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Thread: A Yellow Morning Comes

  1. #1
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    Default A Yellow Morning Comes

    (Rated E for Everyone!)

    In celebration of Pokemon's 20th anniversary, I give you a story that is a remix of Pokemon Yellow and the Kanto season of the anime--so this is not quite the Pokemon Yellow you remember, nor is it the anime you remember!

    Prologue: The Night Before

    A yellow morning comes, and it sparkles like the sun
    I don't think that I, ever will, forget its simple beauty
    All this light from the heavens raining down--


    "Ash?"

    "Yeah, Dad?" a black haired boy asked as he pressed PAUSE on the small blue CD player he had been listening to while half heartedly watching the battle between a Gengar and a Nidorino raging on the TV.

    A black haired man made his way into the room and sat down on the bed by his son. "Is everything okay? Your mom's worried because usually you're in bed by now..."

    "It's just...I can't sleep, Dad." Ash explained. "I'm so excited about leaving tomorrow on my own Pokemon journey, and maybe prove myself as the Pokemon Master."

    "Well, every Pokemon Master and Mistress had to start somewhere." the man replied. "They didn't get to the top overnight--they practiced with their Pokemon, they met new friends, battled terrifying foes, overcame many challenges, and even made a few mistakes on the way. But through it all, they never gave up." The Nidorino ramming the Gengar on the TV punctuated his point. "No matter what happens on your journey, Ash, know that your mom and I will always be proud of you...you have the drive and the courage to go all the way to a Pokemon Master. But have you thought about what it really means to be a Pokemon Master or Mistress?"

    Ash froze as he pressed STOP on his CD player. "Well...they've met every Pokemon, including Legendaries?" he asked.

    "Not quite--quantity of Pokemon does not necessarily a Pokemon Master or Mistress make." Ash's father cautioned. "Some Masters and Mistresses only owned a few Pokemon, and they were revered as being some of the greatest trainers of their day."

    "I know, we studied many of them in history class." Ash replied, sighing nostalgically about a memorable lecture.

    "What sets apart a Pokemon Master or Mistress from the rest is how they treat their Pokemon." Ash's father explained. "They understand Pokemon are living creatures at heart, and so treat them with dignity and respect, not as tools to batter opponents into submission."

    "Tell that to Gary..." Ash muttered.

    Ash's father just smiled. "That reminds me...even if you do cross paths with Gary on your journey, do not stoop to his level. a Pokemon Master or Mistress treats everyone, even sworn enemies, with respect."

    "I guess there's more to being a Pokemon Master than just winning the League medallion..." Ash mused.

    "That's right--travel to other regions, enter their Leagues, and earn their medallions too." Ash's father grinned. "But remember that on your way to the top, you will likely lose a few times. While it does hurt to lose, remember that losses have lessons to be learned from them, even if you lost due to situations beyond your control."

    The TV remote got his attention as Ash put away his CD player into his bag and gathered a few more supplies. "Although if you must watch TV this late, you could watch this." With that, he changed the channel, displaying Professor Oak on a plain somewhere talking about the native Pokemon of Kanto.

    Ash turned to look back as his father turned to leave. "No matter what, I will make you and Mom proud!" he smiled back, a new confidence welling up in his heart. "I hereby declare to the Pokémon of the world...I will be the greatest Pokémon trainer...the greatest Pokémon master...of all time!"

    Ash's father just chuckled at his son's triumphant pose. "At any rate, you'd best get to bed...you don't want to be late to get your first Pokemon, do you?"

    "Course not!" Ash replied as he changed into his pajamas for the night...

  2. #2
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    Episode 1: A Clash of Rivals

    "Glancing behind her, she saw what looked like a black cloud that was fast gaining on them. So she invoked the sapphire--Rou iitsa ron selga vichii... sang the brown haired boy with tanned skin on Ash's PokeNav screen, making a prop sapphire glow in response to his voice.

    "Watching all the Brock stories you have one last time before you leave, champ?" Ash's father smiled as he arrived.

    "Not all of them--I woke up early to finish packing, and decided to watch my current favorite while I waited for you guys to get up." Ash replied as he stopped the video and stashed the PokeNav in his bag, in between a few whistles and some camping gear.

    "Just remember that Brock is also your first opponent on the road to the League--and he takes his battling as seriously as he does his performances." Ash's father cautioned as Ash quickly got dressed.

    "My little boy...I never dreamed this day would come so quickly." Ash's mother smiled while choking back tears at the same time. "You've grown up so much..." she started as she readied a camera to take a picture.

    "Wait!" Ash paused to grab a familiar red cap with a black L-like design on a white background from the hat stand and put it on. "Okay, take all the pictures you want, Mom!"

    He patiently posed as the camera flashed, then made his way downstairs for a quick breakfast.

    Later, in Oak's Lab...

    After bidding his parents farewell one last time, Ash made his way to the familiar lab that made Pallet Town famous. He'd visited there many times, both on his own and with friends, and the windmill made it easy to spot among all the other buildings in town.

    A few other trainers had arrived to receive their first Pokemon, but Ash winced when he saw a spiky brown haired boy waiting at the table filled with Poke Balls. Gary...do not stoop down to his level...do not stoop down to his level...

    He noticed a particular Poke Ball that had star stickers on it, making it stand out from the many others that held either a Bulbasaur, a Charmander, or a Squirtle. I wonder what kind of Pokemon's in there? he wondered. A Legendary, maybe? Or a rare Pokemon from a different region?

    "Gramps, I'm fed up with waiting!" the spiky haired boy whined, snapping Ash back to reality.

    "Just be patient, Gary, you'll get a Pokemon too." the professor assured Gary as he continued passing out Poke Balls to the other trainers in line. Although a few wisps of brown peeked through Prof. Oak's dull gray hair, he still had an air of youthful wisdom and kindness as he handed out Poke Balls.

    Before long, it was Ash's turn to approach the table--most of the other early risers had left, but most trainers would not arrive until later in the morning.

    He looked over the hundreds of Poke Balls lying on the table, but he kept coming back to the Poke Ball with star stickers. Something special had to be in there, he thought. If its not a Bulbasaur, a Charmander, or a Squirtle, then what is it?

    Prof. Oak noticed Ash studying the hundreds of Poke Balls. "If you're curious, Ash, that starry Poke Ball is one I saved especially for you...so go on and take it."

    "Thanks!" Ash smiled, and reached out for the starry Poke Ball...

    "What about me?" Gary's question startled him.

    "I'll give you one later, okay?" Prof. Oak assured Gray before motioning to Ash.

    But before Ash could take the starry Poke Ball, he gasped as Gary snatched it off the table. "Hey!"

    "This Pokemon's mine now, Ash!" Gary smirked, tossing the Poke Ball from hand to hand.

    Tears welled up in Ash's eyes--Prof. Oak had said the starry Poke Ball was his, and now Gary, his self proclaimed rival, had taken it?

    "Don't think cryin's gonna make me give it back." Gary continued taunting Ash. "I have this Pokemon now--deal with it."

    Ash growled at he tried to restrain himself from shouting a comeback at Gary. "No, Ash...he wants you to shout a witty comeback, and you'll just be arguing all day...do not stoop to his level." he reminded himself as he wiped away his tears of anger and composed himself.

    "Ash...come over here, please." Prof. Oak snapped him back to reality.

    Ash hurried over to the professor's desk as Prof. Oak unearthed another Poke Ball from a drawer. "Another secret Pokemon? What's in there?"

    "This is a Pikachu I caught earlier this morning." Prof. Oak explained. "It seems to dislike being confined, so it may be happier just walking by your side."

    With that, he heaved the Poke Ball skyward, making a small yellow mouse with a thunderbolt tail materialize on the desk. "Pikachu!" it smiled at Ash.

    "Hello!" Ash replied. He reached out to pet the mouse, but it charged a warning spark. "Okay, okay, I won't pet you right now..."

    Professor Oak offered Ash a small red device and a string of five Poke Balls. "Here you go...five empty Poke Ball, and the latest edition of my portable Pokemon encyclopedia--the Pokedex. This one is named Dexter."

    Interested, Ash pointed Dexter at the yellow mouse before him.

    "Pikachu, the mouse Pokemon. It has small electric sacs on both its cheeks. If threatened, it looses electric charges from the sacs." Dexter explained.

    "Let's see...what am I gonna name you, Pikachu...." Ash thought.

    A memory of one of Brock's Gaelic songs gave him an idea. "Tintri!"

    "Pika!" The Pikachu smiled.

    "An interesting choice--a short misspelling of the Eire region Gaelic word for 'lightning', tintreach. Prof. Oak replied. "I hope you'll take care of him."

    "I will, Professor!" Ash smiled before smiling at his new Pikachu. "Ready to go on an adventure, Tintri?"

    [You bet! You seem like a nice human, too.] Tintri replied.

    He was about to depart the lab with Tintri when he heard Gary say "What's the hurry, Ash? Let's check out our Pokemon! No sense in just waltzing out the door without seeing how powerful they are!"

    "Is that a challenge?" Ash snapped back.

    "Yeah...I challenge you!" Gary replied.

    "If you two are going to battle, I'd prefer you did it somewhere away from the lab." Prof Oak interrupted. "I don't know what I would do if any of my research was lost due to a careless battle."

    Gary just sighed. "Fine...battle on the town square in five minutes. Be there, or be square."

  3. #3
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    Episode 2: First Battle, First Friend

    "Thanks for agreeing to ref for us, sis." Gary smiled as a dull brown haired girl colored in two halves of a large chalk Poke Ball on the pavement. While it wasn't the sleek red and blue arenas of Gyms and Indigo Plateau, the huge chalk Poke Ball would do for a makeshift arena.

    "Nice arena, Daisy." Ash agreed as he and Tintri took his place on the red half of the chalk drawing, quieting the murmuring onlookers.

    Once all was quiet, Daisy announced "Representing the Red side, Ash Ketchum and Tintri!"

    [Do all arena referees make such a big show out of a battle?] Tintri asked as some of the crowd cheered.

    "Not all of them, but many of them do to hype up the crowd." Ash replied as he heard the other half of the crowd cheer for Gary and a small brown fox Pokemon staring him down from the Blue side of the makeshift arena.

    He decided to quickly read up on his opponent:

    "Eevee, the evolution Pokemon." Dexter began. "It has the ability to alter the composition of its body to suit its surrounding environment."

    "Hello? Red side, are you ready?" Daisy's voice snapped him back to reality.

    "As I'm ever going to be..." Ash sighed.

    "Blue side ready?" Daisy asked as she hung a referee's whistle around her neck.

    "Let's do this!" Gary smirked, to laughter and cheers from his supporters.

    "And three...two...one..." Daisy counted down before blowing her whistle to start the battle.

    The whistle made Tintri spark in surprise, making him narrowly miss being Tackled by Gary's Eevee. [Boy, those little silver thingies are loud!] he grumbled as he composed himself.

    "That's just how they start every battle, so you'll have to get used to it." Ash explained. "Now, counter with a Thundershock!"

    [Hi-YAAAAAAA!!!] Tintri cried as a tiny thunderbolt went flying at the Eevee. Not one to be deterred, the Eevee whapped Tintri with its tail, sending Tintri flying backwards.

    "You okay?" Ash asked as Tintri gingerly got up.

    [That's gonna hurt in the morning...] Tintri replied. [Mankey see, and Mankey do!] he taunted before Tail Whipping the Eevee back.

    [Arrr!] The Eevee growled. [Not so high and mighty now, pipsqueak!]

    [YOU TAKE THAT BACK!!!] Tintri screeched as he unleashed a more powerful Thundershock, overwhelming the Eevee enough to make it faint.

    Gary, meanwhile, was unfazed by the swirly eyed Eevee at his feet. "Not bad, not bad." he grinned. "But next time, you'll need more than beginner's luck to save you!"

    He turned back to look at Ash. "Until then, smell ya later!"

    [Good riddance...] Tintri grumbled. [Can we leave on our big adventure now?]

    "Yes, let's go." Ash replied as he too turned to leave to the cheers of his own supporters.

    Later, somewhere on Route 1...

    [Has that Gary jerk always been like this?] Tintri asked as he and Ash made their way down Route 1 later that afternoon.

    "Somewhat--as our tenth birthdays drew near, he became more and more cocky and Mr. Better than You." Ash explained as he led Tintri underneath a tree by a river and removed the headphones he had been listening to through his PokeNav. "But I was always told you'll get further on kindness and respect than arrogance and cockiness."

    [Like the professor always said, 'pride goes before a fall'] Tintri agreed.

    Ash smiled. "You seem to be pretty friendly for not being fully tame yet..."

    [That's 'cause I sense a lot of that kindness and respect you were talking about.] Tintri replied. [And I want a trainer that has those qualities, not a jerk like Mr. Cocky back there.]

    "Well, I'll do my best to be a good trainer." Ash smiled. "I may not be perfect, but I'll also do my best to teach you that even losses and mistakes have lessons to learn from them."

    Tintri, meanwhile, was rummaging through Ash's bag. [What's this for?] he asked as he unearthed the PokeNav, piqued in the music note background and media player on its screen.

    "That is a PokeNav--an all purpose digital assistant, media player, communicator, and console all in one." Ash explained as he unplugged the headphones and put them away. "So if you wanna hear the song I was listening to, this is 'Yellow' the solo single from one of the members of the new idol trio Waves."

    A happy melody gave way to a driving pop beat as Ash danced along to the female singer coming from the PokeNav:

    I wonder how long it's been, your laughter and your smile are so far away...
    Good things must come to an end, when it does, it's so fast, and it's too much too soon...
    Too many to even count, are these tears and the saddening tomorrows...
    The heated words that you said, all their pain and their sorrows I'll try my best to forget!

    I want to find that smile, and then bring it back to you!
    No matter where you are, I won't stop, singing this song just for you!
    I don't know just how many nights it's been,
    I know that this wish, in my heart will come true one day...

    The song that you left behind, all the pieces are just lying scattered here...
    I gather them once again, and I work my own magic just to make it whole!

    I want to find that smile, and then bring it back to you!
    Through the end of time, I won't stop, singing this song just for you!
    I close my eyes and wish on a shooting star,
    For the love I have, in my heart, to reach you one day...

    The period comes...the sentence is almost complete
    And yet more words come...I have so much I want to say!
    The morning light shines, a new day dawns one more time
    That special place where anybody and everyone is waiting for you!

    A yellow morning comes, and it sparkles like the sun
    I don't think that I, ever will, forget its simple beauty
    All this light from the heavens raining down,
    I know deep down, it won't stop, step and clap

    I want to find that smile, and then bring it back to you!
    No matter where you are, I won't stop, singing this song just for you!
    I don't know just how many nights it's been,
    I know that this wish, in my heart, it will come true one day!


    Tintri swayed to the beat as Ash spun and twirled through the grass. [Nice moves, there!] he raved as he applauded.

    "Yes, that was pretty good!" a female voice agreed.

    Ash whirled around to see who had spoke to discover an orange haired girl applauding him. "Uh, thanks, miss..."

    "Misty, please." the girl smiled. "I take it you're a new trainer?"

    "Yeah, my Pikachu Tintri and I just left Pallet Town today." Ash replied. "Name's Ash."

    "Nice to meet you." Misty smiled as she set her bag, an instrument case, and some fishing gear on the grass. "I hear the fishing's great out this way...made it worth the trip from Cerulean."

    "If you don't mind--since I have to go to Cerulean myself for a badge anyway..." Ash began, at the same time trying oh-so-hard not to convey to Misty that he was nervous. "D-do you want to travel together? To Cerulean at least?"

    "I'll go with you to at least Cerulean--and maybe beyond!" Misty replied. "Besides, no Pokemon Master or Mistress ever traveled alone. I could probably teach you a thing or two along the way, as well."

    With that, she cast her line in the water as Ash and Tintri looked on...
    Last edited by FlamingRuby; 29th February 2016 at 10:02 PM.

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    Episode 3: Ambitions

    After a relaxing afternoon fishing, Ash and Misty made their way to Viridian City--Misty to weigh the Magikarp she caught, and Ash to register for the Kanto League. The registration process was simple--Dexter was scanned, and then a trainer card was printed with Ash's information and picture on it, as well as Tintri's picture.

    Misty met him back in the Pokemon Center's main hall some moments later. "My haul weighed ten pounds."

    "Wow..." Ash was impressed. "Think we can cook one of them?"

    "That was exactly why I came down here to fish--they say the Magikarp here have a distinct flavor." Misty explained as the two of them were escorted to a guest room by a rotund pink Pokemon.

    "Thanks for the room." Ash smiled at the Pokemon.

    [You're welcome! If you need anything, just let us know!] the rotund Pokemon smiled before following the pink haired nurse to tend to a new patient.

    "From one trainer to another--it's a good idea to thank the Chansey and Happini for their services." Misty explained. "The Happini especially--they may be a little clumsy sometimes, but they genuinely want to help, so letting them know they are doing a good job means the world to them."

    "I see..." Ash smiled as he read up on the two Pokemon Misty had mentioned:

    "Chansey, the egg Pokemon. People try to catch it for its extremely nutritious eggs, but it rarely can be found." Dexter explained.

    [Wow!] Tintri was impressed.

    "Their compassionate nature made the Chansey family a worldwide icon for the Pokemon Center." Misty added. "I'm told that you can find them in the Safari Zone, but good luck trying to catch one."

    Ash nodded and read the entry for Happini as Misty turned on an oven to cook a Magikarp:

    "Happini, the playhouse Pokemon. It loves round white things, so it carries an egg-shaped rock in imitation of Chansey." Dexter explained, just as a Chansey walked by the room, a gaggle of Happinis behind her.

    [Aw...] Tintri smiled. [They look so cute.]

    "So, Ash...what is your goal for your Pokemon journey?" Misty's voice snapped Ash back to reality.

    "My goal is easy--become a Pokemon Master." Ash replied. "Not just any Pokemon Master, but the greatest Pokemon Master of all time."

    "You say it's easy, but it's not actually as easy as you think." Misty cautioned as she tended to the Magikarp simmering on the stove. "It will require effort, a lot of patience, teamwork both with people and Pokemon, and perseverance. Although I think you've got the perseverance part down."

    "Thanks...I think." Ash smiled as Misty went to tend to the steaming vegetables on the stove--the Magikarp had finished cooking, and was now cooling on a platter.

    ---------

    "Mm, that was good." Ash smiled as he set his plate in the sink.

    "Glad you liked it." Misty replied. "I may not be a world class chef or anything, but I can pull off a decent roast Magikarp with all the trimmings."

    "So now that I've told you my goal for this trip, do you have a goal for a journey at all?" Ash asked as he helped Misty wash the dishes. "It can be simple as seeing the world, or as complex as my goal of becoming the greatest Pokemon Master--I won't judge."

    Misty's face turned somber. "I want to stand out from my sisters, forge my own path...and become a great master of water Pokemon. Don't get me wrong, I love my sisters, but being constantly pestered to do this thing or that thing and picking up their slack is not the best feeling in the world."

    She sighed. "The last straw came when they decided to become pop idols--and pestered me to be part of the unit. But dancing around in cutesy costumes and singing cutesy lyrics is not my idea of fun--or my idea of music."

    "Wow..." Ash replied. "Talk about being bossy..."

    He went on "I may not have any blood related siblings, but I have a very close friend I considered a spiritual sister. She and her family lived just up the road from me, and the two of us spent hours exploring the forested areas near town, always pretending we were brave explorers, or the heroes of our favorite TV shows and video games. So I have another reason for becoming a Pokemon Master--to honor her, and know that no matter how far away we are, I will always be her friend."

    "Sounds like the two of you were very close." Misty replied as she finished the last of the dishes. "What's her name...or where is she and her family now?"

    "Her name is Serena--the summer before fourth grade, he dad accepted a job in a far away region, and Serena and her mom went with him." Ash replied as he plopped down in a chair.

    He brushed away a tear. "I miss her so much..."

    "I'm sure you do--it always hurts when someone you cherished moves away." Misty assured Ash as Tintri brought him a box of Kleenex. "I'm glad I never had to deal with that."

    Tintri rummaging in Ash's bag got both Ash's and Misty's attention. [Huh...more of those silver thingys...wonder what the holes are for?]

    A grin formed on Ash's face when he discovered Tintri looking at a silver whistle with a blue mouthpiece. "Oh, these are not like the whistles used to start a battle...these are actually meant to play music."

    Misty's eyes sparkled. "Oh, tin whistles! Hoping to move up to the Pokeflute one day?"

    "Yeah--I was one the few in my class that stuck with the whistle after the required year to play them in the third grade." Ash replied. "I brought four of the most common keyed ones I have, in case I met someone with musical talent on the road."

    The notes of a fiddle playing the tune "All the Way to Pallet Town" got his attention. When he looked over, he balked when he saw Misty was the one playing the song on a beautiful reddish brown fiddle. Inspired, he decided to join in with the tune "The Swellow's Tail", before the two of them played two other tunes common to Pallet Town and Viridian City.

    [Wow! What an electrifying beat!] Tintri raved as he clapped along, lost in the music.

    ---------

    "Jus' lookit'em, jammin' away without a care in da woild..." a small cat Pokemon sighed dreamily as it and its two human masters looked on Ash and Misty jamming from a bush near the window.

    "What a boy and a Pikachu have to do with our current operation in Mt. Moon, I don't know..." the male human sighed in frustration.

    "Don't let the fact he's happily twittering away on a whistle fool you--his Pikachu could very well bring down our whole operation--that was why we came down from the mountain to observe it for tonight." the female figure replied.

    "Are we gonna swipe dat Pikachu?" the cat creature asked.

    "Not yet--but if that boy comes to Mt. Moon and disrupts our operation, then we can try and take it, but not until then--boss' orders." the female human replied, her long fuchsia hair shining in the moonlight....
    Last edited by FlamingRuby; 10th March 2016 at 3:31 AM.

  5. #5
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    Episode 4: Flying Without Wings


    The sun was high overhead when Ash, Misty, and their Pokemon departed Viridian City the next morning. Tintri walked by Ash's side, Ash studied the map, and Misty was not far behind with her gear. "Let's see...if we go through Viridian Forest, we'll come out just outside of Pewter City." Ash mused.

    Misty's eyes turned to stars. "Really??? I've always wanted to see Brock work his storytelling art! They say he plays music, sings in Arceus knows how many languages, and even sword fights and shoots arrows live on stage if the story requires it!"

    "I have a few favorite performances saved on my PokeNav if you want to watch one tonight." Ash smiled.

    "Don't think him a pushover because of his skill telling stories...Brock takes his battling as seriously as his performances." a dark haired boy cautioned as Ash and Misty approached the forest edge. "...and woe betide those with a single Pikachu, as their thunderbolts won't do a thing to his Rock types."

    "Thanks for the tip..." Ash started before pausing--he had not asked the boy his name.

    "Charlie, please." the boy smiled as he retrieved a bug net. "I was gonna meet some friends to go bug hunting in the forest, but I can teach you how to catch your own bugs."

    Misty froze. "B-b-bugs?" she stammered. "Aside from raw carrots and hot peppers, I hate most bugs with a passion!"

    "Most bugs?" Charlie asked as he led Ash and Misty into the forest.

    "I can tolerate pretty bugs, like Butterfree and its cousins, and Ledybas are good luck..." Misty grumbled as she followed Ash and Charlie into a grassy clearing lined with Berry bushes. "But any bugs that bite or sting--no go."

    "Then you may want to try for a Caterpie over a Weedle." Charlie explained. "Both of them are fairly plentiful, but Caterpie is the gentler of the two, and best suited for beginning trainers."

    Ash suddenly felt something crawling up his leg, and looked down to see a tiny green caterpillar Pokemon making its way up his left pant leg. "Why hello..." he smiled as he pulled out Dexter to read up on his tiny visitor:

    "Caterpie, the worm Pokemon. Its feet have suction cups designed to stick to any surface. It tenaciously climbs trees to forage." Dexter explained.

    Misty screaming, followed by something being sprayed snapped Ash to attention. When he turned to see what he matter was, he tried oh-so-hard not to laugh at Misty stuck to a tree trunk by String Shot. The Caterpie he had seen before was now in the grass, daring the red haired girl to attack it.

    [Calling me 'disgusting' and 'vile', were you?] the Caterpie grumbled. [I am not disgusting and I am NOT vile!]

    Just then, Tintri approached the angry Caterpie. [My friend was afraid of you, so she screamed--not because she's a predator.] he explained. [So let her go!]

    [Why should I?] the Caterpie challenged. [She threatened me!]

    [That's because she was afraid!] Tintri pleaded before charging a Thundershock. [So I'm gonna fight to protect her!]

    [Hah!] The Caterpie dodged Tintri's attack, then rammed into him, knocking him backwards.

    Ahh noticed the Caterpie aiming a String Shot at the dazed Tintri. "Tintri, watch out!"

    Tintri obediently rolled out of the path of the string, then lashed his tail at the Caterpie. [Take that!]

    Ash was hit by inspiration as he watched Tintri dodge another string. Say...what if he were to catch the String Shot, then wrap it back around the Caterpie?

    "Don't forget, if you're gonna catch a Pokemon, you have to weaken it first!" Misty reminded him as Charlie cut her loose.

    "Tintri, use Thundershock!" Ash commanded.

    [HAH!!!!] Tintri fired the tiny lightning bolt at the Caterpie moments after he had fired another String Shot, cutting the string loose, but just long enough to wrap something in it.

    Ash decided to try his idea. "Tintri, use that piece of String Shot to wrap up the Caterpie!"

    "Ash, what are you--!" Misty started as she watched Tintri run around the Caterpie, wrapping the String Shot around it.

    Once sure the Caterpie was thoroughly tied, he heaved a Poke Ball in the weakened Caterpie's direction. "Poke Ball, go!"

    One...

    Two...

    Three...

    A feeling of excitement welled up inside Ash as the Poke Ball's center dimmed. "I did it...I got a Pokemon....I got a Pokemon!"

    He joyfully picked up the Pokeball, nearly dancing with joy as he draggeed Misty around the clearing. I got a Pokemon! I got a Pokemon! I got a Pokemon! I got a Pokemon! I got a Pokemon!

    "Well, you don't have to let the whole world know!" Misty grumbled as she was unceremoniously dragged through grass, thorns, and burs in Ash's sheer euphoria.

    Charlie just laughed. "Give your friend a break--every trainer gets excited when they catch their first Pokemon. Weren't you excited too?"

    "Of course." Misty replied as she wriggled free from Ash's grip. "I remember it like yesterday--a Staryu in the waters off Cerulean--which is now a Starmie."

    After composing himself, Ash asked Charlie "What else can you tell me to help me defeat Brock?"

    "Well, that Caterpie you caught will eventually become a Butterfree, which has access to a number of powerful Psychic attacks." Charlie replied. "Your Pikachu may not be a total loss, either--if it learned Disarming Voice as a Pichu, it may stand a chance."

    ---------

    After bidding Charlie farewell and exploring more of the forest, the group stopped to rest. Ash, meanwhile, was thinking about what Charlie had said. If Tintri knows Disarming Voice, he may have a chance against Brock...

    "Something wrong, Ash?" Misty asked as she put some more Magikarp meat on a camp stove to roast. "You've been quiet all evening..."

    "I've been thinking about what Charlie said earlier...if Tintri knows Disarming Voice, he may have a shot against Brock." Ash explained. "My question is, what is Disarming Voice, what does it do, and how do I know Tintri has it?"

    "Why not have Brock himself explain it?" Misty suggested as she pulled up a video on her own PokeNav, inviting Ash to watch the familiar brown haired boy with tanned skin on the screen address an audience of trainers.

    Disarming Voice is primarily a Fairy type move, but it not necessarily restricted to just Fairy types. the Brock on the screen explained. The Skitty, Swablu, Espurr and Ralts families can all learn it, as can Audino, and Milotic. The Pikachu family and Unova's elemental monkey Pokemon can learn it if bred with a Pokemon that knows the move.

    "Okay so that answers my question as to how I know Tintri has it, but what does it actually DO?" Ash asked, as if the image of Brock could hear him.

    Disarming Voice is special among sound producing moves because it can mimic a valuable component of Mega Evolution--the Heart Song. the Brock on the screen continued. As it is only a mimic, it can't induce Mega Evolution, but the blast of sound can knock the opponent back. Usually, the Pokemon mimics its master's Heart Song, but if someone else helped to capture the Pokemon, the Pokemon will instead use the other person's Heart Song as their Disarming Voice...

    ---------

    [Caterpie?] Tintri asked as he climbed on a rock, where the Caterpie Ash captured earlier was staring into the trees. [No hard feelings about before--I thought a friend was in danger, so I had to protect her--that's why we battled.]

    [I know...but I can't understand why she's so afraid of me.] the Caterpie sighed.

    [Some girl humans are like that--afraid of silly things like bug Pokemon.] Tintri explained. [While some bugs are worth fearing, I don't think a Caterpie is that dangerous...]

    [You think so?] the Caterpie smiled. [That makes me feel so much better about coming along on this journey.]

    [Ash is gonna name you in the morning--so we don't have to call you Caterpie all the time.] Tintri went on. [So if you could have any name you wanted, what would you want to be named?]

    The Caterpie thought for a moment. [I would want a name befitting the Butterfree I will be one day!]

    Tintri smiled. [I think I know the perfect name!]....

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    I recognize this type of story, and they always begin a bit interesting until they fall into the repetitive plot lines and themes that these re-imaginings always fall into. So, I was thinking of bringing more up in this review, but I wanted to wait for more chapters to come out to see if these problems would continue on.

    I big problem I have is your use of "Pokemon Master or Mistress." Pokemon Master is sufficient. I know we've come to a point in our society where we wish to use words that cover both genders because of some perceived problem where he and other masculine terms are seen as exclusionary of women. While I have no problem with people using they or something, the phrase "Pokemon Master or Mistress" is clumsy, and your use of the phrase is clumsy and inconsistent. Let me show you:

    Ash asked as he helped Misty wash the dishes. "It can be simple as seeing the world, or as complex as my goal of becoming the greatest Pokemon Master--I won't judge."
    ...
    Misty's face turned somber. "I want to stand out from my sisters, forge my own path...and become a great master of water Pokemon.
    Here you use master in reference to Misty. If you wanted to be consistent, you would've used mistress. Ash himself uses "Pokemon Master or Mistress" in the story, so your use here messes it up.

    I assure you that Pokemon Master is fine and includes both genders. You can drop "or Mistress."

    You've messed up some plot events. Oak not commenting on Gary straight-up stealing Ash's Pokemon that he promised to give him right after admonishing Gary about asking for a Pokemon is out of place. Rock-type Pokemon are not immune to Electric-type attacks. You meant to put Ground-type Pokemon.

    Your battle of Pikachu vs Eevee was short poorly written. Your Pikachu and Caterpie battle suffered from similar weaknesses, but I want to see what you do with future battles before giving some opinions on them.

    Pokemon names are already Plural. No "Chanseys" and "Hapinnis" are necessary here.

    Little phrases like "Later, after dinner" and "Later, in Oak's lab" a have to be cut out. Unless this is a play, you don't need those in there.

    You must take greater care in writing your sentences: "Aside from raw carrots and hot peppers, I hate most bugs with a passion!"

    I know what you mean, but you can hate more than one thing with a passion. There's no need to place those things aside. Do you see what I mean with your sentence?

    "I remember it like yesterday--a Staryu in the waters off Cerulean--which is now a Starmie."

    An ugly sentence that I would re-work. Read it aloud and just listen to how awkward it comes out. Has Cerulean City become a Starmie? No.

    "[YOU TAKE THAT BACK!!!]"

    I won't say anything about you translating the Pokemon speak, for that is just a choice on your part. Please do not capitalize entire sentences of dialogue like this. You do it enough times where it already loses some of the meaning you wanted to create by doing this.

    I wanted to talk about your descriptions ("a black L-like design on a white background"), but you don't do a lot of that.

    And this:

    "Her name is Serena--the summer before fourth grade, he dad accepted a job in a far away region, and Serena and her mom went with him." Ash replied as he plopped down in a chair.

    He brushed away a tear. "I miss her so much..."
    Is a little stomach-turning as a reader. It comes off as over emotional.

    Well, that's it from me. Mostly negative, but that's because it's the first review. Most other reviews that I give from this point on will just be about your story and characters. I won't comment on repeated mistakes, and I will praise when praise is due.

    Good luck and have fun.

    Fighting for real American turtles everywhere. Pro-Turtle since 6/30/13


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    This was just the prologue--Pikachu doesn't appear until the first proper episode

    Ash's pajamas will make an appearance in a camp scene--in this version of the story, Ash did not oversleep

    I'll admit writing battles is one of my weaknesses, but I'm hoping to try and balance the anime and game style of battles, while at the same time making it interesting to read. I'll be mindful of your points when I write my next battles.

    I actually cringed when you showed me all those inconsistencies--I'll see if I can revise those or be mindful of them in future episodes
    Last edited by FlamingRuby; 9th March 2016 at 5:30 PM.

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    Some quick advice for your action sequences: remember that five pages can represent five minutes or five seconds. You don't need to write things as if they're playing out in real life or a television show. You can slow down and be descriptive of all sorts of senses like rocking roling under ones feet or something.

    Fighting for real American turtles everywhere. Pro-Turtle since 6/30/13


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    Okay--how long would be too long, since I want a good battle that's interesting to read, but at the same time don't want to bore the audience.

    Also, what is an effective way to signal a scene change, instead of "Later, in the Pokemon Center"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlamingRuby View Post
    Okay--how long would be too long, since I want a good battle that's interesting to read, but at the same time don't want to bore the audience.
    This would depend on you and your audience. A problem you'll have to overcome is not writing similar fight scenes all of the time because you're probably going to be writing many battles over the course of this story. Many may be 3-on-3 or 6-on-6, so it'll be multiple battles within the many battles you will be writing. One way to avoid boring them would be to switch up events in the battles like different hurdles within each battle to overcome, but you may run out of scenarios at some point.

    You'll have to think on how to make each battle interesting on your own. The only thing I will be able to critique is the style of your writing for those battles.

    It may just be nostalgia or bad memory, but I remember this story (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...nceShipping%29) doing a good enough job with battles.

    Also, what is an effective way to signal a scene change, instead of "Later, in the Pokemon Center"?
    ---

    ~~~

    *~*~*~*~*

    Or simply pressing enter an extra or two times. I would suggest the other options on a message board, though.

    Fighting for real American turtles everywhere. Pro-Turtle since 6/30/13


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    Thank you for the advice--you've been a big help.

    I plan to release episodes on Mondays and Saturdays, so if you want to be notified when new episodes release, just tell me

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    Episode 5: A Race of Wings

    Ash yawned when he woke up the next morning, only to find his hand on something hard. When he looked closer, he noticed that Wings had transformed into a green chrysalis creature. "Wings...you evolved!"

    [Tintri inspired me to follow my dream.] Wings explained. [I was so happy, I evolved.]

    "Well, you're one step closer to becoming a Butterfree." Ash smiled as he read up on what Wings had become:

    "Metapod, the cocoon Pokemon. It prepares for evolution by hardening its shell as much as possible to protect its soft body."

    "That means we have to keep Wings away from birds as much as we can." Misty cautioned. "I may fear most bugs, but Butterfrees and their cousins Beautifly and Vivilion are all beautiful."

    [You think so?] Wings blushed, flattered that Misty had taken a liking to him.

    Ash froze when he saw a flock of small spike headed birds flying past him. After heaving a relieved sigh that the birds were uninterested in Wings, he set Wings on a rock to read about what they were:

    "Spearow, the tiny bird Pokemon. Its wings are short, so it can't fly a long distance. If it's not eating, it darts around in a hurry."

    Misty spotted the flock of Spearows in a nearby clearing, pecking at a larger brown bird with a red crest, only to be driven back by the larger bird's sharp talons. "They're harassing that Pidgeotto!" she noted as the Spearows fluttered away, then dove in for another attempt at the dead Magikarp the Pidgeotto was guarding.

    [We have to help!] Tintri called, starting off towards the clearing as his human companions broke camp.

    "I know you want to help, Tintri, but it's also a good idea to know your opponent and your rescuee." Ash cautioned before reading up on the battered Pidgeotto as it sent some Spearows flying by flapping up a wind gust.

    "Pidgeotto, the bird Pokemon. Very protective of its sprawling territorial area, this Pokémon will fiercely peck at any intruder.

    "I'll say..." Misty started before noticing Ash and Tintri hurrying off to help the Pidgeotto. "I wouldn't just charge into battle like that if I were you!" she called as she hurried to catch up.

    She arrived just in time to see Tintri fire a massive Thunderbolt at the flock of Spearows. "Be careful, Tintri!"

    [Relax, I've got this.] Tintri replied as he veered out of the way of a Spearow beak, then rammed his attacker to the ground with a Headbutt.

    "Are you okay, Mr.--!" Ash started before the Pidgeotto squawked in annoyance at being called a boy. "Um, I mean, Miss Pidgeotto?"

    [I think so, but I would be focused on chasing off my foes if I were you.] the Pidgeotto replied.

    Ash nodded, then called to Tintri "Find a way to get rid of all the Spearows at once!"

    "How's THAT gonna help?" Misty grumbled, annoyed at Ash's vague commands. "If you want a Pokemon to listen to you, you have to tell them EXACTLY what you want them to do!"

    "Okay...zap the Spearows with a Thunderbolt!" Ash suggested.

    He sighed as Tintri complied, only to have even more Spearows fly to join the battle, making Tintri's task that much harder as every Thundershock he attempted didn't even faze the Spearows. Think, Ash...you can't use Wings...

    Just then, both he and Misty watched in awe as a cry of "Pidjoooooooo!" pierced the air, snapping the Spearows to attention. A massive gust came blowing through the clearing soon after, which picked up many of the Spearows and dropped them on the ground.

    The Pidgeotto we were trying to save! Ash gasped as the Pidgeotto swooped in on a cluster of Spearows. Angered, the Spearows tried to peck at the crested bird, but the Pidgeotto send one Spearow barreling into the others, making the Spearows flee in terror!

    "Well! Maybe you do know what you are doing..." Misty smiled as she watched the Spearows flee into the afternoon sky.

    [You may be a young trainer, but I would be honored to join your team, and lend you my wings.] the Pidgeotto agreed as she gave Ash a little bow.

    "You mean...you don't wanna battle?" Ash was surprised.

    "You have to remember Pokemon are like people--not all of them will want to battle." Misty reminded him.

    [Just watching you before was enough to convince me you were worth traveling with.] the Pidgeotto agreed.

    Ash just grabbed a Poke Ball, then gently touched the Pidgeotto with it, making her go inside with a flash of light. "Welcome aboard, Mina!"

    "Mina...that's a pretty name." Misty smiled as she led the way into the brush.

    Tintri, meanwhile, spotted a Berry tree by the forest path. [I'm gonna get myself a snack...]

    As he unleashed a spark to hopefully make a Berry drop, some familiar squawks got his attention. [Oh no, not again...]

    "Run for it!" Ash motioned for the others to follow him as more Spearows came fluttering from a bush.

    ---------

    "We have to get to Pewter City, and fast!" Misty called as she dashed through the underbrush just outside Viridian Forest.

    "Where's a signpost when you need one?" Ash agreed, the screeching Spearows not far behind him.

    [All I did was try and shock a Berry out of that tree, and ended up rousing those Spearows!] Tintri protested as he met Ash and Misty by a rocky outcropping.

    An idea occurred to Misty. "Say...birds hate thunder...so why don't you try zapping these guys?"

    [Got it!] Tintri replied before firing a massive Thunderbolt into the oncoming flock of Spearows. A few fainted right away, but the majority were only stunned.

    "Do that again!" Ash urged. Tintri complied, but it seemed that the more Spearows fainted, the more that arrived to help and replace those that had fallen.

    Misty seemed unfazed by the massive flock of Spearows that were headed towards them. "Any more bright ideas?" she deadpanned as the Spearows fluttered closer.

    Ash was about to answer when he heard the whistle of an arrow flying, followed by the thunk of it landing inches away from where he was standing. "An arrow..."

    "Who would be shooting a bow all the way out here?" Misty wondered before she saw a gold-tinged arrow with green fletching fly over her head and land not far from the first one, producing a small cloud of green mist on impact. Oh, I see...the archer's sprayed Repel on the heads, so he's not hurting the Spearows, but warning them away!

    Tintri, meanwhile, noticed the Spearows flying away in panic. [Those pointy things are scaring them away!]

    "I wonder who could--!" Ash started before he spotted the archer, a brown haired boy with tan skin that appeared to be in his late teens or early twenties, readying another Repel laced shot as a six tailed fox creature looked on.

    After a few tense seconds, he fired as the massive flock fluttered away in panic. Once sure the Spearows were gone, he addressed the fox creature. "Hinata, cá bhfuil siad?

    "Ka fuel said?" Ash wondered as he watched the fox creature run to retrieve the arrow by his foot.

    The archer emerged from his vantage point near some rocks. "I said 'Where are they?' to Hinata in Eire region Gaelic--which she knows is her cue to go retrieve my shots."

    "If you can speak a language that obscure, what other languages do you know?" Misty asked as the fox creature obediently dropped the three arrows at her master's feet.

    Ash, meanwhile, was reading up on the six tailed fox the archer was petting:

    "Vulpix, the fox Pokemon. While young, it has six gorgeous tails. When it grows, several new tails are sprouted."

    The lightbulb went off in his mind when he realized who was before him. "No way! It's...it's..."

    "The one and only Brock, live and in person." the boy smiled before gathering his archery gear. "Let's get to town before the Spearows return."

    "Good idea." Misty agreed as she ran to catch up with the boys...
    Last edited by FlamingRuby; 27th March 2016 at 1:07 AM.

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    Interlude: The Minstrel of Pewter City

    (what Brock performs)

    "Welcome to my humble home..." Brock smiled, making a grand gesture to the city in the distance.

    It's beautiful!" Misty gasped, stars in her eyes over the gems glittering in the walls and roofs of many of the houses. "Are they all made of stone?"

    "Actually, they may look like stone, but it's actually brick made from the stones in nearby quarries." Brock replied, grinning at Tintri and Hinata nuzzling each other. "I'll take you to the Pokemon Center, then meet you back there after I drop my gear off at home so I can give you a proper tour of Pewter City."

    "And maybe one of your world famous storytelling performances?" Ash asked, his eyes sparkling with excitement at the prospect of seeing one of the world's best renowned storytellers work his art live.

    "Well, I'll see what I can do for an outdoor performance, since the Gym is being cleaned right now, and the theater by the museum is still under construction." Brock replied, gesturing to a construction site near an ornate columned building on the north end of town.

    "Wonder what this theater will be named when it's completed?" Ash wondered. "I mean, there's the Theater de Pallette at home..."

    "And the local theater in Cerulean is known as the Wave..." Misty added.

    "Last I heard, they were gonna name it the Fireside--since it does look a little like a fireplace in its concept art." Brock replied, showing his new friends a concept drawing of what the theater would look like when completed.

    The three friends rounded a corner to reach the local Pokemon Center, where the roof and even the red Poke Ball icon were made from glittering rubies. "And here we are--the Pokemon Center."

    "Thanks, Brock!" Ash smiled.

    "Anytime--I'll be back shortly to lead you on your tour." Brock replied before departing.

    ---------

    "I'm finally glad to be back in civilization..." Misty smiled as the Pokemon Center doors opened with a whoosh.

    "Especially since no wild Spearows are out here..." Ash agreed as he made himself comfortable on a couch. The Pokemon Center was uncrowded and quiet at the early hour, save for young Pokemon getting checkups and the whirs, beeps, and bloops of the various machines healing and examining Pokemon

    Just then, a young man with dull blonde hair approached Ash and Misty. "Hi there! You look like a trainer that yearns to hit the heights!"

    "I do, Mr..." Ash started, before realizing the stranger had not introduced himself.

    "Clyde, please." the boy smiled as he put on some sunglasses.

    "I'm Ash Ketchum, of Pallet Town." Ash replied, almost in a whisper.

    "Ash! If this guy, or anyone, wants to help us, your introduction should be confident!" Misty hissed.

    "Okay, okay...." Ash replied with a sigh.

    After muttering "Miss Bossy..." under his breath, he tried his introduction again. "I'm Ash Ketchum, of Pallet Town!"

    "Well then, Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town, I can tell you have what it takes to become a Pokemon Master!" Clyde grinned. "I may not be a trainer, but I can tell you how to win!"

    He turned to Ash. "How bout it? Want me to take you to the top?"

    "You bet!" Ash replied.

    "All right! Let's get happening!" Clyde smiled, nearly dancing with excitement.

    Misty whispered "Don't let his hipster goofball appearance fool you, Clyde knows his stuff when it comes to Pokemon, so it would be wise to trust him."

    After composing himself, Clyde began "It will be tough for your Pikachu at Pewter Gym...electric attacks are harmless to Brock's ground-type Pokemon."

    "Okay..." Ash replied. "What kind of Pokemon can I expect to see him use?"

    "For young trainers like you, he uses his favorite dynamic duo of Rocky the Geodude and Callio the Onix--not too difficult for a prepared trainer." Clyde explained. "Sometimes, he may welcome his Vulpix Hinata to the battlefield to throw Bulbasaur users off."

    "We've met her--she's really sweet." Misty smiled.

    "For more advanced trainers, he has a variety of rare and exotic Rock types, as well as his first Pokemon, an Onix--now Steelix--named Argent." Clyde went on.

    Then something occurred to him. "Did you see Brock wearing an emerald ring?"

    "No..." Ash replied.

    "When facing off against a pro trainer, he may induce Argent to Mega Evolve--I haven't heard his Heart Song myself, but they say Mega Steelix is a sight to see." Clyde replied.

    Ash heard Brock whistling for him as the Pokemon Center doors opened again. "Thanks for the advice--and nice to meet you."  

    ---------

    "...Here is the town square." Brock announced as he made a grand gesture to the flowers ringing the Diancie fountain in the square's center. "The Diancie fountain was a gift from Kalos after a successful Rhydon race was held here years ago."

    "Fascinating!" Misty replied.

    "There's also a lot of props scattered around the square too--so if I get a crowd wanting me to spin a yarn in the streets, I have access to any props I may need." Brock explained.

    He noticed throngs of kids and adults headed towards the square. "Fancy that..."

    A huge smile formed on Ash's face as a large crowd gathered. This is it--my chance to see Brock perform live and in person.

    He nudged Misty. "You're in for a treat."

    Once the crowd and settled in and quieted down, Brock thought for a moment, than began "The king of a certain land had a beautiful garden which contained a number of very rare trees, but the rarest one of all was a Leppa tree. It stood in the middle of the garden, and produced shining crystal Leppa Berries every day. In the morning the flowers bloomed, during the day the fruit grew and ripened, and before nightfall, the berries were fully ripe. The next day the same thing happened, and this cycle would occur like clockwork every day."

    "Wow!" Ash gasped, impressed as he imagined what the crystal Leppa Berries might look like, if they were real.

    "However, no Berries were left on the tree the following day." Brock intoned. "No one knew how, when, or why they disappeared, and this deeply grieved the king."

    [Poor king...] Tintri sighed

    "Finally, he couldn't stand it any longer, and calling his eldest son to him, said..." Brock then spoke in an older man's voice. “My child, I want you to keep watch in the garden tonight, and see if you can find out what happens to my miracle Leppa Berries. I will reward you with the choice of all my treasures; if you should be lucky enough to capture the thief, and bring him to me, I would gladly give you half my kingdom and more.”

    "That was pretty good!" Misty grinned, impressed at Brock's mimicry skill.

    "He's only getting warmed up--he easily does a unique voice for every character in the story." Ash smiled before turning his attention back to Brock's performance.

    "So the young prince--whose name is not important to us--set his trusty sword at his side, and with his bow on his back and quiver full of thirty arrows, went into the garden to stand guard." Brock explained. "As he sat there under the Leppa Berry tree, a drowsy feeling came over him, which he could not resist. Before long, he slept as soundly as if he had been in his own bed at home, nor did he awake until dawn, and then he saw that the Leppa Berries were gone.

    Misty stifled a giggle as she pictured the king's reaction. "When questioned by his father, he said that no thieves had come, but that the Leppa Berries had vanished all the same." Brock continued over the soft giggles. "The king shook his head--he did not believe a word of it. Then, turning to his middle son, he bade him keep watch, and promised him a handsome reward if he caught the thief."

    "And then?" some children begged.

    "So the middle son armed himself accordingly and went into the garden. But he fared no better than his brother, for he could not resist the desire to sleep, and when he woke up the Leppa Berries were gone--again!" Brock grinned.

    The square rippled with laughter at this. "When his father asked him how it disappeared, he replied that no one had taken it, it had vanished on its own.”

    In character as the king, he told an imagined person “Now, my dearest one, take your turn. Although you are young, and have less experience than your brothers, let's see if you can succeed where they have failed. If you are willing, go, and may Arceus be with you.”

    The audience stood quietly and listened as Brock went on "That evening, when it was dusk, the youngest prince--whose name was Brian--went into the garden to keep watch. He took with him a sword and a bow, and a few arrows. He set the sword in such a way that it would lightly poke him and jolt him awake if he dozed off."

    "That's a good idea..." Misty mused.

    Brock then revealed what was taking the Leppa Berries as he gathers his bow and some prop arrows. "Around midnight, Moltres, the bird of fire, flew down and landed on the tree, and was just about to make off with the Leppa Berries when Prince Brian nocked an arrow to his bow and fired."

    The audience holds their breaths as Brock carefully nocks one of his own arrows and fires at a Moltres target positioned at the west end at the square, where it lands not far from the bullseye.

    Applause fills the air at Brock's successful shot. "The arrow struck Moltres beneath the wing." he explains, gesturing to his shot in the target before removing his gear and setting it aside. "Although wounded, she flew away, dropping one of her feathers on the ground. That night, for the first time in a long time, the Leppa Berries remained untouched."

    “Have you caught the thief?” he asks an imagined person as the king.

    “Not altogether, but we'll catch him soon enough." he replied in a mimic of Ash's voice for Prince Brian.

    Ash balked. "I wanna know how he learned to mimic my voice this quickly..."

    "He gave the king the feather, and told him everything that had happened." Brock continued as himself. "The king was charmed with the feather; it was so beautiful, and glowed so bright, that it easily lit all the rooms of the palace, and they needed no other light."

    "Wow"s and awed whistles went up from the crowd. "The courtiers told the king that the feather could only belong to Moltres, the bird of fire, and that it was worth all the rest of the royal treasure put together." Brock explained, quieting the chatter. "From that time on, Moltres didn't come to the garden, and the Leppa Berries remained untouched. But the king could think of nothing more than how to own this marvelous Pokemon."

    "But the Legendaries aren't meant to be caught!" Ash protested. "They watch over us all!"

    Brock's face turned somber. "Finally, after losing hope of ever seeing Moltres, he grew depressed, and would remain in deep thought for hours. The mental toll got him physically sick, and every day his condition grew worse."

    "He's not gonna die, I hope?" Misty worried as she brushed away a fearful tear.

    "One day he summoned his three sons before him and said..." Brock switched to his "king" voice again. “My dear children, you see the sorry state I am in. If I could only hear Moltres sing, I would be cured of this disease of the heart; otherwise, I will die. Whoever succeeds in catching Moltres alive and getting her to sing to me, I will give half my kingdom and the right to the throne.”

    As himself, he continued "After bidding their father farewell, the brothers set off. They traveled together until they came to a part of the forest where the road branched off in three directions, and agreed to each go down a different route, and return to the fork in a year. In order to recognize the fork again, each one planted a tree at the exact point where the road split. If one of the trees wilted, its owner had either died or needed help. If a tree glowed, its owner had been successful."

    "I wonder what awaited our heroes on this adventure..." Misty mused.

    "When each prince had planted a tree at the fork, they set off." Brock went on. "The eldest rode on, and never stopped until he reached the top of a high mountain; where he stopped to rest and have lunch."

    He smiles, revealing a twist in the tale. "Just then, the holy Delphox Kitsune came that way, and asked the eldest prince..."

    "Please, Sir Prince, may I have a little of your food?" he asked in a mimic of a young woman. "I am very hungry, and have not had much luck hunting.”

    As himself, he reveals the eldest prince's reaction. "But the eldest prince fired an arrow from his bow, but he did not hit Kitsune, for she vanished moments before the arrow hit."

    "That's Kitsune for you!" Ash smiled, savoring the memories of Kitsune stories Serena had told him.

    "The middle brother, after an uneventful journey, reached a plain, where he stopped for lunch." Brock continued. "Kitsune also appeared to him and begged for food; but he too shot at her. Kitsune being Kitsune, she disappeared as before."

    "You can't hurt or kill Kitsune--she's immortal!" Misty grinned.

    "Prince Brian, meanwhile, traveled on until he came to the banks of a river." Brock continued, acknowledging Misty's comment with a nod. "Tired and hungry, he got down from his Ponyta and started on his lunch. While he was eating, Kitsune came to him.

    “Please, young sir,” he asked as Kitsune, “give me a little of your food.”

    “Fear not, Lady Kitsune; I see you are more hungry than I, but there is enough for us both.” he assured an imagined being as Prince Brian.

    As himself, he went on "So he divided all his supplies in half--one for him, and one for Kitsune. When Kitsune had eaten her fill, she said..."

    “You have fed me well, so in return I will serve you well; mount your Ponyta and follow me." he instructed as Kitsune. "If you do everything I tell you to do, Moltres will be yours.”

    He narrated as himself "Then she set off flying before Prince Brian, leaping over mountains, soaring over ravines, and crossing rivers as easily as solid ground. Prince Brian followed at a gallop, without the slightest wish to stop, until they came to a castle built of gold."

    “Moltres is in this castle,” he explained Kitsune. “You must enter exactly at noon, for then the guards will be asleep, and you will pass unnoticed. Beware of stopping anywhere. In the first room you will find twelve birds black as night, in golden cages; in the second, twelve golden birds in wooden cages; in the third, Moltres, the bird of fire, roosting on her perch. Near her are two cages, one of wood and the other of gold; be sure you put her in the wooden cage."

    As himself, he went on Prince Brian entered the castle, and found everything as Kitsune had told him. Having passed through the two rooms, he came to the third, and there saw Moltres on her perch, asleep. In his excitement of handling such a beautiful Pokemon, he accidentally placed Moltres in the gold cage, which caused her to scream in panic and wake up the guards.

    "Oh no"s wafted through the square as Brock set the scene. "The guards caught Prince Brian, and dragged him before the king."

    He then proceeded to enact the entire confrontation using only his voice. “Thief, who are you to have dared to steal Moltres?”

    “I am not a thief...I have come to reclaim a thief whom you protect. I am the son of a king, and in my father’s gardens is a Leppa Berry tree that bears glittering crystal fruit. In the night your bird robbed us of our golden Leppa Berries. Though I watched and wounded her, I could not catch her. My father is dying with grief because of this, and the only remedy that can save and restore him to health, is that he may listen to Moltres' exquisite song."

    “You may have her on one condition--that you bring me Epona, the shining Ponyta with the sapphire mane.”

    He deadpanned as himself "So Prince Brian left empty-handed."

    "Cry not, Sir Brian--I know you did not mean to disobey me, but your haste led you to this predicament, and so now you must find a way out of it." he scolded as Kitsune.

    “I admit it was my own fault, and for that I beg your forgiveness. I want your advice: how I am to get Epona?” he asked as Prince Brian.

    “I know how it can be done, and I will help you once again as a sign of my forgiveness. Follow me, and do as I tell you.” he replied as Kitsune.

    Misty nudged Ash. "Which came first, the Epona in folklore or the Epona of Zelda fame?"

    "The Epona in folklore came first." Ash explained. "She has a bewildering array of powers that may even differ in between versions of the same story, but no matter what the story, she goes really fast, and can speak the words of humans." He let that hang as he listened to the epic tale Brock wove.

    "Kitsune ran on ahead, clearing the path for Prince Brian." Brock continued as himself. "Prince Brian followed at a gallop, until they came to a castle built entirely of silver."

    “In that castle lives the Legendary steed Epona." he instructs as Kitsune. “You have to go exactly at noon, when the guards are asleep. Whatever you do, do not stop anywhere. You must pass through three stables. In the first are twelve shining Ponytas with golden bridles; in the second, twelve normal Ponytas with black bridles; in the third stands Epona in front of her manger, and she shines the brightest of all. Near her are two bridles, one of gold, the other of leather. Whatever you do, do not pick up the gold bridle if you can help it, or you will regret it.”

    "Who wants to bet he picks the gold one up on purpose?" Misty whispered, making Ash chuckle in anticipation.

    "So Prince Brian waited until the appointed time, and then entered the castle, finding everything as Kitsune had said." Brock continued as himself. "In the third stable stood Epona, eating the grain of heaven from her silver trough. She was so beautiful that Prince Brian could not take his eyes off her. In his zeal to handle the Legendary steed he had heard about in endless bedtime stories, he grabbed the gold bridle by mistake."

    Gasps went up as he went on "Epona made so much racket it woke the guards, and Prince Brian was again dragged before the king."

    “You thief, how is it that you have escaped the vigilance of the guards and have dared to lay hands upon my precious Epona?” he demanded in character as the silver king.

    As himself, Brock went on "Prince Brian told the silver king everything, hiding nothing, and he hoped His Majesty would give him Epona as a gift.

    “Most willingly, but on one condition--that you bring me Christine, the Maiden with the Sapphire Eyes: she lives in the crystal castle on the shores of the northern sea.” he replied as the king.

    He interjected as himself "Kitsune was waiting in the forest for Prince Brian, and when she saw him come back without the Ponyta, she knew what had happened."

    "See how your haste has got you in trouble again?" he scolded as Kitsune.

    “Please, I confess that I disobeyed you. But have mercy on me and help me out of this predicament.” he pleaded as Prince Brian.

    “Very well--since you have admitted your fault and genuinely wish to make things right again, I forgive you, and will help you once more." he assured an imagined person as Kitsune. "If you do as you are told, you may learn that there is a time to rush, and a time to take it slow. So, let's go!"

    Misty stifled a giggle at Brock's in character poetic license. "So Kitsune ran on ahead, clearing the road, until they reached the shores of the northern sea." Brock narrated as himself.

    “That palace over there is the residence of the Queen of the Ocean Kingdom." he explained as Kitsune, pointing at the Gym in the distance. "She has three daughters; Christine is the youngest, and it is she who has the sapphire eyes. First go to the queen and ask her to give you one of her daughters in marriage. If she accepts your proposal, she will ask you to choose one of them--take the princess who is plainly dressed. Though she may be humble in appearance, her eyes are a piercing blue, and this is why she is called the Maiden with the Sapphire Eyes.”

    "Oh"s went up from the crowd at this. "The queen received him most graciously, and when he explained the reason for his visit, she led him into a room where the three daughters were spinning." he narrated as himself. They were so much alike that an untrained eye could not tell them apart, and all so lovely that when Prince Brian looked at them, his heart pounded in excitement.

    "He's gonna screw this up too..." Ash whispered to Tintri, who was listening from his shoulder.

    "The first lady wore a gown and veil embroidered with gold, and used a golden distaff; the second had on a gown embroidered with silver and held a silver distaff; and the third wore a gown and veil of dazzling white, with a wooden distaff." Brock explained. "When told to make his choice, Prince Brian pointed to the maiden clothed in white.”

    Some applause and relieved cheers went up. "I don't know what Kitsune would've done if Prince Brian screwed up again..." Ash mused.

    "As Prince Brian left the crystal palace with Christine, he saw his mount coming towards him, with Kitsune at his side." Brock narrated.

    “Mount quickly,” he called as Kitsune. “There is not a moment to lose; lift the maiden in front of you.”

    As himself, he went on "The faithful steed flew like an arrow, and sped rapidly over the road. Prince Brian was very happy as he rode along, holding Christine, but it saddened him to think he would have to give up all thought of marrying her himself, and that within a few short hours he had to leave her with the silver king. Kitsune, who noticed this, said..."

    “It appears that you do not want to exchange the lovely Christine for Epona, yes?" he grinned as Kitsune. "Well, I have helped you so far, I will see what I can do for you now.”

    He interjected as himself "With that, she sang..."

    Asah felt a burning feeling in his chest as Brock sang as Kitsune Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... He shook it off as his imagination as Brock revealed the "spell"'s effect. "...transforming into an exact copy of Christine."

    “Leave your real bride in the forest, and take me with you to offer to the silver king in exchange for his Ponyta Epona. Mount Epona, return here, and escape with the maid you love; I will take care of the rest.” he instructed as Kitsune.

    As himself, he continued "The silver king received the maiden without any suspicion, and handed over Epona in exchange. Kitsune caught up with our heroes when they had almost reached the gold castle. Here they all rested, while Kitsune transformed into an exact copy of Epona..."

    Ash winced as Brock sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... as Kitsune again, making the burning feeling return for a few moments. Mental note: find out what that burning feeling is... he told himself before focusing on Brock again.

    Brock continued as himself "Prince Brian entered the gold castle, and exchanged the disguised Kitsune for the firebird Moltres. Once no one was looking, Kitsune returned to her true form, and hurried after the departing prince, who she did not overtake until they had reached the banks of the river where they had first met."

    “Now, Sir Brian, Moltres, the lovely Christine, and the Legendary steed Epona are all yours." he smiled as Kitsune. "From here, I believe you can manage without my help, so return to your father’s house in peace and joy. If you do need my help again, I am watching over you, always.”

    "Aw"s went up as Brock went on as himself "With these words Kitsune returned to her earthly house in the forest, while Prince Brian continued his journey. In his hand he held the golden cage that contained Moltres, at his side the lovely Christine rode Epona. If Arceus had called him home just then, he would have died a happy man."

    He paused for a moment, then continued "When he reached the for where he had parted from his brothers the year before, he hurried to look for the branches they had planted. His alone had become a beautiful Cheri tree, theirs had both withered."

    Next, he reveals a twist in his tale. "He did not, however, expect his brothers to ambush him, throw him in a deep pit, and take his treasure for themselves."

    "WHAAAAAAAAAAAT????" Ash, Misty, and the Pokemon were just as shocked as the rest of the crowd at the turn of events.

    "Once home, they sent Epona to the stables, the cage containing Moltres was placed in their father's room, and Christine was given a beautiful suite of apartments and maids of honor to attend her. Brock continued. "When the king, who was weakened by his suffering, had looked at Moltres, he asked about Prince Brian's fate. The brothers replied that they had not seen or heard anything of him, and so presumed him dead.”

    "Why those dirty, sneaky, double crossing Ekans...." Misty grumbled, angry at the brothers.

    "Don't worry--they'll get their comeuppance in the end." Ash assured Misty, which calmed her a little.

    "The king was devastated—it seemed as if his last hour was at hand." Brock intoned. "On top of that, Moltres refused to sing; Epona stood with her head bent down before her manger, and would eat nothing; while Princess Christine remained silent as if she had taken a vow, her beautiful hair was messy and uncombed, and she wept so much, her tears fell like a waterfall."

    A smile forms on his face--all hope isn't lost for Prince Brian! "Now, Kitsune happened to pass through the forest, and came upon Prince Brian calling for help in the pit. With her holy power, she levitated him out onto safe ground again. Prince Brian quickly told her what had happened."

    "Have faith, Sir Brian--this time the misfortune is not your fault." he grins as Kitsune. "I have a plan to make things right again."

    As himself, he continued "After conjuring some commoner's clothes for him, Kitsune led him to the outskirts of the forest, close to the royal palace, where she left him. Prince Brian then entered the palace grounds, unrecognized by the servants. He claimed he was a poor boy in need of work, and was made a stable boy. Some time later he heard the grooms worrying that Epona would refuse to eat. When no one was looking, Prince Brian lay some fresh hay in Epona's manger and assured her...

    “Grieve no more, Epona--your master is home.” he smiles as Prince Brian.

    Excited whispers went up as Brock went on "Epona recognized her master’s voice, and whinnying with joy, happily ate all the hay. The news was talked about from one end of the palace to the other, and the sick king summoned the boy to his presence."

    “I hear you have made Epona eat." he explained as the king. “Do you think you could make Moltres sing? She droops her wings, and will neither eat nor drink. If she dies, I will die too.”

    “Your majesty may rest assured, the bird will not die. I know a way to have her sing her healing song." he explained as Prince Brian.

    As himself, Brock continues "The king ordered the finest food brought, and the disguised prince put a handful into Moltres’s cage, saying..."

    “Cheer up, Moltres--your master is home.” he smiled as Prince Brian.

    As himself, Brock narrated "As soon as Moltres heard her master’s voice she shook her feathers, making her feathers shine brighter than ever. She danced in her cage, and sang so beautifully, the king was immediately healed, and it was as if a great weight had been lifted off his heart. Moltres again burst into song..."

    In character as a young lady, Brock sang Gatrandis favel, secret, edena....
    Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
    Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
    Emusto koron zen fine, si...


    Misty recognized the song. "Isn't that the same gibberish song they use for a desperation spell all the time on TV?"

    "It is!" Ash cried.

    "This so moved the king that he jumped from bed, and embraced the disguised prince out of sheer euphoria and gratitude." Brock went on.

    “Now, teach me how to heal this beautiful maiden my sons brought back with them; she will not speak a word, her beautiful hair remains uncared for, and her tears fall night and day.” he pleaded as the king.

    “If Your Majesty will allow me to say a few words to her, it may be the means of making her happy again.” he assured an imagined person as Prince Brian.

    He interjected as himself "The king led the way to her apartments, and the disguised prince, taking her hand, said..."

    “Grieve no more, Christine--your rightful groom is home.” he smiled as Prince Brian.

    He went on as himself "Christine knew him right away, and with a cry of joy threw herself into his arms. This astonished the king, and he could not for the life of him think how a stable boy could address a princess as his 'dear bride.' Prince Brian then revealed himself to his father, and told him the truth. Christine in turn told how the wicked brothers had threatened to kill her if she betrayed them. As for the brothers, they shook from head to toe, and trembled like leaves in the wind. The furious king ordered them banished from the land for lying to him, never to return on pain of death."

    "Serves them right for trying to kill their brother..." Misty smirked.

    Brock concluded "And so, Prince Brian married the beautiful Christine, and the king gave him half of his kingdom as a wedding present. When the time came for the old king to join Arceus in heaven, Prince Brian ascended to the throne, and lived happily with his beloved Christine for many years."

    The square roared with applause, but Misty's applause was the most enthusiastic. "Wow! He's GOOD!!! Now I know why he's one of the best storytellers in the world!"

  14. #14
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    Episode 6: A Heart of Steel

    "Thanks so much for the awesome performance!" Misty raved as the crowd in the square began to leave.

    "What's your secret--if you're allowed to tell me?" Ash wondered as the group continued to the west end of the city, where a large stone building loomed over one particular house in the neighborhood.

    "There really is no secret--when you've got nine other kids in the house, knowing how to tell a good yarn is an easy way to keep them entertained and get them off to bed with your sanity intact." Brock replied.

    "Oh my..." Ash gasped--most families he knew of had at the most two, maybe three kids. "How do you keep track of them all? Name tags, or something?"

    "Scheduling apps are an Arceus-send." Brock smiled as he brought up his siblings' schedule on DateNav, which included open houses, sports practices, music lessons, and school events. "Besides, if nine kids don't like a story, chances are an audience of nine hundred won't like it either."

    "I guess having a built in focus group is nice." Misty noted, her mind still reeling from the concept of a family that large. She wanted to ask Brock what had possessed his parents to have that many kids, but decided against it as the trio approached the large building, which had a diamond Gym insignia glittering over the entryway.

    As the doors opened with a whoosh, Ash looked around the many cavernous arenas and performance spaces in awe. "It's like we walked into a cave!"

    "That's because it was built around a cave--when Dad's distant ancestor built it years ago, he incorporated the natural caves under the city into the building." Brock explained. "Both Argent and Callio love boring through the tunnels, and Argent especially loves giving the kids rides."

    [How sweet.] Tintri smiled.

    Just then, a low rumbling got his attention. [What's happening?]

    He heaved a relieved sigh as a massive steel snake Pokemon crawled into a nearby room, then bent down to allow some giddy children with similar features to Brock to climb off of him. [Oh, so that's Argent...]

    Awed at the sheer size of the massive snake, Ash nearly dropped Dexter as he went to read up on the silver snake that was waiting for several other children to climb on its back:

    "Steelix, the iron snake Pokemon. Tempered underground under high pressure and heat, its body is harder than any metal."

    "Wow..." Misty gasped, impressed. "Where does something that huge sleep at night?"

    "He has his own cavern to sleep in." Brock explained as he approached the Steelix. "I like to refer to him as 'my gentle giant'."

    The Steelix noticed Brock approaching, and gave an interested purr at the orange haired girl, the black haired boy, and the Pikachu gawking at it. "Argent, these are my new friends--Ash and Misty." Brock replied.

    Then something occurred to him as the last child climbed aboard Argent. "Not too quickly--Mia gets motion sickness if you go too fast."

    [I promise.] the Steelix purred as he started off into a tunnel, the children's laughter echoing through the caves all the while.

    Misty smiled. "No wonder you call your Steelix a gentle giant..."

    "Don't let his gentle appearance around the kids fool you--if any of them is hurt or in danger, or if he is in the arena, he will fight, and hit hard." Brock cautioned before addressing Ash. "But I don't pit him against a beginner trainer like you--he prefers battling skilled trainers,"

    "That, and it wouldn't be fair to someone with a Pikachu and a soon-to-be Butterfree to face a Steelix." Ash agreed.

    "You learn quickly, Nincada." Brock smiled in character as a kung fu master.

    As Brock bowed before him in character, Ash noticed a green glint on Brock's right ring finger. "What's that?" he asked, piqued by the oval shaped emerald, but then admired the two swaths of ivy inlay the emerald was sandwiched between.

    "Okay...storytime--but this one is actually true." Brock explained as he led Ash and Misty into one of the many practice arenas in the cavernous Gym. "Far away in the Kalos region, there's a place known as the Tower of Mastery. This is where trainers prove themselves to unlock the power of Mega Evolution."

    "Prove themselves? How?" Ash asked.

    Brock just continued "Deep within every trainer's heart is something called a Heart Song. But this special song doesn't have choruses and verses--it's only a few words long so it's easy to remember. Some choose to never sing this song, but those that prove themselves at the Tower of Mastery learn what this song is, and bind it to their Mega Ring. Every trainer's Heart Song is different, so no two people will sing the same one. When the trainer sings their Heart Song, this awakens the power in the ring and conveys the trainer's emotions to the Pokemon--and when the trainer's emotions resonate with their Pokemon, that induces Mega Evolution."

    "Oh, so that's how it works..." Misty mused. "Is there a way for someone to awaken their Heart Song without traveling all that way?"

    "Fortunately, yes--before it became the burial ground of Pokemon, Pokemon Tower was used for a similar purpose as the Tower of Mastery." Brock replied as Argent returned to let off his passengers. "So even if they don't have deceased Pokemon to honor, people still climb Pokemon Tower to receive a Mega Ring."

    He motioned for Ash and Misty to step back as the children ran off to play. "So sit back, and enjoy the miracle of Mega Evolution."

    With that, he held his ring skyward, and sang Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo... making the emerald in his ring and Argent glow. After a few tense seconds, Argent was engulfed in a burst of green light. Although Ash, Misty, and Tintri couldn't see the evolution taking place, they knew that inside the light, Argent was changing.

    When the light faded some moments later, Argent had a few glowing pentagons on some of his body segments, in addition to some rainbow crystals protruding from his coils. "He's beautiful!" Misty gasped, amazed at the glittering Pokemon before her.

    Ash, however, was both awed and afraid of the massive rainbow snake. I'm glad he isn't my opponent for my first badge!

  15. #15
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    Episode 7: Torn Between Two Worlds

    As Ash and Misty emerged into the house from one of the Gym's many secret passages, a number of boys and girls with similar features to Brock immediately met Brock in the living room. "Big bro, will you tell us a story?" one of the younger children asked.

    "Yeah, tell the one about Haku the Swanna maiden!" another one requested.

    Brock just smiled as he picked up a dozing rock Pokemon with long arms. "Go get comfy in the den and I'll be right there."

    With that, he gently set down the rock Pokemon on a coffee table. "Ash, this is Rocky--one of the two opponents I use against young trainers."

    Piqued, Ash decided to read up on the rock creature with long arms before him as Brock departed to another room:

    "Geodude, the rock Pokemon. It climbs mountain paths using only the power of its arms. Because they look just like boulders lining paths, hikers may step on them without noticing."

    "I can see why people would trip on them..." Misty mused as she studied the small rock Pokemon.

    [Relax, if ya didn't mean ta trip on me, I'll forgive ya.] Rocky assured the boy and the girl staring at him.

    "I'm sure Brock spoils you rotten..." Misty smiled.

    [I dunno about spoilin' us, but he's a master most Pokemon would dream of havin'] Rocky explained. [In addition to bein' a master of battle, he's also famed as a master performer. Problem is, Pops wants him to follow in his footsteps as Gym Leader, while Brock would rather earn his keep spinnin' yarns for people.]

    "That is a hard decision, being torn between family and your true passions..." Ash mused.

    [So has Brock told his dad that being a storyteller's what he really wants to do?] Tintri asked.

    [Not yet--he's been agonizing about what to say for several nights now.] Rocky replied. [I think he's scared about how Pops will react]

    "That's understandable." Misty replied.

    [You've likely heard or seen Brock perform--I really think he's got what it takes ta make it as a performer.] Rocky smiled.

    Just then, the two visitors and the Geodude heard Brock begin his promised tale for the children. "Once upon a time, in a far away land, a king had an Aspear tree in his royal garden, and every day the Aspear tree bore exactly 24 Aspear Berries--no more, and no less."

    Then something occurred to Brock "That is, until one morning, when the king discovered one Aspear Berry was missing. So he told his eldest son--whose name is not important to us--to guard the tree that night. But around midnight, he heard a beautiful song ringing through the sky...

    With that, he sang Gatradis favel, secret, edena...
    Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
    Katoradis favel siicletu edena...
    Emusto koron zen fine, si...


    Ash grinned, "That never gets old..."

    "Within minutes of hearing the song, the eldest son fell fast asleep." Brock's voice continued.

    "You know...I think I can understand where Brock's coming from." Misty mused. "I wanted my sisters to take responsibility, and step up to be Gym Leaders because of their amazing talent for Water Pokemon. But nope--they were dead set on being pop idols. Then they wanted me to be part of the unit, but I said thanks but no thanks!"

    [Maybe singin' happy poppy music's their passion, like singin' and spinnin' yarns is for Brock.] Rocky grinned. [When he's done entertainin' the little ones, I'll tell'im what ya both said...maybe that'll inspire him to tell Pops his true passion.]

    "And if Dad gets mad for not succeeding him as Gym Leader, we'll have Brock's back!" Ash vowed, turning his cap back as a sign of his promise.

    ---------

    "...and so I wanted to tell you that I feel my true calling is a storyteller and songwriter." Brock concluded his calm but still nervous explanation to an older man with similar features to him at the dinner table that night. "Don't get me wrong, I still love my Pokemon, and will fight with them and for them if need be, but I don't see myself as making a career out of battling them."

    The older man's stern expression softened after he contemplated what his son had said "Brock...you know I would never force you to do something you did not want to do." he began. "You're a young man now, and the fact you had the courage to tell me you wanted to forge your own path shows me that you are mature enough to handle whatever comes your way. I still wonder...why did you not tell me sooner?"

    "I was afraid you'd be angry for not following you as Gym Leader." Brock explained.

    "Oh Brock...you know your dad would never kick you out of the house over something like that." a brown haired woman smiled as she passed the mashed potatoes to a child. "He thought that maybe battling Pokemon was your passion, and that was why he was training you to be Gym Leader."

    "But we all know that sometimes passions change as we grow older." the man agreed. "Whatever you choose to do, Brock, your mom and I will always be proud of you."

    [Aw...] Tintri smiled as Brock got up to embrace his father.

    [Mission accomplished.] Rocky agreed.

    Just then, the older man noticed Ash. "I will, however, ask you to battle Ash as your symbolic last battle as Gym Leader."

    "I can do that." Brock grinned as he settled back at his place at the table.

    He looked over at Ash. "When we do battle, let's make it a match for the ages--one I can tell about for years to come!"

    "You got it!" Ash replied. "I won't hold anything back, either!"

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