An Encounter at Mt. Nexus
“H-Hey! Woah! Don’t give up!”
“This can’t be it! This can’t be the end! We’re so close!”
“There has to be something we can do! Something to…”
In the lower floors of the infamous mystery dungeon leading to Nexus Peak, Patton was awakened by a drop of cold water landing on the back of his ringing head. “Urgh…” He stood and spit a couple of pebbles out of his mouth. Wet dirt stuck to his tongue and he tried desperately to wipe it off for a few seconds before realizing his hands didn’t look the least bit familiar.
What…? What is this? Where am I?
Actually, the more he thought about it, the more Patton realized he wasn’t even sure what he was supposed to look like… but it wasn’t this. He somehow knew he wasn’t supposed to have three-fingered hands. He distinctly felt he should have five and be a fair deal taller than he currently was.
He opened his mouth to talk to nobody in particular, but was cut off by a shrill scream that he might have mistaken for his own (What did he sound like, anyway?) if it hadn’t echoed off so many walls of the rocky complex (Was this a cave?) before reaching his ears. A dim light grew and cast shadows from around a corner. Before Patton could decide whether to approach or run, the screaming Pokémon turned the corner and hopped in his direction frantically, leaving a streak of purple light in its wake before it attempted to jump over him
Instead, the Litwick managed to smash right into Patton’s already aching head and knock him back onto the rocky ground.
As Patton’s head spun he could feel warm, waxy arms trying to pull him up despite being half his height. “Sorry! We need to move!”
“You…” Patton vaguely registered as he sat back up, “you just talked…”
The Litwick blinked, confused by his statement for only a moment before pushing him from behind and continuing to babble in a panic. The ground began to rumble and an Onix barreled towards them from around the same corner the Litwick had run from.
They ran with the Litwick dragging along Patton who kept tripping over himself until they came to an opening with several objects Patton had never seen – large yellow seeds, blue spheres, sticks with a mystical quality to them - littering the ground… along with several Pokemon glaring at their intrusion.
They both froze.
“A… a monster house…” the Litwick’s voice came out as a whimper and their flame dimmed. “Why now…” Their head – that was to say most of their body - whipped left and right, wax dripping onto the floor until their eyes locked onto a blue sphere.
“There!” the Litwick barked, “Get that!”
Patton fumbled over itself but managed to grab the sphere as the horde of Pokemon and the Onix both closed in. What am I supposed to do with this?!
“What are you doing?!”
What am I doing? He turned the sphere over in his hands, poked at it, looked through it. The Litwick rammed him from behind, grabbing the sphere and holding it up towards the ceiling. “Escape!” A bright flash of light filled Patton’s vision and the cave seemed to dissolve from beneath his feet.
When he could see again, he was standing next to the Litwick below a thick layer of trees. A new, wooden archway guarded the path before them that lead back into the caves; Patton couldn’t see how high the rocky hill went through the thick canopy. A small waterfall trickled down to the left of the cave’s opening, forming a pond.
The Litwick sighed in relief and turned to face Patton inquisitively. The frantic, snappy tone of their voice was gone, replaced with concern and pity.
“…You’re a human, right?”
“Uh, yeah? Why wouldn’t I be?” Then again… he recalled his three pale fingers from before and how tall the Litwick appears standing before him. He ran to the pond without waiting for a reply, tripping over himself again and falling into the water. Until that moment, Patton had been considering that everything weird about this situation could be explained by it being a dream, but the water felt so cold against his skin and stung so deeply in his eyes.
This is real, Patton realized as the water settled and he could see a Scraggy looking back at him.
“I knew it! You are – er – you were human, weren’t you?”
Patton turned back to the Litwick, who was patiently waiting for his answer with an almost excited look on their face. “Yeah,” Patton replied, “but how would you know that?"
“Well, you see,” the Litwick smiled with a giggle, and Patton realized for the first time his new companion was female.
“My name is Fia, and not all that long ago, I was a human just like you were!”