Return of the Mon
Previous: Gang Wars, A New Jump
Themesong: Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison
“Since you don’t get along so well with humans, how about… more Pokemon?” “Ooo… Yes please! I could get another…” and then I cut off as a chart of 28 Pokemon appeared in front of me. “What’s this? Which Starter I want?” “No. Which Pokemon you want to be.” “I’m the Pokemon this time? That sucks. Following some human around all the time? No offense to AJ, but I’m not sure I’m up to saying “Pikapi!” for a decade.” “Don’t worry. I’m not sending you to a world with trainers. This is a world populated only by Pokemon… and Mystery Dungeons.”
I blinked at that. I’d never been a fan of roguelikes, and PMD was one… I think. I had no idea about the world, but finally I sighed “Okay… so I get to be a mon… Huh… Well, since I’m already mistress of Ice, better make it a Firetype to cover my weaknesses best. Chimchar evolves to… Infernape. That’s close to human. I’ll go with that one.” “Excellent. Now pick your partner’s species.” “Can I bring Ziggy or AJ?” “You could… but that will cost you… and devolve them. Others are free.” I considered for several minutes, then shrugged “I can still summon him and the others if I don’t, right?” “No. Not this time. That would be… game breaking.” I sighed “You take the fun… never mind. I… I don’t think I’ll take AJ. We have a working relationship that’s friendly, but it’s not an equal one. Also, AJ’s geared for… ahem…. Capture. I… mmmm… I tempted to take a Piplup, just because they’re adorable… but I shouldn’t… Ooo… Munchlax… no… bad SJ. Bad… ummm… How about… darn, Vulpix is on there but not Arcanine. Eevee… no… Heck… I’ll go with Riolu. Lucarios are pretty cool.”
The wheel of Location this time only had four pie sections, but I landed in the first one, Pokemon Square… not that I knew anything about Treasure Town or Post Town either. There wasn’t an age bracket, or even a way to change gender even had I wanted to. I flipped through the Free With Purchase listings in the “PERKS, SKILLS, & MOVES” section of the guide, as usual little more than a pamphlet full of woefully inadequate descriptions. FREE! Any four moves your Pokemon can Learn! All moves draw energy from the same PP reserve! I nodded, cool… lets see… Flame Wheel has 25PP and Fire STAB; Brick Break has 15PP and Fighting STAB, Counter has 20PP and is useful as heck, and Flamethrower has 15PP, Fire STAB, and is just evil. That gives me a total of 75PP, which isn’t half bad. My partner ends up with Force Palm at 10pp, Quick Attack at 40pp (one of two reasons to get it), Sky Uppercut at 15pp, and Bullet Punch at 30pp… for a total of 95 PP. Little bastard is better than me. Pout. Naw… Wonder if he… or she… will be cool. Will they be the goofball good cop? I’ve seen things… I don’t know if I’ll ever be that lighthearted again.
What else is free… Muscle Memory? The ability to move and control my new body with relative ease? Cool. Increased Strength, Endurance, Speed, and Agility beyond that of a Human? Got that already? Maybe it will help a little? Combat Diagnostics? What the… oooo… Accurate ability to judge my own remaining Health and PP! Sweet! Pokeglot? Well, duh… Pokemon have to be able to… ooooo… That will be cool once I can talk to AJ and Ziggy and the others… in 10 years. Maybe I can summon them inside the warehouse? I’ll have to find out. I’d miss them… especially fuzzface. He keeps me sane… ish.
Options… Crush… Lets see… do I want the Lucario to have a crush on me… mmmm… no. Thank you. I’ll untick that box. Just cause it’s free doesn’t mean I have to take it, right? Course, unticking doesn’t guarantee it won’t happen either, right? Right? Not sure I’m ready for that. What else is there. I’ve gotten this far and I haven’t even paid for anything. I’ve got Choice Coins to burn! OOh. Multitalent… 50% more PP and I only need 4 hours of sleep when I finally get tired. Sold.  Choice well spent that. All Terrain Hiker? Wazat? Sweet! I can walk on Lava… or clouds… or water… I shall be Jesus Monkey! Jesus Monkey walked on Lava for your sins! Bitch! Ooo… And it also applies to Partner Pup and the whole Crew! How inexplicable!  in the bank!
Items, Gear, & Supplies! One Explorer Badge Free… normally I’d be all about “We don’t need no stinking Badges!” but this thing can be used twice a day to teleport to the entrance of any building I’m in… including Mystery Dungeons and in Mystery Dungeons it will do so automatically if we’re on the brink of Death… or… you know… being KO’d cause this is Pokeworld. There’s a Wondermap… automapping thing. POI, Teammates, Me… zooms out to 10 miles. Cool. I’ll take one. . Sneak Scarf to make me all silent and sneaky sneaky . Heal Ribbon would be cool… but I regen… but partner boy… or girl… doesn’t. Fine. I’ll be generous. . Aura Ribbon… slightly boosts combat attack and defense. Sure. Plus, it’s purple! . All Choice Spent. And I’m not taking any Bad Stuff this time! I just want a nice calm pokeventure without being hounded for once! No Zubats. No Nazis… just… fun.
My Partner’s name is Zane. Zane is an idiot. Zane has the attention span of a puppy on ritalin. Oh good Arceus, this is going to be a long tour of duty. Plus it’s really hard to remember that I’m not actually a Chimchar named… sigh… Cindy… as in Cinder? I have all these… memories of my life here, being all pokemony and eating firebananas… Firebananas? Arceus.
So, apparently, there are these dungeons, zones where bad stuff happens and the layers get all scrambled each time you enter. I’ve no idea how that works, but I figure there’s a Legendary of Scrambling Architecture… somewhere. Cindy has theories about all sorts of stuff, like there being a Legendary of Toast, and a Legendary of Butter, and that they wrestle, and that Butter likes to be on the bottom. I have no better explanation, and find her explanation makes more sense than I’d like to admit.
Anyway, we’re like… Pokecops or PokeEMTs, and we’re surprisingly good at our jobs, despite, you know, being a small puppy boy and a small monkey girl. In our down time, I get a bit of a reputation as a wild story teller, as I can’t help but tell tales of the Humans… oooooo… spooky Hooomans. I like hanging out with the little ones, but it’s kinda a big problem that no one can Evolve for some reason, so we go looking for the reason. One of them Xatu… the green nerf balls birds, says some disaster is coming and the natural balance of the world is upset. The old part of me thinks “Well, duh.” But the Cindy part of me thinks “Oh noes! We must saves the world!” I might be slightly cynical, but yeah, maybe we can. That would be cool.
There are a bunch of other Rescue Teams… doesn’t seem to be any real hierarchy and they all pretty much just run off on their own, like… like kindergartners playing at rescue. They need… guidance… and not from this asshat Gengar who keeps blaming everyone for screwing up. So I call a meeting of the teams. Most of them show, and I propose that, you know, rather than everyone getting in everyone else’s way, we, you know… work together. As a Rescue Force? It doesn’t go over great, but about a third of the teams agree to at least give it a try. I come up with a rotation system, where there’s always a team on standby if there’s an emergency, and we start getting systematic about these dungeons. We also spend a lot of our time rescuing other teams…. We’ve got the man… er… pokepower for it.
Teamwork… overcomes a lot of issues. We start growing more powerful, more formalized. Formal team leaders. Formal schedules. Networking to other towns as our model proves… efficient. They try and make me be in charge, but I’ve sat behind a desk too much. I’m a monkey… need to move… So I get some of the older, wiser, and fully evolved (read fogey) Mons to take on the responsibility. They’re more suited for it. Especially the Xatu… having a future-telling dude on dispatch is excellent. And this super nice Gardevoir runs the shop. Course, Gengar keeps trying to make everyone listen to his doom and gloom, but it’s not on.
Finally, we get down to the bottom of the bottom of this Dungeon called Magma Cavern… it’s got to be my team because… well… it’s magma and my team are the only ones who can deal with that… except for team Slugma…. But they’re kinda… slow? Find the Legendary… it’s always a Legendary, isn’t it… the Legendary causing the problem… why can’t it ever be, like… 900 Zubats just being stupid?… anyway… It’s this huge red Tyranitar looking dude named Groudon. And he’s… um… kinda grouchy. We have… words. Let’s call it words.
Words with flamethrowers and fists. Those kinda words. Then Zane and me play Good Cop Crazy Cop and interrogate Groudon’s fat ass… like… totally Snorlax Fat. Dude should excersize more. Turns out something woke him from his nap and that’s why he’s throwing the tantrum. We advise him to take a chill pill… some Frostlasses are making them, they’re tasty, but make you shiver all over… and calm down. Then we head back to the station to see what’s up… but as soon as we break the surface, Xatu calls and he’s like “Chirp… Meteor… Headed Right At US! Chirp” and Zane’s like “I use Sky Uppercut!” And I bop him “You cannot punch a giant rock out of the sky.” And he’s like “I could if I wanted too.” And I said “You and which legendary?” And he ummms “Skydragon?” Which is how we ended up trecking to the SkyPillar to see if Rayquaza… this world’s Rayquaza, not my Rayray, could help.
Turns out… yes… but first we had to make it see reason and stop trying to eat us. Sky Uppercut works really well against cranky Sky Dragons, turns out. And that’s how Zane, riding a skydragon with a black eye, managed to ride into the upper atmosphere and punch a Meteor… well, a fragment of the bigger one after Rayquaza hit it with a Hyper Beam. I’ve got to learn that move. Must find Hyperbeam TM.
And that was the first six months. The Rescue Squad grew and grew over the next few years, and Zane and I evolved. We also took on the role of trainers to the younger crowd. Someone had to do it to keep them from just running off to get stuck in a Mystery Dungeon and have to be rescued. We also made big doors to seal the entrances to most of the Dungeons so pokemon would stop wandering into them at random… okay, Zane and I didn’t make them, but we had some Steelix’s hammer them together with their heads.
More problems came and went. Mostly involving Legendaries getting themselves into trouble and us getting them out. But none of it seemed too much of a challenge. Zane and I started getting bored… okay, Zane started off bored and went more and more goofy from there, but still. We started travelling, looking for more challenges… and more Legendaries to beat up. The time Zane tried to fight Darkrai was hilarious… cause, you know, Zane… against a Ghost who spent all his time just glaring at Zane. I guess you had to be there.
We saved the world a couple more times… did some time travelling too, which made my brain hurt at the casual violation of causality, but Dialga was like “Naw, it’s cool, I do this all the time.” And Zane was like “That’s cause you got all the time in the world!” And, I kid you not, they high foured. Morons.
Still it was a fun ten years. At the end I was still counting down the days, as usual, but that’s me. Zane was all “Why are you so… figity?” And I explained that soon would be the coming of the great Legendary Quicksilver. And Zane was like “Oh! Right, she’s the Legendary of… ummm… remind me?” Now don’t think Zane was an Idiot… well, not for this… still an idiot as I said earlier… but I may have invented a few dozen… or hundred to be honest… Legendaries over the last decade. Like Grrmardin who is the Legendary of Dissapointment, or Gbush who is the Legendary of Lies, or Mbay, who is the Legendary of Unnecessary but Awesome Explosions. And so I sat down and explained my past to Zane.
It’s a testament to how close our friendship has gotten over these years that Zane didn’t immediately just assume this was another of my whacky stories. Or it could be that Zane is an idiot. Either way. He did seem confused as to why we had to go to the beach… but no more confused than he had been the first time he saw me, a Fighting Fire Type, use Ice Powers. He’s pretty mellow for a Spazz.
I said goodbye to Zane as dawn crept towards the shore and gave him a peck on the cheek as the pillars rose, as they always do. “You’ve been busy.” They said. Cindy’s memories and personality faded away and it was just me. I could remember everything, but I no longer had that queer doubling inside my head. “It was a working vacation. Someone had to save the world. Feels kinda good.” “Ready to move on? Or have you had enough?” “Yeah… Moving on sounds good. I… I think I need to work through this. I’ve not seen home in 30 years. I’ve gone way past missing it. Adventure skill calls to me. But… you know…” I sighed “I’ll miss the idiot.”
“Why not bring him along?”
“Can I? I didn’t opt for one of those stasis pods. Instead I got that Network Hookup I haven’t really used much.”
“Sure. Jolly Cooperation and all that.”
“Yeah… I’m sure he’ll get along with AJ great.”
“Well… sure… but that’s your problem. I’ll give you a day to get Zane settled. Tomorrow, a new world awaits.”
And the sand swallowed me and Zane up… I’m sure Xatu will send a Rescue Squad to this location, only to find a new Mystery Dungeon and no us. Ah well. I looked around the warehouse, then looked down at myself as Ziggy scampered up my once again human form and licked my face. I hugged him, gladness filling my heart as I felt the love pour out of my fuzzy friend. Zane said “Whoa… You evolved again! What’s this form called?” I looked over, ready to explain about how I was actually a legendary human (something I might have skipped over) when I just… froze. Zane was sitting, naked, and very human, on a crate of glocks. He looked… umm… good. Toned. Hunky. Like a young Idris Elba, but with way more fighting trim… and blue hair. I gulped, painfully aware I hadn’t had sex in… a long time.
“It’s not an Evolution. We’re human now.” I hmmm’d, then set Ziggy down and reached inside myself. The world rippled and I shifted into my Infernape form. “Although it seems we can shift back and forth… well I can. Dunno if your pea-sized brain can… hey, no throwing things!” Ziggy was sniffing my foot and he looked up at me “Momma is on fire!” He said. I patted him, smirking as I realized I could understand the little beasty finally, as Zane pranced around me shifting to and from Pokeform at will going “Pea-Sized Brain, huh? Huh? Huh? Whose the best at Humans? Zane! Zane! Zane!” At that point Rocky stepped on him “Quiet!” The Metagross bellowed in our minds. “Welcome back, Mistress.” He said and I waved “Hiya squirt.
Next: A Jumper’s Wrath
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