This is a work of fanfiction by Butterfree/Dragonfree/antialiasis and is not to be reposted without permission. This story is in no way official or endorsed by Nintendo, GAME FREAK, Creatures Inc., or The Pokémon Company.

Morphic

For more information on this story and a full list of chapters and extras, click here. Please note that Morphic is rated R (M if you prefer Fiction Ratings) for strong language, violence and other sensitive subject matter.

Chapter 1

“…these pro-life protesters are terrorizing vulnerable women on the worst day of their lives. It’s not only tasteless, it’s cruel.”

“Tell me, if a train was coming, and one of these vulnerable women was standing on the tracks, and couldn’t see the train – wouldn’t you want to save them before the train hits them? Wouldn’t you try your very best to persuade them to get off the track, no matter how many people shout at you for making them feel bad for where they’re standing?”

“Well, there is no train, is the thing. Ultimately, in a civil society, you can’t simply impose…”

“Are you actually watching that, Gabriel?” asked his dad’s voice, and Gabriel snapped out of a trance.

“Huh, no, I’m… just spaced out a bit, I guess.” He stretched out on the sofa, blinked hard, picked at a scab on his hand. Maybe he should just call Jack, see if he wanted to hang out for a bit. Hadn’t he said the comic book store was getting a new run of Mutants?

“Mind if I head out in a bit, Dad?” he asked, yawning.

“Sure. Home before dinner?”

Gabriel shrugged. “Dunno, what were you thinking?”

His father smiled. “Just call me. If you’re skipping dinner I can have the leftovers.”

-------

By the time Jack and Gabriel got out of the comic book store with their respective hauls, the sun was lowering in the sky. They’d lost track of time reading the first couple new issues, then talking to their friend who worked there part-time, then checking out this new series his mouth was watering over. Gabriel looked at his watch as they trudged towards the bus stop. “D’you think your parents might have food for four?”

“Probably.” Jack shrugged. “You know they’re always happy to have you.”

“I know, I know. Let me just text my dad.”

They collapsed on the bus stop bench, and he pulled his phone out of his pocket. Not coming to dinner, he typed. In seconds he got an ok! back. His dad was always chill about it, but he still felt kind of bad about the increasing frequency of him half-living at Jack’s house.

He sighed as he put his phone away, idly considering whether to just pick up where he left off on the comic or ramble to Jack about what he was thinking.

He didn’t get to make a decision before a hand clamped over his mouth. He let out a muffled yelp as hands gripped his arms, pulling him, and frantically looked over at Jack – only to find him unconscious, slumped over, a sparkling green powder hanging in the air.

The Gloom standing at his feet turned. Gabriel tried to scream as a man and a woman clad in black grabbed Jack and hauled him towards a van parked on the side of the street, then struggled to hold his wasted breath as the Sleep Powder saturated the air. It was only seconds before his burning lungs forced him to inhale.

As his mind began to fade, his muscles flopping into uselessness, he eyed the large red ‘R’ emblazoned on the side of the van, and wondered what it meant.

-------

Katherine Harrison dropped her pencil.

Oh, whoops. She picked it up off the floor again, discreet, and kept writing, hoping the clatter hadn’t disturbed too many people.

The essay question went all right, that minor interruption aside. She flipped through the pages of the exam when the bell rang to signify time was up, making sure she hadn’t missed anything. A few questions here and there she couldn’t answer, what even was that one about the two trees and the rope, but not too shabby all in all.

When she finally made it out of the school building, she stretched, looking around for her brother. Pete had said he’d be done before she got out. He was probably playing soccer with his friends, or something like that. She squinted towards the soccer field. Oh, there he was, sprinting towards her and waving like a maniac.

“How dare you make me wait ten seconds,” she said as he skid to a halt in front of her, panting.

“I know, I’m terrible,” he said and grinned. “How’d it go?”

“Fine. Winning your game?”

“Nah. But it doesn’t count now I’m not playing anymore!”

“That’s not how it works, you dolt.” She gave his hair a ruffle. “Come on, Dad’s probably almost here.”

They walked to the edge of the school grounds, leaning against the chain-link fence, waiting for their father’s truck. Katherine idly thought of the piece she was practicing on the violin, moving her fingers to pinch imaginary strings. Maybe tonight she’d finally get the hang of that difficult section and—

“Kath—nnngh—”

She turned her head to find her brother crumpling to the ground against the fence. “Hey! Everything okay?” She moved to grab him before he hit the ground, smelled something funny in the air, and only noticed the Gloom when her head was already swimming.

“What’s… huh?” she slurred, her body suddenly heavy. Her fingers clutched at Pete’s shirt as she stumbled and fell awkwardly against the fence too, heart racing furiously. The one thought she managed to hold on to as she sank down to the pavement was that at least she’d slowed his fall.

-------

Gabriel woke up, opening his eyes slowly. He felt like he was buried in mud, like his entire face was caked in it. He tried to lift a hand; it was heavy, unwieldy, definitely covered with something.

He was lying somewhere. Dark walls. Cold, fluorescent lights in the ceiling. He… didn’t seem submerged in the strange liquid or anything. He felt around with his hand; he was on a rough concrete floor.

God, what was this shit. With some effort, he lifted both his hands into his field of vision. They were covered with… some kind of murky orange sludge?

He tried to wipe it off one hand with the other, but the initial relief of feeling air on the skin beneath turned into a horrid burning, stinging sensation. “Ow! Fuck, what’s…”

He shook his hand, the throbbing pain dulling as slime seeped out of the skin, covering it again. “…What.”

All at once what had happened came back to him – the van, Jack. He bolted upright, vision darkening with dizziness; he had to support himself with his hands, try to breathe. Nothing but bare dark wall ahead of him. “Jack?”

“Nn… Gabriel?”

He whirled around at his friend’s voice and found himself looking through bars. He was… he was in a cage, a tiny cell with a barred door and a bucket and not much else. Opposite him, on the other side of a dark corridor, was a second cell, and on the floor of it, curled up in a fetal position, lay…

Jack. But… his usual olive complexion had turned a saturated blue, over his entire body, at least what wasn’t covered by the grimy hospital gown he was dressed in. Gabriel briefly glanced down to see that he was wearing an identical one, uselessly soaked through with slime, clinging unpleasantly to him like a wet T-shirt.

“Jack, what the fuck. You okay?”

The blue boy was stirring, propping himself up on his elbow as he rubbed at his eyes. The two yellow bulbs that Gabriel had initially taken to be some junk lying next to him seemed to be attached to Jack’s head by springy rods, bobbing up and down in front of his face as he moved. He blinked, reached up to poke them, grab them, feel the rods around to the back of his head. “…Huh.”

Jack’s eyes finally focused on Gabriel, and he jolted in horror, recoiling. “Oh, holy shit. Gabriel?”

“You look like a… a fucking Chinchou.”

“Yeah, you look like a Slugma. Can you even breathe?”

“I’m fine, I’m just…” Gabriel reached up to his face, felt only more slime. Come to think of it, it was a miracle he could breathe. “God. What the hell did…” He cut himself short as felt his way up the broad stalks extending up from his eyebrows, growing hotter towards the top. “Oh, fuck. You weren’t kidding.”

Jack was examining his hands. “My fingers, what the hell.” He raised them up to show webbing, fins. “What happened?” His voice was wavering. “We were on the bench and then… Gabriel, are you okay?”

“Some people with a Gloom. Put us in a van with an R on it. That’s all I know.”

Gabriel felt his heart thumping in his temples. They’d been kidnapped. And they were… turning into Pokémon? Turned?

“Hi.”

His head snapped to where the voice was coming from – a new voice, a girl’s voice but deep for a girl, strangely monotone, from the cell next to Jack’s.

The owner of the voice came into view, cocking her head at Gabriel through the bars, and Gabriel recoiled. There was something deeply wrong with her face, jaws elongated, mouth too wide, her pupils narrow slits, and three horns stuck out of the back of her skull; her hair was green, unkempt, but he couldn’t place what sort of Pokémon she might have been fused with until he eyed her clawed, green feet, and then noticed the glint of blades growing out of her forearms: a Scyther. He shuddered.

“You’re new,” the Scyther girl said, as if nothing were more natural.

“Can you tell us what the fuck is going on?” Gabriel asked, heard his voice cracking.

“We’re Pokémorphs,” the girl said, her face and voice still unsettlingly nonchalant about the situation. “Team Rocket injected Pokémon DNA into us and now we’re half Pokémon. It’s weird because that’s not how DNA works. I tried to ask Dave about it but he was very evasive.”

“Team… Rocket?” The gang that allegedly poached Pokémon and ran casinos? Why would they…? “Who’s Dave?”

Before she could answer, there was an abrupt noise beyond the reinforced door at the end of the corridor, a thump like someone bumping into something followed by a stifled curse. Gabriel jumped, staring, as he heard the click of a lock, then saw the handle turn.

The door opened to reveal a man in a white lab coat with a red ‘R’ on it, the same logo that had been on the van, looking disheveled and like he hadn’t slept in a week. He squinted critically into the room, blinking as his eyes found Gabriel.

“Holy shit, you actually survived.” An impressed smirk broke out on the man’s face. “Wow, I’m good.”

“What the fuck?” Gabriel said, his brain struggling to make any sense of what was going on. “Who are you? Let us out!”

The man clenched his jaw and turned away from him to peer at Jack instead, frowning at his webbed hands.

“Why are you doing this?” Jack asked, clutching the bars of his cell. “Please, just let us go home.”

“Look, that’s not really fucking up to me,” the man said, scowling. “I’m the reason you’re not fucking dead. Some thanks would be nice.”

“What?!” Gabriel felt hot, in a funny way he’d never quite felt before; he reached for the bars and found his hand glowing, the metal smoking under his fingers. “You kidnapped us!”

I didn’t fucking kidnap anyone, Jesus.” The man whirled around, gritting his teeth. “The fuck do you think I’ve got to do with the executive decisions? If Giovanni wants some fucking Pokémorphs for some asinine reason, read too many YA books or whatever the fuck, you cooperate or he has you shot and finds somebody else who’s less competent and would have turned you into a fucking pile of goop with bones in it. You’re welcome.”

Gabriel stared at him, his fingers tightening on the bars, fury bubbling within him. “Are you Dave?”

The man narrowed his eyes at him, glanced towards the Scyther girl for a moment and then back at him. “…She tell you that?”

“They were asking what was going on,” she said.

“Mia, you don’t… look, never mind.” Dave pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Fuck you,” Gabriel said, his voice shaking, a little amazed at himself that he was even saying this out loud. “You don’t get to kidnap teenagers and then act self-righteous that you didn’t murder them.”

Dave pressed his lips together. “Yeah, well, fuck you too.”

He turned and left back through the door, the lock clicking as it slid into place.

Gabriel’s heart was racing, so fast he found it worrying on some abstract level, but mostly he just wanted to get out, to scream, to move. He paced to the other side of his cell and back, something about the feel of the stone beneath his bare feet nourishing—

“Gabriel?” Jack said carefully, and he stopped, his train of thought coming to a screeching halt. “You all right?”

His heart thumped deafeningly. “I’m…” He shook his head. “I feel weird.”

Jack was biting his lip, looking at him. “We need to get out of here,” he said. “But just… be careful. We don’t know what they did to us.”

Gabriel sat down on the concrete floor and rubbed slime over his closed eyes. What the fuck.

-------

Jean stirred on the concrete floor. She’d had the weirdest dream where people in black took her and…

Her eyes flew open. Before she’d fallen asleep, they’d said something about Pokémorphs.

She could feel new sensations, a tail, no, tails. With a gasp, she reached back to find beautiful, curled Vulpix tails growing out of her. They were so soft and silky! She felt at her head – she had floppy triangular Vulpix ears that she could perk and swivel! Tight lovely hair curls!

She looked just like her hero, Sarah Hooter, escaped Rocket experiment supersoldier extraordinaire, who could Flamethrower every bad guy into oblivion. Jean squealed with barely-contained delight. What would she do with her newfound powers? Would she torch the Rocket base? Rescue the other Pokémorphs who were probably here somewhere? Kick the asses of every mugger and burglar in the city? She would be a superhero. This was the best day of her life!

She turned excitedly. She was in a cell with bars – no problem, she’d just melt them, she could probably do that – but opposite her, in the cell on the other side of the room, there was a boy, curled up like a kitty, with Meowth ears and whiskers and a tail, and it was the cutest thing Jean had ever seen. She let out another high-pitched squeal, bouncing on her feet, and the boy jerked awake, lifting his head.

“What’s going on…?” he asked, sleepily. “Who are you?”

“You’re so cute!” she said. “You’re just like a kitty!”

“I’m… what?” The boy furrowed his brow as his ears turned. Abruptly, he raised his hands and felt around his face, his expression changing to one of horror.

“You’re a Meowth Pokémorph! Like I’m a Vulpix one! Ooh, do you read Sarah Hooter? What’s your name? We’re going to be best friends!”

The boy rose onto all fours, back arched, tail fur all standing on end, just like a cat. Jean’s eyes practically sparkled. Disappointingly, he seemed to realize, face flushing as he rose to stand like a human, wincing as he wiggled his Meowth-like toes. He averted his eyes from her, shoulders slumped, making himself small as he looked around timidly.

“I’m Will,” he said. “Where are we?”

“Probably a Rocket base!” Jean said enthusiastically. “Ooh, unless it’s another team of sinister scientists. A new one!”

“What did they do to us?”

“They made us Pokémorphs!”

Will winced, looking away again. “Yeah, you said that, but… can they change us back?”

Jean gaped at him in disbelief. “Why would you want to go back? This is awesome! You can be a superhero!”

“I guess.” The boy sat down, hugging his knees, staring at the floor.

It was a little disappointing that Will didn’t see how cool this was, but really this was just like Sarah’s best friend Kuro. He had angst about being a Pokémorph, too, and was all brooding and dark and mysterious. Will could be her Kuro. “Don’t worry. We’re going to escape and it’ll be awesome!”

“Mmm.” Will had started to absent-mindedly lick the back of his hand, like a kitty, and she was not going to point it out to him. He was so cute! Jean couldn’t wait to form a superhero team with him.

-------

Lucy sat in her cell. She didn’t really need to; she could phase through the bars. She’d tried it before out of curiosity. But if she left like that she couldn’t take Mia with her, and even if she could find the keys to open her cell, she wasn’t sure Mia wanted to leave. She liked being half Scyther, and talking to Dave when he came by. And if her sister was staying, Lucy’d stay too.

She’d heard when the two boys woke up, the ones who called each other Jack and Gabriel. Her parents had told her not to talk to strangers, so she stayed by the wall of her cell, where they couldn’t see her.

Dave’d tried to find out if she had ghost powers. Lucy wasn’t sure she should let him know, so she’d pretended, stayed solid while he was measuring her. If they needed to leave, then it was better if she could get out, and nobody else knew.

Jack and Gabriel seemed okay. Maybe they could all get out together. Only if Mia wanted to, though. Lucy wished she’d want to.

It’d been a while now. The boys were talking with each other again. She couldn’t cross over to Mia’s cell without letting them see her. She waited anxiously, wondering what to do.

And that was when she heard the click of the lock again. She moved over to the bars, looking curiously towards the door. Dave wouldn’t usually be coming back this soon, would he?

The door swung open. It was Dave, eyes bloodshot and wider than usual, holding a half-full bottle in one hand and a ring of keys in the other.

“Okay, fuckers,” he said, voice shaking as he moved towards Gabriel’s cell, fiddling with the keys, “come on, we’re getting out of here. For the love of God be quiet.”

Page last modified March 31 2021 at 21:23 GMT