Veriqi does not own Pokémon. I belongs to the Pokémon Company and its respective owners.

Don't forget to favourite, follow and review if you enjoy this story! Critique is always appreciated and allows the author to grow as a writer!

Welcome to Embers among the Ash. Now, before you begin, I'd like to tell you the reason why this story came to be...

While scanning through the Pokémon section of this site, I've found a certain pattern among most fics. Many authors tend to treat pokémon like prizes in their stories to be handed out left and right, lacking in personality or any sort of impact. Now, since I've grown up with the belief that pokémon are our friends and faithful companions, this objectifying narrative rubs me the wrong way. There was also story I felt someone had yet to write, and so I thought I'd try my hand at it myself.

This is the story about the pokémon of Ash Ketchum: the Embers among the Ash!

Yes, this is another one of those. Another revamp of canon. But this time, there's a twist: this story considers the pokémon to be full-fledged characters, on the same level as the humans if not more. And you, dear reader, will get to see it for yourself. Their thoughts and feelings, their pains and hopes... you've all heard of Ash and his dreams – its about time you got to hear those of his pokémon.

Hope I don't disappoint.


This fic has gone through some heavy revisements since it was first uploaded. Be aware that there are some changes from the original, although minor, and otherwise enjoy this newer, better version. Thank you for your support.

Prologue – Finding the Way

by Veriqi

The times when Pichu thought back on his early life, it made him wonder why things ended up as they did. Why certain stars were created to shine with a light of another colour, or why a flower with an odd number of petals became the odd one out itself. He wondered why some pokémon were born different, when it would have been so much easier to be born like anyone else.

He was born different. Not special, but different. Unlike. Not-as-he-should-be. If it was something Pichu had learned, then it was that pokémon like him carried a gift or a curse. He had yet to figure out his own.

He had been one out of a hundred, a young hatchling in a large, extended family of pichu and pikachu who made their home in a glen by a mountain's foot. The forests were seemingly endless and bountiful of fruit, and the pikachu would roam them all day in search for the tastiest berries while the pichu played on the sun-bleached cliffs, all under the watchful eye of the leader raichu. In many ways, it was what any pokémon would want in life.

Pichu, however, had quickly become known as the deviant of the bunch. He was curious and inquisitive, frequently sneaking off to explore and always eager to talk to new pokémon, all of which the adults disapproved off. For all their carefree lifestyle, they were a conservative species and feared what they did not understand. Pichu had drifted apart from them as a result, and secretly preferred it. It was easier to handle the disappointment in Raichu's eyes that way.

At least his sister loved him. She was one summer older and Pichu was to this day convinced that she was the most loving being in the world. She had not cared for the sidelong glances sent her way as long as she got to spend her time with her little brother, and had as such become the one to teach him the knowledge of survival, of the stories passed down through the families and of the Legends who created everything they could touch and see.

Sis had been his only and eternal confidant, and he told her of his biggest secret. From the first time he had watched a spark discharge from a red-cheeked cousin, he had been fascinated by the power that coursed within their bodies. The explosive attacks, the might thunderclap, even the pungent smell thereafter – he loved it all. But unlike his laid-backed peers, he wanted to learn to harness it, and not by sitting around and waiting for the ability to come with evolution. She had offered to help him in his endeavour, even going as far as to train with him, and he had gladly accepted her help with his experimentations.

"What do you dream of?" Pichu had asked her one day.

"Pardon?" she had said. They had as usual retreated to an empty clearing some distance from the colony proper, where they could practice without any disturbance. Not that anyone had cared anymore about what he got up to.

"For the future," he had clarified, all while focusing on a low-hanging hondew in the tree above. No matter what he tried, the power would. Not. Work. "What do you want to become? You're always helping me, but don't you have anything you want to do yourself?"

"Any reason you ask this, Lil-chu?"

"I don't know. Maybe so I'll be able to know my own."

Sis had contemplated it for quite some time, so long in fact that Pichu almost thought she would not answer at all. He should have known better, because not long before he was ready to apologise, she had told him, "To support my kin."


"I've never thought of it before, but now that you asked, I've decided what I want." She had looked at him fondly with sparkling eyes. "To always help my family, be it in hot or cold, and to always serve the colony in the best way I can."

He had tried not to show it, but her answer had bothered him. It had sounded righteous, but Pichu had never felt such a calling and it had hurt him to know he could not share it.

The day after, she had evolved.

Pichu had doubled his efforts after that, devastated that she had overnight achieved what he had fought so long for. But despite his harder efforts, his powers had remained beyond his grasp, and he had realised in defeat that his goal would be unachievable without reaching the next stage. One that he similarly had not been able to achieve.

He had finally gone to Sis and asked her how it was done, and her answer had been enlightening for more than one reason.

"I evolved because I found my way."


"What I'm meant to do. Previously, I did not know my calling in life; your question turned out to be the catalyst I needed to realise it. Then, the wall… just wasn't there anymore."

Pichu had understood that he, for all his determination, lacked any real purpose, and knew he would not find it where he was. Her words had sealed the decision he had come to contemplate more frequently as time went on.

So, he had left.

Nothing tied him to the colony anyway, and while he loved her, Sis alone was not enough to make him stay. Pokémon were driven beings, and luckily, she understood his need to try his luck away from home. Away from her.

"you were born a pichu, but I always thought you should've been born an arcanine," she had told him the night he was leaving. "Then you could travel the world, forever free in search of adventure."

They had shared one last hug between siblings. "Go find your own way, Lil-chu. Climb the highest peaks, cross the largest rivers. Just… promise me one thing… please come back and tell me of what you've done." He had as much.

They had made their heartfelt farewell under the silent moon, before Pichu had turned his back on the only life he had known and left the glen by the mountain's foot behind him. He knew not where he was heading, nor how the Legends might decide to test him, but he did know one thing. That somehow, he would find his way.

Pichu had seen a lot since then.

Many pokémon lived beyond the small corner of the world where his family made their home. Too many for him to properly meet or talk to, but he tried his best. He had always been a friendly soul, at least to those whom accepted him for who he was, and was good at absorbing what others had to share of their own lives. He even battled a few, and all those experiences added up to teach him much about the world.

As he made his way through the country, he saw both fields and forests, lakes and rivers, mountains and valleys and all there in between, and as a result grew bored of the now familiar sights. It was then that Pichu heard of the ocean from a group of chatty river pokémon, and decided to see it for himself. He had yet to find a way to evoke his evolution; maybe he would find something there?

That brought him to the present, making his way south through the undergrowth of an open but leafy forest. A helpful growlithe had told him to search for the lower land, and to follow the smell of salt on the wind. While his nose could not compare to that of a canine, it was still more than enough to tell he was getting close, not just to the sea, but also to a human settlement.

He normally kept out of the way of humans, but had in his eagerness to reach the ocean foregone his usual caution. It was risky, but Pichu believed he would be fine as long as he stayed out of eyesight and kept his guard up.

A rumbling sound reached his sensitive ears long before he saw it, and as it grew in thundering strength, so did his anticipation. The trees grew thinner, finally stopping altogether in a pronounced line where fern and grass gave way to a rocky beach. Pichu looked out beyond and forgot to breathe.

There was nothing that could compare to the sheer vastness before him, stretching endlessly until the horizon and possibly beyond. None of the pokémon he had met had been able to do the ocean justice in their descriptions, and Pichu knew he would not either. He was so enraptured by the sight and its promise of infinite possibilities that he could not even think of looking away, afraid of breaking the moment.

Pichu sat there for a long time and simply admired the sea, until a distant voice woke him from his reverie. A voice that instantly put his senses on full alert.

A laughing boy – a human boy – was running along the beach, and getting closer fast. Pikachu realized with a start that the crashing waves were hindering his hearing a lot di he had not noticed the human's presence until he was nearly on top of him. He tried to filter out the sounds of the sea as he hid in the grass, watching warily as the boy approached, attention firmly on the water.

"–Look! Look Mom! I think I saw something! A staryu? A starmie? Mom, do you think it could have been a seadra?!"

"Take it easy, sweetie!" an older woman – or so Pichu thought, limited as his knowledge of humans were– called back as she followed at a far more leisurely pace. "I don't think there's any pokémon this far in."

"Oh," the boy said, unknowingly halting right by Pichu's position. The mouse felt uneasy at the proximity, but kept on watching. "Well, guess I can't say goodbye then..."

The smile immediately returned. "I can barely believe it! Tomorrow's the day! I'll start my pokémon journey!"

Pichu tilted his head.

"I know, sweetie. You've wanted it for so long, and I'm happy to see you be able to live your dream." The boy's mother smiled sadly. He did not seem to notice as his smile grew wider.

"Yeah, and I'll become Pokémon Master! Just you watch me!" the boy declared with a raised fist.

"I've no doubt you will be." His mother said, pulling him into a hug. The boy looked awkward, but relaxed after a moment of tenseness.

"Just remember to call," The woman said. "I look forward to hear what you've been up to."

The familiar scene struck a chord in Pichu, who was becoming increasingly aware of how close the humans were. With silent steps, he turned to sneak away, careful as to not rustle the vegetation–

"I think there's pokémon in the tall grass," the boy's mother suddenly said. Pichu froze.

"Really?!" the boy exclaimed, and Pichu had no time to react before his cover were parted by human hands, revealing two big, amber eyes that peered down at him with fascination from a round face edged by a dark thatch of hair. "Wow! It's a pichu!"

Pichu stared back into those amber mirrors, reflecting the colour he knew his own would turn when he felt excitement or joy. The human's eyes were mirthful and curious, dancing with a joyous shine that spoke of no ill will, and Pichu would out of principle have dismissed it were it not for the complete lack of deception those eyes seemed to carry. Their impact was candid, and bewildering in their open invitation.

A weird feeling rose within Pichu as he was momentarily lost in the human's gaze. It was unfamiliar, but not unpleasant. In some ways, pichu thought he had recovered some part of himself he had always been missing, but had not known about until its return made him aware of how empty he had been previously. Even though how wrong such sentiments would be for a proud, wild pokémon, for that heartbeat of time, Pichu felt like he… belonged.

"Hey little guy, come to wish me good luck?"

Pichu blinked. The spell broke, and before he could think of anything else, his instincts kicked in.

He bolted.

"Hey, where're you going?! I was just happy to meet a new pokémon…!"

"You're too enthusiastic. Remember to be more careful when you approach them next time–"

Their voices grew fainter as Pichu ran, and he did not stop until long after they had disappeared completely.

"It's like no other stone I've ever studied," Rowan said, adjusting the lens of the microscope.

"Well, it's your field of expertise," Oak shrugged. "I specialise in pokémon-human relations, not geology."

"Then why do you have a molecular scanner?" Rowan's assistant wondered, eyeing the powerful, state-of-the-art-machine in the corner. "Speaking of which, why do you have even half of the things I've seen in your lab, Professor?"

"You do have a staggering amount of equipment unrelated to your chosen area," Professor Juniper chuckled on videophone. She had caught wind of what her colleagues in the 'boonies' were up to and had decided to join them as an 'outside observer', even though Oak suspected she was just thirsting for some banter.

"It's not unrelated!"

"Really, Samuel," Rowan said, and only his closest friends could hear the faint humour in his voice. "My funding could not cover a third of what you house in your cellar. But with the League at your beck and call, I'm not surprised to see you're taking advantage of it."

Oak had the decency to look embarrassed.

"I'd say it's a remnant of his trainer days," Juniper mused, "but instead of pokémon he's collecting scanners."

"Enough about this!" Oak declared. "Do you see anything?"

"I can definitely say that the arrangement of its compounds is… odd," Rowan said. "It does not conform to the usual pattern of either naturally formed rock or crystal. I would almost believe it to be man-made, if I did not know such technology has never existed."

"It kind of reminds me of some old artefacts from home," Rowan's assistant said, sweeping his long fringe out of his eyes. "I wish to study them when my apprenticeship finishes."

"Well I certainly don't recognize it," Rowan grunted, rising to his feet. "However, I am curious what the energy it is emitting might be able to tell us, and since our host just so happens to have conduction chamber, I suggest we put it to use."

Oak ignored the jab. "Don't get carried away."

"I only intend to identify its energy signature, as it would tell me if it is an evolutionary stone or not," Rowan explained. "That is why you brought me in on this project, correct?"

"I've told you, some people can't see past my fame," Oak sighed. "The researchers at Indigo Plateau are capable in their own right, but they are convinced that I can do anything. Even when they themselves are far more qualified to deal with mysterious stone shards."

"'Top researcher of the region' isn't doing you any favours?" Juniper teased. "So you're the one to get loaded with all the unidentifiable stuff that doesn't show up on the periodic table. How lucky then, that you just so happen to have the right connections?"

"Have you considered that maybe they knew you would contact me?" Rowan asked. While most well-known for working with pokémon evolution, the surly northerner possessed an extensive geological knowledge due to his time studying evolutionary stones.

"Most people don't think as logically as you are willing to believe they do, Rowan." Oak shook his head. "No matter… let's get on with this. I'm handing out starters tomorrow, and at this pace I won't get any sleep before then."

"I'm giving out new starters myself next week," Juniper said conversationally as the older professors started to prepare for the experiment. "I've done it three times already and I shouldn't be this giddy, but I can't help it! It's always so exciting."

"Do it another thirty times, then we'll see if you're still as enthusiastic," Oak grumbled. "But I have to admit, this is a special occasion – Gary is starting his journey."

"Your grandson?" Juniper said. "Well, that does indeed sound special."

"Yes, he's inherited my own interest for pokémon, so he has a bright career ahead of him," Oak bragged. "I have high hopes for him. Him and one other."

Rowan quirked an eyebrow in mild interest. "Are you referring to that young boy you have told us of? From your description, I had the understanding that he was rather… rash."

Oak chuckled. "Yes, he may not have Gary's brain, but knowledge may come with time. The traits he does possess are far more valuable, and can't be earned as easily."

"What, heart and compassion?" Rowan huffed. "Personally I believe intellect is the most useful tool, but what do I know? It is your field after all."

Pichu sat huddled behind a large root, panting lightly as he recovered from his wild rush from the beach. He was a speedy and agile fighter, but his small body lacked the stamina needed for any intense, prolonged activity. It was something to keep in mind for future training.

What had happened back there? He knew better than to challenge fate, and humans were a deceitful bunch that would capture an unsuspecting pokémon given the chance. But that encounter had entirely defied all of his expectations, and trying to recollect himself from it was hard. It would take some time to shake off fully, and for now, Pichu was left with an odd feeling of wistfulness.

He looked around as he contemplated the mystery. A timely gust made the branches in the canopy shift slightly, enough so to give Pichu a glimpse of a chrome tower close by. He was unable to tell exactly what it was, but it had nevertheless peaked his interest. Caution warred with nosiness, and Pichu only had to think for a moment before he set off to investigate.

This was precisely why he never had gone near humans. They were far too intriguing to ignore.

When he reached the chrome tower, he saw it was one of those things human put up to see if the wind blew or not – a 'turbine', or so it was called – which sat on top of a larger building with a vaulted, red roof. Pichu wondered if it was important in some way, since it lorded over the settlement beneath like Raichu usually did over the colony during important meetings.

The large building was intimidating. Pichu hesitantly eyed the gleaming façade, its polished brickwork and windows that flashed in the sunlight, one of which was open, and he wondered what to do. The most sensible option would be to turn around. It would be so easy to dismiss it, and nothing would punish him if he just turned around and went straight back to the forests and the fields, where he would never have to think back on this again.

On the other hand, the building had an open window.


With an impressive jump for his size, Pichu landed on the windowsill with all the silence of a meowth and carefully slipped in. The room was fortunately empty, and he breathed a sigh in relief as he slid down to the floor. His paws tapped lightly against the floor as he padded across the room, not fully sure of what he was doing until a faint sense of running electricity made him look over to the bundle of cables by the back wall. Cheeks tingling in anticipation, Pichu bared his fangs as he drew nearer.

A recent encounter with an incensed magnemite had taught him an interesting lesson about his powers. When the magnemite had tried to shock him, Pichu had been completely unharmed by it, and no matter how many times the sentient magnet had tried, it had not been able to touch him. Pichu had soundly beaten the thing when it ran out of power, and had for the rest of the day felt unusually invigorated – a feeling he now thirsted for again.

The casing provided little resistance as Pichu bit down into the wire, and he pierced the plastic without trouble. He siphoned as much energy as he could before the metal thread within broke, cutting the feed and leaving him with an itching want for more. The rest of the bundle went in similar short fashion, and Pichu greedily began to hunt for more.

Rowan's assistant stumbled.

"These things are everywhere!" he complained, gesturing at the free-running cables that snaked across the floor in complete disarray

Oak rubbed his neck. "Forgive me, I'm in the middle of rewiring the lab, so it is a temporary solution."

"By having it go right through the middle of the room by an extension cord? That's not temporary, that's plain lazy!"

Oak shrugged. "I'm no electrician."

"You're a scientist!"

"That's not the same–"


Their heads snapped to the computer screen. Juniper looked amused, thoroughly enjoying their flabbergasted expressions. "Are we ready to begin?"

"Almost," Rowan said. He placed the shard into the electrodes and closed the glass over it, sealing the conduction chamber from the outside. The professors gathered around it, making sure that they had a clear and easy view.

Oak cleared his throat, trying to collect himself. "If that's all, then I suppose we should start."

Rowan's assistant nodded and turned the switch. The professors watched closely as a few hundred volts shot through the shard, sending small sparks dancing over its black surface.

"There appears to be some form of resistance," Rowan noted. "Try increasing the voltage."

The assistant dutifully obeyed.

Pichu had followed the cables into a large hole, where all of the wiring on the floor congregated into a vertical chute that led straight down to the basement. He could detect a large source of power down there, and so knew where he was headed for more electricity. It was too late to be cautious by now.

He carefully lowered himself down the cramped space, headfirst with his tail hooked around the wires to control his descent. Light streamed through another opening by the bottom, and Pichu, hanging upside down, peeked into the room. It was darker than the first floor had been, since it was mostly underground, and filled with strange equipment of many shapes and sizes. A small group of humans stood huddled around one of them with their backs turned to him and the rest of the room.


Pichu nearly turned tail right then and there, but realized that they had not notice him. He looked around. Several bulky devices mostly hid him from view, and if he was quiet, he could likely sneak all the way over to the power outlet by the generator in the corner. As long as he did not disturb the humans, he would be fine.

On silent paws, Pichu crept along the cover until he reached the thick power cords. They were a lot bigger than the ones in the room upstairs, but it only took some further gnawing and peeling to expose the conductor within. He was nearly salivating at the electricity he could feel streaming through the cable, and without any further ado bit down.

Pain shot through him, burning and shredding and hurting like nothing he had felt before. Every nerve screamed as something crashed through his body, forcefully entering his electrical channels with the precision of a Giga Impact and stressed his fragile network beyond the breaking point. Words failed him, his senses shut down and nothing could prepare him for the overwhelming presence that tore through him without care for the damage it caused on the way.

Pichu blindly grasped for some sort of saviour. As any pokémon at their limit would, he blindly reached out into his inner well, desperately clawing for the shining star that he had tried to find so many times before but never managed to spot in the darkness. But now it was a fight for survival, and either because of that or some other factor he was not aware of, something was different.

This time, he found it.

He barely noticed the weird feeling that enveloped him, and then he knew nothing more.

They had barely a second's warning before it all went wrong. The stone shard lit up like the sun, and a high-pitched squeal tore through the room before the conduction chamber exploded.

A loud bang shattered the glass, sending pieces flying everywhere, and the control panel sparked madly as it short-circuited. The lights failed while screens all through the lab fizzled and died, leaving the lab in darkness. A shocked silence gripped the room, and small flames flickered in the ruined conduction chamber from which wispy tendrils of smoke rose towards the low ceiling. The professors, both full-fledged and in training, stumbled back to their feet, unharmed as they had had the sense to take cover in time.

Rowan was the quickest to react, but as he went to send out Prinplup to deal with the fire, he discovered that the pokéball would not expand in his hand. The mechanism was malfunctioning.

"Augustine! The extinguisher!"

The assistant, Augustine, swiftly responded, and the fire was shortly put out.

"…What happened?" Oak finally managed.

"The stone violently reacted to something. What, I do not know." Rowan looked around the room. "It appears our mishap created some form of electromagnetic pulse, which knocked out the power in the building."

"Unplugged devices stopped working as well," Augustine added, sounding rather miffed as he thumbed at his dead Pokétch.

"The pulse must have equalized the charge in the batteries," Oak guessed. "What about the shard?"

"Gone. There's not even any fragments left."

Oak and Rowan exchanged glances.

The backup generator kicked in, restarting the lab's systems. Rowan sat down by the restart computer and began to type as he used the advanced system to estimate the damage.

"The EMP appears to have dispersed at an estimated radius of 2,300 metres, which even with a generous margin of error has the whole of Pallet Town affected. They'll hopefully be able to cope without their electronics for a couple of hours."

Oak winced, already seeing the questions being turned his way. He was just about to ask for specifics when his attention was grabbed by a small… was that a squeak? It sounded like it came from the direction of the generator.

"Try to re-establish the connection with Juniper," he said absently. "With how abrupt our call ended, we should probably assure her we didn't blow up Pallet." While Rowan did so, Oak carefully stepped over some broken glass and made his way over towards the power-outlet.

His's eyes widened.

The call connected. "What happened?" Juniper asked. She sounded deeply worried.

"We're unharmed," Rowan gruffly informed her. "The experiment reacted violently and knocked out all the power in the lab. We're currently localizing further problems…"

"Problem localized," Oak spoke up, eyes not straying. "I've found signs of sabotage."


Rowan nearly flew out of his chair and marched over to Oak, face dark and foreboding. "What kind of irresponsible…?! When I get my hands on the culprit, they'll wish they had rather faced the deepest terrors of Darkrai –"

His rant died on his lips as he stepped around the machine blocking the view and he saw what his colleague was looking at.

"I don't think it was an intentional operation," Oak said with a calm but hard look, "and even if it was, I believe this poor critter isn't deserving of any further punishment."

By the damaged cord connecting the conduction chamber to the generator, there was a pokémon. It was not visibly injured, yet the uncontrolled shivering, pained breathing and madly sparking cheeks told the professors that it was still hurting from something.

It was a Pikachu.

End of Prologue

[AN]: Hope that caught your interest.

First fic, first chapter; I can't deny my excitement. I welcome any sort of response, so you're welcome to review if you'd like to give me some constructive criticism or just feel like dropping a comment. I'm always happy to hear it. Now, regarding this chapter...

Pikachu is such a central character, yet he rarely if ever recieves any backstory. I have now rectefied that. Hope you enjoyd it, even if it might seem cheesy at times. I'm of the opinion that you have to be cheesy to make some impact, so I'm going to be like that at times. Don't let that discourage you to keep reading though!

The scene with Ash is kind of blatant, but you all now how this is going to end anyway. Why pretend it's going to end differently?

The professors were entertaining to write, and I had fun with their interactions. Rowan is stoic, Juniper is bubbly and everyone makes fun of Oak. Also features Augustine Sycamore, a.k.a. that handsome guy from Kalos, but you won't be seeing him anymore. The others though...

Until next time.

[EDIT 2017/1/17]: Fixed sentence punctuation.

[EDIT 2017/11/20]: Revised chapter.