Penance couldn't help but feel his anxiety rise as Belas turned to him, "I have not, I'm afraid, Defender." Penance felt his smile slowly fall. "But that doesn't mean he isn't here. I can't be expected to remember the names and faces of all of my troops, after all." He said, with a laugh and that caused Penance's smile to return, albeit weakly. What Belas said was true. There were probably thousands of pokemon scattered throughout the cave, each having a different name. Belas continued. "You can looked for him among the camp, if you wish." Penance nodded, "Thank you Belas."
While Penance ate he couldn't help but feel the same thought rise up in his mind. His father could be here. He was grateful for the food and he hadn't realized just how hungry he could get. He managed to down two whole plates of spectacular food that for the first time in days actually made his stomach content. The conversations around the table eventually turned to the one subject that had everyone on edge, the war. The soldiers left one by one to perform their various duties until only a few were left at the table. As Penance joined his brothers Belas approached them. The plan was to wake up the next morning ready to talk about the war plans and to start a revolution in Eternity City. Belas left them and Vigil departed as well. For a brief second Penance felt an urge to ask his brothers for a little help but he quickly pushed the feeling away. He needed to find the answers on his own.
Penance looked around and sighed, the entire place was crowded with pokemon. As Penance wandered around the area he garnered a lot of attention from the surrounding civilans. It had been a long time since many of them had seen a Gold Tribe member and most were eager to answer his questions. At the beginning of his search Penance felt nothing but disappointment. Those he asked hadn't seen any golduck's around and hadn't heard the name Matthius Malum. Still, he didn't give up. As he progressed through the crowd he began to find people who had seen some golduck in the cavern. None were named Matthius however and a good hour had passed before he finally found some useful information.
"Yeah, I know Matthius. His group usually come in at the morning and evening shifts." The tyrogue behind the food counter replied. Penance sighed in relief, "Do you know where they are staying?" His informant nodded, "Just head down that way and you'll find some cots." Penance thanked the fighter and manuvered his way through the crowd. It took some time but he found his way easily enough and soon he stood outside the tents. He walked forward and opened the tent. A Raichu was hunched over a desk and seemed to be studying something intently. Penance cleared his throat, "Excuse me..."
"How many times must you people be told we're backed up. There's only a few geniuses here so just wait right on that exact spot for a week and I'll be more than happy to listen to your request." Penance smirked, "Hey there Demas." The electric mouse stopped and slowly looked up,"Penance... Penance!" The Raichu ran up and hugged him. "Oh Arcues, you're alive! Matthius will be.... oh Matthius! Wait right there!" Demas ran out the back of the tent and returned a few seconds later practically dragging the confused Golduck. "Right there Matthius! I told you!" The Golduck's eys fell on Penance and for a brief second there was silent, and then he ran forward and embraced his son.
It took a while before the two began to converse. Demas relocated to another tent as Penance told his father all about his travels. Soon enough his father was relaying his tale. Basically Eternity City as shutdown. The populace faced the fate of death if they so much as stepped outside. "How did you escape?"
Matthius sighed, "A distraction. Two Gold Tribe members somehow managed to get inside the city and began fighting one of the sentinels. We had been waiting for a sign. In the previous weeks we had started conducting midnight runs, collecting any supplies that could help us fight off the ancients. Our plan worked for two minutes. The sentinel killed those two Gold Tibe members and began slaugthering all of the civilians. Everyone began running back to their homes. The ancients had left their posts to help the sentinel so I took advantage of a prime opportunity and ran out of the city. There were only five of us with that common sense and we wandered around, hiding here and there. Just a week ago we came across some Alliance soldiers. We were led back here and here we stay."
"So the city is lost?"
Matthius chuckled, "Far from it! We didn't even use half of our supplies and there's no doubt that more supplies have been gathered. We're talking about boiling water, poisons, and weapons to fight off the ancients!"
"Does the General know?"
Matthius sighed, "No. At least I don't think so. We just went to work when we got here and no one's asked for information. Besides, the General's far too busy to listen to us."
"Dad, there's going to be a meeting tomorrow morning, we're going to Eternity City. Come to the meeting, let the General know about this, it could help."
The elder golduck rubbed his eyes, "I'll think about it, but for now you should head off to bed. You got a big day tomorrow." Penance smiled, "Of course, see you tomorrow." "We'll see."
Penance found his way back and found the cot that had been set aside for him and found that he was actually able to fall asleep far easier than he had for the past week.