Patreon reward for Kody. Kody volunteers to test a machine that turns people into pokemon and back. But there’s a tiny malfunction.
Roughly half an hour ago Kody had been a normal human. That was before he had volunteered to help the professor with his machine. And now Kody was a small pale-yellow rat, with a short black tail, black tipped ears, a black scarf of fur around his neck and pink circular patches on his cheeks. He was a pichu.
This in and of itself was not surprising. That was because that was exactly what the device was supposed to do. It worked something like a factory conveyer belt. A human rode it into a large machine on one side and came out the other side as a pokemon. Kody had expected this. He had even been told about this in advanced. He was being paid to help test this and make sure it worked. The fact that he had turned into a pichu was not the problem.
Just as the device was meant to turn humans into pokemon going one way, it was meant to turn pokemon into humans when you went in the opposite direction. So, after Kody had gone through, and came out as a pichu tangled up in the clothes he had been wearing as a human the experiment was declared a resounding success. But that success would soon be rescinded when it came time to send Kody through the other end and come back out as a human. Kody had been slightly reluctant at this. It wasn’t that he wasn’t ready to change back. He had planned on that. After all he was getting paid to be temporarily transformed into a pokemon. But as his clothing had not changed with him he had some concerns about coming out the other side naked.
It had taken awhile to express these concerns. When the only words he could say were ‘pi’ and ‘chu’ and his paws were too clumsy to easily write it was hard to communicate a message. Eventually gripping a pen between both paws he managed to clumsily right out the word clothes on paper. It took the professor a few minutes to realize what Kody was trying to get at. But he had eventually gotten the idea. And he had physically attached a modesty sheet to the human side of the machine and placed Kody’s currently discarded clothing on the floor next to it. Perhaps the professor messing with the machine to install that had broken something, and that was the cause of the current problem.
Because right now despite having gone back through the machine again, Kody was still a pichu. There wasn’t even the smallest trace of humanity returned to him. The machine hadn’t just failed to work. Something had gone severely wrong. He wasn’t only a pichu, but several magnitudes smaller than a pichu was supposed to be. He was only maybe an-inch-tall total right now.
“Pichuuuuuuuuuuu!” Kody had given a shout of frustration trying to get the professors attention. He was even squeakier now that he was this small than he had been as a normal pichu. It took a few minutes before the professor had found him. Perhaps because Kody was so small the professor had not heard his cry and was just waiting for him to get dressed and come out from behind the screen. It was several minutes before the professor, now a giant peaked around the screen. He glanced around the conveyer belt and then finally spotted the very tiny pichu.
“Well that’s not right.” The professor muttered.
“Pichu!” Kody added as if to add. ‘You think?’
“Okay, I think I need to study this thing for awhile and figure out what went wrong.” The professor explained. “Um, you mind if I put you in a terrarium for a few days? Not really sure what else to do with you.”
“Pichu pi! Pichu!” Kody objected to that idea.
“Well not sure it’s safe for you to wonder around the lab as you are.” The professor replied meekly. “But… I might need to take the machine apart to figure out what caused the problem. You might be stuck like that for a few days as I try to figure out what went wrong.”
“PI!?” Kody was going to be like this for a few days? Maybe if he had just been stuck as a normal sized pichu it wouldn’t be that bad. He wouldn’t be able to talk to anyone, but at least he’d be able to get around freely. Maybe there would have been a danger of being mistaken for a wild pokemon and caught if he wondered too far away from the lab… But in his current state he wasn’t even going to be able to leave the room! And despite his protests he found himself gently picked up by his tail and carried across the room. “CHUUUUUUU!” Kody let loose a small shock of electricity intended just to get the professor to let go of him. Unfortunately, he was so small the shock was even smaller than he intended. The electricity he could produce wasn’t enough to create more than the sensation of a mild static shock. And so soon he found himself dropped into a terrarium that was set on a shelf across from the machine.
A water bottle had been hung on the edge of the terrarium and a bowl of food pellets had been set aside. The professor then ignored him and went back to studying the machine. By the end of the day he hadn’t figured out the problem and concluded he’d have to take the entire thing apart tomorrow.
Before leaving the lab the professor tried to assure Kody he’d be back to normal in no time. But considering Kody had been able to watch him at work all day he had his doubts. He felt less like an employee now and more like the professor’s pet living in the terrarium like this.
The professor checked that he had enough food and water to last the night, and then promised to be back as early as possible the next morning. And thus Kody was left by himself in the lab.
“Chuuuu.” Kody gave an annoyed groan. He could see the machine from here. If he could just at least get back to a proper size, things wouldn’t be so bad.
Wait? Could he?
Kody thought about it for a moment. Going through one way the device had worked perfectly. It was only going through in reverse when it messed up. If he went through again it might turn him into a normal sized pichu. Or it might do absolutely nothing since he was already a pokemon. Either way it was worth a shot.
But first that meant escaping his terrarium. Kody looked around. The thing was made of glass, so no bars he could easily climb to try to reach the top and get to the latch. Still, these things were designed to contain creatures of animal intelligence. Kody could figure a way out of this. He just had to treat it like he was playing an escape room game.
So, what did he have at his disposal? A bowl full of pellets, a water bottle, and wood shavings. Not a lot to work with. They could have at least left him with a toy so he wouldn’t be bored! Well, he would have felt a little indigent if they expected him to play with pet toys. But right now it would have been useful to have something else. Well, he had to make do with what he had.
He got an idea. He tipped the bowl of food over upside down and then pushed it closer to the water battle. Then he grabbed a wood chip and clenched it between his teeth. Kody climbed up atop the upturned food bowl. From here he was able to jump onto the nozzle of the water bottle. He clung to it with all four limbs hoping he wouldn’t slip off. When he realized he was stable he inched his way closer to the plastic bottle.
There were grooves in the bottle and indentations. Most of them were meant to measure how much water was left. For Kody they made for useful hand and footholds as he started to climb up the water bottle. He felt much sturdier on climbing this rigid surface than he had on the metal tip.
After a couple of minutes he reached the top of the terrarium. Now came the hard part. Getting the lid open. At his size he was nowhere near strong enough to simply push it up. But, if he could undo the latch then the lid might just pop open enough for him to squirm out. And that was what the wood shaving was for.
Kody wedged himself between the bottle and the glass wall of the terrarium. He pushed his back against the glass and his hind paws against the bottle to help hold himself in place. Now that his forepaws were free, he removed the wooden chip from his mouth. He tried to slide it into the crack between the lid and the terrarium.
This was the moment of truth. If he screwed up he’d fall down and then well, he probably wouldn’t be that hurt. But it would be embarrassing. Sure no one else was around. But he would know.
He struggled to push the chip further into the crack and move it from side to side. Suddenly he met resistance and then the chip was stuck. He pushed on it harder and there was a clicking sound. The latch! The lid popped open just slightly. It was only a crack, but it was enough for Kody to wriggle out of the terrarium and get on top of it!
Alright! One mission accomplished. All he had to do now was cross the enormous room and somehow make it to machine and turn it on. He leaped down from the terrarium onto the table then looked out across the room. Getting down on the floor seemed like a bad idea. He wasn’t sure if he’d be able to find a good spot to climb up this high again. Shame he wasn’t a flying type. Wings would be really useful about now.
Kody had a crazy idea. But he was just small enough that it might work. There was a notebook on the table. Kody began to tear pieces of it off and began to fold them. He was making a paper airplane. Or at least the wings of one. He had no illusions about being able to actually fly. But he was hoping that since he weighed so little, he might be able to ride the wings of his paper airplane and glide all the way across to the machine. Of course, he only had one shot. If he missed or fell, he’d be stuck trying to find a way to climb up again.
Kody finished his wings, took a deep breath and backed up to the end of the table. He got a running start and leaped from the table.
The wings held true! He glided through the air towards his destination. It was right in sight when suddenly the plane made an unexpected upward turn. Kody realized he had perhaps gone a little too fancy on the wing design. They were not unlike those on paper planes that could do a loop. Kody had not been prepared for that though and lost his grip when it happened. Now he was flying through the air helplessly, unable to control his trajectory. He closed his eyes.
And then he landed on a familiar surface. He opened his eyes. The conveyer belt! He had gotten far enough across the room on the paper wings that momentum had been enough to carry him the rest of the way! He had made it! Now all he had to do was go through it. Except that wasn’t true at all.
He could walk through the machine as many times as he wanted, but unless it was turned on nothing was going to happen. He had no idea how he was going to operate the control panel or turn the thing on. It had levers bigger than he was. He only needed enough power to go through once. If only he could find some way to power it.
“Pi.” Kody slapped himself when he realized the obvious solution. He was an electric type. He couldn’t produce a lot of power, but he was sure he could at least manage the same voltage as some batteries. His earlier attempt had been pathetic, but he also hadn’t been trying very hard. Maybe he could shock the machine into life. “PICHUUUUUUUUUU!”
Kody poured all the lightning he had into the machine. Slowly the conveyer belt began to move. It carried him into the machine. He had done it! Except… The conveyer belt started to slow down while he was inside. Releasing so much electricity had been exhausting, but Kody picked himself up and gave it another go.
“PICHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!” He unleashed sparks of electricity. The inside of the machine began to glow just as it did when he had gone through previous times. This was it, he was either going to be a normal sized pichu again, or have completely wasted his time. He continued to pour as much electricity into the machine as he could. However, as he moved through the machine the conveyer belt slowed down again despite him giving it all the juice he had. He felt a warm glow on his body and realized something was changing but then the machine had lost power.
The conveyer belt froze and the machine was completely dead. No matter how much electricity Kody released it wouldn’t turn on again. He fell onto his back exhausted from the efforts looking up. He hadn’t studied the inside of the machine very much. This thing had massive screws in it. One of the ones on ceiling of it had to be wider than he was tall. It almost looked like it was getting wider as he watched.
Kody looked around at all the machine parts. All of them were getting bigger. That meant… Going through this way hadn’t made him a normal sized pichu! Instead, it was just shrinking him even smaller! He was too tired too move and could only watch as the world became a gigantic mess. Soon he couldn’t even see the top of the machine. Then he couldn’t even make out the conveyer belt he was on. He had a weightless feeling and felt like he slipped through whatever he was laying on.
The world was a strange place. It had an aquatic quality. Kody didn’t see anything he could recognize. For a moment he wondered if he was still in the lab or if he had been transported somewhere else. But after a few seconds he realized the truth. He was currently microscopic. And he was still getting smaller.
Soon there was less light, and the world felt less aquatic but Kody still felt nearly weightless. There were glowing orbs of energy flying around. He must have been on the subatomic scale. If Kody could talk, he would have made a crack about having to change his type from the electric type to the electron type. Sadly, all he could manage was a “Pichu pi pichu.” Well, he understood what he meant. And it provided some levity to the situation.
The items he identified as atoms grew larger by the second, soon were bigger than him and he landed on one before falling inside of it. There it was made up of several different types of other glowing particles. Kody didn’t really have time for a science lesson though as the shrinking showed no signs of stopping. Why was he getting so small? Was it because he still been inside the machine and shrinking when it turned off? Did he have to finish and exit out the other side to stop shrinking?
If that was the case, he was in trouble. Smaller than the quarks that make up an atom, there was no way he was going to be able to reach the edge of the machine, if he could even figure out where it was relative to him. He might as well and try to run across the entire galaxy.
As Kody continued to shrink a certain calm came over him. He realized he wasn’t going to stop shrinking. He’d just keep getting smaller and smaller, possibly forever. At least that meant he no longer had to worry about how to get around the lab. And he’d see some things that to others were only theoretical. Too bad he had no way to communicate with people to confirm or deny their theories.
The world was quiet. It was full of bits of vibrating string. Kody was smaller than he could possibly imagine. And yet still the shrinking did not stop. He wondered what would happen when he shrunk smaller than the smallest thing. That string… He had to be approaching a Planck Length. What would happen when he crossed that point? Would he just stop shrinking? Or something else?
He had his answer soon, when the string was soon bigger than him. He hadn’t stopped shrinking. At least it meant he didn’t have to worry about poofing out of existence. It seemed there was always room to go smaller. And smaller was the only thing he knew at this point. He had heard theories before, about microscopic universes within universes. He wondered if there was any truth to them. He supposed he was about to find out. He had gotten so small that everything was just an infinite void now. The string was inconceivably huge. Soon each string was so far apart he could no longer make any of them out.
And then suddenly, there was light.
Was this the start of a new universe? Kody was about to find out. If it was, then Kody was likely to see many universes in his near future. Because as far as he could tell he was going to keep shrinking forever. And that meant he’d just keep seeing new universes forever.
Well, at least there was a certain thrill of exploration to his fate. The world became brighter still, and he was sure he was entering a smaller universe. Who knew what would come from here? Other than the fact he would always continue to get smaller.