Seeing my son turn into the red light that signified he now belonged to a human was the hardest thing I ever had to watch. It was harder than seeing Glacier unconscious for weeks. It was even harder than seeing those long, blue feathers, falling to the ground. And to see him go willingly. I struggled to keep back tears; if I cried now, I'd probably fall to the earth.
We flew on silently for the rest of the day. I tried not to think of my son, instead to think of the other Sapphire I knew. As I had the first time I visited Sapphire, we flew overnight, our passengers made an attempt at sleep, but I'm not sure if they succeeded. Just before dawn three days after we left, I saw the hideous spike of the building made to catch birds.
"Shelly," I whispered, "we're here!"
I heard her yawn and felt her stretch on my back. She leant her hands on my shoulder blades to get a better view of Sunset Town. We glided silently for a few more minutes. For the first time in years, we'd be able to see Sapphire! We touched down and Shelly and Ruby climbed down off our backs.
"Oooh, it feels good to stretch your legs!" sighed Shelly, reaching as high up as she could.
"Shelly, would you like to do the honours?" I asked her.
"Sure thing." She walked up to the door of the person who had helped us to find our egg and knocked. We heard the handle turning and saw the door open.
An elderly woman stepped out. Her hair was far from blue, more like a pale pink. Humans didn't change that much in two years, did they? This old lady looked shocked to see us. Not a happy kind of surprised, shocked. This old lady wasn't Sapphire. She was just another gawker who thought Articuno were only 'legends'.
"Frank?" she called nervously over her shoulder, not taking her eyes off us. An elderly man with pure white hair joined her at the door. I decided to try and establish contact.
"Excuse me?" I said very slowly, "can you please tell us where Sapphire Iyse lives?"
She looked at me blankly. "No? Okay then, Shelly, try, what was it again, tele-something?"
"Telepathy," she said, "no problem." Her eyes turned bright blue and she looked at the pair of humans. I could tell something was going on, but Shelly was 'talking' to the humans, not to me. The pair looked dumbfounded, but then the man spoke.
"Just a minute, I've got the address somewhere," he said and walked back into the house.
The woman continued to stare at us. "Are you the Articuno that came here two years ago? I saw you on the news." I raised my tail and fanned it out as proof that we were indeed the same Articuno. Shelly's eyes glowed again and I guessed she was telling her that we wanted to find Sapphire again because she was the one who trained us and saved our egg.
The old man returned with a piece of paper with writing on it. He handed it over to us. Shelly slowly took it and we all peered at it.
"What the heck does it say?" whispered Shelly.
I shook my head. "I have no idea."
Shelly 'spoke' again to the couple. They smiled and took the paper back. The man pointed out the door. "Fly for about twenty kilometres that way and you should reach a city. When you get there, just ask for Sapphire and the people there will point you in the right direction. Good luck!" he said. Shelly's eyes glowed for a second, then she and Ruby climbed back on our backs. The humans waved goodbye and we were off.
We were only flying for about twenty minutes when we saw the town. It looked similar to Sunset, but slightly bigger and with no pointy building. There were two stadiums in this town, one about half the size of the other.
We glided down into the street and Shelly asked the first person we came across where Sapphire lived. The man looked surprised, but not shocked. We must be very well known in this town. He pointed us down the street, turn left, avoid the next junction and then turn right. "You can't miss it!" he said.
Shelly thanked him and we took off again. We reached the street he had told us to go to, but there were too many houses along it to be able to tell which one was Sapphire's. Shelly asked another person, who pointed to a massive house next to the smaller stadium. We thought she must be wrong and asked another person. She, too, pointed to the massive house. One more person confirmed that the house was indeed Sapphire's.
We glided over the gate and lawn to the doorstep. The house was a two-storey house with a big veranda and balcony. Shelly knocked on the door and we waited for Sapphire to appear.
We heard her crackled voice come from a black box by the door. "Who is it?" she asked.
I talked into the black box, "Have a guess!"
"Snowfall! I'll be right there!" her voice crackled off and we heard footsteps behind the door. She flung it open and wrapped her arms around me, then Glacier and Shelly. "I've missed you so much! Who's the little Smoochum? Can she talk yet? Where's Sapphire?"
"Calm down!" said Shelly, "can we come in and we'll tell you everything. Then you'll have to tell us some stuff too!"