• Be sure to join the discussion on our discord at: Discord.gg/serebii
  • If you're still waiting for the e-mail, be sure to check your junk/spam e-mail folders

Pokemon Shine Diamond


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 9: Not on MY Watch, Ya Don't!

"Let's see...Fantasy Stage due to enchant Jubilife as well as the Contest..." Dawn mused as she paged through an issue of Shinou Today she had picked up at the Jubilife Pokemon Center. "Coordinator profiles...Poketch v. 2.0 rolls out today?"

"What is a Poketch?" Ash asked as the three friended rounded a corner onto one of Jubilife's main streets. "Is it like a PokeNav?"

Brock watched as a large video billboard started displaying an animated Poketch commercial. "Here we are..." Dawn mused as she arrived in the magazine's technology section. "Yes, it is a PokeNav that you wear like a watch. Since most every trainer in Shinou has one, I need to get one too!"

"Wait for us!" Ash protested as he hurried to catch up to Dawn.


"What?" Dawn gasped in disbelief at the sign on the electronics shop's front window. "Currently sold out? After we came all this way, too..."

"New shipments won't arrive till Monday, as per the Pokebook page." Ash reported.

"Isn't there another store that has them?" Dawn pleaded as the group made their way down the street. "Does Pearlstone have them?"

"Nope--sold out." Brock reported.

"What about the Leppa store?"

"Sold out." Ash reported.

"You'd be better off getting a universally compatible Poketch." Brock cautioned. "If you get one from Leppa, you have to use Leppa branded stuff if it ever breaks."

"Good point." Dawn admitted. She thought for a moment. "What about Wonderaid, Apexi, or Corenite?"

"Nope, nope, and nope." Ash reported as he showed Dawn the Corenite page that displayed "We are currently sold out" under the Poketch 2.0.

"Not even Orinoco has it?" Dawn pleaded in desperation. "Orinoco has almost everything!"

Brock winced when he brought up Orinoco and searched for "poketch 2.0". "Hate to say it, but yes, even Orinoco is sold out."

"NOW where am I gonna find a Poketch?" Dawn screamed in frustration.

"We can try to find somewhere that has it over lunch." Brock suggested.

"How can you think of food in a time like this?" Dawn snapped.

She was snapped from her anger and frustration by the bleeps and bloops of an arcade. "Okay--you talked me into it." she grinned as she saw the menu of the snack bar inside. "Let's go get lunch, then vent my frustration a little."


"Mm...that chili cheese dog was great!" Dawn smiled as the group departed the arcade snack bar some time later. "Now, what to play first..."

A machine with speakers and lights near the snack bar got her attention. "Dancing Star?"

"Not just Dancing Star, but Dancing Star Ace, the newest mix that combines a lot of past songs into one mix. Of course, there's some new stuff too." Ash replied as he jumped aboard the left dancing pad for player one and inserted two coins.

"No charge to join in!" the machine assured Dawn.

"Go for it, Dawn!" Brock coaxed. "I can give you a few tips."

"Okay..." Dawn hesitantly stepped aboard the right pad and inserted two coins.

"Now--each pad has its own game, so what Ash is doing on his won't affect you." Brock explained. "It's best to start on Light mode, although some songs will have a Beginner mode available too."

Once Dawn had selected Light mode, she was impressed by the massive song list. "Whoa..."

"In picking a song, how hard they are are measured in feet." Brock explained. "If you're starting out, one or two feet should be okay, three or even four if you're feeling confident."

"Okay..." Dawn replied as she perused the song list, grateful there was no time limit in picking a song.

"When you have a song picked, you'll see a line of blinking arrows at the top of the screen." Brock explained. As the song plays, you'll see differently colored arrows rising up to meet the blinking arrows. When the colored arrows reach the line of blinking arrows, touch the corresponding arrow on the pad with your foot. It might seem natural to return your feet to the middle of the pad; but this will slow you down once you go on to harder songs. You will not lose points for stepping when there is no arrow, you only lose points for missing an arrow."

"I think I get it..." Dawn replied as she landed on the song "Hero". "I'll try this one first."

"Good choice." Brock smiled as he watched the song begin on both screens--Ash playing Standard mode, and Dawn playing on Light mode...


A-la-di-da-da, you are my hero.... Dawn sang as she danced down the street some time later. A-la-de-da-da, ohhhh...

She was snapped from her song by a large crowd gathered around a trio of clowns. "Poketches! They're giving away Poketches!" she cried as she watched people hurry off with large cards.

After working her way through the crowd, Dawn asked one of the clowns "May I please have a Poketch?"

"Sure! If you guys can find all the other clowns and answer all their trivia questions to complete a stamp card, you'll all get one!" the clown replied as he gave Dawn a large card with seven locations for jewel shaped stamps.

"Remember that they could be anywhere in the city, but they won't be in a building." the second clown cautioned as he gave a family a stamp card.

"Here's your first question..." the third clown began. "What component of herbal medicine can also start a cooking fire?"

"Charcoal!" Dawn smiled.

"That's correct!" the clown smiled as he made a red stamp on the first space. "Now, go find the others!"


After weaving down the main drag, the group arrived in the city park. "There he is!" Ash spotted a clown near the park square, waving and doing simple magic tricks to get people's attention.

"You found me!" the clown smiled as the group approached. "Riddle me this...which Pokemon is sometimes known to throw two Iron Balls to intimidate opponents?"

"It's obviously a Fighting type..." Dawn mused. "Lucario, perhaps?"

"Nah, probably one of the Machop family..." Ash mused.

"Good idea!" Brock agreed before telling the clown "We're gonna take a wild guess and say Machamp."

"Your wild guess is correct!" the clown announced.

"I never would've thought of that..." Dawn confessed as the clown stamped their card.


"Clown ahoy!" Dawn pointed out a third clown near the Jubilife TV plaza.

"Put on your thinking caps, then!" the clown giggled. "What ability originated in the Trading Card Game before being confirmed as a real life ability?"

Dawn looked over at Ash. "I have no idea...care to wager a guess, Ash?"

"I know what it is!" Ash cried. "I'm gonna guess Poison Point."

"Good guess, because that's correct!" the clown announced as Ash handed over the card to receive a yellow stamp.


"You'd think the questions would be easier..." Dawn mused as the group hurried down a street overlooking a large building with a large spinning globe statue. "What's that place?"

"According to my guidebook, that is the Global Trading Station, or GTS for short." Brock explained as the group approached the building. "People come from all over the world to trade and battle Pokemon."

"There's a clown!" Ash interrupted, pointing out a clown in the GTS plaza dancing to the music from the outdoor intercoms.

"Nice work finding me!" the clown giggled. "Here's your question--what are the ranks of Contests named for?"

"Poke Balls!" Dawn confidently answered.

"You're absolutely correct!" the clown replied as she gave the group their fourth stamp.


As the group returned to the town square, Ash found a clown dancing to the music coming from a shop. "There!"

"Get ready, cause here's your next question!" the clown giggled. "What Nintendo accessory was originally meant to read Trading Card Game cards?"

"Ooh, that's a toughie..." Even Brock was stumped.

"Wasn't that the e-Reader?" Ash wondered.

"Yes!" the clown smiled as she accepted the group's card. "You're so close to a Poketch--only two more stamps to go!"

"Thanks!" Dawn called.


The group arrived by the Trainer's School to find a clown playing with the younger students. "You found me!" he grinned as the group approached. "Here's your question. Which group of Legendary Pokemon were the mascots for the Neo Revelation expansion of the Trading Card Game?"

"No clue--never played the TCG." Dawn sighed.

"The Legendary Beasts!" Ash grinned.

Dawn gasped in awe. "How'd you know?" she asked as Brock gave the clown their card to stamp.

"Both Brock and me like playing the TCG." Ash explained.

"We can teach you how to play, if you like." Brock mused before checking his map of the city. "Okay...we've hit all the major landmarks in town except for the Contest Hall..."

"The last clown has to be there!" Dawn suggested as she lead the way down the street.


As the group approached the Contest Plaza; Dawn spotted the the seventh clown passing out Poketches to those with completed cards. "There!"

"You're almost done!" the clown smiled as she inspected the group's card. "Here's your last question...what is Bronzor is able to do, even though it can't technically learn the move?"

"Hm..." Dawn thought for a moment as Ash showed her a picture of a Bronzor on the Pokedex. "Teleportation, maybe?"

"That's absolutely correct!" the clown called as she gave the group their final stamp with a flourish. "And with that, you've got yourselves the brand new Poketch 2.0!"

But as the clown tied on the watch-like device to Dawn, the group was unaware of two shadows in the bushes watching them...

To Be Continued...
Last edited:


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 10: Mastering a Coordinated Assault

As crowds began filling into the Contest Hall the next day, they did not notice a red haired woman and a purple haired woman in futuristic silver, white, and black garb watching them from behind a small grove of trees. "Admin Mars to Supreme Leader Cyrus, we are here in Jubilife City now." the red haired woman said into a watch-like communicator on her left arm.

"Excellent--remember that your only goal for now is to observe in the city, and find any threats to our goal of a new world." an older male voice crackled back through Mars' communicator. "It would be wise for you and Jupiter to have a disguise to avoid detection."

"We already have disguises and some alter egos in mind." the purple haired woman assured the image of a blue haired man on the tiny communicator screen. "Mars is going undercover as a Coordinator, and I'm going undercover as a Loremistress."

"A wise choice. Jubilife has its own Contest Hall, and the Fantasy Stage is often held in conjunction with Contests." the man explained. "So you should have no trouble blending in."

He added. "In case you do find threats to our plan, you have my permission to pursue them, if they manage to outwit you or get away."

"Understood, boss--Mars out." Mars replied before her transmission ended. "Well, let's get into our alter egos' costumes."

"Here's mine..." Jupiter paused to dig out a majestic white, blue, purple and green minstrel's costume from a plastic bag.

"And here's mine." Mars showed her partner a lovely red and white costume with silver diamond patterns. "If you look at it at the right angle, the diamonds form Mars symbols."

"Very clever." Jupiter smiled before ducking into a comfort station to change.

Once both admins emerged in their costumes, Mars told Jupiter "Remember--my alter ego's name is Marta Bryant."

"Haven't thought of a last name for mine yet, but my alter ego's first name is Juno." Jupiter replied. "Let's move out."

With that, both admins went their separate ways. Mars hurried into the Contest Hall, and Jupiter towards the outdoor theater where the Fantasy Stage was taking place.


Meanwhile, in the Pokemon Center, Dawn emerged from a dressing room. She finished tying a pink ribbon in her hair, then addressed the boys. "What do you think?" she asked as she revealed the pink gown she wore to the boys and Tintri.

"Wow!" Ash cried, impressed at Dawn's look.

"You look beautiful!" Brock smiled.

"Can you turn a little bit for me?" the image of Joanna on a nearby videophone requested.

Dawn nodded, and performed an elegant twirl before the videophone. "Thanks so much for rushing this costume here, Mom." she began.

"You're welcome, sweetie pie." Joanna replied before noticing something. "Although, I see you're missing the matching choker."

Dawn felt around her neck and discovered nothing was there. "That's funny...it was there when I took it out of the box..."

A meow got her attention. "Opal?" she gasped as a Glameow approached the group.

"Opal?" Ash asked, intrigued in the gray cat Pokemon with a coiled tail.

"My pet Glameow at home." Dawn explained. "But this one's a bit darker compared to Opal."

Piqued, Ash read up on the gray cat Pokemon:

"Glameow, the catty Pokemon. When it's happy, it demonstrates beautiful movements of its tail, like a dancing ribbon."

He smiled as the Glameow swished its tail before Dawn. "Well! Seems this Glameow found your choker." Joanna smiled as Dawn took the tourmaline choker from the Glameow's tail.

"Can you tell me where your master is, so I can thank them?" Dawn asked the Glameow.

The Glameow looked up and meowed as a girl with a pair of sunglasses perched in her short wavy hair arrived. "Oh, you found the choker's owner, Sylvie?" she asked as she brushed some sandwich crumbs from her shirt and vest.

"Yes--that choker was mine." Dawn replied as she put it on. "Thank you..." She realized she had not asked the girl her name.

"Name's Zoey." the girl smiled. "...and my partner, Sylvie." she added, petting the Glameow. "Sylvie found that choker on the floor last night, and you were the only one wearing anything that would go with it."

"Thanks for finding it, Zoey." Dawn smiled. She wanted to get to know Zoey more, but balked when she saw both Zoey and Sylvie had departed.

"Don't worry--you'll get a chance to see her again." Joanna assured Dawn. "Good luck in the Contest!"

It dawned on Ash that if the Contest and the Fantasy Stage were taking place at the same time. I can't be in two places at once...

"How am I gonna cheer both you and Brock on if both events are happening at the same time?" he asked.

"If you need to miss one of the events to see Brock, I'll understand." Dawn replied.

"Well, I'm on after this lady named Juno, and then Nando is on after me." Brock replied.

"So if you time it right, the Dance part of the contest should be over or be close to ending." Dawn explained. "Let's go!"


..."Entry number J-495901--Dawn Solberg and Kori!" the emcee announced as Dawn and Kori emerged from the entry tunnel for the parade of contestants. "Dawn is the daughter of legendary Coordinator Joanna Solberg. It will be exciting to see how she carries on the family legacy!"

In the stands, Ash looked over the other contestants. "Okay, we have Marta, who has a Bronzor..." he mused as the disguised Mars passed by the left end of the stands. "Some guy with a Mightyena..." he mused as the second contestant passed by. "Zoey, from earlier..." he noted as Zoey, now in an elegant pantsuit, walked by with Sylvie. "...and Dawn." He waved as Dawn passed by.

Once all four contestants had returned, the emcee explained the rules of the Visual competition. "Our first event today is the Visual competition. In the dressing rooms, where you'll find a fashion case filled with a hundred random accessories. Your job is to choose up to five of them that creates a coherent look based on a theme in sixty seconds."

He added "The order that you finish here will determine the order for the next event."

Once sure the four contestants had no questions, he revealed the theme. "You're aiming for a colorful look this time."


"Colorful, huh?" Dawn mused as she opened the fashion case. She balked at the various puffballs, feathers, jewels, scales, and other trinkets inside. "How am I supposed to get a coherent look out of this?"

Her heart raced when she saw a clock in the room blip to life with sixty seconds. "Ready...set...GO!" she heard the emcee say.

[No one told me we were being timed!] Kori panicked as she watched the numbers tick away on the clock.

"Come here, Kori...I have an idea." Dawn motioned for Kori to come to her. She then proceeded to stick a blue puffball near Kori's head, some white ones near her stomach, and some blue ones on her fins. "There..."

[I look like a clown...] Kori sighed as the clock expired.

"Well, a clown is colorful, right?" Dawn assured Kori as she watched the crowd ooh and ah over Mars' glittering Bronzor. "This Marta girl knows what she's doing."

[Zoey's not too shabby herself.] Kori smiled as Zoey emerged from the dressing room next to her, the jewels in Sylvie's fur glittering in the lights.

"Next is Kori!" she heard the emcee announce, to laughter and "aw"s over Kori's look when she emerged from the dressing room.

[Not bad for her first try.] Tintri smiled as Kori posed cutely for the judges.

"Yeah...she'll get better at this the more Contests she competes in." Ash agreed.


Awed chatter filled the hall as a large black platform with lights and smoke jets around it rose up from the floor. "Wow...I can't believe they were able to put that beneath the floor..." Ash gasped, amazed at the platform's size.

[Looks like a Dancing Star platform turned up to 11...] Tintri was equally impressed.

"Next is the Dance competition." the emcee explained. "Before you is the Bailatron, a state of the art dancing platform inspired by video games such as Dancing Star. But rather than stomping on pre-determined arrows to the beat, you'll be making up your own steps."

This got the crowd excited. "The order our contestants will dance in is determined by how well they did in the Visual competition."

He reminded the coordinators "Remember, the Bailatron will record every stumble and fall, too. Mess up too often, and you're out of competition."

He then told the audience. "Let's give our coordinators a minute to choose the songs they will dance to..."


"Hm..." Dawn mused as she perused the massive song list. Every so often, she glanced at the screen displaying what was going on in the Contest Hall. "What song would Kori like most..."

The familiar introduction of the Macarena and the crowd cheering snapped her to attention. [I didn't know the Macarena was a Dancing Star song!] Kori gasped. On the screen, hundreds of people did the classic dance in the stands as Mars' Bronzor spun, whirled and warped about the platform in time to the pounding beat.

"It's on some of the console versions, most famously on 'Dancing Star Disney Beat'." Dawn explained. She stiffed a giggle at Ash and Tintri doing the dance in the stands before turning her attention to the music player holding the song list.

She smiled as the Bailatron reset for Sylvie to dance. "Wonder what Zoey picked for Sylvie to dance to?"

A blaring rock melody answered her question. The crowd roared as Sylvie elegantly twisted and jumped across the platform. Granted, she didn't understand a word of the Japanese lyrics, but Sylvie looked like she was having the time of her life grooving to the beat.

[Dawn...] Kori whispered. [May I have the song selector? I know exactly what I want to dance to!]

"Here." Dawn handed Kori the song selector. "What song do you want to dance to?"

Kori smiled as she showed Dawn the song she had picked--"Hero". [I want to dance to "Hero"--you did great on that song on the Dancing Star machine yesterday.]

"Okay...you can dance to 'Hero'." Dawn assured Kori as she watched Sylvie strike a confident pose as her song ended...


"Dawn's up next..." Ash mused as the Bailatron rest for Kori's performance. "Although Sylvie did great with 'Break Down'..."

[Come on, Kori!] Tintri called as Kori hopped aboard the platform. Ash whistled in encouragement as the lights dimmed, signalling Kori's performance was about to begin.

Kori struck a cute pose, then skipped and twirled across the platform in time to the song...

In the middle of the night my hero comes to rescue.
He's so fine, I'm gonna make him mine.
He's sincere, I know his heart is beating
just for me, only for me.

But at the break of dawn he is gone.... Kori posed in time to the singer on the phrase "he is gone."

The wind has carried him awa-a-a-y... Kori did a graceful aerial twirl at this line.
And like a comet on the sky
he will return someday!

[Kori's doing great down there!] Tintri smiled. He watched as Kori twirled and swayed through the rainbow lights whorling around her.

"I think I know why Dawn picked that song..." Ash smiled. "She wanted to evoke our own dancing to it on the Dancing Star machine yesterday." He let that hang as he returned to watching Kori, who was enthralled by jumping, twisting, and twirling through the wave of rainbow lights around her...

You are my hero.
You are my hero.
You are my hero.

The crowd roared as Kori struck a triumphant pose at the song's end. [Way to go, Kori!] Tintri called as he applauded. Kori took an exhausted bow for the cheering crowd, then hurried off to reunite with Dawn.

Ash was stunned as Kori's results appeared on the leaderboard. "Wow! Kori's the best one so far!"

[She even beat Sylvie.] Tintri agreed.

With the lull in the competition, Ash motioned for Tintri to follow him to the exit. "Come on, bud--let's go see how Brock is doing in his Fantasy Stage debut so far."

To Be Continued...
Last edited:


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 11: Arrival of a Rival!

"...It was only then that she revealed herself as the shining Goldeen!" Jupiter--in a white, blue, purple, and green costume--concluded her tale. She took a bow for the cheering crowd, just as Ash and Tintri arrived in the outdoor theater.

Tintri noticed Brock was next to perform. [We made it just in time--Brock's about to tell!] he smiled. He watched as Brock--now in his costume--stepped onto the large round stage.

"Number K-42207, telling 'The Rescue of Princess Daisy'. an announcer told the crowd. Brock, meanwhile, took a few breaths to ease the Beautiflies in his stomach.

After he saw the cue to begin, Brock started his tale. "Once a young prince named Lucas was riding through a meadow. The meadow stretched for miles as far as the eye could see, until he came to a deep ditch. He was turning to avoid it, when he heard someone crying for help in the ditch. He dismounted from his Ponyta, and hurried in the direction the sound came from."

Concerned murmurs wafted through the crowd as Brock went on. "To his astonishment he found an old woman, who begged him to help her out of the ditch. So Prince Lucas bent down and lifted her out of the ditch, asking her how she had managed to fall in to begin with."

"My son, I am very poor, and not long after midnight I set out for town to sell my eggs in the marketplace. I lost my way in the dark, and fell into this deep ditch, where I would remain forever if it were not for your kindness." he explains in character as the old woman.

"You can hardly walk; I will put you on my Ponyta and lead you home. Where do you live?" he asks in a mimic of Ash for Prince Lucas.

Tintri grinned at the real Ash. [Brock mimicking you has yet to get old!]

"I'm still amazed he learned my voice in a single day." Ash grinned. He giggled as he savored the memory of Misty's shocked face when Brock mimicked his voice for the first time.

"Prince Lucas lifted her onto his Ponyta, and soon they reached the hut." Brock goes on. "The old woman dismounted, and said to Prince Lucas..."

"Wait a moment, and I will give you something." he instructs as the old woman.

He narrates as himself. "She disappeared into her hut, but returned and said..."

"You are a mighty prince, but at the same time you have a kind heart, which deserves a reward." he explains as the old woman. "Would you like to have the most beautiful woman in the world for your wife?"

"Would I ever!" he cries as Prince Lucas, to the delight of the crowd.

"The most beautiful woman in the whole world is Daisy, the daughter of Rosa, the Queen of the Flowers. She has been captured by a Hydreigon." Brock explains in character as the old woman. "If you wish to marry her, you must first set her free, and I will help you do this. I will give you these three magic jewels: if you sing 'Karuto, iichiida shou...' to the emerald, Arashi, the King of the Braviaries will appear. If you sing 'Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...' to the ruby, the holy Delphox Kitsune will come to you. If you sing 'Rou iitsa ron selga vichii' to the sapphire, you will see Undine, the Queen of the Sea, by your side. They will help you if you are in any danger. Now farewell, and may Arceus' favor be on your undertaking."

[Spellsongs!] Tintri sparked in excitement.

"Yeah, those are easily my favorite parts of a tale." Ash smiled.

Brock shows three prop jewels to the crowd. "So she handed him the three jewels, and the hut and everything around it disappeared, as if it was a mirage. It dawned on Prince Lucas that he had been speaking to a light fairy in disguise."

"Oh"s go up at this. "After putting the three magic jewels in his pocket, he rode home and told his father the king that he planned to set the daughter of the Flower Queen free." Brock explains. "He intended on setting out the following day in search of the maiden."

He continues "So the next morning, Prince Lucas mounted his fine Ponyta and left home. He roamed around the world for a year..."

He looks up at Ash and smiles. "The adventures he had during that time are stories in themselves."

Giggles ripple through the theater at this. "...but he had found no trace of her at all." Brock continues. He came at last to a hut, where a very old man lived, and asked him..."

"Do you know where the Hydreigon lives who keeps Princess Daisy prisoner?" he asks as Prince Lucas.

"The Hydreigon lives there on the mountain, and he has begun his year of sleep." he explains in a gentle older voice for the old man. "For a year he is always awake, and the next year he sleeps. But if you wish to see Princess Daisy, go up the second mountain. The Hydreigon queen lives there. She has a party every night, and Princess Daisy attends them often."

As himself, Brock continues "So Prince Lucas went up the second mountain. At the peak, he found a castle made of gold with diamond windows. He was about to walk in when seven Hydreigons ambushed him and asked him what he wanted."

"I have heard so much of the beauty and kindness of the Hydreigon queen, and would like to enter her service." he explains as Prince Lucas.

"Well, you may come with me, and I will take you to the queen." he replies in a guttural voice for the Hydreigon.

As himself, he continues "They entered the castle and walked through twelve rooms, all made of gold and diamonds. In the twelfth room they found the Hydreigon queen sitting on a diamond throne. She was the biggest and ugliest dragon Pokemon under the sun, and larger than her seven attendants put together. Her appearance was an understandable shock to Prince Lucas, and so was her voice, which was like the croaking of many Murkrows all at once. She asked him..."

"Why have you come here?" he asks in a Murkrow-like voice for the Hydreigon queen.

"I have heard so much of your beauty and kindness, that I would very much like to enter your service." he replies as Prince Lucas.

"Very well, but if you wish to enter my service, you must first lead my Rapidash out to the meadow and look after her for three days." he replies as the Hydreigon queen. "But if you don't bring her home safely every evening, we will eat you for dinner."

The crowd shudders at this. "Prince Lucas agreed, and led the Rapidash out to the meadow." Brock continues. "But no sooner had they reached the grass, she vanished. Prince Lucas looked everywhere for her in vain. He finally sat down on a big stone and contemplated his grisly fate. As he sat there lost in thought, he heard a Braviary cry off in the distance."

He shows the crowd the prop emerald. "Then he remembered the three magic jewels, and taking the emerald out of his pocket he sang..."

He then sings as Prince Lucas Karuto, iichiida shou.... The crowd whispers with excitement as the prop emerald glows in response to his voice.

As himself, Brock narrates "The emerald glowed, and he heard a mighty rushing wind. In moments Arashi, the King of the Braviaries, landed at his feet.

"I know what you want of me." he assures the crowd in a strong voice for Arashi. "You are looking for the Hydreigon queen's Rapidash, who is galloping about among the clouds. I will call all the Braviaries of the air together, and order them to catch the Rapidash and bring her to you."

As himself, Brock continues "With that, Arashi flew away. That evening, Prince Lucas heard a mighty windstorm. When he looked up he saw thousands of Braviaries driving the Rapidash before them. They all landed before him and gave the Rapidash over to him. Prince Lucas returned to the Hydreigon queen, and told her that his task was complete. The queen was stunned when she saw him, and invited him to that night's party. She gave him a cloak made of gold, and led him to a huge room where millions of dragon Pokemon were dancing together. But the only human there, it seemed, was Princess Daisy."

He continues "Her yellow and orange dress was woven out of the most beautiful flowers in the world. Her face shone like the dawn. As Prince Lucas was dancing with her, he managed to whisper..."

"I have come to set you free!" he whispers in character as Prince Lucas.

"If you succeed in bringing the Rapidash back on the third day, ask the Hydreigon queen to give you the Rapidash's shining foal as a reward." he replies in a mimic of Dawn for Princess Daisy.

As himself, Brock continues "The party ended at midnight, and early the next morning Prince Lucas led the Hydreigon queen's Rapidash out into the meadow..."


Number S-50396, telling 'The Minstrel Queen'. the announcer explained as Nando took his place on the stage some time later.

[Brock did great!] Tintri raved.

"He usually does, but what's Nando's telling style like?" Ash asked as Nando took his harp and played a gentle melody to compose his thoughts.

"Once upon a time, there lived a king and queen who lived happily and comfortably together." Nando began, playing a soft melody to go with his words. "They were very fond of each other and had nothing to worry them, but eventually the king grew bored. He longed to go out into the world, try his strength in battle against some enemy, and win all kinds of honor and glory--although not necessarily in that order."

Ash chuckled at Nando's quip. "So he called his army together, and told them they were going to a distant land. There a king ruled who mistreated or tormented anyone and everyone he could get his hands on." Nando continued. "The king gave his parting orders and advice to his ministers, bid his queen farewell, and set off with his army across the sea."

Some in the crowd clapped along to the harp's adventurous melody. "Whether the voyage was short or long, I don't know; but at last he reached the realm of the young king. He marched on, defeating all who stood in his way." Nando went on. "Before long, he came to a mountain pass, where a large army was waiting for him in an ambush. What soldiers that did not flee were either captured or killed, and the brave king was taken captive."

[Oh no!] Tintri gasped.

"He was carried to the prison where the young king kept his captives. Saying the conditions were harsh is putting it nicely." Nando sighed over a sad melody. "The prisoners were chained up all night, and in the morning they were yoked together like Tauros and had to plow the land until dark."

"That's not very nice!" someone gasped.

"This went on for three years before the king found any means of sending news of what had happened to his dear queen." Nando continued. "He somehow managed to send a letter asking her to sell off everything they owned, in hopes that would be enough of a ransom to set him free."

He next started a hopeful melody. "The queen received the letter, read it, and wept as she said to herself, ‘How can I rescue my husband? If I go myself and the young king sees me, he will take me to be one of his harem. If I were to send one of the ministers...I hardly know if I can depend on them."

As the last chord fades, Nando interjects "She thought, and thought, and thought some more...until an idea came into her head."

Ash giggled at the high note Nando played to simulate an idea lightbulb. "She cut her hair to resemble a boy's hairstyle and dressed herself in a minstrel's clothes. Then she took her favorite harp and without saying anything to anyone, she went forth into the world."

He started a "traveling" melody for effect. "She traveled through many lands, saw many cities, and went through many hardships before she got to the place where the brash young king lived. But that is a story in itself. When she got there, she walked all around the palace and at the back she saw the prison. She went into the great court in front of the palace, and taking her harp in her arms, she began to play all manner of beautiful melodies. All who heard her felt as though they could never hear enough."

[Pretty!] Tintri smiled as Nando played a beautiful dance for effect.

"After she had played for some time, she began to sing the following..." Nando began before singing for the crowd:

I come from my own country far
Into this foreign land,
Of all I own I take alone,
My harp in my hand.

Oh! Who will thank me for my song,
Reward my simple lay?
Like lover’s sighs it still will rise
To greet thee day by day.

I sing of blooming flowers
Made sweet by sun and rain;
Of all the bliss of love’s first kiss,
And parting’s cruel pain.

Of the sad captive’s longing
Within his prison wall,
Of hearts that sigh when none are nigh
To answer to their call.

My song begs for your pity,
And gifts from out your store,
And as I play my gentle lay
I linger near your door.

And if you hear my singing
Within your palace, sire,
Oh give, I pray, this happy day,
To me my heart’s desire.


..."The queen took the short way home, got there before the king, and changed back into her royal robes." Nando continued his tale. "An hour later, all the court was celebrating the king's return. The king greeted everyone very kindly, but he would not so much as look at the queen. But then another problem arose--the court had feared the worst for the queen, and no one knew where she was."

He assured the antsy crowd "Whilst the king was debating with his council, the queen found time to disguise herself. She took her harp again, and slipping into the court in front of the palace she sang the following, clear and sweet..."

I sing the captive’s longing
Within his prison wall,
Of hearts that sigh when none are nigh
To answer to their call.

My song begs for your pity,
And gifts from out your store,
And as I play my gentle lay I linger near your door.

And if you hear my singing
Within your palace, sire,
Oh give, I pray, this happy day,
To me my heart’s desire.

The crowd applauds the song's end. "As soon as the king heard this song, he figured out that the minstrel that had rescued him was his queen!" Nando announced, to more cheers.

He smiled at the enthralled crowd. "Who can tell how happy the king was? In the joy of his heart he gave a great feast to the world, and the whole world came and rejoiced with him for at least a week."

The crowd roared as Nando took a bow, but Ash was shocked to see that Nando had beaten Brock. While Brock's bar was three fourths of the way across, Nando's stretched across the entire scoreboard. Wow! Nando wasn't kidding when he said he's performed for years!


"So, how was the Contest?" Brock asked as the group reunited in the Pokemon Center that evening.

"After Kori made a strong showing in the Dance competition, Zoey edged me in the Appeal round with all these cool combos." Dawn explained. "The finale being this quick Double Team and Quick Attack combo that electrified the audience."

"Wow...I have my work cut out for me in beating Nando." Brock sighed. "He wasn't kidding when he said he was a pro."

He smiled. "Although, he was nice enough to let me learn the story he told." he assured his companions as he unfurled a piece of paper filled with Nando's elegant writing.

"'The Minstrel Queen'...sounds interesting." Dawn mused.

"Well, I will say you both did a great job, even if you lost." Ash assured his companions. "Every trainer, coordinator, and loremaster had to start somewhere..."

"Thanks." Dawn smiled. "Mom didn't win all her prizes and awards overnight--I only have to work hard and come up with creative appeals."

"I didn't become a master storyteller overnight, either." Brock agreed. "It still is a lot of work learning new songs and new stories."

He looked over at Ash. "You still have your competition left...our next stop is Oreburgh City and your first badge."

"Whatever happens on our roads to glory, let's face both the highs of victory and the lows of defeat together!" Dawn vowed.

"Yeah...and no great hero--or heroine--ever fought alone." Brock smiled.

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 12a: A Staravia is Born! (part 1)

The wind rustled as Estrella dove down into a clearing somewhere in a forest. "Estrella, use Aerial Ace!" Ash's voice echoed as the small bird Pokemon trained her eyes on a target hanging from a tree.

"Eh-streh-yah!" came Brock's voice, breaking Estrella's concentration on the attack!

[Uh oh!] Estrella cried when she realized she was too low to hit the target.

"Pull up, Estrella!" Ash called, hoping all the while his Starly would have time to avoid a crash.

"Eh-streh-yah!" Brock corrected him as Estrella crash-landed in the brush.

Dawn was first to arrive, with the boys not far behind. "You were lucky Estrella didn't crash into that tree." Dawn assured Ash.

[Yes, better the brush than that tree.] Estrella agreed as she eased herself to her feet. [But now my left leg hurts...]

Brock examined the tiny gash on Estrella's left leg. "The good news is, it's a minor injury. A little medicine on the wound and a Band-Aid and we're good to go."

"I've got the first aid kit!" Dawn volunteered as she set down a white box and set out some ointment and the Band-Aids.

"We still need to do some more practice on Aerial Ace." Ash mused as Brock cleaned and dressed Estrella's wound.

"Once her wound heals, you can do all the practicing you want." Brock replied. "Preferably away from thorns and burs."

Some rustling in the brush snapped Ash to attention. "Who's there? Friend or foe?"

A lavender haired girl in the familiar red garb and wide brimmed hat of a ranger stepped from the bush. "Friend, traveler." she assured Ash. "Is everything all right?"

"Uh, yeah--my Starly and I were practicing Aerial Ace and she went at the target too low." Ash explained. "I'm Ash, by the way, and my companions, Dawn and Brock."

"Hi!" Dawn smiled. "Nice to meet you."

Ash facepalmed as Brock approached the girl, guitar in hand. "Judging from your attire, you must be a ranger!" he smiled before playing an expectant D chord. "Allow me to sing a little ditty chronicling your exploits!"

[Save it for the stage, Mr. Teen Idol!] Kage scolded after jabbing Brock in the sensitive areas.

The girl laughed at Brock's pained look. "While it would be nice to have a sing-along, it can wait for the campfire at the end of the day."

Then it occurred to her she had not introduced herself. "Oh, listen to me chattering on like a Starly and forgetting my manners! My name's Rosebay, of the Midori Forest Research Corps. Part of our job is to observe, document, and research Pokemon activity in the forest.

"So, what are you researching now?" Dawn wondered.

"At the moment, I'm documenting nest activity." Rosebay explained as she motioned for the group to follow her. If you need any pocket money for your travels, you're welcome to volunteer!"


"Right there..." Rosebay pointed out a Swablu nest in the distance. "...is a nest I've been observing. A pair of Swablus made that nest a few weeks ago. Since Swablu are non-native Pokemon, it is in our best interest to observe them."

"That makes sense--wouldn't want to damage the natural ecosystem." Ash grinned.

"That's right." Rosebay agreed before offering Ash a pair of binoculars. "Here--you may have a look at the nest."

"Let's see..." Ash took the binoculars. "I think I see five eggs in there, but no mama or daddy Swablu."

"Let me see!" Dawn pleaded.

After accepting the binoculars from Ash, she too observed the nest. "Well made, five eggs, but no mom or dad anywhere!"

"That's strange...usually one or both parents are at the nest by now." Rosebay mused. "This may tie into the missing Hoothoot colony last week, and an alarming decrease in overall activity..."

"If you want, we can help solve this mystery for you." Ash offered.

"Of course--maybe an outside pair of eyes may catch a clue we missed." Rosebay suggested. "I'll give you all some pocket money as a reward."

Ash heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Come on out, Estrella!"

"Eh-streh-yah!" Brock corrected Ash as the Starly flitted on Ash's shoulder.

"Can you do a flyover of the area and see what bird Pokemon you can find?" Ash asked Estrella. "Or any clues about why they're disappearing?"

[You got it!] Estrella chirped as she fluttered off into the sky.

When Estrella returned some time later, she reported. [No sign of any birds anywhere! Or who could be taking them!]

Ash sighed. "You leg holding up okay?" he asked, aware of the bandage on Estrella's left leg.

[Yeah...] Estrella replied.

"Could you do a second flyover to be sure you didn't miss anything?" Dawn requested.

[Okay!] With that, Estrella fluttered away again...


Meanwhile, four Swellow squawked in surprise as they flew into a large net. "It was a good idea to put a trap here, as all the bird Pokémon in the forest come through the valley." Jupiter mused. She studied the two admins' latest catch for a moment. "Okay, these will do." With that, the net deposited the captured blue, red, and white bird Pokemon into some cages.

"Remind me how this can help Team Galactic?" Mars asked, unimpressed. "What does collecting bird Pokemon have to do with creating another world?"

"It's as Lord Cyrus says--we need a lot of energy to form a new world, and many bird Pokemon have a lot of energy." Jupiter explained. "So every Pokemon helps. The ones we can use, we keep, and we let the rest go."

"Makes sense..." Mars mused as three more Swellow and Estrella landed in the net.

She noticed the bandage on Estrella. "You sure you want to keep this one? It's been wounded..."

"Yes, I want to keep it." Jupiter replied as she analyzed the energy counts of their latest catch. "Wound or not, its energy level is through the roof!"


"What's taking so long?" Ash wondered as he paced the grass. "Estrella should've been back by now..."

"Maybe she got lost?" Brock suggested.

All the bird Pokémon use the valley path, so it's possible that your Starly and the other Pokemon are there." Rosebay suggested.

"Come on!" Ash led the way down the hill. "Estrella might be in trouble!"

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 12b: A Staravia is Born! (part 2)

Previously, on "Pokemon Shine Diamond"...

"What's taking so long?" Ash wondered as he paced the grass. "Estrella should've been back by now..."

"Maybe she got lost?" Brock suggested.

"All the bird Pokémon use the valley path, so it's possible that your Starly and the other Pokemon are there." Rosebay suggested.

"Come on!" Ash led the way down the hill. "Estrella might be in trouble!"

Meanwhile, Estrella waved a wing at another cage, where a Hoothoot sulked. [Hey...]

[Hm?] the Hoothoot looked up. [Who are you?]

[A fellow captive.] Estrella explained. [Only, I have a master.]

[Really? Wouldn't he--or she--be worried sick about you?] the Hoothoot wondered. [If I had a human master, they would likely worry.]

[I know my master and his friends are coming to save us all.] Estrella smiled. [But for now, I may have an idea on how to get out of here...]


"Okay...out of all the bird Pokemon we have thus far, which ones do you think Cyrus would like?" Mars asked as Jupiter took inventory of the cages. "The little Starly whose energy is off the charts, or something bigger and more powerful?"

"Good question...both of those are intriguing options." Jupiter mused. "So why not settle the matter with a good old game of 'Rock Paper Scissors'? Winner decides what we take to Cyrus."

"You're on!" Mars smiled.

"Okay..one, two, three!" Jupiter called. But both admins sweatdropped when they discovered they had both displayed scissors.

"So, what if we do if it's a tie?" Mars wondered with a sigh.

"A tie or a loss is not the end of the world." Jupiter assured Mars. "Let's rig another trap for now."


The group arrived at the top of the hill some time later. Ash noticed Mars and Jupiter checking their trap, which had caught a Pidgeot. "Those two don't look friendly at all!"

"No normal person would catch any Pokemon in a net." Rosebay agreed before noticing a familiar insignia on Mars' uniform. "Those two are two admins of Team Galactic--Mars and Jupiter."

"Admins, huh?" Dawn mused. "Why would they be doing something that's grunt work?"

"Perhaps the boss trusts them that much." Brock replied. "These Galactic guys definitely sound worse than Team Rocket..."

"Yeah--they have bigger Magikarp to fry than going after Tintri all the time." Ash agreed.

With Brock occupied telling Rosebay about Team Rocket, Ash motioned to Tintri. "Tintri...think you can go save that Pidgeot in the trap?"

[Okay!] Tintri replied before darting off towards the net. After gently charring the knots that held the Pidgeot, he smiled. [Are you okay?] he asked as the Pidgeot fluttered free

[I think so...thank you for releasing me from those hoodlums!] the Pidgeot replied. she flapped her wings a little to ease the stiffness of being trapped.

She noticed Ash on the hill. [Is the hat-human your master?]

[He is--he asked me to save you.] Tintri replied. [He'll know what to do to save the other captured birds!]

[Climb aboard, then.] the Pidgeot smiled.

Ash smiled as the Pidgeot arrived with Tintri aboard her. [This is Avis.] Tintri explained. [She's willing to help us save the other birds.]

"All right...I want you and Avis to gather as many bird Pokémon as you can find." Ash instructed. "We'll infiltrate the base to free the Pokémon Mars and Jupiter already captured."


"Easiest spy mission ever--those Galactics left the door wide open." Dawn grinned as the group climbed into the base. They made their way into an underground tunnel containing monitors for the security cameras.

Ash froze when he saw Estrella directing the other bird Pokemon in digging an escape route. "There! There's Estrella!"

"Eh-streh-yah!" Brock corrected Ash. He retrieved his bow in preparation to shoot down any appealing targets.

Back outside, Jupiter gasped when she saw a very large group of bird Pokémon flying towards their base. "What on earth? Who could've rallied this many bird Pokemon in so short of time?"

Mars was stunned when she saw Tintri riding Avis. "That Pikachu! He's leading the birds!"

[Bombs away!] Tintri cried, prompting the massive flock to swoop in and attack the net, ripping it to pieces.

"Come on!" Jupiter motioned to Mars to follow her underground, away from the flurry of beaks and talons. "Someone must've messed with the security cameras!"

"You work on those, I'll go see if the rest of the base is secure." Mars replied before hurrying off to the cage area.

She smiled when she found Estrella watching the other Pokémon leave through the escape tunnel. "Well well, what have we here?" she smirked.

"Don't you dare lay a finger on Estrella!" Ash warned as he led the others into the room.

"All right, I will honor your request." Mars replied before pressing a button on a small remote marked "CALL BOT".

Ash watched in awe as a humanoid-shaped wooden mecha rose up from the ground. "Whoa...that's way more complex than any Team Rocket mecha..."

"I'll say..." Brock agreed as he watched Mars' and Jupiter's Pokémon climb the ladder into the mecha. "They even Tintri-proofed it by building it from wood."

"This way!" Dawn led the way into the escape tunnel. The mecha transformed into a miniature tank to pursue the group.

A large game of Meowth and Rattata ensued as the group and the Galactic admins chased each other. After what seemed like an eternity, Ash heaved a sigh of relief when he saw sunshine in the distance. We did it! We're home free! he thought.

The group emerged onto an overlook, where the captive bird Pokemon had gathered.

He gasped as the mecha emerged from the hole some moments later. As he watched, it broke apart because of damage it had sustained from the rocks, roots and thorns in the tunnel.


"So, does Team Galactic have some kind of a motto?" Ash taunted as Mars and Jupiter emerged from the wreckage of the mecha.

"You're not in Kanto anymore, hat-boy." Jupiter shot back as she summoned a Zubat. "Besides, actions speak louder than words, so we don't need to say a dumb motto."

[HAH!!!] Estrella cried as she flew to meet the Zubat Jupiter had summoned with a Wing Attack.

"Algol, use Gust!" Jupiter commanded.

Ash watched as the Zubat flapped up a powerful wind gust. "Whoa, that Zubat is powerful..." he noted as Estrella went flying into a tree.

"Leona, aim a Hyper Beam at the Pikachu!" Mars called as she summoned a large gray and white cat Pokemon.

"Argent, I need your help!" Brock heaved a Poke Ball skyward, revealing the massive Steelix. Tintri leaped away from the familiar orange beam seconds later.

"Algol, try Gust again!" Jupiter commanded

She smiled as the wind gust drove the huge Steelix backwards.

Brock flashed an emerald ring with ivy inlays at Jupiter. "You forget I have a secret weapon!"

With that, he held the ring to the sky. Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo...

"What in the..." Mars gasped as Argent was engulfed in a burst of green light, sparkles, and leaves. "How could your Steelix evolve even further?"

"Never underestimate the power of Mega Evolution!" Brock smiled as he looked over at his now Mega Steelix.

Dawn looked at the massive crystalline Steelix in awe. "Wow! Mega Evolution is AMAZING!!!!"

In all the confusion, a blob squirmed inside Brock's bag. [What's going on? Is there a fight? Put me in, Brock! I wanna fight too!]


"Algol, use Confuse Ray!" Jupiter commanded as the battle raged on some hours later.

"Argent, use Ice Fang!" Brock commanded. He watched as his Mega Steelix lunged to bite the tiny Zubat with sparkling teeth, engulfing it in ice.

The groups started charging toward each other, each side intent on destroying the other. But Ash stopped in his tracks as Estrella flew up high and started to glow bright white. "No way...Estrella's evolving!"

He smiled. "Estrella, use Aerial Ace!"

Dawn, meanwhile, read up on Estrella's new form as the aerial Ace sent Mars and Jupiter flying:

"Staravia, the starling Pokemon. They maintain huge flocks, although fierce scuffles break out between various flocks."

[Bye!] the Hoothoot called as it waved to Estrella. [And thank you!]

[Anytime!] Estrella waved back to the departing bird Pokemon.

"I can't thank you enough for saving the birds here." Rosebay smiled. "Anything you need on your travels, and it is yours."

"It's okay--just the fact that Estrella evolved is a reward enough." Ash smiled as he hugged his new Staravia.

"Eh-streh-yah!" Brock corrected Ash, prompting the others to laugh as Ash blushed in embarrassment...

To Be Continued...
Last edited:


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 13a: Leave it to Brocko! (part 1)

"Our next stop is Oreburgh City..." Brock read from the guidebook. "It is a hotbed for mining coal, metals, and gems. Nestled in the shadow of Mt. Luster, it is known as the City of Energy thanks to its thriving coal industry..."

He looked up and balked at the silvery mountain that loomed in the distance. "Whoa...that has to be Mt. Luster."

"Don't tell me we're going to have to climb that mountain..." Dawn groaned.

"I'm sure there's a pass, or trails we can use." Ash assured Dawn. "Let's keep going!"

"Actually, I need a place to stop and rest before we venture across the mountain..." Dawn sighed, gesturing to a Pokémon Center at the foot of the mountain.

[How much further do we have to go?] Brock heard a voice say. [I'm starved!]

He noticed his Sandshrew Terra glancing up at him with sad Growlithe eyes. "Okay, I suppose there's no harm in having a snack." he assured Terra as he found a container of walnuts in his bag.

"That's a clever idea..." Dawn smiled as Terra went to work cracking open one of the large nuts with her claws.

"Walnuts are one of a Sandshrew's favorite foods in the wild. Getting the thick shell open is also a game for them." Brock explained.

A breeze snapped the group from their conversation. "Over there!" Ash pointed out Nurse Joy in the distance, attempting to help a humanoid Pokemon with a long nose and a leaf on its head.

Dawn, meanwhile, decided to read up on the odd Pokemon:

"Nuzleaf, the wily Pokemon. They live in densely overgrown forests. They occasionally venture out of the forest to startle people."

She gasped as Nurse Joy scrambled to avoid the flurry of Razor Leaves the Nuzleaf had created. But her fear turned to frustration as a guitar chord got her attention. I will twine, I will mingle her raven black hair... she heard Brock sing. With the roses so red and the lilies so fair...

[Go sing in a garden, country crooner!] Kage snapped as he delivered a jab to Brock's sensitive areas, creating a discordant Eb chord. [Nurse Joy is in danger, and the best you can do is sing a song?] he muttered as he dragged Brock away, guitar and all.

"Whoa!" Dawn cried as she and Ash leaped away from a gust of wind.

After rolling away from the brunt of the gust, Ash led her back by Brock's side. "Everyone okay?" Ash asked. "Although, save the ballads for the stage or the campfire next time."

"Yeah..." Brock replied as he shakily stood up. "Nuzleaf are generally afraid of people, but I wonder why this one has decided to venture out..."

"I'm open to suggestions--it believes me a threat." Nurse Joy mused.

The group watched as Brock approached the Nuzleaf and stooped to its eye level. "Sh...it's okay...we're not gonna hurt you." he assured it.

Inspired, he picked a blade of grass, shaped it into a whistle, and proceeded to play a familiar three note melody that rang through the foothills. "Epona's Song!" Dawn gasped when she recognized the tune.

She did not see a blob squirming in Brock's bag. [Is that what I think it is? Are you telling 'Jack and Epona'?]

The Nuzleaf smiled and danced a little, pleased at Brock's song. "You like that, huh?" Brock grinned before offering the little Pokemon an Oran Berry.

[No.] the Nuzleaf turned away.

"Maybe it would be willing to accept food from a fellow Pokemon?" Nurse Joy suggested.

[I'll do it!] Terra volunteered, forgetting about her walnuts completely.

"Okay, go see if the Nuzleaf will accept a Berry from you." Brock replied, giving Terra another Oran Berry

Nurse Joy smiled as the Nuzleaf accepted the Berry from Terra's claws. "Leave it to a musician to tap into a Nuzleaf's innate love of music to gain its trust."

"But isn't the Nuzleaf family native to another region?" Ash asked as Brock used a Potion on a large scrape on the Nuzleaf's right leg.

"That is in fact true. But somewhere in the Lustrous Hills stands the Millennium Tree, so named because it was planted a thousand years ago." Nurse Joy explained. "The Millennium Tree is the only place in this part of Shinou where you can find the Seedot family."

"If you'd like; we can take the Nuzleaf back to the Millennium Tree." Dawn offered. "I'm sure its family is worried sick!"


"Aw...I think the Nuzleaf likes Terra..." Ash smiled as he listened to Terra and the Nuzleaf chatter to each other.

"You believe the Nuzleaf thinks Terra is a Grass type?" Dawn suggested. "But when you think about it, the grass comes from the ground, so a Grass type befriending a Ground type is not completely unheard of..."

"You actually bring up a great point--Sandshrew do rely on Grass types to help them find food in the wild." Brock explained. Sandshrew tend to eat bugs, berries, nuts, and nectar..."

The group didn't notice Mars and Jupiter spying on them in the bushes. "There they are--now we can have our revenge for a few days ago." Jupiter mused.

As the two admins climbed through the brush, Mars spotted a silver hot air balloon in a clearing. "Well! Someone left this here. If we can't follow the hat boy and his pals on the ground, we can always chase them by air!"

"Good idea!" Jupiter replied before bringing over some tracking devices and weaponry. "Seems that balloon training when we were humble grunts was good for something after all!"


"Some flight this is..." Mars sighed as she and Jupiter floated over the forest and the mountain hills. "But on the bright side, when we do find Hat boy, we have the element of surprise...

"Hat-boy ahoy!" Jupiter pointed the group out as they made their way across a stream.

Mars scrambled to get a look. "See any interesting Pokemon they have?"

Jupiter analyzed the group's Pokemon. "Hat-boy's Pokemon has a huge amount of energy. I'm more interested in the Sandshrew and the Nuzleaf they're escorting."

After finding a net-gun from the clutter, Jupiter instructed Mars. "Go find a good spot to land somewhere on Hat-boy's route. I'm gonna see if we can ambush them from above!"

With that, she fired a net, capturing both the Nuzleaf and Terra. "I've got the net, you try and scare of the admins." Brock instructed Ash as he worked to get Terra and the Nuzleaf free.

"Estrella, we need you!" Ash heaved a Poke Ball skyward.

"Algol, use Haze!" Jupiter called as she summoned her Zubat.

The gray haze cleared some moments later. Ash and Dawn gasped in horror when they found the Galactic admins, Brock, Terra, and the Nuzleaf were gone!


"There--let's see you get out of this, Mr. Balladeer." Mars sneered as she finished tying Brock to a tree. Jupiter was nearby, locking the cages holding Terra and the Nuzleaf.

After a few moments struggling to pull his arms free, Brock sighed. I don't like having to use the Swanna Song here, but you do what you have to do...

With that, he sang Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
Katoridis favel siicletu edena...
At this line two rainbow auras appeared on the ropes.
Emusto koron zen fine, si...

Mars whirled around in time to see the ropes snap in a shower of rainbow sparks. "Wow! How'd you manage to do that?"

Brock paused to slip the tattered remains of his bindings off his arms. "I can do it again if I had something to eat first." he wheezed as he gingerly stood up.

"You got it!" Jupiter smiled. "Name it, and Chef Jupiter will have it cooked up in no time at all!"

"Need I remind you that all our ingredients are back at the base?" Mars interjected. "So what are we going to cook with?"

Inspired, Brock replied "If you two would like, I can show you what recipes I know--and a show to go with dinner."

"Well! Never thought I'd get dinner theater in the middle of nowhere." Mars smiled as she and Jupiter watched Brock start a cooking fire...


"And here we are! Mountaintop Chili." Brock smiled as he delivered two bowls of chili to Mars and Jupiter.

"Mm...this smells wonderful!" Mars raved before taking a bite. "Nice and hearty, with a bit of a bite from taco seasoning...I think?"

"It is taco seasoning!" Jupiter grinned as she took a bite. "Tell you what, Rock Star--give us a show to go with our dinner, and we'll set you free."

"Deal!" Brock replied as he tidied up his work area.

He next pondered the longest, most adventurous story he could think of. The longer I can keep these two occupied, the less likely they'll notice me making off with Terra and the Nuzleaf.

He started the first story that came to mind. "In a certain kingdom there lived an unmarried king. He had many archers in his army, and the bravest of them all was named Andreas."

"Mm-hm..." Jupiter mused.

"One day Andreas went hunting." Brock explained. "He wandered in the forest all day, but fortune was unkind to him, and he didn't catch a thing. The sun was setting, and Andreas decided to return home. On the way, he saw a Pidove sitting on the tree and shot at it. However, the arrow missed its mark, and the Pidove spoke to Andreas in the words of humans...

"Please, don't kill me!" he pleaded in a mimic of Dawn for the princess. "Take me home and put me on the windowsill. When you return at nightfall, you will find your happiness."

As himself, he continued "Andreas was surprised. He concluded the Pidove had to be someone under a spell, or a Legendary in disguise. He returned home, put the Pidove on the windowsill, and went to prepare his dinner for the night. That evening, he was shocked to see that the Pidove had turned into a beautiful princess, whose name was Marla."

"Thank you, young hero." he smiled in character as the princess. "An evil wizard cursed me to live as a Pidove unless someone showed mercy on me, and took me home. I love you, and wish to marry you."

He went on as himself "And so, Andreas and Princess Marla were married, and lived happily for a time."

"Aw..." Mars smiled, unaware Brock was sneaking towards the cages.

"One day, Princess Marla said..." Brock interjected before switching to his "princess" voice. "Andreas, we live in want. I have an idea to make things better. Buy different colors of silk cloth, and I'll make something everyone will be amazed over."

As himself, he continued "Andreas agreed. He went to the marketplace, bought as much silk as a hundred pieces of gold would allow, and brought it to his wife. Princess Marla wove all night and made a beautiful carpet."

He started towards the clearing's exit with the cages, still weaving his tale all the while. "The next morning she showed it to her husband. The carpet depicted the whole of the kingdom: towns, villages, forests, fields, the sea, the sky, Pokemon, the sun and the moon. Marla gave the carpet to her husband and said..."

"Take this carpet to the market and sell it." he instructed as the princess. "Don't ask for any price, take the money that people give you."

Once sure Mars and Jupiter were still listening to him, Brock went on "The next day, Andreas took the carpet and went to the marketplace. Many people wanted to buy the carpet, but no one knew how much it was worth, because Andreas never told them how much he was asking for..."


[Did we lose them?] Terra asked. Brock had finished retracing his steps back to where the Galactic admins had ambushed them. I hope we can find the others soon!

"I think so, but it's only a matter of time before they figure out we've escaped." Brock replied. "Try Double-Edge on the cage."

He braced himself as Terra whacked the bar with her claws. [I got a bar to bend, at least...] she told Brock.

"It's okay. Let's try that again." Brock assured Terra.

[HAH!] Terra whacked the weakened bar a second time, creating an opening large enough for her to fit. [We did it!] she cried as she danced in the grass. [I'm free!]

To Be Continued...
Last edited:


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 13b: Leave it to Brocko! (part 2)

"Brock, where are you?" Ash called into the brush.

"If you can hear us, sing something!" Dawn called into the trees. "Even if it's a sappy love song!"

[No go, Ash--haven't seen or heard anything from him.] Estrella sighed. She fluttered on a tree branch near a stream, in hopes of seeing any sign of Brock.

"That's weird..." Ash mused. "I could've sworn I heard Brock sing the Swanna Song..."

"I'm not gonna say you were hearing things, but we'll keep looking, just in case we hear him." Dawn assured her companion.


Elsewhere, Brock led Terra and the Nuzleaf towards the forest edge. "Okay...this was the tree where the Galactic admins got us." he reminded Terra and the Nuzleaf, pointing out a familiar maple tree near a rushing river. "So to find everyone, all we have to do is cross this river."

He smiled as he found a sturdy log that was holding firm in the rushing water. "Terra, return." he commanded, recalling the Sandshrew.

A loud cry snapped him to attention. "What's the matter?" he asked the bawling Nuzleaf on the ground.

[Bring back my friend!] the Nuzleaf sobbed. [I'm scared of that rushing water...]

"Okay, I'll let Terra back out." Brock assured the Nuzleaf as he summoned Terra again. "Terra, the Nuzleaf needs you!"

Terra motioned for the Nuzleaf to climb on her back. [Climb on my back, and hold on tight, okay? We'll take it one baby step at a time.]

Minutes ticked by like hours as Brock and the Pokemon carefully walked across the log. While Brock felt confident the log would hold, a sudden swell made Terra stumble. [Whoa!]

"Everything okay?" Brock looked back to see if Terra and her passenger were in one piece.

[I'm okay!] Terra reported. [A wave made the log wobble, but I used my claws to brace myself. Nuzleaf's okay too.]

"We're almost there, so keep going." Brock assured the Pokemon as he led the way to the other bank. After stepping back onto dry land again, he set the Nuzleaf back on the ground. "There we go...we should be safe here."

Terra gasped as he heard the hiss of a balloon landing. [I think the Galactic goons found us!]

"Thought you could dine and dash, Mr. Idol?" Jupiter smirked as she and Mars landed in a clearing. "Now we're gonna duel for your freedom!"

She heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Algol, let's go!"

[AUGHHH!] Terra yelped in surprise as Jupiter's Zubat materialized in front of her.

[Hey, coach...] Kage whispered. [Let me go a few rounds with Mr. Flitter-flutter there. No one scares my friend and gets away with it!]

"All right, Kage, you can duel." Brock replied as Kage leaped into the battlefield.

Jupiter's Zubat swooped in to Bite Kage, but Kage didn't even flinch at the Zubat's fangs. [Is that all you've got?] he taunted as his rubbery hand turned purple. [Take this!]

Jupiter winced as her Zubat went flying backwards from the force of Kage's Poison Jab. "Algol, use Poison Fang!"

Brock watched as Jupiter's Zubat rushed at Kage with glowing purple fangs. Kage, meanwhile, blocked the attack with a Poison Sting. He also noticed Mars and Jupiter were inside a balloon's basket. This will be too easy... he grinned as retrieved his bow and nocked a shot.

After a few tense seconds, he fired, sending Mars and Jupiter tumbling into the brush below. [Nice shot, Robin Hood.] Kage smiled. [Now's your chance to croon the superpower song they always use on TV.]

Brock nodded, and started the familiar melody. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...


Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis... The song rang through the forest and over the mountains, alerting Ash and Dawn. "Brock! That's Brock's voice!" Dawn gasped.

"Let's follow the song!" Ash led the way into the clearing, making sure to follow the haunting melody as it continued...

Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
Emusto koron zen fine, si...

Ash was the first to arrive, where he saw Kage's hand glow white in preparation to use Brick Break. "I'll tend to Brock, you wait on standby in case his team needs help." Dawn instructed as she helped Brock over beneath a tree to rest from using the Swanna Song. "That was a very brave thing you did..."

"I had...to do something...to guide you to me..." Brock wheezed. "I'd do it...again...many times...over."

He heard a THWACK!, signalling Kage had gotten off Brick Break. "Kage, well done!"

[I did my best, coach...] Kage wheezed. [But that Zubat...was...too...] This was as far as he got before collapsing on the ground.

"It's okay...you did great." Brock assured Kage before recalling him.

"Leona, use Fury Swipes!" Mars summoning her Purugly snapped him to attention.

"Don't you dare hurt the Nuzleaf!" Brock warned as he stepped in front of the Nuzleaf. He was still a little tired from using the Swanna Song a second time. But, his anger fueled courage had given him new strength.

Terra watched as Brock and Mars stared each other down. [I have to help my master now...] she mused as she hurried across the river towards a rock on the other bank. [Maybe, I can reach that fat grey cat-Pokemon from the rock! Water or no water, I'm gonna help you, Brock!]

Just as she arrived on the shore near the rock, she rolled away from a Bite attack. Then, she slammed into Leona with Double-Edge. Leona tried again and again to scratch Terra, but Terra countered with a rain of Swift.

Ash watched in awe as he watched Terra fight. "Wait, Kage was knocked out?"

"It looked like Jupiter's Zubat was too much for him." Dawn explained. "Terra's answered the call in his place."

"Let me know if I need to step in and help." Ash assured Brock.

"Not for now--Terra has the situation under control." Brock assured Ash as he watched Leona lunge a second time. Terra blocked the attack, and charged forward with another Double-Edge.

[WAAAUGH!!!] she yelped as Leona bit her, pinning her to the ground. In a desperate attempt to get free, Terra rapidly spun around, throwing her attacker off!

Annoyed, Leona tried another Fury Swipes attack. Terra rolled away and stomped the ground hard. [Hang on--Earthquake!] she smiled as the ground began to rumble, knocking the Purugly out.


"Tintri, Brock needs you." Ash whispered to his faithful Pikachu.

But before Tintri could join the fight, he felt a gust of wind rippling his fur. [Look!] he squeaked, pointing out a brown humanoid Pokemon with a long white mane gliding down to the ground with a pair of leaf fans.

Piqued, Ash decided to read up on the odd Pokemon:

"Shiftry, the wicked Pokemon. It is a mysterious Pokemon that is said to live atop towering trees dating back over a thousand years. It creates terrific windstorms with the fans it holds."

"No fair with reinforcements!" Mars protested as she and Jupiter fled back to the waiting balloon.

"You forget that the one you tried to capture uses a bow!" Ash shot back as he watched Jupiter grab the Nuzleaf with a mecha arm. "And you know what happens when a balloon meets a sharp object?"

The Shiftry noticed Brock's bow, and hurried over. [Warrior of the bow, allow me to enchant your arrow with the sacred wind of the Millennium Tree.]

"Sure." Brock offered the Shiftry the arrow he planned to shoot. He watched as the Shifty's wind gust turned the arrowhead a bright purple with a tornado around it.

Dawn watched in amazement as Brock nocked the enchanted arrow, then fired. "That was so cool!" she raved as the Galactic balloon went flying off with a ping.. "It's like how you saved me and Kori back at Lake Verity!"

"Look at it this way...if you can infuse an arrow with fire, you can infuse it with any element you'd like." Brock replied as the Shiftry glided to the ground with the Nuzleaf in its arms.

[Thank you, warrior of the bow.] the Shiftry smiled. [The residents of the Millennium Tree will never forget your bravery and kindness in bringing back this little one to us.]

"Aw, it was nothin'!" Ash smiled.

"It was my pleasure to help." Brock agreed.

[If you need anything on your journey, we of the Millennium Tree stand ready to help.] the Shifty smiled as hundreds more Seedots and Nuzleafs came to bid the party farewell....

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 14a: The Shapes of Things to Come! (part 1)

"I'm glad that the Nuzleaf made it back to the Millennium Tree in one piece." Dawn smiled as the group made their way down the mountain road. It had been a few days since the group had undertaken a daring rescue mission to save a lost Nuzleaf. Along the way, Brock had managed to escape Team Galactic.

"I will say that using your gifts of music and storytelling to escape was very clever." Ash smiled. "Just like in the tales you tell."

"I was just doing what I had to do to survive." Brock smiled. "I hope those Galactic admins understand not to approach in a balloon."

He decided to change the subject. "We should be approaching Oreburgh City at any time now..."

Dawn gasped as the rooftops of buildings appeared inside the canyon in the distance."There it is!"

"Last one there's a rotten Exeggcute!" Ash called as he raced down the road into the city.


Later, the group approached a large building made out of stone that stood on the north end of town. "This must be the Gym..." Ash mused before looking over the entry sign. "'Call me Roark the Rock!' Must be pretty confident in himself..."

The door opening snapped Ash to attention. He growled when he saw Paul with a young man in hiking gear. Him again...

"Calm down, Ash." Brock cautioned. "As much as you don't like Paul, it's still a good idea to be cordial around him."

"I'm gonna try..." Ash replied before taking a deep breath to dispel the anger and nervousness welling up in his chest.

He strolled over to Paul as he and the hiker rounded the corner. "Hey...have you challenged the Gym Leader yet?"

Paul sighed. "Why do you wanna know, Wonder Boy? The Gym Leader isn't even there."

"Yes--Roark is away at the moment." the young man agreed. "If you plan to challenge Roark, the Gym features the Rock type."

"Really?" Ash gasped. First Brock...then Roxanne...and now this guy!

He noticed Paul walking down the hill towards the city Pokemon Center. "Good luck in your match!" he called, unsure if Paul even heard him.


"Which color do you want?" the young man asked, offering Ash three different badge cases in different colors.

"The red one!" Ash replied before taking the red badge case on the left. "Thanks, mister..." He realized he had not asked the young man his name.

"Cole, please." the young man smiled. "That case will keep any badges you earn safe."

"Do you know where Roark is at the moment?" Ash asked.

"He said something about going to the mine at the east end of town." Cole replied. "So your best bet would be to look there."

"Does the mine offer gem mining to the public?" Dawn asked as the group departed the Gym.

"Keep in mind that the Oreburgh Mine's primary purpose is coal and metal. So I doubt they'd open it to the public often, if at all." Brock reminded Dawn as the group made their way towards a large cave complex near the east end of town.


"Hard hats and gloves are required in the mine, okay?" the mine foreman smiled. He gave the group three human sized hard hats and mining gloves, plus a Pikachu sized hard hat and gloves for Tintri.

"Got it." Ash replied as he stashed his cap in his bag and put on the hard hat. "Nice, it even has a light..."

"How do you even turn on the light?" Dawn asked as she traded her own hat for the hard hat.

A click got her attention. "All you have to do is press the palm of the left glove." Brock explained, gesturing to the glowing light on his hard hat.

"All ready?" the foreman asked as he came to check on the group.

"Yeah!" Ash replied.

"Anywhere with workers and tracks is safe for visitors." the foreman went on. "I've made sure to mark dangerous areas."

"We'll be careful, sir." Dawn assured the foreman as she turned on the light in her hard hat. Once sure the boys were ready, she led the way into the mine.


"Some job this is..." Jupiter wheezed as she and Mars, in disguise as mine workers, chipped away at a large rock with blue crystals inside. "It takes forever to get to the jewels!"

"I know, but this will be worth it for our mission." Mars assured Jupiter between strokes. "Lord Cyrus believes jewels my have some sort of connection towards the creation of a new world."

"True, but jewels have long been revered as having magical abilities." Jupiter mused as she watched a team of Machokes carry out a large ruby for the foreman to examine. "So who am I to think that same energy could benefit our mission?"

"You have a point there..." Mars smiled before retrieving her pick. "So we can start with these sapphires!"

About then, the group approached the admins. "Forgive me for interrupting your conversation, but have you two seen Roark anywhere?" Ash asked.

"Roark, huh?" Jupiter thought for a moment, then lied to Ash "He's deep within the mine, hoping to find a vein of jewels."

Thankfully, Ash bought Jupiter's lie. "Okay--we'll keep looking until we find him."

"Nice distraction." Mars grinned as she worked.

Dawn, meanwhile, pointed out some workers leading a minecart out to the mine entrance. "Look!" she called, pointing out a dull red haired man in mining clothes following the cart. 'That's Roark!"

"Wait, guys..." Roark told the workers. Once the cart had stopped, he rubbed a design in the ore that somewhat resembled a face and smiled.

He noticed the group watching him. "Oh, hello! How may I be of service?"

"Are you the Gym Leader? Ash asked. "I've come to challenge you for a Gym Badge."

Roark chuckled a little, as if he was almost embarrassed to admit he was the Gym Leader. "Yes, I am the Gym Leader, which means I must be available to take Gym challenges. However, I was so excited about my latest discovery that I just forgot..."

"What was it?" Dawn asked, curious.

"The ore we took out could actually have contained a real Pokémon that had been fossilized a long time ago." Roark explained. "Which one, I don't know for sure."


Back at the Gym, the group watched as Roark told Cole about the ore and the possible Pokemon inside it. "Got a minute?" Brock asked, snapping Ash to attention.

"Sure--what is it?" Ash asked.

Brock showed Ash a Budew. "I found this little lady following us around town when we got back from the mine. After asking around and confirming she had no owner, I decided to offer her to you."

"I'll take her." Ash replied. He took the Budew in his arms. "I think I'll call her...Gaia."

"That's a pretty name!" Dawn smiled.

About then, Paul arrived in the room. "I'm here for my challenge, Sir Roark, as we agreed."

Dawn watched in awe as the floor opened up to reveal a large rocky field. "Wow...it's like the Bailatron in the Contest Hall..."

"As a former Gym Leader myself, I can tell you that Gym Leaders often have fields that suit their Pokémon of choice." Brock explained. "Roark is no exception."

"This will be a three on three match, okay?" Cole asked both Roark and Paul. "Are both sides ready?"

"Let's do this!" Roark smiled.

"Bring it on!" Paul countered.

"Diana, here we go!" Roark summoned a Geodude onto the Pearl side of the Poke Ball.

Ash nudged Brock. "Reminds me of Raquel..."

"Well, Raquel is at home, Poke-sitting Tarina." Brock replied as Paul summoned an Azumarill. "And Paul's choice brings back fond memories of River..."

"That's a Water-type, which makes it the perfect counter to a Rock Pokémon." Ash remembered.

He was snapped from his memories of River by Paul calling "Nerida, use Hydro Pump!"

He gasped as Diana deflected the huge spray of water with a flurry of leaves. 'What in the..." he gasped as his Azumarill went flying into the Diamond safety barrier.

"Diana, use Rollout!" Roark called.

Ash winced as he watched Roark's Geodude smash right into Paul's Azumarill. "Bad memories of Johto..." he stammered as the Azumarill went flying into the safety barrier again.

"Nerida is unable to battle--this match goes to Roark and Diana." Cole reported.

"What?" Dawn gasped at what she had seen. "How could a Water type lose to a Rock type? That doesn't make any sense!"

"Maybe Roark was prepared for people to try to beat him with a Water type." Brock explained. "So he probably trained his Pokémon to throw Water-type users off."

"If that's true, then who am I to think he did the same for the other types Rock is weak to?" Ash worried, looking down at his new Budew. "What if Gaia gets hammered like that?"

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 14b: The Shape of Things to Come! (part 2)

Ash growled as Paul berated Nerida. "I can't believe he'd rip that poor Azumarill for circumstances beyond his control! How was he supposed to know Diana knew the Grass form of Hidden Power?"

"This is Paul here--he'll stop at nothing to win." Dawn explained as Paul summoned Surge.

The group watched as Surge smashed his tiny fist right into Diana. The force of the attack sent her flying against the Pearl safety barrier. "Diana is unable to battle. Paul wins." Cole announced.

"Okay..." Roark prepared a second Poke Ball. "Say hello to Sterling!" he called as a massive rock snake formed on the Pearl side of the arena.

"Is that the pre-evolved form of Argent?" Dawn asked.

"Yeah, that's an Onix, all right." Brock smiled as he admired the huge Pokemon Roark had summoned. "Don't let the size fool you--they can be gentle giants if you treat them well."

Piqued, Dawn opened her Pokedex to read about the huge Pokemon:

"Onix, the rock snake Pokemon. As it grows, the stone portions of its body harden to become like a diamond, but colored black."

"That must look beautiful..." Dawn mused as she watched Sterling veer away from Surge's attempt at Brick Break.

She gasped as Sterling swung his tail around in an attempt to smack Surge with Iron Tail. But Surge created a dull teal aura around himself, stopping the attack. "I wouldn't rely too much on Protect..." Brock cautioned. "Use it too often and it will fail. Even then, it's not foolproof." He let that hang as Sterling smashed through the Protect aura.

"That had to hurt..." Ash mused as Surge went flying into the Diamond safety barrier.

"Sterling, use Stealth Rock!" Roark commanded.

Dawn watched as shards of rock flew to the edges of the arena and implanted themselves into it. "That looks so cool!"

"I believe it is a Cool themed move, so keep that in mind for your next Contest." Ash replied. He showed Dawn the move's entry on his PokeNav, where the word "Cool" blinked in orange writing.

"Whoa!" Brock cried as Sterling slammed right into Elekid with his tail. He suddenly reared back in pain. "I see--Elekid has the Static Ability." Ash remembered. "That means any Pokémon that touches Surge is paralyzed."

"Maybe Paul is rendering his opponent helpless, then pounding away with raw power..." Dawn suggested.

"Great theory." Brock smiled as Paul recalled Surge and sent out Goku.

The group winced as Goku was immediately attacked by the Stealth Rock. "Focus, Goku! Use Dig!" Pual commanded.

"Sterling, be careful!" Roark cautioned his Onix. "The Chimchar could appear at any moment."

He gasped in horror as Goku burst from the ground beneath Sterling! "What?" Roark gasped as Chimchar dove back underground.

"Since Sterling's already paralyzed from earlier, Goku can hypothetically attack again and again." Brock explained as Goku kept bursting from the ground, and diving back under.


"Sterling is unable to battle." Cole announced. "Pearl has one Pokemon remaining."

"it's been a good battle so far..." Roark smiled at Paul. 'But let's see how you do against my star Pokemon, Crystal!"

Ash decided to read up on the small gray reptilian Pokemon with a sapphire head:

"Cranidos, the headbutt Pokemon. It lived in jungles around a hundred million years ago. It used its skillful headbutts to combat Aerodactyl."

"Fascinating!" Dawn smiled as Goku burrowed underground again.

"Crystal, focus and use Headbutt!" Roark commanded.

Paul winced as Crystal smashed into Goku with Headbutt. "Goku, go underground again!"

"Time to take my strategy to the next level..." Roark smiled. "Let's evolve Headbutt to Zen Headbutt!"

"What?" Paul gasped as Crystal smashed into Goku with her glowing blue head.

"Do that again, Crystal!" Roark called.

"Goku, try to dodge with Dig!" Paul countered.

"Fun fact--Zen Headbutt has the side effect of making a Pokémon flinch." Brock explained. "If this happens, the Pokemon that flinched is unable to attack or dodge."

"Then that means Roark could come back and win!" Dawn concluded as Crystal attacked Goku again and again.

Ash watched as Goku glowed a bright red. "Whoa! Super Saiyan Chimchar!"

"Not quite..." Brock chucked. "Goku's ability, Blaze, just kicked in."

He went on "Blaze powers up a Fire-type Pokémon's attacks when they are low on energy."

I have to finish this fast... Roark thought as he watched Crystal and Goku heave with exhaustion. "Crystal, try Zen Headbutt!"

"Goku, use Flame Wheel!" Paul countered.

The group watched as Goku ran towards the oncoming Cranidos, turning into a blazing ball of fire. "Paul must be desperate..." Dawn mused as Goku performed the attack again.

"Crystal, try Headbutt!" Roark called as Goku burrowed underground again.

He gasped in horror as Crystal fell to the ground, just as Goku emerged. "Crystal is unable to battle--by a miracle, the match goes to Diamond." Cole announced.


"That was a great battle." Roark smiled. "I'm not mad I lost--you were strong, and I was weak. That's all there is to it."

He offered Paul a small grey badge that resembled a rock. "Here--you've earned this Coal Badge as a sign of your miracle victory."

"Thank you, sir." Paul replied before departing.

Ash confidently strolled into the arena. "I'm not letting him get all the glory! I'm getting my first badge next!"

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 15a: A Gruff Act to Follow (part 1)

"Are you gonna stay and watch my match?" Ash asked as Paul departed the Gym.

Paul chuckled at this. "Me, watch you lose, Wonder Boy? Get real."

"I am NOT gonna lose!" Ash shot back. "And stop calling me 'Wonder Boy'!"

He heaved a relieved sigh when he heard Brock's whistle. "All right, you two, break it up!" Dawn stepped between Ash and Paul and pushed them away.

"You've already battled Ash once, so there's no harm in staying and watching." Dawn explained to Paul.

Paul raised an eyebrow as the black haired girl before him. "Who are you?"

"You don't remember me?" Dawn gasped. "Maybe if you saw my team, it would jog your memory a bit!"

Brock blowing his whistle again snapped her to attention. "Okay, let's find a place to calm down." Brock led Dawn away to an empty classroom. "Once you're calm and Paul is ready to talk--if he even wants to talk--we'll work this out so that both parties are happy."

"Come on, spectators are always welcome to stay and watch." Roark assured Paul from the Pearl side of the arena.

"Okay...I guess I'll stick around." Paul mused. "This should be entertaining."

"Let's go!" Ash charged into the Diamond side of the arena.

"Actually..." Roark interjected. "My team's been through a tough battle--can you wait until tomorrow?"

"Okay!!" Ash smiled. "Rest up well, 'cause I'm bringing my S game!"


Meanwhile, the Galactic admins strolled down the walkways in a museum. "Those dolts have been getting on my nerves!" Jupiter grumbled as she trudged through the natural history wing. "Not to mention Mr. Balladeer is as every bit as clever as the heroes in the tales he tells! So how do we get our revenge on them?"

"If we're gonna properly get our revenge, we need to figure out interesting facts about Pokémon first." Mars assured her comrade. "This way, we kill two Pokemon with one stone. We get our revenge on Hat-boy and friends, and also get some info on creating a new world!"

A large mass of coal got the admin's attention. "Wow..." Jupiter gasped. "Imagine the fire you could make with that big a nugget!"

"Are you two searching for something specific?" a voice asked, startling Jupiter from her thoughts.

"Um..." Mars hesitated.

She then told the brown haired man "We've heard rumors you guys have a fossil restoration machine here. Is the public allowed to see it?"

"Of course." the man smiled. "I'm Kenzo, one of the researchers that helped design our fossil restoration machine. It's based on the famous one in Pewter City."

"Fascinating!" Mars smiled.

Kenzo motioned for Mars and Jupiter to follow him. "The Oreburgh Museum is split into two main areas." he explained. "One is the exhibit area, where the public can go. The other is the research wing. That's where we study prehistoric Pokémon and their abilities to learn more about them."

He went on "The fossil restoration machine is one of the few places the public can go in the research wing..."


Back in the Oreburgh Pokemon Center, the boys huddled on a couch to discuss strategy. "Okay, my rock-solid Pokemon strategist...how should we approach Roark?" Ash asked.

"Well, Gaia is the only one of your Pokémon who has an advantage against Rock types." Brock cautioned. "But since she is young, she may not be enough."

"Gaia for sure..." Ash mused. "Sandshrew can learn Brick Break...and Tintri knows Disarming Voice and Iron Tail. Both of those are effective against Rock types."

He got up from the couch. "So my lineup is Gaia, Tintri, and Terra, with your permission."

"Sure--I'll be happy to lend Terra to you." Brock replied as he gave Ash Terra's Poke Ball.

[How come I don't get to fight?] Estrella sighed. [I wanted to fight too!]

"I'm sorry, Estrella, but you'd get your wings clipped against a Rock type." Ash replied. "Maybe next time. I'll be up against a type you can beat."

[Okay--I'm holding you to that promise if it's a type I can beat!] Estrella smiled.

"First time I've heard you say your Staravia's name right..." Brock smiled.

He turned business-like again. "Keep in mind that Paul's victory over Roark was due to the speed of his Pokémon."

"Got it--I have to figure out what I've gotta do." Ash smiled.

"All you have to do is do what I did, Wonder Boy." Paul interjected as he approached the couch. "Hit'em hard, and keep on pounding until they yield."

"Raw power isn't everything!" Ash shot back. "You have to have strategy too!"

Just then, a boy ran up to Paul. "Thanks for the Azumarill, sir!"

"Not a problem, kiddo." Paul smiled.

Ash recognized the Azumarill the boy was leading away. "You just GAVE Nerida away??? One loss shouldn't be the end of the road! You could've continued working with her, and make her even stronger!"

"The way I see it, Wonder Boy, Nerida was never going to get any better." Paul replied. "My goal is to win, and if a Pokemon can't deliver, I'll find a Pokemon that will!"

"I want to win too, but I don't want to win like you do." Ash protested. "If your Pokemon are happy and loved, they'll win for you many times over!"

"Suit yourself, Wonder Boy." Paul smirked before departing.

Ash growled in frustration "One day, Paul...your strategy of raw power is going to cost you..."

"Let it go, Ash--that's just how Paul is." Dawn began. "Every trainer trains differently, and if this is what works for Paul, great."

A thought occurred to her. "Although...sometimes I wonder what Surge and Goku think of Paul..."


"That was so cool!" Jupiter smiled as the admins departed the museum that afternoon. "We need to steal the fossil restoration machine! Lord Cyrus would be unstoppable with an army of ancient Pokemon!"

"Remember when Kenzo showed us the machine?" Mars cautioned. "He said the restoration process takes a day to complete."

"So? We can steal more fossils while we wait on the one to finish!" Jupiter grinned.

"Next question: Where would we find fossils?" Mars interjected. Jupiter just sighed in defeat...

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 15b: A Gruff Act to Follow (part 2)

"...And representing the Diamond side, Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town!" Cole announced as Ash faced Roark on the Diamond side of the arena.

"Now it's time for you to see some real battling!" Ash smiled down at Paul.

"Show me what you've got, Wonder Boy." Paul smirked as Roark summoned Crystal.

"What?" Dawn gasped as the Cranidos appeared in the arena. "I thought Roark was going to save Crystal for last, like he did with Paul."

"Gaia, here we go!" Ash heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Start with Mega Drain!"

Brock smiled as Gaia leaped into the air, creating a green aura around her. "That was a smart move on Ash's part. Draining Crystal early should give him an advantage."

"Crystal, use Headbutt!" Roark commanded.

The group watched as Crystal leaped into the air and slammed Gaia in the stomach with Headbutt. "That had to hurt..." Brock noted as Gaia hit the ground.

"Crystal, time for our secret weapon!" Roark smiled. "Flamethrower."

Ash gasped in horror at the wave of fire headed for his Budew. "Gaia, try Double Team!"

He heaved a sigh of relief as the fire hit a few Gaia copies. But his pulse quickened as Crystal slashed away the other copies with a claw. "Gaia, try Energy Ball!"

"Way to go, Ash!" Dawn called as Crystal went flying against the Pearl safety barrier.

Ash saw Crystal charging at him with a glowing blue head--a sign the Cranidos was about to use Zen Headbutt. "Gaia, try another Mega Drain!"

Both attacks collide, causing a massive explosion. When the smoke cleared, Ash's heart sank when he saw Gaia had fainted. "Gaia is unable to battle. This match goes to Pearl." Cole announced.

"You did well, Gaia--get some rest." Ash sighed as he recalled the exhausted Budew.

He looked over at his faithful Pikachu. "You're up, Tintri!"

[Let's do this!] Tintri squeaked as he skittered into the arena.

"Electricity's not gonna work here, so start with Brick Break!" Ash called.

"Crystal, dodge and use Zen Headbutt." Roark countered.

Ash grinned as Tintri intercepted the charging Cranidos with Iron Tail. The force of the attack sent Crystal backwards into the safety barrier again. "That should finish Crystal!"

[Oh yeah?] Crystal countered before charging at Tintri!"

"Tintri, try to dodge and use Disarming Voice in the air!" Ash called.

He gasped as Crystal jumped to meet the Pikachu in the air, hitting Tintri and canceling out the attack. Jao wiisha--! Tintri attempted to sing, only to be knocked to the ground by Zen Headbutt.

Paul was unimpressed by the match unfolding before him. "If he calls that real battling, I shudder to find out what fake battling is..."

Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... Tintri's tiny voice rang through the Gym, snapping Paul to attention. "Then again, maybe Wonder Boy's got what it takes!"


"Tintri, use Quick Attack!" Ash called.

"Crystal, counter with Flamethrower!" Roark urged his Cranidos.

Ash smiled as Tintri weaved around the flames and delivered an Iron Tail to Crystal's head. "All right!"

"Crystal's still in it despite being hammered like that?" Dawn was impressed.

"That's the Rock type for you." Brock mused. "They can take quite the licking and keep on ticking in the right hands.

Ash gasped when he heard Roark's next order. "Crystal, use Head Smash!"

"Tintri, Disarming Voice at full power!" he almost screamed to his Pikachu, aware of the Cranidos barreling at Tintri.

Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... he heard Tintri sing as Crystal smashed into him seconds later. The sound waves melded with the impact, causing a massive explosion.

Tintri came crawling back from the smoke after a few tense minutes. [I did what I could...]

"That you did, bud." Ash replied before finding the Poke Ball Brock had lent him. "Terra, let's go! Start with Brick Break!"

"Crystal, use Flamethrower!" Roark countered.

Terra, rolled away from the Flamethrower and bit down hard on Crystal's arm.

She gasped as Crystal threw her off with Zen Headbutt! [WHOOOOOOAAA!!!!]

Roark watched as Tera went flying into the Diamond safety barrier. "Crystal, use Flamethrower!"

Ash gasped in horror as Terra was engulfed in flames! "Terra, if you can, use Brick Break again!"

This time, Roark gasped as Terra's attack sent Crystal crashing through a rock. "Crystal is unable to battle--this match goes to Diamond." Cole announced.

But no one expected Terra to collapse in exhaustion seconds later! "Diamond has no more usable Pokemon--Pearl wins." Cole smiled.

Paul smirked as Ash went to retrieve Terra. "You call that 'real battling', Wonder Boy? That would win an award...for Best Comic Acting, that is!"

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 16: Wild in the Streets!

"Keep it up, you guys!" Ash smiled as Tintri charged to perform an Iron Tail on a coal pillar. "You're doing great!"

[HI-YAH!] Diddy heaved an Ember at a coal pillar of his own.

[Easy as pie!] Gaia smiled before hurling a flurry of Razor Leaves at a coal pillar.

"Ash isn't letting the fact he lost get him down..." Dawn smiled.

"It may hurt to lose in the heat of the moment, but he's often raring to go again after a day or so." Brock replied. "Sometimes even sooner than that."

He balked when he saw Tintri, Diddy, and Gaia shatter coal pillars at the same time! "Nice job, everyone!" he called as he applauded.

[Thanks...] Diddy smiled.

"You guys look like you're enjoying yourselves." Dawn amiled as she applauded.

[Ash knows how to make the slog of training fun.] Tintri explained.

Lola hurried over with a tray of water bottles. [You guys have been working hard...have some water.] she smiled as she nuzzled Tintri.

"You realize that two of your three Pokemon have a disadvantage against Roark, right?" Dawn asked as the Pikachu, the Chimchar, and the Budew took a break. "Are you sure you don't need to call Professor Oak for advice? I can even lend you Kori, if you'd like...."

"I appreciate your concern, but I think I'll be okay with what I've got." Ash assured Dawn. "Besides, Paul won with type disadvantages..."

"Okay..." Dawn smiled. "I'll trust your ability."

"If you like, you can train against my team." Brock offered. "Since it resembles Roark's Pokémon by type."

"While you guys are training, I'm gonna head back in and brush up on dances and appeals." Dawn replied.

The end of a Contest show on a TV got her attention. Attention, coordinators and Loremasters! The next Pokémon Contest and Fantasy Stage is in Floaroma Town!


"We got it!" Mars smiled as she and Jupiter made their way out of town with one of the fossil revival machines. "Next step is make an army of fossil Pokemon!"

"Well, did you remember to get any fossils on the way out?" Jupiter asked.

"No..." Mars replied.

"Then how are we gonna get an army if you didn't get any fossils?" Jupiter asked.

"You were supposed to remind me!" Mars shot back. The two admins continued down the road, arguing all the while:

"I DID remind you--multiple times!"

"I don't recall you reminding me!"

"Yes, I did!"

"No, you didn't!"

"Yes, I did!"

"No, you didn't!"

"Yes, I did!"

"No, you didn't!"

A bling brought the argument to a screeching halt. "Revival 100% complete..." Jupiter read on the status screen.

The doors on the machine opened with a PSHHHHHHHHHH.... "Wow...an Aerodactyl..." Mars gasped at the ancient pterodactyl-like Pokemon as it flexed its wings a little.

Excited, Jupiter heaved a Poke Ball at the Aerodactyl. "Poke Ball, go!"

She gasped as the Aerodactyl climbed from the machine and soared into the sky. "I have a bad feeling about this..." she mused as a bright yellow aura formed around the Aerodactyl.

"Hit the dirt!" Mars called as the glowing Aerodactyl streaked at the two admins. The attack missed them as they dove on the ground.

"What was that?" Jupiter asked as she started to get up.

"I don't know, but I'll find out what that attack was on GalacticNet." Mars replied as she found a PokeNav and typed something. "The last thing we want right now is for people to get hurt!"


Brock watched as Terra rolled away from a wave of weakened Razor Leaves. "Getting there, but Terra was still able to evade that."

"I've been thinking about my loss yesterday..." Ash mused as he shepherded Gaia back to him. "Roark's Pokémon were fast as well as able to counter raw power. So instead of pounding away with raw power like I did, I need to have a more tactical approach."

"That's the spirit!" a voice interjected. "If you can defend against my tactics, you'll have a badge in no time."

"Roark?" Ash gasped as Roark met him and Brock on their makeshift battlefield. "What are you doing here?"

"I was on my way to the mine to find some more fossils, and overheard a little of your conversation." Roark explained.

A rock with the imprint of an Omanyte shell inspired him. You know...if you've been to the museum before, you likely know about our fossil reviving machines. This was how I got Crystal."

"Really?" Ash asked.

"She was the first fossil to be revived with the first machine." Roark went on. "The demand for fossil revival got to be so big, they added two more..."


Dawn smiled as Lola fired an Ice Beam, creating a flurry of frozen bubbles. "Nice job, you two." she smiled.

An otherworldly screech got her attention. "What in Arceus' name is THAT?" she cried as the Aerodacytl soared overhead, firing Hyper Beams in every direction.

She gasped when she saw the pterodactyl Pokemon coming for her. "Hit the deck!" she called, shielding Kori and Lola as another Hyper Beam whizzed over her head.

Once sure the coast was clear, she fumbled for her Pokedex to read up on the ancient Pokemon:

"Aerodactyl, the fossil Pokemon. This vicious Pokémon is said to have flown in ancient skies while shrieking high-pitched cries."

"Oh my..." she gasped.

"Flash! A wild Aerodactyl is running rampant in the city!" a TV announcer explained. Shots of people fleeing for their lives played across the screen as the announcer went on. "Police are advising people to evacuate if possible."

Dawn watched in awe as the TV screen displayed some scientists trying to corral the Aerodactyl. "I hope the boys are all right..." she mused.

She continued watching the news report in disbelief. Who would do something like this? And why?


"Roark!" a miner gasped as the group and Roark arrived at the mine. "I don't know if you've heard the news or not, but a wild Aerodactyl is loose in the city! Officer Jenny was just on TV telling everyone to evacuate if they can."

Officer Jenny and the scientists all heaved a sigh of relief when they found Roark and the group. "Roark, am I glad to see you." Jenny smiled as the scientists ran to corner the Armaldo and the Kabutops. "Think you could summon Crystal to help us?"

"Sure...Crystal, distract these wild Pokemon with Flamethrower!" Roark commanded as he summoned his Cranidos.

[We wanna help too!] Tintri called as he motioned for Terra to follow him. But before they could attack, the Armaldo and the Kabutops sent them flying back!

[Thank Arceus...] Terra smiled. She watched Crystal used Zen Headbutt, freezing both Pokémon in their tracks.

"We'll take these, thank you!" Jupiter smiled as she and Mars grabbed all three Fossil Pokémon!


"Tintri, use--!" Ash started.

"I wouldn't attack yet." Roark cautioned. "Both the Fossil Pokémon and the revival machine are both at risk." He let that hang as the Aerodactyl fired a Hyper Beam, freeing all three Pokémon and knocking down the machine.

Mars watched as the scientists recalled the Armaldo and Kabutops. "That attack again!" she gasped as a familiar aura formed around the Aerodactyl. "It's called Giga Impact!"

"Whoa!" was all Brock could see as the force of the Giga Impact sent Crystal and the group flying against a wall.

Ash watched in fear as the Aerodactyl charged another Hyper Beam aimed at him! "Tintri...if this is the end...I love you." he whispered as he hugged his Pikachu and braced himself for the end...

Furiya, shuru shamato... sang a familiar voice.

Ash gasped as an Aerodactyl with clear black spikes all over its body emerged from a column of rainbow light. "No way! "Roark can use Mega Evolution too!"

Dawn arrived soon after. "No way! Roark induced his own Aerodactyl!"

"That I did." Roark grinned as he watched Lola and Kori intercept the Hyper Beam with Ice Beam and Bubblebeam.

"Thanks for saving my life..." Ash smiled as Dawn helped him up.

"Anytime." Dawn replied before instructing Lola and Kori "Be ready for anything, okay?"

"I'll have Cassie cover your Piplup and Buneary, okay?" Roark assured Dawn. "That's short for Cassiterite."

Dawn watched as Roark's Mega Aerodactyl shielded Kori and Lola. As the Aerodactyl flew in to perform another Giga Impact, Lola and Kori spun past the attack. Lola managed to kick down the Aerodactyl, allowing a scientist to catch it.

Roark spotted Mars and Jupiter fleeing down a hill. "Go get them, Crystal!"

"Actually, we'll take this!" Mars sneered before firing a net missile to capture Crystal.

"CRYSTAAAAAAAAAL!" Roark screamed.

Gatrandis favel, secret, edena... Brock sang.

Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
Roark watched in amazement as Crystal glowed a bright white. The net snapped as she became a large grey dinosaur creature with sapphires embedded in her body.
Emusto koron zen fine, si...

"Did your friend's Swanna Song evolve Crystal into Rampardos?" Roark gasped as Ash hurried to tend to Brock.

Dawn smiled as Crystal ran after the admins. "We know how special Crystal is to you, so Brock appealed to Arceus directly to rescue her."

Crystal, meanwhile, had caught up to the admins. After snatching away the revival machine, she used Zen Headbutt to send the admins flying.


"I have to ask you...where did you get a Mega Ring?" Ash asked Roark later that evening. The news on the TV was now showing what had happened earlier that afternoon.

"It was a gift from my dad." Roark explained as he showed Ash the opal ring on his left hand. "You'll likely meet him on your journey--he runs the Gym in Canalave City. Since we share a bond as father and son, we both share a Heart Song."

"Cool!" Dawn was impressed.

"Is it okay if I battle you again tomorrow?" Ash asked Roark.

Roark chuckled. "If you and your friends saved the city, you've earned yourself a rematch many times over!"

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 17: O'er the Rampardos We Watched...

"Roark..." Ash began as he met Roark in the Gym foyer the next day. "I wish to try again for a Badge. After our last match, I thought about what you said about tactics. So I'm ready to try again with a new strategy in mind."

"Well, there's no limit on how many times you can challenge a Gym Leader, so you can try as many times as you like to beat me." Roark replied. "I'll be waiting in the arena."

"Okay!" With that, Ash hurried off to the Diamond entrance tunnel.

A smile formed on Dawn's face as she rejoined Brock. "You thinking what I'm thinking?"

"Yeah--we cheer Ash on somehow." Brock replied.

"I know just the thing we can do to cheer Ash on--but I'll need your help to do it." Dawn explained.

"All right--whatever you want me to do, I'll do it." Brock replied.


"Wow!" Brock applauded as Dawn emerged from a dressing room. She now wore a beautiful orange and white dress-like costume with matching accessories. "You look every bit like an idol! A Contest idol!"

"I like that!" Dawn giggled as she caught a glimpse of herself in a mirror. I hope my song inspires Ash in this match!

Kori and Lola emerged from the dressing room some moments later, in miniature versions of Dawn's costume. [Why do we have to wear this floofy outfit?] Lola complained. [It ruins my fur!]

[This was Dawn's idea, not mine.] Kori sighed. [Besides, it's only for a few minutes. Can you deal with that?]

[I guess...] Lola sighed, seeing she didn't have much of a choice.

"Backing track's ready and tuned to a key you can hit." Brock reported as he hit the button to close the CD player. "I've tuned this to A minor, up from the original E minor."

"Thanks." Dawn mused. "I may be able to sing alto, and some girls can even sing tenor, but I can't go that low."

"Dawn and the Sunshines inspiring rendition of 'Glory in Our Story', take 1..." Brock grinned as he hit PLAY on the CD player, as Ash stepped into the Diamond side of the arena.

The song beginning spurred Ash to look up at a large catwalk above him. "What in the..." he gasped as Dawn, Kori, and Lola danced along to the song's pounding beat.

We all have a dream inside our hearts that we will follow to the end... Dawn sang as she danced to the music.
When you make a wish upon a star, the power flows, inside of you!
Everybody listen to this song and sadness will just disappear!
My wishes, dreams and hopes go forth into the world...


"Tintri, use Quick Attack!" Ash called over Dawn's singing and the music.

"Sterling, counter with Slam!" Roark commanded.

Tintri leaped away from the Onix's charge, allowing him to climb onto the rock snake's body. Annoyed, Sterling unleashed a hypersonic cry, but Tintri managed to brace himself.

Sterling growled in annoyance as he squirmed around the rocky arena, but Tintri held on as hard as he could. "Now's your chance! Use Iron Tail!" Ash called.

He grinned as he saw the silver flash of the attack and Sterling's roar of pain. "Okay, dodge the next attack and do that again!"

[Okay!] Tintri smiled as he spun away from a Double-Edge, then charged another Iron Tail. Sterling swerved away from the Pikachu's shining silver tail, caught Tintri, and slammed Tintri on the ground.

"Sterling, use Stealth Rock." Roark smirked.

Ash watched as the rocks formed in the arena. "You know what to do, bud?"

Tintri nodded, and took a deep breath. Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...

"What was that?" Roark gasped as he watched the sparking red sound waves destroy the floating rocks."

"You've shown me your Heart Song already, so it's only fair I show you mine." Ash replied.

He turned business-like again. "Tintri, use Iron Tail!"

"Sterling--!" Roark started, but the KA-WHANG! of Tintri's attack clued him in that his Onix was down. "Well played." he smiled as he recalled his Onix.

"Well done, bud." Ash smiled as Tintri romped off to the sidelines for a well deserved rest.

He heaved another Poke Ball into the arena. "Diddy, let's go!"


...Come with me and we will see the wonders of the world!
All of the glory, is in our story!
Dawn sang as Ash summoned Diddy into the arena.

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...
The cards here in my hand,
Show you the way...

"Diddy, try Fury Swipes!" Ash commanded his Chimchar.

[Whoa!] Diddy gasped as he jumped away from Diana using Rollout.

"Okay, new plan--try Double Team!" Ash called, aware of the Geodude rolling towards Diddy.

He smiled as Diana hit a copy of Diddy. The real Diddy attempted to use Brick Break, but Diana's rocky hands blocked the attack. Oh, no... he thought as Diana slammed Diddy to the floor with Seismic Toss.

A smile formed on his face as Diddy leaped away from Diana's second attempt at Rollout. "You've got this, Diddy! Use Brick Break again!"

Roark didn't seem fazed as Diddy's attack connected. "You're doing very well so far, what with your cheerleaders up there." he smiled as he acknowledged Dawn, Kori, and Lola dancing and singing on the catwalk. "But are you ready for your final test?"

"Bring it!" Ash replied.

"Crystal, here we go!" Ash swallowed hard as the now Rampardos rammed into Diddy with a Headbutt...


We all have a dream inside our hearts that we will follow to the end... Dawn sang as she watched Ash summon Gaia in the arena.
When you make a wish upon a star, the power flows, inside of you!
Everybody listen to this song and sadness will just disappear!
My wishes, dreams and hopes go forth into the world...

"Gaia, try Energy Ball!" Ash almost screamed as Crystal came charging at Gaia.

Gaia rolled away from the Rampardos, then charged a large green ball of light. "Good work!" Ash called as the green light ball knocked Crystal away. "Now use Razor Leaf!"

"Crystal, burn it with Flamethrower!" Roark called.

Ash gasped in horror as Crystal rammed Gaia. "Don't give up!"

[I'm okay...I have Synthesis, you know.] Gaia assured her master from inside a pale green aura.

Ash noticed a wave of flames headed for the healing Budew. "Gaia, watch out!"

Sweat started forming on his brow as his heart pounded. What do I do now? All I can do is defend myself! Crystal is way too fast, and Flamethrower will negate any Razor Leaf thrown at it!

An idea occurred to him. "Gaia, start running while using Razor Leaf at the same time!"

He watched as Crystal heaved another Flamethrower. But Gaia kept running, generating new leaves all the while.

I see...Ash is trying to camouflage his Budew with the burned leaves... Roark mused. "Crystal, use Zen Headbutt!"

The Rampardos charged forward, but Gaia jumped away. Crystal jumped, too, but she did not see Gaia rolling under her!

"We've got this! Razor Leaf at full power!" Ash called.

We can go anywhere, so long as we're together
I truly believe it with all of my heart...
Dawn sang as the whorl of leaves battered Crystal.
The cards here in my hand,
Show you the way...

"Crystal is unable to battle...Diamond wins!" Cole announced as the song ended.

Roark applauded Ash. "I see you took my lesson on tactics to heart. But I have no qualms about losing to you. You were strong, and I was weak. That's all there is to it."

He offered Ash the rock shaped badge as Dawn went to change out of costume. "Here...you've earned this. Go on and shout out your victory from the rooftops, if you'd like."

Ash nodded as his companions arrived. "I got a Coal Badge!"

To Be Continued...


Name's Adam.
Review for Chapter One

When I started reading this, I thought it was just going to be a rehash of the anime or the games featuring Dawn. What I didn't expect was for it to be a combination of both.

I do like the fact that you're trying to incorporate both of them because folks like Barry didn't get to shine all that well in the anime while being prominent in the games. It's honestly a nice touch to add for a story like this, and manages to keep one interested.

If there's anything I have to criticize, it's most certainly the dialogue. I'm going to be honest, the characters' words and sentences don't come off as natural, as in they don't sound like what a non-ai human would say. I would know, because I've been there a couple months back.

As Dawn rode down the path leading outside of town, she spotted a blonde haired boy waving in her direction. "Hey! Where you off to, Dawn?"

"I'm headed to Prof. Rowan's lab in Sandgem Town, Barry." Dawn replied as she pulled up by the boy's side. "And where might you be going?"

Considering that this is an exchange from two people who've likely been friends for years, Dawn's response feels quite flat and lacking in energy.

This isn't a problem you can't fix either. It takes practice and observation, but one way of doing it is by studying literary works, how the authors write their dialogues and prose and so on.

I did like the elemental arrows, though that's not really been explained in the first chapter m


The magic of Pokemon
Thanks for the review.

This is meant to be part of a series re-imagining the anime with aspects of the games and some ideas from other universes and my imagination.

So while it seems weird that I refer to events in the past, and foreshadow what comes later, it will all make sense when you read all the stories in the series together.

I am working on doing better at the dialogue, though.


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 18: Twice Smitten, Once Shy!

"Aw!" Dawn smiled as she spotted a pale blue and white squirrel-like Pokemon. "Pachirisu live in this forest!"

Ash decided to read up on the squirrel Pokemon that was brushing its tail on a stump:

"Pachirisu, the EleSquirrel Pokemon. It makes fur balls that crackle with static electricity. It stores them with berries in tree holes."

"I'm gonna take a crack at catching this little cutie!" Dawn smiled. She heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Kori, Peck the Pachirisu!"

She balked as the Pachirisu kissed Kori on the cheek, sending her stumbling about the field. "Okay, new plan..." Dawn mused as she recalled Kori. "Lola, use Dizzy Punch!" she called as she heaved her other Poke Ball skyward.

[Hah!!!] Lola screeched as she charged at the electric squirrel in a flurry of fists. But she didn't expect to be meat by a shower of sparks!

[I think you need to chill!] Lola taunted before firing an array of Ice Beams in an attempt to freeze the Pachirisu. The Pachirisu cartwheeled away from all the beams and discharged a massive thunderbolt! "Talk about a shocking personality..." Ash wheezed as the others coughed up char from the attack.

"I'll say..." Brock agreed.

Dawn noticed the Pachirisu heaving with exhaustion. "Kori, use Bubblebeam!"

She smiled as the wave of rainbow bubbles knocked over the tired Pachirisu. "Poke Ball, go!" she commanded as she heaved a Poke Ball at her target.

"One...two...three..." Brock counted the wiggles before seeing the light at the Poke Ball's center dim. "You got it, Dawn."

"YESSSSSSSSS!!!" Dawn cried as she ran to retrieve her Poke Ball.

"Nicely done." Ash agreed as he looked over Pachirisu's Pokedex info some more. "Now you have an opportunity for both Cool and Cute appeals, since a lot of Electric moves are Cool themed."

"Would it be safe to argue Dawn is a cute themed coordinator?" Brock interjected. "Think about it. Piplup can have Beautiful and Cute appeals. Buneary has mainly Cute appeals, and now this Pachirisu with both Cool and Cute appeals."

"It doesn't matter if I specialize in one type of appeal type or not. All that matters is that my team makes people happy and they win contests, right?" Dawn interjected.

She looked at the Poke Ball in her hands. "I think I'll name you...Stormy."

The group did not notice Mars skipping down the forest path near their camp. Over the river and through the woods, to Pokemon hunt I go...


"Stormy...use Thunderbolt..." Dawn mumbled as she slept, lost in a dream of winning a contest with Stormy. "Thank you...it is indeed an honor to earn this ribbon..."

She woke up with a yawn to find Stormy sleeping on a nearby stump. "Sweet dreams, Stormy--you and I are gonna win a lot of Contests together."

Stormy gave a contented squeak in reply. Dawn decided to lie awake for a few moments, savoring the twinkling stars above her. I wish I was a Grand Coordinator... she thought as a shooting star streaked by.


...Come with me and we will see the wonders of the world! All of the glory, is in our story! Dawn heard Ash singing as she woke up the next morning.

"I'm glad my rendition of your favorite song inspired you..." Dawn smiled as she emerged from her tent brushing her hair.

"Oh, it did!" Ash smiled as he continued doing martial arts poses in time with a melody only he seemed to hear. "In fact, I'm eager to find where the next Gym is and take on its Leader too!"

"Well, you do that; and I'll train for my first ribbon." Dawn replied as she finished getting ready.

She hurried into an open part of the field and heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Come on out, Stormy!"

She giggled as Stormy darted away from her, then came running back. "You're cute, you know that?" Dawn smiled as she reached out to pet Stormy.

Just then, Stormy started to spark--a warning sign it was about to discharge! "Oh no..." was all Dawn could say as Stormy fired a massive electric blast! She then dashed away, laughing at the sight of Dawn's hair sticking out in fifteen different directions.

Ash tried oh-so-hard not to laugh at Dawn's sparking hair. "If it's any consolation, the Pikachu family does that too." Dawn grumbled in reply.


Back in her tent, Dawn thought about what had happened some hours earlier. 'Why did Stormy do that to me?" she mused as she finished combing out the last static mat. "All I wanted to do was pet her...is she not used to me yet? Is she one of those strong willed Pokemon?"

She sighed. "Or maybe Stormy wasn't meant to be owned by a human at all?"

After putting away her brush, she noticed Stormy standing by the tent entrance "Can we talk, Stormy?" she asked.

The Pachirisu nodded as Dawn lead it to a bushy grove. "As much as I love you, and want to see you grow up to be the best you can be..."

Tears welled up in her eyes as she continued "I think...the best place...for that...to happen...is..."

Emotion finally overcame Dawn. She hurried back to the camp with tears streaming down her face, leaving Stormy confused.

"What happened?" Brock noticed Dawn crying as he continued packing up his camp gear.

"Is everything okay?" Ash was also concerned. "Whatever happened, you can vent to us."

Dawn wiped away a few tears, then took a few deep breaths to compose herself. "I...tried to let Stormy go..."

"What?" Ash gasped. "You just caught her yesterday!"

"I don't know...she zapped me earlier, when I wanted to pet her." Dawn explained. "That, and I'm not sure if I could control something that's so high energy."

"You have to remember that Pokemon are a little bit like people--they have different personalities too." Brock began. This means that yes, some of them are strong willed. It also means that some of them are naturally high energy."

"The Pikachu family's very energetic too." Ash agreed. "So while a Pikachu and a Pachirisu are two different Pokemon, they do share a few similarities."

"Believe it or not, some Pokemon are also very much like human kids." Brock added. "In my experience, I've learned that almost all unwanted behavior is because of a want. Sometimes they want more control over their lives. Sometimes they want to do more for themselves. Sometimes they want your full and undivided attention."

"Hm..." Dawn contemplated what the boys had said. "You both make great points. Maybe I should have asked one of you for help..."

Meanwhile, Mars spotted Stormy dancing around the field. "Well well, what have we here? I'll claim this little guy for myself."


Power...experience...connection...which one of those was Stormy wanting? Dawn thought. What could Ash have offered if I asked him for advice earlier? Could some of his experience in caring for Tintri also have helped Stormy?

She sighed as she looked out at the sky, where one of the clouds got her attention. Even that cloud looks like a Pachirisu. Maybe Arceus is telling me Stormy needs to be with me?

Inspired, she hurried back down the road to meet the boys. "Guys...I thought about what each of you said, and I realized I was a bit rash to let Stormy go after one zap. So even though I didn't technically release her, I'm ready and willing to take her back."

Brock smiled. "Well, if you wanna find her, I think I know where she is..."

"Huh?" Dawn looked a little farther down the road, where she spotted Mars battling Stormy with Purugly. "Stormy!"

"Come on!" Ash led the way down the road, just in time to see Stormy whack away Mars' Poke Ball with her tail.

Brock's whistle snapped Mars and Jupiter to attention. "I believe the Pachirisu you are battling is actually owned..."

"Yeah--my friend named it Stormy." Ash added.

"Really?" Mars grinned. "Your friend must've released it, because it went inside the Poké Ball I threw earlier."

"If you're so sure this Pachirisu is named, let's see who it really wants to go with." Jupiter suggested. She knelt down before Stormy. "Okay, little guy--who do you want to go with?"

Ash noticed Jupiter had hidden a pile of nuts and berries behind her back in an attempt to sway Stormy. "Hey, Brock...maybe we could sway Stormy to our side with some of your homemade Pokechow..."

"No--I'm not stooping to Galactic's level." Brock replied.

"Besides, a food bribe won't prove anything." Dawn agreed.

Both sides watched to see what Stormy would do. Stormy proceeded to fire a huge electric blast, knocking out both admins. "I guess she wants to go with me?" Dawn asked as Stormy pilfered all the food.

[Yeah...I still choose you.] Stormy chittered.

"Aw..." Ash smiled as Dawn hugged Stormy, never mind her hair was sticking up a little.

Dawn offered a Poké Ball to Stormy. "If you touch this, you can come."

Stormy nodded, and touched the ball; going in in a flash of light. "Thanks, Stormy--now we can shock the Contest world." Dawn grinned. "Starting with the one in Floaroma Town!"

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 19: Mutiny in the Bounty

"Floaroma Town...75 miles." Brock read a signpost as the group made their way down a road. "The city is known as 'the town that smells vividly of flowers' and for good reason."

"I'm sure it must be beautiful!" Dawn smiled.

"Local lore says that the town was once a barren and desolate hill." Brock began. "People started planting flowers around it to brighten up the place, but nothing would grow. Then, someone expressed thanks for the bounty of nature, and the whole hill burst into bloom. Many believe the Legendary Pokemon Shaymin created the flowers."

"Aw, that's cute!" Even Ash was enamored by the white hedgehog-like Pokemon with grass-like fur depicted in the guidebook. "Maybe we'll be lucky enough to see her!"

The whooshes of wings got his attention as a familiar blue dragon Pokemon with red wings soared over him. "A Salamence?"

"Wow!" Dawn gasped as she read up on the majestic Pokemon:

"Salamence. the dragon Pokemon. It becomes uncontrollable if it is enraged. It can destroy everything with shredding claws and fire if it isn't calmed. Salamence is capable of undergoing Mega Evolution if the trainer's Heart Song has been awakened.

She strained her eyes to make out a female figure on the Salamence's back. "Someone's riding the Salamence!"

Ash got a better glimpse of the Salamence's rider. "She doesn't look friendly at all!" he gasped. He noticed the dull purple and red outfit the woman wore, and shuddered. She looks like every bad guy in every action movie I've ever watched!

"Ariados, use String Shot!" Brock heard the woman command as she summoned a familiar spider Pokemon onto the ground.

Dawn heard a yelp of surprise as the Ariados bound up a Gardevoir's magenta-haired owner. "She's gonna kidnap the Gardevoir's owner!"

"Anime, warp away from here!" the girl pleaded as she struggled to get free from her bindings. "Save yourself!"

I'll do my best to send help for you as soon as I can! the beautiful white humanoid Pokemon replied. With that, it disappeared in a flash of light.

"We have to help the girl! Come on!" Ash called as he led the way down the hill, where the girl was struggling to free herself from the String Shot.

Moments before they could reach the girl, a huge explosion rocked the area! "Mama Dragon J to Hatchlings, we have the Gardevoir."

Ash watched as the petrified Gardevoir was loaded onto a truck. I see...she used a petrification device to catch that Gardevoir. That explains the loud explosion before...

He motioned for Tintri to follow him. "Come on, Tintri! Let's hold that lady off at the pass!"

[Yeah! No one Poke-naps an innocent Pokemon on my watch and gets away with it!] Tintri agreed.

"Ash...I hope you know what you're doing..." Dawn mused as she watched her friend follow the truck down the road...


"Are you okay?" Brock asked as he and Dawn finished freeing the girl. "Does anything feel hurt or broken?"

"I'm all right, just surprised someone would take my companion, Anime." the girl replied. "What that lady wanted with Anime, I don't know, but it can't be good!"

"My friend's gonna try and save Anime, okay?" Dawn assured the girl as she rubbed some anti burn stick onto some burned areas on her legs.

"Thank you." the girl replied. "I'm Melodi, by the way."

Meanwhile, Ash and Trintri had headed off the truck near a mountain pass. "Why did you take a little girl's Gardevoir?" he demanded. "Give her back, NOW!!!"

The woman grinned. "Why not? I could just as easily take your little Pikachu, if I wanted. But first I want to see its versatility in battle!"

She heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Mathayus, let's go!"

Ash reached for his own Pokedex to read up on the massive purple scorpion Pokemon before him:

"Drapion, the ogre scorp Pokemon. Possessing a sturdy build, it takes pride in its strength, taking down foes without using toxins.

"Tintri, use--!" This was as far as he got before he found himself thrown against a rock and bound with String Shot! "OOF!!!"

He growled as the woman scooped Tintri in her arms. "No fair summoning two Pokemon against one!"

"I've got what I wanted, so why don't you be a good boy and hang out here for a while." the woman smirked before recalling both the Drapion and the Ariados and departing.

Inside some brush, Mars and Jupiter huddled to discuss the confrontation. "Did you see that? That lady grabbed Hat-boy's Pikachu without having to lift a finger!" Mars cried. "We could use someone like that on Team Galactic."

"We need talented people, sure, but I'm not so sure about this lady." Jupiter mused as she watched Ash struggle to get free from the rock. "Something doesn't feel right about her. But if you think she could help our cause, we'll go negotiate with her."

As she and Mars hurried down the road, they heard Ash's voice ringing through the mountains. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...


...Katoradis favel siicletu edena... Ash's voice continued. Emusto koron zen fine, si...

Brock led Dawn and Melodi up the mountain path. "What happened?" Dawn gasped as Brock eased Ash onto the ground.

"I tried to stop that lady and save the Gardevoir, but she took Tintri too." Ash explained as a tear formed in his eye. "Now I'm more determined than ever to stop this lady!"

'What was that power your friend used to call us here?" Melodi asked, curious.

"Believe it or not, the Swanna Song often seen in folklore and media is in fact real." Brock explained. "But only a rare few can actually use this power. My friend can use it because of his deep bond with his Pikachu."


"Fog machine is go." Jupiter reported as she pressed a button on a fog generator.

"It's stopping." Mars reported as she saw the truck come to a stop and the woman climbed out to meet them.

"Excuse me, miss--our own vehicle broke down, and we could use the help." Jupiter began.

The woman was unimpressed. "Using a fog machine to try and stop me? Typical Team Galactic. How's that creating a new world working out for you?"

Jupiter growled at the woman's insult. "Noctis, go give this lady a piece of my mind!"

"Nice, a Skuntank." the woman sneered as Jupiter's Skuntank appeared. "I'll just take your Pokemon too!"

"No!" Mars reached for the Poke Ball holding her Purugly.

"Venus, bind these Galactic fools!" the woman commanded as she summoned her Ariados again. Once sure Mars, Jupiter, and Noctis would not be getting out from their binding, she snatched the Poke Ball holding Mars' Purugly.

Ash and the others arrived some time later. "That weird lady get you guys too?"

"Yeah--they Poke-napped Leona too." Mars sobbed as Brock cut the admins and Noctis free.

She brushed away a tear. "Look, normally, we would be wanting our revenge for you guys hindering our plan for a new world. Now we need your help."

"Your Pikachu's obviously special to you, so we'd be willing to help you get him back if you helped us get Leona back." Jupiter agreed.

A whir got the group's attention. "What in the..." Dawn gasped as a large plane-like vehicle flew over the group's heads.

Officer Jenny and her faithful Arcanine arrived some moments later. "Is everyone okay? We came as soon as we could. We got a tip that the notorious Pokemon hunter J was here, but it appears we were too late to stop her."

"So that lady's name is J?" Dawn asked.

"J is a codename--no one knows for sure what her true name is." Officer Jenny explained. "Across the world, there are shady individuals who make their living stealing other people's Pokemon. They are known as Pokemon hunters. They swear no loyalty to any government or group, expect for a hunter's guild. Once initiated into a guild, they are known by a codename, and often recruit minions of their own. J is especially notable for having a hand in many high profile Poke-nappings. She could be an evil team on her own with how many spies and minions she has under her sway."

"Wow..." Brock gasped.

"How do we begin to take down someone that powerful?" Dawn wondered.

"I don't know, but I'll do whatever it takes to save Tintri from the Pokémon Hunter's evil grasp!" Ash vowed. "Either that, or die trying!"

"Yeah--Pokemon Hunters are total outcasts!" Mars agreed. "The lowest of the low!"

"Mars, I hate to interrupt your dramatic speech, but I have an idea..." Jupiter whispered as Brock undid the bindings. "We're going to sneak aboard the ship and rescue Leona---you with me?"

"Yeah..." Mars smiled. "If we can find that plane thing the Pokemon hunter flew off in."

"This is the problem with attempting to catch a high profile Pokemon hunter like J." Officer Jenny explained. "Once she steals her Pokémon, she makes her getaway in an airship."

"We obviously can't chase her on foot, then..." Dawn mused.

"The only way we could catch J in the act is if we knew where she'll strike next." Brock suggested.

"What a great idea!" Melodi smiled as she heaved a Poke Ball skyward "Douce, find out where J will strike next."

The smaller humanoid Pokemon Melodi had summoned hummed for a moment. The next place J will strike is a small house with a waterwheel, near the river, at the edge of the woods.

"Thanks." Melodi replied, recalling the small humanoid Ash remembered as Kirlia.

"Blue Angel to all units--we have determined J's next strike point." Jenny called over the radio as she sent the coordinates. "All units assemble at this point!"


"Ah ha!" Ash smirked as he spotted J stealing an Absol. "Are you gonna give Tintri back or not?" he asked as the officers moved in.

J chuckled. "I should commend you for discovering my secret base, Superboy. But while you and your cohorts still live, it won't be so secret anymore!"

She looked over at her Salamence. "Ridley, use Hyper Beam!"

Officer Jenny gasped as the Salamence charged a familiar orange beam. "Anya, protect Ash!"

She called to Ash "If you want to catch J, here's your chance! Go, go, go!"

Ash nodded, and made a running jump onto one of the vehicles in J's convoy. Minutes later, Jenny's Arcanine took the Salamence's attack.

"Ash...good luck." was all Dawn could say as the convoy made its way down the road.


"Okay...we made it in." Ash whispered as he, Mars, and Jupiter made their way into J's base, where the main hallways split into two paths. "I'm taking my team down the left hall. You guys can look for Leona or Tintri on the right. Meet back here in an hour."

"Got it!" Mars and Jupiter replied as they hurried down the right path.

After checking in a few rooms, Diddy spotted a room filled with caged Pokemon. [Ash! I found where Mars' Purugly is!]

As Diddy hurried off down the hall, J noticed Diddy left the door open. "I knew we had a few stowaways on board..."

With that, she pressed a button on a wall, making a loud WOOP! WOOP! WOOP! ring through the base.

"Run for it!" Mars called as she and Jupiter dashed down the hall.

Chaos erupted in the base as Ash, the admins, J, and her minions all fought in the hallway. J's Drapion attempted to capture Ash; but Diddy hit the Drapion with Fury Swipes, freeing Ash.

"Gaia, go help Diddy!" Ash heaved a Poke Ball skyward...

Mars and Jupiter watched from a corner as Diddy and Gaia were hammered by a hard attack moments later. "We're sitting Psyducks!" Jupiter shuddered as J's minions surrounded them.

"Maybe not..." Ash kicked down an air vent. "In here!"

"Good thinking, Hat-boy!" Mars smiled, stiffling a giggle at the minions running up and down the halls looking for them.

After making their way through the vent, the group emerged into the room holding the Pokemon. Hold! Anime called when she saw Mars and Jupiter. You do not mean to harm us?

"No, we came to rescue you guys." Jupiter replied as she went to work unlocking the cages.

"There you are!" a voice called.

"J!" Ash gasped as he held Tintri close.

He smiled as a minion summoned a Golbat. 'Now to do what I meant to do before...Tintri, use Volt Tackle!"

[HAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!] Tintri screeched. He slammed into the Golbat with an explosion of light and thunderbolts.

The attack also destroyed the airlock, causing the air to rush out of the room. "This room is some kind of pod!" Mars realized as she scrambled to hang onto a cabinet knob.

"Estrella, go find the others." Ash instructed his Staravia as he recalled Diddy and Gaia.

J noticed what Ash had done. "Fare thee well, Superboy...and happy landings!"

"Huh?" Ash gasped before realizing that the pod the group was in was hurtling towards the ground!


"I see them!" Dawn called, pointing out the large round pod hurtling towards the ground.

"If they don't do something fast, they're gonna crash..." Officer Jenny cautioned.

Inside the pod, Jupiter was beginning to panic. "We have to stop this thing before it crashes!"

Mars got an idea. "This is gonna sound crazy, hat-boy. What would happen if one of us decided to sing that super powered super song they use on TV?"

"It's worth a shot..." Ash smiled.

With that he sang. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
Emusto koron zen fine, si...

As Ash's last "si" rang through the air, the pod was surrounded in a rainbow light! "I don't believe it...that song they use for a last ditch spell on TV actually works!" Dawn gasped as Ash, the admins, Tintri, Anime, and the other Pokemon landed safely on the ground.

"It also has the strength drain that often happens when a character uses it on TV, too." Brock cautioned as he want to tend to Ash, who was heaving with exhaustion. "So if you ever meet a Legendary and learn to sing it yourself, use it only in an emergency!"

"The falling...pod...counted as an...emergency..." Ash wheezed as Officer Jenny hurried over with some water.

"I can't thank you enough in helping us to capture some of J's minions." Officer Jenny smiled as some other officers read the minions their rights. "That was a brave thing you did. I don't know where or why you learned a legendary power, but I hope you continue to use it for the good of the world."

"I promise, Officer." Ash smiled. He did not see that Mars and Jupiter had slipped away into the brush.

"Thank you, as well, for saving Anime and bringing her back to me." Melodi agreed.

The Gardevoir's eyes glowed as she read Ash's heart. You need not worry about Ash using his powers for evil, Officer. His heart shines with the fires of courage, and the purest light.


"Why did J elude us?" Dawn muttered as the group made camp on a hill that evening. "You had a chance to get her!"

"I did my best, but J is craftier than a Ninetales." Ash replied. "Eventually karma will catch up to her, but who knows how more Pokemon she'll catch before then?"

"Hopefully, it won't be any more." Brock replied. "Officer Jenny and the rest of the force are doing everything they can to help bring J and others like her to justice."

A smile formed on Ash's face. "Here's hoping I won't have to see her again--next time, I'm using my rainbow Thunderbolts!"

The group's laughter echoed over the hills as the sun set...

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 20: Borrowing on Bad Faith

[HAAAHHH!!!!] Tintri screeched as he rammed into a target with Volt Tackle.

Ash applauded the electrical explosion signaling a hit. "Okay! That was great, Tintri."

He paused to look up Volt Tackle in the Pokedex. "If you ever want to use Tintri in a Contest, Volt Tackle is a very appealing Cool move exclusive to the Pikachu family."

"Point noted." Dawn smiled before spotting a poster on a signpost. "Well! Seems the village we're headed towards is hosting in unofficial Contest and Fantasy Stage. Maybe I can introduce Stormy to a Contest setting."

"I could use the practice for a Fantasy Stage myself." Brock agreed. "Especially if Nando's competing."

Ash suddenly felt something being snatched off his head. "Hey!" he cried as Diddy clambored into a tree with his cap.

[Okay, but you'll have to catch me first!] Diddy replied.

"Follow that Chimchar!" Brock led the others after Diddy.


Elsewhere, Mars and Jupiter discovered the same signpost Dawn had found. "Hey, Mars..." Jupiter whispered.

"Hm?" Mars was snapped from a daydream.

"Check this out..." Jupiter whispered as Mars joined her. "Contest and Fantasy Stage today...winner gets a year's supply of fresh fruit."

"I'm sure Noctis would love that." Mars smiled. "I don't really want to use Leona for a Contest, and all my other Pokemon are back at the base. So are you okay with me borrowing Noctis for the Contest?"

"Sure!" Jupiter smiled. "Skuntank is a very well rounded Pokemon for Contests as well as battle, using any type of appeal."

She handed Mars the Poke Ball with her Skuntank inside. "I expect you to take good care of Noctis, okay?"

"You know I will." Mars smiled. "Besides, battles are not allowed in a Contest setting, anyway."


Brock emerged from the dressing area in the village square in costume some time later. "Wow...even though this isn't official, the village is making a big deal out of it."

"I'll say..." Ash agreed as he observed the lines moving at different booths. Those that were not signing up for the Contest or the Fantasy Stage were trying their luck at various games of chance.

He smiled. "Can I say you look beautiful in your costume?"

"Thanks." Brock smiled. "Even if I don't win it all here, I plan to keep it for future storytelling shows back home."

"I'm gonna go look around a bit before the events start." Ash turned to depart down a side path. "Break both legs!"

He noticed Dawn had emerged from the dressing area. "Oh!" he gasped as he admired the lavender, gold, and white pantsuit with purple trim. "Is that your costume for the Contest?"

"It is." Dawn replied as she set the matching lavender top hat on her head. "I packed a few different outfits so the audience doesn't tire of the same old dress every time."

"Good idea." Ash smiled.

He spotted Mars, as her alter ego Marta, training with Noctis in a practice arena. "Whoa!" he gasped as Noctis combined Fury Swipes and Night Slash to catch Berries falling out of a tree. "That was cool!"

"Isn't Noctis one of Jupiter's Pokemon?" Brock wondered as he rejoined Ash and Dawn by the fence. "Using someone's Pokemon can be risky if the borrowed Pokemon doesn't know the other person well."

"But your team listens to me." Ash mused.

"That's because my team knows you well." Brock replied.

Dawn shuddered as Noctis fired a Flamethrower into the sky. "Noctis seems to be listening to Marta. What if Marta ends up winning the Contest?"

"Don't worry about what Marta will do." Ash assured Dawn. "Just focus on what YOU need to do."


Laughter and applause filled the air as Stormy emerged from the Visual competition's dressing room wearing a fake black mustache, a matching black goatee, and sunglasses. "That's it! Stormy gets the silver in Visual with a very cool look!" the emcee announced as Stormy struck some cool poses for the audience.

Once the coordinators had removed their accessories from their Pokemon, the Bailatron emerged from the floor with a whir. "Now, let's move on to the Dance competition..."

In the backstage holding room, Dawn perused the song list. "What kind of song would you want to dance to, Stormy?"

[Something fun.] Stormy replied as Noctis swayed and jumped to a pounding techno beat with an Oriental flair. [Skunky there thinks he's a samurai? I wanna show off some fun moves!]

"All right." Dawn tapped her choice of song on the selector, just as Noctis struck a final warrior's pose. The audience roared with applause as the skunk Pokemon took a bow.

"Up next is number U-63845430, dancing to 'Conga'." the emcee announced as Mars reunited with Noctis in the holding area.

Ash whistled in support as Stormy leaped onto the huge machine, eager to dance to her chosen song.

A festive Latin melody blared over the speakers. Come on, shake your body baby, do the conga!
I know you can't control yourself any longer!
Come on, shake your body baby, do the conga!
I know you can't control yourself any longer!

Many in the audience clapped along as Stormy jumped and twirled in time to the pounding beat. Inspired, Ash motioned to the girl next to him. "Hey...dance with me!"

"Okay!" The girl eagerly grabbed onto Ash, spurring others in the row to join in. This created a large conga line as more people hurried to join in the dance in the stands...


..."King Damien did not recognize her, but he never left her side nor took his eyes off her." Jupiter continued her tale, aware of the uncomfortable chatter in the audience. "Around midnight a strange thing happened. A thick cloud suddenly filled the hall, so that for a moment all was dark. Then the mist suddenly grew bright, and Kitsune appeared in the room."

"This," she tells the crowd as Kitsune, "is the girl whom you have always believed to be your sister, and who vanished during the siege. She is not really your sister at all, but the daughter of the king of a neighboring country, who was given to your mother to bring up, to save her from the hands of an evil wizard.’

She concludes as herself "Then she departed for heaven, and she and King Damien lived happily ever after."

Confused murmurs waft through the crowd. "Did Juno just put that in to satisfy the crowd?" Brock wondered--the previous events and the ending didn't add up in his mind.

He thought back over the story's plot. Is it possible that the usurper Danielle fled from was the evil wizard?

"Number K-42207, performing 'The Four Brothers'." an announcer reported, snapping Brock to attention.

Oh well...I'll think it over later. Brock thought as he emerged from the wings and onto the Fantasy Stage.

After taking a few breaths to ease the Beautiflies in his stomach, he began. "There was once a hunter who had four sons, and these sons wanted to go out into the world to seek their own fortunes. When they had all come of age, they said to their father..."

"We are going out into the world, and seeking our own fortunes." he explained in a mimic of Ash for effect.

As himself, he continued, "The father gave them each 100 gold pieces and a Ponyta apiece. They set out early the next morning, and rode to the mountains. Around noon they came to a fork with four paths, and between them stood a beech tree. They stopped there, and the eldest said to the rest..."

"Let's separate here, and take a different road to seek our fortune in the world." he suggested as Ash again.

He went on as himself "They agreed to each stick a knife into the tree, and meet back there in a year and a day. If any of the knives rusted, its owner was either dead or in need of help. If any of them glowed, the owner had found great fortune."

Intrigued murmurs filled the theater as Brock continued "And so, they each went their separate ways. When they came to a town, they each learned a trade. The eldest learned to be a shoemaker. The second learned to be a thief that stole from those with ill-gotten gains to give to the poor. The third learned to be an astromancer, a kind of mage who drew his magic from the stars. The youngest learned to be a hunter, as his father was before him."

He went on "When the year and a day was up, they returned to the fork. The eldest arrived first, pulled out his own knife and looked at the other knives. Seeing that they were all shining, he thanked Arceus that they were all alive and well. When he came to his father, his father asked him..."

"What trade have you learned?" he asked in a mimic of Flint for the father.

"Father, it’s no use telling you stories. I’m a shoemaker." he replied as Ash.

"You’ve learned a fine trade." he smiled as the father.

"But I am no ordinary shoemaker. If anything is broken and worn, I only have to sing a magical melody and it is healed or repaired." he explained as Ash.

He next interjected as himself "The father had a coat worn out at the elbows, and told him to fix it up. The son sang..."

The audience murmured as Brock sang in Ash's voice Seios, higarima laisido...

Some applause went up in approval of the song. "...and in a moment the coat looked like new." Brock went on as himself. "The father said nothing more. The next day the second son returned home. When he came to his father, his father asked him..."

He proceeded to perform the exchange again. "What trade have you learned?"

"Father, it’s no use telling you stories. I’m a thief."

"If you dare steal from innocent people, then I will be ashamed to call you my son!"

"Father, I only steal from those with ill-gotten gains. If I even think of what I'd like to have, I have it without the owner knowing it is gone."

He went on as himself "About then, a Buneary came running by on the hillside. The father told him to catch the Buneary. The son reached out his hand, and the Buneary was there in seconds."

"Wow"s and awed chatter filled the theater at this. "The third day the third son came home." Brock's voice quieted the chatter. "When he came to his father, his father also asked him what trade he had learned. The son replied..."

He performed the rigmarole again. "Father, it’s no use to tell you stories; I’m an astromancer.’

His father was impressed. The son explained...

"I learned from a great astromancer. If I only look at the sky, I can see where anything in the world is."

More chatter went up as Brock went on "On the fourth day the youngest son came home. When he came to his father, the father asked him what trade he had learned. The son answered that he had trained as a hunter."

"I am proud you have followed after me." he smiled as the father.

"But, father, I learned from a master hunter. My arrow will strike true, no matter how far away the target is." he explained as the youngest son.

As himself, Brock went on "The father was well pleased with all his sons. They lived in peace for some time, with the brothers practicing their trades."

He intoned "One year, the princess of the land disappeared. The whole castle was in a panic!"

Gasps and excited chatter raced through the theater. "The king made a proclamation that whoever found her would receive her hand and the kingdom as well." Brock explained. "The brothers wanted to go. The father was reluctant to let them go at first, but he relented."

"And then?" a girl asked as she held a balloon close.

"When they came to the royal palace, they asked if the proclamation was true." Brock replied. "The king said that it was, and immediately asked them to tell him where his daughter was. The astromancer replied that he would have an answer the next morning, after he had read the stars."

"So, where was she?" a boy wondered.

"The next morning, the astromancer said that he had seen the princess held prisoner by a Hydreigon." Brock replied. "The Hydreigon had grabbed her as she was out walking, and was keeping her on an island beyond the sea. So they assembled and drove in the carriage to the sea. Then they got into a boat and rowed to the island."

Whispers of anticipation filled the air as Brock went on "When they got there, the princess was out walking. The Hydreigon wasn’t home; but the princess told them he would soon be there. The thief-brother brought her aboard the boat, and they rowed away as fast as they could go."

He paused to retrieve his bow. "The Hydreigon pursued them, but the hunter easily shot down the rogue Pokemon." he narrated before preparing his shot, training his eye on a target of the exotic three headed dragon Pokemon.

The audience held its breath as Brock fired his shot...


"So, how did you do?" Brock asked Dawn as the group left town that evening.

"Not so hot--someone did this really nice Hail and Icy Wind combo to edge me and Stormy, even though we started strong." Dawn sighed. "Did you do any better?"

"I came up short myself." Brock replied. "After I told 'The Four Brothers', the person after me told this interesting version of 'Fire Ice and Lightning' that electrified the crowd."

"Look at it this way--you both did better than your first attempts, right?" Ash assured his companions as the group stopped to make camp for the night. "So that should count for something."

"Yeah--we both did our best." Dawn smiled. "Besides, this was a good learning experience for the real Contest."

"I plan to think about how I did here, then use what I learned to do better in the real Fantasy Stage." Brock agreed. "We'll just consider today a practice run."

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 21: Cooking Up a Sweet Story

"Okay, you guys...let's see what you think of this!" Dawn began as she retreated to the center of a field. "Kori, Lola--frozen Bubblebeam!"

Ash watched in amazement as Lola's Ice Beam froze the bubbles from Kori's Bubblebeam solid, creating a pile of sparkling blue and cyan bubbles. "Wow!"

"That was neat!" Brock agreed.

"How would you rate that appeal?" Dawn asked. "Did you forget the scorecards I gave you?"

"No, I didn't forget." Brock replied as he hurried to retrieve the pile of scorecards on a rock.

"Be honest about your feedback." Dawn added as the boys gathered up their scorecards. "If something's not working, tell me how to make it better."

"Well, I rate that appeal an 8." Ash explained, showing Dawn a card with a green 8.0 on it. "My only suggestion is to try and make the frozen bubbles light enough to fly instead of falling to the ground like rocks. Flying icy bubbles would really wow the audience!"

"All right--try firing off both attacks at an easier rate." Dawn noted. "Brock, your score and thoughts?"

"I'll give it a 7." Brock replied, showing Dawn a card with a lighter green 7.0 on it. "It is a very solid appeal, and much better than the spinning Bubblebeam idea. That said, I will agree with Ash--it has the potential to be even better."

"Okay--I'm gonna keep trying until you show me the dark green 10." Dawn smiled, pleased the boys had liked her first appeal.

She motioned for Stormy to join her. "Okay, next is an appeal I wanna try with Stormy--electrical fireworks. Or should I say, thunderworks?"

Kori and Lola hurried to join the boys as Stormy leapt on a rock. "All right, Stormy--launch some thunderworks!"

Stormy charged a Discharge attack, creating a few circular bursts of electricity. But no one expected the main thunderbolt to shatter the rock! The force of the impact sent Stormy flying to the ground, creating a small dust whorl on the ground.

"You okay, Stormy?" Dawn asked as she rushed to examine the exhausted Pachirisu.

Some applause filled the air. "That looked pretty cool, even if it didn't quite work on the first go." an auburn haired girl smiled as she approached the group.

Ash facepalmed as Brock hurried towards the girl dusting off dirt from her clothes. Please don't sing...please don't sing...

He sighed as a guitar playing the intro to a song got his attention. He's gonna sing...

As I come in by bower madden
Early in the morning dew,
Brock sang to the girl as he strummed a bouncy melody.
A fair pretty maid I'd chance to meet
Said I my lass can I walk with you?

This was as far as he got before Kage jabbed him in the sensitive areas, creating a discordant Eb chord. [You can't walk with her--she likely already has a lover.] Kage deadpanned as he dragged Brock away, guitar and all.

"But...that's not...how...the song...goes..." Brock gasped between winces of pain.

The girl laughed at Brock's pained look and Kage's deadpan. "You would make a wonderful comedian and musician! In fact, you're just the person I need!"

"Oh?" Brock was intrigued as the girl motioned for the group to follow her down the road to an elegant building...


"My name's Theresa, and this..." The girl made a grand gesture to the building. "...is Angel Cakes, the bakery me and my grandma run."

"It's beautiful!" Dawn gasped.

"I can only imagine what you guys make in there..." Ash agreed. Tintri licked his lips as he imagined hundreds of cakes, pies, and other sweet treats inside.

Theresa smiled. "We do birthdays, weddings, graduations, and every kind of occasion. My Pikachu, Sugar, is the mascot, but lately she hasn't been herself."

She looked over at Brock. "This is where you come in. I want you to inspire Sugar with as many joyful and inspiring songs and stories as you can for three days. We have a school event coming up, and Grandma wants the kids to see Sugar happy."

"I'd be happy to perk your pensive Pikachu." Brock grinned, pleased with his witty reply.

Dawn thought for a moment before bringing up her Poketch's calculator. "Assuming Brock is performing 24 hours a day..." she mused as she punched the numbers. "...and each tale or set of tunes is about 20 minutes on average..."

She gasped when she pressed the equal button. "He would end up performing 216 numbers in all!"

"Relax...that's just a dent in how many stories and songs I know." Brock assured Dawn. "216 numbers should be easy for me to do with enough caffeine."

"I hope you have some Verde Power in there..." Ash mused as the group went inside.


"Okay, everyone...this is Sugar." Theresa began as she led the group inside the bakery's cafe. A Pikachu was sprawled on one of the tables, sighing as it released a tiny spark.

[Hi!] Tintri squeaked. [Do you feel like telling me what's the matter?]

Sugar sighed as Brock looked around the cafe area. " Let's see...I can't perform in the entry area. I'd likely block people arriving to place or pick up orders."

He looked over at what looked like a small stage overlooking the cafe area. "Okay if I use this stage?"

"If you have a talent that may cheer Sugar up, the stage is yours." an older woman with greying dull blonde hair replied as she joined Theresa in the room.

"All right..." Brock stepped aboard the stage. "Just give me a little time to prepare."


Once sure his guitar was in tune and his props were organized, Brock started the story that came to mind first. "In a far away land, the people could not stop complaining about their vizirs. The reason? They argued over anything and everything. Once they started arguing, it was anyone's guess when they would stop."

Ash chuckled in anticipation as Brock went on. "Now, the vizirs knew what the people were saying. So they took it upon themselves to show their people they could conduct affairs in a civil manner. So one day, they went into town, making small talk among themselves and saying hello to all they met."

"This is one of my favorites..." Ash whispered to Dawn. "You'll see why shortly."

"Suddenly, they found a rare black pearl embedded in the sandy road." Brock continued as he packed the stage. "Their first thought was to debate what to do with it. but then they remembered their promise to conduct affairs civilly. They decided to hold a great feast in honor of their friendship."

He explained "So the ten vizirs all went down to the food shop. They used the black pearl to buy enough food for the whole city to be fed for a week and still have leftovers."

"Wow!" Theresa was impressed.

"There were potstickers, puddings, meats both from the land and the sea, vegetables of all kinds, nuts, Berries, and a bewildering array of desserts." Brock explained, counting off the different foods on his fingers as he mentioned it.

He intoned "Before the vizirs could sit down to their massive meal, the ninth vizir saw that the palace gate was open. He told the sixth to shut it, but he believed the first vizir should shut it. The first told the eighth, the eighth asked the fourth, and before long, all ten vizirs were fighting over who should shut the gate."

Theresa and her grandmother giggled as Brock continued. "The tenth vizir finally broke it up by saying the next person to say anything or stand up would close the gate. So the ten vizirs began to eat, not saying a word to each other or getting up for seconds."

He smiled--it was time for the funny part! "The open gate lured hundreds of Pokemon into the palace, and they wasted no time in devouring all the meat. When every piece of Combusken, beef, and fish was gone, they moved on to the vegetables, fruits, cheeses and desserts. But the vizirs sat there, oblivious to the Pokemon eating their food."

Dawn stifled a giggle as she pictured the comical scene in her mind. "Just then, a Growlithe mistook the tenth vizir's lip for a piece of meat, and bit down hard!" Brock announced.

Brock's small audience roared with laughter at this. "When the others told him he had to shut the gate, they looked around and realized the food was gone." Brock explained as the laughter quieted. "So now there was no point in closing the gate."

He concluded "They went their separate ways, not wanting to argue about the matter any more!"

"Oh, that was so funny!" Dawn wheezed as she applauded. "I can see why it's one of your favorites, Ash!"

Brock noticed Sugar giving him a bemused look. That's a good sign...

He motioned for Dawn and Ash to join him on the stage. "So, what kinds of tunes do you guys play out here?"

"If you'll give me a second to tune, I'll teach you both one of my favorites." Dawn replied before she went to find her fiddle case.


"Okay...this tune is called 'Off to Pastoria'." Dawn explained as she finished fine tuning her instrument. "This a very common tune that goes well with many Kanto tunes."

She set her instrument aside long enough to slide a copy of the sheet music before the boys. "I'm going to play it slowly so you guys can get a feel for the notes and the chords."

"So many dotted notes..." Ash mused as he fished out a silver whistle with a green mouthpiece from his bag. "You're lucky you only have to strum open chords!" he told Brock.

"That may be true, but I do have to work out an appropriate strum pattern that still retains the bounce this type of tune is known for." Brock explained.

"Relax...I'll go slow enough so you two can strum and finger along." Dawn assured the boys as she prepared to play. "Ready?"

"Ready. Brock replied. "Start at a G..."

As Dawn began the song, he mused the chords to himself as he did his best to follow the fiddle's melody. "G...D...back to G...C...back to G...E minor...A minor...D7...and back to G..."

Sugar looked up at the stage, piqued at the melody and the chord progression that was taking shape.

"Anywhere I can breathe in all these notes?" Ash asked. "I want to try following along this time."

"Here..." Brock took the sheet music and began marking notes he felt Ash could shorten or drop to take a breath. "Breathe where I've marked it if you need to."

After snapping to count his companions off, the tune began anew. Theresa and her grandmother eagerly clapped along as the whistle joined in the tune...


"You guys have great sightreading skills." Dawn raved when they finished a set some time later.

She gasped when she saw a smile forming on Sugar's face. "That's it! Why don't we try a tale that features all our instruments?"

"I have just the tale..." Brock replied. "Once a boy was wandering through a forest one night, on his way home from a hunt. It was late that night, and there was no moon to light his way."

Theresa swallowed hard, but Brock had other ideas. "Suddenly, he heard a scream way off in the distance, and a mage dashed through some nearby bushes. A pack of Mightyenas pursued him. The boy readied an arrow and fired at the biggest Mightyena, killing it. The rest of the Mightyenas fled in terror."

Tintri and Kori cheered at this. "The mage was grateful, and promised his deliverer whatever he wished in return for spending the night with him." Brock went on.

"I would desire nothing more than a night's rest--I have been hunting all day, and have lost my way back home." Ash jumped in the role of the boy.

"The mage took the boy to his cabin that lay in a clearing." Brock continued. "No sooner had the boy arrived, did he lie down and fall into a deep sleep. After some time, the mage's servant girl was interested in how the boy saved her master. She asked him to tell her about the encounter. Once the boy had finished his tale, the servant girl instructed him..."

"If my master asks if you desire a reward for saving his life, request the third Ponyta that in the stable." Dawn fills in the girl's dialogue.

"Some time later, the mage returned with a grand haul from his hunt, and the three of them sat down to a great meal together." Brock continued. "Besides the meat, there was fruit of all kinds, the finest cheeses, and fresh water unlike any other. When the meal had ended, the mage asked the boy..."

"I must thank you again for saving my life--do you desire any reward?" he asked in character as the mage.

"I only want the third Ponyta in the stables." Ash replied as the boy.

"The mage tried again and again to talk the boy into reconsidering his offer, but the boy insisted on the Ponyta." Brock went on as the group retrieved their instruments. "Finally, the mage relented, and also granted the boy three magic instruments--a guitar..."

He strummed a slow G chord for effect. "...a fiddle..."

Dawn stroked a few notes for effect. "...and a flute...."

Lola giggled as Ash played a high trill for effect. "The boy was told that should he ever be in danger, to play the guitar first." Brock explained. "If no help came, he was to play the fiddle, and if still no help came, to play the flute."

"Remember those instruments--they'll be important later!" Ash reminded their small audience...


..."You would think by now, the groom would know to leave the boy alone, but no..." Brock intoned as he approached the story's climax. "Some time later, the groom appeared before the king a third time. He said that he had overheard the boy saying that he wished to have the throne for himself. Once again, the groom was lying through his teeth, but the king was angry enough to believe him."

"NO!!!!" Theresa gasped.

"The king was so angry, he didn't even bother to give the boy a trial, and ordered the boy killed right away." Brock continued. "The day of the execution came, and the boy was asked if he had any last requests. The boy nodded, and asked if he could play one last tune on the guitar. Leave was granted, and no sooner had the boy touched the strings, the executioner found himself dancing in spite of himself."

Tintri led the clapping as Brock proceeded to play "The Bluk Berry Flower" on his own guitar.

"By the time the boy had finished, the executioner was so tired, he delayed the execution for a day." Brock continued when the applause quieted. "The story of the miracle guitar spread like wildfire. The next morning, a huge crowd had turned out to witness the execution. When asked if he had any last requests, the boy asked if he could play one last tune on the fiddle. No sooner had the bow met the strings, not only did the executioner dance, but so did everyone else in the crowd."

Theresa led the clapping as Brock and Dawn launched into a guitar and fiddle rendition of "The Trainer's Cap". "By the time the boy finished, it was dark out, and so the execution was delayed another day." Brock went on. "On the third day, when the boy was asked if he had any last requests, he asked if he could play one last tune on the flute. The king refused him at first--he had bad memories of dancing away another day. But the princess interceded, saying that it was his last request, and a prisoner's last request was not to be denied. So the king plugged his ears with wax, and the groom tied himself to a tree to protect themselves. But no sooner had the boy blown one note, did the rest of the crowd dance again, barring the king and the groom."

Ash started the tune "The Meowth's Call" for effect. "After a few minutes, the mage appeared to the boy in a rush of wind and light." Brock narrated when Ash had finished the tune.

"What sort of danger are you in, that you have called for me?" he asked as the mage again.

"Someone present here has spoken a lie against me, and now the king wants to put me to death. The executioner is waiting for me to finish my song." Ash explained in character as the boy.

"The mage, meanwhile, charged some red light in his hands and called..." Brock narrated before calling in character. "Out of the ground, raze all greenery with flame! Fire!"

He played a mystical flourish with Dawn to mimic the spell. "No sooner had the mage spoke, did a fireball come flying from the mage's hands, setting the gallows ablaze."

"And who was it that brought a false charge against you?" he asked as the mage again.

Ash points at an imagined person as Brock narrated "The boy pointed out the groom--who was still bound to the tree-- and the mage charged another ball of light, this one blue, and called..."

"Scatter your chilly sharp blades! Ice!"

Lola batted the bells at the entryway to mimic the spell. "Icicles came flying from the mage's hands, and they sliced up the tree and the groom to little pieces." Brock went on. "The king then realized that the boy was innocent, and that his groom had been lying to him all along."

"Thank Arceus..." Theresa's grandmother was relieved the boy would be all right.

"So he ordered the boy freed, and offered the princess' hand in marriage as an apology. Brock concluded. "And so the boy and the princess were married. But the boy kept the three instruments and his Ponyta with him, just in case he needed their power again."

Theresa's grandmother led the applause. "Bravo! You three must have real talent to put on that kind of show! Are any of you competing in the Fantasy Stage?"

"I am..." Brock started before Sugar ran into his arms with a grateful hug.

"It's a miracle...Sugar's her old self again!" Theresa smiled as Brock and Sugar shared an intimate embrace.


"Before you three go, Sugar has something for you." Theresa began as she met the group a few days later. "Thanks to your talents, you managed to inspire Sugar. Our event was a success, now that she's happy again!"

Sugar approached the group and opened the cake box in her paws. Inside lay some small cakes decorated to resemble musical instruments. [As thanks for your music and stories, I made these instrument cakes for you to share on your journey.]

"Aw, they're cute!" Dawn smiled as she looked down at a fiddle shaped cake, complete with sparkling silver icing for the strings and the hair on the bow.

"Yeah, they're almost too cute to eat." Ash smiled as everyone laughed in agreement...

To Be Continued...


The magic of Pokemon
Episode 22: Oh, Do You Know the Poffin Plan?

"Here we are, gang--Floaroma Town." Brock began as a large city nestled in a wide array of flowery fields appeared in the distance.

He smiled. "They don't call it 'the town that smells vividly of flowers' for nothing."

"These are so pretty!" Dawn raved as she hurried to sniff the marigolds growing at the entrance.

"I'm glad you think the flowers beautiful, travelers." an old woman smiled as she watched Dawn run around the field. "The story goes that long ago, this place was barren and without any kind of vegetation. A beautiful woman went to the hill and expressed gratitude to the Legendaries in heaven. Arceus was touched by the song of prayer, which resulted in flowers growing by the millions. This created the town we know today."

"Fascinating." Ash smiled. "Maybe the tales are true."

"Whether they are true or not, you'll have to decide for yourself." the woman assured Ash.

"As a traveling storyteller, I would like permission to learn and tell this tale." Brock asked.

"Of course--it warms my heart to see the young carrying on our world's traditions." the woman replied before departing.

Dawn rejoined the group some time later as they neared the center of town. "Hm...Poffin cooking class today..." she mused as the group passed the community bulletin board.

"What are those?" Ash wondered.

"Poffins are Pokémon snacks that improve a Pokemon's condition." Dawn explained. "Mom made them all the time for Opal and her prizewinning Eevee. She often let me help her."

"So, they're like Pokeblocks?" Ash as interested.

"They have the same purpose, but Poffins appear to be something like a bread or pastry." Brock explained. "Not a hard block."

"How bout it? You guys want to learn to make Poffins?" Dawn asked.

"Sure!" Brock replied.

"Why not?" Ash agreed. "This could actually be fun!"


"This must be the place..." Dawn noted as the group arrived at a large building with a stylized Poffin on the roof.

"Aw..." Ash smiled as he watched a blue Pokemon with a lily pad on its head and an elegant plant-like Pokemon tend to a garden. "Reminds me of Lilly..."

"Well, Lilly is at home, dancing with Tarina." Brock replied as the group approached the house.

Ash nodded as he read up on the plant Pokemon:

"Roserade, the bouquet Pokemon. With the movements of a dancer, it strikes with whips lined with poison thorns."

"Wow...Gaia's going to turn into that?" Ash smiled. "Pretty and powerful..."

"Hello, travelers...are you taking the cooking class?" a girl with dull teal hair asked as she met the group on the path.

"Yes, we are." Dawn replied.

The girl smiled. "Come on inside, then--my name is Forsythia, and I'll be guiding you in the fine art of Poffin."


"All right...aprons for you." Forsythia began as she tied on a dull green apron over her pale yellow outfit. "To make Poffins, you need a Berry. You also need butter, flour, sugar, eggs and the appropriate extract for flavor."

"Sounds easy enough." Ash mused as Forsythia delivered some ingredients to him.

He looked over the Berry basket at his workstation. "I'll use a Leppa Berry to start."

"Good choice." Forsythia replied. "This will boost a Pokemon's Coolness. First, you prepare the dough as the pot warms."

"Got it." Ash replied as he added in some soft butter and eggs to the pot at his workstation.

"Okay, as you start adding in the dry ingredients, you have to stir it at a certain speed." Forsythia cautioned. "Go too fast, and it will spill. Go too slow, and it will burn."

She observed Brock adding in flour to his own pot. "Just like that--stir in a little at a time."

"Question!" Ash called. "What does it mean when the flames turn red and the dough turns brown?"

"That means the dough is in the second stage of cooking." Forsythia assured Ash. "You can stir a little faster, but it is still possible to spill at this stage."

"Got it." Ash replied.

Forsythia, meanwhile, smiled as the flames around Dawn's pot turned blue. "You're doing well so far!" Once the flames around the edge of the Poffin pot turn blue, it will be impossible to spill dough. So stir as fast as you can for about 5 to 10 minutes until the Poffins are done."

"Let's start with 5 minutes, then." Dawn smiled as she set her Poketch's kitchen timer.

"You must know what you're doing." Forsythia smiled as Dawn continued stirring her dough.

"My mom is a coordinator herself, so we made Poffin all the time at home." Dawn explained. "Although we didn't have a nice pot like this--we baked them in the oven."

"Is it Poffin or Poffins?" Brock asked as he started the fast stir.

"Both can be used interchangeably." Forsythia replied. "Keep going--you're almost done!"

"Well, when you come from a large family like I do, cooking is an easy way to bond. It's also a fun way to teach math, science, and the value of a job well done." Brock grinned as he finished stirring. "I believe my dough is done..."


Bee-bee-bee-bee-bee... sang the Poketch timer, alerting the group that the Poffins were ready.

"How are they, gang?" Dawn asked as she watched Kori, Lola, and Stormy nibble her Poffin.

[What did you put in here? Chalk dust?] Kori gagged.

[Chalk dust is candy compared to mine!] Tintri complained. [I feel like I've eaten charcoal!]

Ash sweatdropped. All that work, and my team doesn't like it...

Brock's Pokemon had a quite different reaction. [Mm...amazing as always!] Hinata raved as she bit into a blue Poffin.

[Tarina would love the pink ones!] Terra agreed as she savored a yellow Poffin.

[Not bad, coach--you could have your own cookin' show on TV if the storytellin' and music gig doesn't work out.] Kage raved. [I can see it now: 'Rock-Solid Recipes'!]

The group did not notice the blob that had perked up in Brock's bag. [Mm...something smells amazing in here! Is Brock making cookies again?]


"It's okay if your team doesn't like your Poffins at first." Forsythia assured Ash as the group washed dishes. "Keep trying, and work on perfecting your recipe."

"That makes me feel better a little." Ash smiled. "At least I didn't spill it or burn it."

"Yes, you did well there." Forsythia agreed.

She then addressed Dawn. "Each Pokémon has a Poffin preference, and there is a unique recipe for each. Copying your mother's recipe would be fine for her Glameow--Opal, was it? But it is ill suited for other Pokémon."

"No wonder my team didn't like it..." Dawn mused, unaware one of her yellow Poffins had fallen to the ground...


"Using Noctis in that unofficial Contest turned out to be a bad idea..." Mars grumbled as the admins made camp in a bush.

"How so?" Jupiter asked as she watched people coming and going down the streets of town.

"I decided to go with a tough appeal theme, right?" Mars began. "First, I tried Fury Swipes, and he attacked me instead of the appeal we practiced!"

She shuddered at the scratch wounds still on her arms. "Then I tried Dig to set up a combo with Rock Smash, but he decided to hide in the hole. When the audience started murmuring in concern, I checked to see where he went. Then he sprayed me!"

Jupiter tried oh-so-hard not to laugh. "It's not funny...do you know how long it took me to get the Skuntank smell out of my costume?" Mars grumbled.

[Forgive me for interrupting your tale of woe, boss, but I found these awesome tasting bun things in the grass!] Leona cried.

"Poffins..." Jupiter recognized the small yellow buns in Leona's paws. "Maybe their energy could bring about the new world Lord Cyrus wants."

"The Poffin house is right there..." Mars agreed, forgetting about her rant. "If Hat-boy and pals are in there, we can kill two bird Pokemon with one stone! We get something with energy for the team's plan, and our revenge on Hat-boy and pals!"


"Thank you, Rosie." Forsythia smiled as she handed the group a cup of mint tea.

Dawn noticed the plant Pokemon back away after delivering some pastries. "Has your Pokemon always been this jittery?"

"Rosie has been very shy and nervous for as long as I can remember." Forsythia replied. "It goes back to when I first met her, as a Budew, in a Pokémon Center some years ago. She went with me when she saw the flowers I was holding."

"So, she bonded with you?" Ash was intrigued.

"I gave Rosie a red scarf to keep her warm, and she evolved to Roselia, and then Roserade." Forsythia replied. "She still has her anxious moments, but we've grown very close through the years."

She was about to say more when a huge crash got the group's attention. "Forgive us for interrupting the touching story, but we'll be borrowing a gardenful of Berries." Jupiter sneered.

"What on earth?" Forsythia gasped as Mars and Jupiter summoned Leona and Noctis.

"Noctis, use Venom Drench!" Jupiter commanded.

"Kage, use Poison Sting to block the poison wave!" Brock commanded as he saw an ominous purple wave about to drench Forsythia.

[Comin' through!] Kage fired a poisonous needle at the Skuntank, dispelling the attack.

"Kori, use Bubblebeam!" Dawn commanded.

"Gaia, use Razor Leaf!" Ash called.

Neither Ash or Dawn expected Leona to disappear and attack Kori from behind. "Gaia!" Ash yelped as Noctis Sucker Punched his own Budew!

[Stop this, you rogues!] a female voice called before a flurry of glowing leaves went flying at the admins.

"Rosie!" Dawn smiled when she saw the Roserade firing the shining rainbow leaves from a corner.

"She decided to help us!" Brock was amazed.

Now's my chance! Ash thought. "Tintri, use Quick Attack!"

"I think not, Hat-boy!" Mars giggled as she pressed a button on a remote, trapping the group in small cages.

Forsythia ran to block the door. "What is it that you want?" she asked Jupiter. "Name your demands--I'll do anything if you let my guests go and give Rosie back."

She looked over at Rosie, fighting back tears all the while. "Rosie...you are strong; even when you don't have your scarf. I'll always believe in you."

[Hi-YAAAAAA!!!!] burst out of Mars hands, unleashing a torrent of Cheri blossoms that shredded the cages!

"That's Petal Dance!" Dawn recognized the flurry of Cheri blossoms swirling about the room.

Gatrandis favel, secret, edena... Ash began, making Mars and Jupiter gasp.
Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
At this line, Rosie's flower petals gained a rainbow sheen.
Emusto koron zen fine, si...

As Ash's last Bb rang through the air, Rosie fired a wave of rainbow petals, blasting away the admins in a rainbow explosion...


Forsythia gasped as fresh plants sprouted in place of the damaged ones. "I don't believe it...it's like the old legend!"

"Maybe the Swanna Song was the song in the story?" Ash asked as Rosie offered him water.

"It could be, and it may not--different versions of the story could have different songs." Brock reminded him.

"Thank you..." Dawn hugged Forsythia. "I learned a lot today. Not just how to make Poffins, but how to raise a strong yet beautiful Pokémon like Roserade."

Ash nodded in agreement. "Seeing Rosie battle makes me more determined than ever to train Gaia even more, so she can be a Roserade too!"

To Be Continued...
Last edited: