Metamorphoses

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  1. #1
    Registered User Showsni's Avatar
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    Default Metamorphoses

    Hi! I thought I'd try my hand at writing a fanfic, so, well, you get this. Let me know if there are any typos/spelling/grammar errors!

    Chapter 1

    Rain pattered against my window. I watched the drops mount up, coalesce and then slowly slide down the pane, gathering speed as they picked up more water until they dropped out of sight below the sill. Sigh. I was bored. Bored, bored, bored. It was meant to be the middle of summer, but you’d never know it by the weather; threatening grey clouds loomed overhead, and the rain had kept up its incessant chatter for three days.

    I’d been really looking forward to the summer holidays, but this weather was putting a downer on everything. It didn’t help that my friends had all gone abroad to exotic locations, whilst I was stuck at home. My Mum said that with the new baby and Dad out of work we just didn’t have enough money for a proper holiday, and so here I was.

    Not that I’m complaining about Ella, mind you. She does cry an awful lot but that’s only to be expected; and she makes up for it the way she smiles at me and grabs my finger. But today Mum had taken her to the Mother and Baby group so I was all alone.

    I turned away from the window to look for something to do. Books? Read them all. DS, Wii? Nothing I really felt like playing. Guess I’d just watch some TV, then. I flicked through the channels, before settling on some antiques programme. I’m not all that keen on antiques, but there was nothing else on.

    Ten minutes later and I was beginning to zone out. The red team had managed to get minus £250 at the auction which was pretty impressive, but not really spectacular enough to drag me out of my doldrums. I was about to turn the TV off when I suddenly thought I heard a noise, a kind of buzzing sound.

    “Hello?”

    The empty house made no reply, and I felt a bit sheepish. Deciding it had been my imagination I flicked the TV off and stood up to go and make some lunch, when I heard it again; this time there was no mistaking it. It was a high pitched buzzing, but I couldn’t tell where it was coming from.

    “Is anyone there?”

    As I spoke out the noise got louder, until I was clasping my ears in pain.

    “Stop it! Hello!? What is this?”

    Unabating, the noise pierced into my head, driving a pneumatic drill into my brain. I screwed my eyes up and dropped to the floor as it reached its crescendo, culminating in the worst sound yet and a flash of brilliant light that almost burned through my closed eyelids. Panting, I opened my eyes, only to blink in shock.

    Where I’d expected to see the dull grey of our living room carpet, instead I could see a riot of green spikes, which I recognised belatedly as grass. The light was also brighter; more like midday sunshine on a proper summer’s day than the gloomy energy saving bulb in our lounge. Somehow I’d got outside. I tried to stand up and look around, when I got my second nasty shock; I couldn’t move! I was lying facedown on the ground, but when I tried to push myself up it was as though my arms and legs didn’t exist. The command left my brain, then just stopped somewhere on the way to its destination. Had the noise paralysed me, as well as bringing me outside? I was felling pretty scared now and shut my eyes again, hoping this was just a waking dream.

    Arms and legs. I could imagine moving them, picture it so clearly, but nothing happened. Maybe if I concentrated hard enough I could force a signal through to them? I envisaged my arms, not particularly strong but mine, capable of pushing me up, and my legs, knobbly knees, smelly feet and all. If I could just move! Suddenly there was a rush of sensation as feeling came back to my limbs. Almost crying, I opened my eyes and sat up; I could move again! Just as I’d imagined, I could push myself up, and… whoa! Where were my clothes!?

    I took my first good look around me. I was sitting, naked, in a grassy clearing with tall trees all around. The midsummer sun beat down above me; there was no way I was still in rain stricken Cheltenham. I blushed scarlet; it didn’t look like there was anyone nearby, but still, this was hideously embarrassing! I had to find some clothes, and fast. Standing up, I quickly made my way to the trees, trying to put my horrible paralysis behind me and wondering where on earth I could be.

    It looked as though the forest stretched on for quite a way, and there was no sign of a path I could see. On the one hand this meant there was less chance of anyone seeing me like this, but on the other hand it meant I was unlikely to find any clothes lying around. Shrugging mentally I decided I may as well start walking; with all directions looking the same, one was just as good as another.

    I winced as I left the grassy area; I’d forgotten about my bare feet. The forest floor was littered with fallen pine cones, sticks and long-dead leaves, with stones pushing up through the ground here and there. Not ideal to wander around barefoot in. Trying to grit my teeth and bear it, I started out more carefully, making sure to watch where I was going.

    As I travelled the silence of the forest began to unnerve me. I’d been walking in the woods fairly frequently at home, and it struck me that one thing was conspicuously missing; the birdsong. Usually you’d get a cacophony of different calls and songs, but here I could only pick out one cooing call and nothing else. I tried to catch sight of the bird making the noise, but couldn’t manage to see them. I’m quite fond of bird watching, so I should at least have been able to tell if it was a local species, but the dense foliage hid them too well.

    After about an hour’s trek I came upon what seemed to be a manmade path. Finally, civilisation! Realising I’d rather be embarrassed than lost for any longer I turned down it. All paths have to lead somewhere, right? The going was easier underfoot, too. Hoping I could reach somewhere before it got dark I hurried along, when I heard voices up ahead. I slowed down and thought about my appearance once more. Anyone would be startled if a naked boy suddenly jumped out at them… Perhaps I could approach and keep my dignity intact? The path was flanked by tall ferns here, which might offer some concealment. Turning aside I ripped up several plants to fashion some rough clothing from, hoping the people didn’t get too far away. Thus attired I set out after them.

    Hurrying forward, I thought about what I could say to them. Hello, I accidentally mislaid my clothes; could you tell me what country I’m in? It occurred to me they might not even speak English, but I decided to cross that bridge if I came to it.

    Rounding a corner, I abruptly came upon the two travellers. They were a girl and boy, about the same age as me. Both of them had good quality backpacks on; they’d obviously come prepared for a hike in the woods. I nervously began.

    “Um, excuse me…”

    They turned round, and I saw their eyes widen in surprise.

    “Is that… a hula skirt?”

    I mentally thanked the brainwave that had led me to use the ferns. At least now I was met with mere bafflement that someone would come outside in just a grass skirt, rather than screams and an arrest for public indecency. And they spoke English! My luck was really in! Well, if you don’t count the being teleported to a mysterious forest and paralysed.

    “Ah! Um, well, not really. I, uh, woke up and all my clothes were missing… You wouldn’t happen to have any spare, would you?”

    They were obviously surprised and a bit wary of my request, but the boy replied that yes, he had some spare clothes I could use. Thanking him profusely I struggled into them, as they turned away to give me some privacy.

    Whilst I hurriedly dressed I thought about the two people. It was certainly kind of them to help out a complete stranger like me. Both of them had straight brown hair, the boy’s cropped short whilst the girl’s hung down to her shoulders. There was something slightly Oriental about their appearance, but not anything I could place as a specific country; and their accents were pretty normal. Maybe a slight American twang? The boy had been quick to offer help and seemed kind; the girl seemed like she was struggling to contain a fit of the giggles… Well, I couldn’t really blame her. I finished dressing and told them it was okay to turn back around.

    “You really helped me there. I’m really grateful.”
    “Don’t mention it,” said the boy. “How did you manage to lose your clothes, anyway?”
    “Um, like I said, I woke up in a clearing and they were gone. This might sound odd, but… Where am I?”
    “You’re kidding, right?” The girl said. “How could you fall asleep and not notice someone taking your clothes? And how could you not know where we are? This is Viridian Forest!”

    Uh huh, I thought. Viridian Forest.

    “Um, when you say Viridian Forest… Do you mean, like in Pokémon?”
    “Well, there are Pokémon in it, but it’s not in Pokémon… Honestly, what’s wrong with you?” She said.
    “Wait, let me get this straight. You’re telling me that this is Viridian Forest, and there are really Pokémon in it?”
    “Well, of course! There are Pokémon everywhere! Sheesh.”
    “Are you alright?” The boy asked. “Maybe we should take you to a hospital or something…”
    “No, I think I’m okay. Just give me a minute.”

    So, according to this girl, I was in the world of Pokémon. Well, after being transported here in a flash I could believe almost anything, but this?

    “Do you… have any Pokémon?”
    “Of course we do! We’re Pokémon Trainers!”
    “Well, we only just started,” the boy interjected. “But yes, we’ve got one each.”
    “Watch this!” said the girl. “Charmander, go!”

    Grabbing what definitely looked like a Pokéball from an inside pocket, she hurled it to the ground.

    “Char! Charmander, Char!”

    A Charmander. A real, fire breathing Charmander, in front of me. I felt like I was going to faint.

  2. #2
    Chaotic Evil MFreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    So far so good. Surprising well writen (I've seen some bad fanfics, and this isn't one of them)and has an interesting plot that really drew me in. I cab't wait to read more.

  3. #3
    Registered User Showsni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    Hm, thank you! Here's the second chapter. And people get names!

    Chapter 2

    The girl leant down and hugged her Charmander whilst my world collapsed. Maybe there was some way to explain what had happened to me up until now; some knockout drug that had left me paralysed for a while, whilst I was transported unconscious and abandoned… But there was no rational explanation for this. Either I was in the middle of a vivid hallucination, or, impossible as it may seem, I really had been transported to the world of Pokémon.

    “Huh. Anime or video games, I wonder?”
    “I’m sorry?”
    “Never mind, just thinking out loud.”

    Luckily I was pretty familiar with Pokémon. Back in Primary School the card game had been a major craze for a while, and from that I’d got into some of the video games; as well as watching the cartoon on television. Recently it hadn’t been on TV as much, though, so I was only really familiar with the older episodes of the cartoon. Game-wise, I’d got Pokémon Platinum as a birthday present, and completed it; so I knew quite a lot about the Pokémon world. But to be suddenly thrust into the middle of it? In some ways, it was a dream come true, but in other ways, it was terrifying! I mean, who hasn’t played the Pokémon games and wished they could be a trainer? But what if I could never get home, and never see my parents or sister again?

    I must have looked pretty stupid staring off into space whilst all this went around in my head, until the girl spoke up and broke me out of my reverie.

    “Pretty neat, huh? I just got him three days ago. We’re going to become Pokémon champions, right, Charmander?”
    “Char!”

    The small fiery Pokémon showed its approval by jumping up and down.

    “Then, you must have come from Pallet Town, right?”
    “Huh? How do you guess that?”
    “Oh, did you meet Ed?” asked the boy. “He must have come this way before us.”
    “No, just a lucky guess, really… Um, by the way, I’m Nick.”
    “Oh, we haven’t introduced ourselves yet! I’m Percy, and this is Jessica.”
    “Nice to meet you,” Jessica said.
    “So, what were you doing out here with no clothes on?”

    What could I possibly tell them? I’m sorry; your world is just a figment of some game designer’s imagination. I’m from an alternate reality, or possibly in a coma. By the way, have you ever heard of Ash Ketchum? No, they’d just have me sectioned, or whatever they do to crazy people here. (Hypno-therapy? Hmm, maybe not.) I’d have to just lie to them. But what to say?

    “Um, I don’t know… I… think I’ve lost my memory.”

    Oh, great idea. Well, better than the truth, anyway.

    “You’ve really lost your memory?” Jessica looked shocked.
    “Oh, that’s terrible!” said Percy. “What can you remember?”

    Well, it looked as though they were buying it…

    “Well, I know my name, but everything else is a blur…”
    “Well, we’ll have to get you to a hospital! We’re on our way to Pewter City. Do you want to come with us?” Percy offered.
    “Hey, wait a minute! We don’t know anything about him! He could be lying to us.”
    “I think we can trust him. Why would someone strip naked and try to fool people?”
    “Well, he did manage to get a set of clothes off you. Oh, all right. I suppose he can travel with us.”
    “Thank you, both of you. I’m sorry to cause any trouble.”
    “Don’t mention it! It’s not your fault.”

    So with that, I’d made two friends and got a destination – Pewter City Hospital! Although what I’d tell them once we got there was anyone’s guess. Still, anything was better than being lost in the forest alone.

    Jessica recalled her Charmander and we set off down the forest path. As we went, they told me more about their past; it was hard not to give away my secret, but I managed to keep my cover as an amnesiac.

    “As you guessed, Percy and I come from Pallet Town. We’ve lived there all our lives, but I was always looking forward to the day I could leave and become a great Pokémon Trainer!”
    “So are you planning to be a great trainer, too?”
    “Well, maybe. I’m more interested in studying Pokémon, though. Professor Oak says I have a great empathy for understanding Pokémon.”

    So, there was an Oak here… But that still didn’t tell me if this world was based on the cartoon or the games.

    “After my journey, I thought I might help him research the Pokémon other trainers send back. Although, I haven’t really decided yet; I might find something I prefer.”
    “So, are you challenging the Pokémon League?”
    “Too right we are! And we’re going to win, too! Well, so long as the next gym trainer is actually in his gym. Can you believe Viridian Gym’s leader is missing? Apparently no one’s seen him in months!”
    “That would be Giovanni, right?”
    “No idea! All I know is, we’re owed one Earth Badge! If the Gym Leader can’t be bothered to fight, that’s the same as forfeiting the match!”

    Jessica seemed pretty annoyed that she hadn’t managed to get her first badge yet; although, the chances of anyone beating Giovanni (assuming it was him) with just a Charmander had to be pretty small.

    “I hope nothing bad’s happened to him.”

    Percy seemed more worried about the missing leader than the lack of a badge. Of course, it might be Gary who ran the gym… Or whatever his proper name is in the games. I called them Ash and Gary in my copy of Blue, and that was how I thought of them, but I didn’t think anime Gary ever took the gym over. Well, so far as I knew, anyway…

    The conversation was a little one sided, as I couldn’t reveal anything about myself. Still, it was a lovely day for a walk. Percy and Jessica told me they’d left Pallet with another boy, Ed, who’d chosen a Squirtle; and sure enough, Percy’s starter was a Bulbasaur. Jessica was explaining why Charmander was clearly the best choice, when my stomach let out an embarrassing rumble.

    “Um, sorry. I don’t think I’ve had lunch today.”
    “Well, it’s nearly five o’clock. Shall we stop for dinner?”

    Jessica agreed, and so we stopped to have a quick meal. They had some sandwiches bought back in Viridian which they offered to share with me; thanking them profusely, we set to eating.

    We were halfway through our meal when Jessica suddenly froze.

    “Shh! Don’t move!”

    I looked where she was staring. A Weedle, drawn by the scent of food, was slowly creeping up on our picnic.

    “Alright, this one’s mine! Go, Charmander!”

    Jessica suddenly burst into action. Leaping to her feet, she threw Charmander’s Pokéball out and the red Pokémon rushed towards the Weedle. Taken by surprise, Weedle was slow to react, letting Charmander get up close to it.

    “Scratch attack, Charmander!”

    Unsheathing its claws, Charmander slashed at the Weedle, drawing a red line down its back. Weedle squealed in pain, and turned around to try and crawl away.

    “Oh no you don’t! Pokéball, go!”

    The Pokéball hit the Weedle with perfect accuracy and drew it inside. I watched with bated breath as it wobbled to and fro, the red light pulsing, until the light went out with a “chunk!” sound.

    “We… we did it! Charmander, great job!”

    It was only a Weedle, but Jessica’s excitement was infectious. Percy and I congratulated her as she let out the poison bug. I have to say, it was a lot creepier than in the anime or games… I could definitely sympathise with Misty. Bugs just shouldn’t be that big! But it seemed pretty friendly now, and I soon got over my squeamishness.

    We finished off our interrupted meal, and Jessica fed her two Pokémon. Percy let out his Bulbasaur for some food, too; although he wasn’t as exuberant as Jessica, he was clearly as fond of his grass type as she was of Charmander. Bulbasaur, Charmander and Weedle happily ate their Pokémon food, which looked like some kind of brown pellets.

    “What exactly is in Pokémon food, anyway?”
    “Berries, mostly,” Percy answered. “Carefully mixed up and added to a few other fruits and vegetables. You can get specific kinds that cater to your Pokémon’s likes and dislikes, but most trainers stick with the regular kind that any Pokémon can eat. You never know whether any new Pokémon won’t like your food, otherwise.”

    Whatever was in it, the three Pokémon seemed to love it, and made short work of their bowls. Our sandwiches quickly went the same way.

    “Alright, let’s get a move on! If we hurry, we can make Pewter City by nightfall!” Jessica returned her Pokémon and stood up.

    Soon we were on our way again. The summer sun was already quite low, so I assumed we must nearly be at Pewter already; and sure enough, after about half an hour the trees gave way to open fields. Mounting a short rise we could see Pewter City spread out before us. It was certainly larger than the few buildings you’d find in the game, I thought; so maybe this was the anime world? But it might just be a more realistic version of the game… Or even the manga, in which case I’d be totally lost. Well, presumably I’d see once we got to the gym.

    “So what’s your strategy for beating Pewter Gym?” I asked.
    “Pure power! Charmander can beat them, no sweat!”
    “But Pewter Gym specialises in Rock Pokémon, right? Charmander’s going to find it pretty tricky…”
    “It does? Oh, man! Weedle and Charmander aren’t going to help much against Rock types!”
    “You could borrow Bulbasaur, if you wanted.”
    “Don’t be silly! Aren’t you going to get the badge too? No, I’m going to use all my own Pokémon! It’ll just take a bit of planning.”
    “Do you think your memory’s coming back, if you remember Pewter Gym?” Percy asked.
    “Um, could be! But I can’t remember much else…”

    Oops. I’d forgotten I wasn’t supposed to remember anything. Still, I couldn’t let Jessica try to take on Brock without some training; losing at the first gym would really disappoint her.

    “Why don’t you try and catch a water or grass type before we head down to the city?”
    “That’s a good idea! Okay, let’s look for one!”

    We left the path and ventured into the long grass at the side. From what I could remember, there weren’t any grass or water types on Route 2, but maybe I’d be proved wrong. The setting sun was bathing the countryside in a glowing red now, and it was getting on to be a tranquil and beautiful evening. The forest behind us looked almost friendly now, and the leaves rustled in a gentle breeze. Still, I couldn’t see any Pokémon; even the Pidgeys were silent.

    We’d been scanning the area for a while now, and the stars were beginning to come out above us. It gave me a weird feeling to look up and see the Plough shining down over an alien world… But I guess the stars here were the same as at home. I was trying to remember which two stars you followed to find North, when I heard a noise near my feet. Looking down I could see a small weed begin trembling, as the earth around it fell away.

    “Hey, come over here!”

    The other two quickly arrived to see what I’d found. As more earth fell off and the “weed” pulled a leg out of the ground, it became clear – an Oddish!

    “Perfect!” said Jessica. “Alright, Weedle! Let’s see how you do!”

    “Oddish?” The small blue Pokémon looked around and caught sight of us looming over it. “Oddish!”

    Throwing her Pokéball down, Weedle burst out in a flash of white light. The Oddish turned to face it, looking angry that its night time ritual had been disturbed.

    “Okay Weedle, start with a Poison Sting!”

    Weedle leapt forward with a surprising burst of speed, ramming the stinger on its head into Oddish’s body. Falling back, Oddish seemed to get angrier, then it lunged at Weedle who quickly dodged out of the way.

    “That’s it Weedle! Keep it up!”

    Weedle continued jabbing its stinger forwards, whilst Oddish tried to dance out of the way. Jumping back, a red beam suddenly shot from Oddish’s leaves and hit Weedle, but it didn’t seem to have much effect; Weedle merely shot forwards and hit Oddish with another sting. Oddish was looking decidedly worse for wear by this point, and Jessica was soon reaching for an empty Pokéball.

    “Okay, Weedle, back away now!”

    Weedle crawled back to Jessica, leaving her a clear shot at Oddish. In just a few seconds the Pokéball stopped wriggling, and Jessica had caught it!

    “Nice one, Jess!”
    “Good job!”
    “Thanks, but you should really congratulate Weedle. You were awesome, buddy!”

    Weedle seemed to smile as Jessica recalled it.

    “Come on, let’s get going!”

    We soon made out way down the gentle slope and into Pewter City. It seemed pretty small to be called a city, but had a nice atmosphere. Several people nodded good evening to us as we went past.

    “I think we should make our way to the Pokémon Centre for now,” said Percy, consulting a map. “In the morning we can get Nick to a hospital and challenge the gym. Unless you think you need to see a doctor now?”
    “No, I feel fine, really. It’s just my memory…”
    “Well, okay then. Here, the Pokémon Centre should be just down here.”

    He led us down the busy streets until a familiar building loomed ahead of us. The automatic doors swished open, leading into a brightly lit foyer. A few trainers were seated on sofas, whilst a Chansey carried a tray of Pokéballs to… yes, a Nurse Joy was manning the reception desk. It gave me a funny feeling to see a character I knew so well from the cartoons in real life. Seeing Nurse Joy as a real person rather than a drawing obviously made for a few changes; it looked more like someone dressed up as the character in some ways. But still. There was a living, breathing Nurse Joy!

    Jessica walked up to the counter and brought out her Pokéballs.

    “Hello! I’m Nurse Joy.”
    “Ah, good evening, ma’am. Could you give my Pokémon a quick check, please?”
    “Of course! Just leave it to me.”

    Wow, she even sounded just like Nurse Joy! Well, of course she would. I tried not to stare at the pink haired woman as she handed Jessica’s Pokéballs to a helpful Chansey. It’s hard to explain, but the pink hair actually looked natural on her, rather than dyed. I guessed this world really did have different rules to my own, with hair colour being only the least of them.

    “Are you three entering the Regional Pokémon Championships?” Joy gestured to a large poster on the wall behind us.

    “That’s right! And I’m going to win, too!” Jessica beamed.
    “Well, I might give it a shot,” Percy replied, more cautiously.
    “And how about you?”
    “Oh! Well, I don’t have any Pokémon…”

    Not that I wouldn’t enter if I could! And surely I could go pretty far, with my inside knowledge. But then, if this was based on the anime you might get crazy things like Pikachu defeating a Geodude, so maybe not.

    “I’d like to, though…”
    “Nick’s lost his memory,” Percy informed Nurse Joy. “We found him wandering in Viridian Forest; we were hoping the hospital here could help him.”
    “Oh my, that’s terrible! Here, let me have a look at you.”

    Nurse Joy bustled round the counter and began peering at my head,

    “Well, I can’t see any sign of a bump here… Do you have a headache at all?”
    “No, I feel fine, really.”
    “Still, you should get a proper doctor to look at you. It will take a while to cure these Pokémon; if you’ll just leave your names, you could go and get him checked out now. They’ll be ready by the time you get back.”
    “Um, thank you. I’m Percy, and this is Jessica.”
    “Okay! The hospital is just down the road from here; you can’t miss it! See you soon!”

    We waved goodbye and left the Centre.

    “Hey, is it just me, or was she exactly like the Pokémon Nurse we met back in Viridian? Wasn’t she called Joy too?”
    “That’s just what I was thinking!” Jessica replied. “I didn’t like to ask, though.”
    “I think she’s her big sister,” I told them.
    “Huh? Have you been to Pewter before?”
    “And what family would call both their daughters the same name?”
    “Um, perhaps I was mistaken… Maybe I was thinking about two other people.”

    I really had to think before I opened my mouth! We continued down the road and, sure enough, there was a big building with a cross on it.

    “Here we are. Do you two want to wait for me back at the Pokémon Centre?”
    “No, we’ll come in with you, don’t worry.”

    Rats. Well, they wouldn’t find anything wrong with me, but Jessica and Percy weren’t to know that. Unless I had a different genetic makeup to people in this world… Well, people where I lived couldn’t have crazy hair colours! But then, I shouldn’t imagine they’d do a DNA test, so I was probably safe.

    We went into the Casualty department and took a ticket to see the doctor. It seemed remarkably quiet; obviously people in Pewter City didn’t have many accidents. Perhaps that was to do with the lack of traffic. Although I’d seen a few cars, mostly there were just pedestrians outside.

    In no time at all, the doctor called me into an examination room. Percy and Jessica waited outside, calling out “Good luck!”

    “Well, what seems to be the problem?”
    “I, uh, think I have amnesia. I woke up in the forest with no idea of where I live or my family.”
    “Hmm, I see.”

    The doctor, a rather portly man in a traditional white lab coat, asked me a few more questions, took my pulse with a stethoscope and peered into my ears and eyes.

    “Well, I can’t find anything physically wrong with you. It’s possible that your missing memories were caused by some traumatic incident; they should come back with time. I’m afraid there’s not much I can do. Do you have anywhere to go?”
    “Um, not really. I think we were going to stay at the Pokémon Centre.”
    “Well, it’s possible your family are looking for you. I’ll ‘phone the Police Station and explain the situation for you.”

    I rejoined Percy and Jessica as he went off to make the ‘phone call. They seemed eager for any news.

    “So, what did he say?”
    “He can’t find anything wrong with me, other than the memory loss. He says he’ll ‘phone the police to see if I’m registered as missing.”
    “Of course! We should have thought of that.”

    Soon the doctor came back.

    “I’ve telephoned the police, and they said they’ll send someone round to talk with you. I asked them to meet you at the Pokémon Centre; is that okay?”

    We assured him that it was and headed back down the road. Arriving back at the Centre Nurse Joy called us over to her.

    “Ah, you three! I’ve healed Jessica’s Pokémon; they’re all in perfect shape! Did the doctor discover anything?”
    “No, but they’re sending a policeman over to talk to me.”
    “I see. Oh dear, when I think about how worried your family must be…”

    I thought of my real family, then. In all the excitement of being in another world I hadn’t given them much thought, but they must be really worried about me by now. Mum would have got back with Ella to find me missing, which might be explainable; but by this time I’d have missed tea and she must be getting frantic… Would they have ‘phoned the police by now? Would they think I’d been kidnapped, or run away? What if I never managed to find my way back to them? Perhaps it would be best to tell the truth, just in case the people here really could help me get back… But I couldn’t imagine how. No, I’d better stick with my policy of secrecy.

    It wasn’t long after that when we heard a motorcycle draw up outside, and another familiar figure strode through the door.

    “I’m Officer Jenny. Is one of you Nick?”
    “That’s me, Officer.”
    “Have you found Nick’s family, Officer?” Percy asked.
    “I’m sorry, but we don’t have any reports for missing children that match your description. Of course, you’re old enough to have left home by now, so we wouldn’t necessarily expect one.”

    Well, Pokémon trainers did start young… But I couldn’t imagine many people leaving home at my age in the real world.

    “So… What should I do now?”
    “Well, we’ll keep searching for your family, but in the meantime it’s hard to say. We don’t have care facilities for people as old as you. Is there anything you want to do?”
    “Um… Could I keep travelling with you two?”

    Why did I say that? I suppose, if I was going to be stuck in the Pokémon World, I wanted to explore it, rather than end up in some lost person bureaucracy mess. Plus, these were the first friends I’d made here.

    “Of course you can!” said Percy.
    “Well, it’s fine by me!” said Jessica.
    “You two are Pokémon Trainers, right?” enquired Jenny. “Hey, that’s not a bad idea! You’ll at least be able to keep in regular touch with Pokémon Centres if we have any news, and have somewhere to sleep.”

    And so it was decided. I don’t know, it felt a little irresponsible to me; I hadn’t really expected Jenny to allow it… But then, I guess they did things differently here. Officer Jenny promised to keep looking for my family, and gave me a temporary ID before leaving. Nurse Joy came over to talk to us.

    “I’m sorry they haven’t found your family, Nick. Were you serious about challenging the regional championships?”
    “Well, if I can…”
    “I’ll contact Professor Oak and see if we can have you registered as a trainer. Of course, it might be difficult since we don’t know your background. You should probably try and get some rest now, though.”

    Joy led us to a back room with several sets of bunk beds. After borrowing some Pokémon Centre pyjamas I got into bed, and was soon fast asleep.

  4. #4
    Registered User Showsni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    Here's chapter three. How are you finding it?

    Chapter 3

    Light shone through the gap in my curtains, waking me up and heralding the dawn of a new day. I buried my head in my covers and tried to roll over to avoid it, only to hit a wall. Huh? Since when had my bedroom wall been on this side? Sitting up I realised my mistake; of course, this was the Pewter City Pokémon Centre, and, strange as it seemed, I was really in Kanto. Well, not the real Kanto; though having never been to Japan, I couldn’t really say if it was similar or not. I looked down from my perch on the top bunk to see Percy still sleeping in the bed below me, and Jessica asleep just across the aisle. Careful not to wake them I climbed down the ladder and headed for the washroom.

    Washed and dressed once more in my borrowed clothes I returned to the dormitory, to find the other two stirring.

    “Good morning!” I greeted them.
    “Ugh,” said Percy, screwing his eyes up.
    “Morning,” yawned Jessica. “Sorry, he’s not really a morning person.”
    “Do you have to talk so loud?”
    “Come on, let’s leave him and find some breakfast. I’m starving!”

    We made our way to the cafeteria, leaving Percy to catch up in his own time. It seemed they provided a free self service breakfast; I wondered just how Pokémon Centres were financed. Helping ourselves to orange juice and cereal we sat down at an empty table. A few other trainers were already eating, blinking sleep out of their eyes.

    “So, what’s the plan for today?” I asked, as Jessica tore into her food with gusto.
    “Well, we ‘phoned and booked a gym battle whilst you were being examined. Ooh, I can’t wait! I guess I’ll start with Oddish, if this is a rock gym, then Charmander to back her up.”
    “Her? How can you tell?”
    “Well, I checked her out with my Pokédex last night.”

    Jessica showed me the familiar red instrument. Flipping through the virtual pages she showed me a screen about her Oddish; sure enough, it was female. The screen also gave an estimate as to her level and stats, though no concrete information.

    “What does it mean, level ten to twenty?”
    “Well, it’s impossible to be sure of a Pokémon’s exact level; each one is different, after all. The Pokédex does a quick scan and gives a rough value. But levels aren’t really all that important. Sometimes, lower levelled Pokémon can be much stronger than higher ones of the same species!”
    “G’morning.”

    Looking up, I saw a bleary eyed Percy had joined us.

    “Come on, Percy! We’ve got out gym matches in a few hours!”

    Percy just grunted, and turned to a square of toast.

    “Is he always like this?”
    “He normally gets more alert after breakfast.”

    Sure enough, after a few glasses of orange juice and some more toast, Percy started to look a bit brighter. Jessica and I continued discussing her strategies until he’d finished, and then we quickly got packed and ready to go.

    “Oh, are you three leaving now?” Nurse Joy called to us as we entered the foyer.
    “Yes, thank you for the hospitality,” I said.
    “Don’t mention it! After all, that’s my job! Now, I ‘phoned Professor Oak to ask him about registering you as a trainer. Unfortunately, he’s out on a business trip, and no one knows when he’s due back.”
    “I see…”
    “I’ve left a message with his assistant, and he’s promised to ring me back as soon as the professor returns. There’s not much else I can do, though.”
    “No, that’s fine! Thank you, anyway.”

    Waving goodbye, we left the Pokémon Centre and set out for Pewter Gym.

    “That was unlucky, that Oak was out. I wonder what he could be doing?” Percy mused.
    “Do new trainers always have to speak to him?”
    “Oh no! No, you probably have special circumstances, because of your memory. Still, being a Pokémon Trainer is great! I can’t imagine doing anything else!” said Jessica. “But you’d have to train hard to defeat me!”

    She certainly was confident… My Pokémon Platinum team would probably sweep hers without raising a sweat! Still, they had the benefit of not being real. Having to actually train a Pokémon in real time must be a lot harder.

    Before long, the imposing Pewter Gym appeared before us. Like most of the buildings in the city, it was made of a slate grey rock; the name of the gym was inscribed in large letters across the wall.

    “Okay, this is it! You nervous, Percy?” Jessica seemed a little on edge herself, almost jumping up and down with anticipation.
    “I’m sure it will be a good fight, whoever wins.”
    “Where’s your fighting spirit? Come on, we’re going to smash them!”

    So saying, Jessica threw open the doors. The interior of the gym was pitch black, with the light from the doorway barely illuminating a rocky floor.

    “Are you sure you scheduled it for now?”

    Just as I spoke, a spotlight came on across the gym, lighting up a block of stone. A boy jumped down from it, and the lights all around the gym snapped on.

    “Welcome to the Pewter Gym! But don’t think I’ll go easy on you. My rock solid Pokémon will crush you like bugs!”
    “Oh yeah? Bring it on!” Jessica shouted back.

    The gym leader… wasn’t Brock, though it looked a lot like him, closed eyes and all. I realised who it was just as he announced himself.

    “My name’s Forrest. You must be Jessica, right? How does a two on two Pokémon battle sound?”
    “Fine by me!”

    So, Forrest was the Gym Leader here. Then this was definitely an anime based world! Not that being stuck in a cartoon was much better than being stuck in a video game.

    Jessica and Forrest lined up at either end of the rocky gym floor, whilst Percy and I sat in the stands above.

    “I hope she keeps her cool if she starts losing…” Percy said. “She’s always wanted to be a trainer, but sometimes her temper gets the better of her. She’s studied for this for so long I’d hate to see her lose now.”

    It looked like one of Forrest’s sisters was acting as the referee. She called out the rules as the two participants squared off.

    “This will be an official Pokémon League Battle, for a Boulder Badge! Each trainer may use two Pokémon. Begin!”

    “Oddish! Go!”
    “Geodude! I choose you!”

    The two Pokémon hit the field in a flash of light. Geodude hovered above the field, barking its name, whilst Oddish stood its ground and did its best to look menacing.

    “A grass type. How predictable. Okay, Geodude, use Tackle!”
    “Dodge it, Oddish!”

    Throwing itself forward, Oddish barely managed to slide under Geodude’s Tackle attack. Quickly turning around, Geodude rushed back for another hit, smashing into Oddish’s back; Oddish was sent flying forward.

    “Oddish! Don’t just get beat up, attack it back!”

    Nodding, Oddish let out a beam of red energy, hitting Geodude dead on. Oddish’s bruises visibly disappeared whilst Geodude faltered.

    “Geodude! Get away from that Absorb, and use Rock Throw!”

    Quickly floating behind one of the boulders littering the arena, Geodude broke the beam’s connection. The small weed Pokémon looked around in puzzlement for its missing foe.

    “Oddish, it’s behind the rock to your right! Watch carefully and get ready to avoid its attacks!”

    Grabbing handfuls of the rocky floor, Geodude began pelting Oddish, sending the rocks in a volley over the boulder. Forewarned Oddish danced from side to side, narrowly missing the barrage. The small blue Pokémon was surprisingly nimble on its tiny feet, and managed to avoid getting hit; but when the dust cleared, it became apparent that Geodude had seemingly vanished!

    “Hey! Your Pokémon can’t leave the arena during a fight!”
    “That just shows you should have been paying more attention!”

    Jessica scanned the area worriedly.

    “Did you see what happened to Geodude?” I asked Percy.
    “No, I was too busy watching Oddish. Forrest must have planned this beforehand.”

    Suddenly, the ground beneath Oddish erupted, sending the grass type up into the air as Geodude burst out from the floor.

    “He must have used Dig!” exclaimed Percy. “Nice strategy.”

    Oddish fell back to the ground hard.

    “Oddish! Are you okay?”

    Gamely, Oddish struggled to its feet.

    “That’s it! Now, try a Sweet Scent!”

    Shaking its leaves, a pleasant aroma filled the area. Geodude looked a little dreamy as it breathed in the perfume coming from Oddish.

    “Ha, you won’t beat me with perfume! Geodude, go for a Mega Punch!”
    “Now Oddish! Stun Spore!”

    Geodude rushed towards Oddish, as it shook its leaves even more furiously. The Sweet Scent it had been emitting was replaced by an orange powder that quickly spread out. Geodude rushed straight into the cloud and came to a grinding halt, dropping out of the air.

    “Oh no! Geodude, try to fight it!”

    It looked like Geodude was sweating with effort, but the paralysis had it totally immobilised. Taking advantage Oddish used Absorb again, drawing in energy until Geodude collapsed.

    “Geodude is unable to battle! The winner is Oddish!”

    Forrest glumly recalled his rock type.

    “Well done, Geodude. You deserve a rest.”
    “Alright, way to go Oddish!”

    Oddish jumped up and down for joy.

    “Don’t think you’ve won yet, though! Go, Steelix!”

    A massive iron grey behemoth erupted from Forrest’s Pokéball, towering over Oddish below. Steelix let out a roar as it peered down at the tiny Pokémon beneath it.

    “Don’t worry, Oddish! Try another Stun Spore!”
    “Iron Tail.”

    Looking almost contemptuous, Steelix swung its tail round and smashed into Oddish, who flew across the room and crashed into the wall.

    “Oddish! No!”
    “Oddish is unable to battle. Steelix wins!”

    Jessica looked stunned by Steelix’s power. How could she possibly counter that?

    “This looks bad! That Steelix must be much more powerful than anything she’s got!” exclaimed Percy.
    “Want to give up?”
    “Not on your life! Charmander, go!”

    Jessica’s starter burst out of its Pokéball and stood ready for orders.

    “We can’t afford any mistakes, Charmander – if that thing hits us we’re toast! Use your Smokescreen to try and hide from it!”

    A thick gout of black smoke issued from Charmander’s mouth, settling over the entire gym. The roiling clouds completely hid Charmander from view, though Steelix towered up through the murk.

    “Steelix! Rock Throw!”

    Hitting its tail into the ground, Steelix sent rocks flying towards Charmander’s assumed location; judging by the sounds, though, none of them hit their target. The smoke continued to get thicker and blacker; it seemed Charmander was still using Smokescreen.

    “Argh! Try a Tackle attack!”

    Rearing up, Steelix took aim and crashed forwards, briefly disappearing beneath the smoke as it smashed down before rising up to reorient itself and try again. It looked like the Smokescreen had worked perfectly!

    “Nice job! Now it’s merely a matter of luck if Steelix actually manages to connect. She might just win this one!” said Percy, on the edge of his seat.
    “Okay, Charmander, it’s time to strike back! Ember!”
    “Steelix! Watch where the attack comes from and be ready to strike back!”

    Globs of fire spat out from the smoke to strike Steelix as Charmander used its Ember attack. Roaring in pain, Steelix slammed down again, but Charmander must have jumped out of the way. Sparks of fire once again flew from a different area as Steelix tried to hit the smaller Pokémon. After a while of this cat and mouse, though, the super effective attacks were clearly taking their toll.

    “Keep it up Charmander! You’re almost there!”

    A final Ember attack, and Steelix slumped to the floor, exhausted. The smoke began to clear to reveal Charmander looking very pleased with itself.

    “Steelix is unable to battle! Jessica wins the match!”
    “We… We did it!”

    Jessica rushed forwards and swept Charmander off his feet in a hug.

    “That was brilliant, Charmander! I’m so proud of you!”
    “Congratulations. I didn’t think anybody would be able to beat my big brother’s Pokémon, but you really are a great trainer. Here: one Boulder Badge! Wear it with pride!”
    “Alright Jessica! Way to go!” I shouted.
    “That was great, Jess! I knew you could do it!”

    Percy and I rushed down from the gallery to congratulate her.

    “I hope Oddish will be okay, though; that Iron Tail was really something.” A tinge of worry entered Jessica’s voice.
    “Don’t worry; I’m sure Nurse Joy will fix her up in no time.”
    “I’d take her back to the Pokémon Centre now, but I don’t want to miss Percy’s match…”
    “Shall I run her over for you?” I offered. “You can stay and watch Percy, and I’ll make sure Oddish gets her treatment.”
    “Oh, would you? Thanks a lot!”
    “Don’t beat him too quickly, Percy, I’ll try and hurry back to watch the end!”
    “Ha! I’m not going to lose two matches in one day!” Forrest boasted.

    Taking Oddish’s Pokéball, I sped off, thinking about the first proper Pokémon battle I’d seen. It had seemed much more intense to watch in person, rather than on a screen; I could understand why stadiums were always packed in the Pokémon League episodes! Though, it must be a little like how the Romans had felt watching gladiators fight to the death. It was fine as a game, but this was real life, now… Was it really right to make these poor creatures fight until they got knocked out? How did Oddish feel? In a way, it was pretty barbaric…

    Pondering this, it wasn’t long before I reached the Pokémon Centre. Nurse Joy quickly accepted Oddish and promised to treat her soon, and I made my way back to the gym…

    “Golem is unable to battle! Bulbasaur wins!”

    Just in time to miss all the fight. Oh well.

    “Ah, Nick! You missed the whole battle!”

    We made out way back to the Pokémon Centre once more, Jessica chattering happily about her match before giving me a blow by blow account of Percy’s one on one fight.

    “…and then Bulbasaur used its vines to dodge the Rollout and Golem smashed into the wall!”
    “Sounds like a great match. So, what are we doing next?”
    “Well,” said Percy, consulting a guidebook, “Other than Viridian City, the nearest place with a Pokémon Gym is Cerulean City. We’d have to travel through Mt. Moon, though.”
    “Then Mt. Moon, here we come!”

  5. #5
    Registered User Showsni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    Here's the next chapter! My mouse has stopped working, so I'm having to navigate everything using the keyboard. It's most annoying.

    Chapter 4

    After picking up Jessica’s Oddish, and healing up the rest of our Pokémon, we set out once more. Nurse Joy promised to get in touch when Professor Oak returned. The sun had got pretty high by this time, and the day was promising to be scorching hot.

    “So how far is Mt. Moon?” I asked.
    “It’s not far beyond Pewter City,” Percy replied. “We should be able to get there in a few hours.”
    “It’ll be a relief to get out of this heat, anyway,” said Jessica.

    The countryside got steadily hillier as we approached the mountains, and soon we were either panting our way up a rise or jogging down a slope with every step; with considerably more rises than falls. Even the plants lining the road seemed to be wilting in the heat, and any Pokémon that would normally have been around were probably staying out of sight in the shade.

    “This heat is unbearable!” complained Jessica. “Can’t we stop for a rest?”
    “We’re nearly there now, though… If we just hang on a bit longer…”

    Sure enough, as we mounted the crest of a small hill Mt. Moon itself towered above us, with a small path leading down to a Pokémon Centre at its foot. Seeming to forget her complaints, Jessica raced off towards it.

    “Last one to get a cold drink is a rotten egg!”
    “Wait up Jess!”
    “Where does she get her energy from?” I asked as Percy and I toiled after her.

    By the time we got to the Centre, Jessica was already relaxing with a glass of iced water.

    “What kept you?”
    “Ha, very funny.”

    The Pokémon Centre was full of trainers listlessly sitting about avoiding the heat. Even the Chansey on duty was sitting back fanning itself with its Nurse’s hat. After we had a cold drink, we decided to get moving; the caves under Mt. Moon were probably nice and cool. We were about to leave when a strange man accosted us, seemingly the only person with any energy in the Centre.

    “Hey, you three are trainers, right? Well have I got a deal for you!”

    I was pretty sure I recognised him from the anime, but I couldn’t be quite sure where. Was he one of the random characters of the day or something?

    “What kind of deal?”
    “A Pokémon! And not just any Pokémon, oh no! This Pokémon is one of the rarest and most powerful in the world! However, I’ve decided to stop training and want to make sure it goes to a good home. I can trust you, right?”
    “Of course!” Percy replied. “I’d care for any Pokémon.”
    “Percy, let’s go. I don’t trust him.”
    “Let’s just hear him out.”
    “I can see you’re a most discerning young fellow! Well, follow me!”

    The man led us to a tank in the corner. Inside was…

    “A Magikarp! And a brilliant specimen, if I do say so myself. Look at its brilliant red colour! Its sharp intellect! Its great power!”

    If anything, the Magikarp seemed to be ill. The heat clearly wasn’t agreeing with it and it was floating miserably at the bottom of its tank.

    “Yours for only five hundred yen!”

    Yen? What happened to Pokémon Dollars, or whatever they were called? Anyway, it was pretty obvious where I’d seen this guy now; he was the same Magikarp salesman who tricked James before. Luckily, we weren’t stupid enough to fall for his tricks.

    “A Magikarp. You brought us all the way over here to see a pathetic Magikarp? Come on Percy, let’s leave.”
    “Yeah, Magikarp are everywhere. This is a total rip off.”
    “Hold on, you guys. Look at the poor thing.”

    The Magikarp blinked slowly.

    “We can’t just leave it here in this state!”
    “I’m sure Nurse Joy will see to it if it gets any worse. We need to get moving if we’re going to get through the mountain by nightfall!”
    “No, I can’t leave it with someone who won’t care for it. I’ll buy your Magikarp.” Percy got out his wallet and began counting out his money.
    “Argh, it’s a total waste! Fine, do what you want.”

    A little poorer and with one more Pokémon we finally made our way out of the Pokémon Centre.

    “You had to see I couldn’t just leave it, though?”
    “Yeah, yeah, you probably did the right thing. But we can’t stop to help every Magikarp in trouble or we’ll never get anywhere.”

    A short distance beyond the Pokémon Centre was the entrance to Mt. Moon. The mountain itself soared overhead, much too steep to climb, and a detour around it through the untamed wilds was out of the question; so the well trodden caves under the mountain were the only real way to get between Pewter City and Cerulean. Stepping into the cave system the light dropped appreciably, and thankfully the heat did too, leaving the atmosphere pleasantly chilly.

    “Oh, that’s heaven! I couldn’t have stood the oven outside for another moment,” said Jessica.
    “Yeah, this is much better,” I said. “So how do we find our way through the caves?”
    “It should be signposted, I think.”

    Sure enough, there were signs at regular intervals pointing the way to go onwards. The first also carried a warning;

    “Beware! Zubat is a bloodsucker!” I read out loud.
    “Ugh. I hope we don’t run into any,” said Jessica. “They’re nocturnal, though, right?”

    Hard to go two feet and not run into any in the game, I thought. Still, maybe they were less common in real life. Or whatever this was.

    “I hope we can find a Clefairy, though. They’re really cute!”

    We made our way deeper into the caves; although we didn’t see any Clefairy, luckily there was no sign of Zubat either. The cave was lighted at intervals by electric lights set into the low ceiling. It reminded me of tourist attraction caves I’d visited at home. Before long we came to a metal ladder leading downwards.

    “Looks like we have to get deeper here,” said Percy.
    “Couldn’t they build a road through the mountain or something? This is getting kind of spooky.”

    As we carefully descended, I noticed a thudding noise which got louder as we went down.

    “Can you hear that?”
    “Yeah, sounds like roadworks or something,” Percy replied.
    “Roadworks underground?”

    We reached the bottom and waited for Jessica. The sound was all around us now, and the rocks seemed to be shaking.

    “What do you think it could be?”
    “Maybe someone’s mining here… But they shouldn’t be, Mt. Moon is a protected area.”

    The path through the cave led towards where the noise was coming from. Rounding a corner, the source became apparent. There was a large open area of the cave, brightly lit by harsh portable lamps. They lit up a scene that was a hive of activity. Men and women in black costumes emblazoned with red Rs scurried about, carrying debris away, hacking at the ground with pickaxes and tending to an enormous machine that was drilling away the rock wall. Pacing the edge of the area were more men with Pokémon, clearly acting as guards, whilst another machine was sorting the rocky debris; in short, a full scale mining operation!

    “Team Rocket!” I exclaimed.
    “Who?”
    “Um, they’re a criminal organisation.”
    “Hey! You kids, get out of here! This area’s closed to the public.”

    One of the grunts had spotted us and rushed over with his Nidoking.

    “Go on, beat it!”
    “Hey, we’re just trying to get through to Cerulean! What gives you the right to stop us?” Jessica stood up to the grunt.
    “Might is right! Now scram, before I set my Nidoking on you!”
    “Oh yeah? Weedle! Oddish! Charmander! Teach this guy a lesson!”
    “Hey, three on one’s not fair!”
    “Hey, maybe we better do what he says,” Percy said.
    “I’m not going to let him bully us!”

    By this time, several of the other Rocket guards were rushing over to see what the commotion was.

    “Come on Jessica, I don’t think we can beat them!” I said.
    “Charmander! Ember! Oddish! Absorb! Weedle! Poison Sting!”

    The three Pokémon launched their attacks at Nidoking, who roared with pain. His eyes glowing red he started to stamp the ground.

    “Nidoking, no! Don’t use Earthquake!”

    The Rocket grunt’s warning came too late as the ground all around us started to shake. Boulders fell from the roof, and the wall, weakened by the drilling machine, began to collapse. A loud siren went off.

    “Cave in! Everybody get out!”

    Recalling Nidoking, the Rocket member turned and fled, joining a stream of black uniformed people rushing to get out of the area. With so many people trying to get out there was a bottleneck around the ladder at the other side of the cavern.

    “Quick, we’ve got to get out of here!”

    Recalling Jessica’s Pokémon we turned and made back for the ladder we’d come down. Running over the still shaking ground I could only hope that none of the boulders dropping from the roof hit me. The cave’s Pokémon, disturbed by the cave in, were also fleeing the area; a stream of Zubat flew low overhead, whilst Paras and Geodude scuttled along the floor.

    “We’ve got the get out of here! Quick, here’s the ladder!”

    The ladder was groaning as the rock it was bolted to twist and shook. Percy and Jessica hurried up it, but as I grabbed hold of the bottom rung a chasm opened up in the floor beneath me.

    “Agh! Help!”
    “Nick! Are you okay?”
    “The floor’s vanished!”

    I held on to the rung for dear life, as my feet kicked out over yawning darkness.

    “I’ll try and pull you up!”

    Percy reached down towards me, but just before he could grab my wrist a further tremor shook the ladder and I let go, falling back into the hole. I hit my head on the wall and knew no more.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    Sorry for the wait. I was a bit busy... Here's chapter 5!

    Chapter 5

    BANG! BANG! BANG!

    I was trying to sleep, and Ella kept hitting my head with her rattle.

    BANG! BANG! BANG!

    How could someone so little hit so hard? It felt like a herd of elephants were dancing a rumba on me.

    BANG! BANG! BANG!

    I gave up trying to sleep and reached out to take the rattle off her.

    “Ella, stop it!”

    As I spoke I opened my eyes, but the darkness remained. Huh? This wasn’t my room; I was lying on a cold, rocky floor…

    Suddenly I remembered. I’d somehow been transported to this different world, and caught up in a cave in. Ella was just in my mind… Though the pain wasn’t. My head was throbbing where I’d bashed it, and I could feel a trickle of blood making its way down my face. The darkness was absolute; however hard I strained, I couldn’t make out a thing. I hoped it was just the fact that there was no light this far underground and not that I’d been blinded in the fall.

    I struggled to sit up, but hit my head on a rocky ceiling a few inches above me.

    “Ouch!”

    I let out a cry, but it was strangely muffled by the rocks all around. Stretching out my hands, I could feel the stone walls all around me; I was completely trapped! I felt a cold dread begin to grow as I considered my situation. What if I was completely buried here? I might never get out!

    “Hello! Can anyone hear me!?”

    I tried shouting at the top of my lungs, but the mocking echoes soon died away and were buried in the blackness of the cave. I’d never been particularly claustrophobic, but being caved in like this would get to anyone. I felt myself being to panic a bit.

    “Help I’m trapped here! Is anyone there?!”

    I strained my ears, trying to make out any possible response, but I couldn’t hear anything. Or… wait, what was that?

    At the very edge of my hearing I could make out a high pitched, squeaking noise, and some kind of whirring sound. As I listened the sound got a little louder; something was coming towards me!

    “Hello?”

    I felt a quick shock as a weight dropped onto my arm. What was this? All of a sudden, there was a piercing sensation as whatever it was bit deeply into my forearm.

    “Argh! Get off me!”

    I jerked my arm back, and the creature quickly flew off. I realised what it must be; a Zubat! If a Zubat could get to me, then there must be a way out. I tried to feel where it had flown off, and sure enough there was a gap in the rocks! But I quickly realised it would be much too small for me to get through. So much for that bright idea.

    At least the presence of Pokémon meant that the air down here was probably fresh; in which case, it would be a question of whether I died of thirst or hunger first… Unless, of course, the Zubat attacked en masse and tore me apart t drink my blood. I shuddered at that grisly image. My thoughts turned to my parents, and my little sister. She’d grow up never knowing her big brother… I’d just have vanished inexplicably one day, torn away from my home to die alone in a strange world… No, I’d have to get out of here! I couldn’t think like this!

    I thought about the Zubat. They could fly in and out of here so easily! If I were only as small as one of them, with their supersonic to see in the pitch blackness, getting out of here would be a cinch. I thought about the way their blind heads must seek out blood by sound and heat, about how their wings carried them through the air and their long tails acted as rudders…

    As I concentrated on my mental image of a Zubat, a strange tingling spread throughout my body. It was mild at first and almost unnoticeable under the pain from my head, but soon it grew until I could feel it all over.

    “What?”

    My entire body was affected now, and I could feel the rocks around me moving… Or, no, it was my body that was moving! But… inwards from all directions? I was shrinking!

    “What’s happening? I…”

    My voice suddenly cut out, as I felt my voice box migrate up and my mouth squirm and change shape. My arms seemed to flatten and stretch, as my legs withered away to nothing. It didn’t hurt, though I was uncomfortably aware of all the changes going on. The feel of your own body twisting and changing… It was terrifying! I tried to scream, but nothing could come out! Until, that is…

    “EEEEEEEEEEEE”

    A high pitched squeal erupted from my throat. My large ears twitched as I heard the sound, move away, hit the rocky walls and bounce back to me; and somehow, my brain processed the data and threw up a picture of my surroundings! I could see again! With my ears. The echo died away and the picture faded with it, so I sent put another burst of echolocation.

    “EEEEEEEEEEEE”

    Once more the sound waves lit up the dark cave. I flipped upright, struggled out of my constrictive clothing and tested my new wings. With the return of my sight, and being so much smaller, the cave seemed a much friendlier, almost cosy place; my new Zubat mind felt right at home here. And on the floor was blood! Not much, but anything was good! I lapped hungrily at the still warm blood, until I realised with disgust that I was eating my own blood. Ugh!

    That brought me back to my senses a bit. I… I was a Zubat now. How had that happened!? Not only was I in the Pokémon world, but now I was one!? What was this, some kind of Mystery Dungeon game? Maybe if I’d ever played one, I could have been surer… But I didn’t think those games had people in. And not people who could transform into Pokémon, surely. Unless… I wasn’t a Zubat, but…

    I tried to relax, mentally, and clear my mind. I let the image of the Zubat fade away, and the image of my own human body fade away too. Soon enough, the stomach churning change came upon me again, though this time it felt more natural, a returning to how things should be. With the Zubat’s echolocation gone the cave lapsed into darkness once more, but I didn’t seem to grow any bigger. I opened my mouth and tried to say something: “My name is Nick.”

    “Ditto.”

    I tried again: “I am a human!”

    “Ditto, Ditto!”

    Well, that pretty much confirmed it. I pictured the Zubat again, transforming effortlessly, and began to make my way out of the cave.

    Flying was a novel experience. Flitting through tiny crevices, shooting past rocks and outcrops; it seemed that any moment I’d run straight into a wall. But somehow my Zubat brain could pick out the best route to take and make minute adjustment to my wings and two long tails that kept me on course. The constant stream of supersonic sound bounced back to form a picture of the tunnels ahead, and I knew by some instinct that I was headed towards the outside. As I travelled I joined up with other Zubat, all streaming for the exit; for now it was night time, and the tiny bats were headed out of their mountain home to hunt for blood. A draught began to signal the exit of the cave, and then we all rushed out, a churning mass of bats all squeaking their echolocation and hungry after a day’s rest.

    I broke away from the pack of Zubat, and scanned the darkened paths below for any sign of humans. It seemed I’d been unconscious for the whole day; Percy and Jessica were surely worried about me by now. I wasn’t sure where exactly I’d come out of the mountain, and of course I didn’t have a map or anything useful with me. As it happened, luck was with me; turning a corner I saw some humans standing outside a lower entrance to Mt. Moon. Well, I heard the echoes bounced back from them, anyway. The echolocation was a little sketchy when it came to details, but it seemed like there were two children and an adult standing there.

    I flew lower and skimmed the ground, looking for somewhere to land. How was I going to explain to the others that I was a Pokémon? A talking Meowth was rare enough… What if I was captured, or experimented on? I decided that, as with my origins, secrecy was probably the best policy. As to why and how I’d become a Ditto, I’d have to chalk that up as another mystery I hoped I could work out soon…

    Judging I was out of anyone’s sight I came to rest on a low branch. My Zubat body seemed naturally inclined to hang upside down. Ceasing my echolocating squeaks the world faded into darkness, and I pictured my human body in my mind, trying to recall exactly how it felt to be human. I tried to hold a fully dressed image in my mind; I didn’t want to be wandering around naked again…

    The now familiar tingling spread through my body, and I dropped off the tree branch, landing on my head, as my body completed its metamorphosis.

    “Ow.”

    Good thing I’d been quite close to the ground. Looking at my body by the pale moonlight, I could see that my idea with the clothes had worked; I was fully dressed! I pulled at my T-shirt, noticing that it wouldn’t come off all the way… It seemed it was actually attached to me. Ew. So, technically I was naked, but my skin had formed into clothing… Well, it was better than nothing.

    I made my way through the grass back to where I’d seen the people. As I got closer, I could hear them talking.

    “So you say there was a gang of criminals in here?”
    “That’s right! They looked like they were mining for something. Please, can you help rescue our friend?”
    “I’m sorry; the caves are still too unstable for us to enter. We’re bringing in some specialist equipment that should protect us, but it might be a few more hours before it arrives.”

    I recognised both the voices; it was Officer Jenny talking to Percy. Relieved that my friends were okay I hurried down to meet them.

    “Hey! Guys, it’s me!”
    “Is that… Nick!”
    “Nick! You’re okay! We were so worried about you.”

    Percy and Jessica ran up to meet me, and Officer Jenny’s Growlithe, caught up in the excitement, jumped up and licked me.

    “Growlithe, heel! Sorry, he’s still being trained. So you’re the boy who was missing in the caves?”
    “That’s right! Oh, Nick, this is Officer Jenny from Cerulean City,” explained Jessica. “Somehow in all the commotion we came out on this side, and we called the police for help. How did you get out of the cave?”
    “I think I hit my head. When I came to it was pitch black, but I managed to feel my way along and come out a cave higher up the mountain.”
    “I’m really glad you’re okay! When you fell off that ladder, I thought you were a goner!”
    “Sorry for not catching you,” said Percy, guiltily.
    “Hey, don’t worry about it! It’s not your fault.”
    “Can you tell me any more about the men who caused this cave in? Your friends said they were mining for something.”
    “Yes, it was Team Rocket. They had some kind of massive digging machine…”
    “Team Rocket? The Pokémon thieves? Well, I don’t know what they could be up to, but we’ll make sure they can’t get back here!”

    Officer Jenny took out a radio and reported the situation, before turning back to us.

    “You three must be exhausted. Come on, I’ll give you a lift into town.”

    She led the way to a police van parked nearby and held the door open. We piled into the back, and Growlithe jumped in on top of us and started licking Jessica’s face.

    “Growlithe! Stop that!”

    Looking cowed, Growlithe obeyed his mistress’ command and sat quietly on Jessica’s lap. He soon perked up and stuck his head out of the window as we began moving, though,

    “Don’t worry; we’ll be back in no time!” Jenny promised as we screeched off along the road.

  7. #7
    Registered User Showsni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    This is a pretty short chapter next, but a new day seemed like a good place to end it. What do people prefer, more shorter chapters or fewer longer ones?

    Chapter 6

    Officer Jenny’s driving was truly awe inspiring. Tearing around corners and narrowly missing trees, pedestrians and other vehicles it seemed about evens whether we’d make it without crashing; and it didn’t help that she seemed to have half her mind on the road on half on turning around to talk to us. We were too terrified to do much more than nod or shake our heads mutely; the only one truly enjoying the ride was Growlithe, who had an expression of bliss on his face as the wind blew his long tongue backwards. Finally, after what seemed both like an eternity and no time at all, we drew up outside the Pokémon Centre in Cerulean City.

    “Remind me never to accept a lift from the police again,” Jessica mumbled, as we shakily got out.

    “Okay, you kids leave Team Rocket to me! Growlithe, come!”

    Growlithe licked us goodbye, and jumped back in. Jenny left us standing by the roadside, disappearing remarkably quickly in a cloud of dust.

    “Well, I don’t know about you two, but I’m famished! Why don’t we get something to eat?”

    Jessica’s plan met with approval, so we went inside and found a place to sit. It seemed the Pokémon Centre was serving…

    “Hmm, jelly filled doughnuts? Well, jam, really.”
    “What? No, these are rice balls. See? You hold them by the seaweed here,” Percy said.
    “Well, yes, it was a joke, kind of… Never mind.”

    We ate our rice balls and then got ready for bed. After the excitement of the day it had got pretty late, so we decided to put off making plans for Cerulean’s Gym until tomorrow.

    Lying in bed, I finally had a chance to think over what had happened today. Percy was snoring softly in the bunk below me, and Jessica had fallen asleep as soon as she lay down, but I just couldn’t drop off. I was a Ditto. How had that happened? I may as well ask how I’d even got to this world; it was just one impossible event on top of another… The only logical explanations pointed to things like vivid coma fantasies, or that I’d gone totally insane… But there wasn’t much point thinking further down that route. I’d just have to take things at face value and see what happened as it came.

    Naturally, I was pretty curious about what I could do. It seemed that simply picturing an image in my head strongly enough would be enough to transform… But what kind of limitations did it have? I decided to experiment. Sneaking quietly down the bunk bed’s ladder so as not to wake the others, I crept through the darkened Pokémon Centre to the bathroom. The Centre was quite eerie at night; full of sleeping trainers, though with the distant beeps and lights of a hospital. I guessed someone (or some Chansey) probably manned the front desk all night in case of emergencies.

    I locked the bathroom door and faced the mirror. How should I begin? Dittos usually had to have an object to copy in front of them; but I’d managed to change into a Zubat without properly seeing it, and obviously I’d managed to become myself. Still, probably best to start with something easy. On the side of the sink someone had left some toiletries; a few flannels, some soap and a toothbrush. Could I mimic one of them? I picked the toothbrush up, considering it carefully.

    It was a sky blue colour; the bristles were getting pretty worn. It looked like kind of cheap plastic, the sort of thing you could pick up at any supermarket back home. I concentrated on it, feeling the shape, the texture, holding an image of it in my mind; and soon, the change began. Looking down at myself I could see my body begin to glow white, before quickly changing; by arms and legs were sucked into my body and I plummeted towards the floor as I shrank down. Suddenly, everything went dark and totally silent, and I seemed to go numb all over.

    It… worked, I guess? It was impossible to tell; without any senses, I may as well have been just a consciousness floating in the blackness of space. This was… terrifying. I quickly pictured my normal body, and changed back. Ugh. I wasn’t going to become an inanimate object again if I could help it. For a few brief moments I’d been as close to being dead as you could get… Not an experience I wanted to repeat. I looked down at the toothbrush where I’d dropped it on the floor; hard to believe something so small held such a horror in it...

    No, I’d stick to living things. I looked into the mirror and thought about what to try next. Hm, how about this? I held the picture in my mind, and soon felt the familiar tingle as my body glowed white and surged upwards. In no time a pretty policewoman stared back out of the mirror.

    “You’re under arrest!”

    Wow, spot on! It looked like I could even copy Officer Jenny’s voice! I looked down at my new body. I was taller than I had been, but the most obvious changes were two areas on my chest and a certain lack further down… Under the regulation uniform was a grown woman’s body… I felt my cheeks start to heat up, and quickly changed myself back. This… was pretty embarrassing. It felt like quite an invasion of privacy, to have someone else’s body under my control, even if they weren’t technically present. This was a pretty scary power, really.

    Maybe I’d try a Pokémon next. I’d already been a Zubat, so how about Jessica’s Charmander? I pictured the small red fire lizard, and began to change almost immediately. It seemed I was getting better at it! Charmander’s body was too small to see into the mirror, but I could look down and see my sharp claws and the burning fire on my tail. I opened my mouth and tried to think hot; a gout of flame shot out, scorching the porcelain sink. Woops.

    I was getting a bit carried away now; in quick succession I became Oddish, Percy, my headmaster, a Chansey, Nurse Joy and Growlithe. Changing so much seemed to be a bit tiring, though I clearly had more than 5 PP. Getting a bit adventurous, I decided to try a Celebi. Imagine if I could use its power to travel through time! Maybe I could even go back to the point when I’d got here and work out why this had happened.

    I pictured the small green Pokémon, but this time nothing happened. Perhaps I wasn’t doing it right? I thought about how I’d seen Celebi… When it occurred to me, I’d never actually seen one in real life. Or, well, this life. Perhaps I needed to make some kind of contact with the object to be copied first? I tested it out. Obviously, Charmander wasn’t a problem. Now, a quick transformation and…

    “Bulba! Bulbasaur!”

    I waved my vines around a little before changing back to my body. Well, probably not my body if I was really a Ditto, but I still thought of it as mine. Now, the true test…

    Nothing. I concentrated on the blue tiny turtle Pokémon, thought about its shell, its habitat, its attacks… But I couldn’t change into a Squirtle. It looked like my hypothesis was right; I could only become something that I’d seen or met beforehand. Still, that left me with a pretty wide pool to choose from; and by continuing my journey, that could only increase!

    Finally, worn out by all the changes I’d been through – both literal and mental – I crept back to bed and went to sleep.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    You said post critique in the fanfic thread for the Ditto, correct?

    Sorry I'm not too great at figuring out what can be improved upon. I don't like reading things to critique them, but to enjoy them.

    Chap 1: Some larger words that I had to look up (I didn't do terribly well in English Comp because I took a year off of language courses when I went to a tech school),but it drew me in. I'm interested in reading on to find out how you got there, and what will happen next.
    Chap 2: I like that the names aren't too "out there" like some fanfics, not just Pokemon ones, have. I felt excited for Jessica when she caught her Oddish and Weedle, and I thought that Officer Jenny's reply to the idea of Nick following the other trainers reflected what the attitudes of the area were regarding children being away from home (and also that it wasn't a "big brother" society) were in the Anime.
    Chap 3: I like the making an appointment to battle a Gym Leader. It seems much more realistic than expecting a gym leader to sit all day in their gym and wait for someone to walk in. I'm not familiar with Forrest as a character (never got too into the anime), but I liked how he used Golem in the second battle rather than healing Geodude and Steelix and using them again.
    Chap 4: Nidoking made the cave fall in using Earthquake.
    I'm really, really glad they didn't run into a hoarde of Zubat until the earthquake.
    Sorry, my brain is being fuzzy.
    Chap 5: I'm confused by the turning-into-a-ditto thing. Kind of a short chapter, I don't have much to say
    Chap 6: I appreciate the "jelly doughnuts" reference. The idea that the main character is a Ditto is starting to grow on me. It reminds me of Animorphs, in a really awesome way.

    And in case it got lost in the wall of text, Nidoking caused the cave-in using Earthquake.

  9. #9
    Formerly King Cobra Tyrael The Archangel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    Nidoking FTW.
    You could try to create a deeper understanding of the characters to make the reader feel closer and actually scared when the character gets scared. Also make Percy sarcastic, and a little awkward.
    Last edited by Tyrael The Archangel; 17th February 2010 at 10:11 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    Wow this is pretty good. I find this hard to critique though, cuz it's not like I could do any better, nor do I have any good advice for you to make it better because I stink at creative writing. Lol.

    Oh and Nidoking caused the cave in... was I supposed to post that here?

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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    I have to say that this was a very interesting begining to a story. Something that I would definitely be interested in reading more of. The exploration of the potential of the Ditto opens up quite a few possibilities for future plot events. If I had to make a suggestion what makes your story interesting is the different experiences presented by the variety of possible forms. You've touched on it with the "dead" feeling of the toothbrush and integrating that into a broader plot without becoming gimmicky would make for a very compelling read.

  12. #12
    I shot a god Ryuutakeshi's Avatar Social Media Editor
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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    Okay, I'm gonna split up the good and the bad... starting with the bad to get it out of the way.

    Well, for starters this isn't novel ready, but it's fanfiction so that slides. The tone of it seems a little fast and the description is a bit lacking. All in all its pretty average fan fiction.

    Now the good stuff. I do love how you melded the games and anime together. Very well done on that. Also, the whole ditto thing. Very creative, especially the experimentation thing. Heh, that got a chuckle out of me. Overall, I like the plot and like how your main character views the pokemon world.

    So, while it may not be spectacular or anything, it is still good and I do hope you continue. Experiment a bit with your writing and figure out how to make it better. You have great potential. I know.

    Oh, by the way, this was for the ditto. But I was totally honest.

    Evil Figment (7:59:44 PM): Ryuu, however shakily you started, I've got to hand it to you that you earned my respect the hard way.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    As an avid reader of fanfics from other fandoms... my opinions are kinda twisted, so you don't have to take me seriously.

    CRIT TIME.

    Opening was a bit draggy, slight overuse of adjectives made it seem even longer. I mean, details are good, and fancy words make your writing seem sophisticated, but some of the adj/words that don't come up in every day talk don't seem to fit in to a fic about Pokemon. Plot seems rather cliche, and but it's kinda interesting. The morphing part surprised me. I think if you work on your humor more, it'd work well with the plot.

    For me, I don't normally read fanfics with an all OC main cast (wait, I know Joy/Jenny are canon, but I are Percy/Jess/Nick OC?), so I dunno if it was just me, but I couldn't really get attached to your characters.

    And umm, I'm not normally one for praising others, so uuh. You'll only get crit from me. xD

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    I thought this was quite good. Interesting concept of the main character being a Ditto. Looking forward to seeing how this pans out.
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    Default Re: Metamorphoses

    Very impressive story

    critique
    Very well written, story seems consistent, and the plot is very inticing
    The only real problem I see is that the ditto plot seems a little rushed and out of nowhere, though it seems like it will make an interesting plot point later
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