Chapter Seventeen: Climbing the Ladder of Success, and Kicking Your Competition in the Face As You Do So
The tunnel was long and difficult to climb, especially if your hands had just been treated to a lovely hand scraping, and Alaska found herself struggling to climb up. It was getting increasingly steep, and Alaska didn't want to crawl with her injured hands, forcing her to try and walk up the increasing slope. She refused to look backwards, knowing that the long distance they had travelled would only cause unnecessary upset and worry about having yet another injury today.
"So Sandy, how have you been since we last met?" Alaska called out, trying to keep her focused. Sandy seemed very absorbed in her quest to find the Clefairy, her attention focused entirely forwards as she crawled along the ground, and it took three slaps by Butterfree's wings to remember there were other people in the tunnel.
"Oh, me? Nothing that exciting," Sandy replied with a shrug of her shoulders. "Did a bit of shopping, roamed around Viridian Forest and Pewter City, and then I arrived here last night. Floor was a bit bumpy, I wouldn't recommend sleeping on it."
"Didn't plan to," Alaska replied. "I managed to win a gym battle, which is always nice to get free jewellery, but before that a lovely man tried to blow me to bits, which is always a nice way to get rid of a cold." Sandy glanced around, looking a bit confused, and Alaska recounted what had happened at Pewter Museum as they continued to climb up the long, slowly lightening tunnel.
"Oh my goodness!" Sandy gasped, coming to a sudden pause that nearly caused Alaska to trip over her. "I can't believe you went through that! Maybe you're a bad luck charm, and madmen and robots are just going to keep killing you until one of them finally blows your brains out!" She continued, looking shocked, and Alaska simply gave her a bemused look.
"Yes, I'm sure that's what's going to happen to me," she said, nodding and smiling, and Sandy continued to crawl, muttering about the horrors robots posed to Kanto. Alaska simply chuckled under her breath, rather glad to have some company with her. Sandy was very nice and kind hearted, even if she was a bit clumsy and dim on occasions, and Alaska appreciated having someone other than herself to talk to.
They climbed in the silence for the next five minutes, and the light at the end of the tunnel began to grow rapidly in this time. Sandy moved quickly, getting more excited as they reached the end, while Alaska simply looked forward to find a nice flat rock to flop down on and heal her hands, possibly squeeze some training in Sandy messed around with the Clefairy.
"Here we go!" Sandy called excitedly as the conclusion of the tunnel finally appeared. Butterfree fluttered out first, and Sandy leapt outwards, and Alaska simply stepped out and breathed in rapidly, stretching her arms wide.
"FREEDOM!" She boomed, and turned around, standing in awe of the view they'd walked into. Mt Moon was the tallest mountain in Kanto, and it gave a splendid view over all of Kanto: Alaska could see Pewter, Viridian and Pewter to one side, while Cerulean, Saffron and Vermillion stretched far into the distance on the other side. Celadon and the Cycling Road were in the middle, and the distant figures of Lavender and Fuchsia joined the view. The ocean sparkled magically as the sun slowly began to set, and a light breeze swept across Alaska, stinging the injured parts of her body but seemed to wash away the other pain at the same time. It was like standing on top of the world, even if some skyscrapers were now taller than it now, and Alaska simply breathed in the magic and the beauty, turning with a wide smile to see what Sandy felt about this gorgeous view.
However, Sandy wasn't standing in front of her, and the new view wasn't that glorious.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Chloe Carmichael snapped, and Alaska instantly looked around at the edge they were standing next to, wondering how much joy shoving Chloe off Mt Moon would give her.
"I believe that Mt Moon is private property, Chloe deary," Alaska responded, thinking back to television specials about gravity and the weight of things adding to how fast they fell. She glanced around to see that other familiar faces were there: Damian and Lachlan were looking rather confused, whilst Amanda Anderson was furious calling someone on her cellphone, death boiling in her eyes. "What are you lot doing here then?"
"We're doing one of our challenges to win TM's and other prizes," Damian responded, and Alaska nodded, pleased to be listening to him than the other two. "We're doing something with the Clefairy, and –"
"DON'T tell them that!" Amanda shrieked, marching furiously over. She glared towards Alaska and Sandy, who was hovering fearfully behind Alaska, and seemed to be clutching her phone liked a grenade. "They might go on the internet and spoil the show! This is supposed to be a private set!"
"As I said before, this mountain's public property," Alaska hissed back, and decided to add insult to injury, "honey, unless your executives didn't tell you that." Amanda looked deadly, ignoring the fact that Damian, Lachlan and the film crew were silently giggling behind her.
"Go back to your fat arsed father, Avocado!" Chloe hissed, and Alaska whipped back towards her, angrily reaching for her PokeBalls. "Unless you want to battle me for your right to stay here!"
"Bring it!" Alaska hissed and threw her PokeBalls in Chloe's face. Chloe and Amanda both screamed as they burst open, and Paige and Darwin suddenly formed on her rival's body. Alaska burst out laughing as they clung on, causing Chloe to scream and run around. Alaska was sensitive about her father and his health and vow and silence, and being provoked by her wasn't something she needed.
"PIDGEOTTO!" Paige shrieked, and pushed Chloe away with her wings, and Amanda quickly caught her. Alaska nodded down at her Pokemon as they came back towards her, Paige joining Butterfree for a mid-air catch up. Amanda and Chloe remained between Alaska and the rest of their show crew, tension bubbling between them all. Alaska took the silence to examine the area they had entered. It was a relatively flat land, with some grass in the corners and a closed down shop nearby, wood boarded over all the doors and windows. The mountain's peak continued around them, and to Alaska it almost looked as if a large chunk of the mountain had been very smoothly carved away, leaving them with this area they currently had.
However, the main feature of this area was right at the other end.
A crater curved downwards, looking like it had happened more naturally than the mountain's carving. In the very center for something of pure beauty: a dazzling black rock, about the size of a small car, rested in the very middle. Possibly it had fallen from the sky and was the cause of the crater, Alaska didn't know, but she wanted to go out and touch it, as it looked just beautiful.
"Clefairy!" Sandy gasped and pointed, and Alaska looked around to see that the pink pixie-like Pokemon were emerging from the bushes. There must have been about a dozen of them, all skipping and smiling, moving down into the crater. As the sun continued to set, taking all light with it, more Clefairy emerged until there were about twenty, all moving down into the crater.
"Damnit," Amanda cursed glaring angrily around at everyone there. "We need to keep going with our mission… if you two are going to linger, just linger out of the way and don't interrupt our filming, or you'll be more than sorry!" The producer hissed at Alaska and Sandy, and Alaska simply smiled warmly back at her. "You three, line up and let's get this started!" Chloe gave Alaska one final glare before turning back around and heading towards the crater with Damian and Lachlan.
"Stupid bitches," Alaska hissed, turning back around to face the others. Sandy was staring down at the crater with a petrified look on her face, and Alaska glanced between her and the Clefairy. "What are you staring at?"
"The Clefairy, their going to do something to the Clefairy!" Sandy shrieked. Alaska turned and saw the three reality stars were lining up in front of the crater, Amanda telling them some information. It definitely looked like they were going to disturb the dancing Clefairy, and Alaska could tell they weren't meant to: there was a reason why the Clefairy had gathered around the black rock.
"It definitely looks that way," Alaska said. "Let's just move a bit closer to get within earshot, shall we?" Sandy and the Pokemon nodded, and they slowly moved behind the camera crew, listening to every word Amanda was saying.
"The Moon Stone, believed to be the remnant from an ancient meteor, is very important to the Clefairy," she said, reading off signs one of the workers was holding. "Each Monday night, the Clefairy come to the Moon Stone and dance around it. No one quite knows the reasons why, but some people believe Clefairy arrived one this meteor, and they pray and dance in honour of their ancestors.
"Your goal tonight is simple: break through the Clefairy and get to the Moon Stone. You must use your Pokemon to fend off the Clefairy and then to get a piece off the stone. The person who brings back the largest stone will win five Technical Machines off their choice and a range of berries for their Pokemon!"
"That's barbaric!" Sandy screeched, and all eyes turned back towards them. Amanda and Chloe instantly looked furious, and Alaska quickly took a step to the side, letting Sandy cop all the hate this time around. "How can you go and interrupt the Clefairy like this? If they're praying and dancing, why would you ruin that for them, especially if it only happens once a week? Just come back another day, pretend its Monday and use some robotic Clefairy!"
"We only do things for realsies on this show, thank you very much Blondie!" Chloe snapped back, and Alaska let out a snort laugh at the use of the word 'realsies'. "Oh shut up Alaska! Why don't go have a little cry in that blog of yours!" Alaska stopped laughing out loud, but continued to exchange looks with Paige and Darwin.
"Oh Chloe, I didn't even know you could read let along turn on a computer, good for you," she retorted with a smile. "Did you like the bits where I called you a –,"
"ENOUGH!" Amanda screamed, her voice echoing around and causing Sandy to jump. She looked positively murderous, and Damian and Lachlan exchanged concerned looks. "I don't care what the hell you two do, just get the fuck off my set before I throw you off! Go look for a fossil or something, I'm sure there are plenty down there!" Alaska was stunned by the producer's sudden outburst, but these words seemed suspicious: how did she know about fossils deep beneath the mountain? Was she simply guessing, or was there something Alaska didn't know?
"Let's just get going!" Chloe whined, and Amanda nodded, her eyes shooting back and forth between Alaska and her group.
"Yes, the mission… Um, no sabotaging each other… GO!" She shouted suddenly. Sandy let out a moan as the three stars raced forwards, throwing PokeBalls to send out Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur respectively. Alaska simply watched the proceedings with suspicion, staring at them as the stars and their Pokemon began to descend into the crater.
One thing Alaska hadn't noticed until now had been the Clefairy: they had been happily dancing around the Moon Stone with smiles on their faces, chanting their names and waving their entire bodies as they moved in unison. They hadn't paid attention to any of the shouting or any of the noise occurring behind them, simply doing their little weekly ritual.
However, they couldn't three teenagers and three other Pokemon charging down into their crater. The Clefairy all stopped simultaneously, staring frightfully towards the group as they charged down.
"Bubble!" Lachlan shouted, and his Squirtle fired forwards several bubbles to the nearest Clefairy. It cried out and fell over, and the Clefairy collectively gasped.
"Oh, this can't be good…," Alaska said. The three stopped running as the Clefairy seemed to swell up, looking furious. They each raised their arms into the air, and the camera crew looked fearfully over at a shocked Amanda.
"Clefairy," the Clefairy all growled in one angry tone, and they began to swing their arms about, their fingers glowing white.
"That's Metronome!" A cameraman shouted. "You don't know what their going to sue, get out of there!" The stars didn't need telling twice, turning and leaping out of the crater as the first attacks were fired: Ice Beam, Flamethrower, Vine Whip, Hail, Rock Throw were just some of the moves unleashed, and Sandy screamed as the rocks above them rumbled, a Rock Slide and Avalanche both occurring.
"We need to get out of here, now!" Alaska shouted. The Clefairy were marching forwards, their arms moving once more, and there was a flash as one Clefairy flew upwards, while others unleashed BubbleBeam, Bullet Seed, Psybeam and Toxic. Chloe screamed and clung onto Bulbasaur, while Charmander and Squirtle fought back.
"Mankey Man Man!" Darwin screeched, leaping about, clearly eager to fight back against them.
"No Darwin, this isn't our fight, we didn't start this!" Alaska said, and Paige nodded in a knowing manner. Darwin looked saddened, but Alaska rolled her eyes and turned back to Sandy as the camera crew packed up their supplies and fled a Muddy Water attack. "Sandy, you and Butterfree need to get down that tunnel, now!"
"Alright," Sandy said shakily, and held tightly onto Butterfree and began running towards the tunnel, where Chloe was already fleeing with the crew. Damian nodded at Alaska as he walked past, Charmander trying to Ember back the Clefairy, and Alaska simply turned away, not sure what that was meant to mean.
"You two, let's get going. Only fight back if their going to hurt you, okay?" Alaska said. Darwin nodded reluctantly, but Paige was staring up at the sky, her beak as wide as it could possibly go, her eyes as round as saucers. "What is it?" Alaska asked, and stared upwards. Only then could she see the flying Clefairy hurtling down towards, engulfed in violet coloured energy. Alaska just swore and grabbed Paige and Darwin, jumping to the side as the Clefairy smashed into the ground they had just been standing on, making her own little crater that otherwise would have been Alaska's head. For a second, Alaska thought they were safe, and could now run back to the tunnel.
Unfortunately, she had jumped to the left instead of the right, and stared down at the empty space below her, cursing her untimely jumping abilities as they began to fall.