Jewel of the Air

One
Gem of the Skies

I could not believe we were doing this. Mum said we'd be flying for at least three days! I could not believe her. I'm two years old, for crying out loud, I'm not meant for endurance yet. I tried to argue, but it didn't work. I even volunteered to stay home while they both left to see her. I argued that I was too young to fly for three days, but Dad just said I'd get rests along the way.

Mum's friend Shelly and her kid Ruby were coming too. Shelly was with Mum and Ruby with Dad. Ruby's my friend, seems she's the only one who really cares about me.

It's just not fair. Why do I have to fly for days on end just to see a human? So what if she's got the same name as me? I want out of this. ASAP.

I glided over on my tired wings to Dad and Ruby. "Dad, why do we have to go there? It's just a human."

He turned his red eyes to me. I hate it when he gets angry, especially for no reason. He finished the customary glare and returned his gaze to the mountains ahead. "Because, my son, this is the human who saved your life before it even began."

"So?" I ventured, "I've never met her in my life."

"Well, now's a good time to start."

"I'd rather be captured by a human than see her," I mumbled. I thought he hadn't heard. I guess I was wrong.

He stopped and hovered in front of me, his eyes colder and redder than I had ever seen them. "Listen to me, Sapphire. This human saved your life. Of all the humans we met, she was the only one of them all who cared for your mother and I. If you dare to ever bad-mouth the person who helped you to live, I will send you away from this family."

I was shocked, but I tried not to show it. "The next human we come across, I'm going to be captured!" I yelled, flying around him to Mum.

"Mum, I want to get captured."

As I had expected, her reaction was much different to Dad's. She just kept flying without saying a word, but I could see what she was thinking; "My baby, leaving already? Where did I go wrong?" She was always like that. Shelly turned her head to me, then turned back and stared off into the distance.

We flew for the rest of the day in silence before gliding down to the snow below us for a sleep. It felt great to pull my wings beside me, relax the aching muscles and just doze off.

I woke the next morning to the muffled sounds of Mum and Dad's voices. They were obviously talking about me, so I decided to pretend I was still asleep.

"He wants to leave us, Snowfall," that was Dad, "I say we should let him do what he wants. When he finds out that the human life is too tough for him, he'll come home."

I could hear Mum crying again. "But we went to so much trouble to get his egg back. I lost my tail, you were in the Pokécentre for weeks. I don't want to loose him after just two years. I didn't leave home until I was twelve."

"I know, I know, but if we try and make him do what we want, he'll hate us."

"Wake up and smell the roses, Glacier, he hates us already. If he stays, we can at least try. If he goes, well, I don't want the last time I ever see him to be in anger."

I gulped and felt a tear leaking from my eye. I angrily blinked it away. It wasn't my fault humans nicked me before I even hatched, I couldn't help it.

I couldn't bare it any longer. I couldn't stand hearing them talking about me like that. They had to learn they couldn't run my life for me. I didn't want to wait around the roof of a stadium, staring at Pokémon killing each other, just for their humans. I rolled over and 'woke up'.

"What's for breakfast?" I said.

They were both sitting with their backs to me, Dad had his wing around Mum's shoulders. He lifted the other one and motioned for me to come over, without turning his head. I cautiously stepped through the snow to them.

Dad looked up at me as I sat down in front of them in the snow. "Sapphire, neither of us want you to leave, but we will give you the choice. Are you still sure you want to go? Think hard about it. It will be very hard to find a worthwhile human. Many are cruel to Pokémon and will torture you whether you did a good job or not. Others care deeply for their Pokémon and may even refuse to use Pokéballs, but these are few and far between. Think carefully, Sapphire."

I had already made up my mind, I was going, but I took a while to answer, just so he'd think I thought it over. "I'm going," I said, hiding the quiver in my voice as well as I could.

They showed no emotion, but I could tell they were disappointed. Who cares? It's my life and I'll do what I want with it.

Mum got up and woke Shelly, then mumbled something to her. Shelly looked at me and nodded. She got up and the two walked back to me.

"Sapph, your mum and I want to tell you a story," said Shelly, sitting down and crossing her legs in front of me.

I rolled my eyes and flopped onto my back. "Aren't I a little to old for this?" I groaned.

"Get up, Sapphire, this is important!" I'd never heard Mum that stern before. I got up and listened. They told me again about how they found Sapphire Iyse. But Mum added something at the end.

"Sapphire, we accept that you want to leave us, and instead of going to a complete stranger, we feel it would be best if you stayed with Sapphire. All the Pokémon she has you'll recognise, she rarely uses Pokéballs, her training methods are gentle and she understands Articuno. You'll really like her."

I sighed. "Okay, Mum, I'll stay with Sapphire." I'd be captured by the first human I saw.

Halfway through the day, I saw a human, a tiny speck on the white snow beneath us. Without a word, I dipped down and landed in front of the human. He was trudging through the snow, head bend, muttering at the chilling breeze ruffling his hair. He saw my purple feet and stopped in his tracks. His jaw dropped.

"I'd like to go with you," I told him.

"It's no good, Sapphire," called Shelly from above, "he can't understand you!"

I yelled back up to her. "Can't you use your psychicy stuff to talk to him?"

She had a quick word with Mum and yelled back down. "I guess so."

The human had still not recovered from seeing me. Mum said people reacted to her that way when they saw her. I couldn't believe humans thought we were gods. This would be interesting. The human whisked around, as if hearing something and trying to work out where it came from.

He turned his head back to me and nodded vigorously. His hand reached for his waist and produced a red and white ball. A Pokéball. He whispered something to the ball and threw it at me. I heard a popping noise and saw the world turn red, then white. I had no feeling at all. I could see nothing, I could feel nothing, I could hear nothing, I could smell nothing, I was, basically, nothing. I was captured.

Two