This is the third fic in a trilogy I've written. To read the other two, follow these links:


http://bmgf. (second)

I don't know if the coding will mess up because I originally wrote these for a forum. Hopefully it doesn't.

Until chapter 3, the romanized/Japanese names for the Diamond and Pearl Pokémon are used.


CENTERButler Empire Films presents

An Enigma Shadow Production

Anthony Salerno

Rachael Lillis

Veronica Taylor

Eric Stuart

featuring Hilary Thomas as Elita

Sean Schemmel as Dr. Yung

Gordon Elliott as Gordor

and Frida Lyngstad as Maria

"Pokémon XD3:

The Waves of Truth"/CENTER

bPROLOGUE/b: Slipping Through My Fingers

IFour hundred ninety three.

A seemingly normal number, but it holds a great significance.

493 is the Pokédex number of Arseus, said to be the very first of many hundreds of wondrous creatures known as Pokémon. These creatures inhabit our Earth and share it with us.

Different people interact with the world's Pokémon in different ways. Some people simply live side-by-side with Pokémon. Some raise their Pokémon for tests of showmanship and talent known as Pokémon Contests. They are called Coordinators, and their dreams all lead to one place: the Grand Festival and its prize, the coveted Ribbon Cup.

But without a doubt, most people fall into the third category: people who collect, raise and train Pokémon as friends and partners for competitions against others known as Pokémon battles.

They are the Pokémon trainers of the world. Always looking to gain strength and skill, they take on all kinds of challenges, from random street battles with other trainers to tournaments at the most posh arenas in the world. One of the biggest challenges for trainers is the finally-resurrected Battle Frontier, back several years after collapsing on the news that it was being used as a front to raise money for an evil organization's designs on world domination.

There are seven facilities throughout the Houen Region, each with a unique challenge, in the Battle Frontier. Victory over a facility's leader, a Frontier Brain, earns a Symbol showing passage through that facility's test. Once six of the seven Symbols are collected, the challenger may take on the seventh and final facility: the Aeria Tower in high-tech Larousse City. Only the best of the best can make it that far, and awaiting them at the end of the road is the director of the Battle Frontier and its final Brain, the Tower Tycoon.

This is where our story begins. This is the story of the Tower Tycoon and his family, and their being drawn into a wicked plot by a sickeningly familiar face who refuses to give up on her dream of forcing the entire world --- if not even more --- to bow before her domination.../I

One could be blinded by the great sunlight glistening off the glass buildings making up the Houen metropolis of Larousse City. Not far from Slateport City and just a short ride from South City, Larousse was known as the place to go if you had any interest whatsoever in the highest of technology. The city's mayor, Prof. Lund, was the mastermind behind much of it---the city's transportation, security and sanitation systems all came from his mind.

As always, Larousse was busy that day. The city's main transportation for those heading in or out was twofold: hydrofoil yachts could take small groups of passengers between Larousse, Slateport and South City literally in minutes, while a monorail train system served as a second direct link between the towns. While in town, Larousse citizens and tourists usually didn't have to worry about getting lost or tired as they traveled about the city, for many of the sidewalks were motorized. Red, double-arrowed paths were the express belts, yellow single-arrowed the slower ones, better suited to sightseers or those with a more laid back temperament. If food was what you desired, there was technology for that, too. Robotic vending machines filled with burgers, hot dogs and ice cream were scattered throughout the city, ready to serve anyone's hunger.

Perhaps one of the more interesting things about Larousse was its great cleanliness. This too owed itself to Prof. Lund's mind: to solve the problem of littering, robotic trash pails were set up about the city, and with a simple scan, would dispose of your garbage. Of course, that doesn't cure all littering---and therefore, one more job for the main security system of the city: the Block Robots. These were flying robots made up of various interchangeable cubes, serving all kinds of purposes from punishing litterers (usually with a swift jolt) to displaying maps of the city for tourists. Tying it all up was the Passport system, requiring all tourists and citizens to present personal identification cards known as "Passports" to the Block Robots or certain places to gain access.

Noone can argue what the centerpiece, the pride of Larousse City, was. Right in the center, dwarfing the rest of the metropolis, was the Aeria Tower. A gorgeous architectural marvel, a spear of glass and ivory scraping the heavens, the Aeria Tower served as not only Larousse's chief tourist attraction but as the seventh and final stop for those trainers taking the challenge of the Battle Frontier in the Houen Region. To those trainers who had claimed the other six Symbols by besting the first six Frontier Brains, the Aeria Tower was their final stop on the quest for immortality. Standing between them, however, one final knockout tournament, then a battle with the disco-star trainer Miror B. to warm up, and finally...the Tower Tycoon.

Reigning over the Aeria Tower, challengers knew what they'd be up against if and when they managed to face the Tycoon in a battle. After all, he'd taken down an evil organization that corrupted the souls of Pokémon to use as weapons---twice.

But at the moment, he wasn't at the Tower. Instead, he was at his home: a humble yet elegant cottage in the woods just outside Larousse City. Its pale yellow stucco contrasted well with the blue window frames and blue shingles, as well as the heavy oak door.

Inside the house, most everything was for one room, where a man with spiky bluegreen hair dressed in a matching blue sweater and pants sat on the plush orange carpet with a young girl whose purple, flipped-at-the-back hair matched her purple skirt. Also inside the room was a red-sheeted bed covered with Poké Dolls and green curtains covering the windows, but the only thing that mattered was the blue Nintendo Wii hooked into a small television that was sitting on the floor before them. Both of them held a Wii Remote, and on the TV screen, a Regirock and Flygon were facing off against a Raichu and Whiscash.

"Go, Regirock!" the man shouted with a chuckle. "Bury them with Earthquake!"

On the screen, the rugged, tall Regirock collected its energy and fiercely stomped the ground with its dots flashing. A shock wave penetrated the virtual earth, catastrophically damaging Raichu with a knockout blow as it hurt Whiscash. The words "FLYGON makes GROUND moves miss with LEVITATE!" appeared on the screen as well.

I"Raichu goes down! It's a one-hit wonder!!"/I an announcer's voice called as the Raichu's virtual trainer---a girl almost identical in look to the girl controlling her---recalled it.

"Daddy, you won't beat me! Whiscash, Surf!" the girl commanded.

On the cue from the Wii Remote, the virtual Whiscash swam over itself in a roll and opened its mouth wide, summoning a wall of harsh water. Whiscash rode the wave with the ease of a pro surfer as it smashed against Flygon and Regirock. The latter collapsed on the spot.

I"Regirock has fainted in one hit!"/I boomed the announcer.

"You're a little toughie, aren't you, Olivia?" the man laughed. "This isn't---"

A woman dressed in shades of purple and white with purple hair matching the young girl's stood in the doorway to the room.

"You two having fun? Rich? Olivia?" she asked with a smirk.

"Oh, Anabel, you better believe it!" the man, Rich, replied. "She's got battle skills from the both of us, that's for sure!"

"Well, I'm going to have to interrupt your little game," Anabel said, her face suddenly becoming dim. "There's a call for you."

"Okay." Rich stood from the carpet and turned to Olivia. "Daddy'll be back in a few, so don't cheat, ok?"


Rich nodded and strode out of the room. There were several rooms between Olivia's room, where he'd been, and where the videophone was located. As he walked, Rich took summary of his domain: the dining room with its elegant woodwork, china and chandelier, the grand staircase at the entrance, and finally, the living room with its glass table, big-screen TV and black, cushy couch. It was here that the videophone was located, another big video screen with a keyboard in front of it. Rich walked up to it and pushed a button on the keyboard, activating the screen. On it appeared a beautiful blonde woman wearing egg-shaped glasses and a red business suit.

"Mr. Mistbloom!" the woman greeted. "I trust you've been well."

"Quite well, Jamie," Rich answered. "I was just playing some IPokémon Battle Revolution/I with my daughter...what's up?"

"Rich, you're needed at the Aeria Tower immediately. A challenger has arrived and he demands a match with you."

"Tell him to put it off," Rich grunted, slightly annoyed. "I have a life outside of giving out Ability Symbols. When I have some spare time I'll do it, but right now I need to be with Olivia and Anabel."

"Yeah, about that..." Jamie began to trail off, sensing that what she had to say wouldn't go over well. "The challenger is Brendan Birch of Littleroot Town. I know you've heard of him? The red-hot challenger who burned through all the other Brains like they were butter. We can't just deny him a match when he demands one."

Jamie's earlier premonition about her news not going over well was right on the money. Rich turned for a moment, then turned back with fury in his eyes.

"You're my manager, Jamie!!!" he shouted angrily. "It's your job to keep these greedy brats in line! If this kid can walk all over me, just waltzing into the Aeria Tower and getting us to swoon all over him like he's some movie star or something, they'll all be doing it soon enough!"

"..." Jamie was blank. "Mr. Mistbloom, sir...I'm sorry, but I can't...I just can't deny him his match when he wants it. This kid could be our biggest draw ever. People are talking about him like no other challenger. Have you been watching the Houen News Network? They've been following Brendan's Battle Frontier challenge like it was a Moltres sighting in Larousse City! This thing is huge, sir, and as regrettable as it is that I must tear you away from your family, there's nothing I can do about it. I'm sorry."

"...fine. Tell the organizers I'll be over there in a few."

Angrily, Rich slammed his fist on the hang-up button, turning off the screen and ending the call. Anabel had been watching from the other side of the room, and walked to his side as he held his face.

"Now,'s going to be alright," Anabel said soothingly and comfortingly. "One battle. One quick battle, then you can come back here and play with Olivia all you want."

"You don't understand," Rich replied, his voice split between anger and depression. "She's seven years old now, and I've barely been there for her. What's next? Next thing you know, she'll be going for the prom, getting married, having children, and at this pace I'll still not be there for her! She's slipping through my fingers, Anabel, and I want to catch as much as I can before it's all gone."


Anabel could never finish her sentence, as Rich had stormed off in a huff. As he returned to Olivia's room, this time he didn't take note of the posh environment he'd surrounded himself in. All he could think about was how he was slowly losing his daughter to the merciless winds of time...and then, when he saw Olivia patiently sitting there in her room, waiting for his return to finish their game, he nearly broke down in tears.

"What's wrong, Daddy?" Olivia could sense something wasn't right.

"Olivia...your father needs to go away for a battle in real life." Rich managed to choke out the words, though he was obviously struggling. "I'll be back soon..."

Without another word, Rich simply left. Anabel had come into the room silently, and together with Olivia, watched him leave in shamed anger.


The Aeria Tower had many facilities including a shopping mall and a library in its massive structure, but of course, its main feature was the gigantic Pokémon battle arena on the top floor. The battlefield itself was circular, painted in a Poké Ball pattern, and had two smaller round holes for the competitors' elevators to come up from. Ringing the field was a pit several feet deep with lights shining straight up from it, and past that, stacked hexagonal video screens used to display trainer and Pokémon data during the battle. Past the screens, thousands of spectators cheered loudly from their seats. They wanted a battle, and a battle was what they were going to get. The referee, a man in a white and blue uniform that contrasted sharply with his long brown hair, flew in and over the arena in a zero-gravity booth.

"Ladies and gentlemen!!" the referee called out to the cheering crowd. "The official Battle Frontier match at the Aeria Tower is about to begin! Introducing the challenger...a young man who's shattered all matter of expectations and records on his way to the top, and now he stands here with Battle Frontier immortality just inches from his grasp! Hailing all the way from Littleroot Town, please welcome to the Aeria Tower our challenger --- Brendan Birch!"

One of the circular, Poké Ball-painted elevators came up on its cue, and the crowd began to go wild. Standing on it was a boy with long white hair, dressed in a black and orange shirt, black and yellow pants, and wearing a black headband and black and orange shoes. He waved to the crowd and basked in the applause as the spotlights shone down on him, but after a moment the lights went out, and the crowd became dead quiet.

"And he comes!" The referee had barely finished one sentence when the crowd began to go wild again. "Now, let us introduce our champion, here to put Brendan's skills to the test! Here he is, the man of the hour! Your Tower Tycoon, Rich!!!"

The elevator opposite Brendan rose to the arena floor, bringing Rich into the spotlight. Now dressed in his battle attire of a blue suit with a black undershirt, matching black pants and shoes, and a blue hat with a spiked back, Rich ignored the crowd and all the celebration for his presence and stared dead ahead at his challenger. This was unusual---usually Rich was loose and had a lot of fun during battles.

"I certainly hope you're ready," Rich commented with a tone of great seriousness. "You may have beaten the other Brains, but that was just to get here. Nothing matters here except your own abilities, and if those are not up to snuff, you will fail."

"No need to be so serious!" Brendan countered. "After I lost in the Houen League I got the same way, but now I just love to battle."

"You have a good heart. Now let us see if that is enough for you to topple me and complete your belt with the Ability Symbol."

"Ladies and gentlemen! The battle between Brendan of Littleroot Town and Rich, the Tower Tycoon, will now begin! Each trainer will use three Pokémon in a Double Battle, but only the challenger is allowed to make substitutions during the battle. Trainers, send out your Pokémon!"

Tower Tycoon Rich ---vs.--- Pkmn Trainer Brendan

"Here we go...Lucario, Porygon-Z, I choose you!"

Rich plucked two red-and-white Poké Balls from his belt and gave them a mighty through. They burst open in flashes of light, revealing the purple-black-and yellow jackal-like Lucario and a red and blue Porygon-Z.

"In that case, I'll go with...Aggron! Shiftry! Let's do it!"

On Brendan's side, out came his steely Aggron and leaf-armed Shiftry.

"All right!" the referee called from his booth. "The battle is between Brendan's Aggron and Shiftry, facing Rich's Porygon-Z and Lucario! Begin!"

"Porygon-Z, use---"

"Shiftry, Fake Out!"

Brendan interrupted Rich's command, quickly prompting Shiftry to deliver a snapping blow to Porygon-Z's face with its leaf arms. The virtual Pokémon cringed as a result, unable to attack.

"Hmph...clever. Lucario, show him the way we do things 'round these parts! Blaze Kick!!"

Lucario needed no more directions. With its gaze locked on Shiftry, the Steel and Fighting type lept up into the air on its powerful legs, which both became burning columns of fire as it plummeted down towards its target.

"Intercept it, Aggron! Dynamicpunch!!!"

With speed defying its heavy, normally sluggish bulk, Aggron moved into position in front of Shiftry. It drew back its right arm, which began to glow red---then when Lucario came close, delivered a punch attack of explosive force. Aggron did take a blow from the flames of Blaze Kick, but the hit it had landed on Lucario more than made up for it. Lucario crashed backwards onto the ground and quickly lept up...however, it was not completely healthy. Besides the extreme damage it had taken, fury raced through Lucario's mind. Despite being an honorable fighter, the hunger for revenge held Lucario...a hunger not helped at all by the state of confusion Aggron's Dynamicpunch had left it in. Lucario stumbled about in a weak manner on its spot.

"Lucario!!!" Rich cried out, startled by how quickly the battle had taken a bad turn for him. "Gah, this is getting us nowhere. Porygon-Z, use an Ice Beam!"

Fresh and over its cringing, Porygon-Z rushed to the attack by launching a beam of freezing-cold ice from its blue beak. Shiftry took this blow and took it hard, tumbling backwards. Some ice had formed on parts of its body too, distracting it with thoughts of unpleasant cold.

"This isn't working out quite as I had thought. Shiftry, come back!"

Brendan raised the Poké Ball and a red energy beam shot out of it, enveloping and pulling Shiftry back into the sphere's safety.

"An early withdrawal from the challenger's side!" the referee announced. "What Pokémon will replace Shiftry?"

Already prepared to answer that question, Brendan had his next Poké Ball ready.

"It's time to rock and roll! Let's do it, Swampert!!"

Much to the crowd's delight, Brendan's choice was his Swampert, a Water and Ground type Pokémon. It had evolved from Brendan's Mudkip, his very first Pokémon, and had become the star of his squad for the Battle Frontier.

"It's Swampert!" cried the referee. "Swampert, Aggron, Shiftry: we've seen all three of the challenger's Pokémon now. From the Tower Tycoon's side, we've seen Porygon-Z and Lucario with one more still in reserve. Continue the battle!"

"Lucario, you can do it! Pulse Bomb now!"

Unfortunately for Rich, Lucario couldn't do it. Still confused from Aggron's Dynamicpunch, Lucario slipped and fell backwards onto the floor, then rolled over and loosed a Water Pulse attack into the ground, hitting itself in the process.

"Things are going quite well now...Aggron, finish this up with a Brick Break!"

Again targeting Lucario, Aggron simply dashed forward, wound up, and delivered a punch of crushing power. Lucario wilted and collapsed under its strength.

"And we have our first knockout!" the announcer declared as the crowd cheered. "Lucario goes down, so what will we see next from the Tower Tycoon?"

Rich had already recalled Lucario and had another Poké Ball ready.

"You're not taking my Symbol that easily," Rich growled with a hint of frustration in his voice. "I choose you, Slowki..."

Suddenly, and without much warning, a different Poké Ball still on Rich's belt burst open completely on its own. Out of it came his Roserade, an elegant Grass and Poison Pokémon.

"It's Roserade that the Tower Tycoon calls out third! Can it and Porygon-Z triumph over Brendan's tough team?"

"ROSERADE!!!!" Rich screamed in anger. "I didn't want you, I was trying to call out Slowking! Can't you EVER behave?!! Gaaaaahhh...Porygon-Z, Tri Attack!"

Rich was obviously losing his focus, the combination of Roserade's unexpected entry and the stress from his situation at home heavily weighing on his mind. Porygon-Z, despite being a bit confused itself about the command, attacked with a triple-beam shot at Swampert. When the beams hit their target, Swampert took several steps back but quickly recovered, its determination unfazed.

"This isn't working at all, this indirect attacking. Roserade, use Giga Drain!"

Despite its only having tiny legs, Roserade dashed bravely towards Swampert. Its goal: to latch onto Swampert and drain its energy, a sure knockout seeing how Grass-type Giga Drain was superbly effective on both of Swampert's types.

"An easily countered tactic. Swampert, Blizzard! Let's go!"

"Swaaaaaaaampppp..." the mud fish Pokémon opened its mouth wide. "Swaaaaaaaaaam...PERRRRRRRRRRT!!!!!!"

When it exhaled, an icy blast of wind came out of Swampert's mouth. Roserade was caught right in this barrage and never stood a chance---it fainted instantly. Porygon-Z, despite hanging back near Rich, caught some of the attack's power as well, crying out from the pain it inflicted.

"Roserade has gone down...!" The referee was almost stunned at what was happening. "What's gotten into our Tower Tycoon? If he doesn't capture lightning in a bottle with Porygon-Z, he's going to lose!"

The crowd was going wild for the battle as Rich, frustrated and by this point rather upset, recalled Roserade. He said nothing as he and Porygon-Z prepared to face the inevitable monstrous attack Aggron had coming.

"Let's begin to put the finishing touches on this, Aggron. What do you think?"

"Aggrrroooo!!!" the Steel and Rock type roared in reply to its trainer.

"Great! Aggron, Dynamicpunch! Go!"

This time it was Aggron who made the move with Dynamicpunch. Bearing down on Porygon-Z with miraculous speed, Aggron drew its arm back and swung with cataclysmic force...and missed. The crowd took a collective sigh after the high intensity of the moment.

"We must get this together, Porygon-Z! Thunderbolt!!"

At this point Rich was just sloppily and vainly ordering attacks, as he was completely unfocused and out-battled. Porygon-Z knew this when it jolted Aggron---though its attack was quite potent and left some electrical burn marks on Aggron's steel armor, for all intents and purposes the battle was over.

"Aggron, we're nearing the brink! Use Body Slam!"

With a fierce roar, Aggron dashed again in Porygon-Z's direction and when it got close enough, simply fell forward and dropped its full weight onto the much smaller Normal type.

"POOOOORRRRRRRRYYYYY!!!!!!!" Porygon-Z cried out as it was crushed under Aggron's bulk.

"Oh no!! Porygon-Z!"

"Enough, Aggron. Let it go." Aggron did as Brendan commanded, standing back up and taking several steps back. Porygon-Z lay prone on the ground, struggling to get back up. "Now finish it off, Swampert! FOCUS PUNCH!"

Even though it was a Water and Ground type, Swampert's agility made it look like it actually was flying. As Swampert drew back its fist, it began glowing with a bright white light, and Rich could only watch in horror as Swampert descended on Porygon-Z and loosed the catastrophic punch.

When the dust cleared from the attack, Porygon-Z lay bruised and battered on the ground. Rich had lost.

"It's all over! The winner is Brendan, the challenger! Our Tower Tycoon has lost!"

"...I lost..."

The crowd went even wilder than ever as Brendan and Rich stepped to the center of the arena, where all the spotlights were now directed. They shook hands...but Rich seemed rather detached from the whole situation.

"Congratulations, challenger..." Rich said spacily. "You've beaten me, so you have completed the test of the Aeria Tower, the seventh and final Battle Frontier facility. For your victory, you recieve this..." Rich took a gold token with a slightly oblonged pyramind shape on it from his pocket and handed it to Brendan. "The Ability Symbol. Congratulations again..."

With that, Rich simply turned and stepped on his elevator to leave the arena. Even though the crowd was cheering for him, Brendan seemed confused.


As for Rich, he had his face down to the ground as he stepped out of the elevator back down to the main lobby of the Tower. As he walked out of the Tower and into the sunlight, Roserade suddenly popped from its ball.

"Rose, rossseeeh, roserade? Raderose, rose?" The small Pokémon was trying to comfort its trainer.

"No, Roserade, it's your fault!!!" Rich screamed, snapping. "Had I won that battle I would've been home with Anabel and Olivia much faster! But no, you couldn't help yourself from coming out at a bad time and totally screwing up my strategy!"

"Roseh...raderoserose, roseradeeeee? Roserade."

"I don't care if you saw Swampert and thought you could win against it!" Rich's anger wasn't cooling down, and Roserade slowly recoiled in upset fear. "Slowking could stand up much better against its water, ice and fighting attacks, and that's why I wanted it! Not you!" Still getting angrier, Rich pulled Roserade's Poké Ball from its belt. "You stay in your ball until I want you, you naughty thing."

With great fury, Rich sent Roserade back into its Poké Ball and headed home...


Anabel and Olivia were sitting at the heavy oak dining table, under the light of a grand crystal chandelier, playing a game of "Go Fish." Olivia was winning, too, her four rows of Bulbasaurs, Roselias, Sudowoodos and Regices a healthy lead over Anabel's two, Munchlaxes and Bonslys. Also on the table was a stack of white envelopes.

"Got any..." Anabel peered over her cards, assessing the game. "Dusclops?"

"Darn! Three!" Olivia handed over her three Dusclops cards, which were promptly laid down by Anabel with her own Dusclops. Now the score was Olivia four to Anabel's three as Olivia examined her own cards. "Um...Rapidash?"

"Go fish!" Anabel and Olivia shared a good laugh.

That laugh didn't last long, though, as Rich came crashing through the door at that moment. He was clearly distraught and disheveled, causing Anabel to leap from her seat in shock.

"Rich!!" she shouted with concern. "What's wrong? What happened?!"

"I'll tell you what went wrong," Rich growled. He then clenched his fists, trying not to snap again...but failed to hold it back. "I have to face some kid when I don't want to, then I get humiliated by him, and now my daughter is slipping through my fingers while I waste my time screaming at Roserade for coming out when I didn't want it! THAT'S what's wrong!!!!!"

Anabel had been tense, but she relaxed the muscles in her body as Rich finished shooting off.

"Rich, let's go through this piece by piece, okay?" she asked comfortingly. "First, the battle. We all have bad days where battles go wrong, right?"


"So there's nothing to be upset about there. If you yelled at Roserade, though..." Anabel's expression changed to one of seriousness. "You owe it an apology. Right now. It did what it did because it wanted to help you."

Rich was silent for a moment as he thought through what Anabel had told him. It didn't take long for the answer to dawn on him: she was right. He had acted stupidly and cruelly toward Roserade, and needed to make it right. Without a word, he released Roserade from its Poké Ball.

"Roseeeeeeeeeh..." Roserade was nervous, understandably so. It thought Rich was going to scold it again.

"No need for that, Roserade." As soon as it saw Rich wasn't angry anymore, Roserade calmed down and relaxed. "I wanted to...I mean, I apologize for how I yelled at you at the Tower earlier. I understand you came out to try and help me win because you knew your Grass attacks would be lethal to his need to try working on your getting overexcited, Roserade, but I'm sorry."

"Rosee!!!! Roserade rose roserade!!" the small Grass and Poison type said happily as it lept into its trainer's arms. Rich couldn't help but crack a smile.

"Thank you, Anabel. I feel much better now." Rich then noticed the letters on the table. "Ah, I see the mail came while I was out. Anything good?"

Anabel picked up the letters and fanned through them, eventually selecting one sealed with gold foil and setting the others back down.

"Nothing," she answered, "except this. Here, read it."

Anabel handed the letter to Rich. He read over the envelope to see who sent it, and his eyes widened when he discovered their identity.

"Rosemary?!" he said in shock. "Prof. Willow's assistant?"

"That's her handwriting," Anabel replied, confirming Rich's question. "I really wonder what it is, but I wanted to wait for you to open it."

Without hesitation, Rich did just that, extracting the letter itself and discarding the envelope. He then unfolded it and began reading aloud in a clear voice.

i"Dear Rich and Anabel Mistbloom,

Hi, how have you been? It's been so long since I last saw you! I bet Olivia's grown into a fine young lady, too.

I've written this letter to let you know of something very exciting. Now that I am a Pokémon Professor in my own right without having to rely on cruel people like Willow, I have to have something to study, right? Well, I decided to move to the Aquane Region---which is paradise, by the way---and study its legend.

You see, the legend of Aquane is quite complex. It falls into the ancient civilization of Pokélantis, which tried to take over the entire world using Ho-oh's power. Well, long story short, I've made an exciting discovery! The two Pokémon sought by Pokélantis's emperor for their powers of time and space---that would be Dialga of time and Palkia of space---were thought to have vanished into thin air, but I think they just might be located somewhere in Aquane in their dormant states!

I can't tell you everything my research has uncovered in this letter. Therefore, I extend a most cordial invitation to you. Please come to Aquane at your earliest convienience and visit me at my lab in Floria Town.

Looking forward to seeing you,


"How exciting!" Anabel exclaimed as Rich finished reading the letter. "I'm very curious to see what kind of discoveries she's made."

"Me too, but..." The thoughts going through Rich's mind were of the Aeria Tower. If they left on a vacation, a substitute Tower Tycoon would have to be named. That in and of itself wasn't a big problem, but it still was Rich's position. Then he saw Olivia, sitting at the table and looking up at him with those big blue eyes so reminiscent of his own, and decided. "Anabel, we leave immediately."

"...What?" Anabel was taken aback by Rich's sudden decisiveness. "We can't. All the arrangements have to be made..."

"I can do all that with one fell swoop. I AM the Tower Tycoon after all."

Rich gave a wink to his wife and daughter, then strode over to the videophone. After entering a code into the keyboard, Jamie appeared on the screen.

"Good day, sir. Has something come up? All the challengers for the day are done."

"Listen, Jamie...I'm leaving on a trip with Anabel and Olivia. Since you're my manager, it's up to you to keep everything running smoothly while I'm away."

"Okay, sir..." Jamie seemed confused as well, and adjusted her glasses before continuing. "This is rather sudden, though. Did something come up?"

"An old friend sent us an invitation to go visit her in another region. Jamie, get our private plane ready for takeoff at once. After you do that, put Steven in my place as the Tower Tycoon until I return."

"Very well. Have a good vacation, sir."

Rich hung up, and the screen deactivated. He then walked over to Olivia and kneeled down in front of her.

"We're going on a vacation, and it's going to be me, you and your mother. Nothing's going to interrupt us. We can spend all the time we want together."

"Yay! Vacation!!" Olivia exclaimed happily. "Thank you, Daddy!"

Unfortunately, not all was well...a tiny computer chip, unseen by all, had been recording the entire conversation. Outside the house, in a bush, there was a shady woman with curly blonde hair hiding and listening in with some sort of radio transmitter.



Somewhere far away, sinister events were brewing.

It was a darkened chamber in some place of evil dwelling far from the glitzy world of Larousse City and the Aeria Tower. One would enter this chamber through a rainbow-colored pair of automatic sliding doors, reflected in the well-polished dark blue floor tiles. At the other end of the chamber, opposite the door, a wall of video screens provided running statistics and observations on the rest of the palace and beyond. Just a few feet from the video wall, at the top of a short flight of steps, there was a tall-backed throne of sorts that provided complete shrouding for its occupant. The only characteristics noticeable were slender arms on the armrests and long black hair curling out from the edges of the chair, enough to identify the person in the chair as female. Two men, one in a white lab coat with spiky gray-green hair and the other an old man wearing a blue parade leader's uniform entered just as a ringing sound indicated an incoming transmission. The sinister woman in the chair pressed a button on the armrest, causing one of the screens to shift to that of the blonde-haired spy.

"Rogue Tulip to Shadow Leader," the spy whispered, obviously in code. "Come in, Shadow Leader."

"Shadow Leader responding," the woman in the chair replied. "What do you want, Domino?"

"Queen Shadow, our suspicions were correct," Domino explained. "I posed as the post girl and slipped a transmitter into the letter adressed to Rich and Anabel from Rosemary. Would you like to hear the recording itself?"

"Play it from the top."

"Okay, just a moment..." Domino fumbled for her transmitter. After she finally set it up, she clicked a switch to begin the recording.

I"That's her handwriting. I really wonder what it is, but I wanted to wait for you to open it."

i"Dear Rich and Anabel Mistbloom,

Hi, how have you been? It's been so long since I last saw you! I bet Olivia's grown into a fine young lady, too.

I've written this letter to let you know of something very exciting. Now that I am a Pokémon Professor in my own right without having to rely on cruel people like Willow, I have to have something to study, right? Well, I decided to move to the Aquane Region---which is paradise, by the way---and study its legend.

You see, the legend of Aquane is quite complex. It falls into the ancient civilization of Pokélantis, which tried to take over the entire world using Ho-oh's power. Well, long story short, I've made an exciting discovery! The two Pokémon sought by Pokélantis's emperor for their powers of time and space---that would be Dialga of time and Palkia of space---were thought to have vanished into thin air, but I think they just might be located somewhere in Aquane in their dormant states!

I can't tell you everything my research has uncovered in this letter. Therefore, I extend a most cordial invitation to you. Please come to Aquane at your earliest convienience and visit me at my lab in Floria Town.

Looking forward to seeing you,


"How exciting! I'm very curious to see what kind of discoveries she's made."

"Me too, but...Anabel, we leave immediately."

"...What? We can't. All the arrangements have to be made..."

"I can do all that with one fell swoop. I AM the Tower Tycoon after all."

"Good day, sir. Has something come up? All the challengers for the day are done."

"Listen, Jamie...I'm leaving on a trip with Anabel and Olivia. Since you're my manager, it's up to you to keep everything running smoothly while I'm away."

"Okay, sir...this is rather sudden, though. Did something come up?"

"An old friend sent us an invitation to go visit her in another region. Jamie, get our private plane ready for takeoff at once. After you do that, put Steven in my place as the Tower Tycoon until I return."

"Very well. Have a good vacation, sir."

"We're going on a vacation, and it's going to be me, you and your mother. Nothing's going to interrupt us. We can spend all the time we want together."

"Yay! Vacation!! Thank you, Daddy!"


"Wouldn't you know it!" Queen Shadow spat angrily. "We've spent seven years reforming after the collapse. We can't let them ruin our plans this time. Domino, continue to monitor the situation."

"Right away, Queen Shadow. Rogue Tulip signing off."

Domino vanished from the screen. Exasperated, Queen Shadow rested her head of flowing black hair on her arm and began mumbling to herself.

"Uh...Queen Shadow?" the scientist suddenly asked.

Queen Shadow lept up in a start then pressed a button to turn her chair around. Now fully in view, she could be seen as a very beautiful but wicked woman with a gorgeous face and deep blue eyes to go with her long black hair and virgin white gown.

"Yung and Gordor, don't EVER startle me like that again!"

"I do apologize," the scientist, Dr. Yung, answered. "It won't happen again. But we bring good news."

"Ah! I've been looking for good news. You two better have something."

"Oh, we do, believe me!" Yung had a lot of pride in his voice. "I believe my colleague Gordor here could explain the basics best."

The older, blue-suited man known as Gordor stepped forward.

"My Queen Shadow, a great leap forward in the technology available to Enigma Shadow has occured." Gordor's voice was even prouder than Yung's, something Queen Shadow quickly picked up on. "By combining my research into the Capture Stylers of the Ranger Union along with my own Power Styler design with the specs of Dr. Yung's Shadow System, we have created the ultimate Shadow Styler."

"I'm listening..." For once, Queen Shadow actually was being honest. She really did seem interested in what Yung and Gordor had to say.

"My system lends its power to the focusing of Gordor's Power Styler design," Yung proudly explained. In fact, he was so proud he sounded like a new father, his child being the wicked Shadow Styler. "It cannot capture Pokémon, I'll tell you that now. That function had to be sacrificed in order to accomplish everything else."

"Actually," Gordor continued, "we prepared a demonstration. Could you call Brandon, Queen Shadow?"

"Of course I can." Queen Shadow pressed another button on her armrest. "Brandon! Get up here now!"

Almost like magic, a tall brown-haired man dressed all in green explorer's clothes entered the room. He approached the Queen and took a bow before her.

"You request my presence?" Brandon's voice was indicative of his personality---serious and no-nonsense.

"Yes, Brandon. What is your role in Yung and Gordor's little 'demonstration' you prepared for me?"

"I'm glad you asked that," Brandon replied, stepping into position slightly off to the side. "As you know, Dr. Yung perfected a system to send more shadow energy into a Shadow Pokémon so it could use stronger attacks. What we have done is build this system into an efficient and simple way to use effectively: musical instruments, which we did with Gordor's help."

"We've completed the first Shadow Styler," Gordor added as he took a small box with a red button on it from his pocket. After setting it on the floor, he pressed the button---causing the box to burst and transform into a golden gong suspended on a wood frame. "This gong is our very first outputted Shadow Styler. When it is played, by banging it in this instance, shadow energy shall surge through the body of the Pokémon it is programmed to affect."

"I'm impressed so far," Queen Shadow praised---and praise was something rare to hear from her. "Now show me it in action."

"Very well." Yung and Gordor took their positions next to the gong while Brandon stood opposite them. "Gordor and I shall control the Shadow Pokémon this gong is programmed to control for the test. We'll show how it can cause massive power surges like we explained by battling Brandon."

Shadow Technicians Yung and Gordor


Shadow Commander Brandon

"I will send out the first Pokémon. Go, Aggron!"

Brandon threw a single Poké Ball, calling upon his Aggron.

"Queen Shadow, for this battle we're borrowing Brandon's Shadow Regigigas," Yung explained as he pointed up to the ceiling and banged the gong. "Regigigas, come!"

On its cue, a massive monster dropped from the ceiling. It was very tall, with a white, black-striped body, yellow joints matching its yellow chest/head, and green fluff on its shoulders and feet. On the white part of its chest were three pairs of eyelike dots colored red, silver and green and on the yellow part, black dots going up like buttons then four more on its face in a diamond pattern.

"GigAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!" the beast roared, flexing its arms.

"Impressive," Queen Shadow commented. "Now let's see this in action."

"First we'll demonstrate the normal attributes of attack and defense," Brandon explained. "Aggron, Iron Tail!"

Aggron's tail began to shine lustrously like metal as it rushed Regigigas. With a quick spin, the iron beast whipped its tail around and smashed it against its enormous foe. Regigigas stood unmoved, its weight keeping it down, but moaned in pain.

"Now for offense." It was Gordor giving Regigigas the first command. "Regigigas, Shadow Rush!"

"Regiiiiiigig...aaaaaas..." Almost soulless, Regigigas simply dashed at Aggron as it gave off both a sinister black cloud from its body and yet another moan. This tackling attack knocked Aggron for a loop, but again, it wasn't severe. Aggron quickly recovered from the blow and forgot the pain it had caused.

"Now, that was normal power," Yung said as he readied the red-tipped beater. "Watch as we now send Regigigas's power...UP! INTO! OUTER! SPACE!!"

Spacing his words with a bang of the gong between each, Yung activated the Shadow Styler. With each note played, a visible surge of dark electricity shot through Regigigas's body from head to toe.

"REGGIIIIIIIIII!!!!! GIGGGGGAAAAAAAA!!!!!" it screamed, violently lashing back from the massive energy flowing through its body.

Then it happened. The miraculous power of the new Shadow Styler became apparent as a shady cloud began to emenate from Regigigas unlike any seen before...and then Regigigas completely changed color. Its body was now totally black except for the red dots that replaced its normal black dots.

"Whaaaaa..." Queen Shadow was literally floored.

"This is when what we can do ireally/i shows itself," Brandon said with a wicked smirk. "Aggron, use Focus Punch and aim straight for its face!"

Without question, Aggron went immediately for Regigigas. However, when it swung its arm to deliver the powerful Focus Punch attack, it seemingly hit a barrier. Regigigas's shadow aura actually blunted the blow severly, leaving it to take the equivalent of a Scratch attack, nothing even remotely close to that of Focus Punch.

"Fwahahahaha!!" Gordor spread his arms and laughed into the cold air. "Now, Regigigas! Our ultimate move---Shadow Break!"

This Shadow Break attack started normally---save for Regigigas's increased shadow aura---as it dashed as quickly as its large bulk allowed towards Aggron. When it got within reach of its foe, things changed in a hurry---Regigigas drew back its fist, and focusing all its power, smashed Aggron with a massive punch. Not a lightweight---it weighs seven hundred and ninety four pounds average---Aggron was sent flying across the chamber and hit the far wall with a sickening crash. It literally peeled off the wall and fell to the floor, the attack having more than easily defeated it.

Almost as magically as it appeared, the shadowy aura vanished from Regigigas and the Pokémon returned to its normal colors. Queen Shadow, meanwhile, actually stood up and applauded.

"Bravo! I'm more than satisfied!" she praised.

Brandon walked over to his fallen Aggron and recalled it as Yung and Gordor stood before Queen Shadow.

"So let us recap," Gordor said, taking a breath. "With each note played on a Shadow Styler, the Pokémon it is programmed to will have a surge of shadow energy sent through its body."

"This shadow energy can be used two ways," Yung continued. "One, it can act as a shield to blunt attacks of any strength, and two, the next attack used will summon up all the shadow energy for one massive strike. The only problem is that we don't know how to make the Stylers maintain shadow energy levels after an attack, or how to make them control more than one Pokémon. We hope to work out those problems in the general output of..."

"You fools haven't begun making more of these wonderful devices?!" Queen Shadow angrily interrupted. "What is wrong with you?"

"Oh, uh, my queen...we were waiting for your permission to go forward with production," Gordor offered meekly.

"...fine. I authorize general production of Shadow Stylers to begin at once. When will the first one be complete?"

"Not soon..." Yung replied glumly.

"So we can't use it to stop Rich and Anabel...Yung, Gordor, Brandon, you three are excused."

The technicians and Brandon took their bows before the Queen, and left the room. Once they were gone, Queen Shadow sat back down in her ivory chair, spun back around to the video screens, and pressed a button on the armrest. Quickly, a muscular, ape-like man wearing huge square work goggles, a red worker's uniform, steel boots and a tool belt with a wrench on it appeared on the screen.

"Queen Shadow! What is it?" the man asked.

"Gorigan. What is the status of...Project Genetic Manipulation?"

"Oh, it couldn't be better!" Gorigan beamed. "Fine tuning is still being completed, but man, this thing is gonna be a beast when we finish it."

"Say, Gorigan...what would you think of..." Queen Shadow's voice and expression suddenly changed, becoming even more sinister. "A itest run?/i"

"A test run?! On what? This thing's got so much power, it could easily crush a jet airplane!"

"Heheheh...a jet airplane, you say? Perfect. PERFECT. Prepare it for launch on my command...don't let me down, Gorigan."

"Hyahyahya! You won't be disappointed!"

Gorigan vanished from the screen, and then Queen Shadow gave a sinister laugh that echoed throughout her chamber...


Quite a while later, a small white airplane sliced through the skies over the sea separating Houen from the Aquane Region. On its tail was the familiar emblem of four Poké Balls---the Battle Frontier's symbol. This plane belonged to Rich and Anabel.

Inside, the three passengers sat in great luxurious comfort. Plush purple carpet lined the floor, and the windows on the white-with-purple-stripe walls provided a great view of the open ocean. A big, flat-screen television was mounted on the wall seperating passengers from cockpit, and on it was live coverage of a Pokémon battle somewhere being fought between a Gardevoir and a Sudowoodo.

i"Sudowoodo, Mega Punch now!"/i one of the trainers commanded. His Sudowoodo followed orders, rushing Gardevoir with its fist pulled back and ready.

i"Gardevoir, Psychic!"/i Almost immediately, the Gardevoir began to use psychic powers to lift the Sudowoodo into the air.

"Bah, he walked right into that," Rich remarked. "See, Olivia? You don't do that against Psychic types. They can easily protect themselves from direct attacks."

"I understand, Daddy."

"Who's up for drinks?" Anabel asked, coming in from the back with a tray on which there were glasses of lemonade.

"Me, Mommy!" Olivia was first to grab a glass.

"I'll take one, Anabel." Rich took the second, leaving the last for Anabel, who sat down in her seat and took a deep breath in and out.

"We should be there soon," she said. "Once we meet up with Rosemary, I'm sure the local Nurse Joy will----"

Suddenly, a great crash shook the plane violently. Rich and Olivia fell from their seats, Anabel barely avoiding doing so as well.

"What was that?!!" Rich shouted in panic.

His answer came in a tremendous roar from outside the plane.

"RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIQUAAAAAA!!!!!!!!" Whatever owned the ear-splitting roar shot by the plane's window, but only for a split second.

"Daddy, I'm scared!" Olivia began to cry as Rich held her close.

"I'm here, Olivia, everything's going to be---"

Again, Rich couldn't finish his sentence as another violent tremor shook the plane. The pilot, a man dressed in a sharp blue uniform and hat, came into the cabin frantically.

"Mr. Mistbloom, we're under attack by some creature! It looks like a Pokémon, and it's destroying the craft!"

As if the pilot's summary needed its final point accentuated, a third tremor indicated that the mysterious monster was indeed attacking the plane.

"Rich, Olivia." Anabel's expression became grim and serious as she pulled three backpacks from a chest in the back of the cabin. "Put on these parachutes. I have a feeling we'll need to make an emergency landing."

Rich and Olivia did so with much haste, following Anabel's example. The plane continued to shake violently...and then, the front end of it tore off and plummeted to the sea. Rich, Anabel and Olivia clung to the seats for dear life to save themselves from the vacuum pull of the wind, and the pilot tied one of the now-flapping-loosely seatbelts around his waist.

"We're going to emergency crash landing!" the pilot screamed above the racket of the wind. "By the calculations we may be able to reach Aquane before crashi...?!??!"

As the plane continued its steady descent, the beast finally came into full view. It had the head and paws of a Raikou, but the long body of a Rayquaza and the tail of a red Gyarados.

"What is that thing?!!" Rich exclaimed, fear shooting through his mind. "Whatever it is, I'll die before I let it get either of you!"

"N-no!" The pilot stood steadfast between his passengers and the monstrous creature attacking them. "That's my job! Go, Manectric, Altaria and Dorapion!"

The pilot managed to bring out three Poké Balls, releasing the yellow and blue tiger-like Manectric, a beautiful Altaria, and the large, imposing purple Dorapion.

"Dorapion, Sludge Bomb! Go!"

Struggling to maintain its footing, Dorapion did manage to launch a blob of purple sludge from its fanged mouth at the beast, which splattered all over its eyes. Now blinded, the monster roared in frustration.


"Get...get back!" Anabel shouted to the pilot. "It's going to attack!"

"I can save this flight!" the pilot exclaimed defiantly. "It's my duty to do so! Now, Altaria, Dragonbreath! Manectric, Thunder!!"

With a thrust of his finger at the raging creature, the pilot ordered his attacks. Altaria and Manectric went forth with great courage to face the monster, and prepared to attack---but it was all too late. As its counter, the flying monstrosity positioned itself close to the plane and lashed out with its tail, slicing what was left of the plane away just before the seats---taking the pilot and his Pokémon with it.

"Oh no!" Rich was the only one who could manage any words as the horror simply got worse, although Anabel and Olivia were watching terrified also.

"QUUUUUAAAAAAAZZAA!!!!" The monster held the slice of the plane it had taken away in its coiled body and let out one of its deep, snarling roars to declare its supremacy.

A catastrophic mistake on its part. The three Pokémon inside weren't dead.

Without any warning, a sudden combination of attacks shot from the shard of the plane. First was a Hyper Beam, surely Dorapion's, that hit the beast right in the face. It was followed by Altaria's Solarbeam and Manectric's Thunder, the power of which combined to cause a large explosion, weakining the monster to a critical level and knocking it out of the sky.


Rich, Anabel and Olivia could hear the roars of the beast trailing off as it plummeted, then a heavy splash that surely indicated its landing in the sea. Even though that danger was now gone, they suddenly remembered that they were still in less than half a plane that was making an equally quick descent toward the ocean. Something hard to forget, but these circumstances weren't normal by any means.

"Rich..." Anabel gasped, holding to her seat tightly. "We're going to have to let go."

"Are you crazy?!" Rich was shocked. Again thoughts of home filled his mind...but this time there were his friends, like Anabel's parents Venus and Ein, Aeria Tower disco madman Miror B., and such. How would they all feel if such a rash act resulted in three deaths? "If we let go, the pressure will suck us out of the plane and out into the ocean!"

"But if we don't let go..." Olivia was clinging to Anabel's midsection for dear life, making it difficult for her to talk. "Look! I can see land in the distance! If we let go and deploy our parachutes, we might be able to use the pressure as a catapult to fling us to land!"

Rich opened his mouth to argue, but words escaped him. And as he thought about it, Anabel was right. Letting go was a risk, but certainly better than going under with the plane and drowning for sure.

"We'll go..." Rich finally agreed, albeit reluctantly. "But one thing first...Olivia."

Olivia looked up at Rich with sad yet terrified eyes.

"Olivia, whatever happens to you will not happen unless it happens to me, too. Please trust me."

"I..." Speaking was hard for the young girl, as it would for anyone in such terrifying danger. Finally, however, she managed to put together the words. " you, Daddy."

"That's my girl. On the count of three, we let go, and then when the air vacuum pulls us from the plane, we activate the parachutes. We either all make it, or we all don't. All or nothing...One. Two..." Rich almost choked on the last number. "...THREE."

The family let go of their holds, and as expected, the pressure from the air vacuum pulled them out of the plane. After screaming, which would be expected, they activated their parachutes and began a slower descent in the direction of the landmass Anabel had spotted...


Meanwhile, things were much more peaceful out on the land. Nothing was about, the air was still and quiet. A man was running with his rainbow-winged Chatot on the beach, long blonde hair, red jacket and gray khaki pants waving in the wind. On his belt, a familiar egg-shaped device---the Capture Styler. This man was a Pokémon Ranger, someone who worked to protect nature through sense and justice. There certainly wasn't any trouble on this beach he needed to deal with, though.

"Sure is a nice day for a run, eh, Chatot?" the man said to his Pokémon as he ran and it flew.

"Chaaaatot!! Nice day! Nice day!" Being a parrot Pokémon, Chatot possessed the ability to speak in human language, even if that ability was rather crude and rudimentary.

The man stopped running and looked around, sensing something odd. He didn't know why, but his Ranger instincts were flaring up---somewhere there was trouble. And it was nearby.

"It's too quiet right now, wouldn't you agree?" he asked Chatot, who had landed on his shoulder.

"Too quiet, Chatot! Chatot!"

"Something's wrong, I can tell. It's too peaceful." The man unclipped his Capture Styler and opened it, activating its cellular phone function. "Ranger Jackie to Floria Town Base. Come in, Floria Base."

"Mission Coordinator Judy clearing transmission," a female voice answered. "What is your report, Jackie?"

"I was going to ask you the same thing, Judy. I'm on the coastline east of Floria Town on a run with my Chatot. Have you got any reports of things unusual in this area? It is far too quiet here. I think something's up."

"Hmmm...let me check." The sound of a computer keyboard came through the Styler's phone as Judy searched the records. "Nothing...except one thing."

"What?" Jackie's voice showed extreme concern. He could tell something had happened.

"A large piece of metal plummeted from the sky into the ocean about a quarter mile from your present location," Judy briefed, her voice flat and emotionless. "It is presently unknown what----"

"Stop." Jackie cut Judy off in mid-sentence, as he had suddenly spotted something on the beach. It was a large white and blue sheet that almost looked like a parachute, and nearby was a hat lying on the sand.

A dark blue hat with a spiked up back end.

"Judy, there's something...or someONE here."

"Wait...what did you say? SomeONE?!"

Jackie ignored Judy's alarm for the moment and rushed to the scene, where he discovered two more similarly-colored sheets. He slowly and carefully lifted one of the sheets...

...and found Rich, lying face down and unconscious, underneath.

"Oh my Gablias. Judy, we've got three people here on the beach. One confirmed male, found either dead or unconsious."

" all makes sense!!" Judy exclaimed, nearly blowing Jackie's ear out through his Styler. "That wreckage that fell into the sea might have been an airplane, and those might be victims of the crash! Get confirmation on the other two!"

Jackie had already set about doing that, quickly pulling the other two parachutes aside to reveal the unconsious forms of Anabel and Olivia.

"Judy, the other two are confirmed to be both female and dead or unconsious. But..." Jackie choked up, and a tear came to his eye. "One appears to be a child. We may be dealing with the deaths of an entire family."

"Oh, Jackie..." Judy quickly choked up in much the same manner as Jackie. "This is awful. If only there was something we could do..."

Jackie spied something else washed up from the water onto the beach in the corner of his eye that moment. It was green, with a white top and what looked like flower bouquets of red and blue. It was Rich's Roserade.

"We might just have a solution yet, if they're not dead..." Jackie said with a wry smile. He then hung up on Judy, closed the phone flap on the Styler, and activated its capturing function. "Capture ON!"

A silver and blue top-like object---the Capture Disc---shot out of the top of the Styler and began circling Roserade. As it did so, an antenna extended from the Styler and Jackie began to move it around in a circular motion, making the Disc form a circle of energy around Roserade. Soon enough, the energy faded into Roserade's body, meaning the capture was successful.

"Capture complete!" Jackie announced to himself proudly.

"Capture complete!" Chatot comically mocked. "Capture complete, Chaaaatottt!!! Complete, Chatot!"

Roserade stood up and shook itself off as it regained conciousness. It then looked around at its surroundings, confused.

"Roooosseehhh? Roseradeeee?"

"Hi, Roserade..." Jackie was careful to not sound threatening. "Think you could do me a big favor? Please use Refresh on this man here."

Roserade cooperated, thanks to Jackie's skillful use of the Capture Styler. It walked over to Rich and placed its bouquets on his head, then began glowing a healthy green color.

"Roooooooooooosssse...roseh...raade..." Roserade hummed calmly as it transferred energy to Rich. Finally, Rich sat up with a start.

"Whuh?! Where...where am I?" Looking around, Rich saw Anabel and Olivia, still unconsious. He ran to them quickly. "ANABEL! OLIVIA! Oh beloved wife, my dear daughter..."

"Rosseh!!!!" Roserade shouted in excitement, leaping onto Rich's shoulder. It was quite happy to see him back.

Rich quickly smiled at Roserade, but then collapsed to his knees before the still forms of Anabel and Olivia.

i"No...this can't be..."/i he thought. No, not after everything that had happened. He couldn't fathom the thought of being the only survivor of the attack. "A...Anab...el...Oliv..."

Jackie knelt down next to Rich and put his hand on his shoulder to provide comfort. Chatot, meanwhile, perched itself on Jackie's head.

"Sir...they may still be alive..." Jackie said calmly, trying to encourage Rich and make him feel better. "They may just be unconsious like you were."

"Just unconsious, Chatot!! Just unconsi..."

Rich lept up in anger and grabbed Chatot right off of Jackie's head.

"STOW IT, BIRD!!" he shouted in anger. "I don't need your parrot act right now!"

"Whoa!" Jackie was rather shocked at Rich's sudden outburst. "Please, sir, calm down! Please, things are going to be alright!"

After Jackie's urging registered in his mind, Rich calmed and let Chatot go. The bird flew to its keeper and hid behind his long hair.

"I'm sorry. Was that Chatot yours?"

"Yes, it is."

"Oh dear. I'm so sorry, both to you and to Chatot...did you help me? I see you're a Pokémon Ranger..."

"Yes. Ahaha, that Roserade sure seems to like you very much." Jackie smiled as Roserade nuzzled Rich's neck. Suddenly, the truth dawned on the Ranger. "Oh, is it yours?"

"Yeah, it is. How did you become familiar with it?"

"Long story," Jackie chuckled. "I was running on the beach with Chatot when I came upon you three out unconsious. I then found Roserade washed up nearby, so I captured it and had it use Refresh to heal you."

"Thanks, Roserade. Let yourself out when we were in danger again?"

"Rosseh! Roseradeeeeeeehhhh!!! Raderade!" the flowery Pokémon replied.

"Thank you! But now, what about..."

"I was about to ask you that myself," Jackie cut in. "Do you own any other Pokémon with Refresh? Roserade might be able to heal the child, but it definitely doesn't have enough energy to heal the older one."

"Hmmm...ah, yes, I do! Melodic, come on out!"

Rich pulled one of his dripping-wet Poké Balls from his belt and popped it open, releasing the golden, serpentine Water type Melodic. It hummed in a beautiful voice as the sun glistened off its golden body and mirrored tail.


"Melodic, use Refresh on Anabel. Roserade, you use Refresh too, but on Olivia."

The two Pokémon followed directions, Melodic putting its tail on Anabel's face and Roserade healing Olivia similarly to how it healed Rich. For a few moments all were encased in a floating green aura, then finally, Anabel and Olivia sat up.

"Ugh...where am I?" Anabel wondered, dumbfounded.

"You're alive!!" Rich's excitement boiled over, and he dove into a tight embrace with his wife and daughter.

"Daddy! Mommy!"

"Rich, I'm so glad we're all safe!" Anabel exclaimed. "But...where are we?"

"I don't know," Rich confessed, "but we're alive and that's what matters. We owe a lot to this Pokémon Ranger for saving us."

"Aww, you don't have to," Jackie replied modestly.

"No, really, thank you, er..." Rich stumbled, realizing he never had asked the Ranger's name.

"My name's Jack Walker, most people call me Jackie. This is my partner, Chatot. Say hello, Chatot."

"Chattot!! Hello, Chatot, Chatot!"

All four shared a good laugh at Chatot's verbal antics, but the mood quickly dimmed again. After all, Rich, Anabel and Olivia still had no clue where they were.

"Thank you again, Jackie. I'm Rich, this is my wife Anabel and my daughter Olivia."

"Pleased to meet you!" Anabel said with a smile. Olivia, meanwhile, just nodded. "Jackie, could you tell us where we are?"

"Sure. This beach is the easternmost point of the Aquane Region. Not too far to the west of here is Floria Town."

"Floria Town...that's the place Rosemary said her lab is! Anabel, Olivia, let's get going. We need to let her know we arrived, even if not quite safely."

"Ah, you know Rosemary?" Jackie said, slightly surprised. "She came to our city a few years ago to research the legends of Dialga and Palkia. I'd be more than happy to accompany you on your way, but first we should stop at my Ranger Base in Floria Town so I can give in my report on what happened here."

"Fair enough. Come on, you two, we've got a ways to go."

"Daddy, can I see Dialga?" Olivia blurted out. Her question was a bit silly, but perfectly honest and innocent.

"Maybe Rosemary will show you later," Rich answered with a smile.

Satisfied that all were safe and accounted for, Jackie led the three off the beach and westward, towards Floria Town...


"YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!!!" Queen Shadow roared at the on-screen Gorigan from her ivory throne. "Run that past me again!"

"I...I'm sorry, Queen Shadow, but..." Gorigan was speaking meekly, and for such a large man, was actually afraid of Queen Shadow. "We executed the plan perfectly., "It" failed. We only killed their pilot, the three of them got away. Radar shows they fell into the ocean and quickly washed up on Aquane's eastern beach."

"You promised, no, you SWORE that Genetic Manipulation was finished save for fine tuning." Queen Shadow's voice was now dead calm, and this only made her even more menacing. "Gorigan, I trusted you to get rid of Rich and Anabel with it and you failed me."

"I'm sorry, my queen! It was an unforeseen..."

"SILENCE! Do not EVER answer me back! Right now you're on thin enough ice as it is, understand?!" Gorigan didn't even have a chance to reply before Queen Shadow continued. "If I must, I will remove you from Project Genetic Manipulation and appoint Gordor or Yung to oversee its completion. Am I making myself clear?"

"Crystal." Gorigan knew he had to choose his words carefully.

"Begone." With a slam of her fist, Queen Shadow disposed of Gorigan's virtual presence and left herself alone in the chamber. Soon, she was once again talking to herself. "Things will not be ruined again this time. Much has changed in these last seven years. Finally, Enigma Shadow will be able to rise from the ashes..."

An image of a Pokémon appeared on another of Queen Shadow's video screens. It had a horselike white body, growing out of which were yellow spears which curved to appear similar to a net or a spider web. Its appearance gave it the air of something...legendary...


Floria Town was a bustling small city, nestled in nature's wonders. There were no skyscrapers or the like, like what Rich, Anabel and Olivia were used to from Larousse---instead, the town was of small homes and shops, giving the place a very humble air. Trees lined the streets, and splitting the town down its middle was a beautiful creek.

i"This place is like paradise..."/i Rich thought as Jackie led the three Mistblooms into his Ranger Base.

The Ranger Base stood out from the other buildings in Floria Town, if not for any other reason than that it was much more modern and sophisticated than them. Topped by a satellite dish, the steel building glistened in the sun. Inside wasn't too different, the yellow metal floor polished to a brilliant, reflective luster. Inside were several other Rangers wearing similar uniforms to Jackie's, but the important people were away, at a long red desk. Sitting at the desk with a complex computer before her was a woman with curled-at-the-ends red hair, square glasses on her face and a white uniform with a blue stripe. Standing nearby was a large, imposing man cloaked in a red, spiked-end cape and similar red hat.

"You broke off communication with us before we had an idea of what happened," the man said dryly and gravely.

"I'm sorry, sir," Jackie responded, "but the situation called for an immediate response."

"Give me your report then. I can't know what you did going on just what you told Judy."

"First..." Jackie turned to Rich, Anabel and Olivia, but continued speaking to the intimidating man in the cape. "Sir, this is Rich, his wife Anabel, and daughter Olivia. They were the ones I found washed up on the beach when I broke off communication. Chatot and I had to help them immediately and I couldn't do that while sending a transmission."

"Chaaaaaaaatot, help, beach, Chatot!!!" the bird, now perched on the man's spiked red hat, squawked.

"Very well then," the man answered, not changing his tone but brightening his expression slightly. "I am Mason, the Leader of this Ranger Base. That makes me Jackie's boss."

"And I'm Judy, the Mission Coordinator," the woman added. "It's my job to keep organized our Rangers and their missions and Stylers."

"Are you new to Aquane?" Mason asked in a manner far too dramatic for the situation.

"Yes, we..." Anabel looked away for a moment, searching for the right words, then continued. "We kind of had a rough landing, if you will. Our plane was attacked by a mysterious monster, which caused us to crash just off the coast where Jackie found us."

"It was scary..." Olivia added innocently.

"Then I welcome you to the Aquane Region and to Floria Town. You see..." Mason turned away as he continued speaking. "...I've gotten personal notification of some kind of monster off the coast of this town myself. People who have seen it say it has the head and legs of a Raikou, the body of a Rayquaza, and the tail of a Red Gyarados."

"That's what attacked us!" Rich exclaimed. "It matches the description perfectly!"

"So it has attacked someone...I suspected as much. Now that you're on land you should be safe from it for now at least. But why would it attack your plane? Did you perhaps...provoke it?"

"No way!" Anabel shouted, becoming angry. "Are you trying to blame us for the whole thing?!"

"No, but..."

"You think I would endanger my entire family including my seven year old daughter just to provoke some random monstrosity?!" Anabel just kept getting angrier, and Mason couldn't do a thing to stop her. "You accuse us of provoking more time to my face and I'll..."

"Rich!! Anabel!!!"

Anabel stopped her tirade as soon as the familiar voice hit her ears. She and Rich turned around to see a dark-haired, bespectacled woman in a black sweater standing behind them.

"Rosemary?!" Rich was rather surprised. "Rosemary, is that you? It's been so long!"

"Indeed it has. The memories are flooding back to me...ah, crazy old Professor Willow and his Glitch Pokémon. I wonder what happened to that miserable old coot."

"Probably still in jail," Anabel ventured, albeit a bit cautiously.

"Yeah, most likely. Probably still raving insanely about how he's going to take over the world by turning all the Pokémon into drained Glitches too...oh?! Is this little girl who I think she is?"

"She is," answered a proud Rich. "Our Olivia...she's seven now, Rosemary. Probably doesn't even remember you."

"Daddy...?" Olivia's questioning tone confirmed Rich's statement.

"Oh, no worries!" Rosemary replied in a jolly tone. "Hello, Olivia. I'm an old friend of your parents, that's all. Pleased to meet you."

"Hi!" Olivia had regained her usual demeanor.

"Ahaha, she reminds me quite a bit of you two. Anyway, I bet you all need a place to rest. I heard everything about the monster and all. I've got plenty of space at my lab on the edge of town."

"Ah, thank you!" Rich said gratefully. After the entire ordeal, rest was just about the only thing he could think of. "Come, Anabel, Olivia. Let's get going."

"Right." Before leaving, Anabel turned to Jackie. "Jack...Jackie, was it? Thank you for helping us."

"You're very welcome. Do keep in touch if you're in town."

Anabel nodded to Jackie in agreement, then followed Rosemary, Rich and Olivia out of the Ranger Base and down the road to Rosemary's lab. The lab was the only other really modern building in all of Floria Town, sporting automatic double doors, shiny metallic walls and a satellite dish much like the Ranger Base. As the Mistbloom family stepped through its doors, their minds were blank from overload---after witnessing their pilot's death and nearly being killed themselves, seeing a freakish monster unlike anything they'd seen before, and then being washed up on the beach and saved by a Ranger with a hyperactive talking Chatot had left them just burnt out. They sat down on the metal chairs in the lab's front room in exhaustion, nearly asleep, and tried to just rest and make sense of it all.

Little did they know that their biggest, most dangerous adventure ever had already begun...