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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Memories

gofishyfish

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Hey everyone, I'm gofishyfish! You all might not recognize me, but I've posted on here a few times before. I started writing another fic (titled Pure of Heart) that I intend to return to, but I honestly got really excited about this idea and put Pure of Heart on hold. Eventually, I will return to it. I also wrote a one-shot, but we don't talk about that lol. I'm frankly embarrassed by it even though it received a few good reviews.

This is my latest story, titled Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Memories. I originally wrote it to post on Wattpad (which I am currently doing), but I have since expanded it to AO3 and FFN. However, I haven't been getting much attention on the latter two, and I remembered that there were a lot of avid PMD fans on here that might appreciate the work better. I hope you all enjoy it! As always, constructive criticism is welcome!

Description:
The exciting tale of the events leading up to Pokemon Mystery Dungeon 2. In the distant future, hope is nonexistent. The sun doesn't rise, and the new day never comes, only darkness reigns over the land under the heavy rule of Primal Dialga. Two brave souls—a Treecko and a human named Sophia—join forces to fight the darkness and take back the future, even at the cost of their own lives.

Warnings:
Language, Violence (only seen in later chapters)​


 
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gofishyfish

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
How It All Ended...

The pain of death was already getting to me. Light flickered up from my chest, directly above my heart. My time had come. The feeling was dull at first, like a blunt blade penetrating the top layer of my skin. I ignored it, wishing it wasn't real, but it continued to grow at an unbearable rate. Ignoring it became impossible as it grew into a resonating, burning sensation that enveloped my entire being. It seeped down into my core and ate away at my soul. More light began to spill out from every pore of my body.

My partner continued to march along to her own cheerful beat in front of me. My heavy steps paled in comparison to her gleeful ones. The world was no longer in peril and everything was just dandy in her eyes. There would be no more pain, no more suffering, and no more dark future; only happiness. I couldn't bring myself to tell her until it was almost time. Ruining her bright new life with the bad news would break her heart, and seeing her cry would break mine. That was not how I wanted to go. I wanted to savor these last few moments and enjoy the fact that I had been part of a moment that would go down in history. I had saved the world from its own future—my past—and death was my reward.

I looked up, maybe for inspiration of some kind to keep trudging forward or the sign to simply stop now. I wasn’t quite sure what I was searching for, but the swirling clouds and impossibly suspended chunks of rock and tower did not provide the answer. Time was beginning to flow normally again after the defeat of Primal Dialga, but the abnormal features indicated that things still weren’t quite right.

A series of sudden, violent tremors that threatened to shake the ground out from under our feet reminded me of that fact. It caused Leafy to stumble. The Turtwig squeaked, "Ah! The world is falling apart." I couldn't help but laugh through the pain at my partner. She was a peach and was very easily startled. The twig atop her head quivered with fear and her head began to retract into her muddy shell.

Slowly, she emerged, and her leaves stopped shaking. She turned to her left, then to her right, then looked back at me. "I guess that's the world just settling back into place?" she hypothesized. Her eyes widened when she noticed my condition. I must have been much worse for wear than I originally thought. "Are you alright, Sophia? "

I nodded. "Let's just get back to the Rainbow Stoneship, okay?" The words were forced, barely making it out of my mouth. It felt like a flamethrower attack had enveloped me, disintegrating me down to my very core. Leafy couldn't know it until the time came. We were quickly approaching that moment, but I still couldn't bring myself to say it.

We trudged back, sore after a hard-earned victory. Each step took more effort than the last. It was impossible to tell if the prolonged steps were because I was dying or just incredibly tired. My mind settled on the fact that it was a combination of both. Light continued to flow, almost overwhelming my being now. It was time to tell her.

"Leafy, stop," I feebly ordered. "There's something I need to tell you." I swallowed the lump in my throat. Now was not the time for tears, I had to finish strong for my friend. She turned, gawking at the light that surrounded me. "Dusknoir told me something," I paused, searching for the right words, "unsettling after our fight with him."

"What did he tell you? What's wrong with you?" Her eyes sparkled with tears and understanding that something wasn't quite right.

In that moment, I knew that I had kept this to myself for too long. I had to force my words out, or risk not being able to bid my partner farewell. "It looks like…" Another pause, the right words struggled to come to mind through the haze of pain. "I have to say good-bye."

Tears that she had been holding back trickled out, and the leaves on her head began to droop. "What does that mean?" she asked slowly. It was bad, and she knew it. More tears from her, but still none from me. It was incredibly hard to keep it together, but I managed for her sake.

"He told me that if we changed the future, the Pokémon of the future would disappear. We changed history, which will in turn change the future; my future." I turned my head away from her view and wiped my eyes. I turned back and powered through the last bit of this horrible revelation. "Since that future will disappear, I will disappear too."

Leafy's eyes widened, crying faster and harder now. "No, no, no, no," she sobbed. "Why? Why do you have to? There has to be something we can do."

I shook my head, knowing there was absolutely nothing. I had pondered and accepted my fate before we even started climbing Temporal Tower. I came to terms with it as we dealt the final blows to Primal Dialga, and now it was Leafy's turn to do the same.

"I want to thank you for everything, but I do have to disappear." I bowed my head, letting more light wash over me. This was it.

Suddenly, an idea popped into my head. I had to get the words out quickly or risk not giving Leafy the chance to have me with her forever. "Actually, there is something you can do."

Leafy's eyes snapped up to me from the ground. "Yeah, of course, anything for you, Sophia!"

"You have to go home and tell everyone of our journey. The whole world needs to know what happened here so that nothing like it will ever happen again. Never forget me, and I promise that I will also never forget you. Preserve me in your heart and in the memories of all Pokémon. Let me serve as a reminder of the dark future." I deemed that that was a good final wish. Leafy would never be without me this way.

She still shook her head. "No, I can't do it without you. You're the only reason I'm here; you made me strong." She couldn't finish her thoughts and was stammering to get more out. "I don't know what…" She stopped, letting out a feeble sob. "What I would do without you."

"No, Leafy, you have to be strong. Go on and live! You can be strong on your own, you don't need me anymore." I felt more weight pressing down on me. My heart felt like it was struggling to beat, and my head was dizzy; my final moments were upon me.

Leafy yelped the second my body hit the ground. My long ears flopped lazily to the dirt and stone beneath me, and the matted puff of cream-colored fur on my chest raised and lowered slower and slower with each breath I struggled to take. I was still conscious, but I wasn't sure how much longer it would last. "Again, thank you for all of our great adventures. It was a blast, and I am so glad I got to know you, Leafy."

Leafy rushed over to me and curled up next to me. She placed her head on my stomach, letting my soft fur envelop her. "Thank you too, Sophia, for everything."

My eyes closed, and the pain ceased. I was nothing but a memory now.
 

gofishyfish

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Chapter 1: Memories

I awoke with a start, coughing and gasping for air. I drew in a breath only to cough out again.

Air in… Cough out… Air in… Cough out...

It was a violent cycle, like I was drowning. I was gasping for my next breath in an ocean, but there was only black surrounding me, no water. In fact, it was pitch black, I could barely see my paw in front of my face. I laid down on my side, hoping to alleviate some of the pain and regain my breath. But the truth was, I wasn’t in pain; the paralyzing feeling was more startling than excruciating. My most primal instincts screamed at the baffling situation.

My soul felt like it was being nibbled away by the overwhelming darkness. I wasn’t sure how long my mind would last in this abyss. Immediately, my mind began to race with horrifying thoughts, What if I'm stuck out here alone? I'm going to die. After resting for what could have been mere seconds or an eternity, the darkness was too consuming; my body refused to let me sit there and rot.

I forced my sore throat to scream out for help, "Is someone there?" Nothing responded, so I desperately tried again, "Hello?"

Instantly, something in the distance lit up. It blinked on and off a few times like it was asking for me to respond. I gathered up as much air as I could muster and shouted at the light, "I'm over here." The light jumped, then started growing bigger rapidly.

As it grew closer, I noticed a sprinting figure holding the light's source: a lantern. The shape reminded me of an egg with frills hanging off of it. As it grew even closer, I noticed another figure behind the first. I couldn't quite make out what it was, but its darker colors shadowed the frontrunner like a plump ghost and its chosen haunting victim. The duet’s light cut through the void, illuminating the infinite emptiness that I was suspended in.

"We're almost there, hang on." I heard a female's voice say. My mind decided that that was the egg-shaped one speaking to me. A dark-type or a ghost-type—typically dreary or unsettling types to be around—could never be that cheery.

I rolled over to my belly, placing my head on my paws. My large, rabbit-shaped ears drooped down to touch the ground beneath me. Finally, the frilly egg-shaped shadow in the distance made sense in my mind as a cheerfully pink Blissey with an egg in the pouch on her stomach approached my location. I looked up at her, hoping for an explanation about where I was. My memory was eluding me at the moment, so any clues as to where I was were appreciated. The moments before I had woken up slipped from my mind, leaving me clueless to my whereabouts.

Something deep in my mind caused me to panic when I saw the second Pokémon. A Dusknoir floated into the light and glanced down at me with its singular red eye. Its head sat within its impressive collar and its antenna-shaped feature atop its head made me shiver with fearful recollection. I freaked out, scrambling to my feet as fast as possible and bolted away from the duo. Within seconds, I felt strong arms wrap around me. My view passed from the void below me to a sinister yellow maw on the creature’s stomach before panning up to its face. I forced myself to look into Dusknoir's huge red eye as it hoisted me up. I gulped down the lump in my throat.

"Please don't freak out, we're here to guide you," she said. Her voice caught me off guard, and my missing memories screamed that this was incorrect. The blanks wanted me to believe one fact: Dusknoir was supposed to be a man.

Her face became more soothing, obviously a response to the confusion painted on my face in the dim lighting, "We are taking you home, you will be safe soon enough." She didn’t know the reason behind my fear, this was not the same Dusknoir that my mind was alerting me of.

"Where is home?" My voice was raspy.

"The spirit world," Blissey responded this time. "It is also known as Paradise, and it will be your new home." She waved the lantern from side to side while humming a gleeful tune. Something told me that Blissey had trouble staying in one spot for too long with her jolly demeanor.

The gears in my head clicked, and everything made sense in a rush of thoughts as I processed the information. "I'm dead?" I realized, half asking for confirmation and half just stating the obvious. This can't be happening. How did I die? I wondered to myself. I began to squirm in Dusknoir's arms again. She kept me pinned in place with a hug between her strong arm and her bosom. The ghost-type had a surprisingly tight grip despite having a partially spectral form.

Blissey reached out and touched my forehead. Calmly, she spoke, "Yes, you are dead. I know that is a shock to you, but everything will be alright soon enough. You will be allowed to rest when we reach the spirit world."

My muscles relaxed, and I felt at ease again. Soft pulses moved through me from where Blissey’s paw rested on my forehead to the tip of my tail. The tension in my body melted away, and my mind ceased to race. I felt…at rest.

However, one question still ate at me. "Where are we now if this isn't the spirit world?"

Dusknoir took her turn explaining, "You are currently a lost spirit, trapped between life and death," she explained. Not leaving any time for me to consume the information, she continued, "You came from the Dark Future, didn't you?”

I stared blankly ahead, trying to remember my life. Finally, something trickled back into my mind. "Yes," I started out slowly. "I think so. At least, that sounds right."

Some of the puzzles pieces still didn’t fit yet, so I kept talking. "But I wasn't there when I died. I was," my mind reeled, searching for more answers. "I was in the past when I died. I was with Leafy." I thought for a moment about Dusknoir's comment. "Wait, how did you know where I was from?"

"Who's Leafy?" Blissey prompted, ignoring my question.

I pictured Leafy in my mind, then spoke, "A Turtwig. She was my partner, and I died when we were returning from an adventure." More information began to click into place. I had something to do with my death. No, I caused it, I determined. But, how? What did I do that caused me to die?

"Good, you're remembering your life, aren't you? I can see the wheels turning in your mind," Blissey hypothesized. "That's great. Most Pokémon don't wake up with any memories after they die. They gradually regain them over many, many years."

"Do you at least know your name by now? That is one of the first things Pokémon remember," Dusknoir prompted.

"Or, do you simply go by Eevee? I noticed that most of you Pokémon from the Dark Future don't have names, and that you referred to each other by species," Blissey asked.

Shaking my head, I answered, "No, I'm a human, I'm not a Pokémon." That sentence struck me as odd as I was so obviously an Eevee, but something about it rang true in my very core. I stroked the cream-colored fur on my chest and grabbed at my ears, noting that I was so obviously an Eevee. But I am human, I convinced myself.

"You want me to call you 'human?' That's an odd name," Blissey remarked. Her face scrunched up as she said it again, "Human."

That still wasn't right in my mind, but it felt truer each time I said it. "No, as in, I am a human. My name is Sophia."

We stopped moving. They both paused and stared at me with expressions that I couldn’t quite place an emotion with. Such a statement did deserve an uproar, but their eerie silence made me realize just how odd it was. The feelings and silence were only magnified by the abyss around us. I shifted around in Dusknoir’s arms in an attempt to make them notice my discomfort.

Finally, I had to speak up, "Can we please keep moving? I feel a bit uncomfortable out here in the dark." They ignored my plea.

"Are you the Sophia? The one that the future Pokémon keep talking about?" Blissey asked, barely leaving any space between my sentence and hers.

"You're the one that died leaving Temporal Tower in the past. That's why you are so far removed from Paradise. You are the one that changed time and destroyed the Dark Future,” Dusknoir said. The few traces of sympathy that were in her voice earlier had completely vanished.

"I'm not sure what that means. My memories are still shaky. I only remember stepping through the Passage of Time and waking up as a Pokémon on the beach. I have no memories of my death, nor of my human life, not even—" I paused, realizing I did remember something. "My parents.

"I do remember my life. I remember Temporal Tower, why I was there. My journeys with Leafy that lead me to that final challenge," I said after a few moments of silence. Dusknoir and Blissey smiled softly as they watched my face contort with recollection.

"I remember everything about my human life too. My parents, my friends, my home. When I woke up as a Pokémon in the past, I had lost all of those memories. But now, now I can remember everything." I smiled and repeated, "I can actually remember everything about my life. I remember dying too. I changed the past, and I am the reason why the world was saved from the Dark Future."

"Good, I'm glad to hear that," Blissey said politely, realizing just how big this was to me. Her voice sounded off for the first time since we met. I couldn’t place what it was.

My joy turned to sadness when I started thinking through my life. It was a life full of turmoil and work, only to be snuffed out at the end by my own actions. The future was miserable, and the past was hectic. I could only think of one true positive: Leafy. Leafy really had made my life more enjoyable when I stopped to think about. For once, I had a friend that actually cared about me. It made her mean just that much more to me.

I couldn't help but cry at the thought of her standing alone on Temporal Tower. "I left Leafy behind. She meant so much to me and me to her." I wiped my tears on Dusknoir's shoulder. "I shouldn't have left her, she was the best thing that happened to me. Now I'm so scared of what will happen to her."

Blissey touched me again with her lit up paw. I felt at peace once more, but the feeling was not as overwhelming as the first time. Magic tricks were never as strong or shocking the second time. The warmth faded as she pulled her paw away, leaving the frigid void and my sadness to sink in again.

"You're going to need to be calm and collected when we show up," Blissey commanded kindly. Even when ordering me around, she was so gentle. "We are going to introduce you as a pivotal role in changing the future. I want you to explain to everyone why you decided to go through with your actions. Everyone is demanding answers right now, and I think you might be able to give them what they want. It might come as a surprise, but—"

"You killed a lot of souls; human and Pokémon." Dusknoir interjected. "They will want to hold you responsible for their deaths and exile you into the Darkness for genocide."

Dusknoir's words chilled me. I found it hard to keep still with her new threat looming over me. I tried to shake away again, but Dusknoir held fast. "I can't do that. I didn't mean to get anyone killed. I just wanted a better future for everyone." My thoughts raced, Did I actually know what I was doing? How many Pokémon were affected? My mouth felt dry and tears began to return to my eyes.

"But you accepted that you, Celebi, and Grovyle would die? You had to have known there were more than just you three that would be erased from existence." Blissey paused, "Right? You knew what you were doing. A better world for future generations meant erasing a whole people and culture from the already existing timeline. Also, you put Leafy in danger even after being warned of the truth by Dusknoir.”

I searched deep through my memories of the future, looking to see if I knew what I was doing. The answer disturbed me, and I almost immediately regretted what I found. "Yeah, I did know that everyone would die. And it’s true, I put Leafy and all of my other friend from the past in harm’s way." Understanding that Blissey knew about my actions made me realize that I needed to choose my words carefully. I had underestimated what this grim reaper knew about the world of the living. My mind wheeled with uncertainty about my eternal home, I am completely in the wrong here, and I'm going to be exiled for it. "Wait, how did you know about Grovyle and Celebi? I never even mentioned them or—"

Dusknoir dropped me, cutting off my words instantly and whisked over to Blissey. "Maybe she isn't fit for Paradise after all," she whispered.

My butt throbbed where it had collided with the ground, but the feeling was numbed momentarily when I overheard their words. I wasn't supposed to be listening in on their conversation, but I did, and it shook my soul. I am going to get left out here to rot, I suspected.

Blissey, shaking her head, said, "No, we will listen to her side of the story too. There is more that she doesn't remember yet and more facts than we know. You know that our knowledge of the Dark Future is limited due to Dialga usurping control from the other legendary Pokémon. He threw the world into chaos and despair! Once she is in Paradise, she can tell us what we need to know to make this situation seem crystal clear."

I decided to speak up. "I can hear you."

"I know," Dusknoir replied coldly. I was about to speak up again when she said, "And I don't care." Blissey glared at her helper, running back over to me to scoop me up this time instead.

"It will be alright, you will be fine. No one is going to exile you without hearing your side of the story first," she cooed.

Her embrace was warm, and it reminded me of the guild in the past. The hay nests came back to me, as did the soothing sounds of evenings with my fellow guildmates. Kricketunes chirped and everyone snored as I snuggled into the hay. Leafy had the nest beside me; her sleep talking and mumbling rang through my ears once again. I felt at rest.

Something in the back of my mind whispered that this was Blissey’s doing. That she was trying to make me forget about the conversation I had overheard. It worked. Maybe magic did work twice so long as the magician knew of a way to make the surprises fun again. I was at peace in her arms as we strode into view of an incredible light source. My mind was too caught up in memories to wonder how I hadn’t noticed it in the pitch-black atmosphere.

The soft haze it gave to the darkness made me feel warm without even being close to the source. The sensation made my mind flee for softer memories than the scars of the Dark Future that Dusknoir and Blissey had reopened. I was next to a warm campfire with Leafy and my other teammates out on an exploration. The remembered glow of the fire and the light actually in front of me made me feel truly at rest, even more at peace than in Blissey's arms. I felt like a child in a mother's embrace. My life had been rough, and maybe being dead wasn't so bad. The tales I would have to tell to earn my place there slipped out of my mind along with my worries about being exiled. Instead, I let my mind wander off to sleep.

----------

I woke up on a patch of soft grass. It was a vibrant green, filled with life and energy. The softness reminded me of newly birthed grass that one would find in the middle of spring. The only thing missing was the flowers. I pawed at it, feeling the texture. It tickled the bottom of my paw, getting in between my pads and toes. The smell rose up, newly cut and maintained. For some reason, it filled me with joy. Everything felt right in the world, nothing could go wrong. That was until I noticed the crowd around me.

Unknown faces surrounded me, watching me with eager eyes. I yelped when I noticed just how many Pokémon were here. The sea of faces seemed to stretch forever. I had to jump to see past the few shorter rows, only to notice there was no end in sight. I braced myself as the ground below me moved, elevating me above the eye height of the tallest Pokémon. I rose above the masses on a disk barely wide enough for me to turn around on. The small diameter made it impossible to survey the crowd and the rest of my surroundings. I also noted that there were no humans in the crowd, I was alone as a human trapped in the foxlike body of an Eevee in a hoard of Pokemon.

Dusknoir floated up to me. "This is Sophia," she announced to the crowd. Her voice resonated in the hollow space of Paradise. All Pokémon respected her thundering voice by not uttering a single word. "She was the human that decided to change the world. She is the reason so many of you are now dead." At Dusknoir's final words, the crowd started hissing at me. They threw insults and called me every name imaginable. Insults from throughout the generations breached my ears. Their roars were deafening, so overwhelming, that I couldn't do anything except curl up in a ball and cry. I tried to ignore them, but my sensitive ears made it impossible to drown out the noise.

I have cried way too much today, I determined. But, the tears didn't stop and neither did the insults. I couldn't do anything either, I just had to take it. If only I were a steel-type, maybe it wouldn't hurt as much.

"Exile her!" one Pokémon lifted their voice above the booming sea of souls. A hundred thousand more joined them in their cry. "Exile her! Exile her!"

"I'm not supposed to be crying, I thought this was Paradise," I mumbled through sobs. Not that it mattered what I thought anyway. My opinion didn't matter in life and it obviously didn't matter in death.

Blissey flew up next to Dusknoir and began her portion of the speech. "However, she did a noble thing, and those of you that were affected made an incredible sacrifice for a better future. The world has been saved and will live on in the light forever now. Don't the Pokémon of this new generation and the generations of the future deserve that? Instead, you all believe selfishly that your lives were worth more than those of this new, better future."

Hushed whispers flew through the crowd now, still overwhelmingly loud for an attempt at being quiet. Some had already come to their decision and began shouting for my demise again. It was disheartening that some didn't even want to listen to my side. Not that I could justify my side though; my actions felt incredibly evil after Dusknoir had pointed out just how many lives I had snuffed out.

"She's going to explain to us why she thinks she was justified," Dusknoir exclaimed. "If you all still see her as wrong, we will throw her out of Paradise."

Angry voices piped up again, but Blissey quieted them with a wave of her paw. "We will all listen, but only the Elder Souls, such as Dusknoir and I, will decide the final judgment."

Sixteen other Pokémon flew up around me from the crowds below. Each was of a single type and were fully evolved. I noticed an Alakazam, a Goodra, an Absol, and a Raichu flew up to me first. A Machamp, a Tornadus, a Klinklang, a Weezing, an Illumise, a Typhlosion, and a Sylveon followed. Then finally, the last wave joined, consisting of a Donphan, a Sudowoodo, a Basculin, a Carnivine, and a Glalie. The Elder Souls, I thought, recalling what Blissey had just said.

Blissey continued, only speaking to me now, "These Pokémon will be your judges. Tell your story to the crowd but remember that you are convincing only us. There are eighteen of us here, and you only need nine affirmative votes to stay in Paradise."

I gulped, trying to find the right place to start. There were so many entry points, but only one could be right, could be convincing enough to sway my judges. I searched for it, exploring deep inside my memories for the starting line. I would start to say something, then swiftly change my mind, deciding it wasn't quite right. Again, I began, then stopped short to think of a better way.

The crowd was growing impatient and began shouting again. They still demanded blood or an explanation. Alakazam turned to face them, his eyes glowing pinkish purple. The masses silenced with a single wave of his hand. He then raised his other hand slowly and methodically, forming a bubble around me and the Elder Souls. It was the same hue as his eyes and was barely transparent enough that I could see the masses of Pokémon in the distance. Its formation upward followed the timing of Alakazam's hand. Finally, we were fully enclosed, sealed off from the rest of the world.

"Your voice will reach them, but their taunts will not come to harm you anymore," Alakazam informed me. His voice was gentle, but with a harsh edge to it. Nothing like the completely gently Blissey, but not nearly as sharp as Dusknoir. He reminded me of my human father, harsh, but with some semblance of love.

Instantly, I knew where to start.
 
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