I have been writing Fan Fiction for as long as I can remember, though actually posting them is another story. "The Ditto Disease" is my first attempt at a Pokémon Fan Fiction, and I hope that I do not disappoint. It takes place in a world without humans, only Pokémon, and the setting is in a land battered by war between the north and south, though the south is broken into the east and west.
Before I do anything else, I would like to give credit to Buraddo_Aipom for coming up with the idea for "The Ditto Disease." I do have permission to write a story based on his idea because I "adopted" it on the Fan Fic Idea Adoption board in the Writer's Café. I only hope that my readers will be as excited about the Fan Fic as I was when I first read the idea for it.
Concerning Reviews: I would be thrilled if anyone reviewed my work. Taking into account that I am human, and thus flawed, I would be glad to receive any type of constructive criticism. And, if you do review my work, I sincerely thank you.
Disclaimers: I do not own Pokémon, Nintendo does, though the characters in my story are original. I did not base them off of any existing live or made-up characters and any similarities are mere coincidences.
And now, I present
The Ditto Disease
Cobbleaste City, by the Eastern Sea
Shree sprinted through the busy streets of Cobbleaste, taking advantage of her nimble figure to weave among the crowd as she hurried to her destination, all the while keeping sharp, alert, forever tensed and ready to defend herself if the need arose. Even though the Council had agreed to let some of those displaced by the war into her beloved City, Shree and many of those that had been born in and pledged their allegiance to Cobbleaste were still wary of the newcomers. Nothing good would come from so many outsiders being allowed to roam the streets of the great, ancient City freely.
“Ah, if it isn’t Shree Sentret! Are you perhaps on your way to the hospital?”
Abruptly, Shree stopped, and then rose onto her brown-striped tail to scan the area for the one who had called out to her. A moment later, she spied a familiar old Persian, then hopped to his side.
“Hello, Mister Kele Sir! I most definitely am on my way to the hospital? Have you a message for me to deliver? I would do so gladly.”
The old cat smiled, accenting a scar he had received along his chin in his younger days. “Not a message, but a package, my good girl.” Kele pawed at a small box at his feet. It was neatly wrapped in a large leaf and had pungent scent. A bit of string had been tied about it in a way that would make it easy for those Pokémon who ran on all four paws to carry in their mouths. “It’s for Naha Blissey. The one and only. Can I trust that you will take it straight to her and that no harm will come to it or you as you do so?”
“Well---” Shree lowered her voice, leaning close to the Persian so that the Pokémon using the road on either side of them could not hear. “---with all of the outsiders in the City these days, nothing can be promised, but I will certainty do my best.”
Kele Persian let out an amused purr. “That’s the spirit, young one! Until we meet again!”
“Until we meet again!” Shree chimed in response before picking up the package in her mouth by the strings attached and beginning to run once more. She was close enough to the hospital that she could see it now. It was a great, stone building - the pride of Cobbleaste - built back when her fair City had been founded. Though warn with age, the hospital still demanded respect, for the Council made sure that it was kept clean, efficient, and that the gardens outside were always in bloom. The hospital was also one of the tallest buildings in the City, with seven floors, a pool in the basement for water-types, and nest on the roof for the birds.
Shree bounded past the security guard standing by the southern entrance to the hospital gardens, one from the Arcanine family that knew her well, and then nudged her way into the main lobby. As expected, the room was overflowing with Pokémon - part of taking in war refugees meant taking in those wounded by the war - but Shree managed to make her way to the part of the floor where only hospital workers were allowed and from there easily hopped into the storeroom.
“Might I find Naha Blissey about?” she queried to those within. A Wartortle and a Wurmple looked up from the medicine they had been sorting through, then at one another. Finally, the young Wurmple spoke.
“Wouldn’t she be on the fifth floor, with the ones in long-term recovery?” he asked. “Of late, they have been trying to clear space up there, so anyone of the Chansey or Blissey family has been sent to heal those who can be.”
“Ah, yes, I remember now,” Shree admitted, though this was the first she had heard of the development. One of the last things she wanted was for the hospital to be filled with outsiders. If all of the mats were given to those Pokémon, there would be none left for the ones native to Cobbleaste. “Ta!”
The Sentret picked up her parcel once more and then hurried down the hallway to the employee stairwell, knowing that it was relatively unused in comparison with the larger common stairwell in the main lobby. She easily bounded up the old, worn stones to the fifth floor of the hospital, labeled in PokéScratch as ‘Long-Term Recovery,’ and then scurried into the supply room for that floor. To her disappointment, it was empty. After a moment’s hesitation, Shree moved to the job assignment board and searched for Naha Blissey’s name. She did not see it.
“Madame Blissey, you are sure hard to find, whoever you are . . .” Shree muttered to herself.
She turned about and headed back out into the hallway, little wrapped box in tow, and then took to scanning every hospital wing that she passed. When she came to the one where many fire-type Pokémon were kept, she spied a familiar large pink form hunched over a quivering young Vulpix. It took all of Shree’s self restraint to keep from gasping at the sight of the injured Pokémon. Those from her family typically had soft, glossy orange fur, brown feet, a white underbelly, and lovely elegant tails. But, this Vulpix was covered from tails to nose in black fur. As Shree inched closer, she realized that someone had actually burned the Vulpix. Shree was amazed; she had thought that fire-types were immune to fire-type attacks.
“And yes, who are you?” asked the Blissey as Shree approached.
The other Pokémon’s words forced Shree to snap out of her absentminded stupor. “Ah, I am Shree Sentret,” she mumbled through the strings of the box she was carrying. “And I was asked to give this to Naha Blissey. Might she be you?”
Eyes widening, the Blissey reached out to take the box from Shree’s mouth with one of her small hands. “I am Naha,” she responded, little more than a whisper, as she hastily unwrapped the box before Shree and her patient. The little Vulpix was watching the whole ordeal through dazed eyes, every so often convulsing violently as if in great pain. Shree imagined that she was; she knew from experience that burns were very painful. Once, a Cyndaquil had accidentally burned her tail.
Naha revealed the box to be made of wood once she finished removing the leaf and string from its exterior. Shree recognized it as a medicine carrier, and at once a felling of guilt and worry washed over her. If Kele had wanted medicine delivered, he should have done so directly, and anyone in the right would have. What exactly had she just transported, second-hand, to this Pokémon she had never met until just moments ago?
Shree sat on her tail, hoping that with the extra height doing so provided she would better be able to see what was inside the medicine carrier she had just delivered, but Naha did not open it. Instead, the Blissey clutched it close to her body and then hurried across the hospital wing, calling across it as she went.
“Would a Miltank kindly refresh the Vulpix on mat three? She needs liquids if she is to recover properly!”
With that, Naha disappeared behind an archway typical to the architecture of the City into one of the back rooms, making a point to close the wooden doors behind her for privacy. Shree squeaked, disappointed. She really wanted to know what had been in the medicine carrier that she had just delivered.
As a Miltank made her way to the mat that the burned Vulpix was sitting on, Shree was verbally forced from the room. That was just as well: She had been on her way to the hospital for a reason, and was now probably late to work. The young Sentret hurried to the second floor of the hospital, to the wing where the nursery was kept, and then nosed timidly into the room.
Because of the war, there were a lot of orphaned baby Pokémon in the City, and many of them lived at the hospital until they were old enough to make it on their own. Shree had been volunteering at the hospital’s nursery for as long as she could remember, coaching the youngest Pokémon in Cobbleaste in the most basic of attacks and telling them stories about the City and the world beyond.
The Sentret had to move quickly in order to avoid being bowled over by Ada Oddish, Timi Zigzagoon, and Rheza Togepi. She used her tail to bounce herself over the trio of Pokémon, and then landed atop one of the wooden play structures in the middle of the room. As Shree had twirled through the air, all of the babies in the room had locked their eyes upon her, and when she had landed they had cheered. Shree crossed her arms over her chest and then grinned at her favorite crowd.
“Shree Sentret! You are late!”
Flattening her ears, Shree turned to see Ekaterina Kangaskhan standing in the archway leading to one of the back rooms, holding a large wooden crate of something that was probably weighted at least twice as much as the Sentret did. Hastily, Shree began a series of awkward, apologetic bows in Ekaterina’s direction.
“So sorry, Ma’am! I was sent on an errand while on my way here, and I couldn’t say no to the old cat now could I?” As Shree spoke, a sickening feeling surged through her. Perhaps it would have been better had she said no to Kele Persian earlier? Only the legendary ones had any idea what sort of substance she had transported, and whether that substance was illicit or not.
Ekaterina seemed to sigh. “Alright, then. Will you escort the babies to the northern garden, then? It is a nice day, and sometimes it is good to just sit in the sun on days like these.”
“Of course, Ma’am!” Shree said, saluting the Kangaskhan before turning back to the onlooking crowd. Many of the baby Pokémon before her were still giggling. Their favorite caretaker being scolded by Ekaterina, the head of the hospital’s nursery, was apparently very amusing. “Alright, men, we are marching! Rheza, head the line! Single file, march on two, and we depart!”
Shree bounded off the play structure and marveled at how quickly the baby Pokémon scrambled to obey her command. Within seconds, all fifteen of them had formed a single-file line behind Rheza Togepi, and were eagerly awaiting her count.
“On two, and we are heading to the northern garden to sunbathe! Ready, set, one and TWO!”
Rheza began to march, and in unison the other baby Pokémon did as well. Shree latched onto the end of the line, happily trotting after Ada and the others. She did have to direct Rheza through the layout of the hospital several times, though the group did safely make it to northern garden in record marching time. Shree moved her charges to a particularly sunny patch of grass, reminded them to stay within her sights, and then told them to scatter and play. She sat on her tail, giving herself a better view of the beautiful azalea-outlined garden, and then sighed.
Something as simple as an unknown package should not be bothering her nearly as much as it was. Shree trusted Kele Persian, and had known the old cat her entire life, though she did admit that he had some odd quirks to his name. He would not be participating in any sort of unfavorable activities, would he?
Shree barely registered the sound of the breaking window, though instantly reacted to the sound of the screaming baby Pokémon surrounding her. Using her Hyper Voice attack, she called them all back to her side, despite the noise of dogs barking and sirens from the hospital, and then took a quick head count. All fifteen of the baby Pokémon were counted for. A weight lifted from her chest.
“Timi, you are in charge,” Shree told the Zigzagoon amongst them. He was the oldest. “I’m going to go and see what’s happening. I want all of you to hide in the bushes over there until I get back, understand?”
Without waiting for a response, Shree bounded back toward the hospital, eyes fixed on the broken window. It was on the fifth floor. Pokémon must have been fighting. That was illegal on hospital grounds, save for with any structured lessons given to baby or rehabilitating Pokémon. Shree bit her tongue as rage built within her. This tragedy must have been the work of outsiders! She had known that no good would come from allowing them into the City!
All of a sudden, a dark figure leapt through the shattered window. Shree’s eyes widened in shock as she saw the burned Vulpix fly through the air for a moment before glowing and transforming into a Pidgeotto. The Pidgeotto retained the burns from its old form, but despite them was able to catch itself, hover effortlessly in midair, and then spiral skyward.
“Was the burned Vulpix really a Ditto?” Shree asked herself, standing on her tail and squinting her eyes for a better look at the departing creature. “I suppose that makes sense - if she had tangled with fire in a different form, then she would definitely have been burnable . . .”
From the hospital’s roof, Shree saw several more Pidgeotto take to the sky, and by the bands they wore on their feet she could tell that they were part of Cobbleaste’s military unit. Comforted by the fact that the troublesome Ditto would be detained soon, Shree turned around and began to head back to the baby Pokémon she had left beneath a garden of azalea bushes. Their sunbath had ended.