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|Succeeded By:||Phantom Unmasked|
Follow Ash and friends as they adventure into a creepy, abandoned mineshaft and a haunted mansion. But beware - Team Rocket is close behind! Can the friends keep their cool in the spookiest of surroundings and defend themselves against archrivals Team Rocket?
Can they make friends with ghosts and remain friends with one another? Find out who ends up learning a lesson in the end!
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This book follows the plot of the anime episode Ready, Willing, and Sableye. Ash and his friends are having lunch with their Pokémon. Brock asks Ash's Corphish to help him with the salad. Corphish uses its strong pincers to cut vegetables but soon gets overexcited and begins to chop up all the groups food. Ash voices his concern about Corphish's attitude problem and the group agrees. Near by, Team Rocket arrive at an abandoned mineshaft. Planning to steal some leftover gold, they enter only to be scared off by a creature with jewel eyes, who causes Meowth to faint. Soon afterward Ash and his friends arrive at the same mineshaft. They plan to scare Corphish into behaving better and soon put their plan into action. Meanwhile Meowth wakes up, only to find that the Sableye is friendly and only likes to scare people. Sableye tells Meowth it is lonely in this cave and wishes for some company. They are in a large control room in the mine. There Meowth sees May and Max walking around through a window. Meowth hatches a plan to catch Sableye for his Boss by pretending to be it's friend and edging Sableye to scare Ash and his friends away.
Later, Ash puts his plan into action. He summons Corphish out of its Poké Ball and begins to spook it by telling it that ghosts live in the mine. On cue, a bed blanket ghost appears (which is actually Max on May's shoulders. This terrifies Corphish and in a panic attacks the "ghost". Max and May tumble backward, causing the sheet to fall off. Corphish sees that it had been tricked and feeling betrayed, it run away into a side tunnel. Ash runs after it and Max and May stand up, voicing their shock on the situation. Suddenly, Sableye jumps out from shadows and scares the siblings. However, Max recognizes the Pokémon and asserts it isn't a dangerous ghost. May is curious and takes out her Pokédex. The Pokédex relays information on the Darkness Pokémon and May is relieved it is a harmless practical joker. Sableye, however, finds the whole affair funny and begins laughing. May, annoyed at Sableye's inconsideration, sends out her Torchic and commands it to use Ember. Sableye dodges the fiery raindrops by jumping up and crawling around ceiling. It then does on to defeat Torchic with swift Tackle. Accepting defeat, May returns Torchic to its Poké Ball. Suddenly Meowth appears and presses a button, trapping Max and May in a net.
In another part of the mine, Ash catches up with Corphish and leads it to the exit. He and Corphish meet up with Brock outside the cave and both voice their concern over Max and May. They have taken a long time to come out, leading Ash and Brock to re-enter the mine and look for them. Corphish is still mad at Ash for tricking it and gives Ash the cold shoulder. The group have no idea they are being watching by Meowth and Sableye from the old control room. Meowth convinces Sableye to "scare" Ash and rest of his friends and Sableye, thinking it's a game, tags along. Sableye then begins to set up his practical joke. He causes rumbling noises inside the cave and sends an empty squeaky mine cart in Ash's direction. As Ash, Brock, and Corphish investigate the empty mine cart, Sableye swings down from the ceiling and licks the back of Ash's neck. Spooked Ash turns around and asks if Pikachu did it. Pikachu denies it and Sableye swings down again and licks the back of Brock's neck. Brock gets spooked as well and both Trainers become very frightened. Then, Meowth sneaks up on Corphish and smacks its shell, but sneaks away before Corphish can notice. Corphish turns around and sees Pikachu. Thinking Pikachu had hit it, it attacks Pikachu. Soon both begin an intense battle. Max and May watch helplessly from the control room, still in a net. Then May has an idea. She summons Torchic from its Poké Ball. It's still disoriented from fainting earlier but it manages to use Ember on the net, freeing its friends. May thanks Torchic and returns it to its Poké Ball to rest. Max and May then set out to help their friends.
Back inside the mine, Corphish and Pikachu are still fighting. Corphish launches Bubble Beam attacks while Pikachu hurls several Thunderbolt attacks. During their fight, Meowth appears suddenly and shoots another net at the Pokémon, trapping them. Ash confronts Meowth and openly wonders why a Sableye would be hanging out with Meowth. Meowth responds by saying they are now best friends and are working together. However at that moment, May barges into the scene with Max and begins to tell Sableye that Meowth is a lier and only wants to use Sableye to catch Pokémon. Meowth desperately protest and defends himself. Sableye is confused and stands around not knowing what to do, or who to trust. Suddenly, Team Rocket make an entrance. Grabbing the net containing Corphish and Pikachu, Jessie, James, and Meowth hop on a mine cart and make their escape. Ash sends his Taillow after them but Jessie throws a powerful explosive, sending rocks tumbling down and trapping Ash and his friends inside. Sableye, now realizing its mistake, helps them escape via a secret tunnel. Once outside Sableye and Ash confront Team Rocket. Sableye cuts the nets holding Corphish and Pikachu. Then, Ash commands Corphish and Pikachu to use Crabhammer and Iron Tail on Team Rocket, respectively. Sableye finishes it off by blasting Team Rocket off with eerie rays from its gem eyes. The danger is over and the group thank Sableye. When Corphish also thanks Sableye, Ash notices Corphish has improved in attitude. As the group leaves, Sableye bids them farewell, happy to have made true friends.
- Pikachu (Ash's)
- Meowth (Team Rocket)
- Taillow (Ash's)
- Corphish (Ash's)
- Torchic (May's)
- Seviper (Jessie's)
- Cacnea (James's)
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