Pokemon : Mystery After Dungeon
Chapter 1 - Goodbye
The Updated Version
She was dead.
...Wasn't she? Then why was she aware of her surroundings? Why could she still hear? Touch? She opened her eyes. She could still see, too.
But wasn't she dead?
She looked around to see pokémon stood around her, and she finally remembered who she was, what she was doing. It came back in a rush; her transformation from human to pokémon, meeting her first friend in this new world, Pikachu, forming a rescue team, known as Team Sapphire, being on the run, beating Groudon and saving Team ACT, the meteorite, Rayquaza... Rayquaza shattering the falling star with his Hyper Beam. But... Didn't it kill her? From her still existent senses, she came to one conclusion; no. She'd been... Saved?
She turned to face a worried-looking yellow pokemon groggily, still slightly uneasy on her feet after all that had happened.
'Pikachu...' She smiled at him. Well, it looked like her partner had survived, too.
"Catstar! I think Gengar saved us..." Catstar felt a pang as she heard this, but she didn't know why. Pikachu looked distant for a moment, before becoming his cheery self again. "But anyways, we saved the world! Hooray!" He ended lamely, and looked slightly sheepish, making her laugh. Her shot her an embarrassed look.
"I'll shoot my Water Gun to kickstart this party!" Blastoise announced. Blastoise was a member of one of the various rescue teams who dedicated their lives to saving pokemon on a daily basis.
"Not near me!" yelped a local, known as Lombre. Everyone laughed. Octillery sneaked behind him, holding him in a tight grip.
"Get him, Blastoise! I've got him so he can't move!" Everyone laughed, but Catstar remained distant. She remembered what she'd been told would happen... She closed her eyes, to think.
"The time has come, Catstar..." a voice suddenly said. She opened her eyes to see the translucent of Gardevoir before her, "Your role in the world has ended. If there was a way to let you stay here, I'd do everything to help you.
"But I'm afraid there isn't. You'd best be saying your goodbyes... It's time for you to return to your world. To your real home." Tears filled her eyes as the psychic type faded away. Pikachu spun to face his partner.
"C-Catstar! What's happening to you?! Why are you surrounded in light?!" she looked down; sure enough, she could see small beads of light drifting up near her, then fading away as they streaked higher through the air, new bubbles of light forming near the ground. They were surrounding her tightly, trying to ease her gently into the air. They were weak in strength, but were gathering, more and more little beads of light appearing, getting bigger. Amber eyes flicked over to face her closest friend.
"Pikachu... I'm sorry I never told you. You know how Gardevoir has been coming to me in dreams? Well, she told me last night that this was my role. To save the world. Now my role's ended, I guess I have to return to the human world..."
"N-no!" Pikachu cried, tearing up.
"I can't stop this from happening, Pikachu." she gave a shaky laugh, "Believe me, if I could, I would. But don't keep your victory short-lived. I'll be out there somewhere... Wishing I still had you." She shielded her eyes. "(Oof, the light's getting brighter now... I'll never forget you... Farewell, friend.)" She soon felt the light finally gaining enough energy to lift her, feeling her paws raise from the ground slightly...
"You can't leave!" Pikachu wailed, "What abo- Aren't we friends?"
"Yes." She spoke firmly, with finality. She meant every word. "You'll always be my friend, Pikachu. I'll never forget you..."
"D-don't go..." PIkachu begged.
"I'm so sorry, Pikachu. I'm blessed to have met you..."
"B-but... What am I going to do now?!"
"Live. I'm so sorry... This is goodbye..."
"Catstar!" Charizard yelled.
"No! Catstar!" the youngest pokémon present, Caterpie, wailed.
"Catstar!" Jumpluff added, along with all the others. However, Pikachu never said anything, filled with too much anguish to manage. The Eevee saw as a huge bubble of light surrounded her, making it impossible to see but somehow not hurting her eyes. Her paws fully lifted off the ground as she began floating through the air. She felt weightless as she ploughed through the sky, soon leaving past the sunset, seeing the stars around her as she drifted...
"I don't wanna go..." she whined.
A voice filled her head. 'Now that your role is over... I can return to you what was lost.' With that came her memories.
A girl casually laid back on her bed, staring up at the ceiling. She was bored, that was for certain. Cardboard boxes filled her usually messy room, everything packed away. A small pokemon came to rest on her shoulder, looking at her with curiosity.
"Pika?" It was confused. Catstar smiled at her Pikachu.
"Hey, Sparx." She scratched its ear affectionately, still staring upwards. "I know you don't wanna leave, but we went through this last night. Mom wants to move to Unova, and we travel a lot after all... Right?"
"Pi..." She took this as an agreement, which it usually was. She pulled the small mouse pokemon closer to herself.
"Don't worry. We'll be going together, after all."
"Pika!" She set the now cheerful looking pokemon down, sitting down on her bed.
"Go on, now. Go see if Mom actually remembered that she promised us pancakes for breakfast this morning."
"Pikaaaaaa..." A grumble.
"I am NOT being a control freak!" she huffed, standing up. He backed towards the door and she followed him, glaring at the pokemon playfully. "That's mean!" she gave Sparx a look, and he bolted from the room, making her giggle. She sighed from exhaustion, turning back, and her eyes widened slightly.
There, in the middle of her room, she saw a Gardevoir. She reached out to touch it cautiously, but her hand passed right through. She frowned, taking a closer look, and realized it was translucent, intangible. Her eyes widened considerably more as a feminine voice filled her head.
'I'm not truly here. I am a spirit. And I am here on behalf of the pokemon world, Chosen One.'
She shook her head frantically. "How is there a spirit in my bedroom?! What the hell do you mean by 'pokemon world'?! And what kinda cliché is this?! I'm not some 'Chosen One'!"
"You are. I know you're freaking out right now-'
'But you need to calm down. Please listen to what I have to say before denying us your help. Countless lives could be saved..'
She paused to think. "...One question."
"Why me? I'm not brave. I'm not strong, or powerful. How could I possibly be any use to anybody?" Laughter rang through her mind, and the Gardevoir looked slightly amused.
'Maybe not physical strength, but strength of the mind. My master was banished to the other world for touching the tale of a Ninetails. You know of the legend, don't you?' Catstar nodded in agreement.
"They who touch one of Ninetails' nine tails will be cursed for a thousand years as punishment..." she recited.
'My master did exactly that. He touched the tail of a Ninetails, but I saved him from the curse. Not I am the cursed one... Although, he fled, despite having the chance to save me. Now he spends his days in the pokemon world, as a pokemon, to pay for his crime. I still care for my master, but I can't offer him comfort. I can't do anything for him..."
Catstar was deep in thought. Why did something sound so familiar? Suddenly, her eyes widened, as she realized; months ago, her closest friend from her childhood, a purple-haired boy, had vanished mysteriously. The last time she'd spoken to him was on the phone. His voice had been desperate, pleading.
//Cathy... Help... Something's happened...//
/What is it? Answer me, dammit!/
//It's Gardevoir... I did something terrible!//
/Answer the damned question! What happened?!/
//I saw a Ninetails. I didn't expect the curse to be true. I... I...//
/...You touched it's tail, didn't you? I told you to stop being so skeptical about these things!/
//*Sobbing* I know! It tried to curse me! But Gardevoir... It shielded me... And then... And then...//
/What? Tell me!/
//I... I ran away, okay?!//
/...WHAT?! Baka! How could you run away like that?!/
//I... Don't know! But there's something... I feel like I'm being watched... I don't feel safe anymore... And I'm scared, Cathy, I'm scared!//
/I... Stay calm! Don't be afraid! I'll come get you! Where are you?/
/Huh? Answer me! Please! Answer me! Kageno! KAGENO!!!!!!/
Tears filled her eyes as she remembered. The phone line had then gone dead. She'd never heard from him again. "Kageno..." she whispered to herself. She saw Gardevoir nodding sadly, as if knowing exactly what was running through her mind.
'Noroi Kageno wasn't a coward. I don't know what brought him to flee... My master was never a coward. But his presence in the pokemon world has also given me a connection to it. It is a world without humans. The pokemon there are in trouble. They need a savior, and that is... You.'
"But I'm not brave... I'm not strong... I can't save anybody..."
'Yes, you can. And you will.'
"Take away my memories. Take away what makes me who I am, then. If you're willing to do that, I'll save your damn pokemon world." She smirked to herself; there was no way the psychic pokemon would agree to THAT. Which was why Gardevoir's response astounded her.
'If that is what you wish... You won't remember anything. You will become a pokemon, knowing only your name, and that you weren't always what you will become. I will eventually be able to guide you, but this will be your adventure. Your story. Are you willing to accept these terms?'
Upon realizing that Gardevoir was willing to go that far, part of her felt like declining, but for some reason, she felt compelled to accept. She folded her arms. "Fine, I accept your terms. Take me to this 'pokemon world'. Take me to Kageno." There was a nod, a bright flash of colored light, and both the pokemon spirit before her and the voice in her mind vanished as she was pulled from her home into a whole other world.
"I don't wanna leave..." she moaned again, "I want to stay longer... With my invaluable... Irreplaceable friend..." A voice suddenly filled her head.
"If this is really what you want... If you really feel this way...
Perhaps one day, you'll meet again."
Somewhere in the same time, in a dimension far away, a Riolu sighed. He had no idea... He had no idea what was going to happen to her, soon.
The Riolu, and her Shinx companion, had just set off down a rocky path, leading away from a place known as Temporal Tower. For some unknown reason, the tower had been collapsing, and the planet would have been paralyzed if the two of them hadn't have stepped in, collecting the five Time Gears, discovering the mysterious Hidden Land and fighting Dialga. The only problem was, she was from the future, and she had changed time, from the past. Meaning her timeline no longer existed. She knew she was going to disappear from existence, soon. Her life was drawing to a close.
But she just couldn't tell him.
No, it would hurt too much. He'd never let her go... He paused, realizing she wasn't following close by.
"Hey, what's up?" he asked. She was silent for a moment, before finally answering.
"...Nothing, Shinx. Coming." They hurried onward, the female pokemon following her partner away. However, she soon involuntarily slowed down, her feet dragging.
'Why do I feel so heavy?' she asked herself. Worry clouded her silvery grey, but not blind, eyes. 'Maybe... Maybe now that we've stopped the planet's paralysis, my own disappearance is drawing near...'
"Come on!" Shinx said, "Let's go home... Wait... Catstar, what's happening to you?!" She suddenly saw light before her vision, in delicate little bubbles, before closing her eyes. It was time.
"I'm so sorry I never told you before, Shinx. But when you were checking the Rainbow Stoneship... Dusknoir told me, and Grovyle confirmed it. Since we saved time, I'm from a future that no longer exists... Meaning I'm destined to disappear. Forever."
"H-huh?!" Shinx looked shocked and hurt. "What do you mean?! Wh- aren't we friends?"
"Of course, Shinx. You'll always be my friend. Forever. Even when I don't exist, our friendship will be eternal. And remember, friends will come and friends will go, but keep them close to your heart and they never left your from the start... Heh... I rhymed... Take care. I... I... I'll miss you." She didn't get chance to say anything more as the light around her brightened. She would vanish soon. 'It's getting brighter...' she said to herself, 'I won't get time to say anything, soon...' "Just... Take care. You have to live! Tell everyone about this; don't let history repeat itself. Tell everyone you know and everyone you don't. I'll miss you... For all eternity..."
Shinx's eyes filled with tears. "I'll never forget you, Catstar! Even if the laws of reality state I will, I won't! That I swear! I'll live my life as you said to... But... I can't say goodbye... That would be final... This isn't the end..."
He broke down in tears as soon as she vanished. She wasn't coming back to him.
'Huh?! I thought I disappeared... Why am I conscious?'
'A gift... A gift before the end...' The words rang through her mind, but they were not her own thoughts. Before she had the time to comprehend anything, a scene flashed before her eyes.
It was like looking through frosted glass. A young girl ran over a fissure, grasping the hand of an infant as both girls ran for their lives. The world surrounding them was in complete darkness. Suddenly, just like that, the smallest girl released her sister's hand, and vanished from sight. The other girl didn't notice until it was too late.
The scene changed...
Looking a couple of years older, the girl stumbled slightly as she recovered from her fall from the black hole, which was shooting up sparks of blue. Her short black hair, tinted with a bluish hue, blew around her face from the impact of the dimensional hold behind her, before stopping altogether. There was no wind in this realm, after all. Nothing but darkness. No time, no light. Scared amber eyes peered out from behind the bangs that covered her right eye. She flinched as she saw a figure streak past her, and she clutched her Umbreon plushie closer to herself. Her breathing began to slow to an even pace as she lost sight of the figure, and she began to walk. Alone. Lost. Away from her only parent, and the pokemon she'd come to raise as her companion. A little Shinx she'd named Sparx. She screamed out as she found herself looking directly into a pair of dazzling yellow eyes, not filled with malice, but curiosity. Taking a deep, shaky breath, she looked at the creature that had somehow ended up stood before her, and came to the conclusion that it was a Treecko.
"Are you okay?" it asked. She screamed loudly as she came across the revelation - this pokemon could talk.
She pulled herself away from the glasslike substance to look at her companions; a pink fairylike pokemon with large, emerald eyes and fragile, translucent light green wings, and a pokemon that looked very different from the little Treecko she'd met that day, but still had eyes in a comforting golden hue. She got to her feet (when did she kneel down?) and appraised the two, looking determined.
"Today we finish this," she said with determination. "We have all the locations of the Time Gears. Today is the day that we finally go back to the past." The thought thrilled her, to say the least. A time with... Well, that exactly. Time. Time, and light, and warmth, and joy. Nothing lurking in the shadows. No corrupted shadow pokemon to bring them down. She scratched the scar on the back of her left ankle. Several years ago they'd been brutally attacked by a large group of shadow pokemon and had barely escaped. As a human, she had no moves, and pokemon did not get affected as badly as humans did by weapons and other human annoyances. In fact, if a pokemon were a lot more powerful and deadly than humans. Even an attack from a weak pokemon could be enough to leave a human in a comatose state. Even a Tackle from a more powerful pokemon would be enough to result in a human's death.
Which is why Grovyle and Celebi guarded her with their lives.
Unfortunately, that time, a shadow Sneasel got too close, and managed to leave a deep scratch on her ankle. It took the other two several minutes to down the beast, and they managed to treat the gash slightly with a remedy of berries. Unfortunately, nobody knew how the shadows spread from pokemon to pokemon, or to humans, since Catstar remembered humans back in her world who had fallen prey to the primal side of the world. Maybe it was just insanity. Maybe it was an infection, but nobody knew. Grovyle was afraid that she could catch something through the scratch, but Celebi was skeptical, and was also trying to stay optimistic.
"My dear Grovyle," she scoffed at the time, "She's not going to go primal on us because of some stupid scratch, calm yourself!"
The only noticeable effect that she could think of was her eyes, which had once been amber, now a light grey colour. Not that she would ever mention that to anybody. It was hard to know who to trust and who not to, nowadays.
The three left the place they'd been hiding in, and Celebi closed off the 'window', which evaporated into nothingness in a shower of blue sparks, a refreshing glimpse of colour in a world too dark to see any. They walked around in the grey, lifeless land, headed for the forest. Catstar knew her companions would protect her. The three of them had been there for each other for about ten years, after all, give or take a few. Or at least, they would have been if time existed.
With that, she realized. She remembered. Grovyle and Celebi had told her and Shinx after escaping the present, which they'd called 'the future' at the time, that they'd been gathering the time gears. Now, she had the memories to prove it. Briefly, she wondered if Grovyle and Celebi were experiencing something like this right now, at the time of their own disappearance, their lives being erased from history. But then she realized; they had all their memories, anyway. Another flashback occured, surprising the now-Riolu slightly.
"Get away from them!" she snapped, her long blue-black hair cascading down her face. The teen narrowly avoided another lunge of the Sableye, fury swipes grazing her cheek and tearing across her hair, making it dramatically shorter, and poorly cropped.
She flinched as Grovyle collapsed to the floor in front of her, wincing from the power of the attack sent towards her.
"Grovyle!" Two feminine voices cried out.
"Get... Out of here... Leave me behind! You two can do it!"
"No, we're not leaving you!" Celebi snapped. "You know I said I'd stay as a diversion! You two have to go!"
"I can do it instead..."
"No." Celebi spoke with finality to her words. There was no way he was going to be able to change her mind. "Cats' ability only works in the presence of a trusted pokemon partner. You know that partner is you. You're going to accompany her, and that's that. She launched a powerful Magical Leaf attack at the charging Sableye, who fell to the ground pathetically. She then turned to Grovyle, closing her eyes, wings glowing. Grovyle seemed to also glow for a moment, before Celebi collapsed to the ground, gasping.
"Run," she choked, "I won't let them get me. Run. Get out of here!" The two nodded, and Catstar scooped up the grass type into her arms as the two of them leapt into the blue and yellow glowing portal before them; the passage of time.
It was all wrong. Celebi never said anything about this.
Darkness, darker than even the time they had just left. Pure darkness. Jet black. She felt someone grasp her arm, but she wasn't afraid. She could tell that it was Grovyle, and she gave an unseen nod through the ebony blanket of dark. Then, a voice.
"How dare you try to ruin MY plans... MY WORLD!" The voice sent shivers down her spine. Her eyes suddenly began to adjust to the darkness slightly when some kind of dark energy ball began to form in front of them; somehow it seemed darker than even the so-called pure darkness around them. She caught sight of a pokemon that looked so horrifying it could only be described as something from one's worst nightmares.
Wispy, white 'hair' stuck up like a deadly kind of fire, with a spiked red collar, and cold, azure eyes. The being seemed to be truly darkness. She cried out in horror when she saw where the shadow ball was being aimed; right at-
Everything happened in a rush. Grovyle's eyes widened as she leapt in front of the creature. She braced herself for extreme pain, but all she got was numbness. She was slipping away... And then everything began to move again. Blue and yellow streaked past her, just how it was supposed to be. They were on a platform, streaking away from the monster. Grovyle looked at her in shock, and her knees buckles. She felt herself tumbling towards the edge, and Grovyle cried out her name. They reached for each other, before she was brutally torn away. Her shrieks became warped, lost, as she felt something happen to her. It was unexplainable.
To make things even worse, she swore she heard a voice in her mind, reaching out to her. It sounded so much like her own, but twisted, dangerous. It sounded frighteningly familiar to her, and she had no idea why.
\Finally... Freedom...\ A harsh laugh. \I'm finally free of you. And now, I'll make your life HELL.\
/No chance. You won't get away with this./
Another laugh. \Oh? Will I not? You can't do anything to stop me.\ And with that, the voice faded from her mind.
Meanwhile, sadly, Grovyle picked up something that was left behind.
A small, worn, Umbreon plushie.