From: "STEFFAN HEDD ALUN" <sha3@aber.ac.uk> Subject: [PW!] Alisha Catches a Pokémon - LIVE! Date: Saturday, April 24, 2004 7:37 PM Alisha approached the beautiful red contest house of Slateport City. Before entering, she looked over her shoulder and smiled. "Excellent," she said. "A cloudless day. Your Morning Sun will be on top form today, Tifly." "Beeh!" responded her Beautifly happily. She entered the building, gazing happily through the familiar atmosphere of buzzing competetiveness. She saw one contestant feeding a Lunatone a dark blue Pokéblok. Alisha recognised the Lunatone. She'd competed against it before. "This is our day, Tifly!" she grinned. "A rematch against Lacey's Lunatone! I mean, who could find a lump of rock beautiful? We've probably won the preliminary round before we've started!" Alisha walked to a nearby PC to check up on some last-minute details. As she did so, she heard some commotion near the front door. She turned around. "Oh, gosh!" she exclaimed. Gabby, the blue-haired reporter for the Pokémon News Network, had just walked through the door. She was followed by a short cameraman. "I didn't realise we were getting television coverage!" said Alisha. "Isn't it wonderful, Tifly? Now everyone will see that you're the most beautiful Pokémon in all of Hoenn!" Lacey, the Lunatone's trainer, rushed to the door to meet Gabby. Gabby gave the Pokémon an appraising look before marching further into the contest house. "How about that one?" Alisha heard the cameraman suggest. She was surprised to see that he was pointing at her! "Perfect," said Gabby. "Don't mind doing a quick interview, do you dear?" "Not at all!" giggled Alisha. "Is this going to be on television?" "No doubt about it!" grinned the cameraman. "I'm Ty, by the way, and this is Gabby." "I know!" said Alisha. She'd seen Gabby countless times, but she looked completely different in real life. "Roll the film, Ty," said Gabby. "Alright. We're ready to go in five. Four. Three. Two. One. Rolling!" "Hi! We're back in Slateport City once again! It seems like only yesterday we were meeting Captain Stern here. Today, though, we're in the contest house, meeting some of the most dedicated up-and-coming contestants in the country. What's your name, dear?" Gabby held the microphone out for Alisha. "Alisha," she said. "I'm here to compete in the Beauty competition with my Beautifly." "And what a fine specimen she is," smiled Gabby. "What's her name?" "Tifly," said Alisha. "I've had her since I was ten years old, when she was just a Wurmple." "Impressive! Did you catch her yourself?" "I certainly did!" beamed Alisha. "She was the first Pokémon I ever caught." "First? So you caught more afterwards? You must be something of an expert." "Oh, I wouldn't say THAT..." blushed Alisha. "How about giving our viewers a demonstration?" asked Gabby. She pulled a PokéBall from her pocket. "We'll go up to Route 110, and you can show us how it's done!" "Sure!" replied Alisha. "Lead the way." Ty switched off his camera. "Well done," he said encouragingly. "You're a natural at this!" Alisha smiled, and led the way to Route 110. As she did so, Gabby leaned down to whisper in Ty's ear. "What did I tell you, Diego? We're about to score ourselves a foreign Pokémon and nobody will ever know a crime was committed!" Diego smiled maliciously. "Ingenious, Lauren. And all we had to do was-" Diego was suddenly cut off as a bunch of competitors attacked Lauren with autograph requests. "These competitors must lead extremely dull lives," mumbled Diego. PokéWars!: Lauren and Diego "Alisha Catches a Pokémon - LIVE!" Steffan Alun "We enter the long grass," breathed Alisha. "Tifly's ready to intercept anything that attacks me." Lauren checked her watch. "We wait...and wait...walking around helps, of course, and-" Suddenly, something small and yellow jumped out of the grass. "A Pikachu?" exclaimed Lauren in disbelief. "In Hoenn?" "What's a Pikachu?" asked Alisha off-handedly. "This is a Plusle!" Upon closer inspection, the Pokémon was indeed quite different from a Pikachu. It was smaller, and a plaer shade of yellow. It also had red ears and an addition sign motif. "We weaken it first," said Alisha, directing Tifly towards the creature. "This is incredible luck," grinned Lauren, talking in an undertone to Diego. "It's foreign AND it looks like Pikachu! We've struck gold!" "Oops!" said Alisha. Lauren and Diego looked at her. The Plusle was unconscious. "Never mind!" said Alisha. "You can edit that out, right?" Lauren stared at her. "Those Plusles must be quite common, right?" "You see a few," replied Alisha. "They're not the most common Pokémon in this area, though." Lauren clenched her teeth. "GOON!" "Is that a Sentr-" Diego gently trod on Lauren's toe. Comparing foreign Pokémon to their home breeds was unlikely to be a habit of the real Gabby's. "Use your Secret Power!" cried Alisha. Tifly's next movement caught Lauren off-guard. The attack practically obliterated the Zigzagoon. "Hmm, how odd," said Alisha. "Always been a bit unpredictable, that move." Lauren scanned the grass in search of another Plusle. She was confident that it'd be an excellent money-maker. "Why does it have to be so long?" she cried. "It's the Pokémon's natural habitat," explained Alisha, who hadn't caught the tone of anger in Lauren's voice. "They remain completely hidden until disturbed." "Leck! Eleck! TRIKE!" "What the-" "An Elecrtike," laughed Alisha. "They're always fun." "Fun?" "It's a shame there are so few decent Electric types in the world," murmured Alisha, ignoring Lauren's comment. "It's pretty much a choice of this one or Plusle. And for Plusle, you really need to complete the set. Stun Spore!" "The set? What set?" demanded Lauren as Tifly released spores onto Electrike, freezing it in its tracks. "You need a Minun as well. They're often seen as partners. You know, like you use Magneton and Exploud together." And Lunatone and Solrock, Alisha added silently, thinking about the competition. "Ah. Right," Lauren stumbled. She didn't question the girl further to avoid appearing too ignorant. Staying in character was important. Still, she though, partners! A set of two Pokémon would be sure to make a lot of money. Still, they couldn't be picky right now - they needed to hide the fact that they were down one Pokémon for as long as possible. Preferably until they could retrieve the ball from the self-righteous thief from the ship. Turning her attention to the battle, Lauren saw Alisha hurl the PokéBall they'd given her towards the Electrike. A wobble. A shake. Caught! "Perfect!" cried Diego happily. "Strike a pose, Alisha!" Alisha winked at the camera. "How do you feel?" asked Lauren wearily. "I suppose I feel elated and maybe a little-" "Short and sweet, honey." "Oh. COOL!" "COOL!" repeated Lauren. "Yes, that's the perfect clincher. Electrike. Stun Spore. COOL! Alright, I hope we'll catch up with you some time." Alisha skipped happily back to the contest house. Lauren retrieved the PokéBall. "All according to plan," she chuckled. "Nice to see things going our way for a change." With a spring in their step, Lauren and Diego headed back to Slateport City. TBC?