DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokemon Mystery Dungeon or any other Nintendo or ChunSoft game.
Warning: This story is darkfic and angst. There is a (planned) character death closer to the end. Other than that and self-insert, this story is mostly squick-free. R&R. Enjoy!

“I think I heard the crash somewhere over here...”
“Why does it matter? We need to leave it alone, or—“
“Look, there it is! Oh, crap... that looks scary! Wait... there’s a Riolu over there!”
“Is he awake?”
“...No, he’s not. I hope he’s not hurt...”
“He’s probably dead then. No one could survive that wreck. Let’s go, Jess...”
Damien the Riolu could hear voices. The first was a young female, probably not much older than him. The other was a much older teenage male voice.
“Hey, kid, wake up! You alright?”
“Jess, let’s go. You don’t need to mess with him.”
Damien slowly opened his eyes to find a Zorua looking at him. She was wearing a black cloak. Behind her was a Pikachu. The Zorua smiled when Damien opened his eyes.
“Told you, Mike!”
“Yeah, but he’s still a stranger, Jess. We probably shouldn’t—“
“What’s your name?” Jess interrupted, speaking to Damien.
He stood up and observed his surroundings. He was in some sort of clearing in the middle of a forest. He was encircled by trees of every kind. But he couldn’t find his trainer Dyllan anywhere. Damien remembered that he was in a small plane, flying out to the nearest region they could find so that Dyllan could start an occupation as a trainer. But then, he heard a loud explosion, and felt the plane going down. Damien passed out because the plane was going so fast.
Damien couldn’t see the plane either. Then something came to his realization... he could sense the aura of death somewhere behind him that resembled Dyllan’s. He turned around. And his heart sank.
The plane was there. It was completely obliterated, pieces of it everywhere. The propellers were nonexistent. The engine was just a few feet away from where Damien stood. There was a hole in the back that came from what hit them as they were flying. The cockpit sheltered a body. Damien recognized it instantly.
“What’s wrong?” Jess asked, though Damien ignored her. He ran and started to climb the wrecked aircraft. He got up to Dyllan, hoping he was still alive. Damien placed his ear to where he could hopefully hear a heartbeat.
There was nothing.
Tears started to well up in his eyes. This was the person who had been with him all his life, who took care of him when he was young. And now he was gone. He took the scarf off of Dyllan’s neck. It was a long, yellow, woven scarf, with the monogram “D.B.” on the far bottom corner. He thought for a moment and wrapped it around his own neck. He was going to keep it as a memento, a memory of his best friend. He climbed back down from the plane and stood there, staring at it. Then, all of a sudden, there was a cry.
“Someone! He needs help!”
Everyone turned to see the Froslass floating through the woods asking for help.
“What? Who needs help?” Jess asked.
The Froslass stopped. “My baby! He’s trapped in the Cave of Shadows! He won’t be able to get out on his own!”
“Calm down, miss, someone will—“ Mike tried to say before he was interrupted.
“How can I be calm?!?” she shouted. “He’s trapped in a cave with all kinds of horrible Pokemon! There’s no telling if he’ll ever get out alive!”
Jess started to think. She looked at Damien, then at Mike, then at the Froslass. Then she interjected, “We’ll get your Snorunt out of that cave, miss!”
“Jess, no. We are not doing something that dangerous. Investigating this crash was enough, and I won’t—“ Mike started.
“I lost my parents, Mike! I won’t let her lose her child. I don’t want anyone to feel like I did when I found them.”
Damien couldn’t understand what was going on, but he felt the same way. He just lost his trainer, and he was absolutely devastated. He thought for a moment about what he would do. Then he said, “I’ll go help him.”
“What, you too? Am I the only one here who thinks this is a bad idea?” Mike exclaimed. “Well, if you’re going, Jess, I’ll go too to keep you safe. Besides, I don’t think I like this Riolu too much.”
“You don’t know him.”
“Neither do you.”
“Guys,” the Froslass interrupted. “My son’s still in the cave.”
“Right, miss. Come on, guys! We gotta go!”
Then Jess ran towards the forest. Mike called after her and followed. Damien was ready to follow suit when the Froslass stopped him.
“Thank you. I’ll be waiting here when—I mean, if you return…”
Damien smiled. “We’ll be back. You don’t have to worry.”

Pretty soon, the three of them found themselves in front of a massive cave, guarded only by a sign: “Enter at your own risk.”
“This is the Cave of Shadows? I’ve never been here before...it’s really big…” Jess said nervously.
“It’s not too late to turn back. After all, there is a rescue team here in the forest; maybe we can just go to them, they seem to know what they’re doing,” Mike said.
“It’s fine. We just go in, get the kid, and come back out. No big deal, right?”
“Nothing is ever as easy as it seems, Jess. This cave is probably teeming with Dark Pokemon, and there’s no telling what could happen.
“Let’s just go! If we don’t find Snorunt, he could possibly die. You know how this cave is.”
And with that she entered the cave. Mike and Damien followed. It was a large cave, and it was very dark. The walls were eerily lined with scratches and hints of blood. Once a little further in, it started to get dark. Jess stopped.
“Uh… did anyone bring a torch?” she said, a little embarrassed. Mike frowned.
“You didn’t even think about that?”
“…Sorry, Mike,” Jess apologized, a little downhearted.
Damien decided he would help. He focused all of his energy into a ball of aura, which he held up in front of him. The Aura Sphere let off plenty of light to see by. Jess noticed, a little stunned, and said, “Maybe we should let him lead the way…”
They started to move on. At every turn, either Jess or Mike would decide which way to go. “Turn here.” “Go Left.” “Stay away from that.” “I think it’s safe to go here.”
Eventually they found a large space deep within the cave. The whole area was limned with bones of every sort, some of them with blood still on them. Mike took a survey of the area illuminated by Damien’s aura. He turned to them and made a motion that both of the others understood as “be quiet.” He led their way through to the center and stopped, signaling to Damien, which he did not understand. Mike was moving his arms in a motion that seemed to mean “make it bigger.” Still, Damien did not comprehend. The puzzled look on his face made Mike put his face in his paw.
“Make it bigger!” he finally whispered. Damien listened and increased the size of the Sphere. He found it strange that there were no Zubats or Swoobats in here. He tried to think on it, but the cave’s emptiness made him feel uneasy. Mike signaled to have Jess and Damien follow.
Another hallway had led to another large room, one larger than the previous one. Damien looked around. No one was in there. But he could sense a presence. He closed his eyes and tried to sense with his powers. He found a shape lingering in a dark corner, one far enough away to not be seen with the light he was producing. He signaled at Mike to where it was, then stepped over to the frightened Snorunt in the corner.
Damien looked into his eyes. He saw an expression of terror in them, as if he was afraid of being rescued. Suddenly, he spoke.
“Get out… get out before he comes!”
Mike was confused. “Who?”
“Go! Get out of here! You won’t stand a chance!”
Jess looked at Mike. “What’s he talking about? Is there someone else here?”
Just then, a roar thundered through the cave, startling the group. Snorunt looked to his sides.
“What’s going on?” Mike yelled, his words echoing through the cavern.
“H-he’s here…” Snorunt stammered.
“Who?” Mike asked. Then flames burst through one of the tunnels, lighting several torches that were hung on the walls. Jess swallowed, afraid of what was to come.
“I don’t think this is going to end well…”
Another loud roar echoed, and Damien instinctively brace himself for battle as a large black Charizard made its way through the tunnel. It was much larger in size than a normal Charizard, and the flame on its tail was blue and black instead of orange and red.
Mike panicked. “Let’s just grab Snorunt and get out of here!”
Jess stopped him. “You mean we’re not battling?”
“You don’t understand! This is a Dark Charizard! Dark Pokemon are way stronger than normal Pokemon. If you try to fight it, you could be seriously hurt—if you were lucky!”
Damien heard this and started to shake. He had never seen one of these before, and he did not know what power they held. But it looked like he wouldn’t let them leave without a fight...