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Old December 12th, 2011 (4:06 PM). Edited December 12th, 2011 by adventure.
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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chapter 2 - part I
Ashton Elden

Ice Path

"It's... cold!" Ashton said, shuddering and gritting his teeth as he stepped inside the long cave after Rebecca.

"Of course! Why did you think it was called the Ice Path?"

They had gone together back to the pokémon center after their battle and got Rattata and Aipom healed up. Aipom's tail was still a bit sore, but able to do everything she wanted to do with it again. When the trainers had found out that both of them were going in the same direction from Blackthorn, Rebecca thought it ridiculous that they would travel alone. And so they didn't. It was not as if Ashton could properly read a map either... Aipom sat, as always, on Ashton's shoulder now. And she was just as malcontent about the coldness as her trainer.

"Aipom!" she complained.

"No can do," Ashton said, pouting. "Lemme see if I've got another shirt to put on in here..."

He stopped just inside the cave opening and rummaged through his large backpack.

"You're a trainer who's got enough sense to pack things before they leave home!" Rebecca said cheerfully. "That's good."

"Haven't you?" Ashton said as he put on an extra, black sweater as well as a silver scarf that he thought he'd never ever put on. He quickly changed his mind though and handed the scarf to Aipom, who put it many rounds around her neck and purred happily.

"Of course I have! I even have a warm jacket, in case you didn't notice," Rebecca said, showing the dark blue thing off in front of him. She still had her light dress underneath it though, but Ashton noticed that she had put on some kind of trousers on her legs... no, leggings they were called? He shook his head. Since when did he stare at girls' legs? He blushed.

"Oh, I'm not that pretty, am I?" Rebecca giggled and winked at him.

"Not at all!" Ashton hastily said. Rebecca's grin faded. "Uh, I mean, of course you do, yes! But... um..."

But Rebecca wasn't the type to get easily angered or hurt. She laughed it away and motioned for them to keep going into the cave.

The path was well lit up, better than the Dragon's Den actually. The floor was clad in some kind of material that was rather nice and stable to walk on. Ashton tried putting his feet outside the pads and instantly slipped and almost fell over.

"Hey, these anti-slip pads are here for a reason!" Rebecca told him.

"Oh..." Ashton said and kept going. On the anti-slip pads. It was a rather boring walk, he thought. "Aren't there any pokémon here?"

"Probably. I haven't really walked here in order to search for wild pokémon before though..."

"But we are now, aren't we?" The boy lit up and started looking in every direction to spy something... anything. Nothing.

"It's probably like in Dragon's Den," he mumbled to Aipom and looked to the side. "The pokémon are hiding in those side-tunnels.

"Oh, don't go in there. There aren't any anti-slip pads there... Ashton?" Rebecca said when he didn't answer. She turned around to see him skid over to the other side of the cave and enter a dark side tunnel.


The blonde boy giggled in unison with the monkey on his shoulder as he snuck around just outside of the reach of the lanterns. He walked through the darkness and neither he nor Aipom was afraid this time, because he saw a light at the end of the tunnel. They came out in a big cave with ice on every wall and holes in the ceiling here and there. Daylight slipped through them and made the ice sparkle in a blue way down in the cave around them. "Whoa..." Ashton said, his eyes glimmering as well. "Totally worth it. Now, I wonder what pokémon live here?"

He carefully skid across the room, it was more fun than it was hard, and searched closely with his eyes. Eventually, he spotted something. "Look, Aipom!" he said and pointed as he came to a stop by skidding towards and hitting a large stone. He was looking at a group of small cone shaped pokémon that sat in a group together and seemed to be generally chatting. He pulled up the PokéPad, which told him that they were Snorunt. "Awesome!" he said. "But they look a bit small and weak."

He skid on across the floor to another side of the room where there were a lot of cliffs. There, he found some pokémon looking like brown tufts of hair sneaking around on the floor. Swinub, they were called. "Ice and ground? Cool combo! But they are quite small and... strange, aren't they?" Aipom nodded thoughtfully. She didn't want just any teammates, now did she?

"Ashton!" a voice came and made Ashton slip and fall over, hitting the ice hard with his elbows.


"There you are! If we're gonna travel together, you can't just run off from me, hey?" Rebecca said as she was just about to step out onto the most slippery part of the floor...

"Wait!" Ashton called out and lashed forth. The result was that both the girl and the boy skid across the room, the girl screaming as she did, and missed each other by a meter before hitting the wall on the other side and thus coming to a stop. A loud bang was heard when the girl did so.

"Uh, are you okay?" Ashton called from his side of the cave.

"No! This is terrible, how are we supposed to get out?"

"By skidding on the ice, of course. It's easy, just..." Ashton showed her by skidding once, twice over two parts of the floor to reach the tunnel which they had come from. "Come on now!" he said.

Rebecca swallowed and pushed herself away from the icy wall to pick up speed. But she had pushed herself in an odd direction and ended up further away from the tunnel.

"No, go that way now, and then that way!" Ashton pointed and called out to her.

"What way?" Rebecca yelled as she tried again and ended up among the Snorunts, who curiously came close and poked her where she had fell over in the snow. "Eek! Get off me!"

Ashton couldn't help laughing, earning an angry stare from Rebecca. "Sorry. It's just... I don't really understand how you can think it's difficult," he said scratching the back of his head.

Rebecca sighed, still laying down. As she was, she looked up at the ceiling. "There is something in the ceiling..." she said.

"Of course, they are called holes, maybe you have heard of them?" Ashton said sarcastically. Aipom laughed.

"No... not holes. Creatures. Lots of them. So many... They look creepy!"

"Since when are you afraid of creepy creatures? You own a rat."


Maybe it was that last yell that woke them up from their slumber. One Zubat started flapping its wings and detached from the ice ceiling where it had been hanging. That woke the ones around it up, and they in turn woke the rest up. Soon, the ice couldn't be seen anymore. The air above them in the cave was just a blur of dark purple wings and a strange, high pitched noise.

Rebecca put her hands over her ears and yelped, and the Snorunts formed a tight clump with each other behind her, as to shield off the irritating sound.

"What's that?" Ashton yelled.

"Zubat!" Rebecca answered him, before a swarm of them soared right past her and went straight for Ashton.
His turn to gulp now. Aipom brought him down by grabbing his leg with her tail and pulling, and the Zubats barely missed him as they flew by, through the tunnel.

"Phew... thanks, pal!" Ashton said and patted Aipom.

"That's not all of them!" Rebecca called out. She had gotten back onto the ice and skid across the room... once again in the wrong direction. A lot of Zubats were still hovering in circles above her.

"Don't worry, we'll get them off you!" Ashton said, having an idea. "Deino, help out!"

He held out Deino's pokéball and the dark dragon materialized on the snow beside them. It immediately tried to bite Aipom's tail, but earned a light whip from it instead. 'Know your place!' Aipom's look would have told him, if he had had eyes to see with.

"Deino, fire your Dragon Rage at the swarm of Zubats!"

Deino obliged, having no better thing to do at the moment, and some of the Zubats were hit by the crackling, blue beam of energy. They fell down but went up again, soaring towards the boy and the pokémon on the ground instead of over the girl.

"Lure all of them over here!" Ashton said, smiling adventurously. He wasn't afraid of some tiny bats. Deino didn't seem to understand. It started trying to bite the Zubats that had reached them. "No, I mean, use Dragon Rage on the swarm over there again!"

Deino did so, and more Zubats left Rebecca alone. Finally, all of them were hovering Ashton instead, and Rebecca got up from where she had been sitting on the ice.

"Do you hear something strange?" Ashton asked, suddenly noticing that he was feeling slightly nauseus. He looked down and saw that Aipom wasn't feeling well either.

"It's the Sonic Waves!" Rebecca said. "Chase them away, they are making your hearing and balance system go wacko!"

"Deino..." Ashton said, turning to his second pokémon. Apparently, Deino wasn't badly affected. "Use Thunder Fang!"

This time, there was nothing to stop the attack from working. Deino had already been snapping for Zubats for a while. Now he charged up his fangs with the mysterious power that he as an unusual Deino had gotten from birth, he aimed... and he struck the closest Zubat with a shocking Thunder Fang. It hurt in several ways and was critically effective on the poor bats. Those who weren't directly hit felt the electrical sparks fly through the air and moved away, and those who weren't even close sensed the others moving away and moved away as well. The result was that the swarm of Zubats soon stormed out through the tunnel and finally left the humans alone.

The nausea left Ashton and Aipom almost immediately. "Ah... that wasn't so hard was it?" the boy asked his pokémon, who rolled her eyes. "And you, you're so strong! Like a real dragon!" Ashton said, turning to Deino. Deino actually seemed to hear what Ashton said for once.

"Deiii!" it said and snapped with his jaws... in the air. Maybe it had started to learn its lesson?

"But, what is that?" Ashton asked, seeing Deino had one of his paws standing on top of something. Something moving. "A Zubat! The one you bit with Thunder Fang?"

Deino waved its tiny tail quickly. It must be waiting for some kind of praise for catching a prey. "Like some kind of a dog," Ashton remarked. The Zubat was struggling to get free. Ashton smiled. "It's already weak. Let's catch it!"

Deino stepped back and the shocked and ruffled up Zubat took to the sky. But it didn't go far before it dove back down again, straight for Deino. "Wow, it's a battle between a dragon and a bat!" Ashton cheered. "Come on, Deino! Dragon Rage!"

Deino shot out his blast of energy but missed the Zubat, who zoomed in and hit Deino's back while glowing in a mysteriously red color. Ashton almost instinctively reached for his PokéPad this time. It was a bit slower than usual in the coldness of the cave, but so were his fingers. "Leech Seed? Its draining your energy, Deino!" Ashton said, but Deino didn't seem to be able to shake it off. His energy was dropping for every second Zubat sat there.

"Grr..." Ashton was out of options. But Aipom dashed forward and jumped up in front of Zubat with a scream that even made Ashton jump. Zubat flinched and let go of Deino's skin. Two bitmarks were seen where it had been! The PokéPad enlightened Ashton on the nature of Aipom's new tactic. It was called Astonish and was a well known attack. "Great work, Aipom!"

Zubat flapped its wings back up into the air. "You think you'll be safer up there? Wrong. Aipom, Bounce!" Ashton laughed.

Aipom snickered and bounced up even higher than she had done when battling Rebecca's Rattata. She reached the ceiling and pushed herself from it with her powerful tail, adjusting her aim and speeding up her downfall even more. Zubat didn't stand a chance. It was struck by Aipom's aerial tackle and crushed on the ground in the snow. After this, it could really be said to have passed out.

"Hah! Great job, Aipom!" Ashton said and high-fived her tail without thinking. Well, that could actually merit a high five.

He was just about to take out an empty pokéball when a voice reached him. "Ashton... could you please help me out of here now?" He dropped the pokéball and didn't even notice that it landed right on the Zubat...

"Oh crap!" He'd forgotten about Rebecca, who was still sitting in a corner, freezing and shaking by now. He quickly skid over the glass-like floor to her with Aipom, leaving Deino on the snow at the tunnel. "Sorry, sorry..." he said, blushing as he reached her.

She took his hand, and that made him blush even more at first. Then he felt how cold she was and forgot all about being nervous around girls. "Rebecca, are you alright?"

"Yes... just a bit cold," she replied drowzily.

"No, stay awake, I'll push you in the right direction and we'll be out of here in no time!"

He got up and dragged her up with him. Then he turned his face back towards Deino and the tunnel, and was horribly startled.

What was now facing him, floating in the air, was not a Zubat. It was a giant face shaped like a snowflake, with glowing lights for eyes coming from the darkness inside it... and strange icicle chains hanging from what looked like a mouth. It felt like seeing a scary ghost.
Aipom screamed and hid behind Ashton's head. Rebecca was too drowsy to notice and Ashton just blinked. "I'm not scared of you," he then said, giving the floating snowflake a grim look. With the hand not holding Rebecca up, he reached for his PokéPad again. "Really useful thing, this..." he mumbled as the machine identified the pokémon in front of him. "Cryogonal."

"Cryooo!" the pokémon hissed with a rather deep voice.

"What do you want? I've battle enough, you know, and my... uh, this girl here is not feeling well. We're just leaving!"

With that, Ashton took his eyes off the scary face and skid across the ice floor. It was a bit trickier when he had to hold the almost limp Rebecca up as well. He continuously missed the snowy shore where Deino stood and barked at him. He was growing impatient and angry. "Why is this so hard?" Rebecca didn't answer him, and that made him endlessly worried. He was starting to grow very cold as well. He already couldn't feel his fingers or toes at all. This was... maybe not very good. He tightened his grip on the girl and pushed them away from yet another wall... and stopped. In the middle of the icy floor. He hadn't pushed hard enough, not counting with the extra weight. He tried to take a step forward, but slipped and almost fell over again. Rebecca mumbled something.

"I won't give up!" Ashton said, feeling his lips go numb as well and having trouble pronounceating every word right.

Then, Cryogonal appeared in front of him again. "Cryogon?" it said with a remarkably soft voice.

"Help..." Ashton said. That was all that was needed. Cryogonal came closer, unfortunately oozing cold air over the already cold humans and Aipom, who was spasmodically holding on to Ashton's neck. But the wild pokémon pushed them on the icy floor... pushed them all the way until the slow Ashton could feel snow under him again.

A wet and warm sensation came over his face as Deino licked him all over it. "Aren't you going to bite me..." Ashton mumbled. Then things went black without a warning. He was scared. But then he wasn't. It was just black.

- - -

Mmm... warm. Ashton opened his eyes and looked into a fire. He was warm again, laying in his sleeping bag. But there was still snow underneath.

"You're awake," a voice came. A rather old man was sitting beside him at the fire.

"Yes..." Then, he remembered what had happened, and darted up from the sleeping bag. "Rebecca! Aipom!"

"Calm down, lad. They are fine, see?" the man said and pointed across the fire. On the other side, Rebecca was sleeping peacefully with a soft smile on her face in her own sleeping bag. Rattata was curled up on top of her. When Ashton turned to his side, he saw Deino sleeping as well, snoring loudly, and Aipom was curled up on his back.

He let out a huge breath. What a crude adventure... "Who are you?" he asked after sitting down again.

"I'm Gorlo. I just happened to pass by when a Cryogonal and a Deino came out of a side-tunnel, carrying several fainted humans. Of course I had to help and warm you up again. You are at the middle of the road now, lad. At the healing station of Ice Path."

Ashton shook his head. He was still feeling strange in his legs and hands. Cold wasn't a nice thing.

"Where did that Cryogonal come from?" he asked.

"Oh, they live here. Spooky beings, but quite hearty if you get to know them. They have warm hearts, despite them radiating coldness. This one... seems to have taken a liking to you."

Ashton raised an eyebrow, but followed Gorlo's gaze and turned around. He was once again met with a large, glowing face. "Cryoo!"

"Ah!" he said, falling backwards down on the sleeping bag. "What do you want?!"

"Isn't it obvious?" the old man laughed. "Cryogonal clearly wants to take care of you."

Ashton blinked and looked at the pokémon in front of him. Its glowing eyes didn't look that cold after all... "You want to come with me?" he asked it, and god a heavy nod in response. "Well... that was the easiest pokémon caught so far," the boy said and grinned contentedly.

"Do you really think so, lad?" Gorlo said seriously. "You almost died in that ice cave. If Cryogonal hadn't saved you and if I hadn't passed by..."

Ashton nodded quickly. He didn't want to think about that. He looked back at Rebecca. To think that their simple trip through the beautiful Ice Path had taken such a dramatic turn... He had a lot to be thankful for, and patted Cryogonal appreciatively. But he quickly withdrew his hand with a yelp and stuck it close to the fire. "It burns!" he said.

"Of course. They are made of ice, after all. They give you a cold burn if you touch them."

"Cozy," Ashton muttered. But still, being so helpful, the pokémon would surely be good to have on the team. "So, if you really want to be my pokémon, come into the pokéball," he said and stretched out a hand with an empty one, just touching Cryogonal's body, activating the pokéball...

((OOC: Sorry for not having a battle against Cryogonal. I was planning to, but then I though this was better for the story. So I'm hoping to catch 2 pokémon in this long post... at the point where Ashton "drops" the pokéball onto Zubat, that's the first capture attempt. If you approve of it, then Deino will just have brought back the new pokéball with him :]
Also, I'd like to wish for a male Zubat.. Thanks beforehand~))
paired to a seeker.
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