In the back of the Pokémon Center, Ash, Iris, and Cilan stood behind a large viewing window while Nurse Joy sat down at a computer next to them. On the other side of the viewing window, Rainbow Dash was calmly resting on an operating table. She had a few small wires attached to her connecting her to the monitoring equipment. “How’s she doing, Nurse Joy?” Iris asked.
Nurse Joy looked over from the computer screen, “Well if these scans are anything to go by she’s making an excellent recovery.”
“Thank goodness,” Ash said, looking through the viewing window, “I was afraid she might wake up and freak out again.”
Nurse Joy nodded “Yes, we were concerned about that too, so before we started our scans we gave her a sedative. It’s probably worn off by now, but she was already physically exhausted when you brought her in, so we’re not sure when she’ll wake up.”
A faint mumbling came from the other room “dragons… humans… electric rodents… donuts…”
“Looks like she’s waking up” Cilan commented quietly, not wanting to startle Rainbow.
Iris responded “It sounds like she’s still trying to wrap her head around what happened yesterday.”
“And making plans for lunch” Ash added.
As the group watched, Rainbow’s eyes slowly opened and she gave a big yawn “W-where am I?” She flinched when she saw the medical equipment, but then the memories of recent events came back to her. “Oh, I guess that means it wasn't a dream…” her stomach rumbled and she frowned “except the part about the donuts. Wait, but that means,” she slowly turned around to face the viewing window and saw the humans watching her, looks of relief on their faces, “I’m definitely not in Equestria anymore.” Seeing that Rainbow Dash was awake, Nurse Joy stood up and walked out the door, followed by Ash, Iris, and Cilan. Rainbow watched them leave, raising an eyebrow in confusion, but moments later the door in the back of the operating room opened and the group entered.
“Hi Rainbow Dash” Iris smiled, “feeling better?”
Rainbow slowly waved her arms to see if they were still sore and was astonished to find them feeling as good as new. She gave her wings a few experimental flaps and found that they weren't sore anymore either. She smiled “I feel great. How’s this possible? After all the pain I was in, I thought I’d have to stay here for weeks. Wait a minute,” suddenly, she turned to face Nurse Joy with a scared look on her face, “I haven’t been in a coma have I?”
Nurse Joy giggled and responded “No, you've only been in here since yesterday afternoon.”
Rainbow‘s mouth hung open “B-but how could you have healed me so much so quickly? I've never seen medical stuff that can work that fast.”
“Really?” Nurse Joy asked, “This medical technology is pretty standard in any Pokémon Center.”
“Well I've never been to a Pokémon center before,” Rainbow Dash responded, “where I come from I went to the hospital once in a while, but there aren't any Pokémon there.”
“Speaking of which,” Cilan spoke up, “where exactly did you come from?”
Rainbow opened her mouth to respond, but was silenced by a rumbling in her stomach, “Um, tell you what, if you can tell me where to get some food I’ll tell you everything.”
Iris giggled and looked at Ash, “She sounds a lot like you, Ash.”
Ash glared at her and said “Does not!” but was interrupted as his stomach began to rumble. He lowered his head and sighed “Well, I guess we should see about getting some lunch anyway.”
Rainbow smiled and stood up, “Great, let’s just hope you've got good food here.” She started reaching for the wires attached to her so she could pull them out, but she was stopped by Nurse Joy.
“Careful,” Nurse Joy informed her, “this is sensitive equipment. Let me take care of it for you.” Rainbow gave an unamused look, but decided not to argue with the person who had just fixed injuries that would take Equestrian doctors weeks in just one day. She sat patiently, wincing slightly as the wires were removed.
Once she was no longer hooked up to the medical equipment, Dash stretched her wings and smiled “Alright, let’s eat.” She hopped down from the table and trotted past the others and out the door.
“Sounds like a plan to me” Ash smiled as he and his friends followed Rainbow Dash out of the room.
As they left the Pokémon Center, Rainbow turned to the humans, “So, where exactly are we gonna get some food anyway?”
Ash replied “We were planning to have a picnic. We can have some food and introduce you to the rest of our Pokémon.”
“Speaking of which,” Rainbow responded, “I never caught your names.”
Cilan was the first to respond, “My name’s Cilan.”
Iris followed up “I’m Iris, and this is Axew” pointing to her hair.
Axew popped up out of her hair and smiled “Axew.”
Ash spoke up next “I’m Ash, and as we told you yesterday this is Pikachu” he petted Pikachu, who smiled happily.
Rainbow narrowed her eyes at Pikachu, “Wait a minute, I just remembered that Pikachu shot lightning at me yesterday. What was that for anyway?” She flew up to glare at Pikachu at eye level.
Ash quickly stepped back, “Well, you attacked me, so Pikachu was trying to protect me.”
Rainbow frowned all of a sudden “Oh, yeah. Well, could you blame me for attacking? I had just woken up in a building surrounded by weird creatures, I didn't know what was going on.”
Iris stepped between Ash and Rainbow, “Now now, let’s not get into the blame game. Let’s just go have that picnic we were talking about, alright?”
Rainbow sighed “Okay, that sounds good.”
“Great,” Cilan smiled, “as soon as we find a place for our picnic I’ll get to work on the food.”
“Wait,” Rainbow asked, “you mean you don’t have any food on you right now?”
“Don’t worry, Rainbow Dash” Ash said with a smile.
“Yeah,” Iris responded, “Cilan’s a master chef. He’ll get a gourmet meal ready for all of us in no time, just as soon as we find a clearing for our picnic.”
Rainbow grinned confidently, “Oh, you can leave that to me.” She took off and flew straight up so she could get a bird’s eye view of the forest. Moments later, she flew back down “There’s a clearing by a river about 100 yards to the left of here.”
Ash and his friends all smiled, and Ash spoke up “great, thanks, Rainbow Dash.”
“Don’t mention it,” Rainbow said as they all started to head for the clearing. They made their way through the forest, and when they reached the clearing Rainbow flew over to the river. She leaned down and took a sip of the water, then wiped her mouth with a hoof and said “Wow, I didn't even realize how dry my mouth was. That hit the spot. So,” she started as she turned back to Ash and his friends, “what’s for lu-” she stopped and stared in confusion as each of the humans threw a bunch of strange-looking white and red balls into the air. Suddenly, the balls split open and surges of white energy flowed out of them. The energy fell to the ground and took strange varying shapes, before releasing bursts of sparkling light, revealing strange creatures that Rainbow Dash could only assume were Pokémon. She stammered “Wh-what just happened? Where did all of they come from?!?”
Ash walked up to her and asked “Wait, you don’t know about Pokéballs either?”
Iris ran up and tapped Ash on the shoulder “Of course she doesn't. Yesterday she didn't even know what Pokémon were, so of course she doesn't know about Pokéballs either.”
“Pokéballs?” Rainbow asked, “is that what you call those red and white balls you just had?”
“Yeah,” Cilan replied as he stepped up to the group, “Pokéballs are tools Pokémon trainers use to keep their Pokémon safe. When the Pokémon are in the Pokéballs, they stay well rested. Some Pokémon are even known to let themselves out of their Pokéballs.”
“Really?” Rainbow asked, “That’s pretty weird, but it sounds kinda cool too. So,” she flew up to the group of Pokémon, “how about some introductions?”
“Certainly,” Cilan responded, “I’ll introduce my Pokémon first,” he turned to Ash and Iris, “and while I work on lunch, you two can introduce your Pokémon.” First he walked up to a brown, flat fish with a face on the top of its body and a yellow tail, “this is Stunfisk,” next, he pointed out a Pokémon that looked like a crab with a massive slab of rock for a shell, “that’s Crustle, and this,” he leaned down and picked up a Pokémon that looked like a green monkey with a stalk of broccoli on its head, “is my main partner Pansage.”
Rainbow nodded as she listened, “Interesting. They kinda look like species we have in Equestria. Pansage looks like a monkey, Crustle looks like a crab, and Stunfisk looks like some kind of fish.”
Cilan smiled “That's not too surprising. Pokémon come in all shapes and sizes, so it makes sense that some of them will resemble creatures from far away places. Now, without further ado,” in the blink of an eye he reached into his backpack and pulled out an apron and chef hat, putting them on at a speed that would have impressed even Pinkie Pie, “it’s time to get started on lunch.” He walked over to a picnic table that was set up in the clearing for the use of travelers, took a bunch of ingredients and utensils out of his backpack, and started cooking.
“I guess I’m next” Iris smiled as she ran over to her Pokémon. Rainbow Dash flew over to them to get a better look. One of them looked like a flying squirrel with a black back, yellow cheeks, a white face and torso, and yellow along the underside of its flight membrane. The next one looked like a huge, gray mole with purple stripe patterns on its back; the most fascinating thing about it was that it had massive, barbed, metal claws, one of which was coming out of its forehead like a helmet. Lastly, there was a large orange dragon with small green wings and a round nose. First, Iris pointed to the squirrel, “This is Emolga,” then she pointed to the mole, “and this is Excadrill,” and then she pointed at the dragon, “and this is Dragonite.”
Axew jumped out of her hair and stood in front of her “Axew?”
She giggled and patted Axew on the head “Don’t worry, I didn't forget you. I only skipped you because Rainbow Dash has already met you.” Axew smiled contentedly at this response.
Rainbow couldn't help but smile at Axew “You know, you remind me of a friend of mine, a little dragon named Spike.”
“Dragon?” Iris stood up excitedly, “You have dragons in your world?”
Rainbow backed up a bit, startled by this reaction, “Um, yeah, of course we do. Although, I've gotta say the dragons I’ve seen here are a lot smaller than the ones we have.” She pointed to Dragonite, “See, that’s probably the biggest dragon I've seen here, and it’s about the size of a teenage dragon back in Equestria. An adult dragon in Equestria would be about 10 times that size.”
“10 times?!?” Iris exclaimed, “Wow, I’ve never heard of a dragon that big.”
Rainbow flew over to Ash and whispered “What’s going on? I’ve never met anyone so interested in dragons.”
Ash chuckled and explained “You see, she’s from the village of dragons, so she absolutely loves to raise Dragon-type Pokémon.”
“Wow,” Rainbow said, “sounds like the opposite of my friend Fluttershy; she’s terrified of dragons.”
Ash smirked “That’s nothing, Iris is terrified of Ice-type Pokémon.”
“Ice-types?” Rainbow asked, confused.
“Yeah,” Ash chuckled, “she’s afraid of them because Ice-types are super strong against dragons.”
“Weird,” Rainbow shrugged, “I’d think something that breathes fire would be strong against ice. This world keeps getting weirder and weirder.”
Ash just smiled “Aw, you’ll get used to it. In the meantime, how about I introduce you to my Pokémon?”
Rainbow nodded “Sure, you seem to have the most Pokémon here anyway.” She flew to the last group of Pokémon to get a look. The first one looked like a blue sea-otter with a white head and a yellow seashell on its chest; Rainbow wondered why the shell wasn't falling off. The next one looked like a large red crocodile with black stripes along its back and a pair of sunglasses on its face. Next to the crocodile was an orange pig that was standing on its hind legs and seemed to be wearing a wrestler’s outfit. Next, there was a very bizarre Pokémon that seemed to be made of pure rock, mostly black but with a few red gems coming out of it; it didn't seem to have a mouth, had three legs, 2 of which were in front and one of which was behind its back, and had one big eye that was bisected by a rock coming down from its forehead. Behind the rock Pokémon was a large orange dragon with blue wings, similar to Dragonite but darker.
Ash walked up next to Rainbow Dash, “These are my Pokemon. This is Oshawott,” he placed his hand on the otter’s forehead, “this is Pignite,” he pointed to the pig, “that’s Krookodile,” he pointed to the crocodile, “that’s Boldore,” he pointed to the rock, “and this is Charizard” he finished by standing up and pointing to the dragon. Charizard looked down at Rainbow and suddenly started to growl a little.
Rainbow Dash saw the look on Charizard’s face and backed away a bit, “Whoa, what’s with Charizard? It looks like it’s about to attack me or something.”
Ash looked at Charizard, and then down at Rainbow Dash, “Oh! I see,” he replied.
“See what?” Rainbow asked as she backed away a bit, “That this Pokémon wants to eat me or something?”
Ash quickly shook his head, “No, of course not. Charizard’s just mad at you because you drove him into the ground when you came out of that portal yesterday.”
“Oh,” Rainbow Dash said, laughing nervously. “Um, sorry about that, Charizard. It was an accident.” Charizard’s expression lightened up a bit, but it still looked a bit angry. Rainbow gulped and looked at Ash, “does he forgive me, or should I duck for cover?”
Ash looked up at Charizard for a moment before giving a knowing smile, “Yes Rainbow Dash, Charizard forgives you, but” he turned to look at Rainbow Dash, “he wants to have a battle with you.”
Rainbow backed up a bit, “A battle? Why? I thought we were cool now.”
Ash smiled “You are, but Charizard seems like it wants a chance to prove that the only reason you knocked it out yesterday is because you took it by surprise and it was worn out from its battle with Dragonite.” Charizard nodded.
“It had a battle with Dragonite?” Rainbow asked, “Why?”
“It was a sparring match,” Iris responded as she and Dragonite walked up to Dash, “We were training Dragonite and Charizard to be stronger by having them spar with each other.”
“So, Charizard wants to spar with me now?” Rainbow asked, “I suppose that would be fine, as long as it’s not a fight to the death or anything.”
“To the death?” Ash raised an eyebrow, “Nah, Pokémon battles are never to the death. Look at Dragonite,” he pointed to Dragonite, “it’s still alive, after all, so obviously its match with Charizard wasn't to the death, and both of them are fine now. That’s what most of the Pokémon treated at Pokémon Centers come in for, damage from Pokémon battles.”
Rainbow rubbed the back of her head with a hoof “Wow, something like that would be considered barbaric back in Equestria…” suddenly, she grinned, “that sounds AWESOME! Bring it on, Charizard!” She posed proudly, ready for battle.
“Hold on there,” Cilan interrupted as he walked over to the group, “I’m sure you’d rather have your match after lunch.”
Rainbow’s stomach rumbled and she blushed, “Oh yeah, I was so pumped up I guess I forgot how hungry I was.”
Cilan smiled “Well then, it’s a good thing I just happened to finish making lunch,” he turned to face the table, which now had a cloth and plates of food on top of it and several food bowls on the ground around it, which Rainbow Dash assumed were for the Pokémon. All the Pokémon, humans, and Rainbow Dash walked excitedly to the table, unaware of the fact that they were being watched.
“Did you hear that?” Jessie asked as she held her sound-amplifier pointed towards Ash and his group.
“Yes,” James responded, “it sounds like the twerps are preparing for a picnic.”
“Not that you dolt!” Jessie snapped but was quickly silenced by a paw placed over her mouth.
“Shh,” Meowth said quietly, “you don’t want to give away our position, do you?” Jessie shook her head, so Meowth removed his paw from her face.
“As I was saying,” Jessie started, quietly but still noticeably irritated, “that blue Pokémon they have with them can talk, and it says it’s not from this world.”
Meowth smirked “Yeah because you've never met a talking Pokémon before.”
Jessie scowled and hit Meowth on the top of the head, leaving a small lump where her fist struck, “That’s not the important part, you smart-aleck. The important part is that that Pokémon somehow came here from another world. If that Pokémon can really travel between different worlds like that, just think of what it could do for us.”
James grinned, “Agreed, with that power we could spread the power of Team Rocket far beyond the borders of this world.”
Meowth grinned, although he was still holding the spot on his head where he had been struck. “Yeah, and if other worlds have Pokémon that don’t exist in ours, we can catch them and bring them here. The twerps will never know what hit ‘em.”
“Then it’s settled,” Jessie grinned, “We'll capture the blue Pokémon and use its power for the glory of Team Rocket.”