The Tale of Team Longshot - A Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon Fanfiction
Chapter 1 - A Limp Start
Life can be full of surprises. With twists and turns at every corner, happenings are everywhere. Opportunities are everywhere, too. It's only when one makes full use of these opportunities do beautiful things happen. The opportunity of potential is one not to take for granted, since it's an opportunity that usually comes by surprise. What makes the opportunity of potential even more surprising is when it comes to those unlikely to succeed. But when the underdogs use the opportunity of potential to end up becoming something unexpectedly big, that's the effects of opportunity at its finest.
Now, enough of this introduction. I feel like I've gone off topic for far too long. We have a story to get to, don't we? (Actually, it's more of a fanfiction, I thought I've already solidified that point, but whatever) The story of individuals being placed in unexpected scenarios, with some assumptions not being what thet seem, but even then, the destined will pull through, even if their chance for success is a longshot.
The sun shines bright over a large secluded grassy opening. Minus the bird Pokémon that fly by every so often, the area possesses a serenity that can only be achieved by having its greenery untouched by herbivores. There is nothing but peaceful silence, swaying trees as well as lush grass, and a gentle breeze to stir the atmosphere.
Suddenly, the peaceful silence is interrupted when a frozen grey portal materializes in the air, hovering just above the grass. Several large cracks start to appear on the mysterious floating oval. The cracks then start to glow, and afterwards, the portal explodes out of existence. A dark figure, seemingly hailing from the portal's former position, is launched from the blows and reels across the grass, a murky aura seeping from several parts of its body.
"Urgh… c-c-curses… my r-r-retreat… failed…" It mutters, its tone bearing a distorted air to it. A garbled cry of pain is let out as it puts what looks like a bleeding hand onto its face. "These… hands… this vessel's body… the damage… My… m-m-m-my eye!" Its tone rises in agitation.
Wavering, the figure makes an attempt to lift its body from the grass, only for the attempt to be in vain. The following impact against the ground causes more dark aura of sorts to bleed onto the grass.
The figure curses under its breath, slamming a fist onto the ground as its one blue eye starts glowing with a harsher intensity. "This vessel… is at its limits… and I'm blind…" It pauses, eye flickering. "But… t-t-this place… I can sense a familiar energy… I-I-I've been here… I still have a chance… I can still make m-m-my comeback… even if my vessel is falling apart… I'll just use what little power I have left to alter the t-t-t-timeline as if I was always here! Here… I can be less subtle… and take my true form!"
With one more fist slam against the ground, the figure's entire body then starts to dissipate into a swarm of dark spots that proceed to orbit it until its whole being takes up this floating dust-like form. Even then, its voice lets out a garbled cackle, sounding more distorted than ever, as the orb that was once its eye shifts to a violent purple hue and enlarges.
The sound of vaguely maniacal laughter echoes around the clearing it's present in. The violent hostile shade of purple briefly flashes in such a way that makes it visible through the clearing's opening, right where a flock of Pidgeot are passing by.
Only one of the fliers take note of the glimpse of the unusual scene. She sighs to herself. 'And just as I was heading home for dinner… stuff like this in the forest is the sorta stuff I'm obligated to check out.'
The Pidgeot breaks away from the group and flies down into the clearing, swiftly making sure to hide behind a tree. As she observes the transformation going on before her eyes, her entire body glows for a brief second. Her figure shrinks to a smaller form that's better suited to hide behind the tree. Once the glow fades, what's left is the pink-furred levitating figure of a Mew.
"Oh… oh no…" Her eyes widen as the sound of cackling grows louder. "This looks bad… Really bad…" She sighs. "I'm going to have to get some help for this."
Without wasting a second, the Mew transforms back to her Pidgeot form and takes to the skies.
Many years later, ?, ?'s POV
Urgh… what… what happened? Where… am I?
I slowly lift my eyelids, immediately feeling a weight to them that seems ancient as if I've been knocked out for a long time. This is emphasized by the first sensation I feel being an echoed pounding to my head. A groan escapes my mouth, reaching my ears in a vaguely familiar fashion. I instinctively take a deep breath to ease my senses, and as I exhale, the sound of my breath is accompanied by the faint wash of a stream.
Where… where am I, again?
With a bit of trouble at first, I prop myself up to my feet and focus on my surroundings, immediately taking note of the modest little tree my back was leaning against. Afterwards, I bring my eyes over to the rest of the area, registering the quaint little clearing of grass. Judging by the trees around, this place seems to be in a forest of some sort.
Okay… I'm in a forest, I guess… but… how did I get here?
A brief instinct of panic from the lack of answers makes me take another deep breath in an attempt to clear my head. However, as soon as I exhale, I suddenly become aware of how blank my head really is.
Where… where are all the memories? Why don't I remember anything about how I got here? H-How-
I suddenly break into a series of coughs mid-panic, giving me a reminder of my 'unfamiliar' voice. And how that voice came from a throat that feels very parched.
Once again I remind myself of the gentle sound of a trickling water stream, guiding my eyes to my right to see a pond, glistening water pouring down from a modest-looking waterfall to match. I scramble across the grass and get to scooping the water to my mouth in a heartbeat.
The feeling of cool water traveling down my throat leaves me with an easing sensation of relief that travels to the rest of my body, calming me down.
Okay… I think mid-drink, my scoops still eager. … I… I don't know how I got here… or why I got here… but… other than what I don't know… what do I know? My… my mind isn't completely blank, right?
Something comes up. Why… why can't I get the word 'Indigo' out of my head? Is it… important? Is it my… favorite colour or… something? Is it… my name? Seems like an… unusual name… but I guess it can fit for… a male like me… wait, I'm male, right? I… remember being male… sort of… but it's not like I have any way to check that right now… do I?
I don't know… I just got up from being unconscious and I'm already having a mental struggle…
With one more gulp of water downed, I let out a sigh of defeat, dropping my… blue… hands?
Wait one second… these… these aren't hands!
As if to follow up, the ripples on the pond beneath me calm, giving me a proper look at my blue-furred and snouted face, dumbfounded reddish eyes staring right back at me.
If I hadn't already swallowed my fill, I would've had a lot to spit out. Instead, I just kneel there, as if waiting for the complete implications of this moment to fully sink in.
I… I'm a Riolu… I finally stir, staring down at my furred paws as mixed emotions swim in my head. I really am a Riolu… but… this… this isn't right! If… if there's anything I can vaguely remember, it's that this isn't right! I'm not a Riolu! I shouldn't be a Riolu! I'm… a… a…
A single word resurfaces. … a human.
Shifting attention away from my surprise for a second, I try to focus on that one word, hoping for the presence of any other linked memories that can at least give me a better idea of what's going on.
Nothing. No answers pop up, which just leaves room for more panic.
Okay… okay… okay… I take a deep breath. … I… don't know anything… and there's a lot of things I need to know about… I need some help... some company… anyone…
The dependent urge within me continues to force my panic to come back up, making me put my wet paws to my head.
Come on… I can't be alone here, can I?
I frantically gaze over my surroundings once more, searching for a sign that I'm not the only one out here. Anyone that could at least give me a sign of some sort, at least!
I feel my ears perk up. Even if a circle of trees is all I see, a faint noise reaches my ears, a looping sound of some sort. As I dwell on what this sound could be, I hear it slowly getting louder, as if its source is coming closer.
My eyes catch something amidst the trees around me. Levitating big headed passerbys of a light brownish colour. Three of them.
Are those… Beheeyem?
I'm answered when they emerge from the forest, all of them looking occupied in a conversation of some sort. However, because I don't hear their cries, the only hint of communication I catch is the flashing lights on the ends of their arms, probably where the electronic-like beeping's coming from.
Maybe… maybe I can talk to them… I could go for any help at this point…
I approach them, but as I do, their conversation of beeping noises come to a halt. They all hover in a line and watch me with blank but intent stares. The way they all fell silent and shifted their focus to me almost simultaneously leaves me with an uneasy air. As if they're waiting for me to speak.
Regardless, I muster my voice.
"Uh… h-hello?" Immediately after uttering, I take a few practice coughs to clear my throat. "I'm… I'm lost… D-Do you think you can help me?"
The three Beheeyem remain silent, their gazes still fixated on my now-quivering figure. I suddenly develop the urge to back away, but before I can stir, they do. They go back to facing each other and flashing their arm lights at each other, probably going back to discussing something.
Then, they go back to their watching position. However, the one in the middle slowly levitates my way, eyes still on me. The uneasy air only escalates as it levitates down so that we're both at eye level. The silent staring returns, this time with the other two Beheeyem ahead staring with what looks like vague intrigue.
The Beheeyem in front of me is the rest I see, the air of unreadable mystery still remaining. The urge to take a step back comes to me, but my quivering furred limbs remain stiff. All I'm left to do is just remain watching… waiting for something to happen. Something has to stir eventually, right?
I'm broken out of my stunned trance when I notice the Beheeyem in front of me raise an arm, its entirety enveloped in a shiny white glow. My mind immediately recognizes the gesture.
Is that… is that a Steel Wi-
My question is answered when I feel the solid impact of steel hit me right in the face with the speed of a darting punch. Next thing I know, I'm soaring through the air with my paws clutching my throbbing snout, all my senses screaming in pain.
Another wave of pain follows when my back collides with a standing trunk of wood, forcing a whimper out of my throat as I sprawl onto the grass.
"Urgh…" Shakily, with a paw on my snout, I get back on my feet.
However, I do so hastily, as I'm quickly reminded of the sudden threat when I see the Beheeyem slowly levitating my way.
I instinctively attempt to step back, but I end up with back against tree. They're going to corner me if I don't do something!
My eyes quickly dart around me in search of an escape route, but all I see is the impenetrable circle of foliage surrounding me.
All of a sudden, my senses call out to me, jerking my attention to a gap in between two trees to my left.
Without a second thought, I make a break for it.
I don't know where this goes… but I don't have any other choice!
A few strides later, I find myself darting through a straight path, tree shade all around me to give a vague impression of a hallway.
Quickly, I glance behind me to see if I still need to keep my pace. The speeding blue beam whizzing my way as I do so is enough of an answer.
"Agh!" I cry out and sidestep away. As soon as I follow the beam's path of motion to see it miss its mark, I face ahead down the stretch of forest and continue putting my legs to work. A series of thoughts race through my head at a similar speed.
Why… why would these Beheeyem want to attack me?! Are they… that territorial?! If so… why are they still chasing me?! And how do they even learn that Steel Wi-
All of a sudden, I feel myself ramming face-first into the familiar texture of wood, but this time, we both fall over from the impact. I cry out, only for my voice to be accompanied by another one of an adult male.
"Argh… what in tarnation?!"
As if the distinctly heavy adult accent wasn't enough, looking up to see the leaf-headed Nuzleaf getting up was enough to confirm that this wasn't some tree.
A-Another Pokémon?! Here?!
My shaking limbs find themselves unable to muster the action of propping myself up. All I manage to do stare back at the Nuzleaf with quivering eyes.
"P-P-Please…" is all I'm able to mutter.
Yet, contrary to the fear swirling in my head, I see no trace of hostility in the Nuzleaf's eyes. "What's the matter?"
My mind is too shaken to process a response concise enough to explain everything. But, as if to speak for me, I hear the whizz of a distant beam from behind, which the Nuzleaf notices as well. Swiftly, the Nuzleaf jumps in the way of the attack, the beam dissipating as soon as it makes contact with him.
"Good gravy!" He cries out, sounding surprised by how sudden the blow was rather than the damage(?) itself. I get a good look at his expression when he turns back to face me. "Those Beheeyem down the stretch there… they after ya or somethin'?!"
I hurriedly nod. "I-I-I… I don't know why… they just started attacking me! I didn't do anything wrong, I swear!"
I take a look past Nuzleaf to see three distant figures floating closer into view. Before I can attempt another effort to stand up, I get whisked to my feet.
"I'll have to trust your word then," Nuzleaf says, a cautious but firm tone to his voice. "Come on, follow me! We don't have time to waste!"
He fires a projectile of some sort towards the Beheeyem's direction and runs ahead, motioning for me to follow.
Before I can question anything further, I follow suit.
It seemed like a few minutes before our paces slowed down to walks. After finally mustering the courage to take a glance back, I realize why.
I… think we lost them…
I let out a breath, both to sigh in relief and to take a breath to compose myself. Going turn after turn down the same-looking forest path has taken its toll on my…
… my body…
With a sudden reminder of my waking conflict, I look down at my paws. My thoughts stir with more mixed feelings about this particular situation.
It's jarring to think that this fur… these paws… are mine now… I've spent all this time running to the point where I feel used to using them by now…
At least I'm lucky to be a Riolu… I don't think I would've managed nearly as well if I were a quadruped instead…
I might as well consider myself lucky to be capable of running right when it mattered… But… I know I was running from the Beheeyem, but now… where am I running to?
I look ahead to see the Nuzleaf, still trudging along the path. I've been following him at a walk's pace for a while now, yet in that time I never asked him about our destination… or our current location for that matter.
I muster a breath. "Hey… Nuzleaf, uh… wait, can I call you that?"
"Hmm?" He glances back at me. "Sure, or Mr. Nuzleaf if you'd like. Whatever you fancy. Ya also got a name of sorts you'd prefer to go by?"
A… name? I quickly fish out the closest thought related to what I perceived was a name. "... Indigo."
"Indigo, eh? I reckon that'd do." His lip curls up to resemble a faint smile. "Anyways, Indigo, I hope you aren't tired yet. The village is just a short ways from here."
I cock my head at an angle. "We're… going to a village?"
Mr. Nuzleaf nods. "Serene Village. That's where I live. It shouldn't be too far off… just need to finish gettin' through this mystery dungeon area here."
"A… mystery dungeon?" I start pondering over how alien the term is to me.
"Ya don't know what that is?"
I nod slowly.
The smile on Mr. Nuzleaf's face turns to a proud grin. "Well, fortunately ya got an outgoing adult explorer like me with ya. You see, mystery dungeons are like these weird areas with items of sorts lying around, among other things. Like the twisting corridors and rooms in a forest of all places."
I… never really questioned the layout, but now that he mentions it.
"For some, it can be very easy to get lost in these places. Just need to find the staircase-like structure to descend to another floor, sometimes to either an end or an exit. You follow?"
I put a paw to my furry chin. I… never really noticed that staircase bit… "So… this forest is like a cave?"
His eyes light up. "When ya put it like that, I suppose you're right. Except here, the whole 'mystery dungeon' thing is harder to notice since this place in particular is subtle about it."
The urge to press on hits me. "What… do you mean? I'm… pretty sure I saw some berries lying around here and there…"
Mr. Nuzleaf shakes his head. "That wasn't what I was referring to. You remember them Beheeyem we managed to outrun? At first, I thought they were ferals, but somethin' about 'em seemed more aware than the usual hostile. There are usually some Pokémon you can find around these mystery dungeon parts who are feral and extremely territorial, but I reckon them Beheeyem are different."
"Wait… there can be ferals? Here?" I take a second to process the realization.
"Good to see you catchin' on, Indigo. I was wonderin' why we haven't run into any hostiles at this point, but I'd rather not jinx it."
Then, as if on cue, a sound reaches my ears, the black dangling appendages near them rising as if to add to the sudden urgency. However, instead of beeping from behind, I hear footsteps from ahead. Rapid footsteps.
I feel some sort if focused sensation wash over me as my dangles remain suspended, allowing me to see the threat in the distance.
"Something's charging at us!" I cry out.
Mr. Nuzleaf quickly shifts his view ahead, only for his tone to embrace the same panic as mine. "A Bouffalant?! Here?! Why I oughta—get down!"
As the large hoofed (and afro-ed?) beast continues stampeding our way, Mr. Nuzleaf quickly sidesteps out of the way of a horn, leaving me to be the next one potentially run over. However, in the split second time I'm given, I find myself unable to move my firmly planted legs. Instead, as if by instinct, I retract my paw and thrust it forward in the direction of the Bouffalant's face.
The flat of my paw hits its mark with the force of a speeding strike, a quick blast of energy pulsing from it to add to the damage. For a second, it seems like all momentum me and the Bouffalant had has reached equilibrium, until my target suddenly reels back on its hooves.
I look down at my right paw in astonishment.
I didn't know I could do that… That was a Force Palm, right?
All of a sudden, the adrenaline returns to my system when I see the Bouffalant attempt to charge at me once more. My instincts urge me to go on the defensive, but the Bouffalant has already swung its head my way.
Before I can attempt anything, the air is forced out of my lungs when the side of a large horn slams into my chest, hurling me to a nearby tree in one fell swing. The impact against wood sends a shock wave of pain everywhere on my body, this time intensifying the already throbbing damage from everything before.
"Urgh…" Everything I can muster to move screams out in pain at a volume that would be deafening if actually heard, barely leaving me with a voice to speak.
I… can't feel anything…
With heavy eyelids, I fall down onto the grass in a sprawled position, unable to get any of my limbs to prop myself up.
Come on… not now…
I let out another breath, and then comes darkness.