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01:45, 9 August 2007
= Synopsis =
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[[Misty]] and [[Ash Ketchum|Ash]] are fighting about her broken bike again. In an effort to get them to cool off, [[Brock]] pulls a table and chairs out of his backpack, with all the necessities to set it for a nice afternoon cup of tea. Brock sends Ash to collect firewood to make tea and crepes.
As Ash and [[Ash's Pikachu|Pikachu]] wander around the forest, they encounter a group of boys in suits. One of them is running on a treadmill, while the rest gathered around quiz him about various Pokémon. He misses a question and is rejected by the other boys. Ash jumps in to defend him. The boys reveal that they are students of [[Pokémon Tech|Pokémon Technical Institute]], a boarding school which educates [[Pokémon trainers]]. They leave, stating they don't want to fight. As Brock reads from the school's brochure, Pikachu starts the treadmill and tries to keep up. The school trains its students without sending them to collect [[badge]]s, and guarantees entry into the [[Pokémon League]] upon graduation. Brock leans on the treadmill, speeding it up, and sending Pikachu flying. The school is expensive, and therefore populated with rich kids.
The student who was being bullied, [[Joe (anime)|Joe]], defends his "friends," who were trying to help him, he says. He says he sometimes pretends to know less than he really does because the questions get so much harder. Ash is very upset at this brutal "tutoring" system, and demands to meet the student in charge, with plans to stop it. The head student of the beginner class is a girl; Brock and Ash drool over her photo, which makes Misty even angrier.
[[Team Rocket]] reveals they both flunked out of Pokémon Tech. Being led there by Ash has brought back some bad memories for [[Jessie]] and [[James]], but [[Meowth (Team Rocket)|Meowth]] cheers them up.
Joe leads them to the head student [[Giselle]]'s study area. He says it's overall skill as a trainer, not any one battle, that determines success at Pokémon Tech. He says even though he's the weakest student in his class, he's still better than someone with two badges. Misty takes offense, and Joe says he's familiar with her gym; he usually beats her preferred [[water (type)|water]] Pokémon on the simulator. Misty demands a real battle, and Joe tells her, "You'll be sorry."
Misty calls her [[Misty's Starmie|Starmie]], while Joe calls a [[Weepinbell (Pokémon)|Weepinbell]], a [[grass (type)|grass]]-type Pokémon which will have an advantage over Misty's water-type. Nevertheless, Starmie beats the Weepinbell. Giselle walks in and chastises Joe for not realizing that Starmie's real battle experience would give it an advantage. She calls him an embarrassment to the school. Brock and Ash swoon over the very pretty Giselle. Even James, looking on with Jessie from a tree outside, is taken with her. Giselle continues to upbraid Joe, and threatens to withdraw the help of the other students.
Misty challenges her, saying that a true friend wouldn't walk away from a friend in need of help, and that Giselle's beauty is only skin deep. Giselle accuses Misty of being jealous. Giselle summons a [[Graveler (Pokémon)|Graveler]] to challenge Misty's Starmie. Although [[rock (type)|rock]] Pokémon are weak against water Pokémon, Giselle says hers are so advanced they can win. The Graveler smashes into the Starmie, tossing it through a window and out into the pool.
Giselle says that a Pokémon is only as good as its trainer. A weak Pokémon can still win if it's better trained. Ash jumps in, saying there's more to training Pokémon than levels. He says he has two badges, and Giselle says he's still a beginner. When he reveals that he's been on his quest for 2 months, she is shocked that he has not yet trained his Pikachu into a [[Poké ball]], and snidely remarks, "Maybe your Pokémon are training you!"
Ash says his three Pokémon are his friends. Giselle is surprised that he has only three; most beginners have six. She attributes his two badges to luck. She is surprised he chose Pikachu as his starting Pokémon, as they are known to be hard to handle. She is amazed at Ash having two badges, given how little he knows, and laughs at him. Pikachu is angry, too, and Ash demands a battle. Giselle summons [[Cubone (Pokémon)|Cubone]]. Ash calls for a [[ThunderShock (move)|shock]] attack, but Cubone deflects it, to his dismay. Giselle calls for a [[Leer (move)|Leer]] attack, but Pikachu responds by making funny faces at Cubone. The two Pokémon get into a close-range staring contest, until Giselle calls for a [[Bone Club (move)|Bone Club]] attack; the bonk on the head staggers Pikachu. She then calls for a [[Bonemerang (move)|Bonemerang]], which knocks Pikachu out cold. He comes to, and the next time the Bonemerang is launched, Pikachu jumps over it, and twists the skull backwards on Cubone's head, so he can no longer see. Pikachu pummels the Cubone, then ducks away as the Bonemerang comes back to take out its master. Giselle is amazed that Pikachu has won without using electricity. She is stunned that she has lost.
Team Rocket takes advantage of everyone's distraction to appear with their motto. The Tech students, recognizing them as bad guys who flunked out, attack Team Rocket ''en masse'', causing them to flee.
Joe decides to leave Pokémon Tech and return home to start over like Ash did. Joe asks if he can keep her picture; she says she has one of him, because they are now friends. Perhaps one day they'll meet in the Pokémon League.
Ash wants to know why he and Misty aren't friends like that; she says it's because Joe doesn't owe Giselle a bike!
= Major events =
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