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Ash and co have just reached Lavaridge Town, and Ash can't wait to visit the Gym. May is enjoying her snack which she shares with Pikachu, and then Brock and Max notice nearby some people taking sand baths in a hot spring! Everyone wants to relax there, except Ash, who's too keen on visiting the Gym right now. They eventually decide to visit the Gym first, since it'll be fair to Ash after the Fallarbor thing.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket are tired of walking, and they notice another hot spring nearby. They take a small rest there (just towels :o), until Jessie feels stronger and is ready to pull some more heists, but James and Meowth want to stay
Ash and co arrive at the Gym, and knock, but no one answers. They call for a while, but to no avail. Then, all of the sudden, they see a redheaded girl running around yelling with her hair on fire! Thinking fast, Brock sends out Mudkip, saving her with Water Gun. She catches her breath, thanks them, then pulls off her jacket and sweatshirt, making Brock go into his usual act, with the help of Max. Then they ask what happened to her, and she says it was an accident from when she was training with Magu and Megu, her two Slugma who she introduces to them, and explains she's trying to get them to evolve. Ash then says he came here for a Gym match, so she excitedly introduces herself as Flannery, and says that she's the Gym leader! They all then introduce themselves, and Brock says he thought that the Lavaridge Gym leader was a man named Mura. Flannery then grabs another Pokeball, and sends out a Torkoal! She then tosses it a piece of coal to eat, and it catches it, and shows its thanks with a deep smoky breath. Then, Ash, thinking she's ready to battle, sends Pikachu to the field, but Max stops him and asks about the real battlefield. Flannery then says there's a slight problem with it… Flannery takes them in, and shows that the battlefield has several very deep holes, making the battling impossible and the Gym under maintenance. She then takes them inside, gives them some drinks, and explains that this happened while training with her Pokemon.
Then they ask about Mura, the old Gym leader, and she explains that Mura was her grandfather, who was a great Gym leader, and how he and his Typhlosion used to beat every Pokemon from Vileplume to Doduo to Breloom, but he had recently left, due to old age, and interest in another job, working at the Pokemon Senryu club, a poetry writers club for mainly elders (Ash is strongly reminded of Professor Oak). The Gym was then handed to Flannery three days ago, and she promised to take good care of it. She hasn't battled anyone yet, but she'd been training. However, she's slightly embarrassed at the whole blunder with the holes. Ash, eager to have the battle, offers to help. May and Max offer as well, since being the children of the Petalburg Gym leader, they can easily sympathize. It's the same with Brock and Pewter City. Flannery then excitedly claims she knows Norman of the Petalburg Gym, and accepts their help. Flannery hands them all shovels, and they get to work!
Meanwhile, Mura actually happens to be standing on a nearby cliff overlooking Lavaridge Town, a little too worried about Flannery and her career. Suddenly, he hears whispers nearby of three elders he knows from Pokemon Senryu, who appear to be looking for Mura, who was last seen at Fallarbor Town. Quickly, he hides behind the thickest tree.
Back at the Gym, Max, May, Pikachu, Treecko, and Torchic carry the big rocks to fill the holes. Ash, Brock, and Mudkip work on filling the deeper holes with earth. Flannery is working on filling another hole, while Torkoal is rolling the huge rocks.
Meanwhile, Mura has walked down to the Gym, disguised with a wig and some facial hair as a young man, and spies on them from behind a rock working, and cries at the sight. Team Rocket are also spying on them from behind another rock, and aside from the twerps and Pikachu, they notice Torkoal rolling the rocks. James recognizes it as one of the Hoenn Fire types, and Meowth suggests trying to steal it, and imagines the Chibi-Boss using it for barbecue, candles, etc. Then, Team Rocket notice Mura behind the other nearby rock, and when they see him spying, they suspect he might be a member of Team Magma or Team Aqua. He then notices them, and they both hide behind the rocks again.
They then decide to take a break from working on the Gym, and Flannery gives them some cold drinks as a reward for helping, and treats the Pokemon to some food. Max then asks about the Badge this Gym awards, and Brock says he hard it's a Heat Badge. Flannery then takes them in, searches the shelves a bit, for something…
Mura, watching from nearby, realizes she doesn't know where the Badges are, and suddenly remembers where he left them. To save the blunder, he decides to step in, disguised as an old woman, wearing a blonde curly wig this time. He walks in, suspiciously, asking where the bathroom is, and when Flannery leads him (or “her”) there, he looks at a blue box, acting curious. Then, Flannery takes it, and realizes it's the box of badges! Then, Mura as the “woman” leaves saying she actually doesn't have to go, and makes a pretty suspicious exit.
Afterwards, they decide to go back to working on the Gym again, but after working for a bit, Flannery realizes this is way too much work, and they need to find a way to do it fast. Then they hear a ring of the doorbell, and when they answer, they see Mura, in his young man with facial hair disguise. He says he's a sympathizer for the Lavaridge Gym, and saw what's going on, and offers to help. Flannery thanks him, and lets him in, and provides some better tools like a flattening wheel they roll around the field to level it out a bit. Then, they hear another ring at the door! This time it's Team Rocket, disguised as professional workers in hardhats, carrying bags of sand.
They said they heard what's going on, and offer to help as well, so they gladly accept. After working a bit, suddenly, when they come in close range of Torkoal, Meowth tries to lift it, Jessie helps him, and they stuff it in the bag! Then they reveal themselves, so Jessie sends out Seviper to use Haze, and behind all the smoke, they run away in the balloon with Torkoal! Ash and co start chasing, Ash is about to use Taillow, but Mura steps in front of him, since he wants to handle this. Mura sends out a Wingull, and Flannery is strongly reminded of the pet Wingull her grandfather Mura used to have. Wingull them goes by the usual balloon breaking technique, knocking them down. Ash then is about to send out Corphish, but Mura clearly wants to handle this, so he sends out Typhlosion! Flannery gets a strange feeling at the sight of it. They send out Cacnea and Seviper, and Seviper attacks Typhlosion with a Poison Tail, damaging it a little, but it counters with a Tackle. James then commands a Pin Missile, but Flannery then sends out Magu, to counter the Pin Missile with an Ember.
Then, Mura has Typhlosion use Flame Wheel, almost knocking Cacnea out. Seviper is about to Wrap, but Typhlosion counters with a Flamethrower. Cacnea tries going for another Pin Missile, but Typhlosion blows it away with a Flamethrower. May and Max then free Torkoal, but Meowth jumps in the way, to get roasted by Magu's Flamethrower. Team Rocket try once again a Wrap and a Needle Arm, but Magu gets them with a Flamethrower. Just then, Magu starts glowing, and evolves into a Magcargo! Flannery congratulates it, and Mura congratulates her as well, and she thanks him for the help, as they start to shake hands really hard… Then, his fake moustache and glasses get dislocated, and his wig has moved a little to reveal some gray hair. Flannery wonders what's going on, so he decides to take them off and reveal himself. Brock then goes up to him and goes on about how he has an awesome granddaughter, and Max pulls him away again.
Cacnea tries one last Pin Missile, but together, Magu and Typhlosion use Flamethrowers to blow them back to the balloon, and a Thunderbolt from Pikachu blasts them off.
Mura says he was impressed with Flannery's battle skills, and she thanks him for helping. Then it all clicks to Max why he was so intent on helping her. He then takes them to the field, and to their surprise, it's as good as new! He says he got some people to help. Later, Brock and May suggest to go back to the hot spring sand bath and have a little rest to warm up before the gym battle! And while they're resting, Mura uses his poetry skills to impress them, and writes a small haiku about Ash and Pikachu, and they all laugh.
Thanks To Spinazak For Writing this for us
331: Poetry Commotion!
331: The New Gym Leader, Flannery! The Hole-Filled Battle Field!
Ash & Co. Meet Flannery
Flannery's Slugma evolves into Magcargo
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