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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Guardians of Balance


Active Member
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the properties that will be mentioned or explored in this story. They are all owned by individuals with alot more clout then I do. I do not make, nor intend to make any money off this story. It is a fanfic that is for fun and to get myself out there, and not for profit. That is all on the matter.

The world is entering a new era. Travel between the continents is easier than ever, the towns are growing ever larger and Pokemon are more closely connected than ever before. The Teams have become more numerous as ever, and have become a symbol of the progress and resilience of the world. However, as a new wave of colonisation spreads to the rapidly rising islands of the seas, tensions rise, threatening to fragment everything apart.

As a new wave of natural disasters begin to spread around the world, a human wakes up to find himself transformed into a Pokemon. Thrown into an increasingly fractured and endangered world, the human known as Sam will find himself thrust into an adventure unlike anything he could ever imagine. An adventure where there is far more than meets the eye...

Note from the Author: Alright, this is only my second time writing a fanfic, and my first go at writing a Pokemon fic as well. Feel free to go ahead and rip parts of this to shreds, or in other words feel free to give criticism as you see fit within the bounds of the forum rules. This is mainly on here for fun, after all, I need something to help keep my sanity up. I will aim to try and get updates to these posts within around 1-4 days if I can. I do have several chapters on hand, but I will be doing further proof-reading to prepare them for posting here. The first chapter and prologue will be added immediately upon this thread being posted. Do note I am active employed, I run a large RP and am currently working on awaiting responses for my first novel and have started work on a short story, so I can't guarentee rapid replies. I wll get round to those updates as soon as possible.

Also, as a warning. This series will get dark at times. Sure there are a few laughs and heartwarming moments, but it is a dark setting compared to regular PMD. As such, here is some basic infomation:

Content Warning - Some realistic violence, character deaths, strong language and dark themes such as murder, mental health, murder and other potential dark themes. I will provide updates and warnings well in advance both here and in a seperate posts.
Spoilers - There are unmarked spoilers for the Mystery Dungeon Series, including nods towards other games, especially Generation VII and VIII content. If you want to avoid spoilers on these, now would be the time to turn back.
Chapter Fic - This fic will be divided into chapters as expected, but they were also be compiled into episodes/books, to help compile said chapters into contained packages.

Now, without further ado...

For now, enjoy a short prologue and the first chapter to get you excited!​



And so… it begins.

Come with me, if you will 'Observer'. For you are about to enter a new world. One of many. It's a peaceful world, where individuals of many different species come together… to work together… for the betterment of all.

Now… I imagine… we should start with a quick personality quiz?

Something chuckles in the darkness…

I'm joking.

That something now sighed…

I shouldn't in truth. It's not that simple. This world has often teetered so close to the edge so many times that… it's inhabitants have changed somewhat. They aren't as kind or as noble as they had been decades ago or even just a couple of years back. Of course, some do hold onto the ideals of old. Try and help people or make new discoveries… but it is not an easy path. Even before the calamities it has been like this but now… it's been slowly made even worse as an new era begins, as the distrust and anger slowly bubbles to the surface. Every time this world comes closer together, it breaks apart just as quickly. There has been too much strain… and too much pain that the inhabitants have suffered with.

Would you be surprised that these inhabitants were Pokémon?

Do not forget, these are living beings. And they are not the Pokémon you may remember.

Or perhaps you do remember? The way
they arrive has always been shrouded in some kind of mystery until the end and even when the answers are revealed… it's never been entirely consistent.

Something brings
you here. Are you here by choice? Or are you lost on this world?

Hmm… until you find that answer, please, come with me. Follow my voice. You may sense me only as a presence, at the corner of your spirit… but in truth I'm not actually with you. I am elsewhere in this world, working at unravelling a truth that has evaded me for so long.

But I will watch you all from a distance. To the best of my ability. I can promise you that.

Don't be afraid. None of you alone.

…I see… you can sense their arrival. Another one… I figured the world was reaching another period of danger… I cannot make certain of who they are or what they may become… or even what they are here
for. However, this cannot be a coincidence.

We will have to find that truth at another time. Stay close to them. But don't get too close… you don't want them to lose their mind.

Trust me… I know…

And who knows? Maybe there will be more to this world... and beyond... that meets the eye...


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Active Member
The view had been truly spectacular from the sky. Islands stretching out as far as the eye can see, each and every one of them lush with life. Green trees were laid out across each landmass, surrounding the grey and brown mountains, topped with snow white peaks which rose above the brilliant azure seas. The waters of which gently rolled onto the white sands that made up the beaches.

From this bird’s eye perspective, one could see that the islands themselves were not devoid of activity. Walking along the beaches, through the forest trails, working on the fields and riding through the waters, Pokémon of nearly every kind and type were going around their daily lives. Most moved across the land, interacting with each other in and around small villages scattered across the islands. They were simple places. Most of the structures were wooden, sometimes mixed in with stone buildings that were placed here and there. One could see the odd cart on the roads connecting the villages on the little islands, whilst on the water, small boats journeyed between them all. Each one often accompanied by one of the resident water-types that called the sea home.

Each of these islands surrounded a much larger landmass that dwarfed the others. But it was no natural feature that dominated the landscape.

Rising on the northern most tip of that continent, atop of bluff connected to the mainland by a pair of stone arches was a colossal fortress. Stone walls rose for dozens of metres around it’s base, with towers reaching up even higher beyond that. Flying above the castle, one could see a vast courtyard that seemed to separate the main castle’s battlements from a smaller outer wall that secured access to the stone arches that led to it. Dozens to hundreds of Pokémon strolled through this courtyard between the gatehouses. Some clearly looked like villagers and merchants, but many had an air of… duty around them. Some stood to attention at the gateways, whereas others happily chatted with the locals moving through the courtyard, each one wearing an armband around their arm and often carrying a satchel on their person. Each conversation was warm, if borderline familial in appearance.

Powerful. It seemed like it anyway.

And yet, very closely trusted.

The world blinked.

The sun was gone. Storm clouds crackled overhead, hiding away the sky. Waves slammed into the rocks with thunderous booms, sending up dark sprays up into the air. The land was shrouded in shadow.

But the castle, and its surroundings, were now in flames.

The outer wall had been thoroughly smashed up, with many gaping holes in its fortifications. Inside the courtyard, what had been a peaceful scene was no erupting in chaos. A gigantic force was swarming through the breaches in the outer wall, all of them Pokémon. It was hard to tell who they were. Some looked like they were wearing the attire and gear of the villagers, but others wore dark armbands that looked far more menacing than those of the castle’s inhabitants.

At the gateway built into the inner wall, those very same inhabitants with their lighter coloured armbands stood against the massed attackers. Above them all, flying Pokémon duelled above their heads, or launching strafing attacks on the fortress itself with their elemental attacks. On the ground, the defenders were outnumbered, either struggling to fend off a massed attack on their own or forming part of a defensive line. But even with their backs to the wall, they were holding that line. Each one of the defenders was more of a match for multiple attackers, and even the ones on their own were able to keep most of their threats at bay. Some still fell to the onslaught, but it almost seemed at first glance, they were beginning to push the invaders back.

That was when the dark green ball of energy fell from the sky. One of the defenders looked up, and tried to cry out a warning.

The energy ball slammed into the centre of the defensive line and detonated with a blinding flash of light. Many of the defenders screamed as they were thrown clear of the blast zone, the attackers recoiling from the massive strike, ceasing their attack.

A thick ash cloud slowly began to fade away with the moans of the injured defenders, many trying to scramble back to their feet. Others were caught out, set upon by the raging mob of attackers.

Amongst the green flames, the dark Pokémon landed with a thud. Its black fur would have made it invisible without the flames to light it up. Green vines pulsed round it’s arms as its head snapped up, revealing it’s bright, almost demonic red eyes.

The Zarude looked upon the wounded defenders with an almost hungry eye as it rose to its feet. A few of the defenders, eyes widening with fear started to back up, weakening their defences. Likewise, even the attackers seemed spooked, backing away and clearing a space for the new arrival.

A cold, evil grin formed on the Zarude as it glanced back down towards the ground, watching as one defender, a Machoke, tried to drag himself away from danger. The simian approached, raised its right foot…

And slammed it down on the defender’s neck with a vicious crack. The Machoke’s eyes widened, a faint gasp escaping as its body went limp. A flicker of intelligence remaining evident before finally, it’s gaze went blank.

The defenders shuffled back, fear becoming terror as the Zarude’s smile grew even more morbid. It started to approach again.

A blue bolt flashed as it struck the ground with a sharp thundercrack, all Pokémon, attacker and defender alike, flinched backwards as the electrical energy sparked across the battlefield, separating the two sides.

All except the Zarude, who’s smile vanished completely.

As the electricity faded away, a patch of clouds parted, revealing the untouched splendour of the moon and shining a new light onto the fortress.

Standing before the Zarude, holding position in front of the defenders was a yellow and black Pokémon. Humanoid in shape, its jagged fur glistened in the light as a lightning bolt shaped tuft of fur hung from its upper back. A pair of bright blue eyes glared at the Zarude with untold intensity.

A Zeraora.

The Zarude seemed to hesitate for the briefest of moments.

Then it let out a bestial roar, a green vine unravelling from one of its arms into a whip, pulsing with dark green energy as it snapped round. Air rushed around the Pokémon, tugging at the other Pokémon present who once more retreated.

Unbowed, the Zeraora merely cracked its fists together, blue electricity sparking as its eyes narrowed.

And with that, it broke out into a run, a snarl forming as it charged for the Zarude.

The Zarude, whip still flailing in the air, charged forward, whipping it down towards its new opponent.

The Zeraora leapt forwards, it’s fist crackling with energy.

The whip and fist connected.

And with that, the fortress and everyone within it were engulfed in light.

That was quite the sight, wasn’t it?

Darkness engulfed everything, from every direction. The voice, intimidating but warm likewise came from all sides.

I do not know what that was, or when it was. But it is a most curious thing, is it not? I only caught a glimpse of it.

But alas… now I have found you… I suppose I must only say one thing.

It seemed to take a breath.

So… it begins.

The darkness seemed… almost inviting.

Come with me, if you will. ‘Observer’. Yes. That is what I shall call you for now. I might as well guide you into this world. A new world for you, I imagine. It’s one of many. It’s a peaceful world, where individuals belonging to many different species have come together. To work together, for the betterment of all.

Now. I imagine… we should start with a quick personality quiz?

The voice chuckled within the darkness.

I’m joking.

A sigh echoed by.

I shouldn’t. In truth, it’s not that simple. This world has teetered so close to the edge so many times that… its inhabitants have changed somewhat. They aren’t as kind or as noble as they had been decades ago. Or in a couple of years even. Of course, some do hold onto those ideals of old. They try and help others, or make new discoveries. But it is not an easy path. Even before the calamities, it has been like this. But now… it’s slowly become worse. Distrust and anger has slowly bubbled to the surface. Every time this world comes closer together, it fractures just as quickly. There has been too much strain. Too much pain for the inhabitants to try and wash away.

Would you be surprised that these inhabitants are creatures called Pokémon?

Do not forget, these are living beings. And I sense they are not the Pokémon you may remember.

Or perhaps you do remember? The way
they arrive has always been shrouded in some kind of mystery until the end. Even when the answers are revealed, it’s never been an entirely consistent set.

Something has brought
you here. Are you here by choice? Or are you lost on this world?

Hmm… until you find that answer, please, come with me. Follow my voice. You may sense me only as a presence at the corner of your spirit. But in truth I’m not actually with you physically. I am elsewhere in this world, working at unravelling a truth that has evaded me for so long.

But I will watch you all from a distance to the best of my ability. I can promise you that.

I see you can sense their arrival. I cannot make certain of who they are or what they may become. Or even what they are here for. But the fact you are… drawn to them. And at such a time when this world has entered another dangerous time cannot be mere coincidence.

We will have to find that truth at another time. Stay close to them. But don’t get too close. You don’t want them to lose their mind.

Trust me. I know.

And who knows? Maybe there will be more to this world, and beyond… that meets the eye.



Initially, he could only see darkness. It was all he knew. Just this inescapable, unknowable blackness.

Then, slowly, little by little, the light began to appear before him. Constantly shifting and evolving, flowing almost like water. The reds shifted into oranges, then yellows and so forth. His mind wandered, wondering what he had to have had in order to get such a vision. Something in the water maybe, he imagined. Then again, his body didn't feel sore.

Wait. I've just woken up; how do I know what water and a body feels like? Wait… yeah, of course I know what a body is! I should have one!

No, this was worse. He couldn't feel his body at all. Legs, limbs, head and yet he still had senses. At least partially anyway. He could see these colours, obviously. And he could hear a faint hum that almost sounded oddly rhythmic.

Okay… is this some kind of dodgy dream?

Even without his body, he could sense himself moving – somehow - forwards. No. He was being pulled onwards. It was strange, he couldn't physically move even if he had a body at this point. Maybe he was just dreaming. But where was he sleeping? In a house? Had to be. He tried to imagine having an actual arm and yet nothing happened.

The colours wavered before him, and a very faint star seemed to blink into view before him. Growing that little bit brighter, that bit bigger.

Am… maybe this is me waking up. Weird way of doing it...

And with that, the star began to blink. Hang on-

came a quiet voice, "Can… can you hear me?".

He felt a strange warmth run through him. Compelling him to move further on. H-Hi? I can… what's going on? Is this some dodgy dream or something?

There was a moment of silence, the little star ceasing to blink for a moment, before it started again… "You can? Great! Listen… I don't have much time…"

The voice wavered for a moment. And with that, he began to feel drowsy… the light and the colours seeming to dim before him. "Oh no… listen to me! You need to save…"

What? I-I can't hear you… I'm…
His thoughts began to blur together, the lights now fading away, the hum ceasing. The star the only thing left he could even see. "Please! All of this… it needs saving…

Save… save what…
He could sense himself slipping away. I… can't…

"You need t-"

The light faded away.

And he slowly, so did he…


He moaned as he slowly come to, feeling his body ache in protest. He snapped his eyes open, only to cry out as the light flashed onto his retinas. Nearly blinded, he squeezed them tight again. Was he under attack? No… he could feel the warmth soak through his skin.

The Sun? Yeah, has to be. Just like…

When did I last feel sunlight?

Wait! Do I even know my own name!?


He shivered. That voice.


The memory rushed through him, and with that, it clicked. Sam… my name is Sam! Damn, glad I know that at least!

Sam opened his eyes again, much more carefully this time. Thankfully, instead of being blinded, he slowly gained a blurry view of the world. He could just make out trees around him and blue skies above him. His other senses started to emerge. He felt himself curled up on his side, could smell the fresh grass he was on and heard the sound of leaves rustling peacefully in the wind and the light trickle of flowing water.


A faint itch worked its way through Sam's throat, forcing him to take a sudden breath in surprise.

Damn. How long have I been out?

If he had even been out at all?

His arms even more blurry than the trees around him, he slowly pushed himself up to his hands and knees. His eyes flickered around and settled on the familiar shape of a pool of water. Vision be damned, he could at least tell that.

Grunting, he crawled over to the pool and, without delay, scooped up some of the water in his hands and gulped it down, feeling the cool water that spilled out drip down his chest.

Seriously, how long was it since I last drank?

He blinked as he stared down at his hands... they remained blurred, but he could make out they were some kind of gloves. Completely white and – Wait. They were very small.

What did he even look like?

Splashing his face with a handful of water, Sam wiped his face clean and with a quick shake of his head, focused his gaze at his hands and at last, his vision began to clear.

Sam's hands drifted back into view. They were white, covered in fur.

But something felt wrong. Deeply wrong. This couldn’t be right to him.

I'm human.

And with that, his vision cleared entirely. He realised they weren't hands. They were paws with three little digits. Huh?

He dropped the paws, finding himself looking at a weird rabbit. One that was staring back at him from the water. Covered almost entirely in white fur… save for a little patch of orange across its nose, a flash of reddish orange on the tops of its ears, and finally a pair of eyes with bright orange irises…

Its mouth dropped open, showing a pair of brilliant white buckteeth. "What?"

The realisation hit him like a punch to the gut.

He sprung upright, paws snapping up to his chest, digits running through his fur and past his ears as the instinctively flicked aside. No no! It can’t be-

"I'm a bloody Scorbunny!?” he exclaimed, “What the flying!?-"

He stumbled back, crying out as fell back onto his backside. He panted, trying to bring his heartrate down, his breathing under control. "H-How? I'm human! Now I'm a Pokémon? How's that supposed to…"

His voice trailed off. This can't be right. it can't be.

Slowly, he crawled back forward towards the water's edge. And once more found the reflection of that Scorbunny. Of him – Sam - staring back up at him… "I…" he fell silent. All he could do was simmer in the simple, plain fact of reality that happened to be staring straight back at him.

And that is the prologue and the first chapter! As soon the other chapters are checked over for posting here, I will post them directly into here. Let me know what you think.
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Active Member


The sky was almost picturesque. A big bright sun, a few fluffy white clouds over there. Lots of strong trees topped with emerald green leaves. Not that they were actually emeralds just regular…

Groaning, Sam thumped his head against the tree he leaned against. He was still half convinced that this was some kind of dream, even if the slight throb running down his back of his head seemed to confirm that, yes, this was all real. But the question was how this was even possible? He knew what he was right now. A Pokemon, and yet he somehow thought he was a human. How did that even work? They were completely different species at the end of the day.

"Come on!" he growled, pounding his paw into the bark. "I've got to remember something from before… err…" He chewed on his lip, his mind going blank. "Okay okay… my name is Sam… I'm – was human… obviously I'm a guy… unless I'm non-binary or… hang on, where did I hear about that?"

"Dang it." he hissed, "No idea."

Slowly, he began to pace, questioning his memory. Trying to glean something from before he had woken up in the first place. Hmm... maybe I should try asking myself some questions, see if anything comes up from all that... yeah, let's give that a try.

Bringing himself to a halt, rubbed his hands together and started the questioning. Where did he come from?

...No idea.

Okay, what did he look like as a human?


He grumbled to himself. How old was he?


The lack of hesitation nearly caused him to cheer, his eyes instead widening in delight, "H-Hey! I know my age at least! So what did I-"

Sam's mind went blank again. "Dang it!"

Angrily, he swivelled round and booted the nearest tree. But as his paw connected, his entire leg turned to jelly, the pain rushed up it like a wave. He hopped away with a cry, clutching his throbbing foot like some cheap cartoon character. Okay mate… calm down, stop acting like some bratty kid!

Taking a deep breath, Sam forced himself to relax, rubbing the back of his head. Probably some weird fire rabbit hormones or something he figured.

And then there was that voice. The… star? If it was even one. Asking him for help. But help with what? Did they want help? Someone else? He shook his head, maybe it was tied to him being a Scorbunny?

He frowned to himself, They knew me too… but… how? I don't… damn it, I can't remember that either.

With a shake of his head, he rubbed his paws together. Alright, forget about the memories… I need to find some help first.

He slowly spun on his foot, scanning his surroundings. Other than the pool of water he had found himself next to, the only other feature of note was an opening in the trees. That had revealed what was a barely marked, dusty path that cut into the woods, but beyond that, he couldn't tell what would lie within. Well… it's better than nothing.

And with that, Sam started to jog his way down the path.

It was fairly easy going, twisting and curving through the trees even if the path was barely… well… that at all. Shrubs, bushes and grasses rose up around him in every direction, hanging around in little clearings where the sun managed to break through. Even a few surprisingly big flowers were poking out from the grasses. The canopy offered plenty of shade from the sun high above his head too, so he wasn't going to cook anyway.

Well… technically I'm already cooked… you know… being a fire type Pokémon and all…

He stopped mid stride, rubbing the back of his head. Hang on… Pokémon have awesome powers right? I should be able to do some fire moves! Err… what moves can I do… Ember I think? That tends to be pretty standard for fire-types right?

Err… how do I do that?

He frowned to himself as he started walking again. So Ember… works out of the mouth right? Almost like breathing fire or something. But I've got ha- paws so… does it come from me using those instead or i-

"-hat seeds are these? Blast Seeds?"

"No, they're regular ones, I told you!"

Sam slowed down again, his ears already twitching around to track down the source. Well, that didn't take long to find someone… sounds like they're… huh, further down the track.

Beating his feet into the dirt, the Scorbunny rushed on ahead, picking up speed as he pushed onwards. Maybe there will be other humans there. Don't know how I'm going to explain things but I've gotta try.

"Damn… they just look the same, you know?"

"The same? They've all got symbols on them you nitwit!"

"You know what I'm like! It's pretty easy for me to mix that stuff up!"

"Clear! Symbols!"

Blast Seeds… what? Nevermind. Either way, sounds like they should be some regular people to talk to.

He emerged into the clearing, paw raised in greeting, "Hey there, look, I'm a bit lost can you-?"

The Rattata and Pidgey spun towards him, eyes widening in surprise.

Immediately, Sam began to run on autopilot, "Ah right… you guy's are Pokémon… right… this is going to be weird, but are there any… trainers near here? I kinda need an idea of my circum-"

The Pidgey snapped it's beak with an audible crack, "Trainers? What the hell are you talking about?"


"Yeah!" the Rattata exclaimed, "What's a Trainer?"

Sam's mouth hung completely open, as the full gravity of what just happened hit him like a sack of bricks. How can I be so stupid?! I can talk so…

It was obvious… he was a Pokémon and could talk regardless… it only made sense that other Pokemon could do the same.

And frankly, there was only one word he could say in response…


Sorry this took some time to bring up proper. This chapter was actually the shortest I have done and needed expanding before it could be posted here. I shouldn't have any trouble with the other chapters though, so I should be able to get them round alot quicker.
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Active Member



Other than the soft rustle of leaves above his head, silence dominated the clearing. The bird and rat Pokémon staring him down with a mixture of confused and annoyed looks. Sam held his ground, frozen in place with his paw still hanging in mid air in greeting. Okay… this is awkward…

He lowered his paw, "Yeah… sorry about that… didn't exactly have the greatest night." He said, rubbing the back of his head. "Still a little bit… err… hungover…"

The Pidgey and the Rattata glanced at each other, the disgust now being replaced with disbelief. The Pidgey clipped their beak as they looked back at him. "Hungover?"

"Err… yeah?"

"At your age?"

Sam blinked at that, mind initially drawing a blank. Ah… Scorbunny is a pre-evolution right? Err..

"I was…" he started slowly, trying to work out another solution, "...drinking a lot of juice… but I think someone spiked it."



The two Pokémon glanced at each other again, and Sam could tell they didn't quite believe him. The Rattata seemed to shrug half-heartedly, so at first glance, it seemed like they were going to let it slide. Okay, let's get them distracted…

"Hey, I'm kinda lost… do you happen to know where the nearest town is?"

The Pidgey cackled, "Really? It's not that big an island and you managed to get lost?"

"I'm kinda new here. And-"

"You got hungover?" the Rattata interrupted, whiskers twitching.


Twitching an ear, Sam straightened up, "So can you… you know… point me in the right direction?"

Their eyes flicking back for a second, almost distractedly, the Pidgey nodded. "Sure, just follow the track that way." He pointed an wing towards another, more defined path through the trees on the other end of the clearing. "That'll take you to the main road."

Suddenly, the Rattata spun on it's feathered companion, eyes narrowing. As the Pidgey leaned in, it began to whisper.

Too bad it didn't really recognise the fact that Sam now had pretty big ears. "What are you doing? We don't know where this kid came from!"

"Says the guy who couldn't work out his seeds."

The rat quivered, "Look, you know how no one's evolving again, he could be from one of the teams, or those hunters! Besides, I've never seen Scorbunny around here."

"Come on." The bird hissed, "You said yourself, he's just a kid."

Ears twitching, Sam merely raised up one paw. "Err… first of all… I'm not a kid…"

Well, that's what I think anyway…

"…secondly… look, I can see you guys are a bit on edge. So I'll just get out of your hair and hit that road."

He started strolling over to the path, keeping one eye on the two Pokémon, "I won't tell anyone you're here either. So you don't have to worry about th-"

That was when he saw the yellow shape, jutting out from behind the back of the Rattata, and with that, he stopped mid stride. He was about to brush it off, consider it nothing… but curiosity nibbled at the back of his mind and so… it got the better of him. "Hey, what's that?"

Taking a step back, the Rattata hid the yellow shape away. "It's nothing." The Pidgey said. "Just some berries."

"You said you were looking at seeds though…" Sam mused, taking a few steps closer, trying to peer round, "Unless you guys have berries to-"

The yellow shape reappeared into view… and he recognised it as an arm attached to a little yellow and brown body… covered in blood. Sam froze, his entire body stiffening, "W-wait… is that a-"

He cried out as the Pidgey slammed into his chest headfirst, pain surging across his body as he was sent flying away and onto his back. Groaning, he shoved himself up, just in time to see the Rattata dive towards him, teeth flashing.


Kicking his feet into the ground, Sam rolled and bounced back, just about evading the attack as the rat slammed head first into the grass. Landing back on his feet, he raised his paws up, eyes flicking between the now hovering bird and the rat. The bird was slowly shaking his head, "I was kinda wishing you didn't see that."

"Now can we deal with the brat?" The Rattata snapped.

"Gonna have to now."

Snarling, Sam bounced from one foot to the other, his heart pounding that little bit harder, ready to fight them off. "So what? You two are just some murderers?!"

The Pidgey snapped his beak, "We're just trying to make a living, this guy just got in the way!"

"Murder is still murder!"

Dragging his feet into the ground, the Rattata growled back, "Can't let you tell the authorities about us…"

Pulling a mock punch, Sam flashed a grin, the confidence flooding through him despite the throbbing chest. "I'm not helpless you know." He said, "Just me against the two of you? It's not like I'm dealing with some big dude huh?"

Something thumped into the ground just behind him, the earth softly quaking under his feet, and with that, the two Pokémon before him seemed to flash… smirks. Sam's smile melted away. "That's exactly who's behind me right?"

"Yep." Replied a deep, rumbling voice behind him.

Slowly, Sam spun on his heel to come face to face with a gigantic Pokémon with two heavily built arms and shorter legs. Not only that, but it was also covered in orange padding and grey fins… a Swampert. It flashed a toothless grin as Sam's confidence vanished, the Scorbunny stumbleing back… "Fancy your chances now?"

The Scorbunny resisted the urge for his body to shake. "Err… yeah… I don't think so…"

With that, he snapped forward, crying out and willing the Ember to fire away.

Nothing happened. Blinking, Sam jabbed both paws forward, trying to focus on them, encourage flames to form. "Err…" He thrust them once more… and still nothing happened.

Okay… kinda need a new plan…


Yeah… run.

The Swampert frowned. "You know… even if you knew what you were doing, I'm still a water type?"

"Err… yeah… point taken."

And with that, he leapt straight up at the muscular mon. It's eyes widened as it tried to pull back in surprise. But the little Scorbunny was faster, grunting as he booted the bigger Mon in the face. Another few kicks, and Sam was up and over the Swampert, touching down into the grass behind him. "At least I can still move mate!" he teased.

And with that, Sam shot off, running for the woods as fast as his legs would allow. "What are you waiting for you idiots!?" the Swampert rumbled, "After him!"

Sorry for the delay, but I've checked over Chapter III, enjoy and let me know what you think!


Active Member


Sam ducked and weaved, trying to make up the distance between himself and those murdering sods. Licking his lips, he forced a determined look on his face, looking to keep up his confidence as he fled.

The truth was with his heart now pounding in his chest and threatening to blow out of it, he was terrified. Pokémon don't murder things! Do… do they?

He slowed, taking a sharp breath. Okay okay, just need to get to that road… oh ****, what if they were lying about that!?

"Stop pissing around and find that little brat!"

Head snapping round, he could hear the thumping footsteps of that Swampert coming up from behind him. Still chasing him… Dang it… even if I can outrun him, the Pidgey will keep place… I need a better idea and q- wait, the trees!

Eying one particularly big oak, Sam kicked himself up and onto the first branch, grunting as he scrambled to pull himself up and onto it… only to half gasp as he nearly slipped off the otherside with a creak, grabbing hold of a small branch to hold himself there. Right… I have no idea how to climb a tree…

"He went this way!"

Gulping, Sam pulled himself back upto his feet, looked up, and leapt again. Making his way that little bit higher into the tree with each and every jump. Just as he broke into the leaves proper, the Swampert forced his way into the clearing below, eyes narrowed as they scanned all directions. The Pidgey hovered in next to him and finally, the Rattata came in at their rear. Sam tightened his grip on one of the bark. Come on mates… move on, move on…

The Swampert's head snapped towards the Pidgey, a low growl rumbling forth. "I told you not to lose him!"

The bird merely narrowed his eyes, "If we were on a field. Easy. I can either track him or dodge trees. I can't do both."

As the Rattata marched onwards, the big amphibian could only let out a heavy growl in reply, "Grr… Well he can't have got far. If we split up, we might be able to cover more ground."

"He's a Scorbunny, he ain't exactly slow."

"I'm not an idiot! Just… let me think."

The Rattata was now out of view with the other two Mons still at the edge of the clearing. Sam held his breath, trying to not shiver in the treetop. Come on you assholes… get out of here…

At last, the big Swampert seemed to straighten up, eyes fixed on something further ahead on the ground. "Let's move out, see if we can track down that rat a little further. If not, who's gonna believe him anyway? We'll get rid of the bodies, get our pay and be off this rock before anyone bothers to look."

Bodies? There was more than one?

Sam watched as the Swampert and the Pidgey drifted by underneath him and out of sight. But he didn't move. He stayed frozen where he was, not even daring to breathe as the footsteps began to fade away.

He waited one minute. Then another.

And after the third, he finally let out a sigh of relief. Okay… better drop down and go a completely different direction bef-

An massive crack rang out beneath him, the entire tree shuddering as the Scorbunny was thrown forward, wrapping his arms round his branch. His heart pounded again, squirming against the wood. What the flying f-

Something snapped… and he could feel the air shift as the tree began tilt... toppling over. "Oh come on!" he barked, as he struggled to get his feet onto the branch… and with another kick, blew clear of the leaves.

Straight into the Pidgey.

Crying out, he tried to throw a wild punch, hoping to catch the bird's wing… but it only tasted thin air as he flailed helplessly past. A second later, he struck the ground face first with a dull thud. Moaning, Sam pushed himself back up to find himself staring down the Swampert rubbing his front paws together. That tree was just a punching bag to him! But how did he know-

Down next to him, the Rattata was flashing a toothy grin at him, a big, leafy branch twice his size hanging out of his mouth. Plus the pristine leaves all scattered across the ground between Sam and the criminals. He bit off a curse at that. Damn it… must have broke it off when I tried to climb up! Pushing himself back up to his feet, Sam glared back at the three Pokémon blocking his path again. The Swampert merely pulled it's toothless grin once more. "Think you were being clever huh? Should have kept running kid."

Suddenly sensing a flash of heat within him, the Scorbunny raised his paws, tightening them into fists. "You've still gotta catch me yo-"

All other words were destroyed as the beam of water slammed into his chest. Pain tore through him, his ribs screaming as if they were being crushed as he was thrown back. His breath stolen away. I-I can't m-

He felt his head snap back against something hard, and he saw no more.


Sam groaned as he slowly came to, his entire head throbbing as if someone had rammed an electric toothbrush into his skull. His chest too ached, and for a moment he half thought his ribs were broken. Slowly and weakly, he moved one paw up onto his chest, taking in a sharp intake of breath as pain pulsed along his skin… but they felt intact. His vision blurred, his other paw drifting back to behind his head… and when the furry hand came back into view, the pristine white fur was now red, dripping with ichor.

"Damn, you survived that? You're tougher than you look."

In that moment, Sam realised that he was being dragged across grass under an open sky. T-The c-clearing? "W-W-Wha… W-Where are you t-taking me?"

"To dump your body, but since you're still kicking, think of it as somewhere where I can give you a choice buddy."

The injured Scorbunny could only moan in response, barely noticing his leg getting dropped as his vision cleared a little bit… revealing the dark shape of that big leader. "I was just gonna kill ya and leave your corpse where no one would find you. But you're not half ballsy for a rabbit." He grunted, "So, you can join our crew and we'll patch you up. Or… well… you can end up like this lot."

Something pushed… no, pulled Sam upright, and his vision, whilst still dark around the edges, cleared up. It was the clearing he had first encountered them and…

His heart went still, unable to tear his eyes away from the bodies. The yellow body from before he recognised as a Pikachu. Their eyes were shut and their face was relaxed… but the amount of blood covering them, especially round their neck…

His eyes flicked over to the others. A light blue coloured turtle, it's head twisted at an awkward angle. And another larger bug like mon, wings torn up… and another yellow mon, even smaller than the Pikachu with-

Unable to look any longer, Sam tore his gaze away, his stomach churning from both pain and… that damn sight. "You…" he gasped, "Want me to join you? To kill!?"

"Eh, ruffle them up sure. Kill? Eh, we try and avoid that. But you know what us Pokémon are like. Once we start fighting it's not easy to stop, you know?"

Eyes squeezed shut, the Scorbunny could only shake his head. "B-But this isn't just killing! You've torn them apart!"

He could hear that damn Swampert chuckle behind him, "Hey. We're just doing what we can to get through life. With the disasters coming back, only makes sense. So, whatcha say?"

Feeling the tears forming at the edge of his eyes, Sam slowly pushed himself up, he took a step forward, stumbled. His vision was clearing now, and a quick glance behind revealed the Swampert, now flanked on both sides by the Pidgey and the Rattata… with the bodies in plain view next to them.

No… I'm… he punched the ground and shakingly pushed himself back up. I'm- I'm not…

Stumbling once more, he managed to turn round to face the team, his breathing laboured. "No… I'm not becoming a killer just to stay alive for a few days longer!"

Weakly, he raised his paws up, trying to ready himself for the next blow. "I… I'd rather die."

The Swampert merely shrugged, "Welp… sorry to hear that."

With that he opened his mouth, a blue ball of energy beginning to form within, slowly humming.

His arms continued to shake. Sam knew he wasn't walking away from this, nevermind running. This… it's it…

As the orb started to look like a water ball, Sam could only close his eyes… and brace for the inevitable hit. For his bones to break…

Instead, the hum was cut out, and replaced with an almighty crack… and a surprised cry.

He opened his eyes.

Standing between him and the Swampert was a bipedal, avian like Pokémon with predominately red feathers, although also mixed in with yellow and beige ones too whilst cold, blue eyes were fixed on the water type… who had seemed to have backed off, rubbing his chin as his eyes burned. A… A Blaziken!? Where did he-

"I'm going to give you one chance." Stated the fire-type, eyes somehow looking even colder as he stared down the criminal. "Hand yourselves in."

"Or what?!" The Swampert barked, "You can't kick my ass!"

"I can. And so can this team."

The Rattata and Pidgey rushed forward, readying their attacks as they came down on the Blaziken… but Sam barely registered the shapes that rushed past him and the fire type in a blur of colou

The Gallarde struck first, it's bladed arm rushing up to meet the Pidgey head on. Sam could just make out the bird's eyes widening before the blade slammed into it's body. With a pained cry, the bird shot up well into the sky and out of sight. The Rattata, despite being on the ground, managed to leap back just as the Scyther slashed at him with their own blades. It's teeth flashed as it reared back, glowing as it readied itself for-

Too late, as the second blade struck across the whole length of the Rattata. With little more than a gasp, the rat was tossed aside, rolling across the grassy field as a battered pulp.

The Swampert roared, rearing back as it tore a boulder from the ground and tossed it towards the Blaziken.

Without even blinking, the fire-type merely stepped to oneside, allowing it to bounce past them and the still frozen Sam, chips flicking off and landing just in front of the Scorbunny. Only then did the fire type finally strike, leaping up into the air with an almighty kick into the earth.

The Swampert could barely react before the Blaziken's clawed foot slammed down onto his head with an almighty crack. Groaning, he stumbled back, but the Blaziken came after him with a barrage of punches and kicks, each one striking the bigger mon across the face, the neck and chest. Bloodying it up and driving it back further and further. Sam could only look on in shock as the fighter pummeled the water-type into submission.

As the Swampert's head snapped back, the Blaziken let out a final scream, their legs erupting into flames. Spinning round, the twin Blaze Kicks struck the Swampert in the chest and across the head with an powerful pair of snap.

The big brute stumbled back moaning, shuddered… and slammed headfirst into the dirt, out cold.

Sam could tell his mouth was agape, his body still shivering from the surprise… from the power of each strike… and with fear.

Brushing it's shoulder off, the Blaziken turned round to face him.

Sam froze, his heart going cold.

The Blaziken seemed to relax as it looked down on him, it's blue eyes not looking as fierce. Likewise, the other two Pokemon had turned to face him too, looks of concern evident even as the Scyther cast a glance in the direction of the corpses.

The Scorbunny was about to utter a word when something blinked in the sky, just behind the Blaziken. A brown and tan shape diving down at high speed… it's wings glowing white. The Pidgey…

And it was diving straight for the Blaziken.

Something burned within Sam, fear replaced by desperation as his eyes widened. Desperation turned into instinct as some new found strength shot through his body. One eye snapped towards the boulder… and one of the broken fragments laid out directly in front of him.

Screaming, Sam dashed forward, a surge of heat running through his legs as he reeled his foot back and brought it down with all the force he could muster.

The pebble ignited instantly, the little fireball booted forward into the air. Eyes widening, the Blaziken jerked aside. Not that it was needed, as the Ember rushed clear past them… and straight at the Pidgey.

The bird cried out, trying to evade, but it was too late as the fireball struck it in the face, the glowing wings flashing back to normal as it was blown back with an horrific bang. The bird spun away, letting out a faint cry, and slammed into the ground.

Even in his state, Sam could see it's chest smoking, the faint twitching of it's wings the only indicator that the Pidgey was still alive.

The Blaziken took a second to glance at the downed Pidgey, before it finally turned back towards the Scorbunny… looking almost amazed… or surprised.

His body was already quivering again, feeling like jelly as he looked up at the evolved fire-type.

Sam just managed to muster up the remaining strength to pull a small grin.

"So… that's how Ember works…"

And with that, Sam toppled forward and fell face first into the dirt.


Active Member


Hmm… you have been with him for a while. He's alive, I can assure you of that and no, he's not brain dead. He is in capable hands.

Well. As close as can be to hands anyway.

So he is human. Or rather he used to be before he was turned into this Scorbunny. If he is here… then something terrible must be on the horizon. It can't be a mere coincidence.

Is that why you are here? To look over him? To witness this dark event? Or perhaps you are just drawn to this Pokemon.

To this human...


…I must withdraw, less my presence gets sensed. You don't get too close either.

But do keep an eye on him will you?


"Hello? Can you hear me?"


"You can? Great! Listen… I don't have much time…"

"Oh no… listen to me! You need to save…"

What? I… I can't hear you…

"Please! All of this… it needs saving…"

Save… save what… I can't…



Sam's eyes fluttered open, That voice… where…

His vision blurred for a moment, then cleared to reveal the wooden ceiling above him. A gentle warmth pulsed across his body, almost like waves running up alongside him. H-Huh? Am… am I dead?

He slowly raised his hands up, only instead to see those white rabbit paws drift into view instead. I… I'm still a Scorbunny.

Moaning softly, he began to push himself upright, soaking in that pink… wait, what?

He looked round himself to find himself on a fluffy bed, his body glowing a soft pink that throbbed and pulsed every second. Every pulse warming him up… strengthening him.

Standing alongside the bed was what looked like a white horse, only it also possessed a massive mane coloured… cyan and pink? So fluffy it was it almost looked like candy floss. And it had a violet horn too that stretched a good way out of it's head. Blue eyes were focused on him as the pink energy flowed around them too. A Unicorn? Wait a minute… it looks like a Rapidash but… I thought it was half on fire… wait… a variant… I think it's a variant.

Blinking once, the pink light faded away from the Rapidash and just a second after that, he looked down to find the pink pulse vanishing into the ether around him. He immediately patted his chest and his head, finding that his ribs no longer ached and he couldn't feel the sticky warmth that was blood on his skull. They… healed me? I'm alive? So…

He turned to face the Rapidash, that warmth still pulsing inside him despite the power fading away and flashed a friendly grin. "Hey… thanks for-"

The Rapidash's eyes flashed, "What did you think this all was, a free get out of jail service!?"

The warmth immediately vanished as Sam slid away from the horse Pokémon, eyes widening. "W-what? I was just saying tha-"

The horse merely rolled their eyes, "Hmph! Kids these days, thinking they can run off into the wilderness and try and be heroes." She snorted in a raspy voice, "Pah! They think twice once they've had a few bones broken and are left hanging from a tree! Or wrapped in some bug's web! Heal Pulses aren't as easy as some idiots say they are!"

"O-Oi!" Sam snapped, initial shock fading away as he narrowed his eyes, "I'm not a kid!"

Puffing, the Rapidash raised a hoof and jabbed him in the chest. Not enough to hurt, but he still winced and recoiled from the strike. "I don't care if you are two or thirty, you're still only a little Scorbunny! Thinking you could play ball with a Swampert? Did you know just how much blood I had to clean up from that!? You're lucky I wasn't there, or I might have jus-!"


The Rapidash, Rebecca, jerked her head to one side, revealing the wooden room beyond. A clinic to the look of it, judging by what seemed to be medical cabinets loaded with berries and glass jars.

The Blaziken was leaning against a desk in the room, arms crossed with his head tilted to one side. A single brow was raised, "I think he's got the point."

Sighing, Rebecca turned back to face him. "Just don't go running off out there too soon, I don't need to be collecting bits of you out of a fissure."

With an irritated flick of her mane, she marched away and through another door way.

Sam let out a puff of air, unclenching his little paws. "Geez… talk about bedside manners."

The fire bird had watched the horse leave, but his head now swivelled back towards him. "She's just stressed." He explained, narrowing his cool eyes. "Rebecca didn't even want to be a nurse, but the last one went off to the mainland."

Tilting his own head, Sam could only frown. "Why do it then?"

"Because no one is as good as her with healing moves… as she did volunteer."

"Oh… okay… that kinda makes sense..."

"She isn't trying to punish you if that's what you are worried about. In fact she's more worried than angry." The Blaziken pushed himself off the table, towering over the Scorbunny. "How are you feeling?"

Sam rubbed the back of his head, still trying to feel for a scar or a mark… but there was nothing. "Better than new… I guess?"

The bigger fire type approached, arms still crossed, "I didn't catch your name."

He responded instantly, "Sam."

"Rex." The Blaziken introduced himself, returning a nod, "Alright Sam, what were you doing out in the middle of Little Forest with a team of criminals?"

"Whoa hey!" Sam barked, flinching, "I had nothing to do with those guys! That Swampert was about to kill me! Just like he did with…"

Eyes widening, he scrambled back up to his feet even as his head started to spin from the movement. "What about the other guys! Those they attacked, you can use that Heal Pulse thingy and-"

"They're gone." Rex interrupted him, his tone chilling. "They were long dead before we got there."


He couldn't say another word though. He saw them lying there with all that blood and broken bone. He doubted anyone was going to come back from that, no matter what they were. He plopped back down onto the bed, hands squeezing together. "I don't know who everyone was there… one minute I was just walking through the woods the next…" Sighing, he shook his head. "Look, I'm not a murderer I just… walked into it all."

"You saw the bandits kill those Pokémon?"

"No… I arrived too late. I just thought they were guys arguing before I saw…" he clamped his mouth shut, flicking his gaze away.

Rex didn't reply at first, but he could see a grey hand reach over and lean into the bed's cover. "You're safe now. Understand?"

Hesitating, Sam slowly nodded before finally fixing his gaze back on the Blaziken, the chill in his eyes now gone. "But what were you doing out there anyway? You aren't on any records."

"Oh, in the woods? I was-"

He stopped himself short, his buckteeth dig into his lip. What could he say? He doubted the 'I got lost and hungover' story would hold. Ugh! What can I say? That I just woke up in the middle of a forest thinking I was human and yet I've been turned into a Scorbunny? He'll think I'm mad!

Sam could sense his foot tapping away, Come on mate think… there has to be something I can say…


"Go on."

The Scorbunny's mouth hung ajar, a word on the tip of his tongue… before he finally closed it and shook his head. "I don't remember."

"Hmm?" Rex tilted his head over, beak clicking. "You remember nothing?"

"Yeah… I just found myself wondering those woods… maybe I got hit on the back of the head or got affected by some move…"

"Like a Confuse Ray?"

"Yeah… I don't know. Could be?" shaking his head, Sam rose back upto his feet. "Maybe it'll come back to me, but all I've been drawing are blanks."

Come on Come on… don't try and dig deeper… please…

Rex looked down on him, a claw on one hand scratching just underneath his chin, as if processing what information Sam could give.

Then, at last, he nodded. "Fair enough. I believe you. Just make sure you keep a low profile, understood?"

"Y-Yes sir." Sam replied, relaxing a touch.

"Stretch your legs for a moment, then when you're ready come on outside. I'll show you around town.". With that, Rex pulled away from the bed and turned to depart. "W-Wait!" Sam exclaimed, reaching after him, catching the Blaziken's attention. "Thanks… for helping me back there."

The bigger Mon glanced back, "Just doing a day's work, but your welcome. I'll just be outside."

He watched him walk on out, and slumped back onto the bed, gazing up at the ceiling. It wasn't an ideal story, just flat out saying he didn't know how he got to that Forest, but it wasn't exactly a lie either. No point in confusing people with more human… err… stuff…

Sam rubbed the back of his head, trying to still work out where the original wound was from the tree. Nothing. That Healing Pulse must have just been that good.

I'm going to have to tell someone eventually. Sam mused, slowly lowering himself to the ground. But let's get a lay of the land first. I know I'm in… what, some kind of Pokémon world? The more I know about the place, the better. And hey, maybe I can learn something about myself in the meantime.

Brushing himself down, the former human took in a breath, steadied himself… and strolled out of the room.

Well… here goes nothing.

Where the hell's the exit?


Active Member


It only took one embarrassing minute to find his way through the building to the front door, and with another nervous breath, he pushed his way through outside.

Wincing, he blinked as he let his eyes adjust to the bright light of the sun. But this time, they had an easier time adjusting to it and with a paw above his eyes, his vision recovered.


The town that was laid out before him wasn't something Sam had expected. He had stepped out of a wooden cabin into what almost looked more like a forest woodland camp than a town. The trees that surrounded him were massive, easily towering dozens if not more than a hundred feet in height, with some often being so wide at the bottom as to cover dozen metres across. Stone paths cut across the ground in front of him, connecting to several differently sized cabins, also made from logs and planks that were secured into place. Some of those were reinforced with cobblestone that matched up with the stone paths that ran in between each of the buildings before congregating into a larger square at the centre of it all. Or rather, a pair of squares, given that there was a river flowing through it all. Several smaller buildings that Sam could only guess were shops were spread out around the square, with two wooden bridges, on being larger than the other to the point it was fitted with a circular platform, connected the two halves together.

On the far side of that though, standing beside a collection of waterfalls that fed the river was the most colossal tree he had ever seen. Forget feet, it was easily over one hundred metres tall, with branches so thick in places they made the cabins look small. Even from here, he can tell it has actually been hollowed out, with a large entrance built in at the bottom and what appeared to be windows and openings scattered across it's trunk. Pokémon of all shapes and sizes moved from cabin to cabin, chatting away with each other or cutting through the water of the river. A few flew above his head, drifting from place to place across the town.

He couldn't resist letting out a gigantic grin, "…holy crap!"

"Ahem… language."

He stiffened up, head looking down to find the Blaziken Rex just a couple of feet away from him. "Y-Yep, sorry. My bad."

Rex let out an amused huff, his beak twitching a little bit. "Relax. There isn't any grammar police here."

"I-I… erm…"

Rolling his eyes, Rex turned and started making his way down the path, and Sam quickly scrambled to follow him. "Well Sam, welcome to Robinswood."

"Robinswood?" Sam mused, staring up at the trees, "Pretty nice name."

"You can thank the Fletchlings and Rookidees for that one."

"Oh… the robin guys? That makes sense."

Mentally, he kicked himself, Okay, come on. Why the hell do I recognise all these Pokémon and… trainers of all things… whatever they are… and yet can't remember my life? This su-

He forced the thoughts out of his head as Rex nodded. "Yes, the bird Pokémon that lived here were a massive help in setting up the town, especially as people started moving into the Sea of Wonders."

"Sea of Wonders?"

Rex cast a glance down at him, "You really got one hell of a knock on the head didn't you?"

Ears twitching, Sam could only sheepishly rub the back of his head, "Yeah… must have done."

"Well, the Sea of Wonders includes a collection of islands between all the major continents of the world." He glanced again at him again, as if trying to scan his face. "Air, Grass, Mist, Water and Sand Continents?"

"Right. So everyone started having a closer look right?"

"Correct. The different authorities on each continent decided to settle the isles some years ago, especially as new islands started emerging from the water. The plan was initially for the continents to establish joint settlements, with Robinswood at the centre but…" Rex sighed sadly, "That plan fell through."

"Why would that happen though?" Sam questioned, "Unless there was somekind of disagreement?"

"That… is a very long story."

Straightening up, the Blaziken guided him into the town, pointing out the different stores. Such as the Kecleon shop (which for some reason sounded familiar to the Scorbunny), the Durandolon Bank… all facilities that would have allowed a town such as this to function. A few Pokémon glanced their way, and shouted out greetings mainly to Rex, although a few waved over at Sam himself. The best he could do was merely wave back with a little smile, although he could feel the fur rise on the back of his neck… almost as if someone was watching him whilst his back was turned.

They soon found themselves at the bottom of the massive tree that dominated the town, a few Pokémon were strolling in and out… often in groups, Sam noticed. Many of them carried satchels on their person, and many more also sported what appeared to be an armband or scarf, all of them marked with some kind of clear symbol. He glanced back up at the Blaziken as he stopped short of the entrance… and noticed a similar band around his own arm. A black one with a clear red and yellow symbol that looked painfully abstract, and yet… he couldn't help but think it looked like a feather. "This tree has got a few facilities in it. Spinda's Bar is at the bottom, and at the top you have the TalonKnight Post Office just next to the Observatory. No Pelippier Post Office though I'm afraid."

Something clicked at the back of the Scorbunny's mind at the mention of the post office. A memory? Or something else? Whatever it was, Sam felt like he had heard of it before… what was it about? He looked up at the Blaziken. "I think I recall something about Pelipper being Post… birds or something. Why didn't they set up shop here?"

Rex scratched his chin, "Well, the Talonflame's and Coviknights had already set up a post service before we ever showed up. I think the Pokémon who ran the Pelipper post office decided they didn't fancy the competition and just focused their efforts on the mainland. Let the folks here do their own thing."

"So… economics are to blame then?"

"Yes. Pretty much." The avian Pokémon placed his hands on his hips, gazing back up the tree. "Most of the floors though are reserved for the Guild."

"Guild? What, like mercenaries or miners?"

That got a chuckle out of the Blaziken as he shook his head, "No. Exploration Teams. You really did get hit on the head, or that Confusion Ray was particularly potent." He raised a hand upto the tree, "The Exploration Teams are groups of Pokémon that often do a few different jobs, some obviously go out exploring, trying to learn what they can about the world and bring back something to help the towns. Others perform rescue missions, rescuing Pokémon that end up getting themselves in danger, and some deal with bringing criminals to justice, like the ones you encountered back in Little Forest."

Sam looked back towards the black armband, "I'm guessing… you're part of one of these teams?"

Rex narrowed his eyes slightly, his gaze drifting back towards his armband, "I'm not in a team anymore. I'm the local guildmaster."

The Scorbunny stiffened again, sensing his ears go erect. "Guildmaster- err… I must have wasted your time-"

"Nonsense." Rex replied, "Like I said, it's part of the job. Certainly beats office work all the time."

He sighed softly again, eyes closing. "Although, rescues and bounty hunting has been on the rise as of late…"

Sam flicked an ear at that. "I mean… if this is some newly colonised place, I suppose bandits showing up isn't farfetched."

"You aren't wrong. And yet…" Sam's eyes flicked down, seeing one of the Blaziken's hands clench. "There's the natural disasters."

Disasters… the Swampert mentioned them…

Brows drawing closer together, Sam loosed up and looked back up at the Guildmaster. "Rex… are these-"

An almighty crash rang out from the tree, the Scorbunny's heart nearly leaping out of his chest. "What the hell!?"

The Blaziken's eyes had snapped open, and he was already marching towards the entrance of the tree. A few Pokémon also cast a sharp glance towards the entrance as Sam scrambled to keep up. A purple shape dashed out of the tree and slid against the bark, panting whilst their crystal eyes dimmed. "H-Hey boss! That big guy you brought in to the cage? He's woken up and he's... well-"

Another crash rang out, and Sam could almost feel the ground quake from the impact. "-kinda pissed off." The Sableye finished, wiping their forehead with one hand. "He's trying to break the cell door down." Rex rolled his eyes, already clicking his fists together. "Of course he is. I suppose I'm going to have to try and talk some sense into him again."

Sam almost let out a little huff, tasting the flicker of sarcasm in the guildmaster's voice. "Hey, maybe I can help!"

Rex spun back round on him, "After what happened last time? You'll just annoy him some more. I can handle this myself. I'll get someone too…" his head swivelled round, looking amongst the teams of Pokémon surrounding the entrance. "Jack?"

A Butterfree floated out from the gathering crowd, a green scarf wrapped round his neck. "What do you need?" he asked with an almost happy chirp in his voice.

"Can you help Sam get settled in whilst I deal with Greg?"

The bug bobbled up and down with a flutter of his wings, "You can count on me guildmaster!" he exclaimed, bring himself to hover next to the Scorbunny.

Sam deflated at the order, a part of him desperate to get down there and give that big bastard the middle finger… not that he actually had a middle finger as such anymore… but then a very subtle ache worked it's way through his ribs… and that was frankly the only reminder he needed. He returned a very faint nod, and with Rex returning a much stronger one back, jogged inside.

Jack led him out of the crowd and back into the square, making sure to hover next to Sam. "You're the new guy who just got rescued right?"

"Yeah, that's me." Sam said with a faint groan, "Though more like I got my backside kicked. You're an explorer too?"

"Oh yeah, been at it for a few years now." Jack swung himself in front of Sam as another bang rang out behind him. "Hey, don't worry about getting rescued. It happens to the best of us. Hell, it took me getting rescued to get into doing all this."

Raising a brow up, Sam focused his attention back onto the Butterfree, rubbing his hands together in interest. "Really? I doubt you did as bad as me. I could barely do anything."

Jack floated out of the way, and the two continued across the square and onto one of the paths out, "If it's any consolation, I ended up falling into a fissure and spent the entire time cowering in a corner crying my eyes out."

Sam stopped for just a moment to process that, "Okay… now that can't be the whole story."

With a little whistle, Jack bobbed about against as the rabbit Pokémon got walking again. "Oh, you bet! I was just a Caterpie back then, and got rescued by these two new guys." His eyes twinkled a little bit as he said that, "They were… so cool…"

Sam let out a weak, but genuine laugh. "I can kinda relate then." He said, as they made their way into the trees. "Those explorer guys do seem kinda badass."

Enjoy the cameo of an 'old friend'!


Active Member


Jack led the way down the woodland track, taking the time to explain that whilst most Pokémon live in the square, others lived a little bit further out, including some of the Exploration Teams. Whilst there was still plenty to do for the teams back out on the Continents, as it turns out, many were pretty eager to get access to the Sea of Wonders and it's newly rising islands, and the same occurred with Pokémon heading out to start a new life. As such, once the rush hit, Robinswood simply wasn't ready to take up the demand. Some obviously went off to form up other settlements, Jack would explain, whilst others wanted to remain in Robinswood, and set up shop in smaller cabins and barracks further out from the centre.

The barracks that Jack led Sam too was the first one they came across, and was also the most well developed. It was made of the same wooden logs that defined the structures back in the square, yet at the same time was reinforced with a layer of cobble stone around it's base and came complete with plenty of windows and doors. "This place was supposed to be like a second inn or café." Jack said as he floated inside, "But then the demand crept in and several of teams decided to stay rather than move into the Guild Tree."

"I'm not that surprised." Sam mused, glancing around the front room. Homemade tables, sofas and cushions were all scattered around the space, both on the ground floor and on a smaller upper floor connected via stairs. What should have originally been the counter with all of it's facilities now separated that part of the room with a kitchen of all things. A rather fruity aroma drifted up the Scorbunny's nose, and he resisted the urge to sigh at pleasant smell. "Actually looks… kinda homey."

"Well you do often have to share rooms and the corridors can be a bit of a squeeze when someone big comes through, but it works. I would let you crash in my room but…" Jack looked away, the Butterfree somehow looking… embarrassed. "It's occupied."

"Eh, don't worry about it. I'll find something." The Scorbunny put his hands on his hips, letting a little smile form, "I don't want to have to squeeze in with your team if I'll just get in the way." He added cheerfully.

The Butterfree shook his head, "Oh, it's not my Team. They're up in the Tree."

Now the smile transformed into a frown, "Then what are you-"


Sam's head swivelled round to spot a little white Pokémon that looked like some kind of crystalline bug slide off one of the cushions, quickly scurrying over towards them. Jack's eyes lit up as he floated down in front of the Snom. "Hey kiddo! How was your day at school?"

A fiery warmth surged through the Scorbunny's body, his lips pulling back into a gigantic grin of the sight of the little kid and his dad. Aww… okay, Jack's just got a lot cooler! Look at the little guy!

"Went great pa!" the Snom exclaimed, almost seeming to bounce in delight. "I managed to puff out some Snow today!"

"You did? That's so cool Kyle, well done!"

Kyle giggled, before his little eyes drifted towards Sam. "Pa, who's that?"

"Oh, that's Sam. He's just arrived today."

Sam bent over and flashed a friendly wave, "Hey there little guy."

The little bug's eyes twinkled, "A fire rabbit… cool…"

One rabbit ear dipped a little bit. And… that word seems to be a family trait…

"Can you do a fireball!?" Kyle asked excitedly, bobbing up and down in eagerness.

"Err… I don't think that's a good idea." Sam replied sheepishly, "Being in a cabin and all."

Eh… honestly I'm not sure if I can actually do another Ember yet… I think…

Kyle deflated a little bit at that, before Jack touched down right next to him, "Don't worry buddy, Sam can probably do it another time for you."

"Okay!", the crystals brightening back up. "I also found something really cool! Come and see papa!"

"Cool! Let's have a look at it." Jack turned back towards Sam, "Hey, you don't mind hanging on-"

"Oh, it's fine." Sam replied warmly with a flick of his wrist, "I can wait."

With a buzz of thanks, Jack and Kyle disappeared off deeper into the cabin, leaving Sam on his own save for the few other Pokémon. The Scorbunny plopped himself down on one of the cushions, sinking into it's soft material. So… this whole world is full of Pokémon. Obviously. He tapped his fingers on the fabric. Question is… how are humans supposed to fit in? I mean, that was like my first thought. I'm human. But, well, look at me! He stared at the white paw doing the tapping, a frown forming once again, I'm a Scorbunny… but how do I know that? And what's with these disasters and the like? I mean, what's going on with all the politics and that? Sounds like a lot of stuff is going on right now.

Grr… maybe I did get hit by a Confuse Ray or something.

That was when he heard the shouting, his red tipped ears already perking up. Jeez… I've gotta get used to these ears. Pushing himself up, Sam relaxed a bit when he realised the voices were coming from a different corridor than the one Jack and Kyle had used… but they were getting louder.

"I told you countless times, if you try and do that, you're going to get yourselves killed!"

"We don't have to listen to you, this works for us!"

Oh bugger…

Sam approached the corridor, already sensing his body tense up as he gazed down it.

A gathering of small Pokémon congregated within the wooden cut through. And by small, he really did mean Pokémon that were about his size. He could recognise a few species in the background, but they all seemed gathered around two Pokémon who were staring each other down. A Bulbasaur on one side, their teeth bared and a pair of vines raised from the bulb on it's back.

However, most of the Pokémon's eyes were fixed on a single Buneary. One paw rested on their hip as they stared down the Bulbasaur with narrowed eyes, and one ear was coiled in tight, almost twitching to burst free. "You're bringing all the wrong equipment, you think Oran Berries alone will keep you going?!" they snapped, speaking with an feminine voice, albeit one that belonged to a young adult than a kid. "They won't, they don't solve all your problems!"

The Bulbasaur's eyes flashed red, "We've got healing moves for our team, something you can't comprehend!"

The Buneary's ear twitched even more, as she took a step forward. "Yeah, I know you can heal yourselves and remove paralysis blah blah!" She snapped an arm up in disgust, "But you can only use a move so many times! You don't even have Ethers! What happens then!?"

"Eh, we won't get to that point!"

"Grr! This is the kind of cocky **** that will get you killed!"

The curse made Sam stiffen up a little bit, but he could only roll his eyes at the mess in front of him. Ah… your typical 'my style is better than your style' argument. He leaned against the wall, figuring he could watch the scene unfold from a distance. To be honest though, I'm kinda agreeing with Bun-Bun here. Can't get too cocky.

He shivered at the memory of that Swampert towering over him, and shoved it aside. Although I have no idea what an Ether is.

Now the Bulbasaur was smirking back at the rabbit Pokémon, the vines pulling back a touch? "Oh really? Then why aren't you telling this to your own team? Oh wait, you haven't got one, because you spend all day just being some cursed freak!"

The Buneary leapt forward fast enough for Sam to nearly jump, the grass-types eyes widening as it tried to pull itself back. But the rabbit was too fast as her paws grabbed hold of the still exposed vines.

Sharply tugging them down and back, she yanked the reptile towards her, the rabbit's eyes burning as the Bulbasaur cried out with a yelp of pain. "What did you just call me you little punk!?" she snapped, pulling on the vines even harder.

Okay, I change my mind, to hell with this!

Sam shoved himself off the wall and got running down the corridor. The Buneary leaned in closer to the green Mon, the latter's eyes squeezed shut. "Go on." She hissed, "You can say it again."

"Hey!" Sam barked, skidding to a halt next to them and grabbing onto other rabbit's arm, "How about-"

His mouth cracked shut as the ear-turned-brick slammed into his face.

Stumbling away, Sam landed onto his back with an almighty thud. "What th-!?" he cursed, rolling his jaw back into place. His entire face throbbed as he struggled to push himself back up. But now the Buneary was staring him down, mouth twisted into a surprisingly vicious snarl. She now only had one paw wrapped the grass-type's vines, the other pointed at him. "Stay out of this, I'm trying to teach this prick a lesson!"

"Hel- a lesson!" Sam snapped, pointing a finger at the Bulbasaur, "You're hurting him! I think he's got the point!"

The Bulbasaur rapidly nodded, eyes still clamped shut as the Buneary's gaze flicked between the two of them. "People get hurt all the time! Maybe this wi-"

She cried out as the bubbles slammed into her back, her grip on the vines snapping as she shoved away.

Too bad she now flew straight into Sam. He grunted once more he was whacked back onto his back, growling as the Buneary shook her head, her eyes now locking onto him. "Get off me!"

He just realised he had her by the shoulders, and she had him by the arms. Sam flashed his buckteeth, "Get off me first!".

Rolling back, he managed to slip his legs underneath and booted the Buneary in the chest. Another yelp rang out as her paws lost their grip and she was flung away. Sam, a bit faster now, stumbled back to his feet. He barely saw that the other rabbit was also back up, tensioning up as both ears reeled themselves in. "Alright then, you want a fight!? I'll-"


Pushing their way out of the crowd of small Pokémon was a little blue frog with what almost seemed like a mane of white bubbles. Yellow eyes locked onto the Buneary. "Alice. I think you've outstayed your welcome here." He coldly said.

The rabbit crossed her arms, "Aidan, here to throw in a bit of Poke here and there, so you can worm your way deeper to turn these guys into losers huh?"

The Froakie didn't even react, "They don't want you screwing them over and no one wants you here. Move on."

Alice took one step forward, only for the entire group of Pokémon to take one step back towards her. The Froakie, the Bulbasaur… literally everyone in that group was now staring the Buneary down.

Sam could see her quiver, the rage threatening to burst free… but something seemed to hold it back. Still staring them down, Alice took one step back. "Grr… fine. But don't say I didn't warn you. And Adian, I know you are just some slimy toad. I'm watching you."

"Get lost Alice." Aidan grunted, little white digits clenching.

Turning on her foot, Alice stomped away from the group. Sam flinched as she shoved him aside, his own ears erect. "What the hell is your problem?" he hissed.

The Buneary stopped, not even bothering to glance back as one ear relaxed. "I'm just trying to keep these idiots alive. You want to help them to an early grave? Be my guest."

And with that, she marched out of the corridor and out of sight.

"Damn Adian… thanks! I thought she was going to rip my bulb off!"

Still frowning, Sam turned back to find everyone now gathering around the Froakie, his face now completely transformed to have a big goofy grin. "Well, I couldn't let that happen huh? I'd still take a few extra supplies on hand, just in case."

"Yeah… well, I suppose we can cough up a little more Poke." The Bulbasaur seemed to deflate for a moment before perking back up again, "Anything I can do? Seriously after that, I feel like I owe you something."

The Froakie raised on hand up to his chin, his eyes narrowing in thought. "Hmm… you managed to get your hands on some rare gummis right?"

"Err…" the Bulbasaur blinked, "Kinda? I was kinda saving them for-"

"No fear! Save some for yourself!" Aidan exclaimed, patting the side of the Bulbasaur, "But how about we all put some of the others on the house for all of us, eh?"

Immediately the other Pokémon jumped to attention, their eyes widening as they cheered. The Bulbasaur hesitated for a moment, before finally letting out a hoarse laugh of their own. "Ha, I suppose a few gummis can't hurt. Come on folks!"

Sam couldn't help but let out a little grin as the cheering Pokémon made their way back further into the building, following up behind the smiling Bulbasaur. Well, what do you know. A few little words and all is right with the world again.

"Hey, not bad there."

He swivelled back round to find Aidan looking at him, a little smile on his face. "Good work on distracting Alice, I was having a hard time getting through everyone. You know, cos of the frogs legs?" He stuck one 'hand' out, "Name's Aidan. I think you're the new Scorbunny right?"

A little bit embarrassed, Sam shook the hand, "Yeah, it's Sam. How did you-"

"Oh, a few people were talking about you the other night. Especially the butterfly dude, he couldn't shut up about it."



The Froakie rubbed his hands together, "So, you all settled in?"

"Not quite… I was just waiting on Jack to get back-"

"Oh, looking after that little squirt of his? Good kid that one." The Froakie's eyes widened, "Hey, the last guy who was in my room just moved out. You can crash with me if you want."

Sam tilted his head with a frown, "You're sure? I mean, I just turned up out of nowhere."

Aidan merely flashed a grin back, "Eh, we get people like that all time. If the Guildmaster let you walk, I think you're fine."

"Well… sure thing then." The Scorbunny replied with a little flicker of a grin. "What about Jack though?"

"Oh, he'll track us down. He knows everyone in here anyway. Come on, I'll show you way!" Aidan hopped past and down the corridor, and once more Sam was scurrying to follow in behind him.


Active Member


Aidan's room was pretty compact, only being about three square metres across. Luckily, it was more than big enough to fit the two fairly small Pokémon with room to spare. There wasn't much in it, just a pair of beds mounted low down on opposite sides of the room with a shelf that was built in above them whilst a drawer was placed underneath. A trio of cushions had been tossed into the far corner, alongside a duo of wooden lockers were built into the wall. A single window, mounted directly above them, offered a view of the outside world.

The Froakie pulled himself onto one of the beds, "Sorry if it's not much to look at, but I kinda wanted a more private room."

"Eh, it's fine." Sam replied, sitting down on the remaining bed. "Still comfy enough for me."

Aidan chuckled at that, "Sorry."

"About what?" Sam replied with a frown.

The blue frog looked away for a moment, eyes flicking back. "Well, I used to live on the Sand Continent… my family's kinda rich. I still kinda forget not everyone has got a room that's six times the size of this all to themselves."

Rich kid huh?

Sam sat up a little bit more, "Well, I can see why someone would be jealous, but we don't really control where we grow up. You seem kind enough, so why should it matter?"

"Some people can… you know… get really jealous." Aidan replied, turning back towards him. "The Sand Continent is pretty dry… you know, being in the name and all. So my family made a living by getting all sorts of reservoirs and channels filled up with water. Us water types are pretty good at that, and we need the water more than most so… yeah, they made a lot of Poke from that."

"Nothing wrong with doing hard work and helping people in the process." Sam said.

Aidan flashed a little grin, "Thanks. So where are you from?"

"I'm from-" Sam fell silent, feeling his ears dip as the location didn't come forward in his mind. "Actually… I don't really know." He said with a shrug, "Kinda lost my memory of it."

"Huh… I can understand that."

"Ah, there you are!"

The Butterfree Jack was now floating in the doorway, "I wondered where you got off to!" His head drifted towards the frog, "Hi Aidan, you've offered a space for Sam here?"

"Yep, figured he needed a place to crash." Aidan replied with a wink.

"If you don't mind." Sam added, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. "I just caught something that needed dealing with and…"

"Oh don't fret about it!" Jack buzzed happily with a wave of his little arm. "Aidan was one of the guys I had in mind. I'll need to head back out to the Tree now I've got Kyle sorted with his mom, so I'll let Rex know you are settled in. Just be ready in case you need to give any more details on those bandits."

Sam nodded, "Yeah, sure thing."

With a bob of his head, Jack flew on back out and closed the door behind him. Aidan meanwhile narrowed his eyes, the fingers tapping the fabric of his bed. Sam pulled a frown, "What's up?"

"Huh?" he said, jerking up. "Oh, I was just thinking about those bandits. One of them was a Swampert right?"

"Yeah? What about it?" Sam questioned, a little bit defensive as one hand clenched. Aidan merely puffed out a little bit of air, "Just glad that guy got caught. Last I heard he was stealing a lot of supplies of the caravans."

The Scorbunny relaxed, "Well… I just hope the bastard stays locked up." He growled, leaning back onto his own bed. "So, what brings you all the way out here then Aidan? Wanted to be the rebellious kid?"

A quiet laugh rang out from across the room, "Heh, that's part of it! But I also wanted to get onto the trials over here."

Sam cast a confused look over at him, and the Froakie could only wince. "Ah, yeah. Trials for the new Exploration Teams. Figured I might as well take advantage of the opportunities before they dry up. Years ago near enough anyone could form a Team, but now prospective teams have to actually go through tests for a Guild, or get selected by a Society. It's mainly making sure everyone is the best of the best."

Sam smiled, Exploration Teams, huh? Well, if there are bunch of new islands showing up, no wonder people want to jump on that. "Definitely can't blame you, if it's all as hyped up to be."

"Oh, it is." Aidan replied, "It ain't easy, and the early teams had to go through hell and back."

"Disasters and all that." Sam said almost lazily.

"Err… yeah, the first round of disasters."

Huh? Sam sat back up, frowning. "This stuff… has happened before?"

"Yeah. There was a bunch of natural disasters over fifteen years ago, similar to what is happening now apparently. But other stuff happened before and after that aswell. The last big crisis was around… six years ago now?"

The Scorbunny felt a shiver run down his spine, "So… these disasters has happened over the last 16 years?"

"A bit longer than that actually but yeah, although it's not just disasters. Last time round the world pretty much nearly died."


"The planet nearly got thrown into the sun." Aidan said without a shred of hesitation. "Yeah, that was pretty shitty. I mean, friends getting turned to stone? Not exactly my fondest mem-h-hey, are you okay?"

Sam blinked, "H-Huh?"

"You're… shaking quite a bit."

Sam looked down to find his arms were shivering uncontrollably, and even his feet were beginning to twitch. "S-Sorry." He replied, taking in a deep gasp of breath. "I… I just didn't think things were this bad."

Aidan leaned forward a little bit, eyes flicking across the Scorbunny's body… only to spring back up with a big grin on his face, "Hey, don't worry about it. These disasters aren't as bad as those fifteen years ago, and they have just been on and off for the last year. Sure, they can be pretty nasty, but it's not the worse we've had to deal with."

Letting out a shaky sigh, the former human forced his limbs to still. A part of him wanted to trust Aidan, take his word as gospel. But seeing Rex's… tired remark about them… he was wary to write them off.

"By the way." Aidan started again, "Do you have any plans yourself? I mean, even with amnesia you've got to be have some ideas in mind."

"Honestly?" Sam said, "I'm not sure. I don't even know how I got here." He rubbed his eyes, trying to ponder what he could do.

"You know… there is a rule saying that all Pokémon have to be part of a team if they want to join a Guild. They can't work alone." Aidan explained, leaning forward a little bit. "I was going to try and join up with another team but… if you want, we can, you know… team up."

Sam flicked an ear to one side, nibbling on his lip. Wait… is Aidan asking me to join him? On an exploration team?

"I mean, you jumped in when Alice was being an ass. And you seem like you can hold your own. Heck, you survived against that Swampert. Not many unevolved Pokémon never mind fire-types could do that. With us working together, hell, maybe we can go up against the likes of ACT or Charm or something. And help a few people out on the way too." Flashing another smile, Aidan extended a hand out.

Sam didn't move, his mind already spinning. This is kinda out of the blue isn't it?! I mean, he's literally just recruiting me to join a team on the spot! Exploring is one thing but dealing with crooks… The Scorbunny stiffened, feeling a shudder run across his body again. It's gonna be dangerous, I barely managed to survive out there last time…

The hand pulled back, "Well… you… did get hurt out there. Sorry, I shouldn't had asked so so-"


The Froakie blinked, tongue hanging in the air almost comically as the word died. "W-What?"

Sam flicked an ear as he rubbed his hands together. "Sure, why not." He said warmly, "If I don't chances are I'll end up stuck… I don't know, working a shop or something. That'd be boring as hell!"

That and… well… I've got a feeling that if I join an Exploration Team, I might get a better idea of what happened to me. Might jog my memory I guess."

"Well, great!" Aidan cheered, "But, are you sure? No guarantee we can get on the team roster."

"Just gotta give it our best shot then." Sam replied, sticking out his hand, "So, partners?"

Aidan winked, "You've gotcha 'self a deal!" he said, happily slapping the hand hard enough to send a throb running up his arm. "No need to worry about naming the team yet, let's just get a headstart first."

"Sounds good." Sam nodded, "Might as well focus on getting that-"

His words teetered off as the realisation slammed into his gut. Yeah… the moves… His face must have twisted too, given the Froakie's grimace. "Dude… you okay? You're not having second thoughts now right?"

Sam shook his head, "Oh- nope, not that… Aidan… this is kinda embarrassing but… can you… err… teach me something?"


Active Member


The office had been hollowed out at the top of the Guild section of the Tree more recently than most, but it had been given a much more careful touch than most. It was actually an two tier room with a short set of stone stairs connecting the two together. All the walls were lined with a combination of cabin logs running horizontally and metal support beams set vertically. The lower floor was lined with a selection of cabinets containing what appeared to be a few odds and trinkets. A few rocks and crystals, a miniature telescope, goblets, a few images etched onto canvas… even a photograph of all things. At the centre of that level was a pair of couches facing each other with a table in between, both made of a fairly basic canvas. The upper level was much the same, only the cabinets had been replaced by bookshelves and the sofas replaced with one large wooden desk and chairs, and further past them, a large window overlooking Robinswood from above.

Rex sighed as he leaned back into his high backed chair, rubbing his fist carefully. "I'm getting too old for this…" he uttered, keeping his eyes shut. "Esper, I know you are there."

One side of the upper tier was partly hidden in shadow by a set of curtains, and with a rustle of canvas, a Meowstic emerged in front of the Blaziken. It's mostly white fur contrasted with the red and yellow eyes she possessed. She let out a slight little grin, swiping back a tuff of blue fur on her head. "Sorry, I just figured I'd get here early."

"How long have you been here?"

"Only five minutes, judging from what you have been doing for the last ten minutes."

Rex let out an amused huff, "I know Authur was singing his praises about you, but you never cease to surprise me."

Esper flashed a little wink as she sat down, "Well, tricking a brainwashed mastermind into thinking I had betrayed my actual friends as a kid during an world ending event did have it's perks."

"You're still a teenager." Rex pointed out.

"I'm eighteen." She replied, rolling her eyes. "Besides, I found pulling that trick off kind of neat." She gazed down at the Blaziken rubbing his wrist. On cue, Rex ceased. "I'm fine, I only had to punch Greg once to get him to calm down. He's tenacious that Swampert, I'll give him that." He leaned onto the desk, "I'm guessing you have kept an eye on our new guest?"

"Always. One way or another."

"And what do you think?"

"The amnesia sounds familiar… but it's not the first time we've had a Pokémon suffer that." She gave a relaxed shrug, "I sensed some confusion but there was nothing malicious. A little bit of wounded pride at worse."

The Guildmaster scratched underneath his beak, "Hmm… it didn't seem like he knew how to use Ember of all things… that might be the source of it."

"Especially with that amnesia." Esper confirmed, "But I don't think we have to worry about him. I've already heard from Jack that Sam is settling in with Aidan."

"The rich kid from Sand? Well, he seems to have a decent head on his shoulders. More than his family at least."

"They're businessfolk, there is always something quiet going on behind the scenes."

"Well, you're not wrong there." Rex lifted himself back up to his feet and stepped up to the window, looking over the town below. "Let's just keep an eye on him, from a distance."

"Jack can keep checking over him, though getting the whole of Team Spirit involved wouldn't be a bad idea."

Rex shook his head, "He's already been through a lot, we'll hold back on that for now. Let him get settled in. He should be fine in the short term anyway."

"Of course." Esper replied with a little purr, "By the way-"

Rex sighed, raising an arm up to stop her, "Let me guess, you pre-empted me on the mail."

Something flopped onto the table behind him, "Sorry." She said with a slight tease in her voice, "Didn't want the old man to tire himself out."

Unable to stop himself, Rex could only let a short, but hearty laugh ring out as he turned and picked up the envelope on the table. "I'm not that old yet Esper." He rolled one shoulder as he began to open the package. "You know, when I took up the Guildmaster post for Robinswood, I thought it would be a nice, quiet job before retiring and looking after the kid."

Esper flicked an ear over, "Not what you were expecting?"

He could only snort in response, "Don't get me wrong, getting to run off on a mission once in a while never gets old. And managing the teams and that behind the scenes? Always a honor. But…" he let loose a moan as he rubbed his head, "The paperwork is ridiculous, as is the politics. And I didn't plan on going out that often. Especially with the resurgence in disasters, I didn't think I would have to deal with that again."

"Well, that's why you took me on remember?" Esper said, pushing herself out of the seat. "Without me, you would be neck deep in stuff before the end of the week."

"You're not wrong on that." Rex chuckled, finally opening the letter and scanning through it's contents. But then the humour disappeared from his face, his eyes narrowing as his beak clicked. Esper crossed her arms, her ears twitching just a little bit. "I don't have to be psychic to see something's wrong. What is it?"

Stiffly, Rex handed the letter back over to Esper. As she scanned the document though, her eyes began to widen, red pupils narrowing into finer slits. "No… all that-"

"Why bother sending it otherwise?" Rex said woodenly as the Meowstic scanned it all again. "As a result of this, reorganisation…" she shook her head for a second, scanning the letter a third time. "They... they're actually doing it?"

"Yes." Rex replied with a sigh, eyes shutting. "I didn't think the day would come."


The pebble bounced off the tree with a harmless ping, flying back off into the grass. "Oh come on!" Sam cursed, booting another stone away. This time, it merely flew off into a bush and out of sight.

"Damn." Aidan uttered, face blushing. "I didn't think you were this bad!"

The Scorbunny groaned, "Thanks for the support."

Sam and Aidan were behind the barracks. Whilst there was a dedicated training round being built elsewhere around Robinswoood, there wasn't exactly anywhere else ideal to get some practice in. Besides, according to Aidan a good few Pokémon just resorted to trying things in their back yards or… well, behind the barrack buildings.

"Maybe you are just overthinking it?" Aidan mused, his bubbly mane hanging down to one side. "It's normally supposed to b-ugh!" Groaning, the Froakie rubbed his head, eyes and lips squeezed tight. Sam's eyes widened, "Hey, mate? A-Are you okay?" he asked, placing one hand on the frog's shoulder.

"I'm fine!" he gasped, shaking his head before steadying himself. "Just a headache." He turned back to Sam, a sheepish smile on his face. "I'm was going to say that normally using powers is some kind of instinct."

Sam could only growl a response. "I-I just-grr!" he clenched one fist tight. "I managed to use an Ember… I think it was anyway. All I did was kick a pebble and it caught fire, that was it!"

"Okay okay." Aidan said, motioning with his hands. "We don't need another Alice running around."

"Well, I doubt I could be, especially when she nearly punched my head off!" he snapped before letting out a heavy sigh, "Sorry, but if I can't figure out how to do this kind of stuff, I'll just end up ruining your chances…"

"Eh, don't worry. We'll figure it out. Besides, you could be paired up with Alice or some other loudmouth who will love to scream in your face all day."

Unable to stop it rising up, Sam let out a little chuckle. "Fair point." But then the thought settled in, "Actually… what is Alice's problem anyway? When did she turn into a badass?"

"Not that kind of badass, I mean like bad-ass. With a hole on the end."

Sam could tell Aidan wanted to laugh at that, but the chuckle died on his lips. "Honestly? I don't know. I've only heard rumours. Some about how she's cursed."

"Huh." Sam replied, the Scorbunny rubbing the back of his head, "I know there's a move called that, but… I don't think that's how it works."

"It doesn't." Aidan confirmed, "But most I've spoken to have said she has always been a bit… outspoken. She's tried to push people around left and right, often breathing down their necks… getting into fights…." He shook his head, "Honestly? I don't know about much on this 'cursed' nonsence, but she's just a selfish *****, I don't really see her doing much to actually, you know, help people."

Cursed? Fights? Sam could only tap the back of his head with a single finger, I mean, rumours are just that. Rumours. But even so… eh… probably best to just be careful around her. "Right, well, hopefully she won't try and beat my head in again." He looked down at the small pile of pebbles that he had been using as, for the lack of a better word, ammo. "Although another hit might do a little bit to help."

Aidan frowned, eyes flicking upwards towards the treetops. "Hmm… the Scorbunny family has organs that flare up… they can heat things up via friction…" he clicked his fingers, "Maybe we're doing this all wrong. You're trying to will Ember to work, right?"

The Scorbunny nodded back as Aidan hopped back over, "Then how about feeling it?"

Sam could only jerk back, "What?" he questioned, feeling his throat tighten.

"No, seriously, it's a good idea. How did you feel like when you used Ember the first time?"

Shaking his head, Sam nevertheless leaned back and closed his eyes. He tried to look back at that moment, when the Pidgey came diving down towards Rex. "I… I was desperate…" he whispered. "Why?" Aidan questioned softly.

"Rex was about to get attacked from behind… after seeing the bodies… I… I…" His chest immediately clenched, the image of that dead Pikachu flashing across his vision. Eyes snapping open, Sam backed up, his breath quickening. "No no… I can't do this."

"Yes you can!" Aidan urged, a soft hand settling onto his shoulder. "You can do this."

"I can't! I can't keep them out of my head!" Sam snapped, shaking the hand free. "I should have been able to do something more!"

"You were angry?" the Froakie questioned.

"I was! I was scared shitless, I saw that damn Pidgey come back in! I didn't want those bastards to hurt anyone else!" His face burned in a mixture of rage and grief, his feet quivered and his chest began to heat up. "And I didn't want to feel so bloody worthless!" Roaring, he booted another pebble with a flash of light, the stone ignited. Sam could only gasp as the Ember shot across the clearing and struck one of the trees, glowing bark splintering away as the fireball burnt it's way in.

As it faded away, Sam blinked, staring at the smoking dent left in the side of the tree, his heart pumping hard. "How… how did I…"

Aidan chuckled next to him, "Of course. Emotions."


"Scorbunnies and their evolutions rely on emotions to pump them up, plus a little bit of friction to get things sparked up." The Froakie explained. "What did you feel then?"

Hesitating, Sam closed his eyes, trying to retreat back inwards, "I… I felt warm all over… like something was burning in me…"

"Good." Aidan stated, more assertive now. "Focus on that. Think about something that happened to you, feel that emotion, let it heat you up."

Nodding, Sam focused again, But what memory can I use? I can't just use that anger all the time… maybe I can use… happiness? He nearly shook his head at that, his body stiffening. No… that's a stupid idea… unless…

Taking in a breath, his body relaxed. He rolled the memories through his mind, soaking in the details. Sam recalled those emotions he felt, as it happened. The good and the bad.

And slowly… his face and feet warmed up again, and his chest flared up.

His eyes snapped open, and eying a stone that was lying on it's own, he flicked it up and onto his foot. As it darkened, he started to kick it. Not away from him, but up in the air in front of him, every little touch from his foot or knee causing a little flicker of flame to flow around it until finally, a tiny little fireball was being juggled between his feet. He smiled as he caught Aidan's mouth dropping in surprise, his chest burning up, as if his very core was on fire. Powering him on. He booted it up once more, but instead of kicking it again, he snapped his hand out and grabbed hold of it. The heat flared up in his fingers, and immediately dissipated. Releasing his grasp, all that was left was a charred little stone.

"Okay dude, that was awesome!" Aidan exclaimed, eyes sparkling. "How did you do that? What did you use?"

A little voice in the corner of Sam's mind wanted to brag about it, but he held back, and merely pulled a little smile. "It was just…" he let out a soft sigh before looking over to the Froakie. "Just thinking about folks welcoming me here, you included." Feeling his face heat up again, Sam's ears dropped a bit. "That felt… just nice."

Aidan flashed a grin as he clapped the Scorbunny's back. "Either way, good to see you getting to grips with those powers again." He did a mock fist pump, "Looks like we can-"

A deep rumble echoed through the trees, Sam wincing as his ears recoiled from the sound. "The hell!". He grabbed onto his ears and yanked them down, trying to blot out the noise jabbing at his ear drums. Luckily, a couple of seconds later, the rumble faded away. "The town horn…" Aidan said with a hint of realisation, "Not often they sound that, come on, we better get over to the square."

Groaning, Sam released the ears even if was still a faint ringing in them, "What's going on?"

"Just a town meeting." Aidan confirmed happily, "Nothing to worry about!"

As it turned out. It was something to worry about.

Enjoy another cameo from the old games!


Active Member


Robinswood's Square was already rammed by the time Sam and Aidan had got there. Pokémon of all different shapes and sizes were gathered around the foot of the Guild Tree, chattering amongst themselves at what the meeting was being called for. An update? A vote? The question ran through the crowd like wildfire.

"Damn it." Aidan hissed, "We'll never get a good view through all this.". The little Froakie narrowed his eyes, trying to peer through the mass of people ahead of them. Sam could only feel this sense of surprise at the scale of the mass, that feeling of being so… small. I… don't think I was small as a human.

Frowning, he turned towards the frog, "Everyone wasn't kidding on Pokémon flooding in here. Think we can get round?"

"Agh, I doubt we can without taking time." He groaned, tugging at his mane. "That's if we don't get stomped on by accident!"

Stomped on huh? Then we just need some high ground. Sam began to peer deeper into the crowd, looking past the legs of the bigger Pokémon. Now… when I went through with Rex I thought I saw- he saw the flash of dark wood in the crowd, complete with the crate's reinforcements. Bingo.

Flashing a little grin, he tapped on Aidan's shoulder. "Come on, I've figured out where we can go!".

With Sam leading the way for once, the two worked their way through the crowd, their voices still ringing above and around his head. Once they had actually cleared through the outer wall, he noticed that several of the Pokémon present were not that much bigger or smaller than himself, albeit many more were also a good bit bigger too regardless. That at the very least made it a bit easier for them to navigate their way towards Sam's target. A stack of wooden crates that had been gathering at the centre of the square.

As the Scorbunny grabbed hold of the first crate, his ears jerked back as Aidan quietly coughed behind him, arms crossed. "Yeah… Froakie aren't known for climbing."

Sam could only return a sheepish grin as he shrugged, "Eh… come on, I'll give you a hand."

It took a bit more effort than he thought to help Aidan up the crates. Grunting, he couldn't help but wonder why the hell Aidan couldn't make the climb. Only for the latter to assure him he could, but it wasn't easy over steep surfaces. Even with his arms aching though, it didn't take them long to reach the top most crates, offering them a clean view of the tree's entrance even if a few Pokémon still blocked the view. Either way, it was better than fighting their way to the front.

"I take it back." Aidan moaned, rubbing one of his legs as he sat down. "I'd rather get trampled."

"Hey, we're up here now." Sam stressed, "Besides, we've got a good view from here."

"I suppose you're right." Aidan replied with a pant, settling down to get a good view of the tree entrance as he rubbed his head again. Sam looked over at him, his gut tightening into a knot as he reached for the final crate. "Hey… are you ok-"

His hand touched something fluffy, "Oi!"

He recoiled hard enough that he could feel his foot slip off the crates. Gasping, he clamped his second hand down onto the wood. The brown, furred hand jerked away as a familiar rabbit looked down at him, face twisted in disgust. Sam's heart nearly exploded in his chest.

"You…" Alice growled, one coiled ear already twitching. "What do y-"

"Wait wait!" Sam yelped, replanting his feet with a crack and snapping his paws up in surrender. "Alice, don't punch my lights out!"

The Buneary seemed to stiffen, but the ear stopped twitching. In stark comparision, the Scorbunny almost melted with relief, his body shivering for a second. "I've already been knocked in the head twice now, I'd rather not have a repeat thanks!"

Only then did Alice finally seemed to relax a little bit, even if the one ear remained coiled in and ready to spring. The disgust itself faded away, and the corner of her mouth ended up twitching up. Sam blinked, his mind going blank. Wait… did she just smirk?

Her eyes drifted off him, and immediately narrowed. "Ah, you got another kid wrapped round your finger Aidan?" she questioned coldly.

"Last time." Sam growled, "Not a kid."

Aidan on the other hand glared at the Buneary harshly enough that he half thought he was going to claw at her. "Keep it up and I might push you off that crate Alice." He grumbled, still rubbing his head.

Alice only closed her eyes and jerked her head back and crossed her arms in such a way her very posture seemed to scream 'I don't give a ****'.

She didn't move from that pose as she spoke again, "Humph, maybe you shouldn't try hiding things as much like your rich family."

Aidan's eyes flashed red, a low growl rumbling up from within the frog's chest. "Don't compare me to my family you c-"

"Enough!" Sam snapped, that fire burning up in his chest as he stepped between the two. "Can we just agree to have a ceasefire until after this meeting!?" He glanced between the two of them, mentally begging them just to hold back, "Please?".

Eyes still fixed on the Buneary, Aidan didn't even glance over at the Scorbunny, lips twitching as if he was readying an attack. Alice meanwhile merely opened one eye, staring the Froakie down from her high perch. Sam himself only tensioned, ready to push them back down if they tried clawing at each other's throats.

But Aidan finally sighed, rubbing his forehead once more. "Alright, if only so we don't have to climb something else."

Alice merely looked away with little more than a grunt.

Legs shivering beneath him, Sam slumped against the crate, his ears drooping in front of his face. Damn… have I actually stopped fighting someone at least once since I've woken up?

Okay, stupid question.

Sam (and his ears) shot back upright as the sharp whistle pierced the air, his ears stinging from the call. Rubbing them, he looked back towards the tree, where standing at the entrance was the tall, red form of the Blaziken Rex. A few other Pokémon stood close by to his side, most notably a white and blue Pokémon that looked… like a Meowstic? He thought that was what they were anyway. He have expected a few waves, or a warm greeting. But instead, each of the individual Pokémon looked… downhearted and depressed. Even Rex seemed to just look so tired, as if the entire world was resting on his shoulders.

This… doesn't look good…

The chatter faded away, as the crowd turned it's attention on the Guildmaster. Sam glanced over at the two Pokémon by his side, Aidan's head was tilted to one side in confusion, whilst Alice was leaning forward, looking less angry and more curious.

The Blaziken took a breath, steadying himself, and stepped up towards the crowd. "Thank you all for coming at short notice." He started, his eyes drifting across the crowd. "I'm not one for speeches, so I will cut straight to the point. You are all aware of the resurgence of the natural disasters through the world, some of which we've already had to deal with here in the Sea of Wonders."

A quiet murmur briefly spread through the crowd, and Sam glanced down at Aidan, who's face was like stone as he watched the scene.

"I have just received word from the Council." Rex continued, holding up a sheet of paper above his head. "I won't sugar-coat what it says."

Closing his eyes, the Guildmaster seemed to prepare himself mentally, before focusing once more on the crowd. "A massive earthquake has struck the Mist Continent… and Harbour Town was destroyed."

The crowd exploded, shouts and cries ringing across the square as one messy chorus, so incoherent that Sam could barely make out anything between the panicking masses and the Blaziken barking for some order.

"-at? How-?"

"eed to get hom-"

"Oh for f-"

"Not again-"

Sam's head snapped side to side again, confusion gripping him. Adian's face now even more set, frozen in place. Alice's eyes widening, leaning forward… and one hand gently shaking.

Earthquake? A town destroyed? What the hell?! I know earthquakes can be bad, but a whole tow-

The scream slammed into him like a missile, crying out as the sound stabbed at his ears. Grabbing hold, he yanked them down, eyes squeezed shut as he tried to block out the scream. But a second later, it faded away, and his ears still ringing, he opened up his eyes to find one of the Meowstic's ears dropping back down. The crowd was more silent, save for a low murmur throughout the crowd. Rex looked back towards the white and blue mon, a 'brow' raised a touch. "Thank you Esper."

He turned back towards the gathered Pokémon. "I don't know all the details, but I must ask you all to remain calm."

As the crowd calmed, he continued on, "All I know is an earthquake struck the town a few days ago, and the other towns on the Continent, Post Town especially, are already working to try and help whoever is still in the ruins. Now, I know some of you are from Harbour Town, I've have already sent a message to the docks to clear you for a departure as soon as possible. I have to ask everyone else to hold fire, the last thing the Rescuers on Mist Continent need is too many teams to manage. If you wish to help, send supplies with those cleared to head there."

An few approving voices rose amongst the Pokémon, Sam couldn't help but agree with that approach himself. Every hand could help, but if there was so many scrambling too help, it could cause even more issues.

"Some of you probably don't remember the first disasters from 16 years ago, but many will know that the disasters never actually reached the settlements the last time save for minor incidents."

Sighing, Rex clicked his beak. "We don't know if this is a one off event, but the Council and the different Continent leaders do not want to take any chances. The same goes with the Exploration Committee."

He opened up the letter in his grasp, took one glance through it and finally returned his gaze back onto the crowd. "Therefore, the Committee has put through an organisational change to all active Guilds and Societies across the known world, as per the suggestion of the leaders of all five Continents, that all Exploration Teams are rendered reorganised and put under the direct monitoring of a new Emergency Body in response to the increase in natural disasters. All Exploration Teams will be reformed as Rescue Teams, with their primary focus returned back to Rescue operations. Exploration will take a much more reduced role."

The crowd descended into a quiet murmur again, a few shouts rising up to little avail. "****." Alice quietly said, leaning back on her crate. "Now everything makes sense."

Sam glanced over at her, "I thought these disasters weren't that big?"

"Well… I was wrong." Aidan said stiffly, eyes still fixed ahead, "Rescue Teams again… that's… interesting…"

Alice narrowed her eyes again, crossing her arms across her chest. "For once, we agree. And you've been living under a rock if you didn't thing the disasters were big."

Sam slumped further against the crate, "Yeah… I suppose I have…"

That was when you had enough.

You drifted forward, silently towards the Scorbunny's side. You wanted to reach out, lay a hand on his shoulder. He shouldn't be here… not like this… not without… something…

All you wanted was to… help him…

The fur on the back of his neck rose up.

Withdraw! Withdraw Now!

A weight settled onto Sam's back, and his head snapped round, looking for whatever was there.

Nothing. Just a few more Pokémon looking past the crates. A Onix, towering over the bulk of the crowd, noticed, and narrowed their eyes. "Kid, what are you looking at?"

Sam hesitated, the weight fading away into nothing. What… what was that?


Sam took a breath, and shook his head. "Nothing… it was… nothing."

"Whilst the Societies will focus on researching the disasters, the Guilds, including Robinswood Guild will need to stay on standby in case anything else happens." Rex continued, dragging Sam's attention back to the front. "I know some of the Teams here came to explore, but now, if you can assist us in these duties, myself and the rest of the Guild would be deeply in your debt."

The Guildmaster crossed his arms, relaxing now the news was out, "Hopefully this will just be a one off false alarm, and we can all get back to exploring the Sea of Wonders fully, but in case it isn't…"

He let those words settle in, the low murmur rising up again as he glanced back more towards Esper, who stepped on forward herself. "Because of this, I've bringing forward the trials for new Rescue Teams to tomorrow." She explained, "So best prepare yourselves, we'll be starting early."

She stepped back, allowing Rex to take centre stage once more. "That is all. I wish I could bring better news, but I won't leave you all in the dark either. If you want to inquire me about anything, you know where to find me."

Rex turned, and walked on back into the Tree in silence. "Alright everyone!" someone bellowed, "Back to your business!"

The normal chit-chat once more resurfacing, the Pokémon slowly began to disperse, heading back into the trees, the town and across the square. Sam pushed himself off the crate. "Well… that wasn't exactly…"

"Pleasant?" Alice asked.

"I was going to say cheery but yeah, that works too."

"Well, it's about time we focused on dealing with this crap again."

Sam glanced over at her, still unmoving from her perch, before turning back to Aidan, who was now stroking his own mane again. "Hey Aidan…"

"If you want to bow out, I won't blame you." The Froakie stated, finally turning back towards him. "I know you didn't sign up for rescues."

Straightening up, Sam shook his head, "No, it's fine." He stated firmly, placing a hand onto his hip. "We're still helping people. I'm not buggering off now."

At last, Aidan's eyes brightened. "Well… thanks…"

"Eh, don't mention it!" The Scorbunny turned back towards his fellow rabbit, "So Alice, any pl-"

But he only found an empty space on the crate. Alice was already gone.

"…let's… let's just get out of here." Sam said, ears dipping, "Sounds like we've got a long day tomorrow."


You watched as the Scorbunny and the Froakie clambered down the from the crates, far more quickly than when they originally climbed up. Quietly talking between themselves, the two set off back down the paths towards the barracks.

You're lucky he couldn't see you. Only sense your presence.

That presence hung on you like a shadow, keeping you close as you watch the two Pokémon… the human included depart. I can understand your desire to help him… but you need to restrain yourself. He can look after himself. We do not need to have him looking for something that doesn't seem to be there… no offense.

The presence shifted, I have been aware of these disasters myself for some time… I was around when the first wave plagued the world… right up until that meteor was blown out of the sky by the Legendary Sky Pokémon, Rayquaza. Well, the disasters continued, but not quite as intensely as before. But even then… other than one or two minor incidents, not one settlement was destroyed last time.

To have one be destroyed now… especially when coupled with Sam's arrival… this only confirms that this world is in grave danger. But from what? I do not know…

…I must investigate this… if there is any link between the old disasters and this new wave, I will find it. In the meantime, keep watch over Sam… and be wary. I cannot know for certain but… I sensed… no… I cannot confirm it. Just be cautious. I'll be here, if you need me.

The presence withdrew, and emboldened, you drifted down the trail yourself… after Sam…


Stars twinkled in the sky outside of the window, and the light had been dimmed down above their heads. A little bit of chit-chat still crept through the closed door, but otherwise, the barracks were increasingly quiet.

Sam was laid flat on his bed, his eyes fixed on the window. His mind deep in thought. He tried to process everything that has happened so far. What these disasters actually were, how violent they must be. He focused his gaze on one particularly bright star hanging out in the window, thinking on how distant it was from all of this… criminals murdering Pokémon out in the sticks… entire towns destroyed… part of him thought a world filled of Pokémon would at least be all cherry-cream puff.

He let out a sigh, he supposed that would be… too naïve. Alice might be still be an ass, but she was right about one thing. He had no idea what this world was really like.

"Hey, Sam."

He glanced over at Aidan, already settled in his own bed, eyes fixed on the ceiling. "How you holding up?"

"Fine." The Scorbunny replied, "Just thinking."

"About what?"

"Well…" he hesitated, "Everything. I woke up in a forest, with no idea how I got there. Only to find all this **** happening."

"It's been happening for years now." Aidan replied, "It's nothing new."

"That doesn't make things any better."

"Look." The Froakie rolled over to focus his attention on Sam, "The best we can do is just get through these trial's and try and help as many people as we can. Best hold back on trying to be heroes."

Sam chewed his lip, a debate raging in his mind. He considered opening up, telling Aidan about the fact he was actually human. Someone to discuss things with. But would the Froakie even believe him?

"Yeah…" he started, "Aidan? Can I ask you something?"

"What is it?"

He opened his mouth, about the question at the tip of his tongue, at the ready. "Have…"

Something yanked him back, begging him to stop, seriously consider things before actually revealing who he was.

And so, he shook his head. "…nevermind, let's just focus on tomorrow."

"Well… alright then." Aidan replied, "I'm going to sleep. Night."


It didn't take long for the entire barracks to fall silent, but even then, Sam didn't fall to sleep straight away. His mind still focused on the state of the world… and his place in it. He just wasn't sure if joining a explorati- no- a rescue team would answer all of that.

But I suppose it's a starting point.

Eventually, his eyelids growing ever heavier, Sam finally gave in, and drifted off to sleep…


From the darkness, the colours returned. Melding and shifting with the full spectrum as they flowed before him. I… it's the place again…

Am… am I dreaming?

The little star faintly started to shine amongst the colours, flickering in intensity. It's… it's you. What's going on? Where are we?

The light's flickering grew more erratic, as if blinking for attention. Sam tried to reach out, only find his body was once more gone. What? I can't hear you…

The star faded away into the sea of colours. N-No! Wait! Don't go! I need to know what you want!

The drowsiness returned, the lights beginning to fade away as Sam slipped back into unconcisiousness.

He only had the strength to say one final thing.

Please… why… what am I doing here? Why…

And soon, the darkness brought him back into it's embrace.

And that is everything upto date. All future chapters after this are going to be completely new ones! Hope this serves as a solid start!
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Active Member


When you expect someone or something to wake you up, you would normally expect a gentle shake on the shoulder, or a rather annoying alarm to ring next to you in the morning to bring up back into the real world. If you were unlucky, you might get startled by someone shouting through your door. You know, the usual stuff.

What Sam was never prepared for was the scream to come barrelling down his ears.


Sam jerked in his bed, his limbs locked into place as his eardrums cried in agony. What in the name of-. He only had control over his eyes, if barely as they rolled over to oneside. In the doorway, flapping the wings excitably with widened eyes was a black and purple bat, with ears that resembled… loudspeakers?

A-A Noibat? Kin-

"HEY!" she screamed, immediately causing his body to stiffen even more as his ears were assault. Across the room, Aidan too was frozen in place, his eyes squeezed shut as he was frozen in place. "HEY! WE'VE GOT TRIALS!" the Noibat bleeped out, "GOTTA GET OVER TO THE TREE UNLESS YOU WANT TO MISS IT ALL!".

She began to drift out… only to flutter back in. "Sorry about the volume!" she teased, "Easiest way to get everyone up!".

With that, she flew on out, leaving the two half frozen on their beds, their limbs locked in place and unable to move. Sam's ears rung as if a jackhammer was still slamming into his head, blocking out his thoughts.

An uncomfortable thirty seconds later, and Aidan finally spoke. "T-T-That.... w-was… lou-ud…"

Sam shivered, trying to will his muscles to move, his ears still ringing. "My. Ear. Drums. Are. Leaking!"

He blinked, feeling his arms beginning to sink. "Why. The hell. Would She. Wake us-"

Oh ****!

In that instant, Sam's muscles relaxed, and the Scorbunny sprung upright. "Damn it, what time is it!?"

"W-What do you-"

The Froakie's eyes snapped open, the frog rolling off his bed and landing with the grace of a brick. "The trials! ****! I forgot that was happening!"

Sam threw himself off his own bed, helping Aidan upright. "We better get moving!"

"E…err, can I pack a bag?" Aidan moaned, shaking his head sharply.

"Who gives a ****!" Sam barked, "Didn't you say we were getting better bags anyway? Let's just get there and deal with it all later!"


As it turned out, the Noibat's overblown wakeup scream had actually done the two a favour. That Esper wasn't kidding about getting up early. The sun had only just cleared the horizon was shining through the trees, leaving much of the considerably quiet square covered in shadow. A cluster of Pokémon, many of who he recognised from the large group he came across in the barracks just the previous day. A collection of crates had been laid out in front of the entrance, with the entire group spread out amongst them.

Aidan flashed an exhausted grin, "Phew…" he uttered, "We're not late."

Sam was in a little bit of a worse state, panting as he leaned over with his hands clamped to his legs, his heart pounding. "I… I'm…. definitely… not… used to… running… with these legs…"

I guess… that run from the barracks is a lot longer… than my… err… escape.

"Hey Aidan! You made it!"

Blinking, Sam looked upto find the familiar blue and green shape of the Bulbasaur approach, a massive grin on his lips. "Bruce." Aidan said warmly, hopping forward to greet the reptile. "I had to admit it… but if it wasn't for Nia… we might have been in trouble."

The Scorbunny growled, pushing himself back upright. "Yeah… by deafening us! My ears have only just stopped ringing!"

Both the Froakie and the Bulbasaur visibly winced, the former already rubbing the side of his head. "Yeah." Bruce started, eyes dipping downwards. "She can't really help it… but still… when she did it to me, I couldn't get up for about twenty minutes."

He turned towards the Scorbunny, "Hey, I didn't actually thank you for helping me with that cursed idiot. What was your name again?"

Sam resisted the urge to frown, still unsure of what this 'curse' was all about. "It's Sam, and yeah, I couldn't let you get hurt."

"I appreciate it. That ***** was stupidly strong, I don't know how she did it."

Sam nodded back, "Well, that ear-punch was enough for me." He glanced past the Bulbasaur towards the other Pokémon gathered round. "I'm guessing you are taking part in the trials?"

"Yeah! With Team Forest."

"Forest?" Aidan mused, "But we're not signing names yet."

"Eh… we figured we might as well go ahead with it, make us work even harder."

Bruce glanced back towards the gathered Pokémon. "We've got about five teams here, six if…" his eyes widened a touch, "Wait, you two are going in as a Team?"

Aidan flashed a big grin, "Correcto mundo."

"Well, looks like you'll both be quiet th-"

"Are you kidding me!?"

The three spun back towards the tree… where they found most of the Pokémon once more facing a very familiar Buneary. Only this time, Alice wasn't alone.

The Noibat, Nia, and what appeared to be a strangely coloured… guinea pig? For some reason though, it reminded him of a Pikachu and yet… wait… isn't that a Morpeko?

One of the Pokémon who was staring them down was considerably taller than most of the others, resembling a goat with a leafy green mane around it's neck. They booted a hoof into the ground, eyes narrowed as they stared down the three Pokémon. "You are partnering with her?" They asked questioned, fixing their gaze on the Buneary.

Alice merely shrugged, arms crossed, "Honestly? I'm surprised they even offered me a place."

Nia was now firmly on the ground, but she had a giant grin on her face. "Oh come on! Why pass up her skills? Besides, I bet she's actually a big softie inside!"

"She is not." Alice replied quietly, with a tone that suggested that she was more bored than bothered.

Sam blinked, his mind trying to ponder what had been said or done for Alice to even sign onto a team in the first place. She wanted to take part in the trials?

He turned to question Aidan about it, only to blink when he realised that Aidan and Bruce had already scampered on ahead towards the gathering group. I really need to keep up with people! He thought, as he sprinted after them.

"She's a real piece of work." The Skiddo grunted, "Do you really want her barking down your earhole all day?"

The Morpeko shuffled uncomfortably on the spot, "Hey… I don't like her either… but she knows her stuff."

"Yeah, in pissing people off!" barked a Skorupi, clicking their pincers together. "She'll probably leave you for dead before you know it?"

Alice narrowed her eyes, an ear twitching once as she took a step forward towards the Bug-type. "For the record, I would never do that." She quietly stressed; her voice quivering. "If you think I'd just leave someone for dead… you've got another thing coming."

The Skorupi took another step back at her, the Skiddo scraping their hoof across the ground. The Morpeko shivered, hands tight against their gut. Aidan stiffened. Alice was unmoving. The square fell silent.

Sam glanced at each of the Pokémon, already feeling his foot touch a loose stone. This was about to get hot again. He braced himself, steeling himself to leap forward to try and stop the fight that was about to happen.

He took a breath, and stepped forward. "How ab-"

"What's going on here?"

The white and blue furred feline that Rex had called Esper strolled out of the Guild Tree, ahead of another two, including the Butterfree Jack and a Rhydon. All of them now baring armbands or scarves around their necks. Purple for the feline and the bug, red for the reptile. The Meowstic's eyes were narrowed as she surveyed the scene.

The tension flowed out of Sam's body, letting out a heavy sigh. Bloody. Good. Timing.

Alice glanced flicked her eyes over the Meowstic, "Nothin'."

"Edward? Denver?"

The Skiddo's looked towards her, shaking their head rapidly. "N-Nope. We're good."

The Skorupi meanwhile kept their gaze on the Buneary, but otherwise kept their mouth shut.

Espur and Jack shared a glance, before the former nodded. "Good. Everyone gather round in a semi circle with your teams. Go."

The potential rescuers scrambled into action, assembling into the requested formation. Bringing himself up alongside Aidan, Sam took a glance across the assembled Pokémon. Alongside their own pair, there were five other teams assembled, including the team Alice had joined and Bruce's so-called Team Forest, each one with anywhere between two to three Pokémon each. I suppose most of the team's aren't that big.

Esper cast an eye across the whole group, taking it slowly as if she was absorbing virtually every detail about them. Sam felt a few hairs rise up the back of his neck, sensing that perhaps the feline was doing a little bit more than just looking at the way they looked.

"Alright. Some of you are nervous. That's understandable, especially with what's happening right now." She started, arms placed behind her back. "I was in the same position you were a few years ago, scared that something would go horrible wrong."

A few of the assembled Mons shared glances as Esper continued, "Exploring and rescues can be dangerous, but with a bit of time and effort, you can get through the challenges you'll face. Even these trials are potentially dangerous, even with our preparation. Understood?"

"Got it!"



"Loud and clear!"

"Righto." Sam said, returning a nod.

A little smile formed on the Meowstic's face. "Good. Jack?"

The Butterfree floated forwards alongside the Rhydon, placing what appeared to be a collection of satchels down onto the ground. "Okay, everyone take a satchel and don't lose it!" he explained with a buzz, "You've got a few bits to get you started, a map, a couple of berries, an apple and an Ether."

Flicking an ear, Sam picked one of the packs at random, opening it up to find that it indeed contained the items in questioned. "Hey." Bruce started, "I thought these packs normally had Explorer Badges?"

"Expedition Badges." Alice corrected him with her bored tone, "And no, they don't pass them out for those going through trials anymore."

"Alice is correct." Esper confirmed, "Besides, where we are going, you won't need them."

Sam pulled out the map, formed out of a browned but strangely thick paper. It showed what appeared to be dozens of islands, albeit most of them seemed to be centred around four central landmasses. One on it's own to the west, marked with a square labelled with Robinswood's name. That island flanked by a crescent shaped collection of smaller bodies to the east, and three larger ones gathered further out from them. Interestingly enough, when he flicked the map over, he found himself staring at another map, now with the original features shrunk down and now surrounded by five even bigger islands on all sides apart from the south, continents actually, Sam realised. Each one of them marked with a name. The smaller Sand Continent to the west. The mountainous Mist Continent to the North West. The lush Grass Continent to the east, the jagged and rugged Air Continent to the North East. The Water Continent squeezed in between Air and Mist. And finally, in the ocean in between, the islands of the Sea of Wonders.

He looked up towards Esper, "So… where are we going? Not too far I hope, I doubt I can go off to another continent yet."

Sam half expected the Meowstic to shake her head at that, but instead, she flashed a little wink. "Not yet." She replied, "No, we're headed over to Broken Woods. Just a few miles from here."

The Skorupi lifted their head up, eyes widening. "Hold up. Isn't there a Mystery Dungeon there?"

Sam tilted his head, confusion taking over as his ears dipped. Mystery Dungeon? What is that, some kind of… gaming arena or something?

"Three, actually." Jack confirmed, with a flutter of his wings.

"Err… that seems a bit dangerous for a first time trainee right?"

"Not really." Aidan stated, holding up his own map. "Broken Woods used to have one pretty big Dungeon. But it's been falling apart for the last few years. Those three dungeons are all that's left of it and nowhere near as dangerous."

"The Mystery Dungeons can do that?" asked the Skiddo, looking just as confused as Sam was. "I've never heard of that."

"Probably because you're the otherside of Mist." Aidan explained, "Not as much news get there, but a lot of the Dungeons have been breaking down for the last couple of years, some have even gone entirely"

"No one really knows how the Dungeons came to be in the first place." Esper added, "Or why they function the way they do." She flicked a tuff of blur fur back, "In the meantime, we're going to take advantage of these Dungeons before they disappear entirely."

She turned back towards the Rhydon, taking a step back and extending out one arm to allow him past. The horned reptile immediately straightened up, "Alright, everyone follow me!" he barked, slinging a satchel and a larger rucksack over his shoulder. "Don't start enjoying the sights, you'll have plenty of time for that once we get there!"

One by one, the teams fell in behind the Rhydon. Nia pounced ahead of the others, forcing the Morpeko to clumsily jog after her. Alice didn't at first, merely rolling her eyes before walking onward on her own.

Sam and Aidan settled in the back, headed on their way towards one of the roads leading out of town. Aidan had a little smile on his face, trying to rub his hands together mid hop. "Finally…" he said, the catharsis thick enough in his voice to cut with a knife. "We're on our way."

The Scorbunny took a very steps in front of the Froakie, placing as his hands behind his head as walked backwards. "Sounds like this has been a long time coming." He mused, a little bit of pride slipping into his voice.

"I've been waiting to get my chance with this for years." Aidan replied, "It's been long enough. And three Mystery Dungeons! Even better!"

Sam frowned, rubbing the back of his head, "Actually… can I ask you something?"

"Go on?"

"What the hell is a Mystery Dungeon?"

Well, I finally caught up with the extra updates. I have also looked at correcting a few of the mistakes (just a couple of minor ones to fix up) in Chapters I-X. They will be added in over the next few days.

Main thing is though, Chapter XI is finally up! Sorry for the wait. Not quite as action packed as before, but things will... be getting interesting from this point on. Hope you enjoy.


Active Member
Alright, as an update. I am still doing Chpater XII, it's just currently a longer chapter than planned at the moment. Not only that, but I've also been incredibly busy as of late, going through evening training sessions with a lot of homework to get through for a new job, new interviews and the build up to Christmas, plus my other writing/creative endevours.

At least for now, I'm going to say it will be potentially a week between new chapters, maybe longer. At least during the Christmas period. I will keep you all updated. I will try and get Chapter XII done soon, but other chapters may come at a slower pace and being able to get this new job is more important at the moment, so that has to take the priority.

In the meantime, if anyone has any questions or feedback, feel free to chat and comment about it here!


Active Member


The journey took about an hour, the group cutting through the trees that surrounded Robinswood before emerging onto a grassy plain. It was only once they were there did Sam finally get a glimpse of the world beyond a forest. The plains were long but narrow, as just about twenty metres away from where they emerged was a long, sandy beach that stretched as far as his eyes could see. Ocean water lazily lapped onto the shore before it retreated back into the ocean, where further still to the east he could make out the shapes of other islands, jutting out of the deep blue sea.

They continued on northwards, headed further inland as they covered the plains. During the whole time, Sam quizzed Aidan on these so-called Mystery Dungeons. What were they? Where did they come from?

"We don't really know what they are, but in certain places of the world, entire locations get… altered."

"Altered?" Sam questioned.

"Yeah, the insides of forests, caves, glaciers… even a few towns, they all get converted into these mazes with multiple floors."

The Scorbunny frowned, "You serious?"

"I wish I was joking. Dungeons can appear anywhere, even replacing entire locations, and they are often filled with ferals and Pokémon driven mad. But those same dungeons often come with treasures and the like to discover."

"So our job would be diving into those. I'm guessing it's not easy to get out."

"Without badges, using an exit or orbs. No, it's not easy to leave one. Plus, you can't map them, as every time you go in, the layout changes completely. Many folks end up getting lost in the dungeons and lose themselves whilst they are there."

Sam felt a chill settle into his chest, the description of the Dungeons themselves didn't disturb him. But the relaxed, casual way Aidan explained it did. Have… have these Dungeons been such a common occurrence for so long? Is that way Pokémon treat them the way they do?

"Well, we won't have to deal with them for very long." Aidan said, eyes focused on the road. "I mean, last year there were four Dungeons that were left from collapse of the big one at Broken Wood. Now we have three." He managed to pull a shrug, "Wouldn't be surprised if they were all gone in a couple of years."

Keeping his eyes back on the road, Sam tried to take some small comfort in that.

Soon enough, they pulled off the beaten road and into another set of woods. Unlike the lush, green mix of predominantly evergreens and several deciduous trees back in Robinswood, the trees here were darker, greyer and visibly damaged. Large branches had been snapped clean off, bark had been peeled away and stumps were left with jagged, sharp points.

They weren't kidding when they called the place Broken Wood alright.

"Alright! We're here."

Sam stiffened to attention as the Rhydorn led the group into a clearing in the trees. It had clearly been forest itself once before, but all that remained of them was a handful of stumps and the churned up ground and boulders where they once stood. A rock wall rose up before the party, and it was there that a dark cave beckoned before them.

The Pokémon began to spread out, filling in the space as Esper, Jack and the Rhydorn settled into place in front of the group, blocking the path into the dungeon. "Okay, listen in everyone." Esper started, "I'm only going to say this once."

She waved a hand at the cave entrance, "This is the first of three different dungeons here at Broken Wood. You will be going through all three of them, and you will come across a few tests along the way. They will echo the missions we normally take when we go through Dungeons, but also in normal, everyday locations as well."

The Morpeko raised one hand up, "Excuse me, but what kind of tests?"

"We'll inform you of each one as you reach each dungeon." Esper confirmed, "But for the first one, there will be a item kept on one of the floors of this dungeon.".

Reaching into her satchel, the Meowstic pulled out what appeared to a four pointed star, a little bit larger than her hand. It flickered from one colour to the next, reds, yellows, blues… the entire spectrum. Nia rubbed her paws together, looking comical as she brought her wings in to do so. "Ooh! An emera right?"

"Sorry kiddo, not quite!" Jack explained, touching down for what seemed to be the first time since Sam had met him. "Emera's can only exist in Mystery Dungeons."

Another Pokémon in the group, a Starly, tilted his head in confusion. "Then… what is it? How can it be like an emera and yet it's not?"

The crystal floated up above Esper's hand, a faint glow in her eye indicating that she was doing it with her own psychic ability. "This is actually an Dynis."

"First I've heard of that." Alice noted, arms still crossed. Sam glanced over at her, raising an eyebrow. Is that like… her default position or something?

"I've heard of these…" Aidan mused.

Sam swivelled his head round towards him, something ticking in back of his mind at the Froakie's knowledge. "Go on then."

The frog placed a hand against his chin, as if trying to drag the memory back to the surface. "Normally emera's break up, but very rarely when leaving a dungeon, they can condense into a star shape like that. No one knows why, but they lose the bulk of their properties." He waved a hand at the crystal, "All they do is glow like that. They're abit like gold nowadays, pretty but not worth much."

The Dynis continued to pulse, shifting with all the colours of the rainbow. The fire rabbit found his eyes drifting to settle back onto it, drawn to it's light. A faint warmth settled into his chest, as if trying to draw him closer. Why… why does that seem… familiar…

"There will be one of these for each team." Esper explained, "These are the only Dynis we have, so don't lose them. We have them scattered across each of the six floors. You need to recover one, and clear the dungeon."

Sam frowned, dragging his gaze of the crystal, "That's it? Seems simple enough."

He suppressed a growl as Alice shook her head slowly, retaining that same bored expression from before. "Nothing 'bout an Dungeon is easy."

"And for once, I agree with her." Aidan added, bumping the Scorbunny's shoulder with his own, more out of support than anything else. Sam could only roll his eyes as Esper spoke back up. "Alice is right." She explained, returning the Dynis back to the satchel. "Just because these are weakened dungeons doesn't mean they aren't dangerous. Some of the tunnels have collapsed on the floors, and there are still hostile Pokémon and ferals inside as well."

A cold fist clenched his chest, the Scorbunny stiffening up. He was about to ask why, but it soon clicked once again. Ah… some of the Mons in there can go mad…

"Should we… help them?" Sam asked, wondering if that was genuinely a stupid question or not.

The Meowstic took one hard look at him, enough that felt one of his feet slip back. And yet, her yellow eyes didn't seem like they were piercing him, instead, he could only feel… a faint presence at the very edge of his mind. Not as if it was looking in but rather… it was hard to describe… hanging there?

Of course, that could just be him.

"If you can, by all means." Esper said, nodding at him, "But most of those Pokémon may be too far gone. Don't be afraid to fight back if you must. Understood?"

Sam hesitated, tapping a pair of digits against his side, and finally nodded back in silence.

Esper turned her gaze across the entire group, "You'll find one of our aides at the end of the first dungeon. They'll check if you have the Dynis on hand, that is your pass to the next test. You should be fine in there, but just in case, we will give you an Escape Orb. One for each team."

The Rhydorn stepped forward, pulling out small, blue orbs that were barely bigger than baseballs and passing them over to the different teams. Aidan took theirs, it's surface featureless save for a faint symbol on the inside that resembled an arrow. "If you are in so much danger you have to flee, use that orb to escape the dungeon." Esper explained, "But if you do, then you will be effectively forfeiting. If we don't find you at the end by midday, we'll be following up behind you. Understood?"

A few calls of confirmation later, and the Guild members stepped to one side, "Then without further ado, whenever you're ready." Esper declared with a little smile.

Nia immediately squealed with delight, bouncing into the air with a flap of her wings. "Oh, we are so going get the Dynis first!"

For the first time since he met her, Alice seemed shocked, a flash of alarm rushing across her face as the Noibat flew into the cave entrance at speed, the Morpeko scrambling to follow her. The Buneary looked looser, just for a moment as she untied her arms, before her features tightened back up. Letting out a heavy sigh, she slowly walked after her two teammates and into the Dungeon. Across the way, the Bulbasaur Bruce flashed his teeth, "Heh! Not if we can help it!"

He looked round towards his two teammates, a Yanma and Ducklett, who were stood alongside him. "Let's get that crystal lads!"

With a shared cheer, Team Forest followed close behind. And then one at a time, the other teams scrambled to follow them. Sam took a step forward, only for Aidan's hand to settle onto his shoulder. "Hang on, let them rush through first, get into a mess, then we follow up once they clear out the first room."

Sam glanced over the Froakie, flashing his buckteeth, "But they'll get a headstart on those crystals!"

"And whilst they're stumbling on top of each other, we can slip ahead."

The Scorbunny tried to counter, something about it smelling… fishy almost. No pun intended. But in the end, he could only shrug. It was probably Aidan only being tactful, try and give them the best chance to secure their objective. Aidan was pretty smart afterall.

He watched as one after the other, the teams moved through and into the cave. But the rabbit and the frog held back, the seconds ticking as Aidan glanced at some invisible watch on his wrist. Jack and the Rhydorn looked between themselves and towards the two recruits. "You two… still want to do this?" questioned the latter.

Sam nodded sharply, "Yeah… Aidan?"

The Froakie tapped once, then twice, then clicked his tongue. "Alright, let's go."

He hopped on ahead, and Sam jogged after him and into the darkness of the cave.

And by darkness… well, it became impenetrable, Sam's footsteps fading into silence as Aidan faded from his vision. Panic began to settle in, as his senses vanished. Wh-what's happening!? He gasped, trying to suck in breath, W-

Light blinked back into life, Sam's vision blurring as he stumbled back, trying to shield his eyes. "A-Aidan?!"

"I'm here. First time's always rough."

His eyes refocusing, Sam could only let out a little gasp as he found himself inside a well-lit, oddly rectangular cave. It's walls looked like they had once been made of stone brick… well… used to be anyway. Entire chunks of rock were missing, boulders littering the ground where they sat. Sam turned, trying to find the exit-

That was when he realised. The cave entrance was gone. Aidan had pre-warned him on the journey over that the entrance could vanish without a trace. But even so, he wasn't ready for such a sudden change. "Geez…" Aidan stated, eyes looking over the walls. "No wonder these dungeons are fading away, just look at the walls."

He turned back towards Sam, lips tight, "You okay?"

Taking a breath, steading himself, the Scorbunny nodded. "Yeah… let's go and find ourselves a crystal."


They didn't encounter anyone as they started their sweep across the first floor, checking each room with a glance as they went round. Aidan led the way, keeping the pace up for Sam to quite easily follow. Sam narrowed his eyes at the sight of each room. Of how stripped bare they were. Maybe it was the first teams to scramble in that left it like this, or maybe it was just the poor condition of this dungeon. Either way, it almost seemed... as if this entire place was some icon to an age that was beginning to come to an end.

Granted, he barely knew much on the world. He would have to find a library at some point and try and read up on everything that had happened. Right now though, we've got a dungeon to clear.

He was that deep in thought, that he nearly tripped on the steps.

Blinking, he took a step back, eyes fixed on the crumbling but uniform stone steps that rose up into the cave ceiling. "The hell…"

Aidan patted the Scorbunny on the back, "Funny for some weird, unknowable place to have steps huh?"

One of his ears dipped far enough that it now hung in front of his face, a little flash of warmth running through his cheeks. "Yeah… you can say that."

They kept going like that, ascending through each floor, checking each corner, corridor and chamber. And yet, none of the teams appeared. Nor did any hostiles show themselves.

And still, no Dynis crystal could be found.

By the third floor, they started coming across other items scattered throughout the rooms. A couple of blue oran berries mainly, but they came across a seed too, marked with a tiny star. A Reviver Seed, Aidan explained to him. Capable of reviving an Pokémon from unconsciousness or the brink of death. That was pretty handy, he had to admit.

What caught him off guard was a few coin bags of all things. "Really?" Sam questioned, scooping up the golden coin out of one such bag, marked with a struck-through P. "Berries I can get, but cash?"

Aidan rubbed the back of his head, tossing one of the bags into his satchel. "No idea, but hey, some free Poke can't hurt right?"

Sam bit down on his lip, eyeing the coin in his hand. "I suppose you're right. But we still need that crystal."

It was when they reached the fourth floor when they noticed something else. A faint dripping noise coming through the corridors. Sam's ears perked up, trying to trace the sound. "Water?" he questioned.

"Could be." Aidan replied, "Want to check it out?"

Sam nodded, ears swivelling round to lock onto the source. "Yeah, follow me!"

They pushed through another pair of corridors, tracing the dripping as they pushed through to a new chamber. At first glance, it looked just the same as the others, only now, a pool of water was settled into one far corner, the clear liquid dripping in from the ceiling. "Didn't think we were going to find any water at all in here." Sam mused, stepping upto the water's edge, seeing that white rabbit stare back at him in the reflection. "Not with the state this place is in."

"Maybe it was already here." Aidan said, stroking a hand through the water. "It doesn't really help us either way."

The Froakie's hand clenched, "Ugh! Where the hell are those Dynis supposed to be? They aren't on the floor." He started scanning the walls, eyes narrowing, "But… where else can they put them? They can't start digging out the walls of a Dungeon…"

Looking down into the water again, Sam let out a sigh. Both of them had suppressed their worries and doubts about finding the Dynis crystals. At least, that's what Sam had figured. But to see Aidan worrying about it now… "Maybe they've already been collected, there'll be one-"

Something flickered in the corner of his eye. One ear twitching, he turned back towards the water. Huh? A trick of the lig-

He caught the briefest flash of red light in the reflective water.

Oh ****…

"Aidan! I think I've found it!"

The two shuffled closer to the water's edge, the source of the light glowing at the far side of the pool. Deeper below the surface. "That's a bit cheap." Sam grumbled, leaning forward and dipping his fingers into the cold water. "Well, I suppose it's a place to hide it." He dipped a foot into the water, hissing as the chill sank through his skin.

Aidan's hand clamped down on his shoulder, "Hold on! What'd you think your doing?" he barked, a little bit of panic settling into his voice.

Stiffening, Sam rolled his head round, "Swimming over. Obviously." He said with a faint hiss.

"As a fire type? The water in dungeons is pretty deep."

"I can swim just fine."

"Can you?"


Sam couldn't quite hide the hesitation in his voice, judging from Aidan's raised 'brow'. That, and his shivering leg. The Scorbunny tried to hold his nerve for a moment longer… only to groan as he pulled his foot out. "Okay… even if I could… doing it here is probably not the best idea."

"Amnesia right?"


Sighing, Aidan let go and stepped into the water, "I'm a water type anyway, just keep an eye out, I'll get that out in a jiffy."

Sam nodded back, a hand resting against his hip, "Be careful now."

The Froakie could only flash a grin in reply before he dived straight into the water, dipping underneath the surface. Taking a step back, Sam narrowed his eyes, trying to track his partner's movement's through the water. But soon enough, with the light bouncing off and refracting through the surface, Aidan had disappeared.

The Scorbunny let out a heavy sigh, plopping himself down by the water's edge, his muscles slowly unwinding. Well, at least we found a Dynis… I hope so anyway. But still… this still feels pretty easy. No mons and that despite this place looking like it was falling apart. Maybe everything has already left-

A low, snarling growl rumbled out from one of the corridors. A shiver ran down his spine, and his gut clenched at the sound. …I just had to open my stupid mouth didn't I?

He picked himself back up, his ears already locking onto the closest corridor as the growl crept forth again, only serving to reveal it's origin. Sam ground his feet against the rock floor beneath him, feeling the warmth begin to build up in first his feet, then his chest as he willed the emotions from before to surface. The joy, relief and anger… the whole lot as he braced himself for the new threat.

He didn't have to wait long. A green, canine Pokémon emerged from the corridor, marked with yellow marks that streaked across it's spiky surface like lightning bolts. An Electrike.

It's bloodshot eyes swivelled round towards him, locking on him as it's teeth slipped into view, glinting in the light. As it began to turn towards him, another colour flashed, just around it's front left leg. A flash of… white? Sam leaned an inch to the side to get a better view. It was an armband, completely white, save for a purple symbol sketched onto it. A diamond with a jagged bolt going through it. They're an explorer?

He slowly raised his arms up, palms facing the Electrike. "Hey… I'm on a rescue team… are you lost? We can help you get out."

The Electrike's mouth widened, the teeth glistening further as the Pokémon shuddered. It's pupils widened as it stepped closer, twitching as it did.

And with it, came a familiar dripping sound that softly echoed across the room. Not water this time. But the red droplets falling free of the Pokémon's mouth.

Sam slid back, his heel nearly slipping into the water the only indicator that he was stuck with his back against the wall. Swallowing the saliva in his throat, Sam steeled himself, and raised his hands up further. "Listen… I can help you-"

The Electrike roared, the Scorbunny's heart nearly bursting out of his chest as the canine Pokémon shot towards him, electricity crackling around it's body. Eyes widened and nearly blood red.

Ready to murder him.

I didn't want to leave people hanging forever, so here is the long overdue Chapter XII. If anyone has any feedback, I'd appreciate it.


Active Member


Sam's response was twofold. First, kicking his feet into the ground, he leapt to the side, trying to escape the maddened Pokémon trying to kill him. The second was to attempt to cry out in shock.

Instead, it came out as more of a scream.

The Electrike flew past, teeth snapping as it skidded to a halt, turning once more to face the Scorbunny. Once more, Sam tried to raise his hands, beg for them to s-

And again, Sam was forced to leap back, his heart pounding in his ears as the bloody, stained teeth of the electric type tried to clamp down on him. Okay – he's not listening!

Skidding back, Sam snarled, rubbing his feet into the ground, the heat in his chest already beginning to flare as he drew on those emotions. Alright big guy! If you won't listen – take this!

With the state of the dungeon, the ground was littered with pebbles, and with a sharp cry, Sam booted one of them, the stone igniting instantly as the Ember flew towards the Electrike. The canine's didn't even blink as it danced off to one side, the fireball flying past and across the dungeon. Sam could only blink, trying to boot annother Ember off before the canine flashed the remaining distance, slamming into him with a painful crack.

Air rushed out of Sam's lungs as his head cracked against the ground. C-Come on! Enough with the head already!. He rolled back and out of the way, just in time for the Electrike to fly face first into the ground. Back on his feet, Sam's lips instinctively peeled back into a smirk, Now's my chance!

But didn't go for another Ember, instead, he charged back at the Electrike, willing the emotions to burn, willing himself to hit faster, hit hard-

The world flashed for just a second, Sam finding himself lunging forward faster than his legs seemed able to take him. He blinked to find the green Pokémon cartwheeling back, his white and red foot hanging in mid-air almost comically where it once stood. Q-Quick Attack?!, a little bit of pride beating in his chest. Heh, finally, I'm starting to get the hang of this.

Only then did he kick out another Ember, this time catching the canine in the flank. A bestial roar pounded at his ears as the fireball detonated in a puff of smoke, the Electrike skidding further back to the edge of the pool. Panting, Sam gulped down air, letting his aching lungs recover as he slowly approached, keeping that warmth burning within him in case he needed to retaliate again. The Pokémon's eyes were shut though, his breathing rapid but regular at the very least… Did… did I knock him out?

It was that moment that Aidan's head poked out of the water, a little grin on his face. "Sorry I took so long, somehow they managed to weigh this thing down wi-" His eyes widened at the sight of the Electrike, "What the- Sam are you okay?! Who the hell is this guy!?" He turned back towards him, the Froakie's body stiffening. Sam could only roll his eyes, throwing a hand randomly in the air. "Oh yeah, just had to fight some crazed electric type whilst you were diving."

Before the Froakie stiffened any more, Sam flashed a wink. "A little ruffled up but I'm fine. You got the Dynis?"

The smile returning, Aidan lifted up the glowing crystal, flickering with it's rainbow colouration in his hand. "I'd say that is mission accomplished, but to the looks of things, it seems like we've got this guy to deal with." He narrowed his eyes, gaze drifting towards the downed Electrike's arm. "Hey… what team is he fr-"

The Electrike's bloodshot eyes snapped open.


The Electrike's eyes snapped back towards the water, with Aidan settled right into it. Sam immediately saw the danger. "A-Aidan! Get out of the water!" Sam ordered, breaking out into a sprint towards them. Aidan's eyes widened, the reality dawning as he reached for the water's edge, ready to throw himself out. But it was already too late, the blue crackles of energy flickering around the Electrike as it rolled back upright, the blue beam of energy blasting out of it's mouth and straight at the water.

Aidan didn't stand a chance, the pool of water flashing with blue and white light as the Froakie tried to leap out of the water, only to get zapped just as suddenly. His eyes widened, pupils turning to pinpoints as he tried to scream, his mouth frozen in place even as his body jerked wildly out of control.

As the electrical attack faded away, the bruised and charred Froakie flopped back into the water face first with a soft splash.

In that second, that warmth in Sam's chest turned into an inferno. His entire body flared up as if his body was on fire, raw anger taking over as the Scorbunny's eyes flashed red. "Get away from him you imbecile!" he roared, leaping for the Electrike.

A flicker of fear flashed across the Electrike's eyes as the Quick-attacking rabbit slammed into him, the duo sliding across the cave floor. The canine tried to push itself back up, only for a white hand to fly into his face. Sam screamed, his lungs burning as he threw another punch, his mind focused on one thing. Keeping this damn freak away from his friend. He threw another punch, then another, the Electrike whimpering from the unpowered punches. Kicking himself away, Sam dragged his foot back, setting a pebble aflame and kicking it up into the air. "Why don't you piss. OFF!"

The Ember flashed as it flew straight down for the electric type, a surprised cry barely reaching the Scorbunny's ears before the fireball struck their side with an almighty bang and a sharp flash of light and smoke.

The green canine sailed across the chamber and straight into the crumbling rock walls with a horrible thud. An even louder snap rang out as the Electrike slid down into a battered heap, the boulders in the wall breaking and grumbling as the ground softly quaked. The power within Sam chilled in an instant, the anger washing away as he steadied himself. Oh no… no…

But then, the quaking ceased. And silence reigned.

Then the struck section of wall collapsed. Rock and earth dropping and crumpling into a pile at the foot of the rest of the intact wall. Some of the earth was shoved onto the downed Electrike, not enough to bury it, but enough to keep it pinned.

Not that it mattered, as the chamber fell silent again, the Electrike's eyes shut as its chest slowly rose and fell. This time, it was definitely out for the count.

Spinning on his heel, Sam shot towards the pool, Aidan's body still bobbing up and down in the water. Almost quite literally throwing himself into the water, the Scorbunny bit off the sudden chill and grabbed onto the Froakie's arm. "Aidan!?" Sam shouted, tightening his grip on the limb and shaking it, "Come on mate! Say something!"

The limb stiffened in the Scorbunny's paw… and a swarm of bubbles rose to the surface around the Froakie's head. In the two seconds it took to confuse the rabbit with his cocked head, Aidan finally jerked back upright, eyes wide as he gasped in a breath. "Holy crap that was a shock!"

Sam snapped back with a huff, half out of relief, half out of concern and mixed in with no small amount of confusion. He shook his head, shoving the confusion aside, "Puns aside, you alright?"

"P-Pun? Err… yeah, I'm fine!" He said happily, a giant grin spread across his face. "That was a rush alright!"

The Froakie puffed out a whistle… and immediately began to sink, his free hand grabbing onto the Scorbunny's arm. "Okay… rush over, that hurt. A lot." He winced, struggling to stay afloat as Sam slung one of Aidan's arms over his shoulder. "Hang on buddy, let's get you out of the water." He stressed, only to pause as something dawned upon him.

Aidan's struggling to float. So how…

Sam immediately looked down just as he sensed that his feet weren't on the ground, but very slowly kicking away underneath him, keeping him upright. In the corner of his eye, it was obvious that Aidan had seen it too, his yellow eyes flickering round towards him.

"Okay." Sam stated woodenly. "Turns out I can swim."

Together, the two swam back over to the water's edge and pulled themselves out. As Aidan sat back against the rocks shivering, Sam pulled out one of the so-called Oran Berries from his satchel and handed it over. "Thanks." Aidan said, pulling a weak grin as he gobbled down the blue fruit. Only then did Sam finally relax, letting out a sigh as he managed to pull a grin of his own. "Thought you would have had it then."

"Oh don't worry about me. One electric attack isn't going to kill me." Aidan managed to croak with a injection of humour, still chewing on the oran berry. His eyes drifted past Sam's shoulder. "How the hell did you do that?"

A red tipped ear dipped an inch, "Oh, the Electrike? I knocked them out with a-"

"Not him. The wall."

Blankly, with his ears dipping even more, Sam turned back towards the wall. The Electrike was still out cold, the pile of rubble was still there. And lo and behold, an new opening within the wall itself. I… I suppose I missed that when I was trying to help Aidan.

Shaking his head, he kept his gaze on the wall. "Can… can that happen?"

"Sometimes, with right orb maybe." Aidan said, "But just from regular move? Never heard of that."

"Poor state of the Dungeon?"


Rolling his shoulders back, the Scorbunny started towards it. "Wait here, I'll have a look."

He scrambled up the small pile towards the hole, half expecting a new tunnel to run off into the darkness. But he didn't. Instead, he came across a hollow alcove, barely more than a metre across in area, barely lit by the light coming from the main chamber.

And at the bottom, there was a chest. But it wasn't something like those he had seen scattered around Robinswood, with their arched, wooden appearances. No. This one was smaller, rectangular, smoother… and interestingly, made out of metal.

With a frown on his face, Sam clambered down towards the chest, laying a hand on the cold surface. How long have you been down here… he pondered, blowing off a layer of dust that had build up on the container. Sweeping his fingers around the edge, he found the latch and with his ears perking up with interest, lifted the lid open.

Within one second though, they had immediately dropped back down again. The inside had not faired as well. It was mostly filled with dozens of sheets of paper, all of them half rotted away with all the text on them little more than a smudge. I suppose the seal must have failed on this thing. He shoved some of the old paper work aside to reveal a strange, slightly rusted red… cup? Dome? It was hard to say, even as he picked up the strange metallic object, the inside of which was charred black and with the only distinguishing feature being a white, raised circle on one side. Shrugging, Sam shoved the thing into his satchel, and was about to turn away when something flickered underneath the paper. Eyes narrowing, he reached back in again, digging the paper out.

At the bottom of the case, surprisingly undamaged, was a small, sleeveless red jacket and a pair of goggles, supported by some kind of brown… leather? Clothes?

He picked up the small jacket, noting the high collar and it's fairly small size. A weird sense of déjà vu settled over him, as if some memory or feeling was trying to get the Scorbunny's attention. This seems… familiar… why-

"Hey Sam!" Aidan called out, "What's taking so long? Are you okay?"

Stiffening up, the feeling dissipated completely. Sam leaned back, "I'm good! Just a chest filled with junk! Mostly!"


Sam looked back into the crate, fingers drumming against the fabric before lips peeled back. Well, no one else is picking you up…

Aidan raised a brow as the Scorbunny emerged from the alcove, the little red jacket now resting on his shoulders and the goggles hanging around his neck. Sam flashed a smirk, opening his arms up to show it all off. "Looks like we've found some actual loot after all."

The frog let out a stronger, hearty laugh at that, pushing himself back up to his feet, holding up the Dynis crystal that had been their objective. "All the more worth it then."

That was when his eyes narrowed, nodding his attention towards the comatose Electrike, still breathing softly at the edge of the pile as Sam clambered back down. "So, what are we doing with him then?"

Sam glanced over at the electric type, just for a moment, a little pang of guilt tugging his guts. "We can't leave him here… he's a Rescuer like us. It's kinda our job."

"True." Aidan said softly, before immediately raising a hand up, "Not it."

Sam blinked, "Huh?"

"Too late, I'm not carrying him. Besides, I don't have the legs to properly hold him up anyway."


It dawned on him way too late as the Scorbunny's gaze snapped back down the body of the Electrike on what Aidan meant.

Sam's ears drooped in half immediately, "Aw crap."

Sorry this took so long, but getting through Christmas and Real Life took all the time I needed away. Still, made this one chapter a bit more intermediate in length. With a little bit of an easter egg to boot. Hope you enjoy this Chapter!


Active Member


When they finally emerged from the dungeon, Sam's limbs were half ready to fall off. He panted, each one of his muscles aching as he struggled to at first carry and later drag the Electrike throughout the dungeon and up the last two sets of stairs. Despite his initial digging in the Scorbunny's side, once Aidan had realised how difficult the job actually was, he quite literally hopped into action to help Sam along.

Not that he was much help, Sam would ultimately realise. Having a frog's body wasn't ideal for dragging large weights, meaning it was still mostly up to him to get the comatose canine out.

As they emerged under an orange sky, Sam collapsed onto his back side, rolling his shoulders as he tried to shake lose the kinks and cramps that had built up. "Isn't there supposed to be an easy way of doing this?" he panted, staring up at the fluffy clouds above him. Aidan let out a huff, staring down at the green canine with a narrowed pair of eyes. "With badges… we could just teleport him out."

Sam's head snapped up, ear cocked to one side as he scanned Aidan's face for any signs of humour or an indication that the Froakie was just pulling his leg. But there was nothing of the sort. Instead, his eyes remained fixed on the canine, pupils now pinpoints as if trying to pierce through the Electrike with his vision alone. Sitting back upright, a frown began to form on Sam's face. "Aidan? What's up?"

He jerked back upright, eyes flashing back to normal. "Huh?"

"You seem a little… focused on the guy."

"I am?" Aidan uttered, shaking his head, "Sorry, I thought I recognised him but… I'm mistaken. Come on, we better get him up to the camp."

"By golly! I didn't think you would all look so tired from that!"

Coming from further up the path was a large, brown beaver like Pokémon that towered over the rabbit and frog, two big white teeth hanging out of their mouth that had a piece of straw stuck in between them. Pulling the straw out, he hobbled over at a quicker pace. "Are you juniors alright? What happened?"

"We're fine." Sam stated, nodding towards Aidan before pointing at the fainted Pokémon. "Although we nearly weren't thanks to this guy."

"Huh? Hang on, he's not a teammate?" questioned the Bibarel, his eyes drifting across the gentle breathing body of the Electrike. "Why di- by golly! Zeke!"

Sam nearly flinched, "Uh, what? You know this guy?"

"Yup yup! I do! He was part of Team Nitro; they went missing not long before Broken Woods began to break up. We never could find them."

Stooping over, the Bibarel scooped up the Electrike and slung them over his shoulder, "How did you find him?"

"We didn't." Aidan stated, "He attacked us whilst we were collecting the Dynis.". He flashed a glimpse of the glowing crystal inside his satchel. Barely giving it a nod, the Bibarel turned and got started back up the path, "Well, good job on getting the crystal and helping Zeke here. Yup yup! Maybe we can learn what happened to him and Nitro."

As Sam and Aidan scrambled to follow the surprisingly speedy Bibarel up a dusty trail through some more battered trees and rocks, he glanced over his shoulder towards the Scorbunny. "Name's Oscar by the way! Nice to meet you!"

Pulling off a sheepish grin, Sam flashed a mock salute, "Sam, I'm the new guy. I guess you probably already know Aidan."

"We've met." Aidan confirmed with a thin smile as the Bibarel let out a hearty laugh, "We have, and by golly, Jack wouldn't stop talking about you."

Sam nearly halted in his tracks, "Jack? You two know each other?"

"Oh, very well! We met each other over a decade ago, during a transfer between Air and Grass continents when I was at one of the Guilds! Damn, feels like a life time ago now."

Brushing a bush aside, they emerged in a clearing just before another cave entrance, the second dungeon, Sam imagined. Only this time, there were little more than half a dozen tents set up around a campfire. Tepees, Sam would realise, given their cone like shapes that rose well above the two smaller Pokémon's heads. "Well, I better try and check this guy over once he's secured. You two go on further in and pick a tent, a few of the other rookies got here before you and are by the fire."

As Oscar moved as fast as he could towards the largest of the tents gathered, Aidan led the way further into the campsite towards the fireplace. And yet, Sam could already sense his muscles tensioning at the combined sight of the Buneary Alice, the Noibat Nia and the Morpeko.

But he visibly relaxed at the sight of Alice's eyes being closed, sat down against a log with her head resting against it as Nia let rip a giant grin, flapping up a wing to try and shakingly wave over at them. "Hey! You two made it!" she exclaimed, only for a little frown to form, "Hey, what's wrong."

Sam couldn't help but pull an embarrassed grin as Aidan looked back at him with a flicker of surprise. Namely at his paws stuck in his long ears. "Sorry, just… please don't deafen me."

The bat Pokémon's face relaxed as she let out a little giggle. "Oh don't worry!" she stressed, "I'm not a Loudred."

"Only in the mornings." The Morpeko mused, juggling an apple in their little paws. "It's why I still wear earmuffs to bed."

Nia laughed again, nudging the guinea pig shaped partner. "Come on Dan, I'm not that loud."

The Morpeko could only shiver as Sam plopped himself down on a small boulder by the fire, Aidan hopping atop of on the logs. The two putting the fire in between them and the sleeping Buneary. In that moment, Sam figured he might as well spare Dan – and himself – more eardrum-bursting related memories. "So, you guys managed to find a Dynis too?"

With a look of relief written across his face, Dan pulled out a similarly sized glowing crystal from behind his own seat. "First floor, believe it or not. And we didn't have to fight that much of anything. Just a couple of Patrats."

The Morpeko must have noticed Sam's narrowing eyes, as soon enough, the electric Pokémon was quickly backpedalling, "They were feral mon's, don't worry."

He held his gaze for a moment, before finally willing himself to relax again. He just had to take the electric type for his word. He only relaxed further as the heat from the fire began to soak in to his fur and through to his skin.

Next up was Bruce's team, the Bulbasaur flashing a massive grin. That was, of course, only for about five seconds before it quickly melted away as his big red eyes scanned over at the two assembled teams. "Seriously?! You got here before we did!?"

"Yes Bruce. You were painfully slow." Alice quietly said, her eyes drifting open as she pulled that same, sly grin that she flashed to the Scorbunny on those crates. He felt a shiver run down the back of his neck, watching the scene unfold. Was… was Alice awake the whole time?

Thankfully, Bruce finally rolled his eyes, and settled himself down.

One by one, other Pokémon started wandering into the camp. Sam counted them, trying to see who else had made it. Each team proudly showing off the Dynis crystal they had recovered. But soon enough, the final group composed of Edward and Denver, the Skiddo and Skorupi respectively, wandered into the camp, their own glowing gem cradled in the bug-type's claws.

Sam flashed a small grin at their arrival, feeling himself shrug off another layer of the cooling air. It was a relief to see everyone had got up without any real issue at all beyond a few scuffles. If anything, Sam and Aidan had seen gone through the most action, at least in terms of difficulty.

It was only then did he finally realise how late it was, as the sun began to dip below the horizon. He looked up to find the sun slowly beginning to dip below the horizon through the trees, the air already starting to cool even faster than before. Were they higher up? He supposed it made some sense after climbing up all those stairs.

As if on cue, Esper, Jack and the Rhyhorn finally emerged from the darkening trail, their eyes faintly glinting in the remaining light. "I see you have all made it." Esper stated warmly, her eyes settling onto Sam, "And with fresh loot."

The Scorbunny blinked, glancing round himself until he finally realised what she meant. He immediately tugged his new red jacket closer in, "Err… finders' keepers? I just came across it in the dungeon."

He flinched as the Meowstic let out a quiet, but warming laugh. "Oh, you don't have to worry about that. If you find anything useful, please, keep it. It may prove useful later. Although I suspect that jacket and googles are… probably just cosmetic."

That didn't earn much more than a shrug from Sam, letting out a puff of foggy air. After fighting the Electrike, he very much didn't want to start losing his own real possessions now.

"Yup yup! Seems like everyone's all back together!" Oscar announced, balancing a few woven bags on his tail and in his paws. "You guys didn't have any issue coming up here?"

Jack let out a buzz as he settled down on the ground, his wings somehow a little bit brighter in the dark. "Not a problem at all! Not much to find though, that wasn't really cool."

A toothy grin emerged as the Bibarel lowered the bags to the ground, "It's not much, I'm not the cook back home but I've got a bit of food all here for you. Help yourselves."

A few of the recruits cheered with delight as they started to scramble for the bags, only for Bruce's green vines to reach across and wrap round some of the bags themselves. "I'll help." He declared, lifting a couple of the bags and bringing them back across the campsite to drop them alongside his teammates. As the closest members picked up their own bags, Bruce lifted the remainder to the rest. Sam took his own bag with one hand, starting to open it up to check the contents as Oscar straightened up, "Esper? Can you folks just come with me one moment? I need to check something over with you."

Glancing back over the group once more, Esper turned to look up at him, "Of course."

As the four Rescuers departed, night fully settled in, with the glow of the fire now providing the main bulk of the light. Stars began to twinkle in the sky, as a low murmur began to settle over the group. "Hey, Sam." Bruce asked, as the rabbit reached into his sack, "Where did you find that stuff?"

Sam barely hesitated, "I just found it in a cave." He explained, pulling out a chunk of bread and starting to nibble at it. "Half the wall just came down in a fight and there it was."

"Never seen anything like it." Aidan added, already munching on… what looked like an orange? "It's probably just the dungeon falling apart, nothing fancy."

"You've been in a dungeon before?" asked the Skiddo, sitting down on the ground rather than the logs and rocks themselves. Aidan nodded, taking pulling a slice of orange free before tossing it down his mouth. "A couple of times. By accident of course.". He added that last statement with a flicker of haste.

In the corner of his eye, Alice rolled her eyes. Less from annoyance and more detached amusement, judging by her relaxed posture. "I wouldn't be surprised if that dungeon collapses at some point this year." She said, arms resting behind her head as she looked up at the night sky. "Honestly, I don't know why we are training here."

"They're pretty much the easiest set of dungeons close to town." Aidan explained, examining one of the orange slices.

"I know." Alice replied, not even raising her voice or disguising it. "Doesn't mean it's dangerous."

Swallowing down a bread fragment, Sam leaned forward, "Have you been in a dungeon before Alice?"

The Buneary didn't say anything at first, her eyes still fixed on the sky. But as Sam began to turn away, she finally spoke, in a quiet, it was barely above a whisper. "A couple of times. Not by accident."

The Scorbunny felt himself deflate a touch, there wasn't a hint of malice or disgust in Alice's voice. Was…. Was that sadness?

But before he could say anything else, Nia immediately perked up, "All the better to have that experience on hand then!" she cheered, eyes shining in the light of the fire.

Even from his position, it was easy to tell that Alice had already rolled her eyes again. And with that, the moment was gone.

"Not like we need much help!" Bruce said, rubbing his front feet into the ground as he let slip a grin. "That dungeon was still a piece of cake."

"You don't want to underestimate a dungeon." Aidan warned, his eyes narrowing a bit. "Even a dying one can still hit you hard. Never mind the time distortion ideas of old" He added with a shiver, earning a glance from Sam. Time being distorted was something that squeezed at his heart, but his mind was mainly fixed on that memory of Aidan being zapped by that electric attack still made his hand twitch a bit as Aidan got up to his feet. "I'm just going to put our bags away; I'll be right back."

As Sam watched the Froakie disappear into the darkness of the camp, the little Noibat was rubbing her paws together, bringing her wings comically close together. "Well, anyone got any good stories about the dungeons?"

"Just don't give me anything about time problems." Dan said, trembling a bit where he sat.

"I actually know a story about Broken Woods actually."

Everyone's eyes drifted towards the Edward the Skiddo, his black eyes drifting across the group. "Well, it's more of a myth than anything else."

"Oh, let's hear it!" Nia squealed, "Has to be pretty awesome right?"

"Or plain tragic." Alice grumbled, earning a glare from Bruce as she propped herself up to listen. Edward however merely tilted his head as he shuffled forward. "Well… a very long time ago, off the written records and long before the modern settlements formed on the Continents… back before Broken Wood became what it is today, there was supposed to be a cave. A cave that constantly changed even though it was impossibly deep. Some kind of proto-dungeon well before the actual ones we knew showed up. If it was, then the inhabitants of the Sea of Wonders barely knew anything about them. Explorers would constantly delve through it, trying to get a sense of the layout of the place, or what treasures may have been inside."

"I'm guessing it was the Talonflames and the Corviknights that were mainly doing the exploring right?" Sam asked, leaning forward again and perking his ears up.

Edward shook his head, "Not all of them. A few other species went in too. But the teams couldn't make much progress. Eventually however, more Pokémon got drawn to the site. Looking to discover something or descend deeper into the depths."

As the goat-like Pokémon continued, his voice lowered a bit, became more resonant as he told the story, luring the gathered Pokémon even closer in. "Eventually, some children, inspired by the early Explorer's efforts, decided to go into the cave when no one was looking. No quite knows how, but then ended up travelling deeper down than anyone had ever gone before. So deep did they go, that the dungeon ended up… growing?"

Dan blinked, holding an apple especially close to his mouth, "Growing?"

"It was… as if the dungeon went on for miles beyond the woods all together. But the teams, unbowed, when underground to try and rescue the children. But as they did, following the calls of the children, each rescue team was force to withdraw, fighting Pokémon darker and stronger than they had ever expected."

Edward fell silent for a moment, letting the silence settle across the campfire before finally speaking again, "With the children's cry's more desperate, the Pokémon of the island didn't know how best to proceed, until a Lapras arrived on the shoreline, carrying two Pokémon on it's back. A Lucario and a Zoroark. The villagers who lived close to the cave didn't not recognise the newcomers, but they did know of the emblem they carried. A sharp cross, emboldened with a tear in front of it. According to the myths, they were known as Guardians."

"Guardians?" Sam mused, his mind trying to imagine the scene of the two arriving. "Guardians of what?"

"No one knows." Edward stated, his voice remaining low and poetic. "But the Guardians were honoured and revered amongst Pokémon of the Sea of Wonders. They elected to descend into the depths, and find the children. And so, they did. They entered that cave alone, carrying between them only their Guardian scarves and their packs. A few rescue teams attempted to follow them… but they could keep up… and soon, the Lucario and the Zoroark disappeared into the darkness."

Closing his eyes for a moment, he took a breath, and the goat continued, "Two days later, the villagers returned to the cave to find the children back outside the cave. Shaken, wet and covered in blood, but otherwise alive. But the Guardians… were never seen again. All the children had in their possession was a single egg. An egg that was collected by another, unknown Guardian and taken back out to sea. The children never spoke about what happened in the depths, and the Guardian took steps to seal the cave for good."

He fell silent again, each of the Pokémon showing a different reaction. Dan quivered further, Nia's eyes brightened, Bruce looked disturbed and Alice… just looked indifferent. "At some point, the cave vanished, the old region became known as Broken Wood, and the modern dungeon appeared decades after. But even so… there have been sightings of a shadow, drifting through the trees or chambers of the area around and in the dungeon. And occasionally… a cloaked figure can be seen laying a flower at a seemingly random spot in the Wood… before just quickly vanishing… according to myth, Broken Wood is right on top of where the old cave used to be… and occasionally, you can hear the old echoes of the children's cries reaching out through the earth…"

As the silence settled down again, Sam waited for the Skiddo, but he didn't, and it became apparent that the story was over. Nia immediately opened up her wings, a giant grin written on her face. "That. Is. Awesome! I mean, guardians! Giant dungeons? It's one cool legend alright!"

Bruce let out a heavy sigh, "Nia, I think sometimes you get too excited about horror stories."

"Or think they are real." Alice groaned, arms crossed where she sat, "It all sounds like a bunch of hogwash really. These 'Guardians' were probably just some skilled Pokémon who went down into a cave and stopped some kids sliding off a cliff."

Sam merely shrugged, still playing the story in his head, "Well, if it got told down to today… then there has to be some basis of truth in it in, right?"

Alice glared at him, harshly enough for the Scorbunny to tear his eyes away, "Just focus on the actual facts rather than possibilities. It'll do you more good."

Dan sheepishly raised a paw up, "I-I think it's a good thing it's just a story. I'd rather not have to hear any kids crying out to me for help down there an-"

That was when the hands shot out of the darkness and clamped down onto the Morpeko's ears. His eyes flashed as let out an almighty squeal, leaping off his log almost comically into the air before landing face first in front of the fire. A few surprised gasps rang out, and Sam had already sprung to his feet, ready to dash across in a he-

The familiar, croaky laugh echoed across the campfire. "Oh by Arceus! Ha! You should have heard yourself!"

Aidan emerged back into the light, tears actually forming in his eyes as he struggled to control his laughter, coming around the log. "Damn it Aidan!" Alice snarled, also on her feet as well, both ears tucked in. "Did you have to scare the **** out of him!?"

The Froakie finally calmed down, visibly clamping his mouth shut before taking in a breath. "S-Sorry, I just heard what you all were talking about and… well… couldn't help myself." His lips tightened as he closed his mouth, chest fluttering as if trying to fight off another chuckle as he reached a hand down to Dan. Looking up, Dan took it and was quickly pulled off to his feet. "I-It's fine." He stated with a shaky grin, "I-It's actually kind of funny actually."

Sighing, Sam could only shake his head with a thin smile. It was a little bit too much for Aidan to do, but at least it was just in jest. Dan himself was even starting to chuckle with some encouragement from Nia. Only Alice didn't relax, her arms crossed again as she glared at the Froakie. Alice… what bad thing can you see in him? If such a thing is there?

As the group settled back down again, Esper reappeared at the edge of the campfire. Her yellow eyes almost shining in the light of the fire. "I hope you are all doing well." She stated, "Oscar already told me you have all found a Dynis."

"We have." Aidan confirmed, settling back down on his own seat next to Sam. The Meowstic nodded, "Good. Tomorrow, we'll be aiming to get the second trial done and, if possible, the third one. So, I'd recommend you get a good night's sleep before tomorrow, we'll be getting up early."

And without another word, Esper vanished back into the campsite, and with a yawn, Bruce picked himself up. "Well, I don't know about you, but I'll be calling in."

"I'm going to do the same." Edward declared, also rising. "I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be more difficult."

One by one, the recruits began to rise to their feet and head off to the tents. Aidan himself giving Sam a pat on the shoulder, "Staying out for a bit longer?"

Hesitating, Sam nodded, "Yeah. Just figured I'd enjoy the view."

"Fair enough. If I'm not awake, I'll see you tomorrow."

The Froakie joined the others, and soon enough, all that was left was Sam… and Alice. She stared down into the fire, eyes blank as if she was searching for something flickering in the flames. I… I wasn't expecting Alice to stay up.

Shuffling his feet, Sam debated just getting up and leaving, but as if some invisible force was holding him in place, suggesting he say something. Taking a breath, he finally spoke.

"So… you've been around here for long?" Sam asked, sheepishly rubbing the back of his head. Alice herself continued staring down into the fire, almost as if she hadn't heard him. He was nearly about to stand up when she finally spoke. "You can say that."

He sat back down, "Huh, well, how long ex-"

"Look." She growled, now turning to face him proper. "I know what you are trying to do. You are trying to understand me. Try and get to know me. Maybe if you are really naïve, you are probably wanting to be a friend, right?"

"Alice… I was just asking a question…"

"And I don't want to answer it." she countered, eyes narrowing. "I'm not here to make friends. I'm just here to clear the training and do a job. That's it."

Her features softened, "It'd be better for you if you just left me alone."

Before Sam could even reply, she rose to her feet, hopped over the log, and off into the mass of tents.

And soon enough, he was all alone, staring at where Alice had disappeared. Alice… what happened to make you like this? He questioned, sliding down to the ground and with his back pressed to the back of the log, looked up towards dark sky, the faint twinkle of stars still present. His mind drifted back to Edward's tail… about those Guardians. Of how they went into a dark place and never returned. And those kids…

He dug his digits deeper into the ground beneath him, breathing out another cloud of foggy air and watching it rise upwards towards the sky. It only added to his concerns… what was so dark about the world to leave Pokémon in such a state? Hostile, broken or just distant? Or outright dead?

The answer, even as he eventually left the fire for the tent, felt painfully out of reach.

Again, apologies on the delay. But this Chapter was again longer than I was planning on and I had also been going through old Chapters for uploading on dedicated fanfic sites so that ate up alot of my time. This is abit quieter for a Chapter, with a little bit of worldbuilding to boot! I hope you enjoy this.


Active Member


It wasn't exactly the best night. Sam tossed and turned inside the tent, the basic sleeping bag not really doing much to help him out. It wasn't that it was just too warm or cold. It wasn't any noise or anything of the sort. If anything, his mind kept drifting back to that story. About the Guardians and their mysterious disappearance into that cave. He couldn't stop thinking about Alice as well, of how she just pushed him away from even conversing with her. Damn it, she punched me when we first met! Why am I so concerned about her?

The answer was obvious. He was worried about her between the so called 'curse' and her own attitude. But then again, he could have just as easily been worried about anyone.

A faint moan crept over his shoulder, and rolling over, Sam could see Aidan squirming inside his own bag, eyes squeezed tight shut. The Froakie had already started complaining about another headache coming on when he stumbled on into the tent. He couldn't help but frown as Aidan flashed a smirk and brushed off his concern, stressing that he had coped with such things before. But even so, he still couldn't shake off his concern. Headaches may seem innocent, but having them semi-regular wasn't exactly a good thing. Maybe it was just the electric move mucking him over.

Finally giving up, Sam crawled out of the bag and out of the tent. Zog it. He figured, rubbing his feet against the rocky ground and letting his body heat up in the chill of the air. Might as well try and tire myself out with some kind of walk.

And so, he began his lap. The campsite was nearly shrouded in near complete silence, with only the very faint rustle of tent canvas or the occasional crunch of underfoot. The embers of the campfire were beginning to fade away, but it only allowed the stars to shine even more brightly above him. He paused for a moment, looking up at the celestial objects hanging there. He wondered if the human world was up there somewhere, or whatever world he was originally from. He knew stars had planets around them, that basic fact was something he knew at least. He let out a heavy sigh, I still had to get here somehow. I can't have just, upped and teleported away… can't I?

The chill in the air getting to him again, he rubbed his hands together and carried on walking. Hoping against hope that he would tire out enough that he could just pass out.

As he rounded another tent, he caught a flicker of a flame coming from within a larger tent, set further off from the rest. The instructor's tent, if that was an appropriate term for them. Probably still working out the details for tomorrow. He guessed, narrowing his stride as he peered at the shelter with a little smirk, Makes sense.

He half considered listening in, maybe he could get an idea of what would happen for the next dungeon. But with a thin smile, he shook his head at that. Nah… don't want to start cheating if that is even a thing here. He started to widen his stride-

"He still hasn't woken up?" Jack asked.

"Nup. No luck."

Sam slid to a halt. Huh? Zack's not woken up?

With a frown, and a part of him urging him to back off, Sam swallowed and crept a little bit closer to the tent.

"I don't understand it." Oscar said, "Reviver seeds didn't do the trick, and neither is anything else."

"You don't think that rabbit hit him too hard right?" asked the Rhydon.

Sam's chest clenched, fear settling in at the possibility that he might have gone too far. But Jack's voice tore through the canvas like a knife. "Not a chance. Sam wouldn't go that far. Even if he did, he was probably just desperate."

"I concur." Esper said, the flames within the tent flickering. "I could sense some worry and relief, and if Sam really wanted harm Zack, he could have just left him there."

"Aidan was there too."

"True. But I trust my instincts. Besides, he is not too injured."

Sam let out a faint sigh of relief, Good… no lynch mobs or arrests coming my way then… but still… if those Reviver seeds aren't working… if they do what I think they do again…

What was stopping him from waking up?

"Could it a nightmare? Like you described it pal?" Jack asked.

"By golly no!" Oscar quietly cried out, "He's too peaceful for that."

"I have already tried to feel what is happening with his mind." Esper added, "But it's all… clouded… I not going to be able to learn more here."

There was a moment of silence, enough for Sam to half worry that they discovered he was there. But when Esper spoke up again, her tone was relaxed. "Rhys, can you take Zack back to Robinswood tomorrow morning? Maybe Rebecca can rouse him."

A heavy grunt rumbled forth from the tent, "She's not gonna be happy about that."

"She never is, but she cares enough to get the job done. We'll keep an eye on the recruits, Jack, I'm going to need you to fly on ahead to the second camp."

"Sure thing… but… if something went wrong with Zack around here… and with Tracy and Oliver missing still… is it really a good idea?"

"We'll have to be careful. We should be clear of any grave danger now we're past the first dungeon but… we should still be cautious."

Silence fell again for a moment, before Esper finally spoke again. "We'll look into Zack's situation when we get back to town, in the meantime, I suggest you all get some rest."

Feet sliding back, Sam began to back away. His mind slowly churning at the information. What had happened in there? He questioned, Is it to do with the…

He brushed the idea away, a cold weight settling onto his shoulders. Shaking his head, he turned, and marched back to his own tent.

Sam half imagined that he would still struggle to fall asleep, but as he slipped back into his bag, exhaustion finally caught up to him, and he was pulled down to sleep.


Thankfully for Sam's ears, Nia didn't scream for him to wake up and instead it was Aidan who roused him from his slumber. Within a few moments, they already had gathered their gear and were soon lined up outside alongside the other teams. A low, excited murmur spread through the Pokémon, and even Aidan now bared a cheesy grin on his face.

But despite this, Sam didn't feel such joy, his eyes fixed on the cave entrance before them. Not only did he now have the campfire discussions hanging around in a corner of his mind, he now had the word on Zack worrying him. He clenched his fists; he knew that he couldn't afford to let such thoughts cloud his judgement. Not with another dungeon ahead of them.

Esper and Oscar emerged from the tent and strolled towards the front of the team. Seems like Zack is already being carried back.

"Everyone had a good sleep?" Esper asked, earning a few confirmative yeses from the assembled teams. "Good, because you have a different objective this time." She slowly began to walk along the length of the groups. "Some volunteers have gone on ahead into the dungeon. It's your job to find them, and get them out of the dungeon."

Dan frowned, "Err… how are we going to do that without Expedition Badges?"

"All the volunteers have their own badges or an escape orb on hand. As soon as you find them, they'll use that to get out. If for some reason they have lost their item, then it will be up to you to help guide them out." Esper explained.

"Then how will you know that we 'rescued' them?" Edward inquired, clicking a hoof into the ground.

"Badges and orbs normally drop you back off at the dungeon's entrance." Aidan said, leaning forward so the Skiddo could get a better view. "If someone is hanging back here, they'll see who's arrived."

"Exactly." The psychic type confirmed, turning to face the group proper again. "You will need to search the dungeon, but you also have to look for a specific individual. Oscar will give out a specific floor and contact for you. If you cannot find them or are defeated along the way, then that will count as a failure."

The Bibarel moved along the length of the line, passing on a small slip of paper to each team. Sam took theirs and looked over its details. The sketched image of a bird like Pokémon was shown, and although there wasn't any actual colour, Sam noted the bird's resemblance to that of a Corvisquire. Then of course, there was the floor too. BF3.

"Once you have 'rescued' that volunteer, head through the dungeon and the final camp. With a bit of luck, we might be able to clear the third dungeon today, but that depends on how we progress through here." Esper finished, looking across the teams as they inspected their sheets. "Understood?"

With a final call to confirm that, the Meowstic stepped aside, and Sam glanced over towards Aidan. "Hanging back again?"

Aidan shook his head, "Nah, not this time. Let's do it."

Feeling his lips twist up in faint amusement, they jogged on into the dungeon.


Right from the get go, this was a bigger challenge. Before they had even got out of the first room, or rather, clearing owing to the damaged but still living trees that formed an impenetrable wall around them, they started encountering the first feral Pokémon within the dungeon. A few grass types and bug types roamed around the dungeon, snarling and spitting as they leapt forth at him, trying to take him down with some kind of move they had on hand.

At this point though, Sam was now getting the hang of battling. A dodge here and there, an occasional block and careful use of Ember and Quick Attack proved effective in knocking the ferals out or at the very least, sending them scurrying away. The rock types that showed up were more of challenge, but then Aidan would step up and let rip with Bubble Beam, sending them staggering or flying away himself. It was hard work, there was no denying that. Sam would pant, wiping his eyes as a little bit of sweat ran into them. But his stamina was building, and so was his capabilities. It was clear that Aidan could see that improvement too, all thanks to that ever-bigger grin spreading across his face. Infectious was one way to put it, as the memories of the past day faded away as the pair descended into the dungeon, Sam almost getting drunk on the adrenaline that pumped through his body. Every knockout blow, every dodge only added to the exhilaration of the challenge ahead. He only even stopped to check if hadn't accidently hit the feral Pokémon too hard, and thankfully could still see them breathing. That only added to the catharsis of the journey.

Soon enough, they were on the third floor and began their sweep. But it didn't take long to find their contact. Not by sight anyway, but by sound. A faint, fruity tune that fluttered through the 'corridors' flanked by trees. Ears perked up, Sam led the way, following the song with ease and the odd flick of the rabbit ears.

The Corvisquire sat atop of a boulder at the centre of one clearing, a bored look on his face as with one wing, he somehow was managing to read from a bound book in his grasp. A satchel hung from his side under his free wing as one eye flicked over to the approaching pair. "About time you two showed up! Been busy huh?"

Taken aback, the Scorbunny raised an eyebrow. "Huh? We've not been here that long!"

Aidan rubbed the back of his head, "I can only guess that it's been around say… twenty minutes at least since we came in. Now we've took a couple of knocks on the way but…"

The Corvisquire laughed, rising up to his feet as he somehow managed to slip the book back into the satchel. "I guess to be fair, I have waited for longer than you lot have been in here."

He hopped off the boulder and landed in front of them, bringing himself to his full height. He was actually taller than the both Sam and Aidan, but despite that, the grey-blue bird Pokémon didn't seem that intimidating at all. "That, and I'm normally flying around a lot more."

Sam started rubbing the back of his head, "You are a… well… a bird. But why would you say that in particular? Where do you fly to?"

He chuckled again, flicking a wing to one side. "Everywhere! Can't you tell by these dashing good looks?"


"Bull…" Aidan stuttered, shaking his head but stabbing a finger at the Corvisquire, "I've heard of you. You're Perry. You're the Liaison for Pelipper and TalonKnight Offices."

Perry somehow managed to flash a grin despite the beak. But when he spoke, it was with a somewhat wounded tone. "Just a liaison? Come on, I'm only the quickest post bird around, delivering the most important mail on time!"

It was the Froakie's turn to laugh. "Swellow say's hi. Amongst other things."

"And yet Corviknights are still flying at the Post Office." Perry pointed out, tapping the side of his head with a wing tip, "Raw speed ain't anything, yet I'm still the quickest to get around."

Sam glanced over at Aidan with a sly smirk on his face, the frog Pokémon glowering back before letting out a defeated sigh. "Ok. I get it."

"Don't worry Aidan." Sam replied with a grin, patting his friend on the back. "So, Perry. Why did you volunteer for this then? Don't you have… you know… post to deliver?"

"I'm the quickest post bird around!" Perry exclaimed again, "I'm allowed a day off once in a while. Besides, I like getting a look at… interesting rookies."

"Huh? Interesting rookies?"

The bird hopped up alongside the Scorbunny, resting one wing around him as if wrapping an arm round his shoulder. "Come on, young looking Pokémon waking up in pretty places without the foggiest idea of how he or she got there, inevitably settling down in a town and buddying up with a friendly companion to go on some epic adventures!"

Sam was half frozen in place, stiffening under the bird's wing. Wait… why is he-

"Then again, I've heard of plenty of parents letting their kids run off on their own little adventures with nothing more than a bag full of balls without a care in the world." Perry stated, "Folks are weird."

The Scorbunny blinked, his body easing up. Only a touch though. "N-No offense, but… you're weird…"

"Ha! I'll take that as a compliment. Oh, by the way, that Paras is about to clamp down on your partner's mane."

Sam spun round to find Aidan's eyes widening, the Froakie leaping away as the clawed bug tried to grasp onto him. Sam tried to kick an Ember out, but his foot only hit mid-air as the frog accidently caught his arm instead, causing the Scorbunny to stumble back. Gritting his teeth, he regained his footing, ready to-

The white blade of light cut across the feral Paras like a knife through hot butter. The Paras' eyes widened as was shoved back by the Air Slash, pupils dilating wildly for a second before it finally slumped the ground in a heap.

Barely hiding his gasp, Sam spun on his heel to find the Corvisquire pulling his wing back up and puffing out a breath. That… feels very familiar… a… gun?

"Err… thanks." Aidan sheepishly said, pushing himself back up to his feet. "By the way… you're not going to-"

"Nah, I won't tell that I also just rescued you." Perry whistled with a sly grin, beating his wings to bring himself into the air. "Now, if you excuse me, I better go and report your success. I'll probably see you again when you bugger off to another continent or deal with some cartoonishly bad grunts."

"Erm." Sam started, "That's… great! Wait… what are you saying about cartoons-"

"Too busy to chat now, take care!" Perry exclaimed, before the bird was consumed with a brief flash of light. When the rabbit blinked, the light was gone and so too was Perry.

Sam and Aidan could only stare at that spot of air where the bird had once been flying. The Scorbunny's mouth hung agape, trying to process what the ever-living hell Perry had been talking about. Adventures? Cartoon teams? What? His entire body slumped, as if his muscles had melted not from relief, but more as if they had quite literally deflated. "Aidan… what… was that all about?"

"I… don't have the foggiest idea and I really don't think about it. All I know is… Perry is just… weird."

Sam drummed his fingers into his fur, "I… can agree with that…"

He finally turned away, "Come on… let's get out of here."


There were less ferals to get through on the way out of the dungeon, and it didn't take long for the two to clear the remaining floors. Enough that it was mid-day by the time they emerged from the dungeon.

Jack was already waiting for them, a little flutter of his wings confirming his delight. "You guys were quick! Esper already contacted me, you found Perry?"

"We did." Sam sighed, the adrenaline beginning to run dry in his now sore body. "That was… quite the encounter."

"Has anyone else got through yet?" Aidan asked, neatening up his bubbly mane.

"Not yet." Jack confirmed, "You're the first team that made it."

"Alright! Two down!" Bruce declared from over Sam's shoulder, the Bulbasaur leading Team Forest out of the exit tunnel. "One more to-"

And right on cue, the dinosaur slumped, "Not again…"

"If it's any consolation." Aidan said with a wink, "Alice isn't here."

Sam narrowed his eyes, giving the Froakie a sidelong glance, his own concerns for the Buneary's wellbeing now returning to the surface. Come on Aidan… maybe she won't be so bad if folks didn't automatically just put her down.

Regardless, Bruce let out an enormous sigh, perking up a little bit. "Glad we could beat her then."


The group turned to find Jack pointing over his shoulder, "Might want to clear the entrance, the next camp is already set up."

It became plainly obvious when the next team arrived. Sam, Aidan and Bruce's team were beginning to settle into the smaller second camp when a sharp cry pieced the air, coming in from the direction of the preceding dungeon. So loud that Sam's ears automatically flinched, a soft ache returning to his ear drums. "Not ag-"

Nia burst into the camp just as Sam yanked his ears down to protect himself, but she wasn't cheerful or happy. No, she was hyperventilating, her movements too erratic to hint at a successful clearing of the dungeon. And most of all, her voice, whilst still loud, was not ear-destructively loud either.

"Please! We need help!"

Sam didn't hesitate, bounding across to her. "Nia! What's going on!?"

The bat Pokémon bobbled up and down frantically, "We found our contact, but we need to wake him up, then Alice got mad with Dan, Dan started getting really mad, all of our stuff ended up all over the place-"

What is she-

He shook his head, "Whoa whoa!" he barked, raising her hands, "Slow down! Take a breath!"

Quite literally, the Noibat took a deep breath, and her body stabilised. "Okay… we found the contact, but he had nearly fainted when we found him. We had an apple to spare… but… err…"

She hesitated, feet twitching before she continued, "Dan had started getting spooked and was… halfway through eating it… Alice got angry with him at that, snatched the apple away and used it to rouse our contact so he could leave… but Dan then got really mad… he was starting to get hungry."

"Hold up." Sam stressed, folding his arms, "You're telling me that you guys have got into an argument… over an apple?"

"You don't want a Morpeko complaining about being hungry." Aidan stressed, finally hopping up to his side.

Nia dipped her head, eyelids drooping, "Actually… I was kind hoping you can help calm them down…"

A gigantic bang echoed from behind her, a faint shudder running through his chest as his ears just picked up the angry, yet familiar voice of Alice. "Why won't you stay down you little ****!"

Fists tightening, Sam sprung forward and back down the path, ignoring the calls of the other Pokémon behind him. This wasn't something for fun anymore, this was something that he needed to break up.

He found them outside the exit of the second dungeon, Alice backflipping away from a yellow bolt of energy that struck the ground where she once stood. Dan stood off to oneside, and yet… it didn't look much like Dan at all. His body was the same shape, but his fur was now purple and black, and his eyes were a dark, angry red. The hairs on Sam's neck rose up, it was as if the meek and nervous Pokémon that was at the campfire had completely transformed into some kind of demon. Geez – this is what happens when he gets hungry!?

Another bolt of electricity shot out again from the hamster, and Alice once more evaded the attack, the Buneary wincing as she stumbled on her landing. That snapped Sam out of it, and he once more sprinted forward. I've got to try and break this up! But how?!

Alice was already coiling up, teeth bared as if ready to lunge for the Morpeko. Sparks flowed around the latter's body, prepared to fire another bolt off. Sod it!

The two opponents took one step forward, but one step too late as Sam skidded in between them. "Cut it out!" he barked; arms outstretched. Both Pokémon jerked back for a moment, a flicker of confusion running across their faces. Alice recovered first, her face somehow reddening under her fur. "What the hell are you doing you idiot!?" she raged.

"Trying to break up a fight!" Sam snapped, "All this over a bloody apple?! What are you two thinking!?"

"You don't break up a fight with a hangry Morpeko!" Alice snapped, "Unless you've brought something for him to eat!"

"To eat? Why would-"

He nearly kicked himself as the truth finally kicked in. Hangry. Morpeko had one hell of an appetite. And when they got hungry…


That was when Dan's teeth chowed down onto his arm.

The pain rushed up his arm like wildfire, an agonised yell rang through the air as he tried to yank his arm away from the Morpeko, his teeth sinking deeper into his arm until a faint flicker of blood began to rise to the surface. "Hungry… meat!" Dan growled, gnawing on the flesh of his arm. "G-Get off me!" Sam bellowed, slamming his free hand down onto the hamster's head, the creature barely flinching as his eyes brightened, biting down even further. Desperate, Sam kept trying to pull away, hitting Dan again but to no avail. The pain was all he could think about, and how to get free of it all.

That was when Dan's eyes widened.

Promptly followed by a pair of kicks straight into Morpeko's head. With a yelp, the teeth were released and Sam hit the ground, clutching his bloodied arm. The pain pulsing through his flesh, he managed to look back up to find the Morepko trying to push himself back up. Alice had placed herself in between the Scorbunny and the hangry hamster, teeth bared. "Think you can eat us big boy?" she snarled, her ears now glowing white. "Why don't you choke on this!"

Dan's eyes widened as one ear, then the next sprung forward across Dan's body. The first blow staggered him back, the second punched him away with a crack into a nearby boulder.

"Dan!" Nia cried, the bat flying in close to Dan's side. Sam shoved himself upright, his heart racing at the danger. "Nia! Don't get close to him."

The hamster shook his head, eyes glowing brighter as they locked onto Nia. Teeth bared, he leaned forward, arm outstretched-

A green vine flicked in front of him, a red orb held in its grasp. Dan's mouth immediately snapped open, eyes wide as he leapt forward and grasped onto the apple. The vine released its grip, letting the Morpeko pull the fruit clear as it staggered. With one fell swoop, Dan swallowed the apple whole before sliding back down the rock, eyes slipping shut as he began to chew. Nia touched down next to the Morpeko, a little winged hand resting on his shoulder as Aidan, Jack and Bruce's Team walked into the clearing.

Groaning, Sam pushed himself back up and onto his feet. Huh… you can calm him down just like that? One apple? I guess it starts small.

Nia spun round to Alice, pupils turning to slits. "Why did you have to keep pushing him so hard!?" she snapped.

Alice snarled back, "What? You're blaming me for this!?"

"I could have kept him calm enough to get here!" Nia shouted, holding out another apple for the Morpeko to chew on. "If you explained things through to him before you ripped that apple off him…"

"And leave that contact to rot? Didn't you want to help him?"

"Of course I do, but did you also have to be such a jerk about it?! Especially with how he was struggling in there! Worrying about what was coming up next!"

"What else would you expect me to do?" Alice growled, jabbing a finger at the distracted Morpeko, "And if he can't handle some kind of tension, then he shouldn't be here!"

Nia looked away, focusing on Dan, who's fur was slowly beginning to return to normal. Unable to answer. The Buneary looked across the gathered group. Jack looked on with concern, but the others glowered at her with dark looks. Aidan's own glare was so sharp, it felt like it was cutting straight through her.

Slowly, he pulled a thin smirk, one so venomous that it could poison Sam just from looking at. "Once again, all you do is just get people hurt, don't you? You can put on the tough girl act, but hurting people is all you are really good at."

Aidan… Sam thought, his body stiffening and shuddering. What the hell are you doing!?

Alice took one step forward, eyes flashing red whilst she shuddered before them. "If you really think I'm like that, then why don't you put me down? If you really think I'm nothing than a monster, then come on! Finish me off already!" she screamed, her entire body tensioning.

Jack fluttered in, "Hey guys… this isn't cool, can we just-"

"Come on then!" Bruce snapped, vines rising from his back, "I'm looking for some payb-"


Everyone froze, staring with utter shock. Sam had stepped in front of Alice, blocking Bruce' own attempt to come forward and attack. His chest burned, overwhelming the now distant warmth of his blood dripping down his arm. His foot rested on a single pebble, a faint wisp of smoke slowly rising from the heated stone. "Can we stop having ago at each of other because of curses or any bloody pointless bullshit!" he barked.

"Sam…" Aidan started, but Sam swivelled on him, his fist tightening. "No! You and Bruce have been just as big a pair of assholes yourselves!"

Bruce could only blink in confusion and shock, whilst Aidan looked genuinely pained at the statement, eyes flicking away. Sam took a glance behind him, to find even Alice was stunned and speechless, her mouth hanging ajar as she was frozen in place. "If we keep fighting each other like this, then we might as well pack our things and go home! Because at this rate, none of us are worthy of joining the Guild! People made some mistakes, so just take it on the chin and move the bloody hell on rather than picking at each other over it!"

The clearing fell into silence, every pair of eyes fixed onto the panting Sam. A part of him screamed at this madness, calling everyone a jerk for having ago at other jerks. But it had to be said, he was just tired of all this antagonism. All this word-shiving.

The ache began to return the front of his mind, and the Scorbunny slumped as he grasped onto his bleeding arm. The Yanma, part of Bruce's team, fluttered forward and tapped on the Bulbasaur's side, whispering something to him. Faint enough that even Sam couldn't hear it. Bruce's features softened for a moment, before shaking his head and backing away. "Fine." He growled, "I don't need to prove myself to you anyway."

Together, he and his team turned and made their way back up towards the camp.

"Oh no no no… I-I'm so sorry, I just couldn't-"

The Scorbunny turned to find that Dan's fur colour had returned to normal and his eyes wide in horror, staring down at his bloodied arm.

"It's fine." Sam said woodenly, waving his unwounded arm loosely in reply, "It happens."

Dan could only look away, eyes squeezed shut.

Nia helped the Morpeko to his feet, before looking back to Buneary, her tone surprisingly soft, "Sorry." She said, "We'll leave a seat for you at the camp.". Tearing her eyes away, Nia and Dan set off to follow Team Forest. Jack taking one final look at the remaining Pokémon, his eyes sparkling for a moment as he looked towards Sam, before finally setting off to follow.

When Sam turned back to Alice, she was still half frozen, shoulders slumped. As if struggling to process the whole scene. All her original malice was now gone. Now she looked… actually rather sad. "A-Alice?" he asked quietly, his next words failing to materialise.

She blinked once, her clouded eyes clearing as she looked back over him. She took a breath, as if ready to say something, a hand resting on her chest… but then the deep scrawl returned. "I told you." She finally said, "Stop trying to help me."

Sam felt a pang of grief as the Buneary shook her head, and hopped back down the path after the others. Alice…

He went to turn after her, only to stumble forward – and into the supporting blue arm. "I've got you partner." Aidan said quietly, pushing the Scorbunny back up. Sam could only blink, "You… you're not angry?"

"Not really." Aidan bluntly admitted, "I think we all needed that drilled in our heads, me included. Thanks for reminding me about that."

His limbs heavy, Sam could only return a shaky nod. A-Aidan doesn't mind? Even after that?

"Trust me, you'll still my mate." Aidan stressed, "We all have bad moments. Now come on, let's get that arm checked out."

Sam blew out a bemused wheeze. "Huh… I didn't think I would have someone try and eat me today…"

Aidan let out a quiet chuckle, "It'll make a good story later. Either way, nothing a good oran berry can fix."

The two shared a steadier, more relaxed laugh as they made their way back towards the camp.

Once again, I'm plagued with word count creep. This chapter ended up being far, far bigger than I was originally planning so it took such a long time to write. I'm starting to get more of an idea of how these characters are starting to shape for down the line too. So hopefully we can see more of this develop further in time.

Hopefully the next chapter won't be anywhere near as long as this. Hope you guys enjoy it!


Active Member


The teams didn't have that long to recover. It was a good job that Pokémon injuries healed pretty quickly, especially when said injuries weren't severe. Indeed, with one decent Oran berry and a little bit of care, Sam's arm had almost completely healed. All that remained was a faint red mark where Dan had tried to chomp it to bits. Even the ache had gradually faded away.

As a result, Sam was perked up again and ready to go when Esper summoned the teams one last time around the entrance of the third dungeon. Sam glanced across the faces of the teams. No longer did the Pokémon here seem as excited or at the very least, as relaxed as before. Now they seemed stiffer and more focused. They all knew this was the final dungeon they had to clear. Get through this, and perhaps, just perhaps they would have a chance to make it into the Guild as rescuers.

Well, not all of them now.

Whilst they had waited at the camp, Edward and Denver's group had quickly arrived not far after the rest of them. But then there was a delay. The other two teams took longer. Minutes crept by with neither team emerging from the dungeon. The worry had only began to grow amongst the recruits at their absence until finally, together, the two other teams emerged. Physically, they seemed fine, but they looked deflated. Sam frowned in confusion, before quickly feeling sorrow as their contacts emerged from the dungeon directly behind them.

There wasn't much time to work through this, as not long afterwards, Esper and Oscar had arrived. Esper took a moment to move the two teams to one side in order to talk things through with them. He didn't know what Esper said to them, not that he actually saw her lips moving, but they seemed to perk up a little bit at whatever was said. As if some of their disappointment was washed free.

They were being escorted back to Robinswood now alongside their contacts. Now just the four teams remained.

The Skiddo-Skorpi duo of Edward and Denver.

Team Forest, with Bruce at its head alongside his Yanma and Ducklett companions.

The now reassembled trio of Nia, Dan and Alice, where even the latter seemed more upright and at attention.

And finally, Aidan and Sam himself.

Well… here's to hoping we can all get through this.

Sam's fists tightened, eyes narrowing as he looked towards the entrance. No! Forget about hoping. We'll beat this!

"Well done everyone." Esper started, hands placed behind her back. "You've done well for your first set of dungeons. But this is going to be the final test before we can consider you to potentially join the Guild."

She began to slowly walk across the front of the group, Jack and Oscar hanging back to give her space. "This third Dungeon is the largest fragment left in Broken Wood. Nine floors total. You don't have an item to retrieve or a Pokémon to rescue. Instead, you simply have to reach the top."

Sam blinked, the tension in his body fading away. "That's it?" he asked uncertainly.

"That is it." she confirmed. "Don't think that means it's going to be easy for you. This is a tougher dungeon, and you have more floors to clear."

Aidan crossed his arms, the frog's face tightening. "There has to be more to it than that."

"Nup nup." Oscar said.

"Nope. We wouldn't be cool if we said that." Jack added.

Undeterred, Aidan simply lifted a finger up, "Yeah, b-"

"Aidan." Alice simply stated, pulling a shrug. "Best just play along with it."

Aidan opened his mouth again, as if ready to spit out some kind of rebuttal. Oh no you don't.

The Scorbunny let slip a quiet cough, and the Froakie froze. His eyes flicked between the two rabbits, before with a wiggle of his fingers, he lowered the hand.

And with that, Esper continued her short stroll in front of the assembled Pokémon. "To prewarn you, this dungeon is looking in a more dire state than the others. So keep moving. We'll be giving you Escape Orbs as a precaution."

Oscar and Jack then stepped forward, passing out the orbs to each of the team members. As the Butterfree handed the Orb to Sam, he took a moment to examine the strange object. It was smaller than he imagined, fitting quite neatly into the palm of his hand, it's bluish-green surface barely flashing any reflection save for a tiny flicker of sunlight. It was pretty light too, and easily slipped into his satchel.

"Remember, unless it is a genuine emergency, using that Orb will count as a failure." Esper stated.

"B-But if we get to the top… how do we get out?" Dan asked.

Denver's pincers clicked excitedly, "Ha! I actually know this one. If you just walk back the way you came, you should find yourself back at the entrance."

An ear dipping, Sam rubbed his neck. "How does that even work…"

"Magic!" Nia cheered, shattering the tension as Bruce let out a hearty laugh at that and the group began to relax. Even Alice seemed to loosen up, a tiny flicker of a smirk emerging.

Esper seemed to struggle herself to hold back the tiniest flicker of a smile, before she and her fellow rescuers stepped to one side. "With that, I have nothing else to say. Good luck."

As Bruce's team stepped forward, the Bulbasaur hesitated before turning back to the others. "Hey, how about we all step in together? You know, just for one hoorah?"

With a flutter of her wings, Nia bounced up into the air. "Yeah! We can do that!"

Edward nodded, "Sure. Why not?"

Sam and Aidan shared a glance, the Froakie's lips pulling into a grin, confirming the support. The water-type must have seen Sam's own forming smile as he turned back towards Bruce. "Sounds like a plan, forwards and onwards!"

With a few laughs spreading, the ten Pokémon gathered round into a tighter cluster and with their spirits high, stepped into the blackness of the tunnel.


The joy quickly vanished as they emerged onto the first floor. Sam blinked as a chill settled into his chest. Esper wasn't lying when she said the Dungeon wasn't faring that well compared to the first. The walls were darker, as if burnt or charred from intense heat. The boulders were bigger and more defined with sharp cracks. All that made the walls that surrounded them looked like they had chunks bitten out of them, and made the place feel like a hastily excavated mine rather than a well-built series of rooms. Even the entire chamber felt darker… and warmer too.

But the bigger problem was that other than Aidan, no one else was with them. His limbs shivering, the Scorbunny spun on his heel, trying to see if the others had just appeared further away from them.

But none of them were there.

Aidan raised a brow for a moment, before pulling an unsurprised shrug. "Well, should have figured that would happen."

Sam turned towards his friend, directing all of his focus onto him. "Aidan, tell me this is a normal thing." He asked, searching for any sign that said something bad had happened. But the frog merely nodded, "It can. If multiple teams enter at once, sometimes they get split up. It's not exactly unheard of. They'll be fine. We should focus on just getting to the top of this dungeon."

Feeling the chill roll off him much as the initial worry did, the Scorbunny straightened up. "Alright… let's get this finished."

And with that, the two began their ascent. It was easy than before, there were still feral Pokémon to battle, but there wasn't as many as before, as if even they had started realising that this dungeon was on its last legs. A faint dripping sound echoed through the corridors and occasionally, they could hear the sound of crumbling rocks, somewhere out of sight.

Indeed, that only emboldened the two Pokémon to speed up, and hurry on through the dungeon. They barely stopped to gather what few items were available on the floors, nor did they chuckle or laugh in the fights as before. They moved as fast as they dared, pushing up towards the upper floors until finally, they emerged once more into the light.

The summit of the dungeon was open air, with a hard floor made of almost completely smooth stone. Surrounding them on all sides was an impenetrable line of damaged trees and directly before them a spire of rock towered above even them by at least a dozen metres.

"Looks like this is it." Sam noted breathlessly, glancing back behind him to find nothing more than a rock wall and the tunnel they had emerged from. "So much for a pretty view."

"Hey, enjoy it." Aidan replied with a smirk, "Most dungeon ends aren't that bad."

The Froakie glanced around, "And to the looks of it. We've got here first."

"Either that, or the others have already got here and left." The Scorbunny pointed out. Tapping his foot, he glanced around at the trees once more, looking for some other feature amongst them. "So… what are we supposed to do?"

"We can have a look around." Aidan said, "Then we can head on down. As long as we don't use the Escape Orb, we should be-" his yellow eyes widened. "Look! At the base of the spire!".

The Frog Pokémon hopped on ahead, and Sam's gaze drifted down towards the rock pillar. His heart soared as he let out a faint gasp.

Sat at the base was a single, large wooden chest, secured with a metal clasp.

Blinking at the shocking sight, Sam jogged after the Froakie. "I-Is this supposed to be here?"

"Who cares?!" Aidan exclaimed as he stopped a metre off from the big treasure chest. "Either it's got some really cool loot, or it's part of the test!"

A warmth settled into Sam's chest as he struggled not to laugh, the memory of finding that odd chest still fresh on his mind as he tugged his red jacket down. "You're not wrong there Aidan b-"

His voice trailed off, the warmth fading away. "W-Wait a second. Part of the test?" A heavy fog clouded the Scorbunny's mind as he recalled the brief before entering the dungeon. Of how the objective in mind was so mindbogglingly simple and yet… here was a treasure chest, ripe for the taking.

This feels… this feels like too much of a trap.

His body already beginning to tense up, he could just make out Aidan's hand reach out for the chest. "Aidan wait! I think this is-"

The sky seemed to darken at the corner of his vision, and instinct compelled Sam to look up.

And naturally saw the shining bird screaming down towards him and Aidan.

Adrenaline rushing through him, he leapt towards his companion, "Aidan! Watch out!"


Sam grabbed hold of Aidan's shoulder and yanked him back, away from the chest and the incoming missile. He ignored Aidan's yelp as they hit the ground, the silver shape flashing over their heads. "Arceus what the hell is that!?" Aidan barked.

"I don't know! It's fast whatever it is!" Sam snapped, pushing himself back upright.

"It is I!"

The attacker shot out from above the trees before pulling up to a halt. It was a silver metallic bird with red, sharp blades in place of feathers on the wings. Yellow eyes locked on to their pair, it's blue claws glinting in the light. "I am Skarmory! What are you doing on my territory!?"

Sam jerked back, "Wait-what? Your territory!? This is a dungeon! Isn't it dangerous-"

"It is my territory!" They exclaimed, beak clicking, "I set this up after brats like you drove me from my home! Causing all those terrible earthquakes! I could never get any sleep! And I kept losing my treasure!"

Aidan hopped on forward, his eyes narrowing. "Unless you happen to be a legendary Pokémon, I doubt any Pokémon can just cause earthquakes! Sure, we've had more lately but that's nothing to do with the Pokémon here!"

"And I can say Aidan knows what he is talking about!" Sam shouted, clenching his fists tight, before sighing, forcing his body to relax, before taking a step forward towards Skarmory, palms open and facing the avian. "Look, we didn't know you were here, we'll just… head back the way we came and-"

The Skarmory let out a painful screech, enough that Sam recoiled as if knives were stabbing into his ears. Desperately, he yanked them down with his hands, he really had enough of getting deafened now! "No! You will just come back with others and drive me from my home again! I will not allow this! You will die here, forgotten by comrades!"

The bird screeched again, and Sam pulled his ears down even more, his head throbbing at the cry. "Sam!" Aidan shouted, barely audible over the cries of the Pokémon. "I don't think Skarmory is gonna listen!"

As the cry ended, Sam released his ears, springing back up as he glared at the bird. "I think you're right." He uttered, rubbing his feet against the rocky ground and feeling the fire warm up within him. Across to his left, he could make out Aidan's main rising back, as if ready to fire off a water attack. "We've got the type advantage." Aidan stressed, "Just keep hitting him until he goes down!"

Yeah… if Skarmory wants to kill us, then he's got another thing coming!

The bird Pokémon touched down on the ground, wings stretched out and the red feathers glinting, ready to kill. "Then come then! I shall re-"

Suddenly, the ground shuddered. Sam blinked, his focus cracking. Huh?

The ground stilled, then began to shake again underneath him. Gently at first, then more sharply, enough that Sam had to push a foot over to one side to maintain his balance. The trees swayed around them and a quick glance to his left showed Aidan was compensating himself, a grimace forming across his face. Earthquake? There's an actual earthquake here? Does… does Skarmory have a point?

As the shaking ceased again, Sam turned back to Skarmory, "Hey, is that typ-"

His voice trailed away as he watched the metal bird staring down at the ground, eyes blinking rapidly as their head shook from side to side. Sam took another step forward, "Skarmory, are these the earthquakes-"

The bird's head snapped up, yellow eyes wide as they shook their head. "No! This wasn't part of the script!"

Sam blinked again, his heart missing a beat. "Script?"

With a flash of a wing, a sheet of paper flopped down onto the ground in front of the pair. On its surface were… symbols that Sam didn't even recognise at all. But the structure was obvious. Lines running from one side to the other, running down the page in separate lines. "I wasn't going to kill you! My name isn't even Skarmory anymore! I was just helping the Guild with the trials!"

Aidan growled, rubbing his forehead. "Of course, send us up here, place a big chest to lure us in and then have us fight a stronger Pokémon… I should have seen that coming."

The Froakie's eyes widened though, his head snapping back up. "Wait… so if Skar- sorry, what's your name?"


"If the earthquakes Emrys is talking about are supposed to just be the backstory of this fight, then that means…"

"These are actual Earthquakes." Sam quietly said, his eyes drifting back to the tunnel, his entire body going cold. The state of that dungeon, with its crumbling walls and the sounds of collapse, even the dripping water… all of that was a sign of what was coming. And that was on top of the knowledge that the Mystery Dungeons were collapsing. That could only mean one thing.


And on cue, the main quake hit. The low, but loud rumble rang through the earth as the ground suddenly shook beneath him. Sam stumbled again, his knees buckling as he tried to stay upright. The trees shook again, far more violently, branches snapping free and collapsing the ground.

Aidan's eyes widened, his head snapping around at the shuddering ground. "We need to get out of here!"

Sam turned back to the tunnel, "What about the others!?" he barked. "They're still in there!"

"They have the escape orbs!"

"But what if they don't work!?" Sam pointed out, gritting his teeth, "What if they try to press on?!"

Cursing under his breath, the Froakie spun back on him, "Even if we head back down, we'll just end up where we started!"

"Use your's!" Emrys screeched, wings stretched wide. "I'll wait for as long as I can in case anyone else arrives, but you must leave now!"

"Sam!" Aidan shouted, "We don't have much a choice!". Reaching into his satchel, Aidan pulled out the greenish-blue orb. Sam flicked his gaze between the tunnel and his own bag, half begging for an excuse for him to stay, at least make sure they knew what was happening. But logic won out and with a curse of his own, he pulled the orb out of his own satchel. "How do these things wo-"

The almighty crack rang out, the ground jerking away from underneath him. His foot twisting under him, Sam cried out and landed flat onto his face, the orb bouncing out of his grasp. He could barely hear Aidan's and Emrys' own cries as something thundered over his shoulder.

The cave entrance was crashing down, boulders shaking loose and tumbling down with a painful bang, each rock adding another piece of barrier to the entrance of the jungle.

"The escape orbs!" Aidan screamed, and Sam spun round to find the two orbs side by side. Pushing himself to his feet, Sam stumbled forward, reaching out.

Another crack shot through the air like a gunshot, the ground splitting open before his eyes as the earth shook even harder. He reached out, to try and at least grab on of the orbs. But his fingers clawed only at thin air, the orbs slipping over the edge. Peering down, he could only watch in horror as the escape orbs fell down the fissure towards an orange glow in the darkness.

"****!" Sam barked, rolling back up right only to find that the fissure was widening. Aidan stood shakingly at the other side, head darting left and right as the two different sides tremored in different directions, more cracks forming across the surface. Emrys' was luckier, the metal bird already airborne and hovering above their heads. "Hang on! I'll fly you out!"

"You better hurry!" Aidan shouted, fear now flooding through his voice as another crack sprung into existence right in front of him. But as he stumbled back, there was a sickening snap in the air, and the patch of ground Aidan broke free of the rest. Sam's heart missed a beat, fearing the rock would fall into oblivion. But it jerked to a halt, a thread still holding it.

But it was enough, Aidan slipping onto his back and sliding down the rocky slope towards the abyss, clawing to hold on. "Aidan!" Sam screamed, throwing himself to the edge the fissure and landing on his front, he already knew Aidan had no chance of stopping his fall, so he the next best thing, "Jump for my hand!"

"I'll try!" Aidan shouted, hands failing to slow himself down as he shoved himself back onto his feet, still sliding closer to the edge. He steadied himself, and seconds from the edge, he bounced up into the air and towards the Scorbunny. Sam reached out, fingers straining to grasp onto his friend. Aidan reached out. Come on, grab hold-

The ground rushed upwards, crushing into his chest and lifting him upward.

Aidan flailed in the air, out of reach, before his eyes widened and the Pokémon began to fall.

Sam screamed as the Froakie fell. A second later, the Skarmory dove after him, claws reaching out. A burst of hope flared in the Scorbunny's chest. But then the bird to cried out as steam flashed across their path, blasting the poor bird and forcing them to pull up.

Aidan vanished out of sight, deeper into the expanding fissure.

Sam wanted to scream, beg for Emrys to get down further, but he didn't have time to process this, as the ground beneath him shuddered again, steam erupting randomly all around him. Another jerk, and Sam was grasping onto the ledge of his own broken platform, trying to stop himself from flying off head first into the depths

Emrys, their silver armour scorched, ascended up next to him, eyes strained as they ignored the pain no doubt running across their skin. "Come! Take my claw!"

Sam blinked, somehow managing to get back upright even as the ground was breaking apart around him. "But A-"

"We have no time! We'll find another way!"

After a flicker of hesitation, followed by painful realisation, Sam leapt forward and into the air. He winced as the claws of the Skarmory tightened round his arm, his jacket flapping in the wind. With a beat of their wings, Emrys started to gain altitude above the summit. "I'll take you down to the second camp! Esper and Team S-"

Another hiss rang through the air, and Emrys' scream nearly shattered Sam's eardrums. Sam screamed with them, his head in agony as the knives sank in once more into his skin.

But when they faded away, his eyes snapped open to find Emrys being shoved away by a blast of red-hot steam.

Pushed away…

His eyes widened, and his heart raced as he realised that Emrys' claw was no longer wrapped around his arm…

Sam could only scream as he fell into the fissure and into darkness…

Well, after much delay, I've finally got Chapter XVI uploaded! I can only apologise this took so long, as I had spent the last few weeks getting stuff sorted out for a new job. That and the release of a few titles including Pokemon Legends didn't help matters, plus all the other projects I've been working on. I managed to get this shorter chapter put together in a few days. Hopefully I can get alot more chapters in play soon!

Again, sorry I'm late with the update!


Active Member


Sam could only scream as he fell into the Abyss, the light of day rapidly fading away into darkness. His mind ran on autopilot, running the same words like a constant loop through his mind.

I'm gonna die.

Even with in his panic, his fear… a part of him was bracing for the inevitable impact, for each of his bones to break in an instant.

That was when he saw it. Rushing towards him from above. So faint and so fast that he barely registered it. The Skarmory, Emrys? No, it was too ghostly, completely the wrong shape.

It flooded his vision… a hand reaching out as a scream, not his own, pierced the air…


He awoke to find his entire body throbbing. Every bit of his skin, every inch of muscle pulsed with a soft, prickly pain as if he had walked through a field of thorns.

Firstly, he noticed it was more annoying than painful.

Secondly, he realised he was still alive.

Sam's eyes slowly flickered open, a groan escaping his lips. Reddish-grey rocks dominated his view, clustered around a black pit that seemed to continue on to the depths of the world… no… back to the surface. He was on his back.

How… how am I alive?

Wincing, Sam slowly pushed himself upright into a sitting position and began to scan himself over. He was bruised, and his back ached like nobodies' business, but he wasn't in pieces at the very least.

The image of that ghost, that hand reaching out… it came right back to his mind. W-what was that? Did it save me? Maybe it-

Then the realisation hit him. If he made it down – the Scorbunny leapt back out to his feet, teeth gritted as his body throbbed in protest. "Aidan!" he shouted, finding himself surrounded by more red-grey boulders, some of which looked particularly sharp and jagged as they pointed up towards the sky. It was also then did Sam also felt the heat of this place. It wasn't uncomfortable, but he could physically feel the sweat beginning to build up.

But regardless of his scanning around, there was no sign of Aidan.

"Aidan!" he bellowed, blowing out his lungs of air in the process, hoping against hope that his friend was somewhere nearby. But Aidan didn't respond.

Instead, another voice screamed from the rubble, "H-Hey! I-Is someone down here?!"

Sam felt a weight shift off his shoulders, Bruce?

He started to run towards the source, only to nearly cry out as another jolt of pain ran through the whole of his body. Tightening his fists, he transitioned into a jog, and made his way through the boulders.

In a clearing at the edge of the field, a bruised Bruce was eying the field with worried red eyes. And alongside him, was the seemingly okay, but very panicky looking Nia, the bat-Pokémon spinning round on the spot in mid-air, desperately searching herself. Bruce's eyes widened as Sam emerged, "S-Sam!? Are you alright?!"

Nia spun round, her voice shrill but thankfully restrained in volume, "You're hurt!"

Sam waved a hand, brushing it off as he reached for his pouch, looking for the spare oran berry he had picked up before climbing into the dungeon. "It's better than it looks, what about you two?"

"We're fine!" Nia snapped; all signs of her former bubbliness now eradicated. "But I can't find Dan or Alice anywhere!"

"And I have no idea where my team is either." Bruce growled, stomping the ground beneath his feet. "One minute we'll just going through this room, the next the floor opened up beneath us! What the hell happened!"

"Earthquake." Sam confirmed, gritting his teeth, "Aidan and I managed to get up to the summit, but then the quake hit."

Bruce blinked, "So… does that this is another part of the dung-"

"Bruce." Sam interrupted, shaking his head, "I think the dungeon is gone."

The Bulbasaur shuddered, looking over the cavern they found themselves in with a nervous and resigned eye. "Y-yeah… I think you're right. Those walls didn't really look good…"

"Can we stop talking about this place and please focus on FINDING OUR FRIENDS!" Nia screeched. Sam cried out, clutching onto his ears as the amplified cry clawed at his eardrums. The crackle of rocks cracking against rock walls loud enough to somehow reach his ears anyway.

"For the love of-" Bruce snapped, spinning round on the bat Pokémon with burning red eyes, "Do you want to bring the place down on us!?"

Nia rapidly shook her head, a look of shock evident. "S-Sorry, but we can't just sit here and-"

"Alright enough!" Sam barked, stunning the two other Pokémon into silence as they turned towards him. Rearing back, Sam took in a breath, feeling his body aching that bit less. "Right now, we need to work out a way out of here and get help… and hopefully find everyone else on the way."

Bruce and Nia shared a glance between each other, the anger and concern visibly simmering down before they could finally share a nod. Sam let out a sigh, "Alright… let's see…". He rose up onto his toes and began to scan the area around them, searching for any potential exit. The last thing they needed was to find that the only way out was straight up. Only Nia had a decent chance of probably heading up that way, but with the memory of Emrys getting blasted by that superhot steam fresh on his mind… even that wasn't certain.

Thankfully, he eyed the mouth of a tunnel built into one side of the craggy chamber they found themselves in. It was dark and ominous, but at this point, it seemed like it was their only path forward. "There." Sam declared, pointing at the opening, "We'll just have to make sure we keep climbing up."

"It's b-better than sticking here for sure…" Nia replied, clearly nervous.

Bruce meanwhile, took a moment to stare at the opening for a couple of seconds, mind deep in thought before he turned back towards Sam. "Sounds like a plan, lead the way!"

It was now Sam's turn to hesitate, glancing between the two Pokémon who were now looking up – and down – to him. Suddenly being thrown in charge wasn't exactly what he wanted, but the realisation quickly wormed its way in. They had no time to debate this, not if they wanted to get to the surface or find the others. If I could survive the fall… then surely Aidan would have had to have made it!

Rubbing his hands together, Sam nodded sharply. "Alright, follow me!"


The good news was that this place wasn't another Mystery Dungeon. It seemed that the earthquake had completely broken apart the third Broken Wood dungeon.

The bad news was it was a damn maze. The trio moved through rocky tunnels and small chambers at a slow but steady pace, trying to make their way forward. Each of these should have naturally been dark, if not for the soft red glow radiating from cracks in the floor and occasionally the walls. Sometimes the path they would take would offer some progress, allowing them to rise up to the surface. At others, they would walk down one tunnel only to find their path blocked with a pile of rubble. No one wanted to try and clear a path, less they cause another – lethal – cave in in the process. And it wasn't just the signs of potential magna that were a problem, it was the steam too. Every so often, a puff of stream would erupt from one of the cracks. They weren't being fired off with the same force as Sam had previously seen, but that could change all too quickly and he wasn't keen to find out.

Sam could almost taste the tension and the fear in the air. Nia was still twitching, 'jumping' in mid-air at the slightest noise, be it from the steam or rock chinking on rock. Bruce looked a bit steadier. At first glance anyway. His eyes were constantly flicking towards the cracks surrounding them. Sam could only imagine the grass-type fear. Out of the three of them, Bruce probably had the most to worry about magma bursting free into the caves.

As for the Scorbunny himself, he managed to bottle his fear up the best he could. Nearly getting killed a few times in short succession could do that. But even so, his concern for the others formed into a solid lump in his throat. Where was Aidan? Did he fall into another cavern? What about Alice and Dan? Or Edward and Denver? Or the rest of Bruce's team?

What about Emrys? Were they taken out by a blast of steam or were they still flying out there? And what about Esper's team? Could they have got-

He clenched his fists, trying to focus on the task at hand and failing. Damn it, where are they?

They started down another tunnel, climbing higher up towards a four-way junction directly ahead of them. "H-How big is this place?" Nia asked worryingly, her eyes drifting back the way they came. "You don't think… that it could be that place that Edward talked about?"

Sam glanced over at her, "The dungeon with those Guardians?"

"Y-yeah! We are under Broken Wood… what's left of it…"

"That's just a story." Bruce grumbled, grinding his teeth. "This place doesn't like a dungeon either."

"Maybe this is what's left of it." Sam mused.

"I kinda doubt tha-"

As reached the junction, a red shape dashed out of the corridor to their right. The lumpy head swivelling round towards them, eyes bloodshot. A Magby. With Nia and Bruce gasping over his shoulder, Sam dragged his foot back and letting the surge of heat run over. He could only hope the others would get back behind him.

The Magby stumbled back, nearly tripping on a stone and tumbling over. Its entire body quivered, the magna Pokémon panting with puffs of hot air. That was when Sam realised it wasn't angry at all.

It was terrified.

The Pokémon snarled as Sam reached out with a cautious hand, confirming its Feral nature as it tried to pick itself up. A green vine snapped forward past the Scorbunny, letting out a sharp crack not to dissimilar to a whip. Letting out a squeal, the Magby turned and bolted down one of the other corridors, scurrying away into the dark.

A heavy sigh escaped Bruce as his vine retracted back into his bulb. "Phew, I thought we're going to get fried…"

The concern in Nia's voice only grew ever more prevalent. "B-But why did it run? I know it's only young but it's still dangerous."

Sam's heart was already hardening as stared down the path that the Magby had originally came from. "Maybe it was running from something else…"

He could only hope that it was running from a crumbling cave, and not a larger, more dangerous Pokémon hiding down there.

That was the scream rushed in from directly ahead of them, Bruce automatically taking a step back as Nia herself cried out in surprise. But Sam's ears swivelled towards the source, and as if on autopilot, they began to catch the details of said scream.

"…hit! You're going to crush my legs!"

"I've got to move the boulder so we can pull you out!"

Denver! Edward!

"You're not one trapped!" Denver barked.

Another voice spat in response, "Shut it! Struggling ain't helping!"


"You shut up Alice! You're not helping either!" Edward snapped.

Sam spun towards the others, backing up into the central tunnel, "I can hear the others! They're right up ahead!"

In that instant, Bruce and Nia's eyes brightened, the two breaking out into a run behind the Scorbunny as he led the way ahead. The scurried deeper into the tunnels, only stopping for Sam to work out the direction of the voices before pushing onwards.

They found them within another chamber, one that could have been mistaken as a larger tunnel at first glance. However, the opening at the far end was not the only break in the walls. Faint white beams of light fell through the ceiling, pushing away the red glow from the walls and the floor and replacing it with a more natural set of lighting. Must be getting closer to the surface.

The others were gathered in the middle of the chamber, the Yanma and Ducklett were the closest, the latter wincing as they held onto one wing. "My team!" Bruce cheered in undiluted relief, sprinting towards them. Nia shot off after him, no doubt looking for Dan.

Sam meanwhile slowed as he approached, looking past the rest of Team Forest. A large boulder rested at one side of the tunnel, where standing alongside it was Alice and Edward, eyes fixed onto it.

Denver was sprawled out at the edge of the boulder on the floor, his face wrinkled with pain as his tail slapped on the ground like a drumstick. Peering over the Skourpi's body, Sam could only wince. The bug type's legs was hidden from view, underneath the boulder.

Aidan and Dan however, were nowhere to be found.

"****." Sam uttered, pushing aside his concern and fears for the two missing Pokémon as the need to help Denver became more apparent, sprinting towards the Pokémon gathered by the boulder. "What the hell happened here!?"

"What do you bloody think!?" Denver roared, tail slamming down with even more force.

Edward barely glanced over his shoulder, "Aftershock shook the boulder loose, landed on Denver. We only just managed to get Callum's wing out, but I can't shift the boulder." He grunted as pressed his head against the rock and tried to push it, his hooves scraping against the stone floor. Denver cried out with a hiss, the boulder refusing to move.

Alice crouched down; eyes fixed on the point where the big rock was resting on Denver's legs. "I only need a little bit of a gap, and I can pull him out."

"No no!" Denver barked, shaking his head vigorously, "Don't let this ***** touch me! She probably caused this!"

"I'm one of those trying to get you out of this dipshit!" Alice snarled.

"Can we not get in a fight again!?" Sam snapped, stepping up alongside the Skiddo, "Look, I'll help push." He glanced back over his shoulder towards the others, "Can someone help us with this!?" he shouted.

Bruce's head snapped round, the Bulbasaur standing next to his hurt teammates, "S-sure! Give me a second!"

Once Bruce had got on over, the three Pokémon leaned against the boulder at the ready. "On three. Alice, get ready to pull him out." Sam said, pressing his shoulder against the warm stone.

"Got it." Alice replied, grabbing hold of Denver's side and tail.

"Alright… One. Two… three!"

Grunting, Sam threw his entire weight against the boulder, his entire body straining as his shoulder squished itself against the object. Edward and Bruce's groans rumbled down his ears as first the boulder resisted… and then began to move. Shoulder throbbing, Sam let out a pained cry as he pushed harder.

"Almost… ugh! I've got him!"

Sam jerked himself back, a faint thud being emitted as the stone rolled back into place. Edward was already by Denver's side, the Skorupi crying out as he tried to stand, his legs incredibly still intact, if severely bruised. His body quivered, and suddenly collapsed back into a heap. "I-I can't walk…" Denver gasped, shivering.

"You'll be fine." Alice stated coldly, "An Oran berry will help for now."

"He'll still need treatment." Edward pointed out with a glare, helping Denver up to his feet.

Sam moved to help them, lifting up Denver from the other side. "Has anyone seen Aidan?"

"What about Dan!?" Nia cried out, touching down near the Team Forest members.

Edward grunted as he lowered Denver down to the ground near the injured Ducklett. "I saw Aidan about twenty minutes ago." He explained with a wary tone, "We heard Dan's voice coming from down there."

The goat jabbed his head in the direction of the other exit from the chamber, further down. "Aidan went on ahead to try and find him. That was five minutes before the aftershock hit us."

Sam could only slump with relief, feeling that last heavy weight lift off. Aidan was alive. Alive and mobile. But he felt that smaller, but still prominent feeling of dread as he looked down towards that tunnel. Wondering what lay beyond. Was Dan trapped down there? What was Aidan walking into? Nia was already drifting past the border, her eyes fixed on the entrance. He looked back towards Edward, "Have you heard anything back from-"

"No. We haven't." Alice said, coming up next to them.

The shake of the Skiddo's head only confirmed that.

His concern only growing further, Sam took one final glance at the tunnel, trying to work out a plan of attack before directing his gaze back up towards the openings in the ceilings. They were dark shafts that ran straight up towards little pinpoints of light near the top. "I've tried shouting to get someone's attention." Alice explained, all the anger or distantness gone from her voice. "Not exactly had much luck though."

"It means we're close to the surface at least… all we need is for someone just to look down here."

As he turned round, Alice had narrowed her eyes. "Good luck with that." She stated, "I caught a glimpse of the outside, the quake was going off outside of the dungeon too. We've got no idea what state Broken Wood is in."

"Way to put a damper on things Alice." Bruce grumbled, strolling past back towards his team and earning a thinly veil glare from the Buneary.

"No point in trying to sugar-coat this bloody mess." She countered, jerking her head to the shafts. "A couple of holes in the ground aren't going to catch much attention."

The Bulbasaur stopped in his tracks and spun around on her, baring a pair of little fangs, "Well, what's your plan then witch?" he snapped, "Most of us can't climb up that! You want to try it? Wave a little flag whilst your up there?"

"I'm good at hopping up gradients, not sheer walls."

Hell, we can't start fighting now of all times!

Sam stepped in between the two, "Even if me or Alice could climb up the shafts, we don't know how far we'd have to go. One wrong move and…"

He let the words hang in the air, but not before another thought slipped into his mind. "Wait… we've got flyers, can't they fly up?"

"I wouldn't count on Filip to get up there." Edward replied, motioning with his head towards the Yanma. Sam hadn't paid much attention to him at first, but now he could make note of the dragonfly's face. His eyes seemed glazed over, his pupils fixed on the far wall and his wings were quivering up and down rhythmically. Even if a Yanma could make it up, he wasn't going to do it in that state.

That leaves…

"No! I want to stay here!"

Nia had finally recovered enough to face them again, shaking her head and holding her little hands together. "I want to look for Dan!"

Bruce was wondering back towards them, his eyes flicking up towards the shafts. "Err… That's not really a good idea Alice, maybe we should just hang on, maybe find another way-"

"Nia is the only one who can get up there." Alice said firmly, crossing her arms, "And she'll be able to call for attention."

Edward sighed, "She has a point…"

"No!" Denver shouted, eyes widening in blind panic. "She'll do anything to split us up!"

Nia's head meanwhile dipped down, "But Dan… I need to find him… if he's hurt…"

The Buneary's features seemed to soften, turning away as if to hide that softening expression. When she spoke, there was a faint quiver in her voice. "I'll look for him."

The Noibat's head snapped back up, "W-What?"

Shaking her head, Alice turned to her, her voice . "I'll look for him for you. I'll bring him out of there."

"Dang it, don't listen to her Nia!" Denver ranted, trying to rise to his feet only to collapse again. A flash of alarm flickered across Edward's face. "Denver…"

Alice frowned, "I'm not going to-"

"Not a chance you damn witch!" Denver cursed.

Bruce seemed conflicted, glancing between the three, "I don't know… if we start splitting up now… especially with… ugh…"

Sam was already beginning to sense the tension. The fear rise up around him. If they keep threatening to fall into a fight again, they might as well have been dead. For ****s sake, why do I have to keep pulling everyone back together?!

Thankfully for Sam, his response to all this was obvious. Especially so since it wasn't just Dan down there… but Aidan too.

"I'll go with Alice."

With the exception of Filip, the group collectively looked his way, the Scorbunny stepping up alongside Alice. "Aidan's down there too, besides, me and Alice will be able to cover most of the ground down there to find him and Dan. Everyone else can hunker down here whilst Nia flies up and tries to find Esper or… well… anyone."

Alice turned towards him, a scrawl widening across her face. "I don't need help on this-"

"Look around you Alice!" Sam snapped, waving an arm around the room, "You're going to need all the help you can get. You don't know what's down there." He let his voice get a little bit quieter, not enough to be a whisper but quiet nonetheless. "Let me help you."

She stiffened, a faint growl coming forth as if trying to scare him off. But Sam held his ground, and the Buneary let out a little groan. "Fine."

Satisfied, he turned towards Nia, "Think you can fly up there?"

Nia seemed to relax a bit at the prospect of someone looking for her friend, some of her fear drifting away and her old perkiness beginning to resurface. "O-Okay! I-I can do that. Just please… find Dan you two, okay?"

Sam pulled a thin smile, giving a sharp nod, "We will."

Denver closed his eyes, shaking his head and looking away and drawing Edward's attention away from the discussion. Bruce seemed ready to debate otherwise. A little bit of a flicker of disgust perhaps? But then the reptile shook his head and finally turned away, "I'll keep everyone else here. Don't get yourselves killed."

On cue, Nia flew up towards one of the shaft entrances, holding onto it with her claws as she looked down on the others. "S-Stay safe."

And with that, she entered the shaft and began her ascent.

Sam turned towards Alice, crossing his own arms. She flashed a cold, hard glare at him. "Can you ever take a hint?"

He flashed a little smirk, "I'm a bit of a stubborn bastard."

Alice huffed back at him… though he couldn't tell if Alice was frustrated or amused. "Don't try and be a hero." She stressed.

"As long as you don't punch my lights out."

That earned him a little chuckle. "Then let's go."

Alice began to hop down towards the tunnel, and Sam jogged alongside her, headed once more back into the depths.

Despite being a similar length to the previous chapter this one took a bit more time, no doubt thanks to the recent mess that is going on in the world right now. I hope you folks enjoy this chapter!