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Thread: Pokemon Shine Diamond

  1. #91
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    Episode 68: The Psyduck Stops Here!

    "The dance of the Shaymin was beautiful!" Dawn raved as the group walked down a road to Celestic Town.

    "Yeah--that and the Distortion World is safe, too." Ash agreed as the group rounded a corner.

    He balked when he saw three familiar duck Pokemon in the middle of the road. "Psyduck? Misty can't possibly be here...can she?"

    "If she was, we'd likely see Michelle or Pearl someplace." Brock replied. "But these Psyduck appear to be wild."

    "Psyduck, the duck Pokemon. It has mystical powers but doesn't recall that it has used them. This is why it always looks puzzled." Dawn's Pokedex explained as the group approached the three Psyduck.

    She saw the Psyduck's eyes glow pink, surrounding the group in pink as well. "I have a bad feeling about this..."

    "Oh no..." was all Ash could say before the group was flung against a tree!

    "Is everyone okay?" Brock asked as he rubbed his head in pain.

    "I think so..." Dawn replied as she inspected the scrapes and scratches on her arms.

    "Everyone, huddle!" Ash called. "We need to find another way to get around the Psyduck."

    "Just approaching them would only result in getting flung away..." Dawn groaned as she tended to her wounds.

    "Asking them to move would be pointless..." Brock agreed.

    "The only thing I know to do is use force." Ash continued.

    He heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Diddy, use Fury Swipes!"

    He winced as the three Psyducks didn't bat an eye. "Diddy, come back!"

    "Kori, use Whirlpool!" Dawn called.

    She watched in horror as the Psyducks used Psychic to reflect the Whirlpool back onto Kori.

    "Maybe I can lure the Psyduck to me with some of my material?" Brock suggested as Dawn ran to collect Kori. "They'll be too distracted listening to me, and allow people to pass."

    "Whatever you want to do, Brock--but we have to get these Psyduck out of the way somehow." Ash noted.

    "All right, then!" Brock grinned. "But first, allow me to change into something more appropriate..."

    He fished out the ruby from his Miracle Jewel bag and held it skyward. "Super Star Power! Make up!"

    Against a background of stars and flashing lights, Brock's glowing purple body swirled and danced through the stars and a silver moon, making a long and elaborate purple and red tunic appear on his body. Next, some elegant purple gloves with red and gold trim appeared on his hands, and matching purple and red boots appeared on his feet. An elaborate purple and gold sash appeared next, making gold dust rain on the long tunic, giving it a gold sparkle. An elaborate purple minstrel's hat with a white plume appeared on his head, allowing him to strike an elegant pose, harp in hand.

    In the real world, a familiar orange haired girl sighed as Ash and Dawn scrambled to pick up pieces of Brock's normal clothes. "You call throwing off your regular clothes a transformation?" she sighed.

    Just then, Mars and Jupiter came over the hill. "How's a sing-along gonna help, Sir Minstrel?" Mars jeered.

    "We can do a better job of getting the Psyduck out of the way than anything you guys could ever try!" Jupiter agreed.

    "Okay, then--prove it!" Ash challenged.

    Mars walked up to the Psyduck. "Look, people need to go through here. Can you please move?"

    Tarina watched as the admins went flying via Psychic to the top of a mountain. [Wow...that was pretty strong, but I should be able to show these Psyducks who's boss!]

    "Be careful!" Dawn called as Tarina fired a Thundershock at the Psyduck.

    Ash winced as Tarina went flying to the group via Psychic. "That looked like it hurt..." he noted as Tarina eased herself to her feet.

    [Errgh...no one's gonna bully people like that while I'm here!] Tarina screeched.

    Brock watched in awe as an electric aura started to form around Tarina. "Is that what I think it is?"

    "Volt Tackle!" Ash gasped as the aura formed into an electric burst.

    Tintri gasped as the electric burst glowed bright white. [Hit the dirt!] The group dove for cover as Tarina slammed into a Psyduck, creating an electric explosion.

    "Are you okay?" Brock asked as he found Tarina heaving with exhaustion by a rock. "That was a pretty powerful move you tried to use..."

    [I'm okay...] Tarina replied. [Just very tired...]

    "Well, Volt Tackle is a very powerful move. Even Tintri didn't learn to do it overnight." Brock reminded Tarina as the group reunited in a clearing near the road.

    [If you want me to give you some Volt Tackle lessons, I'll teach you.] Tintri offered as the group discussed their next move.

    ---------

    "Okay..." Ash began as he climbed aboard Estrella. "You guys can distract the Psyduck while Estrella and I do a flyover of the area they're protecting."

    "Right!" Dawn smiled, clinking a few spoons as Brock finished fine tuning his guitar.

    Ash smiled. "Remember, it's okay to play every last song you know."

    "I don't know if I'll need to play that many, but I'll go through as many songs as I can." Brock smiled back.

    Once sure Ash and Estrella were safely airborne, Brock snapped to count Dawn off into a familiar rollicking melody.

    It's of a jolly beggarman came tripping o'er the plain,
    He came unto a castle fair, a lodging for to gain
    His Royal Highness, he came down and viewed him cheek and chin
    He said, 'You are a handsome man, of course I'll take you in...'


    We'll go no more a roving, a roving in the night... Dawn joined in, clinking the spoons for percussion all the while.
    We'll go no more a roving, let the moon shine so bright
    We'll go no more a roving...


    ---------

    Estrella soared over the Psyduck blockade and down into the valley. [Well, that explains the blockade...] she noted as she flew down for Ash to get a lock.

    Ash looked down to see a few mother Golduck holding yellow eggs with a Psyduck foot pattern on the shell. "No wonder the Psyduck wouldn't let anyone pass--they were protecting their babies!"

    [Let's go back and report to the others!] Estrella suggested.

    They arrived just as Brock started another verse of his epic ballad. The first night, it gave way to dawn, and Ariana fair
    Was led out with a retinue towards the dragon lair
    The fact her sister had returned, it gave her heart new hope
    That the hero would return again, as she looked on the gentle slope...


    We'll go no more a roving, a roving in the night... Dawn joined in another round of the chorus, still clinking the spoons with gusto.
    We'll go no more a roving, let the moon shine so bright
    We'll go no more a roving...


    [Stop the song!] Estrella called, bringing the enthusiastic performance to a halt.

    "Did you find out the reason for our Psyduck blockade?" Dawn asked.

    "Yeah--the three Psyduck are just protecting their babies." Ash explained. "Let's find another way in, and I'll show you."

    ---------

    The group arrived in a clearing by a lake, just in time to see one of the yellow eggs crack. "It's hatching!" Dawn gasped, excited as the baby Psyduck worked itself free.

    "My question is, if this lake is their home, then why are the Psyducks here, and not in the lake?" Brock wondered.

    Ash saw three sludge glob-like Pokemon emerge from the water. "There's your answer--the lake was polluted by Muk!"

    "Muk, the sludge Pokemon. A toxic fluid seeps from its body. The fluid instantly kills plants and trees on contact. Dawn's Pokedex explained.

    Dawn looked up from the Pokedex to see a sludge pool near the lake. "There! That's where the Muk came from!"

    Inspired, she heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Satomi, drive these Muk away from the beautiful lake!

    [Go on, shoo!] Satomi called, using a Psybeam to spur the Muk back towards the poison pool. [Don't ruin the lake for eveyone!]

    Ash smiled as the Psyducks waddled back to the lake. "Well, our problem's solved..."

    One Psyduck quacked happily at him. "You're welcome!" Ash smiled back as the group started down the road to Celestic Town in peace.

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


  2. #92
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    Episode 69: Playing the Leveling Field!

    "Thank goodness those Psyducks are safe now..." Dawn smiled as the group made their way down the road a few days later.

    "Yeah...here's hoping they get to raise their hatchlings in peace..." Ash agreed before a bright flash got his attention. "What was that?"

    Dawn spotted Zoey and her Glameow Sylvie in a nearby field. "Zoey's here!"

    Sylvie meowed in awe as a Mismagius fired off multiple rounds of Psybeam to mimic fireworks. "What's going on? Ash asked as the group joined Zoey in the field. "Are you battling?"

    Zoey chuckled. "Friendly reminder--coordinators do not battle." she replied. "I was showing off appeals with someone."

    "Zoey, your next appeal, please..." an older female voice with a melodic accent requested.

    "Right!" Zoey replied. "Sylvie, try Shockwave!"

    The other trainer applauded as the massive thunderbolts created a shining column of light. "Trčs bonne, trčs bonne! The shining column of light is a clever idea. But let me show you what you can do if you combine two moves."

    The Mismagius next conjured some shining leaves, then fired a rainbow wave of energy, creating a whorl of rainbow leaves. "Wow!" Dawn gasped as the boys applauded the appeal.

    "May I ask who your appeal partner is?" Ash asked.

    At this, a purple haired woman in an elegant sparking star costume stepped before the group. "Everyone, this is Fantina." Zoey began. "In addition to being the Gym Leader of Hearthome City, she is a Divine Coordinator originally from Kalos. She won a lot of Grand Festivals there before coming here a few years ago."

    "Interesting..." Ash mused. I wonder if Serena has ever met her, if Fantina's originally from Kalos?

    "I came here because I wanted to see the world and better myself." Fantina explained. "Since I enjoy traveling, that unfortunately means I have to leave the Gym empty while I am away."

    That explains why it's been empty every time we've come... Ash thought.

    Brock, meanwhile, seemed enamored in Fantina being bilingual. Je m'appelle Brock--enchanté.

    The group did not know that the admins were watching them from a bush. "Huh...never knew minstrel boy spoke Kalosian..." Mars mused as she watched Brock and Fantina have a polite conversation in Kalosian.

    "Who knows how many more languages he can speak?" Jupiter agreed before changing the subject. "Fantina's job description reminds me of someone that I can't put my finger on...."

    Mars looked down at the one ribbon in her ribbon case. "We need to figure out Fantina's style...this way, I can copy it to win Contests!"

    "Great idea!" Jupiter grinned as the two admins made preparations for their latest plot.

    ---------

    In the nearby Pokémon Center Ash located Fantina in a lounge near the front desk. "Fantina...I have journeyed from afar to challenge you. When can I expect you at the gym next?"

    Fantina was about to answer as Mars, in disguise as Marta, hurried up to Fantina. "Hi! I'm a big fan of yours, and I wanna know more about your role as a Gym Leader!"

    Fantina just waved the disguised Mars away. "Trčs impoli to just barge in on someone like that..."

    She smiled at Ash. "I accept your challenge, but before that, I need to train."

    "If you don't mind my asking, why did you become a traveling Trainer?" Zoey asked.

    "With a lot of hard work, I was able to win the Grand Festival in my homeland of Kalos with Sorcičre, my Misdreavus, earning the title of Grand Coordinator." Fantina explained. "Some time after this, the Shinou League invited me to become a Gym Leader, and the Hearthome Gym was opened. Despite my best efforts, I felt that I wasn't giving the trainers I faced a good enough battle."

    "I know exactly how that feels." Brock replied. "I was once the Gym Leader in my hometown of Pewter City. It's a bit of a balancing act between giving your opponents a challenge and giving them an easy win. You don't want to give them a total beatdown, but you do want to challenge them to think tactically."

    T'as raison.. Fantina nodded in agreement. "A royal beatdown destroys any trainer's confidence, but an easy win feels hollow.

    She turned business-like again. "I've been working on a new battle style which incorporates the beauty of a Contest appeal and the ferocity of a Gym battle. But it is still a work in progress..."

    "So you'll give me a friendly match, at least?" Ash asked.

    Fantina nodded. "One of the first things that traveling trainers do when they meet is battle. So of course I accept your friendly challenge."

    ---------

    "Okay...this will be a three on three match, winner is the first to knock out the other side's team. That okay?" Ash asked as he drew a Poke Ball in the grass.

    "Your proposed terms are fair." Fantina replied.

    Dawn arrived with her Poketch some moments later. "Arceus face is heads, Shinou League crest is tails--winner gets their choice of side."

    "Heads." Fantina called as Dawn pressed the button to flip the coin.

    "Tails!" Ash called the toss.

    Dawn checked the Poketch's screen. "It's heads...Fantina, you want the Diamond or Pearl side?"

    "Diamond, of course." Fantina smiled as she stepped into the left side of the Poke Ball.

    "Everyone ready?" Brock asked as he stepped on a rock overlooking the makeshift battlefield, unaware Mars and Jupiter were filming the battle that was about to start.

    "Pręté!" Fantina smiled, summoning a small purple balloon-like Pokemon with spindly arms.

    "Tails, here we go!" Ash summoned his Floatzel to the field. He next read up on his opponent:

    "Drifloon, the balloon Pokemon. Because of the way it floats aimlessly, an old folktale calls it a 'Signpost for Wandering Spirits.'"

    When the whistle blew, the Drifloon began conjuring swaths of a purple wind. "Ominous Wind!" Ash remembered. "Tails, counter with Water Gun!"

    Tails fired a stream of water, but the Drifloon floated away, allowing the purple wind to hit Tails. "Try to break out with Aqua Jet!" Ash suggested.

    He smiled as Tails broke free from the Ominous Wind and rammed into the Drifloon. But his confident smile turned to shock as the Drifloon used Hypnosis! I shouldn't have left the Pokeflute back at the Pokemon Center!

    The Drifloon then threw Tails at Ash's feet with Psychic. [I'm sorry, Ash...] was all Tails could muster before fainting.

    Ash contemplated his next choice for a moment, then heaved a Poke Ball skyward. " Diddy, open with a Flamethrower!"

    He watched in awe and fear as the Drifloon intercepted the stream of fire, tied it into a flaming bow, then tangled Diddy in his own attack before using Hypnosis. [Ash, I can't...] was all Diddy could say before falling asleep.

    Dawn watched as Ash called Diddy back. "Good thinking on calling Diddy back--who knows what Fantina's gonna do next?"

    "Keep in mind that unlike confusion, Pokémon continue to sleep even after they are recalled, okay?" Brock reminded Ash.

    Ash swallowed hard as he nodded. I REALLY should've brought the Pokeflute!

    He looked over at Tintri. "Your turn, bud--if you fall asleep too, then the battle is as good as done."

    [I'll do my best, okay?] Tintri smiled before charging into the arena.

    The Drifloon fired a Will-O-Wisp, but Tintri countered with a Thunderbolt. [For Tails and Diddy!] he screeched as he charged at the Drifloon in preparation to use Volt Tackle.

    Dawn saw a glow of white as Volt Tackle and Ominous Wind collided, revealing that the Drifloon had evolved into a larger balloon Pokemon with gold and white streamers. "Wow...Fantina's Drifoon evolved?" she smiled as she read up on the new Pokemon:

    ""Drifblim, the blimp Pokemon. At dusk, swarms of them are carried aloft on the wind. When noticed, they suddenly vanish."

    She gasped as the Drifblim put Tintri to sleep with Hypnosis. "Oh no!"

    "I surrender!" Ash called, almost kowtowing before Fantina.

    Brock blew his whistle to signal the battle was over. "No contest! Pearl withdraws from the match!"

    Fantina smiled as she recalled her new Drifblim. "I look forward to having a real match when you get to the gym."

    "Sure..." Ash sighed. If this was practice, that what will Fantina do in the Gym?

    ---------

    Back at the Pokémon Center, Zoey showed Dawn the three ribbons in her ribbon case. "I'm not planning on entering the Celestic Town Contest, but I will be there to cheer you on."

    "Thanks...that means a lot to me." Dawn smiled.

    She looked over at Ash's room. "Is Ash okay? He hasn't come out of his room all night."

    From inside the room, both Dawn and Brock heard Ash musing ideas to counter Hypnosis. "Get a Pokemon with the Insomnia ability just for this match...give Chesto Berries to everyone....bring the Pokeflute..."

    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. #93
    Elite Four Member EmeraldSky's Avatar
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    Episode 70: Doc Brock

    Ash thought long and hard about how to counter Fantina's Drifblim's Hypnosis. Vital Spirit is another ability that prevents sleep...Early Bird would wake them up sooner...

    He rubbed the sleep from his eyes as he watched Dawn command Kori to use Icy Wind, creating shimmering diamonds in the sky. Intentionally inflicting another status on them would be too risky...

    A static jolt snapped him to attention. "mmm...what?"

    [Nodding off on the job?] Tintri asked. [Let's think about something besides how to counter sleep inducing moves for a while.]

    "Good idea..." Ash agreed as he got up from the stump he had been sitting on and stretched.

    Brock emerged from the cabin the group was staying in a few moments later. "Okay...I'm off to the store for more food and supplies. You guys want anything special?"

    "Cheddar Party Cheez-fetti!" Ash requested.

    "Chocolate Teddiursa Grahams!" Dawn requested. "My team loves those!"

    "Okay, I'll get those, and maybe a few extra surprises if the Pokemon behave." Brock made a node on his list. "I've left the to-do list on the table for you guys--you don't have to do EVERYTHING on it, but try to get as much of it done as you can."

    "Got it!" Ash smiled.

    "All right--I've got my PokeNav if there's an emergency." Brock smiled before departing.

    Ash waved goodbye as Brock disappeared down the road to town, then returned inside the house. "Let's see here...bathe the Pokemon..." he read from the list.

    He peeked outside. "Okay, everyone! Bath time!"

    The Pokemon cheered as they hurried inside the house. [I'm PAST ready to hit the shower!] Kori cried as she hurried to the bathroom.

    Dawn arrived some moments later. "While you're busy bathing everyone, I can tackle a few other chores."

    "Okay." Ash replied as he fine tuned the faucet so that the water was warm.

    ---------

    "Okay, everyone's clean, I cleaned up the bathroom..." Ash began some time later.

    "I mopped the floors and vacuumed." Dawn reported before looking at the clock on the wall. "Who wants to help me make lunch?"

    [I do!] Tintri volunteered as he bounded on the countertop. [What are we having?]

    "I was thinking about trying the Pokemon-safe sesame Combusken recipe Brock taught me yesterday." Dawn replied after taking out some meat. "First we thaw the meat...and we can cook the rice and vegetables while we wait."

    ---------

    [Mm...that was great!] Stormy raved as Dawn loaded the plates in the dishwasher some time later.

    [Top notch!] Tails agreed.

    Ash was contemplating more ideas to counter sleep as the Pokemon hurried out to play. If Gaia has Worry Seed, that can become Insomnia...Electric Terrain nullifies sleep...Protect and Detect block sleep...

    The remote dropping in his lap got his attention. "TV?" Dawn smiled as she joined him on the couch. "We've worked hard, and earned ourselves a break."

    "Good idea." Ash agreed, forgetting about sleep ideas entirely as he started flipping through the channels. "Let's see here...'Battle Braviaries'...'The Adventures of the Heart Archers'...'Solar Riders'..."

    Tintri burst into the room, getting Ash's attention, [Something's wrong with Stormy!]

    Ash and Dawn hurried outside to find Stormy moaning in pain on the grass. "She's hotter than normal..." Dawn noted as she felt around Stormy's head. "Is there a Pokemon Center anywhere?"

    "The closest one's five miles away..." Ash remembered as Dawn led Stormy in the house to rest. "Should I buzz Brock and tell him what's going on?"

    "It doesn't seem life threatening, so let's see what we can do ourselves before we do that." Dawn suggested.

    Ash heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Estrella, go find Brock!"

    "Lola, Tarina--can I trust you two to make some ice to help bring Stormy's fever down?" Dawn asked as she prepared some plastic bags.

    [Leave it to us!] Tarina smiled as Lola fired a tiny Ice Beam at some water, creating an ice cube.

    "While they're doing that, we can go find some Oran Berries--those are known to be a home remedy for fevers." Ash suggested.

    "Where?" Dawn asked. "I didn't see any around here earlier today."

    "I know I saw some in this area--let's go look." With that, he motioned for Dawn to follow him outside...


    ---------

    Meanwhile, Brock made his way down the cereal aisle, savoring the bustling shoppers around him and the elevator music coming from the PA system. I can cross Starlite Crunch off the list... he thought as he set a cereal box in the cart.

    He smiled as he spotted the candy aisle a few aisles away. Memo to self: bring the Pokemon a treat if they are being good. he thought as he looked over his list again. All that's left is the meat, a few cans of veggies, and Ash's and Dawn's requests.

    ---------

    As Brock departed the store with the groceries some time later, he balked to find Estrella flying down to meet him. "Estrella? What's the matter?"

    [Something's wrong with Stormy!] Estrella explained. [Ash and Dawn have tried everything to help her, but she's still got a fever!]

    Brock climbed aboard Estrella with the groceries in tow. "Let's go."

    After an uneventful flight home, Brock left the groceries with his team before hurrying inside the house, where Dawn was trying to get Stormy to eat a Lum Berry.

    A spark clued him in to what was wrong. "Here, Stormy..." he smiled, offering the Pachirisu an Oran Berry with medicine inside.

    [Thanks!] Stormy smiled as she snapped up the Oran Berry.

    Dawn smiled when she saw Stormy's color returning to normal. "Thank Arceus Estrella got you here in time..."

    "We didn't think to call you before because we thought it was just a routine cold." Ash explained.

    "Remember when Tintri used to always get fevers from voltage overloads?" Brock reminded Ash. "This was what happened here."

    "Oh, so it was one of those..." Ash remembered. "If I'd have known that, I would've given her some Sparkeez..."

    "First rule of first aid--always remain calm." Brock explained. "Second rule--establish what the problem is before you attempt treatment."

    "Corollary to the above--know when to call in the experts." Ash remembered.

    "That's right." Brock smiled. "I applaud your efforts in trying to help Stormy, though--you two just went about it the wrong way."

    "I wasn't thinking straight in the heat of the moment..." Ash confessed.

    "...and I was so worried I was doing anything to help Stormy without figuring out what the problem was." Dawn sighed.

    "We tried looking for Oran Berries and didn't find any...so where did you get the ones you have?" Ash asked.

    "They are here in the fens near the house--did you two go anywhere near there?" Brock asked.

    "No..." Dawn replied. "We figured the fens would be too wet for anything besides mushrooms."

    "Oran Berries thrive in wet and warm areas, so they tend to grow around marches, ponds, lakes, and fens." Brock explained.

    He brought in the groceries, then went on. "In case this ever happens again, I can teach you what I know of first aid for both humans and Pokemon. Granted, I am no medical expert, but I know enough to handle most any situation that can come up on the road. This way, you'll know what to do if a Pokemon Center's too far away or I can't be there."

    "Sure!" Dawn smiled.

    "Besides, when the going gets tough, that's when the Pokemon need you most." Ash agreed.

    Stormy noticed the sun setting. [Can I help with dinner? I'm starved!]

    "Of course." Brock smiled before motioning for Stormy to follow him. "Come on in the kitchen, and we'll get dinner going."


    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. #94
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    Episode 71a: Appealing Through the Generation Gap! (part 1)

    "So you're here for another Contest?" the image of Joanna asked Dawn.

    Dawn nodded. "That, and Brock has a Fantasy Stage, as well."

    "Have I ever told you about my friendly rivalry with Lilla before?" Joanna asks. "Your friendly rivalry with Zoey reminds me of that."

    "You've told me about a lot of coordinators you've worked with, but I don't think I have heard about Lila..." Dawn replied.

    "Well, a long time ago-before you came along--we were competing on the Celestic stage." Joanna began. "It was the final turn in the Appeal Competition, and Lila and I were neck and neck in the scoring..."

    ---------

    In Joanna's memory, a younger Joanna stepped onto the stage with a familiar Glameow. "Opal, use Iron Tail!"

    The crowd roared at the bevy of silver flashes the Glameow's tail created, making six hearts appear under Joanna's picture and making the excitement meter reach stage four.

    A purple haired woman in an exotic Chinese-esque costume arrived on the stage with her Delcatty. "Kounna, use Shockwave!"

    The crowd roared as the electrical fireworks maxed out the excitement meter. "The winner, with her famous 'Tiger Lily' smile, is number C-41100088-- Lila Maeda and Kounna!"

    Joanna and Lila met each other on the stage. "Well done." Joanna smiled as the two coordinators shook hands...


    ---------

    "...Up to that point, I had never lost a Contest before--Lila was the one to break my winning streak." Joanna concluded the story some time later.

    "Come to think of it, didn't she step down to focus on a career in fashion?" Dawn asked.

    "You're right!" Joanna smiled as she thumbed through the current issue of Poke Chic. "She and Kounna have made a name for themselves working for the brand Prism Stardust. I stepped down from coordinating before I could have a rematch with Lila, but I have no regrets about that one loss. Lila was clearly the better of us that day, and I've long since made peace with that."

    Brock thought for a moment. "Isn't there a Prism Stardust shop located here in town?"

    "There is, actually." Joanna replied. "I don't believe she has met you, Dawn, but I have told her about you."

    "You think we could come over there?" Dawn gasped. "So we can finally meet face to face?"

    "I don't see why not." Joanna smiled. "She's always wanted to meet you."

    "If I get to meet her, I'll tell her you said hello." Dawn smiled. "I love you."

    "I love you too, Dawn--good luck to you and Brock too." With that, the call ended.

    Dawn got up from the phone to find Ash walking in a completely different direction from her and Brock. "Um, aren't you coming with us?"

    "I'm gonna take a stroll around town before the Contest and the Fantasy Stage start." Ash replied. "That, and plan on how I can see both of you at once."

    Brock looked at the schedule of events on a bulletin board, then his Fantasy Stage entry token. "You can catch the parade of coordinators before bailing out to see me tell, and by the time I finish 'Moltres and the Miracle Tree', it should be time for the Appeal competition."

    "That works." Ash smiled. "You're not mad if I miss the Visual and the Dance competitions?" he asked Dawn.

    "I won't mind." Dawn replied before starting towards the Pokemon Center lobby. "We'll meet back at the Contest Hall in an hour, okay?"

    "Got it!" Ash replied before the group went their separate ways.

    ---------

    "It's very fitting you're telling a Moltres story for the Fantasy Stage..." Dawn smiled as she, Brock, and Kori strolled through Celestic Town's shopping district.

    "After your win in the Wallace Cup, I felt a Moltres tale was appropriate because it felt like you were Moltres rising anew from the ashes of your struggles." Brock explained.

    Dawn smiled "Thanks--I'll do my best to keep the fire burning in today's Contest!"

    She noted a familiar logo in 80's-esque text that evoked glass on a building. "This is it..."

    "Wow..." Brock gasped as the bells at the entryway jingled. "This is nice..." he smiled, admiring a regal green costume with leaf trim.

    Dawn gasped when she recognized a sparkling teal and white costume. "This is Pale Moonlight--what Wallace wore for the Coordinator's Carnivale last year."

    "Interesting." Brock smiled. "Go on and see if Lila's here, I'm gonna look around for a bit."

    Dawn hurried over to the checkout lane. "Excuse me--is Lila there today?"

    "I'm sorry, Lila is out for the day." the woman at the counter replied. "I can leave a message for her if you'd like."

    "Okay..." Dawn began. "I am Dawn Solberg, daughter of the Divine Coordinator Joanna Solberg. My mother told Lila much about me, but I have never met her face to face..."

    ---------

    "Welcome, coordinators and fans, to the Celestic Contest!" Marian announced. "Let us give a warm welcome to our three judges--Keira, Dexter, and Jordan!"

    Cheers went up as the three judges arrived, Jordan even flashing Ash a little grin. "The winner of today's Contest will get this lovely blue and white ribbon..." Marian went on, holding up the ribbon for the crowd to see.

    In the dressing rooms, Dawn emerged in a lovely silver and white outfit. "Erggh...why won't this braid wrap around to make a crown?" she muttered as she tried to tie two braids into a circle shape.

    A familiar purple haired woman noticed Dawn struggling. "Here, sweetheart...let me help you tie this into a crown."

    After carefully looping around the two braids and securing it with a pin, the woman offered Dawn a mirror. "There we are! A braid crown fit for a princess!"

    "Thank you, miss..." Dawn started before she recognized the woman. "Lila?"

    The woman smiled. "So this is the famous Dawn Joanna always told me about! I never got the chance to meet you, but Joanna always spoke highly of you."

    "Likewise, Mom's told me a lot about you." Dawn replied. "Are you competing in the Contest too?"

    Lila nodded. "I wanted to enter as soon as I saw your name in the list of contestants. I can't wait to see what Joanna has taught you!"

    ---------

    A majestic melody filled the air, signaling it was time for the parade of coordinators. "Entrant number C-30865860; Lila Maeda and Cerise!" Marian announced as Lila emerged from the tunnel with a pink flower-like Pokemon. "Famously known as 'The Tiger Lily of Celestic Town' Lila is making her Contest comeback after 20 years!"

    [Wow, that's a long time!] Tarina was impressed.

    "Well, she stepped down to run one of the brands, remember?" Ash reminded Tarina as he analyzed the flower Pokemon:

    "Cherrim, the blossom Pokemon. If it senses strong sunlight, it opens its folded petals to absorb the sun's rays with its whole body."

    [Pretty!] Tintri smiled.

    "Entrant number C-98240055; Dawn Solberg and Lola!" Marian announced as Dawn emerged from the entry tunnel with Lola. "Daughter of Divine Coordinator Joanna Solberg, Dawn has quickly made a name for herself despite some initial struggles. She is wearing Diamond Lady, by Notte Royal."

    Ash motioned for Tintri and Tarina to follow him to the exit. "Come on, you two--if we time this right, the Fantasy Stage will be over in time for us to catch the Appeal competition. This way, we can cheer for both Brock and Dawn at the same time."

    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. #95
    Elite Four Member EmeraldSky's Avatar
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    Interlude: A Fairy Tale Rising


    [We made it...] Tarina wheezed as the group arrived in the town square. A stage had been set up for the tellers to perform on a hill overlooking the square.

    [Just in time too--Brock's about to tell!] Tintri agreed as he spotted Brock making his way to the stage.

    Number K-42207, telling 'Moltres and the Miracle Tree'. an announcer informed the crowd, hushing the excited chatter.

    A blue flash at stage right signaled Brock he was clear to begin. "In a certain far-away kingdom, there lived a king that was well loved and well liked among his people." Brock began his tale. "He had three sons--the eldest was named Dimitri, the second was named Aleron, and the youngest was named Brian." he explained over a relaxed melody from the guitar.

    Then he paused, as if he remembered something. "Now, the king had a walled garden, so rich and beautiful that in nowhere in the world was there a more splendid one. Many rare trees grew in it whose Berries were precious jewels, and the rarest of all was an Leppa tree whose Leppa Berries were of pure crystal, and this the king loved best of all."

    Brock's voice quieted the amazed chatter. "One day he saw that one of the crystal Leppa Berries was missing. He placed guards at all the gates of the garden; but in spite of this, one more crystal Leppa Berry was gone every morning. Eventually he posted guards all around the garden to keep watch, and the guard reported to him that every night there came flying into the garden a bird that shone like Ho'oh, whose feathers were a fiery red and gold and its eyes like crystal, which perched on the Leppa tree, picked a crystal Leppa Berry, and flew away."

    After setting his guitar aside, Brock got up and walked around his chair on the stage, talking all the while. "The king, recognizing that the thief was the Herald of Fire, Moltres, was greatly angered, and calling to him his two eldest sons, said..."

    "My dear children, I have thought long and hard about which of you will inherit my kingdom and reign after me. Whoever can catch the flaming bird Moltres, and brings her to me alive, I will give half the kingdom, and he will rule after me when I have joined Arceus in heaven." he explained to an imagined person as the king.

    As himself, Brock continued "The two sons, upon hearing this command, rejoiced, and both of them vowed to bring their father Moltres alive. Prince Dimitri and Prince Aleron then flipped a coin to see who would go first, and the coin's favor fell to the eldest, Prince Dimitri."

    The lights on the stage dimmed to mimic nighttime. "That evening he went into the garden to keep watch." Brock continued as he returned to his chair and waiting guitar. "He sat down under the Leppa tree and watched carefully for the first part of the night, but when midnight came, he fell asleep."

    Giggles rippled through the air as Brock played a few bars of Brahms' Lullaby to represent Prince Dimitri falling asleep. "In the morning, the king summoned him and said..."

    "Well, my son, did you see Moltres?" he asked as the king.

    "No, father; I did not see her." he sighed in a younger version of himself for Prince Dimitri.

    As himself, Brock continued "The king, however, went to the garden and counted the Leppa Berries, and saw that yet another had been stolen."

    He played a quiet interlude, then continued "The next evening Prince Aleron went into the garden to keep watch. He too fell asleep at midnight, and the next morning when his father summoned him, he, like his brother, answered..."

    "I watched all night, but Moltres did not enter your garden." he explained in a mimic of a proud boy for Prince Aleron.

    He intoned as himself "But when the king counted them, he saw that another crystal Leppa Berry was missing."

    Nervous giggles went up at this. "On the third evening his youngest son, Brian, asked permission to keep watch in the garden, but his father initially refused." Brock explained.

    "How can you succeed where your brothers failed?" he asked as the king.

    He assured the crowd as himself "But Brian continued to plead until the king relented."

    The lights dimmed to represent night again. "So Brian took his place in the garden, and sat down to watch under the miracle tree." Brock narrated. "He watched for an hour, then two hours, and then three hours. When midnight came, sleep almost overcame him, but he had positioned his sword to poke him just hard enough to wake him beforehand."

    Just then, a red-gold light at stage right spurred excited whispers in the crowd. "At midnight, the garden glowed with the light of many fires, and Moltres came flying on her fiery wings to land on the lowest branch of the Leppa Berry tree." Brock narrated. "Brian quietly approached, and as she was about to pick a crystal Leppa Berry, he managed to grab her tail. Moltres, being much stronger than a human, tore herself loose and flew away, leaving in his hand a single long feather. Brian wrapped this in a handkerchief, lay down, and went to sleep."

    The lights brightened to mimic morning. "In the morning the king summoned him and said..." Brock narrated.

    "Well, my son, did you see Moltres?" he asks as the king.

    As himself, Brock continued "Brian unrolled the handkerchief, and the feather shone so much, it turned the dark throne room to day. The king could not get enough of it--when it was brought into a darkened room it gleamed as if a million lights had been lit. He put it into his royal treasury as one of his many treasures, and posted many guards in the garden hoping to capture Moltres, but she came no more. The king, greatly desiring Moltres, sent for his two eldest sons, and said..."

    "You, my sons, failed even to see the thief of my Leppa Berries, but your brother Brian, has at least brought me one of her feathers. Go forth, with my blessing, and ride in search of her, and the one who brings her to me alive will receive half of my kingdom." he told an imagined person as the king.

    He continued as himself over an adventurous interlude "Dimitri and Aleron, jealous of their younger brother Brian, rejoiced that their father did not bid him to go, and mounting their swift horses, rode away in search of Moltres. They rode for three days--exactly how far, I don't know--but eventually they came to a plain where the road split into three paths. A great stone stood at the fork, with this message carved on it..."

    He then played a tense D minor chord. "Who rides forward will know both hunger and cold. Who rides to the right will live, though his steed will die. Who rides to the left will die, though his steed will live."

    As himself, he continued over a quiet interlude "They were unsure what to do, since none of the three roads bode well, and turning into a forest, made camp, where they rested."

    Intrigued murmurs went up from the crowd. "When days had passed and they did not return, Brian asked his father to give him his blessing and permission to search for Moltres." Brock continued. "The king refused to let him go at first..."

    "My dear son, I fear the Mightyenas will devour you. You are still young, and not used to a long journey. If I die and you too are gone, who will remain to keep order in my kingdom? Rebellion may arise and there will be none to quell it, or an enemy may cross our borders and there will be none to command our troops. So please, do not leave me!" he pleaded as the king.

    As himself, Brock then assured the crowd "In spite of all this, however, Brian would not stop pleading, and eventually his father relented. He got his father's blessing, chose a fine Ponyta, and rode away to Arceus knew where."

    Ash couldn't resist clapping along to the song that symbolized Brian traveling. "Three days he rode, till he came to the plain with the fork." Brock went on. "He read the words carved on the great stone that stood there. He thought, "I shouldn't take the left road, for on that road I will die. Nor should I take the middle road of hunger and cold. I will take the right-hand road, where I will keep my life, even though my poor Ponyta will perish." So he rode to the right.

    He sighed--good people and Pokemon dying were some of his least favorite parts to tell. "He rode for one day, then two days, and then three days, enough that the poor Ponyta died of exhaustion."

    [Poor Ponyta...] Tarina commented over the sniffling crowd.

    "On the morning of the fourth day, as he walked through a forest, he saw a Lucario fainting from hunger." Brock narrated over a mysterious motif. "Remembering his fallen Ponyta, he gave the Lucario some of its meat, so it too would not perish."

    "You are a brave lad, Brian, and my heart aches for you." he told an imagined person in an older female voice with a slight lilt for the Lucario "I may have eaten your Ponyta out of survival, but as you did a good deed for me, now I will do something good for you in return. Climb on my back, and tell me where you wish to go."

    "Take me to Moltres, who stole my father's crystal Leppa Berries." he requested in a mimic of Ash as Prince Brian.

    Tintri smiled [No matter how many times Brock mimics you Ash, that never gets old.]

    "I'm still amazed he learned my voice after only hearing me once..." Ash replied before turning his attention back to the stage.

    "With that, the Lucario sped away, running faster than any mortal Rapidash." Brock narrated, playing a "running" motif as the lights dim to simulate nighttime. "At midnight, he stopped at a stone wall."

    "Climb over this wall. On the other side is a garden, and in the garden is an iron railing, and behind the railing three cages are hung, one of gold, one of silver, and one of crystal." he explained in character as the Lucario. "In the gold cage is a Murkrow, in the silver one is a Fletchling, and in the crystal cage is Moltres. Open the door of the crystal cage, carefully take out Moltres, and put her in your bag. But whatever you do, do not take the crystal cage; If you do, great misfortune will follow."

    "Brian climbed the wall, entered the iron railing, and found the three cages as the Lucario had said. Brock narrated as himself. "He took out Moltres and carefully placed her in his bag. However, one of the bag's straps caught on the crystal cage, making a clear ringing that resounded through the garden." He plays a harmonic D note for effect. "This woke the guards, and they captured Brian. In the morning they brought him before their king, the King of Fire."

    "Who are you, and where do you come from?" he asked in a regal voice for the King of Fire. "Whose son are you, and what is your name?"

    "I am Prince Brian of the hill kingdom." he replied in character. "Your Moltres entered my father's garden by night and stole many crystal Leppa Berries from his favorite tree. My father the king sent me to find and bring him the thief."

    "How will I know that you speak the truth?" he asked as the King of Fire again. "Had you asked me first, I would have given you Moltres with all the honor due her. But instead you act as a thief without honor. However, I am a just king, and I will forgive you if you will do me a favor. Across twenty lands lies the Kingdom of the Mist. If you will ride to him and win for me from him the Legendary shining steed Epona, which his father promised me, I will give Moltres to you, and forget this ever happened."

    As himself, Brock continued over a sad melody. "Brian left the Kingdom of Fire in tears. He found the Lucario and told him everything."

    He assured the audience as the Lucario "Cry not, Brian. How was I to know an accident would occur? But as you have confessed the wrong you have done and wish to set things right again, climb on my back, and tell me where you wish to go."

    "Take me across twenty countries to the Kingdom of the Mist, where the Legendary steed Epona is." he requested in character as Prince Brian.

    "And so the Lucario ran, fifty times faster than a mortal Rapidash." Brock narrated as he played the "running" motif again. "Whether it was a long way or a short way, I don't know, but around midnight they came to the palace of the King of the Mist, and stopped beside the royal stables, which were all built of marble."

    "The stablemen are all fast asleep, and you may take Epona." he explained as the Lucario. "Be careful not to touch the golden bridle that hangs beside her. If you do, something terrible will happen."

    As himself, Brock continued "Brian opened the door of the stables and there he saw Epona, whose shining fire and blue flames lit the entire stable. But as he was leading her out his lead rope accidentally brushed against the bridle, and it too rang with a single clear note."

    He played another harmonic D note. "This noise, of course, startled Epona..."

    The audience roared with laughter as a sound effect of a Ponyta whinny played over the speakers. "The racket awakened the guards, who captured Brian." Brock continued once the laughter died down. "In the morning they led him before the King of the Mist."

    "You are too good a young man to be a Ponyta thief." he began, using a gentler voice for the King of the Mist. "Tell me where you come from, who is your father, and what is your name."

    "I come from the kingdom on the hill." he explained as Prince Brian. "I am that king's son, and my name is Brian. The King of Fire gave me the task of bringing him Epona, which your father promised him and which is his by right."

    "Had you told me you came on the Fire King's behalf in the first place, I would have given you Epona with all due honor, and you would not have needed to take her from me by thievery." he replied as the King of the Mist. "However, Brian, I will forgive you and forget this whole affair if you will do something for me. Ride over thirty lands to the Kingdom of Light, whose princess is known as Marla, the star of the sea, and bring her to me as my bride. I have loved her for a long time with all my heart, and yet cannot win her. Do this and I will forgive you and give you Epona."

    As himself, he narrated over a sad interlude. "Brian left the Mist Palace crying many tears, and told the Lucario all that had happened."

    "Dry your tears--I know you did not intend for this to happen, but it did, and so we must make things right again." he assured the audience as the Lucario. "Now, climb on my back and tell me where you wish to go."

    "Take me across thirty lands to the princess who is named Marla." he requested in character as Prince Brian again.

    [I hope he listens this time...] Tarina grumbled over the guitar's interlude.

    "The Lucario began running, a hundred times faster than any Rapidash, and faster than one can tell in a tale, until he came to the Kingdom of Light." Brock continued over his "running" motif. "He stopped at a golden railing surrounding a lovely garden."

    "Go back along the road we came, and wait for me in the open field under the sycamore tree." he instructed as the Lucario.

    "So Brian did as he was told." he narrated as himself.

    The lights dimmed a little to represent evening. "Toward evening, when the sun was low and its rays were no longer hot, the king's daughter, Marla, went into the garden to walk with her ladies." Brock narrated over a quiet interlude. "When she approached, the Lucario met them in the garden and told Marla all manner of wonderful things about the suitor that was his master. After discussing the matter with her ladies, Marla agreed to come with the Lucario. He led her to the open field, to the green oak tree where Brian was waiting, and introduced her to him. Marla had been unnerved, but she found no reason to fear the young man before her."

    "Climb aboard, both of you." he instructed as the Lucario.

    "Brian climbed on the Lucario's back, with Marla holding onto him, and Lucario ran faster than fifty Rapidashes, across thirty countries, back to the Kingdom of the Mist." Brock continued over a traveling motif. "As he kept looking back to be sure Princess Marla was holding onto him securely, Prince Brian began to love her with all his heart, and Princess Marla loved him in return, so that when the Lucario came to the Kingdom of the Mist, Brian began to cry."

    "What's the matter, milord?" he asked as the Lucario.

    "How can I not cry when I myself have begun to love Princess Marla, yet now I must give her up to the King of the Mist for Epona?" he sighed as Prince Brian.

    "I have taken you this far, Brian, and I will not give up on you now." he smiled as the Lucario. "Listen closely. When we approach the palace, I will transform myself into an exact copy of Princess Marla, and you are to lead me to the King of the Mist and receive Epona in return. Once you have Epona, mount her and ride far away. I will catch up with you momentarily."

    "With that, the Lucario cast a spell of transformation..." Brock narrated as himself.

    The town square gasped in awe as Brock sang in character Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul..., making Ash's Mega Ring glow in response.

    "...and transformed into an exact copy of Princess Marla; so alike that not even an archsage's eye could tell them apart." Brock continued. "After instructing the real Marla to wait for him outside the walls, Brian led the Lucario into the palace to the King of the Mist. The king, thinking he had won the treasure he had so long desired as his wife, was very joyful, and gladly gave Brian Epona and his freedom. Once Brian had Epona, he rode outside the walls to the real Princess Marla, had her mount behind him on the saddle and set out across twenty countries back to the Kingdom of Fire."

    After playing a traveling interlude, he went on "It was not long before the Lucario, now in his true form, caught up to them."

    "Climb aboard, Brian, and let Princess Marla ride Epona." he instructed as the Lucario.

    "So Brian mounted the Lucario, and Princess Marla rode on Epona, and they went on together to the Kingdom of Fire." Brock continued as himself over his interlude. "Whether the way was a long one or a short one, I don't know, but eventually they approached the Fire Palace. Then Brian, getting down from the Lucario's back, said..."

    "If you can transform into Princess Marla, could you maybe transform into Epona too? She is a fine steed, and I shudder to know what the King of Fire has in store for her." he explained as Prince Brian.

    "So the Lucario cast another spell of transformation..." he narrated as himself for a moment. before singing Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... as the Lucario again.

    "...and transformed into an exact copy of Epona; so alike even a trained archsage could not tell them apart." he smiled as himself. "After leaving Princess Marla on the green with the real Epona, Brian mounted the disguised Lucario and rode to the palace gate. Once Moltres was in his care, they started off for home, and the Lucario caught up to them some moments later."

    "Climb on my back and let Princess Marla ride Epona." he instructs as the Lucario again.

    "So Brian mounted the Lucario and Princess Marla rode Epona, and eventually they came to the forest where Brian and the Lucario had met." Brock narrated as himself as his "traveling" interlude slowed down.

    "Here we will part for now, but I'm sure we will meet again." he assured the audience as the Lucario.

    [Aw...] Tarina smiled.

    The crowd agreed, and more "Aw"s went up as Brock continued "Brian got down from the Lucario's back, said a tearful farewell to his friend, and the Lucario leaped into a thicket and disappeared. Brian mounted Epona, Marla climbed on behind him, and she held in her hands the golden cage that housed Moltres, and they set off for the royal city. They rode three days, until they came to the plain with the three way fork and the great stone. Being very tired, the party decided to rest for a while. Brian tied Epona to the stone, and lying lovingly side by side on the soft grass, they went to sleep."

    He intoned over an ominous chord "Brian did not, however, expect his jealous brothers to ambush him, throw him into a deep pit, and take his treasures as he slept."

    "WHAAAAAATTTT?" the crowd gasped.

    "The king rejoiced greatly to see them. He gave Prince Dimitri half of his kingdom, and held a festival which lasted a whole month. At the end of the month Prince Aleron was to wed Princess Marla." Brock explained as the chatter quieted.

    His song turned hopeful as he assured the crowd "As for Brian, he spent two days in the deep pit, calling fruitlessly for help all the while. On the third day, the Lucario happened to pass that way. He knew immediately that the voice coming from the pit was that of Prince Brian. After levitating Brian onto safe ground and looking him over for any injury, the Lucario told Brian..."

    "Listen closely--your brothers ambushed you as you slept, threw you in that pit to die, and took away with them Princess Marla, Epona, and Moltres." he explains as the Lucario. "Hurry and climb on my back, for your brother Prince Aleron is to wed your beloved Marla today."

    Brock next started another "running" interlude. "Brian hurried aboard, and the Lucario began running, swifter than a hundred Rapidashes, toward the royal palace. Whether the way was long or short, I don't know, but he soon came to the city, and there at the gate the Lucario stopped."

    "We must part for now, but I am forever your ally, and will come to you if you need my help." he assured us as the Lucario.

    Tarina swallowed hard as Brock continued "Brian got down, and after bidding the Lucario a tearful farewell, entered the city and went immediately to the palace, where Prince Aleron was even then being wed to Princess Marla. He entered the splendid foyer and came to the banquet hall, and as soon as Princess Marla saw him, she got up from the table and kissed him on the cheek."

    "Aw"s went up as the audience pictured the romantic scene in their minds. "This is my beloved, Brian, who rightfully deserves to wed me, and not this wicked one who sits with me at the table!" he called in a young female voice for Princess Marla.

    "The king was confused, and asked Princess Marla to tell him more." Brock explained as himself. "Princess Marla told him everything--how Brian had won her, Epona and Moltres, and how his two elder brothers had ambushed him as he slept and thrown him in a deep pit to die."

    He started a victorious song as he went on "When he heard the truth, the king flew into a great rage. He ordered that Prince Dimitri and Prince Aleron be thrown into the dungeon, and Brian, that same day, was wed to the lovely Marla. The king proclaimed a great festival, which lasted until there was no one hungry or thirsty in the kingdom. There were games, competitions, and performances of every stripe, and the kingdom rang with the minstrel's songs in honor of Prince Brian and Marla."

    He concluded "When the festivities finally ended, Prince Dimitri was made a servant and Prince Aleron a stable boy, but Brian lived always with his beloved Marla in such harmony and love that neither of them could bear to be without the other even for a week. He went on many more adventures with his friend the Lucario as well, but that is another story for another day!"

    The town square exploded in applause as Brock took a bow. [Amazing, as always!] Tarina raved as she applauded.

    "Now that Brock's told, let's get back to the Contest Hall." Ash motioned for Tintri and Tarina to follow him. "The Appeal competition should be starting soon."

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


  6. #96
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    Episode 71b: Appealing Through the Generation Gap! (part 2)


    Applause filled the Contest Hall as Ash, Tintri, and Tarina returned to the Contest Hall. "Perfect timing--the Appeal competition's about to start!" Ash smiled as he found three empty seats near the front.

    He looked at the lineup of coordinators. "It seems Lila is up first, and then Dawn follows her this round."

    Lila approached the platform some moments later, prompting the crowd to quiet down. "Cerise, start with Sunny Day!"

    Dawn watched as Cerise fired a ray of light into the sky, creating an array of sunbeams for the crowd. Ash says that Sunny Day combines with most any Fire move and a few Grass moves.

    She smiled when she saw one particular move on Lola's move list in the Pokedex. Now's my chance for a big combo!

    Entrant number C-98240055; Dawn Solberg and Lola. an announcer told the crowd as Dawn and Lola made their way onstage. First appeal!

    "Lola, try Fire Punch!" Dawn commanded.

    The crowd roared in awe as Lola's fiery fists turned a bright gold, creating a sparkling explosion in the sunlight. "Wow! With that display of power, Dawn rockets into the lead with an amazing combo!" Marian commented as hearts kept appearing under Dawn's picture.

    [Just how many hearts did she get?] Tarina gasped, amazed by the three rows of four hearts under Dawn's picture.

    "Four hearts times three rows equals twelve hearts." Ash explained. "Fire Punch starts with four hearts, plus another four for combining with Sunny Day, and then another four because the excitement meter is at stage 2."

    [Oh!] Tarina smiled as Dawn's picture appeared at the top of the current standings. [That makes sense!]

    [It's only Round 1, so a lot can happen in four more rounds.] Tintri reminded Tarina as the next coordinator came to take their turn...

    ---------

    "Okay---the excitement meter was maxed out, so now it starts back at zero again." Ash explained to Tarina as Lila arrived to make her second appeal.

    "Cerise, try Energy Ball!" Lila commanded.

    Applause filled the room as the sparkling green ball shimmered in the stage lights. [Pretty!] Tintri smiled as five hearts appeared under Lila's picture.

    Dawn came on the stage next. "Lola use Charm!"

    Laughter and "aw"s filled the room as Lola struck cute pose after cute pose. [You'd think that would intimidate Cerise...] Tarina mused as two hearts appeared under Dawn's picture.

    "Well, Energy Ball is a Beautiful move." Ash explained. "Had Cerise also used a Cute move, then Dawn would intimidate her. But I think she's keeping an eye on the excitement meter more..."

    [How do you know all this contest information?] Tintri wondered.

    "My Pokedex has contest mode too, so I thought I'd read up on different moves' Contest effects in case Dawn ever needs help planning appeals." Ash explained.

    ---------

    "Cerise, use Growth!" Lila commanded.

    Dawn smiled as Cerise fired a sparkling green beam skyward, exciting the crowd. Here's my chance! Growth can combine with any Grass move...and Lola can use Grass Knot...

    She smiled as she returned to the stage. "Lola, try Grass Knot!"

    "Wow!" Even Ash was impressed as Lola conjured a shining vine, which climbed towards the ceiling, maxing out the excitement meter.

    [Great choice!] Tintri agreed as twelve rainbow hearts appeared under Dawn's picture and the towering shining vine produced a sparkling gold flower.

    "And Dawn further extends her lead going into the fourth round!" Marian reported. "But Lila is not far behind!"

    ----------

    "Okay...Dawn is up first this round, and Lila follows her." Ash explained as Dawn and Lola arrived for their fourth appeal.

    "All right...Lola, use Hidden Power!" Dawn called.

    Some applause filled the air as Lola created some flaming fireworks. [Cool!] Tarina raved as four hearts appeared under Dawn's picture.

    "There's a little bit of math involved, but there is a way to guess what type your Hidden Power is." Ash explained. "The best part? Dawn could use that move again and again, and it wouldn't bore the audience."

    Onstage, Lila called "Cerise, use Dazzling Gleam!"

    [Bright!] Tintri yelped as many in the crowd shielded their eyes from the shower of rainbow flashes.

    "Nice choice...that is a very appealing move." Ash mused as six hearts appeared under Lila's picture.

    "And Lila just barely edges Dawn going into the final round!" Marian reported. "Which coordinator will come out on top? Can daughter prevail over her mother's rival, and win the one ribbon she could not?"

    ---------

    "Cerise, let's finish with Razor Leaf!" Lila called.

    Ash watched the crowd roar over the whorl of razor sharp leaves. "Be thankful no one used Growth before her--then Dawn would have no chance of recovery. He let that hang as seven hearts appeared under Lila's picture. "If Dawn can max out the meter for a big finish, she may be able to win."

    The boy, the Pikachu, and the Pichu watched Dawn and Lola return to the stage one last time. "Okay, Lola--make a Healing Wish!" Dawn called.

    The crowd roared as Lola created a huge burst of rainbow sparkling lights that rained down onto the audience. [She did it!] Tarina squeaked as sixteen rainbow hearts appeared under Dawn's picture.

    "With a commanding finish, the winner is entrant number C-98240055; Dawn Solberg and Lola!" Marian announced, to the roar of the crowd as Dawn approached the judge's table to accept the ribbon from Keira...

    ---------

    "Well done, Dawn." Lila smiled as the group returned to the Prism Stardust shop later that evening. "As a reward for your fine performance, you three are welcome to have one coord of your choice for free."

    "Wow, thanks!" Ash smiled.

    "Yes, thank you." Brock agreed as he pocketed the emerald he had won in his Fantasy Stage bag.

    "Thanks..." Dawn smiled. "You're not mad you lost?"

    "Oh no...I should actually be thanking you." Lila confessed. "Thank you for letting me experience an excitement I have not felt in a long time. Joanna has taught you well."

    "The pleasure's all mine." Dawn replied. "I promise I will keep training and getting stronger--for you, and for Mom."

    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. #97
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    Episode 72a: Losing its Lustrous! (part 1)


    "Well done on your third ribbon, Dawn." Brock smiled as the group prepared to leave the Celestic Town Pokémon Center. "The fact it was the one ribbon your mom couldn't win should make it all the more sweeter."

    "Likewise, well done on reaching halfway on your rainbow." Dawn smiled. "Only blue, indigo, and purple to go, right?"

    Brock nodded. "Then from there, it's on to the Grand Fantasy Stage during the Pokemon League."

    The sound of a Pokeflute playing an upbeat flourish, followed by a flash of rainbow thunderbolts, snapped both Brock and Dawn to attention. "What was that?" Dawn asked.

    "An idea to counter Fantina's Hypnosis based on your appeals and Brock's performance in the Fantasy Stage yesterday." Ash explained, fingering his instrument all the while. "Musically commanding the Pokemon! So long as I can keep a tune going, the Pokemon can't go to sleep if they keep hearing the Pokeflute. So after assigning each of my team's known moves to a little melody, I then taught them which little song meant what move."

    "That's actually very clever!" Brock smiled. "It looks like your Aura abilities affect the music as well, which boosts the power of the different moves."

    A breaking news jingle from a TV snapped the group to attention. "Newsflash! The Adamant Orb has been successfully stolen by Team Galactic!" an announcer reported.

    "WHAT???" Dawn hurried to the TV, watching the report in shock.

    "The Adamant Orb was on its way to the Celestic Town Historical Research Center, which is currently studying the Adamant Orb's counterpart, the Lustrous Orb." the announcer continued over scenes of a Galactic plane attacking the location. "Champion Cynthia is currently on her way to Celestic Town..."

    "Cynthia...we need to meet up with her and help her get the Adamant Orb back!" Ash vowed as he put away his Pokeflute.

    "Tell that to Mr. Loverboy here..." Dawn sighed, pointing out Brock singing a song to Nurse Joy in the distance, guitar and all.

    ...Remember there was dancing on that night so long ago
    We sang and raised our glasses to the starlight on the snow...
    Brock sang the third verse of the song, pleased he had managed to get this far in a song without Kage jabbing him.

    Well, if you should see those northern lights on a frosty winter's eve,
    Watch them dance and know I’m there, there’s no...need...to...
    Brock stopped his song as he noticed Kage staring out the window. "Is Kage okay? Usually I barely get past the first line of the song, and he's let me sing almost a whole song!"

    "He may be watching for someone..." Nurse Joy replied. "Go on, finish the song--I was enjoying it!"

    "Okay..." Brock replied as he found the first chord of the song's chorus. Everyday, sing a song,
    To help me sail along...
    Too ra loo ra loo ra loo ra lay,
    And I’ll be on my way...


    ---------

    Later, the group met Cynthia and a dull blonde haired woman with similar features in the Research Center's foyer. "Thank you so much for coming on such short notice." Cynthia began.

    She gestured to the woman. "This is my grandma, and the Research Center's chief."

    "You can call me Professor Carolina, if you wish." the woman smiled.

    The group did not know that Saturn was watching them from a rooftop. "There they are...the hat-boy that ruined our plans in Veilstone City."

    "Believe me, I know..." Mars agreed. "Those three are a crafty lot--be especially careful of the minstrel boy!" She pointed out Brock singing to Cynthia and Professor Carolina inside the foyer, never mind the music and lyrics were unintelligible from their position.

    "Of all the fools that could've thwarted our plans, you had to be thwarted by a minstrel?" Cyrus asked as he joined Mars and Saturn on their stakeout. "That's both frustrating and amusing at the same time." he smiled. "But the only song our minstrel will soon be singing is an ode to my new world, and hailing ME as his new king!"

    He turned business-like again as a notification appeared on his Poketch. "Mars--Jupiter's received the explosives and requests your assistance in the ruins to set them up."

    "Yes sir!" Mars replied before departing.

    "Saturn, come with me." Cyrus instructed. "You have the honor of dealing with the trio of fools that have bothered Mars and Jupiter for too long. I will be popping in to check on the other teams taking part in our offensive for the twin orbs. Can I trust you to distract the enemy while I am away?"

    "Yes sir!" Saturn smiled as Cyrus departed.

    ---------

    "Celestic Town has long had a connection with Dalga and Palkia." Professor Carolina explained, pointing out a white dog-like Pokemon sending forth two familiar dragon-like Pokemon into the world. "The story goes that long ago, Arceus, the Lord of All That Was, All That Is, and All That Is to Be, created Dialga and Palkia to help Him create the world. Palkia created the very cosmos, and Dialga gave the new world the gift of time and order, giving us the seasons.

    Dawn noticed a picture of Mesprit near the picture of Arceus, Dialga, and Palkia. "But where does Mesprit factor into the story?"

    "And Azelf?" Ash added.

    "Oh, have you met Mesprit and Azelf?" Professor Carolina asked.

    Dawn nodded. "Not long after my companions rescued me and Kori from a flock of Starly near Lake Verity, I heard this strong and powerful female voice sing the Swanna Song, which healed Kori."

    "I was passing by Lake Valor on my way into town to get ice cream for Dawn and some friends, and Azelf blessed me with his Swanna Song." Ash went on. "It was a high male voice that almost sounded female."

    "If you're curious, Mesprit represents Emotion and Azelf represents Willpower." Cynthia explained. "There is a third lake guardian at Lake Acuity near Snowpoint City--he is Uxie who represents Knowledge. As far as I know, no one has yet heard his Swanna Song."

    Uxie...that's the same Pokemon May and Zoey were telling us about during the Wallace Cup. Brock thought.

    Professor Carolina spotted Saturn, in disguise as an intern. "Why don't you take these three to see the Lustrous Orb?"

    "Right away." Saturn replied with a feigned smile. She fell for it! Once I have these three in position, I can signal Mars to set off the explosives!

    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. #98
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    Episode 72b: Losing its Lustrous! (part 2)

    The group and the disguised Saturn watched as Professor Carolina swiped a key card in an armored door. Access requested--please press palm to scanner for bio-verification.

    "Neat!" Dawn smiled as the scanner analyzed Professor Carolina's handprint with a hum.

    Access approved--welcome to the vault. With that, the armored door creaked open.

    "This is the museum's vault--where we keep new arrivals to the museum, as well as its rarest and most valuable artifacts." Professor Carolina explained. "The Lustrous Orb is one of our treasures."

    "Wow..." Ash gasped as he admired a large blue orb with a purple sheen on a pedestal.

    "It's beautiful!" Dawn agreed as she too hurried to admire the orb.

    Saturn, however, decided to relay to Cyrus what was going on. "Admin Saturn to Supreme Leader Cyrus--I have access to the room with the Lustrous Orb."

    "Excellent." Cyrus' voice crackled back. "You know as well as I do that the Lustrous Orb may be directly connected to the dawn of time. It is very important that we claim it during our offensive."

    "Roger." Saturn replied. "What are my next instructions?"

    "Once the explosives go off in a few minutes, they may attempt to move the orb to a more secure location." Cyrus cautioned. "You are to prevent this if possible."

    "Understood." Saturn replied. "Saturn out."

    He smiled as he heard an explosion in the distance, followed by screams of alarm and the various screeches of sirens. <i>There's the explosion...</i> He discretely fled the room in an attempt to intercept museum security.

    Back in the room, Professor Carolina tried fruitlessly to reopen the armored door. "The security system has been compromised!"

    "Luckily, the manual override still works." Cynthia smiled as she used the override to reopen the door. "We need to get the Lustrous Orb somewhere safe, but we need someone to look after the vault's other artifacts while the orb is being moved."

    "Then I'll take the orb!" Ash volunteered. "Tell me where you want to put it, and I'll take it there!"

    "Okay...listen closely." Cynthia began before giving Ash his instructions...

    ---------

    Brock's heart pounded has he hurried in the direction of the vault. I don't know what that explosion was all about, but I hope to Arceus Ash and Dawn are okay!

    He watched from a window as a team of helicopters with a familiar G insignia flew to the roof of the Research Center. Of course...Team Galactic masterminded all of this.

    A pop from a Poke Ball got his attention. "Kage? What's going on?"

    [Come with me.] Kage motioned for Brock to follow him down a hallway. [I know where Ash and Dawn are, and I know where she is...]

    "Who is 'she'?" Brock was still confused.

    He found Ash, Dawn, and Cynthia moments later. "There you are! I thought you three were toast when those explosions happened!"

    "We're fine, just a little rattled." Dawn explained. "We're trying to take the Lustrous Orb to a secure location near the main entrance."

    "And you lot are never gonna get there!" a male voice sneered.

    "Saturn!" Ash growled as Saturn threw off his disguise. "What did you do to everyone?"

    "Easy...my Bronzor Ara has put everyone outside to sleep, while Mantella has taken care of everyone inside." Saturn replied. "Once she's done, Mantella will take care of you."

    Brock froze when he saw Kage battling a familiar Toxicroak at the edge of the hallway. It makes sense now--Kage didn't want to stop my performance before because he sensed Saturn's Toxicroak Mantella was here! The 'she' Kage meant was Mantella!

    "Ara, use Hypnosis!" Saturn called to his Bronzor.

    "Shenlong, try Brick Break!" Cynthia called.

    In all the confusion, Officer Jenny found Ash and Dawn. "Come on, you two--let's get you and the orb somewhere safe."

    "Not if I have anything to say about it!" Mars smirked as she intercepted the group.

    "We're surrounded!" Dawn gasped as Jupiter blocked the way the group had come.

    Suddenly Kage burst through a skylight and landed on the ground. [You wanna hurt my crew? You'll have to go through me first!]

    "KAGEEEEEEEEE!!!" Brock screamed in horror as Mantella hit Kage dead-on with a Poison Jab.

    [I tried, Coach...] Kage wheezed before fainting.

    "You'll never be allowed to escape with the Lustrous Orb so long as I'm here!" Cynthia roared in defiance at the three admins.

    She heaved another Poke Ball skyward. "Rukia, I need you!"

    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. #99
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    Episode 73a: Double Team Turnover! (part 1)

    Previously, on "Pokemon Shine Diamond"...

    In all the confusion, Officer Jenny found Ash and Dawn. "Come on, you two--let's get you and the orb somewhere safe."

    "Not if I have anything to say about it!" Mars smirked as she intercepted the group.

    "We're surrounded!" Dawn gasped as Jupiter blocked the way the group had come.

    Suddenly Kage burst through a skylight and landed on the ground. [You wanna hurt my crew? You'll have to go through me first!]

    "KAGEEEEEEEEE!!!" Brock screamed in horror as Mantella hit Kage dead-on with a Poison Jab.

    [I tried, Coach...] Kage wheezed before fainting.

    "You'll never be allowed to escape with the Lustrous Orb so long as I'm here!" Cynthia roared in defiance at the three admins.

    She heaved another Poke Ball skyward. "Rukia, I need you!"


    Ash watched as the Poke Ball Cynthia had heaved opened with a pop, revealing a Lucario. He felt an odd sense of peace as Rukia went to work punching Golbats out of the sky. If that's what Erin will become, I can't wait to see how powerful Erin will be!

    He heaved a Poke Ball skyward as Tintri ran to join the battle. "Diddy, let's go!"

    "Kori, Stormy, go help Ash!" Dawn heaved two Poke Balls skyward.

    "Shenlong, help Rukia!" Cynthia told her Garchomp.

    "Don't think sheer numbers will save you!" Mars shot back. "Leona, use Shadow Ball!"

    "Mantella, use Dark Pulse!" Saturn commanded.

    Utter chaos broke out in the hallway as the two sides clashed. Shenlong blocked Leona's Shadow Ball; and Rukia blocked the Dark Pulse. Brock sent out Hinata to support Diddy in battling Saturn's Bronzor Ara, and Ripple to support Kori in trying to weaken Mantella. [This one's for Kage!] Ripple vowed as she used Mud Slap in an attempt to blind Mantella.

    Tarina watched the battle rage from the safety of Brock's bag. [Put me in--I want to help avenge Kage too.]

    "Not yet." Brock replied. "If Tintri needs help, then you can support him. But until then, stay put."

    He gasped when he heard Diddy cry in pain. "Scratch that thought, Pokemon down!"

    "Diddy!" Ash gasped as he found Diddy writing in pain on the floor from an oozing wound.

    [He's been poisoned...] Hinata noticed.

    [But the Galactic guys are getting away!] Tarina pointed out the admins fleeing from a window.

    "I know you wanted us to get the twin orbs back, but we can't fight with Kage down and Diddy poisoned." Brock explained as the group called back their teams.

    "Let's regroup at the Pokemon Center." Cynthia suggested. "We can plan our next move there."

    ---------

    In the Pokemon Center, the group reunited in a lounge near the front desk. [Why do those Galactic guys want the orbs so bad?] Tarina wondered.

    "It's because the twin orbs have a connection to Dialga and Palkia." Cynthia replied. "The Adamant Orb is said to boost Dialga's power, and the Lustrous Orb boosts Palkia's power."

    "But what does that have to do with Team Galactic?" Ash was confused.

    "According to what I have uncovered about Galactic's plot, the two orbs also summon Dialga and Palkia, in addition to boosting their power." Cynthia explained. "So if they fall into evil hands, and manage to summon them..."

    "Game over, world..." Brock sighed.

    Ash was just as dejected. "I'm sorry...I did everything I could to protect the orb. Diddy was hurt because of me..."

    "It's okay..." Cynthia assured Ash. "You did more than enough. It's important not to regret the past but look to the future."

    "Yeah..." A weak smile formed on Ash's face. "We won't get the orbs back by having a pity party like this!"

    "We may still have time..." Cynthia showed the group a video of Cyrus following Professor Carolina to the ruins. "The Galactic head is following Grandma. We can intercept him and at least set Team Galactic back!"

    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. #100
    Elite Four Member EmeraldSky's Avatar
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    Episode 73a: Double Team Turnover! (part 1)

    Previously, on "Pokemon Shine Diamond"...

    In all the confusion, Officer Jenny found Ash and Dawn. "Come on, you two--let's get you and the orb somewhere safe."

    "Not if I have anything to say about it!" Mars smirked as she intercepted the group.

    "We're surrounded!" Dawn gasped as Jupiter blocked the way the group had come.

    Suddenly Kage burst through a skylight and landed on the ground. [You wanna hurt my crew? You'll have to go through me first!]

    "KAGEEEEEEEEE!!!" Brock screamed in horror as Mantella hit Kage dead-on with a Poison Jab.

    [I tried, Coach...] Kage wheezed before fainting.

    "You'll never be allowed to escape with the Lustrous Orb so long as I'm here!" Cynthia roared in defiance at the three admins.

    She heaved another Poke Ball skyward. "Rukia, I need you!"


    Ash watched as the Poke Ball Cynthia had heaved opened with a pop, revealing a Lucario. He felt an odd sense of peace as Rukia went to work punching Golbats out of the sky. If that's what Erin will become, I can't wait to see how powerful Erin will be!

    He heaved a Poke Ball skyward as Tintri ran to join the battle. "Diddy, let's go!"

    "Kori, Stormy, go help Ash!" Dawn heaved two Poke Balls skyward.

    "Shenlong, help Rukia!" Cynthia told her Garchomp.

    "Don't think sheer numbers will save you!" Mars shot back. "Leona, use Shadow Ball!"

    "Mantella, use Dark Pulse!" Saturn commanded.

    Utter chaos broke out in the hallway as the two sides clashed. Shenlong blocked Leona's Shadow Ball; and Rukia blocked the Dark Pulse. Brock sent out Hinata to support Diddy in battling Saturn's Bronzor Ara, and Ripple to support Kori in trying to weaken Mantella. [This one's for Kage!] Ripple vowed as she used Mud Slap in an attempt to blind Mantella.

    Tarina watched the battle rage from the safety of Brock's bag. [Put me in--I want to help avenge Kage too.]

    "Not yet." Brock replied. "If Tintri needs help, then you can support him. But until then, stay put."

    He gasped when he heard Diddy cry in pain. "Scratch that thought, Pokemon down!"

    "Diddy!" Ash gasped as he found Diddy writing in pain on the floor from an oozing wound.

    [He's been poisoned...] Hinata noticed.

    [But the Galactic guys are getting away!] Tarina pointed out the admins fleeing from a window.

    "I know you wanted us to get the twin orbs back, but we can't fight with Kage down and Diddy poisoned." Brock explained as the group called back their teams.

    "Let's regroup at the Pokemon Center." Cynthia suggested. "We can plan our next move there."

    ---------

    In the Pokemon Center, the group reunited in a lounge near the front desk. [Why do those Galactic guys want the orbs so bad?] Tarina wondered.

    "It's because the twin orbs have a connection to Dialga and Palkia." Cynthia replied. "The Adamant Orb is said to boost Dialga's power, and the Lustrous Orb boosts Palkia's power."

    "But what does that have to do with Team Galactic?" Ash was confused.

    "According to what I have uncovered about Galactic's plot, the two orbs also summon Dialga and Palkia, in addition to boosting their power." Cynthia explained. "So if they fall into evil hands, and manage to summon them..."

    "Game over, world..." Brock sighed.

    Ash was just as dejected. "I'm sorry...I did everything I could to protect the orb. Diddy was hurt because of me..."

    "It's okay..." Cynthia assured Ash. "You did more than enough. It's important not to regret the past but look to the future."

    "Yeah..." A weak smile formed on Ash's face. "We won't get the orbs back by having a pity party like this!"

    "We may still have time..." Cynthia showed the group a video of Cyrus following Professor Carolina to the ruins. "The Galactic head is following Grandma. We can intercept him and at least set Team Galactic back!"

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


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