Jimmy runs into a wild raichu on his hike. Noticing how hungry she is, he shares some of his food. Unknown to him, this good deed did not go unnoticed, nor would it go unrewarded.
Good Deeds Have Shocking Benefits
“Wow.” Jimmy huffed as he reached the top of the trail. The hill had been steeper than it looked. The forest was so thick here, it was hard to judge the distance and size of things between all the trees. At least he had dressed comfortably for the walk in a sturdy pair of jeans and a light t-shirt. Of course, he had his trusty backpack with him, and he had packed as lightly as possible so as not to wear himself out. Traveling light helped him stay cool while he walked. Honestly, he was just thankful for the forest trail. Without it, there was no possible way he’d find his way to the next city.
After his climb, it seemed like a good time for a break. Jimmy sat down and leaned with his back against the tree. Route 34 and the trek through Ilex forest was a tiring one. He sat his backpack down next to him and began to dig through it before producing a bottle of water and a sandwich. Time to refuel! He paused as he eyed something else in his bag, a couple cans of Repel. It might be a good idea to use one of them now while he was eating, wouldn’t want a rattata to sneak up and steal his lunch. Yet…
Jimmy was no pokemon trainer. He didn’t have any pokemon at his side to protect him if attacked. The only thing he had for defense were those two cans of Repel and he needed to make sure they lasted until he reached the city. Most pokemon in the forest seemed to be pretty docile as long as you stuck to the trails, but there was always the chance of running into something in a bad mood… Or just something after his snacks.
After a few seconds, Jimmy decided against it. He’d rather not use the cans unless he absolutely had to. After all, that stuff stunk mighty fierce… That was why it worked, and if the stench was miserable for him, he could only imagine how bad it’d be for the pokemon with their heightened senses. No point torturing them unless he absolutely needed to for his own safety. For now, he just decided to enjoy his lunch in peace, devouring his sandwich, and going through half of his water bottle. He then produced a single cookie wrapped in plastic from within his bag, slowly unwrapped it and carefully tucked the plastic back into the bag to avoid littering. He took a single bite…
And then heard rustling in the bushes near him.
“Hello?” Jimmy called. He felt himself reaching for one of the cans of Repel just in case. And the source of the noise revealed itself. A female raichu, she was making no attempt to approach Jimmy. In fact, she seemed quite startled by his presence. Jimmy relaxed, and left the Repel in the bag. It was clear she wasn’t aggressive. “Well hello there.” Jimmy waved to the raichu, wondering if she would react in anyway.
“Chu.” The raichu crept slightly out of the bush, but still kept her distance. She stuck her snout forward and sniffed at the air, and then looked at the cookie in Jimmy’s hand. She stood there hesitantly, unsure of what to do.
“You hungry?” Jimmy smiled. And he felt slightly guilty he had even considered using a Repel on something that was clearly so gentle. He broke the cookie in two and held one half out in an outstretched hand.
“Rai?” The raichu crept towards Jimmy on all fours, clearly still suspicious of him. Soon, she was within arm’s reach of Jimmy. She watched him for a moment, waiting to see if he would make a move. Once convinced he wasn’t a danger she stood up on her hind legs and grabbed the cookie. She leaped back a few inches, and hungrily took a single bite from the cookie. “Raiiiiiii.” From the sound of her voice, she found the taste heavenly.
“Heh, glad you enjoyed it. I made it myself.” Jimmy grinned. “But I should-“ Jimmy was interrupted as the raichu suddenly rushed straight up to, practically leaping into his lap.
“Chu.” She rubbed her cheek against his face affectionately, then looked at him for a moment. After that, she dropped back to all fours and took off running back into the forest with the rest of her cookie held in her mouth.
“Huh…” Jimmy touched his cheek where she had rubbed on him, blushing slightly. Suddenly, he really wished that he was a pokemon trainer. That raichu seemed like she would have been such an amazing partner. “Too bad there’s no way I could have her at my side.” With that, he finished his own half of the cookie and put his bottle of water back into his bag. “Time to get back to walking.” He sighed, he was still only about halfway through the woods. At least it was warm today, he felt lucky for that. This would have been much less pleasant in the colder seasons.
Meanwhile, unknown to Jimmy his interaction with the raichu had been observed by a third party. A small green pokemon who had been perched atop a nearby shrine that lay nearly forgotten in the forest. They blended right in with the greenery of the forest, making them completely invisible to Jimmy.
“Cel.” The strange green pokemon floated slightly into the air so they could observe the human as he started his walk away, and they heard the words he spoke. They looked thoughtful for a moment. And then, in a flash of light, they disappeared.
From the point of view of Jimmy, everything was normal as he continued through the forest. But the strange new pokemon was currently observing several versions of the forest and several versions of Jimmy all at the same time. Each one existing at a different moment in time, each its own world. After a few moments, the pokemon saw something that made them smile. Another version of the forest, another version of the ‘human.’ The pokemon’s eyes glowed as it watched this other version of Jimmy and then it vanished in a flash of light, appearing back in the forest within its own time near the shrine. There was a very subtle change throughout the forest. To most it would mean nothing at all.. Perhaps just a chill down their spine, or a moment of déjà vu But to exactly one person, the change was drastic.
Jimmy was back on his walk, going down the hill was a lot easier than going up. As he hiked, he felt a strong wind pick up. It lifted several leaves into the air which flew in a circle around him. The grass beneath his feet looked as if it might be blown straight up out of the ground! Then the bushes and trees were rustling with deafening noise as the wind blew throughout the entire forest.
“Where did this come from!?” Jimmy held an arm over his head to avoid getting a face full of leaves. But then as suddenly as the wind had started, it stopped. Everything was still. The entire forest had become silent, even the sounds of distant pokemon had vanished. “Okay… That was… Weird…” He scratched the back of his head, not noticing the fact that his ears were now a light yellow in color and were starting to grow longer. He did however notice when he brought his hand back down, and accidentally smacked the side of his now much longer ear.
Jimmy froze, trying to understand what happened, and then he saw something else. His nose, it appeared to be growing! And it was black? It was like his entire face was bulging out into a slight bump.
“What! It?” Jimmy felt panic rise, he held up a hand to try to feel his face, only to freeze as he saw yellow fur growing in all over it. Suddenly, his shirt and jeans were starting to feel really loose on him. The sensation intensified, as his jeans fell down around his ankles, revealing that his legs were now also covered with light yellow fur. He stumbled out of his now gigantic shoes, losing his backpack in the process as he fell onto his face. He tried to stand up, but was tangled up in his now giant shirt. When he finally got upright, one sleeve of his shirt hung off his now much tinier arm, before slipping off completely leaving him unclothed.
Yet, despite the lack of clothing, he might not have been described as naked. His entire body was now covered with light yellow fur, with a scarf of black fur around his neck. His enormous ears had black outlines and tips and he turned around just in time to see a short black tail grow in. What he was looking at was impossible… Yet… It clearly had happened! He was a pichu!
Jimmy felt emotions well up inside of him. He hadn’t just changed species, but as a pichu he was a ‘baby’ pokemon. He had suddenly gotten a lot younger, and by human standards would have been considered a mere toddler now if even that. With these new juvenile emotions wailing up, and feeling completely overwhelmed by the sudden change, Jimmy lost control. He began to cry, tears erupting from his eyes as he let out his confusion and fear with loud wailing.
Nearby, another pokemon’s ears perked up, hearing the sound of a baby pichu. It was the raichu from earlier. Sensing a youth of her own kind in danger, she leaped into action, charging on all fours towards the sound of the crying. When she came to see Jimmy though even she felt nothing but confusion at what she saw.
The pichu looked like a normal pichu but was tangled up in the clothing of the nice human she had encountered earlier. Considering humans didn’t normally run around naked, something was wrong. Could humans evolve? Was that what happened? The raichu wasn’t sure, this wasn’t something she had ever seen before. But as she crept closer, she saw that the pichu child had the same brown eyes as the kind human. There was no doubt about it. This baby pichu was the human. In fact, as she crept closer, she picked up his scent, recognizing it as the same.
Jimmy meanwhile was so upset and overwhelmed, he hadn’t noticed the return of the raichu yet. He logically knew he needed to calm down, but he couldn’t keep his emotions under control. He was so small, and everything was so big. He had no understanding of how it had even happened. And then suddenly, there was a cookie in front of his face.
“Chu?” Jimmy looked up, seeing the cookie was in the paw of the raichu he had met earlier. She was still holding what remained of the cookie half he had given her earlier. The piece she now offered him had been broken off her half.
“Rai.” The raichu smiled, and she lowered herself to the ground to be eye level with the pichu as she continued to hold out the cookie piece.
“Pichu….” Jimmy accepted the cookie, and slowly began to nibble on it. The raichu moved to stand right next to him, placing a paw over his shoulder. She was so warm. Jimmy finally calmed down, leaned into her, and the two finished their cookies together.
“Raichu? Rai rai?” Raichu tilted her head, looking at Jimmy, it was clear she wanted to know what happened.
“Pichu pi chuuu!” Jimmy flailed his paws. He had no idea. One moment he was human, and then this!”
“Raaaaai.” The raichu offered up a paw again, reaching for Jimmy’s paw. After staring at it for a moment, Jimmy grasped it with his own paw. “Rai.” She smiled down at him, as she started walking, leading him off the forest trails.
“Pi-pi!?” Jimmy looked up at her, unsure of where they were going. But, just being near her made him feel safer. As they walked together, Jimmy learned against the raichu, again the warmth of her fur. It helped him feel calmer. She seemed to take notice of this and coiled her tail around his stomach affectionately to hold him close as they walked.
Off the trail, Jimmy had no idea where he was, but Raichu knew where she was going. She would occasionally sniff the air, and then move as if following some invisible trail. At one point, they reached a shallow stream, and she lifted Jimmy up onto her shoulders as she waded through the water.
“Piiiii.” Jimmy held onto her back as tightly as he could. By this point, the warmth coming from her was overpowering, and he felt himself growing sleepy. He knew they had made it across the stream… But that was the last thing he knew before he fell asleep.
“Rai.” Raichu spoke quietly as she looked up at the sleeping pichu on her back. She walked with more precise movements, being careful not to disturb the baby pokemon as they continued on their way.
When Jimmy woke up, he found himself curled up in some kind of underground chamber. It looked like it had been dug out by an animal… And as he remembered the raichu and his current form, he realized it likely was. It was roomy enough for him to move around, and surprisingly warm. However, Raichu was nowhere to be seen. Jimmy squeaked, wondering where she had went. Looking around, he could see light in the distance. The way outside.
Nervous to be on his own, Jimmy crept towards the exit as slow as possible. When he reached it, he poked his nose out and sniffed around. As he suspected, the chamber he had been in was a burrow. He was still in the forest, and from what he could see this burrow had been dug directly beneath a large berry tree. Some of the tree’s roots even helped hide its entrance.
Jimmy felt his stomach growl. He had no idea how long he had been asleep. But he was hungry. He stared up at the berries in the tree, wanting nothing more than to devour one. He quickly ran for the tree trunk, leaped against it, and tried to dig his claws in. He moved about three inches up the tree, before falling downward. Jimmy sobbed a bit as he scraped one of his legs, then looked back up at the berries with determination. He was very hungry.
“PI!” He was a pichu now? Right! So he should have pokemon abilities! He’d just shoot a berry out of the tree! Pichus produced electricity in their cheeks. He tried stretch and twitch his cheeks and figure out how to produce electricity. After a few seconds he had a few sparks coming out. Perfect! He looked up at the tree, spying a berry, and made an attempt at a Thunder Shock. A blast of electricity shot out! Missing the berry completely and striking the tree trunk as Jimmy was thrown backwards, lightly shocked by his own attack. “Chuuuuu…” He whined, again feeling those same childish emotions. He was trying not to cry, but he could feel the tears starting.
The sound of the voice made Jimmy’s ears perk up and heightened his mood. He turned around and saw Raichu walking from out of the woods. She had… His old backpack! And it looked like she had stuffed it full of berries. A vast assortment of them, far more than what was just in the tree. She had been out getting food for him.
“Pichu piiii!” Jimmy ran over and rubbed against Raichu affectionately. She returned the nuzzle, and gave him a tiny little shock, not enough to hurt, just a little love tap. She then quickly pulled a berry out of the bag and offered it to Jimmy who devoured it in an instant. No longer starving, and reunited with Raichu he felt in high spirits.
“Raaaaai.” Raichu looked up at the berries in the tree, then at the singe mark where Jimmy’s Thunder Shock had hit the trunk, and then at Jimmy. “Rai!” She grabbed Jimmy’s paw and pulled him closer to the tree.
“Pichu?” Jimmy followed unsure of what she was doing.
“Rai! Rai! Chu!” Raichu dropped down onto all fours and extended out her tail. She then began to generate sparks from her cheeks. She paused at this point and looked at Jimmy.
“Pichu?” Jimmy tried getting down on all fours and copying her pose. He could at least get the sparks to come out from his cheeks properly.
“Raaai.” Raichu stood up and walked behind Jimmy. She grabbed his tail with a paw, and gently lifted it up so it was more pointed at the sky. She walked in a circle around him examining him, and then gently tilted his chin slightly upward. “Rai!” She resumed her own position on all fours, began to produce electricity, and then fired off her own Thunder Shock. The lightning struck a limb cleanly, severing it from the tree and bringing down an entire branch full of berries. “Rai!” She nodded at Jimmy.
“Pi… Pichu.” Jimmy tried to copy her. He generated the electricity, and then fired off a Thunder Shock again. It didn’t knock him back this time… But he only managed to hit the roots of the tree. “Pi…” He started to tear up a bit.
“Raaaaaii.” Raichu stroked his head affectionately. She then gently helped adjust his position again. Tail out, chin raised. She stood directly between him and the tree, then pointed at his eyes, and one of the branches with the berries on it.
“Pi… “Pichu!” Jimmy thought he understood. He called forth the electricity again… And this time his Thunder Shock fired up straight into the air! But he hit an empty branch instead of the one with the berries he had aimed for. “Chuuuu…” His ears flattened.
“Raichu.” Raichu rubbed against Jimmy again to reassure him. This time she wrapped her tail around him to make him feel closer and pointed at a branch with the berries. “Chuuuuu.” She spoke in a soothing voice that helped Jimmy avoid getting upset.
“C-chu.” Jimmy took a deep breath and made the attempt again. He took on the pose he had been taught, he created sparks with his cheeks… And this time the Thunder Shock struck true, and a branch of berries fell from the tree. “PICHU PIIIIIIIIIIII!” Jimmy’s eyes lit up as he realized he had succeeded. He ran in circles around Raichu laughing and releasing tiny sparks.
“Rai!” Raichu rubbed his head again, and then nuzzled him nose to nose. She then grabbed the backpack full of berries, and the branch she had knocked off herself and dragged them into the burrow.
“Pichu piii!” Jimmy wanted to help, so grabbed the branch he had severed and dragged that one into the burrow too. Inside the burrow, Raichu stripped the branches of buries, dug a small hole and placed all the berries in there. She then stuck Jimmy’s backpack into a corner. She realized that’d be useful for bringing back larger hauls of food.
“Pichu?” Jimmy looked up at her. Was… Was he living with her now?”
“Raicchuuuu.” Raichu approached Jimmy, and with her two short arms lifted him up and gave him a warm hug. The she laid on her back, letting Jimmy rest on her stomach. Just as with the previous embraces, he was overcome by just how warm she was. Raichu began to slowly stroke his head.
“Pichu.” Jimmy spoke, and while he wasn’t quite clear on the pokemon language yet, he was pretty sure he had just called her ‘Mommy.’ He didn’t question why, it just felt natural.
“Rai.” Raichu smiled, as she continued to stroke him, and Jimmy fell asleep again, clinging to her chest where he felt safest. Even by pichu standards he was quite young, and didn’t have the stamina to stay awake for long.
It wasn’t exactly the way he envisioned… But… Now he did have a reliable partner at his side… Even if she was more of a mom. As for Raichu, what she had witnessed today was certainly strange. But she had taken care of little ones before, and she knew this one had a good heart. She would be happy raise to him and watch him grow up to become a member of the forest’s community. She wondered if he’d stay in the forest or one day team up with a trainer and battle in gyms, or maybe perform in contests. Of course, anything like that was years away. For now, she’d just watch over the little guy as he grew strong enough to take care of himself. Once he was a little older… He could decide what path he wanted to walk.