Minor Miscalculations

Pokémon are the intellectual property of Nintendo, Gamefreak, and anyone else who may've bought into it. This work in no way infringes upon the terms of fair use.

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Like every other morning in this little corner of Hoenn, the day dawned pale and bright, the songs of birds (and other assorted Pokémon) drifting across the land as a pale soundtrack for the slowly stirring human life, as well as all of the other creatures much less slothful in their habits. Alvin rose slowly, weary from yet another late night. Summer was over now, and school was resuming, forcing its iron grip upon him. Weeks wandering the countryside in seek of adventure and glory in the Pokémon training league would be postponed until the next year. The dull work of learning for one's dull future had to commence again, much to Alvin's dismay, and all his loyal companions, Pokémon he had trained for long hours and had stuck with him through thick and thin, had all been sent to some miscellaneous relative to care for until this year came to its conclusion.

All but Desumo, his Pikachu, who was currently asleep somewhere in the realm of his feet, shivering slightly every now and then against the cold. Only the young man's mother called the electrical mouse that, though. Everyone else just called him Des. The Pokémon trainer had treated him like an equal and loyal friend throughout his short career, showing him respect and kindness in all circumstances. In return, Des had given him three gym badges, several second degree burns, and above all, his unconditional love and trust. Des could be trusted to do anything in his power, even at personal risk, to protect /his/ trainer, and had saved the boy's life more than once. Thus, when his mother told him he would have to send him away for the summer, Alvin had blatantly refused. After much pain, several cuts to his allowance, and a few blows, he had managed it. This year he would get to keep training with him even during the "off season" (at least it was for him: really good trainers were home schooled or self-taught). Who knew? With good behavior, Des might even be able to come with him to school!

A few slow moving hours, a shower, three pieces of poorly cooked bacon, and a spilled mug of coffee later, the young Alvin was again crossing through the small stretch of forest that separated his small house from the rest of the town, and the school. Sure, people had been rumored to have been hurt in the forest before, and there was even a disappearance every few years. But that only happened to /the other guy, right? Roads and trails were for chums without well-trained electric Pokémon riding their shoulders. After so many years raising him, the young man was as good as any human could possibly be where understanding the Pokémon language was concerned. True, he could not discuss the weather, or recommend his favorite books to the mouse (Well: He could, but the reply would be unintelligible), but he knew when his friend was pleased, or aggravated, or cold, or hot, or hungry, or thirsty. He knew where his favorite place to hide when he was scared (behind the water heater in the basement), and he knew how to properly ground himself so that Des could attack while in physical contact with him and not cause him harm. Similarly, the mouse knew exactly how to inform his trainer he absolutely needed his body heat, and when he just wanted to be left alone. The two enjoyed a bond unlike with any of the boy's other Pokémon. It was not an unusual thing. Often trainers had a favorite who they /knew/ almost as well as a human friend. Des was Alvin's.

The two had journied at least halfway to the town before either could tell something was amiss. The air seemed clearer all of the sudden, free from the little smog that cars and power production plants produced. "Des, does something seem different about the forest today?" Alvin stopped walking, looking around him with a quizzical and searching expression.

The mouse leapt easily from his shoulder onto the ground below, looking up with an equally puzzled expression. "Pika?" The words were not English, but the tone and eye of his partner seemed to say: "I don't know, Does there?"

Alvin pointed upwards, to the layer of smog hanging in a thin brown haze above the town… or where the thin haze of smog should've been. The air was crisp and clean, as though it has never been exposed. "But… I suppose we should get going… I worked out a timetable with a margin of safety, but not enough to stand here all day looking at the sky." With that, Alvin dashed off, Des at his heels. Within seconds, the mouse had somehow found his way back onto Alvin's shoulder.

What it the name of…

It was a hedge, two of them actually, stretching progressively into the early morning mist, which seemed to have chosen nowhere but here to condense. Alvin walked curiously up to it, pulling out his cell phone and snapping a few quick shots. This trip to school was rapidly resembling one of the adventures he had left behind! "Well, what do you think Des?"

"Pikachu!" He said eagerly. The tone of it was all the encouragement Alvin needed. He had seen these woods dozens of times, explored every corner, every tree. There was nothing like this! Such a find was worth being truant to explore any day.

The two (Or rather the one, considering Des was riding rather than walking) walked for what seemed like hours into the mist (Though only five minutes had passed). Although it had at first seemed never-ending, Alvin had just disproved that theory: He had reached the end. It wasn't spectacular or anything, just a circle of blue stone arranged in a circle with a few small points, and a circle of lighter blue stones arranged in a similar circle inside the first. What was remarkable was that the stones refused to move. Alvin had accidentally kicked one when he first stumbled upon the pattern (Having not seen it through the dense fog), and had received this painful revelation. Despite the best of his strength, and he was not a weak one mind you, not a single stone would be moved "Well Des, what do you think?"

"Pi-, Pika -pi!"

One stone held the place of prominence in the center of the smallest inner circle, its shade of vibrant yellow in stark contrast with the pale blue of the other stones, its form half-buried in the ground. Was that... a thunderstone? Such a find would be of great benefit for the both of them, that went without saying. The young man stepped easily over the inner ring of small stones, shivering slightly as his boots made contact with the ground. There was an expectant feel in the air, the kind of dull static buzzing one can feel as a herald to a thunderstorm.

Des squeaked nervously on his shoulder, easily sensing what the human could not. His words loosely translated to "We have to get out of here, it isn't safe!", and Alvin understood. For the first time in years, however, he ignored him. He bent down, reaching out to the stone as though drawn by magnetic attraction. Sure, the benefits of having one were certainly tangible, but there was something else, something beyond the five senses. Acting purely on instinct, Des performed what seemed like the most logical and direct course of action to protect his trainer (Who was clearly too stupid to realize the danger he was in): He unleashed a powerful electric shock.

Alvin knew how to avoid being accidentally shocked, but could do nothing to prevent it when he was the intended target. The strategy had worked brilliantly for Des in the past, saving Alvin's life on several occasions. Unfortunately, it would now fail. For Alvin laid his hand upon the stone just as Des let loose with enough electricity to make him think twice. He did, but not because of the shock.

The electricity (being law abiding pockets of excited electrons) took the most direct route to the center of the earth. If only Alvin had been barefoot, or had reached for the stone with an arm upon which Des did not perch, the electricity might've taken a different route, sparing him from the effects the stone would shortly bring. Alas, fate was seldom forgiving, and this was to be no exception.

The stone immediately set out to perform the function for which it had been designed. The electrical attack was registered, cataloged, and the species which had performed it divined. Without too much of a delay, the burst of energy intended to devolve the creature which had performed the attack exploded outward. The only problem was, Des wasn't holding the stone.

Alvin instantly dropped to his knees, forcing Des onto the ground in front of him, cradling the hand which had been the conduit for so much energy. It felt as though it had been set on fire. And the fire was spreading. Before long, his entire body felt alight with the burning pain. Just as Alvin began to wish for death, the sensation evaporated into a sinking, pressing feeling. It was like going down in an elevator and a jet at the same time, but much more acute. As he shrunk, the weight of his clothing and backpack became greater and greater, until he was completely helpless beneath it. That was not to be the worst of it, however. For as fur of light yellow began to grow in a wave across his body, human proportions began to change to more properly fit the new body size.

The young man writhed under the crushing weight of both the transformation and his backpack. With slight squelching noises, bones and organs reshaped and expanded to fill a completely different body structure. His chest and head swelled, while connective tissues shrunk down to miniscule proportions. His head was the worst, with ears rising (accompanied by the horrible sound of stretching and straining cartilage) to the top of head, stretching to a size longer and nearly wider than the head where they rested. Eyes tripled in size, expanding to fill much more of his face, and nose withdrew to nothing more than a speck. With a lurch, his hips stretched, then contracted, forming a joint suited for a quadruped (Though a small gap remained, permitting the limited bipedal habits of the species he was rapidly becoming). As both arms and legs withdrew to half their human length, Alvin could again move. With one final pop as a stubby black tail forced its way out of the skin behind him, the transformation was complete.

With a grunt, Alvin crawled through the hole where his neck had been moments before, lying naked and limp on the damp earth beside Des and the stone. He felt so many things, strange things! The ground pushing against his body, the wind above, and the smells. There were so many, nearly all of them terrifying and foreign to him. And that was just on the outside. He felt so much fear, so exposed, vulnerable. He was naked for goodness sakes! His senses dashed from one object to the next (though he was face down in the soil, and unable to see anything), searching for threat.

What's happened to me?

The larger mouse looked down upon him with horror written plainly upon his face. "Chu?" But this time, his words were not gibberish, and nor did they sound too quiet or too high in pitch. Quite the contrary, they calmed him like the comforting words of his father in times of trouble. "Alvin? Is that you?"

"P...pi." What the hell? The voice was higher than the one he had just heard, and had a weak, stuttering feel about it. What was worse, however, was that the words were not English. He knew exactly what they meant, but could at the same time, though his ears, hear as they truly sounded. "Pichu! Pi- CHU!"; "Y-yes... What happened to me? Who are you?"

This time, he heard no English equivalents. The words in Pokémon were all he heard, and he felt like he had spoken it all of his life. "You are Alvin! I could feel that stone was dangerous, now look at you!" The larger mouse bent down, gripped Alvin's ears firmly, and pulled him back to a standing position on two legs, easily lifting his former trainer's minimal weight. He was at equal height, with the ears. Take those out of account, and the Pikachu was about a head taller. He spun Alvin so the two were facing each other, brushing the dirt from his fur with one paw.

Alvin did not have the strength to resist. One moment he had been walking to school, the next he was being treated like a… child… by his Pikachu! He felt so weak and frail, hardly able to stand on his own strength: like a single fall might break his bones. He couldn't be more than eight inches tall, twelve with the ears. Still, as he looked up at his loyal friend with watery eyes, he felt comforted. Somehow, without knowing how he knew it, he knew that Des would protect him… would keep him safe… would keep him from getting too cold. Like a child's unyielding faith in his/her parents, a sense of undying trust on a level of nothing before between the two formed inside him, linking him with complete dependence to the only adult of his species he could see: Des. The trust that had, moments before, connected the Pikachu to the trainer, now connected the trainer to the Pikachu.

"I don't understand… how is this…" He trailed off, thinking hard. Some words came out right away, while others required a great deal of internal struggle before he found a word that would properly fill the gap. The language was much simpler than English, of that Alvin had little doubt. "Able to happen to me? Why am I a…" He couldn't even bring himself to say the word, as though doing so would signal to some unknown deity that he was resigned to his fate.

"Pichu? You make a cute baby!" Des said affectionately, stepping back with a smile.

Alvin swayed back and forth slowly as he spoke, blushing furiously. No, he wasn't blushing… the red patches on his cheeks were lighting up, sparking slightly. As anyone who has tried to keep one will tell you, Pichu have very little control of their elemental powers, often releasing all their pent-up energy upon some random target when surprised or angry. "You aren't making me feel better! How can I go to..." He struggled for a moment, unable to force the word 'school' out. "My daily gathering-place… looking like this?" He felt the anger, the fear, building up inside him until… until… electricity exploded out of him, weak little bolts of lightning shooting in many directions, striking nearby trees and rocks.

Des lifted his tail just in time to avoid being shocked (However weak it might've been), absorbing the five or six bolts of random energy with ease. "Watch it with the electricity, Alvin, You could hurt someone!"

The Pichu looked, if anything, more hurt and confused than before. Not only had he just been turned into a Pokémon, but the first thing he had done was nearly hurt his best friend in the whole world. How was this possible? He knew of a few powerful Pokémon and magicians who could produce effects like this… but in the middle of nowhere, for no reason? "Sorry, I didn't mean it! It just sorta… came out."

At least the lightning had stopped. As it seemed, a Pichu could not hold very much electricity. If anything, Alvin felt, weaker, drained… too weak to stand on two legs. With one quick motion, he had fallen from two legs onto four, looking up at Des with fearful eyes. "Please… will you take me … to the… nest? It's so big and scary out here!" He almost gasped at his words. Not only did he look like a weak and pitiful child, he sounded like it. And right now, he felt it.

Des, apparently acting on an instinctive fashion, dropped down from his precarious two-legged stance and moved closer to Alvin, hugging him in no less supporting a fashion as any father who's small child had been frightened by first sight of lightning might. The Pichu seemed to still slightly, and became less restless. "It's ok… I've saved you before, I'll keep you safe now."

It was at about this time when he remembered his family, and he seemed instantly to be on the verge of tears. If he could understand Des, it meant… they would not be able to understand him. His life, his dream of one day becoming a gym leader, was lost to him forever. Would he even stand a chance of convincing his family that Des had not brought along some random animal into the house off the street? Getting in would be easy enough: A few years ago he had personally installed the doggie-door which Des used to wander freely in and out of the house while Alvin was otherwise occupied. "You don't suppose staying here will change me back?"

Despite Des being an excellent example of the best intelligence the Pikachu species had to offer, unusual intelligence could only go so far. When it came down to it, he was nothing more than a wild animal. Thinking of the future in any extended sense was almost completely beyond him. Nor could it change the fact that he knew no more of this strange series of events than his trainer did. "I don't know… but not doing anything never gets anything done. Let's go to the nest now… I haven't had a playmate in a long time! Do you know any games?"

What? One moment Des sounds like he wants to help me find a way back, the next he is talking about playing? Nest? What he did not remember, nor even realize, was that he had used precisely the same word. Much as children and young adults could move to new areas and pick up new accents, Alvin's words and thought processes were changing before his very eyes without his ever realizing it.

Apparently his Pikachu was less of a savior than he had thought. This was no time for games! But he had to admit; he was pretty much done-for without him. He may or may not have been old enough to have electrical attacks capable of striking anyone or anything else with force, but as he had just unwittingly demonstrated, he did not know how to control them properly. Not yet, anyway. He needed to get Pikachu to get him home. After that, his mom could help him! His mom could /always/ help him.

"Yes, games! But we have to get to the nest first. Can you take me there?" He could never get over how childish and helpless his voice sounded… like a baby. Come to think of it, that was what he was now. Mom and Dad will have gone to work… I can use the time until they return to think of a way to communicate.

"Sure! But you have to stay close… there could be ground or fighter type about."

Alvin took a few unwitting steps closer to Des, shivering at the thought of how easily he might be taken off to be eaten by any number of species that dwelled in these woods who he had thought of as amusing and even affectionate a few minutes before. He was, once again, a part of the food chain. And unfortunately for Alvin, it was a part of the base. "Ok. Just help me push my… thing… into the bushes." No word for bag? Just what do we have words for? No, not we! They! They have words for?

With a great deal of expended effort, the two electrical rodents managed to push Alvin's colossal bookbag into the bushes, and were slowly walking away when Des voiced an idea: "My pokeball is in that big thing of yours, right? I know how to open it. If you got inside I could take you back to the nest without you having to get hurt!"

The idea was a good one, Alvin had to admit, but it also made him cringe. He hated pokeballs! No, his body hated them. But either was, the thought of going inside one of those things repulsed him at a very deep level. Aside from that, there was one other, huge risk, he almost altogether avoided considering. What if Des got killed, captured, or otherwise restrained? How long would he remain trapped in some forgotten electronic before an unwitting traveler would release him? It could take days! Months! Even years! No. If he was going to die, he might as well face his doom standing up, even if he was standing on four legs.

"No. I'll walk. You might need help. Perhaps I am not well trained, and I don't know how to use my powers, but it might be you could make use of me as something to hold electricity, a bit of extra energy if you need it." He had tried to say "battery", but it just wouldn't come out. Blast it all.

Des giggled slightly, a sound his human side was repulsed to, but his Pichu one seemed cheered by. To humans, a larger, stronger, male should never perform such a dishonorable act, as it was almost a crime of sociality; an unspoken rule that not dare be disobeyed. But where Pikachu were concerned, if you had a feeling, you expressed it immediately, without reservation. It was liberating. Or at least, it could be so, should Alvin take advantage of it. At the moment, however, all his thoughts were bent on one objective and one alone: Getting home. If he could do that, Alvin knew everything would be all right.

"I don't know if you could help, but… it's your head. If you want to risk it out in the open… you must be very brave." Without another word from either of them, the two set off again, Alvin as close as he could possibly be to not make physical contact. He did not need anyone to tell him it was going to be a long trip.

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A/N: Alright here's my first attempt at a fanfiction for better or worse. As one may soon see, there is a distinct similarity (in many extra-situational aspects) to what I consider one of the best Pokémon based fanfictions on this site (Yes, I did talk to Rusty Raccoon). In truth, that particular work stuck me with such force that I was compelled to take pen to paper (or in this case, fingers to keyboard) and write my own in a similar, believable universe (perhaps even the same universe altogether). This work has not been edited, so I ask anyone reading it that takes note of any error to let me know so I can fix it. It is my only hope that this work will someday be of comparative quality to the one which inspired it. As you can tell, this work will have many, many chapters of about this length. My goal is about twenty. Please, please, comment on this, as it is my first attempt at fanfiction! I would really like to get better, but I can't do it without a bit of help!

This chapter has been revised and proofread in an attempt to eliminate most error. 1/15/07 10:24 AM