Snowdrift

Six
Up the River

"Where to next?" I asked after we had a quick rest under the palm trees on the beach.

"Up the river. We'll stop near the grasslands, then we can drop off two bags at once," answered the Pikachu, shading his eyes from the sun with a palm frond.

"Better get the balls and head off then." I said, getting to my feet.

"Can't we wait a little longer?" whined Shocker. "I'm comfortable here, and they won't know. Hot sun makes you sleepy." He gave a yawn, just to emphasise his point.

"Come on." I said, motioning to my back. "I'll leave you here if you don't want to come yet!"

"All right, all right," he grumbled, waddling his way to me.

We took to the air and headed back up stream. We flew until the sun was just reaching the horizon, then glided down by the riverside for the night. I landed by the river and released the bags from my claws. Shocker hopped down and picked out the designated bags from the heap, handing me one of them.

"That's the grasslands bag. There should be two Raticate and a Rattata, a Doduo and two Rhyhorn. I think that's all of them," reeled off Shocker, walking to the river with his bag. It was not long after he vanished behind the bank when great flashes of white light appeared. I began creating my own flashes of light as the six Pokémon emerged from their balls, hopefully never to return again.

"Wow! Space!" exclaimed the bird with two heads, looking around itself with two pairs of eyes. It gave a whoop of joy, thanked me about ten times, then burst off through the grassy meadow, crying out all the time.

The pair of Rhyhorn bowed their heads to me and lumbered off in their own way. The Rattata and Raticate stared around, not believing the immense space was really there. From a clump of trees came a bunch of squeaking purple and brown rats, hurtling towards the trio standing around me.

The three around me started slowly backing away, tails between their legs and whiskers twitching. The rats hurtling towards us had barred teeth and I noticed now that the squeaks were definitely not friendly.

"Hey! Stop would you! We're not invading! Uh..." I couldn't think of anything to say that would stop them, not that they would have listened anyway, so I did the one other thing I could think of at the time. A blizzard. I spread my wings wide and felt the coolness on their underside as I flapped the appearing snow hard towards the maniac rats.

The squeaks turned to those of fear as they halted and saw me for the first time. Now that the mad rush had stopped and the squeaks were silent, I tried again to reason with them.

"I know you don't want us on your territory, but we won't be here long. Please don't attack us. Please?" I pleaded with them.

One of the Raticate stepped forward.

"Why are you here? And what's with all the Pokémon?" he said, in a voice much squeakier that I would have expected from such a large Pokémon.

"All these Pokémon were captured by a very mean human, and they helped me. In return, I am setting them free. I am terribly sorry that I landed in your territory, I didn't know anyone lived here. Sorry."

"Not good enough. That is no excuse to come barging into our territory. How do we know you weren't trying to overrun us?" squeaked the Raticate.

"I promise you, all I was trying to do-"

"ATTACK!" yelled the Raticate, paw raised to the sky. A war cry from the rats behind screeched out, and I was sure it was to be heard for kilometres around.

"Shocker! Little help!" I yelled, protecting the three terrified rats behind me with a full-blown blizzard. A sudden lightning bolt struck moments later from the river, streaking across the grass to the heard of rats.

Despite the powerful attacks, three Rattata managed to hurl their little purple bodies onto me and knocked me over. I can tell you, Rattata aren't known for their bite for nothing. Even through my feathers they were able to pierce the skin, and it hurt. But still I kept up the blizzard, and fired ice beams at the continuous stream of Rattata heading for me. I could see out of the corner of my eye that Shocker wasn't having the best of luck either.

I forced the ice and snow from my beak and wings and felt a rush of rain from above me. I looked up and saw that the sky was just turning orange. No clouds were to be seen. I noticed that the rain was coming from the river. It must be all the fishy Pokémon Shocker had let free.

Three Poliwrath came running up the bank, heading for the mob. They stopped and each fired ice beams almost as strong as my own into the crowd, blasting the rats away from my blood streaked body. I got to my feet and tried a whirlwind, blowing the creatures away into the bushes from where they came.

"You okay Shocker?" I asked as I glided over to him, his fur covered in blood.

"I think so. Woah, you look bad," he puffed.

"No worse than you," I grinned as I helped him to his feet.

"So what happened? Did we invade their territory?"

"Yeah, and they weren't too happy about it. I think we'd better take these guys to a different spot, one where there hopefully aren't any other rats."

The three Poliwrath came over to us to inspect our wounds and gave us a quick once over with a water gun or two.

"Thanks guys," said Shocker, his back being pelted by the water, "We'd be toast if you hadn't come!"

The Poliwrath washing the Rattata and Raticate paused for a bit. "You're welcome. We'd still be in our balls if you hadn't decided to save us. Thanks, uh, what was your name again?"

"Snowfall." The Poliwrath nodded and resumed his cleaning. When we were suitably wet, we shook ourselves dry and balled the Raticate. The Rattata said she thought she knew where her old home was, so she rode on my back with Shocker.

When we touched down, the sun was well below the horizon and stars were beginning to appear in the sky. Being a pretty much nocturnal Pokémon, the Rattata on my back was wide-awake, her ears twitching. She walked delicately on her white paws towards a clump of trees and bushes then gave a short squeak.

Forty or more rats ran out of the trees to the tiny Rattata, but this time it was definitely welcoming. We set the two Raticate free and watched as they too leapt with joy to the approaching group of rats. Shocker folded his arms and smiled at the squeaking mob.

"Another happy family," he said.

"Yup. How about we have a proper wash in the river?" I said to him.

"Good idea," he said and bounded off to the water, making a splash as he landed.

That mouse still has some Pichu in him, I thought as I sauntered over to him, getting a splash of water as I walked in.

Seven