Jewel of the Air

Five
The Great Escape

I woke up the next morning to see my slop still sitting there from the night before. I almost vomited when I saw it, but, considering I hadn't eaten for days, there was nothing to vomit. I heard my stomach growl at me for some decent food. Even a Magikarp would do me fine right now.

Mum had said humans thought Articuno were the gods of ice and snow. Why was this guy treating me this way? Didn't he know a god when he saw one? Or didn't he know how to treat gods?

I heard a clang at the metal door and saw it swing open, revealing my new trainer. I rested my head back under my wing and pretended to sleep again, hoping he wouldn't disturb me.

It didn't work. I heard his footsteps approaching, I heard him stop right in front of me, I heard him sigh. "Wake up, you lazy bird," he muttered. I didn't move, what could he do? He could kick me, and kick me hard. A searing pain hit me hard in the chest. I couldn't pretend to sleep now. I screamed.

"When I tell you to get up, you get up!" yelled my trainer.

I stood up and rubbed my ribs with a wing. I stepped backwards, avoiding any more attacks, with a snarl on my beak and my brow well and truly lowered. "Do you not realise that I am the god of ice?" I snarled menacingly at him. "Don't you see that you are tormenting a god?"

The Blastoise called over to me. "He's a human, he can't understand you."

"Oh, shut up," I said to him, and turned back to the man. He was looking smug. I blew a warning aurora beam through my beak and opened my wings. He still looked smug. I started fanning ice-cold wind at him. He produced a Pokéball and turned me to red light. It was ridiculous. He had no real attacks, he was shorter than I was, he couldn't fly, and yet he had complete control over me. I couldn't stand it.

He released me from my red and white prison into the middle of the pool. I hated water. I flapped my now sodden wings and rose into the air, searching for the trainer. But just as the tip of my tail left the water, I was shocked with electricity and fell back in. I tried to use my wings to stay afloat.

"Oh, come off it, Articuno," the voice of my trainer sneered. I whisked my head around and saw him behind a big iron gate several meters up the wall. "It's not that cold! I'd have thought you'd be used to these temperatures!"

"Cold?" I screeched at him, "You think this is cold? You've obviously never before been to the mountains." This was a hot spring and he thought it was cold.

"I don't know what you're saying, but it must be back talk. Every time you try to get out of the water, or try to attack me, the electric Pokémon behind you will shock you, harder each time."

I could feel myself sinking in the water. I lifted my wings to the surface and made an attempt at swimming for the edge of the pool.

"What am I s'posed to do in here?" I demanded, "Drown?"

"Don't you dare try and get out. You stay in there until I tell you to get out, and no sooner."

I 'swam' to the edge and rested my heavy and dripping wings on the side of the pool. I couldn't stand water. I couldn't stand him either. I had to find a way out of here, Mum and Dad weren't about to appear out of nowhere and save me.

Finally, I guess when the guy got bored, he told me to get out and fly around a bit. I was grateful for that. I flapped my wings and shook off the water, making an attempt at flying. It was hopeless. My wings were wet and dripping, no bird could fly with wet wings. A sopping tail seven meters in length didn't help either.

"Come on, Articuno, fly!"

"I can't fly with wet wings! Let my dry off and I'll fly all you want."

I heaved myself from the water and shook myself dry. I fluffed out my feathers and fanned my wings, hoping to dry off a little more. I flicked my tail and sprayed more water onto the floor.

"FLY!" screeched the trainer, his face beet red. He muttered something to the electric Pokémon in front of him and I was promptly shocked. Not too hard, but enough to give pain.

"Al right, all right, I'll fly." If he wanted to check my stamina, he was in for a surprise. I had flown for a day and a half almost non-stop just before he captured me. I shook my crest and took off, flapping to the ceiling of the immense room.

With each circuit I did of the room I inspected the windows. All were barred off with thick metal bars, so that option was out. Maybe I could try one of those sprayed ice beams at the wall? I wasn't perfect at the spray, but it would be enough, surely, it was just rock.

On my pass by the cage that held him, I shrouded him and his Pokémon in mist and headed straight for the wall. I threw everything I had at that wall. I hit it with such great force that I was sure it would burst.

The dust and ice cleared and revealed a considerably large hollow in the wall, but it didn't burst through. I couldn't believe it. I stood back and tried again, shooting another powerful sprayed ice beam. I could see daylight through a tiny hole. One more ice beam and I had made a hole big enough to squeeze through.

I dove through the hole and wriggled my way out. I spread my wings and bent my legs to take off. But I felt that awful feeling of being but not being. I was in the Pokéball again.

I was deposited in the same stone room where I had spent the previous night, only this time I was in a small cage, so small I couldn't spread my wings more than half a meter. I sat down on the cold metal floor of the cage with my back to my trainer.

"I don't believe this!" he was yelling, "how many times have I told you to do what I tell you to do? You wanted to come to me, remember? I honestly am thinking of selling you. I mean, what good's an Articuno if it won't obey you? Why not sell you and make a bundle for doing nothing? People don't care about your obedience, they'll just say, 'hey! An Articuno! Wow!'" and so he continued.

I had no idea what he was talking about, but finally he left. I heard the Blastoise walk over to my cage. He stood in front of me. I turned around and faced away.

"Is that true? What he said?" asked the Blastoise, "Did you really want to come with him?"

"What do you care?" I mumbled.

He waddled around to my side of the cage again. I turned the other way. "Look," said the Blastoise, "I know we didn't meet under the greatest circumstances, in a battle, but if you could just-"

"Oh, shut up and leave me alone," I muttered.

The Blastoise sighed heavily. "Okay, if that's what you really want." I heard him stand up and lumber away, "I just wanted to make friends."

six