(Master Porky Minch)
+There was a note on the table as Brock walked into the living room:
9:00 AM. Gone to help a beached Seadra on the eastern shore with my assistants. Feel free to make breakfast from whatever is in the refrigerator; we have already eaten. See you in a couple of hours. – Professor Ivy
Brock gave a long yawn and turned to go towards the kitchen. It had been just about one month since he had started living here. Ever since he had left Ash and Misty to stay with Professor Ivy, Brock tended to wake up rather late in the morning, usually around 10:00 AM. Of course, this didn’t make him lazy, since he had to always cook and clean up after Ivy and her four assistants. To some, this might seem like a maid’s life without pay, but Brock was always happy to help such a beautiful woman.
After doing a quick tidying-up around the living room by picking up and folding the clothing that was strewn around the room and throwing out various little pieces of litter, Brock opened up the refrigerator and looked around, finally settling on a box labeled “Donuts”. Setting it on the kitchen table and opening it up, Brock feasted his eyes on eight delicious rice balls he had made yesterday. He chuckled as he looked at the label.
“When will they ever learn the difference between the two of them?” he asked himself as he began to eat two of the rice balls.
“I wonder if Ivy needs any help getting that Seadra back to the ocean,” murmured Brock. “Maybe I should go check just in case.” He tried to spot her by looking out of the kitchen window, but as the house was on the western shore of the island, he couldn’t see any of it at all.
“Perhaps Nurse Joy would know,” said Brock to himself. The Pokemon Center on Valencia Island overlooked the eastern shore, so Nurse Joy would be the most likely person to know where Professor Ivy would be. Turning on Ivy’s computer in the living room, Brock dialed the Pokemon Center’s number to initiate the webcam conversation.
“Hello, this is the Valencia Island Pokemon Center. May I help you?” Nurse Joy said, answering the call. Ordinarily, Brock would go nuts over seeing a Nurse Joy, but having stayed at Valencia Island for so long, he had gotten to know her quite well, and with that lost his infatuation.
“Ah, Brock! Good morning. How are you doing?” Nurse Joy corrected herself.
“Hey, Joy,” responded Brock, “I’m doing great. I just needed to ask you something. Has Professor Ivy passed by your Center this morning? Or, is she at the beach right now?” Nurse Joy thought for a second, and then replied, “No… I don’t believe I’ve seen her this morning at all. In fact, nobody’s passed by today so far at all. It’s been just me around here so far. Here, hold on a sec. I’ll check right now.” She disappeared off of the screen for a few moments, and then returned.
“Nope, Professor Ivy is nowhere to be seen on the beach. Sorry,” she said apologetically.
“Ah. Well, she must have already helped that beached Seadra get back to the ocean,” theorized Brock. Suddenly, Nurse Joy’s smile turned down into a frown.
“Hang on—did you say a beached Seadra?” she inquired.
“Umm, yeah. Ivy wrote that in the note she left for me,” Brock said.
“Well, I don’t think that’s exactly the truth,” replied Nurse Joy. “I was taking a walk on the beach about an hour ago, and there was definitely no sign of a Seadra. In fact, neither they nor Horsea have ever been spotted on or near Valencia Island. I don’t know why she did it, but I don’t think Professor Ivy was telling the truth to you.” Brock was taken aback by this.
“Wow, that’s… interesting to hear. Thank you very much, Joy,” he said, surprised.
“No problem. Please call if you need anything else,” she said, ending the call.
Just then, Brock heard a loud crash from down the hall. This was odd, seeing as he was there by himself. After turning off the computer, he dashed down the hallway towards the origin of the sound. There, at the very end of the hallway, was the room that was home to Professor Ivy’s laboratory. She always kept it locked when not inside, and strictly told Brock to never go inside. Today, however, the door was slightly ajar.
I shouldn’t go inside, Brock thought to himself. I don’t want Professor Ivy to stop trusting me.
However, curiosity got the better of him, and he walked towards the door. Putting his hand on the doorknob, Brock took a deep breath, prepared for whatever might be lurking on the other side. Then, he turned it inward and flung open the door.
No amount of deep breathing could prepare him for what was in the other side.
Standing on a lab table right in front of the door, in order to reach eye level, were two young boys. They were both 1 inch tall.
But before he could even start to respond to what he had just seen, Brock heard Professor Ivy’s high heels clicking on the wood floor as she began to walk towards him.
“Ah, hello Brock,” she said with a voice as cold as ice, “I see you’ve found out about my little secret experiment subjects, no?”
“P-P-Professor Ivy? What is that?” sputtered Brock. Professor Ivy placed her hand on his shoulder in an iron-firm grasp. With her other hand, she immediately slammed the laboratory door shut. Just then, the evil smirk that was previously on her face vanished, and an angry, scornful one took its place.
“I’m disappointed in you, Brock. I’ve specifically asked you not to go in there, and yet you did just that!” she scolded.
“I-I’m sorry, Professor!” apologized Brock. “But why were there two tiny children in that room?” Professor Ivy gave out a little sigh, her half-shut eyes looking even more tired than usual.
“Well, it’s a little earlier than I had hoped,” she said, “but I guess it’s time for you to move to the next phase of the operation.” Brock was confused about this.
“What do you mean, ‘operation’?” he inquired. Professor Ivy kept her steel grip on Brock’s shoulder and marched him down the hall to the living room. Almost forcefully, she pushed him right in front of the couch and pressed down to make him sit there.
“Brock… there’s something you need to know now,” said Professor Ivy, looking him straight in the eye, “You weren’t the first one to want to stay here on Valencia Island with me. In fact, about three months ago, there were three boys who washed up on the shores here. After taking them in and helping them recover, I was willing to let them be on their ways. But they felt like they owed a debt to me, so they wanted to stay here for a little while. And, well, sadly… nobody who stays on Valencia Island for a long period of time will leave. So, one and a half months later, they all met with their fate.” Brock gulped in nervousness at hearing this.
“Er… and what was that fate?” he mumbled, feeling the tension in the air grow as Professor Ivy put on a little smile.
“Oh, nothing much,” she said, “just a little size reduction and relocation to captivity.” Brock’s stomach dropped three feet from hearing this.
“You mean, you shrunk them and made them your slaves?” he gasped. Ivy just giggled at this, amused.
“When you put it that way, it sounds so bad,” she laughed, “but yes, that’s what I did. But don’t worry, Brock, I did not do it for no reason. When the time comes, all of the shrunken ones will meet their purpose and will become free again.” Brock shook his head in disbelief.
“I must be dreaming,” he said to himself. “The Professor Ivy I know would never do such horrible things!”
“Don’t be silly,” Ivy responded, “this is not so horrible. You will find that I never do anything without a just cause for it. Now then, let’s get your shrinking over with.” At this, Brock promptly stood up and stared defiantly at her.
“No!” he snapped firmly, “I will not be shrunken down! I’ve let girls do a lot of things to me in the past: break my heart, make me do chores for them in exchange for non-existent love, force me to assume the role of a person I’m not, et cetera. But I will not let a girl shrink me and capture me for her own purposes! No way!” He shook himself free from her tight grip and jumped to the other side of the room. Professor Ivy sighed and shook her head slowly.
“Really, Brock,” she chided, “it would be much easier and less painful for you if you just gave yourself up now. It’s an inevitable fact that you shall get smaller by the end of today. Please don’t make it any harder on yourself.” Brock wasn’t buying it, though. Reaching inside his vest, he pulled out a Pokeball and pressed the button to enlarge it.
“Geodude! I choose you!” he shouted, throwing the Pokeball on the ground and summoning the hardy Rock Pokemon to protect him. It gave an angry growl when it saw Ivy.
“Must we really do this?” asked Professor Ivy. “If we must, then I suppose I must go along with your little fantasy as well.” She pulled out a Pokeball from her lab coat and threw it onto the floor as well.
“Gyarados, I must call upon you,” she said nonchalantly. As the Pokeball opened, everyone took a step back as the giant Atrocious Pokemon filled the room.
“Geodude, use Rock Throw!” shouted Brock. Geodude tried to do this, but the Gyarados dodged with swift speed without even needing to be told to do so.
“Gyarados, perform an Aqua Tail on the Geodude, if you would!” said Ivy. Before Brock could even say another command to Geodude, Gyarados transformed his tail into water and swung it with all his might at his opponent. With just that one attack, Geodude fainted.
“Duuuude…” groaned Geodude, fully defeated. Brock sighed sadly.
“That’s all right, Geodude. Take a nice rest,” he said comfortingly and he recalled it. The battle was over just as soon as it had begun, but Professor Ivy wasn’t finished with her Gyarados just yet.
“Gyarados, please use a very gentle Thunder Wave on Brock,” said Professor Ivy with a smug look on her face. As the Gyarados expelled a yellow electric pulse from its body, Brock suddenly felt as if his body went completely limp.
“Ugh… can’t… do…anything…” he groaned, body completely drained of the ability to move.
“Thank you, Gyarados. Please return!” said Professor Ivy, recalling her Gyarados. “Now, don’t be alarmed Brock. This won’t hurt at bit, but you may want to close your eyes for a moment.” She put the Gyarados Pokeball back in her lab coat and took out a different one.
“Porygon, I require your assistance!” shouted Professor Ivy with enthusiasm as she released the Virtual Pokemon into the room. Brock gasped as he saw it emerge.
“Not this thing again! Is it going to do what I think it’s going to do?!” he muttered, shutting his eyes tightly.
“Porygon, please use your shrinking program!” requested Professor Ivy. Porygon gave an affirmative beep, and proceeded to display rapid irritating flashes of red and blue strobe lights. Even through his closed eyelids, Brock could see the lights flashing. After about ten seconds, the strobe lights finally dimmed, and Porygon beeped to confirm it was finished. Brock still didn’t dare to open his eyes yet, however.
“Thank you, Porygon. Now, please use Recover on our friend to allow him to move again.” As Porygon began making more strange whirs and beeps, Brock slowly felt the life coming back in his limbs, as if the paralysis was just fading away.
Un-paralyzed, Brock finally decided to open his eyes. Just as his eyes attempted to relieve themselves of the black of their eyelids by opening, however, they were met with another black. Brock couldn’t tell at first what the huge black wall in front of him was. After walking all around it, he could finally tell what the shape was: a high-heeled shoe!
“It must be surprising at first to explore your surroundings when first shrunk, yes?” boomed Professor Ivy’s voice from above. Brock’s heart sunk when he heard this. Professor Ivy was right: she did come out victorious, she did shrink Brock just like she had said, and now there would be no possible way to escape from Valencia Island at this size. Now, he had no choice but to go along with her wishes.
From out of the sky, Professor Ivy’s hand came crashed down right towards him, about twice the size of the kitchen table for Brock at this size. With nothing to possibly do about it, Brock let the enveloping fingers wrap around him and seal his entire body. While he would never admit it, feeling his entire body pressed against Professor Ivy’s warm, soft skin felt a bit nice, comfortable, and soothing. He almost calmed down while inside her hand as she brought it up to eye level. As she opened her hand, Brock stared at the newly gargantuan woman with violet hair and sleepy eyes.
“Well then, was that so painful or cumbersome?” she asked. Brock looked down and shook his head, feeling a bit of a loss of dignity being held in Ivy’s hand like a tiny animal.
“I still don’t get why you’re doing this. It’s inhumane!” said Brock, shouting it to make sure she could hear.
“Oh, no,” murmured Ivy, “that’s not the case at all. When everything’s done, you’ll understand why I’m doing this. But for now, I’d bet the others would be happy to tell you what they know. How about you get acquainted with them now?” Brock shrugged, knowing that resisting would be pointless. The world around him was way too large; even if he did manage to escape, he wouldn’t last three days outside.
Professor Ivy wrapped him tightly in her fingers again and started towards the end of the hall. Turning the doorknob, she flung the forbidden steel door open.
“Ow!” “Shoot!” “Damn it!” shouted little angry voices from the ground. Walking into the room and looking behind the door, Professor Ivy saw the three little 1 inch boys on the ground who had made the shouts, knocked back when the door had opened. She gave a little amused smile as they stood up and brushed themselves off.
“Still trying to escape, are you? How cute,” she giggled. Seeing that the door was now open, the three tried to make a mad dash towards the opening. However, they weren’t quick enough, as Professor Ivy quickly stamped her foot down right in front of the door, her heel effectively blocking the way. Looking at the lab table right in front of the door, she carelessly knocked an open and empty birdcage that was sitting on it to the floor.
“I guess you three made short work of that container, hmm? Impressive,” she said. Pivoting to keep her foot in front of the door, she reached for a very large empty pickle jar with air holes poked in the lid.
“Try this one on for size, then,” she said. Setting Brock down on the table to get both hands free, she screwed open the lid and placed the open jar on the floor. The three boys attempted to run off in the other direction, but once again Ivy was able to catch them, scooping them all up in one hand. Reaching towards the table, Brock saw that she was going to pick him up as well. He tried to dive down to dodge, but to no avail; she added him to the contents of her grasp.
“Relax,” she laughed, “Don’t be so tense, all of you! It won’t be a long wait in the jar; I’ll prepare the next stage as soon as I can!” With that, she dropped the four boys into the pickle jar, each one falling on top of the others. Screwing on the lid, she placed it back onto the table.
“Goodbye for now!” Professor Ivy giggled, giving a little wink and wave as she walked back into the hall and closed the door, sealing the four boys inside.
Getting up and brushing themselves off, the three boys that had fallen on top of Brock backed up against the glass of the pickle jar gazed at him. With Professor Ivy out of the room, Brock finally had a chance to look at his fellow cellmates.
“Nice one, moron!” shouted the first one, a big, tough boy with blue hair, a big scowl, and an Australian accent. “We mighta been able to have gotten out if it weren’t for you messing up our escape!”
“Aw, don’t blame him; he couldn’t have known what Professor Ivy was really up to,” said the second, a smaller, younger, happy-looking boy with long, curly brown hair dressed in a colorful T-shirt and shorts.
“Still, that doesn’t change the fact that we’re still stuck here and captured by Professor Ivy,” replied the third, an intelligent boy about eleven years old with carefully combed straight, brown hair and formal clothes. Brock examined each of the three boys, and he suddenly realized something.
“Do I know the three of you?” he asked thoughtfully. The boys looked at each other.
“Yeah!” said Brock, snapping his fingers. “You’re Damian, that boy that abandoned his Charmander, right?” The big boy’s scowl didn’t change.
“What’s it to ya?” he said, unimpressed. Brock turned to the second boy.
“You must be the younger brother of the three Eevee brothers, Mikey, hmm?” he said. The boy smiled slightly and nodded. The third boy stepped forward to look right at Brock.
“And you’ve got to be the boy who was having trouble with the bullies at the Pokemon Tech School. Joe, wasn’t it?” said Brock.
“That’s right. And you are…?” asked Joe. After Brock reintroduced himself to the three boys, they all sat down against the sides of the pickle jar. Nobody said a word for a few minutes. Finally, Mikey spoke up.
“It’s kind of funny that you already know all of us, Brock,” he said. “It’s almost as if fate has brought us together, eh?” After a moment, Brock thought of something.
“Well, I would love to hear the story about how this all happened, but I think it would be wise if we tried to break out of here first. Didn’t Professor Ivy say before that you three had escaped or something?” he asked, recalling the past events. “How did you do it?” Joe smiled as this was asked.
“That was my doing. See, after wanting to make sure they were okay, we had recently found out that all our Pokemon had shrunken with us. So, my Victreebel was able to use Vine Whip to reach between the bars of the birdcage and pick the lock. Of course, we hadn’t thought about how we would exit the actual room. When we tried to break open a hole in the door, you suddenly came in. That’s when Professor Ivy saw that we had broken out. So, we’re now stuck in this giant pickle jar.” Brock took this all in, and looked thoughtfully at the glass walls housing him in.
“If Pokemon worked the last time… perhaps they’ll work this time!” he yelled, as if a light bulb had turned on above his head. “Guys, maybe if we sent out our strongest Pokemon, they could batter down the glass until it shatters!” Damian just leaned against the glass and smirked.
“You think we hadn’t thought o’ that already? Heh, it’ll never work in a million years!” he scoffed arrogantly. Mikey perked up at the idea, however.
“Hey, that might just work! This glass has to be weaker than the metal birdcage bars, right?” he said excitedly.
“If we send out our very strongest Pokemon, I suppose it’s possible,” agreed Joe, not wanting to get his hopes too high. So, the four each brought out their toughest Pokemon.
“Go, Onix!” “Victreebel, I choose you!” “Espeon, let’s go!” “Arcanine, show ‘em who’s boss around here! You’re totally stronger than that wimpy little Charmander some kid took off my hands!” As each of their Pokeballs opened with a flash of light, the respective Pokemon, albeit smaller versions of themselves, gave their cries and looked back happily at their trainers.
“Okay, let’s try the best attack each of us have on our Pokemon on the glass,” said Brock. With commands from their trainers, the Pokemon unleashed a Slam, Solar Beam, Psychic, and Fire Blast at the imprisoning glass walls. Even though the attacks were very powerful, the fact that each Pokemon had shrunk as much as its trainer meant the glass barely got a scratch in it.
“Just like I said,” observed Damian smugly with his arms crossed, “it didn’t do a thing!” Mikey sighed and looked at him. “Do you always need to be so against what we do, Damian?” Damian snorted and looked down at him.
“You would as well if you were stuck in a giant jar whose purpose is to preserve modified cucumbers with three stupid little kids!” he said sarcastically. Ignoring this last statement, Mikey turned back to the Pokemon lined up along the wall.
“Keep going, you guys! It’ll eventually crack!” he shouted encouragingly. He turned back to Brock and Joe, who were relaxing on the glass floor.
“It might take a little while, though. How about we tell stories or something as we wait?” he said. Brock perked up at this.
“Maybe you guys could tell me about how you got into this mess in the first place, and why Professor Ivy is doing this?” he requested. Mikey and Joe looked at each other, and Joe smiled.
“Sure,” he said, “You do deserve to know how we got here, and what we’ve figured out so far about this.” Mikey joined the two in sitting down, and they gathered around in a circle as if they were around a campfire.
“Are you going to help us tell the story, Damian?” Mikey called. As usual, Damian laughed.
“I’d rather die,” he spurned. However, he did turn towards the boys, secretly wanting to listen to the story as well. The loud crashes resulting from the Pokemon trying to break down the glass seemed to all but vanish as Joe started speaking.
“I suppose it all started a while back, when I first became a Pokemon Trainer. That was, I guess, 4 months ago? It was after you and your friends had stopped by my school and helped the girl Giselle lose her arrogance; I had left the school a couple days after. When I had decided to collect the badges of Kanto and attain entry into the Pokemon League that way, I was prepared to travel all over the region to get all 8. My travels first brought me to Pewter City, then Cerulean City. After attaining the two badges of those Gyms, my next stop was Vermilion City. However, I couldn’t access Lt. Surge’s Gym until I could get a Pokemon to cut down the impassable bushes surrounding it. The only place where Pokemon can be taught Cut was on the St. Anne ship. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the money to buy a ticket, so my journey had hit a big snag.
“Something strange happened after a few days, however. I was relaxing in my room in the Vermilion City Pokemon Center when suddenly the Nurse Joy working there delivered a letter to me, apparently from Professor Oak. He has never sent me a letter before; in fact, I’ve never met him before in my life. The contents of the letter were equally mysterious, claiming that I was a winner of some contest, the prize being an invitation to a Pokemon Trainer party aboard the St. Anne. Normally, I would have passed this off as junk mail, especially since Team Rocket has used this claim in the past as a trap. However, the fact that is was formally signed by Professor Oak himself made me believe that it was indeed legitimate. Besides, being allowed onto the St. Anne meant that I would be able to get the Cut move to enter the Vermilion Gym for free, and I wasn’t about to look a gift Rapidash in the mouth. Still, it seemed too good to be true.”
“And it was,” interrupted Mikey, taking over the storytelling. “I came from basically the same circumstances, having also received a letter from Professor Oak containing the same information. A party on the beautiful St. Anne sounded great, and I was very eager to go to it. In fact, so was my Eevee. She had been so happy ever since I had gone out on a journey to collect Badges from the Gyms with her that she had evolved into Espeon about the same time we reached Vermilion City. I was happy about this, too, since it meant my brothers would stop pestering me about choosing an evolutionary stone to use on her.
“Anyway, I had boarded the St. Anne. As you might have imagined, there were miles upon miles of security lines and ticket checking things; it was actually very tiring. When I finally got on the ship, it was almost nightfall. I would have checked out who else was invited to the party, but I was really exhausted from my travels. Espeon and I had decided to call it a night right then and there. We entered our assigned cabin and slept on the beds.”
Mikey gave Joe a high-five, lightly “tagging out” the role of storyteller and transferring it to him. “I, on the other hand, wasn’t tired at all. That night, as the St. Anne started to pull out of the harbor into the ocean, I went out exploring all around the ship and tried to find some other trainers. No matter where I looked, however, nobody I asked had any idea about a party there. I even tried going to the ballroom, where the party was supposed to take place the next day. The workers there were confused when I asked them about it. I checked the guest list on the ship, and Professor Oak wasn’t even on it. Nothing about this event seemed to add up.
“Even so, I decided to go to the place of the party the next day at the right time. My suspicions about the event being a fake were correct, as it was only Mikey, Damian, and me there. Really, there was just the three of us. I didn’t even see any ship workers there. We exchanged little bits of conversation for about ten minutes, after which I stood up to leave. That’s when the lights suddenly went out in the entire ballroom. It was completely pitch black, and the three of us couldn’t see anything at all. It was pretty scary, especially how every noise echoed over and over again in the huge room. As we walked towards the door to get out, the huge double doors opened by themselves before we got to them. From the light that started to flood in from the corridor outside the room, we could see the silhouette of the one who had opened the door: a Vileplume. Before we could attempt to get away from her, she let out a huge ‘Vile…PLUUME!’ cry, opened up the pistil atop her head, and showered us with a sparkly yellow Stun Spore. And let me tell you: it felt pretty peculiar losing all the power in my limbs like that.”
“I know what you mean,” muttered Brock, remembering his experiences with the Thunder Wave that had affected him not too long ago.
“Anyway,” Mikey continued, “We were all completely helpless, at the Vileplume’s mercy. She wasn’t done with us, though. I could only watch and lie on the ground as she walked towards me with that carefree expression on her face. When she got right beside me, she leaned down and smiled warmly. I know that the Oddish family is supposed to smell really bad and all, but Vileplume’s scent was actually a bit calming, soothing me slightly as I inhaled it. In fact, as I got a closer look at her face, her red beady eyes that glowed in the darkness actually looked a bit sad, as if she felt sympathy for us and what she was doing was not her will. Still, she released six thick, tube-like green vines from around her pistil that attached themselves to me. Then, Vileplume sat down, closed her eyes, and concentrated. The vines began to glow a bright green, and I felt my body slowly but surely losing its energy, strength, and vitality. It was as if Vileplume was sucking the very life out of me! It was like the Giga Drain move, but even more powerful. The feeling of being drained of my life made me feel very drowsy, and I was almost too tired at first to realize that the Vileplume was starting to get bigger as she loomed over me. Then, it dawned upon me as the entire room began to increase in size with her that it was, in fact, me who was decreasing in size. I tried to break free from her life-draining vines, but it was useless. At last, Vileplume had finished using her Terra Drain attack, and she released her vines. At that moment, I was nothing but a 1 inch kid lying in the shadow of a huge, towering (to me) Flower Pokemon.” Mikey shuddered as he told this, still scared from what had happened to him. Joe spoke up, continuing the story.
“Vileplume shrank each of us with her life-sucking vines to the size we are right now. When we were all tiny, she reached out and grabbed all of us, not in a vine, but in her own arms. As if to apologize for the sudden attacks she brought upon us, she held us in an embrace for about thirty seconds. At last, she released a spray of glittery white Sleep Powder that dropped on us like a light flurry of snow. Still remaining in her hug, we each started to fall asleep. I myself was about to succumb to the drowsiness, the warmth of her arms wrapped around me, and the lovely, soothing scent that she was emitting, when suddenly I looked behind Vileplume into the hall. There, I saw a distinctly feminine human silhouette in the light. The figure was holding a Poke Ball, and just before I blanked out, I saw it recall Vileplume.
“When we woke up, it was obvious that someone had taken us far away. We were no longer in the ballroom, or even on the St. Anne. Instead, we were washed up on a beach in the hot, noontime sun. The Vileplume was nowhere in sight, but we were still very tiny. Seeing as we couldn’t survive out in a tropical island infested with wild Pokemon by ourselves, we headed towards the only building we could see on the beach. Partially hidden between palm trees and vines, we could see a big laboratory building up on a higher cliff – that’s the place where we are right now. It took hours to walk there on foot at our size, but we eventually made it.
Lucky for us, we didn’t need to worry about opening the front door or anything – Professor Ivy was daydreaming on the front steps. Unfortunately, she didn’t see us at first when we walked towards her. In fact, we were able to climb right onto her feet to try to get her to notice us. It worked, but not in the way we would have liked. She thought we were tiny bugs. Shaking us off, she lifted up her foot, prepared to firmly stomp us into the ground with her black heels. Surprisingly, Damian saved the day here. He was able to yell so loud that she could hear us, and not squish us into the ground.”
“Hey,” interrupted Damian indignantly, “Why is that ‘surprising’? I did a damn good job saving you guys’ backs back there!” Brock motioned for him to be quiet, and he did. Joe continued his story.
“So we told Professor Ivy what had happened to us, and she seemed shocked. She promised us that we could stay with her until she could find a way to reverse the shrinking, and that it would be her pleasure to have guests over. She seemed really nice at the time, and since we didn’t have anything else to do, we accepted the offer.
“The days went on; these changed to weeks, and eventually a month or so. While Professor Ivy promised that she was doing everything she could to find a way to bring us back to our old size, she wasn’t telling the truth. She would make us do strange science experiments, often mixing chemicals or manipulating genes or something, claiming that ‘it was all part of the grand scheme of restoring our size’. However, we would never see or hear of any of the experiments again after we were done with them. Plus, the fact that Professor Ivy usually worked behind the ‘forbidden door’ all day made us a little bit suspicious about what she was really doing. One day, similar to today, we noticed that the door was slightly ajar, and we could hear Ivy’s voice from inside it. Scurrying down the hall, we peeked around the door to find, to our surprise, the Vileplume from the ship.
“As soon as Professor Ivy spotted us, she became infuriated, angry that we would try to sneak past the door. That was when we realized she was insane, just as you did today. Before we could run for it, she scooped us all up in her hand, pulled out a birdcage from one of the bookshelves in this room, and locked us in there. Thus, we became her prisoners, until we managed to escape.” Brock raised an eyebrow.
“So,” he asked, “Is that the end of the story?” Mikey shook his head.
“Not quite,” he said. “See, this room that we are being held captive in is also the room where Professor Ivy’s three assistants slept in every night. Strangely enough, about every 5 nights, Professor Ivy would sneak in this room and inject each of the assistants with a strange syringe full of an unknown liquid. It would be odd, as before each dose, the assistants would look a little… I don’t know… droopy? Kind of pale, and sickly. But, then, they would perk right up and look regular again for another 5 days. This kept repeating for as long as we were stuck here.
“There was also another thing. At one point, Professor Ivy brought in another shrunken person to this room. I have no idea who it was, since we couldn’t get a good look at them. However… she also injected the person with a syringe. And, in about 5 minutes… the person grew back to a regular, human size. She had become identical to the three assistants, though. In both appearance and behavior, it was impossible to tell that she had just recently been “created”. After that, she became the fourth assistant, and also received injections every 5 nights. It was almost as if Professor Ivy had grown her own new assistant!” He dropped his head.
“And… if I’m not mistaken… she plans to do the same with us,” he murmured.
As the story came to an end, the four boys (Damian included) allowed about a minute of silence to take it all in. To break the silence, Brock’s Onix let out a roar and crashed its tail into the side of the jar. As the boys had been telling their story, their Pokemon had made a very great dent. The glass had received a very deep and wide crack from the top to the middle on their side. After Onix delivered that last blow, the glass actually shattered along the crack, opening up the entire side as a hole for escaping. Espeon used its Psychic to blow away all the sharp shards of glass, and Victreebel set up Vine Whips from the bottom of the jar to the hole up in the middle as a bridge. Brock, Joe, and Mikey grinned at their success in breaking the prison wall, recalled their Pokemon to their Pokeballs, and walked up the Vine Whips, jumping out the jar and landing on the wooden table below. Even Damian was impressed a bit.
“Not bad,” he admitted, climbing up and out as well. As they all stood on the giant lab table, they looked around at the room that was housing them. Lined up against the back wall were three small white beds, presumably for the assistants. In the back corner, there was a fourth bed for the most recently “created” assistant. Above each bed was a syringe taped to the wall filled with a different colored liquid: one was red, another was blue, and the others were green and yellow. The entire room seemed fairly small and cramped. The only light in the room came from a small hanging ceiling light; even this, however, was dim, and it cast big shadows against the dark corners of the room. The walls were all painted a dark black, the ceiling was rather low, and there were no windows at all in it. There was a fine layer of dust covering most of the things in the room, and the bad smell of mold was present. Overall, it was an ominous, foreboding lab room that had a very different theme to it than the any of the other rooms of Professor Ivy’s home.
“So…” said Brock, “I don’t mean to be a downer, but now that we’re free of the pickle jar, anyone got any ideas on how to escape this whole room? And what about getting returned to normal?” The steel door was slammed completely shut, and Joe, Mikey, and Damian had already tried and failed to get out that way.
“It’s quite simple, really,” explained Joe. “There must be an air vent somewhere in this room. If we can find it, we can probably enter it and leave the room that way. It seems like it’s a really popular way for shrunken people to move about.”
“Oh, yeah!” interrupted Damian. “I read a bunch of stories featuring them on some website with a funny acronym name.”
“…Anyway,” continued Joe, “All we’ve got to do after we escape this room is to wait until Professor Ivy goes to sleep or something. Then, we’ll take the Vileplume Pokeball, send her out, and convince her to grow us back to our normal sizes again. After all, if she just absorbed and drained us of our original sizes, she can probably just reverse the flow and give them back, right? It shouldn’t be too difficult to do that, since she even seemed sympathetic as she was shrinking us at first.”
Brock scratched his head. “There’s a problem with that, though: I wasn’t shrunken by Vileplume. Professor Ivy used some sort of special program in her Porygon to shrink me. I don’t think Vileplume could restore my size if she wasn’t the one who shrank me.” Mikey stroked his chin thoughtfully.
“That could be a problem,” he agreed. “If Professor Ivy directly programmed her Porygon, she probably gave it some sort of security sequence to keep it from taking orders from anyone but herself. Well, anyway, we should just focus on getting out of here now and deal with that later.” Joe called out his Victreebel again and instructed it to make Vine Whips hanging from the table to the ground to help them get down. As the four started shimmying down, they noticed something in the shadows below the table: a large vent that was lightly blowing warm air! Behind the metal grate covering the vent was the next step to freedom in the darkness of the walls.
“Perfect!” said Joe. “Victreebel, try a Razor Leaf on the grate!” It was obvious that the vent was rarely used; the metal bars were very old and worn and fell apart at Victreebel’s Razor Leaf attack.
“All right!” exclaimed Mikey. “Let’s get out of here!” The air vent was an inch or two above the floor, so a single boy couldn’t reach it by himself.
“Here, I’ll give you a boost,” said Joe, walking right over to the wall. Grabbing Mikey’s waist, he hoisted him up onto his shoulders, allowing him to reach the edge and climb up.
“Okay, I’m up! Grab my hands,” called Mikey from above. Their hands met, but suddenly, a noise caused them to lose their grip: the turning of the doorknob.
“Crap!” cried Damian, looking up at the door. “Sounds like Professor Ivy’s gonna pay us a visit! Hurry up!” With increasing haste, Mikey once again grabbed Joe’s hands, this time able to pull him up to the top. He stopped a moment to catch his breath, and then looked back down at the ground.
“You next, Brock!” the two boys shouted down. Brock sprinted over to the wall, but he was too late. The door flew open, and all of them could see the familiar black high heels standing in the doorway.
“Keep going!” said Joe, bringing his voice down to a whisper. “Maybe we can get away before she finds out where we’re hiding!” Brock nodded and reached his arms up. This was in vain, however; just as he was doing this, he felt the warm, enveloping fingers of a giant hand wrapping themselves around his entire body. He sighed in disappointment as his entire face got pressed against Ivy’s soft, peach skin. Though he couldn’t see out of the tightly closed fist, he could feel it rising up into the air. As the fingers opened up again, he stared into the sleepy yet triumphant eyes of Professor Ivy.
“I am impressed! You boys are unmatched in tenacity!” she laughed. Brock quickly looked over at Ivy’s other, which Damian was clasped in. Looking back at him, he gave nothing but an angry glare.
“Really, bravo!” she continued. “I can see that keeping you contained is not an option at all. I should probably just morph you right now.” Brock’s blood ran cold when he heard those words.
“Please… don’t…” he pleaded. Professor Ivy’s small smile grew slightly larger in a malevolent way.
“Then again,” she said, “You two are awfully cute at that size! Perhaps we could have a little ‘fun’ first. I know that your two other friends have escaped by now into the air vents, but if they have any common sense, they’ll be running straight into my open hands when they see what’s in there. For now, I can just play with you two, all right?” Brock could still slightly see Mikey and Joe from the entrance to the vent underneath the table. He sadly waved goodbye as Ivy deposited both him and Damian into the shirt pocket of her lab coat. Brock sighed as he realized that he was no closer to freedom now than he was inside the jar. The soft, constricting walls of fabric that surrounded him now didn’t show any means of escape this time without Professor Ivy knowing.
“Ugh! This is just GREAT!” complained Damian sarcastically. Brock shared the same sentiments, but he would never be so rude as to admit it out loud. Still, the situation did seem pretty bleak: he was inside the breast pocket of his captor, with his only company being Damian and a little Pokeball… Wait – a little Pokeball?
“What’s this?” inquired Brock curiously, looking at it. Of course, it wasn’t actually little for him, but it was the typical shrunken size of a Pokeball. Examining it closely, Brock could make out a single word printed on the bottom of it in a neat black font: VILEPLUME.
Joe and Mikey walked for quite a long time down the air vent they had entered. It may have only been ten or twenty minutes, but it seemed like hours. The only light in the entire tunnel came from the dim room that they had entered; it cast a dark shadow on the walls of the vent and only got darker as they ventured further and further inward. The vent seemed rather peculiar, though. Aside from the entrance one, they hadn’t encountered any exits back into the house. There was an abundance of dust, however, and it kept piling up higher and higher as they went on. Finally, they reached a 90 degree turn in the tunnel.
“Could we take a break now? I’m getting a bit tired from all this walking,” gasped Mikey, out of breath. Joe nodded, and the two sat down among the piles of dust.
“We must be near the corner of the house now, seeing that there’s a sharp corner right there,” concluded Joe. “Still, it’s kind of creepy that there’s only been one exit to the vents so far – the one we entered – and how it looks like there’s been nothing here for years now. How much longer do you think this thing goes?” Mikey took a look around the corner, and his eyes widened in happiness.
“Hey, Joe!” he shouted, “Look over here! There’s an exit to the vent right beyond the curve!” Just as Joe began to look, Mikey’s smile dimmed.
“Wait… it looks like there’s something… stuck to the vent? Kind of looks like… I dunno, a big spider web?” he said. “Well, might as well clear it off.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a Pokeball.
“Go, Espe—” he began, cut off by a startled cry from Joe. He was pointing at the shadow on the wall; at that very moment, it had ever-so-slightly moved a bit, as if something had briefly gone past it.
“What was that?” whispered Joe to Mikey. “It looks like there’s something in here with us!” As if to answer him, a tiny scraping sound started, coming slowly closer and closer from the long straight back around the curve they had just rounded. It was almost like a scuttling sound.
“It’s probably just a bug or something…” Mikey whispered back, “…I hope.” He turned back to the spider web covering the vent. “Let’s just focus on getting this web off the vent so we can go through it, okay?” Approaching the web, he began to tear at it with his hands. Bits of dusty slime began to accumulate on his hands, but he pressed on.
“Blech!” said Joe with a grimace, “that thing looks really gross! Still, I suppose it’s the only way we’re going to get out of here.” Though they gave a great effort, the web simply didn’t fall off; it seemed to almost be glued on the vent.
“Why won’t this come off!?” groaned Mikey, ripping as hard as he possibly could. When it didn’t even budge, he and Joe ceased their efforts and lied back, tired from the sudden physical strain.
“I guess if we’re going to go through that vent,” huffed Joe while catching his breath, “we’re going to have to use our Pokemon, whether we bother the ‘thing’ or not.”
Just as he said that, a deep, mysterious, feminine laugh began to echo down the vent towards them. It seemed almost synthetic in a way. As the scuttling got closer and closer, so did the laugh.
“P-p-professor Ivy?” called out a frightened Mikey, “I-is that you?” The response that came was alarmingly close.
“Ha ha ha! Of course not!” returned the voice. “Did you honestly think that silly girl could erect such a beautiful web as that one?” The shadows cast on the wall began to twist again, showing the shape of what appeared to be an arachnid.
“Well, please don’t keep us in suspense,” called Joe. “Who are you?”
“Ah hah, but of course!” the voice replied. “I am just around the corner now, but I would be happy to show myself to you.” The creature that confronted the two boys, with her red body and yellow/purple legs, was none other than an enormous (about the size of a lion to Joe and Mikey) Ariados.
“What?!” “How is that even possible?!” exclaimed the boys.
“Ha ha, you weren’t expecting me to be an Ariados, were you?” she said, menacingly edging closer. “I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, ‘Impossible! Ariados can’t talk!’ Well, that is half-true. Sure, natural Ariados don’t have the capabilities to talk like humans. However, I have vocal cords. About a year ago, the Professor was performing experiments on trying to communicate with Pokemon. You know: telepathy, translator machines, custom languages, et cetera. One of these experiments was adding vocal cords to a Pokemon to make it physically talk. As she considered Spinarak to be a simple, easy-to-manipulate Pokemon, she chose me, along with four other young ones, to be implemented with the organ. The others went along with it blindly, but I wasn’t about to become a lab Rattata. After a couple of months, the others were too weak to properly sustain the organ in their bodies, and they all died.
“When I became the final Spinarak of the bunch, Professor Ivy was ready to pull the plug on the experiment. See, I wasn’t the most well-behaved test subject there was. I would constantly insult her, refuse to cooperate, and frequently attempt to escape. So, when I was the only one left, it made sense that Professor Ivy would try to end it right there. When I saw that she was about to kill me, I had to act fast. Under the sudden pressure, I evolved into the beautiful Ariados I am today. Quick as a wink, I tied her up tightly with a String Shot and added on a Spider Web for good measure. While she was struggling to get free, I crawled into this air vent. Now, any time a hapless little creature wanders in, I bind them tightly and then feed on them. So, I have a great diet of Caterpie, Magikarp, Wurmple… and perhaps tiny boys who have lost their way!” She began to advance, forcing Mikey and Joe into the corners of the dead end, mandibles open wide.
“You can’t be serious!” cried Joe. “We don’t mean to harm you! We were also the victims of one of Ivy’s strange experiments. That’s how we became so small, anyway. You wouldn’t harm someone on your side, would you?” The Ariados carelessly waved one of her striped legs indifferently.
“That may be true, but don’t forget: even though I can speak, I still am an Ariados. When I see two excellent meals, I just can’t help but get hungry! You wouldn’t deny a girl her dinner that she caught fairly, would you?” she replied sweetly. Joe tried to run under her huge leg while it was still raised in the air, but she immediately brought it back down and gave him a sharp kick with it, pushing him back into the corner.
“Now, now,” the Ariados chided, “we can’t have dinner running away, now can we?” She released a steady stream of silk from her mouth, aimed above Joe and Mikey.
“Quick!” shouted Mikey to Joe, “Let’s get out of here!” They tried again to make a run for it, but Ariados’ purple and yellow legs once again blocked their way. At that point, it was too late. The stream of silk unfurled into a large intricate web that fell on them both. Caught in the silk net of the Spider Web, there was no escaping now.
“Oh, please don’t struggle!” said the Ariados in a concerned tone. “The web is impossible to escape from, and I wouldn’t want you to wear yourselves out. You’re at the final minutes of your lives, so you might as well enjoy them in comfort, not pain. In fact…” She began to spray another silk stream from her mouth, this time directly at Mikey. This silk was much softer and more comfortable, but it started binding itself all around his body. Within seconds, he was entirely wrapped inside the thick silk cocoon. She then aimed at Joe and did the same thing.
“Well,” sighed Joe calmly, “It looks like this is the end. I just wish we could have gotten out of here and been restored to our original sizes. But at least Brock and Damian are going to continue on, right, Mikey?” Mikey, however, was panicking.
“I don’t want to die!” he cried. “I’m scared that it’s going to hurt!” The Ariados laughed lightly at that, as if he had made a pun.
“That’s what you’re scared about?” she scoffed. “Don’t be. I’m a very courteous killer, you see.” The horn on her head glowed a light purple at its tip, and she gently bored it into the skin by Mikey’s neck. After a few seconds, he stopped struggling and relaxed his body.
“It’s a very special venom that only my species makes. It doesn’t actually harm the body, but just paralyzes the nerves. In other words, it makes your death painless. It’s the least I can do for my victims, anyway,” she explained before injecting it into Joe’s body as well.
“There we go,” she said. “Are you two comfy now?” As they had been injected with the nerve-paralyzing venom, they could only gurgle in response.
“Don’t worry,” she reassured, “I’ll make it very quick for you.” Ariados’ purple eyes narrowed as she focused on her targets, opening her mandibles wide. She crouched down, and then pounced upon her poor helpless victims, ready to end their lives.
While Joe and Mikey were about to become spider dinners inside the walls, Brock and Damian were having troubles as well. The two of them were stranded on the wide linoleum floor of the kitchen. Every door to the outside was shut tightly, confining them to the single room. They were trapped, and to make matters worse, trapped with Professor Ivy, the giantess who seemed to be slowly losing her mind. At that moment, she was leaning against the wall, deep in thought. Her sleepy gaze fell upon them.
“I have to admit,” she said, “I’m kind of lost for things to do with you tiny guys. Do either of you have any ideas?” Brock, looking up at the beautiful giantess, answered truthfully.
“Well… you could try to stomp us into the floor,” he said, “barefoot or wearing your heels. Or, maybe you could force us to worship your feet, with rubbing and kissing and all. Then again, you could drop us into some food you’re making, and try to eat us that way. They’re all legitimate methods.” Damian scowled and sharply elbowed Brock’s side.
“You idiot!” he reprimanded sharply. “Why would you say that to her?!” Brock shrugged sheepishly.
“Sorry,” he replied, “but I just couldn’t help it. She may be insane, yeah, but she’s still a beautiful woman. Bad time to be infatuated, I know, but it happens at the worst times.” Nevertheless, Professor Ivy shook her head.
“No, no,” she said, “those won’t work. Way too cliché, you know. I want something original.” Pacing back and forth, her pensive look suddenly became a triumphant one after a few moments.
“I’ve got it!” she cried. Completely without warning, she rapidly fell forward towards the ground. This was exactly where Brock and Damian were standing, and the two of them became stuck underneath her giant body. She didn’t put any pressure on them, but they were completely trapped under her and no air could reach them. Unbeknownst to her, the Vileplume Pokeball hidden in her pocket rolled out onto the floor and settled beneath the kitchen table.
“Mmmggh!” shouted Brock, his voice muffled by Ivy’s navy-blue dress and white lab coat. It would be a very pleasurable moment for him, especially due to the fact that his position was almost right inside the embrace of the warm, giant hills of skin that made up her breasts, but his oxygen supply had been cut off. Damian wasn’t faring much better, trapped under the fabric holding Ivy’s stomach.
“Aww,” Ivy cooed in a mocking voice. “What’s the matter? Not enough air? Don’t you love being smothered by a girl, even if it’s not with affection?”
Brock tried to squeeze himself out from between Ivy’s breasts, but there simply wasn’t enough room, like trying to crawl under a very low table of warm flesh. The lack of oxygen and light coming from outside, along with the heat, started to get to Brock. He felt his body getting weaker and losing energy by the second, not strong enough to attempt to escape again. At this moment, consciousness left him.
As Brock, Damian, Joe, and Mikey were, at the moment, all close to death and stuck tightly in a soft, enveloping material, the end of the story looked near. However, Mikey still had one trick up his sleeve… or, to be more specific, his pocket. As the Ariados began to climb up his body to bite his neck, she failed to notice a slight shaking within the silk cocoon he was wrapped up in. The shaking got more violent after a moment, and before the Ariados had a chance to sink her mandibles into the kill, the familiar red laser of a Pokeball opening shot out from inside the silk. About a yard from where the boys were stuck, the laser widened into the shape of Mikey’s favorite Pokemon: his Espeon.
The Ariados stopped, crawled off of Mikey, and sized up the Espeon in front of her. Not backing down, Espeon used Growth to become the same size as the Ariados. The two Pokemon stared each other down for almost a minute; finally, the Ariados laughed and drew closer.
“Ha ha ha!” she chuckled. “So my prey actually has some defense to him? Well, I’m never one to be daunted by a challenge. If you’re going to be the one to stop me from eating those tiny boys, I’ll be happy to battle you! Besides, I’m sure I could add a little runt like you to my dinner!” Espeon, however, didn’t seem to be listening to those words. She seemed to be looking beyond the walls of the vent at something that wasn’t there, much like a cat does. Whispering a barely audible chanting of her name, Espeon’s eyes started glowing a brilliant shade of blue, almost as if they were flames.
“What’s wrong?” sniggered Ariados, brandishing a purple and yellow striped leg. “Psychic lavender-colored cat got your tongue?” Espeon seemed to completely ignore this insult, as she held her ground and simply pawed the dusty metal floor as she continued her concentration.
Meanwhile, Ariados raised her head skyward with pride.
“You make this way too easy,” she said, growing more serious. “If you’re not going to attack me, then I’ll give myself the first attack.” The tip of her horn split open, revealing a smaller needle inside. She aimed her head straight at Espeon and launched a set of five Pin Missiles. Flying a short distance in the air, they all homed in on Espeon’s soft body and clung there. Even though the needles made terrible wounds, amplified by being super-effective, Espeon clenched her teeth and continued charging.
Ariados clacked her mandibles in frustration, and she got a grave look on her face.
“No good, huh? Well then, I guess you leave me no choice now.” This time, her horn grew larger and sharper. Dashing towards Espeon at a high speed, she used a Megahorn attack and rammed the sharp instrument straight into the side of the poor Sun Pokemon’s body. The effect was devastating; Espeon’s legs buckled beneath her and she fell on her side, writhing in pain from the terrible wound.
Ariados released her horn and backed away, looking grim.
“It’s a shame you couldn’t fight back. I was considering sparing your life if
you were a formidable opponent. But since that’s not the case, it’s time to end
this.” Once again, her horn was sharpened, and she began to charge at Espeon for
a second Megahorn, this time aimed at her fragile head. However, Ariados failed
to notice that Espeon’s eyes had turned from blue to a pure white, indicating
she was finished charging. It began as the softest whisper, making a crescendo
into an ear-splitting scream:
With that, Ariados found herself captured in a blue aura that surrounded her. As Espeon began to look up and down, she went between crashing on the ceiling and crashing on the floor, repeatedly. After about five of these, her body got incredibly battered and her consciousness began to waver. Finally, the Future Sight attack ended when she got thrown using telekinesis far down the long, dark hallway. Ariados tumbled and banged her head on the floor multiple times before finally collapsing into an unconscious mangled pile.
Espeon said her name proudly, having defeated the arrogant arachnid. Looking behind her, she saw that her Future Sight attack had completely blown off all of the webs and silk that had wrapped up the two boys; they were now free from the binds. Espeon smiled in relief after seeing that Joe and Mikey were alive, only subdued by the venom. Though her injuries were severe and she found it difficult to walk, she moved the boys onto her back with telekinesis and was able to open up the vent with the same strategy. The walk out of the vent with her trainer and his friend on her back was a triumphant one for Espeon, and she felt a wave of relief after realizing that they were, for the moment, safe. Of course, after peeking through the hole in the wall and seeing the enormous Professor Ivy attempting to smother the boys underneath her in the kitchen, Espeon knew that danger would be guaranteed in this house.
Espeon’s prediction would indeed come true. If Brock and Damian were conscious at this moment, they’d likely be thinking and complaining about how suffocating under the breasts and stomach of a beautiful and insane Pokemon Professor while being pressed into a dirty linoleum floor is a pretty crappy way to die. Being unconscious, of course, they couldn’t think that. Just at that moment, however, a fortunate event happened. A tiny beeping noise suddenly went off, making Ivy immediately look up from the floor. She peered at the watch on her wrist that was making the alarm.
“Of course!” she announced, “I almost forgot. How foolish of me! The assistants are going to need their injections now, so they don’t revert back to their original forms!” Standing up, she brushed off all the dirt and dust that had gotten on the front of her dress and eyed the two unconscious bodies on the floor condescendingly with her signature sleepy smirk.
“Excuse me, boys, but something has come up. I have to go for a couple minutes. Is that fine with you?” Silence. “All right! I’ll be back in a flash!” She strolled over to the door to the hallway and shut it tightly behind her as she walked out.
With oxygen now flowing again in their lungs, Brock and Damian awoke a few seconds after Ivy left the room.
“Whew…” sighed Brock in relief. “That was a close one!” Damian simply grunted in reply, peering all around the room.
“So…” he mumbled, “where is she, anyway?” Brock shrugged his shoulders, picking himself up off of the floor. After a quick glance in every direction, he too saw that she had left them alone.
“Well, looks like Ivy isn’t here…” he explained. Damian snorted.
“As if I couldn’t see that with my own eyes!” he said sarcastically. Brock didn’t give a reply to him, though; his eye was caught on a familiar looking object beneath the kitchen table.
“Nope,” said a grinning Brock, “Professor Ivy’s not in this room, but that is!” He quickly ducked under the tablecloth that nearly stretched to the floor and disappeared for a moment. Damian scratched his head, confused about what Brock was getting at. When Brock returned from the darkness of the table, he was rolling a Pokeball that was almost as big as him. It was the one that Professor Ivy had dropped earlier.
“I think it’s time we paid our friend Vileplume a little visit!” Brock chuckled. Damian hurled himself at the button on the Pokeball, just managing to press it down and conjure the Flower Pokemon. When the Vileplume exited the Pokeball and landed on the floor about a yard from the boys, it looked down at them and said its name in a friendly manner with a big smile.
“Vileplume!” it said, waving its hands up and down. It really seemed as happy to see the boys as they were to see it, releasing a blast of paralyzing pollen.
“Uh, hello there, Vileplume!” greeted Brock. “I don’t believe we’ve met before. My name’s Brock.” The unwavering grin on Vileplume’s face nodded, and it extended an enormous hand towards Brock as if to shake. Brock quickly jumped back and quickly refused the offer, not wanting to get himself blasted with the pollen.
“Heh, nooooo thank you, Vileplume!” said Brock frantically. “Let’s just exchange a verbal greeting.” He turned around and narrowed his eyes at Damian, who was simply leaning against one of the table legs nonchalantly.
“I thought you guys said that the Vileplume seemed sad or depressed or something!” he whispered. Damian, bored, shrugged.
“She did last time, but who knows, anyway,” he yawned. “Listen, not that this isn’t exciting, but you seem to have everything under control. I’m gonna go see if I can’t open the refrigerator and get some snacks while you’re doing this.” He lazily walked across the linoleum floor to the other side of the kitchen where the refrigerator was, leaving Brock to shake his head scornfully.
“What kind of person just leaves to go eat at a time like this?” he muttered to himself. Turning back to Vileplume, the Flower Pokemon smiled and accidentally let out another burst of pollen, which Brock tried and failed to ignore.
“Yow… so, Vileplume. We’re in a bit of a tough situation right now, and we could really use your help. Can you give us a hand?” Vileplume grinned and gave him a big thumbs-up sign with its blue appendage.
“Really?” exclaimed Brock. “That’s great! So, you were the one that had shrunken me and the others earlier, right? Because we need to get back to our original—” He stopped, as Vileplume had just gotten distracted by something and began wandering around the kitchen. Brock frowned at the sudden loss of attention and ran up to it.
“Hey!” he yelled, “aren’t you listening? We need you to reverse the size-drain attack that you did earlier.” When Vileplume heard this, it suddenly stopped and gave Brock an understanding nod.
“Really? You can help us?” asked Brock doubtfully. The Flower Pokemon gave a big grin again.
“Vile! Vile! Plume!” it replied happily, and immediately turned around and marched triumphantly to the kitchen cabinets on the other side of the kitchen. Opening the doors of the rightmost one, it reached inside. Getting a grip on the mystical object that would solve Brock’s problem, Vileplume held up…
A huge glass jar of rice.
Brock fell to the floor, a drop of sweat on the back of his head.
“No,” he sighed exasperatedly, “I didn’t say grain! I said drai… never mind.” He glanced over at the refrigerator, where Damian was busy eating a little piece of grilled chicken he had found inside.
“Was Vileplume this dumb back when it shrank you?” called Brock. Damian ripped off a large portion of the chicken meat he was holding and stuffed it in his mouth.
“Nah, she actually seemed like she knew what she was doing back then. But who knows, anyway.” He took a big swallow as the chicken slid down his throat. “Mmm, this chicken is actually not half bad, to be honest.” Brock gave him a quick thanks and turned back to Vileplume, who had hung its head down in shame after hearing Brock call it dumb. Of course, this had the side effect of bringing its flower (and therefore the pollen spout) right at Brock’s face.
“Plume…” it sighed sadly, allowing a small cloud of pollen to slowly float out. Brock stared for a moment at the enormous red and white flower before something suddenly clicked in his mind.
“Damian!” he exclaimed, turning to the boy still devouring the chicken. “Are you sure that the Vileplume that shrank you was a girl?” Damian wiped his mouth with his sleeve and nodded.
“Sure was. I remember those flower petals it had on the flower on its head. They all had a really big white spot on them, and only a couple of other tiny white spots around. Only females are like that.”
“Exactly!” agreed Brock. “But look at this Vileplume’s flower!” Sure enough, the Vileplume standing in front of them had only tiny white dots on its petals. There were no large white spots like a female would have.
Brock could just hear Misty’s voice echoing in his head:
“Heh, I guess that explains why it was so stupid.”
“You’re a guy, aren’t you?” said Brock, looking up at the Flower Pokemon’s red eyes. Vileplume gave another one of his signature grins. Turning around to face the door, he easily opened the door with a single pointed kick before marching happily down the hallway, saying his name multiple times, spreading joy and pollen at every place he passed.
Damian put down the chicken he was munching on and walked right up to Brock.
“Damn it!” he yelled angrily. “Now Ivy’s gonna see that and catch us again. Nice going, idiot!” Brock, who to this moment had been mostly good-natured about Damian’s rude ways, finally lost his cool.
“Oh yeah?!” he retorted with fury, poking his finger in Damian’s face. “Who’s the jerk who has contributed virtually nothing in this whole fiasco? Who has never ceased at any moment to give a snide remark or an insult? And, who has a love of putting the blame on others who are actually doing stuff, while you just nibble away on a piece of chicken that I so graciously prepared?! By the way, that Vileplume was a decoy! A D-E-C-O-Y! Professor Ivy obviously just caught it to throw us off, and it worked quite successfully.” Damian opened his mouth to speak, but Brock cut him off.
“I tried to suck it up and just ignore all your mean remarks. I really tried. But I guess only a person with a temper as big as your ego could do it! I think I’d be happier if the Team Rocket trio was here instead of you!”
Damian’s eyes started to glow red and he balled up his fists, but Brock wasn’t finished yet.
“I’m really glad that Ash got your Charmander that time so long ago. Sure, it’s big and tough and doesn’t always listen to Ash. But I’d be afraid of the monster it would be if it were still under your ownership! Because it all boils down to this: if you’re a nice guy, then this building is the Pokemon Center and I’m the freaking Nurse Joy! So, for the rest of this situation, just shut up, okay?!” Finally finished, Brock took a deep breath and backed away. Damian, however, emitted a terrifying growling noise from deep inside his throat and began to approach Brock, fists out in front. If he had had the chance, it would have been a violent, terrible, disgusting fight that the two would share. However, Vileplume had gotten Professor Ivy’s attention by this time with its pollen parade through the hallway. As she walked into the kitchen, Damian dropped his threatening motions and turned to her.
“Ah, I’m sorry. Am I interrupting anything?” asked the familiar, monotone voice of Ivy. She held three syringes in her hand, as Brock noted. Each had a different colored liquid inside: one was golden-yellow, another was olive-green, and the third was colorless.
“My apologies for leaving while you were unconscious,” she continued. “My four assistants were reaching the end of their 5 day period; soon, their bodies would burn through the DNA and revert back to normal again, after which chaos would ensue.” Brock looked utterly mystified at this explanation, with a blank stare on his face. Professor Ivy stifled a chuckle as she sat down on the floor to better talk with the boys.
“Still haven’t figured it out, huh?” she said. “Well then, I guess I’m going to have to explain what this is all about to you.
“It’s quite simple, really. I am a Pokemon Professor, yes, but my real expertise lies in chemistry and biology. My real drive in life is creating new theories, concepts, and inventions in those fields. So, it would be more suitable to call me a ‘mad scientist’, perhaps, than a professor. Now, performing all the scientific experiments as I do, my work makes me incredibly busy. I’m in constant need of help from my assistants to do the tough work in the experiments. Of course, they are only human, so the quality of work they do and their knowledge of the subject is a bit lacking at times. So, eventually, I began to wonder, ‘Why can’t I just create the perfect lab assistants?’ This inspired me to perform a new experiment, one that for years to come people will be amazed by.
“It’s a bit impossible at the moment to actually ‘build’ a perfect human, and breeding them wouldn’t work; I would have a bunch of genius babies on my hands. So, I decided to try something else: manually modifying the DNA in a person. With this idea in hand, I began to build new strands of DNA under the microscope; ones that would code for brilliance, and complete loyalty. With this DNA, my assistants would be incredibly smart and capable of performing any type of job I would need for future experiments, but never rebel against me. Sure, it took a long time (more than a year) to code it, but in the end, it was perfect. I decided to name the whole thing the Ultimate Code String, or UCS for short.
“Of course, to put this genetic breakthrough into fruition, I had to find a way to get the UCS into the subject’s body. I went through many different bad ideas until I finally came across one that seemed like it would work: an injection into the bloodstream. See, the UCS is coded in such a way that it directly adheres to each corresponding DNA strand all at once. So, when it gets injected, the body nearly instantaneously morphs into the design I’ve made: the brilliant and obedient assistant.
“Now, as you can see, the syringe that I’m holding that is full of a colorless liquid is not the size of a human body, and for good reason. It would likely take hundreds of years to code strands for every single piece of DNA in a person’s body, and I don’t have time for that. So, I realized that the UCS would easier to implement in a body with much less DNA: one that is shrunken by up to 98% in size, like you. To shrink you, as you probably know, I caught a wild Vileplume (the original, female one, not the male decoy you just found out about) from outside, and constructed a more powerful version of the Giga Drain attack. This one would, through means more complicated than you would understand, actually suck the size right out of your bodies, leaving you an inch tall at most: perfect for receiving the UCS. The new Terra Drain, as I call it, also takes a sample of the victim’s DNA, providing a back-up in case anything goes wrong with the injection. It is also reversible, so after the shrunken person gets the new UCS, they can grow back in size again and resume life as a normal, altered human being.”
Brock, who had been drumming his nails on the floor, half-listening, suddenly looked up.
“You mean there’s a way to grow us back in size again?” he asked hopefully.
“Yes, indeed,” replied Ivy. “All it would take to restore your sizes would be to ask the Pokemon to perform the reverse Terra Drain. Unfortunately for you, however, the only two Pokemon that currently know it are Vileplume and Porygon. Porygon is permanently programmed to listen to me and me alone, so it wouldn’t do it for you. As for Vileplume… when this experiment is finished, I’m going to make her forget the move. So, essentially, you’ll be completely at my mercy in that aspect.
“Anyway, the UCS is perfect except for one little flaw: it’s not at strong as I would have liked. The adhering strands only stay that way for five days. After that, they break off and reveal the original DNA underneath them at random intervals. This would mean that you’d be, in a way, two people at once, having two sets of DNA showing up at the same time. I don’t know what would happen, but I can’t imagine it would be good. To prevent something like that from happening, a simple adherent is injected into the bloodstream every five days, reinforcing the UCS and thus keeping the person healthy. My four assistants were reaching that point while you boys were unconscious, so I had to inject them again to restore the strength. That’s pretty much the main idea of what I’ve been doing here: changing the DNA in people to make them into brilliant, loyal assistants to help me in all my future experiments. Now that I’ve given my explanation, would either of you like to explain why there is a small piece of chicken on the floor?”
Damian, who looked bored out of his mind, admitted to causing the chicken spill.
“To be honest,” he added, “I don’t think I really understood that explanation all that well. But please don’t feel obligated to repeat it, Kaepora Gaebora!” Professor Ivy frowned.
“Well,” she suggested, “if that didn’t work for you, perhaps a first-hand experience would be better?” Damian realized after a few seconds what this meant, and tried to make a run for it. He was too late, however. Pinching his head with two fingers and scooping up his body in the other hand, Professor Ivy stopped him in his tracks and enveloped him in a warm, fleshy prison consisting of her fist. Brock ran in front of the towering woman and started pleading.
“No!” he begged. “Don’t take Damian! Please, I’d rather you do it on me, instead!” This only got Professor Ivy giggling.
“Aww!” she cooed. “How noble! You want to sacrifice your own body and will to save his? I wouldn’t do that to such a selfless person! Well, at the moment, I mean. Your turn will come later, all right?” She stood up tall and slowly unfurled her fist, revealing the squirming Damian inside.
“I’m sorry,” she said to him in a fake sympathetic voice, “but your attempts to get away from me have now come to a close. It’s all over for you now; there’s no way your going to get out of it any more. But don’t feel bad; in just a minute, your rebellious thoughts of trying to escape and get home will all fade away, and you’ll be happy. Bye-bye, Damian!” She wrapped her fingers again around his waist, rendering him immobile. Getting a firm grip on the syringe containing the colorless UCS, Professor Ivy plunged it into one of the tiny veins on Damian’s arms, and without any hesitation, pressed down on the plunger. The UCS flowed into his body. It was just a matter of seconds before Damian would indeed lose everything and become a mindless slave to Ivy.
It had been several hours since Damian had been turned into an assistant, but nobody was really counting. Just as Ivy had promised, Damian had completely lost his normal personality and appearance. His eyes had become hollow, like black lumps of coal. His voice became nasally and monotone, just like the others. When Brock had asked him if he was okay, he responded absentmindedly that he felt great. It was as though he had no idea of who he was or what he was doing any longer. After that, Ivy had taken him away and had assured Brock that it wouldn’t be long before he became the same. It was a quiet, dark few hours alone in the kitchen. At one point, Espeon had broken through the vent and landed on the kitchen floor with her two friends in tow. After using Morning Sun to heal them of the Ariados venom and her of the Megahorn attack, they joined Brock in the silence. Morale was at an all-time low, as each of the boys was wondering which one of them would be next.
Joe and Mikey were both asleep at the moment, as the shock from the venom had taken a major toll on their bodies. Brock was nearly falling asleep as well, dreaming of happy things like Ash and Misty (who were, at that moment, merrily sailing with Tracey to another island on Lapras, totally oblivious to any of these events), “jelly donuts”, and beautiful women who weren’t psychotic. It was right at the moment where Brock finally got his first kiss with the most attractive Nurse Joy imaginable when the shadows on the floor suddenly began to move. Snapped forcefully back into reality, Brock gazed around, trying to determine the source of the disturbance.
“Is Ivy up to something again?” Brock whispered to himself. “Man, I’m just about fed up with all this crap that she’s been doing to us.” Annoyed, he got to his feet, prepared for whatever else could happen. He even armed himself with a pencil that had rolled under the kitchen counter, swinging it like a sparring weapon.
Sure enough, the door into the hall began to slowly creak open, letting in a little light that was coming from the laboratory. Brock shook the shoulders of both of the sleeping boys, who groaned as they awoke.
“Wake up,” he whispered to Joe and Mikey, “we’ve got company.” The three of them darted under the towering tablecloth and watched the door, breathing heavily from the tension in the air. Mikey grabbed his Espeon’s Pokeball from his pocket and silently clicked the button, bringing out his loyal friend in case she was needed.
“How many bad things are going to happen to us in one day, anyway?” grumbled Joe to the others. “This must be some kind of record.”
“Be careful, Joe,” warned Mikey, “or you’ll start sounding like Damian with those remarks.” Brock hung his head down as the name came up, still ashamed that he had let Ivy transform him.
The door finally opened all the way, and the figure that opened it let out a small, feminine, “Plume!”
Brock, Mikey, and Joe, with Espeon following close behind, all burst out from under the table and ran towards what was basically their ticket out of the fiasco. Brock was relieved to see the huge, white spots on Vileplume’s flower, confirming that she was indeed the correct one, but his relief was short-lived as he looked down at what she was holding: three syringes full of a colorless liquid, presumably the UCS. Stretching out his arms, he blocked the two others from getting too close.
“Easy, guys,” he warned, “I don’t think she’s here to bring us back up to size.” As if to confirm that assumption, Vileplume let out a sad cry, encompassing the same reluctance she had shown back on the St. Anne. Brock turned to Mikey, who was shivering as he came face-to-face with the creature that had shrunken him in the first place.
“Mikey,” he said, “Can your Espeon perform telepathy?” Mikey nodded.
“Of course she can,” he replied. Brock scratched his head, his squinty eyes deep in thought, as far as anyone could see.
“Then,” he began, “can you tell her to read the thoughts of Vileplume, and maybe get her to change us back?” Mikey quickly relayed the idea to Espeon, whose eyes began to glow a shiny pink as she stared directly at Vileplume. She then turned back to Mikey, who got all the information she had found transferred into his mind via telepathy.
“Well,” Mikey said, “Vileplume feels for us and doesn’t want us to come to harm, but she has been commanded by Ivy to give each of us the UCS. Ivy has threatened that she will use Vileplume in one of her dark experiments if she doesn’t do as she says. So, she is sorry, but she won’t use the reverse Terra Drain to restore our size, and she is going to transform us using the UCS.”
Vileplume began to advance towards them, her syringes of UCS gleaming in the dim moonlight shining into the kitchen. Joe, Mikey, and Espeon dove for cover under the table, but Brock did something rather surprising.
“Fine,” said Brock, walking towards Vileplume, throwing his pencil on the ground, and showing her his bare arm for injection. “Just make it quick and painless, okay?”
“What the heck are you doing?!” hissed Joe from beneath the table. “You can’t just give up like that!” Brock turned towards him with a melancholy look in his eyes, not unlike the one Vileplume had.
“What’s the point of running away all these times?” he asked. “We’ve tried to escape multiple times, and Ivy has just caught right up to us each time. If the only one who can restore our sizes isn’t willing to do it, I can’t see any more options than to just give in. Besides, we won’t have this utterly depressing feeling if we do get transformed; we’ll just be happy all the time. I’m willing to accept defeat for that!” Joe and Mikey continued to try to talk him out of it, but he ignored both of them.
Vileplume picked up Brock in her arms and looked down at the floor, the guilt nearly overwhelming her. She released a lovely fragrance into the air from the pistil atop her head to try to calm him and make him feel more comfortable, but he waved it away.
“That’s okay, Vileplume,” said Brock. “You don’t need to go to any effort to make me feel better. I know you don’t have any good pictures of Officer Jenny or anything, so you don’t need to go to the effort to do so. However…” He began to fish around in the pockets of his pants for something, before grabbing hold of it.
“Wouldn’t you like a taste of my Pokemon food before you transform me?” he offered. Before Vileplume could even reply, he tossed the pellets of food he had grabbed straight into her mouth.
The result was impressive. Vileplume’s eyes began to sparkle, and she immediately released Brock as she began to dance around the kitchen in ecstasy. Delighted cries of “Vile! Vile! Plume!” echoed throughout the house as Vileplume licked her lips completely clean. She even sent out vine tendrils towards Brock, feeling through all his pockets to try to find more of the pellets; this had the side effect of making him feel very ticklish as the vines rubbed against all parts of his body, and he started giggling uncontrollably.
Joe and Mikey watched this entire scene with raised eyebrows.
“I’ll have what she’s having,” snickered Joe to Mikey. Mikey turned to him in mock surprise.
“You’re going to eat Pokemon food?” he joked. “Gross!”
At last, Vileplume calmed down when she realized that Brock didn’t have any more food on him.
“Those are tasty, aren’t they?” asked Brock, his chest swelling with pride. Vileplume vigorously nodded in agreement.
“They’re my own, homemade recipe that I’ve been perfecting especially for Vileplume for the past few months; you can’t get them anywhere else in the world, and certainly not from Ivy,” Brock explained. “Of course, I’d be more than happy to make them for you on a regular basis. However, at my current size, I can’t do that, so you won’t get any more of them. Also, if I were transformed by the UCS, I might forget the recipe, and they would be lost forever.” Vileplume looked horrified at this prospect, and nearly sobbed in protest.
“All right, all right,” Brock said, “I’ll make them for you as often as you like, as long as you restore me, Mikey, Joe, and Damian back to our regular sizes, and you don’t inject us with the UCS. Deal?” Vileplume turned her head slightly as she contemplated the offer, and after a few minutes happily nodded, dropping the syringes onto the floor. Brock looked proudly back at Joe and Mikey, who were staring in wonder at the boy who had just created and executed a plan out of nowhere to rescue them from this nightmare.
“Looks like Chef Brock saves the day again!” Brock said.
Good things must come to an end, however, and this particular one was no exception. As Brock’s back was to the door of the kitchen, he didn’t see it begin to open again. When Joe and Mikey did and tried to warn him, it was too late. One black heel firmly stomped on his legs, pinning him in place. Two long, slender fingers reached down and snatched him in a tight, nearly suffocating grip. He could only watch as the fingers steadily carried him up, past both legs and a navy-blue dress. Finally, he came to the long, violet hair and eyes that, despite it being late at night, were not sleepy at all; they were instead bearing a stare of death that nearly bore holes in him. On the shoulder sat the brown-haired, glasses-wearing lifeless version of Damian, smiling without a care in the world. Looking at the hand that was not holding him, he saw that it held not a syringe, but a big knife lined with spikes (similar to the one that Ryoko Asakura used to try to kill Kyon). Though the hand that wielded it was slightly shaking, he had no doubt in his mind that it could hit its target perfectly, and that it was slowly advancing towards him.
Brock knew at that moment that this would be either his or Ivy’s last stand.
“I had a feeling that Vileplume wouldn’t execute my wishes,” said Ivy, making a great effort to keep her voice under control and not burst in anger. “Brock, you really are a stubborn one. Each time I’ve tried to inject you, you’ve escaped. That’s not going to happen this time, though. I’ll give you one final chance to give in. Let me transform you with the UCS, or I’m going to plunge this knife right into your heart!” She turned to Vileplume, who was cowering in the corner at the sight of her.
“Vileplume, insert the UCS into Brock right now!” ordered Ivy. Vileplume, unsure, looked at Joe and Mikey, who were still under the table. Ivy hadn’t noticed yet that they were right there and not devoured by the Ariados of the vent, but it didn’t really matter at this point. The two of them shook their heads, telling Vileplume to not follow the command.
This was all Vileplume needed. With an angry cry, she picked up the syringes of UCS from the floor and threw them back onto the ground with all her might, causing a tremendous shattering of glass and liquid to flow onto the floor. She folded her arms and scowled angrily at Ivy, no longer afraid.
You can probably imagine how Ivy reacted to this act, but it was indeed a sight to behold. It was as if fire was spewing from her eyes. With a mighty roar, she threw the knife onto the floor and grabbed one of Vileplume’s feet, hurling her straight into the wall. On her way there, she slid on the kitchen table and shattered all the dishes that were on top of it. Vileplume crashed with a great thud, but she quickly jumped back to her feet, shaking off the damage. During this time, Damian had fallen from Ivy’s shoulder, but fortunately he was able to land softly, thanks to Espeon stopping him in midair with her telekinesis. At this point, Ivy was finally able to control herself enough to talk.
“You… FOOL!” she bellowed, pointing at the Pokemon in question. “Do you have any idea how much that UCS costs?! DO YOU?!” She pushed the kitchen table onto its side, forcing Joe, Mikey, and Espeon to quickly scatter.
“It’s priceless!” she continued. “It’s going to take me months to produce that much again! I now have only one syringe left!” She reached into her lab coat and pulled out the apparently final syringe of UCS, which she threateningly brandished in front of everyone else.
Brock, still in Ivy’s fist, began to be concerned about surviving this temper tantrum. Like anyone angry would do, Ivy’s fists were balled up tightly, and the soft skin kept squeezing him tighter and tighter. As her knuckles began to turn white, Brock heard a crunching noise, signifying that she had broken his right arm.
Good thing I’m a lefty, Brock thought to himself as he continued to endure this pain.
Ivy put the syringe back in her lab coat and gripped the knife again, pointing it at Vileplume this time.
“I’m… I’m…” she began, “I’m going to slice your flower and all your limbs off, and then fuse you to a Diglett! Then, when you evolve, there will be 3 brown heads and 3 navy-blue ones! I’ll call it a Hexadig! What do you think of THAT?!”
Wasting no time, Ivy got onto her knees and wrapped one arm around Vileplume’s head, holding her in a half nelson. Placing Brock in her pocket with her other hand, she held the knife to Vileplume’s flower. Vileplume, at the moment, was in a state of shock and just stood there, like a deer in headlights.
As Ivy began to saw the flower off, she noticed a force pushing against the knife, stopping her from actually making a cut. Trying more forcefully, she still couldn’t do it. It was as if there was an invisible barrier stopping her. Looking down, she located the source of this: Mikey’s Espeon, with bright white eyes, using telekinesis to keep the knife from reaching its target. With an annoyed grumble, Ivy gave Espeon a firm stomp on her back before returning to Vileplume. Though she was able to survive Ariados’s Megahorn attack earlier, this was too much for Espeon. Her legs buckled, and she fainted with a soft cry, landing on her side. Mikey, who was hiding behind a piece of shattered glass, was enraged as he saw the footprint on his faithful Pokemon that had caused her to faint. Gripping the pencil that Brock had equipped earlier, he dashed towards Ivy’s ankle like a warrior storming a fortress and plunged the pencil straight in, receiving backlash as he bounced back. It was enough to distract Ivy, though, who howled in pain and immediately brought a hand down to try to crush Mikey.
“Use Sleep Powder, Vileplume!” Joe shouted from his hiding spot. Vileplume, finally snapping out of her trance, complied, spraying a shower of sparkly-white powder all over Ivy. It worked; Ivy’s hand slowed and then finally stopped its chase of Mikey, and she let out a yawn before collapsing on the floor, out like a light.
Everyone let out a sigh of relief as the immediate threat had been taken care of. Brock rolled out of her coat pocket and gave a small smile at Joe and Mikey.
“And I thought Misty’s fits of rage were bad,” he chuckled. Joe walked over to the sleeping woman and examined her.
“She’s definitely asleep,” he commented. “But I don’t think she’ll be like that for very long. Sleep Powder is only a temporary sedative. If we’re going to do something about her, we need to do it right now.” Mikey frowned.
“What are we going to do?” he asked. “Kill her?” Brock shook his head and walked straight over to Vileplume, dodging the debris of glass that littered his way.
“Of course not,” he said. “If we did that, I would be stuck at this size for the rest of my life, since her Porygon wouldn’t have anyone to take the order to reverse the Terra Drain from. Besides, even though she has done all this stuff to us and tried to kill us, we’re not murderers, and she doesn’t deserve to die. If we can get Vileplume to make you guys and Damian grow back to your regular sizes, then you could probably inject the backup DNA liquids that Ivy had made into Damian and each of the assistants. They could probably convince Ivy to use Porygon and change me back. When that happens, we all get the heck out of here!”
It was as good of a plan as any. Mikey returned Espeon to her Pokeball and Vileplume once again attached six green vines to him, Joe, and Damian. Sure enough, as the vines began to glow brightly, each of the boys found themselves slowly getting further and further from the floor, until they were all at their normal sizes again. Mikey and Joe were intensely relieved and happy to be back to normal, but Damian, still transformed, had essentially no reaction. Still, there wasn’t time to waste enjoying the growth, as they still needed to right all the wrongs that Ivy had done.
“Wow… this process is really kind of weird looking,” commented Mikey, who had just injected the syringe full of yellow liquid that had been on the wall into the shoulder of the girl sleeping beneath it. As she was sleeping and snoring in a nasally tone, she couldn’t see what was happening to her body as the backup DNA rushed into it. At first, only topical traits were changing around: her eyes turned brown and stretched out a bit laterally; her hair follicles completely fell out and new, purple, straight ones grew instantly in their place; and the wrinkles and freckles on her face were completely erased, leaving her face almost completely pure and unblemished. Then, her complete body began to undergo changes as well, becoming vertically enlarged as the artificial shortness wore off and her status as an average-height young adult became restored. Having worn clothes that only fit such a short person, however, she lost all her clothing in this sudden growth with ripping noises along the seams.
“Relax,” said Joe to anyone who was interested in this sudden state of nudity. “She’s still sleeping under a blanket. Nothing’s to be seen.”
The next two assistants that the two boys restored looked very similar to each other and the first one; all were girls who looked to be in their early twenties with long, violet hair, near-identical body shapes, and faces that resembled each other.
“You know,” pondered Mikey, “these girls really look a lot
like each other. You don’t think…”
“It’s possible,” replied Joe. “Very possible.” Damian, who had been returned to normal first, smirked and gave a little shrug, leaning casually against one of the tables.
“Well, anyway, whether that’s true or not, it doesn’t really matter. There are three of us, and three of them here. Pretty good numbers, I’d say.” Joe shot him a quick silencing glare before turning back to Mikey.
“In any event,” he said, “it’s not very important right now. Let’s just get these girls awake and see what they have to say.” He briefly left the room and entered the bathroom to fill up three cups of cold water. When he returned to the laboratory room and splashed one cup on each of their faces, the girls slowly began to start moving a bit, opening their long-lashed eyes to the world and yawning. The one on the far left stretched her arms high into the air before looking around in surprise.
“Huh?” she murmured in a melodious tone. “I feel… different. What happened? Who are you guys?” Mikey said nothing, and simply handed her a hand mirror that had been lying on one of the nearby tables. When the girl caught sight of herself in the mirror, she nearly squealed in delight.
“Oh my gosh!” she yelled enthusiastically. “I’m me again!
That is, like, so awesome! Hey Lilac, Zinnia! Wake up! We’re back to normal!”
The other two girls that had been changed, presumably Lilac and Zinnia, quickly snapped out of their groggy state of sleeping and grinned as they looked over their bodies and at each other.
“Like, you’re right, Rose! This is great! I guess Serena’s UCS finally wore off,” said Lilac, the one in the middle with a very high pitched voice. Suddenly, Mikey started to frown as this last sentence was spoken.
“Wait a minute,” he interrupted. “Did you call Professor Ivy ‘Serena’? I thought her first name was Felina.” Zinnia, the girl on the right, shook her head.
“Nah,” she replied, “you seem to be mixed up. Serena Ivy is our older sister, not Felina. Anyway, since you’re talking about her, you must have met her already, right? I’m glad you guys look like you’re all right and unharmed and everything. Serena can get pretty eccentric at times; I wouldn’t be surprised if she had shrunken you, forced you to please her, and then try to turn you into mindless slaves or something.”
Zinnia gave a lighthearted laugh at this little joke of hers, but Mikey and Joe just exchanged amused glances before once again directing their eyesight at the girls. When they noticed the boys’ reactions to the joke, Zinnia lightly shook her head, Lilac’s mouth started to gape, and Rose slapped a palm to her forehead.
“You’re… you’re kidding, right?” nervously asked Rose. “C’mon. Serena didn’t seriously do all that stuff to you, did she? I mean, really. She wouldn’t do all that to three innocent boys living here, right?”
“I’m sorry,” murmured Zinnia. “I am so, so sorry.”
“Oh my god,” groaned Lilac. “SERENA! What the hell is wrong with that girl? I mean, transforming her own sisters is one thing, but keeping little boys on her island and forcing them to be her toys? That’s just not normal, man!”
“To make matters worse,” replied Joe, “she’s still got one of us shrunken down to the size of an inch. If you can’t convince her to reverse the process, he’s going to be like that for the rest of his life!”
Meanwhile, Brock was watching over the recently awake Ivy, who was tightly bound in Vileplume’s vines. Brock himself was standing on the petals atop Vileplume’s head, in order to stare at her at eye level.
At first, Ivy had awoken just as angry as how she had gone to sleep. She fiercely tugged and pulled at the vines that were binding her and angrily shouted curses at the boy and Pokemon, but to no avail. Just now, however, she leaned back nonchalantly and smirked at Brock with that ever-teasing smile of hers.
“What?” asked Brock. “Why are you smiling?”
“Oh, it’s nothing,” replied Ivy casually. “I just adore the
feeling of having the complete control of a situation within my grasp.”
Brock looked puzzled. “You mind explaining how exactly you have complete control of this situation?” he asked.
“Don’t be foolish,” said Ivy. “You know as well as I do what’s going on. I have control over the Pokemon that can return you back to your normal size. I and only I can restore your size. Whether you get out of here or not depends on me. Isn’t that such a comforting feeling?”
Brock just turned away and started playing with the petals on Vileplume’s head, which made her giggle softly. After a few minutes of silence, Ivy spoke again.
“I have to admit,” she said softly, “that I’m surprised
you’re so adamant about escaping from me and everything.”
“Why wouldn’t I be?” inquired Brock, curious about Ivy’s new train of thought.
“I thought it would be every girl-lover’s dream to become the personal pet of a beautiful woman like me. That moment back then when you begged me to transform you instead of Damian? You can rationalize that as being heroic or noble and whatnot, but you don’t fool me; you really wanted to be the one to fall completely in my grasp. Besides, what do you have to look forward to if you do manage to get off this island?”
“Don’t be crazy,” scoffed Brock. “I have an important life to live. As soon as I escape, I’m going to… well… you know… do stuff? I can’t really think of anything off the top of my head, but there’s plenty I need to do.”
Ivy laughed in a slightly malicious tone. “Really, Brock? Are you sure that it’s not actually nothing that you have to look forward to? I mean, you’re a Gym Leader that doesn’t even really battle. Yup, I’m sure there’s lots of opportunities for a “Pokemon Breeder” in this world. If you were really serious about doing that, why would you just be mindlessly following this little kid and his Pikachu on his journey, chasing his dreams and watching his battles?”
Brock frowned and rubbed his eyes tiredly, but didn’t say anything.
“Your father left you a while ago, didn’t he?” continued Ivy. “How do you know that he hasn’t done that again, leaving you in charge of all your brothers and sisters? Or maybe he’s just left with all of them, leaving a deserted Gym for you to come back to. Your family would be gone, and they likely wouldn’t even miss you too much.”
Brock furrowed his brow. “How dare you!” he snarled with anger. “My father would never do something like that! I don’t know what gave you the idea that it’s okay to degrade me like this, but you’d better cut it out right now!”
Ivy shook her head and smiled, gently stroking the side of Brock’s face in a mocking way that caused Vileplume to tighten her vine grip. “How about all those girls you meet?” she asked. “Has even one of them ever showed you the slightest sign of affection? Really, they haven’t? Do you suppose that’s because they will never be so desperate as to show love towards you? I theorize it’s because you are completely incapable of being loved by any girl on the planet.”
Brock felt a lump in his throat form, and he choked it down and turned away to keep Ivy from noticing.
“Then, there’s Ash and Misty; they seemed awfully fine and agreeable with leaving you here, didn’t they?” she continued. “Don’t you think their travels around the Orange Archipelago are going swimmingly without having to drag along a perverted freeloader? The funny thing is that I found out all these things about you from you! Your subjects that you talk about when talking in your sleep are all the insecurities in your life floating in your subconscious, and they seem to be nearly everything that’s going on with you! Face it, Brock: you have a worthless life. Whether I kill you or not wouldn’t make a difference in the world.”
Brock looked up from holding his tearing-up eyes in his hands. “T-that’s not true,” he whimpered. “My life does have meaning and purpose. It does.”
Ivy smiled at him with open hostility now. “Who are you
trying to convince, Brock? Me or you? Come now; look me in the eye and tell me
that everything I just said to you is false.”
Brock stared into the cruel violet eyes of the woman in front of him through the watering and blurring ones of his own. He tried to come up with a counter-argument or a comeback; anything that would give him an edge. As Ivy’s words echoed in his head, however, he lost all the will to fight her. It seemed amazing to him how just a single hurtful speech like that one could strike right at his emotions and deal him a crippling blow. At last, having lost his spirit after just that, he sadly nodded his head.
“You’re right,” he mumbled. “I don’t have much to live for.”
Ivy’s lips formed a sadistic smile of triumph and she laughed as she reached out through the restraining vines and started to tousle Brock’s hair with a hand in mock-affection.
“I am right,” she concurred. “Stay here with me as my pet and do the one thing in your worthless life that would be meaningful.”
Brock, having no will even to reply, just nodded in a melancholy manner.
“I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to disagree with your claim,” said a voice from behind their backs. Brock whirled around to find a woman who looked very much like an older Ivy, with circles under her eyes, slight wrinkles along her face, and purple hair that was beginning to gray standing casually against the doorframe of the kitchen. Joe, Mikey, and Damian stood beside her, along with the triplets they had revived earlier.
“M-M-Mother?!” stuttered Ivy, eyes widened in surprise. “What are you doing here?” The older woman crossed her arms and continued to stare neutrally.
“I think I should ask you that same question,” she replied. “Just what sort of twisted game are you playing with this poor boy?”
“Yeah, Serena,” agreed Rose. “I heard from these guys the kinds of things you were doing, and I just gotta say, ‘What the hell?’”
Ivy’s eyes narrowed and she gritted her teeth. “I am not the bad guy here. Don’t you make me seem that way!”
Zinnia sighed. “Give it up already, Serena. You can’t keep
going on with this foiled plot of yours. It’s over.”
Damian cleared his throat. “Excuse me, ladies,” he interrupted. “I hate to get in the middle of this lovely family reunion, but would you mind explaining just what is going on here?”
The older woman presumed to be the mother nodded and walked to the center of the kitchen, daintily dodging all the debris scattered around it. “I shall do it. As the four of you are intertwined with this whole affair, it’s only fair that you learn why and how it became this way.”
Joe, Mikey, Damian, and the three triplets all sat down on the floor in a circle around the woman. Brock was still sobbing, but he also turned his head in the direction of the storyteller.
“I might as well start at the beginning, with who I am. If your captor claimed to be Professor Felina Ivy, a well-known Pokemon Professor, she was telling a lie. That title belongs to me. I am the professor and scientist who owns the mansion on this island. As you may have already guessed, Miss Serena Ivy, who you have undoubtedly become very close with, is my eldest daughter. Rose, Lilac, and Zinnia Ivy are my daughters who were each born 10 years after Serena.
“As a child, Serena realized quickly enough that living alone on a great island like this one is a very peaceful way of life, but it becomes boring after a while. With no friends to play with and no interesting places to go, Serena decided to take a look at the field I was working in: science. She and I would spend hours each day partaking in fun experiments from all sorts of different topics. Serena developed a remarkable love for the subject and thirst for knowledge regarding it.
“When Serena turned 10, I gave birth to the triplets you see now. It was certainly hectic taking care of and raising three children at once, but Serena and I still got to perform experiments from time to time. When I was too busy, she would read books on her own about all the sciences I was well-versed in. Over the years, she became even more knowledgeable about the topics and started directly helping me with all the problems I faced in my job.
“You may imagine, however, that Serena’s sisters were not all too happy with the fact that she was so involved with science with me and they weren’t. Around the time that they were each 15, they begged me to include them too in my research. Not wanting to disappoint them, I started teaching the three all the education on science that Serena had received. I have heard the saying that the youngest sibling learns the fastest, and apparently that is true; Rose, Lilac, and Zinnia all quickly excelled at what they were taught, even faster than Serena did. Within a year or two, they were helping me with more advanced material than Serena was. It was a mother’s dream, to have three daughters eagerly working alongside me.
“I had forgotten by this point that the sibling rivalry goes both ways. Serena began to create all sorts of amazing experiments that required the utmost education to perform in hopes that I would be impressed. It was foolish of me not to take an interest in what she was doing, but I was so preoccupied with the activities of my younger daughters that I did just that. Serena began to act strangely, desperately trying to grab my attention with a myriad of different activities, each becoming stranger than the last. I should have realized what was going on by that point, bur I gave the triplets my attention.
“It was a few weeks after Rose, Lilac, and Zinnia had turned 20 that Serena angrily approached me, furious about being ignored for so long. When I told her that it wasn’t anything personal, that they were just more knowledgeable about the study, she said she refused to compete with younger sisters like that and she would prove herself as being the smarter, more capable daughter. I didn’t think much of it, as Serena had gotten angry and made claims like this in the past when things didn’t go her way.
“The next day, however, proved me wrong. The triplets and I
were intensely involved in the viscosity of a certain liquid we were preparing
in the laboratory, when we suddenly noticed a shower of sparkling powder falling
on us from above. I had only a moment to look around the room and spot a
Vileplume using Sleep Powder on us from the doorway, behind which Serena stood.
After that, the four of us fell straight to the ground, completely unconscious.”
“It was really, like, scary, losing your consciousness that quickly,” Lilac added.
“Anyway, we awoke to find ourselves bound tightly with rope, sitting against the side of the lab table. Not only that, we were each about the size of your tiny friend over there. Serena, looming over us and wearing the smile of a woman who would easily crush her mother and three sisters beneath her foot, explained that she was tired of being ignored and passed up. If we wouldn’t include her in our studies, she would force us to be a part of hers. That was exactly what she did. She injected each of my daughters with a syringe of liquid she called the UCS, and it rapidly transformed them into short, hideous people who knew nothing but to follow her orders. This she did while I stood by and watched, completely helpless to do anything. Her experiments that involved these transformed creatures were very intriguing, and had I not been so horrified by what she had done, I would have been fascinated.
“Days went by and I remained a tiny human, forced to witness everything that happened with my enslaved daughters. It was sickening, and though I reasoned with Serena every day, she wouldn’t have any of it, instead relishing the moment each day in which she could come into this room and mock me for being so powerless against her. Eventually, there came a day in which Serena grew tired of this repetitive schedule. She injected me with the UCS as well. From that point, I have no memories until waking up a few minutes ago to see that these lovely gentlemen have restored me and my triplets to our original forms. This is what I know of the incident we are a part of. Thank you.”
Felina sat down in the middle of where the boys and girls were sitting, letting them have a moment for it all to sink in.
“So Serena did all of this out of jealousy of her sisters and the feeling that she had to prove herself,” commented Brock, who had stopped crying for the moment. “That sort of reminds me of a less stable Misty. Heck, her sisters are not too different from the Cerulean Sisters themselves.”
He turned to Serena, whose eyes were looking down as she listened to every word of the story of her life.
“Why would you want to enslave me, Joe, Mikey, and Damian, though? What did we have to do with this whole situation?” he asked.
Serena shrugged. “Nothing, I guess,” she replied shortly. Rose eagerly raised her hand to answer the question.
“I’m guessing that Serena, like, had a power rush after she took over us. She wanted to be in control of more people to satisfy the bad feelings that she had grown all this time. You guys really didn’t have anything to do with it.”
“And all those mean things you said to Brock just now?”
asked Mikey. “Did you just say them because you were mad?”
“Yeah, I suppose,” said Serena, tugging away at one of her constricting vines. Vileplume replied with a short and angry cry as she tightened her grip.
“So, will you restore this boy’s size back to normal and let him and his friends leave the island? There’s really no reason to keep them here any longer,” said Felina, gently putting a hand on Serena’s shoulder.
Serena sighed loudly and slowly looked around at everyone in the room: Mikey, Joe, Damian, Rose, Zinnia, Lilac, Vileplume, Felina, and finally Brock. She stared at all the shattered glass and debris that had littered the kitchen in her fit of anger. Her eyes fell upon the broken syringe from which the clear UCS, the devil’s potion itself that had been created by her, was leaking from. She examined the knife she had used about an hour ago to try to mutilate an innocent Pokemon that had done nothing wrong. Finally, she looked at the glass of the kitchen door that held her reflection, at the despicable creature that had created this nightmare.
“What have I done…” she murmured softly to herself. Without another word, she reached into her coat pocket (a difficult task considering the vines that were still gripping her) and pulled out a Pokeball. She tossed the Pokeball onto the floor to reveal the Virtual Pokemon inside, Porygon.
“Reverse the shrinking program, Porygon,” she whispered almost inaudibly. She shut her eyes without emotion as Porygon began to fire the intense beam of light towards Brock, who had jumped off Vileplume’s head to make sure he didn’t crush her as he began to grow. As Brock finally became a normal-sized human again, he looked silently at Serena Ivy. The woman he thought he could trust just yesterday, and the woman who had nearly killed him several times today. Serena slowly raised her head up towards him and let their eyes meet.
“I realize that no apologies I could make would ever make the things I’ve done to you – to you all, in fact. So, I’m just going to make a request. You don’t have to fulfill it, but… Anyway, my request is this: when you remember me in days to come, please don’t remember me as a bad, evil person. I never set out to do harm to anyone when I designed this plan. I know it’s selfish of me to ask this of you, and I don’t expect you to follow it. Just keep it in mind, okay?”
Serena softly put her head down, and she didn’t move it again for several hours. Each of the boys had, after saying goodbye to Felina and the triplets, called out a flying Pokemon and took to the skies, flying far away back towards their homes.
Rosie, Lilac, and Zinnia stared at their sister for quite some time, unsure of what to do next.
“I don’t forgive her for what she’s done,” said Lilac, “but I feel that I want to.”
“She may have done terrible things,” said Felina, “and we might not forget this incident for the rest of our lives, but she still is your sister. She deserves a chance to redeem herself from this ugliness, don’t you think?”
Zinnia slowly nodded. “Nothing is unchangeable. I think she definitely needs the warmth and love of a family to fill that empty heart.”
Rose softly put a hand on Vileplume’s vines, which slowly pulled away and freed Serena from their grip. Rose then slowly picked up Serena in her arms and hugged her tightly in an embrace. The other girls, one by one, followed suit and joined in on the group hug.
“Welcome back, sister,” whispered Rose. Serena still kept her head down, but a small smile of actual happiness began to spread on it.
Miss Delia Ketchum, the loving mother of the legendary Pokemon trainer Ash Ketchum, was nonchalantly humming to herself as she busily worked around the kitchen, fixing a late-afternoon lunch for herself. Suddenly, she heard the voice of Mimey, her Mr. Mime from outside, excited about something.
“Mime! Mime!” it shouted with glee. Delia set the pot she was cooking with down and rushed out the back door to see what had gotten Mimey interested.
“Oh?” she said. Lying face-down in front of her in the dirt, with his exhausted Zubat beside him, was Ash’s best friend Brock.
“Brock?” she called in a surprised manner. “What are you doing back here in Pallet Town? Ash told me over the phone that you were staying with Professor Ivy on Valencia Island.”
Brock pulled his face out of the dirt and rolled around to
face Delia. He waited several moments, as if carefully deciding how to reply to
that question. Finally, he looked away and said just one sentence:
“Don’t mention that name.”