Zoey had just gotten to the door to the cells when she heard footsteps coming down the hall.
"What? I thought I threw those goons off!"
She readied herself to attack when she noticed Pikachu running toward her. She was about to breath a sigh of relief until she saw a woman with blond hair in a Pikachu outfit running close behind.
"Who's the lady behind you, Pikachu?" Zoey asked, curious about this new development.
("Actually, Pikachu's in my old body,") the Pikachu responded. ("My name is Elesa, and I was once the Nimbasa City Gym Leader.")
Zoey stared at Pikachu for a while. "Are you pulling my leg?"
Elesa's body leaned down and said, "This isn't a joke, Zoey. I got careless and ended up swapping with her before I destroyed the body-swapping machine. The details can wait until after we get out of here."
Knowing how serious the situation was, Zoey nodded her head and looked at Elesa, who was now a Pikachu. "Are you ready for this, Elesa? There are several others like us who are being used to revive a criminal organization. In that room are other victims of this evil scheme."
("So let's free them and stop these guys,") Elesa said. ("We can't let them get away with this.")
Satisfied, Zoey jumped on top of some boxes close to the door to the cells and swiped a card she had stolen from one of the human guards she had encountered. After the doors swung open, Zoey, Elesa and Pikachu walked into the room and looked at Ryder's latest victims: a Swanna, Kirlia, Glaceon, Taillow, Eevee, Skarmory, Dragonair, Geodude and Rapidash.
Pikachu immediately ran up to the cells and released all the victims, while Zoey and Elesa got rid of their power inhibitors, allowing them full access to their moves as Pokémon. Grateful, everyone started to head to the window to escape when Pikachu noticed something else.
Inside one of the cells close to the large window was a Haunter, obviously scared about what was going on. Pikachu carefully opened the door to the cell to let Haunter out, but hesitated for a second as he asked the Haunter a question.
"Can you tell me who you are?"
The Haunter, still scared, answered, ("D
Don't you recognize me, Elesa?")
"I'm not Elesa. It's complicated, and I'll explain everything later, but right now I need you to answer my question. Who are you?"
("My name's Shauntal, and I was a member of Unova's Elite Four.")
The Kirlia walked to Pikachu and said, ("You can trust her. I know she's telling the truth.")
Shauntal looked at the Kirlia and asked, ("Caitlin, is that you?")
("Yes it is. Please, Shauntal, just trust these people. They're not our enemies.")
Shauntal nodded in agreement and calmly waited while Pikachu got the power inhibitor out of her ear.
("What now?") Elesa asked. ("Are we going to wait here for anyone else?")
Zoey said, "That was the plan, but we can't afford to just stand still and wait. We'll be sitting Psyducks if we do. Pikachu, can you leave a note for Dawn and Piplup explaining the situation?"
"I'm on it," Pikachu replied, as he hurriedly wrote the note. After he was done, Pikachu joined the others by the window and lifted the glass, allowing everyone to escape.
"And where do you think you're going?"
Horrified at the voice, Pikachu, Zoey, Elesa, Shauntal and the others turned to see a woman dressed in a Haunter outfit standing right by them.
"Did you really think Ryder would let this window be unguarded after your last escape?"
"Don't try to stop us, or you'll be sorry," Pikachu said, preparing himself to fight as a Human Pokémon for the first time.
Haunter simply walked up to Pikachu and said, "If you would listen, I'd like to tell you something I think you're going to like."
(with Dawn and Piplup)
Dawn and Piplup walked through the air ducts of the lab, careful to not make too much noise. After several twists and turns, they eventually reached their destination. When they looked down, they saw Chance and Ally preparing the last machine for a swap.
"Explain to me why we're even bothering swapping a baby Pokémon again," Chance said.
"Because the remaining prisoners need to stay in their cells, so a new guard needs to make sure that happens," Ally replied.
"And how will a 'baby' Pokémon be an effective guard? Patty only listened to what Beauty told it, and just look at how well that turned out."
"That's why we're using a baby that thinks one of Ryder's most trusted Human Pokémon is its mother. That way, there is a slim-to-none chance of another revolt happening."
"Glad you feel that way. Now shut up and bring in the body."
Chance left to bring in the body this new baby Pokémon would be using. As the body was placed on the table, Dawn gasped in horror.
Piplup continued to watch as Dawn's mother, Johanna was fitted with wires that would force her to swap bodies with another Pokémon. Based on the outfit they had put on her, Piplup could only assume she was being swapped with another Piplup, and a baby Piplup at that, taking Chance and Ally's conversation into consideration. Dawn and Piplup then watched as Chance left to get the baby Piplup for the swap and place it on the table next to Johanna.
Unable to hold back any longer, Dawn's Piplup jumped down from the air duct and pushed the baby off the table, desperate to save Johanna from the same fate as Dawn herself. However before he, Dawn or Chance had an opportunity to do anything else, Ally, who had been focused on getting the machine ready, used its Psychic to attach the rest of the machine's wires to Dawn's Piplup and activated the machine, causing Johanna and Piplup to be bathed in a faint rainbow-colored light.
After the light receded, Chance angrily snatched the remote from Ally's hand and said, "You idiot! That's the wrong Piplup!"
Before Ally could correct the mistake she had made, Johanna's body tore off the wires from her body and launched a Whirlpool at Chance and Ally, trapping them in a torrent of water and knocking them out for a while. She then went over and launched a Bubblebeam from her mouth at the body-swapping machine, short-circuiting it and causing a small explosion.
Not wasting time, Dawn leaped down and jumped on her mother's shoulders. "Way to go, Piplup."
Johanna's body struck a heroic pose and said, "Thanks, but it's all in a day's work for
wait. Why do I sound like a woman?"
Dawn sighed and said, "You did prevent those two from making that baby Piplup swap with my mother, but you ended up being swapped instead."
Piplup got depressed and, hanging his new head, said, "I'm sorry, Dawn. I was just trying to help."
"Hey, don't worry about it. For now, let's just grab Mom and get out of here."
Piplup picked up Johanna, now in Piplup's body, and ran out of the lab, leaving Chance and Ally to recover from the sudden attack.
(15 minutes later)
After getting past hallways of angry guards, the trio finally made it to the cells. Noticing the door slightly ajar, Piplup opened it to see a room with empty cells. After a quick search, Dawn noticed a note by the window and read it.
"There's a whole lot to explain, and not enough time. Just know that the latest victims of Ryder's plan have escaped with us and we are all waiting for you at Professor Oak's lab. Hope to see you soon. Pikachu."
Dawn turned to Piplup and said, "Everyone else is out. Let's go!"
Piplup nodded and lifted the window of the lab, allowing Dawn to drag her mother, who still hadn't woken up, outside while Piplup climbed out. As soon as Piplup closed the window again, he picked up Dawn and Johanna and started running to Professor Oak's lab.
After a few feet, Johanna finally started to wake up. ("Ugh, what happened? Who is
Is that me?")
Dawn leaned over from her seat on Piplup's shoulder and said, "Hey, Mom."
("Dawn? Why are you a Pachirisu? Why are there two of me?
And why am I a Piplup?")
"It's a long story, Mom, but don't worry. It'll be alright."