Diamond 29: Give me Loyalty
Diamond 29: Give me Loyalty
The tension had broken into a heated argument and Han decided he would not listen anymore. "Flareon!" He called out two fire pokemon of the same kind in blind rage. "Don't move, you're going to help us like it or not!" He clearly intended to use Delia as a hostage against Team Rocket.
"Cloyster, Kingler!" Delia called out her pokemon as well, "I'm not letting you take me hostage and I won't let you hurt anyone else!"
"You don't have a choice!" Han yelled absolutely enraged, "Leah, Luke, help me!"
"Stop this bro, I like won't help you, man!" Luke refused, pained and sad.
Leah held a pokeball in her hands unsure of what to do, but before the battle could truly start, the doors and windows were broken and a flood of black uniforms with red Rs entered the house.
"Flame thrower!" Han's orders echoed along with the commands issued to various pokemon. Delia didn't have time to battle; she was pulled away by the crowd of black uniforms with faces she was no longer familiar with.
"Cloyster, Kingler!" Delia was pushed out of the house, leaving her pokemon in the middle of the battle.
"Delia," Giovanni was there, she knew all along he was listening to the conversation from the small transmitter microphone she hid. He tried to lead her away from the chaos, but she didn't want to move.
"Cloyster and Kingler are in there, Luke and Leah too and... everyone," Delia watched the small house, there was no room for another person or pokemon in the tiny structure and battling in such close quarters was dangerous.
"There's nothing you can do," he was right and she knew it, but she still didn't want to leave. "Delia, let's go."
"Wait," she ran towards the disarray of people and pokemon, making her way just close enough to recall her pokemon into their pokeballs, then was pushed back out again. "Cloyster, Kingler, I hope you didn't get hurt," she held the two pokeballs tightly.
"Is that all?" Giovanni asked impatient and disappointed.
Delia looked back at the house, listening to the noises of the battle, the mix of commands, growls, battle cries, and cries of pain. "This is not how it's supposed to be," she was in shock as Giovanni led her away from the destruction and from that point on, everything was a blur.
There was the noise of a helicopter, the ground was further away, there were clouds, the ocean below and a little Meowth looking up at her with worry. She heard voices, orders being given, yelling and anger. "What do you mean he escaped? I don't care if he planned it, how could he slip away? A tunnel under the house? Follow it! You incompetent fools better capture him! Take the others to New Island, don't let them escape and cover this up quickly, we can't draw any more attention right now."
Time passed but Delia wasn't sure how long, she only remembered bits and pieces of what happened. "We were lucky that the police was busy focusing on their investigation in the area around the volcano, they could have been troublesome. This happened because he doubted Team Rocket's power, but Han and his allies will know not to challenge us again. From now on there will be more training for all members," Giovanni spoke of his plans, annoyance and anger clearly showing.
xoxox xox xoxox
The scenery had changed; night had already fallen when the helicopter landed on New Island. "Delia? Have you even been listening? You didn't follow the plan, you lost it; I'm disappointed." Giovanni left, while Delia still sat in the helicopter, 'I'm disappointed,' the words rung out in her head.
She was alone in the helicopter for a while; the pilot had left as well when Giovanni got off right after they landed. Meowth had jumped off Delia's lap, calling out to her to follow them, then ran after Giovanni as he walked further away, called out once more, and finally gave up and hurried to catch up with Giovanni.
"This isn't how it's supposed to be," Delia whispered to no one, she had forced herself to be energetic and optimistic, but she was tired of that. Finally taking in her surroundings, Delia tried to organize her thoughts. All the stress she kept bottle up exploded; it was the stress she thought was cured with one day of happiness. Maybe there could be more days like that, but instead of looking at the bigger picture, she knew she was only seeing the portion she liked and ignoring the rest.
She finally exited the helicopter, her expression was serious and her pace firm, but her gaze was lost. She made her way inside the facilities of New Island, blocking out the sounds and images around her. She approached the first person who dared to make eye contact, "where have the prisoners been taken?"
"They are in the basement," the scientist nervously replied. Delia didn't waste a second before going down to the basement.
xoxox xox xoxox
Instead of the shades of gray that dominated the upper floors, the basement was effulged in darkness, all pure black save for the areas directly below the dim lamps that projected a weak beam of light. There were rows of cells, mostly empty, save for three that were occupied. Two of those were in the middle of the row and one at the very end. Growling was heard from the cell at the end of the hall, but Delia couldn't see the source.
In the other two occupied cells were Luke and Leah. Luke heard the approaching footsteps and looked at Delia, immediately apologizing. "I'm like so sorry, you know? I totally shouldn't have like asked you to come and I like shouldn't have tried to stop Han on my own like in secret, you know? I should have just like been loyal to Team Rocket, man! But that's like over now, you know? Han's like not my bro anymore, it's him, but not like him, you know? I wish I could like fix this. I respect Giovanni a lot, you know? That's why I like never..." He stopped; there was no point in saying such things now. He had liked Delia for a long time, but he would never try to openly compete with Giovanni whom he admired so much.
"That's not the way it is," Leah spoke, noticing the one standing there was Delia and not a stranger from the lab. "Han is nice and considerate; he's sweet and kind, but also adventurous and brave. I don't care about Team Rocket anymore, but that man dishonored Han's memory and I want him to pay. I'm sick of being in denial; I hope Team Rocket finds him," her pain, frustration and bitterness were evident in Leah.
"Have you been interrogated?" Delia finally spoke, trying to keep her determination strong and her voice neutral.
"Not yet, dudette," Luke admitted, with a tone that hinted that he had no energy left for secrecy anyway. "It's all like a mess, the team is like too big and hard to manage, you know? It'll have to like totally be retruc... re-struc... like made all neat and stuff, you know? I can like see why things are like slow right now and kind of like chaotic, you know?" Maybe they didn't think he would talk, but Luke was repentant for his betrayal to Team Rocket, all for a man who was nothing like his brother at all.
"Restructured again, yes, I know Giovanni has been trying to keep up, but he'll have to delegate more tasks and make sure there's better communication or he won't be able to keep things running." Delia knew some of the members who had been there from the beginning were starting to play a bigger role, especially Archer, Ariana, Proton and Petrel. The four participated in the management of Team rocket and the negotiations process. Other original members such Luke and Ben preferred to be out on the field. Delia took a deep breath and looked at the guards, "leave us."
They stood unsure, not wanting to leave, "but we need to stay, because..."
"That's an order," Delia spoke more firmly, her gaze stern.
"Yes, ma'am," one of the guards left, though the other kept looking back and forth between the path his companion took, banishing into the darkness, and Delia who was waiting.
"Just go," a more familiar voice encouraged and the remaining guard nodded and left. The man who had arrived was Binks, but there was something different about him. His strangely cheerful expression, messy hair, blood stained lab coat and the look in his eyes, all held a certain psychotic tone. "It's ironic isn't it, how the world spins around. Here I am about to become a legend of science."
"Binks, what happened to you?" Delia knew there was something wrong, his appearance made it obvious, plus he spoke as if he wasn't speaking to her, as if he carried a monologue no one would listen to.
"How are you today, my beloved curse?" He walked to the cell at the end of the hall. "I kept my promise, you're strong now, but you broke yours, you said you'd be okay, that you would, no matter what, still be yourself. Come now, my rank depends on it, it's not official yet, not until I show proof," his eyes shone with insanity as his smile widened.
Delia curiously approached puzzled and worried; the being inside the cell could hardly be called human. It was a strange creature with bruises and cuts all over its body, covered in dry blood. It had long fangs and claws, choppy violet hair, dirty and rough, but the feature that stood out the most were the bright green eyes, angry and wild.
xoxox xox xoxox
Meanwhile, far away... It had been a while since Haunter started wandering around free and more so lost. His trainer was no longer able to keep a pokemon and her scientist friend had freed him saying "I am not worthy of training you." Haunter felt an immense sadness for his past trainer, but didn't know what to do. He flew away, wishing to get away from the pain.
He had been wandering around aimlessly when he found a tower in Lavender Town, far away from New Island where he was released. The tower felt welcoming so he let himself in, floating inside to the very last floor, which didn't seem to match the others. The final floor of the tower was filled with toys, unlike the lonely darkness of the lower floors. This room did not have the eerie atmosphere that dominated most of the tower, or the multiple layers of dust. It made Haunter wonder if there was someone living there and his silent question was soon answered.
"Ghastly?" Another ghost pokemon arrived, curiously inquiring about the visitor with a surprised and uncertain 'hello?' looking at Haunter shyly.
"Gengar, Gengar?" One more ghost pokemon appeared, this one fully evolved and wanting to know, 'who are you?' asking with a little more confidence than the younger one, though not really challenging.
Haunter replied in pokemon language, which a human would be unable to understand, 'I'm a wild pokemon, I guess...' he wasn't sure what else to call himself. 'My trainer couldn't keep me anymore.' Strange salty water came from his eyes again; he had thought ghosts didn't cry, but he was proven wrong.
The other two ghost pokemon knew Haunter didn't want to go into the details of his past. Ghastly voiced quietly, 'the same thing happened to us.' Their trainers were also unable to keep them, though their fate might not have been as bad as that of Haunter's trainer.
Gengar stepped forward with an offer, feeling that he and his younger brother could identify with this newcomer. 'If you have no place to go, you can stay here with us. We'll play all night and sleep all day until we forget about our worries.'
'Yes, you should stay,' Ghastly encouraged, with a gentle smile different from his kind's usual expression, matching his brother's supportive tone. 'We'll tell each other jokes, if we play and laugh, we won't be sad anymore!'
Haunter agreed and remained in the tower at Lavender Town with his new friends for years, until one day, a boy revived his curiosity for the outside world. Haunter decided to follow the boy at least for a little while. He didn't know why, but even if he was fond of the boy, he wanted a different kind of trainer, a strong young woman. If there really was a reason for this preference and he had forgotten it, there must have also been a good reason to forget about it.
xoxox xox xoxox
At the laboratory in New Island, Delia stared at the creature before her. She was so angry, so frustrated and so very disappointed that she could not say anything, or even show any form of expression. It was as if she had too many emotions and they cancelled each other out leaving Delia with empty despair. "Aayla..."
"Be careful, she bites," Binks took a small camera from his lab coat pocket and filmed Aayla for a few seconds, before turning off the device and returning it to his pocket. "See you later," he walked away, as if he had ceased to live, or perhaps his mind was living elsewhere, in a place where his perception varied greatly from the truth.
Delia finally felt her warm tears run down her face. "It all fell apart," she whispered, then she forced herself to stop and dried her tears. "One last time, if I can't fix this now, it's all over." It would be her last attempt to pick up the pieces. "Luke, Leah, please tell me, where did Han go?"
"The tunnel like leads to the place where the construction is, you know? The people who are like working there, Han like told me about them, but they're not all like traitors to Team Rocket, you know? Some don't like know, what's going on, you know?" Luke sounded exhausted and sad.
"They are planning an attack on New Island, Han said they would do it if they convinced Captain Adoy to cooperate and use his ship," Leah revealed, she didn't care if she was left to die in that cell. She didn't care about anything except stopping that man from staining Han's memory further.
Delia nodded, "thank you," she took her small black cell phone with the red R. Giovanni was somewhere on New Island, in the laboratory, but there was no time to waste looking for him. Besides, Delia had a plan to carry out that he would not approve of. "Giovanni, prepare New Island to defend against a possible attack by sea. Also, you should know that most of the Cinnabar Island construction crew are traitors, but not all of them. I'm going to end this battle now; we'll talk about the future of Team Rocket when I get back." She didn't give him time to reply and she didn't explain herself further before she ended the call and looked at the caged being who was once Aayla. "If it's okay with you, please be my partner for this mission, Aayla. It will be Team Rocket's last mission as a criminal organization or my last mission as a member of Team Rocket."
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. Aayla's Haunter is the same Haunter that later follows Ash and helps in his battle with Sabrina, Gengar and Ghastly were from the Phantom Patrol.