Pokemon: Rise of The Shield

Before we get started, I just want to say that this was originally meant to be much longer, but due to work, I haven't had as much time to write as I would've liked, so I have no choice but to break this up into two parts.

Also, this story has now passed 200 followers and favorites. That is awesome! It's also been over a year since I began this story. Here's hoping that by this time next year, this story will have 400 followers and favorites. Thanks to all that either faved, followed or simply left a review at any time.

Oh and yes, I heard Ash recently caught a Noibat. At least he'll get another dragon type. Now let's get to the story.

I don't own Pokemon or any of it's characters besides my own.

Chapter 8: Interviews, Dates & Confrontations Part 1

As Ash and Brendan left the stadium, Ash's plan was to go to the local diner, get something to eat for he, Pikachu and Meowth and wait for Serena there. The two had decided the previous night to spend the rest of the day together as they really hadn't had the time recently to go out on a date. It was going to be a perfect day...but then Ash and Brendan encountered the one thing every famous person hates: A mob of fans! The two fought thousands of people who were trying to get their autographs, some of the girls there trying to give them their numbers and in Brendan's case, he happily accepted them since he was single. But in Ash's case, his fan girls were trying to kiss him. While some would only dream of this scenario, Ash would say if you actually lived it, it would get old really quickly, cause it only took about 15 seconds for it to get old. Ash managed to grab a Pokeball and out came his Houndoom. Houndoom, seeing his master's problem, launched a Smokescreen attack. Ash used his aura to grab Brendan's wrist and flee the mob and get as far away as he could before the Smokescreen cleared and when it did, leaving the fans confused, Ash and Brendan were long gone.

The two were now at a local diner grabbing some lunch. The diner was empty since everyone else were at the surrounding stadiums watching all the battles. Ash was thankful for that since he wanted a little peace and quite after the mob attack. Ash and Brendan took a seat on some of the stools facing the kitchen with Pikachu and Meowth each seating on stool as well next to Ash. Brendan ordered a chicken sandwich with a side of onion rings and a coke while Ash ordered a triple bacon cheeseburger with two separate orders of fries, a milkshake and a soda. He also asked for a bottle of ketchup for Pikachu and a glass of milk for Meowth. Ash also asked if the waitress would mind turning on the TV and putting on the Pokemon Battling and Sports Network, or PBSN, which she did so and turned up the volume so the boys could hear it. Afterwards, she went into the kitchen to put the order in.

"OK, there's no way you can possibly eat that much food on your own!" Brendan said.

"Just you wait and see, my friend." he responded. He turned his attention to the TV where they were showing highlights of his and Brendan's battle. It then switched to show a adult woman with brunette hair talking.

"So there you have it; Ash Ketchum and Brendan Birch win their 1st round match in dominating fashion. Joining me now are battling analysts Peter Davis and Jason Fields. Peter, I'll start with you; we've haven't seen Ash Ketchum on the battling circuit in 5 years and most of us thought he would show some rust here, but that didn't happen. Does this victory here make him an early favorite to win the Kanto Championship Open now?" the broadcaster asked.

"I think the 2nd round will give us a better sign if he had any rust at all cause you have to remember that this was a tag battle and he had assistance in winning this match. I'm not saying Ash isn't a good battler, cause if you look at his track record, he tends to make it deep in tournaments like this, but I just believe that when you've been away from the battling scene for as long as he has, you're bound to show rust."

"Interesting. Jason, your thoughts?"

"Well, he might have had help in beating Casey's Electivire, but don't forget that he took down Giselle's Marowak with an electric type and made it seem like it was nothing. Plus, I think that Peter is really underplaying how much training Ash had to have done in the years since his last appearance in a Pokemon League; I mean, the guy didn't just sit on his ass all day and give up on becoming a region champion."

'Though that didn't stop people from telling me to give up.' Ash thought to himself as the waitress arrived with his and Brendan's orders. Ash quickly dived in with Pikachu slurping on a bottle of ketchup and Meowth calmly drinking a glass of milk. Brendan just looked at him with his mouth open. If you'd blink, then all of the food would suddenly be gone. Ash managed to eat all the food in about 2 minutes.

"BURRRRP!" Ash belched out with a full and happy stomach.

"How in the fuck are not sick right now?" Brendan asked.

"I have a large appetite." Ash answered. He then looked to his left and took the ketchup bottle from Pikachu.

'Hey!' Pikachu complained.

"Sorry buddy, but I don't want you getting fat. Remember how long it took us for you to lose that weight the 1st time?"

'...Fine.' The electric type said, not happy about having his favorite food being taken from him.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, breaking news. It's now been confirmed that Ash Ketchum's teammates in The Shield; Mike Shamrock, Paul Slaid, Serena Gabena, Dawn Berlitz and Ritchie Hiroshi have all won their 1st round matchups and the top of the next hour, we are going to be having a live press conference with those six individuals. We're going to break now, but when we come back, we're going to discuss the success Co-ordinators are having in this 1st round." the woman said as they started airing commericals.

Ash was about to ask aloud when press conference had been booked, but he heard the door to the diner open and quickly felt arms wrap around his chest and moist lips placed on his cheek. He didn't need to aura to learn who it was.

"Hey there, you oh-so handsome man." Serena said.

"I'm sorry miss, but I'm waiting for my very beautiful girlfriend. You'll have to find another person to flirt with." Ash joked. Serena released her hold on him and playfully hit his shoulder.

"Keep that up and you're bound to end up sleeping on the couch tonight." she warned.

"Yes, sweetie." Ash quickly said. Serena smiled triumphantly. She turned to Brendan

"Hey Brendan. Congrats to you and Ash for that win."

"Thanks, though I'm not the one the media is focusing their attention on." he said as he took a sip of his drink. Both Ash and Serena could tell that he was a little jealous at the attention the two were getting.

"Speaking of the media, what's this press conference I heard about?" he asked his girlfriend.

"Yeah, I just heard about it too. I guess Goodshow really wants to milk your return for all it's worth."

"Probably. I just hope we don't have to do this every round." Ash said. He figured that he and Serena would have to leave now, but didn't really want to leave Brendan alone. An idea suddenly entered his mind, so he used his aura to contact a certain someone to come over here and Ash hoped that person wasn't too far away.

"Brendan, Serena and I should probably get going to make that conference. I'll catch up with you later, OK?" Ash asked.

"Yeah, don't worry about me, man. You two go and have fun." he said.

Ash and Serena turned to leave with Pikachu and Meowth taking their places on Ash's shoulders and the four bidding Brendan farewell. Brendan continued to slowly eat his food when about a minute after Ash and Serena left, the door to the diner opened.

"What? You'd forget something?" Brendan asked, assuming it was Ash.

"Actually, I haven't been here." Brendan turned his head to see someone he wasn't expecting. It was Domino in a white skirt, light pink t-shirt and a black sleeveless jacket. Needless to say, she looked stunning.

"Uh...hey Domino. You look great." he said with a blush slowly forming on his face. "How'd you know I was here?"

"Oh, a little birdie told me." she answered. "And you look like you could use some company." she said as she sat down next to him. "So, what are you planning on doing for the rest of the day now?"

"I don't know. Probably just drop Swampert at the Pokemon Center, do some training for the next round and watch TV, listening to all these guys continue to praise Ash for winning our battle." Brendan answered, clearly annoyed at the lack of attention he was getting.

"Hmm...I bet I know how to cheer you up." she cryptically said.

"How?"

"How about you and I spend the day...hanging out..." she said, suddenly feeling very nervous, which was weird for the usually confident blonde. Brendan was silent for a moment.

"Wait, do you mean like a...like a date?" he asked.

Domino blushed madly; who the hell was this girl and where was the actual Domino? Guess that's what happens when you meet a guy you really like. "Yes." she managed to get out. Another moment of silence and Domino was worried that Brendan was going to say no. When she got the courage to look at him, he was smiling.

"Check, please!"

Meanwhile, the conference hall was quickly filling up with the media setting up cameras and microphones. Although this conference was mostly about the KCO, reporters from all across the six regions were here for this one. Ash and his friends managed to sneak a peek at the filling hall from behind the curtains.

"Well?" Dawn asked.

"I see a few familiar faces...and I see Alexa. That's all the faces I can recognize." Ash said.

"You know, if I was a few years older, I would totally date her." Ritchie said, causing the others to look at him. "What? I said IF I was a few years older. Besides, you can't say she's not hot."

"I'm still don't get how that strand of hair sticks out like that." Mike said, with some of the others nodding in agreement. A few moments later, Goodshow walked up to them.

"Are you all ready?" he asked.

"Yeah, but I hope this doesn't become a regular thing. Serena and I were going to spend the rest of the day together." Ash said.

"Same with me and Dawn." Paul said with Dawn nodding her head.

"And I have to prepare for my double date." Mike said.

"And I have to find someone to go out with!" Ritchie said, causing everyone to look at him. "Hey, I'm the only one of us that's single."

"Well, I promise my boy, that this will be the last press conference for you and your friends until we get to the point in the tournament where the battles will be full battles." Goodshow said.

"And when exactly is that?" Paul asked.

"You'll have to wait and find out." That answer made Paul growl in frustration. Goodshow walked onto the stage and received a round of applause, as you would expect.

"Thank you, thank you. Now then, ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce you to the six individuals that are not only responsible for the recent crime rate fall, but for the fall of Team Rocket: Ash Ketchum, Paul Slaid, Serena Gabena, Dawn Berlitz, Ritchie Hiroshi and Mike Shamrock; The Shield!"

Sierra Hotel Indio Echo Lima Delta...SHIELD!(Insert Shield Theme)

With the music playing, the six walked from behind the curtain to a standing ovation. The six took their seats at the table, each having a microphone in front of each of them. The seating arrangement, from left to right, was Ritchie, Serena, Ash, Mike, Paul and Dawn.

"Alright. Now then, why don't start with the young man in the middle of the front row?" Goodshow said, pointing to a young reporter.

"Parker Peterson, Saffron Bugle." He introduced. "My question is to Ash. Yesterday, you were seen arguing with Misty Waterflower, Brock Harrison, Gary Oak, Tracey Sketchit, May and Max Maple, Iris Yuki, Cilan Dent and a few others. I hope you don't mind me asking, but since you have been seen traveling with all of those during your time as a trainer, what is going on with you and them?"

"Well for one, I don't mind you asking and that goes to the rest of you; feel free to ask any question you want. Anyway, I don't want to go into detail because it's really persona...actually, I was going to be nice, but screw it, I'll tell you what happened. The day after I came home to Pallet after competing in the Kalos League, all the people you mentioned and a few others told me that I should just give up. That I was weak, a pathetic trainer and that I would never win a Pokemon League and never be a Pokemon Master and that's part of the reason why I haven't been active on the battle circuit for the last 5 years." Ash answered. The reporters weren't expecting that kind of answer and started murmuring amongst themselves. Of course, they weren't the only ones shocked by this revelation.

Location: Cerulean City, Kanto

"LIKE WHAT?!"

"SHE SAID WHAT?!

Violet and Lily had been screaming the last few minutes over what Ash has just revealed. Truth be told, they all liked the raven haired trainer and while Violet and Lily didn't really know much in the way of battling, all 3 of the Sensational Sisters thought that Ash could definitely be something big.

The 3rd sister, Daisy, stepped out of the gym's office to see her sisters still fuming.

"Alright girls, can you like, calm down for a moment?" she asked. Surprisingly, the two girls calmed down enough to hear what their eldest sister had to say. "I just got off the phones with the Maples and the Dents and neither of them knew about this."

"Does that surprise you? Misty said she keeping in touch with Ash for the last 5 years and she was lying right to our faces." Violet said.

"Like yeah, I bet you that those Maple brats and the green-haired wannabe butler said the same thing to their families as well." Lily said.

"Well, you'd win that bet." Daisy said.

"So are all the families coming to Indigo?" Violet asked.

"No. The Dents have to run their restaurant and Norman is training his old ref to be the new Petalburg gym leader."

"What about us?" Lily asked.

"You two are staying to keep the gym in good shape. I'm going to Indigo cause I think there's more to Misty's side than what Ash knows." she said as she left the room to pack a bag and leave for Indigo.

Location: Indigo Plateau

"Alright then, let's take another question." Goodshow said. Several hands went up before Goodshow selected one.

"Gabby Konozaki, Hoenn National Times. My question is to Dawn. What do you think about the level of not only quality, but also competitiveness that the co-ordinators are showing here so far?"

"Well, I think it's great. I mean, when my mom was a co-ordinator, there was a fine line between battler and co-ordinator, but in today's world, there is no line. I really think that you'd have to flip a coin as to which side will win." she answered.

"Now let's not get carried away here." Mike commented, earning a few laughs and a death glare from Dawn.

"Next up...you sir." Goodshow said, pointing to someone.

"Matt Harvey, Sinnoh Daily. My question is to Mike and this is more of a fan question, but are you ever going to dawn the cloak of the Sandman?" he asked.

The question sent Mike for a bit of a loop. He could never forget how he got that mysterious cloak in the 1st place. He was in Goldenrod City, resting at their Pokemon Center when Nurse Joy called for him and told him that a package had arrived for him. He took the package back into his room and opened it, revealing a brown cloak, 3 Pokeballs and a note. He picked it up and read it. It said 'Your parents gave these to me a few years before their deaths. They told me to give them to you when I felt you were ready for them. Use them well.' and that was it. There was no name or any kind of clue as to who could've sent it. Inside the Pokeballs were a Gengar, a Alakazam and surprisingly, a Delphox. Even at that point, Mike was known as a fighting type expert and only caught different Pokemon under certain circumstances, but looking at his new trio gave him some new ideas to shake up his style. And so The Sandman was born and with it, a new battling style. What completed the transformation was the cloak. While everyone knew it was him under there, not being able to see your opponent's face or even their eyes created this sense of fear and panic, making his opponent's make numerous mistakes and Mike took advantage of every one of them. Very rarely did someone manage to beat him under his new strategies, but it was like waiting to see a legendary; it doesn't happen so often. He eventually won the Lily of the Valley Conference about a year before he met Ash and his friends. He immediately challenged Sinnoh's Elite 4 and walked right through them. His strategies even got to Cynthia her self as at one point, he was up 5-3 in the match, but her Garchomp took out his last three Pokemon, giving her the win. After the match, Mike started to realize how much damage he had done to their Pokemon. Several Pokemon from the Elite 4 spent a few days in a center and Cynthia's Garchomp spent a good week in the center. After that day, Mike decided that he needed to stop wearing a cloak to protect the safety of other Pokemon and vowed never to wear the cloak again.

"Mr. Shamrock?" Mike came out of his thoughts to see everyone looking at him.

"Sorry. I was trying to come up with a good answer to your question and I guess the best answer I could give is never say never." he said.

The conference kept going on for about a ½ hour as questions continued to pour to the Chosen Six. Some good questions, some interesting and some that were nonsensical.

"OK, I think we'll take one final question. Uh...you with the Helioptile." Ash smiled, knowing who it was.

"Alexa Pansy, Lumiose City Press. Of course you guys already know me." she said, drawing a few laughs from the group. "Anyway, my question goes to all of you. Of all the people left in the KCO, who would you like to face the most?" she asked.

"Ritchie, why don't we start with you." Goodshow said.

"Well, I don't know if he'll say the same thing, but just because your last official battle ended the way that it did, I would want to face Ash." he said. The memories of that battles forced Ash to put his head into his hands and everyone laughed. That battle would never leave him, though it was more of a laughing with him type of deal as Ash could now laugh at himself for how embarrassing it was, but it was still very embarrassing. Serena put her hand on his back and tenderly rubbed it.

"Serena, you're turn." Goodshow said.

"Well...I guess I would like to go up against Flint. I want to test my fire types against his fire types and see who the fire type expert really is." she answered.

"Dawn."

"No doubt about it for me and I think every co-ordinator would give this same answer, Wallace." she quickly said.

"Paul."

"Pyramid King Brandon. I have a lot of history with him as my brother and I have never beaten him and I want to put that part of my life to rest before I take the Kanto Championship crown."

"Mike."

"I'll put it like this." he said, then motioned for everyone to come closer. He got as close as he could to his mic and whispered "Rematch of the Century." That got the media to applauded. Shamrock/Shirona II would be a huge match.

"And finally, Ash."

"You know, there are so many people I would love to go up against. Like Ritchie and Paul for example. Then there's also Cynthia and Lance. Um...someone I've always wanted to beat is Tobias and had you asked me this about a month ago, I would've answered with Tobias, but things changed. To answer your question and this is going to surprise everyone, I would most like to face off against May Maple." he answered. That surprised everyone, including his friends. "I'll tell you why. About a month ago, I heard about an interview she did for some magazine and the interviewer asked her about me and she said and I quote 'I never needed Ash Ketchum in my life and I certainly never needed to ever meet him to get to the level of success I've gotten.' Well, I have a response to that and make sure all the cameras are running cause I want to make sure she sees this."

Ash cleared his throat before he continued speaking. "May Maple, you selfish bitch, if it weren't for me, you would be the exact thing you called me 5 years ago: a failure. It was because of traveling with me that you found your calling. It was my battling style that you copied from watching me. It was me who trained you in the art of battling so you can excel at something. In fact, did any of you know that she only got her 1st Pokemon just so she could travel around Hoenn?" he asked the media. The amount of murmuring they were doing gave him his answer. "I didn't think so." he turned back towards the camera. "You were my 1st protégé, but for what you did to me and how you've acted this last 5 years makes absolutely disgusted to have ever mentored you. Dawn was a far better protégé and I didn't even need to help her anywhere as much as I did with you!" Ash took a deep breath before continuing. "Be honest with yourself, May. Without me, you would've run back home and you would've just ended up a sad, pathetic girl with a pet Torchic, listening to that runt you call a brother, call you a failure everyday he saw you... and you most certainly wouldn't have that bush-head you call a boyfriend with you." The entire room laughed at that. Ash waited for the room to end the laughter before finishing. "It's not opinion, it's fact May and when you realize that, you'll come to me begging for forgiveness. But I tell you what; if you want to prove me wrong, come find me. I'll be walking all around the Plateau for the rest of the day and I got my Pokemon with me." he said, tilting his head towards Pikachu and Meowth. "But I promise you this; if you want to challenge me, it'll will be the worst beating you will ever see.." he suddenly stood up and grabbed his mic with the others standing up as well, getting close to him "And you can BELIEVE THAT!" Ash stuck his fist out with the others following suit as their music played. As the media got up and applauded, Goodshow watched the scene with pride. Ash was normally someone who would let his battling do his talking, but now here he was, laying down a open challenge. Ash grew more and more confidence each and every day and Goodshow knew, without a shadow of a doubt in his mind, he was looking at the next Kanto Champion.

Meanwhile, in a hotel room belonging to a certain co-ordinating couple, they had just watched what Ash had said. One of them was furious, but that paled in comparison to his girlfriend, who looked like she had turned into the devil. She turned towards him.

"LET'S FIND THAT ASSHOLE!"

End of Chapter 8

Sorry that this one is barely coming out in the month when I said it would come out, but like I said, work-related things, plus my work on my newest story, Poke-Flash has slowed me down. BTW, if you haven't already, check out Poke-Flash. If you're a superhero fan, you will not be disappointed.

Next update will be late August, so until next time, this is nWore signing out.