Chimera Chronicles: Andalusst Anthology #1

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By Mandercloud
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Chimera Chronicles: Andalusst Anthology: Nightmares

His brown eyes shot open in the midnight darkness, his breathing heavy and his forehead full of sweat as he woke from his restless slumber. Such nights were somewhat the norm for the Charmander in recent times, given that he tended to find himself tangled in the ribbon-like feelers of a Sylveon who tended to snuggle up to him like a plush doll, and tonight was certainly no exception. Tonight had given him a different form of discomfort, however, and it came in a series of vivid images in his mind that seemed all too real.

The Charmander slowly wiggled out of the Sylveon’s clutches, triggering only a small murmur from the Intertwining Pokémon as he made his escape towards the entrance of their tent, stopping when he noticed his other tenant was not in there with him before stepping outside into the open air.

The desert night reeked of a spicy smell, a byproduct of when a series of cacti bombs rigged with Spelon Berry powder detonated in an attempt to set traps to prevent bandits from raiding the oasis he and many other travelers from Andalusst’s three guilds were staying in. While the Charmander had been accidentally caught in the explosions and ending up smelling the same way as the air, he was able to get rid of the stench with a quick wash from some of the helpful Water-type Pokémon that had traveled among the Hunters Guild, much to his embarrassment. Despite the smell, however, the night was otherwise a calm, starry atmosphere where the only sounds that pierced the evening air were the gentle howling of the wind passing through the giant cacti and the howls of drunken Pokémon as they returned to their resting places for the night.

“Having trouble sleeping, Maverick?” a low voice spoke from behind, prompting the Charmander to turn towards the rock that was positioned a few feet from the tent he slept in, where an Absol with a peculiar pair of leg bands rested on top of the rock, his gaze never moving away from the stars above as he spoke to the Charmander.

“Looks like you can’t sleep either,” the Charmander sighed in response, “then again, it’s kinda normal for you to be up this late, that much I know…”

The Absol turned his head towards the brown-eyed Charmander and made a thoughtful hum, gesturing with his paws to prompt Maverick to sit down next to him. Maverick knew Arbiter was the type that only spoke when he needed to speak, and if he could get away with a gesture or sound, he’d do so just to save time, something that made Arbiter seem distant and enigmatic to anyone that interacted with him. Even so, Maverick had always trusted Arbiter, something he knew even before he had woken up in the fog outside Andalusst City, and he usually didn’t mind talking to him if he needed company.

“I-I had a nightmare, Arbiter,” the Charmander said, “I don’t know the meaning of it all, but I think it might have something to do with what happened before we woke up in the fog…”

The Absol nodded his head, signaling to the Charmander that he would listen to whatever problems were plaguing him as long as he was comfortable talking about it. Maverick smirked a little before taking a deep breath, steadying his nerves for the story he was about to tell.

“I was in a rocky clearing on some mountain range, the sky above me was very cloudy, like it was going to rain soon. I was frantically looking around, like I was trying to hide from something and wanted to make sure the area was safe and I went behind some rocks to catch my breath. When I tried to relax, the rocks were suddenly smashed apart and I was launched a few feet along with the rubble. That’s when I saw these silhouettes of two or three Pokémon, I think an Azumarill, Farfetch’d, and a Dewott, standing before me, all ready to attack me. The Dewott fired these bullets of water at me, but I was able to dodge, but when I landed, I was hit by this big flash of light followed by what felt like an electrical attack striking me while I was still blinded by the light. Then I was struck by the other three that attacked me, along with two other, smaller Pokémon that looked like a Rattata and a Marill, that were biting and hitting me with their tail respectively. I tried fighting them all off, but I just enough did it so I could create an opening and keep running, dodging all kinds of long range attacks as best I could. Then I found myself cornered against a canyon wall, every single one of my assailants were there waiting to finish me off, including this Raichu and Mawile that were hanging in the back…”

“Let me guess, they all unleashed their attacks at you and that’s when you woke up, am I correct?” Arbiter interrupted.

“That’s the thing, Arbiter, it just kept going,” Maverick sighed, his hands held over his head as if suffering a migraine, “It all felt so real, too.”

Interested in what his ally had to say, the Absol turned his head towards the Charmander and asked, “So what else happened in this dream?”

“Well, after all those attacks, I struggled to get up as they all started to surround me, saying things like ‘His word shall be obeyed’, ‘All life exists to serve Him’ and stuff like that…but then, she appeared…”

“She?” Arbiter tilted his head a little.

“Remember when we went on patrol that one night with Kara and saw that Chikorita? She was in this dream, same glazed eyes and everything!” Maverick paused for a moment as a small blush appeared on his face, “She walked right up to me through the mob and said that ‘This world will know peace when all accept His will. Accept Him, Maverick, and we shall be together forever in his service…’ she then walked up to me and caressed me like I was her boyfriend or something, and when she leaned forward to kiss me, that was when I woke up…”

“Interesting, and you’re convinced that this Chikorita was someone you know from before you lost your memories?” Arbiter commented with another nod.

“Yes, I’ve felt that way since the day I saw her during that… Atlas’ attack in Andalusst,” Maverick replied with a determined look, stumbling a little as he struggled to remember the name of the Regigigas, “She’s definitely the key to my… no, our past, I’ve gotta find a way for us to meet somehow.”

“What about the others in this dream, did they look even remotely familiar?”

The Charmander sighed as Arbiter kept pressing questions, “Maybe, some of them did kinda look the right size and shape of some of the Explorers we went against in that soccer match, especially that female Dewott that got kicked out at the first half…we might want to look into that at some point if we run into them.”

“Indeed, and I’m sure some of them might have traveled with us on this trip to Geoda,” Arbiter said with another nod, “still, it’s important that we get some rest, for tomorrow we head out once more.”

With a final gesture towards his Absol ally, Maverick wished him goodnight and slowly dragged his feet through the sand back towards their tent. While it didn’t ease all his concerns about the nightmare he had, it felt good knowing that he could talk to Arbiter whenever something was bothering him, like a sort of father figure that he somewhat lacked in his life.

As the Charmander entered the tent, he noticed Valerie shuddering by her lonesome, her body curled up much more tightly than usual as she tossed and turned in her sleep.

“Setsumi, why are you looking at me like that?” he heard her mutter as he slowly approached, “Why are your eyes so filled with hate…”

Maverick sighed to himself as he watched the Sylveon struggle in her sleep, for as much as she tended to be clingy of him whenever they slept in the same shelter, seeing her in a state much like he had been in earlier made it hard not to empathize with the Intertwining Pokémon, and with a gentle, but firm nudge on her side, she quickly opened her eyes and gasped, rousing her from her nightmare as she stared at the brown-eyed Charmander looming over her.

“A-Are you alright, Valerie?” Maverick asked.

“Oh, Maverick, is there something the matter?” the Sylveon answered, wrapping one of her ribbon-like feelers around Maverick’s waist as a smile quickly appeared on her face, “Is my little fireball having trouble sleeping?”

“From the way it sounded, you were having a hard time too. I can hear you muttering in your sleep all the way from the tent entrance.”

The Sylveon blushed in embarrassment, her head quickly turning away before looking down in a sad manner, only to swiftly turn back towards Maverick as she rubbed the back of her head with one of her ribbons and nervously chuckled upon being asked if she was alright. The Charmander didn’t buy her behavior, however, and her fake smile transformed back into a frown in an instant.

“You were having a nightmare, weren’t you?” Maverick sighed, “Guess I wasn’t the only one…but, who is this Setsumi you were mumbling about?”

“Do I have to talk?” Valerie exhaled, slowly drawing the Charmander held in her ribbons closer to the bow on her neck for a hug of sorts, “Maverick…you’re so cute and all, but… there are some things that are best not talked about. Let’s just say that I surpassed someone as a dragon hunter long ago, and our bonds were severed as a result.”

Maverick sighed to himself, realizing that her past likely manifested itself in her dreams much like Maverick’s, only it was likely a result of past trauma than it was a lost memory seemingly coming back to her. Still, it was a rare moment that he could relate to the dragon-obsessed Sylveon, and it was rather important since they were both members of the Hunters guild.

“I must say though, I thank you for your concern about me, that’s real sweet of you Maverick. I’m lucky to have someone as cute and caring as you for a friend.”

The Sylveon yawned as she curled up and closed her eyes, her ribbons securing their Charmander captive as she drifted back to slumber.

Maverick sighed to himself, knowing that he was most certainly going to be stuck by Valerie’s side the rest of the night. He was content with this for once, knowing that she also had things that bothered her while she slept, something more they had in common between them. Rather than try to break free from the ribbons wrapping him up, he instead snuggled within them, resting his head on Valerie’s neck bow like a soft pillow, following her into deep sleep as they awaited a brand new day…
A little something to pass the time while the next mission/task/etc. for :iconpmdunity: is in development and to advance a major personal plot among my main teams, here's the first of the "Andalusst Anthology" side story series.

Pokemon @ Nintendo/Game Freak

:iconpmdunity: @ :iconchillysundance: & others

Maverick, Arbiter, and Valerie @ :iconmandercloud:
© 2016 - 2020 Mandercloud
anonymous's avatar
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CalicoWithAPencil's avatar
CalicoWithAPencilHobbyist Digital Artist
I like the tone and atmosphere set up here. Nice comforting moment between friends. 8)
Mandercloud's avatar
MandercloudHobbyist Writer
Aww thanks! :) They needed a little comfort after all they've been through.
TheSniper2's avatar
With the added mention of a few other Mons whom don't need to be mentioned any further at this point, but that's another story.
(Just saying this as a response to the story and it's description is all.)
Mandercloud's avatar
MandercloudHobbyist Writer
TheSniper2's avatar
(Just decided not to mention the hypnosis part outright, really. Also, it was pretty late when I made that first comment, so I think my judgment was affected then.