Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of the Stratosphere (INCOMPLETE)

Chapter 5: The First Exploration

A dark shadow rushed across the forest floor through the downpour of rain that would even send the most courageous Water-type fleeing. His features were hard to identify, but a couple main ones stood out; a long, leaf-like crest and leaves lining its wrists like a type of hidden set of blades. Always a cautious Pokémon: a Grovyle.

He continued to dart down the path until he came to an altar-like setting at the deepest part of the forest. Resting in the center of the altar was a small, cyan colored gear of sorts. The Grovyle smirked.

"Do my eyes deceive me?" He asked himself as he rushed up to the pedestal. "No, it is in fact what I have been looking for; a Time Gear!" He said, taking the gear. "Only four more to find now..."

"Ahem, yes, now may I have everyone's attention please?" Chatot asked as the guild was filled with morning discussion.

"You heard the man! ...er, bird! Everyone shut your traps!" Loudred blurted, causing everyone to double over with ringing ears.

"Please Loudred, that wasn't really necessary." Chatot said, taking his wings away from his ears. "Anyways, I regret to inform you all that a crime of the utmost degree has been committed. One that will more than likely cause the guilty party a life sentence under the intense grilling of Officer Magnezone."

"Y-y-you don't mean..." Sunflora stuttered.

Chatot sadly nodded. "I'm afraid so," he said. "There has been a theft of a Time Gear."

"What?!" Nearly the whole guild burst out.

"You gotta be kiddin' me, hey!" Corphish said. "Only someone crazy would think of takin' one of those!"

"Oh my gosh, why?!" Sunflora cried. "Why would someone do this?!"

"Please guild members, calm down!" Chatot said, flapping his wings. "Officer Magnezone is already working on this case as we speak. He should have no problem identifying the guilty party at hand for this. Now then..."

After the usual routine of the morning announcements, the guild dispersed for their missions they were taking on for the day.

"So, what kind of mission should we do today Shin'ichi?" Naomi asked. "Job requests or outlaw capturing?"

Shin'ichi shrugged. "Not exactly sure myself." He said. "Let's just head up and see what's available."

"Actually, I have a special assignment for you two." Chatot said, flitting down to the two. "You two have been doing remarkably well for your first time here. So, I think it might be time to give you your first team-based exploration mission."

"Already?" Shin'ichi asked. "Well, you have that much faith in us?"

"Ah, but of course!" Chatot said. "Your performance has been exceptionally excellent these past couple of days! I think I can trust you enough to go off exploring on your own."

Naomi couldn't be any happier with what Chatot was saying. "Where would you like us to explore Chatot?" She piped up, eagerly excited at their mission.

"Ah yes, let me get to that." Chatot said. "If you would, please, take out your Wonder Map."

Naomi reached into her bag and took out the rolled-up map and opened it up. "Now then, we are here," Chatot said, tapping his feathered wing on the map at a collection of tents. "And where I want you two to investigate is here." He said, again tapping his feathered wing on the map, this time on a small waterfall on the map.

"So, a waterfall?" Shin'ichi asked.

"Yes, I would like you two to investigate this waterfall." Chatot said. "Nothing too difficult, just something to get you two started with explorations on your own."

"We'll be ready to go shortly Chatot!" Naomi said, saluting. "You can count on us!"

With a short hike out of town and a bag filled with supplies, Naomi and Shin'ichi soon arrived at the large waterfall.

"W-wow!" Naomi stuttered, looking up. "I can't even see the top of it!"

"So, where does he want us to begin looking?" Shin'ichi asked, looking around the area of the cliff in front of the waterfall. "Doesn't look like there's much around here..."

"Well, we should start looking." Naomi said, looking around. "There's gotta be some sort of tell or something to that degree that we can see."

"I dunno..." Shin'ichi said, extending out his paw to touch the water. Bad idea. He immediately pulled his hand away, a yelp of pain escaping his mouth as his paw stung red from the contact of the falling water. "Sheesh, that's coming down a LOT harder than I thought..."

"There's gotta be something here..." Naomi said, before Shin'ichi went under another headache again before the words 'oh no' escaped his mouth before the vision started. This time a shadowy figure of a Pokémon was on the same ledge as they were. The figure leapt into the waterfall before rolling in on the other side of a hidden cave. The figure looked around, then continued into the cave. Then the vision stopped.

"Shin'ichi, you there?" Naomi asked, snapping her fingers in front of his face. "C'mon, stop daydreaming!"

Shin'ichi shook his head. "Sorry," he said. "But I might have an idea as to where the secrets of this place might be."

"And where would that be?" Naomi asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Behind there," Shin'ichi said, pointing at the waterfall. "I had another vision, and it says there's a cave behind that waterfall."

"Wh-what?!" Naomi cried. "Behind there?!"

Shin'ichi nodded. "I'm thinking if we run through that at full speed, we should be able to make it through to the cave behind it relatively unharmed."

"I dunno..." Naomi said, looking at the massive wall of water in front of them. "What if there really is a solid rock wall back there? We'd be smashed into the water down below, and who knows what would happen to us!"

"Naomi, trust me," Shin'ichi said, placing her hand in his paw. "We'll be fine."

Naomi hesitated at first, then nodded. "Then let's do it." She said backing up away from the edge of the cliff leading into the waterfall.

"Alright, we'll go on three, ok?" Shin'ichi asked, readying himself.

Naomi nodded. "One..., two..., Three!" She said, and soon both of them took off and plunged head first into the rushing wall of water...

Soon after plunging through the wall of water, the two Pokémon rolled, sprawled out on the floor of a cavern. Naomi shook her head in pain as she stood back up. "Oww... That's gonna sting for a while..."

"Ugh, yeah..." Shin'ichi said, sitting up. "But was I right? There is a cave back here!"

"Ok, I will admit, you were right." Naomi said, grabbing the Treasure Bag. "So, let's start exploring this place! What do you think could be back here?"

"Who knows?" Shin'ichi said, getting up. "But there could be a fortune hidden away in here! It's probably deeper within the cave though."

"Well, hey, we find it, we could get pretty famous at the guild!" Naomi said, grabbing Shin'ichi's arm. "C'mon, let's go find it!" She said, pulling Shin'ichi along with her into the cave.

"Wow, this goes really deep!" Naomi said as the two descended further into the abyss of the cave. "How much longer 'till we reach the bottom?"

"Hopefully not far." Shin'ichi said, lighting the way with a small orb of his aura. "It should be coming up."

Soon the two reached the bottom of the cave and ended up in a large cavern. Glistening gems dotted the floor and ceiling, with large ponds on either side. But the most prominent feature was in the center of the room: a ruby, so massive that any gem enthusiasts would go head over heels for it.

"Oh, wow!" Naomi breathed, her eyes sparkling as she rushed and started pulling gems out of the ground. "Look at all these jewels! Rubies, sapphires, AND emeralds! I don't think anyone's seen this many rare gemstones before!"

"Man, this is really cool looking," Shin'ichi said, walking in and looking at the entire cavern stretched out before them. "But why all the way down here? That seems a bit odd to me.."

"Just think of how much credit we'll get for this!" Naomi said, stuffing the jewels into the Treasure Bag. "This could be big!"

"Well, if we want credit," Shin'ichi said. "How about we try uprooting that giant ruby there?"

Naomi's eyes lit up at this remark. "That would be PERFECT!" She cried, rushing over to the large gem. "If we can get this out, this could be worth a fortune!"

Naomi tried to pull the gem out of the ground, but her face just kept getting redder as the gem wouldn't budge until eventually, she fell backwards onto the floor. Shin'ichi couldn't help but chuckle at this sight.

"Yeah, real funny," Naomi said, unamused. "You're the Fighting type, how about you try to yank it out?"

Shin'ichi shrugged, then grabbed the gem. "Holy..!" He thought as the gem wouldn't budge. "This thing is really in there!" He said, before his grip slipped, falling backwards onto the floor of the cave.

"Yeah, who's laughing now?" Naomi said, raising an eyebrow. "I'm trying again." She then grabbed the gem again and yanked upward. Another vision occurred to Shin'ichi while he was on the floor. The same mysterious figure had reached the area and had pushed the gem. Soon a rumbling occurred and a large wall of water swept through before the vision ended.

Shin'ichi's eyes widened by what he just saw. "Naomi, maybe we shouldn't mess with that..."

"Oh come on Shin'ichi, what's the worst that could happen?" Naomi asked, setting the Treasure Bag down on top of the gem. The gem sunk a little, and Shin'ichi started sweating bullets.

"I don't think you should have done that..." Shin'ichi said, noticing the loose pebbles on the ground starting to vibrate.

"Why?" Naomi asked, noticing the small tremors occurring.

"Does that answer your question?!" Shin'ichi yelled, pointing at the massive wall of water headed their way. Naomi gasped, grabbed the Treasure Bag, and then grabbed onto Shin'ichi as the wall of water violently swept the two away...

A short rumble and soon a geyser burst the large blast of water into the air, carrying the two Pokémon with it. The geyser lasted for a few seconds before it stopped, leaving the two Pokémon to fall into the pool of water below them. Shin'ichi was the first to stir.

"Mphh..." Shin'ichi breathed, starting to open his eyes. "What happened..."

"What happened? You two fell from nowhere, that's what." An elderly voice said. Shin'ichi turned to see a large orange turtle sitting on a rock pedestal near the back of the pool. Always the one for relaxation: a Torkoal. "Where are you two from exactly?" He asked.

"We're from the guild." Shin'ichi said getting up. "Where are we anyways?"

"Why, you're at the Hot Springs!" The Torkoal answered. "Goodness me, how did you get here from the guild on such short notice? And how from the sky?"

"No, mister," Naomi said, getting up. "You see, we were sent for an exploration factor of a waterfall nearby town." She said. "We got washed up in a current and must have ended up here."

"Goodness me! The water carried you all this way?! You must be exhausted!" Torkoal said. "Please, rest your weary souls here before you leave."

Naomi nodded. "Thank you Torkoal." She said.

"My goodness, where are those two?" Chatot said to himself as he paced back and forth across the bottom floor. "They've been gone for quite some time now..."

"Sorry we're late back Chatot!" Naomi said, climbing down the later. "We kinda ended up a ways away from the waterfall."

"Well, what exactly happened?" Chatot asked. "I thought I sent you two to investigate the waterfall?"

"Well, we did, but..." Naomi started before Shin'ichi took over for her.

"We had discovered that there was a cave behind the waterfall, so we managed to get behind it and head through." Shin'ichi started. "At the deepest part of the cave we managed to find a room covered with rare gemstones."

"There was this huge one too!" Naomi said. "You really should have seen it! It was wedged in so we couldn't get it out though..."

"After accidentally pushing it, it released a large current of water that flushed us out all the way to the Hot Springs." Shin'ichi finished.

"My my, then you two had quite the adventure today, now have you?" Chatot chuckled. "Well, you'll be happy to know that I'll give you two a break day tomorrow."

"A break day?" Naomi asked. Chatot nodded.

"Yes, you two have been rather diligent this entire time you've been here, you deserve a well-earned break." Chatot said. "Feel free to roam the guild tomorrow, but not in areas where you don't belong!"

Naomi gave another salute. "Yes sir!" She said.

Chatot sighed, placing a wing across his face. "Naomi, you don't need to address me like a sergeant every time..."

"Man, wasn't expecting Chatot to give us a break day at the guild." Shin'ichi said, flopping down onto the bed after dinner.

"Yeah," Naomi said. "I mean, yeah we've been working hard, but I don't know if we really need a break day."

Shin'ichi shrugged. "Well, we shouldn't be fretting over it now. Let's get some sleep."

Naomi nodded. "Yeah, g'night." She said, before lying down and turning over.

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