EF53: Fireworks Display
Aside from Ash's starters and Pikachu, May's Blaziken and Espeon also engaged the mech. The Cactobot swung its arms around, trying to swat the five Pokemon. Charizard barely escaped one, Feraligatr and Sceptile dodged the other.
Meanwhile, Ash led the two Coordinators to the stands, where the rest are waiting. Brock, who went on ahead to the park, returned with some bad news.
"All our Pokemon are under a Sleep Powder attack," he said. "We won't be able to wake them in time to help stop Harley."
By this time the whole stadium has been evacuated. Without Pokemon, the gang stood helpless as Ash alone directed the attacks on the Cactobot.
On another part of the stadium, we could see Bruno walking towards the commotion. He wants to help out Ash, but a hand on his shoulder stopped him. The Elite turned around to face Drake.
"We must help him," the former said, but Drake only shook his head.
"This is a test, for the boy. We must only watch."
Bruno hesitated, and listened to his comrade. He turned back to the arena, watching in interest as his colleague.
"Another Flamethrower, Charizard!" Ash ordered. Charizard circled around to unleash a Flamethrower from behind the mech.
However, the Cactobot's Absolute Defense was able to reach through the back as well. From another direction, Sceptile used Bullet Seed. The Cactobot merely flicked the attack with a swipe of his arms. It was just a distraction, as Blaziken closed in for a Sky Uppercut. Pikachu, from Charizard's shoulders, also unleashed a Thunder.
There Ash spotted a weakness that Meowth must have forgotten: the mech can only protect itself from one attack at a time! So much for Absolute Defense... Now Ash knows exactly what to do.
Feraligatr used Hydro Pump from behind, and Charizard fired Flamethrower from the front. To compensate the flaw of its Absolute Defense, the Cacrobot did a Rapid Spin, creating a powerful twister!
The twister enveloped the stadium in a powerful vaccuum. The vacuum was powerful enough to lift large boulders off the ground. The gang took shelter to the locker room indoors(Pichu and Mime Jr. almost being blown away). This left Ash alone to face the robot.
"Guys, take cover!" Ash commanded his pokemon. It is too late, as one boulder hit Charizard hard while he was still in the air! Pikachu was thrown off his back, but safely landed next to Ash with the help of Espeon's Psychic.
After impact, Charizard fell to the ground. Feraligatr and Sceptile ran to their fallen comrade, then used Metal Claw and Leaf Blade to smash more boulders that were heading their way.
Charizard rose to his feet, and, giving a silent thank you to the others, they all ran their opposite sides again. They made a full circle on the Cactobot, but the twister's taking them off course.
Ash is waiting for the right moment, but just then a large boulder is coming straight for him! Pikachu and the others looked on in despai, but before he was hit, an Infernape dived in, and delivered a Karate Chop, smashing the boulder into pieces.
Ash glanced at the fighting-type, then he realised who it was who saved him. Ash looked around to see Shinji running among the chaos, heading straight for him.
"Don't take it personally," he grunted, as he stopped behind his Pokemon. He stood back to back against Ash. "What are you waiting for? Don't you have a plan up your sleeve?"
Ash just stared as Shinji ordered his Infernape to use Grass Knot on the Cactobot. The attack would have greatly damaged the mech due to its weight, but, of course, Absolute Defense blocked it.
"Then, if you want to help, try to get Infernape attack, before my Pokemon do. The timing has to be correct. Got that?" Ash's rival only grunted, but the former could tell he's going for his idea.
"You've got one chance," Shinji grunted. He tured back to his Pokemon. "Infernape, you know what to do!" The fire-/fighting-type nodded, and charged towards the mech for a Flare Blitz.
Just as Infernape connected, the shield went up in the direction of his attack. At that precise moment, Ash's three Pokemon formed a 3D triangle around the Cactobot.
"NOW!" Ash commanded. At the exact same moment, just as Infernape was swatted by the mech, Charizard, Feraligatr and Sceptile fired Fire Blast, Hydro Pump and Solarbeam, respectively, at the Cactobot. The three attacks caused a chain reaction among themselves, forming into one large beam of energy!
That blast was enough to disable the defenses. "Pikachu!" Ash called to his partner. "You know what to do!"
Pikachu(Leave it to me!)
The Electric Mouse climbed up the long limbs of Infernape's right arm. "Now, Infernape!" Shinji commanded.
Pikachu poised himself in the larger Pokemon's hands. Infernape assumed a pitcher's pose, and threw Pikachu straight at the R of the mech, where the cockpit(and Harley) are. once Pikachu clung to the steel body, he let out his most powerful Discharge!
The electric surge was enough to fry the robot's circuits. The interior circuitry exploded, making the robot lifeless. Just as the mech began to fall, Charizard swooped in to grab Pikachu to take him safely to the ground.
Ash and Shinji, and their Pokemon, stumbled out of the way as the giant robot collapsed, and fell to the floor with a loud crash.
Ash and Shinji looked at the wreckage, and then at each other. Forgetting their animosity, the two rivals exchanged grins.
Police finally arrived ten minutes later. The reason their arrival was so late was that there was a previous disturbance that summoned the full police force somewhere in the mountains.
Harley has already been rescued from the wreckage. He has no recollection of the whole incident. All he remembers is that he tried to kidnap May's Pichu, then, nothing else.
"We'll see if we can get more out of him," Cianwood Jenny said, tipping her hat. "We apologize for arriving so late. Have a good day."
She led the squad of police herding Harley to the hospital, where he was to receive treatment before facing charges. Ash and co. looked at the departing police cars, then back at the stadium, which is at a shambles.
"What now?" Jessie asked rhetorically.
"The Contest is definitely over," Jill said. She sighed, looking at May. "I was really looking forward to our match..."
"Me, too," May replied. She then looked around to find that Ash is nowhere to be seen.
Ash is back in the stadium, seen sitting on a boulder overlooking the ruin. He couldn't believe that it was just a few days ago that he competed in that very ring for the right to fight Bruno.
His Pokemon are nearby, all recuperating from the battle. "It's been a long stay here in Cianwood, huh, guys?" he asked his Pokemon.
The Pokemon sounded their agreement. just then, Shinji could be found walking towards them. Ash stood up, going face to face with his rival.
"I couldn't have beaten Harley if you didn't arrive," Ash said, extending a hand. "Thanks."
Shinji looked at the gesture for a moment, but he took it. "Like I said before, don't take it personally. After this, i still think you're- Ah, I couldn't even say it."
Ash smirked, but Shinji just echanged it with a scowl. "I'm not going to be defeated by you next time. I'll be going to Hoenn next."
"I'll see you there," Ash said. Shinji turned on his heels to leave.
Unknown to the two trainers, a figure is seen above them, watching their every move. The mysterious figure is Mask, and we could feel that he was scowling underneath the mask.
"He still has a lot to learn. I'll be completely disappointed if he faces me the way he is now..."
From behind him, Bomb appeared. Without even turning around, Mask addressed his subordinate. "How are things going in Sinnoh?"
Bomb bowed her head as she talked to her master. "We were able to infiltrate Floaroma Town. However, I'm terribly sorry, Master, our enemies have gotten ahead of us this time. Shaymin is gone, taken to somewhere else."
"Doesn't matter. That is just one for our 'army'. A trivial loss." Bomb sighed in relief. But, then, she felt a paining sensation on her chest. The thief convulsed on the ground behind Mask, but, in a few seconds, the pain was gone.
"I'll be heading for Hoenn next. Make sure that you suceed in the Birth and Navel Rock Islands, or I won't take it easy on you again."
"Y- Yes, M- Master..."
In the blink of an eye, both figures were gone.
In the nighttime, as Ash and his Pokemon returned to the hotel, he was met with a shower of confetti. The Contest comittee, organizing with the hotel staff, arranged a little party for those who would miss the competition.
Many Pokemon are out to join in the competition. Ash could see his Pokemon interacting with what is their previous opponents in the Cup.
Brock can be seen under constant guard in a corner of the celebration by his Toxicroak. 'Why did I ever capture you?' the breeder thought, tears in his eyes.
Much to everyone's chagrin, though they are not surprised, Ash's Trio raced against each other for the buffet table. Their trainer only shook his head in disbelief, then decided to join in the festivities himself.
Stuffed with food, Ash made his way around the party, looking for his girlfriend. Ash already noticed that Pichu is playing around with its siblings. He found May in an isolated part of the park, talking deeply with Drew.
Ash hung back, waiting for the two to finish talking. He could see Drew nodding about something May said. And he also fidgeted a little when the green-haired Coordinator made his signature gesture, giving May a rose before leaving.
As Drew left, May clutched the rose tightly in her hand(it wasn't exactly too tight or she would have been bleeding). Then she noticed Ash nearby. It was then that our hero walked to her.
"So, uh-" Ash began to say.
"May smiled at him. "No reason for you to get jealous, you know..."
"Who said I was jealous?!" Ash said, pretending to be offended.
The two exchanged looks, then laughter at the sight of their own faces. Ash took May's hand, and led her to a more, isolated part of the park.
"Where are you taking me, Ash?" May asked.
"You'll find out soon." And, so, soon, they arrived at the edge of the park. There was a railing, to which Ash leaned onto, where there is a good view of the sea below.
"So, what did you talk to Drew about?" Ash asked.
"Nothing much. He just asked me if I am going to be alright with him not looking after me anymore."
Ash gave an inward sigh of relief, but May still noticed it. "You're glad that he's gone, aren't you?"
"N- No! I mean, well, yeah, I-"
May gave him a goodhearted laugh. "Don't worry, Ash. I told you how many times before, I don't have feelings for him. That's what he talked to me about."
"Oh. Well, then... I am glad for that. I don't want to ruin my relationship with you. "Ash suddenly thumped his chest. "'Til death do us part', I think."
"Ash, you're beginning to sound like we're married or something," May kidded. Ash scratched his head sheepishly. May then leaned on the railing next to Ash. "This has been the wildest week of my life, even considering our adventures together."
"Yeah." For a second, neither one of them spoke. Suddenly, they could hear a rustle in the bushes behind them. It gave way, revealing Pichu, who was looking for them.
May smiled. "Hey, you looking for us?" She lifted the baby into her arms. At that moment all three could hear a whistling sound. They all turned to the source of the sound, and saw an amazing display of fireworks.
Pichu's eyes glowed at the sight of the fireworks. Taking his chance, Ash slowly put an arm around May. The three of them watched the display for a little longer before they rejoin the others.
The next day, it was time for the gang to go their separate ways.
Ash was a little apprehensive when he found out that he and May are going to travel alone again. The ex-Rockets announced that they accepted Oak's offer. Brock is also going back to Kanto, to his family.
"Ba-Bye," was all everyone could say to an eyebrow-twitching Ash.
Ash forgot all of that when he noticed a certain Pokemon standing on the edge of the cliff. The trainer walked next to his fire-type Pokemon.
"You going back to the Valley, aren't you?" Charizard nodded, not even looking at Ash. "Charizard, thanks for all your help this past week..."
Charizard(It was nothing...)
Ash looked at where Charizard was looking. "Tell me, how would you like to return to my party, again? For good you know, like old times?"
Charizard's eyes bulged at Ash's proposition. he then resorted to an untranslated banter. Only when Meowth stepped up, did we able to get his answer.
"Sorry, twerp, but Charizard says that he has to return to the Valley right now," the Scratch Cat translated.
Charizard kept speaking in gibberish, that Meowth took a while to understand it. "Whoah. Who-ho-Whoa..."
"What? What did he say?"
"Your pallie here is a daddy!"
"WHAT?!" Ash stared at his Pokemon openmouthed. For the first time, Charizard was blushing(though you couldn't tell, since it's his skin color). "Wow," he said, laughing to himself. "Wow. That- that's great, Charizard!"
Ash turned away. Meowth and Charizard looked at each other and then at him. "I'm not one to stop a family reunion. Go ahead. Leave!"
Charizard continued to stare at Ash silently. Ash could feel wind picking up, meaning Charizard is indeed leaving. Our hero continued to not look at his Pokemon, until Meowth told him Charizard was trying to get his attention.
Charizard(I promise... I will always go back to you, Ash.)
Meowth translated it for everyone. Ash smiled as he sees the dragon Pokemon fly eastward.
May walked up to him. "Ash, what's wrong? Why did you ask Charizard something like that?"
"I just get the feeling... that I'm not going to see Charizard again..."
Everyone tensed at Ash's words. "Ash! Don't say that!" May said.
"Yeah, you're right, May. I'm sure Charizard will always be there when I need him."
"Uh-oh," Meowth spoke up. "Twerpette, we'd better take a step back..."
The Scratch Cat took May's arm. Ash wondered what he was talking about, until he saw Charizard flying back towards him.
Ash sighed. 'Go ahead, old friend...' On cue, Charizard engulfed Ash in a Flamethrower. Charizard(I'll see you, Ash, I promise...) before heading back.
Ash and May took a different boat than the others. They all waved their goodbyes at the port. Then Ash noticed another team member was missing.
"PIKACHU!" Ash called. He looked at the other ship where his friends were, and saw Pikachu waving at him right next to She-chu.
Pikachu(I'm retired and I want to spend time with my family. SEE YA!)