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  #1    
Old July 29th, 2016 (12:18 PM). Edited 1 Week Ago by EmeraldSky.
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EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
Make the Colors in the Sky!
     
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    After writing myself into a corner with my remix of Yellow, I decided to try again by compressing the Johto arc of the show into something not quite so filleriffic, with elements of HG/SS and my own ideas mixed in.

    So be warned: This is not quite the GSC you remember, nor is it the anime you remember!

    (rated E for Everyone)

    Prologue: The Fight in the Forest

    The moon shone down on a forest somewhere in the Johto region, illuminating the Zubats as they fluttered about looking for bug Pokemon. But the evening calm was shattered by a male voice and a female voice in the middle of a heated argument:

    "...If we continue through this forest, we'll make it to New Bark Town by tomorrow morning!"

    "You have no sense of direction or time, Ash! That route looks like it would take several days, at least!"

    "Prove it!"

    An orange haired girl spread out a map of the region on the ground before her companion. "We're right here..." She pointed out the group's current location. "and New Bark Town is over here..." She pointed out the nearest town to the group's position. "and according to the scale on the map, we should reach New Bark in two days, not tomorrow!"

    "But what if the map is not to scale, Misty?" the boy challenged as he adjusted a well loved red and white baseball cap with the familiar L sign of the Kanto League sitting askew on his head.

    "Then it would say so on the map!" Misty sighed in frustration. Granted, she knew that once her companion had his mind set on something, it was very difficult to change his mind.

    "But it doesn't, so my route is still viable!" Ash replied, confident in himself.

    "No it's not!" Misty retorted.

    "Yes it is!" Ash shot back.

    "Is not!"

    "Is too!"

    "Is not!"

    "Is too!"

    Over in a bush, a yellow mouse creature with a thunderbolt shaped tail and a rotund blue mouse creature watched as their masters argued. [Ash, one; Misty, one...] the blue mouse smiled as the back and forth continued.

    [Who needs TV when this is just as entertaining!] the yellow mouse agreed as it watched to see if the group's third member, an older brown haired boy with tanned skin, would intervene to stop the fight.

    Just then, the FWEEEEEEEET! of a referee's whistle shattered the tranquility of the forest, sending Pokemon hurrying to their burrows and dens and stopping the argument in its tracks. "Both of you have good cases for a suitable route, but we'll decide the route in the morning, okay?" the brown haired boy replied as he let the silver referee's whistle he had just blown fall against his chest before returning to the simmering pot hanging over the campfire. "Besides, it's too late to travel any more today, so let's just have dinner and call it a day."

    "Okay..." Misty sighed in defeat as she slumped against a log.

    Just then, the older boy noticed the two mice creatures watching from the bush. "Tintri, Ami, the show's over--and dinner's almost ready."

    [Coming, Brock!] The yellow electric mouse led the way as it clambored on Ash's shoulder.

    Just before Brock could serve dinner, a rustle in the grass got the three travelers' attention. [What was that?] the rotund blue mouse asked.

    "I'll take a look, okay?" Ash assured the second mouse creature as he climbed over a rock to look through a bush on the west end of the camp.

    He gasped when he peeked through the bush and noticed a majestic blue and white cat creature with a flowing purple mane approaching a nearby stream. As Misty and Brock joined him in gawking at the beautiful Pokemon, he fumbled for a small red device in his pocket, and flipped it open.

    "Suicune, the aurora Pokemon. This Pokemon races across the land. It is said that north winds will somehow blow whenever it appears." the device explained in a male robotic voice. Sure enough, a light breeze from the north started blowing as the Suicune lapped at the stream's water, oblivious to the three humans, the Pikachu, and the Marill staring at it in awe.

    Once he had had his fill of water, the Suicune tossed his mane and raced away. "Hey, wait!" Ash tried calling after it, but the Suicune was now only a shining blue speck in the distance. "It's gone..."

    "It's not the end of the world if you missed a chance to ask the Suicune what it was doing here." Brock assured his dejected companion. "We have a whole region to explore, so I'm sure you'll see Suicune again."

    "Speaking of the three Beasts, don't you know some stories that feature them?" Misty asked, changing the subject as the three travelers returned to the campfire.

    "I do, actually...I'll let you guys hear one over dinner." Brock offered as he started spooning the chili he had made for his companions into bowls, then spread out an array of Berries for the Pikachu and the Marill to enjoy....
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      #2    
    Old July 30th, 2016 (12:47 PM). Edited July 30th, 2016 by EmeraldSky.
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    EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
    Make the Colors in the Sky!
       
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      Episode 1: New Friends, New Foes

      [It took some doing, but I got Misty back in a good mood.] Ami smiled as she walked alongside her master.

      "That's good." Ash smiled as Tintri bounded aboard his shoulder. After the encounter with Suicune the night before, the evening had gone without incident--they had eaten dinner, while Brock had shared some of the millions of stories he had learned from books and people from around the world that had visited Pewter Gym over the years.

      "So, what was the Crystal Onix?" Brock's question snapped Ash back to reality.

      "Exactly what it says on the box--a special Onix with a body made out of glass crystal." Ash continued his story. "A little girl named Marissa was the one that wrote the message. She wanted to find the Crystal Onix to help her brother, Mateo, find the inspiration to make glass Pokémon statues. Mateo told us about how his grandfather discovered the Crystal Onix, and then was able to make extraordinary sculptures for years afterwards--and one of those sculptures included the Crystal Onix itself."

      "I hate to interrupt the nostalgic story, but we're here." Misty interrupted, pointing out a signpost in the distance.

      Brock hurried on ahead and examined the sign. "Welcome to New Bark Town--the town where winds of a new beginning blow....I'd say we're here."

      "I can see why it's called that." Ash smiled as he looked out on the rooftops of the buildings and the many Cheri trees that lined the streets, sending cascades of pinkish white petals twirling to the ground. Lush green mountains loomed over the town, giving off both a sense of the familiar and something totally new.

      "Wow...it's beautiful...." Misty smiled as she and Ash caught up to Brock, allowing them to see the town in the distance.

      "And that huge red domed building on that hill to the west might be the local professor's lab--let's go see if he's here!" With that, Ash was moments away from dashing off towards the building until he felt a familiar hand pulling him back. "What the?"

      "Easy, cowboy--I know you're excited about this whole new world we're going to see here, but first impressions still count." Brock reminded his excited companion. "So let's go there together." Ash just sighed in reply.

      After making their way up the hill to the domed building, Ash balked when he saw a boy with long red hair pacing the grass near the western end of the building. "I wonder who that is?" he wondered as the boy paced back and forth, periodically looking in the windows or musing to himself.

      Misty reared back at the red and black shirt the boy was wearing, complete with jeans that nearly looked purple and matching red and black shoes. "I don't know, but he looks like bad news to me!"

      "So this is the famous Elm Pokemon Lab..." the boy mused before noticing Ash and the others staring at him. "What are YOU looking at, hat-boy?" he growled at Ash. "Go on! Get lost! Shoo!"

      "Okay, okay, we're going..." Ash sighed before he motioned for the others to follow him inside the lab.

      "I'd love to give that jerk a piece of my mind..." Misty grumbled as the group made their way inside the lab's main room, where the professor, a bespectacled young man will dull brown hair, was in the middle of speaking to a black haired boy wearing a gold and black cap, and a brown haired girl wearing a large and puffy white hat.

      "...So while all three can be equally helpful to you, choosing the one best suited to your abilities will help you dramatically on your adventures." the professor explained before he noticed Ash. "So this must be the famous Ash that my colleague Professor Oak was telling me about!" he smiled. "Allow me to extend a hearty welcome to Johto to you and your friends."

      "The pleasure's all mine." Ash replied before giving Dexter and his trainer card to Professor Elm to update. "These are my companions, Misty..." Misty waved hello before shepherding Ami by her side. "and Brock." Brock waved hello before leafing through a bookshelf for a guidebook of the region.

      "These two are Ethan and Lyra--they're about ready to leave on their own journeys." Professor Elm went on. "It may be a good idea for the three of you to share your experiences so they know what to expect on their travels."

      "Well, for one thing, never leave a bike unattended around an electric type!" Misty began.

      Everyone roared with laughter as Ash turned beet red with embarrassment. She has no idea of how many lawns I had to mow and how many times I had to clean the bathroom to pay her back...

      "Second of all, know thy type chart and know it well." Brock added as he finally pulled a suitable guidebook from the bookshelf.

      "And third, if you run into a boy and a girl in white garb with red R's on them and a talking Meowth, run FAR away in the other direction!" Ash warned. "They'll steal any Pokemon they can get their hands on, and are STILL chasing me for my Pikachu!"

      "Believe me, we heard about Team Rocket and the Mewtwo incident." Ethan assured Ash. "But we'll keep our eyes peeled for those goons anyway."

      "They've chased you across Kanto?" Lyra gasped. "That's dedication...but don't worry--they won't find you here."

      "Now then...shall we let you two choose your starters?" Prof. Elm offered as he led Ethan, Lyra, and the group over to a platform where a green creature with a leaf on its head, a tiny porcupine creature with flaming quills, and a small blue alligator creature milled about on a platform.

      "Aw!" Lyra gasped when she saw the green creature. "I want this one!"

      "Chikorita...good choice." Prof. Elm smiled as he watched Lyra cuddle with the Chikorita.

      Piqued, Ash decided to read up on the tiny leaf creature:

      "Chikorita, the leaf Pokemon. Its pleasantly aromatic leaves have the ability to check humidity and temperature." Dexter explained as Prof. Elm left Lyra a Pokedex of her own and a string of five Poke Balls, not wanting to interrupt the intimate moment between trainer and Pokemon.

      "I'll call you..." Lyra thought for a moment for a suitable name for her new Chikorita. "Hana!"

      "Good choice..." Brock smiled. "and a very appropriate one should it evolve to its final form, since it means 'flower'."

      He was about to show Lyra a picture in the guidebook when Lyra politely waved him away. "Um, that's okay! I want to see all Hana's forms for myself."

      Just then, a huge crash surprised everyone. "What was that?" Ethan gasped before looking towards the door and gasping.

      Ethan's gasp spurred Ash to look towards the doorway--only to find the same red haired boy he had encountered before!

      Professor Elm was equally horrified by the boy's appearance. "Kamon...I thought I said you were not leaving on a journey this year! Not until you learned to treat Pokemon with respect!"

      "Pfft...who cares about respect?" Kamon replied as he sauntered into the room, making Hana shudder in fear as he approached the table with the two remaining Pokemon. "If this is the only day I can get a Pokemon, then I'm gonna get one!"

      The porcupine creature angrily displayed its fiery quills as Kamon reached out for it, making him reconsider. The alligator creature growled as Kamon's hand approached it. "Feisty little guy, aren't we?" Kamon sneered as he reached to take the tiny blue alligator in his arms.

      "Kamon, no! I wanted Totodile!" Ethan pleaded. "Besides, if the professor said you couldn't have a Pokemon this year, that's a rule!"

      "So? Rules were made to be broken." Kamon chuckled before grabbing the Totodile and bolting for the door.

      "After him!" Lyra called as she heard the Totodile's fearful squawk.

      As Ash, Misty and Brock followed Lyra down the path, Ash silently hoped that they could catch the red haired delinquent and give Ethan the Pokemon he had wanted...

      TO BE CONTINUED...
      __________________
      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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        #3    
      Old August 2nd, 2016 (2:27 PM).
      EmeraldSky's Avatar
      EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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        Episode 2: Put Down the 'Dile

        Ash fumed with anger as he eyed the red haired boy carrying the panicked Totodile. Kamon...we may have just met, but we've already started off on the wrong foot by your so brazenly stealing a Pokemon that was very clearly meant for someone else; plus openly defying the professor!

        As the group rounded a corner, Ash spotted a police alarm on a pole and pressed it as he ran by. So now I'm gonna have you answer for your crimes!

        The group eventually cornered Kamon and the Totodile inside a garden in the town square, where Kamon's only escape route was out the way they had entered. "You've got nowhere to go now..." Misty warned as she approached Kamon. "So will you give back the Totodile, or what?"

        "You and what army, sweetheart?" Kamon replied with a huff as he struggled to keep a grip on the squirming Totodile in his arms.

        "Me and THIS army!" Misty replied as she heaved all four of her Poke Balls skyward, summoning Ami, a muscular blue duck Pokemon, a blue seahorse Pokemon with spikes on its back, and a purple starfish Pokemon with a red jewel as its core.

        "Nice, a fan of Water Pokemon." Kamon smiled. "I suppose you want this one back because you wanna add it to your collection?"

        "No--I want it back because it was promised to a friend before you decided to swipe him, and I intend to bring him back to his rightful trainer." Misty replied.

        "And if I don't?" Kamon shot back.

        "I have backup." Misty confidently grinned as Tintri charged an angry spark. "I also have a user of a Mega Ring with Z Crystals inside, who can call forth a powerful attack just by his Heart Song, not just Mega Evolve Pokemon."

        "Oh look, Squinty-eyes is gonna cast a spell on me...I'm so scared." Kamon sarcastically replied, moments before the Totodile bit his finger. "YIPE!!!"

        "Mr. Totodile's had enough of your attitude, I'd wager." Brock began as Kamon winced at his throbbing finger that was beginning to slightly bleed.

        With that, he held his Mega Ring to the sky and sang Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo... making a green crystal in the circle of crystals surrounding the emerald in the ring glow.

        "GAH!!!" Kamon yelped as he was surrounded in a torrent of red rose petals, forcing him to drop the Totodile. The Totodile wasted no time running into Ash's arms, enthralled by the swirling red tornado its captor was trapped inside.

        When the rose tornado dissipated some moments later, Kamon spat out a few stray petals. "First of all, what in Arceus' name did you just do?"

        "Easy--I invoked a Z Crystal on my Mega Ring." Brock replied, showing Kamon his Mega Ring, a gold ring with an emerald surrounded by a rainbow of crystals sandwiched between ivy inlays. "This way I or a Pokemon of mine can use a powerful attack when the chips are down, or I can command my Pokemon to evolve to an even more powerful form, albeit temporarily."

        Kamon just brushed off more rose petals. "Okay, fine...you can have the Totodile back. But next time we meet, don't think a magic spell's gonna save you!" With that, he climbed over the garden's northernmost wall and hurried off into the crowds of people, oblivious to the wailing siren approaching where he had been moments before.

        Officer Jenny arrived moments later. "We received your report of a kidnapped Pokemon here, but it appears the culprit got away."

        "The perp was a boy with long red hair." Ash explained as Misty shot Brock a warning glance. "He had on a red and black shirt, with jeans that nearly looked purple, and matching red and black shoes."

        "All right...is there anything else you can tell me about our suspect?" Officer Jenny asked as she wrote down Ash's description of Kamon. "Such as if you've seen him elsewhere or what his name was?"

        "His name was Kamon, Officer." Misty replied. "We found him hanging around Prof. Elm's lab not long after he arrived in town."

        "Let's go back to the lab, and see what we can learn from the scene of the crime." Officer Jenny suggested. "I'll meet you three there."

        ---------

        "I can't even begin to thank you for saving the Totodile I was going to give Ethan..." Prof. Elm smiled as Officer Jenny dusted the lab for fingerprints. "How can I ever repay you?"

        Brock, meanwhile, was more interested in Officer Jenny. "I may have cornered a perp or three in my day, but maybe you can help me find my stolen heart--!"

        This was as far as he got before Misty's Seadra sprayed him, much to Ethan and Lyra's delight. [That will be QUITE enough, loverboy!] she scolded as one of Prof. Elm's assistants gave Brock a towel to dry off.

        "Thanks, Spritz--I didn't even have to drag him away this time!" Misty smiled as she hugged her Seadra.

        "Well, what's important is the Totodile is safe and sound." Prof. Elm grinned as he gently placed the Totodile in Ethan's arms.

        "Yes, that's always a good thing." Officer Jenny agreed before turning to leave. "Thank you all for pitching in with the investigation--we'll do whatever it takes to bring the punk that snatched this Totodile to justice."

        "Thank goodness the Totodile's okay..." Lyra smiled. "You'd make a much better master for him than that red haired jerk."

        Ethan grinned at Ash. "Thank you so much for rescuing Totodile for me--how can I ever repay you?"

        "Just promise me this--that you will take good care of him and train him well." Ash replied as he and Ethan embraced as friends.

        TO BE CONTINUED...
        __________________
        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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          #4    
        Old August 6th, 2016 (6:02 PM).
        EmeraldSky's Avatar
        EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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          Episode 3: Stepping Up to the Plate

          The trio departed New Bark Town the next morning in high spirits. "I'm glad that Ethan finally got his Totodile." Ash smiled. "But I still wonder--why did Kamon want him?"

          "Some people are just naturally punks out to make trouble." Brock sighed. "Kamon might be one of those people."

          "You have to admit, that Cyndaquil was so brave!" Misty smiled. "But I wonder what would've happened if Kamon had snatched Hana and made Lyra panic?"

          [Speaking of Chikoritas, look over there.] Tintri interrupted, pointing out a grassy spot by the roadside.

          "Okay, team! In order to win the Capture the Flag event, you all need to work together!" a female voice explained as Ash carefully tiptoed up to a bush and peeked through it, where he could see a purple haired girl in a yellow and black pinstripe outfit addressing a Chikorita, a small brown bird Pokemon with a pink beak, and a tiny purple rat Pokemon. "Camden! You naturally have the advantage at this event due to your wings. Fenway! You can run fast on the ground, and speed is key to finding the flags. But I especially wanna work with you today, Wrigley..." the girl smiled as she knelt down to pet the Chikorita. "You may not be able to run fast, but you can power past our rivals!"

          "Um, forgive me for interrupting, but what's going on?" Ash asked as he climbed through the bush to join the girl and her three Pokemon on the field.

          "We're training for the Pokethlon--an athletic competition just for Pokemon." the girl explained. "Name's Casey--I've dreamed of Pokethlon glory since I was little."

          "Sounds like fun!" Ash smiled. "I'm Ash...and these are my friends Misty and Brock." he smiled as Misty and Brock joined him on the field.

          "Today my team and I are practicing the Capture the Flag Pokethlon event." Casey explained as she gestured to the rainbow of flags hidden under rocks, in tree hollows, in bushes, and buried in the grass. "The object of the event is to find as many of the flags hidden around the course as you can--either one Pokemon can do it alone, or a team of three can do it together. Since this is just practice, I'm having each of my Pokemon make an individual run on my makeshift course first."

          She balked when she looked in her bag. "Great...I forgot my stopwatch and my whistle..."

          "Here--my Pokenav has a stopwatch app." Misty offered.

          "I've got a whistle..." Brock offered before retrieving his own referee's whistle from his bag and hanging it around his neck.

          Casey grinned. "Nice, a Kanto Screamer! Those are some of the best whistles for outdoor competition. But the Pokethlon isn't just for competing on the land--there are also water and aerial courses, too."

          "Really?" Misty gasped, her eyes sparkling over the thought of her Pokemon competing in a water Pokethlon. "Where do I sign up?"

          "The main stadium is nearby the National Park, not far from Goldenrod City." Casey went on. "Once you sign up, you can compete at any stadium. The winners receive medals akin to the Olympics, and those that earn eight medallions earn the right to compete in the Grand Pokethlon during the Pokemon League."

          She turned business-like again. "So...let's see how Wrigley does on my makeshift course."

          "Okay!" Brock announced. "Ready? Set?"

          The whistle echoed through the trees as Wrigley dashed from hollow, to rock, to bush, picking up each of the flags her master had hidden as she circled around the field, only pausing to drop the flags at her master's feet when she had gathered them all.

          "One minute and forty-eight seconds." Misty announced as she showed Casey Wrigley's time.

          "Not bad, Wrigley." Casey petted her Chikorita before gathering up the flags. "Got any swift runners on your team, Ash?"

          "Well, I've got my Pikachu Tintri, but I don't think he's that fast..." Ash stammered.

          "I'll hide the flags in the same places, and see if your Pikachu does any better than Wrigley." Casey offered. "Even if he wins by one second!" she called as she hurried off to hide the flags again.

          Ash drew a line in the grass to serve as a starting line. "Remember, you need to beat a minute and forty-eight seconds." he reminded Tintri.

          [Not too shabby for a Chikorita, but I think I can beat that!] Tintri grinned as Casey returned.

          Brock waited for Misty to reset the stopwatch, then announced "Ready? Set?" before blowing the whistle again, spurring Tintri to race through the grass.

          He found the first one buried in the grass, then retrieved the second one sticking out from a bush. The first hollow he checked was empty, but found the third flag under a nearby rock. He circled around to a log and grabbed the fourth flag from inside before finding the fifth flag in a dusty pit. After jumping over the tiny pit, he found the sixth flag in a bush near another hollow tree, and the last flag beneath a rock before hurrying back to the line.

          Misty studied the stopwatch. "One minute and thirty-five seconds!"

          "Wow!" Casey gasped. "Almost 13 seconds off Wrigley's time! What's your secret?"

          "There is no secret..." a familiar male voice interrupted. "Ash only won because he cheated."

          "WHAT???" Casey gasped in horror at what the voice had said.

          Misty looked up to see Kamon perched in a tree overlooking the field. "How dare you suggest Ash is cheating?" she growled.

          "Easy--having seen the course before, Ash knew where all the flags were, and told his Pikachu their locations before making his run." Kamon explained. "Simple as that!"

          "Now, wait just a minute!" Ash protested. "I did no such thing! Tintri ran the course without me telling him anything!"

          "Are you sure?" Casey asked, a stern look on her face.

          A whistle silenced the impending argument. "Everyone, please!" Brock pleaded. "Rather than arguing over what Ash did or did not do to allow Tintri to finish with a faster time, I have a simple solution--have Tintri and Wrigley run the exact same course at the same time. If Tintri finishes within ten seconds of Wrigley, he ran the course fair and square. If Tintri finishes with a higher margin than that, then we have a case that he may have cheated, or Wrigley was just plain overmatched."

          "Sounds fair to me." Casey replied.

          "All right then..." Brock replied before waiting for Misty to reset the stopwatch. "Pokemon! Take your mark!"

          TO BE CONTINUED...
          __________________
          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
          Reply With Quote
            #5    
          Old August 10th, 2016 (2:17 PM). Edited August 13th, 2016 by EmeraldSky.
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          EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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            Episode 4: A Home Run for Honor

            "Okay, everyone..." Brock explained as he addressed Ash and Casey on the ground, as well as Kamon, who was still relaxed in the tree that overlooked the field. "We're going to have Wrigley and Tintri run the pennant race at the same time, using the exact same course both Pokemon ran separately before."

            He then started over to where the first flag was buried in the grass. "Both competitors will have to keep an eye out for flags in the grass..." He then walked over to where the second flag was sticking out from a bush. "under rocks..." He gestured to the third flag hidden under a nearby rock. "in logs and tree hollows..." He circled around a log and pointed out the fourth flag hidden inside. "in pits..." He pointed out the fifth flag in a dusty pit. After carefully stepping over the tiny pit, he pointed out the sixth flag in a bush near another hollow tree. "in bushes..." He then made his way back to the line. "...before coming back around to the line."

            He then addressed the two trainers. "If there is a large advantage between either competitor, there may be grounds that one of them got that advantage unfairly. If both Pokemon finish within a ten second difference of each other, Tintri ran the course fairly. Any questions or concerns before we begin the race?"

            "No." Ash replied.

            "That's fair to me." Casey smiled.

            "What about you, birdwatcher?" Brock grinned at Kamon, who was sprawled in a makeshift hammock in the tree branches.

            "Your proposed rules are fair." was all Kamon had to say, although he bristled at being called a birdwatcher. Mr. Referee's a little wordy, though--I managed to gather the materials for and make this hammock in the time it took to explain the course!

            "Pokemon? Are you two ready?" Brock asked Wrigley and Tintri.

            [Yeah!] Tintri replied.

            [I'm ready!] Wrigley replied.

            "All right...is the time keeper ready?" Brock glanced over at Misty.

            "I have the clock set to stop when the first competitor crosses the line, but not stop completely until the other crosses the line." Misty explained. "That way we can see the difference in both times."

            She set the stopwatch to zero. "On your whistle, Brock."

            "Okay! On your marks...get set..." Brock announced before blowing his whistle, sending the Pikachu and the Chikorita tearing through the grass in search of the colored flags once again.

            Tintri easily found the red flag in the grass, but Wrigley powered past him and snatched the orange flag in the bush. She's quick... Tintri thought as he grabbed the yellow flag from the rock. I don't know if she's trained ever since she was caught, or has natural talent, but she loves to do this, and knows what she is doing.

            He balked as Wrigley easy retrieved the fourth flag from the log. Wow...I thought she would struggle there, but I guess running every day does slim you down. he thought as he jumped over the small dusty pit, retrieving the flag on the way.

            Try as Wrigley might to reach the blue flag, the wind from Tintri's jump knocked her backwards, but she recovered enough to catch up to him near the bush with the sixth flag. I know my Jump stat isn't the best, and we've been pretty close in the race so far, but something tells me the red headed boy was lying, and the Pikachu didn't cheat at all!

            She effortlessly grabbed the last two flags before both Pokemon raced neck and neck towards the line, to the cheers of their human masters as Tintri just barely edged Wrigley to win.

            "All right...what's the time difference?" Brock asked Misty as Ash and Casey hurried to tend to their exhausted Pokemon.

            "There's a second and a half difference between Tintri and Wrigley." Misty reported. "A minute and forty-six seconds for Tintri against a minute and forty-eight for Wrigley."

            "So that means Tintri ran the course fair and square all along!" Brock announced, to Ash's and Tintri's cheers.

            Kamon just balked as he gathered up his hammock and climbed down from the tree. And hat-boy does it again...is he one of those do-no-wrong types, or something? he grumbled before starting off down the path. There's something about him...I don't know what, but I'm gonna find out!

            Back in the field, Casey addressed Ash. "Ash...I'm sorry I accused you of cheating. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?"

            "Yeah...it was all Kamon's plot to rile us up all along." Ash smiled. "Besides, a Pokemon Master never cheats!"

            "Speaking of Kamon, I think he's disappeared..." Brock noted when he saw that the tree Kamon was in moments earlier was empty.

            "Couldn't handle being exposed as the real cheater, could he?" Casey grinned before addressing Ash. "Besides, you don't look like the type to cheat anyway."

            "You'll have to tell me when the Pokethlon is gonna be--I'd come cheer both you and Misty on!" Ash smiled. "That is, if the land and water events don't happen at the same time."

            Everyone laughed at this. "And you can come referee any time you want!" Casey smiled at Brock. "I'd know your Kanto Screamer anywhere."

            Brock blushed a little, but replied "I believe you and Wrigley both will be great Pokethletes--since Misty's gonna be competing on the water track, you two just might compete in the Grand Pokethlon together."

            With that, Misty and Casey linked pinky fingers. "Let's strive to reach the Grand Pokethlon together!"

            TO BE CONTINUED...
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              #6    
            Old August 13th, 2016 (12:03 PM).
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            EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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              Episode 5: A Land of Illusion

              "You'd think we could do something besides look around the roadside..." Ash sighed as the group trudged down the road. It had been a few days since they had met the aspiring Pokethlete Casey, and they were nowhere near Violet City, much less civilization. There was also catching up to the red haired delinquent Kamon and demanding for him to tell them why he had snatched Ethan's Totodile despite being told he was not to leave on a journey, and an explanation into why he had accused Ash of cheating.

              "Hate to break it to you, but the map says the nearest town is two days away." Brock replied, making Ash and Misty groan at the prospect of more walking. "But if you're bored, we could sing a song!"

              With that, he belted out I liked to play my old guitar
              And place it on my knee,
              But then the strings got all broken
              And it was no good to me.

              So I took it to the music shop
              To see what they could do
              And now my strings are good as new
              and I can play for you-oh!


              I liked to play my old guitar
              And place it on my knee,
              But then the strings got all broken
              And it was no good to me....
              Misty and Ash joined in.

              So I took it to the music shop
              To see what they could do
              And now my strings are good as new
              and I can play for you-oh!


              The song continued with gusto for several miles, with Brock beginning another rendition as soon as the previous one ended. But after a few repetitions, the song was beginning to grate on Misty's nerves. "Okay, can we sing about something other than old guitars?" she asked.

              "Sure!" Brock then sang When I went down to the western port to buy an old chemise
              The first thing I picked up in my hand I found it full of fleas...


              Laughter and "ew"s rang through the air as Brock continued How much do you want for that old thing, Eighteen coins says she
              Eighteen coins for that old thing, do you think I am a fool-oh?

              Kitty pallalla pallalla pall-lie, kitty pallalla pall-lie-lo
              Kitty pallalla pallalla pall-lie, me whack follol le nai-do...


              He eagerly started the second verse, but stopped when he spotted a signpost in the distance. So I took it home...and... I washed it out, and hung it...up..to...dry...

              "What's the matter?" Misty asked as she and Ash caught up to Brock. "I wanted to hear more about that rotted old chemise!"

              Brock studied the signpost for a moment. "Warning, Forest of Illusion ahead. It's dangerous to go alone."

              "Someone's been playing too many video games!" Ash declared. "How dangerous could one forest be?"

              "Plenty--there's bugs, and wild Pokemon, and huge tree roots to trip over..." Misty replied, counting the hazards on her fingers.

              "Not to mention will-o-wisps, old witches that eat people, and giants." Brock added, but trailed off when he saw Ash running on ahead. "Too late..."

              "Ash, wait for us!" Misty called as she and Brock hurried to catch up to Ash.

              ---------

              "Strange...we've been walking around in circles for the last hour..." Brock sighed as the group returned to where they had started for the sixth time that afternoon. "Maybe whoever wrote that sign wasn't kidding when they said this place was called the Forest of Illusion..."

              "Haven't you guys ever played Super Mario World?" Ash grinned. "All we have to do is find a secret exit, and we'll be out of here in no time flat!"

              "We'll be spending the night here in no time flat at this rate!" Misty grumbled as she followed Ash down another forest path.

              Just then a howl got Misty's attention. "That wasn't a were-Mightyena, was it?"

              "It's not even nighttime, Misty." Brock assured his jittery companion. "It's not even a full m--WAUGH!' he yelped when he appeared to see a spooky face on a tree!

              "EEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!" Misty screeched as she saw another spooky face on a tree near her. "The forest is alive!"

              "RUN!" Ash called, motioning for the group to follow him as they tried to escape the spooky trees, only to find more spooky faced trees, rocks, and plants at every turn.

              Just as they rounded the corner to regroup, a red aura flashed through the forest, making everything return to normal. "Everyone okay?" Brock asked as the group collected their bearings.

              "I wanna know what that flash was..." Ash replied as he brushed some dust from his shirt and picked some burrs stuck to his vest.

              "That was a Foresight attack, Ash." a familiar voice replied. "There is a reason why this place is called the Forest of Illusion--that howl and all those spooky faces? All illusions."

              Ash's sense of relief turned to annoyance when he saw who had spoken emerge from a bush--Gary! Piqued, he took out Dexter to read up on the small brown owl Pokemon at Gary's side:

              "Hoothoot, the owl Pokémon. It stands on one leg, but uses both its powerful eyes to see clearly even through the darkest night. Dexter explained.

              "That includes seeing through what is an illusion." Gary went on. "The sign at the forest entrance wasn't kidding when it said it was dangerous to go alone--so what made you think you could?"

              "And here you were saying it was just a video game..." Misty smirked, making Ash sweatdrop with embarrassment.

              "At any rate, you're gonna need a Hoothoot to get out of here in one piece and chase after that red haired punk you're chasing." Gary smiled. "Last I checked, he was stuck in this forest too."

              "Okay, Mr. Know it all, where can we find a Hoothoot?" Ash challenged.

              Gary pointed down a path to the south. "Just follow that path due south, and you'll find the house of the old hag that rents'em out. Once you make it out, they find their way back to her."

              "Thanks, we think..." Ash stammered--this was the first time in a long time that he remembered Gary being nice to him.

              "Anytime--even rivals have to look out for each other." Gary grinned. "Until then, smell ya later!" With that, he departed with his Hoothoot in tow.

              Brock sighed. "Come on, guys...let's head south."

              TO BE CONTINUED...
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                #7    
              Old August 17th, 2016 (4:11 PM). Edited August 18th, 2016 by EmeraldSky.
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              EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                Episode 6: Some Way Out

                "West...south....west..." Kamon mused, only looking up from his map to see that he was back where he had started again. "Errgh...the sign at the entry sure wasn't kidding when it said this place was called the Forest of Illusion."

                A devious smile formed on his face when he saw the group headed south. Wonder Boy and pals again...maybe if I follow them, I might be able to get out of this nightmare! he thought as he discretely dashed from bush to bush, making sure to keep the Trio in sight.

                Meanwhile, Misty noticed a flash of movement behind her. "Was that another illusion?"

                "Nope--I saw something following us." Brock replied as the group approached a rickety old cabin in a clearing that had clearly seen better days.

                He noticed a rope near the door. "Please ring bell for assistance."

                Ash tensely approached the bell rope and gave it a few hesitant tugs, making a few soft clonks fill the air. "I know you're scared, but if you want whoever lives here to hear us, you have to ring the bell good and loud!" Misty exclaimed, giving the bell rope a few hard pulls.

                The resulting clangs started some bird Pokemon from their roosts, and it was not long before an old woman with obviously dyed auburn hair appeared in the doorway. "Yeah? What do you need?" she deadpanned.

                Ash froze in fear about how intimidating the woman looked, despite her small size and frail appearance. "Um, we'll go ask for directions somewhere else, thanks." he nervously stammered, and tried to sneak back down the path without his companions noticing.

                "Hold it right there, scaredy-Meowth!" the woman snapped as she pulled Ash back. "You will need my help if you three want to get out of the forest safely."

                "W-who are you?" Even Misty seemed frightened.

                "Name's Hagatha--I've lived here raising and caring for Hoothoots to guide the travelers that come through here." the woman replied. "You have seen the power of the Forest of Illusion, and it is said that those that seek to venture through without a Hoothoot's guiding eyes will never see the light of day again."

                Brock swallowed hard. "Do you happen to have any Hoothoots we can use?"

                Hagatha thought for a moment. "At the moment, all my other ones are out guiding travelers at the moment, but I do have one left..."

                She smiled as a small Hoothoot waddled by her side. "This is Shinko, one of my hatchlings. She's still learning the art of discerning illusion and guiding, but if you're willing to take a chance, I am willing to lend her to you."

                "We'll take her!" Ash smiled as he gently picked up the small Hoothoot. "All she needs is a good trainer to teach her, and she'll be guiding people easily!"

                ---------

                "You were saying about Shinko only needing a good trainer?" Misty grumbled as Shinko hesitantly led the trio back near the forest entryway.

                "Ever since we left Hagatha's cabin, we've walked in circles five times before she found the right way, more spooky trees, walked upside down, seen pink Donphan, blue grass, and green sky, heard flowers sing, and seen mushrooms dance." Brock sighed, his voice growing more frustrated with every illusion he listed.

                Just then, Ash saw Shinko shaking in fear. "What is it, Shinko?" he asked.

                He yelped in fear as a blue will-o-wisp surprised him! "Shinko, use Foresight!" he nearly screamed as more and more will-o-wisps surrounded the group.

                "Yes, please use Foresight!" Misty pleaded.

                A hopeful smile formed on Ash's face as Shinko's eyes started to glow, but then faded away as more will-o-wisps appeared. "Errgh...Shinko, I know you can do this! Use Foresight!"

                "Shinko, will you help us? Please?" Misty asked.

                Shinko nodded, but moments before she attempted using the attack, she squawked as the will-o-wisps combined into a massive blue fire spirit, and fluttered off!

                "Shinko!" Misty hurried after the little Hoothoot, with the boys not far behind her.

                As the group tore through the brush, Kamon peeked from a bush. "It's official...Wonder Boy has gone nuts..." he sighed before hiding back in the bush, where he could see the group catching their breaths in a clearing.

                "Everyone okay?" Brock asked after he composed himself.

                "I think so..." Misty replied before addressing Shinko. "Shinko...I know you're terrified of the illusions as much as we are, but Hoothoots are born and raised to guide people through places like this. So will you be brave, and help us through here?"

                Shinko nodded, making Misty grin. "Thank you!"

                Ash balked at how Shinko was easily doing as Misty told her. "How come Shinko listens to Misty and not me?"

                "Maybe because Misty doesn't yell at her and remembers to say 'please'?" Brock replied.

                "What does manners have to do with--!" Ash started before noticing Shinko trembling again. "Huh?"

                He saw a flash of red and heard footsteps as someone fled from a bush. "Kamon!" he gasped."

                "Now he's the one that's nuts..." Misty smiled at what she thought was Ash standing by her side.

                She balked, however, when she saw another Ash standing near Brock. "What the?"

                Brock, however, was seemingly unfazed at the hundreds of Ashes forming around him. "Would the real Ash please stand up?"

                [He won't even have to do that--I'll handle this!] Tintri volunteered before charging a Thunderbolt. The electric blast arced from false Ash to false Ash, creating a massive explosion when it hit the real Ash moments later, sending him flying backwards.

                Misty hurried over to Ash's side. "Are you okay?"

                She was about to tend to her friend when a huge Ariados appeared before her, making her scream in terror! "Shinko, help meeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeeeease!!!!!!!!!" she yelped as she watched the seemingly hundreds of Spinaraks crawling on her and surrounding her.

                The boys watched in awe as Shinko's eyes glowed red, making the Spinaraks and the Ariados disappear. "She did it!" Brock smiled.

                "And look what's bean causing all of this..." Ash smiled as he gestured to a hollow, where a pair of Haunters were laughing hysterically at Misty screaming, despite Shinko's efforts to dispel the illusions.

                He looked over at Brock. "Don't Ghost Pokemon hate holy water or sacred words or hymns?"

                "I may not have holy water, but I do know a few holy songs..." Brock replied before clearing his throat and singing Te lei ze cra riou te ze...
                Cra riou ze te riou rei neu, riou ze...
                At this, the Haunters gasped as a holy circle of white light formed around the group.
                Va rei ze te, neu te riou te cra
                Riou rei cra riou ze rei va ze rei...
                Va neu va rei, va neu va ze rei!
                Cra riou cra neu te rei cra riou ze lei va
                Lei va neu cra te lei lei!


                "It's working!" Misty gasped as she watched the Haunters flee from the rotted hollow tree. "Keep singing, Brock!"

                Te lei ze cra riou te ze... Brock started the song again.
                Cra riou ze te riou rei neu, riou ze...
                Va rei ze te, neu te riou te cra
                Riou rei cra riou ze rei va ze rei...
                Va neu va rei, va neu va ze rei!
                At this, some brush parted, revealing the path out of the forest and allowing sunshine to stream inside the clearing.
                Cra riou cra neu te rei cra riou ze lei va
                Lei va neu cra te lei lei!


                Misty was the most relieved at seeing the road. "So this was where the way out was the whole time!"

                She knelt down before Shinko. "Thank you, Shinko--you are free to return to your mistress."

                After giving the small Hoothoot a hug, she waved goodbye as it fluttered back into the forest. "Wonder if Kamon will ever find his way through all the illusions?" Ash wondered as the group started down the road.

                "Oh, he'll make it out in about a week." Brock grinned, making the group laugh as they walked off into the setting sun...

                TO BE CONTINUED...
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                  #8    
                Old August 20th, 2016 (12:08 PM). Edited August 21st, 2016 by EmeraldSky.
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                EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                  Episode 7: Once Upon a Festival

                  "I am so glad we're not in that spooky old forest any more!" Misty smiled as the group broke camp the next morning.

                  "Yeah, the only forest of illusion I ever want to see again is inside a video game." Ash agreed, shuddering at the memory of the trees, rocks, and even plants with spooky faces from the previous day.

                  "I don't know, the look on Misty's face when she saw all those duplicates of you was priceless." Brock grinned as the group got on the road for the day.

                  For a while, the trek was uneventful--the sun was shining, Pidgeys perched on tree branches and darted through the grass, and the breeze ruffled the leaves and the clothing of the three humans on the road.

                  After a while, Brock spotted a signpost pointing north. "Florando Town, this way..."

                  He knelt down to examine a flyer attached to the signpost. "Pokemon Festival today, come enjoy food, games, entertainment, and the Pokemon Lore Stage--whatever that means..."

                  "Maybe it's a storytelling competition!" Misty suggested. "You should enter!"

                  "Yeah, although if it is a contest, it wouldn't be fair to the other storytellers to have a pro go up against amateurs." Ash cautioned.

                  [We're not gonna see if it is a competition or not if we just stand here...] Tintri noted.

                  "You're right, Tintri--let's go!" With that, Ash hurried off down the road.

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

                  ---------

                  "Wow...." the group gasped at the crowds milling about, watching the various performances, demonstrations, and competitions, or playing one of the many games on offer to win Pokemon dolls and other prizes.

                  Some Mankeys nimbly kicked down training dummies and targets high in the air on one stage, while a boy tried to win a Fennekin doll for what Brock assumed was his girlfriend by knocking a pyramid of milk bottles down. Those things are rigged, anyway... he thought as the boy came up one bottle short.

                  An Alakazam noticed the group as they passed its booth. Fancy your fortune told, for a pretty coin of gold? it telepathically asked.

                  "I'll bite..." Ash volunteered as he opened the bag of gold tokens that had been given at the front gates of the festival grounds and placed one in the payment box.

                  The Alakazam tuned itself to Ash's mind before revealing his fortune. I see that you are a brave and determined young man, who will do many great things during your time here in the Johto region. You will master a great power of light, befriend Legendary Pokemon, and drive back the evil slumbering in the shadows.

                  "Thanks?" Ash wasn't sure what the cryptic fortune meant.

                  A gentle chuckle echoed in his mind. Don't worry about figuring out what your fortune means--it will reveal its meaning to you in due time. the Alakazam smiled.

                  Brock wasted no time in depositing a coin. "Will I find a lady to love here?" he asked.

                  The Alakazam attuned itself to Brock's mind, then revealed his fortune. I see that you have many qualities of a faithful lover--kind, brave, and unselfish. But be wary of the initial euphoria that comes with new love--too passionate a response will drive any potential suitors away. But it is a different kind of love that will guide you during your time here--the love you have for the lore of this world.

                  "Hint hint..." Misty grinned as she playfully nudged Brock.

                  Brock contemplated what the Alakazam had revealed to him. Mental note--find the info booth and ask about the Lore Stage...

                  Misty was next to deposit a coin. I see that you are a passionate lady who can have the raging fury of a tsunami one moment, and the calmness of a still pool the next. the Alakazam explained. There is a time and a place to use your power, but be wary of using it to tear others down--channel your anger into positive energy, and amazing things will happen.

                  "Thanks." Misty smiled. "I will contemplate what you have said." she told the Alakazam as she led the others down the rows of booths and stages.

                  A female voice singing a familiar melody got Ash's attention. "Someone's singing that one song all the Vocaloids sing!"

                  "Huh?" Misty asked as Ash lead the others before a larger stage, where a brown haired girl in a teal shirt was singing as two humanoid plant Pokemon danced to their mistress' voice. "It is the Ievan Polkka!" Misty gasped when she recognized the tune the girl sang.

                  Brock, meanwhile, noticed three colored shiny stripes near the girl's right shirt pocket. Those must be award stripes, or something... he thought as he joined the crowd in applauding the song.

                  "..."Finally, Sorin reached the corner of the garden where the wonderful tree grew." the girl continued when the applause for her song faded. "He had never seen it before. The rosy-cheeked Berries glowed in the bright sunlight, and Sorin could hardly wait to ask for the fruit."

                  She added "It helped that the Berries had a beautiful color and a sweet smell."

                  Ash tried to hold in laughter as the girl went on "Sorin had never been so close to anything which smelled this good. So he took a big bite...."

                  She grinned "...and you should have seen the look on his face!"

                  The crowd roared with laughter as they pictured Sorin's disgusted face. "That beautiful sweet smelling Berry was bitter and sour, and it had a nasty taste, so he threw it away from him with a mighty heave." She pantomimed throwing something for effect.

                  She concludes "Sorin never forgot the tree’s long name and the little song he had made up. Nor did he forget how the Berry tasted. He never took another bite of it himself; but, after that, his favorite prank was to treat the other Pokemon to the wonderful Berry just to see their yuck faces when they tasted it."

                  Laughter and applause fill the air, but Ash's applause is the loudest. "Bravo! Encore!"

                  "That was pretty good!" Brock agreed. "Even though we only heard the end of it."

                  More cheers filled the air as a judge arrived to pin a green stripe to the girl's shirt. "And Bailey wins the Festival Lore Stage!" he announced. "Thank you all for coming!"

                  As some in the crowd turned to leave, Misty noticed Brock making his way to where the girl and several others with the stripes on their clothing were signing autographs and answering questions. "Where are you going?"

                  "To congratulate that girl, ask if I can learn that story she told, and ask her about the Lore Stage." Brock replied before finding Bailey and the two plant Pokemon near the middle of the stage.

                  After composing himself, and reminding himself about what the Alakazam had told him about passionate responses, he began. "From one storyteller to another...well done."

                  "Thanks!" Bailey smiled. "I wasn't sure if 'Sorin and the Wonderful Tree' would be enough for my fourth stripe, but apparently it was!"

                  Ash, meanwhile, decided to read up on the two humanoid plant Pokemon:

                  "Bellossom, the flower Pokemon." Dexter began. "When the heavy rainfall season ends, it is drawn out by warm sunlight to dance in the open."

                  "It is perfect weather for them to dance." Misty smiled as Ash put Dexter away, keeping an eye on Brock all the while.

                  "Those stripes on your shirt...what are they?" Brock asked.

                  "Color Stripes for the Lore Stage." Bailey replied. "The Pokemon Lore Stage is a competition between storytellers and musicians from all across the world."

                  "Mm-hm...is it just for amateurs?" Brock asked. "I wouldn't call myself a pro, but I am asked to tell a lot in public."

                  "Both amateur and pro storytellers are welcome to compete--although it helps if you have some experience." Bailey assured Brock. "Each Lore Stage competition has a theme, and the storytellers are challenged to tell a short and a long story that fits the theme. The storytellers are allowed to use any talent they have to help in telling the stories, including their Pokemon."

                  She hugged one of her Bellossoms for a job well done. "This includes everything from musicians, dancers, actors, costumes, puppets, mimicry, and even stage combat or stage archery at some venues."

                  "What kinds of themes do they use?" Even Ash was interested.

                  "Things like adventure, pour quoi, and love found, to name a few." Bailey replied. "Storytellers are judged in four areas: knowledge, energy, style, and appeal."

                  "What exactly do those mean?" Brock was intrigued.

                  "Knowledge means the storyteller knows their story well, and recovers from missteps well." Bailey went on. "Energy means the storyteller show enthusiasm, and engages with the audience. Style means the storyteller uses their talents well in bringing their story to life,and appeal simply means that the audience is interested in the story being told."

                  She referred to the four shiny stripes on her shirt. "The winners of a Lore Stage earn a color stripe, with the goal to create a rainbow. Those that do earn seven stripes and create a rainbow are crowned Masters and Mistresses of Lore, and go on to perform during the pre-League festivities."

                  "Sounds fun!" Misty smiled.

                  Brock smiled. "Where do I sign up?"

                  "Our info booth is near all the food stands-you can sign up there." Bailey replied.

                  Ash smiled at Tintri as Brock thanked Bailey for the information. "Well, bud...we all have something to aim for while we're here..."

                  Tintri nodded. [Let's all achieve our goals together!]

                  TO BE CONTINUED...
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                    #9    
                  Old August 24th, 2016 (12:38 PM).
                  EmeraldSky's Avatar
                  EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                    Interlude: The Perfect Story

                    "So, now that you've signed up for the Lore Stage, what kinds of stories are you planning to tell?" Ash asked as he stashed his Pokeflute case and two of the four whistles he'd packed back in his bag for the next night. The two had made camp not far from the town they had departed, and had just concluded a post dinner jam session. Only Brock still had his instrument out--a familiar yellow-brown acoustic guitar, where he was half-heartedly plucking out notes as he pondered Ash's question.

                    "Well...it really depends on what sorts of themes the Lore Stages will have, and how many I have the opportunity to compete in." Brock explained, mindlessly switching between an A minor chord and a C chord as he spoke. "Do they suit adventure tales? Trickster tales? Pour quoi tales? Funny tales? Something more obscure than those types?"

                    "If I had to guess, you'll probably be asked to tell a balanced variety of all of those." Misty explained as she put her fiddle case away for the night. "So the real question is, out of the millions of stories you know, which ones would be the best to use in competition."

                    Brock stopped his endless progression to ponder what Misty had said. "I know I obviously can't use stories that are not polished..." he smiled before starting a mostly improvised melody in A minor. "I also know that I can't tell things that would be too scary or inappropriate..."

                    [Then again, you don't really have inappropriate stories...] Tintri noted as he offered Ami one of the leftover marshmallows that had not been made into s'mores.

                    "That's true...you mainly tell for all ages anyway." Ash agreed.

                    "And you usually warn the audience before venturing into the dark side of folklore." Misty added, enamored in the intricate melody filled with trills, bent notes, and hammer-ons Brock was performing. "But that still leaves us with hundreds of stories to pick from."

                    "So what are some that audiences--and us--ask for again and again, off the top of your head?" Ash challenged.

                    "There's 'Sorin's Trap'...and 'The Buneary Herder'...'The Giant's Captive'...'The Three Valleys', although that one ventures into some scary territory..." Brock mused.

                    "I can think of some--'The Golden Starly' and its millions of variants, and its cousin, the Moltres story type." Ash suggested. "There's also 'The Three Powers' and all its variants, 'Princess Miranda's Rescue', all the Jack tales you know...'

                    "A grasswhistle would wow an audience in an outdoor venue." Misty suggested. "As would stage archery."

                    "I did bring my bow and some arrows, actually." Brock smiled. "Just in case we found some archery ranges or venues where I could do some stage archery, and another means of defense should our Pokemon fall in battle."

                    Ash, meanwhile, kept listing tales he had often heard Brock tell. "I really liked 'Brendan and the Giant'...'The Faithful Tauros'....

                    "You all have some great choices, and I may consider telling those." Brock interrupted Ash. "But a lot of those are quite long, and I don't know if there's a time limit on what we can tell--they didn't tell me this in the signups.

                    "Good idea--always good to have some short stories in case you do have a time limit." Misty suggested. "But if there IS no time limit, go nuts!"

                    "There may well be a time limit if there are a lot of people competing..." Ash interjected. "Since they need to have everybody tell..."

                    "True..." Brock mused as he finished his song, then put away his guitar for the night. "I'll probably stick to you guys' suggestions, but have some other stories on standby if they give me some really obscure or crazy theme to work with.

                    "That's a good idea." Misty smiled with a yawn. "Let's get to bed--we have a big day in the morning!"

                    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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                      #10    
                    Old August 27th, 2016 (4:23 PM). Edited August 27th, 2016 by EmeraldSky.
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                    EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                      Episode 8: Caught in the Wildfire

                      "Wow!" Ash gasped as the group arrived on a hill overlooking an affluent community filled with beautiful mansions, colorful gardens, ornate statues and fountains, and Pokemon topiaries. "This was worth getting up early for!"

                      "I wonder who lives in these beautiful houses?" Misty wondered as she admired an angel fountain standing nearby the elegant iron gate, its white marble glittering in the morning sun.

                      "We've apparently arrived in Violet Hills, a community where some of Johto's prominent families call home." Brock read from the guidebook. "Some of these mansions have been owned by a single family for years."

                      Ash suddenly noticed a guard post near the front gate. "You don't suppose that we can get permission to take a tour?" he asked. Their route to Violet City appeared to cross through the community grounds, and he did not want to risk being arrested for trespassing.

                      Brock read further down the guidebook page for a moment. "Many of the community residents have opened up their homes for public tours--you can request tour schedules and guest passes at the guard post."

                      An argument from some nearby bushes piqued Misty. [What's going on?] Ami asked as she followed her master into the grass, where unintelligible yelling rang across the community grounds.

                      Misty just peeked through the bushes to find that Ethan and Lyra had confronted Kamon. "Looks like that tour's gonna have to wait, Ash...we've found Kamon." she mused as she returned to the road where the boys were waiting.

                      "Found Kamon?" Ash asked. "Where?"

                      "Those bushes by the roadside--Ethan and Lyra found him, and apparently Lyra's confronted him about swiping the Totodile from before." Misty explained as she motioned for the boys to follow her. "So if you wanna confront him about why he accused you of cheating before, here's your chance."

                      "All I wanted was a civil discussion from him--and judging from all the noise, it's devolved into a shouting match." Ash mused as he and Brock joined Misty in the brush. While he couldn't make out exactly what Kamon and Lyra were saying, he did know that emotions on both sides were running high--Lyra was very nearly in tears, and Kamon had a furious scowl on his face.

                      "If they decide to battle, I'd be willing to referee." Brock offered, keeping his voice down so as not to tip Kamon off to their presence. "Or mediate before the argument turns ugly."

                      "Go on, go mediate." Misty urged Brock into the open, silencing Lyra's and Kamon's argument as Brock approached.

                      Ethan seemed relieved to see Brock. "Brock, am I glad to see you! Kamon called Lyra weak, and the two have been squabbling all morning--Lyra to defend her honor, and Kamon just to anger her even more!"

                      "I wasn't getting her mad--I was nearly stating a fact." Kamon interjected. "All she's got is a little Chikorita, which is a weak Pokemon."

                      "Oh yeah? If Hana is so weak, then how is she capable of evolving?" Lyra retorted.

                      "She's all looks and no substance--you need to talk the talk and walk the walk if you wanna be strong." Kamon smirked, pleased at the grimace on Lyra's face.

                      "Don't judge a book by its cover!" Lyra retorted. "Just because Hana doesn't look powerful doesn't mean she's weak!"

                      "And just because Tintri is naturally fast doesn't mean he's a cheater!" Ash joined in as he ran by Lyra's side.

                      A whistle pierced the air, quieting the shouting. "Everyone, please!" Brock pleaded. "Let's try and sort this out civilly."

                      "Kamon claims my Chikorita is weak because it looks cute--and that he took the Totodile that was supposed to be for Ethan because it fit his definition of strong." Lyra explained. "I tried to tell him that raw power doesn't answer everything...and that was were you guys came in."

                      "So Kamon angered you by belittling your opinion?" Brock asked, looking to Lyra to be sure he had heard her side of the argument correctly.

                      Lyra nodded. "Every time I try to respectfully tell him that I disagree with him, I feel like I'm talking to a wall!"

                      "What's there to talk about?" Kamon sighed. "She got a Pokémon at the lab. Big deal."

                      He eyed Lyra's Chikorita, who shied away as he leaned in. "What a waste. That's a Pokémon that's too good for a wimp like you."

                      "I am NOT a wimp!" Lyra screeched.

                      Kamon was unfazed. "Don't you get what I'm saying? You Pokemon's all looks and no substance."

                      "But Hana's a good Pokemon!" Lyra protested.

                      A smile formed on Kamon's face as he looked down and noticed that he and Lyra were standing on a space wide enough and large enough for a Pokemon battle. After drawing the outline of a Poke Ball in the grass, he went on "Well, I too have a good Pokémon. I'll show you what I mean!" With that, he heaved a Poke Ball into the air, revealing a Cyndaquil on his half of the field.

                      "Hana--I know you're at a disadvantage here, but I need you to prove to Kamon that you are stronger than you look." Lyra told her Chikorita. "Can you do that?"

                      [Sure!] Hana smiled. [I'll show this red haired jerk and his Cyndaquil who's boss!]

                      Lyra next told Brock "If you're going to referee for us, I have a Potion I plan to use."

                      "Okay...you guys will have three timeouts apiece, as per League rules." Brock replied.

                      ---------

                      "Representing the Gold side, Kamon and Spike!" Brock announced, making a grand gesture to Kamon and his Cyndaquil on the right side of the Poke Ball outline.

                      [You're getting burned, Miss Leafy!] the Cyndaquil smirked.

                      "And representing the Silver side, Lyra and Hana!" Brock announced, making a grand gesture to Lyra and her Chikorita on the left side of the Poke Ball outline.

                      [Don't underestimate flower power!] Hana shot back.

                      "Everyone ready?" Brock asked. Cheers came up from the makeshift arena and from Misty, Ash, and Ethan watching on the sidelines. "And three...two...one..."

                      As Brock's whistle echoed across the majestic mansion grounds, Spike charged at Hana, sending her flying backwards until she came to a stop at Lyra's feet. "Hana! You okay?" Lyra asked as Hana eased herself to her feet.

                      [I think so...] Hana replied. [But I can play that game too!] she cried before charging at Spike, but gasped in horror as Spike ran out of the way, causing her to miss her attack completely.

                      "You realize I have a type advantage over you?" Kamon smirked. "A Cyndaquil's mush faster than a pokey little Chikorita."

                      He then addressed his Cyndaquil. "Spike, use Smokescreen!"

                      Hana coughed as she ran into the black cloud of thick smoke Spike heaved onto the field. Although her vision was cloudy and her eyes watered from the smoke, she spotted the red glow of Spike's quills at the left end of the field. She charged in Spike's direction, but only managed to clip his leg, making him slip and fall.

                      "Hana! Growl at Spike!" Lyra commanded.

                      [HAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!] Hana screeched as she circled around in an attempt to Tackle Spike again. She did not, however, expect Spike to charge at her from the smoke, sending her flying over the Silver side of the makeshift arena.

                      Kamon sneered at Hana trying to get up. "Spike, use Leer!"

                      Hana shielded her eyes from the bright flash of the Leer attack. Gah...this guy's pounding away with raw power, leaving me no chance to defend!

                      She smiled when she saw the smoke had cleared away, leaving her a straight shot towards Spike! But I have to prove I'm stronger than his jerk of a trainer is! Because I want to defend my trainer's honor, and prove she is not weak!

                      She charged headlong into Spike while he was off guard, sending him tumbling to the grass. "Spike, Tackle Hana again!" Kamon commanded.

                      "Hana, Tackle Spike!" Lyra called.

                      Both the Cyndaquil and the Chikorita collided at the same time, but the huge impact and the stress of battle had taken its toll on Hana. [I can't go on much longer...] she wheezed as she crawled back to Lyra's side. [That Cyndaquil's really strong!]

                      Lyra nodded, and made a T signal to Brock, prompting him to blow a quick blast with he whistle. "Time out, Silver." he announced as Lyra unearthed the Potion from her bag and administered it to Hana.

                      "Well, well, well...You're doing OK for someone weak." Kamon grinned, impressed. "Didn't know Miss Leaf had it in her to last this long against raw power."

                      On the sidelines, Ethan commented "I see--Kamon's pounding away with raw power, while Lyra is flummoxing him with a defensive strategy."

                      "No, it's worse than that--Kamon's treating Spike not as a living being with feelings, but as a tool!" Ash grumbled. "Pokemon are not mere tools! They are living beings to be loved, protected, and cherished."

                      "You try telling Kamon that, then." Ethan sighed as Brock's whistle signaled the end of Lyra's time out.

                      Back on the battlefield, Spike and Hana charged at each other again. However, it was Spike that looked weary as he stumbled back to Kamon. "Come on, Spike! You're a fire type! You're supposed to beat grass types!" Kamon snapped.

                      [B-but I can't go on much longer...] Spike wheezed.

                      "Get back out there and finish the job!" Kamon growled. "Use Leer again!"

                      The bright flash of the Leer attack blinded Hana again, but she shook away the spots before her eyes and hurled herself with all her might into Spike, making him fall to the grass with a plop, swirly eyed.

                      Cheers filled the air as the whistle blew. "Game Set! This match's winner goes to Silver." Brock announced as Lyra ran to hug Hana.

                      Kamon, however, seemed unfazed by his loss. "Are you happy you won?" he grumbled as he recalled his fainted Cyndaquil. "You may have won today, Miss Leafy, but know this! I'm going to be the world's greatest Pokémon Trainer--the greatest Pokemon Master! And don't you forget it!"

                      "Hey, that's my line!" Ash protested as Kamon disappeared down the road.

                      "He'll never be a Pokemon Master if he treats his Pokemon like that..." Misty mused.

                      Brock, meanwhile, smiled at Lyra. "Well done, both of you."

                      "Thanks--but Hana's the real hero here." Lyra smiled. "She proved that a Grass type can overcome a Fire type with a little training and a lot of love!

                      "I can only hope Kamon comes to realize that." Ash agreed as Tintri bounded on his shoulder. "Can we go take that tour now?"

                      "Ooh, good idea!" Ethan led the charge down the hill into the setting sun...

                      TO BE CONTINUED...
                      __________________
                      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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                        #11    
                      Old August 31st, 2016 (2:22 PM).
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                      EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                        Episode 9: A Very Deer Friend (part 1)

                        "Ah, such a beautiful day..." Ash smiled as he led the way down the path. "Sun shining, bird Pokemon singing..."

                        A strange orb in a bush got his attention. "Huh?"

                        "What would an orb be doing in a bush?" Misty wondered as she and Brock caught up to Ash and Tintri on the path.

                        Brock noticed the orb begin to move, and saw it was attached to the pale yellow antlers of a small brown deer Pokemon. "A small deer Pokemon...wonder what it's doing out here?"

                        Ash, meanwhile, brought up the Pokemon's picture onto Dexter's screen."Stantler, the big horn Pokemon." Dexter began. "Its magnificent antlers were once traded at high prices as works of art. As a result, this Pokemon was hunted close to extinction."

                        "The Pokedex's picture depicts a full sized Stantler, and this one's smaller..." Misty noted. "Which means that this one must be a baby!"

                        "That still doesn't answer my question of what a baby Stantler could be doing all the way out here." Brock mused as he got out a bag full of fresh Pokechow that he had made the night before. "So maybe if we lure it closer, we may figure out why it's alone out here..."

                        "Separated from the herd?" Misty wondered as Brock made a trail of Pokechow leading to the group's location.

                        "Let's see if a food bribe will get it to come closer." Brock smiled as he wiped Pokechow crumbs from his hands. "If that doesn't work, I could mimic a mother Stantler in attempt to coax it over here."

                        Sure enough, the baby Stantler approached the group, pausing to nibble at the Pokechow nuggets Brock had left behind. Misty, however, noticed the baby Stantler was limping a little. "The Stantler's hurt!"

                        "So it is..." Brock mused as he hurried to the Stantler's side with some first aid supplies. The Stantler shied away at first, but tumbled to the ground as Brock assured it "It's okay, little guy...I only want to help you..."

                        "Try telling that to those other Stantlers..." Ash gasped, noticing a crowd of angered Stantlers charging in Brock's direction.

                        About then, Brock saw the angered herd headed for him and the wounded Stantler. "Uh oh...guess my trying to help you will have to wait!" he stammered.

                        "RUN!!!" Ash lead the way back down the pathway, every so often looking back to see if the Stantlers were following them.

                        He was never more relieved to hear a police siren in his life as Officer Jenny met them on a branch of the path leading to a ranger's outpost. "Is everything okay?" she asked. "We received reports from the rangers that there was a Stantler stampede in the area..."

                        Brock, however, had other ideas. "There was a stampede of lonely hearts headed for your beauty and brave heart..."

                        This was as far as he got in his euphoric confession of love before Ami sprayed him. [Were you ever told to respect authority?] she scolded as a ranger gave Brock a towel to dry off.

                        "We found a wounded baby Stantler near the woods, and when my friend tried to clean and dress the wound on its leg, a bunch of adults thought we were trying to hurt it." Ash explained.

                        "While your intentions were noble, it was still very dangerous--the Stantler herds have been terrorizing the surrounding areas." Officer Jenny explained. "If you find this Stantler again, it's better to notify the rangers and have them try and help the fawn."

                        "Okay." the group replied.

                        "It may be better to try and travel through the night...the Stantlers are less active then." a ranger suggested as he brought the group some snacks and drinks.

                        "What we don't understand is who or what could be riling up the Stantler." Officer Jenny mused. "We haven't found evidence of Team Rocket activity..."

                        "Good--I'm not in the mood to deal with them today." Ash grinned as he offered Pikachu some Oran Berry juice.

                        "Not that we've found them anywhere so far, and I'd prefer not to find them now." Misty agreed as she relaxed on a cot, watching the comings and goings of the rangers as they went about their evening patrols.

                        The group did not, however, spot Kamon listening in from a crack in the wall. "So wild Stantlers live here...since I couldn't get that Totodile, maybe a Stantler will do instead..."

                        ---------

                        Surprised gasps and chatter filled the outpost that evening, startling the group from their sleep. "What's going on?" Ash asked, glancing around the room in hopes of finding the suspected intruder.

                        "This baby Stantler came to the outpost, as if looking for someone." a ranger explained as he and his partner led a familiar baby Stantler inside the room. "It has a wounded leg, but the wound is not consistent with any known predators in this area..."

                        "Maybe I can help!" Brock volunteered as he climbed from his cot, retrieved his first aid kit, and went to work cleaning and dressing the small gash on the fawn's left front leg.

                        After wrapping some gauze around the wound to hold it in place, he took a step back to admire his handiwork. "There we go."

                        "We'll take the Stantler to the medical wing for observation, then release it in the morning." another ranger smiled as he and his partners led the Stantler away.

                        "Judging from how the Stantler came looking for you, you'd think it would want to join your team, or something." Ash mused as he climbed back in his cot, petting Tintri all the while.

                        "As tempting as it is to call that Stantler mine, I also know its true home is back with its mother, where it belongs." Brock explained as he climbed back in his own cot. "It is still a wild Pokemon, and it wouldn't seem right to catch it when it is not old enough to be separated from its mother."

                        "That's fair." Misty smiled. "Let's get back to bed, then..."

                        TO BE CONTINUED...
                        __________________
                        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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                          #12    
                        Old September 3rd, 2016 (12:12 PM). Edited September 3rd, 2016 by EmeraldSky.
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                        EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                          Thank you--if there's anything I could do better, please tell me.

                          Here's a new episode:

                          Episode 10: A Very Deer Friend (part 2)


                          [Wake up...] Tintri whispered, nuzzling his master.

                          "mrgggh...what is it?" Ash asked with a yawn as he sat up in the cot. After shielding his eyes from the sunshine for a moment, he noticed Misty was already having breakfast with her Pokemon, but Brock was nowhere to be seen. "Where did Brock get to?"

                          "Helping the rangers get the baby Stantler ready for release." Misty replied. "They're going to release it by the hill where we first found it yesterday."

                          "How is the little guy, anyway?" Ash wondered as Brock returned to the room, a six tailed fox Pokemon behind him.

                          "Ready for release--its wound healed overnight." Brock smiled. "As to what could've made the wound, the rangers believe that the Stantler could have run into a trap. My question is--who could've set the trap if there was no confirmed Team Rocket activity, and Stantler season isn't even open yet?"

                          "Team Rocket working incognito?" Misty grinned.

                          "Can we talk about something else?" Ash shuddered. "All this talk of Team Rocket's giving me the heebie jeebies..."

                          "If you want to watch the release, come on." Brock offered.

                          "I've always wanted to watch a wild Pokemon release!" Misty was not far behind Brock.

                          "Come on, bud--let's go." Ash motioned for Tintri to climb on his shoulder as he followed his friends outside.

                          ---------

                          The way to the hill was uneventful--a team of rangers led the Stantler to the hill, with the group not far behind them.

                          "Okay, little guy..let's get you back to where you belong!" a ranger smiled as she untied the lead rope. Cheers filled the air as the baby Stantler charged off to the woods--only to be caught and tangled in a net, to some horrified gasps.

                          "Team Rocket!" Ash gasped, expecting Jessie, James, and Meowth to appear and repeat their 'To protect the world from devastation' spiel for the umpteenth time.

                          "Nope--just little old me." Kamon smirked as he emerged from the brush to check the net. "And it looks like my gerryriged net trap worked--I'll be taking this Stantler with me."

                          "But that Stantler is just a baby!" Ash protested. "We were trying to get it back to its mom!"

                          "So? Even Pokemon have to one day leave their mothers." Kamon smirked. "But if you want him, come and get him!" With that, he charged off towards the forest, the baby Stantler squalling from the net all the while.

                          "After him!" the chief ranger called as the group dashed after Kamon.

                          Brock, meanwhile, heaved one of his Poke Balls skyward. "Argent, I need your help!"

                          Misty was relieved to find the majestic silver snake Pokemon towering over her. "Am I glad to see you, big guy!" she smiled--when Brock needed a Pokemon to cut off escape routes or raw power, he usually used the mighty Steelix. He could also induce the Steelix into its Mega form, if things got desperate.

                          "Okay Argent--I need you to head off the red haired punk heading for the forest!" Brock called.

                          [Got it, Boss!] the huge Steelix crawled up to the forest entryway, then curled around Kamon as he approached the forest entryaway. [Going somewhere, punk?] he growled.

                          "Let me go!" Kamon pleaded as he struggled to climb through Argent's metallic coils and tie the net containing the Stantler to a tree. "I got this Stantler fair and square!"

                          Argent was not impressed as he wound his way around Kamon again. [You call catching a Pokemon in a net fair and square? That sounds like something a Team Rocket lowlife would do!]

                          "Why would I get involved with those hooligans--call me a punk if you want, but I'm a punk with standards." Kamon shot back. "Now, are you gonna let me go, or what?"

                          [If you release the Stantler, I'll consider it.] Argent growled, frustrated at Kamon's stubbornness.

                          He seemed to smile when he heard Brock sing Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo... in the distance, engulfing him in a bright green light.

                          "What in the..." Kamon gasped as he watched the Steelix that held him gain rainbow crystals and pentagon-shaped runes in his coils.

                          "Behold... the power of Mega Evolution." Brock explained as he approached where Argent held Kamon. "The sign of a true bond between Pokemon and trainer--the Heart Song resonates in both their hearts and awakens a Pokemon's true potential."

                          "And this has to do with me how?" Kamon asked.

                          "Catching a Pokemon in a net is no way to establish that bond." Brock replied. "It needs to be established as a mutual friendship between human and Pokemon, not as a hostage situation."

                          He looked over at Ash and Misty. "Go find the Stantler and set it free--I'm gonna try talking some sense into Kamon here..."

                          "Good luck with that..." Ash called back as he and Misty hurried off into the forest.

                          ---------

                          Misty spotted the net with the Stantler inside near the forest entryway. "Here it is!"

                          "Okay, Tintri--cut the net loose with a Thunderbolt!" Ash commanded.

                          [HI-YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!] Tintri screamed as he unleashed a massive Thunderbolt. But he gasped when he saw his attack cut the net--and if the Stantler fell, it would be badly hurt, if not killed. [Uh oh!]

                          Brock panicked when he saw the Stantler slide out of the next and hurtle towards the ground from a high branch. He wasn't sure how he did it, but he managed to sprint to the forest entryway, make a flying leap, and catch the panicked Stantler in his arms.

                          "Nice catch, baseball star." Kamon smirked as he finally climbed free of Argent's coils.

                          Thank you, baseball skill! Brock smiled as he removed the net from the Stantler. Been a while since I put on the black and silver of the Pewter City Golems, but I still remember how to dive for home plate!

                          The squawk of a distressed Stantler filled the air as the Stantler herd arrived. "Kamon better start running..." Ash grinned as the herd angrily eyed Kamon.

                          "Right about..." Misty mused as the herd charged, each Stantler angrily eyeing Kamon as he hurried down the path. "now..."

                          Everyone watched as one Stantler unleashed a distress cry, prompting the baby Stantler to run and rejoin its mother. "Aw..." Misty smiled as the mother Stantler licked the fawn, then gratefully looked over at the group before both mother and child bounded off to rejoin the herd. "Aw..." Misty smiled.

                          "Mother and child safely reunited." a ranger agreed.

                          "But Brock was the real hero--he may be tough, but he's got a big heart for human and Pokemon alike." Ash smiled.

                          Brock just blushed as he recalled Argent. "Aw, it was nothing."

                          To Be Continued...
                          __________________
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                          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
                          Reply With Quote
                            #13    
                          Old September 7th, 2016 (2:01 PM).
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                          EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                            Episode 11: The Flowers of the Mountain (part 1)

                            "Yeesh, it's cold up here..." Brock shivered as the group emerged from a forest onto a plain surrounded by mountains.

                            "I'll say..." Misty agreed. "The mountains that are farther out are covered in snow--so unless you brought ski gear, good luck getting past there!"

                            "That would be fun, but I'd have to take lessons first." Brock confessed. Misty pictured Brock tumbling down a mountain in ski gear and stiffled a giggle.

                            "Hey look! I see Ethan and Lyra!" Ash pointed out Ethan, Lyra, and Hana setting out a picnic lunch among the flowers.

                            Misty ran on ahead of Ash to meet their friends and allies. "Got room for a few more?" she asked as the boys and Tintri arrived.

                            "Sure--I was gonna feed the extra sandwiches to the wild Pokemon, but we have enough to feed three more people." Ethan smiled as he invited the group to sit in the grass. "Lyra and I are here as a favor to the professor..."

                            "One of Prof. Elm's friends lives out here...everyone just calls him Mr. Pokemon because he rivals a Pokedex in how much he knows about Pokemon, not just the native Pokemon of Johto." Lyra went on as she shepherded Hana by her side. "He said he had something for Prof. Elm to study, so we were on our way up the mountain to his house to go get it."

                            "Sounds interesting...did you learn what this something is?" Ash asked as Ethan's Totodile eagerly danced around his master's feet for a share of the meat Ethan was laying on a piece of bread to make a sandwich.

                            "Okay, Dundee, okay...you can have this sandwich after I finish making it." Ethan assured his excited Totodile as he added a slice of cheese and some mustard to the sandwich, then set it before the Totodile. "Here you go."

                            "Fiesty little guy, isn't he?" Brock grinned as the Totodile eagerly bit into the sandwich with a chomp. "I think I know where you got the name Dundee from..."

                            "'Croconaw Dundee' is one of my dad's favorite movies." Ethan explained. "I've watched it a few times with him, and it still holds up all these years later..."

                            Lyra, meanwhile, set out a platter of sandwiches. "Okay, who's hungry?"

                            [Me!] Hana dashed to a sunny spot by Lyra's side as Tintri eagerly hurried over to get a sandwich.

                            "Ham or roast beef?" Lyra offered Tintri the platter.

                            [One of each.] Tintri replied. Lyra set two sandwiches on a plate, followed by some chips and berries.

                            "Why's Hana not eating anything?" Ash wondered as he helped himself to some sandwiches.

                            "As a Grass type, she doesn't need to eat as much as humans and other Pokemon--she naturally gets food from photosynthesis." Lyra explained as she looked over at Hana basking in the sun. Ash nodded to show he understood, then moved the basket away from Hana to allow her to receive more sun.

                            Ethan noticed the two cloud patches on Brock's vest. "Oh, you're competing in the Lore Stage! I've always wanted to watch one of those!"

                            "I'm mainly competing for the experience--I acknowledge and understand that I may not win it all, and I may face storytellers that are way better than me." Brock replied before taking a bite of his sandwich. "But if I do somehow win it all, that would make for the ultimate memory on this trip."

                            "Yeah, you've mainly told as a hobby, and for a few local events." Misty noted. "You're sure you're ready for a bigger stage than the local library, schools, and a few local festivals?"

                            "I never would've signed up and gotten these cloud patches if I didn't know what I was getting myself into." Brock assured Misty as he gathered up his trash and placed it in the trash bag Hana was guarding. "There we go--doing our part to keep this place beautiful!"

                            [Nothing ruins a scenic place like this more than trash.] Hana agreed as she helped her master tie up the trash bag in a tree. [And we won't have to worry about attracting wild Pokemon with the trash!]

                            "If you're gonna compete in the Lore Stage, do you feel comfy trying out your material on us?" Lyra asked.

                            "Sure--give me a minute to think of a tale that isn't too long and we all would like." Brock replied.

                            Tintri, meanwhile, tugged on Ash's shirt. [Hana and me want to go explore the forest path.] he explained, pointing out the hillside path that led into a forest, where the trash bag hung from one of the trees.

                            "What do you think, Lyra?" Ash asked. "Tintri and Hana want to go explore the forest."

                            "So long as they stay together and come back here by sundown, I have no problem with it." Lyra replied.

                            "Okay guys--you can go explore the forest, but you have to stay together, and be back by sundown." Ash reiterated what Lyra had said to Tintri and Hana. "Think you can do that?"

                            [Yeah!] Tintri and Hana replied.

                            "In case you do get lost, Mr. Pokemon's house is not far from a Pokemon Center near the forest's west entrance." Ethan replied, showing Tintri and Hana the map of the forest near their location. "So those two places are your meeting points if you do end up accidentally getting lost--we won't be mad if it's an accident."

                            [Got it!] Tintri replied before he led Hana into the forest.

                            "Have fun, you guys!" Ash waved goodbye as Tintri and Hana hurried off down the leafy path.

                            After making sure Tintri and Hana had safely made their way to the forest, Brock addressed the others. "Okay...this tale is a version of 'The Hero and Epona' from Kanto. While the hero is not often named in these tales, for our purposes, we'll give him a name."

                            With that, he began. "Across the wide ocean, on the side of high mountains, beyond thick forests, in a village that faced the sky, there once lived an old peasant who had three sons..."

                            TO BE CONTINUED...
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                              #14    
                            Old September 14th, 2016 (1:02 PM).
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                            EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                              Episode 12: The Flowers of the Mountain (part 2)

                              Playful giggles rang through the trees as Tintri and Hana dashed through the forest, piquing the interest of the Pidgeys in the treetops or the Caterpies munching on leaves. After dashing through the grassy underbrush, Hana leaped onto Tintri, sending them tumbling down the hill, giggling all the while, until they landed in a heap of tails and leaves nearby a stream, still laughing all the more.

                              [That was fun!] Hana smiled as she smoothed out her leaf from their long tumble down the hill.

                              [I didn't expect you to pounce on me like that...] Tintri confessed as he brushed some burs from his fur. [But you got me, so you decide what to do next.]

                              [Rock skipping contest?] Hana suggested, picking up a rock with her leaf and heaving it across the water, skipping it twice.

                              [Nah...I wonder how far this stream goes?] Tintri wondered.

                              [Okay! Let's see how far the stream goes--and if we get lost, we can follow it back!] Hana suggested before hurrying off down the shoreline with a giggle.

                              [Hey, wait for me!] Tintri was not far behind.

                              ---------

                              [You were saying about being able to follow the stream back?] Tintri asked Hana as the two Pokemon glanced around the grove of trees that following the shoreline of the stream had led them to. There was more of the shoreline to follow, but Tintri was already tired of following the winding shoreline.

                              [Come to think of it, I think we are lost...] Hana mused before looking up at the sky and gasping as the clouds began to turn pink as the sun prepared to set. [And it's almost sunset!]

                              Tintri suddenly remembered what Ethan had said. [Are we anywhere close to the Pokemon Center or Mr. Pokemon's house?]

                              Hana consulted Ethan's map again. [Maybe following the stream was a good idea...Mr. Pokemon's house isn't too far from here.]

                              She looked up from the map and noticed a small cabin on the hillside. [Let's go see if that's it!]

                              [Right behind you!] Tintri followed Hana up the hill to the cabin's front stoop and knocked at the door.

                              "Now, I wonder who that could be..." Hana heard a male voice muse before the door opened, revealing a stately man in a neatly pressed brown suit in the doorway. Tintri wasn't sure how old the man was, but the swirls of gray in his otherwise black hair were the only clue to his age.

                              [Are you maybe Mr. Pokemon?] Hana asked. [We were exploring the forest and got lost.]

                              The man smiled. "I am in fact the Mr. Pokemon you speak of...come on inside, and you can rest here while you wait for your masters to find you."

                              [Okay!] Hana and Tintri made their way inside, awed over the rustic decor, the paintings on the walls and the exotically designed rug on the floor.

                              [Don't you ever get lonely out here?] Tintri asked as he admired a painting of the hills outside Celadon City hanging nearby a window.

                              "Oh, not at all." Mr. Pokemon smiled. "I travel a lot in search of bettering our knowledge and understanding of Pokemon around the world--this is why I have befriended many professors across the world."

                              [What's the most amazing thing you've seen in your travels?] Tintri asked, his eyes shining with excitement at the stories Mr. Pokemon had to tell. If any of these stories are cool enough, I may tell Brock to write down the basics of it!

                              "Well...I've seen many amazing things on my travels, but if I had to choose one..." Mr. Pokemon mused before pausing for a moment. "It would be the great mountain, Mt. Coronet, which splits its home region of Shinou in half."

                              [Wow...] Hana gasped, amazed at the concept of a mountain that large. [I can only imagine the view at the peak!]

                              "As much I wanted to climb it, I am no mountain climber, and so I leave that task for those adventurous enough to do it." Mr. Pokemon replied as he settled in an easy chair and invited Tintri and Hana onto the small table beside it. "So tell me...what brought you this far into the forest?"

                              Hana, however, was interested in a strange white egg with red and blue triangles in an egg holder on the kitchen table. [What's that? Is what Professor Elm sent my mistress to get from you?]

                              "I did in fact ask Professor Elm to study that egg." Mr. Pokemon replied. It appears to be from a Pokemon family I have not seen before."

                              [But my master says you know almost everything about Pokemon!] Tintri protested.

                              Mr. Pokemon just smiled. "This egg is one of these almosts--how can I claim to know about this Pokemon family if I have not seen it before? This is the nature of true learning--it does not necessarily take place in a classroom."

                              [I see...] Tintri mused--Mr. Pokemon did have a point.

                              ---------

                              "Tintri!" Ash called as he led the group through the brush. "Where are you, bud?"

                              "Hana!" Lyra called before spotting Tintri's and Hana's tracks by the shore of the stream. "Hey guys, I think I found where they got to!"

                              "That's the pathway to Mr. Pokemon's house--if you follow the stream until the path forks, you'll find it." Ethan mused as he studied the map.

                              "Then it was maybe at this point they realized they were lost and decided to go that way." Misty suggested. "Let's go see!"

                              "Lead the way." Brock smiled at Ethan. "Although they did go to one of your two designated meeting spots, so I see no reason to punish them when we find them."

                              After winding their way to the cabin, Ethan knocked at the door. "More guests?" he heard a voice say, but just as Mr. Pokemon opened the door, Tintri dashed onto Ash's shoulder, and Lyra bounded into Lyra's arms. "Oh, I see you found your masters..." Mr. Pokemon smiled.

                              [Everyone, this is the famous Mr. Pokemon.] Tintri explained, gesturing to Mr. Pokemon. [He's been to all kinds of faraway places, including a region where a mountain splits it in half!]

                              "Nice to meet you." Ash smiled before tipping his cap in respect. "I can't thank you enough for taking care of Tintri for me..."

                              "...and looking after Hana for me." Lyra agreed as she stroked Hana's leaf.

                              "My pleasure." Mr. Pokemon replied as he returned with the odd egg. "This is what I wanted Professor Elm to examine--I believe it to be the young form of a Pokemon family I haven't seen before."

                              "Lyra and I will get it there, as thanks for your looking after our Pokemon." Ethan replied as he accepted the egg holder.

                              "...and my friends and I are on our way to Violet City." Ash explained.

                              "Oh, so you're maybe challenging the Gym there?" Mr. Pokemon asked. "Your Pikachu should do just fine against Falkner's birds--but it's better to prepare too much than be unprepared.

                              "I'll keep that in mind!" Ash grinned as he hugged Tintri again, relieved his friend was all right...

                              To Be Continued...
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                                #15    
                              Old September 17th, 2016 (10:45 AM). Edited November 11th, 2016 by EmeraldSky.
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                              EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                                Episode 13: A Lesson in Friendship (part 1)

                                "Welcome to Violet City...the city of nostalgic scents." Brock read the signpost as the group made their way around a corner, where they could see many rooftops and treetops in the distance.

                                Misty sniffed the air. "I can definitely smell something nostalgic, all right...the Cheri blossoms in the springtime..."

                                "Mom's awesome chocolate chip cookies..." Ash sighed dreamily.

                                "Then what are we waiting for?" Brock's voice snapped both Ash and Misty back to reality. "We'll find more things to do and nostalgic scents to sample in town."

                                He motioned for Ash and Misty to follow him. "Last one there's a rotten Exeggcute!"

                                "Hey, wait for us!" Misty cried as Brock charged down the hill into the city.

                                ---------

                                "And over to the north you will see Sprout Tower..." Brock read from the guidebook, making a grand gesture to a magnificent purple pagoda-like tower in the distance that dwarfed even the tallest office buildings. "The tower itself is over 100 feet tall, and is held together by a giant flexible pillar that shakes from side to side. This flexibility protects the tower from earthquakes, and symbolizes the battles that are occurring on upper floors."

                                "Cool!" Ash gasped.

                                "That means you can see the tower from anywhere in the city!" Misty agreed, awed at the tower's height.

                                "According to legend, a 100-foot-tall Bellsprout was used to make the swaying pillar." Brock went on before a thought occurred to him. "How said 100-foot-tall Bellsprout made the pillar depends on the teller--there's actually many different versions of the story."

                                Tintri, however, was interested in the rainbow of zinnias lining the streets, and scrambled off of Ash's shoulder to get a look. [Wow...these are so pretty!] he smiled before approaching a red zinnia to sniff it.

                                "Oh, what a cute little Pikachu!" Tintri suddenly felt himself being picked up and held in an awkward position by a navy haired schoolgirl.

                                "Were you lost, little guy?" a brown haired boy asked as he reached out in an attempt to touch Tintri, never mind that Tintri was sparking angrily in the girl's arms.

                                [Put me down, please!] Tintri pleaded as his sparks grew more numerous and brighter.

                                Ash hurried over to the two children. "When a Pikachu sparks like that, they're uncomfortable or feel threatened." he calmly explained as Tintri wriggled out of the girl's death grip and bounded back on Ash's shoulder.

                                "Oh, so the Pikachu is yours? We thought he was a wild Pikachu that wandered into town." the girl explained. "We're sorry."

                                "There you are!" a navy haired woman smiled as she ran up to the two children. "Morning break is over, so you should be back with us in class."

                                As the two children hurried back to their waiting classmates, the woman introduced herself to the group. "My name is Priscilla...I teach over at the Pokemon Academy." She made a grand gesture to a large brick building nearby, where many other students were coming and going. "But my students prefer to call me Miss Priscilla."

                                "I'm Ash..." Ash replied. "...and these are my friends and traveling companions Misty..." Misty waved hello. "...and Brock..."

                                "Nice to meet you." Brock replied as he stashed his guidebook back in his bag. "As well as trainers, we know a lot about Kanto lore, and lore from elsewhere...."

                                "Would the kids like to hear some songs and stories from Kanto?" Misty offered.

                                "As well as some true stories from our travels?" Ash agreed, getting more and more excited all the while.

                                "What a great idea!" Miss Priscilla smiled. "It would be a great opportunity for them to learn about and appreciate cultures different from theirs, since many of them will travel as trainers and coordinators."

                                "That, and you can teach them how to hold a Pikachu correctly." Misty smiled as the group followed Miss Priscilla and her class into the school.

                                ---------

                                "Okay...this is how you properly handle a Pikachu." Ash addressed the kids in an activity room. "Pikachu are naturally very curious and outgoing, but they can be a little shy at first, so be patient if they don't want to approach on the first try."

                                He then got down to Tintri's eye level, and offered his hand. "If they do show an interest, offer your hand in a non-threatening way. In other words, keep your hand below the Pikachu's eye level and bring your hand slowly closer to the Pikachu from an angle." he explained as he did this.

                                "Approaching from above can be very frightening to a small Pokemon like Pikachu, and you could be mistaken for a predator." Brock added. "So if the Pikachu is interested in interaction, it's best to let it come to you or picking them up by gently scooping them."

                                "Aw"s filled the room as Tintri bounded into Ash's arms, but then, a girl spotted the group's instrument cases. "Oh boy! Are we gonna have a sing along?"

                                Brock smiled. "I don't see why not." he replied, to thunderous cheers from the children. "Just give us a few minutes to tune, and we'll have a jam session."

                                As Misty and Brock set to work tuning their instruments, one boy noticed the green mouthpiece of Ash's main whistle peeking from a pocket. "What's that?"

                                "This is a tin whistle--if you took a Pokeflute and took it through the wash, this is what you'd get." Ash explained. "The biggest difference between the two is a Pokeflute can play in any key, while a tin whistle can only play in one or two keys."

                                "Oh"s filled the air at this. "So while many people start on a whistle before moving up to a Pokeflute, it's also possible to learn them backwards, like some great players did." Ash went on, to some giggles.

                                He noticed Brock signaling that he and Misty were ready to play. "So let's get going with one of our favorite sets..."

                                With that, he led the way into a set of polkas they often played around the campfire, with Tintri and Ami dancing and the kids and Miss Priscilla eagerly clapping along.

                                After the Vermilion Polka had raced to its conclusion, Misty started "Come Give Me Your Hand"--the song that signaled Brock had a story to tell.

                                Once the fiddle's last note dies, Brock begins "Once upon a time, there was a beautiful kingdom ruled by a kind and just king and queen. But one year, the king had to go to war and defend his realm from invaders."

                                Piqued murmurs fill the room at the tale's beginning. "While the king was away on the battlefield, his wife, the queen, gave birth to twin sons. There was great rejoicing throughout the land, and messengers were dispatched to the king with the joyous news." Brock continues. "Both boys were strong and healthy, and grew up like little trees. The one who was the older, but barely just, was the hardier of the two. Even as a toddling child he was always playing in the courtyard and struggling to climb on the back of a Shiny Ponyta that had been given to him because it was about his own age."

                                "Aw"s fill the room as the children picture the heartwarming scene. "His brother, on the other hand, preferred to play inside on the soft carpets." Brock explains. "He was always following his mother and never went outside, except when he followed the queen into the garden."

                                He adds as an aside "This was why the younger prince became the mother's favorite."

                                Nervous giggles fill the air--choosing a favorite child usually didn't end well for the family. "The boys were seven years old before their father the king returned from battle victorious." Brock goes on. "He looked at his sons with pride and joy and he asked the queen the billion credit question: which was the older and which was the younger?

                                Whispers of debate begin wafting through the room, but Brock is quick to quiet the chatter. "The queen, thinking that the king was asking in order to know who was the heir to the throne, slipped in her favorite as the older. The king, of course, did not question his wife's word and so, from that day on, he always spoke of the younger one as his heir."

                                The children's whispers turn angry as Brock continues "When the boys had come of age, the older one--we'll call him Brian--got tired of life at home and of hearing his brother always spoken of as the future king. He longed to go out into the world and seek his fortune and adventures of his own. One day, as he was pouring out his heart to the little shiny Ponyta that had been his companion from infancy, much to his amazement the Ponyta--whose name was Epona--spoke to him and said..."

                                "Since you are not happy at home, let us go out into the world in search of fortune." Misty jumps in the role of Epona. "But do not go without your father's permission. Take no one with you and mount no Ponyta but me. This will bring you good luck."

                                Brock interjects "Prince Brian asked Epona how she could speak the words of humans." as Ash, as Prince Brian, pantomimes asking Misty the question.

                                "Don't ask me," Misty replies. "I can't tell you. But I want to be your friend and counselor, and I will be as long as you do as I tell you."

                                "Prince Brian promised to do everything Epona told him to do." Brock continues. "So he went to his father to ask permission to go out into the world. At first, his father was unwilling to let him go, but his mother gave her permission. After a little bit of pleading and coaxing..." Giggles go up at Brock's understatement. "he finally won his father's consent. Of course, the king wanted Prince Brian to go forth in a manner befitting his rank with a great company of men and Ponytas. But Prince Brian insisted that he wished to go alone."

                                "Why, my dear father, do I need any such retinue as you suggest?" Ash rants as Prince Brian, to the children's delight. "Let me have some money for the journey, and let me ride off alone on my own little Ponyta. This will give me more freedom and less trouble."

                                Laughter goes up at this. "Again he had to argue with his father for some time, but at last he succeeded in arranging everything to his liking." Brock assures his audience as he retrieves his guitar. "Before long, the day of parting came. Epona stood saddled at the castle gate. Prince Brian bade farewell to his parents and his brother. They all said tearful goodbyes, but at the last moment the queen had a change of heart, and told Prince Brian the truth. She made him solemnly promise that he would return home within a year, or at least send them word of his whereabouts at that time."

                                Excited whispers go up as the children speculate what adventures Prince Brian and Epona will get into. "So Prince Brian mounted Epona, and off they went." Brock continues over a droning melody that sounds like galloping. "Epona went at a surprising pace for a Pokemon that was seventeen years old, but to be fair, she was no ordinary Ponyta. The years had not touched her at all. Her coat was as smooth as satin and shone as white as the moon. Her mane glowed blue instead of red like other Ponytas. No matter how far she traveled, she never tired."

                                Awed gasps and whispers fill the air at Epona's description as the droning melody transforms into the jig "Light At the Close of Day". to mimic the passage of time, prompting some of the children to clap along. "Epona carried Prince Brian a great distance until they spotted the towers of a beautiful city." Brock continues when the last chord dies. "Then Epona left the beaten path and crossed a field to a huge rock. When they reached the rock, Epona laid a hoof on it and sang...."

                                Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... Misty fills in the song.

                                Wild cheers fill the air at the familiar spellsong. "...and the rock opened. They rode inside and Prince Brian found himself in a comfortable stable." Brock continues as himself.

                                Misty instructs Ash in character "Now you will leave me here, and go on alone to the nearby town. You must pretend you are a poor boy, and be careful never to reveal who you really are. Present yourself at court and have the king take you into his service. When you need anything, no matter what it is, come to the rock, sing the song 'Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul', and the rock will open to you."

                                Brock continues "Prince Brian thought to himself: 'Epona certainly knows what she's talking about, so of course I'll do as she says.' So he disguised himself by dressing in ragged clothes, putting a patch over one eye, and making his face look pale and sallow. Then he presented himself at court and told the most heartwrenching tale of woe he could think of. The king felt sorry for Prince Brian, and took him into his service."

                                He starts a playful melody as he continues "Prince Brian was capable and quick at everything he was told to do, and it wasn't long before the king put him in charge of the household. His advice was asked in all matters of importance and all day long he hurried about the castle going from one thing to another. If the king needed a scribe, there wasn't a cleverer one anywhere than Prince Brian. Before long, he was well loved and well liked by the entire court."

                                The guitar's song begins slowing down into a love theme. "Now, the king had three daughters, each more beautiful than the other." Brock explains as he plays. "The oldest was named Orla, the second, Ariana, and the youngest, Christina."

                                Light applause goes up in approval of the princess' names. "Prince Brian loved to be with the three princesses and as he was presumed to be a poor boy, the king made no objection to his spending time with them." Brock continues, still playing his love song. "How could the king possibly think that there was any danger of a poor boy stealing the heart of one of the princesses? They liked him, all three of them, and were always taking him with them wherever they went. He wove garlands for them, spun golden thread, picked them flowers, and drew them designs of birds and flowers for their embroidery. He liked them all, but he liked Princess Christina best. Everything he did for her was done a little better than for the others. The garlands he wove her were richer, the designs he drew for her were more beautiful. The two older sisters noticed this and laughed, and when they were alone they teased Princess Christina. Princess Christina, who had a sweet and amiable disposition, knew the teasing was all in good fun, and happily played along."

                                The love song then begins to turn into a somber lament. "Prince Brian had been at the court for some time when one morning he found the king sitting sad and gloomy over his breakfast. So he asked him what was the matter." Brock narrates.

                                "Is it possible, my dear boy," he sighs in a gentle, deeper version of himself--his favorite "king" voice to perform--"that you don't know what's the matter? Don't you know the calamity that threatens us? Don't you know the bitter three days that are at hand for me?"

                                He interjects as himself "Prince Brian, alarmed by the seriousness of the king's manner, shook his head no."

                                "Then I'll tell you," he replies as the king over the lament he is playing, "although you can be of no help. Years ago three Hydreigons came flying through this land and landed on a great rock near here. They laid waste to the country, devouring the Tauros and killing men, women, children, and Pokemon alike. Soon the city was in a state of siege. To keep them away we placed all the food we had outside the gates, and in a short time we ourselves were starving. In desperation I had an old wise woman called to court, and asked her was there any way to drive these monsters from the land. The only way to drive them off was to promise the awful creatures my three beautiful daughters when they came of age. At that time, my daughters were only small children and I thought to myself many things might happen in the years before they grew up. So, to relieve my stricken land, I promised the Hydreigons my daughters. The poor queen died of a broken heart, but my daughters grew up knowing nothing of their fate. As soon as I made the monstrous bargain, the Hydreigons flew away and until yesterday were never seen again. Last night, a shepherd, beside himself with terror, brought me the news that the Hydreigons are again settled in their old rock and are sending out fearful roars. Tomorrow I must sacrifice to them my oldest child Princess Orla, the day after tomorrow my second child, Princess Ariana, and the day after that my youngest, Princess Christina."

                                Gasps and "oh no"s race through the crowd as the guitar's last foreboding chord fades away. "Prince Brian was horrified at what he heard, and hurried to the princesses' room." Brock continues as himself. "He found them dressed all in black and looking white as a Gastly. They were sitting in a row and bemoaning their terrible fate. Prince Brian tried to comfort them, telling them that surely a great hero would appear to rescue them. But they paid no mind to him and kept on moaning and crying. Grief and confusion spread throughout the city, for everyone loved the royal family. Every house as well as the palace was soon draped in black and the sound of mourning was heard on every side."

                                After a few tense seconds, Brock goes on "One night, Prince Brian hurried secretly out of the city and across the field to the rock where Epona was stabled. He laid his hands on the rock and sang..."

                                Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... Ash fills in the song as Prince Brian.

                                "...the rock opened, and he entered." Brock continues. "He stroked Epona's glowing blue mane and kissed her muzzle in greeting."

                                "My dear Epona," Ash explains as Prince Brian, "I have come to you for advice. Help me and I will be happy forever."

                                He pantomimes talking to Misty as Brock narrates "...and he told Epona the story of the Hydreigons."

                                "Oh, I know all about those Hydreigons," Misty replies as Epona. "In fact, it was that you might rescue the princesses that I brought you here in the first place. Early tomorrow morning come back and I will tell you what to do."

                                Excited whispers fill the air in anticipation of a battle. "Prince Brian returned to the castle with such joy shining in his face that if anyone had noticed him, he would have gotten yelled at." Brock continues as himself over a hopeful melody. "He spent the day with the princesses trying to comfort and console them, but in spite of all he could do they felt only more terrified as the hours went by."

                                As the last chord of his hopeful song dies, he continues "The next day, at the first streak of dawn, he was at the rock. Epona greeted him and said..."

                                Misty instructs Ash as Epona "Lift up the stone under my trough and take what you find there."

                                "Prince Brian did as he was told." Brock narrates, to the children's giggles as Ash pantomimes lifting something heavy. "He lifted the stone and under the stone he found a large chest. Inside the chest he found three beautiful suits of clothing, with caps and plumes to match, a sword and a bridle. The first suit was red embroidered in silver and studded with diamonds, the second was deep blue and embroidered in gold, and the third was green,and richly embroidered with silver and studded with diamonds and pearls. For all three suits there was but one mighty sword. Its blade was beautifully inlaid and its scabbard shone with precious stones. The bridle was also richly jeweled."

                                "Wow"s and awed whistles fill the room as the children and Miss Priscilla picture the magical items. "All three suits are for you," Misty explains as Epona. "For the first day, put on the red one."

                                Brock quickly narrates "So Prince Brian dressed himself in the red suit, buckled on his sword, and threw the bridle over Epona's head."

                                "Have no fear," Misty assures the audience as Epona. "Cut bravely into the monster, trusting to your sword. And remember, do not dismount."

                                Brock continues over a tense theme "At the castle heartbroken farewells were being said. Princess Orla parted from her father and her sisters, stepped into a carriage, and accompanied by a great multitude of her weeping subjects was slowly driven out of town to Dragon's Rock. As they neared the meeting spot Princess Orla stepped into the grass. She took a few steps forward, then collapsed on the ground." Nervous giggles go up as he plays a downward glissando on one string to mimic Princess Orla fainting.

                                The tense melody gives way into the Zelda theme. "At that moment the people saw galloping toward them a knight with a red and white plume. In a voice of authority he ordered them to stand back and leave him to deal with the Hydreigon. They were glad enough to lead Princess Orla away and went to a hill, where they could watch the impending battle at a safe distance." Brock continues as he plays. "Then there was a deep rumbling noise, the earth shook, and Dragon's Rock opened. A huge Hydreigon crawled out, and it spat fire and poison from all three mouths and turned all three of its heads this way and that, looking for its promised prey. When he saw the knight he let out a horrible roar."

                                The audience begins clapping along with the iconic video game theme, as if cheering Prince Brian on as Brock gives the play by play. "Prince Brian rode straight at him and with one blow of his sword cut off one of the Hydreigon's heads. The Hydreigon writhed and enveloped Prince Brian in flames and poisonous fumes. But Prince Brian, undaunted, struck at him again and again until he had cut off all three heads. The life that still remained in the loathsome body, Epona finished with her hooves."

                                Cheers go up as Brock plays the "got item" stinger to signal a victory. "When the Hydreigon had perished, Prince Brian turned and galloped back the way he had come. Princess Orla looked after him, wishing she could follow him to thank him for rescuing her. But she remembered her father back at the castle and felt it was her duty to come back to him as quickly as she could."

                                He grins at the enthralled audience. "I can't even begin to describe the king's joy when Princess Orla appeared before him safe and sound. Her sisters embraced her and wondered if a hero would rescue them as well. Prince Brian assured them that he was certain they, too, would be saved. Although the prospect of the next morning still terrified them, hope had come to them, and Prince Brian even succeeded in making them laugh a few times."

                                "Aw"s go up as the audience pictures Prince Brian making the princesses laugh. "The next day, Princess Ariana was led out." Brock snaps the audience back to reality with an expectant Bb chord. As he plays a slightly lower key version of the Zelda theme, he adds "Just like the day before, the unknown knight appeared, this time wearing a royal blue costume. He attacked the second Hydreigon and, after a long and valiant battle, dispatched it. Then before anyone could reach him, he turned and rode away."

                                He interjects as he stops the song "Princess Ariana returned to the castle, saddened that she had not been able to speak to the knight and express her gratitude. Princess Christina then said..."

                                In his best mimic of a young girl, he scolds "You, my sisters, were silly not to speak to him before he rode away. Tomorrow if he rescues me, I will kneel before him; and not get up until he consents to return with me to the castle."

                                As himself, he continues "Prince Brian burst out laughing at this and Princess Christina asked him what was so funny. He explained that he, too, wanted to see the hero."

                                A foreboding riff quiets the "Aw"s. "On the third day, Princess Christina was taken out to Dragon's Rock, and this time, the king came too." Brock intones. "Princess Christina's heart raced when she thought that if the unknown hero failed to appear she would be handed over to the horrible monster."

                                Cheers go up as the guitar begins the familiar Zelda theme again. "A joyous shout from the people told her that the hero was coming." Brock narrates over the song. "Then she saw him, a gallant figure in green with a white plume floating in the wind. As he had killed the first Hydreigon, and the second Hydreigon, so he killed the third; although the struggle was longer and Epona had her hooves full trying to stand up against the poisonous fumes."

                                The crowd enthusiastically claps along with the iconic video game song before it comes to a screeching halt four repetitions later. "After a very long and drawn out battle, the Hydreigon was slain." Brock smiles, playing the "got item" stinger to thunderous cheers. "Princess Christina and the king rushed up to the hero and begged him to return with them to the castle. He hardly knew how to refuse, especially when Princess Christina, kneeling before him, grasped the edge of his tunic and looked up at him with such sad Growlithe eyes that his heart melted and he was ready to do anything she asked."

                                He then interjects "But Epona took matters into her own hooves, reared up suddenly, and galloped off before the hero had time to dismount."

                                Laughter goes up at this. "So Princess Christina, too, was unable to bring the hero back to the castle." Brock goes on. "The king and all the court were understandably disappointed, but their disappointment was swallowed up in their joy that the princesses had been so miraculously saved. But a few days later, with Epona's permission, Prince Brian revealed himself to Princess Christina, told her everything, and explained why he had to hide his identity from her. This only made Princess Christina's love for him even stronger, and it wasn't long before the two of them were married."

                                He concludes "Prince Brian and Epona went on many more adventures together, but that is another story for another day!" He adds a playful flourish on the guitar to prove his point.

                                The crowd roars as Brock sets the guitar aside and takes a sweeping bow along with Ash and Misty...

                                To Be Continued...
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                                  #16    
                                Old September 21st, 2016 (12:51 PM). Edited September 21st, 2016 by EmeraldSky.
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                                EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                                  Episode 14: A Lesson in Friendship (part 2)


                                  The children cheered as the bell rang for lunch some time later, with Ash, Misty, and Brock not far behind. As the children hurried to unpack their lunches and eat, Miss Priscilla smiled at the trio. "You three have real talent...you should take your music and stories on the road!"

                                  "Aw, we're just three good friends who enjoy sharing songs and stories with each other." Ash smiled, flattered someone had complimented them.

                                  "In fact, how would you like to join us on our trip to Sprout Tower this afternoon?" Miss Priscilla offered. "I'm sure the children would love hearing about the hundred foot Bellsprout that formed the swaying pillar."

                                  "I know that story, actually--or at least a version anyone in Kanto knows." Brock replied. "So I'd be happy to tell it."

                                  Ash, meanwhile. was mingling with the students, answering their questions and getting to know them. "If you competed in the Kanto League, why didn't you win?" a boy with messy black hair asked.

                                  "I was a beginner--but even though I didn't win the League, I DID learn a lot of valuable lessons on the way." Ash explained to the boy. "Things like teamwork, perseverance, courage, and loyalty."

                                  The boy, meanwhile, noticed Tintri. "Hey, little guy...name's Zackie--wanna be friends?"

                                  Tintri uneasily sparked in reply. "I could be a way better partner than Hat-boy could ever be, so come with me!" Zackie pleaded.

                                  [But what if I LIKE Ash?] Tintri retorted as his sparks grew larger and brighter as Zackie's hand inched closer and closer. He finally discharged his tiny Thundershock, then darted into a forested area not far from the school courtyard.

                                  The crackle of a thunderbolt snapped Ash to attention. "Tintri!" he gasped as he watched Tintri dart away.

                                  "Come back here!" Zackie was not far behind. "You're gonna be my Pokemon now!

                                  ---------

                                  "I know you're here, Pikachu..." Zackie called as he crawled through the brush near the school. "You're gonna be mine if it's the last thing I do!"

                                  He gasped when he saw what he thought was Pikachu ears peeking up through a patch of tall grass. "Ah ha! I gotcha now!" With that, he heaved the Poke Ball at what he believed was Tintri "Poke Ball, go!"

                                  Ash and the real Tintri watched the Poke Ball shake on the ground from the safety of a bush. [Should we tell Zackie what he really caught?] Tintri whispered, being careful not to alert Zackie to his presence.

                                  "Nah...he'll find out right about..." Ash watched as Zackie heaved his Poke Ball skyward, only to balk when he saw a small sprout Pokemon materialize before him. "now..."

                                  "How did I get a Bellsprout?" Zackie gasped at the spindly sprout that stood before him. "I wanted that Pikachu!"

                                  "If you wanted a Pikachu that badly, you should have got one of your own instead of trying to take my partner away from me." Ash calmly but sternly explained as he and Tintri emerged from the brush. "If a Pokemon has a name, it belongs to someone, no ifs, ands, or buts."

                                  Zackie glumly looked over at the Bellsprout he had caught. "Okay...I'll see what I can do with this Bellsprout..." he sighed. "I'm sorry I tried to take your Pikachu....will you ever forgive me?" he asked Ash

                                  Ash's angry look softened when he saw tears shining in Zackie's eyes. "Of course I forgive you...with a little love and patience, I'm sure you and your Bellsprout will be best friends in no time!

                                  He motioned for Zackie to follow him. "Come on...let's go rejoin your classmates at Sprout Tower."

                                  ---------

                                  "So did you finally talk Zackie out of wanting Tintri?" Misty asked as Ash and Tintri arrived, where Brock was telling Miss Priscilla and the class a version of the story of how the swaying pillar in the center of the tower came to be.

                                  "I think so--I found Tintri hiding behind a rock, then watched Zackie catch one of these.." Ash then showed Misty the Pokedex, which depicted a Bellsprout on its screen:

                                  "Bellsprout, the flower Pokemon. Even though its body is extremely skinny, it is blindingly fast when catching its prey."

                                  "I see..." Misty smiled before noticing smoke coming from the tower's top floor. "That's funny...do you see smoke coming from the top of the tower, or is it just me?"

                                  "As the soldiers advanced on the tower, the Bellsprout...refused...to...." Brock trailed off when he too noticed the smoke. "Is there something burning in here?"

                                  Miss Priscilla gasped when she noticed the smoke. "Oh my! Everyone get outside, quickly!" she told the class.

                                  "We'll go investigate before we alert the fire department." Misty offered before taking one of her Poke Balls. "It could just be smoke from an errant Smokescreen."

                                  "If it is fire, we'll let you know." Ash assured the frightened children and Miss Priscilla as Brock hurried to comfort a frightened girl.

                                  "What about me?" Ash heard Zackie say. "I wanna help too--as an apology for trying to take your Pikachu."

                                  Ash couldn't resist smiling. "All right, but you have to do everything Misty and I tell you, okay?"

                                  "Got it!" Zackie replied before following Ash and Misty up the tower.

                                  ---------

                                  "Okay! Spritz, clear the air!" Misty commanded as she heaved her Poke Ball skyward, revealing her Seadra. As Spritz sprayed a stream of water to dispel the smoke, she could see Kamon staring down the tower elders' fainted Bellsprout.

                                  Kamon then noticed Ash and Misty watching him. "He calls himself the Elder, but he was no match for me." he bragged. "Sure enough, those who lecture how you should be "nice" to Pokémon… They cannot defeat me. All I care about are strong Pokémon that win every time. The rest of them don't mean anything to me!"

                                  "Oh yeah?" Zackie challenged as he summoned his Bellsprout. "Winning isn't everything!"

                                  Kamon just smirked. "Really? Try me..."

                                  Ash watched as Kamon summoned Spike to face Zackie's Bellsprout. I applaud Zackie for trying to stand up to Kamon, but his Bellsprout's gonna need some help against Kamon's Cyndaquil...

                                  [Do I need to step in and help?] Tintri asked. [I mean, even though Zackie tried to capture me before, I have no hard feelings against him....]

                                  "If you feel called to help Zackie, then go help Zackie." Ash replied as he watched the Bellsprout stare down the Cyndaquil. "You don't need my permission."

                                  [Got it!] Tintri nodded before he hurried over to where Zackie and Kamon stared each other down.

                                  "If we're gonna battle, then make your move--I don't have all day." Kamon sneered.

                                  Zackie, however, noticed Spike wheezing from exhaustion. He's weakened! I may have a chance to beat him!

                                  He then called "Bellsprout, use Razor Leaf!"

                                  "Tintri, supercharge Bellsprout's Razor Leaf with a Thunderbolt!" Ash called.

                                  [HAAAAAAH!!!] Tintri fired a massive Thunderbolt, darkening the Razor Leaves as they gained a yellow aura, sending Spike flying backwards before landing at Kamon's feet, swirly eyed.

                                  "I did it!" Zackie cried as he ran to hug Ash, aware all the while of Kamon departing with a huff. "I couldn't have done it without you...and I think I know what you mean when you say your Pikachu's your best partner."

                                  "Isn't that what training Pokemon is all about?" Misty asked as she, Brock, and the class arrived. "Building friendships with your Pokemon?"

                                  "Yeah...and everybody's got their own special Pokemon partner!" Zackie went on. "My partner is Bellsprout, just like Ash has his Pikachu."

                                  He looked over at Ash. "Ash...I wanna battle with you when Bellsprout evolves into a Weepinbell, and then eventually a Victreebel!"

                                  "I can make it happen the next time we come--or even if we meet again in the League." Ash smiled.

                                  "Think you could write a song about me and Bellsprout's adventures?" Zackie asked Brock.

                                  "Sure...I'll call it 'The Ballad of Zackie and Bellsprout'!" Brock replied.

                                  "You have to play it the next time you guys come!" Zackie reminded Brock, to everyone's laughter that resonated through the Tower...

                                  To Be Continued...
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                                    #17    
                                  Old September 24th, 2016 (4:31 PM).
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                                  EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                                    Episode 15: Courage Takes Flight

                                    "Wow!" Ash gasped as the group approached a lavender tower-like building filled with windows that spanned the building's entire height. "This is the Violet City Gym???"

                                    "Sure is..." Brock replied. "Dedicated to Flying type Pokemon, as Mr. Pokemon told you before."

                                    "He did say Tintri would do just fine against the Gym Leader's birds." Ash mused as he hurried up to one of the windows and peeked inside. "Although it appears he--or she--is out at the moment..."

                                    Just then, Misty looked in the sky and gasped. "Look! Up in the sky!"

                                    "What is it, Misty? You see a superhero or something?" Ash asked before looking up at the spot Misty was pointing at, where two winged beings circled and weaved around each other in an intricate aerial ballet over the Gym and the three awed onlookers on the ground.

                                    After a moment or two, the beings sped toward the ground, where the group could see what they were more clearly--a Pidgeot and a navy haired boy piloting a deep blue hang glider with silver feather-like trim. "The glider pilot must know what he's doing to fly that close to a Pidgeot..." Brock noted as Pidgeot and pilot wove and circled around each other as they made their way to the ground, giving a little flair to a carefully controlled and well rehearsed descent.

                                    Misty couldn't help applauding when the glider pilot touched down on the ground some moments later. "Bravo! That was amazing!"

                                    "Thanks..." the boy smiled as he climbed out of the glider harness and brushed some leaves and dirt from his matching royal blue flight suit. "Taka and I make a point to go flying together at least once a day, when I'm not busy tending to my Gym Leader duties."

                                    "Taka?" Ash asked.

                                    The boy whistled, and the Pidgeot fluttered onto his shoulder. "I'm Falkner, and this is Taka." he explained, gesturing to the Pidgeot. "Hatched him and raised him from a Pidgey."

                                    "Nice to meet you Falkner--I'm Ash." Ash began. "...and these are my two companions Misty..." Misty waved hello. "...and Brock." Brock gave a wave hello while admiring the majestic Pidgeot perched on Falkner's shoulder. "I have my own Pidgeot as well..."

                                    He then heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Come on out, Mina!"

                                    "Oh, so your Pidgoet is a girl..." Falkner smiled as a second Pidgeot, this one female, emerged in a flash of red light and landed on Ash's shoulder. "If you don't mind my asking, how did you two meet?" Falkner asked.

                                    "I caught her as a Pidgeotto in Viridian Forest, and she earned me a few Gym Badges." Ash explained. "Are you taking challenges at the moment?"

                                    "If you feel confident enough, I gladly accept your challenge." Falkner replied. "Let's go inside and get my gear put away, then we'll go up to the arena."

                                    Ash nodded. "Mina, return." he commanded, recalling his Pidgeot before giddily racing inside the Gym...

                                    ---------

                                    "Whoa..." Ash gasped, as he, Misty, Brock, and Falkner--now in an elegant cyan and blue kimono-like outfit--stepped out into an open air arena at the top of the tower. "We're gonna battle here?"

                                    "Yes, we are." Falkner smiled. "Thankfully, there are safety barriers to keep us and our Pokemon from falling."

                                    "Good thinking." Brock agreed as he took a seat on a bench near the silver side of the arena.

                                    Misty, meanwhile, was more enthused about the view than her friend's upcoming battle. "You can see all of Violet City from here, if not all of Johto!"

                                    Falkner grinned. "Win or lose, I want my challengers to have a memory of our match--and the view's what they often remember."

                                    He next addressed Ash as a referee arrived. "Which side of the arena will you take? Gold or Silver?"

                                    "Silver!" Ash replied before hurrying to the right side of the arena, with Tintri not far behind him.

                                    "Representing the Gold side, Gym Leader Falkner and Mie!" the referee announced as Falkner summoned an intimidating bird Pokemon with three heads. "And representing the Silver side, Ash Ketchum and Tintri!"

                                    Falkner's expression turned business-like as Ash and Tintri cheered. "People say you can clip Flying-type Pokémon's wings with a jolt of electricity...but I wouldn't get too comfortable on that knowledge alone!"

                                    "Bring it on!" Ash shot back.

                                    "Are all the competitors ready?" the referee asked.

                                    "Let's do this." Falkner replied.

                                    Ash and Tintri cheered in reply. "Okay! Three...two...one..." The referee's whistle resounded through the city, alerting those down below that a Gym battle had begun.

                                    "I'll show you the real power of the magnificent bird Pokémon!" Falkner smirked as the three headed bird Pokemon charged at Tintri. Tintri effortlessly jumped out of the way, landing at Ash's feet moments later.

                                    Ash made a T signal with his hand. "Time out--Silver." the referee announced.

                                    He next motioned for the referee to come over. "Is it okay to use a Pokedex for basic information on an opponent?"

                                    "So long as it does not give you an unfair advantage, using a Pokedex to form strategies is fine." the referee replied before retreating back to her post at the dividing line that cut the Poke Ball arena in half.

                                    Ash, meanwhile, consulted Dexter to size up his opponent:

                                    "Dodrio, the triple bird Pokemon. An enemy that takes its eyes off any of the three heads--even for a second--will get pecked severely."

                                    "You hear that, bud? Be on your guard." Ash cautioned Tintri as he pocketed Dexter as the referee's whistle signaled the end of his time out.

                                    "Silver has two time outs remaining." the referee announced. "Resume battle!"

                                    "Are you sure a little Pikachu's gonna be enough to take out Mie?" Falkner asked. "No challenger has ever defeated her!"

                                    "Yet!" Ash shot back. "No challenger has defeated her YET--and I'm gonna be the first!"

                                    Both competitors called at the same time "Use Agility!"

                                    Both Pikachu and Dodrio raced at each other, each of them bright blue colored blurs to the spectators on the Silver sideline. As Tintri raced to avoid the large Dodrio in a somewhat choreographed routine of head on charges, near misses, and dodges, he thought he saw a glimpse of the Dodrio's body as he raced by. This is my chance to stun her! I just have to fire a Thunderbolt on my next pass!

                                    He fired a Thunderbolt as he circled around the Silver side of the arena, but balked as the Dodrio effortlessly jumped over the attack, leaving the Thunderbolt to arc gracefully into the safety barrier at the north end of the room.

                                    [WAUGH!!!] he yelped as the Dodro pinned him to the wall, then pecked at him one-two-three-four-five times. Try as he could to get free, the Dodrio pinned him to the arena floor moments later.

                                    [Oh no...] was all he could muster as he watched the Dodrio's beaks start spinning like drills.

                                    "Drill Peck!" Brock noted as Tintri was mercilessly pecked by three beaks at once.

                                    "Tintri!" Ash gasped as he helplessly watched Tintri get battered by the Drill Peck. "Hang in there for me, okay?"

                                    "Mie, use Tri Attack!" Falkner ordered.

                                    "Tintri, if you can, take it down with Thunder!" Ash commanded.

                                    Mie opened her beaks and positioned her heads so each beak became a corner in a triangle. An orb of energy then formed inside Mie's beaks--the right one was green, the top one was indigo, and the left one was red. A red triangle then formed in between the orbs.

                                    Tintri braced himself. Once the triangle starts to turn indigo, I need to dodge, and quick!

                                    He saw Mie fire the triangle, then wall jumped away as the triangle exploded on the safety barrier. [HIIIIIIII-YAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!] he screeched as he fired a massive thunderbolt, shocking Mie and causing her to slump to the floor, swirly eyed. "Mie is unable to battle--Tintri wins!" the referee announced.

                                    A smile formed on Falkner's face. "I must commend you for being the first for defeating Mie. But now it's time to get serious by showing you Taka's power!

                                    "Hope you've got another Pokemon, Ash..." Misty mused as Tintri arrived on the sideline for a well deserved Potion and wipedown.

                                    "I do..." Ash assured Misty before taking the other Poke Ball he carried and addressing Falkner. "So, Taka's your ace? I'll show you mine!"

                                    He then heaved the Poke Ball skyward. "Blaze, come on out!"

                                    Even Falkner was impressed at the majestic orange dragon that circled around the arena and landed on the Silver side of the arena...

                                    To Be Continued...
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                                      #18    
                                    Old September 28th, 2016 (2:03 PM).
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                                    EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                                      Episode 16: Blazes of Glory

                                      [Good to see you again, Ash...] Blaze smiled as he landed by Ash's side. [Who's our opponent here?]

                                      "This is Taka, Falkner's Pidgeot." Ash gestured to the majestic brown bird Pokemon with an ornate, red, orange, and yellow crest facing him and Blaze. "Tintri's on the ropes, so I need you to finish the job!"

                                      [You got it!] With that, Blaze took off and stopped over the arena's dividing line.

                                      "Taka, take flight!" Falkner commanded.

                                      [Yee-ha!] Taka cried as he soared skyward, eager to engage the Charizard hovering over the middle of the arena. But Blaze blew out a wave of fire in Taka's direction, only to balk as Taka effortlessly wove through the flames.

                                      [What do we do now? The Pidgeot avoided my Flamethrower...] Blaze looked to Ash for advice.

                                      "Keep trying!" Ash called from the ground. "Use Flamethrower in as many directions as you can! One of them should hit Taka eventually."

                                      A toothy grin formed on Blaze's face. [Your strategies may be strange, but I know they will work.] he smiled before scanning the airspace above the arena for any sign of Taka.

                                      He saw a brown blur out of the corner of his eye and blew a Flamethrower in the blur's path. When the blur veered out of the way of the stream of fire, Blaze would heave another fiery blast, only for the blur to dodge that Flamethrower as well.

                                      On the ground, Misty watched Blaze's futile attempts to hit Taka. "It looks like a game of Whack-a-Diglett up there..."

                                      "That's because Taka is using Agility to dodge Blaze's attacks no matter where he aims." Brock explained. "I think Falkner's trying to wear Blaze down before counterattacking."

                                      In the arena, Ash was growing frustrated at Blaze's constant near misses. "Come on, I know you can hit him!"

                                      [I'm trying, but he's moving too fast for me!] Blaze called back, before heaving another Flamethrower in the Pidgeot's direction.

                                      He heard a rush of wind headed in his direction, but before he could fly out of the way, the small tornado sent him tumbling to the arena floor. [WAUUUUGH!!!]

                                      [Not so high and mighty on the ground, are you, you overgrown lizard?] Taka taunted as his right wing started to glow bright white. [Feel the power of the wind!]

                                      [AUGGGHHH!!!] Blaze yelped in pain as he was pummeled by the force of two Wing Attacks that pinned him to the floor. As he helplessly tried to get up, Taka slammed into him with a Quick Attack, leaving the majestic Charizard writhing on the floor in pain.

                                      Ash, meanwhile, winced as his faithful Charizard was pummeled by the Pidgeot's merciless attack. What do I do now? At the rate Taka is pummeling Blaze, Blaze is a sitting Psyduck!

                                      Falkner's voice snapped him back to reality. "Do you see just how powerful the wind can be? If I were you, I would just cut my losses and go train a bit more."

                                      "No..." Ash growled. "I didn't come all this way to suffer humiliation and defeat...I came so I could prove my skills in a new region, and win their badges alongside the badges I earned in my home region--so I'm not giving up!"

                                      Blaze weakly stood up. [You're right...I can't just lie here like a frightened Meowth and get pecked to death!]

                                      He flexed his wings a little bit. [I still have enough oomph in me to take flight again--so let's do this!]

                                      Ash cheered as Blaze took flight again. Maybe I have a chance to win after all! he thought as he watched Taka attempt to Quick Attack where Blaze had been lying moments earlier.

                                      [What the...] Taka started, but gasped when he saw Blaze airborne again. [I thought I had you down for the count!]

                                      [When you have a master that loves you and believes in you, you just can't keep a good mon down!] Blaze smirked.

                                      He watched Taka power past him with Agility, but veered out of the way as Taka attempted Quick Attack again. When Taka tried again from another angle, Blaze just flew out of the way again.

                                      On the ground, Brock realized what Blaze was doing. "Blaze is turning Falkner's own evasive strategy against him!"

                                      "Let's see how good Falkner is at Whack-a-Diglett." Misty grinned as Blaze flew behind Taka, in hopes of catching the Pidgeot off guard.

                                      Just as Taka was about to fly in for another Quick Attack attempt, Blaze turned around and surrounded Taka in the flaming circle of Fire Spin. [I gotcha now!] Blaze smirked. [I understand the power of the wind, for the wind fans the flames!]

                                      With that, he grabbed Taka in his claws, flew to the top of the arena, gracefully performed a few spins to appeal to the audience down below, then zoomed back down, tossing Taka into the ground for more damage.

                                      The referee's whistle pierced the air. "Taka is unable to battle--this match's winner is Silver!" she announced, gesturing to Falkner's swirly eyed Pidgeot.

                                      "YES!!!" Misty cheered.

                                      "Way to go, Ash!" Brock agreed.

                                      A smile formed on Falkner's face. "I must commend you for your never say die attitude--that will allow you to soar on your Pokemon League quest." he told Ash as Ash ran to hug Blaze.

                                      He offered Ash a silver badge that resembled a pair of wings. "In honor of your heroic effort here today, I give you this official Pokémon League Badge."

                                      [We did it...] Tintri smiled as he hopped aboard Ash's shoulder and admired the tiny badge in his master's hands.

                                      "You've just won your first Johto Badge...what are you gonna do next?" Brock grinned.

                                      "Before we go to Worlds of Wonder? Shout what we did from the rooftops!" Ash replied before dashing out to the arena's observation deck with Blaze and Tintri.

                                      After taking a moment to savor the view of Violet City at sunset, he held his new badge high and proclaimed "I got a Zephyr Badge!!!!", over Tintri's joyous squeak and Blaze's triumphant roar.

                                      To Be Continued...
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                                        #19    
                                      Old October 1st, 2016 (10:02 AM).
                                      EmeraldSky's Avatar
                                      EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                                        Episode 17: Tears of Courage

                                        "Well done, Ash..." Misty smiled as the group departed Violet City the next morning. "I thought you were done for when Blaze was pinned to the floor!"

                                        "You know Blaze...he's not the type to give up." Ash smiled.

                                        "Now that you have your first badge, our next stop is Azalea Town, to the south." Brock explained as he studied the map of Johto in his guidebook.

                                        Ash nodded. "I can't wait to battle the Gym Leader there!"

                                        For a while, the walk down the road was uneventful until Misty noticed the majestic spires of mansions and trees in the distance. "Look! Another subdivision of mansions!"

                                        "Welcome to Riverside Hills..." Brock read the welcome sign before spotting a dull green haired girl in a lovely magenta gown looking out on the mountains from a cliff.

                                        Misty noticed the dreamy look on Brock's face. "Wait...I know that look..."

                                        "That's the 'I-see-a-pretty-girl-so-I'm-gonna-get-my-guitar-out-and-sing-a-song-for-her' look..." Ash sighed as sure enough, Brock quickly got out his guitar and started tuning up.

                                        Misty, meanwhile, noticed a familiar rotund blue mouse Pokemon tottling in the group's direction. "Aw! Another Marill!" she gasped, before heaving a Poke Ball skyward. "Go say hi, Ami!"

                                        Brock was snapped from tuning up by the pop of a Poke Ball. "I wouldn't exactly plan on battling that Marill if I were you..." he cautioned, pointing out a pink bow on the Marill's tail.

                                        "Relax, I was just gonna see if it would be interested in talking to other Marills." Misty assured Brock. "I'm sure Ami would love making some friends here too."

                                        Ami, meanwhile, hurried up to the other Marill. [Hi! My name's Ami!]

                                        The other Marill looked up at Ami, teared up, and burst into tears. [What's the matter? I only want to be your friend.] Ami smiled as she tried comforting the bawling Marill.

                                        She looked over at Brock, who was just finishing his tuning. [Quick! Sing the happiest, most joyful song you know!]

                                        "Before that though, I'm just gonna just try calming her first." Brock replied as he returned his instrument to its case and hurried over to the bawling Marill's side. "Sh, now...it's okay...we're not gonna hurt you..."

                                        "It's working!" Ash grinned as the Marill's cries started to quiet.

                                        Just then, the girl from before approached the group. "Well! That's the first time I've seen anyone besides me calm Lana down..."

                                        "Thanks--all we wanted to do was say hello to it, and she just decided to cry at the sight of my own Marill, Ami." Misty explained.

                                        "The girl giggled. "My name's Wilhomena...my family's raised Marills for many years, but I can't understand why Lana constantly cries, even at things that shouldn't be scary..."

                                        Brock emerged before Wilhomena. "Hi, I'm Brock--maybe she needs a few happy songs to show how special she is and how lucky she is to be owned by an equally special young lady..."

                                        Ami facepalmed. [Can I spray Brock, Mama, please?]

                                        Misty sighed as Brock started a brisk melody. "Too late..."

                                        But before Brock could sing a note of his song, Lana burst into tears and raced off towards a steep hill. "Uh oh!"

                                        [She's headed for that cliff!] Tintri gasped as he dashed down the hill in an attempt to corral the bawling Marill. The hill proved to be steeper than he thought, and he ended up getting tangled as both he and Lana went rolling down the hill towards the forest and the raging river below.

                                        "Tintri!" Ash called as he dashed down the hill in an attempt to catch both Tintri and Lana. However, he ended up tripping on a rock and crashing into a tree as Misty hurried down the hill.

                                        "Stay with Brock and Wilhomena!" Misty called as she raced by. "And be sure Brock stays out of trouble!"

                                        "But what about--?" Ash asked as he rubbed his arm in pain.

                                        "I'll find Tintri and Lana! Don't worry!" Misty called back as she sprinted down the hill and leapt to catch both Pokemon moments before they could roll into the river. "There...I've got both of you--you guys okay?"

                                        [Just a few scrapes, nothing major.] Tintri replied. [But judging how Lana's bawling, you'd think she lost a limb!] He gestured to Lana, who was still crying profusely.

                                        "Sh...it's okay, Lana." Misty smiled. "I only wanted to help you before you went falling into the icy cold water." Lana nodded before bawling some more.

                                        She was about to attempt climbing back up the hill before losing her footing, sending her, Tintri, and Lana screaming into the river...

                                        ---------

                                        "I hope Misty and Tintri will be okay..." Ash mused.

                                        Wilhomena, meanwhile, was equally devastated. "It's all my fault...I can't calm Lana no matter how hard I try..."

                                        "Well, there are in fact ways to curb Lana's crying." Brock explained as he played a relaxed melody. "Having cared for both human kids and young Pokemon, they typically tend to cry for either A. attention, B. an activity or tangible item, or C. to escape a demand."

                                        "Hm...I never thought that Lana might be wanting my attention before..." Wilhomena replied.

                                        "So if Lana starts to cry, do your best to stay calm." Brock went on over his song. "Otherwise, both your anxieties will feed off each other and get worse. Validate Lana's feelings by telling her, 'It's okay to cry. I know you feel sad right now, but you still should, or shouldn't...' whatever it is you're trying to have her do."

                                        "I see...I guess she can feel my panic when she cries." Wilhomena giggled, slightly embarrassed that Brock had gently called her out on a bad habit of hers.

                                        "In fact, most Pokemon--or human kids for that matter--don't like to hear 'no', and so they make their displeasure known in any way they know how, which for Lana is crying." Ash agreed.

                                        He looked out towards the river. "I can only hope Misty doesn't go insane from Lana crying..."

                                        To Be Continued...
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                                          #20    
                                        Old October 5th, 2016 (2:22 PM). Edited October 6th, 2016 by EmeraldSky.
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                                        EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                                          Episode 18: Riding out the Swarm

                                          Misty climbed out of the water moments later, Lana bawling all the while. "Sh...it's okay..." she tried to assure the squalling Marill. "We're safe here..."

                                          She looked around for a moment at the forest around her and the river they had just came from. "Although I'd love to know where 'here' is..."

                                          [Me too--I bet Ash and Brock are worried sick!] Tintri agreed, wincing as Lana bawled in his ears.

                                          Finally, Misty's combined anger, frustration, and fear overwhelmed her. "Look, I know you're scared and want your mama, but crying's not gonna help!" she snapped, causing Lana to cry even more.

                                          She seriously considered banging her head against a tree in frustration. Arceus, make it stop! she silently pleaded.

                                          Just then, she gasped as Lana wriggled free from her hands and dashed off into the forest, leaving her wrinkled pink bow on the grass. "Hey!"

                                          [Follow that Marill!] Tintri announced as he led Misty and Ami into the forest.

                                          "If there's one thing that'll make Lana easy to find, we'll hear her before we see her." Misty grumbled as she followed Tintri through the brush, over a log, and carefully climbing through some ivy.

                                          [To be fair, you could've been a little bit nicer when you told Lana to calm down.] Ami explained. [She may have picked up on your angry tone of voice, and that scared her even more.]

                                          Misty sighed, embarrassed that her own Pokemon had called her out on misbehavior. "You're right, Ami...I admit I was the one that scared her, and in the heat of the moment, I did something I'm gonna regret if she ends up dinner for a big Pokemon or Poke-napped. Not only would Wilhomena never forgive me, but the boys wouldn't either."

                                          [Now that we have admitted our mistake, let's go make things right.] Ami suggested.

                                          "Yes, lets." Misty agreed as she hurried off after her own Marill.

                                          ---------

                                          After climbing through brush and climbing over logs, Tintri found Lana cowering in a corner. [Found her, Misty!] he called as Misty and Ami emerged from the brush.

                                          "Go give Lana her ribbon back." Misty gave Ami Lana's ribbon and watched as her own Marill hurried over to the frightened Marill holed up in a log.

                                          [Um, you dropped this earlier...] Ami tensely offered the ribbon to Lana.

                                          [Y-you're not gonna hurt me?] Lana stammered.

                                          [No--I would never hurt you.] Ami explained. [My master wouldn't hurt you either--she only wants to help you find your mama]

                                          [B-but she yelled at me before!] Lana protested, tears forming in her eyes all the while.

                                          [That was because she was frustrated at your constant crying, even though she wanted to help you.] Ami explained [And still wants to help you, even though anger got the best of her.]

                                          [Really?] Lana gasped, her tears shining hopefully.

                                          [Yeah--if you just trust my master and our Pikachu friend, we'll get you back to your mama.] Ami assured Lana.

                                          [W-will you teach me how to be braver?] Lana asked as she tensely followed Ami.

                                          [I don't claim to be an expert, but I'll do what I can.] Ami replied as she led Lana back to where Misty and Tintri were waiting. [I finally got Lana to calm down and talk to me.]

                                          "That's good to hear." Misty smiled as she retied Lana's ribbon. "There we go--all pretty again!"

                                          [T-thank you...] Lana blushed. [I'm just...very shy and sensitive.]

                                          "I know...it's scary being lost." Misty replied. "But we have to work together to find your mama, okay? She's probably looking for you as much as we're looking for her."

                                          A thud in the grass, followed by a distinct hum made her freeze in terror. "Beedrills!" she gasped as a swarm of the red eyed wasp Pokemon chased Tintri back to the clearing where she and the Marills were huddled.

                                          [All I did was trip over a Beedrill hive half buried in the moss!] Tintri explained as the group fled into the forest.

                                          "No time to explain, let's get somewhere safe first!" Misty instructed as the group weaved around trees and rocks in an attempt to lose the Beedrills.

                                          She winced as Lana started crying again. Oh no, not again...and just when I thought Ami made progress, too...

                                          ---------

                                          "Misty!" Brock called as he, Ash, and Wilhomena followed the riverbank, desperate to know where their friend and companion had gone.

                                          "Tintri!" Ash called into the woods, before a familiar cry snapped him to attention. "There they are!" he called, pointing out Misty and the Pokemon fleeing the Beedrill swarm.

                                          Brock whistled, getting Misty's attention. "Over here!"

                                          Misty was relieved to hear her friend's voice. "Am I glad to see you guys--but let's get rid of these Beedrills before we talk." she suggested as she quickly delivered Lana to Wilhomena.

                                          "Already on it." Brock replied as he retrieved some arrows and a familiar oak bow with silver and emeralds for trim. "Okay, Tintri--can you electrify these arrows for me?"

                                          [Sure!] Tintri replied, sending some sparks into the silver arrowheads until they glowed yellow and sparked.

                                          "Oh, I see what you want to do!" Wilhomena smiled as Brock carefully aimed one of the electrified arrows as the oncoming Beedrill swarm.

                                          After a few tense seconds, he fired, making the Beedrills come to a screeching halt as the arrow landed on the ground in an explosion of electricity. They turned to flee as more electrified arrows went flying--each one being careful not to wound any of the Beedrills as they retreated to the forest.

                                          "That's actually very clever--imbuing arrows with electricity." Wilhomena commented as the group made their way back up the hill towards the house.

                                          "Well, if people can set them on fire, imbuing them with other elements is also doable in real life." Brock replied. "Besides, my goal was not to hurt the Beedrill swarm, but warn them away from us."

                                          Wilhomena smiled as she led the way up the hill. "I can't thank you all enough for your bravery in saving my little Lana..."

                                          "Aw, it was nothing." Ash replied.

                                          "Even if she is prone to cry, Lana was actually very brave, being so far from home." Misty agreed as the group returned to the house, where some other Marills were waiting for Wilhomena's return.

                                          As Lana ran to meet some of the other Marills, Wilhomena led another Marill to Ash's side. "As a reward for bringing Lana back safely, I want to give you a Marill of your own--this little girl's ready to be paired with a trainer and given a name."

                                          "Thank you..." Ash replied as he took the Maril in his arms and contemplated a name for his gifted Pokemon. "I think in honor of our adventure here, I'll name her...River."

                                          To Be Continued...
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                                            #21    
                                          Old October 8th, 2016 (8:53 AM).
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                                          EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                                            Episode 19: A Burning Heart of Courage

                                            ...Come with me and we will see the wonders of the world!
                                            All of the glory, is in our story!
                                            Ash sang along to a blaring melody coming from his PokeNav headphones.

                                            As we make our way to heaven, take it step by step
                                            And get the glory, upon the great stage!

                                            We can go anywhere, so long as we're together
                                            I truly believe it with all of my heart...


                                            "I hate to interrupt your performance, Mr. Teen Idol, but you may wanna watch your step." Brock cautioned, motioning to the narrow mountain pathway the group was on.

                                            Ash shut off the Pokenav and stepped away from the edge of the path. "I'm glad to know you like that song, but you also need to focus on the road, especially in narrow places like this." Misty agreed.

                                            "What's the name of that song, anyway?" Brock asked.

                                            "'Glory in Our Story' by the idol group Triumph." Ash explained. "Most of their songs have an inspiring feel--even the sad songs have a note of hope in them."

                                            [Aw, why'd you stop singing?] Tintri complained. [The echo around here made that song sound really cool!]

                                            "Echo?" Ash asked, confused.

                                            "We're in the mountains, haven't you stood at an echo point and called into a mountain or canyon before?" Misty asked.

                                            Just then, the group heard a faint "Hello" echoing through the crags far off in the distance. "Also remember that the echoes allow a person to hear for miles." Brock explained before calling back "Hello!"

                                            "There!" Ash called, pointing out a green haired girl in a red armor-like outfit climbing over the rocks in the path to reach the group.

                                            Brock noticed the elegant dull brown bow and quiver full of red and gold fletched arrows on the girl's back and smiled. Love the arrow fletching--makes them look like little flames.

                                            "Hello, travelers." the girl smiled. "Where might you be headed?"

                                            "We were on our way to Azalea Town, but I don't know if I can go any further." Ash explained.

                                            The girl smiled. "My name's Liza, and I take care of the wild Charizards here in the Charific Valley." She made a grand gesture to a large valley below the path the group was standing on, where seemingly hundreds of Charizards--as well as some Charmanders and Charmeleons--milled about. "Your route goes right through the valley, so if you want, I can take you down there directly so you don't have to wind around all these pathways."

                                            "Sure!" Brock replied, more excited about Liza than seeing wild Charizards. Misty shot him a warning glance before he could gush about her, so he composed himself and thumbed through his guidebook to reach the chapter on the valley. "The Charific Valley--an ancient training and breeding ground where tribes of wild Charizards have lived for millennia. Trained Charizards often come here to learn from the wild ones so they can become stronger."

                                            "Cool!" Ash gasped.

                                            "It is distinguishable by its rock formation in the shape of a giant Charizard." Brock went on before looking up and seeing the formation in question in the distance.

                                            "Can you take us down there?" Ash asked Liza. "Maybe my Charizard Blaze could learn a thing or two from his own kind!"

                                            "Sure." Liza replied. "I'll give you a ride on my faithful Charizard, Charla." Liza offered before calling into the crags. "Here, Charla!"

                                            The group watched in awe as a female Charizard towing a small coach-like vehicle landed before the group "This is Charla--she takes visitors to and from the valley." Liza explained before addressing Ash. "You said you had a Charizard of your own?"

                                            "Yeah--his name's Blaze." Ash replied as he opened the badge case containing his Zephyr Badge for Liza to see. "I raised him from a Charmander, and he's won a lot of important battles for me."

                                            [I see...I can smell his char on the badge you carry.] Charla purred as she sniffed the Zephyr Badge. [You can ride with your friends in the coach, or you can ride on your own Charizard.]

                                            "I think I'll let you see my own Charizard..." Ash replied before heaving the Poke Ball containing Blaze skyward. "Come on out, Blaze!"

                                            [You called?] Blaze sleepily yawned. [That Gym Battle had me beat!]

                                            "How would you like to meet some wild Charizards?" Ash explained. "They live in that valley." he pointed out the sprawling Charific Valley below.

                                            Blaze perked up at the mention of wild Charizards. [Sure! I'd love to learn some of the ancient ways of my wild ancestors direct from a tribe.]

                                            He motioned for Ash to climb aboard. [Come on board, sport--even humans can learn from the ancient Charizard ways.]

                                            "The lady Charizard is our guide, so you need to follow her down to the valley." Ash instructed.

                                            Once Ash was aboard Blaze and Misty and Brock were safely secured in Charla's coach, both Charizards took off, Blaze following Charla into the rugged valley.

                                            As Charla approached the valley, Misty noticed that the valley floor was dotted in millions of sparkling rocks. "Lady Cascade to Guide Fire, what are those rocks on the valley floor?" she asked through the communicator inside the coach.

                                            "Lady Cascade, most of those rocks are special jewels called Z Crystals." Liza's voice crackled back. "They are washed from the ocean into the rivers in this area, and then deposited on the valley floor. Of course, normal jewels are washed up here too--so if you ever wondered where the jewels in Mega Rings came from, many of them came from right here."

                                            She went on "The Charizards in the valley are wild, but Charla is a special one--she managed to bond with me. The wild Charizard tribes don't see humans that often, so we protect them from poachers and others that want to cause trouble."

                                            "I see." Misty replied.

                                            "But you guys don't look like the troublemaking type, so they should be fine around you." Liza assured her passengers. "The Charizard tribes have their own language and culture, so you may see that on display while you're here."

                                            ---------

                                            "Here we are!" Liza smiled as the group landed at the valley entrance. "The Charizards train naturally without humans by battling each other, the intense competition making them some of the strongest in the world."

                                            "You sure Blaze could handle that?" Misty asked Ash.

                                            [Of COURSE I can handle it!] Blaze barked. [But first, allow me to meet the tribe, as it is not proper to battle immediately upon arrival in tribal lands.]

                                            "Why not?" Ash wondered as he admired some Charizards sleeping, some sparring, some playing, and some females tending to some Charmanders.

                                            [If you issue a challenge before you have formally introduced yourself to the chief and the tribe, the tribe will see that as a declaration of war.] Blaze explained.

                                            Charla nodded in agreement. [So if you come in peace, you introduce yourself to the chief first, and declare your intention to train.]

                                            It was not long before the group arrived at a large cave. [This is the chief's cave.] Charla went on. [Pyroc is a wise Charizard, but fair--if he believes you have potential, he will challenge you to battle himself.]

                                            She then called into the cave in the Charizard language [Pyroc, creolna los het wa koraav hi]

                                            The group gasped in awe as a huge Charizard emerged from the cave. [Aldoer, wanderer. What brings you here to the valley?]

                                            [My name is Blaze, great one.] Blaze replied with a little bow. [I serve as the guardian to the krilkul that rescued me as a Charmander from a watery fate.] He gestured to Ash, who waved hello.

                                            [Might I know your name, krilkul?] Pyroc asked.

                                            "My name is Ash, Chief Pyroc." Ash replied as he bowed on one knee before the huge Charizard. "And these are my friends Misty and Brock."

                                            "It is an honor to meet you." Misty replied.

                                            Tá áthas orm bualadh leat. Brock replied in Gaelic, complete with a little bow.

                                            A toothy smile formed on Pyroc's face. [You are a lovas, yes? There aren't many humans who know the Language of Song.]

                                            "In Charizard tribes, lovas are singer-storytellers that pass down history and legend among the tribe." Liza explained. "They sing in what is known among the Charizards as the Language of Song, which Eire region Gaelic approximates.]

                                            "So something like a minstrel?" Ash wondered.

                                            Pyroc nodded [The lovas hold an important job in the tribe, krilkul, even greater than mine--and that is preserving our history and legends of heroes, so they are not forgotten.]

                                            He the addressed Blaze and the others. [We welcome you all, as guests of our guardian Liza and the tribe.]

                                            [So when do we start training?] Blaze asked.

                                            [We will begin with the basics in the morning.] Pyroc assured Blaze. [Tonight, though, is a time of celebration to welcome you and your friends.]

                                            [Understood, chief--it is rude to battle on the day of your arrival.] Blaze replied.

                                            To Be Continued...
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                                              #22    
                                            Old October 12th, 2016 (6:06 PM).
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                                            EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                                              Interlude: Stories of Flames

                                              The Charific Valley glowed brightly with the flames of Charizards and Charmeleons as the tribe welcomed Ash, Misty, and Brock to their ceremonial fire that evening. Even the Charmanders were darting about the valley floor, giggling as they wove through the three humans' feet.

                                              As Liza arrived with meat and fruit for the tribe and their guests to enjoy, Pyroc stepped forward to address the tribe. [Hone, Keepers of the Valley! Tonight the Great Lord Arceus has seen fit to send visitors to our fire tonight!]

                                              Cheers filled the air as a Charmeleon wearing a number of small rings on her claws and carrying a priest's staff approached the fire. [Great Arceus, we ask Your blessings on our fire this evening, and thank You for Your providence, shared with friends this evening.] she prayed before Liza put some meat over a cooking fire.

                                              [While our dinner for the evening is being prepared, perhaps the human lovas wishes to share some of his stories?] Pyroc offered, noticing Brock tuning his guitar.

                                              "You may want to hold off on the 'hero killing a dragon' stories, since you are telling for dragons, after all." Ash whispered as he toyed with a familiar silver tin whistle in his hands. Tintri was nearby, conversing with the Charmanders of the tribe.

                                              Brock nodded, then started the first story that came to mind, aware all the while of Ash and Misty retrieving their own instruments as well. "Once upon a time, in a far away land, there was a small village named Kotan. It was a happy place--the people laughed and sang as they plowed their fields, and the nearby river echoed with the calls of the fishermen. The chief elder of Kotan was renowned as a fine archer and hunter, and was often spotted leading hunting parties into the nearby forest."

                                              The Charizards listened as Brock went on over a somber melody. "One night, as the elder and his family were blessing the food they had gathered from that day's journey into the forest, some old blankets that hung in the window suddenly began to glow a strange blue color. The chief elder remembered an old story his father had told him when he was young--long ago, Kotan was plagued by bandits, and the people often went hungry because the bandits took all the food. One night, a mysterious sword appeared in the starry sky, and cut down all the bandits. The people believed the sword was a holy blade from heaven, but imagine their sorrow when the sword also killed and wounded many of their own as well. No matter how many times they tried to get the sword away from Kotan, it would always return to kill and wound more."

                                              Fearful murmurs raced through the crowd of Pokemon at this. "Finally, the seven elders of the village cast a spell of sealing on the sword, wrapped it in blankets, and hung it in the window of the chief elder's house, where they hoped it would remain for all time." Brock explained. "As the chief elder looked on at the glowing blankets in awe, the house was lit up in a brilliant blue, but when the light faded, the chief elder noticed that the cursed sword had left its scabbard. Sure enough, the next morning, several villagers were badly wounded, and those that were spared pleaded with the elders to do something. As his fellow elders debated what to do about the cursed sword, the chief elder vowed he too would do whatever he could to protect his people from the cursed blade."

                                              [So what did he do?] one of the warrior Charizards asked.

                                              [Peace, Magnar--the lovas will tell us the answer.] the Charmeleon priestess assured the antsy Charizard.

                                              "First he tried leaving it in the forest, imploring Celebi and Shaymin to watch over it." Brock explained, acknowledging the warrior Charizard and the Charmeleon priestess with a nod. "But when he arrived back home, it was hanging in the window again. Then he tried burying it deep within the ground, and still the sword returned. Next, he tried throwing in the river, in hopes it would arrive in the ocean, and Manaphy would seal its dark powers. But even that didn't work."

                                              The audience of Charmanders, Charmeleons, and Charizards waited to see what, if anything, could stop the cursed blade. "Finally, the chief elder called together the other elders of the village, and they traveled to a local shrine, where they asked Arceus for some way--any way at all--to get rid of the cursed sword." Brock continued. "But even then, the cursed sword's reign of terror continued."

                                              A hopeful grin formed on his face to assure the jittery tribe all was not lost. "The elders prayed for seven days and seven nights in all, and on the seventh night, Arceus appeared to the chief elder in a dream, commanding him to drop the sword from a rock into a deep pool many miles away, casting a spell of sealing as it sank."

                                              He went on "The next morning, the chief elder told his fellow elders about his dream, and explained he was going to find the deep pool and the rock Arceus had told him about." Brock explains as he walks around the stage, as if he is the elder. "However, Arceus did not give the exact location of the deep pool, and it wasn't long before the chief elder got horribly lost."

                                              Laughter filled the air at this. "Finally, just as the sun began to set, he discovered the deep pool nestled in a forest, with the rock overlooking it, just as Arceus had said." Brock explained. "He climbed the rock, and started the spell of sealing..."

                                              With that, he sang Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...

                                              Misty grinned, and silently urged Brock to continue the familiar melody, but Brock had other ideas. "But this was as far as he got when the scabbard started to glow--the cursed sword was awakening!"

                                              Gasps went up at the turn of events. "The chief elder panicked at first, but then a Buizel appeared, saying he would awaken the Dragonair that watched over the pool, and she would help him destroy the sword." Brock explained, quieting the fearful chatter. "The Buizel dove beneath the water, and after a few tense moments, the waters began to churn, and the great Dragonair surfaced. The chief elder then heaved the glowing scabbard into the water, casting the spell of sealing as it fell..."

                                              He then sang the complete tune. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
                                              Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
                                              Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
                                              Emusto koron zen fine, si...


                                              When the last note died, Brock announced "The Dragonair of the pool fired a Hyper Beam at the glowing scabbard, destroying the sword for good."

                                              The crowd of Pokemon exploded into cheers as Brock concluded "The chief elder returned to Kotan a hero the next morning, and the tale of his adventure is still told among the residents of Kotan today."

                                              The cheers intensified as Brock took a bow. [Wow! You really are as skilled as you say!] one Charizard raved.

                                              [Tell us another!] a Charmander pleaded.

                                              Brock thought for a moment. "Long ago, a fisherman and his wife--we'll call her Maya--lived on a tiny island not far off the coast of Kanto. They fished for Seaking and Magikarps, and every week, they sailed to town and sold their fish. They were poor, but they had food, cresting waves, the bright blue sky and each other's company."

                                              "Aw"s go up as the crowd of Pokemon pictured the heartwarming scene. "This would've been all well and good if Maya had not longed for a Miltank more than anything else." Brock cautioned. "Her husband laughed at her dream. Maya knew a Miltank could not survive on their tiny island, but still she longed for warm milk and fresh butter and cheese."

                                              "Mm"s go up in agreement. "One day, as they were cleaning Magikarps on the shore, a tiny boat rowed toward them." Brock continued

                                              "Mother, have you any fresh milk?" he called in character as a young boy.

                                              "Oh," he sighed in a mimic of a young girl for Maya, "we have no such treats. We have only fish to offer."

                                              As himself, he narrated "The young man accepted Maya's offer, and rowed to shore."

                                              "What's the name of your little rock here?" he asked as the boy.

                                              "Dew Island," he replied in a younger version of himself for the husband.

                                              "The dominion of the Prince of the Sea," he gasped as the boy. "So you live in Manaphy's realm. You must have everything you need and more."

                                              As himself, he narrates "Maya's husband admitted that he'd never heard of Manaphy before."

                                              "Oh, surely you've heard of him," he giddily cries as the boy. "Manaphy possesses every imaginable treasure in his kingdom at the bottom of the sea. He is rich beyond compare, and anyone who treats him kindly soon becomes rich too. He's temperamental, though. Anyone who dares offend him is soon sorry."

                                              As himself, he continues "Just then, Maya remembered the stories of Manaphy that she had learned as a little girl. The young men ate heartily and said farewell, and Maya started to daydream of Manaphy. By the afternoon, she had devised a plan."

                                              "Ooh"s went up in anticipation of what Maya and her husband would do. "They rowed out with their net, and when they reached the deep sea, Maya started to sing songs she remembered from those bedtime stories of yore." Brock continued as he fished a pitch pipe from his pocket. "She sang Manaphy's praises, but she added a twist of her own. She promised she would give Manaphy a feather from both Ho'oh and Lugia if only he would give her a Miltank."

                                              After blowing a B note to establish what key he would be performing in as Maya, Brock started singing as Maya in a nonsense language that sounded like Gaelic. But after a few verses of the song in B minor, the audience of Charizards eagerly joined in on the chorus:

                                              Hi rì him bò hill ò bha rò hò
                                              Hi rì him bò hìrì ri ri ù
                                              Hi rì him bo hill ò bha rò hò...


                                              When the last thud of Brock's foot signaled the end of the song, Brock continued as himself "That night, as Maya and her husband slept, a fierce storm blew up from the sea. By dawn all was calm, and when Maya looked outside, she could not believe her eyes. The most beautiful Miltank in the world stood upon her shore. From that moment on, whenever either Maya or her husband wished for something, it was theirs. Their little island overflowed with milk, and every net was always filled with fish. They grew rich, and so they built a large house to replace their tiny cottage. Before long they had even hired people to help them with their work."

                                              He then intoned "But one Miltank was not enough for Maya. Her husband protested, but Maya was not satisfied, and so once more she sang, until 30 Miltanks lived on their island. But then Maya decided she wanted a bigger island."

                                              "There's nothing to do but build a dam and pump out the sea," he joked as the husband.

                                              "Though Maya knew her husband was kidding, she decided she would do just that." he explained as himself. "She loaded their boat with rocks and sailed to sea."

                                              Ash retrieved his whistle from his pocket before Brock continued "A musician went along with her to entertain her, but he played his flute so beautifully that Manaphy and all the sea Pokemon rose to the surface to listen."

                                              With that, Ash played "The Meowth's Call" for effect. "Maya, not seeing them, began to throw her stones into the water to build her dam." Brock explained when the applause for Ash's performance died down. "One stone grazed a Milotic's cheek and another hit Manaphy's head. Suddenly, Maya's boat was spinning and bouncing as waves rose up and foam sprayed over her. Manaphy rose out of the water."

                                              "Why do you throw stones at me?" he demanded in a higher pitched version of Ash for Manaphy.

                                              "Your majesty, forgive me. It was a mistake." he pleaded as Maya.

                                              "And where is the gold and silver you promised?" he asked as Manaphy.

                                              "Your majesty, every day they are scattered upon the waves of the sea." he explained as Manaphy

                                              As himself, he continued "But Manaphy was beyond furious. He blew a wind so hard that Maya was tossed from her boat. She flew through the sky and landed with a thud on the island. When she looked up, she saw her tiny cottage and her husband wearing his ragged old jacket, sitting on the shore mending a net."

                                              He concluded "It dawned on Maya that her tiny cottage and her loving husband were all she really needed in the world."

                                              The crowd of Charizards roared with applause as the group bowed together...

                                              To Be Continued...
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                                              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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                                                #23    
                                              Old October 15th, 2016 (1:49 PM).
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                                              EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                                                Episode 20: The Fires of Love

                                                The next morning, Pyroc led Blaze into a rugged part of the valley, where some of the warriors of the tribe had assembled. [Blaze, partner of a krilkul...] Pyroc began. [Is it true you wish to train here in the valley?]

                                                [I do, great chief.] Blaze replied as Ash, Misty, and Brock looked on.

                                                Pyroc nodded. [Very well..before we begin training in earnest, we will begin with a showcase of your skills, so I know where to start your training.]

                                                He gestured to the line of warrior-Charizards. [These five are some of the tribe's best warriors--defeat them in a friendly match. You've met Magnar already...]

                                                [I'm not going easy on you, suorra.] Magnar growled.

                                                This angered Blaze. [How dare you call me a hatchling?]

                                                [You have not lived in the wilds--only at a human's beck and call!] another one of the warriors agreed.

                                                This angered Blaze even more. [I went with Ash because he did something great for me, and I wanted to do something equally great for him in return!] he protested. [I am more than a servant for a human!]

                                                [Magnar, Scaldor, enough!] Pyroc commanded. [It is true that Blaze belongs to a krilkul, but he too is a Charizard like both of you, so treat him no differently from any of the other tamed ones that come here.]

                                                Misty, meanwhile, was confused as Blaze and Scaldor began battling with Pyroc looking on. "Why would they be riling Blaze up like that?"

                                                "It's a natural instinct of Charizards in the wild--to rile up tame ones so they can see the full force of the tamed one's power." Liza explained as Blaze heaved a Flamethrower at Scaldor.

                                                [I have heard that when a lincesa like Blaze is sung to by the krilkul, one can evolve even further--is this true?] the Charmeleon priestess asked Pyroc as Blaze jumped to avoid a Dragon Claw from Scaldor.

                                                [Yes--but the heart of the krilkul or krilmon determines how the tamed one will transform.] Pyroc explained as Blaze lunged to deliver a Fire Fang, but Scaldor took flight and knocked Blaze to the ground with an Air Slash. [If the human's heart is pure, so will the evolution be pure. But if one with an evil heart sings this song of power, so too will the Charizard turn black.]

                                                Moments before Blaze could get back up and try to attack Scaldor again, a low tuba-like sound rang over the valley. "What was that?" Brock asked, curious.

                                                [The war horns...] Scaldor replied as Blaze weakly got up. [We must go and help the other warriors drive back those that would overtake the valley!]

                                                [But what about--!] Blaze protested.

                                                [We will finish our fight later.] Scaldor assured Blaze before he flew off with Magnar and the other warriors. [I promise.]

                                                "Let's go see what is going on!" Liza motioned for the group to follow her towards the valley center, where hundreds of the tribe's warriors spewed white hot flames at a horde of Onixes and Steelixes.

                                                "I don't think Argent would be of much help..." Misty mused as a Steelix whacked away a Charizard warrior. Liza fired a flaming arrow to warn away a second one from approaching the wounded Charizard as he was taken to a cave designated as a medical area and a safe space for those too young to fight.

                                                "I can help deflect an attack from the right!" Brock suggested as he took his own bow and prepared to fire.

                                                Inspired, Misty heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Come on out, Pearl!" she called, revealing an elegant purple starfish Pokemon with a large ruby core.

                                                You called? the Starmie asked telepathically.

                                                "Freeze some of Brock's arrows with your Star Freeze!" Misty commanded.

                                                [Haaaaaaa-aaaaaaaahh!] Pearl cried as she fired a rainbow beam from her core, freezing the arrowheads of some of Brock's arrows.

                                                "Thanks, Pearl." Brock grinned as he fired his first shot, knocking an Onix backwards.

                                                As he readied his next shot, he saw Ash arrive with Blaze. "Blaze doing okay?"

                                                "I took him to the medical cave, and he should be able to help--" This was far as he got before a huge Steelix broke through the fiery defenses. [Fall back!] Magnar called as some of the warriors rushed to engage the giant rock snakes swarming into the valley.

                                                Blaze watched in horror as an Onix whacked Scaldor to the ground. [I have to help!] he told Ash as he flew off to battle, moments before one of Liza's arrows brought down the Steelix that had breached the valley. [You okay?] he asked as he landed by Scaldor's side.

                                                [I think so...] Scaldor wheezed. [I'm going to the safe haven--can I trust you to protect our chief?] he asked as Pyroc brought down another Steelix.

                                                [Leave it to me!] Blaze smiled as one of Brock's icy arrows brought down Scaldor's assailant.

                                                Just then, he gasped in horror at a huge Steelix about to attack Pyroc. [Look out!]

                                                Ash gasped when he saw the size of the Steelix Blaze was facing. There's no way Blaze would be able to take a Steelix that big...I have to help!

                                                He didn't know where the words came from, but he found himself singing Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... making his chest and Blaze glow red.

                                                The other Charizards, Liza, Misty, and Brock watched was Blaze was enveloped in a burst of red light. "H-how could Ash induce Blaze to Mega Evolve if he has no Mega Ring?" Misty gasped at the sudden turn of events.

                                                "Ash's deep love for Blaze must've awakened his Heart Song, and allowed him to induce Blaze this once." Brock explained. "But in order for Ash to induce Blaze any time he wants, he does need a Mega Ring." He let that hang as Blaze emerged as a sleek bird-like Charizard with a pointed arrow-like head, thinner wings, and a thinner body better suited for fast flying.

                                                [Ash! Be my eyes on the ground while I keep Rocky here away from Pyroc.] Blaze called as he flew to engage the Steelix.

                                                "Okay!" Ash called back. "Watch out for that Thunderfang, and use Fire Fang!"

                                                Blaze skillfully weaved around the massive steel snake that tried to bite him with sparking yellow teeth, then lunged to bite him with red hot fangs as he sped by. "Okay, now trap him with a Fire Spin!"

                                                The other Charizards watched in awe as Blaze effortlessly flew around the Steelix, trapping it in a tornado of flames. [I don't believe it...Blaze and his krilkul are working as one entity!] Pyroc gasped.

                                                He called to the other warriors [Everyone! Full power! The rock snake is trapped!]

                                                ---------

                                                [I can't even begin to thank you for saving my life...and the life of the valley.] Pyroc began.

                                                [Aw, it was nothing.] Blaze smiled. [I was only doing what any Charizard would do--the chief is the heart of a tribe--and without a chief to lead them, a tribe is helpless.]

                                                A smile formed on Magnar's face. [Maybe you are wiser than you appear, Blaze.]

                                                [My krilkul has taught me a lot.] Blaze replied. [But with the chief's permission, I would like to stay here and train.]

                                                [I think the real question is, does your krilkul want you to stay here?] Pyroc asked, motioning for Ash.

                                                "Blaze...if you want to stay here with the wild Charizards for a while, then stay." Ash assured Blaze as he choked back tears. "But whether you want to stay with me, or stay here in the valley, the choice is yours."

                                                [I think it would be better if I did stay with the tribe.] Blaze replied as Ash tearfully hugged him. [I'll miss you, but I feel I can learn even more from my kin in the wild...although I'm only a whistle away if you need me.]

                                                "Okay..." Ash replied as he hugged his friend for a teary goodbye....

                                                To Be Continued...
                                                __________________
                                                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
                                                Reply With Quote
                                                  #24    
                                                Old October 19th, 2016 (9:27 AM). Edited October 19th, 2016 by EmeraldSky.
                                                EmeraldSky's Avatar
                                                EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
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                                                  Episode 21: Once Upon a Sunny Day

                                                  "Still miss Blaze?" Misty asked as the group made their way down the road. It had been several days since Ash had bid Blaze, his faithful Charizard, farewell at the Charific Valley, but at the moment, the harsh sunlight beaming down on the trio was the first priority.

                                                  "A little, but taking that scenic route allowed me to reflect on what memories we shared together, and I think Blaze is where he needs to be right now." Ash replied as he stepped over a branch in the path. "Besides, he's only a whistle away if I need him."

                                                  "I'll never forget when you first taught him to come to you when you whistled." Brock smiled at a memory as he wiped the sweat from his brow. "I'll admit this heat kinda reminds me of him."

                                                  "That's not a memory of him I'd prefer to remember." Ash giggled, a little embarrassed over the memory of being on the receiving end of Blaze's Flamethrower. "But I would appreciate something to drink...."

                                                  "Here..." Brock offered Ash a can of Fizzo. "It's not fresh water, but it'll do until we get to a river and refill our water bottles, or a PokeMart, so we can get some more water."

                                                  "Good thing a case of 36 is only 400 credits..." Misty agreed. "But for now, keep an eye and an ear open for a water source!"

                                                  Ash nodded, opened the can of Fizzo, and took a long drink before he heard water trickling in the distance. "Water!" he called, pointing out a leaking pipe gushing out water.

                                                  "Finally!" Misty made a beeline to the pipe, but stopped in her tracks when she saw a dull green haired girl in a straw hat arriving to fix the leak.

                                                  "Excuse me, but we ran out of water on the road, and we're not sure how far the next town is, so can you let us get some water before you fix the pipe?" Ash asked.

                                                  "Sure!" the girl replied, allowing Ash and Misty to get close and refill the group's water bottles. "This pipe is connected to my greenhouse's watering system, so it's safe for human, as well as Sunflora, consumption."

                                                  "Thanks!" Misty replied as Brock arrived to fill his share of the water bottles. "I'm Misty, and these two are my companions Ash and Brock."

                                                  "Hello there..." Brock smiled at the girl as he worked, at the same time trying to keep himself composed, aware that Misty would drag him away or one of her Pokemon would spray him if he launched into a romantic euphoria over the girl.

                                                  "Hi." Ash grinned as he offered Tintri some of the fresh water.

                                                  "Nice to meet you all." the girl smiled as she went to work fixing the pipe. "My name's Sonrisa--if you're looking for a town to restock on supplies and rest, my hometown of Bloomingvale is not far from here."

                                                  "Thank you for the offer, but where does the pipe you're fixing get to, if you don't mind my asking?" Ash wondered.

                                                  "It's part of a massive system of pipes that brings fresh water down from the mountains so I can keep my Sunfloras happy." Sonrisa replied. "Would you like to come to the house and see them?"

                                                  "Sure!" Misty replied.

                                                  Piqued, Ash consulted his Pokedex as the group followed Sonrisa up the hill. "Sunflora, the sun Pokemon. As the hot season approaches, the petals on this Pokemon's face become more vivid and lively."

                                                  ---------

                                                  "Here we are!" Sonrisa smiled as she led the way into the greenhouse, where hundreds of sunflower-like Pokemon giggled and sang as they soaked up the sunlight and soft mist falling on them and the other flowers and plants.

                                                  "It's beautiful...and all these Sunflora look so happy." Misty smiled as she admired the rows of plants and Sunfloras.

                                                  "I keep them watered every day so that when the Sunflora Festival comes around every summer, the crowds love them enough for a prize." Sonrisa explained as she checked on a singing Sunflora, then adjusted the mist flow so the sunflower-like Pokemon wouldn't get too wet. "Other Sunflora breeders will try other things to keep their Sunfloras happy, like personal performers or training regimens, but as for me, I believe all you need is a little sun, a little water, just a tiny bit of fertilizer, and a lot of love--although they do appreciate a nice conversation too."

                                                  "I guess there's a grain of truth in talking to plants..." Ash mused as he admired a ring of exotic plants surrounding a clump of Sunflora.

                                                  "One of the events during the festival is a Lore Stage--the Sunflora especially love hearing the different storytellers that come from around the world to perform."

                                                  "I plan on performing in the Lore Stage, so mind if I practice some of my material on them?" Brock asks, concerned over a Sunflora in one pot that frowned.

                                                  "Let me try telling a joke or two to cheer that sad Sunflora up!" Ash suggested before asking the Sunflora "Where did the Meowths go on their field trip?"

                                                  [Where?] the drooping Sunflora asked.

                                                  "To the meow-seum!" Ash replied, to a vocal rimshot from Brock.

                                                  While all the other Sunfloras, Misty, Tintri, and Sonrisa howled with laughter over Ash's corny joke, the drooping Sunflora sighed. [That was funny, I guess.]

                                                  "That was a pretty good joke, Ash!" Misty giggled. "Try another one!"

                                                  Ash thought for a moment, then asked the drooping Sunflora "Did you hear about the mummies who went to the theater?"

                                                  [No, what happened?] the Sunflora asked.

                                                  "They gave the actors stage fright!" Ash announced, to a vocal rimshot from Brock.

                                                  The other Sunfloras howled with laughter, but the drooping Sunflora only sighed. "Maybe we need to try something besides jokes..." Sonrisa mused.

                                                  "How about a song?" Brock suggested, reaching for his guitar case.

                                                  "I appreciate the thought, but it's getting late." Sonrisa replied, pointing out the sunset overhead and the yawning Sunfloras as they closed up for the night. "Maybe Sunny will perk up if I bring her to the Lore Stage in the morning..."

                                                  "Oh, so that one's name is Sunny..." Misty mused.

                                                  "Worth a shot--I think she would like what I have planned to perform." Brock agreed as the group departed.

                                                  ---------

                                                  "...and they all lived happily for a long time, proving that one hour of joy dispels the cares and sufferings of a thousand years." a girl concluded her story as the crowd in the Bloomingvale Town square applauded.

                                                  "Let's see how the Sunfloras liked that story..." the Lore Stage host announced as a group of Sunfloras smiled over the story that had heard, but their combined happiness only filled a rainbow icon on the scoreboard halfway. "They seemed to like it, but it's not enough for a stripe."

                                                  "Here we go--Brock's the next one to perform." Misty smiled, giddy over seeing Brock's first Lore Stage performance.

                                                  "He should have no trouble if he is as good as he says he is." Sonrisa assured Misty as the stage was cleared for the next competitor.

                                                  "Number K-93098, performing the tale 'Kitsune and Moltres'" the announcer told the crowd as Brock made his way onto the stage.

                                                  "Break a leg, Brock!" Misty called. Ash whistled in agreement.

                                                  Once all was quiet, Brock began "Once upon a time there was a king who had a garden, and in that garden stood a Leppa Berry tree that produced one crystal Leppa Berry every day. But when the time came to pick it, it somehow disappeared, and no one knew who took it or where they had taken it."

                                                  Intrigued murmurs wafted through the crowd at this. "Now, this king had three sons, and so one day he called them together, and told them that whoever could find the Leppa Berries, or catch the thief would inherit the kingdom after him, no ifs, ands, or buts." Brock explained. "So the eldest son--whose name isn't important--set out first on this quest, and after going a little ways, sat down under a tree, keeping an eye out for the thief all the while."

                                                  He intoned "That night, the firebird Moltres came flying, and you could see her fiery feathers gleaming from a long ways off; but when the eldest son saw Moltres, he was struck with both awe and terror at the same time, and hurried back into the palace as fast as he could go."

                                                  The Sunfloras and the crowd giggled as they imagined the comical scene. "The next morning, the Leppa Berry was gone." Brock continued. "By that time the eldest son had regained his composure, and packed his bags in hopes he could find Moltres. So the king gave him everything he could possibly need or want, sparing no expense."

                                                  Awed murmurs filled the air as the crowd imagined what the eldest prince could have received. "After the eldest son had gone a little ways, he got hungry, and sat down to eat his dinner by the side of the road." Brock explained, walking around the stage area as he spoke. "As he was eating, the wily Delphox Kitsune emerged from some underbrush and sat by him."

                                                  "Please, milord, won't you share some of your food with me?" he asked in a mimic of a young woman for Kitsune.

                                                  "Go get your own! This food's mine!" he snapped back in a mimic of Gary for the eldest prince, making Ash chuckle.

                                                  "All right, I will." Brock replied as Kitsune.

                                                  As himself, he continued "With that, Kitsune disappeared in a flash of fire. After the eldest son had rested, he set off on his way again. Before long, he came to a great town, and in that town was an inn, where there was always smiles and never tears. He thought it a good spot to rest for the night, and went inside. But there was so much dancing, music, games, food, and pretty girls to go around, he forgot all about Moltres, his father, his quest, and the whole kingdom."

                                                  "Ooh"s filled the air as Brock went on "The next day, the middle son decided to set out, but the same thing happened to him, and he too forgot all about Moltres, his father, the quest, and the whole kingdom."

                                                  "So what did the youngest prince do?" a girl asked as she held a balloon close.

                                                  "The next day, the youngest son--whose name was Brian--set out in search of Moltres." Brock replied. "After traveling for a while, he sat down to eat dinner, and just as he was about to dig in, Kitsune emerged from the underbrush and sat down by him."

                                                  "Please, milord, won't you share some of your food with me?" he asked as Kitsune again.

                                                  "Of course, Lady Kitsune--I'd be happy to share what I have." he smiled in a mimic of Ash.

                                                  Misty grinned. "No matter how many times Brock mimics you, Ash--it never gets old!"

                                                  "I'm still awed that he learned to mimic me after only hearing me once." Ash mused. "But then again, he's got the talent for it."

                                                  Back on the stage, Brock went on "After Kitsune had eaten and drank her fill, she asked Prince Brian where he was going. Prince Brian told Kitsune everything."

                                                  "If you will listen to me, I will help you, in return for your helping me." he offered as Kitsune.

                                                  As himself, he continued "Prince Brian promised to listen to Kitsune's every word, and so they set off together. After they had traveled for a while, they came to the same town and the same inn where there was always smiles and never tears. Kitsune told Prince Brian what his brothers had done, and what they were still doing."

                                                  "If you go in there, you'll go no farther. Understand?" he warned as Kitsune.

                                                  He continued as himself "Prince Brian told Kitsune that he understood, and the two of them continued onward, past the inn. When they had gone on a ways, they saw a huge hill way off in the distance."

                                                  "Three hundred miles behind that hill grows a gilded tree with golden leaves, and in that tree Moltres roosts." he explained as Kitsune, pointing off to the north for effect.

                                                  As himself, Brock continued "So they traveled there together, and as they approached the tree, Kitsune gave Prince Brian some whistling grass, and taught him a little melody to call Moltres--once Moltres heard the song, she would come and perch on his hand."

                                                  He paused to pick a suitable blade of grass. "But Kitsune also told Prince Brian to be careful to not touch the tree, for a fearsome troll owned it, and if Prince Brian touched even the tiniest twig, the troll would come and kill him right there."

                                                  Fearful gasps filled the crowd as Brock shaped the blade of grass into a grasswhistle. "So Prince Brian blew on the whistling grass..."

                                                  Misty immediately recognized the melody Brock played on his grasswhistle. "That's the Pidgeot summoning melody Arran uses in 'The Song Mage Chronicles'!"

                                                  "Oh, you guys like that TV show too?" Sonrisa asked. "Sunny and the other Sunfloras like it when I read the episode novelizations to them."

                                                  "Yeah--Jelan's my favorite." Ash replied. "He looks cool with a bow, and knows how to play a mean flute!"

                                                  "...but when he had gotten Moltres to perch on his fist, he accidentally brushed against one of the tree's branches. But this was enough to awaken the troll." Brock's voice snapped Ash back to the performance in progress.

                                                  "WHO IS IT THAT STEALS MY TREE AND MY BIRD?" he roars in one of his deep "monster" voices, to the screams of fear and delight from the children in the audience.

                                                  "Thieves think everyone is a thief, but the ones that die don't steal right." he snapped back as Prince Brian.

                                                  He interjected as himself "The troll realized that our hero had a point, and so he decided to spare Prince Brian."

                                                  "If you can bring me the Legendary shining steed Epona, which one of my neighbors has stolen from me, I will let you go free." he offered in a gentle deep voice, signalling that the troll is in a happier mood.

                                                  "Where is he?" he asked as Prince Brian.

                                                  'He lives three hundred miles beyond the hill that looks blue in the sky." he replied as the troll.

                                                  He narrated as himself "So Prince Brian promised to do his best. But when he met Kitsune, she was not in a very good mood."

                                                  "I'm very disappointed in you, milord." he scolded an imagined person as Kitsune. "Had you done as I had told you, we would have been on our way home by now. But as this was an accident, and you have both confessed this wrong and made a promise to make things right, I forgive you."

                                                  "Aw"s went up as Brock went on "So they went on their way. After a very long time they got to the hill in question."

                                                  "When you come into the stable, you will see many bits hanging on the stalls, some made of silver, and others made of gold." he explained as Kitsune. "Please try not to touch them, or the troll will kill you right there. But there is one bit that is only a humble iron bit--you are to take that one."

                                                  He continued as himself "Prince Brian told Kitsune he would do as she said, but as he was leading Epona from the stables, he accidentally brushed against a stray gold bit, which awakened the troll."

                                                  The audience braces itself for Brock to use his "troll" voice again, but Brock decides to narrate the next scene for the sake of time. "Just like before, Prince Brian appeased the troll with a bit of wisdom, and the troll made him an offer: if he could bring her Princess Chelsea, the most beautiful lady in the world, he would let our hero go free."

                                                  The children in the audience whispered with excitement over the mention of a princess. "Kitsune was even more annoyed this time, but forgave Prince Brian anyway, as this too was an accident." Brock assured the crowd. "So they set off anew, and after a long, long time they came to the hill where Princess Chelsea was."

                                                  "I know you were the one that promised to make things right, but for your sake, you must remain here. I will go on your behalf." he intoned as Kitsune.

                                                  He noticed the judges giving him a "hurry" signal, so he condensed some events to save time. "So Kitsune went inside, and returned with Princess Chelsea some moments later. After retracing their steps back the way that had come. When they came back to the troll who had Epona, Kitsune transformed herself into an exact copy of Princess Chelsea, which Prince Brian exchanged for Epona and a crystal bit while the real Princess Chelsea waited outside. When they got to the troll who owned the miracle tree and Moltres, Kitsune transformed herself into an exact copy of Epona, which Prince Brian exchanged for both of them while Princess Chelsea and the real Epona waited outside."

                                                  He then intoned "But not even Kitsune knew of the ambush that waited for Prince Brian. As they neared the town with the inn, she watched in horror as Brian was ambushed by his own brothers, put in a barrel and cast him into a lake, and his treasures taken from him. But Princess Chelsea wouldn't say a word, Epona refused to eat anything, Moltres didn't burn so bright as before, and the miracle tree wilted."

                                                  "That's not very nice!" a boy protested before his mother quieted him.

                                                  Brock quickly assured the antsy crowd "Meanwhile, Kitsune swam out into the lake as fast as she could, retrieved the barrel, and brought it on shore. Then she gently levitated our hero out of the barrel, assessed him for injuries, and assured him that even she did not know he would be ambushed, and so the whole ordeal was not his fault."

                                                  He went on "They went together to the royal palace, and when they arrived, Princess Chelsea smiled for the first time in several days, Epona whinnied for joy and eagerly gorged on all the grain and hay given to her. Moltres burned brightly again, and sang before the whole court..."

                                                  With that, he sang in a mimic of Misty Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
                                                  Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
                                                  Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
                                                  Emusto koron zen fine, si...


                                                  Applause went up as the last note drifted into the sky. "As the last note of Moltres' song rang through the palace, the miracle tree burst into bloom again." Brock went on as himself. "When the king asked to know how everything could have recovered in a matter of moments, Princess Chelsea replied..."

                                                  "This is he who set us free!" he explains in a mimic of Sonrisa for Princess Chelsea, to the real Sonrisa's delight.

                                                  As himself, he continues "So they planted the miracle tree in the royal garden, and Prince Brian received Princess Chelsea's hand in marriage. As for the two elder brothers, they were stripped of their claim to the throne and banished from the land, never to return on pain of death."

                                                  He concluded "The wedding was a grand affair, and it was all the more beautiful when Kitsune arrived to grant her blessings on the happy couple."

                                                  "YEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAHHH!!!" the crowd cheered as Brock took a bow for the crowd. But Ash and Misty gasped when they saw a smile form on Sunny's face. "I can't believe it...Sunny's smiling again!" Sonrisa gasped.

                                                  [What an AMAZING story!] Sunny raved. [I wanna hear more, more, more!!!!!]

                                                  Sunny's renewed enthusiasm caused the scoreboard to display a full rainbow--a sign that Brock had won the competition! "Your friend has amazing talent!" Sonrisa raved as the judges arrived to pin a red stripe to Brock's vest.

                                                  "I know--and why we look forward to camping every night." Misty agreed.

                                                  ---------

                                                  "I can't even begin to thank you for bringing Sunny's smile back." Sonrisa smiled as she set Sunny's pot back with the other Sunfloras. "Your story was just the encouragement she needed for tomorrow!"

                                                  "Even though we can't stay, just tell Sunny we wish her good luck in the competition." Ash replied.

                                                  Brock knelt down by Sunny. "I'm glad you liked my tale...I'll try and come tell for you again sometime, okay?"

                                                  [Well, when you do, I can't wait to hear what story you'll tell next time!] Sunny replied, to everyone's laughter as the sun set on a joyful day...

                                                  To Be Continued...
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                                                  Old October 22nd, 2016 (2:02 PM).
                                                  EmeraldSky's Avatar
                                                  EmeraldSky EmeraldSky is offline
                                                  Make the Colors in the Sky!
                                                     
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                                                    Location: At the arcade, playing DDR with Ash
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                                                    Episode 22: Tears of Emeralds

                                                    After bidding Sonrisa and the residents of Bloomingvale Town goodbye, the group departed in high spirits the next morning. "Well done on your first Lore Stage victory!" Misty raved. "I remember when you told 'Moltres' Song' to Ash and me when we first arrived in Pewter."

                                                    "Which seems like ancient history now..." Ash mused.

                                                    "It's one of my signature stories--and the theme for the Lore Stage was 'joy', so I felt it would work." Brock explained as he admired the red stripe between the cloud patches on his vest. "But I also know I have six more colors to earn, and if I do create a rainbow, I'll have a chance to perform before an even bigger audience--the Pokemon League."

                                                    "I want to see you do some more stage archery!" Misty suggested.

                                                    "Well, what you see on the stage takes weeks and sometimes months of practice to get right." Brock began before he spotted Lyra and Hana in the distance on the plains. "I see Lyra and Hana!"

                                                    Ash noticed a concerned look on Lyra's face. "Something's wrong--normally she and Hana are happy together."

                                                    "Well, let's go see what the matter is." Misty motioned for the boys to follow her to a shady spot, where Lyra was consoling a sobbing Hana.

                                                    "What happened?" Ash asked. "Why's Hana crying?"

                                                    "I wish I knew myself." Lyra sighed. "We challenged a trainer here on this plain, and although Hana won the battle, she seemed off...like she was holding herself back for some reason. I don't know if something else caused her to cry, or what, but I can't bear to see her crying like this. If only I knew what the matter was..."

                                                    "Did you take Hana to a Pokemon Center after the battle?" Brock asked.

                                                    "Yes...Nurse Joy thinks Hana may be depressed." Lyra replied.

                                                    "Although I'm no medical expert myself, I would be very careful against jumping to conclusions just because she's crying a lot and generally mopey." Brock cautioned. "Has there been any dramatic change in her appetite or sleeping habits?"

                                                    "No..." Lyra replied. "She has lost a little of her energy, but she doesn't feel worthless or want to hurt herself. In fact, she doesn't want to withdraw, but doesn't want to leave my side."

                                                    "It may be something totally different from depression." Misty mused.

                                                    Ash nodded in agreement. "Separation anxiety, maybe? Or just anxiety in general?"

                                                    "Maybe." A smile formed on Lyra's face. "She's been having a lot of nightmares lately..."

                                                    "Well, even Pokemon need to relax." Brock assured Lyra. "So if you've been pushing her a lot, take a step back and slow down a bit."

                                                    "If she's afraid, reward her for being brave!" Ash suggested.

                                                    "There's an idea!" Lyra smiled.

                                                    Brock, meanwhile, knelt down to Hana's level as she trudged away from Lyra's arms. "Is everything okay? Whatever's bothering you, you can tell us, and we won't laugh it off."

                                                    [Really?] Hana asked.

                                                    "Yeah..." Brock replied as he settled in the grass, still at Hana's eye level. "So, what's going on?" he asked as Ash and Misty joined him in the grass, with Lyra under the shade of a tree.

                                                    Hana sighed. [I'm both scared I'll let Lyra down one day, and a little jealous of Ash's and Tintri's friendship...]

                                                    "Okay, why do you think you'll let Lyra down?" Brock pressed Hana further.

                                                    [When we fought that trainer earlier today, I barely won against his Raticate.] Hana explained as she wiped away her tears with her leaf. [I don't want to see Lyra sad, and I really don't want to lose.]

                                                    She looked over at Ash. [Can I say that I admire and respect the bond you and Tintri have? I want a bond with Lyra that's that close.]

                                                    "So you admire my relationship with Tintri, but you're afraid of losing, which you think is letting Lyra down?" Ash asked, making sure he had heard Hana correctly.

                                                    Hana nodded. "Whether you like it or not, losing is a part of any Pokemon's life." Misty explained. "Despite all the preparation and training in the world, you are still going to lose sometimes.

                                                    [The reason why Ash and I are so close is we understand our strengths and weaknesses, and we respect each other's limits, both in the battlefield and out.] Tintri explained. [Even the times you lose have lessons you can learn.]

                                                    Hana pondered what Tintri had said for a moment. [I never thought of losing like that before...]

                                                    "Besides--battling's not the only thing you do well, Hana." Lyra added. "You're very friendly to other people and other Pokemon, and eager to explore."

                                                    [Okay...so how can losing teach me?] Hana asked Ash.

                                                    "Well..." Ash thought for a moment. "Losing can allow you to see the strategies your opponent was using, and how you can better defend against them next time."

                                                    [Okay...] Hana mused, now in a slightly better mood.

                                                    "Think of battling like playing music." Brock explained. "If you stumble over a wrong note, you don't shove the instrument back in its case, or close up the piano, and never come back to it for a long time because you think you're the worst musician in the world. You go back and practice the passage in question until you can play it well."

                                                    "Likewise, try not to beat yourself up over what you did or did not do in the match." Misty added. "Even when you lose, you still gave your all to win, right?"

                                                    [Yeah...] Hana replied.

                                                    "So you think about what you did well, and how to improve what didn't go so well, so you're ready for next time." Misty replied.

                                                    "Also know that I would never punish you for not doing well." Lyra told Hana. "That's never a good reason to punish anyone, and I will still love you, regardless of how well you battle.'

                                                    [Thanks, guys...] Hana smiled. [I feel like a big rock's been lifted off of me, so I can keep growing towards the sun!]

                                                    "Anytime." Ash smiled. "If you need someone to talk to, you can talk to Lyra or one of us." he assured Hana as Brock got up to retrieve the camp supplies.

                                                    Misty looked up to notice the sun setting. "Wow...we spent all day talking?"

                                                    "We probably needed to stop and rest after being on the road for the last few days." Ash explained.

                                                    [And I learned so much from our long talk.] Hana smiled as she romped into Lyra's arms, moments before Brock returned with the camp supplies.

                                                    Lyra smiled. "I can't thank you enough for talking to Hana today--I think she's back to her old self again!"

                                                    To Be Continued...
                                                    __________________
                                                    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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