A soft breeze woke Willow from her sleep. She kept her eyes closed, enjoying the feeling of grass under her body, and sunlight on her back. She stayed like this for a while, just enjoying the outdoors. Eventually she opened her eyes, finding herself in a small woodland clearing, surrounded by forest. The sun was filtering through the leaves above, bringing life to the colourful lilies that populated the area. Willow slowly realised she didn't recognise the area, and couldn't remember how she had ended up there. A creeping feeling of dread washed over her as she tried to recall the last place she'd been, to retrace her steps, and couldn't. She then wracked her brain for any small details about herself, but all she could remember was that her name was Willow. She couldn't remember anything about her life, couldn't remember any events at all, let alone how she ended up where she was. Her memory was completely gone.
I should take a look around... maybe if I see something familiar my memory will come back, she thought to herself, trying not to panic. She suddenly felt very vulnerable – she was all alone in a mysterious forest with no idea what to do next. The trees were huge and ominous, much bigger than she'd ever seen. And there was something else... her body felt wrong, like it didn't belong to her. Her arms and legs felt weird, and they didn't seem to bend in the right places. She looked down at her hands, and to her shock saw paws. She had three fingers ending in sharp points on each of her paws. She tried wiggling her fingers to make sure they belonged to her, and sure enough they responded to her commands. She turned to look at the rest of her body, and realised that she was now quadrupedal, and covered in fur. Her fur was mostly purple, with cream patches on her belly and paws. And she had a tail. She swished it around, her eyes following the curled tip.
I'm a pokémon, she thought. I'm a rattata! She stared at herself in disbelief. But she was human! She realised that it wasn't the trees that were big – it was her tiny new body. She was so small!
She untangled her new limbs and scrambled to her feet. She felt her breathing quickening, panic taking hold. She swallowed and and stood still for a moment, getting used to the feel of her new body. She had no idea how to walk as a quadruped, and her joints, especially in her back legs, were very different to what she was used to. She tried to take a step, and promptly tripped over herself, falling in a heap on the floor. She lay still, and felt her eyes welling up with tears.
She squeezed her eyes shut and forced the tears back. Crying would get her nowhere. She had to be brave, or she would never find out what had happened to her. She climbed to her feet with newfound determination, and slowly, carefully, took her first step.
I can do this.
They groaned, and opened their eyes. They were laying on their side, face pressed against hard rock. It was dark and a little damp, and they could feel a cold wind passing over their body. They could hear rain nearby, and they lifted their head to try and get a better view. As they did, they caught sight of themself in a puddle, and saw the face of an amaura looking back at them.
I'm an amaura, they thought, and immediately frowned. Why did I think that?
The realisation came to them slowly, and it worried them greatly. I've lost my memory. I don't remember anything! They climbed unsteadily to their feet, still lethargic from having just woken up. They looked around carefully, trying to recall some fact about themself or their location, but their mind was completely empty. They observed that they were in a small cave, dim light filtering in through the entrance, through which they could see rain falling heavily. It appeared to just be one cavern – they could see no tunnels leading deeper into the earth. None of it looked familiar.
"Okay... Okay..." they spoke aloud, taking deep breaths to calm themself. They shut their eyes, thinking. Something bad had happened to them, that much was clear. But what? They took one last deep breath, and opened them again. "Okay. I need to find... someone to talk to. I need to get help. I can do this."
As they reassured themself, they noticed the light from the cave mouth glinting off of an object at their feet. They craned their neck down, curious, and saw a cylindrical metal object resting on the stone. They nudged it with their foot, causing it to roll away from them, and they heard a faint rattling coming from within. They quickly scanned the rest of the cave floor, looking for more strange cylinders, but they found none.
"I guess this belonged to me? It seems so out of place otherwise," they thought aloud to themself. "So how did I carry this? In my mouth?" They leaned down dubiously, and attempted to pick up the silver cylinder with their teeth. This was not a comfortable way to carry something, and it was too big and slippery to hold for long. Maybe it didn't belong to them after all? They glanced around the cavern again, searching for something, anything, that would give them a clue about who they were, or where they'd come from, but this cylinder was the only other thing in the cave, besides scattered rocks and plants.
This might be a clue about my past, they thought to themself. I'll have to come back for it later. Now that that was decided, they made their way to the cave entrance. Walking felt clumsy, and they wondered if they were still feeling the effects of... whatever it was that had taken away their memory, and transported them to the cave. They managed to stay on their feet all the way to the entrance, and stopped just short of stepping out of the cave. It was raining pretty hard, and they weren't wearing a raincoat, or any clothes for that matter, and they didn't want to catch a chill. They blinked, and shook their head.
Is it... is that weird to think? Pokémon don't normally wear clothes, do they? And I'm an ice type, so being cold shouldn't be a problem for me. They felt a shiver run down their spine. They couldn't shake the feeling that there was something there, something important, just below the surface, that they were forgetting. No, they thought. I don't have time to get cold feet. I need to find help as soon as I can.
And with renewed energy, they stepped out into the rain.
Mary woke up suddenly, jumping to her feet in a panic. She stood for a moment, her heart racing, until she realised she wasn't where she had been before falling unconscious. Instead, she found herself standing at the crest of a sand dune, the sun's rays beating down on her from directly overhead. She squinted, raising her hand to block out the sun's rays...
That was when she realised it was not just her location that had changed. Instead of a human hand, she was looking at a sharp, steel blade, protruding from a red wrist. She raised the blade that had replaced her other hand and tapped her arm, producing an unmistakable clink of metal on metal. She looked down at her chest, and saw four more blades sticking out of her.
I'm a pawniard, she thought to herself.
Having established the new state of her body, she turned her attention to her location. Sand dunes sprawled across the environment, as far as she could see. The only desert she knew was on Route 228, and this was nothing like that... was she not in Sinnoh any more? She turned around, slightly unsteady on the loose sand, and found herself facing a town.
It was some distance away and a little hard to make out, but the town appeared to be carved out of a mesa, built upon solid brown rock. She could make out shades of green, which she assumed to be plants. The town had two rivers of sand flowing through it, with a bridge over each. There was a cobblestone pathway leading out of the town and into the desert. As she observed this entrance, she noticed a figure emerging from the town. It was a buneary, carrying a basket filled with berries. She waited, expecting a human to follow, but no one else emerged from the town. The buneary was alone.
Interesting, she thought. Maybe... is this the world of pokémon?
She sat down in a heap on the sand, watching the buneary happily make its way out of town. This was a lot to take in, and she was struggling to figure out what her next move should be. She'd never expected things to come this far – she had a lot of work to do. But if I'm here...
Maybe everyone else ended up here too!
Then that would be her first objective: to figure out what had happened to everyone else, and find them. She'd work the rest out from there-
She jumped to her feet, searching frantically for the source of the scream. It didn't take her long: the buneary had been ambushed by two machop at the foot of her sand dune. They must have been hiding in the sand, just out of sight.
"Hand over the basket and nobody has to get hurt," the first machop ordered coldly. The buneary was shaking, clearly terrified, but held the basket away from her attackers and took a step backwards. She shook her head wordlessly. The second machop darted forward and grabbed the buneary's arm, growling.
"Hey!" Mary shouted. She was surprised – partly because she hadn't expected herself to say anything, partly because the pokémon were talking, but mainly because another voice had shouted "Hey!" at the exact same time as her. A buizel had appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and was standing on the sand dune directly to her left. He was looking back at her, just as surprised as she was. Then he grinned, and turned his attention back to the machop, who had paused their attack on the buneary.
"Sorry Machop, but it looks like you two will be losing even harder than I expected!" the buizel shouted confidently. Then he was away, charging towards the machop with blinding speed, shrouded in water. Mary hesitated for a split second – she had no idea how to battle, and if she was remembering her type matchups correctly she was at a severe disadvantage. But then she noticed the buneary, staring at her with a mixture of fear and hope, and swung her arms, causing her blades to unsheathe with a satisfying shink. She smiled, and charged after the buizel, into battle.