AGNPH Stories

Kanto North by quill



Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Kanto North

Chapter 13: Ultimatum


Several days had passed and Gideon had yet to receive any threats from the surviving Executives. He figured they were either scared or plotting in the background. Still, he was stationed in the hardest point on the island with the most force to project if needed. But the nido was focused on projecting another force at the moment.

Sitting in his office, the nidoking had just finished penning a letter. He neatly folded it into an envelope before opening a desk drawer to pull out a stick of red wax, a gold ring, and a lighter. He looked over the ring for a few seconds, admiring his family crest: a rose matching the insignias on his coat collar, surrounded by rays of the sun. Flicking the lighter open, he carefully let a sizable bead of wax ooze onto the closed envelope before stamping down with the ring. Wiping it off with a few handy tissues, the nido put signet ring and the tools away. Old fashioned-- maybe she would appreciate the touch.

Taking the letter in paw, he glanced up to the portraits. "I shall produce a worthy heir. Not only will our nation be united, I shall unite our long divided house and refresh our stagnant bloodline. All we have labored for will soon meet reality."


Another sleepless night. Alexei tossed in his sheets for a few hours, unable to find a comfortable position to rest in. This felt too familiar to the absol as he tossed the sheets off and slipped on his slacks in the dark. Datan's gone. Theo seemed to have remembered. He doubted the poor guy would even be able to look him in the eye, now knowing what they'd been forced to do to each other. Then there was the news he was being transferred out, back to Rhombus. A better life, though she could be rough at times. He really was going to miss Fractal.

The absol, shirtless with his fur all ruffled from tossing and turning, tiredly made his way down the hallways, heading to the garden. This time, a full moon was visible in the skylight above. The place was also not empty, he saw Theo and that zangoose sitting on a bench at one of the far walls, Cassie standing guard at their side. The nido appeared to be giving him a hesitant wave.

He returned it, padding over across the cool grass. "Can't sleep either?" he asked, noticing the nido's eyes tried to avoid his. Wasn't this awkward.

Theo shook his head a bit. " Abby and I were just spending some time out here. Closest we can get to being outside, right?" He wrapped an arm over the zangoose's shoulder.

"I guess. May I sit down?"

Theo's eyes still avoided his as he nodded. The absol took a seat next to the nidoking, brushing a bit of his ungroomed head fur from his face. "You remember, don't you?"

The nido slowly nodded. "It feels recent. Having to do that to you. There was practically a gun to my head."

The absol raised a dismissive paw. "Don't worry. I think my friend Fractal explained it best. It was Datan's fault. He hurt you, he hurt me, he hurt your sister and even you, Cassie." The kadabra pretended to ignore him.

Abby spoke up. "Seems we all have something in common."

"You, too?" Great, she was damaged as well. Seemed to be close to Theo. So probably not a chance, anyway. "I had to end him. Why didn't you do it, Theo?"

"I just couldn't."

"Broke you that bad, did he? That even in your deepest rage you spared him. You always were the softest one-- those spikes and plates just make you look tough." The absol smiled a little bit.

"And you were the strongest of us, but always an opportunist. There was no way you would have fought Datan."

"I'm not a coward," Alexei said with a slight growl.

"Uhm...please don't fight," Abby said as she noticed the absol's fur puff up a little bit.

Theo shook his head, letting his ears fold down a little bit. "I never said you were. Didn't mean to imply it, either. You're the most pragmatic; there was a risk you'd fail and life would have gotten worse. By now, I really wish I waited to receive my title-- none of this mess would have happened. It's my fault for what happened to us. We'd have never gone to the Alph ruins...would have never deserted."

"Would have never met me-- or have a clue what drives me, dear," the zangoose pressed up tight to the nido's side.

The nido looked to her with a small smile. "I suppose that is true."

"Alph? Are you still having those weird dreams?" the absol asked to try to change the topic, fur laying flat again. Cassie's head immediately turned to face the absol as he said that, her attention being caught.

He shrugged. "Yes." That's all he would say to the absol about it; the mistress did not trust him, so Theo did not.

"Weird dreams, Theo?" the zangoose gave him a funny look. "Maybe you really do need some help."

He shook his head, she'd understand soon enough. "I'm fine."

"That's no good, Theo. As for me, I'll probably be gone when they can find a replacement for me," the absol announced, just picking points of conversation from his scattered thoughts. "Going to be working with Rhombus."

Theo smiled at this. "Really, now? I've been working with her since I was released along with Slate. How did you get here-- I remember you were with us for a few days before being transferred to this new base."

The absol smirked again. "I think Edward gave some political blowjobs to get me transferred. Gideon was the one who signed the papers; I know for a fact he was the one who had Datan promoted up enough to take second in command at this base. I'm thinking Edward did it for Datan as the bastard always liked me in his own disturbed way. I'm mean, hell, the man tried to have a civil weekly dinner with me right before you beat him down."

"Hm...Executive Bloodquill gave Datan an unearned promotion? That's really suspect; I'll have to let my branch know when I'm released. I also see you've been taking advantage of the job you were put in; you always were into computers and such, even back at the Academy."

"I know more than I like to let on," Alexei revealed. "But I've been feeling very detached if I should be above all of this, but I'm not quite. A lot of this just feels petty in the scale of the world."

"What do you mean?" the nidoking asked, sounding a little more interested.

"Haven't heard the news yet? Seven of our Executives and their entire families were murdered yesterday after returning from a Security Summit, Enforcer squads hunted down the latter. Neither my mother nor yours were among them. All of their seconds have taken their spots."

Theo's purple hide seemed to pale slightly, ears tips drooping. "Is there any chance...just a chance, that Gideon was in charge of promoting their seconds?"

"Yes. Thad's death was probably a move to compromise your branch of the Team as well."

"That's been a nagging suspicion." Slowly, the nido turned his head to Abby. "I think we're going to be staying here a long time. Either that or leaving the region." She gave a slow nod at this; it seemed her life was getting more interesting as the days went on.

"Like I was saying, lately things like this don't feel too important to me; I'm just giving you the warning. If you desert again, I'll try and convince Rhombus to take the case. I mean, she was at least civil in tracking us down last time." As civil as Rocket law enforcement was, as in not killing any of the people he was hiding amongst.

The nido lightly scritched at one of Abby's ears with a paw as he looked back to the absol. "I'll be here doing my inspection for a few more months. We'll be seeing what we do by then. But, why are you so apathetic? Datan's gone!"

He shrugged. "Can't really describe it. I just feel like I should be...above all of this. As if looking down, administrating like I do on my systems."

Theo blinked a few times. "Sounds like you want to be a leader. I'm sure you'll be taking Yeva's place some day."

"It's beyond that," Alexei stood up from the bench, pushing his head fur from his face again. "Now, I was looking lie down here, but it looks like that isn't going to happen. Goodnight."

Theo gave the absol an odd look as he left. Sleeping on the grass like a wild pokemon? Strange. Though any further thoughts on it were quashed by the possibility of Gideon taking over command of the Team.


The absol had decided to go take a shower after leaving, realizing how disarrayed and somewhat dirty his fur actually was. Not having one in his living quarters on base, he had to use the one near the training room. Taking one of the private stalls, the absol shampooed his heavy fur coat, having neglected to do so for the past couple of days. The warm water felt good to Alexei, the disaster pokemon letting his breath slow as he tried to clear his thoughts.

I'm leaving this place, Gideon looks to be taking us over and Edward is up to something big himself. Theo's here and that damn bird thing is probably still possessing the poor bastard. That seems the most important. In fact, why were we sent to Alph in the first place? One night when we got off guard duty, Theo told me to go with him into the ruins. In hindsight...he didn't seem himself-- kinda stiff, like he was being manipulated. He was the superior, so I went with him. Reached the deepest point and he channeled up that hidden power of his. The writing on the wall was alive. Next thing I knew, I saw the nidorino on his back, neck pinned under the talons of some red-robed xatu. Whatever was compelling him earlier lost its power then and there. I fell on my ass in the doorway, which seemed to seal up some pink crystal behind me.

Relax? Such an exercise in futility. He continued to knead shampoo into his ruff of his fur.

"Who is the alpha, traitor?" was the first question. An oddly feral question to ask in retrospect. Theo just managed to nod that he was. She seemed pleased as some silver string thing slipped into his chest. "You have a strong destiny and an amusing story ahead, Mortal." Another string appeared from her claws, trying to pierce into me, only to evaporate as it touched. She seemed annoyed by this; I take it her psychic powers were nullified by my type. Her attention quickly turned back to Theo, who was being choked under her talon.

The hot water began to wash away the soap, the absol's white fur becoming heavy.

"Traitor, we have been unjustly imprisoned by your misguided species and demigods. You will enter into a contract of servitude to us or you and your companion will die. From there, you will work to reclaim our throne." She crouched a bit, offering one of her hands to Theo. He desperately reached for it and I saw some glyphs with a reddish pink haze around them begin to just...flow onto his right arm. In fact, she was dissolving into them, slipping under his clothes and forming strange patterns on what of his body I could see. Then they faded away and the chamber was empty again, not a single symbol on the walls. Along with Slate, we fled. Theo ordered it and I was too confused and scared to refuse his order. She left one mark, a band on his right arm; the pain that visible sign would cause him later.

Turning the knob, the water stopped and the absol left the enclosure, pushing a steamed glass door open and reaching for a towel on a bench next to the door.

Spent maybe a month or so on the run. Separated from Theo and Slate after a week. The nidorino seemed to no longer trust me, though Slate told me where they were going to be hiding without Theo knowing. I was captured by Enforcers later on and eventually told them where Slate and Theo went, but I held it in as long as I could; I made a promise not to tell them what I saw happen to him with the bird, and I've kept it to this day. Then I was sent to Correctional Facility Five where I met Datan.

Alexei began to rub his fur as dry as he could with the towel, wrapping it around his waist before reaching for his bag and heading over to a mirror. Pulling out a brush, he started to groom his head fur and ruff.

A week later Theo joined me, the duck making us share a cell. Damn it. I'm done. I'm done. I'm done thinking.

Datan's dead, Alexei. Datan's dead. You made sure of that and now you *will* leave this place.

Alexei stopped grooming, the brush dropping from his paws into the sink below.

Who are you?

The absol brought his face closer to the mirror. In his reflection, he saw another for a moment. Similar in some respects, but not that of an absol. He blinked and it was his own again.


Faust sat bolt upright in the dark, throwing the sheets off as he raised a paw to his horn. It was resonated to produce a high-pitched wail for a minute. It then went silent again. He grinned.


Sophia was off duty the next evening, the nidoqueen actually taking some time to just sit back and watch television. The government-sanctioned news was still reporting on the brutal overthrow of seven of the Rocket Executives and that they welcomed the new leaders. Murderers. Why wasn't mother having her own forces take action? She also let Gideon speak at father's funeral.

On the tabletop was a letter from him, sitting between two stacks of Cassie's mythology books. She got it yesterday, but was hesitant to even hold it for more than a few seconds. She reached with a paw for it, only to bring it back as she touched the paper. The nido was interrupted by a knock. That was a welcome distraction. "Come in."

The door opened and Alexei stepped in, his head fur somewhat unkempt again. "Hello. Do you have some time to talk?"

"Of course," she picked up the remote and turned the TV off. "You're looking a little rough. Is there something wrong?"

He gave a slight shrug before sitting down next to the nidoqueen. "I don't know. Would seeing and hearing things that may or may not be there count as a problem?"

"It could. But that's not my field," answered the nidoqueen, her voice becoming a bit serious. "Ghosts would have a hard time messing with you, given your type and psychic manipulation is out of the question. I won't say anything else. Again, that isn't my field."

"I understand," replied Alexei as he looked over the stacks of books, noting the letter with the wax seal. "What's that?" he asked, pointing to it.

"Hm? Oh. That's something that Gideon sent me," she said, picking it up without the hesitance of a moment earlier.

"Him? Would I be prying to much to know what it says? I'm sure Theo would be curious as well."

She nodded a bit. "I'll do it for you and Theo; I don't care what it says." With that, she broke the seal with a claw tip and opened the envelope. Pulling a letter out, she quickly unfolded it.

Dear Sophia, Heiress of House Grayquill,

I was delighted to hear that you've finally seen the light and have decided turn, if for a moment, from your lesbianism and take a male mate to continue your line. Because of a lack of other nidoian of high station within the team, I offer myself. I, too, lack a successor to my line because of difficulty finding a worthy mate of high birth.

This would serve in reuniting our long divided house. More importantly, it would ensure a stronger Team. With a stronger Team, our fractured nation could be reunited as well, ensuring prosperity and a competitive foothold on the global stage.

If you are finding yourself tempted to reject this offer, I am going to be forced to encourage you. You see, with the tragic loss of her mate, Lilith has found herself enamored with me to fill the void. While she would be willing to bear my children, she is past the ideal prime for it. I am noted for quickly growing tired of such meaningless relationships. Also, I would appreciate it if you did not tell anyone about this. If I find out you have, that would be another reason why she may join your father sooner than you, or I, would like. I also might find my hand forced and will have to have some of my soldiers pick you up.

Of course, who am I to demand? It is your choice, after all. I am sure you will choose the right male. I'd like a response before you enter the season.

Yours Truly,
Gideon, Patriarch of House Bloodquill

"He's bold," remarked Alexei as he watched the nidoqueen neatly fold the letter up and place it back in its envelope.

The nidoqueen closed her eyes for a moment, shaking her head as she threw it back onto the table. "Damn you, Bloodquill," she whispered. "Alexei. You were the one I was going to take as a mate."

The absol gave her a surprised look. "Uhm...I feel honored. Thank you."

"Not now, though. He's holding my mother and my family's head hostage. There's no way to rescue her from his headquarters, too. He's won me over without even having to try."

"Lady Grayquill wouldn't want you to sacrifice yourself for her. If he does anything, you're head of the Team."

"In name only, Alexei. I'm sure those murders were to subvert Grayquill power. You also know I just lost one parent; I don't want to lose the other. More importantly, I don't want Theo to suffer another loss."

"I see," the absol found himself brushing his head fur from his face again, "Then do as your heart dictates. I'm sorry I tried to dump my problems on to you, they pale in comparison to yours." For all she could say to him, the nidoqueen seemed to have the same resolve as Theo under it all. How disappointing.


Later, Sophia was finding herself sleepless in bed, the room entirely dark. With her restlessness, Cassie's followed. The kadabra was pressed up tight to the side of the large nidoqueen, an arm wrapped around her. "You're not really going to be giving into Bloodquill's demand, are you?"

"You know what I'm going to say before I say it, love," the nido answered in a somewhat frustrated tone of voice. "You don't even need your powers to figure it out. If he really wanted to, little would stop him from just seizing this place."

Cassie brushed her muzzle up against Sophia's cheek. "You think he'd take such a reckless action? With the threat of Sinnoh."

The nidoqueen did not return the affection. "Yes. He's been becoming more of a loose cannon recently, though I'm sure he's been planning this for years. Ever since my mother defeated him in a duel for leadership of the Team. I'd hate to say it, but she should have finished him off."

"There must be some way out of this."

"This is reality, Cassie." Sophia sounded a bit more irritated. "This is how the Team works. Once the deed is done, I will try my best to get my job here again. It is maybe a month until the season, we'd best make the most of it."


Alexei was up late in his office a week later, footpaws up on the desk as he lazily watched a text-mode representation of a progress bar for a file system check. Just as it was one asterisk away from being filled, it jumped back ten symbols. Then forward ten symbols. The absol heard a few odd clicks and beeps, taking his feet from the desk as he saw Zilog's eye shutters slowly close.

He automatically reached for the rifle under his desk, which bore a strong resemblance to an AK-74M as the team primarily used Russian arms. Taking it in his paws, he clicked the safety off. He kept his vision focused on the hallway and the door at the far end, though in the corner of his eye he could see the command-line interface on his displays begin to flicker with arbitrary characters for a few seconds until both flashed a no-signal screen.

After a few silent minutes passed, he heard Zilog start to boot up again and the monitors began to display normally. The absol immediately pushed the gun barrel to the porygon's metal head, claw just outside the trigger guard.

"Explain what happened. Right now, Agent Zilog."

"I do not know, sir," it answered in its normal electronic drone, not showing any concern for having a gun to its head. "All my sensors became disabled for two minutes and seven seconds."

Alexei kept the gun against the porygon's head. "Shut down. Now-- that's an order."

"Yes, sir." the robotic pokemon's eye shutters closed again, going entirely silent in a few more seconds.

The absol still kept his claw on the trigger guard as he lowered the rifle. One of his paws carefully clicked open a chest compartment on the porygon, which revealed several rectangular silver batteries clipped in. Some would call this disrespectful of a pokemon's rights, but the Alexei was too cautious to care, now worrying his systems had just been compromised. He popped the power cells out, throwing them into a desk drawer.

He would have to manually cut off the base from outside networks. Seems his last few weeks here might be interesting, not that seeing and hearing things last week wasn't an experience.

If the lighting was better, the absol would have been able to see the unown that had slipped under the door, gliding across the dark edges of the floor. Each one dissolved into a separate machine. One had even managed to slip into the porygon's back.


Theo was sitting in his living room at this time. Cassie had decided to trust him with a night alone, wanting to spend what time she could with Sophia. The nidoking was unaware that it was because his sister would be leaving soon. He was shirtless, that band of tattoos on his arm glinting with a soft pink light. In one of his paws was a strip of paper, ripped as neatly from a sheet as he could. On it he had wrote several unown runes. It was a crude, makeshift prayer strip, but it worked. The symbols on it glowed with a a light that matched the band on his arm.

Well, it seemed that Alexei found time to put most of the base's systems under his control. That would prove useful. Finishing that thought, the glow in the marks faded and he went back to bed. The strip of paper remained on the table, the ink having vanished from it.
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