My friends and I were sitting together next to a river as we had lunch. The area was really great; the weather was perfect, and the view was amazing. And Brock's sandwiches were perfect.
"Man, this place is amazing," I said. "I sure am glad we decided to stop here."
"Chiko!" Babe said in agreement.
"Yeah," said Brock. "We sure are lucky we found this place. Walking all day can really make you work up an appetite!"
"Well, my appetite doesn't need to be worked up!" said Ash as he grabbed another sandwich and tried to gulp it down.
He then nearly choked on it.
I swear, Ash is great, but he can be an idiot sometimes. Not to mention a glutton.
Anyway, the rest of us tried to help him, and finally Pikachu let off a huge lightning bolt, which nearly shocked us all. Fortunately, this finally got Ash to swallow the bit of sandwich in his throat.
"Sorry," said Ash. "I got a little choked up."
"Gee, you think?" I said.
"Chiko chi," said Babe.
We then heard something chiming in the wind. We looked up and saw a Mareep with a bell and a pink ribbon around its neck.
"What's that?" said Misty.
"Oh my gosh!" I exclaimed. "It's a Mareep!"
"Mareep?" said Ash as he checked his pokedex. I didn't listen much to it, though, because I was just excited about seeing one in the flesh.
"Mareep are the best!" I said excitedly. "They're electric types, just like Electabuzz! And they're yellow and black, just like Electabuzz! And they're adorable too! They're just perfect!"
"Oh yeah," said Ash. "You love yellow and black Pokemon, don't you?"
"Reep!" Mareep cried, catching our attention. We looked up, and were shocked to see it charging at us.
"It's coming right at us!" said Misty.
"Cool!" I said. "I wanna see it up close!"
"But we're gonna get trampled!" said Ash.
Fortunately, the Mareep didn't trample us. It did, however, glomp Pikachu.
"Pikachu!" said Ash.
Pikachu struggled as Mareep snuggled against him. He even tried to shake it off with a Thunderbolt, but that only caused Mareep's fur to become a whole lot fluffier.
"Did it… get bigger?" said Ash.
"Mareep can use electricity to puff its fleece up," I explained. "I think Mareep must have been attracted by Pikachu's Thunderbolt.
"I… guess that makes sense," said Misty. "You must know a lot about Mareep, huh Casey?"
"Sure!" I said. "I always wanted one!"
It was then that the ground started shaking. We looked away and were shocked to see a whole flock of Mareep rushing towards us!
"Aaaaagh!" we yelled as we were overrun by the flock. They all surrounded Pikachu, who tried desperately to get them off, to no avail.
"No!" said Ash as he tried to pull them away. "Get away from Pikachu!"
"Pikachuuuu!" Pikachu cried as he tried to electrocute them, only to make them all fluff up instead.
"How are we going to get Pikachu out of there?" said Misty.
"Stop!" a voice called out. "Leave that Pikachu alone!"
Surprised, we looked away to see a young girl rushing towards the Mareep. She tried to get the flock to back away from Pikachu, but she didn't seem to have any more luck than us. The only one who seemed to listen to her was the one Mareep with the bow.
"I said stop!" the girl said, only to be knocked back.
"Are you okay?" I said as she fell next to us.
"Ugh!" she said. "Why won't they listen?!"
"What's going on here?!"
We all looked up, surprised by the commanding voice. We were met by the sight of an older woman and her Raichu.
"Mother?" the girl said.
"Raichu," the woman said, "use Thunderbolt."
Raichu unleashed a huge blast of electricity, which immediately caused the Mareep flock to spread out. We watched in awe as they frolicked around in the electric field, happily absorbing the energy.
"That's amazing," said Misty.
"It's almost like they're taking an electric shower," said Brock.
As Pikachu was released from the Mareep, he quickly jumped back up to Ash, who eagerly hugged him. We then watched as the woman effortlessly commanded the Mareep, making each and every one of them make their way back to where they came from.
Well, almost every one of them.
"Reep!" said a voice. I looked downwards and saw that one Mareep had stayed behind, and was now looking up at me.
"Oh," I said. "Hey there! Aren't you a cutie!"
I bent down and petted the Mareep on the head. It cried out happily as I scratched it. It was so soft and fluffy!
"Maaa!" it said happily.
"Aw," I said as a smile grew on my face. "You're adorable! I bet people must love you!"
I looked up to see the woman looking at me.
"I can take care of that Mareep now."
"Oh," I said, somewhat disappointed. "Okay. Go back home, Mareep."
Mareep looked sad, but obediently rushed off to join the rest of the flock.
"Raichu, make sure they get back safely."
Raichu nodded and walked off with the flock. Satisfied, the woman turned towards her daughter.
"Mary?" she said in a stern voice.
"Yes mom?" the girl asked timidly.
"You'd better get back home too."
Yeah, those two have some issues.
"I'm sorry about all this," the woman, who had introduced herself as Ellen, said as we sat together at her house. "Our Mareep love electricity so much, they couldn't resist your pikachu."
"It's okay," said Ash. "Pikachu's doing just fine!"
"Oh, she's so beautiful," said Brock. "Why couldn't she be 10 years younger?"
I rolled my eyes as I whacked him with my bat.
"I just took my eyes off the Mareep for one second, and they got away from me," said Mary. "Sorry you got shocked, Ash."
"It's fine, said Misty. "Ash gets shocked all the time by Pikachu. At this point he practically runs on electricity!"
"Yeah," said Ash, "I guess you could say that."
"Something tells me you were daydreaming about Pokemon battles," Ellen said as she looked at her daughter. "Is that true?"
"Yes," Mary said sheepishly. Or is it Mareep-ishly? I dunno.
"I've told you before that you need to focus on tending to Mareep," Ellen said in an angry tone.
"But mom! The festival starts next week!"
"A festival?" I asked.
"Oh yes," said Ellen. "It's a very big event, with rides, shows, and competitions."
"Yes," said Ellen. The Mareep in this valley have always been very important to us. Their wool is unlike anything else in the world, and it's basically the lifeblood of our community. So every year we hold a festival to honor them. It's very important to us, and it's also a lot of fun, because we have events like Mareep beauty pageants and battles.
"Battles?" said Ash. "I wanna take part!"
"I'm sorry," said Ellen. "Only the people who live in the valley can enter."
Ash groaned as he fell over, and I couldn't help but chuckle.
"Better luck next time, Ash," I said.
Ash's talk about battling got Mary excited once again, though. Turns out that she really wanted to take part in the Mareep tournament.
"Mommy, can I enter the Mareep Festival tournament and battle like Ash?"
Unfortunately for Mary, her mom wasn't having any of that.
"You may not!"
"I told you, you're too young!"
"No I'm not!"
As the two argued, I could feel a drop of sweat rolling down my forehead. It was pretty clear that Ellen and Mary didn't quite see eye to eye.
"Those two really don't get along all that much," said Brock.
"Yeah," said Casey. "And I really feel bad for Mary. I mean, I'd love to be able to take a Mareep of my own to a tournament like that."
"True," said Brock. "Still, they do have a lot to get ready for that festival anyway, so it's not like Mary would have time to practice anyway. And she wouldn't have anyone to teach her either."
My eyes widened as I heard this. I then looked at Brock, and realized that we were both having the exact same thought.
"Excuse me, ladies," Brock said suddenly. "If I may, my friends and I would like to humbly offer our assistance!"
"We would be honored to help prepare you and the Mareep for the festival!" I added.
"What are you two talking about?!" said Ash.
"And since when are you humble?!" Misty said to Brock.
"Well, thank you," said Ellen. "We could certainly use all the help we can get."
Well, it looks like we'll be here for a while.
Well, it's hard work working with these Mareep. Between keeping them from rushing off, feeding them, grooming them, and making sure they have enough electricity, I'm kind of amazed that Mary and Ellen can do all of this.
On the plus side, I have a new buddy now. That one Mareep who had stayed behind when Ellen rounded them up seems to like me, and she keeps coming up to me all the time. Fortunately, Ellen is okay with her hanging out with me, so we get to spend a lot of time together while we're working.
Anyway, Babe and I were walking with our new Mareep buddy, who I've started to refer to as Jackie to distinguish her from the rest of the flock, when we saw Mary commanding the Mareep with the bow to use Thundershock on a post. To my amazement, the post was charred by the power of the move.
"Wow," I said, catching her attention, "that was a pretty strong attack. Did you teach him how to do that?"
"Kind of," Mary replied. "We've been practicing together."
"Neat," I said. "You know, this one likes to hang out with me. I've been calling her Jackie."
"Mareep!" Jackie said happily.
"I like that name," said Mary as she bent down to pet Jackie. "My Mareep is called Fluffy."
"Fluffy, huh?" I said. "Well, it fits!"
"I know," said Mary. "I've been raising Fluffy ever since he was a baby, and we've been training together for a long time!"
"Well," I said as I bent down to pet Fluffy, "I think all your training is paying off!"
"Do you really think so?" asked Mary."
"Sure," I said. "Fluffy really does look strong!"
"Well… do you think we could have a battle?"
"A battle?" I repeated. "Why?"
"Well," said Mary, "Fluffy and I have never been in a real Pokemon battle, and we want to know how well we can do. Please?"
I looked down at Babe, who seemed surprised as well, though he also looked eager.
"Sure," I said. "It'll be fun!"
"Really?" said Mary. "Thank you so much!"
With that, we both made our way to a more open area, where we could battle without causing too much damage. Jackie stayed on the sidelines, watching with interest, while Mary and I got ready for battle.
"So, are you ready?" I asked her.
"I'm ready whenever Fluffy is!"
"Alright! Babe, step up to the plate!"
"Let's go, Fluffy!"
Babe and Fluffy rushed forwards, slamming into each other before jumping backwards.
"Show them your Vine Whip!" I said. Babe yelled and whipped out his vines to strike Fluffy. The little Mareep cried out, but didn't seem ready to give up just yet.
"Fluffy!" said Mary. "Use Tackle!"
Fluffy rushed forwards and slammed into Babe, knocking him back.
"Now use Growl!"
"Maaaa!" Mareep growled, causing Babe to groan in pain.
"Babe!" I called out. "Don't give up! Try and use Razor Leaf!"
"Chi…ko!" Babe cried out as he sent a number of sharpened leaves at his opponent.
"Fluffy!" Mary called out. "Take those leaves out with Thundershock!"
"Mareep!" Fluffy yelled as he unleashed his electric attack, charring the leaves before they could make contact. As the attack destroyed more and more leaves, I quickly made a decision.
"Babe! Stop your attack and dodge!"
"Chikorita!" Babe said as he jumped out of the way, just barely avoiding the electric blast.
"Keep it up, Fluffy!"
Fluffy kept firing bolts of electricity at Babe, who was doing his best to dodge. Fortunately, while Fluffy was pretty good at attacking, his aim still needed work.
"We're going to win this!" Mary declared. "Use Thundershock again! Full power!"
Fluffy let loose a huge blast of electricity, one that Babe was barely able to avoid. However, as soon as it was finished, Fluffy collapsed.
"Oh no!" I said.
"Fluffy!" cried Mary. She rushed over to her partner, trying to get it back up.
"Reep," Fluffy said weakly.
"Fluffy!" Marry said desperately. "What happened?!"
"I think he used up all his electricity," I said. "So I don't think he'll be able to battle any more."
"Not for a while," I confirmed. "But don't worry, once you let home get some rest, he'll be just fine."
"Oh, okay," said Mary. "That's good."
"I don't understand, though," she said as she looked at me. "Why did you have your Chikorita stop attacking?"
"Oh, that?" I said. "Well, Babe has been working pretty hard all day. You know, Mareep can be kind of hard to work with all day, even if it's kind of fun. So I didn't want Babe to get too tired and end up feeling burnt out."
"Oh," said Mary. "I never thought about that. I just thought about winning. Fluffy was doing so well that I thought that if I just kept up attacking, I would win. I never thought… that Fluffy might not be able to handle it."
Babe and I watched her as struggled not to tear up.
"I'm so sorry, Fluffy," she said as she hugged him. "I just… I wanted to be tough, like a real trainer should be."
"You know," I said, catching her attention, "I haven't been a trainer for that long, and I've made a lot of mistakes when trying to reach the big leagues. But I've learned a lot of things too, and a lot of those things I wouldn't have learned without my mistakes. You know what I think is the most important thing I've learned?"
"What is it?"
"That Pokemon are only as good as their trainers," I explained. "They battle because they believe in their trainers, and because they want to win for them. And so we need to do what's best for them when we battle, otherwise they won't be able to succeed."
"Wow," said Mary. "You know a lot about Pokemon, Casey!"
"Eh, there's a lot I still don't know," I admitted. "But that's okay, because I know I'll learn more as I travel around and battle other trainers. And I'll bet you'll become a lot smarter as you battle more and more trainers!"
I then got back up and shook myself.
"Anyway, I think I'll be leaving now. I'm gonna wash up and get ready for dinner."
"Okay," said Mary. "See you later."
I smile and walk away, with Babe and Jackie following me closely.
That night there was a thunderstorm in the valley. We helped Ellen lead the flock out so they could absorb some of the electricity.
"An electric storm like this is a great opportunity to get the Mareep in top condition," she explained. "We can have them take in a lot of electricity to charge them up. It's going to be a big help for the festival."
"The Mareep are going to be super fluffy after this," said Ash.
We took them to a tall cliff, where we were particularly close to the thunder clouds. Raichu and Ellen led the Mareep up to the top, then quickly backed away.
"It's an amazing sight," said Ellen, "but it can be extremely dangerous, so stand back!"
Then, a huge bolt of lightning struck the flock. We had to cover our eyes as the bolt struck down. However, the light quickly died down as the Mareep absorbed the electricity.
"Whoa!" I said. "They're getting so fluffy!"
As the lightning struck again and again, the flock got fluffier and fluffier. Soon, the clouds parted, leaving behind a flock of perfectly fluffed Mareep.
And then they were suddenly caught by a huge net.
Yeah, I guess it was too much to hope that Team Rocket wouldn't get involved somehow.
"Team Rocket!" we all yelled in unison.
"Isn't it way past your bedtime, twerps?" said Jessie.
"No," said Ash, "but it's too late for you! Pikachu, Thunderbolt!"
Unfortunately, before Pikachu could attack, he was caught by Team Rocket too!
"We got you!" they said as they tossed him into a cage.
"Pikachu!" Ash yelled.
Of course, I wasn't just gonna sit and watch.
"Babe, use Razor Leaf!"
"And you use Thunderbolt, Raichu!" said Ellen
The two attacks headed straight for the Meowth balloon. Unfortunately for us, it seemed that they had not only reinforced their balloon against Babe's attacks, but also set it up to absorb electric type attacks. Unfortunately for them, on the other hand, Raichu had a lot more power than they had anticipated. Soon, the electric panel they had installed blew up and the balloon came crashing back down to earth.
The Mareep quickly rushed away, and Pikachu's cage landed on top of Mareep's fluffy body. We rushed towards them, while Ellen tended to the now exhausted Raichu.
"Fluffy!" Mary cried as she rushed towards her Mareep.
"Pikachu!" said Ash.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket wasn't ready to give up quite yet.
"If you want a battle, that's fine!" said Jessie. "Arbok, attack!"
"Get them, Weezing!"
As the two Rocket Pokemon came out, Ellen was ready to command the Mareep.
"Alright, Mareep, use Growl!"
The entire flock cried out, causing the two poison types to stop in their tracks.
"Now use Thundershock!"
The Mareep let loose their electricity, sending it straight towards Team Rocket. Unfortunately, they still had a leftover electric panel, and they were able to use it to block out the attack.
"We're gonna need way more power!" said Misty
"Yeah!" said Brock. "We need to get Pikachu out!"
Ash and Babe were still struggling to get Pikachu out of the cage, and the Mareep didn't have quite enough power to get to Team Rocket. I had no idea what we were supposed to do. But then, two Mareep jumped forwards. And I knew exactly who they were.
"Jackie!" I said.
"Fluffy!" said Mary.
The two cried out to us, as if trying to tell us that they knew what to do. A smile came into my face as I looked over to Mary.
"Hey Mary?" I said. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"I think so!" she said before turning towards her mother. "Mommy! Make the other Mareep aim for Fluffy and Jackie!"
"Mary has an idea!" I yelled. "Trust her!"
"Well, it's worth a try," said Ellen. "Alright everybody, you heard what Mary said!"
The rest of the flock concentrated on the two at the front, causing their coats to become fluffier than ever.
"Okay, Jackie, let's stop up to the plate! Use Thundershock!"
"You too, fluffy!"
Both our Mareep let loose their attacks, overwhelming Team Rocket's electric panel and shocking them. They screamed as the full force of a whole flock's worth of Mareep power hit them.
And then Pikachu finally got free.
"Pikachu! You charge them up too!"
Pikachu was all too happy to blast a full power Thunderbolt into Jackie and Fluffy, supercharging them and causing their attacks to grow huge. Needless to say, Team Rocket was sent blasting off.
"Yeah!" I said as I hugged Jackie. "You did it, Jackie!"
"You were great, Fluffy!" said Mary.
Man, I'm so glad that I got to spend time with Jackie. She may not be ready for the big leagues just yet, but I know she's going to be a heavy hitter one day.
It's a shame that she's not mine.
The next day, Ellen had a surprise for Mary.
"A Pokeball?" Mary said in surprise.
"Yes," said Ellen. "I think it's time you had it. Grandma gave it to me when I was a girl, and I think you could use it in the festival battle."
"You… you mean it?!" Mary said excitedly
"That's amazing!" said Misty. "You're actually going to get your wish!"
"Yeah," I said. "And we'll be rooting for you!"
"Thanks, Casey!" said Mary. "And thank you, mommy!"
"Oh, you'll do great," said Ellen. "Of course, you're lucky that Casey won't be competing. I'm sure that her Mareep could give yours a run for his money!"
"My Mareep?" I said, a smile spreading over my face. "You mean-"
"Well, you've formed a very strong bond with that one," said Ellen. "It would be cruel to separate the two of you now. And besides, you're going to enter the Johto League, aren't you? I know you'll make her into a great battler."
A smile spread over my face as I looked down at Jackie.
"Did you hear that, Jackie? We can travel together!"
"Reeep!" Jackie said as she jumped into my arms. We were both so excited. I had a brand new team member! And she was a yellow and black electric type, just like Electabuzz!
"Yay!" said Mary. "We're both Mareep trainers now!"
"Yeah we are!" I said. "Of course, I can't take part in the festival, so you'd better do your best for both of us!"
"You bet I will!"
I looked back at my friends, who were all excited for me.
"Congrats," said Ash. "You got an awesome new Pokemon!"
"Yeah," said Misty. "And it's one you always wanted!"
"You two will do great!" said Brock.
"Thanks, guys," I said. "I'll do my best to help Mareep become a major leaguer one day!"
I looked down at my newest team member and grinned. She may not look like much now, but I knew she would be great one day.
And Mary's going to do great too. I know she will.
A/N: And here's another chapter! And Casey adds a new member to her team!
I always knew that Casey was going to get a Mareep. I mean, it's a yellow and black electric type, just like Electabuzz. How can she not love it? And this particular episode was the perfect opportunity to do so.
Also, since Casey was the most interested in Mareep, it only makes sense that she's the one who ends up giving Mary the confidence to be a trainer instead of Ash.
I hope you enjoyed! See you soon!