AGNPH Stories

My Name is Kaine by servussmith


Story Notes:

This is my EXCELLENT ADVENTURE! contest submission

Chapter 2

The boys' restroom at Tatum Richards High School was a mess. Paper towels littered the floor; I think that might have been a puddle of urine over in the corner, 'cause it sure smelled like it. The mirror however, was clean, and that was all I cared about at the moment as I checked my reflection. Well, the reflection of my illusion.

People sometime talk about how we hide ourselves behind figurative masks, acting like somebody that we aren't so that we will be accepted in society. I took that to the next level. In the years after my family died, I quickly relearned that humanity is not comfortable with anything different from itself. To survive, I figured out how to use my natural illusion creating abilities to hide what I was from the world.

Checking my reflection I examine my eyes for any trace of red, but all I find are the green irises set around a black pupil. The face they are set in is a deeply tanned one, framed in curly, shoulder length black hair. Nothing out of the ordinary really, just another fifteen year old freshman, which was exactly the look I was trying for.

I jumped a little as the bathroom door opens, but it was only Mr. Long, the janitor. He was a rather severe looking man with a graying head of brown hair and a five o' clock shadow, even at 8:30 in the morning. He looked at me and then at the mess of a bathroom. "Kids these days can't keep anything nice can they, Stern?"

Mr. Long was one of the few people that knew I was a Chimeran and was completely unfazed. As long as I respected him, he respected me, and I fucking loved him for it. "No sir, I'd help you clean up in here, but I'm on a mission today."

Mr. Long raised an eyebrow as he rolled his cleaning cart into the bathroom, "Oh? Gonna finally ask out that girl you've been staring at for the last month?"

My jaw dropped, "How did you know?"

Mr. Long just smiled, "I have my sources."

I laughed and after one last check to make sure there wasn't anything in my teeth, I headed for the door. "Good luck." Mr. Long said as he began gathering the paper towels together.

"Thanks. I'll need it." I replied as the door shut behind me and I headed out into the hallway just outside the cafeteria. The hallway is pretty crowded, since it is one of the areas where students congregate after lunch. I slip through the crowded space towards my objective, Hannah Neumann. I wasn't aiming too far out of my league; she was also a freshman, and probably one of the most popular girls in the freshman class with an hourglass figure and straight golden hair and a perfect smile. Her older brother was also the starting quarterback on the varsity football team. Okay, so she was way the hell out of my league, but that wasn't going to stop me that day from trying.

I found her near her locker with her group of friends and as I started her way, she noticed me. Immediately, my courage faltered and I kept walking past her. I couldn't allow myself to chicken out. It was only a matter of time before somebody asked her, and then I wouldn't even have the snowball's chance in Tartarus that I had already.

I whirled back around and marched straight through Hannah's crowd of friends to stand right in front of her. I tilted my head back so that I could look her in the eye, "Hannah, will you go out with me?" There I had said it.

Hannah smirked, "You don't beat around the bush at all, do you?"

I chuckled, "Also, hi, how are you doing today?"

Hannah laughed and I smiled, things were going better than I had thought. I might actually get a yes, if not, then at least not flat rejection. Suddenly, I let out a high pitched yelp as electricity arced through my body from the pocket taser one of Hannah's friends had jabbed into my side. Instantly my illusion vanished.

I thought I could smell burning fur as I crumpled to the ground, my eyes tearing up from the pain as my body twitched. The physical pain, however was nothing compared to the pain from Hannah's disgusted utterance as she kicked me away from her.

"You're a lifesaver, Traci." Hannah said with a sneer in my direction, "I can't believe I almost said yes to that little Pokéfag."

The bell for class rang as I groaned and struggled to my feet. Reeling like a drunk, I was tossed about by the human current that rushed through the hallway. Before long I was left alone in the hallway, stumbling back to my locker.

I wiped my eyes on my sleeve as I tried to open my locker, the blue metal of the door hidden under a pile of name tags reading 'Pokéfucker', 'Freak', 'Furball', 'Animal', and 'Abomination'. Sure, I could disappear into a crowd, but enough people still knew what I really was that it ultimately didn't matter. The sound of a squeaking wheel coming down the hall assaulted my ears and I knew Mr. Long was coming; I couldn't help but wonder if he was coming to see about the smell of singed fur that now clung to me.

I heard a sniff behind me followed by, "Someone sabotaged you didn't they?"

I smiled weakly as I took out my books and shut the locker again. "I got nailed with a taser by one of Hannah's friends."

"That would explain the smell and lack of an illusion."

I turned to Mr. Long and chuckled weakly, "If she hadn't stepped in, Hannah would have said yes. So it wasn't a complete defeat."

"That really isn't saying much." Mr. Long told me as he leaned on his cart, "She says yes to any human that asks."

I sighed, "Well, I'm a bit out of the loop."

Mr. Long nods, "You do know that her brother is in an anti-Chimeran gang don't you?"

I chuckled bitterly, "Yeah. I wasn't really thinking long-term."

"Just keep your eyes out for anyone suspicious." Mr. Long told me as he rolled his cart down the hall away from me, "They may want to make you pay for your 'insolence'."

"I will." I replied as I hurried the other way towards my favorite class, English. It was also the only other place I found someone who didn't hold what I was against me.

The final bell rang just before I reached the door to my class. "I'm sorry I'm late Mrs. Steel!" I exclaimed as I burst through the door and dashed to my seat.

Mrs. Steel was a rather plump woman with a friendly smile, a smile that faltered as she looked at me with a confused expression. "Kai, did you stick your tongue in an electrical outlet?"

"No, why do you ask?" I chuckle.

"Because your fur is all standing on end and you smell like burnt hair."

"Why would I do something like that?" I ask as I hurriedly smoothed my fur down.

Mrs. Steel shrugged, "Anyway, today we are going to be talking about meter in poetry."

I arranged my textbooks on my desk so that it would look like I was following along, and then pulled out what I would actually be reading: The Iliad, unabridged. It was my second time through it and I was loving it just as much as the first read. I guess I should step back and explain what a freshman in high school, one that had been held back a year even, was doing with a novel that was thick enough that a paperback copy could easily double as an effective bludgeon in a fight and was often considered a book for college students.

In the wake of my family's death, and my miraculous survival, I was placed in an orphanage until a foster family could be found. The facilities were okay, I guess, but the other inhabitants were less than welcoming and attempts to join in any activity resulted in a fight. Not wanting to cause trouble, or get my butt handed to me by the older children who always stepped in to 'help resolve the issue', I retreated to doing alone what I was already good at: Reading.

My 'heroes' were the creations of authors like Homer, Shakespeare, Ian Fleming, David Weber, and even Jane Austen. They had names like Tristan of the Round Table, James Bond, Gunnery Sergeant Charlie Bass, and Achilles.

Achilles was my favorite. Half man, half god he was set apart from those around him. Kind of like me, except I wasn't half god, only half human. Also, it's hard to top a human that can use Hyper Voice; he killed a dozen men and horses with his battle cry alone.

And so I read, following the path of a man marked for death, knowing so, and still soldiering on in spite of that knowledge. So engrossed in the story, I didn't notice that class had ended until Mrs. Steel put her hand on my shoulder. "It's time for you to go, Kai."

I jumped and scrambled to get my things together in a bit of panic. Mrs. Steel just laughed. "Have a nice day."

I smiled and wished her the same as I quickly hurried on to my locker. From there I hurried to the bus loop and hopped on just before the bus started rolling out. Stumbling my way to the back, I tucked myself into the little corner seat where no one could see me. There, I immersed myself in The Illiad once again. And again I missed an important moment, namely my stop.

"End of the line, Bookworm!" The bus driver shouted from the front of the bus.

"Crap." I muttered as I hurried off the bus and onto the sidewalk. As the bus drove away I assessed my situation. This wasn't the first time I had missed my stop, but it was the first I had missed it this bad. I had no idea where I was, only that it was not the 'good' part of town, not that the orphanage was located in a great part of town, but this was pretty shitty. It seriously looked like something out of a history book describing urban decay at the turn of the last century. Graffiti covered most every surface and it looked as dead as any ghost town.

I search the skyline for any familiar buildings and finally spot one, the Sky Pillar. It is a monument of sorts, but not to any deity. It celebrates the power and prestige of Herosin Corp, the same company whose founders funded the creation of my kind. The black marble building rose high above the rest of the city, and was visible for miles outside the city. It was also due west of the orphanage, and at that moment it was south of me.

I sighed and started marching down the street with my book under my arm. My illusion quickly hides my nature and I smile. I could disappear in here, leave everything behind and become a panhandling prince. With my illusion ability I could play the heart strings of any passerby, becoming anyone or anything to evoke pity, and a few spare coins. A bitter chuckle escaped my lips, why the hell not? It's not like I was gonna be able to get a job anywhere after high school, not with the anti-Chimeran gangs in this city harassing anyone who moved to help any Chimeran.

The thrum of a levcar pulls me out of my musings and I look up to see a red levtruck with a couple teens from the high school football team in the back. The truck accelerates as it barrels towards me and I realize that this is exactly what Mr. Long was telling me to look out for. These guys were trying to do some serious damage.

Thinking fast I run towards the truck and dive into the gutter next to the curb. Wedging myself down into the corner as tightly as I can, I fight the urge to scream as the levtruck's repulsors cause my entire body to resonate with the pulsing thrum of the engine as it passes over me.

As quickly as I can I stumble to my feet and run in the opposite direction of the vehicle, looking for somewhere to hide. Still dizzy from the repulsors, I stumble into an alley. My heart plummets as I realize it is a dead end filled with trash. I desperately try to use my illusion ability, to become something other than me, maybe a hobo or a raggedy bag lady, but I know it isn't working. My head is still too rattled by the ultrasonic bludgeoning I got when the truck passed over me to create any illusions at all.

"There you are!"

I whirl around to see three varsity linebackers and Hannah's older brother walking up the alley, completely blocking my only escape route. Hannah's brother leads the other towards me until they are about ten feet away. I back all the way away from them into the trash at the end of the alley.

Hannah's brother, Adam, shakes his head. "I have to admit, for an animal stupid enough to think that he had a chance with my sister that was a pretty smart move diving under the truck like that."

"I have my moments." I reply with a bitter chuckle as I search the space between me and them for anything that could help me escape. My eyes fall on an old metal broom handle, one end of it broken off leaving a jagged edge, a couple feet away from me.

Adam grins, "Well, you're time is up. There is nowhere to run now. Kick his ass."

I slowly moved closer to the broom handle as the three line backers moved around Adam towards me. Shifting over slowly, I slid my foot underneath the metal pole. My timing had to be perfect if I wanted any chance at all. I waited until the first linebacker was about five feet away before I kicked up the handle and stabbed out with it. He was completely caught by surprise, and I nailed him in the nuts. He let out a couple profanities and doubled over.

Using the first football player like a spring board I threw myself headlong into battle. The blunt end of my pole caught the second linebacker in the chest, connecting solidly. It didn't quite have nearly as much effect as I had hoped for, but it caused him to stumble backwards away from me and that was enough.

No sooner had I landed in a crouch than I was leaping backwards, barely avoiding the third player's attempt to grab hold of me. Instinctively I lashed out, slashing his thigh with the jagged end of my makeshift weapon. Immediately he cried out in pain and lunged at me again. I spun out of the way, slamming the blunt end into his kidney. He went down hard onto his knees clutching at his side.

I let out a shout as something slammed into my back and threw me to the ground. Rolling with the impact and bounced back to my feet as the second linebacker rushed me. He threw a straight jab that I had to double over backwards to avoid. Holding myself up with the broom handle beneath me, I kicked out and caught him in the nuts. Twisting out of the way, I fell and rolled to the side as he fell to his knees. I then leapt to my feet and brought the broom down on the back of his head with a loud crack. He dropped like a sack of potatoes, face first into the asphalt.

The last hindrance to me now was Adam, and I turned to deal with him, but froze when I saw the gun in his hand pointed at me. It was an old gun, a snub-nosed revolver, probably from the early 2000's, but it had been kept in excellent shape. The metal gleamed in the sunlight, and I could tell it was loaded. "Drop it."

The broom handle fell to the ground with a hollow clattering and I let my hands fall limp to my sides. Damn, I had been that close. Adam takes a couple steps closer, "On your knees, rat."

I looked behind me at the linebackers: the first was on hands and knees, the second was still face down, and the third was holding his bleeding leg with one hand while he leaned against the wall. The second one may actually have been seriously hurt as he was out cold and blood was starting to seep out of his hair. For the first time in my life, I had stood my ground, and I had actually kicked ass. I looked back at Adam and gave him the bird, "If I'm gonna die, it sure as hell isn't gonna be on my knees in front of a coward who is too scared to fight a child barely half his size." I laughed, "Go fuck yourself with a cactus."

Suddenly I was lifted off my feet and slammed face first into the wall. Seeing stars, I was left with a ringing in my ears. The first linebacker had recovered a tad quicker than I had expected, and now had my head pinned to the wall with my feet dangling a good foot off the ground. Adam began cussing me out, but I could barely hear him over the ringing in my ears. Finally Adam shoves the gun in my face, and shouts one last thing. I looked at the gun and then smiled at him as the ringing finally faded. "I'm sorry, could you repeat that? I couldn't hear you over the sound of my brain rattling in my skull."

Adam stares at me for a moment, then, "Fuck this, I'm just gonna shoot him."

"I wouldn't do that if I were you."

Adam glances over his shoulder and I can see the blood drain from his face. He steps away from me, holding his hands in the air, and I see what has him about to piss his pants. Mr. Long is standing at the entrance to the alley with a military issue automatic shotgun. "Put that gun down." Adam sets the revolver on the ground, "Good, now release the boy." The linebacker drops me and I stumble away from them, picking up the revolver as I do.

"You don't know who you are messing with." Adam tells Mr. Long.

Mr. Long laughs, "I just watched three grown men get their asses handed to them by a bookworm with a broom stick, and the only reason it wasn't four is because you pulled out a gun." He shakes his head. "And even then you couldn't frighten him. You are a pathetic joke. Go home."

The football players stared at Mr. Long for a couple long seconds, and then they picked up their unconscious teammate and hurried past us to the levtruck. We watched them go in silence until they were gone. Only then did Mr. Long lower his weapon and walked over to his vehicle, a relatively recent, electric-powered utility van. He opened the back door and gestured for me, "Come on."

I hurried over to him as he climbed into the back. What I saw back there left me awe struck. On one side of the van were an assortment of tools, suitcases, and electronics I couldn't identify, on the other side was military body armor, several guns, and even power weapons. Mr. Long finished unloading his shotgun and put it in its place before he turned to me, "What are you waiting for? Get in! Don't forget to close the door behind you."

I climbed into the van, my eyes glued to the power weapons. Power weapons were not common, partly due to the fact that they were very difficult to make and required pokesteel to be taken from a live steel type. However, if made correctly they could convert simple electricity into an exotic energy field that enabled the weapon to slice through even depleted uranium as though it were tinfoil. To possess one, you had to be either obscenely wealthy, or be a part of one of the government's most elite military units. Mr. Long had several, right here, in his van.

"Who are you?" I barely realized I had asked the question until Mr. Long turned me to face him with a concerned look on his face.

"How hard did you hit your head on the wall?"

I shook my head, "I'm fine." I pointed at all the stuff crowding the van. "You can't possibly be a janitor and have this."

Mr. Long smiled and headed back to the front of the van, gesturing for me to follow, "I never said I was always a janitor. I used to be a Red Hydreigon, that and I was the only heir to a rather large fortune." He chuckles as he buckled himself in, "The fortune still is rather large actually."

I climbed into the passenger seat and buckled myself in, still holding the revolver. I was blown away. Mr. Long a Red Hydreigon? How could the school janitor who always greeted me with a smile have been a part of the legendary Special Forces unit that had toppled an entire government with a single mixed platoon of human and pokémon troopers?!

During the last war with the Halissian Confederacy about forty years ago the fighting had reached a stalemate. Both sides were locked into brutal trench warfare all along the southern region of the UAS where the HC had invaded in an unexpected blitzkrieg. Neither side could move more than a few miles before being pushed back. Then the UAS created the Red Hydreigons, a super elite team of commandos drawn from all the branches of the armed forces and trained in every kind of combat imaginable, and the conspiracy nuts will tell you they were 'biomechanically enhanced' too. Forty men and their pokémon partners was the final product of this brutal training regimen. These few were fired by rocket deep into HC territory in the midst of a missile barrage unlike any before in history with one mission: to destroy the Confederate High Command and Chief Council.

No one expected them to truly succeed; the military leaders had merely hoped that between the missile barrage and the ensuing chaos once the Red Hydreigons began their work, the HC supply line would be weakened enough for the main UAS forces to shatter the HC front. However, in the next year, the Confederate High Command was successfully eliminated and nearly half of the Chief Council was assassinated. Not long after, the surviving leaders surrendered and the Halissian Confederacy was no more. The exact identities of most of the Red Hydreigons was withheld from the public, however it was rumored that they were generously rewarded for their work.

Mr. Long glanced over and took the gun from me, dropping it in a compartment under the radio, "Best leave that in my possession."

"How did you find me?" I asked, still not sure whether or not he was serious about being a Red Hydreigon.

"Followed Adam and his cronies." He replied as he started the van.

I blinked in surprise, "So you were there the whole time?"

"Most of it."

I stared at him incredulously, "Why didn't you step in?"

"You seemed to be doing pretty well on your own." Mr. Long replied, giving me a look, "And you were holding back."

"No I wasn't." I retorted incredulously. I had been fighting for my life, why would I have held back?

"You chose not to use the sharp end most of the time. I saw you intentionally turn the broom handle around so that you would strike with the blunt end instead of the sharp end." He replied, "You could easily have killed at least one of them if you hadn't done that. But you didn't, ergo, you held back."

I didn't reply for a moment, because what he said was true. I had the opportunity to do serious harm, but I didn't. "I don't know how I was able to do that. I've never been able to win any fight before."

"When was the last time you tried?"

I think for a moment, "When I was eight."

"A lot can change in seven years." Mr. Long quietly told me, "Your genome is made up of the usual pokémon material, and amplified with human DNA. I've read the science journals; you are capable of more than pokémon strength and abilities. Theoretically, you could very well have abilities beyond those of a Zorua. You are a born warrior, but you've never been able to tap into it until now."

I sat quietly for several minutes and Mr. Long just drove, though to where I wasn't sure. Finally I asked where we were going. "My place." He replied.


"You don't seriously think that they are just gonna give up are you? You disgraced them. In their eyes, you already deserved to be left for dead in a gutter. Now you have probably been marked for death and they won't risk getting close to you next time." Mr. Long told me, "I suspect they would try a drive by shooting, or something similar. You can't just go about your business anymore."

I let my head fall against the window as I sighed, "Great. Now I'm completely fucked."

"Not if you move somewhere beyond their reach."

I gave Mr. Long an incredulous look, "I don't think I would get very far from the orphanage before they caught me."

"When did I say I was gonna take you back to the orphanage?"

I looked out the window for the first time since we started driving, the scenery is had changed considerably since we started. We were driving through one of the government housing projects on the edge of Carson City. He pulled the van into one of the driveways and put the van in park. He looked at me, "Stay here, I just need to grab a few things and set the timer."

He was only gone a couple minutes, but when he returned he was carrying several large suitcases and had a heavy duty hiking pack on his back. He threw all of those in the back of the van and then we were off. All of this was so strange; just hours ago I had been having a fairly normal day, if you ignore the tasing part, but now nothing was normal. Now it turned out that I could be bad ass, one of my only friends, a janitor, turns out to be a legendary soldier, and it looks like we are gonna be leaving everything I knew behind for Arceus only knows where. Though the main question on my mind at the time was what the hell Mr. Long needed to set a timer for. So I asked him.

"In eighteen hours, the timer will go off and that will create a spark. I left the gas on, so that spark should produce an explosion strong enough to demolish the entire home. I've found that it is a nifty way to tie up loose ends when you want to disappear."

"So we are disappearing?"

"Yes." He replied, pulling a folder from the overhead visor and handing it to me, "That contains all the papers detailing your new identity. Tomorrow is the first day of your new life as Abel Ben-Gurion. You were raised in the Arceusian faith so imitating an Orthodox Aetheran shouldn't be too hard for you."

I opened the folder and took a look inside. There was a photo of a boy I didn't recognize. He looked like one of the original Aetheran people of faith that had founded the UAS, but he wasn't all that different from the human me; his skin was just a bit ruddier and his curls a bit tighter. Regardless, it was accompanied by a bunch of 'official' documentation that couldn't have just been thrown together in a couple minutes or even a couple hours. However he had done this, it had taken time and most likely a good bit of money to make happen. He had to have been planning this for a while. I looked back at Mr. Long, if that really was his name, and asked a simple yet very important question, "Why?"

"Two reasons. One, I like you and hate the shit end of the stick you've been handed, so I'm gonna teach you everything I know about surviving in a world that hates you. The other reason is really none of your business."

I leaned back my seat a bit and began going through my file, familiarizing myself with, well, me as absentmindedly fiddled with Rio's feathers on the end of the necklace I still wore. Apparently I was now Abel Ben-Gurion, even if I barely knew who that was.
Chapter End Notes:fun stuff. i still have three more chapters to go and the month is more than half done. D:
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