Episode 24: A Friendly Contest

Gillian announces to the massive Contest audience, "Now it's time to get this Contest going. How about we start things off with the Appeal Round!?" The crowd cheers in approval. "Alright then, here's our first coordinator, Brenda!" Brenda, wearing her Contest dress, runs onto the stage.

The Orbitz City Pokémon Contest is now underway! Having just reunited with Michelle, Brenda's childhood friend, things are certainly going to be interesting.

Brenda makes it to her position on the stage. She pulls out a Pokéball in a capsule. "Glitterfly, center stage!" As the Pokéball opens up, there are three successive flashes of light caused by the ball's seal, each one growing brighter than the last. The third and final flash is blindingly bright, and once it subsides, Glitterfly has appeared.


"Glitterfly, start your performance with String Shot!"

Glitterfly begins to release shiny threads of silk from its mouth, sending them to various points on the walls surrounding the stage. It practically is weaving a web. It flies up and down, weaves left and right, building its intricate structure. Gillian asks over her microphone, "What could Glitterfly be doing? It looks like a flying Ariados weaving its web." After a few moments, it has created a web of 3-D geometric patterns surrounding itself.

It says happily, "Glitterfly!"

"Good job Glitterfly, now let's wow the audience with Flash!" Glitterfly flies into the center of the structure and produces a brilliant glow from its abdomen and wings. Its sparkling light reflects off of all of the various strings of silk, creating a shimmering, kaleidoscopic view.

Gillian is amazed. "Wow, just look at the way Glitterfly's natural bioluminescence is being bounced off of the strands of silk, creating a truly breathtaking display!" The audience oohs and awes.

Ash says, "Wow, did Brenda came up with that all by herself? That's great!"

Brenda is ready for her next move. She commands, "Alright Glitterfly, charge for Solar Beam, but keep up the Flash as well!" As Glitterfly continues to illuminate the web, it also gathers light from its surroundings, causing it to glow and sparkle even more. Brenda declares, "Unleash Solar Beam and spin now!"

"Glitterrrrrrfly!" Glitterfly unleashes the Solar Beam, and spins towards its right as it fires the beam of light. The Solar Beam makes contact with the closest threads of the web, the heat of which instantly causes the strings to ignite. After a few seconds, Glitterfly has spun 360 degrees and lit all of the web surrounding it afire. Within seconds, the fire has spread to the entire web, creating a geometric pattern of fire.

Gillian comments, "Wow, that spectacular web has now served a dual purpose, as it is now the base for a brilliant display of fire, and this from a Pokémon that isn't even a Fire-Type, and has yet to use a single Fire-Type move!"

The fires are now beginning to die out. Brenda says, "Alright, time for the grand finale! Use Flash once more!" Glitterfly generates another burst of light. At first, nothing of note seems to happen, but that quickly changes. Suddenly the air above and surrounding the stage is full of glowing sparkles of golden light.

The audience is impressed. Ash asks, "Where'd all those sparkles come from?"

As if to answer, Gillian proclaims, "Spectacular! Burning away all of that web has filled the air with tiny particles of ash, all which are now reflecting the light of Glitterfly's Flash. It's genius!" Brenda and Glitterfly take a bow. "Let's see what are judges have to say about that performance!"

Mr. Contesta is first. He says, "That performance was the perfect way to demonstrate Glitterfly's natural abilities and beauty. To borrow the words of my colleague, it was remarkable!"

Mr. Sukizo is next, and he complains, "Hey, that's what I was going to say!"

Nurse Joy, who is chuckling at Mr. Sukizo, then says, "That was a show of beauty, grace, and precision. I don't know if anyone could top that." The crowd cheers. Brenda returns Glitterfly and runs back off stage.

Who's the Pokémon!?

Because it never removes its skull helmet, no one has ever seen this Pokémon's real face.

Brenda runs into the coordinator waiting room backstage. She runs over to Michelle, who is now wearing a purple and white dress. Brenda asks, "Did I do okay?"

Michelle looks over to her and says, "Okay!? You did great! Are you really going to tell me that you never practiced for that, it was all improvisation?"

Brenda shrugs. "Not entirely. I told Glitterfly what I envisioned before the contest started."

Michelle shakes her head in disbelief. "Wow."

From the TV in the front of the room, Gillian can be heard saying, "Alright, our next coordinator is the self-proclaimed princess, Jessileia!"

Brenda looks to the TV and says, "Oh, this girl is good. I battled her in my last Contest." Michelle watches as well.

On stage, Jessie, wearing her sparkling black dress and hair in buns, runs onto the stage. She shouts, "Hello one and all, your favorite coordinator, Jessileia is back and better than ever!" She throws a Pokéball. "Come on out Mime Jr. darling!" In a storm of hearts, Mime Jr. emerges from its Pokéball.

James, from the audience, cries in despair, "Oh Mime Jr., please be okay!"

Jessie says, "Alright my little darling, let's give this an audience a show they won't ever forget!" Jessie leaps out onto the stage, standing next to Mime Jr. This seems to confuse most of the audience. Jessie begins to do a little dance. She says, "Alright Mime Jr., use Mimic and copy my every move."

Mime Jr. nods and happily declares, "Mime mime!" It begins copy Jessie's dance moves. The two begin to move in perfect sync. Each dance move that Jessie executes, Mime Jr. copies perfectly. The crowd still seems uncertain of what they're watching.

Jessie then says, "The crowd doesn't seem to understand our act. Why don't we change that? Teeter Dance Mime Jr."

Mime Jr. now takes the lead. It begins to dance differently, now waving its arms to left, and then to its right. "Mime mime mime mime." A light surrounds Jessie, and she begins to dance like Mime Jr. as well. Within a moment, the entire audience as well as Gillian and the judges have been surrounded by the same light. They are compelled to stand up and begin to dance in the same way. Most appear more confused than ever.

Gillian, while dancing, laughs, "Well you look at that, Jessileia has opened up her little dance show to the entire audience! How fun!"

With that, the audience begins to laugh, and start to enjoy themselves. Even Ash, Pikachu, Brock, and Kappaqua are dancing along. Ash says, "I don't want to dance, but I can't help it!"

Brock explains while dancing, "It's Mime Jr.'s Teeter Dance, it causes confusion amongst other Pokémon. In this case, it's making us all dance along."

On the other side of the Contest Hall, James and Meowth are dancing. James is crying as well. "Will you look at that, my little Mime Jr. is a star. I'm so proud."

Both Jessie and Mime Jr. then put an end to the dance with leap into the air, landing on their knees. The audience stops it dancing and cheers.

Mr. Contesta says, "Well, I had quite a fun time dancing around like that. It was truly unique and unorthodox performance that had Mime Jr. both copying and being copied."

Mr. Sukizo proclaims, "The dancing of this audience is remarkable!"

Nurse Joy smiles and says, "It was an unexpected performance to say the least, but creative."

Gillian announces, "Well there you have it, give it up for Jessileia!" The crowd claps. Jessie takes a bow. Mime Jr. copies. After getting back up, she turns to the other side of the room and bows. She turns and bows again. She continues to take bows, maybe a few too many, before running off stage, Mime Jr. following.

It's Cubone!

Gillian announces, "Alright, it's time for our next contestant. She's another coordinator from Launch Town! Give it up for Michelle!"

Michelle runs out onto the stage and the audience claps. She waves and then pulls out her Pokéball. As she throws it, she declares, "Darumaka, come on out!" In a whirlwind of flames, Darumaka appears.

Backstage, Brenda observes, "That's the Pokémon Michelle used to battle Team Rocket."

She pulls out her Pokédex. "Darumaka, the Zen Charm Pokémon, and a Fire-Type. When Darumaka pull in their arms and legs, they can be impossible to knock over. No matter how much force is used to push them, they will return to being right-side up. Evolves into Darmanitan at level 35."

Michelle commands, "Alright Darumaka, let's give them a show they won't forget! Use Roll Out!" Darumaka curls up into a ball and begins to roll in a circle around the stage. It picks up speed until it is rolling at incredibly high velocities. "Alright, now throw in your Flare Blitz!" Darumaka becomes cloaked in a brightly burning flame. It now burns brightly as it rolls. It leaves behind a trail of fire, creating a ring of fire. "Alright, you know what to do!"

"Daru maka!" Darumaka breaks out of its circular path, and begins to roll in various directions. It rolls back and forth, forwards and back, leaving a flaming trail wherever it travels. It begins to travel in such a way that the fiery path begins to form into an intricate tessellation on the stage.

Gillian announces, "Wonderful, Darumaka's super-heated Rollout is setting our stage ablaze, but with the most beautiful results!"

Michelle then declares, "Alright, stop in the center and use Belly Drum!"

Darumaka rolls to the center and uncurls itself. It begins to pound its chest with rhythmic beat. As it beats its chest, the flames burning around begin to rise and fall.

Gillian explains, "Wow, the concussive beats of Darumaka's Belly Drum are causing the flames to practically dance to the rhythm."

"Now, one last beat, and make it a big one!"

"Darumaka!" Darumaka pounds on its chest on last time, this time creating a loud beat. With that beat, the flames all jump high into the air, and then extinguish. Michelle and Darumaka bow.

Gillian cheers, "Well, I think that was a great performance, but my opinion doesn't really matter, does it? What do you say judges?"

Mr. Contesta says, "A mesmerizing performance! The intricate pattern of those flames, combined with making them dance made for a wonderful show!"

Mr. Sukizo says, "I found that display to be absolutely remarkable!"

Nurse Joy states, "Those flames almost looked like they were alive the way they danced. It was a very fun performance to say the least."

Michelle returns Darumaka and walks off stage.

Brenda and Michelle are backstage. Ash and Brock walk towards them with Pikachu and Kappaqua. Brock says, "You two both did a great job."

Brenda and Michelle turn to face them. Kappaqua runs over to Brenda and jumps into her arms. "Kappapapaqua!"

Brenda hugs it back and asks, "Did you like my performance Kappaqua?"

It nods. "Kappa."

"I'm sorry I'm not using you this Contest, but I really think Rabbolt will do great in the Battle Round." Kappaqua nods in understanding. Brenda turns back to Ash and Brock. She asks, "Do you really think I did well?"

Ash nods. "You sure did. It was a great show." He looks at Michelle. "You too."

Michelle smiles. "Thanks."

From the TV, Gillian can be heard announcing, "Alright folks, the judges have determined the rankings of all the coordinator's performances, and I'll say for them, it was not easy! If you would all turn your attention to the main screen, we'll reveal the lucky top eight coordinators moving on to the next round!"

Everyone in the room looks up to the screen in anticipation. The first image to appear is that of an unknown coordinator, but he is followed by Brenda's image. Brenda leaps up and cheers, "Yeah, I made it!" There are two other coordinators, and then Michelle.

Michelle cheers, "I'm in too!"

Several more images appear. Jessie, standing off to side looks up anxiously. There are now seven images on screen. Her image appears last. She shouts in outrage, "What, last place!? These judges obviously don't know genius when they see it." She shakes her head. "Whatever, I made it through, and now I'm going to win."

Gillian says, "Alright, match-ups will go as shown!" A tournament bracket is shown. In the first battle, Brenda is up against a random trainer, and in the last, Michelle is up against Jessie. "The Battle Round will begin soon, so get ready coordinators. Good luck!"

Brenda and Michelle both face each other, clasp hands, and jump up and down cheering, "We made it! We made it!"

Michelle says, "Alright Brenda, it's you and me in the finals, right?"

Brenda nods. "Count on it."

Brenda is in the middle of a battle with the coordinator she was matched up with. Rabbolt is in front of her, and the opposing trainer has an Azumarill. There are two minutes left on the clock, and both coordinators have about half of their points remaining. Brenda commands, "Alright Rabbolt, Shockwave!"

"Rabbbbboltttttt!" Rabbolt releases a burst of lightning at Azumarill.

The opposing coordinator counters, "Jump into the air and use Water Gun!" Azumarill jumps up and dodges the attack. It then attacks with a torrent of water.

"Rabbolt, redirect your attack to the Water Gun!" Rabbolt aims slightly upwards, causing the electric attack to make contact with the water attack. The Shockwave travels down the length of the Water Gun and shocks Azumarill. Azumarill faints, and the judges all declare a knockout.

Gillian declares, "And it's over just like that! A well placed attack by Rabbolt has secured a victory for Brenda!"

The Contest has moved further along. Now its Michelle and Jessie battling. Michelle is using her Poliwhirl, while Jessie has James' Haking. They're about halfway through the allotted time, while Michelle has slightly more points than Jessie. Jessie commands, "Haking, cover the field with Smokescreen!"

"Hak Haking hak!" Haking floods the field with a cloud of smoke, obscuring all sight.

Michelle advises, "Stay on guard Poliwhirl."

Poliwhirl can be heard affirming, "Poli!"

Gillian states, "Not being able to see is definitely going to be a problem for Michelle and Poliwhirl." As she says that, Michelle's score lowers.

The Smokescreen begins to thin out. Jessie says, "Alright Haking, as soon as you can see again, unleash a Sludge Bomb barrage!" Within moments, the smoke is completely gone, and Haking has reappeared behind Poliwhirl. It attacks with Sludge Bomb.

Michelle quickly shouts, "Look out behind you Poliwhirl!" Poliwhirl quickly turns, and then leaps to the side just in time. Jessie loses some points.

This angers Jessie. "More Sludge Bombs, more Sludge Bombs!"

"Counter with Water Gun!" Poliwhirl blasts a torrent of water at the Sludge Bombs, which washes them away before they can cause any damage at all. With this, Jessie loses even more points.

Jessie continues to get angrier. "Tackle!" Haking rams itself towards Poliwhirl.

"Leap up and Water Gun straight down!" Poliwhirl leaps into the air, and lands on top of Haking. It releases a pointblank Water Gun and leaps back off. Jessie's points lower again.

Jessie is getting furious. James in the audience is getting worried. "Oh my poor Haking, what is Jessie doing?"

Jessie shouts, "Don't you have any moves that will do anything!?" Suddenly she realizes something and gets a mischievous look.

James goes wide-eyed with surprise. "No…she couldn't possibly be considering using that move…"

Jessie shouts, "Haking, Explosion!"

Haking turns towards Jessie with surprise and questioning. "Hak!?"

Jessie commands, "Do as I say, Explosion attack, now!"

James shouts, "Jessie, no, don't do it!"

It's too late. A massive explosion originating where Haking floats quickly covers the field. Jessie cheers, "Yeah, that will do it!"

James shouts in despair, "Haking, no!"

Michelle is unsure of what to do. After a moment, the smoke from the Explosion clears. When it does, it becomes obvious that both Pokémon have been knocked out. The judges hit their buzzers and two X's appear on each of their tables.

Gillian announces, "It looks like both Pokémon have been knocked out at the same time! In such a rare event, we turn to the screen to see who had more points!" On the scoreboard, it can be seen that Michelle has quite a bit more points than Jessie. "And Michelle wins!"

Michelle is unsure whether to cheer, or be sad for Poliwhirl. She returns it to its Pokéball.

Jessie is outraged. "What!? What do you mean I loose!? My attack knocked out the opponent! I should be the winner!"

Gillian is unsure of how to respond. "Um…I'm sorry but rules are rules."

Jessie begins to stomp towards Gillian with hand curled into fists, but just as she does, Meowth and James, dressed in their disguises as Jessileia's managers, leap in and restrain her. James grabs Haking's Pokéball and recalls it, and then they both guide her off stage. Once off stage, James looks angrily at Jessie. He demands, "How dare you use that move!? I told you that it was off-limits!"

Jessie, now suddenly calmer, shrugs. "Hey, it almost won it for me."

James shouts, "No it didn't, it lost you that battle and hurt Haking in the process!" He snatches back Mime Jr.'s Pokéball as well. "I'll never let you use my precious Pokémon again!"

Jessie crosses her arms and turns around. "Fine, I don't need them. My own Pokémon are more than competent enough."

Wobbuffet appears. "Wobbuffet!"

Jessie looks at it angrily as she returns it. "Did you have to prove me wrong?"

Clips from the next round are now shown. Brenda and Rabbolt battle with a Victreebel and wins with a Bounce to the face. Michelle and Poliwhirl battle a Lombre, and win as well.

Gillian announces, "Alright everybody, the wait is over! Our final round is here! Brenda will be facing off against Michelle in a battle of Launch Town coordinators!"

Brenda and Rabbolt are on one side of the stage, and Michelle faces her on the other with Poliwhirl. Michelle shouts, "Alright Brenda, promise me that you won't go easy on me just because we're friends!"

Brenda nods and responds, "Only if you promise the same!" Michelle nods back.

Gillian announces, "Alright, five minutes on the clock, battle begin!"

Brenda makes the first move. "Rabbolt, start off with Shockwave!" Rabbolt unlashes its electric attack.

Michelle counters, "Block it with Mud Shot!" Poliwhirl sends several projectiles of mud towards Rabbolt, which intercept and block the electricity. They then continue on to hit Rabbolt. Brenda takes the first loss of points.

Brenda declares, "Bounce out of it Rabbolt!" Rabbolt leaps into the air and comes down on top of Poliwhirl.

"Dodge it!" Poliwhirl manages to dodge by side-stepping.

Brenda quickly adds, "Shockwave, now!" This attack is at close enough range that it makes contact. Michelle now loses points.

Michelle attempts to counter. "Mud Shot, again!"

"Jump back, quickly!" Rabbolt manages to jump back before the attack is used. "And then use Hidden Power!" The two attacks collide and cancel each other out.

Michelle says, "Alright Poliwhirl it's time for our secret move, widespread Mud Shot, followed by Water Gun!" Poliwhirl flicks its head as it fires a barrage of Mud Shots, sending them in a wide arc. It then does the same with its Water Gun. The water hits the mud, and the two attacks mix together, forming a wave of mud. Rabbolt tries to dodge, but the attack is spread too far and it hits.

Gillian exclaims, "Wow, watering down your Ground-Type attack while fighting an Electric-Type Pokémon may not sound like the smartest idea, but it sure did seem to work!" Brenda loses a descent chunk of points.

Brenda says, "Alright Rabbolt, don't let that stop you! Let's do a combo of our own! Use Static Cloak followed by Bounce!" Rabbolt covers itself in sparks of electricity and then bounces into the air.

Michelle shouts, "Get out of the way Poliwhirl!" Poliwhirl manages to dodge.

"Try it again, keep it up!" Rabbolt leaps back into the air towards Poliwhirl. Poliwhirl manages to dodge again, but Rabbolt keeps at it. Another jump, and it manages to land on top of Poliwhirl. It immediately leaps back. Sparks surge through Poliwhirl.

Gillian explains, "Since Rabbolt used Static Cloak before making contact with Poliwhirl, it's now become Paralyzed! That's going to make things hard for Michelle to bounce back." Michelle's points now take a hit.

Michelle says, "Alright, no matter. Use another Mud Shot!" Poliwhirl attempts to attack again, but without the ability to move and aim, Rabbolt effortlessly dodges the attack.

Brenda commands, "Shockwave now!" Rabbolt fires its electrical attack. Poliwhirl is unable to dodge, and is sent flying upwards. "Now Bounce up and knock it to the ground!" Rabbolt jumps, putting it right above Poliwhirl.

Michelle smiles. "Thanks for that Brenda. Water Gun, now!" Poliwhirl uses Water Gun, causing it to fly backwards, which makes Rabbolt completely miss its target and crash on the ground. "Now, Body Slam and Water Gun!" Poliwhirl use Water Gun upwards, and propels itself down towards Rabbolt and slams into it.

Gillian says with excitement, "Amazing, Michelle has just had Poliwhirl use its Water Gun attack as a way to move through the air and power up its Body Slam!" Brenda loses a large amount of points. There's only a minute left, and Michelle is winning by a descent amount.

Brenda's eyes go wide as she realizes what Michelle just did. In the audience, Brock seems to have noticed too. He says, "Wow, that move Michelle just did was an adaptation of her and Brenda's childhood game. How creative!"

Ash just nods, as he seems distracted. He plays through what just happened in his head again. Rabbolt is coming downwards towards Poliwhirl, but Poliwhirl dodges in midair, despite being unable to move well, by using its Water Gun. Ash suddenly leaps up and declares, "I've got it!" Brock and Pikachu look up to Ash with some confusion. Ash, somewhat embarrassed, sits back down and says, "I'll explain later."

Back onstage, Brenda congratulates, "Wow Michelle, good move. I didn't see that one coming."

Michelle smiles. "I thought you'd appreciate that one." She looks to Poliwhirl and says, "Alright Poliwhirl, let's get back in this! Use Mud Shot!"

Brenda counters, "Hidden Power, followed by Shockwave!" The Mud Shot and Hidden Power collide and stop each other. However, Rabbolt's Shockwave hits its target. Michelle loses points for that. There's 30 seconds left. Brenda then says, "There's no time to lose, Hidden Power again!"

Michelle shouts, "Use Water Gun to get out of the way!" Poliwhirl blasts itself backwards using the recoil of Water Gun.

"We were expecting that! Turn now!" Rabbolt changes its angle of attack quickly, and manages to hit Poliwhirl at its new spot. "Now turn it into another Shockwave!" Rabbolt then pumps its electric attack at Poliwhirl, hitting its mark. Michelle loses some more points, but she is still winning. Only ten seconds left. "Come on Rabbolt, we have to hurry!" Five seconds left. "Use-"

Poliwhirl suddenly faints, right before the clock strikes zero. The judges all declare a knockout.

Gillian exclaims, "And after all that, it would seem that Poliwhirl just couldn't recover from its Paralysis! That means the winner is Brenda!"

Everyone cheers. Ash and Brock stand up to clap. Kappaqua is jumping for joy.

Brenda is smiling and looking over the applauding audience. She is extremely happy. But then she notices Michelle. She is returning Poliwhirl, and appears extremely disappointed. When she notices that Brenda is looking at her, she puts on a smile and waves. Brenda's smile turns to a fake smile and she waves back, apparently upset to see that her friend is upset. Michelle slowly walks offstage.

Gillian announces, "Our judges will now present Brenda with the coveted Orbitz Ribbon!"

The three judges walk over to Brenda, Mr. Contesta holding the ribbon. He asks, "This is you first ribbon, correct?" Brenda nods. "Very good! I have high hopes for you, and look forward to seeing you in another Contest."

Mr. Sukizo says, "That last battle was remarkable!"

Nurse Joy says, "It looks like you've been doing this for a long time now, despite only just starting. Good job."

Brenda accepts the ribbon. "Thank you."

Gillian declares, "And there you have it folks! That ends the Orbitz City Pokémon Contest, thank you all for coming!"

It's sunset. Brenda is running out onto the street, she's wearing her normal clothes again. Ash and Brock chase behind her. She shouts, "Michelle, wait up!" She catches up with Michelle, who was walking away.

Michelle turns around and says, "Oh, hi Brenda." She doesn't seem devastated, but is obviously trying to hide her disappointment.

Brenda says, "You just left before we could talk. Are you okay?"

She nods. "Yeah, I'm fine. I just…" she hesitates, takes a deep breath, and continues, "I just thought that after all the practice I put in, and you putting in almost none, that I would win for sure."

"Oh…I'm sorry."

Michelle shakes her head. "No, it's nothing to apologize about. You beat me fair and square."

Brenda puts a hand on Michelle's shoulder. "Michelle, why don't you come with Ash, Brock, and I? It could be fun, just like old times."

Michelle shakes her head. "Sorry, but no. I need to find my own way right now." She laughs. "I need to find a way to beat you."

Brenda laughs as well. "Alright, I understand. So we'll meet again?"

Michelle nods. "You can count on it. And next time, I'll beat you."

Brenda nods. "We'll see about that."

With that, Michelle turns around and walks away. Brenda waves, and she waves back.

Ash suddenly declares, "Alright, now we've got to get moving on towards Atmos City! Watching your battle inspired me on a new strategy I can use to beat Skyler."

Brenda asks, "Really, what is it?"

Ash smiles, "You'll have to wait and see."

There's nothing that brings out the best in you quite like old friends, and now that Brenda and Michelle have parted ways, there's no doubt that they'll meet up again. Now with Ash's Atmos City gym challenge up ahead, and a new strategy to boot, you'll just have to stay tuned!

To Be Continued…