“Hidden Power”

Hidden Power
by Darien-Shields
Art by SaburoX

“Hmmm… what could it mean…”
    Ash Ketchum rubbed his chin and frowned at the mystical glyphs. His eyes returned to the modified pokédex screen, where they remained equally confused by the pictures they saw. A dozen eyes stared up at him, each ringed or framed by thick dark lines. One sat in the centre of circle, another had two perfectly even lines extending from it, one up, one down. Others were more complex arrangements of lines, corners and points connected by crossbeams.
    The mysterious pokémon proved an enigma to this day, one that Ash was determined to solve. It might even be his life’s dream. Especially after giving away half of his pokémon by accident and then losing in the qualifying rounds of the pokémon league. A hasty reshuffling of dreams and ambitions had lead him back to Johto where the mystery of the Unown was waiting for a sharp young mind like his to slice through the Gordian Knot…
    “Isn’t it an O?” Misty asked.
    Ash blinked.
    His partner pointed at the first Unown on his screen.
    Pikachu squeaked in agreement.

    Ash only frowned. “I think if it were an O someone would have figured it out by now.” he assured her. The finest minds in the world had looked over these ruins at one point or another. Even Professor Oak had tried his expert hand at deciphering them, to no discernible result. “You can’t just say whatever looks right at first, Misty, that’s not-“
    “No, sure, it’s an O.” May nodded. “And this one’s an I.”
    “That one’s probably an A, and that’s an N.” Misty said.
    Ash felt his muscles tensing, and his teeth clenched.
    “No no no! That can’t be right!”
    He missed Brock, suddenly. Not only did his current travelling companions provide little male camaraderie, they also had an annoying habit of pointing out his shortcomings. Not to mention he’d felt on real equal ground, mentally speaking, with Brock. To achieve the same sense of parity now he was forced to team up with Slowpokes and Potatoes.
    Misty was now leaning over his shoulder, examining the writing he’d been looking at a moment ago. Her finger traced over the words scribed in the wall, feeling the markings that had sat, unintelligible for hundreds of years. Who knew how long ago their writers had lived, if they had even lived. Perhaps the stones had appeared at the very dawn of time, to sit untranslatable for all of etern-
    “Welcome to the Unown Tomb. No flash photography or littering. Please do not feed the Unown.”
    “Wh- what?!” Ash said, “It can’t be written in English.”
    “Nope, looks right to me.” May said.
    “Pika, pika.” the pokémon chirped.
    “You stay out of this.” Ash said, jerking his shoulders so that the little rat lost balance.
    “Wow, apparently it was quite the tourist attraction back in the day.” Misty said, apparently taking little notice of Ash’s mood. “They charged ten gold for admission. Although it was half price for kids and adults over forty, or those with the pox.”
    Ash thrust his finger forwards to issue a correction. His mouth burst open and a fiery riposte shot from his lips. Well, almost. Everything except for the riposte part. All that actually managed to make it out was a small quantity of spittle, as he suddenly realised he didn’t know what to say. In a rather less dramatic fashion, his jaw bobbed up and down for a few moments as he tried to think of something to counter with, as the girls made their way across the wall rather quickly.
    Finally he managed- “Th-this needs more Unown. To- to check.”
    With that he stomped off deeper into the ruins, Pikachu scampering behind him.

The girls waited until they were quite sure he was out of earshot, and then could hold their hysterics back no longer. Moments later the ruins rung with laughter.
    “He’s gonna kill us when he gets back.” May said.
    Misty, between a few last giggles, managed to shrug. “It’s worth it.”
    May peered down the corridor where Ash had walked off. Even in the middle of the day little light penetrated into the ruins, and they were left to see their way by small lanterns. Oddly enough, one sharp flash from an electric pokémon would usually light the place up for a couple of hours, but neither had quite seen the need. May tip toed far enough down the corridor to see the next corner, just to make sure Ash wasn’t hiding- or rather sulking- just out of sight.
    A metallic voice announced its presence. The pokémon it was attached to hovered out of the darkness and rushed at May. Its “rush” was really more of a gentle floating pace, but the pokémon had a top speed of about ten miles per hour, so this constituted an “attack”.
    May groaned. “Why do you guys only bother me when I’m walking?” she asked, before running a finger over the six pokéballs clipped to her belt.
    Unlike Ash, May neither had the poor luck or poor philosophy to hemorrhage pokémon at every possible opportunity, and had built up a fierce team of champions. She could have made her way deep into the League if she had wanted, but saw no particular point in entering a glorified pissing contest. Instead she specialised in pokémon beauty pageants. In fact her bag was stuffed full of ribbons and sashes awarded to her team. Now was not the time for looking good though.
    She tossed out a pokéball and watched it explode into a creature of brilliant red light. Energy became matter and suddenly the corridor was filled by a fighter that towered over even May. Warm air rushed over her as the pokémon saw its surroundings and knew its place- to fight.
    “Blaziken.” it said simply.
    Leathery talons tightened into fists, and huge red and gold legs swept across the ground in a combat stance. The Blaze Pokémon had arrived.
    The wild pokémon blinked, and released its attack. A wave of distortion, like the wavering air above a mirage, rippled over the corridor. Hidden Power. Unown had only one attack, but that attack could have any number of different effects. It might leave Blaziken rimed in ice, or crackling with electricity. Poison might appear in the bird’s veins, or it might be crushed under ten time’s earth’s gravity. This time the wave washed over the battlefield…
    … and cause the ceiling to drip custard.
    May spared a glance for the yellow slime that had spread across the ceiling. Perhaps one of the less renown features of Hidden Power; its abilities also extended to the bizarre, as well as the completely and utterly useless.
    Blaziken thrust one leg out with calculated control, and clutched the Unown between the claws of its feet. The strange pokémon offered little resistance as May’s champion brought his foot back down, and smashed it against the floor. It wobbled weakly under Blaziken’s foot. The burning pokémon lifted a fist and opened it, causing fire to fill the claw. It turned the open hand towards the Unown…
    “No, wait, wait.” May said, sounding more apologetic than anything else.
    Her pokémon froze.
    “As dumb as this is, I might as well catch it. Maybe it’ll make Ash feel better.”
    She thrust a hand into her pocket and found a plain white pokéball. A freebie from several others she’d brought previously. She tossed it towards the weakened pokémon and watched as the glyph-like creature was sucked up into the ball. It didn’t even shake.
    Blaziken bowed, and waited for the impending return to its resting place.
    May shook her head. “Might as well stick around. There are Es an Qs in here than in a Scrabble set, and for some reason they all want a piece of me.”
    She beckoned the pokémon, and returned towards Misty.

By the time she’d crossed the five metres between them, May had caught six more Unown. Misty had captured four. Meanwhile, they discovered, Ash had found a primitive village on the other side of the ruins who were in danger of being attacked by a group of wild Scyther. He had been convinced to leave his Chimchar with them to act as guardian of the village. Neither girl had the heart to tell him that if they went back the “village” would probably have been missing, having disappeared about five minutes after he himself left.
    In a bid to take his mind off it, or at least give him something less valuable to give away the next time he spots an orphan or a nun, the girls had given him the small pile of Unown they had captured, which had only increased as they made their way out of the ruins. He now examined the little alphabet they’d built up.
    “Unown. Unown.”
    “Uno. No. Unown.”
    The crowd continue to croak out their name as they floated around the edge of the camp site. The area looked like someone had spilled a rather large can of alphabet soup, which had since learned to fly. Ash wasn’t quite sure what call them. The collective noun for Unown was in fact a Sentence of Unown. A little known fact was that they had once been organised into battle formations by a nearby king (who chiefly enjoyed sending wave after wave of curse words at his enemies), who combined several Sentences of Unown into a battle unit called a Paragraph. Ash’s group, though, was far too disorganised to form a Paragraph. What he had built was something more like a Rambling Narrative.
    Not that Ash bought this whole alphabet theory, anyway. He could hardly make out what half the damn things supposedly spelled. He had spotted several duplicates. At the edge of the Unown cloud, a couple of Ns were bumping into each other. Or maybe they were Zs floating on their sides.
    One, apparently growing restless, released its Hidden Power. A shock wave of distortion spread out from it again, and second later a nearby flower caught fire. The fire withered almost as quickly as the flower, and within seconds here was a curled black stalk.
    “Unown. Unown.”
    Whichever one had fired the first attack had apparently attracted attention. Another had hovered over and slid its one eye down into a frown. The two bumped into each other repeatedly. It was like watching people play dodgems in treacle, with all carts padded heavily with pillows, and propelled only by their feet.
    “Hold on now.” Ash said, attempting to wade through the Sentence.
    Before he could reach them the two Unown released their Hidden Power once more. Two waves melted into one. Rather than hitting either Unown, though, the wave just spread out as before. The ashen flower exploded into a metre tall pillar of flame. Ash whipped around just in time to see the tongue of flame flail about before shrinking down to a gentle blaze. It smoldered on for several minutes before petering out.
    The Unown seemed to realise that their arsenal wasn’t geared towards fighting each other, and so settled down again.
    Ash, meanwhile, had forgotten all about their squabble. Very carefully, he reached into the depth of his mind. Hidden under an encyclopedic knowledge of official Pokémon Tournament hats were two of Ash’s most underused possessions. Mentally, he lifted them and gently placed them beside one another. Then, with great effort, he rubbed his two brain cells together just long enough to form an idea.
    “It’s more effective if they work together…”
    He couldn’t be sure, but a little experimentation still proved him right. The various Hidden Powers were still weird and largely useless, but with careful manipulation they could be amplified. The W over there apparently had the power to cause flowers- and only flowers to spontaneously combust. With a few other Unown backing it up it could set a whole flowerbed alight. The R in the middle of the Sentence could, with help, transform an entire tree into custard.
    Timing was everything. If the Set-Flowers-On-Fire Unown used its Hidden Power moments before the Custard Unown, the result would be a rather impressive floral fire- providing there was a flower around. If the Custard Unown fired first, the flower would instead be- well- custard.
    Ash was sure there was something huge here. Some massive potential. This was just the tip of the iceberg. With proper manipulation the Unown could turn whole cities to custard! Or possibly something more impressive.
    Really, Ash’s imagination was already sorely overtaxed simply by thinking of what might happen if he used the trusty W Unown against a Venusaur. And the same went for the rest of his brain. In every generation or two there was a Genius who would change the world, and Ash figured that that Genius would have to limit himself to one earth shattering revelation per day in order to avoid migraine. And so he crawled off to get some sleep.

What Ash had discovered, or rather, what Ash had been very close to discovering, was Spelling. Spelling was an ancient and mystic art of casting Spells with the use of Unown. Several hundred years ago Johto had been rife with Spellers who would travel the country fighting in Bees in hopes of winning the Diction League. It had all come tumbling down when an annoying dictionary split began to made Spelling unstable. This resulted in the great Colour War, or the great Color War as it was known to the losing side, which reduced the country’s Unown population to little more than a Short Story. Completely sick of Spelling, the survivors took up training regular pokémon instead.
    Spells were fairly simple. One simply had to line up some Unown and have them attack in order. For instance, an F-I-R-E chain would cause quite an impressive fire to leap up in front of them. Better yet, S-E-T H-I-M O-N F-I-R-E was virtually guaranteed to direct this fire at the right target, too. True havoc would be wrought if an Exclamation Mark Unown was thrown in at the end. Spellers were not known for being concise, though, in fact, a much shorter and more violent war had been necessary to do away with the Grammararians who decried long Sentences, and spent most of their life looking for the lost Unown of Punctuation. While “Kill Jim” would be a nice and concise spell, most Spellers would have gone for something more along the lines of “Immediately cause the death of the man who is known as Jim”.
    Individually, of course, Unown were completely meaningless. “W” and “R” on their own meant nothing. In these cases the Hidden Powers were severely watered down versions of the last Spell the Unown had been used to cast. Unfortunately for Ash, he’d happened upon the Unown used to cast “Set that stupid flower bed on fire” and “make me some custard for breakfast”.
    Given a few years, maybe a decade, even Ash might have been able to crack Spelling. It was only a matter of time before he accidentally had the R Unown sit beside an F, I and E. The chances might have been something like a thousand to one, but he’d probably get there in the end.
    But it was not to be.
    Ash had left the Unown out of their pokéballs, and before long they started bumping into each other. Bumping soon turned into the use of Hidden Power. The uses of Hidden Power quickly melted together into awkward and poorly constructed Spells.
    It is said that infinite Aipom working with a number of infinite and yet to be discovered typewriter pokémon would eventually produce the greatest novel known to man. By the same token, infinite Unown might get a good spell going given infinite time.
    These Unown only needed one night.

Misty was awoken by the smell of sugar. Candy floss* to be precise. It was light and dulcet and she could almost taste the gossamer threads on her tongue. It smelled so wonderfully delicious that she was thoroughly confused by the fact that it made her want to throw up. She was even more confused by a deep and instinctual hunger for carrots, which she completely abhorred.

* While more familiar with Cotton Candy, thanks to the nature of Spelling, this smell was very specifically Candy Floss and not Cotton Candy. Misty was acutely aware of a difference, although she had no idea why.

    She opened her eyes, and was very surprised to see that the candy floss was real.
    So was the nausea.
    She tried to get up in order to stumble outside the tent and vomit, but was thwarted by a huge and unfamiliar weight on her waist. Unable to hold it in, she turned her head away and vomited. She was so surprised to see, instead of a putrid stream of bile, a small cloud of luminescent butterflies exploding from her lips, that she threw up again. This time it came up as a stream of black and oily bubbles. Both the bubbles and the butterflies popped out of existence a few seconds later.
    Misty was confused.
    She had woken up smelling candy floss, only to discover that it was, in fact, the walls of her tent that had been replaced with threads of pink sugar. This had, for some reason, caused her to throw up, creating butterflies and magic bubbles.
    There was only one explanation. She was dreaming. All she had to do was look down to see that she was in her underwear to confirm it.
    She wasn’t.
    She was just Pregnant.
    Ridiculously so, actually. It made things much easier, really. Oh, sure, moving was going to be incredibly difficult with a belly that extended some way past her knees, and she could probably expect about half a dozen babies to pop out any minute now, when she went into labour. But it was so gigantic that it couldn’t possibly be real, and that let her disbelieve it entirely.
    There was an explanation for this, she knew, and Ash Ketchum was probably at the centre of it. Or perhaps a few feet from the centre, which would in fact be some manner of Psychic Pokémon that Ash had accidentally set upon interfering with her dreams. She was going to find him, and she was going to beat him up. And then maybe, just maybe, the alimony might finally cover a replacement bike.
    Something kicked inside her belly. To her slight surprise, it was quite a relief. As much as this was a dream and she was going to get the whole mess sorted, after discovering her stomach contents to be something akin to fairy dust, she had been worried that her womb was filled with much of the same. The kick felt very human, and she was glad to know that her dream pregnancy would at least lead to dream babies and not dream… Things.
    With some difficulty she stood, and tore her way out of the candy floss tent. This made her feel ill again, but thankfully she had no bile or butterflies left to throw up. She realised that her illusory “condition” must be responsible for the nausea. Quite why candy floss set it off she had no idea. It was only by the time she’d stood up, and had cobwebs of sugar all over her, that she realised this might have been a bad idea.
    The thought didn’t last long. She was too distracted by what she saw after emerging from the tent.
    The laws of physics had gone on holiday. Islands floated upside down in the sky, clouds plummeted like rocks into sprawling custard lakes, and pterodactyls screeched overhead. She gulped. The more dreamlike the world became, the more she worried that it wasn’t a dream. Or at least nother dream. She didn’t know if she had the imagination for all this. Her dreams usually revolved around mermaids and underwater epics, and beating her sisters in beauty pageants. She had never, for instance, dreamt that a nearby bed of daffodils might start growing into a bus.
    Before she had to make any really hard decisions about what to believe, Misty heard a scream.
    Usually a sign of distress, this time it proved rather reassuring for several reasons. First, it proved that May was still alive, and had not been transmuted into a moonbeam. Second, it proved that she could still speak. Third, it proved that she was still in her tent, just a few metres away from Misty’s. And fourth, it proved that Misty wasn’t the only one having a bad morning.
    She waddled over, and found May’s belly bulging through the entrance to her tent. She had a good idea why she was screaming now.
    May’s tent had escaped the paradigm shift unharmed, but the grass she had hammered her pegs into had since transformed into sponge cake. Misty easily lifted the canvas tent and threw it away.
    Maybe all this was May’s nightmare. She was, after all, the one dressed only in her underwear. She was also looking incredibly embarrassed. Or at least she was until she saw Misty.
    “Huh. You too?”
    Misty frowned. “If this is your dream, I’ll throw you into a Beedrill swarm.”
    May blinked, her distress turning to confusion. Then she seemed to have an epiphany.
    “Oh, it’s just a dream? Okay.”
    She rolled over and tugged what remained of her sleeping bag. It was difficult, as her explosive growth during the night had burst it in two, and now the little slips of fabric refused to cover her figure. She wrestled with it until it could at least cover her titanic bosom.
    This gave Misty pause. Titanic Bosom? Since when did May have one of those? She looked down, wondering if she’d missed a growth spurt in her own shirt. Sadly no, she was equally endowed now as she had been yesterday. Sometimes May got all the luck.
    With the remains of the sleeping bag gripped to her figure, May made a valiant attempt to return to sleep. Both girls waited in silence, each hoping that the world- and their stomachs- would melt away in a few seconds. It did not.
    “Get up.” Misty said, feeling a cocktail of unsavoury hormones bubble up inside her. “If this is a dream, it isn’t yours.”
    May gave up her front of sleeping and pouted. “My dad’s gonna kill me.” she said. Misty turned away to allow her some privacy while she tugged her clothes on, with a not inconsiderable amount of difficulty. Getting to her feet was not much easier, and staying there was mostly a matter of luck. She bent her legs slightly to accommodate the huge weight of her torso. Misty suspected that she would have bent them more, were it not for the considerable tightness in her shorts.
    “Uhhh… the world wasn’t like this when I went to bed, was it?” she asked, realising for the first time that her feet were treading cake.
    “How could you not notice?!”
    “I was a little distracted, okay!?”
    Misty groaned, but decided that arguments weren’t going to get them anywhere in a hurry. “Come on. Whatever did this to the world probably got us pregnant too. And if experience has taught me anything it’s that most trouble usually starts with a pokémon somewhere near Ash.”
    “Where is Ash?” May asked, looking around what remained of their camp site.
    The camp was still there, and still arranged in much the same fashion. Only, the various different components had changed. Misty’s tent now looked like a pink bale of wool, and May’s possessions were strewn about a large patch of cake. The camp fire was now a small ice sculpture, and their backpacks had become park benches. Ash’s tent was now a flat blanket sitting atop a yellow hillock.
    “Wasn’t his tent over there?” Misty asked, pointing. “You don’t think…?”
    May returned her worried expression. “Ash?” she called out. “Ash!”
    The hill moved.
    The bottom rolled out, and two long pointed things jabbed out into the air.
    “… Pikachu?”
    This caused the long pointy projections to twitch. The bottom of the hillock rolled out to reveal half closed black eyes. They blinked, and opened completely. And then Pikachu stood up.
    “Pika?” the pokémon asked, its voice booming. Oddly, it no longer sounded like a squeaky little rodent. Its voice had a curious resemblance to that of an adult human woman. It would have been an interesting cause for concern if it weren’t for the hundred and one other things that were going wrong today.
    Pikachu wandered over, allowing Ash’s burst tent to roll off its back. Ears not withstanding, he was now as tall as either human. It was hard to say who was more startled; the girls at being approached by a rodent that could now easily fit their entire heads in its mouth, or Pikachu, who had awoken to find two of the humans he was travelling with to be both tiny and huge at the same time.
    “Owwww!” something squeaked.
    Pikachu’s huge ears twitched, and he turned round. Both girls had to duck to avoid being smacked by the lightning bolt tail.
    “Agghhhh! Pikachu! Why are you huge?!” the voice squeaked.
    Pikachu turned back around, now cupping its forepaws together. Nestled between them was a tiny doll- or at least, so the girls thought. When it moved around and kept on shouting in that squeaky little voice, they realised it was not a doll at all, but a miniature version of Ash, no larger than an action figure.
    “Woah! Misty- May- why are you two huge!?”
    “I assure you, you’re the one who’s tiny.” Misty said, planting her hands on her hips.
    “Actually, I think we are pretty huge.” May said, blushing slightly as she did so.
    Much confusion followed, and it was only after a very long argument that they managed to establish that Ash was tiny, Pikachu was huge, and that Misty and May were heavily pregnant. With a little more discussion they came to the conclusion that the whole world had become somewhat chaotic, and unless any of them had any secret fetishes they wanted to get off their chest, it was not a dream belonging to any of them. It was around that point that Ash told them about the Unown.
    “… you did what?”
    “I sort of… forgot to put them back in their pokéballs.” Ash said, tenting his fingers. As Misty continued to glare at him, he went on squeaking. “Well, you don’t have to get angry at me! I didn’t know this was going to happen! I didn’t even catch them.”
    Misty, of course, disagreed. Loudly.
    “Hold on, hold on.” May said, another minute of back and forth arguing between Ash and Misty. “Where was this? Where did you leave the Unown?”
    “Well, they’re right over there…” Ash said, pointing. Pikachu had to sidle around a great deal before he could actually point at the desired spot. When he finally could, he was forced to add. “Umm… they were.”
    The little spot where he’d left the Unown had changed from a grassy patch to a gentle gravel climb. A gentle climb that then gave way to a huge marble staircase, which travelled the entire height of a massive mountain, that certainly hadn’t been there before. Chunks of the old ruins were scattered here and there on the mountain, in between piles of typewriters and crumpled up paper balls. One or two huge Unown statues stood alongside the staircase.
    “That… wasn’t there when we woke up.” May said, looking somewhat dazed.
    Misty shook her head. “I guess we know where to go now.”

Things were Changing.
    They had been a little unwilling to accept it to begin with, but it was true. Not only had everything Changed while they were asleep, more Changes were going on now. When they were about halfway up the mountain, they noticed that another one had appeared above it. Only this one was upside down. It wasn’t a reflection of this mountain, because they could see lots of things built on it that weren’t built on this one, and it didn’t have any of the gravy rivers or helicopter trees that this one did. It was a lot like looking at an hour glass, two huge cones facing each other, with a little gap between their peaks.
    This was far from the only change. The pterodactyls had evolved into dragons, and now huge flights of Charizards circled the mountain. The staircase had briefly turned into an escalator, and then- much to their disappointment- back again. The sun had stopped rising, and instead settled on a slow sideways orbit of the mountains. Not only this, Misty was sure she could see May’s bottom gently expanding to fill more of her hideously tight lycra shorts as they made their way up. May seemed not to notice, and Misty was not in a hurry to point it out. She did make several checks to make sure her own body wasn’t secretly changing too, but was fairly sure it wasn’t. Her underwear had come out in polkadots, though.
    She wondered briefly if something had changed in her legs- in all their legs- to make them incredibly strong and full of stamina. After all, this mountain made Mount Silver look like a foot hill, a bump in the rode- a little pile of rodent droppings, really. And yet they were now three quarters of the way up, and as far as she knew it had been less than an hour. With the sun’s changed priorities it was somewhat hard to tell, but she knew for certain that regardless of the time, she wasn’t tired. It was difficult to move her belly, she had to let it sway from side to side, giving her a deep waddling gait. And yet, despite being so heavy that normally she would hardly be able to shove it, she managed to push on and up, without even breaking a sweat.
    No, she decided, it was not her legs that had changed, but the laws of physics. She wasn’t sure whether this worried her more or less. On the bright side, it was probably a lot more convenient than just gaining super strength in her legs. After all, there was issue of balance. As awkward as it was now to waddle in such a way as to stop her own, or May’s front heavy bulk from tipping over, Misty suspected it’d be impossible if reality made its presence felt.
    Only when they were approaching the peak itself did they actually see the source- or one of the sources- of the Changes.
    “Pika!” the mouse said.
    “What is it Pikachu?” Ash asked. He now rode atop the pokémon’s head, almost lost in a sea of yellow fur.
    Pikachu pointed to four Unown rising slowly up the mountainside. They were floating on their side, and with one above the other, but craning their necks the trainers could still just about make out what the four were; B, L, U and E.
    A smooth ripple echoed out from the Unown. There was a difference between this and their normal Hidden Power- it was softer, more subtle. Whereas they usually created a rough disruption in the atmosphere that, if you listened closely, could even make a slight tearing sound, this shock wave was silent and not quite so exaggerated. It washed over Pikachu and Ash like a cool breeze.
    “Huh. I wonder what that did.” Ash said to himself. “Agh! Pikachu! Your fur’s blue!”
    The girls had remained clear of the attack, and were free to giggle at the little transformation. Pikachu immediately became dismayed to see that all the yellow hair on its body had been replaced with royal blue instead. It was only when the girls managed to hold back their laughter for a few moments that they could point out to Ash that he too had turned blue. His own shock was enough to prompt another round of hysterics.
    By the time they were done, unfortunately the pokémon had drifted off skywards, and were out of reach of their pokéballs. They realised that there were many Unown making the same sort of migration- floating up one mountain and down the other. Some went letter by letter, others in words and some in complete phrases. Occasionally the would vibrate in sync and fundamentally alter the nature of existence a little bit. One cluster jittered over there, and a school of flying turtles blinked into existence. A slight wiggle from another change of Unown created a cloud of brown fog that dripped back down towards the ground.
    Once again Ash felt the remote spark of genius vibrating at the back of his head. It rattled like a lone flint desperately trying to set fire to a heap of soggy tree trunks. Just as one of the mushrooms was starting to really heat up, May beat him to the punch.
    “Whatever they spell out… happens?”
    “Little, big, blue… pregnant?” Misty asked, pointing from one malformed party member to the next. Her temper was prickling again, but only a hint of it entered her voice.
    “More like really pregnant.” Ash said. “Maybe pregnant with a Wailord.”
    Misty growled. “I didn’t see any Unown saying Foot in Mouth.”
    Ash blinked, although it was hard to tell when each of his eyes was smaller than a bead. “Huh? Unown? Where?”
    He made the mistake of turning around to see if there was indeed a stream of Unown somewhere compelling him to make an oaf of himself. By the time he turned round, all he could see of Misty was her huge open palm rushing towards him. He managed a muffled yelp before being wrapped up in her fingers and yanked from Pikachu’s head. The world swirled around him, and he eventually came to rest in a rough crevasse. It was dark, dusty, and the two walls of the little space seemed unstable, but keen to press in on him. They were slightly ridged but not hard. Almost like denim…
    Misty patted her pocket, and listened as Ash screamed. She glared at May and Pikachu to dare them to challenge her. But neither seemed to care much, and had already continued on up the staircase. She shrugged and followed.
    The suggestion of trying to catch some of the Unown was made, but was quickly vetoed. Neither of them was quite sure whether the same pokémon inhabited their pokéballs now, or whatever they’d toss them out and release a cluster of beaks and tentacles instead. Ash- not that he had a say in this discussion- would almost certainly have a team of tiny pokémon now anyway. Even if their teams did pop out in tact, there’s nothing to say they’d stay that way. Best that they stay put for now.
    The rest of the climb was uneventful. Well, relatively uneventful. There were still plenty of green clouds raining silver lances over the landscape, and they passed through quite a quaint burger orchard. In fact, this had seemed quite a prudent point to stop for lunch. One annoying side effect of the rather unglued nature of the universe was that it was hard to tell whether an hour had passed, or a few decades. Misty decided it was time to get going again when she felt her stomach- her actual stomach, that somewhat minuscule organ tucked away deep inside her- fill up and come into conflict with her womb for space. May on the other hand insisted they’d only just sat down, and that she’d hardly eaten a bite.
    It was a hard point to argue, as while both girls were Pregnant, May was the only one who seemed to be growing anywhere but the belly. She had folded her arms over her chest, only to realise she was hugging a rather gelatinous pair of under ripe melons. Putting her hands on her hips hadn’t brought the argument any further in her favour, when she felt a certain unfamiliar softness under her hands.
    But generally, it had essentially been uneventful.
    And so, two huge girls and one huge pokémon reached the peak.
    And wondered what on earth to do now.
    This mountain had ended in a nice little plateau just wide enough for the three of them to stand on without having to press their overgrown bodies up against one another. There were about ten metres between the flat ground below them and the flat ground above them. They stared up at the mountain in the sky. It was really a different beast entirely, the rock looked much greyer and harder than the dusty brown stuff they’d been scrambling over here. It had more pointy bits too… It wasn’t really very hospitable at all. But most importantly, it didn’t look very much like they could grab on to any of it well enough to prevent falling rather painfully to their deaths.
    Which made Misty very uncertain of quite why she was climbing up Pikachu’s shoulders and draping her belly over his head in hopes of getting a boost. If there had been some discussion culminating in this decision than the Unown had wiped it from her memory. She was about to voice her concern when Pikachu surged upwards. As distressing as this was, it wasn’t nearly as bad as feeling her own legs moving, pushing off the pokémon’s shoulders and jumping into the air.
    As her feet passed over May’s head, she closed her eyes, and waited for the sharp upward motion to fade to a sharp downward motion. She could almost picture her ridiculous belly cracking like a hard boiled egg, although with some decidedly none hard boiled insides. It had been a short relationship, but she felt a tiny spike of apology for her children. She hadn’t meant to smash them against some foreign mountainside and-
    Hold on.
    The sharp upward motion had faded away, but it had refused to be refused with a sharp downward one. Misty opened her eyes, and saw why. She was floating, half way between the two peaks, rotating gently on the spot. With a rather globular portion of her body acting as the centre of the rotation, she couldn’t help but feel rather planetine. As she spun, she spotted May and Pikachu still looking up (or was it down?) at her. She was glad May was as big as a house herself, otherwise there would be something quite embarrassing about her huge bulk rotating around in mid air for the other girl to see. As it was, she still felt a little hint of a blush when she remembered how the dip of her belly had spread her shorts’ zipper.
    Setting that aside, it was actually incredibly comfortable. Her spine, hips, knees and feet joined in a four way celebration of freedom. For the first time all day they didn’t have to support all that extra belly weight. She would have been happy enough to float here all day too if-
    She felt something thump against her belly.
    It was May.
    “Ummm… Hi.” the other girl said, blushing slightly. “Wow, this is weird…”
    May had been launched up, and collided belly first with Misty. For a moment Misty felt the strange gravity wells within her heavenly body start to mix with May’s, and for a moment she thought they’d end up orbiting each other. Instead, though, she felt another gravity well begin to grip her.
    “… I’m falling!” she said, as she started to drift further from May.
    May twisted this way and that to try and catch her, but for all her efforts she might as well have been diving in the dead sea.
    Misty fell with a thump. It was not nearly as bad as she had expected. She’d been adrift five metres up- or down, depending on your perspective- and had only been falling in proper 1G gravity for the last metre. Still, she slammed down on her butt and cursed a blue streak.
    Two realisations struck her in rapid succession.
    The first was that she’d fallen upwards, to the mountain in the sky.
    The second was that she’d landed straight on her pocket.
    Panic followed as she tried to worm her hand under her bruised rear and see if she could feel a splatter of blood or the remains of a tiny shattered skeleton. She called out to the miniaturised Ash, but got no response. It was only after a truly thorough search of the area underneath her shorts that she thought to check her other pocket.
    She pulled the tiny boy out, perfectly in tact, but knocked out.
    She gave a sigh of relief, and looked up.
    Just long enough to see May plummeting towards her.

“Wow, Pikachu, you’ll never believe the dream I had last night…” Ash yawned. “It was ju- Pikchu?”
    The trainer looked around, but his pokémon was nowhere in sight. Neither was his tent, for that matter. Or the camp. All he could see was the hill he’d woken up on, and that wasn’t where he’d gone to sleep at all. The group had found a nice flat little grove near the ruins to set down, not anything nearly so sloping as this. How he’d managed not to slide off the side in his sleep he had no idea. Especially since he was slipping now!
    He came to his senses as he skidded over the hump of the hill, and started falling down a deep bank. His hands scrambled for some support, but this hill didn’t have anything in the way of greenery- a puzzle he’d have mull over later. Finally his hands clamped over something- a round outcropping big enough for him to hug for support. He clung on for dear life, squeezing his support tighter and tighter to insure his safety. Unfortunately, and much to his surprise, whatever it was he’d gotten a hold of wasn’t quite as solid as he first supposed. As he hugged it tighter and tighter is compressed, like some sort of rubbery sponge, until his weight slid off it, and his grip failed.
    He wailed and spun around in the air- spotting the ground a few moments before he felt it. He landed with a smack. Not a thump or a smash or a crash, but a smack. The ground was actually rather soft and giving, and the only reason the fall actually hurt all that much was because it felt as if he’d been slapped. He got to his feet and rubbed his face.
    This hill, thankfully positioned directly under whatever cliff he’d just fallen from, was much the same as the first. Only he was now sitting much closer to the apex, and was not in danger of falling to his doom this time.
    But what the heck were these hills made of? They weren’t rock, or soil, or grass. They had a smooth texture, a little like tanned leather, and with little stubs of grass here and there. Or was it grass? The thin stalks poking up from the ground must be some sort of plant. All this still left the question of why the ground was so warm.
    Ash rubbed his chin and thought very hard about all this. And for his trouble, he got precisely nowhere.
    What he needed to do, was go and get some help. Pikachu and Misty and May must be around here somewhere, and if not, some helpful stranger would be living in a shack just over the horizon. Two particular horizons, coloured crimson, caught his eye. They looked like a pair of small but steep hills. Something told him that the answer to all his questions was just over those hills…

May groaned. She’d managed to weather the fall okay- her impact somewhat absorbed by half landing on Misty- only to be knocked out when Pikachu landed like a ton of bricks. In the pokémon’s defense, it was probably having a lot of trouble adjusting to its current size and weight.
    May rubbed her head and wished that for once she could have woken up and forgotten all the stuff that was ha-
    What the heck was that?
    She felt something pressing against her breast. It was like a little four fingered hand pressing with mild force, slowly groping its way across. Only the angles were all wrong for fingers, and whoever was feeling her up was obviously not doing it for her benefit. She held the scream of protest back for a moment. It might have been a bug or a tiny pokémon, and as annoying as that was she didn’t want to blow up over nothing.
    Then she looked down.

Ash’s eardrums burst. Wind blasted over the hill, and he had to dig into the squishy substance to stop himself from being bowled right off it. His hands hurried about to find the nub he’d felt poking up a few moments before- it might grant him the purchase to stay on the hill long enough for this horrible sound to die down.
    The sonic scream doubled when he found it. He suddenly realised it hadn’t been such a good idea after all.

May only stopped yelling at Ash when she realised that he’d passed out from the sheer volume of it. She dropped the little jerk to the ground, hmphed and got to her feet.
    Misty, having watched the proceedings and had big enough ears to make out what May was saying, didn’t feel a whole lot of sympathy for Ash. She especially didn’t want him back in her pocket if he intended to use his new size to go crawling around girls’ chests. She turned her nose up and joined May.
    Pikachu, rather uncertainly, scooped up his unconscious trainer.

The Changes were Changing.
    Neither May nor Ash had mentioned it, but Misty was certain of it. Things were still changing. In the last five minutes they’d seen part of the mountain had gotten to its feet and marched off as a gigantic stone golem. Before that a gang in trench coats carrying uzis had sprinted down the mountain before being picked off by a hail of arrows. And, one of the more flashy shows, a flock of dragons had swept overhead, in hot pursuit of something gleaming and silver. It was not a knight in shining armour, but a smooth shape like a jet fighter that fired out laser beams to remove tricky obstacles from its path.
    But there had been no hamburger trees or custard lakes. The changes were only bizarre now, and not impossibly bizarre. It was as if- as if… As if order were slowly returning? Was that it? Maybe not quite. It was all still chaos, just a slightly more organised chaos. She didn’t know quite where it was all heading towards, but she could guarantee that if left to their own devices the Unown wouldn’t just let the world slip back to its previous state in a couple of hours.
    It wasn’t just the new things that were different, though, nor things on this mountain. If she peered up long enough she could make out their camp site, miles away on the ground. The lake of custard and the bus flowers were all gone, replaced with sand stretching out in a massive pool around the base of the mountain. It looked a lot more hospitable, but a lot more… likely too.
    Meanwhile, looking down showed that this mountain was now spreading out. Where she should have seen blue sky she saw green fields and forests forming a second ground. A little concrete jungle was even sprouting out to the east.
    Unfortunately, there was a harsh toll to pay for all this.
    While it wouldn’t be quite accurate to say the laws of physics had returned, they were starting to have an increased presence. A few sheriffs had been assigned, bounties had been issued. A rather large one seemed to be placed on Misty’s stomach, and its unashamed disobedience of gravity. It seemed none had managed to bring the criminal completely to justice, but attempts were being made. She could feel it dip more heavily upon her, and the ache in every load bearing muscle increased. Whatever dam had kept her sweat in burst. Thankfully the odour was mostly overpowered by both she faint smoke of dragon fire, and May.
    Gravity was gradually returning to May too, but she seemed more distracted by biological imperatives that had been advancing through her nerves with a glacial pace until now. An angry itch had swept across her belly like a rapidly spreading drought. Meanwhile something truly seismic was going on in her chest. Cold spiky tingles shivered under the surface of her skin, as if tiny pick axes were striking, clearing out a network of tunnels. She worried that the desperate dryness in her belly was going to be counteracted by sudden eruptions from above.
    In a way there was a vague comfort to their conditions. As May busied herself rubbing her taught skin and fretting over the contents of her breasts, and Misty groaned over the pain in her swelling feet, neither had time to think about how much peril the world might be in. It was like a gangrenous leg, Misty supposed, which provided a nice and convenient distraction if you were about to get hit by a meteor. Neither a gangrenous leg nor a gargantuan pregnancy were going to get much credit for the job, though.
    Wordlessly they had agreed that their destination was the building growing out of the bottom of the mountain. Unown were disappearing into potholes and cracks here and there along the mountain, but one particular river of glyphs was flowing all the way down and into a structure that seemed to run deep into the heart of the rock.
    None of them were sure what to call the building. Castle, Palace, Temple, all would be correct, if only for a few minutes. It had started off as the sort of castle you might see in the dark ages, a turret at each of its four corners, spiky ramparts running all around it, and arrow slits in the walls. Then the roof had lifted up like a tent and spread out, and towering pillars zoomed up to meet it, making it into a Greek temple of twice the scale, while still retaining the turrets. From there it had started to flourish out in wings- a domed fort spreading out to the right while a huge cathedral roof pressed out in front. Pointy towers grew like gigantic sunflowers, and they were really quite surprised that no damsels in distress had appeared at the top of them yet.
    Whatever it was, it was the centre of what was going on. The golems, space ships, archers and street racers all gave it a wide berth. The only thing moving near it were the Unown.

By the time they reached the bottom the girls were exhausted and the building had become as big as a small city. Their panting reverberated through cavernous halls, and against all odds even such huge young women felt… small.
    It was as they waddled slowly deeper in, Pikachu following quietly behind, that they began to hear the chorus.
    The voice of the pokémon was no longer metallic and robotic, but now more animated. It was like listening to a great actor speaking a foreign language. You could tell that there was something fantastic with deep meaning being said, universal truths being uncovered, perhaps, or secret loves announced. But not quite what. Not only that, it was harmonious. It flowed together beautifully into schizophrenic music, as undercurrents of envy played below symphonies of rage before surging into cheers of triumph.
    Overhead, the river of newly arrived Unown chirped like an instrument being tuned. Unnatural sounding “Unown”s twisted and elongated, and started to rise up with curiosity. They became “Unown!”s of ecstasy as they floated off into the central chamber.
    The epicentre.
    They still weren’t quite sure what was going on, but that was where it was happening- through two huge double doors big enough to admit yachts and helicopters, the Unown rushed in, and an eerie spectral light shone out.
    With baited breath they entered.
    The group’s silence was broken by Ash, who for once said something they could all agree on.
    They stood in the vertical centre of a chamber that might extend a mile up and down, or possibly stretch on to infinity. A stone platform ran in a ring around the wall, but the centre had no floor, and was filled instead by a huge swirling mass of Unown.
    There were hundreds of thousands. Millions, maybe. The new ones spiralled in around the centre and then scattered, each flying off to a different destination. Groups of Unown combined into a word moved as one being, and shepherded the new arrivals off to special purposes. The rest flew down and joined huge blocks of still Unown that had formed great walls of text descending into the depths of the chamber.
    “They’re making stories.” Misty said.
    She had hardly realised it before she said it, but it was true. The Unown were combining into words and the words were combining into sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and then full blown stories. Or thereabouts. There was a bit of confusion since the Unown did not have lower case, or proper punctuation, so sentences were marked out by a bit of a gap, and you just had to assume that “the knights horse” meant “the horse belonging to the knight”. The wall of text in front of them was in the middle of describing how a cruel black dragon captured a princess and carried her off to his layer across the ocean, where he was fought by… the Viridian City Police Department, who were chasing him for suspected drug smuggling.
    As they read, the text shook and started to tear apart, half the Unown flying one way and half the Unown flying the other. After a dizzying flurry of movement they settled into two separate stories, one about an evil dragon and the silver knight who would vanquish him, and another gritty detective thriller. As they did so there was an almost completely indiscernible ripple in the air. It was really no more than a gentle breeze, the kind you would only notice if you were boiling hot and baring as much flesh as possible to cool down.
    Misty and May felt it ripple over their bellies.
    “The distortion…” May said, before fretting. “The wave thingie. It’s gentler.”
    “The what?” Ash asked. He had not felt the breeze, being too distracted by a story about giant robots.
    “Maybe…” Misty said, grasping desperately at mental straws. “Maybe it gets smoother when they’re working smoothly…?”
    May neither agreed nor disagreed. She was too busy gasping.
    “What is it?”
    The younger trainer pointed up towards the mass of Unown.
    “It’s… it’s us.”
    Misty frowned, but followed her finger. She was pointing towards one of the collections of Unown. She had to scan across the block until she realised what May meant, but when she did, her jaw dropped open.

…Misty felt quite like… well, she had already thought of herself as a having an Electrode for a belly, and researchers had yet to discover any larger, rounder pokemon, so she was quite at a loss for a word to describe herself.

But then, she so pregnant that the word describing her state also felt inadequate.

Even not counting the unown, they had encountered pokémon with abilities ranging from the strange to the downright impossible, yet none of them could really explain whatever force it was that allowed her to move around her titanic belly. In every possible way, her pregnant belly was immense, growing out far beyond her reach and to her sides. In fact, The pink orb grew out from her middle to such a ridiculous degree that the whole of her body seemed even tinier in comparison to it. Though her belly was enormous, her limbs, hips, and much to her disappointment, her breasts, had retained their slender and svelte appearance….*

* Punctuation assumed for the sake of bloody legibility.

    “We’re pregnant because of some stupid story?!” Misty screeched.
    “Shhh, Misty, keep your voice down!” Ash said. Despite her volume, none of the Unown had taken the slightest notice of her presence- or any of their presences, for that matter. Still, Ash would prefer they kept the volume down, as his tiny ears had been ringing since they left the top of the mountain.
    “No! This is ridiculous, I mean-“
    “What’re those Unown doing…?” May asked, pointing again.
    Misty was almost too angry to look, and had to bite back the urge at shouting at May for interrupting. But instead she did look up, and saw another cluster of Unown flying over their story, glaring at it with all nine of their eyes.

    It crossed the story like a warden inspecting his prisoners. Occasionally it would “Unown“, in sharp dissonance with the rest of the choir, and release a blurry wave of air. When this happened some of the Unown in the story would wobble away or rearrange themselves. Several Z Unown had been sent packing, and S Unown appeared to take their places. A small cluster of U Unown hopped up and down behind PROOFREAD, eager to find their place in the story.
    It croaked with quite some indignity. It flew rapidly up and down the story, glaring first from one patch then to another. Misty felt a terrible sinking feeling when she realised what it was complaining about.
    The Proofreading group had reached a point in the story where May’s belly was said to be “quite visibly smaller than Misty’s prodigious womb”. It had then shot back up to where these two bellies were originally described. Misty’s was mentioned as like an Electrode, and May’s was later described as being like a smoothed Wheezing. PROOFREAD seemed to be complaining that this was no clear indication that Misty was in fact twice as big as May.
    It continued to trumpet out complaints until another word flew out to meet it.

    It puzzled over the prose, and then released a few melodic calls. Immediately SIMILE, METAPHOR, and SYNONYM FOR BIG rushed out from large clouds of their twins to aid the Rewrite. The girls’ story was delicately changed, sentences being removed and replaced, adjectives being carefully scaled up (a task that SYNONYM FOR BIG seemed to specialise in).
    When the crew had finished, Misty was rather distressed to see mention of Wailord in place of Electrode. She felt even bigger just by reading the damn thing. May’s description had shifted largely to how her chest and hips were massive, instead of her belly.
    Its work done, REWRITE and its crew sat back and let PROOFREAD look over their changes, and the rest of the story. PROOFREAD finished quickly, and nodded. It released a calm and approving call of “Unown”, and the story followed suit. A song sprung up, whimsical and grandiose in places, and quickly filling the ears and minds of all who heard it.
    Misty felt the minute shift in the Universe, the rewritten code of programming, the new telomere in the DNA of existence. She felt it wash over her. And then she felt her belly start to grow.
    Inside her, babies cramped and shifted to make room for new siblings, who made their presence known by a series of kicks. Once the new quindecaplets had popped into existence, the others stretched back out into their comfort zone, spreading the womb out around them to make room. Their inconsiderate mother was forced to fairly double her stomach in size to accommodate them. Her eyes darted from her swelling middle to the story, and watched as her belly filled out perfectly to match her description, like a living Illustration. Only, she was fast becoming a full page illustration. Or the sort on fold out sheets that you had to spread out of the book in order to see just how big the picture was.
    By the time she matched the words, Misty was gargantuan. She would have struggled to describe herself, if it hadn’t already been done for her. There was little to add to what the rewritten story had to say. “Prodigious womb”, “titanic belly”, “immense”, “enormous”, it was all right.
    She felt like a Wailord alright- she felt like a Wailord for lunch. Steaks were finger foods to a stomach like this, prime ribs were toothpicks before a women with so many mouths to feed. Wailord may manage to survive by eating plankton, and that was all well and good for a gigantic pokémon. But a gigantic woman needed gigantic food. As for what she felt like in terms of body image, well, she’d need a good few books on writing before she could tackle an appropriate simile for that.
    As her fingers probed what they could reach of her new mass, she murmured, “… I’ve been retconned into hugeness.”
    “Hey, I think I’m getting smaller!” May said, with a note of cheery optimism that encouraged a strong resentment in Misty. She looked around in time to see May’s belly settle on a size that was still ludicrous by all normal standards, but was so small by comparison to her that it might as well have been a three month murmur on an ultrasound.
    “… wait, what’s a fetish doll?” May asked.
    Before Misty could open her mouth to reply, or indeed swing a fist in anger, something creaked. It was the sort of sound that four hundred year old floorboards made when they had survived civil wars and witch hunts, only to be done in by an inconsiderate fat man. It was the scream of a bra that had held on for dear life, weathered the swelling of its contents until they bulged around its cups, managed to jump and jostle with her absurd jiggling, and had been quite pleased with itself, which was now about to be burst by breasts grown half an alphabet larger. With an almighty snap the bra died. May’s breasts rolled out and suddenly became very close with her shirt. The shirt, which had advanced over much of her reclaimed belly, was now staging a tactical retreat back up the hill, while mourning the passing of the bra. It began to wonder if it too was on its way to clothes heaven as the breasts seemed eager to test its boundaries.
    The next grave to be filled was not her top, but her shorts instead. They had filled up like a wineskin, and started to jiggle like one too. This had proved too much for the already tight black garments, and they parted, allowing a tidal wave to roll out. The big tear was filled entirely with the white of her underwear, and a rather strained Skitty was stamped at the very apex of her rear.
    “Something that looks like you.” Misty said, “Statues with breasts as big as their heads, bottoms bigger than those, and bellies bigger than both put together.”
    “This is so unfair!” May said, turning to face Misty. In doing so she found herself subjected to something of a full body jiggle, as each of her considerable globes of flesh decided to move in a different direction. She watched as her body rippled. Some belly dancers worked very hard to achieve the same effect with much smaller bellies, but to May it was all natural. In fact, she was fairly powerless to stop it. When her body finally came to a halt, she clutched one of the offending endowments and looked to Misty for some sympathy. “Why do they have to be as big as my head?!”
    Misty shrugged. “Look on the bright side. It didn’t give you a breast sized head.”
    May saw some wisdom to this, and promptly shut her mouth.
    “Have you guys seen my story?” Ash asked, still squeaking. He didn’t seem especially bothered by the fact that their party had just doubled in size, if not in number.
    “… unless you want to get smaller you probably don’t want to see it…” Misty said.
    “Why are they doing this?” May asked, her arms still filled with her “mammoth breasts”. The tingling sensation had graduated into a gentle volcanic pressure. She hoped dearly that they could get this sorted before she had to deal with an interruption. “I mean… not this- well, this too– but…”
    From her garble of words Misty was at least able to gather a meaning. It was easy enough, because she had the same questions. Why were the Unown reshaping the world like this? Why, too, were they making the girls into living fertility Goddesses? Even if they weren’t the dumb mechanically minded things they appeared to be, what exactly could their motivation be? Reshaping the world in such a haphazard way served little purpose, and neither did paying pedantic attention to whose belly was bigger and whose breasts had burst their containments.
    “Wait… What’s that? In the centre.” Misty asked.
    The Unown orbited the centre of the room like a galaxy spinning around some central linchpin. The new Unown rushed in through the stories in outer orbit, and were then dispersed into their rightfully places. But at the core was an almost blinding blue-white light. Peering into it burned the retina, but there was something, something at the centre, some small black cluster in silhouette.


1.    an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
2.    good fortune; luck: the serendipity of getting the first job she applied for.

    Everything fell into place in Misty’s brain, so neatly and exactly that she suspected it was in no small part thanks to the SERENDIPITY Unown themselves. Because her realisation was exactly the same as everything else that had happened; blind luck so sublime that it was indistinguishable from destiny.
    By some fluke, the Unown had bundled together during the night and spelled Serendipity. Or maybe Ash had done it by mistake before he went to bed. She wouldn’t put it past him. The Serendipity Unown used their hidden powers, and strange luck washed over the rest. By chance, the others started to form words of their own. It was completely at random, they just happened to sit together and spell Mountain, or Spongecake. They just happened to do so because they had become serendipitous.
    It had spiralled from there. Unown that had formed words just happened to form sentences, and those just happened to form paragraphs and stories. Some had happened to fall together into the pattern of “PROOFREAD” and others had been lucky enough to accidentally make “REWRITE”. At first they’d only bundled together into words. Custard, candy floss, bus, pregnant. Maybe even “Enormously Pregnant”. Because of this everything had been chaotic, structureless. Even when they made sentences they still had little context. “Misty and May were both incredibly pregnant”, or “gravy flowed like a river down a mountainside”. While they were technically accurate English, they didn’t really gel well together to make a Universe. So everything had started out unordered, and only as the Unown paired up into sensible combinations- by sheer coincidence, of course- did things start to get a bit more sensible.
    The sponge cake camp site, candy floss tent, and custard lake had probably been around right up until PROOFREAD knocked an S out of DESSERT.
    What they were witnessing now was infinite monkeys using infinite typewriters, only by a feat of luck, writing complete stories every time. Given infinity, the Unown would write every story ever known or that would ever be known, and make it reality. Reality might suddenly get a lot more interesting. Epic, one might say.
    Misty looked down at her belly. She didn’t really fancy becoming any more Epic than she already was.
    “Pikachu! Thunderbolt!”
    The two pregnant girls turned and gaped at Ash. The tiny trainer had spotted the word at the centre, and decided that the best way to deal with it was with a hundred thousand volts. Unfortunately for all present, Pikachu agreed.

At first it was hard to tell if anything had really happened at all. SERENDIPITY had smoked quite a lot, and blinked out like a broken light bulb, but the rest of the Unown were still hovering happily about. The various Es and Is from the central spell had dropped down the chasm never to be seen again, but it looked like the rest might keep ticking over without its help. Then, deep in one of the stories, the P that had caused Misty so much trouble bumped against its neighbour, R.
    Two rude shockwaves had torn across the air.
    Misty felt her stomach vibrate.
    No. Please no. She’d already been through all of this. Why should she have to face it all again? The same story couldn’t blast her twice, could it?
    She didn’t have much time to contemplate that, as the little kerfuffle in paragraph three, page one, of Misty and May vs Hidden Power, had snowballed into an all out war. Unown screamed in every genre, their perfect harmony vanished. PROOFREAD and REWRITE smashed to the ground, inert and lifeless, while above them fires bubbled and water burned. The uniform lines of script had dissolved into clouds of letters.
    And then the chamber began to rumble.
    There was no time to run, and really little capability to do so. Misty and May were now far too heavy to flee, and May was stuck trying to order her body as the tremors underfoot sent her figure into turmoil. Short of running, they could only stand and watch what happened.
    Chunks of masonry dove through whole chapters of Unown as the temple started to collapse. Within seconds everything ten feet above them was a rush of dust and debris plummeting down towards them. Each trainer gulped and said their final farewells as Pyramid sized bricks were about to flatten them.
    Only, they seemed to have changed their minds.
    The bricks came to a screeching halt, mere inches above the trainers’ heads. They hung there, momentarily, before they decided instead to reverse.
    It was not, as they might have hoped, some divine act of kindness on the stone masonry’s part. The building had not said “Nah, you kids have had a hard enough day, we’re gonna let you off. We’ll climb back up, put ourselves in order, and collapse tomorrow.” No, it was nothing of the sort.
    Gravity had simply remembered which way was up, and more importantly, which way was down.
    Ash, Misty, May and Pikachu joined the tumbling cloud of brick and mortar as it started zooming away, towards the real ground. The temple passed by them in a rush, and then they were in the sky between mountains. Around them, not only the temple, but everything was falling. Trees, roads, rocks, dragons. Islands were falling like comets in the distance, and the whole mountain seemed to be tipping over away from them.
    An alien jet fighter danced in amongst the debris, before fading out of existence.
    Misty tried to shout about it, but could get little out above the huge rush of air around them. She need not have bothered, since May had just seen a knight in shining armour vanish in much the same way, and Ash saw a hideous hybrid of all legendary pokémon return to whatever shallow imagination spawned it- possibly his own.
    Time is a funny thing when you’re falling. It always moves fast, beating inevitably towards your painful landing, even if you are really diving for minutes and minutes through the atmosphere. Hours may pass in a frenzy. There was one consistent element, though, and that was that you always kept falling until the precise moment when you pulled your parachute cord. Either your sweet saviour would pop out behind you, or you’d realise with cold certainty that you had been interfered with, moments before you meet a very sticky end.
    And so, even though it really took quite some time for the non-disappeared remains of the mountain to hit the ground, pokémon trainers and all, afterwards they would all think of it as a very quick undertaking, which had only been completed milliseconds after Misty’s last minute plan had pulled them through.
    Staring around, she looked for some Unown in amongst the falling ruins. Really what she was after was a nice little cluster that spelled out PARACHUTE, or maybe, MISTY MAY ASH AND PIKACHU EACH HAD A WORKING PARACHUTE, but she was willing to settle. She grabbed any in reach, and started the most important internal game of Scrabble in her life. Her results only inspired dread, but the ground was looking very close. She thrust the collection of Unown out and screamed at them to do their jobs.

    Six Unown, one large Pikachu, tiny young man, and two very pregnant girls hit the ground, and immediately launched back up again. Most returned to the ground quickly, bounced a few more times, and came to rest. Misty and May, though, were carried for metre after metre as their stomachs acted like huge vulcanised bouncy balls and boinged them further and further across the ground. Even after they finally came to a complete stop, May found that “bounce” had several other powerful affects on her body. She wondered if her breasts would stand still any time this century.

“How come these are the only things that don’t go back…?”
    Misty looked over her metre of belly to May, and sadly shook her head. “I don’t know.”
    Everything else had eventually agreed to be fixed. With a tight alphabet of Unown they’d managed to remove any un-disappeared rubble from the imaginary continents, turn most of the dragons back into Pidgeys, and even fix Ash.
    Well, okay, “fix” is perhaps something of an exaggeration. Whatever was fundamentally lacking in the boy’s DNA could not be repaired, and he remained as ‘smart’ as he had been before this whole mess began. But they’d made him about the same height he had been before. He kept complaining that he remembered being taller, but the still pregnant, still ludicrously pregnant girls had little patience for him. Pikachu too had been restored to around his original size, although his voice was still a little deep, and his yellow fur still spiked with blue here and there.
    A lot of their fixes had required a good deal of guess work and half measures, actually. The mountain had been reduced to a small hill, where originally there had been a flat grassy plain. They had remade the southern forest as best as they could from memory, but couldn’t quite be sure if the trees there had been oak or sycamore. Many sponge cake roads had been restored only after the mothers to be had appeased their hungry offspring. As a result, many paths had large bite marks cut in the cement.
    All in all, it might not quite be the real world as they had left it, so much as a very close approximation, where the odd apple tree might still grow hamburgers, or an enterprising young writer might find a pile of discarded typewriters lying around.
    Or, it seemed, where a pair of young girls might be stuck with their obscene pregnancies whether they liked them or not.
    “NOT PREGNANT” had not done the job, and nor had “THIN”. Despite there being enough to fill several encyclopedias earlier, most of their ranks seemed to have vanished along with their creations, and now they couldn’t even scare up enough Unown to spell out “MISTY AND MAY WERE NOT PREGNANT WITH DOZENS OF BABIES AND MAY ACTUALLY HAD QUITE A SMALL BOTTOM REALLY”.
    Thankfully the laws of physics had decided to treat them as a special case, and they were allowed to serve out their sentences after they’d delivered, leaving them to lug their heavy but not crushing loads around until that happened.
    “Hey, you guys, how about May-has-a-small-butt?” she asked, giving the Unown her most winning smile.
    They blinked at her, and then made a button appear on her shirt. She sighed, and gave up.
    “I guess we should put them back…” Misty said, glaring at the Unown. All in all they’d proved themselves about as useless as she’d first suspected, just in a startlingly different way.
    “What? No way! Shouldn’t we make them give us stuff? Like a big new bra?”
    Misty glared. “We haven’t even found the Z Unown.”
    “I am not a Z-Cup!” May said, planting her hands upon her hips. “Maybe X or Y, but totally not Z.”
    “I don’t think we should hold on to them anyway. Looks like they were sealed away for a reason.”
    May found herself forced to agree with this. The Unown had weird quirks of semantics, and liked to follow commands like mischievous genies. A request for an X Cup Bra would probably also make sure she had the X Cup Breasts to match. Either that or give her an ordinary bra with X stamped on the cups. Better to seal them away. Quit while you were ahead. Or at least, quit while you were only a P Cup.
    “Hey, guys, check it out!”
    Ash had run across to them before they could even get started on returning the Unown. He held his pokédex aloft like a proud torch in the darkness.
    “What is it, Ash?”
    The young man thrust out the little electronic device. “I checked my pokédex, and look- the Unown Dictionary logs combinations too.” he said. After tapping several buttons the screen filled up with text. “It logged all the stories the Unown wrote! Check it out!”
    Misty groaned.
    “Great. I was beginning to forget whether I had a ‘titanic belly as big as a giant’ or a ‘giant belly as big as a titan’.”

“Ahahahahah, oh, man, this is priceless. In this one I sleep with Ash and get pregnant.”
    Misty was rolling with laughter. Literally. Once she started to tip, there was no stopping her, and she ended up see-sawing up and down around her belly. May didn’t have this problem- she was in just as much hysterics- but for her this meant deep jiggles rumbling down her breasts, over her belly, before grounding in her buttocks. She snatched the pokédex out of Misty’s hand before the larger girl rolled onto her back and became stuck.
    Ash frowned, and scratched his head. “Why’s that so funny…?”
    May ignored him, and continued scrolling through the stories inside the machine. “Heeheheh, and in this one I got knocked up by sleeping with myself. Wait. That’s not funny.”
    Misty, who had almost managed to lift herself back into a sitting position, howled with laughter and rolled backwards again.
    It turned out that, along with several hundred epics of both science fiction and fantasy, the Unown had composed quite a number of stories where Misty, and to a lesser extent May, wound up pregnant. Often hugely so. Quite why so many stories existed in the Universe neither of them could figure out. Faced with the thought that some grim cosmic entity contrived dozens of scenarios whereby they grew huge with child, some might be scared. The girls, however, couldn’t quite get over how ridiculously stupid it all was, and had broken down laughing.
    Misty managed to wobble back up and swipe the pokédex away from May.
    “By the time she made it onto the street, it had crested over her jiggling breasts and was visible when she looked down!” Misty read with impressive gusto. May tried to stop her, but succeeded only in barging her belly up against Misty’s. “It didn’t take long before the growing sphere of her abdomen started to creep into her cone of vision. Before long she couldn’t help looking at it. It loomed before her, so huge that every movement was dictated by it. … Lets skip to the good bits, eh?” Misty said, between giggles. “Propped up on the stool it actually arced up and out of her frame, causing her swollen breasts to slip sideways across her frame. If not for her T-Shirt, they would have dangled down on either side of her stomach!”
    “I always get huge boobs.” May said.”Is there really something about me that says ‘this girl should have huge breasts?'”
    “It’s probably the same thing that gives you that ‘should have a really big butt’ aura.” Misty said, although her words were difficult to catch between her laughter. “Well, at least you’re in character.”
    “In character?! I ate pregnancy stew! Pregnancy Stew! Would I do that?”
    “I slept with Ash! Repeatedly, in fact! In this one I married him and we had like a million babies. That’s way more out of character.”
    “Oh, oh wow.” May said. She’d managed to prize the pokédex from Misty’s grip and found yet another story. “In this one we get pregnant and then start sleeping with each other.”
    “We’re gay? Like, with each other?”
    “… no, apparently we just like to have sex with girls. You’re still married to Ash.”
    Misty frowned, and then started laughing again. “Maybe that is in character. I don’t know what I’d do if I was married to him.”
    “You so don’t meet my lesbian standards.” May giggled.
    Misty gave an over exaggerated false frown. “What? I’d be a way hotter lesbian than you!”
    “Ash, which of us would be a hotter lesbian?”
    While Ash might have been quite thrilled to answer such a question normally, this time he was unable. Somewhere between Misty declaring any marriage to him being out of character, and then stating that being married to him would make her so desperate for another partner that she’d lookoutside her gender, his ego had given up the ghost. He had crawled off without either girl noticing to find a nice deep hole to vanish into.
    “Huh. He’s gone.”
    Misty shrugged. She glanced at the pokédex. “So, y’wanna make out?”
    May grabbed the pokédex back and cleared her throat, before delivering her own line with impressive drama. “Sure thing, sweet baby. It’s a good thing we’re not lesbians or this’d be totally gay.”
    Misty rolled onto her back and laughed.


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