Patreon reward for Aurum. Aurum gets a new pokemon toy he can’t wait to show his friends. But it turns out to be part of a nefarious trap.
“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!” Aurum ran down the sidewalk carrying a bulky cardboard box in his arms. He was hurrying to meet some friends. The gold and white tiger cub was currently six and a half years old, and not wearing any clothing except for a green bandanna around his neck. This was in large from influence by his friends, both the age and the nudity. He had at one point been an adult tiger, there was an incident combining a werekitten curse with a weremouse curse. Aurum had wound up as a very tiny tiger cub. After time, he had figured out how to get back to normal size. As for his normal age, while he in theory had the ability to shapeshift back into an adult the thought had simply never occurred to him to try. Life was simply more fun as a kitten.
He was hurrying to his destination, a house with a treehouse in the back that was visible from the front yard. Aurum rushed up to the front door and didn’t bother trying to knock or stretch up and reach the doorbell. Instead, he went straight for the pet door built into the bottom of the front door. There was only one problem. There was more than enough room for a little tiger cub to squirm his way through. The box on the other hand did not want to fit. Aurum twisted and turned the box, pushing on it at an angle. Still, it refused to go through. He stuck his back against it, and pushed with all his might. The cardboard bent slightly, and finally the box slid through the pet door. Aurum quickly followed, arriving in the living room of Calex’s house. Both of the other werekittens Calex and Zeelo should have been here today.
But… The place was empty. Except for a weird glowy sphere thing. Well, if Aurum knew one thing about Calex and Zeelo, it was that if there was a weird mystical artifact around the best course of action was to poke it. And so he walked over and did just that.
And suddenly found himself floating in the air before his bandanna, now giant in comparison slipped off of him. Aurum had barely a moment to register the fact he had suddenly shrunk to roughly the size of a flea before he fell downward, landing in a forest of carpet fibers that towered above him. And here he found Calex and Zeelo.
Both of them were smaller than Aurum. Calex was small enough to fit comfortably in Aurum’s paw. Zeelo was small enough to fit in Calex’s paw. Right now, Calex was chasing Zeelo through the carpet fibers, and Zeelo was giggling. He was smaller, but that just made it really easy for him to disappear.
“Ahem.” Aurum cleared his throat to try to get their attention.
“Mew?” Both very tiny kittens responded in unison and looked up to the comparatively giant flea sized Aurum.
“I’ve got something to-“ Aurum started.
“Gotcha!” Calex scooped Zeelo up in his paws while Zeelo was distracted looking at Aurum. “You’re it!” Suddenly, Calex shrunk rapidly in size till he was much smaller than Zeelo, forcing him to let go of the other kitten as he started to climb a carpet fiber to hide atop.
“H-hey no fair!” Zeelo pouted. “Aurum was distracting me!”
“What are you two doing?” Aurum tilted his head.
“Shrink Tag.” Zeelo explained. “When you successfully tag your opponent, you shrink smaller than them so they can chase after you. It’s a fun little way to kill the time when you’re bored.”
“That explains the orb.” Aurum shrugged. “But, you can do that some other time! I got a thing to show you!” He paused. “But it’s kind of in a big box and I can’t open it like this.”
“… I guess we can end the game now, go back to normal size and declare me the winner.” Calex grinned.
“Like heck we can! This is a temporary timeout! I’m memorizing both our sizes right now we can pick this up later!” Zeelo protested.
“Fine, fine…” Calex huffed. “Now where’d I leave that cursed orb… How did you break the curse again… Was it tap it twice rub your hand across the surface?” The kitten disappeared behind the carton fibers. There was a bright flash of light…
And suddenly, all three kittens found themselves floating in an void surrounded by glowing orbs circling each other. All three of them knew an atom when they saw it at this point.
“Ok, it was tap twice not rub.” Calex grinned sheepishly. “Okay, pretty sure this atom is part of the orb… So give it two taps…” There was another flash, and suddenly all of them were back to their normal size, around two feet tall, sprawled out on top of each other in the living room next to the orb. “Okay! Yup! It was taps! Need to make sure we remember that for next time.”
“And also that tag might be more fun if we have to jump from atom to atom chasing each other.” Zeelo added.
“I do like this idea.” Calex rubbed a paw to his chin.
“Guys!” Aurum flailed his paws. “I agree that sounds like fun but I got something awesome to show you!” He pointed to the cardboard box that was still next to the front door.
“BOX!” Calex and Zeelo cried in unison as their ears and tailed perked up.
“Yes that too but I mean what’s in the box!” Aurum complained partially annoyed. Largely, because now the two was distracted by the allure of a box to play with and it was making it hard to focus on what he had to show them. “But it’s what’s in the box I wanted to show you. I got new pokemon toys.”
“What kind?” Zeelo asked, tilting his head curiously.
“Electronic toy, where you get to raise a pokemon from an egg and stuff!” Aurum beamed proudly as he walked over to the box.
“That sounds more like a different franchise.” Calex mused.
“No, it’s really a pokemon thing! Come on! Look!” Aurum pushed the box closer to the other two kittens. Once all three kittens were crowded around it he opened the box.
Suddenly, a beam of light fired out of the box as soon as Aurum opened it heading straight for him.
“MEEP!” Aurum gave a shout and threw up his hands. As he did, a shimmering barrier of light appeared in front of him. The beam struck that bounced of it and hit Calex instead. There was a loud poof and a cloud of smoke. Then a uniform-colored orange egg sat on the floor where the orange kitten should have been.
“Hey, you never said the pokemon was going to be Calex!” Zeelo grinned. “This is way more interesting. But… Do we have to like teach him moves? Is he going to know them when he hatches? What will he hatch as?”
While Zeelo was asking these questions, treating his friend turning into an egg as a completely commonplace occurrence, a robotic arm suddenly shot out of the box and grabbed the egg containing Calex, trying to pull it back into the box.
“Hey!” Zeelo shouted as he dove for the arm and managed to get his paws on Calex’s egg, tugging on it trying to free it from the arm. “Calex is my friend slash pokemon! You can’t just-“ Zeelo didn’t get to finish before there was another flash of light, a poof, and then a brown egg lay on the floor where Zeelo had been. The arm finished pulling the orange egg into the box before grabbing the brown one next. And then the box became still.
“Wait what?” Aurum asked in an annoyed voice. “I’m still here? You’re not even going to try?” He stuck his head over the box trying to check on the eggs inside. Suddenly, there was another flash of light. Then a white egg with gold stripes fell into box as Aurum had already been hovering over it. A moment later, his bandanna fell down around the egg.
With all three kittens captured, the box suddenly sprouted legs. It stood up and walked to the front door, its robot arm extending again to open the door as it stepped out onto the front porch. It then walked to stand next to the mailbox before withdrawing its arm and legs. Then the box’s lid closed, concealing the eggs inside. And there it sat for a few hours before the mailman showed up. The box was picked up as outgoing mail and shipped across the country. The trip took almost a week. But the nice thing about being asleep inside an egg was that you weren’t aware of the passing time and so couldn’t get bored.
Eventually, the box was delivered to a large imposing building built on the side of a cliff. It was the type of location that always had a thunderstorm present, no matter what day or time. The rain was beating down hard as the delivery van pulled up and dropped the box off at a front door under a covering.
As soon as the van was gone, the box sprouted legs again. The front door opened and the box strode through halls full of strange machinery, boiling chemicals and sparking electronics. It worked its way to a staircase and up a tower.
The room at the top of the tower was what could best be described as every mad scientists’ lab ever depicted in fiction. Were you to make a checklist it was all there. Exposed tesla coils? Check. Strange potions being siphoned through twisting glass tubes? Check. A giant glass sphere displaying strands of electricity inside of it that looked cool but served no practical purpose to actual lab work, check. A mad scientist dressed in a lab coat with wild hair and goggles over his eyes, check.
“Ah, I see we’ve gotten our first batch.” The scientist was an imposing ape who went by Professor Baobab and towered over almost everything else in the lab. “Well let’s see what we got?” The box opened up for him, and he saw the three eggs. He quickly grabbed each of them and placed them inside a small glass cage. He then checked the labels on the box. “They’re from that far away, then they must be ready to hatch soon.” He watched the cage eagerly.
And in fact, the eggs did soon hatch.
Zeelo was the first to hatch, into a lion-like pokemon, where his back half was black while his front half was brown. He had large round ears and small star shape on the end of his tail. He was a shinx.
Aurum hatched second. A white and gold colored otter with two tails, wearing flotation devices, and of course the bandanna that was now a little large on him since he was just a baby pokemon. He was a buizel.
Despite having becoming an egg first, Calex was the last one to hatch. An orange rat with cat-like eyes and a tail that curled up at the end. He was a baby rattata.
“Well, I guess they can’t all be winners.” Baobab gave a sigh at seeing the third pokemon was just a common rattata. But then he paused, noticing something was off. The colors for one, but the colors were off on all of them due to them being transformed pokemon rather than natural born. No, the problem was that the rattata was lacking its signature buckteeth. Instead, it very clearly had a fang. “Okay… Some kind of weird side effect there. Still, will have to program the thing better to make sure I wind up with more useful pokemon. You two on the other hand…” He grinned as he looked at Zeelo and Aurum.
“Bui?” Aurum asked and backed up slightly in the cage.
“Shinx!” Zeelo meanwhile stuck his tongue out.
“There’s no reason for you two to give me any altitude. After all, you two are going to help me conquer the world!” Professor Baobab let out a laugh. “Well not this world, a different world. Give me a second, I had a slideshow prepared for this.” He rummaged around through the lab for a bit, before finally finding an old projector and a tray of slides. “Ah here we go!”
He set the projector up, and then pointed it at an empty section of a wall. When he turned it on, the image of a bunch of humans and pokemon appeared standing on the screen.
“This is the world of pokemon, and my original home.” Professor Baobab explained. “I took this form when I came here to fit in originally, but I am actually a human and a scientist of great renown, and future ruler of that world. Not going to try to conquering this world. I did some internet searches on the history of it. And this place is too crazy. Like how do any of you make it through the day without succumbing to existential dread? Anyway… If someone is going to rule the world of pokemon they need a strong team of pokemn.” He clicked and the next slide came up showing a human in a lab coat fleeing from an angry ursaring. “Unfortunately, it turns out that for some reason pokemon are really hard to catch if you’re not ten years old. And so I ran into difficulty trying to assemble an army.”
“Ratta?” Calex tilted his head, and sounded bored with the show.
“If you’ll be patient I’ll get to the point.” Professor Baobab replied exasperated. He clicked to the next slide, showing a pokemon egg hatching. “Catching pokemon is hard, but hatching a pokemon from an egg is an easy way to gain ownership of one. Provided you have the egg. Stealing eggs tends to result in very angry pokemon and their trainers chasing you down, so I decided the best way to build my army of pokemon was to turn people into pokemon eggs and then steal those! That’s where you three come in! Well… Two of you. The rattata, no real place in my army for you. But, you can… I dunno be used to run tests on or something.”
“Ta.” Calex gave a singled annoyed response.
“Bui?” Aurum looked at Calex. He had never heard that tone come from the rattata kitten, no matter what form he was in.
“Shinx…” Zeelo shook his head, and held a paw out to keep Aurum from getting any closer to Calex.
“Anyway… Transforming people into eggs was likely to get attention in the pokemon world.” Professor Baobab continued. “You have legendaries and psychic type. Basically, someone would come blow up my lab before I had an army. So, the answer was simple. Go to a world where there are no pokemon, and I discovered one, where it was just a game! Then it all came together! Sell ‘toys’ to unsuspecting children who would then be transformed into eggs and brought back here to become part of my army… And since I hatched you, you are now my pokemon and have no choice but to obey me and-“ He paused and looked back at the cage. The cage lid was open, the lock on it broken, and there was only a shinx and a buizel sitting inside of it. “Where did the third one go?”
“Bui!” Aurum replied by opening his mouth and firing a blast of water at Baobab that hit the ape and send him flying across the room.
“Gaaah!” The scientist, now drenched slowly stood up. “I hatched you. You are my pokemon! You will obey me and help in my quest for world conquest.”
“Bui?” Aurum looked at Zeelo.
“Shinx.” Zeelo nodded. And then Zeelo unleashed a blast of electricity, frying the ape who was still drenched. He fell to the ground and for a few moments just laid their twitching. During this time, Aurum and Zeelo took the chance to crawl out of the cages and jump to the floor.
“Okay…” Professor Baobab stood up. “I don’t think you’re understanding how this works. I hatched you. I won you. You’re my pokemon. You obey me. You just hatched, you’re level 1. I don’t need any badges to control you! So I command you to treat me with the respect I deserve.”
Zeelo and Aurum gladly obeyed this command, unleashing another blast of water and electricity at the same time.
“Ow.” The ape gave a muted response after being fried yet again. He managed to stay standing this time, but he was completely covered in soot. “Okay, seriously what the heck? Am I going to have to get rough with you? You think box robots that turn people into eggs is the only thing I have! I also have disciplinary box robots! And weaponized box robots! And transportation box robots! And that last one isn’t really relevant here, and… I seem to have a theme. Maybe I should try something not box shaped and…”
A giant crashing noise interrupted the ape’s train of thought as the lighting fixtures suddenly dislodged themselves and crashed down destroying several of the tables and all the potions and their twisting tubes.
“My experiments!” Professor Baobab shouted. “That fixture was secure! I know it! How did-“ He didn’t get to finish asking before suddenly a machine on the wall just exploded, and the entire room caught on fire.
“Bui?” Aurum looked around in confusion.
“Shinx!” Zeelo bit down on one of Aurum’s tails to get his attention and gestured to the stairs leading down from the tower.
“Bui!” Aurum objected. They couldn’t leave. Calex was missing! They had to get him first.
“Shinx!” Zeelo shook his head and dragged Aurum towards the stairs.
Aurum may have had a bit of experience with Calex now. But not nearly to the same level Zeelo had. Calex was easy going, fun loving and appreciated a little bit of mischief. He was more than happy to let most transformation traps play out their roles without interference as long as things stayed in good fun. This was what Aurum had experience with. However, Calex had very little patience for those who used such transformations to ruin lives, kidnap people and use transformed victims as tools. It was why most supervillains in this universe mostly used such techniques to inconvenience Calex and his friends instead of try to control or hurt them. Villains from this world knew better than to actually do something harmful. Because that resulted in an angry Calex. And that was something no one wanted on the loose.
But Professor Baobab wasn’t from this world, and didn’t know who the victims were he had picked, or what was about to go down.
Aurum relented as Zeelo continued to pull him, and the two quickly made their way down the stairs while Baobab was distracted with getting a fire extinguisher and trying to put out the fire.
“Rattata.” Calex spoke in a cold angry voice as he made himself visible, standing directly on top of the useless glass ball that made a show of electricity.
“You?” Professor Baobab looked at the rattata. “You did this? No, that’s impossible. You’re just a pathetic rattata. You couldn’t possibly…” Calex leaped from the glass orb to a machine, crashing straight through it leaving a rattata shaped hole. There was the sound of nibbling as he began to disconnect very specific wires. Calex wasn’t the best with technology. But, his owner Odin was. And he watched Odin mess with things a lot. He may not have gotten enough knowledge from that to learn how to make things himself. But he absolutely learned how quickly wreck a machine and get a certain type of reaction from it.
Aurum and Zeelo had reached the bottom of the stairs and were in the main part of the building when the tower exploded, the top of it launched up into the air, flying through the sky and landing upside down half buried in the dirt outside the lab.
“Bui!?” Aurum was used to strangeness, but usually in the he was suddenly smaller or younger or a different species. Buildings exploding apart was a bit of a new one.
“SHINX!” Aurum urged Zeelo to keep moving. He knew Calex didn’t do things in half measures. The entire building was starting to shake. It was not the time to stick around.
Zeelo and Aurum quickly made a run for the exit. Then, the entire building began to collapse. It was strange, it was almost as if the building had purposely been polite enough to wait for Zeelo and Aurum to be clear of any rubble before collapsing to ensure neither would be harmed. Zeelo knew this wasn’t a coincidence. Aurum was catching on. He had never seen Calex wreck a supervillain’s day before, but he had on occasion seen manifestation of Calex’s supernatural strength and powers.
“He’s a monster! A monster I say!” Professor Baobab who was still alive crawled out a window of the upside-down tower embedded in the ground. He fell over onto his back and scooted back quickly as the orange rattata stood in the window just watching him. “Keep him away from me! That’s not a pokemon! It’s some kind of demon.”
“Tatta.” Calex replied with something that was along the lines of ‘And don’t you forget it.’ He jumped down from the window, walked by the scientist, who flinched and cowered as he got close. Satisfied that the lab was thoroughly wrecked, and the villain’s plan destroyed, Calex left the scientist alone and instead went to meet back up with Arum and Zeelo. “Ra?”
“Shinx shinx.” Zeelo swished his tail playfully.
“Bui…” Aurum looked around, trying to figure out where they were. As he did, the storm that had always hung over the place parted, letting in the sunshine. Other than the destroyed building, the mountainside was actually somewhat pleasant now.
“Ra!” Calex shouted excitedly. As he sensed a new adventure. They were somewhere far from home. And that meant they had a journey to go on! Three baby pokemon taking on the world as they tried to find their way home.
“Shiiiiinx!” Zeelo was immediately on board with the idea. It sounded fun. Plus they still had to finish that game of Shrink Tag, which required getting back home to where the cursed orb was.
“Bui.” Aurum shrugged. By this point he knew it was better to just roll with it. And so the three pokemon started down the mountain path, eventually disappearing into a forest at the bottom as they started their trek across the country.
Hours later, police and firefighters showed up due to reports of a building going up in flames and collapsing. They were of course too late to do anything. Instead, they just found the scientist rocking in the fetal position close to the remains of the tower.
“It was the rattata! The rattata I tell you!” Professor Baobab exclaimed in a panicked voice. “He’s not a pokemon! He’s a monster! He leveled the entire place.”
“First off…” One of the police officers who was a penguin spoke up. “If he’s a rattata then yes of course he’s a monster. Pokemon literally stands for pocket monsters. Second off, pokemon aren’t real. It’s just a game, and anime and card game, and well really a very successful wide spanning franchise. Third, even if they were real? A rattata? You seriously expect people to think one of the weakest pokemon in existence could level a building? If this is some kind of insurance scam it’s the worst attempt I’ve ever seen.”
The police and firefighters left. The building was collapsed, and miraculously Professor Baobab wasn’t injured very much. At least not physically. The fear put into him might take awhile to get over. When he was left alone, just among the ruins of his lab he slowly stood up.
“O-okay okay…” He spoke to himself. “You had a bad start. You can salvage this. Just… Learn about your targets f-first.” He sounded terrified. “Maybe the egg box survived the explosion. Where is it anyway?” He got his answer, as the box in question had been precariously balanced on the edge of the exposed window for some time. At this point, it fell from the window, landed on the ground, bounced and unleashed a flash of light.
And suddenly Professor Baobab vanished in a poof of smoke leaving behind a purple and white egg. Sound asleep inside, he didn’t realize his current plan had just become impossible since he was no longer going to have thumbs or hands with the dexterity to build machines. But, after a week or two he would eventually hatch, and then a baby rattata would have to start from scratch to try to figure out how to take over the world.
Or even how to get back to his own world, since the portal machine had been inside the lab and was now destroyed. He might have to conquer this world instead… Except… That meant dealing with scary things. Maybe he could settle for conquering a small city instead. Of course, figuring out how to do that as a baby rattata would be a real trick.
Meanwhile, by the time the professor had hatched, Aurum, Zeelo and Calex were making great progress in their journey back home. There were a surprising number of pokemon in the world despite the fact pokemon were only fictional creatures. Likely the results of other transformation traps. They had met a host of characters, and had a few battles, and made friends and foes on their journey home. But that is a story for another time. As for now, the adventure of them being eggnapped and escaping was over.