Symbiosis

In a different life Ash Ketchum looks upon his world from an unique perspective.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7917071/1/Symbiosis

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By the first, thought the weedle named Poison Lance, do new humans ever quiet down?

Using all the flexibility granted to him by his segmented body and the strength granted to him by his long and eventful life, Poison Lance had carried the small human through the forest by his hind segments, his rear stinger carefully folded out of the way, and walking on his mid and fore segments.

He had waited several minutes after Mareep had passed on before removing the crying toddler from the scene. Ash had called out for his "Marp" several times as Poison lance bore him from the scene of all that carnage.

He would have liked to give the tiny human time to grieve, but he knew that if none of the pursing pokémon reported in soon, then their masters were likely to launch an investigation. Despite his surprising power Poison Lance knew that he could not handle such odds. Most likely they would bring highly trained, top tier pokémon and pseudo legendaries to ravage the forest in their search. They would have the advantage in numbers, in type, and in power. There was not a weedle alive who could withstand that sort of firepower. Indeed, Poison Lance doubted that there was a pokémon alive, short of a legendary that could stand against such an ordeal. It was a moot point, as the two attacks had left him absolutely exhausted.

Besides, even if Poison Lance thought that he could take them, there was still the risk that they could steal Ash while he was distracted.

And that was unacceptable.

The Ketchums had been friends of the local wild pokémon, their pokémon had been part of the local community; the two humans had cared for several eggs, they had fed wild pokémon that had hung out near their house, they had been courteous polite and kind to any wild pokémon they had encountered, and Mr. Ketchum had asked any wild pokémon that engaged him in battle if it wished to be captured in the eventuality that it lost and the trainer always had obeyed the pokémon 's wishes. Poison Lance would not let all the kindness they had shown the local pokémon go unappreciated; he would not let their son be stolen away by their murderers.

Despite his extreme strength, both in special attacks and in his body, the weedle still moved slowly. Night had begun to die and the sun's rebirth had started before he had made it more than a mile from Mareep. Ash had cried himself to sleep in the meantime and the weedle carrying him had surged on as stealthily as it could manage. The Signal Beam and the subsequent explosion should have ruined any chance of pokémon pursing via scent and Poison Lance knew the area too well to leave a trail. But still the bug pokémon worried.

Sirens wailed in the distance as human authorities raced towards the Ketchum home. If the weedle had spent less time with his human trainer he would have considered turning the boy over to the human authorities. But he knew enough to be sure that the boy would never be safe if he was identified as Ash Ketchum, son of Mr. Ketchum and Delia Ketchum. In the day, his trainer had gone up against Team Rocket and the weedle had learned enough about evil humans to know their ways. If he returned Ash to the human community, whoever had been after him would infiltrate the systems designed to care for and protect the orphaned human and then snatch him up in the middle of the night.

No, he knew that unless he discovered some close friends of the Ketchums and was able to explain the situation to them, Ash would not be able to rejoin humanity until he was of age.

Thus only one path was left to Poison Lance, one of the most difficult paths he could imagine. Ash would have to be cared for by the local pokémon. Poison Lance would have to sacrifice the boy's upbringing, his ability to easily interact with the rest of his species, and even his skill at speaking to preserve the boy's life. And the local pokémon would have to make enormous sacrifices to ensure that Ash got the best education that they could safely afford him. It would cost the local community greatly, it would cost Poison Lance greatly, and it would even cost his traveling pokémon friends that occasionally passed through the area greatly.

Would it be worth it? To sacrifice so much for one human child? Even if the child was the son of two exceptionally kind humans?

The truth was weedle was loathe to let the boy suffer, even if his parents had not interacted with the local wild pokémon whatsoever. The sheer affection the little boy showed any pokémon that he met was heart melting, be it wild or a trainer's pokémon. Whenever he had met a new pokémon the little human would hug it as if the pokémon had been a long lost member of his family, excitedly shouting its name. No matter what his parents would have said it was easy to see that the boy would have chosen a path in life that heavily involved pokémon.

So yes, Poison Lance would see to it that the boy was raised as best the local pokémon could manage. He doubted that there was a single pokémon that stayed in the area regularly that would begrudge Ash a tiny sacrifice. The weedle would have to be sure to ask no more than a small sacrifice from most pokémon, only allowing volunteers to provide larger amounts of effort and time to the little human.

It would be a long and hard journey, but as weedle had learned from Luke, those types of journeys were often the only type of journey worth taking.

It was sometime between early and mid-morning when Poison Lance arrived at his dwelling with his new charge.

Shining in the golden sun, massive swathes of silk hung from the lower branches of the trees that ringed the clearing. Dew sparkled for a little longer in the light of the rising sun as Poison Lance passed the outer perimeter of his home and the meeting place of the local wild pokémon.

Behind the shining sheets lay a collection of three silken domes, carved out the the silk of the weedle's own String Shot. One was a simple hall to meet with as many of the wild pokémon as he could. Another was a place for the sick and injured to heal, a sanctuary for eggs and newly hatched pokémon to be safe in (it was currently empty). The final dome was a small rain proof place that the Weedle could slumber within. It was the smallest of structures in the clearing, but it was also the most decorated; for within, stitched upon the silken walls were scenes from Poison Lance's life with his trainer, his best friend. Emblazoned upon the wall were the victories and defeats that had shaped the weedle into the pokémon he was today

He set little Ash down in the tall grass under the dome and then with swift and deft movements he shaped a small basket for the tiny human to sleep in. The weedle then picked up the sleeping toddler and placed him within the new piece of furniture. Staring down upon the little face the bug pokémon noticed the streaks of tears and the quiet whimpering of the human. Poison Lance sighed, for Ash could not even comprehend all that he had to grieve for.

His parents struck down and all chance of a normal life had been stolen from him. It was likely that he would never gain many of the skills he needed to fit in with the human world, and even the tiniest of positive human relations would be a major struggle to achieve and maintain. And if the truth ever came out, if his identity was ever revealed, he would be hunted until his death or until his enemies were struck down.

But he would survive, the weedle swore. No one, pokémon or human should have to endure such a fate, but the poisonous bug swore that Ash would get the best he was able to give. He owed the Ketchums that much; He owed his former trainer Luke even more (though Luke would protest that Poison Lance owed him nothing; that if anything Luke owed the Weedle even more for putting up with him and being his friend). He gently rocked the basket containing the sleeping human and softly crooned to him.

Poison Lance then headed out into the center of the clearing, where the three silken domes met and a clear blue sky was visible. He looked at the sun and gauged the time. It would be a little later than usual, but the sun was still in the right position.

Wiping his horn in the dew stained green grass below him, the weedle stared up at the blue sky above him. He knew what he needed to do.

A ball of glistening white silk was launched high into the air, sparking with dew. It rose above the treetops, visible to all the wild pokémon and some of the humans in Pallet Town. As it reached the apex of its climb weedle unleashed a relatively mild Signal Beam into the ball of glistening silk. The ball and the beam met in midair as they eclipsed the weedle's view of the sun.

Across the sky the raced a glistening pulse of rainbow light as the silk was blown apart and the beam lost its integrity. It spread across the sky at the speed of the shockwave of the explosion and signaled every wild pokémon that Poison Lance wanted to meet with them the next day at noon.

That task done, Poison Lance called upon string shot again to seal up the entrance to his dwelling. He needed to be sure that in the case where Ash awoke, he would not be able to get too far from the clearing. Poison Lance didn't know how long this next task was going to take. He searched his head for relevant information.

From what he had heard from other wild pokémon and from what he had observed when he had observed the Ketchum home Ash should be able to walk. And he was pretty sure that humans could eat soft solid foods at that age. He would have to find a psychic type pokémon to confirm that- no he couldn't. A psychic type pokémon would be able to confirm several other facts he knew about human growth and upbringing, and if it was willing enough it would be able to assist in said upbringing, but unless Ash was able to eat solid food as of now he would either die of starvation, choke to death, or be stolen by his parent's murderer. There were no miltanks in the area to provide milk, and the people of Pallet Town kept no livestock (pokémon were never considered livestock).

Poison Lance forcibly stilled the fear rising inside him at the thought of little Ash dying of starvation. No one liked to see a child of any species die in such a manner. Worst come to worst he would give the child to Professor Oak and then steal him back in a few months.

Whatever group of humans was looking for the child would assume his disappearance to be the fault of other humans, so long as Poison Lance was not caught in the act... actually if he was caught in the act they would simply assume that his trainer had ordered him to steal the child.

As if Luke would ever order me to do such a thing, snorted Poison Lance. The only trainer he had ever had was good man in his time.

Other than food, what necessities would the wild pokémon have to provide the growing human? The task of providing shelter and clothes were trivial to a pokémon as much experience with String Shot as himself. It was education that would be the hardest to provide. Ash would have to learn how to speak with other humans and to have some ability to write. And to have any hope of living with other humans Ash would also have to pick up some of the knowledge that only humans truly held, why the universe worked the way it did and how to apply that knowledge to how one lived.

Poison Lance sighed heavily once more, and then devoted himself to his task of gathering food for the tiny human.

"Momma!" cried Ash sobbing from his new silken basket as night fell outside. After much torturous effort Poison Lance had gotten him to eat the mushed berries that he had gathered. It was still easier than he had anticipated, the weedle had been worried that Ash would be frightened by his new surroundings and by the unfamiliar creature attempting to get him to eat out of a hastily constructed silk bowl. But as soon as Ash had seen Poison Lance he had cried out "Weed", stumbled out of his basket, and toddled over to hug the bug.

Evidently Ash wouldn't (or couldn't) be frightened by any of the pokémon he knew about. Thank the Weaver of the First Cocoon for small favors. But a new pokémon couldn't replace his parents in this situation, or his lost friends.

"Dadda! Want Mamaa, Dadda. Want Marp!" wailed the little boy. The weedle had tried to soothe him, but Ash couldn't understand the pokémon . He had tried to cuddle with the human, but Ash didn't want him.

For the first time in his life Poison Lance regretted not being furry, soft, and cuddly. A human child could use that sort of thing, and whatever positive qualities weedles had, those traits weren't listed among them. He'd need- a rattata for this job.

The weedle hurried out into the cool night air. There was a family of raticates and rattatas only five minutes away from his dwelling. He could get one of them to cuddle the human to sleep.

He came across them all huddled together in a big pile beneath a tree. That was going to make it hard to isolate the pokémon he needed. He looked for a purple tail in the mess and used String Shot to hank a surprised Rattata out of the mess. The rat pokémon landed before him with a sleepy startled yelp.

What was dat for? Asked the newly awakened pokémon, shaking his head and yawning.

I have need of your services, replied Poison Lance.

Can't it wait until tomorrow? You know with da meeting and all? The normal type mumbled.

I require your services nowthe weedle responded with a small glare.

Come on. Hold off till tomorrow after the meeting please, the rattat pleaded.

Unless you want me to be cranky, distraught, and possibly murderous during the meeting tomorrow, with hundreds of pokémon gathered before me, and no room to dodge, I would hurry up and assist me with this task. You will also learn about the purpose of the meeting in advance, if satisfied curiosity is any consolation.

Fine, fine, I'm coming. Keep yar damn stinger on your head, grumbled Rattata. He got up and followed the weedle back to the silk covered clearing.

I don't know how good I'll be right now, spoke the Rattata, I'm tired as hell and can't think too none too well.

Luckily not much is required of you, replied Poison Lance. They had gotten close enough to the weedle's clearing to be able to hear the sounds of a crying human child. Rattata turned to Poison Lance with a quizzical expression on his tired face.

That is the reason I have need of you, the Weedle answered the unspoken question.

What exactly do you need me to do?

The purple pokémon and the poisonous pokémon entered the clearing and the bug used his stinger to slash open the tent containing Ash. Sitting against the silk basket the little human was alternating between wailing and rubbing his eyes with his tiny fists while sniffling. Poison Lance gathered a bit of power and used a small unreleased Signal Beam to illuminate the tent. The toddler looked up.

"Momma?" he asked and when he didn't see her he returned to wailing "Momma! Dadda! Marp!"

Isn't dat the Ketchum kid? Queried the rat pokémon. What's he doing here?

That is the topic of tomorrow's meeting, replied the old bug. Right now I need a pokémon with certain qualities to assist me in caring for him tonight.

What?

I need a small and fluffy pokémon to make him be quiet.

Ash had quieted down with the arrival of the new pokémon and thus Poison Lance had gotten enough sleep to avoid being out of sorts. He thanked the Rattata in the morning who had assured him that it had been no problem, and even stuck around to play with Ash in the morning. A new pokémon had been just the thing to cheer him up.

Ash himself had gone to sleep rather quickly after Rattata had arrived, but he had slept fitfully. Obviously he had been having nightmares and probably would have them for a long time.

Poison Lance crawled to the top of the highest silken dome, the one used for gatherings. The time was approaching and wild pokémon were starting to trickle into the clearing.

Small groups of pidgeys fluttered down from the treetops and landed amongst rattatas and raticates that scampered out of the undergrowth. caterpie, weedles, metapods, and kakunas crawled out the forest scattered among the rats and birds. There was the occasional butterfree and beedrill, with the latter looking torn between confusion and pride as they always did in the presence of Poison Lance. Nidorans scurried into the clearing, adding spots of blue and pink to the mix of colors below. Here and there a couple jagged yellow tails stood up indicating groups of pikachus.

Sometimes Poison Lance wondered how all of this came to be. How he ended up as head of the community of local wild pokémon. How there came to be a community of local wild pokémon.

Communities of pokémon were not unheard of, but generally they were all formerly trained pokémon, or there was a human involved, or they were all of the same species.

Well, thought Poison Lance with an internal snort, due to similarities in the cellular structure of all pokémon, humans classified all pokémon as a single species. Sometimes all one could do was shake one's head at the oddness of humans.

Though, to be fair, local wild pokémon who did eat one another or get eaten by one another talked to each other. Predator pokémon would talk to their prey and vice versa when they were not currently hunting or being hunted. Flocks, herds, and other associations of pokémon could be considered communities, and they were generally they were led by the strongest and wisest member, oftentimes a pokémon who had travelled with a trainer. So the situation was not entirely unheard of.

But Poison Lance still had to step back from time to time and just wonder at the strangeness of a weedle, no matter how strong, leading a group of pokémon consisting of several different species that were only tied together by geography. Indeed, he shared the strange feeling evolutionary brethren at the thought of a weedle leading beedrills.

It had started out simple. He had wandered into the area after his travels with Luke had been completed and decided to settle down. The occasional pidgeotto, spearow, and fearow had tried to eat him and he had knocked them out with ease. Poison Lance had then waited for them to wake up, warn them against trying again, and then asked about current world events. Eventually they stopped hunting weedles all together as they were afraid that they would attack him again. Of course this garnered a large amount of respect from his brethren.

He would also politely ask any predatory pokémon he caught hunting other types to quietly cease and desist while in his presence, and to take their business elsewhere. Poison Lance was used to pokémon battles, and the sounds of the hunt stirred up old memories him in (that he found quite welcome) and old instincts (which he did not really mind) that could prove harmful to the predatory pokémon. This got him a reputation with the rest of the pokémon in the area.

It was the forest fire that truly proved to be the catalyst though.

No one knew how it had started and in the end no one had cared. It had consumed large parts of the Viridian Forest and had spread to the wilderness between Pallet Town and Viridian City. The local pokémon all fled as fast as they were able. But many would not abandon their eggs and had been slowed. Some of them worked together, different species coming together to survive the heat. They got farther than most expected when they ran into trouble; the fire had spread fast enough to cut off their escape routes. Indeed it had spread fast enough to stop even the unburdened pokémon from escaping.

It was then Poison Lance acted. Normally he would leave such natural events alone, but he would not be himself if he could let so many pokémon suffer an inescapable and painful fate. So he dropped off the tree branch he had been sitting in and crawled to the front of the huddled mass of pokémon.

Fires roared and smoke blocked off the sky, so thick that not even the flying pokémon could escape. The intensity of the heat was like a physical thing, so great that pokémon hundreds of feet away were starting to develop burns, those closer to the flames were in grave danger of death and writhed in extreme agony.

Poison Lance faced it undeterred, crawling through the writhing pokémon closer to the fire. Other pokémon watched in awe as a lone weedle moved through the deadly heat to stand before all the still living pokémon, standing taller than any other weedle they had seen.

He had undergone training to help deal with his weakness to fire and while still extremely vulnerable to fire wielded by pokémon of his level, his general resistance to heat was greater than all of the weaker wild pokémon . So he was able to stand before them and face down the wild flames.

Poison Lance had used his String Shot to counter the flames, releasing torrents of liquid silk, like a bug type Hydro Pump. He was unrelenting; he kept pumping out galleon after galleon aiming at nearby spots of fire, at any fuel sources, at the flames themselves, and over bits of silk that had caught fire after drying.

It took everything he had to open an exit large enough for all the trapped pokémon and it took more than he ever thought that he had to keep it open long enough for all of them to escape.

After he thought that the last of them had made it out Poison Lance let himself fall, too tired to care about the rest of the fire. Let it come, let it consume him. He was so tired, he would not mind sleeping forever. He would be with Luke again.

But as Poison Lance had lay down to die, a pidgeotto had sped through the shrinking safe passage to check for stragglers. It had seen the valiant bug stumble and fall as the flames started to close in about it. So it whisked him away to safety.

After he recovered he had found himself to be the informal leader of the wild pokémon. From there things built up.

Pokémon had come to him seeking advice about various matters; it was then that he decided to make a permanent home in the clearing. Others came to him seeking aid for their injuries or their eggs. Poison Lance helped them and created the second structure in the clearing.

Finally he eventually heard of events in the outside world that all the wild pokémon should be aware of: the movements of groups of dangerous pokémon, the approach of humans that could prove harmful, and if any of the evil Teams were acting up in the area. It was then he made the meeting hall that filled most the clearing and spread word throughout the population of the local wild pokémon about how meetings would be called.

Poison Lance shook himself out of his musings when he noticed that the sun was signaling that it was noon. Time to begin the meeting.

Being a bug type Pokémon meant that Poison Lance had no need of raised platforms to stand above a crowd. He could just stick to the wall and address them from there. Normally it was an easy thing to do, but having to hold a squirming toddler was making things more difficult.

Weaver of the First Cocoon help him when Ash started growing bigger. He was already as large as the weedle. Maybe he should set the human down? Nah, Ash's eyes were already as wide as dinner plates at the sight of all the pokémon before him. The child would be overloaded if he set him down there.

If you are wondering why I called you all here today (quit squirming human) I have grave news the bug pokémon addressed the crowd.

Poison Lance told them of the events that had occurred two nights ago, about what he knew of the destruction of the Ketchums, about the flight of Mareep, and about the pursuit of Ash. Then several wild pokémon spoke up. Apparently they had visited the Ketchum house yesterday only to find it a charred wreckage with various humans poking through it and others crying nearby. Police, guessed Poison Lance, and mourners. Trying to figure out what had happened.

Sad and worried murmuring drifted up from the crowd below. After the meeting Poison Lance knew that they would go to mourn the humans and their pokémon in their own ways.

What's with da kid? Piped up a rattata.

For the first time the entire crowd's attention was on the little human. Ash quit squirming as hundreds of pairs of eyes turned to him. He gazed back in amazement and then delightedly spoke a signal word.

"Pokémon!"

After Poison Lance had briefly explained the situations surrounding the child and what he planned to do about it, he informed the pokémon that he would need volunteers to assist him. Everyone else didn't need to concern themselves with the issue.

Of course he told them all, he expected that if they found the boy wandering alone that they would return him to Poison Lance, that they would not go spreading word about the boy, and that they weren't to trouble him. But other than that it did not concern them unless they wanted it too.

He asked if there was any opposition to the plan and there was none. Poison Lance then dismissed the meeting and told the group that any pokémon who wanted to assist immediately should stay behind.

Several pokémon of various types did so and the Bug pokémon descended to talk to them. He spotted a pair of pikachus in the crowd that were carrying an egg. Perfect, he needed babysitters to watch over the squirming human. Trying to hold him for any longer was not an attractive prospect.

He went to the pair and said, Could you two attend to a task right now?

Of course, replied the larger of the two

Watch him for me, groaned the weedle as he put Ash down. He turned to leave, but then was struck by a thought.

Why did you bring your egg with you? he asked the pair.

We were going to go to the Ketchum house so that they could do that human stuff to the baby when it hatched, to make sure it's healthy, said the smaller of the pair, but when we got there...

It's gonna hatch soon, continued the larger Pikachu. And we couldn't just leave it alone. He glanced down at the egg and noticed that Ash had sat down in front of it and was curiously examining it.

"Pokémon egg" said the human. He reached out and touched the smaller Pikachu's tail. "Pikachu tail!" Ash exclaimed. He turned back to the egg. "Pikachu egg!"

Poor thing said the smaller Pikachu. She turned to the boy staring at the egg and nuzzled the back of his head. Ash giggled at this and turned around to hug the yellow pokémon smiling widely.

Something caught is attention and his smile vanished to be replaced with a quizzical expression. He turned back to the egg and leaned closer, cocking his head as if to listen to something.

The three nearby pokémon turned to the egg as it started to rock (nearly hitting a startled Ash). All the pokémon left in the silken dome started to notice the event and surrounded the four beings sitting around the egg. They watched in silence as the egg started to rock harder and cracks started to appear.

Part of the shell broke off and a tiny yellow head poked out into the world. The little pokémon's first sight was that of an awed toddler staring at him as if he were the most amazing thing in the history of the universe.

"Pichu?" inquired the baby pokémon .

The human giggled and shrieked at this. Reaching out one hand, he patted the pokémon on the head.

"Pichu!" replied Ash.

 
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