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Pokemon: The Song of Jewels

Discussion in 'Literature Library' started by WavePearl, Jan 3, 2013.

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  1. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Episode 41: "A sister's love! The miracle evolution!"


    "Why? Why????????????????" Aika cried in frustration as she read the account of their defeat inside the Mt. Taka caves that the computer had generated. "Why have we constantly been defeated at the hands of the spellsingers?"

    The remaining three admins dashed into the room, concerned. "Maybe we're going at this all wrong, boss..." a black haired male admin suggested. "What if, instead of going to them, where they will inevitably be warned about our coming, we get them to come to us?"

    "Go on..." Aika pressed the admin further, a grin forming on her face as she led the way into the planning room--or as the admins affectionately called it, "the war room" because of the many maps and security feeds displayed in the room.

    A female admin reached for a sheet of paper. "We all know you want the traitor..." she explained, gesturing to an old picture of Hibiki by the base security control panel. "And the spellsingers probably have at least one Pokémon they love very much." She drew a Pikachu as an example Pokémon. "If we were to catch this Pokémon, and demand the traitor in exchange..."

    "Wonderful idea!" Aika grinned. "We'll kill two Pidgeys with one stone--we take back the traitor, and then silence Squinty-eyes and Redhead!"

    "But what if they try to strike back?" another male admin interjected.

    "Then I can send Exploud at them." Aika replied. "I don't think any of their Pokémon would stand a chance against him."

    "Once again, the boss thinks of everything..." the female admin grinned as she got up from the table. "I'll dispatch a stealth team to their camp..."

    "I'll write the ransom note telling them to come here." a male admin volunteered before going to work clipping letters from some magazines.

    Aika smiled, pleased at the flurry of activity in the war room. Soon, spellsingers, your power will be gone forever, and there will be no one left to stop us from tearing this world apart!

    The next day....

    [WENDYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!] Satomi screeched as she darted into her master's tent. [Wake up! WakeupWakeupWake uuuuuuuuuuuup!]

    "mrrgh...what's the matter, Satomi?" Wendy yawned as she groggily woke up.

    [Raku's gone!] Satomi breathlessly explained. [I heart some rustling last night, and when I looked to see what it was, Raku was gone, and one of those magazine letter notes was in his place!]

    "Magazine letter notes? Like a ransom note in a mystery movie?" Wendy asked as she climbed from her sleeping bag.

    [Yeah!] Satomi replied. [Come look!]

    "I'm coming..." After getting dressed, Wendy hurried outside to the remains of their campfire, where Brock was studying a piece of paper by Raku's typical spot.

    "Okay...it says 'If you want to see your Eevee again, bring the traitor to the hidden grotto in the woods. If the exchange goes peacefully, no one gets hurt.'" Brock explained. "Judging from the mention of 'the traitor' in here, this is probably Team Elegy demanding Hibiki back...."

    "They can threaten me all they want, but I am NOT going back!" Hibiki snapped.

    "And they didn't have to go so low as to Eevee-nap Raku!" Wendy agreed as angry tears formed in her eyes.

    "I know the place the note describes--one of our hidden bases." Hibiki explained, calming Wendy down a little. "Thing is, if we're gonna try a rescue mission, the problem is how to bypass all the traps and security."

    "What if I were the one to go find Raku while you guys battle?" Brock suggested.

    Hibiki smiled. "That's a good idea--fool Team Elegy into thinking they're getting what they wanted, and then surprise them!"

    She added as an aside "The boss usually thinks of just about anything that could possibly happen, but I bet she didn't think we'd pull a bait and switch rescue!"

    Nervous giggles went up in agreement as Hibiki reached for a piece of paper and drew the base as best as she could remember, marking every possible place Raku could have been taken. "Okay, while Wendy and I deal with Aika and the admins, you can start down this hallway here...."

    Later, at the Team Elegy base...

    Aika gasped when she found Brock, Wendy, and Hibiki arriving at the base entrance. "What a surprise! I didn't expect you to respond to my message so quickly..." she grinned.

    "We have two conditions before we turn Hibiki over..." Brock told Aika. "Allow me the chance to find where our Eevee is being held..."

    "...and second..." Wendy drew her blade. "Defeat us in a battle to decide who is worthy to have Hibiki!"

    "Just when I thought we'd have a peaceful solution to a matter..." Aika grumbled before taking a Poké Ball. "All right, if you want to fight, so be it. "But I won't be going down that easily!" With that, she heaved the Poké Ball to the ground, revealing an Exploud alongside two Boldores two of the admins had summoned.

    Mizuchi led the charge to battle as Wendy delivered a hard gash to the hole-filled mammalian Pokémon. [Now's your chance, Brock! Go! Go! Go!] she called before the Exploud howled in pain.

    [Hah!] Terra flung some dirt in the Exploud's face, buying Wendy time to deliver another blow.

    The girls, didn't expect to be thrown back from the force of the Exploud's Hyper Voice. "Ow..." Hibiki winced as she tried to get up.

    "You're lucky we didn't hit the rocks..." Wendy agreed as she gingerly eased herself to her feet.

    "Rocks or no rocks, this still hurts." Hibiki mused as she too tried to get up.

    She gasped as the two Boldores heaved a flurry of rocks in their direction. "Just because we didn't hit the natural rocks doesn't mean we will get hit!" With that, the group hurried out of the way as more rocks rained on the forest floor.

    [I'll get the Exploud!] Hinata volunteered before firing a Flamethrower attack, making the Exploud howl even more in pain.

    [Incoming!] Mizuchi called as a large wave engulfed the two Boldores, leaving only the Exploud standing.

    Satomi watched as the admins summoned two other Boldores, making Wendy's next attack useless. I have to do something--my brother needs help, and Brock may be in trouble too! Wendy always tells me that siblings always help each other, so I'm gonna help save my brother, or die trying!

    With that, she ran as fast as she could towards a small hole at the entrance of the base, [I'm coming, Raku!!!!]

    Hibiki heard Satomi's cry as she again struggled to stand and gasped in awe as the running Eevee started to glow. "I don't believe it...Satomi's evolving!"

    "Huh?" Wendy turned to look and gasped when she saw the distinct lavender fur and divided tail of an Espeon staring down the Exploud. "No way!!! It IS Satomi!"

    The Boldores tried to heave more rocks, but her new psychic abilities told Satomi where each one would land, allowing her to dodge them all as she headbutted the Exploud. [Missed me, you windbag!]

    "Hibiki, can you sing a spell to protect Satomi?" Wendy asked. "She may be evolved, but I'm afraid an Exploud may be too much for her this soon."

    "Here goes..." With that, Hibiki sang Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... surrounding Satomi in a bright red aura.

    The spell also powered up Wendy's blade, allowing her to fire an Ice Beam at the Boldore closest to her. She then heard Hibiki sing Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul... again, making the same shield appear around both of them, and the other Pokémon that were out on the battlefield.

    [Thanks, Hibiki!] Terra called as she dodged a rock.

    "Satomi may be on the front lines, but the rest of you deserve some protection too." Hibiki smiled. "Hopefully this will allow us to hold out until Brock ret-!"

    That was as far as she got before the Exploud howled again, sending the smaller Pokémon flying several inches backwards. But Satomi seemed unfazed as more Boldore rocks rained around her. [You can't keep a good mon down!] she taunted.

    "Can you sense where Brock is?" Hibiki asked.

    Satomi was about to answer when an arrow whizzed over her head, impaling one of the Roggenrolas that were coming to join the fight. "Miss me?" Brock grinned as he hurried to assess Raku and the other Pokémon.

    "While you were inside looking for Raku, Satomi evolved!" Wendy reported.

    [And now for my next trick...] Satomi smiled before firing a Psybeam from the ruby on her forehead, which finally make the Exploud succumb to the wave of rainbow light.

    "We're done here!" Hibiki agreed as the Boldores, seeing that their leader had fallen, fled in panic. "Retreat!" With that, everyone fled, oblivious to Aika's cry of revenge booming through the forest: "You'll pay for this, spellsingers! I will catch you if it's the last thing I do!"

    ---------

    "Good news--Raku's none the worse for wear after his ordeal." Brock reported as the group had dinner around the campfire that evening.

    "The real hero is Satomi." Hibiki explained. "Her anger and her love for her brother made her evolve."

    Wendy looked over at Satomi. "You did a very brave thing today, but I wonder--why did you just run into the thick of battle?

    [You've always told us that siblings help each other--and I couldn't just sit back and watch knowing Raku was in danger.] Satomi explained. [I evolved because I love him.]

    [You evolved for me?] Raku gasped. [Th-thank you!]

    Inspired, Brock raised his soda can as if it was a wine glass. "A toast! To Satomi--today's real hero!"

    "To Satomi!" the girls agreed as three soda cans clanked together to kick off the night's festivities....
     
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  2. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Episode 42: "The lights of Akari City! Melanie, the song echoing in the night!"


    "We're almost to Akari City..." Brock noted as he consulted the map. "It goes without saying that Hibiki's singing the awakening song was a loud and clear indication she wanted to come with us...."

    "If only to atone for my past." Hibiki smiled as she petted Fuka.

    "D-d-do you have any suggestions for a tight throat?" Wendy stammered. "I'm simultaneously excited and nervous for my first PokeTheater audition..."

    "Well..." Brock thought for a moment. "One way to relieve a tight throat and improve your speaking at the same time is to sing nonsense...."

    "Nonsense?" Wendy was intrigued.

    "Like scat singing or that one polka song Vocaloids sing?" Hibiki wondered.

    Brock smiled. "Exactly--whatever it is you sing, try to enunciate your words--this forces your throat to open up. If you're not in a place where you can sing, then just speak the words."

    Wendy pictured Brock as a Vocaloid singing the Ievan Polkka and giggled. "I'm sorry, this mental image of you as a Vocaloid is just too funny!"

    "I'd love to hear you sing that--or at least the part all the Vocaloids sing." Hibiki agreed.

    "Believe it or not, Ievan is actually one of my favorite quick vocal warmups." Brock told the girls as he fished his pitch pipe from one pocket.

    After blowing an A note to establish the key he would be performing in, Brock started singing the gibberish melody: Anat za za, aridavi deen lava itsplan den lan den lan do, lava ii pa pa, bari bari bala rilibilibi liku len den lan do lava rin lan ten lan day alo, barala lavalava lukuluku dayavu, a rin lan ten lan den lan do barala katakata kutukutu deyavu.

    [Bravo!] Raku cheered as the girls applauded.

    "Maybe I ought to try that...." Wendy mused as the three friends walked through the route gate and onto the bustling streets. "Anat za za, aridavi deen lava itsplan den lan den lan do..." she repeated to herself as they walked down the crowded sidewalk, being careful not to jostle anyone in the crowd of people frantically rushing to one place or another.

    "Wow..." Hibiki, meanwhile, was awed at all the glittering lights on the buildings and the headlights of traffic. "I've never been in a city this big before--usually I'd be stuck back at one base or another."

    "Well, what would you like to do first?" Brock asked as the group stepped on a sidewalk and rounded a corner to a park--one of the few spots of quiet amid the glittering chaos of the city.

    Dreams to dream, in the dark of the night.... came a hauntingly beautiful voice. When the world goes wrong, I can still make it right...

    Brock froze. I know this song....I heard it in a movie once... he thought as he followed the voice in hopes of finding the singer.

    "Are you okay?" Hibiki asked, concerned at Brock's near trance-like state as he checked in bushes and behind trees along the pathway, in hopes the mysterious singer was behind one.

    "Sh!" Brock quietly shushed Hibiki. "Try and help me figure out who's singing and where it's coming from." Hibiki nodded as she held Fuka in her arms.

    It wasn't until the group arrived at a large square, where all the park's paths seemed to converge, that they found the singer. A long haired girl was also present, dancing around the park benches, flowerpots and the Milotic fountain in the square's center as she sang the haunting melody:

    I can see so far in my dreams
    I'll follow my dreams
    Until they come true....

    Come with me, you will see what I mean,
    she continued as she swayed past a flower pot.
    There's a world inside no one else ever sees.
    You will go so far in my dreams,
    Somewhere in my dreams,
    Your dreams will come true....

    There is a star waiting to guide us,
    she sang as she skipped past the fountain, oblivious to Brock approaching her.
    Shining inside us when we close our eyes!

    Don't let go, if you stay close to me!
    the girl sang as she and Brock waltzed across the grey cobblestones.
    In my dreams tonight, you will see what I see
    Dreams to dream, as near as can be
    Inside you and me, that always come true,
    Inside you and me, that always come true.


    It wasn't until the girl heard Wendy and Hibiki applauding that she realized she had a dance partner. "Oh! Thanks for the waltz..." she giggled, a little embarrassed she had been discovered.

    "My pleasure...I just heard you singing and wondered who it was..." Brock nervously replied, trying oh-so-hard to resist the urge to profess his love for the girl--or specifically, her voice. "I-in return for th-that lovely song...may...may I have the honor of singing for you, my lovely Fletchling?" he blurted in romantic euphoria.

    The girl stifled a giggle at the lovesick traveler before her. "You wanna sing for me? Okay then...lets hear it."

    Okay, copy of 'La donna e mobile' in the music player...here's hoping the ol' opera ruse works! Brock grinned before putting on some headphones, setting his music to play through the speakers and his headphones, pressing PLAY on his Match Call, and hiding it in his pocket.

    When the familiar melody started, he sauntered towards the girl before lip syncing to the existing tenor's Italian. La donna è mobile
    Qual piuma al vento,
    muta d'accento
    e di pensiero.

    Sempre un amabile,
    leggiadro viso,
    in pianto o in riso,
    è menzognero....


    "Is he actually singing?" Hibiki gasped, impressed that Brock could seemingly sing opera with no formal training.

    "Nope--he's lipsyncing..." Wendy sighed as Brock continued cavorting about the square, lost in his "aria".

    The girl, on the other hand, seemed to notice where Brock was receiving his operatic skill--the Match Call wire snaking from his pocket. "Sorry, Caruso, but lipsyncing won't get you anywhere in this town!" she smirked as she unplugged the headphones, silencing Brock's performance.

    "Oh Brock, did you really have to lipsync opera?" Wendy giggled as she and Hibiki joined Brock on the square.

    "Brock, huh?" the girl grinned, pleased to finally learn her partner's name. "Name's Melanie--Gym Leader by day, a cappella singer by night."

    "No way!" Wendy gasped. "THE Melanie? Leader of the Starlites?"

    "The one and only!" Melanie grinned. "I'm honored you would trek all this way to our humble corner of Minami..."

    "Well, I come from Kanto, up north..." Brock explained. "But I came down here for a bit of a walking tour of a region I've never been to...and before you ask, yes, I can really sing--I'm actually asked to do hundreds of shows all over the world..."

    "Well, if you're gonna sing for me, I wanna hear your real voice." Melanie cautioned. "No lip syncing, no AutoTune, no trickery--just your natural voice, simple as that."

    She then noticed the girls. "And who might your two traveling companions be?"

    "This is Wendy, aspiring actress..." Brock explained as Wendy waved hello. "and this is Hibiki, breeder in training." Hibiki shyly waved hello while still trying to cradle Fuka in her arms.

    "Nice to meet you all." Melanie grinned. "Since you're here, howsabout a tour of some of Akari's best known landmarks, so you can get your bearings in all this hustle and bustle?"

    "We would love to!" Hibiki replied. Fuka squeaked in agreement.

    "I would be honored." Brock smiled. Wendy grinned in agreement.

    "All right, if you'll follow me to the park entrance, we'll catch one of the buses." Melanie began as she led the way down one of the paths leading out of the square....
     
  3. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Episode 43: "The master teacher! Hibiki's welcome gift!"


    "And over on your left is our own PokeTheater." Melanie paused to point out a majestic castle-like building with a marquee as the bus went past the town square. "Currently, they're preparing to open auditions for 'Falco Dolan and the Case of the Persian's Eye'."

    "Wow!" Wendy gasped, awed at the building's size.

    "Just think--as soon as tomorrow, you and I will be auditioning in there for your first role." Brock grinned at Wendy.

    "You'd make a great Falco, I know that much." Wendy smiled back. "Although I've always wanted to be Joanna..."

    "Who's she?" Hibiki was interested.

    "She is Falco's partner and assistant." Wendy explained. "Sometimes she'll come up with an intriguing solution that Falco didn't think of."

    "I've read a few of those stories--sometimes the solution to the mystery comes way out of left field." Hibiki smiled. "My favorite has always been 'The Case of the Book of Secrets'

    "Never read that one--what's it about?" Melanie was intrigued. "Try not to spoil how the mystery is solved."

    "Okay...it starts in a bar, and a lot of robberies have taken place on the street where the bar is." Hibiki explained. "Just then, one of the Young Fletchinders--the kids that serve as Falco's informants around the city--brings in a mysterious man she found wandering the street. The barkeep and the waitresses believe this guy is the robber terrorizing the city. The police arrest him..."

    "Wait--where does Falco come into play?" Wendy asked.

    "I'm getting to Falco and Joanna." Hibiki assured Wendy. "Just as the police are closing in, they find the guy has been mysteriously killed. Meanwhile, at Dolan Manor, Falco and Joanna learn of the case thanks to a TV report, and even the Pokémon Investigation Corps is involved..."

    "Sounds pretty exciting..." Melanie grinned. "I'll have to hunt down a copy at the library." She then pointed out a festively decorated neon lit building with the Gym insignia prominently displayed. "Right there is where I perform concerts and battles daily--so come on by if you like."

    "We'd love to come hear you and the Starlites perform." Hibiki smiled as the foursome got off the bus at the Pokémon Center stop.

    "Well, to welcome you to town, I have a little gift..." Melanie smiled as she led the group inside the Pokémon Center and to an open guest room, where she made a grand gesture to a guitar case on one of the beds. "I've been saving this new instrument to give to someone worthy enough to take care of it and play it well."

    "May I have it?" Hibiki gasped, stars in her eyes. "I've always wanted to learn guitar!"

    "I'll be happy to teach you, too." Brock told Hibiki.

    "When do we start?" Hibiki grinned before hugging Melanie. "Thank you so much! I'll take extra good care of it and play it as often as I can!"

    ---------

    "Okay, next question--how DO you play this?" Hibiki wondered as she studied the beautiful black acoustic guitar in her hands. Brock had finished explaining to her the parts of a guitar, how to sit properly, and how to hold the instrument properly.

    "Well, before we sit down and play ANYTHING, we're going to learn to tune your instrument." Brock explained before retrieving his own guitar. "I'll show you how to do it with mine, then help you tune yours. The more you do it--and you should tune every time before you start--the easier it gets. Since I play a lot, I'm usually tuned in about 30 seconds."

    "Wow!" Hibiki was impressed. She watched carefully as Brock went to work tuning up.

    Once satisfied his instrument was in tune, Brock went on. "Okay--to start tuning, you'll need a reference note--this can be a piano, a pitch pipe, another guitar that is in tune, or even a MIDI file of an E note."

    Hibiki's quizzical look spurred him to continue. "Okay--picture a piano in your head..."

    "Got it." Hibiki replied, closing her eyes.

    "You know where middle C is, right?" Brock continued.

    "The C key by the company name." Hibiki smiled.

    "The specific E note we need is the E below middle C." Brock continued.

    She's learning pretty quickly... Wendy grinned as she watched Brock walk Hibiki through the tuning process, then her first scale exercise. I can tell she's itching to learn some chords and songs!

    ---------

    "Okay, so I have some chords down, and some easy songs, but how do you sing and play at the same time?" Hibiki wondered. "You make it look so easy around the campfire..."

    "Hate to break it to you, but it's not as easy as it looks." Brock cautioned. "In actuality, I'm doing three things at once--one hand's strumming, the other is playing the chords, and my mouth is singing. It sounds complex, yes, but it's not impossible for an absolute beginner."

    He then told Hibiki "Just think of the first nice sounding chord progression using G, C, and D, and start there."

    Hm... After reminding herself of each chord's fingerings, Hibiki started a slow, yet hesitant melody.

    So far so good... Brock smiled as he reached for the TV remote. "Okay...I like the little melody you're playing..."

    "Thanks..." Hibiki smiled as she played.

    "Now...can you keep that melody going and watch TV at the same time?" Brock challenged, turning on a TV near Hibiki's chair, where a soap opera was just beginning.

    "That's pretty clever--teaching her to do something else while she's playing." Wendy noted before hearing a twang that indicated Hibiki had tripped over a note.

    "The purpose of that exercise is to develop independence--something that's very important if she wants to play and sing." Brock reminded Wendy before noticing Hibiki's glum face. "Hey...I know that all we've learned sounds like a lot to remember, and it won't always be easy....but just keep at it, okay?"

    "Okay..." Hibiki replied. "I made a promise to Melanie I would practice as often as I could, and I intend to do that. You're actually a good teacher too."

    "Well, if I'm going too quickly for you, or if there's a song you really want to learn, I'll teach you." Brock assured Hibiki. "You did very well for your first day--our next lesson will be the same time tomorrow."

    "Okay!" Hibiki smiled before putting her instrument away and cuddling Fuka. Thank you, Melanie--you've made one of my biggest dreams come true!
     
  4. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Episode 44: "A lucky accident! My bright silver star!"


    "This is it--your first audition for the PokeTheater." Brock grinned as Wendy woke up. "How do you feel?"

    "A little nervous..." Wendy replied as she climbed from the bed. "I DO know what our audition act is gonna be--remember that melody you played to go with the lyrics I wrote when you first arrived?"

    "What about it?" Brock asked, piqued.

    "After seeing how well you can waltz last night, I thought 'Why not have the two of us waltz to that melody'? Wendy explained. "If only I had thought to record you playing it before!"

    "Melanie told us that there's a recording studio by the theater, which has a resident band that records background music." Hibiki suggested as she waited for Fuka's bathtub to fill. "Maybe you can ask them to--" This was as far as she got before Fuka dove in the tub with a splash, which splattered water on the floor and Hibiki.

    Brock tried oh-so hard not to laugh at Fuka's confident smile. "That was pretty cool, but the bathtub isn't the best place to do trick jumps off the high dive." he explained as he mopped up the puddles dotting the floor.

    Memo to self: find a swimming pool somewhere. Hibiki reminded herself. Then I can give Fuka swimming lessons.

    She then composed herself and continued as she gently lathered soap on the tiny yellow mouse's fur. "As I was saying before Fuka decided he was Pokémon Diving Champion, maybe you can ask the resident band in the studio if they'll record the music for you guys to dance to."

    "I did remember to pack a blank CD or two just in case we ran into this problem..." Wendy assured Hibiki. "Although considering what we've been through the last few days, forgetting to record music for a dance is child's play."

    Hibiki, meanwhile, gently coaxed Fuka to swim to her. "You two would be great partners." she smiled as she rinsed Fuka.

    Later that afternoon...

    Some sniffles jarred Brock and Hibiki from the day's guitar lesson. "What happened?" Hibiki asked as Wendy arrived in the room, tears streaming down her face.

    The ruby on Satomi's forehead glowed for a moment as the Espeon read her master's emotions. [Apparently Wendy forgot to specify what kind of music she wanted performed, and now she has this goofy pop song with bagpipes.]

    "A pop song with bagpipes?" Brock winced at the thought, yet he tensely inserted the CD in the CD player, just to see if what Wendy described was true or not.

    The blaring melody startled Fuka, making him cry. "Okay, okay, I'll turn it off!" Brock assured the squalling Pichu as he shut the CD player off, silencing the loud bouncy song accented with bagpipes.

    Wendy stifled a giggle through her tears. "Well, we can add bagpipes to the list of things Fuka doesn't like..."

    "Up there with shots, thunderstorms, earthquakes and Houndooms." Hibiki agreed as she set her guitar aside and consoled Fuka. "It's okay...we turned that noisy music off..."

    Then an idea came to her. "You know, this may not be a total loss..."

    "It's not?" Wendy asked as she dried the last of her tears.

    "The lyrics may still work, and you can still dance..." Hibiki explained. "I'm gonna have to turn that noisy music back on for a minute, okay?" she assured Fuka.

    Fuka, meanwhile, darted over to an open drawer and emerged with a pair of earplugs in his ears. [Well, that's one way to block annoying music...] Hinata noted as Fuka ran into Brock's hands.

    Hibiki, meanwhile, pressed PLAY on the CD player, then did a few light jumps in time to the song's introduction. Then she kicked up her heels in time to the music, making Wendy stifle a giggle. High in the sky is a secret so sweet and a star that is glistening for a moment... she sang. Twinkling in his eyes is a fleeting small memory that his heart and mine, finally intertwined...This thing called love doesn't make any sense, I feel like I am floating up in the blue sky. His love surprised me, as we traveled through the sky and my heart dreams of him, every night and day...

    A grin slowly formed on Brock's face as Hibiki spun, twirled, jumped, and sang to the music. "That actually looks pretty neat...but it's missing something..."

    Three, two, one, zero! Like a shining Thunderbolt
    You came into my life, and you gave my heart new hope

    We two travel here and there, riding on the solar wind
    You are here, as my little silver star!
    Hibiki sang as she danced.

    Close your eyes and count to three, you will teleport to me,
    And the love in your heart will keep flowing strong and free!

    I've been waiting for this day, say 'I love you'-no delay!
    You'll be here for me, my bright silver star!
    Though you're millions of years away from me!


    Surprisingly, Fuka applauded with Brock and Wendy when the song ended. Hibiki just giggled and took a bow.

    [I know what Hibiki needs!] Emi announced. [She should be shaking a tambourine as she dances!]

    "But where are we going to find tambourines?" Wendy wondered before a thought occurred to her. "Thanks, everyone--maybe having this music for our routine won't be so bad after all!

    "You just have to roll with the punches when things don't go right." Brock explained. "I know you wanted us to do an elegant waltz, but an equally goofy dance to a bubblegum pop song can be just as fun to do."

    "I still don't know where we're going to find tambourines." Wendy mused as the three friends tidied up the guest room.

    "Party supply stores--they're an Arceus-send." Brock grinned as he led the way out,only pausing to flip over the sign on the guest room door to read "WILL RETURN SOON" "But good luck getting Emi, Raku, and Fuka to leave..."
     
  5. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Interlude: "The Poke-Party Panic!"

    The doors to Party Central opened with a whoosh, allowing the group and the Pokémon inside. [Wow...] Raku gasped at the dizzying array of colorful toys, streamers, party hats, and other items.

    "Remember, we're here for some props for our audition act, not to play." Brock reminded the Pokémon as they hurried off down the store aisles.

    [Look at me! I'm a princess!] Emi smiled as she modeled a toy silver tiara.

    Brock stifled a chuckle at how cute Emi looked. "Your Majesty, how may I be of service?" he asked as he bowed on one knee before Emi.

    "You have the royalty thing down." Wendy grinned as she disappeared down another aisle with Satomi and Raku.

    A party horn blat startled Hibiki. [Happy new year!] Fuka announced before blowing the party horn again.

    "Oh, that's not for a while..." Hibiki giggled. "So put that back."

    [Aw...] Fuka reluctantly hung up the party horn.

    Emi, meanwhile, had led Brock into the noisemaker and instrument aisle. [Ooh, harmonicas!] she gasped, memories of Ash playing a long and often improvised solo dancing through her mind.

    [Too bad they're the cheap plastic ones that never play anything.] Raku agreed as he met Emi in the aisle.

    Just as Hibiki and Fuka arrived in the aisle, Brock motioned to her "If you'll remind me when we sit down for guitar lessons today, I'll teach you how to play accompaniment to another instrument--your guitar to my harmonica."

    "Cool!" Hibiki gasped, stars in her eyes. "I've been wanting to jam with someone after getting a few troublesome chords down..."

    "You can show me your progress when we get back to the room." Brock assured Hibiki before turning his attention to the different noisemakers and instruments on display. "Hm..."

    [You can play a real harmonica?] Raku gasped.

    "Yeah--but I'm not as good as my friend Ash is." Brock confessed. "I still have a pretty good sized repertoire of songs, though.

    "Like any new skill, you have to practice it." Hibiki added.

    [Pity all these tambourines are cheap toy ones...] Fuka sighed. [Those would break even before you got onstage!]

    "Rhythm instruments are over there..." an associate assured Fuka as she brought over some new items to stock.

    [Thanks!] Fuka replied.

    "Yes, thank you." Wendy agreed before following Hibiki and Brock over to another aisle.

    After looking through a large bin of standard circle shaped tambourines, Wendy sighed. "I kinda want something a little different from a classroom tambourine...."

    [Hey! Look!] Emi called, holding up a royal blue star tambourine high for Wendy to see.

    "Those look cute...what other shapes to they come in?" Wendy wondered.

    [This one's for Daddy...] Emi then showed the group a red crescent moon tambourine. [Three, two, one, zero! Like a shining Thunderbolt
    You came into my life, and you gave my heart new hope

    We two travel here and there, riding on the solar wind
    You are here, as my little silver star!]
    she sang as she danced around the aisle, shaking and banging the moon-shaped tambourine all the while.

    "Aw..." Hibiki grinned at Emi's performance.

    "Come to think of it, those just might work." Brock smiled. "Some matching costumes, and we're gold!"

    "Emi, you're a genius!" Wendy smiled as Emi offered her both the moon and the star tambourines. "Who knows, your little dance just might take Minami by storm
     
  6. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 45: "A tale for Melanie! The master storyteller takes the stage!"


    "Okay, we have props for later...." Wendy smiled as the group returned to the Pokémon Center with the two tambourines they had bought. "Now we need costumes for the routine..."

    She noticed Brock sigh. "What's wrong?"

    The ruby on Satomi's head glowed as she read Brock's thoughts. [He's frustrated he didn't pack any suitable costumes, and all the ones he would've used are at home.]

    "Didn't Melanie say that if we needed anything, all we had to do was ask?" Hibiki asked.

    "Yeah..." Brock replied, now in a better mood.

    Suddenly, a thought occurred to Hibiki. "How would we pay for what costumes she gives us?"

    "Oh, Hibiki." Wendy smiled. "She probably wouldn't ask for money, per se..."

    "Besides, I owe her an opportunity to show her I can really sing." Brock reminds Hibiki.

    "Why don't you show her how good a storyteller you are, too?" Hibiki suggested. "And work in some singing into your tale!"

    "Uh huh...." the three friends grinned, pleased with their plan.

    Later, inside Akari Gym...

    "Melanie?" Wendy called as the group entered the neon-lit Gym.

    A spotlight appeared on the large and roomy stage in the center of the room, revealing Melanie. "You called?" she grinned.

    "Brock and I have a problem on our hands..." Wendy explained. "We're auditioning for the PokeTheater tomorrow, but we don't have suitable costumes to dance in..."

    "So I thought I would show you that I can sing for real." Brock picked up where Wendy left off. "And while I'm at it, show off my storytelling skills too."

    "Nice, a way with words and song..." Melanie smiled. "If you need time to get ready, go ahead, but if you have something prepared, the stage is yours."

    Brock nodded, and made his way onto the majestic stage, allowing him to see the rows of seats, as well as into the room that housed a smaller stage for battles and training. "Okay....I learned this tale on a journey through the Shinou region." he explains.

    With that, he begins "There once lived a king and queen who had an only daughter. And the beauty of this princess--we'll call her Isabel--surpassed everything seen or heard of. Her forehead was brilliant as the moon, her lips like a ruby, her complexion smooth as silk, and her breath the sweetness of fresh mint. Her hair was a beautiful midnight black, and in her voice and glance there was something so enchanting that no one could help listening to her or looking at her."

    Fuka gains star eyes as he pictures what Princess Isabel looks like. "Princess Isabel lived for seventeen years in her own area of the castle, reveling in the company and the hearts of her parents, teachers, and servants." Brock continues. "No one else ever saw her, for the sons of the king and all other princes were forbidden to enter this area. She never went anywhere, never looked upon the outside world, and never breathed the air outside, but she was perfectly happy."

    "So, how do you learn social skills if you stay holed up in one spot?" Melanie is confused.

    "When she was eighteen years old, it happened, either by chance or by the will of Arceus, that she heard the song of the Spritzee." Brock explains as he walks around the stage, still speaking all the while. "This sound made her strangely uneasy; her head drooped, and covering her eyes with her hands, she fell into thought so deep as not to hear her mother come inside. The queen looked at her anxiously, and after comforting her went to tell the king about it."

    Wendy is about to ask how the king responded before Brock lifts a hand, silently telling her he will answer her question at the proper time. "For many years the sons of kings and neighboring princes had, either personally or by their ambassadors, presented themselves at court to ask the king for the hand of Princess Isabel in marriage. But he had always told them to wait until another time. After a long consultation with the queen, he sent messengers to foreign courts and elsewhere to proclaim that Princess Isabel, in accordance with the wishes of her parents, was about to choose a husband, and that the man of her choice would also have the right of succession to the throne."

    "Oh, I see..." Wendy smiles as she invites Raku on her lap.

    "When Princess Isabel heard of this, her joy was very great, and for days she would dream about it." Brock goes on. "Then she looked out into the garden through the golden lattice of her window, and longed with an irresistible longing to walk in the open air on the smooth lawn. With a little convincing she talked her maids into it, on condition that she should stay with them at all times."

    "I have a bad feeling about this..." Hibiki shudders.

    "So the crystal doors were thrown open, the oaken gates that shut in the orchard turned on their hinges, and Princess Isabel found herself on the green grass." Brock continues. "She ran about, picking the sweet-scented flowers and chasing the many-colored Beautiflies. But in her enthusiasm to explore this strange new world, she wandered away from her maids."

    "Uh oh..." Melanie echoes Hibiki's sentiment.

    "Just at that moment a raging hurricane, such as had never been seen or heard before, passed by and fell upon the garden. It roared and whistled around and around, then carried Princess Isabel far away." Brock confirms the girls' fears as he makes dramatic whirling gestures to represent the hurricane. "The terrified maids wrung their hands, and were for a moment speechless with grief. Finally, they rushed into the palace, and throwing themselves on their knees before the king and queen, told them with sobs and tears what had happened. They were overwhelmed with sorrow and didn't know what to do."

    "I would be too, if I were them." Melanie muses.

    "By this time quite a crowd of princes had arrived at the palace, and seeing the king in such bitter grief, asked what had happened to make him so sad." Brock goes on.

    "Sorrow has touched my white hairs," he explains as the king. "The hurricane has carried off my dearly beloved child, the sweet Princess Isabel, and I know not where it has taken her. Whoever finds this out, and brings her back safely to me, will have her as his bride, and with her half the kingdom for a wedding present, and the remainder of my wealth and titles when I pass on."

    As himself, he intones "After hearing these words, princes and knights mounted their Ponytas and set off to search throughout the world for the beautiful Princess Isabel, who had been captured by Darkrai, the Nightmare Pokémon."

    The Pokémon shudder at the mention of Darkrai. "Now among the adventurers were two brothers, sons of a king, and they traveled together through many countries asking for news of Princess Isabel, but no one knew anything about her." Brock assures them. "But they continued their search, and at the end of two years arrived in a country that lay in the very center of the world, and had summer and winter at the same time."

    "Interesting..." Hibiki smiles, eager to learn about the land Brock described.

    "The princes--we'll call them Rowan and Rigel--decided to find out whether this was the place where the hurricane had hidden Princess Isabel." Brock explains. "So they began to climb one of the mountains on foot, leaving their Ponytas behind to graze. When they reached the summit, they spotted a silver palace supported on a Combusken's foot, and at one of the windows the sun's rays shone upon a head of black hair; surely it could only belong to the princess. Suddenly, the wind blew so violently, and the cold became so intense, that the leaves of the trees withered and the breath froze. The two princes tried to keep their footing, and fought with all their might against the storm, but they were overcome by its fierceness and fell together, frozen to death."

    Gasps go up at this, but the grin on Brock's face assures the girls that the story is nowhere near over. "Their broken-hearted parents waited for them in vain. Prayers were said, search parties sent out, and prayers sent up to Arceus to pity them in their sorrow."

    [Poor princes...] Mizuchi sighs.

    "One day when the queen, the mother of the princes, was giving a poor old man some money she said to him...

    As the queen, Brock requests "My good old friend, pray Arceus to guard our sons and soon bring them back safely".

    "Ah, noble lady," he answers as the old man, "that prayer would be useless. Everlasting rest is all one may ask for the dead, but in return for the love you have shown and the money you have given the poor and needy, I am charged with this message - that Arceus has taken pity on your sorrow, and that before too long you will be the mother of a son, the like of whom has never been seen".

    He intones as himself "With that, the old man vanished."

    After a pause, he continues "The queen, whose tears were falling, felt a strange joy enter her heart and a feeling of happiness wash over her, as she went to the king and repeated the old man's words. And so it came to pass, that a week or two later Arceus sent her a son, and he was in no way like an ordinary child--we'll call him Risan. His eyes resembled those of a Talonflame, and his eyebrows the Buizel's fur. His right hand was of pure gold, and his manner and appearance were so full of an indescribable majesty, that he was looked upon by everyone with a feeling of awe."

    "Wow!" Hibiki is impressed

    "His growth, too, was not like that of other children." Brock explains. "When he was only three days old, he stepped out of his swaddling and left his cradle. And he was so strong that when his parents entered the room he ran towards them, crying out..."

    In a mimic of Ash he asks "Good morning, dear parents, why are you so sad? Are you not happy at the sight of me? "

    "We are indeed happy, Risan, and we thank Arceus for having sent us you in our grief." he explains as the king "But we cannot forget your two brothers; they were so handsome and brave, and worthy of a great destiny. And our sadness is increased when we remember that, instead of resting in their own country in the tomb of their forefathers, they sleep in an unknown land, perhaps without burial. Alas! it is three years since we had news of them".

    "Cry no more, dear parents, you shall soon be comforted: for before next spring I will be a strong young man, and will search for my brothers all over the world, and beyond." he assures his audience as Prince Risan.

    As himself, he continues. "At these words the king and queen were amazed. For the strange child, guided as it were by an invisible hand, rushed into the garden, and in spite of the cold, for it was not yet daylight, bathed in the early dew. When the sun had risen he threw himself down near a little wood on the fine sand, rubbed and rolled himself in it, and returned home, no longer a child but a young man."

    Fuka gasps in awe at this. "It was pleasant to the king to see his son thrive in this way, and indeed Prince Risan was the handsomest in the whole land." Brock smiles, acknowledging Fuka's and Hibiki's awed faces with a nod. "He grew from hour to hour. At the end of a month he could wield a sword, in two months he rode a Ponyta well, and in three months he had mastered the art of magic. Then he put on a helmet, and presenting himself before the king and queen, said...

    As Prince Risan, he announces "My much honored parents, your son asks your blessing. I am no longer a child, and now go to seek my brothers. In order to find them I will, if necessary, go to the furthest ends of the world".

    "Ah, do not venture." he pleads as the queen. "Stay with us, dear son, you are still too young to be exposed to the risks of such an undertaking".

    "Adventures have no danger for me," he replies as Prince Risan, "I trust in Arceus. Why should I hesitate to face these dangers? Whatever Arceus has in store for us will happen, whatever we may do to try to prevent it".

    As himself, he continues "So they agreed to let him go. They tearfully bade him farewell, blessing him and the road he was to travel."

    Wendy starts to applaud, but Brock is quick to caution her "A pleasant tale is soon told, but events do not pass so quickly."

    "Story's not over yet, Fuka..." Hibiki tells Fuka, who was about ready to clap himself.

    "Prince Risan crossed deep rivers and climbed high mountains, till he came to a dark forest." Brock continues, walking around the stage to mimic traveling. "In the distance he saw a cottage carved into the earth, and standing in the midst of a field full of poppies. As he made his ways towards it he felt an overpowering longing to sleep, but he urged on his Ponyta, and breaking off the poppy heads as he galloped through the field, came up close to the house. Then he sang a spell that meant the caster was a friend and wished to enter:

    He then sings as Prince Risan Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo...

    Melanie grins, pleased Brock sounds good and stayed in character. "The rock that served as the door rumbled open, allowing Prince Risan inside." Brock goes on. "He went in, and found a Delphox sitting at a table, her head resting on her hands, her eyes fixed on the ceiling, lost in deep thought. Near her were two beautiful Braxiens, their complexions like lilies and roses, and in every way sweet to the eye."

    Melanie recognizes who Brock is describing. "Kitsune!"

    "Ah, how do you do, Prince Risan, Hero with the Golden Fist?" Brock asks, using a mimic of Melanie to represent Kitsune; "what has brought you here?"

    He interjects as himself "Having told Kitsune why he traveled, she replied..."

    As Kitsune, he explains "Your elder brothers perished on the mountain that touches the clouds, while in search of the lovely Princess Isabel, who was carried off by Darkrai, the Nightmare Pokémon, in the form of a hurricane."

    "And how is this thief Darkrai to be got at?" he asks as Prince Risan.

    "Ah, my dear child, he would swallow you like a Venonat." he sighs as Kitsune. "It has been some time since I went outside this cottage, for fear Darkrai should capture me and carry me off to his lair in the underworld--for he fears the holy magic granted to us Delphoxes by Arceus".

    "I am not afraid of his capturing me, I am not handsome enough for that; and he will not swallow me either, for my golden hand can smash anything". he brags as Prince Risan

    "Then if you are not afraid, brave Lucario, I will help you to the best of my ability." he replies as Kitsune. "But give me your word of honor that you will bring me some of the Water of Life, for it restores even to the oldest of the old the beauty and freshness of youth".

    "I give you my word of honor that I will bring you some". he smiles as Prince Risan.

    "This then is what you must do." he instructs as Kitsune. "I will give you a crystal ball for a guide; it will fly in front of you, and follow wherever it goes. It will lead you to the mountain that touches the clouds, and which is guarded in Darkrai's absence by his two most trusted servants, the demons Kita and Mina. Whatever you do, do not lose sight of the crystal ball. If Kita attacks you with an Icy Wind, then sing this spell--'Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul...' If Mina attacks you with her Fire Blast, then sing this spell: 'Furiya, shuru shamato...'. With the help of the crystal ball and these two spells, you will reach the top of the mountain where Princess Isabel is imprisoned. Deal with Darkrai as you will, only remember to bring me some of the Water of Life".

    "Amazing!" Hibiki gasped, impressed Brock could singlehandedly perform both ends of the conversation.

    "I'm impressed he learned to mimic my voice that well..." Melanie is equally impressed with Brock's mimicry.

    "Our hero memorized both spells, and took the crystal ball, and, after bidding farewell to Kitsune and her two pretty daughters, mounted his Ponyta and rode off, following the crystal ball, which always flew ahead of him." Brock continues as himself.

    He warns his audience "Now, a beautiful story is soon told, but the events of which it consists do not in real life take place so rapidly."

    "Point noted." Wendy replies.

    "When Prince Risan had traveled through two kingdoms, he came to a land in which lay a very beautiful valley that stretched into the far distance, and above it towered the mountain that touches the sky. The summit was so high above the earth, it may have reached the moon, if not farther." Brock explains. "The prince dismounted, left his Ponyta to graze, and after taking a few deep breaths to calm himself, began to follow the crystal ball up steep and rocky paths. When he had gotten about halfway there, Kita sensed his presence and blew out an Icy Wind. The cold was so intense that the wood of the trees split in half and the breath froze: Prince Risan felt chilled to the bone. But he quickly sang...

    He sings as Prince Risan Jao wiisha nes chiel com yutuul..., conjuring a red shield of light around him.

    "Nice touch!" Melanie smiles, thinking Brock's spell was a special effect.

    "Kita blew with redoubled fury, but to no avail. For Prince Risan's fire shield was so hot that he was soaked with sweat, and had to unbutton his coat and fan himself." Giggles go up as Brock fans himself as if hot.

    He continues as his spell wears off "The crystal ball stopped at a small snow-covered mound. Prince Risan cleared away the snow, beneath which lay the frozen bodies of two young men, and he knew them to be those of his lost brothers. Having knelt beside them and prayed he turned to follow the crystal ball, which had already flown away, and was flying ever higher and higher. On reaching the top of the mountain he saw a silver palace hovering in the air."

    He then intones "Before Prince Risan could get close, a hot wind began to blow from the south, and the heat became so intense that leaves withered and dropped from the trees, the grass dried up, and large cracks appeared in the ground. Thirst, heat, and weariness began to take their toll on the young prince, so he cast the other spell..."

    He then sings as Prince Risan Furiya, shuru shamato....

    As himself, he continues "After cooling off, he felt stronger than ever, and so continued to climb. Not only was he relieved from the great heat, but even had to button up his coat to keep himself warm." Melanie chuckles as Brock feigns shivering.

    Brock just continues "The crystal ball still led the way, ever climbing higher and higher, while Prince Risan followed close behind. After crossing the region of clouds, they came to the topmost peak of the mountain. Here the prince came close to the palace, which can only be compared to a dream of perfect beauty. It hovered in the air, and yet did not fall, and was built entirely of silver, except for its steel gates and roof of solid gold."

    [I wish we lived in a palace...] Raku sighs dreamily.

    "Before the entrance was a deep pit over which no one but authorized guests could pass." Brock intones. "As Prince Risan gazed upon the splendid building, Princess Isabel leaned out of one of the windows, and seeing him light shone from her sparkling green eyes, her lovely hair floated in the wind, and the scent of her sweet breath filled the air. Prince Risan sprang forward and sang..."

    As Prince Risan, he sings Imultaos, ame no hao bakezo...

    As himself, he continues "At these words a bridge appeared over the pit, and the door opened. As he entered it closed behind him. Prince Rizan went through the palace till he came to a room bright as the sun itself, and the walls, floor, and ceiling of which consisted of mirrors. He was filled with wonder, for instead of one princess he saw twelve, all equally beautiful, with the same graceful movements and jet black hair. But eleven were only reflections of the one real princess....."

    ----------

    ...."They knelt before the king and queen to receive their blessing." Brock pantomimes kneeling before an imagined throne. "The three weddings were celebrated that same evening, and a messenger mounted the winged Ponyta to carry the good news to the parents of the young princes and to bring them back as guests. Meanwhile, a magnificent feast was prepared, and invitations were sent to all their friends and family. And from that evening until the next morning at least they didn't stop feasting, drinking and dancing."

    He concludes with a grin "For all I know, they may still be celebrating today!"

    The room explodes in applause. "Amazing! You've got real talent!" Melanie raves. "You'd be perfect for an opening act if you wanted to!" Flattered by the applause, Brock takes a bow.
     
  7. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 46: "Audition in Akari! Wendy's first role!"


    Hibiki grumbled as her fingers tripped over an A major chord for what seemed like the millionth time. "Why can't I get this dumb chord right?"

    She sighed. "I wish Brock was here.."

    Just then, she thought she heard Brock speaking to her in her mind. Like any other instrument, or anything else in life, for that matter--you have to learn how to do it.

    She noted Satomi sitting by her chair. "Was that you that broadcast what Brock told me before he and Wendy left?"

    Satomi nodded. [You were making all these annoyed and frustrated faces, so I thought I'd give you a little encouragement in Brock's stead."

    A smile formed on Hibiki's face for the first time that afternoon. "Thanks--maybe I can master this chord after all." she smiled before attempting the passage again. "Will you remind me of Brock's five tips for coping with a musical challenge?"

    [Sure...] With that,Satomi broadcast Brock's voice into Hibiki's mind again. When you hit a low point--be this in playing guitar or in life--and you're struggling, it's important to know exactly what the problem is. Although this sounds simple, you would be surprised how many people are not able to accurately define what is giving them trouble.

    "Hm..." Hibiki thought--the voice in her head did have a point.

    General statements will do little or nothing to help you find the solution you need to solve your problem. Brock's voice went on. Good problem solvers observe what is happening every time they have trouble and then define their challenge by completing some variation of the following: "I struggle with X, when I Y."

    [Why don't you try that, Mama?] Fuka suggested.

    "Okay..." Hibiki took a few breaths to calm herself, then mused "I struggle with the A major chord when I don't get my fingers in the right positions."

    Then, her eyes lit up. "That's it! Maybe that's why I've been struggling with this chord all day!"

    She set her guitar aside, picked up Fuka, and strolled over to an empty bed, where both of them could look out on the bustling city. "Brock, you are a genius!" she smiled as she petted Fuka.

    "I dunno, there's plenty of other people out there that are smarter than me." said a voice.

    Hibiki whirled around to see Brock and Wendy in the doorway. "You're back from the audition already? How'd it go?"

    "Our dance went over very well...Wendy explained."So much so that the director gave us the roles of Falco and Joanna."

    She motioned to Satomi. "Will you broadcast our routine in here so Hibiki can see it?"

    The ruby on Satomi's head glowed, then projected the scene of a stage on the wall. [I'm beginning from when Brock and Wendy introduced themselves, and they are about to perform.] Satomi explained as the Brock in the vision, now in a white shirt, a sparkling red jacket, and sparkling black pants, awaited the cue to begin. The Wendy in the vision wore a blue tutu like outfit.

    [Are they doing "Swanna Lake?"] Raku asked.

    "Nope--just the same routine we worked on yesterday." Wendy replied as the goofy pop song's bagpipes blared into the auditorium, prompting the Brock and Wendy in the vision to kick up their heels as if doing a Celtic-esque dance. The stagehands' laughter turns to cheers as the two of them unfurl cosmic shaped tambourines--Brock the red crescent moon, and Wendy the royal blue star--and kick up their heels like two members of a chorus line.

    High in the sky is a secret so sweet
    and a star that is glistening for a moment...
    Brock starts the singing, shaking and banging the tambourine as he continues dancing.

    Twinkling in his eyes is a fleeting small memory
    that his heart and mine, finally intertwined...
    Wendy echoes as she twirls in time to the music.

    This thing called love doesn't make any sense
    I feel like I am floating up in the blue sky
    Brock sings.

    His love surprised me, as we traveled through the sky
    And my heart dreams of him, every night and day...
    Wendy echoes.

    I always was alone, now my heart's no longer empty
    Just us two, together, it has changed my life!
    The small crowd roars with laughter as Brock dramatically poses before Wendy as he sings this line.

    When I'm down, you appear, and you give me wings that soar and
    I can fly--when darkness comes, it's your embrace I run to!
    Wendy echoes.

    The two of them sing together as they continue dancing and playing the tambourines Three, two, one, zero! Like a shining Thunderbolt
    You came into my life, and you gave my heart new hope!

    We two travel here and there, riding on the solar wind
    You are here, as my little silver star!

    Close your eyes and count to three, you will teleport to me,
    And the love in your heart will keep flowing strong and free!

    I've been waiting for this day, say 'I love you'-no delay!
    You'll be here for me, my bright silver star!
    Though you're millions of years away from me!


    Thunderous cheers fill the auditorium as the Brock and Wendy in the vision continue dancing, ending the song in a back-to-back pose. "Well! That was very good!" the director commented. "You two have excellent charisma and teamwork."

    "Thank you..." the Wendy in the vision replies.

    "Far too often when we put on 'Falco Dolan' plays, it's always a struggle to find a Falco and a Joanna that really click." the director explains. "But you two, I could tell you two know and understand how to work together...and so I believe you two would make the perfect Falco and Joanna...." The vision ended there.

    Raku leaped into Wendy's arms. [I knew you could do it!]

    [You'll make a wonderful Joanna.] Tenku agreed.

    "Thanks, guys..." Wendy smiled. "It still hasn't really sunk in yet..."

    Hibiki grinned. "You'll do fine--Fuka and I will be cheering both of you on from the audience!

    To Be Continued...
     
  8. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 47: "PokeTheater! Wendy as Joanna! Brock as Falco Dolan!" (part 1)


    A week or so later...

    "....and here we are." Hibiki smiled as the Pokémon bounded up onto some seats in the middle section of the PokeTheater. "Here's a few things to keep in mind--when it gets dark, we have to be quiet..."

    She eyed Fuka. "That means no shouting advice to the characters." Fuka blushed in embarrassment.

    [What if Fuka needs to use the potty during the show?] Raku asked.

    "I already took him, so he should be able to make it to intermission." Hibiki assured Raku as she petted Fuka. Fuka, meanwhile, was enthralled by the immense crowd filing inside the theater and taking their seats.

    Suddenly, the lights flashing the five minute warning startle him. [What's happening?]

    "It's time for the show to start." Hibiki replies as the lights go down....

    Backstage...

    "Ready? Wendy asked, now in her costume.

    Brock smiled as he admired himself in Falco's iconic costume--dull colored shirt, long tan coat with a pocket on the right side, brown slacks with shoes to match, and a tan fedora with a dark brown band. After savoring his reflection for a moment, he turned from the mirror and smiled as he admired Wendy's costume--a simple gray shirt, a tan jacket with black trim, black pants, and gray shoes. "You look perfect--just like I imagined Joanna to look like. I found it fascinating that the only part of her that is ever described in the original stories was her hair and eyes. If you were really lucky, Greg Williams would be nice enough to describe her build."

    "He has gone on record as saying he intentionally doesn't describe Joanna too much because he wants his audience to imagine what she looks like." Wendy explained. "A few million 'Falco Dolan' fans can't be wrong."

    "Well, as a fellow fan, I just want to say I am very honored to be one of the many that has portrayed one of my favorite detectives onstage and onscreen." Brock smiled as he toyed with the chromatic harmonica in his hands. I loved reading the Falco Dolan books when I was little, and now here I am, minutes away from being Falco!

    The voice of an actress saying "It's worth a try, I have nothing else to lose." snaps him to attention. "And that is our cue." he smiles as he motions Wendy to follow him to their places on the darkened stage as a mysterious melody plays.

    When the lights come up again on the set of the familiar living room of Dolan Manor, Wendy is sprawled on a couch reading a prop newspaper. Brock, on the other hand, readies the harmonica to play as he paces the left end of the stage by the couch. Remember, intentionally fudge a little bit of 'Silver Crowned Girl' every so often to give the illusion of practicing.

    He then starts the familiar upbeat tune, only to intentionally play a wrong note. He feigns a pained wince, then starts the phrase over again, only to miss another note. He then manages to play the entire A section of the tune before missing yet another note.

    The radio by the couch gets his attention, so he strolls over to it, hits PLAY, then starts a shuffle rhythm to count himself off before the jam track begins. This time, he manages to play the entire tune perfectly as the audience claps along.

    When the song ends, Wendy looks up from the newspaper and applauds. Brock notices Wendy's applause and grins. "You honestly liked that, Joanna?" he asks as he shuts the radio off.

    "It's getting better--just be more careful on those rapid runs in first position." Wendy replies. "I don't deny that you're pretty good on the harmonica, but it is annoying to try and read the newspaper or a new novel while you are practicing, what with the jam tracks and all."

    "Then I will call it a day on my daily practice, then." With that, Brock taps out the harmonica and puts it in his costume's pocket before joining Wendy on the couch. "So, what is going on in the world today?"

    "Well, it says here..." Wendy points out a certain headline. "That one of the most famous jewels in the world, the emerald named the Persian's Eye, is going under the auction block..."

    "Really?" Brock feigns surprise at a supposed picture of the jewel. "It is quite a large and lovely rock...but why would Queen Anlora of Elencia want to part with such a rare and beautiful treasure?"

    "To build a palace for her beloved for his birthday." Wendy explains as she sets the newspaper aside and reaches for a TV remote. "Shall we find out if Brenda got to the heart of the matter with Lucky?"

    "That boy's name will be 'Unlucky' if he isn't careful..." Brock muses, to the audience's laughter.

    A breaking news jingle is heard from offstage as an offstage announcer reports "Newsflash! The famed emerald of Queen Anlora of Elencia, the Persian's Eye, was reported stolen this evening..."

    Brock just sighs at the breaking news report. "I just knew that trying to sell a precious jewel like that was just asking for trouble..."

    Wendy is about to answer Brock's wry observation when a knock is heard offstage. "I'll get it." She walks offstage, but Brock can hear her end of the conversation. "Yes?...Yes, he's here...uh-huh...a missing person's case? Well, why don't you come on in? I'm sure Falco and I can help..."

    The lights go down over the first few notes of the "Falco Dolan" theme music before they come up again on Brock, Wendy, and an actress from before. "Okay...do you know where your husband was last seen at all?" Brock asks the actress, who is feigning tears.

    The actress gives Brock a crumpled piece of paper. After looking it over for a moment, he muses "All right, so he was last seen at the Ruby Lord tavern, under the pretense of meeting a business associate." The actress nods to confirm his deduction.

    "The question is, could this have been a cover for something more sinister?" Wendy muses.

    "If it was, what was the meeting a cover for, and who orchestrated the plot?" Brock adds.

    "I just want him home--preferably alive." the actress sobs. "Or if he is dead, who killed him and why."

    "We're on the case!" Wendy assures the actress.

    "You have our word we will do all we can to help." Brock agrees.

    A weak smile forms on the actress' face. "I would expect nothing more from the great Falco Dolan--you really are as good as they say." With that, she departs.

    "The poor maid..." Brock sighs. "This is obviously taking a huge emotional toll on her..."

    "I know...the only two coherent words I heard her say were 'substantial' and 'reward'." Wendy muses.

    "And that is where we begin our search--ask the Young Fletchinders in the area if they saw anything." Brock smiles as he starts for the door offstage. "Let's go!" With that, another stinger of the theme music plays as the lights go down.

    [The Young Fletchinders are a network of kids who act as informants to Falco and Joanna.] Satomi whispers to Hibiki as the lights come up on Brock and Wendy on a set of city streets. Hibiki nods as Brock knocks on a large barrel--which is actually a cover for a secret Young Fletchinder base.

    "Password?" a young male voice asks.

    Once sure he and Wendy are not being followed, Brock whispers the iconic Young Fletchinder password signaling both Falco and Joanna are present. "Talonflame rises with ruby flame."

    With that, the barrel's front opens, allowing Brock and Wendy access to a hidden set behind the main city set, which disappears to reveal the base. "Everyone! Falco and Joanna are here!" another boy announces, making a crowd of kids cheer.

    "Hi, everyone..." Joanna hugs a girl.

    "We missed you Falco..." a boy grins as Brock embraces a few more kids.

    "Unfortunately, I don't come here to play today...we have a case on our hands." Brock begins, quieting the enthusiastic chatter down.

    "Would this have something to do with the Persian's Eye?" a boy asks. "That's the hottest rumor at the tavern right now..."

    "Possibly...I don't know for sure just yet." Brock replies. "It concerns a missing person last seen around the tavern...."

    "The same one found dead in the harbor a few nights ago?" a girl wonders.

    A tense stinger goes up at this. "How do you know if it's the same person we're looking for?" Wendy asks.

    Brock consults a newspaper clipping detailing the grisly discovery, then compares it to a description of their target. "It is, Joanna, I'm sorry to say..." he sighs. "We were already too late."

    "This isn't a total loss..." Joanna assures the group. "We can ask Officer Jenny what she found out..."

    "And maybe figure out if this is connected to the Persian's Eye." Brock agrees before fishing out the harmonica again. "For now, we can at least give the poor man a proper send-off."

    With that, he plays the first line of "Amazing Grace" as Wendy and the Fletchinders bow their heads, but the final A note of the first verse turns into more of the Falco Dolan theme as the lights go down to signal the end of Act 1....

    TO BE CONTINUED....
     
  9. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Grace
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    Episode 48: "Intermission! A review from the Nutpea gallery!"

    As the lights came up for intermission, Hibiki stretched in her seat. "Okay....does anyone need to use the potty before the second act starts?"

    [Ooh, I do!] Fuka groaned as he squirmed in his seat.

    "Come on..." Hibiki scooped Fuka in her arms and carried him to the closest bathroom.

    Satomi, meanwhile, nudged Raku. [What do you think so far?] she asked.

    [I dunno how Falco and Joanna are gonna figure out the case when the Young Fletchinders know no more than they do.] Raku mused. [The guy they're looking for is dead as a doornail!]

    [I will admit, a harmonica stands in for bagpipes very nicely when it plays "Amazing Grace"] Hinata grinned.

    Terra pictured Brock, in full Highland attire, playing bagpipes and burst out laughing. [That mental image is just too funny!] she wheezed as Hibiki and Fuka returned.

    [Huh?] Fuka asked.

    [Oh, Terra imagined Daddy playing bagpipes and thought it was funny.] Emi explained as Terra continued laughing.

    "All right, breathe, Miss Giggle-mon." Hibiki assured Terra. Terra just wiped a tear from her eye as she let a few last chuckles escape before composing herself.

    [What do you think's gonna happen next, Mama?] Fuka asked, changing the subject.

    Hibiki thought for a moment. "Maybe their person of interest isn't actually dead..."

    [Huh?] the Pokémon gasped.

    [Hibiki's right--in some Falco Dolan mysteries, a dead person of interest isn't actually dead, but alive, well, and hidden somewhere where the bad guys can't find him.] Satomi explained.

    [So what if that's happened here?] Raku wondered.

    "That's possible--and if true, we'll see him in Act 2." Hibiki agreed. "Another possibility is the bad guys simply kidnapped the man and made it appear he was dead to throw Falco off their trail."

    [A red Goldeen.] Satomi agreed.

    [I'm more interested in the Persian's Eye...] Mizuchi interjected. [What is so special about that gem?]

    "Well, we know it doesn't have magical power..." Hibiki mused, to some "aw"s from the younger Pokémon. "We know Queen Elencia wants to put it up for auction in hopes of building her husband another palace."

    [But doesn't a queen have enough riches to build it herself?] Raku asked.

    [You may be onto something, Raku...] Satomi smiled. [I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest the stolen Persian's eye and the dead person of interest are connected...remember this part of the first act?] The ruby on her forehead glowed, projecting part of a scene of Act 1 before the group:

    The actress gives Brock a crumpled piece of paper. After looking it over for a moment, he muses "All right, so he was last seen at the Ruby Lord tavern, under the pretense of meeting a business associate." The actress nods to confirm his deduction.

    "The question is, could this have been a cover for something more sinister?" Wendy muses.

    "If it was, what was the meeting a cover for, and who orchestrated the plot?" Brock adds.

    "I just want him home--preferably alive." the actress sobs. "Or if he is dead, who killed him and why."


    "I will agree with Joanna that all of this is a cover." Hibiki predicted. "However, Falco brings up a valid point as well."

    [What if Her Majesty doesn't really want to sell it, but the jewel is involved in some kind of plot?] Mizuchi suggests, her head spinning with ideas. [What if an evil team is forcing the queen to do this on pain of something terrible happening to both her and the person of interest?]

    [Just how many spy movies do you watch a day?] Hinata was not amused by Mizuchi's fanciful second act prediction.

    [Some Falco stories are like that, but...] Terra started.

    "Here's an idea for you: What if the bad guys are luring Falco and Joanna into a trap?" Hibiki suggested.

    The Pokémon shuddered at this possibility. [Yeah--what if they want to shake Falco and Joanna off the trail by tying them up somewhere, then escaping while they're busy trying to get out?] Hinata was the first to run with Hibiki's suggestion.

    [And on top of that, a train's coming!] Emi suggested.

    Terra, however, wasn't so sure Emi's scenario would work onstage. [How would they fit a train in here?]

    "Well, someone could blow a train whistle to mimic a train coming..." Hibiki suggested. "They could just pretend a train is there."

    The lights flashing the five minute warning got Mizuchi's attention. [The second act is gonna start soon!]

    Hibiki smiled as she cradled Fuka in her arms--were any of their predictions going to come true? Or did the second act have a surprise in store not even she could think of?

    Relax, Hibiki--however the second act plays out, you're in for a ride. she told herself. Brock, Wendy, and the rest of the cast have worked hard to put this on for you, and you'll find out what happens soon enough!
     
  10. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    Grace
    (Shaymin (Sky))
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    Episode 49: "PokeTheater! Wendy as Joanna! Brock as Falco Dolan!" (part 2)


    Some tense music filled the air as the lights came up on Brock, Wendy, and an actress playing Officer Jenny in a conference room. "We have tried to interview the deceased's wife, but she is very clearly distraught by all of this." the actress began.

    "Understandably so--no one deserves to die like this." Wendy mused.

    "Here is what we know about the deceased's background and some observations from the scene of the crime..." the actress went on as she consulted some prop papers. "The deceased was known to always carry a briefcase with him at all times, but one was not found at the crime scene. We believe it may have been washed away, although other options have not yet been ruled out."

    "Even if one were found at the scene, what are some potential things he may have carried inside?" Brock asked. "Jewelry, perhaps?"

    "What makes you think that, Falco?" Wendy asked.

    The actress' eyes lit up. "You may be onto something, Falco...the lab determined there was a type of polishing powder on his jacket, and an old issue of a jeweler's trade magazine was found in one pocket. We also know that his last known place of employment was Kara, the auction house downtown."

    "...where the Persian's Eye was due to go on the auction block!" Brock replied confidently.

    "That's right! The news did say Kara was in charge of the auction!" Wendy added.

    Brock got up from the table. "Based on the deceased's background from the police report..." he smiled at the Officer Jenny actress. "which I owe you my deepest thanks for allowing me to read--he was a good husband, and father to two little girls."

    "But why would a good person go bad? That 's what I don't get." Wendy mused.

    "With the economy the way it is, it is hard enough to feed one person, so you can imagine the difficulty feeding four." Brock explained. "It is entirely possible that our deceased took the emerald to sell it himself. The person of interest at the tavern was an interested buyer--and offered enough money to easily feed a family of four, if not more."

    "That makes sense!" the Officer Jenny actress smiled.

    "You say that all options are on the table at this point." Brock went on. "But let me suggest another possibility. The financial stress and high emotions that come with it drove the deceased to suicide."

    "Well, we didn't find a suicide note, but that would possibly explain why we also found a life insurance policy at the scene..." the actress replied. "It was worth just as much, if not more, than any attempt to sell the emerald."

    She got up and shook Brock's hand. "Falco, Joanna, you both brought up some thought provoking questions and some intriguing leads--please keep us posted if you find anything more."

    "We will, Officer!" Wendy smiled as the lights went down over a tense stinger.

    The lights came up on a city street, where Wendy was thinking hard on a park bench with Brock looking on. "Our person of interest--dead as a doornail it seems...the Persian's Eye nowhere to be found...police are baffled...we've found a few promising leads....but the more I think about it, I keep coming back to the man our person of interest was going to meet--who is he, and why does--or did--he want the Persian's Eye?" she mused.

    "Then I guess our next step would be to turn our focus on him." Brock replied before starting offstage. "Let's go home and talk more over dinner."

    "Good idea!" Wendy got up from the bench and was about to follow Brock offstage before a child's voice calling got their attention. "Huh?"

    A crowd of the Young Fletchinders dashed in the scene, with two of them carrying a box that was labeled "Kloose and Eviedense." "Falco, Joanna, we found some clues!" a girl cried.

    "Clues?" Brock asked as the box was set down before him.

    "Yeah, Officer Jenny let us help look for clues, and she had no idea what to do with this stuff, so she said to ask you." a boy breathlessly explained.

    "Let's take a look, then, shall we?" With that, he told the children "Remember, any of the items in here could be red Goldeens, but for now, we will go on good faith that they will help our investigation."

    Wendy dug out a button and examined it. "Button from a man's suit, stained..."

    She gasped. "There's actually a gun in here!"

    Brock quickly shooed the children away. "I am not trained to handle firearms, so I will leave this in the box for an expert to examine. I don't know if it is loaded or not, but treat it as if it is loaded--very carefully!"

    "Right!" the children replied before hurrying off with the box.

    Wendy then sniffed the air. "That's odd...do you smell peppermint out here?"

    "Yeah..." Brock feigned a dreamy yawn. "It...smells...delicious..."

    "And I'm feeling tired....too..." Wendy feigned a yawn before both of them slumped to the ground, "asleep", to a tense stinger and gasps from the audience.

    After a few tense moments, the lights came back up on Brock and Wendy bound together in rope. "I'd say we're fit to be tied..." Brock noted, to some laughter as Wendy worked herself free.

    "Just a little more..." Wendy finished untying herself. "There! I knew all those knot tying lessons in my scouting days would come in handy one day!"

    Nervous laughter went up as she hurried over and untied Brock. "Rope's never stopped us before!" he grinned as he stood up.

    "And it certainly isn't the first time we've been tied up." Wendy grinned as she kicked the rope away.

    "Save the reminiscing for later." Brock cautioned. "It IS the first time we've been affected by sleeping gas, and then tied up--I have a feeling someone wanted to warn us away from here."

    The two of them gasped and said the true culprit's name together. "The Phantom Thief, Aisha Moreno!" A "dun-dun-dun" and tense harmonica riff punctuated the name as the lights went down....
     
  11. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 50: "PokeTheater! Wendy as Joanna! Brock as Falco Dolan!" (part 3)


    "Is someone there?" a familiar voice asked as Brock and Wendy calmed themselves down from their feigned panic.

    "Who's there?" Wendy asked.

    The lights expanded to include a man also struggling to get free from ropes, to some relieved applause. "My name is Leon Belmonte, jeweler and gemologist extraordinaire....although how I got here from the tavern, I don't know...I'm sure my beloved Perla is worried sick about me..."

    "Worse, she actually believes you are dead--and quite frankly, we did too until we wound up here." Brock explains.

    The man playing Leon looks Brock up and down for a moment. "I can't believe it...the legendary Falco Dolan, captured like this?"

    "I know Aisha all too well." Brock replies. "Normally she works for the highest bidder, but she is not afraid to strike out on her own. Normally, she uses a sweet mist to knock people out, but is not above flat out killing people if her client demands it or she deems it necessary. She has charisma, and is not afraid to flaunt it, as well.

    "She has to be hiding here, I just know it!" Wendy notes.

    "All right, Aisha...the game is up!" Brock announces. "You've got nowhere to go now...seems the greatest thief in the world is off to see the inside of a jail cell!"

    Some soft laughter fills the air as a black haired girl in a tight navy blue leotard-like costume and beret-like hat appears in a puff of smoke. "It seems you've found me again, Sharp-Eyes...but now the greatest thief in the world has the greatest jewel...the Persian's Eye."

    [Sharp-Eyes?] Raku asked, confused.

    [In stories where Aisha Moreno is the villain, Sharp-Eyes is Aisha's nickname for Falco.] Hinata explained. [It's a reference to his keen eye for detail.]

    "But I thought Leon stole the jewel!" Wendy gasps.

    "He didn't--I convinced him to sell it to a non-existent buyer, while was all a ruse for him to bring me the Persian's Eye directly." the actress playing Aisha explained. "Once I had the Persian's Eye, I had no further use for him, so I used some of my famous sleeping mist to bring him here for later--it helped that his deep sleep fooled his family, his friends, the police, and even you, into believing he was dead as a doornail!"

    "As you can plainly see, I am very much alive!" the actor playing Leon agreed as Wendy untied him.

    "But now that I have no further use for him--or for you two..." Gasps go up as Aisha draws a prop dagger and approaches Brock with it. "I'll just have to rub you three out so you can't tell anyone the truth! The Persian's Eye will be mine, and I will go down in history as the greatest thief of all time!!!"

    "Oh yeah?" Brock manages to kick Aisha in the knee, making her drop the prop dagger in surprise. "Take the knife and go!" he instructs Wendy. "Alert Officer Jenny, and quickly, while I deal with Aisha!"

    "Got it!" Wendy hurries offstage as the lights go down and the standard Falco Dolan "fight" music plays over the sound effects of punching, kicking, and Brock's war cries as he performs a number of (unseen) kung fu moves.

    [Are those cries for real???] Mizuchi gasps. [I didn't know Lovebird knew karate!]

    [Oh, he has studied for a few years now--up to a green belt in kung fu] Terra smiled. [You don't want to get in his way when he needs to fight.]

    [Granted, he's just pretending, since this is a play, but he's always told us that knowing how to do something for real makes it more convincing when you do it onstage.] Hinata explained.

    "That's pretty clever..." Hibiki grinned as back onstage, the actress playing Officer Jenny "arrested" the actress playing Aisha.

    "Falco, Joanna, you were very brave to take on Aisha like that--engaging someone with a knife is very dangerous to the average person." the Officer Jenny actress warned as the actor playing Leon and the actress playing Perla joyfully reunited nearby.

    "Oh, Leon!" the actress playing Perla smiled. "I was told you were dead!"

    "Oh no...as you can see, my love, I'm still very much alive..." the actor playing Leon replied as the actress playing Aisha was led away. "And..." He showed everyone present a large prop emerald, making awed gasps go up onstage, and excited whispers waft through the audience. "The Persian's Eye was safe in my pocket all along--that rascally Aisha lured me into a trap under the ruse of an interested buyer."

    "Then, once you had arrived at the Ruby Lord, she drugged you using her famous sleeping mist and took you down the river to her hideout, making sure to throw an empty suitcase that resembled your briefcase into the river to make it appear you had died." Wendy explained. "It fooled Perla, the police, and for a while, even us."

    "Then, once she spotted us roaming around the vicinity of her hideout, she drugged us and took us there as well, with the intention of killing all three of us." Brock concluded.

    "You were very brave to fight her like you did." the actor playing Leon agreed. "Although I never knew you knew an inkling of martial arts."

    "Second dan black belt, kung fu." Brock grinned before turning to Wendy. "Well, Joanna...the city has one less thief skulking the streets now..."

    "And the Persian's Eye can now go to a legitimate buyer, as per Queen Elencia's wishes." the actor playing Leon agreed.

    "If only Her Majesty could hear of you two's courage and bravery..." the actress playing Perla smiled. "She'd award you with medallions of valor in a heartbeat!"

    "The only medallions I want to see right now are meat medallions..." Wendy grinned, making relieved laughter fill the stage.

    "Then we'll be on our way home, then..." Brock mused as he started offstage. "But if any other would-be criminal mind wishes to cause trouble--they will not escape the eyes of Falco Dolan!" With that, the lights blinked off to end the play.

    "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" the audience roared over the Falco Dolan theme as the lights came up for the curtain call...
     
  12. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

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    Episode 51: "Detective Brock and Melanie's tears!"


    "I can't believe it...my first rose button!" Wendy grinned as she admired the red rose button in her hands. I've waited so long to earn one of these.... she thought as she turned the button back and forth in her hands, making it glint in the lights of the Pokémon Center. and here it is...my first rose button!

    "Remember what the director said?" Brock reminded Wendy as the three friends got ready for bed. "You really did well in playing off of me and conveying the deep respect and camaraderie Joanna has for Falco."

    "At the same time, I felt you also did well portraying her vulnerability--she does know a lot, but she doesn't know everything." Hibiki added.

    Then, a thought occurred to her. "I may be going out on a limb here, but I think I saw a little bit of me in your portrayal of Joanna."

    "How so?" Wendy asked as she sat down on her bed and welcomed Raku in her arms.

    "When Falco and Joanna discovered that the gemologist was alive and well, I could sense the fear in your voice when you said your line--the fear of getting caught." Hibiki explained before hanging her head. "A fear I know all too well."

    "And a fear we're all going to have to deal with if we're going to survive our quest." Brock reminded the girls. "Aika is very driven, smart, cunning...and is not above manipulating others to get what she wants. Remember when she Eevee-napped Raku?"

    [Don't remind me...] Raku shuddered.

    "That was an emotional ploy to lure all of us into her clutches." Brock continued. "and the world is doomed if we fall into her hands."

    A tense silence filled the air before Hibiki spoke up. "You know...Melanie helped the two of you get the things you needed to perform...so shouldn't you go and thank her for helping us out?"

    "We'll go see her in the morning..." Brock assured Hibiki. "Who knows, we may get lucky and get treated to a concert."

    The next morning...

    "Melanie?" Wendy asked as the group peeked in the Gym's main foyer the next morning. "Where are you?"

    "We wanted to thank you for everything." Brock explained.

    "If you're looking for the boss, she's in a bit of a funk at the moment." a brown haired girl replied as she brushed some dust from a blue fedora. "Although if you wanna try and cheer her up, be my guest."

    "Indy's right--ever since her favorite ring disappeared, and none of us have touched it, she's been devastated." a black haired girl in a green costume added.

    Brock swallowed hard as he tried to quell the romantic euphoria willing up inside of him, ever aware of the death stare Mizuchi was giving him--if she had to spray him, all three of them would likely be kicked out of the Gym.

    After breathing deep a few times, he told Indy "Will you tell Melanie I want to try and help her, in return for how she's helped us over the last few days?"

    "Sure!" Indy replied before putting on her fedora again. "Come with me--I'll take you to the boss' room."

    The group followed Indy through the foyer, down the hall past the main stage and some smaller stages that doubled as battle arenas, and around another corner into a large sunroom that overlooked the city. "Boss...someone's here that wants to help you find your special ring."

    Melanie glanced up to see the group. "You guys...what a surprise!" she smiled as she brushed away some tears. "Forgive me for being all weepy here, but I've got a problem on my hands...."

    "Well, we mainly came to tell you thank you for helping us out over the last few days..." Brock explained. "But seeing those tears, we feel that helping you in return would be better than just words."

    "If you don't mind my asking, why is your ring special?" Wendy asked.

    "Okay...story time." Melanie began as she motioned for the group to gather around her. "Although this is more of a history lesson than a tale of adventure." she grinned at Brock.

    Once everyone was quiet, Melanie began. "A long time ago, Akari was just a little town, nothing like what you see today. My grandma started what eventually became the Starlites as a way to promote tourism and allow Akari to hear the latest hit tunes. As the town grew, and recordings became more commonplace, the group evolved into something like a show choir or glee club--singing classic songs and dancing."

    She added as an aside. "Although what was defined as classic changed as the years passed by."

    "I see..." Wendy mused.

    "When the years caught up with Grandma, Mom succeeded her as the leader of the group." Melanie continued. "She always wore an onyx ring onstage for good luck. So when it was my turn to succeed her--so she could focus on a less demanding career--she gave me her ring as a passing of the torch. I continue to wear it when I go onstage too, so her good luck rubs off on me."

    "Aw..." Hibiki smiled, touched at the story.

    Melanie's face turned somber again. "Here's the sad part--last night, I put it in my nightstand drawer like I always do before going to bed. When I woke up today, it was gone!"

    Brock thought for a moment before grinning. "So lets play detective for a minute...it didn't fall behind any walls?"

    "Nope." Melanie replied.

    "Didn't fall off your finger somewhere?" Hibiki suggested.

    "Nope...I turned the whole Gym upside down looking for it." Melanie replied.

    "Did any of your attendants somehow end up with it?" Wendy suggested.

    "Nope--none of them have given me cause to believe they took it." Melanie sighed. "The Gym was locked up tight, as well--so how could someone had gotten in and taken it?"

    Hibiki thought for a moment. "Perhaps the doors were all locked, but could someone had gotten in a window?"

    "There's an idea..." Brock smiled before addressing Melanie. "Have you reported it being stolen?"

    "Yeah--I've offered 5000 credits to whoever finds it, although no one's come forward yet and the police have no leads." Melanie mused.

    "We would be willing to look around the outside of the Gym and the general vicinity." Brock offered. "Maybe another pair of eyes could catch something you didn't."

    A smile formed on Melanie's face. "You'd really go to any lengths to find my ring?"

    "Arceus' honor!" Wendy replied, making the three fingered scout sign to prove her point.

    "T-thank you...I really don't know how to repay you!" Melanie stammered.

    She suddenly caught herself as Indy returned to the room. "Or maybe I do...Indy, go round up everybody and get ready to perform--we're giving Mister Renaissance Man and friends their own private show!"

    "Right!" With that, Indy rushed out as Brock and the girls were led to the main auditorium.

    "Feel weird you're in the audience for a change?" Wendy grinned as the group settled into some seats near the middle.

    "Not at all...I enjoy watching a good show as much as putting one on." Brock replied as Hinata, Emi, and Terra bounded into his lap.

    After discussing song ideas, Melanie blew a Bb on a pitch pipe, which spurred two male attendants to sing the same note as drone-like Oh.... as a third did a bongo roll. Day-O! Day-o! Daylight come and me wan go home! Melanie sang, her powerful voice echoing through the room. Day! Me say day-o! Daylight come and me wan go home...

    She then sang Work all night, till the mornin' come!

    Daylight come and me wan go home... the other girls sang over the bongos, the bass singers, their clapping and the beatboxer.

    Stack banana till the morning come! Melanie sang again.

    Daylight come and me wan go home... came the echo.

    Brock smiled as Melanie and the Starlites danced and clapped their way through the classic tropical anthem. They're good...Melanie clearly loves doing this... he thought as he watched Melanie jump and punch the air during the Lift six foot, seven foot, eight foot bunch! lines, Emi happily bouncing to the beat in his hands all the while. I promise I will pursue the thief that took her ring with that same enthusiasm!

    TO BE CONTINUED...
     
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