Pokémen: season 2

Episode 1: The first second chance

We thought we had won. We thought we'd ended all we'd been through and life would be back to usual. But here we are, in hiding.

"Let us out..." a young man said as he banged on the door. Covered in a blanket he let out a loud yawn before calling out again.

To the world. To anyone listening.

"Come on, Leaf, go back to bed," his blond-headed twin brother Ruben said a she pulled on his shoulder.

The blanketed Leaf jerked away, his gaze fixed on the locked-tight heavy metal door. He grumbled before turning back to his bed, or his prison cell as he called it. He didn't know the world being like it was now: too much for even all of his kin to handle.

Someone who did know the treacherous times that had shook the world, was Lyra Green. In her rebellious phase she'd managed to not only change outfits, hair color and style, rattling her divorced parents' chains, but in the process she'd also taken down various villainous teams with ease and charm. Before all of this, you wouldn't have thought she was capable of that, even with some help. But this conflict was different. It had forced her to drop the naive, innocent persona of 'Bianca', the teasing of boys she thought she knew... But the change wasn't complete nor perhaps for the better.

"Hold on!"

The phrase echoed through her head, loud and clear as if he yelled it to her right now, right next to her ear. She slowly opened her clear blue eyes as she was joined in the conference room by the professor. Professor Kristof Ball to be exact. He'd invented the device that beared his name... and the machine that had caused this mess. He was therefore determined to rectify it. Although, as his blue and pink helmet and his curious dito-colored labcoat made clear, that wasn't the only reason.

"Send me on a mission, I'll fix it..." Leaf mumbled in his sleep as Ruben watched over him. As his tendency to rub his knuckles for every occasion had lessened, so had Leaf's relaxedness made way for battle-preparedness, being almost constantly on edge now.

"Never thought I'd be the calm one," Ruben said to himself.

"How's the new Team Alpha doing, professor?" Lyra asked.

"Unit Spearhead... is making progress, slowly but steadily," the professor said.

"Oh sorry Unit Spearhead. In other words the new leading team after," Lyra said and paused.

"After one too many screw-ups," Now if you would excuse me, my 'chef' and me, the humble assistant have work to do," the 'assistant' said, who'd thought he'd outgrown the role a long time ago, before he exited the room as swiftly and light-footed as he'd entered.

Meanwhile, another young man sat in front of a computer hooked up to a heavily fortified mainframe containing important data.

"Okay, just one more category, the hardest one," the young man said as he sifted through it. He quickly decided to skip Gastly and its line and moved on to...

"Yes, let's try this one, record a Fred File," 'Fred' ordered the computer.

As the high quality webcam ran, he tried to think of just one thing clearing his mind of all the things that worried him and influenced his ability to reason and plan ahead at all these days. He started to change. Literally.

"And?" Lyra asked as Fred entered.

"Still w-w-working on..." Fred said as he suddenly struggled to remain upright.. From an almost carefree smile he immediately shifted to stretching out his face as a sharp acute pain took ahold of him. Widening his blue eyes to an inhuman degree he stared at his hand as it grew muddled, unnatural light blue and swelled up. One, two, three, four, five spikes sprung up pointed at radically different angles, before the horrid blob changed back into a hand.

Without saying anything Lyra grabbed Fred's hand, took it to a small cylindrical machine and put it in. As she flicked the cell stabiliser on and the warm light brushed along Fred's skin, Lyra made tiny circles on his wrist with her soft hands.

"You have to fix this, you're the only one who can. That's why you got Ditto's abilities," Lyra said as she kept looking down at Fred's hand, avoiding looking into his eerie blue eyes.

"Attention, Team Homebase, the city is threatened by a vicious Cacturne swarm. Move out at once," Prof. Ball mumbled through the intercom.

"Great," Lyra said as she did her final check-up on Fred, "another attack and we're grounded if only he trusted us... Wait a minute, Team Homebase, that's us!"

"Guys, that's us, we're gonna kick those Retroments back where they came from!" Leaf yelled as he came storming into the room. Ruben quickly followed.

"Yes, let's go," Fred said as he glanced aside to Lyra, who quickly turned her big, light blue eyes away, not knowing what people could read off of those shining mirrors of the soul. Her soul.

At the same time in the city a Cacturne turned to growl menacingly at a bystander before it fired off a storm of Pin Missiles, striking every person and Pokémon in the immediate vicinity. A Poochyena, though young and particularly strong, shrugged off the pins stuck in its fur and ran to the side of his owner, a young frail woman that yelped as her pet tried to pull out the pins. Her multiple wounds looked ghastly deep...

"Step into the tubes, emergency transformation shall commence during travel," Prof. Ball said. It was quite clear he liked spilling multiple syllabled words.

"Wait what?" Lyra gasped as they were shot off to the city as a light shone and a weird sensation took ahold of her.

The Cacturne, with that eternal dark grin plastered all over his face, approached the helpless girl as her Poochyena alternated between trying to bark off the brute and high-pitched, anguished howling as he felt his owner's excruciating pain as his own.

As the dog Pokémon turned to pull another pin out of the woman's leg, the Cacturne charged up a dark attack, the woman crying out for help. And then, the Cacturne struck. Right afer, a thundering roar cut the air in half as an Arcanine rammed the green fiend, sending it flying through the air. The giant vermillion dog was right behind it, speeding as he jumped several meters and searing heat streamed around his teeth and were set aflame.

The Cacturne struck its attackers as the big canine rescuer dug its teeth into its arm. His swollen water plant frame shuddered as flames ran amok on its treacherous needles. Instinctively it punched the Arcanine in the forehead, repeatedly, before it let go. The Arcanine glanced aside to the woman as he landed.

The Poochyena had lied down besides her and laid completely still. The Arcanine grinded his teeth that were still hot to the touch as it charged a stronger attack and fired almost instantly. A flaming jet of burning internal gases blasted out of its mouth as the Cacturne tried to jump out of the way. It failed.

The woman had begun to hyperventilate and twisted and turned and her dog Pokémon cried out and turned to see where the attacker had went. The Arcanine was joined by some of the unlikeliest of Pokémon to be found next to a giant fire dog: a Togekiss, a Metagross and a Flygon.

The great flaming hound's manes twisted and spiked and curled as if caught by the wind. But then its snout grew bluish along with the whole of his fur before his general structure simply collapsed and he turned into a muddled blue blob the size... of a shiny Ditto. It quickly shapeshifted explaining 'their' plan of attack before they moved out and the shiny Ditto, aka Fred, turned into a Spearow before taking to the sky.

"Beau, Beau come here, stay with me," the woman spoke softly.

The Poochyena cried softly as well as it crept closer and licked the woman's face. A white light seemed to pass before the woman's eyes as she closed them. A tingling of a peculiar kind started at her feet and made its way along her wounds, legs and her broken frame up to her heart. She felt she could breathe again, but doing so she also felt... lighter. She opened her eyes, looked to her Beau clenched between her arms... as she saw the buildings beneath her.

"What, what is happening?" she exclaimed as she kept going faster and the skyscrapers started to blur into a sea of grey. She looked up to a Togekiss that seemed to carry her psychically.

"Don't worry, almost there," the Togekiss assured her as they approached the hospital.

The Togekiss slowed down as it made her descent, carefully laying the woman in the stretcher as astonished nurses and a doctor watched. The doctor quickly assessed the woman before saying: "She's still critical, get her out of here people, move it!"

As the woman moved to turn her head and slightly opened one eye, she thought: "Thank you," and the Togekiss nodded to affirm she got the message. Then, she took off.

A green shape whizzed across the city before it hoovered in mid-air as something caught its eye. Another Cacturne was talking to someone on his wrist.

"Be sure we understand each other, Grackx, I want this city taken over today," the villainous leader spoke through the purple wristband.

"Understood, Mr. Draken," Grackx the Cacturne said as it gave out orders to the other Cacturne as store windows shattered and cars were overturned for cover against the local authorities.

"Take aim..." the Flygon whispered to himself in Pokéspeak as it charged up its lizardous mouth and throat with super-heated air and let loose one single shot, a concentrated fireball, hitting Grackx right in the head, incapaciting him for just long enough for... Out of nowhere a metal disk appeared and mowed through the other Cacturne as they succumbed to the flash-struck injuries. Just one attack, the Metagross thought, slightly disappointed.

As the cops and a brave, but foolish news crew rushed to the intersection where the Cacturne had been thrashing around, the Metagross turned to see Grackx standing up from the super-effective attack like it was nothing and reaching out to strike against the people with some particularly deadly looking needles.

Fred, having arrived at the scene and believing they'd won, mind-blowingly quickly turned into a Rotom of sorts to achieve the speed of lightning to change again mid-air to a Reuniclus to envelop the Cacturne together with Ruben the Metagross. They sighed in relief. Now they would be homestuck no more.

A white light enveloped the Cacturne, only changing his form slightly but his look dramatically, into a human face with human eyes, recognizable as something decidedly unknown for the whole world to see. All this time trying to hide this monstrosity, their curse, had been for nothing.

"It's... a Pokéman?" the reporter blurted out.