Mark Chate rolled onto his side and immediately fell off of the bench that he’d been napping on. He hit the ground with a thud, and groaned. He rolled onto his back and opened his eyes. He could see the night sky above him, which was lit only by the single glow of a full moon, and wondered what the time was. He wondered why he’d fallen asleep during the day, but then everything came back to him. He’d been at a party the night before, and that had made him really tired when the next morning came, so at about half-past noon, he’d lain down on a bench, and let him rest his eyes a bit, but must’ve dropped off into a deep sleep.
Mark sat up, yawned, and stretched. He checked his watch, and was thankful that it still had enough battery power to glow when he pressed a button. It was a few minutes past midnight, December the twenty-fifth. Mark smiled. That meant it was Christmas, and even for a fourteen-year-old boy, the feeling of it being Christmas didn’t cease to give him a warm feeling inside. He switched the glow function of his watch off, and then took a moment to recollect his surroundings. He was in Veilstone City in the Sinnoh Region, and he’d had his Pokémon left at the Pokémon Centre, in case he ever needed them. He’d managed to capture a Sneasel beforehand, though, so he wasn’t completely defenceless. It was quite a chilly night, and the pavement had still been a bit damp from the rainfall a couple of days ago.
Mark, feeling lonely, decided to let his Sneasel have a run around and stretch its legs, so Mark unhooked the red-and-white capsule from the brown belt that was holding up his denim jeans, and threw it into the air. A bright, white light emitted from the ball, illuminating most of the area; slowly, it faded and a dark figure with long claws and a single, red feather atop its head fell to the ground, landing stealthily.
“Snea!” the creature muttered, obviously not impressed about being woken up at the dead of night. It turned its head towards its master, who gave an embarrassed grin.
“Ooops…” Mark uttered. “Sorry, I kinda forgot that Pokémon prefer to sleep as well…”
Sneasel looked doubtful, but decided to forgive Mark. The Pokémon walked to its master’s side, and Mark knew it was wondering why it’d been let out of its Pokeball. “I just thought you could use a stretch of your legs, but if you don’t want to, it’s cool.” Sneasel shook its head, reconsidered, then raced off into the night. Mark was a bit shocked, but recovered quickly, and set off after his new Pokémon.
Meanwhile, high up above the Sinnoh Region, one little Delibird was frantically flying from house to house, trying its best to impress its peers by being the first one to return to the headquarters, and was dangerously rushing its route. So far, all had gone well, and the Delibird was making good progress. “Maybe Saint Nicholas will reward me for my hard work and dedication!” the bird Pokémon thought aloud. Saint Nicholas taught every Delibird and Stantler that worked for him how to speak English, and this particular Delibird was quite fluent.
The sleigh was racing through the air, the wind billowing on the Pokémon and the sack of presents that lay beside it. It was such an extraordinary feeling for the young ice-type, and, although it knew it shouldn’t, the Delibird knew it was such ahead of time, that it decided to see what would happen if it made the sleigh loop-de-loop. The Delibird commanded the Stantler to dive down, which, unwillingly, they did. The sleigh began to gather speed, rushing downwards at an alarming rate, before the reins were pulled, and the Stantler rose back up into the air, going upside-down, before levelling out again. All the while, the Delibird was yelling gleefully, bursting with pride for itself. ‘(I have GOT to do that again).” Yet again, the Delibird fell, and then rose into the air in a loop. However, as the Stantler were levelling out, one of them decided to teach the Delibird a lesson for slacking off, and, at the risk of the rest of the presents not being delivered, decided to jolt the sleigh. The Delibird lost balance as the sleigh rocked, leaning on the bag of presents, which, in turn, started to lean dangerously over the edge. Frightened at the prospect of never being trusted to deliver presents again, the Delibird recklessly let go of the reins, and grabbed the sack. The reins slipped off the sleigh, and the Stantler started to fly freely, while the sleigh, the Delibird, and the sack of presents started to plummet to the ground.
Back below, Mark and his Sneasel had decided to get in some stealth training, seeing as it was dark. They’d found a fine, open area, and Mark was shouting commands to his Pokémon companion.
“Sneasel! Use Metal Claw on the ground!” Mark commanded.
The almost invisible Sneasel jumped high into the air, and its claw started to glow, before the Pokémon fell down to Earth, and, with a mighty swing, slammed its claw into the soil, making mud spray in all directions. “Great!” Mark said. “Now use Agility!”
The ice type started to jump around, clinging onto trees, and just basically doing anything that would allow it to keep moving. Before long, Sneasel was just a blur to anyone who saw it flash by. “Awesome, Sneasel! Ok, one final move; Ice Shard!”
A cyan-white sphere started to form between Sneasel’s hands, growing in size steadily. Suddenly, with a loud war cry, pointed pieces of ice started to shoot from the ball of energy. They travelled through the air, finally crashing as they hit a nearby tree. Mark ran over to one of the ice pieces, and tried to pull it out of the tree, to no avail. “Wow, they’re really stuck in hard, Sneasel! I pity the Pokémon that has to face that!” Mark proudly stated.
“Snea!” Sneasel said happily, before looking up to the sky. A few stars had started to shine, and it was a rare sight.
“Woah… you never see stars anymore…” Mark murmured, quite taken aback. He lay down on the dew-covered grass, his blonde hair catching a few of the droplets on the back. Mark knew that the bottoms of his denim jeans would be embarrassingly wet, but he didn’t quite care. “It’s so amazing… I wish we could see stuff like this more often. It must be because it’s Christmas, and since we’ve not got any presents, we’ve been allowed to see this,” Mark joked. The Sneasel laughed beside him. All of a sudden, it let out a gasp of surprise, and Mark could just about make out that his Pokémon was pointing at something in the sky. It was falling at a rapid pace. “It’s a shooting star!” Mark exclaimed excitedly. “Come on, Sneasel, make a wish!” However, the Sneasel had already ran off, desperate to get to what it could clearly see was no star.
Keeping the falling object in sight at all times, the dark blue coloured Pokémon sprinted faster, not stopping for breath, and certainly not waiting up for its master. A forest came into view of the Sneasel, and for a split second, it debated itself as to whether it should enter, but sensing that the falling entity was a Pokémon in distress, it just charged right through. It had to hack leaves, branches, and vines out of its way, and was afraid that soon, the trees would get too close together to be able to see out the top of. The declining Pokémon had almost hit the ground, but Sneasel jumped into the air, and grabbed the poor Delibird inside, before jumping back out. The Delibird kept a hold of the sack that it was gripping tightly and the vehicle (or so it looked to Sneasel) smashed into the ground.
As soon as the Sneasel knew it was safe, it released its grip on the young Pokémon he’d rescued. The poor thing was trembling all over, recovering from its close encounter with death. Mark finally caught up, out of breath and with a tearing stitch. The boy bent over and clutched his side, before looking up at the frightened Pokémon that was staring at him. Mark decided to try and calm the bird Pokémon down, so he got onto his knees. The mud was cold against his kneecaps. He started edging closer, with his hands held into the air.
“Don’t worry! I’m not going to hurt you.”
The Delibird panicked, not knowing whether to trust this complete stranger or not. The only humanoid thing it’d ever seen was Saint Nicholas. It turned to the Sneasel next to it, who gave a reassuring look. Delibird focused its attention back onto Mark, who was now only a few metres away. Suddenly, it squawked, and ran off. Mark was shocked, and Sneasel jumped and tried to grab the fleeing ice-type. The Delibird dodged, and kept running, not looking back, not caring where it ended up; just hoping that the human it’d just seen would leave it alone.
Into the darkness the Pokémon ran, its heart beating as if it was beating its last. Every step was met with a squelch in the mud, and, although the Delibird slipped a few times, it was determined to run away. The Delibird slowed slightly, exhausted and out of breath. A sudden wave of fatigue covered the helpless Pokémon, and it came to a slow walk, before stopping completely and sitting down. It was in the middle of an open field, and there was no sign of any civilisation. That was good, since the Delibird wanted to keep a low profile. Unfortunately, it had no way of contacting anybody that could help it. How many children would wake up in the morning with no presents? It was sickening for the Delibird to even think about it. It smacked itself for being so stupid as to take those risks.
‘I don’t believe this… I may as well just slap myself until I die,’ were the words that ran through the terrified Pokémon’s mind.
It could hear a duo of Flying-type Pokémon up above, but it was too dark to see what they were. However, it gave Delibird an idea. It stood up, and started shouting out the flying Pokémon (in its own language, so as to not spook them).
“Help! Can you help me? Help, please?” it cried. The flying Pokémon looked down at the distressed Pokémon below. Both were Skarmory, a Steel and Flying combination type, with broad wings. Of course, they weren’t going to help the Pokémon, but two words went across both of their minds.
They both dive-bombed, screeching, too fast for the Delibird to react. One slammed into Delibird, who went flying and landed face first in the mud. The other attacked then, digging it’s beak into Delibird. The Ice and Flying-type howled in pain, rueing the awful mistake it had made of trusting two Pokémon it didn’t even know. The Delibird was left sprawled on the floor, desperately gasping for breath. The two Skarmory stood over their prey, wondering where they should start to devour first. The Delibird closed its eyes and held its breath, waiting for the final blow that would remove its existence from the world.
“Sneasel, Ice Shard!” came a cry in the distance.
The Skarmory screeched as pellets of ice started piercing into their armour-clad bodies. Angrily, they diverted their attention to a boy, and a pathetic Sneasel. Completely forgetting about the Delibird that quaked underneath them, the Skarmory flew straight at the attacking Pokémon.
The Sneasel jumped up swiftly as the two birds approached it. Both didn’t hesitate, and looped into the air, aiming for Sneasel yet again.
Sneasel turned so it was facing the oncoming Skarmory, and blew out from its mouth. The air turned cold, and ice formed in the air, pelting the two Steel-Flying types.
While all this was happening, Mark ran over to the Delibird on the floor, protecting it from the view of the Skarmory. “Don’t worry,” he told the bird Pokémon. “You’ll be O.K. Me and Sneasel are going to get those Skarmory off your back, and then we’re going to help you. Just rest for now.” The Delibird nodded, not wanting to trust someone it’d just met, but so tired all the same. They seemed decent, and if they were fighting the things that had just attacked it, then they must be good guys. It clenched its eyes shut, not knowing right and wrong, thinking everything it knew was a lie. Mark focused back onto the battle. Sneasel was back on the ground, and it was fairly obvious that the Skarmory were miffed. Both Skarmory glared at Sneasel, despising it for interfering. They both simultaneously opened their beaks, and at first, nothing happened, but all of a sudden, a piercing sound erupted, like metal grating on a surface. Mark covered his ears, knowing that the awful sound was a move called Metal Sound. Sneasel fell to the floor, overcome by the sound echoing through its ears. It desperately tried to shut it out, tried to get up to fight back. One Skarmory stopped making the sound, and flew into the air. It faced Sneasel, and shot an array of stars from its beak.
‘A Swift attack…’ Mark thought. ‘And, worst bit, I can’t tell Sneasel to dodge it, because it won’t hear me!’ The glowing yellow stars made contact with Sneasel and the ground. Mud flew up, and in an instant reaction to stop itself from being blown back by the reaction, Sneasel dug its claws into the ground. Instantly, it regretted its choice, as the Metal Sound was still rippling, although weaker from one Skarmory stopping. Mark had to think quickly, and shouted out, “Sneasel! Use your Taunt attack!” The Sneasel obeyed, gesturing the Skarmory to attack it. Enraged, both charged in unison, their wings glowing brighter, and more shiny than usual. “Look out! That’s Steel Wing!” Mark warned. “Use Agility to jump over them!”
Sneasel prepared to jump, but the Skarmory had heard the command too. Almost as if they’d rehearsed it beforehand, one Skarmory flew into the air, blocking the chance of an aerial escape. Mark was worried; the two armour bird Pokémon were only a few metres away, and he knew that if Steel Wing made contact, it’d hurt Sneasel more than any usual move, since Sneasel was prone to Steel type moves. Luckily the Icy Wind used earlier had slowed the Skarmory down temporarily. “Uh…” Mark stuttered. “Screech!” Sneasel opened its mouth, ready to dish out a sound equal to what the Skarmory had produced earlier, but was a moment too late. The Skarmory swung their wings at Sneasel, knocking it clean off the ground. The dark blue Pokémon crashed onto the earth, and the Skarmory prepared to strike again. “Get up, Sneasel, and use the TM I taught you earlier; Avalanche!”
Sneasel got up wearily, expecting another direct blow. The Skarmory were hesitant, waiting to see what would happen. Sneasel suddenly snapped back into focus, and with a cunning look in its eye, started forming a white sphere in between it hands. The sphere grew larger and larger, before suddenly shooting out white rocks, closely resembling snow. The rocks hit the Skarmory, dealing a mass of damage. Mark smiled. Sneasel had just been dealt damage too, which made Avalanche double the power that it usually was, and it was usually quite strong to begin with! The Skarmory screeched as more rocks impacted on them. They were certainly growing weaker with every rock that hit them, and before long, both sides were panting, dreadfully trying not to show any signs of weakness to the other party. Both stood still, staring each other down, before Sneasel’s legs gave way. It fell to the floor, utterly exhausted.
“Sneasel, no!” Mark cried out. Both Skarmory had a glint in their eyes, and both started flying speedily towards the helpless Sneasel before them. Their wings glowed, readying another Steel Wing attack. Closer they edged, Mark frantically urging Sneasel to get up and dodge.
The Delibird, who the whole fuss was over, stirred. It could hear the human’s frantic cries to his Pokémon, and could tell they were to no avail. It finally put two and two together, and knew that the human WAS trying to save it. This made the Delibird desperate to not let anything bad happen to the Sneasel protecting it, and, by some miracle, it opened its eyes, full of energy. It leapt up, and jumped in front of the Sneasel (to Mark’s surprise), blocking the Skarmory’s path. It dug around in the portable sack that it always carried, looking for something to help it. It brought out a small box, and held it tightly as it then ran towards the Skarmory. As four wings collided with one box, there was an almighty explosion. Mark gasped as he realised what the Delibird had done; it had used its only natural move, Present, to sacrifice itself for the Skarmory.
The Skarmory recovered quicker, and were weak beyond belief. They ran off as fast as their exhaustion would let them, which wasn’t very fast. Mark ran over to Delibird, and tried to shake it awake. The blonde-haired boy was desperate for the Delibird to be alright, after saving his Sneasel like that. Tears started to prick Mark’s eyes after about ten seconds of trying to get the poor Pokémon to move. Suddenly, the Delibird’s eyes opened, and Mark shouted with joy.
“Oh, thank God! I was really worried!” Mark exclaimed.
The Delibird kept quiet, not trusting the human enough to reveal its gift of English speech. The Sneasel had managed to muster up enough strength to push itself into a sitting position. Mark got a Pokeball off of his belt and pointed it at the Ice type.
“You did good, Sneasel, return,” he said. A red beam shot out of the ball, engulfing the Sneasel. In an instant, both were gone. Mark turned back to the Delibird.
“And as for you, I stand by what I said before. I’m going to help you get back to… wherever you come from. What do you say?” Mark asked, extending a hand to help the Delibird up. The bird Pokémon stared at the hand, trying to reach a decision…
If it's a capture, the Delibird takes Mark's hand. If it isn't... he keeps deciding :P