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 Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers

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Gengarzilla

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PostSubject: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:40 am

Heya, Gengarzilla here. I mentioned earlier in the July news thread that I was collecting ideas for a PMD fanfic mostly based upon the Rescue games. Well, here's the first part for you all. I hope it's enjoyable.


Chapter 1: Caterpie and Tiny Woods! The First Step!


The... the pleasant breeze... This girl very much enjoyed it, feeling it rushing across her oddly diminutive form and hearing it sweep amongst the trees. She couldn’t quite recall how she had ended up here, laying within what seemed to be a forest of some sort. The only possibility she could even invent was that she had stupidly taken a nap inside the small wooded area near her home. It didn’t account for how she felt... a little unusual. As though she were in someone else’s body. She just had to wonder what was going on at the moment...

“Hey, you ok there? Wake up!”

A voice? Someone else was here? Was it someone from a search party? She didn’t want anyone to be making a scene over this and so decided to get up, though this did come with a little bit of difficulty however. She still felt a tad strange... and round.

What she saw next nearly made her fall over again. The voice came from someone possessing a round body, four stumpy legs, a large head, and a zigzagging mouth that was lightly hanging open. A Pokémon? This individual immediately expressed relief that she had come to, adding to her confusion. She had no idea how long she might have been out for... or any idea about anything else for that matter. What surprised her most was that this Pokémon was actually talking. “Are you speaking? I didn’t know that a human like me could hear that.”

“Hah, you say you’re human? You look like a pretty normal Togepi from this angle, you sure you haven’t bumped your head somewhere?” the Pokémon immediately retorted.

...

...

Then it hit her, the decreased size and strange shape of her body. She looked at her hands and instead of seeing humanoid hands with four fingers and a thumb on each, she instead found herself looking at... stubby yellow hands. A quick glance down also unveiled an eggshell encasing most of her body, red and blue shapes dotted around it.

“T-Togepi? What?! I’ve turned into a Togepi?!” the former human exclaimed in shock. They were admittedly an adorable species of Pokémon but she wasn’t sure if she was entirely on board with this revelation. “What happened...?” she outwardly asked as she tried to recall how this could have possibly occurred. “I can’t remember anything either...”

The individual bearing witness to this episode could only watch with a mixture of curiosity and bemusement. “You’re a bit odd... Well, never mind. Do you remember your name?”

That’s right. Her name. “My name is...”

...

Now she was really beginning to get scared. “...I’m sorry, I can’t even remember that.” This day wasn’t going well, she had somehow been found as an amnesiac Togepi by a talking Pokémon. She began restlessly looking around for any way to figure out her predicament before catching sight of a Pidgey flock flying above them both. She didn’t know this for obvious reasons but Flying type Pokémon were her favourites as a human. “Something’s up with that flock, I wonder what they’re fluttering away from.”

Fluttering... Flutter... Something about that word sounded nice. It calmed her down a little. She had decided. “In place of my human name, just call me Flutter.”

“Alright then. Flutter it is. Nice to meet you. I’m Terack, a Trapinch.” the Pokémon next to her replied with. Trapinch, huh? It was good to know that. Before the newly named Togepi could respond, she heard shouting. A Butterfree was soon passing by them. “Are you alright? What’s the problem?” Flutter said without thinking twice. Whatever had this Butterfree so worked up sounded rather serious.

As it turned out, her assumption was right on the money. “I-it’s my baby Caterpie, a fissure opened up in the ground and he’s fallen in!” Terack’s only reply was a shocked “What?!” and Flutter felt an air of unease creep into her as she heard of how the Butterfree had been attacked by other Pokémon when trying to retrieve her child and couldn’t get past them. They were seemingly startled and angered by the fissure, from what the butterfly thought.

Forget her apparently bad day, this was way worse. There was only one thought on Flutter’s mind at present... “We gotta save that kid, let’s move!” she exclaimed, immediately rushing off with Terack hot on her proverbial tail...

~~~~~

Soon, Flutter’s decision had led her and Terack deep into the forest, where navigating their way through the trees felt like some sort of maze. Several agitated Pidgey, Sunkern, and Wurmple previously made attempts to attack but they weren’t able to hold up that much of a fight against the duo.

“Do you think we’re getting close to the Caterpie now?” Terack asked her as he used Sand Attack on a Wurmple, the sand kicked into its eyes causing a Tackle to miss before defeating it with his Bite move.

“I’m not sure, we could be close by now. Heads up!” Flutter replied, letting loose with a Growl to unnerve the Sunkern behind him. As he defeated the Seed Pokémon, Flutter found herself glad for this opportunity to move about and attempt to adjust to this new form. Aside from the aforementioned Growl, she also knew Charm and the unpredictable Metronome. She had also seen her new Trapinch companion use Mud Slap on top of his Sand Attack and Bite.

There was still no sign of Caterpie though, nor was there a quick and easy way to find the fissure that this kid had fallen in. Just as her eyes skimmed past some bushes while she looked around for this fissure though, a wave of tiredness suddenly collided with her. For some ridiculously obscure reason, a nap sounded like the best thing in the world right about now... wait a moment. No.

Now wasn’t the time for that. Instead of letting herself drift off, Flutter looked harder at the bushes. Hard enough to the point where she could have sworn to somehow see the outline of six ovoid shapes within one of them. What she didn’t know is that this was her Foresight move.

“Terack, something’s in that leftmost bush!” she called to him in her slight daze. He took the cue, readying himself with Focus Energy before lunging straight into the said bush with Bite at the ready. Within it was an Exeggcute that had been attempting to covertly lull Flutter to sleep with Hypnosis, and the super-effective critical hit defeated it on the spot.

Just like that, her mist cleared. “Good call.” he said upon emerging, taking the lead now with her at his back. Within a few more moments they had found the fissure and Terack began to dig a sloping tunnel, just like the sand pits he used to make, down into it after getting a look at the drop. They’d be able to use that to bring the young Caterpie out from the crack. Flutter slid down after the Trapinch once the tunnel was completed and caught sight of a caterpillar-like creature nearby, back turned to them and crying. She could tell right away that this was Caterpie.

“Hey, we’re here to help.” she said gently to the scared child. “Your mother’s waiting”.

~~~~~

“My baby’s safe!” Butterfree called out in joy when Flutter and Terack returned, Caterpie on the Trapinch’s back. “I’m sorry, I really don’t know how to repay you two. What are your names?”

“I’m Terack.” he answered. “This one here is Flutter. You don’t have to do anything, we’re just glad to have been here when you passed by.”

Caterpie’s eyes lit up at this sentence. “Terack and Flutter... C-cool...!” he had to say, adoringly staring at the two. Terack found it just a little embarrassing but reprociated with a friendly smile. Flutter, primarily due to her memory loss, couldn’t remember the last time she felt this happy. She had undoubtedly taken a quick shine to the youngster.

Butterfree then appeared to have an idea. “Ah. It’s not much, but these are a token of my appreciation. Please take them.” In her hands were an Oran Berry, a Pecha Berry, a Rawst Berry, and a Chesto Berry. Both Flutter and Terack graciously accepted the berries before Butterfree and Caterpie left the area.

Terack then turned to face Flutter as she spoke. “I’m glad that went without any problems, what a sweet kid.” she said. The Trapinch replied with “Indeed, and you really did well out there. What are you going to do now though? You’ve somehow lost your memory and became a Pokémon, do you have anywhere to stay after this?”

The Togepi really wasn’t too delighted with this thought. Now that Terack had brought it up, she really didn’t have anywhere she could go... “N-no, I don’t...” she answered, looking very subdued and defeated as she stared blankly at her feet. Her Togepi feet.

“Alright then. Don’t worry about it, just follow me.” Terack said to Flutter after taking note of her expression. He headed eastwards out from the woods, the human turned Pokémon following close behind.

~~~~~

“And here we are!” he said once they reached a three-way intersection. In front of them was a small and simple looking wooden cottage with one floor. The roof bore a resemblance to the top of a strawberry, complete with a green stalk at the top. Situated outside was a mailbox, currently empty.

“Is this your home then?” Flutter asked. Nothing could have prepared her for Terack’s answer. “It was. This is going to be your home now. There’s only one place to sleep in there but you can take that. I’ll find somewhere else to stay.” She was blown away by these words. Here he was, with a place of his own to call home, and he was moving out to give it to some amnesia-struck Togepi that he randomly encountered in the woods. “T-thank you...” she managed to reply. “I really owe you one...” He’d just taken a massive load off of her mind and shoulders with this action.

“Hey, don’t worry about it. You just get yourself settled in and rested up. I’ll drop by and see you tomorrow.” he said back to her, looking up at the sunset before leaving down the left path. Flutter waved goodbye to the Trapinch and went inside the house.

The fluffy mat located near the back of the interior looked nothing short of immensely inviting. Ok, now was the perfect time for a nap...

_________________
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon fanfiction (Azure Rescuers/Windswept Explorers)


Last edited by Gengarzilla on Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:53 am

The continuation is up. Feedback is absolutely welcomed since this will be my first major deviation from the source material, as indicated by the chapter title.


Chapter 2: Metang and Thunderwave Cave! A new Rescue Team!


"Uh... What's this...?"

Flutter the Togepi, formerly a human until she was found just outside the Tiny Woods with no memory of her past life, had awoken inside this strange location after going to sleep. The whole area had a rippling green glow about it but was otherwise quite empty. Nothing else was there. "Is this just a dream?" she had to wonder. She couldn't quite recall how she ended up here. Story of her life right now.

To her surprise, an elegant looking figure in green and white was coming into view. It never did progress beyond being barely visible though and the strange mist that came forth only resulted in this transparent figure shimmering amongst it. Flutter could then hear some sort of voice in her head, although it was utterly unintelligible. She couldn't make head nor tail of what this being was apparently trying to tell her...

Within a few moments, this thing vanished. Everything then faded to black as though this departure triggered it. Herself included...

~~~~~

The very next thing Flutter knew, she was waking up in a homely looking room, laying down upon a fluffy mat. She had to take a moment to digest what she witnessed before dismissing it as an anxiety-fuelled dream. Without a doubt, she was still a Togepi and nowhere closer to finding out why.

Picking herself up and trying to calm her worries, she initially thought about just going back to sleep in the hope that this entire situation was a dream as of itself before remembering that this hadn't been all bad... There was that Trapinch who had given her this place without a second thought. He'd mentioned that he would come over today...

That settled things for her. The very least Flutter could do was be awake when he arrived.

"Hey, I'm here. You awake?" the Trapinch in question asked from outside. Terack was here already. Flutter went over to the door and went out to see him. "Hi, really nice to see you!" she replied with a smile.

"Same here. You sleep ok last night?" Terack asked. Flutter guessed that he was concerned for her after the situation he first met her in. She had already thrown that dream to the back of her mind and deemed it as nothing important, so she replied to him in the affirmative.

"That's good, I'm glad for that. Anything you've had some time to recall yet?" The answer was a definitive and unquestionable no. "I'm afraid not. Nothing's came up." Flutter responded to him. "Hey, don't worry about it. I'm sure something will surface soon. Just take it slowly."

Before she could answer him again, Flutter saw two Pokémon approaching them from behind Terack. Both of the same species, a metallic body with a large red eye on one end and three white claws on the other end. "Hello, we are Beldum. Are you Flutter and Terack?" one of them asked. "Yeah, that's us." Terack said back while turning around to see them.

"Good, our friend Caterpie told us about how you saved him. Thank you for that. We're here because two... one of our friends needs help." Flutter caught notice of the sudden switch in number and asked what happened. "Whilst lost in a dungeon called Thunderwave Cave, our two Beldum friends were caught up in a strange electromagnetic wave that stuck them both together. They were soon fused together by this and suddenly evolved into a singular Pokémon called Metang. He's now going wild inside the cave. We think that the forced transformation has greatly startled him but it's proving too difficult for us to stop him."

This definitely wasn't good in any sense of the word. Following a silent moment or two, Flutter looked at Terack to confirm this course of action before replying. "Take us to the cave."

~~~~~

The Togepi and Trapinch duo were soon embroiled within their mission to find the wayward Metang. Not many Pokémon were showing up to impede them however, and those that did were swiftly taken care of. They all appeared to be injured or otherwise beaten up. It was a rather unnerving sight, Flutter thought.

After getting past a Plusle and Minun duo backed up by an Elekid, she and Terack then reached a dead end room surrounded by water and saw the Pokémon that they were looking for. Similar eyes and body colouration alongside arms that resembled Beldum's whole body. "Metang?" Flutter asked. "Is that you? Your two friends are waiting outside, let's go."

The red eyes of this Pokémon gave little away before they started glowing purple, readying a Confusion attack. Solid purple ripples then swept out from the Steel/Psychic type and blew back both targets. Flutter was otherwise ok but Terack was a different matter. The attack seemed to have left him rather confused and generally incapable of combat. "I guess it's one on one until he recovers..." the Togepi conceded after attempting to bring him back to this planet. With that said, she ran towards the Metang and commenced the battle.

It soon became quickly apparent to any nearby onlookers that Flutter was hopelessly outmatched by the opponent. Both Growl and Charm were being no-sold as a result of the Clear Body ability, Foresight wasn't having any use against him, and Metronome had so far called out the extremely ineffective Psycho Cut and borderline useless Sludge. All she could do in this situation was jump at Metang in a rudimentary tackle, such an action being punished by a Take Down which was quickly chained into a super effective Metal Claw. The dual hits sent her colliding hard with the cave wall, she had nothing left to give but the noise of this scuffle had roused Terack from his confusion.

With a single look at the beaten friend, he prepped Focus Energy and rushed into battle before Metang was ready, immediately connecting with a Bite attack to his left arm. The Trapinch soon got shook off however and their attacker seemed to multiply... or was he? From her position behind them, Flutter looked carefully at the five Metang in front of the now startled Terack, using Foresight to quickly pick out the real one.

"On the far left!" she called out, ignoring the familiarity she felt regarding the situation. "The rest are fakes!"

Terack took her words and sent a Mud Slap at the Metang in question. Clear Body cancelled any accuracy drops but the inflicted damage caused the four Double Team copies to dissipate. "Thanks!" he quickly called out before biting at the Metang again and dodging a Metal Claw. One more Bite later and Metang collapsed. Flutter simply couldn't help but admire Terack and his efforts...

~~~~~

The trio were now back outside the dungeon, waiting by the entrance for Metang to regain consciousness. The thrashed Flutter had also required the Oran Berry previously obtained from Butterfree in order to heal. Metal Claw had certainly stung...

Not long afterwards, he awoke and looked around in surprise. "What...? Where are we? What happened?" he quickly asked of the two Beldum, now back to his senses. A concerned "Oh..." was his only response once the duo told him about the situation as he turned to see Flutter and Terack. "I'm... really sorry for the trouble I caused you both in there. If there's anything at all that I can do to fix this, please say it."

"It's ok, don't worry about it. You didn't mean any of that." Flutter said to him. Terack collected the rewards of 500 Poké and a Max Elixir from the grateful Beldum while Flutter attempted to build the Metang back up. He was quite abashed by his uncontrolled actions earlier. Once she finished, the reunited trio went on their way.

"Y'know... You really helped a lot in there. I'm not kidding." Terack suddenly said after watching them leave. "If you hadn't pointed out the right Metang to hit then I could have been in trouble..." Flutter was surprised to hear this being put into words. "T-thanks." she replied. It didn't feel all that much to her.

Terack continued on this topic. "Here's an idea I'd thought of when we were on the way back out. What do you think about us forming a Rescue Team? You and me. It's only been a couple of days but I'd say that we already make a good team. Will you please do this for me?"

An even more surprised Flutter needed a few moments to think this over. Rescue Team... She could guess what this entailed. It sounded like it could be difficult but they had already saved a young Caterpie trapped in a fissure and an abnormally evolved Metang. Now that she thought about it, both tasks sounded like the sort of things that such a team would embark on. A way of keeping her mind away from her transformation from human to Pokémon would be great too. "Alright partner, I'm in." she finally decided, to Terack's delight.

The new Rescue Team soon began walking back home under the sunset while discussing possibilities for a team name, Terack giving her some finer details of what a Rescue Team does while encouraging her onwards. Happily bolstered, Flutter felt as though they were starting upon something big...

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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon fanfiction (Azure Rescuers/Windswept Explorers)
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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:14 pm

Next part is here. This one is mostly played straight, unlike the last one. Aside from the early debut of a certain trio and the appearances of two completely new characters though.


Chapter 3: Diglett and Mt. Steel! Team Celeste's first mission!


Flutter, now a member of the newly formed Rescue Team Celeste, had just been on the receiving end of the worst wake up call that she could remember, in part due to her amnesia. She was in the midst of that strange dream again but it was interrupted by a sudden earthquake. Not even bothering to find the figure among such bedlam, she had retracted back into her shell and woken up on her back.

"What... was all that about?" she asked herself as she managed to get up on her own two feet. Flutter dashed outside to see if everything was ok. Nothing about the immediate surroundings appeared to be out of the ordinary however, leading her to the conclusion that the epicenter of the quake was elsewhere. This went nowhere towards lessening her surprise though.

Flutter soon saw Terack, her Trapinch teammate, hurrying towards her in a mad dash. "Hey, you ok? I guess you heard that earthquake too." he immediately said between breaths. He had apparently gotten little sleep last night, as evidenced by a stifled yawn. "I'm ok, Terack. It woke me up but I'm not hurt." she replied. Terack had told her about the alarming frequency of natural disasters in the world when they were on the way back from Thunderwave Cave.

"Alright then, that's a relief." he said. Before they could both discuss this further, a passing Pelipper landed atop their empty mailbox and left some sort of package and a few job requests inside it before taking flight once more and departing. "Could this be it?" Terack asked out loud before pulling the package out with his mouth and opening it. "It is! The Rescue Team Starter Set!"

Flutter could only reply with an "Uhh?", not quite on the same page as him and his enthusiasm. "There's this Pokémon Rescue Organisation that somehow seems to know when new teams are formed. They've sent this over to get us off the ground." he explained, tossing one of the two badges over to her afterwards. She caught and examined it, the badge was an oval shape in a white colour with similarly coloured wings on both the left and right sides.

"Let's see here..." he said after he finished looking at his badge, now reading through the letter attached to the kit. "Members of Team Celeste, we are glad that you have formed a Rescue Team... by holding up your new badges you can immediately transport Pokémon in need of rescuing to the Pelipper Post Office, alongside yourselves if you wish... completing rescue jobs earn points, enough points will allow your team to grow in rank... the enclosed supply bag will allow items to be carried with ease..." the Trapinch finished muttering out these important details. "This definitely has set us up."

Flutter nodded happily before taking a look in the mailbox herself and retrieving the job requests. "What about these?" she asked after handing them to him. "Job requests already? That's neat." Terack replied. "Flutter, let's head into Pokémon Square and get stocked up on items first. I'll show you around."

"Thanks, that sounds like a plan." Flutter approvingly replied. She put the Pecha, Rawst, and Chesto Berries from Butterfree and the Max Elixir from the Beldum into their bag before following him off east. Their conversation hadn't gone unnoticed however. A trio consisting of a Gengar, Ekans, and Medicham had overheard them.

"A new rescue team? Running in that dump? Keh, I say we should relieve them of those jobs." the Gengar abrasively whispered to his team...

~~~~~

After a short shopping trip, Flutter and Terack soon started to make their way back to the base. They were fortunate enough to have found a Power Band and a Defence Scarf going for an absolute steal of a price, the band now tied around one of Terack's left feet and the scarf wrapped around Flutter's shell, just below her face, both of them having their badges attached to them.

Upon returning to their team's base, Flutter heard a voice calling out to them. "So you're Team Celeste?" it said. "Yeah, that's us." the Togepi replied as she turned around to see the Gengar approaching them, Ekans and Medicham behind him. "Something you need?" Terack asked.

"Keh, nothing much. I'm merely astonished to see a Rescue Team operating from within a dump like that. Truly unbelievable." Gengar immediately replied, laying it on them both without missing a single beat. Flutter was immediately rubbed the wrong way by this. "What did you just say?" she responded to the Ghost type, half stunned by the bluntness and half annoyed by the insult. She wasn't at all pleased. "Who are you three anyway?"

Gengar was more amused by her reaction than anything else. "I'm Gengar, behind me are Ekans-" the snake Pokémon acknowledged this with a light hiss. "-and Medicham." she gave them a nod that would have been considered respectful if not for a mean quality to her eyes. "We're not here to solely belittle your... base however. There's something else we're after. Ekans, do your stuff." he said to the serpentine cohort.

"With pleasure." Ekans exclaimed, his eyes glowing red as he slithered forwards. Within a few moments his Glare had paralyzed both Terack and Flutter, robbing them both of their movements. After this, taking the job requests that Terack had was nothing more than child's play for him.

"Hey, those are ours!" he angrily called once the paralysis had dissipated, Ekans now back with the group and the jobs now in Gengar's hands. "Kekekeh! We happen to be a Rescue Team too. It doesn't matter who does the job, right?" Gengar retorted. "Indeed." Medicham continued. "It's merely a front though. Our goal is world domination." she went on as she used Confusion to blow the annoyed Flutter back into Terack after the Togepi stepped forwards to snap back at them.

"Let's get outta here." Gengar called to his underlings, the three of them turning to leave. "The name's Team Meanies, don't go forgetting it!" he left as his parting words. By the time Flutter and Terack picked themselves up, they were gone. "I won't. You can count on it." she quietly muttered as though they were right next to her.

Her anger soon gave way to concern as she asked if Terack was ok, glad to hear the affirmative. "What do we do now? That horrible group stole those jobs..." she asked him, apprehension in her voice. As Terack was about to respond, he felt something moving around underground...

"Flutter. Terack. We need your... Oh dear, you can't see us. I do apologise, that was rude." The two Pokémon in question looked around at the call of their names before a Dugtrio popped up next to them. "We're Dugtrio. As we were saying, we need your help." Flutter was mildly startled by the Ground type's emergence from below but went over to talk. "That's us. How can we help?"

Dugtrio began with his story. "Just a few moments ago, our son Diglett was abducted by a Pokémon called Skarmory. She screeched something about him and us having had this coming for a long time before flying off towards a dungeon called Mt. Steel." Terack was almost rigid once more, now with concern. "Had this coming? Not sure what this Pokémon means by that either, but we'll go up and help the kid out." he declared, a motion that Flutter agreed with. "Of course we will. Dugtrio, please show us the way."

~~~~~

Soon enough, the team had jumped straight into the mission at hand. Flutter was glad to finally have some form of offence in the form of Secret Power thanks to a TM given to them by a kindly Kangaskhan. It was certainly proving useful in their bid to save Diglett, as was Terack's newly learned Sand Tomb once they got a few floors in.

It couldn't be said that this was a cakewalk though. By virtue of their typing, the Aron were holding their own against Flutter's new move. She was needing Terack's assistance against them and was therefore rather relieved when they reached the mountain's peak.

"Seems that there's nowhere else for us to go. Flutter, you seen Diglett yet?" he asked her when they arrived. She looked around for the kid and soon found him trapped on a small platform just nearby. "There he is!" she exclaimed, making a few steps forward before a bird of some sorts landed in front of her. Something about it seemed... odd. It appeared to be made of metal...?

"Skarmory, right?" Flutter said, stepping back. "What's going on here? Why did you take that Diglett?" She was going to first try talking them out of this, an action that Terack somewhat approved of. "Those earthquakes..." the Skarmory replied, a strangled mix of fear and anger in her voice. "They happen far too often, I haven't gotten a single night's sleep out of worry. The one today scared me nearly half to death. Nobody seems to know what causes them... but I've found out!" she continued, the aforementioned anger taking over. " That brat and the rest of his ilk running rampant throughout the ground! Wild, untamed, unchecked! I've had enough of this!"

"We might have had too many earthquakes, but you're wrong!" Terack retorted, quickly getting frustrated with Skarmory's aggressive attempt to fix the problem. "It would take far more than many colonies of Diglett and Dugtrio to cause this. Let the child go." he finished calmly, only for the Skarmory to get even more furious. "THIS IS NOT UP FOR DISCUSSION!" she screeched. "If you're going to get in my way then I'll end you both myself!"

Flutter took a despairing sigh. "Words aren't working, Terack. We'll have to resort to force." she admitted to him and herself just before turning to face their foe. "We're leaving here with him, Skarmory." The armored bird growled at her opposition and suddenly kicked up a Sand Attack to her face.

Not a good start, she thought as she tried to clear the sand from her eyes. Skarmory immediately advanced upon her until she found her own sand turning around seemingly by itself to trap her in a tornado. Terack's Sand Tomb had done the job, he ran over to Flutter. "That was sudden. You ok there?" he asked her. "Y-yeah, thanks for the assist." she replied. Her eyes still stung a little bit but she had gotten most of the sand out.

Skarmory then began to fly upwards in a spin to escape the Sand Tomb, diving down upon the two afterwards with her wings outstretched in a vicious Drill Peck. Terack took the brunt of it and nearly fell off the mountain while Flutter was knocked up high from being clipped upwards by one of those sharp wings. Choosing to focus on that airborne target for now, Skarmory then grabbed Flutter's egg shaped body with one of her clawed feet. Her claws on that foot then started glowing a metallic silver colour as she tightened her Metal Claw grip on her, carrying her high to avoid any more Sand Tomb hits from Terack.

"Your friend can't reach us from here, just give it up!" she yelled at the Togepi being crushed under her three metal claws. Flutter simply stared up at her with a nondescript look on her face that gave nothing away before suddenly letting out Secret Power, her whole body giving off a damaging pink shine that caused the Skarmory to crash land in a confused daze.

"I didn't know Secret Power could do that..." Flutter mumbled as she got herself loose from the grip of the completely incoherent bird. She hurt all over and was absolutely certain that her Defense Scarf had just saved her life. "Terack, please cover for me. I need a moment to shake that off..." She thought it safe to do so while their opponent was incapable of attack. "Gotcha!" Terack called out, taking upon a blue outline with Focus Energy before repeatedly lunging at Skarmory with Bite, his jaws glowing blue with each and every hit. Slowly but surely, they were taking the upper hand thanks to his Power Band.

She soon snapped out of her confusion and shook Terack off her back, following this up by avoiding Flutter's Metronome-Flame Burst before using Leer to intimidate them with glowing red eyes. Another Drill Peck was soon prepared, only for a double Take Down to smash into her from behind. Skarmory collapsed upon impact with the mountain's summit, unable to continue.

"Huh? Who just took Skarmory down?" Flutter asked in confusion. Terack saw the duo responsible for the double Take Down after she asked. "The two Beldum from yesterday! Hey, thanks for the help. What brings you here?" he asked, pleased for their timely intervention.

"We saw a pink light in the sky and went to see what it was. I'm glad we got here in time." one of them replied. "Yeah, that was my Secret Power move. Skarmory had me in a tight Metal Claw up there." Flutter explained to them. The said Skarmory pulled herself back up afterwards, tired and very furious. "I-Idiots...! Fine, take him with you but don't come back to apologise when his scum devastate this world!" she spat at them all before flying off.

Flutter and Terack both sighed in relief before explaining everything to the Beldum pair. "I see, she kidnapped Diglett after assuming that he was causing those earthquakes. We're both pleased to have helped." they replied. "Well, there is one more thing you could do for us here." Flutter asked. "Can you carry us over so we can reach him. We started a Rescue Team after saving Metang, our badges can do the rest."

Unbeknownst to the five Pokémon, they were being watched. A Salamence was perched upon another peak nearby with an exceptionally intelligent looking Golduck on his back. Both had been observing the whole battle. "Hah! Rubix, they actually beat that old bat!" the Salamence enthusiastically responded to the Golduck.

"Hmmph, I calculate this to be dumb luck. The human and that Trapinch were fortunate to have their Beldum friends intervene..." Rubix bluntly replied. "And Derkomai, don't be so loud. You might alert them to our presence."

"Of course, Doctor. My mistake." Derkomai responded with a tone of humility to his voice. "What do you think of their capabilities as of now?" he asked.

"As of now? Not a threat to the team or our goal. The human does display basic cooperation with Pokémon but she's not going to sway the lord with that. She's merely one being. Reishi shall agree with me on that." Rubix went on. "Of course he would. He's all punch, punch, punch. No thought at all. I suppose he's scheduled to observe the girl soon?" Derkomai asked of Rubix.

"Indeed. We must report back now." Rubix said firmly. Derkomai then took off and flew away from the area...

~~~~~

"Flutter, Terack, thank you both so much. We couldn't be more grateful." Dugtrio said. The group were now back at the team base and collecting their reward from him. Flutter was glad but felt that she should say what was on her mind.

"If you're wanting to thank anyone, thank our Beldum friends here. Diglett was trapped in an area of the mountain surrounded by a deep gap. They both carried us across after taking down Skarmory. We couldn't have done this ourselves." the Togepi recited. She wasn't willing to leave their pivotal roles unrecognised.

"Ah? Then we do apologise, please accept our heartfelt thanks." Dugtrio replied, addressing the Beldum. "You're very welcome. We're happy to have helped, and... looking at Diglett back there, my friend and I both felt a certain kinship." one of them said to him. "Of course. Both Beldum and Diglett evolve into joined entities, so we simply had to help the boy." Listening to this, Flutter felt truly touched. A most delightful idea then entered her mind. Perhaps...?

"We're most impressed! Sincerly, thank you all once more. Diglett, let's go home now." he said. "Yup! Thanks for saving me!" Diglett happily called before he and Dugtrio went back beneath the earth.

"We should be going home too." the Beldum said. They went to leave before Flutter put her idea into words. "Wait!" she called. The Beldum both stopped and looked back at her. Here goes nothing... "Would you... like to join our Team Celeste? I really meant it when I said we couldn't have done this ourselves. You both really came through for us today..." Flutter quickly said. "Oh? Great idea!" Terack spoke up. "I'd love for you both to join us!"

"Rescue Team? That does sound fun. I'm in!" one of them replied. "Hold on though. If you're wanting us to join then we'll need some place nearby for us to stay, so we can quickly go on rescues if you need us. Is there anywhere like that?" asked the other one. A hole in Flutter's plan had emerged. "Oh... I'm afraid not." she had to admit.

"Ah... That's a shame. We're really sorry but we can't join you then. Bye-bye." they both said, leaving Flutter and Terack to themselves. "What a real downer." Terack muttered in response. "It would be great to have them on board... I guess we've got to look at finding locations for them and other members to stay in." he continued. "Oh! We should pay a visit to the Wigglytuff Club!"

"Huh?" Flutter simply said in her confusion. She had no clue what the Trapinch was talking about. "It's a shop in Pokémon Square that specialises in that. It's next to the Felicity Bank. Wigglytuff wasn't there when we got ourselves some items but we'll probably have better luck tomorrow." he explained to her. "Alright, I think I understand. It sounds like a good plan." she gave him as a reply.

"Cool. I guess I'll see you tomorrow then. Sleep tight." he said before walking off. Flutter waved goodbye and went inside. After that scuffle with Skarmory, she was in need of a good night's sleep. Preferably uninterrupted by earthquakes.

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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon fanfiction (Azure Rescuers/Windswept Explorers)
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Gengarzilla

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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:06 pm

Team Celeste gets a new member, Team A.C.T. show up, Team Meanies cause a headache, and two more new characters appear.


Chapter 4: Metapod and Sinister Woods! When Rescue Teams clash!


"Mmmmh... Is this that dream again...?" Flutter sleepily mumbled as she picked herself up from her sleeping position. She was still a bit tired from their last adventure, up in Mt. Steel. The rippling green glow all but confirmed her suspicious, if the subsequent appearance of that same being from before hadn't.

The mist was there too, but somewhat lessened. Flutter could also hear a voice in her head once more. A few words could actually be distinguished this time. "H-human...? You know about me being human?" she asked in abject surprise. "Please, I need to know! My role here? What do you mean?" she went on, more than a little bit desperate for this chance to get answers.

Before Flutter could pick out any more words from the one sided mental conversation, a heavy sensation flooded her head. "D-drifting off...! Why now?! I want answers..." Her distress didn't last all that long, it was soon replaced by nothing as she felt herself float away...

~~~~~

The next thing she knew, Flutter was waking up in her bed. "Urf, I had another dream..." she anxiously muttered to herself as she tried to shake loose that sleep from her eyes. Whatever that thing in her frequent dreams was, it seemed to know her when she was human. This was suddenly a more important matter than before, she decided. She was now going to tell Terack about these experiences.

The Trapinch in question soon entered. Flutter could only assume that she'd awoken a little bit on the late side. "You ok, pal? I was waiting outside for you and started to get worried... Is something wrong? You look sorta off." She was glad to hear that he'd taken her oversleeping as a cause for concern. He did deserve for her to be honest about this...

"W-well, I've been having these strange dreams lately, ever since my first night here..." Flutter finally started to admit. "Strange? What about these dreams makes you call them that?" he gently asked of her. "There's always this figure in green and white, a mist usually appearing with them. They seem to be speaking directly into my head but I've never heard anything clearly enough before last night. I think this thing knew me as a human and mentioned some sort of role, but that's all I got..." she recalled and recited.

"I see, that does sound strange. It's sorta gotten me thinking now... You want to become a human again, huh?" Terack asked her. He waited for her answer. Flutter was honestly amazed that she hadn't thought about it very much. Did she?

"I can't ever deny that this has all been scary at times, but... it hasn't been all bad, being a Togepi in this world. I met you, after all." she said. Flutter really couldn't have put more honesty into her words. "You found me as I woke up near the Tiny Woods, never called me a liar, gave me this place so I could have a safe place to sleep... Thanks to you, I'm happy even if I never become a human again."

Terack didn't quite know what to say, but he was glad to hear this from her. "That's good. I'm pleased that you're taking this well. Oh, I remember that we were supposed to visit the Wigglytuff Club today!" he recalled. That name reminded Flutter of their plan too. "For recruiting new members! Then let's move it!" All tiredness forgotten, she rushed off with Terack at her heels.

They were fast enough to just miss the arrival of a trio, but this group had overheard the plan. "Wigglytuff Club? Alright, let's go!" one voice said.

~~~~~

"Friends are my treasures! Welcome to the Wigglytuff Club, a circle of friends!" Wigglytuff said to the two arrivals as Flutter watched. She liked this Pokémon already. "...Oh? This is your first time here?" she said once Terack greeted her and said so.

"So you must have started up a Rescue Team too? That's wonderful! I sell Friend Areas here, certain locations where your new team members can stay. Since you're here for the very first time, I'm going to give you a pair of Friend Areas for free!" she happily said. "Thanks Wigglytuff, that would be very nice of you." Flutter said with a smile.

"Not a problem at all, helping teams get new friends is why I'm here~!" she exclaimed, giving them two maps. "Wild Plains and Mist-Rise Forest! I'm sure you can make lots of friends with those!"

"If it's alright, could you also give my friends a map to the Magnetic Quarry?" a voice called. Flutter and Terack both looked in the direction of this voice and were surprised to see the Metang that they saved in Thunderwave Cave, the Beldum duo behind him. Nothing prepared the members of Team Celeste for what he said next however. "I'm wanting to join their team."

"That's wonderful, a new friend already! I'll give that one away too with no charge!" Wigglytuff delightedly said as she also handed over the map to this said location. Metang was ecstatic. "Yeah, now I can join!" he said to his Beldum friends. One of them went to speak with the quietly astonished Flutter and Terack. "I'm sorry for turning you down yesterday, as is my friend. The very moment that we told Metang about the events at Mt. Steel and your need for new members however, there really was no stopping him. He was so adamant about it. I think he's wanting to repay you for saving him before, are you alright with this?"

"Are we? We're both more than happy to have him on board." Terack answered. Flutter walked over to Metang. "You mean I'm in...?" Metang happily questioned.

"Yep, welcome to the team!" she replied. "Nice to have you in, Metang... or whatever you're wanting us to call you?" Flutter added questioningly. "Hmm, like a nickname? Give me a minute please..." he asked of her.

...

"...Kyan. I like the sound of that one. I'm going to go with Kyan." their new member said after some quiet contemplation. "Kyan? Sounds neat." Terack replied in approval, Flutter following on this motion with a nod.

"Then that's settled. Kyan, make sure you do your best and help them in rescues." the Beldum said as their parting words before they departed. "I promise! I won't let them down!" the newly named Kyan called to them with a wave.

Wigglytuff watched this with a smile. "That was lovely..." she exclaimed before refocusing on the customers. "That's it for giveaways now! If there's any more Friend Areas that you want then you'll have to buy them yourselves." Flutter's response was a pleased smile followed by a cheery farewell to Wigglytuff for her help.

"Alright gang, I'm going to guess that Kyan's badge will turn up in the mail tomorrow from that Pokémon Rescue Organisation since we don't have a stock of them ourselves. Feel like swinging by the Kecleon Brothers to stock up?" Terack asked Flutter and Kyan, quickly getting down to business. Both of them were in agreement with this plan so the team made their way left towards their shops. Flutter soon noticed what appeared to be some sort of commotion in the middle of the square though.

"Oh please! I need help, my friend's stuck in a dungeon..." a Jumpluff could be seen asking a Shiftry, the Pokémon being flanked by two Nuzleaf. "You can forget about it, my Team Shifty doesn't work for loose change. Find someone else." the Shiftry dismissively replied to her. Jumpluff was refusing to step down. "B-but all he needs is a gust of wind, can't you do that?" she continued, looking dead set on staying right there until he relented.

"Something going on over there?" Terack asked the nearby Lombre after joining the crowd of Pokémon gathered around this. "That scene?" the resident asked. "Jumpluff over there is needing a team to rescue her friend in a dungeon called the Silent Chasm, but she's just not getting any luck with Shiftry. He's the one in the middle with the long nose. Shiftry's got his own Rescue Team, but they're all very greedy. If you aren't prepared to pay them a hefty amount of Poké then they'll refuse to help. I feel really sorry for poor Jumpluff, being shut down like this."

"That's horrible..." Flutter said, quite annoyed by Team Shiftry's stance. "If Shiftry's not going to budge, I'll just have to take the job." She had already forgotten about their need for a gust of wind due to her disquiet over the situation however.

"Hold on." a solid and stern voice called out to the gathering before Flutter could volunteer Team Celeste's help. An Alakazam with a highly experienced look to him had just arrived from the left, behind Team Shifty. Some voices were already echoing their way through the collected Pokémon and were primarily in recognition of the Alakazam, these soon intensifying when a Charizard and a Tyranitar also arrived behind him. "Are they saying... that this is that Alakazam...?!" Kyan exclaimed in unbridled amazement.

"Shiftry, you truly are as cold as the winds you summon." Alakazam simply said out loud. "Those strong winds are all that's needed to save Jumpluff's friend. With the use of those leafy fans of yours, this job is a very easy matter for you. That Pokémon needs help. Provide it." he commanded, plenty of authority placed within his last two words. The agitated Shiftry looked at his two nervous Nuzleaf cohorts for the backup that never came. He had little choice left. "...Bah, fine! Since it's Team A.C.T., we'll do it." he finally relented, leaving with his duo. The discussion then turned to how easily Alakazam had swayed Shiftry.

"So... who are those three?" Terack asked out loud. Kyan looked absolutely astonished that he'd even let those words slip out. "Wait, what? You don't know?! Those three happen to be Team A.C.T., the most famous rescue team in this area." he started. "Over there-" the Metang gestured to the red draconic Pokémon with a flame on his tail. "-is Charizard. Mountains stand no chance against his red hot Fire attacks." He next turned Terack and Flutter's attention to the green armored Pokémon. "There's Tyranitar. His armored body and amazing strength give him an outstanding proficiency in battles." Finally, he looked at their leader. His idol. "And that's Alakazam, their leader. He prefers to fight from afar with powerful moves and is amazingly intelligent. He's apparently committed everything he's ever seen to only his memory, ready to be recalled at at time." The Togepi and Trapinch refocused their attention to Kyan. "As a Psychic type myself, I happen to be a big fan of his work." he finished by clarifying.

"Thanks for talking him into it..." Jumpluff said to Alakazam in a quiet and relieved voice. "Thanks aren't a necessity." he replied. "In this world, you should be expected to get help from your fellow Pokémon. Please come and see me if you're ever being turned down again. Take care and send my wishes to your friend when they return." Alakazam gently said to her before walking off.

"Wow, Alakazam's got quite the tender side..." Terack muttered. Flutter nodded, just as Team A.C.T. passed by them. "I guess you wouldn't get far as a Rescue Team if you didn't have such a heart..." A few seconds after this had left her mouth, Alakazam stopped dead in his tracks and looked back at her. The startled Lombre hid behind Kyan and Terack wore a look of surprise upon his face as the team's leader quietly stared at Flutter while she looked back inquiringly, neither saying a word.

"Alakazam, is something the matter?" Tyranitar asked of his leader, both he and Charizard having noticed the sudden and inscrutable interest he had in this seemingly normal Togepi. This appeared to soon be dismissed upon Tyranitar's question. "...It's fine. Let's go." he finally responded, the group continuing on their way.

All awkwardness aside, Terack now fully understood Kyan's admiration. "Wow, they're good... Flutter, Kyan, that's the kind of team we've got to become one day. The three of us need to pitch in and make our team first-class together!" he gave as a motivational call to them. The approving response said it all.

A less than savoury reception to this could be heard near the southern end of the square, coming from Gengar of Team Meanies."Keh. Not if I can plot anything to derail you, Team Celeste. Your new chump's not going to help you against us." he remarked with venom thick in his voice...

~~~~~

A few days had been and gone by since Team Celeste's former foe Kyan joined them. The Metang's badge had arrived in their mailbox the day afterwards and he had started taking part in the team's job requests, one of them resulting in a Zinc Band being given for him to wear. His aid and new held item had added up to what Flutter saw as a noticeable spike in success for their team, culminating in them having advanced from Normal Rank to Bronze Rank.

Flutter herself was still having those strange dreams. No progress was being made on her communications with the being who continued visiting, she couild still only hear nothing clearly aside from mental mentions about some sort of role she had. There was nothing more that she felt could be done about them, she'd already told Terack and was considering the possibility of starting some sort of dream diary. Kyan still wasn't privy to her human origins but she fully intended to tell him once she could find a suitable moment.

"Morning, Flutter. Sleep well?" Terack asked once she headed out from the base, the day following their rank up. "Yeah. I'm starting to get used to my dreams. Let's work hard and get beyond Bronze Rank!" she said, pleasing the Trapinch with that enthusiasm.

Kyan arrived shortly afterwards with a guest atop his body. "Hello gang, Caterpie's here." he said to them both, looking up at him. "Flutter and Terack, hi! Long time no see." Caterpie greeted them.

"Oh, hey there Caterpie. What brings you here?" Flutter asked with a smile. She was glad to see the kid again. "I made a new friend yesterday, his name is Metapod. He and I were playing in the woods to the east but we got lost and separated. I think he's still stuck out there..."

"I see, that sounds terrible... Kekekeke!" a voice came out. Both Flutter and Terack immediately wore looks of exasperation at Gengar's distinctive laugh. "Not you three again..." Flutter moaned as Team Meanies arrived. "You need not worry, kiddo. If it's a rescue mission you're wanting then Team Meanies is on the case!" Gengar declared. Kyan and Caterpie were simply confused.

Flutter wasn't in the mood to be pestered by Gengar and company. "Back off, Gengar. Caterpie's come to us for his help, go find your own jobs instead of stealing from us!" she immediately retorted in annoyance as she stepped forwards. "I think I'm missing something, Terack. What's gotten under her shell?" Kyan inquired of him. "On our first day as a Rescue Team, Gengar and his cronies stole our job requests. The mission to rescue Diglett saved our skins..." Terack explained to the new member.

"We've told you earlier, it doesn't matter who does the rescuing. The Pokémon in need is saved no matter who takes the job." Ekans shot back. "Exactly." Gengar concurred. "There's no way you and your lot can handle young Caterpie's task anyway, this isn't amateur hour. The Sinister Woods is no place for rookies. A mission in Tiny Woods is just perfect for you, kek!"

"Tough dungeon or not, I won't back down and let you do this. You're not getting your way." she adamantly replied, the tension between both teams now thick in the air as though it were a Pokémon's Mist or Haze move. "Gengar, if the girl's not backing down then let's make this interesting~!" Medicham said, whispering her sudden brainwave to him. "Oh! Excellent idea! Alright, Team Celeste. If you're so sure about this, here's a plan. Both of our teams take the mission and the first to rescue Metapod takes the reward!" Before anyone present could even voice the slightest hint of objection to this proposition, Team Meanies were off.

"...I hate those three." was all that Flutter could manage amidst her indignation. Terack and Kyan did the talking for her. "Don't worry, we'll be sure to bring your pal back." Terack said to Caterpie. "I don't like the way that Gengar was talking to her... Let's throw all we give into saving Metapod, team!" Kyan called.

Even with her annoyance at the unwanted intervention of Team Meanies, Flutter was glad for the unwavering help of her two teammates. As the triad left for the woods, a Pokémon swathed in a black cloak slinked back into the nearby trees after bearing silent witness to the altercation. "Despicable..." they simply muttered.

~~~~~

Within the minutes, Team Celeste's members were within their mission in the Sinister Woods. As much as she despised herself for admitting this, Gengar may have been onto something regarding this dungeon's difficulty. It was definitely a bit tougher than the previous dungeons that they had cleared and the occasional errors fueled by Flutter's haste over Gengar's challenge wasn't helping to soothe her overall mood.

Her vexation was only amplified by a scene she saw in the clearing close to the end of the woods. Gengar, Ekans, and Medicham were all waiting for them. Team Meanies had arrived first...

"Well, there's nowhere else to look. Metapod should be just up ahead. I'd say we've won this challenge!" Gengar said, immediately taking the chance to rub this in her face. "Just go away..." Flutter tirefully told him. "Why are you messing with us?"

"It's very simple. New teams like yourselves are perfect for taking quick and easy jobs from. Even if they do find other jobs to take and complete, we keep coming back for more, they eventually give up and disband before even surpassing Normal Rank. Less competition for influence." Ekans coldly replied, getting a bit irritated with Flutter himself. "That explains why I've never heard of any new Rescue Teams rising high recently, you crooks bullied them into quitting!" Terack exclaimed in disgust.

"Of course." Medicham replied. "The rewards from those jobs are nice enough but what really matters to us is influence. Gengar told us that you three bore witness to Team A.C.T. a few days ago. There's truly little to distinguish us from you, that's the kind of team we've also got to become one day. With that kind of fame and good name with the public, world domination is but a few steps away~!" she exclaimed.

"Keh! However, I must say... No team has pushed us to do a stunt like this before." Gengar admitted. "This sort of direct thing isn't our usual style, but we're going to end your Team Celeste ourselves!" With that now in the air, he and his teammates prepared to attack.

No more time for screwing up, Flutter thought. She took the initiative in this battle with Foresight, a pair of light blue beams emanating from her eyes. The move caught Gengar off guard. "What the... What did you just do?!" he questioned in annoyance at becoming more vulnerable to Normal and Fighting moves. Terack ran for Ekans and took him for an opponent while Kyan engaged in combat with Medicham. Gengar formed a purple ball of energy in his hands before throwing the Shadow Ball at Flutter, which she narrowly avoided before tackling him with Secret Power on full display to put him to sleep.

Terack and Ekans were both carefully evading each other's moves, Rock Slide and Sand Tomb being avoided by Ekans but his attempts at Glare and Wrap were proving to be similarly ineffective. Kyan and Medicham had been throwing their Confusion attacks at each other in a true battle of the mind, the Metang's significantly greater strength against Psychic types serving him very well. Flutter was repeatedly attacking Gengar with Secret Power, slowly but surely wearing him down. Things were going rather smoothly for Team Celeste.

At least, they were. Terack eventually stumbled over Ekans's coils and found himself on the receiving end of a crushing Aqua Tail hit that knocked him clean out with a single blow, the serpent then poking his head into the bag that Terack dropped. Following a sideswipe of his Metal Claw and her Fire Punch, Kyan finally triumphed over Medicham to even the numbers but her Pure Power ability had given her fiery fist a much greater hit than he anticipated. He then blasted hard towards Gengar with a Take Down just as Ekans finished chowing down on all their Pecha Berries and tossed the Chesto Berry from Butterfree directly at Gengar.

It woke him up a split second before he took the hit from Kyan, a Shadow Ball subsequently taking him out before a point-blank use of the move caught Flutter during her Secret Power, blowing the Togepi back and inflicting a solid amount of damage. Before Flutter could even pull herself together, Ekans had her caught and trapped in his Wrap, lightly hissing close to the side of her face for intimidation. "I have Shed Skin, don't bother trying to sneak out of this with Secret Power..." he hissed. She tried to pull herself loose but didn't quite have the strength to do so.

"That could have done better..." Gengar remarked with a brief look at Medicham's unconscious form. "Keh, whatever. It's just you left and with no Pecha Berries thanks to Ekans. Do your thing!" he gloatingly said to Flutter before finishing with a command to him. "With pleasure..." Ekans said to him in a throaty hiss, wrapping his coils harder and harder around Flutter's shell as his fangs retracted outwards with a purple glow. He soon forcefully bit down on the back of her head, an area unprotected by her shell, with a Poison Fang.

She struggled against him with visible panic carved into her face, soon giving off a pained call for help once the steadily worsening poison from Ekans's move was in her system. "Shush, you!" he shouted at this, letting go of her in a spin before slamming an Aqua Tail hard on her from above. Flutter couldn't find it within herself to even get back up, let alone attack as Ekans returned to Gengar's side. All she could do was lie there and curl up in pain as a tight sensation overtook her body, hoping that this was all a nightmare.

"Kekekekekeh!" Gengar simply replied as a watery dark purple ball began forming in his hands, Venoshock shooting forth from it towards the badly poisoned and barely conscious Fairy type in the form of numerous blobs. Flutter closed her eyes and awaited the worst.

Except the worst never seemed to come.

To the surprise of both Gengar and Ekans, a black cloaked figure had leapt out from a nearby tree and landed in front of Flutter to intercept the oncoming Venoshock. "Gegeh?!" Gengar managed in surprise. The figure then quickly opened their crossed arms to unleash multiple black projectiles, the Payback move blowing Gengar back and knocking him out. Before Ekans could do anything productive, he too had been taken out. With Icicle Crash, an icicle had been formed in the hands of the new arrival and used against him as a blunt weapon.

"Hmph... I have no respect for such behavior..." they replied after turning their back on Team Meanies to tend to Flutter and her completely defeated team. "You three had better not quit." Retrieving a Heal Seed from their satchel, they gently fed it to the unresponsive Flutter. Her breathing was slight but the shudder of her body was a sign that the seed was having its intended effect. She soon awoke with a terrified expression and began frantically staring around. "W-what...?! Where am I?!"

"Calm yourself. I've defeated the remaining two Pokémon and purged the poison from your system but you're still hurt..." was the reply she got, and the exhaustion that caught up to her was solid proof of this. "A-alright... but who are you?" she asked. This was followed up not long afterwards with an "I could ask you the same thing, you annoying cloaked crusader!" from Gengar, who had just picked himself up.

"I'm the Black Ice, cloaked vigilante. Just call me Ice if desired." he replied. "So you and your team have been stealing jobs from new teams and harassing them relentlessly...? That's about as low as one can get." he continued coldly when Ekans and Medicham got up. Although Ice's voice betrayed little emotions, he was truly pissed off.

"Ooh, who do you even think you are anyway! Butting in on our job like-" Medicham angrily started before being cut off by Ice. "These three are under my protection now and I will ensure that they clear their task. Gengar, your group of crooks will leave this forest immediately..." he said over her in the commanding tone to end all commanding tones. With very little options available, Gengar was forced to concede. "...Very well. You, Flutter. I'll cut you a break for now but this isn't over, kekekeh." he left as his threatening words of departure before the three fled from the forest.

"Ugh, that guy is such a pain." Flutter blurted out once they had left, taking an Oran Berry offered from her rescuer. "Quite..." Ice agreed, now giving a Reviver Seed each to Terack and Kyan. "Perhaps he'll learn his lesson after a few hours." Following the seeds and berry, all three of then were back on their feet. "Can't believe they got the drop on us..." Terack mumbled disappointedly as he retrieved their emptier bag. "It's a shame, but at least the Black Ice here sent them off empty handed. We're still saving Metapod." Flutter said in an attempt to pick up his spirits. "Yes, of course." Kyan interjected. "They came for the good reputation and failed. Let's keep it up."

Ice held his pleasure at this camaraderie. He liked seeing a Rescue Team who could throw off such a beating. "Hello?" someone called from within what little of the woods were left. A green cocoon Pokémon then hopped out into the clearing. "I'm Metapod, did you all come looking for me?" he asked of them. "Yep, I'm Flutter, these are Terack and Kyan, not sure if you've met the Black Ice before but he just saved our necks a few moments ago. Caterpie sent us, he's been worried." she said, introducing everyone.

"Ok. I was very scared so I kept hardening my shell, waiting for help. Thanks for coming!" Metapod gratefully replied. "Wonderful. Let's get you all back home now, I'll escort you out." Ice said to the group. Everyone approved of this, so they all went on their way.

Very close to their path out from the woods, a Breloom was handing out Reviver Seeds to the Pokémon that Team Celeste were forced to defeat along the way. "Humans... Nothin' but trouble, just as Dr. Rubix always says." the Breloom named Reishi said to himself as he revived a Shroomish. He then saw the team with Metapod moving past him, none the wiser to his presence. One member of the group however, shocked him to the core.

"Is that... the Black Ice?! What is he doin' helpin' that human girl?" The possibility of him not knowing the status of that Togepi may admittedly be a high one, but her having that guy on her side was undoubtedly a potential cause for concern. Reishi had to raise the alert.

He took out one of Rubix's own communication devices. "Mistress Zeninthia? It's Reishi here. We have a problem..."

~~~~~

"This is really great, welcome back!" Caterpie sniffled happily. They had all returned safely to the base. "Thanks, Caterpie. It was a great idea to get your friends to do this." Metapod replied.

"Thanks to everyone for their help too. Team Celeste and the Black Ice. I'm really sorry, but I don't actually have any money or other rewards." the kid admitted. "Not to worry, Metapod's safety and your happiness is reward enough." Flutter said to him, both Terack and Kyan agreeing with her. "That's really what being on a Rescue Team is all about. I must unfortunately go now, but trust me when I say I'll be keeping an eye on you. " Ice declared with a smile hidden by his hooded cloak. He quickly dashed off with a happy farewell to them.

"Team Celeste, you're even more cooler than I first thought... When I grow up, I want to go on rescues for the team just like you." Caterpie decided, followed by Metapod enthusiastically agreeing. "That's great, little buddies. Always chase your dreams." Kyan said to them.

"Say, Flutter... Just got myself an idea here. Why don't we make a much more impressive team base here later on? Something really neat." Terack threw out. Flutter's eyes almost glistened at the thought, as did those of Caterpie and Metapod. The three of them couldn't be more on board with this idea and Kyan's reply of "That sounds really awesome." was a reply that they subsequently echoed. "Then that's settled up. Someday we'll all make something wonderful out of this. You two take care on the way home now." he said, watching Caterpie and Metapod leave.

"Well, we ended up working for free and losing a battle to Gengar's team... but you and Ice are right. We saved Metapod, that's all that really matters." he mused to Flutter. "Yeah, I'm not bitter about our altercation in the slightest. Though I am a bit tired..." Kyan admitted. "Alright, let's split for today and rest up. See you both tomorrow!" Flutter called as she went inside.

Before going to sleep, she made sure to check on the bag to see what they still had. "That annoying Ekans, eating all our Pecha Berries and giving our Chesto Berry to Gengar..." The first thing she intended to do tomorrow was restock.

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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:06 am

This one was a little trickier to write as a result of Silent Chasm not being a very memorable dungeon, but I think I've managed to work something up.


Chapter 5: Jumpluff and Silent Chasm! The monster awakens!


As Flutter and Team Celeste's other two members slept off their strenuous fight with the three members of Team Meanies during the rescue of Metapod, another rescue mission of a more serious nature, a large forest fire situated just east of Mt. Thunder, was attracting all sorts of teams who had instead chosen to burn the midnight oil tonight.

One Pokémon was already putting in work within this inferno however. The cloaked and hooded vigilante known only as the Black Ice was dashing his way through the hellfire like a ninja. In his arms was a crying Budew. Ice's disadvantageous typing against fire was most definitely not a well kept secret so he was taking care to avoid the flames.

Finally emerging from the forest, he gave the scared child to her worried Roserade mother. "Oh, m-my baby..." she blubbed tearfully. Ice looked around. The Rescue Teams hadn't quite arrived yet, he shuddered to think about what could have happened to this child if he hadn't arrived when he did... The Roserade then spoke to a Kricketune, another resident of the forest, about whether they had seen her first child Roselia. Ice was struck with a horrible thought and ran back into the blaze, spotted by the first of the teams arriving on site.

With some careful running to avoid the patches of fire that weren't there in his last run, he eventually found the said Roselia cowering inside a ring of flames. Ice immediately used Whirlpool, forming it in his hands and tossing it at the conflagration threatening to consume her, dousing enough for him to leap in and collect the Grass type on his back.

The forest fire was quickly beginning to worsen during this second rush for the exit, necessitating several more uses of Whirlpool this time. One final use of it extinguished the fire that had since blocked the exit and allowed Ice to tirefully emerge from within to a rousing cheer from the gathering of Rescue Teams. Word of his presence and actions had spread to the entire group from the first arrivals that saw him and asked the Roserade.

The jubilant Roserade ran over to her child as Roselia got down from Ice's back and ran for her, both hugging each other. "I've heard some of these Pokémon say it's the Black Ice. T-thank you, I really don't know what to say..." Roserade managed to say through her overwhelming relief before some of the teams took her and the reunited family to safety.

One Pokémon from that group approached Ice with a grin. "Hey, Black Ice! Great work out there, now I'd call that a rescue to be proud of! How's about we team up sometime?" a burly Blastoise said out loud. Ice placed the pieces together once the Blastoise was joined by three other Pokémon, Feraligatr, Swampert, and Empoleon.

"Team Hydro, bearing the Silver Rank..." Ice finally said. The four Water type Pokémon were readying their Hydro Pump attacks at the forest. "Though I prefer working alone, I'll be taking that offer right now." he remarked coolly, standing by them and forming his best Whirlpool of the night. During this however, he felt a brief sense of unease regarding the nearby mountain but brushed it off as him being tired.

With that Whirlpool, the two streams of water from Blastoise's cannons, and each individual stream from his three teammates, the forest fire was soon nothing more than a bad memory...

~~~~~

Flutter soon woke up in the next morning and yawned, now feeling happily rested. For some reason, she hadn't had that recurring dream. Not that she was going to miss them though. Constantly getting no answers from them was beginning to frustrate her.

She put them to the back of her head and went out to see Terack and Kyan outside. "Good morning Flutter, it looks like you've slept very well." Kyan said to her. "Yup, I feel ready for some good work today!" she declared.

"Umm, could this be where Rescue Team Celeste is?" a voice called to them, its Jumpluff bearer walking towards them. "That's us... but haven't I seen you before?" Terack asked her, Kyan beating him to the punch afterwards. "Oh yes, we saw you in the square. Alakazam got Shiftry to do your job request after he turned you down. What's happened since then?" he questioned her.

Jumpluff's reply was simple and yet unnerving. "Shiftry still hasn't come back."

"Say what now? He's not returned?" Flutter immediately said, rather bemused. "You wanted him to provide a gust of wind to help your friend, that sounds like a really easy job for him..." the Togepi outwardly wondered. "Indeed. Team Celeste, would you be able to check on how things are going? I'm worried that he's gotten held up somehow." Jumpluff went on.

"Sure thing, we'll help out after a trip to the square. We lost all our Pecha Berries and our only Chesto Berry yesterday and I've been wanting to restock." Flutter told her. "Oh yeah, good plan. I'm all up for this." Terack suddenly replied, pleased that Flutter had kept that in mind. The team left Jumpluff to herself for now and went for their shopping trip.

Shiftry's MIA status was the topic of discussion in Pokémon Square, Flutter and the others discovered. Snubbull was recounting Shiftry's complete lack of enthusiasm for the task and Lombre expressed his opinion that Shiftry had just ran for the hills. As much as she disapproved of Shiftry's philosophy, Flutter highly doubted that he'd do that. "I don't think Alakazam would allow him to bail out in that way..." she replied in passing.

Bellsprout, on the other hand, had a different story to tell as he saw them buying some Pecha Berries. "Hey, you three." he asked them. "Did you hear about that horrible forest fire last night?" Last night? While she and the others were asleep? Flutter admitted to not knowing and pressed him for more.

"I heard that there were a whole bunch of Rescue Teams there despite it being late at night, and that Black Ice was the first there. I dread to think about what could have happened to the two children, Budew and Roselia, if he hadn't been around to rescue them from that blaze. He and Blastoise's Team Hydro then put out that fire but it must have been a scary ordeal..." Bellsprout recited, Flutter listening to the tale intentively.

"Saving two children trapped in a forest fire at the dead of night..." Flutter murmured to her two teammates. "That's truly admirable, since he's obviously an Ice type..." With that, she found herself beginning to look up to the guy just as Kyan did with Alakazam. Terack went to get more berries as she mused over this.

He managed to successfully restock on their lost Pecha Berries, but Chesto Berries appeared harder to come by and he was unable to pick one up with the Kecleon. Flutter then followed him and Kyan back to Jumpluff after she was done with her fangirling.

"We're ready." he said. "Please take us to the dungeon, we'll set this right."

~~~~~

The group soon arrived at an entrance located within the sheer rock face of a cliff wall, Jumpluff as their guide. Kyan couldn't help but feel somewhat awestruck and a little excited by the scenery. "Wow, we're rather high up here, that's some cliff. I haven't seen anything like this."

Flutter's attention was a little more focused on the entrance and Terack was talking with Jumpluff, so Kyan was paid little heed for the time being. "This is the place then? Silent Chasm?" Terack asked Jumpluff.

"Yes, you've just got to go and sort everything out over there..." she said with desperation lacing her voice. He understood this, Jumpluff had been waiting too long for word of her friend's status. Flutter and Kyan both gathered around and began making their way into the dungeon. Something appeared to have been recalled by the Jumpluff at the last second though, because she then called out for them to wait a moment.

Team Celeste's trio wheeled back round to face her. "Is there something else to tell us?" Flutter asked. Jumpluff briefly hesitated. "I just remembered this and I'm not sure if you need to know this since it's simply just an old folktale from when my friend and I were both Skiploom, but... It's been said that some sort of powerful and frightening winged monster sleeps in this area."

This definitely didn't sit well with Terack. This fabled monster sounded stronger than Skarmory and the members of Team Meanies put together. Out of a constricting and blinding fear, he began feigning a stomachache, pushed by the sensation of it being tied into knots. "E-everyone, I don't think my breakfast is agreeing with me over here..." The other three Pokémon gathered around him.

Flutter and Kyan both looked concerned for both him and the thought of doing this job with one member short, only for Terack to stick his foot in it. "Guys... how about you? You're both in pain too, right...?" Flutter was, to put it lightly, not amused. "...I don't know about Kyan, but I haven't eaten today and you know it." she replied in a deadpan manner, catching on to his act but not going along with it. She pulled him over by one leg for a private conversation.

"Even if I had a stomachache, I'd still go in there. She's already had a hard time with Shiftry turning her down for not lining his team's coffers with Poké but at least he didn't do this act in the middle of the square..." she immediately started calling him out, a little annoyed and downright confused with his out of character actions. Kyan and Jumpluff both overheard this, he rather stunned by the sight of Flutter laying it down on the guy and she very much heartened by her statement.

"...S-sorry, got a bit scared. Wasn't thinking straight then." Terack apologetically mumbled to her, rightfully humbled. Flutter softened up a little now that he seemed to be over this. "I'm a little nervous too but we've got to do this for them. Let's set this behind us now."

"Right!" he said with more gusto, turning to see the pair of observers. "I'm ready to head on." Now regrouped, the team proceeded in.

Within the dungeon, it soon became apparent that Terack wasn't the only Pokémon in the area to be seriously scared by something. Many of them didn't even attempt to battle the group. It made for an easier trip than the one they had gone through yesterday but the fearful Pokémon weren't making it any more enjoyable. There was a particularly tense moment near the end involving a Gloom however. Kyan went over to shield Flutter from a spray of its Poison Powder, his Steel type affording him an immunity to poisons. "Thanks for the help..." she hushed before he used Double Team to throw the Gloom off guard and defeat it with Confusion.

A short time after this close shave, the group came across a wide room in the depths of the cave that truly looked like it had seen better days. Some sort of fight or scuffle appeared to have taken place here and there was a gaping hole in the wall through which a mountain enveloped by a gradually intensifying thundercloud could be seen. "Hey, anybody here?" Flutter called out. "Jumpluff sent us to check on things."

Another Jumpluff was hiding behind one of the rocks in the room, he went over to the Togepi after hearing her. "She sent you guys? Thanks, it was getting rather scary over here. If you're also looking for Shiftry then he's... well, hurt. Over there." he pointed at the Pokémon. There was no mistake, laying mostly behind a larger rock was the guy whom Alakazam persuaded to do this job.

"Shiftry? What happened here? Did something attack you?" Flutter immediately rushed over and asked him, followed by the rest of the team and Jumpluff. Remembering what she was told about a monster earlier on gave her a serious feeling of unease.

A powerful voice soon called out from somewhere outside. "Move aside, you! Away from him!" Crescent shaped blades of air then flew in from the hole and hit Flutter hard, forcefully blowing her back into a rock before she could even summon up any amount of resistance, anything she had planned was reduced to a pained yelp. "Child, that cretin had the audacity to disturb my slumber! My slumber!" they boomed out while Terack and Kyan helped Flutter back on her feet. "Don't you think you're overreacting a little here?!" Kyan shot back at the voice.

"More of you? It matters not, no mercy shall be shown to those who defy me!" With electricity crackling from his wings, the Legendary Pokémon Zapdos flew in through the hole and grabbed the unconscious form of Shiftry in his talons. Something immediately clicked in Flutter's head at the sight of this bird. "Y-you must be that winged monster... Let Shiftry go now!" she called, rather scared and working mostly on adrenaline at this point.

"Fool. An Air Cutter hasn't taught you to not meddle in the affairs of Zapdos...?" the bird questioned her. "Scale Mt. Thunder. My roost. Then we shall continue our affairs regarding this... Shiftry." he continued in a highly ominous voice before departing. "G-get back here!" she yelled as she attempted to rush after him, a sharp pain in her side from their brief fight causing her to stumble and lose him."

"Agh, are you alright?" Kyan immediately said as he went over to her. "I'll be fine... but, Zapdos took Shiftry..." Flutter could only mumble in response. "Gang, there's nothing else we can do here now. Let's get Jumpluff out of here before we think about chasing Zapdos down." Terack immediately stated, taking charge in this moment. It was a motion that Flutter quietly conceded to.

~~~~~

"That sounds so scary..." Jumpluff replied after having been told the whole story from her friend and Team Celeste. The five of them were now at the crossroads outside the team base. "Shiftry's winds got you out from between those rocks after all, but those powerful winds also smashed through a wall and tore in half some of the thunderclouds surrounding a mountain that you all think was Mt. Thunder?" she recounted. "Yeah, that's my guess." Flutter replied. She was pleased to hear that Shiftry hadn't ran off after all.

"The monster rumor I told Team Celeste about... I had no idea it was true, nor did I know that the monster was Zapdos..." Jumpluff quietly said to herself. "Hold up. Did you say Zapdos?" someone asked. The three members of Team A.C.T., Alakazam, Charizard, and Tyranitar, approached the gathering. "We decided to drop by once word of the rescue arrived, but this has unmistakably escalated into something more serious." Alakazam said.

"Shiftry unwittingly woke Zapdos up from a slumber, from what were were just told." Kyan said, immediately engaging in discussion with him. "I'm Kyan of Team Celeste, and my two friends here are Flutter and Terack. What's a Zapdos anyway?" Alakazam had an eye on Flutter, whatever he'd noticed about her last time they met still remained. "Zapdos is very powerful, he's the second member of a Legendary Pokémon trio alongside she who controls ice, Articuno, and he who controls fire, Moltres. If Zapdos has taken Shiftry captive then we must act. Shiftry needs to be rescued." Alakazam explained and declared.

"Team, we've got to help too." Flutter immediately blurted out, flooring Alakazam and his teammates despite him not showing it. "What?! I must reiterate that Zapdos is a very powerful foe. Your team isn't anywhere close to being strong enough to match him." he shut her down, but she continued going as though Zapdos hadn't already proven this himself with a single Air Cutter. "Even if that's true, we can't sit this one out after what we saw back in the Silent Chasm. We saw your team get Shiftry into that job. After watching Jumpluff getting turned down, there's no Pokémon that I wouldn't want to help. We're still a Rescue Team." she adamantly said. "Absolutely. Zapdos doesn't scare me." Kyan added in. Charizard and Tyranitar, inwardly impressed by her statement, decided to test the team.

"Terack, is it?" Charizard asked him. "Have you ever been hit by any blast of electricity? Trust me on this one, it's not very pleasant. The bolts that Zapdos can shoot would even leave a Ground type like yourself stunned and at his mercy." he said. "Never before, but it doesn't scare me." Terack responded. Flutter's firm talk with him had kicked that stomachache feigning right out.

Meanwhile, Tyranitar went for Flutter. "You're the team's leader? Kid, Alakazam might have some sort of interest in you but I have... reservations. Although Charizard may occasionally joke around at times, he's serious here, Zapdos is no pushover. Why, you could even find yourself as a fried egg snack should you get him particularly angry..." This truly did shake Flutter up quite a bit, but she had no intentions of backing down. "I've got to say right here that I didn't like Shiftry very much when I saw him at the square. I thought that he was a horrible and greedy Pokémon. However, he's still a Pokémon and is now in need of help. Zapdos isn't going to scare me out of it."

"You hear them both?" Kyan asked Alakazam. "They and I want to be a part of this no matter how powerful our foe may be. Like Flutter said, we're a Rescue Team. There's no way we can ignore this." Alakazam quietly listened before looking at Charizard and Tyranitar. Finally, he conceded to Team Celeste. "...Very well. The three of you display admirable courage. I only ask that you remain cautious at all times within Mt. Thunder."

"Understood." Flutter simply replied to Alakazam with a nod. "Our two teams should make our own separate ways through this mountain dungeon. You should know full well-" he said to her, catching sight of a tiny crack in the side of her shell that she had yet to notice. "-how powerful Zapdos can be. You should only go when you and your team are fully prepared and ready for the task at hand." he concluded.

All three of them agreed. They knew that they would soon become wrapped up in their most challenging battle yet, and Alakazam hoped that Flutter would notice her lingering injury prior to this...

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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:58 am

This is where things should get quite interesting.


Chapter 6: Shiftry and Mt. Thunder! Defying the legend!


As daybreak arose, so did Flutter the sleeping Togepi. She sat up and had a moment of quiet recollection regarding yesterday's scarier events, namely her confrontation of Zapdos. She had every intention to meet him again on Mt. Thunder like he had suggested prior to his departure.

Once through with this, she headed out from her home, the base of her Rescue Team Celeste, and waited for Terack and Kyan to arrive. Both of them came up to her within a few minutes. "Morning, you're up early." Terack greeted her, Flutter responding with a smile.

"Now what's the plan for today? We could go for Mt. Thunder right now or take what Alakazam said and put it off until we're prepared." Kyan said. The delivery Pelipper landed on their mailbox and left a package inside it before she could reply to him. "Hold that thought, I'll get the mail." Flutter said before bringing their delivery over. There was a note on it. "I'll read it." Terack volunteered.

To Team Celeste.

I've heard about what took place in the depths of the Silent Chasm yesterday. It appears that you three have another difficult challenge awaiting you.

Although I will be unable to assist you this time, I'm providing you another kind of aid through the three Violent Seeds sent with this note. Consume one and the power of your moves will temporarily skyrocket to their limit. I believe that it will allow you to stand up to Zapdos. Best of luck.

Ever yours, the Black Ice.


Flutter was almost mesmerised as she opened the package to find the three seeds within. None of the three Pokémon could believe this. "He's really come through again." Kyan finally replied. Flutter scooped up the three Violent Seeds and put it the team's bag. She felt a brief flicker of pain during this but barely registered it.

"Thanks to that, I'd say that we're ready for Mt. Thunder. Let's... Agh?!" she suddenly cried out, uncomfortably squirming with a wince afterwards. "Ehh? What's up?" Terack asked with audible concern. Kyan finally noticed the problem and saved her from replying. "Look, over there. A crack in the side of her shell. It might have been from Zapdos's Air Cutter hit..."

"How did I not... notice... that...!?" Flutter desperately asked before she remembered that sharp pain she felt when trying to chase Zapdos out of the dungeon. She understood perfectly now. "What kind of cruel joke is this?" she asked before gasping again, quite annoyed with herself. "I'll get you inside. Terack, see if you can get us some help here." Kyan said. He carefully got Flutter inside and back into bed while Terack ran off into the square as fast as he could.

~~~~~

"That's the Togepi you're needing help for?" the Clefable accompanying Terack asked him when they both entered the base. Kyan had been keeping the tender Flutter company while they were waiting. "Yeah, that's her. Thanks for agreeing to help, um..." Terack replied, aware that he hadn't asked for this Pokémon's name.

"Androma. Call me Ann if it pleases you." the Clefable said. "Let's see here..."

Terack and Kyan waited as Ann began to examine Flutter's shell, coming across the crack during this. "I see, and this happened yesterday? You poor thing..." she softly said to Flutter. "Y-yep... We had plans for a big rescue mission today, but I guess those are off..." Flutter weakly and sadly said.

"I'm afraid so, dearie." Ann replied. "A Togepi's shell can heal a small crack like this one very quickly, but you're still going to be out of action for today. I recommended that you get yourself plenty of rest and not overexert yourself."

"Ok, if that's how it must be. I'm Kyan, she's Flutter, he's Terack. Thanks for the help." he said. "You're very welcome, it was nice to meet you all!" Ann replied before she left. Terack then approached their little gathering. "Sorry that had to happen, pal. Sounds like you're off duty until that shell fixes itself. Mt. Thunder's gonna have to wait until then." he forced himself to admit.

"Oh, that stinks... and I was so thrilled when those seeds arrived..." Flutter glumly replied, still hurting. "I guess you two will need to get on with your days..." she said antipathetically. She hated the thought of spending the day alone with only the sharp pangs from her damaged shell keeping her company but they were still a Rescue Team with work to do. Both Terack and Kyan left rather reluctantly.

Terack was able to pick up more supplies with a visit to the Kecleon Brothers while Kyan was absolutely ecstatic over the Telekinesis TM he had just bought, which gave Terack the idea of going to the Makuhita Dojo for the day to do some training. He couldn't quite keep Flutter out of his mind at the moment however, not helped by news of her injury starting to crop up amidst that of Shiftry's abduction, so he decided to propose an idea to Kyan.

"Say... Would you be alright with heading back there to keep Flutter company? I sorta don't feel right over leaving her alone." he asked Kyan. The Metang considered this for a moment before replying. "I understand what you mean. She looked really down on herself... Alright, I'll do that."

"Thank you, that's a load off of my mind. I'll see you later." he thanked him before the two split paths. Terack headed south towards the dojo and saw some sort of advertisement on its noticeboard outside. "Superpower training from the Superpower Pokémon, huh...?" he wondered as he read it to himself. "Sounds interesting."

It was early evening by the time this session had finished, and Terack felt totally justified in his first thoughts. It had been interesting. He'd met up with a renouned solo rescuer Machamp inside the dojo and got some intensive training from him. Forgoing Bite, he had now learned Superpower from this Pokémon and was enjoying his newest move.

Arriving back at the team base, he entered it to see Kyan using his new Telekinesis move on an apple, a green outline surrounding it. "Cool move." Terack simply said as he watched it gently land. Flutter hadn't seen it by virtue of her being sound asleep. "Thanks for the compliment, I'm quite pleased about it." Kyan replied. Both of them were trying not to wake her up.

"She's been asleep for most of the day but she was very happy to have me stick around. That was a good call you made." Kyan continued. "We were talking for a bit too. Flutter's told me about... herself now but she was a little hesitant about it." Terack closely listened to him, understanding what exactly he'd been told. "It's all out then... Yeah, I found her alone in the woods with no memory of her life as a human. Not even her name. When she said that there was nowhere for her to stay, I simply had no choice but to give her this house." he recalled.

"Wow... and you'd only just met her. What a great friend." Kyan marvelled as he landed his body next to Flutter for some rest. Terack felt a little tired after his time in the dojo. "I'm glad to have encountered her." he said back as he settled down next to Flutter himself.

Spending the night right here, right now... It felt totally perfect to the Trapinch...

~~~~~

Flutter woke up the next morning to a most pleasing sight. The sight of Terack quietly sleeping next to her. "D-did he... come back and spend the night...?" she said with glistening eyes in a hushed whisper. Turning over to see Kyan sleeping next to her only increased how touched she felt. "You're both really great friends." she continued.

Picking herself up to examine her shell, she was delighted to see that the crack debilitating her yesterday had already mended itself. Flutter made to gently shake both of them awake just to tell them. "Terack, Kyan, I'm as good as new!" she joyfully told them once they had both been roused from their sleep. "Oh, wonderful!" Terack called, followed by Kyan.

"You know..." Flutter thought. "Looking at it now, I'm actually glad for that setback. I feel that it's made us a closer group and team." she cheerfully said. "Absolutely." Kyan replied. "I know you much better now, thanks to our heart to heart."

Terack enjoyed seeing this progress in bonding, however they still had work to do. "That's a great thing, but Mt. Thunder calls." he reminded them. "Oh yeah, that!" Flutter exclaimed, quickly getting up and rushing out to the crossroads. "...She's definitely healed up." was the only thing that Kyan could manage in his surprise. He grabbed their bag and was soon following her out in Terack's wake.

~~~~~

"Well... This is it. Mt. Thunder." Terack said to the group as they approached the cave entrance into the mountain after some travel east. "Zapdos isn't going to be easy, but Alakazam's team might be in here already. If Ice's gift falls flat then we could still have their help during the battle." Kyan suggested. With a nod from Flutter, they went inside.

Just like Thunderwave Cave before it, this dungeon had plenty of Electric types roaming within. Terack and Kyan were both able to hold up against them thanks to the new additions to their capabilities. Flutter soon found something that enabled her to keep up with them however. A TM for the move Shock Wave. With this in place of Charm, she was able to shoot down some Pidgeotto with blue jolts of electricity when they began to cause Terack some problems.

"Thanks for the assist!" he called before ramming hard into a Stantler with Superpower, Kyan soon pushed his way through an approaching Ampharos with Take Down and led the team further onwards.

Following a brief rest at a waypoint along the way and some more scuffles with the local Pokémon, Team Celeste's members finally reached the peak. Flutter gave Terack and Kyan a Violent Seed each and held onto one herself before they spotted Shiftry laying ahead of them. "It's Shiftry!" Flutter called before the looming form of Zapdos landed between them and his captive.

"You three arrived here after all... I gave you kids fair warning, meddling is something that I will not tolerate!" he screeched. "He disrupted my slumber, what happens next is my business and mine alone!" Flutter was still a little intimidated, but something else was now mixed in with this. Frustration.

"This is getting ridiculous!" she shot back while stepping towards him. "As the leader of Team Celeste, a Bronze Rank Rescue Team, I demand that you let Shiftry go! He's not yours to do with as you please, no Pokémon is!" As though to accentuate the tension in the air, some bolts of lightning struck the ground nearby. "You dare to continue defying and questioning me?! Standing in my way?!" Zapdos replied to her dangerously. A fight was brewing on the horizon.

"Then I must administer yet more of my might. There's no running this time. Team Celeste, prepare to be subjugated by my most righteous fury!" he declared powerfully before commencing their showdown with an absolute flurry of Air Cutters at the whole team. They consumed their individual Violent Seeds before Kyan threw himself in front of them and used Confusion, his seed giving the solid purple ripples enough strength to cleave through the crescent blades and strike Zapdos.

"What?! You kids..." he said in astonishment as he brushed off the hit. Flapping his wings rapidly to stir up a Heat Wave, Zapdos retaliated against the team by blowing them back. Kyan didn't take this too well. "Ugh, Fire type move..." the Metang grunted as he fought through it. Terack gave him an Oran Berry while Flutter took over with Shock Wave against Zapdos's Zap Cannon, both blue coloured shots of electricity clashing and ultimately dissipating in a stalemate.

"Get out of my way!!" Zapdos commanded in a shrill and aggravated voice, about to throw another round of Air Cutters before being caught by Kyan's Telekinesis. Kyan and Terack nodded to each other as the Trapinch used Focus Energy followed by a Rock Slide that Kyan pulled Zapdos straight into. The critical hit deluge of rocks was all he could take.

Zapdos landed in front of the trio as more lightning struck nearby, beaten and tired. "I have... been defeated...?" he asked, at a complete loss. Team A.C.T. then arrived on the scene, looking prepared for battle. "...What? Did you three just defeat Zapdos?" Alakazam questioned in pure astonishment. The said Zapdos quietly watched these three newcomers and realised that the jig was up.

"Very well... I've calmed down now, take Shiftry back." he finally relented, addressing Team Celeste afterwards. "Team Celeste... it appears that I've underestimated you today, but I implore that you don't rest on your laurels. Next time we encounter each other, the outcome shall be wholly different..." Zapdos said before departing, as ominous as ever. Flutter watched him leave before rushing over to shake Shiftry awake. "Shiftry, are you with us?"

"Urgh, y-yeah... I think... somehow..." he could barely mumble as she helped support him up onto his feet. "Either way, I'm really glad you're safe. The Jumpluff and everyone else have been really worried for your safety ever since Zapdos took you..." Flutter said, as though the Pokémon Square scene had never happened.

Tyranitar finally managed to say what had been on his mind for a few moments now. He turned to address Flutter. "I never expected to find that you and your team had already defeated Zapdos before we arrived. Kid... Flutter... Truly, I must apologise for selling you short last time the two of us spoke. I understand now why Alakazam has an interest in you." he said with honesty in each word. Charizard then piped in. "I agree absolutely. There's something special about you, one single little Togepi standing up to the legendary Zapdos isn't something you'd see every day."

Alakazam had kept quiet as his teammates spoke. Something made sense somehow. "...I knew that I sensed something unusual about you when we first met, but this was beyond my expectations. Flutter, are you... even a Pokémon?" Terack was astounded by this deduction. "Actually, she isn't. Flutter... She used to be human."

This shocking revelation caught Charizard, Tyranitar, and Shiftry completely off guard. All three of them expressed surprise and disbelief at the bombshell. "It's true." Flutter confessed. "I woke up one day in this world as a Togepi, met Terack afterwards, then we formed a team after saving Kyan in Thunderwave Cave. I don't remember a single thing about my past life. Alakazam, do you know who I am and why I'm like this?" she recounted and asked of him.

"...I'm afraid I don't know the answers to either question, but..." Alakazam thought hard. "One Pokémon may be able to answer them. Possibly the wisest Pokémon in the known world." Terack and Kyan both listened closely to him. "His name is Xatu, and he lives at the Hill of the Ancients, atop the Great Canyon in the dry region to the south. If you and your team travel there to meet with him yourself, perhaps some light will be shed upon your unusual dilemma."

"Hill of the Ancients, atop the Great Canyon?" Kyan repeated. "Understood. Let's get back with Shiftry to Pokémon Square and we'll go there tomorrow. Team, sound good?" Both Flutter and Terack approved of his motion, so the team soon began making their way back down the mountain and towards home.

Team A.C.T.'s members watched them leave, Charizard voicing something on his mind once Flutter's group were out of earshot. "Alakazam... we're childhood friends. We've both known each other for a very long time. I'm certain there's something you know about this that you've withheld from Flutter and her friends. Care to share?" Alakazam very lightly chuckled as he spoke to Charizard.

"Most astute of you... Yes, there's something about this revelation that brings me a modicum of concern. I'd like to not speak of this matter right now though. It's capable of cruelly destroying everything that Team Celeste have fought for..."

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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:54 pm

If this fic's Gengar hasn't yet made you want to destroy him where he stands, our next chapter will fix that right up~


Chapter 7: Xatu and Great Canyon! Past traumas, future worries!


Flutter's wake up call today came not in the form of her first strange dream in a long while, nor was it from Terack coming in for her. It was a somewhat less pleasant call. A rumbling one.

"Oh dear, another earthquake..." she sleepily mumbled, thoroughly hoping that it wouldn't send the Skarmory from Mt. Steel on another crazed rampage. "Since I'm up, I'll just wait outside." Flutter said after rubbing the sleep from her eyes and yawning.

Terack and Kyan both arrived within a few minutes. "Good morning!" Kyan said right off the bat. "I guess the earthquake woke you up, huh? That's the worst one we've had for a long time... So, time for the Great Canyon?"

"The earthquake was that bad?" Flutter asked. There was an uncomfortable feeling that began welling up inside her at the sound of this. "Hey... guys? Shouldn't we be out there rescuing Pokémon from disasters like this?" she asked. "I do want to find out what brought me here but why do you put it on center stage...?"

"Why?" Terack asked. "Well, there's plenty of other Rescue Teams out there who can do that. Not to mention Ice..." he thought out loud. "I'm glad to see you wanting to set our trip aside so we can help out, but this will be ok in their hands. After what we've been told about Xatu's knowledge, well... I'd rather help my dear friend find her answers." he admitted. "Yes, you've felt comfortable enough to tell me and now I want to pitch in on uncovering this." Kyan added on. "We've put it on center stage because it's important to us."

"Oh, you guys..." she lightly sniffled. If they held her personal problems and issues that highly, she knew that there was very little she could do about it. "You win then. Let's go." Flutter yielded with a touched smile. The three of them went off to Pokémon Square to stock up.

There weren't any particularly good TMs available with the Kecleon today, but it wasn't of any hindrance to the team. They were still able to collect the items needed. The discussions within the square consisted of both that earlier earthquake and, to Flutter's surprised gratification, Team Celeste's rescue of Shiftry yesterday. "Alright gang, off to the Great Canyon. Let's do this right!" Terack said to Flutter and Kyan once their preparations were finished, passing by Androma the Clefable on the way out.

"Great Canyon..." Ann said with an impassive look on her face.

~~~~~

Flutter stared quietly at the imposing sheer rock walls standing in front of them. "Whew..." she finally managed to force out. "I'd imagine that the Pokémon in this dungeon would be quite tough and rugged."

"Possibly so..." Kyan pondered in response. Terack looked at the entrance running between the walls. He found the sight imposing too but managed to swallow this down. "If we're fortunate enough, Flutter's answers could be waiting for us at the very top of this dungeon. At the Hill of the Ancients place Alakazam spoke of." Terack said to the group.

"All the way up there? Ok, let's get a move on." she said, eagerness audible in her tone of voice as she went in, Terack and Kyan following behind her.

The dungeon itself was a long one, more so than the initial part of Mt. Thunder. Terack learned Dig early on in place of Sand Tomb which gave the team a boost in momentum, most apparent when it allowed him to systematically defeat a pack of Houndoom accosting them. "Here, Rawst Berry!" he called out to Kyan, one of their Ember attacks having burned his metallic body. Flutter went in to cover for him, lowering the accuracy of an approaching Ariados with Secret Power and causing Bug Bite to totally miss.

Kyan was able to defeat it with Confusion after his recovery and later returned the favor near the very end of the dungeon by taking down a stampeding Tauros with Telekinesis chained into Metal Claw. Terack collected a Brick Break TM afterwards before following them.

Emerging to the scene of a sunset backdropped by a powerful orange sky, Flutter couldn't help but be absolutely spellbound by it. "Wow... I didn't know that a sunset could look so... pretty." she whispered. "Sweet." Terack simply replied, he and Kyan both being a little more focused on the ground they were standing upon.

"We're finally here, at the Hill of the Ancients!" Kyan exhilaratingly declared before catching sight of a Pokémon just a short distance across from them, staying stationary near the edge of the cliff. "Hey, gang. Do you think that Pokémon over there might be Xatu?" he asked the Togepi and Trapinch

"Could be, y'know. Let's find out." Terack answered him as they approached this Pokémon. He wasn't moving an inch. "Hello? Do you happen to be Xatu?" Flutter asked out loud.

A few quiet moments passed the four of them by. "I'm looking for Xatu. I've been told of his wisdom and I'd like to ask him something." Flutter clarified. There was still no answer. "Gang, what to do now? This is the Hill of the Ancients and there's nobody around except for our silent sunset watcher..."

"Maybe he's one of those slow yet wise sage types?" Kyan threw up as a possibility. Before Terack could articulate his own perspective on this individual, his thoughts were interrupted and dashed by the Xatu. "Yes... Witness it... The sinking of the sun until tomorrow's day... Just as it should be." they suddenly said before turning around.

"Indeed, young ones. I am Xatu. And you?" Xatu asked, despite having forseen their arrival at this moment. "Us?" Flutter asked back for clarification. "I'm Flutter, my friends here are Terack and Kyan. We've been looking for you."

"I see. And you would discern my identity in the process? You must be an exceptional being to have located my whereabouts..." he said. Flutter, feeling awkward, felt the need to come clean. "It's nothing too impressive, Alakazam told us about you and where to find you. He said that you could perhaps help with a problem I've been having."

"You've met Alakazam, eh? He too, once sought wisdom from me at this very spot, this same sunset observing us then... Regardless of the methods utilised by yourself to reach this spot, your exceptionality isn't lessened. I know... You were human, yes?" Xatu spoke. "Oh? Well, I had a strange thought that you might already know." Terack admitted. "Yes, Flutter here was once human."

"Terack here found me one morning in this form, a Togepi. " Flutter carried on from him. "I don't remember anything about that life though. All memories of it are gone and I've been wanting to discover what happened to cause this. Why do I not remember anything, what brought me here, and why?" she laid out her questions bare to him. "Is there anything you can tell me?"

"Watching the sun gives me sight for all things. Everything. Past, present, future." Xatu turned back around to stare at the gradually sinking sun, his three guests drawing nearer to join him. Within this sunset, Xatu could see back through Team Celeste's exploits... Facing Zapdos at Mt. Thunder, rescuing Jumpluff in the Silent Chasm, clashing with Team Meanies within Sinister Woods, saving Diglett from Skarmory atop Mt. Steel, the battle against and rescue of their future teammate Kyan in Thunderwave Cave, bringing Caterpie back to his mother in the Tiny Woods, Flutter waking up to Terack's call... He tried to look further backwards but all he could see were visions of the natural disasters wrecking havok upon the world. One firm conclusion could be gleaned from this however...

"These calamities of nature..." Xatu finally said. "In recent times, there have been many... Too many... The very balance of the world itself being disturbed and upset is why they're taking shape in such frightening magnitudes... And you, Flutter. I can infer that your very existence upon this world, somehow, has some form of intrinsic and innate link to them. Both cases are inseparably intertwined together..."

"S-so... you say that she's got something to do with all those disasters?" Terack eventually asked. Flutter had nothing more to say, an uncomfortable feeling quietly weighing her down. Kyan couldn't believe what he was hearing. "What do you mean?! Where exactly does she fit into all this?!" he almost demanded, none too thrilled with what this could mean for her.

"I'm afraid that the case of the world's upset balance is a far bigger problem at this point." Xatu firmly said, to Flutter's mix of indignation and distress. "You see... If it isn't repaired soon enough... then the unthinkable shall fall upon us all." he grimly predicted. "T-the unthinkable? The world will be destroyed?" Kyan asked simply.

"Indeed... No matter how often I look into the future, I always see it... Always... I fear it... I dread it... The unthinkable... This world's destruction..." By now he was visibly shivering out of that fear and in no condition to continue their conversation further. Team Celeste's three members backed off and looked amongst themselves, mostly at Flutter. She hated this sudden spotlight...

Another Pokémon was watching her too, this one with a mix of surprise and somehow, glee. Gengar of Team Meanies had been observing the entire discussion...

"Keh... When I followed them out to see if I could find some way to pay them back, I never would have expected this. Flutter... She was human once upon a time... and is somehow related to the world's problems?" he said to himself. He was shivering just like Xatu, but this was more out of raw anticipation as he began formulating a most horrible scheme.

"This is going to be very useful. In just a few short days, I'm going to make sure that you pay very dearly for standing up to Team Meanies. Mark my words, kekeh..."

However, he too was being watched. Concealed behind a rock were Rubix the Golduck and a Typhlosion. "Just as Androma said, the human girl is here. Seeking advice from my old acquaintance Xatu about her clouded past." he quietly noted. "The Gengar spying upon them... C-could that be?" Rubix said in a slight gasp.

"Something on your mind, Doctor?" the Typhlosion asked of him. "Indeed there is, Ignephra... I've just pieced something together." Rubix replied, masterfully keeping his voice steady. "I remember first encountering Androma as a heavily injured and broken Cleffa, tearfully claiming how a Gengar had mercilessly bullied her new Rescue Team into disbanding." Ignephra immediately knew what Rubix had discovered. "He's that crook?! The very one who tormented Ann?!" the Typhlosion caught on, his temper beginning to rise."

"Not only that, he's also a human." Rubix revealed. Ignephra's fury peaked. A human did that to her?! He would give anything for the chance to melt that vile creature with the full force of his Eruption, right here, right now! "I understand that you're close to Androma, but we can't reveal ourselves in front of Xatu. We would do better to let him take care of the girl for us before we eliminate him. This is an opportunity to remove both human infiltrators from our world at once." the Golduck planned on his webbed feet.

"...Very well, but I insist that the destruction of this deplorable being be left to me." Ignephra growled. Rubix gave him a nod. "Once Mistress Zeninthia is informed of this development, you'll get the honour in due time. We wait for now..."

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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:06 pm

Aaand this is when things go downhill for the team.


Chapter 8: The Ninetales legend! Fables and fears!


"No... not another earthquake..." Flutter found herself moaning as it roused her from sleep once again. After what she'd heard from Xatu yesterday about the forthcoming unthinkable, whatever event that may take the form of, the sudden spike in frequency was beginning to scare her.

She got onto her feet and thought back to that time at the Hill of the Ancients. Xatu had found a sort of connection between her existence here and the slew of natural disasters. Thinking about it still left her rather uncomfortable.

Terack headed inside after a few moments. "Hey, are you ok there?" he gently said, Kyan having mentioned to him outside that she may have a lot on her mind. "Mhm..." Flutter responded soon enough. "Just thinking about what we were told yesterday."

"I see. Kyan thought that it would be really bothering you. He's collecting the mail right now." Terack said to her, coming closer. "You need to talk to me about something?"

"Well... Xatu was pretty vague about the relation between what happened to me and what's happening to this world. It's left too much horrible possibilities opon to ponder over, one of them being that I'm-" she looked at Terack, awaiting his reaction to this. "-causing these disasters. Upsetting the world's balance." Flutter finally managed to say.

"Oh, that's what's been troubling you here? You were awfully quiet on the way back home..." Terack replied, picking his words carefully. "I do wish he had been more concise, but these disasters have been happening a long while before I met you. I don't think that's the connection he meant, pal..."

"Alright, if you say so. Thanks for trying to cheer me up." she responded, feeling rather heartened by his deduction. "I'm ready to start the day." Flutter said after a deep breath to calm herself down. She and Terack then left the base and met with Kyan by the mailbox. "Wow, looks like our actions at Mt. Thunder are really beginning to open some doors for us. There's plenty of job requests in here..." he said to himself before noticing them.

"Morning Flutter, do you feel a little better now?" Kyan asked her in concern. "Yeah. I feel a little better now, let's get down to work." she reassured him. With their supplies still at a generous amount, the team headed straight out to perform their jobs.

Overall, this was a remarkably productive day for Team Celeste. Terack was making his recently learned Superpower worth every bit of the tough training he went through, Kyan dropped Confusion for Brick Break from the TM picked up yesterday and was continuing to throw around his opposition with his new favorite move Telekinesis. Flutter was keeping up in her own way, helping them out with Foresight whenever their opponents tried to hide or use Double Team.

Team Celeste itself had even performed well enough to advance from Bronze Rank to Silver Rank, which greatly delighted Flutter. As a result, she went to bed that night in much better spirits than when she woke up.

~~~~~

An earthquake woke her up for the third time on the trot next morning. "Mmh..." Flutter lightly snuffled as she shook herself awake for another normal day.

Or so she thought, it was made apparent to her when she headed into Pokémon Square with Terack and Kyan to check on the board at the Pelipper Post Office. They saw Bellsprout, Snubbull, and Lombre in the middle of the square, all absorbed in discussion.

"I tell you, I'm really surprised too..." Lombre spoke.

"I'd always thought that the Ninetales legend was exactly that. A legend." Snubbull replied.

"Of course, I wouldn't take stock in a single rumor..." Bellsprout noted.

Interested in this, Terack approached the three. "Ninetales legend?" he asked. "Yeah, that old fable. My grandpa used to tell me it all the time." Snubbull told him. "It's about how you'll be cursed for a thousand years if you ever grab one of Ninetales's tails?" Kyan recalled. "I haven't heard it in a long while so I don't know the story behind it. Why are you all discussing it?" he asked.

"Well, listen to this. There's been someone spreading a rumor that it really did happen once upon a time." Snubbull revealed. "I personally don't believe it, but this has made for some interesting discussion... If you're wanting to hear the whole story then you should go and pay Whiscash a visit. He's in his pond to your left, I think he's just finished telling the tale to young Caterpie and his friend Metapod." Bellsprout told Kyan. Flutter and Terack were all up for hearing the story so Kyan led them towards Whiscash, giving Caterpie and Metapod a warm greeting along the way.

"Good morning, Whiscash. It's been a while. These are my friends Flutter and Terack." Kyan said, introducing them both to him. "We've been told about that recent rumor regarding the Ninetales legend and they'd like to hear the story."

"Hoho, good to meet you both. Caterpie and Metapod have told me about the times in the Tiny Woods and Sinister Woods. It's rather late but I must thank you for saving both children. Gather round and I shall recount the story." replied Whiscash. The three of them got comfortable upon the rock in the middle of the pond.

There once lived a powerful and vengeful Pokémon, known by all as Ninetales.

Ninetales had many tails, nine in all. They were covered, as is the rest of this Pokémon's body, in a golden fur. Furthermore, all nine of these tails were imbued with unspeakably powerful psychic energies.

A vindictive Pokémon, it is said that anyone foolish enough to dare set hand or paw on a tail would be cursed for a thousand years. However, someone was foolish enough to touch a tail. And it was a human.


"A human?" Kyan asked, briefly looking at Flutter. He was already beginning to deeply regret engaging in the conversation back at the square. "Indeed so, a human." Whiscash answered.

As one might expect, this human's folly resulted in this thousand year curse being unleashed upon them. However... The human's partner, a Pokémon called Gardevoir, quick and sudden, shielded this human from the curse, selflessly sacrificing herself for her partner...

"Oh, Gardevoir..." Flutter said in a hushed voice. "She'd sacrifice herself like that to save a human?" she asked, immediately feeling sorry for the poor Pokémon. "Of course she would, youngster." Whiscash answered her. "Pokémon and humans, strong bonds can exist between the two, even in the case of a human with less desirable intentions."

Taking pity upon the Pokémon that took the curse intended for the human, Ninetales turned to address the human, asking them only this... "Do you wish to save Gardevoir, your partner?"

The human then did something that contrasted greatly with their partner... They abandoned Gardevoir and fled...


Flutter's great pangs of sympathy quickly expanded... Abandoned by the one she protected with her life...

Disenchanted and disillusioned with this human, Ninetales had but one prediction to make. "One day... That human... shall be reborn in the form of a Pokémon...

Abject terror crashed into Flutter the former human like a raging typhoon, threatening to consume her. A human becoming a Pokémon...

and when that time comes... the balance of the world shall be upset..."

"That's the end of the legend." Whiscash finished, looking over his horrified audience. "At a loss for words, I take it? Of course there's the rumor claiming of the tale's validity within our past but it is still today's ancient folklore. Hohoho..." Without any words, the three made it off of Whiscash's rock and collected some jobs from the post office, disturbed by what this could mean for the human-turned-Pokémon in their group. None of them spoke until they were close to the base, when Terack couldn't hold his thoughts any longer.

"Guys...? Can we hang this stuff up and try again tomorrow? I'm just not feeling it today..." Terack mumbled. Flutter and Kyan only looked at each other in confusion as the team walked onwards until they reached the crossroads.

"Sorry, you two... Wanting to finish before we even started work today..." he apologised shamefacedly. "I guess that story's starting to mess with my head a little bit. I'll get some sleep now..." Terack said as he almost shuffled off, questions overflowing his head.

Flutter suspected why he was doing this. The story had muddled him up enough to cause him to doubt her. Tears forming, she reached out an arm to him, but he didn't look back. Neither she or Kyan could form any words...

~~~~~

Within the late night sanctuary of an abandoned mine located in the Magnetic Quarry, Kyan was soon awoken from his sleep by a tearful Terack "What... What happened?!" he quickly asked upon seeing the tears.

"K-Kyan... I... I doubted her earlier, Flutter... when I was wanting to go off early... That story really g-got to me, and I actually..." he said between shaky sobs... "I actually thought she was that human... I'm so ashamed..."

"It's ok... I feel responsible for all of this. I shouldn't have taken you both to hear that tale..." Kyan confessed. "It's my fault..."

"I can't... believe I thought she'd do... that... Abandon G-Gardevoir and run off... If only f-for a moment, I thought that... of my closest and d-dearest friend... W-who am I...?" he blubbed, getting in between Kyan's arms. The Metang took the initiative and hugged him. "Easy question." he replied, taking the straightforward approach. "You're Terack, her closest confident. She's told me that before. Maybe it might help if you mention this to her?" he suggested.

"N-no, it'll tear her apart... I'm really worried about her..." Terack said, calming down from the shock of his ridiculous blunder but still sobbing a few times...

~~~~~

Meanwhile, after forcing herself into a restless slumber, Flutter awoke to a rippling green glow that she wasn't even aware she'd been missing. "That dream... It's been a while..."

The same figure came into view again, but oddly enough without the accompanying mist. This being attempted to telepathically communicate with her again... and this time they came through as clear as a whistle.

"At last... at last... We finally meet again..."

Flutter was astonished. She hadn't expected this much progress! "Again? Who are you?" she asked.

"I am... Gardevoir..."

"What... What?!" Flutter exclaimed, shocked to the very core of her being. Gardevoir in her dream?! "You mean... that Gardevoir from the Ninetales legend?!"

"Indeed... and I am your-" Gardevoir then vanished without a trace, to Flutter's absolute dismay.

"No! Come back! What were you saying!" she cried out as much as she could before she felt herself falling down, down, down...

~~~~~

"Hey, Flutter... Wake up..." Flutter was woken up the next morning by a concerned sounding Terack. "Uhhhh..." she simply responded before getting up, feeling absolutely horrible after that dream... Gardevoir appeared within it. She had met Flutter, a former human, before. This could only mean one thing to the quietly devastated Togepi...

"Morning, Flutter... You look really pale, are you feeling alright?" he asked quietly. She nodded, not feeling up for discussion... or much of anything else for that matter. She wasn't in any place to blame him for a correct guess about her past either. Raw guilt bubbled within her, waiting to burst out.

"I-if you say so... Anyway, Kyan went on ahead. Says there's some big commotion going on at the square. We should get going too." he simply said, not buying her silent gesture in the slightest but heading off anyway. Flutter reluctantly followed him, preferring to stay in bed.

The atmosphere in the square was definitely... different today, she noticed. Flutter and Terack joined Kyan at the gathering next to Caterpie. "Kyan, what's going on?" Terack asked him. Everyone from the square appeared to be surrounding someone in the middle. Caterpie, Metapod, Beldum duo, Diglett, Bellsprout, Lombre, Snubbull, Jumpluff duo, Kecleon Brothers, Kangaskhan, Wigglytuff, Persian, Gulpin, Alakazam, Charizard, Tyranitar. Flutter could even see Androma and Ice in this group.

"You're not going to like this... It looks like we weren't the only ones visiting the Hill of the Ancients for information that day..." Kyan quietly replied to them in an annoyed voice. There, animatedly sharing a story to the entire square, was Gengar.

Flutter could only glare furiously at him. This day was already bad enough without him getting involved...

"So, I was there, at the Hill of the Ancients. See? And that! That's where I saw it! I'm telling you, it completely blew me away!"

"What did?" Snubbull asked him. "I saw this! This certain Pokémon was seeking out Xatu for his sage advice... but this Pokémon wasn't an ordinary Pokémon, no, no..." Gengar said. Team Celeste's members were getting the impression that he'd spent all night rehearsing this dramatic script. "You see, everyone... this Pokémon was originally a human!

"It... really exists? A human becoming a Pokémon? That can really happen?" one of the Kecleon asked. "Of course, but there's more! I heard Xatu telling this human that their transformation is the reason for this world's upset balance!"

"So, you basically eavesdropped on this person..." Ice said coolly, not entirely convinced. His skepticism was unfortunately drowned out by Bellsprout's startled declaration of "That's exactly like this Ninetales legend! It was true after all?!"

"Kekeh, apparently so!" Gengar was delighted that his planted rumor had kept the legend fresh in the minds of the square residents. "But there's more! Xatu also said that the world's upset balance is the direct cause of all these terrible, terrible natural disasters... Aaand if balance isn't restored soon then Xatu has forecasted that the unthinkable shall befall this world!" he called. Gengar truly was hamming and hyping this up, drawing upon every iota of Team Meanies's good name.

"I feel like I'm at a drunken night in Spinda's Café..." Ice exasperatedly muttered to himself over Gengar's dramatics. Almost everyone else was roused into a state of panic and Terack was beside himself with anger. "He's... deliberately... working... everyone... up...!" the Trapinch could barely manage. Flutter deeply wished that she could melt into the ground and never be seen again.

Gengar looked around at the sheer chaos he had created, a delighted grin on his face briefly sprouting once he caught sight of Flutter in his audience. "Keh? Now, now, everyone. No reason to lose your heads with me, Gengar of the Gold Ranked Team Meanies, on the case! I've juuust come up with an foolproof solution to all our problems!"

"What do you have in mind?" Lombre questioned him. "Well, if the world's balance has been upset by this human becoming a Pokémon living in this world, then things will surely return to normal if we reverse this! Simply remove the human from our world and things will return to normal!"

A general murmer of acceptance swept across the crowd. Androma had heard enough. Although it truly pained her to admit it, Gengar was doing her and the others a favor with this. Ann slipped into a dark corner and spoke into Rubix's communication device. "It's going as you intended... Gengar is on the verge of having her chased out of Pokémon Square..."

"Good..." Rubix replied on the other end, but she wasn't done with him yet. "I want to be picked up from here right now. I understand our objectives and the group's need to have someone within the square, but seeing him sway everyone is far too much for me to bear... I can't watch anymore..." she said, her voice cracking up a little. "I do apologise, I've just been seeing my younger self in that girl throughout Gengar's meeting... I hope you understand..."

"I do. I imagine that it can't have been easy witnessing him again. Thank you for reporting back, I shall arrange for Derkomai to collect you shortly." he replied with an unusual amount of tenderness.

Meanwhile, back at the square, Gengar's big moment continued. "And that human? What would they think of this if they were here riiight now?!" Flutter's whole body went cold. He was building up to this. "Keh, they should have thought about that before abandoning Gardevoir as fast as their legs could carry them!"

Gengar's eyes finally rested upon Flutter. Both of them had a moment of silent eye contact as he savoured this instant. He enjoyed the absence of that defiance she displayed last time they met. "...Isn't that right, Flutter? You despicable little coward."

Ice gave Gengar a look of pure and unfiltered hatred. As far as he was concerned, he was done attending this sham of a meeting. He rushed off to near the Makuhita Dojo, into the forested area to the east of it, and once he was out of earshot, began furiously punching at a particularly solid tree with an endless Dynamic Punch storm. "NO! NO! NO!" he repeatedly screamed until the tree fell. After what he witnessed in the Sinister Woods, believing Gengar's public persecution of Flutter was the very last thing he was going to do.

Unfortunately, it was the first thing on the minds of almost everyone else. Disbelieving and accusative looks abound all fell upon Flutter, who had pretty much frozen up.

"W-wha...? Wait, this is... There's a p-perfectly good explanation..." Terack started feebly before Gengar cut him off. "We don't need her accomplices to say anything. Flutter, you might think this is unfair-" he said with an evil glare. "-but you've got this moment to challenge my evidence. I've said my piece. The stage is all yours, my dear." he went on, using this moment to belittle her further.

"So, Flutter... Are you really the wretched human from the Ninetales legend? Or is it myself who's wrong?" Gengar posed the all important question to her.

"G-go on, tell him..." Terack nervously prompted her. Despite being paralyzed with fear and resignation, a few crucial words finally came to her mouth. She spoke them as though they were the absolute truth...

"You're... right..." Flutter said, truly defeated and destroyed. Terack looked at her in abject shock whilst her other supporters, Kyan, Caterpie, Metapod, Diglett, Beldum, and Jumpluff alike, all wore sympathetic looks.

"And there we have it! Straight from the perpetrator's mouth! Now, let's all be rid of her and take back our peace! Kekekekeh!" Gengar finished up before most of the crowd advanced upon the team. Lombre was the first to make a move, apologising before lunging out with Fury Swipes. Kyan immediately rushed in to parry it with Metal Claw, pushing him away from Flutter. "If you all want her, you'll need to go through me and Terack!" he forcefully stated before the said Trapinch pulled them both away from the volatile scene.

"Ugh... That was close..." Terack panted after hiding the three of them near their base. I-I never thought we'd actually get attacked... Flutter... Flutter... What... were you playing at!? he snapped, the stress overtaking him.

"Don't s-shout..." she whimpered, close to her limit. What happened in the square just now was horrible, but Terack getting angry with her was the worst part of the day. "She's right, it's not helping." Kyan agreed. "Just take a deep breath. Tell us why you said it was you." he asked her.

"...Ok, I'll tell you both. I had another one of those dreams again last night, just like before... but Gardevoir then appeared in it." she started. Terack couldn't believe what he'd heard. "You saw her?" he asked in surprise.

"She said that she'd met me before... I'm a former human whom this Gardevoir is familiar with. G-Gengar might be a horrible Pokémon but he's absolutely right. I'm-" tears started to quickly well up at this point. "-the selfish human who abandoned her... I don't deserve either of you two, nor do I deserve to be a part of this Rescue Team. Not when I'm going to ruin the world..." she finished by sobbing.

"Oh... I understand now..." Terack simply said. "Sorry for upsetting you further." he glumly apologised as the three emerged from hiding. "If you still haven't remembered what you were like as a human, then you definitely don't know that it was you, right?" Kyan asked. It was a deduction that Flutter could find some merit in. "We both believe in you, so we're going to help you find the truth."

Team A.C.T. soon approached them. "After that... scene in Pokémon Square... we held a town meeting to have a discussion." Alakazam said to the group. All three of Team Celeste's members turned to face them, Flutter's tear filled eyes still remaining. "It came to a quick and decisive consensus... We must be rid of you, Flutter."

"You can't be serious? Even you guys?!" Terack asked in shock, quite fed up with the anti-Flutter sentiments that burst out today. "Gengar's had it out for her and us since we started our team!"

"Unfortunately, he's the one offering everyone a quick solution. These Pokémon want the unthinkable to vanish... and the only foreseeable way to do is to strike her down however reluctantly..." he replied, making it clear that this wasn't his idea. Charizard and Tyranitar moved in for the kill.

"Not on my life." Terack defiantly said as he went in to protect her, Kyan quickly joined in "Nor mine. The Silver Ranked Team Celeste looks out for each other, regardless of what slander comes our way." He and Terack prepared Brick Break and Rock Slide respectively, this display of team solidarity quietly heartening Alakazam. Perhaps...?

"Very well, we shall give you tonight." he decided. His teammates backed off and diffused any semblance of a battle. Terack gave him a questioning look. "Pack all of your supplies and run. Get out of here. First thing tomorrow, many Rescue Teams, including our own, will be joining this hunt to be rid of you. And not just you, Flutter. Any Pokémon who join you in your journey shall unfortunately be targeted too..." Alakazam explained, the last part doused in deep regret.

"I understand." Terack simply told him. Kyan also accepted this. "Alakazam, even though I have great respect for your rescue work I'll defend her no matter the cost. Even from you, if need be." Both of them were ready for the long haul.

"Good choice. Keep that unity because nobody will be showing a strip of mercy. Run... and survive. Despite all this opposition, you must face it and uncover the truth needed to dispel these accusations." Alakazam said. "And there will be no more leniency should we find you in the hunt. Farewell..." With his mind spoken, he led Charizard and Tyranitar back into the square.

"They believe you too, y'know." Terack said to Flutter, whom hadn't spoken throughout the exchange. "It's just that they can't say it with Gengar around. Who knows how much more Pokémon feel the same way?" Though moderately cheered, something else was still on her mind. "But you were doubting me yesterday. I knew it. That's why you went off early."

Terack was surprised to have been caught out. "You got me... I ran straight over to Kyan's home in the Magnetic Quarry and spoke to him about it when I realised what a horrible thing I'd thought... No more, I'm gonna believe you from now on. Even when we're running from Team A.C.T. and all those other teams." he made it clear, her reply being one of a greatly reassured smile.

Caterpie quickly made his way over to them. "Flutter... Terack... Kyan..." he mumbled to them. "Oh... Hello Caterpie." Flutter greeted him. Caterpie had quite a bit to say. "When you saved Metapod, I said that I wanted to join you for rescues when I grew up. Even after this, I want to do that." he said. "Please don't give up. You're still my heroes."

"Thank you Caterpie." Kyan said, immensely moved. "Flutter, you ready to start packing up?" She looked upon this support. "...Yep, I'm ready. We'll be sure to come back... with the truth!" she finally asserted, focused on and prepared for the task ahead.

~~~~~

Not long afterwards, at his secret hideaway in the Darkness Ridge, the Black Ice was putting the finishing touches upon his own preparations. He had calmed down significantly by now but was still highly affronted by Gengar's accusations and deeply concerned by the sudden spike in negative sentiments for Flutter that he witnessed in the subsequent town meeting.

Another thing was also weighing heavily on his mind too... "Flutter, you... I wouldn't have guessed that you were apparently human." For the first time in a long while, Ice was at a loss. He didn't know how best to handle this delicate situation without it erupting even further.

"I guess... I could use tomorrow's mob to my advantage. It could get me that much closer to my old mentor and her advice without arousing suspicions..." he finally decided before getting some paper.

As he wrote on it, Ice prayed that this would all work out. For himself, Team Celeste, and the world...

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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:30 am

Team Celeste's desperate bid for survival almost ends before it truly begins.


Chapter 9: Reishi and Lapis Cave! Fugitive's Flight 1!


It was late at night when the Golduck known as Dr. Rubix, located within a secret cave base far away from Pokémon Square, received an incoming message from his newly upgraded communication device. Bearing wings in the same style as a Rescue Team's badge but being a small vertical rectangle in shape, a hologramatic image of Reishi the Breloom rose from it.

"Doctor, I've successfully joined the huntin' party at the square as commanded." the Breloom explained to him. "Good. I trust that there were no issues?" Rubix asked back.

"None at all." Reishi reassured him. "Public sentiments for the kid are so low there that gettin' in was easy. They're acceptin' most anyone." he continued reporting. "And... about my earlier concerns involvin' the Black Ice..."

Rubix remembered being told of this by Zeninthia. "What about them?" he inquiringly asked into this. "Please dismiss them. I thought he'd side with Flutter in the event, but he's part of the hunt. Appears I was worried over nothin'." Reishi explained to him. Rubix lightly nodded in understanding. "I see. Thank you for the report." he said before the conversation ended. The image of Reishi sunk back into the screen before Rubix went further into the cave.

Soon enough, the Pokémon known by her advisor and five subordinates as Mistress was the one to receive him in her room. "I bring news. Reishi has just reported in to me, mistress. He has joined the hunt without any troubles." he told her. "Ah, very good!" Zeninthia responded. Her very voice commanded respect. "And what are his orders should he encounter this human girl and her friends?"

"As I suggested to you previously, he is to end her presence in our world. Thus ridding us of yet another one..."

~~~~~

A few hours after this, Flutter awoke from a highly uncomfortable slumber inside Team Celeste's base after having forced herself asleep. The Togepi still felt rather tired but shook loose most of this with a quick splash of water upon her face from a nearby bowl. Of all days to be tired, this was the worst.

Grabbing the team's bag and taking care to not forget anything, she went out to meet Terack and Kyan. Both waiting for her. Partners in her flight. She felt supremely horrible at the thought of them both also being targeted as a result but also heartened by their insistence on joining her anyway.

"Morning, you're up really early but that's sorta what we need here." Terack encouragingly greeted her. "Everything set?" Flutter nodded. There was no going back now.

"Well... this is it. Until we discover the truth about you, we're all wanted Pokémon." he continued. "Just like Alakazam said, we've got to run and survive..."

"It's going to be a rough and potentially long journey. The three of us need to support and be there for each other all the way." Kyan solidly claimed. "If we can't do that, we've lost. We'll need more coordination than the mass of Pokémon hunting us down..."

"Oh, well said!" a voice called, very much familiar to him. The Beldum duo arrived, as did Caterpie, Metapod, Diglett, and the Jumpluff duo. All their supporters from yesterday. "Yay, we made it!" Caterpie happily said. "We all wanted to come and see you off." Diglett explained.

"That's really kind. Thanks..." Flutter replied, holding off tears. A Pelipper soon landed on their mailbox and, with a solemn nod at the gathering, left two letters inside before flying off. One of the Jumpluff took them out. "Looks like some Pokémon wanted to send you off by letter." the other one explained as his new girlfriend gave them to Flutter. She opened up the first one.

To Team Celeste.

Please do take care! It's farewell, but only for now. Until the day I can deliver mail to you again... I'll always be waiting.

The wandering postal carrier, Pelipper.


"Short and yet very sweet. Thanks..." Terack said to the now out of earshot Pelipper as Flutter opened the second letter. It bore a familiar handwriting and style...

To Team Celeste.

I must apologise profusely for the clearly distressing events of yesterday. There was nothing I could have done against Gengar's story and it frustrates me immensely to know that...

Although I will be part of the hunt, I want you to know that I also believe in Flutter. I am using their gathering to slip out and find my old mentor without any watching eyes, where she will advise me further. Please, stay safe on this journey.

Ever yours, the Black Ice.


"Ice... He..." Flutter blubbed, tears forming. "He believes us as well..." This was a massive relief to her, she couldn't imagine how Kyan felt about being in opposition to Alakazam's reluctant acceptance.

The Metang in question was sharing a close moment with his Beldum friends. "Please, make sure you look after them and watch their backs." they both requested. "I will. I'm going to miss you guys." Kyan said. It hurt to leave, but he had to go. During this, the two Jumpluff were giving Terack and Flutter a map they had picked up.

"All the other Pokémon might be waking up soon, you'd better head out..." Metapod suggested after a moment. "Ok, no sense in holding this off." Flutter said back, resigned to this. "Terack. Kyan. Let's hit the road."

The two joined her as the team went on their way, receiving an impassioned farewell from their group of seven supporters. Having hidden himself within the trees to their right, Ice also watched them leave...

~~~~~

It had been several days since Team Celeste's members began their harrowing journey as fugitives, and it was already proving difficult. They had passed through many ravaged landscapes, including but not limited to, a path with cracks from an earthquake, the charred remains of the forest fire that Ice and Team Hydro had put out, and a field still feeling the effects of a hurricane from before Flutter arrived.

In addition, one member of the group had to keep watch when nightfall came. Still upset by the familiarity Gardevoir seemed to have with her, Flutter was frequently volunteering for this in an attempt to avoid having to sleep and see her in another dream. Terack soon caught on to this plan in a few days however, and she instead took to feigning sleep as one of them kept lookout.

Kyan, intending to follow the request of his Beldum friends to the very end, had later made this job unnecessary once he began using Telekinesis to conceal the sleeping locations created by Terack's Dig and also move various sturdy obstructions into the paths of their pursuers, most often a large rock but once with a sleeping Snorlax.

By the time they reached the entrance of a cave studded by blue rocks, Flutter was starting to feel quite burned out. "Alright... Seems that this place is the Lapis Cave. We've covered a whole lot of ground." Terack said as he and Kyan looked at the map given by the Jumpluff.

"That charred forest, and all those other locations affected by the disasters... They all make me hope that we can get back to our rescue work some day..." Flutter sighed unhappily. "I hear you, Flutter..." Kyan sympathised. "We just have to keep our heads and spirits high."

"I think they're nearby, let's keep goin'." a hushed voice could be heard. Suddenly terror stricken, Flutter ran straight into the cave without a second thought. Terack and Kyan went in afterwards, trying to keep up with her.

On a normal day, this dungeon really wouldn't have been all that scary. Except that today wasn't a normal day. Flutter was completely on edge throughout much of this venture until Terack finally made the decision to take over the leadership duties. More composed and less exhausted than her by this point, the team started to proceed smoothly and more efficiently from this point onwards.

"We must be close to the end now, right?" Kyan wondered out loud not long afterwards as he punched down an attacking Bagon with Brick Break. "I think so." Terack said after taking down a Golbat with Rock Slide. "Oh, could you also keep an eye on Flutter? She really doesn't look great..." the Trapinch quietly confided.

Before Kyan could respond, a different response echoed forth through the cave. "Found 'em! I'll keep 'em busy!" Reishi the Breloom shouted out as he ran towards the group, peppering them with Bullet Seed.

"One of them found us?!" Kyan asked in shock as the three tried to shield themselves from the forceful spray. Flutter was the first to go on the offensive, pulling up a Bullet Punch from her Metronome. Reishi went for a Power-Up Punch in response to this and the two engaged in a sideswipe of punches, his orange glowing fist against her silver glowing fist, the Breloom emerged just fine with an Attack boost to boot while the Togepi immediately staggered and fell over despite her resisting the Fighting type move. "That's all you have?" Reishi remarked with a look back at her.

"Not good, she needs help!" Kyan exclaimed as he began rushing in with Take Down. Quick as a whip, Reishi slugged the downed Flutter in an upwards Power-Up Punch, collecting another Attack boost before striking her with Iron Tail as she fell. The combo pitched her hard and directly into Kyan's move, sending them both sprawling and knocking her out cold. Terack looked on in horror, too hurt by his Bullet Seed to do much at the moment.

Pushed onwards by the sight of the fallen former human, Reishi moved in for the finale. This is it, Flutter! I'm endin' your blight on this world!" he yelled before swinging one more Iron Tail poised to smash her against the wall but Kyan managed to get up and block it with Metal Claw, both of his arms struggling against Reishi's tail as they gave each other dangerous looks.

Kyan was visibly struggling to keep his ground in this clash. "Get... away... from... her..." he muttered to his opponent. "You're a fool. Both you and the Trapinch. She will pull you two down with her and cause the unthinkable if not destroyed. You're throwin' your lives away by sidin' with her." Reishi unflinchingly remarked. Terack had used this moment well, he'd picked himself up and was ready to continue.

"She saved me once, even though I'd lost control and attacked her very much like you are now." Kyan recounted. "I owe Flutter too much to abandon her here or anywhere." he exclaimed, quickly approaching his limit. Greatly moved by him defending her from their attacker in both sight and words, Terack used Focus Energy before rushing at Reishi and fiercely tackling him away with Superpower.

Taking Flutter's inert form in his arms, Kyan then grabbed Reishi with Telekinesis as he brushed off Terack's hit. Before he could reply with Bullet Seed, he found himself being flung back down the corridor from whence he came, colliding in a heap with the group of Pokémon in the room right behind them. "Now, run before he comes back with the others!"

He and Terack ran through the rest of the cave and eventually emerged from the exit into the evening air. "That was far too close... Flutter, please wake up..." Terack begged her before stumbling. Reishi had taken a lot out of their lead.

"Over there! Let's finish 'em off!" the said Breloom called out, having continued to trail them. Terack and Kyan kept running as hard as they could, eventually deciding together in silence to run for the nearby volcano in the hopes of scaring off this most persistent of pursuers...

"Are they seriously running for Mt. Blaze?! That's suicidal!"

"There's absolutely no chance of me going in there!"

"I can't do that. I'll just have to turn back."

"Fire doesn't agree with me at all, this is impossible..."

"Well I'm still goin'! I almost had her, it'll just take a little more!"

"Hmph. Count me in too..."

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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:06 pm

As Reishi continues to aggressively chase down the team, Ice tries to bottle up his true feelings towards this.


Chapter 10: Moltres and Mt. Blaze! Fugitive Flight 2!


"Well I'm still goin'! I almost had her, it'll just take a little more!" Reishi called out as he and the rest of the group chasing down Team Celeste's members watched them run towards Mt. Blaze. Much of the Pokémon present weren't too keen with the idea of pursuing them in, but the Breloom wasn't one of them. He'd earlier knocked Flutter unconscious in the Lapis Cave and was now highly eager to finish the job.

Amongst the group was the Black Ice, one of Flutter's most quiet supporters. He'd used the gathering to his own needs just fine so far, but his mask suddenly became more difficult to maintain at Reishi's words. He'd attacked her? Ice was immediately filled with a strangled mix of both dislike for him and a curious blend of concern for Flutter that he hadn't felt for the Pokémon he'd rescued.

"Hmph. Count me in too..." he replied after sealing this up. After managing to help her team in the Sinister Woods, he was greatly saddened by his inability to do so here without spoiling everything...

Reishi was pleased to see Ice of all Pokémon volunteer. "Good to see some company. The two of us should pair up for this place. They're all hurt so there won't be much more runnin' from them." Ice wanted to club Reishi over the head with an Icicle Crash, but that too would give him away. "An acceptable plan. We'll soon have peace." he played along.

The planted agent of a mysterious anti-human group then went off after his quarry with a secret supporter of the vilified former human at his side. They truly were an almost comical mismatch...

~~~~~

"Mmmmh..." Flutter moaned as she awoke groggily to a Reviver Seed. "What... just happened?" she asked before looking around at her surroundings. They were in another makeshift hiding place created by Terack's Dig and concealed by Kyan's Telekinesis.

Terack was delighted to see her come to. "That Pokémon knocked you right into Kyan's move back in Lapis Cave. Kyan threw himself in there and shielded you from him before helping us escape but we've lost so much of our lead now..." he explained. "I see..." Flutter murmured. "Thanks, Kyan... I really owe you one."

"It's alright, I'm just glad to have repaid that old favor. We're even now." he replied. "Now, team." Terack interjected as he took out their map. "Let's get back on the move. We're at Mt. Blaze now and it looks seriously tough. The three of us really need to buckle down and go for it." Flutter gave him a nod. She'd picked up a headache from the prior beatdown but it wasn't enough to render her completely incapable.

With Kyan's approval on top of this, Terack began tunneling to his left and arrived in the dungeon proper, immediately bringing Team Celeste into a wide open room with pools of lava everywhere. Kyan knew that he wasn't going to have it easy here.

"Terack, I don't think this dungeon is going to let me have it easy. You should go on in front." he decided, disliking this place already.

With the significant amount of Fire type Pokémon inhabiting the volcano dungeon, Kyan was glad to have let Terack lead the team onwards. The Trapinch was truly throwing everything he had into this one, defending him and Flutter from any of the Magby, Numel, and Slugma that they encountered. Flutter mostly took a back seat in this one, though she did add in her own contributions with Shock Wave when the local Pidgeot attempted to hinder Terack's vision with Sand Attack. Seeing him confidently take charge of this dungeon and the last one was really inspiring for her.

Kyan's moment later arrived when a particularly stubborn Shuckle was starting to wear Terack down. Heading in there and intercepting a Rollout with his Brick Break, he then went on to throw a rapid flurry of silver glowing punches to defeat it. In place of Metal Claw, he had just learned Bullet Punch, which Flutter recognised as the move her Metronome previously called out back in the last dungeon. "Thanks for the help, that Pokémon wasn't going down..." Terack said as he picked himself back up.

The waypoint located up ahead triggered a sigh of relief from him, and he was all up for a short rest break.

~~~~~

Meanwhile, Ice and Reishi were both fighting their way through a rocky pathway inside the mountain. Ice beat his way through a Zubat with his Icicle Crash while Reishi took care of an approaching Numel with Bullet Seed. A Whirlpool from Ice then swept away the Nidorino and Nidorina blocking the way out.

"Heh, not far off now..." he exclaimed with Ice following him. The dungeon's end then led them... back to the entrance of Mt. Blaze. They had taken the Rock Path, a trail near the outside of the volcano that loops back to where it started.

Reishi was pretty annoyed at this. "You kiddin' me!? Back where we were!? This is gonna cost us valuable time!" he yelled in frustration, wanting to punch the volcano to the ground. Ice could only fold his arms as he watched this tantrum.

"Gah... I guess we have to cross this dungeon proper. Let's get a move on here!" the Breloom declared before heading into Mt. Blaze. "...and I told that blockhead not to take the Rock Path." Ice muttered before following him in. Partnering with Reishi was now ranked up amongst some of the most tiresome things he'd ever done...

~~~~~

At the top of the volcano, Flutter and company stood in a transfixed and terrified awe at the boiling hot lava bubbling away in the crater. "This place is way too hot...!" Kyan rightfully complained. Flutter and Terack were both in agreement. "We're nearly out of this place, please just hold on for a little longer..." Flutter replied, feeling his discomfort. Above the group was a crescent moon, the evening had transformed into night.

All three of them were running towards the way down when a powerful and angry voice soon froze them in their tracks. "HALT!"

"Who... is that...?" Flutter asked aloud, the anticipation already starting to make her feel highly uncomfortable inside. "This... this volcano... It's in abject pain, untold misery... Mt. Blaze is suffering. It calls for divine intervention... and I shall deliver!" the voice boomed as its bearer, the Legendary Pokémon Moltres, landed in front of them in all his flame sheathed glory to block their path.

Terack was outright dumbfounded. "Wha...? Who are you and what did you mean by that? We're just passing through..." Moltres was quick on the reply. "I am Moltres, the guardian of this mighty volcano. I see no reason to elaborate on what I meant. For defiling this place with your very presence... your fate now rests with me!"

Quick on the beat too, Moltres waved a wing to send out an Air Slash, the blade of air sending all three of them tumbling back. "Whoa, that looks stronger than Air Cutter..." Flutter observed, recalling Zapdos. Kyan began thinking up some sort of plan as the team scrambled away from a Flamethrower.

The said plan then took shape in the Metang's dual brains. "I have an idea. Terack, hide underground, Flutter, get on me." he said. Both of them complied and Kyan was soon bearing the Togepi into a dogfight against Moltres. She started to whittle their opponent down with repeated shots of the unavoidable Shock Wave while Kyan operated their movements, moving away from the Flamethrower and Air Slash attacks of their for.

It was all going very well until Flutter started to have troubles forming her move as a result of Moltres's Pressure. A Flamethrower soon hit her afterwards and knocked her off of Kyan, but falling through the air had given her an idea. "Send me at Moltres!" she quickly called.

Kyan obliged, suspecting what she had in mind. He grabbed her with Telekinesis and moved her quickly towards the surprised Moltres while she used Secret Power for a flying tackle. The attack induced a dazed confusion in Moltres and caused him to plummet instead as she was placed back upon Kyan. "Terack, now!"  Kyan then called. The Trapinch then burst out from the ground, Focus Energy ready, for a double strike with Dig and Superpower before Moltres could gather his bearings.

Despite this, he collected himself afterwards and shook loose the confusion, charging up a Solar Beam for this new foe. "Go pick him up, I'll take the ground this time." Flutter decided. She got down from Kyan while he swooped down to rescue Terack from the Grass type move that now resulted in a miss.

"Ghh, that Metang...!" Moltres remarked in annoyance. "And don't forget me, Flutter." she casually replied in a run towards him with Secret Power. Moltres took to the air to avoid her attack and focus on Kyan, exactly what she intended.

"Alright..." Kyan braced himself as Moltres resumed the airborne portion of the fight. "Terack, use Rock Slide in front of us. I've got an idea to finish this off."  Very narrowly avoiding an Air Slash that he could feel brushing atop his head, Terack did so and was rather surprised and impressed, as was Flutter, to see Kyan knock each rock in Moltres's trajectory with his Bullet Punch and careful scrutiny. After several strikes, Moltres couldn't continue.

He landed a little while off and Flutter's teammates landed next to her. Moltres soon managed to get up and stretch his fiery wings aloft. "I'm not... finished with you...!" he said furiously.

"Wait, hold on! We haven't come here to cause trouble. We've been chased all the way up here." Flutter exclaimed out loud. "Please hear me out on this, it's not just Mt. Blaze that's suffering. Natural disasters are rife with startling abundance everywhere. The whole world is in untold misery." she went on, using Moltres's same words to try and generate some familiarity with him. She understood his actions now, he was just another Pokémon upset by this turmoil.

Moltres folded back his wings and stared at her intensely, quietly judging her. "All over the world? ...Do you truly say that with sincerity?" he asked. "Yes, I do. We're a Rescue Team but the three of us are currently on the run. There's been plenty of moments on this trip where I'd have given anything to help the Pokémon in the affected areas we've passed by..." Flutter said as she stepped forward, bearing her feelings about this.

"Why, if you doubt me and still think that we mean to bring harm to the volcano under your protection, then look into my eyes..." she continued, staring unflinchingly and unblinkingly at him. Moltres did as she suggested, both of them staying silent. Terack and Kyan watched, trusting her on this.

After what felt like years, Moltres finally spoke. "Very well. Flutter, you have my trust on this matter..." Flutter took a deep sigh of relief. "You and your team may pass through here, but promise me something. Promise that you will find the cause of these calamities you speak of and prevent them from inflicting further pain upon the world."

She felt it best to be honest here. "While it's impossible right now thanks to a malicious foe of ours trying to get revenge by blaming me for those disasters... I promise. Once our team is back in business, we'll make sure we get to the bottom of all this..." Flutter said. Moltres gave an understanding nod. "So be it. When your unavoidable personal issues are resolved, I shall hold you to those words. It was the courage and teamwork you three displayed that convinced me to hear you out." Moltres admitted. "Don't lose that further along the road." he finished before flying off.

"...Ahh, if only it were that easy to convince everyone at the square." Flutter lamented. "Don't worry about them, let's move on out of here." Terack told her.

~~~~~

Without Pokémon to battle, Team Celeste were soon able to regather some of their previously lost ground as they walked across a rocky trail with a slight chill to it. Mt. Blaze was still a visible natural landmark.

"I'm tired... Mt. Blaze... It was ready hard to get over that, and Moltres was some kinda powerful. You think... maybe we've lost all our pursuers? Even our attacker from the Lapis Cave?" Terack reflectively asked Flutter and Kyan as he looked back at the volcano.

Flutter didn't immediately answer, she was remembering when Alakazam briefly mentioned Moltres when telling them about Zapdos, that thought bringing Team A.C.T. to mind. "No, there's still Alakazam and his team." she finally answered him. "O-of course!" Kyan said with a start. "They could definitely get through this!"

"You're right..." Terack ruefully admitted. "Then there's no time for rest, we've got to keep up the pace." They continued along the trail until coming across a vast path covered by snow. "Here it is, the start of the northeastern frozen regions." Kyan said as he addressed the map.

"We can't risk leaving footprints for Team A.C.T. to follow, but I've got an idea for how we can avoid that." Terack said to them with a triumphant tone.

~~~~~

Moving past an Arcanine that Reishi had buried underneath the rocks of his Rock Tomb. Ice reached Mt. Blaze's peak with the Breloom. "I don't see them around here, they must have already cleared this dungeon..." Ice observed. In his head, he commended them for this.

"Then let's keep on goin'. That side trip's set us behind." Reishi replied, rushing at the exit before Moltres landed in front of him. "Move aside, bird!" he foolishly yelled, in no mood for obstructions. Ice had to intervene before Moltres tore Reishi to pieces with an Air Slash for his rudeness.

"Wait! We're just passing through on very urgent business, Moltres. Neither of us mean to do anything atop your volcano!" he quickly called. Something about this disguised figure was familiar to Moltres.

It soon struck him like the Rock Slide/Bullet Punch combination. "You... You're...?" he stared in surprise. "Her former protégé, I see. It's been too long. You may pass." Moltres decided as he left them both be.

"I have no clue what just happened, but this works fine." Reishi decided after a moment of uncertainty, intending to press Ice about his apparent acquaintance with Moltres and the identity of his own mistress when the time came.

This duo also faced no further roadblocks along the path as they soon ran headlong across the rocky trail and arrived at the snow cloaked path. "No footprints? But there's no other way they could have gone!" Reishi yelled in frustration at what he saw, cursing Team Celeste's resourcefulness.

Officially out of ideas and faced with a trail that had both literally and figuratively gone cold, he turned to Ice for a plan... only to see that the cloaked vigilante had vanished, similarly without a trace. "Oi, where'd you go!?" he called.

Ice had used Reishi's complaining to jump into a tree and was now jumping through the forest from branch to branch. "I am so glad to be shot of both him and that mob..." he said, delighted beyond measure to finally speak his true thoughts.

"Team Celeste... Whatever you're doing to avoid being trailed in this forest, keep it up." He now had someone else to find.

"You must be somewhere around here... Articuno..."

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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon fanfiction (Azure Rescuers/Windswept Explorers)
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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:16 pm

The first two of Ice's big reveals are finally here. I've personally been looking forward to writing this one...


Chapter 11: Articuno and Frosty Forest! The Black Ice melts!


"Terack... You really are a true genius, you know that?" Flutter marveled at her Trapinch companion. Both she and him were riding upon Kyan as they progressed onwards throughout the frigid forest path, leaving absolutely no footprints in the snow covered path below them. "I have to hand it to you, simple yet very effective. We're leaving no trail to follow." their Metang ride complimented him.

Terack was very pleased for the praise but it didn't diminish the chill in the air. "Thank goodness it's not snowing..." he shivered, snuggling close to Flutter for some warmth. "It's just... so quiet." she whispered in a hushed voice. This was beyond her expectations.

Amidst this silence, Flutter heard a noise in the trees to their left. It was caused by Ice overtaking them but she dismissed it as her imagining things. Their party soon arrived at a path leading deeper into the forest. "Ok... It looks like this is the Frosty Forest up ahead." Kyan said as he addressed the map currently being levitated in front of him with Telekinesis. "I'm expecting to see plenty of Ice types."

"Urk, you're gonna have to cover me here. I'm not great with the type." Terack told him. "I'll pitch in as with before. It's a mystery dungeon so we should be fine walking when inside there." Flutter added and surmised to the agreement of them both.

Dismounting from Kyan and checking on their items, the group headed in.

~~~~~

Meanwhile, a good distance away from Team Celeste's location, an annoyed Reishi was trudging his way through the snow. He had completely lost all signs of Flutter's team and soon decided to call it quits.

"That... that... single minded fool...!" he managed to say through the cold and his anger. The Breloom got out his communication device and set it to project straight to the group's meeting room. He had a bone to pick with Rubix and he intended to pick it good.

The holographic image of him appeared in the room to a Steelix loitering around on his break. "Hey, Hebyacel. Get Rubix and the others here, I've got an update to give on the hunt." Reishi said.

"Aye!" the Steelix simply responded, leaving and then bringing Rubix, Derkomai, Androma, and Ignephra into the room. "Hebyacel tells us you're bringing an update on the pursuit, what's come up?" Rubix asked of him.

Reishi readied himself. "How else can I put this? Things started off very well at first. I encountered Flutter in the Lapis Cave and overpowered her with little effort but she ended up escapin' into Mt. Blaze. I teamed up with the Black Ice to clear that dungeon and I'm now at this frozen wasteland beyond it. She's onto me and has somehow left no footprints in the snowy path. I've now lost them entirely." he gave them as a rundown. "I'm gonna have to return to base."

"Return to base!?" Rubix asked in astonishment. "Is there nothing I could suggest to-" he went on before Reishi furiously cut him off.

"There's somethin' I'd like to suggest to you!" he yelled. "You're sellin' her companions short! If they hadn't intervened in the cave then that girl wouldn't be wanderin' around as we speak! I'm also startin' to suspect that she's ridin' on that Metang friend of hers to throw me off their track!" All his pent up frustrations were being unleased in an explosion.

"The huntin' party has the right idea and you could learn from them! Her teammates are just as bad! They've all gotta go!" he finished before ending the call, absolutely seething. Rubix was quiet for a long moment afterwards.

Derkomai watched the scene with a hint of amusement in his eyes. "Hate to admit it, but the lunkhead's got a point. Shall I pick him up?" he asked Rubix after an awkward silence. Riding upon an airborne friend to avoid leaving tracks... Although Flutter and her team were their foes, he was quietly impressed by their ingenuity.

"...Very well. Androma, I'd like you to return to Pokémon Square soon. We need your eyes back there if Reishi's giving up." the Golduck said coolly before he left the room without another word. Derkomai readied himself for takeoff as he gestured for the Clefable to get on him.

Ignephra and Hebyacel were already stating their agreement with Reishi, which gave Ann something to say in defense of Rubix. "Team A.C.T. should still be on the hunt, Dr. Rubix's plan may yet come to fruition, even after this setback." she reminded them before climbing aboard the Salamence and leaving.

"Ann's right. The human's tricky but she can't run forever." Ignephra declared with a growl. "Not while she's got a Diamond Rank team chasing her down like the scum she is..."

~~~~~

"It looks like we're nearly through here..." Terack said with a shiver as they arrived at a high plateau above the forest. "Wow, we can see so much of the forest from this spot!" he observed in surprise.

Flutter looked around the area. "It shouldn't be much longer now, let's hang in there and tough this out." she encouragingly said. A spray of bubbles then struck the ground in front of her as a cold wind enveloped them all. "W-what's this? Who's there?" Kyan called out into the chilled air.

His answer came with the arrival of the Legendary Pokémon Articuno near the end of the platform. "My name is Articuno. I am the protector of and the law within this beautiful Frosty Forest... and I cannot allow trespassers such as yourselves to do as you please..." she said with a strange form of tranquil fury.

"Articuno?" Flutter asked her. "We don't want to bring any trouble to this place, we're just passing through." she calmly explained, wanting to avoid a battle entirely this time. She knew that this Articuno would be no pushover if Zapdos and Moltres were enough of an example.

"Child, you truly haven't been here before..." Articuno replied back. "You would have known otherwise that the frigid sting of my winter chill... is the last thing you unfortunate Pokémon will feel!" Suddenly rising to a startling shriek, she flew up to divebomb the three of them.

They all avoided this, but that was the only thing Team Celeste had going right for them in the battle. Both Flutter's Shock Wave and Terack's Rock Slide were broken through by a Bubble Beam that rained down upon them all and knocked Terack straight away.

"Urgh... Articuno's too strong..." Flutter pushed out as she and Kyan picked themselves up. It appeared that they had finally hit the wall. Kyan flew in for a Bullet Punch that Articuno dodged time and time again until Pressure once more took effect. A single Powder Snow then blew him back, narrowly avoiding a collision with Flutter.

Somewhere within the dungeon, Ice felt some sort of nostalgic chill in his body that could have only come from one Pokémon...

Flutter tried Shock Wave once more but Articuno caught and tore apart the electricity in a Hurricane, the powerfully rotating winds soon enveloping the two opponents for major damage. A Powder Snow was added in to create a combination that proved too much for Kyan to hold up against.

Ice was rushing pell nell through the forest and past the waypoint, certain that Articuno had found Team Celeste...

"This is it for you!!" Articuno yelled as she dropped all pretense and tranquility, firing a thick blue beam of an unrelentlessly cold temperature. Sheer Cold. Losing hope at the sight of this, Flutter succumbed and awaited the worst.

Except the worst never seemed to come. This felt oddly familiar to her.

Arriving at the scene, Ice managed to let out a genuinely frightened "No!!" as he leapt in front of Flutter with a large Whirlpool in hand and held it in front of them like a shield, tip pointed towards him, to try and block the Sheer Cold. His arms quickly began to buckle under the strain but Articuno stopped the attack once she noticed the intervention.

"Ice..." Flutter murmured in exhaustion. That was twice she owed him now. The now frozen Whirlpool shattered, revealing him to Articuno. "M-my goodness... Szaeracier?!" Articuno said in astonishment before he finally removed his disguise to reveal the Sneasel underneath.

"Articuno, Flutter and her team are not at fault for the considerable warming of this forest. I understand the suspicions you must have had when you discovered their entry in your forest, but I will vouch for their innocence in this matter. Please hear me out." the now unmasked Szaeracier the Sneasel explained and asked of Articuno.

She considered this for a few seconds before stating at Flutter. "Alright. Since it's Szaeracier, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. My apologies for the hastiness." Articuno concluded. Flutter went to give Reviver Seeds to Terack and Kyan before bringing them up to speed on what happened.

Terack had a question about this. "Considerable warming of the forest? I never would have guessed. It still feels so cold..." he said. "Indeed." Articuno replied. "Something has disrupted the very flow of frigid air within this forest. Not once has this happened before. Snow that has never melted before... is starting to melt." she explained to them. "I have always loved this forest and I thus made it my sole duty to protect it long ago."

"I understand now." Kyan responded. "Natural disasters like this are taking place all over the world. We encountered Moltres earlier and he was also pretty upset about how they were affecting his home." he told her.

Articuno was astonished and then highly disturbed by what she heard. "You met Moltres... and there are more disasters besides the one gripping this forest?! Szaeracier, is that true?" she quickly asked him. "I'm afraid so." Szaeracier confirmed. "I've witnessed many of them since I left your wing. Team Celeste here is one of the Rescue Teams established in response to these tragedies, but an enemy of theirs blamed them for all of this and these three are now in hiding. There was a large group of Pokémon chasing them but none could reach this spot." he explained in length.

"I see... Articuno concluded before she prepared to take off. " Szaeracier. Team Celeste. I'm trusting you Pokémon to get to the root cause of this worldwide problem and end it before more turmoil engulfs us all. Good luck..." she said, flying off afterwards.

Flutter was relieved beyond measure. "Thanks for clearing that up, Ice... Szaer... I'm just gonna call you Szaer." she decided. "If you wish. I'm a Sneasel, by the way." he clarified to her as he collected his discarded disguise with the intention to hang on to it for now.

"As you saw, Articuno is distraught by the impact these problems are having here so I suggest that you head off and find some way to resolve things." Szaer said to her. "Alright. Team, let's get out of here." Kyan decided.

An idea then formed in Szaer's head. "Perhaps it would be better if we combined forces from here on out..." Flutter turned back to him with an inquiring look on her face. "From this moment forth... I wish to be a part of Team Celeste."

Szaer... the Black Ice... the Pokémon she idolized... on their Rescue Team... Flutter was almost overcome with joy for the first time in what felt like years. "Really and truly? You're going to join our team?" She just had to make sure. This was too good to be true.

"Of course. If we ever want a shot at bringing peace to our world, nothing works better than cooperation between Pokémon..." he said...

~~~~~

Further down their treacherous path, the quartet were assaulted by a howling blizzard blowing down upon them. Terack, even Kyan, and especially Flutter were all beginning to grow tired.

"I know it must be very cold, but we can't stop moving!" Szaer called at them through the noise, being the only one not aversively affected by the blizzard. Flutter and Terack continued riding upon Kyan while Szaer walked alongside them due to him not being chased.

Flutter could really feel herself beginning to falter. After everything that had taken place on their harrowing journey, she had little more to give. "Guys... What's going to happen to us?" she asked desperately with a shiver. "We'll be fine, don't worry." Terack told her. "I've came out this far because I believe in you, and so have Kyan and Szaer." It worried him to see her asking that though...

She gave him a light smile in response. "Thank you. You're right..." There was more to say but a powerful and inexplicable dizzy sensation suddenly struck her and broke the words off. She gave an uncomfortable moan as her head started to throb.

Szaer noticed this and approached her before that same sensation caught him too, bringing him to his knees. "What is this...?" he asked in his confusion. "W-why are we both feeling dizzy all of a sudden...?" Terack and Kyan both bore looks of concern and confusion.

Flutter... Finally, you're here... and... My goodness, you're with...?!

"That voice...? No...!" All of Flutter's sleep feigning attempts had been in vain. She had hoped to not hear from Gardevoir again after that last dream. Szaer looked at the Togepi. Not only was she a human after all, but she had also been hearing that same Pokémon's call. "G-Gardevoir?! I thought I'd blocked you out ages ago!" he exclaimed.

Szaeracier... I'm so glad you're alive and with Flutter. This discovery brings me much jubilation.

A transparent image of Gardevoir appeared in front of them both. "I don't understand... You two know each other...?" Flutter asked. This was bringing only one sole conclusion to mind...

Indeed, and I cannot be seen by your two friends. Only to yourselves... A little farther ahead from here is one of the tallest mountains in this world. Mt. Freeze. At its peak lives that very same Ninetales...

"F-from the legend? That Ninetales is at Mt. Freeze?" She felt cold and it had nothing to do with the blizzard. Her previous worries came rushing back with full force.

I'm afraid so, and they've been expecting your arrival...

The Gardevoir visage then vanished, as did the dizziness. Szaer was on all fours but the exhausted and scared Flutter came out far worse, falling off of Kyan and landing in the snow unconscious.

"Oh no... No, this pressure is the last thing she needs..." he said, quickly heading over to pick her up and swaddle her in his cloaked disguise to keep her warm. "Szaer, could you be... a former human too?" Terack asked of him. The Sneasel saw no point in denying it.

"Yes, but we'll discuss that soon!" he confirmed. "Let's find some shelter quickly, she doesn't look well!" Protecting the bundled Flutter from the elements as best as he could, Szaer ran off with tremendous haste. Kyan followed him with Terack on top, both of them having what felt like an infinite amount of questions to ask.

In comparison, there was only one thing on Szaer's mind. "You don't deserve this, Flutter... You shouldn't be persecuted for my horrible deed..." he thought desperately...

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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:36 pm

Team Celeste's members finally get answers, only for more questions to emerge.


Chapter 12: Ninetales and Mt. Freeze! Absconder's absolution!


"Alright, this should be good. We can rest up here." Szaer told Terack and Kyan. As was becoming standard for this trip, they had both used Dig and Telekinesis to create and conceal a place for them to rest up. Szaer then placed the unresponsive but warmly bundled Flutter as far away from the entrance and blizzard as possible. They were just a stone's throw away from Mt. Freeze.

Flutter's two friends had plenty to ask their new member. "So... you're human too? Would you mind telling us everything?" Kyan started. "Ok, I'll share my story. I was going to tell you at some point anyway, I just didn't think it would come this early." Szaer told them, setting up his tale.

"I'd inexplicably woken up one day near the Northern Range-" he started, briefly pausing to get the team's map and point out the location, far north from the square. "-without any sort of memory about this past life."

"Except for the location, that's exactly like Flutter...!" Terack gasped in recognition. "I found her near the Tiny Woods. Maybe you two ended up here for the same reason..." he speculated to himself.

"Maybe so. It's obvious that Gardevoir has something to do with us both being in this world..." Szaer mused. "Anyway, whether it was because of the significantly rougher location or the fact that no Pokémon took me in like you did with her, I was a... particularly unpleasant Pokémon by the time I first set foot in Pokémon Square. I'm not proud of that." he ruefully recalled. He found his prior behavior to be revolting nowadays.

He then quickly steered the subject away from this, unwilling to go into detail on this aspect. "It was around this time when I began having some strange dreams, the last one with Gardevoir talking to me." the Sneasel continued to explain.

"Again, just like Flutter." Kyan remembered. "She's been dreaming too. Her most recent one came just before Gengar's meeting, actually. The dream left her convinced that she'd abandoned Gardevoir, so there was no attempt to disprove Gengar when he cornered her..." he sadly thought back. "The poor girl had lost all sense of self worth. She said she didn't deserve us, it really looked as though she was going to leave the team and run off."

Terack just had to weigh in his recurring concerns. "Before we arrived at Lapis Cave, I caught her trying to avoid sleep by repeatedly doing lookout at night. I wouldn't be surprised if she's been feigning sleep ever since, just to not see Gardevoir again... This ordeal must have sapped her completely dry."

Szaer was deeply concerned by these accounts and made sure to remember them for later. He had his story to continue. "I managed to blunt myself against her visits afterwards and I've never dreamt about her since, but that didn't change my bad behavior. Before long, I was barred from the square."

"I made it all the way to the Frosty Forest before what little supplies I had were all gone. I must have blacked out because I next remember waking up at Articuno's plateau with her watching me. She'd saved my life..." Szaer went on telling them. "That's amazing..." Kyan simply said.

He had to agree with Kyan. "Yeah, I had spent my time on this world as an unlikeable Pokémon and she still went out of her way for me... That's when I decided to change my ways. Articuno took me in, trained me, taught me so much, and introduced me to her duty of protecting the forest. Thanks to her, I became a changed Pokémon."

"Wow, sounds like you've really turned your life around..." Terack marveled at him. "What brought you back to the square though?"

"This is where the Ninetales legend comes into play. I'd seen many Rescue Teams take some jobs inside the forest and overheard them discussing the rash of natural disasters. One team was recounting that legend. It made me remember Gardevoir and my dreams. With how I used to act, I saw myself in that human." Szaer admitted.

Both Terack and Kyan weren't sure how to respond to this. "Oh..." Kyan finally said. This made sense to him and Terack.

"Hearing that story made me want to atone for everything... so I decided to return to society and provide aid to the hardworking Rescue Teams who aid Pokémon out of the goodness within their hearts. However, I couldn't return to Pokémon Square as myself, Szaeracier... so I took on the persona of the Black Ice, cloaked and masked vigilante..." he finally finished.

"...Colour me surprised. So that's how we ended up meeting you in the Sinister Woods? That's quite a story..." Terack said in a shocked mumble. "Indeed so." Szaer responded. "Things were fine, until Gengar came out and confirmed the Ninetales legend to be a true story in his meeting. I was outwardly dismissive of his story, but the truth is that I was actually scared. There was no more hiding from it, I'm absolutely convinced that the human from the legend is me and it destroyed me to see Gengar convince the whole square that it was Flutter..."

His audience looked on glumly as he laid his heart bare to them. "Seeing her going through all this because of my actions... it's devastating... I didn't know what to do, so I decided to seek Articuno's advice and that's how we got to this point."  Szaer said as he held off tears. "I've became the Black Ice to atone for my past. As the real human from the legend, I intend to truly atone by clearing the name of another former human... Even if it means I'll end up facing the wrath of that hunting party, it's better me than her..."

Terack and Kyan were both very deeply moved by Szaer's declaration and how he was using his certainty over this as a driving force. "No matter what comes out of our Mt. Freeze trip, you'll still a hero in our eyes." Terack decided. Kyan wholeheartedly agreed. "I hope things work out for you both up there..."

Flutter soon awoke slowly, looking miserable, pale, drawn, and haggard. "H-hi..." she uttered, trying not to tear up on the spot. "Hello..." Szaer gently greeted her. "W-we're nearly there, pal... Let's clear your name and get our lives back on track..." Terack told her. Their journey finally had a real goal.

~~~~~

With Szaer now a part of their team, the trek through Mt. Freeze was easier than Terack and Kyan would have expected. This couldn't have been called an equal effort however. Flutter spent the entire trip on Szaer's back and did absolutely no battling. Once this was all over, Terack intended to have her take a few days off from rescue work for her own health.

After Kyan defeated a Glalie with Bullet Punch, they finally reached the mountain's summit. "We're here... At the top of Mt. Freeze." Kyan said as Flutter got down from Szaer. Terack looked around for Ninetales in this circular platform surronded by rocks but they appeared to be alone here.

"There! There's Flutter!" a triumphant voice called out behind them. Tyranitar of Team A.C.T. approached them, followed by Charizard and their leader Alakazam. Terack, Kyan, and Szaer all took places in front of Flutter. "You guys... got past Mt. Blaze after all. Just as Flutter suspected." Terack said. The air was charged with tension.

"Of course we did." Charizard replied, as though clearing a feared volcano dungeon was an everyday thing for them. "Your little fugitive stunt dragged us all out to this icebound location. I could do with warming things up..." Tyranitar gave him a reproachful stare. "Let's take this seriously. I do apologise, Flutter, but we can't show you any mercy. I'm afraid that this must be done."

With just one more look at the dejected Togepi, Szaer finally reached his limits. He'd had just about all he could take. "HAVEN'T YOU ALL DONE ENOUGH!?" he practically exploded at them. "This ordeal has thrown her into a living nightmare! I'm through with sitting back and pretending to agree with this!" Everyone was startled by this sudden outburst.

"Who might you be?" Alakazam asked him. It was time for the Sneasel's moment of truth. "My name is Szaeracier, true identity of the Black Ice. I may have attended the town meeting and joined the hunt, but I have never once believed her to be involved in the legend. I'm standing by Flutter." he explained. All three of them were surprised by this revelation.

"...Very well. Your conviction is strong. I hadn't forseen this fate for you, but it is still a Rescue Team's role to help bring peace." Alakazam finally replied to Szaer. "Team Celeste... This is most regrettable... however, it must be done. We shall summon every last iota of our power and crush you! Go!"

As soon as Alakazam said this, Szaer rushed at Tyranitar and struck him hard with a Dynamic Punch, knocking him into a wall and leaving him dazed. He then backflipped away from Charizard's Fire Punch and landed in front of Flutter. The others weren't as fortunate. Terack's Rock Slide couldn't seem to hit Charizard and Kyan was quickly being overwhelmed by Alakazam, his mastery over the move Teleport being made quickly apparent.

Soon enough, Alakazam used Ally Switch to swap positions with Charizard, leading the Metang into a Fire Punch that took him out of the battle while he then took care of Terack with Psybeam. Only Flutter and Szaer were still standing. Szaer fought desperately against both Alakazam and Charizard in defense of her, masterfully wielding the icicles from his Icicle Crash to block Psybeams, Signal Beams, Fire Punches, and Dragon Claws alike.

Once Tyranitar returned to the battle however, with a Focus Punch at the ready, Szaer was also taken out. All three members moved in on Flutter, who used Metronome in a state of absolute despair...

"Cease this battle at once!!" an angered voice commanded of Team A.C.T., Ninetales leaping down from the rocks surrounding them all, a powerful glint in her red eyes. "Team Celeste are my guests. I have been awaiting their arrival at this location." Flutter took this opportunity to get her three companions back up on their feet.

"Ninetales... Please tell us. The legend in which a human grabbed one of your tails, is it really a true event?" Alakazam asked. The other six Pokémon in the area watched this.

After a moment, Ninetales replied. "Hmph! It matters not to me what anyone thinks of the legend's validity in history, but... Yes. It did happen. Many centuries ago, I tried to lay a curse upon a human who had the sheer audacity to grasp one of my tails, but the human's Gardevoir took the curse in their place without any thought about herself..." she recalled. "This human then abandoned their undyingly loyal partner and fled, as I predicted, they were reborn into this world as a Pokémon. Whomever and wherever they are, this human lives on to this very day..."

"And who is this human? We have reason to suspect this Togepi here." Alakazam said. Spurred by Szaer's earlier tirade, Terack interjected in her defense. "Hah, reason?! The Pokémon making that claim absolutely hates our team!"

"Hush." Ninetales said, silencing him before she walked over to Flutter and stared into her eyes. The Togepi felt as though Ninetales's gaze had rooted her to the spot. She held her breath and awaited the judgement... "Flutter... You look very tense. It must have been difficult to endure everything..." Ninetales observed. Flutter gently nodded at her.

"Well, you can relax now. You aren't that human."

A collective gasp echoed out from every other Pokémon, deep relief from Team Celeste's members and abashed surprise from those of Team A.C.T.. Flutter said nothing for a bit as she took this in, before breaking into an overjoyed and tearful run into the embrace of her teammates. "Oh, Flutter... It's just as I thought... I just knew you wouldn't have done that..." Terack said in a choked up voice.

"Team Celeste, there is yet another of your number I wish to see." Ninetales said. "Szaeracier."

"What? You mean to say that he was human too?!" Alakazam asked as Szaer approached Ninetales, genuinely not anticipating this twist. Ninetales didn't answer, she was busy staring hard at him.

"Hmm... How certain are you that you're the human?" Ninetales questioned him. "Completely." Szaer told her. "As a result, it hurt me deeply to see Flutter accused. If it really is me then I can take solace in the fact that I helped to clear the name of an innocent Pokémon. Atonement."

"I admire the way you've chosen to handle your convincement, but you aren't the human either."

Szaer was silent for even longer than Flutter. Had he just heard right? "C-could you repeat that?" he shakily asked. "You are not the human from the legend either." she clarified. He collapsed to his knees, feeling a massive weight finally leave his mind. "I always thought it was me... I'm just... so happy..." Flutter ran into Szaer's arms for a hug, the two quietly crying as they embraced each other.

Ninetales watched this scene for a bit before she turned to address Alakazam. "There is one more thing I must clear up. While it is true that I also foretold of the world's balance becoming upset when I predicted the human's rebirth as a Pokémon, those two events are not related. One event hasn't caused the other. The human of the legend is not responsible for our current state of affairs..." she firmly concluded.

"So you were doubly wrong here! Even if Flutter were the human, she's not a danger to the world!" Terack immediately yelled to Team A.C.T., really chewing them out. "Ah... erm... we... we're very sorry for this..." Alakazam stuttered. Even all his intellect couldn't hide the fact that he'd lost here.

"I have no excuse, Terack. That Gengar truly was maliciously targeting Flutter, just like you told us twice. I'm deeply sorry for what you've been put through..." Tyranitar admitted shamefacedly. Charizard, on the other hand... "Ahaha, I suspected him right from the start. Don't worry about it. Like Szaeracier, I just couldn't admit it... Heh..." This joking around earned him some disapproving stares from Terack and Tyranitar.

"I must say though... prevailing in a difficult journey to find the truth and disprove that slander... Very commendable work from all of you." Alakazam remarked before addressing Szaer in particular. "Szaeracier... Casting aside your respected Black Ice persona and instead aiding a falsely accused fugitive in clearing her name without anyone else suspecting a thing... I'm impressed by your actions and judgement. I forsee a bright future for you in Team Celeste."

"Uhh, Kyan... A question's just came to mind." Terack told him as he watched Flutter and Szaer enjoy sweet absolution. "If neither of them have anything to do with the Ninetales legend then why have they dreamt about that Gardevoir and why would they both become Pokémon? I'm happy they're both cleared but we don't have any more leads now... Just who are they?"

Before Kyan could respond, the area was suddenly gripped by an earthquake of massive proportions. "Oh, this is not good. The world's crust is starting to shift!" Ninetales called. "Our rash of natural calamities are beginning to reach much more dangerous levels... They will awaken the sleeping beast that embodies the very land itself... The mighty Groudon!"

Everyone was shocked and Team Celeste's quartet were also confused. "Groudon?" Terack asked. "Correct. Like Zapdos, Groudon is a Legendary Pokémon. He created the world's continents long ago and has been sleeping ever since the last cataclysmic battle against Kyogre, creator of the seas and his opposing force." Alakazam explained.

"Groudon cannot be allowed to get loose! He must be stopped!" Ninetales said. "Then we'll take care of this job." Alakazam quickly decided. "Team Celeste, leave this one to us. You've got a vindictive Pokémon to discredit."

"Of course." Szaer agreed. He was looking forward to this...

~~~~~

Back at Pokémon Square, Gengar and Ekans were presiding over a small gathering of Pokémon consisting of Caterpie, Lombre, Bellsprout, Snubbull, Shiftry, and Androma. "Keh, so what's the excuse here? Why aren't you lot out there chasing down Flutter's team?!" He wasn't delighted at the complete lack of success so far.

"Have you even heard about how far they've ran?" It's too much for us..." Lombre admitted. "Yes, the Lapis Cave is perhaps the best we could hope for, but that's not their limits." Snubbull observed.

"My Breloom friend cornered them in that cave earlier, but they managed to slip past him." Ann explained to Gengar. "They ran into Mt. Blaze afterwards and that's when I had to pull out. Fire doesn't agree with me at all..." Shiftry continued on. "I don't know what's become of them after that."

All this bad news was starting to annoy Gengar. "Pathetic. Absolutely spineless. It's no wonder you're still Normal Rank." he remarked, to Shiftry's embarrassed indignation.

"I can fill in some blanks." Ann told them. "Reishi teamed up with the Black Ice to clear Mt. Blaze, but it appears that Team Celeste also did so. Once they arrived at the frozen northeast, he saw that the fugitives had been leaving no footprints in the snow. He suspects that they're riding on Kyan the Metang." Begrudgingly impressed murmurs emerged from everyone barring Caterpie, Ekans, and Gengar, the former instead being genuinely impressed. "Reishi couldn't find them afterwards and gave up there."

"So the fugitives actually survived Mt. Blaze!? Oh my, I'm really out of practice compared to them!" Shiftry said in a laugh. Gengar didn't find this funny. "Black Ice not reported back yet?" he asked Ann. "Nope, he's not said a single thing. That region gives him an environmental advantage over them however. He's in his element." she replied.

"Not to forget Team A.C.T. either. They've not given up yet. It's all up to them and him." Bellsprout added hopefully.

Medicham suddenly came frantically running towards them from the west entrance, panicking. "No, no, no, no, no!" she called as she ran up to Gengar and Ekans. "It's horrible! It's horrible! It's about Flutter!"

"I'd say that there's lots of horrible things about Flutter. Kek, want the full list?" Gengar asked, taking this moment to mess with her a little. "No, no, now's not the time! Flutter's back! With her whole team and another Pokémon in it to boot!" she hysterically said to him.

Almost on cue, Flutter, Terack, Kyan, and Szaer all arrived at the square and looked around at the gathering. Aside from three certain Pokémon, they were all pleased to see everyone there. "Hi there everyone, we're back!" Terack happily said. "It's been far too long..."

Gengar only had eyes for Flutter right now. She appeared a little off-colour to him, as well as a bit fragile. "Hello, Flutter. It seems that you and your selfish behind saw fit to return after what took place in our last meeting. I'm sure you remember it well." he said, keeping civil while still attempting to destroy her again.

"I remember it well and I've returned anyway. I'm going to say something here that I should have said back then. No, Gengar. I am not the human from the Ninetales legend. Is that enough?" She looked him in the eye, bursting at the confidence seams and giving him much more defiance than before despite her exhaustion. She wasn't going to let him crush her this time.

"Kekeh? Now where did that come from...?" he asked her, more confused than anything else. "You'll see. I'm going to leave the rest to Team Celeste's newest member, without whom we wouldn't be returning today." Flutter finished off her admittedly weak payback speech before leaving it to someone far more likely to shred asunder Gengar's lies in their current condition.

"So, newbie. What's your name?" Gengar asked Szaer. The Sneasel looked like quick pickings to him. "We've met before, Gengar. My name is Szaeracier and I'm-" he revealed his cloaked disguise. "-the Black Ice!"

Shocked gasps quickly emerged from everyone present. "Geh?! Do you have a screw loose?! Why are you with her?!" Gengar shouted. This was immediately going all wrong for him. "I'm with her because I never believed your lies!" Szaer shot back. "We've found the truth! Flutter has nothing to do with the Ninetales legend! She's innocent!"

"Is that true?!" Shiftry asked them. "Yes, we met up with the very same Ninetales who tried to curse that human. She said that it wasn't Flutter." Kyan replied. "Once we found this out, we rushed straight back."

Gengar looked nervously at Medicham and Ekans and awaited the response that never came as all eyes rested on Team Meanies's trio. "Kekeh! Not so fast. How do we trust you without some solid proof?" he improvised on the spot, a stark contrast to his obviously rehearsed meeting. "Just happening to run across that Ninetales?! Kekekekeh!"

"Proof...? Ah..." Terack murmured. "We, um... don't have any." he admitted.

The wind once more appeared to be at Gengar's back. "Oh, now that's too bad." he said in a mocking tone. "Without proof, all you've done here is saved us the trouble of hunting you down! This is your big chance, everyone!" he announced. "What an amazing double standard. Gengar, you started this with words alone if you've forgotten. Where's your proof that you were even at the Hill of the Ancients?" Szaer suddenly interrupted, calling Gengar out. Ann could have easily debunked Szaer through eyewitness accounts from two friends, but she preferred to watch Gengar squirm.

To Gengar's dismay, none of the Pokémon advanced on Team Celeste this time. "Keh...? Everyone, what's the problem? Weren't you all just wanting to get rid of Flutter?" he asked them. Caterpie, after getting an encouraging little wave from Kyan, finally spoke up. "I've always believed her, you're not going to fool me!" the kid called.

Even if it was just from the child in the group, Gengar was worried. One voice of opposition could soon become several voices and this was all but proven when Shiftry then said his thoughts. "The child's right. You might have convinced me into the hunt but Flutter's team once saved my life. She didn't abandon the likes of me back then and I'm certain now that she wouldn't have abandoned that Gardevoir either. I stand with her." he decided boldly.

This one really scared Gengar, and more was soon to come. Bellsprout, Lombre, and Snubbull also decided that they'd had enough with him and voiced their support for Flutter. Only Ann was left. "H-how about you...?" Gengar nervously asked her.

"I believe her too, no doubt about it. I don't need proof." she said. In a choice between which of these two humans she preferred, Flutter beats Gengar hands down.

Flutter had been a little scared when Gengar started gaining some ground here, so the instant reversal of fortunes was positively overwhelming for her. "Thanks everyone, it means a lot..." she said, hiding some tears from Gengar. As though to complete this wonderful scene, a Pelipper soon scattered some newspapers down upon the thirteen Pokémon when passing by from above with the words "Flutter Innocent!" emblazoned upon the front page. "A special edition? Let's see what the story says." Shiftry said as he picked one up, cleared his throat, and turned the page.

"With Alakazam of the Diamond Ranked Team A.C.T. and Szaeracier, previously known only as the Black Ice, watching her as eyewitnesses, the accused human Flutter met with the Ninetales of the legend earlier today atop Mt. Freeze. Ninetales testified that Flutter... is not the human depicted in her legend." Shiftry read aloud, slowing down a touch as he reached the conclusive evidence. A mass of accusatory eyes fell upon Gengar. "As a result of this evidence, Gengar's earlier accusations and persecution of Flutter have been discovered as intentionally malicious, which the members of Flutter's Team Celeste previously stated."

Gengar was beyond livid. All the good reputation that Team Meanies had built up over its lifetime was destroyed in that single moment. He looked at Medicham and Ekans, his teammates... "I'm afraid this is it, we can't recover from that. Team Meanies is finished." he stated, before turning to face Flutter, barely suppressing his newfound hatred for her.

"You... ruined... everything...! Don't think I'll ever forget this!!" the broken Gengar yelled at her, his team now irrevocably dead because of her perseverance. "Get out of my face, I've had enough of you to last for two lifetimes now." Flutter simply replied, returning the glare. Medicham and Ekans both left together while Gengar went off on his own way.

The happy and apologetic crowd surrounded Team Celeste's members to welcome them back but a downer was soon cast upon this homecoming when Flutter's fatigue, built up from their highly taxing journey, suddenly hit its peak. "I don't... feel too good..." she muttered in a pant.

With Caterpie and Ann accompanying them, Terack, Kyan, and Szaer guided her towards the welcoming bed awaiting her in the team's base. "It's ok to sleep now, pal... We're finally home..." Terack gently whispered to her, laying the Togepi down for a long rest.

"It may not happen immediately but we'll soon be doing rescues together again... Sleep tight, Flutter." he said to his closest friend.

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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon fanfiction (Azure Rescuers/Windswept Explorers)
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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:01 am

And the next curveball is...!


Chapter 13: Smeargle and Howling Forest! A spiteful punch!


Deep into the night, on the day of Team Celeste's vindication, Rubix the Golduck was approaching Zeninthia's room with an update from Ann and a lot on his plate. He knew that she wasn't going to like this news and he couldn't blame her. He didn't like what he'd heard either.

"Ah, Dr. Rubix. I presume that you're bringing news from Androma?" Zeninthia asked him once he entered. "Indeed, but it's not good news. The girl's name has been cleared and she's returned to Pokémon Square. Gengar has been discredited, he's disbanded his team and left for parts unknown. I'm afraid we have lost our opportunity." he admitted.

Zeninthia's red eyes bored into him. "Your plan has failed then... Not only is that human once more in a position where we can't remove her without an uproar, but Gengar has vanished with no way of finding him... I am most displeased."

"I take full liability. I've underestimated Flutter and completely disregarded her companions, just as Reishi made quite clear before he returned." Rubix immediately told her. "A different approach must be taken. Her teammates stopped him and were most integral to her return."

She knew what he was suggesting. "Pick them off first? Although the lord has always wanted us to avoid any Pokémon deaths... we're in a difficult situation here. It's worth considering if they're going to be steadfastly defending her to their last breaths." she stated.

"It wouldn't detract from his desire anyway. Her newest companion is also human. Szaeracier, the Black Ice." Rubix revealed. Zeninthia looked at him in mild surprise. "Reishi's initial concerns of him siding with her were entirely founded after all then..." Zeninthia thought out loud. "Very well. I'll converse with our lord while you develop a new plan. Do not let me down again, doctor."

"As you wish, mistress..." he said with a bow. This time, he would leave nothing to chance.

~~~~~

"Morning, gang!" Terack said to Kyan and Szaer as they all gathered outside the team base. Flutter was still asleep and all three of them had decided to leave it that way and let her rest. "Flutter will need a few days to get back on her feet, but the rest of us are going to get right into the rescue business!" he gave as a morning call to rouse them.

"Unfortunately..." Szaer started as he looked into the mailbox after Pelipper dropped something in it. "There's no rescue mail here. Just my team badge, a welcome back letter from the delivery Pelipper, and the special edition newspaper from yesterday. I don't think word's gotten out yet about Team Celeste's revival."

This definitely took the wind right out of Terack's sails, but Kyan wasn't worried. "We could check the board, but this might be fine in a way. A chance to unwind wouldn't be so bad." he mused to them. "Szaer, there's something I'm wanting to ask. The punching move that you used against Tyranitar to put Team A.C.T. on the immediate back foot, can you teach me how to use that?"

"Dynamic Punch?" Szaer asked as he looked at the Metang's arms. "You look like you could pull that off, so you've got a deal. I'll take you to the dojo and train you myself. There's a move I was hoping to swap it out with either way." he decided. Terack watched over this. "I'll get us restocked on supplies and then keep Flutter company." the Trapinch added in.

"Ohh, very nearly forgot!" Szaer suddenly said. "Since I'm now part of the team for real, there's something I must show you." Both Terack and Kyan looked inquiringly at him.

Szaer led the two off toward the Darkness Ridge and into his secret hideout. "It's not much, but here you are. My... the Black Ice's... little abode. I'd planned to show you this place the moment my badge arrived, as a sort of way to symbolise my new start." It was indeed rather small, with a few miscellaneous possessions dotted around and his disguise now hung up for posterity above his bedding. Both of them were in quiet awe.

"Flutter would have loved to see this..." Terack thought out loud.

~~~~~

The trio soon went for a shopping trip through Pokémon Square after this and were surprised by how remorseful all of the shopkeepers were. The Kecleon Brothers, Persian, and Gulpin apologised for suspecting the team, Kangaskhan and Wigglytuff both claimed to have believed them and said sorry for not speaking up, and all of them wished for Flutter's speedy recovery. Terack was overjoyed to have their troubles behind them, thanking the brothers as Szaer bought a TM he had an eye on.

"I'll go drop by Whiscash's pond and see how Caterpie and Metapod are doing." Terack decided as Kyan and Szaer were about to head for the Makuhita Dojo for their training. "Cool, tell Whiscash and the kids that I said hi!" Kyan called as they split off.

Shiftry soon approached him on the way to the pond. "Good day, Terack. I've got something I want to pose to you. What did happen to Alakazam's team?" he asked. Terack thought back. "An earthquake struck shortly after Flutter was cleared. Ninetales said that Groudon was beginning to awaken so Alakazam and his teammates left to confront this Pokémon." he explained to him. "I admit that I'm sorta worried, Groudon sounds powerful..."

"Yes, it's understandable to be worried." Shiftry told him. "This is Team A.C.T. though, we're in safe hands." Terack headed off from him afterwards and headed to Whiscash's pond. Caterpie and Metapod were both delighted to see him, while Whiscash had something weighing heavily on his mind.

"Terack... I want you to know that I deeply regret my part in these events. Knowing now of Flutter's human past, I shouldn't have gotten so carried away with that story. I can't imagine what hearing it must have done to her head." Whiscash confessed guiltily. Terack immediately felt bad for him, the Trapinch began imagining how he must have felt when Flutter's secret was so insensitively exposed a mere day after telling her the legend.

"It's alright, this isn't your fault. You had no way of knowing about her. All you did was tell us some old folklore." Terack tried to console the old Pokémon. He couldn't blame Whiscash for this, not in the slightest. "Thank you, youngster... How is she doing?" Whiscash asked as Androma approached with hands behind her back.

"She's sleeping right now. It's just a case of exhaustion, a few days off and she'll be fine." Terack told them. "That's very good news." Ann said. "Terack, I've been looking around for you. There's something I'm wanting to give."

He turned to see the Clefable, a curious look on her face. "What is it?" Terack asked her. In her arms was a small box, and she opened it to reveal a silver bell made into a necklace. "A Soothe Bell. You see..." she started to explain. "I led a Rescue Team when I was a little Cleffa, but Gengar's Team Meanies started to harass and bully us. It got so bad that my friends both ran away and I ended up challenging his team. They won and left me there as a devastated and hurt mess..."

Terack was immediately saddened by her admission. "I knew that his gang were doing this to new teams, but hearing it from one of his past victims makes me very sad..." he said. Ann nodded. "A Pokémon found me and brought me back to health before giving me this Soothe Bell. It has the power to calm and soothe the emotions of those nearby." she demonstrated with a single shake of the bell. The ringing noise immediately put a stop to his sadness and Whiscash's guilt.

"This bell gave me the strength to carry on from rock bottom, but I want Flutter to have it now. She needs it more than I do and I think that the death of Team Meanies is a perfect moment for me to part with this. Please give it to her." Ann explained. Terack was speechless for a little moment, but he understood her entirely.

"I promise." he told her firmly and honestly.

~~~~~

The team's active trio met up outside the base again the next day. "Morning! That bell's really helping, Flutter's quite happy. Still not ready to jump back in but she's content otherwise." he told Kyan and Szaer. "How did it go at the dojo yesterday?"

"Brilliantly. All he had to do was put more power and force into his Brick Break at the cost of technique and accuracy. Kyan soon picked up Dynamic Punch once he got that part down and my own training went well too." Szaer explained before he went to check the mailbox. "We've got a job request over here!" he called as Terack and Kyan gathered around him to see it as he read to himself.

"Um... A Smeargle who ran away from his tribe because he... didn't want to become an adult...?" Szaer outwardly wondered. "I don't fully understand that, but it's not our place to question this. Anyway... It says that the fellow is lost in the Howling Forest, which isn't very far east of Thunderwave Cave." he told them, drawing the location out from memory. A plan took shape for Terack.

"How about I take this one myself? You two did do plenty of training while I had it easy yesterday, so I'd like to make up for that." he suggested to them. After a quick look at each other, Kyan and Szaer both gave their approval. "Alright, but stay safe. Don't be afraid to stock up." Szaer told him.

They both waved Terack off after this and went inside the base. Androma was nearby, having heard the destination. She rushed off into the trees nearby and began sending a message to Rubix. Receiving the hologram on the other end, he listened to her report. "Terack the Trapinch is taking a solo trip into the Howling Forest. Send our waiting operative there and I will take care of things on my end."

~~~~~

Entering the Howling Forest, Terack was surprised to find it an easy dungeon even without any of his teammates watching his back. This forest dungeon was relatively unremarkable but what caught his eye was a noticeably greater variety and quality of TMs he found scattered around.

Neither he, nor Kyan and Szaer, were interested in any of the moves contained within them at this point but Terack decided to hold on to one for Solar Beam. He hoped Flutter would find that useful.

The dungeon continued to be a walk in the park, even when it surprisingly entered a cave system later one, and Terack soon found the Smeargle at a dead end. The Pokémon looked hopelessly lost.

"Hey, are you Sme-" Terack started before he felt some sort of rumble in the ground. A Steelix then burst out from the ground in front of him with a roar before very much more could be said.

"Haha, so you're Terack!?" the Steelix asked in a loud roar, staring down at him. "I've heard about you! It's probably because I'm so big but you really are a puny looking creature!" Terack was instantly rubbed the wrong way." Wha...? Who are you?!" he asked back.

"I'm Hebyacel, and I've been sent to personally exterminate you! Get ready for your end!!"

~~~~~

Back in the team's base, Kyan and Szaer were both keeping Flutter company. She had been up and talking happily with them earlier but was now enjoying a quiet nap. Both of them were pleased to see no more of the worries and anxiety that previously defined her recently.

Ann soon walked in, ready to ask them something. "Kyan and Szaeracier, have you both seen Terack anywhere?" Of course, she knew where he was. She was instead instigating a conversation to lead them somewhere. "He's out taking a job in the Howling Forest." Kyan told her.

"T-the Howling Forest...? I've heard that there's a very powerful and dangerous Steelix running rampant in there right now!" she said in a worried tone. Her intention was to send them into Hebyacel's path and they both took the bait.

"What?!" Szaer immediately exclaimed. "I shouldn't have let him go off alone!" he called as he ran off for the dungeon. "I'm coming too!" Kyan called as he followed Szaer out, leaving Ann with the sleeping Flutter.

"That worked like a charm. They truly are a tight knit group. Now, there's one more thing I need to do here today..."

~~~~~

No matter how hard he tried, Terack was getting absolutely brutalized by Hebyacel. Even with Focus Energy, Dig and Superpower were both doing very little damage to the Steelix's iron hard body before an Earthquake unearthed him during another Dig for some major damage. Hebyacel quickly capitalised upon this with his much greater weight, the bottom of his head glowing silver as he crushed the Trapinch mercilessly underneath him with Heavy Slam. Smeargle was only able to hide and cower.

"Paltry insect, I hoped you'd put up more of a fight than this!" Hebyacel roared as he watched Terack barely manage to stand up. "No matter, we'll have one less obstacle impeding us once I annihilate you!" Watching the Steelix rear down towards him with ice quickly coating his teeth, Terack couldn't find the strength to dig away...

Floating forwards as fast as he possibly could, Kyan suddenly zipped in from behind Hebyacel and intercepted the Steelix's Ice Fang with the Zen Headbutt that had newly replaced Take Down, ice coated teeth being met with the sparkling blue spike at the front of his body. "K-Kyan...?!" Terack said in amazement.

"This is for Thunderwave Cave, Terack!" Kyan called as he repelled Hebyacel away with Telekinesis, slamming him into the wall before pulling him straight into the confusion inducing Dynamic Punch. Szaer arrived just in time to see the combo and was amazed by what he witnessed. "Using Telekinesis to make up for Dynamic Punch's shortcomings?! I'm beyond impressed!" he exclaimed.

Kyan was aglow at this praise. "Thanks! I'll watch over Terack, you take care of that Pokémon!" he commanded as their opponent soon managed to return to reality. "Alright. It's just you and me!" Szaer said out loud to the Steelix.

Hebyacel started with an attempt at Earthquake, but a narrow black beam shot from Szaer's joined hands, his Spite move, immediately stopped him from using it. "Grah! The rumors are true, you're a tricky opponent!" the Steelix remarked in his standard roar. He tried Heavy Slam instead, but Szaer quickly avoided each one and got off a hit with the Power-Up Punch move he'd previously learned from his purchased TM in place of Whirlpool. Each time he did this, the power behind his attacks only intensified.

The Steelix finally managed to land a hit on him with Aqua Tail, but this resulted in a boosted Payback causing Hebyacel substantial damage. A collision between Icicle Crash and Heavy Slam finally put the attacking Steelix out of the battle.

"Heh... heh... had enough...?" Szaer panted, having done a lot of dodging and attacking throughout the Heavy Slam spam. "Grr...!" Hebyacel growled in his fatigue. "Reishi truly was right after all...! Fine, I'll let you all live this time but we're going to settle this soon!" he declared before tunneling back from where he came. "You know Reishi!? Hey, get back here!" Szaer yelled after him.

Terack was mildly confused. "Reishi? Who's that?" he asked, stumbling a little. "I'll explain when we finish that job you were on." Szaer said, giving him an Oran Berry he'd found earlier before turning to the hiding Smeargle. "I do apologise for the scene. We're Team Celeste."

~~~~~

"Thank you all so very much!" Smeargle said to the three as their badges took them all out of the dungeon. "You truly have saved me from great peril today!" The four Pokémon were now outside Team Celeste's base.

Terack was still a little sore but it wasn't too bad. Nothing that he couldn't walk off. "You're welcome, but... why exactly did you run away from your tribe? We had some difficulty understanding it in your job request..."

"Ah, that I can explain to you..." Smeargle began before he saw two other Smeargle arrive behind them. "Oh? My friends?" he noticed. "Wonderful, you've found him. We've been looking all over since he ran off before the grown-up ritual." one of them said.

"Grown-up ritual?" Kyan asked them. "Indeed." the other one replied to him. 'See, it's a Smeargle custom. When our species reaches a certain age, other Smeargle use one of their front paws to press down upon the back, leaving a paw print like the ones you see here." they explained, turning around to show the green paw print on their backs. Szaer got a quick look at the Smeargle they had rescued turning his back for a brief moment and indeed saw no paw print.

"I can't go through with that! I just can't...!" the printless Smeargle fretted. "But... When I saw these three Pokémon fighting that scary creature just to save me, I think my whole life flashed before my eyes... I'm sorry, my friends. I've clearly worried you all by running off. I don't think I realised what I had until I almost lost it forever..."

The elder Smeargle pair nodded. "We'll just have the print done and say no more about this. Come along now."

"Alright..." he finally relented. "I like being a kid, but that was a frightening moment. If it means I'll be safer then I'll do it. Thanks again for the help." he graciously said before leaving with the other Smeargle.

"I'm glad that worked out. Now, about Reishi." Terack said to Szaer. "Of course. Reishi happens to be the name of the Breloom you met in Lapis Cave." Szaer revealed. Kyan remembered him for all the wrong reasons. "That Breloom?!"

Szaer nodded in reply. "The very one. What most concerns me here is that Reishi still doesn't sound as though he likes this team very much, even after Ninetales proved Flutter's innocence. The Steelix's attempts to kill you, Terack, made that very clear to me. I suspect that this Breloom was using the hunt for his own gains like I was..."

"You think? If he wasn't after Flutter and us because of Gengar's lies, then what truly drove him?" Kyan asked him gravely. "That I don't know. I'm going to head off to near the Frosty Forest first thing tomorrow and look into this. It was where he gave up on the hunt and nobody has seen him since. Make sure you both look after yourselves and Flutter while I'm out." Szaer told them.

"Understood. Kyan, we'll both sleep with Flutter tonight. Good luck on your search." Terack wished him as the Sneasel departed for his hideout. "Mmm, things are getting tough again..." Kyan said as they both entered the base and took positions next to Flutter for sleep.

"Don't worry, they'll blow over soon. I'm sure Szaer will find Reishi." Terack reassured him as they both went to sleep, failing to notice some sort of small device attached underneath their table...

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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon fanfiction (Azure Rescuers/Windswept Explorers)
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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:30 am

Szaer's search, Team A.C.T.'s situation, and a monkey gang's tempers all begin to heat up.


Chapter 14: Primeape and Uproar Forest! Roasted Chestnuts!


Thanks to the device left by Ann, Zeninthia and Rubix were now able to listen in to any conversation had by Team Celeste's members in their own base. "Mistress, Hebyacel may have been unable to finish all three of Flutter's companions at once, but we still have a major tactical victory tonight thanks to Ann." Rubix explained to Zeninthia.

"And we now have a direct link to their team base through the device hidden there? Excellent." she replied to him. Terack's voice could soon be heard by them.

"Don't worry, they'll blow over soon. I'm sure Szaer will find Reishi."

"...they're onto us." Zeninthia said in a hushed whisper. Rubix wasn't at all pleased. "Did that loudmouth Steelix say too much to them? This may be a problem." he surmised.

Zeninthia thought quickly. "No. We can make this work to our advantage, doctor. Szaeracier is clearly not dumb, if he's searching for Reishi then he would do well to look near the Frosty Forest." The Golduck quickly understood her intentions. "You suggest that we set a trap for him there?"

"Exactly. Send Ignephra to do the deed. Tell Reishi that he is not to leave Deuvide's base until the heat is off..." she quietly replied.

~~~~~

Early next morning, Szaer's investigation in the Frosty Forest's outskirts was underway. He was talking to a Ditto who claimed to have seen the Breloom leave.

"Yes, Ditto saw the Pokémon you're looking for! Ditto saw them leave on another Pokémon!" the Ditto told him. "Could you..." Szaer started wondering, recalling what a Ditto is best known for. "...transform into this Pokémon he left on? I'm looking for that Breloom." he asked.

"Yeppers, Ditto will show you!" Szaer was told before the Ditto transformed into a copy of Derkomai the Salamence. Having used memory alone, some details were wrong but the transformation was sufficient enough for Szaer's needs. "A Salamence? I see..."

"Ditto saw them flying off to the left." the Ditto/Salamence told him. This didn't really give Szaer much to go on due to his present location being far east, but it did rule out the southeastern peninsula which contained the Wyvern Hill, unusual for a Dragon type. "Thanks for the help, you may go now." The Ditto returned to normal and went back into the forest.

"First a Breloom and Steelix, now a Salamence too... What could those three be up to?" Szaer wondered. He then noticed that something was beginning to feel awfully warm all of a sudden. Sensing danger, he leapt aside... just in time to avoid a stream of lava coming from within the trees.

"An Eruption?! Whoever's in there had better show themselves! I know you've not a native Pokémon!" he yelled. A Typhlosion soon emerged onto the path, his face bearing a murderous look. "This is your only warning, Szaeracier. If you value your pitiful life, you will drop your investigation. Now."

Szaer wasn't really too intimidated, and he made that known to his attacker. "Reishi sent you, I presume? Threats from an assassin will not end my search." he declared. Ignephra gave Szaer a dangerous smirk. The Typhlosion had gone too long without ending a human...

"Then I'll drop it for you." he said, letting his burning dislike fuel his next Eruption as he lowered his head to send out another stream of lava from his red openings. Szaer avoided it by jumping upon a tree before hitting Ignephra with Spite, zeroing out the move's energy.

Annoyed at this, Ignephra charged up and fired a Solar Beam that the Sneasel also evaded. "Pathetic cretin, stop dodging!" he furiously yelled as he used Nature Power. It turned into Swift, the homing stars catching him during a jump. "In just a moment, you'll wish I could have dodged that one." Szaer told him after landing. Payback was then unleashed, the black projectiles pelting Ignephra and blowing him into a tree. Szaer used this moment to flee.

Ignephra picked himself up and noticed that his quarry had scarpered. "Running away... Of course you'd do that, you're a human. Your kind is known for this..." he muttered.

~~~~~

Back at Pokémon Square in this moment, a meeting was taking place. It was organised by Shiftry and consisted of a great many Pokémon from Rescue Teams, some local and others from afar. Terack and Kyan were also in attendance. "I wonder what Shiftry has in mind..." Kyan asked out loud.

"Can I please have everyone's attention over here? Thank you." Shiftry said, somewhat uncomfortably, to get the meeting started. "I do apologise, setting up a meeting like this is not my strong suit..." he mumbled as he immediately went off track until stopping himself.

"Pull yourself together, Shiftry. Now's not the time for that. We have a big problem here!" The attending Pokémon looked questioningly at him as he pushed himself back into things. "Alakazam's Team A.C.T. went underground to combat the awakening Groudon a few days ago and they haven't returned!"

Questioning looks soon became those of shock and fear. "Are you serious?!" one disbelieving voice called. "I hate to admit it, but I'm serious." he replied. "Alakazam led his team underground, but that's the last we've heard from them. We have no way of knowing what happened, short of going underground ourselves."

"But that's impossible, right?" some voices asked. "There's got to be magma every which way you look down there, right?" This last one unnerved Kyan somewhat. It reminded him of Mt. Blaze. "That's why I've gathered together so many Rescue Teams in Pokémon Square today. I plan to have a special team be formed, from the very best of the best, in order to overcome this challenge!" Shiftry called. Approving murmurs surfaced at this idea.

"If any Pokémon here feels that they have what it takes to venture underground and save Team A.C.T., please step forward!" he called once more. Everyone began looking around at each other. "Terack, what do you think?" Kyan asked him. "Um... Maybe not, I don't think we could do this as a duo. If Flutter were alright and Szaer were here, it'd be worth a shot." Terack acknowledged. Their time wasn't now.

Eventually, someone did step up. "I'll go." With his teammates Feraligatr, Swampert, and Empoleon all backing him, Blastoise of the Silver Ranked Team Hydro went towards Shiftry. An Octillery leading the Gold Ranked Team Constrictor followed Blastoise in her approach with the support of a Cradily, Tentacruel, and Malamar, while the Golem in command of the Bronze Ranked Team Rumblerock brought up the rear while watched by his two Graveler underlings.

Shiftry recognised all three volunteering Pokémon and was very pleased by them stepping up. He and all the Pokémon present approved of this selection before cheering them all off.

~~~~~

Terack and Kyan were both gathered inside the team base with some job requests when Szaer returned. Flutter was snoozing away in bed. "Welcome back, how did things go?" Kyan asked him. Szaer briefly paused before telling them of his findings.

"Reishi and Hebyacel are in league with a Salamence, huh?" Terack asked out loud. "Right. This Salamence arrived to pick Reishi up and they flew off west, which gives me too much to go on. A Typhlosion then attacked me with the demand that I drop the investigation which suggests that they're on to me somehow." Szaer explained. "I escaped just fine but I still don't know what's going on or what these four Pokémon have in mind." he told them.

"The Breloom must be rather desperate if he's trying to halt your search..." Kyan wondered. "Indeed... I think it would be best to continue with our rescue work for now and wait for them to move against us once more. I need time to narrow down where Reishi's band may be hiding, but trust me when I say this isn't over." he concluded before heading out with them to read their job requests.

Zeninthia once more had instant access to their conversation. Intrigued by Szaer's methods, she started wondering aloud. "Waiting for us to take the initiative, huh?" Sending a message for Rubix to see her, she awaited his arrival with the yellow circles on her body glowing in anticipation and mild frustration.

"You wished to see me, mistress?" Rubix asked. "Indeed, doctor. It appears that Szaeracier discovered Derkomai's involvement and then escaped from Ignephra. He now has eyes on each member of Deuvide except for ourselves and Androma." she revealed. Rubix was beyond astonished. "H-he's tricky... That's a full fifty percent of us under the scope when we include the lord."

"Yes. This is beginning to get dangerous, but he claims to have too much leads. He's waiting for us to make another action against Team Celeste that he can use to narrow down our location. He can't be allowed this." Zeninthia declared. "Send the word. We are to refocus our attention on Gengar from here on out."

Rubix gave her an understanding bow. "I understand. With Szaeracier being this focused on finding the intentions of our members, it may be best to give him and young Flutter a reprieve for the foreseeable future..." he bitterly admitted. For now, Team Celeste and Deuvide were at a stalemate...

~~~~~

Terack, Kyan, and Szaer all gathered outside the team base the next day, elated with their work yesterday. They'd saved a good number of Pokémon and were now almost a stone's throw away from the Gold Rank, but that couldn't compare to their joy when they heard a bubbly and cheery voice coming from inside the base.

It was the voice of someone who Terack had quietly missed the company of in dungeons. Flutter walked out from the base, looking ready to take on the world. "Morning gang, I'm feeling much better now~!"

"Aww, that's amazing. You look so much better too." Terack replied. He was very happy to have back the Flutter who stood up to Zapdos atop Mt. Thunder despite earlier having her shell chipped by the powerful Pokémon. "That's wonderful news, I've been waiting for the moment when we can both do rescue requests together." Szaer said, genuine delight and honesty in his voice as he checked the mailbox.

He soon pulled one out and looked through it. "Just the one today, but it looks interesting." The team gathered around him for a look. "It's from a kid named Wynaut. He says that there's a gang of... monkeys suddenly running rampant through the Uproar Forest, where he lives with his friend Wobbuffet. The place is very close to Mt. Steel, just a bit east."

"Gang of monkeys? We're not getting anything more specific?" Kyan asked. "I'm afraid not. It could be a pack of Aipom merely causing trouble or a group of Chimchar being led by a powerful and troublesome Infernape. We'll have to go through this carefully." Szaer told him. "Before we head off though... Flutter, there's something I want to show you."

Terack watched them both run off. "That Darkness Ridge hideout, I'll bet. I think Szaer's really been looking forward to this..."

~~~~~

The Uproar Forest was, without a doubt, the team's easiest dungeon trek yet thanks to all four members throwing themselves straight in with everything they had. Most startling of all though was Flutter.

Even though she'd been out of action for a few days, watching Flutter today was proof enough that she hadn't gone rusty. It was quite the opposite, actually. The time off had given her a chance to regain the focus and command that she'd completely lost when chased out of the square. She used the Solar Beam TM Terack found in the Howling Forest early on to learn this move over Metronome and also learned Ancient Power over Secret Power in a battle against a Venonat. Terack was pleased to see the positive changes in her.

Team Celeste reached the end with little difficulty on their part and found themselves face to face with a trio of, as the job request made clear, monkey Pokémon. A Primeape, Simisage, and Simisear. There were half peeled Chestnuts all over the place and the Primeape had a look of pure frustration on his face that soon escalated into a raging rampage which prompted the Simisage and Simisear to do the same.

It was a battle with little to note. Terack distracted them by hiding underground with Dig, leaving all three wide open and surprised. Flutter, Kyan, and Szaer then took out Simisear, Primeape, and Simisage with Ancient Power, Zen Headbutt, and Icicle Crash respectively.

"Wait, that's it...?" Flutter asked, a little surprised by the anticlimax.

~~~~~

"...and like that, we taught the monkey gang that they shouldn't monkey around." Terack said to the Wynaut and Wobbuffet awaiting them. Flutter held in a giggle, while Kyan and Szaer both looked at each other and chose to say nothing.

"Oh, thank you all! We're both so very grateful!" Wynaut told them. Wobbuffet, not much of a talker, said nothing. The... lipstick-like markings around Wobbuffet's mouth also caught Szaer by surprise. "This is our thanks, Team Celeste." Wynaut said as he gave Flutter a peeled Chestnut. "I'm afraid we don't have money or anything else to give you other than that, I really hope it's ok."

Flutter wasn't particularly put off by this reward. "It's alright, I wouldn't really ask for much. We're just glad to help fix your problem."

"Ya better think again, punk!" someone called out to them from behind. Primeape approached this gathering of six, flanked by Simisage and Simisear. "Did you guys seriously follow us back here...?" Szaer asked in exasperation.

"You betcha, and we're so totally gonna whup ya this time! You caught us unawares before but not now!" Primeape yelled and rushed at the group before skidding to a stop at the sight of the peeled Chestnut in Flutter's arms. "Ehhh... Actually, change of plans. Gimme the Chestnut you've got and we'll call it even."

Flutter was just downright confused at this point. "Um, you really want this?" she asked, needing some clarification. "Yea. You see... I really love them. Like, really. I can't get enough of them, but the spiny shells hurt to peel and it gets me so mad...!" he explained. This was quickly beginning to add up. "And that's why you guys rampaged?" Kyan asked.

"I really don't care for them meself. I prefer sweet foods, but he's my friend." Simisear added in. "Ya! When something gets my bud angry then we get angry too, yo!" Simisage continued.

"Alright, hang on for a moment." Flutter said, beckoning her teammates over for a discussion. "Terack, remember back to when we saved Metapod? Just after Szaer left, you were wanting to make a really impressive team base right here." she told him.

"I remember that. What are you planning?" Terack asked her. Kyan had an inkling as to her idea. "You're thinking that they could help us build that for this peeled Chestnut?" he said questioningly. "Not just that. Remember all the Chestnuts laying around the area we found them in? Primeape and his friends can bring them back, Szaer can peel them, then they help us with the base." Flutter proposed.

"My claws can do that." Szaer said with a nod. The discussion ended and Flutter turned to face Primeape, laying down their plan. "Y-you'll peel all our Chestnuts for us if we'll help you remodel that team base of yours?" he asked.

"Yep. We're after something that really says who we are, but we need your muscles to do this. Are you in?" Flutter said. Primeape stared at Flutter's shell as he listened to what her team was after before agreeing and rushing off in a flash, hauling all his half peeled Chestnuts over there with the kind of joy one could expect from a baby.

Primeape placed the pile next to Szaer. "Alright boys, leave everything else to me." the Sneasel said, claws ready.

~~~~~

And so, supplied with a whole load of peeled Chestnuts courtesy of Szaer, Primeape and his gang happily began work on Team Celeste's base with aid from Caterpie, Metapod, the Beldum duo, Diglett, the Jumpluff duo, Androma, Wynaut, and Wobbuffet.

Within a few days, during which Team Celeste finally attained the Gold Rank, their base was finally completed. "Primeape, you really knew what we were going for. It's as though you read my mind..." she said as she looked at the new base, adoration in her eyes.

It looked exactly like a giant unhatched Togepi egg, complete with the red and blue shapes decorating it. Even the mailbox had gotten a lift, it looked like a hatched egg on its side when opened. Terack, Kyan, and Szaer were also pleased with the work.

"Glad y'all like this, it was great to do something with my hands that didn't make me want to thrash around in the forest for once." Primeape admitted. "You're very welcome. Oh, if you're ever having trouble with Chestnuts again, bring them here and I'll take care of things." Szaer told him.

Primeape immediately went for a high five followed by a handshake with him. "Ya, that's awesome! See y'all some other time!" he said, waving goodbye before leaving with Simisage and Simisear, Wynaut and Wobbuffet following them. Szaer watched them head off. "I get the feeling that I've changed somewhat since joining Team Celeste. A little more light hearted... I like this." he mused before heading inside with the team, everyone else dispersing.

It was a two story base with the table bugged with Ann's device located downstairs and four large and separate beds upstairs. The sight of this gave Flutter a happy idea.

"Terack... For you, this has been a long time overdue, but-" she said, almost feeling as though she were in a dream. "-gather your possessions. You too, Kyan and Szaer. I want us all to live here now. It's Team Celeste's home and base."

_________________
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon fanfiction (Azure Rescuers/Windswept Explorers)
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Gengarzilla

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PostSubject: Re: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Azure Rescuers   Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:00 am

It's time for the beginning of the end.


Chapter 15: Groudon and Magma Cavern! Earth Power!


"Ggh... This dungeon is hard going..." Blastoise exclaimed in exhaustion through gritted teeth. He, Octillery, and Golem had just passed through the Magma Cavern waypoint and were approaching the very depths of the dungeon, but all three of them had been through a lot to reach this spot.

Golem attempted to remain confident. "We've just gotten past the waypoint, there can't be very much more ahead." he told them. His optimism was very quickly shattered by the sight of the room ahead. It was completely packed with sleeping Onix.

"Darlings, I say we proceed through this room with the absolute utmost of care..." Octillery whispered to them. "We'll be overwhelmed by the large number of Onix if they wake up." she continued.

They were halfway through the room when an earthquake struck, and the three of them braced themselves to avoid falling over. It soon abated, but the noise had awoken the whole pack of Onix. They outnumbered the trio of rescuers five to one.

"...Crud." Blastoise weakly stated as he aimed his Hydro Cannon alongside Octillery's Octazooka and Golem's Focus Blast. The three had gotten out of the frying pan and into the fire.

~~~~~

Elsewhere, Flutter was slowly stirring and found herself to be in that very same dream sequence. There was one significant alteration present however. Szaer was next to her and also waking up.

"You're dreaming this too?" she asked the Sneasel in abject surprise. "Yeah, apparently so." he replied, thinking back. "I haven't seen this since before I met Articuno..."

The spectral image of Gardevoir then came into view. "Gardevoir... There's just..." Flutter started, trying to find her words."...There's so much I need to ask you. Why do you appear to Szaer and I in our dreams like this?" she finally asked that burning question.

"I am... an agent of spirits. It is my role to watch over you both..."

"I see..." Szaer mumbled as he looked down, quite abashed now that he finally knew. "I'd been shutting you out all this time..." Flutter looked over at him. "It's ok. Terack's told me your story from outside Mt. Freeze, you were just going through a rough time."

"Thank you." he said to the Togepi comforting him before turning to Gardevoir. "Agent of spirits?"

"Yes. After falling under Ninetales's curse in the place of my trainer, I was subjected to this fate. A presence without any physical form..."

"The curse... Just as I heard from the legend. It's truly awful what your trainer did, abandoning you after what you'd done for them..." Flutter told her, greatly sympathising with the spirit now that her possible involvement was disproved. Szaer simply nodded, Flutter having said exactly what he thought.

"My trainer... was a terrible person. Very mean and dishonest to all those around him. He truly wasn't very nice, but... I don't hate him."

Szaer was a little confused. "You don't hate someone like that? I don't understand why. Is there something that wasn't depicted in the legend?" Flutter was hit with a strange mix of emotions. Whoever and wherever this trainer is, whatever Pokémon species he'd become, Flutter considered them to be astoundingly lucky for Gardevoir's lack of dislike.

"No, the legend didn't miss anything. I... don't actually know why. It's something I occasionally ponder. I guess... Underneath his negative characteristics, there were a handful of good traits deep inside. Regardless of the reason, I was desperate beyond measure to protect him from Ninetales.

"Desperate to protect a trainer like that? I suppose I can trust your judgement of him since this was your trainer, but still..." Flutter trailed off in wonder, still not quite on the same page. "As few as they were, those good traits he possessed must have meant a lot to you, right?" Szaer asked Gardevoir. "It must have been the side to him that only you knew about."

"We Gardevoir are simply like that too. When our trainers are facing mortal danger, our powers peak as we defend them. It is our duty. I saved him from this fate, that knowledge alone was enough to bring me great joy..."

"I think I can understand a little more now, if it's merely second nature to your species. Protecting them to your last breath... I can't believe it's never occurred to me just how incredible Gardevoir are..." Szaer remarked in admiration. "Any trainer would be fortunate to have one as a companion."

"I must also say that I honestly have no regrets about the form that I've now taken. I've been living on in this way with pride for the role I now have..."

Flutter felt rather gratified hearing Gardevoir say this. "Alright... If you're happy like this then I'm happy too." Szaer wanted to know a little more. "Your role?" he asked.

"All things in this world and the one you two originate from, they have their own roles. Nothing in either world is without a purpose. Nothing is meaningless. I have my role, as do you both and your two teammates... Flutter, Szaeracier, both of you have a particular role to play. It is because of this that the two of you were brought here and transformed from human to Pokémon...

Flutter was beyond caught off guard, not expecting this conversation to suddenly lead to the long desired reason for their existence here. Before she or Szaer could question Gardevoir further, an earthquake could suddenly be felt ravaging the area. It cut their conversation short and Gardevoir then vanished, as did they...

~~~~~

The two of them both woke up the next morning and stared at each other before getting up. "Did we just have the same dream?" Flutter asked him. "Seems so, but we didn't learn too much about why we're both here. Earthquakes..." Szaer muttered.

Terack and Kyan woke up afterwards. "Morning, gang!" Terack said before getting a look at their faces. "Something up?" he asked, coming closer with Kyan behind him. "Szaer and I both had another dream with Gardevoir. Not separately either, it was as though we'd had a shared dream." Flutter explained.

"Wha...?" Kyan replied in confusion. "So, did she tell you both anything important?" Szaer shrugged in response. "It depends. She said that we both have the same reason for being here, but nothing more than that." he told them.

Flutter took a passing stare at the map on the wall, the same map given by one of the Jumpluff and used extensively when Team Celeste were fugitives. "It's interesting. We're not any closer to that reason though. Let's get started with today." she decided, choosing to wait until the next dream.

A check in their mailbox turned up nothing so the team went off to the Pelipper Post Office to look over the bulletin board instead. They would instead find themselves walking into another gathering of Rescue Teams in the middle of Pokémon Square. "Did something happen with those three Pokémon we sent?" Terack asked out loud.

Bellsprout detached himself from the crowd at the sound of this and headed over to them. "Y-yes, but you're not going to like this..." he weakly admitted as he guided them to the front to see for themselves. There, laying beaten and bruised, were Blastoise, Octillery, and Golem.

"What happened here!?" Kyan immediately asked despite suspecting the answer. Shiftry was right behind the fallen trio, unease in his face. "They were wiped out down there... The team couldn't clear that dungeon. Blastoise says that they never even reached Groudon..."

"Kek! Well, what did you all expect!" the mocking voice of Gengar called out as he pushed his way in front. Flutter was incensed. What was he doing here?! "This is what happens when you try and challenge such impossible odds! Your attempt was doomed before it even began!"

Szaer was about to retaliate, but Flutter cut him off. "Not you again! Stay out of this, we're trying to save Alakazam's team! Don't you dare butt in!" she furiously shot back, nettled. Gengar wasn't very pleased to see her confront him yet again, the Togepi who destroyed his team and aspirations of world domination. The Sneasel quietly decided to let Flutter deal with this critic.

"...Flutter, you never learn. It's such idiocity that will lead you to your end. That goes for everyone else here! Face facts and give up because there are no prizes for trying! You're all attempting the impossible!" Gengar replied to her in silent fury before raising his voice for all to hear. Entirely thanks to the defeat of their trio, panic, doubt, and hysteria were quickly prominent throughout every other Pokémon listening aside from Team Celeste's members.

Hearing statements of "E-even our leader Blastoise went down..." and "I can't do it, the fire would ruin me..." from Team Hydro's Feraligatr and a Leavanny respectively was bad enough for Flutter, but what sealed this for her was Shiftry's declaration of "My fans would burn up... we can't pull this off." and Gengar's jubilant nasty grin at her. She beckoned her teammates over for a discussion.

"Flutter, what's the plan?" Terack asked her. She looked him firmly in the eyes. "I refuse to just give up and let Gengar sway everyone in the square again. Not this time, not ever. I'm going to rescue Team A.C.T." she decided, the resolve exuding from her being very obvious.

Closing his eyes, Szaer nodded. "I thought you'd want that. Count me in." he told her. "I'm in too." Terack voiced his assent. Kyan took a little longer to reply due to the thought of fire, but he agreed too. "You three are the best. Kyan, lift me up. I need to make a statement." Flutter said.

She got on top of Kyan as the Metang carried her above the wayward crowd. Imitating Shiftry's throat clearing from the last meeting, she began. "Everyone!" All eyes turned towards her. "We're going! My Team Celeste will go and rescue Alakazam's team!" Gengar was supremely irritated at the sight and sound of this while murmurs spread around the assembled teams.

"I feel like I should know that Pokémon speaking up there." one voice could be heard saying.

"Where have you been? That's Flutter, leader of the Gold Ranked Team Celeste." another one replied. Hearing that one really did strike a nerve in Gengar. "When did those chumps get Gold Rank...!?" he whispered ruefully to himself. This was the same rank as his now defunct Team Meanies.

"Wait, Flutter? Wasn't she the one falsely accused of being the human from the Ninetales legend?" Gengar could just die from embarrassment at the mention of the payback scheme that backfired explosively.

"Yeah, that's her. She and her whole team were living it really rough as fugitives until they met Ninetales herself..." Terack thought back to how sickly she had been by the time they reached Mt. Freeze...

"Can she really pull this off? I heard that she ended up ill with exhaustion for a few days after her name was cleared..." one Pokémon said in concern. Flutter heard this and was quietly touched.

"I've recovered completely now!" she called in response to the last one. "I admit that this isn't going to be easy... but something is only impossible if you never try it at all!" Gengar's temper was quickly rising. "Team Celeste was born out of the wish held by my close friend and teammate Terack, he wanted to help Pokémon affected by our rash of natural disasters and this is exactly the position that Team A.C.T. are in!" Terack watched her try to rally all the Pokémon here, adoration present in his eyes. Szaer simply marveled at how far she'd come since they first met in the Sinister Woods.

"Never giving up is a big part of our pride! Pride as rescuers!" she called, words seamlessly coming out as she confidently continued. "That's how Team Celeste managed to meet with Ninetales, and we'll use it to push forwards and rescue Alakazam!" Flutter finished on a high note. Not once had Gengar felt this annoyed and frustrated by a single Pokémon. "Keh!! For once in your life, put up, shut up, and wise up!!" he practically roared at his nemesis.

"No, the girl's absolutely right." Blastoise suddenly said as he pulled himself back up to his feet. "This is only one failure. Nothing stops us from trying again." Octillery then joined in as another voice of support. "Failure is the mother of success. I can't afford to be wallowing in this self pity." Finally, Golem added his own backing. "If we give up, it's all over. Young Flutter's just taught me that..." Much to Gengar's debasement, more unity was on the way.

"S-she's right. We mustn't give up..." Shiftry replied to the approving trio.

"Yes, I wasn't thinking straight." one Pokémon admitted. "I was just scared..."

"We almost lost it... Our pride as rescuers... There's got to be some way for us to overcome this!" someone else replied, an approving buzz of discussion taking hold of the teams and square townspeople. Gengar finally lost his cool when he heard "Suspecting her is now the biggest mistake I have ever made in my many years as a rescuer." from a nearby Rhyperior in the group.

"ARE YOU ALL NUTS?!" he yelled, well and truly losing himself. "You'll soon come to sorely regret listening to this brat when the dungeon destroys you all!!" Gengar then ran off, utterly defeated and humiliated in the square once more.

Kyan decended to the ground to let Flutter off. "That was inspirational... It's given me new hope..." Shiftry exclaimed. Blastoise gave her a nod. "You stopped us from throwing away our unity and pride in a time when we needed these things more than ever. On behalf of everyone here, I thank you." he told her. "Now! Let's show Groudon and that dungeon our true spirit as Rescue Teams!" he declared to a hearty cheer.

Flutter and Kyan returned to their teammates as an excited and motivated discussion began to form all around them. "That was beautiful, pal..." Terack mumbled. "I have to admit, you looked kinda cool then." Szaer told her. "Forget the board, let's spend the rest of today on getting ready and set off fully rested tomorrow." he decided. "I teamed up with Blastoise once to put out a forest fire. He's very skilled, so this dungeon won't be easy..."

"Good plan." Flutter replied, a fire in her heart. "Let's get started."

Having watched the gathering and Flutter's speech from nearby, Androma ran off and sent a call to Rubix. The holographic image of this Golduck formed from her device. "Dr. Rubix, Gengar has just left north from Pokémon Square. He'd arrived to insult and degrade their attempts to rescue Team A.C.T. but Flutter shut him down entirely with a... very moving speech about a rescuers pride."

"I see... I can't imagine Gengar being too thrilled over being made a mockery yet again. Thank you for the report, we'll have Derkomai and Ignephra follow his trail." Rubix remarked.

Ann had a little more to add. "This is going to give a significant boost to her recently restored reputation. When efforts against Team Celeste resume... please be careful. She could quickly become a popular figurehead at this rate." Rubix lightly nodded. "Understood, and you be careful too. Aside from the lord, myself, and Zeninthia, you're the only one of us that Szaeracier doesn't suspect. Keep it that way, Ann."

"Of course." The call ended and she returned to the square.

~~~~~

Flutter and Szaer both had another shared dream that night and saw the spectral image of Gardevoir once more.

"You and your companions take to that underground dungeon tomorrow?"

"Yeah, it's tomorrow. I know that it'll be difficult down there but I feel ready for this. We're prepared." Flutter told her. "You'll have our full support in the dungeon, Flutter. I'll be pushing everything I've ever learned into this." Szaer said encouragingly.

You have my support too, I'm certain that Team Celeste will find success in this task."

She gave Gardevoir a smile. "Thank you for the encouragement, it does mean a lot." Szaer nodded in agreement before deciding to pursue their interrupted conversation. "So... About our roles? We were talking about them last night before the earthquake hit."

"Ah, I thought you'd want to be continuing this. Your role here, the role that brought you both into this world inhabited by Pokémon, is coming to its end... slowly but surely..."

"Coming to an end?" Flutter asked in confusion. This didn't really answer Szaer's questions. "But what is our role? Why are we here? Why did we become Pokémon?" he threw them all out.

"Why...? You will both know in due time, after your current endeavor is behind you... Au revoir...

~~~~~

"Morning, Flutter. It's time to set off." Kyan said as he woke her up, Terack doing the same with Szaer. She felt a little frustrated by the continuing lack of answers for her situation but chose to let this go for now. Kyan was right, they had work to do.

"Ok team, I went out earlier to ask Blastoise where that dungeon is. He said that it was a bit south of Frosty Forest and that the place is called the Magma Cavern." Terack explained to the group. "That's good to know. For once, I didn't have a clue where this dungeon was." Szaer went on record with.

"We're going to need no less than perfect teamwork for this trip, so let's move it!" Flutter encouragingly declared, heading downstairs and out. Szaer quickly rushed off to Pokémon Square afterwards and returned shortly after with a triumphant look on his face and Detect Band around his head feather. "I remembered that the Kecleon Brothers were selling this yesterday, I just had to get it before they changed their stock." he explained. With an understanding look, Flutter's team headed out.

~~~~~

Magma Cavern, after only a few floors, was already Kyan's most hated place in the whole entire world. He was already making it an active goal to avoid battling Fire types like Magmar for fear of being caught by their Flame Body ability until he saw Szaer beating down a Magcargo later on with a string of Power-Up Punch hits as though he weren't also weak to Fire. Resolving to help the team better, he went to defeat a Grimer with Zen Headbutt after Flutter's Foresight negated the Poison type's Minimize.

Between Dig, Rock Slide, and Superpower, Terack was delivering super effective hits to everything in the dungeon except for the Sandshrew near the entrance and was thus having a much easier time. Szaer was also holding up well through heightened evasiveness while Flutter's Solar Beam was taking care of Graveler, Golem, Rhydon, and even an Onix once Szaer stepped in to carry her away from an Iron Tail as she charged up.

Reaching the waypoint at last, the group was pretty tired. "N-no wonder that team fell, this place isn't easy..." Flutter said in a pant. They decided to take a short rest here before moving on, Szaer settling next to her. "About what Gardevoir said earlier... It sounds like she'll finally tell us everything when we finish this dungeon." he quietly told her. "Let's really push to come out of here successful."

She liked the sound of this, and thus went forwards eagerly when it was time to continue. They bypassed the pack of fifteen sleeping Onix with Terack's Dig and fought past a pair of Steelix before reaching a long and very warm corridor with visible signs of a battle having taken place here. "Guys..." Flutter said in a hushed whisper. "I see Charizard and Tyranitar over there..."

The team ran over to the pair of beaten Pokémon laying on the ground. "Hey, what happened to you both?!" Terack asked them as he approached. "G-Groudon... It wiped us both out here..." Tyranitar groaned painfully, still hurting. "Neither us us two stood a chance..."

Szaer looked at Charizard. "Everyone in the square's been very concerned. After a specially organised trio of rescuers failed to reach you, we went instead. What of Alakazam?" he explained and asked. "Alakazam... He's still battling Groudon... The Pokémon was pushed out of this room earlier... but we haven't seen either of them afterwards..." Charizard managed to tell him.

Kyan immediately made his decision. "We'd better move on and help him out." he called, heading further on with the rest of the team following. They soon arrived at a large and open room with magma pouring down from the walls into the vast pool below the floor. Flutter was instantly spooked by the sight and Terack knew to not use Dig here.

In the middle of this blazingly hot room was Alakazam, locked in combat with a large red Pokémon that Team Celeste's members could only take to be Groudon himself. Both fighters were exhausted, but a clash of Psybeam and Solar Beam threw Alakazam into the onlookers, unable to continue this. "We got here just in time, let's fight Groudon ourselves and stop him from recovering!" Szaer announced, wielding an Icicle Crash.

Even with the long battle against Alakazam having tired him, Groudon was still a most difficult opponent for the team. Flutter's own Solar Beam, despite similarly benefitting from Drought, paled in comparison to that of the Legendary Pokémon. Meanwhile, a weakened Eruption due to the last battle still left puddles of lava dotted around, greatly hindering the mobility of everyone barring Kyan in conjunction with Precipice Blades and Stone Edge bursting through the floor from underneath.

Terack was soon having serious problems and had to be once again saved by Kyan from an oncoming Solar Beam. Flutter went in to retaliate with the same move and was continuing to get overpowered until Szaer carried and moved around with her to break off the clash and finally hit him with the super effective move. Taking the opportunity, he then dexterously leapt past the Precipice Blades and Stone Edge holes to hit with Power-Up Punch and then Icicle Crash in succession.

Groudon's Precipice Blades then struck and knocked Szaer away, but he made to land on Kyan and send Payback down at the Pokémon. Flutter used Solar Beam once more which Groudon responded with, giving Szaer the chance to stop it with Spite and allow Flutter to connect with it again. A Stone Edge hit her hard afterwards and left her dangerously close to falling into the magma beneath.

"At this rate, there's gonna be no floor left..." Kyan obverved as he watched Flutter trying valiantly to hold off an Eruption with Shock Wave. "Let's try and finish this off quickly." Szaer acknowledged to a nod from Terack. As Kyan rocketed forwards with Zen Headbutt for a hit, Terack and Szaer also threw in a Focus Energy boosted Superpower and an Icicle Crash respectively.

Groudon attempted an Eruption but could only manage a small spurt of lava before finally falling forwards in defeat. "We... actually did it..." Kyan muttered in astonishment. Alakazam soon came round afterwards before Charizard and Tyranitar managed to make their way in.

"Groudon's... down?" Tyranitar exclaimed in shock as he looked at the downed adversary and ruined floor. "Did you four actually...?! No, I'm not surprised this time." he soon admitted. Alakazam turned to address Team Celeste. "Thank you. Our team's efforts would have been wasted if Groudon were allowed time to rest..."

"I wouldn't want to think about that..." Szaer muttered. He doubted that they could have won if Groudon hadn't been fresh out of another battle. "Are you alright now?" Flutter asked him.

"My team and I will be fine. Groudon too. He was merely enraged over the earthquakes disturbing his slumber and should calm down soon." Alakazam explained. "Now, we must leave this place quickly before he recovers. Quickly"

With the fight behind them, the seven Pokémon left. An earthquake then rippled through the room and destroyed the part of the floor that they had just been standing upon...

~~~~~

Team Celeste soon made it back to Pokémon Square alongside Team A.C.T. and were astonished to walk into a cheering and joyous crowd awaiting their return. "Great! Great! You lot have really blown me away!" Shiftry immediately exclaimed, beyond jubilated.

"Wait, what? How does everyone already know about our return?" Flutter asked, a shocked expression upon their faces. "A Pelipper saw your team leaving the dungeon, Flutter. Everyone here wanted to give you a hero's welcome once they got the Pokémon News extra edition." Caterpie explained.

Blastoise, Octillery, and Golem were all rooted to the spot at the sight of Team Celeste's triumph. "You've... really and truly done it...?!" Golem managed to say in abject shock. "Oh, darlings... This is stupendous news, you four have all won my acclaim!" Octillery stated, quite taken with them. "Gyahaha! Flutter, you and your team have made us all proud to be rescuers today! If any of you ever want to team up with my Team Hydro sometime, just give me the word!" Blastoise heartily declared.

Flutter was almost awash with joy at the sight of all this praise. Alakazam looked around at this crowd. "Team Celeste... You've come so very far since I sensed what I did in Flutter back then. This respect has most definitely been thoroughly earned..." he proudly remarked to himself. Androma was also amongst the crowd and she couldn't be more pleased for their success despite the team being Deuvide's targets.

She suddenly heard a voice inside her head that she didn't recognise. "Huh? Did anyone just say something then. I thought I heard a voice..." Golem then spoke up. "You're not wrong. I heard a voice too."

Szaer didn't recognise it either, but something about it was familiar to Team Celeste's other three members. "I-it's Xatu!" Kyan called. "I see now, Xatu's contacting us from the Hill of the Ancients with telepathy." Alakazam stated to everyone.

"Calling all Pokémon! The future I have long forseen and feared, it is finally upon us! A star, giant in size and mass, hurtles ever forwards towards this planet! The unbalancing of nature... the strife that has grasped us all as a result... it has been a warning sign of the star's approach! Its collision with this world, that is the unthinkable!"

"Xatu! Tell us, is there any way that this future you've seen can be averted?!" Alakazam immediately asked back.

"There is but only one possible solution. We must somehow find Rayquaza."

Everyone looked puzzled. "Rayquaza? What Pokémon could that be?" Shiftry asked the question everyone had.

"Rayquaza is a Legendary Pokémon whom has a domain in the skies, far above us all. This creature once halted a battle between Groudon and Kyogre and has previously saved this planet from a falling star once before."

"I understand, so we need to have Rayquaza destroy this star too..." Szaer said. "But... how does anyone hope to reach it?" Terack asked.

"With Alakazam's aid and mastery of the move Teleport alongside my own use of the move, I can create an artifact to send some Pokémon up there. I'm unfortunately able to track the whereabouts of the sent Pokémon however. They will be without our aid from then on..."

"We'll go, we'll do it!" Terack decided without a moment of hesitation. Flutter, Kyan, and Szaer added in their agreement to this course of action. "Of course. After Mt. Thunder, Mt. Freeze, and now the Magma Cavern, your team has proven itself capable. Are you certain of this however? I cannot forsee what trials await you above the clouds..."

"I fully expect to face danger and I'm going to look it in the eye! This is my wish, for this world's Pokémon to live in peace at last!" Terack said, seriously fired up by the prospect."

"Team Celeste, this is Xatu. Alakazam and I, we shall meet up and begin preparations for tomorrow, where we shall transport you to the sky. Please ensure that the four of you get plenty of rest before then."

Xatu's telepathy ended there as discussions started amongst the crowd. "Team... let's prepare for that big day" Flutter decided.

~~~~~

That night, the Togepi began having another dream. It was far unlike all of the previous ones however. She awoke to find herself floating around inside a virulent black and purple environment, feeling cold, nauseous, frail, pained, and beyond depressed... "Urf... It hurts..." she weakly moaned, tears uncontrollably streaming down...

The cause of this was Gengar, standing near her bed and using Nightmare to induce a bad dream in her mind and seal her within it while he watched her anguish with Dream Eater. "Enjoying my Nightmare?" he maliciously asked in a whisper at the mentally tormented sleeping form of his hated foe. Flutter's body had a black outline around it and she was shuddering profusely.

"Flutter... You have no idea how much I despise you right now... After we met, you and your spirit have been foiling me at every turn... Team Meanies is dead now, and I will never forgive you for destroying my goals." Gengar told her. "Tonight, you will face my retribution. This nightmare will destroy that annoying will and spirit of yours..."

Inside the nightmare, Flutter felt as though she could just curl up and cry forever. This was far, far too much for her to take... "Please... Please stop..." the Togepi pleaded in a desparing sob, unaware of the tormentor watching her or much of anything else for that matter.

He enjoyed the sight of her begging him to stop for once, but he had no intentions of granting her request. "Keh... By tomorrow, the Flutter everyone loves will be gone. Replaced by a shell within her shell..." Gengar muttered, intending to completely break her as a form of revenge.

Before he could amplify his Nightmare, it suddenly gave out. The black and purple background became green, the black outline around Flutter faded, and her body settled down. Feeling a mix of annoyance and curiosity, Gengar continued watching with Dream Eater to investigate this.

Flutter immediately picked herself up in the dream and ran for Szaer the moment she saw him appear. He woke up to her and noticed the tears. "Did something happen?" he gently asked her. "I've just had a bad dream before this. I'm probably a little anxious over tomorrow but I'll be fine."

Gardevoir then appeared to them as Flutter brushed away her tears. "Gardevoir, will you tell us now? Why are we both here?" Szaer asked.

Gengar was shocked to the very core of his being. "He's human too and they both know you, Gardevoir...?!" he quietly exclaimed while hiding, as though he were there with Flutter and Szaer.

"Of course. You have both earned this right, but there is something I must reveal first."

"What would that be?" Flutter asked. She wasn't expecting something huge, but she was so very wrong...

"Flutter and Szaeracier... You two... are siblings."

_________________
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon fanfiction (Azure Rescuers/Windswept Explorers)
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