#9 Harter & Celebi, pt 3
Writer of Episode Cowbeb


Cynn leapt to his feet and started to say something. Nathaniel didn’t give him time. Instead, he adopted a vaguely humanoid form, changed his fist into a hammer, and struck Cynn on the head with it.
The kid went down like a stone. Nathaniel laughed gleefully, and began changing his form once again. It had been forever since he’d shapeshifted into someone that young, but he had a feeling that he’d make a very good Cynn.

Harter smiled up at Penelope. He was tied to a chair and appeared to be terrified, but doing his best to hide his fear.
“I’ll admit it. I smuggled the voltorb in. I’d hoped you’d believe that it was Team Volt that tried to blow up your little facility,” he said calmly.
“That’s what I thought,” said Penelope. “Just so you know, I have some experts torturing those voltorb in the next room. I’ll consider letting them go if you’ll just tell me one more thing.”
“What would that be?” murmured Harter.
“Where did William go with the boy and the pokemon?” Penelope asked.
“Who knows? Out of curiosity, how did they get past Runan?” Harter asked defiantly.
“A cowardly voltorb crept up behind him while he was fighting the rebels. The creature nearly killed him,” Penelope said obligingly. “There, you know how they got past Runan. Ready to tell me now?”
“Listen. Penelope. I loathe you, honestly, I really do. I can’t stand you. You’re a ruthless, mass-murdering bitch-”
Penelope struck Harter. He continued unflinchingly, “-but to be completely honest, at this point you’re the lesser of two evils. You don’t know what Nathaniel is, do you?”
“Nathaniel? He was killed. By the voltorb that you smuggled in,” Penelope said angrily.
“That’s what you think,” snickered Harter. “He’s tricked you, like he has everyone else.”
“You’re nuts,” Penelope shook her head. “Or, more likely, you’re trying to confuse me.”
“He’s a ditto,” Harter said. “There, I’ve told you that. Please let me go! I have no idea where William and the others went after they rescue Cynn and the pokemon!”
“Are you sure you have no idea?” asked Penelope. “I’ll let you go if you tell me.”
“Please believe me!” cried Harter. “I have no idea where they went!”
“Are you very sure?” Penelope smiled.
“Yes! B-b-but please, listen to me, Nathaniel is a ditto! He’s tricked you!” Harter said.
“I’m sure. Since you don’t know, you’re useless, and I don’t need to keep you around anymore,” Penelope chuckled and pulled a pokeball out of her pocket. She popped it open.
“Pinsir,” she muttered. “Use guillotine!”
Harter screamed as the pinsir emerged from the pokeball and raced toward him. “He’s a ditto! Please believe me! Please believe-”

Hours after Harter’s headless body was dumped in a river that ran by the Legendary Facility, it began to twitch. Then its head began to re-grow.
The ditto known as Harter emerged from the river completely healed and at full strength. He changed into the purple blob that most ditto appeared as, then, chuckling to himself, began heading toward the Pokemon Daycare Center where William lived.

William was in a very good mood. Things had worked out perfectly. Harter had let loose the angry voltorb in the Legendary Facility, Cynn, James, Celebi and Quill had escaped, and the Elite Four had no idea where they were going.
He was a little bit worried about Harter, though. He’d told Harter that if he ever needed shelter, all he had to do was come to the Pokemon Daycare Center. What if the Elite Four realized that Harter had set the voltorb loose? What if they captured the voltorb and forced information out of it, or tortured Harter and made him tell them the location of the base?
Other than that, however, everything was just great. Cynn, Jennifer, and Torren were outside in the backyard of the daycare, playing with some of the pokemon. Celebi was flying around and enjoying her first chance to enjoy herself in many years. Quill and James were chatting on the front porch. William himself was telling his grandmother about the new guests.
“They’re very nice,” he said. “They just got into a bit of trouble. They’re only staying here for a little while.”
He felt horrible about not telling her the full truth. She had no idea he was involved in the rebellion against the Elite Four- she couldn’t know. If she did, she’d lose all trust in him for lying to her about it.
When the rebellion began, he’d been okay with lying to her. He hadn’t known her very well at that point- she was just his odd old grandmother he’d been sent to live with. But as they grew closer, he felt guiltier and guiltier. The longer the rebellion went on, he had to lie to her again and again so that she wouldn’t be angry with him for lying initially, and the more he lied, he knew, the angrier she’d be when she found out.
But what else could he do?

The real Cynn groaned and opened his eyes. Staring back at him was a mass of purple. He shut his eyes again. He was dreaming, he thought.
“Hello, Cynn,” said the swarm of ditto around him as one.
Cynn opened his eyes once more and screamed.

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?

To be continued in the next episode!

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