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Ash and the others are currently on the ferry bound for Slateport City. May is especially excited, and enjoys the ship by going into reporter mode. Pumped up for the Grand Festival, her friends wish her luck for when they get there.
First stop they make is at the Ship’s Pokemon Center. May asks to have her Pokemon healed, but unfortunately Joy is a bit busy, so she set up a mini lounge for weak and tired Pokemon to relax and play in for the time being. May then explains that she’s entering the Grand Festival, and she might as well send them out as an opportunity to show them off, and leave them for the time being. Of course, Joy has been getting a lot of other Coordinators lately, given the times. However, there has been a bit of a breakdown and the Festival may or may not have to be delayed...
As they leave to hang out a bit, suddenly Jenny enters the center and Brock gets distracted again. As they haul him off, they realize that it’s kind of odd to see Officer Jenny in the Pokemon Center, so they ask what she’s doing there. Jenny explains that they’re investigating the fact that a notorious ex-Magma thief, Brody, is currently at large, and on board. Apparently Ash and the others know of Brody, as they had a small run-in with him back at the Weather Institute on the way to Fortree. Brody is especially good at disguising himself, as he fooled them for a while as a female scientist. While Team Aqua and Magma have both disbanded, Brody is still at large, Jenny warns them that given his knack for disguises, he could be anyone they meet, so they should watch out. Being the plebians they are, they decide to help her find Brody and apprehend him.
Team Rocket are in the center, disguised as workers and spying on them. Right now, they don’t exactly have any plan other than to snatch the rodent, but when they hear mention of Team Magma and Aqua disbanding, that immediately goes on hold. They know Brody as well and remember him, and feel that this is a chance to do what they originally went to Hoenn for, and help one-up a legendary notorious ex-Magma crook. Not only would it impress the boss, but Jenny as well if they beat the twerps to it.
For now, May and co decide to tour Slateport a bit, starting off at the museum. The first thing May notices there is the charming Ribbon Cup. She’s quite determined to win that thing. Suddenly, however, they hear a yell, and a security guard is chasing Munchlax who seems to be up to something. As they try to stop it, it steals a few cookies from the table, and bumps into the Ribbon Cup display. Luckily, Max has the only Munchlax restraint-May’s PokeBlocks. However, when Munchlax bumped into the display, one of the cup’s handles broke off!
Soon after, they apologize as one of the judges, Contesta, investigates. Apparently that is easily fixable... but Contesta makes a shocking realization-This is clearly not the same cup, and a fake. The inside looks completely void. Just then, a little note falls out with Brody’s logo on it! There’s the answer. Team Rocket are watching this from inside the museum’s vent, and consider the possibility of not only helping apprehend Brody, but stealing the Ribbon Cup for themselves.
Contesta breaks the unfortunate news to May that because of this, the Grand Festival may have to be canceled. Of course there’s no way May’s gonna let all her hard work earning the ribbons die just like that. So, together with Jenny and Contesta, they set off and get ready to work on Operation: Ribbon Cup.
Seeing as the security guards at the museum always guard the entrance and rarely let anyone in, questioning them would be the best place to start. At first, they don’t remember letting any non-officials in. However, “officials” can count too in this case, and as they inquire about that... they do, indeed, remember letting a security guard in. He did act a bit shady, and did have something to take care of, but was in too much of a rush to say what. Seeing as they don’t remember letting anyone else in, not even officials, the pieces fit together. So, now they know he’s in disguise somewhere.
The gaming room as well as the mess hall are both crammed with people, they’d never find someone that good with blending disguises just like that, unless they inquire every single one. But Jenny, the experienced detective, has the perfect solution: Bait.
Taking one of her spare Pokeballs, she uses some golden spray paint on it, and there they have their very own “Golden Pokeball”. Next step would be to put it on display somewhere that Brody would find and snatch it. Better yet, once Jenny puts it there, it’s Ash and co’s turn to subliminally advertise and spread rumors about the Golden Pokeball. Going about that, they have some attention-seeking conversations. Like later that evening, Ash has a really loud conversation with Pikachu about the Golden Pokeball, mentioning the place of it, and catching the attention of the people around... Max, May and Brock talk about it publicly and bring quite a lot of attention (like “WOW, I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THE BRAND NEW GOLDEN POKEBALL, CAN’T YOU, PIKACHU!?).
Later that night, Jenny and the others put it in the museum, and hide and wait to catch him in the act. They wait for a bit, and eventually notice not one, but two figures (Team Rocket, unbeknownst to them) attempting to snatch the Pokeball! Immediately, they accuse them of being Brody and some old Magma buddies, but they both just laugh at that saying that Magma and Aqua have disbanded, and are history, and Team Rocket will take over. Yep, this isn’t Brody, it’s just Team Rocket. Unfortunately the news about the Golden Pokeball got to them, and they beat Brody to it. Quickly, a T-bolt from Pikachu sends them flying out the window before they can foil their plan. As they get ready to hide and wait for him, another visitor interrupts them. One of the sailors from the crew has come to warn Jenny that there’s mayhem at the Pokemon Center. Apparently Brody has been found, and he’s causing trouble there. Without thinking, they hurry over there. Meanwhile, the sailor guy stays in the museum wing and smirks... gee, I wonder who he is.
As they go down to the Center, they run into another one of the ship officials, who says that the Pokemon Center is closed. While they mention Brody, the official says he can ensure them that the Pokemon Center is being heavily guarded from everywhere, and they haven’t let anyone in. In fact, they haven’t even had anyone try. Once again, the pieces fit together that they were sent on a wild goose chase, and they hurry back up to the museum. Just as Brody (still dressed as an official) gets a hand on the Pokeball, they catch him red-handed.
It’s time for Brody to reveal himself and make his dramatic return. He remembers them as well from the weather institute, and he’s not letting himself get caught this time. Sending out Golbat, he has it use Haze, and makes his escape in the fog. As the smoke clears, Jenny realizes the Pokeball is gone! Of course, Jenny doesn’t really care about the Pokeball, since it was a fake anyway, it’s more the fact that he escaped. However, Jenny is never unprepared. Apparently she had a small telecommunication device on the Pokeball, and with her radar detector, she can pick up the Pokeball’s location. As they follow it, it leads them to a young innocent-looking girl eating in the mess hall. As they accuse her of being Brody, he boldly admits to it, and runs off, dropping the costume along the way.
They figure he must have put on another disguise, but that isn’t much of a problem as they still have the detector. The radar leads them to the mess hall’s kitchen, but unfortunately as small a room as it is, there are several cooks in there and it’s near impossible to recognize Brody. While they’re too busy looking at the cooks trying to find some suspicion, Jenny realizes that once again the location has moved!
As they reach their destination, Brody seems to have realized that Jenny’s tracking him down must have been in the Pokeball, because they find the Pokeball left under the stairs, and Brody nowhere in sight. Not only that, but when the Pokeball explodes with confetti and another Brody-mark card, they realize that the slick crook set this up for them as well. Him being pretty fast is not much of a surprise, seeing as they remember how he escaped with a jet pack back at the weather institute. But either way, even if he escapes this time, they have to get the Ribbon Cup back.
The closest way out from that area is the outside top deck, so they head there. While Jenny runs ahead, when they catch up to her they find her-with her clone! Well, they found Brody, but they lost track of while Jenny is the real one. Both of them accusing each other of being Brody isn’t exactly helping either.
Brock hasn’t really done much but tag along nearly the entire journey, but for once he can help out. Being the rabid Jenny and Joy fanboy, he immediately recognizes the real one, without a doubt. At first he starts going toward one, but then finds himself being immediately pulled towards the other one. That pretty much convinces who’s real and who’s the culprit Brody.
Brody gives in, and takes off his disguise. As they demand the Ribbon Cup back, he realizes he doesn’t really need it as much anymore since everyone knows its secret, so he throws it back... but a rope pulling it aside intercepts it! Team Rocket are up to it again in the balloon. During Team Rocket’s distraction, Brody uses this as an opportunity to escape on the jet pack again, before Jenny can arrest him! Oh well, at least he’s not in possession of the cup anymore.
Jenny sends out Growlithe to stop them with Flamethrower, but Seviper’s Poison Tail wards that off. While Pikachu’s T-bolt takes care of Seviper for a bit, Cacnea’s Needle Arm and another Poison Tail from Seviper hit... but Flamethrower and T-Bolt take care of them. A final Thunder sends them off.
With the Ribbon Cup back in possession, May and co get thanks from Contesta and Jenny, and just in time they arrive in Slateport City. The Festival will be taking place after all, so this is May’s chance to shine.
Thanks to Zak for writing this Guide for Us
396: The Ribbon Cup Caper
396: Mysterious Thief Brody & The Ribbon Cup
Between Pacifidlog & Slateport
May & Co. Head towards the Grand Festival and meet with Ex-Team Magma member Brody