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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Eternal Horizons (Prologue and Chapter 1)


The deafening boom of thunder; the chilling lash of the pouring rain and stinging hail; Lightning splits the heavens in two. A thunderstorm had arrived. And for the lone individual stuck in the middle, the timing couldn't be worse. Just a scant 15 minutes ago (or 20, he wasn't too sure), it was a nice day. A bit cloudy, sure, but no signs of any rain, let alone something like this. He'd been playing with his friends all day, and not once did any sign of a storm appear. The traveler stumbled a bit; the wind was fierce and made the rain and hail all the more impactful. It can't be too far now... the traveler in the woods thought to himself, pulling himself over a log with a shiver. He was lucky he was already headed for a place where he could probably take shelter from the wrath of nature.

Deep in this forest, it is said in his hometown, lies a decaying shrine to a certain Pokemon, a protector of the forest and its denizens. It is said the secrets of that shrine have yet to be unraveled, and those who had tried before have oft vanished without a trace. Some of the other kids thought this was a spooky story to get kids to stay out of the woods, but of all of them, only he had volunteered to venture into the maze of trees and brush to find it. He'd always wanted to see it for himself anyways, and this was the perfect chance.

But then, he heard the thunder, and now here he was, drenched and battered by the storm. He was exhausted from fighting the gale and clambering over debris and hills. Nevertheless, he pressed on, determined to find the shrine of the forest guardian...

Chapter 1: Every Thousand-Mile Journey...

White and pink flower petals swayed on the tree branches and danced through the air, carried by a gentle summer breeze o'er a lake that shimmered in the sunrise; yet another new dawn in Tempest Town. Sitting on a river delta at the bottom of a valley and surrounded by verdant forest and lofty mountains, with bridges connecting the many islands together, it was a place made famous for its frequent festivals, bountiful farmland, overall lively and optimistic atmosphere, and abundance of activities and businesses. To many it was a carnival without end, a place anyone could go to at any time to find fun. In the town outskirts on the riversides further up north, farmers were already up, tending their fields to make sure the crops were going well, and while the businesses in the town itself often opened up later, nevertheless the streets were busy and crowded as large wagons full of wares and produce were pulled to the market district, workers in the Carnival district set up stages and street games while bands rehearsed and actors studied their lines.

Store owners prepared their places for customers, and residents made their way to work or to get ahead of the shopping crowd for first pick of the wares. Among the morning rush of was a Vulpix, making her way down the street toward a certain building. Burning in her heart was a goal she felt strongly for, but within her mind was an equally strong sense of dread and uncertainty. "E-excuse me! Pardon!" she called out as she wove around the residents. She stopped herself from tumbling into the path of a taxi wagon with a startled yelp, then, after it passed, she felt the crowd begin to surge forward and hurried along so as not to get trampled.

Among the many businesses and services within Tempest Town, perhaps one of the most popular was the society of explorers. Trained at guilds scattered across the globe and headed by the mysterious Exploration Team Federation, teams of Pokemon would band together to explore the secrets and frontiers of the world, to help Pokemon in need, and to capture infamous criminals on the run from the law. Countless heroes have come from this line of work, and the Tempest Town Explorer's Guild, currently ran by the famed Guildmaster Lucario, had quite a long list of famous explorers. There was Team Sengoku, led by Kanagawa the Samurott, who took down the infamous Blackwing crime gang led by Nevermore the Honchkrow, Team Glamour, led by Rose the Meowscarada, who held the record for most Pokemon rescued within a single day, and Team Storm, led by Thunder the Jolteon, who discovered the rumored Eon Caverns. All these teams of rising stars had started their career here, and the Vulpix had always wanted to follow in their footsteps by joining the guild and becoming an explorer herself.

As she stared up at the building, she took a deep breath, and slowly began to walk forward. Passing through the tori gate that marked the entrance to the guild's property, she froze when she heard the large red wooden doors clatter and then swing open, crashing into the walls as three Pokemon were sent flying out of the entrance with a yell. Stepping out after them came a Sneasel with a large scar going across the left side of his face and dead left eye. His right eye, however, was frozen into a fierce, icy glare as the three Pokemon on the ground groaned and picked themselves up from it. "Next time, try finding work in your own territory before stealing jobs from ours." The Sneasel quipped.

"Hey! There's no law stating we have to stick to our own guilds to find jobs, you know!" the leader of the kicked trio, a Krokorok, growled.

"Yeah! You can't boss us around!" one of his companions, a Salandit, added, "I've half a mind to melt you down, you scar-faced freak!"

"Didn't work out well for you thirty seconds ago, did it?" the Sneasel chuckled, flexing his claws and making the fire-type flinch. "Now get lost." The trio glared at him, then turned and walked off, shoving the Vulpix aside. She landed in the grass with a yip as they walked off.

"Move it, pipsqueak!" the desert croc growled.

"H-Hey!" she called out, annoyance making her act before she knew what she was doing. The second they stopped and glared back at her, she felt her heart drop into her stomach as she shirked back, the reptile snarling as he moved his sharp-toothed maw inches from her muzzle.

"What? Got somethin' to say, wimp?" he said, "Go on. I'm all ears." He reached forward to grab her, but before his claws even brushed up against her fur, a blade of ice suddenly whipped over his snout, making both of them jump back. The Krokorok looked toward the scarred Pokémon still watching. He then looked to the Vulpix. "Next time, then." With that, he turned to leave. "C'mon, boys. We can still find work at the Post Office." the Krokorok muttered. As the Dark- and Ice-type watched them walk off, his gaze fell upon the Vulpix, who was still trying to catch her breath as she stood there.

"And as for you..." he said, making her flinch and look up to him as he walked up to her. "We don't permit loitering on guild property. Do you have any business with us today, Flare?" He demanded sharply. The Vulpix stood there a moment, intimidated by the scowl on the Sneasel's face.

W-What should I do? W-What should I say?! She frantically searched her mind for a response and quickly blurted out the first one that came to mind. "N-No, no, I just...! I'll go now... S-Sorry to bother you, Frost." She turned to leave, but then stopped herself. What are you doing?! You came here to join the guild!! So ask him!! Turning around, she looked back to Frost, his face still a cold scowl. "A-Actually, I was hoping to..."

"Spit it out, already. I'm leaving with my team for a mission in five minutes." Frost demanded.

"I was hoping I could... y-you know, j-join the guild...?" Frost's expression didn't change. And Flare felt her anxiety grow even stronger in the silent moments that followed.


The short, blunt response echoed in Flare's ears as she stared at him, her expression conflicting between sad acceptance and anger. "Why not?! I've studied so hard about everything Explorers do! I know everything there is to know!"

"Studying about the job of an explorer and actually doing it are two very different things, Flare." Frost said, putting a hand onto her shoulder. "You're not cut out for it." Flare gaped at him.

"What is it I'm missing, then?! Every time I try to join, you don't even let me set foot into the yard! Why?! Do you just not like me for some reason?!" Frost didn't answer, the shift in his expression barely perceptible.

"Figure it out yourself." he said, turning around and closing the doors behind him. Flare just stood there for a good long moment, trying to figure out what went wrong, or what it was Frost thought was missing. Finally, she let out a growl of frustration and looked back up.

"Fine! I'll show you I can do it!" She shouted at the doors, running off as one more thought pressed into her head: As soon as I figure out how... As she ran with her mind in such a haze, she paid little attention to where she was going until she noticed the sign on the pathway, which sparked an idea fueled more by desperation than common sense:


[Forest South of Tempest Town]


Ugh...My aching head... Where...am I...?

A Shinx stirred as he laid in the shade of a large tree, sunlight filtering through the canopy above and making his face scrunch up with discomfort as he finally peeled his eyes open. Taking a moment to let the aching throb in his head dissipate, he began to shift and pushed himself onto his hind legs, only to wobble and fall back down, banging his chin on the ground as he shot his forelegs out too slow to catch himself. Owwww... Why can't I stand up...? he asked himself as he massaged his chin with his paw...

Wait a sec-!
He quickly looked to his front paws, eyes widening as his movements began to grow more frantic and erratic. He ran a paw through his fur, and as he felt something moving behind him, he looked back; his whole body was covered in fur, the front half bright blue, the rear black, and he had a black, wiry tail ending in a yellow four-pointed star. He spotted a puddle nearby and quickly looked into it. A face with a short muzzle and small dark nose, covered in bright blue fur and donning a pair of golden yellow eyes and large ears with star marks on the interior looked back up at him.

A startled yell escaped him as he tumbled backwards, tripping over himself. N-no... This is impossible! I'm not a Pokémon, I'm a human!! the feline thought to himself as he glanced back at the reflection, as If unsure of what was happening was real. Finally, all the anxiety, confusion and panic building up in the feline Pokémon was released in a single frantic yell that echoed across the forest:


The current of the water was of little consequence to Jett the Buizel, the mustelid making his way upstream with ease, a smile on his face. The Water-type has been travelling up the Cumula River for two days now, and so far, things were going smoothly. Even better, so long as he kept to the river route, he should be able to avoid any Mystery Dungeons and be at Tempest Town by Lunchtime! As a Bibarel dam came into view, he dove beneath the river's surface, flattening his trajectory inches from the riverbed. He could see the dam's foundation ahead; one hundred feet away. He sped up. Fifty feet. He began to ascend at twenty-five feet and breached the surface, diving over the dam with a laugh and landing on the other side and continuing. As he swam on, he spotted something just off the riverbank. Curiosity got the better of him as he swam toward land and emerged from the water. It was a couple of Pokémon, one a tough-looking Simisage, the other a distraught Bunneary covered in bruises.

"P-Please, that's all I have! D-Don't hurt me!" the smaller Pokémon whimpered as Simisage looked through the bag in his hands, presumably hers.

"Oh really? How about in that fluff of yours?" the Grass-Type simian insisted with a grin, grabbing onto her ears and pulling her up off the ground. The Bunneary flailed and cried out as he shook her a bit, and some Poke fell out of the thick wool covering her bottom half. "Well, look at that. Might just be pocket change, but better than nothing." Dropping the Pokémon, he began to gather her dropped money.

"W-wait! I need that money! My mama's sick, and that money's for her medicine! Please!" Bunneary pleaded.

"Tough, kid. That's just how the world works." Simisage said with a smirk.

"Taking chump change from kids? Really?" Jett interjected, walking over to them. Simisage quickly turned around ready for a fight. "Your standards are way too low."

"What's it to ya, punk? Who are you?!" he growled, sizing him up. "You're no explorer!"

"I'm an outlaw. Just like you." Jett said with a smirk. "I was just on my way over to my next gig when I just happened upon some poor fool who thought he could be all big and tough by robbing kids. All for a bit of pocket change."

"Maybe I could take somethin' from you too, then. Make the prize a bit bigger." Simisage warned, walking up to the water-type. "After all, I could easily take ya out."

"True, but If you do, you'd be missing out on an opportunity to make a fortune." Jett pointed out, smirking.

"What are you talking about?" Simisage asked. Jett simply took out a stone etched with intricate ornate patterns. "A rock? You're saying that by robbing you, I'd be missing out on that?" the grass-type asked, arching an eyebrow. "If this is a joke, I don't get it."

"No no no! It's not just your run of the mill stone, my friend! I snatched this from a museum!" Jett said, tracing over the pattern. "This is a keystone. It can open up ancient ruins filled to bursting with treasure!"

"What are you on about?!"

"Hello, old human ruins? Those places are gold mines! And keystones like this can open them right up for ya!" Jett elaborated, "So why rob us for spare change when you could gain riches beyond your wildest dreams?!"

"My wildest dreams, eh...?" Simisage chuckled to himself as he looked over the rock, imagining a life of luxury with pretty females waiting on him hand and foot as he dined on the finest foods and lounged about in a giant mansion with all the finest furnishings. "You make a tempting offer, kid."

"It's all yours only if you let me and the Bunneary keep everything else. Trust me, you'll be getting much, much more taking this offer." Jett pressed, smiling politely as he held the stone out. Finally, after some deliberation, the Simisage took it.

"Alright, kid. You've got a deal." he said, tossing the bag he had in his other hand toward the Bunneary. "Consider yourself lucky, squirt!"

"There's a human ruins on the northernmost point of the continent. You can start there. It's fairly mild this time of year, so there's fewer ice types." Jett advised.

"Thanks, kid. One outlaw to another, I owe ya!" He then ran off, cackling to himself about his future life in high society. As he vanished, Jett smirked.

"Ah, they never learn." Jett snickered as he looked to the Bunneary, who flinched and started to back away. "You okay, kid?" The lagomorph paused, confused.

"Y-You're not gonna rob me?" She asked in a trembling voice.

"I lied about being an outlaw." Jett said as he helped her pick up her things. "That rock was just laying on the riverbank when I found it yesterday. I carved that pattern into it to make it look like some relic."

"Oh..." Bunneary said, mulling over his explanation, "So does that mean-?"

"Yep. There's no treasure. Well, aside from historical artifacts, but there wasn't any ruins north either." Jett snickered. "Still, he won't be bothering you for a good long while." He then handed back the last of her berries, but also discreetly slipped some money into her bag as he put it in. "Alright, take care, kid."

"Thanks, Mister!" The younger Pokémon called out as Jett walked off.

Laying back on the bank of the river, Jett let out a contented sigh, satisfied with his ruse. "Another good deed accomplished, and another dumb criminal fooled." He mused, reaching into his bag beside him to grab an apple. "I wonder how long it'll take mulch-breath to realize he's been duped. I'd give it a good month." Biting into the apple, he savored the sweet taste before he heard something coming from deeper in the woods. Was he found out already? Was that Simisage coming back after him? Jett quickly stood up and got on guard, the river at his back in case he needed to make a hasty retreat. Bird Pokemon were scattering, flying overhead. And the sounds were getting closer and louder. Something was coming.

The Shinx was now sprinting full tilt at an uneasy pace, desperation driving his every step as the air burned in his lungs and his muscles ached. This is a dream...! This has to be a dream!! He kept thinking to himself. But was it really? It all looked and felt so real. The grass and trees, the adrenaline coursing through his body, the wind blowing through his fur- THIS IS A DREAM!!! However, closing his eyes in an attempt to wake up was a poor decision at that very moment, as when he opened them, not only was he still a Pokémon, but now there was a river two feet away, and in front of that a Buizel getting ready to-!


The feline crashed into the Water-type, barreling him over, and fell into the water, the strong current carrying him away. He tried to fight it, tried to stay above the surface, but his exhaustion was finally catching up to him, and the current was easily overpowering him. Suddenly, he felt something hard collide with his head, and his vision swam as he sank under the surface. A dull ache rang through his skull, and he couldn't even breathe! Am I... gonna die here...? As his vision faded, he spotted a silhouette swimming toward him. Then... everything went black.


......"-ke up!"

"Hey, come on! stay with me here!"

A groan escaped the Shinx as he opened his eyes, his head now pounding with a dull, throbbing ache as he rubbed it with his paw. As the blinding sunlight dimmed enough, and his surroundings came into focus, he saw the Buizel from before above him, looking down with a look of relief. "Well, you're not dead at least. That's a good start." he sighed, the Shinx just staring up at him confused as to how a Pokémon was talking to him, and he was understanding it.

Then again, given I'm a Pokémon, it does make a bit of sense. Doesn't stop it from being weird, but... Slowly, he sat up, wincing as he took in the fact that he wasn't dreaming; he really was a Pokémon now. How? Why? As these questions ran through his head, he didn't hear the Buizel continue.

"Now then...", raising a paw and smacking the Shinx on the head, making him yelp out and put his paws back onto it as his headache rung through his skull.

"OW! What was that for?!" He snapped, glaring at the Buizel.

"How about crashing into me like some crazed Tauros. That hurt, ya know!" Jett shot back.

"Oh...I, uh..." The feline's scowl melted into a look of guilt. "Sorry. It's just, er... been a really crazy day for me." He let out a sigh as he laid back down on his back. "Thanks for the save, by the way. Drowning would have been the last thing I would want added to the list of crazy stuff that happened to me today."

"No problem." Jett said dismissively, "I guess we all have wild and rough days now and again."

"I doubt as crazy as mine..." Shinx chuckled, a rueful smile on his face. Jett decided to indulge in his curiosity.

"How so?" he asked.

"Well, it started when I woke up in the middle of the forest transformed into a Pokémon." he began. Jett raised his eyebrow, already having several questions.

"-Transformed- into a Pokémon? What on earth were you before?"

"A human." Shinx replied plainly. Jett stared at him a good while.

"A human. Like, an actual human." he repeated, trying to process this information. "As in, from the Legends."

"Er... I guess...?" the Shinx half-asked, half-answered, looking confused. Legends?

"Well, the river's right over there if you need to check your reflection." Jett quipped.

"Har har." Shinx replied sarcastically, "I told you it was crazy."

"I think a more apt term would be 'absolutely ludicrous'." Jett snarked back, the feline simply pouting in response. "Anyways, why were you asleep out here in the woods? Is there somewhere you're headed or something?" That made the Shinx perk up as he silently contemplated the question.

Yeah, that's a good question. What -was- I doing out here...? He thought long and hard, but he couldn't recall. "I... I don't recall..." he muttered, eyes going wide as dread seeped into his mind. He tried to remember where he was from. Nothing. He tried to recall something, anything that happened to him last week. Nothing. His mind was a total blank! "I... I can't remember anything past waking up this morning!" Jett stared, then looked to the river.

Did hitting his head give him amnesia? he asked himself. "W-well, you remember being human, at least. Do you remember your name?"

M-My name...! D-Do I at least remember my name?! He thought long and hard, then with a sigh, he gave the Buizel a sad look and shook his head. "No dice."

"Sheesh... that's rough, buddy." Jett said, patting his shoulder. He kept thinking over everything this Pokémon had told him. He had heard of humans only in myths and legends. They weren't actually real, right? Then again, his grandfather had once said that all legends come from somewhere. Maybe there was some truth to them after all. But was this Shinx really one of them? Heck if he knew, but in that moment, he could tell he wasn't lying. He was clearly in a lot of distress right now, lost and confused. A low growl interrupted his train of thought as the Shinx's ears perked up and a more sheepish look overcame him. "Hungry?" Jett asked, the electric-type nodding in response. Walking over to his bag, he took out an apple and held it out to him. "Here."

"Don't you need it?" The Shinx asked.

"Nah, I'm close enough to my destination that I'll be there by sunset." Jett assured with a smirk. "You need it more than I do." Shinx smiled, then took a large bite out of the apple. "Careful you don't choke." Jett chuckled. Then, a thought occurred to him. "So, what will you do now? Any ideas?" The Shinx paused mid-bite at the question.

"Honestly, not a clue. I don't even know if it's possible for me to return to normal." He said, shrugging. "I could look into it, sure, but I don't even know where I am, let alone anything about the world right now."

"Yeah, good point..." Jett muttered, thinking. "If you ask me, the best first step is to find a place to stay. I happen to be headed toward a place called Tempest Town. Maybe you can start there!" he suggested, "And I know there's someone there who may be able to help you."

"I guess it's a start." the Shinx said, a smile on his face as he finished the apple and, as per Jett's instructions, buried the core. "Lead the way!" Sure, things were looking bad for him, but at least now he had a clear way forward.

Okay... It should be around here somewhere... Flare thought to herself as she looked around the path she traversed, trying to maintain her composure. She was in unfamiliar territory now, and yet she walked on, driven by the words that Frost had spoken to her:

"You're not cut out to be an explorer."

Well, I'll show him!
Flare grumbled mentally. I'll clear this dungeon and prove to him I can be as good an explorer as him! As she made that proclamation, she suddenly felt it: something was off about where she now found herself. And as she took her next step, she fell forward with a startled yip, as if the ground had vanished beneath her, landing with a thud onto the ground. As she picked herself back up, she noticed the forest had been... rearranged? Gone was the pathway she was walking along as she now stood in a small clearing with two paths leading from it, and no other way forward. "Looks like I found it..." she muttered as she looked around. "Okay... no turning back now, Flare..."

"So, what do you think I should call you, given you can't remember your own name?" Jett asked as he and his new feline companion made their way down the path. They'd been walking quietly for some time since leaving the riverbank in favor of the land path, since Jett knew the Shinx couldn't nearly swim as fast as him.

"I dunno." Shinx replied as he looked down for a bit, mulling it over. "How do Pokémon names typically work?"

"Well, usually it's something to do with their class or type." Jett explained, "But there are some exceptions to the rule, like mine. 'Jett' doesn't typically have an aquatic feel, does it? It's more because of my speed I got the name."

"Huh... a name relating to type..." He considered his options, thinking about what an electric Pokémon would usually be named. One name in particular stuck out to him. "How about Bolt?"

"What, because you crashed into me like a bolt of lightning?" Jett asked with a snicker, "Not gonna lie, that'd be kinda cheesy."

"Oh, shut up. I like it."

"Well, I guess that's all that matters." Jett held out a paw, smiling. "Nice to meet you, Bolt." Bolt smiled and accepted the paw-shake.

"Likewise, Jett." he replied curtly. The two continued along the pathway, but all of a sudden, they felt everything around them suddenly shift. The two of them staggered and fell over as their surroundings changed. They were now in some clearing, the trees aligned like the walls of a maze, with only one path ahead of them. "Uhhh, what just happened?!" Bolt asked, getting a bit nervous. Jett's smile had faded, replaced by a troubled expression. After looking around and collecting his thoughts, he gave his reply:

"This is bad... Looks like we just wandered into a mystery dungeon!"