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Fanfiction Pokemon: Jackie's Journey

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by WavePearl, Dec 15, 2020.

  1. WavePearl

    Sparkle
    (Alolan Vulpix)
    Level 4
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    Many years ago, I attempted a story about a storyteller's spin on a Pokémon journey. So here, I've revisiting the idea, mainly to account for the three generations (Kalos, Alola, and Galar) that came out since that original story.

    Episode 0: Practicing for the Journey

    "Okay, Jackie...here's what to expect on Kanto's new Lore Stage..." Brock explained as he and his auburn haired mentoree arrived in a backstage meeting area at the Theater de Pallette. "The route follows the old Indigo Trail, where Gekijou and Tawame troupes once traveled to the Indigo Plateau. You will be performing on many historic and modern stages..."

    "...and maybe seeing some of these ancient plays?" Jackie asked as she found a seat at the table overlooking a whiteboard.

    Brock nodded. "That, and playing on as many mini golf courses as we can find along the way." He had learned early that besides the stage, Jackie enjoyed mini golf more than anything.

    He turned business-like again. "Basically, all you have to do is pick a story according to a theme, and tell that to the audience. You're not limited in how you do this--if you want to just stand there and talk, you can do that. If you want to turn your story into a full on dramatic production, you can do that too."

    "Can I use the guitar as I'm telling?" Jackie asked.

    "Of course--you can improvise, or play appropriate songs as you talk." Brock assured the excited auburn haired girl. "I do it all the time when I perform..."

    He then showed Jackie a glittering rainbow brooch with hundreds of tiny beads. "If you do well in telling your story, you get a bead for your Rainbow Brooch. If you can finish the rainbow by the time we reach Indigo Plateau, you'll get to tell for the Grand Lore Stage during the Pokémon League."

    After pocketing the finished brooch, Brock turned his attention to the whiteboard at the front of the room. "On that note--let's review the basic building blocks of storytelling..."

    "Tell what you love!" Jackie smiled.

    Brock nodded before writing "1. Tell what you love" in black on the whiteboard, complete with a few red hearts around the word "love". "Okay...what else?"

    "Know thy story, and know it well." Jackie replied.

    Brock wrote 2. "Know your story, and prepare." on the whiteboard. "This is why I record you telling when you're learning a tale--so you can listen to yourself, and easily spot bits that need work."

    "I will admit it was a little scary when I went in the recording booth for the first time, and weird to hear my own voice when you played it back." Jackie shuddered at a memory of her first few terrible attempts a few months before.

    "You've come a long way from that stuttering mess, and there's so much more you can learn." Brock smiled. "No matter what happens this trip, we'll face it together."

    "This is the beauty of the arts--they're never complete." Jackie agreed. "There's always something new to learn, and there will always be someone better than you to learn from."

    "Moving on...you have no obligation to tell every part of the story." Brock went on as he wrote "3. You don't have to tell EVERYTHING". "While there may not be a clock on the wall keeping track of how long you've been telling, if you go on too long, you're going to bore your audience. So focus on the important events, and leave out tangents, characters and episodes that don't contribute to the overall story."

    He next wrote "4. Use a confident voice", complete with sound waves coming from the V. "You know this well as an actress, but it's worth a periodic reminder--speak confidently, and project to the back. You don't want to race through the story at a hundred words per minute, nor do you want to go too slow and lose the audience. Pace yourself."

    He next wrote "5. The mic is your friend", complete with transforming the I into a handheld mic and drawing a headset mic on the C. "You know this well, too--microphones are your friends, not your foes. Especially in a large space like a theater or outside."

    "If given the option, I prefer the headset mics." Jackie smiled, bemused in the letter artwork for some of the points on the whiteboard. "Much more discrete than a handheld, since they can blend into costumes. Although handhelds are great if you're playing something like a game show host."

    Brock smiled at the thought of his mentoree playing a game show host before turning back to the whiteboard. "These next two are very important...look at your audience..." He proceeded to write "6. Look at your audience" before turning the O's into green eyes, like Jackie's. "Eye contact means the world to your audience. It shows them they are valued, and appreciated, on the journey into the world of fantasy you are leading them on."

    "So if somebody's zoning out, look at them." Jackie smiled.

    "That's right." Brock agreed before writing his next point. "Keep your gestures natural and relaxed, even if you are telling a comic tale. No one likes someone flailing all over the place, even for comedic reasons."

    "Pretend like you are telling for a friend, and you're just having a friendly conversation." Jackie agreed, recalling an exercise the two of them had done a few days before.

    Brock nodded. "And lastly, but by no means least...let the audience draw their own conclusions, so steer clear of 'moral of the story' endings. That being said, 'moral of the story' endings can work very well for comic effect, or by allowing the audience to share their thoughts at the end. One example of a 'moral of the story' ending we like to use for comedy is 'Sorin and Illumise's Egg Hunt'..."

    "I remember that!" Jackie smiled. "I loved how you, Misty, Ash, and Serena just feed off each other..."

    "Well, when you perform often with people you naturally click with, you naturally support each other." Brock explained. "Let their strengths shine, and support what they're not so good at."

    He took a seat by Jackie for a moment. "Do you want to talk about any of those points some more, or are you ready to head out to the stage and practice your story?"

    "I think I'm ready to give 'The Rescue of Princess Miranda another go." Jackie smiled.

    "Okay...let me clean up in here, then we'll go onstage." With that, Brock erased the whiteboard and tidied up the front of the room as Jackie read over some story notes...
     
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  2. WavePearl

    Sparkle
    (Alolan Vulpix)
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    Episode 1: The Journey Begins At Home


    A few days later, people streamed into the Theater de Palette to watch the first Lore Stage of the season. "Looking good..." Brock smiled as Jackie emerged in a festive red and gold minstrel's costume.

    "Thanks...any final advice before I go on?" Jackie asked.

    "Just remember what we've talked about and what you've learned over the last few months." Brock assured his mentoree. "No matter what happens out there, I'll still be proud of you. Make the story you're telling your own."

    He peeked out to look at the rapidly filling auditorium, where he spotted a familiar black haired boy leading a Pikachu down towards the front. "If you need somewhere to focus, Ash, Misty, and Serena are towards the front, on the left. If you DO forget something, I'll prompt you."

    "Fingers crossed I won't need to use my last line as a bailout..." Jackie agreed as she watched an orange haired girl and a blonde haired girl join the boy and his Pikachu near the front.

    "Well, there's no shame in bailing out due to a blank out." Brock went on. "It might sting in the heat of the moment, but the best you can do is acknowledge what happened, make peace with it, and let it go."

    Jackie nodded. "I'm sure you've had some not-so proud moments too."

    "I have quite a few stories I could tell about memorable performances..." Brock smiled. "Both good and bad."

    An idea came to him. "If you do well, we'll tell you some of our tales from the stage--both the amazing and the awkward."

    "Deal!" Jackie smiled as the lights on the stage flashed the five minute warning...

    ---------

    "Number K-962125, telling 'The Rescue of Princess Miranda'." The emcee announcing her story some time later snapped Jackie to attention. Here we go...my first real storytelling performance!

    "Your turn--go get'em, Jackie." Brock smiled. Jackie smiled back with a nod, then made her way onstage.

    Once all was quiet, Jackie started her story. "Far away, across the wide ocean, there was once a beautiful island where there lived the most beautiful princess in the world, named Miranda. She had lived there ever since she was born, and ruled over the island with a wise and gentle hand. Nobody knew who her parents were, or how she had come to the island. But she was not alone; as she had twelve beautiful maidens who had grown up with her on the island that served as her ladies-in-waiting. But a few strangers had visited the island, and spoken of Princess Miranda's great beauty; and many more came after that, became her subjects, and built a magnificent city, in which she had a splendid palace of white marble to live in."

    "Wow"s filled the auditorium as the audience pictured the beautiful marble palace in their mind. "As time went on, many young princes came to woo her." Jackie went on. "But she did not care to marry any of them; and if anyone persisted, and tried to force her to be his wife, she could turn him and all his soldiers into ice, by merely singing a song."

    She intoned "One day the evil Darkrai, the king of the underworld, came out into the world of light one day, and began to look around--since his eyes were more powerful than a human eye, he could see everything within several hundred miles, if not more. He saw various empires and kingdoms, rolling hills, lush forests, high mountains, and rolling seas, all in a matter of moments. Finally, he saw the green island, the rich city upon it; the marble palace in the city, and in the palace the twelve beautiful young ladies-in-waiting, and among them he saw, lying on a rich couch stuffed with Swanna feathers, Princess Miranda taking a royal nap. She slept peacefully like a child, but she was dreaming of a young knight, wearing a shining helmet, on a gallant steed, and carrying a great sword that shot beams of light... and she loved him better than life."

    She thought she saw Misty laughing in the audience. Focus, Jackie...

    After composing herself, she continued "Darkrai looked at her, and was delighted with her beauty. Since no being of the underworld could tap into the holy spellsongs, Darkrai just warped himself onto the island via thought. Princess Miranda woke with a jump, spotted Darkrai, called together her bravest army, and led them into the field, to fight the wicked Darkrai. But he blew out a sweet breath that put all the soldiers to sleep. Minutes before he could grab Princess Miranda, she sang Furiya, shuru shamato...

    Some applause went up at the song. "Darkrai was froze into a Darkraisicle, buying Princess Miranda time to flee home." Jackie continued. "But Darkrai didn't stay a Darkraisicle very long. As soon as Princess Miranda had fled, he broke free from the ice, and followed her to her city. Then he put all the inhabitants of the island to sleep, the princess's twelve faithful servants included. She was the only one whom he could not hurt; but being afraid of her spellsong of ice, he surrounded the castle—which stood upon a high hill—with an iron fence, and placed a Hydreigon on guard before the gate, and waited for Princess Miranda to surrender."

    Concerned murmurs and fearful gasps wafted through the crowd. "The days passed by, then weeks, then months, while her kingdom became a desert." Jackie sighed--she was at the least favorite part of her story. "All her people were asleep, and her faithful soldiers also lay sleeping on the open fields, their armor all rusty, and weeds growing over them undisturbed. Her twelve maidens were all asleep in different rooms of the palace, just where they happened to be at the time; and she herself, all alone, kept walking sadly to and fro in a little room up in a tower, where she had taken shelter—wringing her hands and crying. Around her all was silent, as if dead; only every so often, Darkrai, not daring to encounter her spellsong, knocked at the door asking her to surrender, promising to make her queen of the underworld. But it was no use; Princess Miranda was silent, and only threatened him with her song."

    A smile formed on Jackie's face, reassuring the antsy audience that all wasn't lost. "But grieving in her lonely room, Princess Miranda could not forget the lover she dreamed of; she saw him just as he had appeared to her in her dream. She looked up with her blue eyes to heaven, and seeing a cloud floating by, she said..."

    "Oh cloud, through the bright sky flying! Stay, and hearken my piteous sighing! In my sorrow I call upon thee; Oh, where is my loved one? Where do his footsteps stray? And does he now think of me?" she pleaded in character as Princess Miranda.

    "I know not," she replied as the cloud. "Ask Suicune."

    She then narrated "Princess Miranda looked out into the wide plain, and after spotting Suicune running across the plains, she said..."

    "Oh, Suicune! O'er the wide world flying! Do you pity my grief and crying! Have pity on me! Oh! where is my loved one? Where do his footsteps stray? And does he now think of me?" she pleaded again.

    "Ask Jirachi--he knows more than I do." she replied as Suicune.

    She continued like this for each Legendary:

    "That night, Princess Miranda pleaded to the stars..."

    "Oh Jirachi, with your bright beams glowing! Look down on my tears fast flowing! Have pity, have pity on me! Oh! where is my loved one? Where do his footsteps stray? And does he now think of me?"

    "Ask Lugia--being nearer to the earth, he knows more of what happens there than I do."

    "So she cried to Lugia..."

    "Bright Lugia, as your watch you keep, From the starry skies, o'er this land of sleep, Look down now, and pity me! Oh! where is my loved one? Where do his footsteps stray? And does he now think of me?"

    "I know nothing about your loved one, princess. But Ho'oh is coming to herald the day, she will surely be able to tell you."

    "The next morning, Ho'oh began her daily flight across the sky, but Princess Miranda waited until Ho'oh was just over the tower, and called..."

    "Oh heart of the world! bright sun! Look on me, in this prison undone! Have pity on me! Oh! where is my loved one? Through what lands do his footsteps stray? And does he now think of me?"

    "Princess Miranda," Jackie explained in a gentle female voice for Ho'oh. "Dry your tears, your lover is on his way to you, from the bottom of the deep sea, from under the coral reefs; he has won the enchanted sapphire ring; when he puts it on his finger, his army will increase by thousands, regiment after regiment, with Ponyta and foot; the drums are beating, the swords gleaming, the flags flying, the arrows whistling, they are bearing down on the empire of Darkrai. But he cannot conquer him by force of mortal weapons alone. I will teach him a surer way; and there is hope that he will be able to rescue you from Darkrai, and save your country. I will hurry to your prince. Farewell."

    Nicely done! Brock smiled from backstage as some in the audience applauded Jackie's skill in juggling so many characters.

    "Ho'oh flew on over a wide country, beyond the deep seas, beyond high mountains, where a young prince named Aidan, who wore a shining helmet, on a gallant Rapidash, was preparing to march against Darkrai." Jackie went on. "He had seen Princess Miranda many times in a dream, and had heard much about her, for her beauty was famous throughout the world."

    "Dismiss your army," she instructed an imagined person as Ho'oh. "No army can conquer Darkrai, no mortal arrow can reach him; only you can only free Princess Miranda by killing him, and how you are to do it, you must learn from the keeper of spellsong, Meloetta. I can only tell you where you will find the Rapidash that will carry you to her. Travel towards the east; you will come to a green meadow, in which there are three oak trees; and among them you will find hidden in the ground an iron door, with a large padlock; behind this door you will find a shining Rapidash, and a sword; this is all I can tell you for now."

    She waited for the applause to quiet before continuing "Now, Prince Aidan was quite surprised at this; but he took off his enchanted sapphire ring and threw it into the sea; and with it all his great army vanished into the mist, leaving no trace behind. He turned to the east and traveled onwards on his own. After three days he came to the green meadow, where he found the three oak trees, and the iron door, as he had been told. It opened into a narrow, crooked stairway, going downwards, leading into a deep dungeon, where he found another iron door, closed by a heavy iron padlock. Behind this he heard a Rapidash neighing, so loudly that it made the door fall to the ground, and at the same moment eleven other doors flew open and there came out a Shining Rapidash, which had been locked there for ages by a wizard, only to be set free in times of great need. Prince Aidan whistled to the Rapidash..."

    Misty's laughter is the loudest as she recognizes Jackie whistling Epona's Song. "The Rapidash tugged at her fastenings, and broke twelve chains by which she had been held. Her eyes were like stars, and her mane burned in sapphire blue flames--to find a Rapidash like her was rare indeed."

    "Prince Aidan!" she called in character as the Rapidash. "I have long waited for such a rider as you, and I am ready to serve you forever and always. Climb on my back, take that sword in your hand, which you see in the sheath by the saddle; you need not fight with it yourself, for it will shoot a beam of light wherever you command it, and beat a whole army. I know the way everywhere; tell me where you want to go, and I will take you there."

    As herself, Jackie continued "Prince Aidan told his new friend, who he named Epona, everything; took the sword of light in his hand, and sprang on her back. They flew over mountains and forests, higher than the flying clouds, over rapid rivers, and deep seas; but when they flew along the ground Epona's light feet never trampled down a blade of grass, nor raised an speck of dust on the sandy soil."

    Jackie savored the enthralled looks on the audience's faces for a moment before continuing "Before sunset Prince Aidan had reached the mystical forest where Meloetta lived. He was amazed at the size and age of the mighty oaks, pine trees and firs, where there reigned a perpetual daylight. And there was absolute silence—not a leaf or a blade of grass stirring; and no living thing, not so much as a Fletchling, or the hum of a bug; only amidst this grave-like stillness the sound of Epona's hoofs. Prince Aidan stopped before a clearing filled with a rainbow of flowers--many of them not seen in the mortal realm."

    The audience gasped in awe as they imagined Meloetta's enchanted garden. "Meloetta was resting inside the huge red rose in the very center of the clearing." Jackie explained. "When she saw him, she asked..."

    "How did you get here, Prince Aidan, where very few living souls have trod?" she asked as Meloetta. Memo to self, ask Brock the secret to his mimicry later.

    As herself, she interjected "Prince Aidan told Meloetta of his quest, and she told him..."

    As Meloetta, she continued "You have undertaken a great and splendid task, so I will tell you how to kill Darkrai. In the great sea, on the island of eternal life, there is an old oak tree; under this tree is buried a pitcher bound with iron; in this pitcher is a Buneary; under the Buneary sits a shining Ducklett; this Ducklett carries within her an egg; and in this egg is Darkrai's soul. Only when the egg is broken will he die."

    "Meloetta also taught Prince Aidan the art of spellsong before he left the forest and came to the shore of the ocean." Jackie continued as herself. "On the beach was a fisherman's net, and in the net was a great Seaking struggling to get out. "Prince Aidan felt sorry for the Seaking so he took the fish out of the net, and threw it into the sea, where it splashed in the water, and vanished. The prince looked over the sea, and saw the island in the grey distance, far, far away; but how was he to get there? He leaned upon his sword, deep in thought."

    Some giggles weny up as Jackie leaned against an imagined sword. "Then Epona told him...

    "Didn't Meloetta tell you that to cross the sea, you need only sing 'Rou iitsa ron selga vichii...'? Try that spell, and hold on tight." she explained as Epona.

    "So the prince sang to the wind..." she narrated.

    In the audience, Misty watched her Mega Ring glow in response to Jackie singing Rou iitsa ron selga vichii...

    ...and held on tight to Epona's thick mane." Jackie went on. "A mighty rushing wind arose, and the sea was somewhat rough; but rider and Rapidash pushed on, through the billows, and at last came to shore on the island of eternal life. The prince turned Epona loose to graze in a meadow, and walked on quickly to a high hill, where grew the old oak tree. No matter how much he pulled at it; the oak resisted all his efforts. But he kept pulling, and the oak fell with a crash to the ground, with its roots sticking up in the air, and there, where they had stood firmly fixed for hundreds of years, was a deep hole."

    Fearful murmurs wafted down the rows, as if the audience expected a monster in the hole. "Looking down he saw the iron-bound pitcher; so Prince Aidan picked it up, broke open the lock with a rock, opened the lid, picked up the Buneary lying in it by its ears; but at that moment the Ducklett, which had been sitting under the Buneary, squawked with alarm, and flew off straight to sea. The prince fired a shot after her; the arrow hit the Ducklett; she gave one loud quack, and fell; but in that same instant the egg fell from her—down to the bottom of the sea. Prince Aidan gave a cry of despair; but just then, the Seaking he had helped before came to the shore, with the egg in its jaws, and left it on the sand." Jackie continued.

    The audience heaved a sigh of relief at this. "The Seaking swam away; but Prince Aidan, taking up the egg, mounted Epona once again; and they swam till they reached Princess Miranda's island, where they saw a great iron wall stretching all around her white marble palace." Jackie continued. "There was only one entrance through this iron wall to the palace, and before this lay the monstrous Hydreigon. Prince Aidan stood on the hill before that gate, and commanded his sword, which also had the ability of becoming invisible, to go and clear his entrance to the palace in a spellsong..."

    She paused to sing Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... making Ash's Mega Ring glow in response. "The sword fell upon the Hydreigon and began to strike his heads with such force, that all his eyes became bloodshot, and he began to hiss fiercely; he shook his three heads, and stretched wide his three horrid jaws; he spread out his forest of claws; but this didn't help at all, the sword kept on battering him with beams of light, moving about so fast, that not a single head escaped, but could only hiss, groan, and shriek wildly! Now it had given a thousand blows, the blood gushed from a thousand wounds, and there was no help for the Hydreigon; he raged, writhed about, and shrieked in despair; finally, as blow followed blow, and he could not see who gave them, he gnashed his teeth, spat out rivers of flame, and even turned his claws upon himself, plunging them deep into his own flesh, struggled, writhed, twisted himself round, and in and out; his blood flowed freely from his wounds...until it finally died with exhaustion."

    The auditorium exploded in wild cheers at this. "Prince Aidan, meanwhile, went into the courtyard of the palace, put Epona into the stable, and went up a winding stairwell, towards the tower." Jackie continued. "Princess Miranda was elated, and told him..."

    "Welcome, Prince Aidan! I saw how you disposed of the Hydreigon; but do be careful, for my enemy, Darkrai, is in this palace; he is most powerful, both through his own strength, and through his dark magic; and if he kills you, I don't know what I will do." she smiled as Princess Miranda.

    "Princess Miranda, don't worry about me. I have the life of Darkrai in this egg." she assured the audience as Prince Aidan.

    Then she sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... again, making Ash's Mega Ring glow.

    Jackie went on "The sword heard Aidan's spellsong, broke down the iron doors, and attacked Darkrai; it smote him on the neck with many beams of light, until he crouched all together. The sparks flew from his eyes, and there was a noise of so many beams in his ears. If he had been an ordinary mortal it would have been all over in seconds; as it was, he was horribly tormented, and puzzled—feeling all these blows and hearing the beams of light, and never seeing where they came from. He sprang about, raved, and raged, till the whole island resounded with his roaring. Finally, he worked up the strength to look through the window, and there he saw Prince Aidan. He flew out into the courtyard, to rush straight at him, and beat him to a pulp!"

    The audience held their breaths as Jackie continued. "But Prince Aidan held the egg in one hand; and he squeezed it so hard, that the shell cracked and the yolk and the white were all spilled together ... and Darkrai fell dead right there!"

    Even Brock can help applauding from backstage as the audience cheers Darkrai's demise. Keep it up, Jackie! You're doing great!

    "With Darkrai gone, all his spells were broken." Jackie continued when the applause quieted. "All the people in the island woke up, and began to stir, having no memory of what had happened. The soldiers woke from sleep, and the drums began to roll and the trumpets sounded; they formed their ranks and began to march towards the palace. In the palace there was great joy; for Princess Miranda came towards Prince Aidan, gave him her hand, and thanked him warmly. They went to the throne room, and following the princess's example, her twelve maids paired off with twelve young officers of the army, and the couples grouped themselves round the throne, on which the prince and princess were sitting. They summoned the royal priest, and were married right then and there."

    She concluded "After the wedding there was a feast, dancing, and music. For all I know, the celebration is still going on even today."

    The auditorium exploded in cheers as Jackie took a bow. But no one was prouder than Brock as he applauded. Way to go, Jackie! Your road to Lore Stage glory starts now!
     
    Faded Autumn likes this.
  3. WavePearl

    Sparkle
    (Alolan Vulpix)
    Level 4
    Joined:
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    Episode 2: Stories of the Stage

    The mood inside the Silver Moon Diner was festive as Ash, Misty, and Serena joined Brock and Jackie in celebrating Jackie's victory in the Lore Stage. "You've just won your first Lore Stage....what you gonna do next?" Brock smiled as a huge appetizer sampler platter arrived for the group to enjoy.

    "Before we go to Worlds of Fantasy?" Jackie smiled back. "Make it to the Grand Lore Stage, and win that--taking in as much theater as we can and playing a lot of mini golf along the way."

    The others laughed in agreement. "At any rate, well done on your first victory." Misty smiled.

    "We'll discuss what we can do better for next time later--for tonight, let's celebrate." Brock agreed.

    "To Jackie going all the way to the Grand Lore Stage!" Serena cheered, holding a soda bottle high.

    "To going all the way to the Grand Lore Stage!" Jackie and the others cheered in reply as five soda bottles clanked together.

    "As promised, we'll tell you some of our greatest--and not so greatest--moments onstage." Brock began. "You're welcome to contribute your own tales, too."

    "I'll kick it off with a favorite of mine..." Ash suggested. "Writing our own adaptation of a Moltres tale, and then seeing it performed."

    "Yeah, I don't think anyone will forget the premiere of 'The Ten Jewels of the Phoenix' anytime soon." Serena agreed. "I'm honored that it's a favorite play for high schools to perform."

    "We wrote it with adaptation in mind..." Misty explained. "So even a talented middle school, or elementary school, could do it."

    "Sounds amazing!" Jackie smiled in between bites of a potato skin. "Got any video of a performance?"

    "We've gotten pictures, and video highlight reels, but no full performances yet." Brock replied before taking an onion ring. "We've even been invited to a few live performances, but no cameras were allowed."

    "If we do get a video of a full performance, we'll all watch it together." Serena assured Jackie.

    She went on "I don't have any one single moment that stands out more than one specific role--Kitsune the Delphox.

    "You do make a great Kitsune." Jackie smiled. "What's your secret?"

    "There is no big secret--I just do my best to convey both her playfulness and her wisdom." Serena replied. "She is both a trickster and a guide in many tales, so there's no rule saying you can't have fun with a mentor or guide role."

    "Three words for my all time favorite: The Three Musketeers." Misty smiled.

    "One of mine, as well." Brock agreed. "I would play Eliwood of the Forest Green many times over!"

    "I've seen the scene when you shoot an arrow to announce your presence to the bandits bothering Diana." Jackie smiled. "How did you do that?"

    "Every weapon we use onstage is just a prop, but it's treated like a real weapon--very carefully." Brock replied. "Just like you rehearse a sword fight, an archer character has to rehearse arrow shots."

    "But what if your character can't use his bow?" Jackie wondered.

    "If archery is not practical for a scene, I have sword training too." Brock explained. "So my blade is a backup when using a bow is too dangerous. In the case of the Diana rescue, they mark where I am supposed to hit with an X, then remove the X once I can hit that spot accurately and safely."

    "As far as not-so-great shows go, remember that performance of 'Snow White' that almost didn't happen?" Serena asked.

    "Yeah--the worst part was having to deal with a prima donna that was rejected as the Evil Queen even after being told many times over that the role was not a good fit for her." Brock remembered. "At least for me, the Evil Queen works best as a sly and cunning villain. But I will say Misty and the original Disney movie are the only two over the top queens that work."

    "I will admit I studied the Disney version a little for my version, but I never try to outright copy a performance of the past." Misty smiled. "I may study those that did the role well for ideas and inspiration, but always try to put my own stamp on the role."

    "Wise advice." Jackie grinned. "It also helps to look at those who did the role badly--so you know what not to do."

    Everyone laughed in agreement. "Speaking of bad stage memories, the worst one I remember was that one play about the unicorn..." Misty went on. "You never even saw the unicorn at all until the very end! The audience didn't like that, and it didn't help the story was the most generic 'unfaithful elder brothers and faithful youngest brother' story ever."

    "Let us never speak of that play again..." Brock deadpanned in his best "dramatic announcer" voice.

    Jackie grinned at her mentor's impression. "Well, one of my worst stage memories is the time we tried--key word here is 'tried'--to put on a version of 'Aladdin'. This was a golden opportunity to build on the Disney version and really make Jasmine shine--but instead, in the traditional version we put on, Jasmine stupidly gives the magic lamp to Jafar. It didn't help that our genie hologram was never able to work, and the person voicing him just repeated 'I hear and obey, Master'. Where was the banter? Some repartee? I mean, you obviously don't wanna copy the Disney version, but there was missed potential in our genie.

    "I think we used what you put on as a starting point for our own adaptation of the story." Ash remembered. "In our version, Jasmine is the strong princess she was always meant to be--she's actively working to escape at the same time Aladdin and the genie are coming to save her."

    "She makes good on her vow that she is not a prize to be won." Misty agreed.

    "Our genie is a live actor, not a hologram or image." Brock went on. "He actually has a name in our version--Massan the Joyous.

    "I bet that means he sings a lot..." Jackie smiled.

    Brock nodded. "I have a unique set of jokes every performance--and I keep track of what jokes go over well, and what falls flat. So it's never the exact same show twice."

    "Sounds amazing!" Jackie smiled as the waiter cleared away hers and Ash's plates. "I hope I get a chance to see it one day!"
     
  4. WavePearl

    Sparkle
    (Alolan Vulpix)
    Level 4
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    Episode 3: A Tale Before Teeing Off


    "That was so much fun!" I smiled as I met Brock at Cafe Festiva for a day of coffee, music, and mini golf--the reward I'd promised myself if I did well in he Lore Stage. "Will Ash and the girls be there every time I go onstage?"

    "I can't guarantee every time, but if you're about to hit a milestone, in the Pokémon League, or the competition's taking place in the area, they'll be there." Brock explained as he emerged on the terrace with a frozen Minty Mocha Magic for me and a frozen Caramel Praline Power for him. "We'll actually be going backwards on the Indigo Trail for your next competition--Pallet's historic New River Theater."

    "I remember Ash telling me that...and there's a Tawame theater you guys started there." I smiled before sipping my drink. "I wonder if I can see you perform a Tawame play while I'm in the area..."

    "The Kagayou Theater." Brock replied. "As the founders and leaders of the top troupe--the Niji Troupe--we do perform there. But at the moment, the Akai Troupe is in the process of rehearsing 'The Witch-killing Blade'.

    "That sounds exciting--could you tell me the basic plot?" I asked. "So I can potentially tell it in a future Lore Stage?"

    "Sure..." Brock smiled before starting the story. "Once upon a time, the people of the Aiiro City--what is today Indigo Plateau--were terrified. Many refused to leave their houses, they were so afraid."

    "What was it that scared them?" I asked, nervously sipping my drink. I don't know if it was the caffeine or Brock's skill, but now I feared for these ancient people.

    Brock grinned as he noticed my look of fear and interest. "Why were they so frightened, you ask? A fearsome witch had taken over the tower that overlooked the city gate. She was capable of locking the gate in the face of travelers bringing food and goods to sell, or throwing it wide open to rogues, troublemakers, and invaders from far and wide. Many brave samurai, the ancient warriors of Kanto, had tried to battle the witch, but the moment she saw them, she hurled herself out of the tower, ghostly white hair flying in the wind, screeching furiously and brandishing a fiery sword that was no match for their mighty katanas. It seemed as if there was no hope for the Aiiro City, and many people began to think of leaving."

    "That must've been one powerful blade if it could beat a katana!" I gasped.

    I shuddered as I pictured one of the many katanas on display in the museum shattering before a burning sword. "So was there any way to defeat this monster?"

    "But those townsfolk that remained never lost hope." Brock reminded me. "While they knew that many brave warriors had fallen to the cursed blade, they remembered the exploits of the hero Watanabe--the hero of the ancient novel 'The Swordsman's Tale'. The novel was based on the life of a real person, who the townsfolk were thinking about."

    "I see..." I replied. The tale was getting interesting, to the point where those seated around us were listening to Brock tell. "Was Watanabe alive when this tale took place?"

    Brock sighed. "Sadly, Watanabe had joined Arceus in heaven long before this tale took place. But even though the swordsman was gone, his iconic katana, Tenken, remained. However, no one in the city knew how to use it."

    He quickly assured me and the other patrons listening "However, the katana was not all that remained of valiant Watanabe, there was also his son Teruki, who was a young boy at the time our story takes place."

    Excited murmurs filled the air at this. "When Teruki heard what the people were saying, he wondered..." Brock paused to assume a thoughtful pose, as if he was Teruki in thought. "My father has joined Arceus in heaven. He died fighting for our sake, but we still have his katana. I will take it and face the witch. Win or lose, I will write my own chapter of my father's legacy."

    "And then? And then?" some children begged.

    "And so, Teruki armed himself with Tenken, and set off for the tower." Brock went on, clearly enjoying people's reactions to the ancient tale. "The witch saw him arrive; but she did not make a move. She wouldn't even bother using her fiery sword on the youngster. Instead, she would wither him with a glance."

    The terrace was silent as Brock's impromptu audience held their breaths for what Brock was about to describe. "She paid no heed to Teruki as he crept into the tower, climbed the stairs without making a sound, and entered the witch's room." Brock intoned. "When the witch heard the door close, she turned around to burn the boy with the powerful magical light emanating from her eyes... but the splendor of Tenken blinded her!"

    Cheers went up as Brock proclaimed in a mimic of Ash "Behold the sword of Watanabe, Tenken! Its name means 'divine judgment'...the same divine judgement that now comes upon you!"

    He made a dramatic stab at the air with a fork. "Before the witch could react, Teruki cut her down in one slash." he concluded. "Teruki was hailed a hero, and the tale of his courage and bravery spread all across the world..."

    He looked around at his enthralled audience. "...where I have now told it to all of you."

    The terrace exploded in thunderous applause at the tale's end. "Wow!" I raved as I applauded. "That should make an amazing play!"

    "The biggest difference between that and our script is Teruki has a little farther to go, and some magic items to find in order to earn the right to wield Tenken." Brock explained. "But I'm not spoiling the play--you'll find out what that entails when we get to Pallet Town and the Kagayou."

    "I can't wait!" I smiled before noticing the waitress approaching with two slices of chocolate pound cake. "Oh!"

    "Here, have a treat on us as thanks for a well told tale." the waitress replied as she set the small plates before us.

    "Thanks!" I called back before digging in to my share.

    "My pleasure." Brock replied before he too took a bite of his cake. "So, which course do you want to play when we get to Jewel Mountain?" he asked.

    "Okay with trying out the new Emerald course?" I asked.

    "Good idea...haven't played that one yet." Brock suggested. "If time permits, we may play one of the others too. For now, let's celebrate just being out on the town as friends."
     

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