Part One: Caged Spirit

Chapter One

Tyrant Queen Glacier

Mt. Coronet.

Nice place, generally. Lots of snow, great view, and not too many visitors. On a clear day, you can see dens of squabbling Sneasel, a few cocky trainers scaling the sides, or even a pack of Snover, which don't taste good but aren't that bad otherwise, unless you get on the bad side of their boss and their boss's boss.

"GRAHHH!"

Like I did.

"Get him!"

"He's going left!"

"Cut him off!"

"Blasted Absol, he's so fast!"

I panted as I leapt from icy rock to icy rock, gripping them with my claws. Those things may look like they're slow, but when they want to they can move surprisingly quickly, especially through the snow. And the Abomasnow behind them was pretty speedy as well, sliding downhill on his belly that is.

"Crud, crud, crud!" I cursed under my breath, emphasizing each one with a powerful leap. Good thing there weren't any females to watch me run away from a pack of Frosty the Abominable Snowmen. But of course, that's how this whole thing started.

I'd been wandering around from place to place for a while now, looking for a place to settle down, a place where my heart could find rest. I'd taken up residence on Mt. Coronet, hoping it would be that place. Unfortunately, I think I overstayed my welcome.

I felt something heavy land on my back and I stumbled. I got up again, but then the Snover were right on my tail. To make matters worse, in my haste to flee I wasn't paying careful attention to where I was going and jumped into patch of deep snow, which I got caught in of course. Within seconds, I was surrounded by a glaring mass of icy plants. I growled and swung the blade on my head around a few times to make them keep their distance. They did, but I was no less surrounded. So this was how I was to die, killed by a ring of wooden-headed idiots. However, I was determined to take a few down with me.

The Abomasnow huffed and puffed as he pulled up, winded by his long trek and a nice gash in his leg that I had given him right before they started chasing me. "Good…you caught him. Lady Glacier would be most disappointed if he got away," he said between breaths, "…again."

My ears went flat against my head and I growled. So, she was behind this. I should have guessed. That Glaceon's got all the Pokémon on the northern slopes wrapped around her paw. Now she wanted me dead for some reason. Possibly, she considered me a rival, though for what I couldn't think. I ruled a grand total of one, small mountain-top den. I wasn't exactly a major player in the political arena. But why else would her troops have chased me unless I was some sort of threat to her? I kept to myself. There was no other Absol in this area that I could have been mistaken for. Maybe I had accidently hunted something under her protection and she was out to get retribution.

Apparently, Fate had it in for me that day, for who should appear at that very moment but the boss's boss herself, Lady Glacier. The Snover and Abomasnow all bowed as one, which made me smugly satisfied because the Abomasnow had a hard time getting back up afterwards on his wounded leg.

"Hello, you walking disaster," she said coyly. This may seem like an insult, but the way she said it made me almost think she was…flirting. I bared my teeth in a ferocious smile. I'd heard of some cat-Pokémon who played with their food before they ate it. I was determined not to let the same happen to me.

"Tell you goons to get away from me or I will start slicing their wooden heads off," I threatened. She laughed, like I had just told a joke. I growled. "Did I say something funny?"

"Ooh, look at those angry red eyes and scary black face!" she said, like she was calling me cute. "So, what's your real name?" I didn't reply, merely focused all my negative feelings into an evil glare that would have incinerated her if looks could kill. "Everyone calls you 'Wanderer', but that's not your real name, is it?" she asked in a voice dripping with honey.

"I am what I am," I said, "What people call me is not my concern, for I can't control it. Only my actions."

"Well said. Very stoic of you," she said with a secret smile, "So, Rurouni, since you have no home, how about joining up with me?" Wait, what? She wasn't going to kill me? I think my expression must have been stunned because her smile widened. "You'd have as much food as you could want, among other things. I could use another lieutenant and you'd fit the bill quite nicely."

I considered it briefly. No more hunting and fighting off other predators from my prey. It was a pretty attractive offer. "Why me?" I asked suspiciously, "Why not some other, larger, brawnier Pokémon? Like your friend Frosty behind you?" The Abomasnow rumbled in displeasure. "Oh can it, Icy! You want to taste my blade again?" His hand automatically fell to his leg where his wound was.

"It's simple, really," Lady Glacier sniffed, "You're already quite experienced, though I believe not as much as me. You can predict disasters, a handy talent that only a few psychics have. Besides, you're the only acceptable candidate for what I have in mind this far north."

I hardened my gaze. "And just what do you have in mind?" I asked coolly.

"Well…" she chuckled, "I'm hoping that you would eventually be a bit…more than my lieutenant." She angled her body just so as she said this, showing off her fine form and sleek, blue fur. "Well?" she said suggestively, "What's your answer?"

I froze for a second, scrutinizing her to see if she was serious. "Let me get this straight," I said tersely, "These Snover have been chasing me around for weeks because you want me to be your mate?" She nodded, purring seductively. I snorted. "I must say that your methods leave a lot to be desired, but you make a very tempting offer." She smiled, but I wasn't done yet. "Let me tell you something, your majesty, I don't like being chased. I don't like being bothered. I don't like you. You're a stuck up, bossy little tyrant who sends her minions to do everything for her!"

Her face took on a strained expression. "And so your answer is…what?"

"No!" I snapped, "Now go away! I don't want you! What I want is to be left alone."

Her expression turned cold. "Is that so?" she said, a hint of danger creeping into her tone.

"Yes. It is."

In a flash, her expression became livid. Maybe I should have been more tactful since I was still surrounded by Snover. I was reminded of this fact when one of their fists struck me in my side. And then another in my other side.

"Do not let your pride deceive you," Lady Glacier said dangerously, "I am not asking." Another fist hit my rear and I stumbled, falling into the snow. "If my reign is to be passed on, I need offspring. And for that, I need a mate. You are the only suitable one in the area, therefore I claim you as my own." She smiled coldly. "Please, stop with the theatrics. I'm giving you a once in a life-time offer."

"Like, ugh, hell you are!" I snapped, taking another hit. I lashed out with blade and claws at the perpetrator. Inside my chest, rage boiled over like an overflowing volcano, but I knew this was futile. The Snover ring was impregnable and whenever I tried to break out I would get hit from the back and sides. At last, I stumbled and fell once more, but this time I chose to lie there instead of rising.

"That's enough!" Lady Glacier ordered her troops, breaking through the ring, "Stand down." They retreated a respectful distance as she sauntered up to me. I glared up at her with rage in my eyes as she placed one of her forepaws on my head. "You are now mine. The sooner you accept that, the more fun it will be." She turned to the Abomasnow. "Take him to my cave and set guards over him. Do not allow him to escape or I shall…"

"Oh wow! A Glaceon and a Abomasnow!"

We all looked around sharply when we heard a human voice. A trainer dressed in a brown, leather jacket and long, warm pants along with all the other winter gear humans usually have was staring at us with an eager expression. Lady Glacier instantly darted to a position behind her forces. After all, it would be hard for her to rule the mountain if she were captured.

"GO NINE!" the Trainer shouted, throwing out one of those cursed Poke-balls. A nine-tailed fox with reddish-gold fur appeared in front of him. Female too, by her smell. The Ice-types all shifted nervously.

"A Ninetales!" a Snover whimpered in fear, "We're doomed for sure!"

"Don't just stand there, you fools!" Lady Glacier ordered angrily as she took another few steps back, "Attack!" As the Abomasnow and Snover charged reluctantly, she ducked behind a cliff to save herself.

"Nine! Use Fire Blast!"

"One patch of fried trees, cooked extra rare, coming right up!" she replied jauntily. She smiled sympathetically to the quivering Grass/Ice types. "Don't worry. I'll tone it down so it won't do any permanent damage." A truly tremendous blast of fire came from her mouth, blowing Lady Glacier's snowmen army away in one sizzling attack.

"That was toned down…?" a Snover groaned. The Ninetales shrugged.

"Just take a few hours to rest. You'll be fine," she advised.

"Good job!" the Trainer said, digging through his pack, "Now to catch them all!" he pulled out a single, solitary Poke-ball. "Oh, I guess I forgot to buy more…" He glanced around and sighed. "And that Glaceon's escaped already. I guess I'll take the Abomasnow."

Then, the Ninetales spotted me lying in the snow. I glared at her and shook my head, trying to communicate that she was to be quiet and under no circumstances was she to reveal my position. She blinked and her gaze darted between me and her trainer. He caught her movements out of the corner of his eye and turned.

"Hmm? What is it, girl?" he asked. I hunkered down in the snow. She looked uneasily at me, knowing I didn't want to be found. Her trainer looked around in suspicion, finally spotting me. I cursed. My blades had been sticking up above the snow like banners reading 'here I am! Please catch me!'

"Wow, what's that?" he asked himself, holding up a little box thing.

"Absol, the Disaster Pokémon. This Pokémon can sense natural disasters before they happen by using the blade on its head," the black box said. I sighed.

"It's just one of those days," I grumbled, "Why can't anyone understand that I just want to be left alone?"

"Cool," the Trainer said, fingering the Poke-ball. I eyed it warily. He smiled reassuringly at me. "Don't worry, it'll be fine."

I rose shakily. "Look, kid," I growled, "I've had enough trouble today already. Just take the Abomasnow and leave me alone!"

"Nine, use Fire Blast again on that Absol!"

"Aye!" she said dutifully, "No hard feelings, right Absol? I promise you'll like Syoran. And the inside of a Poke-ball is a great place to be alone."

"You stupid mutt! I…" My eyes widened as another mighty burst of fire came blazing toward me. I tried to dodge, I really did. But I'd taken quite a pounding earlier and was not in top form. I fell backwards into a large snow drift and whined. It was really pathetic. "I hate you…"

"Alright!" the trainer said. He was really getting on my nerves now. "You're mine, Absol!"

Something hit my head and bounced off. I had the unpleasant sensation of being made smaller and smaller. Suddenly, I was in some weird sort of room. It was rounded and padded so that it seemed like it was a good place to curl up and sleep, but the walls didn't seem too sturdy. I realized with a start that I was inside the Poke-ball.

"NO!" I shouted, charging and ramming into the wall, trying to break out. But in my weakened condition it did no good. I tried once more and failed. "Third time lucky," I told myself."

I charged with all my might once more…and bounced right off the edge. I fell and lay groaning. That wall was harder than it looked! A mechanical click sounded and I was surrounded by a blue light for a moment. Only then did it occur to me what had happened. I had just been…caught.

"Yes!" the Trainer…I gulped. My Trainer said in triumph, "Good job, Nine! Now let's finish our trip to Snowpoint City!"

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