I am a powerful Lucario, battling against another trainer's Steelix in the field with my trainer.
"Steelix," commands his trainer, "Use Flamethrower!"
Steelix spits out a stream of hot fire. I don't need my trainer's command to dodge it perfectly.
"Nice job Lucario! Now use Aura Sphere!"
I gather my energy, focus it into a ball and hurl it at my opponent. There's no chance of escape. Their efforts are futile. The sphere makes impact and
"Brandon! Get up or you'll be late for school!"
what?" My dad woke me up and I was back in my room, and it was 6:30 am. "Oh man, it was just another stupid dream." I yawned, climbed out of bed, and hopped into the shower.
Oh yeah, I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Brandon. I'm 15 years old and I live on Long Island. I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a Pokémon fanatic, though I'm not the obsessive type, like the geek who collects all of the posters and dolls. But, I do know nearly everything there is to know about Pokémon. My favorite one, if you haven't already guessed, is Lucario.
Normally the hot water would have erased the memory of my dreams, but this one stuck. The feelings of power wouldn't go away even as I got dressed, ate breakfast and got to class five minutes before the bell rang. As school droned on, the feeling was mostly gathering in my hands. How can I describe it? It was like a hot energy was circulating around. It stayed with me thought the school day, in the afternoon when I was playing HeartGold, at swim practice, while watching TV and finally when I went to bed. I really didn't think it was a problem. I wasn't worried at all.
I woke the next morning and the strange feeling was gone. I was really happy. It was a Saturday, it was sunny and warm, my mom and sister were in New Jersey for a swim meet all weekend, and my dad wouldn't be home until 9:30. I had the whole house to myself. I climbed out of bed, and that's when I saw my hands. They were Lucario paws! They were covered with black fur; I only counted six fingers, not to mention the giant spike sticking out of the back. Most of you should know that feeling of sudden shock, like that icy cold feeling you get when someone tells you that your dog died or something. It's the kind of shock that makes you spit your drink out all over the floor. Well take that feeling, multiply it by 5, and add disbelief along with some screaming and you should get an image of what I was feeling at that moment.
"No, no this has to be another dream!" I jabbed myself with my spikes. Yes, I felt it. And yes, it hurt. I did everything, but I just proved that I was wide-awake. I guess other people would've still been freaked out, but I was starting to see the positive side of this. I mean I have Pokémon hands! I could get on the news for this. Besides, Lucario is my favorite Pokémon in the world!
I continued to stare at my hands until I heard a knock at the door. I answered it to a pizza guy.
"Hi," I said a bit confused, "I didn't order a pizza." It was only ten in the morning after all.
He didn't say anything; he was staring at my hands. "Oh these," I said, trying to hide them behind my back, "These are just some gloves I made for-"
He glared at me, "You're one of them." Before I could say anything, he opened the pizza box and sprayed me with a purple gas, and that's the last thing I could remember before darkness swept over me.
I woke up sometime later. At first I was all dizzy and everything wouldn't focus correctly. After a minute, I realized I was moving. Suddenly everything snapped back into focus and I saw where I was. I was chained up and apparently I was in the back of a moving truck.
"Hey! Let me out!" I yelled.
No one answered. I tried to break free but I couldn't move my arms or legs. Basically I was trapped. I want to assure you, I wasn't bawling like a baby. I gave up trying to escape and I was left to think what was happening. I started to hear the pitter-patter of rain on the roof. Maybe some time later, I was trying to sleep when suddenly I heard a BOOM! The truck started to serve and I got jostled and jolted around. Then with a CRASH I was thrown from the floor where I hit the ceiling and crashed back onto the floor.
"What's going-," Suddenly the door burst open and a figure appeared. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was a Grovyle.
"It's-It's a real Pokémon!" I shouted.
The Grovyle nodded, "Come on kid! We don't have all day!"
I was stunned. "You-You can talk?"
Not only was he a real Pokémon, but he spoke like a human! He came over and used Leaf Blade and slashed the chains off.
"Come on, get up, we have to run!" He grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the truck. It was dark and raining hard. We were surrounded by a group of men in black outfits.
"Kid, grab on to me and don't let go," the Grovyle whispered. I obeyed and grabbed onto his shoulders.
"Agility!" he cried and started running at incredible speeds through the woods. I was holding on for dear glory as he leapt through the trees, leaving the men biting the dust. After a while, he told me to get off and I ran along side him, through the dark woods and pouring rain. After half-an-hour of running, we made it to a boulder.
"Alright kid," said the Grovyle, "We're almost there." That was when I was really starting to feel dizzy and light-headed. I guess all of the excitement of seeing my hands replaced with Lucario paws, being kidnapped, getting thrown around like a wet rag in a truck, being rescued by a real Grovyle, hearing it talk and all of that running in the cold, wet rain put me into shock. I started to drift off.
"Kid? Kid? Are you okay?" was the last thing I heard before I slipped into peaceful darkness, again.
Suddenly I snapped awake.
"Oh man, was it just another
" I saw my hands and it stopped my sentence short. They were still Lucario paws.
"No way, it wasn't a dream after all," I tried to sit up, but a searing pain forced me back down. For the first time I noticed I wasn't in my bedroom. The ceiling was rocky, like a cave. I was in some sort of hospital wing. Various Pokémon scurried along wearing white nurse's coats.
"Where-where am I?"
That's when a Blissey walked up to me holding a candy bar.
"Well, well, well, it seems our little Snorlax has woken up hasn't he?" She spoke in a sweet, yet impatient voice.
I was surprised to hear another Pokémon talk, but it didn't shock me as much as the first time. I guess I was getting used to it. I started to bombard her with questions.
"Where am I? What's happening to me? Why am I-,"
"Shush!" she interrupted. "Settle down or you're going to knock yourself out again." She gave me the candy bar. "It's a Ragecandybar, now eat it and try to calm down."
I took a small bite of the candy. A warm sensation rushed throughout my body and I quickly wolfed it down. "Hey! Slow down so you don't choke!" I couldn't stop myself. I was really hungry. It did make me feel better.
"My, you're recovering faster than most of our other patients," she said "Especially one who's been knocked out for two days."
Two days, wow I've been out for a while, I thought to myself. My little excitement rush had faded and I was a little bit calmer. I took a deep breath and slowly asked, "Can you please tell me what's going on?"
She gave me another Ragecandybar and told me, "Patience, you are still too weak, get some rest and your questions will be answered soon."
Somewhere somebody yelled, "Nurse! Nurse! We found a Vulpix! She's in critical condition!" The Blissey told me to get some sleep and quickly scurried off to help the Vulpix. I nibbled on the candy with my head full of questions. I wanted to find out everything that was happening to me but I was still hurting, so I couldn't do anything. I finished the bar, put my head back on the pillow and slowly drifted to sleep; wondering what was in store for me later.
I kept drifting in and out of consciousness and I've totally lost track of time. The conscious side of me heard and saw the Blissey tending to me while the subconscious of me was flashing back to the truck I was held in and the forest where I ran with that mysterious Grovyle. Some time later, the pain had faded away and I was able to sit up on my own. Another day later, I was able to stand up on my feet. I also noticed blue fur had spread up my arms while I was asleep. The hospital wing was full of Pokémon and half-human half-Pokémon. A few examples were a boy who had an Aron's face and a girl who had sprouted Butterfree wings.
A while later the nurse came over to me and told me I had a visitor.
"A visitor, who is it?" I asked. She stepped aside and standing at the foot of my bed was the Grovyle, the one who rescued me.
"It's you, the one who saved me," I said.
"Yeah, it's me," he said. "You don't have to thank me, it's my job."
I started to ask questions again but he put up a claw. "Whoa, slow down kid, you didn't even let me introduce myself. I'm Reggie, a member of the Pokéuman rescue troop."
"Poké-uman?" I asked. The term was completely new to me. I've heard of Pokémorph but I've never heard of a Pokéuman.
"What's-" I started to ask. He stopped me short again.
"Look, I know you're confused and all, but your questions will be answered soon. The headmistress says she wanted to see you as soon as you woke up."
The headmistress huh, I thought. I wonder what kind of Pokémon she is. The nurse Blissey ran a quick checkup and said I was well enough to walk. "Here kid, follow me," said Reggie. "Don't worry about the others staring, soon you'll be just like them."
Reggie and I left the hospital wing and walked down a corridor. The whole place was underground and Pokémon ran past us, some giving me quick glances before continuing onward.
"Reggie, where am I?" I asked.
He shot a glance at me. "This is our Pokéuman base. This place is for Pokémon like you and me."
I wondered about that part, "you and me" "Wait, were you also human once?" I asked.
His expression dampened a little. "Yeah, I was," he said quietly. He stared into space and spoke with a voice that wasn't truly there. "I'll never forget that day; I was fourteen years old and playing in the yard when I saw my skin turning green. Up until Ruby and Sapphire I was never a real Pokémon kind of guy, I had only recently gotten into it. I remember when they took me and threw me into a truck, tied up, helpless." He paused for a moment before he spoke again, a lot more down to Earth than before. "I'm just lucky I grew these," indicating his arm leaves with a smirk, "Just in time. I was able to escape and eventually another Pokéuman rescuer found me and took me here."
I was amazed by his story and I felt for him. I bet he was just as scared as I was then and now he's helping the ones in need.
He shook his head a little before saying, "Look kid, what happened to me is in the past, we need to worry about you."
"Okay," I told him, "But don't call me "kid." I'm Brandon." He smiled, "Well, lets see what we can do about you Brandon, okay?" I liked him, he was a good person, err Pokémon.
Reggie and I didn't say anything afterwards. I was too shocked at what I was seeing. Real Pokémon, walking and talking down hallways holding books like teens in high school. Then we got to the main hall. It was huge; two giant staircases went down to a giant fountain in the middle, and at the entrance was a doorway with a giant Poké Ball painted on it. Apparently a lot of Pokémon gathered here. Reggie led me down the stairs and we headed for the headmistress' office.
Along the way I bumped into a female Lucario and she dropped her books. "Oh man, I'm really sorry!" I dropped down and helped her pick up her things. "Don't worry about it," she said.
She looked at my arms. "You're a Lucario huh? Well congratulations, I look forward to seeing you in battle class." She winked at me and walked away, leaving me blushing. Then the strangest thing happened. I think I was hearing her thoughts because I clearly heard her voice in my head saying I think he's kind of cute.
"Hey, Brandon! Come on!" called Reggie.
I ran over to him and froze when I saw the door we had stopped at. It was the most magnificent door I had ever seen in my life. It had a stain glass picture of every Pokémon in existence, from the original 151 to the newer ones from Gen V and even some that no one has seen before, in bright glimmering colors. The doorknobs were two golden Poké Balls.
"Here we are Brandon," Reggie said. I was really nervous about meeting the headmistress and I guess Reggie picked up on this.
"Don't worry kid," he told me. "The headmistress is usually a sweet Pokémon, just don't make her mad." He knocked on the door a few times and said, "Headmistress, it's me, Reggie. I've brought him." We waited for a few seconds, feeling my anxiety growing with each second. After what seemed to be forever, the door slowly swung open. On the other side of the door was an office. The place was made of pure, sparkling crystal. There was a desk, a mirror, a few velvet chairs, a tank of water and other things. Sitting at the desk was a beautiful Milotic.
"Hello Brandon," she said in a kind, warm and alluring voice, "I've been expecting you."
I stared at her mesmerized. "Thank you Reggie," she said. "You can go now."
Reggie wished me luck and left the office, leaving me alone with her. I walked up to her in awe. She was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my lifetime. I also noticed that she was wearing a metal ring on her body. There were two robotic hands attached to the ring.
"Have a seat," she said. I sat down in one of the chairs. "My name is Asula, if you haven't guessed I'm the leader of this Pokéuman base." I had so many questions, but I didn't know where to start. "Would you like a drink?" she asked, heading towards a mini fridge.
"A-A Coke would be nice," I said. I really wanted to ask her what was going on, but the words weren't coming out. She came over and handed me the can. I popped it open and took a tiny sip. Asula sat down at her desk and gave me a serious look. "I know you have many questions, and I know how scared and confused you must be, but I'm going to tell you a story, a three-part story. I kindly ask you to refrain from asking any questions. Hopefully by the time it's finished, you'll fully understand everything you want to know."
"Long ago, before the age of the humans but just after the dinosaurs went extinct, Pokémon walked the Earth. Unlike the game versions, they were the most intelligent species on the planet, even more than humans are today. They could adapt to any environment and smart enough to build advanced technologies using ordinary materials. These times were peaceful, and happy. Much later, the first humans evolved. The Pokémon were cautious around them, but realized that they were less intelligent than they were. The Pokémon had created a rock that could change them into humans. Under their human guises, most of them helped the humans gain knowledge and become more advanced. Some even started families with the humans. This went on for many years. Then humans became smarter and few millennia later and discovered the great powers of Pokémon and began to abuse them, holding them against their will and forcing them to use their abilities for the human's own selfish needs. One day, they rebelled. It was an all out war and many were injured and hurt. The Pokémon couldn't take it anymore, so they decided to leave. They destroyed any and all evidence of their existence, including their bones and fossils which thousands of Diglett and Dugtrio dug out. Then they amplified Uxie's powers and wiped the memories of all the humans of the world so that they would never remember them. Arceus, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina and Celebi opened a giant portal to another dimension, and all Pokémon crossed to the other side. They did however leave a Mew behind to watch the humans to make sure they were truly forgotten. The Mew wanders the Earth to this day under many different guises."
"Nothing happened until an event that happened 100 years ago started the Pokéumans. A man under the name Mr. X had accidentally discovered the hair of the Mew while on a jungle excursion. Mr. X is an expert on cloning, memory and genetic experiments. He was working on a machine that would turn the smallest particle of DNA into the respective creature it came from. Unfortunately, the machine was only a prototype, and it caused a nuclear reaction. The genetic shockwave circled the world and that's when the Pokéumans began to appear. All but Mr. X and another worker were instantly vaporized, but when the smoke cleared, Mr. X had turned into a Mewtwo. With his transformation, the memories of the age of the Pokémon had awoken in his mind. He wanted power. He wanted to use these creatures for power. He began to notice that children were turning into these set creatures. You see, when the Pokémon used their technology to turn themselves human, a gene was passed down to their children. The genetic shockwave altered the gene, and now was turning their hosts into their Pokémon ancestors. He wanted to get rid of them. So, he created millions of artificial people to take these Pokéumans and take them to be genetically fixed. The cloned humans started taking ordinary jobs, to see who was a Pokémon. He also invented a memory alternator, to cover up his actions. This became the Pokéxtinction organization; the men who tried to kidnap you are a part of them. Fortunately, the Mew saw what had happened and was determined to revive the Pokémon population. He helped rescue the kidnapped children. Unfortunately he was unable to reverse the effects of the memory alternator, so he decided to start the Pokéumans organization. The organization takes in Pokéumans and trains them to fight the Pokéxtinction organization."
"Many years passed, and a secret war is still being fought today. Mr. X prevents the world from discovering Pokémon. He uses the memory alternators to brainwash ordinary citizens to take Pokéumans to him. The organization creates clones of the Pokéumans before they transform and fill them with memories and the personalities of the Pokéuman they are kidnapping to take his or her place and erase the memory of any bystanders who see. On the good side, Mew took on a human identity. You may know him as Satoshe Tajari, the creator of the Pokémon games. He created the games for two reasons. He wanted to make the world slightly aware of the existence of Pokémon, and for another reason. A sign of being a Pokéuman is being a Pokémon fan, that's how we knew that you were one of us. You know a lot about Pokémon. We, the Pokéumans, have thousands of secret underground bases where we take in our students and train them to stop the Pokéxtinction organization and prove to the world Pokémon are alive. If you think about it, it's almost like high school for Pokémon. We train you, educate you and shelter you so you can become a great Pokéuman." Asula took a deep breath and said, "Well I hope that little story helps you understand everything."
The entire story was unbelievable. I couldn't believe it; I couldn't believe it at all. But yet, at the same time I believed every word. "So, they replaced me with a clone?" I asked, hoping it wasn't true.
Asula shook her head sadly. "Yes, you will never be able to go back home again. You're old life is over. But you have a new life to begin."
I felt that icy cold sudden shock again. My parents, my friends, I would never see them again. But, I was triumphant. I had a new role, a new purpose in life and I guess Asula saw that in my face.
"Well," Asula said, "I think you're almost ready to join us. But, you still need to finish your transformation."
She was staring at my Lucario arms. "How long will it take for me to be a full Lucario?" I asked. I was still a bit dazed with the whole thing, but I was ready to accept that I was a Pokémon.
"Let's see," Asula said, "It'll take about another week at the rate you're going."
"A whole week!?" I yelled. "I don't want to wait a whole week! Can't you make it go faster?" I wanted to become my favorite Pokémon as fast as possible.
Asula started to think out loud. "Well, hmmm, will it work? Yes, I think that will work," she mumbled to herself. Finally she said, "Well normally we can't do anything to speed up the process, but you're a Lucario, so now it's a whole different story."
"Wait, do you mean aura manipulation?" I asked. I knew Lucario had the power of aura manipulation. Asula gave me a warm smile, "You do know your Pokémon don't you," she said. "Yes I am in fact talking about aura manipulation; we can get one of our trained Lucario to speed up the changes."
She headed over to a microphone. Before she turned it on, she said to me, "The transformation is permanent, once you're a Pokémon, you're staying a Pokémon. Are you sure you don't want to remain human for a little longer?"
I sighed, and told her this: "Asula, I've never been good at anything, except Pokémon. I'm the slowest swimmer on my team, I hardly pass school, and I never feel like I belong anywhere. But this, this is the greatest thing that could ever happen to me. I'm not a very good human, so I need to find out right now how well of a Pokémon I can be." It felt good to finally say that to someone who cared.
She gave me a warm smile, "If that's what you want, so it shall be."
Asula turned on the microphone and spoke into it. "Excuse me students, this is Asula, your headmistress. Will the Lucario, Starr, report to my office right away?"
Asula set down the microphone. "Don't worry," she said, "Starr is one of our best students here." A few minutes later a Lucario stepped into the office.
"Yes headmistress, you wanted to see" she stopped her sentence short when she saw me. At first I didn't know what she was staring at, but then I remembered where I had seen her before.
"You're the Lucario I bumped into earlier."
"Well, I didn't expect to run into you again so quickly," she said. I started to blush again. "You're really cute when you're embarrassed!" she giggled. She was about as tall as I was, maybe a bit taller. She was a Lucario in everyway, but her eyes and her voice showed that she was a female.
"Starr has been training for about two years now and she's mastered aura manipulation," Asula told me. I stared at Starr, getting this weird feeling as I looked. I guess she was feeling the same way.
"Starr, our friend wants to speed up his transformation, I'm sure you know what to do," said Asula. Starr walked up to me and gave a smile. "I suggest removing your clothes unless you want to tear out of them." I started to blush again. "No I'm fine, I don't mind."
Starr held my hands; I mean paws, and closed her eyes. Her aura sensors began to float. I saw her aura, a light blue color, and then I saw mine, a golden yellow. I saw her aura flow into me. "Don't worry," Starr said, "It won't hurt, though you may feel a little itch." I began to feel the changes happening to me.
A spike grew out of my chest and tore my shirt off, revealing cream-yellow fur that had also grown all over my chest. I was too shocked at what was happening to say anything. My shoes burst off and my feet turned into paws and my weight was centered at the balls of my feet while black fur continued up my legs. I staggered a little but Starr kept me from falling down. I shot a look at Asula; she was smiling proudly. I felt a bump near the end of my spine. Then the bump extended and tore off my shorts and formed into a blue, long and powerful tail with a tip pointing down. I was able to stand without wobbling and found that my new tail was helping me balance on my feet. More blue fur grew around my legs, like a pair of furry blue shorts.
I looked at the mirror and stared at myself just in time to see my face push out and more blue fur grow. My teeth sharpened into fangs and my tongue thickened a little. My ears pointed and were moving to the top of my head. Black fur started to grow around my eyes, the middle of my head and down to my nose, meeting at the back of my head as my hair receded into my head. I closed my eyes, just to make sure I wasn't dreaming. When I opened them, I saw my eyes had changed from a chocolate brown to a scarlet red and my pupils were like slits. Last but not least, four aura sensors grew from the back of my head. I was now a full Lucario. Starr let go of my hands and smiled.
"Well, how do you feel?" asked Asula.
I stared at the Lucario in the mirror. I looked at my paws, the spikes and my tail. I couldn't think straight. I felt powerful in my new form, almost like there was nothing that I couldn't do.
"I'm-I'm," I stuttered.
"A Lucario," Starr finished for me, "And a nice looking one too!"
At that moment Reggie came into the office. "Headmistress Asula, we need-" he stopped when he saw me. "Brandon, is that you?!" he asked in shock.
I nodded, "Yup, I'm not a kid anymore am I?"
He smiled and shook my paw, "Welcome to the team, Brandon." Asula came over to me gave me a schedule and a map of the base.
"You'll be sharing a room with Starr, and starting tomorrow you're attending classes, we need you to become a strong Pokémon for us."
She stared deeply at me. "You're heading into a brand new life, you're going to experience all new things and be faced with many challenges, are you sure you're ready?"
I looked at her, then at Starr, then at Reggie and then at myself in the mirror. All the faces told the exact same thing. I closed my eyes. When I opened them, I had a determined look on my face and a smirk.