Diamond 23: Give me Compassion
Diamond 23: Give me Compassion
Giovanni seemed to finally wake up from his focused trance when he finished reading and re-reading Professor Oak's notes about Mew, with his interest growing immensely. By reading between the lines he could theorize that Professor Oak was hinting at having seen a legendary many years ago, though he never once actually wrote about seeing Mew, Giovanni could interpret it as nothing else.
He found that the car was approaching the Viridian Gym; good, he could have the scientists from the local lab look at the data and determine how good it truly was from a scientific stand point, beyond how good he believed it was and wanted it to be. If it all went well, then he could start a major investigation project and perhaps involve New Island after all.
The notes mentioned theories about Mew's genetic structure and brought up similarities found in the genetic structure of other pokemon, using that information to reconstruct Mew as a missing link. Unless some actual DNA was ever found, it was all a matter of theories; however, they were very interesting theories, too solid and detailed to be myths.
On a more optimistic perspective, perhaps some Mew DNA did exist somewhere, or an actual Mew. It may be a bit of a stretch, but Giovanni was one to dream big and though he managed to keep his feet on the ground for the most part, he certainly did have vast ambitions.
The car came to a stop in the Viridian Gym's driveway and Giovanni and Delia made their way inside the gym and to the elevator that led to the underground laboratory. The local lab was no where near as big as the one on New Island, but it was convenient to have it so close. "Your keys," Delia returned the silvery keys on the ruby R keychain, her tone sharp and her gaze on the elevator wall.
She was upset and it didn't take a genius to figure out why. She must be feeling ignored with him paying so much attention to the research once he got his hands on it and returning to the gym instead of going on the date Delia wanted. She had helped him a lot in obtaining Professor Oak's research.
Despite Giovanni's ability to talk Oak into falling into a casual conversation and relaxing, he knew that the professor would have been on his guard if Delia wasn't there and she sped up the process greatly. If she had not been there, Professor Oak would have asked about her and find it odd she didn't visit, which would affect his willingness to easily share information.
Having Delia visit Professor Oak alone might make him wonder about just on whose hands the research would end up. Other than rumors, Oak had no recent information about Giovanni, despite knowing enough to understand he was involved in a lot of illegal activities, but he new little in the personal level. If Giovanni had not been there to put up a nice act and reassure the researcher that Team Rocket really wasn't so bad, he wouldn't have said all the things he spoke of.
Though she still didn't seem to be fully used to Team Rocket, despite having been with him for so long, Giovanni knew Delia was trying and she had been helpful and loyal, showing her true potential more every day. She just had to continue opening up to the possibilities and then one day, she would be ready closely help him manage the ever growing organization.
She leaned on his shoulder, almost unconsciously, as if trying to tell herself that this was enough. He kissed her unexpectedly, but she pulled back, though she had a smile on her face at the sudden action, "later Charmander, let's not get caught again."
The elevator doors opened and they were in the lab, while Giovanni handed the data to the scientists and discussed it, Delia found herself remembering a similar scene in that very elevator back when the new underground level was still being prepared. Giovanni had kissed her then too, except she didn't pull back and they did not part on time before the doors opened, being seen like that by several Team Rocket members.
Delia blushed bright red and later privately scolded Giovanni for being such a Charmander, though he assured her the team's assumptions most likely went well beyond the images they witnessed. This Delia knew to be true, having been regarded as Giovanni's lover before she was.
The memories made Delia wonder if someday, with the proper amount of convincing and temptation, she would even come to accept the true Team Rocket and forget her ideal image of it as a righteous group of vigilantes. She pushed the thoughts away, albeit her line had been blurred and moved over time, she still had to draw the line somewhere, and while she could tolerate some level of troublemaking, there were some things she could not accept.
Delia's thoughts led her back to her original mission to stop Aayla and Binks from making a terrible mistake. She silently reproached Giovanni with her eyes for being such a master of distractions and mentally kicked herself for allowing herself to be distracted. That was it, she would force herself to focus, once Giovanni was done talking to his local scientists, as she was certain that he was too concentrated in the conversation to even notice any interruptions, she would claim the attention he owed her and demand to go to New Island. She would personally make sure everything was alright and he would be there to back her up, like it or not.
Delia watched impatiently as the scientist inserted the disk into a computer, both he and Giovanni reading, with the scientist occasionally muttering "hmm, yes, that makes sense," with a tone of fascination.
Determined to at least do something while she waited, Delia decided to call New Island again, finding a quiet corner in the lab to do so. Unfortunately, the line was dead, though it should come as no surprise; Aayla had to destroy the phone eventually after subjecting it to such abuse.
Delia frustratingly clicked her little black cell phone shut, glaring at the red R on top of it. Team Rocket had its own communications network now, but that was no good if there was no device to receive the signal. She would have to find another number to call.
xoxox xox xoxox
After speaking to the secretary, Delia wasted no time before called New Island. "Hello?" Binks sounded exhausted and alarmed when he answered the phone.
"It's Delia, how is Aayla?" Delia cut to the chase, her tone warning Binks he better not lie.
"Fine, fine," Binks nervously replied, "She's resting, recovering, sleeping, deeply, soundly, yes," he rambled, "I accidentally made her go to sleep... I... um... I..."
"Put her in a coma!?" Delia loudly exclaimed, making several heads turn in her direction as she made her way down the halls, returning from the secretary's desk to the lab.
"Unconscious doesn't always mean coma, but she's well, she's been sleeping for a while and... I'm sorry!" Binks broke out in hysterics. "She told me to, I wanted to give her what she wanted; I wanted to be useful to her!"
"You idiot!" Delia scolded; she clenched her fists squeezing the little cell phone in her hand. She didn't notice the curious and frightened looks around her. They assumed she was ordering for someone to be beaten to a coma and yelling at the unfortunate person that got on her bad side. "I'm coming, prepare yourself." When Delia glanced at her surroundings, her fiery glare furious, everyone who had paused to listen to the conversation quickly went away, but she didn't pay too much attention to them as she hurried down to the lab.
xoxox xox xoxox
Delia wasn't sure about what she missed being spoken between Giovanni and the leader of the local science team, but upon her return, she heard them mention research and New Island. She didn't hear the part about taking DNA apart and putting it back together to try to reconstruct Professor Oak's theories in living pokemon.
Giovanni approached her after telling the scientist to carry on with the plan, though she didn't really catch what the plan was. Before he could speak, she demanded, "I want to go to New Island."
Giovanni found the request unexpected at first, thinking Delia was upset because she wanted to go on a date and never got it. Then he remembered her original request concerning Binks and Aayla, it something that he had tried to make her forget. "Alright, let's go," he needed to take care of business there anyway to start getting things ready for the new project.
A small clue could lead to a big discovery, so even if that tiny clue was a puzzle in itself, it was worth it. New Island would study the structure of all known pokemon and work to establish Mew's structure based on their connection. They would also serve to determine Mew's habitat as specifically as possible and agents would be sent to investigate and gather samples for further study.
"Delia, why are you upset? Is it because we didn't have a date? We can go now," Giovanni knew very well she would refuse, but pretended to be unaware of the cause of her anger.
"Aayla is unconscious, she's in a coma," the elevator doors opened on the first floor, they exited and went outside the gym.
"What happened?" Giovanni inquired calmly.
"Binks tried to experiment on her, she told him to and the fool did it," Delia practically growled in anger, perhaps Giovanni's calmness bothered her more than anything. "Aayla's life may be in danger and it's... it's..." Delia's words of uncertain blame were interrupted by the loud noise and strong wind of a landing helicopter, its shiny black surface reflecting the sun.
Both Delia and Giovanni boarded the helicopter, with Meowth still perched on his shoulder. "To New Island," Giovanni instructed and the pilot took off again.
Meowth stood with his hind legs on Giovanni's shoulder, with his front paws on the glass window next to him, curiously looking out, his tail, wagging in front of Giovanni's nose. Giovanni tried to remove Meowth from his shoulder to get the little pokemon's tail out of the way, but Meowth complained, wanting to be able to reach the window and look out. Meowth finally settled down when Giovanni held him up to the window at a more comfortable angle.
Delia let out a deep breath and leaned back on her seat, closing her eyes for a moment. Why did Meowth have to be so cute when she was so angry at Giovanni? He was always surprisingly patient with the little pokemon. She hated how she couldn't stay angry at him anymore, since when had her determination become so weak? Since when did she start to center her world around him and look away from all else?
"You don't like flying?" Giovanni finally broke the silence that had formed.
"Flying is fine, you know that's not why I'm upset," Delia replied as sharply as she could manage. "I'm worried about Aayla. Binks sounded very stressed," she emphasized, as if wanting to contrast how she was also stressed and Giovanni didn't appear to be.
"Binks is overly dramatic, he gets frightened easily, I'm sure everything is perfectly fine," Giovanni's voice was calm, but with a tiny hint of concern.
Delia wasn't sure if Giovanni was trying to comfort her, or disregarding the situation, or perhaps both, but she decided to have hope. None the less, a part of her was starting to think that hope was a traitor, because she had had gone far in the opposite direction of where she should go by continuing to hope. Yet that part was silenced by her desire to continue holding on to that hope regardless of what it would bring. The happy ending had to come, it simply had to, and if she gave up, she wouldn't see it.
"I'll reserve judgment until we get there," Delia didn't say anything else during the rest of the flight to New Island and neither did Giovanni.
xoxox xox xoxox
Time passed very slowly for Delia, normally for Giovanni and too fast for Meowth, who was enjoying the view out the window. New Island finally appeared in the horizon at noon, the helicopter landed smoothly and the passengers got out. They were greeted by a scientist with a white lab coat, thick glasses and graying hair, who spoke excitedly about having received the communication from his colleague at Viridian City.
Delia decided to ignore them; they seemed to be able to ignore her rather easily. Giovanni and the scientist turned right inside the lab and Delia decided to disappear in the opposite direction. She approached a random researcher and inquired about Binks and Aayla, being directed to the upper floor.
xoxox xox xoxox
When the door suddenly opened, Binks jumped startled, his fear increasing when he saw who was at the door and how angry she looked. However, the panic seemed to fade away in seconds, being replaced by a solemn look. "I'm sorry," he appeared to be willing to accept any punishment that came his way, even his Rattata stood sadly beside him as if drained of hope.
Aayla was unconscious in a bed in that white room, the walls, the ceiling, the floor, the sheets; it was all an endless brilliant white unlike the dark grays and metallic silver shades that dominated the other floors. Delia approached, gently placing her hand on Aayla's cold forehead. She retreated immediately and stared at the machine next to the bed, which beeped at a steady rhythm measuring Aayla's heartbeats. "She's so cold," but she was alive.
"I'm a foolish man," Binks lamented; "I wanted to be strong, to be admired, to make a discovery. Most of all I wanted to give Aayla what she wanted. The ultimate power was her dream originally, she confessed it to me. She put those ideas into Venom's head back when they were a couple; she told me all about it. Then one day he abandoned her." Binks retrieved a small pink book from the pocket of his white lab coat. "This was Amethyst's diary; Aayla found it that time when Team Rocket took the Viridian Gym. Venom abandoned her for Amethyst and her riches, then left her to be captured by the police to soothe Amethyst's jealousy. Confirming this from her rival's point of view made Aayla thirstier for power and vengeance. I wanted to make her dream come true; I wanted to make her happy. I didn't care if she always thought I was a useless weakling, I just wanted to please her, to grant her wish... I love her."
"Rattata..." the small pokemon stood at Binks' feet, looking up at her trainer, the salty water of his tears falling on her sad little face.
"Sometimes dreams can turn into nightmares," Delia had arrived furious at Giovanni and Binks, but in the end, each person was the master of their own destiny and perhaps Aayla would have pursued her dream even without Giovanni's resources and Binks' help.
Delia found that she couldn't be angry at Binks for something he did out of love, but who was to blame then? She couldn't blame Giovanni for accepting he couldn't control their lives and letting them be. Maybe it would have been worse if they attempted this in a place lacking his vast resources, a place where there were no contingency measures for the failure of the process. Perhaps it was because Giovanni lent them his resources that Aayla was still alive.
Whose fault was it then? Aayla's for having such a power hungry goal, for wanting the power of pokemon to herself? Delia couldn't possibly blame a woman who was fighting for her life unconscious in a bed. She hoped that at least her dreams were pleasant.
"This isn't anyone's fault," Delia cried, she didn't want to toss the blame, because she knew that if she did, she would throw it at herself. She would blame herself for losing contact with Aayla and the others, for not acting fast enough, for not being insistent and doing something instead choosing to be patient. She didn't want a culprit; she wanted a miracle.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon.