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Thread: Pokemon Shine Diamond

  1. #41
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    Episode 35: Top Down Training


    Brund uses Flash Cannon...but Shenlong blocks it! a familiar TV announcer reported. Onscreen, a purple dragon Pokemon blocked a bright flash from Lucian's Bronzong.

    "Whoa!" Ash gasped as the purple dragon Pokemon flew skyward, its body surrounded by spiraling orange streaks. At the peak of its flight, a purple energy sphere surrounded the dragon Pokemon's body. It next streaked down to slam into the Bronzong. "What was that?"

    "That was Giga Impact--it was what that Aerodactyl Mars and Jupiter released used." Brock explained. "One of the more powerful Normal moves."

    "That Pokemon's owner...is that the famous Cynthia Lucian told us about?" Ash asked as the TV displayed a blonde haired girl shaking hands with Lucian.

    "That's her. If you wanna meet her, I've been hearing rumors that she is in someplace called Amity Square." Dawn replied.

    "Speaking of which...Tarina doing okay after we found her in your bag?" Ash asked.

    "Yeah--spent the rest of the way to Hearthome on my shoulder gawking at the scenery." Brock smiled.

    He looked over to see Tarina dozing on the couch's left arm. "But she's likely tired from the trip, so I'll let her nap for the time being."

    "The battle's over, so you can switch it to something else." Dawn offered. "The Cartoon Channel is on channel 46, in case Tarina wakes up and wants to watch something."

    After setting the TV to the channel, Brock nudged the dozing Pichu on the couch. "Hey...we're going to explore the city for a while. If you need anything, ask Nurse Joy or any of the Chanseys, okay?

    [Okay...] Tarina replied with a yawn as Ash led the others outside.

    ---------


    "So this is Amity Square..." Dawn mused as the group arrived at the gate of a large park-like area some time later. "It's beautiful..."

    The attendant smiled when she saw Tintri and Kori. "Go on in...this is a fun and safe environment for all Pokemon to play together."

    "Thanks." Ash replied before noticing a huge crowd near the center of the park. "I guess those rumors of Cynthia being here are true..."

    He then spotted Paul in the crowd. "Hey, over here!" he called, waving a hand to get Paul's attention.

    Paul looked over and sighed. "What do you want, Wonder-Boy?"

    "I've gotten two Badges since our last meeting." Ash smiled. "I'm curious...how many have you gotten?"

    "Why should I go around earning cheap trinkets?" Paul muttered as he eyed a familiar blond haired girl in black clothing signing autographs near an ice cream truck. "I only care about getting stronger. If I can take down Cynthia over there, even better."

    He then approached Cynthia. "Milady...I hereby challenge you to a battle."

    Gasps went up from the crowd at this. "Not just any battle...I want to see your full strength in a complete six on six match."

    There was an awkward silence for a moment as the crowd waited to see what Cynthia would do. "Okay...but I'm warning you--I'm not some youngster by the roadside." Cynthia cautioned.

    She looked around. "Is there anyone with a whistle or some other signal?"

    "I'll referee, if you'd like." Brock offered as Cynthia lead Paul to one of the many battle arenas drawn in the dirt.

    ---------

    A whistle rang through Amity Square signalling the battle was underway. "Shenlong, here we go!" Cynthia called as she summoned the large purple dragon Pokemon from before.

    Ash took a moment to read up on the dragon Pokemon as Paul summoned Goku:

    "Garchomp, the mach Pokemon. It is said that when one runs at high speed, its wings create blades of wind that can fell nearby trees."

    "Oh my..." Dawn gasped when she heard the Pokedex info. "Paul may be in over his head..."

    "Goku, start with Fire Spin, then Dig underground!" Paul commanded.

    He did not notice that Shenlong had burrowed underground, making the Fire Spin miss. A few moments later, the huge Garchomp and the Chimchar collided, sending the Chimchar flying. "Goku! I thought we had a chance to trap the Garchomp!"

    Ash motioned for Cynthia to listen as Paul continued ranting. "Are you the only one with a sick feeling right now?"

    "I'm more than sick. I have half a mind to stop the battle right now and tell him he has no right to berate his Chimchar like that." Cynthia replied. "He's so focused on raw power, he doesn't take tactics or strategy into account."

    Paul summoning a new Pokemon snapped her back to attention. "Okuni, let's go!"

    "A Weavile..." Dawn mused. She admired the black mammalian Pokemon with a magenta hood before Shenlong.

    "Chill the Garchomp with a Blizzard!" Paul commanded.

    The crowd shivered from the swirling snow that engulfed the battlefield. But both Cynthia and Shenlong looked unfazed. [Now?] Shenlong purred.

    Cynthia nodded, and showed the crowd an onyx ring on her left hand. Aran ya haquin khetsaram...

    Ash balked as Shenlong was engulfed in a blackish purple light. "No way...Garchomp can Mega Evolve too?" he gasped as Shenlong glowed cyan, then sent the Weavile flying in a massive explosion.

    "Look here..." Dawn pointed out a MORE... icon under the picture of Garchomp on Ash's Pokedex screen.

    "Garchomp is capable of Mega Evolution if its trainer has awakened their Heart Song." the Pokedex reported. The now Mega Garchomp slammed into a Murkrow with Giga Impact.

    "Demeter, let's go!" Paul then summoned a large turtle Pokemon that appeared to have a forest on its back. "Use Giga Drain!"

    Ash read up on the massive turtle Pokemon as the exhausted Mega Garchomp had some energy drained out of it by a bright green light.

    "Torterra, the continent Pokemon. Groups of this Pokemon migrating in search of water have been mistaken for 'moving forests'."

    "Demeter, try Frenzy Plant!" Paul's voice snapped Ash back to the battle.

    The crowd braced for the whirling tornado of leaves, flowers, and wind. But when the dust cleared, cheers filled the air when they saw Shenlong defending with his fins! "Wha...how?" Paul demanded.

    "Shenlong, use Brick Break." Cynthia commanded.

    Paul winced from the impact of the attack on his Torterra's head. "That's it...I withdraw from the match."

    "No contest! Pearl has withdrawn." Brock announced, to angry shouts from the crowd.

    "You may want to do something before things get ugly..." Dawn whispered as she watched the protests, jeers, taunts, and teasing escalate.

    Brock nodded, and blew his whistle again. "Everyone, please! If someone wishes to withdraw from a match, that is their choice and their right."

    "While I don't agree with many of Paul's methods, he still put in a heroic effort." Ash agreed. "It takes a lot of bravery and guts to face a Mega Pokemon. That being said, sometimes the better part of valor is discretion. This is what Paul did here. It's not cowardice--he knew he would likely lose, and cut his loses so he could battle another day."

    Dawn smiled as the crowd applauded Ash's speech. "You should speak in public more often--you have a way with words!"

    Paul, meanwhile, approached Cynthia as the crowd turned to leave. "I clearly underestimated you. I'll have to train even more before we meet again in the arena."

    "I have no qualms about you withdrawing." Cynthia replied. "But you need to get your team to a Pokemon Center as soon as possible."

    She winced when she got a text on her PokeNav. "Hearthome Pokemon Center at full capacity, please go elsewhere for Pokemon care..."

    After unzipping her bag, she started laying out some Pokemon care items on the ground. "Here...I'll heal your team."

    ---------

    "There we go..." Cynthia smiled as she finished healing Paul's team some time later. "They're all well trained, especially your Torterra."

    The stern look on Paul's face softened a little. "Thanks...Demeter was my very first Pokémon. I traveled around Kanto, Johto, and Houen first. This is where I got my Murkrow Mystic and my Weavile, Okuni. When I didn't do so hot at any of the Leagues, I came home to Shinou, where I got Goku, my Chimchar."

    "Goku was very brave to face Shenlong like he did..." Cynthia smiled.

    "Yeah, but that doesn't change the fact he lost to your Garchomp." Paul muttered.

    "But how were you to know that Shenlong would also use Dig?" Ash spoke up. "There was no reason to yell at Goku for something out of your control!"

    "Your point?" Paul asked, looking over at Ash.

    "Answer me this...why do you not care about your Pokémon?" Ash asked.

    "Because then my Pokémon will get spoiled; and not try hard enough in battle." Paul replied. "Goku was the perfect example."

    "If that were true, then how could Cynthia have induced Shenlong before?" Ash asked. "Mega Evolution is the ultimate display of love and trust between trainer and Pokemon. If you want to see that sort of power, you have to support your Pokémon."

    Paul sighed. "Look, all I want to do is become stronger, Wonder-Boy. And love gets in the way of that goal."

    Cynthia watched as Paul departed. "It seems the two of you have a history. But your point is truer than you think."

    She led the group further into the park, where a stone tablet stood. "See if you recognize the message on this tablet."

    With that, she read "I open my heart to reveal a secret power, which I promise to use to end evil's rule. The song in my heart becomes this power. Will I fight even to the end? Yes."

    "That's the meaning of the Swanna Song." Ash replied.

    Cynthia nodded. "Before I saw that message, I used to train endlessly. Then I discovered that all Pokémon have different personalities; and I wanted to get to know them all."

    "Aw..." Brock smiled.

    "So, where are you going now?" Dawn asked.

    "I'm heading for Celestic Town, to the north." Cynthia replied. "The ancient ruins there are said to hold the Lustrous Orb, which is related to the legendary Pokémon Palkia. The Lustrous Orb is in turn related to the Adamant Orb, which is currently on display in Eterna City."

    She smiled at the group. "I wish you three good luck on your travels, and hope we meet again soon."

    To Be Continued...
    Last edited by EmeraldSky; 07-12-2018 at 04:01 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!!"


  2. #42
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    Episode 36: A Stand Up Sit Down

    "Okay, Kori...having an ice move or two will be a big help in both battle and contest situations." Dawn began as the group arrived in a clearing. "Lola has Ice Beam, so we'll start there."

    "Good way to diversify--a lot of Ice moves are Beautiful themed." Ash agreed as he showed Dawn his Pokedex, which had a blue Beautiful icon on the move profile.

    A meow got his attention. "Sylvie?" he asked as Sylvie and a Misdreavus arrived in the clearing. "Where's Zoey?"

    [Zoey hurt her leg while training.] Sylvie mewed. [Garnet here did her best to make her comfortable, but she asked us to find you.]

    [How did Zoey get hurt?] Tarina asked as she helped Brock gather up medicine and gauze.

    [She tripped on a rock while searching the woods, and landed on her foot funny.] Sylvie explained. [Garnet and I will take you to our camp.]

    "Lead the way." Brock grinned at the Glameow as she and the Misdreavus led the group through the brush.

    ---------

    The group emerged from the brush into Zoey's campsite in another clearing. Zoey was resting on a mattress in the tent. "Sylvie, Garnet, thanks for finding Dawn and the gang for me..." she smiled before a spasm of pain from her ankle forced her to lie back down.

    "Here's an ice pack to help ease the pain." Brock offered as he laid a bag of ice cubes on Zoey's ankle. "Once the swelling goes down, I'll compress it till we can get an expert to look at it."

    "Thanks." Zoey replied. "Seems you got a few more additions to the crew after Ash got Tails..."

    "Actually, I found out I had a little stowaway in my bag." Brock blushed a little.

    He pointed out Tarina helping Ash and Dawn make ice packs. "This is Tarina...I found her lost in an alleyway back at home. Once she got a clean bill of health and no one came forward to claim her, I adopted her as my own. She came with me on our Houen trip and our second trip around Kanto, but I had no idea she was gonna come with me here."

    "That's sweet..." Zoey smiled before motioning to a pink snail-like Pokemon to join her in the tent. "This is Shelia... I got her shortly after Ash got Tails."

    "Hi, Shelia...I'm Ash!" Ash smiled. "And this is Tintri, my partner."

    Zoey noticed Shelia backing away from Tintri. "She's still a little leery around Pokemon that aren't mine." she explained. "Which wouldn't work for the next contest."

    "Why not?" Dawn asked.

    "Because each competitor will be using two Pokemon." Zoe explained. "This also means both Pokemon will dress up. They will also dance together, and show off ten solo appeals between both Pokemon or five duo appeals."

    She motioned to the Misdreavus. "Garnet, will you levitate my laptop over here?"

    [Okay!] Garnet smiled. She used her psychic aura to send a silver laptop and its charging station onto Zoey's stomach. A matching silver and black mouse and a mousepad flew onto a large rock near the cot.

    "Bring up MyTube here..." Zoey typed something on the small computer.

    After a few moments, she turned the screen for Dawn and the others to see. "Okay...this is Grand Coordinator Marina. The video doesn't say where this Contest took place. I want you to watch what she does using her Feraligatr Wani-Wani and her Jigglypuff Pink."

    "Oh, I see...great coordinators are called Grand Coordinators." Ash mused. He watched the Jigglypuff's music notes meld with an Ice Beam to create an aurora of music, wowing the crowd.

    "Wow!" Dawn gasped as the voltage meter maxed out with the crowd's excitement. "I'm gonna have to do something like that?"

    "Yeah." Zoey smiled as she closed up the laptop for a moment.

    She called "Okay, Shelia--fire a Mud Bomb into the air!"

    Once a huge mud ball was in the air, Zoey called. "Now, Sylvie; use Shockwave!"

    "Oh my..." Ash asked as the thunderbolts Sylvie generated created a tether for the muddy ball. Shelia then fired a volley of icy cyan balls, creating a beautiful and flashy fireworks display.

    "Amazing!" Brock raved as he applauded. "What was that third move?"

    "Hidden Power--it's an appealing Clever themed move that audiences always love." Zoey explained. "So you can use it again and again without boring the judges and the audience."

    ---------

    "Okay...let's have Kori and Stormy go first." Dawn explained to Lola. "Then you'll get a turn with each of them.'

    [Got it!] Lola replied as the boys settled in to watch Dawn practice in an alcove not far from Zoey's camp.

    Dawn next addressed Kori and Stormy. "All right...Stormy, start with Sweet Kiss; the Kori, use Whirlpool!"

    Brock winced as the whirlpool covered up the hearts from the Sweet Kiss. "It is a neat idea, but we need to see the hearts in the water." he suggested as he showed Dawn the 7 card.

    "Point noted..." Dawn replied before addressing Ash. "Now it's your turn to judge a combo."

    "Show me what you've got." Ash replied.

    "Now...Stormy, use Discharge on Kori's Whirlpool!" Dawn called.

    Ash winced as the thunderbolt cut through the water tornado, zapping both Dawn and Kori. "I think that worked a little TOO well..."

    Dawn sighed in frustration. "Maybe we should take a break from appeals and work on some other aspect of the Contest." Ash suggested.

    "Like?" Dawn wondered.

    "Two Pokemon dancing?" Ash suggested.

    "Say..." Brock reached for his PokeNav and found a video on his own MyTube channel. "Here's a little something to inspire you. This is me and Misty performing to the song 'Jump in the Line' for a talent contest a few years ago. We got second place in the Dance and Creative Movement division for this."

    Kori motioned for Dawn, Stormy, and Lola to join her as a festive Latin melody played on the PokeNav screen...

    ---------

    "Why?" Dawn sighed as she slumped beneath a tree some time later. "Why did none of my combinations work very well."

    "Maybe a little friendly competition would help?" a voice asked.

    "Marta?" Dawn asked as Mars approached the clearing, in disguise as Marta.

    "You may not think they're good, but I'll be happy to give you feedback." Mars grinned. She'll fall for this. Then I can intimidate her into withdrawing from the contest while she's still faltering!

    "Actually...I'll accept your appeal competition challenge." Zoey began as she limped into the clearing.

    "You sure?" Ash noticed Zoy limping.

    "Yeah--I have to defend a fellow coordinator's honor." Zoey replied.

    Mars, meanwhile, summoned her Bronzor from before and Leona. "Leona, use Shadow Claw towards the sky!"

    The group watched as Mars' Bronzor used his psychic power to shape the claws into a tornado. "Nice..." Zoey smiled. "Sylvie, use Iron Tail on the claws!"

    Ash balked as the claws went twirling through the air. "Whoa!"

    The group watched as Sheila used Mud Bomb to destroy the claws. This left a beautiful purple sparkle behind.

    [Go time?] Sylvie purred.

    [Go time.] Shelia gurgled.

    With that Sylvie fired a round of Shadow Claws skyward. Shelia then used Blizzard on the Shadow Claw, creating a beautiful purple mandala in the sky.

    ---------

    "Thanks for giving Marta what for." Dawn smiled as some medics loaded Zoey in an ambulance later that evening.

    "Once my ankle heals up, I hope to see you guys at the Hearthome Contest." Zoey smiled before offering a pinky. "Promise?"

    Dawn grinned as she linked pinkies with Zoey. "We'll be there, don't worry!"

    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. #43
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    Episode 37: Malice in Wonderland

    "I hope Zoey's okay..." Dawn mused as the group made their way down the road. "Although I have to wonder if traveling through the night was a good idea."

    "We should be approaching a gate. The Pokemon Center is by there." Brock explained, pointing out a tunnel with gates at each entrance.

    A rumble of thunder snapped Ash to attention. "Quickly! Into the tunnel!" he called as rain started pouring down. "We can take shelter here until the storm blows over."

    "The weather is clear on the other end." Brock reported, pointing out clear sky on the other end. "We can still make it to the Pokemon Center before another wave comes."

    Dawn brought up the weather app on her Poketch. "We may want to keep moving--there's a fog advisory and the storm warning."

    "Okay...let's keep going." Ash replied, motioning for the group to follow him through the tunnel.

    They did not expect a bright purple flash to shine through the fog, sending the three friends tumbling to the ground as the fog rolled in...

    ---------

    "Everyone okay?" Brock asked when the group came to some moments later.

    "I think so..." Ash replied as he bushed some leaves from his shirt.

    "There it is!" Dawn pointed out the familiar red roof of a Pokemon Center in the distance. "Let's go in!"

    Brock balked in surprise to see a crowd of people waiting for him in the Pokemon Center lobby. "Everyone! Brock's here!" a girl called.

    The crowd cheered as they hurried up to request a song or a story from Brock:

    "I wanna hear the tale of Moltres!"

    "Sing 'Yellow Submarine', please?"

    "Please sing something in another language?"

    "Tell the story about the knight, the Dragonite, and the fey!"

    Brock wasn't sure what to make of the crowd or their requests. "Hey, Tarina..." he whispered to the Pichu on his shoulder. "Can you give me a good hard pinch?"

    [Why?] Tarina asked. [You usually get mad if I pinch someone...]

    "I won't be mad, pick a spot and give me a good hard pinch." Brock assured Tarina. "If this is a dream, we'll wake up near the tunnel exit, where we saw that purple flash."

    [Okay!] Tarina hurried down Brock's arm and gave the hardest pinch she could on his hand. An "Ow." confirmed Brock had felt the pinch.

    "Okay, so maybe this isn't a dream..." Brock mused as he walked by Mars and Jupiter gorging at a large buffet. The crowd followed him all the while, eager to see him perform.

    "Ash, it's great to see you." Ash heard a voice say.

    "Fancy seeing you here, hon!" Dawn heard someone say.

    "Prof. Oak?" Ash gasped as he saw Prof. Oak and Joanna approaching him and Dawn.

    "Mom?" Dawn was surprised to see Joanna. "What are you doing here?"

    "How would you like to take part in the Grand Coordinator's show?" Joanna asked Dawn.

    "I came to tell you there's a Tournament of the Masters going on." Prof. Oak explained. "So named because the winners are crowned Pokemon Masters and Mistresses."

    Ash couldn't believe his ears. "Would I ever!"

    "Sign me up!" Dawn told Joanna.

    ---------

    "Wow..." Ash and Dawn gasped as they arrived at a magnificent glittering stadium. Inside, a huge crowd cheered as a Rayquaza and Groudon battled.

    "We're gonna compete here?" Dawn gasped as she watched the Rayquaza hit the Groudon with Ice Beam.

    "This place is amazing!" Ash agreed as the Groudon broke free from the ice seconds later.

    Dawn recognized who was commanding the Rayquaza. "Is that Cynthia?" she asked as Cynthia commanded the Rayquaza to use Twister.

    "It is!" Ash gasped as the Groudon's Hyper Beam negated the shining tornado.

    "Cynthia will be your opponent, due to your great victories in the past. "Prof. Oak explained. "I hope you came prepared."

    "You believe you have the best appeals?" Joanna challenged Dawn. "Let's face off in a battle of appeals!"

    Brock, meanwhile, struggled to find a way out as more and more fans approached him. "Do you know 'The Dragonite's Destiny'?" a boy asked.

    "I want to hear 'The Hot Dog Rockstar'!" a young girl asked.

    [Coach, wake up!] a familiar voice croaked through the chaos. [Can you hear me?]

    ---------

    Brock woke up in the field, his heart pounding all the while. [You okay, coach?] Kage asked. [You were rolling around in the grass like you were trying to run from something!]

    "I'm fine, Kage." Brock replied as he eased himself to his feet. Ash and Dawn were nearby, rolling around the grass in sheer euphoria. "It seems Ash and Dawn are still in the dream world..."

    [Maybe that witch-ghost thing had something to do with your weird dream, coach?] Kage asked.

    Brock noticed a sinister purple witch-like Pokemon hovering over Ash and Dawn. That's a Mismagius...those weird dreams were Hypnosis induced.

    The Mismagius began to chant in a strange language, casting another purple flash on Brock and Kage...

    ---------

    Brock and Kage materialized in the dream world before a crowd of fans! "Kage, we need to find Ash and Dawn and get them to awaken." Brock instructed Kage as he ran down the rainbow road. A cloud-TV displayed Jupiter trying out for a talent show, and Mars showing off appeals.

    [I see it!] Kage pointed out the crystal stadium.

    Brock hurried inside, moments before Ash could deliver the final blow to Cynthia's Rayquaza. "Both of you, listen!" he pleaded, snapping Dawn from ordering a Whirlpool appeal. "This place is an illusion! None of this is real!"

    Ash gasped as the announcer transformed into a Mismagius. "Mismagius, the magical Pokemon. Dawn's Pokedex began as the group reunited. "Its cries sound like incantations. Those hearing it are tormented by headaches and hallucinations.

    "NOW you tell me..." Dawn gasped as the stadium disappeared, leaving the group in a swirling rainbow void.

    She looked at the leaves in her hands. "Those ribbons were just leaves..."

    "My Badges were rocks." Ash mused as he studied a few small rocks in his hands

    Some ethereal laughter snapped him to attention. "We have to find a way out!" he called as the crystal stadium materialized again.

    "How?" Dawn called back. "The halls loop back onto where we start!"

    "We'll find a way if we work together!" Brock called as the admins caught up to the group.

    The group stopped in their tracks as the Rayquaza appeared before them! "RUN!" Dawn screamed as the majestic green dragon fired a Hyper Beam.

    "Better them then me!" Ash smiled as the admins went flying before the Groudon. The huge red reptilian Pokemon fired another Hyper Beam to send them off. They landed in front of a Milotic, which used Hydro Pump to send them off. The force of the majestic fish-Pokemon attack send the admins flying before a pack of Persian, sending them flying again...

    ---------

    "There it is! The exit!" Ash called, pointing out a shining rainbow door at the end of the path.

    Moments before they could jump into the portal, the Rayquaza appeared with a roar! "Tintri, use Thunderbolt!" Ash called.

    "Kori, use Bubblebeam!" Dawn called to her Piplup.

    "Kage, try Poison Sting!" Brock called.

    The Rayquaza seemed unfazed by the flurry of attacks. "NOW what do we do?" Ash asked as Tintri, Kori, and Kage fired a desperate combo of attacks.

    Something occurred to Brock. "Maybe if we combine our Swanna Songs, we can escape! There's no way illusion magic can overpower Arceus' authority, right?"

    "Let's try it." Ash smiled, grabbing Brock's hand.

    With that, the two boys sang. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
    Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
    Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
    . At this line, a rainbow aura surrounded Tintri, Kori, and Kage, causing them to grow three times as big!
    Emusto koron zen fine, si...

    [HAAAAAAAAAH!!!!] the giant Pokemon screamed as their last attack went flying over the last 'si'. The force of the combined attack knocked back the Rayquaza, turning it back into Mismagius.

    "It worked!" Dawn smiled as the Pokemon shrunk back to normal. "We're going home!"

    ---------

    "What a weird dream..." Dawn yawned as she woke up in the real world.

    "I'll say..." Ash agreed before he saw the Mismagius approaching them. "What do you want?"

    "Please don't send us back in that nightmare." Dawn pleaded as she watched the sun peek over the hill.

    [No--you did well to pass my test.] the Mismagius replied.

    It delivered a full Badge case to Ash, a full ribbon case to Dawn, and a full bag of Miracle Jewels to Brock. [Here...these are gifts from me.]

    Ash looked at the full set of Shinou badges for a moment. "I want to thank you for your gift, but we can't take it." he explained.

    "We want to work hard, and earn the whole set ourselves." Dawn agreed as she gave back the full ribbon case. "Besides, how can we learn and get better if we get the whole set for nothing?"

    "It would make for a boring story if I already had a complete rainbow." Brock explained as he gave back the bag of Miracle Jewels. "A good story needs the thrill of adventure."

    The Mismagius smiled as Ash gave back the full Badge case. [You three are wise beyond your years. I wish the highest blessings of heaven upon you, and wish you well on your travels.]

    "Thanks." Dawn smiled as the group got back on the road.

    Ash noticed Mars and Jupiter tossing and turning in a clearing. "Should we tell them it was all a dream?"

    "Leave them be." Brock replied. "They'll figure it out before too long!"

    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. #44
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    Episode 38: Ill Will Hunting


    The sun shone down on Mt. Coronet a few days later. The light was enough to help the group protect a small reptilian Pokemon with a metallic head. "Tintri, use Thunderbolt!" Ash called. "Protect the Shieldon at all costs!"

    [WAUUGH!!!] Tintri yelped as a Golbat whacked him with Wing Attack, sending him flying against a tree.

    "Tesla, use Thunderpunch!" Ash heard a familiar voice call.

    He gasped as a large black and yellow feline Pokemon he recognized as Electivire sent J's minions flying with a sparking fist. "Gary?"

    "Love to reminisce on old times, Ash, but let's get this little guy to safety first." Gary smiled as the feline Pokemon picked up the Shieldon. "You remember Tesla, right?"

    "How could I not forget after that friendly match we had after I got back from Houen?" Ash grinned.

    "This is Gary--he is Prof. Oak's grandson and a budding scientist himself." Brock explained to Dawn as the group hurried down the road. "For a while, he and Ash were bitter rivals, but they've long since patched things up."

    "That's sweet." Dawn smiled.

    J grimaced as she watched the group disappear down the road. "Don't just stand there, after them!"

    ---------

    "And here we are...Diamante Preserve." Gary smiled as the group arrived inside a wide, fenced off area that mimicked a desert. "Our Shieldon should be safe here."

    "It's beautiful..." Dawn gasped as Tesla set the Shieldon on the ground.

    "You like it now, wait until we finally open it up for the public to see." Gary smiled. "Before that though, lemme brief Gramps' colleague here on what's going on..."

    After dialing a number on his PokeNav, he commanded "BlueOak calling Master Rowan, come in..."

    "I read you, BlueOak--any news on the preserve?" Prof. Rowan's voice crackled back.

    "We have a bit of a situation down here. Ash and pals are trying to stop a gang of Pokemon hunters, and I had to intervene before things got bad." Gary explained. "What should we do about our Shieldons here?"

    "We must not let the Pokemon hunters get their hands on the Shieldons." Prof. Rowan warned. "Nor must they find out about the preserve."

    A map with a starred point on the road appeared on the PokeNav screen. "We will rendezvous at this point." Prof. Rowan explained. "I will take the Shieldons to a secure location from there."

    "What happens if the hunters catch up to us before then?" Ash asked.

    "If the worst happens, do everything in your power to save the Shieldons." Prof. Rowan replied. "Since the two of you are trainers in arms, you are more than welcome to help out."

    "I have no qualms with Ash and pals pitching in." Gary replied. "See ya at the meetup point."

    "Master Rowan out." With that, Gary's PokeNav blipped off.

    Gary pocketed his PokeNav. "Okay, Tesla...we can lose the hunters if we take the shortcut in the woods..."

    ---------

    Dawn gasped as she saw the minion's vehicle approaching from the road some time later. "You were saying about losing J and her men?" she asked as the group emerged from the forest.

    "I've got an idea..." Gary assured Dawn before heaving a Poke Ball skyward. "Neptune, spray that car's windshield with Water Gun!"

    Ash watched as Gary's Blastoise heaved a spray of water onto the car's windshield. "Okay, Tintri! Stop the car with Thunderbolt!"

    Gary swallowed hard as the thunderbolts overloaded the car's engine. This could be bad... he thought as the driver minion got out of the car and summoned a Golbat. "Hold back, Neptune." he instructed his Blastoise. "I'll let Vega take over from here."

    Oh, so Gary decided to evolve his Eevee into Umbreon. Ash grinned.

    He watched as a familiar black fox-like Pokemon materialized before the Golbat. It's also nice he took my suggestion of naming Pokemon to heart.

    "Vega, use Sand-Attack!" Gary called.

    The Golbat tried to file a volley of wind sickles at Vega, but Vega leaped away. This caused the Air Cutter to hit a tree, angering a swarm of Beedrill. "Good thinking, Vega." Gary smiled as he recalled his Umbreon and his Blastoise.

    "Later, minions!" Ash taunted as the Beedrills attacked.

    "That should keep them busy long enough for us to make a break for it!" Dawn agreed as the group raced off over a hill.

    ---------

    "If we take the trail here, that would make for a faster route to the meetup point..." Brock explained as he showed the group a comparison of the two routes on MapNav.

    Gary smiled. "Not just a rockstar, but a great navigator, too!"

    He nudged Brock. "If you happen to write a little ditty about this mess, I wanna hear you play it."

    Brock smiled back. "I'll get going on 'The Ballad of Ash and Hunter J', then--and make sure to give you a verse or three."

    "Pity Blaze isn't here..." Gary sighed. "Then you could induce him and really make some noise. Seeing him Mega Evolve inspired me to become a researcher, remember?"

    "I remember it like yesterday." Ash smiled. "I don't have any Mega Evolve-able Pokemon here yet. I do have another superpower that you haven't seen before!"

    "Oh?" Gary asked, interested

    "But I can't use it just anywhere--it has the side effect of making you tired for a while afterwards." Ash cautioned. "So I'm saving it for an emergency!"

    "Gotcha." Gary replied.

    Dawn smiled when she saw a police car approaching on the dusty road. "Officer Jenny!"

    "Need a ride?" Officer Jenny smiled as she met the group. "Come on inside and I'll take you up the trail to your meetup point. Prof. Rowan asked me to escort you guys."

    "Thanks." Ash replied. "We've run into J and her goons again..."

    ---------

    As the police car rounded a corner to the top of a hill, Dawn gaped when she saw J waiting for them aboard her Salamence. "No way! J followed us here?"

    "You forget I have wings in Ridley, girlie." J smirked as she landed before the group. "And now your Shieldons will be mine!"

    [Oh yeah?] Tintri challenged as he whacked away J's grapple-gun with an Iron Tail.

    She heaved a Poke Ball skyward. " Mathayus, use Cross Poison on the electric rat!"

    Gary gasped in horror at the shining acidic X heading for Tintri. "Neptune, protect Tintri!" he called as he summoned his Blastoise.

    "Run for it!" Brock motioned for Dawn to follow him down the hill to safety. Dawn watched in horror as Ridley fired a familiar orange beam. The Hyper Beam clashed with the waves Neptune created, creating a watery orange glow over the road.

    Ash watched in horror as J located her grapple gun and fired it, grabbing one of the Shieldon. "Oh no!"

    He called "Tintri, use Thunderbolt!"

    [Not today, wonder-rat!] Mathayus grinned as he blocked Tintri's attack with his claws.

    J arrived a few moments later as Gary joined Ash. "Mathayus, use Pin Missile. Ridley, use Hyper Beam."

    Ash swallowed hard as he can Gary braced themselves for the attacks. I have a bad feeling about this...

    ---------

    "...and the last thing I remember was J's Pokemon about to use Pin Missile and Hyper Beam on Tintri and Neptune." Dawn explained to Prof. Rowan. "I'm scared they took those attacks."

    Officer Jenny showed Gary leading Ash onto the undercarriage of a vehicle. "They appear to be doing well. I'm sure they have a plan for taking down the hunter base."

    Dawn watched as the convoy started down the road, making sure to follow a helicopter leading the way. I hope they know what they're doing...but if Ash took down J once, he can do it again!

    ---------

    "We made it." Gary smiled as their vehicle arrived at the base. "If you've got a flyer Pokemon, send it back to the others to tell them we are safe inside the base."

    After climbing out from the vehicle, Ash summoned Estrella. "Go back and tell the others Gary and I are okay." he instructed. "We'll take down the base from here."

    [Right!] Estrella replied as she flew off, unseen by J's men or the security cameras...

    ---------

    Inside the base, Ash and Gary gathered their Pokemon around them. "Okay, gang...let's make as big of a mess as possible in here." Gary instructed as he pulled up a map of the base. "Tintri, Tesla, short out the security system."

    "Diddy, Tails, mess up as many weapons as you can." Ash instructed. "Once you've made a big enough mess, let me know and I'll use my secret power."

    "If there's any innocent Pokemon in here, save them as well as our Shieldon." Gary instructed his team.

    [YEAH!!!] the Pokemon cheered as they hurried off to carry out their instructions.

    Tintri and Tesla wasted no time in shorting out the security system. Diddy and Tails went to work freezing and melting firearms, and Gaia went to work picking locks.

    Tesla arrived with the Shieldon some moments later. [Here's our Shieldon.] he reported over all the pops, crashes, snaps, and explosions.

    Ash watched as an air blast popped a door open on the third floor of the base, allowing him to see J and her minions. "Now?"

    Gary nodded. "Now."

    Ash smiled, and made a flying leap from the door, to J's shock. Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...
    Emusto rozen fine el balaziis...
    Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
    . At this line, rainbow thunderbolts began forming in Ash's hands. The ethereal attack gave the base and the crowd down on the ground an otherworldly glow.
    Emusto koron zen fine, si...

    A wave of rainbow thunderbolts went flying on Ash's last Bb, causing the crowd of minions to scatter. "Fall back!" J called. "Retreat, now! We don't have a chance against this boy!"

    ---------

    "That WAS an amazing power!" Gary smiled as the two friends reunited with the others some time later. "Who would've thunk the power of the Swanna Song is real?"

    "At least you kept your promise from before." Dawn smiled. "I can imagine what J's face looked like when you unleashed the rainbow thunderbolts!"

    "Mortal words couldn't describe it, but I'll do my best when I perform the ballad." Brock smiled.

    "I still wanna hear you play it when it's done!" Gary smiled.

    He looked over at Ash. "Thanks for everything, Ash. You've inspired me to look deeper into the power of the Swanna Song. I'm sure all the myth and legend around it has some truth to it."

    He offered his hand to Ash. "Friends to the end, no matter what."

    "That's a promise!" Ash agreed as he and Gary shook hands.

    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. #45
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    Episode 39: Dawn's Early Night

    "Last one there's a rotten Exeggcute!" Ash called as he raced down Hearthome's main street. "My third badge is waiting for me, and I'm gonna take it!"

    Estrella squawked in agreement as she looped over the city square. She smiled down at the three humans dashing to keep up. "Hey, wait for us!" Dawn called as the group circled around a fountain and down a path lined with flowers. The majestic Gym stood at the end of the path, evoking a countryside mansion more than a Gym.

    Ash came to a screeching halt when he saw Nando and a large cricket-like Pokemon waiting for them. "Nando? What are you doing here?" he asked.

    "I regret to inform you that the Gym Leader isn't here at present." Nando replied, gesturing to a note on the door.

    Ah-la-la-la-la-la-ua! sang the cricket Pokemon in agreement.

    Piqued, Ash read up on Nando's companion:

    "Kricketune, the cricket Pokemon. By allowing its cry to resonate in the hollow of its belly, it produces a captivating sound."

    "It was captivating, all right!" Ash smiled as he pocketed his Pokedex.

    "Well, Allegra was saying hello to you." Nando smiled as the group returned to the city square. "If you three would like to try out your performance skills, the Hearthome Theater is not far from here."

    He made a grand gesture to a beautiful theater on the west end of the street. "If you wish, auditions are underway for its latest show."

    "I wouldn't mind trying my hand at being an actor." Ash smiled. "I mean, I've played in the ensemble before, and had a few parts in school plays through the years."

    "It would definitely help hone my performance skills for the Fantasy Stage." Brock agreed.

    Nando smiled. "In that case, I look forward to seeing what you have planned for your performance this time. I've entered the Fantasy Stage myself."

    "Ooh, that reminds me--I still need to register for the Contest!" Dawn remembered.

    "Luckily, the Contest Hall and the Fantasy Stage theater are right next to each other." Nando pointed out two familiar buildings as the group rounded the corner. "Shall we head over?"

    "Yeah!" Ash smiled before addressing Brock. "I'll look after Tarina while you perform, okay?"

    "Okay." Brock replied.

    He motioned for Tarina to listen. "Ash can't cheer for both Dawn and me at the same time. So we divide our time at the Contest Hall and the Fantasy Stage theater. The main event of the Fantasy Stage begins right as the Dance competition is finishing up."

    "We'll bail out of the Contest Hall as soon as Dawn takes her turn in the Dance competition." Ash explained. "This way, we can make it to the theater in time to see Brock perform."

    ---------

    Dawn smiled as Nando showed her an orange and a yellow jewel as well as a red one. "Wow--you've already got a rainbow going!"

    "Thanks--I hope to win my emerald this time." Nando smiled.

    "Tell the longest, most magical tale you can. Brock's not holding anything back!" Dawn warned.

    "He is indeed very skilled with song, acting, and stage combat." Nando replied. "I still vividly remember when he shot an arrow live onstage back in Floaroma Town."

    Dawn smiled. It's been a while since I got my first ribbon. But thanks to Zoey's help, I'm confident I can do a great Double Performance.

    She spotted Zoey relaxing with Sylvie and Garnet on a couch in the foyer lounge. "Zoey!"

    "Dawn, you made it!" Zoey smiled as she and Dawn embraced.

    "I see your leg's doing better." Dawn noticed Zoey was walking well compared to some weeks before.

    "Took a lot of bed rest and therapy, but I'm good as new now." Zoey replied as she got up from the couch. "Who's your friend?"

    "This is Nando, wandering minstrel and Fantasy Stage performer extraordinaire." Dawn replied, gesturing to Nando.

    "A pleasure to meet you." Nando smiled as he and Zoey shook hands.

    "Enlighten me here--what is the Fantasy Stage?" Zoey asked.

    "Basically, all those gifted in story and song gather together to tell their best stories." Nando explained. "Whoever tells the best story, wins a Miracle Jewel."

    "Huh. Never knew there was such a thing as a storyteller's competition." Zoey smiled.

    "You need to see Brock perform!" Dawn cried. "He sings, he does the voices for every character, and even fights onstage!"

    "Cool!" Zoey was impressed. "I'll consider it whenever a Contest and a Fantasy Stage are not happening at the same time."

    She motioned for Dawn to follow her. "Come on, let's get signed up for the Contest."

    "I will take my leave now." Nando told Dawn as he turned to leave. "I wish you fortune's favor in the Contest!"

    ---------

    [Whoa...] Tarina gasped as the Bailatron appeared from the Contest Hall floor. [What IS that?]

    "That's the Bailatron. It's an advanced dancing platform that measures a dancer's skill." Ash explained. "Each Pokemon--or in this case, pair of Pokemon--does their best dance to a song of their choice. How well they do determines the starting order for the Appeal competition."

    [I see...] Tarina mused.

    "Since Dawn finished first in the Visual competition, Kori and Stormy will go first here." Ash added.

    The emcee snapped him back to reality. "Entrant number H-4453843655, performing to 'Jump in the Line'."

    [Good luck, you guys!] Tarina called over the cheers. Ash whistled in agreement.

    The lights went down, signaling the audience that the performance was about to begin.

    As the song's familiar introduction filled the air, the audience started clapping along. Kori and Stormy marched onto the familiar black platform in time to the eight blinking lights on the Bailatron that kept the beat, swaying and shaking along to the singer:

    Shake, shake, shake, Senora, shake your body line,
    Shake, shake, shake, Senora, shake it all the time!
    Work, work, work, Senora, work your body line,
    Work, work, work, Senora, work it all the time!


    Both Pokemon opted to pose to the music hits during the verse, then twirled to the beat as the chorus began:

    My girl's name is Senora,
    I tell you friends, I adore her.
    And when she dances, oh brother!
    She's a hurricane in all kinds of weather...


    Laughter and cheers filled the air as Stormy shook some pantomime maracas to the beat. Kori spun around her all the while. They then jumped and twirled in time to the beat of the chorus:

    (Jump in de line, rock your body in time) OK, I believe you!
    (Jump in de line, rock your body in time) OK, I believe you!
    (Jump in de line, rock your body in time) OK, I believe you!
    (Jump in de line, rock your body in time)


    As the singer cried "WHOOOOOA!" Kori made a flying leap over the Bailatron. The crowd roared as she rotated in the air and stuck the landing. This prompted the Bailatron's air cannon and rainbow lights to trigger. Both the Pachirisu and the Piplup spun and jumped in an attempt to appeal to the crowd.

    Shake, shake, shake, Senora.... At this point, the music paused as Kori urged the audience to clap in the style of a flamenco dancer. <i>shake your body line,[/i]

    Work, work, work, Senora... Stormy urged the other half of the audience to clap. She did another twirl as the chorus begin again. work it all the time!

    (Jump in de line, rock your body in time) OK, I believe you!
    (Jump in de line, rock your body in time) OK, I believe you!
    (Jump in de line, rock your body in time) OK, I believe you!
    (Jump in de line, rock your body in time) WHOA!

    Shake, shake, shake, Senora, shake your body line,
    Shake, shake, shake, Senora, shake it all the time!
    Work, work, work, Senora!
    .

    On the final line, Stormy and Kori struck triumphant poses as the crowd roared with applause.

    [Bravo!] Tarina cheered as Kori's and Stormy's results appeared for the crowd to see. [Encore!]

    "Come on..." Ash motioned for Tarina and Tintri to follow him to the exit. "Let's go see Brock now..."

    ---------

    "All right!" the emcee smiled as the lights came up on the main stage. "Now it's time for the Appeal competition. The rules are simple. Each pair will perform two solo moves or a single combo move in each round to impress the judges and the audience. Every known move is worth hearts. If you use a move and the excitement meter reaches the max, the pair will receive lots of hearts! But use the same move twice, and you'll likely bore the judges and the audience. Whoever has the most hearts at the end of five rounds, wins!"

    He made a grand gesture to the stage. " Leading off Round 1 is pair number H-4453843655--Stormy and Kori!"

    Cheers filled the air as a spotlight appeared on Dawn, who wore a beautiful red gown with gold trim and matching gloves. "Kori, use Mist!"

    Kori heaved a cloud of mist in the room, making intrigued murmurs waft through the crowd. "Stormy, use Flash!"

    The murmurs turned to cheers as Stormy created a flash of light, creating a shining fog effect. "Nicely done--that earned you four hearts!" the emcee smiled as the excitement meter inched up a little.

    Once Dawn had made her way to the holding area, the emcee announced Zoey. "Pair number H-5614083331--Sylvie and Garnet!"

    A spotlight appeared on Zoey in a silver and blue pantsuit. "Okay! Sylvie, use Echoed Voice through Garnet's Psybeam!"

    Dawn watched in awe as Sylvie unleashed a melodic meow. The rainbow Psybeam cut through the Echoed Voice, coloring the sound waves. When she looked up at the scoreboard, she saw Zoey had earned six hearts for her appeal over her four. What have I gotten myself into? she thought as Zoey returned to the holding area.

    To Be Continued...
    Last edited by EmeraldSky; 08-04-2018 at 08:01 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!!"


  6. #46
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    Episode 40: The Song of the Ancient Lore


    [We made it...] Tintri wheezed as he led Ash and Tarina into a row overlooking the stage. [Brock's up next to perform!]

    [What's Brock gonna tell?] Tarina wondered.

    "Watch and see." Ash assured the excited Pikachu and Pichu as the crowd quieted.

    Number K-42207, telling 'The Legend of Kaitou'. the announcer told the crowd as Brock stepped onto the stage.

    [WOW!!!!] Tarina gasped, starry eyed over Brock's costume. [He's beautiful!]

    "I'm glad you think so, but we need to calm down now." Ash whispered as Brock waited for the cue to begin.

    Once Brock saw the blue flash, he began "Long ago, a fisherman and his wife lived in a tiny hut near the river. They had seven children, and the wife was expecting yet again. The fisherman worked day and night, but seldom had enough to feed his family."

    Murmurs wafted through the theater as Brock continued. "One day, the oldest son returned from a walk with a Growlithe. The poor Pokemon was almost starved to death, but the oldest son requested to keep it. The fisherman could never refuse his children. That day, as he cast his net, he prayed for a way to feed his family. Just then, he heard a voice from the river...

    "Landman, I am Seiryu, the river guardian." he intoned in a deep male voice for the character. "I will reward you with all the fish you desire if you promise to give me whatever new item you find in your home today."

    He continued "Although the fisherman knew his son would be sad to lose the Growlithe, he could not refuse such an offer of fortune."

    "Tomorrow morning, bring me your gift, or you will give your life in exchange." he warned as Seiryu.

    Tarina shuddered at the voice. [No matter how many times Brock does a monster voice, it makes me shiver...]

    "The fisherman cast his net, and when he pulled it in, there were more fish than he could count." Brock went on as himself. "He ran all the way home with an overflowing basket. but when he reached the hut, he received the worst possible news. An eighth child had been born that afternoon."

    Gasps went up at the turn of events. "The fisherman raced inside and wrapped his arms around his wife. He sobbed as he told her of his vow to the river guardian."

    Even Tintri wiped away a tear as Brock continued. "She also wept and all night they tried to think of a way to get out of their promise, but they could think of nothing. The next morning, the fisherman's wife kissed her baby goodbye. The fisherman carried the child, who they had named Kaitou, to the riverbank. As promised, he set the child into the water, and the great Gyarados named Seiryu took the baby into his strong coils and carried him to his undersea palace..."

    ---------

    "...There, Kaitou saw the first human being he had seen since the day he was born -- the king!" Brock went on some time later. "He explained he was a poor traveler seeking work, and was hired as an apprentice to the royal gardener. He kept the plants watered, trimmed any dead branches, and pulled weeds. He also planted new seeds to replace dead plants, and harvested herbs and Berries. But his favorite thing to do was help his master design bouquets. These bouquets were often gifts for the royal family, the court, and the king's daughter, Hibiki."

    [That's a good name.] Tarina smiled, lost in her master's tale.

    "Kaitou proved a hard worker, and every morning he brought a fresh bouquet to Princess Hibiki." Brock continued. "Meanwhile, princes from other lands were coming from far and wide to woo Princess Hibiki. When they sang to her, Kaitou listened. However--he had an advantage the princes did not--he knew the ancient songs of the water."

    He retrieved a pitch pipe from his pocket as he went on. "So one night, he made his way to Princess Hibiki's tower, and knelt before her balcony to sing to her. Although no one had a clue what the words meant, Kaitou's voice was as powerful, and soothing, as the rushing river."

    Brock blew an A to establish his starting note, then proceeded to sing "Ah, Rosheen" in the original Gaelic. The audience had no idea what Brock was singing, but they continued to listen as Brock's powerful tenor rang through the theater.

    When the last note died, the theater roared with applause. "It goes without saying Princess Hibiki fell in love with him. He was gentle and handsome, and his voice was more beautiful than anything she had ever heard." Brock smiled when the applause quieted.

    He went on "The next day, a wild Liepard raced toward the kingdom. All the princes gathered to capture or slay it. but it was Kaitou -- alongside Epona and his magical sword -- who killed the dark Pokemon. But that is a story in itself."

    Tarina giggled at Brock's quip. "Although the princes all claimed they had slain the Liepard, the villagers all knew who the real hero was."

    Cheers went up as Brock continued. "Princess Hibiki was overjoyed, for she loved Kaitou more than any of the other princes."

    He concluded "The wedding was held the very next day. When Seiryu heard about the wedding, he sent the new bride a necklace of rainbow pearls as a wedding present. This was both an apology and out of love for his adopted son. Kaitou next sent word for his family to join him at the castle, and they all lived happily for many years."

    Ash's applause was the loudest as Brock took a bow. "Wonderful, as always!"

    ---------

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

    Back in the holding room, Brock was interested in the story's title. I've never heard this one before...I wonder what it's like?

    "Once there lived a king and queen who had a daughter they loved very much." Nando began. "She was so graceful, pretty, and clever that she was called Charissa, which means "grace". Her mom and dad loved her so much, they would rather lose everything they owned than see Princess Charissa unhappy."

    He started an elegant melody as he continued. "Every day she gave Princess Charissa a lovely new dress made of something valuable. When she was hungry she had the choicest food and drink. Princess Charissa was well loved and well liked in the kingdom. Everybody said she was the happiest princess in the world."

    The harp's song turned somber as Nando introduced the villain of his tale. "Now, in this land's court was a very rich old duchess whose name was Amara. She was infamous for her hair trigger temper. Her hair, now icy white, had once been red as fire, and she had piercing green eyes that many said could see into your soul!"

    ---------


    "...Charissa was surrounded in a bright rainbow light, and warped into a enchanted garden." Nando went on over a victorious melody. "Flowers and fruit grew on every side, fountains splashed, and birds sang in the branches overhead. She reached a great pathway lined with trees. When she looked up to see where it would lead her, she found herself close to the palace of crystal. The queen and Tristan were coming to meet her at the gates.

    He concluded "Princess Charissa finally confessed her love for Tristan. They were married right then with the greatest splendor; and all lived happily ever after."

    The crowd roared as Nando took a bow, but Ash and the Pokemon balked when they saw Nando's score bar power past Brock's. [Wow! This Nando guy sure knows what he's doing!] Tarina gasped as Nando accepted a green plastic jewel.

    [Brock's not the type to dwell on a loss...] Tintri mused as the crowds started to leave. [He'll reflect on it, contemplate what he needs to do better, and then he's ready to go again.]

    Ash nodded in agreement. "Even the losses have lessons."

    ---------

    "So, how'd you do?" Dawn asked as she met the boys in the town square. "I got clobbered in the Appeal competition--again."

    "I thought I had done pretty well, but then Nando wowed the crowd with a tale I've never heard before." Brock sighed. "But I'm not letting this get me down."

    "Yeah..." A smile formed on Dawn's face. "I'm going to work even harder so I don't choke in the Appeal competition any more!"

    "I'll keep looking for the best stories I can find, that not even Nando has heard before!" Brock agreed.

    "And I'll give you both my support, all the way." Ash smiled as the three friends laid their hands on top of each other as a sign of their promise.


    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. #47
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    Episode 41: The Not-so-Greatest Show on Earth! (part 1)


    "Mail call!" Brock announced as he arrived in the group's room with some mail. "This is for you..." He offered Dawn a card with a letter attached to it.

    Dawn took the card and read the letter. "Dear Dawn...After I won the Appeal competition yesterday, I felt horrible giving you such a beatdown. True, we weren't battling like trainers, but you still looked crushed. I believe you have the passion and heart needed to be a coordinator like your mom. You only need a little help finding your footing. I'm enclosing an invite card for the Hearthome Theater with this letter. I hope the acting experience will be helpful to your coordinating. See you soon, Zoey."

    "That was sweet of Zoey to give you that." Ash smiled.

    "Some acting experience could boost my confidence." Dawn mused. "After all, coordinators do act in Contests."

    "Well, we're no strangers to the stage ourselves." Ash replied. "Bit part, lead role, player in the ensemble, narrator--whatever role we were asked to play, we did it well."

    A smile formed on Dawn's face when she saw the play she would be auditioning for. "Wow! I've always wanted to see a stage version of a Robin Hood story!"

    She grinned at Ash. "How bout it? You guys want to audition with me? It says auditions are open to all."

    "I wouldn't mind giving it a try." Ash replied as Tintri bounded on his shoulder.

    "Why not?" Brock smiled. "I've acted in the community theater at home, so how hard can this be?"

    ---------

    "How'd you do?" Ash asked as Dawn emerged into the auditionee holding area some time later.

    "I did pretty well." Dawn replied. "I'm not Shinouian Idol worthy material, so playing Jocelyn the apprentice is out."

    Ash smiled "You'd be a perfect Maid Marian."

    Dawn smiled. "I'd love it even more if you got the part of Robin Hood. We'd match, looks wise."

    [I wanna know if Brock got the part of Alan-a-dale!] Tarina smiled as Dawn petted her. [He already has the costume.]

    "That he does." Dawn agreed.

    She reared back at a dull green haired boy eying her across the room. I have a bad feeling about this guy...

    The creak of the door opening and Brock's voice calmed her a little. "Keely! What a surprise!"

    "It's good to see you and Ash again..." a familiar plum haired girl smiled as she hugged Brock. "Where's Misty?"

    "She returned home to Cerulean after a quick jaunt to Houen." Brock replied. "Although lately she says she wants to check out the Pokethlon scene here in Shinou too."

    He made a grand gesture to Dawn. "This is Dawn--an aspiring coordinator who hopes to follow in her mom's footsteps."

    "Nice to meet you." Keely replied. "They say Joanna Solberg is a living legend in the contest scene here."

    "I know, and I plan to write my own chapter of the Solberg story." Dawn replied. "But I'll admit my acting and appealing need some work."

    "Is Alex here with you?" Ash wondered.

    "He is--just exploring the city while I'm doing this." Keely replied. "I heard you hit the top eight in both Johto and Houen."

    "I'll be happy to tell you all about it later." Ash grinned. "But for now, I'm focused on seeing how I do in the League here."

    Keely smiled. "As for Alex and me, we've continued our own travels. Even though I didn't make it to the Johto Grand Lore Stage, we still had a productive trip to Houen. Then we came here looking for more tales."

    "I learned they have their own storytelling competition--the Fantasy Stage." Brock explained, showing Keely his one Miracle Jewel. "It's an upgrade to the Lore Stage. You get to dress up in a pretty costume as part of the theme. You also make up your own story on top of sharing one of your learned tales."

    "Sounds fun!" Keely smiled. "Maybe if you get the part of Alan-a-dale, you can use it as your costume."

    The door opening again got the group's attention. "Looks like the director's made his decision." Ash mused as a young man in a loose fitting outfit and a blue beret made his way into the holding room.

    ---------

    "Okay!" the director announced. "First of all, thanks for coming to audition today. Many of you showed off real talent, so it was no easy task deciding some of the roles."

    He then looked over his cast list. "So on that note, here's who will play what role."

    Brock gasped when the director read "Brock Harrison, as Alan-a-dale."

    [YAAAAYYY!!!!] Tarina cheered. [Now I get to see you as a real minstrel!]

    "Keely Doran, as Jocelyn, the minstrel apprentice." the director continued. "Ash Ketchum, as Robin Hood...Dawn Solberg, as Maid Marian..."

    "WOO-HOO!" Ash cried as he hugged Dawn in excitement.

    "I can't believe it!" Dawn was just as happy. "We get to play the main roles!"

    She vowed "It may be a big part, but I will put everything I can into being the best Maid Marian to grace the stage!"

    Their happiness came to a halt when the director read the next names on the list. "Conway Kemp, as the Sheriff of Nottingham...Paul McClain, as Prince John..."

    No way! Paul was auditioning too? Ash balked as Paul received his script from the director.

    Dawn reared back as the green haired boy from before received his script. So that guy's name is Conway, huh? I don't know what it is, but he gives me the willies!

    "Here's your scripts..." the director began as he delivered the group their scripts. "Start reading over your roles now. It'll be a big help when we start rehearsals in a few days."

    Ash read over the first scene before reading ahead to the tournament itself. "Uh, sir? Will we be shooting real arrows during the tournament scene? Or will we pantomime shooting to sound effects?"

    "You'll be shooting real arrows." the director replied. "If you need a crash course in archery, you can talk to one of the combat trainers. If you've got an archer companion, even better."

    Ash froze in horror. <i>Brock is the one that has the bow, not me! How can I learn to shoot in a few days?</i>

    Paul smirked when he saw Ash's shocked look. "Maybe you shouldn't have auditioned for Robin Hood, Wonder Boy. You couldn't even pop a balloon at a carnival with a bow!"

    "Oh yeah?" Ash shot back. "I will train at the bow like I do my Pokemon!"

    He made a grand gesture to Brock. "Besides, I already have a teacher!"

    "I'm not so sure you can do this in a few days..." Paul mused. "But I'm holding you to your vow. Don't disappoint me!"

    ---------

    "Good thing there's an athletic complex with an archery range here..." Dawn mused as she watched Brock help Ash trade gloves for some protective bracers. I'm gonna go explore more of the complex while you two have your archery lesson."

    Brock nodded, then addressed Ash. "Now that we have our bracers on, let's first go over the basics of shooting. Stand shoulder-width apart completely sideways to the target. Your toes should be at a 90 angle to your target."

    He observed Ash trying to mimic his pose, but his feet were too close together. "Almost..."

    Ash readjusted his feet so that his toes were at a 90 degree angle. "Better." Brock smiled. "There shouldn't be any bending at the knees or waist, and no leaning either."

    He winced when he saw Ash slouching. "You want to keep a straight back." he reminded Ash. "Your head is the only thing that turns toward the target, and your arms are the only body part that moves, okay?"

    "Got it!" Ash replied as he straightened up.

    "We'll worry about shooting from a kneeling position once we get standing down, okay?" Brock assured his student before showing Ash one of his own arrows. "On most arrows, there are three fletchings. Two fletchings are the same color and the third is a different shade of the same color. When nocking your arrow, the different color fletching should face towards you. Once your arrow is in position, place the nock of the arrow..."

    "What's that?" Ash wondered.

    "That's the split ending at the back of the arrow." Brock explained.

    He resumed his explanation. "...on the string of your bow, pushing it in until you hear a subtle click."

    Ash did his best to follow along with what Brock was doing. "Okay!"

    "Now, form your stance again." Brock instructed.

    He waited for Ash to get in position, then went on "First of all, that's a much better stance than before. To shoot, start by straightening your hand with the bow ahead of you. Keep it flexible with a slight bend in the elbow. Whatever you do, don’t lock up your shoulder."

    "Got it!" Ash smiled.

    "You want to hold the bow like you would the handle of a teacup, with three fingers; but keep the thumb lowered." Brock explained as he prepared his own shot. "There are several different grips, but you pick the one that's best for you."

    Ash readied his shot, then waited for Brock's instructions. "Moving on...to draw, draw with three fingers around the string below where the arrow goes." Brock explained. "Try to keep the elbow of your drawing hand in line with the arm that’s holding the bow."

    He smiled as Ash assumed the correct pose. "Very good. Now, anchor your drawing hand on your face, ideally somewhere in the region of your mouth and cheek. You did it right if you can see down the shaft of your arrow."

    A few tense seconds went by as Ash drew his bow. "When you're ready to shoot, relax your drawing hand and follow through with the shot."

    Ash fired a few seconds later, his shot landing on the outermost ring of the target. "One last thing--don’t put down your bow or change your position until your arrow is in its target." he explained before observing Ash's shot. "If this were a competition, you'd get two points for that shot."

    "Yes!" Ash cried. "At least I hit the target on my first try!"

    ---------

    "How's the archery lesson going?" Dawn asked as she returned to the range some time later.

    "Very well, actually." Brock replied as Ash readied another shot. "Ash is an eager student."

    "Watch this!" Ash smiled before firing, making his arrow sail into the outer yellow ring of the target.

    Dawn applauded. "Brock has taught you well."

    "Keep practicing your shooting, but don't forget working on your lines and cues as well." Brock agreed.

    Ash set aside his gear long enough to lay his hand on top of Dawn and Brock's hands. "Let's make this the best show ever!"

    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!!"


  8. #48
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    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...
    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. #49
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    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.

    [i]Worry not, O lady Marian
    For beloved Robin is with you!</i> 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...
    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. #50
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    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 by EmeraldSky; 08-19-2018 at 01:06 AM.
    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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