Diamond 02: Give me Excitement
Diamond 02: Give me Excitement
"Mom? Are you alright?" Ash's voice accompanied by his knocking on the door woke Delia from her nap.
She stumbled out of bed in a daze and rushed to open the door to her bedroom. "I fell asleep, sorry about that. I put my guests to work then I doze off, how terrible of me. What time is it? I haven't even started dinner." She tried to sound alert, hiding the numbness that had invaded her.
"It's okay, it's just that it's not like you, are you feeling sick?" Ash asked with concern. He had been ignoring his own questions for many years. He wanted to know more about his father, but told himself it wouldn't hurt to wait. Either way, the man was absent and even if his identity was revealed he would remain absent. Yet Ash couldn't help it but to wonder if that past boyfriend was the one.
Ash had the sensation that he had seen that man before, maybe from far away. Or perhaps it was the picture he had seen too long ago to clearly remember it. He wasn't sure, but he let it go. "Let's go out for dinner, Viridian City is a day away on foot, but it's not so far if we take the car. It may not be as great as Pallet Town's main restaurant, but I think the chef there needs a holiday. Besides, I'm participating in a tournament there tomorrow and the sign ups are on the same day. I want to be there early, why don't we spend the night over at the Pokemon Center?"
Delia laughed; her restaurant was the only one in Pallet Town. "That sounds good, by the way," she lowered her voice to a hushed whisper, "when are you planning to ask Misty?"
"As soon as I have a ring," Ash whispered back.
"Did you lose it?" Delia distinctly remembered Ash showing her the ring he intended to give Misty and her bittersweet euphoria at the realization that her little boy was all grown up and would soon be engaged. Delia was very fond of Misty and would happily welcome her as her daughter.
Ash reached into his pocket and took out a ring, the sapphire centerpiece glittering an endless blue. "It's not good enough."
"Misty wouldn't say that," Delia encouraged.
"I know, she would be happy, but I want to give her something better. I want to give her a diamond, a diamond in a gold ring, no, platinum, a really big diamond. That's why I have to win tomorrow, there's a good cash price and if I add that to my savings it should be enough to give Misty the ring she deserves," Ash's excitement grew as he pictured the perfect moment for the proposal. It would be by the sea, Misty loved the sea, he would give her the ring as the sun set and the light would bounce off the diamond more beautiful than a million stars, she would be impressed.
Delia's expression darkened, "Ash Ketchum, don't you dare..." Ash was shocked at his mother's serious tone, "don't you dare ignore Misty for the sake of running off to earn money. She's not like that; you of all people should know it better than anyone. Misty doesn't want a diamond; she wants you to be there for her."
"But mom, it's not like I'm abandoning her or anything. She's coming too; she'll watch the tournament and cheer for me like she always does. Then we can all go out together after it's over," Ash smiled, trying to lighten the mood.
"You don't understand..." Delia sighted. She caught Ash glancing at the picture of Giovanni and herself. She remembered that she promised herself that she would one day go find him and explain her sudden disappearance. She would tell him they had a son, as soon as that son was old enough not to be tempted by dreams of power. Ash could handle the truth; she knew he could, though it would be a great strain on him and herself. "I'll tell you about him soon, after the tournament."
"Why not now?" This was as far as Ash had ever gotten to a real answer, and the hope of finally receiving it made him impatient.
"Be patient for just a little longer Ash, it will all make sense soon and I promise you a name this time," Delia assured.
Ash smiled brightly, like a child who was promised candy if he behaved for the day. "Alright, I'll wait a little longer," the truth would not rewrite the years without a father, but it would put the mystery to rest and at that point, that was enough for Ash. Taking one last long look at the picture, Ash led the way to where Misty and Brock were in the yard with the pokemon and they all piled up in Ash's car, on their way to Viridian City.
xoxox xox xoxox
Dinner last night was delicious, but Delia was distracted by her own thoughts, as was Ash, though his cheer was genuine. It was a new day and Ash was his friends were standing in the long sign up line for the pokemon tournament, though only Ash had intentions of entering. They kept each other company and talked to make the wait less boring.
"There are some things I have to take care of; I'll be back as soon as possible," Delia announced.
"Okay, see you later," Ash replied naturally at first, then the wheels in his head turned and he wondered if his mother's sudden need to run some errands had anything to do with her promise to reveal his father's name after the tournament. He stood frozen, until Misty woke him from his daze because the long line was finally moving forward, albeit at a Slowpoke's pace. He pushed the thoughts and theories away for the moment, he would get his answer soon; his patience would finally pay off.
xoxox xox xoxox
Delia made her way through the crowds that had gathered in Viridian City to watch the tournament. She headed towards the gym, walking past the Pokemon Center and remembering a different Pokemon Center from long ago, it was in Cerulean City where they first met...
xoxox xox xoxox
"You've done a wonderful job Delia, thank you for helping so much," the nurse in charge of the Cerulean City Pokemon Center commended. She was a cheerful woman with pink hair, her name was Joy. She had a young daughter who looked a lot like her; the girl's name was Joy as well.
"Thank you!" Delia smiled with equal, if not greater, cheer. She was a young pokemon researcher who had studied under the guidance of Professor Oak at Pallet Town. She was currently doing on internship at the Pokemon Center.
After all the pokemon had gone to sleep, as had Joy and Delia, a gang broke into the center and began to steal pokemon. Delia had coincidentally woken up and went out of her room towards the kitchen to quench her midnight thirst with a glass of cool water. She saw a shadow from the corner of her eyes and thought a pokemon might have gotten out of its pokeball. Maybe the little one was in pain and needed help.
She ventured down the dark halls of the Pokemon Center, searching for the source of the perceived movement. Maybe she had imagined it... Then she saw it, a human figure wearing black clothes stuffing numerous pokeballs into a sack. She wanted to scream in alert, to let Joy know they needed to call the police and to make it clear to the intruder she was not going to allow this.
Before any sounds came from her throat, a hand firmly covered her mouth, while the other held both her hands behind her back. "Idiot, didn't you even see her?" It was man, judging by his voice, height and built.
"Sorry boss, I'm done here anyway, this is all of them," the other man, noticeably smaller than her captor, threw the full sack over his shoulder.
"Gather the others, we're leaving, as for you..." before her fate could be decided, Delia bit the man's hand, causing him to let her go.
"Nurse Joy!" Delia screamed as loud as she could. "Call the police, there are thieves stealing the pokemon!"
"Damn it, you'll pay for that!" Ignoring the threat, Delia sprinted after the man with the sack and pushed him to floor, causing the pokeballs to be spill out and roll away.
She slammed his face into the floor hard before the same man from before picked her up, holding her hands behind her again. "Let go of me!" She was noisy, but he wouldn't make the same mistake again. Instead he silenced her by gripping her neck, hard enough to cut the flow of oxygen, but not enough to injure her.
Feeling her consciousness slip away, Delia desperately stomped on the man's foot, he growled in pain, but held her firmly. "Hurry, get out of here, forget the pokeballs just take what's still in the sack," the man ordered, no doubt the nurse had heard the girl yelling and the police must be on their way.
As sirens were heard in the horizon, the gang made a hasty get away, dragging Delia along. When they were far enough from the Pokemon Center, the mysterious man finally let her go; she had been struggling all the way and slowed him down considerably. "I won't let you get away with this!" Delia declared.
"You should be thankful that we're letting you do," the man who had brought her there spoke, he was clearly the leader.
"We're letting her go?" The man with the half empty sack of pokeballs protested, it was his face that had been smashed against the floor after all.
"She'll squeal on us," a woman dressed in the same black attire as the rest of the gang warned.
Delia could see by the moon light that they all had a red R on their shirts. There were five of them, three men and two women and they weren't much older than herself. The leader smirked, almost amused, some might see a handsome man, but Delia only saw a villain. "Maybe you'd like to join us."
"Never!" Delia firmly refused.
"Your loss," the leader walked away, followed by his gang. The man with the sack gave Delia one last bitter look before catching up with his companions.
"I told you I'm not letting you go!" As soon as his back was turned, Delia ripped the sack out of the man's hands and ran away with it.
"Come back here!" He ran after her, only to watch her stop, coming face to face with one of the female gang members, the one who had spoken before.
The woman in black shook her head, "so predictable, I knew you were looking for a chance to steal back those pokemon." She lunged at Delia started a tug of war with the sack, which was ripped in two, sending the pokeballs to roll all over the ground.
"The pokeballs!" The man who had previously been carrying the sack jumped between the two quarrelling women, intent on solving the problem himself, but quickly retreated after receiving injuries from both sides.
"Dude," the other man, who was witnessing the fight spoke, "you can't jump between two fighting girls like that, it's like jumping between two angry Persians, you know? Fury swipes, man!"
"Don't just stand there you two, stop her!" The leader commanded, and the pair rushed into action, grabbing Delia's arms one each and holding her firmly back.
The woman who had been fighting with Delia glared angrily, "you'll regret messing with Team Rocket!"
"I'll save those pokemon, what you're doing is wrong, you'll never get away with it!" Delia insisted.
"How ignorant," the leader called out a pokemon, Ivysaur. "Just because something is wrong, doesn't mean you or anyone can make it right. This world is controlled by power, that's all that matters. Vine whip, tie her up!" The pokemon obeyed and Delia was tied up. The leader took out a knife and cut the vines, causing the Ivysaur to cry out in pain, much to Delia's horror, but it was soon silenced when it was called back into its pokeball. He made sure the vines were securely tied around the girl's torso and legs, binding her arms, and preventing her from running. "Let's go."
"We're leaving her like that?" The man who received the most damage thought night protested, though it was hard to tell if he wanted revenge of felt pity.
"I said we're leaving, pick up the pokeballs and leave the girl, that's an order." No one dared to question him after that. The four gang members piled the pokeball uncomfortably in their arms and followed their leader, then the five of them disappeared into the night.
xoxox xox xoxox
"Wait! Wait for me!" The leader stopped and looked back.
"You have got to be kidding me!" One of the women hissed.
"Dude, she's like totally stubborn!" A man commented.
Delia was jumping towards them, still tied up by the vines. She tripped, falling at the leader's feet, but pushed herself back on her feet with difficulty "Let me join your gang."
Before the others could protest, the leader raised his hand in a sign of silence. "What's your goal?"
"The pokemon you stole are ill, there's been an epidemic going around. The purpose of my internship at the Pokemon Center was to study the symptoms and help find a cure for them, that's what more researcher's efforts are going towards right now. You'll need someone to treat them if you're going to sell them or whatever you're planning to do." She gritted her teeth in bitter defeat, "if I can't save them from you, I at least want to care for them. I won't try anything, I won't get myself kicked out of the gang, because if I do, there will be no one there to treat the sick and injured pokemon you steal. Stopping you is beyond my power right now, but I'll keep the pokemon safe until someone does."
"In other words it's a mutually beneficial deal in a sense. You'll help the pokemon and we'll have better merchandise, but it's clear we can't trust you as one of the gang," the leader concluded.
"Take me as a prisoner then," Delia desperately offered.
"You would give away your freedom for the sake of these pokemon? Fine, I'll take you up on your offer," the leader decided.
The leader took out his knife again, making Delia shudder from the memories, and used it to cut her free of the vines. "I want to treat your Ivysaur as well."
"Fine... I'm Giovanni Roketto," he introduced himself, "the leader of Team Rocket, I'll expect you to follow my orders."
"Delia Ketchum," she replied sharply.
"Dudette, my name's like Luke," this man had red hair, ocean blue eyes and a tan. He seemed to emanate a friendly aura, which reassured Delia a little.
"I'm Leah," the woman standing next to him spoke for the first time; she had a gentle voice despite being part of Team Rocket. She had soft brown hair, kind honey colored eyes and fair skin. She seemed quiet and shy.
"Aayla," the other female on the team glared at Delia. Her skin was darker than Luke's, she had deep violet hair and stunning green eyes. She carried herself in a way that reminded Delia of a Ninetails, elegant, strong and dangerous.
The last man remained silent until Aayla elbowed him, "Binks, my name is Binks," he was a thin and pale man with brown eyes and blond hair.
Delia tried to reassure herself thinking she was on the side of justice, so somehow, she would be alright. Giovanni was wrong, karma was strong and justice would prevail.
"Welcome to Team Rocket," Giovanni's voice carried a hint of sarcasm since she wasn't an official member, but for a split second she felt cool, as if she was joining a secret club. She pushed the silly thoughts away and focused on reality, they were criminals and she had a mission.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. In "Secret of the Unknown" it is mentioned that Delia was Professor Oak's student. How did she end up not being a researcher in the anime will be explained later.
This is a long chapter, but I didn't want to end it and make it look cut off. Normal chapters will be about the same length as the first, unless I get carried away again. I also wanted this chapter to explain why they didn't use the stolen pokemon to battle, it's because they're sick and wouldn't be any good in battle, but they can still be sold to labs. More will be explained about what's going on with the pokemon in future chapters.