No, your eyes do not deceive you; I am actually redoing Articuno's Ice Palace, my first Pokémon fanfic ever.

I was about ten or eleven when I wrote this originally, and, being fifteen now, my writing style has greatly improved, and some stuff I wrote into the original I now find just plain embarrassing. However, many things I can't change, as they are vital to the plot and so on.

Please note that this was written before the R/S Pokémon were even out in Japan (which explains the total lack of Regice), not to mention way before the Lair of Insanity crew were dreamed up. Despite this, I have cunningly managed to weave in a great number of characters with who you might be familiar…

Lastly; this fanfic contains a few fake Pokémon. I know that quite a few people are turned off by fakes, but they are vital to the plot, so I can't take them out. Besides, I love Freezachu to bits :)

This WHOLE fic is dedicated to the Original Mew's Hangout Gang; Mewkitty, Dragonfree, Sarah the Swinub, Eevzy, Aliena, Vaporeanna, Eevee Oak, Ricky, Zizzo, Ice C80, Latias' Sister, Rob and everyone. I love you all! Thanks particularly to Mewkitty for letting me borrow Freezachu and Stalegeon, and Dragonfree for encouraging me to actually rewrite this.

Thanks also go out to my little sister for being the annoyance of my life as well as the inspiration for Gabzy's personality. And I love you for it :)

Disclaimer: If I owned Pokémon, I would not be sitting here, clutching my head, rocking back and forth in my chair and mumbling "...want Gale of Darknes... want it now..." because it's not out over here yet.

Articuno's Ice Palace
By Dannichu

Chapter 1: The Melted Pokémon (Clear)

The laughter of four Pokémon rang out through out the icy chambers deep within Johto's Ice Path. These caverns were completely undiscovered by humans, and the coldest place in the entirety of Johto; colder even than the darkest depths of Mount Mortar, or deep within the unfathomable Whirl Islands. The Path was illuminated only by small gaps in the roof that let in little to no heat at all, causing everything to be frozen save for a glacial river that ran around the back of the Path, providing the Path's inhabitants with water. Despite the fact it was freezing cold, they were accustomed to the extreme temperatures.

As the caverns at the back had been undiscovered by humans, there were a few species of Pokémon that lived there and had never been seen by humans, and therefore were not even recognized and classified as Pokémon. One such Pokémon species was a Glacéguin, an Ice/Flying Pokémon who resembled a penguin, save for their minty green and sky blue feathers; blue on their backs and green on their faces and bellies.

Another such undiscovered type was Freezachu, who were in actual fact, mutations of Pikachu. They resembled Pikachu in terms of shape and size, but they had a light frosty blue fur with darker blue cheeks and two vertical stripes running up their backs and onto their foreheads. Their tails ended with a number of icicles and they had blue spheres on the tips of their ears.

These undiscovered Pokémon scarcely ventured outside, for fear that humans would find and capture them for their rarity, but trips outside had to be made for food.

The outside temperature was roughly nineteen degrees centigrade, a relatively warm summer morning. Inside, however, the temperature was closer to minus twenty. Four Pokémon were playing in one of the large undiscovered caverns, laughing and running around, doing their best to not create enough noise to attract humans or annoy other, older Pokémon.

The oldest of the group was Ritzo, an outgoing Delibird who knew every cavern in the Ice Path perfectly. He spent all of his time with his friends, and loved playing with them. He had taken to staying with his friends all the time ever since his father Topi had been captured a few years ago, along with a few other Pokémon from the path when it was raided by humans.

Next was Sarielle, a Glacéguin who was rarely out of her large family's vision, as they, like the rest of the Glacéguin species, were paranoid about being discovered and captured. She, on the other hand, hated having to fly and hide upon hearing any unknown noise.

Gabzy was a Sneasel and, though he loved his friends, liked to be left alone. He was quite often stressed and he hated meeting anyone with which he was unfamiliar. He was extremely sneaky and was typically the one who ventured outside and into the open to collect berries and other food for his friends.

Sarol was a Swinub who had never been outside in her life. Even though she wasn't one of the undiscovered Pokémon, she had a very good reason to avoid humans, as they would almost certainly capture her due to her different coloring. She was an outcast from the other Swinub, who disliked having a Pokémon that would attract the unwanted attention of humans in their midst. Her grayish-silvery fur and almost fluorescent pink nose was such a dead giveaway that, according to her fellow Swinub, she may as well have a sign above her head reading "Capture me". So she spent virtually all of her time with her three other friends, and they spent most of their time playing in the icy grottos.

On this particular day, they had been forced out of the cave in which they usually played by a group of Jynx who decided that they wanted to move into the neighboring caverns and disliked the sound of screams of laughter disturbing them. So the four friends grudgingly took their games into one of the 'back caves' as they were called, which were typically reserved and inhabited only by the undiscovered Pokémon. However, they were lucky enough to find one such cave that was totally empty, and had more than enough space to run around and fly about without any danger of low-hanging stalactites or loose boulders in the ceiling.

"Okay Ritzo, it's your turn!" said Sarielle happily, a large smile running from one end of her beak to the other. Her Delibird friend grinned. "I'll show you how it's done." He shot back. Gabzy was already dashing away, with all the grace and elegance of a cat, while Sarol was trying to run, but not making much progress on her little Swinub legs.

"It's not fair!" Sarol shouted to the Sneasel, "You have an unfair advantage!"

Gabzy gave only a slight glance over his shoulder to indicate that he heard her while continuing running, while Ritzo flew after him, trying to catch up.

Suddenly, the game was interrupted by a shrill scream, which reverberated off the nearby rocks for a few seconds afterwards and caused some of the large stalactites hanging from the icy ceiling to shudder hazardously. All four of the Pokémon stopped dead in their tracks, looking around for a source of the noise.

"What on earth was that?" asked Gabzy, looking around.

"Someone screamed…" said Sarol, her voice full of worry.

Ritzo and Sarielle flew up to the roof of the cave and looked around for an apparent source. Suddenly a second noise, a loud wail, filled their ears. Then a scared voice echoed through the cave. "Help!".

The Pokémon all looked at one another before nodding and running off to find the source of the voice.

Sarielle and Ritzo flew, Gabzy ran and Sarol scuttled around large stalagmites, snowy boulders, and huge sheets of slippery ice until they found themselves at the entrance to a tiny cave at the far back of the Path. There was nothing exceptionally noticeable about it, save for its small size and the puddle of water that it contained, as there was virtually no water in the Ice Path, especially at the back, as it typically froze over immediately due to the glacial temperatures. There was also a beam of light filtering in through a large hole in the ceiling. Also inside was a small Pokémon that bore a vague resemblance to a mouse. Its icy coat reflected the intense sunlight, causing the soft fur to shimmer beautifully. It was, beyond any doubt, a Freezachu. It was standing by the puddle, huddled over and making weeping noises.

"No…" he sobbed, obviously unaware of the presence of the four Pokémon. Sarielle looked at her friends before walking over to the Ice Pikachu and putting a blue wing around its shoulder. The Freezachu jumped a little, startled, but turned around to look at them, tears streaming down his face.

"What is it?" Sarol asked, her voice full of worry.

"I… a Pokémon… fire… Stalegeon!" was all the discernable speech that came forth from the Freezachu's mouth, amid numerous sobs and wails.

"It's okay…" Sarielle said patiently, never moving her wing from the little Pokémon's shoulder.

Gabzy looked a tad uncomfortable, torn between wanting to mock the Freezachu for being so wimpy, but not wanting to earn glares from his friends. Instead, he muttered under his breath, something he always did when angry. "Sheesh, don't let the humans know we're here or anything…" he murmured

He had failed to take into account the acute sense of hearing trademark to the Freezachu species, and the blue mouse, upon hearing his remark, sobbed even harder. "Two humans…" Freezachu stuttered, his tears freezing onto his face as they slid down his cheeks, "Battling P-Pokémon… up there. One was a… Fire one… the fire b-blasted though here…" he trailed off, unable to continue.

"And what?" Ritzo asked, perched on an icy boulder and looking concerned. He looked up at the hole in the ceiling. It was fairly obvious that the hole had been melted.

"It's my… my friend…" he sobbed, distraught.

Gabzy's eyes narrowed. "What is?"

Freezachu used a shaking paw to point at the puddle on the floor, which was shimmering an eerie blue. The light coming down from the hole in the ceiling was falling directly onto it, making it glisten.

"Right…" Gabzy said, an eyebrow raised, "The puddle is your friend."

He earned a nearly venomous glare from Sarielle, who turned around to face him, before going back to Freezachu, who was crying harder than ever.

"What is it, exactly?" Ritzo asked, concerned.

Freezachu hiccoughed a few times, before taking a deep breath. "W-when the fire came in.. it hit Stalegeon and… and m-melted her!" he nearly howled the last few words, looking beyond consolation.

"Stalegeon?" Sarol repeated, looking at Ritzo and Sarielle for help.

"A Stalegeon, I think, is an Ice Evolution of Eevee. I've never seen one. My sisters talked about them once," said Sarielle, casting her mind back, "That's about all I know. You don't have any idea, do you Ritz?"

"I heard they can't live in any form of heat without melting." Ritzo explained, "Correct me if I'm wrong..."

"N-no, that's right…" Freezachu sobbed, "A-and if they melt… y-you need to re-freeze them before the water goes black or else they… they die!" again, the little Pokémon screeched the end of his sentence, causing a few stalagmites on the ceiling to quiver forebodingly.

"Well…" Sarol said, hoping to sound comforting, "we could all try and re-freeze her. I mean, if all five of us try at once, we should be able to make him better, yes?"

"Her." Freezachu choked. "W-would you help me? Please?"

The four Pokémon nodded, and all five Pokémon walked over to the puddle and formed a circle around it. They each took a deep intake of breath, before firing an Ice Attack on the puddle, which engulfed it in a bright ice-white light for a few seconds, before the attacks and light faded away, revealing that the puddle had remained so. Freezachu burst into inconsolable tears. "It's no good!" he sobbed, "She's going to die!"

The four other Pokémon glanced over at Freezachu, who had dropped to his knees and was crying his heart out. They all sighed.

"What can we do?" Sarol asked, looking hopeless.

"Nothing." said Gabzy.

Ritzo sighed again, "He's right. If all of us can't revive Stalegeon, I doubt anybody can."

Sarielle looked sadly over at the Ice Pikachu, and then back to her friends, looking forlorn. Suddenly, something flickered in her eyes, something that Sarol, Gabzy and Daigree all knew as an idea. Her dejected countenance suddenly transformed into a hopeful grin, the longer she thought about her idea.

"What is it?" Sarol and Ritzo asked at the same time.

"Well…" she whispered, so Freezachu wouldn't hear, and she wouldn't get his hopes up. "What if we got Articuno, the Titan of Ice, to try and-"

"Articuno?" Gabzy repeated incredulously. "Isn't he a tad… far away? I mean, the Seafoam Islands aren't exactly a trip down the road, are they?"

Upon hearing Gabzy's outburst, Freezachu had turned around a listened. "A-Articuno?" he sniffed, wiping his eyes. "Do you think he could maybe re-freeze Stalegeon?"

The Pokémon all looked at each other, Sarol throwing a rather nasty look at Gabzy.

"Well, it's a possibility…" Ritzo said, unsure of what to say, and not wanting to get Freezachu's hopes up.

"I'm going." said Freezachu abruptly. It made everyone else jump slightly, as it was not only the first thing Freezachu had said without stuttering, he had said it as a statement, not a "what if", and, most of all, what he had actually said.

"Are you kidding?" Gabzy asked, "You seriously have to be joking. The Seafoam Islands are in Kanto. We're stuck here in the Ice Path in Johto."

"I don't care," said Freezachu, apparently not hearing a word the Sneasel had said. "If there's a possibility he could revive Stalegeon, I'm going."

"But he might not be able to! It's a tiny chance…" Ritzo reasoned.

Freezachu shook his head, "There's still a possibility. I'm w-willing to risk it."

"But you don't know the way!" Sarol reasoned, "You could easily get lost! And you're a Freezachu! You wouldn't last five minutes without being captured by some collector!"

"I don't care!" Freezachu shouted.

Gabzy shook his head in disbelief. "You can't be serious!"

"Yeah?" the tiny blue mouse challenged, "Well, I am!"

Sarielle had gone the entire conversation-stroke-argument looking from one Pokémon to another. At that moment, everyone was breathing heavily to regain their breath. Sarielle took three steps over to Freezachu and put a wing around his shoulder. "You friend means a lot to you, doesn't she?"

"Of course!" Freezachu shouted, sounding insulted, before realizing that she wasn't arguing with him. "I mean, yes, she is. She's like my sister. She's my best friend in the world." he paused, thinking about what he had just said, "She's my only friend in the world. I'd do anything for her. That's why I have to go."

Sarielle let the words sink in. There was a silence broken only by distant echoes for a little while before Sarielle spoke again. "I'm coming with you."

"What?" her three friends chorused.

Sarielle smiled, and turned to them. "Would you do this for me?" she asked.

"What?" asked Sarol.

"Would you make the trip all the way to Kanto if there was a possibility, no matter how small, of saving my life?"

"Of course!" said Sarol instantly. Ritzo said the same thing a second later and, after a moment's consideration, Gabzy replied truthfully. "I think so."

"Well then," Sarielle said, "Freezachu is willing to do this for his friend, and I have to help him. You have to understand."

"I'm going with you too, then." Sarol said, scuttling over to the two Pokémon. Freezachu's face was brimming with tears, but they were not of sadness.

"And me." added Ritzo.

"What?" shouted Gabzy, outraged. "You're just going to leave me here? You're leaving me, your friend of five years, who fetches you food and water so you none of you get caught, for some kid you've known of all of five minutes?"

Sarielle and Sarol looked distinctively upset by the truth in Gabzy's comment, but Ritzo looked a little angry.

"Well," said the Delibird, "if you're about to sit here and watch his friend die, you deserve more than that!"

Ritzo's statement seemed to go through to Gabzy. After considering for a while, he finally said "Fine. I'll come. I can help you find the way. And keep off attackers."

"Are you sure you all want to?" said Sarielle, "I mean, it's not exactly going to be safe, is it? With all the humans we'll be with... and, let's face it, none of us have much experience outdoors."

Ritzo looked a tad nervous, but nodded his head nevertheless. Sarol gave her Glacéguin friend a look that plainly said 'you'd have to tie me up to stop me coming'.

"I have experience. And I'll use it, too." Gabzy sighed, rolling his eyes and walking over to the group. "But when you all end up as lab experiments after being caught by humans, be prepared to hear me say 'I told you so'.".

"T-thanks you guys!" Freezachu shouted, rushing over to Gabzy and hugging him tightly around the middle, tears streaming down his face.

"Yeah well…" Gabzy said, clearly embarrassed. "I'll… I'll go get a bottle."

"A bottle?" Sarol repeated.

"How else do you plan to carry Stalegeon?" Gabzy asked, walking out of the cavern. "Drink her?"

About five minutes later, Gabzy re-emerged, armed with a slightly crumpled bottle with a faded label reading "Soda Pop". Assuring Freezachu he had washed it out in the river, they proceeded to take all the water from the puddle and transfer it into the bottle, which was easier said than done, as it was vital not to miss a single drop. In the end, they left it all to Gabzy, who used his claws to scoop the water into the bottle.

"Why is it so important not to miss anything?" Sarol asked, watching Gabzy.

"I think it's because if we re-freeze her and there's some water missing, it's technically some of her missing, and she might be missing a leg or something drastic like that." Ritzo explained. "I'm just guessing, mind you."

"That's right." said Gabzy, not looking up, "That's why I have a plastic bottle. If I'd got a glass one, what would have happened if you'd slipped and it broke? Am I the only one who thinks of these things?"

"How do you know all of this?" Sarielle asked.

Gabzy made sure every drop was in the bottle before retracting his claws and screwing the lid on. "I know everything of importance." He said simply, giving an odd smile. "I have survived for years on this planet because of my own knowledge, my ability to use that knowledge and nothing else. And I am not dead yet. Therefore I know enough."

His friends were shocked. "That was… deep." Sarol commented, a bit taken aback at her friend's out-of-character-ness.

Gabzy laughed. "I didn't make it up. It's a Sneasel proverb. Means that if you can't rely on yourself, you can't rely on anybody."

"Okay," said Sarielle, changing the subject. "If everyone wants to get going soon, it would be for the best, since it's a long way and we have no time to waste. If anybody still wants to drop out, now's their chance."

Freezachu picked up the bottle and put it into the little plastic bag that Gabzy had given him, picked up from outside on one of his many journeys outside. "I'm ready." he confirmed.

"I don't need to bring anything." Sarol said, "and I doubt I could carry it if I did."

"I'm fine, too." Ritzo nodded.

"Everyone set?" Sarielle asked, as they began making their way out of the cavern. Everyone but Gabzy followed.

The Sneasel gave Sarielle a slightly sardonic look. "Have you ever actually been outside?" he asked.

"Well… no."

"Have any of you?"

The Pokémon exchanged glances. "I've seen it." Sarol said. "Once."

"I did, when I was little." said Ritzo. "With my father."

"I saw some of the sky through that hole in the ceiling once…" said Freezachu in a voice that was just above a whisper.

Gabzy rolled his eyes and sighed. Oh, it was going to be a long way to Seafoam.

After walking for about fifteen minutes, they reached the entrance to the Path. The Pokémon, not used to the strong light, shielded their eyes from the sun's glare. Once their eyes had become accustomed to the light, they looked around in awe.

"Wow…" breathed Freezachu, gazing around, his mouth open.

"It's… beautiful…" Sarol whispered, as if not wanting to disturb the serenity.

Ritzo and Sarielle were both also looking around in awe. "It's more amazing than I ever remember…" said Ritzo in a hushed voice.

Gabzy, who was used to going outside, rolled his eyes. "Per-lease," he said, "this is one of the ugliest places I've ever seen. Look at all that human trash." He said, pointing to a pile of discarded food wrappers.

"But look," Sarielle said, awestruck, "look at those plants… they're so full of life."

Gabzy looked at his friends with something beyond his usual resentment towards everything, and saw how genuinely amazed they were. He pushed aside his sarcastic comments and let them revel in the world that they never knew existed, that had previously been nothing more than a different planet.

"Whee!" Sarol shouted, scuttling off on her little legs, dashing around in the sunlight, in crazy circles. Freezachu gave a genuine laugh and joined her. While deep down, Gabzy wanted to laugh at the scene, there was something more important to worry about. He ran over to them, grabbed the two small Pokémon and shook them.

"You idiots!" he hissed. "I know this is your first time outside, but if you don't want to get caught in your first ten minutes, you can't do anything that will draw attention to yourselves! Look at you! Sarol, you're a one-of-a-kind mutation-" Sarol flinched slightly at the word, "-and Freezachu, you're of an undiscovered species! Worth more than your weight in gold! We have to keep out of sight of humans at all times, clear?"

Sarol looked hurt, but seemed to understand what Gabzy meant. Freezachu was not used to being talked to like that, and his eyes grew watery and his bottom lip began to quiver.

"He has a point." Ritzo said, flying over, "we can't be seen by any humans. If we do, you three will be captured for sure."

"How are we going to get there then?" Sarol asked, "I thought there were humans everywhere."

"With difficulty." Gabzy answered simply, looking up at a dilapidated signpost. "Can any of you read human? This should tell us which way to go."

"I can't read… I can't even understand it." Sarielle admitted.

"We can't…" Ritzo sighed, "We've never been outside before now…"

Freezachu looked desperate. "How do we know which way to go?" he panicked.

"Easy." said Gabzy lazily. "Just watch and learn."

Gabzy hustled the other Pokémon behind a tree, out of sight, climbed onto one of its lower branches and lay crouched there, obviously waiting for something. After a few minutes had passed, a human man walked past, carrying a fishing rod and whistling. Gabzy didn't move, but the Pokémon hiding behind the tree suddenly went as still as stone. Then, another sound of movement was detected by Gabzy's keen ears. The feathers on his ear and tail stiffened, as he crouched lower, ready to pounce. A Likitung walked into the clearing, obviously not wanting to be seen by a human, and it walked quickly across the route and was about to make it into the thicket on the other side, but Gabzy pounced, quick as lightning. He darted down, landing in front of the Pokémon with the grace of a cat on all fours, his claws fully extended, feathers rigid and his deadly sharp teeth showing. The Likitung looked terrified.

"Look," Gabzy spat, "we need to get to Mahogany Town. What's the quickest way there that avoids humans?"

"Erm…" stuttered the poor Likitung, "if you carry on that way," she pointed westward "but keep behind the trees the whole time, you'll avoid humans. Please let me go! I have to feed my chil-"

"Go." said Gabzy, standing up on two legs and retracting his claws. The Likitung ran off into the thin forest, apparently terrified.

"You can come out now." he called to the Pokémon who were still behind the tree. They came out looking a tad shocked, "It's that way."

"We heard…" said Sarielle faintly, "but did you really have to do the whole…" she mimed Gabzy in his 'threatening' pose "intimidating thing? Couldn't you have just asked?"

"I could have." Gabzy said simply, walking west, "but I've learned from experience you get answers faster that way."

I hope you liked, and (if you read the first one) agree it's better than the original. Now PLEASE don't beg me to frequently update this. It's very hard to write and I've got a lot going on at the moment. So please don't make your reveiws too harsh, either. Thanks.