Snowdrift

four
But not all Humans are Bad

As we glided through the afternoon sunlight, I thought again of my egg, and whether we would ever find it. It was due to hatch in just one month, and I didn't even know where to start looking. For the time being though, I was just happy to get out of that dank old building. I couldn't stand to see Glacier like that. The Pikachu had assured me that their trainer, Jack, would not awake either.

Accompanying me on the journey were the lead Pikachu, whose name I found out was Shocker, and the youngest, Squeak. Shocker had been the first Pikachu Jack had caught, and had been in the torture of his trainer for five long years. Squeak had just evolved from a Pichu the previous week, and was already experiencing what his relatives were.

We reached the Pokémon Centre and touched down outside the doors. The pair of Pikachu jumped off my back and led me inside. There was a big desk with lots of green boxes lined up along it. ["Computers," Shocker told me.] Chairs lined the walls and pot plants were placed here and there for decoration. Over to my left was a person sitting down looking mournfully at the big set of doors opposite us, or rather, the flashing light above it. He hadn't even seen us.

The light blinked off and a tall lady in white with pink hair walked out, followed by two big, pink, egg-shaped Pokémon. The trio made their way to the boy, whose look had now changed to hopeful.

"Your Arbok will be fine. It's unconscious right now, but it's on antibiotics and it'll be fine in a week or two," said the lady in white. That gave me hopes. If she could cure an Arbok that was unconscious, maybe she could cure Glacier too. Still no one had noticed us.

"What are those two pink Pokémon?" I asked the Pikachu.

"They're Chansey. They always help at Pokécentres with their eggs. They really are very good-natured Pokémon too," explained Shocker.

I walked over to the small group, my claws clacking on the slippery floor. I tapped one of the Chansey on the shoulder with my beak and asked it if I could talk with it, as the lady seemed busy.

"There doesn't seem to be anything the matter with you! Are you here to visit someone?" I noticed right away the obvious cheerfulness of the Pokémon.

"Uh, no. Actually, my mate in unconscious a fair distance away, and he's too heavy for me to carry, so I was wondering if it would be possible for you to come with us and see to him."

"Oh dear!" cried the Chansey, one stubby arm reaching to her mouth. "I suppose we could drive out there to him! Could you lead us to him?"

"Easy. It's that big boxy building. Will she be much longer?" I indicated the human with a jerk of my head.

"Nurse Joy? She won't be much longer! She's just reassuring the Arbok's owner!" with that, the Chansey bounced off back to it's companions. She tapped Nurse Joy on the leg and said something to her, making her turn around and face me. Her hand reached up to her open mouth and she seemed to ignore the Chansey at her side. I was getting a bit uneasy at this staring. What was so unusual about me?

She shook her head as if returning to the real world and paid a bit more attention to the Chansey, nodding now and then. When the Chansey had finished, she walked over to us. She cleared her throat and spoke with the same cheerfulness as her Chansey assistant. "Are you really an Articuno?"

As I knew she would not understand me, I just nodded my head. What else did I look like? A Lapras?

"I thought Articuno were just legends, myths, stories! I never thought they actually existed! Why aren't you up in your mountain home? It must be incredibly hot here for you!"

"My egg was stolen and Glacier and I have come to search for it." I replied, directing it more at the Chansey than her. If they worked at saving lives, they must be able to communicate somehow. The Chansey whom I had spoken to before relayed the information.

"Oh, that's so sad! We'll go and heal your mate right away! Chansey! Get me the emergency medical kit and meet me at the Ambulance!" Somehow, Nurse Joy managed to express joy and sympathy at the same time.

I waited outside with Nurse Joy, Squeak and Shocker by a big white box with a red light on top and four disks at each corner. More holes covered with solid water lined one end of the box. It didn't take long for the Chansey to come wobbling out of the Pokécentre, medical kit in hand. The Chansey jumped in one side of the box and Nurse Joy in the other. Squeak and Shocker took up their positions on my back.

"Now, you lead us to the place where Glacier is and we'll do the best we can from there!" said the nurse. I would think about the problem of how they would get inside the impenetrable building when we came to it.

As it turned out, it was quite easy. A door I hadn't seen was located on one side of the building, and without question, Nurse Joy opened it and raced inside, followed by the Chansey. The Pikachu had already raced inside and were leading them to the place where Glacier lay. I followed at the back, strutting along as the narrow corridor barely gave me enough room to walk, let alone glide.

Through another few doors, along more passages, through a few small rooms, then into the huge room and across the floor to the hoard of Pikachu surrounding my beautiful Glacier. When I reached him, his eyes were open, but he couldn't get up.

"Hello beautiful," he croaked, giving a weak smile before breaking into a fit of coughs. I knelt beside him and wept over his puffy white chest. I forced myself off so the nurse and Chansey could cure him.

The two took one look at him, hoisted him onto a white thing and carried him the long way back to the ambulance, then drove him, siren blasting and light flashing back to the Pokécentre. This looked more serious than I had first thought.

I waited on the seats outside the operating theatre, staring at the flashing light above the doors. Now I knew how that little boy felt. I couldn't continue my search without Glacier. I had no idea where to begin looking. But all I could hope for was that Glacier would be all right.

Finally, well into the night, the nurse and her helpers, four this time, walked the length of floor between the double-doors and me. This time I was unaccompanied. I had prepared myself for the worst. Would the nurse have good news or bad? The look on their faces didn't help.

She sat down beside me, put a comforting arm around my shoulders and took a deep breath. Her voice had lost the joy it had earlier in the evening; this voice was full of concern.

"I'm very sorry to have to say this to you," oh no, I thought, "but your mate may not make it through the night. He's still alive, but I can't promise you he'll make it. If he's still alive when the sun rises, he's got much higher chances, but please don't get your hopes up. If you would like to stay here for the night, I can arrange a room for you, bring you some food..." her voice trailed off, mainly because I had stopped listening by then.

He was still alive, that was good, but he may still die, that was worse than anything. I nestled down into my nest of blankets some Chansey had kindly made for me. I hadn't touched the food they gave me; I couldn't bare the sight of food for the moment. I couldn't believe what that guy made those Pikachu do to Glacier.

I could tell the Pikachu were feeling very guilty about it, and had I told them earlier not to worry about it, it wasn't their fault, they would have gotten tortured had they ignored orders. If I hadn't come, Glacier would definitely have died. That thought made me start shaking and I started a whole new burst of crying.

I didn't think I would ever get to sleep, but I must have, because I felt a Chansey's soft hands on my wing, waking me up. I couldn't bear to know what it had to tell me, and I almost pretended to be asleep, but the Chansey was very persistent, so I gave up and opened my eyes. The Chansey's face was smiling broadly, so I knew there was good news.

"Glacier lived through the night, but he's still in intensive care! You can go and see him if you like!" she chirped, bouncing off through the door. I leapt up and followed, urging her stubby legs to carry her faster. We reached the room that held Glacier and the Chansey opened the door.

Glacier was lying on the bed, tail flailing over the end. I counted thirteen tubes and wires coming out of him, attached to computers and bags of liquidy stuff. There were two computer monitors, one was keeping up a steady beeping noise and the other had squiggly patterns all over it that I couldn't understand. Glacier himself was unconscious again, with two tubes coming from his beak.

I walked slowly over to him and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

"He won't be awake at least until the end of the week, so you can come back then and see him," said the Chansey. I nodded and walked slowly out. I knew exactly what to do until then.

five