By the way, new poll on profile. A survey, since I don't think my latest news update method is exactly working out. Again. So there's the survey/poll. This message shall appear on every update that's a part of this mass-update. … So every story's latest chapter.
Chapter 32: Survival – Blue Part 2
Blue stared at the newly obtained bolt action rifle. The three "weak" Dex Holders (Ruby, Diamond, White) backed away a little from the sudden introduction of a weapon while Silver searched through the pockets of the dead soldier's uniform.
"Okay…" Blue muttered. "An old fashioned bolt action rifle, no scope, no bayonet, long barrel, intact sling…" She pulled the bolt handle again to take a look inside the chamber. Or at least as much as possible. "… 5 round magazine…" Blue smirked and looked down the sights. "I haven't used one of these since…" she trailed off as she realized she was receiving suspicious stares from her "weak" juniors. "I mean… since ever. I never used one of these!"
"… Blue?" White muttered in shock. "… … Blue?!"
"Damn it, my image is changing every hour, isn't it?" Blue muttered. With a sigh, she slung the rifle over her shoulder. "Well, it can't be helped."
"Sis, I found these from the guy's pockets," Silver said as he present Blue a handful of stuff.
"25 spare bullets in chains of 5, a knife, and a map…" Blue stuffed the spare bullets into her pockets and let Silver keep the knife. She took the map and spread it open. "Let's see what we got…"
The 5 Dex Holders stared at the map and simply blinked. A completely blank map with a random circle drawn in the middle that indicated an outpost location. Blue folded the map and set it next to the skeleton.
"Well, that was helpful. I think this guy needs it more than us." Blue slowly moved around the destroyed remnants of the outpost, clearing piles of snow for suspicious places. Eventually, she found an intact locker. "Oh, here's something."
"I don't think we can crack it," Silver said. He took out the knife he got from the skeleton. "We can just break the lock, though."
The "weak" Dex Holders simply stood in silence and watched the two trained Dex Holders go on about their business. White took a scoop of snow and used it to cover the skull of the dead soldier.
Blue took the knife from Silver and used it to smash the lock open. She returned the knife and opened the locker. She found a radio that no longer worked, some batteries, a rifle scope, and a small belt of spare bullets. She took the batteries, the scope, and the spare bullets. So she now had a total of 55 bullets. Probably more than enough.
"Alright… Ruby, Dia, White… make two snowmen, would you?" Blue said to the "weak" Dex Holders.
The three Dex Holders silently did as told, not willing to disobey their senior, especially after what they saw. A few minutes later, there were two full sized snowmen.
Blue approached them and made a large fist sized hole into the "head" of the first snowman, deep enough for her entire fist to fit, but not any deeper.
"… Blue? What are you doing?"
Blue casually un-slung her rifle. She set off the safety and took 100 steps away from the snowmen. She turned to face the snowmen and raised the rifle. Silver slowly walked to stand behind Blue and the 3 "weak" Dex Holders quickly scurried away.
"Let's see how accurate this thing is," Blue muttered as she looked down the sight. She aimed for the fist sized hole she made and pulled the trigger. With a loud crack, the rifle fired, cleanly hitting the hole she made.
"Nice shot, sis," Silver said. He approached the second snowman and with his finger, poked a small hole into its head. "Now use that scope from farther away and see how you do."
Blue shrugged and took 200 steps backwards after pulling the bolt handle to eject the spent casing. The "weak" Dex Holders followed her. Blue went prone on the snow, with the rifle aimed at the second snowman. She attached the rifle scope and adjusted it a little. She eyed the tiny hole with the scope and fired.
Silver approached the second snowman and checked. The bullet hole was made exactly where he made the small hole with his finger.
"Nice shot," he said as Blue came over with her rifle lowered.
Blue pulled the bolt handle to eject the second spent casing. She took off the scope and put it in her bag. She then put the safety on for her rifle and slung it over her shoulder. She looked over at the 3 "weak" Dex Holders, who were still staring at her with looks of surprise and a little fear.
"Alright!" Blue said oddly cheerfully. "Let's keep going." The "weak" Dex Holders still remained frozen in place. Blue narrowed her eyes and tapped her rifle. "Let's. Keep. Going," she repeated slowly. The 3 "weak" Dex Holders immediately obeyed and began to march.
The group kept walking. For some reason, Blue was in the back of the group, herding the "weak" Dex Holders forward.
Ruby glanced back at Blue. "… Are we prisoners or something?"
"You know… we're marching in front of you, you have a rifle in your hands, and we're walking in a single file."
Blue rolled her eyes and increased her pace. "Fine, I'll stay ahead of you guys. Since you brave men can't stay in the lead, the girls will stay in the front."
Few hours later…
White started to shiver. It was getting cold thanks to the constant wind. And she didn't eat anything so her body couldn't produce enough heat. But she had no idea what to do to solve the problems and could only hope that Blue knew.
Blue suddenly stopped in her tracks, which caused White to bump into her, Ruby to bump into White, and Diamond to bump into Ruby. Silver… had already stopped, so he didn't join the human domino.
"Shelter time!" Blue exclaimed. "And this is the perfect place to do it."
White blinked and scanned around. All she could see was nothingness. The mountains were quite far away, and the nearest body of water was quite a ways away too. "… Where? There's nothing here."
"Make an igloo!" Blue said. "If we build a shelter too close to the mountains, there's a chance that rescue planes will miss us because of the mountains. And an avalanche would completely screw us over. If we build a shelter too close to the nearest body of water, we'll have to walk even farther to find food sources, because wild animals would stay away from us. Well, the animals that we'd want, anyways. We don't want polar bears knocking on our igloo door every day around dinner time."
"But… how do make one?"
Blue set the recovered tool pack down on the snow. "Alright boys," she said to the 3 male Dex Holders. "… Get to work."
"Wait, what? What about you?" Ruby asked.
"Since when did the girls do all the work? You strong men handle this."
"But… you're stronger than…" Ruby tried to object. But Blue had tapped her rifle again, which immediately shut him up. He picked up a small saw and began to cut blocks of snow. He sighed as his fellow male Dex Holders joined him. "And this, my friends, is how our slavery begins."
"Oh, stop whining," Blue said from the side. "Remember, this is for your benefit too."
Ruby kept grumbling as he continued to cut blocks of snow. Diamond and Silver moved the cut blocks and arranged them in a large circle, big enough for 5 Dex Holders to stay without being cramped.
Ruby occasionally glared at White, who wasn't helping out at all. The girl flinched from his glares, as she felt guilty for not doing anything. But apparently, Blue was determined to get the boys to do all the work. Or most, anyways.
"White, while the boys do their work, I think we should make a distress signal around here," Blue said after a little while.
"Stomp on snow to make a large X sign. That's a distress sign. Just make it 6 times as long as it is wide."
"Stomping on snow? How would people even see that?"
"Light reflection. Stomp on snow by enough, and the stomped snow would reflect light at a different angle, so it becomes really noticeable in the air. Trust me on this."
"And while we're doing that, let's chat. I'm sure you have questions for me."
The two girls walked away so they could chat and make the distress signal in peace. Seeing them walk away, Ruby and Diamond sighed in relief and proceeded to take things slowly.
"So… why do you insist in getting the guys to do all the work?" White asked Blue once they were far enough from the boys.
"Because they're better workhorses," Blue answered nonchalantly. "They're stronger, have more stamina and endurance, and are usually compliant to our requests. At the same time, if you leave it to them to plan and come up with ideas… things get very messy. It's best for them to do tasks that require no thoughts."
"Every now and then, there are anomalies. Sapphire, for example. She's a workhorse. Do not let her plan things. And Emerald. He's better off doing the planning, but only under supervision. And there are those who can do both. Green, for example. And Ruby, as long as there's no dirt anywhere."
Blue smiled as she patted her junior on the shoulder. "White, the very first thing you should do is getting to know every Dex Holder. Not just hanging out with them, but measure their… potential and capability. This is important."
White tilted her head. "How so? It's not like I'll be ordering anyone around. I'm the junior."
Blue laughed. "Of course, if things are going to stay like this forever, I wouldn't tell you anything like this. But one day, you're going to be the senior, with the future Dex Holders as your junior. And when that happens, you want to do to them what I'm doing to everyone else. Know them and learn how to use them."
"Oh, I see. So as practice, I should start learning how to properly measure everyone's capability." A thought occurred and White soon frowned. "Why not teach Lady Platinum, then? I think she'll be better than me."
"Truth be told, I've been looking for a… successor, if you will, for many years now. Yellow, Crys, Sapphire, Platinum… they all have issues. You're the only one who won't have any problems. And I want my successor to learn everything I know."
"… Me? Your successor?"
"Yes. Yellow can't be my successor because she won't be able to use anything I teach her. And she's not that younger than me, so there's no point. Crys… doesn't want me to teach her. I tried, but she rejected my offer. Sapphire's too aggressive, so is ill suited. Platinum's quite suitable, but isn't perfect. She's not that good with emotions based things, so she won't be able to understand people's feelings in certain situations."
"So… I'm the best candidate?"
"Yep. Trust me. I'm never wrong with these kinds of things. All I have to do is teach you and guide you in the right direction."
"Well… um… thank you."
Two hours later…
Blue and White returned to the constructing igloo, expecting it to be completed. And… it was! Those boys sure knew how to work.
"Good work, everyone!" Blue said with a bright smile.
"… Where's Ruby?" White asked. She could see Silver and Diamond staring at the igloo with a blank look. "… Um… hello?"
"Help!" came Ruby's voice from inside the igloo. "I can't get out!"
Blue sighed and smacked a hand over her face. "… Oh… You guys forgot to make a door, didn't you?"
Silver and Diamond slowly nodded. Blue shook her head and lowered her Silph Scope. With thermal imaging, she could see Ruby running around in circles, trying to find a way out.
"I can't breathe!" Ruby yelled again.
Blue sighed again. "… Well, let's get him out!"
Silver and Diamond took different tools from the toolbox and proceeded to hammer the walls until it caved in and collapsed.
Ruby stumbled out through the smashed wall and collapsed onto the snow. "Freedom!"
Blue sat next to him and tapped him on the arm. "Enjoy it while you last. Clearly, I can't leave you boys alone, so you'll all be under my supervision from now on."
"First things first!" Blue yelled. "Fix the igloo! It's going to get dark soon!"
"… When are we going to eat?" Diamond asked. "I'm hungry and I ran out of snacks."
"… You ran out already?" White asked. "… You ate them all?"
"There wasn't much," Diamond said.
"It's a good thing we have the rifle, then. First thing tomorrow morning, we're going hunting!"
"But… we're hungry now," Diamond said with a groan.
"We'll hunt tomorrow! You do not want to get caught outside in the dark."
3 days later, Day 4…
"Oh, I don't even want to think about food… it's too painful…"
"I feel like we're going to die…"
"Would you three shut up?!" Blue screamed at the three "weak" Dex Holders. "I know you're hungry! I'm starving too! But if you guys didn't screw up hunting every time, we wouldn't be in this mess!"
The three Dex Holders fell silent, but still grumbled silently. Silver kept his mouth shut and continued walking in silence. But he was starving too…
"She's in a bad mood these days," Ruby whispered to White.
"She's just hungry and frustrated," White replied equally quietly. "Just be careful around her. She might snap soon."
Blue soon turned to face the other Dex Holders. Immediately, the others could see that her eyes were twitching and she had her teeth clenched.
"… Listen up," she growled out. "… If you mess up the hunt again… There will be hell to pay. So don't. Screw. Up. If you sneeze again and give away our position… If you trip again while rushing towards our catch and end up pushing it back into the water… I will push one of you underwater and keep you there. Understand?"
"Yes ma'am," Ruby muttered.
"Dia, still have all the tools?"
Diamond nodded. "In the rear with the gear."
"Good. Now let's hope that we don't have to eat snow for dinner…"
The starving Dex Holders continued towards the nearest body of water. It wasn't too far away, but it did require a 30 minute walk from the igloo (which had a makeshift red flag made from scarf pieces to make it visible from the distance). Upon arriving at the body of water, the Dex Holders proceeded to follow the water until they found something to hunt, whether that'd be something looking for a drink, or something emerging from underwater for air.
While walking, White glanced over at the water. On the other side of this icy river quite a distance behind them, there was a small family of seals that just emerged. While the big ones spotted the "hunters" and dived into the water again, the smallest one didn't. It simply watched the hunters from afar curiously.
"Aww," White muttered. "It's so cute… a baby seal…"
"Where?!" Blue yelled as she quickly looked around. She soon spotted the baby seal in the distance and raised her rifle. "Good boy! Now stay still…"
"No!" White cried out. "Don't shoot it! It's so cute!"
"It won't be for long!"
"You can't hurt it! It's just a baby!"
"This won't hurt! … For long, anyways!"
Despite White's protest, Blue fired the rifle, hitting the baby seal in the head. The seal dropped dead and its body didn't move in the slightest, meaning that it wouldn't slide back into the water.
"Yes!" Diamond cheered. "Food!"
"But… how do we get it?" Ruby asked.
Blue lowered her rifle and looked to her left and her right. The dead seal was on the other side of the icy river that was too far to jump across and there was no visible way of crossing the river.
"… I don't know. You figure it out," Blue said. "We'll continue downstream and find more stuff to hunt. Until we come back, try to have that seal on our side of the river."
Ruby simply stared at the dead seal. How was he supposed to get it? He turned to ask Blue something, but the other Dex Holders were already far away, continuing with their hunt. Ruby sighed and walked as close as he could to the dead seal.
… An ice bridge? That'll take a LOT of snow and ice, which he couldn't move without the tools.
The river wasn't that wide, but wide enough that it was impossible to jump across. Maybe Sapphire could make that jump… He just didn't have enough speed.
Ruby blinked as a thought occurred. "Speed!"
He still had his Running Shoes as a part of his spare clothes set. Which was in his bag. That he left behind in the igloo. Now all he had to do was go back, get his Running Shoes, come back, and hope that the dead seal wasn't relocated by anything…
Several hours later…
Ruby returned to the igloo once more, dragging the deal seal with him. A polar bear had moved to take the dead seal away, so he had to fight for it. Of course, a hand-to-paw combat wasn't going to work. He wasn't Sapphire. So he had to fight it from the distance. It was relatively simple. He threw snowballs at it from across the river. Whenever the bear got pissed and charged at him, he jumped across with his Running Shoes and continued with the snowballs. He had to repeat the process for many hours before the bear gave up and decided that it wasn't worth the effort. While the seal wouldn't have been worth the effort for the bear, but for the Dex Holders, it was a lifeline. It had to be secured at all costs. And it was. And it was freaking heavy… But at least the trail of blood would make it easy for the other Dex Holders to follow and know that the seal was secured.
Ruby stuffed the dead seal into a pile of snow next to the igloo and stared at it. White said it was cute. But right now, all he could see was a future barbeque. Yes, it was barbaric, but damn it, he was starving and tired. … Sapphire must never know of this…
Now… how would the Dex Holders even eat this? Cooking it whole wasn't an option. Diamond would probably take over for the cooking, but… … did someone have to cut it into pieces? And was that someone… Ruby? Uh oh… He had to avoid doing that. The cutting and gutting process was very nasty. And he wasn't going to do that. Ever. He had to come up with an excuse…
And very quickly, as the other Dex Holders were coming back while dragging a bigger seal behind them. Ruby quickly hid inside the igloo and pretended to be asleep. Surely they won't wake him up for this nasty task…
He concentrated on his hearing, and he could hear Blue giving out the orders.
"Alright! Good hunting, boys. And good work dragging our catch all the way here. Now. You all know what to do."
"Let's eat!" Diamond yelled in joy.
"That's right. Cut it, gut it, skin it. Then we eat."
"Ugh…" White groaned. "That'll be nasty…"
"Yes it is. Too disgusting," Blue agreed. "For us girls, that is."
"Oh, no…" Diamond muttered.
"White and I will prepare the fire and get ready to cook. You boys deal with the carcass. Okay? Time for you men to do your job."
"Where's Ruby?" Silver asked. "We'll need another pair of hands here."
"He's probably hiding in the igloo," Blue said. "Get him out here."
White entered the igloo and spotted Ruby sleeping. "Um… he's asleep!"
"No he isn't," Blue said from the outside. "Just stick a snowball in his shirt and he'll come crawling out."
White kneeled next to her senior and shook him. "Ruby? Wake up. We need you."
Ruby didn't move and focused on pretending to be asleep. White tried to wake him up a few more times before she resorted to underhanded tactics. She took a large snowball and shoved it down his shirt from the back. She then forced him to lie down on his back and held him down.
"… Okay, okay!" Ruby cried out in surrender. "… I'll help…"
Ruby grumbled and crawled out of the igloo. Silver tossed a knife next to his feet. Ruby sighed and picked it up. Silver and Diamond had moved the two seals so they would be easily prepared.
"… So… what do I do?"
"Gut it," Silver ordered, pointing at the baby seal. "Diamond and I will take the bigger one."
"How? You gave me the only knife."
Silver pulled out the saw that was used during the igloo construction. "No worries." He put the saw blade on the seal's neck. "… Don't just look at me. Get to work!"
Ruby groaned as Silver proceeded to cut the seal's neck. He crouched next to the dead baby seal and looked at the knife. … This was going to suck…
"… I never thought I'd say this, but… I miss Sapphire…"
Note that Survival – Red and Survival – Blue takes place at the exact same time. So does Survival – Green, if I do decide to continue with it. Meaning, all 15 Dex Holders were stranded one way or the other at the exact same time from the exact same event (Platinum's idea of having no-Pokémon trips to celebrate Emerald and Blue's birthdays and boost intergenerational cooperation). Talk about a crappy, crappy luck…
Next up (non-DHC):
Survival – Blue Part 3. Defend the igloo! The home is raided by predators, looking to steal the precious food supply. Fight them off and add them to the food supply and find a way out of the fridge of a wasteland!