Diamond 13: Give me Honesty
Diamond 13: Give me Honesty
It was after talking to several of her teammates that Delia realized how much knowledge she had been missing before. She still didn't know anything about Giovanni's past and she was intent on finding out. She spotted him not far away, at the same time he saw her. They closed the distance meeting half way, "I was looking for you."
"So was I," he replied, "for a second I thought you ran off."
"If I was going to run away, I would have done it a long time ago. I'm not leaving the team," Delia assured.
Giovanni was pleased by her eagerness, "that's good, but I was actually worried that you ran off to take on the enemy by yourself. You're full of surprises."
Delia laughed, she surprised even herself sometimes. "Can we go a little way into the forest, not too far, just..."
"Somewhere more private?" He offered and she nodded. They walked a short distance away from the group, but not too far to leave their general area, it was just enough distance not to have eavesdroppers.
They sat under a tree close to each other, though Delia was quick to make a clarification, "stay cool Charmander, I asked you to come with me so I could ask you something."
He wondered what she could possibly want to ask about. Many possibilities came to mind, but he found them all unlikely, "what is it?"
"Will you tell me about your past?" Delia wondered if it was supposed to be a secret for some reason.
"Yes, for example, where were you born?" Delia elaborated, throwing out a basic question.
"Saffron City," Giovanni replied easily, proving that at least that piece of information was not a big secret.
Delia nodded and waited, but Giovanni only looked at her a little puzzled, "what else can you tell me about your past? Do you have family in Saffron City?"
"We don't really get along," Giovanni paused coming to a realization, "you really don't know... Most gangs on the street already know this, but I guess you grew up differently. It's no big secret, my mother is known as Madame Boss in the eastern region, a lot of the smaller gangs there work for her even if they're not an official part of her organization. She's mostly occupied with trading goods and isn't interested in unifying the gangs and establishing real power. I left to form my own organization, everyone thought I would take over her position, but I can obtain my own power. I've cut all ties with her side of the black market. As for my father, I never met him."
Madame Boss, the name sounded familiar, some kind of lady from the mafia? Had her name been spoken on the news before? "It must have been difficult to grow up like that..."
"Maybe by your definition."
"My definition?" Delia didn't think her definition of a difficult childhood was much different from anyone else's.
"You were pretty sheltered," he reminded as a matter of fact.
She sighed remembering her life when it was devoid of adventure. "I suppose you're right. Tell me the truth, when you first saw me, what did you think of me? Be honest."
Giovanni remembered their first meeting, "I thought you were weak but had some guts at least. Then when you came after us and insisted on joining I thought you were either crazy or stupid, maybe both."
"Hey!" She punched him on the arm and pouted, though she then laughed, "thanks for your honesty, what else? When did that improve?"
"You worked really hard caring for the pokemon; that was helpful for Team Rocket. Why was it that you didn't escape?"
"If I wasn't there to care for the pokemon, who would? Someone has to set things right," Delia remembered she was trapped, locked up at first, but more so prisoner of the call of duty to have mercy on those pokemon. She remembered feeling desperate at some point, but it all went away when she started looking at Team Rocket from a different point of view. Maybe she overanalyzed everything far too many times or perhaps it was true that there was no good or bad in the world, no right or wrong, only different points of view.
"After a while, I saw you as useful," Giovanni continued. His voice brought Delia back to the preset and the memories faded away. Waking up she felt his warmth next to her and cuddled closer, not because she was cold, but perhaps unconsciously seeking comfort. "And cute," he finished.
"I think I noticed that," Delia remembered the time when her unwilling beach holiday was interrupted by Gyarados.
"You've proven to be brave and kind of reckless, it's not what I expected for someone who has such a kind side, you're pretty hard to figure out sometimes, but I've enjoyed your surprises," Giovanni admitted.
"There were many times when I was scared," Delia confessed, "we didn't have the best first meeting, I thought you were evil. I didn't like you at all at first, I thought you were terrible, but I guess I was too busy being afraid for the pokemon to be afraid for myself. Then I realized you were more than just a careless pokemon trained and gang leader..."
"What was I then?"
Though he expected her description to turn more pleasant at that time, it did not, "an egotistical jerk... but that improved later. When the police chased us I was really scared, but not of you, I was scared of the police and most of all myself."
"Yourself?" That was unexpected.
She nodded, "I doubted that I was doing the right thing by challenging the law like that, but I kept thinking it was for a good cause. Running away together was exhausting, but it also helped me clear my head. The team really looks up to you, realizing that," she blushed, "made me see a different side of you. It also felt like an adventure after all that happened and I guess somewhere along the way I must have started to trust you."
"You're not too hard to trust, you're too nice at times, but you have your wild side."
"I think I like being adventurous," Delia yawed as exhaustion finally caught up to her. "We better rest," she felt more relaxed now, despite the situation. She was still full of curiosity, but talking to Giovanni was easier than she expected and that made her feel relieved enough to fall asleep.
xoxox xox xoxox
"The police are coming!" The sun had started to sink in horizon and soon it would be time for their mission, but the team's rest was interrupted when those currently standing watch alerted their companions as fast and quietly as possible. "They didn't see me but they're close, they'll probably be here in a few minutes, the Growlithe might have picked up our scent already!"
Delia wasn't sure for how long she slept, but with her adrenaline on high, a couple of hours were enough to fully energize her again. "This time we're too suspicious," they were in a different location and in their Team Rocket uniforms. There was no way they could trick the officers in this area into thinking they were just a harmless group of friends.
"Everyone, climb up on the trees, have the pokemon help, we need to stay out of their view," without questioning Giovanni's orders the team began to climb, some skillfully, others clumsily, and several relying on their pokemon to help them get up the trees.
"Let Ivysaur out, her vine whip can help people get up on the trees faster," Delia suggested.
"Ivysaur doesn't have vine whip," Giovanni had cut it off to and used it to tie up Delia when they first met and if it was going to grow back; it would take a very long time.
"You didn't even check to see if I had properly treated her. She's fully healed, she can use vine whip just fine," Delia assured, feeling a cold chill at the memory, but it was okay, she was there now; she would make sure Giovanni didn't make such foolish sacrifices.
"Well then, good job," Giovanni released Ivysaur and ordered the pokemon to help everyone get up the trees, then proceeded with the next part of his improvised plan. "Leah, have Butterfree spread a small amount of sleep powder on the ground and the base of the trees, not too much, the idea is to make the Growlithe drowsy without making them sleepy enough for the police to catch on."
"I understand," Leah got to work with her pokemon right away.
"Aayla, have Haunter on stand by to use hypnosis if it looks like any of Growlithe or police are on to something, but he must stay hidden at all costs, even if it means a long range less effective attack," Giovanni ordered.
"Got it," Aayla nodded.
"Binks, Ben, let out Rattata and Pidgey, those pokemon are not rare in this area and can serve as a distraction if needed," Giovanni continued.
"Yes sir!" The two men saluted in unison and released their pokemon, quickly explaining them plan to them.
Giovanni was the last to climb up on a tree after all the orders were given and the plan was set up; then they waited quietly. They couldn't take on the police now; they needed to save their strength to fight the Tempest Gang and take the Viridian City Gym from them.
A chorus of "Growlithe!" was heard approaching. Three police trained pokemon sniffed around, their senses numbed by the sleep powder. They could not perceive the fresh trail anymore and when they searched for it, it just made them feel more tired. In puzzlement, they stopped sniffing around that area, which was interpreted by the group of officers accompanying them as the area being clear.
Officer Jenny, the same Jenny who had witnessed the false hostage situation before, sighed in frustration. "It's useless to patrol the forest like this, they got away from us a long time ago," though the patrols still calmed the citizens at least.
"We tracked them as far as the mountains and lost them there, so we know the hostage situation was part of something bigger. Maybe the woman who was taken knew too much," an older male officer theorized, he was clearly exhausted from the long hours of work, but held a strong enough interest in his job not to complain about the overtime.
Jenny agreed, "I think you're right and that's what worries me the most. If by now we haven't heard anything, they might not be interested in ransom after all."
"Do you think she's already...?" A young officer, asked, he looked as if this was his first big case and he was not yet used to the complicated twists situations could take.
Jenny bit her lip and nodded bitterly, "I'll admit, the chances of her still being alive are slim, but there are also still some details that don't make sense. If they weren't being chased at first, why were they in such a hurry? It has been said it was because of the fight happening in the mountains where the fire took place, but what were the details of those events and why was the hostage being rushed over there? Was she part of some kind of deal? Maybe one gang was threatened to hand her over to another, but why?"
"Who was she anyway? Is her identity still unknown? I thought we had a lead," the older officer inquired.
Jenny shook her head, her expression remaining frustrated. "it was a dead end, but at least we know who he is, Giovanni Rocketto, the son of Madame Boss, but her side has denied any involvement and we don't have sufficient proof. If you ask me, everyone down at the station is just scared!"
"The mafia is dangerous..." the statement from the youngest of the police group was met with a disapproving look from Jenny, which spoke louder than words.
Up in the tree Giovanni was feeling frustrated that his actions were linked to his mother rather than Team Rocket. He hated to admit it, but Team Rocket was just a band of troublemakers that paled in comparison to Madame Boss' complex organization, but that would change soon. Defeating their main rival the Tempest Gang, was the first step and from there they would take on every gang in the area, extending their territory and their power. Team Rocket would reign supreme and by far surpass Madame Boss.
Jenny took a moment to calm her annoyance at feeling so helpless to solve the case, "maybe if we knew the hostage's identity we could understand the situation better. It would be odd for it to be a case of an innocent hostage randomly caught up in a gang fight, the scenario doesn't fit."
"Are you sure the lead wasn't right?" The oldest officer just couldn't let it go.
"Um... what was her name again?" The younger one was almost afraid to asked, a little ashamed to have forgotten that detail.
"Delia Ketchum, we searched the Kanto citizen databases looking for a matching picture and I was sure it was her who I saw. I guess the seriousness of the situation must have played a trick on my senses, she was just a look alike, a good citizen, no criminal record what so ever," Jenny replied.
Delia had been growing nervous up in the tree, she was holding her precious pokemon egg securely, sitting on a large branch next to Giovanni. She glanced at him meaningfully and he nodded to assure her that she was on the clear, though he didn't know how.
Jenny continued her explanation seeing as the other officers still looked puzzled about why she abandoned her theory concerning the hostage's identity. "It couldn't have been her; she was studying with Professor Oak of Pallet Town. We researched Miss Ketchum's background and found she was a student. We contacted Professor Oak to see if he had any clues, but he testified that on the day and time when the hostage situation occurred, Miss Ketchum was there, in Pallet Town, helping him conduct some research. Professor Oak said she left to continue her field studies; she was already gone when we contacted him. But he mentioned that he received a video call from Miss Ketchum on the morning of the day we spoke to him. That's why it can't be her."
No one could be in two places at once and if the well recognized pokemon researcher Samuel Oak said his student in the laboratory the day of the hostage scene, she was believed to have been there. He would have no motivation to lie in the eyes of the police and his good reputation preceded him. It made Delia wonder just how much Professor Oak knew about her situation to have covered for her like that.
"I guess this area is clear," Jenny finally decided to move on.
Giovanni had started to worry that the Growlithe would discover them if they stayed any longer. He looked at Delia silently, but that was enough for her to understand that he too was curious about what Jenny had said about Oak.
"Growlithe, growl!" One of the pokemon seemed to find something beyond the feeling of drowsiness and the officers were once again alert.
A silent signal from Giovanni to the neighboring tree brought Binks and Ben to in turn signal their pokemon who were hiding in the bushes watching and waiting. Rattata and Pidgey were not rare in the area, thus the Growlithe had been ignoring their scent.
"Rattata!" Rattata ran towards the suspecting Growlithe and dashed past him followed by Pidgey. The two pokemon began to fight, effectively causing a distraction.
"It's probably over a berry or territory, we should leave these wild ones alone," Jenny assumed the scent the Growlithe had picked up belong to those two pokemon and nothing more. "Let's go Growlithe, we're done here." The group of officers and their pokemon finally left.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon.