, the crash of a thunderbolt in the distance make Brock stumble over a wrong note. "What was that?" Dawn asked.

Ash winced when he saw Paul approaching the clearing with Surge. "Paul...what are you doing here?"

"I should ask the same of you, Wonder Boy." Paul shot back. "Have you failed so hard at training that you had to resort to dressing up in a silly costume and dancing around with your Pokemon like a moron?"

"Coordinating is not dancing around in a costume!" Ash retorted.

"Coordinators are not moronic, either!" Dawn agreed.

"But you call third place a strong showing?" Paul went on. "I wouldn't settle for anything less than a win, no matter what kind of competition I was in!"

"Really?" Ash shot back. "I entered under Wallace's recommendation, so I saw it as a chance to learn to be creative with my team's moves."

"So? Being creative doesn't have to involve frilly costumes and showy moves." Paul smirked.

"Oh yeah? You only tried out for the play so that you could strong arm your way to the lead role!" Ash snapped. "I entered for the sake of the experience."

He went on "Look, while we both share the dream of winning the Shinou League and challenging Cynthia, our training methods couldn't be more different. I raise my team the way I do because I love each and every one of them, and want to see them all succeed."

"Ash has a point, you know." Brock interjected. "Remember what Cynthia said back at Amity Square?"

"What do you know about Pokemon training, minstrel?" Paul growled. "Ash has his method, I have mine."

"But the way to true power is by loving and trusting your team!" Ash pleaded. "Let's duel to prove it!"

Diddy spotted Paul walking away. [Hey! Ash isn't done talking! If you don't wanna duel, just say so!]

Paul smirked at Diddy. "Okay then, Wonder Boy--we'll see whose training is better. Let's duel."

---------

"This will be a three on three singles match." Brock explained as he drew a Poke Ball outline in the grass.

"Whoever wins the coin toss will take the Diamond side." Dawn explained as she showed Ash and Paul her Poketch's coin flipper. "Arceus head is heads...Shinou League crest is tails."

"Heads." Ash called as Dawn hit the button.

"Tails." Paul called.

Dawn checked the results. "It's heads, although Ash has the option to defer."

"That's fine." Ash replied before addressing his team. "Which of you wants to fight?"

[Me!] Diddy volunteered. [I've got a bone to pick with Mr. Cocky.]

---------

A referee's whistle echoed through the clearing, signalling the battle between Ash and Paul was underway. "Diddy, use Heat Wave!" Ash called.

"Goku, use Flamethrower!" Paul commanded.

Ash braced himself as the two whorls of fire impacted in a massive explosion. "Try Sand Attack!"

Paul was unfazed by the sand flying into Goku's face. "Now would be a good time for Diddy to learn that being defeated in battle is all the trainer's fault."

[NO, IT'S NOT!!!] Ash's team shot back.

[Take that back, you jerk!] Tails barked. [If we were defeated in battle, maybe we were overmatched!]

[Or Ash went in unprepared.] Gaia suggested.

[Or the opponent had a better strategy.] Tintri added.

[But it is NOT Ash's fault!] Diddy screeched. [If Ash gets beat, the onnus is on us to get stronger and better!]

Paul just recalled Goku and heaved another Poke Ball. "Bruno, let's go!"

Tintri looked up at the massive bear Pokemon before Diddy. [Uh, are you sure you can fight something that big?]

[Relax, leader-chu--I've got this.] Diddy smiled back.

[Okay...good luck!] Tintri called as Diddy heaved a Flamethrower at the Ursaring.

"Bruno, use Focus Blast!" Paul commanded.

Ash gasped as he saw a massive yellow-orange blast of energy headed for Diddy. "Diddy, burrow underground if you can!"

"Bruno, use Hammer Arm on the ground!" Paul commanded.

Ash watched in horror as Diddy went flying into the air. But his panic initially turned to joy when he saw Diddy emerge in a flaming fury! "Wow...Diddy activated Blaze!"

Paul balked at the red aura around Diddy. This is it...this is the power I was trying to unlock all along.

"Blaze triggered because Diddy is trying his best to defeat you." Brock explained. "The cheering from Ash and his teammates allowed him to tap into that inner power."

Paul just grimaced. "Bruno, try Focus Blast again!"

He did not expect Diddy's next Flame Wheel to smash into his Ursaring, knocking him out. "NO!!!"

---------

Tintri noticed that Diddy's eyes still were an angry orange color, never mind that the battle was over. [I don't like the looks of Diddy...]

"Diddy, please stop!" Ash pleaded before rolling to avoid another Flame Wheel.

"Whoa!" Even Paul jumped away from an errant Flame Wheel.

Dawn watched in horror as Diddy's berserk fury ignited tree after tree. "This is bad...Kori, use a Whirlpool to put out the fire before it burns this forest down!"

[I'll help, too!] Tails offered as he heaved a Water Gun at a burning tree.

Ash's heart pounded as he watched Diddy set more fires faster than Kori and Tails could put them out. I've got to corral Diddy before this forest is burnt to a crisp!

He leaped onto the running Chimchar and Ursaring hugged him close to his chest. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
At this line, the damage from Diddy's fury healed in a holy light.
Emusto koron zen fine, si...

He heaved a relieved sigh of exhaustion and relief as the red aura faded and Diddy's eyes returned to normal. [What happened?] Diddy asked. [I...don't know what came over me! Forgive me for trying to burn this place down!]

"I used...my Swanna Song out of desperation." Ash explained, breathing hard all the while. "But I believe...you can control Blaze...No matter what happens...I will always believe in you..."

"But what are you going to do the next time Diddy ends up accessing Blaze?" Paul asked as Ash set Diddy down. "A superpower song can't save you every time."

"I believe Diddy has the ability to handle the power inside him." Ash explained. "He's just not at a high enough power level to control it yet."

"You're a fool to believe that Diddy can handle Blaze." Paul muttered. "If and when Diddy learns how to control Blaze, we will battle again."

Brock watched Paul storm off. "I trust your abilities and tactics wholeheartedly, Ash. I truly believe Diddy can master Blaze without side effects. But we need to get started on that training as soon as we can--your run at the Shinou League might depend on it."

Ash hugged Diddy. "I know, Brock. We'll face Paul again soon enough."

To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 63: Cream of the Croagunk Crop!

"Pastoria City...the town that lives with the Great Marsh--five miles." Brock reported as the group made their way down the road.

He showed the group a picture of a large muscular man wearing wrestling garb, including a feathery blue mask. "In addition to being the city's Gym Leader, many more know Wake from the wrestling scene, where his iconic blue feathered mask and theme song have become legendary. It is also not unheard of for him to also answer to his ring name, Crasher Wake."

Dawn balked as she heard a powerful voice singing The ring is my roiling sea! The towering waves shaped me... "Speak of Darkrai..."

Ash motioned for the group to follow him down another pathway, where they found a familiar man in wrestling garb singing as he cleared away some trees and brush. Crash! Crash! Crasher Wake!
Crash! Crash! Crasher Wake!
I'm the tidal wave of power to wash you away!
Put out the fire, Crasher Wake!
Run from electricity, Crasher Wake!
Ah, ah, aaaah!
The ring is my sea.


He noticed the group watching him. "Oh, hello! Were you maybe coming to town to visit?"

"We were." Dawn replied.

"I've heard a lot about your exploits in the ring and in the Gym, Wake..." Ash began as he stepped out of the brush. "I'm Ash, and I've journeyed from afar to see if your power in the Gym is as great as people say."

Wake thought for a moment. "I would be happy to battle you, Ash, but at the moment I have some business to attend to. Would you three like to come with me?"

"Yeah!" the group chorused at almost the same time.

"Come on--we can take a shortcut through the Great Marsh." Wake motioned for the group to follow him.

---------

"The Great Marsh is similar to the Safari Zones across the world." Wake explained as the tram whirred past the various forests and marshes. "But what Pokemon you'll see on any given day is a surprise. If you want to make a run through the Marsh, it's 500 credits a pop."

He smiled as the tram stopped. "But that's not where we're going. Our destination is deep within the marsh, in an out of the way spot most trainers on a run don't get to see.

Dawn noticed the sun was setting. "Wow...it took us all day to get here?"

"The marsh is a big place, lass." Wave smiled as he cleared the brush. "So if you plan on running through it, plan the day accordingly."

The group arrived in an open field some time later. "And here we are!" Wake smiled.

"But, we're in the middle of nowhere..." Ash began.

He gasped when he saw what seemed like hundreds of yellow eyes surrounding him! "D-did we just walk into a monster den?"

"Not at all--you're seeing the marsh's many resident Croagunks." Wake assured Ash. Sure enough, millions of Croagunks hopped out from the wetlands and grasslands towards a large hollow log."

"Let's follow them!" Dawn suggested, following Wake and the Croagunks into the log.

---------

"Wow..." Ash gasped as the group emerged from the log to find all the Croagunks and thousands of people all gathered around a huge temple.

"Welcome to the Pastoria Croagunk Festival, everyone." Wake smiled. "Since ancient times, Croagunk has been seen as a symbol of wisdom and cleverness. One of the festival's ancient traditions is the Fantasy Stage, with the winner becoming Lorekeeper of the Great Marsh."

"Sounds fun!" Brock smiled as he showed Wake his one Miracle Jewel. "Where do I sign up?"

"Signups are over there." Wake pointed out a table near the gaming alley. "You still have time if you want to try and impress the Croagunks with your tales!"

---------

"These aren't half bad!" Dawn raved as she bit into an iced Croagunk shaped cookie.

"Neither are some of these tellers." Ash smiled as he watched the red and gold clad girl currently on the stage. "Brock has some competition!"

The Croaguaks croaking in approval of the girl's story snapped both Ash and Dawn to attention. "The Croagunks seemed to like that tale..." Wake smiled as he looked at a meter that measured how well a story did based on the Croagunk's reactions.

He checked the list of competitors. "Up next is competitor number K-42207, performing the tale 'The King of the Waterfall'."

[You can do it, Coach!] Kage croaked as Brock made his way onstage, to 'oohs' and 'ah's from the crowd at his beautiful costume.

"I wouldn't miss Brock telling for the world!" Dawn agreed.

On the stage, Brock took a deep breath and let it go before telling the crowd "Once upon a time something happened. If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told."

With that, he began "There was once a young king of a far away land--we'll call him Dolan--who had tired of the hobbies he had enjoyed, and wanted to do something he had never done before. As he pondered this, he got the idea to play chess with the goblin that lived near his castle."

Intrigued murmurs filled the air. "But though King Dolan was young and eager, he was also prudent, and his father had always told him to be very careful in dealing with fey and spirits, both good and bad." Brock explained. "So before going to the goblin's cave, King Dolan sought out an old wizard that lived in the country."

"I want to play a game of chess with the goblin near my castle." he explained in a higher pitched version of himself for Dolan.

"Do you, now? If you value your life, you will play with someone else." he cautioned in character as an older man, to some bemused giggles.

"No; I will play with the goblin." he vowed as King Dolan.

"Well, if you must, I won't try to stop you. But if you do win a game, ask as a prize the girl that stands behind the door." he instructed as the wizard.

As himself, he went on "So before the sun rose, King Dolan got up and went to the goblin's cave."

"What has brought you here today, milord? But I welcome you all the same, and more welcome will you be if you will play chess with me." he grins in a nasaly voice for the goblin, to the crowd's bemusement.

As himself, he continued "King Dolan agreed, and the game began."

He explained to the crowd "Now, chess in this land was not like chess as we know it in our world, but closer to games like Othello or Spot."

"Oh"s went up at this. "King Dolan took the red pieces, and the goblin took the blue ones." Brock went on. "Sometimes it seemed as if one would win, and sometimes the other, but in the end King Dolan won by capturing all the goblin's pieces. When the goblin asked what he wanted as a prize, King Dolan insisted on the girl that stood behind the door--we'll call her Anya. He took her home, cleaned all the dust, ash, and sweat from her, and gave her clothes fit for a queen. When she emerged, she was one of the most beautiful women in the world."

He smiled. "It goes without saying they were soon married."

"Aw"s and happy sighs from the Croagunks filled the air, but the smile on Brock's face was a signal he had more to tell. "The next day, before the sun rose, King Dolan sprang from his bed, and told his wife he wanted to play another game of chess with the goblin."

"If you win that game, accept nothing for your prize but the shining Ponyta in the wooden shed." he instructed in a mimic of Dawn for Queen Anya.

He continued as himself "So King Dolan and the goblin played another game of chess, and King Dolan won the Ponyta handily."

More intrigued murmurs went up as Brock went on "On the third day King Dolan got up before dawn, and as soon as he had eaten breakfast he prepared to go out, when his wife stopped him."

"I would rather that you did not play with the goblin, for even though you have won twice, one day he will win, and then he will put some kind of curse upon you." he warned as Queen Anya.

"I'm impressed Brock's learned how to mimic my voice..." Dawn admitted over the fearful murmurs.

"He just has a knack for mimicry--he learned to do me after only hearing me once, he's that good." Ash smiled.

[Pipe down, you two! Coach is performing!] Kage hissed.

"King Dolan requested one last game, and departed for the goblin's cave." Brock intoned from the stage. "But whether it was nerves or overconfidence, I'm not sure, but the goblin won the third game."

Even the Croagunks gasped at this. "I'll be willing to spare your life if you do not get for me the Sword of Light that hangs in the house of the king of the giants." he explains as the goblin.

As himself, Brock went on "King Dolan agreed, but as he trudged home, he wondered how in the world he would accomplish such a task. Queen Anya seemed to know what had happened long before her beloved arrived, and when she had heard the whole story, she said..."

"That is nothing to grieve about. You have the best wife anyone could ask for, and the best Ponyta in the world. Only do as I tell you, and all will be well." he assures the jittery crowd as Queen Anya.

As himself, Brock went on "King Dolan was still sleeping when Queen Anya got up to get everything ready for her husband’s journey. The first place she went to was the stable, where she fed and watered the shining Ponyta--who was none other than the Legendary shining Ponyta Epona--and put the saddle on. Most people thought this saddle was made of wood, and did not see the little sparkles of gold and silver hidden in it. She then led Epona down before the castle gate, where King Dolan waited.

"Good luck to you, and may you be victorious in all your battles." he smiles as Queen Anya. "Take Epona's advice, and heed it well."

The crowd buzzed with excitement as Brock continued "And so, King Dolan set out on his journey, and the wind went on before Epona. But Epona never stopped nor looked behind, until in the dark of the night she reached the castle of the king of the giants."

"Here we are." he smiled in a mimic of Misty for Epona. "You will find the Sword of Light in the king’s chamber. If it comes to you without scrape or sound, it accepts you as its master. At this hour the king is eating dinner, and the room is empty, so no one will see you. The sword has a knob at the pommel--when you grasp it, draw it softly out of its sheath. I will be under the window."

He went on as himself "King Dolan crept along the passage, pausing every now and then to make sure that no one was following him, and entered the king’s chamber. A strange line of light told him where the sword was, and tiptoeing across the room, he grabbed the knob, and drew it slowly out of the sheath. King Dolan's heart was pounding all the while--what if the sword made some noise, and brought all the people in the castle running to see what was the matter. But the sword slid swiftly and silently along the scabbard until only the tip was left touching it. Then a low sound was heard, that sounded like the edge of a knife touching a silver plate, and King Dolan was so startled that he very nearly dropped the knob. He scrambled through the small window, and leaped into the saddle."

"He has heard and he will follow, but we have a good start." he breathlessly tells an imagined person as Epona.

He narrates as he runs across the stage "On they sped, on and on, leaving the wind behind them. But Epona recognized the shining Ponyta, this one male, that the king of the giants rode."

"That shining Ponyta is my brother Lightfoot, and swifter still than I." he explains as Epona. "He will fly past me with a rush. Then you must have your sword ready, and cut off the head of the one who sits on him, as he turns and looks at you. There is no sword in the world that will cut off his head, save for that one."

Brock stopped to retrieve his harp as he continued "All happened as Epona had said, and before the sky was streaked with red he was home again, and Queen Anya was waiting until he arrived. She was happy to see him home, but she only took her harp and sang softly the songs he loved, until he was asleep, soothed and happy."

Even the Croagunks swayed along with the crowd as Brock played "The Fairy's Waltz" on his own harp for effect. "Pretty!" Dawn smiled.

"He must've been practicing hard." Ash agreed.

When the last note died, Brock continued "King Dolan woke up the next day in high spirits, and wanted to travel to the goblin's cave to find out if the spells he had casted on him were broken."

"Be careful, for it is not with a smile as on the other days that he will greet you." he warned as Queen Anya, setting the harp aside as he spoke. "He will meet you with fury, and ask you if you have the sword, and you will reply that you have it. Next he will want to know how you got it, and you must tell him that if it weren't for the knob you wouldn't have gotten it at all. Then he will raise his head to look at the knob, and you must stab him in the chest; but take heed, for if you miss his heart by even a little, then we are both doomed."

He went on "With that, Queen Anya kissed him, and bade him Arceus-speed..."

---------

"...King Dolan and Queen Anya returned home to a hero's welcome the next day, but they kept the magic jewels with them, in case they ever needed their friends' aid again." Brock finally concluded his tale some time later.

The marsh exploded with cheers, applause, and croaks as Brock took a bow. "Wow! That was amazing!" Dawn raved as the reaction meter zoomed all the way to the top as the Croagunks enthusiastically croaked.

Wake noticed the shining rainbow light at the top of the reaction meter. "Is it fair that number K-42207 is the winner of this years competition?" he asked the crowd as two Croagunks brought him a pillow with an orange plastic jewel on it.

The audience roared in reply. "Very well...the winner of this year's Fantasy Stage is number K-43307--Brock Harrison of Kanto!" The crowd roared as Brock met Wake on the stage to accept the orange jewel.

Wake located Ash and Dawn in the crowd as many in the crowd ran to get food or play more games. "I must say, your friend has real talent!" he smiled. "He should take his tales on the road one day!"

He then noticed Tintri. "Ash...I hereby accept your challenge for a Gym match. But we will battle tomorrow at the earliest--there's still plenty of partying to do tonight."

"Okay!" Ash smiled. "I'm bringing my S game!"

Brock rejoined Ash and Dawn some moments later. [Nicely done, Coach--you've finally got a win yourself!] Kage raved.

"Thanks...now I know how Dawn feels right now." Brock smiled as he put his costume away and dropped the orange jewel into his Miracle Jewel bag. "If Ash wins against Wake tomorrow, he'll be halfway there on the road to the League."

Dawn noticed groups of people playing music around the temple area. "Up for a jam to celebrate your win?" she asked Brock.

"Sure!" Brock smiled. "What tunes do you know?"

"May taught me how to play 'The Swellow's Tail' back at Lake Valor..." Dawn explained as she found her fiddle case and started tuning up.

Once Dawn and Brock were ready, Ash snapped to count off his companions into the timeless tune, Kage drumming on some rocks for percussion all the while...

To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 64: A Crasher Course in Power!

[I'm not accepting any ties today!] Tails vowed as he streaked towards a floating target in a pool. [This match, I'm gonna win!]

Ash applauded as the target shattered from the force of Aqua Jet. "Nicely done! Remember, Wake's not gonna hold anything back, so you guys need to bring your S-game too!"

"It may also be a good idea to brush up on the creative side of battling too." Dawn agreed as she joined Ash in the yard. "So is it okay if you show me some appeals with Tails, just like a real Contest?"

"Sure." Ash replied as he approached the pool where Tails was training. "Okay, Tails--pretend I'm using you in a Contest for a second. What moves would you use to best impress the judges in the Appeal competition?"

[That's easy!] Tails smiled. [I assume we were going first in this hypothetical Contest?]

"Yeah, just assume we were picked from the hat to go first in the first turn." Ash replied.

[Okay...I would start with a rain of Swift!] Tails cried, firing a Swift attack through the water to create some sparkling stars. [Then, I would use Hail...]

He conjured some small ice chunks, which rained into the pool. [...to follow up with Ice Beam for a nice combo!]

Some applause startled Ash and Tails. "Not a bad start! Your Buizel sounds like he has thought this through!"

Ash whirled around to find Wake watching what Tails was doing. "Wake? What are you doing here?"

"I was just passing by to make sure that you guys aren't too worn out by the festival last night." Wake explained before tossing a Poke Ball. "But first, say hello to Nami!"

Piqued, Ash read up on the larger weasel Pokemon that Wake had summoned:

"Floatzel, the sea weasel Pokemon. The evolved form of Buizel, it is a common sight around fishing ports. It is known to rescue people and carry off prey."

---------

"All right, here's how this will work." a referee began as Ash and Wake stared each other down from opposite ends of a large indoor pool. "The match will be a three-on-three singles match. If Diamond knocks out all of Pearl's team, he will earn a Fen Badge. Should Pearl knock out all of Diamond's team, Diamond will lose the match, and must try again. Any questions?"

Ash and Wake both cheered in reply. "All right--let the battle begin!"

"Hayate, showtime!" Wake called, summoning a Gyarados into the water.

"Tintri, let's go!" Ash called, spurring Tintri to run onto one of the rocks floating in the pool. "Start with Thunderbolt!"

He balked when the thunderbolts cleared. "H-how?" he stammered when he noticed the Gyarados seemed hardly phased.

"Don't think a type advantage will save you!" Wake taunted as the Gyarados charged some familiar purple flames.

Ash remembered the flames as Dragon Rage. "Tintri, try to counter with Iron Tail!"

[HI-YAH!] Tintri cried as he leaped into the air, his tail glowing on the way up.

"Try to bite the Pikachu, Hayate!" Wake called.

The Gyarados lunged at Tintri, but the confident grin on Ash's face told Wake that he had an idea. "Try to use Volt Tackle on the way down!"

He shielded his eyes as Tintri slammed into the Gyarados in a silvery electric explosion. "Hayate is unable to battle--this round goes to Diamond." the referee announced.

---------

In the stands, Dawn applauded Ash's move. "Seems my advice about thinking like a coordinator is helping!"

"That would be a cool double performance if you ever had to do that again." Brock agreed as he watched Wake summon a light blue amphibious Pokémon.

Dawn decided to read up on the Pokemon as Ash called back Tintri and summoned Gaia:

"Quagsire, the water fish Pokemon. Due to its relaxed and carefree attitude, it often bumps its head on boulders and boat hulls as it swims."

She watched Gaia use Energy Ball, but the Quagsire dove into the water. Not one to be deterred, Gaia hopped over the panels on the water in an attempt to find the Quagsire. "Wow...your Budew's very quick!" Wake smiled. "But how does she hold up to the element of surprise?"

Ash gasped as the Quagsire used Sludge Bomb, sending Gaia flying backwards. "Gaia, return!" he called when he saw the familiar blue white of Ice Beam out of the corner of his eye.

He heaved another Poke Ball skyward. "Tails, use Sonic Boom!"

Dawn and Brock braced themselves as Tails fired the massive soundwave. "How could that Quagsire take that?" Dawn gasped. "He didn't even flinch at the Sonic Boom!"

"Wake's trained his team hard." Brock replied as he watched the Quagsire charge an Ice Beam. "But I'll admit Ash is doing well with the tactical approach so far."

On the battlefield, Ash got an idea when he saw the Ice Beam. "Remember that girl coordinator with the Buizel during the Wallace Cup Tintri was telling you about?"

[What about her?] Tails asked.

"Remember that combo she did with Aqua Jet and Ice Beam he mentioned?" Ash asked. "I wonder how it would work in a battle scenario?"

[Let's give it a go!] Tails cried, charging towards the Quagsire just as it fired the Ice Beam. The two attacks collided in a massive icy wave.

"Nagare is unable to battle--this round goes to Diamond." the referee announced.

"Way to go, Ash!" Dawn cheered. "You're almost there!" Brock whistled in agreement.

[Brickabracka, firecracka, sis boom bah! Ash Ketchum, Ash Ketchum, rah, rah, rah!] Tarina cheered from the stands, waving some red Pichu-sized pom-poms all the while.

---------

"Nami, you're up!" Wake called as he summoned his Floatzel.

Ash watched as Tails charged at Nami, but Nami inflated her sac, deflecting Tails' attack. "Tails, try Water Pulse!"

Tails gasped as Nami punched away the shining wave of water! [Oh no...]

He braced himself as Nami fired a volley of wind shears. "That was Razor Wind..." Brock noted as he watched Nami block a desperate Water Gun from Tails.

Frustrated, Tails charged at Nami again, only for Nami to punch the water, sending him flying backwards.

He swallowed hard as Nami conjured a red aura around herself. [I have a bad feeling about this...]

Desperate, he fired a Sonic Boom, which clashed with a new volley of Razor Wind.

Ash watched as Nami chased Tails in the pool. "Tails--remember the water is your friend!"

[I know!] Tails called back. [I have an idea!]

He inflated his sack, allowing him to stop. Nami flew right past him, leaving a small wave behind her. Once sure he could hit Nami, Tails charged forward with an Aqua Jet, stunning Nami and knocking her backwards!

"She's stunned! Try Water Pulse!" Ash called.

[HAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!] Tails cried as he fired a Water Pulse at point blank range into Nami.

The referee watched as Nami flew into the Pearl safety barrier. "Game set! This match goes to Diamond!"

---------

The group gasped as Tails glowed against the sunset, transforming into a Floatzel himself. "Tails...why did you evolve?" Ash gasped.

[Even though I beat her in a fair fight, Nami inspired me back there.] Tails replied [She's both pretty, and powerful!]

[Oh come now, don't be so modest...] Nami purred as Wake met the group in the Gym's plaza. [You're not too shabby a battler yourself!]

"If you think Nami is powerful, I can't wait to see how much stronger your new Floatzel will be." Wake smiled.

He offered Ash a circular Badge that evoked a mountain lake. "The styles of battling and winning are as widely varied as trainers are. Don't ever lose sight of what makes your style unique!"

"I promise." Ash smiled as he took the badge.

After turning his cap back, he yelled to the setting sun "I got a Fen Badge!"

To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 65a: Hungry for the Good Life! (part 1)

"...Mr. Backlot used his own money to finance Amity Square." Dawn read from a guidebook. "He wished that the square could be a place where Pokemon and their masters could relax and play together."

"That's sweet." Brock smiled as the group rounded a corner.

"When he is not traveling the world filming a movie, Mr. Backlot makes his home in a historic mansion just outside of Hearthome City." Dawn read on. "The mansion itself and the gardens are world renowned, and open to the public."

She was snapped from her reading by a tiny pink humanoid Pokemon that darted from a bush. Piqued, she read up on the creature as it danced before the boys:

"Cleffa, the star shape Pokemon. According to local rumors, Cleffa are often seen in places where shooting stars have fallen.

"Cool!" Ash smiled. "Maybe a meteor fell here?"

"Stella, where are you?" a female voice called, snapping the group to attention. A green haired woman in an elegant costume arrived to collect the Cleffa some moments later. "There you are, Stella--I was getting worried about you..."

Dawn sighed over a familiar guitar playing a wistful melody. If you miss me when I’m gone, just walk down by the sea... Brock sang.

Sing with a whisper of the waves, and there remember me...

[We're nowhere near water!] Kage snapped before jabbing Brock, creating a discordant Eb chord.

The girl just giggled. "Oh, come now, I wanted to hear more of that ballad!"

"Oh, Brock knows a zillion of them, miss..." It occurred to Ash that he had not asked the woman's name.

"Monica, please." the woman smiled. "I'm the chief Pokemon caretaker for Mr. Backlot."

"I'm Dawn--and these two are my companions." Dawn smiled as she gestured to the boys. "This is Ash, aspiring League champion..."

"Hi." Ash smiled as Tintri bounded on his shoulder.

"...and you've met Brock--our resident Loremaster, balladeer, and navigator." Dawn went on, eying Brock as he retuned his guitar a little.

Monica looked up at the sky, which was beginning to cloud up. "Well, if you three need a place to stay, Mr. Backlot has opened the house to visitors."

A boom startled Ash and Tintri. "I think we will take you up on that offer!" Ash cried as rain started to pour down.

"Come on--the house isn't far." Monica motioned for the group to follow her as thunder rumbled overhead...

---------

The group gasped in awe at the majestic staircase. "This place is amazing..." Ash gasped as he gave his cap to a servant to hang up on a hat stand.

A man in an elegant suit came down the stairs some moments later. "Welcome, travelers; to my humble home. I am David T. Backlot--director, producer, and explorer.

"Pleased to meet you, good sir." Brock smiled. "I'm sure you have millions of stories to tell about your adventures."

"That I do." Mr. Backlot replied. "Won't you and your Pokemon join us for afternoon tea?"

"We'd love to!" Dawn smiled before heaving all her Poke Balls skyward "Come on out, everyone!"

"You guys, too!" Ash also summoned his team.

"And you guys!" Brock summoned his team as well.

Tarina gawked at the majestic foyer. [Wow...did we just arrive in a castle?]

Mr. Backlot just chuckled as Monica brought out a cart piled high with Poffins. "I wouldn't say it is a castle, little one...but it does have its own fascinating history."

"Come on, everyone! It's time for tea!" Monica called, spurring the Cleffa from earlier, an Igglybuff, three Pichus, and an Azurill to romp down the stairs.

"Aw..." Ash smiled as he spotted the Azurill. "Reminds me of a friend of mine at home, and an Azumarill I have back at home..."

Kori balked as a Swinub snatched one of her Poffins. [Hey, this is MY snack!]

[Get your own!] Diddy agreed as the Swinub took a Poffin from him.

Mr. Backlot noticed the angry Pokemon eying the Swinub. "Monica, please make sure Shimo gets some Poffin too."

"Yes sir." Monica replied as she got down an ornate bowl from a cabinet.

Dawn watched the Swinub eat a generous share of Poffins. "Shimo looks cute..."

"Well, he is not technically ours..." Mr. Backlot admitted. "His true home is in the nearby forest. But considering how often he comes here, he could very well be one of the family..."

The group did not notice Mars and Jupiter spying from a bush looking into the tea room. "Wow--just imagine the energy of a rich guy's Pokemon!" Mars smiled.

"Actually, I was thinking of giving them to Cyrus as gifts." Jupiter suggested. "Let's keep looking around these cushy digs--there's bound to be tons of secret passages we could sneak inside!"

---------

"For you, Sir Ash--Oran Rooibos." Monica smiled as she delivered an elegant teacup to Ash.

"Pinkies out." Brock discretely whispered as Ash accepted the teacup.

"Mm...tastes a little like a hot Oran vanilla Fizzo." Ash smiled.

"There's more in the pot if you want seconds." Monica replied as a servant brought Dawn a teapot. "For you, Lady Dawn--Moonlight Honey Oolong."

Dawn took a sip of her teacup. "Reminds me of the honey Mom would put on her biscuits every Saturday..."

Another servant brought Brock a pot. "For you, Sir Brock--Peppermint Afterglow."

[Smells wonderful!] Tarina raved as Brock took a sip of his teacup.

"Mm...very warm and sweet." Brock raved.

"They say mint tea is good for the voice." Monica smiled.

"This is Pokemon safe, right?" Brock asked.

"All our blends are safe for Pokemon to enjoy." Mr. Backlot assured Brock. "So your little Pichu knight can have some too."

[Don't mind if I do, good sir.] Tarina smiled as a servant brought over a Pichu sized teacup for Brock to pour Tarina a share of the tea.

Mr. Backlot noticed the drawstring bag holding Brock's two Miracle Jewels. "Would you be willing to showcase your skill for us at dinner tonight?"

"I would be honored." Brock replied. "If I can have some time to prepare, I'll gladly show you my ability as a Loremaster!"

To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Interlude: The Mansion's Minstrel


"So, how was dinner?" Brock asked as he emerged from a changing screen in costume.

"Way better than even your average restaurant!" Dawn raved.

"That smoky mushroom soup for the soup course was amazing!" Ash raved.

"Let's give Mr. Backlot credit--he hasn't forgotten his humble beginnings." Dawn agreed. "He understands that not everyone has the taste for exotic stuff."

"It was nice that we got to pick what we wanted for each course." Brock added. "It was hard picking the soup course, because both the smoky mushroom soup and the Cheddar cheese soup looked amazing."

"Dessert was a hard choice too..." Ash remembered as he watched Brock tune up. "No regrets on that chocolate maple cake I picked..."

"An amazing meal the whole way through." Dawn smiled.

Once sure he was in tune, Brock shepherded Ash and Dawn close to him. "I have a good idea of what may go over well here, but since I'm not officially onstage, I'm going to do something the real Fantasy Stage doesn't typically do--allow you guys to assist me."

"Which tales do you plan to tell?" Ash asked.

"I'm mainly going to field test a few tales you guys haven't heard before." Brock replied. "So if they go over well. I may consider using them in the Fantasy Stage."

---------

Good luck, Brock... Ash thought as he watched Brock play a relaxed melody to compose his thoughts. The props, costumes, and everything they would need to tell the tale were in a nearby box.

"Once upon a time something happened..." he heard Brock say. "If it hadn't happened, it wouldn't be told."

With that, Brock began "Once upon a time, in what is today the far away region of Galar, there lived a mighty king and his good queen. They lived in a great stone castle built high upon a cliff overlooking the sea."

The name of Galar sen Ash's mind racing Oh yeah, the girl with the Scorbunny Brock tried to sing to! Maybe she taught him a tale or two from her home region?

"This king and queen had a son, whose name was Brian." Brock went on. "While he was a good young man for the most part, he had a fondess for games of chance. His father often told him how wrong it was for him to make bets he could not repay, but Brian paid him no mind."

Intrigued murmurs went up from the staff as Brock continued "One day, Prince Brian traveled to the royal hunting grounds for the day. Try as he might, he did not catch a thing."

He intoned "He was about to stop and rest for a moment when he heard the tramping of heavy feet on the grass."

He told the crowd "Imagine Prince Brian's shock when he saw a giant coming down the hill!"

"Oh my!" Monica gasped.

"He was almost as tall as the tallest tree, making our hero look tiny by comparison." Brock explained. "Prince Brian recognized the giant as the Giant of Loch Lein. He trembled when he remembered that the Giant of Loch Lein hunted in the forest for lost children. Many children, both boys and girls, had been taken to his castle in the heart of the forest, and never seen again."

"The poor children..." Mr. Backlot brushed away a tear, never mind the lost children only existed in Brock's imagination.

"He also remembered that the giant was fond of games, and so finally challenged the giant to a game of chess." Brock explained.

He interjected "Now, I do not mean the chess with pawns and rooks and bishops. This kind of chess was actually closer to Othello, or Spot."

"Oh"s went up as Brock went on "So with Prince Brian's freedom on the line, they played. Try as Prince Brian might, the giant narrowly beat him."

“You are a brave young man, if a bit rash." he explained in a gentle deep voice for the giant. "I will let you keep your freedom for a year and a day. Go home to the palace, but do not tell anyone that I am to have you as a slave. When the time is up, return to the hillside to meet me.”

As himself, he continued "With that, the giant vanished, leaving Prince Brian alone. He did not go home, but wandered the world, following where the wind took him..."

To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 65b: Hungry for the Good Life! (part 2)


The next morning, the group gasped in awe as they looked out on the massive garden. "Here is the Trophy Garden." Mr. Backlot began as he made a grand gesture to the many flowers and trees. "So named because many of the rare and exotic plants here have won prizes."

[Wow!] Tarina gasped. [It's like the royal garden in a Moltres story! All we'd need is the magical Leppa Berry tree!]

Mr. Backlot smiled. "As far as I know, none of the Leppa trees I have are magical--but they do produce fine fruit in the fall."

[Is it okay if we take a look around this place?] Tintri asked.

"Of course--all I ask is that you be considerate of the gardeners." Mr. Backlot replied.

Dawn arrived as the Pokémon hurried off to explore the massive garden. "Okay! Poffins are ready!"

[Oh boy!] Satomi gasped, warping back in a white glow.

Dawn gasped as Satomi landed in front of the bowl as a bipedal white humanoid Pokémon that appeared to be wearing a small dress. "Satomi...you evolved!"

She giddily reached for Pokedex to read up on what Satomi had become:

"Kirlia, the emotion Pokemon. It is highly perceptive of its trainer's feelings. It dances when it is feeling happy."

Dawn smiled as she filled a huge bowl full of Poffins. "Here you go, Satomi--congratulations on evolving!"

[Thank you.] Satomi replied with a little bow.

She gasped when she saw Dawn yawn and collapse to the ground. [Dawn!] she cried as the ground collapsed beneath her master. [Help, somebody!] she called, alerting the other Pokemon and the boys.

"We didn't have to try this time!" Mars grinned as she and Jupiter looked down on the sinkhole. "All the rain yesterday just made a sinkhole for us to collect all you lot's Pokemon!"

"Not if we have anything to say about it!" Ash retorted before motioning for Dawn to follow him. "Come on!"

"Right!" Dawn called as Ash leaped onto the odd flying mecha.

Once he steadied himself on a catwalk, he held out his hand. "Jump!"

"Hah!" Dawn made a powerful yet elegant jump up to the catwalk, grabbing Ash's hand she collected herself.

Dawn brushed herself off. "Okay...I'll look for the Pokemon, you try and find the controls for Tintri."

Now, if I were a Galactic admin, where would I stash a bunch of stolen Pokemon? she thought as she felt around the odd machine's walls and the various control panels.

A green lever on one panel got her attention. That has to be it!

She smiled as the dome at the top of the mecha opened up, allowing Satomi to warp out into Dawn's arms. [About time...now how to get the others out...]

"Can you try warping them out?" Dawn suggested.

[I can try, but only one Pokemon at a time.] Satomi replied.

Ash arrived a few moments later. "Hey...these walls are hollow." he told Dawn, knocking on the wall to illustrate his point. "It's possible that we could break it and free everyone all at once. Check Kirlia's attack list in battle mode."

After bringing up the move list for Kirlia in her Pokedex and setting it to battle mode, the Pokedex began Kirlia's Known Attacks--number 1, Magical Leaf...

"Satomi, try Magical Leaf!" Dawn called.

Ash watched as the glowing leaves lashed the wall, creating a hole large enough for the Pokemon to fit. "It worked!"

"I'll admit that was much faster than warping everyone out one at a time." Dawn smiled.

"Leona, use Fury Swipes!" she heard Mars call.

"Noctis, use Flamethrower!" Jupiter called.

Satomi warped in front of Ash, Dawn, and the Pokemon. [Don't you DARE hurt my mistress and her friends!] she screeched as she fired a large blue blast of psychic energy, heavily damaging the Purugly and the Skuntank and sending them flying.

Once sure the admins would not pursue them, Satomi surrounded the group in a blue orb. [Later, Galactic space cases!]

---------

"Ash, Dawn, thank Arceus you guys are okay!" Brock cried as he ran to meet the group later that evening. "You had me worried for a second when everyone fell in that sinkhole."

"Oh, Team Galactic just took advantage of the rain yesterday to capture our teams." Ash explained. "But I have to hand it to Dawn and her new Kirlia Satomi...they were the real heroes!"

Mr. Backlot's smiled. "I too am relieved you're all right after that escapade. Luckily, the garden is not too heavily damaged."

"Congratulations on your Ralts evolving." Monica smiled. "If you wish to enter her in a Pokemon Contest, there's one going on in Celestic Town."

"I'll keep that in mind." Dawn replied.

"Thanks for everything." Ash replied. "We'll drop by for tea again if we're in the area."

"And I'll keep searching for new tales to tell." Brock replied.

A familiar Swinub caught Dawn's attention. "But what about Shimo?"

"Don't worry, Lady Dawn--we'll just welcome Shimo into the family." Mr. Backlot smiled. "Then he can have all the Poffin he wishes!"

To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 66a: Erin the Brave! (part 1)

"How is everything, gang?" Brock asked as he spooned some leftover ground beef into some tupperware.

[Delicious!] Tintri smiled.

[Top notch, as always!] Kori agreed.

"If you want more, I still have the leftovers." Brock reminded the happy Pokemon as Kori came to help him with the dishes.

Ash smiled as he looked out of the group's teams happily enjoying their creations from the taco bar they had made. <i>Let's see...Tintri...Diddy...Tails...Gaia...Estrella...</i>

He gasped when he noticed Erin's place was empty. "Guys, have you seen Erin anywhere?"

[She was having lunch a minute ago.] Kori replied.

"I remember that she went off towards the forest after she finished lunch." Dawn replied as she gathered up the remains of the toppings. "Where she went, I didn't see."

"I'll go look for her!" Ash volunteered before hurrying off into the forest...

---------

"Erin!" Ash called into the trees. "Erin, where are you?"

He did not expect a blur of blue and black to drop down from the sky and land on top of him! "Whoa!"

Giggles filled the air as Ash eased himself to his feet. "What was that for?" he asked as he watched his giddy Riolu disappear and then reappear in various locations.

[I've been trenin'!] Erin smiled. [Fergive me if I worried you...]

Brock and Dawn arrived some moments later. "Maybe Erin is trying harder to get stronger after seeing Tails evolve..." Brock suggested.

"It makes sense..." Dawn agreed. "Once Erin does evolve, she will be able to Mega Evolve."

Erin danced in delight. [I'll keep trenin' every dey until I kin become a Lucario!]

"Well, come on back to camp, and I'll let you spar against someone, okay?" Ash smiled. "Although if you want to train by yourself, at least tell me where you're going and what time you'll be back."

---------

"Okay, Erin...Tails volunteered to be your opponent for this mock battle." Ash explained as he watched Erin and Tails stare each other down.

[I'm givin' ye all I've got!] Erin challenged. Tails just smirked at this.

The sly grin unnerved Erin. [Um...ye sure tis is just a friendly match?]

"I'm sure...I would not have you fight an opponent you're not comfortable with." Ash assured Erin. "Friendly matches like this are meant to help you get even stronger."

[Okey...] Erin replied. [Tell me what te do.]

"All right, start with Force Palm!" Ash called.

Erin charged at Tails to deliver the attack, but Tails jumped away. She would try again at a different angle, only for Tails to move away.

She gasped as Tails jumped into the air and sped towards Erin with a high powered water attack. [Oh no...]

Ash gasped when he saw Erin fleeing towards him! "Tails, stop! he called.

Tails came to a stop, missing Ash and the frightened Riolu by inches. "What's the matter, Erin?" Ash asked. "You seemed confident before..."

"Perhaps you're going about this the wrong way..." Dawn began before kneeling down to Erin's level. "It's okay..." she smiled as she petted the shaking Riolu. "Ash wasn't trying to scare you or hurt you...he only wants to help you."

Brock watched Dawn give Erin a hug. "It may be better if you used a different Pokémon--a Floatzel towers over a Riolu by a foot. While that doesn't sound like much to a human, think about how it looks from Erin's perspective."

"You're right..." Ash replied as he studied the Pokemon size chart in his Pokedex. "Chimchar's actually smaller than a Riolu, so maybe she'll have better luck with Diddy."

[You need me?] Diddy asked.

"Can you be Erin's sparing partner for a minute?" Ash asked.

[Sure!] Diddy smiled, hurrying before the Riolu bracing herself.

"Okay--start with Flame Wheel!" Ash called.

He watched Erin dart away from the massive flaming wheel. "Be brave, Erin! Try Aura Sphere!"

Erin charged an Aura Sphere, but dispelled the aura when she saw Diddy bracing to defend.

Brock sighed as Ash rushed to comfort the sobbing Riolu. "If you keep pounding with raw power, it's no wonder Erin is so afraid." he began. "Try pitting Erin against something she has a chance to beat, such as a Dark type."

"I second that, plus a sparring partner closer to Erin's size." Dawn agreed.

"But, where am I going to find a Dark type in a forest?" Ash wondered.

"Did someone ask for a Dark type sparring partner?" a voice asked.

Ash whirled around to find Gary approaching the camp. "Oh, Gary, hi!"

"How've you guys been since we sent the Pokemon hunter packing?" Gary smiled as the two former rivals embraced.

"Well, I earned two more badges, tried my hand at coordinating, Dawn finally got a second ribbon, and Brock earned another Miracle Jewel." Ash replied.

"You did surprisingly well for your first time coordinating." Gary smiled. "I had the Wallace Cup on as background noise, and didn't know you were competing until you came on for appeal #1. Loved the Nick Dragonswift duds."

He noticed the Riolu in Ash's arms. "Aw, who's this?"

"This is Erin--she was a gift from the Veilstone Gym Leader." Ash explained. "We were in the middle of a friendly match when she ran away from a huge attack."

"You might be pitting Erin against opponents that are too strong for her at this stage." Gary cautioned. "While powerful attacks like Aqua Jet, Flame Wheel, and Thunderbolt have their place in battle, they can be intimidating to young Pokemon and Pokemon that have not battled much. The best way to ease them into it is pit them against an opponent that is about their size, and that they should be able to beat."

He took a Poke Ball. "As for where you can find a Dark type? Vega should be about the right size!"

Ash smiled as the Umbreon materialized in the camp. "Gary, you're a genius!"

To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 66b: Erin the Brave! (part 2)

Previously, on "Pokemon Shine Diamond"...

"You might be pitting Erin against opponents that are too strong for her at this stage." Gary cautioned. "While powerful attacks like Aqua Jet, Flame Wheel, and Thunderbolt have their place in battle, they can be intimidating to young Pokemon and Pokemon that have not battled much. The best way to ease them into it is pit them against an opponent that is about their size, and that they should be able to beat."

He took a Poke Ball. "As for where you can find a Dark type? Vega should be about the right size!"

Ash smiled as the Umbreon materialized in the camp. "Gary, you're a genius!"


The two former rivals faced off in a makeshift arena some time later. "Erin, use Force Palm!" Ash called.

"Vega, use Shadow Ball!" Gary commanded when he saw the Riolu charging.

Vega charged up a familiar black purple ball, but Erin rolled away from it. "Nice dodge..." Gary smiled as the Shadow Ball impacted against a tree. "I've got a little gift for your Riolu, if you're interested..."

[A present? What is it?] Erin asked.

Gary pulled out a small black silk belt from a pocket. "This is a Black Belt. It boosts the power of Fighting type moves, so it should be just the ticket to boost Erin's confidence."

"Thanks." Ash smiled as Gary draped the small belt across his hands.

He motioned for Erin to come to him. "Here, Erin--let me put this on you."

After carefully tying the small belt around Erin's waist and checking over the knots, Ash admired how Erin looked. "There--you look like a real hero now."

"Wanna take a look at yourself?" Gary offered, setting a small mirror before Erin.

Erin smiled at her reflection. [I DO look like a hero now!] she yipped. [I kin see the movie now--Enter the Riolu!]

"I'll leave the mirror here, so you can pose all you want." Gary smiled before propping the mirror against a stump.

He returned to Ash. "So, what do we do now? Do we pit Erin against Vega again? Or do we pit Erin against one of yours?"

"You saw what happened when we tried to do that..." Ash sighed. "I wouldn't want to force Dawn to battle..."

[What about me?] Tarina asked. [I wanna fight!]

Brock smiled. "Okay...you can spar with Erin. Maybe you can solve our problem of finding an opponent she won't be afraid to fight."

Gary smiled as Tarina unleashed some celebratory sparks. "Come to think of it, red mage-chu is just the right size!"

"Don't write her off because she's cute." Brock cautioned. "Tarina can hit hard when it counts!"

---------

On the Pearl side of the arena, Brock told Tarina "Remember, this is just a friendly fight. That, and Erin is afraid of big attacks. So be gentle if you can."

[Okay!] Tarina replied.

[I'm redy when ye are.] Erin told Tarina as she struck a fighting pose.

"Okay! Start with Force Palm!" Ash called.

"Tarina, confuse Erin with Double Team!" Brock commanded.

Erin stopped in her tracks when she saw what looked like hundreds of Tarinas before her. [Um, which wun's my target?] she asked.

"Look for the Tarina with a shadow!" Ash called back. "That's your target!"

Erin nodded, and focused her aura power for a moment before spotting the real Tarina on a rock. [HAAAAAAH!!!] she called as she delivered the Force Palm through some Tarina copies before knocking the real Tarina to the ground.

"Try Disarming Voice!" Brock suggested as Tarina collected herself.

Tarina nodded, and took a deep breath. Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo...

Ash smiled as Erin put up a Light Screen, reflecting the wave of sound and leaves back onto Tarina! "Nice work defending, Erin!"

He noticed Erin looking uneasy as Tarina charged a Thundershock. "Be brave, Erin!" Ash called. "This is your chance to be a hero!"

[Right!] Erin called back before Feinting away from the tiny ball of electricity.

[What the...] Tarina gasped before Erin fired an Aura Sphere, sending her flying through the grass.

Brock smiled as Tarina narrowly missed a tree. "Nicely done." he told Erin as he applauded. "You beat your first opponent."

[Reely? I won?] Erin gasped. [I won! I won!]

Ash grinned as Erin cartwheeled through the grass. "Well done, Erin...I'm proud of you."

He hugged the giddy Riolu. "Even though your opponents will only get bigger and more powerful from here, remember the feeling of being brave."

[I promise.] Erin replied.

"Well, seems like we're done here." Gary smiled.

[Tank ye for the gift!] Erin barked as she hurried to hug Gary.

"Anytime--I've got millions more type boosters for all kinds of Pokemon, if you need more." Gary replied.

"That Black Belt's done wonders for Erin's confidence." Ash agreed. "I can't thank you enough."

"Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest impact." Gary reminded Ash. "If you need anything, let me know and I'll come runnin', no matter where in the world you are. Do me proud in the League here!"

"Believe me, I will!" Ash called back as the group parted ways.


To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 67: Arriving in Style!


"Welcome back, Hearthome City..." Ash smiled as the group made their way into the majestic city. "You don't have any bad memories of the loss you had here, do you?" he asked Dawn.

"Not at all." Dawn replied. "I've come to realize the reason I lost was because I wasn't paying attention to what my opponents were doing, and how they could capitalize off of me. But the memories of that play earlier is what I remember most."

Ash nodded. "Since we're here, I wonder if I can get in that Gym battle I never got."

"Actually, the Gym Leader is still away right now." a lady with long red hair replied as she stepped out from a limo.

She smiled as she recognized Ash. "So this is the spirited young actor that played Robin Hood at the theater some months ago. You did very well with the role, I might add."

"Thanks." Ash smiled, a little embarrassed. "I was just trying to play up the character's cleverness."

Dawn immediately recognized the lady. "Oh Arceus--Paris and Coco, here?"

She explained to the boys "Everyone, this is Paris, and her Lopunny; Coco. Paris is world renowned as a fashion designer, and founded Notte Royal, Mom's preferred brand."

She sighed when she heard a familiar guitar starting the introduction to a familiar song. The gypsy rover came over the hill, Brock sang as he played, to Coco's bemusement.
Down through the valley so shady,
He whistled and he sang, till the green woods rang,
and he won the heart of a lady...


This was far as he got before Kage jabbed him, creating a discordant Eb chord. [Yeah, but it wasn't easy to win her heart.] Kage deadpanned. [Now, behave yourself!]

"Yes, Dad..." Brock muttered under his breath.

He noticed Paris giggling at him. "Oh, so your Croagunk doesn't like you singing?"

"He's okay with me doing it on stage or in camp, but I can't get a street performance in edgewise." Brock explained. "Kinda ironic, since I played Alan-a-dale in the same play."

Paris smiled. "Well you would be right at home in the Fantasy Stage taking place at the Fantasia Theater today."

"Really?" Brock was intrigued.

"Hearthome has long been known for its opulent theaters and concert halls." Paris explained. "While the main theater is more for traditional plays and concerts; the Fantasia is more for specialized theater and spectacles."

"I see..." Brock mused. "Is there still time to sign up for the Fantasy Stage?"

"There is--walkups are still being taken, and will be until noon." Paris replied.

She looked down at Lola. "Aw...your Buneary's cute."

"Thanks." Dawn replied. "Is it true you've worked with my mom before?"

"Oh, so you must be Joanna's daughter, Dawn." Paris smiled. "She spoke very highly of you every time she came to the office. It warms my heart to see you following in her footsteps."

"Thanks..." Dawn replied. "It hasn't always been easy, but I wouldn't trade any part of my journey so far for the world."

"Would you like to go shopping with me for Contest coords?" Paris offered. "Many of the brands have an outlet here, and Notte Royal makes its headquarters here...

"Sure!" Dawn replied. "I didn't think to pack very many coords for the trip..."

"While you do that, I'm gonna go get signed up for the Fantasy Stage." Brock began as he started towards a bus stop with Ash.

"Don't forget to show us what coords you get!" Ash called as Paris led Dawn to the waiting limo.

"I won't! Dawn called back before calling to Brock "Good luck in the Fantasy Stage!"

---------

Dawn gawked in awe as the limo turned into the opulent shopping district. "Wow...it's beautiful out here!"

"Thankfully, the opulent look doesn't mean opulent prices." Paris assured Dawn. "There's something here for every taste and budget.

She asked: "Now..do you have a preferred brand or type?

"Well..." Dawn thought for a moment. "I lean toward Beautiful and Passion coords. While I don't have a preferred brand myself yet, I like many of the coords from Notte Royal."

"All right--we'll start there." Paris replied before motioning for her driver to stop before the Notte Royal headquarters...

---------

Meanwhile, the atmosphere in the Fantasia was electric as the storytellers finished the creative round. "Very well done, everyone!" the emcee began as the various storytellers reconvened on the large stage. "For this Fantasy Stage, you'll be doing a Double Free Performance. You've each been paired up with a partner, so take a few minutes to find your partner, get to know them a bit, and decide on a story you want to tell together. Once everyone's with their partner and decided on a story to tell, we'll start the Free Performance. Any questions?"

"Does that mean both people get Miracle Jewels if they win?" a wavy haired girl in a blue, purple, and gold costume that evoked water asked as the storytellers got up to find their partners.

"Yes--both storytellers will receive the appropriate Miracle Jewel." the emcee replied.

"Thanks..." the girl replied before looking at her partner slip "It says here I'm with number K-42207..."

"That would be me." Brock replied. "Number H-112114?"

"That's me." the girl smiled. "I'm Rebecca, by the way."

"Brock, please--nice to meet you." Brock smiled as he shook hands with his partner. "So, what kind of stories do you tell?"

"I tell a mix of folk and fairy tales from around the world and true tales of my travels." Rebecca replied. "And you?"

"Mostly the same, but I specialize in adventurous tales, comic tales, and true tales." Brock explained. "So, what's a tale we would both know, or would be easy to teach?"

"Well, I know an exciting tale about three brothers and a scheming Wartortle from Kanto..." Rebecca suggested. "Want me to teach it to you?"

"Sure!" Brock smiled.

"Okay, here's the basics of the tale..." Rebecca began. "Basically, it's about three orphaned brothers who have come of age; and are eligible to choose a trade. So they go to see the Wartortle--who has served as their guardian..."

---------

"Up next is Pair 93098." the emcee announced some time later as the previous pair departed offstage.

The audience applauded as the lights went down, save for a spotlight on Rebecca. "Once upon a time, there were three orphan brothers, whose names were Otachi, Akira, and Aruto." she began. "The brothers had reached the age of choosing what trade they would follow for the rest of their lives. In order to advise them on such an important decision, the brothers went to visit Kamena, the Wartortle who had been their trusted guardian for many years. As soon as they arrived, Kamena welcomed them, gave them fresh fruit and nuts, and they all sat in her front yard under the sakura, or Cheri tree."

The spotlight expanded to include Brock. "Now then..." Rebecca begins as Kamena. "What brings you all here at this hour?"

Brock cleared his throat before speaking in a mimic of Ash for Otachi. "First of all, my brothers and I wish to say thank you for all you have done for us ever since our parents left this world to join the Great Lord Arceus in heaven. Now we have decided to each learn a trade, and we would like you to advise us in this matter."

"Kamena listened intently and nodded her head." Rebecca went on as herself. "Then there was a moment of silence as the Wartortle stared up at the sakura, apparently lost in her own thoughts. The three brothers sat very still, all wondering what was going on in Kamena’s mind."

As Kamena, she tells Brock "I am happy that the three of you are thinking of learning a trade, but my advice to you is that you join me in my business so that we can all work together."

Brock balks in feigned surprise, to some giggles. "We did not know that you had a business." he gasps in a mimic of Ash for Akira.

"I do, little one." Rebecca replies as Kamena. "However, my business involves a lot of planning and scheming. I use more of my mind than my physical body. You may have noticed that I do not own a farm, nor do I buy and sell. I hold no position in the royal court, nor do I answer to any boss. Nevertheless, I eat well and I do not want for anything."

Some awkward giggles filled the air as Brock started towards stage right, as if he was the three brothers looking to get away. "Why are you looking at me like I am holding a sword to your heads?" Rebecca asks as Kamena. "I do not go around forcing people to part with their belongings! I am very cautious in my dealings with people. It is just that I always find a way of getting whatever I want, by hook or by crook."

As herself, Rebecca explains "There was another long silence among the group. The brothers did not know what to say to Kamena. Eventually Otachi stood up and said..."

"We will be on our way now, but we will think about your proposal and give you an answer tomorrow before sunset." Brock offers as Otachi.

"The next day, Otachi was the only one who went to visit Kamena." Rebecca narrates.

"My brothers and I have thought seriously about your offer," Brock explains to Rebecca as Otachi. "and we want to thank you for thinking about us, but we cannot work for you. We are honest people and we would like honest trades. We want to work with our hands and we do not wish to take from others."

"Is that what you have to say to me after all I have done to support you since the death of your parents?" Rebecca gasps in feigned anger as Kamena.

Brock just bows his head in feigned defeat. "I am sorry, but that is the way we feel."

"In that case," Rebecca yells as Kamena, "you and your brothers have just made a vicious enemy!"

Fearful murmurs wafted through the auditorium as the audience debated what Kamena will do for revenge before the lights come back up on Rebecca again. "A few weeks later, the three brothers started learning their various new trades. They worked very hard and diligently at their various tasks. They did as they were told; they listened to their masters intently and soon became very skilled and very well respected among the townsfolk. Otachi became the best hunter the village had ever known. Akira provided the best wine the village had ever tasted. And Aruto became the best fisherman, always catching the biggest haul of fish every morning."

She then intones "But as the brothers’ fame grew, so did Kamena’s jealousy. And it was in such a mood that Kamena formed a plot to destroy the brothers."

"Ooh"s went up as Rebecca continues "One day, Kamena went to the palace and told the king that the three brothers had been boasting of magnificent feats that no ordinary human could possibly perform. The cunning Wartortle feigned a great sadness, saying to the king..."

She walked over to stage right and bowed before Brock, now in the role of the king. "I am concerned that people will start to believe what the brothers are saying because of their so called good reputation. If this happens, I am afraid our city will be in a good deal of trouble."

"What do you mean?" Brock asks as the king.

‘Your Highness, if people ask the brothers to perform these great feats, feats which I know to be impossible, what damage will that do to the reputation of our city?" Rebecca explains as Kamena. "We will be known far and wide as the city of liars. People will say that we boast of things that are not possible! I think you should do something to stop this!"

As herself, Rebecca explains "The king grew very angry when listening to Kamena’s speech. After all, a village, town, or city was nothing without its good reputation, and it seemed that the orphan brothers were threatening the royal family’s good name."

"Leave it to me, Kamena. I know exactly what to do." Brock assures Rebecca as the king.

"That same day, the king ordered the three brothers to come to the palace." Rebecca narrates as herself. "As soon as they arrived, the king shouted at them...."

The lights went down, leaving the auditorium in total darkness, save for Brock simultaneously performing the next scene on his own. "You are evil men! Before you destroy my kingdom I will destroy you! In exactly one week I want you to return to my palace and prove to me that you are capable of these impossible feats that you have been boasting about all over the village." he threatens as the king. "Otachi, you must fire an arrow that will touch the sky! You, Akira, will climb the highest tree without rope or spurs! Aruto, you must swim the length of the western river. I am giving you a chance to perform these feats so that all of us might see if you are telling the truth. If you are not able to do as I have instructed, then you will be thrown in the dungeon for life!"

"Your highness, we did not claim such feats!" he protests as Otachi.

"But the angry king did not listen to Otachi, and ordered his guards to escort the brothers from the palace." Rebecca sighs as the lights came back up. "The brothers were devastated. After discussing their predicament among themselves, they concluded that Kamena was the one behind their situation, but they did not know what to do. For many days they could not eat, drink, or sleep. They tried to think of what they might do, but could find no solution to their problem. To make matters worse, they could not run away, because the king had assigned armed guards to watch their every move. The brothers were not allowed to leave their house at any time."

Brock, meanwhile, finds a recorder backstage while the Fantasia's house band prepares to play. "Early one morning, the three brothers were roused from their sleep by a strange and beautiful sound." Rebecca continues. "They opened a window to see a beautiful Fletchling perched on the wall outside of their house. The bird was singing a solemn tune that went something like this..."

She then started to sing Ieyui...
Nobomeno...
Renmiri...
Yojuyogo...


A drum and a tambourine joined in as Rebecca continued Ieyui...
Nobomeno....
Renmiri...
Yojuyogo...


Some of the house band joined in with backup. Hasate kanae...
Kutamae...

Hasate kanae...
Kutamae...


Brock joined in on the recorder as Rebecca started the second rendition of Ieyui...
Nobomeno...
Renmiri...
Yojuyogo...
alone.

Another band member added a descant on whistle as Rebecca continued Ieyui...
Nobomeno....
Renmiri...
Yojuyogo...

Hasate kanae...
some singers joined in.
Kutamae...

Hasate kanae...
Kutamae...


Rebecca waits for the applause to die down before continuing "The brothers were mesmerized by the beautiful song: the call and response of the verse, the gentle rhythm and haunting lyrics. When the song had finished, the Fletchling fluttered away into the sky and left the brothers in a gentle silence."

Brock returns to see a prop gold bow, a gold colored rope, and a yellow armband on the stage. "It was then that Otachi noticed the shining gold bow and quiver of thirty arrows sitting on the wall. Next to the bow was a magical golden rope. Next to the rope lay a golden arm band." Rebecca explains as Brock sets the rope at his side, slings the bow and quiver of arrows on his back, and puts on the armband. "Each of the brothers took the item that related to his trade, aware that they were the only ones who could see the bow, the rope, or the golden arm band. These magical gifts would remain invisible to anyone else."

She steps back a little as she continues "Later that morning, they made their way to the palace where the king and his advisors were already seated and waiting for the feats to be performed. Kamena was also perched confidently beside the king, a wry smile grazing the corners of her mouth. As the brothers entered the courtyard, a thrilling hush swept through the crowd and the king’s words rang out loud and clear like a bell."

"Otachi, you claim to be able to shoot an arrow up into the sky. Show us this impossible feat of yours." Brock instructs as the king.

A click from backstage alerts both Brock and Rebecca that Brock's target is in place and he is clear to shoot. "Otachi, who had his invisible bow strapped to his back, took an arrow..." Rebecca waits for Brock to take one of the prop arrows, nock it, and aim at the offstage target. "aimed for the sun, and fired." At this, Brock fires his shot.

Some light applause goes up when they hear the thunk of the arrow hitting the target some seconds later. "The arrow soared high up into the sky and disappeared among the clouds." Rebecca goes on, smiling when she sees that Brock hit the target very close to the bullseye. The crowd went wild with joy, cheering and clapping for Otachi. The king, however, began to sweat profusely. He had never seen such a thing in his entire life. Next he told Akira to climb the tallest tree in the center of the town square without a rope or climbing spurs."

Brock pantomimes climbing with the rope as Rebecca narrates "Akira, who had already tied his magical rope around his waist, began to climb the tree. He climbed very fast and without hesitation. He scaled the tree as easily as any man might walk along a path, and he reached the top in no time at all. The crowd shouted out praise and clapped and cheered for Akira. By now the king was growing quiet, and Kamena too was looking very uneasy. The king called upon Aruto to lead the group to the great river to the west of the city."

After setting the bow, arrows and rope aside, Brock shows the crowd the armband as Rebecca narrates "Aruto was wearing his golden arm band, but this band remained visible only to him and his brothers. He led the crowd to the river’s edge and plunged straight in." Brock pantomimes swimming as a sound effect of rushing rapids plays. "Once in the water he did not hesitate, he moved his arms and kicked with his legs and swam the length and breadth of the great river, darting to and fro with the speed of lightning."

When the water sounds fade, Rebecca continues "The villagers went wild; the minstrels struck up a song of praise on their many instruments; there was clapping and cheering and the villagers hoisted the brothers up onto their shoulders and carried them back to the palace."

The house band struck up a festive interlude, but Rebecca cautions "Now, Kamena knew her judgement had come, so she tried to escape from the palace by sneaking through the assembled crowd as quickly as her sluggish little legs would carry her. Just as Kamena was sure of her escape, one of the guards spotted her and cried..."

"Not so fast, you mischievous little devil!" Brock intones in his 'somebody's in trouble' voice as he pulls a pantomime Wartortle back. "Where do you think you are going?"

"The guard hoisted Kamena onto his shoulders and carried her back into the palace." Rebecca narrates as Brock does this to the pantomime Wartortle. "The king called the brothers to sit beside him on his throne as he addressed the people of the city."

"I want to apologize to these brave young men," Brock explains as the king. "I am sorry for falsely accusing them of being deceitful, and I apologize for the pain that I might have caused them."

He then addresses an imagined person. "I would like to honor you today by inviting you to be part of my royal court."

"The crowd erupted into more clapping, cheering, and songs as the brothers accepted the king’s generous offer. Otachi was made the chief hunter, Akira the royal cupbearer, and Aruto the assistant to the royal cook." Rebecca narrates.

"As for you, Kamena," Brock addresses the pantomime Wartortle as the king. "You will be locked up in the dungeon to serve the sentence you wished served upon these three brave brothers."

"The villagers all approved of the king’s judgment as Kamena was led away by the royal guards." Rebecca concluded. "As you can imagine, the three brothers lived happily ever after."

The crowd roared with applause as Brock, Rebecca, and the house band took a bow together...

---------

"So, how was your first experience with a partner?" Dawn asked as she sorted through what outfits she had bought that evening.

"It was very nice, actually." Brock replied as he toyed with the plastic topaz he had received. "It helped I was paired up with someone that I really clicked with."

"It's beautiful when that happens." Ash smiled. "So, what's our next step, since the Gym Leader is still out?"

"We can always explore the surrounding areas around Hearthome..." Brock suggested as he added his topaz to his bag. "We didn't really get to do that the last time we came."

After tying up his Miracle Jewel bag, he asked Dawn "So, what kinds of coords did you get with Paris?"

"Quite a bit, actually." Dawn smiled as she brought over her shopping bags and laid out the various coords on the bed for the boys to see. "First is Golden Nomel, my only Cute coord of the lot." she explained as she pointed out a pale yellow costume. "We were looking in the Jeweled Story shop, and I thought it was beautiful. Paris said that not all Cute and Dreamy coords were frilly outfits..."

To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 68: The Psyduck Stops Here!

"The dance of the Shaymin was beautiful!" Dawn raved as the group walked down a road to Celestic Town.

"Yeah--that and the Distortion World is safe, too." Ash agreed as the group rounded a corner.

He balked when he saw three familiar duck Pokemon in the middle of the road. "Psyduck? Misty can't possibly be here...can she?"

"If she was, we'd likely see Michelle or Pearl someplace." Brock replied. "But these Psyduck appear to be wild."

"Psyduck, the duck Pokemon. It has mystical powers but doesn't recall that it has used them. This is why it always looks puzzled." Dawn's Pokedex explained as the group approached the three Psyduck.

She saw the Psyduck's eyes glow pink, surrounding the group in pink as well. "I have a bad feeling about this..."

"Oh no..." was all Ash could say before the group was flung against a tree!

"Is everyone okay?" Brock asked as he rubbed his head in pain.

"I think so..." Dawn replied as she inspected the scrapes and scratches on her arms.

"Everyone, huddle!" Ash called. "We need to find another way to get around the Psyduck."

"Just approaching them would only result in getting flung away..." Dawn groaned as she tended to her wounds.

"Asking them to move would be pointless..." Brock agreed.

"The only thing I know to do is use force." Ash continued.

He heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Diddy, use Fury Swipes!"

He winced as the three Psyducks didn't bat an eye. "Diddy, come back!"

"Kori, use Whirlpool!" Dawn called.

She watched in horror as the Psyducks used Psychic to reflect the Whirlpool back onto Kori.

"Maybe I can lure the Psyduck to me with some of my material?" Brock suggested as Dawn ran to collect Kori. "They'll be too distracted listening to me, and allow people to pass."

"Whatever you want to do, Brock--but we have to get these Psyduck out of the way somehow." Ash noted.

"All right, then!" Brock grinned. "But first, allow me to change into something more appropriate..."

He fished out the ruby from his Miracle Jewel bag and held it skyward. "Super Star Power! Make up!"

Against a background of stars and flashing lights, Brock's glowing purple body swirled and danced through the stars and a silver moon, making a long and elaborate purple and red tunic appear on his body. Next, some elegant purple gloves with red and gold trim appeared on his hands, and matching purple and red boots appeared on his feet. An elaborate purple and gold sash appeared next, making gold dust rain on the long tunic, giving it a gold sparkle. An elaborate purple minstrel's hat with a white plume appeared on his head, allowing him to strike an elegant pose, harp in hand.

In the real world, a familiar orange haired girl sighed as Ash and Dawn scrambled to pick up pieces of Brock's normal clothes. "You call throwing off your regular clothes a transformation?" she sighed.

Just then, Mars and Jupiter came over the hill. "How's a sing-along gonna help, Sir Minstrel?" Mars jeered.

"We can do a better job of getting the Psyduck out of the way than anything you guys could ever try!" Jupiter agreed.

"Okay, then--prove it!" Ash challenged.

Mars walked up to the Psyduck. "Look, people need to go through here. Can you please move?"

Tarina watched as the admins went flying via Psychic to the top of a mountain. [Wow...that was pretty strong, but I should be able to show these Psyducks who's boss!]

"Be careful!" Dawn called as Tarina fired a Thundershock at the Psyduck.

Ash winced as Tarina went flying to the group via Psychic. "That looked like it hurt..." he noted as Tarina eased herself to her feet.

[Errgh...no one's gonna bully people like that while I'm here!] Tarina screeched.

Brock watched in awe as an electric aura started to form around Tarina. "Is that what I think it is?"

"Volt Tackle!" Ash gasped as the aura formed into an electric burst.

Tintri gasped as the electric burst glowed bright white. [Hit the dirt!] The group dove for cover as Tarina slammed into a Psyduck, creating an electric explosion.

"Are you okay?" Brock asked as he found Tarina heaving with exhaustion by a rock. "That was a pretty powerful move you tried to use..."

[I'm okay...] Tarina replied. [Just very tired...]

"Well, Volt Tackle is a very powerful move. Even Tintri didn't learn to do it overnight." Brock reminded Tarina as the group reunited in a clearing near the road.

[If you want me to give you some Volt Tackle lessons, I'll teach you.] Tintri offered as the group discussed their next move.

---------

"Okay..." Ash began as he climbed aboard Estrella. "You guys can distract the Psyduck while Estrella and I do a flyover of the area they're protecting."

"Right!" Dawn smiled, clinking a few spoons as Brock finished fine tuning his guitar.

Ash smiled. "Remember, it's okay to play every last song you know."

"I don't know if I'll need to play that many, but I'll go through as many songs as I can." Brock smiled back.

Once sure Ash and Estrella were safely airborne, Brock snapped to count Dawn off into a familiar rollicking melody.

It's of a jolly beggarman came tripping o'er the plain,
He came unto a castle fair, a lodging for to gain
His Royal Highness, he came down and viewed him cheek and chin
He said, 'You are a handsome man, of course I'll take you in...'

We'll go no more a roving, a roving in the night...
Dawn joined in, clinking the spoons for percussion all the while.
We'll go no more a roving, let the moon shine so bright
We'll go no more a roving...


---------

Estrella soared over the Psyduck blockade and down into the valley. [Well, that explains the blockade...] she noted as she flew down for Ash to get a lock.

Ash looked down to see a few mother Golduck holding yellow eggs with a Psyduck foot pattern on the shell. "No wonder the Psyduck wouldn't let anyone pass--they were protecting their babies!"

[Let's go back and report to the others!] Estrella suggested.

They arrived just as Brock started another verse of his epic ballad. The first night, it gave way to dawn, and Ariana fair
Was led out with a retinue towards the dragon lair
The fact her sister had returned, it gave her heart new hope
That the hero would return again, as she looked on the gentle slope...

We'll go no more a roving, a roving in the night...
Dawn joined in another round of the chorus, still clinking the spoons with gusto.
We'll go no more a roving, let the moon shine so bright
We'll go no more a roving...


[Stop the song!] Estrella called, bringing the enthusiastic performance to a halt.

"Did you find out the reason for our Psyduck blockade?" Dawn asked.

"Yeah--the three Psyduck are just protecting their babies." Ash explained. "Let's find another way in, and I'll show you."

---------

The group arrived in a clearing by a lake, just in time to see one of the yellow eggs crack. "It's hatching!" Dawn gasped, excited as the baby Psyduck worked itself free.

"My question is, if this lake is their home, then why are the Psyducks here, and not in the lake?" Brock wondered.

Ash saw three sludge glob-like Pokemon emerge from the water. "There's your answer--the lake was polluted by Muk!"

"Muk, the sludge Pokemon. A toxic fluid seeps from its body. The fluid instantly kills plants and trees on contact. Dawn's Pokedex explained.

Dawn looked up from the Pokedex to see a sludge pool near the lake. "There! That's where the Muk came from!"

Inspired, she heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Satomi, drive these Muk away from the beautiful lake!

[Go on, shoo!] Satomi called, using a Psybeam to spur the Muk back towards the poison pool. [Don't ruin the lake for eveyone!]

Ash smiled as the Psyducks waddled back to the lake. "Well, our problem's solved..."

One Psyduck quacked happily at him. "You're welcome!" Ash smiled back as the group started down the road to Celestic Town in peace.

To Be Continued...
 
Sayaka miki, Magical girl of justice
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Messages
334
Reaction score
88
Oh boy. Sorry about any sort of waiting. Have college classes in the summer and todays one of the few days where I don't have to worry about an assignment coming up.
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 69: Playing the Leveling Field!

"Thank goodness those Psyducks are safe now..." Dawn smiled as the group made their way down the road a few days later.

"Yeah...here's hoping they get to raise their hatchlings in peace..." Ash agreed before a bright flash got his attention. "What was that?"

Dawn spotted Zoey and her Glameow Sylvie in a nearby field. "Zoey's here!"

Sylvie meowed in awe as a Mismagius fired off multiple rounds of Psybeam to mimic fireworks. "What's going on? Ash asked as the group joined Zoey in the field. "Are you battling?"

Zoey chuckled. "Friendly reminder--coordinators do not battle." she replied. "I was showing off appeals with someone."

"Zoey, your next appeal, please..." an older female voice with a melodic accent requested.

"Right!" Zoey replied. "Sylvie, try Shockwave!"

The other trainer applauded as the massive thunderbolts created a shining column of light. "Très bonne, très bonne! The shining column of light is a clever idea. But let me show you what you can do if you combine two moves."

The Mismagius next conjured some shining leaves, then fired a rainbow wave of energy, creating a whorl of rainbow leaves. "Wow!" Dawn gasped as the boys applauded the appeal.

"May I ask who your appeal partner is?" Ash asked.

At this, a purple haired woman in an elegant sparking star costume stepped before the group. "Everyone, this is Fantina." Zoey began. "In addition to being the Gym Leader of Hearthome City, she is a Divine Coordinator originally from Kalos. She won a lot of Grand Festivals there before coming here a few years ago."

"Interesting..." Ash mused. I wonder if Serena has ever met her, if Fantina's originally from Kalos?

"I came here because I wanted to see the world and better myself." Fantina explained. "Since I enjoy traveling, that unfortunately means I have to leave the Gym empty while I am away."

That explains why it's been empty every time we've come... Ash thought.

Brock, meanwhile, seemed enamored in Fantina being bilingual. Je m'appelle Brock--enchanté.

The group did not know that the admins were watching them from a bush. "Huh...never knew minstrel boy spoke Kalosian..." Mars mused as she watched Brock and Fantina have a polite conversation in Kalosian.

"Who knows how many more languages he can speak?" Jupiter agreed before changing the subject. "Fantina's job description reminds me of someone that I can't put my finger on...."

Mars looked down at the one ribbon in her ribbon case. "We need to figure out Fantina's style...this way, I can copy it to win Contests!"

"Great idea!" Jupiter grinned as the two admins made preparations for their latest plot.

---------

In the nearby Pokémon Center Ash located Fantina in a lounge near the front desk. "Fantina...I have journeyed from afar to challenge you. When can I expect you at the gym next?"

Fantina was about to answer as Mars, in disguise as Marta, hurried up to Fantina. "Hi! I'm a big fan of yours, and I wanna know more about your role as a Gym Leader!"

Fantina just waved the disguised Mars away. "Très impoli to just barge in on someone like that..."

She smiled at Ash. "I accept your challenge, but before that, I need to train."

"If you don't mind my asking, why did you become a traveling Trainer?" Zoey asked.

"With a lot of hard work, I was able to win the Grand Festival in my homeland of Kalos with Sorcière, my Misdreavus, earning the title of Grand Coordinator." Fantina explained. "Some time after this, the Shinou League invited me to become a Gym Leader, and the Hearthome Gym was opened. Despite my best efforts, I felt that I wasn't giving the trainers I faced a good enough battle."

"I know exactly how that feels." Brock replied. "I was once the Gym Leader in my hometown of Pewter City. It's a bit of a balancing act between giving your opponents a challenge and giving them an easy win. You don't want to give them a total beatdown, but you do want to challenge them to think tactically."

T'as raison.. Fantina nodded in agreement. "A royal beatdown destroys any trainer's confidence, but an easy win feels hollow.

She turned business-like again. "I've been working on a new battle style which incorporates the beauty of a Contest appeal and the ferocity of a Gym battle. But it is still a work in progress..."

"So you'll give me a friendly match, at least?" Ash asked.

Fantina nodded. "One of the first things that traveling trainers do when they meet is battle. So of course I accept your friendly challenge."

---------

"Okay...this will be a three on three match, winner is the first to knock out the other side's team. That okay?" Ash asked as he drew a Poke Ball in the grass.

"Your proposed terms are fair." Fantina replied.

Dawn arrived with her Poketch some moments later. "Arceus face is heads, Shinou League crest is tails--winner gets their choice of side."

"Heads." Fantina called as Dawn pressed the button to flip the coin.

"Tails!" Ash called the toss.

Dawn checked the Poketch's screen. "It's heads...Fantina, you want the Diamond or Pearl side?"

"Diamond, of course." Fantina smiled as she stepped into the left side of the Poke Ball.

"Everyone ready?" Brock asked as he stepped on a rock overlooking the makeshift battlefield, unaware Mars and Jupiter were filming the battle that was about to start.

"Prêté!" Fantina smiled, summoning a small purple balloon-like Pokemon with spindly arms.

"Tails, here we go!" Ash summoned his Floatzel to the field. He next read up on his opponent:

"Drifloon, the balloon Pokemon. Because of the way it floats aimlessly, an old folktale calls it a 'Signpost for Wandering Spirits.'"

When the whistle blew, the Drifloon began conjuring swaths of a purple wind. "Ominous Wind!" Ash remembered. "Tails, counter with Water Gun!"

Tails fired a stream of water, but the Drifloon floated away, allowing the purple wind to hit Tails. "Try to break out with Aqua Jet!" Ash suggested.

He smiled as Tails broke free from the Ominous Wind and rammed into the Drifloon. But his confident smile turned to shock as the Drifloon used Hypnosis! I shouldn't have left the Pokeflute back at the Pokemon Center!

The Drifloon then threw Tails at Ash's feet with Psychic. [I'm sorry, Ash...] was all Tails could muster before fainting.

Ash contemplated his next choice for a moment, then heaved a Poke Ball skyward. " Diddy, open with a Flamethrower!"

He watched in awe and fear as the Drifloon intercepted the stream of fire, tied it into a flaming bow, then tangled Diddy in his own attack before using Hypnosis. [Ash, I can't...] was all Diddy could say before falling asleep.

Dawn watched as Ash called Diddy back. "Good thinking on calling Diddy back--who knows what Fantina's gonna do next?"

"Keep in mind that unlike confusion, Pokémon continue to sleep even after they are recalled, okay?" Brock reminded Ash.

Ash swallowed hard as he nodded. I REALLY should've brought the Pokeflute!

He looked over at Tintri. "Your turn, bud--if you fall asleep too, then the battle is as good as done."

[I'll do my best, okay?] Tintri smiled before charging into the arena.

The Drifloon fired a Will-O-Wisp, but Tintri countered with a Thunderbolt. [For Tails and Diddy!] he screeched as he charged at the Drifloon in preparation to use Volt Tackle.

Dawn saw a glow of white as Volt Tackle and Ominous Wind collided, revealing that the Drifloon had evolved into a larger balloon Pokemon with gold and white streamers. "Wow...Fantina's Drifoon evolved?" she smiled as she read up on the new Pokemon:

""Drifblim, the blimp Pokemon. At dusk, swarms of them are carried aloft on the wind. When noticed, they suddenly vanish."

She gasped as the Drifblim put Tintri to sleep with Hypnosis. "Oh no!"

"I surrender!" Ash called, almost kowtowing before Fantina.

Brock blew his whistle to signal the battle was over. "No contest! Pearl withdraws from the match!"

Fantina smiled as she recalled her new Drifblim. "I look forward to having a real match when you get to the gym."

"Sure..." Ash sighed. If this was practice, that what will Fantina do in the Gym?

---------

Back at the Pokémon Center, Zoey showed Dawn the three ribbons in her ribbon case. "I'm not planning on entering the Celestic Town Contest, but I will be there to cheer you on."

"Thanks...that means a lot to me." Dawn smiled.

She looked over at Ash's room. "Is Ash okay? He hasn't come out of his room all night."

From inside the room, both Dawn and Brock heard Ash musing ideas to counter Hypnosis. "Get a Pokemon with the Insomnia ability just for this match...give Chesto Berries to everyone....bring the Pokeflute..."

To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 70: Doc Brock

Ash thought long and hard about how to counter Fantina's Drifblim's Hypnosis. Vital Spirit is another ability that prevents sleep...Early Bird would wake them up sooner...

He rubbed the sleep from his eyes as he watched Dawn command Kori to use Icy Wind, creating shimmering diamonds in the sky. Intentionally inflicting another status on them would be too risky...

A static jolt snapped him to attention. "mmm...what?"

[Nodding off on the job?] Tintri asked. [Let's think about something besides how to counter sleep inducing moves for a while.]

"Good idea..." Ash agreed as he got up from the stump he had been sitting on and stretched.

Brock emerged from the cabin the group was staying in a few moments later. "Okay...I'm off to the store for more food and supplies. You guys want anything special?"

"Cheddar Party Cheez-fetti!" Ash requested.

"Chocolate Teddiursa Grahams!" Dawn requested. "My team loves those!"

"Okay, I'll get those, and maybe a few extra surprises if the Pokemon behave." Brock made a node on his list. "I've left the to-do list on the table for you guys--you don't have to do EVERYTHING on it, but try to get as much of it done as you can."

"Got it!" Ash smiled.

"All right--I've got my PokeNav if there's an emergency." Brock smiled before departing.

Ash waved goodbye as Brock disappeared down the road to town, then returned inside the house. "Let's see here...bathe the Pokemon..." he read from the list.

He peeked outside. "Okay, everyone! Bath time!"

The Pokemon cheered as they hurried inside the house. [I'm PAST ready to hit the shower!] Kori cried as she hurried to the bathroom.

Dawn arrived some moments later. "While you're busy bathing everyone, I can tackle a few other chores."

"Okay." Ash replied as he fine tuned the faucet so that the water was warm.

---------

"Okay, everyone's clean, I cleaned up the bathroom..." Ash began some time later.

"I mopped the floors and vacuumed." Dawn reported before looking at the clock on the wall. "Who wants to help me make lunch?"

[I do!] Tintri volunteered as he bounded on the countertop. [What are we having?]

"I was thinking about trying the Pokemon-safe sesame Combusken recipe Brock taught me yesterday." Dawn replied after taking out some meat. "First we thaw the meat...and we can cook the rice and vegetables while we wait."

---------

[Mm...that was great!] Stormy raved as Dawn loaded the plates in the dishwasher some time later.

[Top notch!] Tails agreed.

Ash was contemplating more ideas to counter sleep as the Pokemon hurried out to play. If Gaia has Worry Seed, that can become Insomnia...Electric Terrain nullifies sleep...Protect and Detect block sleep...

The remote dropping in his lap got his attention. "TV?" Dawn smiled as she joined him on the couch. "We've worked hard, and earned ourselves a break."

"Good idea." Ash agreed, forgetting about sleep ideas entirely as he started flipping through the channels. "Let's see here...'Battle Braviaries'...'The Adventures of the Heart Archers'...'Solar Riders'..."

Tintri burst into the room, getting Ash's attention, [Something's wrong with Stormy!]

Ash and Dawn hurried outside to find Stormy moaning in pain on the grass. "She's hotter than normal..." Dawn noted as she felt around Stormy's head. "Is there a Pokemon Center anywhere?"

"The closest one's five miles away..." Ash remembered as Dawn led Stormy in the house to rest. "Should I buzz Brock and tell him what's going on?"

"It doesn't seem life threatening, so let's see what we can do ourselves before we do that." Dawn suggested.

Ash heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Estrella, go find Brock!"

"Lola, Tarina--can I trust you two to make some ice to help bring Stormy's fever down?" Dawn asked as she prepared some plastic bags.

[Leave it to us!] Tarina smiled as Lola fired a tiny Ice Beam at some water, creating an ice cube.

"While they're doing that, we can go find some Oran Berries--those are known to be a home remedy for fevers." Ash suggested.

"Where?" Dawn asked. "I didn't see any around here earlier today."

"I know I saw some in this area--let's go look." With that, he motioned for Dawn to follow him outside...


---------

Meanwhile, Brock made his way down the cereal aisle, savoring the bustling shoppers around him and the elevator music coming from the PA system. I can cross Starlite Crunch off the list... he thought as he set a cereal box in the cart.

He smiled as he spotted the candy aisle a few aisles away. Memo to self: bring the Pokemon a treat if they are being good. he thought as he looked over his list again. All that's left is the meat, a few cans of veggies, and Ash's and Dawn's requests.

---------

As Brock departed the store with the groceries some time later, he balked to find Estrella flying down to meet him. "Estrella? What's the matter?"

[Something's wrong with Stormy!] Estrella explained. [Ash and Dawn have tried everything to help her, but she's still got a fever!]

Brock climbed aboard Estrella with the groceries in tow. "Let's go."

After an uneventful flight home, Brock left the groceries with his team before hurrying inside the house, where Dawn was trying to get Stormy to eat a Lum Berry.

A spark clued him in to what was wrong. "Here, Stormy..." he smiled, offering the Pachirisu an Oran Berry with medicine inside.

[Thanks!] Stormy smiled as she snapped up the Oran Berry.

Dawn smiled when she saw Stormy's color returning to normal. "Thank Arceus Estrella got you here in time..."

"We didn't think to call you before because we thought it was just a routine cold." Ash explained.

"Remember when Tintri used to always get fevers from voltage overloads?" Brock reminded Ash. "This was what happened here."

"Oh, so it was one of those..." Ash remembered. "If I'd have known that, I would've given her some Sparkeez..."

"First rule of first aid--always remain calm." Brock explained. "Second rule--establish what the problem is before you attempt treatment."

"Corollary to the above--know when to call in the experts." Ash remembered.

"That's right." Brock smiled. "I applaud your efforts in trying to help Stormy, though--you two just went about it the wrong way."

"I wasn't thinking straight in the heat of the moment..." Ash confessed.

"...and I was so worried I was doing anything to help Stormy without figuring out what the problem was." Dawn sighed.

"We tried looking for Oran Berries and didn't find any...so where did you get the ones you have?" Ash asked.

"They are here in the fens near the house--did you two go anywhere near there?" Brock asked.

"No..." Dawn replied. "We figured the fens would be too wet for anything besides mushrooms."

"Oran Berries thrive in wet and warm areas, so they tend to grow around marches, ponds, lakes, and fens." Brock explained.

He brought in the groceries, then went on. "In case this ever happens again, I can teach you what I know of first aid for both humans and Pokemon. Granted, I am no medical expert, but I know enough to handle most any situation that can come up on the road. This way, you'll know what to do if a Pokemon Center's too far away or I can't be there."

"Sure!" Dawn smiled.

"Besides, when the going gets tough, that's when the Pokemon need you most." Ash agreed.

Stormy noticed the sun setting. [Can I help with dinner? I'm starved!]

"Of course." Brock smiled before motioning for Stormy to follow him. "Come on in the kitchen, and we'll get dinner going."


To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 71a: Appealing Through the Generation Gap! (part 1)

"So you're here for another Contest?" the image of Joanna asked Dawn.

Dawn nodded. "That, and Brock has a Fantasy Stage, as well."

"Have I ever told you about my friendly rivalry with Lilla before?" Joanna asks. "Your friendly rivalry with Zoey reminds me of that."

"You've told me about a lot of coordinators you've worked with, but I don't think I have heard about Lila..." Dawn replied.

"Well, a long time ago-before you came along--we were competing on the Celestic stage." Joanna began. "It was the final turn in the Appeal Competition, and Lila and I were neck and neck in the scoring..."

---------

In Joanna's memory, a younger Joanna stepped onto the stage with a familiar Glameow. "Opal, use Iron Tail!"

The crowd roared at the bevy of silver flashes the Glameow's tail created, making six hearts appear under Joanna's picture and making the excitement meter reach stage four.

A purple haired woman in an exotic Chinese-esque costume arrived on the stage with her Delcatty. "Kounna, use Shockwave!"

The crowd roared as the electrical fireworks maxed out the excitement meter. "The winner, with her famous 'Tiger Lily' smile, is number C-41100088-- Lila Maeda and Kounna!"

Joanna and Lila met each other on the stage. "Well done." Joanna smiled as the two coordinators shook hands...


---------

"...Up to that point, I had never lost a Contest before--Lila was the one to break my winning streak." Joanna concluded the story some time later.

"Come to think of it, didn't she step down to focus on a career in fashion?" Dawn asked.

"You're right!" Joanna smiled as she thumbed through the current issue of Poke Chic. "She and Kounna have made a name for themselves working for the brand Prism Stardust. I stepped down from coordinating before I could have a rematch with Lila, but I have no regrets about that one loss. Lila was clearly the better of us that day, and I've long since made peace with that."

Brock thought for a moment. "Isn't there a Prism Stardust shop located here in town?"

"There is, actually." Joanna replied. "I don't believe she has met you, Dawn, but I have told her about you."

"You think we could come over there?" Dawn gasped. "So we can finally meet face to face?"

"I don't see why not." Joanna smiled. "She's always wanted to meet you."

"If I get to meet her, I'll tell her you said hello." Dawn smiled. "I love you."

"I love you too, Dawn--good luck to you and Brock too." With that, the call ended.

Dawn got up from the phone to find Ash walking in a completely different direction from her and Brock. "Um, aren't you coming with us?"

"I'm gonna take a stroll around town before the Contest and the Fantasy Stage start." Ash replied. "That, and plan on how I can see both of you at once."

Brock looked at the schedule of events on a bulletin board, then his Fantasy Stage entry token. "You can catch the parade of coordinators before bailing out to see me tell, and by the time I finish 'Moltres and the Miracle Tree', it should be time for the Appeal competition."

"That works." Ash smiled. "You're not mad if I miss the Visual and the Dance competitions?" he asked Dawn.

"I won't mind." Dawn replied before starting towards the Pokemon Center lobby. "We'll meet back at the Contest Hall in an hour, okay?"

"Got it!" Ash replied before the group went their separate ways.

---------

"It's very fitting you're telling a Moltres story for the Fantasy Stage..." Dawn smiled as she, Brock, and Kori strolled through Celestic Town's shopping district.

"After your win in the Wallace Cup, I felt a Moltres tale was appropriate because it felt like you were Moltres rising anew from the ashes of your struggles." Brock explained.

Dawn smiled "Thanks--I'll do my best to keep the fire burning in today's Contest!"

She noted a familiar logo in 80's-esque text that evoked glass on a building. "This is it..."

"Wow..." Brock gasped as the bells at the entryway jingled. "This is nice..." he smiled, admiring a regal green costume with leaf trim.

Dawn gasped when she recognized a sparkling teal and white costume. "This is Pale Moonlight--what Wallace wore for the Coordinator's Carnivale last year."

"Interesting." Brock smiled. "Go on and see if Lila's here, I'm gonna look around for a bit."

Dawn hurried over to the checkout lane. "Excuse me--is Lila there today?"

"I'm sorry, Lila is out for the day." the woman at the counter replied. "I can leave a message for her if you'd like."

"Okay..." Dawn began. "I am Dawn Solberg, daughter of the Divine Coordinator Joanna Solberg. My mother told Lila much about me, but I have never met her face to face..."

---------

"Welcome, coordinators and fans, to the Celestic Contest!" Marian announced. "Let us give a warm welcome to our three judges--Keira, Dexter, and Jordan!"

Cheers went up as the three judges arrived, Jordan even flashing Ash a little grin. "The winner of today's Contest will get this lovely blue and white ribbon..." Marian went on, holding up the ribbon for the crowd to see.

In the dressing rooms, Dawn emerged in a lovely silver and white outfit. "Erggh...why won't this braid wrap around to make a crown?" she muttered as she tried to tie two braids into a circle shape.

A familiar purple haired woman noticed Dawn struggling. "Here, sweetheart...let me help you tie this into a crown."

After carefully looping around the two braids and securing it with a pin, the woman offered Dawn a mirror. "There we are! A braid crown fit for a princess!"

"Thank you, miss..." Dawn started before she recognized the woman. "Lila?"

The woman smiled. "So this is the famous Dawn Joanna always told me about! I never got the chance to meet you, but Joanna always spoke highly of you."

"Likewise, Mom's told me a lot about you." Dawn replied. "Are you competing in the Contest too?"

Lila nodded. "I wanted to enter as soon as I saw your name in the list of contestants. I can't wait to see what Joanna has taught you!"

---------

A majestic melody filled the air, signaling it was time for the parade of coordinators. "Entrant number C-30865860; Lila Maeda and Cerise!" Marian announced as Lila emerged from the tunnel with a pink flower-like Pokemon. "Famously known as 'The Tiger Lily of Celestic Town' Lila is making her Contest comeback after 20 years!"

[Wow, that's a long time!] Tarina was impressed.

"Well, she stepped down to run one of the brands, remember?" Ash reminded Tarina as he analyzed the flower Pokemon:

"Cherrim, the blossom Pokemon. If it senses strong sunlight, it opens its folded petals to absorb the sun's rays with its whole body."

[Pretty!] Tintri smiled.

"Entrant number C-98240055; Dawn Solberg and Lola!" Marian announced as Dawn emerged from the entry tunnel with Lola. "Daughter of Divine Coordinator Joanna Solberg, Dawn has quickly made a name for herself despite some initial struggles. She is wearing Diamond Lady, by Notte Royal."

Ash motioned for Tintri and Tarina to follow him to the exit. "Come on, you two--if we time this right, the Fantasy Stage will be over in time for us to catch the Appeal competition. This way, we can cheer for both Brock and Dawn at the same time."

To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Interlude: A Fairy Tale Rising


[We made it...] Tarina wheezed as the group arrived in the town square. A stage had been set up for the tellers to perform on a hill overlooking the square.

[Just in time too--Brock's about to tell!] Tintri agreed as he spotted Brock making his way to the stage.

Number K-42207, telling 'Moltres and the Miracle Tree'. an announcer informed the crowd, hushing the excited chatter.

A blue flash at stage right signaled Brock he was clear to begin. "In a certain far-away kingdom, there lived a king that was well loved and well liked among his people." Brock began his tale. "He had three sons--the eldest was named Dimitri, the second was named Aleron, and the youngest was named Brian." he explained over a relaxed melody from the guitar.

Then he paused, as if he remembered something. "Now, the king had a walled garden, so rich and beautiful that in nowhere in the world was there a more splendid one. Many rare trees grew in it whose Berries were precious jewels, and the rarest of all was an Leppa tree whose Leppa Berries were of pure crystal, and this the king loved best of all."

Brock's voice quieted the amazed chatter. "One day he saw that one of the crystal Leppa Berries was missing. He placed guards at all the gates of the garden; but in spite of this, one more crystal Leppa Berry was gone every morning. Eventually he posted guards all around the garden to keep watch, and the guard reported to him that every night there came flying into the garden a bird that shone like Ho'oh, whose feathers were a fiery red and gold and its eyes like crystal, which perched on the Leppa tree, picked a crystal Leppa Berry, and flew away."

After setting his guitar aside, Brock got up and walked around his chair on the stage, talking all the while. "The king, recognizing that the thief was the Herald of Fire, Moltres, was greatly angered, and calling to him his two eldest sons, said..."

"My dear children, I have thought long and hard about which of you will inherit my kingdom and reign after me. Whoever can catch the flaming bird Moltres, and brings her to me alive, I will give half the kingdom, and he will rule after me when I have joined Arceus in heaven." he explained to an imagined person as the king.

As himself, Brock continued "The two sons, upon hearing this command, rejoiced, and both of them vowed to bring their father Moltres alive. Prince Dimitri and Prince Aleron then flipped a coin to see who would go first, and the coin's favor fell to the eldest, Prince Dimitri."

The lights on the stage dimmed to mimic nighttime. "That evening he went into the garden to keep watch." Brock continued as he returned to his chair and waiting guitar. "He sat down under the Leppa tree and watched carefully for the first part of the night, but when midnight came, he fell asleep."

Giggles rippled through the air as Brock played a few bars of Brahms' Lullaby to represent Prince Dimitri falling asleep. "In the morning, the king summoned him and said..."

"Well, my son, did you see Moltres?" he asked as the king.

"No, father; I did not see her." he sighed in a younger version of himself for Prince Dimitri.

As himself, Brock continued "The king, however, went to the garden and counted the Leppa Berries, and saw that yet another had been stolen."

He played a quiet interlude, then continued "The next evening Prince Aleron went into the garden to keep watch. He too fell asleep at midnight, and the next morning when his father summoned him, he, like his brother, answered..."

"I watched all night, but Moltres did not enter your garden." he explained in a mimic of a proud boy for Prince Aleron.

He intoned as himself "But when the king counted them, he saw that another crystal Leppa Berry was missing."

Nervous giggles went up at this. "On the third evening his youngest son, Brian, asked permission to keep watch in the garden, but his father initially refused." Brock explained.

"How can you succeed where your brothers failed?" he asked as the king.

He assured the crowd as himself "But Brian continued to plead until the king relented."

The lights dimmed to represent night again. "So Brian took his place in the garden, and sat down to watch under the miracle tree." Brock narrated. "He watched for an hour, then two hours, and then three hours. When midnight came, sleep almost overcame him, but he had positioned his sword to poke him just hard enough to wake him beforehand."

Just then, a red-gold light at stage right spurred excited whispers in the crowd. "At midnight, the garden glowed with the light of many fires, and Moltres came flying on her fiery wings to land on the lowest branch of the Leppa Berry tree." Brock narrated. "Brian quietly approached, and as she was about to pick a crystal Leppa Berry, he managed to grab her tail. Moltres, being much stronger than a human, tore herself loose and flew away, leaving in his hand a single long feather. Brian wrapped this in a handkerchief, lay down, and went to sleep."

The lights brightened to mimic morning. "In the morning the king summoned him and said..." Brock narrated.

"Well, my son, did you see Moltres?" he asks as the king.

As himself, Brock continued "Brian unrolled the handkerchief, and the feather shone so much, it turned the dark throne room to day. The king could not get enough of it--when it was brought into a darkened room it gleamed as if a million lights had been lit. He put it into his royal treasury as one of his many treasures, and posted many guards in the garden hoping to capture Moltres, but she came no more. The king, greatly desiring Moltres, sent for his two eldest sons, and said..."

"You, my sons, failed even to see the thief of my Leppa Berries, but your brother Brian, has at least brought me one of her feathers. Go forth, with my blessing, and ride in search of her, and the one who brings her to me alive will receive half of my kingdom." he told an imagined person as the king.

He continued as himself over an adventurous interlude "Dimitri and Aleron, jealous of their younger brother Brian, rejoiced that their father did not bid him to go, and mounting their swift horses, rode away in search of Moltres. They rode for three days--exactly how far, I don't know--but eventually they came to a plain where the road split into three paths. A great stone stood at the fork, with this message carved on it..."

He then played a tense D minor chord. "Who rides forward will know both hunger and cold. Who rides to the right will live, though his steed will die. Who rides to the left will die, though his steed will live."

As himself, he continued over a quiet interlude "They were unsure what to do, since none of the three roads bode well, and turning into a forest, made camp, where they rested."

Intrigued murmurs went up from the crowd. "When days had passed and they did not return, Brian asked his father to give him his blessing and permission to search for Moltres." Brock continued. "The king refused to let him go at first..."

"My dear son, I fear the Mightyenas will devour you. You are still young, and not used to a long journey. If I die and you too are gone, who will remain to keep order in my kingdom? Rebellion may arise and there will be none to quell it, or an enemy may cross our borders and there will be none to command our troops. So please, do not leave me!" he pleaded as the king.

As himself, Brock then assured the crowd "In spite of all this, however, Brian would not stop pleading, and eventually his father relented. He got his father's blessing, chose a fine Ponyta, and rode away to Arceus knew where."

Ash couldn't resist clapping along to the song that symbolized Brian traveling. "Three days he rode, till he came to the plain with the fork." Brock went on. "He read the words carved on the great stone that stood there. He thought, "I shouldn't take the left road, for on that road I will die. Nor should I take the middle road of hunger and cold. I will take the right-hand road, where I will keep my life, even though my poor Ponyta will perish." So he rode to the right.

He sighed--good people and Pokemon dying were some of his least favorite parts to tell. "He rode for one day, then two days, and then three days, enough that the poor Ponyta died of exhaustion."

[Poor Ponyta...] Tarina commented over the sniffling crowd.

"On the morning of the fourth day, as he walked through a forest, he saw a Lucario fainting from hunger." Brock narrated over a mysterious motif. "Remembering his fallen Ponyta, he gave the Lucario some of its meat, so it too would not perish."

"You are a brave lad, Brian, and my heart aches for you." he told an imagined person in an older female voice with a slight lilt for the Lucario "I may have eaten your Ponyta out of survival, but as you did a good deed for me, now I will do something good for you in return. Climb on my back, and tell me where you wish to go."

"Take me to Moltres, who stole my father's crystal Leppa Berries." he requested in a mimic of Ash as Prince Brian.

Tintri smiled [No matter how many times Brock mimics you Ash, that never gets old.]

"I'm still amazed he learned my voice after only hearing me once..." Ash replied before turning his attention back to the stage.

"With that, the Lucario sped away, running faster than any mortal Rapidash." Brock narrated, playing a "running" motif as the lights dim to simulate nighttime. "At midnight, he stopped at a stone wall."

"Climb over this wall. On the other side is a garden, and in the garden is an iron railing, and behind the railing three cages are hung, one of gold, one of silver, and one of crystal." he explained in character as the Lucario. "In the gold cage is a Murkrow, in the silver one is a Fletchling, and in the crystal cage is Moltres. Open the door of the crystal cage, carefully take out Moltres, and put her in your bag. But whatever you do, do not take the crystal cage; If you do, great misfortune will follow."

"Brian climbed the wall, entered the iron railing, and found the three cages as the Lucario had said. Brock narrated as himself. "He took out Moltres and carefully placed her in his bag. However, one of the bag's straps caught on the crystal cage, making a clear ringing that resounded through the garden." He plays a harmonic D note for effect. "This woke the guards, and they captured Brian. In the morning they brought him before their king, the King of Fire."

"Who are you, and where do you come from?" he asked in a regal voice for the King of Fire. "Whose son are you, and what is your name?"

"I am Prince Brian of the hill kingdom." he replied in character. "Your Moltres entered my father's garden by night and stole many crystal Leppa Berries from his favorite tree. My father the king sent me to find and bring him the thief."

"How will I know that you speak the truth?" he asked as the King of Fire again. "Had you asked me first, I would have given you Moltres with all the honor due her. But instead you act as a thief without honor. However, I am a just king, and I will forgive you if you will do me a favor. Across twenty lands lies the Kingdom of the Mist. If you will ride to him and win for me from him the Legendary shining steed Epona, which his father promised me, I will give Moltres to you, and forget this ever happened."

As himself, Brock continued over a sad melody. "Brian left the Kingdom of Fire in tears. He found the Lucario and told him everything."

He assured the audience as the Lucario "Cry not, Brian. How was I to know an accident would occur? But as you have confessed the wrong you have done and wish to set things right again, climb on my back, and tell me where you wish to go."

"Take me across twenty countries to the Kingdom of the Mist, where the Legendary steed Epona is." he requested in character as Prince Brian.

"And so the Lucario ran, fifty times faster than a mortal Rapidash." Brock narrated as he played the "running" motif again. "Whether it was a long way or a short way, I don't know, but around midnight they came to the palace of the King of the Mist, and stopped beside the royal stables, which were all built of marble."

"The stablemen are all fast asleep, and you may take Epona." he explained as the Lucario. "Be careful not to touch the golden bridle that hangs beside her. If you do, something terrible will happen."

As himself, Brock continued "Brian opened the door of the stables and there he saw Epona, whose shining fire and blue flames lit the entire stable. But as he was leading her out his lead rope accidentally brushed against the bridle, and it too rang with a single clear note."

He played another harmonic D note. "This noise, of course, startled Epona..."

The audience roared with laughter as a sound effect of a Ponyta whinny played over the speakers. "The racket awakened the guards, who captured Brian." Brock continued once the laughter died down. "In the morning they led him before the King of the Mist."

"You are too good a young man to be a Ponyta thief." he began, using a gentler voice for the King of the Mist. "Tell me where you come from, who is your father, and what is your name."

"I come from the kingdom on the hill." he explained as Prince Brian. "I am that king's son, and my name is Brian. The King of Fire gave me the task of bringing him Epona, which your father promised him and which is his by right."

"Had you told me you came on the Fire King's behalf in the first place, I would have given you Epona with all due honor, and you would not have needed to take her from me by thievery." he replied as the King of the Mist. "However, Brian, I will forgive you and forget this whole affair if you will do something for me. Ride over thirty lands to the Kingdom of Light, whose princess is known as Marla, the star of the sea, and bring her to me as my bride. I have loved her for a long time with all my heart, and yet cannot win her. Do this and I will forgive you and give you Epona."

As himself, he narrated over a sad interlude. "Brian left the Mist Palace crying many tears, and told the Lucario all that had happened."

"Dry your tears--I know you did not intend for this to happen, but it did, and so we must make things right again." he assured the audience as the Lucario. "Now, climb on my back and tell me where you wish to go."

"Take me across thirty lands to the princess who is named Marla." he requested in character as Prince Brian again.

[I hope he listens this time...] Tarina grumbled over the guitar's interlude.

"The Lucario began running, a hundred times faster than any Rapidash, and faster than one can tell in a tale, until he came to the Kingdom of Light." Brock continued over his "running" motif. "He stopped at a golden railing surrounding a lovely garden."

"Go back along the road we came, and wait for me in the open field under the sycamore tree." he instructed as the Lucario.

"So Brian did as he was told." he narrated as himself.

The lights dimmed a little to represent evening. "Toward evening, when the sun was low and its rays were no longer hot, the king's daughter, Marla, went into the garden to walk with her ladies." Brock narrated over a quiet interlude. "When she approached, the Lucario met them in the garden and told Marla all manner of wonderful things about the suitor that was his master. After discussing the matter with her ladies, Marla agreed to come with the Lucario. He led her to the open field, to the green oak tree where Brian was waiting, and introduced her to him. Marla had been unnerved, but she found no reason to fear the young man before her."

"Climb aboard, both of you." he instructed as the Lucario.

"Brian climbed on the Lucario's back, with Marla holding onto him, and Lucario ran faster than fifty Rapidashes, across thirty countries, back to the Kingdom of the Mist." Brock continued over a traveling motif. "As he kept looking back to be sure Princess Marla was holding onto him securely, Prince Brian began to love her with all his heart, and Princess Marla loved him in return, so that when the Lucario came to the Kingdom of the Mist, Brian began to cry."

"What's the matter, milord?" he asked as the Lucario.

"How can I not cry when I myself have begun to love Princess Marla, yet now I must give her up to the King of the Mist for Epona?" he sighed as Prince Brian.

"I have taken you this far, Brian, and I will not give up on you now." he smiled as the Lucario. "Listen closely. When we approach the palace, I will transform myself into an exact copy of Princess Marla, and you are to lead me to the King of the Mist and receive Epona in return. Once you have Epona, mount her and ride far away. I will catch up with you momentarily."

"With that, the Lucario cast a spell of transformation..." Brock narrated as himself.

The town square gasped in awe as Brock sang in character Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul..., making Ash's Mega Ring glow in response.

"...and transformed into an exact copy of Princess Marla; so alike that not even an archsage's eye could tell them apart." Brock continued. "After instructing the real Marla to wait for him outside the walls, Brian led the Lucario into the palace to the King of the Mist. The king, thinking he had won the treasure he had so long desired as his wife, was very joyful, and gladly gave Brian Epona and his freedom. Once Brian had Epona, he rode outside the walls to the real Princess Marla, had her mount behind him on the saddle and set out across twenty countries back to the Kingdom of Fire."

After playing a traveling interlude, he went on "It was not long before the Lucario, now in his true form, caught up to them."

"Climb aboard, Brian, and let Princess Marla ride Epona." he instructed as the Lucario.

"So Brian mounted the Lucario, and Princess Marla rode on Epona, and they went on together to the Kingdom of Fire." Brock continued as himself over his interlude. "Whether the way was a long one or a short one, I don't know, but eventually they approached the Fire Palace. Then Brian, getting down from the Lucario's back, said..."

"If you can transform into Princess Marla, could you maybe transform into Epona too? She is a fine steed, and I shudder to know what the King of Fire has in store for her." he explained as Prince Brian.

"So the Lucario cast another spell of transformation..." he narrated as himself for a moment. before singing Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... as the Lucario again.

"...and transformed into an exact copy of Epona; so alike even a trained archsage could not tell them apart." he smiled as himself. "After leaving Princess Marla on the green with the real Epona, Brian mounted the disguised Lucario and rode to the palace gate. Once Moltres was in his care, they started off for home, and the Lucario caught up to them some moments later."

"Climb on my back and let Princess Marla ride Epona." he instructs as the Lucario again.

"So Brian mounted the Lucario and Princess Marla rode Epona, and eventually they came to the forest where Brian and the Lucario had met." Brock narrated as himself as his "traveling" interlude slowed down.

"Here we will part for now, but I'm sure we will meet again." he assured the audience as the Lucario.

[Aw...] Tarina smiled.

The crowd agreed, and more "Aw"s went up as Brock continued "Brian got down from the Lucario's back, said a tearful farewell to his friend, and the Lucario leaped into a thicket and disappeared. Brian mounted Epona, Marla climbed on behind him, and she held in her hands the golden cage that housed Moltres, and they set off for the royal city. They rode three days, until they came to the plain with the three way fork and the great stone. Being very tired, the party decided to rest for a while. Brian tied Epona to the stone, and lying lovingly side by side on the soft grass, they went to sleep."

He intoned over an ominous chord "Brian did not, however, expect his jealous brothers to ambush him, throw him into a deep pit, and take his treasures as he slept."

"WHAAAAAATTTT?" the crowd gasped.

"The king rejoiced greatly to see them. He gave Prince Dimitri half of his kingdom, and held a festival which lasted a whole month. At the end of the month Prince Aleron was to wed Princess Marla." Brock explained as the chatter quieted.

His song turned hopeful as he assured the crowd "As for Brian, he spent two days in the deep pit, calling fruitlessly for help all the while. On the third day, the Lucario happened to pass that way. He knew immediately that the voice coming from the pit was that of Prince Brian. After levitating Brian onto safe ground and looking him over for any injury, the Lucario told Brian..."

"Listen closely--your brothers ambushed you as you slept, threw you in that pit to die, and took away with them Princess Marla, Epona, and Moltres." he explains as the Lucario. "Hurry and climb on my back, for your brother Prince Aleron is to wed your beloved Marla today."

Brock next started another "running" interlude. "Brian hurried aboard, and the Lucario began running, swifter than a hundred Rapidashes, toward the royal palace. Whether the way was long or short, I don't know, but he soon came to the city, and there at the gate the Lucario stopped."

"We must part for now, but I am forever your ally, and will come to you if you need my help." he assured us as the Lucario.

Tarina swallowed hard as Brock continued "Brian got down, and after bidding the Lucario a tearful farewell, entered the city and went immediately to the palace, where Prince Aleron was even then being wed to Princess Marla. He entered the splendid foyer and came to the banquet hall, and as soon as Princess Marla saw him, she got up from the table and kissed him on the cheek."

"Aw"s went up as the audience pictured the romantic scene in their minds. "This is my beloved, Brian, who rightfully deserves to wed me, and not this wicked one who sits with me at the table!" he called in a young female voice for Princess Marla.

"The king was confused, and asked Princess Marla to tell him more." Brock explained as himself. "Princess Marla told him everything--how Brian had won her, Epona and Moltres, and how his two elder brothers had ambushed him as he slept and thrown him in a deep pit to die."

He started a victorious song as he went on "When he heard the truth, the king flew into a great rage. He ordered that Prince Dimitri and Prince Aleron be thrown into the dungeon, and Brian, that same day, was wed to the lovely Marla. The king proclaimed a great festival, which lasted until there was no one hungry or thirsty in the kingdom. There were games, competitions, and performances of every stripe, and the kingdom rang with the minstrel's songs in honor of Prince Brian and Marla."

He concluded "When the festivities finally ended, Prince Dimitri was made a servant and Prince Aleron a stable boy, but Brian lived always with his beloved Marla in such harmony and love that neither of them could bear to be without the other even for a week. He went on many more adventures with his friend the Lucario as well, but that is another story for another day!"

The town square exploded in applause as Brock took a bow. [Amazing, as always!] Tarina raved as she applauded.

"Now that Brock's told, let's get back to the Contest Hall." Ash motioned for Tintri and Tarina to follow him. "The Appeal competition should be starting soon."

To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 71b: Appealing Through the Generation Gap! (part 2)


Applause filled the Contest Hall as Ash, Tintri, and Tarina returned to the Contest Hall. "Perfect timing--the Appeal competition's about to start!" Ash smiled as he found three empty seats near the front.

He looked at the lineup of coordinators. "It seems Lila is up first, and then Dawn follows her this round."

Lila approached the platform some moments later, prompting the crowd to quiet down. "Cerise, start with Sunny Day!"

Dawn watched as Cerise fired a ray of light into the sky, creating an array of sunbeams for the crowd. Ash says that Sunny Day combines with most any Fire move and a few Grass moves.

She smiled when she saw one particular move on Lola's move list in the Pokedex. Now's my chance for a big combo!

Entrant number C-98240055; Dawn Solberg and Lola.
an announcer told the crowd as Dawn and Lola made their way onstage. First appeal!

"Lola, try Fire Punch!" Dawn commanded.

The crowd roared in awe as Lola's fiery fists turned a bright gold, creating a sparkling explosion in the sunlight. "Wow! With that display of power, Dawn rockets into the lead with an amazing combo!" Marian commented as hearts kept appearing under Dawn's picture.

[Just how many hearts did she get?] Tarina gasped, amazed by the three rows of four hearts under Dawn's picture.

"Four hearts times three rows equals twelve hearts." Ash explained. "Fire Punch starts with four hearts, plus another four for combining with Sunny Day, and then another four because the excitement meter is at stage 2."

[Oh!] Tarina smiled as Dawn's picture appeared at the top of the current standings. [That makes sense!]

[It's only Round 1, so a lot can happen in four more rounds.] Tintri reminded Tarina as the next coordinator came to take their turn...

---------

"Okay---the excitement meter was maxed out, so now it starts back at zero again." Ash explained to Tarina as Lila arrived to make her second appeal.

"Cerise, try Energy Ball!" Lila commanded.

Applause filled the room as the sparkling green ball shimmered in the stage lights. [Pretty!] Tintri smiled as five hearts appeared under Lila's picture.

Dawn came on the stage next. "Lola use Charm!"

Laughter and "aw"s filled the room as Lola struck cute pose after cute pose. [You'd think that would intimidate Cerise...] Tarina mused as two hearts appeared under Dawn's picture.

"Well, Energy Ball is a Beautiful move." Ash explained. "Had Cerise also used a Cute move, then Dawn would intimidate her. But I think she's keeping an eye on the excitement meter more..."

[How do you know all this contest information?] Tintri wondered.

"My Pokedex has contest mode too, so I thought I'd read up on different moves' Contest effects in case Dawn ever needs help planning appeals." Ash explained.

---------

"Cerise, use Growth!" Lila commanded.

Dawn smiled as Cerise fired a sparkling green beam skyward, exciting the crowd. Here's my chance! Growth can combine with any Grass move...and Lola can use Grass Knot...

She smiled as she returned to the stage. "Lola, try Grass Knot!"

"Wow!" Even Ash was impressed as Lola conjured a shining vine, which climbed towards the ceiling, maxing out the excitement meter.

[Great choice!] Tintri agreed as twelve rainbow hearts appeared under Dawn's picture and the towering shining vine produced a sparkling gold flower.

"And Dawn further extends her lead going into the fourth round!" Marian reported. "But Lila is not far behind!"

----------

"Okay...Dawn is up first this round, and Lila follows her." Ash explained as Dawn and Lola arrived for their fourth appeal.

"All right...Lola, use Hidden Power!" Dawn called.

Some applause filled the air as Lola created some flaming fireworks. [Cool!] Tarina raved as four hearts appeared under Dawn's picture.

"There's a little bit of math involved, but there is a way to guess what type your Hidden Power is." Ash explained. "The best part? Dawn could use that move again and again, and it wouldn't bore the audience."

Onstage, Lila called "Cerise, use Dazzling Gleam!"

[Bright!] Tintri yelped as many in the crowd shielded their eyes from the shower of rainbow flashes.

"Nice choice...that is a very appealing move." Ash mused as six hearts appeared under Lila's picture.

"And Lila just barely edges Dawn going into the final round!" Marian reported. "Which coordinator will come out on top? Can daughter prevail over her mother's rival, and win the one ribbon she could not?"

---------

"Cerise, let's finish with Razor Leaf!" Lila called.

Ash watched the crowd roar over the whorl of razor sharp leaves. "Be thankful no one used Growth before her--then Dawn would have no chance of recovery. He let that hang as seven hearts appeared under Lila's picture. "If Dawn can max out the meter for a big finish, she may be able to win."

The boy, the Pikachu, and the Pichu watched Dawn and Lola return to the stage one last time. "Okay, Lola--make a Healing Wish!" Dawn called.

The crowd roared as Lola created a huge burst of rainbow sparkling lights that rained down onto the audience. [She did it!] Tarina squeaked as sixteen rainbow hearts appeared under Dawn's picture.

"With a commanding finish, the winner is entrant number C-98240055; Dawn Solberg and Lola!" Marian announced, to the roar of the crowd as Dawn approached the judge's table to accept the ribbon from Keira...

---------

"Well done, Dawn." Lila smiled as the group returned to the Prism Stardust shop later that evening. "As a reward for your fine performance, you three are welcome to have one coord of your choice for free."

"Wow, thanks!" Ash smiled.

"Yes, thank you." Brock agreed as he pocketed the emerald he had won in his Fantasy Stage bag.

"Thanks..." Dawn smiled. "You're not mad you lost?"

"Oh no...I should actually be thanking you." Lila confessed. "Thank you for letting me experience an excitement I have not felt in a long time. Joanna has taught you well."

"The pleasure's all mine." Dawn replied. "I promise I will keep training and getting stronger--for you, and for Mom."

To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 72a: Losing its Lustrous! (part 1)


"Well done on your third ribbon, Dawn." Brock smiled as the group prepared to leave the Celestic Town Pokémon Center. "The fact it was the one ribbon your mom couldn't win should make it all the more sweeter."

"Likewise, well done on reaching halfway on your rainbow." Dawn smiled. "Only blue, indigo, and purple to go, right?"

Brock nodded. "Then from there, it's on to the Grand Fantasy Stage during the Pokemon League."

The sound of a Pokeflute playing an upbeat flourish, followed by a flash of rainbow thunderbolts, snapped both Brock and Dawn to attention. "What was that?" Dawn asked.

"An idea to counter Fantina's Hypnosis based on your appeals and Brock's performance in the Fantasy Stage yesterday." Ash explained, fingering his instrument all the while. "Musically commanding the Pokemon! So long as I can keep a tune going, the Pokemon can't go to sleep if they keep hearing the Pokeflute. So after assigning each of my team's known moves to a little melody, I then taught them which little song meant what move."

"That's actually very clever!" Brock smiled. "It looks like your Aura abilities affect the music as well, which boosts the power of the different moves."

A breaking news jingle from a TV snapped the group to attention. "Newsflash! The Adamant Orb has been successfully stolen by Team Galactic!" an announcer reported.

"WHAT???" Dawn hurried to the TV, watching the report in shock.

"The Adamant Orb was on its way to the Celestic Town Historical Research Center, which is currently studying the Adamant Orb's counterpart, the Lustrous Orb." the announcer continued over scenes of a Galactic plane attacking the location. "Champion Cynthia is currently on her way to Celestic Town..."

"Cynthia...we need to meet up with her and help her get the Adamant Orb back!" Ash vowed as he put away his Pokeflute.

"Tell that to Mr. Loverboy here..." Dawn sighed, pointing out Brock singing a song to Nurse Joy in the distance, guitar and all.

...Remember there was dancing on that night so long ago
We sang and raised our glasses to the starlight on the snow...
Brock sang the third verse of the song, pleased he had managed to get this far in a song without Kage jabbing him.

Well, if you should see those northern lights on a frosty winter's eve,
Watch them dance and know I’m there, there’s no...need...to...
Brock stopped his song as he noticed Kage staring out the window. "Is Kage okay? Usually I barely get past the first line of the song, and he's let me sing almost a whole song!"

"He may be watching for someone..." Nurse Joy replied. "Go on, finish the song--I was enjoying it!"

"Okay..." Brock replied as he found the first chord of the song's chorus. Everyday, sing a song,
To help me sail along...
Too ra loo ra loo ra loo ra lay,
And I’ll be on my way...


---------

Later, the group met Cynthia and a dull blonde haired woman with similar features in the Research Center's foyer. "Thank you so much for coming on such short notice." Cynthia began.

She gestured to the woman. "This is my grandma, and the Research Center's chief."

"You can call me Professor Carolina, if you wish." the woman smiled.

The group did not know that Saturn was watching them from a rooftop. "There they are...the hat-boy that ruined our plans in Veilstone City."

"Believe me, I know..." Mars agreed. "Those three are a crafty lot--be especially careful of the minstrel boy!" She pointed out Brock singing to Cynthia and Professor Carolina inside the foyer, never mind the music and lyrics were unintelligible from their position.

"Of all the fools that could've thwarted our plans, you had to be thwarted by a minstrel?" Cyrus asked as he joined Mars and Saturn on their stakeout. "That's both frustrating and amusing at the same time." he smiled. "But the only song our minstrel will soon be singing is an ode to my new world, and hailing ME as his new king!"

He turned business-like again as a notification appeared on his Poketch. "Mars--Jupiter's received the explosives and requests your assistance in the ruins to set them up."

"Yes sir!" Mars replied before departing.

"Saturn, come with me." Cyrus instructed. "You have the honor of dealing with the trio of fools that have bothered Mars and Jupiter for too long. I will be popping in to check on the other teams taking part in our offensive for the twin orbs. Can I trust you to distract the enemy while I am away?"

"Yes sir!" Saturn smiled as Cyrus departed.

---------

"Celestic Town has long had a connection with Dalga and Palkia." Professor Carolina explained, pointing out a white dog-like Pokemon sending forth two familiar dragon-like Pokemon into the world. "The story goes that long ago, Arceus, the Lord of All That Was, All That Is, and All That Is to Be, created Dialga and Palkia to help Him create the world. Palkia created the very cosmos, and Dialga gave the new world the gift of time and order, giving us the seasons.

Dawn noticed a picture of Mesprit near the picture of Arceus, Dialga, and Palkia. "But where does Mesprit factor into the story?"

"And Azelf?" Ash added.

"Oh, have you met Mesprit and Azelf?" Professor Carolina asked.

Dawn nodded. "Not long after my companions rescued me and Kori from a flock of Starly near Lake Verity, I heard this strong and powerful female voice sing the Swanna Song, which healed Kori."

"I was passing by Lake Valor on my way into town to get ice cream for Dawn and some friends, and Azelf blessed me with his Swanna Song." Ash went on. "It was a high male voice that almost sounded female."

"If you're curious, Mesprit represents Emotion and Azelf represents Willpower." Cynthia explained. "There is a third lake guardian at Lake Acuity near Snowpoint City--he is Uxie who represents Knowledge. As far as I know, no one has yet heard his Swanna Song."

Uxie...that's the same Pokemon May and Zoey were telling us about during the Wallace Cup. Brock thought.

Professor Carolina spotted Saturn, in disguise as an intern. "Why don't you take these three to see the Lustrous Orb?"

"Right away." Saturn replied with a feigned smile. She fell for it! Once I have these three in position, I can signal Mars to set off the explosives!

To Be Continued...
 
Brock's Pikachu
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
7,629
Reaction score
339
@Charles Legend; @Mia Blaze @Kirby4ever @Robert Ketchum

Episode 72b: Losing its Lustrous! (part 2)

The group and the disguised Saturn watched as Professor Carolina swiped a key card in an armored door. Access requested--please press palm to scanner for bio-verification.

"Neat!" Dawn smiled as the scanner analyzed Professor Carolina's handprint with a hum.

Access approved--welcome to the vault. With that, the armored door creaked open.

"This is the museum's vault--where we keep new arrivals to the museum, as well as its rarest and most valuable artifacts." Professor Carolina explained. "The Lustrous Orb is one of our treasures."

"Wow..." Ash gasped as he admired a large blue orb with a purple sheen on a pedestal.

"It's beautiful!" Dawn agreed as she too hurried to admire the orb.

Saturn, however, decided to relay to Cyrus what was going on. "Admin Saturn to Supreme Leader Cyrus--I have access to the room with the Lustrous Orb."

"Excellent." Cyrus' voice crackled back. "You know as well as I do that the Lustrous Orb may be directly connected to the dawn of time. It is very important that we claim it during our offensive."

"Roger." Saturn replied. "What are my next instructions?"

"Once the explosives go off in a few minutes, they may attempt to move the orb to a more secure location." Cyrus cautioned. "You are to prevent this if possible."

"Understood." Saturn replied. "Saturn out."

He smiled as he heard an explosion in the distance, followed by screams of alarm and the various screeches of sirens. <i>There's the explosion...</i> He discretely fled the room in an attempt to intercept museum security.

Back in the room, Professor Carolina tried fruitlessly to reopen the armored door. "The security system has been compromised!"

"Luckily, the manual override still works." Cynthia smiled as she used the override to reopen the door. "We need to get the Lustrous Orb somewhere safe, but we need someone to look after the vault's other artifacts while the orb is being moved."

"Then I'll take the orb!" Ash volunteered. "Tell me where you want to put it, and I'll take it there!"

"Okay...listen closely." Cynthia began before giving Ash his instructions...

---------

Brock's heart pounded has he hurried in the direction of the vault. I don't know what that explosion was all about, but I hope to Arceus Ash and Dawn are okay!

He watched from a window as a team of helicopters with a familiar G insignia flew to the roof of the Research Center. Of course...Team Galactic masterminded all of this.

A pop from a Poke Ball got his attention. "Kage? What's going on?"

[Come with me.] Kage motioned for Brock to follow him down a hallway. [I know where Ash and Dawn are, and I know where she is...]

"Who is 'she'?" Brock was still confused.

He found Ash, Dawn, and Cynthia moments later. "There you are! I thought you three were toast when those explosions happened!"

"We're fine, just a little rattled." Dawn explained. "We're trying to take the Lustrous Orb to a secure location near the main entrance."

"And you lot are never gonna get there!" a male voice sneered.

"Saturn!" Ash growled as Saturn threw off his disguise. "What did you do to everyone?"

"Easy...my Bronzor Ara has put everyone outside to sleep, while Mantella has taken care of everyone inside." Saturn replied. "Once she's done, Mantella will take care of you."

Brock froze when he saw Kage battling a familiar Toxicroak at the edge of the hallway. It makes sense now--Kage didn't want to stop my performance before because he sensed Saturn's Toxicroak Mantella was here! The 'she' Kage meant was Mantella!

"Ara, use Hypnosis!" Saturn called to his Bronzor.

"Shenlong, try Brick Break!" Cynthia called.

In all the confusion, Officer Jenny found Ash and Dawn. "Come on, you two--let's get you and the orb somewhere safe."

"Not if I have anything to say about it!" Mars smirked as she intercepted the group.

"We're surrounded!" Dawn gasped as Jupiter blocked the way the group had come.

Suddenly Kage burst through a skylight and landed on the ground. [You wanna hurt my crew? You'll have to go through me first!]

"KAGEEEEEEEEE!!!" Brock screamed in horror as Mantella hit Kage dead-on with a Poison Jab.

[I tried, Coach...] Kage wheezed before fainting.

"You'll never be allowed to escape with the Lustrous Orb so long as I'm here!" Cynthia roared in defiance at the three admins.

She heaved another Poke Ball skyward. "Rukia, I need you!"

To Be Continued...
 
Top