Hello, everyone! This is Kukansis, and I'm a very new face to both Serebii and Fan Fiction. This is a story I thought up after a conversation with Knightfall back when I first joined this forum.
It will have some violent scenes, including some descriptions of blood and wounds, but will for the most part be rather mild.
So, may I present: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Sentience
Prologue: Blaze Town
“Hey, wake up, Charmander!”
Charmander slowly opened his eyes to see who had disturbed him. He blinked a couple of times before his vision returned. He turned and saw that it was a Cyndaquil, barely visible by the fires on his back, that had woken him.
“What’s going on?” he asked groggily as he rose to his feet, propping himself on a nearby rock to avoid falling back over.
“Infernape’s says he’s got something important to tell us all!” the Cyndaquil exclaimed.
Charmander rubbed his forehead with his free hand as he sighed. “Infernape? Doesn't that guy always have something ‘important’ to say?”
A small fire shot out of the rodent’s back. Charmander had knew that it was a sign of either fear or nervousness; he’d been with this Cyndaquil, Robb, for most of his life. Robb responded after the sparking flame dissipated. “Well, yeah... but this time, I think it’s different. Most of the town is coming out to see him.”
“Haven’t we already dealt with him enough? He’s been spouting nonsense for-”
“Aw, come on, Charmander!” Robb interrupted as another small blaze lit on his back. “It’s not like you have anything else to do!”
Charmander shook his head, but it was true. He had nothing else planned. “Alright, fine, I’ll come along... Just give me a minute to wake up, alright?” Charmander finally released his grip on the rock that had been supporting him.
Robb grinned and nodded. “Sure! Meet you outside, okay?”
Before Charmander could even muster a response, Robb was off. That kid... He really needs to grow up sometime soon... That, or I need to learn to act my own age. Charmander yawned and stretched out his back. He turned and moved his tail ahead of him, allowing him to see in the near pitch-black darkness of his home, a simple and barren cave made of black volcanic rock. The walls were jagged and rough, the floor was not much better, and the ceiling was completely lost in shadow. He looked over at his sleeping spot: a small smooth section of the rocks. Everything was as he had found it. Alright, nothing’s out of the ordinary. Time to catch up with Robb.
Charmander started walking off through the darkness of his cave. All that greeted him on his way out were more jagged black rocks, a few of which were high enough to trip him. He had long since learned where they were and knew just when and how to avoid them. Before long, he ran into Robb, still in the cave and moving very slowly, if at all. “Hey, thought you said you’d meet me outside!” Charmander taunted.
If Robb’s back had not already been ablaze to light his path, it would have flared brightly from embarrassment. He spun around and faced Charmander before responding. “I-I was going to, but your cave is just so hard to navigate, and-”
Robb stopped when he heard Charmander laughing. “I’m joking with you, Robb, I get it. Though I don’t think you mean ‘navigate’. It is a straight line of a tunnel.”
“Yeah, but how do you even see where you’re going in here?” Robb asked, frowning. “Everything is the same stupid shade of black.”
“It’s a learning process.” Charmander chuckled once more. “How did you even reach me down there?”
“I... don’t know.” Robb admitted as he shrugged.
“Well, come on, I’ll show you the way back out. Just follow behind me, okay?” With that said, Charmander stepped around and in front of Robb. He walked slowly forward, letting Robb follow behind his flaming tail.
Charmander passed through the exit, entering the bright morning sunlight. The sunlight sent a wave of comfort through him, as well as making his scales shine a bright side of gold. He turned back around and sat down, facing Robb as he came out of the cave. “You could’ve told me it was a nice day. I might’ve come out a little easier.”
“I didn’t think about it back there.” Robb said as he passed the threshold out of the cave. He took a second to calm himself down and to cool his flaming back. “Besides, you’re coming anyways.”
“True, true... Though you may want to wipe off your face a little.” Charmander barely suppressed a laugh. Robb was covered in black powder from the cave. “I’m guessing you tripped?”
“Yeah, yeah... But that’s your fault, since you’re the one living in that dark cave.” Robb joked.
“Sure makes it a lot easier to sleep. Besides, no reason for me to hang around in Blaze Town all the time.”
Robb seemed to ignore him as he looked up to the sky. “Oh! We’re going to be late if we don’t start moving down there now!”
“Like it really matters,” Charmander muttered under his breath before speaking up. “Why is this so important?”
“I don’t know. Infernape’s getting everyone he can who will listen though. He said it will start just before midday.”
“It?” Charmander asked. “His meeting or whatever he’s talking about?”
Robb opened his mouth to respond, but stopped and stared off at something far off and above Charmander.
Charmander stood and started to turn around. “What are you-”
Charmander bit his tongue when a large insectoid Pokémon came into his view. It was far away, but Charmander didn’t know who it was and didn’t want to risk being overheard. Its four wings made a loud buzz, even from the distance it was at. As it came closer, Charmander noticed that it was holding another Pokémon, a pink quadrupedal Pokémon. He was surprised when the duo started to land near him.
He tried to identify them, but he couldn’t. The insect had large red-tipped wings and black spikes running down its back, and as if it wasn’t intimidating enough, its eyes were a menacing shade of red and split into three sections each. It was easily three times larger than Charmander, more than big enough to carry the pink one. The quadruped had large ears and piercing purple eyes, and stood just barely taller than Charmander.
Charmander eyed them both warily as they made their descent. The bug type stopped a few inches above the ground, almost close enough that the Pokémon it was carrying could touch the ground.
“Excuse me,” the pink Pokémon said, freeing itself from the bug’s grasp and landing perfectly. “Do you know if anyone’s gone up this mountain today?”
Charmander started to respond, but Robb ran up beside him and spoke before he could. “That’s a volcano, and nobody’s gone up there in years. The only way up is through a Mystery Dungeon or flying, and there’s nothing-”
“In years?” the insect responded, interrupting Robb. “That should make our task much easier.” The quadruped turned to it and nodded in response. The sun reflected off the jewel in its head straight into Charmander’s eyes, blinding him momentarily.
“What are you even doing here, anyways?” Charmander replied cautiously as he rubbed one of his eyes.
The quadruped chuckled slightly. “It’s nothing kids like you’d need to worry about. Just think of us as... Researchers.” She walked back over to her colossal friend. They worked together to get into their flying position once more, and they flew off before Charmander or Robb could even respond.
“Kids?” Charmander questioned, despite the duo leaving earshot. “We’re both getting pretty old to still be called kids.”
Something about this just isn’t right, Charmander complained internally. There’s nothing but lava up there... I know that for a fact. What could they-
“Charmander! We’re going to miss out on the story!” Robb shouted.
“Alright, alright! Let’s go! Jeez, Robb, don’t have a heart attack.”
They walked into Blaze Town and saw everyone beginning to gather at the town square. “What’s this all about?” Charmander asked aloud to himself.
“Didn’t you hear?” a Tepig called out from the side before Robb could answer. “Infernape’s called for everyone. Says he’s got some important news.”
“Is everyone so trusting of him?” Charmander stifled a growl. “Robb, this is seeming more odd by the second.”
Robb shrugged. “All the more reason to come, right?”
“True... Whatever it is, we should go see what he wants,” Charmander replied. The Tepig nodded and ran off.
They walked through the surprisingly barren streets. Blaze Town was normally busy, but today there were only a few Pokémon around. “Guess this is important...” Charmander scratched his head as they walked into the town square, which was bustling with Pokémon. Infernape was already speaking when they finally got within earshot.
“...That’s why Blaze Town must be evacuated. The mountain will erupt today, and we will not be safe from its wrath.”
Yep, gone senile. Charmander held in a laugh as someone in the crowd spoke up.
“How do you know that? There’s no way you could even hope to predict that!”
Charmander was just close enough to hear the quiet response, “No, not predict...”
Then the ground began to shake. The tremor increased until it knocked most of the Pokémon off of their feet. A few weaker buildings collapsed, spreading loose bricks across the streets. Only a few seconds after it had started, the shaking stopped.
Smoke began to billow out from the volcano’s peak. Surprisingly, Infernape was the first to stand back up. Despite his age, he had been the most prepared. Before the shock of the earthquake had worn off, he began shouting at the dazed Pokémon near him. “Don’t just lay there! Get out of here before it gets worse!”
Charmander watched in stunned silence as the ensuing chaos began. The Pokémon all rushed off, either to their own homes to save their valuables or directly away from the volcano. Some were even scared enough to run over those still getting up. Such fear and panic were new to him, and he didn’t know quite how to react. He was finally woken up from his stupor by a Ponyta’s heavy hoof ramming into his stomach, causing him to wheeze for air. Robb started tugging him backwards just as he recovered his breath. “Come on, Charmander! We have to get out of here!”
Charmander nodded and got to his feet. “Yeah, we-” Charmander began before his mind caught up. The researchers! He turned back towards the volcano and started heading off. He didn’t make it very far before Robb sprinted ahead of him, cutting him off.
“What are you doing?! The volcano’s exploding!”
“Yeah, and there’s two Pokémon probably stuck on top of it that need help.” Charmander moved to pass Robb. Robb’s back seemed to explode, sending forth flames in all directions as he realized what was being planned.
“What?! You’re insane! You can’t possibly be thinking of-”
“Going to the summit?” Charmander turned back towards Robb. “Yes, I am, Robb. Someone has to, and everyone else seems to be too busy losing their minds to help.”
“Help? What could you do to help them? You can’t get up there!”
That’s where you’re wrong. Charmander barely avoided saying. “Might as well try, right?”
“But they can fly! Wouldn’t they just-”
“Robb, you know better than I do that Pokémon can’t fly if their wings get covered in ash. And look at that smoke! There’s no way that bug’s wings are still clean!”
“Charmander, you can’t-”
“Succeed?” Charmander interrupted. “Maybe not, Robb. But are you seriously willing to let two Pokémon just burn to death up there?”
Robb cringed. “No, but... I...”
Charmander smirked. “Robb, I can hold my own, don’t worry.”
A surge of Pokémon began to rush past Charmander, as they all finished their business inside the town and began to flee. Robb began to shove against the flow, pushing towards Charmander. “That’s the problem, Charmander! I know you can’t hold your own in there! Hardly anyone in the village can!”
“Hardly anyone has tried!” Charmander had to shout to overcome the noise of the panicking Pokémon surrounding them.
Robb was having more trouble getting to Charmander by the second. The Pokémon began to shove each other to get away, and Robb was far enough out to get caught in the crossfire. “You can’t expect to do this alone!”
“No, but does it look like there’s any other choice?” Charmander staggered as a Combusken rammed its way past him, nearly knocking him over in the process. “They’re certainly not going to help!”
At that moment, something seemed to change in Robb. His fear seemed to shift to determination in an instant as he realized that Charmander wouldn’t be dissuaded. “Then let me go with you!”
Charmander’s face blanched as terror struck him. He replied almost instantly. “No, Robb. You’ll evacuate too.”
“What?” Robb reeled back as Charmander’s command hit him. He took a few hard shoves from the surrounding Pokémon before he regained his senses. “W-why?”
“You have something to lose, Robb! If you die, how do you think your family would take it? Think about it, I don’t have any such ties! No one will even know I’m gone besides you.”
“But, Charmander, I don’t want you to die!"
As if on cue, Robb’s father came up behind him. “There he is!” the Typhlosion shouted as he rushed towards the Cyndaquil. “Come on, Robb! We have to leave NOW!!” Without waiting for Robb’s response, the Typhlosion picked him up and started rushing away. Robb tried to resist for a moment, but it a wasted effort.
“Stay alive, Charmander!” Robb yelled over the crowd as his parent carried him away.
“I will!” Charmander shouted back as Robb vanished into the mass of running Pokémon. That was close! I couldn’t risk him getting caught in this mess. But... He turned back around and faced the volcano. Now it’s time for the hard part.
Author's notes: I know this chapter may seem a bit cliché. Don't worry, though, I'm working hard to make sure this story is interesting!
A big thanks to Knightfall and Shadow Lucario 50 for reading over this latest version for me, and thanks to JX Valentine for helping guide this into its current state.
I'll be writing a lot in the new year, so expect more soon!