• Published 30th Sep 2017
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Little Lost Raichu - CommanderX5

Devoid of memories and found in the Everfree Forest, little Raichu is nursed back to health by Twilight and her friends. Little do they know about the importance of her past and how far she’ll go to repay their kindness.

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Chapter 1 - First Contact

Little Lost Raichu


Chapter 1


First Contact

Fluttershy kept staring at the entrance into the Everfree Forest, deep in thought. Just two minutes ago ‘something’ appeared in the sky, followed by a loud tremor, yet it didn’t remind her of any of Discord’s tricks. “I hope no animal got hurt," she murmured, imagining a poor, helpless and injured creature in the dark forest in need of her help.

A rapid rustling from deep inside the forest made Fluttershy jump up, spread her wings, and hover above the grass, not too far as she wanted to be out of reach of whatever was heading in her direction but still close enough to help.

"P-please stop," she called out, which seemed to have no effect on the speed of the creature. A moment later, whatever it was burst out of the forest and dashed in a blurred cloud of dust and flying twigs. Before she could even blink, it was gone, and she fluttered down to the ground to check the trail. After all, something running that fast might have been injured, or maybe it could have been Rainbow Dash, although the athletic pegasus didn’t usually like to fly that close to the ground.

She landed and examined the trail, comparing her forehoof to the steps on the ground. “It couldn’t be Pinkie, this creature is way too small.”

“Hey, Fluttershy!”

Startled, she jumped to the side and looked up, sighing in relief at the sight of familiar faces. “Oh! Hello Twilight, Spike. You startled me.”

“I’m sorry,” Twilight said, landing in front of her.

“It’s alright. Are you here for the picnic?” she asked.

“About that…” Twilight rubbed back of her neck. “I’m really sorry, Fluttershy, but I need to investigate the phenomenon that took place above the Everfree Forest. Can we schedule our picnic for another time?”

“The portal is gone, Twilight, so there’s not much left to investigate,” Spike pointed out.

“True, but maybe there’re some traces left, or a witness,” Twilight responded.

“Witness? Great idea! We can ask a monster or two while they try to devour us,” Spike said sarcastically with crossed arms.

“Actually, this sounds like a really good idea, Spike, excluding the part with us being devoured," Fluttershy said, clapping her forehooves. “I heard a loud crashing and felt a tremor coming from the Manticore’s hunting ground, so we could ask one,” she said and pointed slightly to the left from the main entrance into the forest. The moment she glanced at her alicorn friend, she asked, “Ummm… Twilight, do you have glitter in your eyes?”

Twilight just kept staring with sparkling eyes, her teeth exposed in a wide smile that would send most of Ponyville's residents scurrying for cover. "That's great!” she shouted and grabbed Fluttershy in a quick hug, regardless of her friend's yelp of surprise.

"Twilight, I don't think–" Fluttershy's protests were cut off when Twilight flew up, bringing her friend along.

“Please, you have to lead me there. You calmed the Manticore once and you can ask if it saw something.”

“S-sure… but what about that little creature that came from the forest?”

Twilight released Fluttershy and gently levitated onto the ground. Looking down at her, she asked, “What creature?”

Fluttershy shrugged. “I’m not so sure, it ran really really fast,” she said and pointed at the horizon behind her. “The poor thing was running this way and seemed so frightened. Do you think it was scared by whatever crashed into the forest?”

Twilight flew up and glanced at the pointed direction, holding a forehoof above her eyes to protect them from the sun. She narrowed her eyes, noticing a small dust cloud moving across the numerous hills and in the general direction of Sweet Apple Acres.

Fluttershy flew up next to her friend. "Should we go see if we can help this creature, or do you think we should warn Applejack first?"

“Nah,” Twilight said with a dismissive shake of her foreleg. “Applejack is tough and capable. She can handle it,” she said before turning around and looking proudly at the Everfree Forest. “Let’s stop wasting time and investigate! You’re up for it, right Fluttershy?” she asked, hoping that her research won't lead them to an Equestria-ending threat.

“S-sure…” she said with a hesitant nod.

Raichu kept running as fast as her little legs could carry her, climbing or sliding down hills without a break.

Drops of sweat fell down her forehead, mixing with tears on her cheeks. Her eyes were closed as tears blurred most of her vision. Her breathing was fast but stable. Bruises, scratches, exhaustion and hunger didn't matter now, all overshadowed by a desire to escape death.

It took very little running before Raichu reached another forest, but these trees were far different than the ones she had just left behind. These were apple trees, filled to the leafy tops with ripe fruit.

Of course, it would’ve helped if she hadn’t run directly into one.

A loud crashing noise boomed through the air, followed by a long “Chuuuu!” muffled by the wood Raichu ended up stuck in.

It took a little bit to pull her head out of the tree she had struck, which was tilted to one side with a few roots sticking up out of the dirt behind her. Once the stars cleared out of her vision, she wiped tears from her eyes.

She glanced back. No sign of her pursuer.

She looked up. A lifetime supply of apples hung there, tempting her growling tummy.

She peeked behind once more, making sure that no beasts were approaching. Relieved, she lowered her head and gave out a deep "Chuuuuu".

Without much of a struggle she pushed herself free, landing on her back. Then she saw the splintered mark of her impact on the tree, with bark split away and a distinct impression of her body, all the way up to the ears. It was like watching a Raichu decoration made out of bark, flattened up against the tree with legs spread in opposite directions.

"Not again!" She gave an angered shake of her paws, wondering if all of her luck had vanished when she lost her memories.

She stood up and massaged her arm, surprised that her pain was barely noticeable after her recent accident. In fact, she didn't even feel even feel all that tired despite her recent marathon. I’m physically strong and have a lot of stamina… lucky me, she thought before her belly growled again. Strong or not, it doesn’t help much in dealing with hunger.

She lowered herself and gritted her teeth, concentrating on the bright red apples at the top of the damaged tree. Annoyed, hungry and determined to get the apples in an instant, she decided to skip on the climbing and go directly for the price with a single leap.

Crouching down further, she focused all of her energy into the highest jump she could muster. The tree was very tall, and she was planning on reaching the tantalizing apples on her first try.

"One," she muttered, giving one last quick glance behind her just in case another monster was sneaking up.

"Two," she added, turning back to the delicious apples and trying not to drool.

"Three!" She jumped... with unexpected and unwanted results.

Instead of reaching the closest apple-laden branch, she smashed head-first into and right through it, scattering twigs and apples in all directions. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop her ascent. Her entire body passed through the treetop and continued to rise, carrying along a few small twigs and leaves, some stuck between her ears.

Raichu brushed the leaves away from her face and tried to blink away the confusion.

Then she looked down.

It was a particularly bad decision.

There was an enormous amount of 'down' under her, and growing rapidly. The towering trees were quickly shrinking before her very eyes, turning into small dots.

“No, no, no, no. This isn’t happening!”

She held paws on both sides of her head in panic. “Please, let it be a dream!” Her body made contact with a white cloud, leaving a hole in it. She shook the white puff from herself and shouted, “Can I stop flying already!?”

After what seemed like forever, gravity finally caught up with Raichu, making her situation go from bad to worse.

"I take it back!" she shouted, waving her paws in a panic as she began to plummet. "Flying is good! I don't want to fall!"

Applejack trotted through her orchard with a cheerful smile and a spring to her step that was getting dangerously close to Pinkie Pie's joyous leaps and bounds. With all of her chores done for the day, she could relax and enjoy herself for a few minutes, or maybe even an hour. The sun was warm on her face, the air clear and filled with the scent of apples, and the napping spot under her favorite tree awaited. Nothing could possibly spoil her good mood on this fine day.

Except a thick branch crashing down on her head.

"Ouch!" she shouted, staggering around for a moment until she could get her hat pulled back up from where the branch had shoved it. Or at least what was left of Applejack's best hat. "Consarn it, Rainbow Dash! That ain't funny!"

She narrowed her eyes and scouted in search of the culprit when her attention was caught by the blur of a creature flying across the sky

Sprinting into a gallop, she charged toward where the consarned, hat-destroying varmint was headed.

The open area next to the Cutie Mark Crusaders' clubhouse was a fine place for Apple Bloom. It had enough open soil, sunshine, and cloud-based irrigation to implement a plan that would both honor her mother and add variety to the Apple family collection of profitable products. And what better product to plant than pears?

She finished digging the most recent in a line of holes before rooting around in her seed bag, which was actually only a small green bag she had found around the house and tied against her side with a few pieces of twine. Still, 'seed bag' sounded better than 'something dug out of the trash' when thinking about it, so she kept the optimistic name in mind while dropping a few pear seeds into the hole and covering it back up.

After giving the new seeds a dash of water from the tin bucket she had been dragging around, she patted the muddy ground and spoke in the most reassuring, motherly tone of voice she could manage.

"Ya’re gonna grow into a fine pear tree. Tall and strong, just like the ones Buttercup planted. She was mah mother, and Ah'm gonna take good care of ya, just like she did for her trees. Ah promise."

She picked up the watering can with her teeth, only to drop it as something far up in the sky caught her attention. Normally, anything that high would be a pegasus or a large bird, except whatever this was didn’t appear to have wings. Even for Ponyville's standards, a flying wingless critter wasn’t something she would ignore or consider normal. It wasn’t flying for long though.

Apple Bloom bit her lip and her heart began to pound wildly. "Hang in there, Ah’em comin’!” she shouted, bursting into a sprint as she almost tripped over the seed bag, so she tossed it to one side with her teeth and resumed her gallop in the direction of the poor critter.

Raichu was gritting her teeth and keeping her eyes tightly closed as she braced herself for the impact. Her mind was already imagining all sorts of terrible things that were going to happen after she landed, with breaking her legs being the highest possibility.

She hit the ground with a strangely weak thud, lacking both the deafening crash of impact and the anticipated agonizing pain.


She remained with her eyes closed for a while longer, just in case she had not really finished falling, but after a while she opened one eye and took a peek. Confused, she opened both eyes and held her forepaws against her chest where her heart was still rapidly hammering away. Hundreds of trees filled with apples surrounded her on all sides, without a sign of pursuit from whatever it was that had been chasing her.

She lowered her head and glanced at her hind legs, which were sunk into the ground up to her paws, but otherwise intact. Moving carefully, just in case she had broken something and didn’t realize it in the shock of impact, she raised one leg out of the clinging dirt and flexed it back and forth. Then after a few moments when the anticipated agony didn’t occur, she repeated her motions with the other leg until she was standing rather unsteadily on the grassy ground.

Raichu sighed in relief. It seemed that falling from great heights — and apparently crashing into the ground — was no great threat to her. Her forepaws and ears were hanging down in depression. She stomped and said in a tired voice, “I’ll never jump ever again.”

After a moment to calm herself, she noticed numerous apples lying on the grass. She whimpered, dropped to her knees and smashed her head into the dirt with a firm faceplant.

I could have avoided all this trauma by just looking around. I give up…

With the growling of her stomach cheering her on, she picked up an apple, holding the red fruit firmly between her bronze paws. She opened her mouth, showing four tiny fangs in her shining teeth. Oh please let nothing interrupt this moment! she thought before sinking her teeth into the apple. Tears of joy fell down from her eyes as she started chewing.

It’s… a bit sour, but also very juicy… maybe I don’t like sour food, she thought, finding it odd that she knew so little about herself that she had to relearn her likes and dislikes. Sour or not, it’s soooo filling. She swallowed and quickly took another bite, chewing fiercely while regretting she couldn’t just gobble up the whole apple at once. Several more bites followed in a similar manner before she heard incoming steps, which only made her chew faster and grab a second apple. Her ears perked up on their own accord, tracking the approaching creature.

"Drop that apple this instant, ya' apple-stealing varmint!"

Raichu looked towards the source of voice, seeing a tall, four-legged creature wearing a broad-brimmed hat. Even if not as big, it was angry enough to scare her almost as much as the beast she’d faced before. Those green eyes blazed with fury, and the aura around it only added to its intimidating stance.

“Ah said, drop that apple before Ah make ya!” the farm mare said with firm steps and narrowed eyes.

The tree's caretaker circled around Raichu while examining the area, her sharp green eyes seeming to take inventory of every fallen apple or broken branch. It only took a few moments before her attention shifted toward the tree Raichu had plowed into earlier, most probably because it was leaning noticeably to one side and had both a chunk of missing bark and a large broken branch.

The aura of menace grew around the hostile caretaker, and Raichu could do little but tremble at the sight of it.

“Critters stealin’ mah apples is one thin’, but damagin’ mah trees and throwing branches at mah head Ah won’t stand for! Ya got ten seconds to start runnin’, or Ah’ll throw ya from mah farm mahself.”

Rachu held her ground and her ears flinched. “I won’t!” she shouted. Her stomach needed food, and she wasn’t going to take it any longer. She took a few slow calming breaths, feeling somewhat better after unleashing her frustration. Her ears perked up as she picked up the sound of hoofsteps, those less loud.

She quickly noticed a smaller creature who seemed similar to the taller one. Is this… her child? Raichu glanced at the half-eaten apple between her paws, feeling a surge of guilt. I may be hungry, but it’s not my food. I can’t steal from a family. It’s wrong. Her ears drooped while she carefully placed the remains of the apple on the grass before her. She took a few steps back, held her forepaws together and lowered her head apologetically.

“I’m really sorry. I’ll leave your teritory and will never come back.”

Applejack frowned, but she did calm down slightly. Usually, pests ran off with or without whatever apples they were stealing. This one was obviously trying to apologize. The moment Raichu glanced back at her, she saw sincerity in those egg-shaped oval brown eyes.

“Why’re ya so mean, Applejack, it’s not like ya,” Apple Bloom said from Applejack’s left side, catching her attention.

“Not like me? A week ago Ah had to spend three hours negotiating with that annoyin’ Mister Beaver! This here pest assaulted mah trees and threw a branch at me,” she responded with a firm stomp, which only made the large critter tremble in fear.

“Maybe it was scared? She’s hungry and hurt after all.” Apple Bloom approached the long-tailed critter and pitched her voice as calm as she could. “It’s okay, little one. There’s nothin’ to fear.”

“Wait, what?” Applejack said, taking a few steps forward and looking at the pest, only now noting the numerous bruises and scratches across it. Like a hot iron anvil, guilt struck her in the guts. She took off her damaged hat and held it against her chest. “Ah’m really sorry…” Being close enough, she heard growling sound coming from this critter’s stomach and said, “Ah think Ah’ll allow ya to eat a few apples. No harm in that.” She observed her sister, who sat next to the still-apologizing creature.

“Go ahead, eat up.” Apple Bloom grabbed a full apple from the grass and placed it in Raichu’s paws.

The creature responded by repeating her name, placing the apple between filly’s forehooves and taking a step back.

“No, it’s alright, ya can have it,” Apple Bloom said, trying to give the apple once more, but the little critter pushed it back and kept shaking its head.

Applejack watched this exchange in confusion. This was the first time she had seen a pest refusing free food, let alone while being hungry and injured. She rubbed her chin, thinking, When sittin’, this here critter only reaches Apple Bloom’s chin. There’s no way someone this small would have strength to damage mah tree, more or less throw a branch so far away. Ah really messed up. With slow steps and a compassionate smile, she approached and looked down at the visitor, who now stared back at her with more curiosity than fear.

“Ah’m really sorry for yellin’ at ya. As much as Ah dislike when critters steal from mah farm, Ah ain’t goin’ to let someone hurt go hungry,” she said and exposed an apple on her forehoof. “Please, accept mah hospitality.”

Raichu kept staring at the apple, occasionally glancing between the mare and filly who were encouraging her to eat. The aura of anger was nowhere to be seen, replaced by something warm and pleasant. Was she sensing their compassion? Not that she needed any sixth sense, because a mere glance at their faces told her more than enough.

She sniffed the mare's hoof before slowly taking the apple.

“Eat up. Mah apples are best of the best. They’ll fill ya in no time.”

“Ah agree, eat as many as ya need,” the younger one spoke.

Raichu nodded and took a bite, and another, and another. Once only the core remained, she was given more apples until her hunger was satisfied.

She exhaled with a satisfied “Chuuu,” sitting and massaging her belly with her other paw placed on the grass for support and ten cores of eaten apples scattered around her. She wiped her mouth and glanced at the filly, who kept staring at her with a cheerful smile. It seemed only polite to return the smile with one of her own. "Thank you so much!"

They did so much for me… and after I tried to eat their property... I have to do something to show my gratitude, she thought, considering the best course of action. Betting on her instincts, she got up, took a few steps forward, stood on tip of her hind legs and nuzzled the filly’s muzzle. Hearing the filly’s laugh only encouraged her further.

“Ah must say, ya’re really cute,” the filly said while rubbing her head.

Taking it for a gesture of affection, Raichu climbed up onto the filly’s back and rubbed the top of her head in return.

“And ya’re funny too,” the filly said. “Ah’m Apple Bloom, Cutie Mark Crusader and an earth pony. It’s really nice to meet ya.”

“And Ah’m Applejack, Apple Bloom’s older sister,” the farm mare said as she picked up Raichu from her sister’s back so she could look at her eye to eye.

“My name’s Raichu… I think,” she responded and displayed a genuine smile, finding safety between Applejack’s hooves. Meeting those two ponies turned to be the best thing to happen to her… ever. It felt as if her life started inside the crater in that scary forest with no past to cling onto.

Applejack placed Raichu on the grass gently and turned around, pointing at her own back. “If ya want to come with us, hop on. We need to get ya to the vet. She’ll help ya get better.”

The filly nodded in agreement.

Raichu kept starting at the mare’s back before nodding. She was about to hop on, but stopped herself and shivered, the memory of her last jump still fresh in her mind. She smiled awkwardly before climbing onto Applejack’s back… very slowly. I feel… odd... she thought, now perched on Applejack’s fur with her paws wrapped around her neck. She felt a familiar pleasant warmness, as if she experienced something like this before.

She closed her eyes and nuzzled Applejack’s neck. With her past remaining a mystery and with present events a nightmare, being so warmly accepted gave her a ray of hope for the future.

“By the way, why are ya repeatin’ ‘Raichu’ or “Rai’ over and over? Is this yer name?” Applejack asked.

Raichu’s eyes opened in an instant. “I do what?”

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