Chapter 1: The melted pokémon
Chapter 2: Help from Lanturn
Chapter 3: The chase
Chapter 4: Wild pokémon
Chapter 5: The battle of the Sneasel
Chapter 6: The dream ranch
Chapter 7: Waking and leaving
Chapter 8: At Rosy Mark village
Chapter 9: The palace
Chapter 10: Articuno
Chapter 11: Stalageon

Ok, here we go. Another fanfic by me. Hopefully this on will be wayyyy better than my other one (Pikachu in the jungle), I plan to make it much, much longer and generally better. I’m not using any TV characters this time, and hopefully it’ll be more original.

Disclaimer: I don’t own Pokémon. But I’m working on it… Heh heh… >:)

Dedication: OK; Sarah, my bestest friend ever, Mewkitty, thanks for letting me use your Pokémon (Freezachu and Stalageon), your site rules, and Butterfree, writer of the best story in the world ^_^

Rating: G. Only one tiny bit of violence and… well, I’m not spoiling it by telling you if anyone dies.

Articuno’s ice palace

Chapter 1 : The melted Pokémon (clear)

The laughter of four Pokémon rang through the frosty caverns of the ice path.
“Ha ha ha!” laughed Ritzo, a Delibird who was playing a game of chase with his best friends; Gabzy the Sneasel, Sarol the rare shiny Swinub, and Sarielle the Glacéguin, an undiscovered Pokémon, who resembled a penguin only with green feathers, a white stomach, she could fly and had a smile going from one end of her beak to the other.
“Tag! You’re- what?” Started Gabzy as a shrill cry came from a cave, so loud that made of the overhanging stalactites wobble from the icy ceiling.
“What on earth was that?” asked Sarol, panicking.
“I don’t know…” muttered Gabzy “Maybe we’d better go check it out.”
“Help!!!” came the voice again “Someone please help me!”
They all looked at each other, nodded and dashed off towards the source of the sound.
They ran (and flew in Sarielle and Ritzo’s case), around snowy boulders, sheets of ice and Jynx showing off to one another (Which is strange, especially as all Jynx are female), until, in one cave they found a weeping Freezachu, an icy puddle on the floor and a boulder that had obviously fallen from the ceiling, letting in a stream of sunlight onto the puddle.
“Waaaa!” cried the Freezachu “No! Stalageon!”
The four friends drew to a halt at the sight of the distressed Pokémon.
“Whatever is the matter?” asked Ritzo.
“Yeah, you cried so hard, a rock has fallen from the roof!” Said Gabzy.
“No, it had fallen when I came in here!” whimpered Freezachu. “It must have fallen down overnight an-n-d-d…”
“And what?” asked Sarielle, concerned.
“It fell down here about four and a half hours ago.” reported Sarol, who had been sniffing the ground around the boulder.
“I-its my frien-d-d…” Freezachu wept.
“What is?” asked Sarielle again.
Freezachu pointed at the puddle on the floor, which had light streaming onto it from the gap in the ceiling.
“Riiiiiiiiight… the puddle is your friend.” said Gabzy in disbelief.
“No! When the rock fell f-from the roof, it l-let in sunlight, which melted S-Stalageon! Waaaa!” sobbed Freezachu.
“It’s OK, we’ll re-freeze her,” said Ritzo.
“If we can’t t-then Stalageon will d-die!”
“Ok then, we have no time to lose!” shouted Ritzo and used his ice beam on the puddle, which remained a puddle.
“It’s n-no use! I’ve tried but it has no effect!”
“Let’s all try together then!” suggested Sarol.
They all used their ice beam on the puddle, which shimmered and shone but as the ice beams faded away, they saw that nothing had happened.
Freezachu burst into tears and Sarielle comforted him. They all looked at each other and sighed.
“What can we do?” asked Sarol.
“Nothing” said Gabzy.
“But none of us are powerful enough to re-freeze her, no-one is.” murmured Ritzo.
“YES! That’s it!” shouted Sarol, making a stalactite fall from the roof.
“What is?” asked Sarielle while the others recovered from their near-heart attacks.
“One Pokémon is powerful enough, the greatest ice Pokémon of all!” Sarol told them.
“But I’ve already tried” joked Gabzy.
“No, you Magikarp-brain, ARTICUNO! The legendary bird of ice who-“
“Who cares what he did, he’s too far away. Think about it. We’re here in the ice path in Johto, while Articuno is all the way in the Seafoam islands in Kanto!” Gabzy pointed out.
“I’m going!” Shouted Freezachu. “If he can revive Stalageon, I’m going there!”
“But you don’t know the way! You could get lost!” Sarielle told him.
“I don’t care!”
“You can’t be serious!” said Gabzy.
“Oh yeah? Well, I am serious!”
“You miss your friend a lot don’t you?” said Sarielle.
“Yes, I do.”
“Well, I’m coming with you!” she shouted.
“WHAT?!” shouted her three friends.
“Would you do this for me?”
“Do what?” asked Sarol.
“Go to the Seafoam islands to save my life”.
“Of course!” Shouted Sarol instantly, with Ritzo a second later and after considering for a moment Gabzy said the same thing, but sounded a little unsure.
“Well Freezachu will do it for his friend, and I’ll help him. Are you guys with me?” asked Sarielle.
“I will if you go.” announced Sarol.
“I-I suppose so…” said Ritzo.
“Oh man! You’re leaving me here? By myself?” moaned Gabzy. “You can’t!”
“Well, if you will let a Pokémon sit around, watching his friend die, you deserve more than that!” scolded Sarol.
“Fine, I’ll come. But just to protect you lot from the terrifying, monstrous Pokémon we’ll encounter in…” he broke off, shuddering. “Do we have to go?” Sarielle detected a note of pleading in his scared voice.
“No-one’s making you come,” pointed out Ritzo.
“Are you coming or not?” Ritzo and Sarol asked at the same time.
“Oh, all right!” he shouted, exasperated then, Freezachu ran up to give him a hug.
“T-thanks you guy-ys!” he choked.
“Yeah well, I’ll go get a bottle.” said Gabzy, embarrassed.
“A bottle?” asked Sarol.
“How else do we carry Stalageon?”
“Good point!” Ritzo shouted. “I’ll get one”.
He flew out of the cave and, in less than a minute, arrived back, with a bottle with “Soda pop” written on it.
“That’s great!” said Sarielle. “Right, Freezachu?”
Freezachu burst into tears again and Sarielle put a comforting wing around him.
“It’s OK. Soon we’ll have Stalageon back with us, good as new.“ she said, sounding more certain than she felt.
They all went to gather food and things for the journey ahead and soon they were ready to go.

Chapter 2 : Help from Lanturn (cloudy-white)

They set off and traveled many miles, out of the Ice Path, through the dangerous Mahogany town and came to rest in the pitch-black Mt. Mortar.
“How can we see?” moaned Gabzy.
“I have no idea,” said Sarol, sadly.
They wandered around in circles for what seemed like hours until they saw a faint shimmer of light. They ran towards it and stopped suddenly when they heard a splash. Gabzy had fallen into the water!
“Aaarrrgghhh!” he screamed as the strong current washed him down the inside of the mountain.
“Need help?” a voice, swimming next to the distraught Gabzy asked.
“YES!!!” Gabzy half-choked, half-yelled.
The Pokemon swam beneath Gabzy and lifted him up gently, out of the raging river and onto welcoming ground.
“Thanks!” Gabzy exclaimed to the Pokemon. As he looked harder, he could see that it was the Pokemon that was emitting the light. On its head, a bauble shone, lighting up its face. It was a Lanturn. “It was you!” he shouted before he could stop himself.
“What was?”
“Who was making the light, the light that made me fall in!”
“I only use my light to see by and-“
Sarielle, Ritzo, Sarol and Freezachu had run to the place where Gabzy sat with Lanturn beside him in the water.
“You guys!” shouted Gabzy. “We found you!” celebrated Sarol, doing a little dance on the ground.
“Yeah, Lanturn here saved me.”
“Thanks!” said Sarielle.
“What are all of you doing way out in Mt. Mortar? We almost never get visitors.” he asked.
“W-we are g-going to-o… Wwaahh!!!” cried Freezachu.
“We’re going to the Seafoam Islands to re-freeze Stalageon,” Ritzo explained, over Freezachu’s sobs.
“Ah. It’s a long way from here.”
“Yeah. We know.” mumbled Gabzy.
“Unless you know a shortcut, of course.” Lanturn said.
Freezachu rubbed his eyes and looked up, hopefully. “Do you?”
“Of course I know a shortcut! I know the whole of Mt. Mortar like the back of my fin!”
“Yay!” shouted Freezachu, smiling for almost the first time.
“Follow me, but watch your step. Don’t fall in, whatever you do, there are many waterfalls and whirlpools about this area that even I can’t handle.”
They followed Lanturn’s faint glimmer of light for many miles, into the deepest caverns, past even where the karate king was said to train.
“Are you sure you know where you’re going?” Gabzy asked, after about 3 hours of walking, in what seemed like circles.
“Yes, not far now, just along here…”
They passed the last large rock to reveal a big, bustling city, not far away.
“Here we are!” Lanturn announced, proudly, “Goldenrod city!”
What!?!” Gabzy and Ritzo both yelled.
“We could have gotten to Goldenrod city easily without your stupid help!” Gabzy outraged.
Lanturn ignored him. “You need to go on without me, there aren’t any rivers to carry me from here. You go straight ahead until you get to a large building that will say ‘Magnet train’ on. Go inside and get on one of the trains, it doesn’t matter which. It’ll take you all the way to Kanto in less than 3 minutes.”
They all said goodbye and thank-you to Lanturn, who waved to them before swimming back into the icy waters of Mt. Mortar.
“That was very kind of him, wasn’t it?” said Sarielle.
“Yeah, now we may be able to rescue Stalageon in time.”
“Or not,” said Gabzy, “Look at the water.”
They all peered at the ‘soda pop’ bottle that Freezachu held in his paws. The water inside had turned from crystal-clear to a cloudy-blue.
“When it turns black, it means that… well… we may as well give up.”
“How do you know?” demanded Sarielle.
“Trust me.”
As they approached Goldenrod city, they were jolted around by the great flocks of people, too wrapped up in what they were going to buy than to notice five, lost-looking Pokémon beneath them.
“Which way?” asked Sarol, too far down in the crowds to see.
“Ummm… left a bit… no too far… that’s right.” guided Ritzo carefully.
“Aaarrrgghhh!” shouted Freezachu as someone trod on his icy tail, making him fall flat on his face. “Get up quick!” shouted Sarielle, seeing a large gang of teenage boys coming, too busy chatting to notice Freezachu.
Gabzy, Sarielle and Sarol managed to pull him out of the way a nanosecond before one of the boy’s big, chewing gum covered trainer crushed him underfoot.
“Phew…” Ritzo sighed. He had been unable to help because he was flying overhead. “Wait… Where’s the bottle?!?”
“What?” asked Sarol, sharply.
“The bottle! With Stalageon in!”
“I dropped *choke* it! When you yanked me up, I dropped it!”
“Well sor-ree! Next time, you get trodden on!” Gabzy huffed.
“I mean…”
“It’s there!” shouted Ritzo.
He flew straight down, reached out his feet and grabbed the bottle, right in front of a bunch of tourists who immediately grabbed their cameras and started taking pictures.
“Aaarrrgghhh!” he cried, blinded. He flew straight ahead, into a ‘Sale!’ sign and fell, dazed to the ground. The tourists bent to the ground to pick him up but were frozen in their tracks, literally, by a very angry Freezachu and an equally angry Sarol.
All the Pokémon ran to help up Ritzo while many people had started shouting at Freezachu and Sarol.
“Look what those brutes did to those people…”
“Walking around, minding their own business when…”
“D’you reckon they’ll be all right?”
“Get them!”
“Uh-oh!” shouted Gabzy.
“Uh-oh!” shouted Sarol.
“Uh-oh!” agreed Freezachu.
“RUN!” yelled Ritzo, who was awake and ready, with the bottle in his claws.
So they ran as fast as they could through the crowds of snatching hands.

Chapter 3 : The chase (murky-blue)

So they ran. And ran. And ran some more.
“Help!” screeched Sarielle, “I’ve been caught!”
“I’m coming, Sarielle!” Freezachu shouted and turned, leaped onto a café table, onto someone’s head and then made a giant leap through the air and into the stomach of the person who held a flailing and shrieking Sarielle.
Ooff!” The guy was winded and doubled up, letting go of Sarielle and held his injured stomach.
“Thanks!” she said, free at last.
“That’s OK, but now we have even more people onto us!”
“Come on, you two!” yelled Gabzy, from two hundred feet ahead. “Hurry up, we’ve found the station!”
They ran ahead, into the gray building that Lanturn had told them about, under the barrier and out, onto the platform. They paused, and heard an electronic voice booming:
“The magnet train 11:42 will be departing in 0 minutes and 20 seconds. Have a nice day!”
“That one!” Ritzo yelled, pointing. The high-speed train had 11:42 printed on the front and, looking behind them they could see the angry mob of people, some of which were wearing black uniforms which had ‘Pokémon control squad’ printed on them.
“The magnet train 11:42 will be departing in 0 minutes and 10 seconds. Have a nice day!” came the electronic voice. The train door was starting to close.
“Hurry! Hurry!” shouted Sarielle, as Gabzy shoved on first, then Sarol, followed by Ritzo. Then she got on and saw Freezachu running towards the shutting door.
“The magnet train 11:42 will be departing in 0 minutes and 05 seconds. Have a nice day!”
Freezachu leaped through the air and… by less than a hair, managed to leap into the train. The doors were all sealed and the perusing people were unable to stop on the slippery floor of the station and slammed into the door with a satisfying smack.
The train took less than five minutes to travel what the Pokémon could not have walked in five days.
They were all telling each other their own version of the chase when the train came to a stop.
“That’s it?
“No way!”
“Saffron city!!!” they chorused.
“It’s huge!” moaned Sarol.
“I am going back on that train right now!” announced Gabzy. “I for one have had enough of big cities.”
Ritzo was halfway to agreeing but with a meaningful look from Sarielle and Freezachu said,
“Let’s keep going. If you want to go back to Mt. Mortar all alone, go. I for one have had enough of your complaining.”
“Me too!” shouted Sarol before she could stop herself.
“Hey! Look at this, a shiny Swinub!!!” A boy of about thirteen shouted, pointing at Sarol.
“He’s right!”
“I’m gonna catch it!”
“No, me!”
“I saw it first!”
Sarol had just enough time to think ‘It? Excuse me? It?’ when she was hit on the head by a Poké-ball. She felt a wave of welcoming, warm air as she disappeared into it.
This is nice.’ she thought ‘But what am I doing here?
Then it hit her. ‘I’ve been captured!’ She fought to escape, and burst out of the ball.
What do you think you’re doing?’ she screamed at the trainer, but all he heard was “Swinub! Swine Swinub!”
“Heh, heh, a tough one!” He laughed, taking out a Poké-ball, “But not as tough as Venomoth! Go!”
Heh, heh, a stupid one! He doesn’t even know that Venomoth’s weak against me!’ she thought.
“Confusion!” Shouted the boy.
Before Venomoth could blink, his wings were covered in ice, shot from the angry Swinub’s mouth. Unable to fly, he dropped to the ground.
Then she ran, before the paralyzed Venomoth could defrost.
The other Pokémon were looking for her.
“Sarol! Sarol!”
“Where are you?”
“Can you hear us?”
Sarielle was close to tears, Freezachu was very upset, and Ritzo was scanning the air, looking for some sign of his friend. Gabzy, on the other hand was scouting around for something to eat while shouting.
“Oh! A piece of burger!” he ran over and gobbled up the scrap. Then he saw Sarielle. “I mean, Sarol! Where are you?”
Then something silvery came barreling into him.
Oofff!” he yelled, and then slashed the Pokémon, missing by millimeters.
“SAROL!!!” Sarielle saw her best friend and flew over to her.
“Sorry Gabzy!” Sarol apologized before hugging Sarielle.
“Oh, don’t mind me! I’ll just stand here and get head butted shall I?”
Ritzo nodded and went over to Sarol.
“What happened?” he asked.
“I was captured!” she exclaimed, and told them all about the boy and his Venomoth.
“Wow!” said Freezachu in awe after she had finished.
“Yeah, but it’s getting late. We’d better find a place to drop for the night.” Sarol suggested.
“Mmmm!” Gabzy had found some more discarded food.
“How about over there?” Ritzo pointed to a dark alley, full of rusty bins and empty boxes. “Not what we’re used to, but it’ll have to do.”
“Yeah,” agreed Sarielle.
“What!” shouted Gabzy, looking up from his near-empty crisp packet. “I’m not sleeping in a bin!”
“You should live in one,” muttered Ritzo, “with the lid firmly attached.”
The others laughed, while Gabzy fumed.
“Oh, shut up!” he yelled, then walked over to a cardboard box climbed into it, and yanked the lid down.
“Touché” mocked Sarol.
“I heard that!” came a muffled yell from the inside of the box.
They all did various impressions of Gabzy and eventually found their own boxes to sleep in.

Chapter 4 : Wild Pokémon (blue-gray)

They were woken by a loud snarling sound.
“Yes, we’re hungry too Gabzy, but please go back to sleep” muttered Ritzo.
I didn’t make that noise!” came a scared voice from another box.
“Did any of you guys make the snarling?” said Freezachu in a terrified whisper, “Because I sure didn’t,.”
“Not me,” whispered Sarol fearfully.
“Me neither,” agreed Sarielle.
“Well if I didn’t, and you lot didn’t, then who did?”
They all climbed out of their boxes, even Gabzy, and huddled together, a group of lost and scared, vulnerable Pokémon.
“I’ll tell you,” came a deep, dark voice from inside the shadows.
“It was ME!” A massive Houndoom leaped forward, making them all leap backwards in sheer terror.
As he stepped out of the shadows, the group noticed a bunch of other Pokémon.
A Raticate with no whiskers, a Pikachu with a chunk taken out of its tail, a Sneasel, a Croconaw, a Murkrow with no tail, an Umbreon, a Larvitar with a chipped horn and a Scyther missing a wing.
In spite of themselves they noticed that the Houndoom had one horn missing and the arrow-shaped tail that Houndooms usually have was missing completely. It was obvious that these Pokémon were “Sleeping rough”.
“What are you doing here?” shouted the Scyther, swiping one of his vicious scythes in front of Sarielle’s face.
“Yeah, get lost!” snapped the Larvitar.
“We want peace but then we get disturbed all over again!” moaned the Umbreon. “Why can’t everyone just leave us alone?”
“Get them!” shouted the Croconaw.
“RUN!” yelled Ritzo.
The chase was on. Freezachu, Sarielle and the others had a head start but they were worn out from a long day of running and escaping, the wild Pokémon however showed no signs of giving up, they were used to running around and knew the city street, even by night.
“That way!” Sarielle pointed to a wide alleyway.
“They’re gaining on us!” panicked Freezachu.
It was true. The Houndoom, Umbreon, Pikachu and Sneasel were almost on top of them. Scyther and Raticate were slow due to their absence of wings and whiskers but nevertheless, they, and the other city Pokémon were still in hot pursuit.
“Ha! Gotcha!” The Umbreon leaped forwards and grabbed Sarol. They tumbled, head-over-heels into a road. They leaped apart and narrowly dodged a speeding bus that was coming their way.
“Phew!” Sarol thought, “As if I hadn’t had enough happen to me already today!”
But, to her friends she said; “I’m OK! Keep running!”
They made some sharp turns and dashes into narrow alleys until the Houndoom got near enough to send a hot stream of flames at the poor Pokémon. It was aimed at Freezachu, the slowest as he was holding the bottle that held his friend.
“Help!” he screamed as the fire drew closer, then-
“Aaarrrgghhh!!” Sarol leaped up and took the heat of the flames!
“Sarol!” shouted Freezachu.
“I’m fine, honestly,” she kept running, “being a ground type isn’t so bad sometimes!”
“That way!” pointed Gabzy. The path led into a grungy pipe. There was no way that Gabzy would ever go in there, even if wild Pokémon were chasing them. Ritzo and Sarielle exchanged surprised looks before diving into the tube. They half ran, half slid down into the small pipe and then, the tubing stopped, they found themselves falling!
Below was a pavement but it was as if they had fallen out of a 2nd storey building as the ground faced towards them.
“Aaarrrgghhh!” they screamed as one. Ritzo grabbed Gabzy and Sarielle managed to seize hold of Sarol and Freezachu.
They landed safely on a pavement and looked up. The pipe was a tube that water came out of when it rained, but that wasn’t what filled them with terror.
Umbreon, Pikachu, Larvitar and Sneasel had slid down the pipe too, after them. The other city Pokémon couldn’t fit so they were safe. But none of the ones in the pipe could fly.
“We’ve got to save them!” shouted Sarielle and Freezachu at the same time.
“WHAT?” screeched Gabzy, “they chased us, nearly killing us and now you’re going to SAVE them?”
“Aaarrrgghhh!” shouted Larvitar as he fell out of the pipe and into nothingness.
Sarol flew up, like a bullet and grabbed Larvitar. She swooped down and before she could even turn to go downwards, three other Pokémon appeared and flew into the air from the mouth of the pipe.
Sarielle dived down to earth and dropped Larvitar safely into Freezachu’s arms.
The other Pokémon weren’t as lucky. They fell, closer, closer to the concrete pavement.
“Help meee!!” screamed the Sneasel as he tumbled down.
Ritzo and Sarielle flew upwards. Sarielle grabbed the Umbreon and Ritzo seized the Sneasel and Pikachu.
It was a struggle but they all landed safely on blessed ground. The city Pokémon didn’t know what to say.
“T-thank y-you.” Whimpered Larvitar.
“Yeah, thanks,” the Umbreon said to Sarielle, “but why’d you do it? We were chasing you and you,” he nodded towards Sarol, “nearly got run over because of me!”
“That’s OK, Umbreon,” smiled Sarielle.
“My name’s Ebony, but you can call me what ever you want. You saved my life, even though I almost took Swinub’s.”
“Sarol,” corrected Sarol, having forgiven Ebony.
“You have a name?” Freezachu asked the Pikachu.
“Kind of, my trainer called me Sparky, but Houndoom called me… well, all sorts, from “Pathetic” to “Worthless”, I hate the streets, but I’m glad I’m away from Houndoom. D’you have a name?”
“Nah, just Freezachu.”
“Ever wanted one?”
“Not really, all I want is to find Articuno.”
“Coz, my best friend, Stalageon melted, and if we don’t re-freeze her soon, she’ll… well… die.”
“Why don’t you re-freeze her?”
“I’m not strong enough. None of us are.”
“What if you try all together?”
“Tried that.”

Chapter 5 : The battle of the Sneasel (light gray)

As Sarol and Sarielle befriended Ebony, and Sparky made friends with Freezachu, Ritzo looked at Larvitar and Sneasel. Suddenly…
Wham! The Sneasel rammed straight into Gabzy, sending him sprawling.
As the furious Gabzy picked himself up, he glared furiously at the Sneasel.
Then he opened his mouth in a mix of anger and surprise. A disturbing expression crossed his face. Ritzo and the others were used to Gabzy being angry, but this look was of pure, black, deep, dark, hatred.
“You,” Gabzy spat.
“You,” returned the Sneasel, with equal anger.
Gabzy leaped and slashed at Sneasel, who just managed to evade the savage hit, rolling to one side.
The Sneasel head butted Gabzy into the air. As Gabzy fell, he stuck out his two blades and sunk them into a nearby tree, hanging there, waiting for his opponent to strike next.
The opposing Sneasel glared and advanced closer. Ritzo, Freezachu, Sparky, Sarielle and the others stood, transfixed. Larvitar used the battle as a diversion and sneaked off. He wasn’t bothered what happened. He wanted to get back to Houndoom and the others.
The Sneasel took another step forward, but never even blinked, staring deep into Gabzy’s black eyes, waiting.
The few extra steps were all Gabzy needed, he leaped and slashed the offending Sneasel in the back-left leg, before anyone could move a muscle.
“Aaarrrgghhh!!!” he shrieked in pain. Blood immediately began to ooze from his leg. He turned to look at the damage, but in that second, Gabzy struck again, this time aiming for his head. It was the killing blow.
“No Gabzy!!!” shouted Sarielle and Sarol at the same time.
Gabzy turned his head slightly, causing him to miss by a millimeter, and allowing his opponent to get back on his feet.
Gabzy cursed and turned to see his adversary slashing at him in the same manner as he had done.
Missed again. Each by less than a hair, but somehow, Gabzy managed to doge all three lethal blows.
Panting, sweating, exhausted and injured, Gabzy backed away, planning his next move. Suddenly-
Gabzy’s friends, including Ebony and Sparky had grabbed him and pinned him down.
“What on earth do you think you’re doing?!” shouted Sarielle, tears streaming from her eyes.
“What did that Sneasel ever do to you?” asked Sarol angrily.
“You don’t know half of it!” Gabzy shrieked.
“So tell us!” shouted Ritzo.
“Who is that Sneasel anyway?” wondered Freezachu.
“I dunno. He’s called Daigree. He was in the gang before I was,” answered Sparky, taken aback by what he had just witnessed.
“Awww… is Gabzy running to his friends for help?” mocked the Sneasel, so-called Daigree.
That was too much. Gabzy broke loose of his friends and ran, slashing at Daigree.
“Aaarrrgghhh!!!” screamed Gabzy, as he was slashed in the arm. Just as Daigree had done, he turned to look at his wound for a tenth of a second, but that gave Daigree the chance to leap onto him, blades extended.
As Daigree was soaring through the air towards Gabzy, the world seemed to slow down. Sarol closed her eyes and Sarielle and Freezachu held each other, shaking. Ritzo’s mouth was open in a look of disbelief and Ebony was just the same.
Daigree’s left blade was inches away from Gabzy’s unprotected face when-
Daigree fell to the ground, unconscious. Gabzy scrambled to his feet, shaking. The other crowded around the scene. Sparky had saved Gabzy by thunderbolting Daigree.
“Thanks, Sparky, that was brilliant!” then, Ritzo tuned to Gabzy.
“All right! You have one second to explain everything before I get Sparky to crisp you, too!” he shouted.
“Who was that anyway?” asked Freezachu again.
“I told you already,” Sparky sounded as stressed as everyone felt.
“No, I mean, why did Gabzy fight him like that?” he said, more to Sarielle and Sarol than anyone else.
“I don’t know, he’s never acted that was before, even- STOP!!!” Sarol screamed.
Gabzy was sneaking off to finish off the motionless Daigree.
Sparky thunderbolted Gabzy and they gathered around him.
“Whoever he is, Gabzy doesn’t like him.”
“State the obvious, Freezachu,” murmured Sarol.
Despite the situation, everyone giggled slightly.
“Maybe he’s Gabzy’s dad?” wondered Sarielle, serious again.
“No,” choked Gabzy, opening his eyes weakly and making everyone jump. “His brother.”
“WHAT?!?” yelled Sarielle, Sarol and Ritzo at the same time.
“You heard me.” he closed his eyes again.
“Ok… this is way weird,” commented Sparky, having no idea what was going on.
“Mmmm,” agreed Ebony.
“I don’t get it either, don’t go looking at me,” said Sarol.
“So, let me get this straight. The Sneasel we rescued, called Daigree, hates Gabzy and vice-versa, now Gabzy’s saying that Daigree is his brother,” analyzed Ritzo.
“Yeah, this just doesn’t make sense,” Freezachu moaned.
“You guys! Daigree is waking up!” called Sarielle.
They left Gabzy and ran over to the place where Daigree lay, stationary.
“Mmrrgghh,” he grunted, moving his left scythe slightly, as if trying to slash something, but not having enough energy, which was probably what he was trying to do.
“Just give the word,” Sparky was getting ready to fry Daigree if necessary.
“What?” Daigree murmured.
“He seems injured” Said Sarol, suddenly,
Daigree leaped over to Gabzy, aiming his blade over his head.

Chapter 6 : The dream ranch (gray)

Daigree brought down the blade; with all the strength he could muster.
The blade went right into the side of Gabzy’s head before anyone could blink, let alone use an attack, before Daigree tried to kill their friend.
All of the Pokémon watched in horror and disbelief. Daigree had one razor sharp blade sticking right into Gabzy’s head. The worst part was that Gabzy was silent. He wasn’t moving, he wasn’t breathing and they couldn’t make out his pulse.
“No. Please no,” whimpered Sarielle.
“He can’t-“
“He is.”
“No, Gabzy!”
Daigree raised his other blade, but all of the Pokémon attacked him.
Freezachu used ice punch.
Ritzo used gust.
Sparky used thunderbolt.
Sarol used earthquake.
Ebony used faint attack.
Sarielle used powder snow.
Daigree fell completely unconscious.
“He’s not dead,” reported Sarol, sniffing around Daigree.
“But is Gabzy?” whispered Freezachu, afraid of the answer.
“Wait!” yelled Ritzo. “His chest is moving! He’s breathing!”
They all dashed all over to their lifeless friend, but they could all see they his bleeding chest was moving. Gabzy was alive.
Sarielle and Sarol hugged each other, as did Freezachu and Sparky. Ebony danced around with Ritzo in relief.
“That’s a real bad gash in his head,” commented Sarol.
“He’ll be OK,” said Freezachu, hopefully.
“We’ll have to look after him, he needs rest,” said Sarielle.
“We’ll have to carry him, we can’t stop unless… well, let’s get going, he can wait for Houndoom to come and get him.”
They set off again, into the night, too worn out too sleep. Ebony was carrying the lifeless Gabzy, Freezachu holding the bottle, the water in which was getting even more noticeably gray.
They traveled many hard miles, eventually, when they were all completely exhausted, Freezachu collapsed, fainting onto the gravel path in the pitch black.
“Oh no!” shouted Sarol. “Freezachu’s fainted!”
The others were too weak to reply.
Together, they managed to heave up Freezachu, and carried him, after half an hour he woke up.
He saw the others carrying him, all of them groaning under his weight and their own tiredness.
Then, in the far distance, they saw a faint glimmer of light. As they drew nearer, they saw that it was the flame at the end of a Charmander’s tail.
The Charmander was standing outside a big building, and was using his tail to see into the blackness. “Hello, may I help-What!!!”
He saw them all, exhausted, cold and trying not to collapse.
“Char! Char!!!”
He yelled into the building, while helping Ebony who was nearly fainted, worn down with carrying Gabzy, who still showed no signs of waking.
A group of Charmander came out of the building and gasped at the state of the worn-out group. Immediately, they gathered around and carried them inside the warm, welcoming building.
They were carried into a large room, with seven comfy-looking beds and a roaring fireplace. The Charmander lay them down and brought them food and hot drinks.
“Thanks,” murmured Ritzo, when he had drunk his hot chocolate.
“Yeah, it’s very kind of you,” added Sparky.
“Where are we?” mumbled Ebony, who had been so exhausted, he didn’t notice that he had been brought in.
“The dream ranch, a hotel run entirely by Charmander,” said the Charmander that had found them, “what on earth were you doing out at this hour? You all looked dead on your feet. We had to take on of you to the mini-hospital!”
“Is Gabzy OK?” asked Ebony, anxiously.
“You mean the Sneasel with the cut head? He’ll be OK, but that gash is really bad, how on earth did he get it?”
“He got in a fight with another Sneasel,” explained Sarielle.
“Yeah, it nearly killed him,” said Sparky.
“I would think so, it went in fifteen centimeters deep, but he’ll be OK. Now you tell me what you were doing on that dangerous road at three in the morning, one of you nearly dead and the rest of you ready to drop.”
So Ritzo, Ebony, Freezachu and the others told Charmander what had happened, and what they were hoping to do.
“…Oh, I see, you need Articuno to re-freeze Stalageon!”
“Yeah, and we’re helping!” said Sparky.
“Where are you from, anyway?”
“The Ice path.” grunted Sarol, having just woken up.
“What! All the way from Johto! No wonder you’re all exhausted! How long have you been on the road for?”
“About a day,” said Sarielle, and then looked shocked by what she had just said.
“A day!!! That’s impossible!” shouted Charmander and Ebony at the same time.
“We took the magnet train, remember?” snapped Ritzo, who was angry through exhaustion.
“Sorry, just, wow, that’s amazing!” stuttered Charmander.
“Where’s the bottle!?!” shouted Freezachu, sitting up in his bed so suddenly, it made everyone jump.
“The bottle!” shouted Sarielle, realizing suddenly, “You must have dropped it when you fainted!”
“Oh no!” cried Sarol, “That’s terrible!”
“I’m going back to get it!” shouted Freezachu, stepping out of bed.
“No, you don’t,” Charmander picked him up and tucked him into his bed.
“But-“ protested Freezachu.
“I’ll go and look for it,” said Charmander, “whereabouts did you faint?”
“I don’t know, I was fainted,”
“It was by an old tree stump, with an engraving on it,” described Ebony, “I remember.”
“That’s about two miles away, I’ll go now.” he left the room but within five minutes, another Charmander walked in, and told them to go to sleep, which is just what they did. It had been a very long day.

Chapter 7 : Waking and leaving (dark gray)

None of them woke until gone noon. Sarol was the first to wake, she had horrible dreams about being captured, and screamed in her sleep. It had frightened the life out of the Charmander that had brought back the bottle, but the others were so exhausted, they didn’t even stir.
“Did you get the bottle?” asked Sarol.
“Yes, here it is,” Charmander said, holding it up. Sarol could see that it was going a darker gray every time she looked, and they had a long way to go yet.
“Thanks ever so much, this means a lot to all of us, especially poor Freezachu.”
“Yes, well, I’m glad I could help,” he smiled, “by the way, if, I mean, when you get Stalageon back to normal, if you come back this way, be sure to drop in and tell me how it went.”
“Of course, we all owe it to you. I just hope we get there in time.”
“You will, don’t worry,”
Suddenly, a choking noise could be heard from a few beds away. Charmander rushed over to it and Sarol craned her short neck to see who had woken. It was Ritzo.
“Did you get it?” asked Ritzo, causing Sarol and Charmander to look at each other and start laughing. It was the first time Sarol had laughed for what seemed like years, but was only a day.
“What?” demanded Ritzo.
“That’s the first thing Sarol said when she woke up,” giggled Charmander.
“Yeah, but did you?”
“Yes, here it is,” Charmander held up the bottle and gave it to him.
“This has got a lot darker since yesterday,” commented Ritzo worriedly.
“Yeah, I noticed that too,” said Sarol in the same tone.
“She’ll be OK, I believe that you guys can do it,” encouraged Charmander.
“Hey, Sparky’s waking!” Ritzo pointed to the bed next to him, where Sparky lay, rubbing his eyes sleepily.
“What?” Sparky muttered, then realized where he was, “Did you get the bottle?”
That caused everyone to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” Sparky demanded.
“Never mind, the important thing is we’ve got her.” Ritzo held up the bottle. Sparky sighed in relief.
“Nooo! Stalageon! No!” A voice from the end bed rang in the empty corridors of the Dream Ranch. Freezachu was having a nightmare. A very loud nightmare. So loud that it managed to wake up Ebony and Sarielle.
“What?” Ebony groaned. He was still tired, not surprising as he had carried Gabzy and Freezachu for miles in the pitch-black, cold night.
Sarielle opened her beak to say something, but Ebony said it before her.
“Did you get the bottle?”
While trying not to double over, Ritzo showed them the bottle, laughing too much to speak.
“What’s so funny?” asked Sarielle.
“Just… well, it doesn’t matter, but I think we should all say a big thank-you to Charmander, who went out to get the bottle, don’t you?” said Sarol.
The other Pokémon agreed, except Gabzy, who was still unconscious but was making a recovery and Freezachu, who was still having his nightmare.
“Yeah, thanks, Charmander.”
“Thanks a lot!”
Right then, two Charmander came into the room, carrying piles of toast, bowls of cereal and plates of fried Pidgey-egg.
“We heard loud noises, so we figured you were awake, we brought in your breakfast, but if you want it later, we can take it away until then,” said one, who was balancing various plates in his arms, while trying not to wobble.
“That’s OK, we’ll have it now, right guys?” Ebony said quickly, as he was very hungry.
There were scattered agreements from the others, and soon they were tucking into their delicious breakfasts.
“Aren’t you going to join us?” asked Sarielle.
“Yuss, woo shood,” said Ritzo through a mouthful of toast and apricorn jam.
“I can’t, all of us Charmander eat in the kitchen at mealtimes,” Charmander explained.
“Awww… You still should,” protested Sarol.
“Sorry, but there’s no exceptions. You’d better get on with your meals, its two o clock already, and you’ll want to get back on the road soon.”
Charmander left and the other Pokémon continued with eating their breakfast.
“Mmmm… this is really nice.”
“Pity Gabzy’s still out cold, he loves Pidgey egg.”
“Yeah, his loss… Joking!”
“That was a little unfair…”
“We’d better get going.”
“Yeah, but if we go back this way, we’ve got to drop back here, I promised Charmander we would.”
”Yeah, we owe him.”
They got up and made their beds, Freezachu and Ebony finished first so Ebony picked up Gabzy and Freezachu made his bed.
“We’re done, we’ve got Gabzy too,” Freezachu pointed to Ebony, carrying the still motionless Gabzy. “Good. We’d better say goodbye and thanks to all the Charmander,” pointed out Sarol.
They got down the three flights of stairs, and were looking around for the Charmander that rescued Stalageon.
“There he is!” shouted Sparky.
“Hey, Charmander!” they all shouted, running towards him.
“Yeah?” Charmander turned around, as did a lot of other Charmander, who all went by the same name, “You’re leaving?”
“Yeah, we’ve gotta get going, if we’re going to- well, we’re going and wanted to say a big thank you,” smiled Ritzo.
“Thanks a lot,” Freezachu gave Charmander a big hug.
“Well, I’m just glad I could help,”
They all walked to the door and as the all said good-bye and thank you, when a clock chimed right by Freezachu’s ear, a Charmander came out of a little door on the clock three times.
“Three o clock! We’ve really got to get going!” cried Sarielle.
“Yeah, bye Charmander, thank you!” Ebony smiled.
“Bye, come back someday!” waved Charmander watching them turn to go down the road, then, some other Charmander came and waved with him;
“Good luck!”
After the Dream Ranch was out of sight, they all became worried about what would happen if they didn’t get to the Seafoam islands. They shuddered.
“Don’t worry, we’ll get there in time,” said Sarielle hopefully.
“I hope you’re right,” murmured Sarol.

Chapter 8 : At Rosy Mark village (dark gray)

So they set off down the road that Charmander had promised them that led to Fuchsia city, but at the moment it looked like it wound on forever.
After about half an hour, the stopped by a little town called Rosy mark village. They noticed it had a Pokémon center, a small one, but a center nonetheless.
“We could drop off Gabzy here for a bit,” suggested Sparky.
“I suppose,” said Freezachu.
“If he wakes up, it’ll take a lot of weight off of Ebony’s poor back, and we’d get to the Seafoam islands a lot quicker,” reasoned Sarielle.
“OK, then,” agreed Freezachu, picking up Gabzy and dashing into the center.
They all followed him, and they saw him giving Gabzy to a Nurse Joy and telling a Chansey what was wrong, although it wasn’t necessary, as Gabzy’s blood was seeping through the crude bandages that bound his wound.
After Joy had taken Gabzy into a hospital room, Freezachu turned and looked at the bottle. It was dark gray.
“Oh-oh,” moaned Sarol, looking at it. Freezachu remained silent.
“Well, while we’re waiting, we may as well go and talk to the local Pokémon to see which is the best way to the islands, and ask when the ferries leave,” said Ritzo hopefully.
“Ferries?” asked Ebony.
“Well, how else are we going to get to the island? You guys can’t fly,”
They all looked at each other, worriedly. None of them had thought of that.
“Hey, you! You look lost,”
They all whirled around, and saw a Skarmory.
“What?” asked Sarol, shocked.
“You all look completely lost,”
“Well, that might have something to do with the little fact that we are,” said Ebony rudely, then realized what he said, “Sorry! I didn’t mean that! I’m so tired, sorry!”
“That’s OK. But what are you doing here? Where’s your trainer?” Skarmory asked.
“We don’t have one,” Ritzo told him as Sparky tuned away.
“So why’re you here?”
And so they told Skarmory the long tale of how they were trying to get to the Seafoam islands.
“Wow! So you need to see Articuno?”
“Yeah, but it’s taking forever,” moaned Sarol.
“But we only left yesterday!” pointed out Sarielle.
“My point exactly! I haven’t had a longer 48 hours in my life!”
“Stop moaning, we’re nearly there, aren’t we?” Ebony asked Skarmory.
“Well, kind of, Fuchsia’s about five miles down that way,” Skarmory pointed down a road to the left with his metal wing.
“How long’ll it take to get to the actual island?” asked Sparky.
I dunno, how are you going to the island, exactly?”
“By boat, or something, which ever’s easiest and won’t cost anything,” admitted Ritzo.
“Erm, no boats are visiting there anymore, the discovered a rare species of Pokémon, Aquochu there, and they banned all the boats from going near the area,”
“WHAT?!?” they all screeched.
“Sorry, but they did…”
“But-but how will we get across?” choked Freezachu.
“I don’t know…”
“How does anyone get across?” asked Ritzo desperately.
“They don’t. I told you, they banned all tourists.”
“We’re not-“
“I know, but there’s no way to get across.”
Freezachu started to cry so Sarol and Sarielle comforted him.
“Look, we need to get across.” Said Ebony, “We either fly of surf. None of us are either able or big enough to do that,”
“We’d need a Lapras or a Lugia to do that!” shouted Sparky, “There’s seven of us!”
“True, but I think I know what might help you,” Smiled Skarmory, suddenly.
“What?” Yelled Freezachu, instantly.
“I’ll be right back,” Then Skarmory flew up into the sky on his metal wings and out of sight.
“He had better come back soon,” murmured Freezachu glumly, looking at the stony-gray water in the bottle.
“Let’s go see how Gabzy is,” suggested Ritzo.
“But what if Skarmory comes back while we’re gone?” Sarol pointed out.
“Fine. You, Sparky, Freezachu and Sarielle wait here, and come and fetch Ebony and me when he comes back,”
“Good idea. Let’s go,” Ebony said. “See ya Sparky.”
So Ritzo and Ebony went to the Pokémon center while the others stood by a crossroads, waiting for Skarmory to return. They passed the time by talking about what had happened during the last two days, each from their own point of view.
“So, I was sliding down the pipe and thinking “I don’t want to do this, but Houndoom’ll kill me if I don’t”, Then the pipe stops suddenly, and we’re all screaming, falling, then Sarielle comes and rescues me! Then, Daigree comes and attacks Gabzy and-“ Sparky was interrupted by a call from the sky.
“Hey! Guys!”
They all looked up, and saw five Skarmory flying towards them.
“Wow! Thanks Skarmory!” shouted Freezachu happily,
“Yeah, this is perfect!” agreed Sarol.
“We’d better get Gabzy, Ebony and Ritzo,” Sarielle said.
“I’ll go, I’m the fastest.” Sparky turned and was about to dash off to the Pokémon center when three figures appeared.
“Hi!” shouted Ritzo from the distance, “Gabzy’s better!”
They could see Gabzy, walking delicately alongside Ebony, with a bandage wrapped around the side of his head.
“Skarmory came back!” yelled Freezachu.
“We noticed,” smiled Ebony.
“Climb on quickly, Abi only let us go for two hours,” said one on the far left.
“Yeah, but be careful,” warned one with a slightly bent tail, “Our feathers can cut pretty easily,”
Sparky, Ebony, Gabzy, Sarol and Freezachu all climbed onto separate Skarmory while Ritzo and Sarielle took off into the air, followed seconds later by the flock of Skarmory.
“I told them all your story and they all agreed to help,” the original Skarmory told them.
“Gee, thanks!” shouted Freezachu
“That’s fine, we wanted to help,” smiled the Skarmory on which Sarol was riding,
“That’s just what Charmander said,” Sarol giggled.
“We’re really lucky to have made so many good friends, Ebony and Sparky, all the Charmander, you guys…” Sarielle was flying alongside the Skarmory at about the same speed, but was tiring out. Ebony saw this, and asked his Skarmory how long it would take.
“About half an hour,” she replied, “We’d better hurry up”,

Chapter 9 : The palace (black)

They chatted as they flew, but eventually Ritzo and Sarielle had to join in the ride, as they were just so tired.
Are you OK, carrying me and Sparky?” Sarielle asked for about the tenth time,
“It’s fine, honestly Sarielle,” replied the Skarmory, also for the tenth time.
“You are really fast at flying, in spite of all the extra weight,” marveled Ritzo, slightly enviously.
“We get a lot of practice, Abi trains us every day and we’re the strongest Skarmory in the whole of Rosy Mark village!” exclaimed the Skarmory that Sarol was riding.
“Wow! My trainer trained me all the time, but I still lost every year at the tournaments!” Sparky said, and then turned, embarrassed.
“What was your trainer like?” asked Ritzo, them stopped as he saw Sparky turn red.
“We, erm… got… separated.” Sparky mumbled, upset and embarrassed. The others decided to get off the subject.
“So, how long’ll it take?” asked Sarielle quickly.
“I see it!” shouted Ebony’s Skarmory, craning his long neck to see into the distance, “The Seafoam islands!”
“Where?” demanded Freezachu,
“There!” yelled Ebony.
“I see it too!” cried Sarol.
There, in the distance was a small dot that grew larger and split into two separate islands.
“Which one?” asked Ebony, looking at the two almost identical islands.
“The northern one,” said Gabzy’s Skarmory.
“Which one is the northern one?” Gabzy demanded.
“Erm… I don’t know… which way is north?”
“The opposite of south” said Sarol, helpfully.
“Why me?” Sarielle rolled her eyes towards the sky.
“Hmm…” Sparky licked his paw and held it up to the sun, “What time is it?”
“What has that go to do with the price of nuggets?” replied Gabzy.
“Erm, hang on…,” Ebony knew that this was for a good reason so he did some quick maths, “If we left the Dream Ranch at three and walked for an hour or so, waited for Skarmory for twenty or so minutes and it has taken roughly half an hour to get here… erm…about five o clock,”
“So, if the sun sets in the west,” he looked up at the sky again, “then that way is west, meaning that that way is north.” Sparky smiled proudly and pointed to the island on the left.
“Brilliant!” applauded Sarol, Sarielle and Freezachu.
“Amazing,” commented Ebony’s Skarmory.
“You are weird… why would anyone want to know which direction the sun sets in?” Gabzy mumbled.
They flew into the cave opening, which was pitch black.
“Not again…” moaned Gabzy loudly.
“Does anyone know flash?” one of the Skarmory, it was too dark to tell which, asked, “it’s kinda hard to see where you’re going in the pitch black,”
“Would you do the honors, Sparky?” asked Ebony, smiling.
“But of course,” Sparky smiled back, “Be careful Skarmory, put me down on the floor a sec,”
“Erm, OK,” Skarmory said, puzzled.
“Chuuuuuuuu!!!” A blinding light came from Sparky’s cheeks, illuminating the dark caverns, scaring off a few wild Krabby and Seel who dived into the water, which current was flowing very fast.
“We could have really used you earlier,” commented Ritzo, as Skarmory picked Sparky up into his back.
“Well, this is just brilliant. Another cave that is pitch-black, has freezing water and currents stronger than a Rhydon.” Gabzy stated coldly.
“It isn’t black any more, Gabzy.” Sarol pointed out.
“Well, it’s all wrapped up in a pretty little package, now, isn’t it?” he practically shrieked, “That makes it all right now, doesn’t it?”
“I never-“ began Sarol,
“You are always looking on the bright side, aren’t you? Too wrapped up in ‘it’s all right, everything is fine’ to realize that what we are trying to do is impossible! What if we get stuck in here? What if Articuno doesn’t want to help? What if-“
“What if you shut up?” shouted Ritzo, angrily.
“Make me! Look, the water’s black for the love of tsunami! Stalageon is-“
A blow from the side of his Skarmory’s metal wing neatly knocked out Gabzy before he could finish his hurtful sentence.
“Sorry, he was really, really starting to annoy me,”
“Yeah, we should have left him at the Pokémon center,” agreed Ritzo.
“He’s right, though” Freezachu’s voice was choked with tears.
“What?” asked Ebony.
“The water’s g-gone black… waahh!” Freezachu began crying, so loudly it echoed all the way through the inside of the island.
“Shhh it’s OK, there’s still time,” comforted Sarielle.
“Y-you sure?” Freezachu wept,
“Sure we are!” Sarol said, more cheerfully than she felt, “We’re very nearly there now, don’t worry,” They flew around the cave, through holes in the floor, over icy, fast-flowing rivers, until they came to a massive structure, constructed entirely of ice, shimmering in the light of Sparky’s flash. A group of Marill and Wooper saw them and pointed, chatting to each other excitedly.
“Guess they don’t get many visitors,” Ebony commented.
“Well, it’s taken an hour to get from outside to here, and we can fly, so it’s pretty well hidden,” Sarol’s Skarmory pointed out.
The Skarmory landed and the riding Pokémon dismounted, except Gabzy, who, of course lay, unconscious.
“It’s OK, I’m fine, carrying him,” The Skarmory assured Ebony when he went to pick up Gabzy from his back.
“Do we go through that door?” wondered Sparky aloud.
“Well, as that’s the door, I would guess so,” smiled one of the Skarmory.
“Uh, yeah.” Sparky blushed, feeling a bit stupid.
They walked towards the massive crystal door and opened it slightly. They all peered inside and gasped. From the outside, the palace was big enough, from the inside it seemed bigger than the whole island, the icy walls seemed to be miles across, and the ceiling seemed to go on forever. At the end of the gigantic room, there was a door, but it seemed like a speck in the distance.
It wasn’t the size of the room that was amazing, however. The sheer beauty was just indescribable. It shimmered and shone, like it wasn’t solid, but not quite liquid, either. Along each side of the room, there were statues, huge ice sculptures of various Pokémon, a Lapras, a Dragonite, a Tyranitar.
The whole scene was just surreal.
“Shall we go inside?”
Carefully, as if not wanting to awake the statues from their icy, cold slumber, they opened the door and stepped inside. Suddenly they felt a strange sensation at the same time. It sent shiver down each of their spines.

Chapter 10: Articuno

“OK. I am now officially scared.” Ebony shuddered with the uncomfortable feeling that something, or someone was watching them.
“Yeah,” one of the Skarmory agreed, “This is creepy.”
They made their way across the frozen floor, gazing at the statues, a massive Slowking, a glittering Houndoom, a shining Meganium.
“Waahh!” Sparky fell over, slipping on the icy flooring, too taken in with the beauty of a Suicune sculpture to look where he was going.
“Watch it!” Freezachu and one of the Skarmory helped him up, “Are you OK?”
“Yeah. I’m fine, these figures kind of hypnotize you, don’t they?”
“I know, it’s just scary. They look so real,”
As they drew nearer to the door at the other end of the hallway, they noticed a number of Croconaw, Poliwhirl and Wartortle. They all wore helmets and held spears.
“Is it just me, or do they look not too friendly?” asked Sarol.
“Yeah, they seem to be guarding the door.” a Skarmory on the left said.
“But they’ll let us through, won’t they?” panicked Freezachu.
“I’m sure they will,” reassured Ritzo.
As they came closer, the ‘guards’ showed no signs of letting them in. When they reached the door, they remained in their positions, unblinking.
“Erm, can we go in, please?” Ritzo asked, nervously.
“No.” snapped the Wartortle.
The Pokémon were stunned and looked at each other. Freezachu began crying.
“Please, it’s an emergency. We need to see Articuno,” begged Sarol.
One of the Croconaw at the end began to laugh but then straightened up like the others.
“Nobody is to see Articuno.” said a Poliwhirl sternly.
“Why?” asked Ritzo in disbelief.
“Articuno is in a state of mourning.” explained the Wartortle. “He does not wish to be disturbed.”
“Morning? But it’s late afternoon!” Sarol cried. Ebony rolled his eyes.
“It means he is grieving because somebody has died.”
“Oh. Sorry to hear that, but please can we come through?” Sparky begged.
“Nobody is allowed to enter the presence of Articuno to honor the memory of his great friend, Stalageon.” One of the Croconaw explained. The Pokémon’s jaws dropped.
“That’s the reason we need to see him!” shouted Ritzo.
“What? You need to see him because his fiend died?”
“No, because our friend Stalageon is about to die and we need Articuno’s help!” shouted Freezachu loudly. The guards stared.
“Once a Stalageon is melted there is nothing anyone can do.” said the Wartortle gently.
“No! If you re-freeze it, it can get better!” Freezachu yelled desperately.
“Be quiet, or you will disturb Articuno!” said one of the Poliwhirl sharply.
Then, the crystal door opened. The guards all backed away, letting the door open wide to reveal Articuno, the magnificent titan of ice.
“I could not help hearing your little conversation.” Articuno said. Poliwhirl glared at Freezachu. Articuno turned to the travelers.
“Come inside.”
To taken aback to argue they followed Articuno into his room in single file.
The guards looked puzzled and shut the door.
Once the Pokémon had got over the fact that they had been invited into the room of the most powerful ice Pokémon ever, who was also a legendary, they noticed that the room rivaled even the beauty of the magnificent statues that they had seen in the long hallway.
There was furniture, tables, chairs and cupboards, all carved out of ice, but perfect down to the tiniest detail. There was a bookshelf, also made out of ice, but it was made to look like that a rose vines was climbing it. On the shelf were thousands of books, all in alphabetical order and exactly the same height and width. There was a window, which let a stream of light onto the floor. It reminded Sarol of that moment when they saw the melted remains of Stalageon on the floor of the ice path.
“Welcome.” Articuno said. “Please, sit down.”
They all went over to a sofa that was made of ice and sat down. It was, actually, very comfy.
“I could not help but hear you outside.” Articuno began. Freezachu looked to the ground. “And I recall you saying that there is a way to revive a Stalageon.” They all looked at each other and then back to Articuno, his eyes were glistening with half-formed tears.
“If you re-freeze it in time, it’ll get better,” Sarielle explained.
“I wish I’d known that before…”
The Pokémon looked at each other, unsure of what to say. Articuno wiped his eye with one of his massive wings.
“So what brings you here?” He asked.
“Well, you see, we knew about how you can re-freeze Stalageon because, well, our friend melted and we thought you, being the greatest ice Pokémon ever, might be able to re-freeze him,” Sarielle explained, looking at Freezachu cry.
“I see, do you think that this might also work on my friend as well?” Articuno asked, unable to hide the hope in his voice.
“I don’t know,” admitted Ritzo, looking around, “how long has he been melted?”
“About two days, I have noticed that the water has turned darker and darker. Would you come through to see, please?”
They all followed him through into another room, smaller, but it had a large alter-like thing in, as they looked closer, they saw a hole was cut neatly in the top and inside was a large, black puddle.
“Have you tried refreezing it?” asked Sarol.
“No, I haven’t.” Articuno admitted.
“Well, try now.”
Articuno drew bask his magnificent head, and then sent a powerful beam of blue light at the puddle.
Nothing happened.
“Oh my…” moaned Sarielle.
“Let’s all try!” shouted Freezachu, refusing to believe that Articuno couldn’t do it. He held the bottle close to his chest.
“Come on then!” Sarol said as she stepped nearer to the altar.
They all took a deep breath and felt their stomachs freeze the air to release an ice beam.
“GO!” shouted Sparky and a couple of the Skarmory, who were watching with the other Skarmory and Ebony.
There was an ear-shattering bang, followed by a loud crackling sound as all of the power of the beams hit the water. As the blinding blue light cleared, they all peered anxiously into the hole.
It was like watching a Pokémon evolving. There was the white light to begin with. Then the whooshing sound as the former state grew and formed a beautiful new Pokémon. The light stopped. Then the Pokémon opened its eyes.

Chapter 11: Stalageon

“What?” Stalageon murmured.
“Stalageon!” Articuno shouted, running over to hug his friend.
“Don’t you remember me?” asked Articuno, shocked.
“Of course, but it seemed like another lifetime…like a dream.”
“What did it feel like?”
“Um… can we do my friend Stalageon now?” Freezachu asked, anxiously.
“Of course, tip the bottle into the basin now,”
Stalageon watched Freezachu tip the contents of the bottle into the basin.
“OK, Let’s go, one, two, three!” Articuno shouted.
They took another deep breath and fired the strongest ice beam they could at the coal-black water.
Nothing happened.
“I’ll have a go as well,” offered Stalageon, “Let’s all try or hardest.”
“Come on!”
“You can do it!”
The Skarmory were all shouting words of encouragement and Articuno was stronger than before, as he had his best friend back.
They all drew deep breaths and shot massive ice beams from their ice beams, enough to make Entei, Moltres and Ho-oh faint instantly.
But not enough to revive Stalageon.
“Whaaaa!!!” cried Freezachu, bursting onto inconsolable tears.
The Pokémon all felt like crying. They had come all this way, for nothing? They would not be able to re-freeze Stalageon? Freezachu would never see his best friend again?
“I have an idea!” Shouted Articuno, breaking the awful silence. He flew to the door and shut it behind him. A minute later, he retuned, accompanied by the guards.
“What?” asked Sarol.
“OK, Now let’s all try,” Articuno stepped up to the altar. The others all did too.
“Three.” Articuno said. They all took a deep breath.
“Two.” Said Sarielle, feeling the air freeze inside her.
“One.” Said Stalageon, preparing to shoot.
“Go!” Shouted all the Skarmory. There was a completely blinding light as all the Pokémon gave their all in an attempt to re-freeze a friend’s friend. They carried on beaming until they nearly suffocated. As the smoke cleared, they saw that it was just no good. The water remained a pool of black liquid.
“I can’t believe this!”
“We have to keep trying!” Shouted Stalageon, “Keep trying, over and over, I felt almost frozen again when you tried the first time, and you just needed to do it again!”
“OK, then, come on,” said Articuno. Wartortle led the way to the basin and they all took a deep breath as the Skarmory did another countdown.
The effect was the same, the crackling, the blinding light, but the result was the same, too.
“Again!” urged Stalageon, ”You helped me, so I’m helping you! Keep trying! Don’t leave gaps and give it time to cool off!”
”Come on then!” Articuno took another breath and fired. Everyone else followed. Still nothing.
“We have to carry on! It’s hard but Stalageon said it would work and he should know!” shouted Sarielle desperately.
“OK, come on!” shouted Sarol.
They tried again. And again. And again. But still nothing happened.
“I have an idea! Some of you go and fetch some of the Pokémon outside, I’ll come, too!” said Articuno, suddenly.
The Skarmory and Articuno all flew out of the door and to the end of the massive room, then out of the door.
“We should still keep trying!” Stalageon encouraged.
“Yeah, come on.” Ritzo agreed.
So they fired frequent, not-too powerful blasts at the water, keeping the water cool while trying to save energy for when Articuno and the Skarmory returned.
“Come on, through here!”
“Yeah, in this door,”
Voices could be heard from outside the door. They grew louder and louder until the door opened and nearly fifty Pokémon walked in, chattering.
“Wow!” shouted Sarielle, taken aback with the number of Pokémon.
“OK, let’s try!” Articuno shouted to everyone, “Over here, around the basin, Skarmory do the countdown! On three!”
If the first few blasts were blinding, they were nothing to the amazing blast of blue light that filled the room. A deafening bang, louder than a hundred Exploud yelling, making the whole palace shake. Then, a cloud of icy smoke cleared, to reveal…
“Stalageon!” cried Freezachu, running up to his friend, giving her a big hug, tears streaming down his smiling face.
All the Pokémon watched Freezachu hug his friend; Sarielle and Sarol began to cry as well. Articuno and Ritzo thanked the Pokémon that had helped them, especially the guards and they gradually left, leaving only the travelers, The Skarmory, Articuno and the two Stalageon in the room.
“Thank you all so much, I can’t say how…” Stalageon began weeping; Freezachu went to give her another hug.
“I thought I’d never see you again. I am so lucky. I missed you so much,” Freezachu told her.
“But how did you get all the way to the Seafoam islands?”
“I’ll tell you on the way home.”

Epilogue (You could also call it ‘stuff that happened later that I couldn’t be bothered to write in’)

We want a happy ending all round, so just assume that they did go back to the Dream Ranch to tell Charmander, Stalageon and Freezachu decided to live with the others and that Sparky found his trainer on the way home and Ebony decided to stay with them. They kept in touch with their friends in the ice path, of course. Articuno and Stalageon were eternally grateful to them all, and vice versa. On the way back, they got something nice for Lanturn, and Daigree was found by Houndoom and rejoined the street Pokémon, with just a few scars.
Thanks to this story, Dannichu is now five times faster at typing on a keyboard (Well, I know where the ‘Q’ key is now. Next story, we work on the ‘W’).


Author’s notes:


*Phew!* That story took forever and a day! Almost a year! Ok, I lost it for a month or so, but found it on a floppy disk, but that’s still no excuse for my slow typing. You have no idea how hard it was to think up the ending, I did my best to keep it interesting, but they tried about a million times and failed, but that was me trying to make it unpredictable (as if I’d let Stalageon die!), but the ending sentence sounds so corny! Oh, well. Ok, this story wasn’t the best one ever, not very funny and I think I rambled on a bit with descriptions, but I did try very hard. Tell me what you think by E-mailing me, Send me flames if you want to, but tell me why it was rubbish, so I can do a better on next time.

NOTE: The way that Freezachu was a boy and Stalageon was a girl meant nothing. They were friends, and there was NO love whatsoever in this story.

Thanks again to Mewkitty for letting me use her Pokémon in it. ^_^

Did you know that a cockroach could live ten days without its head, before it starved to death because it had no mouth? Heh heh… I had to say that.


Started: 17 April 2002
(Insert a lot of notes, planning and writers block here)
Finished: 29 March 2003

-Pika! Pika! ^_^

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