DarkFoxKit: Hey readers! I'm making another co-op story, and this was more of a request than anything else. Meet my partner here, ConstructCritical!
ConstructCritical: It wasn't a request… I asked you if you wanted to rewrite that Sonic Fanfiction you told me so much about - very interesting and I still want to do it - and then you just went like 'Hey! Let's do Pokemon Mystery Dungeon! :D' and I was just like 'K'.
DarkFoxKit: The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon was just meant to be a story for fun. It was your request that I post it… I was gonna have you post it, but you want ME to do it, so, yeah, it's a request.
ConstructCritical: *grumbles* Fine, you win. But for anyone who reads this, you might want to stop, it's not very good. It's awful, so you should probably stop here, I mean, it's my first story, so just saying that should make you not want to so you should probably stop here-*gasps for air*
DarkFoxKit: Oh please, I've written most of it. Let's let the readers decide if they like it or not. Now try not to be too harsh, Crit here is… very sensitive.
ConstructCritical: I LIKE CORNDOGS! *grins widely*
DarkFoxKit: … And apparently half insane… yeah… well anyway… Neither of us own Pokemon, we just do fanfiction for fun. NOW READ IT!
ConstructCritical: AND I DID SO WRITE A LOT! I wrote… a few paragraphs - at first… but I started writing more as we went along!
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
Crusaders of Shadows
Prologue: Two Pokemon
In a dark forest, while raining, a Mew was flying fast… she was trying to get away from something. She seems frantic and injured… what is she fleeing from? Out of breath, she used her last remaining strength in a powerful Psychic attack, which blasted into the sky and ripped a dimensional hole… and out of that hole came two falling 'stars'.
The 'stars' turned out to be a couple of humans, one boy and one girl, however, their bodies were glowing and they were changing… and shrinking… the boy turned into a Pikachu while the girl turned into an Eevee and both of them landed into the forest, near a cave.
They slept soundly, completely unaware of the strange occurrence the night had to offer. Nothing made a sound, aside from the steady pitter-patter of the rain. Mew had come and gone, but now, the night held its silence once more, save for the soft, gentle sound of the rain.
Eventually the Eevee began to wake up, her ears twitched at the sound of what sounds like… snoring? That's odd… I don't remember falling asleep next to Dad again… She opened her eyes and was shocked to find herself in the middle of a forest… at NIGHT! She jumped to her feet, but fell, not expecting to being forced on all fours.
"What!? WHAT HAPPENED!?" she shouted, turning around frantically, scared. She then noticed a Pikachu beside her. … Wait… I've got to be dreaming, right? Why is there a PIKACHU beside me?
The Pikachu also began to stir. He rubbed his eyes sleepily, not knowing what had happened. He opened his eyelids to see that the 'hand' he had been using to rub his eyes wasn't a hand at all. It looked more like a paw, and… yellow? He looked over to find an Eevee hyperventilating. Maybe she could unlock some mysteries about his yellow paw?
The Pikachu slowly pulled himself up, realizing that it wasn't only his paw that was yellow, but his whole body, too! The 'yellow' turned out to be his FUR and he was covered in it!
The Eevee noticed the Pikachu was awake and gulped, "U-um… h-hi there?" she wasn't sure if the Pikachu could even understand her… because she knows she can't understand Pokemon.
The Pikachu looked over at the Eevee again, noticing that she had said something, a greeting, he thought to himself. He stood up on his two legs, before wobbling onto all fours. He looked at himself in a puddle the rain had made. He looked like a... Pikachu? Or at least, that's what it seemed like.
Had his friends played a trick on him? He didn't even remember having any friends. In fact, he didn't remember anything in general. "Uh, I know this sounds crazy, but I'm not a Pikachu. At least, I don't remember being a Pikachu…" He said as his voice trailed off.
The Eevee looked at him before she looked down at herself, seeing her 'hands' were actually paws now… and that she was covered in brown fur, and a very fluffy cream color fur was on her neck. "... You say you're not a Pikachu… what do I look like to you?" she asked him.
He stared at her blankly for a second. "You, look to be an Eevee. Unless I'm seeing things, which could also be true." He said, hesitantly. He also thought she seemed lost, not to mention, he thought every Pokemon knew what they were from birth. Except me. He thought to himself bitterly.
"An Eevee?" she said, tilting her head. "... Oh, so that's what I look like now…" She noticed that he was staring at her and she quickly explained, "L-like you I'm not supposed to be an Eevee… I went to sleep as a human girl and woke up as an Eevee!" she frowned as her fur was getting wet in the rain. Now I know what wet Lilipup feels like!
He glanced at her. "Uhm, that's nice and all, but I'm wet, and I want to get out of the rain. Coming?" He asked her, trying to sound more upbeat than the situation made him feel.
"U-uh…" the girl Eevee frowned as she tried to stand up on her two hind legs, but failing. "I'm not use to walking like… THIS." she tried to walk forward but fell on her face. "Ow!"
The boy tried to stand on two legs, wobbling a little but being able to stand. I guess Pikachu are better at walking on two legs. He thought. He took a step, but started to fall backwards, and in a last ditch effort, planted his tail into the ground to stop his fall. He got down and decided to simply walk on four paws.
ConstructCritical: *adjusts the Corn Do-I mean Camera* So how bad was it? Scale of one to corndog?
DarkFoxKit: We won't know until they review the story, stop freaking out and stop saying corndog! It's annoying!
ConstructCritical: Really? CORNDOG CORNDOG CORNDOG! Feeling annoyed yet?
DarkFoxKit: No… but the readers might and put up a review just to tell you to shut up! Ugh… honestly, the nerve of some people!
ConstructCritical: Yeah, the nervousness of some people. You're right, I am getting kinda nervous. PLEASE LEAVE A NICE REVIEW OR I WILL CRY! NO SERIOUSLY, I'M NOT KIDDING. I'LL ALSO ANNOY KIT, SO YOU MIGHT WANT TO LEAVE A NICE REVIEW.
DarkFoxKit: You're already annoying me. *grumbles* Come on, let's go, we've got to let the readers review now.
ConstructCritical: But they probably want to keep hearing me tal-*camera cuts out, fading to black*
Staticky Mysterious Robot Voice: That's the end of the show, please review!
DarkFoxKit: *sighs* …
ConstructCritical: *waves* Hi! Okay, everyone hide! She's coming! Shhhh! *dives under a table* And somebody turn off the lights! *darkness fills the room* Thanks!
DarkFoxKit: *draws something on a piece of paper before walking off*
ConstructCritical: Noooooo! Wait, you're supposed to come over he-*realizes he was yelling and slams his mouth shut*
DarkFoxKit: What do you want, Crit?
ConstructCritical: Err… Happy Birthday! Uh… surprise…! *hangs his head* Rats. That flopped.
DarkFoxKit: …. Who told you it was my birthday?
ConstructCritical: Mew. She seemed happier than usual. You know, how she is when she's about to vaporize you, starve you, or torture you.
Mew: … She never did that to me, I did that to her!
DarkFoxKit: Look, I appreciate the thought, really, but I rather you don't annonce what day it is, okay? *looks around nervously*
ConstructCritical: Yeah… Right… Right… EVERYONE WISH FOX A HAPPY BIRTHDAY! *grins at the screen* MARK IT ON YOUR CALENDARS! MAY 1ST! DON'T FORGET IT!
DarkFoxKit: *grabs Crit's throat and begins strangling him until he turns blue* YOU ARE A BIG MOUTH, INSENSITIVE MORON!
ConstructCritical: Yeah-*choke* Happy! *choke, gasp* Birthday! *choke*
DarkFoxKit: *Growls before dragging Crit into a nice, dark closet and closes the door, with the unsheathing sound of metal being made.*
Mew: ….. Uhhh… enjoy the story while these two… um… talk.
Chapter 1: First Exploration
Eevee grumbled as she just crawled into the cave. "I'll try to learn to walk later… when it's not raining." she said before she looked at the Pikachu. "So… do you have a name?"
The Pikachu nodded as he walked into the cave on all fours. "It's.. I… I can't remember." He admitted to her sadly.
Eevee frowned, "You… can't remember? … How odd… well… so… do you want a nickname or do you just want to be called Pikachu?"
The boy Pokemon sighed, he didn't know. He didn't want to be called simply 'Pikachu' all his life, if he had to stay a Pokemon. He looked around, and closed his eyes. He suddenly felt like he knew what to say. "Could you please call me Crit?" He said, finally.
Eevee nodded, "Okay, Crit… but that's kind of an odd name… was it from a pen name or something?" but he only shrugged. "Okay, I guess it doesn't matter. My name is…" but then she frowned. "Uhhh…" Crud! Now I can't remember my own name! This really bites! "I feel stupid… I can't even remember my own name!" she blushed harshly, feeling embarrassed.
'Crit' smiled cockily. "Welcome to the club, sister." He said in a mocking voice, as if it was a joke.
But he didn't expect Eevee to looked at him like she was offended, "Don't talk to me like that please… I already feel foolish enough as it is." she seems to be the sensitive type. "B-but… I guess since I look like a little fox creature… just call me Kit."
Crit looked down, kicking up some dust. "I'm sorry. Didn't mean to hurt your feelings, Kit. Here, have a rock. He'll make you feel better." He told her jokingly, handing her a pebble that had markings that reminded him of a smiling face.
"..." Kit only gave him a curious look. "... You… like to joke around a lot?"
Crit only smiled sheepishly. "Sorry, it's a bad habit. I get bored easily." He told her.
"I see…" Kit said. "I guess I don't mind a little bit of jokes…" then she looked outside, it was still raining. "But… first thing's first… where are we? Why are we here? Why are we Pokemon?"
"And, why can't we remember anything?" He added.
"Yeah… that too… I mean it's weird, I can remember basic knowledge like the grass and trees and sky and stuff like that, but I don't remember much of anything from my life… just that I was human and I have a Mom and Dad." Kit said, feeling frustrated with her lack of memory. "... Do you remember anything at all, Crit?"
He looked at her gravely, any signs of happiness gone. "My memory is as foggy as yours. I can't remember anything. If I did, I would tell you, because I don't have anyone else to talk to." He told her sincerely.
Kit sighed at this, "Guess we're in the same boat then…" suddenly both of their ears twitched as they heard something outside. "What was that? It sounded like a dog growling…"
Crit looked over. "Maybe we're in a Pokemon's territory. If we are, I don't want to stay here. We don't even really know how to use our attacks, assuming we have any, since we're not even real Pokemon." He suggested.
Kit stood up again, she trembled on her own four paws, "I-I don't know how to walk like this… m-maybe whatever's out there is just angry to be out in the r-rain?"
The Pikachu hesitated for a second, not entirely sure how to comfort her. He put his paw on her and patted her on the back. "I'm sure we'll be fine. We can hide behind those rocks over there until morning." He said to her, pointing to a formation of large rocks.
The Eevee was about to say something when she noticed something outside… it looked like shadows of Houndour and other creatures she couldn't identify. "U-um… C-Crit… there seems to be a LOT of them… and I think there's something wrong with them… they look way too hostile to be normal… I-I think we better get deeper into the cave… just to be safe."
Crit looked back at the mouth of the cave and gasped. "I think you're right. I just hope they don't intend to follow us all the way down. I'll help you." He said, letting her lean on him.
"Th-thanks, I'll try to get use to walking on all fours like this." Kit said as they began walking in deeper. The Eevee was trying her best to learn to put one paw in front at a time, trying to remind herself it's not too different from walking with two feet, just that she has twice as many to put forward.
"I'm sorry if I'm slowing us down." Kit apologized to the Pikachu supporting her.
Crit shook his head. "I don't want you to die, because if you do, I'll be alone and no one will have any idea what I'm going through and they'll think I'm crazy. Or at least they will if anyone is still left who isn't out for our blood." He said, bitterly, before quickly adding "I mean, I doubt anything like that would happen." He said, hoping she doesn't cry.
"You rant a lot when you're nervous." Kit noted. "It's fine… I'm not too scared about that…" she wobbled a bit. "I just wish I could walk better."
The two humans-turned-Pokemon went in deeper, both were surprised how long this cave is. Then they stopped when they came across a Rattata, it was hissing at them.
"A Rattata? What's it doing in here?" Kit wondered. "I think they're supposed to live in fields, not caves…"
"Well, it is rainy, and we didn't want to be in the rain. Maybe the Rattata didn't want to, either?" Crit suggested. "Maybe we can ask it for help?" He asked to no one in particular. He slowly let Kit down while he walked over to the Rattata. "Uh, we're sorry if we startled you…" He started.
The purple mouse creature looked at the Pikachu before speaking, "You don't appear to be one of them…" he said.
Kit blinked. What? What did that Rattata mean by 'one of them'? Did he mean like those Pokemon we saw outside the cave?
Crit scratched the back of his head, trying to figure out what the Rattata meant by 'one of them'. "Uh, could you explain to us what you're talking about? We're from… out-of-town." He said, trying to make a simple excuse for why they were here as Pokemon.
The Rattata answered, "... You two… never heard of Shadow Pokemon before?" he seemed genuinely surprised. Both of them shook their heads and he said, "... You guys must've been living under a rock or something… the entire world is plagued by the Shadow Pokemon."
"Please, if it's not too much trouble, could you tell us what's going on?" Kit asked, hoping the Rattata would explain.
"Well I-" Rattata suddenly stopped and seem to be on high alert. "... Shadow Pokemon are coming… there's no time to explain, just know they are dangerous. We need to get out of here, now, hurry!" he ran off ahead of them.
"W-wait!" Kit called, but the Rattata was long gone.
"We have to hide." Crit said hurriedly, he quickly grabbed Kit and made a break for it, trying as best he could to follow the Rattata in the darkness. "I can't see a thing!" He told her, as if anyone couldn't tell.
"Stop running! We'll hit something!" Kit yelled.
And just like that… they ran into something alright, and it was a Zubat. It screeched angrily at them as it hit Crit with a Wing Attack, who was in front of Kit.
"C-Crit! Are you okay?" Kit called. "I heard you got hit by something! I can't see anything though!" I'm starting to wish one of us was a Charmander or Chimchar, at least their fire tails can light up this place!
Crit's body started sparking with electricity. He wasn't very happy with this Zubat. The light from his body was enough to light the area, and once he caught sight of the Zubat, he wished that he could hit it with one good Thundershock. He growled at it, and lunged, hitting it with all the Electricity he had, which wasn't very much. The Zubat seemed to be pretty hurt, even by his miniature Thundershock.
"WHOA!" Kit jumped by instinct, scared that the Thundershock would hit her too.
Zubat was hurt, but it wasn't done yet, it then flew at the Eevee since she didn't have any electric powers, so it used Bite on her tail. Kit yelled out in pain, running around in a circle like how a Growlithe chases its tail, which is odd since she's not use to walking, let alone, running on all fours.
"OW! OW! OW! PAIN! PAIN! GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF!" she screamed as she smashed her tail and the Zubat into the wall, getting it off her. "My poor tail…" she licked the tip of her injured tail. Never thought I'd be saying that….
Crit ran up to her in concern. "Are you okay?!" He asked her frantically. He wasn't sure why he was so worried about her. It's just that I want someone to talk to. He convinced himself, but something inside him told him that it was more...
Kit groaned a bit and said, "I'll be fine, but that really hurt! … Where's the Zubat?" She turned to see the Zubat had fainted after she smashed it into the wall, combined with its weakness to Crit's Thundershock, it wasn't surprising it had fainted.
Crit ran over to the fallen Zubat, he slightly nudged it with his tail while he stood back. Once he was sure it was down for good, he put one of his hind legs on it and stood on two feet. He put his hands on his hips and smiled cockily, then said "And stay down!"
Kit noticed the cave was more lit after he had used Thundershock, perhaps it was a way of using Flash? "... Um… not to rain on your parade of victory, Crit, but shouldn't we keep going? Didn't that Rattata say those Shadow Pokemon are coming?"
Crit's expression paled a bit. "Oh yeah, we should probably get back to running for our lives, huh?" He asked her sarcastically.
"Yeah… I think I'm starting to get use to walking like this, so it should be a little faster." Kit said as she began walking on her own, she still wobbled a bit, but at least she's not falling on her face anymore.
The two ventured deeper, but they were getting tired as they weren't use to walking for so long, and they were getting hungry.
Crit's stomach growled. "Lemme guess. No snacks?" He asked her, sighing.
"I'm sorry, I didn't bring any snacks with me when I was transferred into the body of an Eevee." Kit grumbled before tripping over something red. "Oof! Ow… Why do I keep falling on my face?" she grumbled before turning around to see she had tripped over an apple. "... Okay… it was odd enough to see a Rattata in a cave, but an APPLE too? There are no trees here!"
Crit lunged for the apple. "O, great and powerful Mew I know it was you who gave us this apple because this apple is red." He said jokingly.
"Mew? Not Arceus?" Kit blinked. "Most people believe Arceus is the 'Pokegod' of the Pokemon World instead of Mew nowadays." she sighed. "And uh… you are going to share that apple, right?"
"Yeah, I was, and now shut up before I eat your half." He told her jokingly, while trying to cut the apple on a sharp rock. "And look, if Arceus really created all Pokemon, how could Mew be the ancestor of all Pokemon? Arceus probably created a few Pokemon, but the stories of him being the 'god' of Pokemon? Trubbish." He explained to her.
"Oh I'm not disagreeing with you there, I don't really think Arceus is the 'Pokegod' at all, but everyone else kept saying he is… at least according to my faint memory that's all I heard. I personally prefer Mew." Kit explained as Crit managed to slice the apple in half.
"Yeah - Mew, we know you're the actual one calling all the shots!" He yelled, pretending Mew could hear him. As he sliced the apple, he gave a half of it to Kit, while keeping the other side to himself. Despite how much he just wanted to wolf it all down, he ate it in small bites, as to make it last longer.
"Well, at least it's good and not rotten." Kit said as she chewed on her apple. "I just hope those Shadow Pokemon aren't close to us, we could use a break."
"Of course it's not rotten. Mew sent it." He said, rolling his eyes like it was obvious. "I wonder if it's daytime up on the surface." He questioned of his Eevee companion.
"It's hard to tell in a cave… I hope we can get out soon." Kit said.
Then suddenly, a Nidoran female came over to them and looked angry, "You! You ate my apple! I lost it while I was in here and now I find that you two ATE it!" she stomped on the ground in anger.
"W-whoa! We're s-sorry! We just thought that-" Kit started to say.
"Are you thieves!? Do you know how hard it is to forage for food with all those Shadow Pokemon running around!?" the Nidoran growled.
Crit glared at the Nidoran. "Suuure it was your apple. If it was your apple as you say, I don't see how anyone would be so stupid as to leave it alone. If they really are as hard to come by as you claim they are, I can't imagine anyone leaving an apple alone for a second!" He shouted at the Nidoran.
But the Nidoran didn't back down, "I was being CHASED you moron! I'm small, and do you know how HARD it is to hold onto to an apple while you're being chased? I don't exactly have talons that could get a good grip of it! When I finally lost my pursuer I was trying to find the apple I lost!"
Kit quickly got in between them, "Let's not fight here… we're not the enemy, okay? We were hungry and we just happen to pass by an apple here and we ate it, look, we'll try to make it up to you."
Nidoran glared before she said, "... You two don't look like you're strong… can you really make it out? Just so you know… there's a Pokemon at the end of this cave… if you want out, you'll have to fight them and they're not pushovers. If you want to make it up to me, then battle me, I want to test your skills first."
Kit blinked, not expecting that, she turned to Crit. "... Uh… What do you think, Crit? I don't know how to fight…"
"Could you give us a second?" He said, not waiting for a reply. He quickly grabbed Kit and they huddled up. "I guess you would know Tackle, since it's a very common normal-type move. I think you can figure out how to do that. Also, you have already used an attack, I guess we can call it Flail, since that's all you were doing." He said.
"Really?" Kit blinked. "Huh… I guess it's an instinct thing… Alright… I guess we could try to fight with the Nidoran."
Nidoran spoke up, "Are you two ready yet?"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, hold your Ponytas." He called to her. "Okay, I'll try to weaken the Nidoran, once I have weakened her, I'll probably be kind of worn out. I want you to finish her off, okay?" He told the little Eevee.
"O-okay… I'll try." Kit said nervously.
The Pikachu and Eevee walked over to the Nidoran, "Finally, let's battle."
Nidoran jumped over Crit as he used Thundershock, she dodged it in the air, and used her horn to hit him, it was secrete with venom however, so she used Poison Sting!
"C-Crit!" Kit yelled in concern. "Did you get poisoned?"
He felt a tingling sensation in his body. Simply moving pained him. "No! I'm fine!" He lied to her.
"B-but you don't look so good!" Kit said, gulping.
Nidoran smirked as she ran over at the Eevee and used Double Kick to her face! Since Double Kick is a Fighting type move, it was super-effective on a Normal type like Kit!
"OW!" Kit cried. "THAT HURTS!" she glared in anger. "Why you little-!" she instinctively rammed herself at Nidoran, pushing her back, she had just used Tackle in retaliation.
Nidoran then used Growl on both of them, lowering their attack power. That was bad for Kit since she only knew physical attacks.
"That growl was kinda… cute?" Crit said very quietly, confused with himself.
Kit shook her head, feeling a bit frazzled, but the battle itself was starting to thrill her a bit more. "Oh yeah? Well don't think Growling will save you!" she turned around and began wagging her tail cutely at the Nidoran, lowering its defense.
The Pikachu was powering up his Thundershock. It still hurt to move, but he jumped up and put the rest of his power into it, hoping to get this over with as soon as possible.
Kit used Tackle while Nidoran used Double Kick, both attacks caused the two girls to hit the ground. Crit ran over at the Nidoran while she was down, seizing his chance.
"Pi..ka...CHUUUUUUUU!" Crit shouted as he fired off his Thundershock, a critical hit on the Nidoran.
Nidoran shouted as she fainted, defeated. Kit weakly stood up, tired and hurt from the battle, but she gave a smile.
"Well… Mr. Sparky, looks like we won." Kit said weakly to the Pikachu.
Crit started to walk towards her to help her walk, but as he trotted over to her, he just stopped, and blacked out as he crumpled to the floor of the cave, the poison finally taking its toll.
The Eevee jumped when he suddenly fainted, "C-CRIT! Oh no! NO! HE WAS POISONED!"
Nidoran groaned as she got back up, "Yeah… but don't fret so much, I didn't make it fatal, he'll be out for a few minutes, but he'll come to again."
Kit looked at her, the Nidoran was no longer hostile. "..."
Nidoran chuckled, "I wanted to test you two… see how well you can fight and to work together… You both seem pretty rough around the edges, but I can see potential in you both."
"What about that Pokemon we have to fight?" Kit asked her.
"There isn't any, well to be more accurate, I was the Pokemon you needed to fight." She smiled, gesturing to the exit of the cave.
"... You did this to test us?" Kit frowned. "That doesn't make much sense… why would you?"
"I'll let you know why once your friend wakes up." Nidoran said.
DarkFoxKit: Well, at least the birthday cake is good. But now I feel old and everyone's gonna call me 'old lady' soon. *dark cloud glooming over her head*
ConstructCritical: Well, if you were old, you would be retired and you would have more time to write! Bright sides!
DarkFoxKit: Retired from WHAT!? *grabs him* You know what? I'm gonna add a special ingredient to this cake. *she put Crit's head into the frosting*
ConstructCritical: *pulls head out* Well, I'd say this has been a hands on experience, but I'm far to aHEAD for that to happen!*rotten tomatoes start being thrown at him* AHHHHH! HELP MEEEEEEEEEEE!
DarkFoxKit: You better be happy that I avoid using the shrink ray on you, or you'd be in my cake next. *hisses* Stupid birthday, stupid age, stupid annoying Crit! *kicks table*
ConstructCritical: I'M SORRYYYYYYYY! JUST DON'T LET ME GET DIRTY FROM THESE TOMATOES! I HATE GETTING DIRTY!
DarkFoxKit: *smirks as she takes out a gun full of rotten tomatoes* You do huh? FIRE AWAY! *fires the gun at Crit's mouth to shut him up*
ConstructCritical: *dodges and gets inside battle mech and powers it up* Surrender! I have you surrounded!
Mew: *laughs* And that's the story of how a girl's birthday party turned into a battle mech fiasco. The End. *closes the story book before throwing cake at the camera.*
ConstructCritical: *crawls out of the story book* Ow! W-what was that for, Mew?! *sigh* Okay, blah blah blah, I like corn dogs, review, and wish Fox a happy birthday. She feels embarrassed about it, so make sure to make it a huge deal! This is her birthday, May 1st, so again, mark it on your calendars and never leave her alone about it!
DarkFoxKit: Somebody's gonna die soon if they do.
ConstructCritical: Uh, I'll just be leaving now… *tiptoes away* RUN AWAAAYYYYYY! *makes a dash for it, while the camera fades to black*