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Thread: Same. [WWC]

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    Gray Nine's Avatar
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    Default Same. [WWC]

    I was sitting down in my brown, leather chair. I was reviewing a lengthy report my team had been working on. After months of hard work, we developed a way for our company, Trainer's Essentials, to produce Pokeballs more efficiently. Tomorrow our team was going to present our innovative report to our superiors, and I wanted to make sure everything was ready. I dissected every sentence, stared at every graph, and examined every page for what felt like the thousandth time. No matter how hard I looked, I couldn't even come up with a single minor change to nitpick. My biggest fear was our proposal being declined after all the hours of hard work my team put into it. The report was fully transparent with the potential change's ethical issues, but we were sure first to show off how beneficial the plan could be for Trainer's Essentials. It's always important to give your reader a sense of familiarity and success rather than taking them directly to somewhere uncomfortable.

    BZZZT

    Shocked, my eyes darted up to a clock hanging on the wall. It was already 6 o'clock. Wondering where the time went, I filed the report in my drawer, put on my coat, packed by briefcase, and exited my cubicle to a busy hallway. Dozens of other Trainer's Essentials employees were shambling towards the exit. They were clearly exhausted after a hard day of work, but I still felt like I could keep going for hours on end. I made my way to the end of the hallway and managed to enter the floor's elevator before its sleek, silver doors closed. The Trainer's Essentials employees crammed in the elevator were all dressed in similar suits, and most of them were browsing their company-issued phones. Knowing that I was just like everyone else, like a thread of a flag or a dot in a Pointillism piece, put a small smile on my face. A cog in a machine, a key factor in a greater purpose.

    The elevator opened to the massive first floor lobby. The other employees and I left the elevator to cross the lobby's calming dark blue carpet towards the building's exit. As my exhausted co-workers shambled their way through the room, I walked with a spring in my step. My briefcase felt as light as air. I was as excited for my presentation tomorrow as I was nervous about it. I left the building and made my way to my car, unfazed by the freezing January winds.

    After an uneventful drive to my large suburban home, I pulled into my driveway. Something was wrong. It was hard to make out in the dark, but there was a black car pulled up close to the garage. There was someone inside the passenger seat, but more importantly there was an unmistakable siren on the car's roof. The Johto Police were at my house. I parked my car on the side of my driveway. If only the passenger seat was occupied in the police car, another officer had to be inside my home. I sprinted to my front door and flung it open. As I expected, a tall, muscular officer adorned in a Johto Police uniform stood in my foyer speaking with my wife. He stopped whatever sentence he was in the middle of saying and turned his head directly towards me.

    "Ah, Mr. Onaji I presume?" he asked.

    "Y...yeah," I stammered. Was the officer here for me?

    "Please follow me to my cruiser. We have a few questions for you, Mr. Onaji."

    All the confidence I had mere minutes ago was gone.

    "Y...yes sir..." I stammered as I stepped back outside. The officer walked at my side as I approached the cruiser. I was shivering violently, and not just because of the temperature. The officer held his vehicle's backseat door open for me. I crawled inside, he slammed the door. The officer then entered the driver's seat and gave a quick wave to greet his partner in the passenger seat before turning around, resting his elbow on top of his seat and staring directly at me. The officer in the passenger seat hit a switch by his window to lock the doors and began operating some sort of recording device.

    "Mr. Onaji, the Johto Police have been investigating an alarming... incident," explained the officer. His forehead wrinkled in uneasiness as he explained the situation. "Lots of people around here have been acting pretty funny. Forgetting all sorts of important stuff, not even remembering their family members. They change their hobbies and when they sleep. We looked into this and monitored some of the victims. One..." the officer trailed off then gulped. "...turned into a Pokemon when it thought nobody was looking. We had the victim take a pill that government scientists engineered. It would've been harmless to a human, but the victim, as we theorized, wasn't human. It was a Pokemon known as Ditto. The pill revealed the monster's true form to us, and we disposed of it appropriately. We've received an anonymous tip that you might be one of these people that got... replaced."

    The officer reached into is pocket, took out a small transparent bag, and held it in his hand in front of me. Inside the bag was a small, white pill.

    "If you really are Mr. Onaji, I'm going to need you to take this."

    The officer kept his arm extended towards me. He had a worried, yet sympathetic look on his face. He clearly believed there was a possibility I was human. The officer's eyes widened. He retracted his harm. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.

    It all happened in a matter of seconds. My legs retracted into my body. I put my arms up to my chest, then through my chest as if I were water. I absorbed my clothes into the ball my body had formed. I completely reverted to my natural state, a neon pink blob of goo. My body then re-assembled itself into a light blue orb. White, razor sharp spikes jutted out from the orb and into the cruiser's seat. A plump, dark gray body sprouted out from under the orb and extended for several feet. I opened my two red eyes on what formed to become my face as I sprouted two small arms, a massive tail that took up the entire back seat, and various white and blue patterns.

    Before the cops had time to react to my sudden transformation into a Rampardos, the blue orb on my head began glowing a bright white. I planted my feet on the floor of the car and sprung upwards. My head smashed directly through the cruiser's roof, launching myself into the air. As I approached the peak of my jump, I transformed back into my original form. My dinosaur form had reverted as quickly as I had transformed into it. As my pink, gelatinous body began to fall back to the ground, I transformed yet again. Instead of expanding like I had for my human and Rampardos forms, this metamorphosis was into a smaller body. My body molded itself into a small head covered in black, white, and red feathers. A short drill-like beak sprouted from one end while a small avian body grew from the other. I opened my blue Pikipek eyes and flew as fast as I could.

    I wasn't even paying attention where I was going. All I wanted to do was escape. Between the pitch black feathers that covered me blending in with the dark night sky and the minuscule size of my current form, I was almost certain that the officers had no way of tracking me. Still, I could never be too safe. I soared dozens of feet over my neighbor's houses. As I flew away, I asked myself how I could have possibly been caught. I had been living life as a human for years. If what the officer said was true, multiple other Ditto followed my tracks and have tried to live as humans. After all, no other Ditto joined me when I initially decided to start this new life.

    I flew past the last street of houses and reached rural farmland. I steered myself towards an uninhabited patch of land. I perched my talons on the untouched soil, and for the first time in years, I felt truly alone. Before beginning my life as a human, I rarely saw others of my kind. Wild Ditto rarely stayed together. The biggest reason for this was unwanted attention. If too many Ditto were found in the same place, a human could discover their camp and attempt to capture them. I've heard horror stories of captured Ditto being enslaved for life to breed other Pokemon for humanity's amusement. Ditto are capable of breeding with almost any species. Ironically, one of the few we can't breed with are other Ditto.

    Back when I felt alone as I did now, I lived my life in fear. Every day I was constantly paranoid of getting captured by a human. On days when I wasn't being disturbed by intrusive humans, I could easily handle my own survival. As a Ditto, I could survive by eating anything that my shape-shifted form would be capable of eating. Since survival wasn't an issue, I was left with quite a bit of free time. As risky as it was, I spent much of this time shape-shifted into undesirable Pokemon for humans to catch, such as a common Rattata, and sneaking into the nearby Goldenrod City. I envied the humans so much. Their sense of purpose was so well defined. The young humans would spend most of their days grouping up to receive knowledge from some adult humans known as teachers, while the adult humans would spend most of their time grouping up with other adult humans to advance their technology and manage a massive society. While it wasn't uncommon for me to see other Pokemon species to stick together in families, none matched the gargantuan community that had formed in Goldenrod City.

    I felt safe enough for the night that I managed to fall asleep. After waking to the morning sunrise, my mind immediately shifted to the Trainer's Essentials meeting. There's no way I could go back to being Mr. Onaji. Even if I didn't run into a single officer in all of Goldenrod while disguised as a human, the Trainer's Essentials employees were likely notified by the authorities that I was wanted. Still, I couldn't resist my curiosity. I just had to see my former co-workers succeed. Now that the sun was rising, I no longer needed to camouflage myself with the darkness of the night. I collapsed into my true self once again, then sprouted white and light brown feathers, disguising myself as a common Pidgey. I took off into flight and darted towards the unmistakable silhouette of Goldenrod City.

    The trip to Goldenrod was short, but it felt like an eternity in my mind as I mulled over my thoughts. From the human's perspective, I could understand why I was being hunted, but I wasn't completely unjustified. The family I went home to every night, the family I studied for so long on the outskirts of Goldenrod was started long before I began pretending to be a human. As I mentioned before, Ditto cannot breed with other Ditto. Our only means of reproduction requires finding a host, assimilating their biological material, and leaving it infused with our DNA to create a new Ditto. The host's body is completely broken down in this process. Not only was what I did natural, it was a single death that was far outnumbered by the countless Ditto that humans had captured and tortured.

    At last, I reached the Trainer's Essentials building. I soared up to the third floor and perched on the window outside of where the meeting was set to take place. Peering through the window I noticed a clock. The presentation wasn't going to be for another half hour. I turned around, gazed down at the busy streets of Goldenrod, and examined the humans patiently. I used to spend my entire day doing this. It was through my thousands of hours of examining humans that allowed me to replace Mr. Onaji so seamlessly. If other Dittos were really replacing humans and getting caught, they clearly weren't spending enough time researching their targets or human society as a whole.

    The street below me was as busy as ever. Dozens of cars were going opposite ways on the two way road, and hundreds more people were walking on foot on the massive sidewalks on either side of the street. Street merchants were selling their wares, which ranged from tacky jewelry to food such as hot dogs, pizza, and pretzels. While I was unable to smell the food while in the form of a Pidgey, I distinctly remembered the wonderful mixed aroma that would fill the air for my human nose to smell. In my boredom, I began examining each of the pedestrians. There were families, businessmen, tourists, Pokemon trainers...

    And three Johto Police cars full of cops pulled over. Half a dozen officers were lined up on the sidewalk below me. One officer grabbed a Pokeball from their belt and opened it. A rounded, red and blue, duck-like Pokemon known as Porygon2 was released from the storage device. A yellow spiral of electricity began to expand at the tip of the Pokemon's beak. It had to be aiming at me. This was too much of a coincidence. Sure enough, just as soon as I took flight the Porygon2 fired its zap cannon at the windowsill I was perched on less than a second ago. Debris went flying in my wake as I narrowly dodged the resulting explosion.

    How did they know it was me? I wasn't safe. I had to escape. I began flying away from my pursuers only to see a giant black and white Staraptor flying straight towards me. I shape-shifted back into my natural form, then into a Torterra, a giant turtle with a tree growing out of its back, to use gravity to my advantage. I plunged straight into the street, dodging the police's Staraptor that was assaulting me from above. My feet shook the ground as they plunged through the blacktop. Stuck in the ground, I reverted back into a pink blob, then into a sleek, white Persian cat. I sprinted forwards as I heard a noise from behind.

    I quickly glanced behind me and noticed a two legged black and blue dog Pokemon covered in steel spikes known as a Lucario. The Lucario dashed across the ground with such fluidity and grace it was hard to tell if its toes were even touching the ground before it propelled itself forwards another step. The Lucario was gaining on me quickly, and it was drawing its arm back in preparation for an attack. I spun around on the spot to face it directly, leaped towards it, and transformed. This time I became a translucent purple ghost, a Gengar, and smirked as the Lucario's punch went right through me. I levitated an inch off the ground and took off back in the direction I came from. Clearly the route I was taking was already cornered by the Johto Police. But where could I go?

    The officers I initially noticed were quickly approaching me as I backtracked in the direction of Trainer's Essentials. I glanced to my left and right, but all I saw were buildings. The sky was being patrolled with dozens of flying Pokemon. That only left one direction. I scoured the sides of the street with my eyes as I levitated forwards. I found what I was looking for and veered off to the far left side of the road. I quickly morphed into my regular Ditto form, then into a purple, oozing Grimer pile. Right as my transformation completed, I began seeping through the slits of the storm drain directly below me.

    It's a good thing Grimer didn't have nostrils, because if they did I'm sure the sewer would have smelled horrible. I reassembled the purple goop that made up my current body, then reassembled myself back into a Gengar to increase my mobility. I dashed forwards as fast as I could while hovering above the river of waste. I shook in alarm as I heard a crashing noise behind me. The police must have broken down the storm drain I came in through. I had no time to check. I glanced upwards and saw the next block's storm drain up ahead. I floated up towards it and swapped my appearance once more. This time, I changed into a minuscule yellow bee, a Cutiefly. My wings rapidly fluttered as they carried me out of the storm drain and into the busy street.

    I was met with a Porygon2 unleashing a wave of thunder directly at my position. How did it know where I was coming from? I quickly changed back to my natural Ditto form, but as I was attempting to change into something mobile enough to escape the Porygon2, I was struck by its attack. I could feel the strong electric waves pulsing through every fiber of my body. It felt like whenever I wanted to move my body one way, it would jerk in another. I tried transforming into a bird to escape the situation, but came out as a Gible. I tried again. Geodude. And again. Hippopotas. I kept cycling through form after form, but not only could I not accurately transform myself after the Porygon2's attack, but none of the forms I randomly became were remotely useful. I tried to transform one last time. I became the form that I was so used to being, the form that became my default over the years. I became Mr. Onaji, complete with the work uniform I was in when the police took me into their car for questioning last night, then proceeded to black out.

    I was surprised I woke up. I was still taking on the form of Mr. Onaji. I was indoors somewhere. My wrists and ankles were strapped down to a table. A bright light shone down from the ceiling, and my head was facing upwards. There was no way for me to tell where I was.

    "Uggh..." I moaned.

    I could hear footsteps. Someone in the same room was slowly walking towards me. I tried my best to transform, but I simply couldn't do it.

    "Good morning. You're the one who has been impersonating Mr. Onaji, then, I take it," said a deep male voice.

    I still couldn't see who was talking to me.

    "I'm the detective in charge of investigating the widespread deaths caused by an outbreak of Ditto. If you cooperate, I'll catch you and donate you to a Pokemon breeding farm. If you don't, I won't hesitate to kill you."

    The detective's voice was cold. It showed absolutely no emotion. No sympathy.

    "How did you track me?" I asked.

    "Simple. Mrs. Onaji informed us a week ago of your suspicious activity. She placed a microscopic tracking device we supplied her in your work outfit's shirt pocket. Even after removing your human disguise, it was ingrained in a single molecule of your body. Our Porygon2 were able to easily track it. Once you came back within range this morning."

    "My wife..."

    "No, not your wife. Mr. Onaji's wife. You are not Mr. Onaji. You have never been Mr. Onaji. You're not even human, and you never will be. You're a cornered animal, and there's nothing you can do. The drug in your body is preventing you from transforming. If you want freedom, tell me where your partners are."

    "My... my partners?" I replied, confused.

    "Yes, all of the other Ditto that have murdered countless innocent citizens and stolen their identities."

    I sighed. There was nothing I could do.

    "They aren't my partners. My partners are Mrs. Onaji, her children, my co-workers, my friends from Goldenrod. I had been living Mr. Onaji's life for years before these other Ditto came into play. I don't know what their purpose is, but we're nothing alike! There's nothing I cared more about than researching humans, understanding them, and here these other Ditto are getting so many police reports filed on them that they were discovered immediately!"

    "You're exactly like them," replied the detective, stone cold as always, "you're a murderer and nothing more. If you were so perfect at avoiding suspicion, Mrs. Onaji would never have turned you in. I suppose you never discovered in your 'research' that Mr. Onaji was allergic to walnuts, which you claimed to his wife to have loved since childhood."

    My heart skipped a beat. Did I really slip up? Was my mental moral high ground over this new wave of Ditto impostors nothing more than a self-defense mechanism? Even if I was on the same level as all of the other Ditto, that still didn't excuse how humans treat us.

    "Even if that's true, you humans have wronged us in so many ways. Why can't you just leave us-"

    "Like you have any place to talk about morality," snapped the detective, finally showing some emotion. "You worked for Trainer's Essentials. You made Pokeballs. If you were really so against the imprisonment of Pokemon, why would you spend so much of your fleeting life on producing the prisons themselves?"

    "Because..." I said, searching myself for the answer. I knew the real reason why. Why hide it? It's not like I'd have much longer to be embarrassed by it. "Because I was all alone. I just wanted to contribute to something greater than what one person or Pokemon could create in their lifetime. I didn't want to be an island, I didn't want to be useless. I didn't want to make a statement, live life as an outcast... I didn't want to be different..." I could hear the familiar sound of a Pokeball opening. The detective was releasing a Pokemon.

    "I just wanted to be..." I said, tearing up. The unseen Pokemon was making a whirring noise. It was charging up an attack.

    "...the same."

    Target: Ditto
    Rank: Complex -> Hard (Secret Santa)
    Suggested CC: 20,000-30,000
    CC: 20,601

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  3. #2
    Magikchicken's Avatar
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    Aw hell yeah, CLAIMED!

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