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  #51    
Old February 1st, 2017 (5:04 PM).
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EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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Episode 43: Hot Matches! (part 2)

"I am so glad to be back on the main road!" Ash smiled as he charged ahead of Misty and Brock. He figured Kamon had left after battling him to a draw, so they wouldn't have to risk resting at the Pokemon Center, and then their teams being thrashed again.

"I'll say..." Brock mused. "Luckily, Hinata should be okay until we get to a town proper, provided we don't run into Team Rocket or something."

"I'm in no mood to see those goons at the moment." Misty muttered. "It was bad enough seeing you guys get hammered by Kamon's new Skarmory, and who am I to think that Team Rocket could ambush us while we are weakened?"

Ash shuddered as Brock consulted his guidebook. "Ethan did tell us before we parted ways that some Pokemon Daycares allow trainers to stop and rest for the night...so if we can't reach a town, we could try finding one of those to rest for the night, if you don't want to risk camping."

"Like that one?" Ash pointed out a small house with a large field in the distance that resembled an identical picture in Brock's guidebook.

"Speak of Darkrai..." Misty gasped. "Just what we need--provided the family is one of those that welcomes travelers."

"Only one way to find out!" Ash grinned before hurrying to the house's front stoop and knocking.

A dark brown haired man answered the door. "Oh, travelers! How can I be of service?" he asked as an auburn haired woman and a red haired girl joined him at the door.

"We're not sure how far away a town is from here, so will you please grant the three of us shelter for the night?" Ash asked.

"Of course--the house has some spare rooms just for this reason." the man replied. "Come on in and make yourselves at home."

"You came at a good time--I was about to start dinner." the woman smiled. "Roast Combusken with all the trimmings--Miki's favorite." The red haired girl smiled, pleased that the group would be sharing her favorite meal with her family.

"If you need a helping hand in the kitchen, I'd be happy to pitch in." Brock offered. "As well as some post dinner entertainment."

As Brock and the woman departed into the kitchen, Miki noticed Tintri perched on Ash's shoulder. "How come your Pikachu isn't in his Poke Ball?" she asked.

"Well, Tintri is one of those Pokemon that doesn't like being in a Poke Ball, so my solution is to leave him out--and my right shoulder is his preferred spot." Ash explained, bending down to Miki could pet Tintri. "We do almost everything together."

"Kinda like that deep red haired guy and the Skarmory I've seen near the field lately..." Miki mused. "Maybe he does almost everything with his Skarmory too?"

Kamon... Ash grimaced--the memory of his draw with Kamon was still fresh in his memory.

"Something wrong, Ash?" Misty asked as she came downstairs.

"Miki says she's been seeing Kamon a lot in this area with his Skarmory, and thinks they do almost everything together, like Tintri and I do." Ash explained.

"Maybe Kamon isn't as bad or as evil as we think he is..." Misty suggested. "He may love his own Pokemon as much as we do ours."

"That may be true, but he told us, in his exact words, that he is a 'punk with standards'." Ash reminded Misty. "This devotion to his Skarmory Talavar may be one of those standards."

"We'll go with that, then." Misty smiled as she went to help Miki set the table.

Ash, meanwhile, located Brock tending to some mashed potatoes in the kitchen. "I'm gonna take Cyndy outside and train for a bit, so I'd love if you'd keep my share of dinner warm."

"You got it." Brock replied. "It should be ready here in a few minutes."

"I'll try not to stay out too late!" Ash called back as he motioned for Cyndy to follow him out into the grassy hills that surrounded a forest.

---------

"Come and get me!" Ash called in encouragement to the Cyndaquil running up the hill after him, giggling all the while.

After the two of them reached the top of the hill, Ash instructed Cyndy. "Okay, now hit me with the hardest Tackle you can muster!"

[HIIIIIIIII-YA!] Cyndy cried as she rammed into Ash, making him tumble down the hill. She noticed that even though he had fallen, he was still laughing as he eased himself to his feet and rejoined her at the top of the hill. This hardly seems like training at all--it's more like a game!

"Okay...that was very good!" Ash wheezed as he composed himself. "Next, let's work on your Flamethrower!"

Cyndy nodded, and unleashed a stream of flames into the sky. After firing the Flamethrower straight up, Ash watched as she made several more fire streams in several different directions, being careful not to set anything ablaze all the while.

Ash applauded as Cyndy finished her Flamethrower display. "You're getting so good at controlling the flames--before they seemed to fizzle out if you turned your head or changed direction."

[Thank you--your advice about focusing on a target was a big help.] Cyndy smiled. [What should we practice next?]

Okay, we've gone over Tackle, we've gone over Flamethrower... Ash thought before an idea came to him. "Let's work on Agility next--try to catch me if you can!" he smiled before taking off down the hill.

[I'm gonna getcha!] Cyndy called as she powered down the hill with Agility, eager to catch her running master in this glorified game of chase...

To Be Continued...
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  #52    
Old February 4th, 2017 (1:03 PM).
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Episode 44: Hot Matches! (part 3)

Back at the house, Miki noticed that Ash's place at the table was empty. "Where did Ash get to? I hope he's okay..."

"He's fine--he just took his Cyndaquil Cyndy out to train for a while." Misty assured Miki as she passed Miki's mother the mashed potatoes.

"If you're worried that he'll go hungry, relax, I gave Ash a share--it's being kept warm in the oven." Brock added as he refilled his glass with Leppa Berry juice. "Hopefully he'll be back in time for the sing-along after dinner."

"I'm sure he will be--we won't start without him." Misty smiled as she fed Tintri a Leppa Berry.

"Good--if you guys are as talented as you say, I wouldn't miss a sing-along for the world!" Miki smiled as she returned to her own meal.

---------

Back on the hill, a growl got Ash's and Cyndy's attention. "Wow...have we really been out that late?" Ash wondered as he watched the sky begin to turn pink and orange as the sun sank below the trees. "I'm starved!"

[Maybe we could go back...] Cyndy suggested. [I'm sure the others are worried about us.]

"Okay...but before we do, do one more Tackle on me!" Ash asked.

[All right, I'm coming at'cha!] Cyndy replied before barreling into Ash, sending him stumbling backwards and landing against a Leppa Berry tree.

Moments after Ash examined himself and saw he was none the worse for wear, he was showered in Leppa Berries that had been dislodged by the force of Cyndy's attack. "Well, at least one of these should hold us until we get back to the house." he smiled before finding a suitable Leppa Berry in the pile.

He balked when he saw an angry Beedrill looking back at him. "WAUGH!" he yelped as he dropped the Leppa Berry and took off down the hill.

[Run for it!] Cyndy called as more Beedrills emerged from the tree.

Ash nodded, and did his best to keep up with the Cyndaquil, periodically looking back to see if the Beedrills were gaining on them. We have to get back to the house, no matter what!

He did not, however, expect to trip over a rock buried in the grass. [ASH!] Cyndy screamed as she watched Ash tumble head over heels into a heap, his arms dotted with various scratches and nicks.

She gritted her teeth as she heard the low hum of the Beedrills approaching--she was not about to have her master be stung by thousands of Beedrills! [Beedrills! Don't you dare sting my master!] she warned before unleashing a Flamethrower into the approaching swarm, burning many of the Beedrills.

Ash came to in time to see the remainder of the swarm flying away. "Ungh...Cyndy...did you just--ow--rescue me?"

[I sure did!] Cyndy smiled as she gently rubbed some of Ash's wounds with her quills, creating a soothing warmth that eased the pain. [We didn't even need Brock to come out here and shoot an arrow at them!]

Ash smiled. "Thank you--if we get to battle Kamon and his Skarmory in the morning, remember how you rescued me and fought off those Beedrills, okay?"

[If I can take on those buzzers, I can take on a Skarmory easy!" Cyndy smiled as she led Ash back to the house.

---------

"Ash! You made it!" Misty smiled as Ash and Cyndy returned some moments later. "Although...what happened to you?" she asked as Brock hurried to assess the many bites and wounds on Ash's arms.

"We were training on the hill near the house, and I asked Cyndy to Tackle me." Ash explained. "She did, and I landed against a Leppa Berry tree. Just as I found one that was ripe enough to eat, I saw a Beedrill on it, which angered a whole swarm!"

"So, what did you do?" Brock was interested.

"We tried to run away, but as we ran, I tripped on a rock." Ash went on. "That explains all the bites and scratches. Just when it looked like the end, Cyndy ran in front of the swarm and used Flamethower. She managed to burn almost the whole swarm!"

"Wow!" Miki gasped.

"Maybe she might be ready to try taking on Kamon and Talavar again." Brock smiled. "But he's probably gone to bed by now, so we'll try to find him in the morning."

As soon as he was happy with all the swirls of medicine on Ash, he saw Miki waiting with hopeful eyes. "All right--gather 'round and we'll have our sing-along and storytime."

[YAAAAAAAAY!!!!] Cyndy was just as excited as Miki was as she followed Ash into the living room, where the others had gathered.

Once the group had settled in and their instruments were tuned, Brock kicked off the first story of the night. "Once upon a time, in a place far from here, and in a time far from now, there was a queen who had three beautiful daughters, who were renowned far and wide for their beauty, wisdom, and kindness to all. They were courted by kings and princes, and many others of high degree, but hadn't yet chosen any of them. One day a great prince, that no one knew, and who had never been seen in that land before, came, like the others, looking for the hand of one of these beautiful ladies. But the queen approved of him, in case he was able to succeed in winning the willing hand of either of her daughters...."

---------

The next morning, the group and Kamon met near the same hill Ash and Cyndy had trained by the night before. "You realize that you're asking to be beaten?" Kamon smirked as Talavar eyed the tiny Cyndaquil.

"Bring it on!" Ash snapped back. "Cyndy's a lot stronger than yesterday!"

"All right, but don't come crying to me when your Cyndaquil has to be rushed to the emergency bay." Kamon grinned as he motioned for Brock to give the count.

"Okay! Three...two...one..." Brock counted before blowing his whistle to start the match.

As if the whistle was its cue, Talavar took flight, circling around the makeshift battlefield once before diving in with a Steel Wing. But when Cyndy didn't appear to be any the worse for wear, the huge armored bird grimaced and soared skyward again.

Ash just calmly observed the circling Skarmory from the Silver side of the arena. "Remember how you saved me from the Beedrills last night." he reminded Cyndy.

[Don't worry...] Cyndy growled before bracing herself for a second Steel Wing. Although the second attack sent her sliding backwards, she shook off the pain and bounded forward, waiting for an opportunity to counter her huge opponent.

I see...it's vulnerable right after it delivers Steel Wing! Ash thought as he watched the Skarmory fly away again. Maybe if Cyndy has enough strength to attack after it attacks again...

He called "Cyndy, use Flamethrower if you can!" as soon as he heard the THWANG! of a Steel Wing impacting.

[HAAAAH!!!] Cyndy cried as she unleashed a stream of flames, sending the armored bird crashing to the ground, writhing in pain from the fire.

"Gold is unable to battle--the match goes to Silver." Brock announced as Cyndy cheered.

Kamon seemed surprisingly calm at his loss. "So you managed to find the fatal flaw in my strategy--well played." he smirked. "That just means I have to train even more until I can be invincible--and you won't have a lucky shot to save you when that happens!" With that, he stormed off in a huff.

"Great job, Ash..." Miki smiled. "I want to learn to be a great hero like you--and like the heroes in the stories your friend tells. So I'm going on a journey of my own."

"Oh Miki..." Miki's mother hugged her daughter. "Whatever path you take in your Pokemon journey, we'll support you all the way."

"I believe you could be a hero like Ash, sweetie." Miki's father agreed.

Miki, meanwhile, hugged Ash one last time. "Be safe on your own travels, Ash--and I hope you and I can meet again!"

To Be Continued...
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  #53    
Old February 8th, 2017 (5:45 PM).
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Episode 45: Dundee's First Love (part 1)

After bidding Miki and her family goodbye, the group had no problem meeting up with Ethan and Lyra. The walk since their meeting had taken the five travelers under a forested canopy. After following the winding path under the trees for a while, they emerged onto another stretch of open road nearby a lake.

"We should be coming up on Lake Cobalt over on the left..." Brock reminded the group as they rounded the bend near the lake.

"Perfect spot for a picnic, actually." Lyra agreed. "Anybody need a break from walking?"

"I do...it's getting hot." Ash complained as he wiped the sweat from his brow.

"We're right here by the lake, so I have no problem making camp here." Misty assured Lyra before heaving four of her five Poke Balls skyward. "Come out out, guys! Break time!"

"What about the fifth Pokemon?" Lyra wondered as she watched Michelle make a flying leap into the water. "It deserves some swim time too."

"Well, a Lapras would take up the whole lake, so I only get Aurora out near the beach." Misty assured Lyra.

"That's fair." Lyra replied before returning to her waiting picnic supplies.

"River, you too!" Ash heaved the Poke Ball with his Marill skyward.

"Dundee, come on out!" Ethan called as he tossed the Poke Ball containing his Totodile skyward.

Dundee yawned as he materialized on the grass, but perked up when he saw the forms of Magikarps swimming beneath the lake surface. [Look at me! I'm a TV star!] he called to Ethan as he proceeded to spray water at the Magikarps, juggling them like balls.

Misty couldn't help smiling at Dundee's juggling act. "Well! If Dundee wants to go on a talent show on TV, let him--he's got the perfect act!"

"I dunno--my biggest fear is if he gets stage fright on 'Johto's Got Talent'." Ethan mused.

Just then, Dundee was snapped to attention by a female voice in the distance. [Floating in the sky, just like the silver moon
Although I try to reach you, I can't hold you, and you slip away...]


Piqued, Dundee followed the song to another part of the lake shore, where a blue and white spotted rabbit-like Pokemon with similar features to a Marill was singing the song:

[From within the darkness, I reach for the future
Although I call out for you, my voice only fades away...]


Dundee's eyes turned to hearts over the rabbit Pokemon and her song. She's so beautiful! I'm gonna do a little dance for her!

With that, he dashed out before the rabbit Pokemon and proceeded to tap dance to a melody only he seemed to hear. The rabbit Pokemon, however, was unimpressed with the dancing Totodile before her, so she sprayed him with a Water Gun before walking off in a huff, to Dundee's despair.

---------

Meanwhile, the five humans and some of their other Pokemon had settled in to enjoy the mini sandwiches Lyra had packed, when a rustle in the bushes got Misty's attention. "Huh?"

She gasped when a Golduck with glowing dark blue feathers and a red beak and webbing emerged from the brush. "A Shiny Golduck!"

"Before you get too excited, I would wait to see if anyone owns that Shiny Golduck first." Brock cautioned as the Shiny Golduck peeked in several more bushes and behind trees, as if looking for someone or something.

Just then an auburn haired girl emerged from the brush with a Pidgey not far behind her. "Any luck, Wave?" she asked the Golduck as the Pidgey perched on her shoulder.

[Not so far...I've checked every place Breeze said to check.] the Golduck sighed.

"Please leave the guitar behind..." Misty hissed as Brock got up from the table to introduce himself, desperately hoping Brock would not try to sing to a girl that was in obvious distress.

"Hi there--my name's Brock." Brock began as he approached the girl. "Is there something I can do for you?"

A hopeful look formed on the girl's face. "My name's Trixie--nice to meet you. "Have you happened to see any Azumarills around here?"

Brock then emerged with a familiar guitar in hand, making Misty facepalm. "I may not have seen any Azumarills around here, but please, have a song to inspire your search!"

With that, he started a familiar introduction, oblivious to Trixie's confused look and Misty storming in his direction. 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...!


"You'll do no more a-singin', Mr. Balladeer!" Misty snapped as she dragged Brock back to the table, guitar and all. "She looks clearly distressed, and the best you can do is sing one of your stupid ballads?"

Trixie stifled a giggle at Misty ranting before Ash spoke up. "Forgive Brock, Miss Trixie--he just likes to serenade any girl he can find."

He then changed the subject. "May I ask what you're looking for?"

"I'm looking for my Azumarill, Meri." Trixie explained as the Azumarill from before tiptoed behind her master's legs. "Have you seen her?"

Piqued, Ash decided to consult Dexter:

"Azumarill, the aqua rabbit Pokemon. By keeping still and listening intently, it can tell what is in even wild, fast-moving rivers."

"Cool!" Ash smiled.

He heard Dundee making kissy noises at Meri, but Meri just turned her head away.

---------

"Here we are, gang--the Cirque Jubilee!" Trixie smiled as she made a grand gesture to a large blue and white circus tent and several smaller tents in the distance.

"Wow..." the group gasped as they looked out at the sprawling grounds.

"It's beautiful!" Lyra raved.

"Thank you--I've enjoyed the circus and performing since I was very little, so it only made sense I taught all my Pokemon to do tricks." Trixie replied. "However, over the last week or so, I've had trouble with Meri, who has been acting weird since Wave joined the troupe."

Elsewhere, Brock had decided to pitch in in setting up the show. "Okay, Dundee--think you can fill this swimming pool for the high dive act?" he asked the excited Totodile, gesturing to a large inflatable swimming pool that had just been inflated.

[Okay!] Dundee replied before taking a deep breath and unleashing a Water Gun, filling up the pool. [Be right back!] he called before hurrying off.

"What are you--!" Brock asked before he saw Dundee return with Meri, and set her in the pool. He then winced as Meri sprayed Dundee, then stormed off.

"I'm confused...why would Dundee be suddenly obsessed with this Azumarill?" Ethan wondered as he retrieved Dundee and dried him off.

"Maybe he's falling in love?" Misty suggested.

A grin formed on Ethan's face. "There's an idea...who would've thunk Pokemon could develop crushes too?"

---------

"And now, here's Meri the Marvelous and her amazing water juggling act!" Trixie announced, to thunderous applause from a large crowd as a spotlight appeared on Meri, who was juggling a set of seven balls with a single Water Gun.

"Whoa! She's good!" Ash raved.

Misty noticed Dundee squirming to get free from Ethan's arms. "Dundee's being antsier than usual..."

"He's--!" Ethan started before Dundee wriggled free from his arms and made a beeline for the stage! "Dundee! NOOOOOOO!!!"

He watched as Dundee eagerly danced for the crowd a little, but when someone threw a Tamato Berry at him in an attempt to get him offstage, he eagerly sprayed it with a Water Gun, proceeding to juggle it himself.

The crowd roared with laughter and eagerly threw more Berries for Dundee to juggle. [Fine--if that lovesick Totodile wants to upstage me, he can have the stage!] Meri grumbled before storming off with a huff.

Back in the audience, Ash took the lights going down as an opportunity to capture Dundee. "Come on, Ethan--if we're gonna get Dundee off the stage, now's our chance!"

"Right!" Ethan replied and followed Ash to a stage entrance. He was already embarrassed enough that Dundee had upstaged the scheduled acts, but deep down, he feared he would be even more embarrassed by being roped into an act.

Neither of the boys realized that Dundee had finished juggling Berries and had dashed off after Meri until they felt spotlights appear on them and a recording of the Johto reel "The Chorus Line" blared into the air, making both boys freeze in their tracks.

Inspired, Ash decided to shuffle-step in time to the beat. When in Orre... Ethan sighed as he too mimicked Ash's shuffle-stepping, making sure to mimic every kick, roll step, toe step, and jump his friend did. To the crowd, it looked like the two boys onstage had been trained in traditional dancing for years, when in actuality, they were only making up the steps as they went along.

Even Lyra was impressed as the reel "Goldenrod House" began. "Wow...I didn't know Ash and Ethan knew how to step dance!"

"They don't--they're only making it up as they go." Misty replied, trying oh-so-hard not to laugh at Ash's and Ethan's awkward smiles as they "danced" to the song.

The song ending and the boys taking a relieved bow gave her an idea. "Okay Brock--now you can sing one of your folktale ballads while Ash and Ethan look for Dundee."

"You got it!" Brock replied as he hurried off, guitar in tow.

Ash motioned for Ethan to follow him backstage as Brock started the introduction to the ballad he had tried to sing before, making the audience clap along. "Brock's got the audience busy, let's find Dundee!"

"Right behind you." Ethan smiled. "Although...that step dancing cover was a good idea, even if we were making up the steps on the fly."

"The sooner we find Dundee, the better." Ash muttered as he heard Brock lead the ballad's chorus on the stage:

We'll go no more a roving, a roving in the night
We'll go no more a roving, let the moon shine so bright
We'll go no more a roving...


To Be Continued...
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The Pokemon Anime Remix Project:

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Pokemon Island Sun--a live episode by episode remix of the Alola arc as it airs, done as a collection of letters
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  #54    
Old February 11th, 2017 (5:04 PM). Edited February 12th, 2017 by EmeraldSky.
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Episode 46: Dundee's First Love (part 2)

Elsewhere, Team Rocket watched Ash and Ethan's awkward dance and Brock's epic ballad from the safety of a bush. "So, the two hat boys fancy themselves dancers, do they..." Jessie smiled. "Maybe if we just grabbed that Azumarill and the hat-twerp's Pikachu, we could start our own little traveling show..."

"And Robin Hood twerp also fancies himself a rock star...interesting." James smiled, bemused over Brock singing and playing guitar on the stage.

"I dunno, you guys...I don't want my tail used as a chew toy..." Meowth was unsure about his human companions' idea.

A smile formed on his face. "I would, however, be game for a soykis if I got ta announce da acts rather dan bein' an act."

"All right, what would you put in our traveling show if we let you announce the acts?" Jessie was intrigued.

"It'd be a show for da ages--not jus' for da admins and da boss, but truly da greatest show on oith!" Meowth replied, slipping into a daydream of a crowd of Rockets entering a huge circus tent, with the four admins and Giovanni in a private box overlooking the center ring. "And it wouldn't be jus' you guys and any swiped Pokemon handlin' da acts--any of da grunts dat could perform could join in!"

"Okay...so what kind of acts do you think Archer, Ariana, Petrel, and Proton would like?" James asked as the Meowth in the daydream announced Meri doing her juggling act, to "aw"s and laughter from the Rockets in the audience.

"Lessee here...Archa likes big spectacle, so any acrobatical act would be poifect!" Meowth replied as in his daydream, Jessie, as a trapeze artist, performed a graceful somersault over the crowd and stuck the landing, to Archer's ecstatic applause.

"Ariana loves da teater, so any sort of tricks with actin' will do for her." Meowth mused as in his daydream, James proceeded to perform a Pyroar taming act with a story.

"Petrel likes magic acts and illusions...." Meowth mused as a Rocket magician appeared on the stage. "But don't tink we're jus' pullin' Bunearies out of a hat--dese will be tricks so amazin' you have ta see'em to believe'em!" The Petrel in the daydream gasps in awe as the young magician performs a clothing change trick.

"Protons' da techno-geek, so anyting with video game music and lasas will do for him." The daydream shows some more acrobats doing an elegant aerial dance to a techno version of The Legend of Zelda theme, to the Proton in the dream's awe.

In the present, Meowth sighed dreamily as he imagined his circus. "That's actually a good idea, Meowth--let's move out and get those Pokemon, and we'll make your dream circus come true." Jessie's voice snapped the tiny cat-Pokemon back to reality.

"Okay--right behind ya!" Meowth replied as he hurried to catch up to his companions.

---------

"I'm so sorry Dundee upstaged your act, Trixie." Ethan apologized some time later, after the show had ended. "I don't know what got into him, but he seems obsessed with your Azumarill for some reason..."

"It's okay--you and your friends are pretty talented yourselves." Trixie replied.

"Speaking of Dundee, where did he get to?" Misty wondered.

"Last I checked, I gave him to Brock to try and talk some sense into him, but I think he's only making the problem worse..." Ethan groaned as he looked over towards a tree, where Brock was talking to Dundee.

"If you want a girl to like you, they love getting gifts." Brock explained. "So why don't you try giving Meri some of the Pokechow I made yesterday?"

[Okay!] Dundee smiled as Brock gave him three balls of Pokechow, then hurried over to the lakeshore, where Meri was resting. [Would you like a snack? Fresh Pokechow?] he asked, offering Meri one of the balls.

[No thanks--I wouldn't want to spoil my dinner] Meri replied as she got up to leave.

[Aw...] Dundee sighed. But his sadness turned to horror when he saw a large net come down onto Meri! [Meri! I'll save ya, sweetheart!] he called before hurrying off after the net

Horrified at seeing Meri captured, and Dundee's heroic efforts to grab at the net as it was dragged through the grass, Brock fumbled for his referee's whistle. I never thought I'd have to use the alert signal I once learned as a scout, but this is an emergency!

With that, he blew a single long blast, sending Ash, Misty, Ethan, and Lyra hurrying to the shoreline. "What happened?" Ethan asked, his heart pounding in fear as he watched Dundee grab at the net.

"I was trying to teach Dundee some proper behavior around a lady when I saw a net come out of nowhere and take Meri." Brock explained. "Dundee chased after it, and is still trying to grab at it."

Ash growled as a familiar Meowth balloon appeared in the sky, allowing Dundee to see that the net was attached to the basket. "I knew Team Rocket would catch up to us sooner or later..."

"Your little friend can try all he wants, but it won't be worth the trouble." Jessie smirked as Dundee tried to jump onto the net.

"And should he fall from the sky, he pain will be double!" James agreed.

With that, the two Rockets began the all-too-familiar motto:

"To protect the world from devastation..."

"And unite all peoples within our nation..."

"To denounce the evils of truth and love!"

"To extend our reach to the stars above!"

"Jessie!"

"James!"

"Team Rocket! Blast off at the speed of light!

"Surrender now, or prepare to fight!"

"Meowth! Dat's right!"

"Errrgh...Tintri, use Thunderbolt!" Ash called.

"Not today, hat-boy!" Meowth sneered as he trapped Tintri inside a shock-proof jar. "You want him? Come and get him!"

"Tintri!" Ash called as the balloon flew away.

[I'll save them both!] Dundee vowed as he hurried off in the direction the balloon was going. [Even if I have to go to the end of the world to do it!]

"No!" Ethan gasped as he and Ash hurried off after Dundee. "Dundee, it's too dangerous! Please, come back!"

---------

"Well...we got back Dundee, and then lost him again..." Ethan sighed a few hours later, as he and Ash returned to the camp near the shore, where the group had gathered to plan their next move.

"But we need to get back Tintri and Meri..." Ash sighed as he shared a tearful embrace with Trixie.

He then turned his cap back. "Trixie...you have our word we will do everything we can to save Meri, okay?"

"Well, we can't do any rescuing while we're having one big pity party!" Misty grumbled. "I know it hurts to lose a Pokemon, but we can't sit here and cry all night! We have to do something!"

"So what do you suggest, Lady Misty?" Brock asked, bowing before Misty as if she were a knight.

"Let's begin our search on the other side of the lake, in the direction the balloon went--the Rockets can't have gone very far." Misty began as Ash helped her break camp.

"Breeze, try to search from the air, and tell us if you see any sign of those hoodlums that Poke-napped Meri." Trixie instructed her Pidgey.

"If we find the balloon, I'll be happy to pop it again." Brock grinned as he retrieved his archery gear, put out the campfire, and followed Misty and the others into the brush...

To Be Continued...
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  #55    
Old February 15th, 2017 (3:29 PM). Edited February 16th, 2017 by EmeraldSky.
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Episode 47: Dundee's First Love (part 3)

Meanwhile, Team Rocket made themselves at home in a log cabin, complete with the captive Pikachu and Azumarill. "Come on Meri, do the water juggling act?" Jessie pleaded.

[No--I have no business with hoodlums like you.] Meri replied.

"Or, do a ribbon dance?" James asked, dangling a ribbon before Meri.

[No.] Meri replied. This continued for a while:

"Balance on a ball for us?"

[No.]

"Do a trapeze act?"

[No.]

"The Pokemon pyramid?"

[No.]

"We'll make you a dinner fit for royalty if you do something for us...."

[No.]

Annoyed, Jessie stormed over to the defiant Azumarill and lifted a hand to slap her. "Fine, we're done being nice! If you don't do as we ask, we'll give you a reason to obey!"

Moments before Jessie could slap Meri, she was doused in a wave of water. [She doesn't WANT to obey you crooks!] Dundee cried as he dashed into the cabin and stood between Jessie and the frightened Azumarill. [If you dare hurt her, you'll have to answer to me!]

"Can it, chompa!" Meowth growled as he jumped Dundee and tied him up tightly. "Let's see ya try to bite tru dis rope!"

---------

"Meri!" Trixie called as the group made their way through the brush.

"Tintri!" Ash was next to call.

"Dundee!" Ethan called before sighing. "It's no use, guys...we're never gonna find them at this rate."

He saw tears shining in Ash's eyes. "I know...I want Dundee back as much as you want Tintri back and Trixie wants Meri back, but we're not going to get anywhere running on no sleep."

"Ethan has a point." Brock agreed as the group arrived in a small field. "Let's just make camp for now, and plan our next move for in the morning."

Ash sighed. "Okay...but if Team Rocket has hurt Tintri in any way, shape, or form when we find him, I'm gonna make them pay dearly!"

---------

[Meri?] Tintri whispered from his cage. [You awake?]

[Yeah...] Meri sniffled as she looked out at the moon. [I'm just scared, and worried...what are those hoodlums gonna do to us? Will our masters ever find us?]

Tintri eased a Kleenex box over by his cage, took one, and tried to offer it to Meri. [Here...can you reach this?]

[Thank you...] Meri sobbed before blowing her nose with a soft honk.

[I know our masters are out there.] Tintri assured Meri. [If Brock can send Team Rocket running with a rain of arrows or pop their Meowth balloon with one, he can come save us!]

Meri giggled a little--the first time she had laughed that day. [I'm sure your singer friend is equally talented with archery as he is with song...]

A chomp got both Pokemon's attention. [There...finally chewed through all the rope.] Dundee smiled as he kicked away what remained of his bindings through his own cage.

He remembered Meri's teal ribbon and offered to her through the cage bars. [I did get your ribbon back on my way here.]

[Thank you...] Meri smiled as she took the ribbon.

[And to cheer you up, I'll do a jive!] Dundee offered, a bit too loudly.

[SHHHHHH!!!] Tintri quieted Dundee. [You can't dance in here, or you'll wake the Rockets up!]

Dundee sighed. [All right, fearless leader-chu, got anything quiet to cheer Meri up?]

[I do, actually...] Tintri smiled before asking Meri [Wanna hear a story about a brave little girl?]

[Sure!] Meri smiled.

[Okay...] Tintri waited for a moment for Dundee to settle in, then began [Once upon a time, a certain village was struck by a harsh drought. Many of the crops died, and the villagers feared they would starve that winter. One traveler even feared he would have to sell his daughters into slavery...]

---------

The night passed without incident, and Tintri had kept his friends entertained by quietly telling them stories he had heard Brock tell. But as the sun rose the next morning, Team Rocket prepared to make their getaway. "I wonder...what if, instead of a traveling show, we gave our catches to the admins and the boss?" James mused as he joined his comrades outside.

"Assuming the boss gets the Pikachu, who would get the Azumarill and the Totodile?" Jessie wondered as she finished the flight checks.

"Archer gets the Totodile, since he likes fierce and intimidating Pokemon; and Ariana gets the Azumarill, since she likes pretty Pokemon." James explained as he climbed inside the basket.

"But den Petrel and Proton don't get a Pokemon!" Meowth protested as he loaded the cages holding Tintri, Meri, and Dundee aboard, forgetting all about his circus dream from the previous day. "We need to find dem a Pokemon too so dey're not left out!"

"We'll see what we can find when we take off, so all the admins get a Pokemon gift." Jessie assured Meowth.

The Rockets, however, were blissfully unaware of the Pidgey watching their takeoff in the brush. Breeze then flew as fast as she could to meet the group. [You guys! The Rockets are getting away!]

"I see that..." Trixie noted as the Meowth balloon started to rise into the brightening sky. "If only we had a way to bring down that balloon..."

"Here's your answer." Brock grinned as he showed Trixie an arrow.

"Archery--what a great idea!" Trixie smiled as Brock nocked his shot and aimed at the rising balloon.

Lyra watched as Brock fired a few moments later, then smiled as a POW! confirmed a hit. "Nice shot!" she smiled as the Meowth balloon came crashing back on the ground.

"Wasn't the first time I've shot down the Rockets, and it likely won't be the last." Brock assured Lyra.

"You'll have to tell me about the first time later." Lyra replied as she led the group over to where the cages containing Tintri and Dundee lay, aware of the Rockets assessing the puncture in the balloon's fabric. The impact of the crash had caused both cages to pop open, allowing their occupants freedom.

"Tintri!" Ash gave a mighty Ursaring hug to his companion.

"Dundee!" Ethan was equally happy to see his Totodile. "Are you all right?"

[Yeah--Rockets didn't hurt me or nothing...just gave me a lot of rope to chew through.] Dundee replied.

"That's two out of three...where's Meri?" Lyra wondered.

Just then, Misty spotted Meri's cage in the basket, guarded by Arbok and Weezing. "There!"

Lyra motioned for the Pokemon to huddle around her. "Okay...Trixie, if you tell Wave to knock out their Arbok and Weezing, Hana will lasso Meri's cage with a Vine Whip, and Dundee can dispatch the two human Rockets. And then Tintri can do the rest."

[I've got this!] Hana smiled.

[It's payback time!] Dundee agreed.

"Okay, Wave! Use Water Gun!" Trixie commanded.

Arbok and Weezing were not expecting Wave;s assault, and were quickly washed away. Dundee's spray came moments later, knocking Jessie and James down and buying Hana time to catch Meri's cage.

Ash grinned as Hana nudged Meri to safety. "Okay, bud...your turn for a little payback."

[HI-YAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!] Tintri cried as he unleashed a massive Thunderbolt, sending the Rockets and their damaged balloon flying off with a ping.

[Just a nudge over here...] Hana mused as she finished picking the lock of Meri's cage with one of her vines and a thorn. [Done!] she smiled as the cage door opened.

[Master!] Meri cried as she ran to hug Trixie.

"Oh, Meri...you had me worried all night!" Trixie smiled as she hugged her Azumarill. "Are you okay? Did those crooks hurt you at all?"

[No...they almost did.] Meri replied.

Dundee, meanwhile, wistfully looked at Meri. [Do I...go confess my feelings for her now?]

"Go on." Brock coaxed. "Now's your chance."

But no one expected Meri to run past Dundee and into Wave's webbed arms! [Thank you for saving me, Wave! You're my hero!] Meri smiled.

[I couldn't bear to see you in danger.] Wave replied. [I'd even die for you if I had to!]

As Dundee watched the reunion in shock, Trixie just smiled. "I see...Meri had feelings for Wave all this time...and now Wave's confessed his feelings for her!"

[Aw...I wanted to be the one confessing feelings...] Dundee sighed as he slumped to the grass.

"It's okay, Dundee--even you can't win every time, love--and not just the romantic kind--is still worth fighting for." Brock assured Dundee.

[You're right--there's plenty more Magikarp in the sea!] Dundee smiled, making everyone laugh. Even Misty had to giggle in agreement.

"Thank you for sharing your talents with me and my crew..." Trixie smiled. "Even if your Totodile had a crush on Meri."

"I'll be happy to share more stories and songs with you if we meet again." Brock replied as he gathered his gear.

"Come on, Dundee!" Ethan called. "It's time to go!"

He balked when he saw Dundee dancing for a Quagsire on the shore. Here we go again... he thought as he raced to recall the Totodile before he caused even more trouble.

A splash got his attention as the Quagsire walked away. "Come on--you've had enough adventure for one day." Ethan assured Dundee.

Misty sighed as Ethan shepherded Dundee back towards the group. "All we need now is for Dundee to pull out a guitar and sing, and he'll be just like Brock!"

[Singing--what a great idea!] Dundee gasped before dashing up to a Piplup. [O sole mio, o solo you-oh!] he tried to sing, before a flash of light got his attention--Ethan trying to recall him!

"Come on, Dundee--I don't have time for this!" Ethan called as he chased after his lovesick Totodile. "Dundee, return! Dundee, come on, one crush was enough! Dundee, come back here! DUNDEEEEEEEEEEE!"

To Be Continued....
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  #56    
Old February 18th, 2017 (5:07 PM).
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Episode 48: Fowl Play! (part 1)

"It took a little work, but Dundee finally listened to Ethan." Ash assured the others as they made their way through a forest.

"Maybe Ethan and Lyra taking a different route from us is for the better..." Misty agreed. "Hopefully Ethan can teach Dundee how to behave around girl Pokemon--although I will admit what you told him was a good start."

She was snapped from her thoughts by a large birdhouse overlooking a large clearing. "Oh wow...what kind of bird Pokemon would fit in a birdhouse like that?"

"It'd have to be something huge...." Brock mused, impressed by the size of the birdhouse's entry hole.

"Mina could probably fit in there..." Ash suggested before a majestic brown owl-like Pokemon landed in a tree near the birdhouse. He motioned for his friends to follow him into a bush, where they watched the Noctowl climb towards the birdhouse.

Once concealed by the bush, Ash retrieved his Pokedex to read up on their discovery:

"Noctowl, the owl Pokemon. Its eyes are specially developed to enable it to see clearly even in murky darkness and minimal light."

"Wow!" Misty gasped before the rustling of a branch and a male voice got her attention. "Something's going on outside..."

Brock parted some leaves to see a brown haired researcher in a purple outfit and a pale yellow scarf shooing away the Noctowl with a branch. "Looks like this researcher is shooing the Noctowl away, like it's not the one he wants, or something."

All three friends gasped as a Noctowl that shone with a soft gold aura from its glittering gold feathers landed on the birdhouse. "A Shiny Noctowl..." Misty mused. "And just days after seeing a Shiny Golduck too..."

"Presumably, every Pokemon in the world has a Shiny form--you can tell from their different coloration and either a shining aura or a glittering body--or with some kinds, both." Brock explained. "In folklore, Shiny Pokemon are said to be magically gifted or divine--the most famous example being Epona, the Shiny Ponyta common in many folktales."

He was snapped from his lecture by the Noctowl kicking away some Berries on a branch away, causing the man to barely hang onto a branch. It then pecked at the man's fingers, causing him to fall to the ground before flying away.

"Are you okay?" Ash asked as the group emerged from the bush to assess the man for injuries.

"I think so..." the man replied. "Thank you for your kind concern--I am Dr. Wiseman, Pokemon biologist. I've been following this Shining Noctowl in hopes I can capture her and study how Shiny Pokemon fare in captivity. This way, I can find out if there's any truth to legends of Shiny Pokemon having magical power."

"So it's a girl?" Misty asked.

Dr. Wiseman nodded. "The females are usually larger than the males, but our female is special because of her color, which makes her a precious specimen worthy of study! But no matter what I do to attract her, she outwits me, and so I have yet to catch her, as you plainly saw from your vantage point in the brush."

Ash eagerly fished a Poke Ball from his bag. "Since you say this Noctowl is rare, I'm gonna take a crack at catching her myself!"

He then heaved the Poke Ball at the shining Noctowl before him. "Poke Ball, go!"

[I think not!] the Shiny Noctowl taunted as it kicked the Poke Ball away, to Ash's horror. Her eyes then glowed a deep blue. [You are getting sleepy...]

"I'm gonna...catch you...if it's..." Ash yawned before slumping to the ground, asleep.

"Hello?" Misty asked, nudging her dozing friend before the whoosh of wings got her attention. "There she goes..." she sighed as the Shiny Noctowl flew away.

Brock retrieved his referee's whistle from a pocket. "Allow me to wake Ash up...so you may want to cover your ears."

With that, he blew as hard as he could, making Ash wake up with a jump! "Okay, I'm up! I'm up!" he gasped, much to Misty's delight as he scrambled to his feet.

"You should've seen the look on your face!" Misty smiled, giggling as she savored the memory of Ash's shocked face when Brock had blown his whistle.

Even Dr. Wiseman couldn't resist smiling. "Let's return to my forest cabin...we'll talk more there."

---------

"So why would you be all the way out here, and not a part of the Pokemon you study?" Brock wondered.

"It's simple...I want to study only the rarest and most unusual Pokemon." Dr. Wiseman replied. "Once I have discovered all the secrets this forest has to offer, I'll comb the region, and then other regions, to find their hidden treasures only a rare few ever see."

"If it's rare Pokemon you want to see, I've got one right here." Misty offered as she retrieved the Poke Ball holding her Golduck. "Michelle, come on out!"

"But that looks like any other Golduck..." Dr. Wiseman was unimpressed at the muscular blue duck Pokemon before him.

"Even though you'd never believe it seeing her as a Golduck, as a Psyduck she was rare and unusual because she couldn't fly or swim." Misty explained. "But with a lot of work, some patience, and a little love, she caught up to her peers, and now she can fly and swim."

Misty giggling made Dr. Wiseman grimace. Now I want to catch the shining Noctowl all the more, because laughter reminds me of the way she mocks me.

I don't know what Dr. Wiseman plans to do with this Shiny Noctowl once he gets it, but something's not right here... Ash thought when he saw Dr. Wiseman's pained grimace.

Both of them made the same silent promise: I will catch that Shiny Noctowl, if it's the last thing I do!

---------

Later, the group watched from a bush as Dr. Wiseman rigged an odd device to a tree. "You sure that whatever he's rigging in the tree's going to work?" Misty wondered.

"I don't know..." Ash replied. "I just don't think using a trap to catch it is right...that sounds like something Kamon or Team Rocket would do."

He went on "Once Dr. Wiseman has that Noctowl, who knows what he plans to do to her?"

Just then, Dr. Wiseman joined the group in the brush with the loose end of a rope. "All right...now all we have to do is wait!"

A few tense moments passed before the group heard the whooshing of wings approaching. Just as the shining Noctowl landed on the branch, Dr. Wiseman pulled the rope, revealing a mirror next to where the shiny Noctowl stood.

Brock watched in awe as the shiny Noctowl used Hypnosis on its own reflection. "I see...the mirror reflects the attack back, making the target hypnotize itself."

However, the reflection of the Hypnosis happened to shine in Dr. Wiseman's eyes as well! "Not only does it hypnotize whatever looks at it, but anything in the direction the light of the Hypnosis reflects from!" Ash mused as Dr Wiseman slumped to the ground, asleep. "The light is coming right at Dr. Wiseman, since he is in the path of the reflection!"

He noticed the Noctowl sleepily stumbling towards the bush. "Are you okay?" Ash asked, shielding his eyes from the Noctowl's glittering feathers as it approached.

"Be careful, Ash...the Noctowl might feel threatened." Brock cautioned as Ash tensely reached out to touch the shiny Pokemon before him.

Just then, a breeze sent a branch flying, hitting Dr. Wiseman. "Mm...was it supposed to be windy today?" he yawned as he woke up.

Misty gasped when she saw where the wind was coming from--a massive fan controlled by Team Rocket! "I KNEW you hoodlums would be showing up sooner or later!"

"Besides, didn't we already break a fan you used?" Brock agreed.

"Yeah, I know, we've tried dis tactic oilier in dis story..." Meowth assured the group. "But dis time, I'm confident it will woik!"

To Be Continued...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago (8:50 PM).
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Episode 49: Fowl Play! (part 2)

Previously, on Pokemon Moonlight Silver...

Just then, a breeze sent a branch flying, hitting Dr. Wiseman. "Mm...was it supposed to be windy today?" he yawned as he woke up.

Misty gasped when she saw where the wind was coming from--a massive fan controlled by Team Rocket! "I KNEW you hoodlums would be showing up sooner or later!"

"Besides, didn't we already break a fan you used?" Brock agreed.

"Yeah, I know, we've tried dis tactic oilier in dis story..." Meowth assured the group. "But dis time, I'm confident it will woik!"


Ash growled in frustration at seeing the odd machine. "Tintri, use Thunderbolt!"

[HAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!] Tintri screeched as he fired the attack--but the group had to dive for cover as the crackling thunderbolt went flying back at them!

Not one to be deterred, Ash selected two of his other Poke Balls. "River, Cyndy, I choose both of you!"

"Not today, hat-boy!" James taunted as he flipped a switch, triggering some balloons at the bottom of the machine to inflate, sending the Marill and the Cyndaquil tumbling to the ground!

Dr. Wiseman, however, had come to in all the confusion. "This is it! My chance to get the Shiny Noctowl!" he smiled as he reached out to take the beautiful gold Noctowl.

"Who said this Shiny Pokemon was yours?" Jessie taunted as she picked up the Shiny Noctowl and Dr. Wiseman with a claw, sending the researcher flying as they brought the gold Noctowl to them.

Misty heard the thud of Dr. Wiseman landing some moments later. "You guys deal with the Rockets, I'll make sure Dr. Wiseman is okay!" she called.

"Okay!" Ash replied. "Brock, think you could send an arrow to stop that mecha?"

"Already on it." Brock replied as he reached for an arrow, aimed at the escaping mecha, and fired a few moments later, sending the strange machine falling into a clearing with a crash.

"Nice aim." Dr. Wiseman smiled. "But where did our Shiny Noctowl get to?"

"I see it!" Misty pointed out the Shining Noctowl peeking out from a lower compartment of the destroyed mecha.

"I'm gonna try and pry the bottom open so she can get out!" Ash offered before swinging onto the mecha's foot from a tree and using all his strength, but was soon exhausted. "This thing is harder to pull apart than I thought..."

"Let me see if Michelle can help you out." Misty volunteered before hurling a Poke Ball skyward. "Michelle, go help Ash!"

[It's a simple case of mind over matter, really...] Michelle smiled as she sent some magenta waves of Confusion to weaken the bolts, allowing Ash to pull the metal apart just enough to allow the Shiny Noctowl to fly to safety.

"Thanks, Michelle." Ash smiled at the Golduck before a crack got his attention--the branch he had been using as leverage was about to give way!

The Shiny Noctowl watched in horror as the branch cracked, sending Ash hurtling towards the ground below. [Someone...help my rescuer!] she called before flying into a position that alloweed Ash to land on her back.

[Let's turn up the heat!] Cyndy smiled before unleashing a Flamethrower.

[Never underestimate the power of steam!] River smiled as she sprayed a Water Gun at some of the super hot metal, creating a cloud of steam as the steel began to buckle, making a large crack in the bottom.

[And for the finishing touch, a shocking ending!] Tintri grinned as he fired another Thunderbolt into the crack, making the mecha and its three occupants glow bright yellow before they and the mecha's remains went flying into the sky with a ping.

"Good riddance." Brock smiled as he put away his bow.

"Without that shot, we wouldn't have had a chance." Misty assured her friend.

Just then, the Shiny Noctowl fluttered to a branch facing Ash. [For rescuing me, and your heroic deed today, I pledge my allegiance to you, and no other.]

"Honest?" Ash asked. The Noctowl nodded.

After thinking a moment for a suitable name, he announced to his teammates and Dr. Wiseman "All right...I'm gonna call you Goldie!"

"Goldie...a fitting name." Dr. Wiseman smiled. "Perhaps I am not meant to own this Shining Pokemon--she is too smart for me. But if she has pledged herself to you, maybe you or another researcher will have better luck with her."

"I know just the researcher for the job--Prof. Oak, of my home region of Kanto." Ash explained. "I'm sure he would love to learn about Shiny Pokemon."

"That he would--I hear he is the foremost authority of Pokemon." Dr Wiseman smiled.

He turned to Ash. "Whether you send Goldie to Prof. Oak right away, or allow her to travel with you, I wish you all the very best of luck and safe travels on your adventures."

"We will, Doctor--and good luck with your own research as well! Ash replied as he embraced Dr. Wiseman, then turned to walk with his companions into the setting sun...

To Be Continued...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago (3:35 PM).
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Episode 50: Forest Grumps (part 1)

(what Brock tells

Ash's song)

"I hope Goldie will be all right with Prof. Oak..." Misty smiled as the group made their way down a forest path.

"I think so...she looked relieved to be with Prof. Oak and not that Dr. Wiseman guy..." Ash replied. "I still shudder at what he was planning to do to her when he caught her..."

"Well, what matters is she's safe and in good hands with an ethical researcher..." Brock assured Ash. "Prof. Oak doesn't look like the type to be doing shady experiments..."

Ash was about to answer when a female voice calling "Ya-ho!" got his attention. "Oh, hey! Ethan and Lyra are making camp by that lake!" he called as the trio emerged from the brush into in open clearing, where sure enough, Ethan and Lyra had made camp by a lake.

"Fancy finding you guys again!" Ethan smiled as the group arrived. "If you're curious, Dundee has behaved himself since we last went our separate ways.

"If you're hungry, we're about to have lunch." Lyra offered.

"We'll take you up on that...come on out, everyone!" Ash called, heaving his own Poke Balls skyward.

"You guys too!" Misty did likewise, releasing her own team.

"And you guys!" Brock also released his team.

"Good thing I made enough chili for all of us..." Ethan smiled as he checked a small pot simmering over the campfire. "Thanks again for the recipe..." he told Brock.

"Anytime." Brock replied. "It works over a campfire as well it does on a stovetop...and heats up very nicely in the microwave the next day!"

"I have to ask, though--what gives it its kick?" Lyra asked. "Hot sauce?"

"Nope--taco seasoning." Brock replied. "Easy way to give it a bite without setting your mouth on fire. I will warn you to use it sparingly--a little bit goes a long way."

"Point noted." Ethan replied before giving Brock a spoonful to taste test.

"Hm...I like how you added actual onions instead of onion powder." Brock explained. "Adds a little sweetness to it."

He was about to say more when something shiny in the air caught his attention. "What's that?"

Misty realized the shiny object was a net. "JUMP!"

The group and the Pokemon scrambled out of the way as the net landed on the grass. "You're not trying anything funny today, Team Rocket!" Ash called in the direction of some bushes, where the net had come from.

He waited to see if Team Rocket would come out and say their "To protect the world from devastation" spiel, but balked in surprise as Kamon emerged from the bushes. "Kamon? That was you that built that net?"

"Yeah...just little old me, and not those Team Rocket goons." Kamon smirked. "I meant to move all your friends' Pokemon out of the way so we could fight one on one, but it appears my net didn't work..."

Just then, a hum and a PYEOW! of a Hyper Beam filled the air, sending Kamon diving into the brush to avoid the bright orange beam.

"What was that?" Lyra asked, confused as to where the beam had come from.

"I have a bad feeling about this...everyone, return!" Misty called, recalling her team.

"And you guys!" Brock agreed.

After everyone had recalled their teams and broken camp, Ethan noticed a group of large bear Pokemon approaching where their camp had been. "We'd better get out of here before those bear Pokemon turn us into toast!" he cried as the bear Pokemon charged at the group.

The group raced as fast as they could through the brush, the PYEOWs of Hyper Beams raining around them as they leaped over tree roots and locks, avoided thorn patches, and climbed through logs. But as the group approached a three way fork in the road, Brock and Lyra dashed down the left path, Misty and Ethan continued on the main path, and Ash, Tintri, and Kamon hurried down the right path, unaware that the group had been split into three smaller groups.

"Did we lose them?" Ash asked as he and Tintri came to a stop some moments later.

"I think we did...and now that we're both together, we can finally battle so I can prove you're not as wonderful as you think, Wonder Boy!" Kamon growled as he drew a circle in the dust with a stick, then drew a line to split the circle in half, so it more or less resembled a Poke Ball.

Growls got Ash's attention. "Now's not the time to battle, let's go!" he called to Kamon as more Ursarings arrived.

---------

"Whew...they're gone, but where did the others get to?" Misty asked as she and Ethan stopped to rest by a stream.

"I think in all the confusion, we got separated from each other." Ethan replied before calling into the brush "Lyra!"

"Ash! Brock! Where are you?" Misty called.

When no reply came, a determined look formed on her face. "Ethan...if we're gonna find everyone, we'll have to be a team--can you do that?"

"Sure." Ethan replied. "Good friends stick together, no matter what."

Just then, more growls alerted Misty to some approaching Ursarings. "Well, as our first act as a team, we need to run!"

---------

"Okay...I'm pretty sure those beam-bears won't find us here." Kamon mused as he and Ash arrived by a still pond. "Although if we're gonna battle, our referee's nowhere to be found..."

"I think our battle's gonna have to wait..." Ash confessed. "We've lost everyone else."

Kamon sighed. "Okay...if it means getting out of here in one piece, I'll do what I can to help you find your cohorts, Wonder Boy."

He noticed Ash's Pokedex peeking out of Ash's bag. "Can't you use that Game Boy-thingy to find out more info on those beam-bears?"

"Sure..." Ash retrieved the Pokedex and allowed Kamon to see a picture of the bear Pokemon that had been chasing them:

"Ursaring, the hibernator Pokemon. Its keen nose can pick out any scent, even that of food buried deep underground."

"Wow...no wonder they've been able to find us." Kamon was impressed. "If you can make us a camp, I'll keep an eye out for crazed Ursarings."

"Got it!" Ash replied before unpacking his own camp gear.

---------

"Misty!" Lyra called as she and Brock searched down the path. Brock then whistled in hopes that Misty would hear him, but no answer came.

Lyra, meanwhile, slumped against a tree. "It's no use...we're never gonna find them at this rate..."

"So long as we stick together, everything will be okay." Brock assured Lyra.

A hopeful smile formed on Lyra's face. "I think in our rush to get away, we all got separated...so the others can't have gone very far."

"That's the spirit!" Brock smiled. "Are we a team?"

Lyra nodded. "Lead the way, O fearless leader."

---------

"No sign of the boys yet..." Misty sighed as she and Ethan continued down the path. "I wonder if they are looking for us at all..."

"I'm sure they are, and I know Lyra's looking for me." Ethan replied. "She may look like a sweetheart, but she and her Pokemon are a great team."

He noticed another fork in the road in the distance. "How bout it? Should we keep going this way, or take one of the forks?"

Misty dug a coin from her pocket. "Heads, we go left, tails, we go right."

With that, she flipped the coin... only for it to land on its side! "So, what do we do if it landed on its side?" Ethan asked as the coin continued to spin on its side in the dust."

"Let's just keep going down the way we're on." Misty sighed. "For all we know, those two forks are dead ends!"

---------

As the stars came out for the night, Brock and Lyra arrived near a large pond. "It's getting late, so let's just make camp here for the night." Brock suggested.

"Good idea." Lyra suggested as she unloaded her camp gear and watched Brock start a campfire.

She next tossed two Poke Balls skyward. "Hana, Saphir, come on out!"

"How nice to see you again, Miss Hana." Brock smiled as the Chikorita watched him cube some potatoes.

He then noticed a Marill by Hana. "This must be Saphir, yes?"

Lyra nodded. "Seeing Misty with Ami and Ash with River inspired me to get a Marill of my own. Saphir's still a little shy though, so don't take it personally if she doesn't join in the campfire sing alongs at first."

[H-hi...] the Marill stammered at Brock before looking at the pot simmering over the campfire. [What's in there?]

"Our dinner for the night--baked potato soup." Brock explained as he added some chicken stock to the pot.

After adding some bacon chunks and cheese to the pot, Brock let the soup simmer for an hour before spooning it into bowls. "Okay--it's ready."

"Mm...this is good!" Lyra raved. "Better than my mom's recipe!"

"Well, when you have to cook for a large family that is various degrees of picky, you have to maintain a balance between broadening horizons and something you know they'll eat." Brock explained. "Of course, it's always nice when you find something everybody can agree on, like chili and baked potato soup."

Lyra ate a little more of her soup, than asked Brock "Think you could spin one of your Lore Stage yarns? It would keep me from going nuts worrying about Ethan."

"Sure." Brock replied. "Any requests?"

[Tell the one about the hermit that helped win the princess!] Hana requested.

"Okay..." Brock then started the story. "Long ago, there lived a very rich man who had three sons--their names are not important just yet. When he felt his time was approaching, he divided his property between them, making them share and share alike, both in money and land."

[That's fair...] Saphir smiled.

"Now, the king of the land where they lived had a daughter--we'll call her Wendy." Brock explained. "One day, he told all the heralds to proclaim throughout the land that whoever could build a ship that sail as easily on land as it could on water would have Princess Wendy's hand in marriage...."

----------

"I knew we should've taken one of the forks..." Misty grumbled as she and Ethan continued down the path. "For all I know, we could be going around in circles!"

"Let's just make camp for the night--it's getting dark." Ethan suggested as he motioned for Misty to follow him to a hill.

"Okay..." Misty sighed, more out of relief than anything else. "What are we gonna have to eat, though?"

"I have some sandwiches from yesterday..." Ethan replied as he got out a small cooler filled with drinks and food. "Ham, turkey, or roast beef?"

"Ham." Misty smiled as she took one of the ham sandwiches and added some Cheddar cheese and mustard to it.

But before she could take a bite, a growl got her attention. "Our sandwiches will have to wait, the Ursarings found us!" she screamed as she motioned for Ethan to follow her, moments before some angry Ursarings crashed through the brush...

---------

"Okay...I don't think Ursarings will be able to find us in here..." Ash assured Kamon as the two of them crawled into a cave overlooking a pond.

"Just arrange the sticks we found into a nice pattern, and I'll get a fire going." Kamon suggested as he reached for a red lighter in his pocket.

After starting their campfire and putting a Combusken breast over a makeshift spit to roast, Kamon told Ash "You know, Wonder Boy...Ash...you're actually not that bad to be around. In fact, I'm surprised anyone would want to hang out with me after all the grief I've given you..."

"It doesn't matter, I'd still give anyone stranded in the forest a safe place to camp, food, and a bed." Ash assured Kamon. "Including someone like you."

Once the meat and vegetables were ready, and the boys and Tintri had eaten, Kamon asked "So, what do we do for entertainment? Robin Hood's the rockstar with the guitar--unless you've got a guitar in there."

"I'm more of a wind instrument person, anyway." Ash explained before fishing a silver whistle with a green mouthpiece from his bag. "Any requests?"

Kamon winced when he saw the whistle in Ash's hands. "Oh great...bad memories of third grade music class coming on..."

He sighed. "What're you gonna play, Wonder Boy? 'Mary Had a Little Mareep'?"

"Nope...how about 'Jelan's Prayer' from 'The Song Mage Chronicles'?" Ash suggested as he prepared to play the familiar song.

With that, he started a familiar prayerful melody that rang out from the cave, across the pond and over a plain, where Misty and Ethan had made camp.

Misty smiled as she heard the familiar song in the distance. "You think that's Ash playing, Ethan?"

"I'd like to think so..." Ethan replied as he looked up at the starry sky and listened to the whistle's song ringing through the forest. "In fact, I believe Ash is telling you 'Don't worry, I'm coming to find you guys' in that song."

To Be Continued...
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Old 3 Weeks Ago (5:05 PM). Edited 3 Weeks Ago by EmeraldSky.
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Episode 51: Forest Grumps (part 2)

As the sun rose on the forest the next morning, Misty woke up to find Ethan was gone. "Ethan?" she called as she scrambled from her sleeping bag. "Ethan! Where'd you go?"

"Over here!" she heard Ethan call back as he returned to the campsite on the hill. "I did some scouting for a route we could take, and found another road nearby a cave. However, we'll have to climb down the cliffs to reach the cave..."

"Oh boy...you sure you know what you're doing?" Misty asked.

"If I can climb in caves and ruins, I can climb on outdoor cliffs." Ethan assured Misty as the two of them shared an uneasy breakfast. "You don't have to worry--you'll have a safety tether on the whole time, so if you do slip or lose your footing, you won't fall into oblivion."

"That makes me feel a little better, but still nervous." Misty confessed.

"And I'll be spotting you, so you'll know where the good footholds are." Ethan went on as he showed Misty a map of the cliffs, marked with possible safe routes they could take to reach the cave. "So, which route do you want to take?"

"The short one, in blue." Misty offered, pointing out the route on the map.

"Okay...let's clean up and get going before more Ursarings find us." Ethan suggested as the group threw away their trash in a Pokemon-proof sanitation box.

"Yes, lets." Misty agreed. "The sooner we find everyone, the better."

---------

"Misty!" Lyra called into the trees. Brock whistled a few times before Lyra called again. "Misty, where'd you go?"

A growl got her attention. "Uh oh..."

She gasped when she saw an angry Ursaring lumbering in her direction, and reached for the two Poke Balls at her side. "Hana, Saphir, let's go!"

A sick feeling welled up in Brock's stomach. I can't lace an arrow with Repel and warn the Ursaring away, but at the same time, I don't think a Chikorita and a Marill will be able to do much of anything against an Ursaring...

He reached for a Poke Ball. "Argent, I need your help!"

[What is it?] Argent asked as he materialized on the road, making the Ursaring approaching them look like a Teddiursa in comparison.

"May I induce you to keep this Ursaring at bay, and protect Lyra?" Brock asked, aware of the frightened look on Lyra's face.

[Sure...I will not stand to see a lady in peril.] Argent smiled.

With that, Brock held his Mega Ring to the sky. Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo...

Lyra watched in awe as a green flash lit up the sky and engulfed the Steelix towering over her in light. Amazing--Brock can use the legendary power of Mega Evolution!

When Argent emerged from the light as Mega Steelix, Brock commanded. "Okay, Argent, Tackle the Ursaring!"

[HAAAAAAAAAHHH!] Argent roared as he slammed into the Ursaring, sending it flying backwards in a burst of rainbow light.

Lyra watched as the Ursaring charged at the Mega Steelix. "Hana, give Argent a hand with Razor Leaf!"

[Got it!] Hana replied as she sprayed the sickle shaped leaves at their opponent, making them gain a rainbow aura thanks to Argent's Mega Evolution, before slicing into the Ursaring's chest with another rainbow burst.

Brock swallowed hard as more Ursarings arrived to avenge the one the two of them had wounded. "I think we need to go...Argent, return!"

"Hana, Saphir, return!" Lyra recalled her own team and followed Brock down a hill, the Ursaring in hot pursuit.

---------

"Almost there..." Ethan coaxed Misty as she stepped from the cliff to solid ground. "There...you made it."

"That actually wasn't so bad." Misty admitted as Ethan took off her safety tether. "But the next question is, where do we look for everyone?"

A growl startled her. "Not again!" she screamed as she and Ethan dashed off down the path.

The rest of the forest seemed to pass by in a blur to Misty as she worked to keep Ethan in view. But as the two of them reached the top of a hill, they could see Ash, Trintri and Kamon not far behind them, and Brock and Lyra approaching from the other way! "You guys! We're here!" she called.

"Misty! Brock!" Ash hurried to hug his companions. "I wondered where you guys went!"

"Lyra!" Ethan was equally happy to see Lyra. "I missed you!"

"It's cool we're all back together, but shouldn't we be running from the beam-bears?" Kamon asked, reminding the others of the angry Ursarings approaching.

"This way!" Ash motioned for the others to follow him down a second path in the road.

Before long, the group had ran down a winding forest path and all the way to a rickety old wooden bridge. "Oh great--this thing's gonna break as soon as we get halfway!" Misty sighed.

"Just like in all those adventure movies I watched as a kid..." Brock was equally annoyed as the rickety bridge started to buckle underneath him.

"Well, if we're gonna prevent ourselves from being TV tropes, let's go!" Kamon called.

The group hurried across the bridge as fast as they could go, but an Ursaring used Slash on one end of the bridge, making the left half fall into a river far below, and the right half, with the others slam against a cliff. Ash was still holding the wooden planks, holding everyone up.

"Argent, help us out!" Brock called, allowing the Mega Steelix to pull the bridge up high enough to reach the path.

[Okay...I have the bridge stabilized, but I can't hold it up and save you guys too.] Argent reported.

"Hana, help me!" Lyra called as she summoned her Chikorita.

Ethan gingerly retrieved one of his Poke Balls. "Ellie, I need your help!"

[Talk about a cliffhanger...] the Phanpy noted.

[Ellie...I'm gonna use Vine Whip to pull up the ropes, so can you use your trunk for the others to hold onto?] Hana asked as she fashioned the ropes and her vines into a makeshift pulley.

[Okay!] Ellie replied before offering her trunk to Ash. [Grab on, and don't let go!]

The Mega Steelix and the Chikorita worked frantically to get their masters back onto safe ground, but relieved cheers filled the air some hours later, when the group was back on safe ground again."

"I don't want to be hanging on for dear life any more!" Misty nervously giggled.

"Me neither...I'll leave that to movie stuntmen." Brock agreed.

A smile formed on Kamon's face. "You know, Wonder Boy...you're actually not that bad to be with. I'd come listen to another whistle solo anytime."

"Thanks!" Ash smiled before he realized Kamon was hurrying off down the road. "But what about...our..battle..."

A sign at the forest edge got his attention. "Hm...Warning, it is currently the Ursaring mating season and they are using this area as their breeding grounds. Do not disturb them if it's the last thing you do, because if you do, it just may be."

He facepalmed. "NOW you tell us..." he groaned as everyone laughed, relieved that their crazy adventure had ended well...

To Be Continued...
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Old 3 Weeks Ago (10:28 AM).
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Episode 52: A Goldenrod Opportunity (part 1)

"I'm at least glad Ethan and Lyra are on their way after running into those Ursarings." Misty smiled as the group continued down the road a few days later.

"I'll admit that I'm even glad Kamon made it out alive, but if I'd have known it was Ursaring mating season, I would've picked a different route and avoided the whole mess to begin with." Ash mused, petting Tintri as he spoke.

"Forgive me for interrupting the conversation, but take a look at what's just ahead!" Brock called, pointing out a signpost in the distance.

He made a grand gesture to the sprawling city in the distance as Ash and Misty arrived at the top of the hill. "I give you...Goldenrod City."

"Wow..." Ash and Misty gasped as they gawked at the glittering gold city before them.

"Goldenrod City...the festive city of opulent charm, one mile." Misty read the sign before admiring the city some more. "It's an opulent and festive city, all right!"

"How bout it? Was it worth all the detours and setbacks to get here?" Brock grinned at Ash, who was gawking in amazement at the skyscrapers and colorful signs in the distance.

"It was..." Ash smiled before taking a picture of the city with his PokeNav. "But I am more than ready to compete for my third Johto League Badge!"

With that, he charged down the hill. "Last one there's a rotten Exeggcute!"

"Hey, wait for us!" Misty and Brock were not far behind.

---------

"Okay...how do we even begin to find our way around here?" Ash wondered as he looked around at the thousands of people going about their daily routines, crisscrossing the various crosswalks to reach one of the millions of shops and opulent malls.

"I hope you brought your wallets, guys...I'm ready to do a little shopping!" Misty smiled, giddy over the huge malls that towered over many of the buildings.

"Forget shopping, there has to be a thriving music scene out here!" Brock was equally excited. "That, and there have to be storytellers out here too, so I can learn some more material for the Lore Stage."

"Oh yeah...I wouldn't mind learning some Johto tunes myself..." Misty smiled, savoring a memory of the often hours long jam sessions the three of them played at and sometimes hosted back home in Kanto.

The sizzle of a burger hitting the grill snapped her to attention. "Not to mention traveling works up an appetite!"

Brock looked over at the food cart Misty was studying, where a line was beginning to form. "That does look delicious." he agreed as the cook delivered the burger--now adorned with two types of cheese, lettuce, and pickles--to a customer.

"I want to shop, jam, and eat too, but can't we see if the Gym is at least open first?" Ash asked--he did not want to be caught off guard like he was in Azalea Town. "If it is, I wanna challenge the local Gym Leader and earn my next Badge!"

"All right, we'll go see if the Gym Leader is in." Brock assured his companion as the group started off down a street.

---------

"Notice: The Gym Leader is out today--challenges will be taken tomorrow." Ash read the sign on the Gym door. "Well, now that I know the Gym Leader isn't taking challenges today, we can explore the city, at least."

"Hope you've got your instruments..." Brock smiled, pointing out a dull red haired boy fine tuning a mandolin as a plum haired girl looked over which of many percussion instruments she needed to play.

"Got room for a few more?" Ash asked the boy as he sat down on a rocky outcropping that ringed a fountain, Pokeflute in hand.

"Sure." the boy smiled. "Keely and I enjoy traveling around the world and jamming with as many people as we can--name's Alex, by the way."

"We learned from several good sources that Goldenrod is a hot spot for jam sessions." Keely explained as a wind gust ruffled her pale blue shirt. "With so many people coming from around the world, you'll hear a pretty diverse mix of tunes."

"We're travelers from Kanto ourselves." Ash explained as he watched Misty and Brock tune up. "I'm Ash...while I'm mainly competing in the local League, I'm not too shabby on a Pokeflute or whistle." He gestured to the empty Pokeflute case and the four whistles peeking from his bag to prove his point.

He heard Misty and Brock warming up as he went on. "My companion Misty is a fiddler and my companion Brock is a master guitar player, singer, storyteller, and songwriter--even if he does have a tendency to sing to any pretty girl he can find."

With that, he joined in with Misty and Brock, seguing into the Kanto jig "The Song of Life" as Keely and her companion Alex played along...

---------

"That was fun--I hope we can play with Keely and Alex again." Misty smiled as the group arrived on another open square some hours later.

"I did learn quite a lot of Legendary Beast tales from Alex--these will definitely come in handy for the Lore Stage." Brock was equally happy as he looked over the last of the stories he had written down, then closed up his notebook.

He looked up at a building with a huge black tower in the distance, where it seemed to dwarf even the tallest skyscraper in the area. "That has to be the tower for the main regional station, WJTO." he explained before getting out his PokeNav and starting the RadioNav app. "Shall we see what sorts of music and shows it plays?"

"Yeah!" Ash and Misty replied as Brock located WJTO in the list of available stations and tapped the "LISTEN" icon.

Some exciting music filled the air. "Hi, everyone! It's Buena!" a young female voice began. "It's time for today's password! Today's password is 'Pikachu!' If you can find me broadcasting live and tell me the password, you'll get a very special prize! Good luck!"

"The password is 'Pikachu'--got it!" Ash mused as some music started on the radio stream.

"I remember Ethan telling me about Buena and her show while we were lost in the forest..." Misty mused as the group started off towards the tower. "The prizes she gives can range to packages of common items and WJTO gear to Pokemon and items you can't find anywhere else, so it's worth it to try and catch her show, especially if you're in the Goldenrod area."

"According to Lyra, Buena is in one of three possible locations every time the show broadcasts--Radio Square, where the tower is located, in the Galaria d'Oro, which is the main mall, or in Yuzu Gardens, where we just came from--and they don't tell you which of the three she's at." Brock explained. "I didn't see anything that looked like a radio station's broadcast booth or vehicle in Yuzu Gardens, so we can rule that out."

"We're closest to Radio Square, so let's check there." Ash suggested, whispering the password to himself so he wouldn't forget it. "Pikachu...Pikachu...Pikachu..."

As the group turned the corner onto Radio Square, Ash spotted a large broadcast booth near the tower, where a brown haired DJ in a pink T shirt and jeans was visiting with passersby or autographing things. "That must be Buena! Let's go give her the password."

Misty and Brock followed Ash as he approached the booth, getting the female DJ's attention. "Hi there! Do you remember today's password?" she asked.

"I do, Buena." Ash confidently smiled.

"Oh, wow!" Buena gasped--she had not expected someone to arrive with the password that quickly. "Thank you!"

Then something occurred to Buena. "What was your name again?"

"I'm Ash!" Ash replied.

"Okay then, Ash...come join the show." Buena smiled as she directed Ash to a small mic positioned so passersby could interact with Buena inside the booth. "What was the password?"

"The password was 'Pikachu'"." Ash replied, grinning at Tintri all the while.

"You're absolutely correct!" Buena announced, to a triumphant fanfare. "Well done!"

She offered Ash a Poke Ball. "Here you are...a Machop of your very own. I'm sure you'll give her a good home."

"Thanks!" Ash replied before the group departed.

"You're welcome--I hope you'll tune in for more passwords and more chances to win!" Buena replied.

She then proceeded to announce to both local listeners, and listeners from around the world Ash's achievement. "Congratulations to Ash for giving me this hour's password for a Machop! I'll have another password and another prize for you next hour, so stay tuned!"

To Be Continued...
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  #61    
Old 2 Weeks Ago (5:09 PM). Edited 2 Weeks Ago by EmeraldSky.
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Episode 53: A Goldenrod Opportunity (part 2)

"Al right, we've jammed, we've eaten..." Misty mused as the group walked down another street. "Met a few new friends, Ash won a Machop in a radio contest..."

"Any ideas as to what you want to name your new Machop yet?" Brock asked.

Ash was about to answer when he felt a bump against his leg. When he knelt down to see what it was, he found a Clefairy rubbing its head. [Ow...that hurt...]

"It's okay...we didn't mean to get in your way." Ash assured the Clefairy.

As Ash assessed Tintri and the Clefairy, a pink haired girl approached them. "Oh, there you are, Navi!" she smiled before noticing the Clefairy rubbing its head. "Oh, you must've crashed into someone! Does anything hurt?"

[Nah..it's just throbbing right now.] the Clefairy assured the girl.

"What about you? Is your Pikachu okay?" the girl asked as she looked Tintri over for injuries.

[Just a scrape where your Clefairy bumped me...] Tintri replied, showing the girl a small bump on his head.

"Here, let me kiss it and make it better, okay?" With that, the girl gently kissed Tintri on the head.

A guitar chord got the girl's and Ash's attention. Always friends, you and me, Brock sang to Whitney as he played.
Together for--!

"Together for just a few minutes!" Misty sighed as she dragged Brock away, guitar and all.

The girl, however, stifled an embarrassed giggle. "That's the first time I've ever been sung to before..."

"Don't mind Brock, miss...he just has to sing to every pretty girl he can find, whether they want to hear him or not." Ash explained. "But put him on a stage, and he'll sing and tell stories for hours!"

"Better on a stage than to a girl he hardly knows..." Misty grumbled.

"Actually, I wouldn't mind hearing your guitar player friend sing." the girl confessed.

It dawned on the girl she had not introduced herself. "The name's Whitney, and this is Navi." she smiled, gesturing to her Clefairy."

"Nice to meet you..." Ash replied. "I'm Ash, and my companions Misty..." Misty waved hello. "and our resident balladeer and storyteller, Brock." Brock looked up from retuning a flat A string to wave hello.

"Nice to meet you all...got the chance to do any shopping yet?" Whitney asked.

"Would I ever!" Now Misty was excited, forgetting all about Brock's attempted performance as she pictured SALE signs, shoes, purses, and bath supplies.

"Sure!" Ash was equally excited, but his shopping daydreams were populated by video games, DVDs, comic books, action figures, and RC cars.

"All right--the Galeria d'Oro is this way, so come with me!" Whitney motioned for the group to follow her down the crowded street.

About then, Brock had finished retuning. "What kind of a song would you like to hear, Miss Whitney?" he asked, believing Whitney to still be present.

He noticed Whitney, Ash, and Misty about to round a corner. "Hey, wait for me!" he called as he quickly put away his instrument and raced to catch up.

---------

"Okay, gang...the Galaria is far easier to get to if you take an underground path." Whitney explained as the group followed her into a tunnel that led beneath the city. "In fact, the tunnels often double as a mall itself!"

"If you don't mind my asking, how did you discover this?" Misty asked as she admired the tunnel's checkered tile floor.

"I discovered the route by myself." Whitney replied. "It was a total accident!"

"We were really lucky to find Whitney as a guide..." Misty smiled.

"If Whitney's that great a guide, then why has she led us down the same path four times in a row?" Brock asked as the group found their way back to the tunnel entrance for the fifth time.

"Um, my fault!" Whitney blushed. "I forgot you make a left down the end of the hallway, not right!"

"If strategy guides exist in real life, we may need one to make it through here..." Ash muttered as they followed Whitney down the tunnel, passing by many doors in the walls on the way.

"That's why I picked up a map of the tunnel on the way in." Misty assured Ash, showing him a folded up map of the city's massive tunnel complex. "To cross reference Whitney's directions, and gently correct her if she gets it wrong."

"Okay...this should be the right way into the Galeria...we should come out in the food court." Whitney explained.

"Great--after we get some food, I wanna see if GameWorld has any copies of Zelda left!" Ash smiled.

He explained to Brock and Misty "Mom surprised me with a Nintendo 64 as a reward for winning the Orange Conference, and I told her I'd come back with a copy of Zelda!"

"I've heard from some reliable sources that Ocarina of Time has earned perfect tens from some reputable magazines and gaming sites--so you owe it to yourself to find a copy." Brock grinned.

But the group balked when they saw they had walked into a beauty salon, with both people and Pokemon getting cuts, trims, styles, and perms. "Hello! How can we assist you today!" a young boy asked as he prepped a chair for the next customer.

"Fancy letting us work some magic on your Pikachu and your Clefairy?" an elder boy smiled.

Tintri pictured himself with permed fur and shuddered. Navi was equally embarrassed as she imagined herself with wavy fur. "Um, that's okay, we're not interested at the moment--thanks!" Ash stammered as the group dashed back out to the tunnel, Tintri and Navi in tow.

---------

"If we don't get to the mall, and fast, we're gonna starve." Ash grumbled as the group trudged through the tunnel.

"Either that, or we'll find the right entrance ourselves." Misty was equally annoyed as she heard Ash's stomach growl.

"Okay...third time's the charm!" Whitney smiled as she opened a third door...which led into a hallway leading to the Galeria food court!

She made a grand gesture to some doors at the end of the hallway. "I'll lead the way in--these are automatic!"

A "UWAAA!!!" and the squeak of Whitney sliding off the door got Brock's attention. "You okay?" he asked as Whitney popped back into 3D on the floor.

"Yeah--forgot it's the main entrance that's automatic." Whitney weakly replied as she rubbed her head. "But nothing serious--it's not the first door I've crashed into!"

Brock opened the door. "Ladies first." he smiled, allowing Whitney and Misty inside before he and Ash followed them.

"FINALLY!" Ash heaved a huge sigh of relief at the utopia of fast food and neon lights before him, never mind Whitney's mishap with the doors earlier.

"It doesn't look too terribly busy, so go get something, and I'll stake out a table for you." Whitney assured the group as they went their separate ways to partake in the many options the food court and the mall itself had to offer.

---------

"So did GameWorld have any copies of Zelda left?" Brock asked as the group reunited at a table near a fountain with their food and a few purchases.

"Yeah--I got one of the last few sparkly boxes with the gold cartridge!" Ash smiled showing his friends the sparkling gold box before returning it to the festively colored GameWorld bag he carried.

"You may want to hang onto that--the gold cartridges are something very special." Whitney smiled as she petted her Clefairy in between bites of Combusken lo mein.

After a while, as the group finished up their food, Ash asked Whitney "So, Whitney...can you ask the Gym Leader if I can battle him tomorrow?"

"No need to ask the Gym Leader--you're looking at her!" Whitney grinned, much to Ash's surprise!

To Be Continued...
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Pokemon Island Sun--a live episode by episode remix of the Alola arc as it airs, done as a collection of letters
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Episode 54: A Goldenrod Opportunity (part 3)

Previously, on Pokemon Moonlight Silver...

After a while, as the group finished up their food, Ash asked Whitney "So, Whitney...can you ask the Gym Leader if I can battle him tomorrow?"

"No need to ask the Gym Leader--you're looking at her!" Whitney grinned, much to Ash's surprise!


"Representing the Gold side, our leader, Whitney!" a dark brown haired referee announced, to Misty and Brock's applause as Whitney waved to the audience of two. "And representing the Silver side, the challenger Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town!"

"Bring it on!" Ash challenged.

"Thank you, Brittany." Whitney smiled at the referee before explaining the rules. "Okay, here's how this is gonna work... we will battle in a three-on-three match, with a Plain Badge as your prize if you beat me, okay?"

"Got it!" Ash replied.

"Is everyone ready?" Brittany asked. Both Whitney and Ash cheered in reply. "All right...three...two...one..."

As soon as the whistle echoed through the Gym, Whitney summoned a tiny pink and yellow cat Pokemon with a large tail. "Tsuki, here we go!"

"Cyndy, I choose you!" Ash commanded. Once Cyndy was before him, he read up on his opponent:

"Skitty, the kitten Pokemon. An exotic Pokemon from the Houen region, it is said to be difficult to earn its trust. However, it is extremely popular for its cute looks and behavior.

"Heh...it is kinda cute." Ash smiled as the small Pokemon licked itself for a moment.

"Tsuki, Tackle!" Whitney's command snapped him back to reality.

"Cyndy, have that Skitty run into a wall of fire!" he commanded. He smirked confidently as the tiny cat Pokemon charged into the stream of fire, only to faint when the flames cleared some moments later.

"Wow! That was almost a little TOO quick!" Even Brock was impressed.

Whitney was shocked that her Skitty had been defeated. "Wow...you're the first one that defeated Tsuki from the get go..."

She looked over at her Clefairy. "Navi, your turn!"

[All right!] Navi replied as she hurried into the arena and started swaying her fingers in time to a beat only she seemed to hear.

Ash froze in fear when he saw the Clefairy's fingers. Metronome can call upon any attack, including attacks the user doesn't know!

"Cyndy, be prepared for anything!" he called, hoping to Arceus that Navi didn't get a chance to use a powerful move like Mystical Fire or Meteor Mash.

He braced himself for a powerful attack, but Misty and Brock laughing from the stands clued him in that Navi was using Splash.

[Here you were getting all panicked over nothing!] Cyndy sighed. [Now, let's finish the job!]

"Okay! Cyndy, use Flamethrower again!" Ash commanded.

"Navi!" Whitney gasped as she saw the oncoming wave of flames headed at Navi. "Navi, come back!"

"Gold withdraws Navi from battle." Brittany announced as Cyndy's Flamethrower attack impacted on the Gold safety barrier, where Navi had been minutes before. "Gold now has one Pokemon remaining."

A huge smile formed on Ash's face. I literally cannot believe this good luck I'm having...I've got the Plain Badge in the bag now!

Whitney noticed Ash's confident smile. "I wouldn't get too comfy, because I have one Pokémon left--and it's also my strongest."

With that, she heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Daisy, showtime!"

Never seen this one before... Ash mused as he read up on the large pink cow Pokemon before him:

"Miltank, the milk cow Pokemon. Its milk is packed with nutrition, making it the ultimate drink for the sick or weary.

"Doesn't look like the type to battle...." Ash mused as he put Dexter away.

"Ah, but if those she loves are threatened, Daisy will hit and hit hard!" Whitney warned as she watched her Miltank power towards the Silver side of the arena, rolling so quick, she seemed to be a literal ball of energy.

"Cyndy--!" Ash called, but all he could do was watch as Daisy slammed straight into Cyndy, sending her flying into the Silver safety barrier and landing at his feet. "You okay, Cyndy?"

[I think so...] Cyndy groaned as she eased herself to her feet. [That's gonna hurt tomorrow...]

"Got enough in you for a counterattack?" Ash asked.

[I can try...] Cyndy groaned.

"If you can, try and Tackle that Miltank!" Ash commanded.

[HAH!!!] Cyndy barreled at the rolling Miltank, but the Tackle and the Rollout collided at the same time. While the force of the impact merely made Daisy slide back a few inches, Cyndy went flying into the safety barrier a second time.

In the stands, Brock noticed Daisy had used the momentum from the collision to turn around. "Ash! Cyndy can't take any more! You need to switch out, and fast!"

Both Misty and Brock winced at the THWACK! of the Miltank impacting something and the KA-WANG! of Cyndy hitting the Silver safety barrier again. "Too late..." Misty noted as the dust cleared to reveal Cyndy with swirly eyes at Ash's feet.

Ash fought back tears as he examined his fainted Cyndaquil. "You gave your all, Cyndy...return."

Focus, Ash. he reminded himself before taking his second Poke Ball. "River, i need your help!"

"Daisy, use Rollout again!" Whitney called.

Ash braced himself for the Miltank speeding towards his Marill. "River, try Water Gun!"

Whitney giggled at Ash's panicked face as the Water Gun splattered against Daisy. "This is why I love Rollout--the longer it goes, the stronger it gets!"

River's a sitting Psyduck! Ash panicked. "River, look out!"

He winced as River also went flying at the safety barrier, only to land swirly eyed at his feet. She never had a chance! There HAS to be a way to stop this Miltank...but how?

A whistle got his attention, where he saw Brock drawing a jagged outline in the air with his finger, as if mimicking a lightning strike. Of course...River did manage to get Daisy wet, so I'll give that a shot.

He looked over at Tintri. "How bout it? Think you can paralyze it with a Thunderbolt?"

[I'll give it my best shot!] Tintri replied as he bounded off Ash's shoulder and fired the largest Thunderbolt he could muster at the spinning Miltank, but the Miltank didn't even bet an eye.

"I will give you credit for a smart idea, but Daisy is spinning so fast, she's already dry." Whitney smiled.

"Okay, Tintri, new plan--use Agility to try to outrun Daisy!" Ash commanded.

But all he could do was watch as Daisy slammed into Tintri with a direct hit. Tintri then flying into the Silver safety barrier himself. But could hardly attempt to get up before Daisy hit him again, leaving Tintri battled and beaten at Ash's feet. [Ash...I'm...sorry...] he wheezed.

"Tintri!" Ash screamed.

"Silver is unable to battle--Gold wins the match!" Brittany announced.

"Daisy, return." Whitney commanded, recalling the Miltank. "Well fought, Ash--I have to commend your heroic effort."

She motioned for Navi to follow her as she started towards the Gym entrance. "If you ever want a rematch, I'll be more than happy to give you one!"

Hot tears welled up in Ash's eyes as Whitney and Navi departed. A rematch would be pointless. he thought as he studied the heavily battered Pikachu in his arms.

He unleashed a loud growl of frustration. "Arceus in heaven, hear my prayer!" he pleaded to no one in particular as Misty and Brock joined him on the arena floor. "Whitney and her Miltank are far too powerful, and I don't have a clue how I'm going to defeat them! Grant me some advice, or a clue!"

To Be Continued...
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The Pokemon Anime Remix Project:

Pokemon Moonlight Silver--A re-imagining of Johto, without all the filler.

Pokemon Island Sun--a live episode by episode remix of the Alola arc as it airs, done as a collection of letters
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Episode 55: A Dairy Tale Ending

"Okay...when you reach the room at the end you need to be careful--if you stand too long in one spot, a Wallmaster will descend from above and take you back to the very beginning of the dungeon." Misty read from a strategy guide as the Link Ash was controlling arrived in a new room in a temple. "Simply jump across and use your final key to unlock this door."

"Got it!" Ash replied before following Misty's instructions.

"Venting your frustration on some bosses?" Brock smiled as he arrived in the Pokemon Center's game room, where Ash had commandeered one of the Nintendo 64's to finally play his gold copy of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

"Yeah...I've cleared the child Link part of the story, and am working my way through the Forest Temple now." Ash replied as he guided his Link down a stairwell. "Misty's acting as my navigator."

"Oh, nice, you have a gold copy!" a familiar voice smiled.

Ash paused the game to see Whitney approaching him. "Whitney...what are you doing here?"

"After our match yesterday, I felt horrible giving you such a beatdown." Whitney explained as Nurse Joy arrived with Ash's Pokemon. "So I wanted to something nice for you--how would you guys like to spend the day at my uncle's farm?"

"Sure!" Ash replied as he saved his game, the scene of Link and Epona jumping the ranch's fence still fresh in his memory.

A thought occurred to him as he turned the console off and ejected his gold cartridge. I could also maybe learn how Daisy got so strong!

---------

Meanwhile, Team Rocket watched from a bush as Whitney and the group arrived at the farm. "Aw, da family reunion..." Meowth sighed as Whitney ran to hug an older man in rancher's garb. "Maybe while dey're busy with da 'hi, how are ya''s, we can raid da storehouse and help ourselves ta all da ice cream we want!"

"Good thing I made a note of the storehouse's location on the way in." James smiled as he motioned for Jessie and Meowth to follow him to a large building by the main barn.

Jessie balked in awe at the sheer amount of milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and ice cream inside the storehouse. "Oh my...where do we begin sampling all of this, much less stealing it?"

"Lessee here...sundae cones, Ice cream sandwiches, Popsicles, Fudgesicles...." Meowth reported as he rummaged through the ice cream. "Birthday cake, Kalosian vanilla, Nanab split, butta pecan, cappuccino chocolate chunk--ooh, dat sounds yummy! Cookie dough, chocolate, mint chip, fudge ripple..."

"Hey! Did I say you guys could have any ice cream?" Whitney asked as she stormed into the storehouse, with the group not far behind.

Jessie just smirked. "You're all gonna scream for more than ice cream momentarily!" With that, they hurried towards one of the the pastures with their pilfered ice cream.

"Follow those Rockets!" Ash and the others were not far behind.

[How's this for a new flavor? Lemon Shock!] Tintri smiled as he fired a Thunderbolt at the fleeing Rockets, making them drop all the ice cream on the ground.

"Good thing none of the tubs popped open..." Brock reported as he and Misty started cleaning up the scattered ice cream tubs that where strewn across the dirt road.

"If they did pop open, we'd have even more of a mess on our hands!" the man agreed as he made sure all the stolen tubs were accounted for.

A "CHAAA!" and "Weezing!" alerted Whitney that Jessie and James had summoned Arbok and Weezing in an attempt to throw the group off their trail. "Daisy, get these crooks away from here!" she called as she summoned her Miltank.

[For the pride of Goldenrod Farm! Take this!] Daisy growled before rolling into a ball and charging at the Arbok, the Weezing, Jessie, James, and Meowth.

"Go get'em, Daisy! Give those troublemakers what for!" the man grinned as Daisy's Rollout connected, sending the Rockets flying off with a ping.

"Good riddance..." Misty smiled.

"Daisy saves the day again!" Whitney announced, prompting Daisy to take a bow for the applauding group.

"It's about time for her to be milked, Whitney, so I'll take her into the barn with the rest of the herd." the man explained.

"Okay, Uncle Milton--while Daisy's getting milked, I'll give my friends some Ponyta riding time." Whitney replied before addressing the group. "If you want to see the Ponytas, they have their own pasture."

"Fun fact--the Epona in Zelda is named for the Epona in myth and folklore." Brock explained as the group entered the Ponyta pastures. "Unlike your virtual steed, the Epona in folklore is said to be a Shiny Ponyta, with divine speed and speaking ability at the very least, but depending on the story and possibly the teller, she may have more powers than those."

Ash, meanwhile, made a beeline towards a normal Ponyta near one of the fences. "What's this one's name?"

"That's Miracle--or Mira for short." Whitney replied as she brought over a saddle and bridle. "So named because she very nearly didn't survive her traumatic birth; but she did. She's actually a very gentle mount, so we let first time riders and those that haven't ridden in some time ride her."

"I have a little Ponyta riding experience under my belt, but it's been a while." Ash confessed as Milton arrived with riding garb.

Once Miracle had been saddled and bridled and Ash had suited up, Whitney led them both on a leisurely walk around the pasture. "Any memories of the Laramie Ranch coming back to you at all?" Misty smiled as she and Brock watched from the fence.

"Yeah--funnily enough, the Ponyta I rode in that race was named Epona, which is why I was surprised when it popped up in Zelda last night." Ash replied.

"It is a fairly common female Ponyta name because of the mythological connection already..." Brock mused as Whitney led Ash and Miracle back to their starting point.

Just then, Whitney heard Milton calling her. "Just stay put while I go help Uncle Milton put fresh hay down for the Miltanks." she told Ash as she disconnected the lead rope.

"Okay." Ash replied.

As soon as Whitney was out of view, a fence dividing the Ponyta pasture in half gave Ash an idea. Maybe if I urged Miracle hard enough, I could jump into the other pasture like Link and Epona!

Inspired, he flicked the reins. "Heya!" he called, in his best mimic of Link; prompting Miracle to run towards the fence.

"Ash, what are you--!" Misty started before she and Brock watched Ash and Miracle sail gracefully over the fence into the other pasture...only for Ash to nearly tumble to the ground from the force of the landing.

Laughter got his attention. "I think you need a little more practice on jumping, Mr. Hero." Whitney smiled.

"Ya got the jumpin' part right, but ya need to practice landin' too." Milton agreed.

---------

Later, Ash watched from the fence as in the main Miltank pasture, Whitney and Daisy practiced Rollout. That move is powerful...maybe even too powerful if it took down three of my best Pokemon. So how do I even begin to defend against it?

He was snapped from his thoughts by a strange sight. Huh? Why is a barrel rolling into the pasture?

"Odd...what's a barrel doing here..." Whitney wondered as she watched the odd barrel roll into the pasture.

"SURPRIIIIIIIIISE!!!" the Rockets cried as they emerged from the barrel, to Whitney's and the group's horror.

"To protect the world from devastation..." Jessie began.

"And unite all peoples within our nation..." James smiled, twirling a rose in his hand. Ash just rolled his eyes at the now familiar motto he, Misty, and Brock had heard a million times before:

"To denounce the evils of truth and love!

"To extend our reach to the stars above!

"Jessie!

"James!"

"Team Rocket! Blast off at the speed of light!

"Surrender now, or prepare to fight!"

"Meowth! Dat's right!"

"DAISY!!!!" Whitney cried as the odd mecha snatched both Daisy and Pikachu, then started to roll away, very similar to a Pokemon using Rollout.

Ash climbed into the pen in an attempt to stop the barrel, summoning Cyndy. "Cyndy, ignite one of Brock's arrows to set that barrel on fire!"

Cyndy waited until Brock had aimed at the wildly rolling barrel, then heaved an Ember at it, setting the arrow ablaze.

Whitney watched in awe as the flaming arrow landed in the barrel, setting it ablaze and slowing the barrel down. "What a great idea!"

"River, use your Water Gun to impede the barrel more!" Ash heaved another Poke Ball skyward.

"It's working!" Misty noted as she watched the barrel mecha bounce and shake along the makeshift canyon River had created, eventually dropping Daisy and Tintri on the grass.

[Rough landing...] Tintri mused before charging a Thunderbolt. [But not as rough as yours will be!] he screeched as he launched his attack, making the barrel explode sending Team Rocket flying.

Whitney looked up from tending Daisy to see Ash approaching. "Thank you...I don't know what I would do if Daisy were Poke-napped by those hoodlums..."

"If you want to...I want a rematch of our battle from yesterday--Daisy vs. Tintri." Ash offered. "I know Cyndy and River have no chance against Rollout, but Tintri came the closest..."

"All right, that's fair." Whitney replied. "Meet me in the main Miltank pasture, and we'll battle."

---------

"Okay, Tintri, use Agility!" Ash called. The canyons River made before are still there, so maybe I can use that to my advantage!

He watched as Tintri sped past the rolling Daisy, causing her to hit some of the trenches. As Daisy came around for another attack, Tintri curled into a ball in the bottom of one of the trenches. Tintri? What're you doing?" Ash wondered.

[Relax, I've got this.] Tintri assured his master. [I have an idea...]

Just as Daisy rolled over the top of the trench, Tintri unrolled himself, which launched Daisy into the air! [Hi-YAAAAA!!!!] Tintri screamed as he unleashed a Thundershock, causing the now fainted Daisy to land on the grass with a thud.

"Gold is unable to battle--Silver is the winner!" Uncle Milton announced.

Ash balked as Whitney held out a simply designed diamond shaped badge. "What? Why am I getting a Plain Badge here? We weren't even in the Gym!"

"Who said we had to be in the gym for a Gym match?" Whitney grinned.

"Besides, if you can rescue and then defeat a Gym Leader's top Pokémon fair and square, you've earned yourself a badge several times over!" Uncle Milton smiled.

"Okay..." Ash smiled as he accepted the badge from Whitney as Misty and Brock applauded his victory...

To Be Continued...
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The Pokemon Anime Remix Project:

Pokemon Moonlight Silver--A re-imagining of Johto, without all the filler.

Pokemon Island Sun--a live episode by episode remix of the Alola arc as it airs, done as a collection of letters
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Old 1 Week Ago (12:03 PM). Edited 1 Week Ago by EmeraldSky.
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Episode 56: Air Time!

"Whitney sure was a sweetheart..." Misty smiled in between bites of lettuce. It had been a few days since they had spent the day at Whitney's uncle's farm, chasing away Team Rocket and Ash earning his third badge along the way.

"Yeah...she wasn't as tough as I thought." Ash smiled as he admired the Plain Badge that was now pinned to his vest along with his other badges.

He noticed the taco salad Misty was eating. "That looks great..."

"I couldn't decide whether to eat healthily or indulge, so this looked like the best solution." Misty explained. "Pretty tasty too...what'd you get?"

"Just your standard cheeseburger--hold the onions." Ash smiled as he offered Tintri one of the pickles still on his plate.

Brock chuckled as Tintri made a disgusted face. "A little too sour?" he grinned before taking a bite of the patty melt he had ordered.

The three friends giggling caught the attention of a young deep brown haired man. "Hi there...can I ask you three a question?"

"Sure...what about?" Ash asked as the waiter arrived with the bill and three complimentary mini sundaes, then cleared the boy's plates.

"My name's Seth Petersen--I'm the producer of 'Pokemon Profiles' on WJTO." the man began. "The guest we had lined up for this week had an emergency and couldn't come--so would any of you three like to come on the show and share your talents with the world?"

"I would be honored." Brock replied as he set down his share of the bill and the tip. "I'm competing in the Pokemon Lore Stage, so it would be a dream come true to share my stories with a wider audience."

"And Misty and I will help with any music or character voices you might need." Ash smiled as he offered Tintri what was left of the ketchup he had used for his fries.

"All right--here's my card." Seth gave Brock a business card. "Just show that to the receptionist and tell her you and your friends are here for 'Pokemon Profiles', and she'll lead you to the studio."

---------

"Formerly a Gym Leader, now a performer; he's quickly become a rising star on Kanto's storytelling scene, and now seeks to make his mark on the Pokemon Lore Stage...come get to know this true renaissance man, today on 'Pokemon Profiles'. a female DJ announced before the show's theme song started.

"Good luck, Brock..." Misty whispered as she put on her own headphones.

"Welcome to 'Pokemon Profiles'...I'm your host, Mary Austin." the female DJ began as the theme song ended. "This week, we cross over to Kanto to get to know a former Gym Leader whose true passion lies in sharing the world's lore though music, mimicry, props, and even stage archery. So please give a warm welcome to rising Lore Stage star Brock Harrison."

"Thank you." Brock acknowledged the applause of a few interns from his half of the studio. "It's an honor to be here."

"Tell me...what spurred you to begin storytelling, an art many think is relegated to summer campfires and rainy days at Grandma's?" Mary asked.

"Well, coming from a large family, reading a book often proved to be an exercise in futility." Brock explained with a chuckle. "They would always find some way to interrupt with questions or taking the story off on a tangent. By telling my siblings a bedtime story every night, I could include them in the performance, so they wouldn't interrupt me. Then I started including songs and mimicry in my performances, to the point where they were guessing what kinds of songs I would sing and voices I would do for their story that night."

He went on "My big break came when I was effectively volunteered to perform for the school book week with only a day to get ready. But my hastily thrown together show went over very well, and before long, I was being asked to tell for other schools, community events, and even festivals. I hope to one day make a career out of it--this world is filled with all kinds of lore, and stories just waiting to be told."

"I see...would you be willing to share one of your stories with us?" Mary asked.

"Sure...this is a version of the Moltres story common to Pewter and the surrounding areas." Brock explained. "It's called 'The Quest for Moltres'...

With that, he began "It happened once that a king of a far away land, who had a great kingdom and three sons, was blinded due to a mysterious disease, and no healing skill or art could restore to him his sight. After a very long time, a traveling priestess came to the palace, and told him that there was only one thing that could restore his sight, and that was to find Moltres, the Herald of Fire; her song would open the king's eyes.

When the eldest son--his name is not important to us--heard this, he offered to go in search of Moltres, the Herald of Fire, which was kept in a gilded cage by a neighboring king, and carefully guarded as his greatest treasure. The blind king greatly rejoiced at his son's resolve, decked him out in the best way he could, and let him go...."

---------

"Hearing you sing the Swanna Song never gets old..." Misty smiled when the show ended some time later. "Nor does hearing you tell--you did great in there!"

"You guys did great filling in the voices of Prince Brian and Princess Sophia." Brock replied.

"That was actually kinda fun..." Ash confessed as he returned his headphones to a tech. "I hope no one noticed I was a little nervous..."

An intern entering the room got his attention. "Boss! Mary! This week's show tapes were damaged during the storm that came through last night. Now we can't air this week's edition of the Goldenrod Radio Theater!"

"It's okay..this week's episode can still be done live." Mary assured the intern as she, and the group followed the intern down the hall to the large and roomy studio where the famous radio drama was recorded each week, where the station's resident actors were preparing to record. "Guys, you don't mind if these three join in this week's show, do you?"

"Not at all!" a blonde haired actor smiled.

"We like performing with guests." a dull green haired girl asked as she received her script.

Mary gave Ash, Misty, and Brock a script. "All right, here the scripts for your roles..."

Ash gasped when he saw the script's title. "No way--we're doing a dramatization of one of my all time favorite video games...'The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past'!"

"All you have to do is all those 'Hut's, 'Ha's, and 'Seit!'s Link does...think you can do that?" Mary asked Ash.

"Sure!" Ash replied as he accepted a headset mic from a tech, grabbed an unsharpened pencil, and stabbed at the air, channeling his best mimic of the Ocarina of Time Link. "Hut! Ha! Heya!"

"Very good!" Mary applauded. "Are we ready to get started?"

"We're on in three...two...one..." the director counted down.

---------

The familiar attract screen music started playing in all its sixteen bit glory as Brock read the iconic attract text as the opening narration. "Long ago, in the beautiful kingdom of Hyrule surrounded by mountains and forests, legends told of an omnipotent and omniscient Golden Power that resided in a hidden land. Many people aggressively sought to enter the hidden Golden Land, But no one ever returned. One day, evil power began to flow from the Golden Land, so the King commanded seven wise men to seal the gate to the Land of the Golden Power."

As the game music faded out, the director motioned for the blonde haired actor to say his first line. "Um...do we really have to act out the cut scene?" he asked. "We haven't had time to rehearse!"

"I know, but everything we recorded for this week was damaged, so we have to record this live--we can always edit out mistakes before it goes to air." Mary assured the actor. "Start from the end of the first bit of the attract music ending."

"It would be a whole lot better if Brock just read the entire attract text..." another actor added.

"If Mary wants to have the gate sealing part and Agahnim's arrival acted out, I have no problem with it." a navy haired female actor assured her costar.

"I just don't think it's right to add dialogue where there wasn't any to start with." the blonde actor protested.

'If it's in the script, that's what the director wants!" the navy haired actor protested.

"There is such a thing as artistic license..." the blonde actor retorted.

Mary winced as the actors argued. "Let's just continue reading the attract text, okay?" she told Brock before clapping to get the actors' attention, bringing the argument to a screeching halt. "Okay, focus, everyone!"

"Now, where was I?" Brock asked as he looked for the rest of the attract text in the script.

"That seal should have remained..." Ash prompted Brock.

Brock found the point Ash had mentioned, and continued reading as the sixteen bit music started again. "That seal should have remained for all time...but, when these events were obscured by the mists of time and became legend, a mysterious wizard known as Agahnim came to Hyrule to undo the seal. He eliminated the good King of Hyrule, and through his evil magic, he began to make descendants of the seven wise men vanish, one by one. Now, the time of destiny for Princess Zelda is drawing near....and it is here our story begins..."

"Okay, cut!" Mary called as the propmasters prepared the recording area to capture sounds of footsteps on various surfaces.

"Mary, Zelda's a fairly long game, and our time slot won't be enough to perform the whole game in one sitting." the dull green haired girl interjected. "What should we do?"

"We have enough time to perform up to the Sanctuary this week--we'll have our guest actors record any other dialogue we may need when our time here is done, so we can air the rest over several weeks." Mary replied before addressing Misty. "Ready for your first lines?"

"As I'll ever be..." Misty replied as the sound tech cued a sound of rain on a roof.

"Okay, action!" Mary called.

"Help me...please help me..." Misty pleaded in character as Zelda, her voice receiving an echo effect to signal the voice was in someone's head. "I am a prisoner in the dungeon of the castle. My name is Zelda. The wizard, Agahnim, has done...something to the other missing girls. Now only I remain...Agahnim has seized control of the castle and is now trying to open the seven wise men's seal...I am in the dungeon of the castle. Please help me..."

The sound of a door opening snapped Ash to attention. "Link, I'm going out for a while. I'll be back by morning. Don't leave the house." a plum haired male actor read as the uncle before walking on some wood planks to simulate someone walking out a house into the simulated "storm"

Ash carefully got up from his chair and landed on the wood planks with a THUNK. "No, that sounded too heavy for someone jumping out of bed." Mary suggested.

"Here's a tip--take off your shoes and slap them on something to get a more realistic walking sound." the navy haired girl suggested.

"Okay..." After removing his shoes, Ash tried lightly slapping them on the wood planks. "That's better." Mary replied.

Misty sighed as the memorable video game scene took shape in fits and starts. "We're gonna be here a while..."

"Focus!" Mary's call snapped her back to reality. She flipped a few pages to the next point where Zelda had lines, then watched as the plum haired boy read his next scene as the uncle, now wounded. "Unnh... Link, I didn't want you involved in this...I told you not to leave the house. Take my sword and shield and listen. You can focus power in the blade, then release it using the secret technique handed down by our people."

After some techs rattled some metal items to simulate Link picking up something metallic, the actor continued. "Link, you can do it! Save the princess!"

"Hm!" Ash replied affirmatively as Link.

"He's really getting into this..." Brock smiled as he watched Ash manipulate his shoes to mimic walking, and then a flurry of war-cries at Mary's battle cue, waving an unsharpened pencil in time with Mary's directions and the sound effects to simulate a fight.

"Would you be willing to read the role of the loyal sage too?" the dull green haired actress asked as she tried oh-so-hard not to laugh at Ash waving around a pencil and mimicking Link's war cries.

"Sure." Brock replied, turning to the appropriate point in his script.

---------

As the iconic Sanctuary music started, Brock started reading the role of the loyal sage. "Princess Zelda, you are safe! Is this your doing, Link?" he asked Ash in a gentle older man voice.

"Hm." Ash replied affirmatively.

"Yes, it was Link who helped me escape from the dungeon!" Misty replied in character as Zelda. "While I was captive, the wizard said..."

She next decided to do her best mimic of someone evil. "Once I have finished with you, the final one, the seal of the wise men will open."

Brock tried oh-so-hard not to laugh and break character at Misty's attempt at a villainous voice. "Link, you must not let the land of Hyrule fall into the wizard's clutches." Misty pleaded as Zelda again. "If he releases the seal of the seven wise men, evil power will overwhelm this land. Before that happens...before it's too late... destroy the wizard before he destroys all of Hyrule! You can do it!"

"I sense that a mighty evil force guides the wizard's actions and augments his magical power." Brock reads as the loyal sage. "The only weapon potent enough to defeat the wizard is the legendary Master Sword. It is said that the village elder is a descendant of one of the seven wise men. Maybe he can tell you more..."

After lightly pressing a stamp on some paper, Brock went on in character "I will mark his house on your map. But watch your every move! I am certain that the castle soldiers will be looking for you now!"

He noticed Ash's in character fearful look. "I will hide Princess Zelda here. Do not worry! Seek the elder!"

---------

"Well done, all three of you." Seth smiled when the marathon recording session finally ended some hours later. "You make a wonderful Link, Ash."

"Aw, it was nothing." Ash smiled. "I'd be happy to perform on the radio again, either as a guest actor or to play more music."

"It was a bit weird acting with no costumes or sets, but we had fun too." Misty smiled.

"Yeah--doing a radio play was an interesting experience." Brock agreed.

"You're always welcome to do Link the next time we do an adaptation of a Zelda game." Mary smiled as she met the group. "You at least have the war-cries down...will you do one more for me?"

Ash nodded, grabbed an unsharpened pencil, and stabbed at the air. "Hut!"

To Be Continued...
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Old 4 Days Ago (12:07 PM). Edited 4 Days Ago by EmeraldSky.
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Episode 57: The Bug Stops Here (part 1)

"That radio play was fun!" Misty smiled as the group left Goldenrod City the next morning. "You do a very convincing Link, by the way." she smiled at Ash.

"Hut!" Ash proceeded to stab at the air with an imagined sword, to the bemusement of the others.

Even Brock was laughing as he consulted the map. "Okay...the National Park should be just ahead..."

"How fun!" Misty smiled as the group rounded the corner, where they saw a huge crowd lining up by a Beautifly fountain in the main hub. "Or, maybe not so fun if all these crowds are here..."

"Good morning! Are you guys here for the Bug Catching Contest?" a ranger asked as she approached the group.

Misty froze at the mention of bugs. Why didn't they tell me this place was full of bugs?

A majestic Poke Ball shaped building with banners decorating the top looming in the distance got her attention. That must be the Pokethlon Dome! Now I can get my own challenge started!

A sign near a path got her attention: POKETHLON DOME--THIS WAY. "You guys can go play with the bugs--I'm gonna attempt my first Pokethlon!" she told the boys before hugging Brock and tearing off down the path to the majestic dome, excited to finally begin her challenge.

"I figured Misty's bug-phobia would rear its head sooner or later..." Brock mused, wincing from Misty's surprisingly hard grip.

"What are the rules for the Bug Catching Contest?" Ash asked the ranger.

"Each participant is given a set of 30 Park Balls, which look like this." the ranger replied, showing the boys a dull green Poke Ball. "You are to enter the forest, and using only one Pokémon, catch the strongest Bug-type Pokémon you can find. Whoever gets the strongest one in 20 minutes wins the competition and, in addition to the option of keeping the Pokémon you catch, you also win a Sun Stone."

"Nice...sign me up!" Ash smiled, accepting the entry form from the ranger as he giddily chuckled.

Brock, meanwhile, was declaring his archery gear. "These arrows are only props, and have been dulled for target shooting and use on stage. Most damage they can do is popping balloons or puncturing other materials."

"All right...any location marked with a target sign, you can shoot from." the ranger replied. "Just be aware of your surroundings, and be respectful of other park guests. If you'd like to use the park's archery range, that's nearby the north observation deck."

"Thanks." Brock replied before telling Ash where he would be. "While you're busy catching bugs, I'm gonna try out the archery range. Once I get done there, I'll be watching from the north observation deck."

"Got it!" Ash replied before hurrying off to join the other contest participants.

---------

"Specialization...water." Misty mused as she continued filling out a Pokethlon registration form in the Pokethlon Dome's main lobby. "Skill level...beginner..."

"Misty!" a familiar voice called, snapping Misty to attention. When she looked up to see who had called, she smiled when she saw Casey--now in a green jersey with the number 64 on it--and Wrigley approaching her. "Remember me at all?"

"Casey...long time no see!" Misty smiled as she and Casey hugged. "This place is amazing!"

"Yeah, but it's only one of several Domes just like it just in this region alone." Casey explained. "What track are you on?"

"Water...since water Pokemon are my specialty." Misty replied.

"Okay...consider me your friendly rival, even though I'm competing on land." Casey grinned. "So even though I'm gonna do my best to beat you, I can answer any questions you might have that the Dome staff don't know the answer to."

"Bring it on!" Misty challenged as she went to turn in her registration form at the front desk.

"Okay, Misty Williams...here's your official Pokethlon jersey for the water track..." The receptionist smiled, draping a royal blue jersey on Misty's back. "and here is the box to keep any medals you win."

"Thanks." Misty replied as she accepted the large cube shaped box. "Where's the dressing room to change into this?"

"Dressing rooms are down that hall--once you're changed, head on into the briefing room. The beginners' water Pokethlon will be starting shortly."

Misty acknowledged the receptionist with a nod and smile, then hurried off down a hallway to change.

"Nice, number seven." Casey noted when Misty emerged in her jersey some minutes later. "I've got a few minutes before the land Pokethlon starts, so I can answer some questions before you go in the briefing room. You only have to get the briefing before your very first Pokethlon, which basically explains what to expect."

"Do you have to win a gold medal to count towards the end goal, whatever that is?" Misty asked.

"Nope--either a gold, silver, or bronze medal will do." Casey replied. "If you do earn eight medals, you go on to the Grand Pokethlon, which takes place during the Pokemon League."

"Okay...and how many Pokemon can I use?" Misty asked.

"Up to three--they'll tell you what kind you're competing in during the briefing, so pick the three that are the most versatile for any competition." Casey explained.

"All right..." Misty reached for three of her five Poke Balls. "Michelle, Pearl, Ami...you guys will compete in my first competition!"

---------

[Some competition this is...] Tintri sighed as he and Ash trudged through the brush. [We haven't found even so much as a Caterpie yet!]

"We haven't even looked in the whole forest yet, so we can't give up now!" Ash assured Tintri as they checked the clearing near the north observation deck.

A mimic of a Fletchling whistle got his attention, spurring Ash to look up to find Brock waving at him from above. Must've finished shooting at the archery range... he thought before waving back to his friend.

[That was actually a pretty good mimic of a Fletchling song!] Tintri was impressed. [But this is Brock we're talking about, here...he probably knows how to mimic a million voices!]

Just then, a dull yellow worm Pokemon with a spike on its head and a large red nose crawled out from the bush. [A Weedle...want me to attack it?] he asked Ash.

"Sure!" Ash replied, excited to finally spot a Pokemon. "Use--!"

"Use Razor Leaf!" he heard a female voice say, very nearly getting sliced by the two spiked leaves as he and Tintri dashed back into the brush to watch a dull green haired girl and her Chikorita engage the Weedle.

He watched as the attack slashed the Weedle, allowing the girl to catch it. "Good work, Peach..." the girl smiled as she petted the Chikorita, than started back down the path back to the park entrance.

"But I found that Weedle first..." Ash sulked, miffed that another trainer had stolen his catch.

[Cheer up, Ash...there's plenty more bugs in the forest to find!] Tintri assured his master.

Ash nodded. "You're right, bud...we could find something rarer than a Weedle, and beat everyone else."

He motioned for Tintri to follow him. "Let's go."

---------

"...Today's Pokethlon will focus on speed, so it will be a big help if you chose your fastest Pokemon...good luck to all of you." a coach concluded before the crowd of beginner Pokethletes, Misty included, went their separate ways to prepare for their respective competitions.

Okay...after comparing everyone's stats using that stat guide Casey gave me, I'm gonna use Pearl for the first event. Misty thought as she made her way to the tunnel leading to the main pool for water events.

She hurled a Poke Ball skyward. "Pearl, competition time!"

[Competition?] the Starmie asked. [That would explain your clothes...]

"This is no different from racing Lilly, Violet, and Daisy at home...but this time, we have people watching us--think you can stay focused?" Misty asked.

Pearl's core turned blue--her excited color. [If I can battle before an audience, I can race against other Pokemon! Let's do this!]

"That's the spirit!" Misty smiled as she emerged inside the large indoor pool, where a large crowd and three other blue clad Pokethletes were waiting.

"Welcome, one and all, to our first Poke Ball rank Water Pokethlon of the season!" am emcee called, to thunderous cheers. "Our first event today is the Hurdle Dive--our four competing Pokéathletes are pitted against one another in a race down a lane of the pool, with hurdles every so often for the Pokémon to jump over or dive under. The first Pokethlete and Pokemon to make it to the other end of the pool in sixty seconds, wins!"

Pearl's core turned green--her nervous color--as an Empoleon, a Greninja, and a Gorebyss took their places in the first three lanes. [You sure we can outswim those?]

"I would've never signed up for this if I didn't believe you could do it." Misty assured her faithful Starmie as she settled into the water.

[All right...climb aboard, Ms. Tsunami--hang on to my top spires, and don't let go!] Pearl instructed as she folded down some spires to create a place for a human to mount her.

Once all four Pokethletes had mounted their Pokemon and were in the water, the referee announced "On your mark...get set...GO!!!"

Cheers filled the air as the Greninja charged to the front, creating a massive wave as he leaped over the first hurdle. But Misty and Pearl were not far behind, expertly weaving past the large Empoleon and diving under the first hurdle, overtaking the Gorebyss on the way. "Full throttle, Pearl!" she whispered.

[You got it!] With that, Pearl picked up her speed and leaped from the water, barely overtaking the Greninja as she and Misty sailed over the second hurdle. Once the two of them splashed down, Pearl kicked up a huge wave of her own as she powered ahead to dive under the third hurdle, reaching the other end of the pool with five seconds to spare!

In first place, number 7, Misty Williams. the announcer reported as Misty and Pearl waved to the crowd, both excited and exhausted. Ash, Brock...I wish you guys were here to watch me take the gold!

To Be Continued...
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Old 1 Day Ago (12:14 PM). Edited 1 Day Ago by EmeraldSky.
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Episode 58: The Bug Stops Here (part 2)


The grass rustled as Ash and Tintri stepped into another clearing, where a red haired boy and a pink fluffy sheep-like Pokemon were challenging a Scyther. While the green mantis Pokemon was familiar to Ash, he did want to read up on the sheep Pokemon:

"Flaaffy, the wool Pokemon. The evolution of Mareep, its fleece quality changes to generate strong static electricity with a small amount of wool. The bare, slick parts of its hide are shielded against electricity."

"Ah, so that's what Luce will become..." Ash smiled as he watched the Flaaffy battle.

[I'm not sure if the Flaaffy's gonna last very much longer...] Tintri mused as the Flaaffy tried to charge a Thunderbolt, but fell to the ground in exhaustion.

"Come on, Cloud, just a little more!" the boy urged, unaware of his Flaaffy heaving with exhaustion. "Try to use a Thunderbolt!"

Ash gasped in horror as the Scyther raised a bladed arm to slash the exhausted Flaaffy. "We have to do something, or that Flaaffy's roast mutton! Come on!"

[Take this!] Tintri screeched before firing a Thunderbolt of his own, making the Scyther stumble backwards as paralysis took hold.

"Th-thanks...how can I ever repay you and your Pikachu for saving Cloud?" the boy stammered, amazed and grateful someone had come to his rescue."

"Aw, it was nothin'!" Ash grinned. "Trainers help each other out in times of need."

He paused to get an extra blanket from his bag--one of many spare blankets he carried to give fellow trainers--and draped it over the Flaaffy, "But for now, just let Cloud rest--I think you may have pushed him past his limit."

"We were exploring the forest when that Scyther appeared..." the boy explained. "I wanted to catch it for the contest, but it turned out to be too strong for Cloud."

"It's perfectly okay to run from a battle--sometimes the better part of valor is discretion." Ash explained.

"Thanks...that makes me feel a little better." the boy weakly smiled. "I'll admit I pushed Cloud too hard without meaning to, but what if that Scyther tries to attack someone else that may not be so lucky to have someone intervene?"

"I'll go try and find it so it can't hurt any more Pokemon--for now, stay with your Flaaffy, and let him rest." Ash told the boy before motioning for Tintri to follow him. "Come on, bud."

"Bye, and thanks!" the boy called as Ash and Tintri charged through the brush.

---------

"Our second event in the beginners' water Pokethlon is Capture the Flag." the referee announced to the spectators, to cheers as Misty and her competition, now wearing swim goggles, arrived on the deck of a massive pool.

"This shouldn't be too hard...remember seeing Casey do this and having to defend Ash's honor?" Misty asked as she, Michelle, Ami, and Pearl made their way to the fourth starter deck.

[I still wanna give Kamon a piece of my mind for saying Ash was cheating!] Ami grumbled as she looked out on the large pool.

[Casey's obviously done this for a while, but finding flags is harder in water, because some of them could be beneath the surface.] Michelle cautioned. [So keep that in mind when picking which of us will compete.]

[Yeah, remember that you'll probably have to come up and breathe too.] Ami agreed.

"Well, this event tests skill as well as speed..." Misty mused as she checked the stat guide Casey had given her. "I'll stick with Pearl, since you guys are even in skill, but Pearl has the fastest speed."

[That's fair...climb aboard.] Pearl flew in the water and folded down some of her spires to create a place for Misty to sit. [We need some kind of signal to let me know when you need to come up and breathe....]

"I'll point upward." Misty replied before climbing on her faithful Starmie.

[Good luck, Pearl!] Ami called as Misty and Pearl paddled to the start line.

"Hidden in this pool are flags of many colors--some of them are on the surface, and some of them are underwater." the referee explained. "Whoever can find seven flags in the order of the rainbow the fastest, wins."

Once sure all the Pokethletes had their goggles on, he called "Ready? Set? GO!"

Cheers filled the air as Misty found a red flag hanging on a buoy, then held her breath as Pearl dove beneath the surface, intent on picking up an orange flag hiding on the bottom. But before she could reach out to grab it, the Greninja grabbed it away. Nuts... she grumbled as she motioned for Pearl to surface.

She found another orange flag around a prop coral, and eagerly grabbed it away from the Empoleon before motioning to Pearl to surface again. This is apparently harder than I thought... she thought as she surfaced, then held her breath again to go for a yellow flag hidden in a mermaid statue.

After surfacing yet again, she raced the Greninja to a treasure chest to claim a green flag, retrieved a blue flag twined around an anchor, beat the Greninja to an indigo flag hanging from an inner tube, and easily found the purple flag in a ship sail before the Greninja narrowly beat her across the line.

In third place, number 7, Misty Williams. the announcer reported as both the exhausted girl and the exhausted Starmie paddled back to the pool deck. That's okay, there's still only one more event to go--I can still finish strong. Misty told herself as she and her three Pokemon made their way down another tunnel.

---------

[No sign of that Scyther anywhere...] Tintri reported. [Imagine what a catch that would be for the contest!]

"It would be a nice catch, but first we have to--!" Ash replied before a crunch got his attention. When he looked down to see he had accidentally stepped on an abandoned Beedrill hive, he froze as he heard the hum of the Beedrill swarm approaching. "Uh oh..."

Suddenly, an idea came to him. Forget the Scyther, let's try catching one of these!

He called "Tintri, use Thunderbolt!" as the swarm drew closer. I'm not running from you guys today! You're gonna be my key to winning this contest!

[HI-YAAAAAA!!!] Tintri cried as he fired a Thunderbolt into the swarm, making many of the Beedrills drop to the ground paralyzed. [Okay...they're not gonna get up or attack for a while, so pick the Beedrill you like best.]

"All right..." Ash replied as he took a Park Ball, and heaved it at the one closest to the hive...

---------

"Our final event in today's beginner water Pokethlon is the Relay Run!" the referee announced. "Each of our Pokethletes will race each other around this circular pool, trying to complete as many laps as they can in two minutes. Whoever completes the most laps, wins."

[Misty...I think I can help you get a good finish to make up for the Capture the Flag disaster.] Michelle offered. {That is, if Pearl's okay with it.]

[That's fine.] Pearl replied. [Whichever one of us Misty feels can lead her to victory.]

"Okay, Michelle...you can try this event." Misty replied.

[Climb on my back, then.] Michelle replied before climbing in the pool and lying down on her stomach long enough for Misty to climb on. [Not the heaviest thing I've carried, but you're pretty light for a human.] she noted as she ran to the start.

"Pokethletes! Take your mark!" the referee called. "Ready? Set...GO!"

Michelle and Misty charged out in front, even outswimming the Grenenja and the Gorebyss as he field jockeyed for position. "Swim like your life depended on it." Misty whispered to the Golduck, who nodded and powered ahead through the backstretch to complete a lap first.

As the two minute timer ticked away, the Empoleon had long since given up, as had the Gorebyss, but the Greninja and Michelle were neck and neck. Mr. Frog-fu's on his last legs, and I'm still raring to go! Michelle thought as she watched the Greninja finally stop in exhaustion with ten seconds to go, leaving him with 11 laps just as Michelle completed her twelfth lap moments before time expired.

The winner and second place overall--number 7, Misty Williams! the announcer reported as Misty waved to the cheering crowd. The scoreboard displayed her and Michelle's picture as well as a replay of their last lap--while twelve laps was nowhere near the record of twenty, it was still very respectable for a first time competitor.

---------

"Those Beedrills never had a chance!" Ash bragged as he and Tintri made their way down the path, past the north observation deck. "And our competition won't have a ch-!"

This was as far as he got in his boast before the dirt gave way, sending him falling into what looked to him like a fish tank. "Who does Team Rocket think we are? Magikarps?" he defiantly yelled as he and Tintri banged at the insulated glass.

A whir snapped Tintri to attention. [We're moving...]

A grimace formed on Ash's face as he and Pikachu emerged from the pit and into the sun, where he could vaguely make out Jessie and James' faces. He could see them saying something, but the insulated glass made it hard to see. Their tones of voices sounded like the familiar motto, so Ash concluded that they were saying their spiel for the ten millionth time. I could practically say it along with them if I wanted... he grumbled.

Tintri noted a glass shard near where Ash was sitting. [Hey, Ash--think you could use this shard to make a flash? That way Brock would know we need help.]

"Sure..." Ash replied. He waited until he felt the thud of their prison being placed in something, then picked up the shard and focused it into the sun, making a flash that could be easily seen from the north observation deck.

Inside the deck, Brock panicked when he saw the familiar Meowth balloon start to rise above the trees--and he spotted a familiar flash coming from in the basket. Those lowlifes have not just Tintri, but Ash too!

He hurried outside and up the hill to the closest target sign he could find, where he had a clear line of sight to the balloon. Hang on, guys...I'm gonna shoot your captors down!

With that, he took an arrow, carefully aimed at the Meowth balloon as it rose past the hill he was on, and fired; a POW! and a CRASH! confirming he had both punctured the Meowth balloon yet again, and broken the insulated glass cage.

Ash climbed from the balloon's wreckage some moments later. "Nice shot." he smiled as he embraced his friend. "But how are we going to get Tintri out of there without the Rockets knowing?

"One step ahead of you..." With that, Brock set his bow and quiver aside, took Argent's Poke Ball, and heaved it skyward, at the same time singing Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo...

The Rockets jumped as they saw the green flash of Brock's Mega Ring, and screamed as a Mega Steelix loomed over them. "Take anything you want, just don't crush us into Rocket-cakes!" Jessie pleaded

[I only want this, thank you.] Argent replied as he carefully picked up Tintri, then slithered back down to where the boys were waiting.

[Whee!] Tintri smiled as he slid down Argent's coils and into Ash's arms.

Brock grinned as he retrieved his archery gear. "And now, for the coup de grace--the Electric Arrow Blast-off!"

[Payback time!] Tintri agreed before firing a Thunderbolt. Brock fired a second arrow that got electrified at the same time, sending the Rockets flying in an electric explosion...

---------

"...and in first place, Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town, who caught a Beedrill!" the ranger announced as Ash came up to accept a gold medallion and a Sun Stone. "Well done!"

"Thanks." Ash replied as the crowd cheered.

Just then, Misty and Casey arrived just as the crowd turned to leave. "Oh nice! You got a silver medal!" Ash smiled when he saw Misty wearing a silver medal.

"Had a little trouble in the water version of Capture the Flag, but we did pretty well." Misty replied.

"My training with you guys paid off--we took gold in the land competition." Casey smiled, showing off her gold medal.

"Would you want this Beedrill I got?" Ash asked Casey. "I already have a full team, so you can think of him as a congratulatory gift on your gold medal, and your obsession with black and yellow-striped things."

"Aw, you'd really give away a Pokemon you caught?" Casey smiled, tears of joy shining in her eyes. "Thank you! Thank you!" she giggled as the Beedrill flew towards her direction.

She paused to think of a suitable name for her new Beedrill. "I'll call you...Dodger!"

[After the baseball team?] the Beedrill buzzed. [I'd be honored to score you a home run!]

Casey, meanwhile, turned to Misty. "Let's meet again in another Pokethlon! Even though we're not on the same track..."

"I promise." Misty replied as she linked pinkies with Casey. "Good luck on your own challenge!"

After waving goodbye to Casey, Ash took a moment to admire Misty's silver medallion. "Wow...I'm impressed Misty got a medal her first time out..."

"As skilled as Misty is, her competition will only get harder from here." Brock cautioned.

"I know that, and I will rise to meet the challenge every time!" Misty smiled before leading her friends into the sunset...

To Be Continued...
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Pokemon Island Sun--a live episode by episode remix of the Alola arc as it airs, done as a collection of letters
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