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Thread: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Performers of Harmony

  1. #31
    Elite Four Member EmeraldSky's Avatar
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    Act 30: A Challenge in the Canyon


    "How much further do we have to go?" Ruby complained as the caravan wound its way through the majestic rock formations of the Great Canyon. "Even as a Fire type, this is killing me!"

    "Not much further." Lita assured Ruby as she looked up from her map. "We should be reaching Xatu's abode on the Hill of the Ancients very soon."

    "Good--it's hot enough for even a Water type to be miserable." Brenna sighed as she misted herself to keep cool in the scorching heat.

    "Even though we only left Mt. Citron two days ago, it feels like an eternity now..." Charlotte agreed as the caravan emerged from the canyon to approach a large hill.

    A white humanoid Pokemon brandished its blade-like arms as the group approached. "Hold! The great Xatu is meditating now...if you wish to see him, state your reason for coming all this way."

    "Sir Gallade, we are but a humble troupe of actors on a great journey to Luminous City." Lita explained. "I ask if the Great Xatu is interested in a performance."

    Suddenly, the group heard a gentle male voice echoing in their minds. So this is the troupe that is making others happy no matter where they travel...Shaymin and Zapdos have informed me they give a fine show.

    "Would you like for the Moonlight Players to perform for you, great one?" the Gallade asked.

    Yes--allow them inside, and prepare the Canyon Stage. the male voice replied. They have already accomplished much on their journey so far, and they will accomplish a lot more.

    The Gallade nodded. "Very well, great one."

    He addressed the group next. "Come on inside--the Great Xatu has foreseen many of your shows so far, and likes what he sees."

    "Thank you." Lita smiled as the Gallade admitted the group to the hill's expansive peak. A condor-like Pokemon with tribal designs on its feathers looked out on the canyon below and the sun in the sky, a peaceful look on its face.

    It appeared to smile as the group approached. Welcome to the Hill of the Ancients, Moonlight Players. From humble beginnings, your shows are quickly growing popular no matter where you travel. But there is still more you can learn, to make your shows even better.

    Lita shuddered a little as Xatu looked at her, as if he was analyzing every thought in her head. "W-well, we have hoped to be able to do musicals as well as straight plays one day, great one..."

    And you will get a chance to learn the art of the musical, but first, I have a challenge for you... Xatu began. To this point, you have had a chance to reasonably prepare for a show. But any good theater troupe is able to adapt on the fly, even if they have never seen the script before.

    "So, you want us to put something on that we have never seen before?" Ruby asked, confused. "I mean, we had something prepared to perform for you, but if you want to see something else, we can do that..."

    Xatu focused for a moment, conjuring a script in Ruby's paws. This is the script I would like you to perform. However, it is not quite the same story you remember!

    "'The Brave Little Tailor...we can do this!" Ruby smiled as she thumbed through the script. "Okay...seven with one blow...kills a giant or three..."

    She balked when she reached a scene near the end of the play. "Wait a minute--every version of the show I've seen always ends with the tailor killing the giant. In this version, he has even more to do!"

    This is why I warned you that this is not quite the same story you remember. Xatu explained. Will you be able to perform this for me and the Pokemon of the canyon?

    "Even though we have never seen this script before, we'll give it our best shot." Brenna replied as she looked over at a stage near the peak that looked like it had been carved from the canyon itself.

    That is all I ask--that you simply attempt to perform something you have never seen before. Xatu explained. Even if the resulting show is terrible, it will still be beautiful if you put your hearts into it!

    Lita nodded. "Okay...if we can have a little time to choose roles and rehearse a little, we should have a decent show to put on..."

    You have three days to decide roles and rehearse, with the performance on the third night. Xatu explained. I believe you can have a show ready in such a short time.

    "That's fair." Charlotte replied.

    She addressed the members of the troupe. "Come on, everyone! Even though we only have three days to prepare, let's make this one of the best shows Xatu has ever seen!"

    A pleased look appeared on Xatu's face as the group cheered, then hurried off to set things up and make preparations. If you do well with my challenge, I will allow you access to the Garden of Melodies, where Meloetta dwells. She can give you the musical training you have longed for.

    Lita smiled. "All the more reason to give this show everything we've got!" She let that hang as she hurried off to the Canyon Stage to prepare for a quick rehearsal...

    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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  3. #32
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    Act 31: An Adventure on the Fly (part 1)


    The stars twinkled over the Great Canyon as the resident Pokemon hurried to join Xatu in watching the group's performance. But backstage, the group was undergoing their final preparations. "Nervous?" Lita asked as she emerged in a princess costume.

    "More than any other show we have done." Ruby replied as she emerged in a simple fantasy outfit--with a big red 7 concealed behind a piece of fabric. Rio had come up with the idea of the hidden 7 to save Ruby time and a costume change.

    "Remember--this was given to us as a challenge, and we've never backed down from a challenge before." Lita assured Ruby.

    She looked out at her excited troupemates. "Let's show Xatu what we can do!"

    Cheers went up in agreement as the group hurried into position. After a few moments, the orchestra struck up a dreamy overture. "On one warm summer's morning in a far away land, a little tailor--we'll call him Tomlin--was sitting by the window, happily sewing as he always did." Brenna narrated from a nook at stage right. "Though the pay he earned wasn't much, it was enough to get by from day to day."

    She smiled at the excited audience. "It helped that Tomlin enjoyed his work." She let that hang as the lights came up on the set of a simple fantasy house, where Ruby was pantomiming sewing a jacket.

    "Fresh berries!" Shimmer called from offstage. "Fresh berries, picked with love from the vine! Come buy! Come buy!"

    Ruby snapped to attention. "Cherida's here! Let's go see what berries and treats she's brought this week!"

    After setting the prop jacket aside, she hurried offstage. She returned a few moments later with a few jars of jelly, marmalade, and other spreads. "Okay--Rawst jam and Oran marmalade go in the cupboard for tomorrow..." she mused as she placed some of the prop jars in a cupboard on the set.

    A stomach growl got her attention. "I see no harm in getting into the Grepa jelly now..." she smiled as she got some bread from the cupboard.

    She noticed the jacket as she spread some of the Grepa jelly on the bread. "But this jacket's just about done...I should finish it first, then have a snack."

    She set the bread on a plate, then returned to her work. After a few moments of quiet, the sound effect of Venonats buzzing played, annoying Ruby from her pretend work. "Hey! Who invited you?" she asked, swatting at the imagined Venonats while the audience laughed.

    Finally, Ruby got a glass from the cupboard, and clomped it down hard on the table. When she counted how many feigned Vanonats she had killed, her face lit up. "Wow! I managed to kill seven with one blow...the whole town will know of this!"

    "Tomlin eagerly set to work making a suit of cloth armor, with a huge number 7 embroidered in red on the torso." Brenna narrated as the lights went down, save for the ruffing and thumping of Ruby pretending to work.

    A 'ta-da!' stinger played as the lights revealed the large red 7 on Ruby's costume. "Why stop at just the town? The whole world will hear of it!" she smiled, to some light applause.

    The orchestra started an excited interlude. "Tomlin eagerly packed a few weeks' worth of supplies for his journey, and set out the next morning." Brenna narrated at the light went down. "At first, the journey was uneventful. The road led him up a mountain, and when Tomlin had reached the peak, there sat a powerful Machoke looking down at the valley below...

    The lights came up on Ruby strolling into a mountain road set. A Machoke sat on a rock at stage right. "Good day, comrade, sitting there overlooking the whole wide world!" Ruby smiled. "I am just on my way there, and want to try my luck. Want to come with me?"

    The audience laughed as the Machoke reared back at the huge red 7. "Maybe that big 7 means the number of rogues this lad has slain in battle..." he mused in an aside. "So it may not be the best idea to battle him...maybe I should test his wits."

    He picked up a rock. "If you can squeeze the rock so that water runs from it, I'll trust you."

    "Is that all? That's child's play!" Ruby smiled.

    The audience laughed as the Machoke balked at the melted cheese. He located a rock and heaved it skyward. "Let's see you top that."

    "Well thrown, but what goes up must eventually come down--I will throw you one that doesn't come back at all." Ruby confidently smiled.

    With that, she heaved a prop Fletchling from her pocket, which fluttered offstage to the Machoke's feigned amazement. "How does that please you, comrade?"

    "You can certainly throw, but now we will see if you are able to carry anything properly." the Machoke replied as the lights went down.

    They came up on a forested set some moments later. The Machoke led Ruby to a prop tree. "If you are strong enough, help me carry the tree out of the forest."

    "Sure! Take the trunk on your shoulders, and I will carry the branches and twigs; they are the heaviest." Ruby offered before scrambling into the prop tree's branches.

    The audience howled with laughter at the Machoke straining to carry the "heavy" prop tree. When he set it down, Ruby climbed out. "You are such a great fellow, and yet you can't even carry the tree!" she taunted, a confident smirk on her face.

    The audience roared with laughter over a trumpet's "wah-wah-wah-wah" stinger as the Machoke trudged offstage and the lights went down...

    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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  5. #33
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    Act 32: An Adventure on the Fly (part 2)

    The orchestra started a quiet interlude. "Tomlin went on his way, following where the wind led him." Brenna narrated from her nook. "After he had walked for a long time, he came to the courtyard of a royal palace. As he was very tired, he lay down on the grass and fell asleep." She let that hang as the lights came up on Ruby "sleeping" under a tree.

    After a few tense moments, a crowd of Pokemon in fantastic costumes arrived in the scene. "Wow! Look at the size of that 7!" an Emolga gasped as he soared on the stage.

    "I wonder what that 7 means..." a Roselia agreed.

    "Maybe it's the number of warriors he has defeated?" a Mienshao asked.

    "If this is in fact the case, then what is a great warrior doing here in a time of peace?" a Ninetales asked.

    "Maybe he must be a great lord of a far away land!" a Shinx suggested. "We must inform His Majesty!" The other extras cheered in agreement as the lights went down.

    They came up on a majestic throne room set as an Arcanine in royal garb came out to meet the extras, with a Delphox in royal garb not far behind. "Oh my...this must be a grave concern if so many of you have come..."

    "We have seen the oddest thing, Your Grace..." the Shinx explained as the throng bowed before the Arcanine. "There is a traveler dozing on the hill outside the royal city. The strange thing is, a large red 7 is emblazoned on his clothes."

    "That is strange..." the Arcanine mused. "Do any of you have an idea as to what the large red 7 means?"

    "We believe him to be a great hero who has slain seven evils." the Roselia suggested. "Perhaps he updates the number when he kills a new evil lord or monster, to warn away those that would do evil. So the large 7 is a warning--if you battle him, you may be slain opponent number 8." Nervous giggles went up in agreement.

    "What the townsfolk have said is true." the Delphox assured the Arcanine, conjuring an image of Ruby "sleeping" for the Arcanine to see. "If war ever broke out, this would be a good person to have in the royal ranks."

    The Arcanine nodded. "Very well, Aslin. Will you go to this hero and offer him service in the royal court?"

    "Right away, Your Grace." The Delphox gave the Arcanine a little bow, the hurried off as the lights went down.

    They came up again on the hill set. The Delphox arrived just as Ruby woke up from her feigned nap. "Oh! Are you maybe one of the residents of the city?" she asked.

    The Delphox nodded. "I am Lady Aslin of Beltany, envoy and chief advisor to His Majesty King Liam of Beltany."

    "A royal envoy?" Ruby gasped as she scrambled to her feet. "What message does His Majesty have for me?"

    "The townsfolk are in awe that you managed to kill seven evils." the Delphox explained. "Whether you killed them all at once, or one by one, I don't know, but His Majesty is well pleased with your bravery and valor. He wishes to offer you a place in the royal court, and an honored resident of the royal city."

    Ruby smiled. "That's why I came here. I would be more than honored to enter His Majesty's service."

    The orchestra started a majestic melody as Brenna narrated "Tomlin was honorably received, and he was well loved and well liked by commoner and nobility alike. The other soldiers, however, were unsure that Tomlin was even worthy of being at court. They knew well if they argued with him, and it came to blows, seven of them would fall at every blow. So they came to the king and asked him to find a way for Tomlin to prove his courage and wits..."

    The lights came up on Ruby bowing before the Arcanine on the throne room set. "Tomlin...you have proven yourself a fine resident of the royal city, and many can vouch for your courage, your wit, and joyous heart." the Arcanine explained. "But there are some who don't believe in your skill. So I propose to you three challenges. If you can successfully complete them all, I will give you my only daughter, Princess Natalie, as a bride for you, and half the kingdom as a wedding gift."

    "That would be a wonderful thing for someone like me!" Ruby smiled. "It's not every day one is offered a beautiful princess and half a kingdom! Name your challenges, and I will do it, even if I have to go to the very ends of the world and slay a thousand Hydreigons!"

    The Arcanine smiled at Ruby's enthusiasm. "All right, here is the first challenge...in a certain forest live two giants, who cause great terror with their robbing, murdering, plundering, and burning. No one can approach them without putting themselves in danger. Should it happen that you need help, a hundred soldiers will go with you."

    "I will soon subdue the giants, and do not require any help to do it." Ruby grinned. "He who can hit seven in one blow, has no need to be afraid of two."

    Excited chatter filled the hillside as the orchestra started an adventurous theme. "And so, Tomlin went forth, and the hundred soldiers followed him." Brenna narrated as the lights came up on Ruby and a crowd of a hundred Growlithes in prop royal armor arrived on a forest set...

    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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  7. #34
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    Act 33: An Adventure on the Fly (part 3)


    The audience watched as Ruby told her entourage of Growlithes "Wait here, I will soon finish off the giants."

    She then bounded off into another part of the forest set, where she clambored into a tree, where she could see the imagined giants. It was probably for the best we had the giants be offstage voices... Lita thought as she watched Ruby drop a rock from her perch. Pokemon on top of each other would look silly...

    Some offstage dialogue alerted her the rock had hit its target. "Did you push me?"

    "I did not!"

    "Then who did?"

    "I never touched you!"

    "Oh, yes you did!"

    "I did not!"

    "Did too!"

    "Did not!"

    "Did too!"

    Even Xatu had to laugh at the whirling cloud of dust on the stage near Ruby's perch. "It is a lucky thing that they did not tear up the tree I was sitting in, or I would have had to jump onto another like a Pachirisu." Ruby noted to the audience as the cloud of dust whirled about, complete with fighting noises. "But we tailors are nimble enough."

    Once the dust had settled, she tiptoed up to the large sand bags standing in for the giants, made a few gashes on them, then returned to the waiting Growlithes at the other end of the stage.

    "Well?" one Growlithe asked as Ruby returned.

    "Are the giants slain?" another one asked.

    "The battle is over." Ruby smiled. "I have given both of them their final blow, but it was hard work! They tore up trees to use as weapons, but all that is to no avail when someone like myself comes, who can kill seven in one blow."

    "But are you not wounded?" a third Growlithe asked.

    "You need not worry about that. They have not harmed one hair of mine." Ruby assured the Growlithe.

    "Will you allow us to see what you have claimed for ourselves?" a third Growlithe asked.

    "Gladly. I have nothing to hide." Ruby replied as the group of Growlithes ventured to the dark part of the stage.

    They returned a few moments later in shock. "By Arceus...what the tailor said was true!" one Growlithe gasped. "He has more than passed the first challenge!"

    The orchestra played a victorious theme as the lights went down, then came up on Ruby and the Arcanine in the throne room again. "The soldiers confirmed that you have completed the first challenge--well done." the Arcanine smiled.

    "What must I do now, Your Grace?" Ruby asked.

    "The second challenge is this--in the forest roams a wild Beast which does great harm, and you must catch him first." the Arcanine replied.

    "I fear one Beast still less than two giants. Seven in one blow, is my kind of affair." Ruby grinned over her character's triumphant trumpet motif.

    "Tomlin took a rope and a bow with him, went into the forest, and bade those who were sent with him to wait outside." Brenna narrated as Ruby entered another forest set. After a few tense moments, a majestic Raikou puppet "ran" on the stage. But Ruby waited until the majestic Pokemon was quite close, shot an arrow with a rope around it into the tree, then leaped like a Sawbuck behind the tree. The Raikou puppet was easily tangled in the rope, and struggled mightily to get out, to the delight of the audience as the lights went down.

    When the lights came up on the throne room again, Ruby proudly gestured to the "stuck" puppet. "Here is the Beast--he will not harm again!"

    "That is a clever way to catch a Raikou..." the Arcanine smiled. "Now for your third and final challenge--I want you to catch a certain wild Emboar that wreaks great havoc in the forest. Some of the royal rangers will give you their help."

    "Willingly--that is child's play!" Ruby smiled as the lights went down.

    The orchestra played an interlude as Ruby and a crowd of bow wielding Charmanders arrived on a third forest set. "This is where the Emboar was last spotted?" Ruby asked.

    "It is." one Charmander replied. "If you need help, we stand ready to lend our bows to your aid."

    "Okay--if I need you guys, I'll just whistle!" Ruby smiled as the lights went down.

    After a few tense moments, Ruby arrived in a more woodsy forest set. She gasped when she saw an Emboar puppet charging at her, but then spotted the entrance of an abandoned shrine close by. "SAY..."

    She hurried into the shrine, and went in and out the window. The Emboar puppet ran in after her, but Ruby ran around outside and shut the door behind it, trapping the puppet inside.

    Once satisfied with her handiwork, Ruby whistled, spurring the Charmanders to arrive with their prop bows drawn. "Stand down--I caught the Emboar." Ruby assured the rangers. She made a grand gesture to the trapped puppet as the orchestra started a victorious theme and the lights went down.

    When they came up on the throne room again, Lita was with the Arcanine and Ruby in the scene. "You have passed the three challenges I gave you with aplomb." the Arcanine smiled. "My royal word is my bond--as promised, here is Princess Natalie. You will have half of the kingdom now, and the whole of it when I join Arceus in heaven."

    "Aw"s went up as Lita and Ruby hugged. "Tomlin and Princess Natalie were married within the year." Brenna concluded as the curtains closed on the heartwarming scene. "The wedding was held with great magnificence and equally great joy, and out of a tailor a king was made."

    Wild applause rang through the canyon as the orchestra started a joyous song for the curtain call...

    ---------

    Now that I have seen your ability with my own eyes, I can say you have passed my challenge with flying colors. Xatu smiled. You did well working with what you had, and knew when to leave things out or cut them short. I will commend you for making the king a nicer character to Tomlin...is there a reason you took this different approach?

    "Well...we felt it wasn't nice for the king to stall and break his royal word." Shimmer explained. "That was why we made the king a kinder character."

    A pleased look appeared on Xatu's face. That creativity will serve you well on your travels. Don't be bonded to one specific version of a story--make every story your own.

    He focused his psychic power for a moment. I have informed Meloetta that you are coming to the Garden of Melodies. I hope her musical training will be helpful to you, and allow you to add both musicals and music infused plays to your repertoire.

    A happy look formed on his face. I believe...you all will perform for the Great Lord himself one day!

    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. #35
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    Act 34: In the Garden of Melodies

    "I'm glad we're out of that hot canyon..." Shimmer smiled as the caravan turned down into one of the caves a few days later. It had been a few days since their performance for Xatu, and the group was both looking forward to learning how to do a musical, and looking back at their previous performance. "But I'm also thankful we passed Xatu's challenge."

    "I mean, we did the best we could with what we had..." Lita agreed. "But look at it this way--at least Xatu gave us a story we were somewhat familiar with to do--what would we have done if we had received a script we had never seen before?"

    "Xatu was wanting us to practice improvising, I think..." Charlotte mused. "He did it in a relatively safe manner compared to what pro troupes do--gave us a script of a story we knew fairly well, with a twist and a reasonable time limit to put it on. If we ever have to do that again, it may not be as safe as Xatu's challenge."

    "That's true..." Lita mused before changing the subject. "How can a garden exist inside a cave?"

    "This is Meloetta, here--she can sing anything she wants into existence." Brenna explained. "So a beautiful garden inside a cave should be no problem!"

    She stopped in her tracks when she saw what looked like a wall of grass, leaves, and flowers. Two large bushes that resembled tubas framed the wall, with a Cinccino manning one of the tuba-bushes. A Chatot eyed the group for a moment. "This is the Garden of Melodies, travelers. Are you maybe the troupe of actors Xatu told us to be expecting?"

    Lita nodded. "We are. Xatu gave us explicit instructions for Meloetta to train us in how to perform musicals."

    The Chatot nodded, then motioned to the two Cinccinos. "Play the combination--these are the ones we are expecting.

    The group jumped as four deep rumbling notes that harmonized rang through the canyon. As soon as the last pair of harmonic notes faded away, the wall of leaves and flowers opened with a rumble, allowing the group inside. "Come on inside--I will inform Meloetta you're here."

    "Th-thanks." Lita stammered, still a little rattled from the loud blasts of the tuba-bushes.

    "Who would've thunk you could make a working brass instrument from plants?" a Leafeon mused as the caravan made its way down the flower spangled carpet of leaves leading into the garden.

    "Much less instruments that are part of the plants..." Charlotte smiled as she admired some music note flowers, and the pleasant song of flute-branches in the breeze.

    A sprite Pokemon with green music staff-like hair smiled as the caravan arrived in what Lita assumed was a central square. "Welcome to the Garden of Melodies, Moonlight Players. You have done well in performing for the Pokemon of the world, but it never hurts to diversify your repertoire, and find new ways to present old favorites. Here, you can learn how to infuse music into your plays, and perform musicals for your audiences."

    Lita smiled at a memory of the Aurora Players at the Rising Star Festival. "We have long desired to put on a musical or two after seeing some at this year's Rising Star Festival. So, where do we begin in learning how to put on a musical?"

    "Understand the role music plays in your show." Meloetta explained, running a finger across some harp-vines to conjure a chalkboard in the square.

    After drawing a diagram, she went on. "A play may have music, but the music does not actually tell the story--the dialogue does that." she explained, pointing out the left side of her diagram.

    She next pointed to the other side of her diagram. "In a musical, both the music and the dialogue tell the story."

    "Oh"s went up at this as Meloetta erased the chalkboard. "On that note, you don't want to cram too many songs into a short time frame. Think about where the big emotional beats, major character introductions, and meaningful moments of the show are, and put your songs there. On the other side of the coin, you don't want too few songs, either."

    An idea occurred to Charlotte. "Shimmer...would you want to play a role in our hypothetical musical?"

    Shimmer balked in surprise. "Really? You want me to play a role when I've mainly emceed and done backstage work so far?"

    She thought for a moment. "Well...it depends on what we're doing for a practice musical..."

    As if in response to Shimmer's request, Meloetta sang Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo... conjuring a large book called '1001 Musicals For All Occasions' before the group. "There...that should give you plenty of choices to look through."

    "Hm..." Lita thought as she studied the table of contents.

    "Cinderella?" a Sylveon suggested, pointing out a story in the contents.

    The group cheered at this. "Actually..." Lita began. "I was thinking we do a slightly different version of 'Cinderella'...in this version, there is no fairy godmother. The Cinderella character fled her homeland, and eventually comes to another land, where she makes her keep as a kitchen maid..."

    "I know that story!" a Growlithe smiled. "That's 'Princess Furball'!

    "Even better!" Meloetta agreed. "That version has plenty of room for instrumentals as well as vocal numbers."

    She went on "If this one is the story you wish to do, I will let you write the script, choose roles, and plan the songs. If you need songs and instrumentals, I will be happy to write you some songs, or arrange existing ones."

    "Any suggestions on how to pick roles?" Charlotte asked.

    "No differently from picking a role in a straight play." Meloetta replied. "You do want to be aware of the ranges of the different roles--don't give a heroine's role that is clearly a soprano to an alto."

    Lita noted. "That last thing we want is someone struggling to hit the notes in the songs..."

    "You also don't want to make your hopefuls perform material from the show you're putting on." Meloetta cautioned. "Your hopefuls will feel more at ease if they sing something they know well."

    Lita nodded. "We'll keep your advice in mind..."

    She addressed the group. "Come on! Let's make this a musical to remember!"

    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. #36
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    Act 35: A Change of Plans


    Lita sighed as she looked over a half done script. No matter how we try to make "Cinderella" a musical, it's just not working... she sighed.

    "Should we try a different story?" Ruby asked. "I know some troupes have done 'Cinderella' as a musical before..."

    Meloetta materialized before Lita and Ruby some moments later. "Having trouble with the script?"

    "Yeah--we're thinking of doing a different story all together." Lita sighed. "'Cinderella sounded appealing at first, but every attempt we tried sounded like a copy another troupe has done."

    Meloetta nodded. "This is the danger of doing a common story like this--there will be so many different versions that it's hard to make yet another version stand out--unless you did something drastic to the story. So why don't we try a lesser known tale?"

    She brought over the book of musicals for the group to see. "Don't just look at the contents--take a good look at each show, until you find one that resonates with all of you."

    "Say..." Ruby flipped a few pages until she stopped at the musical "The Nine Talonflames". "Anyone ever hear this tale before?"

    "I have!" Charlotte called, spurring more affirmative answers to come wafting in Lita and Ruby's direction.

    Ruby nodded. "Okay...how many staged versions do we know about?"

    "The Solaris Theater does a musical of this show, but it's quite a bit longer than this script." Sammi remembered. "Each one of the Talonflames gets a name and a unique quest."

    "That would be a bit much for us, even though we've grown a lot and learned much from when we left Harmony Town." Brenna agreed. "The book's script seems to follow the original story fairly well..."

    "So let's start there." Charlotte suggested. "Rather than the hero releasing the Hydreigon, why not say the Hydreigon was causing trouble to begin with?"

    Lita nodded. "That's a good idea...but what about the songs in the show? Is there any we can cut or change at all?"

    "Let's see..." Ruby studied the book's version of the show. "The king and his three sons have a song, the king and the youngest son have a really nice duet, Brian and the ninth Talonflame have a pretty duet, Brian gets a solo a little later proving his loyalty to the Talonflame princesses, a reprise of the king and Brian's song earlier, Brian and the ninth Talonflame get a reunion song..."

    She giggled at a stage direction in the script. "Kitsune gets a character song, complete with a brigade of dancing Braxiens; Kitsune's congratulations song, Brian sings the Swanna Song to kill the Hydreigon, and a victory song."

    "Ten songs sounds about right." Lita agreed. "So, are we ready to choose roles?"

    "Charlotte has to be Kitsune..." Shimmer suggested. "If you still want me to play a role, I can be one of the Pokemon Prince Brian helps..."

    "Not at the moment." Lita replied. "A Goldeen, a Fennekin, and a Braviary will do just fine. Of those, the Fennekin will be a live actor--the others will be puppets."

    "I'll play that part!" a Fennekin volunteered as more Pokemon crowded around Lita to either request a role or a place on the crew.

    Meloetta noticed the growing crowd as more of the troupe's members arrived. "It seems you have chosen a show..."

    "We've decided to do 'The Nine Talonflames'." Ruby explained.

    "Ours will be a little closer to the original tale than Solaris' is." Lita agreed.

    "Great choice." Meloetta smiled. "If you need help with the songs or the music, I will be happy to help."

    "Our orchestra does pretty well with each show, but we would appreciate your help overseeing our auditions for the parts, and helping us learn to sing for a musical." Ruby requested.

    "Well, whether you're singing for a musical or not, it would be a good idea to get in the habit of singing every day." Meloetta suggested. "It will also help you project for a straight play, as well."

    She next sang to a high bush Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo... transforming the bush into a grand piano. "So to start, let's do a vocal improvisation."

    "How does that work?" Even Brenna was intrigued.

    "Starting with a single note, sing something based around that note, and keep the resulting melody going for as long as possible." Meloetta explained. "There's no 'correct' note or melody you have to sing--whatever would sound good to you, the other performers around you, and the overall melody."

    "Sounds easy enough..." Lita mused as the group gathered around the piano made of leaves and flowers.

    The group listened as Meloetta lightly hit middle C on the piano. "So here's the note we'll build our improv around..."

    One of the Liepards sang a African-esque phrase in response to the piano. The others joined in next, with the girls doubling the boys for a few repetitions before the melody started splitting into different parts, over which Meloetta's distinct voice soared as she gently shook an egg shaker to provide some kind of a beat for the others to sing by...

    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. #37
    Elite Four Member EmeraldSky's Avatar
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    Act 36: Our First Musical (part 1)

    The Garden of Melodies hummed with activity as both Pokemon from the canyon and the resident Pokemon of the garden turned out to watch the groups performance. "Here we go...our first musical..." Lita smiled as she watched the crowd take their seats from the wings.

    "I'm even more nervous about having to sing..." Ruby shuddered as she emerged in a red royal tunic, leggings to match, and a prince's plumed hat.

    "Remember what Meloetta said in our musical training?" Lita reminded her friend. "You don't want to oversing--keep it natural."

    "The song should reinforce the spoken word." Meloetta agreed. "I'm looking forward to seeing the results of what we've learned together over the last few weeks."

    Lita saw the lights flash the five minute warning. "This is it...let's show Meloetta that her music lessons have not been in vain!" The group cheered as they hurried to their places.

    The audience applauded as Meloetta departed the stage and the orchestra struck up a melody that evoked magic, adventure, and mystery. Once the song ended, a spotlight appeared on Brenna at stage right. "Good evening, all." she began. "Have you ever heard the story of the shining Talonflame who became a queen, and the young prince who married her?"

    Excited murmurs and "no"s came wafting in Brenna's direction. "Well, here it is..." Brenna smiled before beginning over a soft melody "There was once a king who took great delight in his garden. Every morning you would find him watering his flowers or picking the fruit of his favorite tree."

    The lights came up on a Cinderace in royal garb watering the prop flowers and pantomiming weeding on a beautiful garden set. But once he approached a beautiful prop crystal tree with glittering Leppa Berries, he set down the watering can for a moment. "Yes--all is well with my miracle tree." he smiled as he admired the tree.

    The orchestra's melody turned somber as the lights went down. "One morning, he was shocked and saddened to see that the tree had been stripped of all the shining fruit which had ripened during the night." Brenna narrated.

    The lights came up on the set of a royal bedroom, where the Cinderace was looking out the window. After a few moments, he gasped in alarm. "Oh no! Oh no, it can't be!"

    An Arcanine in knight's garb arrived in the scene. "What's the matter, milord?" he asked the trembling Cinderace.

    "My miracle Leppa tree--every one of the shining Berries on its branches is gone!" the Cinderace replied.

    The Arcanine hung his head. "We have searched the entire palace, milord, and questioned all that were in the palace last night. No one had a clue where the Berries went. But you have our promise that we will not rest until we capture the thief."

    "In the meantime, I will put up notices in the royal city offering a handsome reward for any leads or tips as to who is taking the miracle Berries, and why." the Cinderace replied. He let that hang as the lights went down.

    "The next morning, the same thing happened; and every morning after that, when the king looked out his bedroom window, he saw that the tree had again been stripped of its shining crystal fruit." Brenna narrated.

    The lights came up on a beautiful throne room set. "Alex! Dorian! Brian!" the Cinderace called, prompting Ruby and two other Scorbunnies to dash onto the stage.

    "Ye have called, my lord and father, and we have come--what is it you desire?" one Scorbunny asked.

    The orchestra started a light jazzy melody before the Cinderace explained, in song, what was going on:

    Surely you've heard?
    The shining Leppa tree in the garden shines no more!
    The guards have turned the palace upside down,
    No one has admitted to the crime!

    I'll put my pride at stake to bring my treasure back!
    The crystal tree that has glittered for a thousand generations
    Will you rise to the task
    Of bringing back its light
    Even if you must go to the end of the world?


    "You have our word we will find out what is taking the crystal Leppa Berries." the Scorbunny smiled. "I will keep watch tonight, in hopes of finding a lead or catching the culprit in the act!" He struck a triumphant pose as the orchestra concluded the song.

    The lights blinked over to Brenna again. "Despite the eldest son's greatest effort, as midnight approached his eyes grew heavy and he fell asleep. When he woke up the next morning, the shining Berries were gone. Then the middle son volunteered, but he fared no better than his brother had."

    The lights came up on Ruby and the Cinderace on the throne room set again. "Dad? May I have a chance to watch over the miracle tree?" Ruby asked as she joined the Cinderace in the scene.

    How can you succeed where your brothers have failed?
    They both tried and fell under the spell of sleep...
    the Cinderace sang over a sad melody.

    Who am I to think
    That you too will slip into a dream
    And the miracle tree will never shine again?


    Every heart has desires hidden deep within, Ruby sang back in reply.
    I know how much the miracle tree means to you!
    I have something I want to protect!
    There are times when I also have to fight,
    And I will fight, to see the crystal shine again!

    If your everlasting dream becomes nothing but a memory, I will never forgive myself!
    No matter how far I may have to go,
    The miracle tree will shine again!


    The Cinderace smiled as the audience applauded Ruby's song. "Very well, Brian...I will let you keep watch over the miracle tree tonight."

    To Be Continued...
    Last edited by EmeraldSky; 07-11-2020 at 05:31 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!!"


  11. #38
    Elite Four Member EmeraldSky's Avatar
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    Act 37: Our First Musical (part 2)


    The lights came up on Ruby lying beneath the miracle tree in a sleeping bag. After a few tense moments, nine shining Talonflame puppets landed on the tree. While eight of them stayed on the tree, the ninth landed on the ground beside Ruby's sleeping bag.

    Ruby watched in shock as this Talonflame puppet became a Ninetales! "Fear not, king's son--my ladies and and I come in peace." she assured Ruby,

    "Who are you?" Ruby asked. "Where do you come from?"

    We hail from a distant land, far across the sea... the Ninetales sang over a regal melody.
    Our people suffer greatly, and long to be set free...
    A Hydreigon brings terror upon the land, and many have tried
    To slay the evil monster, but all of them have died...


    "Is that why you're taking our Leppa Berries?" Ruby asked. "Because the Hydreigon takes all your food?"

    The Ninetales nodded before singing again. I look at you,
    You are as dazzling as the sun,
    Just like the blooming flowers
    There's a meaning to every encounter in life...
    I believe
    Our meeting here tonight is more than fate.

    I'll know in my heart
    That whenever we meet again,
    You'll be known,
    As the hero who saved us all!


    "A hero?" Ruby asked as the music calmed down. "What do you mean?"

    "The Hydreigon always takes ladies of pure heart to his lair, in addition to all our food." the Ninetales explained. "My name is Keira--should we ever fail to come visit you at night, that is a sign the Hydreigon has captured us."

    Ruby nodded. This small seed of love is in bloom... she sang over the music.
    And it reaches out towards the stars...
    From a little spark from deep within the heart
    It is love that brought us here.

    I will not back down, I will not give up
    I will lead you home--if you'll take my hand!
    I will fight for you, I would die for you,
    As we travel to the promised land.

    My heart, it longs for you!
    And I would welcome you as my own!
    And once again, the bonds of the stars
    They will bring a miracle!


    The audience applauded as Ruby's song ended. The Ninetales, meanwhile, noticed the lights starting to brighten. "The sun is rising...it is time for us to go back. Thank you for the Leppa Berries, young hero."

    "Wait!" Ruby called. "Will you leave one Berry behind for me?"

    The Ninetales smiled. "Let me give you two--one for you, and one to take to your father."

    "Thank you." Ruby smiled as she accepted two prop shining Leppa Berries. "Bye!" she called as the Ninetales disappeared along with the Talonflame puppets. "May your journey home be safe!"

    She looked at the glittering props in her paws. "Well, now we know that whoever was taking these wasn't doing so to cause trouble--it was only a band of Talonflames who rule over an oppressed land."

    The lights went down, then came up on the throne room again, where Ruby met the Cinderace. "Dad? I found out who was taking the shining Leppa Berries...."

    "Oh?" the Cinderace asked.

    "It was no thief." Ruby explained as the other Scorbunnies arrived. "It was a group of princesses from a foreign land, who groan under the oppression of a Hydreigon. Our miracle tree is the only way they can keep their people from starving."

    "That's horrible..." the Scorbunny playing the eldest son sighed.

    "But it also doesn't help that the Hydreigon is taking ladies in that land, and holding them prisoner." Ruby went on. "Should it come to pass that the princesses do not come to the miracle tree, I promised them that I would rescue them--no matter what it takes!"

    She offered the two prop Berries. "The high princess left me two of the miracle Leppa Berries as proof of our meeting."

    The Cinderace smiled. "Well done, my faithful and heroic son--you have more than earned what I promised the one that found out what was taking the miracle Leppa Berries."

    He touched Ruby's shoulders with a sword. "I hereby name you the crown prince, and you will follow after me when I join Arceus in heaven."

    "We too, pledge our loyalty to Brian!" the two other Scorbunnies agreed as they bowed before Ruby.

    "If it happens that you must rescue these ladies, we stand ready to help in whatever way we can." the Scorbunny playing the middle son assured Ruby as the lights went down.

    "For a while, all was well in the kingdom." Brenna narrated over an interlude. "Keira and her ladies visited Brian in the garden every night, and their conversations lasted well into the morning."

    She intoned over a uneasy melody "But one night, what Prince Brian feared the most came to pass--Keira and her ladies did not come." She let that hang as the lights came up on a hall in the palace.

    Ruby arrived some moments later, a red and gold cape draped on her back. "Supplies for my journey, check...my sword, check...my bow, check..."

    "Brian? What are you doing up?" the Scorbunny playing the eldest son asked as Ruby made several more trips to get some props.

    "What I have feared for several months now has finally come to pass..." Ruby explained. "Keira and her ladies have not come."

    "Do you even know where to find the Hydreigon that captured them?" the Scorbunny asked as Ruby stashed some of the props into a traveling bag.

    "I have an idea...I asked the court wizard if he knew of the Hydreigon, and he said that he lives in a cave far to the east." Ruby replied. "He hunts at night, and sleeps during the day."

    "What's going on?" the Cinderace, now in ornate nightclothes, asked as he arrived in the scene with the Scorbunny playing the middle son.

    "The time for Brian's quest has come." the Scorbunny playing the eldest son explained as Ruby finished organizing the props.

    The Cinderace smiled as the orchestra played an underscore evoking Ruby's song from earlier. "No matter what happens on your quest, Brian, our well wishes and blessings go with you. May Arceus watch over you, and keep you safe."

    "...and may you return to us with tales of glory to tell!" the eldest Scorbunny agreed. The Scorbunny playing the middle son nodded in agreement.

    Ruby smiled, then sang a reprise of her song from before. This small seed of love is in bloom...
    And it reaches out towards the stars...
    From a little spark from deep within the heart
    It is love that brought us here.

    I will not back down, I will not give up
    I will bring her home--if she takes my hand!


    She looked out of a window, where the sun would be rising. I will fight for you, I would die for you,
    As we travel to the promised land.

    My heart, it longs for you!
    And I would welcome you as my own!
    And once again, the bonds of the stars
    They will bring a miracle!


    More cheers filled the air as the song ended, and the Cinderace and Ruby embraced...

    To Be Continued...
    Last edited by EmeraldSky; 07-11-2020 at 05:44 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!!"


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