Calvin would jump at the chance to jump into another world and be a pokemon instead of a human. In fact, he literally did. But perhaps he should have learned more details before rushing into things. His new life isn’t quite what he expects. But it’s not without its perks.
Given the option to jump through a portal to another world, where you could be something else, leave your humanity behind. Would you take it?
This was the question a strange voice only got about halfway through asking before Calvin had already jumped through the open portal. It had all happened so fast that Calvin had not even registered what he had done. But he was just walking home one day when a giant glowing blue circle just appeared floating in the air in front of him. A voice came from the other side, telling him it led to the world where pokemon were real. Then, it had attempted to ask the question. But Calvin had already started for the portal mere seconds after hearing the word pokemon. Why wouldn’t he choose to live in a world where pokemon were real over this one?
When he landed on the other side, he stumbled and fell over though. Suddenly, his clothing was bulky, entangling him. Thankfully, the area he landed in was covered in soft grass so the fall didn’t hurt. But his clothes were suddenly so much bigger now he was completely tangled up in them. He couldn’t move. He let out a hissing noise, and then fire erupted all around him, burning away the clothing he had been wearing and most of the grass around him.
“Lit?” Calvin asked in confusion. How had he just done that? And how was he unharmed by the flames? Free of being tangled up, he took the time to look over his body. He couldn’t stand on two legs anymore. He was some kind of small animal. Black fur covered most of his body including his long tail. He had red stripes on his legs. He couldn’t see his face, but he knew enough about pokemon to hazard a guess as to what hr might be. Cat-like body, black fur, red stripes. He was a Torracat! Or… Actually, considering how much bigger his clothes had been probably a litten.
The voice hadn’t said anything about going through the portal turning him into a pokemon. That pretty much threw out any plans he had of taking on the pokemon league as a trainer. Still, as he walked in a circle examining his new smaller fluffier body, he couldn’t say he was too upset by it. It had caught him off guard. Perhaps he had been a bit premature in jumping through the portal. But after taking time to look over himself, he realized he probably still would have jumped even if he had been told he’d become a pokemon on the other end. Wait… If he was a pokemon? Did this mean this was going to be like the Mystery Dungeon games? A world full of only pokemon? That brought on all kinds of possible ideas for adventure.
“Wow.” The same voice that had spoken from the portal came from above Calvin. It was youthful and playful and Calvin couldn’t quite identify if the voice belonged to a boy or girl. The answer was neither. There was a pink cat-like pokemon floating above him. Mew, a mythical pokemon who like many others had no gender. “I’ve done this several times before but you may be the first person to jump through before I even got to explain my offer.”
“Huh? So… You brought me here and turned me into a pokemon?” Calvin asked. Strange, neither him or Mew used actual words, but they still perfectly understood each other.
“I mostly gave you the tools to do so yourself. I do this every now and then when I’m bored. A lot of people turn down my offer, but the people who take it… Well, they always live such interesting lives.” Mew giggled. “But maybe listen to the full explanation before accepting magical offers from another dimension in the future. I hope you’re not too disappointed.”
“I see…” Calvin looked over his body. “It was a little shocking at first… But I think I can live with this.” He shook his head. Why act coy? “Who am I kidding. I’m happy with this.”
“Great!” Mew bounced happily in the air. “I would have felt pretty bad if you didn’t enjoy this. Even if it is your fault for jumping through the portal BEFORE I could explain. Well… Anyway, I don’t interfere from here on. Only watch. But you might want to duck.”
“Duck? Why?” Calvin asked. And it was about that point that a pokeball bounced off his head. A red light enveloped Calvin and he disappeared as he was sucked inside.
“Because a wild litten standing out in the open isn’t going to go unnoticed for long.” Mew sighed, and then disappeared as they teleported away before they shared the same fate.
Inside the pokeball was… Not quite was Calvin expected. It was like he was still outside. He was on a grassy plane with scattered trees, plenty of room to run around, stretch, and climb things, practice his fire moves. So, the inside of a pokeball was basically a digital pocket dimension. He wondered if they all had the same environment, if the environments were unique to the pokeball, or if an environment was created based on the pokemon caught.
He supposed it didn’t matter. What did matter was he had just gotten caught! He hadn’t even been a pokemon for five minutes and someone had already caught him! Without even weakening him first! They just blind sided him. Calvin had half a mind to make a run for it the second he was out of the pokeball… Or to start looking for a way to break out.
Except… He was a litten, a starter pokemon. He was the type of pokemon people began their journeys with to take on the league. The idea of participating in a real pokemon league still excited him, even if he was a pokemon instead of a trainer. Maybe he should stick around. There was plenty of space inside the pokeball to be comfortable. He could wait until he was let out of the pokeball and then learn a bit about his new trainer. If they weren’t a jerk, he’d stick with them and help them take on the pokemon league. Fighting as a pokemon was bound to be way more exciting than being a trainer anyway.
It was some time before Calvin was released from the pokeball. He had actually fallen asleep. The bright flash of light of him being released from the pokeball woke him up, and he found he was suddenly laying on a twin sized bed. One look around the room told him this was a child’s bedroom. There was a toy chest in the corner, stuffed animals laying around, and well actually these were things many adults tended to own these things too. But the twin sized bed and the eight-year-old kid in the room probably meant it was a kid’s room. Probably that kid’s room.
“I can’t believe I caught a litten!” The boy was excited. “I was sure you’d escape and run away.”
“Lit.” Calvin attempted to inform the boy he only managed it because Calvin had been caught off guard, still processing the fact he had been turned into a pokemon and really was in another world.
“Anyway… Need a nickname for you.” The boy thought to himself. “How about… Firecracker?”
“Litten?” Calvin tilted his head. He preferred his own name. But, he didn’t really have any way to tell the kid that. If the kid had owned a computer maybe he could try to type his name out. He wasn’t sure if his paws had the dexterity for that or not.
“Anyway… Firecracker! Nice to meet you! I’m Rufus!” The boy grinned. “My uncle got me a pokeball for my birthday. But my mom and dad said that I wasn’t capable of keeping a pokemon as a pet yet. But they made me a deal, if I could catch one on my own without any help I could keep it! I was originally planning to look for a rattata or something a little weaker… But then I saw you and it was like it was meant to be!” The kid was clearly excited.
“Lit lit.” Calvin responded as he jumped down from the bed and looked around the room. He wondered when they’d leave to go start their journey to take on the league.
“Anyway… I bought poke chow in advance and a bed for you…” Rufus pointed to a corner where there was what looked like a cat bed tucked in. “Promise I’ll give you a lot of attention every day… But… Wait… School.” He paused. “You know… If you ride inside your pokeball, I could take you to school without anyone noticing, and let you out during recess to play with the other kids.
“Lit?” Calvin was confused. Why were they talking about school? Weren’t they supposed to be going on a journey? He was actually somewhat surprised to learn that schools existed in the pokemon universe. Sure, playing the games he had fought students. But, a civilization that sent all of its ten years olds off on a journey to explore the entire region didn’t seem like the type of setting that would be big on keeping kids in schools.
“Sorry, I’m babbling. I’m so excited.” Rufus continued. He grabbed Calvin up off the ground and hugged him tight. “I’ve asked for a pet for my last three birthdays and been told each time I can’t take care of one! And now I finally have one!”
“Liiiiit.” Calvin was starting to realize something. It sounded like… The kid didn’t plan on taking on the pokemon league at all. He just wanted a pet! But… Calvin was a fighter not a pet! Or at least he thought he was. He hadn’t actually fought anything yet. But he was sure it was bound to be a ton of fun.
“I promise I’m gonna take good care of you.” Rufus began to rub between Calvin’s ears, and Calvin found himself purring.
“Litttttt.” He closed his eyes, just enjoying the moment. Perhaps, being a pet had its own perks. Wait? What was he thinking? He was in another universe! He wanted adventure and excitement and-
And at that point Rufus sat Calvin down on the bed and began to rub his belly.
Belly rubs. Oh. That felt really nice. Calvin could do nothing but purr and stretch out as his new owner petted him. He got so comfortable that he found up falling asleep.
He awoke several hours later to find it was now night out. The boy, Rufus, was in bed asleep. And Calvin had at some point in his own sleep shifted positions so that he was curled up right next to the boy’s chest. He started to get up to move… But the spot really was nice and warm. So instead he chose to stay where he was.
Calvin had wanted adventure… But Rufus seemed like an earnest kid who was trying hard. Calvin didn’t think he had it in his heart to run out on the kid to try to find an actual trainer. It’d probably devastate him. Children could get emotionally attached to things fast. And he had already named him. Firecracker. Definitely a name an eight-year-old thought up.
Well… A warm place to sleep, lots of pets… And promises that he would get to play with Rufus’ friends on the playground. It wasn’t quite a pokemon battle, but it was something. Perhaps, this pet thing wouldn’t be so bad. Calvin was already starting to get comfortable with it as he snuggled in closer to his new owner.
Besides, the kid was only eight. He had two years before people usually started their pokemon journey. Plenty of time for Calvin to find random pamphlets, adverts, or other things to drag back home and place the idea of taking on the league in Rufus’ head. After all, nothing said he couldn’t be both a pet and a competitor.
But thanks to worry about for later. Cuddled up against his new owner, Rufus was soon sound asleep again. When the morning came, he and his new owner would greet it together, and Calvin would start his new life as a pet.