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Written Story General Where You Belong: A PMD Rescue Team DX Story

Thread Description
Part 5 posted July 29!

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
349
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
Hi I’m cynda “too many projects” kip and when I heard they were remaking the original PMD games, I couldn't resist writing something for it! Heck, it’s what finally convinced me to get a Switch. Red Rescue Team was actually the very first video game I ever had, so it has a very special place in my heart.

There's nothing too fancy about this story -- it'll follow the plot of the game pretty closely, and it won't be very long. It might not be your kind of thing, and that's okay! It's essentially just my love letter to a game that means a lot to me, and if you enjoy it too, that's a nice bonus. This isn't a dungeonlocke, either, hence why it's in Creative. It's just a regular playthrough, and while I am basically writing as I play, I won't be incorporating much gameplay into this. (Also, I just slapped this title on at the last minute, and I might change it if I think of something better.)

I don't have a regular update schedule for this, but I'd like to get through it fairly quickly so I can get back to my other projects! Ideally I'll be posting a chapter every 1-2 weeks. The chapters aren't that long, and I plan to do one per dungeon, so I'm hoping to get through this in just a few months. We'll see how it goes! it probably will not go according to plan

You can also read this on AO3!


Banner by the amazing @Zephyr_Iphis!

Nothing.

It’s all you feel for what seems like an eternity; a strange half-asleep drifting sensation, floating in a dreamlike haze.

You don't know what you start to notice first -- soft grass underneath, gentle breezes whispering around you, sunlight warming your face -- but the voice definitely comes after, breaking through the fuzzy calm.

Hey, wake up! Please? Come on, please wake up!

You wake up.

You rather wish you hadn't, because the world is suddenly very bright and loud and big. You squint in the sunlight and make out the vague shape of… a Cyndaquil?

You're finally awake! the Cyndaquil says. You nearly fall over in shock -- this is a Pokemon, and Pokemon, as everyone knows, don't talk! But this one doesn't seem to be aware of that fact, as they’re still talking, talking about how they found you here and you were out cold and who are you, exactly?

Who am I, exactly?

You reach frantically for any of the small fragments of memory swirling through your mind, but it feels as if you’re trying to grab your most prized possessions out of a tornado. There's one thing that you manage to cling to, though, so you hold on tight and say it before it can disappear.

I'm a human.

The reply is immediate, and confused. But you look like a normal Mudkip to me!

You flail around in shock, almost tripping over your four legs (four legs???) as you stumble to the nearby pond and stare.

A Mudkip stares back.

You. You stare back. You are the Mudkip.

You don't remember much, but you're pretty sure you're not supposed to be a Mudkip.

The Cyndaquil, who had been patiently waiting during your flailing session, asks for your name.

A name, unbidden, leaps from the vortex in your mind and smacks you in the face on the way out.

Cassie.

It almost feels wrong to say, wrong in a way that you don't quite understand because you're pretty sure it is your name, but now you've said it and it's too late to take it back.

The Cyndaquil is giggling. You shrink a little at your name being considered funny, because whatever you may feel about it, it's a perfectly normal name.

I'm Cynders, they tell you, which is definitely a funny name, so you don't feel bad about it anymore; you can have funny names together.

There's no time for funny name bonding, though. Desperate cries for help slice right through the laughter, and the two of you turn to see a Butterfree limping towards you -- you never considered that flying things could limp, but it's the only way to describe this creature’s movement: one wing torn, riding the breeze with barely-aloft desperation. Her baby has fallen into a sudden crack in the earth, she says, her poor little Caterpie, and swarms of angry Pokemon stopped her from reaching him.

Cynders volunteers you both to help immediately.

You panic a little (okay, maybe a lot) because you don't remember ever fighting anyone before, you don't even know how to be a Mudkip, but as you panic you're following Cynders and you don't turn back.

There's nothing to turn back to, anyway.

You scramble down into a maze of roots and leaves and cracked earth, already disoriented. A mystery dungeon, Cynders calls it. Some strange phenomenon that's been affecting more and more locations, twisting them into new and unrecognizable mazes upon every visit. Twisting the Pokemon who get lost there, too, making them mindless and angry.

You resolve very strongly not to get lost.

Cynders takes the lead, burning through tangles of roots with their fire, and you follow, trying to master your own attacks. You have to master them quickly, learning in desperate flashes how to tackle and shoot water and turn the terrain into mud, anything that works to fend off the Pokemon attacking you.

It's almost too good to be true when you and Cynders burst into an open area, wide-eyed and trembling with exertion, to find a small green shape curled into a whimpering ball. Almost too good to be true when the three of you stagger back into the light, and you watch Butterfree fuss over her son, and you and Cynders lean on each other to stay upright, and smile.

Caterpie is staring at both of you with enough stars in his eyes to form a whole galaxy. You burn under the intensity of it, embarrassed, but something deep in your chest warms in a nice soft way, too -- is this how it feels to be a hero? To really, truly help someone? Maybe this is the kind of thing you were brought to this world to do, and maybe you're okay with that.

It's not until Caterpie and Butterfree leave that the overwhelming feeling of not knowing what to do next hits you. You're so obviously lost that Cynders takes pity on you and suggests that you come with them -- okay, maybe it's friendship, kind-heartedness, but you feel pitied, and you feel it until your tired feet finally stop in front of the perfect place to live, and then you feel like you're going to fall over from the emotion of it all.

Cynders says that it's a lovely place but it hasn't been quite right for them, not with it being drafty and surrounded by water. You nod politely, trying to resist the unfamiliar instinct to plunge yourself into the water until all your worries melt away, as well as the familiar instinct of wanting to lie down and sleep for as long as possible.

It's perfect. You tell them so, and they smile.

Cynders asks you to form a rescue team. You hesitate at the thought of going into more Mystery Dungeons, of putting your life in danger (it's a strange new life, but it's still yours), of waking up in this new hut instead of your own comfortable bed.

You think of Butterfree’s torn wing and Caterpie’s shining eyes. You think of this world and the way it's tearing itself apart. You think of Cynders, always so ready to do anything they can to help someone in need.

You say yes, and Cynders’ smile glows brighter than their flames.

They show you two scarves, which they admit (with a hint of embarrassment) that they’d been saving for a moment like this. You realize that Cynders has wanted to be part of a rescue team probably forever, and you've made that dream come true.

You get that warm feeling again.

One scarf is blue as the ocean on a clear day, and the other is the deep bright red of a comforting bonfire. You wear the red and Cynders wears the blue; a little piece of each other, to connect you as a team.

A team. You don’t have much, but you have a team, a partner, and suddenly this strange new world no longer feels quite as scary.
Yes, I'm writing all of this in second person. No, you can't convince me otherwise. I think it feels right for the story I want to tell, and I'm enjoying writing it this way. I know not everyone likes second person, though, so I understand if you pass on this story because of it.

I never had any plans for writing a story based on a specific PMD game until now, but I did have plans for an original one (as in the same human-turned-pokemon concept, but with a different setting, plot, characters, etc). That got shoved aside when I discovered nuzlockes, but I’m hoping to get around to it someday! Cassie and Cynders were originally created as characters for that, so I’ve partly repurposed them for this -- think of it as Cassie and Cynders playing the roles of the Rescue Team hero and partner, because if I were to fully explore their characters here, this would be a much longer story, and I don’t have time for that! Their proper story will be told sooner or later.

If you're wondering why I don't mention the team name in the story, it's because I named them Team Cyndakip in the game, haha. It feels a little too silly to put in the story. (yeah, I could think of something else to call them, but that takes effort.)

I have most of the second chapter written already, so I'll probably be posting it in about a week. See you then!
 
Last edited:

MouseWithADinosaurTail

A Comedian At Heart
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
1,466
Location
Snubbville
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
She's like a sea urchin. Tough and prickly on the outside, but delicate and easily wounded if hit the wrong way. Please handle gently.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I'LL BE BACK LATER BUT I AM DEF READING THIS.
 

JavierE64

Masks are so 2016!!! But don´t forget to wear one
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
310
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
565
Location
Perú
Nature
Modest
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Grass, Water
Pokédex Entry
The Master of both Light and Darkness; who loves the Violent and Dramatic, and the Fun and Adorable.
This is beautiful. I'm really excited to read this adventure, because it has quite the potential with your amazing writing style.
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,139
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
I'm so excited to see this surge of love for PMD on the forums, even outside of dungeonlockes!

I think second person is an interesting choice here, since the PMD games are a lot about you, this human, getting dropped into a strange new world.... Also, the scarves are the best thing about the remakes. Don't @ me. :P
 

cjapples

Conqueror of the Vermillion Gym
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
166
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
19
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Water, ???
Pokédex Entry
The elusive CJ prefers small spaces such as tiny bookstores, pillow forts, sailboats, and backstage at theaters.
Have I mentioned I love PMD? Because I love PMD. SUPER hyped to see this play out (particularly since I don't have a switch, so I'm basically living my PMD DX dreams vicariously through the forums.
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
349
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
@MouseWithADinosaurTail Regardless of whether you come back, the excited yelling is appreciated!


@JavierE64 I'm still not over this comment. No one's ever called my writing style amazing before. That really means a lot, so thank you.


@Bowser's Family Vacation Me too! I'm absolutely living for all this PMD content, and I'm glad to finally be a part of it. join us

I've recently discovered that I really love writing second person! I suppose it's the inevitable result of having read Homestuck, haha.

I love the scarves! I can't even handle that Cyndaquil and Mudkip just happen to have scarves that match each other's types. 😭 I guess I literally did @ you, though, sorry :P


@cjapples PMD is the best, isn't it? And thank you, I hope I can do the game justice.

Before we get to the next part, please admire this beautiful banner that you may have already noticed in my signature! It was made by the amazing and talented @Zephyr_Iphis, who has some really great runs that you should all check out. Thanks so much, Zephyr!



You wake with a start, leaping to your unfamiliar feet on an unfamiliar floor.

So it wasn’t a dream. You’re still a Mudkip, still in this strange world, in this little hut.

It’s a nice hut, you have to admit, even if it’s not very warm. Soft gray stones line the floor, and small pools of water flank each side of your sleeping area. You peer into one and watch the face of a Mudkip stare back at you, no longer looking quite as startled.

The sun is shining again today as you step outside, and you’re so busy soaking in the warmth that you nearly trip over the figure lying right in the middle of your cobblestone path.

Cynders uncurls with a sheepish smile. I was so excited that I came here early… guess I must have fallen asleep! Before you can respond, they spring up and dash for the mailbox, chattering about job offers.

There are no job offers.

Your team has existed for less than twenty-four hours; of course there are no job offers.

But there are other things -- badges and toolboxes, rescue team gear that Cynders tries to explain to you.

And then, the flapping of wings.

A Pelipper soars over your head, a letter gripped firmly in their beak. With a practiced swoop, they perch on top of the mailbox and deposit it in the slot. The letter stays there for approximately half a second before Cynders yanks it out and rips it open.

Looks like you have a job offer after all.

Caterpie must have been busy telling all his friends about your team, because the letter-writer is quick to mention how they heard about you. Their predicament is a strange one -- seems an electromagnetic pulse in some place called Thunderwave Cave stuck two Magnemite together and left them unevolved but unable to separate.

You were still human this time yesterday, and yet your water-type instincts immediately flinch at electromagnetic and Thunderwave , even the thought of lightning making you shudder. But there are Pokemon in trouble, and you can’t just leave Cynders to save them without you. That’s not how teams work.

So you put on your bravest face and follow your partner down the road, trying to hide the way your legs are shaking.

The entrance to Thunderwave Cave looms in front of you. It's not dark -- rather, bright white bursts keep flickering inside it, which is more terrifying. Two other Magnemite await, and you nod along to their instructions that you aren't really listening to. Cynders offers to take the lead, and you let them, gladly.

It’s a while before you stop jumping at the slightest crackle and start settling in, finding a rhythm of fighting. You learn to rely on mud rather than just water, and with every enemy that you knock out, you feel a little less nervous. With you leading the offense and Cynders covering you from electrical attacks, your nerves dissipate a lot.

But the air is still thick with an unsettling static hum, building with each step that brings you deeper into the cave. It pulses in your bones and crackles in your mind, a wild staccato symphony of unease.

It's enough to drive a Pokemon mad, and for the first time, you understand how all the occupants of a dungeon can behave the way they do. You stare into the wild, bloodthirsty eyes of a Voltorb before you bury them in mud, and think that'll be me, if we don't get out of here soon .

You're afraid again.

But then you turn a corner and find a pair of Magnemite hovering together in an awkward duet, and you slump with relief as Cynders deals with everything. Turns out that badge isn't just for show -- it's a transporter, and when the four of you reappear in the open air, you breathe it in as if you've nearly drowned, letting the breeze slowly wash away the pounding in your skull. Surrounded by grateful Magnemite instead of unforgiving rock walls, you feel more like yourself again, or at least as much like yourself as you can feel when you’re not entirely sure who yourself is.

On the outside, the walk home is a quiet one. Inside your head is now electricity-free, but it’s loud with thoughts, doubts swirling around in that ever-present tornado. Yes, you got out of that cave unharmed, but what if you hadn't? What if your hesitation and nerves had led to failure? You're not the teammate that Cynders deserves, and they'd be better off with someone else.

In front of your house, you turn to tell them this, but they speak up first, looking uncharacteristically hesitant.

Hey, Cassie... I have to admit, I was really nervous today. This was our first job as a rescue team! It's a big responsibility. I don't think I could have done it if you hadn't been there with your ground type attacks, so thank you! Let's do good again tomorrow, okay?

Before you can respond, Cynders scurries off down the road, looking a bit embarrassed. You watch them fade into the setting sun, and feel the warmth of it in your chest. Maybe you can both be nervous together.

Spending your first two days as a Pokemon trudging through mystery dungeons has worn you right out, and you're asleep almost as soon as you curl up in your nest. It's restful in the same way that the floating nothingness before you came to this world was restful, and you drift happily through sleep on a stream of hazy colours.

Until you hear a voice again.

This isn't quite like your first memory of this world, isn’t Cynders telling you to wake up… so who is it? Someone you know? Someone from your past? You can't make out the words, but the sound of it wraps around you in a way that's comforting yet uneasy, until it fades as you slip into deeper sleep.

And you forget it all when you wake up and step outside.

It's a beautiful day again. Are all the days beautiful, in this world? You're so busy admiring the way the lilies drift in your -- pond? Moat? Whatever the sparkling blue water around your hut is, you certainly appreciate it -- that you almost forget to check the mailbox, and when you do, you're surprised at how disappointed you feel to have no job offers.

Your team has existed for less than forty-eight hours; of course there are no job offers.

Cynders comes dashing up the path with a Hi Cassie, you're up early, and you both wait around for a few minutes in the hope that another Pelipper will suddenly appear with a beak full of mail. Soon tired of waiting, Cynders eagerly suggests an expedition to the Pelipper Post Office, and you're happy to oblige.

Until now, your world has been just a small house and a couple of mystery dungeons, so heading east and watching it all expand in front of you leaves you staring in wide-eyed wonder. Across a small wooden bridge over a bubbling stream, Pokemon Square comes into view, and you realize just how bright and cheerful and wonderful this world can be, and how you already feel that you'd do anything to protect it.

Soft cobblestones form a circle, and all around it, small buildings adorned with bright colours lie warm and inviting, as if a rainbow has draped itself over the town. It's alive with smiles and laughter as Pokemon bustle past you to do their shopping.

You're so busy admiring the scenery that you're barely listening as Cynders explains the different businesses to you (something about linking moves? You don't really understand), and then you’re past all of it and you didn't think it could get any better, but.

But.

The sea.

The sea.

It stretches out in front of you forever, a limitless expanse of water fading into the horizon. Your pond looks like an insignificant puddle next to the ever-changing ocean, this bright blue world that you could explore for the rest of your life and never see all of. Before you know it, you're right up at the edge of the cliff, staring down at the clouds as they glide across the water to join the waves in a hypnotic dance.

You want to dive in and wrap yourself in all of it, let it surround you like a blanket. You want to leap through the waves until you’ve forgotten what it's like to walk on land. You want to dissolve into seafoam and fade into the deep. You--

You feel a nudge on your shoulder.

There'll be time for swimming later! Cynders says, looking a little concerned. We've got to check the bulletin board for jobs, because there are Pokemon out there who need our help!

You shake your head to clear it and follow them over to the large corkboard. What must your old life have been like, to make you dazed with wonder at the sight of water and colourful towns?

No time to dwell on that. Cynders lets you pick a few missions off the board, and you not-so-subtly grab a pile from Tiny Woods. You don't quite feel up to tackling Thunderwave Cave two days in a row.

Now that your mission to find missions has been accomplished, the two of you linger in town, making preparations. You stock up on berries at the Kecleon Shop, stare in wonder at the TMs his brother has on display, and store the rest of your funds with a disturbingly sly-looking Persian.

And then you go back to Tiny Woods.

You understood what Cynders said about the perpetually shifting mystery dungeons, of course, but it still feels disorienting when you step into the maze and it's decidedly different from before. Following unfamiliar paths lined with familiar scenery is unsettling, but you're not in a complete panic this time, and you find it less of a challenge to track down your clients and set them free.

For a few days, you start to fall into a familiar rhythm. Wake up and check the mailbox, follow Cynders into town, stare at the ocean, head out on missions (even Thunderwave Cave starts to feel less unnerving). Come home, swim in your pond, fall asleep, dream of distant voices calling out to you.

You're still in the “check the mailbox” part of the routine one day when the ground starts shaking. You cling to Cynders and yelp about earthquakes -- the world really is in danger!

A small brown face peeks out of the ground, and you laugh a little in embarrassment. You'll take a friendly Diglett over an actual earthquake any day, though, so you and Cynders chat with him for a bit before he heads off to the post office, promising to be more careful with his tunnelling.

The ground shakes in your dreams that night, too, chasing the voice away as you strain to hear it. There’s no time to think about it in the morning before you stand up and three heads suddenly poke out of your floor.

Someone has kidnapped an innocent child in an attempt to stop the earthquakes.

Staggering outside, you sit with Cynders and listen to Dugtrio tell of their son's capture. A Pokemon named Skarmory struck during last night’s quake (so that part of your dream, at least, was real) and carried Diglett off to the distant peak of Mount Steel.

You hear Mount Steal at first, and think it seems bizarrely apt for a situation like this -- but no, it turns out that Mount Steel is named for the fierce metallic bird who nests at its peak, and you shudder. Rescuing Pokemon who've wandered into dungeons is one thing, but scaling a mountain and battling a villainous kidnapper seems a little beyond the abilities of an inexperienced team.

But you look at the three identical worried faces in front of you, and you look at Cynders burning with determination to help, and you know you're going to try anyway.
Figured I might as well end this part where the demo ends, haha. This gave me more trouble than the first part, but ultimately I'm happy with how it turned out!
 

rowantobias

Conqueror of the Celadon Gym
Artist
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
1616
Caught
Mar 7, 2020
Messages
39
Location
California
Nature
Hasty
Pronouns
they/ae
Pokémon Type
Water, Flying
Pokédex Entry
This Pokemon gushes about its girlfriend for hours on end.
i am LOVING this! i love the characterization of the protagonist especially, that part about the sea really speaks to me somehow!
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
349
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
@rowantobias Thank you so much! I wasn't sure if people would like that part or not, so I'm glad to hear that it spoke to you.
Mount Steel looms in front of you, a wide pillar of craggy rock stretching up to the sky. You tremble at the thought of scaling it -- of falling off, being buried in rockslides, getting sliced to ribbons by the steel beast that awaits you at the top.

The peak of a mountain is no place for a Mudkip and a Cyndaquil, but how inhospitable must it be for a tunneller? You think of Diglett, alone and terrified on a precarious outcropping, desperately hoping that someone, anyone, might show up.

So you start to climb the mountain, and you don’t look back.

It's not too bad, at first. Like going through a cave, but... up. You try not to think too hard about the up part, but soon it becomes unavoidable as you climb higher and the wind starts to shriek in your ears.

Keep looking up, Cynders advises, scrambling up the path alongside you. You realize that, at this height, it's a bit more pleasant to think of up than down, even if up involves an angry stabby bird.

You decide not to think of anything anymore, and focus on the rocks beneath your feet.

All too soon, you run out of up, and you're standing on the peak of the mountain. It almost feels relaxing, for a moment -- the wind has died down to a gentle breeze, the sky is soft and blue, and the world stretches out below you.

You snap to attention at Cynders’ excited shout, and turn to see them jumping up and down at the edge of a cliff. Past the gap is Diglett, looking more scared than relieved as they huddle on an isolated ledge.

That's not a good sign.

The sudden blur of movement causes you and Cynders to jump back just in time. You find yourselves face-to-face with an enormous steel bird who seems thoroughly unimpressed with your presence on this mountain. They spread wide wings red as blood and stare with knife-sharp eyes that cut right into you, demanding to know why you've come here.

Cynders stares right back, alight with righteousness. We came to rescue Diglett! Let him go, and we’ll leave you alone!

Leave me alone?
Skarmory shrieks. The earthquakes never leave me alone! I haven't slept in days, and it's all the fault of these tunnellers! How can you defend them?

That's not true,
you say fiercely, almost before you're aware that you're saying it at all.

Cynders backs you up. I don't know what's causing the earthquakes! But I do know it takes more than a few tunnels to create disasters like this.

Rather than argue further, Skarmory leaps right at your partner, shrieking. Only a desperate burst of flame prevents Cynders from being sliced to ribbons, and as Skarmory shrieks again, you spring up and crash right into their wings, knocking them off balance.

It's a chaotic fight. You and Cynders leap from rock to rock, launching attacks, dodging those steely feathers and talons, and being very careful not to fall off the cliff. You've never fought an opponent this strong before, and your heart hammers in your chest as you do your best to make sure that this won't be the last fight you ever have.

It's Cynders’ fire that does it in the end, of course. Even the toughest of steel birds can only handle so many flames, and just as you feel that you might collapse, Skarmory shrieks in defeat as they fly off with singed feathers.

Diglett, eyes squeezed tight, trembles on a nearby peak, asking for help getting down. You quickly follow Cynders over to where Diglett is waiting -- or you try, at least, until you both find yourselves teetering on the edge of a cliff. How are you going to get over there?

You're saved from having to figure it out as two familiar silhouettes appear in the sky. The Magnemite you saved the other day have come to return the favour, and with care, they levitate Diglett all the way to safety.

It's a long way down the mountain for you and Cynders, but you don't mind. While your feet are tired, you'd much rather feel more rocks beneath them than open air like -- wait, does Diglett even have feet? Well, regardless, you're glad you're not the one drifting in an electromagnetic field.

The reunion in front of your team base is a joyful one. The two Magnemite buzz with satisfaction, glad to have been useful. Diglett and Dugtrio happily tunnel away together after some brief conversation, during which you learn that Diglett apparently does have feet.

The Magnemite linger, and you find yourself thinking that you couldn't possibly have done that rescue without them. Cynders is clearly on the same page, because they suddenly blurt out an invitation to join the team.

You're almost as surprised as the Magnemite are, if only because you hadn't really stopped to think about the fact that a rescue team could have more than two Pokemon. But you're more than happy when one of the Magnemite agrees, because anything that makes it easier for you to rescue Pokemon is something you don't want to turn down.

With that settled, the Magnemite and Cynders head off to get some sleep, leaving you alone in front of your hut. Nothing left to do but get some sleep yourself.

And dream.

The same dizzying waves of colour surround you, but tonight, there's a break in the pattern. A vague outline of a figure stands in the middle of it all, tall and slender, wrapped in something white that billows like curtains in the breeze.

...human... your role…

You strain to hear the words, calling out to whoever might be saying them, but before you know it, light is streaming through your windows and the figure has vanished with the moon. Reluctantly awake, you follow the sun outside to where Cynders is waiting.

Still asleep, are you? they tease as you blink half-alert eyes. You can’t help but tell them about your dreams, although you expect them to laugh it off as nothing important.

They don't. They tilt their head to the side thoughtfully, taking it all in, and suggest that it might have something to do with how you became a Pokemon. Which is of course exactly what you've been thinking, and why you always chase the voice so anxiously.

Do you want to become human again? Cynders asks, frowning slightly.

Human... you don't really remember what it was like to be human, only that you were one. Your Mudkip body that once felt so strange now seems to be the most natural thing in the world, and the idea of no longer being a Mudkip is unexpectedly odd. To say nothing of the fact that this world is a beautiful one, and so many of the occupants are kind…

You take so long to think about it that Cynders grins at your indecisiveness and declares that it's more fun to be here with them.

As you skip along the path to Pokemon Square together, laughing, you think you might agree.
I considered making this chapter longer, but I think this is as good a place to end it as any. It's all I have so far, so I figured I might as well post it rather than keep sitting on it for a while just in case I want to add something. I’m not entirely happy with the second half, but I didn’t see myself changing it anytime soon, so here we are. No idea when the next part will be out, since I haven't started writing it yet, but I'll try to have it on schedule!

(And I couldn’t resist mentioning Diglett’s supposed feet, which I always thought was funny)
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
648
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
This is so good! I love Cassie as a protag. She's so sweet and seeing her lean into her body and instincts as a Mudkip (the passages about her splashing about in her pond and staring longingly at the sea were lovely) and I love her team dynamic with Cynders. Speaking of... they're so wholesome and good! I think the two of them are both great pokemon. I really like the second-person, and your downplayed yet poetic descriptions of everything, too.

Kudos! Looking forward to more~
 

Rhema

Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
212
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
212
Location
Hearthome City
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
She tries her best, but doesn't succeed. She gets what she wants but not what she needs.
@cyndakip ! This is freaking adorable?! I can't believe I haven't seen this fic yet! I absolutely love the Mystery Dungeon games so this is a must-read for me. It's so cute that you've made Cyndaquil and Mudkip your team in this, very clever and makes me smile. I can't wait to read the other chapters. Well done on the first one- I think you've really roped us all in with the cuteness!
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,139
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
I'm glad you call out the poor partner sleeping on the steps! There's space enough in the hut for both of us, ya goof!

As someone with multiple people using electronic devices in close proximity in the household, that static electricity sound really does make you go crazy! pls stop mom

Surrounded by grateful Magnemite instead of unforgiving rock walls, you feel more like yourself again, or at least as much like yourself as you can feel when you’re not entirely sure who yourself is.


*reads Persian description* Hm.... I don't like that...

This is better.
Skarmory is now officially "angry stabby bird" in my mind. :V


Being a Pokemon sure is fun, Cassie, until... The fugitive arc. Which I'm very excited to see depicted, by the way!
 

Rhema

Conqueror of the Azalea Gym
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
212
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
212
Location
Hearthome City
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
She/Her/Hers
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
She tries her best, but doesn't succeed. She gets what she wants but not what she needs.
All caught up! This is the cutest damn story I've ever read and I'm so excited for you to keep putting out more chapters. The original PMD was my very first Pokemon game EVER, so it's awesome to get to relive the plot and all the nostalgia that goes along with it.

I really loved the section where Mudkip talks about the sea. It's an adorable yearning, very in-character for a Water-type. I've also enjoyed how you're handling the dreams so far- that was a super memorable plot point in the game for me and I'm happy it's getting such a solid depiction!
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
349
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
@Dee Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoy Cassie and all the bits about the water. And I'm especially glad that you love Cassie and Cynders together! Those two have existed since long before I ever discovered nuzlockes and they mean a lot to me. I never have any idea how to describe my style, but “downplayed yet poetic” is a nice way to put it, I think. Thank you!


@Rhema aaahhh, thank you so much! There was never any doubt about making Mudkip and Cyndaquil my team, they've been the two I use in PMD since long before I ever took on the name Cyndakip. The first PMD game was my very first Pokemon game too, so it’s been great to rediscover the world both through the remake and creating this story. I actually haven't felt like I'm doing the dreams justice, but I'm glad you like how I'm handling them!


@Bowser's Family Vacation They belong together! The other games let them stay in the same room :(

how dare you of all people complain about Persian being portrayed in a negative light

Thank you! I'm very excited to write the fugitive arc. It gives me more feels than any part of any PMD game, and I hope I can do it justice in this story! I'm also very excited just to play it, because I haven't made it that far in the remake yet.

Geez, has it been two months already? Sorry this one took so long. My motivation has been fluctuating a lot in general lately, and this chapter in particular gave me extra trouble because some parts of it are kind of different. But it's here now (and longer than any of the previous chapters!), and I'm hoping to write more soon!

The next few days pass in blissful uneventfulness, at least compared to your rescue of Diglett. Your missions since then have all gone smoothly, especially with Magnemite on the team, and you start to familiarize yourself with this world and its inhabitants as you sink into a comfortable routine. The Pokemon you fight in dungeons still unsettle you, but beneath their wildness you can spot glimpses of -- well, not humanity. Pokemonity? Something rational and intelligent, anyway, and when you defeat them, they sometimes come to their senses and follow you out of the dungeon with determined steps. It reassures you to know that there's always a way back.

You get to know the residents of Pokemon Square better every day. You learn that Diglett and Dugtrio enjoy gazing out to sea almost as much as you do, and you occasionally pass the time in companionable silence with them on the cliff. Sometimes your team heads to the dojo, where Makuhita is happy to teach you fighting moves you could never have imagined you were capable of. And one memorable day, Cynders leads you to a pond adorned with water lilies and rainbows, where you eagerly hop along the stepping stones and then sit in wide-eyed fascination as old Whiscash tells you stories. This soon becomes part of the routine, and Caterpie joins you sometimes, chattering excitedly about his new friend Metapod that you have yet to meet.

You and Cynders are just coming back from the post office one day when you stop in your tracks, peering at the crowd that's gathered in the square during the few minutes you were gone. At the center of it all a frantic Jumpluff waves their arms, seemingly begging for something. A Shiftry stares them down in disapproval, the expression echoed by two nearby Nuzleaf.

What's going on? Cynders asks Lombre, who has a reputation for being a bit of a gossip.

He’s certainly quick to explain -- turns out that Jumpluff has come looking for Shiftry’s team specifically, in the hopes that his fans could create a gust of wind to free their trapped friend. And Shiftry, greedy jerk that he is (says Lombre), is charging more than they can afford.

That's terrible! Cynders protests, flames flaring up in anger as Lombre jumps back to nod his agreement from a safe distance. You frown. It hadn't occurred to you that some Pokemon would only be in this for the money, but you really shouldn't be surprised. Though this world may be better than the one you left, that doesn’t make it perfect.

Cynders is just about to march over there and give Shiftry a piece of their mind when a new voice echoes through the square, calm and commanding. Just one word, but it's enough to make everyone freeze in their tracks.

Wait.

The crowd parts to reveal three statuesque figures looming over the square. A Charizard, wings unfurled like sails, tail flame burning so brightly that even you wouldn't want to go near it. A Tyranitar, craggy and rough as if carved out of a mountain. And an Alakazam with eyes that seem to hold all the wisdom in the world.

Alakazam leads the other two into the center, whispers wrapping around them on all sides.

Team ACT is here! Can you believe it?

They're so cool…

I wanna be Gold Rank like them!

Did you hear that Alakazam knows everything that has ever happened, ever?

Wow…


(That last remark comes from Cynders, staring with an awed intensity to rival Caterpie.)

The whispers stop when Alakazam does. He stands in front of Shiftry, frowning.

Rather cold-hearted, aren't you? All their friend needs is a bit of wind, and that should be no problem for you. You have a rescue team. Help Jumpluff out.

You’re expecting Shiftry to argue, to complain, to say nothing. But after just a brief grumble, he mutters fine, and stalks off with his team.

The whispers start up again.

Can you believe it?

So cool…

Shiftry didn't even argue!

You can't argue with someone who knows everything, ever!

Wow...


Unlike Cynders (and apparently everyone else), you don't have the luxury of knowing who this “Team ACT” is, but Lombre is more than happy to explain as Jumpluff bounces gratefully around them. Turns out they're not just Gold Rank -- they're the most well-known and respected rescue team around. Even Pokemon like Shiftry know better than to argue with them.

You don't need to have known about Team ACT for long to be in awe as they walk through the square. This is what you want to be someday, strong and kind and respected.

And then Alakazam’s eyes are on you, and you've never felt more insignificant in your life. You tremble as his gaze pierces right into your soul, seeming to sweep through parts of your mind that are hidden even to you, and you stare dizzily at the ground as you try to pull your thoughts back together.

What is it? someone asks, and the spell is broken.

Nothing, says Alakazam, after the briefest of pauses. It's nothing. Let's go.

That was scary!
Lombre exclaims once they're safely out of earshot. You frown at him. He thought it was scary? It wasn't him who had to bear the weight of that gaze.

Cynders tears themself away from admiring Team ACT long enough to ask if you're okay, and you say yes. It was unsettling, but not malicious. You didn't get the feeling that Alakazam was trying to hurt you, but... could he see that you were a human?

You decide not to mention it.

We need to be like them! Cynders declares. The best rescue team we can be! We’ll work hard, and one day, we’ll make Gold Rank too!

Doing your best to push all your concerns to the hidden places of your mind, you smile in agreement. Think about your team, and your goals. Don't think about your past, and what Alakazam might know about it, and what you don't.

You're so busy wrestling with your thoughts that you don't notice another pair of eyes burning into your back, these ones red and malicious. You don't hear the cackling laugh as a shadowy figure creeps away.

You don't know that soon enough, you'll have bigger concerns.

The bigger concerns start to arrive several days later, when your worries about Alakazam have had some time to fade. It's yet another beautiful day, and you and Cynders are eating breakfast together on the grass outside the team base, chattering idly until it's time to head out on a rescue.

Three figures saunter up the path. You don't mistake them for clients for an instant -- their smiles are cruel and cutting. Cynders leaps to their feet at the same time that you do, on edge.

An Ekans. We heard there was a rescue team base here?

A Medicham. Well, that can't be true! There's nothing here at all.

And a Gengar, red eyes narrowed and glittering with mischief. Nothing but a dump!

Cynders indignantly demands to know just who they think they are, but they all push past your partner without a second glance.

But look, someone’s sent all this mail here anyway! the Medicham exclaims in a sing-song voice.

So many job offers, waiting for a real team to take them on! the Gengar cackles. Guess we'd better do all of them.

Before you can do anything about it, the three snatch every last letter out of your mailbox. Medicham holds a handful above Cynders’ head and laughs as the Cyndaquil jumps up and down on stubby legs in a futile attempt to get them back.

Give it up, shorty! Ekans smirks. You're no match for Team Meanies!

Team Meanies? You frown, finding it hard to believe that anyone would willingly seek help from a team like that. No wonder they resort to stealing jobs from other teams.

One step closer to world domination, laughs Gengar as they all flee with the contents of your mailbox.

You and Cynders look at each other. World domination? Are they for real? You're surprised to find you're not too worried about that -- the world has bigger problems right now than those three, as far as you're concerned. You're certainly not happy, though, and neither is Cynders, who paces around vowing revenge if those three should ever be unfortunate enough to cross your team's path again.

The day is saved by Pelipper, who swoops out of the sky with a beak full of letters. Well, saved for you and Cynders, at least. There will always be more missions to go on, but what about the clients who get stuck with Team Meanies as their rescuers?

Nothing you can do about it now. Go on the missions you can, rescue as many Pokemon as possible, train hard, and make them regret it if they ever come to steal your mail again.

They don't come the next day, or the day after, or the day after. Still, you refuse to let your guard down, to the point where you nearly tackle the Pokemon outside your hut one morning as soon as your brain registers that it isn't Cynders.

It's a good thing you stop yourself, because it's Caterpie, his usual starry-eyed look washed away by a wave of tears. Cynders comes dashing up the path just as he starts explaining, his voice shaking -- he was playing in the woods with his friend Metapod, but they got lost apart from each other, and Metapod still hasn't found his way out.

And, of course, that's when Team Meanies shows up.

In a split second, Cynders goes from reassuring Caterpie that the two of you will save his friend to jumping in front of him and flaring their flames protectively, staring down the three intruders.

How rude, Medicham chides. We're only here to help!

Don't worry about a thing, Caterpie,
Gengar grins. You've got a real rescue team to help you out now! We’ll find your friend in a jiffy. You can’t count on those amateurs to do anything right!

B-but...
Caterpie protests, nervously looking between the two teams.

Oh, they can try, of course, Ekans snickers. There just won't be much point to it.

Gengar nods. It doesn't matter who does the rescue, as long as it gets done! Whoever finds your friend can get the reward.

I-I don't have any money...
Caterpie whimpers, looking as if he's trying to sink into the ground and disappear.

Oh, no need to worry about that. You can repay us by joining our team instead!

Caterpie does not seem remotely reassured by this, but of course Team Meanies doesn't care -- they're already off and running, getting a head start on the rescue.

Once Cynders is done stomping around shouting how dare they and promising that your team will get there first, the two of you make a dash for Sinister Woods. (Seriously? Sinister Woods? Why would Caterpie and Metapod think that was a good place to be? Why would anyone think that was a good place to be?) You pick up Magnemite along the way, figuring a brief detour is worth not being outnumbered if it comes to a fight.

You're not sure if you can beat them in a fight anyway. A psychic, a ghost, and a poisonous snake… even just one of them would be a tough opponent. Sure, you did fight off a very large pointy bird before, but you outnumbered Skarmory, and that was just one Pokemon.

You really, really hope it won't come to a fight.

Once you're actually inside Sinister Woods, you start to understand the appeal. Sure, all the trees make it a little shadowy, but other than that, it's surprisingly nice to look at. Soft patches of grass line the ground, interspersed here and there with clumps of pink flowers or bright red-and-white mushrooms. Every now and then you stumble across a small sparkling pond not too unlike your own, and you wonder what could be so sinister about a place where all the water is bluer than the sky on a sunny day. Maybe you could slip into one of these pools and rest for a while, let your worries drift away, never leave and become one with the--

Don't look at anything too long, Cynders says grimly, yanking you away from the edge of the water. You blink, disoriented. Had you been looking?

That's how some of the dungeons get you, Magnemite buzzes. They look nice on the surface, but they'll mesmerize you if you look too closely, and you'll never want to leave.

Shuddering, you thank your teammates, deciding to look up instead -- but no, there's not much sky to be seen through the leaves, and you think it would be equally bad to stare at those too long. You settle for constantly moving your eyes, which, while making you feel extra paranoid, does have the bonus of helping you stay alert for enemies.

There actually aren't that many enemies, at least not compared to the dungeons you've been in before. Rather than feeling compelled to fight, some of the Pokemon you run into seem to see right through you, as if they're in a trance. You tackle them out of their dazed wandering, fish them from ponds, shake them awake where they sleep in a tangle of roots. Every time, you're afraid it won't work, that they're doomed to be trapped in the forest forever (like you could have been, which you're trying hard not to think about) ... but sooner or later, they come to their senses and follow you along.

Every Pokemon you save means that Team Meanies gets closer and closer to rescuing Metapod first, but how can you just leave them to their fate?

There could be an advantage to this, too. You share a look with Cynders and know they're thinking the same thing -- with all these Pokemon helping you out, you'll outnumber Gengar's team. Those three certainly won't be rescuing anyone out of the goodness of their hearts, but what they probably are doing is waiting to ambush you in the deepest part of the forest, because they can't be content with just winning the regular way.

At least that's what you tell yourself, because it keeps your feet moving. Because you know your team is too far behind to reach Metapod first.

And so you're not surprised when the other team jumps out of the shadows. (In fact, you're a little disappointed, because if anyone deserves to be stuck wandering in a forest forever, it's those three). They're surprised to find so many Pokemon with you, and it's almost laughable how easy it is to beat them. So much for world domination.

If you actually cared about helping others like a real rescue team should, this wouldn't have happened! Cynders calls as the Meanies flee, being the ones vowing revenge for a change.

You find Metapod soon after, a small green shape hiding in a hollow at the base of a tree. For a moment you worry that he's fallen under the spell of the forest, but he soon blinks clear eyes at you, explaining that he decided to stay in one place and keep his shell hardened once he realized he was lost. Whether that helped stave off the spell of the forest or he was just lucky, you're not sure, but you're certainly relieved to find him safe.

You're equally relieved to have your Rescue Team badge, and blink happily in the sunlight once you’ve left the shade of the forest behind. There’s yet another dungeon you're not eager to go back to.

It's all worth it, though, once you see Caterpie and Metapod’s joyful reunion. The stars in Caterpie’s eyes go supernova when you reassure him that he doesn't owe any reward. He declares you and Cynders to be the absolute coolest, vowing that someday he'll grow up and join a rescue team too. You smile as you remember the way Cynders stared at Team ACT just the other day. It’s nice to be a hero to someone, even if there’s still a long way to go before you could hope to measure up to your own heroes.

And though you and Cynders are no Team ACT, in this moment, you feel like you've already come farther than you could ever have imagined.
me before starting this story: well there won't be much dialogue so I'll put it in italics for the Aesthetic™

me when I got to this chapter: [screaming internally]

I usually don't have a problem with dialogue, but when I'm trying to work off of pre-existing cutscenes it becomes a challenge of staying true to the game while still putting my own spin on it, which is... not always the most fun thing to do. I'm ultimately satisfied with how it turned out, though. I also found this part of the game a bit of a slog to write about at first -- it's not that I don't like it, I just feel like most other parts are more interesting. But we'll be getting to those soon, and I'm quite excited for it!

I always thought it was kind of strange how your partner has always wanted to be on a rescue team but doesn't know who Team ACT is? So I changed that, haha.

One of the things I love about the remake is the ability to have so many Pokemon on your team in a dungeon, because it makes the boss fights laughably easy. What I really love about the remake, though, is the beautiful scenery! Whiscash’s pond was the first place to really catch me off guard… The rainbow! The water lilies! Gosh, I love this game, and it only gets more beautiful as you go on.

Something that's really surprised me about writing this story is how fun it is to come up with all the ways the different Mystery Dungeons can mess with your head! That's not something I had given any thought to before I started, but I've really been enjoying figuring it out on the way.

I haven't written the next chapter yet, but I'm hoping to get started on it soon. Although I might be a little busy writing other things for the next little while, because I have some pride month pieces I'd really like to work on. I've gotten a start on those already and I have a little bonus pride extra for this story mostly written, so you can expect to see that sometime next month!
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
648
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
There's so much to love about this chapter! The introduction to ACT and Meanies, more of Cassie's great monologue, Cynders's good personality (I like how feisty he is!)

But my favorite is how eerily Sinister Woods almost draws Cassie in, and how it nearly swallowed so many other pokemon too. Really puts the "Sinister" back in the name... are all dungeons like this, drawing the pokemon therein under their spell? How frightening!
 

glancesherlock

Consulting Detective
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
32
Caught
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
178
Location
221B Baker Street
Nature
Lonely
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Just wants to stay home and solve crimes.
Haven't checked out your writing before, and I'm thoroughly regretting that now.

I adore this! You write it in such a way that's stylized but still captures the innocence of PMD. Love, love, love the use of second person here. I agree it just seems to fit a PMD story. It's such a nice, light story, and I like the minimal approach you take to each installment. Really nice stuff. <3
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
1,139
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
Dragon, Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
Something rational and intelligent, anyway, and when you defeat them, they sometimes come to their senses and follow you out of the dungeon with determined steps. It reassures you to know that there's always a way back.
Huh. It's interesting to depict recruitment—or even just dungeon missions—as a form of "waking up"? It makes me wonder what exactly dungeons are in this story....

The "novelization" of Team ACT's introduction—so to say—feels so spot on with the game's depiction. Team ACT may be well-respected and powerful, but to you, the player, they feel... unapproachable, in a way that the other Pokemon don't seem to express. That might be because they are indeed Pokemon.

Medicham holds a handful above Cynders’ head and laughs as the Cyndaquil jumps up and down on stubby legs in a futile attempt to get them back.
MEDICHAM WOULD TOTALLY DO THAT OH MY GOD

I love how Cassie doesn't take them seriously for a second, though.

I mean, look at them! Are these the faces of world domination??? Or of Pokemon who can come up with effective branding?

At least Caterpie and Metapod are children. So they can fall for "Sinister Woods."
 

Tailsimp

A Universally Under-Rested University Imp
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
615
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
Just caught up on this and I adore your writing style! It's brimming with a sort of lightheartedness that really captures the world of PMD! I love Cynders being simultaneously the nicest pokemon, but also ready to throw down with team meanies for messing the team and caterpie. Cassie is a really fun character too. I gotta say that 2nd person perspective is always a hit or miss for me, but I really think you use it well here!

For the latest chapter in particular, I really found the moment of Cassie getting sucked into the mystery dungeon engaging. And the idea of that being what traps pokemon there really sends shivers down the spine. Cause like, who wouldn't want to relax in such a seemingly perfect place? Though it brings back the very good question that Cassie asked before
Seriously? Sinister Woods? Why would Caterpie and Metapod think that was a good place to be? Why would anyone think that was a good place to be?
Caterpie and Metapod, why would you hang out here!?!?!?

Great job so far! Can't wait to see more.
 

cyndakip

there goes my luck
🌱Featurer
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
23
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
349
Location
Lilycove City
Nature
Hardy
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Fire, Water
Pokédex Entry
Part Cyndaquil, part Mudkip, entirely tired.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
@Dee Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter, and Sinister Woods. I've definitely been having a lot of fun with the dungeons...


@glancesherlock Thank you so much! That really means a lot. I'm glad you enjoy the second person, because I certainly enjoy writing it!


@Bowser's Family Vacation I figured I needed some kind of explanation for why all the Pokemon in the dungeons are so mindless and violent, but I wanted to make sure they didn't have to be stuck like that forever! Dungeons are strange places...

I'm glad you liked Team ACT’s introduction! And the Meanies, who I definitely had a lot of fun writing.


@Tailsimp Thank you so much! Cynders is so nice that they’re always 100% ready to throw down with anyone who isn't being nice, haha. I'm glad you like the second person here, especially if it isn't always your thing!

Hello! Today I bring you not a regular chapter, but a bonus one written for the Pride Month Create-a-thon (which you should absolutely check out if you haven't already, because a bunch of people have posted great stuff there)! This is something I wanted to incorporate into the main story but ultimately decided I just didn't have anywhere to fit it in without messing up the fast pace of everything else. So instead it's its own little thing! I've actually posted it as a separate work on AO3. Very much canon, though! Takes place roughly around the beginning of Part 4.

It's strange, but you don't miss being a human as much as you thought you would.

Everything’s so much easier as a Pokemon. No one to tell you how you should look, what you should wear, how you should think. You're a Mudkip now, and all you have to do is be a Mudkip! You never thought life could be more comfortable as a four-legged fish thing, but in many ways, it is.

You also never thought Pokemon society would be so... different. Gender doesn't seem to be a big deal here. There are male and female Pokemon, of course, but there are more than you could have ever imagined who don't fit neatly into those categories. They seems to be the default here unless otherwise specified, and while no one's had the chance to call you much of anything yet, would you want to specify if the opportunity arises?

When you introduced yourself to Cynders, you never got much further than I'm Cassie, and I'm a human. In a world full of Pokemon, being a former human tends to overshadow anything else you might say about yourself upon meeting someone. Not to mention that you both got rather distracted by having to rescue Caterpie, and the topic of gender and pronouns just never really came up after that.

Some part of you is relieved that you've never had to tell anyone here you're a girl. Because, well, you're no longer really sure that you are. You don't remember much about your human life, but you get the feeling that you weren't so sure about it back then, either. There's a strange kind of nervous excitement that fizzes in your chest every time you think about what you might do if someone asked you… what if you said you weren't a girl? Could you do that? Well, of course you could, but would you?

Cassie is a girl's name in your world, but in this one it's not a name at all, or at least it wasn't until you showed up. No one here has any preconceived notions about what a Cassie should be, and you think that maybe, just maybe, the Pokemon here don’t look at you and automatically think girl, but you're afraid to ask.

You don't even want to ask Cynders, even though you know they'll understand -- Cynders, who will answer to pretty much anything, stocking up on pronouns the way you stock up on berries for the team toolbox. Cynders, who is your partner and most trusted friend. You have so many opportunities to say hey, did you know I’m not a girl? and you never take them.

You have so many opportunities to say so many things, and you never take them.

It's a client who changes everything. You’re not the most talkative person -- Pokemon -- around, and you don't spend much time with anyone but Cynders, so you never really hear any pronouns being used for you. But today, you've just finished up a rescue, and Cynders is chattering away with the bedraggled Poochyena you've saved and the Rattata who asked you to save him, and...

You should have seen the move Cassie used! the Poochyena recounts to his friend. Right when we were about to escape the cave, this huge Pokemon jumped out at me, and I thought I was a goner for sure! But then Cassie did this cool flip off the rocks to get in front of me, and they sprayed it with this huge blast of water, and it was so awesome!

They?

They. They is you. You’re they.

You feel a sudden giddy rush of excitement, a warm glow of happiness that, for once, has nothing to do with being called cool. It's a strange new sensation, hesitant but thrilling, like you're standing on the edge of a cliff and feel like you might actually be able to fly off it instead of fall.

Cynders looks at you, and you realize you might be grinning a little too much. Yes, I'm lucky to have them as my partner, the Cyndaquil says with a knowing smile.

You should have known better than to think you could keep something like that from Cynders. They're too perceptive, or maybe you're just too easy to read -- probably a bit of both, if you're being honest, but whatever the situation is, you start to think that maybe you really can be something other. Not-a-girl. They. Nonbinary. You're not sure if that's a word that exists in this world, but could it be the right word for you?

Cynders asks you about it, later, when you're staring out at the ocean in quiet contemplation. (Well, externally quiet. Your brain is very much a loud mess at the moment.)

Things are a bit different in your world, aren't they?

You nod. Here might be less complicated, but in some ways that makes it more complicated for you. Your world had hair and clothes and makeup, all these little things about your appearance you had to constantly adjust in the hopes that they might make you look how you feel. That maybe, just maybe, you could make others see you how you want to be seen, if you could even figure out what that was.

Here, those options don’t really exist, and that's probably why this world's view on gender is so different. In some ways it's a relief to have all those choices taken away from you, but what did it leave you in return? You weren't too attached to your old body, but you definitely never wanted to be a Mudkip, either, and as much as you like it, it's not what you envisioned for yourself. But if it's allowing you to be seen for who you think you might really be, isn't that worth it?

...But what if you turn out to be wrong about all this, and find that you don't like it after all, that it isn’t who you are? What if you tell it to everyone and then have to un-tell it later as they all frown at you disapprovingly for changing your mind? What if you’re really just a girl? What if you’re a boy? You don't think you are, and you don't want to be, but what if you're just afraid to realize it? What if you can't be happy as anything? What if, what if, what if...

As usual, you don't say any of those things, but Cynders gets the idea. It's not easy to figure this stuff out, I know, they say. But I can help you with it as much as I can! You can tell me anything. Your partner pauses, grinning. And I can tell everyone about my awesome teammate Cassie, and how much I enjoy going on rescues with them, and how nice they are, and how proud I am of all their accomplishments! If that's what you want, of course.

You're smiling again, feeling those words sparkling in your chest. Your time in this world so far has mostly been spent learning how to take risks and be spontaneous, so... why not?

Deep breath. I think... I think that is what I want. For now, at least. And maybe... you could call me Cass? Just sometimes? You're not ready to let go of the name you're used to yet, but you like the sound of the nickname, and you don't remember many people calling you that back home.

Of course, Cass! Cynders beams. There seems to be a smile stuck on your face, too.

Thanks, Cynders.

Anytime.


As the two of you sit on the cliff and watch the sun sink into the sea together, you think you've never felt more at home in this world. There's still so much you don't know -- how and why were you brought here, what's causing all these natural disasters, and, of course, who do you want to be... the answers never come easily, but that last question, at least, now feels a bit less intimidating.

In this moment, you're happy to be you, even if you’re still figuring out what it means to be you along the way.

The next chapter is looking like a fairly short one, but it still definitely needs some tweaking, so I can't say for sure when it'll be out. Ideally in a week or two, though. Pride Month is almost over, and once we hit the middle of July I’ll also be done with The Phoenix, so I hope to start updating this story more frequently quite soon!
 
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Tailsimp

A Universally Under-Rested University Imp
🎇Contributor
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
50
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
615
Location
A Literal Desert
Nature
Quiet
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Electric, Psychic
Pokédex Entry
Tailsimp: The Impish Pokemon. Despite being quiet and reserved, this pokemon is usually very happy to talk and is always excited to help out!
This chapter is so good and wholesome and 😭 I love it so so so much. What a delight to read for pride month. And this sentiment
In this moment, you're happy to be you, even if you’re still figuring out what it means to be you along the way.
is just such a wonderful one to have. Being happy being you even if you aren't 100% sure about what that means yet I love it so much. Thank you for this good freakin food.

Also this comparison here
Cynders, who will answer to pretty much anything, stocking up on pronouns the way you stock up on berries for the team toolbox.
had me wheezing. I just imagine Cynders at the store ordering pronouns like you'd order berries. "Gimme 1 of these and 2 of those and... hmmm, that one looks good toss it up on there I'll give anything a shot at least once."
 

Dee

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
147
Caught
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
648
Location
Zion National Park
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They/Them
Pokémon Type
Bug, Clever
Pokédex Entry
A regular writer of fanfics and other works, this pokemon loves puns, bugs, and the outdoors.
loved this in the thread and love it here... this is just so wholesome and I'm so happy for Cass that they have this experience to help figure things out <3
 

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