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Pokemon Shine Diamond

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by FlamingRuby, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 42: The Not-so-Greatest Show on Earth! (part 2)


    The next day, the theater hummed with activity as the cast and the crew gathered for rehearsal. [Wow...we get to work in here?] Tarina gasped as she looked around the majestic theater in awe. [The Fireside could fit in here and there would still be room!]

    "Yes, we will be working in here." Brock smiled. "All we're doing is playing a huge game of dress-up so we can tell a story. Unlike at home, we'll have people watching us play."

    "So when people are going to be watching us, we have to practice how the story will go." Dawn explained. "So we'll be practicing over the next few days."

    "You know the story of Robin Hood, right?" Ash asked.

    Tarina nodded. "One of her favorite movies." Brock smiled. "And not the Disney version featuring Pokemon."

    "Has she seen the version from the 30's? Or any of the old film serials?" a voice asked.

    Dawn whirled around to find Conway arriving in the backstage area. "How did you get here so fast?"

    "Oh, I have my ways..." Conway replied with a grin.

    Dawn shuddered. I don't know how he did that, but it's almost creepy the way he joined in our conversation like that...

    [Are you gonna be a minstrel?] Tarina's voice snapped Dawn back to reality.

    "Yeah..." Brock replied. He took his harp and started a relaxed melody. Come and listen, ye gallants so free,
    All you that love mirth to hear,
    and I will tell of a hero,
    a hero of Nottingham fair...


    A hero of Nottingham fair... Keely joined in over a flourish.

    As Robin Hood in the forest stood
    All under a greenwood tree...
    There he spied a fine young lad,
    As fine as fine could be...
    Brock went on.

    Robin, Sir Robin, as fine as fine could be... Keely echoed.

    Just then, Paul and Conway dashed into the room, startling Keely. "Hold! Who sings in such a clarion voice?" Paul demanded.

    "It was no ordinary song, milord--he was singing of Robin Hood!" Conway replied in character.

    "I heard him plain as day--'Robin, Sir Robin, as fine as fine could be'." Paul noted.

    "This has to be the rouser, for he has the harp in his hand!" Conway made a grand gesture to Brock to prove his point.

    "Now wait a minute!" Dawn cried. "We haven't even started rehearsals yet!"

    Paul was unfazed. "So? Nothing wrong with a little practice before rehearsal, is there?"

    "I don't know if that was even practice..." Ash mused. "It looked like the real performance."

    "I'll have you know that I have been practicing my lines, Wonder Boy." Paul replied. "And here you are wasting your time with archery training when you could've been working on your lines."

    "I have so been practicing my lines!" Ash shot back.

    A whistle diffused the impending argument. "Okay, break it up, break it up!" the director called. After pulling Ash and Paul apart he instructed the others "Let's head onstage and get started."

    ---------

    As the cast and the crew hurried to get ready, a stagehand explained to some children their role in the show. "After Keely introduces the show, you guys will be gathered around at stage right. When Paul and Conway run in and threaten to arrest them, act scared."

    "How scared?" a girl asked.

    "A little scared. They're threatening to lock them in the dungeon for a long time because of their song." the stagehand replied.

    "That's a silly reason to lock them up!" another girl protested.

    "Can we tell them not to hurt the minstrels?" a boy asked.

    "That's a great idea!" the stagehand smiled.

    The director clapping calmed the chaos. "Okay--let's start with the opening scene." he began. "When you're ready." he instructed Brock.

    Brock acknowledged the director with a nod, and started the calm melody from before. Come and listen, ye gallants so free,
    All you that love mirth to hear,
    and I will tell of a hero,
    a hero of Nottingham fair...


    A hero of Nottingham fair... Keely echoed.

    As Robin Hood in the forest stood
    All under a greenwood tree...
    Brock went on.

    There he spied a fine young lad,
    As fine as fine could be...


    Ash applauded as he emerged from the wings in a ragged outfit. "Bravo, Keely! That was pretty good!"

    "Well, I am playing a minstrel's apprentice, after all, so it's only fair I get to sing too." Keely smiled.

    "If you and Brock are minstrels, how come you don't LOOK like minstrels?" Paul challenged.

    It dawned on Keely that neither she or Brock were in costume. "Excuse us a second..." Brock assured the director. He motioned for Keely to follow him and dashed backstage.

    "Forgetful memory count: 1!" Paul announced.

    "You're actually keeping a tally of mistakes in rehearsal?" Ash gasped.

    "Only the major ones." Paul smiled--one of the rare times Ash had seen him smile.

    After a few seconds, Brock and Keely returned in costume. Keely wore a brown and green tunic with gold trim, white sleeves, black leggings and brown shoes. Brock had on his Fantasy Stage costume, plumed hat and all. "That better?" he asked Paul.

    "Much." Paul replied.

    "Does Ash even know how to shoot a bow?" Conway asked.

    "Well..." Ash mused before hurrying to the prop room and returning with a bow.

    "Arm guards, too." Dawn reminded Ash. "You were doing great with Brock yesterday..."

    "Got them!" Ash showed some armguards to Dawn.

    Dawn smiled as a combat trainer approached Ash. "The director asked me to help you review how to shoot a bow and arrow." she explained.

    "Sure." Ash smiled, following the combat trainer to a target set up near stage left.

    "Keep in mind that every bow is different." the trainer reminded Ash as she retrieved her own bow. "The more flexible they are, the better they are."

    Ash took a moment to admire the trainer's bow. I love that almost red color, and the leaf inlays...

    "Watch me shoot first, then I'll explain what I was doing." the trainer instructed Ash, nocking her bow as she spoke.

    The theater went quiet as the trainer fired her shot. "Whoa..." Ash balked when he saw the trainer had hit the bullseye. "You're good!"

    "Thanks." the trainer smiled. "I've gotten to train big stars and ordinary people alike in the way of the bow."

    She turned business like again. "Let me show you what you need to do to hit the bullseye."

    Ash nodded, and took his place at the target. Remember what Brock said about the stance....

    The trainer observed Ash's stance. "Almost perfect. It might help if you bend your knees a little."

    She went on "Next, take your bow and find the center of the bowstring. This will help you find the actual center of the bow."

    "Got it." Ash replied as he followed the trainer's directions.

    "Once you find the center of the bow, you nock an arrow, take aim at your target, and then let the arrow fly." the trainer went on.

    Ash nodded, readied his shot, and fired. He saw that it had landed on the edge of the outer yellow ring. "Good! But I know you can do better." the trainer smiled. "This time, I want you to aim at the bullseye, and see the arrow flying through the air and hitting the target."

    "Okay..." Ash readied another shot and fired again. This time, his shot landed on the inner blue ring.

    "Almost." the trainer coaxed. "Visualize it a little more."

    Ash prepared another shot, training his eye on the target. It felt like time had slowed down as he fired.

    Cheers and applause alerted him that his arrow had landed on the bullseye! "Very good, Ash! Nice shot!" the trainer smiled.

    "Thanks..." Ash giggled, flattered by all the attention.

    "Do that again!" Dawn requested.

    (Ash nodded, and fired another shot, which landed very close to the bullseye. "Very nice." the trainer smiled, pleased with Ash's quick progress.

    "Think you can do that same thing when you have hundreds of people watching?" Conway asked with a grin.

    "Relax, I'll be fine..." Ash assured Conway, aware of Dawn's unnerved look.

    "Famous last words..." Brock smiled, making the theater ring with laughter...

    To Be Continued...
     
  2. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 43: The Not-so-Greatest Show on Earth! (part 3)


    Tarina's eyes turned to stars as Brock emerged from the dressing room of the theater a few days later. [Wow! You look amazing!]

    "Thanks." Brock smiled. "Think you can play quietly back here while we perform the play?"

    [Sure!] Tarina replied as Tintri and Kori arrived with a box of Pokemon sized board games.

    [Break both legs!] Tintri called as Brock made his way to the wings.

    Onstage, a female emcee in a medieval costume addressed the audience. "Thank you all! You're just in time--Sir Alan-a-dale and his apprentice Jocelyn have arrived!"

    She smiled. "I want to hear more exploits of Robin Hood!"

    The audience cheered in agreement. "Surely you know of some of his adventures..." the emcee went on. "How he robbed from the rich to feed the poor, and outwitted the greedy Prince John."

    More applause went up as Keely--who was wearing her costume from before--joined the emcee onstage. "There's Jocelyn now. If I ask nice, I can ask her to tell a Robin Hood adventure I've been wanting to hear for some time now."

    She then addressed Keely. "Lady Jocelyn, I would like to hear the tale about how Sir Robin won the tournament of the golden arrow and outwitted both Prince John and the Sheriff!"

    "Ah, the tournament..." Keely sighed with nostalgia. "I don't think anyone will forget it for a while, because my master and I saw the whole thing."

    "Really? You were there?" the emcee gasped.

    "Yes." Keely replied. "It all started early one morning a month or two ago. We had arrived at the tournament grounds moments before. Master sang his best songs and I told the best tales, but it wasn't long before everyone was asking for a tale of Sir Robin. Not being one to refuse an audience, Master began singing about Sir Robin, unaware that Prince John and the Sheriff were present...."

    [Here we go...] Kori whispered as as the lights went down.

    [Pretty!] Stormy smiled as the curtains opened on a set of fantastic tournament grounds. Keely and Brock were off to the side, before a group of about 25 to 30 people, most of them children.

    "Please, Sir Alan, tell us a tale of the brave Sir Robin." a boy asked Brock.

    "Very well." Brock smiled.

    He started playing a relaxed melody. Come and listen, ye gallants so free,
    All you that love mirth to hear,
    and I will tell of a hero,
    a hero of Nottingham fair...


    A hero of Nottingham fair... Keely echoed over a flourish.

    As Robin Hood in the forest stood
    All under a greenwood tree...
    Brock continued the song.

    There he spied a fine young lad,
    As fine as fine could be...


    Robin, Sir Robin, as fine as fine could be... Keely echoed.

    Paul, wearing a majestic blue and green robe and a sapphire circlet, and Conway, wearing a purple and red tunic-like outfit, dashed into the scene, startling Keely and the audience. "Hold! Who sings in such a clarion voice?" Paul demanded.

    "It was no ordinary song, milord--he was singing of Robin Hood!" Conway announced.

    "I heard him plain as day--'Robin, Sir Robin, as fine as fine could be.' Paul explained.

    "This has to be the rouser, for he has the harp in his hand!" Conway announced, gesturing to Brock's instrument.

    "A harp in his hand and a lie in her throat...the sooner we take them to the tower, the better..." Paul deadpanned to some nervous giggles.

    "No! Don't hurt the minstrels, please!" a girl begged.

    "Hold, milord! Might I have a word?" Ash called from offstage, snapping Paul and Conway to attention.

    "Who's there?" Paul asked as he looked around the stage.

    [Why is Ash not in the Robin Hood costume?] Hinata asked as the lights came up on Ash wearing a ragged outfit.

    [Maybe it's a disguise...] Tintri mused as he watched the tense scene unfold.

    "If you're wondering who is here, Your Majesty, I am." Ash replied, bowing on one knee before Paul.

    "Who are you, rogue?" Paul demanded. "Or should I say, what are you? Judging from those rags, you could be something not even the Meowths want to eat."

    The audience laughed at this. "I am Jock Morowen, and I too wish to try for the golden arrow." Ash replied.

    "In THOSE???" Paul gasped, to more laughter.

    Lola howled with laughter at Paul's reaction. [This is too funny! I wonder if it's actually a parody of a Robin Hood story?]

    [Nope--it's a legit story.] Tintri replied, a little bemused by Ash's and Paul's banter on the stage.

    A harp chord got Tarina's attention. [You guys, Brock's singing again...] she whispered.

    The lights went down, except for Keely in a spotlight at stage right. "And so, we continued our performance." Keely narrated. "Little did we know that we had actually been helped by Sir Robin in disguise."

    The spotlight expanded to include Brock, who was playing a jig-like interlude. The sheriff and the greedy prince
    Conspired to steal the prize
    Put forth to every archer
    In hopes of luring Sir Robin to his demise...
    he sang.

    The prince bet on one man,
    and the sheriff bet on another,
    But who should overhear them,
    But the one Robin considered a brother...


    "Meanwhile, Prince John and the sheriff plotted to hoard the golden arrow for themselves." Keely translated what Brock had sang into narration. "What they didn't know was that Little John, Sir Robin's closest friend, had heard their whole plot..."

    [This is boring...] Kori yawned, unamused by Paul and Conway's banter on the stage. [When are we going to see Dawn?]

    [Yeah, I wanna see her as Maid Marian!] Stormy agreed.

    The audience laughing and a harp and whistle interlude got Tintri's attention. [Actually, I think Maid Marian's coming up next!]

    The lots were cast,
    The bets were made,
    Five gold pieces were at stake
    As three young archers took their place...
    Brock sang over the instruments.

    But before the tournament could begin
    A question did arise,
    Who would determine the winner
    Of the golden arrow so prized?


    [I didn't know this Keely girl played whistle!] Tails gasped when he found Keely playing a gold whistle with a green mouthpiece. [Wonder if she's as good as Ash?]

    "Before long, it was time for the tournament to begin. The disguised Sir Robin prepared to face off against his two opponents." Keely narrated. "But there was one problem--who would judge the match?"

    Gaia laughed as hard as the audience as Paul and Conway argued onstage. [Oh, this is so funny!]

    [I'm lookin' forward to seeing Ash take his first shot!] Tails smiled as he watched a female extra tug on Paul's costume.)

    "Sire, wouldn't a third party be better to judge?" the extra asked, spurring Tintri to nudge Kori.

    "Who do you suggest?" Paul asked.

    "Why don't we let the lady Marian judge? She has no wager on anyone." the extra explained.

    Oohs and ahs filled the air as Dawn arrived onstage. [She's beautiful!] Kori gasped. She admired the blue, purple and white outfit Dawn wore, complete with a white headdress to match.

    [Ash shooting is next...] Tintri whispered to Tails as Dawn stepped forward to address the crowd of actors.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls--the tournament of the golden arrow will now begin!" Dawn announced, to wild cheers.

    [This I gotta see!] Tails smiled. He chuckled a little over the awkward silence when the disguised Ash was announced.

    [Brock's singing again!] Tarina whispered as an exotic harp melody drifted through the theater.

    Worry not, O lady Marian
    For beloved Robin is with you! Brock sang.

    Though he may come to you in disguise,
    the sheriff and Prince John have not a clue...


    "What Maid Marian didn't know was that Sir Robin actually was present in disguise." Keely narrated. "Nevertheless, she proceeded to explain the rules to the first contestants of the day."...

    ---------

    [This is it! This is the part where Robin Hood reveals himself!] Diddy whispered. He motioned for the Pokemon to look out on the stage. But before Dawn could address the crowd, Ash readied an arrow and fired, hitting the bullseye!

    "What????" Conway gasped.

    "I don't believe it! I demand a shootout!" Paul demanded.

    "In all my years of training at the bow, I have never seen such skill from this man, Jock Morowen." a male extra explained. "He deserves the right to move on to the next match, fair and square."

    "Very well--I reluctantly declare Jock Morowen the winner of this first match." Paul sighed over the audience's applause.

    Conway met Ash on the platform "I must say, you have such skill, Jock." he grinned, unnerving both Ash and Dawn. "As a prize for winning this first round, I offer you an honor better than the golden arrow--a place in my service. I will clothe you in the finest threads. I will feed you the choicest food and drink, and pay you a monthly stipend of eighty pieces of silver. What say you?"

    Ash grinned. "I must very much decline, good sir."

    The Pokemon watched in awe from the wings as Ash threw off the disguise to reveal the traditional Robin Hood costume. "For I am my own master, and no one in all this land will send me on their errands. Besides..."

    He took the golden arrow and rubbed it a little, revealing that it was actually bronze. "You call passing off painted bronze a fair prize?"

    "Why you..." Conway grumbled as he approached Ash.

    "I assumed you meant well, so I borrowed the gold in your purse to pay for a real arrow of gold." Ash explained. He showed Conway a small bag of coins.

    Conway felt around him for a moment. "My purse...it's gone!" he gasped, to laughter.

    "Your plan to trap me almost worked." Ash grinned. "But I won the prize today!"

    "Aw"s filled the air as Ash pocketed the bag and hugged Dawn. "Ooh, that beggar was Robin Hood all along! He tricked me!" Paul fumed.

    "And YOU lost the wager to ME, milord!" Dawn shot back. "Sir Robin has won today!"

    The crowd cheered in agreement as Brock and Keely walked back in the scene. "Alan, Jocelyn, a song for the occasion!" Ash requested.

    The crowd clapped along as Brock and Keely started another song. Come listen to me, all you gallants so free
    I'll tell you of a bold lad in green...


    "Quiet!" Paul protested over the music.

    Of Robin, brave Sir Robin,
    That beat the sheriff of Nottingham town...
    Brock continued singing.

    "It's all YOUR fault!" the audience laughed as Paul dragged Conway away by the ear.

    "But how was I to know? He tricked me!" Conway protested.

    The audience laughed as the two of them exited into a tent. Keely dropped out of the song for a moment for the final narration. "And so it was that Sir Robin exposed Prince John's plot to trap him and cheat the winner of a tournament. He returned to Sherwood Forest with his friends, to prepare for another day of robbing the rich to feed the poor. But what happened to him the next day? That is another tale for another day!

    With that, she joined back in the song again. Oh, Robin, brave Sir Robin,
    Beat the sheriff of Nottingham town!
    Brock sang before seguing into a set of tunes.

    The audience roared with applause over the music. The Pokemon clapped along as Ash and Dawn led the crowd in a dance.

    When the set of tunes ended, Paul and Conway tiptoed out of the tent and led off the bows. {Amazing!] Lola raved as the emcee and the crowd of extras bowed.

    After a few more of the actors bowed, Brock and Keely bowed next. [Way to go, Brock!] Tarina cheered as Brock took his bow.

    But the biggest ovation from the Pokemon was saved for Ash and Dawn, who took their bow together...

    To Be Continued...
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  3. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 44: The Keystone Pops


    "That play was amazing!" Dawn smiled as she admired a small crystal bell. "I actually had fun, even if that Conway guy was a bit of a creep..."

    "Who knew Paul fancied himself an actor?" Ash agreed as he stashed an identical crystal bell in his bag. "It was nice of the crew to give us all Soothe Bells..."

    "Tell me about it--Tarina is still playing with mine." Brock smiled. He stiffled a giggle at Tarina pouncing on his own Soothe Bell to make its ring resonate.

    "What was it Keely was telling you at the afterparty?" Dawn asked as the group stopped to rest on a plain. "I was having so much fun dancing that I forgot to ask later."

    "She told me that there was another Gym in a place called Veilstone." Ash explained. "If I remember right, Alex said it was east of Hearthome..."

    "You'd be correct." Brock replied as he thumbed to the appropriate chapter in the guidebook. "Here we go...Veilstone City was made by carving out steep, rocky mountains. Despite its out of the way location, thousands flock to see its world class shows. Many more come to play in its many attractions. Though it is officially named 'the city surrounded by rock', many call it 'The Mountain Jewel of Shinou'."

    "Sounds fun!" Dawn smiled. "I wouldn't mind doing a little shopping for some Contest costumes..."

    "I hope you packed your wallets...Veilstone has one of the most iconic shopping districts in the world." Brock continued reading.

    He was about to say more when Stormy darted up to the group. [Hey, check this out!]

    "Stormy, wait!" Dawn cried, but watched in horror as Stormy fired a thunderbolt.

    Ash gasped as a black stone tower crumbled to the ground from the force of Stormy's attack. "Stormy, what did you do?"

    [I only wanted to show Dawn Thunderbolt...] Stormy protested as some ominous clouds rolled in.

    An odd stone that appeared to have a face nestled in the rocks got her attention. [What does this do?]

    "Whoa!" The group dove out of the way as a thunderbolt struck the odd stone. The stone shattered, releasing a strange ghostly purple and green Pokemon.

    "What IS that?" Brock cried.

    "Spiritomb, the forbidden Pokemon. It was bound to a fissure in an odd keystone as punishment for misdeeds 500 years ago. Ash's Pokedex explained.

    Dawn's first thought was to scold Stormy. She gasped when she saw the ghostly Pokemon charging an ominous ball of energy. "I don't like the looks of that attack..."

    "Shadow Ball!" Ash called. "Hit the dirt!"

    The group dove for cover as the ghost Pokemon fired the attack. But it flew over the heads of the frightened group before dissipating. "As much as you want to scold Stormy right now, our first goal should be finding a way to get Spiritomb back in that odd stone." Brock assured Dawn as he eased himself to his feet.

    "The sooner we do that, the better." Ash agreed as he brushed some leaves from his shirt.

    "There should be a town close by--we can regroup and plan our next move from there." Brock suggested.

    With that, the group gathered their gear and set off, making sure to follow where the ghost Pokemon had gone.

    ---------

    "You were saying about there being a town?" Dawn asked as she looked out over the charred and battered remains of a town. What buildings were still standing appeared to be abandoned. There were still some townsfolk in the area, but they were too focused on cleaning up to greet the group.

    "What happened here?" Ash asked a man gathering charred wood pieces near what was left of a house.

    "A strange Ghost-type Pokémon attacked the village in the night." the man explained. "Unless you came to help rebuild, there isn't much use for you here, traveler."

    "So Spiritomb did come here..." Dawn mused.

    "You three have encountered the forbidden Pokemon Spiritomb, and lived?" an old woman asked. "That is a miracle in itself."

    "We want to reseal Spiritomb back in its keystone. My friend's Pachirisu accidentally tore down the tower where it was sealed." Brock explained.

    "So how do we go about doing that?" Ash asked.

    A smile formed on the old woman's face. "It will not be an easy task. Since you have confessed your wrong and wish to make things right, I will tell you what I know about Spiritomb."

    She gestured to her house, which was one of the very few that were not damaged or destroyed. "If you need a place to stay, I have room in my house for travelers."

    ---------

    "I am so sorry that my Pachirisu destroyed the tower that housed Spiritomb." Dawn apologized to the woman, fighting back tears all the while. "Had I known Spiritomb was in there, I would've brought her somewhere else to train."

    "There there...you did not know about Spiritomb, and I applaud your willingness to re-seal him." the woman assured Dawn as she dried her tears. "But it will not be easy. To understand why Spiritomb was sealed to begin with, we have to journey back 500 years in the past."

    She went on "The story goes that 500 years ago, the anger of a fallen mage came to life as Spritomb. It brought ruin to many a town and city. Finally, an Aura Guardian with a Pikachu defeated and sealed away Spiritomb in the Hallowed Stone Tower."

    "But that doesn't explain why my Pachirisu could so easily break it..." Dawn mused.

    "With time, strength does fade with many things." the woman explained. "Sometimes that happens for magic, as well."

    "Ash...remember our trip to Rota Town and our adventure with Lucario?" Brock asked. "I believe that you still have Sir Aaron's magic deep inside of you, even though May and I lost our powers. Yet, you can tap into that magic when you use the Swanna Song."

    "It's possible--Aura Guardians were said to tap into powerful magic with the song of the Swanna." the old woman agreed. "Perhaps it can re-seal Spiritomb."
    ---------

    "Our hostess gave me lots of great ideas for attracting Spiritomb here." Dawn smiled as the group came to an open plain near the town. "That adventure you had with a Lucario sounded pretty cool."

    "I even wrote a series of songs about it." Brock replied. "I'll have to play them for you once we re-seal Spiritomb."

    "We're close to the tower ruins." Dawn pointed out the ruins of the tower as she let the fuse to an incense stick. "We'll use this incense to lure Spiritomb here, then lead it back to the ruins. Once we have it weakened, Ash can use his Swanna Song to re-seal it, like in the story."

    "Worth a shot." Ash smiled.

    He noticed Spiritomb approaching their stakeout point in the grass. "There he is..."

    After stepping out before the ghost Pokemon, Ash shouted "I am the one you seek! I don't fear your power, for I have the magic of light, granted by Arceus!"

    He noticed the Spiritomb charging an orange beam he recognized as Hyper Beam. He rolled away from the massive attack, and dashed towards the ruins of the Hallowed Tower. Spiritomb was not far behind.

    Moments before Ash and Tintri could reach the tower ruins, a burst of dark energy sent them falling to the ground. "Tintri, try Thunderbolt!"

    [HAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!] Tintri screeched, firing a massive thunderbolt.

    The Thunderbolt hit the Spiritomb, but it countered with Hyper Beam. "ASH!!!!" Dawn screamed as the bright orange beam hit both Ash and Tintri, sending them tumbling to the ground.

    "Oh no..." Brock gasped as he and Dawn arrived at the point where both Ash and Tintri lay. "No..." he whispered as thunder rumbled in the distance.

    Both Dawn and Brock heaved a relieved sigh as Ash stood up. "It'll take more than that to keep me down!" he vowed.

    With that, he sang into the oncoming storm. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
    Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis....
    Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
    . At this line, rainbow thunderbolts started gathering in Ash's fingertip, which he pointed to the sky.
    Emusto koron zen fine, si...

    As Ash's last Bb rang through the rain, a rainbow Thunderbolt flew from Ash's fingertip into the sky. It then arced into Tintri's body, jolting him awake!

    [Oh yeah!] Tintri squeaked, amazed by the rainbow light surging through him. [Now I feel supercharged!]

    With that, he sped towards Spiritomb in a rainbow Volt Tackle. The rainbow light also healed the damage Spiritomb had caused, rebuilding the tower as it sealed Spiritomb away in the Keystone.

    "We did it...we re-sealed Spiritomb." Dawn smiled as she tended to Ash.

    "Don't scare me like that if you can." Brock was also relieved Ash was okay. "Thought you were a goner back there."

    "I have a lot more to do before Arceus calls me home, including becoming Pokemon Master." Ash smiled through his exhaustion. "But right now, I could use a little food."

    The gentle laughter of the old woman got the group's attention. "As thanks for your bravery and cleverness, I see no harm in giving you food and a bed for tonight."

    "We would be honored." Dawn replied as she led the group back towards the town...

    To Be Continued...
     
  4. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 44: The Keystone Pops


    "That play was amazing!" Dawn smiled as she admired a small crystal bell. "I actually had fun, even if that Conway guy was a bit of a creep..."

    "Who knew Paul fancied himself an actor?" Ash agreed as he stashed an identical crystal bell in his bag. "It was nice of the crew to give us all Soothe Bells..."

    "Tell me about it--Tarina is still playing with mine." Brock smiled. He stiffled a giggle at Tarina pouncing on his own Soothe Bell to make its ring resonate.

    "What was it Keely was telling you at the afterparty?" Dawn asked as the group stopped to rest on a plain. "I was having so much fun dancing that I forgot to ask later."

    "She told me that there was another Gym in a place called Veilstone." Ash explained. "If I remember right, Alex said it was east of Hearthome..."

    "You'd be correct." Brock replied as he thumbed to the appropriate chapter in the guidebook. "Here we go...Veilstone City was made by carving out steep, rocky mountains. Despite its out of the way location, thousands flock to see its world class shows. Many more come to play in its many attractions. Though it is officially named 'the city surrounded by rock', many call it 'The Mountain Jewel of Shinou'."

    "Sounds fun!" Dawn smiled. "I wouldn't mind doing a little shopping for some Contest costumes..."

    "I hope you packed your wallets...Veilstone has one of the most iconic shopping districts in the world." Brock continued reading.

    He was about to say more when Stormy darted up to the group. [Hey, check this out!]

    "Stormy, wait!" Dawn cried, but watched in horror as Stormy fired a thunderbolt.

    Ash gasped as a black stone tower crumbled to the ground from the force of Stormy's attack. "Stormy, what did you do?"

    [I only wanted to show Dawn Thunderbolt...] Stormy protested as some ominous clouds rolled in.

    An odd stone that appeared to have a face nestled in the rocks got her attention. [What does this do?]

    "Whoa!" The group dove out of the way as a thunderbolt struck the odd stone. The stone shattered, releasing a strange ghostly purple and green Pokemon.

    "What IS that?" Brock cried.

    "Spiritomb, the forbidden Pokemon. It was bound to a fissure in an odd keystone as punishment for misdeeds 500 years ago." Ash's Pokedex explained.

    Dawn's first thought was to scold Stormy. She gasped when she saw the ghostly Pokemon charging an ominous ball of energy. "I don't like the looks of that attack..."

    "Shadow Ball!" Ash called. "Hit the dirt!"

    The group dove for cover as the ghost Pokemon fired the attack. But it flew over the heads of the frightened group before dissipating. "As much as you want to scold Stormy right now, our first goal should be finding a way to get Spiritomb back in that odd stone." Brock assured Dawn as he eased himself to his feet.

    "The sooner we do that, the better." Ash agreed as he brushed some leaves from his shirt.

    "There should be a town close by--we can regroup and plan our next move from there." Brock suggested.

    With that, the group gathered their gear and set off, making sure to follow where the ghost Pokemon had gone.

    ---------

    "You were saying about there being a town?" Dawn asked as she looked out over the charred and battered remains of a town. What buildings were still standing appeared to be abandoned. There were still some townsfolk in the area, but they were too focused on cleaning up to greet the group.

    "What happened here?" Ash asked a man gathering charred wood pieces near what was left of a house.

    "A strange Ghost-type Pokémon attacked the village in the night." the man explained. "Unless you came to help rebuild, there isn't much use for you here, traveler."

    "So Spiritomb did come here..." Dawn mused.

    "You three have encountered the forbidden Pokemon Spiritomb, and lived?" an old woman asked. "That is a miracle in itself."

    "We want to reseal Spiritomb back in its keystone. My friend's Pachirisu accidentally tore down the tower where it was sealed." Brock explained.

    "So how do we go about doing that?" Ash asked.

    A smile formed on the old woman's face. "It will not be an easy task. Since you have confessed your wrong and wish to make things right, I will tell you what I know about Spiritomb."

    She gestured to her house, which was one of the very few that were not damaged or destroyed. "If you need a place to stay, I have room in my house for travelers."

    ---------

    "I am so sorry that my Pachirisu destroyed the tower that housed Spiritomb." Dawn apologized to the woman, fighting back tears all the while. "Had I known Spiritomb was in there, I would've brought her somewhere else to train."

    "There there...you did not know about Spiritomb, and I applaud your willingness to re-seal him." the woman assured Dawn as she dried her tears. "But it will not be easy. To understand why Spiritomb was sealed to begin with, we have to journey back 500 years in the past."

    She went on "The story goes that 500 years ago, the anger of a fallen mage came to life as Spritomb. It brought ruin to many a town and city. Finally, an Aura Guardian with a Pikachu defeated and sealed away Spiritomb in the Hallowed Stone Tower."

    "But that doesn't explain why my Pachirisu could so easily break it..." Dawn mused.

    "With time, strength does fade with many things." the woman explained. "Sometimes that happens for magic, as well."

    "Ash...remember our trip to Rota Town and our adventure with Lucario?" Brock asked. "I believe that you still have Sir Aaron's magic deep inside of you, even though May and I lost our powers. Yet, we can still tap into that magic when we use the Swanna Song."

    "It's possible--Aura Guardians were said to tap into powerful magic with the song of the Swanna." the old woman agreed. "Perhaps it can re-seal Spiritomb."
    ---------

    "Our hostess gave me lots of great ideas for attracting Spiritomb here." Dawn smiled as the group came to an open plain near the town. "That adventure you had with a Lucario sounded pretty cool."

    "I even wrote a series of songs about it." Brock replied. "I'll have to play them for you once we re-seal Spiritomb."

    "We're close to the tower ruins." Dawn pointed out the ruins of the tower as she let the fuse to an incense stick. "We'll use this incense to lure Spiritomb here, then lead it back to the ruins. Once we have it weakened, Ash can use his Swanna Song to re-seal it, like in the story."

    "Worth a shot." Ash smiled.

    He noticed Spiritomb approaching their stakeout point in the grass. "There he is..."

    After stepping out before the ghost Pokemon, Ash shouted "I am the one you seek! I don't fear your power, for I have the magic of light, granted by Arceus!"

    He noticed the Spiritomb charging an orange beam he recognized as Hyper Beam. He rolled away from the massive attack, and dashed towards the ruins of the Hallowed Tower. Spiritomb was not far behind.

    Moments before Ash and Tintri could reach the tower ruins, a burst of dark energy sent them falling to the ground. "Tintri, try Thunderbolt!"

    [HAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!] Tintri screeched, firing a massive thunderbolt.

    The Thunderbolt hit the Spiritomb, but it countered with Hyper Beam. "ASH!!!!" Dawn screamed as the bright orange beam hit both Ash and Tintri, sending them tumbling to the ground.

    "Oh no..." Brock gasped as he and Dawn arrived at the point where both Ash and Tintri lay. "No..." he whispered as thunder rumbled in the distance.

    Both Dawn and Brock heaved a relieved sigh as Ash stood up. "It'll take more than that to keep me down!" he vowed.

    With that, he sang into the oncoming storm. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
    Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis....
    Katoradis favel siicletu edena....
    At this line, rainbow thunderbolts started gathering in Ash's fingertip, which he pointed to the sky.
    Emusto koron zen fine, si...

    As Ash's last Bb rang through the rain, a rainbow Thunderbolt flew from Ash's fingertip into the sky. It then arced into Tintri's body, jolting him awake!

    [Oh yeah!] Tintri squeaked, amazed by the rainbow light surging through him. [Now I feel supercharged!]

    With that, he sped towards Spiritomb in a rainbow Volt Tackle. The rainbow light also healed the damage Spiritomb had caused, rebuilding the tower as it sealed Spiritomb away in the Keystone.

    "We did it...we re-sealed Spiritomb." Dawn smiled as she tended to Ash.

    "Don't scare me like that if you can." Brock was also relieved Ash was okay. "Thought you were a goner back there."

    "I have a lot more to do before Arceus calls me home, including becoming Pokemon Master." Ash smiled through his exhaustion. "But right now, I could use a little food."

    The gentle laughter of the old woman got the group's attention. "As thanks for your bravery and cleverness, I see no harm in giving you food and a bed for tonight."

    "We would be honored." Dawn replied as she led the group back towards the town...

    To Be Continued...
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  5. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 45: Bibarel Gnaws Best!


    "According to the guidebook, we should be getting to Solaceon Town in another day or so..." Brock mused.

    He was about to say more when he noticed an incomplete bridge in the distance. "Uh oh...we may have to turn back..."

    "Well, you can always ask the foreman--or forewoman--if it is safe to pass, or where an alternate route is." Dawn suggested.

    She noticed Brock eying the forewoman, a green haired girl. "Remember you have Tarina here, so you need to set a good example for her."

    "Okay..." Brock replied.

    He approached the work area, where he caught the tail end of a conversation. "Isis, you've proven to be a very reliable worker so far. We hope you can come through for us despite the delay."

    "You're being too nice to her!" a heavy-set man complained. "If this setback delays the bridge opening, what will people think? We'll lose business, and we won't get any more jobs!"

    "One delay is not the end of the world..." Ash muttered.

    "So long as there is a bridge to get them from point A to point B, who cares about who built it?" Dawn agreed.

    About then, the green haired woman noticed the group. "Oh, were you needing to get across?"

    "Forgive us for eavesdropping...Isis, was it?" Ash began. "We need to know if we can find a way across here."

    "Or if we can solve what's causing your delay." Dawn smiled.

    "I'm Ash..." Ash began. "...and these two are my companions Dawn..." Dawn waved hello. "...and Brock."

    "How do you do?" Brock smiled before Dawn shot him a warning glance.

    "Nice to meet you three." Isis smiled. "I suppose I can tell you about why our current job is delayed. See, we hired an expert stonecutter to help us build a new bridge for this area. Then he hurt his back some months ago. Then the head engineer took charge and put me in charge of stonecutting, but work has ground to a halt."

    "Leave it to me!" Brock grinned. "I'll have the crew inspired in no time!"

    [This sounds a lot like the story of the Absol that built a bridge...] Tarina mused.

    "Say..." Brock smiled. "Tarina, you're a genius!"

    He motioned to Ash and Dawn. "Come on...I have an idea."

    ---------

    ..."Your true name is Purmina!" Ash finally declares in character as the carpenter some time later.

    Dawn feigns shock as Brock plays an upward glissando. "How...how did you know?"

    "That is only for me to know, Lady Purmina." Ash smiles. Dawn dashes out of the stage area, over an interlude from Brock.

    "And so, the Absol disappeared into the mists, humiliated that a human knew her true name." Brock narrates over his song. "Yet the bridge remained, forming a lovely arch over the roaring rapids. The bridge stood for many years afterwards. It can still be seen today, all thanks to a brave carpenter brave enough to guess an Absol's name."

    He looks out over the enthralled Machokes and Machamps. "So ends the tale named 'The Absol that Built a Bridge'."

    [Bravo!] a Machoke called as Ash, Dawn, Brock, and Tarina took a bow.

    [Encore!] a Machamp agreed.

    Even Isis smiled as she applauded. "While that was a great show, the Machokes and the Machamps are not the problem..."

    "Then what is?" Dawn asked as she helped disassemble the makeshift stage.

    "The Pokémon which cuts the stone." Isis replied. "If you would like, I can take you three to the quarry."

    "Lead the way, then." Brock assured Isis.

    ---------

    After climbing down a slope into the quarry, Isis pointed out a large beaver-like Pokemon dozing on a rock. "That is the Pokemon that cuts the stone."

    "Bibarel, the beaver Pokemon." Ash's Pokedex began. "It makes its nest by damming streams with bark and mud. It is known as an industrious worker."

    "If it's dozing like that, it's not working very hard." Dawn noted.

    "That's nothing a Pokeflute wouldn't fix!" Ash smiled.

    He held up a long deep brown recorder-like instrument with diamond inlays. "A couple of tunes should wake it up!"

    He balked when Brock showed him a larger sideblown Pokeflute. "We may need a bigger instrument for a bigger Pokemon."

    "The Pokeflute comes in bigger sizes besides what Ash has?" Dawn gasped.

    "The Pokeflute is actually its own family of instruments." Brock explained. "What Ash has, and the most common size you'll see, is the soprano Pokeflute, which is endblown. What I have is an alto Pokeflute, which can be either sideblown or endblown."

    "Oh, now I remember!" Ash smiled. "When I was little, they let you play the alto if you had passed the mastery benchmark for the soprano, if you wanted. I passed the benchmark, but wasn't interested in learning a new way to blow. You also had to learn to read everything a fifth downward."

    "Then let me show you guys what the alto Pokeflute sounds like..." Brock smiled before preparing to play.

    With that, he started playing the mighty instrument. A warm resonant F# echoed through the quarry. The single note then transformed into a playful, mysterious melody. Ash, Dawn, Isis, and the Pokemon listened, spellbound by the big flute.

    But the Bibarel yawned and changed positions on the rock as the last note faded. "Hm...Pokeflutes are supposed to wake Pokemon, not put them to sleep..." Brock mused.

    "If you're curious, I was the one who taught the Bibarel to cut stone, before showing it to the expert stonecutter." Isis explained. "The expert stonecutter took it under his wing. In a few short months, the Bibarel mastered stonecutting. Since the expert stonecutter hurt himself, Bibarel has refused to cut stone."

    "Okay, so motivation's not the problem..." Brock mused as he put the alto Pokeflute away. "I was once the leader of the Pewter Gym in Kanto. So I should know a thing or two about cutting rock."

    He motioned to Ash. "Mind if I borrow Diddy, Tails, and Gaia for a second?"

    "Sure!" Ash replied as Diddy, Tails, and Gaia romped to Brock's side.

    [What about me? What can I do?] Tarina asked.

    "You can help too, okay?" Brock assured Tarina before leading Diddy to a slab of rock. "Okay...can you heat this slab of rock for me?"

    [Sure!] Diddy replied. [How hot do you need it?]

    "Hot enough that it will crack when we cool it down." Brock explained before giving Tails his instructions. "When you see the heated rock about to turn white, cool it down with a Water Gun."

    [Got it!] Tails replied.

    "Gaia, Tarina, over here..." Brock motioned for the Budew and the Pichu to come to him. "Once the rock cracks, I want you guys to break it off and cut it into smooth blocks. Can you two work together to do that?"

    [Leave it to us!] Gaia smiled. Tarina nodded in agreement.

    ---------

    Isis sighed as she measured a block the group had cut. "You were close, but the blocks are the wrong size." Everyone groaned at this.

    Dawn gasped as a giant digger approached the quarry. 'The head engineer from before!"

    "Rhydon, cut the stone with Horn Drill!" the engineer commanded.

    No one expected the Bibarel to slam into the Rhydon. Angered, the Rhydon whapped the Bibarel with its tail. The attack sent the Bibarel flying across the ground.

    Tarina gasped as the Rhydon lifted a foot to crush the Bibarel. [I can't look!]

    A smile formed on Isis' face when she heard the Rhydon roar in pain. "I see--the Bibarel's trying to defend the quarry!"

    "Aggron, use Iron Head!" The head engineer first summoned a large steel reptilian Pokemon.

    "Magmar, use Flamethrower!" He next summoned a red and yellow humanoid Pokemon.

    "Metang, use Metal Claw!" He then summoned a metallic Pokemon with two arms.

    "Go, Bibarel!" Ash cheered as the Bibarel dodged the Iron Head and Metal Claw.

    He gasped as the Bibarel went flying from the Flamethrower. "Come on, everyone! We need to help the Bibarel fend off these bullies!"

    He called "Tintri, use Iron Tail!"

    [Take THIS!] Tintri squeaked as he whacked the Rhydon, sending it sliding backwards.

    [HAAAAAHHHH!!!!] Diddy heaved a Flamethrower at the Metang.

    [Time to cool down!] Tails taunted before heaving a Water Gun at the Magmar!

    Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo.... Tarina's tiny voice rang over the noise, sending the Aggron into a leafy tornado from Gaia.

    Dawn grinned when she saw the trapped Aggron. "Kori, use Bubblebeam!"

    Ash gasped as the head engineer jumped into the digger. "He's gonna crush us!" he screamed as the digger sped towards the quarry wall.

    "What the..." Dawn gasped as a large rock appeared and knocked the digger over.

    "Who did that?" the engineer demanded as he climbed from the ruined digger. "Who ruined my plan to crush these meddling kids?"

    An older man peeked over the quarry edge with his own Machamp. "I did--you have a lot of explaining to do." he warned.

    "But, I thought--!" Isis gasped.

    "I never hurt my back in the first place." the expert stonecutter explained. "The only thing that needed healing was the blueprints. Somebody destroyed the originals and drew some of their own, and they were not up to regional code!"

    "Sir, I did it so the project would be finished on time, and my reputation would be saved!" the engineer protested.

    "You call THIS quality work?" The expert stonecutter removed the support from the bridge, causing it to crumble to dust.

    Isis and the group approached the engineer. "You will never work as an engineer alongside stonecutters again, if you're going to do sub par work!"

    "Leave this site immediately, or else!" the expert stonecutter agreed.

    The group cheered as the head engineer ran off, followed by his Pokémon. "Thank you all for your help and talents." Isis smiled. "Although, how are we going get the project finished on time without a blueprint?"

    "Don't worry--I already made a new blueprint for the bridge." the expert stonecutter smiled as he revealed a new blueprint. "These three are more than welcome to help out, even if its just motivating the crew."

    [Come on!] Tarina called to the other Pokemon. [Let's get to work building the bridge!]

    ---------

    The sound of a bansi playing a festive melody in time to a frame drum and the group working rang across the site. Everybody, everybody, come out here! Tarina sang to rally the Machokes and Machamps. Everybody, everybody, come follow me!

    Everybody, everybody, come out here!
    Everybody, everybody, come follow me!


    Their eyes have met, and a battle has begun! Tarina sang as she handed off five small stones to a Machoke.
    Two teams of Pokemon fight here today!
    They fight intensely! They fight intensely!
    I don't know which one's gonna win!
    At this line, Diddy heated up another block of stone.

    A brave trainer, a cap upon his head... Tarina kept singing as she delivered another block to a Machoke to put in place.
    He tells the Pokemon to move away!
    They move so smoothly! They move so smoothly!
    One will live to fight another day!


    Even if I never saw them fight before,
    I believe the trainer with the hat will win!
    Tarina winked at Ash as she received more blocks from Gaia.
    He keeps his wits about him, and when it's over he will win a badge! Oh, yeah yeah!

    She romped to the overlook where Ash and Brock were performing from, exhorting the others to keep working. Glitter glitter, glitter in the sunshine now!
    It will shine down on us forever!

    Glitter glitter, glitter in the sunshine now!
    We will be shining as we dance through it all!


    ---------

    Later that evening, the group met the expert stonecutter and Isis at the top of a hill. "Thank you all for your hard work!" Isis smiled as she admired the now completed bridge. "Your Pichu's little song really inspired the crew. They finished the bridge before nightfall!"

    "As thanks for all you've done today, take these." the stonecutter offered the group some red headbands. "They're a gift from me."

    He knelt down to Tarina's eye level. "And thank you, little one, for that enthusiastic ondo. You and your master have real talent."

    [Care to show off some kung fu, Brock?] Tails grinned as Brock tied on his own headband.

    "I do in fact, know some kung fu..." Brock replied. "Catching Raikou By the Tail!" he announced as he jump kicked the air. "Three Beasts Guard the Road!" He shielded Tarina and the Pokemon from an imagined attack.

    "Have you taken lessons, Mr. Kung Fu Master?" Dawn smiled as Brock continued showing off moves.

    "Yeah--I'm up to blue belt." Brock replied between showing off some kicks. "That's when my dojo teaches you archery martial arts."

    "Cool!" Ash smiled as Brock continued showing off what moves he knew against the setting sun...

    To Be Continued...
     
  6. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 46: Luxray Vision!

    "Helping to build that bridge was so fun!" Dawn smiled. "Was that song Tarina sang something she learned, or did she make it up?"

    [I made it up myself.] Tarina replied as the group rounded a corner. In the distance, Ash could see a courtyard belonging to a majestic mansion.

    What the group did not expect was a flash of light! "Gah! Bright!" Ash yelped as he rushed to shield his eyes from the light.

    He spotted a blue haired girl in an outfit resembling a blue, black and yellow lion Pokemon on the mansion's roof. The lion Pokemon jumped down before the group, spurring the girl to call "Wait, Shine! Not yet!"

    [Come on, Tarina!] Tintri called as he motioned for Tarina to follow him. [This way!]

    [Yipe!] Tarina jumped to avoid the lion Pokemon's claws as she followed Tintri into a bush. [Why are they treating us like bad guys? We're not bad guys!]

    [Try telling that to Electro-lion there!] Tintri yelped. The lion Pokemon approached the bush, intent on capturing the frightened mice Pokemon.

    Dawn decided to read up on the lion Pokemon as it and Tintri stared each other down:

    "Luxray, the gleam eyes Pokemon. It has eyes that can see through anything. It spots and captures prey hiding behind objects."

    "That explains how it found Tintri and Tarina..." she mused as she pocketed her Pokedex.

    "Shine, please!" the teal haired girl begged as the Luxray fired off an Iron Tail. "Wait!"

    Ash winced as both Tintri's and the Luxray's tails clashed with a loud CLANG! "We're not bad guys, honest! So why are you treating us like bad guys?"

    "You three don't look like criminals in the least." the mansion's owner smiled as he came into the courtyard. "You all did a fine job in the Hearthome Theater's production of 'Robin Hood', I might add."

    "Thanks..." Dawn replied. "It was fun playing Maid Marian."

    "If you don't mind my asking, is there a reason for the extra security, sir?" Brock asked.

    "Matthew, please." the man smiled.

    He watched as Brock whistled for Tarina. "I increased security because a band of three crooks, threatened to steal an old charm of mine. When I asked the Officer Jenny from Mahogany Town for help, Marble, Shine's owner, went in her place."

    "Oh, so the Luxray's name is Shine, huh?" Ash mused as Shine and Tintri stared each other down. "If you don't mind, we can help you keep an eye out for these crooks!"

    "Sure!" Marble smiled. "I'll make sure you're paid for your time, if you need some pocket money for your travels."

    ---------

    "Here..." Matthew made a grand gesture to a large vault at the end of a tunnel. "This is where I keep my treasures, including my old charm."

    "The note the bandits left said they would try to steal it at eight o'clock tonight." Marble explained. "I've been worried about Shine though. Ever since he evolved from a Luxio, he has been unable to use Electric moves."

    "That's weird..."Ash mused.

    "One time, when we tried to help Officer Jenny capture a crook, Shine wasn't able to use Charge Beam." Marble went on. "This forced Jenny's Arcanine Ember to stop the crook. It also made Shine quite upset--and he has been hostile ever since."

    "Poor Shine..." Dawn sighed.

    "This was why I was excited to see your Pikachu and the red mage Pichu." Marble asked. "Maybe they can inspire Shine to use Electric moves again."

    "Say the word, and I can give Shine some special training!" Ash smiled.

    "Actually, I want to start by calming Shine's anger." Marble suggested.

    The group didn't see three female figures approaching the mansion from the tall grass. "This job had better not be a bust..." one grumbled.

    "Relax, Kiku--Old Charms go for billions on the black market." another assured her companion. "All we have to do is bypass security, get the Old Charm at the very least, and go."

    ---------

    Brock looked at the clock on his PokeNav. "It's 7:50 PM--all is well."

    "What if the bandits only said 8 PM to throw us off?" Dawn worried. "They could be long gone by now!"

    "If someone says they'll be there by 8 PM, they should be there by 8 PM, if not a little earlier." Ash assured Dawn.

    "Key word being 'a little earlier.' Brock cautioned. "It's possible the crooks managed to mess with the clocks enough to fool us it is earlier than it is. This means Dawn could be right, and it is now 8 PM."

    "You're absolutely right, Squinty-eyes!" a female voice taunted as a red haired girl in black and red garb emerged from the grass. "Beauty roll call! Miho!"

    "Taki!" a blue haired girl in black and blue garb called as she leaped onto a ledge.

    "Kiku!" a blonde haired girl in black and yellow garb called as she leaped behind Brock.

    "We are the Bandit Beauties Three!" the girls chorused as they surrounded the group.

    "Tintri, shock these super sentai bandits with a Thunderbolt!" Ash called.

    He gasped as Shine knocked the thunderbolt away and tried to attack Miho with Iron Tail. In all the confusion, the three beauties dashed away.

    "Where did our sentai trio of bandits get to?" Dawn asked when the smoke cleared some moments later.

    "Shine deflected the attack and tried to attack himself. That bought the beauties time to get away." Ash explained. "Who knows where they are now?"

    [We'll go find them!] Tintri volunteered.

    [Stay with me, everyone!] Shine called as he dashed down a corridor.

    "They must still be in the area, since the exterior is still being watched." Matthew explained. "There are plenty of traps in the area too. The beauties have been known to hide treasures."

    Back with the Pokemon, Shine noticed that Tintri was nearing a pit trap! [Watch out, both of you!]

    [WAUUUUUUUGGGHHH!!!] Tintri screeched as he slipped and fill into the pit.

    [EEEEEEEEEEEYAAAAAAHHHH!] Tarina went tumbling into the pit seconds later.

    "Tintri! Tarina!" Ash called as he approached the pit. "Stay where you are, I'm coming to save you!" he called down into the large hole.

    "Wait--I know a better and safer way down there." Matthew suggested as he pulled Ash away from the hole. "Come with me."

    ---------

    [Are you okay, little one?] Shine asked as she and Tintri collected themselves.

    [I think so...] Tarina replied as she eased herself to her feet and bushed the dust from her hat. [Wearing a cape has its advantages--makeshift parachute!]

    Shine chuckled at this. [That it is--let's begin retracing our steps back to the surface.]

    He gasped as the floor opened up beneath him! [WHOA!]

    [Shine!] Tintri scrambled to the hole's edge, where Shine was trying to regain his footing above a spike pit.

    [Here, Shine! Catch!] Tarina called as she heaved a rope over to Shine.

    Once sure Shine had gripped the rope, she started pulling with all her strength...

    ---------

    [Whew...I did it!] Tarina heaved with exhaustion as Shine emerged onto safe ground again.

    [Thank you for rescuing me from a painful fate, little one--Tarina, was it?] Shine purred as he nuzzled Tarina.

    He looked over at Tintri. [Forgive me for trying to push you away--I realize you were only trying to help...]

    [Aw, it's okay.] Tintri smiled. [So, are we a team?]

    [I'd say we are...] Tarina wheezed.

    [Then let's go--I'm sure your masters are worried sick about you.] With that, Shine led the way down the corridor...

    ---------

    "You know--I love how well you, your Pikachu, and your friend's Pichu work together." Marble smiled as she and the others made their way down another corridor in the network of passages.

    "Well, Tintri and Tarina are best friends, so they know how to work together." Ash replied. "You'd never believe it now, but when I first started as a trainer, Tintri and I had a very fragile relationship. He wouldn't listen to me until he protected me from a flock of wild Spearow. Not because I told him to, but because he wanted to."

    "Long story." Brock whispered.

    "Shine may want to get along with you better if you try to maintain a relationship with him outside of work." Ash went on, oblivious to the three beauties attempting to dig their way out.

    ---------

    [Okay...there is a route in this wall.] Shine reported. [Do you guys want to continue down this way, or take the hidden route.

    [The hidden route!" Tintri smiled as he dashed ahead. [Maybe there's more treasure down here!]

    [Wait!] Shine called after Tintri. [There's a trap up ahead!]

    Tarina felt a click as she hurried after Tintri. [Uh oh...] she gasped as she heard a whoosh of a flurry of darts approaching!

    She dove to the ground in an attempt to avoid the darts. She gasped when an arrow came flying down the corridor, deflecting the darts. [You guys! Over here!] she waved as the group arrived in the corridor.

    "Tarina!" Brock set his gear aside and hurried to hug Tarina. "Are you okay? You had me worried for a moment when you took a spill down here..."

    [I'm fine.] Tarina replied. [Thanks for saving us with the nice shot!]

    "Thank Arceus you're okay, bud!" Ash cried as he hugged Tintri.

    "Shine, you're okay!" Marble hugged Shine. "Let's find a way out of--!"

    A click and a rumble got her attention. "Oh no..."

    "The walls are closing in!" Dawn called over the rumbling. "We need to find a switch Brock can hit to stop it from crushing us!"

    Shine glanced around the room, aware of Brock preparing another shot. [Aim for this red switch on the north wall!]

    The group held their breaths as Brock fired, hitting the switch and forcing the wall trap to reset itself. [Just like in Zelda!] Tarina smiled.

    The beauties arrived in the chamber moments later, carrying a chest. "Don't know why this charm's so important, but a job's a job." Kiku muttered.

    "We'll take care of these intruders while you make a break for the exit!" Miho instructed Kiku. "Go!"

    "Right!" With that, Kiku dashed down another hallway.

    "Rubicante, let's go!" Miho summoned a Charmeleon before the group. "Start with Flame Burst!"

    "Cagnazzo, Bite the Luxray!" Taki summoned a Wartortle.

    [Hah!] Shine first deflected the Wartortle's attack, then knocked the Charmeleon backwards. [I have them stunned, here's your chance!] he called to Tintri.

    [Right!] Tintri fired a Thunderbolt, shocking both Pokemon.

    Shine seemed to smile as he absorbed some of the stray bolts from Tintri's attack. them both. [Yes...yes! This power I remembered from when I was a Luxio. It's coming back to me!]

    "Shine, try Charge Beam!" Marble called.

    [RAAAAAAUGHH!!!!!] Shine then fired a sparking yellow beam. The attack paralyzed the Charmeleon and Wartortle and sent the box with the old charm flying.

    Dawn caught the box with the charm. "I have the old charm, so give the beauties the shock of their lives!"

    [YAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!] Tintri, Tarina, and Shine cried as they created a white thunderbolt. The force of the massive bolt was so strong, it sent the beauties flying...

    ---------

    "I can't even begin to thank you all for recovering my old charm." Matthew smiled as the three beauties were arrested and led away.

    "Marble, why did you break protocol and come here without getting permission?" Jenny asked Marble.

    Marble sighed. "I'm sorry...I didn't intend to break protocol, but this case sounded urgent."

    Jenny's stern expression softened. "Well...I will only let you off with a warning this time. No matter how urgent the call is, you need to get approval before working a case.

    She smiled. "I will commend you for developing a bond with Shine, at least."

    Matthew watched as Officer Jenny, Marble, and Shine departed. "And thank you, travelers, for helping out. The least I can do is give you a place to stay for the night."

    "We would appreciate that." Dawn smiled.

    A guitar chord got her attention. "You actually wrote a song about what happened today?" she asked as Brock finished fine tuning.

    "Yeah--its working title for the time being is 'Thunder in the Underground'." Brock replied before starting a brisk introduction...

    To Be Continued...
     
  7. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 47a: Journey to the Unown (part 1)


    "Okay, Lola--let's try Focus Million Fist next." Dawn explained to her Buneary. "Remember how that goes?"

    [Of course!] Lola squeaked. [Use Focus Punch as fast as you can to make it look like you have a million fists!]

    She focused her power, making both her tiny fists glow a light blue. [HAI-yayayayayayayayayayayayayayaya!!!!!]

    Dawn applauded the flurry of shining fists. "Very good!"

    Some applause got her attention. "Not bad, Dee Dee! In fact, I read somewhere Buneary can learn that move via breeding."

    Dawn whirled around to find Barry approaching the hill. "Care to explain how Lola knows it even though I caught her in the wild?"

    "She once had an owner?" Barry mused.

    "What's with the whole 'Dee Dee' routine?" Ash wondered. "Every time we've met Barry so far, he tends to call you that, even though you don't like it. Do you feel comfortable telling me why?"

    Dawn sighed. "Not really--I'd prefer you not go there."

    "All right, I will respect your wish." Ash replied.

    He then addressed Barry. "So, what about that battle we never finished?"

    "Love to, but not right now." Barry replied. "I was going to see Dialga and Palkia." He made a grand gesture to what looked like the ruins of a temple in the distance. "But if you wanna battle, we can do it in front of the Dialga and Palkia statues."

    Ash looked over at the massive statues looming over the entrance. "It sounds a little creepy, but part of me also thinks it'd be kinda cool!"

    He watched as Brock drew a Poke Ball in the grass. "Which side of the Poke Ball do you want?"

    "Don't care." Barry replied.

    Ash was about to protest when Dawn arrived with her Poketch. "I got a Coin Flipper app in the latest auto-update, so why don't we flip a coin to determine who gets what side?"

    She showed the boys the coin on the screen. "Arceus face is heads...Shinou League crest is tails. Call the toss, and whoever gets it right gets the Diamond side."

    "That's fair." Barry smiled. "Tails."

    "Heads!" Ash called as Dawn hit the button to flip the coin.

    Dawn looked at the results of the flip. "It's heads...Ash gets the Diamond side."

    The group didn't see Mars, Jupiter, and a third admin with pointy blue hair going inside the ruins.

    ---------

    "Diddy, here we go!" Ash summoned his Chimchar as Brock's whistle blew.

    "Aster, here we go!" Barry called, summoning a Roserade onto the Pearl side.

    Dawn grinned. "I bet Barry sent out a Roserade to focus more on showing off moves than attacking."

    "Diddy, start with a Tackle!" Ash called.

    Barry gasped as Diddy rammed into his Roserade. "Wow! That was quick!

    "Diddy, use a Flame Wheel before it gets up!" came Ash's next command.

    "Aster, counter with Magical Leaf!" Barry shot back.

    [AUGGGHHH!!!] Diddy yelped as the shining leaves surrounded him.

    "Focus, Diddy! Try to Bite the Roserade!" Ash called.

    "Aster, try Energy Ball!" Barry called.

    Dawn gasped in awe as Barry's Roserade started to charge a yellow-green ball of energy. "That's beautiful!"

    Ash braced himself from the force of the Energy Ball's explosion. "Wow...that was cool!" he gasped. "Even though it did a number on Diddy..."

    "That was Energy Ball." Barry explained. "Not just Grass types can learn it. It's possible for your friend's Vulpix to learn it, and some exotic Fairy types too."

    "Can Diddy learn something like it?" Ash asked as he tended to Diddy.

    Barry thought for a moment. "A similar cool looking move for a Fire type would be the move Heat Wave. It's typically seen on Legendaries, but some other Fire Pokemon can learn it on their own.

    He smiled. "It'll be tough, but I'll teach it to Diddy if you can beat me."

    "It's a deal!" Ash smiled.

    ---------

    Meanwhile, the three Galactic admins watched as the Unown inscriptions in a large open room became real Unown. "Mars, Jupiter...Cyrus salutes you for your dedication in pursuing those clever trainers." the third admin began. " You've still managed to give the team some valuable information we could use in creating our new world."

    "Thanks, Saturn." Mars replied as a box emerged from the ground. "Those trainers have proved themselves more clever than we anticipated..."

    "Be the most wary around the tall one that sings!" Jupiter agreed. "His happy go lucky exterior belies a skilled archer, and he has magical power too!"

    "Point duly noted." Saturn smiled as he reached for the box.

    He gasped as the Unown started firing beams of rainbow light at him! "Ara, use Confuse Ray!"

    Jupiter shielded her eyes from the bright orange flash. "We need to go, now!"

    ---------

    "What in the world?" Dawn gasped as she felt the stairs start to float.

    She gasped when she saw the ruin glowing an ominous red. "What's going on?"

    [Help!] Kori called as she scrambled to hang onto the stairs.

    Lola hurried to help Kori. [I have you, don't let go!] she assured Kori as she grabbed Kori's right fin.

    Neither Pokemon expected to slip and tumble down the steps. "Hang on, I'm coming!" Dawn called before jumping down after her falling Piplup and Buneary.

    "I have a bad feeling about this..." Barry mused as the ruins were engulfed with red energy.

    "Why are you so scared?" Ash wondered.

    "I think the correct question is how you and Brock are NOT scared!!!" Barry cried. "For all I know, it's the end of the world!"

    "If the trainer is scared, think about how the Pokémon feel." Ash replied as Brock rubbed Barry's shoulders in an attempt to calm him.

    Barry took a deep breath to calm his jangled nerves. "You have a point, there. You need to be a leader to your team, and they need to know you will keep them safe."

    "Exactly." Brock smiled as he retrieved the Explorer's Kit from his bag. "Even though you're freaked out, you need to at least look like you're calm to the Pokemon."

    He unzipped the main pocket of the Explorer's Kit. "Now, let's go find Dawn."

    ---------

    In the ruins, Dawn spotted Kori and Lola untangling themselves in a room that split into a three way fork. "There you are! Are you guys okay?"

    [I think so...] Kori groaned as she got up. [Even though I don't know where we are...]

    I know the way. a female voice echoed in Dawn's head.

    "Who's there?" Dawn gasped. "Friend, or foe?"

    A white humanoid Pokemon materialized before Dawn. I'm a friend--I can help you three get out of here. it telepathically explained.

    Piqued, Dawn looked up the Pokemon on her Pokedex:

    "Ralts, the feeling Pokemon. It is highly attuned to the emotions of people and Pokémon. It hides if it senses hostility."

    "Okay, Miss Ralts, lead the way." Dawn replied as she pocketed her Pokedex.

    This way. The Ralts then hovered down the right corridor.

    ---------

    [I wonder what ancient people built this place...] Lola mused. She and Kori gawked for a moment at the Unown inscriptions and drawings on the walls.

    Dawn was about to answer when she saw a large band-like ring with wave designs surrounding a diamond. "Hm...a ring. What happens if I try to wear it?"

    The diamond in the center of the ring glowed, and a female voice singing Leishu shun ji, lei si... echoed in Dawn's mind. "What was that? You?" she asked the Ralts.

    No...that was the essence of the Mega Ring. the Ralts explained. Its former owner gave it up, and it made its way into these ruins.

    "Okay, I'll memorize this gobbledygook in case it's important later." Dawn mused before repeating the odd words to herself. "Leishu shun ji, lei si..."

    To Be Continued...
     
  8. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 47b: Journey to the Unown (part 2)

    Previously, on "Pokemon Shine Diamond"...

    Dawn was about to answer when she saw a large band-like ring with wave designs surrounding a diamond. "Hm...a ring. What happens if I try to wear it?"

    The diamond in the center of the ring glowed, and a female voice singing Leishu shun ji, lei si... echoed in Dawn's mind. "What was that? You?" she asked the Ralts.

    No...that was the essence of the Mega Ring. the Ralts explained. Its former owner gave it up, and it made its way into these ruins.

    "Okay, I'll memorize this gobbledygook in case it's important later." Dawn mused before repeating the odd words to herself. "Leishu shun ji, lei si..."


    "There's so many of them!" Ash called as he did his best to swat away the confused Unowns that swooped at him in every direction. "What did we ever do to them?"

    "Nothing!" Brock replied. "Someone or something must've confused them!"

    [Take THIS, alphabet rejects!] Tintri taunted as he fired a Thunderbolt.

    [HAH!!] Diddy also fired an Ember.

    Ash watched as Aster and Flora attacked, snapping the Unown out of confusion. "It worked!" he smiled as the swirling rainbows around the group dissipated.

    "Let's go find Dawn!" Brock lead the way down a tunnel.

    ---------

    "Gah!" Dawn gasped as she raced down a hallway, some confused Unowns not far behind her. "They keep coming and coming!"

    She gasped as more swarms of Unowns flew in to block every possible exit. Even though she shook and her heart was pounding, an idea gave her a sense of calm. Maybe, if I tried singing that song I heard before...

    She held her hand to the sky. Leishu shun ji, lei si...

    Kori began to glow with an electric blue aura as she unleashed a shining Whirlpool. "Wow! it boosted Kori!" Dawn smiled.

    Not quite... the Ralts cautioned. Your Piplup can't Mega Evolve. If you were to sing your Heart Song, the best you could do is boost one move.

    Dawn looked over at the Unowns swirling in the shining Whirlpool. "That explains the aura..."

    "OOF!!!" the three admins gasped as they came crashing down from a nearby flight of stairs. "Rough landing..." Mars muttered as she dusted herself off.

    The Ralts spotted another swarm on Unown approaching from behind. [HAAAAAH!!!] she screeched as she unleashed a psychic sound wave.

    Ash and the others arrived some moments later. "That's a Ralts!" Ash gasped, recognizing the white humanoid Pokemon with Dawn.

    Leishu shun ji, lei si... the Ralts sang, snapping the Unowns out of confusion.

    Dawn realized she, her team, and the admins were actually on the ceiling as the illusion was dispelled. "AUGH!!!"

    "I gotcha!" Ash hurried to catch Dawn, but ended up catching Kori instead.

    Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo... Brock's voice echoed through the ruins. A bright green light lit up the hallway as Argent became Mega Steelix.

    "Thanks for the rescue, big guy!" Dawn smiled as Argent set her down on safe ground.

    [Anytime.] Argent purred as he went to help the admins down.

    Ash noticed the Ralts with Dawn. "So...congrats on your new Ralts."

    "But, I didn't--!" Dawn started to protest.

    Whatever you did or did not do is none of my concern. the Ralts explained. I choose to come with you by my own choice. No more, and no less.

    Dawn watched as a door leading outside rumbled open. "Okay--welcome to the team, Miss Ralts."

    ---------

    "Ralts, the feeling Pokemon. It is highly attuned to the emotions of people and Pokemon. It hides if it senses hostility." Ash's Pokedex explained. as Dawn and the Ralts were nearby, practicing appeals with a Psychic blast.

    "So what did you name this Ralts?" he asked as he pocketed the Pokedex. "May named hers Zelda."

    "A fitting name, considering her digital namesake has visions in her dreams." Dawn smiled. "I named mine Satomi. She may be the newcomer, but I think she can win me the Solaceon Contest."

    "It's gonna be strange not having a Fantasy Stage to compete in alongside Dawn. but that means I can finally see what's going on when I'm performing." Brock mused.

    Ash spotted Barry departing. "What about our battle?"

    "You did well enough that I'll teach Diddy Heat Wave." Barry smiled. "Just don't tell Dawn how scared I was."

    "Trainer's honor!" Ash smiled, making a three fingered scout sign for effect...

    To Be Continued...
     
  9. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 48: Team Shocker!

    "Bye, Dawn!" Barry smiled as he prepared to leave Solaceon Town a few days later. "See you next Contest!"

    Dawn did her best to fight back tears as she trudged down the road. "I...don't think I will attend the next one."

    "What???" Barry gasped before his shocked expression turned angry. "Listen, Dawn--ever since I've known you, you've always said your dream was to equal your mom, or even surpass her. And you're going to quit? You're going to send that dream down the drain?"

    He grimaced before continuing "Look--I'm not going to let you quit coordinating! Sure, it hurts to rack up a string of losses, but I believe you can surpass your mom, or maybe even be a Grand Coordinator!"

    He grinned at Ash. "Keep working on Heat Wave, okay?"

    "I will." Ash replied before spotting Dawn running off to the Pokemon Center. "Hey, Dawn!" he called before running after his companion.

    "Let her go--all the close calls and chokes must've taken a blow to her morale." Brock assured Ash. "When she's ready to talk, she'll tell you. For now, give her her space."

    ---------

    Oh, Dawn... Satomi began as she warped by her crying master. I did everything you told me to do...

    "It was nothing you did or did not do." Dawn replied between sobs. "I've been overmatched in every contest! I mean, I know Mom didn't get to where she was overnight..."

    And I'm sure she faced her share of struggles and troubles to reach where she is today. Satomi explained.

    "But how can I bounce back from choking when it matters most?" Dawn asked as she wiped away more tears. "First the Alamos Contest, and now this!"

    She looked down at the orange ribbon pinned to her bag. "Mom...I wish I could talk to you now..."

    Well, as much as it hurts to lose, we can't progress if we continue the pity party. Satomi explained. Have you noticed how Ash seems to just bounce back from losing a Gym match?

    "Yeah..." A smile formed on Dawn's face. "How does he do that?"

    A loss may hurt in the heat of the moment. But Ash goes back and evaluates what went wrong, so he can do better the next time. Satomi explained. So let's go back and look at what happened today, see what went wrong, and how we can do better next time.

    "But how?" Dawn asked.

    I'm going to conjure a time loop of the day before and earlier today. This way, you can see the Contest from a neutral perspective. Satomi began. As you watch, notice how your decisions and others' decisions got us to this point.

    With that, she formed a flash of light in the room, which counted down like a movie scene. "Oh, this is from yesterday!" Dawn remembered when the loop began.

    On the "screen", Ash was attempting to train Diddy to use Heat Wave, while Barry looked on. "Diddy, use Heat Wave!" the Ash on the "screen" called.

    "WHOA!!!" the Barry on the screen yelped as the wave of flames backfired, sending Diddy flying. "You have the formation down--we need to work on concentrating."

    The Ash on the "screen" smiled at Diddy. "You're doing great so far--let's keep at this until you get it to form right."

    "Wait, what was I doing at that time?" Dawn asked.

    The "screen" panned over to another outdoor arena. You were going over Magical Leaf with me. Satomi explained. Her self on the screen unleashed a dazzling flowery rainbow, much to the Dawn on the "screen"s delight.

    Some applause started the Dawn on the "screen" as Brock stepped into the scene. "That was cool!" he raved as the Dawn "onscreen" passed out Poffins for her four Pokemon.

    "Thanks." Dawn heard her self on the "screen" say. "After I came up short in the Alamos Town Contest, I'm gonna stick to a single Pokemon unless you have to use two."

    "That's a good idea." the Brock on the "screen" smiled. "Remember to vary your moves with each appeal so you don't bore the judges and the audience."

    Pay attention to what Brock said next, and how you reacted to his statement. Satomi told Dawn.

    "Eventually, Satomi will be able to Mega Evolve." the Brock on the screen went on.

    Dawn watched as her self on the screen gained starry eyes. "That's right...I imagined you as a Mega Gardevoir creating appeals no one has ever seen before."

    If you stop now, you wouldn't be able to see that any more. Satomi replied.

    "But what about Marta?" Dawn asked. "I think that was another reason why I lost..."

    Let's move on to the Contest itself, to the Appeal Competition. Satomi's time loop fast forwarded a little. You did very well in the previous competitions, so we will focus on what we did in the Appeal.

    Dawn watched as her self in a cyan costume told Satomi to use Magical Leaf. Marta and Leona did so well because she used the strategy of chaining moves into combos. She also timed the combo to max out the excitement meter.

    "Okay..." Dawn sighed as she watched one of the two times Leona excited the crowd with a Hone Claws and Shadow Claw combo. "So if I do continue, I should look into combos and keeping an eye on the excitement meter.

    She sighed. "Thanks, Satomi--I feel a little better, but I still feel conflicted about what to do."

    The fiddle case on a bench gave her an idea. Of course! Playing music helped calm me down when I was having a bad day, so let's see if it'll help here!

    With that, she started a slow and quiet melody that evoked her conflicted emotions. The song appeared to convey both the sadness of losing; and the yearning and hope for the future. Satomi hovered nearby, watching the red-brown bow glide over the strings.

    Dawn did not expect a whistle to trill over her last G note, followed by a few expectant G chords from a guitar. "Got room for a few more?" Brock asked as he and Ash arrived.

    "Well, I guess..." A week smile formed on Dawn's face. "I wasn't expecting you guys to join me after what happened earlier."

    "Remember the promise we made when we set out?" Ash began as he found a chair to sit in. "We promised we would stick together, no matter what."

    "If you ever want to talk, we're here." Brock agreed. "Of course, any accomplishment you make, we'll celebrate with you too."

    "Thanks, you guys..." Dawn smiled. "Maybe now I feel like jamming..."

    "Okay if I start it?" Brock asked as he checked his tuning.

    Dawn nodded, so Brock snapped to count off his companions into a rousing set that echoed out into the night...

    ---------

    A knock at the door the next morning jolted Dawn from her sleep. "Hey, Dawn, you up?" she heard Zoey's voice say.

    "What the...Zoey, what are you doing here?" Dawn asked as she got dressed.

    After letting Zoey inside, the boys and Dawn noticed that Zoey was carrying a beautiful basket filled with chocolates, cookies, and other treats. "I heard about your crushing defeat yesterday. The other coordinators and I clubbed together to get you something to cheer you up."

    "Really?" Dawn smiled. "Thank you...but, why did you not compete yesterday?"

    "I passed on the Solaceon Contest after my loss in Hearthome because I wanted the chance to recharge. This way, I could focus on what was important, and get ready for the next challenge." Zoey explained. "At the end of the day, ribbons aren't that important."

    She smiled. "And we all believe we will see you at the Grand Festival."

    "I see..." Dawn mused. "After I lost yesterday, I wanted to give up. But after Satomi gave me some wise advice, and knowing all you are behind me, I'm not going to give up."

    She explained. "I learned that I need to take the time to plan a strategy instead of rushing into the fray."

    "That's the spirit!" Ash smiled.

    "So I'm going to turn this defeat into a chance to learn." Dawn smiled. "Tell everyone I said thanks for the gift!"

    "Anytime!" Zoey grinned. "So, where are you guys headed?"

    "Our next stop is Veilstone City." Ash explained as the group turned to leave. "There, I hope to compete for my next Gym Badge!"

    To Be Continued...
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
  10. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 50a: Lost Leader Strategy (part 1)


    "There it is!" Ash pointed out the spires of skyscrapers towering over the mountains in the distance. "Veilstone City!"

    "Maybe a little shopping would get my mind off of Contests for a little while." Dawn mused. "Hope you guys brought your wallets!"

    "So long as you don't make us carry a million packages, shop all you want." Brock smiled.

    Just then, a blue orb of energy zoomed past the group. "Hit the dirt!" Brock called as the group dove to dodge another one of the orbs.

    "They're all coming from the same place..." Dawn noticed as another orb whizzed over her head. "What are they?"

    "Aura Spheres!" Ash remembered. "Where there's Aura Spheres, a Riolu or Lucario is close by."

    "Clear!" Brock called, signaling it was safe for the group to get up.

    [Come on, everyone! Let's go see where this Lucario is!] Tintri called as he hurried down the road to the outskirts of the city.

    ---------

    As the group rounded a corner, they noticed a fenced off field. "Looks like something attacked the fence..." Brock noticed as he spotted a large hole in part of the fence.

    "Let's use it as a lookout point." Dawn suggested as she found some rocks for her and Ash to stand on so they could see. Brock, being taller than his companions, could easily see over the fence.

    Once everyone was in position, Ash smiled as he watched a pink-haired woman in training clothes nimbly leap away from a blue and black wolf Pokemon. "That must be the Lucario and its master." he smiled as he read up on the majestic Pokemon:

    "Lucario, the aura Pokemon. By reading the auras of all things, it can tell how others are feeling from over half a mile away.

    "Nice." Dawn smiled. "You said before you guys had an adventure with a Lucario before?"

    "Ooh, I still need to play you my song cycle about that..." Brock remembered. He watched the young woman leap, twirl, and dance away from the various sized Aura Spheres.

    "Whoa!" Ash gasped as the woman kicked an Aura Sphere back to her Lucario, who gracefully dodged the attack.

    "Basically, all aura is is concentrated ki, the spirit or life energy in all things." Brock explained. "Being able to channel aura is one explanation for magical powers."

    "So a fireball spell is balls of fire aura?" Dawn asked as the woman braced herself.

    "Something like that." Brock replied. "An Aura Sphere is a ball of pure aura energy--and the Lucario family is famous for this move." He let that hang as the Lucario prepared a Bone Rush. The woman seemed to know her companion's next attack, and somersaulted away from the bones.

    "This can't be training." Dawn mused as the battle raged on. "This is much too intense for training."

    Suddenly, a Thunderbolt exploded near the fence! [Whoa!] Kori yelped as she went flying onto the field.

    [Kori!] Tintri hurried to assess the dazed Piplup on the ground. [You okay?]

    [Well, well well, who have we here?] a familiar voice snickered.

    Tintri whirled around and gasped at a familiar Electabuzz. [Surge? Is that you?]

    [Yeah, it's me.] the Electabuzz replied. [Fancy seeing you here, Weak-achu.]

    [You take that back!] Kori snapped as she ran and headbutted Surge. But her strength was not enough to move the massive striped feline Pokemon.

    The Lucario suddenly noticed Kori flying back, followed by Tintri sparking angrily. [Should we intervene, Maylene?] she asked.

    "Go ahead, Kiiroha--this could get bad." the woman replied.

    [Stop this!] the Lucario demanded, sending an Aura Sphere into the impending battle.

    The woman approached Ash. "I didn't mean to hurt your Pikachu--I just wanted to step in and prevent him from getting into a scuffle he likely couldn't win."

    "It's okay--Tintri was trying to help my friend's Piplup." Ash explained.

    Just then, a boy with neatly slicked back lavender hair arrived. "Maylene, is everything okay?" he asked as he reigned in the Electabuzz.

    "Yes, Reggie--Surge was trying to stir up trouble." Maylene replied.

    The Electabuzz's name snapped Ash to attention. "Wait, Surge evolved? Is Paul here?"

    Reggie nodded. "Yes. Paul is my little brother, and Surge is one of his best fighters."

    [I knew it!] Tintri gasped.

    Reggie, meanwhile, studied Tintri for a moment. "Your Pikachu's been through a lot--not only did he get Disarming Voice, he also knows Volt Tackle."

    "H-how do you know that?" Ash gasped in amazement.

    "As a Pokemon breeder, you develop a knack for it." Reggie replied. "Paul will sometimes leave some of his Pokémon with me."

    He looked Ash over for a moment. "You must be the 'Wonder Boy' he keeps referring to..."

    "That's me." Ash replied. "I'm Ash, and you've met my partner Tintri."

    Once sure Tintri was on his shoulder again, he introduced his companions. "These two are Dawn, an aspiring Coordinator..."

    "Hi." Dawn smiled.

    "...and Brock, our navigator and aspiring Loremaster." Ash went on.

    "Nice to meet you." Brock smiled as he and Reggie shook hands.

    "So is Maylene able to take challenges now?" Ash asked. "Has Paul has already won a Badge here?"

    "Yes--he handily defeated Maylene." Reggie replied, prompting Maylene to sigh.

    "I'm...not taking challenges now." she softly replied.

    [What?] the Lucario gasped. [You're starting this again? I know you are stronger than this! The Maylene I know would never give up!]

    "See, Maylene took her loss to Paul hard, and so her Lucario Kiiroha is simply trying to encourage her." Reggie explained.

    Dawn watched as Kiiroha continued "speaking" to Maylene. I see...she's in the same boat as I am!

    To Be Continued...
     
  11. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 50b: Lost Leader Strategy (part 2)

    Previously, on "Pokemon Shine Diamond..."

    "So is Maylene able to take challenges now?" Ash asked. "Has Paul has already won a Badge here?"

    "Yes--he handily defeated Maylene." Reggie replied, prompting Maylene to sigh.

    "I'm...not taking challenges now." she softly replied.

    [What?] the Lucario gasped. [You're starting this again? I know you are stronger than this! The Maylene I know would never give up!]

    "See, Maylene took her loss to Paul hard, and so her Lucario Kiiroha is simply trying to encourage her." Reggie explained

    Dawn watched as Kiiroha continued "speaking" to Maylene. I see...she's in the same boat as I am!




    Reggie watched as a crowd of fighters crowded around Maylene. "Maylene is well respected as a battler. But her short time as Gym Leader is causing her to have doubts about her fighting abilities."

    "I see..." Ash mused as the fighters did their best to console Maylene.

    The flash of an Aura Sphere got the group's attention. [My deepest apologies, Reggie...I had to do something to get Maylene to snap out of it.] Kiiroha explained.

    Reggie knelt down to Maylene's eye level. "Did my brother upset you by what he said? Tell me the truth."

    "Forgive me for interrupting, but what did Paul do to crush Maylene like this?" Ash asked.

    "Let me fill you in on the story so far..." Reggie began. "You already know that the Veilstone Gym is a Fighting-type Gym. So Paul brought Flying-type Pokémon to gain a type advantage."

    "Okay..." Ash motioned for Reggie to go on.

    "Paul's Murkrow Mystic had recently evolved into a Honchkrow. Mystic then took out Kuto, Maylene's Meditite, and Tana, her Machoke in no time flat." Reggie explained. "When Maylene brought out Kiiroha, Paul used a Magmar--I forget what he said its name was. Since Lucario is part Steel, Kiiroha was defeated as fast as Kuto and Tana were.

    "I acknowledge and accept responsibility for not doing well." Maylene mused. "Maybe what your brother said was true..."

    "What was it that Paul said?" Ash asked.

    "He said--and I quote: 'You're the weakest. The weakest leader I ever fought, and this lightweight Badge is just like you'." Maylene replied as hot tears of anger and rage welled up in her eyes.

    Reggie watched as Maylene burst into tears, hurrying off towards a nearby pavilion. "My little brother has never been afraid of speaking his mind--sometimes brutally so. If you came to challenge right now, I'm sorry for dragging you into this mess."

    "Maybe we need to find another Gym for the time being..." Brock suggested.

    "Wait!" Dawn interjected. "Maybe Maylene would open up if another girl talked to her, since I'm in the same boat as her right now."

    Kiiroha nodded. [Come on, then--Maylene went towards the Sunrise Pavillion.]

    Ash watched Dawn and Kori follow Kiiroha to the pavilion. "Whatever you're planning, Dawn, I hope you get through to her." he mused. "No one should ever be talked to like that--ever!"

    ---------

    Elsewhere, Maylene did her best to calm her emotions as she meditated by a river near the pavilion. "I cannot control everything that happens to me; I can only control the way I respond to what happens. In my response is my power.” she mused.

    She took another deep breath. "I will not get caught up in what could’ve been or should’ve been. I will look instead at the power and possibility of what is, right now.” She continued musing the comforting mantras for a while:

    "I have to accept whatever comes my way, and the only important thing is that I meet it with the best I have to give.”

    "Making mistakes is always better than faking perfections.”

    "A challenge only becomes an obstacle if I bow to it.”

    A rustle got her attention. "Who is it?"

    [It's me.] Kiiroha replied as she arrived with Dawn and Kori. [Miss Dawn has been through similar struggles as you, and feels a one on one talk would help you.]

    "Really? Did you receive harsh words after a battle too?" Maylene asked as she invited Dawn to join her.

    "Not really--I'm more of a coordinator." Dawn explained. "My mother is a great coordinator, and I wanted to follow in her footsteps. But the road to glory has been rough."

    She went on "In a contest, there are three events. The first event has the Pokemon dress up using a box full of random accessories. The second event has the Pokemon dance to a song of their master's choice. The third event--and the hardest--has Pokemon and master work together to make appeals out of the Pokemon's moves. The appeal event is where I struggle--no matter what approach I tried, I lost. All those chokes and flat out losses took their toll. For a little while, I entertained the thought of quitting."

    "What spurred you to keep going?" Maylene asked.

    "One of my team is a Ralts--she gave me the strength and courage to keep going by reminding me why I'm on this journey." Dawn replied. "She also gave me a few tips on how I can do better next time."

    "But, aren't you afraid of holding your friends back?" Maylene asked.

    "No--if anything, seeing how Ash and Brock bounce back from a loss has inspired me too." Dawn replied. "They go back and see what went wrong, then go back and work on where they failed."

    There was a moment of silence before Dawn asked "Maylene...is it okay if I can battle you? Just so I can see what a Gym battle is like?"

    A weak smile formed on Maylene's face. "Okay...I'll give you a taste of battle."

    ---------

    "You know, I think I know where Maylene is coming from, here..." Brock mused as he watched Reggie feed Tintri and Diddy. "Before I focused on being a full time Loremaster, I was once the Gym Leader for my hometown of Pewter City. I can say first hand that it's not easy running the gym. You want every young trainer to succeed. Seeing how crushed some of them get when you beat them makes your heart ache for them too. There's other responsibilities too. Between training, maintaining the Gym, caring for the Pokemon, and publicity, it's no wonder many new Gym Leaders get burnout in the first year. Not all of them, though--a few thrive in the fast paced and intense environment."

    "It may be possible that Maylene may be experiencing burnout on top of my little brother's harsh words." Reggie mused. "I hope your companion gets through to her."

    He smiled as he petted Diddy. "Your Chimchar reminds me of my little brother's Chimchar, Goku. What do you think of Paul's tactics, since he sees you as a rival?" he asked Ash.

    Ash took a few deep breaths to calm himself, then told Reggie "To be honest, I don't agree with Paul's tactics at all. "I believe loving your Pokemon has the potential to unlock the innate power inside of them."

    He showed Reggie his Mega Ring. "He says he wants power, but mistreating your Pokemon and working them to the bone isn't the answer. This ring, combined with a Heart Song, creates the ultimate sign of love and trust between trainer and Pokemon--Mega Evolution."

    "It's beautiful..." Reggie admired the teardrop-shaped ruby set in white gold. "Do you have any induceable Pokemon?"

    "Not currently..." Ash admitted. "I wouldn't mind a Lucario of my own--unless Diddy can Mega Evolve."

    Reggie showed Ash a picture of a pure white Infernape with red and gold chest fur that resembled armor and a long torch-like tail. "This is Mega Infernape--I look forward to the day you can show my little brother that!"

    "I'll keep on training Diddy, then." Ash smiled.

    ---------

    "Are you sure?" Reggie asked Maylene some time later. "You really want to try battling again?"

    "Yes." Maylene replied. "But before I face Ash, I want to give Dawn a taste of battle."

    "WHAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTT?" everyone gasped.

    "Dawn, you're serious about this?" Ash asked. "Battling is way different from a contest."

    "I know." Dawn replied. "But I think that win or lose, it would inspire Maylene like everyone inspired me!"

    To Be Continued...
     
  12. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Interlude: Preparing For Battle

    Previously, on Pokemon Shine Diamond...

    "Are you sure?" Reggie asked Maylene some time later. "You really want to try battling again?"

    "Yes." Maylene replied. "But before I face Ash, I want to give Dawn a taste of battle."

    "WHAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTT?" everyone gasped.

    "Dawn, you're serious about this?" Ash asked. "Battling is way different from a contest."

    "I know." Dawn replied. "But I think that win or lose, it would inspire Maylene like everyone inspired me!"



    There was a moment of silence on the Gym grounds as everyone waited to see what Maylene's reaction to Dawn's challenge would be. Both Ash and Brock watched with shock and intrigue. Dawn can't be serious, can she? Ash thought. Does that mean she's giving up on her Grand Coordinator dreams to be a trainer? Will I have to face her in the League?

    He was snapped when his thoughts when he heard Maylene say "Okay...I accept your challenge, Dawn. It will be a three on three single match. But it would be best for us both if we took some time to prepare for the match."

    "That's fair." Dawn replied.

    "Well, if you need an idea of how to train, Brock and I can teach you." Ash offered as the group started off towards the west end of the Gym grounds. "I'm sure Tails could teach Kori a few things."

    "Sure!" Dawn smiled as she led the way out to an open arena near the pavilion. A sign stood nearby that read "TRAINING GROUNDS".

    "Do you have a strategy for this battle at all?" Brock asked as the group arrived in the training grounds. "I can tell you what its strengths and weaknesses are, and how to make it better."

    "I'm using Kori since she knows Peck, Satomi for her type advantage, and Lola's Bounce." Dawn explained. "This way, I have Flying, Psychic, and Fairy type moves covering me, since Satomi knows Disarming Voice..."

    ---------

    In another arena, Ash watched as Reggie summoned a large black and white bird Pokemon. "This is Merlo, my Staraptor." he explained. "I wanted to show you a move he knows that may help any bird Pokemon you have."

    "Okay..." Ash replied before heaving a Poke Ball skyward. "Estrella, come on out!"

    "Eh-streh-yah!" Brock reminded Ash as the Staravia formed in the arena.

    Reggie just smiled as he nudged a large rock into place, facing Merlo. "All right Merlo--use Brave Bird!"

    Ash watched in awe as Merlo streaked skyward, gaining a bright blue aura on the way up. He then rocketed down and slammed into the rock, breaking it into a million pieces in a fiery explosion. "Wow!" he smiled as he applauded. "That was cool!"

    Excited, he fumbled for his Pokedex to read up on Staraptor:

    "Staraptor, the predator Pokemon. It has a proud and confident nature. It will courageously challenge foes that are much larger than itself if threatened."

    "Wow...so this is what Estrella will become?" Ash mused as he pocketed the Pokedex. "So, can Estrella learn Brave Bird?"

    "Yes--but it is not without a risk or two." Reggie explained. "One, there is the chance of recoil damage. Merlo didn't take any before because he is so strong. Two, Estrella may not be able to handle this much power yet. But you are welcome to try."

    Ash nodded as Reggie found another rock for him. "Okay, Estrella--try to break that rock with Brave Bird!"

    He watched as Estrella streaked skyward, but came twirling back down to the ground minutes later. [I'm sorry, Ash...that was too much.] she wheezed.

    "Do you have enough in you to try again?" Ash asked.

    [I think I can try again...] Estrella replied. [I just need something to focus on.]

    "Maybe a moving target would be better for Estrella's concentration?" Reggie asked as he watched Dawn walk Kori through the move Ice Beam."

    "How fast of a target do you need?" Ash asked as he massaged Estrella.

    Estrella looked over at Brock. [I might be able to track one of Brock's arrows and break it using Brave Bird.]

    "How bout it? You don't mind sacrificing an arrow so Estrella can practice Brave Bird?" Ash asked Brock.

    "Not at all--I have millions of the stage arrows." Brock assured Ash. "Estrella's free to break as many of those as she likes."

    Ash smiled at his Staravia. "Okay...Brock, go ahead and prepare a shot. Your cue to fire is when Estrella reaches the peak of the skyward charge."

    "Right." Brock nodded as he nocked his shot.

    Once Brock was prepared to fire, Ash gave Estrella her instructions. "Brock's gonna fire when you reach the peak of the skyward charge, so you should be able to spot the arrow on the way down."

    [Got it!] Estrella replied before flying skyward, building up the blue aura on the way.

    Brock fired seconds later, and Ash saw the arrow snap into two fiery halves as Estrella came zooming to earth as a winged blue fireball. [I did it!] Estrella screeched as she perched on a rafter near where Ash, Brock, and Reggie stood.

    She looked down at Brock. [You're not mad I broke one of your arrows at all?]

    "Not at all--they're just props, so break as many of them as you like." Brock smiled. "I have plenty more if I need them."

    Reggie smiled as Kori fired an Ice Beam in Dawn's arena. "You know...Ash is what I wish Paul was. I wish Paul was this involved with his team--cheering them when they succeed, comforting them when they fail, and being there to cheer them on every step of the way."

    He decided to change the subject as Dawn brought in Satomi. "Is Dawn really going to battle Maylene? Last time I checked, coordinators don't battle."

    "Dawn did this to help Maylene's confidence as well as her own." Brock explained as he watched Satomi fire a Psychic blast. "Judging from how seriously she's taking this training day, she could do just that!"

    To Be Continued...
     
  13. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 51a: Cross the Battle Line! (part 1)

    "Doing okay with your training?" Ash asked as he joined Dawn in a guest room on the Gym campus later that evening.

    "Yeah...I have Satomi, which is a type advantage." Dawn replied. "Lola knows Bounce, which I hope covers her disadvantage. Most of the time, I taught Kori some ice and flying moves to cover should both of them fall."

    Ash nodded. "Sounds like you have an idea of your strategy, at least. Keep in mind that a lot of things are happening on a battlefield, so you need to be able to think on your feet. Your adaptability as a coordinator should help."

    "Thanks." Dawn nervously smiled as she climbed into bed. "I wonder...do you ever feel nervous at all the night before a big match?"

    "Yes...why?" Ash asked.

    "Because I'm feeling nervous too." Dawn replied. "Have I prepared too much? What if I didn't do enough? Am I just going to get clobbered? But the big question is--what am I getting myself into?"

    "I've asked myself those questions many a time." Ash replied. "But I keep my worries at bay by telling myself I have prepared as much as I can for this match. Win or lose, there's always something to learn for next time."

    He went on "As for what are you getting yourself into, remember this. It's always nerve-wracking when you try something new for the first time. You may get lucky and win on the first try. You may get clobbered no much how much preparation and training you do. You may even get lucky and pull off a win. If it inspires Maylene, you've achieved your goal. If it inspires you to join me in taking on Gyms, that's okay too."

    "Thanks...I feel better already." Dawn replied as she pulled up the covers.

    A thought occurred to her. "What was that blue fire wave attack you and Estrella were doing?"

    "That was a move called Brave Bird." Ash explained as he showed Dawn the move in his Pokedex. "It's a very appealing Cool move for Flying types, that also packs a punch in battle."

    "As a former Gym Leader, I can give you a little advice too." Brock began as he joined his companions in the room. "I always wished the best for my opponents, but at the same time challenged them and their teams to be the very best. Being the first stop on Kanto's Gym challenge, I saw quite a lot of new trainers, and they were as nervous as you are. My goal was not to obliterate their teams, but put their strategies and their ability to think fast to the test."

    "That makes sense!" Dawn gasped. "Maylene's likely going to do the same thing tomorrow, right?"

    Brock nodded. "Remember--she's going to come at you with all she's got. You need to meet her with all you've got in return. If she comes out swinging with raw power, go on the defensive. If she puts up defense, find a way to crack that defense."

    Dawn smiled. "Thanks, you guys...I hope to do well tomorrow, and make you both proud!"

    ---------

    A referee's whistle and a gong echoed across the grounds as Maylene's and Dawn's match got underway the next day. "Kuto, let's go!" Maylene called as she summoned a blue and gray humanoid with rounded ears into the Diamond side of the arena.

    "Meditite, the meditate Pokemon. It continually meditates for hours every day. As a result of rigorous and dedicated yoga training, it has tempered its spiritual power so much it can fly." Dawn's Pokedex explained.

    "Summon a Pokemon, Pearl." The referee snapped Dawn to attention.

    "Come on!" Ash called from the sidelines. "You've done your best to get ready, now show Maylene what you've learned!" Brock whistled in agreement.

    I've done all I can for this match. Dawn reminded herself as she took a deep breath to ease the Beautiflies in her stomach. Win or lose, I can learn something from this...Maylene doesn't want to obliterate me, but challenge me to be even better.

    She then took a Poke Ball. "Lola, let's do this!"

    [Let me get a jump on the opposition!] With that, Lola made a large jump into the sky.

    "Opening with Bounce--good idea." Brock smiled.

    Ash winced as Kuto put up a green aura, making Lola bounce off of it. "...and countered with Detect."

    The boys watched as Lola tried to spin away, but was sent flying as Kuto countered with a glowing red-brown fist. "That had to hurt..." Ash noted as Lola landed on the Pearl safety barrier with a KA-WHANG!

    "That was Drain Punch." Reggie explained as Dawn watched Lola struggle to get up. "A powerful Fighting move that also takes some of the opponent's life, and heals the user."

    "Maybe it wasn't a good idea to start with a Normal type..." Brock mused as Dawn hurried to assess Lola.

    In the arena, Dawn hurried to Lola's side. "Lola! Are you okay?"

    [That's definitely gonna hurt in the morning...] Lola wheezed as she shakily stood up. [Who knew a little Pokemon could pack that big of a punch?]

    "Well, I'm not backing down." Dawn replied. "If you need to retreat, I get that."

    [I've got enough left to try one more idea...] Lola replied as she stared down the Meditite on the other end. [It's time for my opponent to chill!]

    With that, she fired an Ice Beam, freezing the small humanoid Pokemon solid. "Well! We have a chance to win this after all." Dawn smiled.

    "Don't be so sure!" Maylene shot back as Kuto broke free from the ice, sending ice shards at Lola.

    "Go Lola!" Ash cheered as Lola weaved around the ice shards in an attempt to build up speed for another Bounce.

    He watched in horror as Kuto fired a blue flash of Confusion, sending Lola falling to the ground. "Oh no!"

    [Dawn...I'm sorry...] Lola replied as she collapsed on the ground.

    To Be Continued...
     
  14. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 51b: Cross the Battle Line! (part 2)


    Kiiroha noticed a smile forming on her master's face as Dawn summoned Satomi. [Do my eyes deceive me? Is that a smile I see on my master's face?]

    "That is a smile, Kiiroha." Maylene replied. "For a coordinator, Dawn is giving quite the heroic effort."

    On the Pearl side of the arena, Dawn called "Satomi, use Confusion!"

    [Oh my!] Kiiroha gasped as Satomi circled around Kuto and started firing blasts of blue light in a circle. [That could very well have been a Contest appeal!]

    Maylene seemed unfazed as the blue lights battered Kuto. "You know as well as I do that Kuto can take more than that." She let that hang as Kuto attempted Drain Punch again.

    Satomi blocked the glowing red fist with a green psychic aura, then sang Leishu shun ji, lei si...

    "Disarming Voice!" Ash gasped as a burst of pinkish sound waves overwhelmed Kuto.

    Maylene applauded Dawn's victory. "Well! That was quite a show! I believe you could make it to the Grand Festival one day."

    "Thanks." Dawn replied as she hugged Satomi.

    "Let's see how you do against my superstar!" Maylene turned business-like again. "Kiiroha, your turn!"

    "Kiiroha seems to mirror Maylene's state of mind." Brock noticed as the Lucario confidently ran into the Diamond side of the arena. "The more confident she gets, the braver the Pokemon get."

    "Isn't that how it should be?" Ash asked as he watched Satomi analyze the Lucario before her. "Human and Pokemon so in tune with each other, they work as one?"

    In the arena, Kiiroha made a T with her paws. "Time out--Diamond." the referee called as Kiiroha strolled back to Maylene's side for a moment.

    [What tactics do you suggest?] Kiiroha asked.

    "Don't let Dawn's unusual tactics confuse you." Maylene cautioned. "Stay focused, and remember what you learned as a Riolu."

    [Right!] Kiiroha replied as her time out expired.

    Leishu shun ji, lei si... Satomi sang again.

    She gasped as Kiiroha found a bone and whacked away the blasts of sound. [Oh no...]

    Dawn braced herself as Kiiroha heaved Satomi against the Pearl safety barrier. I'm sorry, Dawn...I did not see that attack coming.

    "You did your best, and that's all that matters." Dawn replied as she recalled her fainted Ralts.

    Brock watched as Kiiroha braced herself in response to Dawn summoning Kori. "I will admit, Kiiroha knows how to put on a show herself!"

    "She may do well in one of those martial arts stage shows, or a TV drama." Ash agreed as he watched Kiiroha roll away from Kori's Bubblebeam and counter with an Aura Sphere.

    "That had to hurt..." Reggie noted as the glowing blue sphere sent Kori flying.

    "Don't count Dawn out yet." Brock smiled as Kori braced herself, then fired a whirling tornado of water in an attempt to trap Kiiroha.

    "I see what Dawn is doing, here." Ash mused as he watched Kiiroha use Metal Claw to break the Whirlpool. "She's using her Contest skills to make up for a poor type matchup."

    "You may be right..." Reggie agreed. "Whatever she's doing, it's awakening Maylene's battle spirit. He let that hand as Kori fired another Bubblebeam, only for Kiiroha to shove her backwards with a hard push.

    "Come on, Kori!" Dawn called to her helpless Piplup. "You can do it!"

    Ash smiled as Kori broke free from the paralysis. "Wow! Maylene and Kiiroha are both energized."

    "I'll say..." Brock agreed as he watched Kiiroha fire another Aura Sphere. Kori countered with Peck, sending Kiiroha flying towards the Diamond safety barrier. Kiiroha growled as she tried Aura Sphere again, only for Kori to block it with a Bubblebeam, creating a smoke screen.

    "Did she do it?" Ash asked as he waited for the smoke to clear.

    "If Dawn did beat Kiiroha with a Piplup, I would be impressed." Reggie replied. "Not too many people can say they've beaten a fully evolved Pokemon with a starter Pokemon."

    "Also remember that Dawn would still have Maylene's Machoke Tana to face." Brock reminded the group. "Kori may not be able to hold up against another beatdown."

    When the smoke lifted some moments later, Ash's heart sank as he saw Kori swirly eyed on the field. "Game Set! This match goes to Diamond." the referee announced.

    ---------

    "How'd I do, everyone?" Dawn asked later that day. She seemed in unusually good spirits despite losing some hours before.

    "I'd say that while you didn't win in the arena, you did complete your goal of inspiring Maylene." Ash replied.

    "Yeah...she's been talking non-stop about how your tactics inspired her." Reggie agreed.

    "Two out of three is still nothing to sneeze at for your first battle." Brock added. "So you're a winner in our hearts for inspiring Maylene again."

    "Thanks, guys..." Dawn smiled. "But I'm still gonna stick to contests." she added as Maylene arrived.

    "Dawn...let me say thank you for reminding me why I battle." Maylene smiled. "In the end, winning or losing doesn't matter. What counts is the bond you share with your team. I was so hung up on wins and losses, I forgot about the bonding and support part of battling."

    "So you'll battle me now?" Ash asked.

    Maylene nodded. "We meet in the Gym bright and early tomorrow morning!"

    "Although...what were some of those moves Maylene's team used?" Dawn asked. "How appealing are they?"

    Ash found his Pokedex, and used the move search to bring up a list of the moves Dawn had seen. "First was Drain Punch...it is a Beautiful move. While not appealing on its own, if the person before you uses something appealing, it will also be that appealing."

    "That's neat!" Dawn smiled.

    "You know Aura Sphere already...it too is a Beautiful move." Ash went on. "Use it if you go first in a round for best results."

    "Point noted if I get a Riolu or Lucario." Dawn smiled.

    "Metal Claw is a very appealing Cool move." Ash went on. "Bone Rush is a very appealing Tough move...Force Palm is also a very appealing Cool move..."

    To Be Continued...
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  15. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 52: A Triple Fighting Chance!

    "Representing the Diamond side, Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town!" a referee announced as Ash stepped into the Diamond side of the dojo-like arena. "And representing the Pearl side, the barefoot fighting genius, Maylene!"

    "Bring it!" Ash challenged as Maylene faced him from the Pearl side.

    Maylene was unusually unfazed. "I don't really know what it means to be strong, or how I got to be the Gym Leader. But I will do the best I can as the Gym Leader. I take battling very seriously."

    In the stands, Brock smiled as Maylene talked to Ash. "She looks very different from the blithering mess she was yesterday..."

    "I think our battle yesterday did the job well." Dawn agreed.

    In the arena, Maylene braced herself for Ash's first move. "Whenever you're ready!"

    The referee's whistle echoed through the dojo. "Estrella, here we go!" Ash called as a familiar song blared over the speakers as motivational music.

    "Tana, let's go!" Maylene summoned a large gray humanoid Pokemon.

    We all have a dream inside our hearts that we will follow to the end... Dawn sang as she watched Estrella fly in for a Quick Attack.
    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...


    ---------

    Ash winced as Maylene's Machoke countered Estrella's attack with a flash of light that shattered. That was Brick Break....

    "Try to break the Machoke's counter!" he called as Estrella flapped up a huge tornado. "If Whirlwind doesn't work, try Aerial Ace!"

    [No go, Ash.] Estrella reported as she looped back in from her Aerial Ace. [Tana dodged both attacks!]

    "Tana, use Cross Chop!" Maylene called before Ash could react.

    Brock winced as Tana appeared to crush Estrella in an X pattern. "Ash! Try using Aerial Ace to get closer!" he called as Estrella wriggled out of the Machoke's large hands.

    "Tana, keep using Brick Break!" Maylene called.

    Even Dawn couldn't help wincing at each barrier Estrella hit. "Estrella can't afford to take many more hits...." Brock warned as he watched Estrella heave with exhaustion.

    "Tana, use Seismic Toss to finish this!" Maylene called.

    "Estrella, use Quick Attack as fast as you can!" Ash counted.

    [Catch me if you can!] Estrella taunted. She whirled over the large rock the Machoke heaved and slammed it in the stomach.

    "Great work!" Ash smiled. "Now we can finish this--with Aerial Ace!"

    [HAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!] Estrella cried as she became a white glow, creating a bright explosion in the dojo.

    ---------

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


    "Estrella, use Quick Attack!" Ash called.

    He winced as Estrella landed on the Detect shield. Blocked...

    His heart pounded as the Meditite gained a red aura as it appeared to mediate. Now it's raising its attack...

    "Kuto, use Detect, and then Meditate again so you can finish this in one hit!" Maylene called.

    Ash grinned. "Estrella, let's ruin their concentration."

    [Yeah!] Estrella chirped before taking off.

    "Kuto, bounce off the wall and use Drain Punch!" Maylene called.

    Ash gasped as Kuto's fist drained some of Estrella's life. "Come on! Try Aerial Ace again!"

    He growled as Kuto created the familiar blue flash of Confusion. That's okay, I can swap Estrella out and she'll be fine. he assured himself as he called back Estrella.

    He heaved another Poke Ball skyward. "Diddy, I choose you!"

    [HI-YAH!!!] Diddy screeched as he scratched Kuto.

    "Kuto, keep using Drain Punch to heal yourself!" Maylene called.

    "Dodge it and keep using Scratch!" Ash called.

    "Keep using Detect!" Maylene urged as Diddy's attacks hit the green shield once, twice, three times.

    Eventually the shield shattered! "Oh no..." Maylene gasped as Diddy unleashed a series of scratches on her vulnerable Meditite.

    She smiled. "I have to admit, your Chimchar is quite skilled!"

    "That's not all he can do!" Ash shot back.

    He looked over at Diddy. "Use Flamethrower, then follow up with Flame Wheel!"

    Maylene braced as the wave of fire scorched Kuto. "Kuto, if you can, try Confusion!"

    A flash of blue lit up the arena, dispelling the fiery wheel forming on the Diamond side of the arena. Ash located Diddy trying to attack the nearest wall with Scratch." Back you go." he smiled as he recalled the dazed Chimchar.

    He heaved a Poke Ball skyward as he returned to the arena. "Welcome back, Estrella!"

    He smiled as Kuto attempted Drain Punch again. "It's time, Estrella! Use Brave Bird!"

    Brock watched as Estrella flew skyward, then came streaking down in a wave of blue fire. "That was a cool way of knocking out Kuto. But, Ash needs to keep in mind that Brave Bird can be dangerous, and there is a risk of recoil." He let that hang as Maylene summoned Kiiroha.

    "Estrella, use Brave Bird!" Ash called again.

    He gasped as a KA-WHANG! echoed through the arena. Estrella landed at his feet seconds later. [Ash, I'm sorry...]

    ---------

    We all have a dream inside our hearts that we will follow to the end... Dawn sang as she watched Ash summon Diddy 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...


    In the arena, Kiiroha twirled over the wave of flames. "Keep dodging, Kiiroha!" Maylene smiled. She watched her Lucario almost appear to dance as it dodged fire blast after fire blast.

    She then called "Okay, now use Force Palm!"

    Ash winced as Diddy went flying back from the Force Palm."Diddy, counter with Flame Wheel!"

    He smiled as the burning wheel sent Kiiroha flying. "Do that again!"

    [I can't...] Diddy wheezed. [Paralyzed....]

    Ash watched in horror as Kirroha whacked Diddy around the arena with a bone. "Try Digging to get away!"

    "Kiiroha, find the Chimchar and attack the ground with Aura Sphere!" Maylene commanded.

    Ash winced as Diddy went flying from the earthen floor and landed at his feet. [I tried...] Diddy wheezed before fainting.

    "Both sides now have one Pokemon remaining!" the referee announced.

    Ash took his third Poke Ball. "Tails, let's finish this!"

    ---------

    ...Come with me and we will see the wonders of the world!
    All of the glory, is in our story!
    Dawn sang as Tails and Kiiroha clashed in the arena, creating a huge explosion.

    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...


    "Kiiroha, use Bone Rush!" Maylene called.

    "Tails, start spinning and use Aqua Jet!" Ash countered.

    He smiled as the drill shaped wave of water broke a Metal Claw attack and hit Kiiroha. Undetered, Kiiroha next tried firing several Aura Spheres at Tails. Tails countered by unleashing a huge Sonic Boom.

    Maylene watched Kiiroha smack Tails with a Force Palm. "Okay! Finish this with Aura Sphere, full power!

    Brock watched in awe as Tails created a blue ball, then slammed it on the ground to create a shining wave of water. "Wow! That was Water Pulse!"

    "SAY..." Ash smiled. "Tails, try Water Pulse!"

    "Kiiroha, use Aura Sphere again!" Maylene called.

    We can go anywhere, so long as we're together
    I truly believe it with all of my heart...
    Dawn sang as the ball of aura energy and the ball of water combined into a huge explosion.
    The cards here in my hand,
    Show you the way...


    When the dust settled and the music ended, she saw that both Kiiroha and Tails were down. "Um, what happens now?" she asked.

    "Game set! This match is a tie!" the referee announced.

    "Maybe it's up to the referee..." Brock suggested as he motioned for Dawn to follow him.

    ---------

    "Awarding a Gym Badge for a tie depends on the judgment of the Gym Leader." the referee explained as the group and Maylene arrived in a pavilion that evening.

    "So, do I get a Badge for earlier?" Ash asked.

    Maylene giggled. "Are you kidding? You gave me the greatest Gym battle of my life!"

    She offered Ash a badge that resembled one of the tiles on the path. "Here...you've more than earned the Cobble Badge, tie or no tie."

    She noticed one of her attendants arriving with a Riolu in his hands. "I also want you to look after this Riolu. Consider her a token of my thanks for all you've done."

    Ash looked at the tiny wolf-like Pokemon, than gasped as it leaped into its hands. "Whoa...energetic one." he laughed as the Riolu nuzzled his cheek. "Is it a boy or girl?"

    [It is a girl.] Kiiroha replied. [We hope you will train her well, and form a bond as close as ours.]

    Ash smiled. "Okay...her name is Erin!"

    "That's a nice name!" Dawn smiled. "Congrats on completing your team, too."

    "I have to ask--where did you get the name Erin from?" Maylene wondered.

    "It is a female form of the name Aaron." Ash explained. "Back home, Brock and I sometimes do storytelling with puppetry for the local library. One of my characters is a Riolu named Erin."

    "Typically, Erin appears if we need a magical guide in a serious story." Brock added. "If we need her for a comical story, she plays an energetic young mage whose spells don't always work."

    "If you've played 'Radiant Divinity 3', you may recognize the voice." Ash went on.

    After thinking for a suitable joke, he slipped into character as Erin. "What d'ye get when ye have a Meowth that eats Nomel Berries?"

    "What?" Dawn asked.

    "Ye get a sour puss!" Ash replied in character, making the pavilion resound with laughter...

    To Be Continued...
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
  16. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 53: Enter Galactic

    "My third badge, a new companion--can this adventure get any better?" Ash smiled as he snuggled his new Riolu.

    "Well, if you really want to end your visit to Veilstone with a bang, I can take you to see the Three Heavenly Jewels." Reggie offered. "They are three meteors with large jeweled chunks inside that supposedly hit the earth millions of years ago."

    "It's possible for jewels to be made in space?" Dawn gasped.

    Reggie nodded. "Diamonds, peridots, and all kinds of other jewels have been documented in space. The Three Heavenly Jewels are three of the largest cosmic jewels that have been found on earth. The Flame Jewel has a chunk of ruby inside, the Earth Jewel a chunk of emerald, and the Sea Jewel a chunk of sapphire."

    "Where are they?" Ash asked.

    "On a mountain overlooking town." Reggie replied. "Many say the Three Heavenly Jewels guard the city, and they've inspired Arceus knows how many comic books, movies, TV shows, and games."

    "I remember my science teacher talking about them as a kid." Dawn remembered. "She told us that they supposedly came from a 'super-Earth' made of gems. This made it all the more amazing when the news announced some weeks ago that scientists had found that same planet."

    She grinned. "I never dreamed I'd see a scientific marvel up close on this trip!"

    ---------

    Meanwhile, Saturn emerged from a helicopter at an undisclosed location in Veilstone. After taking the heliport's elevator down inside the building, he followed a hallway towards a briefing room.

    Cheers met him from the hundreds of grunts in the room. "Okay, everyone--today is a vital first step in bringing about our new world." he began.

    More cheers went up at this. "The mission so far is to energize the Spear Key with the cosmic energy from the Three Heavenly Jewels. You guys have received your instructions, so Team Flame, go with Mars, Team Earth, go with Jupiter, and Team Droplet, come with me. If you were not assigned to a team, your job is to maintain upkeep on the mission from the base."

    "Yes, Sir Saturn!" the grunts chorused before dispersing.

    ---------

    "So, where do I go from here in getting a badge?" Ash asked as he waited for his team to return from the exam room.

    "You could try Pastoria City." Nurse Joy suggested. "It's also home to the Great Marsh..."

    In the tech lounge, Reggie carried on a conversation with Paul. "Bring all you've got, bro--Ash is a formidable opponent."

    "Formidable my foot!" Paul shot back. "I've beaten him so many times, and the few times he did win, it was by the skin of his teeth!"

    "That may be true, but Ash is not the type to give up." Reggie calmly replied. "He will do everything in his power to win, even if it is by the skin of his teeth."

    Paul sighed. "Let's just talk about something else, okay?"

    ---------

    Back at the meteor field, Saturn stepped out of the helicopter from before with his team of grunts. "Inside this box, is the Spear Key." he explained as he opened the box.

    The grunts oohed and ahhed as the cube-like key reformed into a spear-like shape. Saturn then held the key skyward, sending red, blue, and green light into the sky.

    "Grunt Vega to Admin Saturn, are we go to run the scrambler?" came a female voice on Saturn's communicator.

    Saturn smiled. "Scrambler is go."

    In the Pokemon Center, Reggie balked as the videophone crashed. "What the--the videophone went down!"

    "Internet is down too!" Ash reported as he fruitlessly tried every computer in the tech lounge, only to get a "This page cannot be displayed" error in every browser.

    "Wi-Fi is down, save for private hotspots, gaming services are down..." Brock reported. "Good thing I have a private hotspot. Every public hotspot, gaming, communication, and media service is down, save for medically necessary communications, vehicles...

    "...and Galactic equipment." Officer Jenny added as she arrived to calm the Pokemon Center's patrons. "Everyone, I've already dispatched teams across the city. The ISPs in the area have been notified about this massive crash, and they are working to get your service up and running as soon as possible. Social media is still up, so watch those pages for updates."

    "I have a bad feeling that the Three Jewels are in danger." Dawn worried as the patrons started nervously speculating why nearly the entire infrastructure of the city had crashed.

    "Let's head back to the Jeweled Hill!" Ash suggested. "Maybe the mastermind behind this is there!"

    ---------

    Ash growled as he spotted Saturn on the hill. "You again...is this what you were doing in the ruins?" he demanded.

    Saturn smirked. "So you remember me, hat-boy...you're just in time to watch the birth of a new world."

    Then, an idea occurred to him. "In fact, let's have Mantella see if you're worthy for this golden opportunity!"

    "What IS that?" Dawn asked as Saturn summoned a large purple frog-like Pokemon with a red sac and a point on its head.

    "Toxicroak, the toxic mouth Pokemon. It has a poison sac at its throat. When it croaks, the stored poison is churned for greater potency." Ash's Pokedex explained.

    Brock gasped as he watched the Toxicroak charge a pulsating black orb. "Hit the dirt!"

    [AURA SPHERE!!!!] a familiar voice called as the group dove to the ground.

    "Kiiroha!" Dawn smiled when she saw Maylene and Kiiroha staring down Saturn and his Toxicroak Mantella.

    "My attendants told me everything." Maylene explained. "But it seems Kiiroha's attack had no effect besides dissipating that Dark Pulse...."

    "This is no ordinary opponent, Maylene. " Officer Jenny cautioned. "This is Admin Saturn of the notorious Team Galactic. Not only do they want to create a new world by destroying this one, they want to recreate the entire universe itself!"

    Way to ruin my epic moment... Saturn thought as Mars' and Jupiter's teams arrived. "Everyone, unleash the Golbats!"

    ---------

    "There's too many!" Dawn cried as Lola desperately tried freezing some Golbats. Kori rushed to help, but more Golbats flew in to replace the frozen ones.

    [To the rescue!] another familiar voice called as a massive Thunderbolt knocked out many of the Golbats.

    "Surge?" Ash gasped as he saw Reggie and Surge attempt to help contain the Golbats.

    Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo... Brock sang, creating a blinding green flash that dispersed the Golbats surrounding Surge.

    [You okay?] Tintri asked as Surge collected himself.

    [I think so--you're actually stronger than you look, Super-chu.] Surge smiled.

    He suddenly spotted a Shadow Ball headed for Tintri! [Look out!]

    [HI-YA!] Tarina leaped over a rock and whacked away the Shadow Ball, which exploded against a wall.

    [Thanks, Tarina!] Tintri squeaked before the whirs of helicopters overhead got his attention. [What's going on?]

    "Everyone! Aim for the cables attached to the meteors!" Ash called, pointing out some heavy cables attached to the Three Heavenly Jewels.

    [Here, Magi-chu, let me boost your spell a little...] Surge offered, powering Tarina's Thundershock into a Thunderbolt.

    [Thanks!] Tarina smiled. [Swirling bolts, gather and strike with power!]

    [Ha!] Kiiroha cried as she cut one cable with a bone. A sparking arrow from Brock cut another, and Tintri eagerly charged Brock's next shot.

    "Kori, use Whirlpool to protect the Three Heavenly Jewels!" Dawn called.

    Saturn sighed as the three meteors swirled in a tornado of water. "Retreat, everyone--it appears we must re-think our strategy..."

    ---------

    "Jenny, I am so sorry..." Ash sighed. "I wanted to catch the Galactic admins, but in all the confusion, they got away..."

    "You did more than enough." Officer Jenny assured Ash. "What matters is that communication is back up, the Three Heavenly Jewels are safe, and no one was hurt in all this."

    "Besides, we'll have a chance to stop Team Galactic soon enough." Brock agreed as Officer Jenny draped a medallion of valor around each Pokemon...

    To Be Continued...
     
  17. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 54: The Bells are Singing


    Ash smiled as Erin twirled through the air and smacked a rock with Force Palm. "Very good! Think you can try hitting a rock coming from the other way?" he asked as he looked for a suitable rock to throw.

    [I kin certainly try.] Erin purred as Ash found another pebble at the foot of a tree.

    "Okay..here it comes!" Ash called before heaving the pebble in a left facing arc.

    He gasped as Erin tripped on a tree branch and crashed to the ground. "Are you okay?" he asked as he hurried to help his Riolu from the grass.

    [I'm fine.] Erin replied. [Wasn't te first ting I've ever tripped over, and probably won't be te last one, either!]

    "If you need a larger target for Erin, she's always welcome to try catching arrows." Brock offered.

    "We're not quite ready for catching arrows yet, but I do think we're ready to move up from rocks." Ash replied as Erin dusted herself off. "But I'll keep that in mind."

    [I'd love te learn te catch an arrow!] Erin gasped, starry eyed.

    "Well, Brock's a master archer, so when we get the hang of some larger objects, we'll try to catch some arrows." Ash assured his Riolu. "But for now, you've earned a break."

    Brock, meanwhile, noticed a magazine Dawn was reading. "Interesting...what kind of magazine is that?"

    "It's one of my back issues of Poké Chic, a fashion magazine for coordinators." Dawn explained. "In addition to the latest coords for people, it also has a section that features Pokémon in outfits."

    "Coords...like idol coords?" Brock was intrigued.

    "Something like that--coordinators share twelve brands of their own, which often cross over into the music industry." Dawn replied.

    She remembered something as she set the magazine aside. "Which reminds me..."

    After rummaging through her bag, she pulled out a red vest with a line of orange gradience and lines of pale pink. "I was inspired by a Prism Stardust design, and made my own little outfit that I think Lola would like. Mom helped with the sewing, though."

    She gently slipped the outfit onto Lola. "What do you think?" she asked as she allowed Lola to look at herself in a hand mirror.

    [It's lovely!] Lola giggled. [Thank you!]

    "I take it Prism Stardust is a coordinator costume brand?" Ash asked as he watched Lola dance in the new outfit.

    Dawn nodded. "They specialize in 80's style sparkling and neon motifs."

    [That looks nice on you.] Tintri agreed, bemused in Lola's dancing.

    Suddenly, Lola heard a ringing sound as a yellow, spherical Pokémon similar to a bell floated into the clearing. [Oh, you wanted to dance with me too?] Lola asked.

    Dawn read up on the small Pokemon as Lola hugged it:

    "Chingling, the bell Pokemon. Each time it hops, it makes a ringing sound. It deafens foes by emitting high-frequency cries."

    "There you are!" Ash heard a female voice call as a dull green haired girl in an elegant red, white and gold outfit arrived in the clearing. "I've been looking all over for you, Suzu!"

    She noticed the group gawking at her. "Oh, hello! I'm Francesca, and I'm a traveling magician."

    "A magic act?" Dawn was intrigued. "What kinds of tricks do you do?"

    "Well, you've met Suzu, one of my Chinglings, already." Francesca smiled as she heaved a cloth skyward. "I have two others...Cloche and Nella!"

    As if on cue, two more Chingling and a flock of Pidgeys appeared from the cloth! "Wow!" Ash gasped, impressed.

    Francesca next snapped to summon a familiar magician's wand. Aparecium Flos!

    The Pokemon giggled as nothing seemed to happen. "Funny, I know the trick worked before..." Francesca mused before trying the trick's magic words again. Aparecium Flos!

    She noticed Suzu giggling as she hid the orange flower that was supposed to appear in a bush. "Suzu!"

    "Has Suzu always been like this?" Dawn wondered.

    "No--normally she's very willing to assist with tricks." Francesca explained. "But ever since Cloche and Nella were added to the act, she's been acting up."

    "Is it possible she's jealous of her co-stars, or feels like she's been replaced?" Brock wondered. "Either that, or she's depressed..."

    A ringing note snapped Dawn to attention. "What the..."

    Ash heard the same note, and noticed Suzu plucking one of the C strings on Brock's harp. "I think we found something Suzu likes..."

    "That's it!" Brock smiled. "The harp's sound reminds her of a bell!"

    "Do you know any stories about bells, or feature a bell in the plot?" Dawn asked as Brock reclaimed his harp from Suzu. "Maybe that could inspire Suzu and remind her that she is still loved and appreciated."

    "That's a good idea--I never thought Suzu could be depressed." Francesca smiled. "Please, young minstrel--spin us a tale."

    Brock thought for a moment. "This is a tale from Houen about the twin bell towers of Lillycove City." he explained.

    "If we find May again, I'll have to ask her about those." Dawn smiled as Brock played an ethereal melody to compose his thoughts.

    "Long ago, when Lilycove was just a village by the coast, a young fisherman named Kaitou prayed to Arceus every day for a good catch and favorable seas." Brock began. "But the village's temple had no bell, so the people often didn't know what time it was. As Kaitou set sail one morning, he mused that if the temple had a bell, not only would people know what time it was, it would look beautiful, as well."

    "Makes sense." Ash mused.

    "Now, the fishermen never went near a certain island near the port, because of the rough seas and strange noises that came from it." Brock explained. "One day, the village elder returned from a long journey, and the people were amazed at the things he had seen and heard across the land. They particularly enjoyed hearing about the temple bells--some of them were loud and piercing..." He proceeded to play a ringing chord that sounded like a bell. "..and some were merely a soft tinkle."

    Ash chuckled as he played a soft trilling chord for effect. "Other bells almost sang like a person's voice..." He played an upward glissando for effect. "...and some had a low and deep rumble that could shake the earth if it wanted to." He played the bottom C string for effect.

    "Amazing!" Dawn smiled.

    "The villagers all pleaded for a bell--that way, they would know when it was time to get up, when it was time for lunch, when the day's work was over, or if there was an emergency." Brock explained. "The elder replied that he wanted a temple bell just as much as they did, but how were they to get a bell made without the means to pay for it?"

    "Good question..." Ash smiled as Tintri bounded on his shoulder, enthralled by the story.

    "Kaitou took it upon himself to ask for donations, and before long, the villagers had donated enough to make a little bell, just big enough for their temple's tower." Brock explained, setting the harp down long enough to make a form in the air describing how big the hypothetical small bell was. "He took the money to the miko, whose name was Satomi, and asked where they could get the bell made. Satomi replied that a good friend of hers was a bellmaker in a major city, and so she would send word to her. When the bellmaker, whose name was Kotone, heard about the village, she offered to make them a large bell for the price of their donations. So a beautiful silver bell was made, and brought to the village by ship."

    After playing "The Prayer to the Sea" to simulate the ship traveling, Brock went on "Kaitou saw the ship approaching four days later, and offered to guide them to the village. But the captain was young and arrogant, saying the waves were no match for the fastest ship in the sea."

    "Bad idea!" Francesca grinned, to some laughter as Cloche and Nella joined Suzu in listening to Brock's performance.

    "But they soon sailed straight into the pounding waves, and all Kaitou and the ship's crew could do was watch as a pair of giant Octillery tentacles grabbed the bell." Brock intoned, making the laughter turn to gasps. "Heartbroken, the villagers vowed to get the bell back, despite Satomi's pleas not to. The villager's simple wooden boats were no match for the Octillery."

    He added as an aside "It was a miracle the villagers even survived."

    Nervous giggles went up in agreement. "That night, Satomi called the villagers together, and reminded them that the shrine was a sign of Arceus' and the Legendaries' providence, and that the Octillery was no match for Arceus' divine power." Brock went on. "The next morning, Kaitou led Satomi and her apprentices to the island, Satomi singing all the while...

    Te lei ze cra riou te ze... Dawn sang along with the harp's reverent melody.
    Cra riou ze te riou rei neu, riou ze...
    Va rei ze te, neu te riou te cra
    Riou rei cra riou ze rei va ze rei...
    Va neu va rei, va neu va ze rei!
    Cra riou cra neu te rei cra riou ze lei va
    Lei va neu cra te lei lei!


    Some light applause went up when Dawn finished her solo. "As the last note of Satomi's hymn echoed across the water, the Octillery surfaced wearing the bell like a hat!" Brock announced, to some laughter as the Pokemon pictured the Octillery wearing the bell. "Satomi tried to explain that the bell was for the temple, but when the Octillery refused to give it back, Satomi started her hymn again, making the Octillery writhe about in pain from the holy words..."

    Te lei ze cra riou te ze... Dawn sang with the harp again.
    Cra riou ze te riou rei neu, riou ze...
    Va rei ze te, neu te riou te cra
    Riou rei cra riou ze rei va ze rei...
    Va neu va rei, va neu va ze rei!
    Cra riou cra neu te rei cra riou ze lei va
    Lei va neu cra te lei lei!


    When the last note faded into the afternoon sky, Brock went on "The Octillery broke down in tears, saying it wanted the bell to protect its head from bumping into ship prows, and that was why it made waves to keep ships away."

    "Oh"s wafted through the crowd as the audience put two and two together. "Kaitou explained that the bell was to help tell the time." Brock continued. "Satomi agreed, allowing the Octillery to keep the bell if it could remember to ring it every fifteen minutes--once at 15, 30, and 45 minutes past the hour, and as many times as needed for the hour--once at 1, two times at 2, and so on all the way to twelve times at noon and midnight. The Octillery happily agreed, and every fifteen minutes, it dutifully told the time according to Satomi's instructions."

    He concluded "When the village got a more appropriate size of bell later in the year, the two of them harmonized as they tolled the hour."

    He smiled. "In fact, replicas of them still toll the hour in Lilycove City today."

    Suzu unleashed a few happy rings of approval as Brock took a bow. She then wrapped around Brock, making a soft trilling ring all the while. "Suzu says thank you." Francesca explained. "Your tale seems to have inspired her."

    "My pleasure!" Brock smiled as Suzu continued nuzzling him in thanks.

    "If you're competing in the Fantasy Stage, I wish you good luck." Francesca told Brock. "We all believe you have the talent to make it to the Grand Fantasy Stage!"

    To Be Continued...
     
  18. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 55: Pokemon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu (part 1)


    An explosion filled the air, almost drowning out the ringing of the alarm as several men fled a research facility with a Riolu. "Stop!" some researchers pleaded as they tried to run after the fleeing thieves. "That Riolu you took is a priceless research item!"

    "We have to recover Amira safely at any cost." the chief researcher agreed. "Her power can be devastating in the wrong hands."

    The researchers gasped as a wave of flames came flying towards the building. "Hit the deck!"

    Inside the truck, a Riolu shuddered as she clambered on the grate that served as the back wall of her prison. I've got to find a way out of here...

    She strained her ears to listen to the human language up front. Her captors were saying something, but even with her aura powers, she couldn't make out what they were talking about.

    After taking a few deep breaths to calm herself, she managed to make out a little of the conversation. "...we tricked the little aura-dog into thinking we would bring her home."

    The Riolu growled at this. They tried to trick me, did they? Well, I'm not falling for their little trick!

    With that, she charged a tiny Aura Sphere, blowing the truck's back door open. Yes! Now I can get out!

    She elegantly jumped out as the truck came to a screeching halt, darting into the grass and into a forest. The sooner I can find a human that can help me, the better!

    ---------

    ...Ah dee do ah dee do da day,
    Ah dee do ah dee day dee,
    He whistled and he sang, till the green woods rang,
    and he won the heart of a lady...
    Brock finished a song as he led Ash and Dawn through the forest.

    Dawn applauded the song. "That was a sweet song..."

    "I learned it off an old record of Galarian folk songs my dad digitized." Brock explained. "Like all folk songs, it has many different versions."

    He was about to say more when he spotted a prone blue and black figure in the distance. "Something's lying in the grass!"

    "I'll go check it out!" Ash hurried over to the tiny figure. "It looks like a Riolu..."

    He noticed a gash across the Riolu's chest as Brock and Dawn arrived. "It's hurt--got any first aid, Brock?"

    "Right here." Brock set down a familiar white box by Ash. "Restocked it before we left Veilstone."

    The Riolu growled a warning as Ash found some ointment in the first aid kit. "It's okay...I want to help you." he assured the small wolf-like Pokemon.

    He gasped as he felt a hand on his shoulder. "I know you want to help that Riolu, but right now, she sees you as a threat. You need to earn her trust first."

    "Who are you?" Ash asked. "Friend, or foe?"

    He looked behind him to find a navy haired boy in a familiar red, white, and gold uniform. "Friend, traveler--Lunick of the Pokemon Ranger Corps, at your service!"

    "Lunick...do you maybe have a partner? A girl named Solana?" Ash asked.

    "Yes--Solana is my partner, Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town." Lunick replied. "She spoke highly of you when she returned from Houen."

    Ash smiled as he got up from the grass. "Solana told me a lot about you, too."

    "Let's get this Riolu somewhere safe so we can treat her wounds." Lunick motioned for Ash to follow him.

    "We'll fill you in on how we met Solana later." Brock told Dawn as he watched Lunick place the Riolu inside a medical backpack.

    "There--this way, her wound will be stabilized until we can get her to a Pokemon Center." Lunick explained. "Solana is here, too. We were both instructed to find this Riolu, and keep her safe from a band of Pokemon hunters."

    He next showed the Riolu a small wooden Riolu figurine. "Your name is Amira, right?" he asked the Riolu.

    The Riolu yipped happily in reply. "Okay then, Amira--you're safe with us." Lunick replied as he put the figurine away. "Let's go, everyone."

    ---------

    In a clearing, Lunick set the medical backpack on the ground. "We should be safe here. Let's treat Amira's wound."

    The Riolu yawned as Lunick set her on the ground, then dug out a Potion. "Here...this is medicine for your owie." he assured the Riolu.

    Dawn watched Lunick clean and dress the Riolu's wound. "I love how you're so gentle with Amira."

    "Treating hurt Pokemon is one of the many jobs we Pokemon Rangers do." Lunick replied as he admired his handiwork for a moment.

    Ash watched as Amira approached the lake near the clearing. She took out the wooden figurine. "Is that figurine special at all?" he wondered.

    "That figurine is a gift from the man who raised Amira." Lunick replied

    For a few fleeting seconds, Ash could see a living room in a house. An old man knelt down to give a familiar Riolu the figurine. "Here, Amira--this is a gift from me."

    Ash rubbed his eyes to be sure he wasn't dreaming, but all he could see was the lake and the surrounding forest. "What was that? Was I dreaming?"

    "No--Amira used her own aura to show you that memory." Lunick explained. "That means she trusts you."

    Everyone gasped at this. Aura is like a feeling, and Ash's Aura is attuned with Amira's." Lunick explained. "This is how Ash can still tap into Sir Aaron's magic, and use the legendary Swanna's song."

    "Golden Sun calling Silver Moon, do you copy?" came a familiar voice over the Capture Styler's speaker. "Golden Sun calling Silver Moon, do you read me?"

    Lunick scrambled to retrieve a small cell phone-like device with a long glowing antenna. "This is Silver Moon, I read you loud and clear."

    "PokeMaster01, standing by!" Ash waved at the familiar teal haired girl on the device's screen.

    "PewterSong, standing by!" Brock smiled.

    "Good to see both of you, but my message is for Lunick." Solana replied. "I've found the location of J's hideout--Blue Angel and I are on the way there."

    "Roger--I have Amira, and we'll get her to our agreed rendezvous point." Lunick replied. "Silver Moon out."

    ---------

    Dawn watched the forest slip into the distance as the group set sail across the lake. "So, why is J so interested in Amira?" she asked.

    "Amira comes from the Paradise Kingdom, a place far from here." Lunick explained. "Once she's old enough, she will use her special Aura powers to serve as the kingdom's new guardian.

    Brock swallowed hard as he saw some ominous blue-black fins approaching. "Sharpedo!"

    "JUMP!" Ash called as one of the Sharpedo smashed the boat in half.

    "Thought you could hide from me, Wonder Boy?" Ash heard J taunt from the sky. "Your precious Riolu will be mine once I'm through with you!"

    Lunick spotted a Floatzel leaping out of the water. "Floatzel, I need your help!"

    "Cool!" Dawn gasped as the Capture Styler's antenna glowed and fired a beam at the Floatzel, binding it an a blue-white coil.

    The group scrambled on the Floatzel's back. "Take us to the shore, and fast!" Lunick told the Floatzel.

    [Whoa!] Tintri gasped as a Sharpedo attempted Aqua Jet, creating a wave. [Take THIS!!!] he screeched as he fired a Thunderbolt.

    J seemed unfazed by one of the Sharpedo being shocked by Tintri's attack. "So, you want to fight, do you?"

    She aimed her bracelet at the trembling Riolu in Ash's arms. "Frozen Darkness!"

    The Floatzel countered the black ice crystals J had fired with Water Gun, hitting her Salamence in its wing. [I have an idea to get this bad human off our backs...] Amira told Ash. [Do you trust me?]

    "Yes...I trust you." Ash replied.

    He watched as Amira dropped the figurine in the water. "The figurine! After it!" he heard J call to her minions.

    "It worked!" Dawn watched as J's Salamence and J's remaining minions went in the opposite direction from where Amira had dropped the figurine.

    "Now to retrieve the figurine." Ash began as he stashed his cap, shoes and socks in his bag. "Hold your breath, Amira...we're gonna get wet."

    ---------

    [Mmm... did we lose them?] Amira asked as she and Ash drifted to shore. The Floatzel Lunick had captured had come ashore nearby.

    "I think so..." Ash replied as he offered the figurine. "I found the figurine, too."

    Tintri gasped as the group reunited in the forest. [Salamence wings!]

    "Run for it!" Brock called as Ridley heaved a Flamethrower, setting a patch of forest ablaze.

    "You can run all you like, Wonder Boy, but I will find you, even if I have to burn this entire forest to the ground!" J threatened as she watched the group flee into the forest.

    Ash growled as Ridley fired another Flamethrower. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...

    "Ash is using the Swanna Song?" Dawn gasped as Ash continued. Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...

    Katoradis favel siicletu edena... At this line, shining waves of water started to form around Ash, Tintri, and Amira. Emusto koron zen fine, si...

    To Be Continued...
     
  19. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 56a: Pokemon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu (part 2)

    Previously, on "Pokemon Shine Diamond..."

    "You can run all you like, Wonder Boy, but I will find you, even if I have to burn this entire forest to the ground!" J threatened as she watched the group flee into the forest.

    Ash growled as Ridley fired another Flamethrower. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...

    "Ash is using the Swanna Song?" Dawn gasped as Ash continued. Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...

    Katoradis favel siicletu edena... At this line, shining waves of water started to form around Ash, Tintri, and Amira. Emusto koron zen fine, si...


    J sneered as Ash crumpled to the forest floor in exhaustion. "You forget that I can still take your Riolu even though you're behind a wall of water." she smirked as she used a robotic arm to reach through the shining watery shield Ash had created and snatched Amira.

    "We have to get the Pokemon out of here!" Dawn called as she helped a family of Parchirisus into a small cave.

    "I'll take the bigger Pokemon to the hill nearby." Brock offered as he motioned for a Stantler to follow him.

    [What about me?] Tarina asked. [What can I do?]

    "Well..." Brock thought for a moment, aware of the fire rapidly consuming the trees. "Help Dawn evacuate as many of the little Pokemon as you can, okay?"

    [Got it!] With that, Tarina hurried off to help a family of Ratattas get to safety.

    "Blastoise, I need you!" Lunick called as he bound a third Blastoise with his Capture Styler. "Can you guys use Rain Dance to put out the fire?"

    [Sure!] one Blastoise replied. The three Blastoise began jumping and dancing around the charred underbrush, creating a large storm.

    Ash's watery shield dispelled as the rain started to fall, putting out many of the lingering flames. [Do you feel strong enough to climb into this tunnel I made?] Diddy asked as he surfaced.

    "mmm...where does it go?" Ash asked, still woozy from using the Swanna Song earlier.

    [The Pokemon Hunter's ship.] Diddy explained. [Maybe the Riolu is in there!]

    "Okay...we'll see if Amira is there..." Ash sleepily replied as he climbed into the tunnel.

    [I'll getcha there in style, since that super-song wore you out.] Tails offered.

    Ash found a large plank of wood just large enough for him and his team to fit. "Okay--this will be our boat to J's ship."

    With that, Tails heaved a blast of water into the tunnel, allowing the group to drift slowly down the tunnel...

    ---------

    Ash climbed up through an air vent some moments later. "Having the tunnel come out near an air vent was a great idea." he told Diddy as the Pokemon emerged. "That gave me enough time to recover from before, so I can use my Swanna Song again if we have to."

    He suddenly felt the ground give way under him and his team! "You'll be needing that Swanna Song sooner than you think, you little sneak!" J laughed as Ash and his team went hurtling through the sky. "Happy landings!"

    [J somehow knew we were coming!] Tails gasped. [But to be fair, we did make a big mess on her ship before...]

    [That's how she likely knew we were coming!] Diddy screeched. [We're gonna be Poke-cakes if we don't do something!]

    Gatrandis favel, secret edena.... Ash's voice echoed through the sunny sky.
    Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...

    Lunick looked up to see Ash and his team streaking towards a pile of underbrush. "Staraptor, go save Ash!" he commanded, binding a passing Staraptor with his Capture Styler.

    The Staraptor nodded, and hurried to intercept the falling boy and his Pokemon, using Ash's voice as a guide:

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


    As Ash's last Bb echoed into the clouds, he felt himself land on something soft. "Feathers...Estrella, is that you?"

    [No--your Ranger friend heard your song and sent me to help you.] the Staraptor explained before returning to the surface to meet Lunick, Dawn, and Brock.

    "Thank Arceus you're okay!" Dawn hurried to embrace Ash.

    "Thank you, Staraptor." Lunick replied as he released the Staraptor. "Are you sure you're okay?" he asked Ash as he inspected Tails and Diddy for injuries.

    "Yeah..." Ash wheezed. "Just very tired..."

    "I'm not surprised--the Swanna Song is said to give great power at the cost of the singer's strength." Solana explained as she met the group. "Ash must have great spiritual strength to use it twice in one day."

    She turned business-like again. "While you were dealing with the rescue operation, my end of things took a turn for the worse too. It turns out the one who hired J fled before we could catch him!"

    "Come on!" Lunick called. "Where the client is, Amira is too!"

    To Be Continued...
     
  20. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 56b: Pokemon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu (part 3)


    Previously, on "Pokemon Shine Diamond"...

    [No--your Ranger friend heard your song and sent me to help you.] the Staraptor explained before returning to the surface to meet Lunick, Dawn, and Brock.

    "Thank Arceus you're okay!" Dawn hurried to embrace Ash.

    "Thank you, Staraptor." Lunick replied as he released the Staraptor. "Are you sure you're okay?" he asked Ash as he inspected Tails and Diddy for injuries.

    "Yeah..." Ash wheezed. "Just very tired..."

    "I'm not surprised--the Swanna Song is said to give great power at the cost of the singer's strength." Solana explained as she met the group. "Ash must have great spiritual strength to use it twice in one day."

    She turned business-like again. "While you were dealing with the rescue operation, my end of things took a turn for the worse too. It turns out the one who hired J fled before we could catch him!"

    "Come on!" Lunick called. "Where the client is, Amira is too!"


    "Next question...where IS J?" Dawn wondered as the group walked down a road. "She likely flew off in her ship, and we have no leads on where it could've gone..."

    "I'm trying to help on finding some leads, but every source I know of hasn't spotted it." Solana sighed as she closed the Ranger Browser. "Not even RangerNet has spotted it."

    "Ash...can you maybe use your Aura power to contact Amira somehow?" Lunick asked. "One known power of aura is a kind of telepathy..."

    "Dunno if aura and telepathy are the same thing, but we can try." Ash replied before focusing his thoughts. Amira...it's Ash. I want to rescue you, but my friends and I have no idea where you are!

    Ash...you'd have a long way to walk from your current position. Amira's voice echoed back in reply. My captor has flown to an overlook at the top of the large hill you guys are climbing. By the time you get to the top, I will be in the captor's lair.

    Hold on, Amira--I'm going to do everything I can to rescue you, or die trying! Ash silently vowed before coming out of the aura trance.

    "I managed to contact Amira." he explained. "She's at the top of this hill, waiting to be delivered to the one who hired J."

    Lunick spotted some Dodrio by the roadside. "Maybe these can get us there before the hunter does."

    "I'll help you!" Solana offered before capturing a Dodrio with her own Capture Styler. "Dodrio, we all need you!"

    ---------

    A few moments later, the band of five Dodrios reached the top of the hill. "There they are..." Lunick whispered as he watched J deliver the struggling Amira to a black suited man.

    Just then, J spotted Ash's cap peeking over the bush. "I know you're here, Wonder Boy--and you're running out of time to get your Riolu!"

    "Oh yeah?" Ash shot back before heaving a Poke Ball skyward. "Estrella, cut the tires on the van over there!" he called, pointing out the black van the man had arrived in.

    A pop of a Poke Ball got Brock's attention. "I think the one who hired J was prepared for you to do that..." he sighed as he watched the man fly away aboard a Fearow.

    Ash was relieved to hear a police siren. "What should we do now?" he asked as J and some of her minions released some of their Pokemon.

    "We'll hold off J and her men while you follow the Fearow." Officer Jenny assured Ash as she summoned her Arcanine. "Hurry!"

    "Let's surprise J with Mega Steelix to buy Ash and Lunick some time." Dawn suggested.

    Brock nodded, then held his Mega Ring skyward. Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo...

    Lunick watched as the flashing emerald from Brock's Mega Ring blinded J and her men for a moment. "Now's our chance! Let's go!" he called as he led the way into the forest underbrush.

    ---------

    Lunick and Ash came to a screeching halt by a cave entrance, just in time to see an armored reptilian Pokemon Ash remembered as Aggron. "Wonderful..." Ash sighed as rocks rained before the entrance, preventing the trainer and his Ranger escort from going further.

    "We can't give up yet!" Lunick assured Ash before pointing out a Donphan. "That Donphan can break down the rocks!"

    With that, he reached for his Capture Styler. "Donphan, we need you!"

    The Donphan curled into a ball and charged at the rocks, allowing Ash and Lunick inside the cave. "Come on!" Ash called as he ran inside.

    He froze when he saw a three way fork. Now, which way did the man go?

    He focused his thoughts for a moment. Amira--can you hear me? Where are you?

    Take the tunnel to the left--I'm in there! Amira's voice echoed back.

    Ash nodded as Lunick and his Donphan arrived. "Amira's in that blocked tunnel on the left." he explained, pointing out the rocks that sealed the left route.

    "Right!" Lunick smiled. "You know what to do, Donphan?"

    The Donphan nodded, and charged at the rock's again, creating a path for Ash and Tintri. "H-how did you get here?" the man gasped as Ash and Trintri arrived in the room.

    "Amira told me." Ash grinned, pointing out the Riolu squirming in the man's arms.

    He looked over at Tintri. "Use Volt Tackle!"

    [HAAAAAAHHH!!!!] Tintri screeched as he streaked at the man, knocking him down and sending Amira flying.

    Ash caught Amira. "I gotcha...you're safe now." he assured the Riolu as Tintri rejoined him.

    I always knew you would come--thank you! Amira smiled back as Ash and Tintri met Lunick at the cave entrance...

    ---------

    Later that afternoon, Solana watched as the man was led away to Officer Jenny's cruiser. "Well done." she smiled as Lunick and Ash arrived with Amira. "While J and her cronies escaped, we got the one that hired her."

    "That, and Amira is safe." Ash reported.

    Amira's eyes widened when she saw a familiar old man. Master!

    "Amira, thank Arceus you're all right!" the old man smiled as Ash set Amira on the ground, allowing her to run into her master's arms.

    "Aw..." Dawn smiled as Amira and the old man embraced.

    "Words cannot express how thankful I am for your work in bringing back Amira." the old man smiled. "Name what you will, and it is yours."

    "All in a day's work for a Pokemon Ranger!" Solana smiled. Lunick nodded in agreement.

    "Before we discuss any rewards, there's still one more thing I have to return..." Ash explained.

    He produced the Riolu figurine from a pocket. "Here you go..." he assured Amira as he gave her the small figurine. "I kept your toy safe for you."

    Amira smiled as she accepted the figure. Two times my hero! You have my heartiest blessing on your travels, Ash!

    To Be Continued...
     

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