Yes, I'm back! I'm back with the sequel to "Pokémon XD: Enigma Shadow." I certainly hope all my faithful readers will come over to this new story, that new readers will join in, and that everyone will enjoy it.
On that note, and without further ado, the time for the curtain to rise on "Pokémon XD^2: The Return of Shadow" is now at hand. Let's get it on!
This is a list of links to the beginning of each chapter, plus their titles in both dub and undubbed.
Chapter One: Evil in Agate (Agate Village! Shadow Pokémon Appear!!)
Chapter Two: Pyrite Colosseum Gold (Battles in Pyrite Town! Colosseum Challenge!)
Chapter Three: The Great Snattle Chase (ONBS and Realgam Tower! Missing Mayor?!!)
Chapter Four: Justy Desserts! (Phenac City Pre Gym! Training Battle vs. Justy!)
Chapter Five: Enter the Juggernaut! (Snagem Colosseum! Juggernaut Enters!)
Chapter Six: The Canyon Conundrum (Colosseum Training! Vs. Gonzap!)
Chapter Seven: Juggernaut's Snagem Showdown (Juggernaut Rematch in Snagem Colosseum!)
Chapter Eight: Heartfelt Appeals (Pokémon Contest! Island of Love!)
Chapter Nine: The Misty Mistbloom (Sorbera Colosseum! Tag Battle Tourney!!)
Chapter Ten: The Six Colors of the Citadark Rainbow (Citadark Isle Factory! Return of the Hexagon Brothers!)
Chapter Eleven: The Sad Story of the Verich Brothers (Tragic Battle! Eldes vs. Ardos!!)
Chapter Twelve: The Pike Queen Cometh (Return to Sorbera Island! Shadow's Takeover!!)
Chapter Thirteen: Shadow's Ancient Attack (Legendary Treasure in the Emerald Ruins! Anabel vs. Rich?!)
Chapter Fourteen: It's a Lab, Lab, Lab, Lab World (Crisis at the HQ Lab! Attack of the Shadow Admins!)
Chapter Fifteen: Road to the Desert Cup (Arrival at Orre Colosseum! Beginning of the Championship Road!)
Chapter Sixteen: Enigma Shadow: The Last Stand (Infiltration of Nova Palace! Shadow's Last Stand!)
Chapter Seventeen: Rise of the Shadow Empire (Final Battle! Shadow's Secret Weapon!)
Chapter Eighteen: Saturday Dragonite Fever!! (Return to Orre Colosseum! Desert Cup Finale!)
Chapter Nineteen: Styler and Grace! (Shadow Emperor's Revenge! Enter the Pokémon Ranger!)
"Pokémon XD^2: The Return of Shadow" (PG-13)
As the sun rose over the Orre Sea, its bright rays shone on a large cruise liner heading for the region. This voyage was quite a newsworthy one; it was the very first ocean liner to head for Orre in the three years after the abduction of the S.S. Libra by the criminal organization Cipher. The S.S. Athena was a beautiful vessel indeed. Its white hull was polished to a brilliant luster that sparkled as the water lapped at it. The inside of the ship was just as beautiful as the outside---newspapers talking about the S.S. Athena in the weeks leading up to its departure from Slateport City in Hoenn all noted that its staterooms were built to four-star hotel standards not to mention that its gorgeous main hall, which connected to the ballroom, the dining room, and the ship's casino, was built with golden walls, marble floor tile and huge crystal chandeliers.
There was something else uniquely exciting about this voyage. All the passengers on board were Pokémon trainers heading for the Orre Region to participate in the Colosseum Challenge circuit. In fact, a number of the sailors working on the ship also carried their Pokémon with them and would gladly engage each other or the passengers in battles.
And that is where our story begins. Rich and Anabel Mistbloom, taking a vacation from Larousse City and its famous Battle Tower for a little rest and relaxation in Orre, are on the S.S. Athena en route to Gateon Port. But of course, with Rich never being one to turn down a challenge (which in turn leaves Anabel with her hands quite full sometimes) we find him in the main hall, about to battle a sailor in a white uniform.
"Go, Pelipper and Crawdaunt!"
The sailor threw two Poké Balls, sending out a white bird with a large yellow bill and a red lobster-like Pokémon with powerful claws.
"Pelipper and Crawdaunt, eh? Go, Alakazam and Blaziken!"
Rich drew two Poké Balls off the belt he was wearing between his sky-blue shirt and sky-blue slacks and threw them. They popped open in bursts of light to release a yellow fox-like creature that held two spoons and a Fire and Fighting Pokémon that was like a large chicken.
As the two teams of Pokémon stared each other down, a young woman dressed in shades of purple and blue to complement her purple hair--this was Anabel--raised her hands in the air.
"This will be a double battle with two Pokémon on each side!" she called, then she let her hands fall. "Begin!"
"Let's make this quick, Alakazam. Thunderpunch!"
Alakazam's fist crackled with electricity, then it lunged at the Pelipper.
"Protect yourself, Pelipper!"
Just before Alakazam's Thunderpunch made contact, Pelipper put up a shield of green light around itself. Alakazam hit the shield and bounced off, doing nothing.
"Your turn, Crawdaunt! Crabhammer!"
Crawdaunt opened its claws wide and rushed towards Blaziken.
"Try and block it with Brick Break if you can!"
Blaziken reared back and shoved its fists forward towards Crawdaunt. The lobster clamped down on Blaziken's arms and swung the Fire and Fighting type over its head, but before it could let go Blaziken had recovered and swung Crawdaunt over its head back. Blaziken then hit Crawdaunt with a powerful punch attack anyway.
"Alakazam, finish Crawdaunt off with another Thunderpunch!"
The sailor couldn't react fast enough. By the time he had opened his mouth to order a Protect, Alakazam had already delivered a blow with its electrified fist to Crawdaunt. The lobster Pokémon fell down, fainted.
"Crawdaunt is unable to battle!" Anabel called.
"Huh......Crawdaunt, return. Pelipper, use Hydro Pump!"
Pelipper took a deep breath, then fired a powerful jet of water out of its bill at Blaziken. Blaziken was caught off guard and got hit critically, fainting.
"Blaziken is now unable to battle!"
"Good work Blaziken, take a rest. Alakazam, let's finish this battle with one more Thunderpunch!"
Alakazam went at Pelipper with fists crackling with voltage again, this time hitting its opponent head-on. Because Pelipper was both a Water type and a Flying type, it took incredible damage and fainted.
"Pelipper is unable to battle! The winner is Rich!"
Without another word, the sailor recalled Pelipper and stormed away. Anabel went up to Rich, hugged him, and gave him a kiss.
"Great show, that was."
"Yeah, but he was weak," Rich replied as he recalled Alakazam.
"This is the captain," a voice on the ship's PA said. "We will be making land at Gateon Port within the hour. Thank you for choosing the S.S. Athena."
"Well. Sounds like we better get our bags together in our room and prepare, eh?"
"Sure, Rich. I've never been to Orre before, so you can imagine how exciting this is for me."
"That's why I chose this vacation. I've not been to Orre in a long time myself, but I decided on this for you."
As they talked, Rich and Anabel walked out of the grand hall toward their room.........
Gateon Port was always an exciting place to be. The harbor town bustled with business, from the merchant ships bringing all kinds of exotic merchandise to the world-famous Krabby Club, which now was an inn as well as a bar and restauraunt. The signature of Gateon--its lighthouse--towered over the other buildings on its own little island just off the mainland.
As the S.S. Athena pulled into port, two large metal bridges had to rotate to make space for it. The ship pulled up to the dock perfectly and a motorized staircase descended to connect the dock to the ship---and soon, Gateon Port was even more busy as all the passengers disembarked.
"So where should we visit first?" Anabel asked.
"We could start here, in Gateon Port."
"No, let's save Gateon for last, since we'll be here to get back on the ship when it leaves anyway."
Rich nodded in agreement, then pulled a travel guide out of his pocket. He unfolded it and the two of them read it over.
"All trainers seeking to participate in the Colosseum Challenge circuit must recieve a pass from Professor Krane at the Pokémon HQ Lab....." Anabel read aloud. "Let's make that our first stop."
"Fine by me. It says there's a Parts Shop in this town that sells desert scooters, so we'll pick one up for traveling around."
Having found themselves in agreement on buying a scooter and traveling around Orre with it, Rich and Anabel ventured to the east side of town. Soon they found the Parts Shop---the fact that it had a large metal sculpture of a scooter on its roof gave it away---and went in. Right inside was the front desk, which was being worked by an old man in an orange shirt.
"Hi, are you the one we ask for to buy things here?" Rich asked.
"Oh, of course. Name's Makan. I run this shop. What can I do for you today?"
"We'd like to see about buying a scooter," Anabel answered to Makan.
"That's doable. We have several different models available, depending on what you plan to use it for."
"My wife and I came here on vacation, and we'd like something that can take us all around the Orre Region."
"Oh? Sure, that would be our two-person Hover Scooter then. Let me just make sure we have one in stock, OK?" Rich and Anabel nodded. "This will just take a moment. Perr! PERR!!"
"What, Grandpa?" a voice said from up the staircase inside the shop.
"Perr, go out back and find a Hover Scooter of the two-person model, alright? We've got some customers who want one."
A lanky young man wearing a striped shirt and a red knit cap came down the stairs.
"We have those, I know for sure. I just checked a few hours ago, Grandpa......Oh?" Perr had noticed Rich and Anabel, and seemed surprised. "Are you two maybe Rich and Anabel? The ones who beat down Enigma Shadow a year ago?"
"That's us," Anabel confirmed. "You've heard of us, I guess."
"Heard of you? Believe it or not, you've got quite a following in this region. The ONBS was covering your heroics the whole time!"
"That stands for Orre News Broadcasting Service. They formed eight years ago during the very first Shadow Incident as a group of kids dedicated to helping take down Cipher. A short time later the Kids' Grid turned into ONBS, dedicated to broadcasting the unvarnished truth with the goal of preventing Cipher from rising again."
"That's nice and all, Perr....." Makan interrupted, "but have you forgotten that they are paying customers?"
"Oh! Oh, I'm sorry. A two-person Hover Scooter? Let me go fetch one out for you."
Perr left through the back of the shop. Makan, meanwhile, had an exasperated look on his face.
"You can imagine what I've got to go through to keep him in line. Eight years ago I operated a Junk Shop in a town called The Under, and Perr used to help me. But then he joined the Kids' Grid and started taking parts from my shop and giving them to the head of the Kids' Grid for their broadcasts."
"And you knew about this?" Rich seemed surprised. "Why didn't you stop him?"
"I was going to confront him later on once Cipher was defeated, but then ONBS formed.....and the co-chairs of ONBS are the ones he gave parts to! Secc and Nett! So I figured it wasn't worth confronting him if his actions kept Cipher from returning."
As Makan finished up his story, Perr returned through the front door of the shop.
"I've got the scooter you asked for ready out front. Come have a look."
Perr and Makan went outside, Rich and Anabel following close behind. Right there, on the front step of the shop, was a shiny white scooter with hover generators where the wheels would normally be.
"Our finest model," Makan said proudly. "Capable of traveling anywhere in the Orre Region, even in the deep sands of the northeastern desert. Here, get on and give it a quick test ride to see if you like it."
Rich got on first, Anabel on the seat behind him. With a twist of the handlebar, Rich started the scooter. It began hovering, then Rich steered it around a little. Feeling more comfortable, he drove it around in circles a few times, then stopped and got off.
"Here, Anabel. You try it too."
Anabel moved forward to the front of the scooter and imitated what Rich had just done. She was even able to steer it in a figure-eight pattern, something Rich could not do.
"Hey, you're better than me! I'm a Sunday driver compared to you, Anabel."
"So, I guess you like it?"
"Yes sir, Makan, we do," Anabel answered as she turned the scooter off and dismounted. "How much is it going to cost?"
"Let's see......a Hover Scooter, two-person model......$7,500."
"That's fine. With the all the reward money we got for helping capture Queen Shadow, we can easily afford that. Here."
Rich took out his wallet, drew several bills out, and returned it to his pocket.
"Here, Perr, take this inside and ring it up." Makan handed the money to Perr, who went back in the shop. "Say, before you leave, where are you heading for first?"
"The Pokémon HQ Lab. Can you give us directions?"
"It's very simple, Rich. Just leave Gateon Port and head due north. I hope you get there safely!"
Rich and Anabel got back on the scooter and started it up.
"Thanks!" Anabel called as Rich began to drive away.
The path between Gateon Port and the Pokémon HQ Lab was a verdant one running through a forest. Rich and Anabel were driving at a relaxed pace, enjoying the ride.
"Ahhhhhh......" Rich took a deep breath. "Fresh forest air. Larousse might be one of the cleanest cities on the face of this planet but nothing compares to this."
"Keep taking deep breaths like that and you'll inhale a Butterfree."
Rich and Anabel both laughed.......but went silent when they heard something up ahead.
"Give us all your money and you won't get hurt!" a male voice threatened.
"And your Pokémon too!" a female voice added.
"What's going on up there? Rich, hit the gas and see what's happening."
Rich sped the scooter up, and they soon stopped at a chaotic scene. A red-haired woman wearing a light blue jacket, a royal blue shirt and pink shorts was laying on the ground, having been knocked off her scooter by a man and a woman in black armor. Anabel rushed to her aid while Rich confronted the thugs.
"Are you alright?!" Anabel asked in panic as she helped the woman to her feet.
"I'm fine....but help me get away from these people!"
"Just who do you think you are?" the male thug threatened Rich. "We're busy, leave us alone."
"You leave this lady alone, first."
"Don't push your luck," the female crook began threatening as well. "Unless you think you can take us in a battle."
"That's what we'll do! Come on, Anabel, let's give these thugs what for and punish them for bothering this young lady!"
After making sure the woman who was attacked was alright, Anabel rushed to Rich's side.
"Are you sure you want this? Fine. Let's go!"
Pkmn Trainer Rich and Tower Maiden Anabel
Mystery Thug Clarent and Mystery Thug Arlen
"You'll pay for bothering us! Go, Torkoal!" "He's right, you will pay! Go, Vibrava!"
"Psssh. This is a joke. Go, Salamence!" "Let's make this quick, Rich. Go, Alakazam!"
Rich's Salamence and Anabel's Alakazam faced down Clarent's Torkoal and Arlen's Vibrava.
"Alakazam, Ice Punch!"
Anabel's Alakazam's fists became icy cold, then it hit Vibrava with a powerful punch. It was an extremely effective hit, and Vibrava fainted.
"Ayieeeeeh! I'm the one who paid!"
Clarent glared angrily at Rich and Anabel, but he knew he could do nothing.
"Hydro Pump, Salamence!"
Salamence fired a jet of water from its mouth, hitting and instantly knocking out the Fire type Torkoal.
"Argh! This was supposed to be an easy job!"
"How dare you!" Arlen screeched. "How dare you beat our Pokémon! Just who do you think you are?!"
"OH!" Clarent screamed. "They're Rich and Anabel!"
"The same ones who got Queen Shadow arrested? We've got to report this, now!"
Clarent and Arlen ran off, then Rich and Anabel turned to the woman they had attacked.
"Thank you for your help," she said gratefully. "My name is Rui. I was just going back to my home after shopping in Gateon Port when those thugs jumped me here."
"Think nothing of it. Anabel and I couldn't have just left you there with them."
"Are you two really the famous Rich and Anabel? The ones who were on the ONBS a lot last year?" Rich and Anabel nodded. "Wow, imagine meeting you here under such circumstances. There's one thing, though....they...they had Shadow Pokémon!"
The reaction from both Rich and Anabel was one of jaw-dropping horror.
"What?!!! Rich....NO! Not again....."
"I'm really sorry to burden you with this," Rui continued, "but I'd appreciate it if you would accompany me to my home. It is the Northwest Orre Ranch just past the Pokémon HQ Lab."
"Sure. Anabel and I were heading that way anyway."
"Thank you. I live there with my husband Wes, the first Snagger of Shadow Pokémon from eight years ago. He'd be the one to talk to about what has happened here."
As all were in agreement, Anabel and Rich got on their scooter, waited for Rui to get back on hers, and then they all started off towards the Northwest Orre Ranch.
Rich and Anabel arrived in Orre but not long into their vacation, trouble occured. After saving Rui from two mysterious thugs, they are now heading to her home to meet her husband, the first Snagger of Shadow Pokémon. Could there be even more Shadow Pokémon and evil churning beneath Orre's surface?
END of PROLOGUE