Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!
My Best Friends
by EmperMaxis@aol.com

   Chapter Thirteen

   It is three fourteen in the afternoon on Seafoam Island West. While our
   heroes enjoy some downtime, getting in a little R & R, things are not so
   peaceful for two of their pokemon. The same morning, Lizzie had left Jynx and
   Chansey at the hotel when she went on a walk and bumped into Jeff and
   Katrina. Now, the same two pokemon glare harshly at each other in the park
   next to the resort. Both clench their fists, icily staring at one another,
   each silently urging the other to make the first move.
   "Jyyyynx..." The siren hums quietly to itself.
   "Chans!" The pink, egg-shaped pokemon chirps impatiently.
   "Jynx, Jynx-Jynx!" The siren hisses, shaking its fist at the other.
   "CHAN???" The nurse pokemon replies, shocked. "CHAN-sey! Chan-SEY!"
   "Jynx?!?" It gasps. It grits its teeth. "Jynx-jynx-jynx-JYNX!"
   Whatever that means in pokemon language, it was the final slap in the
   face.
   "CHAN-SEY!" The ovoid pokemon shrieks, charging the siren. It whacks its
   opponent with a powerful Pound attack.
   "Jynx!" The siren groans. Then, it returns the favor with a devastating
   Thrash!
   "Chanseeeeey!" The egg-shaped nurse yelps as it is knocked off of its
   feet. Using its perfectly flexible skin, it rolls into a ball and minimizes
   the effect of the attack. Then, getting to its feet, it prepares to launch
   its own counterattack.
   "Jyyyynx!" The siren wails, charging Chansey. It spins around madly,
   waving its fists in the air.
   "Chan-SEEEY!" Chansey chirps, flipping the Jynx over its back. Jynx flies
   over a huge hedge sculpture and crashes into the dirt. Chansey smiles,
   assuming it has won.
   Suddenly, the green foliage turns snowy white as it is crystalized by an
   unseen force. Before Chansey's very eyes, the plant shatters, revealing an
   upright and very upset Jynx.
   "J-Jynx!" It yells frustratedly, pressing its hands together. Instantly,
   a blue beam of energy pulses from its hands and careens toward Chansey.
   Chansey dives out of the way, narrowly avoiding the blast. The beam strikes a
   rose bush, freezing it solid.
   "Chan-sey!" The pink nanny chirps. It lifts a large egg out of its pouch
   and hurls it at Jynx. The siren somersaults out of the way just as the egg
   detonates, blowing a huge crater into the ground.
   "Jynx!" The ridiculous, red-blue pokemon hisses. Then, raising a fist, it
   fires another Ice Beam. Chansey skillfully avoids the attack and launches
   another Egg Bomb. The projectile rockets across the field, blasting another
   large hole into the beautifully landscaped ground.

   Meanwhile, on the other side of the island, Katrina and Jeff check the
   schedule of ferries traveling from Seafoam to Cinabarr on the wall of the
   travel agency. Unfortunately, as this is the peak of the tourist season, no
   one is available to help them.
   "I can't believe this!" Jeff groans, leaning against the wall. "There
   must be a thousand people in here! Why did we have to come into Seafoam at
   the very busiest time of the year?"
   "A more appropriate question," Katrina frowns, scanning the massive
   schedule of ferries. "Would be ' why did the ferry that brought us here
   explode inexplicably, forcing us to locate a new means of transportation?' "
   "Touché." Jeff arches an eyebrow.
   "As far as I can tell..." Katrina says after several minutes. "The next
   ferry to leave for Cinabarr departs... today!"
   "What??" Jeff asks. "That's great! That's amazing! We can finally get to
   Cinabarr Island!"
   "...If we can afford the ticket." Katrina cuts in.
   "Ticket?" Jeff asks. Katrina points to a figure on the sheet. Jeff's
   mouth falls open.
   "Hmm... I see your point." Jeff agrees after a moment. "Any ideas?"
   "Ruling out the possibility of several hundred dollars dropping out of
   the sky..." Katrina sighs deeply. "None whatsoever."

   "Chansey!" The nurse pokemon shouts, firing another Egg Bomb at its
   adversary.
   "Jyynx!" The siren wails as it is thrown through the air. It clears a
   large wall and splashes into the Olympic-sized pool. People around the pool
   gasp and watch as Chansey leaps over the wall and lands on the diving board.
   "Jynx!" The siren growls, blasting another Ice Beam at its enemy. Chansey
   neatly ducks the attack, and the Beam passes harmlessly into the air,
   freezing the limb of a tree.
   As the crazed pokemon bring their battle poolside, tourists gasp and
   scurry to avoid getting caught in the crossfire.
   "Chansey!" Chansey shrieks, diving into the pool. It rockets toward Jynx,
   preparing to unleash its powerful Take Down. Jynx, however, has a trick of it
   own. Just before Chansey reaches it, the siren emits a blast of blue energy.
   Instantly, the water around it freezes solid, forming a massive ice berg in
   the middle of the pool. Chansey crashes into the side of it, and sinks to the
   bottom of the pool.
   "Blizzard." Bleeps a pokedex that some traveler left unattended on a rec
   table. "Jynx's most formidible attack."
   "Jynx-jynx!" The siren cheers proudly, leaping to the top of the iceberg..
   "Chan-SEY!" The nurse pokemon roars, leaping for the Jynx. But the siren
   is surprisingly swift, and delivers a last-second Ice Punch to the Chansey
   just in time. "Chaaan!" The pink, egg-shaped pokemon is encased in a block of
   ice. It falls onto the iceberg with a thud.
   "Jyyynx!" The siren cheers, waving its hands triumphantly. So distracted
   is it that it does not notice as Chansey begins glowing a bright red. It is
   completely unaware that the ice has begun to melt, and only realizes what has
   happened when a pink hand taps it on the shoulder.
   "Chan!" Chansey hisses, unleashing a surprise Pound attack on the siren.
   "Jyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyynx!" The siren wails as it is thrown off the iceberg
   and into the water. Chansey leaps into the air and hurls an Egg Bomb into the
   pool, shattering the mound of ice. Jynx, now terrified, climbs out of the
   pool and scurries toward the hedge maze. Chansey, irate, follows right on its
   heels...

   "No Jeff," Mr. Fuji says sternly over the video phone. "I am sorry, but I
   will not pay two hundred dollars for an advance ferry ticket."
   "But... but, Uncle!" Jeff exclaims, exhasperated. "We're stranded here!"
   Mr. Fuji arches a single eyebrow at his nephew.
   "On Seafoam Island?" He asks quizically. "One of the finest beach resorts
   in the world? In a hotel that, correct me if I'm wrong, you are staying at
   for free? I hardly consider that an emergency."
   "Be reasonable, Uncle!" Jeff sighs. "The Salty Seadog won't be fixed for
   another month, and we just can't wait that long to get to Cinabarr! This is
   the cheapest ship we could find. And it's only two hundred dollars-"
   "Per head?" Mr. Fuji finishes.
   "Oh..." Jeff says, stunned. "I... hadn't... thought... of... that..."
   "So..." Mr. Fuji says thoughtfully. "What you really are asking for is
   eight hundred dollars, providing that your pokemon can travel aboard for
   free."
   "I... I guess so..." Jeff admits sheepishly, looking at the floor.
   "Oh, Jeff..." Mr. Fuji sighs.
   A few feet away at another of the twelve video phones on the wall,
   Katrina is doing no better convincing her father to lend her ferry money.
   "I understand it is a large amount, Father," She says into the
   transceiver. "But it may be our only way of reaching Cinabarr before
   Christmas."
   Master Koga is thoughtful. He closes his eyes for a moment in meditation..
   Then he opens them, and replies, "Dear daughter, it is not the money that
   concerns me."
   "Then, what troubles you?" Katrina asks. "That I cannot take care of
   myself as I should?"
   "No, far from it." The ninja master shakes his head emphatically. "You
   are bring great honor to our family, daughter. I have yet to find a pupil as
   obedient... as apt as you. No, it is... another concern."
   "Please, do tell me." Katrina urges.
   "I... I had hoped..." He begins. "No, it is silly."
   "Impossible!" Katrina laughs. "I insist. What is the matter?"
   "Well, and do not laugh, young one," He continues. "But, it... it is my
   wish that you..."
   "Yes?" Katrina prompts him. "What is it?"
   "Would you..." He manages to continue. "Accept my humble invitation to
   spend Christmas with your father."
   Katrina drops the receiver. For a moment, she is silent. Then, she picks
   up the phone again.
   "Nothing," She says into the speaker. "Nothing would honor me more."

   Deep in the hedge maze, Chansey stalks the Jynx she had chased away from
   the pool. Though small, it knew the siren was swift and a worthy adversary.
   It peers into every shadow, searching for its opponent. Hopefully, they could
   finish their match before Lizzie returns. If so, they could settle the
   quarrel that began at breakfast...
   "Jynx~!" Comes the unexpected battle cry of Chansey's opponent as it
   tackles the pinkish pokemon from behind.
   "Chan!" The nurse pokemon squeaks, doing a backflip and landing behind
   Jynx. It attacks with the Doubleslap, but Jynx nimbly avoids the shower of
   blows.
   "Jynx!" The siren cries, Thrashing forward with its fists. In a blink,
   Chansey has rolled itself into a ball, and Jynx's attack is absorbed
   harmlessly into the soft blob.
   "J-jy-nx..." Jynx moans after a few minutes of Thrashing. The constant
   spinning has made it dizzy. It can no longer see straight. Its eyes fall upon
   Chansey. It aims another punch at it, but in its confusion it strikes itself
   instead.
   Meanwhile, Lizzie walks outside the hotel's double doors and into the
   garden. She inhales deeply the scents and aromas of the many flowers. Walking
   happily down a path with beautiful trees and plant sculptures on either side,
   she smiles.
   "What a way to spend an afternoon!" She sighs happily.
   Suddenly, a large hedge is smashed in half as two combatants charge
   through it. Crashing through the dense foliage, these two figures roll down
   the hill to the path, battling fiercely. One is round and pink, the other has
   long, flowing hair...
   "Jynx?? CHANSEY???" Lizzie gasps. She quickly runs to her two pokemon as
   they bombard each other with blows.
   "Listen to me now!" She orders, prying them apart. "Stop this! Stop this
   right now!"
   She holds them at arm's length, expecting them to still try and attack
   one another. Surprisingly enough, both seem calm and passive. Although they
   are smeared with dirt and grass stains, and each is perspiring heavily,
   neither is angry or vengeful. They both calmly survey their surroundings,
   taking no notice of the damage they caused, and smile at their trainer.
   Lizzie merely gapes.
   "Bleep!" Lizzie's pokedex chirps, activating automatically in her
   minipack. She unzips it, and removes her handheld PC. "Although pokemon often
   only battle at the order of their trainer, sometimes two pokemon will
   challenge each other to a sparring match. This is often to see which is
   stronger or more experienced, and is a form of settling arguments between
   pokemon. While this may seem disobedient and strange, it is a perfectly
   healthy and normal way for pokemon to sharpen their techniques and develop
   additional strategies. As long as they are kept away from other pokemon or
   people during these purely peaceful sparring matches, everything should be
   A-okay."
   "Is this true?" Lizzie asks her pokemon. "Were you two just having fun?
   Nothing sinister?"
   "Chan-sey!" Her nurse pokemon chirps, full of smiles.
   "Jynnx!" The sweet siren nods happily. Neither seem to carry a grudge, so
   she lets it end at that.
   "Well... we'd better get out of here." Lizzie says, surveying the damage
   across the grounds. "Something tells me that the hotel manager isn't going to
   be too happy about any of this."
   "Lizzie!" A familiar voice calls. She turns to see Katrina running down
   the hill, waving to her.
   "Katrina!" She calls. "What's up?"
   "I have wonderful news!" Katrina smiles. "My father has agreed to pay for
   three tickets to Cinabarr Island!"
   "That's gr-!" Lizzie starts. "Wait... don't you mean, four tickets?"
   "Well, no..." Katrina shrugs. "I thought about it, and I'm going to spend
   the holidays back at Fuschia with my father."
   "That's great!" Lizzie agrees. "You still want to come with us on our
   journey, right?"
   "Of course!" Katrina laughs. "You won't get rid of me that easily!
   "Phew!" Lizzie breaths a sigh of relief. "But, hey! You can always catch
   up with us later. Of course, you'll still need your Volcano Badge, but..."
   "Oh, didn't I tell you?" Katrina asks, as if mentioning a minor and
   unimportant detail. "I am a Gym Leader, so I am considered to have the same
   qualifications as a trainer with eight badges. I can enter the Pokemon League
   anytime."
   "Whoa!" Lizzie exclaims. "Really?? That is so cool! But, then why are you
   traveling with us?"
   "Well, the League only meets once a year." Katrina shrugs. "And until
   then I need to train my pokemon more, so they'll be in peak condition for the
   League Games next March."
   "Awesome!" Lizzie agrees. "Well, come on, then. I'd better get my bags
   to the seaport, then. Hey... where is Jeff? Didn't he go with you?"
   "He went to find Rex." Katrina explains.
   "Oh." Lizzie says. "I think he's with his brothers... anyway, we'd better
   get going. Come on, Jynx and Chansey. It's time we checked out!"
   Together, the four of them walk back up the hill to the hotel.

   "Where can he be?" Jeff moans as he shuffles through the crowded
   boardwalk of Seafoam Island West. He has been searching for Rex since he left
   the seaport forty minutes ago, and hasn't even caught a glimpse of the
   spikey-haired boy from Stone Town. Lifting his head above the mass of people,
   he scans his surroundings for the Eeveelution trainer. Nothing. Finally,
   exhausted, he sits down on a bench. "Sheesh... How can one kid with such big
   hair be so hard to spot?"
   Suddenly, a high-pitch ringing catches his attention. The beeping noise
   comes from his backpack, which he set beside him on the bench. Unzipping the
   pack, he realizes it is his cell phone that his Uncle gave him. Quickly, he
   picks it up, knowing that Mr. Fuji only calls him on it during extreme
   circumstances. He extends the antenna and flips it open.
   "Hello?" He asks, uncertainly. "Uncle?"
   "Jeff?" A crackly voice calls from over the phone. "Is that you?"
   "Yes, it's me, Uncle." Jeff answers. "What is it? Is something wrong?"
   "Well, my boy," Mr. Fuji responds. "Yes and no. I need you to come back
   to Lavender Town right away."
   "What??" Jeff exclaims, shocked. "Why?"
   "It's the egg." Mr. Fuji explains. Jeff's eyes widen. "It's hatching."
   "My... my.." Jeff sputters, unable to find the words. "My egg... the one
   I found in the forest...? Is hatching?!?"
   "That's right." Mr. Fuji assures him. "I kid you not. The time has come,
   Jeff. I told you I would care for it while you were away, and so I did. I've
   incubated it, read to it, kept it healthy. Now, now it is going to hatch."
   "Uncle.. that..." Jeff exclaims, overjoyed. "That's wonderful! That's
   amazing!! That's fantastic!!!"
   "I know!" Mr. Fuji beams. "Just think of it, Nephew! You will soon be the
   proud owner of a brand-new species of Bug pokemon!"
   "YES!!!" Jeff cheers. "This is excellent! I'll... but, I just can't
   leave. We're about to go to Cinabarr Island!"
   "Cinabarr isn't going anywhere." Mr. Fuji points out. "It will be there
   tomorrow. But this egg, and soon, this hatchling will need to imprint on
   someone, and if you are to be its trainer, that someone is you, Jeff."
   Jeff is silent. In his heart, he wants to go home to see his Uncle, and
   his pokemon, and see his egg hatch. But, Lizzie, Katrina, and even Rex have
   become a part of his family...
   "Also..." Mr. Fuji says sheepishly. "I was hoping that you would come to
   spend Christmas with me... I know, I know, you're growing up, but if you
   wouldn't mind the company of an old man, I'd-"
   "I'll be there, Uncle," Jeff says, smiling. "There is nothing I would
   enjoy more."

   "So, what are you going to do now, Rex?" Rainer asks, sitting on the bed
   of the hotel room he shares with his brothers. He wears a white surfing
   shirt, blue shorts, and sandals which dangle from his feet. Sparky lies on
   his bed, reading a electronics magazine. Pyro and Mikey are watching a pro
   golf tournament on TV. Rex's Eevee lies curled up on Rainer's bed, sleeping.
   "Well, I guess we'll head for Cinabarr next." Rex shrugs. "I want to get
   my Volcano Badge before the month's over, so I can have eight badges by the
   time the League Games start in March.
   "Oh." Rainer says, avoiding his eyes.
   "What?" Rex asks, arching an eyebrow. "Don't you think I can do it?
   Aren't I good enough?"
   "It's not that," Rainer replies.
   "Well, then what?" Rex asks.
   "I... well, that is, we..." Rainer shrugs. "I dunno... I mean,"
   "We were kind of hoping..." Sparky starts.
   "What's the big deal?" Rex asks. "What is it?"
   "Uh..." Pyro says sheepishly. "We... uh, we..."
   "Do you want to spend Christmas with us?" Mikey asks, not looking up from
   the TV. The others glare at him. He doesn't notice.
   "Wh- huh???" Rex asks, jumping back as if hit in the chest. "You... you
   want... me? To... hang out with you guys?"
   "Just for a couple of weeks." Rainer explains. "Until New Year's. You
   could leave the next day, and fly into Cinabarr the day after."
   "It's just that..." Sparky rubs his neck, nervously. "We... kinda miss
   you, kiddo."
   "Really?" Rex asks. "You... mean it?"
   "Sure." Pyro grins. "After all, who have we got to pick on now that
   Mikey's all grown up?"
   For a moment, the five of them are silent. Then, they all laugh as one.
   "Thanks, guys," Rex smiles. "You four are the best!"
   "Yes, we know." They joke, flexing in absurd poses. Rex laughs.
   Someone knocks on the door. Mikey gets up and answers it.
   "Rex!" Lizzie calls, bursting inside. "Come on, or we're leaving without
   you!"
   She rolls her eyes in annoyance and marches out the door.
   "That was Lizzie..." Rex sighs. "I'd better go tell her I'm staying. She
   can get ugly when she's mad."
   "Not bad..." Pyro says, removing his sunglasses. He grins, and turns back
   to Rex. "She's not bad, Rex. Hey, is this guy a Stone brother or what?"
   "Get a life, Pyro!" Rex laughs, punching him in the shoulder. He picks up
   his bags and hurries out the door. Eevee squeals happily and runs with him.
   "Take care, Rex!" They call. "You know we love you."
   "Yeah, I guess I do." He laughs. "Just you wait! One day, I'm going to
   beat the Elite Four and become the Pokemon League Champ!"
   "Don't get ahead of yourself, shrimp!" Mikey calls. They all laugh as he
   walks out the door.

   "So," Lizzie says, sipping a cup of hot chocolate. "You and your brothers
   finally got along."
   "Yep." Rex nods, taking a bite of a sugar cookie. "I guess so."
   "I'm impressed." Lizzie says. "I thought they'd drive you nuts before
   they left."
   The two trainers sit at a table next to the snack bar of the seaport.
   Nearby, Jeff fiddles with his pokedex, his backpack lying against the wall.
   Katrina stands outside, practicing Tai-Chi .
   "Well, they didn't." Rex shrugs. "In fact... I'm kind of glad we ran into
   each other."
   "I'm just glad I'm an only child." Lizzie laughs.
   "Well, guys," Jeff announces from his seat. "I've finally updated our
   group stats on the Pokemon League Computer."
   "Awesome!" Rex nods. "Thanks, Jeff!"
   "What'd you update?" Lizzie, more practically, asks.
   "Well, I've notified the League that we have one more person traveling
   with our group," Jeff nods toward Katrina outside. "I also told them that
   Lizzie has captured a Likitung and a Jynx since we were in Fuschia City. And
   I mentioned how many levels of experience our pokemon have gained, and how
   their statuses have altered."
   "That's great!" Lizzie smiles. Then she grows more serious. "So, let me
   get this straight... Rex, your brothers want you to go back to Stone Town for
   Christmas?"
   "Yep." Rex nods. "They actually asked me to hang out with them. It's
   like... one of the signs of the Apocalypse or something."
   "Jeff is going to see his Uncle in Lavender Town, and watch his egg
   hatch..." She continues. "And Katrina wants to visit her father in Fuschia."
   "That is correct." Katrina answers, walking through the door.
   "Right." Jeff smiles cheerfully. "After all, everybody wants to be with
   their family on the holidays!"
   "Oh... Lizzie.." Jeff says after a moment, seeing her start to cry. "I....
   I didn't.. I mean, I wasn't trying to..."
   "It- It's alright..." Lizzie says, choking back tears. "I'm... fine..."
   "Jeff!" Rex whispers fiercely, nudging him with his elbow. "I can't
   believe you said that! You know she and her father aren't getting along!"
   "There, there." Katrina pats her shoulder sympathetically. "It's okay...
   Don't worry, Lizzie."
   "No it isn't!" Lizzie sobs. "What am I supposed to do? You all can go
   home to your families, but who do I have that isn't in this room right now?"
   "Chan-Sey!" Her pink nurse chirps, holding her warmly.
   "Jynx-Jynx!" Jynx consoles her, putting a hand comfortingly on her back.
   "Lizzie," Katrina says. "I would be honored if you would spend Christmas
   with my family in Fuschia City."
   "That's okay..." Lizzie sniffs. "I know... you don't really mean it...
   but thanks anyways..."
   "Of course I do!" Katrina argues, shaking her head. "Nothing would make
   me happier than to have you as my personal guest on Chr-"
   A pay phone rings on the wall nearby. Everyone looks up. It rings again.
   "... Do you think it is for us?" Jeff asks.
   "No way!" Rex shakes his head. It rings again. Again. Still, no one moves
   toward it. "I mean, it couldn't be..."
   The phone rings again.
   "Perhaps we should anwer it." Katrina suggests. No one moves as it rings
   again.
   "Oh, for goodness sake!" Lizzie sighs, getting up and lifting the
   receiver to her ear. "Hello."
   Her eyes grow wide.
   "D-daddy?"
   The other trainers stare at each other in shock. They watch on as she
   continues.
   "I'm... I'm fine. Yeah, I'm great..." She says, beginning to smile.
   "Yeah... yeah, me too. I.. really miss you... Y-you miss me? ...W-what?
   Y-you're serious? ... Oh, Dad!!!"
   She continues talking warmly with her father, not speaking a word to the
   fellow trainers. Still, as the others stand there listening to her on the
   phone, none has the slightest doubt about where Lizzie Palacio will spend her
   Christmas this year."

   "So, I guess this is it." Lizzie says nervously.
   "Yep." Rex agrees, equally uncomfortable. Neither is very good at this
   sort of thing. They stand together in front of gate 23 in the Seafoam
   International Airport. Rex holds several bags of his, while Lizzie carries
   nothing. "You'll be alright without me for a month, right?"
   "I'm sure I'll manage." Lizzie rolls her eyes. She smiles. "Have fun in
   Stone Town, okay?"
   "I will." Rex nods. "What about you? When are you getting picked up?"
   "My flight is in another few hours." Lizzie explains. She grins. "Want me
   to pick up something for you from Viridian? Like an Earth Badge?"
   "Grow up!" Rex laughs. Then he smiles. "Well, say hello to your dad for
   me, okay?"
   "Deal." Lizzie agrees. "And don't let your brothers drive you nuts, okay?"
   "I'll try..." He sighs.
   "Yo! Bro!" Pyro calls, walking up with the other Stone Brothers. "Hurry
   up! The plane leaves in ten minutes!"
   "I'll be there in a second, Pyro." Rex says. "Just give me a sec."
   "Oh. OH!" Pyro eyes the tall, slender girl with strawberry blond hair
   next to him. "Well, then, take your time! Don't let us rush you!"
   "Get a life." Rex laughs. The others pass him and walk up the ramp to the
   plane.
   "Go ahead." Lizzie smiles. "I'll stay here with Katrina until my flight
   is called. She'll leave after me."
   "Okay." Rex nods. "Hey... where's Jeff? We're on the same flight!"
   "Here I am!" Jeff calls, running up with his enormous backpack. "Let's
   roll, or rather, fly!"
   "Right." Rex nods, not even noticing his absurd use of metaphors. "Now,
   everybody remember, we all meet on Cinabarr Island at Fountain Square on
   January 3rd. Got it?"
   "Got it." Jeff and Lizzie agree.
   "And I'll remind Katrina." Lizzie nods. "Go ahead, guys. I've got Chansey
   and Jynx to look after me until my flight leaves for Viridian."
   "Okay, Lizzie," Rex agrees. He lifts up Eevee's carrying case. "Sorry,
   fella, but you've got to stay in there on the plane."
   "Vee..." Eevee snarls.
   "It's that or your pokeball." Rex says.
   "Eevee!" Eevee squeals, suddenly happy and contented by his travel cage.
   "Yo, shrimp!" Rainer's voice comes from up the ramp. "Do I have to carry
   you up here? Move it!"
   "Yes, master..." Rex calls, imitating a zombie voice. "Come, Jeffrey. We
   must go-o-o-o-o!"
   "Uh... right, Rex." Jeff arches an eyebrow, following his older friend up
   the ramp.
   "Bye, guys!" Lizzie calls cheefully, waving at them. "Have a safe trip!
   And, Merry Christmas!!"
   "CHAN-Sey!" The nurse pokemon chirps merrily.
   "Jyyynx!" Jynx sings out.
   They stand and watch their friends board the plane. Then, as the plane
   takes off and disappears over the horizon, they turn and behold the hundreds
   of people hurrying through the massive terminal.
   "We have three hours to spend..." Lizzie smiles mischievously. "In the
   largest mall I've ever seen since the Celadon City department store." She
   opens her purse, and pulls out three shiny pieces of plastic. "With Dad's
   credit cards. Whatever shall we do?"
   Her pokemon shrug. Then, laughing in unison, they charge into the sea of
   people, Christmas carols playing cheerfully over the sound system.

   Next Episode:
   - Our heroes enjoy some holiday fun with their families!
   - Witness Team Rocket's bizarre antics... and a festive solo with everybody's
   favorite diva, Felice!
   - Have a happy holiday season, everyone!