The Way We Will Be @thecartoonfanatic01
Maison Mayday

A/N: Yes, that's right, everyone. I hereby grace you with another chapter for this Arceus-forsaken fic! Consider it thanks for all the support you guys have given me, and all the joy I observed because of my magnificent return. :D :D :D

Also, before we begin, I just want to say...I'm feeling REALLY enthusiastic about the DLCs they announced for the Sword and Shield games, particularly "The Crown Tundra". I mean, I'm not buying either of them (I can't afford to spend money on anything Pokémon-related anyway), but if what's been revealed about the DLC so far is what I think it is, then it'll be pretty beneficial for the last few chapters of this fic. It certainly wouldn't be planned, but it'd be a welcome development that I'll be taking advantage of like crazy. This is exactly what I like about "Pokémon"; the franchise constantly gives me troves of new information that I can use for my fanfics. ;)

And speaking of the Sword and Shield games, I recently posted the first chapter of a two-shot revolving around a pairing no one has probably heard of or expected: Ash/Bea! The fic is called "Training Harder", and it's only one of TWO fics in all of "Pokémon" fanfiction history (as of this writing) to have those two as main characters. It is also the first to specifically revolve around this rare pairing. Go check it out when you can! :D :D :D

Alright, I'm done foreshadowing stuff that may or may not be ultimately worthless! On with the early chapter. ENJOY!

P.S.: Due to the ever-worsening situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak, I'm going to have to remind you all about the basic steps you should take if you want to stay healthy, courtesy of my university's reminder emails:

-Wash hands often with soap and water for 20-30 seconds at a time, and/or use hand sanitizer
-Avoid close contact with people who are sick
-Keep your hands away from nose, eyes, and mouth (I can't imagine how difficult this part is probably going to be)
-Eat well, get adequate rest, and exercise regularly
-Get a flu shot if you haven't already and are able to

And if you ARE sick (I hope you get better if you are), please be a good sport and save other folks the trouble of getting sick. You can do this by:

-Covering your mouth and nose with your sleeve, elbow, or a tissue whenever you sneeze or cough
-Not sharing food and drinks with others
-Avoiding touching your mouth, nose, and eyes (Again, I understand this is probably going to be difficult)
-Avoiding close contact with others
-Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects
-Staying at home if you're unwell (PRIORITY NUMBER ONE!)
-Staying calm and keeping yourself well-informed (My personal advice)

If you already know this, then great! If you didn't know any of this beforehand, please keep that information in mind as we all go through this trying time. It's a realm of unknowns at this point, and I wish myself and all of humanity well.

"Come on, everyone, let's move, let's move, let's move! Those stalls aren't gonna clean themselves!"

Foster scowled in disapproval as his direct superior, a stocky, oily-faced, reedy-voiced man, stepped out of the bathroom, leaving him and two others with mops in their hands and buckets nearby. The trio turned around to face the long rows of stalls, marble sinks, and stainless-steel hand-dryer machines. The entire bathroom seemed to be ripped from the pages of a promotional magazine on luxury hotels.

"Ah, great," he thought. "I'm stuck with bathroom cleaning duties. Just my luck." With that, he and his colleagues began scrubbing the floors with their mops. "This Exhibition Showcase had better be worth all this time and effort. If Ar's gonna be the only pull for this event, then..."

His thoughts suddenly wandered off to the fateful exchange he had with Aria.

"...I said I didn't have an answer for you yet."

"Re-Really...? that girl talk for yes, or for no...?"

"It means I don't know yet."

"So... When will you know...?"

"Hopefully after the Exhibition Showcase."

"Oh. I see..."

"Look, if it's any comfort to you, Foster, it doesn't matter what I will say to you, or what happens leading up to that moment. Know this: you'll always be my friend. No matter what."

Foster took a deep breath and continued scrubbing.

"She says she'll have an answer for me after the Exhibition Showcase," he thought. "And yet, she leaves me hangin' with that statement." He pursed his lips with apprehension. "I have a bad feeling about this..."

"Yo, Foster," a voice said, pulling Foster from his thoughts. He glanced at one of his colleagues, an older boy with brown hair arranged in a few large dreadlocks.

"What is it, Jaime?" he asked sullenly

"You do the big stall."

This caught Foster's undivided attention. "What?! Wh-Why me?!"

"'Cause you're standing closest to it."

Foster looked around and realized Jaime was right. Then, he noticed that Jaime and their other colleague were standing the exact same distance away from the stall. He knew for a fact they had taken advantage of his distraction to conspire against him and drop that unsavory responsibility right on his lap.

Unfortunately, he knew better than to call them out on it and make things a whole lot more difficult for themselves. After all, their salaries were on the line.

"You know you guys can't walk all over me forever," Foster grumbled hatefully.

"Yeah, yeah," Jaime replied, a mocking smirk crawling upon his face. "Get in there and do your thing, farmhand."

He and his compatriot then snickered jeeringly at the insult. Foster could do nothing but shoot them a bitter scowl as he almost kicked the stall door open. With a huff, he entered the stall with his mop in hand and prepared to scrub when-


The boy stumbled backward, nearly slipping and falling on the trail of soapy water his mop left behind. A trio consisting of a Hoppip, a Skiploom, and a Jumpluff hovered out of the stall and across the bathroom, startling Jaime and his friend as well. As they passed by, Foster couldn't help but notice the miniature cameras strapped onto their bodies, cameras of a make and model he had never seen before.

"Ahhhh, great!" Jaime snapped, watching as the three Grass/Flying-types hovered out of the bathroom through the open door. "Whose Pokémon are these?!"

"I'll get 'em!" Foster cried suddenly, jumping over the soapy water he left behind and pursuing the trio of Pokémon. "You guys take care of the bathroom!"

This caught Jaime's undivided attention. "What?! Wh-Why us?!"

Foster was unable to contain his triumphant smirk as he exited the bathroom. "'Cause I was the first to leave! Can't have the boss walking in on an empty bathroom that's still dirty!"

He knew Jaime knew he was right, because only one name echoed through the hallways of the Laurier Maison as he left.


"It won't be long now."

Clarice sat on the bench directly outside the Performers' dressing room, glumly looking down at the palms of her hands. She could feel a heavy burden weighing down her heart, accompanied by a wave of dread that was almost overwhelming in power. She hadn't been up onstage since the Exhibition Showcase began, but given her luck, she would be among the first Performers to get the event back on track once the intermission ended.

"It won't be long now..." she thought again, trying her best to harden her resolve. "This is it... This is my last chance to show everyone my own worth as a Performer. I have to make up for the reputation I built this past season..."

"Wow, look at that Clarice girl. Every time, she never makes it past the Freestyle Performance. How sad."

"That Fletchling girl's not gonna get anywhere in the Showcase biz. Clearly she can't accomplish much with such a small Flying-type."

"Dude, who's that girl with the Fletchling? I keep seeing her in Showcases but...she looks so forgettable."

"A vaguely familiar Performer with no oomph in their Performances is bound to go nowhere in and out of the stage. Like Clarice, for example."

"Let us talk about Clarice, the Performer with the Fletchling. Now, there's a lotta potential in Fletchling as a species tailored for Showcases. If it's done right, one can make a Fletchling shine brighter than the Sun. We have seen that before. But sadly, this season, we haven't seen any of that coming from the likes of Clarice."

Clarice clenched her fists around the hem of her shirt. Then, with her lower lip caught between her teeth, she gazed over to her shoulder, where her beloved Fletchling was perched. It was wearing the top hat she worked so painstakingly hard to make for it.

"Fletchling?" the Tiny Robin Pokémon chirped, tilting its head in concern for its Trainer.

Upon seeing Fletchling's face, Clarice relaxed and used her index finger to stroke its chin.

"I'm okay, Fletchling," she said. "It's just...I hope all the hard work we put into this season was worth it..."

The minuscule Flying-type nuzzled its beak up against her fingertip. "Fletchling fletch."

Clarice took a deep breath. "You know, Fletchling, for this past season, we've been nothing but total laughingstock to the Showcase community. Few other Performers have had it worse than us. I...I know we haven't had a good track record..." All of her losses tugged at Clarice's mind. "But we can't let that keep us down, Fletchling. This Showcase is our last...and best opportunity for us to show Kalos who we really are... There will be no official winner for this competition. I'm hoping that'll be the motivation we need to push through and be the underdog of this year's Showcase season."

"Fletchling fletchling." Fletchling hopped closer to Clarice's face. "Fletchling fletch."

Clarice smiled at her Flying-type. "But you know, Fletchling, no matter what happens, I just want to let you know..." Her eyes suddenly became watery. "I just wanted to let you know that I've..." Her voice broke. "I've always loved you! You're not just my Pokémon, but my closest friend! I could've used any other Pokémon for my performances, I could've listened to all those PokéVision reviewers and switched you out for someone else...b-but I kept choosing you because you're my friend, and we promised that we'd win this season together! And I would never, ever break that promise!"

With that, Clarice leaned her head in so her forehead could nuzzle against Fletchling's tiny, feathery one. "So, no matter what happens, know that I have always been proud of what we accomplished together, Fletchling! Always! And I'll never, ever doubt you!"

"Fletchling..." Fletchling crooned sympathetically.

Clarice spent a minute sobbing in solitude. Then, once she realized what was happening, she jerked her head away from Fletchling's and wiped her tear-stained face with her forearm.

"I'm-I'm sorry, Fletchling!" Clarice replied. "I-It's just,'s gonna be our turn sooner or later. M-My nerves are g-getting to me..."

"Fletchling," chirped Fletchling, the Tiny Robin Pokémon nodding its head in understanding.

"I really need to know how to look on the bright side of things, even when things are dark. Like Ash..."

"Well, there's always a bright side to everything! Even in losing a battle!"

Clarice smiled fondly at the memory of Ash's encouraging words, spoken in the aftermath of her kidnapping and rescue. Then, something in her mind clicked into place, and without warning, she shot up from her seat, startling Fletchling and causing it to start flapping its wings as a precaution.

"I'm gonna go find Ash!" she declared.

"Fletchling?" Fletchling asked.

"Oh, s-so-sorry Fletchling. I-I was hoping I could find him and get some advice on being more positive. I-I mean, I still have a few minutes left till break is over." Then, the dark-haired Performer's lips twitched into a small smile. " I'll have a chance to confess my feelings for-"

"Fletchling fletch!"


Clarice looked back at Fletchling and noticed it was staring off into the other direction. She followed her Pokémon's gaze and saw, to her surprise, Ash walking down a perpendicular hallway. Her heart jumped at the sight of him, but a second later, her joy turned into a sour mood when she saw none other than Serena at his side.

"Oh, great," she muttered bitterly. "It's her." Then, with clenched fists, she began to march over to the couple. "I-I gotta stop this before it gets any further-"

"You...You stood up for me..."

"Well...I couldn't let her talk down to you like that. No matter what I feel about you."

Clarice stopped in her tracks upon recalling Serena's own words of support. With a softening expression, she raised her hand and placed it over her heart.

"But...Serena still saved me from being humiliated by that Amelia girl... Would it be so Performer-like if I repay her for her kindness with more bitterness and hostility? But...she clearly has feelings for Ash as well! I...I can't just let her take Ash away from me, just because I'm feeling thankful for her! AGH! What do I do?!"

"Heeeeey, Seleeeeene! Where are you?!"

"Seleeeeene?! Seleeeeene! If you can hear me, honey, answer me! Please!"



Aria watched with a raised eyebrow as she walked beside Ash and Serena down a red-and-gold hallway. Ash and Serena were calling out for Selene at the top of their lungs, with the worry and desperation particularly evident in Serena's face. Pikachu and Pichu were doing the same, with Pikachu perched atop Ash's shoulder while Pichu was tucked in Ash's arms.

"Wow," the Kalos Queen said, impressed. "You guys sure are worried about Selene."

"Well, of course!" replied Serena, looking a little affronted by Aria's statement. "She's our daugh- I-I mean, my-my little sister! And now, she's all alone in this place! She must be scared out of her mind right now!"

"Ahhh, don't worry, Serena!" Ash said, shooting the honey-blonde a gentle and confident look. "Selene's a brave girl. She knows what to do-"

He was silenced by Serena's terrifying, wrathful look. "Easy for you to say, Ash! You're not her big brother!"

Ash was taken aback. "Whoa, whoa! Okay, Serena, jeez! What's gotten into you?"

"You know what!" Then, before she knew it, she pointed a finger at him. "You were with her, Ash! Why'd you have to take your eyes off her!"

Serena saw a certain light fade in Ash's eyes, but she didn't care. As she continued to stare into those auburn pupils, her mind, hazy with a chaotic mix of anger, frustration, and terror, dug up Calem's words in a sudden impulse.

"...Seriously, how has he not caught on to your feelings yet?! Even if your future with him is set in stone, his obliviousness alone is gonna muck up that future!"

"Is that what happened?!" she thought. "Was Ash so oblivious about the context of this whole thing that...that he erased Selene out of existence?! No, that can't be possible! I mean, Selene disappeared, but Yancy didn't! There's still hope! But what if Yancy disappears next?! Ohhhhh, I should've gone with her instead! I should've! No wait, Shulin's with her; she'll contact us if something happened to Yancy! But I don't want anything to happen to Yancy! I don't want my children to-to disappear because of Ash's denseness! I gotta do something to stop this! I gotta do something to fix the future! I gotta-"


Serena was snapped out of her reverie, and instead of auburn, she was staring into ruby-red.

"Calm down!" Aria exclaimed while gently shaking the honey-blonde's shoulders. "You're hyperventilating, Serena!"

"Pika!" Pikachu squeaked in agreement.

"I...I am...?" At that moment, Serena realized she was feeling lightheaded. "Oh... I-I am..."

"Come on, let's sit you down-"

"NO!" Serena tried to march forward. "I gotta find Sel-"

"Selene can wait for just a minute, Serena," Ash interrupted.

He grabbed Serena's left wrist and pulled her in the other direction, causing the Performer to blush. As for Aria, she took Serena's right wrist and helped Ash guide her over to a nearby iron bench. Realizing what was about to happen, Pikachu wisely chose to keep his distance, as did an ambivalent Pichu.

"I understand you're really worried, Serena," Aria said. Then, she began dialing a number on her cellphone. "Don't worry. I'll inform the Laurier Maison staff about her."

"Th-Thank you, Aria..."

As Aria stepped away for some privacy, Ash sat down beside Serena, a concerned look etched on his face.

"Look, Serena," he said, "I do know how important this is. Selene's our..." His voice choked, and he blushed a little. "Our daughter."

This remark made Serena blush as well.

"I'm...I'm sorry if I seemed dense as usual. It's just..." Ash cast a glance towards Aria, who had now begun to speak into her phone. "Aria's with us, and she doesn't know Selene's true connection with us. I didn't want her to think something's up, so I just...decided to play a little dumb. Like my normal self."

"O-Oh." It took Serena all of the effort in the world to restrain a sigh of immense relief, while her worries about Calem's words receded from her mind. "S-So..."

"Yeah, I'm worried about Selene too. Really, really worried." The boy looked at the floor, guilt etched across his normally bright, optimistic face. "You're right, Serena. I...I shouldn't have stepped in when that fire broke out. I should've stayed close to Selene, kept an eye on any father would do."

Finally, Serena realized the true magnitude of what she had said. Before she could stop herself, she hugged Ash tightly, drawing a surprised yelp from him.

"Don't say that, Ash!" she wailed, her eyes shut to keep the tears from leaking out. "I'm so sorry I said that! It-It wasn't your fault! It...It was mine..."


"No! Stop doubting yourself, Ash! I'm the one who's to blame! Me! I...I should never, ever doubt you whenever you step in to help out! I should've just taken over for you when you had to leave Selene's side-"

"But there were lots of other people around, lots of people with Water-type Pokémon. Any one of them could've done the job for me-"

"But no one takes the initiative like you do, Ash!" Serena broke the hug, clasped his rough palms, and stared directly and unflinchingly into Ash's eyes. "Had you not stepped in, people would've just waited for the fire department to come! And who knows what would've happened if that fire was allowed to burn for any longer?! You stepping in was for the best! As soon as you did, everyone else was inspired to help out, 'cause that's what you do, Ash! Inspire! And that's something no one should ever doubt, especially not me!"

Ash tore away from her grip. "But I shouldn't just leave you to take over the duty of watching Selene! If we're gonna be married and have kids together, th-then we need to be a team! And teammates don't handle individual responsibilities on their own."

This shocked Serena beyond belief. Normally, Ash would've skirted around these topics like the clueless, dense idiot that he was...but the tone of his voice, plus the way he directly addressed the issue... It was not his usual style...

"Ash," she said slowly and breathlessly, " you mean-?"

"Yes, Serena." The look in Ash's eyes was intense and passionate, unlike anything she had ever seen before in that deep, inspiring, breathtaking auburn. "I... I want to-"

He was suddenly cut off by a loud explosion.

"Didja get the map from Ariana, sweetie?"


Layla showed Moose, Grace, and Meyer the text message she received as proof. Then, the pregnant woman looked at the screen and clicked on the attached image to enlarge it.

"Hm," Layla remarked, her eyebrows raised. "This is quite a detailed map. Ariana must have good contacts."

"Alright," Grace said, peering over her sister's shoulder. "So, judging by the looks of this, it looks like we're in...the green room."

"Green room?" Moose asked. "What's the green room?"

Meyer gestured around the expansive living room, which boasted furniture, curtains, rugs, and various other decorations that were colored in many shades of green.

"This room," the electrician replied.

"Well, what're we standing around here for?" Grace asked. "Let's look for Selene! Selene?!"

"Selene, sweetie?!" called Layla as she started rummaging around the furniture. "It's Auntie Layla! Holler out if you can hear me!"

"Selene?!" Moose hollered. "Selene?!" Then, he sighed heavily. "Aw, jeez. At least this is good practice for when our kids are born, huh?"

"This is not good practice. This is something we're supposed to avoid."

"O-Oh, yeah. That too."

"Looking on the bright side of things, huh Moose?" Grace asked irritably. "Even when it's your great-niece at stake?"

"H-Hey! Thinking negatively's not going to speed things up any!"

"Alright, everyone," Meyer piped up as he checked behind a curtain. "Let's just calm down and proceed through the room bit by bit. We're not gonna find Selene at that rate."

"No kiddin', Sherlock," replied Grace. Then, after checking on a sofa, she punched one of the pillows in anger. "GAH! This is hopeless! Let's go to the next room, guys! She's clearly not here!"

"Calm down, Grace! Jeez, you're taking this whole grandmother role seriously-"

"And why should I not?" Then, the jockey scowled at him. "If I remember correctly, she's your granddaughter too."

"Even so, I have faith that she's alright. She seems like a tough kid." Then, Meyer smirked at her. ", uhhhhh, you admit that you and I are gonna be a-"

"I'd rather have a thing going with my Rhyhorn over you, Mr. Electrician. Gosh, how the heck did I even fall for you in the first place?!" With an annoyed huff, Grace marched towards the door. "If and when I see my future self, I am gonna give her a smacking like she wouldn't believe! And then I'm gonna ask her what she saw in-"

She was cut off when the door literally exploded open, sending her flying.

"GRACE!" Layla and Moose screamed in horror.

"I got her!" shouted Meyer. He ran over and caught Grace just in the nick of time.

"OOF!" Grace grunted once she landed in the electrician's muscular arms. She looked up at her savior and found herself blushing in an instant. "Th-Thanks-"

But Meyer was no longer focused on flirting with her. With his gaze focused on the large hole left in the doorway, he put Grace down on the floor and stood in front of her protectively as the smoke from the explosion billowed in.

"Go find a place to hide," he instructed, his voice deep. "Now."

"Wh-What?" Grace shot up on her feet. "Why?!"

"Because..." Meyer watched as a silhouette started to materialize within the cloud of dark smoke. "It's about to get rough real quick."

At that moment, the smoke blew away, revealing the silhouette to be a Rhyperior who roared loudly and viciously at the electrician. Then, stepping out from behind Rhyperior, a Shiny Krookodile glared hungrily at Layla and Moose, its bladed teeth gleaming.

"Wh-Wh-What do they want?!" Meyer cried.

"I dunno," Grace replied, "but obviously they're bad news."

"Bad news or not," Meyer said while producing a Poké Ball, "they're not gonna get in the way while we search for Selene! Go, Ampharos!"

Meyer threw the Poké Ball, sending out his Light Pokémon. It roared majestically at the two Ground-types, both of which roared back at it powerfully. Grace's eyes broadened in shock at the match-up.

"W-Wait a minute, Meyer!" she cried. "Gr-Ground-types are super-effective against Electric-types! You won't even stand a chance against either of them!"

"Perhaps not." However, the electrician continued to stare the two larger, more powerful Pokémon down. "But we've got nothing else, Grace."

"Except for perhaps my Blaziken...but...I can't reveal my true ability. Not now..."

Yancy looked around worriedly as she followed Nate and Shulin down a dark hallway. They hadn't seen anyone ever since they entered this hall, and the only sounds they could hear were the squeaks and shuffling of what can only be Rattata.

"Where...Where'd you lead us to, Shulin...?" the pink-haired Performer asked.

"According to the map Ariana sent me..." Shulin stared into the screen of her phone, which was the trio's primary source of light in the gloomy, dreary hall. "We're in...the West Wing of the Maison."

"Sounds like something out of a movie Rosa watched when she was younger," replied Nate.

The name caused Shulin to look up. "Who's Rosa?"

"Oh, she's my sister."

"O-Oh!" Shulin's pale-blue eyes glimmered with relief. "Th-That's a relief."

"Why?" Nate looked over his shoulder to look at her. "Who'd you think she was?"

"N-Nothing, nothing. S-So, uh..." Shulin picked up the pace so she could walk beside Nate. "Any, uh...anyone in your life that you would call special, Nate?"

"Huh? What do you mean?"

Before Shulin could respond, Yancy forced her way in-between the other two teens. Her face was as pink as her hair, but fortunately, Nate didn't notice because of the darkness and the shining pale-blue light coming from Shulin's phone.

"C-Ca-Can we get outta here?!" she squeaked. "I-I don't think Selene would be here. M-Ma-Maybe w-we should call Aria. Na."

Before Nate could respond, another voice called out tauntingly, "You'll call nooooo onnnnne."

Startled, Yancy, Nate, and Shulin looked around, but they could barely see anything beyond a few feet. Instinctively, the three teens huddled closer together. As soon as they did, the hallway was filled with loud, echoing laughter that sounded like a stereotypical ghost, something one would see in a horror-comedy movie or a kids' cartoon about mystery-solving. Nevertheless, Yancy, Nate, and Shulin remained still and tense, unsure what kind of intimidation tactic was at play here.

"P-Pa-Parker?!" Yancy called uneasily. "Is that you?!"

"Parker?" the voice replied. "Heh heh heh... I dunnooooo why you'd come to that concluuuuusion, little girlie, but I most certainly am nooooot Parker. Oooooh!"

"Well, it wouldn't make sense for Parker to use one of his voice modulators," Yancy thought. "He knows we already know what he sounds like. Plus...a ghost voice option like that one does not suit Parker's style. So then...who's speaking right now? It doesn't sound like anyone else from the EHS..."

Meanwhile, Nate called out boldly, "Whoever you are, show yourself and tell us where Selene is!"

"Why would I do thaaat, little boy," replied the strange voice, "when I have the upper haaaaaaaaaand? Heh heh heh heh heh... Ooooooooooh!"

The laughter and ghostly onomatopoeia rang through the hallway again, prompting Shulin to clutch Nate's sleeve.

"Nate!" the green-haired Performer wheezed. "I'm scared!"

"What do you want?!" Nate called.

"What do I waaaaaant?" repeated the voice, the tone particularly condescending even when masked in the awful ghostly accent. "Well, for starters, I want you to leeeeeave Laurier ooooonnnnnccccceeeee..."

"Le-Leave the Laurier Maison?!" stuttered Shulin. "But we have a-"

"I couldn't care less about your girly Showcases. In the naaaaaaaaame of my father, and hiiiiiis father before, I order you three to leave this place, henceforth! Nooooow! Oooooh! Ooooooooooh!"

By that point, the suspense of disbelief had completely dissipated for Nate and Yancy. The former pressed on, becoming more and more annoyed than anything else.

"Okay, who are you?"

"I am the ghooooossssst of the Laurier Maisooooon!"

"The ghost of the Laurier Maison?!" Shulin squeaked in a high-pitched voice. Yancy looked at her disbelievingly, unable to believe her fellow Performer was actually falling for this act, whatever it was.

"Yeeeeesssss..." the voice replied. "I have haaaaaunteeeeed this palace for yeeeeearsssss! For far too looooong, girls of all kinds have uuuuused this place for their flashy perfooooormancesssss! For far too looooong, my sleeeeeeep has been distuuuuurbed!"

"W-We're sorry, M-Mr. Ghost!" Shulin stuttered. "W-We were only just trying to have some fun-"

"Fuuun?" the voice interrupted. "Fuuuuunnnnn? The ghooooossssst of the Laurier Maisooooon does not tolerate fuuuuun! Oooooh! Ooooooooooh! Ooooooooooh!"

With a roll of his eyes, Nate scanned the dark hallway, trying to make out any silhouettes that stood out. Within seconds, he spotted the faint outline of a stout, heavyset person standing a few feet away from his group, shuffling and twitching. He appeared to be partially obscured behind something.

"Okaaaaaay," Nate said. He took a couple of steps forward towards the silhouette, and when it didn't react, he continued onward, accompanied by Yancy and Shulin. "How long exactly have you been haunting this place?"

"Oh. O-Oh, uhhhhh...e-ever since it was first buuuuuilt! Ooooooooooh!"

"Okay," Yancy replied. "And what year was this place built?"


"A looooonnnnng, loooooooooonnnnnnnnnng time ago! Ooooooooooh!"

"Yes, but what year?"




"I duuunnooooo; it's been sooooo looooonnnnng!"

"Come on, you guys!" Shulin pleaded while tugging at Nate's sleeve. "We shouldn't anger the ghost-"

"It's not a ghost, Shulin," Nate interrupted, his eyes still trained on the apparently unaware silhouette.

"Wh-Wh-What?!" the voice stuttered. "I-I mean... Oooooooooohhhhh! How daaaaare you denyyyyy my exist-"

"We know you're a regular, alive person," Yancy cut off.

"H-Ho-Hooooow c-can you teeeeell?"

"We can see you over there right now."






"You daaaaare you denyyyyy me, the ghooooossssst of the Laurier Maisooooon!"

Nate threw a Poké Ball. "Chandelure, come on out and give us a light!"

There was a quick but bright flash of light that temporarily illuminated the dark hallway. Once it subsided, a Chandelure hovered in midair, using its purple, candle-like flames to shine a light upon the silhouette. Indeed, it wasn't a ghost, but rather a man, a small, rotund man with small, tufted orange hair and wearing a poorly-made mime costume.

"Okay, who are you?!" Nate demanded while Shulin gasped in surprise. "And why're you fooling around with us?!"

Nick Nigaud looked around frantically, as if he was expecting someone else beside him to give him orders. However, once he realized he was alone, he produced a Poké Ball and threw it.

"HAWLUCHA, MY BABY!" he cried in desperation. "USE HIGH JUMP KICK, Q-QUICKLY!"

The Wrestling Pokémon emerged from its own Poké Ball, made a comical fighting stance, and then leaped towards Nate, Yancy, Shulin, and Chandelure, one of its legs glowing white...

"I got the map from Ariana!" Kazalie exclaimed while lowering her cellphone.

"Terrific!" Nini replied. "Let's keep looking!"

"And quickly too! The Exhibition Showcase will be starting pretty soon!"

With that, Kazalie started scurrying down the empty hall, with Tierno and Nini trailing behind her. The two walked side-by-side, and with Kazalie a considerable distance away, they decided to have a chat.

"Y-You know," Tierno said, a pink tinge on his cheeks, "I, uh...I haven't met you before this Showcase. H-How long have you known Serena?"

"Oh, only a few months," replied Nini. "We met while she was training her Fennekin and Pancham for her first Showcase. But we hit it off instantly."

"Ah, I see."

Nini eyed him curiously. "How about you? How long have you known Serena?"

"Not too long either. We met at Professor Sycamore's Pokémon Summer Camp." Tierno's blush suddenly intensified. "She was, uhhhhh...quite a spectacle...e-even if sh-she was unsure of herself at the time..."

"I see..." Nini blinked slowly. "You have a crush on her, don't you?"

Tierno's face became as red as a Tamato Berry, and steam might've as well been jettisoning out from his nostrils. In that moment, he sympathized with Serena's dilemma whenever others teased her about her crush on Ash.

"Wh-Wh-What are you t-ta-talking a-about, N-N-Nini?!"

"Relax, Tierno. I'm not Miette. It's alright."

"O-Oh." Tierno's body deflated with relief before he nervously scratched his cheek. "W-Well...y-ye-yeah... I-I mean, who wouldn't have a crush on her?"

"Maybe except for Ash. I mean, he's got battling on the mind and nothing else." Nini stared on ahead. "Maybe that's why the two of them were destined to be together. Serena's so popular amongst the Showcase fan community, but...the only one worthy of her is someone who appreciates her beyond the Showcase world."

Her explanation was met with silence. She looked across her shoulder and saw Tierno looking down at the carpeted floor, a morose look occupying his face. Nini covered her mouth, having just realized what she said.

"O-Oh, I-I'm sorry, Tierno!" she exclaimed. "I-I didn't mean to-"

"No, it's okay..." Tierno replied glumly. "It's...It's not like she would've given me a chance, anyway..."

"Maybe so, but you shouldn't let that eat you up! Half of the world population are girls. Odds are at least one girl's bound to like you back."

Tierno sighed longingly. "Yeah, but...I can't imagine any of them would be as wonderful as Serena..."

Before Nini could respond, their eardrums were filled with a loud, earsplitting scream. They looked ahead and saw, much to their horror, Kazalie being pursued by a Zangoose. It was grinning maniacally while aggressively slashing at the air, its claws glowing white with energy.

"AGH!" Kazalie shrieked. "HELP ME! HELP ME, YOU GUYS!"

Nini wasted no time in taking out a Poké Ball and throwing it. "Come on out, Smoochum!" she called out.

Tierno's thoughts of Serena vanished in an instant as he followed Nini's lead. "You too, Blastoise!" he cried. "Help Kazalie out!"

The two Pokémon emerged from their Poké Balls, allowing Kazalie to take shelter behind the larger Blastoise. Zangoose stopped in its tracks and stared both Pokémon down, its teeth gritted as it sought to find a vulnerability in their defenses that it could exploit.

"Who's that Pokémon?" Nini asked.

"Zangoose," Tierno muttered in response.

"Zangoose? I remember him from my Freestyle Performance..."

"HAHAHAHAHA!" another voice cackled. "Excellent work, Zangoose, excellent!"

Tierno, Nini, and Kazalie watched as someone else stepped out from behind an open doorway and joined Zangoose's side with a skip in his step. He was dressed in a poorly-made mime costume and had long blue hair that obscured one side of his face.

"Wh-Who're you?!" Kazalie squeaked.

"Who am I?!" the man replied, his voice brimming with an exaggeratedly pompous tone. "Why, my lovely dear, I am the magnificent Floyd...and I am here to stop you from finding that little girl and her precious Pokémon!"

With that, Floyd pointed at Blastoise and Smoochum.

"Now, Zangoose! Use X-Scissor on those worthless Pokémon!"

Zangoose let out a roar as it launched itself at Tierno and Nini's Pokémon, its arms glowing white and ready to attack...

"Looks like we're back here..."

Miette looked around the food court, scanning the crowds for any familiar faces. At the corner of his eye, he could see a small group of police officers taping off the restaurant kitchen where the earlier fire broke out. At the same time, Trevor and Blanche were looking into the latter's cellphone.

"Okay," Blanche said. "So...according to Ariana's map, there's an upper floor that we can go up to. The nearest staircase is near the nearest set of bathrooms to the right."

"D'you really think Selene would've gone up there?" Trevor asked with an arched eyebrow. "Even if she's lost, I honestly can't imagine her wandering off too far."

"Well, she's obviously not around here," replied Miette. "And no one's called in to tell us they found her. We might as well make sure all of the corners our checked."

"I guess it's settled, then!" Blanche exclaimed joyously. "We'll be going up the second floor!" She turned around, only to nearly bump into someone. "Oh, oops! Sorry about that!"

"How rude!" the person snapped haughtily.

At that moment, Miette recognized this person as Jessilee, but she didn't have the time to greet her fellow Performer, for Trevor and Blanche were already wandering off into the crowd. The blue-haired Performer followed behind them and was quickly able to rejoin their sides. All the while, she ignored Jessilee's irritated shouting and the unsuccessful attempts by her companions to calm her down.

"Okay, so..." Miette said, "where'd you say we were gonna be able to go up to the second floor?"

"A staircase near the first set of bathrooms ahead," replied Blanche.

"Ah, okay."

Then, after making sure Trevor wasn't listening in, Blanche leaned her head sideways, towards Miette.

"Hey, uh, Miette?"

"Yes, Blanche?"

"I've got a question I wanted to ask you."

"Question?" Miette raised an eyebrow, but nevertheless, she coolly replied, "By all means, fire away."

"Why do you keep teasing Serena about her crush?"

Miette's pace slowed down. "Oh... Wh-Why do you ask?"

"Well, I's clear Serena doesn't like it. And while I love a good romance as much as the next girl, I don't think it is really...befitting of a good Performer to keep poking at others' emotions like that. Not to mention pretending to steal a guy away from another girl."

Miette crossed her arms and frowned. "Hey, I'm not poking at Serena's emotions! Nor am I trying to steal Ash away from her!"

Blanche blinked slowly. "Really now?"

"Yeah!" Then, the blue-haired Performer sighed and cleared her throat. "Look here, Serena's crush on Ash is as clear as daylight! But it's clear she's not gonna get anything out of Ash by being subtle! You've only known the guy for less than a day, right?"

"Yes, that's right, but-"

"Well, if you'd known Ash longer than that," Miette interrupted, "then you'd know it'd take a whole herd of Rampardos to break open that thick, dense skull of his!"

"O-Oh." Blanche sweat-dropped. "It's that bad, huh?"

"Of course! It's so frigging frustrating to see his denseness in action! So, if Serena's gonna win his heart, then she needs to speed things up a little! That's why I try to push her buttons every time we meet. That way, she'll have the motivation she needs to be more upfront about her feelings with Ash."

"Ahhhhh... Okay, I see what you're trying to get at."

Miette proudly stuck her chin upward. "Thank you, Blanche."

"But...still..." Blanche stared ahead, just as the trio reached the stairwell she found on the map and began walking up it. "Don't you think you're taking things a little too far?"

Miette looked at her. "What're you talking about?"

"Clearly Serena's uncomfortable with all your teasing and prodding. I mean, I would be. After all, love's a sensitive topic for everyone. How would you feel if you had a crush on someone and Serena started teasing you about it? In fact, what if she makes good on that threat of hers the moment she learns about whatever crush you have? Then what, Miette?"

"W-Well then, how 'bout this?! When you have a crush on someone, then I'll start making the moves on that unlucky boy! How about that?! Let's see how you react to that, Miette!"

"Honestly..." Miette replied, "I...I haven't really-"

"Hey, guys," Trevor interrupted, stepping in-between the two girls. "Be inconspicuous."

"Uhhhhh..." Miette slowly looked at Trevor with an annoyed look. "What?"

"I think we're being followed."

"Wha-?!" Blanche began.

She prepared to look over her shoulder, but she was stunned when Trevor immediately wrapped his left arm around her midsection and pulled her in close. He did the same with Miette, using his right arm.

"Laugh, you two," he whispered. "Laugh like I just made a joke."

Miette couldn't follow what was going on, but nevertheless, she followed Trevor's instructions and released a lighthearted laugh. Blanche did the same, all the while feeling a little uncomfortable at being in this position with Trevor.

"So," Miette whispered once she stopped laughing, "what do we do?"

Trevor paused to look up at the top of the stairwell. There didn't appear to be any people present on the second floor. So, he discreetly looked at them and gave them a confident smile.

"Okay, so here's what we're gonna do..."

Unbeknownst to the trio, the still-disguised Jessie, James, and Meowth were following them up the staircase as well. An angered look was blazing on Jessie's face, while James and Meowth were frightened by their teammate's demeanor.

"J-Je-Jess," James said, "y-you should let it go."

"And why should I?!" Jessie snapped, stopping for a moment to look back at James.

"Sh-She already said she was sorry-"

"But that snobby lil' twerpette did not even take the time to acknowledge my presence! She didn't even know who I am! I am Jessilee, the greatest and most magnificent Performer to grace the stage in centuries, and yet she didn't even utter a decibel of recognition! For that, she must pay!"

There was a familiar-sounding pop, followed by a "WOOOOOBBUFFET!"

She continued marching up the staircase, followed by her Wobbuffet. A terrified James and an incredulous Meowth were left behind in their wake.

"Sh-Sh-She's definitely t-taken things a little too far," James whispered hesitantly.

"Ya got dat right!" Meowth replied. "Jess has her mind wrapped around dem Showcases! Maybe a little too much." Then, the disguised Scratch Cat Pokémon shrugged dismissively. "Eh, well. At least Team Rocket's finally got der time ta shine in dis story!"

James looked down at his compatriot with an arched eyebrow. "Wha...?"

Meowth looked up at him. "Ya know! Da story!"


"Y-Yeah..." James blinked with confusion. "Th-The story..."

"...Ya know what I'm talkin' about, right James?"




"Yeah!" James replied quickly. "Okay, I'm gonna keep going now..."

With that, the blue-haired man started following Jessie again. Unconvinced, Meowth trailed after his heels.

"Ya do know what I'm talking' about, right James?! Da story!"

"Chandelure, intercept with Shadow Ball!" Nate commanded.

A black-and-purple sphere of dark energy formed in front of Chandelure's face. With a ghostly yell, it fired the sphere at the incoming Hawlucha, striking it in the leg and sending the Wrestling Pokémon flying backward.

"AGH!" Nick squealed in terror. "Hawlucha! Are you alright?!"

Hawlucha landed in front of its Trainer with a grunt. It winced from the attack, but nevertheless, it nodded loyally.

"You've got one last chance!" Yancy snapped. "Who are you?! And what do you want from us?!"

Nick sneered at the trio. "Well, that's for you to know and me to find out!" Then, his triumphant face faltered. "Wait, that doesn't sound right-"

"Come on out, Flo! Use Grass Knot on them both!"

Yancy had produced a Poké Ball and thrown it. Once the Garden Pokémon emerged, her normally tranquil eyes glowed a light shade of green. Two vines burst out from the ground and restrained Nick and Hawlucha before either of them could react. Nick yelped like a pained puppy and began struggling almost immediately, whereupon Flo's eyes turned a slightly darker shade of green, causing the vines to tighten their hold.

"NO!" Nick squealed. "Pl-Pl-Please don't hurt me! I have a family, I beg you!"

"So do I," Yancy snarled. "And my sister's missing. So you're gonna tell me what exactly you're after, or I'm gonna make sure you suffer."

Nick's beady pupils flitted towards Flo, who was wearing a fierce look on her face as her eyes continued to glow brightly. Then, he looked at Nate and his Chandelure as the latter hovered closer to his face, its yellow eyes narrowed. Finally, he glanced at Shulin, whose terror from earlier had subsided and was now replaced with intrigue.

"Last chance," warned Yancy.

"Alright, alright, alright!" Nick squeaked. "I give, I give! O-Okay, m-my name's Nick, a-and I am working for-"

He was suddenly cut off by a barrage of Bullet Seeds that pelted the dark hallway. Nate, Yancy, and Shulin screamed as Chandelure retaliated with a barrage of Shadow Balls, firing blindly into the darkness from which the Bullet Seeds were originating. Meanwhile, the distracted Flo deactivated her Grass Knot to defend her Trainer, giving Nick and Hawlucha the opportunity to take shelter behind a column. However, their escape didn't go unnoticed.

"HEY!" Nate called out. "GET BACK HERE! CHANDELURE!"

Chandelure ceased its attacks and shifted its attention back to Nick and Hawlucha. But before it could fire, an Energy Ball appeared out of nowhere and struck the Luring Pokémon, stunning it for a moment. At the same time, a Hoppip hovered down to Nick's eye level, a high-tech device strapped to its body.

"You're an idiot. Then again, I didn't expect anything less."

The voice echoed ominously throughout the hallway, prompting the wave of Bullet Seeds to stop. Nate and Yancy turned their heads, their eardrums registering the familiarity of the voice.

"Parker?!" they cried.

"Parker?" Shulin repeated in confusion.

"Yes, me." The Hoppip turned to face Nate and Yancy. "As this amoeba-brained imbecile was saying-"

"Hey!" an affronted Nick cried.

"He's working for me. He was supposed to stay back and lay low, but I guess that's what you get when you are forced to rely on idiots to assist you. Fortunately, I anticipated this, hence my little, ehhh...intervention. You should be lucky I stepped in for you, Nick. Your usefulness has yet to expire."

With that, a horde of Hoppip, Skiploom, and Jumpluff appeared, with some of them having miniature flashlights strapped to their bodies. The Cottonweed Pokémon surrounded Nate, Yancy, Shulin, Chandelure, and Flo, their faces wearing looks that were uncharacteristically vicious.

"H-Ho-Hoppip?!" stuttered Shulin, spinning around to examine all of the Cottonweed Pokémon. "Sk-Ski-Skiploom?! J-Ju-Jumpluff?! Wh-What is this?!"

But Nate and Yancy ignored the other Performer. Instead, they stared down the Hoppip with the advanced, loudspeaker-like device.

"So you're the one behind all of this!" Nate shouted. "Where's Selene?!"

"She's safe," Parker replied. "For now. As is Celebi."

Yancy marched forward. "If you hurt her, Parker, I swear to Arceus-"

"Yancy, wait!" Nate cried, grabbing his friend's wrist and stopping her from moving.

"Heh heh heh heh heh. You're quite courageous today. A bit of a far cry from the girl who's always relied on good old Nate Gray to save the day. But I suppose that's what happens when your precious little sister is in danger. I'd find it admirable...if I didn't have a stronger urge to vomit."

"Give Selene back right now, Parker!" Yancy screamed. "Or you're going to be sorry!"

"Unfortunately, it seems like your brains have not caught up with your courage. You forget what is at stake here."

Yancy heard a terrified squeak. She looked over her shoulder and saw, to her horror, a few of the Hoppip, Skiploom, and Jumpluff descending upon Shulin, closing in on her with evil grins.

"Let her go, Parker!" Nate cried. "She's got nothing to do with any of this!"

"Nothing to do with this, you say, Gray? Then tell me, why'd my scouts record her following you two on her own volition, without either of you doing a thing to stop her?"

Nate and Yancy's skins paled.

"I'd say she has everything to do with this. So, if you want your precious friend to continue on with her silly lil' dancing competition, I'd say...stay right where you are and do not resist. Be fortunate that I cannot leave this accursed timeline just yet. I have one last task to attend to- Hey!"

Suddenly, Nate and Yancy heard a cacophony of yelling and attacks being used through the loudspeaker. Before either of them could ascertain what happened, the ceiling exploded and collapsed a couple of yards away. The Hoppip, Skiploom, and Jumpluff scattered in all directions, allowing Shulin to run over to Nate and hug him from behind. Meanwhile, Yancy stared at the billowing cloud of smoke and was able to make out the silhouettes of an Ampharos fighting a Rhyperior and a Krookodile...

"MEYER!" Grace screamed.

Without hesitating, the former jockey ran into the thick cloud of smoke, only to notice Meyer, Ampharos, Rhyperior, and Krookodile were no longer there. In their place was a wide, gaping hole in the floor, created by Krookodile's earlier Rock Tomb.


She didn't hear a response from the electrician. At the same time, the smoke started to fill her lungs, and her eyes both started to water and sting. Coughing, Grace lifted her shirt collar and used it to cover up her nose and mouth, while she used her free hand to procure a Poké Ball.

"Go, Fletchling!" she called out in a muffled voice.

The Tiny Robin Pokémon emerged from the device and chirped loudly. Then, it encircled the cloud of smoke as it began to dissipate.

"Fletchling!" Grace cried. "Go check if Meyer's alright!"

"Fletch!" chirped Fletchling.

But before it could swoop down into the hole, another voice called out, "Oh no, you don't!"

An Electro Ball appeared out of the doorway and hurtled towards Fletchling. The Tiny Robin Pokémon tweeted rapidly in shock and flew out of the way of the Electric-type attack, causing it to hit a far corner of the green room and explode.

"What the?!" Grace started fanning the air around her in an attempt to clear the smoke. "Who did that?!"

"The person who's gonna stop you," a woman's voice replied. "Now, Litwick! Use Ember!"

A series of purple embers came flying through the smoke and at Fletchling's direction.

"Dodge, Fletchling!" Grace cried.

The Tiny Robin Pokémon obeyed and outmaneuvered the weak flurry of embers. A split-second later, another Electro Ball appeared, this time striking its target head-on and electrocuting it.


"NO, FLETCHLING!" Grace screamed. She ran and caught the plummeting Flying-type in her arms. As she did, she heard the same unknown woman snickering.

"How disappointing," the voice said. "You struck me as a tough opponent. But all you have is a cute little Fletchling? How sad. How sad, indeed."

Grace looked at the doorway and watched as the smoke finally cleared, revealing her opponents. A Joltik was skittering across the wall, getting a good vantage point of the jockey and her Fletchling. Meanwhile, a Litwick was hopping through the doorway and towards her.

"I wondered if I made a mistake keeping my strongest Pokémon occupied with that hunk and his Ampharos," continued the voice. "But now, it looks like I have nothing to be worried about. After all, I'm about to give you and your pretty little Fletchy a lesson on pain-"

"I don't think so!"

Grace watched as Moose and a wincing Layla threw Poké Balls of their own into the air, summoning a Magnemite and an Aromatisse, respectively. The Magnet Pokémon released a menacing, electronic hum as it stared down Joltik and Litwick, while Aromatisse did a dainty little spin first.

"Layle?!" the former Rhyhorn Racer cried. "Moose?! I didn't know you had Pokémon with you!"

"These were lent it to us a couple days before we left for Kalos!" Moose explained before his eyes gravitated towards his wife's Pokémon. "Though I didn't know Rosebay gave you an Aromatisse of all things..."

"She said Aromatisse can emit sweet scents that would be good for calming the kids down," replied Layla as she grazed her hand over her bulging belly. "Or us." Her expression turned a little bashful. "It was gonna be a surprise, Moose, but I guess the Glameow's out of the bag now." Then, she glanced at Grace. "Now's your chance, sis! You go check on Meyer! We'll handle these two!"

"You're sadly mistaken if you think your little Magnemite and your cute Aromatisse are a match against me," the woman called. "Litwick, use Fire Spin! Joltik, Electro Ball!"

Joltik fired a sphere of electric energy from its mouth, while Litwick released a spiral of bluish-purple flames from its own mouth. Moose pointed at the incoming Electro Ball, while Layla pointed at the approaching Fire Spin.

"Magnemite, use Thunder Shock!"

"Aromatisse, use Disarming Voice!"

Magnemite immediately released a lightning bolt from its metallic body. The electricity hit Joltik's Electro Ball, causing it to explode prematurely. As for Aromatisse, it opened its mouth and released a beam of pinkish-purple hearts that sliced through the Fire Spin and struck Litwick.


"Not so fast!" Moose cried. "Magnemite, use Flash Cannon!"

Once the Magnet Pokémon fired a silver beam of light and hit Joltik, Grace used the opportunity to look into the hole. As soon as she saw a downward slope of debris, she looked down at her Fletchling, who nodded at her determinedly despite its injuries. The former jockey smiled and nodded back at her Tiny Robin Pokémon.

"Well, Fletchling?" she said. "Go for broke?"

"Fletch," Fletchling chirped in agreement.

Without a second thought, Grace jumped onto the slope and began sliding down into the hole. As she did, she heard an annoyed yell, followed by someone else doing the same thing right behind her. However, she didn't have enough time to think about it, for she quickly reached the bottom of the hole...

And saw Yancy battling Krookodile, along with a horde of Hoppip, Skiploom, and Jumpluff, with all of her strength.

"GRANDMA?!" the pink-haired girl shrieked upon noticing Grace.

"Alright, now where'd those little troublemakers go...?"

Lloyd looked around the empty hallway, utterly confused as to what had just happened. A few seconds ago, he had been following three of the Trainers who were planning to be trouble for Parker. He had them well within his sight, but as soon as he turned around a corner, they were gone. This was why he always hated playing hide-and-seek with Floyd and Nick when he was younger. He never was good at seeking.

"Darn," he muttered. "Maybe I should have picked a different group." Then, he heaved out a disappointed sigh. "Adam's gonna blast me to smithereens if he finds out I lost the kids." At that moment, a clever grin crawled onto his lips. "That's if he finds out. Hee hee hee, yes, yes, 'if' is good."

With that, he began waltzing in the direction from which he came. As he did, he reached into his pockets.

"La la la, I think I'll go get another soft drink with my special coupon! I'll-"

"Charizard!" a voice commanded. "Go!"

Lloyd looked over his shoulder. "Say what now- AGH!"

A Charizard landed right behind him and roared directly into his face. Lloyd tried to run, but he was quickly cornered by a Slurpuff and a pair of Meowstic, one male and the other female. Slurpuff was frowning furiously at him, while both of the Meowstic were using Psychic to aim a table and a chair at him.

"Don't even think about running, mister!" the same voice snapped.

Lloyd slowly turned around and saw Trevor, Miette, and Blanche approaching him determinedly. Charizard stepped aside for its Trainer so he could confront the red-haired man.

"Alright," Trevor snarled. "Why're you following us?!"

"Do you have anything to do with Selene's disappearance?!" cried Miette. "Do you know anything about it?!"

"And most of all," Blanche said, "who are you?!"

"Who am I?" At first, Lloyd was perplexed, but then, he lowered his face. "Who am I? Who am I, you ask?"

"Y-Yeah..." Trevor replied hesitantly. "Th-That is what she just asked-"

Lloyd's face shot up, revealing a dramatic expression. "Then you should prepare for trouble! On second thought, make it double!"

"To protect the world from devastation?" a voice asked.

"To unite all people within our nation?" another voice queried.

Trevor, Miette, and Blanche looked further down the hall and saw Jessilee and her two companions standing there. They were rather befuddled for some reason, as if Lloyd's strange, abrupt declaration had triggered something within them.

"A name most enjoyed!" Lloyd continued. "Lloyd!" He reached into his pocket and pulled out a Poké Ball. "My Pokémon's faster than light! Surrender now or prepare to fight!"

"Meowth! Dat's right!"

Everyone turned their heads towards Jessilee's group at the sound of the voice. The Performer's smaller companion, who conveniently resembled a Meowth, had struck an awkward-looking pose. Trevor, Miette, and Blanche sweat-dropped.

"Uhhhhh...what was that all about...?" asked Miette.

"I'll tell you what this is all about!" Jessilee snapped furiously. "COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!"

"Copyright infringement?" Blanche asked, tilting her head slightly. "What're you talking about, Jessilee...?"

"I'm talking about that horrible, disgraceful man stealing our precious motto!"

Jessilee pointed an accusing finger at Lloyd, only for everyone to realize he had taken advantage of this distraction to get himself away from Trevor's group. Before Trevor's Charizard had a chance to react, he threw his Poké Ball, which opened up and unleashed a beam of light.

"Go, Tyrantrum!" he called.

When the flash of light subsided, the Despot Pokémon shook its head and roared at Charizard, so loudly that it caused all of the glass objects within the immediate vicinity to crack and shatter. Trevor, Miette, Blanche, Jessilee, and her strange companions screamed and covered their ears, while an undaunted Charizard roared back at Tyrantrum in response.


Tyrantrum stomped towards Charizard, its booming footsteps shaking everything in the hall. Trevor quickly straightened himself and pointed at the approaching Despot Pokémon.

"Charizard, use Heat Wave!"

The Flame Pokémon opened its mouth, and a red-orange ball of sweltering fire appeared between its gaping jaws. Then, once Tyrantrum got close, Charizard fired a gust of heat and flames from this ball. The gust blew powerfully against the Despot Pokémon, pelting it with small flames.

Tyrantrum let out a small, surprised yelp and stumbled back from the energy of the wind. However, it quickly recovered and absorbed the flames without any problem. Then, it began advancing on Charizard as it continued to use Heat Wave on it.

"What?!" Miette exclaimed. "Why isn't Tyrantrum going down from that Heat Wave?!"

"It's because Tyrantrum's part-Rock," replied Trevor. However, he was wearing a crafty grin. "Fortunately, the Heat Wave is just a little distraction."

"Say what now?" Lloyd asked, having overheard the novice photographer's revelation.

Trevor pointed at Tyrantrum again. "NOW, CHARIZARD! USE DRAGON TAIL!"


Charizard let out a triumphant roar, just as a light-blue glow appeared on the tip of its tail and began spreading upward. Once the entire tail was glowing, the Flame Pokémon spun around, striking Tyrantrum hard with said tail. The force and power of the attack was so great that Tyrantrum was sent flying through a wall...

Revealing a battle already going on between Tierno's group and a man who resembled Lloyd in every way, except for his hair, which was mirrored and colored blue.

"Tierno!" Trevor cried with surprise.

"Trevor?!" exclaimed Tierno from the other side of the wall.

Tierno didn't know what had just happened. He had ordered his Blastoise to defend Nini's Smoochum from Zangoose's X-Scissor, which it was prepared to do. But just as Zangoose was inches away from dealing the blow, the wall beside them had exploded, a Tyrantrum had been sent hurtling through the hole, and Zangoose had now found itself right underneath the Despot Pokémon's backside.

And now Tierno saw Trevor's group standing in the hallway on the other side of that wall, along with a few people who he didn't recognize, including a man whose appearance closely matched Floyd's.

"Tierno!" Trevor cried with surprise from the other side of the wall.

"Trevor?!" exclaimed Tierno. "What're you doing over there?!"

"What're you doing over there?!"

"It doesn't matter!" Kazalie shouted, pointing over Tierno's shoulder. "Heads up!"

Tyrantrum had just stood back up and was now charging at Blastoise and Smoochum.

"Smoochum!" Nini cried, reacting quicker. "Use Heart Stamp!"

Her Smoochum puckered her lips and blew a kiss at Tyrantrum's direction. Almost simultaneously, a pink, heart-shaped stamp materialized over her lips and was sent flying towards the Despot Pokémon.

"Zangoose!" Floyd called. "Use X-Scissor on that Heart Stamp, quickly!"

The Cat Ferret Pokémon landed between Tyrantrum and Smoochum's Heart Stamp before slashing at the incoming attack with a glowing arm. At first, the Heart Stamp continued zooming towards Zangoose, but before it could hit its target, the Psychic-type attack broke into two pieces that missed Zangoose and Tyrantrum completely before dissipating into wisps of pink energy.

"Floyd!" Lloyd cried with surprise from the other side of the wall.

"Lloyd?!" exclaimed Floyd. "What're you doing over there?!"

"What're you doing over there?!"

"Floyd and Lloyd," Kazalie remarked from the side. "Wow. Such original names for twins."

"It doesn't matter!" Lloyd shouted, pointing towards the Performer. "Tyrantrum, use Crunch!"

"Zangoose, use Quick Attack!" ordered Floyd.

Both Pokémon charged towards Kazalie, with Tyrantrum's fangs glowing a bright white, while Zangoose moved at greater speeds and left behind a trail of silver-white energy in the process. Kazalie screamed and braced herself.

"Charizard!" Trevor shouted. "Use Dragon Claw!"

"Slurpuff, use Fairy Wind!" commanded Miette.

Charizard launched itself at Tyrantrum and slashed it with its claws, which were glowing light-green. As for Slurpuff, her body spun around rapidly, creating tornado-like gusts of sparkling wind that targeted Zangoose. However, the attack was too weak to knock Zangoose, and instead, the Cat Ferret Pokémon ceased its assault and focused on Trevor's group.

"Now that was useless," Floyd said with a smirk. "Now, Zangoose! Let's finish this!"

"You too, Tyrantrum!" cried Lloyd. "Don't let that overrated Charizard take you down! I still have a coupon to spend!"

Tyrantrum continued to focus its efforts on Charizard, with both draconic Pokémon now locked in hand-to-hand combat. As for Zangoose, it charged at Slurpuff, preparing to use X-Scissor on her.

"Meowstic!" Blanche called. "Both of you use Psychic!"

Her two Meowstic began glowing, whereupon Zangoose froze in midair. Then, the Constraint Pokémon lifted their shared opponent in the air and slammed it into Tyrantrum, knocking both of them down.

"Alright!" Tierno cried. "Now, Blastoise! Use Hydro Cannon!"

"And you use Fire Spin, Charizard!" Trevor commanded.

Blastoise and Charizard fired their respective attacks at their opponents as they tried to stand up. Blastoise's dual orbs of water doused Tyrantrum, proving to be super-effective against it. As for Zangoose, it was scorched by the spiral-shaped stream of fire from Charizard.

"GAH!" Lloyd cried. "NO, MY TYRANTRUM!"

"ZANGOOSE!" squealed Floyd. Then, he ran over to his twin brother and grabbed his arm. "Lloyd, those are our strongest Pokémon, but we're losing, and we're losing hard! Wh-What do we do?!"

"I'll tell you what you'll do," Miette snarled as her Slurpuff confronted the twins.

"You'll surrender immediately!" Nini cried while her Smoochum waddled over beside Slurpuff, her normally cheerful face now wearing an expression of serious loathing.

Floyd gulped fearfully, while Lloyd mustered the courage to defiantly spit out, "A-And if we don't?!"

"Well, then," Tierno replied, his voice no longer cool and relaxed, "let's just say you'll be in for a whole new world of hurt, my dudes."

He and Trevor joined Nini and Miette's sides, while Blastoise and Charizard towered over them from behind while. As for Tyrantrum and Zangoose, they were now suspended in the air and unable to move, courtesy of Blanche's Meowstic duo.

"Ah, c-c-come on now!" Floyd cried, his entire frame trembling as he stepped forward with outstretched arms. "Th-There is no need for violence! I-I mean, y-you kids are the l-la-latest generation! Wh-What kind of ex-example would you set if you threaten your elders!"

"You threatened us first!" Nini snapped.

"W-Well, w-we are just f-fo-following orders!"

"Orders?" Miette repeated, blinking in surprise. "Whose orders?"

"Are you talking about this Parker guy?!" cried Trevor.

"Parker?" Blanche and Kazalie repeated simultaneously, looking at one another in confusion.

Floyd and Lloyd looked at one another as well, except their expressions were fearful. Then, the latter faced the others.

"Well, you kids," he said, "you see, uh- SCRAM!"

The twins tried to run in the opposite direction, believing it to be unguarded.

Instead, they found themselves face-to-face with a Wobbuffet, a Gourgeist, and an Inkay.

"Oh, no you don't!" Jessilee snapped while her two companions crossed their arms. "You two aren't going anywhere!"

"Wh-Wh-What?!" squeaked Floyd.

"B-But w-we didn't do anything to you!" Lloyd exclaimed.

"Of course you did!" Jessilee's blue-haired accomplice replied angrily. "You, sir, still need to pay for your act of copyright infringement!"

"You use our motto without permission, you pay the big bucks!" declared the Meowth-like compatriot.

"WOOOOOBBUFFEEET!" Wobbuffet cried while saluting.

"Copyright infringement?! Paying the big bucks?! What the heck?!"

Meanwhile, Floyd turned and saw Tierno, Trevor, Miette, Nini, Blanche, Kazalie, and their Pokémon approaching. Realizing there was nowhere to go now, he sighed with defeat and raised his hands in surrender.

"Alright," he said glumly. "Whaddaya need to know?"


Pikachu's worried cries snapped Ash from his stunned reverie. He coughed and waved at the air to clear it of the seeping smoke before standing up. Then, he looked around and saw Aria sprawled on the floor, moaning and struggling to get up.

"Aria!" Serena cried. She went over to the Kalos Queen and helped her up her feet with one arm; the other was carrying Selene's Pichu. "Aria, are you alright?"

"Y-Yeah..." the redhead replied with a smile. "Thanks, Serena." Then, she looked down at her clothes and grimaced. "Oh, no... My clothes are all dirty! How am I gonna explain this to Palermo?"

"You won't be doing any explaining today, young lady," a new voice snarled.

The trio turned and saw a Dragonite stomping towards them with a malevolent sneer on its face. Ash could feel the great aggression coming from it, and it looked more unruly and worrisome than even Iris's own Dragonite. This Dragonite also had a long, old scar running down its left eye.

Walking right beside the Dragon Pokémon was a man with wavy, neatly-combed green hair with golden streaks. He was also dressed in a sharp olive-green suit with a green-and-yellow-striped tie. However, Ash, Serena, and Aria couldn't see a lot of his face because of the gas mask clamped over it. They could barely see the yellow eyes glinting behind the eye-holes.

"Who are you?!" Serena cried, her hands reflexively twitching towards her pockets. "You don't look like Parker!"

"I don't look like Parker?" the man repeated with a derisive snort. "I don't look like Adam, she says. HA! Well, no kidding, Sherlock! I most definitely am not Parker! But I am working for his interests!"

"So you must be Kay, huh?!" Ash exclaimed.

"Kay? I don't have the faintest idea of who you're talking about." He stretched out his arms. "Rest assured, children, I'm someone even worse."

"Parker?" Aria asked. "Kay? Who're you guys talking about-?"

"And as someone who seeks to benefit from Parker's mission," the man interrupted, "I must see to it that no one stands in his way! Dragonite, use Hurricane!"

Dragonite lifted itself into the air and started flapping its wings at Ash, Serena, and Aria's direction. In the process, they released multiple green, crescent-shaped blades of energy.

"Pikachu, use Thunderbolt!" Ash ordered. "And Pichu, use Thunder Shock!"



Two different bolts of electricity flew through the air and struck the incoming crescents, causing them to explode before any of them could reach their targets. Serena and Aria reacted by pulling out their own Poké Balls and throwing them.

"Come on out, Braixen!" Serena called.

"Delphox, time to shine!" declared Aria.

The two Fox Pokémon emerged and barked in preparation. A short time later, the smoke cleared out, revealing the man walking calmly towards them, with his Dragonite slowly, smoothly flying beside him. The man was chuckling and wearing an arrogant smirk.

"You think you kids could match the might of my Dragonite with your weak Pokémon?" he asked.

"Of course!" Ash replied defiantly. "Especially given what's at stake!"

"Heh heh heh... Such naivete. And to think all of this is because of a little girl. How foolish and shortsighted-"

"Love is not something foolish or shortsighted!" interrupted Serena. "How could you think something like that?!"

"Love is nothing in the face of sheer power. Since you kids clearly cannot see that, I think I'll give you another taster." He pointed at the group. "Dragonite, use Twister!"

"Pikachu, use Electro Ball!" Ash ordered. "Pichu, use Thunder Shock again!"

"Braixen/Delphox, use Flamethrower!" Serena and Aria commanded at the same time.

Dragonite flapped its wings powerfully again, this time discharging a miniature tornado. In response, the four Pokémon fired their respective attacks, which were enough to dispel the strong wind vortex. A second later, however, the Dragon Pokémon swooped towards the quartet of opponents, its outline glowing blood-red.

"That's Outrage!" Ash cried. "Pikachu, dodge it!"

"You too!" Serena and Aria both shouted.

Their Pokémon followed their commands, but the unprompted Pichu, in trying to scurry out of range, tripped and fell to the ground headfirst. It then looked up and squeaked in fear upon seeing the incoming Dragon Pokémon.

"PICHU!" Serena screamed.


There was a flash of light, which faded out to reveal a watery veil. The veil broke apart a second later to reveal the Ninja Pokémon, who had taken on its Ash-Greninja form. With barely anymore time to do anything else, Greninja quickly threw itself between Pichu and Dragonite. A split-second later, Dragonite began viciously pummeling Greninja with its fists and wings.

"GRENINJA!" Serena cried. Then, she heard a scream and looked beside her. "ASH!"

Ash had fallen to the floor and was now writhing and flailing like a squirming Seviper. With every blow Dragonite dealt to Greninja, a pained, agonizing scream came out of Ash's mouth.

"PIKAPI!" Pikachu cried in distress.

Then, Serena focused on Dragonite. "BRAIXEN!"

The Fox Pokémon acted at her Trainer's command, using Fire Blast on Dragonite. Meanwhile, Pikachu joined his friend's side, using Thunderbolt. The dual attacks succeeded in knocking Dragonite off Greninja, and it glared angrily at Pikachu and Braixen once it recovered. Then, as it started charging at them...


Delphox swung her wand stick around in a circular motion, forming a ring of fire in front of itself. Then, she fired a white-hot stream of fire through the ring, which sent Dragonite tumbling down the hallway and nearly hitting its Trainer.

"BAAAAAH!" the man snarled. "USELESS!"

As for Serena, she ran up to Ash, who stopped crying out and writhing now. She was quick to cradle him in her arms.

"ASH! Ash, are you okay?!"

"I'm fine," the Pallet Town native croaked. "I'm fine... How's Greninja...?"

Serena looked at the Ninja Pokémon, who was struggling to get back up. "He-He's doing fine," she replied, "but you two have already pushed yourselves too far. We can handle this-"

"Well, well, well. Very impressive."

Serena glared hatefully at Dragonite's Trainer. The green-and-golden-haired man calmly walked up to the group, both of his arms still raised. He still had a smile on his face, but this time, it was hungry. Especially once he laid his eyes on Ash and Greninja.

"I've never seen a Greninja Mega Evolve," he said. "Let alone like that. It's my understanding that Parker isn't interested in this..." His eyes flashed with absolute greed as they focused fully on Greninja. "Which makes it mine to monopolize!"

"You think you can simply take what you just saw for yourself?" Ash spat. Despite Serena's physical protesting, he gently released himself from her grasp and stood up. "Greninja and I have a special bond, a bond that is stronger than anything else! And it goes beyond what you believe about power and strength! It is something you can never be able to replicate, even if you tried!"

"Well then, challenge accepted." The man pointed at Greninja. "Go, Dragonite! Pummel it into submission! I'll handle the heavy lifting."

Dragonite flew down the hallway again, its outline glowing red once again.

"Greninja!" cried Ash. "Use Water Shuriken! Pikachu, Electro Ball! Pichu, Thunder Shock!"

"Braixen, use Fire Blast!" Serena commanded.

"Delphox, use Mystical Fire!" ordered Aria.

All five Pokémon fired their respective attacks, but this time, Dragonite was ready for them. It ducked to avoid the Water Shuriken, spun around to outmaneuver the dual Electric-type attacks and the Mystical Fire, and then it flapped its wings powerfully to send the Fire Blast off-course. Once the hall was cleared, the Dragon Pokémon flew towards Greninja again, and Greninja flexed its arms in preparation for what was about to come...

"P-Pa-Pa-Pachirisu!" a voice stuttered. "D-Di-Discharge!"

A loud, shrill squeak filled the hallway, followed by a bright-blue bolt of electricity that barreled through the air. Surprised by the new attack, Dragonite didn't have time to avoid it, and the Electric attack struck it head-on.

"AAAGGGHHH!" the man cried, startled by the sudden Discharge. "WHAT IN BLAZES?!" Then, he turned around and saw Dragonite headed straight for him, blinded with pain. "AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!"

"OOH!" Aria winced as she watched the Dragon Pokémon collide with its own Trainer and crash-land into the wall.

"Whoa, what was that?" Ash asked, looking around for the source of the Discharge. "W-Who did that?"

At that moment, someone joined Aria's side. At first, Ash, Serena, and Aria noticed their grimy, olive-green cloak, which seemed too large to fit their figure. Then, the cloak flew off, revealing a girl around their age, who had blue hair and blue eyes. She was wearing what appeared to be a Showcase outfit, consisting of a blue, rose-shaped top hate, black elbow-length gloves with blue collars, a blue-striped gown-like dress, black knee-length socks, and white heels with golden circles on them.

Initially, Ash was at a loss for words at the stranger's presence. Then, he dug into his memories of what Selene and Nate said about the future, and his mind finally settled on one name that could only make sense in this context.

"Evelyn?!" he cried.

"Evelyn?" Serena and Aria asked at the same time, Serena with surprise and Aria with confusion.

Evelyn nodded with affirmation. "D-Do-Don't worry, U-Un-Uncle A-Ash, A-Au-Auntie S-Se-Serena!" she cried. "I-I'm here t-to he-help y-y-you guys o-o-out!"

A/N: And that about does it for this chapter!

To be honest, I'm not entirely happy with how I wrote this chapter. Clearly, I had to juggle between five different groups, and properly balancing the amount of screentime and action they get in this one jam-packed chapter is clearly a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, now that these five groups have merged and become three (sorta), it should be a lot easier to get more material done in a balanced way during the next chapter.

Also, I'm aware that Clemont, Bonnie, Calem, and Shauna didn't appear at all in this chapter even if they're supposed to be a group as well. But don't worry; they will get their time to shine in the next chapter, and then some!

I also hope you guys enjoyed the AmourShipping material, even if it was a little minimal in this chapter. Once again, the best stuff is being saved for the next chapter!

Now, I'd like to thank the following for reviewing:


1) No, I didn't leave. If you followed my profile, you'd know that I'm still hard at work with stuff, both on this site and in real life. As long as I breathe, I will not leave until I say otherwise! :D

2) Ehhhhh... I don't see Ash and Pikachu fighting over food. Their friendship is too big for that. But I'll try and see what I can do with that idea using other characters.

3) I'm currently attending a certain university in southern California. I am about to graduate in a couple of months...that is, if the entire country isn't on lockdown by then. :P

4) Ooooh, so you plan on doing a double review, eh? I don't think a lot of my readers do that. I guess I'm going to have to double my efforts when it comes to responding to your comments! XD XD XD


1) Oh, wow. I didn't know you were a PokéShipper. (If you already mentioned it, then sorry, I definitely forgot.) Anyway, I'm surprised. I don't mean to look down on your community, but I've heard stories of the notorious genwunner attitude PokéShippers tend to have, hence my surprise. Either way, I'm glad to know this story made some in-roads with that fan community, even if it's just for at least one person. :D

2) Let it be known that it's going to be "Judgment's Fall" in name only. Everything you probably remember about the old story is completely gone. Instead, I have an entirely different plot in place, though you can still expect the same Infinity War/Endgame-style epicness to happen, just with a ton of additional characters. I'm so glad you're excited, though!

3) Well, it was inevitable. I've been branching out my horizons a lot more lately, and I realize I can't stick to "Pokémon" forever, especially not with all the other ideas I have bouncing around in my head. I need to loosen my load as much and quickly as I possibly can! As much as it pains to me to say it, "Judgment's Fall" will definitely be my last hurrah. I cannot get any better than that. That is, unless Generation IX is somehow awesome enough that it get me back into the swing of things, but it will also motivate me to try and top "Judgment's Fall" with another big, epic story... Ehhh...

4) Thanks on both counts! It's good to know I'm talking to a recent graduate. How goes the job search now? Any luck?


1) I'm glad you didn't forget anything as soon as you started reading this again! It's pretty impressive that you were still able to remember everything that was going on, even after a year of inactivity! Talk about love and dedication!

2) Well, I absolutely love tension! I think it's one of the best ways to provoke romantic feelings within two people! Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm a sadist. But hey, at least it's working! Look at Ash and Serena's latest interactions! :D :D :D

3) Thank you. To be honest, the only reason I'm still moving forward with any of my projects is because of my very, very bad experiences with very great fics that wind up unfinished. It's always rubbed me the wrong way, and when I created this account nearly nine years ago (wow, time does fly) and first started writing, I pledged I'd never, ever leave a project unfinished, no matter what happens. Sadly, I've broken that pledge so many times and then some, but you get my point.

-Amourshipper35: Is that all you have to say for your reviews? Just one-liners? I'm sorry, but I really need you to be a little more in-depth with your reviews. I can't just have brief comments. If I am going to keep up the quality, I need you to be more specific on what you like, and more important, what you're not liking so far. Is there anything I need to look at from a writing standpoint? Any questions or curiosities that you feel need to be addressed by me quickly? Please, I do not mean to sound picky or pushy, but I need all the feedback I can get. Thank you.


1) Yes, I know the feeling. It's like an early Christmas. :D

2) I know, right?! It even makes me squirm seeing father and daughter interact like this. And yes, Selene being a young, female version of Ash was kind of the point.

3) Honestly, I haven't got the slightest clue on what's going on in the writers' heads at the moment. Of course, we can't deny that the anime primarily exists to promote the games. Period. Storytelling is a secondary concern. But when you're stuck with the same protagonist for twenty-plus years, that puts a damper in the whole anime-exists-to-promote-games mission. It sounds like they've come to the assumption that the fanbase considers Ash and Pikachu, the franchise's main mascot and big-time cash cow, to be synonymous with one another, hence Ash must stay in the anime alongside Pikachu for all of eternity. Of course, if that were true, I call shenanigans on that logic, as much as I still like Ash. Like you said, passing the torch from Ash to a new protagonist can definitely work. If the writers were worried that losing Ash will also mean losing Pikachu, well, just replace that Pikachu with another Pikachu (like what I'm discreetly doing with Selene and Pichu) and we're all good! It seems like even the writers and animators themselves are getting pretty tired of Ash, since they tried twice to put a clear, definitive, conclusive end to Ash's story, first during DP, and then during XY, both without much success. So I wouldn't fully blame the writers; rather, I think it's Game Freak pulling the strings. Unfortunately, it seems like we'll be stuck with Ash for all of eternity. I can only hope the Generation IX adaptation of the anime brings it back to the quality I missed seeing in XY...which I highly doubt at this point.

4) ^^ Yep, I totally ranted there. XD XD XD

5) The anime adaptations of male video game protagonists are all dense, clueless idiots. I didn't mean to start a running gag with that, but...well, here we are. XD XD XD

6) Yes, I'm aware Serena would never do that to Miette. She's just done with Miette's teasing and prodding at this point. Of course, this is going to be important for Miette's character development here... ;)

7) Looking at them now, I imagine Nick, Floyd, and Lloyd to be the "Pokémon", human versions of Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed of "The Lion King" fame. Just a lot less scarier. And a lot more stupider. XD XD XD ;)

8) Indeed, Parker is persistent. In fact, persistence is his middle name! XD


1) I'm already aware of the differences between Pokémon Contests and Pokémon Showcases. Thanks, though.

2) Do you perhaps have any thoughts on the last chapter?

-kirbykid13: Indeed, Floyd and Lloyd are too stupid for their own good. And yet Lloyd can somehow unknowingly copy Team Rocket's motto to a tee, even if he doesn't know the trio... Hmmmmm...

-king nintendo (guest reviewer): Is that all you have to say? Please, I really need more comments than that. Is there anything specific you liked about the chapter? Anything you did not like? Any questions or concerns? Please, I need more in-depth analysis on the story's standing so far, in your personal opinion. Thank you.

-MythGirl Writes:

1) Indeed, it's been a year. Time sure flies by!

2) Well, as long as Ash and Serena are on the case, everything should be alright! Hopefully...

3) Thanks! I greatly appreciate it.

-Ann1amour: Thanks! Was there anything specific you liked about the chapter? Anything you didn't like? Any questions or concerns? Please, I'm going to need more in-depth comments. Thank you very much.

Well, hope you enjoyed this chapter! TheCartoonFanatic01 is out. PEACE!

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