My apologies everybody! I've been writing this but suffered a huge writer block about midway. When I finally got a bit of inspiration, exams hit. Hard. Not to mention illness, cooking for the holidays, etc.

So when I managed to have time, I was kind of at a lost as to what I wanted to write and it also took a while to gather all of my OCs into one place. Hope everybody still remembers what is going on.

I promised this contest is going to be epic and I'm not going to let you guys down! Thus, I decided to take a longer time to rework some stuff for upcoming chapters.

Enjoy the chapter!

Chapter 91:

Cianwood City…

Rav and Liv were heading toward the docks where the cruise ship was ready to set sail to Whirl Islands. None of them were really in a jolly mood; even Liv, who usually tried to look at the bright side of things, was feeling really depressed.

"I hate these people," Rav grumbled rather loudly as he glared at the cruise ship. He was clutching onto his damaged electric keyboard dearly even though it was beyond hope for repair.

"Try not to say that when there are other people around," Liv sighed despite the fact she agreed Rav wholeheartedly. She received a message from Crystal that the Pokémon Contest was starting today. She really wanted to hurry over there, but the ship was taking a rather long time with this trip.

It was a lousy stay though Liv couldn't blame the residents here for the lack of warm welcomes. The island couldn't take care of so many rich tourists at once while trying to provide rescue and clean up after that terrible storm. Disgusted, these entrepreneurs decided to leave right away without giving the ship ample time to prepare.

"Did you call your aunt?" Rav asked, "You said that she wanted us to come visit her."

"Yeah, but she said to take our times. She understands that we want to travel around a bit."

"Your aunt is pretty chill about this." Liv blinked in surprise. Rav actually gave a pretty nice compliment. Usually his attempts leave the person more insulted than before.

"Hey umm," a voice interrupted the two, "does this boat head back to the mainland?"

"Huh?" Liv turned around to see rather familiar looking white hair trainer coming up toward the two. He was definitely younger than Liv and Rav by at least seven years. The trainer looked slightly uneasy at his own boldness but was determined to talk.

"Name is Darren Winter. I saw you guys earlier," he added. He was definitely trying to sound more confident than he looked. "You and some other people just arrived by boat yesterday s-so..." Now that the two older trainers were staring at him, Darren could feel himself shrinking in size. He was never good when it came to being in the center of attention. Hopefully, he wouldn't stutter as bad as last time.

"Oh!" Liv widened her eyes with recognition. "So you were that guy at the pier."

"What?"

"Oh when we arrived here, I saw you over there," Liv pointed to the location behind her.

"You have sharp eyes," Darren said, slightly surprised.

"Well, your hair kind of made it obvious. No offense or anything," Liv said quickly and turned to Rav as though expecting him to say something.

"So, no ride shorty?" Rav finally asked.

"Rav!"

"What? He is short."

Darren was red with embarrassment now and meekly nodded. "Well, I u-usually fly but seeing that I never been on a s-ship as fancy as this one before, I figure a change of travelling would be nice. B-b-besides, I heard they're doing t-t-tight air and water control. After all that damage out in sea, they need to do some serious cleanup. "

"You're pretty lucky then you weren't in that storm."

"Yeah, I guess. So is this ship heading back to the mainland n-now?"

"Umm, sort of. We're stopping at the Whirl Island first before heading back to Olivine." Rav muttered something along the lines of never agreeing to work for jerks again.

"Whirl Island? Hmm, haven't traveled there yet. Might be a good place to stop. Better t-t-than waiting here. There really isn't much to do here other than challenging the gym le-leader."

"Well good luck trying to convince the captain," Liv said. She was starting to notice how much Darren was stuttering and wondered if the poor trainer was frightened or something. Though what was there to be frightened of? "Most of these people here are on a fancy business trip that kind of took a sour turn."

"Really…" Darren took another glance at the ship. He didn't look convince that there were enough people on this boat who could choose who could get on or not on their very whim.

"Can't hurt to have one more person," Rav shrugged his shoulders. "We should go ask."

"Umm, to whom?"

"Hey, you kids, get a move on!" The three turned to find a rather short, almost the same height as Darren, plump man with a white sailor suit coming toward them. In his mouth was a cigarette.

Rav glared at the rude man. The captain from yesterday was much nicer than this new guy. For some reason, they replaced him; Liv and Rav suspected it was because the previous captain blamed those well-to-do people for the damages on that last ship.

"You two need to get on this ship now. We're wasting precious time with you yapping away." Before Rav could say something rude and blunt, Darren decided to interrupt.

"Excuse me, are you the captain?"

"Huh?" The man just noticed the white hair kid and the scowl became more pronounced on the man's face. Darren felt frightened but held his ground.

"I would like a room if that's not too much trouble." The man stared at Darren as though he was a nut.

"Don't be ridiculous. This ship doesn't take strangers. You want a ride, find someone else."

"Sir," Liv interjected, feeling sorry for Darren and liking the captain even less (if that was possible). "There are no other ships here. It won't be too much trouble and it's not far from our next destination. We're bound to find transportation for him at Whirl Island."

"You're questioning my authority, la-?" Rav quickly got between the captain and Liv before the man could say another word.

"Back off," Rav growled. The captain looked infuriated though Rav towered over him. How dare this obnoxious trainer say such a thing to his face.

Darren groaned. He didn't expect these people he didn't know to help and defend him. He better resolve things quickly before a riot starts. "Will this do?" Darren sighed as he handed a laminated card toward the man.

The captain, a little bit surprise at the sudden interruption, took the card and quickly read on it. He paled and quickly nodded to Darren. "So sorry for my rudeness from earlier. Please come this way sir. We'll have a room ready for you."

"What the-?" Liv couldn't help but stare as Darren was being led away. In less than two minutes, the captain was treating Darren as though he was some royal prince. "What just happened?"

"No idea," Rav stated the obvious, looking calm again. He didn't seem to be fazed at the tension he had caused just minutes ago. "Now, let's get going."

Whirl Island Pokémon Contest

Logan took a deep breath. Thirty minutes into the contest and he was the next to perform. Though he looked calm on the inside, he could feel the uncomfortable Butterfree in his stomach. Wearing his usual attire, Logan's rugged appearance contrasted greatly with the blue and calm arena. He carefully put his goggles over his eyes as he stepped out into the sunny spotlight on stage. He was going to need them for the upcoming performance.

"Let us introduce our next contestant – Logan!" The red hair trainer could feel the excitement in the air. The stage was beautiful and the water shimmered under the sunlight. It was a really good day to perform. He glanced up at the stands, knowing that Aria was up there somewhere cheering him on. Either that or she was saying something embarrassing.

"Logan currently has three ribbons. If he wins this ribbon, he will be only one away from making it into the Johto Grand Festival. Let's see what Logan has to show us he has what it takes to win."

"Then let's get started. Let's go! Gyarados!" Like a pitcher, Logan threw with the Poke ball with all of his might into the water with a splash. And just as quickly, a waterspout suddenly shot up into the air. Inside, there was a dark shadow within with glowing red eyes.

"GAHHHHH!" The large snake-like blue Pokémon roared as the water dissipated, sending powerful ripples across the water. The crowd fell silent, frightened by the sound. Gyarados' blue scales shone brightly against the sunlight as well as its very sharp white teeth. Its red eyes glared at its surroundings, taking in everything.

"Hyper Beam!" Logan ordered after relishing the silent moment. Opening its jaw, Gyarados absorbed powerful energy to a condensed ball and then released it straight into the water. Upon impact, the water formed into a powerful circular wave that surrounded the entire stage.

"Now Blizzard and Ice Beam!" A sudden chill filled the arena as ice and snow blasted around. The large tidal wave of water froze, leaving a stunning piece of icicles in its place.

"Wow! Logan does not waste time and already started things off with a bang! That Hyper Beam caused a huge tidal wave. And the Ice Beam and Blizzard combo froze the water up to a stunning appeal!" Stunning didn't do it justice. The sunlight glittered off the ice, spreading rainbow light among the crowd. The crowd, now overcoming their shock, jumped up and applauded at such a bold and powerful attack.

The three judges were saying something but Logan didn't hear them. He gave a quick sigh of relief as he took off his goggles. Water droplets fell from his hair but he didn't care about his wet appearance. The appeal was good and it went better than he had anticipated. He turned to the television that plastered his face for everybody to see. Those other coordinators better watch out. He was not someone that should be taken lightly.

"Wow, he has a Gyarados?" Ana could feel her jaw dropping with shock. If she had been standing, Ana would've crashed down onto the bench. "I've never seen one that big!"

"Guess that is his ace," Crystal agreed grimly, "Looks like it won't be easy to beat him in the next round."

The waiting room for all the coordinators was more like a large locker room for a swim meet. Lockers lined up the walls and there were even shower rooms. Some of the immature guys were snickering at that. The one good thing about this place was that it was rather large and could fit all the coordinators and gave them the room to prepare their Pokémon. There were even several large televisions located in different corners of the room so that no one was crowded in one area.

"Oh Arceus," Ana groaned. "I wonder if my appeal will be able to stand up after that." Before Crystal could try and give some words of comfort, she found somebody she recognized coming toward them.

"Oh it's Kina. KINA!" Crystal was waving over their fellow coordinator, but soon realized that Kina didn't notice her and was too busy listening to another female coordinator.

Whoever this girl was, she was talking rather loudly and wore a forest green dress with a pink bow. Her long brown hair was tied up in a fancy ponytail. Although she was attractive, she had a look on her face that suggested not to take her lightly.

"Are they crazy?" She said to Kina. "They have enough room to do two battles at the same time? They might as well stick us in a closet!"

"Well, that's what they said. I mean, how else are they going to finish by the end of the day."

"Pfft. After everything that has been going on, I'm surprised that they didn't think it's a good idea to hold off for a couple of days instead. And where is that-?"

"Ellen?" Kina's friend immediately stopped talking and in slight confusion for suddenly hearing her name, turned to the direction of the voice.

"Ana? That you?" Ellen's eyes grew big and round. Kina looked over curiously, recognized both Ana and Crystal. But before Kina could wave to the both of them…

"It is you!" Ana grinned and rushed over to Ellen. The two girls immediately squealed and hugged and made a bit of a commotion in the room.

"You two know each other?" Crystal asked curiously as she got up from the bench.

"Yeah, since kindergarten!" Ana looked at her friend and was clearly impressed with the outfit. "Wow, it has definitely been a while. How is your sister?"

"Nellie is actually here. She is in the stands so after all this; we'll meet up with her. Gosh, when was the last time we all hanged out?"

"It was at that contest in Sinnoh a couple years back."

"Oh man, I remember that day. It was terrible. I was freaking out because I ripped my dress and not to mention I also lost."

"If I recall, you ripped your dress because you were beating up one of the contestant."

"Hey, he called me ugly, what did you expect me to do? Take it like a lady?"

"You got disqualified!"

"Oh yeah…" Ellen grimaced. "That's why I didn't win." Ana couldn't help laughing and shaking her head. Even Ellen couldn't help but chuckle at the memory.

"But anyways, Crystal! So good to see you again. Where is that lovable boyfriend of yours?" Ellen gave a rather mischievous grin on her face but to her disappointment, Crystal didn't blush or look embarrassed as she had hoped.

"Boyfriend?" Crystal was confused. "I don't have one."

"Well, aren't you a heartbreaker?" Ellen sighed, bored now. "Well, at least Nellie will be relieved."

"Huh?"

"Wait," Ana said, realizing something, "How do you two know Ellen?" Kina immediately launched into the story about the Battle Dome competition and the storm incidence.

"Oh wow," Ana's eyes got all wide now. "Though I shouldn't be all that surprised. Not the storm of course. I mean, we're all coordinators. We're bound to meet each other sooner or later."

"I guess. Anyways, what about that Logan guy," Ellen said, nodding her head toward the screen even though the performance had ended and another coordinator was on stage. "I bet plenty of people peed their pants when they saw that Gyarados. Even the judges."

"Well, I guess I'll have to figure out a strategy to beat that." Crystal was already forming a plan in her head. The initial shock had already worn out and she was already mapping out the best strategy to take down such a strong Pokémon.

"But you know," Kina said, "We're supposed to use two different Pokémon – one for appeal and one for battle. So we're not going to see Gyarados again."

"Oh yeah that's right." Ana remembered reading about that in the rulebook. "But after seeing that Pokémon, you can't deny he probably have quite a powerhouse. Makes you wonder what other Pokémon he has in stored."

"Maybe it is to intimidate us?"

"Well he's doing a mighty good job at it," Kina said as she noticed some of the pale looks that still circulated around the room.

"Pffft, oh come on!" Ellen said, not the least bit worried, "We got ourselves a decent team as well. I trust any of my Pokémon to take down his ugly gaping fish snake."

"Oh hey, the next coordinator is coming out," Kina said, pointing to the screen. "Ellen, isn't it almost your turn?"

"I think so," Ellen pulled out a ticket number from her pocket. "Yeah, I'm after three more coordinators. I need to get ready so I'll talk to you three later."

"Okay," Ana said. "We'll catch up later after the appeal part. Oh, and good luck."

"Thanks," Ellen smirked as she walked away. "But I won't need it."

"How much longer?" Alex asked. Although he asked the question, he wasn't exactly bored with what was going on. Despite being slightly annoyed by the loud noise the audience was making, Alex was glad he didn't have to move around much or answer any more questions. Yesterday was a nightmare, even for him. So for today, he was grateful that all he needed to do was eat popcorn and watch the big screen. The contest was going smoothly and Alex was enjoying it. Sure, some of the appeals looked sloppy, but overall, they were nice.

"Well, the board said that she's next," Nellie said, glancing around every so often. Although she wasn't competing, she couldn't help but feel nervous for her sister. "I haven't seen Kina though…"

"Calm down," Alex said, raising an eyebrow in surprise at Nellie's state, "You sound like you're the one who is performing next."

"I-I'm not nervous!"

Next, to Nelie sat Chaison. Chaison ignored the two and was looking anxiously at the board. It had the name of the five coordinators that were going to perform next. Ellen's name is on top but right now he was more interested in another name but it hasn't showed up yet.

When was Ana going to show up? After yesterday, Chaison couldn't wait to meet up with her again today. Hopefully, after the appeals portion, he'll be able to see her and maybe they could talk some more...

"Ladies and gentlemen," the announcer interrupted Chaison's thoughts, "please welcome our next coordinator – Ellen!"

"Go Ellen!" Nellie cheered from the stands as her sister walked onto the stage. Unlike some coordinators, Ellen stepped onto the spotlight, brimming with confidence. She surveyed the area and looked slightly impatient to get started.

"Come on out! Jumpluff!" Ellen threw her Poke ball high into the air and out popped out a round blue Pokémon with three cotton puffs. Instead of gracefully landing to the ground, it floated, spreading small puffs of spores everywhere.

"Oh, Ellen has decided to use a grass type instead of a water type Pokémon. I wonder what she has in store."

"Ha, this stage is perfect! Jumpluff, use Cotton Spore! Maximum power!" Immediately, the water was dotted with large white beach ball sized cotton spores that floated gently on the water. "Follow it with Bounce!"

"Jumpluff! Jump! Jump!" The rotund Pokémon was clearly enjoying itself as it bounced from one spore to another, leaving small ripples of water in its wake.

"Wow, using the cotton spores like lily pads, Jumpluff is hopping around."

"Such a creative way to make use of the entire field," Mr. Contesta said. "Especially a water field."

"Remarkable," Mr. Sukizo, the President of the Pokémon Fan Club, added.

Nellie cheered as loudly as she could with the audience. Ellen had worked so hard on that move in secret. Not to mention trying to figure out the right weight for the cotton spores so it wouldn't sink or accidentally float. It was amazing how quickly she came up with the idea with what had been going on for the past few days.

"Oh come on, that was just the tip of the iceberg of what I got to show. Jumpluff, use Sleep Powder, Poison Powder, and Stun Spore!" As it continued to hope around, Jumpluff's three cotton spores released a colorful display of green, purple, and orange dusts. They settled both on top of the water and on the spores, giving a sparkling effect.

"Oh my! How beautiful! Just when you thought it was done, Ellen brought out something new to the table. This appeal is definitely going to be difficult to top off."

"Impressive," Alex said, "That is quality work right there. Your sister really does have the skills."

"Of course she does. You didn't think she was all talk did you?"

Outside the Contest Hall…

Silver followed Crystal's instructions and applied the spores to his wounds before wrapping them with new bandages. It was amazing medicine. His wounds were already closing up and it was less painful to move around. Silver wanted to thank her but never go the chance. That abrupt departure was the last he saw of her. The red hair trainer noticed that the festival had quieted down a bit though. Now that he thought about it, Crystal did mention that there was a Pokémon Contest today.

Maybe he should go check it out… Just to see what is all the fuss about, nothing else. And at least give her his thanks…

Silver's thoughts were interrupted by the ringing noise in his pocket. He immediately tensed. Only one person has this number… Silver took his Pokegear out. "Boss?"

"Silver? What happened? Where are you?" The deep voice was sharp and rather angry. "I've been trying to call you hours ago. Explain yourself!" Despite being asked questions, Silver had a feeling that his boss already knew the answer.

"I was careless," Silver said truthfully and cautiously gave a brief update of his current location and status though he carefully left out Crystal's role.

"It is your carelessness that has now made you a wanted man," the man growled. Silver paled slightly. This now meant that he couldn't move around as freely as before and his boss was going to see him more as a liability than usable.

"You're lucky you didn't die or worse, captured," the man continued, still sounding displeased. "I have no use of a child disobeying to fulfill his own personal vendetta and can't even follow through with it. Do I make myself clear?" Silver immediately flared with anger but kept it out of his voice as best as he could.

"Yes sir." There was a brief silence on the other line as though the man was confirming for sure that Silver understood and will not disobey again. His boss hated his subordinates disobeying direct orders. But worse, he hated failures.

"Good. I'm holding another meeting. I will send you the coordinates in due time but head back to the mainland. I will contact you in two hours."

"Meet up? So soon?" Silver was slightly thrown by the order. Usually, things were organized in advance for at least a day. Gathering all of the agents in the organization was not easy, especially if most of them were located in other regions. Why the sudden urgency?

"Is there a problem? Got a date with a lady?" There was sarcasm dripping in his voice but it gave a chill down Silver's back.

Stay calm. He doesn't know. He couldn't have known what happened yesterday. Still, he clutched the Pokegear tightly to stop the shaking of his hand.

"No boss, I understand. I'll be in Olivine in two hours' time."

"Good. And no more sidetrack missions." With that, the man hung up.

Silver gave a huge sigh and feeling a sense of exhaustion, leaned against the tree. Getting involved with civilians is one of the first big 'do not do' rules when working with Silver's boss. That incident at Burnt Tower couldn't have been avoided and Silver was off the hook that time. But if his boss found out about Crystal, he was going to put Silver on sideline duty or worse. He would lose his one connection for information and manpower to take down Team Rocket for good. And there was no way the boss wasn't going to tie up loose ends after that.

But, Silver thought to himself, it wasn't like he said anything to Crystal about what he was doing. She doesn't know what was going on. And she has anything to do with Team Rocket either. It should be fine in the end.

So why couldn't he stop worrying?

Author's Notes

Okay, so there is a lot of stuff going on. Man, this contest is going to call for A LOT of inspiration.

I'm not exactly sure how long this Contest will be at the moment, seeing how there are so many OCs participating. Not to mention that there is also a battle round.

How are you guys with me writing for every OC/main character's appeal round? Let me know as that will determine how long this contest might turn out to be. As of this moment, there might be five chapters.

Also, I have posted up a poll on my front page. If you haven't yet, please check it out and vote.

Good luck to those with final exams and such.

Thanks for reading and I'll see you in the next chapter.

-JapanDreamer