Jewel of the Air

Fourteen
Cuno Tales

All Sapphire's Pokémon decided they'd be best off staying at the house and training, but Glacier, Shelly and I were itching to go, since we were the only ones who knew him personally. The three of us had to be Pokéballed for our journey to Lake Enyata. Shelly was reluctant to leave Ruby behind, but realised that it would be impractical to take her along.

I had no idea where it was, or even if Sapphire was still there, but I wanted to find him again, even if Glacier was reluctant. Sapphire was only two years old, too early to leave his parents. I hoped he was still okay, he must have managed to escape from the human if he was there, and he'd only try and escape if he didn't like the guy.

For the whole journey I didn't hear a thing from outside the ball, and I had no idea where I was. Was I on Sapphire's belt? Was I in her bag? In the luggage room? I had no way of telling and at that time I realised just how much trust Pokémon put in their humans. I could easily trust Sapphire, but what about all those torturing trainers?

Eventually I heard noise. There was the odd muffled 'thank you' and other general murmuring, then the gentle rumble that told me I was in a car. We drove for a few minutes, then moved into a place where people were talking about room keys and check out times. I assumed that was another hotel. I'd had bad experiences with hotels, so I wasn't really looking forward to this one. Eventually we were all let out.

The hotel room was much different to the one we had spent some time in a few years ago, this one had a more cosy look to it, more like a room in Sapphire's house than a hotel. Out the window I could see we were only on the second floor. There was a big tree next to the window, its leaves gently swaying in the breeze. Past the limb I saw the lake. It was huge and flat as glass. There were a few boats in the middle, making gentle ripples around them as fishing nets and lines were cast out.

"Okay guys," said Sapphire, "We're here, obviously. Whether or not Sapphire's still here is yet to be seen, but I guess the place to start is Phil Dunn."

"How do we find him?" Glacier asked.

Sapphire smiled, "Telephone book," she said, and walked to the chest of drawers beside her bed, pulling out a thick yellow book from the top drawer. She then proceeded to flip through the pages. When she had found the right page, she scanned down the columns and columns of words until she came to the right one. "Got him," she said.

"How did you do that so quickly?" I asked. I was mystified.

"It's easy, they're all listed in alphabetical order, so you just look through the 'd's until you get to Dunn. It's got his address listed there, so we can go find him." She copied down the address, dumped the heavy yellow book in the drawer again and stood up. "So let's go!"

I still had no idea, but if it worked for her...

So the four of us walked out of the hotel and into the street. Shelly hopped on my back and Sapphire on Glacier's, then we took off, Sapphire and Glace in the lead. The settlement on Lake Enyata was very small, it didn't even have a stadium, but it was very pretty. There were trees lining all the streets and no building was taller than the hotel, and even that was only four storeys.

We drifted over the houses and through the leafy streets to the street along which Phil Dunn lived, then glided down in front of his house. Sapphire and Shelly climbed down and walked to the door, the two of us close behind.

Sapphire knocked on the door and not Phil, but a young man with pale blue hair greeted us.

"Sorry, Dad doesn't want any more interviews," he said, but when he noticed us, his eyes widened and he turned back to the house. "Dad!" he called, "It's not a tv crew!"

"Who is it, then?" Phil's voice floated down the hallway.

"It's that gym leader from Snowdrop Town, and she's got two Articuno with her!"

"Always the Articuno," grumbled Shelly, "Never mind the Jynx, always the Cuno."

"Hello, dear," said Phil, "It's such a relief not having a camera crew here. Come in, come in!"

"Thank you, Mr. Dunn," Sapphire said, following him in through the door, "And believe me, I know all about camera crews."

"Tell me about it!" I agreed, ducking as I went through the doorway into his living room.

"So, what brings you here?" he asked. As if there was any doubt.

"Well, not surprisingly the Articuno you saw," answered Sapphire, "You remember a few years back that Articuno egg was stolen? That was their egg," she indicated to Glacier and me, "Their chick just recently got captured, and we were thinking that that Articuno may be theirs, so we're just wondering if you knew of any way we could find it."

Phil looked thoughtful for a moment, then he said, "I guess if you'd like to come on my bird-spotting expedition tomorrow with my son, I'd be glad to have you come along." He grinned, "And if you could tell me about these two magnificent creatures, I'd have to insist!" he chuckled.

"Oh, really? That would be wonderful!"

"Oh, yes. This lake has lots of fish in it, it's what keeps the town going, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Articuno comes back."

"Thank you very much Mr. Dunn," said Sapphire.

"Please, call me Phil, makes me sound younger!" he chuckled again and showed us to the door. "Would you like to meet here at, say nine tomorrow morning?"

"Sure. Thanks again!" Sapphire replied, climbing on my back. She and Shelly waved good bye, then we took off back to the hotel.

Glacier and I decided that it would be nice to just go fishing for a little while, so we left Shelly and Sapphire to do what they wanted while we skimmed the lake.

I have to say, what Phil had told us about the lake having a lot of fish was definitely true. We even caught a few fish and dropped them in the fishermen's boats, getting a few dropped jaws as we did so. I don't know whether they thought either of us was the Articuno from the day before, but they were definitely surprised.

We kind of had two missions on that lake, not only to catch fish and 'meet' the locals, but also to maybe lure Sapphire to us. I didn't know whether or not he was anywhere near, but we could only hope. Unfortunately, no other Articuno turned up that evening. We glided reluctantly back to the hotel to go to sleep with full stomachs, but empty hearts.

fifteen