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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Pathways of Aspiration

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by pbugle, Oct 22, 2018.

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  1. pbugle

    pbugle Member

    Hello reader, p-bugle here. Just thought I would post my foray into the world of PMD fanfiction. I hope you enjoy it, constructive criticism is always welcome.

    Summary

    There can be no greater gift given than a second chance. To be able to rewrite the mistakes of ones past and live a life only envisioned in dreams. For a human-turned-Bagon, thrust into the tropical region of Faire with a Raichu companion at his side, this seems like the making of legends. But what happens when the world discovered isn't so different than the one left behind?

    Prologue
    Far beneath the ground of some long forgotten patch of land, a lone Bagon trudged through a system of tunnels. Both his body and the short cloth cape that hung over him where soaking wet, knees sore from being repeatedly caked with mud and washed over with freezing water. More than once his conscious had whispered into his ear to turn back, but he couldn't, not when he was so close.

    After what had felt like hours, the endless tunnels before him cleared into a large cavern. Its full range seemed limitless, stretching above and beyond the sphere of light emanating from his small lantern. The darkness should have spanned on forever, but was broken due to several blue beams of light illuminated behind a rocky crevice. The side of the the blue lizard's mouth tilted up into a grin, this had to be it.

    As the Bagon maneuvered around the rocky crevice, the few rays of light transformed into an ambient blue glow. It's source was unmistakeable, coming from a shallow pond at the center of the cavern, the light refracting off shallow ripples to illuminate the stalagmite filled cavern ceiling. A further analysis of the pond revealed the true source, a blue gear with arrows jutting out of the inner hexagon. A pity, thought the Bagon, that an item of such importance would be hidden away in a place so insignificant. No matter, if everything went according to plan, this would be the last time he would be getting his feet wet. Everything that he had worked for, the key to his true destiny, lay in that gear, and he wasn't about to let anybody get in his way.

    With not a second's hesitation, the Bagon stepped into the pond, continuing until the waterline had risen over his the top of his head and he was able to grab the metallic blue gear to set it into the cloth bag at his hip.

    The feeling of fresh air from resurfacing was met with a sharp chill that run down his spine, an oddity given that, unlike the rest of the cavern, the water in this pond had been relatively warm. The Bagon dipped his hand into the water, perplexed to find that it was nearly as cold as ice. No matter, he again thought, a small price to pay for the future he had to guarantee.

    Hey!

    A quick yell echoed through the cavern walls. The Bagon jumped up briefly, turning around as his shocked expression morphed into a exasperated sigh. Of course, he thought, it had to be her.

    The her in question was a Raichu, sporting tanner fur and a larger ears than the less tropical variants, as well as an oversized tail haphazardly strapped to her back. On her neck lay a necklace containing a small, white bell, above which two blue eyes starred daggers at the Bagon before her. A quick examination revealed that she appeared just as ragged and disheveled as he was, evidenced by the faint brown stain that covered the lower half of her fur, as well as the telltale scratches from crawling through sharp rocks.

    "I...I've come to stop you," The Raichu said. stance changing into a defensive posture as brief sparks began to emanate out of her cheeks. "I can't stand by while thousands of innocent Pokémon suffer because of you and...them."

    The Bagon only sighed, face moving down to frown at the floor while his arms reached for a metal and steel contraption slung at his hip. He pointed it at the Raichu's body: a horizontal metal band curved to accommodate a piece of sting spanning from end to end, keeping under tension a fletched iron spike held in place by a wooden crevice and trigger. The Raichu grimaced at this action but did not move, ready to take advantage of the period of vulnerability after the Bagon expended his one and only shot.

    "And...I can't let you stop me," he replied, eyes scanning for the telltale sparks of her tail that would indicate an incoming thunder bolt.

    There they stood, a Raichu and Bagon not even twenty feet from each other, each watching expectantly for the first strike of the underground brawl that would decide the fate of an entire region.

    Except...it never came, The Raichu surprised to see that, even in the cold cavern, the Bagon's hand's where shaking more than usual. In the span of a few seconds, his hateful visage shifted from the Raichu before him to the cavern floor, eventually coming to rest on his own scaly blue body as his eyes closed.

    The crossbow lowered.

    "...This is stupid..." The Bagon whispered. "This wasn't how it was supposed to be."

    "What do you mean?" The Raichu asked, eyes still gazing at the crossbow pointed to the floor.

    "I...I...uh...are you cold?" The Bagon quickly replied.

    The Raichu's face scrunched up into a bewildered gaze, "Not any colder than you—"

    "I mean—" The Bagon said with a heavy sigh, "do you want a drink?"

    At this, the Raichu paused, voices in her head stuck in a bitter debate. Of course, the logical option would be to launch a thunderbolt at the befuddled lizard while he was in this vulnerable state. It didn't take a genius to see that hesitation in a time as critical as this could have horrendous repercussions. However, something about this was different. She had long since learned to recognize the rapid blinking and awkward hand gestures that would reveal his dishonestly, but the Bagon before her revealed none of these tells. If he really wishes to parley She thought, Then now is the best time to see if there actually is any humanity left within him.

    She stepped forward.

    "It...it just seemed that you where cold, crawling through all that water and all," The Bagon replied, pouring the steaming brown contents of a silver thermos into a cup.

    The Raichu accepted the cup, face starring at the Bagon until he had poured one for himself. An old trick to avoid poisoning, stemming from that one day of the year that he was so insistent that they pull pranks on each other, where she had been offered a bitter concoction of juice diluted with root powder.

    She glanced down: grepa berry tea, her favorite...

    "Do you want to sit down?" The Bagon asked, already on the ground leaning as comfortably as he could against one of the cavern's rocky walls.

    Surprising a tiny part of herself, the Raichu joined him, unable to decide if the silence between them was awkward or contemplative.

    "Thank you," The Bagon softly replied, raising his own glass in her direction. "A toast, to...to...to—"

    "—to memories," The Raichu finished, half-hoping that the expansive cavern would transform into the cramped apartment they had known so well.

    "Yeah...to memories," The Bagon whispered to himself, before clinking his cup to hers, "to what could have been."

    The Raichu lifted the glass down to drink, feeling body and soul become warmer as the liquid poured down her throat. She glanced up at the blue lizard next to her to see him giving her a melancholic smile and...she smiled back, if only for an instant.

    "I really thought we could have done it," The Bagon said, "explore, save the world, become the stuff of legends, but...the worlds not like a video game." The Bagon glanced up, noticing that from the open corners of his cloth pouch a small beam of blue light went unto the ceiling, forming a blue star against the brown rocks.

    "Maybe the world isn't what's at fault," The Raichu replied with a newfound vigor, eyes tracing that same blue light back onto the pouch containing a time gear.

    "I...you're right," The Bagon slowly replied, "I can't expect the world to hand me my future on a silver platter, nor can I take the route I always thought I would go. But if there is on thing I learned during my time here, its that you accomplish a lot more in life working with the system than against it ."

    "What do you mean?" The Raichu asked, having just finished the last sip of her tea.

    "...I'm sorry..." Was all the Bagon said, before quickly pulling an object from his belt. A short steel rod, sharpened into a double sided blade on one end, with the other curved around to form a hand guard. In on swift motion, he stabbed the crude blade into the Raichu's knee. She keeled over, clutching her knee as an endless stream of pain invaded her every thought. With her hands occupied, she could only hatefully stare back at the Bagon walking toward the cavern entrance.

    "This will probably be the last time we see each other," The Bagon slowly said, a stream of tears beginning to flow down his eyes. "I don't expect you to forgive me, you most certainly shouldn't, but...thanks for the memories." With this, the Bagon turned his back to depart, the only indication of his presence being a couple of blue berries and bandages remorsefully set down upon the cavern entrance.
     
  2. pbugle

    pbugle Member

    Chapter 1: The Lonely Type

    On a cool summer day, a lone Raichu walked along a narrow dirt path. She had walked this path many times before, had examined all the small patches of dirt and felt the heat from every stray beam of light that pierced through the forest canopy. Before long, the many winding twists and turns became as thoughtless to navigate as walking a straight line. Whatever bright environment before her fell on deaf eyes and ears, subconscious preoccupied mulling over the day's events.

    I guess now would be a good time to deliver the berry to that Bunar-wait, I did that yesterday didn't I? She sighed, conflicted on whether the realization was in relief or exasperation. Doesn't Buizel need help with something? No, he's away on that expedition. Maybe...no, Migmagius is on watch duty today, is there anything I still have to do?

    The answer provided only by the shaking palm trees, her face formed a modest smile. Expectations of sleeping the day away with a book in one hand and a glass of tea in the other manifested in her mind, only to be cut down by a sudden thought.

    You did that yesterday, didn't you?

    No I didn't, she quickly justified to herself, I helped deliver that berry, than I walked that report over to Mismagius, then I—wait. She stopped, face frozen in shock as the flow of time seemed to slow to its normal pace and the break in the treeline became truly visible.

    That was the day before yesterday.

    Immediately she scoured her short term memory, able only to recall vivid recantations of walking home from work and doing what she always did, not a face or sound popped into her mind despite the promise she had halfheartedly made to herself weeks ago.

    The forest paths end revealed to the Raichu the same sprawling city as before, smooth paved streets filled with no one in particular indicating that she was the first to return from the daily grind. The option of returning home cut short for the moment, only one other location seemed able to fill her daily quota of interaction.

    Guess I'll head over to the cafe. There shouldn't be too many people at this hour.

    With an empty schedule, and confidence that her favorite seat would be open, she departed.

    ---​

    Ever since this Raichu had first wandered into the Kling Klang Kafe, she questioned whether the two gears that made up the welcome sign should be wearing one bow or two, but over the years hadn't the courage to ask the owner directly, for fear of offense. She always found it a welcome experience to open the doors and be overcome by the syrupy sweet aroma emanating from jugs of ingredients stashed under the serving table, and would likely have made it part of her daily routine if the prices were not so extravagant. A cursory glance revealed not a single soul inhabiting the various tables and stools scattered around the cafe, the sound of silence broken only by a scaly red Charmeleon behind the counter. His body was partly obscured by a number of glass cups studiously stacked into a giant tower, head divulging a blank look of complete disinterest staring at what she could only assume where sheets of paper.

    With a heavy sigh, the Raichu stepped toward the barkeep, grasping at the leather pouch at her hip to hold out several gold coins marked with a large P.

    "Uh, h...h-ello sir," she stopped. Why did this always happen when she tried talking to people? The Charmeleon was still looking at her expectantly, and her mouth wasn't following her minds order to continue speaking, "I would lik...like a pecha berry smoothie, if you don't mind."

    With out a seconds hesitation, the red lizard emptied the contents of a purple container into a glass cup, before sliding it to the Raichu across the table and returning to the loose stack of papers.

    Now comes the hard part...

    "So...d-do you like your work here?" The Raichu asked, staring into her drink as she fidgeting with her cup.

    "It puts bread on the table," The Charmeleon replied, still head still turned away scribbling answers to what looked like some sort of worksheet.

    "Sourdough or wholewheat?" she said with a soft chuckle, waiting halfheartedly for a response only to be met with a groan from the red lizard.

    It was a stupid joke.

    Yeah I know, she replied to herself, I just thought it would...never mind.

    The next couple minutes where spent in silence, any attempt at further small talk being cut off by her minds refusal to let out any more words , Eventually the Raichu was jolted back from her own thoughts by the sharp chime of the entrance bell, accompanied by a boisterous call stemming from two large figures at the cafe door. The one in front was a Graveler, holding a cocky smirk and embroidered with several black and yellow stones around its arms and face. Barely visible behind the large gravel Pokemon was a black skinned Marowak, eyes below the black star on its skull helmet sporting a more subdued demeanor.

    "Hey, Argon! I got the name right didn't I?" Proclaimed the Graveler.

    "Oh...Team Tectonic, yeah you got it right, " She replied. "I thought Migmagius said you guys off on an exploration? "

    "Yeah, we were, until a certain someone got too cocky and used up all of our reviver seeds," The Graveler cast a joking to the Marowak, before applying a mock punch to its side. Only the faintest of subsequent whimpers tipped Argon off to the thick layer of bandages wrapped around the Marowak's opposing arm, as well as the two splinted legs now skillfully concealed under the table.

    "Yeah, yeah, I know I dropped the ball, but that's besides the point," The Marowak shifted his glance to Argon, giving her a chilling feeling as the hairs all around her body started to stand up,"See, the higher ups finally gave us the OK to organizing a little event in the next couple days, ya know, to get to know each other better, you wanna come along?"

    Argon didn't reply, holding an apprehensive wince as if her worst fears had been realized.

    "Come on now, it's nothing too big, just a little something to build some companionship throughout our branch of the guild. No offense, but many of us don't even see you for most of the day."

    Argon tilted back toward the door, suddenly finding the prospect of reading a lot more appealing.

    "I'd love to go but... I... uh...I got a lot of stuff to do for the next couple of days," The Raichu searched her mind, attempting to find an example of what she would do on a day like this. "In fact, I was just about to head over and do some sight seeing, guess I'll see you later."

    Argon rushed out the door, cursing herself that doing anything other than sightseeing now would draw suspicion. As she began her walk towards Solrock beach, she was surprised to find herself absolutely parched.

    ---​

    With every step over the long and winding path leading to the coastline, Argon's legs wavered, in an inner debate over whether to increase to a steady jog or turn around and accept the offer from Team Tectonic. Despite every step feeling heavier, her course remained.

    Well, I guess there's nothing I can do now, she lamented. Half the guilds probably back at the cafe, and I'll only look weirder if I suddenly came back after that showcase.

    Nonetheless the debate refused to relent, legs weak up until the point where she finally was able to sit upon a wooden bench, located only a few feet before the sheer cliff that marked one of the edges of the Faire Region.

    The cool breeze flowing sporadically through the cliff side gave Argon a sense of relief from what seemed like one of the hottest days of the year, although with how things were going, she knew that could change quickly.

    As she starred onto the far sandy beaches, listening to the soft swooshing of the current below, her once neutral face turned into a soft smile, while muscles unknowingly tensed finally began to relent.

    Inner voices, once jumbled and interjecting, faded into clear nothingness, as if some mysterious fog shrouding her every thought had been removed. The only noise heard, the only noise that she wanted to hear, was the soft rustle of current blowing against a thin layer of grass on the cliff face. If she listened closely, a soft jingle also resonated from somewhere out in the distance, from what could only be described as a bell chime.

    Argon passively scanned the long line of brown, wet, sand forming between sea and land, as she did so, only a single thought formed on her mind:

    I feel like I could spend the rest of my life here.

    The solitude wouldn't last, however, as on a section of sand Argon spotted the outline of a Pokemon sprawled face down onto the current. With a look of panic and confusion, the Raichu rushed down onto the beach.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  3. Umbramatic

    Umbramatic The Ghost Lord

    Hello! Welcome to the forums! I see you've joined the PMD Horde™, you'll have plenty of company.

    I really like your opener. Reminds me of the intro of Fire Emblem Awakening, what with the dark tone and the fate of the world at stake and someone getting stabbed by their former best friend. :V

    Speaking of! Your main characters are a solid pair that contrast each other real well - Chimera using the whole affair to escape the grind of his human life, while Argon is stuck in her own grind from what I can see.

    What I'm not as fond of is the lumping of several chapters in one post. I don't think it goes against any forum rules or anything, but it's a bit jarring, makes things go by too fast, and reduces your readers' ability to commentate on multiple chapters. You're allowed to double-triple-etc post fic chapters! From here on out I'd advise you to put chapters in separate posts or merge smaller chapters into big ones if they're going to share a post.

    But yeah this seems like it's shaping up to be a cool PMD fic and I can't wait to see where it goes.

    (Also if you want to get to know the community head over to the Author's Cafe and the Discord server!)
     
  4. pbugle

    pbugle Member

    Chapter 2: Hindsight is 20/20
    Pain—once the human had regained consciousness there was no time to think, the only sensation felt was the feeling of wet sand on the ground, and a persistent, piercing pain in both of his eyes. He didn't dare open them, the only sounds coming from his mouth being a mix between a shriek and a painful moan.

    "Uh..Sir, are you ok?" A voice came from the darkness. Though he could not identify who it was, it sounded feminine, and it was his only chance of getting help. No sooner had the human attempted to stand was he was sent crashing to the ground, retreating his outstretched hands to cover the source of the pain.

    "Please...my eyes, they—Oh God it stings—make it stop, please!" The human buried his face into the sand, breaths between aching groans becoming quick and sporadic.

    "Uh...here, use this!" Following these words was the sound of a cap unscrewing, and some sort of container being shoved into his hand. Without hesitation, the human raised his head up and forced his eyes open, bearing the excruciating pain long enough to splash fresh water into his burning eye sockets.

    Slowly but surely, it began to subside, though any attempt to glimpse at his surroundings would result in it returning tenfold. Realizing this, the human relented, deciding in the face of the alternative that he was content to be blind as a bat.

    "I..uh...once you can open your eyes, I'd recommend you start rinsing them out more, we should probably get you to town to get checked up."

    The human turned to the general direction of the stranger, the stinging relenting just enough to form cognizant thoughts.

    "Thanks, I really appreciate your help, don't know what I would have done otherwise...by the way, what's your name?" The human extended his hand, waiting a couple seconds too many for one in return. Wait a second, he thought. Why does my hand feel all funny?

    "Oh...no problem, I saw you collapsed on the beach and went to see if you were ok. My names Argon, what's yours?"

    The human searched hastily though his thoughts, finally finding an answer that seemed most fitting, "It's...Chimera, yeah that sounds right."

    ---​

    Before Argon stood a blue lizard about her size, sporting two large canines, some sort of bone attached to his head that looked strong enough to smash rocks, and two arms so short that she doubted they could even reach up to his head. The same lizard she had found on the beach screaming bloody murder and begging for help. The same lizard that was, for some reason, sticking his hand downward in her direction.

    The immediate danger now gone, Argon looked up to this lizard that called itself Chimera, spotting his eyes to be entirely coated with a thin liquid, colored somewhere between a black and a very dark purple. This, she confirmed, must have been what was keeping his eyelids closed, but what was it?

    She scoured her memories, eventually coming to rest on one many years back of her delivering supplies for the repair of a large steal pipeline,

    "Chimera...I...uh...I think i might know what that stuff in your eyes is." Hearing this, the Bagon pulled back his hand, looking on in anticipation at the voice in the distance.

    "Apparently, some of the runoff from that plant a couple miles down can drift here and get into swimmer's eyes, from what's been published about the victims, they recovered after a couple of hours."

    The Bagon had noticeably jumped back after hearing her mention of the word plant, but smiled in relief nonetheless.

    "Thank you. I was worried this might have been permanent...I guess I'll stay here for now, at least until my vision gets better."

    "No problem, glad to see that you'll be ok," With this, Argon turned around and began walking back to town, musing to herself that she'd have to stay up later to finish her evening reading, that is, until she heard a voice came calling back from the beach.

    "Hey Argon, could you uh...stay with me for a couple hours, a-at least until I can get my vision back, I promise can pay you once I get back to my apartment."

    Of course! Argon cursed herself. You can't just leave some Pokémon who was essentially blind on a public beach, how could you be so selfish?

    "Sure, I guess I could stay here for an hour or two, you don't have to pay me though."

    The Bagon looked on like she'd grown a second tail, but, realizing his mistake, quickly returned to a thankful smile.

    The next hour passed quickly, the quiet breeze being all the more enjoyable for Argon. Though whenever her content gaze shifted to the Chimera, she noticed his body seemed to shake sporadically, as if at any moment he was he was going to lash out or run away.

    "Hey Chimera...are you alright?" The Bagon snapped his head in Argons direction, before turning away apprehensively in a manner that seemed to her all too familiar.

    "Yeah, I'm fine, its just..." The shaking had become all the more obvious now, having spread to the Bagon's hands, "do you mind if I ask you about something? It's been bothering be for a long while now...and I guess you're as good a person as any to give me a straight answer."

    Though the prospect of taking in the ocean silence seemed appealing, Argon noticed that the Bagon's jittering had ceased after asking the question.

    "Uh..sure, what is it?"

    With a near silent sigh, the Bagon answered,

    "Do you ever get the feeling that life is just passing by? That in the grand scheme of things whatever one does won't be important or matter?"

    Though Chimera couldn't see it, Argon had tilted her head and grimaced, vision switching between the Bagon, the orange and pink sun beginning its evening decent, and herself, "Occasionally, I guess, why do you ask?"

    Chimera continued, his quiet tone punctuated with several pauses to collect his thoughts.

    "It's just...I'm worried that I won't have an impact on the world, that I'm not going to be able to advance in life and that a hundred years from today I'll just end up forgotten, like most people," Chimera lowering his face and turned away. "Just last week I...I...never mind, it's not important. "The Bagon raised a hand to cover his eyes, though a thought formed in Argons mind that it wasn't just because the inky liquid.

    The former emptiness Argon's body was replaced by a dark, feeling in her stomach, only growing after each moment of silence. With a heavy heart, she replied,

    "Well, I always thought life wasn't all about advancing, It's about being happy. I mean...there are plenty of people out there with fame and fortune who are miserable, or at least aren't any happier than the next person."

    Chimera's head shot towards Argon, instinctively causing her upper body to recline back from her sitting position. A quick glance at the shallow moisture beginning to seep through the Bagons sealed eyelids proved her theory to be correct.

    "But I'm not sure I can be happy, knowing that there are people who have achieved more and have longer legacies than me," Chimera's voice slowly raised, increasing from what was originally a soft whisper to a an exasperated grumble,

    "It seems like everyday I go to the same people, do the same monotonous crap for the same job that you can bet I'd be stuck with for the rest of my life."

    Argon opened her mouth to interject, but was cut off by the Bagon now softly chuckling to the floor.

    "And you know something funny? I actually enjoy it, I always tell myself that this will be the day I'll go out and make a name for myself, but I never do. I say just what you said to myself, that I should be happy where I am, I know it should be true but...but...,"

    The Bagons voice had risen to a vehement yell, Argon could see the Chimera's tears growing, just about to fall onto the wet sand before he turned his back to her and screamed toward the ocean water,

    "I CAN'T BE HAPPY KNOWING I'M NOTHING!"

    The stranger's silence was more than enough for Chimera to gauge her reaction. Immediately, his posture loosened, and his head lowered away from the sole audience member of his diatribe.

    "...I'm sorry...that was out of line of me, I shouldn't have forced you to listen to that."

    Before Argon could muster a reply, the Bagon stood up, only to walk a few feet away before tripping on a wooden log washed onto the beach. He seemed to let himself fall to the ground, then hastily shuffled opposite her direction.

    Argon's mouth opened, but after several seconds nothing came out, instead she closed her eyes, ready to match the Bagon's contemplative mood with her own.

    Come on, think! You can't let this Bagon fall into depression just because you couldn't think of anything to say!

    From Argon's peripheral vision she could see that Chimera had started to run his hands over every part of his body, every so often gasping as if simply touching his head was a completely new sensation. Unable to see the expression on the Bagon's face, Argon again shifted to the matter at hand.

    He's obviously confused about something, for all I know he might not even be from Faire at all, I have to do something, but what?

    What if-

    No...that won't work, you'll just end up hurting him more.

    You know nothing about him! For all you know he could be some tourist trying to play a prank on you, or worse, a thief waiting for you to lose your guard and make off with your poke!

    What if he's completely useless in battle, you don't need that kind of burden in your life!

    You don't even have that much space in your room, which by the way, happens to have a pretty good book waiti-

    NO! I can't just abandon this Pokémon, I have to do something...

    With a glance towards the Bagon Argon's apprehension slowly decreased, gazing past Chimera onto the orange and pink of the setting sun, her memory faded to that of herself, rushing past Team Tectonic for the exit to that little Cafe. Her conscious shouted one thought, overcoming the dozens of objections clanging through her mind:

    If this works, I'll have helped someone in need, and if it doesn't, then at least I'll get to share the rent...

    With a renewed smile, Argon stepped forward to Chimera and put her hand on his shoulder.

    "Uh...Chimera I was wondering if you'd like to—"

    The Bagon jolted upon feeling Argons hand, swiftly swerving around to meet her face, but this was not what surprised her.

    What did was that the eyes once closed and drenched in a sickly black cloud where open wide, fixed onto Argon's body in a frozen stare. The former human finally gazed upon the new appendages he had been denied the luxury of seeing, as well as owner of the mysterious voice who had been keeping him company. Before Chimera stood a Raichu taller than himself, sporting round ears and a blue eyes, as well as an large tail haphazardly strapped to the creatures back. The Bagon gave a terrified shriek, before passing out onto the dark brown sand.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  5. pbugle

    pbugle Member

    Chapter 3: Best Left Forgotten
    Slowly but surely, consciousness seemed to make its return to Chimera's body, eyelids attempting to stay closed despite an annoyingly persistent white light taking away the comforting darkness. As the former human took note of his surroundings, a single thought pierced his mind,

    What the hell happened last night?

    Examining his arms, Chimera found that they had returned from the awkward scaly hands of the past to their original form, being used to cushion his head currently hunched over a white desk. His eyes wandered upward, gazing upon the culprit of the irritating white light: his old computer. Displayed on the monitor which made up the rooms only light source was a large white box, It took many attempts for Chimera make sense of the text inside, but with some effort the disorganized letters became legible:

    c. DRoVerSOn

    I hoPE You enD uP gettIng thIs bEfOre It's Too LATE. I KnOw you'vE bEen WORKIng haRd over the pAST MOnth, HeLl, WE alL HAvE, But THE gUy froM cORPORatE WaS furiouS whEN HE SaW You SLEeping. bEFOre wE COULd ObJECT he DEmanDED tHAt If YOU fIniSH thE SPrEadSHeet rePOrt fOR NexT WEek Or hE'd shoW YOu tHE DooR. i WOULD HaVE OBjecTEd, BUT YoU KNoW hoW MaNy iNtERnS THey HAve waiTinG fOR JObs. He'lL Be CoMinG aT 6:30 Am tOMMoROW, gOod lUCK

    BEST rEgaRDs, cgPJQMW

    Before Chimera had time to object, the massive compilation of lettered and numbered charts glowering from the screen popped into existence behind the email, as well as the current time-5:30 AM, Sunday.

    Crap Crap Crap Crap Crap. More than a few swears echoed out of the human's mind before cognitive thought took over.

    Why is this happening? Did I get on the bosses bad side? What did I do to deserve this? How can they expect me to finish this in one day?The questions fell on deaf ears, overwhelmed by the intense demand to get started. Away he went, calculator in one hand, mouse in the other as the hours began to slip by like minutes.

    Alright, and that would make the sales revenuer about $12,000. Wait, did I miss something? Yep...I did, back to the drawing board- 9:46 AM, Sunday

    What the? I just did the math, my calculator shouldn't be giving me this answer.-12:51 pm, Sunday

    Shouldn't the guys at sales be doing this one? Whatever, isn't going to help me now.- 3:34 PM, Sunday

    OK...If I eat and use the bathroom at the same time, I can shave another five minutes to work on this.-12:02 AM, Monday.

    I should have files on how to do this, where did I put them? Never mind, no time...just have to wing it.-2:31 AM, Monday.

    Come on, Think! This isn't difficult stuff, you should be able to get this!-4:10 AM, Monday.

    With every failure, Chimera's breath grew quicker and the room seemed to increase in temperature. More than once, he was forced to pull himself away from the keyboard, unable to type accurately due to the intense shaking of his arms. With only seven more pages to go, the human glanced once more at the clock-6:27 AM, Monday. Three minutes till the end...

    Maybe I'm just not smart enough, The human thought, raising his white colored shirt sleeve up to his face to dampen it with tears. If I had just worked harder, made different decisions, I wouldn't be where I am right now. I could have been like corporate, sitting in some cozy bed telling others what to do, I just needed to figure out how...

    Before long, the metal doorknob behind Chimera began to jiggle and a soft creak came from the office door. Faced with no other option, the human closing his eyes to accept his damnation.

    ---​

    He woke up in a cold sweat.

    Slowly, the darkness began to fade away, being replaced by grey and yellow tinted outline of a limestone ceiling.

    The Human—wait no, The Bagon slowly raised his head from a lying position, consciousness frozen, knowing full well what he'd see when he lifted his hands: the same blue, stubby hands that felt unnatural even before they could be seen. The same two fangs that had punctured his tongue after attempting to retract them into his mouth. The same short body entirely covered in silvery blue scales.

    After an analysis that the pain in his mouth was real, and a quick pinch to the arm just to be sure, Chimera took the time to analyze his surroundings. Underneath himself was a sort of crude mattress, consisting of a puffy material sowed together into a long rectangle lacking any sort of suspension. It left no pain or sore spots, a peculiarity given that a week ago, even a regular mattress would leave him aching for the new day. To his left, Chimera spotted several wooden chests neatly stacked against the wall, as well as various medical instruments mounted to the side. A glance to the right disclosed piles of loose paper pamphlets, barely legible via moonlight filtered through windows on the opposing wall. Further inspection revealed one titled "Proper Treatment of Common Exploring Ailments", while another logo to the left read "Gunky Food: What it is, and How You Can Treat Ingestion". Scouring past memories of human life, the realization dawned to Chimera that this had to be some kind of hospital.

    "Oh good, you're awake, you had me worried there for a second."

    Chimera recognized the voice, though the face was infinitely harder to accept. Whatever shock he lost after seeing his new body returned tenfold, eyes glued to the Raichu standing in front of the door.

    "I...uh...I bought you here after you passed out , had Buizel take a look at your eyes—said they were fine, but he wasn't sure why you just passed out like that."

    Chimera continued to stare deadpan towards the Raichu, whatever memories that had assisted him before failing to provide an explanation. She was returning the gaze, and seemed to be holding her breath.

    "If you're not sure why, I guess we can talk about it later, but..." Argon stopped, fidgeting with her hands and softly tapping her feet before inhaling,

    "Anyway, I was...wondering if you'd like to join my resource team, I...uh..just thought it could maybe give you a little of that variety you've wanted."

    Chimera kept his stone faced expression, despite his already befuddled mind being invaded by a stream of new question,

    Just what the hell is going on? I suddenly wake on a beach on some remote island, with a new body of—whatever this thing is. This weird Raichu-ish thing comes up to me and offers to—wait a second.

    Chimera froze, long forgotten memories crashing like a tidal wave into his psyche. Memories of a simpler time, where the largest priority was to not make any noise while tiptoeing down the stairs to retrieve the glossy red DS charging on the counter top. Vague recollections rose up from their deep slumber. One: holding a satisfied grin after besting the Hypno, who had caused the loss of over half his items. Another: gasping after being pulled into the dark dimension by a massive Dusknore. Another still: softly sighing after besting primal Dialga, knowing full well what had to happen next. Though the entire game, Chimera thought, that little Bulbasaur had prevailed and excelled. And...though all of it, there was a Pokemon at his side.

    Chimera focused his vision back onto Argon, noting that she was scratching the back of her neck , and that the soft tap of her feet seemed to be growing by the second.

    "If you don't want to, that's completely understandable, I just thought that maybe—"

    "Yes," Chimera interjected, a massive grin on his face, "Absolutely...If you really are a partner that I can count on, I'd be more than happy to form a team with you."

    "Really?" replied Argon, mouth open and eyes agape. "I mean, I don't want to convince you otherwise, but are you really ready to join the WFG just like that?"

    Chimera's smile seemed to grow with every second, betraying the fact that he was almost on the verge of tears."Yes, yes, a million times yes. Trust me, there isn't anything else I'd want to do in the world right now, just tell me where to sign up."

    Noticing the Raichu's head slowly tilt, the Bagon continued, "Back in the day I...I made some mistakes, had some decisions I wish I chose differently on. If you're really letting me take you up on this offer, than I don't see why we can't start now."

    Argon nodded in understanding, Chimera's infectious grin starting to take effect on her. After a brief moment of silence spread between the two, Chimera found his attention grasped by the bright moonlight coming from the opposing wall.

    Tracing the luminous effect to a small window, the Bagon walked across the room to peer out for a view of the outside world. In the distance an innumerable amount of wooden ships, both small and large could be seen slowly gliding across the glass-like water. On all these vessels dozens upon dozens of Pokemon, big and small, could be seen. While most where tightening sails and hoisting crates of supplies, a select few stood on the bow, pointing and shouting orders to their subordinates. The majority of the crafts returning to port were of the cargo holding variety, sporting a large collapsible ramp at the front for unloading supplies and adapted to traveling the same routes daily. However, in their large shadows several smaller and thinner vessels could be seen docked and without crew. With V shaped hulls and adventurous names stamped into their sides in bronze and silver, Chimera surmised that the vessels were no doubt intended for glorious and lucrative explorations through unknown waters. Squinting, Chimera could identify that each vessel seemed to have a large stamp, containing bold, green letters labeled West Faire Guild.

    Looking over his shoulder, he found that Argon had silently joined him in looking onto the marina. However, after tracing her vision, Chimera's head tilted, realizing her eyes were focused not towards the docks, but much more to the right. In this direction lay a certain cliff face, containing what he could only assume was a large tree. Why Argon was looking at that black smudge and not onto the well lit marina was beyond him.

    Without turning, Chimera extended his hand to place it on Argon's shoulder. The smooth touch of short, orange fur still caused a bit of shock in the back of the Bagon's mind, but was quickly suppressed.

    "Argon, with you and me together," Chimera remarked, "We're going to go places."
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  6. pbugle

    pbugle Member

    Chapter 4: A Future for the Taking
    The scribbling of pens synonymous with the Pith Town main office hadn't gotten any less incessant during any of Argon's rare visits, no had the calculated chime of the mechanical clocks and tapping feat. But, this time was different, for she had now a new companion to share in the endless drudgery of all who entered. Occasionally, she would cast a quick glance to the Bagon sitting next to her, wary for any of the periodic shaking that had plagued Chimera when they first sat on Solrock Beach. To Argon's surprise, however, this never came, for it seemed that even bureaucracy could not wipe the ardor from his face.

    Seven signatures on the dotted line and three pages of bubble sheet tests later, Argon and Chimera were finally able to walk away. The latter of the two strolled with his head down, meticulously running his hand over the green and gold colored shield that formed the guild badge. A habit, Argon thought, that would need to be curbed, lest they be accidentally ejected out of their first mystery dungeon because of the Bagon's enthusiasm.

    "So," Chimera asked,"what's next?".

    Argon had been pondering this herself while they walked along the narrow, red-bricked town halls . Thoughts raced on the what to do having another mouth to feed and another hand to help with jobs. The constant pressure that had plagued Argon's eyes for the last couple hours, however, demanded a different course of action."I don't mean to be rude, but I just want to go to be," replied Argon, taking a moment to wipe away the tears that had formed as a result of yawning.

    "Oh...right," Chimera replied, the dim smile on his face fading ever so slightly, before he was shocked to alertness. "Hey Argon, do...uh..do you know that apartment I talked about before?"

    "Oh yeah, they probably should have told you when you signed up," Argon interjected with a quick chuckle. "on site housing is required at the West Faire Guild, probably to compensate for them removing that 90% workers tax a while back."

    "Well...that's a disappointment," Was all Chimera could reply, turning is head away to hide a relieved sigh.

    Informed of Argon's fatigued state, Chimera was content to let the rest of the walk continue in silence. Despite a full view of Pith town being restricted by gloaming darkness, he felt inclined to hum a little melody as he walked behind her, voice substituting for electronic flute to once again signal a call to adventure.

    ---​

    The door to apartment 26 always seemed to give a chilling creek whenever it was opened. Whether that be from poor materials, extended use, or a seeming unwillingness to care, the Bagon would never know. When the door opened, Chimera could barely blink before the Raichu had thrown herself across the room, landing with a solid thud onto the bottom cotton mattress of a wooden bunk bed. In the short distance that Argon had traveled, her feet had landed on several pre-placed gaps in the floor, the only places, Chimera grimaced, that weren't covered with a disheveled amalgamation of items. From featureless blue spheres to knickknacks of various hobbies taken up and set back down, this pattern continued, extending onto the overflowing wooden desk opposite Argon's bunk. A vague and artificial lemon-like smell was detected, most prevalent around the large pile of glass jars reading "Cup O-Oran" loosely stacked together over an already disarrayed pile of papers. Nearly as apparent to Chimera as this was the small size of Argon's apartment, The former human mentally comparing it to his old closet if he were to take out all the cloths.

    These observations were not unnoticed, Chimera casting a glance at the Raichu to see that she had leaned back up, face turned away and hands upward to halfway cover her eyes.

    "I...uh...I'm sorry about the mess. It's just that...I don't usually get many visitors." Argon tossed herself from the bed, crawling across the floor to frantically fold scarves and fling items into loose piles while muttering curses to herself.

    Just as the Raichu was grabbing for the yellow colored spray bottle hidden under a pile of ribbons, the realization dawned on Chimera that the bags and wrinkles under her eyes seemed to become more prevalent every minute. A heavy sigh followed a short period of silence from the Bagon, before he opened his mouth,

    "Argon, do you want to get some rest? I'm pretty sure you've been awake all-"

    "No!" Argon interjected. "It was stupid of me to take you here without cleaning up first. I just need to—"

    "...Argon..." Chimera replied, setting his hand onto the back of her shoulder,"I can handle the cleanup. I've been sleeping ever since I passed out on that beach. And besides," he added,"I still owe you for watching over me then."

    Whether it was Chimera's words or the lethargy in her eyes, Argon relented, handing the spray bottle to Chimera with a soft smile.

    "Thank you so much, this means a lot to me."

    "No problem," replied Chimera, "that's what partners are for."

    The soft mattress greeted Argon easily, within minutes her barely audible breathing filled the atmosphere of the now quiet room. As Chimera continued stacking papers and books from the ground, a key bit of information gave him solitude:if everything went his way, they'd be out of this apartment in a month or so.

    ---​

    In a couple hours Chimera had the room in a somewhat satisfactory condition. With the blanket of clutter covering the garish stone floor removed, and all the offending trash stacked into an overflowing basket next to the doorway, the Bagon was finally able to breath a little easier. This relief was compounded by the presence of his loyal partner, the orange furred Raichu that Chimera knew would become the building blocks for this new journey. The fact that Argon, thank god, was not a chronic snorer, also didn't hurt.

    After giving one last satisfied grin at his handiwork, Chimera hopped onto the wooden ladder leading to the top bunk. To his surprise, the same mattress that lined Argon's bed was present, but had been haphazardly leaned against the outer wall of the bed. The empty space now looked to serve as a makeshift shelf for Argon's expansive novel collection. Chimera gave a quick glance to the covers of every book, surprising a part of himself that most seemed to be either fantasy or poetry novels, before setting them into a loose pile on the floor. At last, the Bagon was able to recline into the small mattress, through the sleep that had come to Argon so readily seemed to hide itself from Chimera. Neither the room's invasive darkness, nor the soft pitted-patter of rain against the stone walls could stem the unending stream of thoughts flooding Chimera's brain. A faint memory of his old life would appear sporadically, only to be quickly quashed in favor of recollection of the day's events. Before long, the Bagon began to fear that his constant shuffling and readjusting would continue until daybreak.

    "Uh...Chimera, are you still awake?"

    The voice emanating from the bunk below, caused Chimera to freeze in his tracks.

    "Oh no...did I wake you up?" asked Chimera.

    "No, its not your fault," Argon replied with a chuckle, "I'm sort of a light sleeper, you'd be surprised how many times I've woken up because of noise outside,this one time—"

    Despite the Bagon's best attempts, Argon's voice was soon zoned out in favor of curiosities about the world he now inhabited. Why am I here? Where is 'here'? How is the world in danger? All screamed in unavoidable truth: if his mind was going to get any rest, he was going to need some answers. And right now, all the answers he needed were lying down three feet below him.

    "—And that's how I learned that the 'mon on the floor above was a sleepwa—"

    "Hey Argon," Chimera interjected,"while you're awake, do you mind if I ask you about a couple things?".

    "Sure, is it about what you were saying at the beach?"

    "No. It's not about that!" Chimera quickly replied, a shot of adrenaline coursing to his face with the express purpose of making his tongue heavier. "I just wanted to know about... say...the guild, I'm not really from this area."

    A few short seconds passed, soft pitter-patters being broken by a muffled crack of thunder in the distance. Though both had head the sound, neither had seen the lightning itself. Reclining her head back towards the upper bunk and taking a deep breath, Argon spoke,

    "You probably saw the spiel on the entry form. We are known as the West Faire Guild, a maritime and continental organization devoted wholeheartedly to ensuring the economic liberty and social harmony of all who inhabit the region of Faire. For 21 long years the WFG has-has...shoot." Argon interrupted her monotone with a sigh, glancing to her desk at the crumpled note sheet buried under a mountain of paper.

    "That's are motto at least, you'll have to recite it every time you interview for a rank increase. What I, or I guess we, actually do is resource recovery, you know what mystery dungeons are, right?".

    If light bulbs existed in this universe Chimera assumed there would be one over his head right now.

    "Yeah, they're randomly generated places where wild Pokémon will attack you if you get near them."

    "Well, yes there are those...but the important factor is that on every floor items and resources will appear. Our job is to fight our way through dungeons, find stuff like cloth, medicine, and gold, and bring it back to the entrance."

    At this, Chimera was forced to pause, Is that really it, going to the same dungeons everyday to lug back bags of items? That can't be right.

    "But don't these teams do other things, like exploring and rescuing people?"

    "Yeah, some do," replied Argon, "But there's not many teams like that out there anymore. My mom said that back in the day, pretty much everybody wanted to be in a rescue team, but after the WFG was formed, they started running out of lost Pokémon to save and outlaws to catch."

    Silence followed, Chimera's mind fixated on the arduous fate in store for both of them. Someplace, somewhere, he thought, there's must be a horrifying prelude to a world ending event happening, and we're the only ones that can stop it. I just have to find out what.

    "You know," said Argon, Chimera jumping at the sudden voice breaking his train of thought,"now that I look back on it all, I have it pretty good here at the guild...it could definitely be a lot worse."

    But it could definitely be a lot better too...thought Chimera, the words just about to escape from his tongue before being being cut off. Regardless, with at least one answer to satisfy his minds cravings, the feeling of languor seemed to come easier. A quick thanks to Argon for the conversation was all the Bagon needed before closing his eyes.

    As of now, Chimera thought, the only thing I need to stress over is what rowdy creature is in charge of waking us up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  7. pbugle

    pbugle Member

    Chapter 5: The Most Dangerous Game
    Chimera never liked getting up. More often than naught, mornings consisted of being shocked out of bed and trying to maintain his balance as he stumbled out the door, taking along whatever amalgamation of items from his pantry that could be called a breakfast. For these reasons and more, the blue lizard tucked soundly under a thick layer of blankets lay racked with fear.

    It should still be early, shouldn't it? I still have time, could probably keep my eyes closed for five more minutes. But...that would mean being awoken by whoever they hired as a knocker upper. Uh..why does this have to be so hard?

    With seemingly no other option, Chimera waited, cringing internally at the thought of a creature able to exacerbate the exact pitch of his alarm clock that would make his blood boil. What vocalized in its place, however, brought back memories of happier times: various notes strung together to form a soothing tune, one he presumed sweet enough to wake up even a snorlax, followed by a voice emanating from below.

    "Rise and shine Chimera, time for a knew day."

    The process of rising upward from the pillow came to the Bagon much easier, a peak over the bunk bed rails revealing an orange Raichu with flute in hand, holding a tranquil grin.

    "I take it you're not a morning person?" Argon asked.

    "Well, if you're asking whether I get up in the morning," Chimera replied with a chuckle, "then I am, if you're asking whether I enjoy it...that's a different story." Despite the view of Argon growing blurrier with every rub of his eyes, he drew a quick gasp as a white mug behind her rose from the desk, seemingly of its own fruition. Slowly, it began to levitate towards him, being bordered by a thin, pink layer of light. Glancing back at Argon to see her eyes closed in concentration, Chimera held out his hand for the cup, the contents shaking ever so lightly before he was able to grab hold.

    "I brewed you some tea," said Argon, eyes opening as she sighed in relief, "always thought it helped me wake up in the morning."

    Chimera lowered his head to drink, olfactory senses taking in the cup's herby smell as he lamented that the closest thing he drank to tea in his old life contained enough caffeine to keep a Slakoth active.

    "So," Argon asked expectantly, "what do you think?"

    He shuddered, sweet tooth revolting after being invaded by a decidedly bitter liquid, "This...tastes like crap."

    Argon sheepishly turned away, resuming eye contact with the Bagon moments later to see that he had raised the mug to his mouth and was chugging the rest of its contents.

    "It's...an acquired taste," he continued, holding his hand to his throat to conceal a gag reflex, "I appreciate you showing me it. In a couple more weeks, who knows? I might like it."

    A few brief seconds followed until Argon was unable to contain herself at the display, giggling towards the floor as she motioned the Bagon out of bed.

    "You don't have to keep drinking it for my sake Chimera...come on, we should probably get going now."

    With no recourse, Chimera jumped out of the bunk bed to follow Argon out of the apartment, briefly noting to himself that this was the most awake he had felt during this hour in years.

    ---​

    Immediately upon exiting, the darkness obscuring Faire from the night before was lost, causing a deep gasp to escape Chimera's mouth. Directly across the apartment complex was a monumentous building, adorned with red brick shingles and limestone walls that left the Bagon unable to decide whether it looked more like a mansion or a fortress. The structure's impressive size cast a long shadow over the tiled courtyard that lead to it's entrance, white marble columns supporting the dozens of intricate windows that adorned the front side. The red and white pallet was broken only by a large, green shield placed on the building's highest point, three golden engraved letters spanning the shield diagonally to spell the acronym WFG.

    "I-Uh, I assume that's the guild hall," Chimera inquired, eyes still glued to the building.

    "Yeah, pretty extravagant, isn't it?" Argon replied. "Only the higher level teams get housing there, rest of the space is used for administrative stuff or whatnot." With not a care in the world, Argon motioned Chimera to follow her, periodically having to redirect his attention back towards the city streets as they walked.

    Before long, the duo were at the marble entrance, Argon about to open the doors before feeling a knife-like arm outstretch from the crowd behind her. She jumped back, Chimera realizing the culprit to be cricket-like creature, curled black feelers on its face embellished by a cocked hat and thick green coat.

    "You're the Raichu...uh...Argon was it? My name is Gryllus, Cornet rank of the WFG army division. You can play the flute, correct?"

    She gazed back, unable to respond, "Uh...yes—"

    No sooner had she responded was a uniform mimicking the Krikitune's shoved into her hands, on top sitting a thin, wooden instrument.

    "The military band's flutist just passed out from heat exhaustion, we're marching off in five minutes, and I was informed by the leader of the WFG that you were the only one who could take his place." With this, the Krikitune grabbed hold of Argon's hand, ushering her toward a thin, green line of Pokemon barely visible over a large hill.

    Chimera was just about to run after the Krikitune in protest when he heard a voice call out through the crowd, "I'll take care of this. Just...wait for me until I get back!" His flabbergasted expression refusing to go away, Chimera planted himself on the circular brick bench of a courtyard fountain in silence, mulling over if this was a regular occurrence for the Raichu.

    As the seconds waiting outside the guild hall faded into minutes, he found that the butterflies scattering tumultuously in his stomach had dwindled into what could only be called boredom. With little else to do, he occupied himself analyzing the various Pokemon moving in and out of the guild in a seemingly unending line. More often than not, a passerby would notice his wandering gaze, only to either return to their indifferent glare, or break eye contact and quicken pace. One Pokemon, however, did not fit this description. Ambling out of the crowd was a large, giraffe-like creature, body split down the middle between black and yellow spots, back side protruding a ball and chain like tail with a roguish smile. A look of panic lit up Chimera's face after seeing the tail return his gaze and the rest of the creature turn around to approach him.

    "Hello, old chum!" The Girafarig greeted. "Waiting for something I presume?"

    "Uh...for someone," Chimera replied, "might be a little while until they come back."

    "Well, I can see why you'd be anxious, most new members of the WFG are when on their first mission."

    The Bagon's face twisted into a scowl, "How did you—"

    "The badge," the Girafarig interjected, pointing a hoof at the green and yellow shield pinned to Chimera's backpack, "only new recruits wear this badge, and I'd like to believe I'm on good terms with all of the previous members."

    "I was just going out for a game of hoops," he continued, "seeing as how you have got a bit of a wait ahead of you, care to join old chum?"

    Chimera stared onward, racking his brain for any indication of what 'hoops' was. Eventually, analysis and reasoning provided the answer memory couldn't: laying atop the Girafarig was a cloth bag, open end revealing various sized wooden mallets and solid colored spheres. Tracing the direction the Girafarig was pointing, Chimera spotted a large, open, field endowed with several U-shaped gates plunged downward into the grass.

    Oh...croquet...guess somethings never change. I do have nothing better to do, and I should be able to see if Argon comes back from over there...

    "Sure," Chimera replied, arm outstretched expectantly for a mallet, "Why not? And your name is?"

    "Excellent! Name's Binair, pleasures all mine."

    As Chimera and Binair took their positions at the beginning of the double diamond of hoops that made up the game field, a short mallet and blue ball levitated from the Girafarig's pack toward Chimera,

    "The blue ball goes first, care to start the game off old chum?" Binair asked.

    Chimera squinted at the Girafarig, "I presume that this is a game were going first is advantageous?"

    "...In a way..." he replied, "you will just have to find out."

    With a sigh, Chimera sat the blue orb next to a colored stick dug into the ground in front of the two starting wickets. It took more than a few seconds to find how his hands could hold onto the mallet in the fashion least awkward, the Bagon sarcastically wishing he had taken up golf in his old life. After a few practice tests of the mallet, he swung, the blue orb tumbling toward the first hoop to barely pass through it.

    "Great shot old chum! You've gone through the first wicket, that gives you an extra swing."

    Chimera re-positioned himself, cringing as the sun hidden under one of the many palm trees surrounding the field revealed itself. Surveying the rest of the field now seemed almost impossible to the blue lizard, constantly having to shift his vision back down to the blue orb for fear of causing damage to his eyes. His next swing came much less easy, veering to the left and stopping just before the second wicket.

    "That's your turn," Binair called out, Chimera noting that atop the Girafarig's head now sat a large pith helmet.

    Once Binair was at the starting point, a large mallet at his side levitated towards the red orb now beside the colored stick. With a flick of his mind, the Girafarig sent the end of the mallet towards the orb, directing it in a straight line past the first wicket, sideswiping the blue orb before careening through the second.

    "That's three extra swings for me," Binair called out toward the bewildered Bagon.

    "How...how does that—"

    "One for the first wicket, another for the second, and a third for hitting your ball," Binair interjected, "a pretty good shot if I do say so myself."

    Chimera found himself at a loss for words, retreating towards the palm tree's shade to hopefully hide his look of indignation.

    ---​

    The rest of the game passed by quickly for Chimera, sunlight growing ever more oppressive as the Girafarig maintained a steep lead. Just as Chimera felt like he was making progress as his blue sphere drew closer to passing through final hoop, it was knocked towards the other end of the field on Binair's turn, drawing a maddening roar from the blue lizard as he threw his mallet to the grass.

    "Frustrated, old chum?" Binair asked, the two white horns on his head growing a vibrant pink as the Chimera's mallet was lifted from the ground towards him.

    "I...yes, yes I am, it isn't fair that I have to use these," Chimera replied, holding his stubby blue arms up, "while you can use your goddamn telekinesis on the mallet!"

    Binair gave a quick chuckle, "Well, would you rather I hold it with my mouth? I was born with the ability, is it not natural that I use it?"

    "Not when it puts you at an inequitable advantage," he shot back. "You might as well just play with other psyche types if they're the only ones with a fair chance."

    "A decent point, old chum," said the Girafarig, "however, I believe you fail to consider the world we live in."

    He continued, "Take, for instance, if I were to play a game against that fine gentlemen over there."

    Chimera glanced where Binair was pointing, spotting a large, orangutan-like, Pokemon with a purple cloak.

    "Oranguru are extremely intelligent Pokemon, that one over there would be able to calculate the exact pressure the ball must be hit and the exact angle to achieve the most efficient route. I would have no chance, had I not used the advantages you just described."

    "But you're not playing against an Oranguru, you're playing against me," Chimera replied. "Why even bother playing if you know you're going to win? Kind of defeats the whole purpose of a sport."

    "To...teach," The Girafarig slowly replied, "teach a lesson, old chum, one that those just joining the guild such as yourself could use. You know the theory of the human universe, do you not? Were one species dominates the world and has made a sport of battling Pokemon such as us?"

    Chimera bit his lip, "I'm...familiar with the concept, yes."

    "Consider this, why do we not tell of worlds with Girafarigs or Alakazhams as the dominate species? They would certainly be more intelligent, as welling as being able manipulate objects more efficiently than any appendages could."

    Before Chimera could think of an answer, he continued, "The answer, old chum, lies in their drive. The humans of that universe were not content to stay where they where and coexist like any Alakazham would. They pushed on, taking whatever suited their fancy, inventing ways control creatures with ten times their own mental or physical power."

    "What's your point?" Chimera inquired, "You've said a lot, but we still are just playing croquet."

    "My point, old chum, is that the world follows harsher rules than a game of hoops, and you're bound to encounter other Pokemon who are stronger and faster than you on your journey. I've spent a long time studying scientific theories on the human universe, and I've found that if you emulate them, if you keep that same inventiveness and desire for more, you'll end up with the destiny you've always wanted. Consider that, when we play croquet again."

    Chimera's mind was lost trying to find a counterargument, finding relief only when his eyes spotted a familiar Raichu approaching from an end of the field. Even from a distance, Chimera could she that marching had left her racked with sweat, Argon's face conveying a simple message: I'm not doing that again.

    "Argon!"

    Chimera jumped, surprised to see that Binair was the one calling out to her. "Fancy seeing you here, you'll be heading out soon, I presume?"

    "Yeah," she replied in between deep breaths, "going on a short mission with my new partner over there, had to help some of the soldiers first, though."

    His curiosity peeked, Chimera piped in, "I take it you two know each other?"

    "Well, of course," she replied dismissively, "he's my boss."

    Chimera's head shot towards the Girafarig, demanding an explanation.

    "Guess the game is up," Binair said with a heavy grin, happy to oblige, "before you stands the founder and current presider of the Western Faire Guild."
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  8. pbugle

    pbugle Member

    Chapter 6: The Test
    No...not again,

    Chimera lay motionless, eyes wide staring unto the Girafarig is his mind shouted accusations toward it's only occupant.

    It's all over now. You ruined it, the things you said...badmouthing the one person you should have obeyed over all else. He's no doubt going to kick your ass to the curb now, unless...

    Chimera's knees weakened, dropping him to the floor as he forced his gaze from Binair to the grassy ground.

    "I am so sorry for all those horrible things I said to you. I-Uh...I lost my temper; it was unprofessional, disorderly, insolent, and plain stupid."

    Binair gazed at the Bagon with an incredulous frown, "Chimer—"

    "I should have known better," he continued, holding a melancholic tone Argon inwardly pondered as almost sounding rehearsed, "I shouldn't have disrespected what you said, please...it won't happen again."

    Binair kept his dispassionate gaze, "Chim—"

    "Please! You don't have to do this, I just need another chance. I'll do anything you ask to make this up, I promise I'll develop into a productive member of the guil—"

    "Chimera!" Binair yelled, tail forming a scowl to match the one on his face. "The only thing you need to develop is a spine."

    Ever so slowly, the Bagon lifted his head from the floor, "What? I don't understand."

    "You're still in the guild, old chum," Binair replied, as if the conclusion was obvious, "only the most thick-skinned of Pokemon cannot tolerate debate from their own subordinates. Luckily for you, I am not one of them."

    Binair peeked over to Argon, silently watching the entire episode, "He's not always like this, is he?"

    Argon hesitated, lifting a paw up to scratch her back as she gazed upon her beseeching partner, "You've b-been a little...emotional since I met you, but no."

    "Good," Binair said with a sideways glance towards the Bagon, "then there is room for improvement, and for Arceus's sake, on your feet!"

    Chimera rose from his knees, adrenaline exiting his body in the form of relieved sighs, "A-Are you sure, not even gonna...dock my pay or something?"

    "Yes," Binair replied with a prolonged sigh, "and I would recommend you stop suggesting ideas for your own punishment."

    Faced with this news, Chimera's frozen continuance returned, lasting several seconds before a solitary giggle escaped from the side of the Bagon's mouth. A few seconds more, and the giggle had escalated until he was closing his eyes and cackling towards the ground.

    "What's so funny?" Argon asked, "was there something important I missed, or—"

    "It's nothing," Chimera puttered out in between prolonged laughter, "it's just, oh Arceus, I'm a fool."

    Argon and Binair starred onward at the unhinged Bagon, creating a discomforting silence surrounding the group, only broken only by the sharp cough of the Girafarig as he opened his mouth,

    "Well, now that the matter has been resolved, I presume that you two will be leaving for your first mission?"

    "Uh..yeah," Argon piped in, "I was going to sign us up for a small resource recovery mission, we should be able to get back before sundown."

    A scowl formed on Binair's face as he looked toward the Bagon, "Would you two be adamant for a more...well paying expedition?"

    "I-I thought about it," Argon replied, arms crossed and feet beginning to tap as she turned to her partner, "b-but I figured that it would be best to start slow, after all, I'm not sure how capable you are at dungeoneering, Chimera."

    "Well, I'm sure he could handle himself, especially when paired with someone as experienced as you, isn't that right?"

    "Uh...yeah!" the Bagon replied, turning towards the Raichu to give his best attempt at a heroic stance. "I won't be a burden, you can count on that!"

    After giving Chimera's eyes a search of confirmation, Argon turned back towards Binair, "Ok...I guess, what do you have in mind?"

    Binair's mouth formed into a grin, Chimera able to confirm that his tail had taken up a similar expression, "An important retrieval exploration. My sources tell of an object of intense power, recently discovered to be hidden in an island just off the coast of Eastern Faire. Sail to this island, fight through the mystery dungeon to retrieve it and bring it back here."

    "That'll likely take the entire day, if not more..." Argon whimpered, peeking at Chimera to see that a smile had taken the place of his former grimace, "n-never mind, tell me, how will we tell what this item looks like?"

    "Let me just say it has a very distinctive pattern," Binair replied, "you'll know it when you see it."

    Before Argon could object, Chimera quickly ran around the Girafarig to hang a hand over her shoulder, "I guess we should head out soon then, we're burning daylight!"

    "Indeed, old chum, gather what equipment you need and head toward the docks, tell the captain of the WFS Draeck that I sent you. You'll need the location of course," the horns on Binair's head flashed a vibrant pink as a folded sheet of paper tucked in Argon's bag surfaced.

    "—here," the Girafarig spoke, quill levitating out of his pack to meet the paper, "I'll mark it on your map."

    Argon grabbed hold of the wonder-map, noticing that a seemingly random point off the eastern island's coast was marked with a small X.

    "We should really get going then," she said, shuffling out of the Bagon's grasp, "I'd prefer if we're not trekking through a mystery dungeon after sundown."

    With this, Argon turned, Chimera following her lead to walk toward the visible large cluster of vessels out in the distance. After a few steps, however, he stopped, turning his head back towards the Girafarig as he spoke,

    "Binair...I'm sorry for the way I acted, few that I've known would so generously hand out this opportunity, thank you."

    "No apology needed," Binair replied, his tail's roguish smile again glaring at the Bagon as he walked away, "I always protect my investments, and as I said, I look forward to our next game."

    Chimera found himself beaming back at Girafarig's tail as the instruments of their game levitated into Binair's pack, "Yeah, so do I.

    ---​

    As Chimera followed Argon through the Pith Town harbor, he couldn't help but notice that the Raichu seemed unfazed by the excessive shouting between various ships and the olfactory overload of saltwater from the heavy breeze. A look from the Bagon towards the docks revealed vessels of all sizes jutting in between each-other like people in a crowded hallway. Before long, the duo arrived at a vessel fitting Binair's description: in between the dozens of crafts lying dormant in the harbor was a moderately sized ship, sapphire wooden planks making up the body creating a deep contrast against the faintly yellow stained sails hanging across the vessel's three masts. The most immediate draw of the vessel was it's figurehead statue: a large, serpentine dragon-like head, bright yellow eyelids bellow pink eyes creating an almost cartoonist appearance.

    "Oi, ye coming aboard or what!"

    Argon starred up at the startling yell, spotting it's source to be an imposing bipedal green snake, leaning over from the vessel with a disheveled scowl. On her head was a cocked hat, recognized by the Raichu as the same type worn by the commanding Kricketune.

    "Well? Executive Officer Binairs paying a lot of poke to see ye two delivered somewhere, I could always wait here and collect the reward if you're so inclined."

    "N-No, that won't be necessary," Argon hastily replied, walking with Chimera across the vessel's rickety gangplank.

    "Better not be," the Servine continued, "would probably take five hours or more to to travel to that island he descried, would hate to spend it here doing jack all."

    Now standing aboard the Draeck, Chimera followed Argon towards the Servine, instinctively reaching his hand out towards her before pulling it back, a memory of his last attempt at such a gesture still fresh in his mind.

    "And your name is?" Chimera asked.

    "Wendy," she replied, "Captain Wendy, to be clear."

    The Servine turned around from the pair, taking her position at the helm in front of the dozen or so crew members scattered across the vessel as they set sail from the harbor.

    "I'd recommend you find somewhere comfortable, we're in for a long trip. Below decks usually a nice spot, but a word to the wise, usually a
    bunch of spare parts and tools lying with the cargo, a sharp wave can send one hurling towards ye if you're not careful."

    Argon nodded at Wendy's warning, temptation to lower a hat over her eyes and sleep in the warm sun cut off as she recalled one of her original concerns.

    "H-Hey, Chimera," Argon spoke, "don't take this the wrong way, but I was wondering if I could...test you on something,"

    "Sure, what's the test?" the Bagon replied, "you won't find a better person to help you with doing your taxes, if that's what you want."

    "No, it's not that, it's just...there's a fair amount of battling in my line of work. H-Had we been doing most other missions the biggest thing you'd have to worry about would be wild Shellos or Caterpie, but where we're going is a wildcard, I just wanted to see if you could defend yourself."

    A bead of sweat began to form on Chimera's forehead, "Uh—Yeah, that's fair. I've got no problem showing you."

    Argon gave a motioning wave toward the vessels stern, Chimera gazing past it to see that they were about a kilometer past the harbor.

    "I-I guess we should start off with some of your elemental abilities," Argon said, motioning to a loose plank of wood floating behind the Draeck, "I believe your species should be able to breath embers, or some sort of blue fire, I think, could you demonstrate?"

    Chimera nodded, exhaling quick, short breaths as he attempted to psyche himself up. He tightened his chest, feeling inside for any unique organ that would provide Argon's stated abilities. With no obvious answer, he closed his eyes, taking a deep breath as he opened his mouth in the direction of the driftwood target. The muscles in the back of the Bagon's throat waited expectantly for some substance to exhale, seconds passing as it became increasingly clear to the pair that none would come.

    Argon spoke up, "Chimera, are you alrigh—"

    "Yes," he interjected, "I'm...fine, just need a few seconds."

    He pounded his chest twice, in an attempt to give his lizard-like body more of an inclination to fulfill it's desired purpose, before trying again. Again, the jaw opened towards the floating plank released nothing but hot air.

    The pattern continued, scowl on the Bagon's forehead becoming increasingly clear every time his scaly snout would open towards the vibrant hew of the increasingly shrinking harbor in the distance.

    On what she assumed was Chimera's dozenth attempt, Argon piped up, "Well, maybe you're more of a physical attacker? I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of a headbutt from you, for what it's worth."

    Chimera threw his arms to the ground and turned towards the bow, "I should be able to do this! Everything I need is right here, I can control my arms and my legs, I don't see why this should be any different. I don't...maybe you're right, unless—"

    "Argon, would you be willing to battle me right now?"

    "Battle you?" Argon questioned, "I-It seems a bit early to be sparring, don't you think?"

    "I know, I know," Chimera quickly replied, "but I think I know why I can't exhale fire right now. It must be something in the mind, I've found that if I'm put in stressful situations, I'm able to do things I thought I couldn't before. If I'm in danger, my brain will...sort itself out, survival instincts and all that."

    Argon starred back with a blank expression, "You're probably one of the more out there Pokemon I've met, but if you think it will help."

    She turned back towards the Servine, "Captain Wendy, do you mind if we—"

    "As long as ye don't damage the ship or crew, ye should be fine," Wendy replied with a dismissive wave of a vine, attention taken up concentrating on a large map.

    With this, Argon and Chimera took their positions, standing at the center of the modestly sized ship about ten feet away from each other.

    "Are you sure you want to do this?" Argon asked, "I'll...try to take it easy on you."

    "I'd appreciate it more if you didn't," Chimera replied firmly, "think of me as someone you have to defeat, like an enemy Pokemon in a dungeon. If my theory is correct, that's the only way this is going to work."

    The Bagon gave a short breath, before charging at the Raichu head first, eye's pointed straight towards the vessel's floor.

    Argon waited, Chimera's stone forehead nearly on top of her before she jolted to the right, scurrying to the other side of the vessel as he turned around to meet her.

    "N-Not a bad attack," Argon commented, "but you should keep your head up before you hit them, it's easy to dodge if you know they can't see you."

    Chimera nodded, eyes opening in shock as he noticed faint sparks begin to emanate from the Raichu's cheeks. Immediately, a short burst of electricity launched from Argon's tail, the Bagon just able to dive out of the way behind a large barrel as the wood plank where he was previously standing adsorbed the jolt. Chimera got up and rested his back behind the barrel, a glance to his left revealing a blue turtle tightening a corner rigging looking toward the Bagon with an incredulous stare.

    Chimera glared back at the Wartortle dismissively, before hearing a voice from Argon's location,

    "Pretty good reflexes, now you'll have to either close the gap or use one of your breath attacks."

    The latter option seeming the better one, Chimera peeked his head from the barrel and opened his jaw, slamming his first to the ground when, again, nothing came out.

    "Argon, I appreciate your advice, but this will only work if I'm an danger, you can't hold back."

    Argon's voice cracked, "But wha—"

    "But nothing!" Chimera interjected, "I'm not your partner, I'm your enemy, for my sake please act like it."

    Chimera charged, hurling towards the Raichu with fangs bared. Argon had no trouble avoiding the Bagon's bites, every dodge drawing an increasingly feral roar of rage. After another lunge sent the Chimera stumbling past Argon a couple feet, he turned towards the ground, mind creating imaginary of a humongous blue and red dragon spitting flames towards the helpless Pokemon below. With a stern scowl, he turned his face back towards Argon, belching a soul shattering scream as he commanded every part of his lizard-like frame into launching blue fire at the Raichu before him.

    After a few seconds, he opened his eyes, finding that the only thing that had damaged Argon was his own bad breath.

    "Chimera, do you want to sto—"

    "HIT ME!" the Bagon roared, "I CAN TAKE IT."

    Argon only sighed, sparks in her cheeks being matched by a ball of electricity forming around her left arm. In one swift motion, she darted towards forward, Chimera not even having time to react before he was sent careening across the vessel by Argon's fist. He hit the Draek's floor with a thud, sliding across the wooden planks until the back of his head slammed into the below deck hatch, forcing it open.

    Wendy's voice reverberated through the entire ship, "Oi, Raichu, what just happened?"

    Argon stood with an all too familiar frozen stare, "I...I knocked him out."
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  9. pbugle

    pbugle Member

    Chapter 7: Arsenal
    The end to Chimera's slumber was significantly less tranquil. Without warning, the Bagon's nose was met with a decidedly bitter olfactory overload as a foul-smelling gas flushed through his lungs and nose. Breaths were short and sporadic as his eyes forced open to take note of his surroundings.

    He was sprawled out on his side, light raindrops audible against wood paneling proving that he was somewhere indoors. His face grew cross-eyed, seeing that a small, glass bottle containing a white powder was being supported against his nose by two vine-like appendages. Realizing that the uncorked container was the source of the irritating sensation, he pulled his face back, right ear being met by a startling voice,

    "Oi, lizard-face, welcome to the world of the living."

    Chimera leaned his upper body towards the voice, quickly raising a hand to wipe the drool that had accumulated on the left side of his mouth. The Servine's piercing stare providing a stark contrast to the Raichu to her side, eyes pointed towards the floor and paw raised up scratching the back of her neck. A few seconds of silence passed before Argon spoke,

    "Chimera, I...we should really stop meeting like this."

    The memories of what had just transpired rushed back into the Bagon's conscious. He gave a short chuckle, being quickly interrupted as needles of pain reverberated from his right cheek to the rest of his body. He raised his hand to the pain's source, cheek feeling numb to the touch,

    "Yep, I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess. Literally."

    Argon glanced to the left, levitating a wooden mug filled with a thick, blue concoction into Chimera's hand. The pain from his right cheek seemed to gradually subside with every sip of the syrupy-sweet liquid. Argon waited until the Bagon hid finished chugging the container, before raising her voice in a soft whimper,

    "I'm really sorry for what happened."

    "Don't be," Chimera quickly replied, "I asked for it, if anything I should be apologizing to you for forcing you to do that. It seemed like an idea that made sense when I thought about it, but in the end I pushed it too far, I'm sorry."

    Her eyes gave a few quick blinks as her head lowered, "Are you sure? Alright, if you insist. The moment you hit the ground, I was just...terrified that I might have given you a concussion, glad to see you're ok."

    A toothy grin replaced the melancholic frown on Chimera's face, "If it's any consolation, it was a really impressive punch, definitely knocked me off my feet."

    A blank stare remained on Argon's face for a moment, broken when her mind recognized the Bagon's attempt at levity and let a chuckle escape from the side of her mouth, "Someday, you have to teach me how to make jokes like that on the spot, really helps to lighten the mood."

    "If ye two are done apologizing to each other, I got a ship to run," Wendy interjected, causing the duo's heads to jump up and stare towards the drips of rain wetting the crew-quarters wooden floor as she stepped out into the storm.

    The Raichu kept her eyes toward the door until it had closed, letting a moment pass before slowly bringing them to rest on Chimera as the room's illumination retreated to the tiny cracks in the door frame.

    "P-Please don't take this personally, but I think there are some questions that should be answered while we're here," she stated, waiting for an approving nod from the Bagon before she continued.

    "Ever since we've met, you haven't exactly seemed like a perfectly normal Bagon. Being passed out on a random corner of the beach, fainting at the first thing you could see, not being able to use attacks that your species innately know. I don't mean to pry, but... is there something you haven't been telling me?"

    "Oh...yes, of course," Chimera slowly replied, reducing his voice to a whisper while peaking towards the door, "if anybody deserves to know it's you. A quick question first, do you know what a human is?"

    Argon spent a few seconds pondering the question, matching the Bagon's tone, "S-Sort of, I remember Executive Binair talking about them a couple times, apparently they're some sort of species in an alternate dimension," she closed her eyes, holding a paw up to her chin, "A few fictional stories exist about them, years back I read a couple about a human being turned into Pokem—" she froze, eyes shot open staring at the Bagon, "you're not saying what I think you're saying, are you?"

    Chimera's silence was the only answer she needed,

    "Arceus...what have I gotten myself into?"

    "Nothing yet," Chimera hastily replied, "this shouldn't change anything, there's no world ending catastrophe about to occur, at least that I'm aware of. I don't know why I'm here, and to be perfectly honest I don't exactly care, just know that that's the reason I might have acting strangely sometimes, nothing else to worry about."

    "One more thing," he added, " you're free to believe or disbelieve my claim, but I'd prefer to keep this a secret between you and me, if you don't mind. I just...feel that things will work out better if few people know."

    A contemplative silence grew between the two, interrupted by the infrequent drop of water from the leaky ceiling. Though Argon couldn't see it, Chimera's body was inwardly quivering, faint whispering in the back of the Bagon's mind suggesting that the she was about to either shout or make a break for the door to have him committed to whatever the Pokemon equivalent of an insane asylum was.

    "So...what's it like?"

    "What's what like?" Chimera replied, subconscious voices vanishing ever so slightly.

    "Being part of the human world," Argon continued, "did you remember anything about it?"

    Chimera closed his eyes and scowled, silently appreciating that his recent forced rest had been relatively dreamless. A few seconds passed until the Bagon was ready to speak, content that he had found the right words.

    "It's wasn't the happiest place, at least for me. Humans have a different...philosophy than what I've seen here, guess it's just in their nature. It's dog-poochyena eat poochyena, the haves and the have-nots. There are similarities, of course, a ship like this wouldn't seem too out-of-place in the human world, at least a long time ago, as well as the less...inviting people who accompany it. If I had to name the biggest difference between the two, I'd say it's in their potential. Here, there's this greater sense of...hope, I think. I have the impression that I can make something out of myself, that if I play my cards right success will be within reach, not so in the past."

    He continued, Argon taking note how his voice wavering as he went on, "I know it's a lot to take in, but...I just don't want this to impact us working together, you've already done me a good turn, and I'd hate for any partnership to feel disingenuous because of this. You're more than welcome to call this whole venture off if you think that's the best choice. Hell, I very well might have if our situation's were reversed, and you were a Pokemon-turned human. At the end of the day, it's your choice."

    Satisfied with what he'd said, Chimera waited expectantly for Argon's reply, a steep turn of the Draeck sending the narrow door frame's beam of light across her face like the hands of fate.

    "You're either a human, completely insane, or the world's best con artist. After what you've said...I'm satisfied to think the former."

    "You believe me?"

    "You haven't done anything to make me distrust you yet," Argon continued, "and it would explain a lot. I can't imagine living in the world you just described, i-if you're looking for a place in this one, I'm content to try and help you find it."

    Chimera closed his eyes, smile created from the Raichu's reply fading as images of blurred faces in clouded scenery popped into his mind,

    "Just know that I appreciate you're faith, I'll try to live up to it. Being in the human world...wasn't all that bad, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have some good times, didn't make some nice memories. There were people, not that many, but one or two who put up with me who I enjoyed interacting with. I probably wouldn't have met them if not for the going through all of it. But...it wasn't worth it at the end of the day, not by a long shot."

    "W-What's the last thing you remember?" Argon asked, paw raised to her chin in curiosity. "It sounds like you didn't come here willingly."

    The murky faces disappeared from his mind, replaced by feelings of sorrow and darkness that were no more clear. He was in a tall place, brown glass bottles of various sizes sat strew across the carpeted floor. Every emotion that had been in his mind seemed to have been amplified, accompanied by a dizziness that had plagued every thought. Periodic beeps came from the answering machine haphazardly fallen from a table, increasingly accompanied by the pleading voices of his once forgotten friends. He remembered the sharp chill of the wind, the tiny gaze of red and yellow headlights from above against the night sky, thinking about how the gaze would become increasingly larger after his feet had left the—

    "I...I'd rather not talk about that, " Chimera replied, jamming his eyes closed as he forced the offending memory away, "let's just say I blacked out and washed up on that beach, it'll be better for both of us. I'm sorry about the secrecy, it's just that...I'd rather make a fresh start with that forgotten."

    Argon nodded, conscious suggesting not to press the topic any further. Minutes passed as Chimera's story replayed through her mind, eventually drawing a paw to her mouth as she attempted to hide a few solitary chuckles,

    "What's so funny?" Chimera asked, the toothy grin returning to his continuance, "I thought I was the one who laughed at poor times,"

    The smile concealed by her paw left with short sigh, "I-It's just...think about it, a human, t-the scientific discovery of the ages, is transformed into a Pokemon and taken into this world. He washes up on the shore, and of all the hundreds of thousands of Pokemon who could have potentially found you, of all the famous explorers or historians who would have been more qualified, it ended up being me, Arceus has a strange way of thinking..."

    "Don't sell yourself short," Chimera replied, "there's probably a hell of a lot more worse 'mons who could have found me. And like I said, this shouldn't change a thing."

    Argon nodded as she let the reply fully sink in, Chimera instead being the one to speak up,

    "I'd hate to be a downer, but I still need to find out why my theory failed, and if we're able to fix it."

    At this, the Raichu was forced to pause, vision of the Bagon in front of her loosing focus as her mind pondered. A minute passed before it was shot back into focus, the grin the had formed from having the realization being cut down as its full consequences were considered,

    "Chimera, I-I've put some thought into this while you were knocked out, and now that I know you were a human, I think I might the answer, it's...not good though. I'm not sure if this is correct, b-but you might not ever be able to breathe fire if what you say is true, or it'll at least take a very long time." Argon replied, voice getting ever slower as she stared back at the Bagon.

    "Why not?" Chimera shot back, voice a mix of urgency and confusion, "You said it yourself, any Bagon should innately know how,"

    "B-Because...I-I think it's like evolution in a way. When a Pokemon gain's new elemental powers, like I did when I became a Raichu, it might take weeks or even months for you to be able to accurately use any of your new abilities, because your instincts are still adapting with how your body and mind changes. Turning from a human to a Pokemon in the span of a day...you might not have any of those instincts to begin with, nothing to tell your mind how to control any organs it hasn't already used."

    Chimera stared back incredulously, before slamming his hand to the ground at no one in particular,

    "So that's it then, I'm left with no choice but to charge my enemies head-on? You saw how frail I am, I'll probably get sucker punched into a wall the moment I try to headbutt somebody."

    "Not...exactly," Argon replied, answer synonymous with her opening a canvas bag by her side and levitating a disheveled amalgamation of pebbles, spikes, and thorns onto the floor, "I-I brought some of these for you, just in case. I had a fair amount when I first started at the guild, they're used a lot by some of the fighting and normal types."

    Chimera eyed the various objects, reminiscence of sitting in the backseat of his parent's car staring at two vertically stacked screens reminding him what they were. His mind and hand settled on a silver spike buried under the pile, a quick toss proved it had a hefty weight to it, and a decent enough balance to be considered throwable. The spike's edges were revealed as jagged and dull as he ran a finger across its edge, sections no doubt chipped off due to tosses from its previous owner landing against hard rock. He gave a short glance to Argon and pointed at the empty wooden mug lying on the ground, head motioning upward. Reading the queue, the mug was surrounded by a pink aura of light as it floated to the other end of the room, moving in a slow circle against the room's wall as if an imaginary person was juggling it. Chimera gave one last glance to the silver spike before rising to his feet, balance shifting as he spun his body in a full circle to gather enough momentum for the throw. Once his outstretched hand was pointing toward the target, he released his grip of the spike, sending it souring across the room in an arc.

    He missed.

    A heavy grunt was replaced by a long sigh, as Chimera closed his eyes and looked towards the ground,

    "It's these useless, stubby arms! How am I supposed to throw anything with these?"

    Before Argon could interject, Chimera stomped across the room, giving an audible grunt as he kicked over one of the various wooden crates lying across the floor. The crate was knocked sideways, flimsy top breaking apart as it's contents spilled across the floor. The Bagon was just about to release another yell, most likely audible enough to catch the attention of a particular Servine, when he froze, eyes glued to the various odds and ends strewed across the deck. It was a collection of scrap metal and wooden planks, likely used for emergency repairs to the Draek in the event of a hull breach. Thin metal beams jutted out of the pile, accompanied by tubes about the length of a line of rebar, if he had the tools, the metal and oak could no doubt be forged into something useful...

    Without another word, he shifted his gaze up, walking slowly to a set of doors leading into the lower decks despite the bewildered gaze of the Raichu at his side. Although the cabin turned darker as he proceeded down the stairway, a cursory glance around the cargo lining the floor revealed what he was looking for:an unassuming steel oven, connected to a brick chimney leading to the top of the ship, of which several simple iron-forged tools hanged. Next the forge's moderately sized anvil was a short wooden desk, of which a barrel full of woodworking tools sat on the far corner. On the other end of the room was an impressive pile of coiled hemp rope used for ship rigging. If he could take some, treat it with candle wax and keep it under tension...

    He ran back up the stairs, again passing Argon as he grabbed a handful of sticks and iron spikes,

    "N-Need my help with anything?" Argon asked is he ran by, perplexed expression not leaving her face.

    "Oh no, you're fine," Chimera quickly replied, smile not leaving his, "it's just...inspiration strikes. I'd recommend you get some sleep, this might take a while."

    Though the Bagon had bolted back through the door, Argon could not help but notice that he had left it open. Curiosity peaked, Argon retrieved her backpack from the door and followed, ready to see just what the human had in store.

    ---

    Argon was half tempted to grab a quill and start taking notes as she observed Chimera scurry through the lower decks. A thin layer of paper began formed on the floor as the hours passed by, designs for inner mechanics furiously sketched in ink only to be crossed with a large X across the page and cast aside. The soothing echo of the Draek crashing against the ocean current continued as the designing phase ended, accompanied now by a near constant mix of whetstone scraping against steel, steel flicking against wood, and the piercing sizzle of molten hot metal components being taken from the furnace and submerged in a bucket of water. With little else to do, Argon retrieved a wooden fife from her bag and began to practice as the Bagon worked, starting with simple scales and progressing to slow-paced melodies learned through muscle memory. The gesture was highly appreciated, drawing a cheerful glance from Chimera whenever a splinter or burn from the construction process nearly forced a swear out of his mouth.

    Hours more passed, and the Raichu had long since gone into slumber when she was awakened by another swift turn of the Draek, nearly sending her side towards the ground as she lost her balance. Getting up, Argon eyed Chimera to see him gazing back with a giddy smile, holding the fruits of his labor. In his hand was on object unlike anything she had ever seen, no doubt because, until this point, no Pokemon had ever felt the necessity to see one. The Bagon ran his hand down the contraption of wax sealed string, polished oak wood, and forged steel with an innate sense of wonder, as if he was discovering a passion long-lost to the twists and turns of life. In all honesty, the device did seem a bit...crude to Argon, but the display of its power quickly belayed that suspicion. Chimera reached toward his hip for a short, wooden tube hanging from a freshly sewn canvas belt. From this, he retrieved a spike all too similar to the one used in his previous attempt at throwing, sharpened edge glistening off the dull glow of embers from the forge. Placing the now wood-fletched spike on the contraption in his arms, he pointed it at a familiar wooden mug, lying on top of a crate two dozen feet away. The bolt flew true as the crossbow's extended trigger was pulled, sending it spinning across the room and knocking the mug off of the crate, front tip forming a steep cracks in the grains of wood.

    Though it had been unorthodox, Argon found herself returning Chimera's smile as he turned toward her, happy herself that any assumptions of his prowess had been proven false. As Chimera raised a hand to wipe away the sweat the had long since accumulated on his brow, he gave one last appreciative glance to the devise in his hand and the partner at his side,

    "This should help."
     
  10. pbugle

    pbugle Member

    Chapter 8: Dungeon Crawl Dilemma
    The sails were reefed, the anchor was dropped, the sea shanties concluded, and the Bagon and Raich unceremoniously lowered into a rowboat as they commenced the final journey to their destination. Chimera had ended up on the losing end of their game of 'fire, water, grass', giving Argon ample time to check and recheck the coordinates of their wonder map as he rowed. The quizzical expression that had clouded her face ever since the Draeke ground to a halt refused to relent, being evermore supported as they inched closer to their destination. Binair's description had suggested the presence of an island large enough to contain a mystery dungeon, and yet the only isle visible for miles was a rocky platform barely jutting out of the ocean waves, sporting a rough surface area smaller than even her own apartment floor.

    "Hey, you alright there?"

    She glanced up, seeing that the Bagon was staring toward her with an expectant look,

    "What? O-Oh yeah, I'm fine, just...psyching myself up for going through the mystery dungeon Binair talked about."

    Chimera's head tilted at the remark, forming a toothy grin as he let go of the oars and stepped up to Argon to pat her shoulder,

    "Come on, where is you your enthusiasm?" he loudly proclaimed, bobbing rowboat nearly causing him to lose his balance as he pointed a hand towards the horizon. "Look at us! A Raichu and Bagon, venturing into uncharted territory for fame and fortune, what's not to enjoy?"

    Despite his best efforts, Argon's neutral expression was only further entrenched, subconscious bringing up images of a familiar, ghostly Marowak,

    "I-I know, it's just...this is the first truly dangerous expedition I've gone on in a pretty long time. I've seen the results of pokemon going against some of the more formidable Pallids, and it usually isn't pretty."

    Chimera's smile faded ever so slightly, his brow doubtlessly furrowing if it wasn't as hard as steel, "Pallids? What are those?"

    "Oh right, I forgot, you don't know." Argon replied, "Pallids are the pokemon found in mystery dungeons. They're...a monstrous aggression, ones that defy the boundaries of reason. M-Most certainly feral, all the ones that I've seen would sooner die then let you pass through.

    She glanced down, tone condensing into a soft murmur, "Most usually aren't a problem, but the ones that can face you on equal or better footing...y-you just have to mentally prepare yourself for facing a brutal enemy in order to not lose yourself in the process."

    The Bagon's smile had faded completely as he processed the information, a few seconds passing until he realized that he was wordlessly staring at her and turned away. He sat back down, continuing to row towards the small archipelago as he glanced at the recently manufactured crossbow at his hip, a debate brewing in his mind over whether the next targets it found were more or less tangible than a shattered, wooden mug. The foes they faced, Chimera reasoned, would be alive, but if they were as unnatural as his partner had stated, was it really worth trudging through moral questions against creatures that would be nonexistent whenever this dungeon would reset? His conscious told him no.

    No more words were exchanged, pensiveness infecting both as the rowboat hit the uneven ground with a dull thud. Stepping out onto the sharp, wet, rocks brought the pair's attention to a large pit near the center of the island, previously obscured until this point. They peeked down, a gasp filling both their mouths as the hole stretched downward in an unending chasm. The dots connected in Argon's mind, a shiver running down her spine at the thought of having to wash muddy sediment out of her fur. She turned to Chimera, reaching into her bag for a thin rope ladder connected to a small hook, kept on hand when dungeoneering for such an occasion.

    "I-I guess this is the mystery dungeon that Executive Binair was referring to, Chimera. I hope you like spelunking."

    The Bagon didn't say a word, eyes lost gazing at the unending blackness of the abyss. A small pebble clattered downward from the edge of the fissure, a few seconds passing before a faint plopping sound echoed back. He was used to dark, enclosed, spaces, likely preferred them at this point, but the the concept of going into a cavern was a completely foreign experience. Was it too late to call this off?

    He shook his head, turning to Argon with a newfound vigor,

    "Of course, couldn't think of a better way to explore. Come on, theres no time to waste."

    With this, Argon secured the rope ladder and began to climb down, closing her eyes as the familiar yet otherworldly sensation of entering a mystery dungeon washed over her. Chimera followed suit, a part of his mind pining for the Bagon that existed just minutes ago as they went down the rabbit hole.

    ---

    Though a small beam of light illuminated from the entrance and refracted against the shallow ripples of the underground pond, going deeper into the dungeon left the pair with little but the soft flicker of a lantern candle to guide their way, accompanied by the occasional crackle of sparks emanating from Argon's cheeks. The minutes passed, the crossbow in Chimera's hands leveled as his eyes darting in every which way as he scanned for any sources of danger. Every time he allowed himself to blink, another image would be conjured into his mind, their towering figures becoming increasingly deadly as the Bagon speculated over what enemy they would be forced to confront. In an effort to fight off the oppressive darkness, he centered his attention onto his partner, surprised to find that she was leading the way with a passive, almost bored gaze towards the unknown.

    "Argon, I'm no expert, but...we should have encountered something by now, shouldn't we?"

    "P-Probably," the Raichu replied, "I've usually go through dungeons were you can barely get your foot through the entrance without being swarmed by rattatas or the occasional bidoof. I'm not completely sure, but this seems...unnatural."

    They pressed on, a weary sound echoing seemingly throughout the entire cavern every time they unrolled the rope ladder to descend deeper. As they rounded a corner, Chimera's ear caught the solitary sound of claw scraping against rock from where they had passed, his head shooting back as he leveled his crossbow at the direction of the noise.

    "Uh...come out," Chimera said, voice quivering just enough to prevent him from shouting through the whole floor, "we know you're there, no use in hiding."

    He could only sigh between jittering teeth as no response came, drawing one last glance at the location before turning his head back toward Argon to walk,

    "M-Must have been a rattata or something," he whispered, just loud enough to be caught by the yellow ears of his raichu companion.

    Argon glanced behind her, feet stopping as she took note of his disposition, "It might, might not be though, best to keep a good lookout. R-Remember, deep breaths, if we work together we'll get through this, but letting the dungeon get to you will only make it worse."

    Chimera paused as he considered his partners words, eventually drawing a deep sigh that, though soothing to his muscles, left his mind in it's overscrupulous state. The effect was slight, but noticeable, periodic shaking condensing from the Bagon's entire body into only his arms. In an effort to reassure himself, Chimera reached into his backpack for a green and gold badge, careful to not send the mental command to evacuate as he ran his fingers over the small shield. Any attempt on their lives, he reasoned, would be fruitless if they were ensured the opportunity for escape, and in this knowledge Chimera returned to his walking pace, content with giving the occasional glance at any unknown forces shadowing them.

    A brief respite appeared from the cavern's near endless corridors as they walked into a small clearing. Argon welcomed the faint sloshing of the caves underground river while sitting down for a brief rest, giving an appreciative glance towards the nearly endless lines of stalactites that lined the cavern ceiling, as well as a particular wall where sediment hanged over each other like a waterfall made entirely of rock, seemingly frozen in time. The Bagon sat down beside her, too preoccupied with soothing the aching sensation in his feet to appreciate the view. Any attempt at rest, however, was interrupted by the faint scraping sound once again bouncing throughout the grotto, hoisting Chimera to his feet as he raised his voice in its apparent direction.

    "Whoever you are, we're right here, if you have something to say, say it. If you don't...then I'd appreciate if you could stop wasting our time."

    Satisfied with his words, the Bagon stood up to challenge their apparent aggressor, Argon not even able to finish her warning before a silhouette rushed him from the darkness.

    Sharp claws pierced Chimera from behind, tackling him to the ground. The lantern and guild badge in his hand were sent crashing to the floor, the faint embers of the ladder object rolling against stone before falling into the shallow pond at his side, bathing the battlefield in darkness. As the Bagon fell on his back he could hear his Raichu companion cry out in pain, accompanied by a multitude of low-pitched squeaks and chatters from the same location.

    Chimera raised his arms up in a haphazard attempt to block the claws from whatever creature was pinning him to the floor, deep gashes forming from his arms getting torn apart by lacerations. A booming crack echoed throw the cavern as a thunderbolt ran across Chimera's line of sight and was diffused into the stone walls. The subsequent flash provided the Bagon a brief opportunity to gaze at the face of his attacker, drawing a terrified gasp as he gazed into its lifeless eyes.

    It was...a charmander, but the appearance was something more akin to a ghost. The eyes Chimera stared into were a pupil-less, pale, white, still more than detailed enough to convey a feral sense of hatred and malice toward its target. The skin of the Charmander was not its natural orange hue, but a sickly white and gray tinge, as if half of its body was cast in permanent shadows. The tail...its end was emanating a colorless fire, drawing only more questions through the Bagon's mind as the brief period of light ended,

    How did it sneak up on me? I should have been able to see the light from it's tail, but—

    Chimera barely had time to think as he heard his attacker exhale, causing a horrific burning sensation across his arms and face despite what the room's unending blackness would suggest possible. The pain continued even after the embers had ceased, eventually shifting into a continuous numbness around where he had been hit, amplified around the various more exposed cuts and scratches.

    Clawed hands pinned his own to the ground, terror filling Chimera's thoughts as he heard the Charmander inhale in preparation for yet another rush of lightless fire. Thinking fast, he closed his eyes and jolted his rocky head at the Charmander, causing it to pull its own head back to avoid the strike before spewing more flames at the Bagon. The pain was much less prevalent, his forehead absorbing much of the blast, leaving little but a black scorch mark to show for it. Chimera darted his eyes to his left, realizing that his crossbow had been knocked out of his hand just barely out of reach, one end against the wet rock that marking the beginning of the pond at his side. Another lighting bolt reverberated against the cavern ceiling, Chimera again directing his attention to the grey flame of his attacker, an idea popping into his mind.

    He shifted his weight to the left, drawing on all of his strength to overcome the pressure against his hands as the Bagon and Charmander rolled into the knee high layer of bone chilling water. The grey lizard roared in pain as its tail was submerged, attempting to keep it raised above the waterline as they tumbled. The two grappled until Chimera was on top, now the one pinning the Charmander's claws to the floor. Seeing that he had the advantage, Chimera stomped his feet onto the end of the pale Charmander's tail, forcing it into the water and drawing a sharp sizzling sound from the resulting steam. The shriek of pain returned tenfold, the grey lizard occasionally having to pause to take breaths between relentless screeching. In desperation, it slid its tail past Chimera's feet and forced it up, just able to get the the smoldering end into the open air before it was stomped back down by the Bagon, this time for good. Content where he was, Chimera maintained his position, hands pushing claws to the floor and stone forehead aimed downward to absorb the occasional bite or burst of flames. As the seconds turned to minutes, the Bagon was surprised to see that every attempt to reverse their positions or project fire at his face had grown weaker. Moreover, the defiant cries of his attacker had diminished into a soft whimper, matched by the reduced fizzling of its submerged tail.

    A final flash of lightning blared, this time accompanied by the dull thud and subsequent crack of something being tackled and landing against a wall of stone. With this, Chimera was offered one last glance at the Charmander he was holding in place, his own dark, brown eyes staring into those of pure white. Tears of pain had long since formed across the Charmander's eyes, streaming from both sides of its face into the murky water. The ferocity that had been initially portrayed when they had begun their skirmish was gone, being replaced by a fearful quiver as its countenance stared onward in what Chimera could only describe as a fluctuation of terror and acceptance. As the cavern returned to its pitch-black setting, a faint series of chirps and squeaks came from the Charmander's mouth, one unlike any of the previous feral barks. At this, Chimera paused, raising a nonexistent eyebrow to the grey lizard as he spoke,

    "What?"

    The call came again, this time with a greater sense of urgency, the grey lizard barely able to belt out the end before its voice trembled into nothingness. Faced with what he could only assume was some primitive attempt at communication, Chimera weighed his options, thoughts from both ears whispering into his conscious.

    Let him go, with the amount of time you've submerged his life source, he's no longer a threat.

    You don't know that! What if it's tail simply measures it's vitality, and this is just a trick to get you to lower your guard?

    You don't owe this lizard a thing, it attacked you first, you're under no obligation to relent now.

    This is cruel and you know it, cruel and unnecessary. What if your friends saw you like this?

    Unnecessary? It's survival, what if you let it go and it attacks you or Argon again in the future, this time with friends?

    He's begging for his life! Where is your humanity?

    Humanity didn't get to where it was by relenting when it had the chance to win, remember that...

    Chimera was silent, darkness hiding his scowling expression. Before he could decide, his train of thought was broken by the sound of something glass-like shattering, the room being bathed in an unnatural illumination. The Bagon shifted his gaze from the Charmander to observe the room, spotting the broken components of a blue orb on the floor next to his companion. All around her were the unconscious bodies of a horde of small pokemon, from rattatas to yungoose to zubats, all sporting the same grey coloration as his own attacker, the faint rise and fall of their chests being clearly evident. He drew his gaze from the floor to Argon's face, a chill running down both their spines as they made eye contact. She was frozen, eyes wide and mouth agape as she stared at Chimera, but...she wasn't starring at his eyes, her gape was directed at something else below him, someone else...

    He traced her vision, slowly turning his head back towards the creature retrained against the chilling water. It's head was leaned back toward the ceiling, having long since lost the strength to struggle. Its pale-white eyes refused to blink, Argon staring onward in horror as the fizzling of bubbles from its tail puttered out into nothingness. Chimera took one last look at his companion, silently acknowledging that what he did now could forever stain the partnership he had established. He closed his eyes and drew a deep sigh, his hand had been forced.

    Slowly but surely, the scaly blue feet drowning the lizard's tail relented.

    Immediately, a glimmer seemed to flash in the Charmander's eyes as its tail shot out from the water like a snorkel. Chimera rushed toward the edge of the shore, hastily grasping for his crossbow is he pointed it at the grey lizard, eyes scanning for any suspicious movement. Argon joined him, the duo watching as the Charmander stumbled to its feet, quickly reached a hand to its back to bring its extinguished tail forward. The lizard now seemed to ignore the two, holding the tail toward its mouth as it began to gently blow air into the opening at its end, every breath drawing another obvious cringe of pain. A couple seconds passed, and a minuscule ember began to emanate from the tails end, Chimera subconsciously comparing it to the flicker of light from a wet match or empty lighter. The lizard slowly brought its head to bear at the duo, quivering as drops of cold, murky water ran down from its body back into the pond, but taking no action nonetheless. Chimera gave a sideways glance to the Raichu at his side, seeing that her baffled expression had refused to relent as she stared towards the pale Charmander, her mouth giving off a faint whisper,

    "T-They're...they're not supposed to be like this."

    "Be like what?" Chimera replied, matching her quiet tone, not yet sure if the language barrier was one way.

    "Pallids, t-they're supposed to be naturally aggressive. I've been doing this for years and I have never encountered one that won't attack you outright, never mind one that...begs for its life.

    The grey Charmander looked towards Argon, cocking its head in a neutral expression. Chimera hovered a hand over the crossbow's trigger, scanning the lizard's breath patterns for any indication that it would make use of its recovering passed, gasping as his peripheral vision spotted Argon taking an apprehensive step forward, paw outstretched towards the lizard holding a spiky, red berry.

    "Uh...h-here, this should help you, i-if you want it."

    It was the lizard's turn to stare onward incredulously, Argon lifting a paw to her temple as the berry was levitated from her hand, landing gently into its outstretched claws. It stood still, alternating it's gaze between the Raichu a couple feet before him and the berry in its hands, stuck in what Chimera could only assume was its own inner debate. Eventually, it raised the berry to its mouth, licking it with the edge of its tongue before taking a nibble. The effect was immediate, the grey cinder on its tail raising upward into a continuous blaze, Chimera's body resuming its tremble as his hand drew ever closer to the pulling the trigger. The grey lizard plunged the entire berry into its mouth and began to chew, face seemingly growing in vitality in conjunction with it's tail. With one last gulp of the remaining contents, it turned its attention back to Argon.

    A moment passed as the Charmander and Raichu stared at one another, the occasional droplet falling from stalactites into the stagnate water at their feet as they tried to gauge the other's intentions. Argon took a defensive stance, sparks readying from her cheeks as her mind considered the possibility that she had just made a horrible mistake. The thought, however, was quickly diminished when then the grey lizard's mouth rose into an appreciative grin, one that she was happy to reciprocate, if only to hide the thoughts bouncing through her conscious considering the repercussions of such an action.

    Without another word, the grey Charmander turned its back toward the duo and began walking back toward the way they had came, Chimera lowering his crossbow as he noticed that it's hand seemed to be clenched tightly around a small object. He shook his head, deciding not to give it another thought as it rounded one of the rocky corners. With the only occupants of the cavern opening now being limited to a bagon, raichu, and an amalgamation of tiny pokemon lying unconscious on the floor, Chimera turned toward his partner, both silently agreeing that, at the moment, no more words needed to be exchanged about the recent happenings. With this, Argon closed her eyes, sighing one last time to orientate her thoughts before stepping towards a tunnel leading deeper into the dungeon,

    "W-We should keep going Chimera, we c-can't...can't let this distract us from the mission."

    ---

    Chimera couldn't decide whether he was more relieved or disheartened that the remaining pokemon they encountered seemed to match Argon's initial description. Despite the relentless ferocity of their opponents, most were of relatively small power and constitution, the duo able to end most fights seemingly before they began. Argon took the lead, the Bagon more than happy to provide assistance from a safe distance, cringing internally as the more feeble of the grey creatures were dispatched by a single electrified punch from her fist, or the occasional jolt of thunder from her tail. For the somewhat stronger or more resistant creatures, however, teamwork was required. A rogue gible was able to charge Argon, tackling her to the floor as it opened its jaw before a bolt soured through its mouth, piercing its skin and becoming lodged in the back of its throat. A small dewgong revealed itself from under an underground riverbed, just about to shoot a beam of ice at Chimera when Argon dipped her tail into the water, causing the grey seal to freeze from paralysis. The pattern continued, an unspoken surprise filling both Bagon and Raichu that, in exception to the initial fray, both were progressing through the dungeon without a scratch.

    Eventually, the constant stream of Pallids again faded, and only chilling silence greeted the two as they walked. The dungeon being devoid of any life threatening forces, Chimera was content to let his mind wander as he stared forward at the oversized tail of his partner,

    Just what is it that Binair wants us to find? Why was he unwilling to give even a vague description? Moreover, why send us? There must be more qualified teams to retrieve an item as powerful as he states. Is this...just some convoluted test to enter the guild?

    All good questions, and all that would remain unanswered when a large migraine invaded Chimera's mind, forcing him to shut his eyes and drop toward the ground. It was as if a constant force was pressing against his mind, going deeper and deeper as it dug into the Bagon's long term memory. After a few seconds, however, the force exhibited no more pain, strolling across his subconscious like a reader examining a line of books on a shelf, before reaching for one that seemed the most interesting. As the strange sensation ended, Chimera opened his eyes, able to get one last look at Argon before an unknown pokemon popped into existence behind her, setting a hand on her shoulder before both disappeared in the blink of an eye. The Bagon didn't even have time to shout, swiftly turning his head to see that the pokemon was now behind him. Two closed eyes in the middle of three large, red gems stared into his soul as his whole vision was turned to white.
     

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