Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!
Pokemon Top 50 -- Vote for me!Pokemon Village Top Sites -- Vote for me!
My Best Friends
by  EmperMaxis@aol.com
Chapter 6

  The sights and sounds of the Fuschia Hospital recovery center confuse one
  small Eevee as it follows its master through the winding corridors of the
  complex. What was it doing here? Why was it in this strange place with so
  many other people? A rush of memories come to its mind. The bad people threw
  the Voltorb at that girl that Master looked funny at. Everything happened at
  once. An ambulance drove up, Chanseys popped out and carried the girl into
  the truck, they all followed in Master Koga's car, and now here they were in
  the hospital. This was all a new experience for Eevee, but whatever happened,
  he would protect his master.
  As Jeff walks alongside Rex, he tries to think of something to say.
  Anything will do, so long as it cheers Rex up. Ever since Lizzie fainted,
  Jeff could tell that the older boy hadn't untensed his muscles for a second.
  The spikey-haired youth was frantic, jittery, and worst of all, secluded. He
  hadn't said a word in the car on the way over, and now Jeff was afraid that
  Rex was blaming himself. He would have to shake his friend out of his deep
  depression, or who knows what will happen?
  Katrina hurries along at the front of the group, marching steadily toward
  the nurse's station up ahead. She had to find out where Lizzie had been
  taken, partially for herself, and partially for Rex. She was forming a kind
  of friendship with the other girl, one that was priceless since she was
  Master Koga's only child and grew up without any sisters. But also, she could
  sense how restless and worried Rex was about the young woman's care. It was
  rather obvious that they meant a lot to each other, although she seemed to be
  the only one who noticed it... A small smile comes to Katrina's face, in
  spite of the dire circumstances. She remembers the surprised looks on Jeff
  and Rex's faces when she offered to drive. They had no idea that she was
  sixteen! It sort of flattered her, but Katrina was relatively sure that she
  didn't let it show in front of them...
  Rex stands sullenly against the wall. His hands hang at his sides like
  limp weights. His face is cast down towards the floor. Off in the back
  recesses of his mind, he hears Katrina talking with a nurse, asking what room
  .... she was in... Rex gritts his teeth and shuts his eyes. How could he have
  been so stupid? He could have done something, he could have pushed her out of
  the way! Lizzie's parents trusted her safety to him! How could he let them...
  her... EVERYONE down???? He feels like screaming, but a gentle tug at his
  shoulder brings him back to reality.
  "Rex..." Katrina says in a soft, caring voice. "C'mon. We know what room
  Lizzie's in."
  "What are we standing around here for?" Rex demands. "Let's go!"
  He shoves past her and hurries down the hall.
  "But you don't know what room she's in!....." Katrina calls after him.

  The door to room 205 opens with a click. The trio of friends, followed by
  Eevee, walks into the dimly-lit chamber. As soon as they enter, the first
  sound that comes to their ears is the beeping of the EKG. Their eyes slowly
  adjust to the dim light.
  Lizzie lies unconscious on an elevated bed. She is dressed in a hospital
  night gown. Her strawberry-blond hair fans out from her head like delicate
  lace. Her face, despite the ordeal she has been through, is still rosy and
  pink. She is an angel even in her sleep.
  Chansey stands beside her, firmly holding her hand. It had come with her
  in the ambulance, as it was her 'legal guardian'. The egg-shaped, pinkish
  pokemon still burns with a fiery determination, knowing that its young charge
  can and will get better again. Though the tiny room is bleak, it is not
  without hope.
  After looking at her for less than a minute, Rex can stand it no longer.
  He pivots and bolts out of the room, the door slamming shut behind him. He
  runs full throttle down the hall, and ducks into the Men's Restroom. Breaking
  down, his eyes begin to water as he turns on the sink. He splashes cold water
  onto his face.
  "What's wrong with you?" He yells at himself in the mirror. "Get a grip,
  huh?"
  He groans, remembering the day he met Lizzie. The day Team Rocket tried
  to mug her, and he rescued her. The day he promised her parents that he would
  take full responsibility over their daughter's safety, and that she would be
  protected if she could come along with him on his journey...
  "You want to be a pokemon master?!" He screams at himself. "How can you
  handle FOUR stinking POKEMON when you can't protect the one single girl that
  you have ever...."
  Rex abruptly stops. Tears stream from his eyes. A flood of memories comes
  back to him. He is eight, and his older brother Mikey comes home from his
  pokemon journey. He is ten, and Mikey's Eevee has puppies. Rex gets four of
  them as a Christmas gift. He is twelve, and Rainer, Pyro, and Sparky go off
  to college, leaving him and Mikey in the house. Every night, Mike tells him
  about his travels and lets him touch his eight badges. For Mikey's sixteenth
  birthday, he gets his badges put in a frame, and they are displayed on the
  mantle beside Sparky's, Rainer's, and Pyro's. Every day, Rex wants more and
  more to be just like his brothers. He is thirteen, and Mikey leaves the nest.
  Rex decides that it's time to leave Stone Town, and strike out on his own as
  a pokemon trainer. With Eevee, Jolteon, Vaporeon, and Flareon, he leaves his
  house, pokedex in hand, pokeballs in his pocket. He promises himself that
  he'll never return until he does the one thing his brothers never did... beat
  the Elite Four...

  "Rex?" Jeff's voice cuts into his thoughts. He looks up to see the
  younger boy at the door. Jeff's eyes show real concern, and Rex realizes that
  he needs to calm down. "Are you okay, man?"
  "Yeah, Jeff..." He says after a moment, composing himself. "I'm... okay.
  Sorry for... freaking out back there..."
  "Hey, don't even think about it." Jeff smiles. He puts a hand on Rex's
  shoulder. "C'mon, let's sit down for a sec." The twosome walks over to the
  small rec room, and sits down at a table inside. A vending machine in the
  shape of a Slowbro sits against the opposite wall. Jeff gets up and presses
  the Sprite button. Oddly enough, two Cherry Colas come out... But never one
  to look a gift horse in the mouth, he takes them both and sits back down at
  the table. Jeff offers one to Rex, who nervously accepts and takes a quick
  gulp. Then he sighs.
  "Jeff, I should have been there, man." Rex groans. "It's all my fault! I
  blew it! Because I goofed up, Lizzie's... she's..."
  "REX!" Jeff yells, abruptly cutting him off. "Get a grip! You have to
  stop kicking yourself, Rex. What could you have done?" He pauses to let it
  sink in. "Jumped in front of her? Get blown up? Have her mourning you at your
  funeral?" He frowns. "No. That isn't it at all. That's not why you're so
  upset, and you won't tell me what it really is." He stands up. "Rex, tell me
  how you and Lizzie met!"
  Rex stares at the table for a moment. Then he meets Jeff's gaze.
  "All right." He says simply. "Sit down." Jeff sits.
  "It all started about six months ago..." Rex explains as the memories
  come back to him.
  "I was in Viridian City... it was early spring... The leaves on the trees
  were all green, the snow was melted, flowers were beginning to bud in the
  grassy fields along Route 2... I had my Eevee with me, and three pokeballs
  with pokemon in them. A gym lay ahead of me, where I could possibly earn my
  Earth Badge. I was in paradise..."

  Rex's mind drifts back, way back, to the previous spring. He saw himself
  walking under the enormous green archway that is the entrance to Viridian
  City. Beside him skipped his little Eevee, sixth months younger and several
  levels lower. Rex took in all the sights and sounds of the big city; few
  tourists ever visit Stone Town, and he had never seen so many people in the
  same place before. He stopped at the police station and checked in with
  Officer Jenny, who checked to make sure Rex had completed his homework
  assignments, and then went to the local Pokemon Center, where Nurse Joy gave
  him a brief checkup and revitalized all of his pokemon.
  "Hey, watch it with that stethoscope, Joy!" Rex squirmed in his seat when
  the pink-haired pokemon nurse pressed the cold metal against his bare chest.
  "Stop wiggling, Rex!" The sixteen-year-old girl commanded. "Honestly, you
  are the least mature out of all of my cousins! You're parents need to send
  you to a Prussian Military Academy, or something."
  "Well, stop poking me with cold instruments and I'll stop moving!" Rex
  snapped.
  "Oh, you are hopeless!" Joy rolled her eyes. "Get up, you're fine. NEXT!"
  That was how things were between his cousin and himself. Joy of the
  Viridian Joys was the most annoying Joy in his family; at least he thought so
  at that time. While he was putting his shirt back on, he noticed an odd
  poster on the wall of the examination room. It was an advertisement for a
  local gym! Rex smiled as he remembered why he had come to Viridian City: to
  claim his first badge! Before he left, he couldn't resist taunting the older
  girl one more time.
  "You're just jealous." Rex grinned. "Because I'm going to be a pokemon
  master, and you're gonna be stuck behind a receptionist desk forever."
  "Get a life, you two-faced little creep."
  That was that. Joy carried a grudge with her ever since Rex caught her
  kissing the caterer at the Family Reunion. He shrugged and walked out of the
  room.
  At the front desk, Rex picked up his recharged pokeballs and his Eevee,
  who squealed in delight upon seeing its Master again. He picked up the furry
  little pokemon, which began licking him almost instantly. Rex laughed at the
  tickling sensation, while trying to cover his face from Eevee's tongue. He
  turned around, preparing to exit the building, when he saw something that
  froze him in his tracks.
  Outside the glass-domed walls, he could see an enormous building. It was
  a mansion! Huge, Ionic columns supported the roof, long vines twisted their
  way down the veranda, and a gorgeous fountain sent cascades of water down
  into a basin, falling like a curtain of velvet lace. But it was not the
  estate's beauty which captivated him; it was the young girl, no older than
  himself, climbing over the edge of the second story balcony. She had long,
  flowing strawberry-blond hair, and pearly-white skin. With one graceful leap,
  she landed in the chrysanthimum patch. The mysterious girl picked herself
  off, and as if it were the most ordinary thing in the world, picked up a
  small handbag and ran on foot from house.
  This mystery proved quite too tempting for Rex to ignore, and he and
  Eevee quickly ran out of the Center and followed her down the road, careful
  to stay out of sight. The girl was an excellent runner, and before long Rex
  began to run out of breath. Although he was in excellent physical condition,
  it would take a marathoner to keep up with this young woman. He stopped in
  the middle of the street, panting and gasping for breath. While he huffed and
  puffed, the runaway damsel turned the corner and disappeared from sight.
  "Eevee..." Rex's Eevee murmured, also exhausted.
  "Yeah.... I know." Rex managed to get out between breaths. "What.... do
  you think.... she's running... from?"
  "Ee...Vee..." Eevee replied, also unable to communicate.
  "No... I don't think... so..." Rex answered, struggling to regain control
  of his lungs. "Girls...her...age...don't...have... ...arrranged marriages..."
  Suddenly, an earsplitting shriek cut into Rex's thoughts. Feeling that
  something was wrong, he sprinted ahead, regardless of the pain, toward the
  source of the disturbance. Eevee followed hot on his heels.
  When Rex rounded the corner, he gasped, this time in shock. Just a
  hundred meters away from him was a small bridge leading over a creek and out
  of town. On the center of the bridge was the young girl... and on either side
  was a man and a woman, both in their early twenties, in dark black uniforms
  with crimson 'R's on the front. Rex was horrified to realize that those two
  people were members of Team Rocket! Worse yet, they had the girl trapped in
  the middle of the bridge, with no way off except to jump.
  "Surrender, Ms. Palacio." The blond-haired man ordered in a suave, yet
  cruel voice. "As you can clearly see, there is no escape."
  "Yeah, don' be stupid, little girl." The woman with long, auburn hair
  jeered. "There is no way you can get out unless you wanna go for a swim."
  "And we really don't think you do, what with those Goldeen in there." The
  man laughed a long, rich laugh.
  "So why don' you just give us your pokemon?" The woman again said with an
  accent. "Then you can just go on your way. You're happy, we're happy,
  everybody's happy!"
  "NO WAY!" The girl screamed. "I know who you are! You're with Team
  Rocket! You'll use my pokemon for evil!"
  "Well, truth be told..." The man arched one eyebrow. "It really isn't
  your pokemon that we want."
  "Then, wha-...?" The girl frowned, confused.
  "Alo? AL-o?" The woman mocked. "You are Elizabeth Palacio, your father is
  rich banker! You have to be carrying un poco dinero with you?"
  "And if you're not..." The man smiled. "...There's always ransom."
  "You creeps!" The girl shouted. "If you come one step near me, I'm
  warning you, I'll-"
  "HEY!" Rex shouted. The two Team Rocket members spun around, surprised at
  this unexpected appearance.
  "This does not concern you." The man said, narrowing his eyes.
  "Go back to your mother, boy." The woman scorned. Her eyes blazed with
  fire.
  "You'd better leave that young lady alone." Rex gritted his teeth,
  returning their glares.
  "And just who is gonna make us do that?" The woman laughed. "You, Chico?"
  "Yeah, me!" Rex stepped forward. "Me and my pokemon! Just who do you guys
  think you are?"
  "Who are we?" They both snapped in unison, as if waiting for such an
  excuse. "Allow us to introduce ourselves!"
  "Oh, no..." The girl groaned, slapping her face with her hand.
  "To protect the world from devastation!"
  "To unite all peoples within our nation!"
  "To denounce the evils of truth and love!"
  "To extend our reach to the-"
  "What are you talking about??!!" Rex shouted. The woman's eye twitched
  involuntarily.
  "Shaddup and let me finish my line!" She growled. Then her composure was
  regained, and she smiled.
  "AHEM, To extend our reach to the stars above!"
  "Artemus!" The man leaped into an absurb pose.
  "Felice!" The woman bent into an equally ostentatious position.
  "Team Rocket, blast off at the speed of light!"
  "Surrender now, or prepare to fight!"
  "Hahahahahahaha!"
  "That's right!"
  "Are you people insane or something?" Rex exclaimed, totally confused.
  "Why are you standing there, talking?"
  "How rude!" Felice sent an icy stare to the boy. "Well, Artemus, it seems
  we'll have to teach this little brat some manners."
  "I shall enjoy this." Artemus smiled coldly. "Prepare to be defeated,
  boy."
  The two thieves quickly threw out two pokeballs. A bright flash revealed
  an Oddish and a Grimer. They growled at the young trainer, who was taken
  back, surprised.
  "Oh yeah?" Rex yelled. "Well, two can play at this game!" Immediately, he
  threw out all three of his pokeballs. A spiney, yellow creature with pointed
  ears, a blue, scaley figure with a long, forked tail, and a red, glowing one
  with a thick coat of fur appeared in front of the other two pokemon. With a
  squeak, Eevee ran forward to join its brothers, but Rex held it back. "You're
  not ready for real battle yet, pal."
  "Oddish, Acid." Artemus replied, unblinking.
  "Grimer, Sludge them!" Felice cackled.
  "Jolteon, Thundershock!" Rex shouted. The yellow pokemon, one of the
  fastest creatures in the pokemon world, fired a blast of electric energy at
  its opponents before they could even flinch.
  "GRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMERRRRRRR!" The gooey blob
  screeched as it melted into a sticky puddle.
  "OOOOOOOOOOODISH!" The leafy pokemon shrieked, several of its leaves
  charred off by the blast.
  "Vaporeon, Bubble Beam!" Rex commanded. The light blue instantly shot out
  a series of freezing bubbles that hit the fleeing pokemon from behind. The
  plant and poison pokemon both collapsed on the bridge.
  "Grimer! Get up and fight!" Felice shouted.
  "Oddish, what's the matter with you weakling?" Artemus yelled, irate.
  "Grrr... very well, then, return!"
  The two pokemon were sucked back into their pokeballs. Artemus vaulted
  across the bridge and stood with Felice in front of Rex.
  "Forget the girl, Artemus." Felice snarled. "I just want to get this kid!"
  "I agree, most wholeheartedly." Artemus sneered. "Let's see how you
  handle these!"
  The terrorists enlarged two new pokeballs and dropped them onto the
  pavement before them. Both orbs snapped open, releasing a floating,
  mechanical magnet, and short, stubby creature with a long snout.
  "Magnemite!" A robotic voice came from the hovering creature.
  "DrowwwwwZee." The smaller, yellow beast hissed.
  "Let's see you handle these!" Felice cackled.
  "Do your worst!" Artemus mocked.
  "Flareon, Fire Blast!"
  "AIIIIIIEEEEE!" The twosome screamed and they were blown into the creek,
  into the waiting fins of a school of Goldeen! The horned pokemon unleashed
  their violent Fury Attacks on the human intruders.
  "OUCH! OWWW! OHHH! OOOF! NO! STOP THAT!" They both cried, as they were
  pulled downstream by the current, hitting jagged rocks along the way. "WE'LL
  BE BACCCKKKK!!!!!!!!!"
  "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little Eevee, too!!!" Felice's voice
  carried back to the bridge as she vanished over the horizon.

  "Whoa, time out." Jeff says, interrupting. "You already knew Artemus and
  Felice?"
  "Yeah." Rex nods. "How did you think we knew their names?"
  "I never thought of that..." Jeff responds, amused. "Please, continue."

  "Th-thank you." Lizzie said, still standing on the bridge. Rex recalled
  his pokemon, and walked up to her.
  "Um, no problem," Rex sputtered. "I, uh, just wanted to, er, make sure
  you were all right. I'm... glad you're okay."
  "Thanks to you," Lizzie smiled. "And your pokemon. I guess I should
  introduce myself. My name is Elizabeth Palacio (call me Lizzie), and I have
  lived in Viridian all my life."
  "Pleased to meet you, Lizzie." Rex grinned, shaking her hand. "I'm Rex
  Stone, of Stone Town."
  "I'm very glad to have met you, Rex." Lizzie smiled courteously. "I have
  to do something for you, for saving me. Here, will you come with me back to
  my house?"
  "Your... house?" Rex asked, remembering something. "Say, that reminds me.
  I saw you climbing out of your window..."
  "Oh, that..." Lizzie frowned. "Well... I guess I do owe you an
  explanation... I was running away."
  "Running away?" Rex exclaimed, not sure he heard her right. "From that
  place? That mansion??"
  "It's pretty on the outside," Lizzie said in a faraway voice. "But there
  is no love in that house. I can't stay there any longer."
  "But, why??" Rex asked, totally confused. Lizzie sighed deeply.
  "My... father..."
  "What about your father?" Rex probed, hoping to find out what was
  troubling the young woman so greatly.
  "He... thinks that I should spend my time at the country club, or taking
  piano lessons, or studying art..." She explained. "...I have always wanted to
  become a pokemon trainer. It has been.... my dream."
  "Well, what's wrong with that?" Rex exclaimed. "I'm a pokemon trainer,
  and all of my brothers were, too, when they were younger."
  "You don't understand." Lizzie shook her head sadly. "My father doesn't
  agree. I've told him there is no shame in training pokemon; look at Professor
  Oak!" She takes a deep breath. "He forbade me to do it. I wasn't to even say
  the word pokemon in the house. No daughter of his was going to be a common
  trainer... I was born of high society, and he intended for me to stay a part
  of it."
  "But, don't you have any pokemon at all?" Rex frowned, trying to
  understand. "You're my age, right? There's no legal reason why you shouldn't
  train them if you have them."
  "Oh, sure, I have the ones they bought me." Lizzie said bitterly.
  "Whenever I complained to much as a child about anything, they bought me a
  Jigglypuff, or a Clefairy, all the way from Celadon City. They traveled all
  the time; they still do. My pokemon became my nannies, something to take care
  of me when they were to busy doing other things..." A tear appeared on her
  cheek. "Yesterday... was my birthday... They said they were going to be
  there. They said their train arrived at six and they'd be there by seven. I
  was so excited. I couldn't wait to see them; they've been out of town for
  five months! I dressed up in my favorite gown, styled my hair just the way
  they like it, and put on the family jewelry that I know they want me to wear
  even though I think it's hideous. ...I waited until ten thirty, and they
  never showed up. THEY MISSED MY BIRTHDAY!!!"
  Lizzie was now sobbing. She fell into Rex's arms, completely hysterical.
  Finally, after a long moment, she regained her composure. She wiped the tears
  from her eyes, and smiled as best she could.
  "...Later, I found out what had happened." Her voice took on a sharp
  edge. "They missed my party because they had to make a social call on the
  mayor. This morning, around nine, they called and said that they had gotten a
  flat tire. They LIED to me! To their own daughter! And do you know where they
  are today? On a plane! To Saffron!! I won't see them for weeks, at least!"
  She took a deep breath, calming herself. "That's when I decided I couldn't
  stay any longer. I packed my bags, took my four pokeballs, and left. I didn't
  even tell my nanny..." Her eyes suddenly took on a pleading look. "Oh, Rex!
  Can I come with you on your journey? You're a pokemon trainer, you must be
  trying to get all 8 badges! Let me tag along."
  "Lizzie... you're not serious...?" Rex said, surprised. "You don't want
  to leave your family and friends behind....?"
  "Family?" Lizzie scoffed. "Friends? Ha! My family doesn't care enough to
  see me on my birthday. I have no friends, except the snobby jerks from the
  country club. The only friend I have is back at my house now..."
  "Who is that?" Rex asked.
  "My... nanny." Lizzie said sheepishly.
  "Okay!" Said Rex, happily. "We'll go and talk to her, then! She'll help
  you decide what to do."
  "Talk... to my nanny?" Lizzie looked at him as if her were mad.
  "Yeah. Is something wrong?" Rex asked.
  "...Nothing. Let's go." Lizzie responded. The two of them, with Eevee at
  their heels, ran back toward the city, the bridge disappearing behind them.

  "Time out!" Jeff interjects. "A beautiful young woman asks if she could
  accompany you on your quest, and you tried to talk her out of it?"
  "I was thinking about her." Rex explains. "She was hysterical; emotional.
  She didn't know what she was saying. I was trying to make sure she wouldn't
  make a mistake she would regret for the rest of her life."
  "Oh..." Jeff says. "Well, that makes sense..."

  "Hello? Is anyone there?" Lizzie called. She knocked on the door for the
  third time. "It's me, Lizzie! Helloooooo?"
  Lizzie and Rex stood on the stoop of the mansion, waiting. Finally, they
  heard footsteps approaching the door.
  "Ah, good. There's my nanny." Lizzie smiled.
  The the knob turned, and the door opened, revealing a round, pink Chansey!
  "Chan-Sey!" It exclaimed as soon as it saw Lizzie. The two hugged each
  other warmly.
  "Chansey, I'm so sorry I didn't tell you I was leaving!" Lizzie cried. "I
  thought you'd tell mom and dad, and wouldn't let me go."
  "Chansey, Chan-sey," The pouch-toting pokemon shook its head, patting the
  young girl on the back.
  "I know, I know," Lizzie cried. "But I didn't think of that. I should
  have..."
  Meanwhile, Rex just stared in perplexity.
  "Chan-seeey." The nurse pokemon looked into her eyes and pinched her
  cheeks. It smiled kindly, as if to say "wherever you go, I go."
  "Oh, thank you!" Lizzie cheered. "I couldn't have left without you!
  C'mon, then! I have everything I need right-"
  Chansey lifted a cell phone out of its pouch and held it up to Lizzie.
  She stared at it for a moment, then understood.
  "...All right..." Lizzie sighed. "I'll call them...." She extended the
  antenna, and punched in the number she knew by heart. "Hello?... Daddy?"

  Rex stood uncomfortably on the front porch, while Lizzie tried to
  convince her father to let her go. Rex had decided by now that this girl was
  serious about leaving, and she was apparently 'okay', but he couldn't feel
  right about traveling with her unless she got her parents' permission. He
  watched her sitting on the porch swing, still talking on the cellular phone.
  Secretly, he hoped that the Chansey would also accompany them. It would just
  feel too weird to be traveling alone with a girl, and people might get the
  wrong idea. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, Lizzie looked up. She put
  her hand over the receiver, and spoke to Rex in a whisper.
  "My father wants to speak with you." Lizzie said. She handed him the
  phone. Rex gulped, and put his ear to it.
  "Hello?" Rex's voice came out timid and weak.
  "Are you the boy who wants to take my daughter on some ridiculous pokemon
  journey?" A gruff voice demanded on the other end.
  "...Actually, sir, she wanted to go with me-" Rex said uneasily.
  "Don't tell me that!" The voice shouted. "I know what boys your age see
  in girls like her! All you are looking at is a pretty figure, and you are
  trying to trick her into going with you!"
  "No, sir!" Rex exclaimed boldly. "I'm sorry if you think that, sir, but
  you have the wrong idea. If your daughter comes with me on my journey, I
  promise you that I will take care of her!"
  "...Will you be responsible for her personal safety?" The voice asked
  after a moment.
  "Yes, sir." Rex answered.
  "And will you make sure that nothing happens to her?" The voice demanded,
  the connection deteriorating into static.
  "Yes, sir!" Rex said above the distortions.
  "...Then I entrust her safety to you." The voice, now barely audible,
  came in reply. "Under one condition."
  "Sir?" Rex asked.
  "That you take her Chansey as a chaperone." Rex's heart leaped. Then she
  would be able to come!
  "Yes, sir! That's more than fair, sir!" Rex responded.
  "Very well..." The voice said, the connection almost gone. "Young man,
  take care of my daughter."
  The connection broke, and all Rex heard was silence.

  "And that was it." Rex smiles faintly at Jeff. "Lizzie and I have been
  together ever since, with Chansey as chaperone."
  "So that's it..." Jeff nods. "Hmm. I never would have guessed." He
  paused. "Hey! I thought you said your story was embarassing? What was so bad
  about that?"
  "Oh..." Rex's face turns pink. "Umm... I'll tell you that part later. It
  happened after Viridian City, and, err..."
  "Pardon my disturbance." Katrina's voice cuts into their thoughts. Both
  boys turn to look at her as she enters the room. "I am sorry... I merely
  desired to have a discussion with Jeff, but I see that I have interrupted
  you..."
  "No! No, that's fine!" Rex leaps up from his seat, eager for a change of
  subject. "Look, uh, why don't you two talk, and I'll go check in on Lizzie.
  Okay? Bye!" He is gone in a flash.
  "Heh. Well, um, I guess we can talk now." Jeff shrugged, uneasy. "Err,
  what do you want to talk about?" The older girl smiles, taking a seat.
  "Well, I... just wanted to congratulate you on defeating me in record
  time." She grins mischievously. "Of course, Arbok and Weezing are my father's
  pokemon. I only train fighting types."
  "So, I guess I really only beat your strategy," Jeff ponders. "...not
  your pokemon?"
  "I suppose we shall have to compete again in the future," Katrina smiles.
  "With my own personal team."
  "I suppose we shall." Jeff grins. Katrina suddenly takes on a sober look.
  "You know, Jeff," She says solemnly. "You saved my life back there, with
  Team Rocket and all. In fact, you saved me twice."
  "Well... I had help the second time." Jeff shrugs sheepishly.
  "I know." Katrina acknowledges. "But you were the only one there the
  first time, when they had me cornered in that alley. I know it would have
  been so-o easy to just walk on and pretend like nothing happened..."
  "Katrina, I just did what anyone else would have done." Jeff argues. "And
  you were holding your own when I saw you."
  "That was just until they pulled out their pokeballs." Katrina states.
  "There was no way my Mankey, Machamp, and Poliwrath could have fought all of
  their pokemon."
  Jeff is silent. Katrina places her hand on his.
  "Thank you, Jeff. You are my knight in shining armor."

  In the tiny hospital room that holds Lizzie, Rex sits in a chair by her
  bed. Chansey dozes in a corner. The sun is beginning to peek out from over
  the horizon. Far below the tall cliffs that the hospital sits on, waves break
  against the rocks on the beach. Fearow fly low over the water, searching for
  slow Magikarp. It is a new day, a day of possibilities and opportunity.
  "R-Rex?" Lizzie's hoarse voice penetrates the quiet of the room.
  "Lizzie?" Rex holds her hand tightly. "You're awake?"
  "I'm... in the hospital?" Lizzie asks, slowly coming to. "What...
  happened?"
  "Don't worry about it now, you're safe." Rex assures her. "Just rest."
  "...I ...remember... Team Rocket." Lizzie says, her voice clearer,
  stronger. "I remember... a Voltorb... then I fainted."
  "You can recall that?" Rex gapes. "That's amazing! You haven't suffered
  any mental trauma at all!"
  "I feel pretty good..." Lizzie nods. "Just a little... dizzy. I'm sure
  I'll be fine... in the morning."
  "Uh, Lizzie?" Rex grins comically. "It is the morning."
  She smiles. And it isn't a strained smile, either.
  "Rex Stone, I'm glad to have met you." She clasps his hand firmly. "You
  are a true friend."
  "...You too, Lizzie Palacio."
  Lizzie slips into a deep, natural sleep. Rex sits by the bed for hours,
  holding her hand.

  "Uncle Fuji?" Jeff strains to here the faint voice on the other side of
  the line. "I can't here you. Here, let me put you on video phone." He presses
  a button, a the screen in front of him pops into life. A short, stout man
  with thinning white hair appears on the monitor.
  "Jeff? Is that you?" Mr. Fuji asks eagerly.
  "Uncle! It's me!" Jeff answers excitedly. "How are you doing?"
  "Ah, I am fine, Nephew." The wise old man smiles. "It is your health that
  I am concerned about. Imagine my surprise when I received a collect call from
  the Fuschia City hospital. What is happening?"
  "Oh, that." Jeff cringes. "Sorry about the collect call, but I don't have
  much money left and my next allowance isn't for another-"
  "31 days." Mr. Fuji nods sagely. "Yes, I am aware of monetary concerns.
  Do not worry, I will always accept a call from you, Jeff. What concerns me,
  however, is your state of being. Why do you call me from the hospital?"
  "Oh, right!" Jeff slaps his forehead. "Lizzie, the girl I told you about
  in my last letter, fainted in Fuschia Gym after I got my Soul Badge and Team
  Rocket showed up, even though they were both really goofy and we beat 'em
  pretty easily, but then Katrina drove Rex and me over to the hospital and-"
  "JEFF!" Mr. Fuji broke in. "Slow down, Nephew. I am old, and can only
  hear so many words at a time. You say you have won your Soul Badge? That is
  wonderful!"
  "Yes, but then Team Rocket showed up, and-"
  "Team Rocket?" Mr. Fuji stands erect, alert. "Did I hear you correctly?
  You have encountered the notorious Team Rocket?"
  "Yes, Uncle! They ambushed this young woman named Katrina, who is Master
  Koga's daughter, and-"
  "Katrina Koga?" Mr. Fuji's eyes grow wide. Then he smiled slyly. "So, my
  nephew has met the infamous daughter of the ninja master. Tell me, Jeff, is
  she as beautiful as it is said?"
  "UNCLE!" Jeff grimaces. "She might hear you!"
  Mr. Fuji laughs aloud.
  "Nephew, I do not mean to embarass you." He smiles. "I shall be quiet and
  allow you to explain."
  "Thank you, Uncle." Jeff grins. "So, like I said, we rushed her to the
  hospital..."
  Jeff and Mr. Fuji talk for over an hour, recapping the latest adventure
  of our young heroes. Katrina overhears them and smiles
 
 
 

   Chapter 7

   In this chapter:
   -
   - The travelers continue on their journey to Cinabarr Island, along with a
   new friend!
   - A mysterious someone is still watching over Lizzie!
   - Rex fights for his Soul Badge!
   - Lizzie waves farewell to two of her Pokemon!
   - Team Rocket deals with dejection!

   "Rex! Are you ready yet?" Lizzie shouts for the thousandth time. Standing
   in the lobby of the Fuschia City Pokemon Center, she crosses her arms over
   her chest and taps her foot impatiently on the tile floor. Chansey stands
   quietly beside her, humming to itself softly.
   "I'm coming! I'm coming!" Rex calls back, running down the hall with his
   backpack thrown over a shoulder. "Sheesh, Lizzie! Yesterday you were in the
   hospital, and now you're back issuing orders. You sure are a quick recoverer!"
   "Why, thank you." Lizzie rolls her eyes. "Mom always said I could bounce
   back better than anyone she knew. Now, what's keeping Jeff?"
   "He's calling his Uncle," Rex answers. "You know, he likes to check on
   his pokemon and stuff."
   "Oh, yeah." Lizzie nods. "Gosh, can you believe how many he has?"
   "More than the two of us put together!" Rex laughs. "Man, I wonder where
   he finds the time to take care of them all?"
   "Beats me." Lizzie shrugs. "That reminds me, Rex, when are you going to
   catch a new pokemon? I mean, you only have four..."
   "Huh? ... Gosh, I dunno." He lifts up his hands sheepishly. "I'm really
   happy with just the ones I've got. Of course, I guess if the right one came
   along I'd-"
   "Hey!" Lizzie interrupts, slapping her forehead. "I just remembered
   something! Be right back~"
   With that, she dashes down the hall, Rex's mouth still open. Chansey
   waddles after her.

   "Yeah, we're about to go to Port Town." Jeff says into the receiver of
   the video phone. His short, balding Uncle Fuji nods, his smiling face
   slightly distorted by the poor connection.
   "To charter a ferry to Cinabarr Island?" Mr. Fuji arches one eyebrow.
   "Quite a pleasant cruise, Nephew. May I ask how, exactly, you have come upon
   the funds for such an excursion?"
   "Um, well, that part we haven't quite figured out..." Jeff frowns to
   himself.
   "Hahaha!" Fuji laughs. "Oh, Jeff, you are my favorite nephew!"
   "I'm your only nephew..."
   "Oh. Well, yes, but you would still be my favorite if I had others." Mr.
   Fuji clears his throat and continues. "I thought you might need
   transportation to Cinabarr, so I enquired at a local travel agency.
   Apparently, a small non-profit ferry line will shuttle pokemon trainers free
   of charge. I checked their schedule, and the next boat leaves in three days."
   "YES!" Jeff shouts, jumping in the air. "Thanks, Uncle! You're the best!"
   "It is not so simple..." Mr. Fuji cautions. "You must hurry to Port Town.
   If you miss this ferry, there won't be another for six weeks."
   "Six weeks???" Jeff gawks. "In Port Town? There's nothing to do in Port
   Town!!! They don't even have a gym!"
   "I know," Mr. Fuji nods sagely. "So you and your friends must make haste.
   If you walk at a decent pace and stop only to sleep, I believe you can make
   the trip in one and one half days. Of course, that is only if nothing
   unexpected happens..."
   "I'm sure we can make it." Jeff argues. "I'll go tell my friends right
   now. I'm sure they will- AIIE!"
   Suddenly, Jeff is shoved aside unceremoniously by Lizzie, who picks up
   the transceiver.
   "Hello? Mr. Fuji?" She asks. "Sorry to interrupt your conversation, but I
   have something urgent to discuss with you..."
   "Certainly, child." Fuji agrees. "What is it?"
   "I need you to watch after my pokemon for me."
   "... Is that such a great request?" Mr. Fuji arches both eyebrows.
   "It may not seem like much," Lizzie explains. "But I truly have no place
   else to send them. Jeff has told us how much you care for his pokemon and
   those in your Volunteer Pokemon Center, I had hoped that you would be able to
   care for mine while I cannot."
   "I shall be only to glad to oblige, young lady." Fuji smiles brightly.
   "But I am curious; why do you wish to store all of your pokemon?"
   "Oh, I'm not sending them all." Lizzie shakes her head. "Only my Clefairy
   and Jigglypuff. The rest will stay with me."
   "Ah, I see." Mr. Fuji nods. "And you wish to free up space so you can
   capture more pokemon in the wild."
   "Yes, exactly." Lizzie giggles. "Thank you so much, Mr. Fuji. I am in
   your debt."
   "Think nothing of it, child." The old man laughs. "Indeed, it is I who
   should thank you. You and the boy Rex have been a grand influence on my young
   Jeff. I hope some of it rubs off on him."
   "UNCLE!" Jeff yells, exhasperated, as he picks himself up from the hard
   floor.
   "Thank you again, Mr. Fuji." Lizzie nods. "Goodbye."
   "Goodbye, child. Goodbye, Nephew." Fuji waves his hand. Just before the
   transmission breaks, he calls, "Give my regards to Katrina, Jeff!"

   "It feels good to be back on the road." Rex says to his companions as
   they walk along the dirt path out of Fuschia. Eevee runs around his legs,
   squealing. Chansey folds its hands across its pouch as it totters along. Jeff
   scans the trees for Bug Pokemon with his field binoculars. Lizzie gasps and
   pants, struggling up the hill.
   "Hmph. Easy for you to say!" Lizzie groans. "You don't have to walk up a
   steep hill wearing platform shoes!"
   "I can't believe you wore those!" Rex scoffs. "Didn't you know we'd be
   hiking? That's why I wore boots."
   "Well, excu-u-use me, Mr. Outdoors!" Lizzie narrows her eyes. "Egad. Your
   ego is so big that it's sucking all the oxygen away! I can't breathe!"
   "Just a minute, Lizzie!" Rex glares. "I'm not the one that carries a full
   vanity pack around with her all the time!"
   "WHAT??" Lizzie demands, indignant.
   "That Chansey's pouch is loaded with hairspray and makeup!" Rex points to
   the pinkish, egg-shaped pokemon. "I don't know how it can walk with all of
   that stuff!"
   "Oh yeah? Who's the one that got shot down by the waitress at McBurgers?"
   Lizzie snaps back. "Ouch! That's gotta hurt!"
   "Why I oughta-"
   "You wanna piece of me?"
   "Are you talking to me?"
   "What if I am?"
   "That's it! I-"

   "HEY!!!" A loud cry pierces their argument. All three humans and both
   pokemon look up. Running towards them along the path is a young girl with
   long, black hair...
   "Katrina!" Jeff exclaims. "What are you doing here?"
   The 16-year-old girl stops just in front of them. Surprisingly, she is
   not at all out of breath. She isn't even perspiring.
   "Rex Stone, I issue a challenge to you from the Fuschia City Gym." She
   states matter-of-factly.
   "Huh? Really? Sure!" Rex leaps at the chance to win his Soul Badge.
   "Very well." Katrina nods. "Our last match was postponed, do to Team
   Rocket activity. Now, we shall have an all-out match with no time limit and
   two pokeballs each. Once recalled, a pokemon cannot return to action. Do you
   accept these terms?"
   "Yes. I will be glad to finish our match." Rex grins, cockily. "Two
   pokeballs? I'll only need one, thanks."
   "Good grief..." Lizzie rolls her eyes and nudges Jeff.
   "Do whatever you want." Katrina replies, unflinching. "Prepare for
   battle. Pokeball, go!"
   In one fluid motion, she thows her pokeball into the dirt before Rex. It
   snaps open, releasing a brilliant flash of light that materializes into...
   "Poliwrath!" Growls the blue, muscular pokemon with bubble eyes and a
   giant swirl on its stomach.
   "In that case, I choose Eevee!" Rex thrusts his finger forward. "Eevee,
   go!"
   For a moment, there is stunned silence. Then, almost simultaneously,
   Jeff, Lizzie, and Katrina burst into laughter. Poliwrath doubles over.
   Chansey claps its hands together repeatedly. Rex blushes.
   "What?" He asks angrily. "My Eevee is stronger than any lame Poliwrath!"
   "..Forgive me!" Katrina manages to get out, wiping tears of mirth from
   her eyes. "I... do not mean to offend... (giggle!)"
   "Let's just get on with it!" Rex snaps. "Eevee, Take Down!"
   The tiny, brown pokemon charges the blue toad at lightning speed.
   Suddenly, the swirl on Poliwrath's stomach begins to twirl around and around.
   Eevee stops dead in its tracks, entranced by the hypnotic whirling.
   "Eevee! What are you doing?" Rex cries as his pokemon curls up and falls
   asleep. "Get up! Come on, fight!"
   "Your pokemon is sleeping." Katrina lets a small smile escape her. "Do
   you wish to try another pokemon?"
   "I sure do!" Rex grits his teeth, pulling his Eevee out of the ring by
   its tail. He enlarges another pokeball and tosses it forward. It snaps open,
   revealing a red, furry pokemon with a long, orange tail.
   "Flareon!" It roars. Katrina blinks, stupefied.
   "...You challenge my water pokemon with your fire?" She asks, confused.
   "Very well. Poliwrath! Bubblebeam!"
   Before Rex can blink, a shower of bubbles blasts his pokemon, knocking it
   against a tree.
   "FLAAAA - ReeeeeeOOON!" It shrieks in agony.
   "Flareon, no!!!" Rex shouts. He clenches his fists, turning away from the
   terrible site.
   "Rex, recall Flareon!" Lizzie calls from the sidelines. "It's no match
   for that thing! This is a mismatch!"
   Meanwhile, Poliwrath continues to spray the helpless fire pokemon with a
   steady stream of water.
   "Flareon... I don't want to lose..." Rex groans, trying to block out the
   squeals of pain from his loyal pokemon. "I... I can't... but... I- I have
   to..." He turns, and looks Katrina straight in the eyes. "I forfeit the
   match. Nothing is worth putting my pokemon through this." Katrina nods, and
   recalls Poliwrath.
   "It is a wise trainer who knows when to quit." She consoles him. "You
   have honor, Rex Stone."
   "I can't believe it!" Lizzie groans, covering her eyes with her hand.
   Jeff sighs and slumps his shoulders.
   "...Thank you, I appreciate it." Rex smiles weakly. "But hey, what kind
   of host am I? We can battle again later, right now you're our guest!"
   "Yes, do stay for lunch." Lizzie smiles, elbowing Rex. "We were just
   stopping, weren't we?"
   "OOOF! y-e-s..." Rex gasps.
   "I would be honored." Katrina consents eagerly.
   "Great!" Jeff rubs his hands together. "I'll unpack the food!"
   While our heroes sit down to an impromptu picnic, another story is
   unfolding halfway around the world...

   The sun shines brightly in the midday sky over the Seafoam Islands.
   Jutting out of the azure sea, these tropical islands are famous for their
   rainforests, volcanoes, luxurious hotels, and mile after mile of beaches. On
   one of the more upscale areas of the oceanfront, two tourists in particular
   are enjoying themselves.
   A tall, strikingly handsome man in his early twenties rides the surf atop
   the crest of a wave. He wears only a pair of red swim trunks. His hair is
   yellow, parted down the middle. The sun shines off of his bronze tanned skin
   and reflects in his cool, gray eyes.
   From the beach, he is watched by a gorgeous young woman of about the same
   age. She lies back on a folding beach chair, her elegant orange-blond hair
   delicately brushing the sand. She wears a pink two-piece swimsuit, which
   complements her perfectly flat stomach, and sandals, with her finely
   peticured nails glinting in the sun. After applying more sunscreen, she shuts
   her eyes and relaxes for the first time in months.
   Suddenly, the man riding the surfboard shouts out to her from atop the
   wave as it nears the coast.
   "TO PROTECT THE WORLD FROM DEVASTATION!!!" His voice thunders.
   "To unite all peoples within our nation!" The woman replies without
   glancing up.
   "TO DENOUNCE THE EVILS OF TRUTH AND LOVE!" He cries, assuming a flamboyant
   pose on his board.
   "To (yawn) extend our reach to the stars above."
   "ARTEMUS!" He announces, flexing his large muscles.
   "Felice!" She laughs, sitting up.
   "TEAM ROCKET, BLAST OFF AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT!" He shouts, leaping off the
   board just as it crashes down upon itself.
   "Surrender now, or prepare to fight!" Felice whips off her sunglasses and
   lifts them high into the air.
   "Hahahahahahaha!" Artemus lands gracefully on the shore.
   "That's right!" Felice leaps on top of her chair.
   "So, my dear," Artemus rubs his hands together, approaching her. "What
   sort of refreshments do we have available to ourselves?"
   "Well," Felice responds, opening the cooler beside her. "We have pure Mt.
   Moon springwater, a six-pack of Fuschia Fizz, and a two-liter bottle of
   Saffron Soda."
   "I believe I shall have a Fizz." Artemus decides, pulling a can out of
   the ice box and popping it open. He takes a long swig of it.
   "My diet only allows me to have pure springwater." Felice smiles coyly.
   Suddenly, her cell phone rings. "Oh, bother! Not another salesperson!"
   "Or... the Boss." Artemus says solemnly. Felice turns pale, despite her
   beautiful tan.
   "You.. you don't think he knows..." She stammers.
   "That we failed to capture the ninja master's daughter and her pokemon?"
   He asks dryly. "Oh, yes. I'm sure he knows."
   "And after that Palacio girl got away..." Felice touches her cheek
   thoughtfully. "Oh, my. We probably are not in favor with him right now."
   "Perhaps you shouldn't answer it." Artemus suggests, as it rings for the
   fifth time.
   "No. I'd better get it." She shakes her head, extending the antenna.
   "After all, no reason to make him madder than he already is."
   "Don't worry, Felice. I am right here with you." Artemus assures her.
   "Whatever happens, we'll face it together. Through the thick and thin!
   Amigos! Compadres! We shall be side by side until the bitter end! I regret
   that I have but one life to give for my... Whoa! Look at the size of that
   wave! Err... catch you later!"
   "ARTEMUS!" Felice calls after him as he dashes to the water, board in
   hand. "Oh, great. Thanks ever so much for the help." With a gulp, she clicks
   the 'talk' button. And gasps. "It... It's YOU!!!"

   Back in the park, Lizzie, Rex, Jeff, and Katrina happily eat on the top
   of the hill. Rex and Jeff sit together on the ground. The older boy eats
   fried chicken wrapped in aluminum. Jeff eagerly takes a hunk out of his fish
   sandwich. Lizzie and Katrina sit in folding chairs, both eating noodles.
   Chansey, using its Softboiled skill, prepares egg salad for the group. Eevee
   munches on the pokemon food in its dish. Through bites of food, the trainers
   make conversation.
   "So, Katrina." Jeff asks. "Why did you follow us up here."
   Katrina gasps, and nearly chokes on a noodle. She seems surprised by the
   question.
   "I, ahem, I merely wished to give Rex a second chance to win his Sould
   Badge." She explains. Jeff arches an eyebrow.
   "With your backpack? And sleeping bag?" He asks, perplexed. "That's a
   pretty heavy load for such a quick trip..."
   "Oh, well, I..." Katrina looks down at her bowl of noodles. After a
   second's deliberation, she responds. "... I can see there is no use in trying
   to deceive you any longer. My friends," She blushes. "-that is, if I can call
   you that freely."
   "Of course!" Jeff exclaims.
   "Certainly!" Lizzie laughs.
   "...Sure." Rex nods.
   "Chan-Sey!" Chansey claps its hands.
   "Vee!" Eevee squeals, hopping into her lap and licking her face.
   "Hahaha!" She laughs. "Well, I guess that makes it unanimous." Then she
   grows sober. "I have a request to make... I would truly be honored if you
   will consent to allow me to join you on your journey."
   The group stares at her in surprise, and then a resounding "YES!" runs
   through the camp.
   "You.. you really do not mind?" Katrina gasps, stunned. "I.. I promise
   not to be a burden..."
   "Katrina, don't you get it?" Lizzie laughs. "Of course, we'd be thrilled
   to have you with us!"
   "We were about to ask YOU to join us!" Rex grins.
   "I would benefit from being around such an experienced trainer." Jeff
   chimes in.
   "I'd finally have another girl to talk with about things!" Lizzie laughs.
   "I could challenge you for my Soul Badge any time I want!" Rex agrees.
   "I... I am flattered." Katrina smiles, wiping a tear off her cheek. "You
   all mean so much to me. You're... the best friends I have ever had... and
   I..." She laughs. "I am glad to be in the group!"
   "Yes!!!" Everyone cheers.
   "Say, let's let our pokemon out so they can all get acquainted!" Jeff
   suggests.
   "Yeah! Good idea!" The others agree. They all throw their pokeballs into
   the center of the field, releasing the entire entourage. Rex's, Jeff's, and
   Lizzie's pokemon all huddle around Katrina's three: Mankey, Poliwrath, and
   Machamp. They all laugh and hoot and cheer. Finally, they all pack up, recall
   their pokemon, and continue their journey. The trainer trio, now a quantet,
   marches happily toward the distant Port Town, and beyond that, Cinabarr
   Island.

   As our heroes disappear over the distant hills, a single figure watches
   them leave. Hovering in the trees, it remained unseen while the whole group
   had taken a break beneath it. Now, lifting above the canopy of branches, it
   watches as they fade from site. Slowly, the sun sinks over the horizon. When
   the last rays of light are gone, the creature launches into the night sky and
   sails through the clouds. Miles above the ground, it keeps a watchful eye
   over its young charge. She, completely unaware of her protector's identity,
   or even its exitstance, walks with her friends along the road. After some
   time, they all stop, and camp out in an open field. The watcher swoops down
   low over the grass, only after it is certain they are all asleep. Quietly,
   slowly, and enters the campsite. It hovers right above the young girl with
   strawberry-blond hair as she lies sleeping in her sleeping bag.
   "mewww..." It purrs softly. The girl stirs. In a twinkling, the glowing
   white creature disappears in a flash of light.

   Lizzie sits up abruptly. She looks around the campsite, at the smoldering
   fire, at Chansey snoozing next to her, at all of her friends. She giggles
   when she sees Rex hugging his Eevee like a teddy bear. They are all asleep.
   In fact, nothing about the camp is different at all. Except, she has a tiny
   feeling deep inside her. It is almost as if a warm and familiar presence has
   been in the vicinity, but has left of a sudden. Yet, no matter how hard she
   tries, she can not place the feeling on a particular person. It is
   comforting, close... But now she can't feel it. Reluctantly, she lies back
   down, shuts her eyes, and falls to sleep.

   On a distant hill, the mysterious protector watches the young woman go
   back to sleep with a sense of joy and relief in its heart. She was safe...
   sound. She was untouched by the evils that infected the world, the cruelty
   and hate that had... Well, best not to think of that. What was done was done,
   and cannot be undone. Right now, the top concern was protecting her. She was
   all that was important now, even if it meant coming out of hiding after all
   of these years...

   Next Episode!
   Special Edition: "The Song of the Siren"
   - As Rex, Jeff, Lizzie, and Katrina journey across an Ocean to Cinabarr
   Island, a lone spectre with a tragic past calls out for a new friend, a
   friend it means to keep no matter what! Because of the terrible plot, Rex
   gets amnesia, and Jeff disappears. Can the girls, working alone, find out
   what has happened and rescue Jeff from-
   "The Song of the Siren"
   ????
   Tune in next time and find out.