Chapter Twelve - Reversal
Colby's first day as a Pokémon trainer was becoming crazier by the second, although most of his shock and horror had been converted to intrigue and possibly a touch of wonder. As if witnessing Aurelia transform into Arceus wasn't ridiculous enough, he had now gained the knowledge that the Pokémon he previously had his eyes on used to be a human as well. Why in the world was this happening? Would he turn into a Pokémon, too? Everything was so confusing!
"Now what do we do?" Aurelia questioned all of the sudden. "We aren't going to get anything accomplished by sitting here. Well, it's not like there's anything we can do, anyway. How exactly am I supposed to fit in with the rest of the world? It just won't work."
"I dunno," Colby replied with a shrug, "you've got a point there." What could the two humans turned Pokémon possibly do? If they reentered civilization, they'd undoubtedly stir up a storm of trouble. A never before seen Pokémon and a creature with an uncanny likeness to the being that created the universe were sure to attract unwanted attention. The two of them would evidently be captured, and what went on from there was anyone's guess. Would they be put on display? Experimented on? Misused? There was no way for them to take one step out of the forest and remain safe and unbound.
"Gee, thanks for the help," Aurelia muttered. "I sorta wish you could've caught me. At least then I'd be able to get out of this forest one way or another. I mean, how do you expect me to sleep out here? What are we going to do about food?"
Colby didn't respond, as he was too perplexed by Aurelia's comment about food when she didn't have a mouth. How did Arceus live without eating, anyway? Maybe it didn't need to; it was a godly being, after all.
"Eh…" Aurelia murmured, dissatisfied. She was beginning to stand, and she didn't seem very comfortable with her new posture. "Geez, standing on four legs is really weird." Colby watched impassively as she strolled around in a circle.
The other creature was watching as well, its red eyes following the Arceus as she moved. It was impossible for Colby to read its emotions; its mouth was upturned in a wide grin as if its face was frozen like that. Its eyes conveyed little sentiment, too—its scarlet gaze was like that of a predator, and it seemed to stare past the faces of those it was focusing on.
The Pokémon's intimidating appearance slightly unnerved Colby, but at the same time he felt sorry for it. It was still a human on the inside; a human he'd never know anything about. He wished he could know its story—who it was before it met this fate. He didn't know its name, or even if it was a boy or a girl. At least Aurelia was still able to fluently communicate after being transformed; this creature was restricted to writing short messages in the dirt and nodding or shaking its head.
"So, what's your name?" Colby decided to ask, turning to the bug-like creature. It looked at him for a moment, and then faced the earth. The Pokémon reached out to begin writing, but before its claw made contact with the ground it let out a low growl and fell forward.
"Huh? Are you okay?" Colby realized right away that this situation seemed oddly familiar; he remembered going through the same thing when Aurelia had started her transformation.
"What?" Aurelia came to a sudden halt. She cringed at the sight of the purple creature, which was sprawled out on its stomach with its face pressed against the dirt. "It's not dead, is it? Because if it's dead, then that probably means I'm going to die, too… that's just perfect."
"No, it's definitely not dead. I don't know what's going on," Colby responded fearfully, examining the Pokémon. It was still breathing; in fact, its breaths were faster and more stressful. It began to scrabble at the ground wildly before falling still seconds later.
"Do you have a Potion or something?" Aurelia asked, barely concerned. "I don't know if that would do anything to help, since Poké Balls didn't work."
"Uh… no, I don't…" Colby became upset with himself for neglecting to purchase a batch of Potions while he was at the Poké Mart. Along with Poké Balls, Potions were very crucial items to trainers. It was difficult to triumph through grueling battles without the usage of a Potion or two. And in the event of a dire situation like this, the medicine might be the answer between life and death.
"Well, it's too late to go and buy some. I guess we're gonna have to wait and see what happens." Aurelia seated herself a few yards away from the other Pokémon.
Afraid, Colby kept his eyes locked on the creature. Its breathing was becoming progressively slower, and he wasn't sure whether that was a good or bad thing. Colby was sure his mind was playing tricks on him, but the Pokémon's violet exoskeleton looked like it was becoming thinner. Colby rubbed his eyes, trying to expel the image from his vision. When he regained his focus, the creature was in the same state as he had last seen it.
The color was fading from the Pokémon's body, and it was quickly replaced by shades of blue and light peach. The sheen its exoskeleton once gave off lessened, indicating that its body was no longer metallic. The blue areas of its body, which covered its upper body and legs, separated themselves from its skin and gained a fabric-like texture, giving them the appearance of clothing.
Its legs lengthened and became rounder, and its joints became less pronounced. Its feet were covered by what could only be described as shoes. Its elbows ceased to protrude past its upper arms. Its claws unfurled into ten digits, with five on each hand. Its cannon melted into its back, blending with its pale blue shirt.
The creature's abdomen moved up its body, causing its skinny waist to expand. Its shoulders grew flatter, and its neck became broader. Its head contracted and became rounder, and a mane of blond hair erupted from the top. The figure, who was clearly no longer a Pokémon, lay motionless."That totally didn't just happen," Aurelia sputtered in denial.
"But… how…" Colby found himself lost for words. The creature had regained its human form, as if Colby's wishes had been answered. Did that mean Aurelia was going to turn back to normal as well?
The girl who had once been the purple Pokémon raised her head nervously and gazed at Aurelia and Colby in fright and embarrassment. Colby thought she looked like she was about to cry. He wanted to say something to the girl, but he couldn't think of anything reasonable to say. She looked too utterly terrified to answer any questions, and Colby wished he could coax her out of her state of shock.
"I'm not sure which is weirder; the fact that she turned back into a human, or how she's wearing clothes…" the Arceus cawed.
Be quiet, Colby hissed in his mind, that's not going to help any. He didn't understand why Aurelia always had to blurt out comments at every waking opportunity. It was as if she wanted the spotlight to be on her at all times—she ignored how there were usually more pressing matters that should be attended to first. She may have taken on the appearance of a deity, but she was essentially still Aurelia; she was no more important than anyone else.
"Are you… okay?" Colby finally said with little confidence. He had let that phrase slip from his mouth so many times that he was beginning to feel like a broken record.
The girl only stared at him, choking back sobs. Annoyed, Aurelia trotted over to her, bending down so she was at the girl's level. "Okay, why aren't you talking? You should take advantage of the fact that you can speak again. Be thankful that you got to turn back to normal."
The girl raised her hand to her face, as if she was unaware that she had returned to her human shape. She spun it around if front of her, studying each detail in subdued amazement. She then dropped her arms to the ground, letting out a sharp gasp of relief.
Colby wondered why it took her so long to react to things. Even as a Pokémon, she displayed a highly passive and inert nature. The only time she showed enthusiasm was when she was trying to confirm that she was in fact a human.
"Geez, did it really take you that long to notice? I mean, couldn't you feel yourself morph? I certainly could!" Aurelia sneered.
"… Yes," the girl answered uncertainly, her voice flat. Colby was relieved to finally hear her speak. Now that she had gotten ahead of that obstacle, perhaps he could find out more about her. He could already tell she was most definitely a nicer person than Aurelia; she seemed to have a calm temperament, and didn't look like one to throw insults around.
"Good. Now that we've got you talking, why don't you start by telling us your name?" Aurelia inquired.
"Destiny," the girl mumbled shyly.
"Interesting," Aurelia scoffed. "If you didn't already know, I'm Aurelia."
"My name's Colby," Colby announced brightly, trying to impose a friendly image.
Destiny nodded, twirling her hair around her finger. "I'm sorry, this is just… I don't know."
"Pretty weird, huh? Well, now that you're you again, you have nothing to worry about. Just put this all behind you and move on. If you go off on your way right now, you can get on with your life and forget this ever happened. I wish I could do the same…" Aurelia sighed, lowering her head."I'm… not so sure about that," Destiny admitted diffidently.
"What do you mean?" the Arceus questioned.
"What if… what if it happens again? I don't know why, but I have a feeling this isn't supposed to be a onetime thing."
Aurelia paused. "… Don't be silly. I don't see how or why you would turn into that thing again. You're just letting yourself succumb to fear." Colby noticed an unsettling lack of confidence in Aurelia's tone. He practically knew nothing about their transformations and what caused them, but Destiny's hypothesis did reasonable. Judging by Aurelia's reaction, she felt the same about it.
Colby didn't think changing back and forth from human to Pokémon would be that bad of a thing. In fact, it sounded sort of cool to him. Colby would often dream about being a Pokémon, but at the same time he wanted to fulfill his destiny as a trainer. If he could be like Aurelia and Destiny, he could have the best of both worlds.
He didn't understand what the two girls had against being able to turn into Pokémon; there were so many things they could do in their new forms! With the powers they now possessed, they could probably become something on the level of superheroes. Surely if they used their abilities for the good of Unova, they wouldn't attract as much negative attention.
Colby knew that Aurelia and Destiny would never agree to something like that; they were obviously more intent on returning to normal. But if he was in their shoes, he'd take full advantage of his new gift.
"I know," Destiny replied quietly, "I guess you could consider me paranoid. I just really don't want to go through that again… especially when I'm around others. I was lucky enough to have it happen to me in a secluded area, and I don't want to risk having it happen in a more public area. I don't know about you, but I think I'm going to wait here until I can verify that I won't change into that thing again."
"But that could take ages!" Aurelia protested.
"I'd rather be safe than sorry." Destiny shrugged.
"How do you intend on staying alive in this forest, anyway? There's nothing to eat, no shelter… I'm having a hard enough time as it is!" argued Aurelia."Maybe I could help?" Colby offered.
"What could you possibly do?" the Arceus coughed.
"I could bring you food and stuff," he answered.
"Yeah, that would help a ton!" Destiny praised gratefully. "I mean, you don't have to, but that would be incredibly kind of you."
"No problem, it's fine!" Colby exclaimed. "Maybe I could also set up a tent so you wouldn't have to sleep outside."
"Thanks, Colby! You're awesome!" Colby enjoyed hearing Destiny's extolment; it gave him a warm feeling inside, as if he was a hero. He'd evidently gain more of this respect if he could turn into a Pokémon… but that was only a distant fantasy. It felt good to accomplish something on his own without the use of a Pokémon's powers, though.
"… I suppose I might as well wait it out with you," Aurelia muttered, giving in. "My whole life's been robbed from me. I have nowhere else to go, and nothing better to do. I really hope you're wrong about this, Destiny. And more importantly, I hope I at least turn back to normal like you did."
"So do I." Destiny responded, smiling. "Don't worry; I'm sure I was just letting my paranoia get the better of me. And I'm sure you'll become a human again; if I did, then you will, too. Everything's going to be fine; we'll get through this together."