"How about... Watt?"
A considering look, and a head shake.
"Come on!" Max said, with a sigh. "Watt was cool. James Watt invented the steam engine, he developed the concept of measurable power, and the Watt is a unit of power – as in electrical power."
Electrike cocked his head, then shook it.
I think that's a no, Kris vocalized.
"Fine." Max scrunched up the paper, and threw it at the bin. It missed, and there was a little crackle of sparks as Electrike pounced on it and brought it back over.
Smiling, the little Electric-type deposited the paper at Max's feet. "Got it! Let's do this instead of a name!"
Max glanced at Kris, who dutifully supplied a translation on her main screen.
"Sorry, boy," he said, shaking his head. "I want to get this sorted out now."
"Right," Max said, looking at the next sheet. "Hey, what about Volta?"
Noticing Electrike's frown, he elaborated. "Not Volt, Volta. Alessandro Volta invented the battery, after studying the cheek pouches of a Pikachu."
Electrike did not seem particularly impressed.
"Ah well. Coulomb?"
"Not even going to give it a think?" Max asked. "Coulomb developed the definition of electro... electrostatic force."
"What's electrostatic force?" Electrike asked.
"It's kind of... you know, when your fur all stands on end?" Max tried, reading the translation off again. "When you're charged up. That's electrostatic. It's why your fur needs to be kept nice and even, because that way you can charge up more electricity at once."
Electrike nodded, slowly. "I don't think I like that name, though."
"Come on..." Max wheedled. "We've already done ten... what about Amp? Ampere was really important in working out how electricity works."
Electrike yawned. "I'm bored. Can we go for a walk?"
Max shrugged. "Guess so. I'm nearly out of ideas anyway..."
He got up off his bed, pulled his jacket on, and picked up Electrike's Pokéball.
That still surprised him, sometimes – that he had a Pokémon.
And, at the same time, he couldn't wait until Ash was done with the Silver Conference. He wanted to meet his other friends, and see if they wanted to travel with him.
"Okay, Electrike..." Max called. "Ready?"
Electrike nodded, jumping back and forth.
Max threw the stick. "Fetch!"
The Electric-type coiled up for a moment, and launched himself forwards. Eyes on the stick as it fell, he picked it up a moment after it landed and came running back over.
"Right," Max nodded, patting him and taking the stick back. "Good. Now – catch!"
Electrike jumped, a faint bzzzrt coming from his rear legs as he pushed off from the ground, and his jaws snapped closed on the length of wood.
Which promptly broke.
The slightly startled canine landed, looked at the bits, then spat the remainder out. "Pfah! Whoops... sorry..."
"It's fine!" Max reassured him, crouching down. "Really. I guess we just used that one a bit too much... is there another one?"
"Wait, here's one," Max added, finding one within arm's reach. "...huh, this looks like it was broken deliberately."
Electrike cocked his head on one side, sniffing it, then shrugged.
There was a bright flash of green light from a little way into the forest, and several more sticks came raining down.
"...I guess we know where they came from," Max said. He reached into his pocket, and took the bronze octagon of Kris' projector. "Ready?"
Stand by... ready. Set up.
Kris materialized, and Max moved cautiously forwards with Electrike just ahead of him.
There was another bright flash, this one closer. Max peered through a bush, and saw what was going on.
"Good!" May said, nodding. "Now, let's try it a bit faster!"
Blaziken stood up straight, arms by his sides.
On her command, the Fire-type jumped backwards. He skidded along the floor, shedding momentum as he did, and crouched with his clawed hands together by his right side.
A green light flashed into being, cradled between them, and he brought them up before making as if to fling the globe of energy towards an imagined foe.
Intense yellow-green light blasted out, hitting a tree trunk, and made it creak ominously.
"Great! You're really getting the hang of Solarbeam, Blaziken!" May said, satisfied. "That'll surprise any Water-types!"
May turned, and blinked. "Max? What are you doing-"
"I saw the light," Max explained. "Pretty cool, Blaziken."
Blaziken stood straight again, and inclined his head in a respectful nod.
"The idea's supposed to be that we can throw it into a routine no matter which way it's moving," May told him. "It looks good, and it's useful too – especially because, if it's weaker, I'm pretty sure I can have Wartortle's water stream or even Beautifly's scales shimmer in it. Should look nice."
"I guess you have to think about that," Max nodded. "I'm mainly working on speed and jumping with Electrike, at the moment."
"Weren't you going to nickname him?" May asked, bending down to scratch Max's starter.
"I've been trying... no matter what I come up with, he just doesn't like it." Max sighed.
"Ah, I know what's been going on!" May winked at her brother. "You're overthinking it!"
"Overthinking it?" Max repeated.
"Yeah, I bet you're trying to come up with some big, meaningful nickname," May said. "And that's fine! But I'd guess he's just not all that interested in that kind of thing."
"That would explain a lot..." Frowning, Max considered Electrike. "Is that what's been going on?"
Electrike nodded, looking a bit ashamed.
"No, it's fine!" Max hastened to reassure him. "It's just... yeah, okay, I'll try and think of something simpler. Unless you've got any ideas?"
"Hmmm..." Blaziken murmured. "Arc."
Electrike hummed. "...not sure... but I like it a bit. Better than all the other boring names, anyway."
Max glanced at Kris for translation, and snorted. "Thanks..."
"Rai?" May suggested. "Or maybe something like Shocker?"
Electrike's ears perked up. "Ooh, I like that one!"
"Shocker? Really?" Max asked, blinking. "It seems kind of... generic?"
"But I'm shocking!" Electrike insisted. "I shocked you when I appeared, and I shock enemies!"
He frowned. "Or maybe Arc would be best. I don't know... can I think about it some more?"
"Guess so..." Max agreed with a nod.
"If you two are finished," May said, a little tartly. "Blaziken and I were practising."
Blaziken nodded, considering, and stood. He brushed off his hands, and walked to the centre of the clearing.
"Okay, this time let's try coming out of a spin kick," May suggested. "Oh, and try not to hit my brother, I've only got one... thank goodness."
"Hey!" Max called.
"That looks good," Tracey said, pencil flying over the paper. "Lovely... right, can you turn left a smidge?"
The shiny Entei complied, shifting his angle so the spikes on his back were differently lit.
"Lovely." Tracey frowned slightly, pencil slowing, and shaded in one of the spikes a bit more. "Right, I think that's done!"
"May I see?" the Legendary asked, and Tracey flipped the sketchbook around.
"I like it," he said after a moment. "Interesting you did my mask in colour – it does stand out."
"Well, it's one of the ways to make you distinct in sketch from your doppelgänger," Tracey agreed readily. "I mean, a lot of the colouring differences are subtle."
Entei nodded. "All three of us are a bit more subtle than most. Well, Suicune and I – Raikou is a little more striking."
"It's the lack of the purple bit," Tracey agreed. "He's the easiest to do in pencil sketch, actually..."
He stood. "Well, thanks for your time."
"The pleasure is mine, really," Entei informed him. "It's partly a case of... wanting to leave mementoes behind, for when we go off to do our duties."
Tracey nodded. "I can understand that, yeah. I mean, I don't travel much any more – keeping the mob under control is a full time job..."
"Possibly several," Entei noted, deadpan.
"Fair," Tracey agreed. "I was actually thinking of making sure I've got sketches of everyone who comes here, you know... well, and Pokémon like Umbreon and Pikachu who never seem to be here at all."
"That sounds great!"
Tracey looked up at the voice. "Oh, hi Marill. Have a nice swim?"
"I did," Marill nodded. "There's a nice group of Buizel and Floatzel offshore, I had a play around with them. They're a bit excitable, but really nice!"
"Floatzel? Really?" Tracey looked interested. "I wonder... where are they?"
Marill pointed. "Just over there."
Tracey flipped his sketchbook open again, and opened a fresh page. "Okay, the rock they're on is shaped like... that..."
As he drew, he smiled. "I know Ash is going to get a Buizel at some point, but Floatzel's one I wasn't sure I'd get a chance to draw from life."
"You like drawing a lot, I can tell," Entei murmured.
"It's relaxing," Tracey agreed. "It's kind of... well, I guess it started as a joke. You know – sketch it!"
"No, I had managed to completely miss that," the Fire-type informed him sardonically. "Really? A joke? Perish the thought."
A smile tugged at Tracey's lips. "Yeah, yeah. But... I don't know, it just seems like it's possible to really connect with a Pokémon when you draw them. The best pieces of art aren't like photos – art, like a painting or a sketch, shows the essence of the subject."
He frowned a little, erased a line and started to redraw the Floatzel's tails. "And... yeah, I kind of go back and forth between drawing and studying Pokémon anatomy, but drawing's the thing I love the most."
Entei looked closer at the drawing taking shape. "You've put an interesting expression on his face."
"Her,"Tracey informed Entei casually, shading the arm-fins.
"...okay, how did you tell that exactly? We've not seen the back."
The artist shrugged. "Couldn't tell you, but she is. It's the kind of thing I'm talking about – you get to know the tiny little differences."
"I'll take your word for it."
Finishing his rough sketch, Tracey drew in the ripples of the sea state and closed the book again. "I'll tighten that up later. What's the time..."
He glanced at his watch, and blinked. "Whoa, we took longer than I was expecting."
"Sorry I'm a bit late back, Professor," Tracey said, as he came through the door to the main building.
"Eh?" Oak looked up. "Oh, don't worry about it, Tracey. Most of Ash's team is resting at the moment – the battle in Altomare was quite tiring, as I understand it. Have you seen this?"
He passed a magazine over to the confused Tracey.
"No, actually..." Tracey admitted, taking it. "What's... wait a minute. Isn't this the stuff Gary's been working on?"
His eyes flicked to the title, and widened. "This is Pokémon journal?"
Professor Oak sat back, blinking at his eyes. "I... I'm so proud..."
"Gary got published in-"
"Even counting the time travel, he's so young it's really impressive," the Professor continued. "Back before... well, before Ash straightened him out – I suppose I can say that – I was a little bit worried, but since then... I'm very impressed with him, I really am."
Tracey smiled. "I guess that's a great reason to be proud. Have you told him?"
"Oh, I have," Oak said. "I think he was a bit embarrassed, but I'm sure he was happy for it."
He shrugged. "I'm not sure when I'm going to tell him what Ash said about Mega Latias and Mega Latios, though."
"What's – oh, right, the bit about them looking basically identical." Tracey shrugged. "Whenever you want, I guess. It's not like Latias and Latios look all that different."
"A fair point, Tracey, a fair point." Oak made to continue, but there was a knock on the door.
"I'll get that," Tracey volunteered.
He opened it, and was greeted by Molly and her Eevee.
"Oh, good afternoon, Molly!" he said, smiling. "I guess you're coming around for your usual lesson?"
"Yep!" Molly nodded. "What's today?"
Tracey frowned. "Let's see... I think it was Water-types. Does that sound right?"
Eevee turned into a Vaporeon, tail wagging, and Molly nodded. "That sounds about right!"
"Let's head over, then – I'll go pick up Marill from wherever she's gone, and then we can see how Ash's Squirtle and Gary's Poliwrath and Cloyster are doing."
Another nod. "That sounds good. Thanks, Mr. Sketchit!"
"...so the important thing for just about all Water-types is to pay attention to how hydrated they are," Tracey said, playing the hose over Cloyster. "Most of them can do alright out of the water – though some like Finneon and Goldeen do need to stay wet all the time – but they do need to keep damp."
Molly absorbed the information. "And Squirtle?"
"He has his own rules," Tracey sighed. "Anyway. Most Water-types can keep themselves a bit wet, but they can end up dehydrated if they rely on themselves for too long."
Vaporeon briefly dissolved into a puddle, then reformed with a giggle and flirted her tail. "I don't!"
"I think you might, you've just never been a Vaporeon for long enough that it matters," Tracey replied. "Oh, the other thing is that Pokéballs keep the Pokémon in the same condition as they went in, for this. So a Pokémon won't dry out in the Pokéball."
"I see," Molly frowned. "And I guess that's for hot or cold weather, too? So... a Pokémon which didn't like being hot could be in their Pokéball?"
"That's right!" Tracey nodded. "You're catching on!"
Charizard's wings beat steadily, as he climbed a little to get over the ridge and turned south for the Valley.
Not far to go now.
Of course, it wasn't as if he'd be staying particularly long. The Silver Conference was only a week or two away, and he'd most certainly be participating – the question was how much.
The big Fire-type had certain opinions on that. So what if Ash didn't want to flatten less experienced trainers? Surely there'd be someone worth the battle. (Preferably three and the entire Elite Four.)
An orange shape leapt from the rim of the ridge as he approached, and he followed it as it climbed steadily to meet him.
"Hail the conquering hero," Charla said with a chuckle, turning and pulling up into formation with him. "So, how was your latest trip?"
"Not bad," Charizard replied. "Sorry about the timing."
Charla nodded critically – it really hadn't been a good time, they'd been out on another of what were technically not dates when Dexter's emergency summons had come in.
If anyone asked, Charizard would deny taking it out on the Tyrantrum.
"We saw what was going on," Charla volunteered. "On the news. Well, not you except for the bit at the end, but your trainer and his friends – fighting through the horde of fossils. That looked pretty amazing."
"I was somewhere else," Charizard shrugged, waggling his wings a little and shedding speed. "Punching Tyrantrum in the face, mainly."
Charla snorted in amusement. "You know, that sounds kind of cool."
"It was..." Charizard admitted. They came over the valley wall into the Charific Valley itself, and he blinked.
Most of the Valley population was turned out to greet him. Again.
"Didn't you say I mostly wasn't on television?"
"Mostly," Charla stressed. The two flared, dropping down to land, and touched down in the middle of the Charizard.
"What did you do this time?" one asked.
"Did you use your special Blast Burn?"
"Did you do that cool transforming thing again?"
"I didn't use Blast Burn or Mega Evolve, no," Charizard said, to a couple of disappointed sighs. "But I did beat a super-powered Tyrantrum in single combat."
Most of the other Charizard contemplated fighting a super-powered Fossil Rock/Dragon type three times their mass.
"Okay, nice," one admitted.
"In a narrow city street," Charizard went on. "In under two minutes."
"Steady there, Pyroar," Charla coughed, to general laughter.
"What else happened?" one of the younger Valley members asked.
"My trainer rescued a Legendary," Charizard hinted. "Again."
"Okay, you're telling us all about this now," one of the elders decided. "Start with why the Fossil Apocalypse was happening."
"I might need to go back a bit for it to make sense..."
"Congratulations," Charla said to him, some time later once the crowd had finally dispersed. "You managed to get through all of that without mentioning the time travel thing."
Charizard sighed, relieved. "Good, I was wondering... it's hard to remember to, sometimes."
Charla nodded sympathetically. "I think I understand."
After a moment, she looked up. "Who's that?"
A middle-aged Charizard approached, a little hesitantly. "Sorry to be a bother – what did you say your trainer's name was?"
"Ash," Charizard supplied.
The other Charizard looked a little preoccupied, for some reason.
"What is it?" Charizard asked.
"I just... okay, there was this thing about forty years ago. I don't remember seeing a Charizard there, but... seeing that boy and his team on TV just then..."
A deep breath. "Have you heard of Celebi?"
"Pardon?" Charla said, a little thrown by the topic switch.
"...wait. Was your original trainer Professor Oak?" Charizard asked. "Ash said he had a Charmeleon during the-"
"-the time jump, yes," Sammy's Charizard went on. "I've not been back to my trainer's house in years... I should go, some time. Sorry for-"
"No, it's fine-"
"Boys!" Charla said, tail blazing up slightly. "Can you stop apologizing to one another and just have a proper conversation?"
"...yes'm," Ash's Charizard said meekly.
"Hey!" Terrakion called, looking up the scree slope at his fellow Swords. "Did you guys see the news last night?"
"I'm afraid I didn't," Virizion shrugged. "I was busy – there were some Petilil who wanted me to choose who got a Sun Stone they'd found."
She shrugged."Fortunately I knew where to get two more. So that was nice."
"A very even, just approach," Cobalion complimened her. "And no, Terrakion, I didn't see it either."
"I'm gonna have to show you two this," Terrakion said firmly. "Keldeo was on it."
"He was?" Virizion asked, and Cobalion looked about as interested as she was. "Great – hold on a moment."
She stepped forwards, controlled her skid down the scree slope as fragments of hard shale avalanched to the bottom around her, and stepped off next to her comrade. "What was he doing?"
"You know that Ash kid?" Terrakion asked. "The one who helped Keldeo? Well, he was riding Keldeo to the rescue. Literally."
"I'm surprised Keldeo would be alright with that," Cobalion admitted, halting himself next to the others. "It sounds a little... well, I'm surprised."
"Lighten up, Cobalion!" Terrakion chuckled. "Keldeo was fine with it – hey, I'd be fine with it if it was someone I respected! And it looked pretty cool."
He shook his head. "Anyway, they saved a Latias and a city full of people and Pokémon, that's what I can tell. And there was a huge fight against loads of Fossils."
Virizion nodded. "He is doing us all proud, then. A Sword of Justice, pure and true."
"Indeed," Cobalion agreed. "Perhaps we should ask about it in the next letter?"
"That does sound a good idea," Virizion smiled. "We can tell him about that unpleasantness with the Klinklang."
"Do we have to?" Terrakion asked, ruefully. "I hate Metal Burst..."
Lance walked, slowly, to the end of his office.
He turned, and walked slowly back.
Glancing up, he saw Dragonite looking at him.
"I'm not worried, of course I'm not," Lance said, then shook his head. "Okay, maybe a bit. We saw the news, but... what happened in Altomare? What went wrong?"
The Dragon-type shook his head, raising his arms.
Lance glanced up, then returned to his pacing. "Okay, I get your point... but still. We should have had someone there in time."
Dragonite had barely begun to speak before Lance interrupted him. "I know! We're stretched thin as it is... I can't ask more of my riders. This is why I'm so glad Lorelei agreed to help run patrols..."
He frowned. "Actually, we should consider... hm. Perhaps-"
There was a knock on the door.
"Come in!" Lance called, and the door clicked open.
A young woman in thick riding clothes came through. "Sir? I've got the report."
"Ah, good," Lance smiled. "I was wondering... let's hear it."
"Right." The dragonrider took off her overcoat, and wiped her brow. "Hotter here than it is at altitude... right. You were right, that was the Indigo Champion from last year leading the charge – and his companions were Brock of Pewter and Misty of Cerulean."
She paused for a moment on seeing Lance's interest. "Sir? Any questions?"
"Not for now, Lola," Lance told her. "Keep going."
"Right." Lola nodded. "It took a while, but I managed to get some information beyond what was on the news. First off – Raikou was confirmed to be in the city, alongside Entei and Suicune."
"So, he's got all three..." Lance nodded to himself. "Very impressive. Well, that's good to know. Let's remain on the topic of Mr. Ketchum for now."
"Yes, sir." Lola frowned. "Well, it seems a lot like he had all his Pokémon in the city – I counted well over a dozen, and I could match his entire Indigo team to observed sightings."
"Right," Lance said. "It sounds a lot like we were lucky they were there."
Lola nodded. She took her riding gloves off, putting them on the chair on top of her overcoat. "We don't know much about what happened in the museum, but the place was a wreck. The DMA was clearly missing some parts, there was one window gone and a giant melted hole in the floor – we don't know what did that."
"Right." Lance frowned. "Did you see the Eon Pokémon?"
"I'm afraid not," Lola said, shaking her head. "I did hear that they were seen coming out of the museum with Mr. Ketchum, though."
After a moment, the Grand Champion sat down and tapped his fingers on the table. "You mentioned the Beasts. Can you confirm what they were doing?"
"Roaming the streets, along with a lot of other Pokémon, and knocking out Fossils wherever the two groups intersected." Lola shrugged. "The streets are a bit of a mess, battle scars everywhere, but the museum plaza where that big battle took place is the worst."
She switched topics. "There was a confirmed Mega-Evolution out in the open – Mega Gyarados – but fortunately Pokémon journal broke the silence before then so it's not too much of an issue...?"
Lance nodded a confirmation of her interpolation. "That was fully approved, we had news that Rocket agents had gained access to a Mega Stone and Key Stone combination, so it was hardly giving much away... right, my other question. The Moltres?"
"Several people said the Moltres was working with people wearing Rocket uniforms," Lola told him. "I'm not sure why-"
"No, it does make a kind of sense," Lance sighed. "Especially if this was some kind of rogue Rocket operation, whoever's in charge would want to make it clear they were rogue – and what better way than sending a team with a Legendary? It's excellent PR for them, actually..."
He shrugged. "Well, never mind that. Perhaps... no, that's for later. Thank you for your time, rider Lola."
After she left, he drummed his fingers on the table.
"It keeps coming back to Ash, doesn't it..." he mused. "Gringey City. New Island. Shamouti. Greenfield, Arborville, the Whirl Islands, the Lake of Rage... and now Altomare."
He glanced over at Dragonite, reading his expression. "I know, but it's a heck of a string of coincidences. I think... hmmm."
Lance reached out, and picked up the phone. He dialled a number, waited a minute, then smiled. "Ah, Lorelei! Good. I was wondering if we'd be able to hold the discussion about our candidates before the Silver Conference... I know it's short notice, but I've got an item to add to the agenda... oh, and someone extra to invite."
There was a pause.
"How would you feel about going out with a bang?"
"Hey, doc!" Akiyama called, banging on the door. "Doc!"
"He'll notice eventually," his friend Noguchi sighed. "You should know what he's like by now."
"Yeah, but Fraxure and I are getting cold out here. Open up, doc!"
Katou rolled her eyes. "You'd think we'd never done this before."
"I'm sure he's doing something worthwhile," Tachikawa volunteered. "Or he'd better be, at any rate."
"I'm not so sure..." Akiyama muttered. He made to bang on the door again, and it opened. "Whoa!"
His Fraxure picked him up and set him back down on his feet.
"Thanks..." the young trainer said, wincing. "What was that for, doc?"
"What was what for?" Doctor Akihabara asked, frowning. "I heard you knocking, I opened the door..."
"We've been out here for twenty minutes," Tachikawa said, tapping her foot. "In the wind. My hair looks-"
"It's fine," the eccentric genius waved her off. "I was working on the Up-Grade project. I'm nearly there!"
"You've been nearly there since you formed our team," Akiyama muttered. "Okay, what's it today?"
"Ah!" Akihabara raised a finger. "I hope you're ready for an urgent mission!"
"How urgent was it before you kept us outside for-" Katou began.
"No time!" Akihabara interrupted her. "Right! Through here, quickly – there was a cyber attack on Silph corporation, it's your job to go sort it out!"
Akiyama gaped for a moment longer, then sighed. "Okay, whatever. Let's get going. Guys?"
"Ahem?" Katou coughed pointedly.
"And girls. Let's get ready!" His Fraxure moved up behind him, ready to go.
Tachikawa sent her own Lilligant out, and the elegant Grass-type bowed slightly.
"We really need a bigger room, Doctor..." Noguchi sighed. "Since Rufflet evolved."
"This is the room the transfer device is in," Akihabara replied, with a shrug.
"Fine." Noguchi released Braviary, and the room got a great deal more cramped. When Katou sent out her own Pyroar, the Fire-type found himself with barely enough floor space to sit – somewhat uncomfortably.
"Ready?" Akihabara asked.
"Just get on with it!" Akiyama implored.
"Your elbow's in my face..."
"Okay!" Akihabara tapped a few controls. "It's Porygon number five this time! Off you go!"
The transfer device flashed, digitizing the quartet of trainers and sending them on their way.
Bianca leaned back on her chair, glancing between the window and the easel, and steadily applied stroke after stroke of paint.
It was a glorious May day in Altomare. A bit breezy, the white clouds scudding across the sky, and with the sun shining steadily down on the city of canals.
Rebuilding and repair work was already going on on the damage sustained the previous day, which was nice as well. No-one had been much more than bruised – amazingly – and so everyone was surprisingly optimistic for the recent site of a horde of rampaging Fossil Pokémon.
There was a squeaky sound from beside her, and Bianca glanced up. "Latios?"
Feathers shimmering, Latios decloaked and nodded. He gave another quiet, hooting call, and Bianca got the rough gist.
"Yeah, I know Ash said Latias told you to stay right next to me at all times. I guess I'm not used to it..."
She looked at the Latiosite glittering on the dresser, and swallowed – one arm reaching up to touch the Key Stone she'd gained the previous day. "I'm not much used to this, either."
Latios nodded silently.
There was some shouting outside. By the sounds of it a couple of workers had accidentally knocked a cement mixer another group was working with into the canal.
Bianca sighed, and got back to painting. "Sorry, Latios, I'm being a bit melancholy. I'll try to paint something nice and sunny..."
She paused, looking at what she'd already done – mainly the skyscape – and blinked. "Wait, I've got an idea. What about if I pack this up, we head to the grotto, and then I paint you – just overhead."
Latios tilted his head, cooing a question.
"Well, I was thinking I could add Latias to it, and you'd both be on there," Bianca explained. She sighed. "I miss Latias already."
Another coo from Latios. The Dragon-type made an expansive shrug, then waved over at the window – indicating the sky.
Bianca nodded. "Yeah, I guess she is happier. I mean... yeah. I'm glad she's getting her chance."
"Do you think you're going to enjoy it?"
That produced a more uncertain shrug – she got the impression Latios just plain wasn't sure.
"I guess it does matter what it turns out to be like..." Bianca shrugged. "Well, anyway, I'll pack the easel up. Don't forget the stone."
Latios nodded, and picked it off the dresser. He concentrated, and light bent around his form to make him invisible again – as well as the stone, which seemed to have the same properties.
"Good," Bianca said, bundling up her paints. "Okay, let's get going. Hey, maybe we could try out that transformation, too, I could paint that..."
Another chapter of Ashes Nowhere To Be Seen, to cool down a bit after Pokémon Heroes.
I've still not decided what nickname to give the Electrike.
Tracey and Bianca are both artists of slightly different stripes, here. As for the CyberMon lab – well, there's a few shoutouts there.
And Lance is starting to realize just how much help it is having Ash around.