AGNPH Stories

Will and Keelia by ziegles


Story Notes:

This is my first story and it will be quite long by the time it is finished. Sorry folks, but there will be no smut. Hope you enjoy!

Author's Chapter Notes:

Vui's side of the story followed by that whole deal with the woman with the gun. Plus much more!

Chapter 6 - The Love of a Mother


I did not know what to expect when I was sucked into that human device called a pokeball, but what I experienced thoroughly disgusted me.

There was no pain like I had expected, but instead soothing comfort. I was wounded badly in the fight I had with the Zoroark. I admit, I was very much so outclassed by the odd Unovan creature. I watched in horror as my little girl, my Keelia, was trounced as well. After that, I was pulled into the pokeball. It would make more sense in my mind for me to describe it as a feeling, not a place where this ball took you. Whether or not I closed my eyes, it all looked the same. It was a most bizarre experience.

Again, there was no pain, but an immense euphoric feeling. I was tempted to fall into it, and I feel as though I partially did for some amount of time. The good feelings spoke words into the very center of my mind. They said things like, “That man isn’t so bad,” and, “You can trust him.” I came very, very close in my strange drowsiness to agreeing with these…feelings. I was so tired and sore, there was such an obvious easy way to go to sleep. When it seemed as though I was sinking into a calm sea of complacency, one thought re-entered my mind.

Keelia! What about Keelia!? Did I not just watch her get beaten before my eyes? What was wrong with me? What was this quiet strange realm I was in? Was it real? I began to re-draw the lines in my head about what was black, and what was white because I was having trouble recalling. Keelia was out there somewhere, hurt and without me. Those wretched people…Arche, were back. Arche, the same people who killed and experimented on so many of my kin. Arche, the ones who took my son many years ago. Arche, the ones that we thought we had destroyed. Arche, the ones who will pay for this.

No, I was not going to be manipulated any longer.

The urgency of my situation caught up to me all at once. No! I said in my mind, realizing the lies I had become okay with. Immediately, I felt the augmented reality that was projecting within my conscience warping and breaking down. It was almost as if a great blockage in my thinking was removed. There was more though that had happened. After a bright flash that burned through my closed eyelids, I opened my eyes and saw that I was free. Upon turning around, I found the pokeball that had contained me ajar and up on a low metal shelf. I shuttered as I stared at the damned piece of technology. Dazedly, I observed my surroundings.

I was in a small, dimly lit storage room. All around on the shelves were many different types of boxes containing what appeared to be documents, office equipment, and junk. Several more pokeballs, probably about a dozen in total, sat on the same shelf that the one that contained me was on. There was no denying it as I looked around though. This place looked and reeked of Arche. That same terrible smell of chemicals mixed with torture, the same dreary grey everything. The place sickened me, my girl was out there somewhere, and I was free to what I wanted. The humans possessed strange technologies that would suppress the powers of our kind, rendering us defenseless. I could not help but notice that I did not have one of those power limiting devices on me. That meant that all of the others that were presumably in those pokeballs did not either. A sly smirk grew across my face as I pondered this. I would not expect these Arche members to know that I could have broken out of their capture device. Still, they had been slipping since the last time we fought them many years ago. They had another thing coming if they thought they could just skip what happened so many years ago and carry on with the heinous acts they were committing.

I focused my attention for a moment, clearing my mind of any distractions and noise. Once I was in a quasi-meditative state, I let the influence of my mind expand out around me beyond the walls of this room. Almost immediately I picked up on the thoughts of maybe a half dozen humans. At this sort of range, my telepathic link only allowed me to sense their thoughts, and not read them. That required direct eye contact. To my revulsion, three of the thought patterns felt very…surgical, almost like the scientists we had encountered several years ago when we were bringing Arche down. Some things never changed though, like human thought patterns. Ordered, procedural, and sterile is how these thoughts felt. That meant that they were conducting one of their experiments. I definitely sensed a thought pattern that was not human, it was a pokemon! Suddenly, I felt it diminish into a sedated state. Oh no, they had started! It was then that I realized that my body no longer bore the scars of battle. I had been healed, and I shuttered yet again when I realized why. They wanted me, and all of the others here, to be in perfect condition for their “testing.” I could not allow that to happen; I had to act.

Breaking from my trance, I set my attention on the pokeballs on the shelf. I knew vaguely how these things worked, enough to know that pressing the button in the middle who cause the pokemon inside to come out. Without hesitation, I used my tail to press the buttons on all of the capture devices. Several bright flashes of light later, I saw many eeveelutions standing in a row. I recognized many of them as they all stared at me with confused expressions.

“Brothers and sisters! I’m going to have to ask you all to remain calm, but as some of you might have already guessed, Arche is back,” I stated reluctantly. It was hard to think they were back, let alone have to tell your friends that they were. To my surprise, they did not really respond in the shocked manner I thought they would. Some still looked confused, while others simply looked bored. Right! They had fallen under the influence of the pokeballs! As I felt their thoughts, I could sense the same sort of suppressed attitudes that I felt in every trained pokemon I battled. I racked my brain, trying to remember how to free them from this. Aha! It was the dial on the pokeball, I had to turn it. I brushed past between a flareon and a jolteon to get back to the shelf. By this time, everyone in the room was beginning to ask questions about where they were and where their trainer was. A chill went down my spine as I heard some of them say the latter. I was so glad that I resisted the capture device’s influence.

Using one end of my forked tail to hold the balls down and the other to turn the dials, I went down the line of them turning off the odd mind influencing function. Out of the corner of my eye, I would see one of the eeveelutions stiffen up for a second the moment I turned one of the dials. By the time I was done, what I had said to them before had really sunk in. A certain Leafeon caught my attention; I did not notice her in my business. She lived close to Brennen, Keelia and I in our home near Goldenrod City. She and her mate, Tren, were quite young, 7 years old last I remembered. They had only heard the stories about our war with Arche from years past, so it must have been very surreal and stressful for them. I could not help but notice that I did not see Tren around though.

“Vhena!” I whispered happily as I ran over to her.

“Vui! I’m just so glad to see you!” she said in a quiet, worried voice. “I came out of that strange device, and Tren was nowhere to be found. We were taken at the same time by a man in grey, but I don’t see him anywhere around!” she said frantically, looking around the small room. It was then that I connected the dots. That pokemon I had felt in the operating room must have been Tren.

“Vhena, I know where Tren is!” I said, trying to get the frantic grass-type to calm down. Her expression relaxed a little bit at this, but I knew she was going to have a meltdown after I told her what else I knew. “I have done a bit of…reconnaissance on the area with my psychic abilities and found that he is probably being operated on at the moment,” I said quickly and nervously, trying to pad it up as much as possible. As expected, she resumed her freak out. Before she got too far into it, I spoke again. This time, I was addressing everyone. It was not like they wouldn’t listen to me, I was mated to the leader of the coalition of our kind across Johto. “Yes, I also found that we outnumber the humans here. If we are fast, we can dispatch them quickly and get out of here. I managed somehow to resist the influence of the pokeball, so they aren’t expecting an attack right now. You heard! One of our brothers, Tren, is currently being operated on by those terrible, malevolent people! We need to act!” I announced, that old animosity for Arche rekindled within me. “Everyone ready!?” I shouted, not bothering to be quiet anymore.

Without really listening or caring what everyone else’s responses were, I focused my mind on the door to the room. The floor in front of me reflected the red light coming from my head gem as I charged energy. Once I gauged that I had enough power built up, I released a powerful psychic blast at the door. Wood splintered and metal grinded and the door was blasted off of its hinges and embedded in to the wall opposite of it. I lead the charge out of the room into the brightly lit hallway. Moving quickly, I instructed a few to go right down the hall, where they were met with a very surprised Arche underling. He was knocked out by five different attacks before he could react.

I, along with Vhena and the rest, turned left toward where I had sensed the operation occurring. Suddenly, an Arche guard exited from a door that had a small, blue human figure on it. He looked shocked to see us. I wasted no time picking him up psychically, and then throwing him harshly against the wall. He slumped down to the floor, unconscious. Quickly, I entered another trance, sensing the operation occurring in a room to the left just up ahead. Behind us, I could feel a pokemon that was not one of our own falling unconscious, followed by its Arche master. Good. I broke from my second trance and into a run, shouting for the rest to follow me. Soon, we stood outside the door to the operating room. Instead of blasting this door off of its hinges like the last one, I elected to try the door quietly so as not to risk the safety of Tren. It was locked, so I instructed a flareon in our little entourage to melt the lock. She projected a jet of white-hot flames from her mouth and almost immediately melted the metal lock with a loud hiss. Vhena came up next to me as I flung to door open violently.

Three humans dressed in long grey cloaks were already looking in our direction when we entered the room. One in particular caught our attention. He was holding some sort of syringe with a bright green liquid in it just inches above the prone Leafeon on the operating table. On instinct, both Vhena and I sent out our respective attacks. I lifted the syringe out of the Arche doctor’s hand and flung it at the wall, where it shattered and spilled its strange green liquid everywhere. Vhena sent out several razor leaves at the doctors, one of them hitting the wrist of the man who was holding the syringe. As the three humans staggered back from the razor leaves, four more attacks came from the eeveelutions behind me. All three of them were knocked away from Tren, and two of them were knocked unconscious immediately. While Vhena attended to Tren, I approached the conscious doctor with fire in my eyes. This man was unlucky to be put in front of me like this. An Arche doctor just like him had caused the death of my son. Old pain and anger from years past flared up in me as I looked at this man. To my astonishment, he gave me a cocky, defiant gaze. He also began to chuckle, seemingly at a joke in his own mind.

~What are you laughing about, filth?~ I said angrily to him using telepathy. He chuckled a few more times at this before breaking into a fit of coughing.

“Oh, me? Just the things that we have figured out about you little freaks! It would ruin the surprise so much if I was to tell you though!” he cackled out. I was taken aback by this slightly, but I pressed in.

~You don’t have to tell me, I’ll find it for myself~ I said in defiance to this. The man laughed even louder when I said this. Again, slightly perturbed, I focused my mind on his. Before long, I broke into his thoughts and began scanning them. I noticed something odd about them immediately though. I was searching for a memory that matched his current feelings of strange excitement, but every memory associated with that feeling seemed…broken. I roamed over all of them that I could find, but they all appeared to have been erased. Well, almost. They were still there in his mind, but it seemed like I was being denied access to them. I had never experienced something like it before. My puzzled expression at this occurrence set the man off into a mad bout of cackling. I became annoyed with this man, and my anger swiftly returned to me. I growled, thinking of my son that I lost. I snarled, thinking of Keelia out there somewhere by herself. ~You piece of garbage! You’re nothing! You have nothing on us, and you deserve to die!!!~ I all but screamed into his mind. That shut the man up. He scarcely had time to gulp before I lifted a surgical knife from the operating table and sent it flying at his neck. Blood gushed from the man’s slit Jugular; he gagged for moment before losing consciousness.

I turned back to our victorious party of eeveelutions. All of them except Vhena, who was preoccupied with positioning Tren on her back using some vines, were looking at me fearfully.

“What?” I asked loudly, turning back to the dying man. “He got what was coming to him,” I spoke, shaking my head. None seemed to disagree with me, and I can see why they were maybe a little freaked out. I mean, I was communicating telepathically, so they did not hear our whole exchange. They only heard that man’s odd reactions. The sudden killing must have been a little bit of a shock. Regardless, we needed to get out of there in case any re-enforcements were called in. In a last act of spite against Arche as we were leaving the building, I sent a shadow ball each into the storage room and the operating room. They would not be able to salvage much from this wreckage.

As we joined up with the other group that had split off at the start of our little raid and headed toward the exit. We heard a chattering sound from around a corner. We investigated it quickly to find that it was a guard that had regained consciousness and was speaking over some sort of communicator. As fast as I could, I picked up his head psychically and then slammed it onto the floor. His body went limp, but I knew that a message had likely gone out. We needed to leave and get as far away as possible before more came. With this in mind, I lead our group outside at a hurried pace.

I observed the building that we had been trapped in and the area surrounding it as we moved quickly out of the area. It was a small, square, one floor office building with no distinguishing features. The area around seemed to be just woods as far as the eye could see, with the exception of a gravel access road winding off into the woodlands. It was a feeble operation they had out here, wherever “here” was. Even so, the fact still remained that Arche had returned from their ashes and they were very much active. Turning away from the building, I and my kin marched off into the woods.

Don’t you worry Keelia, I will find you.


The tension in the air was so thick that I could have cut it with a knife. I stood, frozen in place, by this woman poised to shoot me in the head. I stole a glance over to where Keelia, Anthony, and Jet were. Four men had surrounded them, each packing their own pistol. Jet began to growl quietly, but went silent with a gesture from Anthony. I looked back at the woman in front of me. She was slightly less tall than I was with long black hair. I saw her eyes briefly flash to the wrench in my hand, so I dropped it and lifted my arms into the air above my head. My mind was an absolute maelstrom. I had so much adrenaline pumping through my veins that I probably would not even feel it if I was shot.

“What exactly are you doing?” she asked simply. I might have panicked a little too much in my reply to her.

“Look! I don’t know who you are or if you work with that man” I shouted exasperatedly, pointing over to the man behind me on the ground. He quickly chimed in.

“No, I don’t work with her! She is the ene-” he was interrupted by the woman firing her gun. I jumped, as did everyone else around. It was merely a warning shot fired at the ground in front of the bleeding and trembling man, but it revealed some interesting things regarding her thoughts toward this man. Did this woman have some sort of vendetta against the man in grey? Was she some sort of loose cannon cop? That question was answered as she spoke again.

“Nobody asked you anything! You’ll get to talk later!” she growled at the man, a thin trail of smoke rising from the muzzle of her pistol. In reply, the man put his face in his hands. She looked back up, speaking again in her calm voice to me. “So, you were saying?”

“Uh…well yes.” I stuttered out, having to recollect my thoughts that were flying around at a million miles an hour in my mind. “This man hurt my friend, Keelia.” I stated, a bit calmer. I motioned over to the scared Eevee on the other side of the road. “She and her mother, Vui were brutally beaten at the hands of this man. Vui, and likely many others, were taken by this man for Arceus knows what.” I sighed angrily. “I was furious and I wanted answers from him.”

“Fair enough,” she said simply, nodding at the other men that were with her. She coolly spun her handgun around on her finger before holstering it. The men walked over and handcuffed the man, then they walked him over to a black SUV a little further down the road. I had not even seen it there. “I think you deserve to know who that man was and who we are. All of you do,” she said, waving for Keelia, Jet, and Anthony to come over. “You must have many questions. Oh, and call me Kimono.”

“Thank you, Kimono,” I replied.

“First of all, that man dressed in grey clothing is what’s called a ‘collection agent’ for a criminal organization known as Arche,” she started.

“Wait, Arche? As in the concept from early philosophy?” I interjected.

“Exactly. That concept that baffled the early philosophers. They, long ago, were in search of the one thing, the Arche, that was behind everything in existence. They had an obsession with thinking that everything was essentially composed of one substance originally. Some claimed that the Arche was air, while others said it was water. Ultimately, truth eluded them.”

“So, what does this have to do with a modern criminal organization?”

“Arche has many goals that are related to the history behind their name. For instance, they seek to find the one thing behind all logical thought. Once they find it, Arecus forbid they have, they intend on controlling it. That is also why they wear grey as a uniform. The single plain color reflects their goal of finding that one thing.” I shivered, and it was not because of the dropping temperature. That was a truly terrifying thought. People having the power to literally control minds…just chilling. She continued despite seeing the unsettled looks on all of our faces. “You might have wondered why they target Eevees and their evolutions. You see, they possess very malleable DNA, and they represent the most basic forms of the elements. This makes them ideal test subjects for Arche’s research into controlling the elemental powers of pokemon. Their ultimate goal still remains a mystery to us, but we fight them because the heinous crimes against pokemon that they commit. This ‘testing’ they conduct often kills the subjects, and they seem to have an insatiable appetite for them.” Kimono paused, letting out a deep sigh. “They don’t and never will care about the families they tore apart and the hearts they broke of both people and pokemon. We fight them for this reason.”

“Ah…well, I see.” I replied, staring off into space processing everything that Kimono said. “So, what are you? And who is ‘we’?”

“I am a leader in an Arche counter-organization known as Apeiron. The Apeiron was a counter-argument to the Arche among great early thinkers. Decades ago, we banded together to fight the evil that we saw in Arche. Truly, we were just young and reckless people who were fighting where the police weren’t. See, even back then, Arche had much influence, and they had law enforcement turn a blind eye while cash moved under the table.” Kimono said in a disgusted tone. I shared in her sentiment; that was just plain wrong. “Their evil caught up with them though. The population of Eevees and their evolutions had reached a breaking point with the despicable people. We had a sort of agreement with them, and we joined forces and struck at the very heart of Arche. It was ‘the raid to end all other raids’ we said, and we were almost right. From all accounts, we destroyed Arche and wiped their name from the earth. It was only until I caught word of Arche’s return, not even a month ago, that I realized that we needed to regroup and stop this malicious organization from returning to their former glory. That is why you are seeing us here today. We were tracking down this collection agent to take him in for interrogation. Even so, I still find it hard to believe that after nearly twenty years, they are back.” She shook her head, as though she was dismissing bad memories from her mind.

“That is a lot to take in, but thanks again Kimono. You know, especially for not shooting us.” I said seriously.

“Oh, we were only confused, and we never really had the intention to shoot you all,” The Apeiron leader said, chuckling. “It was just very perplexing to see this man that we had been stalking basically captured and, erm, suppressed before we had a chance to get at him. As you might have already guessed, we sabotaged his van and were planning to confront him ourselves.” Kimono turned around and made a twirling gesture with her index finger at the black SUV behind her. Moments later, it was pulled up next to her and she hopped up into the passenger seat. “We must be going now. I wish you luck on your search to reunite the little one’s family. It is a great thing you are doing. Anyway, farewell! Be safe, and be on guard always.” She said genuinely, shutting the car door and taking off.

Well, that certainly was a lot to think about. Powerful underground criminal organizations that wanted to control minds? The craziness of it was lost on my overworked mind, but one thing shone through my thoughts clearly. Vui was free somewhere to the south of Blackthorn City, and we need only find her. I spoke up, breaking the heavy silence that had fallen over our group as we all tried to make sense of everything that had transpired.

“All crooks and crime fighters aside, I don’t know if you guys caught what the Arche agent said. He said in so many words that Vui had somehow freed herself and the others and escaped from a facility down south of Blackthorn City,” I said jubilantly to everyone. Keelia perked up at this.

“I know, I heard! With everything that happening, I didn’t know what to think. But that is such a relief to hear!” she said, tears of pure relief and contentment filling her brown eyes. Anthony and Jet both looked on with earnest smiles. I wanted to hold Keelia and celebrate this moment with her, but she shied away from my touch as I bent down to lift her up. I soon realized why. Speckles of blood from the Arche agent were scattered up and down my hands and forearms. I was reminded of apparently what I could do in my anger. It almost scared me, realizing the amount of damage I had done to that man. For sure, he had what was coming to him, but I just had never hurt someone at that sort of level. I quickly fished a rag and a water bottle out of my backpack and cleaned my arms of the blood. After I was done, I knelt down and picked up Keelia, resuming our little moment as if nothing had happened.

“See what I mean by hope, Key?” I asked, holding the top of her head under my chin. “We always had something to hold onto.” I blabbered on sentimentally. I was thankful that Anthony and Jet were patient, because I just stood there for a little while holding Keelia. Somehow, I felt so relieved by this revelation. In all seriousness, Vui was her mother after all. Maybe I felt this way because I never knew my mother, so in some odd way I was relating to Key in that vein. Even so, it melted my heart to see that constant burden gone from her eyes. It even brought a few tears to my eyes, feeling the tenseness not so present in her muscles. Eventually though, we set off again down the road.

Ironically enough, the first signs of the city were visible around the next bend in the road. Into the chilly northern Johto dusk we walked, passing by old and new buildings with unique architecture. After a couple more miles of walking, we reached the center of the city, and there the Ecruteak City pokemon center. We all got a room together, and settled down early. It was safe to say that we all needed some rest after a day like that one.


I had never told Will how loud he snored sometimes. It was okay, I could deal with it in most cases. I however did not know how loud Jet snored too! It was almost unbearable, and there was no way I could fall asleep with them doing this. I was already having trouble falling asleep with all the things that had taken place during the day. Anyway, for Will, I did what I normally did when he started snoring a lot. Bracing my hind legs down into the mattress, I rolled him over with my front paws. After I did that, he really quieted down. He was such a heavy sleeper, so I need not worry about him waking up. I then turned my sights on Jet. I was not sure how he would react, but frankly, I did not care all that much. Again, same procedure, but his time with a smaller Quilava. After I heaved him over, he snorted once very loud before curling up with an unintelligible grunt. I nearly burst out laughing at this. Mission accomplished, the obnoxious Quilava had been silenced. I went back to mine and Will’s bed and settled down to sleep in glorious quiet. The only sound was the steady breathing pattern of Will, which lulled me off to sleep.

A dream that I had been having for the past few nights showed up again that night. It was always the same, but every time I felt the same feelings. I knew how it ended, yet I still held out a sort of hope for what was to come at the ending. It went like this.

I was in a blurry forest, confused about something. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a light purple forked tail slide through to the other side of some foliage. I always thought it was Vui, so I took off after it. For a long while, I would catch glimpses of it just out of my main field of view, and would keep chasing it. Eventually somewhere along the way, I would see my mother standing there in front of me. I ran to embrace her, but right before I reached her, I fell into some sort of dark void right in front of her. The world all around me turned to blackness as I fell and fell. The only thing that did not turn to sheer blackness was mom as she slowly shrunk away far above me. That is the nightmare that plagued my sleep for the past week. Recent events seemed to have changed this dream though, as I soon found out.

It began like normal, with the out of focus landscape and the tail sticking out of the bushes. Something was different this time though. It felt like I was more in control of my actions than any other time. There was an Espeon that was friends with my mother who told me about this phenomenon. She said it was something called lucid dreaming or something, and it felt bizarre. After overcoming the strange feeling of lucid dreaming, I proceeded into the bushes like I normally would along this ethereal progression. To my surprise, I saw my mom’s full beautiful form standing in front of me on the other side of the foliage.

“Mom!” I shouted, sprinting up to the Espeon. On a learned disciple though, I stopped a little ways before her. “Are you real?” I asked sullenly, not expecting to hear anything in reply. Despite how different this dream had felt so far, I lacked the confidence that it would go all well. I shut my eyes tightly, waiting for the worst. A calm voice forced me to reconsider.

“I’m right here, Keelia. I don’t want you to worry. You’re my beautiful little Eevee,” Came the soft, caring voice of my mother. There was no way, I almost did not want to believe it. I looked up, recoiling slightly seeing that my mother was right in front of me. She was smiling, as if nothing was wrong with the world. Abandoning my fears, I embraced her in the way of our kind, nuzzling into her soft lilac neck. She returned the embrace, rubbing into my bushy neck fur. “I love you so much, my dear,” is all she said. I could not believe that she was here with me. I just stood there, weeping peacefully until I gently felt myself waking up. I reluctantly stepped back as my dream world began to dissolve. The last thing I remember before completely waking up was my mother’s comforting smile. That was certainly a much better dream than what I was expecting.

I awoke to Will gently running his thumb over the top of my head, between my ears. It was a great way to wake up. As I slowly opened my eyes, he spoke softly.

“Morning Key, I see you were having a good dream,” he said gently, continuing his soft strokes on my head.

“Good morning, Will,” I whispered. “How did you know that I was having a good dream?” I asked.

“Well, you seemed to be sleeping much more peacefully than over the past few days. That, and you were smiling and crying in your sleep, which I assumed to be from happiness,” Will said softly, smiling. “What was it about? Do you remember?”

“Y-yes I do,” I said, going on to explain the dream that I normally had, and then the one that I had just had. He smiled just as warmly as my mother had in the dream while I told him all about it. He then picked me up, and held me up above him as he laid on the bed.

“That’s amazing Key! I’m so glad to see you cheering up!” he said below me I giggled from being held up like this. Before I knew what was happening, he pulled me back down unto his chest and hugged me close. We stayed like this for a little while. “I know she isn’t here right now, but now it is just a matter of time until we find your mother and you see her in real life!”

“I know, I’m excited,” I replied, fully believing it. Will had gone on to me about having hope, and holding onto it. I never really felt like I fully agreed with him until now. I was always sort of halfway there with my responses. I did not want to get my hopes up just to have them crushed. Now though, I could rest in that hope confidently.

Soon enough, Anthony and Jet were up as well, so we packed up wasting no time. We checked out of the room, got some food, and then hit the road after re-stocking supplies at a grocery store. Because of the general heaviness of things that had just happened, any attempt at conversation usually did not merit much. Everyone seemed to just be processing today. That was okay, I enjoyed the quiet sometimes. Eventually though, normal conversation resumed as if nothing had happened. I, too, did not want to dwell to much longer on the things that we had seen and heard, and it was always fun to joke around and get distracted. We were all laughing and having a good walk by the time the sun was setting. Soon, we found a suitable flat area off the route that we were walking along and set up camp there.

The days came and went as we journeyed closer and closer to Blackthorn City. It became less of a stressing, search mission, and more of a fun trip with friends. The only time we really ever came across another town, or really stopped, was when we passed through Mahogany Town. Even there, we only stopped for a night to sleep in a real bed and resupply. Humans had some pretty weird inventions in their bedrooms and bathrooms, but I have to say that their beds are amazing!

On we journeyed through a part of Johto that I really had never seen, though I had traveled so very close to it. Far off in the distance, I could see the huge form of Mount Silver looming over the land. See, when my mother and I went up to the ceremony every year at Mount Silver. We chose to take the path that led through rolling foothills and vast forests south of the human route that went east. The only time that we ever came close to it was when we crossed it just south of Blackthorn city to get over to the mountains beyond. Now I wonder just how close my mom was to that spot we crossed over at when she was held in that facility south of Blackthorn. I hoped that it was not too far down there.

Because of the stress of losing my mother and this whole journey and everything else that had been going on, I never really entertained the idea of what the evolution ceremony was going to be like. I know I had been in attendance all the other times, and seen my friends and cousins evolve, but I was going to be up there choosing this time. My mind was set though on what I was going to evolve into; it was always a dream that I had. I could not wait for that on top of how I could not wait to see my mother, but this journey with Will, Jet, and Anthony was more than enough to hold me over.

An issue became more apparent though as we walked on and on. Anthony and Jet had said that they needed to take care of something in Blackthorn City. It was something about an odd job building a fence and planting a garden for this elderly couple that were friends with his family or something. The important thing was that those two were not going to be with us for a couple of weeks after we arrived in Blackthorn City. That just left Will and I to find my mother, granted we did not find her before then. I had grown to like Will more than anyone I had ever known, and he really did seem like a big human brother. I wanted him to be there when I evolved, but I did not know how my mom would feel about that, let alone the entire congregation that gathered there. I hoped I could convince her, because she had a strong influence over all of the others.

Despite all of these thoughts I was having, the journey was enjoyable in its many ways. I got to see Will and Anthony up to their shenanigans. They were like little kids when they were around each other. It was hard to wear a frown just listening to their antics. Along the way, I got to know that loudmouth Quilava, Jet, even more. The guy was loyal and strong, but a complete klutz. Well, that is until he entered a battle. Now, battling in my mind was something that just came naturally to pokemon sometimes. I could appreciate it for what it was, a very active and aggressive contact sport. Never could I see myself actually doing it, especially under the command of a human. I was glad that Will shared my view on this. Still, seeing how Anthony and Jet fought in pokemon battles together was really awesome. It was not so much about the brute strength or speed, but about the trust that those two had. Even though they could not understand one another as Will and I could, they still seemed to be able to communicate well enough. They were dependent on each other in those few minutes of battling, and this trust and friendship made them strong battlers. I remember Will being surprised one night, looking through Anthony’s bag for some water to cook with. He found something called a “badge case,” and was very shocked to find seven badges in it. Will told me that was a really big accomplishment, but I did not really know what he was talking about with badges and everything. Anthony then got all embarrassed at the attention, and then quickly put them up and changed the subject. I still do not know what that was all about.

Finally, after over four weeks of travel, we arrived at the limits of Blackthorn City. The terrain had changed from gentle rolling foothills into towering mountains. It seemed unlikely to me that anyone would try to build a city up here, but I was surprised at just how big and hospitable this city was. A wide, flat arm extending from the main ridge of Mount Silver was where this city was built. We entered the city, walking along the main road that was paved with huge slabs of rock likely taken from the very mountain that they sat upon. Even the buildings themselves seemed to be made out of solid rock to brave even the fiercest storms that would hit these mountains.

A few blocks from the heart of the city, Anthony announced that the place he was heading to was just down a side street, so we followed him up a steep side road. After a few more minutes of walking, we arrived at the small stone home of Anthony’s elderly friends. As expected, the fence out front was not finished and the garden was not planted. We were introduced to the old couple that lived there that were friends of Anthony’s grandparents or whatever. They were very hospitable and touchy-feely, and I did not approve of the latter. Old humans smelled really weird, and I did not want to be there any longer than we had to be.

Will and I reluctantly stayed for dinner there, where I was treated like a pet. This is one thing that I really do not like about humans. They look down on us as if we were dumb or slow. They talk slowly and with babyish voices. I never really understood it, but Will seemed to go against the grain of the culture here. I was thankful for that. The one saving grace of this little trip we made up here was the view from the upstairs loft that we just had to see according to the old people. They were right about that. The sun was just dipping below the horizon, and vibrant colors painted the clear mountain sky. As far as the eye could see was just flat land. From up here, we could see over the rooftops of the downtown area below and out into easily half of the Johto region. It was absolutely breathtaking.

Soon enough, we were saying goodbye to Anthony and Jet. Anthony and Will hugged, and Jet got up on his hind legs and held out his stubby arms to me with a smirk. I laughed and let him hug me. After that, we were on our way down from the house and out of the city, a cool mountain breeze blowing from behind us and seemingly pushing us along toward mom. The sun lost its strength soon after we left the city limits, so we decided to set up on the flattest ground we could find. We both went to sleep that night wondering just how long it would be until we found my mom. I knew she was close. I could feel it.

I awoke feeling not rested at all. I opened my eyes to see the moon through the top vent of the tent. It had not even been an hour judging on its position. Will shifted around a little, and I realized that he was awake too.

“You just wake up too, Key?” he said drowsily.

“Yeah,” I simply replied.

“Huh, that is odd. It has only been a little over an hour, and we had a tough hike today-” he started to say, but was interrupted by some bizarre sounding voice. After a brief pause he asked, “What in the world was that?”

I had heard it too. The voice sounded far away, and almost ghostly. Was it a ghost-type pokemon? Will and I exchanged confused looks in the moonlight, keeping quiet to hopefully hear it again. Sure enough, we heard it a second time.

~Keelia,~ it whispered no louder than a distant rustle of leaves. Though quiet, there was no mistaking who it was and what it said. I gasped in sheer excitement and shock. I turned to look at Will, and he was wearing a similar expression.

“That’s her! That’s mom Will! I know it! You heard too! It’s her! It’s really, really her!” I squealed, not able to contain it all. It really was her! She was projecting her thoughts for us to hear! My eyes misted over knowing I was this close to her. By this time, Will had already grabbed a flashlight and unzipped the door to the tent. Without wasting a moment, we were out in the moonlit night.

We both paused, holding still and listening for mom to call out again. After a few moments of just hearing idle forest noise, mom’s louder and much clearer voice sounded out into the our minds.

~Keelia! Where are you? I know you are around here somewhere!~ she said desperately. Something about her tone unnerved me slightly, but it was still my mom! At long long last, we found her!

“Mom!!!” I shouted, voice cracking from my flaring emotions. “I’m over here! Mom!!!”

~Keelia!!! Oh, finally!~ we both heard an exasperated reply. I bolted off into the night, catching a whiff of her scent. What was that I smelled also? Was that blood? It did not matter though, mom was so close! I ran and ran, throwing up leaves and dirt behind me. I felt a little sorry if I was pelting Will and the face with any of this stuff. I seemed to be leaving him behind a little bit, as the beam of his flashlight had faded away from behind me. At last, I looked ahead and saw something that I had wanted to see for so long. All of the pain from the past five weeks dissolved as I looked at an Espeon standing in the moonlight a short distance away.

“Mooooom!!!” I practically howled, the tears flowing freely as her purple eyes met mine. I closed the distance between us and embraced her, finally in real life and not my dreams. We held the embrace for a little
while, our tears soaking into each other’s neck fur.

The moment was broken by a loud, wet fit of coughing from my mother. She began to lean very heavily on me. I caught the scent of blood much heavier now. She wheezed loudly, and then groaned softly. I felt her lift herself off of my frame, and looked up at her in horror to see a thin trail of blood on her muzzle. I glanced back quickly at where she coughed into my neck to see that the white collar fur was stained red. Shock and terror ripped through me like a sharpened claw upon seeing this. As I looked back up to her face, she smiled weakly.

“I’m so glad to see that you’re okay…Kee-Keelia,” she rasped before collapsing on the ground in front of me. Will’s flashlight beam then illuminated the scene. I saw that my mother’s beautiful body was dirty, cut, and bruised in many places. Her eyes were shut and she was not moving.

“Mom!? Mooooooom!!!? No! No!!!” My scream echoed out into the night.

Chapter End Notes:

Ha! The cliffhanger strikes again! ;D
For those of you reading this after I have already posted the next chapter...well whatever. Stay tuned, rate, and review!

Oh, just some proper pronunciation.

Arche = Are-kay
Apeiron = Ape-uh-ron

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