The Pokémon Crusaders

by Rainbow Dash the Awesome

First published

The Cutie Mark Crusaders decide to get their cutie marks as Pokémon trainers.

After much anticipation, Twilight has finally succeeded in designing a teleporter capable of sending ponies to the Unova region. Unfortunately, a trio of mischievous fillies decide that this may be the perfect opportunity to get their Pokémon trainer cutie marks.
When the mane six discover that the trio has used the machine, they follow them to the Unova region for a rescue mission. Can they find the Crusaders before it's too late to save them from themselves? Stick around to find out.

Prologue: Fruits of labor.

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“Now, Mandibuzz, use Dark Pulse!” Rainbow Dash commanded.

“Mandibuzz,” Mandibuzz opened her beak and fired a pulse of dark purple energy.

“Quick, Gible,” Pinkie responded, “use Dig to dodge it.”

“Gib,” Gible quickly dug into the ground and disappeared from sight, causing the Dark Pulse to collide with the ground and miss completely.

Rainbow Dash looked around rapidly. “Okay, Mandibuzz,” she began, “we don’t know where it’s going to come up, so be on your guard.” Suddenly, she heard a rumble to the side. When she turned to look, she saw Gible’s dorsal fin sticking up out of the ground behind Mandibuzz. “Mandibuzz, turn around and use Bone Rush!” She yelled.

Mandibuzz opened its beak a small bit and an ethereal blue bone appeared in its beak. It flew down toward the fin and called “Mandibuzz!” as she slammed the bone down on top of the fin.

“Yes!” Rainbow cheered, “a direct- huh?!?” There was no sign of Gible anywhere.

“Now, Gible,” Pinkie called, “use Draco Meteor!”

The ground directly beneath Mandibuzz burst as Gible jumped up, its mouth wide open with a glowing orange light. “Gible!”

Rainbow’s eyes widened. “Mandibuzz, get out of there!” she yelled, but it was too late.

“Buzz!” Mandibuzz cried as the orange sphere in Gible’s mouth expanded around her. The sphere soon engulfed Mandibuzz’s whole body.

“Gible!” Gible called as it fired the ball of energy out of its mouth, sending Mandibuzz with it.

“No, Mandibuzz!” Rainbow yelled as the meteor ascended.

“Buzz!” Mandibuzz yelled as the meteor exploded around her, sending smaller orange meteors flying in all directions. Moments later, Mandibuzz fell to the ground in the middle of the battlefield. “Buzz...” she groaned as she attempted to stand up. She almost managed to stand up, but stumbled and fell flat on her stomach, unconscious.

“Mandibuzz is unable to battle,” Applejack announced from the side, “Pinkie Pie wins!” Rarity and Fluttershy both clapped from the sidelines.

“A spectacular performance,” Rarity commented, “that Draco Meteor was gorgeous.”

“I’m just happy neither of them got hurt too badly,” Fluttershy responded, “but just to be safe I’m going to want to check to make sure they’re okay.”

“Alright!” Pinkie cheered as she ran forward and wrapped Gible in a big hug. “Nice work, Gible.”

“Gible,” Gible smiled and hugged her back.

On the other side of the battlefield, Rainbow ran up to Mandibuzz. “Don’t worry,” she said, “you did a great job. We’ll just train a bit more and we’ll beat her next time.”

“That’s the spirit,” Rarity smiled as she trotted up to Rainbow Dash, “I must admit I was afraid you’d be upset about losing.”

“Who, me?” Rainbow put on an innocent smile, “When do I ever get upset about losing?”

Applejack smirked, “Do ya want yer answers in alphabetical or chronological order?”

Before Rainbow could respond, Pinkie hopped up to the group and hugged her, saying “Wow, Rainbow, you did a great job. Don’t worry, I’ll go easy on you next time.”

“No, Pinkie,” Rainbow shook her head, “if I want to prove I’m tougher in Pokemon battles, I’m gonna need to beat you when you’re going all out.”

“Okie dokie lokie,” Pinkie giggled, “next time I won’t pull any punches.”

“Next time?” Rainbow raised an eyebrow, “What do you mean next time?”

“Oh, nothing,” Pinkie smiled.

“How did Gible do that anyway?” Fluttershy asked, hoping to change the subject before it was too late.

“Do what?” Pinkie blinked.

“You know what,” Rainbow protested, “how did he vanish like that when Mandibuzz attacked with Bone Rush?”

“Oh, that was easy,” Pinkie shrugged, “I just had him use Substitute.”

“Substitute?” Rainbow tilted her head in confusion, “When did he learn Substitute?”

“Oh, I forgot to tell you,” Pinkie replied, “he learned it last night when we were playing hide and seek. I thought I’d found him but the one I found vanished. I thought it was Double Team like Mandibuzz, but there was only one.”

“Wow,” Rarity commented, “I wish Twilight had been here to see that. After all, it’s not every day she gets to observe a new Pokémon move with her own eyes.”

“What’s this about a new Pokémon move?” Twilight interjected as she flew down next to the others.

Rarity jumped to the side a bit. “Twilight, don’t you know not to sneak up on ponies like that?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Rarity,” Twilight frowned, “I didn’t know it was going to startle you.”

“It’s alright, darling,” Rarity smiled, “you didn’t mean it.”

“Thanks, Rarity,” Twilight smiled, “I knew you’d understand.”

“Hey Twilight,” Pinkie interrupted, “Gible learned a new move!”

“Really?” Twilight asked excitedly, “What was it?”

“Substitute,” Pinkie replied, “it makes a copy of him to distract the opponent. He used it to beat Mandibuzz.”

“Wow, I wish I had been here to see that.”

“Me too,” Pinkie frowned slightly, “you’ve been gone a lot lately. I figure it must have been royal duties, but I still missed you.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Pinkie,” Twilight hugged her pink friend, “I guess I got wrapped up in my work again.”

“It’s okay,” Pinkie hugged her back, only much tighter, “all that matters is you’re here now.” She hugged tighter. Twilight struggled a bit, unable to breathe because of Pinkie’s hug. After a few moments, Pinkie released her grip. “So, what were you doing while you were gone, anyway?” she asked.

“Oh yeah,” Twilight smiled, having finally caught her breath, “I was working on a project to help us in the study of Pokémon.”

“You were?” Rainbow grinned excitedly, “Aw yeah! Is it gonna be something that can help me finally beat Pinkie?”

“I doubt it,” Applejack chuckled, “she’s already beaten you five times in a row.”

“Four times,” Rainbow Dash glared at her, “and I got really close last time.”

Twilight stood between the two and spoke up “Girls, there’s no need to fight about it.”

“Yeah,” Rainbow smirked, “and it’s not like we even could fight, since Applejack doesn’t even have any Pokémon.”

“Why you,” Applejack started as she came a bit closer, but was stopped by a magenta aura. She looked at Twilight, whose horn was glowing in the same light. “Oh come on, Twi, she started it.”

“It doesn’t matter who started it,” Twilight responded, “I don’t want either of you to hurt the other. Besides, pretty soon you might be able to battle Rainbow after all.”

“You mean-?” Applejack started.

“Come with me and find out,” Twilight smiled as she released her magic grip on Applejack.

Chapter 1: The Pokétransfer Unveiled

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“Come on, Twilight,” Rainbow started, “what’s the big surprise?”

“Patience, Rainbow Dash,” Twilight giggled, “you’ll see as soon as you all take a seat.”

“Fine,” Rainbow rolled her eyes as she sat down next to Pinkie.

“Good,” Twilight turned to face a large box with a large curtain draped over it, “now, without further ado, I give you...” she quickly tore the drape off of the box, revealing what appeared to be a phone booth, “The Pokétransfer!”

“Oo!” Pinkie jumped up, “A phone booth! Hang on a second."

“Pinkie, it’s not a-” Twilight started, but was cut off as Pinkie rushed past her and into the machine.

“Hi, this is Pinkie Pie. I’m at the Ponyville library; I’d like 4 large pizzas with everything on them.” Pinkie hopped out of the machine and turned to Twilight, “well, that takes care of lunch. It should be here in no time.”

“Pinkie,” Twilight facehooved, “it’s not a phone booth. It’s an interdimensional teleportation system.”

“A what now?” Applejack raised an eyebrow and tilted her head.

“An interdimensional teleportation system,” Twilight repeated. “It’s a portal to the Unova region.”

“But Twilight,” Rarity rubbed her chin, “why do you need a machine to go to the Unova region? You already have a spell that can do that.”

“It’s not for me, Rarity, it’s for all you girls,” Twilight proudly explained. “With this, you’ll be able to go back and forth to Unova without needing my help.”

“Aw yeah,” Rainbow grinned widely, “that’s awesome! Now I can get all the awesome Pokémon I want and become the toughest trainer around!”

“And I can make friends with lots and lots of new creatures,” Fluttershy added. “Thank you, Twilight, I can’t wait to go.”

Twilight smiled and nodded her head. “You’re welcome, Fluttershy. As soon as it’s finished, you’ll all be able to go to Unova as often as you like.”

“What do you mean ‘as soon as it’s finished?’” Applejack asked, “It sure looks finished to me.”

“Almost, Applejack,” Twilight placed a hoof on the machine, “but at the moment I still need to program a way to convert it to travel size.”

“Travel size? Why in tarnation would it need to travel?”

“Simple, because when it sends you to the Unova region, it gets sent there itself. Otherwise, how else would you get back home? I need to find a way to make it smaller once you’re in Unova so you don’t end up losing track of where you left it.”

“Um, pardon me, Twilight,” Rarity interrupted, “but I just thought of a small problem with this.”

“A problem?” Twilight tilted her head, “What kind of problem?”

“Well, if I recall correctly, you said that there are no ponies in Unova, and when Rainbow Dash was there many of the people who saw her assumed she was a Pokémon.”

“Yeah, that’s right,” Rainbow nodded, “they all thought I was some kind of new Pokémon.”

“Precisely,” Rarity continued, “so, if we travel there frequently, won’t there be a danger of the people living there confusing us for Pokémon? What if one of them actually tries to...” she gulped nervously, “catch us?” She shuddered and continued “I couldn’t possibly live like that, being treated like a pet or forced to battle others.” She cringed a bit at the thought, but suddenly felt something tapping her on the shoulder. She turned to look and saw a Pokéball, covered in a magenta aura, with the button on the front pressed against her shoulder. “AH!” she jumped to the side in fear. After a few seconds, she opened her eyes and realized that the Pokéball was still hovering in the same place as before.

Twilight smirked, “See? Pokéballs have no effect on us. They’re designed to catch Pokémon, not ponies. We may not be humans, but we’re not Pokemon either, so we’re just as immune to the effects of Pokeballs as humans are.”

Rarity wiped a few beads of sweat from her forehead and sighed in relief. “Well, that’s certainly good to hear, but how did you know that?”

“I didn’t,” Twilight winked, “I hadn’t the foggiest idea; you were just the guinea pig.”

Rarity’s eye twitched and she let out a nervous chuckle “Um, hehe, good one, Twilight, you really had me there. For a moment I actually thought you were serious. You were joking, weren’t you, Twilight?” She gulped nervously.

Twilight stood still for a moment, her eyes darting side to side, before she spoke up. “Anyway,” she turned back to the machine, “even if Pokéballs did work on us, we still won’t need to worry about humans trying to use them on us.”

“Why not?” Pinkie inquired.

“Because they won’t want to catch other humans.”

“Humans?” Rainbow raised an eyebrow, “what’s that have to do with anything?”

“Well, because I realize ponies are in short supply in Unova, I programmed the machine to disguise us as humans when we’re there.”

“What do you mean you programmed it to do that?” A disembodied voice asked, causing everypony to jump. Suddenly, the shadow of the Pokétransfer began to move, shifting into the form of a Draconequus. It then rose from the ground and changed color, revealing that it was none other than Discord. He grabbed Twilight and gave her a noogie, teasing “Oh Twilight, didn’t you ever learn to give credit where credit is due?”

Twilight struggled a bit, but managed to escape Discord’s grip. “Oh yes, I forgot to mention that I did have a little assistance making the Pokétransfer.”

“A little?” Discord smirked, “I’m the one who copied your Spacial Rend spell and focused it into the machine. Without me this would be just a phone booth” he crossed his arms and put on an exaggerated frown.

Twilight rolled her eyes, “Yes, I know, and I’m very thankful for your help, Discord.”

Discord smirked “See? Was that so hard?”

“No,” Twilight replied, “sorry I forgot to mention that you had helped at first. Anyway,” she turned to face the others and continued, “Discord gave the machine an illusion spell, which gives ponies the appearance of humans when they use it. When they return to Equestria, the disguise wears off.”

“But Twilight,” Rainbow frowned, “how will I be able to fly if I’m a human?”

“And how are you and I going to use magic?” Rarity added.

“No need to worry,” Discord spoke up, “it is only a disguise. You will not lose your natural pony abilities. Those of you with wings will be able to fly by means of winged shoes, and those of you with horns will be able to channel your magic through your fingertips. And of course, Pinkie and Applejack will retain their Earth Pony strength and stamina.”

“Cool,” Rainbow smiled, “I can’t wait! This is gonna be so awesome!”

Twilight giggled “Yes, it will be awesome, just as soon as I finish it.”

“How long should that take?” Rainbow asked excitedly.

Twilight placed her hoof to her chin in thought. “About-” she was interrupted by a knock on the door.

“Ponyville Pizza,” came a voice from the other side of the door, “I’ve got 4 large pizzas for somepony named Pinkie Pie.”

“Oh boy,” Pinkie ran to the door.

Rainbow leaned toward Twilight and whispered “I thought you said it wasn’t a phone booth.”

“It wasn’t,” Twilight responded.

Pinkie hopped back into the center of the room, four pizza boxes balancing on her mane. “Lunch is here, let’s eat.” She turned and bounced into the kitchen.

“Sounds good to me,” Rainbow grinned as she followed Pinkie.

“I could go for some grub myself,” Applejack added as she trotted after them. Rarity and Fluttershy both nodded and followed the others.

Twilight giggled, “Well, I guess it’s just you and me, Discord. Discord?” She turned and realized Discord was also following the others to the kitchen. She frowned, but a rumbling in her stomach snapped her out of her reverie. Shrugging, she said to herself “Oh well, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

Outside the library, a trio of fillies were looking in the window, listening intently to the conversation. “Whoa, did you hear that?” Scootaloo asked.

“Sure did,” Sweetie Belle replied, “that machine can send ponies to the Pokémon place.”

“Unova,” Apple Bloom corrected, “and that gives me an idea.”

“What is it?” Scootaloo inquired.

“If we can use that machine, we might just be able to get our cutie marks as Pokémon trainers.”

“That would be so cool!” Scootaloo grinned, “Imagine being the first ponies ever to get Pokémon cutie marks! We’ll be famous.”

“Well, ah don’t know about famous, but we’ll definitely earn some bragging rights for a while.”

“Hey, as long as it helps us get our cutie marks, then I like it,” Sweetie Belle smiled.

“Me too,” Scootaloo responded, “and even if it doesn’t get us a cutie mark, all the Pokémon we catch will still be one awesome consolation prize.”

“Exactly,” Apple Bloom nodded, “now, we’re gonna need to find a way to use that machine without Twilight finding out.”

“Why?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“You know what our sisters and their friends are like, they’ll never let us go. If we ask them, they’re gonna tell us it’s too dangerous and we’re too young.”

“Yeah,” Scootaloo frowned, “they’ll never let us go.”

“Well they won’t have to,” Apple Bloom grinned, “because we’re gonna sneak in there and use that machine before they even have a chance to stop us.”

Chapter 2: Breaking and Entering

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“Are you crazy?!” Scootaloo simply giggled as Sweetie Belle said this quite loudly.

Apple Bloom clamped her hoof over Sweetie Belle‘s mouth before speaking in a rough whisper. “Quiet down Sweetie Belle, or else they will hear us!”

“Mmfphh!” Sweetie Belle gave up speaking and just nodded as her snout was then released. “So… how do we sneak in? Twilight will most likely have it locked down tight.”

“Just leave that to me.” Scootaloo reached in her saddlebag and pulled out what looked to be like a lockpick… a lockpick?!

“We’re going to pick the lock?!” Once again Apple Bloom clamped her hoof on Sweetie Belle’s mouth, but this time she dived into the bushes with her as Spike looked out the window. After a few minutes of struggling, the unicorn broke free of her mouth restraint and gave Applebloom one of her glares before looking at Scootaloo. “How did you even learn to do such a thing Scootaloo?”

“When you are a fan of watching theater you pick up a few things here and there...” Scootaloo simply shrugged as she put her lockpick back in her saddlebag. “So Apple Bloom, when do we start going for our cutie marks as Pokémon Trainers?”

“As soon as everypony is asleep, except for us of course.” Both Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo nodded their heads before all three of them ran away from the area.

Night time was the quiet version of the normally bustling town of Ponyville. The last few of the open doors closed shut with a few clangs being heard shortly after, and a few clicks signaled the lights inside turning off. Sweetie Belle was inside her room, a small butterfly nightlight made by Fluttershy being the only illumination the room had, packing her saddlebags with a few things that she knew would be needed for the trip. A first-aid kit filled with band-aids, bandage wraps, disinfectant, and even a few nurse equipment such as a stethoscope and a head light were amongst the things in her saddlebag. Knowing how improperly prepared the other two fillies might have been, she also took care to pack a few packages and cans of food for the trip... a can-opener was also amongst them.

"Okay... so that is pretty much everything we might need for the trip." She stretched out her back before walking over to her drawer and pulling out a black spy outfit. Pinkie Pie had made her and the other two fillies this outfit when they tried getting their super spy cutie marks, what a disaster THAT turned out to be. After putting the outfit on, she threw her saddle bags over her body and climbed out the window. Getting outside the boutique should have been the easy part, but she lost her footing and fell into a bush nearby with a loud thump. She slowly climbed out the bushes and shook off the leaves on her body. "Now I just have to meet up with the others." She quickly galloped towards the backyard of Twilight's Library.

After asking permission from Applejack, Big Mac, and Granny Smith, Apple Bloom was in the clubhouse of the Cutie Mark Crusaders packing up what she thought she would need. Inside the saddle bag was a few bottles of water and even a bottle or two of the Apple Family's Sweet Apple Cider. "We shouldn't need to pack food, there will obviously be food in that Pokémon world for us!" She zipped up her saddle bag and fixed it onto her back. As she jumped out the clubhouse, she too was wearing the super spy outfit Pinkie Pie had made for her.

Scootaloo was seen in the clubhouse of the Cutie Mark Crusaders fiddling with her lockpick when she suddenly snapped to reality. "Pokémon. Cutie Mark. Forgot!" She quickly sat up and checked her own saddle bag to see if she had everything. Inside there was a Daring Do book she borrowed from Twilight that she decided to return that night, along with a red and white hat that had a grey letter S in front of it, and the Cutie Mark Crusader Capes. "Now that everything is packed..." She took the hat out the bag and placed it on her head. "It's time to rock and roll!" She then galloped to Twilight's Library.

After only a few minutes, Scootaloo managed to reach the back of Twilight's Library and meet up with the other two crusaders. "So what's the plan Apple Bloom?"

Apple Bloom nodded her head before she began speaking. "First we are going to let Scootaloo use her lockpicking skills to get us inside the treehouse."

Scootaloo smiled as she hoof pumped the air. "Aww yeah!" Sweetie Belle instantly covered Scootaloo's mouth with her hoof after that outburst.

"Afterwards we are going to use our super spy abilities to sneak to the teleporter while Sweetie Belle uses her levitation spell to snag the bag of Pokeballs next to it." She then looked at Sweetie Belle with a glare. "Don't screw up the spell this time..."

Sweetie Belle only smiled nervously. "I've been practicing a lot, don't worry."

"Okay girls, now that we have a plan, it's time go act." After Apple Bloom said this, she and the other two Crusaders put on their black masks and galloped towards the front of Twilight's Library. "Go for it, Scootaloo."

The orange filly nodded her head and proceeded to pick the lock. Once she heard a click, she signaled with her hoof for the other two to follow her. "This is so exciting."

As soon as the three fillies stepped into the Library however, a purple aura surrounded them and teleported them to their clubhouse in Sweet Apple Acres. "What just happened?!" A frustrated Scootaloo shouted at the top of her lungs.

Sweetie Belle looked around then sighed. "Girls... I think Twilight hexed her Library the same way Rarity hexed her boutique..."

"Well ain't that swell! How the hay are we going to get to that portal now?!" After saying this, Scootaloo fell flat on her back with a grunt.

Apple Bloom simply smiled and stood up. "Then it's settled girls, we will have to sneak into the transporter when the Library is open!"

Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle simply stared at Apple Bloom in shock before the unicorn of the pair spoke. "Do you know how impossible you sound right now?"

Apple Bloom only giggled before responding. "Don't worry about it! We will just wait for her to use the bathroom or something and then we can sneak into the teleporter." She looked at the sighing fillies nodding their heads and smiled even bigger. "Let's go to bed and try again tomorrow."

Celestia's sun shone brightly on Ponyville as Sweetie Belle woke up from her bed. "I guess it's time to see Twilight at the Library... I really hope Apple Bloom knows what she's doing...:" She got her saddlebag of supplies and put on her Cutie Mark Crusader cape before hopping down the stairs.

"Sweetie Belle darling, do be careful today." Rarity spoke in a gentle tone while her face was concentrated on the fabric she was sewing. "Keep out of danger as well!"

Hearing that last part made Sweetie Belle smile nervously unbeknownst to Rarity. "Sure thing sis!" She then ran out the Boutique and sighed once she got far enough away. "Sorry sis..." She shook her head as she began her trot to Twilight's Library. "I wonder if the other two are there yet?"

Scootaloo had woken up from her sleeping spot in the clubhouse with a yawn, as she often enjoyed staying there from time to time. She ruffled her mane a bit to have it fall just how she liked it before putting her Cutie Mark Crusader cape on. "This is going to be so awesome! I am going to get the coolest Pokémon ever and impress Rainbow Dash!" She could barely contain her excitement as she put her saddle bag on and leaped out the window landing on the floor with a thud. "Ow..." She got up and started galloping full speed to Twilight's library. "I wonder what kinds of Pokémon I will find."

Apple Bloom was finishing up her chores in the house, which consisted of doing the dishes, making her bed and taking out the trash. "Applejack, ah'm going over to Twilight's now!"

Applejack practically yelled her response from the kitchen where she was at. "Okay then, tell Twilight ah will be around later ta see if her tele-mathingy is done!"

"Sure thing! Ah will let her know!" Apple Bloom then ran out the house and galloped towards the library.

Sweetie Belle looked up from her laying spot in the grass and smiled when she saw her two best friends walking towards her. "Hey girls!" She stood up and waved to the two fillies approaching.

Apple Bloom waved back with a big grin. "Howdy Sweetie Belle!"

Scootaloo waved as well and also with a big grin on her face. "Hiya!"

"Ah hope ya'll are ready because today is where we get our Pokémon Catching Cutie Marks!" Apple Bloom jumped up, clearly very excited.

All three of them looked to each other before shouting in unison. "Cutie Mark Crusaders: Pokémon Trainers!" After they said this Scootaloo knocked on the door more than a few times.

Twilight stepped outside rubbing her eyes. "Oh hiya girls, what brings you here?" She yawned deeply before continuing to speak. "And why so early?"

"Well we were wondering if you could tell us about the teleporter thingy." Sweetie Belle looked up at a now shocked Twilight. "Uh... Rarity told me a little about it and I was curious."

"So I am guessing she told you two and you were excited as well to come?" Scootaloo and Apple Bloom both nodded making Twilight sigh. "Very well then." She stepped aside to let the three fillies pass.

Sweetie Belle took note of where the bag of Pokéballs were before speaking up. "What are those?"

Twilight looked over at the sack of Pokéballs and levitated one of them over to Sweetie Belle. "These are called Pokéballs, they are what trainers use to catch Pokémon." She made the Pokéball's button click against Scootaloo making her jump up and instinctively run to the other side of the room. "Ha ha ha! Rarity almost had the same reaction." She placed the Pokéball back into the bag and zipped it up.

"So what about the teleporter? Where is it? Where is it?" Apple Bloom hopped up and down excitedly making Twilight frown slightly.

"It is in the locked room behind me, for obvious reasons I can't show you because it's still too dangerous."

Apple Bloom only frowned as she turned to the other two, who giggled lightly amongst themselves.

"So girls do you have any other questions?" Twilight looked at the three fillies who shook their heads. Suddenly a loud grumble was heard from their stomachs. "I am guessing you skipped breakfast?" The three fillies looked to each other and nodded their heads. "I will go make some breakfast then." Once Twilight was inside the kitchen she closed the door, allowing the fillies to talk amongst themselves.

"So girls, are ya'll ready to go for it?" Apple Bloom looked at the faces of her friends who nodded their heads. "Then let's do this." Sweetie Belle walked over to the bag of Pokéballs and used her levitation spell to shakily carry it. "Hurry up Scootaloo..."

Scootaloo was busy picking the lock of the locked door that held the teleporter. "Just gimmie... one.. sec, there!" The lock clicked open as the three fillies walked inside and saw the machine. "Whoa... it looks awesome!" The teleporter indeed looked a lot like a telephone booth and Scootaloo instinctively looked at Apple Bloom with a confused look. "Are you sure this is it?"

Apple Bloom saw Scootaloo's gaze and smiled. "That's what she said!"

Sweetie Belle opened the door and walked in, followed by the two fillies. "Let's go!" She pulled down on a lever and the telephone booth sprang to life as it started glowing with a purple aura. The bodies of the three fillies started to mold, making their bones crack and extend, causing loud cries from the trio. "I am going to give you a beating Apple Bloom!"

"How the hay was ah supposed to know this would happen?!" Apple Bloom said through grunts.

Eventually the morphing stopped as the telephone booth made a loud explosion, and it disappeared. Twilight ran into the room when she heard the explosion and gasped. "Oh no, oh no no no!" She then rushed out and called out to Spike. "SPIKE!!!!"

Chapter 3: Bipedal Confusion

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A small explosion of wind disrupted the normally peaceful woods of the Unova region as a strange machine resembling a telephone booth appeared out of thin air. A few grunts from inside were heard until eventually three little girls came tumbling out in a big heap. Each of them groaned in both pain and annoyance as they got off of each other and laid down on the grass. Each of the girls had different colored hairstyles. One had red hair with a pink bow on the back, the other had light purplish hair that was disheveled, and the other had short, bubbly hair with a mix of white and pink colors. On their bodies, they each wore a dark blue dress with gold lining on the inside, on the top right of their chest was the Cutie Mark Crusader symbol of a filly on it's hind legs with it's fore hooves in the air.The white and pink haired girl was the first to sit up with a painful groan as she looked around. The next to wake up was the purple haired girl and lastly the red headed girl.

The red head was the first to speak up. "What the hay happened? Did it work?"

The girl with the two-toned hair spoke up next. "I think it worked Apple Bloom, I think we are in Unova."

This time it was the purpleish haired girl to speak. "No way! That's awesome Sweetie Belle! Let's get to catching!" She went to stand up but when she did her legs wobbled and eventually buckled making her land face first on the grass. Once Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle saw what happened they rushed over.

"Scootaloo, are you okay?" Sweetie Belle had a concerned look on her face.

Scootaloo sat up and rubbed her head in pain. "Yeah i'm fine..."

"Uh girls? What the hay happened to ya'll?!" Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo both took a good look at each other and screamed as they both fell back and away from each other. "Why do ya'll look like that?"

Scootaloo looked at Apple Bloom with a glare in her eyes. "How should I know?! This was your dumb idea!"

"Ya didn't think it was dumb a few minutes ago!"

Sweetie Belle crawled in between the two arguing girls and shoved them back. "I thought Twilight's machine was supposed to make us holographic human costumes, not make us real humans."

"It must have malfunctioned when Apple Bloom's big head hit that button!"

"Nu-uh! It was your big flank that smacked the lever up!"

Sweetie Belle just about had enough of the bickering which is why she raised her voice. "Girls sto-!" She was cut off by a growl nearby. "Uh... what was that?" Apple Bloom and Scootaloo looked at each other and both shrugged before the growl came again making all three of them hug each other in fear.

"It doesn't sound friendly..." Scootaloo was slowly growing more and more panicked as the growls got louder.

"What do ya'll think we should do?" Apple Bloom asked in hopes of getting a good answer.

"This was your fault to begin with! You figure something out!" Scootaloo retorted making Apple Bloom frown.

The bushes in front of them rustled as a bipedal red and black crocodile-like creature emerged baring it's teeth. It looked at the girls menacingly for invading his turf. "Krookodile!"

All three of the girls screamed in fear as the Krookodile charged them, but suddenly a bright blue ball shot out of the bushes and slammed into the Krookodile, making it stumble a bit.. A blue Pokémon with black ears and paws jumped out of the bushes. It had a red ragged scarf around it's neck flapping in the wind. It launched another focus blast at the Krookodile who growled in anger with it's attention fully on the Pokémon.

Krookodile ran at Riolu with it's claws raised only to get hit with an ice punch to it's stomach. The Krookodile stumbled back and fell to one knee in shock. It was now confused as to how a simple Riolu could hold it's own against him. The Riolu smirked before it ran towards the Krookodile and leaped at it sending a well aimed Force Palm into the beast's chest, paralyzing it. After landing on the ground and making sure the Krookodile was immobile, the Riolu looked at the three terrified girls and nudged its head as if beckoning them to follow.

The three girls looked at each other before they made an attempt to stand up, only to fall forward on their hands and knees. Scootaloo groaned in annoyance. "This is impossible! How the hay are we going to follow it? Crawl?!"

Apple Bloom then sighed as she shook her head. "Come on girls, would you rather stay and be eaten by that monster?" She pointed at the Krookodile who was trying it's best to move its limbs... slowly.

"Doesn't look so scary to me anymore..." Scootaloo crossed her arms and looked away, only to get a glare from Sweetie Belle.

"Scootaloo..." Sweetie Belle retorted. "Can we please just get out of here?"

"Fine..." Scootaloo sighed as the three girls stood up, put their backpacks on, and once more, with each other's support, followed the Riolu while Sweetie Belle managed to grabbed the bag of Pokéballs with her hands. The now amused Riolu then led them into the forest as the girls fumbled putting on their saddle bags turned backpacks.

It only took half an hour before Riolu grew annoyed by the bickering and whining of Sweetie Belle and Apple bloom.

"I told you we shouldn't have done this!" Sweetie Belle cried.

"Nopony told ya to come with us!" Apple Bloom retorted.

"Somepony had to look out for you if you got hurt!"

"Girls..." Scootaloo said clearly annoyed.

"Then why the hay are ya complaining?!"

"Because you assured me that the human thing was a hologram and WOULDN'T change our bodies completely!"

"Girls!" Scootaloo was now getting mad.

"How was ah suppose to know this would happen? I only went off of what ah heard!"

"GIRLS!!" This sudden outburst from Scootaloo startled the Riolu in front a bit to the point where it turned around with a raised eyebrow. The two bickering girls also jumped from the outburst completely stopping their argument. "I really don't think arguing with ourselves is going to get us anywhere, can we just agree to disagree and move on?" The two girls thought for a few seconds before nodding their heads.

"About time you girls stopped bickering... it was getting annoying. Thanks by the way miss purple hair."

Scootaloo and the other two looked around before Sweetie Belle spoke up. "Wh-who said that?"

"Down here..."

All three of them looked down at the Riolu who was looking at them with curious eyes. "You can talk?! But how? You aren't moving your mouth!" Scootaloo was startled by the Riolu which caused her to say this.

"It is called telepathy. Many Pokémon can use it but choose not to. I am one of the few who do... you aren't from around here are you?" Riolu said while crossing his arms across his chest.

Apple Bloom looked at the other two before speaking. "Wh- what? Of course we are!"

"What town are you girls from? Also why are you alone?" Riolu raised an eyebrow after saying this.

Apple Bloom was about to speak when Scootaloo spoke up instead. "We actually aren't from around here, we came from another-!" Her mouth was muffled by Sweetie Belle's hands.

"Scootaloo!" Sweetie Belle said annoyed before she suddenly clapped her hands over her mouth instead.

Riolu looked at the purple haired girl with interest. "Scootaloo? That name is most unusual... I am actually not surprised, you'd be surprised by how much we Pokémon actually know that humans do not."

Sweetie Belle slowly lowered her hands and continued to speak. "So... you believe us saying we are from another dimension?"

Riolu's eyes became wide hearing this."Then the rumors are true... there was a Rainbow Dash here after all!"

"Well since the cat's outta the bag..." Apple Bloom walked up to Riolu and smiled. "Ma name's Apple Bloom! Those two are Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo!" She pointed to the two girls who both smiled as well.

"We come from the same universe as Rainbow Dash! I am even the president of her fan club!" Scootaloo beamed with pride saying this.

"A fan club?... Well that is interesting. She must be pretty amazing."

"Yeah! She is the fastest Pegasus in all of Equestria!" Scootaloo responded.

"Pegasus? Equestria? I don't know what either of those are."

"A Pegasus is a pony with wings," Scootaloo said, "I'm a Pegasus too in Equestria."

"We are all ponies back in Equestria, that teleportation machine made us humans even though it should have been holograms..." Sweetie Belle shot a glare at Apple Bloom who raised her hands defensively in surrender.

"Okay, I see what's going on now. No worries, your secret is safe with me." He winked as he started to move again making the girls follow him. "We are almost there, you should think up some names."

"Here we are girls, welcome to Mistralton City!" Riolu used his arms to gesture at the town before them.

"Huh... doesn't look all that different from Ponyville." Scootaloo said with a raised eyebrow before getting elbowed in the side lightly by Apple Bloom. "What?"

"Scootaloo, be polite!" Sweetie Belle said before looking back at Riolu. "Can you show us around?"

"Well..." Riolu rubbed his left arm with his right hand and shuffled his feet. "I haven't actually been here myself before so... I wouldn't know where star- AHHHHH!!" Riolu felt himself get lifted off the ground making him panic.

"Relax Riolu! We will show you around as well then!" Scootaloo smiled as she set Riolu down on her shoulders.

"Wah! I'm gonna fall, I'm gonna fall!" The Pokémon flailed it's arms about before latching them on to Scootaloo's head.
The crusaders simply laughed as they walked into the town while Sweetie Belle picked up the dropped Pokéball bag.

"So the red building is the Pokémon Center and the Blue building is the PokéMart?" Sweetie Belle asked quizzically.

"That is correct! You heal your Pokémon at the center and you buy supplies at the market." Riolu smiled at Sweetie Belle who returned it with her own smile.

"So when can we start catching Pokémon? I want to get my Pokémon Catching Cutie Mark for catching the strongest Pokémon out there!" Scootaloo beamed nearly making Riolu lose his balance on her shoulders.

"You need a Pokémon first!" Sweetie Belle retorted.

"I could be your Pokémon!" Riolu responded making Scootaloo look up with a smile.

"Really? That's awesome!" Scootaloo yelled happily once again making Riolu almost lose balance.

Apple Bloom was about to respond when suddenly a man with beige hair and a beige beard walked up to them with a smile. "I'm sorry but I couldn't help but overhear that you girls are looking for the strongest Pokémon in Unova?"

Apple Bloom looked at him and smiled. "Of course! We want our Pokémon catching cut- mfffph!!" Sweetie Belle had managed to cover Apple Bloom mouth without giving the guy any hints.

"Yes we are mister, do you know of any?" Sweetie Belle looked up at the guy with a smile making him laugh.

"Well of course I know! By the way, you can call me Cedric, Cedric Juniper." The guy replied before looking at the girls with a grin.

"My name is Amber!" Apple Bloom blurted out, much to Sweetie Belle's surprise since she thought Apple Bloom would be the one to ruin the whole thing.

Sweetie Belle then cleared her throat and replied. "My name is Samantha!"

Scootaloo then took Riolu off her head and held him in her arms making him chuckle. "My name is Daisy! This is my Pokémon Skeeter!" Riolu looked up at Scootaloo with a raised eyebrow in both confusion and appreciation. He was honored to be nicknamed but he was also confused as to why that name above any else.

Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle both raised their eyebrows at Scootaloo's choice of name before Cedric laughed again. "Nice to meet you girls! Now then, let me tell you about the legend of Kyurem!"

The Crusaders and even Riolu were wide-eyed as Cedric finished telling them of the Legendary Kyurem. "Here, this is a map of the Unova region. Kyurem is said to live in the area known as the Giant Chasm." He handed 'Samantha' the map before waving at them. "I must be on my way now, there are many more discoveries to make!" With that being said he walked off and out of sight.

"Alright girls! It's time for us to go Pokémon hunting!" Apple Bloom shouted happily.

All three of them took deep breaths as they shouted in unison. "CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS: POKEMON TRAINERS!!!!"
Riolu covered his ears just in time to avoid going deaf as the crusaders walked out of town getting weird looks from the people nearby.

Chapter 4: Rescue mission

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“What do you mean they took the machine?!?” Applejack demanded.

“I mean the Cutie Mark Crusaders picked the lock on the Pokétransfer when I was in the kitchen.”

“What?!?” Applejack gasped, “But I thought you said it wasn’t finished!”

Twilight flinched, “I said it wasn’t able to convert to travel size yet; I never said it wasn’t operational.”

“Figures,” Applejack huffed, “ah shoulda known those three couldn’t resist tryin’ to get their own Pokémon. Ever since you brought those others back the first time, everypony’s been so excited about them. Guess those three wanted to get some fer themselves.”

“Well,” Twilight looked to the shelf next to the spot where the machine had previously been standing, “that explains why they took the Pokéballs.”

“What?!?” Applejack’s eyes widened, “but I thought you said the only way to catch a Pokémon was ta battle it! If they don’t have any Pokémon, how the hay are they gonna try to catch any?”

“Well, my guess would be trying to either find a weak enough Pokémon to catch without a battle, or calm one down with food or something so it lets them catch it. Still, without any Pokémon on their side, they could be in big danger.”

“We have ta go after them!” Applejack pointed to Twilight’s horn, “Quick, use that Spacial Rend thing to send us to Unova so we can get ‘em back!”

“Wait a minute, Applejack,” Twilight held up a hoof, “I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

“And why in the world would it be a bad idea?!?” Applejack demanded.

“For one thing, Applejack, we need the others first.”

“Why? It’s not like they coulda gone too far already; we can track ‘em in no time.”

“I’m afraid it’s not that simple, Applejack,” Twilight shook her head, “time moves differently between Equestria and Unova. By Equestrian time they haven’t been gone long, but by now, they’ve probably had a few hours head start in Unova time. We’ll need plenty of help finding them. Besides, Pinkie and Rainbow have been dying to go back, Rarity’s going to want to help find Sweetie Belle, and Fluttershy is dying to see Unova so she can meet new Pokemon, so she’d be devastated if we didn’t take her.”

“Well, okay, ah guess that makes sense,” Applejack shrugged, “so let’s split up. Ah’ll get Fluttershy and Rarity, and you get Pinkie and Rainbow. We’ll meet up back here lickety split.”

“Alright,” Twilight nodded. She then turned to look up at the ceiling and spoke up, “We’ll also need your help too, Discord.”

“Oh Twilight Sparkle,” Discord’s disembodied voice replied, “how did you know I was watching?”

“Call it a hunch,” Twilight smirked, “that and the fact that I don’t remember having a poster of you on the ceiling.”

The image of Discord on the poster began moving and responded “What? Don’t you like my taste in decoration?”

Twilight smirked, “Let’s put it this way, your taste in decorating would give Rarity a heart attack.”

Discord scoffed, “Jealous much?”

“Ah hate to interrupt,” Applejack rolled her eyes, “but we’ve gotta get going so we can round up the others.”

“Oh, sorry, Applejack,” Twilight rubbed the back of her head, “I guess I got carried away.”

“No problem, Twi,” Applejack replied as she turned and trotted out the door.

Twilight turned to Discord and said “Okay, Discord, when the others get here I’m going to need you to use that spell to give us human disguises, since we can’t use the machine for it.”

“Well, I can’t just do that,” Discord responded.

“What do you mean?” Twilight asked, “Why not?”

Discord snapped his fingers, causing a lab coat and glasses to appear on him. “Because the spell needs a focusing mechanism or it breaks. The spell is fueled by my chaos magic, so if you’re in a different dimension than me, it will break. That’s why the machine was a perfect conductor for it, because it’s fueled by my magic. Everypony who uses it is given a wristband as part of their human disguise; those wristbands are filled with my magic. They stay in human form as long as they keep the wristbands on.”

“So?” Twilight raised an eyebrow, “Can’t you just give us some of the wristbands?”

Discord scratched his chin, “I suppose I could, but I think I have a better idea in mind.”

“What is it?” Twilight asked.

“Those,” Discord responded, pointing at the glass case with the Elements of Harmony. “I can enchant them with the transformation spell. If that world is as dangerous as you say, you’re going to want to have them with you anyway.”

“I don’t know,” Twilight shook her head slightly, “I don’t think I should trust you with the Elements.”

“Oh please, Twilight,” Discord smirked, “if I wanted to get rid of them, I would have done so a long time ago.”

“Nice try, Discord, but we both know Celestia placed a protection spell on them.”

“Oh yeah?” Discord snapped his fingers. The glass case with the Elements of Harmony vanished and appeared in his paw.

Twilight’s jaw dropped, “How did you do that?”

“Easy,” Discord chuckled, “Celestia didn’t enchant the case. Even if I can’t move the Elements, the case can move them and I can move the case.”

“Okay, okay, I get your point. And I guess you’re right about the Elements coming in handy in a pinch,” Twilight nodded, “so I guess it’d be okay for you to put the transformation spell on them.”

“With pleasure,” Discord replied. He snapped his fingers again and the Elements began to glow faintly. When the light faded, there was a sound like a kitchen timer. Discord looked back up at Twilight, a chef’s hat on his head, and said “Okay, one transformation enchantment, hold the onions.”

Twilight couldn’t help giggling a little as she took the case in her magic. “Thanks, Discord, this should come in handy.”

“Any time, Twilight,” Discord chuckled, “now I believe you have some friends to retrieve.”

Twilight jumped a bit in realization, “Oh yeah, I forgot.” She opened the door with her magic and flew outside.


“H-hello?” Fluttershy opened her door nervously, startled by just how quick the knocking had been. She sighed in relief and smiled when she saw it was Applejack. “Oh, Applejack, it’s you. How are you?”

“Not good, Fluttershy,” Applejack replied, “there’s an emergency. I need you at the library pronto!”

“An emergency?” Fluttershy nervously asked, “what’s wrong? Is somepony hurt?”

“Ah sure hope not, but if we don’t get to Unova quickly somepony might get hurt.”

Fluttershy’s eyes widened, “Unova? Oh no, did something go wrong with Twilight’s machine?”

“Ah’ll say it did, my sister and her friends took the machine! They’re in Unova right now! We need to go there and get them before they hurt themselves!”

Fluttershy gasped, “Oh dear, that’s horrible! Don’t worry, Applejack, you can count on me.”

“Great,” Applejack smiled, “now we need to get to Carousel Boutique and get Rarity. Twilight’s getting Pinkie and Dash.”

“Got it,” Fluttershy saluted. She trotted out the door, but turned and looked back inside before closing the door. “Angel, I’m going to be gone for a few hours, so I expect you to be a good bunny and hold down the fort while I’m gone, okay?” Angel nodded and saluted, holding a spoon like a bayonet as if he was in a military lineup. “Good boy,” Fluttershy smiled, turning back to Applejack and closing the door.

As the door closed, Angel hopped over to the couch. He lifted the cushion, revealing a red button hidden under it. He pressed the button. Suddenly, a panel opened in the ceiling and a disco ball descended from it, the wall on the side of the room flipped around to reveal a bar, a bunch of bar stools popped up out of the ground, and loud music began playing. All of the animals came out into the center of the room and started dancing, all except the beaver who was serving drinks at the bar.


Twilight hurried up to the door of Sugarcube Corner and knocked, muttering to herself, “Come on, Pinkie, we don’t have much time.”

“Time for what?” Pinkie asked, having just popped up out of a flower pot next to the door.

“AH!” Twilight jumped, hitting her head on the ceiling. Rubbing her head, she looked to Pinkie and groaned, “Pinkie, don’t do that. You startled me.”

“Oopsie,” Pinkie giggled, “sorry, Twilight.”

Twilight sighed, “It’s okay, Pinkie, but I need your help. The Cutie Mark Crusaders took the Pokétransfer machine. They’re in Unova right now, so we need to go get them.”

Pinkie looked slightly scared for a moment, but quickly perked up and cheered “Woo-hoo! We get to go to Unova!” She opened the door and called in, “Looney, Gible, we’re going to Unova!”

“Loon,” her Drifloon floated up to her excitedly.

“Gible,” Gible ran up after Looney.

Pinkie pulled a pair of Pokéballs out of her mane and returned Looney and Gible. “Okay, Twilight, let’s go,” she smiled widely at Twilight.

“Hang on, Pinkie,” Twilight responded, “first we need to get Rainbow Dash, then meet everypony at the library.”

Pinkie nodded, “Okie dokie lokie.”


“WHAT?!?” Rarity shrieked, causing Fluttershy to duck behind a nearby bush, “My sister is in the Unova region?!?”

Applejack rubbed her ear with a hoof, “That’s what ah said. My sister’s there too, and so is Scootaloo. Twilight wants us to come to the library ASAP so we can go after them.”

“Go after them?” Rarity gasped, “But I haven’t had any time to pack!” She turned to run into the boutique, but was stopped when Applejack grabbed the end of her tail in her mouth.

“Hang on, Rarity,” Applejack grumbled, “we don’t have time to pack. Ah’m sorry, but we need to get going, pronto! Ah’m not gonna let my sister get hurt because you were too busy packing to go help us.”

Rarity frowned and nodded her head, “You’re right, Applejack, we need to get our sisters back at once. I suppose I can stand to go without packing just this once.”

“Good,” Applejack nodded, “nice to see we understand each other.”


Pinkie watched from the ground as Twilight flew up to the door of Rainbow Dash’s house. Twilight knocked on the door and called “Rainbow, it’s time to go to Unova!”

“What?!?” The door burst open and Rainbow hovered in front of Twilight with an excited look on her face, “We’re going back now?”

Twilight nodded, “Yes, but it’s not just any visit. The Cutie Mark Crusaders took the Pokétransfer machine, so we need to go to Unova and bring them back.”

“Works for me,” Rainbow grinned, “if it’s an excuse to go to Unova, I’ll take it. Hang on one moment, I need to get my Pokémon.” With that, she turned and flew back into the house. Moments later, she flew out, wearing her Pokéball belt and holding a large black egg with a white pattern on the bottom.

Twilight’s eyes widened at the sight of the egg. “Is-is that what I think it is?”

Rainbow nodded and looked down at the egg, “It appeared in Mandibuzz’s nest a few days ago. I figure if I’m gonna need to leave, I don’t want to just leave it alone, so I’m gonna ask Spike to take care of it. He did a pretty good job hatching that phoenix egg, after all.”

Twilight nodded, “Sounds like a good idea. Now let’s get to the library.”


“Is everypony ready to go?” Twilight asked, looking around the room at all of her friends.

“Aye aye, captain Twilight,” Pinkie saluted, a pirate hat sitting on her head. All of the others looked at Pinkie in confusion, but still nodded.

“Good,” Twilight turned to the case with the Elements of Harmony. Her horn lit up and the case opened as the Elements floated out of it and to their respective bearers. “Discord,” Twilight turned to face Discord, “do your thing.”

“Certainly, Twilight,” Discord replied as he snapped his fingers.

Each of the elements glowed faintly for a moment, but none of the ponies looked any different. “Discord,” Twilight asked, “what happened? Why are we still ponies?”

“Don’t worry, Twilight, when you pass through the portal to Unova, the spell will activate.”

“Okay,” Twilight raised an eyebrow, “I guess that works. Thanks.”

“Any time,” Discord smirked.

Twilight turned to face the others and continued, “Okay girls, we’ve got three fillies to save.” Her horn glowed and a burst of magenta magic shot out of it. The blast stopped in mid-air and turned into a rift in space. “Let’s go,” Twilight instructed as she trotted through the rift. The others promptly followed her. As soon as everypony had stepped through the portal, it closed in a flash of light.


Everything was calm on the streets of Mistralton City. People were walking around, chatting, and going about their days as they always did. In one alley of the city, however, the peace was disturbed by the appearance of a large magenta tear in space, which seemed to materialize out of nowhere. A group of four-legged figures stepped out of the portal, and as they did so they were engulfed in light similar to evolving Pokémon. The portal closed in a flash of light, revealing six humans standing in the alley.

Twilight rubbed her head and groaned, “Oh, my head. That transformation spell gave me such a headache,” she lowered her hand from her forehead and examined it. “Well,” she mused, “at least it worked for me. How about you?” She turned around and saw five humans who she could only guess were her friends.

“I’ll say it worked,” Rainbow Dash responded, looking at her human form. Her outfit consisted of a pair of light blue jogging pants with her cutie mark on the hips, a dark blue tank top with a light blue, short-sleeved jacket over it, a pair of white tennis shoes with blue wings on them, a pair of flight goggles on top of her head, and the Element of Loyalty.

“Wow, so this is what a human looks like,” Applejack continued, looking at herself. She was wearing her hat, a pair of cowboy boots with spurs on the back, a pair of brown chaps with her cutie mark on the hips, a white top covered in a light brown flannel vest, and the Element of Honesty.

“Oh my, this is gorgeous,” Rarity smiled. Her outfit consisted of a pair of shining white slippers and a long white dress tied at the waist with a purple ribbon. Like the others, her dress had her cutie mark by her hips, and she was wearing the Element of Generosity.

“Yippee!” Pinkie spun around, taking in the colors of her outfit. She had a wide, dark pink skirt with her cutie mark on each hip, a light pink shirt, a light blue belt, a pink vest half-covering her shirt, a pair of wide, pink tennis shoes, and the Element of Laughter.

Fluttershy didn’t say anything as she looked herself over. She was wearing a butter-yellow blouse, a light green skirt with her cutie mark on each hip, a pair of yellow shoes with yellow wings on the sides of them, a light pink jacket wrapped around her waist, and the Element of Kindness around her neck.

“Wow,” Twilight commented, “your disguises are perfect. Aside from your hair, l almost didn’t recognize you. How’s my disguise?”

The others said nothing as they looked at Twilight. Pinkie covered her mouth to suppress a giggle, Fluttershy blushed bright red, Applejack’s eyes watered a bit and she bit her lower lip while suppress her desire to laugh, and Rainbow burst out laughing, falling on her back and holding her sides.

Twilight gasped, “What’s wrong? What is it?”

“Twilight, darling,” Rarity started, her eyes wide, “I think Discord took the opportunity to pull a bit of a prank on you.”

“A prank?” Twilight asked, “What do you me-” she looked down at herself and screamed as she noticed that, unlike the others, Discord had not given her clothes as part of her disguise. She frantically covered herself with her hands and screamed “DISCOOOOOOOOOOORD!”

Chapter 5: Looking for clues

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"Oh come on, Twilight, you know it was funny," Rainbow Dash snickered.

Twilight gritted her teeth and responded, "We will never speak of this again." She turned to face the others, who were sitting around a table at the Pokémon Center. "That goes for all of you, too."

"Okay, okay," Rainbow smirked, "we'll pretend it never happened."

"Good," Twilight smiled, "I'm just glad Rarity was able to help."

"Of course, darling," Rarity nodded, "it was my pleasure. Although I admit it was tricky making an outfit for your current form. After all, I've never designed clothes for a human before."

"Well, I guess there's a first time for everything, right?" Twilight responded with a nod.

"Exactly," Rarity replied, before turning to face the others, "now, on to more important matters, how are we going to find the Cutie Mark Crusaders? If the Pokétransfer really disguised them as humans, how will we be able to recognize them?"

"Well, the Pokétransfer is meant to make them retain such features as their mane and their eyes," Twilight answered. She placed a hand to her chin in thought, and then continued, "Also, they'll have wristbands, and Scootaloo will have wings on her shoes. Even if she's too young to fly, she still has wings, so the Pokétransfer will have given her winged shoes just like any other Pegasus."

"Well that's handy," Rainbow spoke up, "so I guess we know what they'll look like here, so let's just split up and look for them." She pushed her chair back and started to stand up.

"Wait a second, Rainbow," Twilight held up a hand to stop Rainbow, "I think first we should try to figure out where they would have wanted to go."

"Well," Applejack replied, "knowin' mah sister and her friends, they probably wanna try to catch the strongest Pokémon they can find, so if we can figure out what it is, we're sure to bump into them on the way there."

"Then it's settled," Pinkie cheered, "we'll split up and ask around about what the strongest Pokémon is."

"Almost," Twilight continued, "we should also ask to see if anybody's seen the Crusaders, and of course see if we can't just spot them in the crowds ourselves. Let's split up and look for clues. We'll meet back here at noon and pool together what we've found out."

"Sounds like a plan to me," Rainbow eagerly responded as she stood up.

Twilight raised an eyebrow at Rainbow and asked, "Rainbow, you know we're here to bring the Crusaders home, not to have a vacation, right?"

"I know," Rainbow nodded, "but that doesn't mean we can't have some fun while we're here, does it?"

"Well, no," Twilight sighed, "just don't forget that our first priority is finding the Crusaders."

"Sure thing, Twilight," Rainbow smiled. She reached for her belt, picked up a Pokéball, and gave it a light toss, "But first, come on out, Oshawott."

The Pokéball opened and released a burst of energy, which materialized in the form of Oshawott, who sleepily rubbed his eyes and looked up at Rainbow. "Oshawott?"

Rainbow smiled warmly and picked up Oshawott, placing him on her shoulder. "Sorry to wake you, but it's time to go find the Cutie Mark Crusaders. You remember what they look like, right?"

"Osha, Oshawott," Oshawott nodded.

"Good," Rainbow patted Oshawott on the head, "so, let's both keep our eyes peeled for them, and remember, they'll be disguised as humans."

"Oshawott," Oshawott saluted.

"Great," Rainbow smiled and looked back at the others, "well, see ya later." She promptly turned and ran out the door.

Twilight rolled her eyes and turned back to face the others. "So, is everypony else ready?" All of the others nodded in response, so Twilight continued, "Great, then let's get going." She and the others stood up and walked for the exit.

"Do you see them, Looney?" Pinkie called up to her Drifloon, who was floating high up in the air, looking around for the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

"Loon, loon," Looney shook its head in disappointment.

"Oh, okay," Pinkie looked down to the ground. "How about you, Gible?"

The ground began to rumble as Gible poked its head up out of the ground. "Gib, Gible," Gible shook its head.

"Well that's strange," Pinkie tapped her chin in thought, "I was sure we'd find them if we looked underground and in the air." Suddenly, she snapped her finders and cheered, "I've got it! If we can't find them on land of the air, they must be in the water!"

Looney floated down next to Gible and asked, "Loon? Drifloon?" He and Gible shared a confused glance, but they were interrupted by Pinkie.

"That's right, it is a great plan," Pinkie smiled. Looney and Gible turned to face her , and were surprised to see she was now wearing a goggle, snorkel, and an inner tube shaped just like Gummy. "Okay, Team Pinkie," she cheered, "lets go find the nearest river and catch up to the Crusaders!"

Looney looked down at Gible in confusion, but Gible just shrugged and replied "Gib, Gib." Before Looney could say anything else, it was surprised as both itself and Gible were scooped up in Pinkie's arms and she started skipping toward the forest.

"Well hello there, little guy," Fluttershy smiled as she reached down to pet a small, fluffy Pokémon that resembled a puppy.

"Pup, pup," the Pokémon replied with a smile, happily letting Fluttershy scratch it behind the ears.

"Oh, aren't you sweet?" Fluttershy asked as she continued to pet the Pokémon. "By the way, have you seen three little girls walking around somewhere?"

"Pup," the Pokémon shook its head.

"Oh, I see," Fluttershy frowned in disappointment. "I guess I'll need to ask some more Pokémon."

"Pup, pup," the Pokémon became concerned seeing Fluttershy frown, so it started gently licking her hands.

Fluttershy giggled slightly and patted the Pokémon on the head. "Thank you, little guy," she smiled warmly, "you're right, I need to keep my hopes up and keep trying."

"Pup, Lilipup," the Pokémon smiled.

"Bye," Fluttershy waved as she stood up and started to walk away, "I hope I can see you again later." As she turned a corner, the Pokémon scampered after her.

As Rarity walked through the streets of Mistralton City, she called out, "Sweetie Belle! Where are you, Sweetie Belle?" No matter how much she called out, though, she just couldn't seem to find her sister. She sighed and muttered to herself, "Where in the world could those three have gotten off to?" She continued to walk down the street when her eyes caught sight of a small orange feather lying on the ground. Bending down to examine the feather, she realized it looked very similar to one of Scootaloo's. "Hm," she thought to herself, "if the machine really worked and gave Scootaloo wings on her shoes, perhaps this is one of hers."

A low rustling from a nearby trashcan drew Rarity's attention and she stood up. Cautiously, she approached the source of the noise, covering her nose to keep out the smell. "Scootaloo?" She asked, thoroughly confused, "is that you?" As she peered into the trashcan, she found a pair of large red eyes staring back at her. "AH!" She screamed as she fell backward.

"Patrat!" Startled by the scream, the Pokémon that had been hiding in the trashcan jumped out of the can, causing it to topple over and nearly land on the still startled Rarity.

Rarity rubbed her head in both annoyance and pain as she sat up. "Well, that was thoroughly un-enjoyable," she muttered. As her gaze drifted back to the toppled trashcan, she groaned loudly as she saw the orange, feathery sweater lying among the garbage. Holding up the feather she had found earlier, she held it close to the jacket and sighed. "Perfect, not only am I at a dead end, but someone actually had the nerve to throw away a perfectly good sweater. She staggered to her feet and exited the alley, unaware of a pair of eyes watching her from the inside of the trashcan.

"Apple Bloom!" Applejack called out as she walked between the massive greenhouses of the Mistralton Garden. She saw a number of Pokémon roaming around, but there was no sign of Apple Bloom. "Shoot," she huffed, "I was sure she'd be here. Ah figured she'd feel right at home in a garden this big."

"Is somebody there?" an unfamiliar voice inquired from behind a nearby greenhouse.

"What?" Applejack turned abruptly toward the source of the voice. "Yeah, someone's here," she responded, "but don't you worry none, I was just leavin'."

Suddenly, a man carrying a watering can stepped out from behind the greenhouse. "Oh, there's no need to be in such a rush," he said with a good-natured smile, "this is a public garden. I was just doing my rounds and heard someone yelling, so I was coming to see if everything was alright."

"Oh," Applejack gave a small chuckle, "sorry ta worry you. I was just lookin' fer my little sister and her friends. They sneaked away somewhere an' me and my friends split up to find 'em. Ah figured since we live on a farm, a garden would be a great place to look, but there's no sign of them."

"Oh dear," the gardener crossed his arms in thought, "I'm sorry to hear that, and I'm afraid I haven't seen anyone else in the garden today, except the Pokémon, of course."

"Shoot," Applejack sighed, "well, thank ya for yer time, but I guess I should go see if'n I can't find 'em elsewhere." With that, she turned and started walking to the exit of the garden.

"Good luck," the gardener called with a wave.

"Mistralton City Airport and Gym?" Rainbow Dash scratched her head in confusion as she read the sign at the edge of the air strip. "What's a gym doing at an airport?" Shrugging, she mused, "Guess they ran out of space for stuff. Still," she turned to face the entrance, "it couldn't hurt to check it out."

"Oshawott, Osha," Oshawott nodded.

"Then let's check it out," Rainbow responded as she walked up to the front door and entered the gym. Looking around, she was surprised to see that the gym was completely vacant of workout equipment. The room resembled an aircraft hangar, except for a few key features. On one of the side walls there was a raised platform with rows of seating, there were a couple green rings hovering in the air in the middle of the room, and the ground had been decorated with a large rectangular pattern with a Pokéball shape in the middle. Rainbow looked down at Oshawott and asked, "What kind of a gym is this?"

"It's MY kind of gym!" came a female voice from the other end of the room.

Rainbow quickly turned toward the source of the voice, but there was nobody in sight. "Who's there?!" she demanded.

"I could ask you the same question," the voice responded. Suddenly a pair of floor panels began to slide apart, releasing a small cloud of smoke. As the smoke cleared, a large, white, square machine rose from the ground. Rainbow watched in confusion as the machine tilted forward, revealing the mouth of a cannon, aiming toward the rings floating in the room.

"What the hay?!?" Rainbow backed up at the sight of the cannon.

The cannon fired, but instead of a cannonball, a woman in a blue flight suit shot out of it. She spread her arms, revealing a sheet of rubbery fabric between the arms and torso of the suit. Using this flight suit, she turned her arms to steer through the rings, not even touching the edges as she effortlessly flew through them. She landed in front of Rainbow and removed her crash helmet. "Welcome to the Mistralton gym," she announced, "my name is Skyla, the official pilot and gym leader of Mistralton City."

"Gym leader?" Rainbow blinked a few times, "What's a gym leader?"

Skyla was dumbfounded by the question. "What?! You don't know what a gym leader is?!?"

Rainbow backed up, startled by the outburst. "Whoa, what's the big deal? So I don't know what a gym leader is, big deal. I've been to plenty of gyms without gym leaders. Sure they had tough coaches, but not leaders."

"This isn't that kind of gym," Skyla sighed, "it's a Pokémon gym. You really don't know what a Pokémon gym is?"

"Nope, not a clue," Rainbow shrugged.

"But that's your Oshawott, right?" Skyla asked, pointing curiously at Oshawott.

"Yeah, he's my Oshawott," Rainbow replied, petting Oshawott, "I got him from Professor Juniper herself. Why do you ask?"

"Because I don't get how a trainer can not know what a Pokémon gym is."

"Well, if you're so smart, why don't you tell me what's so important about this gym thing?" Rainbow asked, now thoroughly annoyed.

"Gladly," Skyla smirked, "a Pokémon gym is where trainers come to earn gym badges. There are numerous gyms throughout the region, each run by a powerful trainer called the gym leader. If the trainer beats the gym leader, they get a gym badge, and any trainer who can earn eight different gym badges from around the Unova region can compete in the Unova League."

"The Unova League?" Rainbow asked in confusion.

Skyla closed her eyes and shook her head in disbelief, "Wow, you must be from Almia or something if you really don't know all this. Every region with gyms has its own league. The League is a big tournament held once a year, where all the trainers who have collected eight badges from the region compete to see who's the strongest of all. Since all the trainers there are skilled enough to have eight badges, it's the ultimate test for a trainer."

Rainbow's eyes widened in both wonder and excitement. "Whoa, that sounds awesome!" She declared.

"Osha, Oshawott!" Oshawott cheered.

Skyla couldn't help giggling at the trainer and Pokémon's enthusiasm. "Yeah, it's really exciting, but it's also very hard to get into. Speaking of which, while you're here, want to see if you can beat me and get your first gym badge?"

"Aw yeah!" Rainbow grinned, "bring it on."

"Alright," Skyla nodded, but why were you here in the first place if you weren't going to challenge me?"

"huh?" Rainbow thought for a moment, and gave a startled gasp as she remembered why she was there. "Oh geez, I'm supposed to be looking for some friends who went missing! Sorry, but I can't battle right now. I've gotta get back to the Pokémon Center! Sorry, I'll battle you some other time!" She quickly picked up Oshawott and ran out the door.

"Really? You really saw them?" Twilight asked excitedly.

"Why yes," the old woman nodded, "if they look anything like you described, I saw them speaking to Professor Juniper earlier."

Twilight's eyes widened in surprise. "Professor Juniper? But isn't her lab all the way in Nuvema Town? What's she doing all the way over here?"

The woman gave a small laugh and replied, "Not that Professor Juniper. I'm talking about her father, Cedric. He has his lab right here in town so he can conduct research on the Pokemon in Chargestone Cave."

"Chargestone Cave?" Twilight asked, "where's that?"

"Oh, it's just south of the city. There are many Steel and Electric-type Pokémon living there, many of whom are very useful for research, so old Cedric and his assistants take regular visits to gather information."

"Okay," Twilight nodded, "so if I want to find this Professor Juniper, should I try the lab or the cave?"

"Well, the only time when you're guaranteed to catch him at the lab is in the evening. The rest of the day, he tends to go wherever he feels like. For a researcher, he doesn't worry too much about a research schedule."

"Oh," Twilight nodded in understanding, "I guess I'll tell my friends and we'll go see him in his lab tonight. Thank you for your help," she said with a smile.

"You're welcome, dearie," the old woman smiled back, "good luck finding your friends."

"Thanks," Twilight said as she gave a small wave and turned to walk away.

Rainbow Dash walked into the Pokémon center, panting heavily. Seeing the others were already sitting around a table waiting for her, she rushed to the table. "Sorry I'm late, guys," she panted, "I got distracted by something."

"It's fine, Rainbow," Twilight responded, "turns out we won't be able to find out where the Crusaders are until this evening."

"Huh? Why?" Rainbow stared in confusion.

"Because our only lead is Cedric Juniper, Professor Juniper's father, and because the evening is the only tme we'll be sure to find him at his lab."

"Professor Juniper's father?" Rainbow asked. "Wow, I guess professors really don't ever retire."

"Be that as it may," Rarity interrupted, "I think we should see if we can find him at his lab now. After all, you said he wasn't guaranteed to be there, but you did not say he certainly wouldn't."

"I suppose that's true," Twilight nodded, "the worst thing that can happen is that we have to wait for him." She looked around at the others before continuing, "So, what do you think? Should we go ahead and try now?"

"Ah say we go for it," Applejack replied, "after all, the longer we wait, the harder it's gonna be to find the Crusaders."

"Yeah," Pinkie smiled, "and I wanna see if Professor Juniper's dad is as nice as Professor Juniper is. Maybe he'll give me a starter Pokemon like Dashie's Oshawott."

"Oh, I'd like that very much," Fluttershy commented.

"Alright then," Rainbow grinned, "looks like it's settled."

"Oshawott," Oshawott cheered.

"Then let's go," Twilight stood up and walked to the exit, followed shortly by the others.

Twilight calmly knocked on the door to the laboratory as her friends waited. "Oh, I hope he's here," she said, a worried tone evident in her voice.

"Don't worry, Twilight," Rainbow said, giving Twilight a reassuring pat on the back, "even if he's gone now, we can just hang out here and battle or something to pass the time."

"True, but I'd still rather get this over with," Twilight replied. She opened her mouth to continue, but was interrupted when she heard the door open.

Cedric Juniper stood in the doorway and gave a chuckle. "My, I've been getting an awful lot of visitors today."

Twilight gave a small laugh and replied, "Yeah, I know how it feels having research interrupted by impromptu parties." As she said this, she shot a small smirk at Pinkie. "Sorry to bother you, sir, but we're wondering if you've seen our friends."

"Well, that depends," Cedric responded, "are your friends three young girls and a Riolu?"

"I don't know about the Riolu," Twilight answered, "but I'm pretty sure those are our friends. An old woman told me she saw you talking to them, so unless you've seen two trios of young trainers today, that was probably them."

"In that case, yes, it was them," Cedric nodded.

"Great," Applejack grinned, "so, where are they? We're here to bring them home."

"I don't know where they are now," Cedric replied.

"What?!?" Applejack gasped, "but then what in the world were you and them talking about?!?"

"Oh, they wanted to know about the strongest Pokémon in Unova, and as a researcher I thought it would be a shame to ignore three youngsters' quest for knowledge, so I told them the legend of Kyurem and they left."

"Kyurem?" Rainbow asked, "What in the world is Kyurem?"

Cedric laughed and answered, "Kyurem is the most powerful Pokémon in Unova, of course. You see, long ago there was a mighty Dragon-type Pokémon who reigned alongside the king of the Unova region. The dragon represented truth and ideals, and wielded the powers of fire, lightning, and ice. Eventually, the great king's two sons had a fight with each other, one arguing that truths were more important, and the other arguing that ideals were more important. The conflict between them caused the great dragon to split, creating the legendary dragons Zekrom and Reshiram, one holding truths and the other holding ideals. After Zekrom and Reshiram split up, the empty husk of the original dragon's body became cold and void, taking life as the Pokémon Kyurem. Kyurem can freely wield the powers of Zekrom or Reshiram in addition to its own power."

"Are you serious?!?" Applejack yelled, "So my sister and her friends told you they wanted to catch the toughest Pokémon around, so you told them to go looking for a giant all powerful ice dragon monster?!?"

Cedric gasped in surprise, "Catch it? They never told me they wanted to catch Kyurem; they only asked what it was!"

"Well, where is Kyurem?" Twilight asked. "If we start going that way too, we're sure to catch up to them!"

"Right," Cedric nodded. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a rolled-up scroll. Handing it to Twilight, he continued, "take this with you." Twilight unraveled the scroll and saw it was a map. Cedric pointed to one of the cities on the map and explained, "This is Mistralton City right here. Now," he moved his finger along the map to a cave on the other side of Unova, "that's the Giant Chasm, where Kyurem lives."

Twilight examined the map and noticed that there were two different paths, one leading North from Mistralton City and one leading South. "Um, Professor," she started, "which of these paths did our friends take?"

"I don't know," Cedric responded.

"Huh?!?" Twilight gasped, "How do you not know?"

"Well I told you," Cedric explained, "I didn't know they were planning to go there."

"Great, now what?" Rainbow sighed.

Twilight frowned and responded, "I'm afraid the only thing we can do is take a guess and hope it's the path they took."

"If I may make a suggestion," Cedric interrupted, "the path to the South through Chargestone Cave is full of unique and powerful Pokémon, so if your friends were looking for strong Pokémon, they probably went that way."

"Hm, what do you think, Twi?" Applejack asked Twilight.

"It's all we have to go on right now," Twilight sighed, "so I guess we're heading to Chargestone Cave."

"Be careful in there," Cedric pitched in, "the rocks in that cave have unusual properties, and some of the Pokémon can be very hostile at times."

"Don't worry," Twilight replied, "we'll be careful. Thanks for the help." She turned to face the others and continued, "So, are we ready?"

"Just a minute, Twi," Applejack responded, "if the Pokémon in that there cave are as tough as he said, we'd better be ready. Ah say we go buy some more Pokéballs, just in case."

"Good idea, Applejack," Twilight nodded, "first we'll stock up on Pokéballs, then we'll head for Chargestone Cave." The others nodded in unison and turned to head for the Pokémart. As they were walking, Twilight mumbled, "I just hope we can get to the Giant Chasm before the Crusaders."

Little did the group know that as they spoke, a tall blue creature was watching them from the nearby forest.

Chapter 6: The Celestial Tower

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"I don't know, Apple Bloom... that cave sounds dangerous." Scootaloo was imagining all the scary Pokémon that could be in Chargestone Cave as Apple Bloom facepalmed herself.

Apple Bloom looked at the map again and said, "Okay fine! We'll go to the north where the Celestial Tower is." Scootaloo sighed in relief.

"Why are you so scared anyway, Scootaloo?" Sweetie Belle raised an eyebrow, making Scootaloo growl.

"I'm not scared! I'm just.. concerned for your safety!"

"Chicken..." Apple Bloom jokingly replied.

"I'm not a chicken!" Scootaloo stomped one foot on the ground before Riolu, nicknamed Skeeter, stepped in.

"Enough, girls! Can we just please move on?" The three girls nodded as Skeeter sighed rubbing his temples. "What did I get myself into?" He sighed as he tightened the red scarf around his neck.

A few minutes had passed when Sweetie Belle decided to speak up. "Hey Scootaloo... if Riolu is your Pokémon..."

"Skeeter!" Scootaloo cut in.

"Sorry, if Skeeter is your Pokémon now... where is his Pokéball?" Sweetie Belle raised her eyebrow as she looked at the Riolu.

Scootaloo giggled lightly before pulling out her trainer hat and putting it on. "She makes a good point Skeeter, I have to catch you to make you officially my Pokémon."

"Okay, but do you have any other Pokémon to battle me with?" Skeeter questioned getting a confused look from the girl.

"No... does that mean I can't catch you?" Scootaloo sounded defeated when she said this.

"Not really, just throw a Pokéball at me and see if it works." Skeeter smiled as he leaped out of Scootaloo's arms and stood in front of her.

Scootaloo took out a Pokéball and turned her hat around. She then took the position of a pitcher and shouted. "Pokéball, go!" She threw the Pokéball at Skeeter, but, instead of it opening to catch him, the back of the ball smacked Skeeter in the face making him recoil in pain.

"Ouch!" Skeeter rubbed his nose as Scootaloo sheepishly rubbed the back of her head. "Sorry... I threw it wrong." She then sighed as she took another and struck the same pose. Her trainer hat was still backwards on her head, she once again shouted. "Pokéball, go!"

"Wait, wait, wait, wait!" Skeeter waved his arms in front of him, afraid it would smack him in the face again, but this time the button of the ball clicked on his head and sucked him in. The ball shook for a few moments, but soon stopped and made a small pinging noise.

Scootaloo beamed with happiness as she picked up the Pokéball and twirled around before holding it forward. "Yes! I caught Riolu!"

The other two crusaders jumped and yelled. "Yahoo!"

"Skeeter, come on out!" She tossed the Pokéball into the air, causing it to open and let out Skeeter.

Skeeter on the other hand was still in his arms up, scared face, position before he stood erect and looked around. "Oh... guess it worked this time."

Scootaloo ran up to Skeeter and lifted him in her arms again. "Now you are officially mine!" Just then the realization hit her. "Hey girls did I get my cutie mark?!"

Apple Bloom slightly lifted up Scootaloo's dress to examine her upper thigh but sighed shaking her head. "Nope, sorry."

Scootaloo sighed in disappointment. "Aw man."

Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle just giggled as they started walking forward. "Come on Scootaloo!" Sweetie Belle called out.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm coming..." Scootaloo sighed before she started to follow the girls.

It only took an hour before Scootaloo started complaining about being lost. "Face it Sweetie Belle, you read the map wrong."

"No I didn't! It says that the tower is right over that hill!"

"Over the hill, over the hill!"

"Don't copy me Scootaloo!" Sweetie Belle spat out.

"Hey! That wasn't me!" Scootaloo said defensively.

"Then who-" Sweetie Belle was soon cut off.

"Girls, look!" Apple Bloom pointed to a strange bird-looking Pokémon that was hopping on the tree branch nearby. It had a yellow chest, blue wings, a green underbelly, and a head shaped like a music note.

"Girls, look; girls, look!" The Chatot responded, making Apple Bloom raise her eyebrow.

"Are ya copying me?" Apple Bloom growled.

"Are ya copying me? Are ya copying me?" The Chatot then whistled, making Apple Bloom yell in frustration.

"Stop that!" Apple Bloom yelled.

"Stop that!" The Chatot responded, making Sweetie Belle roll on the ground laughing.

"That's not funny, Sweetie Belle!" Apple Bloom looked at the laughing Sweetie Belle, then back at the Chatot who was now flying towards the laughing girl.

"Chatot finally made girl laugh, Chatot call her friend!" Sweetie Belle slowly went from laughing, to giggling, to silence as she looked at Chatot with a smile.

"A friend? You mean you want to be my friend?" The Chatot nodded it's head before landing on Sweetie Belle's shoulder and nuzzling her cheek making her giggle. "Well, okay then! As of now, you are my Pokémon!"

"Your Pokémon, your Pokémon!" The Chatot flapped it's wings happily as it said this.

"Apple Bloom, quick, give me a Pokéball!" Apple Bloom reluctantly took a Pokéball from the bag and handed it to Sweetie Belle, who lightly tapped it against Chatot's head, making it get sucked in. The ball shook a few times, but soon stopped and released a bunch of sparks and a metallic ping.

Sweetie Belle smiled as she held the Pokéball against her chest. "Yes! I caught Chatot!" She held the Pokéball out in front of her with a wink.

"Hey! That's my line!" Scootaloo shouted, making Sweetie Belle giggle.

"Sorry, I just had to do it." Sweetie Belle replied.

"So the dictionary got a chatterbox to go with it, how ironic." Apple Bloom said with slight annoyance.

"Hey! Quit calling me that!" Sweetie Belle yelled.

Skeeter just sighed, having now accepted his fate of forever being a part of this interesting bunch.

"So Skeeter... what attacks can you do anyway?" Scootaloo looked at the Riolu in her arms who was also looking up at her.

"Well... I know Ice Punch, Focus Blast, Low Kick, and Force Palm." Skeeter smiled after saying this, pleased that he had more moves than the average Riolu.

"Sweet! With moves like that, we can't lose!" Both Scootaloo and Skeeter smiled at each other, making Apple Bloom sigh with envy.

As the three girls walked on, eventually Apple Bloom stopped them and pointed to a tall tower nearby. "Look! Ah'll bet there are a ton of powerful Pokémon in there!" The other two girls nodded as they quickened their pace.

“The map says this is the Celestial Tower, and whoever rings the bell on top can make a wish!” Sweetie Belle said with excitement in her voice as she closed the map and put it in her bag.

“Well, what are we waiting for, girls? Let’s go up and ring that bell!” Scootaloo said with enthusiasm.

The three girls cheered as they ran forward to the tower where they would make their ultimate wish.

Once they got to the tower, they stopped frozen in their tracks. "So... who wants to go in first? Scootaloo?" Sweetie Belle asked, making Scootaloo shake her head vigorously.

"Quit being such chickens, girls! Don't ya want your Pokémon Trainer Cutie Marks?" The other two girls nodded before following Apple Bloom inside. Once inside, they were met by an eerie tune that seemed highly out of place.

"Wh- What's that scary music playing?" Sweetie Belle asked as she held on to Scootaloo, who in turn tightened her grip on the now suffocating Skeeter.

"Grip... too tight... can't breath... dying..." Skeeter was trying his best to telepathically tell the girls but they were too frozen in fear from the music. "Vision... fading... too late... it's too late..." Skeeter then passed out once Scootaloo noticed what she was doing.

"Oh my gosh!" Scootaloo released her grip on Skeeter who quickly gasped for air and glared up at her. "I'm sooo sorry, Skeeter!"

"It's fine, just warn me next time." Skeeter responded, making Scootaloo giggle nervously.

"Well girls, the Pokémon aren't gonna catch themselves." Apple Bloom said nervously as all three of them gulped. After a few minutes they finally walked in, making the door slam behind them. Scootaloo quickly ran back and started banging on the door.

"Hey open up! Don't lock us in here!!" Scootaloo pleaded as Skeeter simply sighed standing next to Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom.

Sweetie Belle took another look at the information on the tower in her book and sighed. “It seems this place is also a tourist trap, so there’s a chance the ghost Pokémon are toying with us...”

“Well it ain’t funny!” Apple Bloom responded as a few creepy laughs were emitted around the room.

“Come on girls! Let’s just get to the top and ring that bell!” Scootaloo yelled as they ran up the stairs. A dark figure floated right behind them slowly.

After going up numerous flights of stairs, the crusaders each fell against one another at the very top. All three of them were tired from non-stop running.

“Why... were there... so many... floors?!” Scootaloo said in frustration.

“There shouldn’t have been... that many... must have been... another prank...” Sweetie Belle responded, obviously out of breath.

“Well... let’s ring that bell... and get our... wish...” Apple Bloom stated as she slowly stood up.

Just then, an eerie voice had called out instantly freezing up the crusaders in their place. “Elgyem.”

"Is that a Pokémon?" Scootaloo asked timidly.

"It appears there is an Elgyem nearby." Sweetie Belle said as she flipped through a few pages of her Pokémon Encyclopedia.

"Where did you get that book anyway? Ah don’t remember you having that in Equestria," Apple Bloom asked with a raised eyebrow.

"While you both were arguing where to go I went and got this book from the library, they were generous enough to give it to me free of charge!"

"Smart girl." Skeeter smiled as once again they hear the same voice.

"Elgyem!" A small, green figure swooped down past the girls making them shriek with fear.

"This time it's my turn to get a Pokémon!" Apple Bloom took a Pokéball out the bag and threw it at the figure looming in front of them. However, instead of catching it, the ball was blasted back by Elgyem's Psychic, smacking Apple Bloom in the face. "Ow!" She held her face in pain as Sweetie Belle laughed.

"You have to battle it first to weaken it! Chatot, come on out!" Sweetie Belle took her Pokéball from the side pocket of the bag and tossed it releasing the parrot Pokémon. "Chatot, use Wing Attack!"

Chatot looked at Elgyem and flew up high before making it's wings glow. "Chatot!" It then swooped down and flew right past the Elgyem, striking it down to the ground. It then circled around the Elgyem who was struggling to get back up.

"Chatot, use Chatter!" Chatot then started to blab away worse than Pinkie Pie, annoying everyone in the room, including the crusaders and Skeeter, into submission.

"Shut that bird up!!" Scootaloo yelled, making Chatot change it's choice of words.

"Scootaloo is a chicken, bawk bawk bawk chicken chicken, scared little chicken!"

"Hey!!" Scootaloo yelled, making Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom crack up.

Elgyem couldn't take the annoyance anymore, so it floated down to the Pokéball Apple Bloom had thrown, groaning, "El... gyem..." After only a few seconds it tapped the ball once to enlarge it, and then again to open it and get sucked in. The ball shook a few times, then stopped and pinged.

Apple Bloom's eyes widened as she saw what just happened. "No way! Did I just? Did I really?" She was repeating this process for awhile before Skeeter jumped up and slapped her across the face. "Ow!... Thanks I needed that." She then walked over to the Pokéball and picked it up with a smile. "I CAUGHT ELGYEM! YEE-HAW!!" Her outburst echoed throughout the tower making a bunch of eerie voices return their response.

Scootaloo quickly spoke up to the others. "Let's ring that bell and get out of here!" The other two nodded as they ran to the bell and rung it.

“Please oh please, great Celestial Tower Bell of hope... grant our wish of giving us our cutie marks as Pokémon trainers!” Sweetie Belle called up to it. The other two girls both agreed, so they waited for a few seconds.

“Nothing is happening... did it work?” Scootaloo asked.

“It had to have worked! It probably takes time, or maybe we have to leave first.” Sweetie Belle responded.

The three girls then went back down the stairs and tried to open the door, but found that it was still locked. “What do we do now? We are locked in!” Apple Bloom said obviously panicked.

"Stand back girls, I'll blast it open!" The three girls stood back as Skeeter charged up a Focus Blast and tossed it at the door. Instead of blasting it open though, the door swung open and the Focus Blast crashed into a tree outside of the tower. "Huh... I didn’t see that coming." He shook his head as he and the three girls ran out.

Once outside, the doors closed again and the three girls celebrated. "Now we all have a Pokémon!" Apple Bloom exclaimed as she cuddled her Pokéball affectionately.

Chapter 7: A shocking mission

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"So, this is Chargestone Cave, huh?" Rainbow asked as the group stood in front of the mouth of the cave.

"That's right," Twilight answered.

"Well then," Applejack chimed in, "let's get goin'. The sooner we find the Crusaders, the sooner we can head back to Equestria."

Rainbow smirked and faced Applejack before responding. "Way ahead of you, AJ," she promptly started flapping the wings on her shoes and continued "race you there." She took off flying right into the cave.

"Hey, no fair!" Applejack yelled as she started running to the cave as well, "Next time ah'd appreciate a countdown!"

"Wait for us!" Twilight called after Applejack. She and the others promptly started running after Applejack, but came to a startled halt as a loud yell echoed out of the mouth of the cave.

"Oshawott!" Oshawott came running out of the cave, a look of terror on its face.

Applejack froze when she heard the yell and saw Oshawott, but she quickly shook it off and turned around to face the others and yelled "Rainbow's in trouble!"

"Come on, girls, we've got to help her" Twilight said, breaking into a full sprint.

"Osha, Oshawott," Oshawott ran after them as they ran past it and charged into the cave.

When the group ran into the cave, they all gasped at what they saw. Just around the first corner was what appeared to be a massive yellow spider web. At the top of the web, there was a massive yellow Pokémon which resembled a tarantula with four legs, and just below it was Rainbow Dash, wrapped up to her neck in silk. Rainbow struggled to try to break the threads and glared up at the Pokémon. "Let me go you stupid bug!" She growled.

Rarity shrieked and turned to Twilight. "Twilight, what in Celestia's name is that thing?"

"Let me take a look," Twilight responded, holding up her Pokédex.

The Pokédex lit up, an image of the spider appearing on the screen. An automated voice announced "Galvantula, the EleSpider Pokémon. They employ an electrically charged web to trap their prey. While it is immobilized by shock, they leisurely consume it."

"Prey? CONSUME?!?" Rainbow repeated in shock. promptly began to struggle more frantically and yelled "Get me out of here!"

"Hang on, Rainbow," Applejack yelled, pulling out her lasso, "I'll get you down!" She threw her lasso and grabbed the silk cocoon Rainbow was covered in. She started to pull as hard as she could, and the cocoon began to pull toward her.

"Galvantula!" The Galvantula called, turning its head to face Applejack. Suddenly, a beam of light purple energy shot out of Galvantula's forehead, aimed directly at Applejack.

"Applejack, get down!" Twilight yelled, tackling Applejack out of the way. The beam flew over the two and struck the wall behind them. Twilight panted ans asked "Are you okay, Applejack?"

"Ah'm fine, Twilight," Applejack grumbled. She stood up and dusted herself off. "Thanks, Twi, but now we've gotta save Dash."

"Don't worry," Twilight smiled, "I think Fluttershy's got it all under control."

Applejack blinked and repeated "Fluttershy?" She raised her head to look back at the web, and her jaw dropped as she saw Fluttershy calmly petting Galvantula.

"Aw, you're not a bad Pokémon, are you Galvantula?" Fluttershy cooed.

Galvantula smiled and shook its head. "Galv, Galvantula."

"That's easy for you to say," Rainbow grumbled. "From where I'm hanging it's kinda hard to believe you."

Fluttershy smiled and scratched Galvantula under the chin. "You're just hungry aren't you?"

"Galvantula," Galvantula nodded.

"Then here, have some nice tasty Pokémon food," Fluttershy smiled warmly as she reached into her pocket and pulled out a jar.

"When did you get that?" Twilight asked.

"Oh," Fluttershy turned back to face Twilight, "while the rest of you were buying Pokéballs, I decided to get some food for any Pokémon we do catch." She handed a few pieces of Pokémon food to Galvantula, who happily ate them and smiled. "Did you like that, Galvantula?" Fluttershy asked, petting Galvantula.

Galvantula happily nodded and replied "Gal, Gal."

"Then could you be a sweetheart and untie my friend?" Fluttershy smiled.

"Gal," Galvantula nodded and looked down at Rainbow. It reached down with its two front legs and grabbed the sides of the cocoon.

"Um, what are you doing?" Rainbow asked nervously.

"Galvantula," Galvantula plucked the cocoon from the web and held it up to its mouth.

"Wait, stop!" Rainbow yelled in fear, only to see Galvantula take a small bite of the silk. Then, like spaghetti, the cocoon began to spin rapidly as the silk slid off of it and into Galvantula's mouth. When the cocoon was gone, Galvantula gently set Rainbow down on the ground. Rainbow's eyes were spinning and she mumbled "I think I'm gonna be sick."

"Oshawott," Oshawott patted Rainbow on the head to comfort her.

"Thanks, buddy," Rainbow mumbled, trying to stop her eyes from spinning.

"Aw, that's a good Pokémon," Fluttershy happily hugged Galvantula, who hugged back with its front legs.

"Yeah," Rainbow staggered to her feet, only to trip over her own feet and walk into the wall, "a real sweetheart."

"Oh, don't be like that, Rainbow," Fluttershy giggled, "Galvantula was just hungry. It didn't know any better."

"Gal, Galvantula," Galvantula nodded.

Fluttershy smiled at Galvantula and asked "Galvantula, would you like to come with me? You can have more of that yummy Pokémon food."

Rainbow rolled her eyes and grumbled "Yeah, as long as you don't try to get any of that yummy Rainbow Dash." She tried to take a step, but fell flat on her face.

Ignoring her, Fluttershy reached into her pocket and pulled out a Pokéball. "Well, Galvantula," she cooed, "want to be my new friend?"

"Galvantula!" Galvantula smiled and pressed the button on the front of the Pokéball with one of its front feet. The Pokéball opened and Galvantula's body began to glow bright red as it was drawn into the ball. The ball closed and the button on front blinked red a couple of times, before there was a pinging noise and a small burst of sparks flew from the ball.

Fluttershy smiled down at the Pokéball. "Oh boy, I can't wait to introduce you to all my wonderful animal friends."

"Yeah," Rainbow mumbled, rubbing her head as she staggered to her feet, "I'm sure it'll be happy to eat- I mean, meet them."

"Hold on, Sugarcube," Applejack chuckled, "let me help you with that." She reached down and grabbed Rainbow's arm, then pulled her up and put a hand on her shoulder to keep her steady.

"Thanks, Applejack," Rainbow gave an amused smile, "I needed that."

"No problem, Sugarcube," Applejack smirked, "and maybe next time you'll take that as a lesson not to give yerself an unfair head start."

"Yeah yeah," Rainbow chuckled and rolled her eyes, "I'll keep that in mind."

"Well, I'm glad all that's settled," Twilight smiled, "now let's keep going. First we'll need to get rid of this web." She pointed her finger at the web and her fingertip started to glow.

"Wait, Twilight," Fluttershy held up a hand to stop her, "let's let Galvantula do it." She threw Galvantula's Pokéball up in the air as she said this. The ball opened and Galvantula appeared in a burst of light.

"Galvantula," Galvantula called as it appeared.

"Okay, Galvantula," Fluttershy pointed at the web, "we need you to clear the web."

"Galvantula," Galvantula nodded and crawled up to the web. It placed its mouth to the web and, just as the cocoon had, the web began to unfurl and get sucked into Galvantula's mouth, bringing a couple of rocks from the surrounding walls with it.

"Good work," Fluttershy patted Galvantula on the back. "Say," she continued, "you know your way around the cave, right?" Galvantula nodded in response, so Fluttershy continued "Would you please be willing to show us the way through? We're looking for our friends, so we need to know how to get through the cave quickly."

"Gal, Gal," Galvantula smiled. It turned around and began to crawl further into the cave, with Fluttershy walking alongside it.

"Well, you heard her," Applejack spoke up, "looks like we've got ourselves a tour guide."

"Yeah," Rainbow narrowed her eyes at Galvantula, "I'm sure we can trust this thing with showing us through a dangerous cave."

As the group trekked farther into the cave, the noise of clanking metal began to echo down the corridor. "What in the world is that?" Applejack asked, looking around for the source of the noise.

"It sounds like the inside of a factory," Twilight mused, "maybe it's the machinery from Cedric's research team."

"Gal, Galvantula," Galvantula shook its head and pointed forward. Twilight and the others looked in the direction Galvantula was pointing, and they stared in confusion at the sight. In the corridor before them, there was a cluster of strange metal Pokémon There were three different varieties of them, each resembling gears grinding against each other.

"What are they?" Rainbow asked nobody in particular.

"Let's see what the Pokédex says," Twilight responded. She first held the Pokédex up to one of the three types, one which simply resembled two gears grinding against each other.

An image of the Pokémon appeared on the screen and the Pokédex announced "Klink, the Gear Pokémon. The two minigears that mesh together are predetermined. Each will rebound from other minigears without meshing."

"Wow," Twilight gave a small smile. "Now let's look at this one." She turned to face a second type of Pokémon, one which resembled Klink, except with one minigear facing backward and a large macrogear spinning behind them.

The Pokémon's image appeared on the screen and the Pokédex spoke again. "Klang, the Gear Pokémon. Spinning minigears are rotated at high speed and repeatedly fired away. It is dangerous if the gears don't return."

"So cool," Twilight smiled a bit wider. "And now for this one," she declared, turning to face the last one of the Pokémon. This one resembled Klang, but with the addition of a rotating ring surrounded by spikes on the bottom of its body.

An image of the Pokémon appeared and the Pokédex announced "Klingklang, the Gear Pokémon. Its red core functions as an energy tank. It fires the charged energy through its spikes into an area."

Twilight grinned widely and she cheered "This is awesome!" The outburst caused many of the Pokémon to back away.

"Um, Twilight," Rainbow started, "are you feeling alright? You're not acting like yourself."

Rarity stepped up next to Rainbow and added "Indeed, you're acting much more like Rainbow Dash."

Rainbow glared at Rarity and growled "Excuse me?"

"Um," Fluttershy spoke up, "I agree with Rarity." At this, Rainbow's jaw dropped in surprise and Applejack's jaw drtopped in laughter.

"Fine" Rainbow muttered through gritted teeth, "have it your way. So, Twilight, what were you so excited about anyway?"
She was surprised to get no response, so she turned to face Twilight, only to find that she was no longer in the place where she had just been standing.

"Minccino, use Swift!" Twilight called. Rainbow and the others turned to see Twilight standing among the metal Pokémon.

"Ccino!" Twilight's Minccino leaped up into the air and spun around, releasing a barrage of stars at the metal Pokémon.

Many of the Pokémon were struck by the stars, prompting a cheer from Twilight. "Nice work, Minccino," she called.

"Um, Twilight," Applejack interrupted, "you may wanna look again."

"What?" Twilight asked as she turned to face the swarm of Pokémon. She gasped when she realized that none of the Pokémon even had a scratch on them. "I-I don't understand," she stammered, "I got a direct hit."

"Klingklang!" one of the Klinklang yelled. Suddenly, many of the Pokémon began to spin their gears faster, causing their bodies to glow yellow. They turned to face Minccino and fired Thunderbolt at it.

"Minccino, run!" Twilight yelled, but it was too late.

"Ccino!" Minccino yelled as it was struck by Thunderbolts from several angles.

"Minccino," Twilight stammered.

"Ccino..." Minccino fell on its back unconscious.

"Minccino..." Twilight sighed, "return." She held up Minccino's Pokéball and returned Minccino. "Well," she started, reaching into her pocket and pulling out another Pokéball, "looks like it's time for plan B." She tossed the Pokéball in the air and yelled "Go, Deerling!"

The Pokéball opened and a small faun-like Pokémon appeared. "Deerling!" Deerling stood up, facing the crowd of metal Pokémon.

"Hold on, Twilight," Rainbow placed a hand on Twilight's shoulder, "I don't think Deerling can handle that many Pokémon at once."

"I realize that, Rainbow, but I only plan to catch one."

"Yeah, but how are you gonna stop the others from attacking?"

"Easy," Twilight smirked at Rainbow, "that's where you come in. I need you to use your Pokémon to distract them."

"I'd love to do that, but Braviary and Mandibuzz don't have enough room to fly around much in here, so only Oshawott can really help."

"Don't worry, Dashie," Pinkie giggled, "me and Fluttershy will help, too. Right, Fluttershy?"

"Of course," Fluttershy smiled, "I'll be happy to help."

Twilight smiled warmly and said "Thanks, girls, you're the best. Now then," she continued as she turned to face the metal Pokémon, "which one should I catch?"

"Ah think you should go fer the smallest form," Applejack replied, "that way you won't have to worry about Deerling bein' hurt too badly."

"Good idea," Twilight gave Applejack a thumbs up. She turned to Deerling and continued "okay, Deerling, use Energy Ball on that one!" She pointed to a Klink floating near the edge of the group.

"Deerling," Deerling nodded and opened its mouth wide. A ball of green energy materialized in its mouth and blasted straight toward the Klink.

"Klink!" Klink cried as it was struck by the Energy Ball, knocking it away from the group.

Upon seeing their ally getting attacked, the rest of the group erupted in an angry clatter of "Klink! Klang! Klingklang! Klink!" They all turned toward Deerling and began charging for Thunderbolt.

"Oshawott, use Water Gun!" Rainbow yelled.

"Oshawott!" Oshawott fired a blast of water out of its mouth, striking the group of Pokémon. The impact caused the Pokémon to lose their focus on Deerling and turn their attention to Oshawott.

"Klink! Klink! Klang!" The Pokémon called as they fired their Thunderbolt attacks at Oshawott.

"Oshawott!" Oshawott screamed at the sight of all the Thunderbolts.

"Gible, block it!" Pinkie yelled.

"Gib, Gib!" Gible jumped in the way of the attacks. The attacks struck Gible all at once.

"Pinkie," Fluttershy ran up next to Pinkie, "that was very noble, but what about poor Gible?"

"He's fine, silly," Pinkie giggled, "see?"

Fluttershy turned to look at Gible, and gasped when she realized there wasn't a scratch on it. "But, how did that happen?"

"Gible's a Ground-type Pokémon, so Electric attacks don't affect him," Pinkie explained.

"Gib, Gible," Gible nodded and gave Pinkie a thumbs up.

"Klang!" The cluster of Pokémon yelled in anger. They all began to glow a light silver color, before simultaneously firing Flash Cannon at Gible.

"Gib?" Gible was struck by the attacks and vanished into thin air.

"AH!" Fluttershy shrieked, "Gible, no!" She glared daggers at the cluster of metal Pokémon and yelled "Galvantula, use Electroweb!"

"Galvantula!" Galvantula opened its mouth and fired a massive spider web at the Pokémon. The web quickly covered the group like a net, releasing a powerful surge of electricity.

"Pinkie," Rainbow ran up to Pinkie, "how could you let that happen to Gible?"

"I didn't, silly," Pinkie winked, "Gible's right here." She pointed to a spot on the ground. The ground undulated a bit and a fin rose up out of it, followed by Gible's head, smiling victoriously.

"Bu-but how," Rainbow stammered, but then it hit her. "Substitute?"

"Absolutely," Pinkie smiled, "you didn't think I'd really let Gible get hurt like that, did you?"

"Well, no, but why did you do it?"

"That's why," Pinkie smirked and pointed at the cluster of Pokémon wrapped in the Electroweb.

"You were trying to make Fluttershy mad?"

"Only enough to get her to do that. Don't worry, I'm already planning a party to make it up to her."

"I heard that, Pinkie," Fluttershy turned to face Rainbow and Pinkie, "but don't worry, you don't need to do anything to make it up to me. Just seeing Gible safe is enough."

"Well, it's nice to see that settled," Twilight interrupted, "and now that the other Pokémon are detained I can catch this Klink much more easily. Deerling, use Jump Kick!"

"Deer," Deerling yelled, jumping up into the air.

"Klink!" the Klink turned to face Deerling. The edges of Klink's body began glowing, and a pair of large gears fired out of its sides.

"Look out, Deerling!" Twilight yelled.

"Deer?" Deerling saw the Gear Grind attack flying at it. "Deer!" Deerling used the power it had been building for the Jump Kick to kick one of the gears away, which caused Deerling to be pushed back and out of the way of the second gear. Deerling landed on its hooves, stumbling a little from the impact.

"Nice work, Deerling," Twilight complimented, "now use-"

Suddenly, there came a loud, metallic clank from the roof of the cave, followed by a strange voice which angrily yelled "THORN!"

"Huh?" Twilight looked up at the ceiling, "what was that?"

"Klink, Klink, Klingklang!" The group of Pokémon in the Electroweb began struggling frantically until they finally shredded the web. As soon as the web was gone, they flew out of it and rushed past Rarity into a tunnel behind her, fleeing like their lives depended on it.

"That can't be good," Applejack gulped.

From the shadows on the cave ceiling, a large, metal thorn began to descend. Soon, many smaller thorns began to appear, followed by a saucer-shaped platform which they were connected to. In the middle of the platform, there were a pair of angry looking yellow eyes. From the top of the body, there were three green vines reaching up into the shadows. "Ferrothorn!" The Pokémon roared. It unhooked its vines from the ceiling and fell to the cave floor, turning its vines downward to cushion its fall. When the vines came into view, they ended in pads covered in metal spikes.

"What IS that?!?" Rarity backed up a bit.

"Let's see what the Pokédex says," Twilight replied, holding her Pokédex toward the strange Pokémon.

The Pokédex lit up with a picture of the Pokémon and it announced "Ferrothorn, the Thorn Pod Pokémon. It fights by swinging around its three spiky feelers. A hit from these steel spikes can reduce a boulder to rubble.

"Ferrothorn," Ferrothorn growled, turning and glaring at the Klink. It raised one of its vines, which glowed in a bright green light.

"Uh oh," Twilight's eyes widened, "it must be mad at Klink for waking it up."

"We'll help," Rainbow started running toward Ferrothorn, but she was stopped by a magenta aura of magic appearing around her.

"No," Twilight shook her head, "I caused this problem, and I don't want you or your Pokémon to get hurt trying to fix my mistake. Besides," she smiled, "Deerling can handle it."

"Deer?!?" Deerling looked surprised at Twilight.

"Trust me," Twilight smiled warmly, "I know you can do it."

"Klink!" Klink yelled as it was struck by Power Whip and slammed into the wall.

"Thorn!" Ferrothorn pinned Klink against the wall with the thorns on its vine.

"Deerling, use Energy Ball," Twilight yelled.

"Deer," Deerling grinned confidently and blasted an Energy Ball at Ferrothorn. The attack made a direct hit, but didn't even leave a mark.

"Thorn," Ferrothorn growled as it turned to face Deerling. It released Klink from its grasp so it could focus on its new target.

"Klink! Klink Klink!" Klink yelled as it flew through the same tunnel the others had fled through.

Twilight narrowed her eyes in determination, "Brace yourself, Deerling, this is gonna be a heck of a battle."

"Deer, Deerling," Deerling nodded, glaring up at Ferrothorn.

"Thorn!" Ferrothorn yelled as it raised one of its vines. The vine began to glow a bright purple color, preparing to use Poison Jab. "Ferrothorn!" It roared as it jabbed at Deerling.

"Deerling, duck!" Twilight yelled. Deerling obediently ducked its head down, making the vine pass by over its head. "Good, now use Double Kick!"

"Deerling, Deer!" Deerling did a quick about-face and bucked its hooves upward, striking Ferrothorn twice.

"Thorn!" Ferrothorn was hit back by the force of the kicks, but stopped itself from falling over by digging its free vine into the wall to the side.

"Good work, Deerling," Twilight cheered.

"Deer..." Deerling groaned in pain.

"What's wrong?" Twilight asked, eyes wide.

"Deer, Deer, Deerling," Deerling replied, turning and pointing its front hoof at Ferrothorn.

"I don't get it," Twilight raised her Pokédex at Ferrothorn. She read the text that appeared on the screen, and gasped, "Oh no."

"What's wrong, Twilight?" Rainbow asked.

"It says Ferrothorn has a special ability called Iron Barbs. Any time a Pokémon hits Ferrothorn with a physical attack, they take damage from Ferrothorn's spikes."

"Well, then just use Energy Ball," Rainbow responded.

"It's no good," Twilight gulped, "Ferrothorn is a Grass and Steel-type, and, as we saw before, highly resistant to Energy Ball."

"Thorn!" Ferrothorn roared and charged toward Deerling, its vines glowing bright green.

"Deerling, dodge it!" Twilight yelled frantically.

"Deer, Deer, Ling!" Deerling called as it dodged Ferrothorn's Power Whip attacks. Its small size and higher agility allowed it to avoid the swings.

"Wait, Deerling, stop!" Fluttershy called.

"Are you crazy?!?" Twilight demanded, turning to stare at Fluttershy in shock.

"No, Twilight," Fluttershy shook her head, "just trust me."

"Okay, Fluttershy," Twilight sighed, "I hope you know what you're doing. Deerling, stop dodging!"

"Deerling?!?" Deerling asked, eyes wide. After taking a second to register the strange request, Deerling stopped dodging.

"Ferrothorn!" Ferrothorn yelled, slamming all three of its vines on top of Deerling at once. A massive burst of smoke erupted from the ground, completely obscuring Deerling. "Thorn..." Ferrothorn backed away, waiting until the smoke cleared.

"Deerling, no..." Twilight stuttered. "Fluttershy, what have you done?!?"

"Buck!" An unfamiliar voice yelled from within the cloud.

"Such language," Rarity commented, shaking her head in disapproval.

"Huh?" Twilight turned and stared at the cloud of smoke. "Deerling? Is that you?"

Suddenly, the smoke was blown away as a large, deer-like Pokémon with long antlers leaped out of the top of it. "Sawsbuck!" The Pokémon yelled.

"What-What is that?" Twilight asked, holding up her Pokédex.

The Pokédex showed an image of the Pokémon and announced, "Sawsbuck, the Season Pokémon. The plants growing on its horns change according to the season. The leaders of the herd possess magnificent horns."

"But-but what happened to Deerling?!?" Twilight stuttered.

"Aw yeah!" Rainbow cheered, "Deerling evolved!"

"Evolved?" Twilight asked, "What do you- oh yeah!" Her eyes widened in realization as she remembered how Rainbow had recounted her experience of witnessing Rufflett evolve. She turned to look back at Sawsbuck and asked, "Does that mean that Sawsbuck IS Deerling?!?"

"That's right, Twilight," Rainbow grinned, "and it means it's much stronger now!"

"How did you know, Fluttershy?" Twilight asked.

"Well," Fluttershy explained, "you told us that, when you caught Deerling, it got stronger when it was hit by its own Energy Ball. I realized Ferrothorn was using a Grass-type attack, so I just thought it would have the same effect."

"Really?" Twilight looked at her Pokédex again and read more of the details about Sawsbuck. "You're right! It says Sawsbuck has the ability Sap Sipper, which lets it absorb energy from Grass-type attacks! I guess that attack Ferrothorn used had so much power behind it that Deerling got enough energy to evolve."

"Sawsbuck," Sawsbuck nodded.

"Thorn!" Ferrothorn leaped into the air angrily. It tilted its head forward so the spike on the top of its head was pointing directly at Sawsbuck. It then rapidly descended, and a series of white swirls began to spin around its body.

"Look out!" Rainbow yelled, "It's using Aerial Ace!"

"Sawsbuck, hold your ground," Twilight narrowed her eyes in determination.

"Buck, Sawsbuck," Sawsbuck stood tall as Ferrothorn got closer and closer.

Just as Ferrothorn was about to strike, Twilight yelled, "now, duck!"

"Sawsbuck!" Sawsbuck jumped forward and ducked down, making Ferrothorn fly past over its head.

"Now, use Double Kick!"

"Buck, Saws!" Sawsbuck quickly bucked its hooves backward, striking Ferrothorn hard. The force of the impact launched Ferrothorn into the air.

"Ferrothorn!" Ferrothorn yelled as it was struck by Sawsbuck's hooves. Propelled high into the air by the strike, Ferrothorn struck the roof of the cave. "Thorn..." it groaned in pain as it fell back down and crashed into the cave floor.

"Now, Sawsbuck," Twilight called, "finish it off with Hi Jump Kick!"

Sawsbuck turned around, ignoring the pain from the Iron Barbs. It leaped high into the air, its eyes focused on Ferrothorn. "Sawsbuck!" It struck Ferrothorn hard with its front hooves, driving Ferrothorn into the ground.

"FERROTHORN!" Ferrothorn cried as it was struck by Hi Jump Kick. It flailed its vines in the air for a moment, but soon stopped, its vines falling limp by its side as it lost consciousness.

Twilight cheered, "Great work, Sawsbuck!"

"Saws... buck," Sawsbuck panted, having taken heavy damage from the Iron Barbs.

Twilight smiled warmly and held up Sawsbuck's Pokéball, "Okay, you deserve some rest. Return," the Pokéball released a beam of light, returning Sawsbuck to it. Twilight turned to her friends and continued, "Come on, girls, let's get out of here."

"That's fine by me," Rainbow nodded, "I'm getting tired of being in this cave. I don't even have enough room to fly in here."

"Besides," Applejack spoke up,"ah don't think the crusaders would've wanted to stay in 'ere very long with things like that roaming around," she pointed to the unconscious Ferrothorn.

Twilight had her head down in sadness as the group came up on the exit to the cave. "Well, that could have gone better," she sighed.

"Whaddaya mean, Twilight?" Rainbow asked as she patted Twilight on the back. "You won the battle and evolved your Deerling; I'd say that was a win for you."

Twilight gave Rainbow a small smile and responded, "Yeah, I guess that's true."

"Then what's wrong, Twilight?" Pinkie asked.

"I just would have loved to catch just one Klink," Twilight shrugged.

"Klin-Klink!" a mechanical voice echoed from the cave. The group turned around and saw a Klink fly out of the shadows, charging straight toward Twilight.

"AH!" Twilight held her hands in front of her face to protect it from the oncoming attack. When she didn't feel anything after a few seconds, she lowered her hands slowly.

"Klink-Klink," Klink was floating right in front of Twilight, both of its faces smiling.

"Twilight," Rarity spoke up, "I may be mistaken, but I do believe that was the same Klink you were preparing to catch when Ferrothorn showed up."

Twilight's eyes widened and she looked back at Klink. "Is that true, Klink?"

"Klin-Klink," Klink nodded.

"Then, why are you here now?" Twilight asked, "Why didn't you flee with the others?"

"It wants to thank you," Fluttershy interrupted.

"Thank me?" Twilight repeated, "for what?"

"Well," Fluttershy replied, "you saved it from Ferrothorn."

Twilight looked back at Klink and asked "Is that true? Are you here to thank me for saving you?"

"Klink-Klink," Klink nodded.

Twilight smiled and asked "Then, does that mean you want to come with me?"

Klink eagerly smiled and replied "Klin-Klin-Klink!"

"I'll take that as s yes," Twilight laughed a bit as she reached into her pocket and took out a Pokéball. She tossed the Pokéball in the air and Klink eagerly flew up to it, letting it strike it in one of its foreheads. The Pokéball opened up and drew Klink in, and the button on the front only blinked a few times before it stopped. Twilight caught the ball in her hand before it hit the ground.

"Alright," Pinkie cheered, "you did it, Twilight."

"Osha, Oshawott, Osha," Oshawott cheered.

Twilight looked at the Pokéball and giggled a bit, "Yeah, I really did."

"Congratulations, Twi," Applejack patted Twilight on the back, "Ah knew you could do it."

"Thanks, Applejack," Twilight smiled. She then placed the Pokéball on her belt and continued "well then, let's keep going. The Crusaders weren't in there, but we should still be able to catch up to them."

"Got it, Twilight," Rainbow gave Twilight a thumbs up before turning to Applejack. "Hey, Applejack," she grinned, "race you to the next town." Before Applejack could respond, Rainbow was gone, flying as fast as possible into the forest.

"Dag nabbit, not again," Applejack grumbled as she took off after Rainbow.

Chapter 8: Pokemon Battle

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"Come on Sweetie Belle! Where are we heading to next?" Scootaloo had been jumping up and down excitedly, much to Sweetie Belle's dismay.

"It seems like Twist Mountain is a great spot for Ice Pokémon!" Sweetie Belle said happily as she handed the town map to Scootaloo. "We should head there!"

The crusaders squealed with delight as the poor Riolu held it's ears down. "Can you girls warn me before you do that... please?"

"Sorry Skeeter." Scootaloo giggled as she started following Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle. "So, how long do you think it'll be before we get there?"

Skeeter thought for a few seconds before he responded. "If we keep up the pace we have now I'd say maybe an hour or two."

"Aww, that long? Ain't there any faster way of traveling?" Apple Bloom pouted as Sweetie Belle spoke up.

"Well... Chatot is a flying type but he currently doesn't know how to use Fly." Sweetie Belle sighed as she looked at her Pokéball.

"Come on girls, let's get going or it'll be longer." Skeeter stated as they all started walking again. Little did they know, however, they were being stalked by a small black Pokémon.


As they continued to trek through the woods, they eventually came upon a road and decided to follow it, according to the map.

“So… if we keep going up this trail then we should come up to the mountain in about forty-five minutes.” Skeeter pointed out from his perch on top of Scootaloo’s head.

“Aw yeah!” Scootaloo nearly shouted. “Once we get there I am going to catch the best Ice Pokémon ever!”

“With me to help there is no one we can’t beat!” Skeeter had shouted as well. Apparently Scootaloo was rubbing off on him.

Sweetie Belle looked in her Poké Encyclopedia until she found Riolu. “It says here that Riolu is weak to psychic and flying…” She then suddenly had a realization. “Hey Apple Bloom, don’t we have those types?”

Apple Bloom thought for a few seconds before responding. “Yeah we do! Doesn’t that mean we have an advantage over Riolu?”

Sweetie Belle nodded her head. “That’s what it looks like.”

“Hey! You can’t measure Skeeter’s worth based on what a book says, he’s awesome!”

Skeeter looked down at Scootaloo from on top of her head and smiled, he has never been complimented in such a way before.

“Hey hey, I was just pointing out what it says in the book. No need to be so defensive.” Sweetie Belle held her hands out in front of her defensively in case Scootaloo tried anything.

“Girls, now is not the time for fighting among ourselves.” Skeeter sighed after he had said this.

“Skeeter is right, we shouldn’t be fighting each other… we should let our Pokémon fight instead!” At that point Apple Bloom reached towards her pocket and sent out her Pokémon. “Come on out Elliot!”

“Elgyem!” The Pokémon shouted as it came out of it’s ball. It then looked at its trainer with its head tilted.

“Yeah, your name is Elliot now! I had a hard time saying your name so I figured why not make my own name like Scootaloo did for Riolu?” Apple Bloom smiled as she hugged her Elgyem.

“Makes sense to me!” Sweetie Belle agreed, now reaching for her own Pokéball. “Come on out Polly!” She then tossed her Pokéball into the air and out popped Chatot.

“Chatot free! Who Chatot fight?” It shouted happily before tackling into Sweetie Belle, affectionately nuzzling her.

“Hee hee, hey cut that out!” Sweetie Belle pleaded, making the bird Pokémon stop it’s nuzzling and instead rested on Sweetie Belle’s shoulder.

Scootaloo and Skeeter simply facepalmed. “Well if that’s what you both want, then let’s make this a free-for-all!” Scootaloo exclaimed.

“We are going to win!” Skeeter excitedly added.

As soon as the girls were ready to bark their orders to the Pokémon, three figures stepped out from behind the bushes. “Or maybe you’d prefer a real Pokémon battle against us adults?”

The three girls turned their heads towards the disturbance, only to be face to face with three guys. One had long red hair, red eyes, a red hat on backwards, a red jacket with red jeans and red shoes. Another had parted blonde hair with a blue schoolboy outfit you’d normally see in high maintenance schools, and blue shoes. The third one had black hair tied into a ponytail, green eyes, a green vest, white shirt, green shorts, and green shoes.

“Who they hay are you three?” Apple Bloom finally decided to say.

The guy with red hair spoke up first. “My name is Brick.”

The second guy with blonde hair gave a half smile before speaking up next. “Mine is Boomer.”

The third guy with black hair crossed his arms and huffed. “I’m Butch.”

“Enough talk! Let’s battle!” Butch eventually shouted as he gripped his Pokéball. “Come on out Ferroseed!” He then tossed it into the air and a Pokémon that looks like a steel egg with green spikes came out.

“Ferroseed!” It shouted with vigor.

“Me next!” Boomer happily stated as he too threw his Pokéball. “Frillish it’s all you!”

A blue and white Pokémon came out the Pokéball, its jellyfish-like tentacles waving in the air. A frilly design could be seen between the head and the body. “Frillish!”

“Aww he’s so cute!” Boomer excitedly hugged his Pokémon and began cuddling it.

Brick simply sighed as he slapped the back of Boomer’s head, receiving a yelp from him in response. “Quit fooling around Boomer!”

“Ow! You didn’t have to be so rough…” Boomer stated, rubbing the back of his head painfully, with Frillish gently stroking his cheek in a comforting manner.

Butch on the other hand was cracking up at this. “That outta teach ya!”

Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and even Skeeter had to tilt their heads in slight confusion at the scene. Eventually, the sound of brick’s voice snapped them from their confused stupor.

“Litwick, let’s burn them to the ground!” Brick threw his Pokéball into the air after saying this, and out popped a small, whitish candle with a face.

“Litwick!” The Pokémon cried, as it stared at it’s trainer’s opponents with an evil sneer.

The girls just looked at each other before squealing in excitement as they all shouted. “CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS POKEMON BATTLERS!”

The sudden yell of the trio was enough to make the three boys howl in pain. Butch was the first to speak up however. “WHAT THE HELL?!”

Brick was the next one to talk. “That was enough to be considered a screech attack!”

Boomer was shaking his head as he tried to regain his hearing. “What? Consider a preach rabbit?”

Brick sighed as he, once again, slapped the back of Boomer’s head, a yelp being the response given. “Enough!” Brick shouted.

The crusader’s Pokémon were now in front and ready to fight. Scootaloo was the first one to take action. “Skeeter, use Force Palm on that Ferroseed!”

Skeeter nodded and quickly dashed forward, raising it’s hand as it glowed.

“Ferroseed use protect!” Butch shouted.

“Ferro!” A shield surrounded the Ferroseed, causing Skeeter to bounce off of it and land on it’s back.

“Frillish, use Water Gun on that Chatot!” Boomer happily stated as he extended a fist forward.

“Frillish.” The Frillish opened it’s mouth and shot a water gun at Chatot.

Sweetie Belle saw this and yelled, “Dodge it, Chatot!”

The bird Pokémon flapped it’s wings and flew up to evade the attack.

“Now counter with Wing Attack!” Sweetie Belle continued.

Chatot’s wings glowed as it swooped down on the Frillish for a direct hit, causing the Frillish to stagger back.

“Litwick, use Ember on Elgyem!” Brick shouted.

“Wick!” The fire on top of Litwick’s head burned fiercely as it fired a small fireball at Elgyem.

Apple Bloom, using her knowledge of Pinkie’s battle, smirked as she talked, “Elgyem, dodge and counter with Confusion!”

Elgyem jumped up to avoid the flame before thrusting it’s arms forward to send a shockwave to Litwick.

The Litwick took the full force and was now wobbling left and right confused.

“Darn it!” Brick snarled.

“Ferroseed use Tackle on Riolu.” Butch beckoned as the seed Pokémon ran full force towards Riolu.

“Skeeter, dodge and use Focus Blast!” Scootaloo cried out.

“On it!” Skeeter then jumped back to avoid the tackle and launched a blue ball of energy at the Ferroseed.

Butch just smirked as he snapped his fingers. “Protect!”

Ferroseed looked at the ball and cast a barrier around itself, bouncing the ball back at the Riolu with full force.

Skeeter gasped as the focus blast hit him and slammed him against a nearby tree.

“Skeeter no!” Scootaloo then ran over to the injured Riolu, getting the attention of the crusaders and, unfortunately, their Pokémon.

“Now Litwick! Get the Chatot with Ember!” Litwick snickered as it shot out the biggest Ember it could, hitting the Chatot from behind and burning it’s wings causing it to fall to the floor unconscious.

“Ferroseed get Elgyem with tackle!” Butch shouted.

“Frillish, follow up that tackle with a water gun!” Boomer continued.

Ferroseed jumped and spun in a circle as it slammed itself into the Elgyem. Before the Elgyem could recover however, the water gun hit it directly and sent it crashing down and unable to fight.

Each of the girls returned their Pokémon to their respective Pokéballs with a growl. Scootaloo, however, did not.

Skeeter was currently struggling to regain consciousness as Brick and the others laughed in triumph.



That is what Riolu felt around him as he opened his eyes. Everywhere he looked was nothing but complete darkness. He didn't even know if his eyes were open or not. “Where… am I?”

“Riolu…” A mysterious voice echoed.

“Huh? Who’s there?” Riolu tried his best to look around, but with the area being so black, and his body floating in complete nothingness, it was hard to tell up from down.

“Riolu… my son…” The mysterious voice replied.

“Dad? Is that you?” He tried to desperately find the direction the voice was coming from, but with nothing to see it was nearly impossible.

At that point however two white lights appeared and took the shape of a Lucario and a human next to him. “You are not destined to lose here… you must remember who your father was.” The human light replied while fixing the purplish pointed hat upon his head. “You are descended from he who saved the World Tree.”

Riolu looked over at the Lucario which nodded it’s head. “I-I am?”

Another voice could be heard slightly, it sounded like a distressed female.

Lucario then walked over to Riolu. “Your partner is calling for you… heed her call, and win this fight.” Lucario then placed his palm on Riolu’s chest. “The aura is with you!” With a flash of light Riolu was covered with a bluish aura.


Scootaloo gently hugged Skeeter, close to sobbing, “Skeeter… don’t give up! I believe in you!” She then looked at Skeeter with a frown. “I love you Skeeter…”

Skeeter’s eyes suddenly shot open from this, but they were both pure white. His body floated up a few feet before he was covered in a bluish energy. All three girls, and even the guys, watched in wonder as the small Riolu started growing. After only a few seconds the white glow disappeared and Lucario landed on one knee on the floor. He had four black dreads on the back of his head, was taller, and he now had spikes where the white spots were before.

“No way!” The three boys cried.

Skeeter, who was now a Lucario, turned to Scootaloo and kneeled with a smile. “I love you too.” He then stood up and faced the three Pokémon, who were now slightly cowering in fear, but not as much as the three boys.

“Get that Lucario!” Brick shouted, causing all three of their Pokémon to go after Lucario.

Lucario simply put both palms together as a blue ball of energy appeared. He then fired it at Ferroseed, causing it to slam into Butch. He then saw Litwick and quickly slashed his hand, now covered with a ghostly glow, downwards sending Litwick down to the ground and out for the count. He jumped up to avoid Frillish’s Water Gun, made it’s eyes glow white to signal he was using foresight, then came down with a double kick to quickly end Frillish.

The three, now scared, boys quickly recalled their Pokémon and ran away as Lucario gave out a war cry.

Scootaloo walked up to Lucario and looked at eye level with him. “Skeeter?”

Lucario then turned around, bent down, and lifted Scootaloo onto his shoulders. “I believe it is your turn to ride piggy back!” He chuckled lightly as Scootaloo held on, at first terrified, but then giggling after.

“You evolved! How awesome is this? Rainbow Dash better watch out now!”

Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle simply laughed as they watched Scootaloo and Lucario celebrate their victory. “Come on girls, next stop is Twist Mountain!”

Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and even Lucario, cheered upon hearing this as they began walking on their way.

On top of a hill from a distance, a Pokémon was observing them with a slight smirk.

Chapter 9: Hand-to-hoof combat

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"Amazing," Twilight mused, carefully looking from one of Klink's minigears to the other, "your body is made up of two different entities joined together in a united form."

"Klink," both of Klink's faces responded in unison.

"Cool," Pinkie giggled, "I wish I had 2 heads, too. Then I'd never need to feel lonely."

"Pinkie, the last thing you need is a second mouth," Rainbow chuckled.

"Yeah," Pinkie nodded sadly, "I don't think there are enough sweets in Ponyville for that."

"Pinkie," Applejack tapped Pinkie on the shoulder, "I think what she meant was-" she was cut off by a low rumbling sound from her stomach, "great, you just had to mention sweets, didn't ya?"

Rainbow laughed, "Ha! Looks like this time you're the one who got tempted by Pinkie's sweet talk."

Applejack blushed slightly, but managed to grin smugly and reply, "Yeah, well at least ah'm not lettin' my hunger trick me into eatin' a super special cake."

"Um, Applejack," Fluttershy nervously tapped Applejack on the shoulder, "I did that too."

"Me too," Rarity sighed, "guilty as charged."

"Oops, sorry girls," Applejack chuckled, "didn't mean to insult all of ya, just Dash," she smirked at Rainbow.

"It's quite alright, darling," Rarity giggled, "I was only joking."

"Yeah, no offense taken," Fluttershy added, patting Applejack on the back and giggling.

"Still," Twilight interrupted, turning her attention away from Klink, "while we're here, we should go ahead and make ourselves a picnic."

Rainbow grinned and nodded, "Sounds like a plan to me, I'm starving."

"Um, girls," Applejack spoke up, "ah hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we don't have any food on us, unless you count Pokémon food."

"What?!?" Rainbow gasped, "What happened to our food?"

"We never had any," Applejack facepalmed, "we were in such a rush to come here that we totally forgot to pack lunch."

"Oh no," Pinkie pouted, placing a hand on her stomach just as it started to rumble, "now what are we going to do?"

"Well, ah'd be happy to go find some food," Applejack responded.

Rainbow raised an eyebrow and asked, "Where? We're still a few hours walk from the next town, aren't we?"

Twilight opened up the map of Unova that Cedric had given her. "That's right," she nodded, "based on our approximate location, we've still got a fair distance between us and Driftveil City."

"Don't worry yourself with that," Applejack grinned, "just leave it ta me. Ah'll just get some fruit from the forest."

"Are you sure, Applejack?" Twilight asked, "I mean, you're not really familiar with these woods."

"Come on, Twi, ah grew up on an orchard; ah know how ta find fertile soil and growing conditions fer fruit. It may take some time to get my bearings, but ah'll be back before ya know it."

Twilight's stomach growled, causing her to blush and chuckle nervously, "Well, I guess that's a good point. Very well, Applejack,go ahead."

"With pleasure, Twi," Applejack nodded with a tip of her hat, "ah'll be back before ya know it."

"I hope so," Rainbow groaned, holding her stomach, "I'm starving."

Applejack chuckled, "Don't worry, RD, I'll make sure to get enough fer everypony." With that, she turned and walked into the forest.


A large number of round, blue berries fell from the tree Applejack was standing under. Applejack grinned and wiped some sweat from her forehead. She reached down, picked up one of the berries, and took a bite, commenting, "Well, they ain't apples, but they sure are good." She gathered the others in a pile, but stopped momentarily, "Now, how the hay am I supposed to carry all of these?" After a moment of thought, she got an idea. She took off her hat, turned it over, and filled it with berries like a makeshift basket. "Perfect, this should work as an appetizer at least. I'll just ask Rarity to weave a basket so ah can get more."


Applejack jumped, startled by the sound of something striking one of the other trees nearby. Looking around, she called out, "Hello? Is somebody there?" She listened intently for a reply, but all she heard was another loud thud and the sound of leaves rustling. "What the hay is going on?" she asked herself as she listened for the source of the sound.


Applejack quickly turned to her right as another tree was struck. She looked up and saw the top of a nearby tree rustling. "There you are," she smirked, proud to have found the source of the sound. She carefully leaned down and emptied the berries out of her hat, pushing them together into a neat pile so they would be easy to collect when she returned. "Alrighty then," she said to herself, "time to get to the bottom of this." She took off running in the direction of the noises.

After a few minutes of searching, Applejack arrived at the edge of a clearing. She could tell that whatever was striking the trees was in the clearing, so she crouched down behind a bush and carefully peered out. "Alright, now let's just see who's causing all this ruckus."

Pinkie Pie's words echoed: "Fracas!"

"Causing all this fracas," Applejack rolled her eyes. She looked back into the clearing, and raised an eyebrow at what she saw. At the opposite edge of the clearing, there was a tall blue Pokémon punching away at the trees. What immediately struck Applejack as odd was that this Pokémon had the exact same body shape as a human, and was fully dressed in a white karate outfit complete with a black belt. Applejack was surprised to see a Pokémon that looked so similar to a human, but she decided it wasn't worth worrying about.

"Sawk, Sawk!" The Pokémon spoke as it continued to punch the trees like punching bags.

"Whoa," Applejack mused quietly, "now that's one tough workout. Ah may not have a Pokédex like Twilight, but if that thing's speaking the truth, ah'd say its name is Sawk." As she watched the Sawk punching away at the trees in the clearing, she came up with an idea. "Well, if that Pokémon likes hittin' trees so much, ah bet it’d be mighty helpful to have around the farm." She nodded to herself and grabbed a Pokéball from her belt. "Alrighty then, here goes nothin'" she said as she threw the Pokéball.

Sawk turned in confusion upon hearing a noise coming from the edge of the clearing. "Sawk?" his eyes widened as he saw a human girl standing at the edge of the clearing and a Pokéball flying towards him. Before he could react, the Pokéball struck him in the forehead, opened up, and pulled him in.

"Yee-haw!" Applejack jumped into the clearing victoriously, "And here I thought catching my first Pokémon was gonna be a challenge." She looked down at the Pokéball, but her excitement turned to confusion as she saw it rolling back and forth. "What in tarnation?" she asked herself. Suddenly, the ball burst open, causing Applejack to jump back in surprise. "Whoa nelly!" she exclaimed as Sawk materialized outside the Pokéball in a burst of white energy.

"Sawk..." Sawk glared furiously at Applejack, angry to have his workout interrupted. "Sawk!" He immediately used Bulk Up, causing his muscles to grow visibly larger. He then pulled his fist back, preparing to charge.

"Whoa there, partner," Applejack said slowly, raising her fists in a defensive stance, "if it's a fight you want, then it's a fight you're gonna get."

“Sawk, Sawk,” Sawk called as he began charging toward Applejack. He clenched his fist and swung it at Applejack’s face.

Applejack raised her arms in front of her face, blocking the punch. The force of the impact pushed her back a bit, but the force of the punch itself caused little damage. “Ha! That all ya got?” Applejack gloated, uncovering her face and preparing for the next attack.

“Sawk!” Sawk glared and charged at Applejack once again, raising his fist for another punch. Applejack smirked and began raising her arms to block it again, but she stopped in her tracks when Sawk’s fist began glowing yellow. As the glow intensified, Applejack realized that there was an electrical field surrounding the fist.

“Whoa nelly!” Applejack jumped to the side. As she did so, the fist passed right by the spot where her head had been moments before. The attack came so close that several hairs on Applejack’s head began to stand on end from the electrical force. When Sawk noticed that his adversary was momentarily distracted by the static of his Thunderpunch, he swept his arm to the side toward Applejack. Applejack quickly ducked and avoided the strike, but Sawk managed to hit her hat off of her head and onto a bush a few feet away. “Mah hat!” Applejack gasped, “Oh, you’re in for it now!” She clenched her fists and punched Sawk in the gut.

“SAWK!” Sawk yelled, leaning forward in pain and placing his arms over the spot where he had been struck. Seeing an opening, Applejack stood up, raised her hands over her head, clenched her fists together, and slammed them down on the top of Sawk’s head. The force of the impact made Sawk lose his balance and fall down onto his knees.

Applejack raised both of her fists and smirked, “Give up yet? Why don’tcha make this easy on yerself and just let me catch you, huh?”

“Sawk…” Sawk grumbled.

“Is that a yes?” Applejack raised an eyebrow.

“Sawk Sawk Sawk!” Sawk quickly swung his arm outward with a Low Sweep attack, smacking Applejack’s legs out from under her.

“AH!” Applejack yelled in pain as the attack struck her, causing her to fall down and land on her side.

“Sawk, Sawk!” Sawk yelled, jumping to his feet.

“This ain’t over yet, partner,” Applejack growled, “not by a long shot!” With that, she too picked herself up and stood ready to continue. However, when she got back up, she found herself struggling to remain standing, because her legs were still sore from the Low Sweep.

Sawk smirked when he realized his opponent was slowed down. “Sawk!” he yelled, using Bulk Up once again and making himself even more brawny.

“Whoa nelly…” Applejack said to herself, “this can’t be good.” She raised her fists, preparing to counter whatever Sawk’s next move would be.

“Sawk,” two perpendicular rings of white light appeared around Sawk’s torso. Applejack watched in confusion, not sure what to expect. “Sawk Sawk!” Sawk shouted. Suddenly, large, jagged stones began to materialize within the rings.

“What the hay?” Applejack’s eyes widened in fear.

“SAWK!” Sawk roared as the pointed stones began to shoot out of the rings, flying straight toward Applejack.

“AH!” Applejack yelled as the stones struck her. The force of the impact pushed her back into a tree. “Ow, that smarts,” she groaned in pain. Sawk narrowed his eyes and began to charge toward Applejack, his fist pulsing with electricity for another Thunderpunch. When Applejack saw Sawk coming in for another attack, she realized she had no time to dodge, so she quickly reached up and pulled the Element of Honesty off of her neck. A blinding flash of white light engulfed Applejack as she returned to her pony form.

“Sawk?!?” Sawk squinted his eyes against the light, but was unable to stop his charge. When the light faded, Sawk saw that his opponent wasn’t there anymore, so his Thunderpunch ended up slamming into the trunk of the tree.

“Down here,” Applejack taunted. Sawk looked down in confusion, and he raised an eyebrow in confusion when he saw what looked like an equine Pokémon glaring up at him. Before Sawk could respond, Applejack spun herself around, raised her hind legs, and delivered a powerful kick to his chest.

“Sawk!” Sawk shouted as the force of the kick pushed him back into the center of the clearing. He held his chest and panted, having had the wind knocked out of him by the kick.

“Time to finish this,” Applejack said as she began to charge toward Sawk.

“Sawk… Sawk,” Sawk gritted his teeth as he watched Applejack running toward him. “Sawk!” he yelled, charging up for another Stone Edge.

Applejack narrowed her eyes, “If you think that’s gonna work, you’ve got another thing comin’!” She closely watched the stones appear around Sawk, and when Sawk released the attack, she quickly spun around and kicked, knocking several of the rocks away. “Ha! Nice try, partner,” Applejack taunted. Sensing an opening, Sawk leaped forward and swept his arm outward, hitting Applejack’s front hooves out from under her before her hind hooves had hit the ground. “Oh darn it, not again,” Applejack grunted as she fell down onto her side once again.

Sawk stood over Applejack and raised his fist, preparing to finish her off with one last Thunderpunch. “Sawk, Sawk Sawk!” he shouted, punching downward with all his might.

“Ah don’t think so!” Applejack rolled out of the way just in time to avoid the punch.

“Sawk?!?” Sawk’s eyes widened as his fist drove into the ground where Applejack had just been lying. When the dust cleared, Sawk noticed that there was a lasso lying on the ground around his fist. Applejack smirked, having intentionally left her lasso right where she had seen Sawk was about to punch. She quickly grabbed the end of the rope and pulled on it, causing the lasso to tighten around Sawk’s wrist and pull his fist out of the ground.

“Yee-haw!” Applejack cheered as she swung the rope, and Sawk with it, in a large circle around the clearing. She swung the lasso twice more,and then let go of it, sending Sawk hurdling head first into a tree.

“Sawk!” Sawk yelled as he struck the tree. “Sawk… Sawk,” he muttered, trying to get back to his feet. He placed a hand on the trunk of the tree for leverage, and when he got back to his feet he turned around to face Applejack. “Sawk…” was all he could manage, because as soon as he took a step forward he collapsed from exhaustion.

“Alright,” Applejack smiled, placing the Element of Honesty back around her neck, “looks like we have a winner.” She was once again engulfed in a bright light as she returned to her human form. “Now then,” she grabbed a Pokéball, “let’s try this again!” She threw the Pokéball, striking Sawk in the forehead. The ball rose into the air, opened wide, and pulled Sawk in. “Come on, you can do it,” Applejack spoke nervously, remembering what had happened with the first Pokéball. This time, however, the ball stopped moving and released a small shower of sparkles, showing that it had caught Sawk. “YEE-HAW!” Applejack yelled victoriously as she grabbed the Pokéball, “ah got myself my first Pokémon!”

“Come on, Applejack,” Rainbow Dash groaned, holding her stomach and looking impatiently at the forest, “what’s taking you so long?”

“Relax, Rainbow,” Twilight patted her friend on the back, “she’ll be back soon.”

“I sure hope so,” Rainbow sighed, “I’m starving.”

There came a sudden voice from the edge of the forest, “Well, then it sounds like I got here just in time.” Rainbow and the others all turned in surprise to see Applejack approaching them with a hat full of berries.

“Applejack,” Rarity gasped, running up to her friend and staring in horror at the dirt splotches and tears on her attire, “what in the world happened to you?”

“Are you okay, Applejack?” Fluttershy asked.

“Ah’m fine,” Applejack chuckled, “ain’t no need to be worrying about me. Ah just got in a bit of a scuffle with a wild Pokémon.”

Upon hearing this, Rainbow’s interest was suddenly piqued. She rose to her feet and rushed over to Applejack, asking excitedly, “What kind of Pokémon? What did it look like? What kind of moves did it know? You’ve gotta tell me!”

“Rainbow!” Twilight grabbed Rainbow by the ear and pulled her back toward the picnic table, “give Applejack a moment to get settled.”

“Ow, ow! Okay, I’ll give her some space,” Rainbow complained.

“Good,” Twilight released Rainbow’s ear and turned to face Applejack, “now then, once we get lunch started I would love to hear all about this Pokémon you encountered.”

“Aw shucks,” Applejack chuckled, “how about I just show you instead?” She reached down to her belt and took out Sawk’s Pokéball. “Come on out, Sawk!” she called, throwing the ball into the air.

The ball burst open and the light it released materialized into Sawk. “Sawk, Sawk?” he looked around, confused to see so many new humans.

“Oh my,” Rarity started, intrigued by Sawk’s outfit “I had no idea there were Pokémon that wore clothes.”

“This is amazing,” Twilight added, “it looks so much like a human, but it’s definitely a Pokémon. Let’s see what the Pokédex says about it,” she held up her Pokédex and aimed it at Sawk.

The Pokédex announced, “Sawk, the Karate Pokémon. Tying their belts gets them pumped and makes their punches more destructive. Disturbing their training angers them.”

“That explains a lot,” Applejack commented, “when I first found Sawk it was using trees like punching bags. Ah guess I made it mad when I got in the way of training.”

“Sounds to me like Sawk is very dedicated to training,” Twilight smiled, “like Rainbow Dash but without all the naps.”

“Hey! I heard that!” Rainbow yelled from her seat at the picnic table, causing everybody present, including Sawk, to burst out laughing.

Chapter 10: A "Twisted" Predicament

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"Sweetie Belle we've been walking forever!" Scootaloo was once again complaining. The girls had been walking for longer than Sweetie Belle had predicted.

Sweetie Belle sighed as she looked at the map before responding, "It says we are going the right wa- uh oh..."

"What is it?" Skeeter asked curiously.

"Let me see that!" Apple Bloom said as she took the map from Sweetie Belle. She started trailing her finger along the path they were on and gasped, "You read the map upside down, we were walking backwards!"

Scootaloo's jaw dropped, "WHAT?!" She turned around and glared at Sweetie Belle.

Sweetie Belle raised her hands up defensively as a nervous chuckle escaped her lips, "I'm sorry girls!"

"You had one job Sweetie Belle, one job!" Scootaloo then yelled.

"I said I was sorry!" Sweetie Belle retorted defensively.

"Girls stop it!" Skeeter finally said, "There is no point in fighting, I say we should just set up camp and rest for the night."

The girls looked up to the sky and realized it was now night time. With a sigh, they all agreed that what Skeeter said was for the best. They each took off their back packs and started rummaging through them. It was at that point they realized that no one packed a tent.

"What do we do now?" Scootaloo groaned in annoyance.

"Did any of you pack sleeping bags?" Skeeter asked curiously.

The girls looked at each other and shook their heads at the same time.

"At least the soil here is softer than other areas... we will just have to use the ground then." Skeeter crossed his arms and nodded his head as he said this, a look of disapproval showing on the girls' faces.

"So then it's just like the time we went on that camping trip with Rainbow Dash and our sisters!" Sweetie Belle said happily. Unfortunately, the thought of that night brought the memories of her sister to the surface of her mind. "I'm starting to miss my sister..."

Apple Bloom sighed sadly since, she too, missed her sister, "Ah wonder if they noticed we are missing yet? Do ya'll think they came looking fer us?" She asked, somewhat hopefully.

Scootaloo sighed as she shook her head before looking at the girls, "Come on girls! The faster we get our Pokémon trainer cutie marks, the faster we can go home and show it off to those two bullies!" She was now hopping up and down happily once she said this, her wings buzzing happily. The image of a shocked Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon was enough motivation for her to continue.

Both Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom perked up after hearing this, a smile forming on their lips.

"Yeah! We can show off our Pokémon to them as well, that will make them stop picking on us for sure!" Apple Bloom looked at the pocket on her backpack she had her Pokéball in with a smile.

"We may even be the new popular kids in school!" Sweetie Belle happily chipped in, her Pokéball already in her hand.

Skeeter chuckled happily, glad that the girls were being positive again, "Well, while you two were having a nice chat, I decided to make you some beds for you to use." He had finished the last of the make-shift leaf beds and smiled.

Scootaloo grinned big, before running up to Skeeter and hugging him. "You are the best Pokémon ever!"

Skeeter could not stop the blush that formed on his cheeks from that, thankful that his blue fur covered most of it, "We should get some rest, we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow."

"Yeah! Maybe I can get Chatot to sing us a lullaby?" Sweetie Belle tossed her Pokéball into the air, causing a red beam to shoot out from it and form into the musical note Pokémon.

"Chatot!' It said happily, before flying on Sweetie Belle's shoulder.

Sweetie Belle giggled happily from this, gently petting Chatot on the head. "Hey Chatot, think you can sing us a lullaby? As in... are you able to use sing?" She asked hopefully.

The Chatot nodded it's head as the girls laid on their leaf beds, Skeeter laying down next to Scootaloo. Once it saw the girls were comfortable, Chatot opened it's mouth and started to sing.

All three of the girls, and Skeeter, went wide-eyed at this. After a few seconds, however, their eyelids started to get heavy.

"We've been..." Scootaloo began, but could not finish, since she fell asleep.

The other three fell asleep shortly after, leaving Chatot to snuggle against Sweetie Belle as it too fell asleep after it was finished.


Rays of light shone down on top of the group of adventurers, stirring them from their sleep. With a yawn, the three of them sat up and rubbed the sleep from their eyes.

"Wow... look out Fluttershy, you have been beat in the ways of the lullaby." Sweetie Belle said as she stretched.

"Yeah, that must be the power of sing. Ah guess it works on more than just Pokémon." Apple Bloom chipped in.

"Hey Skeeter, wake up." Scootaloo nudged her sleeping Pokémon, being rewarded with a groan of annoyance, "Come on you sleepyhead, get up!" She nudged a bit more, causing Skeeter to open his eyes.

"Heh, sing has more of a lasting effect on Pokémon. That's why I had to be woken up, in case you were wondering." Skeeter replied as he stood up and stretched.

Sweetie Belle had already taken out the map, and was currently scanning for any shortcuts to the mountain. It did not take long for her to sigh in defeat. "It seems we have to keep going the same way. There are no shortcuts to Twist Mountain."

Apple Bloom groaned in defeat before sitting down. "Well that's just great! This is going to take forever!"

"Not to mention I'm thirsty... and hungry." Scootaloo said as her stomach started to grumble.

No sooner than she said this, Scootaloo tripped over an object on the ground, and landed on her face, "Ow..." She slowly stood up and looked over at what made her fall. That was when she saw a larger than average egg, "Hey girls this is our lucky day! We can create a fire by hoof and cook this egg!"

Sweetie Belle had already started looking for information on what kind of egg it was by checking her encyclopedia, ignoring what Scootaloo had said until she found what she was looking for. "Wait Scootaloo, that's cannibalism!"

Scootaloo thought about those words for a few seconds before glaring at Sweetie Belle. "Oh ha ha very funny Sweetie Belle!"

"I don't mean that Scootaloo. What I meant is that egg is a Pokémon egg, it has a Pokémon inside it!" Sweetie Belle explained.

Apple Bloom and Scootaloo raised their eyebrows as they looked at the egg. Finally, Apple Bloom spoke up, "What kind of Pokémon do ya think is inside it?"

Scootaloo poked at it with her finger, before looking over at Skeeter. "Is this your egg Skeeter?"

If it was not for his blue fur, the blush on Skeeter's cheeks would have made him look as red as a tomato, "What?! That egg is not mine! She planned on waiting until we evolved to do that!"

This got the attention of all three girls now, but it was Sweetie Belle who spoke up, "She? Who are you talking about?"

Skeeter went rigid as he started to feel sweat trickling down the back of his head, "No one, now put the egg in your backpack and let's keep walking." Skeeter said, as he turned around and began walking ahead.

"I am still hungry though!" Scootaloo nearly shouted in anguish.

Sweetie Belle simply rolled her eyes as she took out two cans of fruit, and opened them with the can opener she had packed. "Eat these girls, it should hold you over until we get to the next town."

Apple Bloom and Scootaloo each took an opened can happily, before Apple Bloom had a realization, "Oh hey! Ah also packed water and some Apple Cider fer us." She opened her backpack, and pulled out a few water bottles, "Ya want one Skeeter?"

The Lucario just shook his head. "No thank you, I'm not thirsty."

"Suit yourself!" Apple Bloom replied as she shrugged her shoulders, putting away the water bottle she had taken out for him.

Once the small group had finished their breakfast, they continued their journey towards Twist Mountain.


After nearly a half hour later, the group of friends found their way at the foot of Twist Mountain. Little snow trails could be seen flowing in the wind as it blew along the mountain. They were not even on the mountain yet but they could still feel the cold creeping up on them.

"I am guessing no one brought any winter gear right?" Skeeter asked as he looked up at the tall, snow-covered mountain. He looked over towards the three girls, and sighed when they shook their heads. "Sucks for you then, I can handle the cold. In fact, I am resistant to ice types." He chuckled happily upon saying this.

"Well yippee fer you." Apple Bloom said sarcastically as they started walking up the mountain.

Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle each shared a glance, and a giggle, at their friend's tone as they started scaling the mountain as well.

It took only fifteen minutes before the girls were huddled together, being gently pushed along by Skeeter. "Come on girls, I think I see a cave up ahead where we can warm up!"

"But what about catching Pokemon?" Scootaloo yelled through the blistering winds.

"Would ya rather freeze before we even get the chance?!" Apple Bloom yelled in response.

"We're here girls!" Skeeter said as they all went inside the cave.

The cave itself was relatively small, stalactites hanging from the ceilings, frozen cobwebs littering various spots, it wasn't even that deep either. The back of the cave was only ten feet away from the entrance. However, the sound of breathing could be heard from the darkness of the backside of the cave.

"What do ya suppose that sound could be?" Apple Bloom asked out loud, mostly to herself.

"Let's find out!" Scootaloo said as she rushed towards the sound.

"Scootaloo wait!" Sweetie Belle yelled out, only to be ignored.

Scootaloo kept running until she came to a stop in front of a group of Cubchoos, she smiled happily as she took out one of the Pokéballs from the bag. "All right!" She scanned the group of sleeping Cubchoo, and threw her Pokéball at the biggest one she saw. The Pokéball hit the target, and the Pokémon got sucked in. Unfortunately, the Pokéball broke open almost instantly, and a very angry Beartic popped out.

Scootaloo's pupils shrank when she saw her mistake. "Oops..."

"Oops? What do ya- uh-oh...' Apple Bloom asked in a scolding tone before looking up at the angry Beartic.

"Sorry Mr. Bear!" Scootaloo called out nervously.

Sweetie Belle was too busy looking for the Pokémon in her encyclopedia to say much.

"Beartic!" It shouted ferociously as the group of Cubchoos woke up, and started running out of the cave in a panic. Once the Beartic saw it's cubs run out the cave, it covered itself in a red glow before rushing at Scootaloo.

"Scootaloo!" Skeeter called out as he leaped in front of the Superpower attack, getting slammed against a wall and falling unconsciously after.

"Skeeter!" She rushed over to the downed Lucario, and watched as the Beartic glared at her from the entrance of the cave.

Then it raised it started stomping on the ground madly before slamming against the sides of the cave with it’s body, before running out. This disruption caused the whole cave to shake before a bunch of rocks fell in front of the entrance. They were trapped.

"Oh no..." Sweetie Belle said sadly as she dropped her book. "That was a Beartic, it's very defensive of it’s young. Like a real bear would be." She then turned to Scootaloo with a glare. "What the hay were you thinking?! Now we are trapped here!"

Scootaloo threw her hands up defensively. "I'm sorry!"

Apple Bloom tried moving one of the rocks, with no luck. "Girls, we have a bigger problem on our hands. How are we going to get out?"

Outside of the cave, on top of a cliff nearby, the silhouette of a four-legged Pokémon could be seen watching the event take place.

Chapter 11: Feeling Trashy

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As Rarity stood on stage, she knew it would soon be her time to shine. Her mane had been perfectly styled for the occasion, and her gown glistened in the light. All of the ponies that stood around her knew they had no chance against this symbol of equine elegance. Princess Celestia herself stepped onto the stage and marched toward the podium, an envelope levitating in her golden aura. Rarity could hardly contain her excitement as the princess opened the envelope and began reading.

“It is my pleasure to announce,” Celestia read, “that this year’s Miss Equestria pageant winner is…”

Rarity trembled in excitement, although she was certain everypony knew who the winner would be.

“Rarity!” Celestia declared, turning and smiling at the excited mare.

Rarity wanted to scamper forward like an excited filly, but she managed to maintain her composure and walk calmly but proudly forward. She stood next to the podium as a shimmering tiara and sash were levitated onto her in Celestia’s magic aura. “Thank you! Thank you!” Rarity bowed, basking in the limelight.

“Speech! Speech! Speech!” the ponies in the audience cheered.

“Very well,” Rarity nodded, “I may have a little speech prepared for this,” she said as she used her magic to levitate a rolled up sheet of paper from a pocket of her gown. When she opened it, the end of the scroll quickly rolled down off the stage. The audience moved aside as the scroll unraveled all the way out the door. “Ahem,” Rarity began, “I would like to thank-“ her face suddenly contorted in a disgusted grimace and she dropped the scroll, as she suddenly found herself being assaulted by a repulsive odor. “Oh my word, what in Equestria is that?!” She looked up and was horrified to see that what moments before had been a crowd of cheering ponies was suddenly a pile of garbage bags. Rarity quickly backed away, only to find herself bumping into another large pile of garbage. She turned around and looked up in terror as the pile of garbage began to collapse on top of her.

“AHH!” Rarity screamed, rapidly sitting upright in her tent. “Oh Celestia, what a horrible nightmare,” she muttered in shock. She began to get up, but suddenly noticed a foul odor wafting through her tent. “Dear Celestia,” she pinched her nose in disgust, “I’m out of the nightmare but I still smell it.”

“Trub,“ replied an unfamiliar voice from the entrance of the tent.

“Wha-“ Rarity started as she looked in the direction of the voice. She was terrified to see what appeared to be a dark green garbage bag literally smiling up at her. “AAAAAHHHH!” she shrieked in terror.

Outside, the zipper of Twilight’s tent quickly opened and Twilight looked outside still half asleep. “What’s going on?” she yawned, turning in the direction of Rarity’s tent.

“Help!” Rarity screamed as she rushed through the flaps of her tent, the garbage bag hugging her with a pair of arms made of pure garbage.

“Keep it down, guys,” Rainbow yawned as she unzipped the flaps of her tent. She rubbed her eyes sleepily and looked to see what the ruckus was about. When she saw Rarity, she groaned, “Rarity, do you always freak out like this when you have to take out the trash?”

“It’s alive!” Rarity yelled indignantly, finally managing to pry the strange creature off of her.

“Trub, Trubbish,” the garbage bag smiled up at Rarity, seemingly unfazed by her reaction to it.

“Stay back!” Rarity quickly backed away, and was horrified as the garbage bag kept walking toward her. She reached into her bag and started throwing things at the Pokémon. Everything she threw either missed or bounced off, and the Pokémon was still approaching. Rarity grabbed one of the last items in her bag and threw it, realizing too late that it was a Pokéball.

“Trubbish!” the Pokémon smiled as the ball hit it. The ball rose into the air and opened up. The usual beam of red energy engulfed the Pokémon and pulled it into the ball. The ball landed on the ground and shook only once before it stopped, releasing a bunch of sparkling lights to show that the Pokémon had been caught.

Rarity stood still, her eye twitching as she tried to process what had just happened. Her thought process was interrupted as Pinkie popped up next to her. “Wow, Rarity,” Pinkie gave Rarity a congratulatory pat on the back, “you caught your very first Pokémon.”

“Oh, um, yes,” Rarity stammered, “I suppose I did.” She sighed “Great, just what I was hoping my first Pokémon would be like.”

“Oo, really?” Pinkie asked in her usual cheerful tone.

“Of course not!” Rarity blurted out. She was about to continue speaking, but she stopped upon realizing that she had just shouted at Pinkie. “Oh dear,” she sighed, “I’m so sorry, Pinkie. I didn’t mean to shout.”

“It’s fine,” Pinkie shrugged, “I know you didn’t mean it.”

Fluttershy walked over to where the Pokéball was lying on the ground. She picked it up and approached Rarity. “Um, Rarity,” she started, “why don’t you seem very happy about getting your first Pokémon? The rest of us were all very happy to get ours.”

Rarity grimaced as she took the ball out of Fluttershy’s hand. “Well,” she started, “didn’t you see what this thing looks like? It’s literally a garbage bag.”

“Oh Rarity,” Fluttershy gave her friend a stern look, “you should know better. Just because it’s not fashionable doesn’t mean it’s a bad Pokémon.”

“Let me see it,” Twilight interrupted, holding up her Pokédex, “I’ll see what kind of Pokémon it is.”

“Very well,” Rarity gulped. She lightly tossed the ball into the air and said “come on out.”

The ball opened and the garbage bag reappeared in front of Rarity. “Trub-trubbish,” it smiled at its new trainer.

“Let’s see,” Twilight held up her Pokédex.

The Pokédex lit up and spoke, “Trubbish, the Trash Bag Pokémon. The combination of garbage bags and industrial waste caused the chemical reaction that created this Pokémon.”

Rarity shuddered, “Oh dear, that sounds awful.”

“Trub,” Trubbish frowned up at Rarity.

“Oh Rarity,” Fluttershy started, “now look what you’ve done. You hurt the poor thing’s feelings.” She sympathetically reached down and picked up Trubbish.

Rarity was about to protest, but she stopped herself when she saw the look on Fluttershy’s face. “I suppose maybe it’s not too bad,” she said, nervously reaching forward to pet Trubbish.

“Trubbish?” Trubbish’s eyes widened in excitement at the thought of its trainer warming up to it.

Rarity’s hand was a few inches away from Trubbish, but she couldn’t help but pull back. “I-I can’t do it. It’s just so unsanitary.”

“Trub-bish…” Trubbish frowned in defeat, then broke out crying. It wrapped its arms around Fluttershy, who hugged it back to calm it down.

“There there, Trubbish,” Fluttershy said softly, “it’s okay. She just needs to warm up to you.”

“Rarity, I’m surprised at you,” Twilight cut in, “can’t you see that Trubbish really wants you to like it? It came to your tent, followed you around when you were throwing things at it, and didn’t even try to escape the Pokéball. Obviously it wants you to be its trainer and friend, but you can’t look past its lack of cleanliness. Now you’ve gone and hurt its feelings.”

“I know, I know” Rarity spoke up defensively, “I know I shouldn’t be so judgmental. After all me and Applejack learned to get along.”

“Hey!” Applejack started, only to have Rainbow Dash cover her mouth with a hand.

“Calm down AJ,” Rainbow muttered to her, “the last thing we need is another argument going on.”

“Oo, oo!” Pinkie raised her hand excitedly, “I know how Rarity and Trubbish can bond. We should have a Pokémon battle! It’ll be a great way for them to bond as a team.”

“Great idea, Pinkie,” Twilight grinned, “and I-”

“I’ll be happy to be her opponent,” Rainbow interrupted, not noticing the look of sudden frustration on Twilight’s face.

“Well, it doesn’t sound too bad,” Rarity nodded weakly, “I guess I can give it a try.”

“Trub, trub,” Trubbish wiped the last of the tears from its eyes and looked back at Rarity.

“Feeling better?” Fluttershy asked Trubbish, who simply nodded in response.

Alright then,” Rainbow held up a Pokéball, “then let’s get ready to battle!”

“Hang on there, Sugarcube,” Applejack placed a hand on Rainbow’s shoulder, “how about we wait until morning? I dunno if you noticed but it’s the middle of the night.”

Rainbow sighed, “Fine, we’ll battle in the morning.”

“You ready, Rarity?” Rainbow grinned confidently from across the clearing they had selected for the battle.

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” Rarity nodded, still not too confident in her Pokémon partner.

“Then let’s do this!” Rainbow tossed a Pokéball into the air. The ball opened up and Braviary materialized beneath it.

“Braviary!” Braviary called out spreading his wings wide.

“Go… Trubbish,” Rarity weakly tossed her Pokéball. The ball opened and sent out Trubbish.

“Trubbish,” Trubbish smiled and saluted, ready to battle.

“I’ll be the referee,” Twilight stated, approaching the edge of the battlefield. She stood to face the two combatants and announced “alright, you may start when ready.”

“Gladly,” Rainbow smirked. Without hesitation she called out “Braviary, use Crush Claw!”

“Brave!” Braviary screeched as he charged toward Trubbish. He spread his talons wide and they began glowing brightly.

Rarity hesitated a bit, not being used to battling yet. When Braviary was about to hit Trubbish, Rarity nervously called “Trubbish, dodge and use Acid Spray.”

Trubbish started to move to the side, but Braviary was already too close. The Crush Claw struck and sent Trubbish flying back. “Trubbish!” it yelled as it slammed into a tree.

“Oh dear,” Rarity gulped.

“Great job, Braviary!” Rainbow cheered.

“Trubbish, are you okay?” Rarity asked. Twilight smiled upon hearing her friend express genuine concern for her Pokémon.

“Trubbish,” Trubbish nodded, brushing a bit of dust of itself.

“Okay then,” Rarity smiled weakly, “use Sludge Bomb.”

“Trub!” Trubbish yelled as it leaped into the air. It opened its mouth wide and shot a burst of purple slime toward Braviary.

Rainbow smirked confidently and said “Counter it with Whirlwind.” Braviary began flapping his wings in the direction of Trubbish, creating a powerful gust of wind. The wind current caused the slime to slow down, then turn around.

“Trubbish!” Trubbish gasped when it saw the attack flying toward it. It quickly turned to the side so the Sludge Bomb would miss. The Sludge Bomb flew past Trubbish but ended up striking Rarity, who had been standing right behind Trubbish.

“AHHHHH!” Rarity screamed as the sludge splattered all over her. “This is dreadful! I’m filthy!”

Twilight held her hands up in the air and yelled “Time out!”

Rarity rushed to her tent, grabbing her bag as she entered. As she zipped the tent closed she muttered to herself, “I need my backup dress this instant.”

“Rarity,” Pinkie started, “are you okay in there?”

“One minute, darling,” Rarity sighed from inside the tent. After a few minutes the zipper of the tent opened and Rarity stepped out. She had changed into a new outfit and was holding the old one at arm’s length. “Um, Rainbow,” she started, turning to look at Rainbow, “could I please borrow Oshawott for a few minutes?”

“What for?” Rainbow asked, her eyebrow raised.

“I need some water to wash this with, so I just need Oshawott to use Water Gun.”

“Oh, alright,” Rainbow shrugged, “after all I guess this kinda was my fault.” She grabbed Oshawott’s Pokéball from her belt. “Okay Oshawott, you’re up,” she stated as she tossed the ball up into the air. The ball opened and Oshawott was sent out.

“Osha Oshawott,” Oshawott smiled.

“Okay Oshawott,” Rainbow said, “I need you to help Rarity wash the sludge out of that outfit, okay?”

“Oshawott,” Oshawott saluted. He then ran over to Rarity.

Rarity couldn’t help but smile a little at the sight of Oshawott. She held up the outfit and instructed “Okay, first I need you to use Water Gun in one of Applejack’s cooking pots-”

“Hey,” Applejack interrupted, “I never agreed to that.”

“Oh come now, Applejack,” Rarity sighed, “this is an emergency.”

“Fine,” Applejack grumbled, crossing her arms in frustration.

“Thank you,” Rarity said cheerfully. She set down the dress and walked over to Applejack’s tent. After a moment of searching, she pulled out a large cooking pot and carried it back to where the dress was on the ground. “Okay now Oshawott, I just need enough water to fill this about half way.”

“Osha,” Oshawott nodded. He looked into the pot and used a weak Water Gun attack until the pot was half full.

“Thank you, darling,” Rarity smiled and patted Oshawott on the head.

“Osha Oshawott,” Oshawott replied happily. His job done, he turned around and trotted back to Rainbow Dash.

“This is going to take a while,” Rarity sighed as she started to wash the dress in the pot.

“Trub,” Trubbish took a few steps toward Rarity, a look of regret on its face.

Rarity held up her hand to signal for Trubbish to stop. “No, I’m sorry but I just can’t be your trainer.” Trubbish stopped, a look of devastation on its face. “Please,” Rarity said in what she hoped was a reassuring tone, “you have to understand that it’s not you, it’s me. I’m too much of a germaphobe to be your trainer. If you like I’m sure Fluttershy will be willing to take care of you.”

“Trub… Trub… Trubbish!” Trubbish burst into tears and ran off into the woods, leaving Rarity and the others speechless.

“Rarity!” Fluttershy shouted, “How could you be so mean?! Sure Trubbish isn’t a sparkling diamond, but it’s a sweetheart and didn’t do anything to deserve that!”

Rarity backed up, terrified at the rage from her normally soft-spoken friend. “I-I-I’m sorry!”

“Don’t apologize to me!” Fluttershy glared, “You need to apologize to the one you really hurt, Trubbish!”

“But-but it’s not here anymore,” Rarity gulped nervously, looking into the forest where Trubbish had fled.

“Then you need to go in there and find it,” Fluttershy responded, pointing her finger toward the forest.

Tears began to well up in the corners of Rarity’s eyes, mostly from fear but also from regret. “Okay,” she sighed, “I’ll be back as soon as I can.” She stood up and walked off into the forest.

“Trubbish!” Rarity called out, “Trubbish, where are you?” She continued to press farther into the forest in search of the runaway Pokémon, but to no avail. “This is hopeless,” she frowned as she leaned back against a tree, “it could be anywhere by now.” Suddenly, her right index finger began to glow in her usual blue magic aura. “Huh?” she held up her hand, “I’m sensing a jewel nearby.” She looked around to make sure her friends weren’t looking, then shrugged. “I suppose I can afford to find this jewel as well as Trubbish.” She felt her magic aura directing her toward a rock wall, the top of which was visible over the tops of some nearby trees.

Rarity excitedly followed her magic aura to the edge of the wall. Her jaw dropped in excitement at what she found, a large black rock with several enormous red diamonds sticking up out of it. “Oh my…” she stammered, “I’ve hit the jackpot!” She ran up to the rock and grabbed one of the diamonds. Holding tightly, she began to pull with all her might, but the diamond would not budge. Rarity stopped, panting “Perhaps I need to get the others to help me.” She turned around and began to retrace her steps, but after a few feet she stumbled as the ground shook beneath her.

“What in the world?” Rarity asked as she got back up.

“Lith…” a low grumbling voice responded from behind her.

Her eyes wide in shock, Rarity slowly turned around to look at the source of the sound. “AH!” she screamed at what she saw. The black rock pile was now standing up. Near the top there was a pair of yellow circles which appeared to be glaring at her. The red diamonds were still sticking out of the rocks, but it was now clear that they were symmetrically placed and were a part of it.

The head of the rock opened up wide and it gave an angry roar “GIGALITH!”

Rarity took several steps back as she realized that the pile of rocks was actually a sleeping Pokémon, one which was apparently not happy to be woken up. “Oh dear, I’m so sorry for the confusion,” she stammered, “I’ll just go and leave you be-” she was cut off when the Pokemon lowered its head and launched a large, sharp rock into the air. The rock split into several pieces which rained down onto the ground and became lodged in the earth. Rarity had to jump to the side to avoid being hit by one of the rocks.

“Giga!” the Pokémon roared. It opened its mouth and launched a massive glowing diamond at Rarity.

“AH!” Rarity screamed as the diamond flew toward her.

“Trub!” a voice spoke up from behind Rarity. A large wad of green slime shot out of the bushes and struck the diamond, knocking it out of the air.

Rarity turned around in surprise and saw Trubbish standing at the edge of the clearing. “Trubbish,” she smiled widely, “you came back to save me!”

“Trubbish,” Trubbish smiled. Suddenly, Trubbish’s eyes widened and he jumped to the side as one of the pointed rocks Gigalith had fired earlier shot out of the ground and flew right toward it.

“Oh dear,” Rarity said as she turned to examine the rocks, “it’s a minefield.” She turned to face Gigalith and glared, “Okay, if you think you can threaten me and Trubbish, then you’ve got another thing coming!” She looked down at Trubbish and smiled warmly, “Ready for a real battle, Trubbish?”

Trubbish’s eyes welled up with tears again, but this time they were tears of joy. Rarity chuckled a little when she saw how happy Trubbish was. When it was finished, Trubbish grinned confidently and nodded, “Trub.”

Rarity returned the grin, then continued “Well then, let’s teach this rock a lesson. Use Sludge Bomb!”

“Trubbish!” Trubbish jumped into the air and blasted a wad of purple sludge at Gigalith.

Gigalith just stood in place and let the sludge strike it. “Lith,” it narrowed its eyes as the sludge simply slid off of it.

“Huh?!” Rarity gulped, “it doesn’t look like it did anything.”

“Giga!” Gigalith opened its mouth and began charging energy. After a moment, it released a blast of silver light toward Trubbish.

“Trubbish, dodge!” Rarity quickly instructed.

“Trubbish!” Trubbish planted its arms on the ground and used them to push itself up into the air. The beam of light flew past underneath it, striking one of the pointed stones in the ground.

“Okay, think,” Rarity mumbled to herself, “that thing is slow but powerful. Its attacks are big and its defenses are strong.” She looked around to see if there was anything in the area that could be used to her advantage. Suddenly she stopped as she saw the diamond from the Gigalith’s second attack lying on the ground. The slime from the Acid Spray attack was eating away at the diamond, which gave Rarity an idea. “Okay Trubbish,” she started, “use Acid Spray!”

“Trubbish Trub,” Trubbish opened its mouth and fired a jet of green slime at Gigalith.

“Giga,” Gigalith stood its ground once again as the slime struck it. “Gigali-” it stopped as the slime began to burn it. “Gigalith!” it roared in pain.

“Now, Trubbish,” Rarity called, “use Sludge Bomb!”

“Trub,” Trubbish nodded. It opened its mouth and fired another blob of purple sludge at Gigalith.

“Lith…” Gigalith glared at Trubbish. As the Sludge Bomb was about to strike, Gigalith reared up, causing the acid to fall off. It slammed its feet on the ground, which shook violently under its weight. “Gigalith!” it charged toward Trubbish with surprising speed. It charged right through the Sludge Bomb, brushing it off like it was nothing. The ground shook as Gigalith charged toward Trubbish.

“Trubbish, no!” Rarity yelled in fear.

“Trub!” Trubbish cried as Gigalith rammed into it. It was knocked violently to the ground and crashed through another one of the jagged rocks on the way. “Trub...bish,” Trubbish gritted its teeth as it stood back up. Rarity noticed that Trubbish was moving more slowly now.

“Gigalith,” Gigalith stomped on the ground and charged at Trubbish again.

“Trubbish, dodge!” Rarity shrieked.

“Trubbish!” Trubbish retracted its arms inside the garbage bag and rolled like a pall to get out of the way just before Gigalith reached it.

“Lith?” Gigalith turned in surprise. Trubbish continued to roll like a ball, gradually picking up speed as it did so.

“Trubbish,” Rarity said, “you learned a new move.”

“Trub,” Trubbish replied, still rolling. Suddenly it turned and charged straight at Gigalith.

“Gigalith!” Gigalith growled as Trubbish struck it in the side. Trubbish promptly bounced off and continued to roll between the pointed stones, but its speed had increased after the strike.

“Every time it hits, the attack gets stronger,” Rarity muttered to herself. She snapped her fingers in inspiration and proclaimed “that’s it! Trubbish, use the stones to gain speed!”

“Trub,” Trubbish charged into one of the pointed stones. The stone shattered, but not before Trubbish bounced off of it and flew toward another.

“Gigalith!” Gigalith fired another blast of silver energy out of its mouth, but Trubbish turned its course and dodged it.

“Trub Trub!” Trubbish continued to bounce between the stones like a pinball, gathering all the speed it could. Once the last stone was shattered, Trubbish charged directly toward Gigalith.

“LITH!” Gigalith stomped on the ground and charged toward Trubbish in retaliation.

“You can do it, Trubbish!” Rarity cheered.

Hearing its trainer cheer it on filled Trubbish with determination. As it and Gigalith charged toward each other, its body began to glow white and it yelled “Trubbish!”

“Huh?” Rarity’s eyes widened, “is it evolving, or is this something else?”

“TRUBBISH!” Trubbish shouted as it struck Gigalith. On impact, Trubbish unleashed a massive burst of energy which, aided by the force of the impact, blasted Gigalith back against the rock wall.

“LITH!” Gigalith roared as it struck the wall and collapsed.

“Trubbish?” Rarity trembled.

The smoke cleared, revealing Trubbish lying weakly on the ground. “Trub…”

“Trubbish!” Rarity yelled, running toward the fallen Pokémon.

“Lith…” Gigalith groaned, planting one of its feet on the ground and trying to lift itself back up.

“Oh no you don’t,” Rarity stood between Gigalith and Trubbish. She looked back at Trubbish and said, “You protected me, so now I’ll protect you the only way I can.” She reached into her pocket, pulled out a Pokéball, and threw it at Gigalith.

“Giga?” Gigalith started as the ball struck it. The ball lifted into the air and opened up. Gigalith’s body was engulfed in red energy as it was pulled into the Pokéball. The ball landed on the ground and began to wobble. Rarity gulped nervously, not knowing what more she could do if it failed. After a few moments, the ball stopped shaking and released a small bunch of glistening lights to show that the catch had succeeded.

Rarity stood still for a moment as what had just happened sank in. When she had fully processed what she had just done, Rarity hugged Trubbish tightly and cheered “We did it! Thank you so much! I’m so sorry for what I said before, and I’ll be proud to be your trainer!”

“Trub,” Trubbish smiled weakly, still barely able to move after the battle.

As Rarity walked out of the clearing, she failed to notice a bulky brown Pokémon watching her from the top of the rock wall.

“We’re back!” Rarity called cheerfully as she ran out of the forest, cradling Trubbish in her arms.

“Rarity!” Pinkie cheered.

“And Trubbish,” Fluttershy added. Her excitement soon turned to worry when she saw how beaten up Trubbish looked. “Oh dear, what happened?”

“Oh, we just got into a little scuffle,” Rarity smiled, “but it wasn’t too bad. We learned to work together and caught a new teammate.”

“What?” Rainbow spoke up, “You caught another Pokémon? What is it?”

Rarity took the Pokéball from her pocket, “Right here. Come on out!” She tossed the ball into the air and sent out Gigalith.

“Giga,” Gigalith groaned, still in pain from the battle.

“Whoa,” Rainbow’s eyes widened, “your little Trubbish was able to beat this thing?”

“Let’s see what the Pokédex says,” Twilight chimed in, holding up her Pokédex.

The Pokédex opened up and announced “Gigalith, the Compressed Pokémon. Compressing the energy from its internal core lets it fire off an attack capable of blowing away a mountain.”

“That sounds awesome!” Rainbow grinned.

“Well if you want to see how awesome it really is, how about we resume our battle?” Rarity smirked. “Of course, we’ll need to stop by a Pokémon Center first.”

“Well,” Twilight interrupted, “lucky for us there’s a Pokémon Center nearby in Driftveil City.”

“Then what are we waiting for?” Rainbow smiled, “Let’s get our things packed up and get off to Driftveil City.”

“Speaking of which,” Fluttershy smiled at Rarity, “I finished washing your dress for you.” She pointed to Rarity’s tent, where she had set up a clothesline and hung up the dress to dry.

“Thank you very much, Fluttershy,” Rarity smiled.

“Trub,” Trubbish smiled along with its trainer.

All was quiet in the Golden Oaks Library. It was late at night, and Spike was snoozing quietly in his basket. Downstairs, the area where the Pokétransporter had previously stood lit up as a pink rift opened in the air. A large pink head peered out of the portal and looked around. "Hmm," Palkia muttered, "so this is the home of the one who thinks she can steal my power..."