Snowdrift

Twenty-four
Bird on a Mission

I awoke in the hotel room and I knew I had lost my battle. The battle that had decided whose hands my baby would be born into. I kept my eyes closed, hoping to convince them I was still asleep, but I could feel tears leaking out from under my eyelids. I could feel that my face was contorted with sadness. I had lost my baby two days before it was due to hatch.

I couldn't bare it any longer. I heaved my shoulders and started wailing. I rolled over on the bed and buried my face into the pillow, soaking it with my tears. I felt a hand on the back of my neck. I didn't know whose it was, and for the moment I didn't care. I just lay there and cried into the pillow. My baby. Gone. Left to the mercy of the human, all because of me.

I had been the cause for the loss of my baby brother, I had lost my tail, and now, I had lost my chick. I hated myself for it. I felt like walking out to the balcony and jumping off, without opening my wings.

The hand started stroking my back, all the way down to my stub of a tail. It lifted and placed itself again on my neck. I could feel the fingers scratching my neck, giving me a massage through my feathers.

I would not loose my baby this easily. My brother had been lost to the forces of nature. Nature was great power. No one could beat nature. My tail was lost to another great power, the god of fire. Few could beat the god of fire without loss.

My chick? My chick was in the hands of a human. Without his Pokémon, that human was helpless. Humans had no powers. Their teeth were pathetic, they could not fly, they had nails instead of claws. Humans were helpless. Two Articuno enraged with anger at the loss of a chick weren't.

I knew the way to this guy's house. I knew which one it was. I knew which room my egg was being held in. All I didn't know was how to open a door.

All this thinking quietened me down a bit. The hand on my back would have helped too. I rolled over and sat up to find that the hand belonged to Shelly. All the other Pokémon and Sapphire were standing around my bed and around Glacier, flat out on the blankets and sobbing as hard as I was.

I suddenly felt very self-conscious. I sniffed and rubbed my eyes dry with a wing. "Glacier?" I mumbled. Everyone stared at me and Glacier rolled over to face me. His crest was ruffled and eyes bloodshot. I sniffed again. "I have a plan."

We flew silently over the streets, illuminated with orange lights in the night. Shelly was on my back and Sapphire, accompanied with her Pokéballs, on Glacier's. We landed noiselessly in Ray's back lawn. Being so late, the lights inside the house were all turned off, and I couldn't see in the dark.

As quietly as she could, Sapphire released Jewel from his red and white prison. He stuck a clawed finger in the keyhole of the back door and wriggled it around a bit. A click told us the door was unlocked. Sapphire reached an arm for the handle and turned it very slowly. Opening the door, the five of us walked carefully inside. Thankfully he had a carpeted floor, so out claws didn't clatter on any tiles or floorboards.

With Jewel leading the way [being a dark type, he could see in the dark], we made our way to the room holding our egg. Glacier had given him quick directions while he was fiddling with the lock. But just as Shelly was reaching for the handle that would set our baby free, Sapphire put a hand on her shoulder and stopped her.

She whispered so quietly that it was almost impossible to hear. "Alarm." That word, that one single word, was enough to stop us in our tracks. How would we get the egg and not set off the alarm? We'd managed to get in the house, but in the egg room? We stood for ages, each hoping someone would come up with a brilliant idea.

I had an idea, but it wasn't incredibly brilliant. The idea was that we would do everything as quickly as possible, hopefully so that we would be out of the building before Ray even had his slippers on. I relayed this on to the others, but the response wasn't too encouraging. However, no one else could think of any better idea, so Sapphire climbed on Glacier's back and Jewel and Shelly climbed on mine. Shelly reached for the door handle and counted silently to three.

The door wrenched open, I raced over to the egg and Shelly grabbed it. I turned and sprinted for the door. We tore around the corner and with Jewel's directions, we made it out the door and up into the night sky. All the while alarms were blearing out, tearing the silent night apart.

The pair of us flapped our wings as hard as we could, screeching along at speeds not even possible of a Pidgeot. We sped over buildings, over roads, over the silent river, making barely a sound but the flapping wings and beating heart. Sheer adrenaline powered us through the night.

What took us half an hour before took just ten minutes. Ah, the power of fear. We glided soundlessly into the hotel room window and came to a halt. When the two Pokémon flopped off my back, I fell to the ground, my heart pumping at three times its normal rate. Sapphire shut the window-door and gave a whoop of joy.

"We did it, guys! We got your egg back! YES!" she danced around the room, the other two Pokémon hopping along behind her.

"Come on you two!" urged Jewel, "You've gotten your egg back! Get up and dance!" He promptly gave three backflips and landed on Shelly's shoulders.

I shook my head. "You have... no idea... how much... effort... that took..." I puffed and flopped my head back to the floor.

"Amen... to that... Snowfall..." agreed Glacier. "I admit... I'm happy... but I'm... also... puffed out."

So the pair of us didn't even bother to crawl into our beds, where we had both bawled our eyes out merely an hour earlier. We just dropped off into the happiest and most peaceful sleep I'd had in months.

Twenty-five