-Tell me why you guys are surprised, again. I posted this event as a spoiler a few pages ago, and you guys took it harder than the ones in FF.net! And, Flamingoozaru, you were the one who kept posting "Is Charizard going to die in the next chapter?"
-Some of these guys took it lightly.
-A short, and a bit rushed, chapter, but it's to the point.
Professor Oak's lab is consumed by an atmosphere of sadness. Ash told his Pokemon and May the grave news, and they took it hard.
Meanwhile, inside the lab, the Rockets are crying uncontrollably that they put Torkoal to shame. "It's all OUR fault!" James bawled, to a confused Professor Oak and Tracey.
"Yeah," Jessie said, so caught up in the drama that she was biting into a hanky. "We helped the twerp's Charizard enter that Valley!"
"He was the best Blasting Off-er ever!" Jessie added, blowing her nose, sounding like a foghorn.
Although not as much as the Rockets, Tracey is in tears as well. "Ash and Charizard make a great team. And now it all ends just like this..."
Pichu was the only one of the Pokemon not crying, as it is oblivious to what happened. But Pichu still senses the sadness, and looked up to its mother as if to ask if something's wrong.
The Pokemon, under Ash's instruction, spent the entire day, from morning, noon(no lunch), afternoon, and early evening building a statue that resembles Charizard. It was crudely made, out of sticks and hay, but Ash thinks that it's enough.
Delia arrived at after lunch. She heard the news, and, though she was likewise sad, she felt strong enough to help prepare the wake's dinner.
When the clock struck 7:00 P. M., Ash approached the statue, a torch(he lit it by himself) in hand. Our hero lit the statue by the tail, making it a complete likeness of his Pokemon.
Ash turned around to face everyone, with the statue behind him. "He had his moments. After evolving from a Charmander, he was the most disobedient member of my team four years ago.
"But all that changed during the Orange Islands. There, he fought a powerful Poliwrath, and, not only did he lose, he was almost killed. I helped him recover from his injuries, and he has since become one of my most trusted.
"I left him in the Charicific Valley," these words made the Rockets burst into tears again, "so he can follow his dream of becoming stronger. I thought that was the last I saw of Charizard, but...
"I was wrong. He helped me save the town of Greenfield from Entei and the Unown. He also returned to help me fight in the Silver Conference. He defeated the Factory Head's Articuno, a Legendary Pokemon.
"I know this may be too harsh for me to say, but we should put this in the past now. We still have one competition to win, and Charizard will certainly be disappointed in us if we lose this just because of him." Everyone nodded, and Ash turned back to the fire.
The trainer rummaged in his pocket, and took out five badges:
-the Soul Badge, a badge shaped like a heart,
-the Volcano Badge, which looks like a fireball,
-the Jade Star Badge, a conch shell,
-the Zephyr Badge, shaped like a pair of wings, and
-the Rising Badge, the last badge Charizard ever won for him
Ash gazed at the badges, remembering that these are the badges that Charizard helped him win. He'll hold onto these until he defeats Drake, as a tribute to his Pokemon.
Everyone watched as the statue is slowly consumed by the fire. The ashes were blown away in the wind.
The next morning, the gloom still isn't gone. However, Ash is ready to depart for Hoenn. The team that he'll be bringing with him: Pikachu, Pidgeot, Sceptile, Squirtle and Cyndaquil.
Next morning Ash and May left the lab, Pikachu noticed Butterfree lingering five meters back, following them. Pikachu motioned for Ash to turn around, and Ash saw his Butterfly Pokemon. "What's wrong, Butterfree? You want to come with us?" Butterfree nodded. "Alright, you can come. Just like... Old times..."
Ash looked up at the sky. He saw a cloud that looked like Charizard, with the tip of the cloud reaching up to the sun, making it look like a flame.
-HEADS UP:(man, I've been forgetting these stuff)
Spoiler:- 59 preview:
"So this little baby thinks you're its mother, and Ash it's father?" Caroline asked, with a knowing look. Pichu is on her lap, and the little baby is feeling around the woman's lower body, ears pressed against it.
May giggled. "I think Pichu's wondering why you're a little bigger around the waist," she said.
"Oh, really?" Caroline said, pretending to be offended. A sudden inside thump caused Pichu to stagger backwards.
Maybe there might be a new second stage fire type *coughTyphlosioncough*.
-I never thought of that.
Originally Posted by Ze Skarmory
I want to know is where Charizard is buried.
-The Charicific Valley, of course. Unless, the Charizard there have banished him right at the spot where he defended the intruder, so he has to be buried somewhere else, by Lisa and Charla. I'll go through that later.
Originally Posted by Ze Skarmory
Wouldn't Ash also have the Knowledge symbol with him since Charizard helped with that one too?
-I specifically stated badges, not symbols. I differ each of them, just like Bulbapedia. EF59: Hoenn you Know it
The S. S. Anne, leaves Vermilion Harbor, and, with about a hundred passengers, departs south for Hoenn. Ash and May are among the passengers, the former going for Meteor Falls, the last site for his Elite challenge.
"Go, Pidgeot!" Ash called, sending out his powerful flying-type Pokemon. The Bird Pokemon laned on the ship's deck, and a few of their fellow passengers are impressed.
May placed an excited Pichu on the back of Pidgeot, along with her Squirtle. Cyndaquil also joined the ride. Pidgeot didn't mind, as their combined weight doesn't even slow her down.
"Do you think that they're going to be alright?" May asked anxiously, worried about Squirtle and Pichu.
"Don't worry about it," Ash assured her. "Pidgeot can take care of them. Besides, it's Pichu who wanted to ride on Pidgeot, remember?"
"I know," May said, a hand to her chest. Pidgeot flew beside the ship, and her passengers are enjoying themselves. Ash also called out Buterfree to let him have some exercise as well. The Butterfly Pokemon flew right next to Pidgeot.
The ship will be arriving in Slateport Harbor in three hours, an easy feat for a fast luxury liner. Ash and May relaxed, lounging on the ship's bow, and Pidgeot is still flying, not tired even after an hour.
Pichu is on Pidgeot's headcrest, Ash's hat floating in the wind. Ash earlier had his mother sew a strap to prevent the hat from falling from the baby's head. Ash is siting on a lounge chair, polishing not only his G. S. Ball, but also the badges he brought with him. Scepile is leaning on the wall next to him. He was looking out to the sky, lost in thought.
Sceptile(My greatest rival... We never even got a decent battle...)
His thoughts were disracted by a Bellosom nearby, whose trainer was practicing her Sweet Scent on for a Contest. As Sceptile leaned in the direction of he scent, he was pulled back by fiery fists on his ears(you know, the point on the edge of his head).
Blaziken(Don' you dare go Brock-ish on me now, buster...)
Sceptile(OW-ow-OW! It's not my fault, it's the Sweet Scent!)
Squirtle, who was helping Ash with the polishing, muttered to Pikachu while passing the Rising Badge to Ash(That ever remind you of something?)
Pikachu(Yeah, Brock and Misty, only with a Fire Pinch...)
The ship docks in Slateport Harbor at nightfall. Ash suggests that they take a hotel room for the night, but May declined. "This place reeks of Harley, I don't wan to be reminded of him again..."
Ash sighed. "Okay. Le's just get some supplies and we'll camp in the outskirts of town..."
May's boyfriend was silent, until they bought their supplies that will last them as soon as they reach, according to May...
"Petalburg Ciy?" Ash blurted out.
"I want to see how Mother is doing, and I can't forgive myself if I'm back in Hoenn and didn't visi my family. I called Max on the boatride here and he told me that the baby is due any day now..."
A look of doom appeared on Ash's face. He doesn't know how Norman would react to his 14-year old daughter in having a boyfriend. What Ash doesn't know that during the party before he took on he Elie Four, Brock already told the gym leader about it. What we still don't know is how Norman would react.
Somewhere in Route 110, we find our heroes and their Pokemon camping in a clearing right next to a small lake. Ash had Cyndaquil start up their campfire, while May prepared their dinner. Pichu and the Squirtle are playing lakeside, splashing water on an unsuspecting Munchlax and Espeon. Pikachu and Buterfree are resting on a ree stump, reminiscent of EP03. Blaziken leaned right next to her boyfriend, both asleep.
After dinner, Ash, a sleeping Cyndaquil on his lap, only stared at the fire in contempt. It seems that everywhere he goes, he is sorely reminded of Charizard. May looked a him worriedly, as she wrapped a familiar towel around a soaked Pichu. The Coordinator sood up, and walked around the campfire to sit next to Ash.
"You said it yourself," May said quietly, "that Charizard will be dissapointed if he finds you moping like this..."
"Yeah, you're right..." At that moment, boh Cyndaquil and Pichu yawned.
In record time, the two trainers reach Petalburg City, in the nighttime. Things turned topsy-turvy, since this time it was May that wasted no effort in racing home to the Petalburg Gym, while Ash lagged behind, still preoccupied in thinking of Norman's reaction to him.
Soon the Japanese-style gym is in view. May went up the stairs two at a time, Pichu hanging on for dear life(thought it was enjoying it), to jump ino her faher's arms, who was just stepping out of the gym doors. The normal-type Gym Leader and his daughter greeted each other warmly, while Ash was hanging back a good fifty meters away.
"May," Norman said. "It's nice of you to drop by home again..."
"Dad," May retorted, pretending to pout, "you know that I'll never miss the chance of seeing my litle sister for the first time..."
Norman rolled his eyes in amusement. "Here we go again. Are you and Max still arguing about the baby's gender when it will be born?"
May giggled. Just then, the older man looked over his daughter's head to Ash, who was trying to be inconspicous(with much great difficulty)behind a tree. Norman eyed Ash with a forced smile. But then his attenion shifted to the Pichu in May's arms, who was pulling on the gym leader's sleeves.
"And what do we have here?" he asked his daughter. He raised his sleeve, lifting Pichu with it. The baby was face to face with its grandfather, oblivious to the curious stare.
"That's Ash's Pikachu's offspring," May said. "It thinks that I'm it's mother, and we're inseparable ever since." Pichu kept waving itself in front of Norman's face, Ash's hat strapped to him.
"Now that's interesting," Norman said, eyeing the hat. "And... What about him?"
May was a first puzzled, then she realised that Ash is not beside her. May turned to where her boyfriend was hiding. "Ash, come on, I want to see Mother right away..."
"Coming," was the reply. Ash slowly climbed the stairs, daring not to look Norman in the eyes. At that moment, the Gym's doors opened a second time, and May's mother Caroline stepped out. The two females greeted each other with warm hugs. May took care not to hold her mother too tight.
Caroline turned to Ash, who still has his head down. "Ash, it's good to see you," she said in a tone very indifferent to Norman's. "How're you doing?"
"Just fine, ma'am," Ash replied, wishing he still has his hat with him, to cover his face.
"Now what are we all doing here in he porch. Come in, you two..." Caroline herded all three inside, where Pichu marveled at the gym interior. Caroline took May's arm. "Come on, dear, I want you to tell me all about your adventures, since you left for Johto wo years ago..."
Mother and daughter left for the residential part of the gym, where the Maples call their home. This leaves Ash, much to his distress, alone with his girlfriend's father. As he was trying o edge a lile away from Norman that the gym leader called him by name. "Ash. Let's not stand around here."
Only when they took seats against the wall did Norman coninue. "Ash, I hear you have defeated three members of the Elite Four," Norman said casually. Ash slowly nodded. "That's an amazing achievement, one that hasn't been done since fifeen years ago. I presume that you're pursuing your last challenge here, in Hoenn? Up against Drake himself?"
"Yeah. I'm not going to back down."
"I'm warning you, though, Drake is the most powerful of the Elite Four. He is not to be taken lightly." Ash nodded to gesture that he understood. "Drake is already a member of he Elite Four when I was just starting out as a Gym Leader, ten years ago."
For the first time Ash looked Norman in the face. The leader didn't bother, and continued. "You will need the strength of your Pokemon, not only in battles, but in heart, as well."
"I know I can beat him this time," Ash said, in a determined voice.
Norman sighed. "Let's see. How about a litle practice battle, for old times's sake? Nothing at stake, of course..."
Ash agreed. "Why not?"
May stood next to her mother's dresser. At the time Ash and Norman were talking, she was narrating to her mother about Johto, returning to travelling with Ash afterwards, and witnessing the latter take on the Elite Four. It seems that Caroline, like Norman, already knew(or, according to her, she predicted it) about May's relationship with Ash.
"So this little baby thinks you're its mother, and Ash it's father?" Caroline asked, with a knowing look. Pichu is on her lap, and the little baby is feeling around the woman's lower body, ears pressed against it.
May giggled. "I think Pichu's wondering why you're a little bigger around the waist," she said.
"Oh, really? Now that's cute..." Caroline said, pretending to be offended. A sudden inside thump caused Pichu to stagger backwards. May picked Pichu up before it can retaliate.
Ash and Norman's practice battle, was a rehash of their original gym battle. In the first, Ash used Pikachu, Torkoal and Grovyle, right? Well, here, Ash follows the same formula: Pikachu, Cyndaquil(in place of Torkoal) and Sceptile.
Norman, meanwhile, is using his trademark Slakoth, Vigoroth and Slaking.
Cyndaquil and Slakoth try to outdo themselves, with Flamethrower and Hidden Power, respectively. Slakoth's Hidden Power commanded the same results as before, creating spheres of energy, surrounding Cyndaquil. The echidna Endured all the projectiles that hit him, then dashed forward for a Flame Wheel.
Slakoth blocked with one arm, and countered with the other with Slash. Cyndaquil curled into a ball, his flame vents exposed, burning the Slacker Pokemon.
Norman recalled his Slakoth, obviously impressed by Ash's fire-type. "Go, Vigoroth!" Norman said, calling out his Wild Monkey Pokemon. Ash did the same and recalled Cyndaquil, this time sending Pikachu.
But before they could continue, May and Caroline returned. "All you men think about are Pokemon battles," Caroline said in mock anger. "Don't you want to do anything else?"
Norman apologized to his wife. Ash edged closer to May, and whispered, "Wow, your Dad is acting a little too much on the love thing, isn't he?"
"Ash," May clucked, "you never understand anything, do you?"
"Huh?" was all Ash could say, while Pikachu snickered.
Norman let Ash use the gym's greenhouse as a resting place for his Pokemon. May also let her Pokemon out for fresh air.
Pidgeot nested herself beside a pond, while Sceptile climbed atop a tree, again. His only company is Butterfree, who landed on a branch next to him, and Blaziken, leaning on the trunk below. Cyndaquil and the Squirtle are playing chase, joined by May's Skitty, who came from the house. Beautifly came after the Cat Pokemon.
In the house part of the gym, Caroline cooked all four of them dinner. After that, there's not much to do, but sleep. Ash, being modest to his hosts, decided to sleep in the living room with his sleeping bag.
May washed herself up in her bathroom(each of their rooms have one), before retiring to bed. When May lay on the comfort of her own bed, she found that Pichu can't(or won't) get to sleep! May tried her lullaby, but it didn't work this time.
"What's wrong?" May asked, sitting up to take a better look at her Pichu. Pichu just stared blankly at her, then turned to a side of the bed, opposite May's. Then she understood. "Pichu, Ash can't... Ash can't sleep with us this time..."
Pichu looked at her, head slanted, as if to ask why. May sighed. "Come on," she whispered, getting out of bed, with the baby still in her arms.
May tiptoed down the stairs, into the family living room. There the first thing they saw is Ash, comically halfway out of his sleeping bag, asleep with a nose bubble. Pikachu is curled up to his left.
Pichu jumped into the middle of the sleeping bag, though it didn't wake Ash. May disappeared back into her room, and returned, her own sleeping bag in hand. She set it next to Ash's, opposite Pikachu. "I guess you're used to Ash and myself sleeping together, huh?"
Pichu wedged itself between the two sleeping bags, definitely content with the arrangements now.
Last edited by Master_in_Training; 15th August 2007 at 9:11 AM.
-I pointed this out much earlier before in FF.net, but doesn't Sceptile remind you guys of a ninja?
EF60: Ninja Delivery!
Norman woke from his slumber at around midnight. He made sure he didn't wake his wife, and stepped out of their room. He went down to the kitchen for something to eat. He didn't notice that on his way there, that his daughter is sleeping on the living room floor instead of in her warm bed upstairs.
What the gym leader did notice is someone rummaging in his own fridge at that time of night. But Norman relaxed when he found out it was only Ash.
"Sorry," the younger trainer apologized. "I'm just really, really hungry..." He had a milk container in his hand, and a chopstick sticking out of his mouth, a'la Sceptile.
"Don't worry about it," Norman replied, taking his side next to Ash, in front of the refrigerator. "I'm hungry as well..."
A few minutes later, Norman had heated some instant noodles for the two of them. The two men enjoyed their meal in darkness, so as not to alert the rest of the household.
"I hadn't had these for ages," he kidded, explaining to his late-night companion. Norman held out a string or two of the food with his chopsticks. "For some reason, neither Caroline nor May wants me to eat these stuff..."
"I wonder why," Ash said, sipping a string of noodles into his mouth. "I don't think there's nothing wrong with them..."
Just then, the kitchen lights went on. Startled, Norman and Ash wheeled around to find May and Caroline in the doorway, eyeing them apprehensively. As a reflex, Ash dropped his chopsticks, and Norman just stared openmouthed at his wife.
The four are completely silent for a few seconds. Ash and Norman are quite afraid that they may have offended their female partners. May and Caroline resorted to letting out their anger expressed by having the strangest, yet effective form of revenge and punishment: cooking the men a large buffet meal!
Ash and Norman stared at the huge meal laid out in front of them. Then they looked at each other, then at the females. We didn't see their looks, but Ash and Norman did, after which they ate the food without question.
Ash woke up the next morning to an aching stomach. 'May knew what she was doing, punishing me like that.' His stomach groaned, and it didn't mean that he was hungry, just the exact opposite...
He found Norman going down the stairs, feeling the same way he was. "Morning," was the word that barely escaped from both men's mouths.
Just then, a staggering Caroline was following her husband, clutching her stomach. "Norman," she said slowly. "It's time..."
After that shout(Norman's), the whole house is in pandemonium. Ash and Norman, the former going to witness his first delivery, the latter too nervous that it has come at an unexpected time, are both in a panic. They kept running in circles until they find out what to do next.
"Quick, get in the car!" Norman commanded.
"You have a car?" Ash asked uneasily.
The two of them sped to the garage. Minutes later, a gray sedan is now speeding along the quiet morning streets. However, Caroline was back on the porch!
She appeared calmer than the men, waiting patiently for them to realise their mistake and double back. Just then, May, who was in the bathroom the whole time, walked beside her mother, followed by some of the Pokemon.
"How're we going to get to the hospital?" Caroline asked, clutching her stomach. She sounds calm, but the aching in her womb is getting worse."
"I have an idea," May said, an eye on Sceptile. "We'll use ninja power..."
Sceptile(Ni- Ninja power?! I don't think I like the sound of that...)
It took fifteen minutes for Norman to realise they forgot Caroline, and sped back. But by the time they returned to the gym, the pregnant Caroline is gone!
Actually, May asked Sceptile to carry Caroline by himself to the hospital. She figured the Forest Pokemon's jumping skills could provide a shortcut through the traffic.
Sceptile(Why did I ever involve myself in this?)
Caroline is in Sceptile's hands, alright, and she has her own arms wrapped around the reptile's neck. The Forest pokemon is jumping on top of the buildings, cars, until they see the blindingly white building that is the hospital. Pikachu, who is there as a failsafe, is also clinging to his partner's neck from the back.
Sceptile landed in front of the hospital's main doors. He set down Mrs. Maple safely on the ground. A nurse conveniently arrived, ith a wheelchair. Just as the nurse wheeled Caroline into the hospital, did Sceptile turn around and saw the Maples' sedan coming straight for him!
Norman floored the brakes hard, and the car skidded to a stop just a half inch away from Sceptile. The Forest Pokemon's toothpick dropped into the ground, and so did he, from the shock... pikachu quickly jumped off his shoulders, and from hammerspace drew a paper fan, to fan out the fainted Pokemon.
Ash, May and Norman stepped out of the car. The latter sped inside to the emergency room, while Ash went to inspect his Pokemon. Then, without thinking, he called to the hospital inside:
"Hey, any of you guys Pokemon doctors, too?"
After making sure Sceptile is fine, Ash and May ran in after Norman. No one would think that an impatient, middle-aged man pacing in the 3rd floor waiting room is a gym leader. Norman was so tense, that he snaps at the slightest interruption.
Ash and May sat in the waiting room couch, nervous, but not as much as the latter's father. Pichu tried imitating his every movement, on the table in front of the couch.
Even this snapped the gym leader, causing him to scream at the baby. Pichu's lips quivered, and then it started to cry.
"DAD!" May said to her father, scooping the baby up and holding it in the burping position. "It's okay, baby, Grandpa didn't mean it..."
"Grand-" Norman started.
"-Pa?" Ash finished. The two exchanged stares again.
"Play along. Now, Dad," May repeated, a stern tone in her voice. "Apologise..."
Ash was openmouthed to find Norman apologise sheepishly to the still crying baby. Obviously, there is a reason for the gym leader to fear his own daughter...
To cheer her baby up, and to be preoccupied while her mother's delivery is underway, May went to the baby ward. the girl and Pichu looked at the babies in the ward. Pichu, as usual, pressed its nose against the glass.
After an hour, a nurse finally came out of the operating room. She motioned the family into the room, where Caroline was waiting. The doctor appeared, face mask dangling to one ear, holding the baby.
Norman sat next to his wife in the hospital bed, as the latter received the baby into her arms. May and Ash are on the side opposite Norman, while Pichu jumped onto the bed, to take a closer look at the baby.
The hair is thin, it's also asleep, but there's no mistaking it: the baby is a girl. Ash was speechless, as it's the first time he sees a newborn baby. Pichu, however, took the baby's arms, and started waving it up and down.
"What should we name her?" Caroline asked her husband, watching Pichu play around with the baby.
"I dunno," Norman said uneasily. 'How about- Julianna?' The gym leader whirled around to look for the one who spoke into his ear. "How about Julianna?"
Caroline smiled. "That's a good name..."
Ash and May are now seen at the exit of the hospital. May was a little disappointed to leave right after her baby sister is born, but she knows Ash must finish his challenge.
Only Norman was there to see them off, since Caroline is not allowed to leave the hospital yet. The gym leader gave his daughter a final hug. "Good luck, Ash. Meteor Falls is still a good distance from here, so I know you need to get a good start..."
"Thanks, Norman," Ash replied.
"It's nothing. Oh, and Ash..."
"You'd better start calling me Mr. Maple from now on, or else..."
Ash swallowed hard, while Pikachu and May giggled. After waving their goodbyes, the two set off into the sunset, for Ash's final challenge.
Last edited by Master_in_Training; 16th August 2007 at 8:34 AM.
Julianna? Sounds like Mask got a plan on this... And Ninja Sceptile seems very funny. Norman freaking out and the two of them were caught eating Instant Noodles, hilarious punishment. And the Mr Maple thing at the end... huh?
-No, it was just me breaking the 4th wall again. That name was suggested by a frequent reviewer of mine in FF.net.
Originally Posted by flamingoozaru
And the Mr Maple thing at the end... huh?
-Since Norman knows of May and Ash, he wants the latter to treat him with respect you would expect to give to a future father-in-law. That's the closest thing to hosility Ash will ever receive from his future in-laws, for now.
-You'll think Mask is even more powerful after this one. he's gathering one h--l of an army!
EF61: Mysterious Disappearances
Ash and May arrive in Fallarbor Town two days after leaving Petalburg. Meteor Falls is just in the outskirts of town, and our hero can't wait to participate in the Cup.
The two checked into the Pokemon Center, which was almost fully booked. Later, Ash is now seen outside the Pokemon Center, practicing his Pokemon for what may be in store for them in the Cup. May, meanwhile, lingered in the Contest Hall in town, as the place brings memories to her.
Pichu watched as Ash's Squirtle used Hydro Pump to smash through a boulder that was the target. Pidgeot, up in the air, is flapping her wings at 40 mph, creating a powerful gust. Butterfree then moistened the ground with Silver Wind. Cyndaquil, after letting out his most impressive Overheat, was sitting next to Pichu. The two Pokemon clapped as each Pokemon executed their attack.
Just then Pikachu whizzed by, with Volt Tackle. Pichu was dazzled by the attack, and decided to try Volt Tackle for itself. But just as it jumped off the stone it was sitting on, did May appear and pick Pichu up.
"How's the training going?" she asked, cuddling with the baby.
Ash had that determined look on his face again. "Not bad at all. I'll be ready for whatever they throw at me!"
"I just came back from the Pokemon Center, Ash," May interrupted. "Professor Birch is here. He wants to see us right away..."
"I wonder why..." After telling their Pokemon to resume their practice without him, Ash and May went to the Pokemon Center. The Professor, waiting by the front desk, greeted them. He then herded the two trainers to the cafeteria.
"Hello, there, kids," Birch said, taking a seat in a corner booth. Ash and May sat opposite him.
"Hi, Prof.," Ash responded. "You wanted to talk to me?"
Birch nodded. "Professor Oak called me in Lileroot Town, and asked to relay a message for you. Since I'm heading here to help Professor Cosmo wih his meteor research anyway, I may as well oblige." The professor rummaged in his coat pocket, and took out a piece of paper. I was a newspaper, and Birch lay it on the table. The main article is:
Sevii Islands in Peril
Reports today come from our respondent in Floe Island about a recent, mysterious operation that occured in nearby Navel Rock. According to our reporter, the hidden peak of Navel Rock has been disrupted and left in ruins, with signs of battles and struggle. Locals say hat there is a Pokemon that rests in the said area, but now, whatever Pokemon it is is now gone.
"Why does Professor Oak want me to see this?" Ash asked, puzzled.
"Samuel told me that, in your first day as a trainer, you have seen a Pokemon that wasn't recorded in your Pokedex?"
Ash remembered it prety well. "Ever since I received an upgrade of the Dex from Professor Oak, I found out what Pokemon it was." In fact, didn'tr Ash look it up a while ago? Ash took out his Pokedex from his jacket pocket. He scanned the digital pages, and found Entry # 250 one more time:
Ho-oh, the Rainbow Pokemon
It possesses seven-colored wings. It is said that those who see Ho-oh are promised an eternal happiness.
"Is this what you're looking for?" Ash asked.
Birch nodded. "That is undoubtedly the Pokemon that's gone missing in Navel Rock. According to the locals in the news report, the Pokemon they saw near their home is indeed Ho-oh. But that's not all that's missing..." He filed throught the newspaper again. When he found something, he lay he paper on the table again. This time the article is a continuation of the previous report, which read:
Meanwhile, aurora lights, a rare sight in the Sevii Islands, appears in Birth Island. But when reporters arrive on the site to investigate, the aurora lights are gone. They say that nearly three years ago, a mysterious Pokemon was said to have made its home there. But, like Navel Rock, there has been signs of battles and struggle. The Pokemon in question is now missing. Authoriies are now quesioning whether or not the story of the Pokemon in both cases is true or not.
"As an expert of Pokemon habitat, I have reason to believe that the locals are telling the truth, about the Pokemon making their home there. Plus, more and more rare and powerful Pokemon have been disappearing, with the same signs. In Snowpoint Temple... Stark Mountain... Sky Pillar... Southern Island... The list goes on..."
"Who do you think is behind this?" May asked uneasily.
Birch sighed. "Ash, I believe it's time for you to learn a few things. As you may already know, there's a sinister mastermind at work." He drew another item from his pocket, and it's a small jewel. "Tell me, have you ever seen anything like this before?"
"Ash! Your MasterBadge!" May exclaimed. Ash placed a hand on his jacket lapel, and took out the badge, setting it right next to the crystal. Set next to each other, the two items are indeed a match.
"I thought as much. This crystal is a rare material harvested near here, in Meteor Falls. However, I'm pretty sure that you, Ash, have seen it somewhere else..."
Something clicked in Ash's memory. "Hey, yeah... That guy I saw Giovanni lose to when I came to the Rockets's headquarters to rescue May. Don't tell me his mask is made from the same material as the MasterBadge?"
The professor nodded. "We don't know his real name, but the PLA calls him simply by the name of Mask." He hen turned away so the two couldn't see his face. "Ash, he is a Pokemon Master..."
Ash and May are in shock. "If he is a Pokemon Master, then what is he doing? Why is he capturing the Legendary Pokemon?"
"That I do not know. What we do know is he is the one who sent thieves into Professor Rowan's lab and stole the Azure Flute. Drill, who is serving his time in prison, spilled everything." The professor told the two that he personally visited the criminal as a request from Professor Oak.
"For some reason, Mask doesn't want you to become his sucessor. Ash," Birch, said, with hesitation, "the Drake's Cup will be... The competition where you will have to be on guard. It will be the most difficult, and I'm sure Mask and his men will try anything so noone will win."
Ash nodded. "I'll keep that in mind, Professor, thanks."
Back in the park, Pikachu was playing around with Ash's Squirtle, Butterfree and Munchlax. Sceptile, not having any trees to roost on, was instead on the roof of the Pokemon Center, with Pidgeot.
Blaziken, showing that she means business with making Sceptile not to flirt with other Pokemon, was demonstrating her fighting-type moves in a nearby mini-quarry. From the look on the Forest Pokemon's face, Blaziken can tell that he gets the point.
As Squirtle caught the ball they're playing with, he saw a large shadow overhead. He stared upwards, but the shadow is gone. Pikachu, who was getting impatient from Squirtle's stalling, ran right over.
Pikachu(What's the hold-up?)
Squirtle(I just thought I saw- Nah. Must be just my imagination.) Squirtle then threw the ball, albeit absentmindedly, to Munchlax, but it just bounced off the Pokemon's big belly.
Birch left, but he said that he will only be seeing Drake. He is there to make sure that Ash doesn't run into trouble while in the Cup. Meanwhile, Ash and May ordered their lunch.
While eating, Ash was occupied with polishing the badges again. This includes the Master Badge this time, and the crystal that Professor Birch left with them.
After eating herself, May is bottlefeeding Pichu. The baby is eyeing all the badges laid out on the table. Ash, his mouth full of french fries, is especially shining his Volcano Badge. The very first badge that Charizard(as he is) won for him.
May sadly looked at her boyfriend, who was concentrating hard on polishing the badge. She never even noticed that the bottle she is feeding Pichu is now empty.
Pichu waved the bottle off, and jumped from May's arms to the table. Ash smiled at it, and knowingly gave the baby a cloth. Pichu enthusiastically started on polishing the crystal. May, seeing that Pichu's movements are getting limited, due to its acessories, silently took Ash's hat off its back. She placed it on the main pocket of her fanny, containing the rest of Pichu's acessories: the towel and Squirtle's shades.
Holy... If Mask did get all those pokemon than Ash has little to no chance. Regigigas, Rayquaza, Ho-Oh, Deoxys, Southern Island's pokemon (no idea who it is) and Heatran. Wow. And Pichu learning Volt Tackle, sounds interesting...
I think the Southern Island pokemon are Latios and/or Latias.
-Yep, Altomare, to me, is just home to certain Latios and Latias. Even if, like the movie has shown is correct, there is a good number of these Pokemon, despite their Legendary status. And Southern Island is their real home.
-On a side note, Pichu already knows Volt Tackle. His biological father has it, and May used it in the Contest, remember?
-To tell the truth, I haven't written past this point at all. It's all just in my head for now.
EF62: Aerial Race
After lunch, Professor Birch still hasn't returned. Ash went to check on his Pokemon, while May took Pichu into their room.
In the field where his and May's Pokemon are, Ash almost stepped on his Cyndaquil. It turns out that the fire-type is playing hide-and-seek with the rest of the basics, with the echidna curled up to look like a lump of coal.
Ash picked up his Cyndaquil, and looked around for the other Pokemon. Pikachu is found under a park bench, Munchlax(who wasn't hiding at all) was running around chasing little kids with ice cream.
"Hey!" Ash called to the Big Eater. "Stop chasing after those kids, Munchlax!"
He ran after the Pokemon, and tried to restrain him much like Max used to do. Pikachu joined in the tug-of-war, but even their combined weight couldn't slow Munchlax down.
In their room's bathroom... May sunk one leg into the bathtub, ready to go in, with Pichu still in her arms. The baby looked at the tub filled with water curiously, while May shivered when her foot was in the water. After putting her second leg in, May gently got down.
As soon as she sunk into the water, Pichu touched it as well, making the baby literally jump, going higher from May's hands to the side of her head. It is shaking and shivering silly.
"I guess it's too cold for you, huh?" May asked. Pichu nodded slightly, its teeth chattering. "I'm sorry, Pichu, but the Center's internal heater must have broke down. We have to bathe in this water..."
Pichu looked at her, defeated. It loves to bathe, but not in very cold water. However, minutes later, the baby is now splashing around the tub, in a small inner tube May made for him.
After their bath, May went straight into the main bedroom(but not before dressing up in the bathroom first, of course).
"Pichu, you have to learn not to sleep with either Ash or myself around. You can't expect us to sleep together all the time..." Pichu didn't understand what May is talking about. Instead, its eyes are on Ash's backpack on Ash's side of the bed, which is lying open.
Pichu jumped from May's arms, going for Ash's pack. May sighed. "Pichu... Ash will be disappointed with you if he finds you rummaging through his stuff..."
"Don't worry about it," came Ash's voice from the door. The male trainer arrived, hefting a heavy, Sleep Powder-ridden(courtesy of Ash's Butterfree)Munchlax.
May looked at Ash's load as the latter brought the Pokemon down beside a chair. "Oh, no, what's he done now?"
Ash, panting for carrying Munchlax, shrugged. "You know, just the usual." Meanwhile, Pichu went into one of the small pockets at the front of Ash's bag. The baby Pokemon's feet are the only ones visible, as, like a certain case before, Pichu is small enough to fit inside.
May gently grabbed Pichu by the toes and pulled it out. Pichu appeared, holding the G. S. Ball. Ash strode over. "Boy, something about that Pokeball seems to interest Pichu, that's for sure," he said.
Still carrying Pichu and the G. S. Ball, May returned to her side of the bed. She set Pichu in between them as she sat down. The baby is now playing around with the Pokeball like a kitten with a ball of yarn.
Just before Ash could relax himself, there was a knock on the door. He went to answer it, and found Professor Birch.
"Hi again, kids. Did I... Come in a bad time?" he asked, peering over Ash's shoulder, and seeing May and Pichu play with the G. S. Ball.
"No, Prof., why? What's wrong?" Ash asked.
Birch shook his head. "Just came to check up on you, that's all. And also, to tell you that if you need any assistance, I'll be in Professor Cosmo's lab south of here."
"Thanks, Prof. We'll keep that in mind." Birch left, and Ash closed the door behind him. He went to his side opposite May's, and fell back first on to the soft bed.
Pichu rolled the G. S. Ball towards Ash, hoping that he could join in its game. Ash rose from his lying position, and placed a finger on top of the Pokeball, stopping it in its tracks. Pichu kept pushing and pushing, but it wouldn't budge.
"Ash," May scolded him.
"Hey, he wanted to play didn't he?" Ash protested cheerfully. To make his point, Pichu seems to like what it is doing.
The rest of the night went on without any incident. Ash, who stayed awake long after May and Pichu did, was lost in thought as he lay in bed. He was wondering what a Pokemon Master like Mask wants to do with Legendary Pokemon.
'Is he up to no good? If he is, what does Professor Rowan's Azure Flute got to do with it?' These thoughts troubled our hero, until he finally went to sleep.
Next morning, the group checked out of the hotel, and began the trek through Route 114. They are not alone, however, as many participants and sightseers are also on the path, all heading towards Meteor Falls.
Ash kept looking from one direction to another, over the heads of the crowd, like he's looking for something. "What is it, Ash?" Masy asked.
"Shinji told me that he's going here to Hoenn. I thought that when he said that, he's going to participate in this Cup as well. But I don't see him anywhere."
"He must have come in earlier, or he'll arrive later," May reasoned.
Ash shrugged. Maybe May is right, that Shinji mustn't have arrived yet. Soon the Route 114 bridge is in sight. As the groupf of trainers passed through, Pichu is seen waving to some Barboach, who surfaced to watch them curiously.
Finally, the white stone wall that is Meteor Falls is in view. The catch is, the way the parade of trainers is headed, there is no path heading inside. A sign is leading them around the effigy.
Finally, they stop in front of a small, rundown shack standing against the waterfalls. Coming out of that shack is none other than Drake himself.
"Welcome," Drake said, looking over the crowd. "Those who wish to compete, raise your hands." A number of hands sprang up, Ash's, of course, is among them.
Drake looked over in Ash's direction. The two exchanged hard stares before the former continued. "Follow me. Those who are only here to watch, please stay here."
The Elite then walked east to the left of his shack, where there is another wide, wooden bridge that passes over the falls. While the other competitors followed, Ash turned to May first. "Good luck," the latter whispered.
"Thanks," Ash said back. He followed the group around the falls.
As he led the line, Drake called to the challengers, loud enough for all of them to hear. "It is strictly a necessity, and I had the PLA forward the stipulation to all signals of your gadgets. Do all of you have a flying-type with you? You can't participate without one."
Ash swallowed. 'That was close! I never received that message, but Pidgeot is with me... I'm sure that she'll do...'
With the exception of Ash, all the others have brought such Pokemon with them. Drake nodded, and continued on. The group was then led up a ledge, to a wide mesa on top of Meteor Falls.
Drake halted right at the opposite edge of where they came from. He turned around to face his challengers.
"I have news for you, and it's up to you if it's good news or not." Drake gave a strange smile before he continued. "The Drake's Cup will not be held here."
"WHAT!?" a collective number of competitors shouted, followed by many whisperings. "Then why bring us here in the first place?"
"Let me finish. The Drake's Cup will not be held here. Instead, the Cup will be held in the entire Hoenn region." A stunned silence hit the crowd. "That is why... I forwarded that you all require a flying Pokemon with you. Please, call them out."
From all the trainers's Pokeballs came various Pokemon. Ash called out his own Pidgeot. There are countless large flying-types: Flygon, Salamence, Fearow, among many others.
Ash's Bird Pokemon landed next to him, and Drake stared at them for a second. 'So he found a new Pokemon, did he? Interesting...' the Elite thought, a bit amused. He then clapped his hands to recall everyone's attention again.
"Now, let me tell you the sort of competition you are about to take." Drake walked over to the eastern edge of Meteor Falls, facing towards Mt.Chimney not far in the distance. "You will race to eight different places in Hoenn. In each of those locations, there is a challenge waiting for you.
"However, that's not all. The last one to arrive in each location will be immediately eliminated. Those who fail to complete the challenges, will also be eliminated." Drake turned around, an a small robot appeared from behind him from the bottom of the falls. "Each challenge reqquires you to cooperate with your teammates. That is, of course, your Pokemon.
Only four Pokemon are allowed to be brought to the competition. Take your pick, a you are not allowed to change your team. The exception to this rule is the Pokemon will be using as transport. However, they are also allowed to help in the challenges.
"There is no restriction to what Pokemon you'll bring, and you have thirty minutes. The race will begin whether all the competitors have arrived in the time limit or not."
The robot's face, right beside Drake, began flashing. A digital timer is shown. The challengers began racing back down, thinking that they have to return to the Pokemon Center, way back in Fallarbor Town!
The spectators were all stunned as all trainers began flooding back down towards them. May saw Ash among the last to run back down. Pichu waved towards its father affectionately.
"No time to explain, May!" Ash said hurriedly as he tried to dash past them.
But his girlfriend pulled on his arm to stop him short. "Hold on, Ash. What's going on?" she inquired.
"We all have to return to Fallarbor Town, to the Pokemon Center. Drake gave all of us less than thirty minutes to change our Pokemon, race back here, or we'll be eliminated!" Ash said all that in a hurry.
"Ash," May said in a calm tone. "Maybe you don't need to change your Pokemon. Maybe all the Pokemon you need are with you right now..."
Ash looked at her, but he calmed down. "You're right. Alright, guys, come out!" Pikachu jumped off Ash's shoulder, then beside him appeared Squirtle, Butterfree, Pidgeot, Sceptile and Cyndaquil. Ash stared at his Pokemon seriously. "Aside from Pidgeot, I can only take four of you guys with me. One of you has to stay behind and protect May and Professor Birch, in case anything happens.
The Pokemon looked at each other, then went into a huddle. Ash started tapping his feet impatiently, as time is running out. He looked at his gear watch. It's already ten minutes before the deadline.
At one minute before the deadline, the trainers began running back to the top of the mesa. Finally, Ash's Pokemon have come to a decision. Sceptile will stay behind while the others go with Ash. Without another word, Ash, his Pokemon and all, jumped onto Pidgeot, and the she took off in a swirl of dust.
The Bird Pokemon flew around the falls, going upwards. 10... 9... 8... 7... 6... With a burst of speed, the fast flying-type landed on the edge of the mesa close to Drake. As the timer rang to zero, only ten competitors, including Ash, were able to make it before the time limit.
Ash, still on Pidgeot, sighed in relief. Some of those that failed to make the deadline(they were all still on the ledge leading to the mesa) made groans loud enough for everyone else to hear.
Drake ignored Ash, who was beside him, and clapped at the remaining competitors. "I see that only a few have made it. Congratulations. Take your places." He motioned to a long line, which, Ash's Pidgeot is conveniently on.
The robot timer from before is now passing out a small envelope, one for each competitor. Now that Ash's breathing became clear, he got a full view of what he'll be up against, all lining up beside him. There are trainers with another Pidgeot, two Dragonite, Salamence, three Fearow, Flygon, even a Charizard! Ash turned to the direction of the fire-type Pokemon, and was astonished to see who the trainer is.
Last edited by Master_in_Training; 20th August 2007 at 3:39 AM.