Chapter 56: A Real Chatterbox

Ash and Nikki found themselves making good progress on this leg of their journey, though anyone with a keen eye could tell there was something on Nikki's mind. After mulling it over in her head a bit she finally decided to voice her concerns.

"Ash, do you realize how long it's been since I caught a Pokémon?" she spoke. Ash took a moment to think about her question before answering.

"If I'm right the last Pokémon you caught was Persian," he replied.

"Exactly, and that was quite a while back," Nikki said. "If I want to be a top coordinator then I'm going to need to increase the number of Pokémon I have,"

"Well if it's a new Pokémon you want then we'll help you find one," Ash offered.

"Thanks. With you helping me I know I'll find one in no time," Nikki said.

"Find one in no time."

"Yeah, that's what I said," Nikki stated.

"Huh? What are you talking about?" Ash asked.

"You just repeated what I said," Nikki explained.

"What I just said."

"Just like that," Nikki said.

"That wasn't me," Ash told her. "Did either of you say anything?"

"(I didn't say anything,)" Pikachu replied.

"(I didn't either,)" Buneary added.

"Then who did I hear speaking just now?" Nikki wondered.

"Speaking just now." This time everyone heard the mysterious voice. Immediately they began searching for the source of the voice.

"See anything?" Ash asked.

"No, not yet," Nikki answered.

"Not yet."

"(Over there!)" Buneary shouted, pointing ahead of them. A lone tree sat off to the side of the path they were currently walking on, and in the tree was a lone Pokémon.

"That looks like a Chatot," Ash said. Nikki took out her Pokécomm and scanned him.

Name: Chatot

Species: The Music Note Pokémon

Pokécomm Entry: Its tongue is just like a human's. As a result, it can cleverly mimic human speech.

"So it was that Chatot that was copying me," Nikki assumed.

"Must have been," Ash agreed. "So, what do you think of him?"

"What do you mean?" Nikki inquired.

"You were looking for a Pokémon to catch. Why not go for that Chatot," he suggested. Nikki took a moment to consider Ash's suggestion.

"You know, that's not a bad idea," she finally said. "Okay! I'll do it!" With her goal in sight she grabbed a Poké Ball and tossed it.

"Let's go, Shinx!" she shouted, calling on the Flash Pokémon.

"It's time for us to catch a new Pokémon," Nikki said, pointing at the Chatot. Once Shinx spotted the Chatot she got in a battle stance, ready to carry out Nikki's first command.

"Let's start off with a Charge Beam!" she instructed. Shinx quickly charged up the electricity needed and let it fly. Unfortunately the Chatot saw the attack coming and easily flew out of the way.

"Shoot! I didn't think he was paying attention," Nikki griped. She was about to call out another attack when the Chatot went on the offensive.

"You're called the Flash Pokémon, right?" he asked.

"(Huh? Uh… yeah, I am,)" Shinx replied.

"Why? Can you flash things?" Chatot inquired.

"(What do you mean flash things?)" Shinx questioned.

"You know, like 'lights on, lights off', that kind of thing," Chatot explained.

"(Why would I want to… wait a minute! Stop distracting me! We're in the middle of a battle here!)" Shinx barked.

"Hey, do you think I could learn Flash? I'd be all like 'Flash! You can't see me!'. Do you think I could do it?" As Chatot continued to talk Shinx was finding it harder and harder to concentrate on the battle at hand.

"(My head hurts,)" she groaned after listening to Chatot for a few minutes. Seeing that he had an opportunity Chatot took flight and escaped the battle.

"No! Get back here!" Nikki shouted, but it was too late. Chatot had already left.

"That was a strange tactic that Chatot used, talking his way out of the battle like that," Ash commented.

"(I think that was his Chatter attack,)" Pikachu said.

"Chatter?" Nikki questioned.

"(I think so,)" Pikachu replied.

"(I know about that attack. It sometimes causes confusion which gives Chatot an op4ening to either attack or escape,)" Buneary explained.

"(Well the confusion part is accurate. I've never had a more confusing experience in my life,)" Shinx said.

"Well it's over now. Thanks for trying," Nikki said as she returned Shinx.

"Too bad you couldn't catch him," Ash commented.

"Yeah," Nikki agreed. "I wouldn't mind trying again if I had the chance."

"(Well then, why don't we try looking for him. I'm sure we could find him again if we all worked together,)" Buneary suggested.

"That's not bad idea," Ash said. "What do you say, Nikki?"

"I say let's start looking for that Chatot." Nikki would not be dissuaded as she, Ash and their Pokémon began the search for Chatot.

"I don't get it. There's no way he could have gotten that far away." After searching for nearly half an hour it seemed as though the Chatot had somehow managed to evade them.

"I was sure he would have stayed in the area," Nikki said.

"So was I," Ash added. "Looks like we were both wrong."

"(So what do we do now?)" Buneary wondered.

"I don't want to give up, but it doesn't look like we have much of a choice," Nikki replied. "It's too bad too. I really wanted to catch that Chatot." A sudden rustling noise caught everyone's attention.

"Sounds like you may still have a chance after all." Ash commented.

"Looks like it too," Nikki added, pointing off in the distance. There, sitting on a tree branch, was the unmistakable music note-shaped head of the Chatot from earlier.

"Time to redeem myself," Nikki whispered. She grabbed a Poké Ball and called out Persian.

"Let's get that Chatot," she said.

"Do you have a plan for dealing with his Chatter attack?" Ash asked.

"I have to hit him fast and not give him the opportunity to use it," Nikki 3explained. "And there are few that strike faster than Persian."

"(I shall do my best,)" Persian replied. Nikki's confidence was high as she watched Persian approach the Chatot. She was positive that she'd catch him this time.

"Oh, a new challenger," the Chatot said.

"(Indeed. My trainer wishes to capture you, and I am here to ensure she does,)" Persian explained.

"Don't get distracted with conversation, Persian," Nikki warned. "That's how he gets you."

"(Of course,)" the Classy Cat Pokémon responded. "(Now, the time for talk has passed. It is time for battle.)"

"But why? I like to talk," Chatot stated.

"(I am aware of that, but I am not here for conversation,)" Persian declared.

"But we could talk all day, and we have so many things to talk about like the weather, what we want to do in life…"

"(No! You will not confuse me with your Chatter attack!)" Persian covered his ears and turned away from the Chatot to try and block out the Chatter attack, but in doing so he gave Chatot the perfect opportunity to escape, which the Music Note Pokémon took full advantage of. By the time Persian knew what was going on it was too late and Chatot once again eluded capture.

"Not again," Nikki groaned.

"(Forgive me. I failed you,)" Persian apologized.

"It's not your fault. That Chatot is a tricky one," Nikki told him. She returned him and let out a long sigh.

"Just what do I have to do to catch him?" she wondered.

"You know, I'm starting to think that maybe we should look for a different Pokémon," Ash suggested. Nikki looked at him, her eyes full of determination.

"Not a chance. I'm catching that Chatot no matter what," she said.

"Well then, let's start looking. He should still be nearby." With Nikki determined to capture the Chatot the group once again went on the search for the elusive Pokémon.

"There he is." Thankfully the search didn't take that long, for within minutes the group found the Chatot resting in a tree not far from where they last encountered him.

"Third time's the charm. That Chatot is mine for sure this time," Nikki said.

"You sound sure, but how do you plan on dealing with Chatter?" Ash asked.

"I don't know, but something's got to work this time," Nikki replied.

"(Too bad you can't battle without hearing what he was saying,)" Buneary commented.

"That would be good," Nikki agreed. "Now that I think about it, you may have just given me an idea." Before continuing she grabbed a Poké Ball and called out Swablu.

"(You need me?)" Swablu asked.

"I do," Nikki replied. "You're going to help me catch that Chatot."

"(I'm ready when you are,)" the Cotton Bird Pokémon said.

"First, I want to go over my plan with you." Not wanting to fail for a third time Nikki went over her plan with everyone.

Chatot was feeling rather confident. After outsmarting Nikki and her Pokémon twice he was sure she had given up and moved on. He was then quite surprised when he saw Swablu approaching him, a look of confidence on her face.

"Still not giving up, huh? I guess I can play along one more time," Chatot commented. "So, you think you'll do better?" Swablu simply flew in place, not at all reacting to Chatot's comment.

"Not much for talking, are you? That's okay. I can talk enough for the both of us." While the Chatot rambled on Swablu continued to fly in place, all the while Nikki and the others looked on from a distance.

"Just stick to the plan and we'll get him this time," Nikki whispered. After a while Swablu went into action, flying over him and using Featherdance.

"Oh, so sparkly… and pretty… and I… suddenly don't feel so good." Nikki's excitement increased once she saw Swablu's Featherdance take effect.

"It's working," she cheered. "Now for the finishing touch." She looked on expectantly as Swablu began to sing. Chatot's weakness was now being replaced with sleepiness.

"I think… I'll take me… a… little… nap…" With that Chatot's eyes closed and he went to sleep, falling out of the tree in the process.

"Now's my chance! Go, Poké Ball!" As quick as she could Nikki hurled an empty Poké Ball at the sleeping Chatot, striking him before he hit the ground. Chatot was drawn inside as the ball began to shake. The wait was tense as Chatot tried to break free. Eventually, the tell-tale 'ping' was heard as the capture was complete.

"Yes! I got him!" Nikki shouted.

"Way to go," Ash praised. Nikki walked over and picked up the Poké Ball, calling out Chatot. As expected he was still sleeping. Nikki took an Awakening out of her bag and used it, waking him up instantly.

"Huh? What happened?" he wondered.

"I caught you," Niki stated. This was not what Chatot was expecting to hear, but he took the news in stride.

"It had to happen sooner or later," he said. "I'm surprised you found a way to ignore my Chatter. How did you do it?" To answer his question Nikki reached over and took two small plugs out of Swablu's ears.

"Earplugs," she answered. "Buneary gave me the idea of not being able to hear you in order to beat you. After I figured that out I just went over my plan with Swablu before sending her to battle you and the rest was history."

"(And it worked perfectly,)" the Cotton Bird Pokémon declared.

"Well now, that's one way I never thought of," Chatot said. "So, what are going to do now?"

"Well, I'm a coordinator, so I was hoping you'd want to help me with my Contests," Nikki explained.

"A coordinator? Sure, I can work with that," Chatot agreed.

"Great. I know we can come up with some great routines." With a new Pokémon at her disposal Nikki's Contest future was looking better.

After a bit of work Nikki was finally able to add a new Pokémon to her roster. How will Chatot factor in? What new routines will she come up with? Find out in the next chapter of Search for Power!

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