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Niflheim's Wind

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Everything is grey, and nothing is grey.


The sky is obscured by thick grey clouds. The stone faces are lifeless grey. Wind bites through Rosa's jacket, and she shivers. Maybe it's just her imagination, but the snow on the ground here feels grey, too.


Her boots crunch in the snow. She looks around, furtively. Lifeless. Not even a sign of wild Pokémon; just stillness. The trees are grey and skeletal, looking so very wrong without leaves.


They're supposed to be evergreens.


There are dead needles all over the ground. Rosa grits her lips. She hurries faster, fuck the snow, she'll go and get this over with. Rosa can't afford to back down, and her heart is pounding, and her hand brushes over the smooth surface of a Poké Ball. The snow is still falling, thick, greyish from the lack of light.


Rosa stops suddenly. A ball shakes against her hip. She blinks, and takes a step back without realising. A dark grey figure looms. An airship.


This - Kami damn, this was where they'd gone after all. After they froze Opelucid. Rosa bites her lip - what was on there? What was so powerful, so powerful it plunged Unova into this - this Fimbulvinter? This grey and biting sky and earth, this twilight --


One two three four. No one else stands outside. Five six seven. Hugh isn't here. Eight. She swallows, and walks forward. The Trainer reaches down again, unhooking a Poké Ball from the belt of her winter pants.


Do or die. That's pretty fucking poetic. Poetry won't help. Rosa huffs, and shields her face with her free hand.


The looming figure is getting closer, the mystery is closer - onward, forward. This winter shouldn't last forever, this world shouldn't end. And in the grey, the pale and the dark all bleeding together, Rosa stumbles and rights herself.


There's nothing but now and the hulking airship in front of her. She reaches out, no longer shielding her face. The door clicks. Open. Rosa's gloved finger rests on the button of the Poké Ball - one moment of tension, and the Pokémon within would be summoned.


Someone expected her to come here.