Diamond 03: Give me Hope
Don't Give Me Diamonds
Diamond 03: Give me Hope
Did anyone see that? No? Good. However, even if no one saw him fall on his face, the fact still stood that Giovanni had indeed face-planted the cold hard floor of the Rocket warehouse. The one who caused him to trip crawled out from under his legs and hurriedly pulled his arm attempting to help him stand, albeit she almost succeeded in making him lose his balance again.
"I'm so sorry!" Delia tried to wipe away the non-existent dirt from his suit; the floor was like a mirror since she started taking care of the warehouse. "You're not hurt, are you?"
"I'm fine, but why were you on the floor?" Giovanni inquired, his anger being replaced by puzzlement.
Delia was a diligent worker, resourceful and energetic. She had significantly improved the health of the pokemon since she got there, not that it mattered much. The pokemon were still ill and they would remain ill until a cure was discovered, that was why certain key research laboratories were buying them.
An epidemic had broken out and an antidote was yet to be developed. Under the guise of a friendly caring company, several pokemon research laboratories were racing to find a cure and cash in. As for the origin of the illness, it remained unknown. It was for that reason that Team Rocket was taking the opportunity to steal sick pokemon and gain easy money to fund their various illegal activities, during a time when pokemon battle were become rare between gangs due to the shortage of healthy pokemon.
Even if she had no way of curing the pokemon, Delia continued to carefully take care of them day and night, without leaving the warehouse. Giovanni had tested her, leaving the doors unlocked and posting guards out, but she made no attempts to escape.
On one occasion, Binks bitterly reported that Luke had left the door wide open, though Leah was quick to witness that Delia had simply closed it, muttering something about the breeze being too cold. Clearly, she wasn't going anywhere. It was as if the pokemon were more important to her than whatever life she led before.
"I was tired to I sat down, then I guess I must have fallen asleep," Delia explained.
"Don't you have a place to sleep there?" Giovanni pointed to the corner of the warehouse, but found the sleeping bag was occupied by a Persian and she was not moving.
"Persian!" Delia rushed to the pokemon's side and checked her vital signs, it was too late. "If I haven't fallen asleep, if I had stayed by her side..." Delia began to cry. "She was doing better, I thought it was best to keep her out of the pokeball, I thought it would help her fever if she had more breathing room. She woke up and looked at me, not with that lost look they have when they're sick, she looked right at me, I put the egg she laid yesterday next to her because eggs can't get the virus, it has been proven. I thought that being near her child would give her strength. I tended to her then went to check the pokemon in the pokeballs. I put the last one back and had to sit down, then..."
"If you keep this up you'll end up sick yourself," Giovanni warned.
Delia shook her head, "humans can't catch this," the fact had been proven for certain.
"I don't mean because of the epidemic," Giovanni knew that Delia could be a valuable addition to the team, being such a hard worker and it was clear she intended to stay, so he might as well keep her around. Maybe one day she would get used to this new life and really be a part of Team Rocket. "You'll be living in our hideout now. You're no longer on trial and your skills in treating pokemon and researching their abilities will be useful."
Delia shook her head, though she followed Giovanni out, taking the Persian's egg with her and watched as he locked the warehouse. "I'm going to clean this egg and get supplies. I didn't join to help your organization; I'm here for the pokemon. But lately I've been thinking you're not so bad. Your methods are questionable, but the truth is the Pokemon Center didn't have the resources to treat those pokemon. You're just thinking of profits, but giving those pokemon to the laboratories is their only hope. People often hold on to those they care for selfishly, but letting them go is sometimes for the best, though their trainers will be sad, it was best to send them to the laboratories."
"You're so naive," Giovanni observed.
"Why do you say that? Because I have hope?" Delia herself didn't know how or why she started to change her mind. Perhaps it was all a mental defense to protect herself amidst the crisis. They both got in the car, with Giovanni in the driver's seat, "seatbelt..."
He rolled his eyes but humored her. "The laboratories are not making much progress, that's why they keep asking for more pokemon." That and their methods of research were rather painful for the subjects.
"Even so, they're trying, even if they just want to get rich from an antidote, they're still trying. It's just like Team Rocket, you're lawless vigilantes."
He couldn't help it; Giovanni had to laugh, "vigilantes? Delia, we're criminals aspiring to control the mafia."
"Once you learn of the satisfaction of helping others you'll change your ways and use your power for good. I'll join you for real then, I'll help guide you, I'll be your conscience," Delia offered.
"You'll wake up soon enough," those words from Giovanni were the last spoken during the car ride to the Team Rocket hideout deep in the mountains, west of Cerulean and east of Pewter City.
xoxox xox xoxox
After Delia moved into their hideout, she saw Luke, Leah, Aayla and Binks on a daily basis, along with many other people. Luke and Leah were the easiest to talk to, they weren't really bad, Luke simply craved adventure and Leah followed him. Binks had an undying admiration for Giovanni and Aayla wanted power, though her true motivation was unknown. Most of the others were after power and riches. Most of the time Delia just kept to herself.
"Dudette, it's like broken," Luke held up the pokeball for Delia to examine, she had just walked into the common area of their crowded hideout, only Giovanni had his own room; the others had roommates and she was roomed with Leah and Aayla.
Delia took the pokeball and looked at it from different angles, searching for cracks, "where is it broken?"
"Not the ball, the Shellder, I caught it like yesterday, but its shell is totally cracked. I still caught it because it was alive, I mean like really alive and jumping around, you know?" Luke explained.
"It doesn't have the virus?" Delia was surprised; the epidemic had been spreading fast. "I think I can help with the shell, I'll examine the damage and do my best, then return Shellder as soon as possible."
"You keep it, I have healthy pokemon and they're not broken. If you come with us on missions, you need pokemon." Luke encouraged, his blue eyes shining with hope. Maybe Delia could replace Binks as the third member of their team.
"I'm needed here," Delia declined, "sorry, but I can't join your team right now."
"I'm leader but it's more like Leah's team, you know?" Luke commented, "she's like the real leader, I just get Binks to listen to her, you know? She's like really smart."
It was hard to imagine the quiet Leah leading their trio of thieves, which would explain why Luke had to relay the orders. Binks was always muttering about how he should be the leader, he was not the most respected Team Rocket member, and sometimes got picked on, though he tried to keep up a tough guy act. At the time the teams consisted of three people, though Giovanni considered lowering it to two.
Sending members out on solo missions would be risky, save for certain occasions when being found meant a failed mission, even if there was someone there to help. For now they were fine in trios, until their training was improved and two could do what three were needed to accomplish now.
Aayla was the leader of her team, not surprisingly, with two adoring fans constantly arguing among themselves for her attention. But she knew how to set them straight and make them work together when it was needed.
Leah had joined Luke and Delia, politely greeting them in a barely audible voice. Luke went on to tell a story about a past mission and commended Delia on her work at their little base.
The three were still talking when the common area suddenly felt silent. The lack of voices in the background made them pause their conversation and look towards the one that called their attention without even having to say a word; it was the boss of Team Rocket, Giovanni.
Giovanni waved his hand nonchalantly, signaling for everyone to go about their business and the multiple conversations were resumed. He walked over to Delia, "I'm going out on an investigation mission, I'm assigning you as my partner; I think you'll find it to be interesting."
Delia was surprised but nodded anyway, "yes..." Giovanni couldn't be taking her to steal pokemon; he knew she would just get in the way. Maybe she was supposed to conduct some kind of research.
"We're leaving right away; pack some clothes, enough for a week. Don't worry about food and supplies, that's been taken care of," Giovanni knew everyone was curious about his mission and he had a story to tell them when they returned. "I'll be waiting."
"Yes!" Delia hastily exchanged her goodbyes with Luke and Leah, "see you guys in a week!" then turned towards Giovanni, who was walking back to his room. "Giovanni! My duties at the base and the warehouse, someone will take over while I'm gone, right?"
"Everything is taken care of," Giovanni assured, though Delia wasn't too convinced.
None the less she packed her clothes, consisting of identical Team Rocket uniforms, a few normal clothes just in case, and a water pokemon first aid kit for her new Shellder. She might as well take Shellder along, she felt safer personally making sure it wasn't exposed to catching the virus. She took the egg obtained from Persian as well and hoped Giovanni didn't mind her side projects, more so she hoped she had time to take care of them and complete her research.
Once Delia was ready, she informed Giovanni and they both left in his car. She was yet to know where they were going or about the specifics of their mission, but assumed that Giovanni would explain everything in detail soon. Though the situation was grim, Delia held on to the hope that this mission would hold some kind of key information that would lead to a cure for the virus.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. This chapter turned out shorter than the others, originally it was a bit longer, but there was a scene I deleted due to some plot changes I made when I revised it. I'll probably post a special bonus chapter with deleted scenes and extra information at the end of the story in Pirates Board Fiction only, since I don't think the other archives allow that kind of non-chapter, chapter. XD