Cerulean and Beyond

By: Theodore Leung


            "Lin! Thunder Shock!" Ryna commanded her Pikachu. Lin leaped into the air, unleashing her attack upon the water Pokémon she fought against, disabling it in one blow.

            Well, too put it shortly, that’s what happened to all the Pokémon she fought in the Cerulean City Gym, so the battle was pretty much uninteresting as Ryna easily won the Cascade Badge.

            "That was too easy," Sam told her friend. Ryna nodded, as she continued to exam the badge she acquired only about an hour ago. The two trainers and their three Pokémon traveled on Route 9, walking towards wherever the next gym may be.

            "I wonder where the next gym is…," Lin asked, her ears twitching a bit.

            "I hope it’s a grass gym!" Charles replied, rubbing his hands in an evil fashion. Spark only shook his head and continued to trail behind Sam. Spark, not paying attention to where he was going as his thoughts dwindled, ran right into Sam’s heel as the party suddenly stopped. Get back onto all fours, the Growlithe shook the dizziness from his head, then looked up.

            "What’s going on?" he asked. The party of five stood still, a fork in the road stopping them.

            "Which way?" Ryna asked, looking back and forth between the roads.

            "Well, from my knowledge, one of them leads to the Rock Tunnel," Sam replied. "The other, I believe, leads to Glacier City."

            "Glacier City?" the Charmander asked. "Yeah, I’ve heard of it…it’s one of the cities closest to the arctic north, making it one of the coldest as the mountain the surrounds the south end of the city keeps the cold air in."

            "Must have a lot of ice type Pokémon there," Ryna assessed. "We should go there because there’s probably a gym and if there’s a gym, there’s got to be a lot of ice types and therefore we have an advantage with our fire types."

            "Good point," Sam said, nodding in agreement. Lin and Spark did likewise.

            "Excellent," Charles replied slowly, slurring the word, following up with a demoniac laugh. The other four only stared at the Charmander. "What?!" he exclaimed.

            "Never mind," Ryna said then began the trek towards Glacier City. The others did the same, leaving the Charmander there in a bit of confusion, before he realized he was being left behind and sprinted to catch up.

* * * * * *

            "Brr…it’s cold," Lin commented, rubbing herself to keep warm. A blanket of snow covered the once grassy ground, but the skies were thankfully clear. "How’d it get so cold so fast?" Charles and Spark exchanged looks, neither affected by the coldness as it never penetrated their burning skin. The three trudged behind their trainers on the thankfully snow-less road.

            "It’s the mountains we passed about an hour back," Charles said pointing towards the large mountain range behind them. Spark nodded.

            "The cold air never passes through those mountains, thus making it much warmer over there then in here," he continued. "It can get really cold in here, I heard as low as minus fifty degrees Celsius." Lin shuddered, to both how cold it was and the information on how cold it can become.

            Sam also agreed with Lin, pulling her jacket closer to her after she sneezed. "Okay, who’s idea was it to come out here anyway?" she asked sarcastically. Ryna shook her head, giggling a bit, also wrapping her jacket closer to her.

            "Come on, it could be worse," Ryna replied, being optimistic. The five continued their walk to Glacier City with little delay, aside from some complaints and moaning from the party.

            "Hey, what’s that?" Sam asked, pointing over to a distant shadow at the side of the road. Ryna shrugged, and ran up to get a closer look.

            Sitting in the snow was a sapphire haired girl, probably the same age as Ryna and Sam. Her hair trailed down her back and all the way into the snow. The girl had her eyes closed, unfazed by the cold, despite only wearing blue jeans and a short sleeved white shirt. Her four Pokémon rested beside her, neither of them also fazed by the weather. For the Starmie and Vaporeon, it was quite obvious to stand the cold as being water types made it quite immune to temperatures like these. The Flareon likewise, her tail brushing side by side, melting the snow. The Jolteon lay to the girl’s left side, also unaffected by the temperature.

            "Aren’t you cold?" Lin asked them, sneezing afterwards. The Pokémon looked up, examining these new people. The girl herself opened her eyes, the sapphire blue pupils glancing over at them.

            "No, but thank you for the concern," she said, smiling. The five were taken aback as they realized this person could also understand Pokémon. Her smile just widened as she got to her feet, brushing some of the snow that accumulated on her jeans.

            "My name is Ryna, this is Sam," Ryna introduced. "These are our Pokémon, Charles, Lin, and Spark." The Pokémon all nodded.

            "My name is Sarpal," the sapphire-eyed girl introduced. "My Flareon is known as Flare, my Vaporeon is known as Vapour, and my Jolteon is known as Jolt," she said, smiling. "Simple names, isn’t it?" she asked, smiling. "My Starmie is known as Jewel." The four Pokémon nodded as their names were called, rising to their feet.

            "Sarpal?" Sam asked, giving a weird look. "No offense, but what kind of name is that? Is it a nickname or something?"

            "I don’t know," Sarpal responded, her mood drowning a bit. "I never knew my parents, and I stayed at an orphanage. I was always called Sarpal, and I have long since grew into that name, though I doubt that would be my real name." She sighed, and kneeled down to stroke Flare, the female Flareon purring a bit.

            "Oh, I’m sorry," Sam replied, also saddened by the story. She brushed her hand over her Growlithe. Sarpal just smiled, her mood changing.

            "It’s okay," she replied, kneeling down and hugging her Vaporeon. "I grew up with my Pokémon, so I’m not really lonely." The Vaporeon licked her on the cheek.

            "Aren’t you even cold?" Ryna asked, repeating Lin’s question. She brought her jacket even closer to her. Sarpal shook her head, getting to her feet.

            "I’ve always liked the cold," she answered, rubbing an electric quill on the Jolteon’s back. "Just call me crazy I guess," she continued, smiling.

            "Okay, you’re crazy," Lin said, smiling. A ring of chuckles drew around the crowd.

            "Come on, let’s battle!" Jolt said, jumping in front of his fellow Pokémon and growling at the opponents.

            "Sure!" Lin said enthusiastically, also jumping to face off with the Jolteon. The three trainers smiled.

            "Yeah, that pretty much sums out why we’re out here," Sarpal said. "New challengers are always fun to fight with."

            "I’m okay with that," Sam said. "How about you Ryna?"

            "I got no problems," Ryna answered. "I’d like to test my Pokémon to similar types anyway." Both the Vaporeon and Starmie moods dwindled, seeing they probably won’t fight.

            "It’s okay, Jewel, Vapour," Sarpal told them. "There’s next time."

            "I know a trainer with a Squirtle," Ryna told the two Pokémon. "He comes from Pallet, just like me. He’ll probably come through here two, so you’ll have your chance." The two Pokémon perked up, hearing this news. Ryna smiled, turning to face Sarpal. "Whenever you’re ready." Ryna took a few steps back, her Pikachu following, giving the two electric types room.

            "After you," Sarpal insisted, Jolt taking a battle pose. Lin did likewise, ready for battle.

            "How about I say when the combat begins?" Sam suggested. Both trainers nodded. "Okay. Ready…Set…GO!"

            "TUNDERBOLT!" both trainers commanded, the two electric types tossing bolts of thunder at each other. The two impacted against each other, afterwards repelling and shooting up into the sky, nullifying.

            "Very good," Sarpal said, smiling. Ryna nodded, also smiling.

            "Lin, Quick Attack!" Ryna commanded, the Pikachu rushing forward at lightning speed.

            "Pin Missiles!" Sarpal countered, the Jolteon shooting out small pins. Most impacted against the Pikachu, stopping her attack and sending her flying backwards.

            "Lin!" Ryna shouted out, panic-stricken when the Pikachu landed onto the partially snow covered road.

            "I’m okay, don’t worry," Lin said, getting to her feet. Her breath was hard, but she was still up to the fight. She raised her hands, charging up for an electric attack.

            "Jolt, Thunder!" Sarpal commanded next. Jolt nodded, unleashing the strongest electric type attack against the tiny and half-beaten Pikachu. The bolt rocked from the sky, aiming right down at Lin.

            "THUNDER SHIELD!" Ryna shouted out, another one of those unknown attacks. Sarpal and Jolt were both surprised at the attack, but Lin reacted almost instantly.

            "YA!!" she yelled out, jumping up into the air, a barrier of thunder power surrounding her tiny body. The thunder attack smashed against the shield, but Lin only grinned. Jolt gave the Pikachu a curious look, then realized what happened to the thunder, taking a step back in fear.

            "LIGHTNING REVERSAL!" Ryna commanded next. Lin nodded, her electric energy conjunctioned with the thunder energy that she absorbed from Jolt coming to aim.

            "Take that!" Lin shouted, unleashing the storm against the Jolteon. The ball of electricity jetted from Lin, in a direct course for the Jolteon. Jolt traded unsuccessfully to evade, the blast of rolling thunder smashing into him and sending him flying into the air, hollering in pain.

            "Jolt!" Sarpal yelled out. She caught the Jolteon in her arms, rubbing on of his wounds. "You okay?"

            "Hell, yeah!" Jolt replied enthusiastically, smiling. "I’ve never felt better!" He jumped down from Sarpal and approached Lin. "You win," he conceded, raising his paw to the Pikachu. "Good fight though." Lin nodded, shaking the paw. Ryna and Sarpal smiled, seeing neither was seriously hurt.

            "Ready for round two?" Ryna asked once the two electric types were tended for their wounds. Charles stood there, pretending to flex his muscles.

            "I sure think your Charmander is," Sarpal responded. Flare trotted up beside Sarpal, indicating her combat readiness. "And I think my Flareon is ready too. I’m happy whenever you are." Ryna nodded.

            "Read…Set…GO!" Sam yelled out. The two fire types charged forward, both locked into hand-to-paw combat. Ryna and Sarpal said nothing, letting the two Pokémon unfold their own battle.

            Charles scratched Flare across her body, but the Flareon countered with a scratch of her own, then a tackle, sending the two flying into the snow. The fire types rolled around, each trying to get the better of the other, but neither successfully doing so. Spark watched with interest, his tail wagging up and down in excitement.

            "Take this!" Charles shouted, head butting the Flareon into the ground.

            "No, YOU take this!" Flare retorted, tackling the Charmander. Charles stayed on his feet, much as Flare predicted. She reared back and slammed her two hind legs into Charles, sending the Charmander flying back. Flare got aligned right again, shaking the snow of her fiery fur that hasn’t melted. Charles also got to his feet, brushing some snow that got caught to his shoulder that hasn’t melted yet either.

            "Flamethrower!" Sarpal commanded, the Flareon unleashing the jet stream of fire at Charles.

            "Fire Shield!" Ryna commanded, taking the attack that Spark knew. Charles breathed puffs of fire out, surrounding himself. The flamethrower slammed against the shield, hurling it away and hitting against a nearby hill blanketed in snow. Charles grinned, lowering the protection.

            "My turn," he whispered, tossing a flamethrower of his own at the female Flareon. Flare attempted to leap away, but the attack hit squarely against her chest, sending her onto the ground in front of Ryna, stunned. "Yes!" Charles exclaimed, giving the victory sign. Flare attempted to get back to her feet, but fell back onto the ground, exhausted.

            "I guess the round and match is yours then," Sarpal said, not disappointed though. Ryna nodded, kneeling beside the Flareon.

            "You okay?" she asked, stroking the Flareon across her back. Flare smiled, taking Ryna’s hand with her paw.

            "I’ll get your Charmander next," she said, though a bit weakly, but definitely showing a grin. Ryna nodded, helping the Flareon to her feet. "Thanks," she responded, shaking some snow off her body. As if on cue, the land started shaking, causing everyone to look around in wonderment and panic.

            "Earthquake?!" Sam shouted, glancing left and right.

            "No! Avalanche!" Vapor shouted, pointing one his paws at the hill that was hit by the flamethrower. "The fire must’ve some of the snow and now the rest of the pile is coming down!"

            "We can’t run, no time!" Sarpal shouted over the quaking snow. "Vapour, Jewel, Ice Beam! Contain that snow!" Both water types nodded, blue lightning blasting from them, becoming solid when it hit. The ice wall built, one being built on each side, heading towards the middle.

            "Slow down the center!" Sam commanded. "Charles, flamethrower it!" The Charmander nodded, blasting full force against the oncoming snow. The beam of constant fire impacted against the snow, although not slowing it down by much.

            "We can’t stop it in time!" Spark shouted, feeling helpless since he has yet to learn flamethrower. Only ‘impact’ attacks could stop that kind of force.

            "Ryna, move it!" Sam shouted out, noticing what was left of the snow flow would end up burying her fellow trainer, and the Flareon. The water types were shooting ice as fast as they could, but they would never meet in the center in time. Ryna never replied, paralyzed in fear.

            "NO!" Flare shouted over the falling snow, tossing a flamethrower of her on at the mass, Charles running out of firepower. Still, even with this, the ice would never make it. Flare fell back onto the ground, exhausted. "Sorry…" she told Ryna.

            All of a sudden, third ice beam shot out aimed at the middle. The three beams eventually met, a few seconds before the snow crashed against them, small bits flying over the wall of solid ice. Vapour and Jewel concentrated on thickening the ice, the third beam disappearing.

            "Who did that?!" Lin exclaimed, amazed.

            "Me," Sarpal said, her left hand with a faint blue glow. She brushed some hair away from her face with her right hand, facing Ryna.

            "Sarpal…" Flare and Jolt started, but the trainer cut them off.

            "There was no other choice," she told them, the blue glow from her hand finally disappearing.

            "But, how?" Ryna asked, picking up the Flareon and carrying her over to her trainer. Ryna was dumbfounded, as with all her friends.

            "I don’t know," Sarpal said after a moment of silence, turning to face the northern horizon. The wind howled through the path, blowing against her hair. "Come, it is almost dark…you can rest at my house in Glacier City." Ryna nodded, still carrying the Flareon in her hands.

            "Thank you," Ryna said, grateful for the rescue as well as the offer. Sarpal shook her head.

            "My pleasure," the sapphire haired girl replied, taking the Flareon from Ryna’s arms. "Let’s us hurry, it will not be long before sunset." Even with those words, the light began to dwindle, the sun beginning to disappear from sight.