#11 Identity Crisis, pt 2
Writer of Episode Cowbeb


Nathaniel, pretending to be Cynn, faked a smile as he played with a baby shuckle. In truth, he barely even noticed the shuckle was there. He was deep in thought.
The rogue ditto, Harter, was undoubtedly coming after him. Harter had long nursed a grudge against Nathaniel. Unlike him, Harter was a firm believer in peaceful co-existence with humans, which had led him to take on a job as a gym leader while in human form.
Harter, having maintained a friendship with several members of the ditto council for years, had probably found out by now that the real Cynn was in ditto custody, and that Nathaniel was impersonating him.
He would have to kill Harter. But how?

As soon as the two were some way into the forest, Nathaniel stopped.
“What is it?” asked Natalie, heart pounding.
Harold was emerging from behind a tree, followed by his gang.
“Ah,” said Nathaniel calmly. “Hello, Harold.”

Harold smiled and sent out his charizard. “Don’t move, Cynn.”

“Cynn?” Nathaniel laughed. “How clueless are you, Harold?”
“You killed Nathaniel!” Harold hissed. “You’re going to die slowly for that.”
“Oh, yes,” said Nathaniel. “I really did convince you, didn’t I? But, of course, you really were a gullible idiot. A psychopath as well… that is all you are, and that’s all you’ve ever been.”
“I have saved countless people from ditto!” Harold said angrily. “And what do you mean, you convinced me?”
“First of all,” drawled Nathaniel lazily. “You’ve killed countless innocents in your ‘crusade.’ I mean, I may be a nasty piece of work, but you’re worse.”
“I only kill ditto,” Harold insisted.
“You only kill people you think are ditto. Just do you know… you’ve never killed a single ditto in your life,” Nathaniel snickered.
Natalie stood nearby, looking back and forth at the two of them.
“Uh, go back to the daycare, Natalie,” said Harold. “This is between Cynn and me.”
Natalie turned and walked back toward the daycare. As soon as she was out of sight, Harold whispered something to one of his lackeys, who nodded and followed after her.

“Arranging your girlfriend’s murder?” asked Nathaniel. “Ahem… and here I thought you only killed ditto.”
“She is a ditto!” said Harold. “I just found out.”
“Uh-huh. Right.”

“Know what? I don’t have to listen to you,” said Harold. “Carizard! Blast Burn!”
The charizard growled and used Blast Burn, setting Nathaniel on fire.

Nathaniel laughed. “That tickles. You see, Harold, real ditto don’t die by incineration. You’ve never killed a single real ditto in your life.”
“You son of a bitch!” screamed Harold. His lackeys scattered, terrified of what Nathaniel would do to them. This ditto was powerful. They’d never dealt with one like this before- nor, indeed (unbeknownst to them), had they ever dealt with a ditto, period.

Nathaniel, completely engulfed in flame and cackling menacingly, walked toward Harold, who was too furious and terrified to move.

“You bastard, you’re lying,” Harold roared. “I’m not a murderer!”
“You can’t deny that you just sent your little girlfriend off to die,” said Nathaniel. “You know good and well she isn’t a ditto.”
Harold stumbled backward and fell to the ground. “I’m sorry! Don’t hurt me. I’ll never kill anyone again!”
Nathaniel paused. “You could be quite useful.”
“Yes! I will serve your cause. I will do whatever you say,” Harold whimpered.
Nathaniel, still on fire, smiled. “I’ll consider it.”
“Oh, thank you,” Harold cried joyfully. “I won’t let you down.”
“Well…” Nathaniel murmured.
“What?” asked Harold, heart pounding.

“I’ve considered it,” Nathaniel smiled. He raised his flaming hands and pressed one against Harold’s chest, and pressed another against his forehead.
It took a moment for Harold to become fully engulfed in flame, but he was too shocked to resist. He stared at Nathaniel for a moment before becoming nothing but a fireball that collapsed on itself.

The fire began to spread. Nathaniel calmly walked through the forest, back toward the daycare, shape-shifting as he did so. He changed into a torrent of water, putting out the fire on his body, then back into Cynn.

But when he emerged from the forest, the daycare was in flames.

To be continued in the next episode!

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