AGNPH Stories

My Name is Kaine by servussmith


Story Notes:

This is my EXCELLENT ADVENTURE! contest submission

Chapter 1

My heart pounded in my tiny chest as I hid in the dark space beneath the kitchen counter. The sound of my breathing sounded like a rushing wind to my ears and I held my breath as best I could lest those seeking me might hear. I bit my lip as footsteps sounded outside my hiding place.

For long breathless seconds I waited for either the bright light of capture or the sound of my pursuer's departure. Finally I heard the gentle thump of receding footsteps on the tile floor. Sighing, I relaxed a little and took slow deep breaths to calm my racing heart. After a couple minutes more I slowly pushed open the cabinet door.

I stuck out my head and looked to either direction, not seeing anyone I slunk out from the dark space and onto all fours on the tile. I had just begun to move stealthily towards the back door when I heard a creaking noise behind me. I whirled around in time to see Mr. Stern leaping off of the counter and straight towards me.

Letting out a tiny shriek of terror I turned and tried to run, but was quickly scooped off my feet and slung over shoulder by my adoptive father. You'd be surprised by just how quick the man could move in spite of his age. "Gotcha!"

"NONONONONONONONONONOOOOO!" I wailed as MR. Stern carried me back to the bathroom where a hot soapy bath was waiting for me. Mrs. Stern smiled at her husband as he stepped into the white tiled room.

"Where was he this time?"

"The cereal cabinet." He replied as he picked a couple pieces of Combee cereal out of my fur. "I caught him as he tried to make a break for the back door."

He handed me of to his wife and rolled up his sleeves as I crossed my arms over my tiny chest with a huff. My hope at the time was that if I made bath time difficult enough, eventually they would stop making me bathe. In the week I had been with them thus far it hadn't worked, and it never would.


Later, after a very thorough scrubbing and grooming session, I had the distinct displeasure of being dressed to the nines in a little black suit.

After we got into the van and had left the house I asked, "Why do I gotta wear this Mimo?"

Mrs. Stern, I called her Mimo and Mr. Stern just Po, chuckles as she twisted back around to tie my little black dress shoes. "Because we are going somewhere very special today."

"Where?" I asked pulling at the starched white collar of my dress shirt.

"Our Holy Father's Temple."

I frowned, "Why does he have holes in him?"

Rio giggled next to me as she played with the hem of her pink dress, [He isn't full of holes! He is big and special and super powerful and stuff!]

I gave her a funny look, "But why do we gotta dress up like this?"

"It is a sign of our respect for him." Po replied glancing at me in the rearview mirror, "Besides, today is your consecration day."

"My conseewatsin?" I asked in confusion as Po drove the van into a parking lot where there were lots of other cars, mostly electrics and a even couple civilian levcraft.

Po just smiled at me, "You'll see."

We left the van and walked up the steps of a stone cathedral. Inside I saw a lot of people and pokémon, all dressed up, I didn't feel as out of place here. There was an older man, even older than Po, there who greeted us at the door. He smiled at me. "Welcome to Our Holy Father's House, we're always happy to see a new face. Would you like a name tag?"

I smiled and nodded. The old man handed a small name tag sticker to Po along with a marker. A couple moments later I was proudly wearing my name on the breast of my little suit jacket as I walked with Po and Mimo to a row near the front of the sanctuary.

While waiting I looked around the sanctuary. Immortalized in stain glassed windows were the Universal Dragons, Palkia, Dialga, and Giratina, as well as the Night Messengers, Darkrai and Cresselia. However, at the front of the Sanctuary, above the pulpit, was a huge stained glass window containing the image of Arceus himself as well as two other figures that I did not recognize at the time. One was a man, robust in physique and appearing like one used to hard labor. The other was a Lucario, slender, strong, and beautiful. Both were crowned with bright silver halos in the shape of Arceus's great ring and between them was a shining scroll. Those two mystified me, but I didn't ask Po or Mimo who they were. Turns out I would be finding out soon enough.

The service began as a robed man with bright red hair and a jovial expression ascended to the pulpit. I couldn't help but notice that Rio was actually sitting still now that the man had arrived at his station, and that, more than anything else, told me that what was happening had to be important. Why else would a bouncy little ball of fur and feathers like Rio ever sit still?

I turned my attention back to the man as he began to speak, "Welcome! Today is a day to celebrate! We celebrate this day for many reasons, not the least of which being that today we will be witnessing consecrations of some very special people today."

There was that word again, 'consecration'. I still didn't know what it meant, but I knew now that today was special in part thanks to me. It was a good feeling, to be worth celebrating.

"We also celebrate it because it marks the day that Arceus passed down his wisdom to his servants, Thomas and Layla." As he said this he turned and gestured to the figures in the stained glass behind him, "Together they were servants, friends, partners..." He paused and smiled, "And mates."

That last word, I knew it was significant, but I didn't know what it meant. I leaned over to Po and poked him, "What are mates?"

"It means they were married."

The researchers had been very careful to avoid the word 'marriage' when describing us Chimerans. Some guy in a suit had come in on the head guy while he was doing some reading tests with me and told him to take out that word from the announcement speech. He said our existence was controversial enough without riling up the religious nuts even more with the pokémon-human marriage conflict. So I knew that there were a lot of people that did not like the idea of pokémon and humans, but here was this man, saying that this Thomas and Layla were in fact married and that this was apparently a good thing.

"And now, they have children to carry on their names in the world." He gestured towards the area where I was seated, "Israel, Kaine, would you please come forward to the altar?"

I looked over at Po, it couldn't be me he was asking for, but Po just smiled and gestured towards the front. So, I climbed down off the pew and nervously made my way to the front of the church where an ornate wooden table was. On the table was a bowl filled with a red liquid.

I was so nervous, not knowing why I was being called out in front of everyone, that I didn't notice the one who walked up next to me. Until he spoke, "Number 273!"

I jumped a little and turned to see #200 grinning at me. The white Riolu laughed, "You got out!"

I smiled, "Yeah."

He gave me a friendly jab in the shoulder and then we both looked back to the robed man who had stepped up to the table, "Come closer."

We stepped right up to the table and he dipped his fingers into the bowl and smiled, "Here now, in the presence of all these witnesses, I sanctify these two to the service of Arceus and His divine plan for the world." He reached out to inscribe a partially crossed circle on our foreheads, just like the halos on Thomas and Layla. The he spoke more quietly, just to us, "There are no coincidences, nothing happens by chance. You are here for a reason. The sooner you find that purpose, the sooner you will find happiness."

Next to me, #200, Israel, grinned and nodded. However, I needed more specifics, "How will I know?"

The man smiled and put his clean hand on my shoulder, "When the time comes, you will know. Just keep your eyes open and your faith strong."

The rest of the service is a blur to me now, but I never forgot the priest's words to me that day.


Turns out Israel had been adopted by a wealthy family, the Harrisons, in a neighborhood only a few blocks from ours, and I spent a lot of my days during those short years with the Sterns either playing with Mia, studying the scriptures with Mimo, or tussling with Israel at his place. However, some of my greatest memories were during our many vacations to a tiny little island just off the southernmost point of the United Aetheran States, Deimos Island. When I was seven we flew down there in Po's rusty old levcraft to celebrate my birthday, and my acceptance into the public school system.

Initially, many parents and teachers had been opposed to Chimeran's being a part of the public school system, supposedly out of concern for their children's safety since Chimerans could use 'Moves'. However, after a long legal struggle spearheaded by the Harrison family and their lawyers, we were now allowed to go to school with other humans. It was a very exciting change for me.

Our last night there, we had just finished dinner when Rio tapped me on the shoulder and gestured for me to follow her. After getting permission from Po, I followed her down to the beach. Once there she started walking down towards the water, [Kaine... I don't want you to go.]

I frowned, "What do you mean?"

[I don't want you to go to school.] Rio says quietly.


[I don't want to lose you.]

I frowned, "I'm not going anywhere. School is just up the street."

[Before you came, I used to play with some human boys.] Rio smiled fondly at the memory of her friends, [They were nice to me and treated me like one of them. I think they could almost understand me.] Then her expression suddenly darkened, [And then they went away to school.]

She turned away and I had to step closer to hear her above the sound of the rolling surf. [Suddenly, I wasn't one of them. I was just a pokémon. A friendly animal. It was like they had never known me before. Like they forgot who I was.]

"Rio. You're my sister." I said quietly. "Nothing is going to change that."

For a long time Rio didn't respond. When she finally turned around I noticed for the first time that she was missing a couple feathers from her crown. They were in her hands, tied together by a piece of string into a small necklace which she held out to me. [Promise me that you won't ever forget me.]

"I promise." I told her as I took the necklace from her. Looking back now, I can't help but wonder if she knew.

The next day we all piled back into the ancient levcraft for the trip back home. I hurried to my seat in the back across from Rio and strapped myself in. Rio smiled at me and did the same. "Everybody strapped in back there?" Po called out from the pilot's cabin at the front of the high altitude levcraft.

Rio and I yelled out our affirmatives and Po started the engine. The entire world seemed to rattle as those engines turned over, and then we were rising into the air. I smiled and let the gentle rumble of those old engines lull me to sleep for the long flight back home.

The next thing I remember is waking up to screams and the sensation of falling followed by darkness. The next thing I saw was a bright light as someone pulled away the sheet of metal that had been covering me. I winced at the bright light suddenly being shined in my eyes and covered my face with my arms.

"Sweet mother of Mew, it's alive." One of the men standing over me with the spotlight muttered before he turned and shouted, "Hey! We found a live one!"

The other man crouched down next to me and gently took my hand, "How do you feel? What hurts?"

I gave him a confused look, "Wha-what happened?"

"Your levcraft fell out of the sky and leveled a building this afternoon."

I swear my heart stopped for a moment when he said that. "Where is my family?"

The man didn't say anything, he only looked away. I scrambled to my feet and began shouting for Mimo and Po, and after a minute I began shouting for Rio too as I started throwing bits of the rubble that was all around me, searching for them in the growing darkness of evening.

The rescue workers started chasing after me then, trying to get me to calm down, but I wouldn't let them get close to me. They had almost cornered me when I stumbled backwards over something. When I looked at my feet I saw Rio's face looking back at me. It was her head. They say I snapped then, that I started running around with her head under my arm shouting about needing to put it back with her body. I kept insisting that everything was going to be fine. I don't remember; I'd rather leave those memories buried in the past.

A week later the funerals were held and they buried my family. I watched as they put the only humans that gave a damn about me for me in the ground and I sat by the gravesite long after the others had gone.

I felt a hand on my shoulder and I looked up to see Israel. "Mom says you can stay at our place until they can find a new family for you."

"I don't want a new family. I want my family" I told him, shoving his hand off my shoulder. I sat in silence for a while and Israel stood over me.

"They aren't coming back Kai." Israel said quietly.

I knew what he said was true but, "I don't care. I don't want a new family." I ran my fingers over the feathers hanging from my neck. I slowly climbed to my feet and brushed my black slacks off as I turned away from the graves with their quiet headstones and soft dirt. "They were the only ones that ever wanted me. There isn't anyone else that will take me."

Israel stared at me, confused. He couldn't understand. How could he? He was adopted almost before we were even put up. He didn't have to live with a thousand rejections. He hadn't been left alone in his room, time and again, waiting for someone to look past my eyes to the child behind them. He hadn't been abandoned like I had.

I was no longer a part of the Stern family. I was just Kaine Stern, ward of the state, and I was alone again.
Chapter End Notes:
Past tense is hard not to just tell with. any advice
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