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Thread: Pokemon Shine Diamond

  1. #121
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    Episode 83a: Steeling Peace of Mind! (part 1)


    "So long, Canalave." Ash smiled as he packed his stuff. "It's been fun."

    "From here, we're off to Chocovine Town for Dawn's next Contest and my next Fantasy Stage." Brock smiled.

    "Have you decided what you want to tell for the Chocovine Fantasy Stage?" Dawn asked.

    "Not yet..." Brock admitted. "I'm leaning towards some kind of dragonslayer tale, though..."

    "Sounds fun!" Dawn smiled.

    A trill of a PokeNav snapped Ash to attention. After looking at the caller ID and seeing Danielle's name, he quickly swiped the "Answer" icon. "Hello?"

    "Hey Ash, it's Danielle." Danielle's voice began on the other end. "How'd your match with Byron go?"

    "Wonderful!" Ash smiled. "My risk of using Erin against a big Pokemon paid off--she evolved! That meant I could induce her against Byron's Bastiodon, Escudo."

    "Yeah, Escudo was a challenge for me too." Danielle remembered. "So, I'm here on Iron Island, as I said; and something's wrong with a lot of the Pokemon!"

    "What happened?" Ash asked.

    "They've begun to turn wild--many of them even attacking their own masters!" Danielle explained. "But here's the weird part--this is only happening to Steel-type Pokémon."

    "That is weird..." Ash mused.

    "Lucky for me, I have no Steel types with me at the moment." Danielle assured Ash. "But you know this is more than a routine outbreak when even Nurse Joy doesn't know what to do."

    "We'll be over there as soon as we can." Ash replied. "I won't summon Erin unless I have to--as much as I really want to show you Erin right now."

    "I'll hold off inducing Argent unless I have to, as well." Brock agreed.

    "Good idea." Danielle replied. "The ferry departs to and from Canalave hourly, so one should be arriving at the docks on your end very soon--my team and I will meet you there!"

    "We're on our way." Ash replied as he ended the call. "Well, Chocovine's gonna have to wait..." he began.

    "We can't just sit idly by and watch if someone's in danger." Dawn vowed. "Danielle's done so much for us--let's go help her in return!"

    ---------

    Ash hurried to hug Danielle as the group arrived in the Iron Island Pokemon Center. "Ash, you made it....good." Danielle smiled. "As you can see, a lot of the owned Steel types that are out of their Poke Balls have gone wild." She gestured to an Alolan Sandshrew trying everything in its power to break free from a gurney as it was rolled to an open medical bay.

    "That poor Sandshrew..." Dawn noted a team of interns did everything they could to restrain an angry Scizor.

    "Let's start by looking around the island." Brock suggested. "There has to be something here bothering the Steel types."

    "Lead the way." Ash smiled, allowing Danielle to lead the group out of the Pokemon Center.

    "I was exploring some of the rocks nearby, so we can start there." Danielle suggested.

    The group made good time climbing through some of the crags nearby the Pokemon Center. However, Dawn gasped when she spotted a huge Aggron charging in their direction! "Oh no!"

    "Mother praised for her indigo life, break apart and raise thy clear new voice! Wataja!" a male voice called, sending a massive wave of water at the Aggron. A large Aura Sphere sent the soaked reptilian Pokemon flying seconds later.

    "Who cast the spell?" Danielle asked.

    "Yeah, friend or foe?" Ash agreed.

    He gasped as a young man in a majestic royal blue, grey, and gold mage's costume emerged from behind a crag. "Friend, travelers." he smiled. "I am Riley of the Order of the Celestial Aura."

    He gestured to the Lucario at his side. "And this is Vivian, my Lucario--Vivi, for short."

    "Well then, Riley...we came here because we heard rumors of Pokemon going nuts." Danielle explained. "We were also told that for some weird reason, this strange phenomenon only affected Steel types..."

    "...so how can Vivi not be affected?" Ash asked.

    "Vivi is safe because she can also use her aura to protect herself from the phenomenon you describe." Riley explained. "We are also trying to figure out how to stop this odd phenomenon ourselves. Maybe if we combined our powers, we could find the masterminds behind it!"

    "You're not gonna betray us later, are you?" Brock was a little skeptical.

    "At ease, Sir Loremaster. It would be a shameful act for a member of the Celestial Aura to betray others working for the same cause as they are." Riley replied. "So, are we a team?"

    "I'd say we are." Ash smiled.

    "All right, have you all found any clues or information pointing to the cause of the wild phenomenon?" Riley asked.

    "We know it only affects Steel types..." Dawn explained as the group started down a path into a cave. "Nurse Joy has no idea what it is or how to treat it..."

    Danielle pulled up a picture of an odd plane-like drone on her PokeNav and showed it to Riley. "Dunno if this counts as a clue, but I've seen three of these headed to the northwest..."

    "That is a perfect clue!" Riley smiled. "If we continue through the caves, we should be able to follow the drones to their launch base."

    "Let's go!" Ash led the way into the cave...

    To Be Continued...
    Everyone has a dream that fills their heart. A journey they must take. A destiny to fulfill. As close as your imagination exists a magical place, where wondrous creatures with incredible powers help make dreams come true. It's the world of Pokemon!!"


  2. #122
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    Interlude: The Rainbow of Aura

    As the group made their way through the caves, the gentle breeze and dripping water unnerved Ash a little. "So, Riley..." he stammered. "What is it your order actually does, and how does it tie back into aura powers?"

    "All aura is is ki, the energy in all things." Riley explained. "Unlike what you see in the media, aura is not inherently good or evil. It only does what it is told, for better or for worse. Those that can sense aura, or auramancers, can often manipulate it to help or harm."

    "Like magic?" Dawn was excited.

    Riley smiled. "I suppose you can call it magic. The most basic form anyone can master is the Swanna Song of folklore. But with dedicated training, and a deep bond with those around you, you can do some amazing things."

    He went on "My order, the Order of the Celestial Aura, is a peacekeeping order first and foremost. We work alongside law enforcement to investigate rogue auramancers and others that are misusing and abusing aura to their own ends. When I heard of the wild phenomenon out here, I was asked to help out...so here we are."

    As the group rounded the corner into an alcove, Riley laid a hand on Ash's chest. "Okay...I can sense all the colors of aura in your heart, Ash. But the two strongest colors are red, which is fire, and yellow, which is thunder."

    "Wait, colors of aura?" Ash was confused.

    "Being the natural energy of all things, aura energy itself comes in a variety of colors." Riley explained as he watched Vivi bound on ahead to scout a path. "In its purest form, aura is a bright blue-white. But depending on the elemental energy around it, it can come in different colors. In your case, you have all the colors of aura in your heart, but fire and thunder are the two strongest elements you could theoretically control if you wanted to develop your power."

    "Meaning..." Ash beckoned Riley to continue.

    "Your heart shines with the burning spirit of courage; and the creativity and quick thinking of a thunderbolt. If someone is in danger, you are often first to answer the call to help." Riley explained. "However, you do not want to jump to conclusions or charge into the fray without considering your options. With an excitable aura like yours, it is not easy to stop and think things over. But if you take the time to master this skill, it will benefit you both on the battlefield and off of it."

    "I'm working on thanking tactically..." Ash assured Riley.

    "Ooh, what kind of aura would I have?" Dawn asked.

    Riley laid a hand on Dawn's chest. "Okay...the two strongest colors I sense inside you are blue, which is water, and white, which is light. Water is an ever changing element, and easily adaptable to any situation. By extension, you would also be able to tap into cyan aura, which is ice, and your white aura lends you healing powers."

    He told Dawn. "Your bond with your Piplup has granted you a very versatile power. Just as a river flows to the sea, so will your abilities grow and change. You have worked hard to come this far, but no path to victory is ever free of troubles. If you ever find yourself in the depths of despair, the light will show you the way forward."

    "Point duly noted." Dawn smiled.

    "I'll bite...what color aura would I have?" Brock asked.

    Riley laid a hand on Brock's chest. "Okay...all the colors are fairly strong, but green--which is earth--is the strongest. Your heart is as strong as a mountain, unbending to the storms of life. But this doesn't mean you are set in your ways. You are willing to hear different perspectives, and learn new things. The song in your heart bursts forth like a rose, ready to inspire, to entertain, to teach, encourage, and comfort. Though you were brought up in the mountains, you can also tap into the valley's power to unleash flower and plant based spells as well as rock and jewel based ones."

    "Interesting..." Brock smiled as he watched Riley lay a hand on Danielle's chest.

    "I sense three strong colors inside you." Riley explained to Danielle. "Purple has long been associated with royalty, but it is also known for its spiritual side. With purple aura, you can manipulate stars, and both help and hurt with the very cosmos itself. All performers strive to be stars--what kind of star you become depends on how you channel your aura. Above all, the stage is not all about you, but a group effort. Your quick thinking and yearning for growth from your other colors will allow you and your fellow performers to reach for the stars...and beyond."

    About then, Vivi returned. [If we follow the spiral hill up ahead, we should find the drones' base.]

    "All right." Riley replied before motioning for everyone to follow him. "Let's move on."

    To Be Continued...
    Everyone has a dream that fills their heart. A journey they must take. A destiny to fulfill. As close as your imagination exists a magical place, where wondrous creatures with incredible powers help make dreams come true. It's the world of Pokemon!!"


  3. #123
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    Episode 83b: Steeling Peace of Mind! (part 2)


    The group emerged from a cave to discover a large campsite emblazoned with familiar G logos. "I knew Team Galactic was here..." Danielle grumbled as the group started towards the camp.

    Mars peeked out from a small building and smiled when she noticed the group was approaching. "Oh, visitors! You're just in time to see Team Galactic's latest invention--the Metala-Sounder 5000!"

    The group watched in horror as Mars inserted a strange key into a slot in the rocks, sending out a powerful low pitched sound wave. "I see--Galactic has taken the same principle as the move Metal Sound and somehow transformed it into mind control that only works on Steel types."

    "That makes sense!" Dawn gasped. "Even a coordinator knows that Metal Sound's main purpose in battle is to lower the target's resistance to special attacks--so by that logic, the target can be vulnerable to mind control!"

    Ash noticed Vivi approaching them, now with eerie red eyes. "Kinda like Vivi!"

    Vivi lunged to attack the group, but Riley tackled his Lucario, pinning her to the ground. "I'm going to need help holding Vivi down..." Riley explained. "I have an idea as to how to snap Vivi out of the wild state!"

    Ash hurried over to restrain Vivi as Riley laid a hand on the struggling Lucario's chest--being careful not to touch the spike in the center. "Evil residing inside of my companion, behold the power of Arceus! Leave my companion's body, and return to the abyss from whence you came!"

    With that, he sang Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
    Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
    Katoradis favel siicletu edena...


    Dawn's panicked look turned to joy as as Vivi was surrounded in a rainbow aura. Emusto koron zen fine, si...

    Vivi's eyes flickered open. [What happened...I don't know what came over me!]

    "It was the wild state..." Riley wheezed. "You were forced to attack us, in spite of yourself."

    After healing Riley from his weariness, Vivi looked over at the rock. [The Galactic rogue said the machine that generated the wild state was in the rock. I will go on ahead and attempt to disarm the machine--if I need help, come to my aid.]

    "I always do, Vivi." Riley smiled before hugging Vivi. "Be careful in there."

    "Get your bow ready--this could get bad." Ash instructed Brock as the group followed Vivi into the cave...

    ---------

    The group gasped as they found Vivi battered and beaten some time later. [I'm sorry, Riley...the rogues knew we were coming...]

    "Twinkle, I need you!" Danielle called, summoning an Alolan Ninetales to support the group.

    [WAUUUGH!] Kori cried as she tripped over a cracked floor, creating a hole!

    "I gotcha, Kori!" Dawn leaped over some rocks and caught Kori by the fin moments before she could fall in the hole. "There...now don't let go!"

    A roar got her attention "Oh no..."

    Brock recognized the roar as a huge steel snake Pokemon loomed over Dawn and Kori. "Steelix!"

    "I'll go deal with Mars--Brock, Danielle, help Riley save Dawn and Kori!" Ash called before running to engage Mars and her Purugly Leona. "Erin, let's do this!"

    [I'll freeze this for you...] Twinkle purred before freezing the head of the arrow Brock was about to shoot.

    "Thanks, Twinkle." Brock replied before aiming the glowing frosty arrow at the Steelix.

    "My bow is the azure sky!" Riley called, creating a sparkling blue bow made of ice. "Repent before my cerulean vortex!"

    He next aimed a magical arrow glowing with many colors at the Steelix. "Aurora Arrow!"

    Both Brock's shot and Riley's spell impacted the Steelix at the same time. "Whoa..." was all Dawn could say as she helped Kori onto solid ground again.

    [Nice shot!] Kori smiled.

    A flash of an Aura Sphere informed the others that Ash had won against Mars. "You lot may have won today, but your quest ends here!" Mars began.

    "What?" Ash gasped as the group reunited.

    "I've put explosives in this cave, and you lot will go down with it when they go off." Mars explained as she made her way to a large opening, where a helicopter had arrived to pick her up. "Good luck getting out in five minutes!"

    Ash looked unusually calm as the helicopter took off. "We can't dig our way out--the cave floor is solid rock..."

    An idea came to him. "Gaia, help us get out of here!"

    Riley smiled as Gaia created a strong vine for the group to climb out. "A great idea...while you make your escape, we will attempt to disarm or contain the explosives."

    "Thanks, Riley..." Dawn smiled as she made her way up the vine. "For everything!"

    ---------

    "I hope Riley and Vivi found the explosives..." Danielle mused as she and Twinkle reunited with the group some time later.

    Riley and Vivi materialized near the alcove the group was hiding in some moments later. "We'll see if our containment works..."

    Seconds later, a blue ball filled with fire flew out of the cave, exploding in the sky. [Now THAT was some fireworks!] Kori smiled, relieved that the island was unharmed.

    "Nice try, Mars!" Ash yelled in defiance to the starry sky.

    Professor Carolina arrived moments later. "Cynthia told me everything." she explained to Ash before meeting with Riley.

    Ash watched the uneasy discussion for a moment. "I guess this is our cue to leave..."

    "Yeah...exit, stage right, to Canalave City." Danielle agreed as the group departed to the docks.

    ---------

    "Cyrus...I am so sorry for failing to destroy Iron Island." Mars sobbed as she almost bowed before Cyrus. "I had the explosives, and hat-boy and pals right where I wanted them!"

    "There, there...it's only a temporary setback." Cyrus assured Mars. "You did what you could given the circumstances, and that is more than enough for me."

    "Thank you..." Mars heaved a sigh of relief.

    Cyrus, meanwhile, entered another room in the Galactic headquarters. "Saturn...how is the excavation of Spear Pillar going?"

    "Excellent, boss!" Saturn smiled. "Even with only a 60% scan, we have still made headway in our search for the Spear Pillar."

    Cyrus smiled. "Wonderful news...our quest to create a new world will continue."

    To Be Continued...
    Everyone has a dream that fills their heart. A journey they must take. A destiny to fulfill. As close as your imagination exists a magical place, where wondrous creatures with incredible powers help make dreams come true. It's the world of Pokemon!!"


  4. #124
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    Episode 84a: Hold the Phione! (part 1)

    "Here we are! This is Chocovine Town!" Dawn made a grand gesture to a town in the distance as the group disembarked in the harbor a few days later.

    "You couldn't have picked a better site for your next Contest and my next Fantasy Stage." Brock smiled as the group made their way into town. "This place is beautiful!"

    "I'll say!" Ash was equally impressed as the group strolled through a marketplace.

    Just then, Dawn noticed a stand selling all kinds of merchandise depicting a small blue round-headed Pokemon. "Aw, these are cute!" she smiled as she hugged a doll of the tiny Pokemon.

    Ash, meanwhile, decided to read up on the Pokemon:

    "Phione, the sea drifter Pokemon. It drifts in warm seas. It always returns to where it was born, no matter how far it may have drifted."

    "They say that Phione bring good luck to those who spot them." the seller explained. "If you're interested, you can go on our scenic ocean tour and see the Phione up close."

    Then, something occurred to him. "In fact, every Coordinator and minstrel that visited Chocovine and saw a Phione won the Contest or Fantasy Stage they entered."

    "Sounds fun!" Dawn smiled as she put the Phione doll back on the shelf. "Maybe we both could earn a little luck spotting Phione."

    "I wonder what kind of song Brock would come up with starring a Phione." Ash mused as Dawn received some information about the tour.

    "Depending on how much time I had to research before the Fantasy Stage, I could find plenty of Phione lore." Brock explained. "Said research would then inform how I wrote the song."

    "Speaking of research..." Ash addressed Dawn again. "Have you decided who's going to participate in the Contest yet?"

    "Yeah--I'm using Stormy this time." Dawn replied.

    [Aw....] Kori sighed. [I wanted to go onstage with you...]

    "I know...but the other Pokémon look up to you as the leader." Dawn explained. "It would mean the world to everyone if you cheer them on."

    [You're right--if everyone knows I've got their back, they'll do much better!] Kori smiled, now in a better mood.

    Dawn smiled back at Kori before looking over the tour brochure. "If we're going on the ocean tour, we need to be at the docks at 7 PM..."

    ---------

    Ash was a little nervous as he came aboard a submarine that night. "Bad flashbacks of Team Rocket and their sub..."

    "Relax--Team Rocket are not even here." Brock assured Ash. "This is just a scenic tour around the harbor--no more, and no less."

    "I'll trust you, then..." Ash replied, a little unnerved by a trio of boys in leather jackets and well loved T shirts. Then again, delinquents are even worse!

    The intercom seemed to calm Ash. "Welcome to the Chocovine Scenic Ocean Tour." the captain began. "In just a few minutes, you'll see the wealth of aquatic life that call the harbor home, including the world famous Phione. We strive to keep the sea Pokemon safe, so all the subs in our fleet are powered by powerful batteries, so as not to harm the Pokemon or their environment."

    Interested murmurs filled the sub. "For your safety, please remain in the passenger area for the duration of our voyage..." the captain went on.

    "Hope you brought your cameras, you two--this is gonna be amazing!" Dawn smiled. Ash nervously smiled back as he listened to the safety spiel.

    After a few tense moments, the submarine dove beneath the water. While many of the other tourists on board the sub were oohing and ahing over the rainbow of corals, Ash spotted three Phione curiously swimming to one of the viewing portholes. "Hello, little guys!"

    "How cute! Thank you for your gift of fortune! Thank you!" Many of the other tourist started calling thanks and praises to the three Phione as they weaved and whirled through the water.

    One of the Phione noticed Lola watching with Dawn. <i>I'm gonna find a way to get to the surface and play with that Buneary!</i>

    ---------

    "Okay, my rock-solid Pokemon strategist...how do you suggest I take on the Gym Leader of Snowpoint City?" Ash asked as Brock arrived with the group's breakfast.

    Brock set down a coffee cup on a table, then addressed Ash. "Their Fire weakness is very well known, but they are also weak against fighting types. So Diddy and Erin are likely your best bets. Since Water doesn't bat an eye to Ice, Tails could be on standby if you lose either Diddy or Erin."

    "I hate to interrupt your important discussion, but I'm off to go coord shopping for the contest." Dawn began as she joined the boys in the room. "I know there's a Prism Stardust shop here, but I mainly want to see what other brands are here. I won't be long."

    "Okay if we meet in the square of the shopping district?" Ash suggested. "Then we can have lunch and look at coords together."

    "Works for me! See you guys in a little while!" With that, Dawn departed.

    Brock waved as Dawn made her way to a bus stop, then continued his discussion with Ash. "The only thing that may throw you off is the Leader's Medicham, which she likely put on her team to throw off Fighting types..."

    To Be Continued...
    Everyone has a dream that fills their heart. A journey they must take. A destiny to fulfill. As close as your imagination exists a magical place, where wondrous creatures with incredible powers help make dreams come true. It's the world of Pokemon!!"


  5. #125
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    Interlude: The Quest for a Friend


    Meanwhile, in the local park, the three delinquents from before were admiring the Phione. "It was a great idea to swipe one of these little guys!" one smiled.

    "Maybe now it can bring good luck to da gang!" another one agreed.

    The third delinquent noticed the Phione reaching out towards a fountain near the park bench. "Okay, you can splash in the fountain for a bit."

    "Let's go find a food joint--I'm starved!" the first delinquent suggested. "We'll come back for the Phione after we've all had some grub."

    The Phione watched the three delinquents depart. Now's my chance to escape these punks! it thought.

    Inspired, the Phione glowed blue, then disappeared into the town's water main. Now, where's that Buneary? it thought as it drifted through the pipes.

    A fork in the pipes got its attention. Maybe it's in there!

    "What on earth?" a lady gasped as the Phione emerged from her kitchen sink drain. Panicked, the Phione dove back into the safety of the water main pipes.

    That wasn't it... the Phione shuddered, unnerved by the lady's reaction.

    Another fork in the pipes got its attention. Maybe the Buneary is here! Let's try this one! it smiled before drifting up the pipe.

    In the Pokemon Center, one of the on call Chansies gasped as the Phione emerged from the sink. [Well, hello!] the Chansey smiled. [How can I help you?] she asked as she set out some fresh soap for the Happinis and guests to use.

    [I'm looking for a Buneary that belonged to a black haired girl.] the Phione explained. [Have you seen her?]

    The Chansey thought for a moment. [Well, a black haired girl did leave here some time ago. Her friends joined her not long after that--I believe they were going into the shopping district in town.]

    Suddenly, the Phione spotted Ash, Dawn, and Brock at a bus stop. [There she is! Thank you!] the Phione smiled.

    [Anytime.] the Chansey smiled back. [If you hurry, you might be able to catch up with her.]

    Spurred on by the Chansey's encouragement, the Phione hurried as fast as it could out the Pokemon Center's front entrance and around the corner towards the bus stop, aware of a sleek blue, white, and silver bus approaching.

    It sighed as the bus came to a stop. "And there's our ride to the Chocovine Galeria." it heard Dawn say as she got on board.

    "How much for the fare?" Ash asked the driver as he came aboard.

    "No fare needed--the bus system is free for all to ride." the driver replied as Brock came aboard the bus.

    The Phione sighed as the bus pulled away. It's gone...I lost her...

    "There it is!" it suddenly heard a voice say.

    Those punks! the Phione gasped as it spotted the delinquents running up to it. They're not gonna take me as their prize today!

    With that, it fired an ice Beam at the approaching delinquents, buying it enough time to escape.

    ---------

    "Okay...are there any brands you KNOW you don't want a coord from?" Ash asked as the group arrived in the Chocovine mall some time later.

    "Neither of the Cute brands." Dawn replied. "I prefer a beautiful and powerful look, so we can start with my two preferred brands--Prism Stardust and Notte Royal."

    Brock located a mall directory. "According to the map, the Prism Stardust shop is close by the main food court, and Notte Royal is at the west end, nearby the Willow's store."

    "If any of the main brand shops are a bust, we can always check the department stores." Dawn agreed. "For now, let's go in Prism Stardust first."

    --------

    "I don't think so..." Ash began as Dawn modeled a beautiful sparkling pink costume.

    "A magenta may work, but that's too bright." Brock agreed.

    "Definitely not." Ash winced as Dawn modeled a red Cheri blossom print costume.

    Dawn's next costume was a handsome white suit with silver trim. "Mm...nah..." the boys chorused.

    "The silver may be a bit too bright under the lights of the Contest Hall." Brock suggested. "Why don't we try some cooler colors?"

    "Or some yellows?" Ash suggested.

    Dawn emerged from the fitting room in a glittering deep blue costume. "That's a little better..." Ash smiled.

    "Yeah--blue's always looked nice on you..." Brock agreed.

    Both boys winced as Dawn emerged in a glittering blue and gold costume with moon trim. "Ew!" Brock winced.

    "Lose the cheesy moons!" Ash agreed.

    The boys smiled as Dawn next emerged in a blue, gold, and white costume that appeared to glow under the light. "Yeah! Perfect!"

    "Okay...we'll keep Sapphire Glow in mind for now." Dawn smiled as she emerged back in her normal clothes. "Do you guys want to keep looking?" she asked as she gathered up the rejected coords and put them back on the racks.

    "Yeah--let's keep looking." Ash replied.

    "Who knows--Notte Royal or some other brand may have something even better." Brock agreed as he watched Dawn put Sapphire Glow on hold...

    To Be Continued...
    Everyone has a dream that fills their heart. A journey they must take. A destiny to fulfill. As close as your imagination exists a magical place, where wondrous creatures with incredible powers help make dreams come true. It's the world of Pokemon!!"


  6. #126
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    Episode 84b: Hold the Phione! (part 2)

    "Personally, I think you made a great choice in Sapphire Glow." Ash smiled as the group arrived at a beach near town that afternoon. "Most of the other coords you tried on were either too boring or too flashy."

    "Thanks." Dawn smiled. "You obviously don't wanna look boring, but at the same time, you don't wanna look too flashy, either. The Pokemon are the stars of the show, not you."

    With that, she hurried down to the shore. "Come on out, Stormy!"

    [Why didn't you tell me we were training at the beach?] Stormy smiled as she materialized on the sand.

    "Maybe the beach should give us some ideas for some tropical appeals." Dawn smiled as she looked out at the surf for a moment.

    She turned business-like again. "Okay, start with Electro Ball!"

    Stormy conjured a small ball of electricity, using it to draw a palm tree in the air. But before she could try another trick with the Electro Ball, the Phione popped from the surf. [What the...] Stormy gasped as the Phione hurried to meet Lola.

    [Hi!] the Phione smiled as it ran up to Lola. [Will you play with me?]

    [Sure, we'll play!] Kori smiled before offering the Phione a fin. [My name's Kori--nice to meet you!]

    The Phione heaved an Ice Beam, freezing Kori solid. [T-talk about an icy p-p-personality...] Kori shivered as Diddy hurried over to melt her.

    The Phione noticed Lola and Tintri snuggling together. [Ooooh...pay attention to me!] the Phione demanded. [Let's duel for your Buneary friend! If I win, she's MY friend!]

    [But why do we need to battle over a friendship?] Tintri asked, confused. [That's not how friendship works...]

    The Phione was about to retort when Lola stepped between them. [Hey! I have an idea that will solve this problem.]

    She told the Phione [If you really like me, you need to be battling me, not Tintri. If you win, I'll play with you all you want--I may even take you on a date, even!]

    [It's a deal!] the Phione smiled.

    With that, the two Pokemon charged at each other, creating a massive blue and brown dust cloud rolling about the sand. "Wait, who's making the first move?" Ash asked, confused.

    "The sand's making it hard to tell what's going on." Brock explained. "Once it clears a bit, I should be able to tell if Lola or the Phione has the advantage."

    Sure enough, the sand cleared just enough to see Lola charging at the Phione with a volley of fists! The Phione used Double Team in an attempt to defend, but Buneary's flurry of fists easily damaged all the copies.

    The Phione next fired a rainbow sound wave, but Lola nimbly bounced over the wave. But just as she was about to connect with a kick, she discovered the Phione was gone! [Funny...where did the Phione go?]

    She suddenly felt the impact of another Supersonic from behind her. [Alola oe, farewell to thee...] she sang as she stumbled down the beach in the opposite direction.

    [Lola! Snap out of it!] Kori pleaded.

    As if in response to Kori's call, Lola shook off the confusion, and started back to the Phione. The Phione, fired an Ice Beam, but Lola jumped away, causing the blue-white beam to hit Kori again! "Well, that's one way to cool down!" Dawn assured her Piplup as she turned on a hair dryer to melt the ice.

    [N-not funny...] Kori shivered.

    [Two can play at this game!] Lola smiled before firing her own Ice Beam to counter the Phione's attack.

    The group watched as a massive ice floe started to form at the point the two blue-white beams met. After a few tense minutes, the ice was so big, neither side could see the other.

    Dawn noticed the Phione heaving with exhaustion. "Aw...creating that big floe must've been hard work..."

    She watched as Lola soared over the ice, knocking out the Phione with a powerful kick!

    ---------

    Brock hurried to the Phione's side. "Are you okay? That was quite a powerful blow you received..."

    [I think so...] the Phione wheezed. [I just have a massive headache right now...]

    Brock offered the Phione a Potion. "Here...this should help with the headache, at least."

    After spraying the Phione with the potion and making sure it was not badly injured, Brock smiled. "Maybe you shouldn't battle anymore for a while--so you don't get hurt again."

    [Okay...] the Phione replied before walking over to Lola. [Bye, Miss Buneary...]

    Lola noticed the Phione trudging back to the water. [Hey!] she called, snapping the Phione to attention. [You can come play with me again next time I come!]

    The Phione smiled. [Works for me! See you soon!]

    "Aw..." Ash smiled as the Phione was reunited with two other Phione in the water.

    "You have to admit, that Phione was pretty cute." Brock smiled as he looked out on the sun setting beneath the water. "Let's get back to town--we have a Contest and a Fantasy Stage to get ready for!"

    To Be Continued...
    Everyone has a dream that fills their heart. A journey they must take. A destiny to fulfill. As close as your imagination exists a magical place, where wondrous creatures with incredible powers help make dreams come true. It's the world of Pokemon!!"


  7. #127
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    Episode 85a: Another One Gabites the Dust! (part 1)


    "Stormy, use Discharge!" Dawn commanded.

    Ash watched as Stormy unleashed a sparkling blue explosion of electricity and applauded. "That was cool! I'd say Stormy's gained a great deal of power thanks to Tintri's and Tarina's advice..."

    [Aw, it was nothin'.] Stormy yawned. [But I'm beat...]

    Dawn nodded. "Who wants Poffins?"

    Satomi warped by Dawn's side seconds later. You've worked hard, Dawn...you've earned a break for right now. If you like, I can pass out the Poffins to everyone.

    "Of course you can." Dawn smiled as she hugged her Gardevoir. "Thank you for being so helpful."

    Satomi nodded, and went to work organizing the Poffin tray by who preferred which type of Poffin. She did not, however, see that a yellow Poffin had rolled off the tray and into the grass.

    Stormy, however, spotted the Poffin. [Hey, Satomi! You missed a--!]

    She gasped as a Gabite stomped on the Poffin. [Hey! That was mine!]

    "Jetsam, come here!" a female voice called, prompting the Gabite to hurry over to a young peach-haired lady's side.

    The group did not notice that the admins were watching from the observation deck atop a nearby building. "That girl...I've seen her before, but I can't put a name to the face." Jupiter mused.

    "Let it go--we've got a spy mission to do." Mars motioned for her partner to follow her back down the stairs. Jupiter nodded, forgetting about the Gabite's owner completely.

    Back on the ground, Dawn tried to intervene as Stormy and the Gabite battled. "Stormy, wait! Can't we talk this out?"

    Satomi gasped in horror as Stormy jumping caused Dawn to trip and fall. Dawn!

    She warped over and caught Dawn in her arms seconds before Dawn could hit her head on a tree. There...are you okay?

    "Yeah...thanks, Satomi." Dawn replied.

    The boys braced themselves as Stormy's front teeth glowed white and grew longer. "Super Fang!" Ash recognized the move as the Gabite blocked Stormy with its fin.

    "Stormy must have just learned Super Fang from her anger in losing the Poffin..." Brock mused before finding his referee's whistle and blowing it, snapping Stormy, the Gabite, Dawn, and the girl to attention. "Okay! Can we please find a way to work this out civilly?"

    The young lady smirked at Dawn. "Your Pachirisu must not have been raised well if one of your friends had to step in..."

    Ash, meanwhile, read up on the blue and red dragon at the lady's side:

    "Gabite, the cave Pokemon. It loves sparkly things. It seeks treasures in caves and hoards the loot in its nest."

    "No wondered it tried to swipe Stormy's Poffin..." Ash mused as he put away the Pokedex.

    About then, the young lady noticed the Poffin splotch on her Gabite's right foot. "Jetsam! Why did you step in something THIS close to a Contest?"

    "Well, that kind of Poffin is Stormy's favorite food, and so she got mad when your Gabite stepped on it." Ash explained

    "Oh, I see...let me see if I can solve this problem..." The young lady offered Stormy a deep blue Poffin. "Want a bite?"

    She gasped as Stormy turned away. "No? I spend hours making these!" the young lady screeched. "Ungrateful..." she muttered.

    Just then, she spotted Kori by Dawn's side. "Wait...that Piplup...were you the winner of the Wallace Cup?"

    "That's me." Dawn smiled. "One of my proudest wins."

    "I don't see how you could be proud of that! You had to have won by accident!" the lady screamed.

    "W-were you in the Wallace Cup too?" Dawn stammered, afraid of how the lady would react.

    The lady sighed. "Name's Ursula, and yes, I was in the Wallace Cup too. I tried to get some good combos, but STILL scored low in the Appeal round..."

    About then, the admins happened to overhear Ursula's rant as they walked down the street. "Oh yeah, I remember Ursula--had quite the temper, and twin Gabites named Flotsam and Jetsam. I remember seeing Flotsam in the Wallace Cup." Mars mused. "So she's using Jetsam in today's Contest."

    "...her win was just a fluke!" Ursula finished her rant some minutes later.

    "Now wait a minute!" Ash shot back. "Dawn's win was no accident--she worked hard, and it was her skill that won her the Wallace Cup!"

    "You're right! Thanks to her I started working doubly hard, to become a better, more beautiful, more graceful coordinator." Ursula sneered, making Kori shudder.

    She leaned up close to Dawn. "You know, I should thank you for defeating me, Dawn. Because of you, I am where I am today!"

    Tarina shuddered as Ursula let out a sinister laugh. [She's almost as bad as her Disney namesake...]

    "I'm curious as to why Ursula won't let her loss go..." Ash mused as Ursula continued to humiliate Dawn.

    "Sometimes, people want something so much, they will stop at nothing to get it." Brock explained. "So when they don't get it, they turn their focus to humiliating and putting down their rivals. In extreme cases, this can end up in tragedy."

    [I hope this Ursula doesn't steal Dawn's voice...] Tarina shuddered as the boys started off towards the Fantasy Stage theater near the Contest Hall.

    "That was just a movie, Tarina..." Brock replied.

    "Besides, I'm sure Dawn knows what she's doing." Ash agreed. "If she can beat Ursula once, she can do it again!"

    Dawn making a retort to Ursula's teasing punctuated Ash's point. "Oh yeah? We'll see who's the most beautiful and powerful at the Contest!"

    ---------

    In the backstage area of the Fantasy Stage theater, Brock noticed Tarina drawing on a piece of paper. "Interesting picture...what's it of?"

    [It's a picture of Dawn as Ariel.] Tarina explained, showing her drawing of Dawn as a mermaid to Brock. [I'm hoping it'll inspire her if she wins, or cheer her up if she loses.]

    Brock sighed. "I could use the pick me up myself--the Creative round was a disaster. How was I supposed to make a good story starring a pessimistic sculptor?"

    Tarina spotted a glimpse of the scoreboard from a window, where Brock was on the cusp of taking fourth place. [You didn't fall that far--you can rally from a narrow fifth place with a good Free Performance!]

    Brock smiled as he heard his number called. "You're right...I hope 'The Hero's Sword' will be enough."

    [Break both legs!] Tarina called as she watched her master make his way to the stage.

    "There was a man who had a son, who lived with him." Brock began. "The man was a hunter, but as the years went by and he grew older, he got weaker and weaker, and eventually had to tell his son--we'll call him Greg--that soon he would no longer be able to hunt for him, and it would not be long before Arceus called him to the heavens. Greg tried to comfort him, and assured him he would recover; but his father said no, if his time to die was really close, he had nothing to leave him. What money they had would be just enough for his own funeral. Yet he had one thing of value to pass on to his son. It was only a sword, and badly rusty at that, but it would cut down any foe that dared harm its wielder."

    "Aw"s go up as Brock continued. "Before long the father joined Arceus in the heavens, and Greg had to sell what he left in order to bury him. All that he kept of his inheritance was the rusty sword. Now he had to find work to do, and this was not easy, since he had never learned a trade, and at best could only herd Mareep. So he went to the village, and had to content himself with work as a shepherd. His master sent him out with the Mareep, and warned him to keep away from three particular meadows, which belonged to three mountain trolls. They lived on a hill known as "Troll's Mount," and if one of his Mareep were to wander to their meadow, the mountain troll would come, and not only carry off the Mareep, but their shepherd as well."

    He added as an aside "But Greg knew the master only said that to scare him."

    Nervous giggles wafted across the theater as Brock continued "The new shepherd promised to take good care of the Mareep, and so he did; for he never lost a single one, and his master was very pleased with him. The one day, he happened to think of his sword, and figured it might able to help him should he run into the mountain troll. So one day, he intentionally let the Mareep stray into one of the forbidden meadows, and the mountain troll, raging and roaring, rushed up to him, and asked who had allowed him to let his sheep graze in that meadow. Greg replied that he had allowed himself to do it, and when the mountain troll threatened to carry him off with his Mareep, he attacked him and slew him with his sword."

    Some light applause goes up at this. "Now the first meadow was his; but not long after the Mareep felt like visiting the second meadow, and Greg let them go. The second mountain troll rushed up to him in a towering rage, and Greg slew him, too. The same thing happened with the third meadow too, and Greg came home with his Mareep, singing all the while." Brock continued.

    With that, he made a few laps around the stage. The audience and Tarina clapped along as he sang "The Hearthome Pilgrim".

    Once back at center stage, Brock continued "Then he got the idea to see 'Troll's Mount,' and there he found three Ponytas, a normal one, one whose mane shone bright yellow, and a Shiny one, and the Legendary Beasts, Raikou, Entei, and Suicune, as well. Each Ponyta had a saddle, and a full suit of armor as well, and they, too, were red, blue and yellow. Besides, there was food for the Ponytas, and food for the Beasts, and gold and silver out the wazoo. Greg was understandably ecstatic with all the splendor that he had discovered, and went home singing."

    With that, he made a few more laps around the stage, this time singing the jig "Ash's Welcome to Pewter".

    When the song ended and Brock was back in his place, he intoned "Then his master had one of the hands tell Greg that although he was very happy with him, he wished he would stop singing. Greg was puzzled--what was wrong with singing? At first, the farmhand did not want to tell him the true reason, and said that he should stop because his master said so. But Greg kept bugging the farmhand to tell him why he was not supposed to sing, and the farmhand relented, after having Greg swear to Arceus he would not tell anyone else...."

    To Be Continued...
    Last edited by EmeraldSky; 11-09-2019 at 09:08 PM.
    Everyone has a dream that fills their heart. A journey they must take. A destiny to fulfill. As close as your imagination exists a magical place, where wondrous creatures with incredible powers help make dreams come true. It's the world of Pokemon!!"


  8. #128
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    Episode 85b: Another One Gabites the Dust! (part 2)

    Competitor #C-111389, Ursula Carroll and Jetsam. an announcer informed the crowd as Ursula, now wearing a blue, silver, and white suit outfit, stepped on the stage with her Gabite in tow.

    Dawn, now wearing a red, orange, gold, and white costume that evoked Moltres, watched from the wings as Ursula told Jetsam to use Dragon Claw. Maybe Rising Ember was a better choice than Sapphire Glow... she smiled as four hearts appeared under Ursula's picture. A clash of fire and ice!

    Competitor C-022619, Dawn Solberg and Stormy. the announcer called, snapping Dawn to attention. "Let's go, Stormy." she assured her Parchirisu.

    She stepped on the stage, and motioned Stormy before the audience. "Stormy, use Super Fang!"

    The crowd cheered over the flash of Stormy's huge fangs, prompting three hearts to appear under Dawn's picture. Not a bad start. Dawn assured herself. Just keep an eye on what my opponents are doing, and I'll be fine.

    ---------

    Dawn shuddered as Ursula started off the second turn by having Jetsam use Aerial Ace. Not good...Aerial Ace works great if used first! she worried as eight hearts appeared under Ursula's picture.

    She took a deep breath to calm herself as she looked at the excitement meter. Say...Sweet Kiss makes those that have yet to appeal nervous. I'm on next, so if I have Stormy use Sweet Kiss, that effectively will freeze the excitement meter, and stymie Ursula's shot at maxing it!

    She smiled as she returned to the stage. "Stormy, use Sweet Kiss!"

    "Aw"s filled the Contest Hall as Stormy blew a kiss to the crowd, making a flurry of hearts fill the air...

    ---------

    Dawn smiled as she watched Jetsam use Stone Edge out on the stage. Ursula went first again, so she only gets the base appeal... she thought as three hearts appeared under Ursula's picture.

    An idea occurred to her. If I time it right, I can use a Charge-Discharge combo to pull ahead of Ursula, and take a narrow lead going into the final appeal. I may even max out the meter on the way!

    Inspired, she confidently strolled out on the stage with Stormy for her third appeal. "Stormy, use Charge!"

    Impressed murmurs and "Wow"s filled the room as the glow of Stormy charging power filled the room, making a single heart appear under Dawn's picture. That may not seem like much now, but fingers crossed I'll get a nice payoff next turn!

    ---------

    Dawn gasped in excitement as she saw that Ursula's fourth appeal had set her up to max the meter. This is it! A chance to show Ursula my real power!

    She grinned as she made her way to the stage. "Stormy, use Discharge!"

    The crowd roared with excitement as Stormy discharged some rainbow sparks, making ten rainbow hearts appear under Dawn's picture, and allowing her to take a narrow lead. It worked! Now to plan my big finish, and hold Ursula off for the win!

    ---------

    Come on, Dawn! Satomi cheered from the stands as Brock returned with a pale blue Miracle Jewel in his hands. You can do it!

    "How's she doing?" Ash asked the Gardevoir as he, Brock, and Tarina found seats overlooking the stage.

    It's now the final appeal--Dawn used an electrifying combo to take the lead moments ago! Satomi reported as she watched Jetsam use Dragon Rage, to some cheers over the electrically charged purple flames.

    Ash spotted Dawn and Satomi arriving on the stage. "You've got this, Dawn! Give Ursula the shock of her life!" Brock whistled in agreement.

    Dawn nodded back at the boys, Satomi, and Tarina, then looked at the near maxed excitement meter. "Stormy, finish this with a Spark!"

    The crowd roared as Stormy used Spark to create rainbow fireworks, making twelve rainbow hearts appear under Dawn's picture. "The winner, with a commanding lead, is number C-022619, Dawn Solberg and Stormy!" Marian announced, to the roar of the crowd.

    Dexter arrived with a lavender ribbon, with Keira and Jordan not far behind. "Congratulations, Dawn--you managed to rally from a bad start to create a truly electrifying show. You've more than earned this ribbon!"

    To Be Continued...
    Everyone has a dream that fills their heart. A journey they must take. A destiny to fulfill. As close as your imagination exists a magical place, where wondrous creatures with incredible powers help make dreams come true. It's the world of Pokemon!!"


  9. #129
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    Episode 86a: Pursuing a Lofty Goal! (part 1)

    A tin whistle playing the tune "Off to Pastoria" rang through the mountain air as the group made their way around a bend in the road a few days later. Ash led the way, playing the song in an attempt to help the group's Pokemon find their masters in the mist.

    A signpost snapped him from his performance. "Squallville, 50 miles..." he mused as he pocketed his instrument.

    "Bout time--we haven't seen civilization since we left Chocovine and started up the Snowpoint Trail." Dawn was relieved to be approaching a town.

    "While there are towns and smaller cities on the way to Snowpoint, they are very spread out, so take advantage of any civilization you can find to restock on supplies and take in the local culture." Brock smiled.

    Just then, a gust of wind startled the group. "I gotcha, Kori!" Dawn called as she dove to catch her slipping Piplup.

    Ash looked up to see a trail of glittering crystal rings floating in the sky. "Wow! A PokéRinger course!" he cried as a Yanmega and a Wingull raced towards the ring. The Yanmega passed through the ring first, turning the crystalline ring blue and making a 500 banner appear in the ring's center.

    Brock smiled at a memory. "Remember when you faced off against the Team Aqua admin Matt, and Flit evolved during the race?"

    "How can I not remember?" Ash smiled. "I still have my gold medallion--let's go check out this event!"

    "Um, what is PokéRinger?" Dawn asked as she followed Ash towards a town in the distance.

    "Basically, it's a race for Flying types." Brock explained. "Two Pokemon and their masters race each other through a course in the sky filled with crystal rings. Each of the Pokemon are assigned a color, and if they successfully fly through a ring, the ring turns their color and that pair earns points. The Pokemon with the higher score, wins. So you can cross the finish line first and still lose."

    "Both Pokemon can still use their moves to distract or shake off their opponent, so you can also win via KO." Ash explained.

    "Sounds fun--pity the Piplup family can't fly..." Dawn smiled as the group made their way into town.

    ---------

    Daytime fireworks added a festive backdrop to the throngs of people headed for the stadium near the city square. "Hm...according to the flyers around town, the winner gets the key to the city." Brock noted as the group tried not to get pushed or shoved by the excited fans around them.

    "That, and they also get the second place prize of a year's worth of food--both human food and Pokechow." Ash added.

    As the group and the crowd made their way into the stadium, Ash spotted Rhonda and the Shinou News Now crew. "Today's racers have come from all over the world, but only one will fly away with the city key!" Rhonda explained. "Our flyers will have to be on their guard, because one wrong move, and they're out!"

    I think I'll be okay with Estrella... Ash told himself has he approached the signup table. Besides, I've won a PokéRinger competition before, so how harder can this one be?

    ---------

    Heat #1--Estrella vs. Sabre. the announcer reported as Estrella and a Skarmory took their places at the start line, looking out at the winding trail of rings making an ampersand shape in the clouds.

    "Can the humans help their Pokemon at all?" Dawn asked as Ash, in a red chaser balloon, and a dull blonde haired boy in a blue chaser balloon waited for the two bird Pokemon to take off.

    "The humans follow the Pokemon in a chaser balloon that flies itself." Brock explained. "They can give encouragement and commands, up to three of the same kind of healing items--everything short of actually flying on their Pokemon's behalf."

    As soon as the start light turned green, the Staravia and the Skarmory jockeyed for position around the first two turns. Estrella elegantly flew through the first three rings, netting an easy 900 points. But Ash did not see the Skarmory knock Estrella back with Swift, allowing him to soar through the next set of rings for 1500 points.

    As Estrella tried to approach the Skarmory on the large hill leading up to the start/finish line, Ash watched as the Skarmory turned around and executed a Fury Attack. "Watch out, Estrella!"

    [I've got this, don't worry!] Estrella assured Ash as she wove around the Fury Attack spikes, flying through rings and earning a 2100 point score as the second lap began.

    Not one to be deterred, the Skarmory passed Estrella, then fired a Sand-Attack to blind Estrella before launching Air Cutter. [WHOA!] Estrella gasped as the sand blocked her view.

    As a wind gust guided her out of the cloud of sand, Estrella shook the sand out of her face just in time to see the start/finish line before her. Yeah! The final lap! the announcer called as Estrella powered ahead, earning another 2800 points on the way.

    In desperation, the Skarmory attempted to attack Estrella again, but Estrella whacked her opponent away with Aerial Ace, allowing her to power up the hill and cross 10,000 points for a decisive win for her and Ash.

    The winner is...Estrella. the announcer reported as Ash's chaser balloon touched down.

    "Well done, Estrella..." he smiled as he hugged his Staravia.

    ---------

    Heat #2--Altana vs. Mystic. the announcer reported as Paul and an orange haired punk took off in the chaser balloons overlooking a new course of rings that resembled a squished oval.

    Brock watched a Dragonite and Paul's Honchkrow approach the line for their race. "That's Provo, a champion PokéRinger competitor." he explained, pointing out Paul's opponent. "Don't let his punk-like appearance fool you--he actually has a heart of gold." He let that hang as the light turned green, spurring the Dragonite to use Dragon Pulse as both Pokemon powered onto the course.

    Dawn watched Mystic glide through the large banked turn at the top of the course for a high score. "I don't know, Mystic looks like the champion more than Altana does."

    Everyone watched as Mystic slammed into the Dragonite with a Sky Attack. The winner is Mystic, by KO! the announcer reported.

    Ash shuddered as Provo hurried to collect his fainted Dragonite. If Paul can flatten a Dragonite like a pancake, I shudder to find out what he'll do to Estrella!

    To Be Continued...
    Last edited by EmeraldSky; 12-14-2019 at 09:21 PM.
    Everyone has a dream that fills their heart. A journey they must take. A destiny to fulfill. As close as your imagination exists a magical place, where wondrous creatures with incredible powers help make dreams come true. It's the world of Pokemon!!"


  10. #130
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    Episode 86b: Pursuing a Lofty Goal! (part 2)


    Final race--Estrella vs. Mystic. the announcer reported as Ash and Paul took flight over a long twisting course that even wound outside the stadium.

    "You sure Estrella can handle racing on that long a track and dealing with Paul at the same time?" Dawn asked.

    "Ash and Estrella didn't get this far on luck alone." Brock replied as the Staravia and the Honchkrow fluttered to the start for the race. "I believe in Estrella." He let that hang as the light turned green to start the race.

    Mystic tried to knock Estrella out of the race with Sky Attack, but Estrella looped around a large turn and met Mystic in the sky with Brave Bird for 3000 points.

    The attacks created a huge explosion, but the crowd gasped in horror as Estrella went into a free fall--was she too going to be KOed like so many others at the wing of Mystic?

    Mystic saw the weakened Staravia, and rushed around a figure 8 turn with Night Slash. "Estrella, try to dodge with Quick Attack!" Ash called.

    He heaved a huge sigh of relief as Estrella righted herself, circled over a Dark Pulse, then looped into a straightaway for even more points.

    A strong gust of wind allowed Mystic to ride the wind into the second lap, powering up Aerial Ace. Estrella tried to dodge, but Mystic pushed her away as he flew into the lead.

    Both bird Pokémon exchanged glares of determination before racing towards the finish line. "They're neck and neck--position wise and point wise." Brock gasped as Estrella attempted Aerial Ace, but Mystic veered away.

    Ash noticed a stretch of the course with 1000 point bonus rings--and an opening to pass Mystic for the lead! "Estrella, power ahead with Quick Attack!"

    "Mystic, let's end this with Sky Attack!" Paul shot back.

    The crowd gasped as the massive attack connected, sending Estrella to the ground inches before the bonus rings! "How?" Dawn gasped. "It's as if Paul predicted the Quick Attack!"

    "It doesn't help that Mystic's about to hit Estrella when she's already weakened from all those hard hits!" Brock warned, pointing out Mystic about to perform Sky Attack again. "If Mystic connects, it's Game Over for both Ash and Estrella!"

    Gatrandis favel, secret, edena... Ash's voice echoed through the sky.

    Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
    Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
    Dawn's horrified look turned to joy as Estrella began to glow, turning into a black and white hawk Pokemon with a red-tipped, black crest.

    Emusto koron zen fine, si...

    The crowd roared as the new Staraptor took to the sky. The power of love spurs Estrella to evolve! the announcer cried as Estrella easily collected all the bonus rings.

    Ash used what strength he had to read up on what Estrella had become:

    "Staraptor, the predator Pokemon. It has a savage nature. It will courageously challenge foes that are much larger".

    "Mystic, use Night Slash!" Paul's voice snapped him from his woozy trance.

    He watched in awe as Estrella easily dodged the attacks, then raced past Mystic as both birds crossed the line for the final lap. Estrella took advantage of a straightaway to get parallel to Mystic, then attacked with a flurry of strikes!

    Dawn recognized the attack. "That's Close Combat!"

    Brock watched Estrella push Honchkrow back with a wing strike. "It's a Fighting type move, which is very effective against a Dark-type like Honchkrow. It's also an amazing Tough move, if you wanted to use it in a Contest."

    Excited, Ash called "You're almost to the finish, Estrella! Don't give up!"

    Spurred on with her master's encouragement, Estrella raced forward to the start/finish line, aware of Mystic trying to move in for an attack. "It's gonna be close..." Brock mused as Mystic approached. "It's gonna be close..."

    A flash at the start/finish line got Dawn's attention. "So close they needed to take a picture..."

    The crowd murmured for a moment as officials reviewed the picture and the replays from the finish line camera. After a few moments, the announcer proclaimed After review, the winner is...Estrella!

    "YES!!!!" Dawn tossed her hat in the air as Estrella glided down to meet Ash...

    ---------

    "Mystic, I'm disappointed in you..." Paul growled as he angrily eyed Ash in the victory circle. "That could've been us if you had been quicker!"

    He stormed away in a huff as Ash, Tintri, and Estrella posed for a picture for the newspaper. Next, the referee arrived with a gold winged trophy, the key to the city, and a massive cooler filled with food. "Congratulations, Ash...for your courage, determination, and never giving up; you've more than earned these prizes!"

    ---------

    Ash opened the cooler as the group settled in to camp that evening. "Whoa...since there's so much food in here, we need to eat it right away!"

    "Come on out, everyone! Time for a victory dinner!" Dawn sent out her team as Brock set up the cooking gear.

    Satomi hovered by Ash's side. While I don't deny you've earned the right to eat all of this, it is quite a lot for all of us to eat at once. So let's eat a little now, and save the rest.

    Ash realized Satomi had a point. "All right--let's divide some of this into enough portions for all of us."

    Since you are the victor today, you've more than earned a steak! Satomi smiled as she telepathically sent a steak from the cooler to Brock's grill.

    "Mm...can I have cheesy potato skins with my steak?" Ash requested.

    "Some for me too?" Brock requested as he went to work cooking the steak. "How do you want this cooked?" he asked.

    "Medium's fine." Ash replied as Satomi warped over some potatoes for Brock to make the potato skins.

    Now, what would you like, Dawn? Satomi asked.

    "Some Combusken fettucine alfredo would be nice." Dawn replied. "With broccoli and mushrooms."

    Done. Satomi smiled as she sent over the ingredients for the dish to a pot.

    "I'll use some of the ground beef in there to make me a cheeseburger--hold the onions." Brock requested.

    Satomi nodded. That seems to be enough for you three. We'll discuss dessert after your main dish is finished.

    "Fair enough." Ash smiled before opening the drink cooler and fishing out a can of Fizzo. "A toast! To glory and reaching our goals!"

    "To glory and reaching our goals!" Dawn and Brock agreed. Three soda cans clanked together as the group prepared to enjoy their massive meal...

    To Be Continued...
    Everyone has a dream that fills their heart. A journey they must take. A destiny to fulfill. As close as your imagination exists a magical place, where wondrous creatures with incredible powers help make dreams come true. It's the world of Pokemon!!"


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