The Colonists: Assorted Complications

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  Benedict padded impatiently after his partner, wishing desperately that the Furfrou would pick up the pace.

  This is the first interestin' assignment we've ever gotten!  Well, okay, the fight with th' Sceptile was pretty cool, too, but this is even better!  Here, I get t'beat up bad guys and look for treasure!  If it were just me, I'd be sprintin' down this tunnel, no matter how dark it is!  But no, just 'cause we can't see anymore, the dumb dog has to go slower than a Slowpoke without legs!  Stupid cowardly furball…

  Eventually, the Buizel's irritation and excitement got the best of him, and he pushed roughly ahead of Quincy and bolted down the pitch-black passageway.  Luckily for him, it was mostly straight, with no sudden obstructions until he reached the golden doors of the dungeon's true entrance.  When he did, they easily swung open under his momentum, allowing him to pass into the dimly-illuminated room beyond.

  Unluckily for him, a Poison Sting trap was laid directly in front of said entrance.

  The Water-Type yowled loudly in pain and surprise as barbs were launched forcefully into his feet.  Rather foolishly, he began hopping from foot to foot to reduce the sting of his injuries, which instead served to spring the trap again and again.  And again.  And again.  And again.  In fact, by the time Quincy had caught up to him, the darts had been entirely used up, so that the once-dangerous mechanism now simply let out a pitiful click when stepped on.  To Benedict's annoyance, his partner found the scene incredibly humorous.

  "Stop laughin'!  It's not funny!" the Buizel growled at his snickering companion.  Snatching a stray barb from the floor, he added, "Maybe I should stick one 'a these in you an' see how you like it!"

  He was about to act on his threat when a voice rang across the room, coming from an open doorway opposite the dungeon's entryway.  "Prepare yourselves, intruders, for the beating you are about to receive!"

  Turning his head, the Water-Type saw a Barboach glaring angrily at them from the opening.  Curled in his tail was, of all things, a toilet plunger.  How the small Pokémon had procured such an item in an underground dungeon, the Buizel didn't know; nor, particularly, did he care.

  "You," the gray fish began, "are trespassing on the land of the royal-"

  Using Aqua Jet, Benedict rammed himself into the Barboach long before he could finish his sentence.  With a few quick blows (none of them actual attacks; just punches), he knocked out his relatively tiny opponent before even taking a hit.  While most would be satisfied with such an easy victory, the Water-Type felt only disappointment.

  He could have at least tried, he thought, staring down at his unconscious foe and his ridiculous weapon.  That was no fun at all!  The other baddies in here better be stronger than this.  Otherwise, this is gonna go down a lot like it would-

  …Back home.

  He wished he knew a more suitable word for it than 'home'.  A word that didn't imply that he's ever willingly go back there.  A word that accurately portrayed how terrible it felt to be bullied and excluded by all the other neighborhood kids, even after he'd proven that he could beat them senseless, just like the Barboach at his feet.  A word fitting to the unpleasant memories that now paraded through his mind uninvited.  A word that emphasized how bad it had been to be hated, wounded, exiled, betrayed.

  But there was no word for that.  Not a good one.

  A loud whumph pulled Benedict from his depressing thoughts.  Turning to his right, he saw his partner getting up from where he had fallen, presumably not long after deciding that trying to climb the uneven rock face behind him was a good idea.  While the Normal-Type had- to the Buizel's annoyance- no injuries more serious than bruises, those bruises still seemed to be causing discomfort.  The Water-Type took pleasure in this, along with the fact that the Furfrou had finally done something the rest of the world would consider objectively stupid.  Thus, he smirked and chuckled at Quincy's misfortune, which elicited a glare from the other Pokémon.

  Muttering a word Benedict didn't know, the Normal-Type trotted to the wall to the Buizel's left, where a door was secured with a padlock.  He then produced a pair of keys he had somehow obtained and began fiddling with them.

  "What're you doin'?" the Water-Type asked, gesturing to the doorway in front of him.  "There's a perfectly good path right here."

  Quincy stopped his work to give Benedict a withering look.  Sighing in condescension, he explained, "That entrance was guarded, meaning that it leads further into the dungeon  and towards their leader.  That implies that this door leads to the exit.  Furthermore, the keys to this door were stashed on an obvious, easy-to-reach rock ledge, rather than a place fit to hide keys that actually led somewhere worthy of protection.  In conclusion, our primary objective is to get through this door so that we can leave this wretched place as soon as possible.  That way, I can tell my parents that I did what they asked," he finished, returning to his business.

  "Correction: it's your primed-object-whatever to do that stuff."  Again, Benedict pointed to the open doorway.  "I'm goin' in there and beatin' up everythin' I come across."

  "Fine by me," the Furfrou replied after a moment's consideration, much to the Buizel's surprise and delight.  "I don't really care what you do, so long as it doesn't involve death."

  The Water-Type had just realized that his partner had simply said 'death' instead of the more demeaning and expected 'you murdering someone' when the Normal-Type suddenly growled in frustration.  "Oh, but of course it turns out that neither of these keys goes to this door, forcing me to gallivant around this place in search of the key, since I can't open this door with brute force and you'd never even consider helping me."  Quincy sighed, trotting over to the other opening.  "Well, come on, then.  Let's get this over with."

  For once, Benedict agreed with the Furfrou.  I was looking forward to explorin' without any chance of him ruinin' all my fun like he normally does.  Then again, he's unhappy this way, while I can still do what I want.  Plus, the mutt's got a point, unlikely as that is; there's no way I'd waste my strength on helpin' him wimp out.

  The structure of the room the team had just entered was similar to the first: not very large, not very well-lit, relatively square, and with two passageways positioned to the left and straight ahead.  There were, nonetheless, differences: both ways were blocked by locked doors, andno guards occupied the room, only a single Fleshcap, which the Buizel decided to investigate.

  "It smells like meat," he noted mostly to himself as he plucked it from the rocky ground.  Curiously, he attempted to take a bite, only to have Quincy abruptly snatch it from his gloved hand.

  "You imbecile!  We're supposed to collect those, not eat them!" he barked, angrily stuffing the fungus into his pocket.  "Don't you know that consuming these things without cleansing them can lead to horrific food poisoning?  If you got sick from that, my parents would never-"

  The Furfrou continued ranting, but his partner didn't hear him, for he was suddenly struck by a strong dizzy spell.  The room seemed to tilt and spin, blurring his vision and forcing him to lean against the wall.  Most unnervingly, a sharp pain pierced him behind his eyes, throbbing in tune with the still-sore pads of his feet.  The phenomenon didn't last very long, but left its victim irked nonetheless.

  What the heck was that?

  "Benedict, I thought I was the one who considers things of such complexity that they require shutting out all distractions and staring blankly at a wall, not you," Quincy commented, preventing the Buizel from pursuing his question.  While he had been occupied with his affliction, the Normal-Type had approached the left door and was now about to try to unlock it.  "Now hurry up and join me; I'd prefer to have this over and done in good time."

  "Yeah, yeah, yeah," the Water-Type replied, walking forward.  He decided to address the mysterious dizziness later.  Right now, there's an adventure waitin' for me!

  "Alright, let's start with this door."  The Furfrou inserted one of the keys into the lock, but before he turned it, a booming laugh of intimidating came from the door's other side, sounding as though it might belong to something of both large size and power.

  "And by this door, I mean that one," Quincy corrected, retracting the hey and going hastily to the other, less ominous (and in Benedict's mind, less interesting) option.

  "What?!  Aw, come on!" the Buizel protested.  "There's probably some sorta dungeon boss thing in there!"

  "All the more reason to avoid it," the Normal-Type replied as he unlocked the second door, which swung open with a low creak.

  "Why?  'Cause you're too scared?"

  "I'd rather be called cowardly than dead!" came the reply from the next room.

  Grumbling what were most likely foul-tongued insults under his breath, the Water-Type reluctantly followed suit to find his partner excitedly circling a tall, golden obelisk, its color bright in comparison to the dungeon's basalt walls.  Set into the dirtied pillar were four black cylinders, each labeled with white numbers going from zero to nine.  Currently, all of them were set to the former.

  "This is fascinating!" Quincy cried, tail wagging happily.  "I knew dungeons had their secrets, but never did I expect something so intriguing as this!  Oh, I have so many questions!"

The Furfrou chattered on and on about observations that Benedict didn't want to understand.  Looking around the room, the Water-Type spotted an unlocked door to the left and immediately went to it, eager to get away from the endless stream of jargon flowing from the canine's mouth.  A guard snoozed in the way, but fled immediately into a crack in the wall after being woken up, obviously terrified by the scarred Pokémon before them.  The Buizel felt unhappily cheated out of a fight, but proceeded regardless.

  Another Poison Sting trap was set at the door, causing Benedict another battering to his feet, though this time he hopped off immediately after, so it wasn't quite as painful.  It still irritated him, though, and he glared at it angrily as he fidgeted on sore paws.  With Quincy's sudden mood change, the lack of impressive foes, and the trap, he was beginning to get fed up with this mission.  The Guild Leaders had said it would be fun, but it certainly didn't seem that way.  Unfortunately, he could not take out his frustration on them, lest he get in serious trouble.

  The Barboach guard in the room with him would have to do, then.

  "Halt!  You are trespassing on the la-"

 In a single, fluid motion, the Buizel grabbed the other Water-Type by her tail and slammed her violently into the trap, spewing darts everywhere whilst simultaneously breaking it in half.

  "Well, what d'you know?" Benedict remarked, hoisting the small, stunned Pokémon.  "Guess you limbless freaks are good for somethin' after a-"

  Without warning, the dizziness surged through him again, this time with more force.  The Water-Type dropped his opponent and staggered to a corner, crushing a few budding Fleshcaps in the process.  The pounding in his head was sickeningly worse, causing his sight to distort and flicker in and out.  The stinging in his feet grew into true pain, spreading up his ankles.  The experience wasn't much longer than the previous one, but it certainly didn't feel like it.  A few moments after it ended, the Buizel thought it had permanently distorted his vision, only to realize that the room simply had a curious natural tilt that he'd failed to notice before.  He laughed at his foolishness, but it rang hollow; there was something seriously wrong with him, and he really didn't like it.

  Seeing nothing else to do in the room, he returned to the previous one, where Quincy was still blabbing on about the pillar.  He was apparently unaware of both his partner's temporary absence and his lack of interest, or perhaps he was, and only desired to be annoying.  Benedict rather illogically suspected the second.

  "… But upon closer inspection, I believe these runes are actually depictions of a variety of Pokémon.  Presumably they were of some importance, though exactly what purpose they served, I cannot say.  One figure seems to be recurrent, though the markings are too eroded to be sure.  Which species were they, I wonder?  They have a fairly round face, a large display of teeth…  Are they a Wailmer?  Or a Gengar, perhaps?  Did they create this monument?  A monument to what?  And what do the numbers mean?  Entering the proper code will most likely instigate something, but what?  Is it treasure?  A trap?  Or some other thing?  And what is the code?  My attempts so far have gotten me nowhere, and my inability to reach the upper dials definitely doesn't help.  At this rate, it could take months to crack it!  Maybe longer!  Oh, if only I-"

  "I thought you wanted t'get out of here," Benedict snapped impatiently.  "There's no key in here, or in the room behind me.  Shouldn't we look somewhere else?"

  "W-well…" Quincy glanced longingly at the obelisk, like a child desperately wanting a toy they were being forced to leave behind.  With a wistful sigh, he conceded, "I… I suppose I'll need proper equipment to further investigate this…  But I will return to this again, most certainly."

  'Whatever," the Buizel replied, not caring whether or not the Furfrou followed up on that statement.  Brightening, he added, "It's time to take on a dungeon boss!"

  The Normal-Type groaned, obviously dreading the thought of returning to the other door and facing off against some wild beast.  Benedict, on the other hand, could not be more exited.  Thus, he was once again disappointed when it turned out that there was no powerful being in the newest room, but a plump Barboach with Fleshcap remnants speckling his lips.  He was sleeping soundly now, having finished the meal that would eventually give him the horrendous food poisoning that Quincy had warned of earlier, though it was little comfort to the belligerent Water-Type.  He had, for the second time today and the who-knows-which time since meeting Quincy, gotten cheated out of something he wanted while his partner got all he desired.  And just like those other times, he could do nothing but glare at the Furfrou as he got away with it.

  He can rat out on me all he wants, but I can't get back at him at all without gettin' the cold shoulder from everyone in th'world! he thought as Quincy began scaling the wall to his left, presumably because he had spotted the key.  When will I get to have any f-

  The wave of dizziness swept through him again, dragging him to his knees.  Agony pulsed dangerously strong in his head, drowning his thoughts out and stealing his vision away.  The pain that had gone from his feet to his ankles crept upward once again, this time reaching his calves.  Even when the other symptoms faded again into obscurity, it remained, though bearable enough to allow him to stand.  Just as he did so, a triumphant cry resounded from above as his partner found his quarry, followed by a fearful yelp as he lost his footing.  A half-second later, the Furfrou slammed to the ground, breaking a well-hidden trap in the process.  Suds that failed to become Bubble oozed from the wreckage, doing no true harm to their supposed 'victim'.  Neither, miraculously, did the fall.

  Despite his worry over his own condition, Benedict couldn't help but grin.  "Heh!  Looks like the Barboach isn't the only fatty in the room!"

  "Traps are meant to be stepped on, not fallen on from a considerable height.  Almost anything would have broken it from that sort of fall," Quincy retorted, giving his pelt a quick shake to disperse bubbles.  Presenting a new key with one paw, he added, "At least I was being productive.  You were too busy doing nothing to offer any assistance.  Now come on; I want to get out of here before I'm forced to do any more rock-climbing."

  So he didn't notice what happened to me, the Water-Type thought as the team made its way back to the first door.  Good.  The last thing that dumb mongrel needs is another thing to add to his list of mean things to call me.  He has enough of those as it is; he's proven that.

  As they walked down the dim, narrow tunnel beyond the now unlocked door, the Normal-Type's words from the ambassador's party echoed in the Buizel's head.  violent, mangled, irascible, narcissistic, foolish, psychotic… He shook his head, but they simply wouldn't leave him alone.  That was the way insults were: no matter how much you denied them, they kept nagging at you, kept hurting, kept making you question if they were credible.  He should know; he'd gotten them repeatedly, from every cruel kid and condescending adult.  From his mother's furious glare that conveyed hate more than any words or scars could.  And now from his pretentious partner's scathing opinions and his crush's potential rejection.  It seemed like every time he went into society, he came out with injuries: sometimes physical, mostly emotional, and occasionally both.  They has taught him that it was best to remain alone.  Of all the things in his life, that was what he was truly certain of.

  So why had he let himself get tangled with other Pokémon yet again?

  Benedict abruptly stumbled on a stray bit of metal, jerking him from his thoughts.  Grunting in annoyance, he noticed that the floor was strewn with scraps.  Nuts, bolts, screws, wires, and, rather arbitrarily, russet cloth, were scattered down the passageway for reasons unknown.  "What's all this stuff doin' here?"

  "I don't know, and I don't care," Quincy replied, continuing forward.  "I can smell the fresh air up ahead, and that's what matters."

  Benedict walked a few paces after him, then stopped, having reached a small door in the wall to his left.  "Whatever's behind this door probably matters, too, y'know."

  "Then go look at it.  If you want to continue wandering through here, I won't stop you.  I, however, am leaving as soon as I can."  With that, the Furfrou trotted down the tunnel, disappearing into the darkness ahead.

  He's acting weird.  Less mean?  Is that it?  That doesn't make any sense.  Why would he do that?  Maybe his parents are making him do it.  Eh, whatever.  What's important is that I get my dog-free adventure after all!  Benedict pushed open the door and ducked into a fair-sized room, occupied by an obscure piece of machinery.  Before he could investigate, though, a surprisingly powerful and unexpected Mud Bomb flew into him, sending him sprawling.  At least, he hoped it was the power and surprise that led to him being knocked down; in all honesty, he thought that perhaps the dizzy spells were having a longer-lasting effect than he thought.  Feeling a sudden weight on his chest, the Buziel rubbed the dirt from his eyes to see a Barboach wearing headgear perched on top of him, looking quite pleased with herself.

  "You have tortured my soldiers for long enough beast!" she crowed.  "But you let one get away, and they came straight to me!  I laid this ambush, and now I shall unleash my wrath!"

  "Lady, you're, like, one foot tall," Benedict replied.  "Your 'wrath' couldn't hurt a Joltik, let alone me.  Get off."

  Grabbing the other Water-Type by the midsection, he swiftly flung her across the room, where she hit the wall with a smack.  While it sounded somewhat painful, it was probably nothing compared to the Stealth Rock trap she fell onto, which exploded into a brand new formation of Spoolstone, destroying itself in the process.  Leaving her tangled in the strange mineral, the Buizel investigated the earlier mentioned mechanism.

  Curiously, it was not something of practical use, but a work of art, though unimpressive due to rust and erosion.  The metal was sculpted into a canine Pokémon's head, though Benedict wasn't familiar with the exact species.  The left side of its face was badly torn up, while the right was inexplicably melted, obscuring the eyehole.  Carved next to it was a label, which he tried and failed to make out; contrary to Quincy's belief, the Water-Type could read, but the steel's bad repair made deciphering the text impossible.  All he could gather was that one of the letters towards the end was an 'x'.  While this frustrated him, he soon became distracted by the figure's jaw, which was a separate piece, able to open, close, and even detach.  Upon doing the latter, the Buizel found that the head was hollow, and decided to slip it on.

  While his one blind eye kept him from losing any visibility, the metal was tight and heavy, making it far too uncomfortable to wear normally.  Still, he felt reluctant as he took it off.  Fingering the sculpture's rusty fangs with his own metal claws, he thought, I wish I had teeth as sharp as these.  I bet I could take a chuck out 'a Quincy's brain with chompers like th-

  Excruciating pain gripped his head and legs like a vice, far more terrible than before.  He distantly heard the metal head clatter to the ground as his vision blackened and he struggled to remain conscious.  The sensation lasted much longer now, or at least it felt like it.  By the time it finally ended, he was lying on the floor, gasping for breath and dampening his fur with sweat.  Shakily, he rose, and quickly returned to the tunnel leading out, now just as eager as his partner to leave.  As he walked on aching paws, the tunnel changed from rock to dirt, so that the light all but disappeared, leaving him in nearly as much darkness as he had been a few minutes before.  It was not a welcome comparison.

  Along the way, the Water-Type found a huge cluster of Meatroots extending from the walls, floor, and ceiling.  Several of them had been torn away recently, most likely by Quincy, probably for the same reason he had insisted on collecting the Fleshcap.  Soon after he passed the growth, the floor grew warm, offering a small relief from his pain.  He soon found the cause for this, along for what was supplying illumination where sunlight filtered through basalt could not.

  In front of Benedict was a small but deep hole spanning the passage, filled partway with bubbling lava.  It was sizzling, and smelled as though something had fallen in not too long ago.  As he leaped across, the Buizel hoped it was Quincy.  (Unbeknownst to him, Quincy very nearly had fallen in.  In his defense, it had been covered before; that's what had been burning.)  He was about to continue when he remembered something.

  Hey…  Didn't the Guild Leaders say we'd get paid if we got rid of traps?

 He turned back to the pit, thinking.  A bit of concentration and one Aqua Tail later, the magma had been reduced to a steaming slab of rock.

  "There. Fixed," Benedict announced to no one.  "And dark.  It just got a lot darker.  Shoulda thought of that.  Oh well.  Good enough."

  His nonchalant tone did not at all reflect the turmoil within.  As he went down the tunnel, he continuously expected the affliction to surface one final time, to make him die alone in the dark.  Instead, the remainder of his journey was short and uneventful.  It seemed whatever was causing his pain had taken a merciful turn.

  For now.

Sorry about this being so late...  I'll do my best to make the others come soon.  In the meantime: Dungeon!  Action!  Humor!  Suspense!  An image!  And most importantly: FNAF REFERENCES!  Enjoy!  Give feedback, if you want!  And stuff!  Yeah!
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