Pokemon being caught: Gastly,
Total Characters: 27,790/20,000
My name is Harry Anderson. Seven years ago my uncle, James S. Anderson, went missing in the Arctic, presumed dead. He had told us that he was looking for a Pokemon. I'm here to find out how where he is if he's still alive, and, if he is dead, find out where and how my Uncle died and complete his quest. Where am I? Currently I am in Ishlandik, the most northern human settlement in the world. It's where my Uncle was last seen, and where I am to begin my quest.
The jeep rolled along the snow, bumping up and down over this minefield of ice. I was sat in the passenger seat next to Yorvik, a family friend who had good relations with the tribespeople this far North. Apparently we will come to the village soon, it is only a mile away.
"Remember what I said. You have to find a guide that you can trust to help you survive," He reminded me for the thousandth time.
"These Inuits have got soft in the last few years and the number that will be able to get you to your Uncle is decreasing rapidly." Out on the white desert I saw the village. It was small by our standards, no more than thirty huts packed densly together, with one larger hut in the centre. The jeep approached the settlement and ground to a halt.
We stepped out of the jeep onto this foreign territory. What next surprised me the most. Out of the rudimentary huts people streamed out to greet us. They crowded round Yorvik, who stood a good foot above most of the dwarf-like tribespeople, offering carvings, tools and even meat to the portly man.
Eventually we managed to politely make our way out of the crowd of admirers and approached the largest hut, in the centre of the village.
"This is the residence of the Clan Chief, and also the public meeting place," Yorvik explained, ice already starting to crystalise on his bushy white beard. "This will be the best place to get a guide and supplies, as well as the Chief's blessing for your venture,"
"I need his blessing?" I asked, incredulous.
"Yes, technically all of the territory from here up to the the Pole belongs to the Ishili tribe and you would be tresspassing if you ventured there," he replied, sincerity in his voice. The hut loomed ahead of us, and the door opened. In the frame stood a woman, garbed in a traditional brown parka.
"That is Samakiki, the wise woman of the Ishili and wife of the chief," Yorvik explained. She stepped aside to let us into the hut, a warm look on her face.
The hut was one large, circular room. The wooden walls were lined with furs with more on the floor to sleep on. In the centre was a fire, burning brightly and bringing much needed warmth to my fingertips. Crouched beside the fire was an old man, several cloaks draped over him. According to Yorvik he was the chief of the tribe, Samanito. He was older than I had expected, yet his face seemed barely touched by the ravaging winds of age. I approached the Clan Chief and he looked up.
"Welcome, Yorvik!" He boomed in a voice uncharacteristic to his figure. They embraced and performed other Ishili niceties.
"This is the traveller that you were talking about I assume. His Uncle stayed with us for a while, he was a good man. I'm not surprised that you want to find his body," He said, directly to me.
"You don't think that he might still be alive?" I asked hopefully.
"Out in the waste, he couldn't have survived for seven years. I'm afraid to break it to you but you can be sure that your Uncle is dead." My hope plummeted down and was thrown out into the cold ice.
"Now let's get down to business. I am perfectly willing to let you onto the Ishili's ice sheets, but tradition encourages travellers to give gifts to the Ishili Chief." I had been prepared for this challenge. I pulled out an electric torch and a radio. To my surprise the chief laughed.
"My friend! These gifts are no use for us here!" He boomed, waking up a sleeping figure against the wall.
"However, their is one thing that I could take. Your Uncle was seeking a Pokemon, considered extremely valulable in this area and would fetch an excellent price down South. If you fetch this to me in a fortnight, I shall present you with a tracker and sled to allow you to reach this target." He presented this opportunity to me and I thought for a moment. I could come back empty handed or venture the extra mile and find a valulable Pokemon. The choice seemed obvious to me.
"Thank you sir. I shall accept your offer,"
I stood just outside the Chief's hut where I had slept for the night. Outside, in a break of the wind, my sled was being pulled out. The sled was had a large, sleek, wooden chassy with a perch at the back. The sled had been loaded with packs and provisions and had eight Mightyena hastily being attached to the reins. The man was the chief's son, Samaton, and would be my guide for the next fortnight. The Chief himself walked out of the hut, clothed with even more skins than before, and looked at me.
"My son is a good tracker," He said. "He knows where your Uncle will have gone, and from there he is the best man to try to get you to the Pokemon. If you don't get that Pokemon back within the fortnight he will abandon you on the ice sheets."
"I'm fortunate that the agreement shall be honoured then," I replied. He laughed, his voice echoing out over the ice.
"Let's hope so, for your sake," He answered, a hint of darkness in his voice.
The sled was ready and I prepared to depart the Ishlandik. People started to make their way out of their homes to wish me luck. They started to crowd around me, offering gifts, food and tools for the journey. I accepted them gatefully, the pile in my arms gradually growing. Thankfully Yorvik managed to plough his way through the crowds.
"James," he said, "I wish that you didn't have to do this, but I understand your desire. Please take one more gift, this." he produced a walkie-talkie from his pocket and clipped it to my huge coat.
"Your parents asked me to give it to you. I'll be staying in the village until you get back. If you run into trouble give me a buzz. Samanito may be proud, but he will understand the danger you put yourself in." I thanked him. The gift would be reassuring to me should I run into trouble. Samaton gestured towards me. It was time to leave.
I sat on the sled, facing back torwards the villagers. Samaton clicked his tongue and with a jerk the Mighteyanae started to run and the sled set off. Quickly the village shrank from my vision until it was just a speck in the distance. I looked longingly back at it, knowing that I wouldn't see any other human life for two weeks.
I woke up, seeing the light seep through my tent. I sat up in my sleeping bag, rubbing my eyes. I checked my watch, it was seven o'clock, an hour before we would leave. I hurriedly put on some extra layers and climbed out of the sleeping bag. I stuffed away my luggage and started pack away what was remaining..
The tent was packed up, we had everything, it was time to leave. The Mighteyanae were tugging on their leads, all attached to a metal post, as Samaton moved them over to the sled and prepared them. I stood with a bucket of steaming food to feed the Pokemon dragging our sled. They each quickly stuck their muzzles into the bucket, speedily lapping up the nourishment before they were strapped to the sleigh. Finally we were ready and I jumped on the sled, sitting behind Samaton. He barked an order to the Mighteyanae and the sled jerked to a start.
The cold wind wipped in my face as the sled raced along. It was early autumn and soon the Arctic Sun would soon go down for the last time and we would be plunged into the vicious Winter up North. I felt sorry for the poor Pokemon driving us there, working as hard as they could in such cold conditions. Ahead of us loomed Lake Iklandin, the largest freshwater lake in the Arctic. The lake was a stunning deep blue colour, a few chunks of ice floating around the lake. In the centre of the lake was enveloped by a fog. The sled came to a stop about thirty feet from the shore of the lake.
"This lake is dangerous," Samaton shouted at me. "Many people have died crossing this lake." Just at that moment I saw a wooden wreck of a canoe floating on the surface.
"People say that it is haunted," he explained. I could see why. It would be easy for the superstitious to believe that the lake was haunted. I looked out onto the vast blue expanse. The very thought of plunging into the icy depths made me shiver. By the lake was a colony of Walrein, Spheal and Sealeo, splashing contently in the freezing lake.
"So, what do we do now?" I asked.
"We wait until tomorrow," Sanaton replied. "The fog starts to expand at this time of day. Then it is most dangerous."
"But we have to go now," I protested. Each moment we wasted here meant less chance of me reaching our target on time.
"No, Mr. Anderson. Would you rather cross that lake tomorrow or cross it dead?" He asked sinisterly.
"Very well, we shall stay here for the night," I conceeded.
Samaton was right, by what we would call the end of the day the fog had crept into the shore and the Walrein colony flopped their way inshore. A few brave Spheals came into our camp and began to nudge at our tightly locked food box. Samaton nudged them away with a stick.
"If their mothers see them here, they'll assume that we've taken them and they will attack us," He explained. I saw his logic. One of the Spheals, having got the idea, wondered towards the shore. As he started to disappear into the fog one of the Walreins raised a cry and the whole group of Pokemon started charging after him.
The sound was momentous, almost like an earthquake, echoing over the ice sheets. The colony stopped short of the mysterious fog, just in time to hear a piercing cry ring out through the air. A piece of gory meat flew out of the mist and landed at the foot of the herd. Silence hung in the air like a snowflake, so delicate that it could break so easily. The colony returned to where it had been sitting and lay down in silence.
"You were right. I thank you for stopping me going into there," I said to Samaton.
"Tomorrow, we shall go," he replied. "It'll be safer then."
The lake stood before me, looking much more sinister than it had the day previously. The blue was a cold deathly blue, the lumps of ice were sharp spears waiting to skewer me. The mist, was a dealy force, not to be entered at any cost. We stood by the shore, the canoe Samaton had brought on the sled was touching the water. Now we had to let the Mightyenae go now, it would take too long for them to skirt the lake so Samaton was sending back to the village along with the sled and the supplies they wouldn't need.
I gave the Pokemon one last meal out of the bucket and watched as Samaton released them, whispering words into their ears as they left. They ran, pulling the sled with them, into the distance until they were but a speck in the distance.
We slowly pushed the boat onto the freezing water, jumping in as fast as we could. Samaton got out a double-ended oar and started to paddle, leaving small ripples flying about the lake as the boat pushed forward with surprising speed.
Facing Samaton, with out a hood covering his face, I finally started to look at him. Like most of the Ishili he was a short person, only about 4'7''. Any creases on his brown face had been ironed out by the fast winds plaguing the sleds. His nose and ears were both small, adapted for the cold temperatures, and his body surprisingly wiry considering the strength that I had seen him show. His face, however, contorted from his calm expression to one of surprise.
"Start paddling," he ordered, "The current's carrying us towards the mist." I urgently picked up the other oar and started rowing along with Samaton. Even as I started to paddle the current got stronger and we were inexorably pulled towards the encroaching fog. Both of us put the oars away and waited, facing foward into the mist.
Once we got into the centre of the lake my heart started to pound. The blocks of ice began to get larger until giant pillars of frozen water rose from the lake's surface. Shadows skirted the edge of my vision and the air got even colder, something that I assumed impossible. The shadows started to get closer and Samaton's face was a picture of fear.
Finally a figure came out of the mist. It was a Pokémon, a small ball of gas dominated by a sphere of dark matter.It had two purple eyes that stared at us menacingly. It was a Gastly. I looked at it in shock, how could a basic Pokemon like this present such a threat to humans. I felt for a PokeBall in my pocket. Throwing it into the air I shouted:
"Infernape, climb onto one of the pillars and use Flamethrower!" My Pokemon leapt onto the huge blocks of Ice and shot a jet of flame out at the small gaseous Pokemon. The Gastly, however, created a spherical shield around its black-purple body. The Flamethrower, curled around the Protect, creating steam as it evaporated the water, making the dense fog even thicker. The small spherical Pokemon created a sphere of purple matter and fired it at Infernape.
The Shadow Ball knocked him off the pillar and luckily onto a flat block of ice nearby. This Gastly was strong and I shouldn't underestimate it. At my command Infernape cloaked his fists in electricity and leapt into the air, just as the gaseous Pokémon prepared another Shadow Ball. He used his first Thunder Punch to counter another Shadow Ball from the Mischeivious Gastly, the power of the Ghost Pokemon knocking him back onto a pillar. He bounced off the huge obstacle and slammed the second Thunder Punch straight into Gastly's face. The Pokemon was flung back into a pillar, cracking the block of ice. Infernape jumped back onto his floating platform and waited for my command.
"Infernape, use Flare Blitz!" I shouted. Flare Blitz was Infernape's most powerful attack and it was sure to do some damage. Infernape wrapped fire around his body and jumped off the pillar, levitating in mid air. He gave a long howl and threw himself full pelt towards Gastly. The fire around him turned blue as its intensity increased.
The other Pokemon just stayed there, motionless. Then I realised. Thunder Punch had paralysed the Gastly, making him a sitting duck for Infernape's attacks. The Flare Blitz carried them both smashing through the nearest pillar, sending the top toppling down with an almighty crash. The wave rocked the boat and freezing water speckled my face.
At whatever cost Infernape's attack had done its work, the Gastly looked tired and ready for a capture. I felt in my pocket, looking for a Poke Ball. Finding a capsule, I threw it at Gastly. The Poke Ball opened, swallowing the Gastly whole. The sphere floated in the ice cold water, rolling from side to side.
BLEEP...BLEEP...BLEEP...PING! The Gastly had been caught! Suddenly the mist started to dissipate, the air grew a fraction warmer again and the Sun shone onto the lake with a dazzling radiance. Thanking Infernape, I returned him to his PokeBall and we paddled over to get Gastly's, still floating in the water. I picked up the capsule, the freezing water numbing my bare fingers before I quickly put my gloves back on. We continued to paddle towards the lake, the low Arctic Sun shining brightly.
As we approached the edge of the lake we saw blue-white figures swimming out towards us. It was the Spheal colony, all of them making a huge joyful racket as we approached.
"I think that they've come to thank you," Samaton observed. He was right, the Seal Pokemon were swimming around our boat in intricate circles. They followed us until we reached the far shore where they crowded around the shoreline, some of the smaller ones coming onto the land. We continued, now on foot. We had a long way to go, and we did't even know the final target yet.
We walked through the Arctic wasteland, the northern winds quiet and the cold somewhat less than usual. We were about twenty miles North of Lake Iklandin and a long way from our adventure. I noticed one thing in our path, a tiny speck in the distance. I pointed it out to Samaton.
"What do you think that is? It doesn't look natural," I asked.
"I don't know," he replied. "Its too small to be a tent but a rock would have been worn away by now."
"Lets have a look, see what it is," I concluded. We kept on walking, now at a faster pace.
The speck, in fact, was a tent, the very tip of one, the rest covered by ice. My curiosity was imense, so I got out a knife and started slashing at the tent fabric. The material was incredibly fragile and I eventually managed to smash a hole in the tent. I jumped down and clicked on the flashlight that Yorvik had given to me.
The sight astonished me. The tent was split into two compartments. In this one there was a table and many boxes, most of them empty it seemed. But the most shocking feature of all was a dead body. I bent down and examined it. The figure looked like an Ishili, like Samaton, but was bearfoot and wearing far more traditional gear. His face was frozen, but utterly calm. Samaton leapt down and gasped in horror at the sight.
"Do you recognise him?" I asked.
"No," he replied, "but he could have been here for years as far as we know," he could have been dead for seven years then, I thought to myself. On the table was a book, open at the first page. I looked at it. It was a diary of some sort, written in English. I start to read it out loud.
"Day 1: We set off from Ishlandik on the search for Sableye. Everyone in good spirits, and we have taken a local guide to show us the way. His name is Ganatiki." At this, Samaton looked up.
"I remember him," he said, "he was a famous tracker, the best of his generation they said. That's him," he explained, indicating to the dead body.
"Day 2: We're twenty miles away from Ishlandik, nothing wrong so far, the Mighteyanae on the sled are behaving well. They have been a useful resource since we brought them up here.
Later: We have reached a Lake that the locals call Iklandin. Its larger than any lake I've seen before. Ganatiki persuaded us to wait until tomorrow to go on account of a local superstition about the Lake and we've set the Mighteyanae to meet us at the other side of the lake.," I looked up at Samaton.
"The Mighteyanae aren't native to the Arctic?" I asked.
"No, a previous traveller brought them up here seven years ago," he explained. "Since then they have adapted well and been very useful,"
"Why didn't we make them go round the lake" I questionned.
"The lake has grown greatly in size. Now it would take two days for the Mighteyanae to go around it," He replied. I continued to read.
"Day 3: We have crossed Lake Iklandin but at a terrible price. We paddled through some fog and we found out the truth in Ganatiki's words. Mark Harrison was snatched from his and Eric's canoe as if by magic. All we found was blood-stained water. Rest in peace
Day 4:This morning the Mighteyanae were nervous about something and got all twitchy. We still managed to get control over them and we continued without a problem.
Day 5: We've reached the base of the Voltino Mountains. As we prepared to enter a pass and pass through them the Mighteyanae got extremely worried. We've decided to leave it until tomorrow.
Day 6: Something terrible's happened. A dark mist descended on our camp this morning. Figures came out of the mist and started to attack us. We were almost helpless as mountain Pokemon joined the onslaught. The sled was crushed by a boulder and the Mighteyanae fled. Ganatiki and I were the only ones to escape, the rest perished. Rest in Peace Eric Shalefield, Marcus Barry and Ollie Parkinson.
Day 8: We've been walking for two day's straight on the way back to Ishlandik. Ganatiki said that a blizzard's coming and that we're going to need to pitch camp for a while.
Day 10: The blizzard has been going for two days now. We've almost run out of supplies and the storm shows no sign of abating. It doesn't look like we're going to make it.
The next page was a series of symbols that I didn't recognise. I handed it to Samaton and he continued to read it, the symbol's being from his native tongue.
"The master has died. I buried him in the proper manner. I can only survive for two more days. Traveller, if you have found this book, take the map and find the creature. The master called it Sableye." The entry ended there. That was the Pokemon that Uncle James had been looking for. I started searching for the map that he had mentionned in the last entry.
Suddenly I realised that it must be in the second compartment. I pulled back the tent flap and prepared myself for the sight. In the compartment was a sleeping bag, unzipped on the floor, and more boxes. There was a patch of churned up snow about two metres across. Intuition told be what was in that snow and I didn't want to uncover it. I found, tucked on top of the sleeping bag, a piece of yellowed paper. I took out the frozen paper and gently unfolded it.
It was a map. On it I could see Ishlandik, Lake Iklandin, about half the size that it is today, and the Voltino mountains, forming a huge barrier, which a dotted line, starting from Ishlandik, ran through. In the middle of the Voltino mountains was a building. It had a huge domed roof and a caption underneath, Ice Palace. The dotted line stopped there.
"That's where we find Sableye I guess," I said to Samaton, indicating to the map. "Let's go."
I apologise for not having written anything for a few days, we have been walking for two days solid. In the early hours of the morning we came to the slopes of the Voltino Mountains. We found the pass that my Uncle had mentionned in his diary and pitched camp. Keeping a guard in memory of his warnings. The Sun is low in the sky, Samaton thinks that it will go down in two days time and we'll be plunged into the Arctic winter. Now it's Samaton's turn on guard. I'm going to get some much needed sleep.
I wake up, hearing shouts from outside. I groggily leave the tent, dressed in only a few layers, to find that a dark mist has descended over the valley. I see shadows flitting all around me. I rush back into the tent to fetch my Poke Balls, my heart filling with fear. This must have been the same place that my Uncle had faced massacre. I came out and a figure came out of the mist, knocking me over. It was Samaton, the guide's smooth face filled with terror, a long gash running down it.
"There are spirits out there!" He cried, pointing out into the purple fog. He fainted, collapsing in front of me. The shadow's movements grew slower. They were closing in, preparing for the kill. I only had one option. Throwing the PokeBalls into the air, I cried out commands to my partners.
"Infernape, use a Flamethrower, Honchcrow, use Defog to get rid of this mist. Gastly, use Shadow Ball. Gigalith, use Protect!" I shouted above the slowly rising noise of the shadows.
The Pokemon flew out of their Poke Balls, immediately obeying their commands. Honchcrow flew overhead, flapping its black wings to clear away the fog. Surprisingly it worked and the mist was blown away, revealing the culprits. There were about five Pokemon in total, all of different shapes and sizes. Infernape shot a jet of fire towards a huge white figure, a boulder in its green grass hands. The Flamethrower slammed into the Abomasnow's abdommen, sending the Ice-type flying, the boulder falling to the ground next to him. Gastly's Shadow Ball slammed into a yellow Pokemon with red bands on its arms, sending the Pokemon flying into another in its species.
Gigalith came out of its Poke Ball and created a green transluscent forcefield around our group. The other two wild Pokemon were approaching, preparing to attack. One, a floating Ice type with long sleek arms, fired a gust of snow and ice towards us, which curved harmlessly around the shield. The other, a large black dog-like Pokemon, gave out a howl, not actually attacking but preparing to assault. I was stunned, it must have been one of the Mighteyanae from Uncle Jame's expedition. I had to think fast and minimise the chance of any casualties, with the situation as frail as it was.
"Infernape, use Close Combat on the Mighteyana, Gastly, use Shadow Ball on Frosslass, Honchcrow, try to take out those Mienfoos with a Brave Bird. Gigalith, Giga Impact on Abomasnow!" I shouted. I was giving it my all. As long as my Pokemon attacked first I should win this.
The battlefield was alight with sound and motion, Infernape closing down on its opponent, hitting it with flailing fists, Gastly firing an orb of purple matter at the sleek white Froslass, Honchcrow coming down in a flaming Brave Bird attack and Gigalith rushing forward with immense power. I shielded my eyes from the heat of the explosions that rocked the mountain. Looking up, I saw all of the Pokemon fleeing with upmost speed, running away. Around us the snow had been flown around in My Pokemon's job was done and we could carry on with the journey.
As I openned the tent flap snow cascaded into the tent. We were half buried in a snow drift, it seemed. The sound woke Samaton up and he immediately got out a shovel.
"We need to get out of this drift as soon as possible before more comes," He explained. We started to hurriedly dig until we had created a round hemisphere around our tent, keeping out any more snow. After that we dug along the sides of the tent so that we could pack up and leave. The work was tiring and it took almost an hour. I was starting to worry now. Once we had got to the Ice Palace there was no way that we could get back for the deadline. We had to work fast and move quickly if we were to make it.
The mountain wind whipped around our faces, freezing them to the bone. I had all of my Pokemon out, all of them helping to plough a path through the compacted snow. I was blinded by the flying snow and ice that the clouds had precipitated onto the mountains. Every step was a mile, every slope a mountain. How could we reach the Ice Palace on time at this rate? I pulled the hood over my face, grateful of the balaclavas that sheltered me partly from the wind.
The Sun has gone down, the Arctic Winter has truly begun. In the sky the dazzling Northern Lights dance above our bent backs, seeming to gently sway in the wind that was raging around us. There was no stopping now. We had to get to the Ice Palace. We were guided by Infernape's fire through snow drifts that reached up to our chests. We all stop as a light blinks on ahead of us. A voice comes into my head.
Do you want to know the way to the Ice Palace? It radiated through my conciousness. I shout out, blinded by the wind. It seemed to understand that I had said yes however.
Come with me and I will show you. It is very close now, but the Guardian keeps it hidden from the blind eyes of humans, It echoed in my head. This was a huge relief, we would have gone past the Ice Palace by now if it weren't for this being, whatever it was. The light drifted off our path and down the mountain slope. We followed it, slipping and sliding out way down. The light suddenly stopped in front of us.
Be careful, He warned. This snow is an illusion created by the Guardian. In front of me is a ledge. Let me banish it from your minds. The white snow turned bright red and vanished, revealing a beautiful sight. Below the ledge was a huge Palace, crafted entirely from Ice. Lights shone from it and moved inside it. It was the most beautiful thing that I had ever seen in my life.
Step forward, The voice commanded. We will levitate you to the bottom. I was mesmerised by this sight. The Ground fell from underneath me, the illusion disappeared. I tumbled down. I heard a voice calling, but it was too late. The wind rushed past my face. I looked around. I was falling through a rock tunnel, it seemed. It was strange, that I had failed, that I would die like my Uncle. But it would just-
Two Years Later
Samuel Unwil jumped the last few feet down to the bottom of the pot-hole, undoing the harness and taking it off. He watched as his guide, Samaton, scaled the rockface too, taking the pegs which held the safety lines in place at the same time. Rock walls were all around him, he was in a cave. Above him the Arctic Summer light shone through the hole that they had just climbed through.
The light was still poor and he clicked on a torch, gasping at the sight that he saw. There was a body at the bottom of the cliff, splayed in all directions, twisted at an awkward angle, frozen. Samaton leapt to the ground and stood beside the traveller. This was the second corpse that we had encountered on his journey, after that man by the lake. He hoped that he would not add to the collection
"Oh yes," he reminisced. "That's Harry Anderson. He was a good man. Two years ago he went up here, searching for the same goal as you. He wasn't so lucky."
We continued on through the cave, to the Ice Palace.