Diamond 55: Give Me Comrades
Don't Give Me Diamonds
Diamond 55: Give Me Comrades
Things seemed to be running as smoothly as possible within the circumstances for Delia, Giovanni, Ash and Misty. Ash called Brock to let him know he found his mother and she was alright. He noticed that when he pressed the button to end the call at Vermilion, he held it down for a little too long and turned his cell phone off. Unknown to Ash, Brock had tried to call him again, but couldn't get through.
"Ash! Are you alright? I've been trying to call you this whole time," Brock answered his cell phone with a worried tone as soon as he saw Ash's name on the screen.
"We're fine; I'm calling you to let you know. I ran into mom and Giovanni, they're both safe. Team Rocket, or rather, Team Rocket's rivals pretending to be Team Rocket, attacked them. They got away, so don't worry. Actually, I haven't heard the whole story yet, I just wanted to give you a call first. Misty's here with us too and our pokemon of course. My car will probably never run again. I guess I pushed my luck too far having Pikachu recharge the battery," Ash explained hurriedly. He was about to continue venting about his car, he really needed it.
Brock interrupted, "you're all alright? Giovanni is there too?" He reminded himself that he was giving Giovanni the benefit of the doubt. Delia and Ash seemed to trust him. The attack Ash mentioned could be used to explain Delia's state when she arrived. Who knows what happened and how many times they went after her. Her little black cell phone with the red R was still present in Brock's mind. He decided to disregard it as an unimportant detail. It was just a cell phone, it didn't mean anything. Maybe she just couldn't find one with her own initial. A red R usually meant Team Rocket, but there could be exceptions.
"Yeah, we're fine," Ash assured, Brock still sounded very alarmed.
"What was that about someone pretending to be Team Rocket?" Brock spoke as if it was urgent. "do you know what's going on?" He explained what had happened to him, "I was worried, so I went to find Delia. I thought she might be in Viridian City. I couldn't find her and I couldn't contact you. Yolanda was taking care of Rock On while I was in Viridian. She called me to say Team Rocket was there. Apparently they thought Rock On was an enemy base and searched the place. They held her hostage and asked her a lot of things she didn't understand. When they realized it was all a mistake, they left. They didn't even steal anything!"
Ash's face was visibly surprised at Brock's revelation. The expression was not missed by Delia, Giovanni and Misty, though they couldn't hear Brock. "It sounds like there really is a war between gangs. Some other group is pretending to be Team Rocket so the police will go after the real Team Rocket. Then they can take over when Team Rocket and the police are left weakened by their battle. Team Rocket must be really serious about stopping their rivals."
"So this is their battle... I thought what happened at Vermilion City was too much for Team Rocket. I didn't know about it at first. Later I heard about the attack when they aired the news bulletin again." Brock was feeling frustrated with how innocent people were being caught in the battle between Team Rocket and their rivals. "I'm going to stay here just in case they come back. Yolanda doesn't want to call the police..."
"Why not?" Ash asked when Brock went silent in doubt. "You should call the police and tell them what happened." From the corner of his eyes, Ash caught Giovanni shaking his head. Ash thought about what they had discussed concerning the balance of power, "on second thought, you shouldn't call the police right now. Let the two gangs fight each other. Then the police will arrest them when they're weak."
"If you say so," Brock mused over Ash's words, "alright, I won't call the police. I guess there's no choice but to give the situation some time and stay alert." Brock was still uneasy, but he decided to trust Ash.
"Yeah, take care of your siblings. I think we'll spend the night at Misty's place," Cerulean City was the closest to them. Ash glanced at Misty, who nodded in approval. "I'll call you again tomorrow." Since the engine of Ash's car would never run again, they would walk the rest of the way to Cerulean City.
"Alright, be careful," Brock sounded exhausted with stress.
Giovanni was caught in the situation. He didn't want to blow his cover so soon. He was heading to Cerulean City anyway; he had to find a working phone that he could use in private. He would decide if he could stay there until the next day after he communicated with his agents. He didn't have a solid plan. It looked like he would have to improvise as he used to do long ago.
After a long walk, Ash, Misty, Delia and Giovanni made it to the Cerulean City gym. The gym was closed, with all its lights off in the quiet of the night. Misty fished for her keys in her bag. She pulled them out by the Horsea keychain. "It looks like we have the place to ourselves," Misty announced as she led the group inside. She wasn't really expecting her sisters to have returned. "What a day..."
"I'm hungry," Ash announced. When something exciting or worrying happened, it always made him hungry in the end.
Delia and Misty laughed; at least Ash was being himself. They took it as a good sign. Ash was a ray of familiarity in the uncertainty that lay ahead. "I have been meaning to ask for a cake recipe," Misty joked.
"Then lets do it," Delia didn't care if it was late at night. She didn't care she had realized that she needed to learn more recipes before she could truly call herself a chef. Cooking still helped her relax and she didn't feel like going to sleep. Besides, if she was going to become a more skilled cook, the sooner she started practicing, the better.
"Really? Right now?" Misty was taken by surprise, especially when Delia nodded, confirming that it wasn't a joke.
"That's a great idea!" Ash's mouth began to water at the thought.
"Pika!" Pikachu nodded in agreement while Giovanni and Persian watched the scene quietly.
"We might not have all the ingredients," Delia theorized looking thoughtful, "isn't there a little convenience store near here that's open twenty-four seven?"
"Yes, there is, they have a lot of things. Let's go," the distraction was welcomed by Misty. She felt she needed to focus her mind on something simple and cheerful, such as learning a new recipe. She wanted to clear her head of the day's stress.
Giovanni caught on then, thinking that he should have caught on sooner. Delia was giving him the perfect chance to establish communication with headquarters without interruptions. "Do you mind if I use the phone? My cell phone isn't working for some reason."
"No problem, it's right over here," Misty led him to where the video phone was, in a corner of the living room. "They must be worried about you in Viridian City," the gym leader obviously held an important position there. Perhaps he was more important to the city than an average gym leader would be.
"Thanks, I should at least let them know we're alright," Giovanni continued his nice act perfectly. He had practiced it many times in the public eye. He wondered how well he would be able to act after the truth about Ash fully sunk in. Several times he had to make himself stop staring, noticing familiarities he didn't know how he missed before. Fortunately, Ash and Misty were too tired to notice.
The growling of Ash's stomach was perfectly timed to Delia's plan, "we should get the ingredients. Ash, come help us carry the bags." With a casual excuse, Delia led the young couple and Pikachu outside. They departed towards the little convenience store near the gym. Giovanni was left alone with Persian to go about his business in private.
xoxox xox xoxox
At the Viridian Rocket headquarters below the gym, the hunt for traitors continued. "What is the meaning of this?" Two traitorous Rockets found themselves surrounded in the main computer room of the base.
The two men contrasted greatly with each other, one was tall and muscular. The other's physique resembled Binks, thin and fragile. The thin one had short light hair, nearly white, despite being no older than his mid twenties. He had big glasses and a white lab coat over his black Team Rocket uniform. The coat had a small red R on a pocket carrying an assortment of pens. "You're in trouble; we're higher ranked than all of you!" His threat was ineffective due to his frightened shaking. His blue-gray eyes kept looking for an escape route but found none.
The tall man glared, seemingly unfazed by the heavily armed group standing before him. "So Giovanni's grunts are fighting back?" That man also wore a Team Rocket uniform, the shirt was sleeveless revealing his muscular arms. He had dark skin, short curly black hair and brown eyes. "You don't happen to know where Giovanni is, do you?" In order to take control of Team Rocket, Neo Rocket grouped in Kanto, Team Rocket's main base of operations.
Their plan had been to broadcast Giovanni's defeat and subsequent death on TV. They would set the stage for that by forcing him to offer a press conference. The defeat of the leader would put Neo Rocket on top, or so they thought. They expected to gain the support of the rest of Team Rocket with fear. To back them up they had New Tempest. The reestablished gang was Team Rocket's rival in the past. Neo Rocket didn't care for world domination or secrecy. They only wanted power and riches.
Neo Rocket was planning to unite with New Tempest under the name of Tempest. The name of their gang wasn't really important to Neo Rocket anyway. The tall man chuckled cruelly despite the situation he and his cowering ally were in. "Where is he hiding? Where did Giovanni run off to? That coward!"
Jessie and James were offended, their expressions furious. James was just as angry as Jessie was, but she had a special talent for looking absolutely terrifying when she was enraged. Before they could say anything, Meowth jumped forward. He wildly attacked the man who had dared to insult Giovanni, trying to tare him apart with his claws.
The man pushed Meowth off. Meowth went on the attack again, relentlessly scratching until the man threw him against the wall harshly. "Meowth can't take on this guy alone," Jessie threw out a pokeball and Flareon appeared from its red beam. Jessie knew that she was eager to get some action as soon as possible after having laid her egg.
"If you're not going to shoot I'll have to take those weapons away from you," the tall man's shirt had been ripped to shreds and he had many cuts in his upper body. He jumped to take Jessie's weapons, but Flareon let out a massive fire blast without even waiting for Jessie's command. Badly burnt, the man stumbled back. His geeky comrade squealed in a high pitched fearful voice.
Pixel glared at the weak geek, "you give a bad name to geeks everywhere," she huffed angrily, "we're not all wimps!"
The muscular man struggled to fight back despite the injured state he was in. He was knocked back again by Flareon's fire. The sound of approaching foot steps was heard announcing the arrival of more traitorous Rockets. Their appearance was that of typical grunts, with the standard Team Rocket uniforms. Their faces were shrouded in shadows by their black hats. "Get down!" James called out. He pushed Pixel to one side and dived to the other, dragging Jessie down along with him. A missile zoomed over them, exploding when it hit the tall man.
The traitorous grunts at the door cursed loudly. They meant to take out the loyal Rockets, but instead the missile hit one of their own. The skinny geek squeaked in fear again and began to cry.
"You're really asking for it! Flareon fire blast that bazooka!" Jessie commanded. Flareon let out a battle cry, shooting a powerful flame from her mouth. The blast of fire collided with the bazooka held by the traitorous Rocket grunts, causing it to explode.
"Go Wheezing; hold them with your sludge attack!" James scrambled to his feet along with Jessie and sent out his pokemon. Wheezing's attack was effective in its purpose. It detained the injured traitorous grunts in a sticky mess at the door. The two loyal grunts that accompanied Jessie, James and Pixel watched in awe.
"Shut up already!" Pixel lost her patience and kicked the crying geek on the ribs. The action only caused him to wail louder. "That's it, go Peachy, thunderbolt this idiot into silence!" The Pikachu emerged from her pokeball and followed the command. She electrocuted the thin man into fainting.
"You have a Pikachu, very convenient," James commented. He and Jessie had developed a strong perception of Pikachu in general thanks to Ash's Pikachu.
"Indeed," Jessie agreed, "Meowth, get up, we need to make sure these guys can't cause any more trouble and-" Jessie paused, watching as the two loyal Rocket grunts made themselves useful.
The loyal Rocket grunts handcuffed the traitors' hands and feet to prevent them from causing trouble should they escape the sludge. "Don't forget about us," one of the grunts spoke.
"We can detain the traitors here, just keep bringing them over," the other grunt offered.
"That's a good idea," Pixel agreed, "and watch my back while you're at it. I need to figure out what they were doing to the system." Pixel was already sitting in front of the large screen of the main computer. There were also two other screens left and right of her. There was a large keyboard in front of her. It included not only the alphabet, numbers and the usual keys a computer would have, but also abundant extra keys. The additional keys were labeled with different symbols, pictures and abbreviations.
"It looks like they were trying to crack the code to launch the big missiles," Pixel announced as she examined the system. "Fortunately, they didn't have enough time to crack it. Not even the top ranked Rocket geeks know how to crack this program. It was made by one of the Rocket executives, or so I heard. Only the top executives and the boss know the password."
"The bad news is that the general system suffered some extensive damage," Pixel informed. "Especially the communications software and satellite control programs. The system will have to be reformatted to be on the safe side. This is well beyond my current level, but I guess I'll have to try. By the way, is your Meowth alright?"
Meowth had gotten back on his feet, but looked dizzy, "I'm fine, thanks for asking. It's just that all that stuff on the screen is making me dizzy."
"I don't consider myself to be an expert yet, but I think I can at least make a bit of a difference for now. I can't really fix it, but I can try to reduce the damage. I'll work on it, unless I should join the frontlines again?" Pixel looked at Jessie, the self appointed leader of their squad.
"Make sure they're not planning to launch any more missiles. Then see if you can reestablish at least some basic communication," Jessie decided. "We need to detain the traitors somewhere. Your pokemon and those two," she pointed at the two loyal grunts, "can stay here and guard the prisoners while you work. James, our pokemon and I are tough enough to finish the cleanup ourselves."
"Alright, Peachy, Pyro," Pixel let her Charmander out of his pokeball as well. "Guard the prisoners! You two," she looked at the grunts, "try to keep the big guy that got hurt alive; alive and tied up that is. We might get some info out of them later." She then addressed Jessie, James and Meowth, "good luck!"
Meowth reminded Pixel a little of Purry, except Purry wouldn't have allowed her opponents to push her away. She would have aimed for the throat. Purry was also a lot tougher and didn't need much provocation to be violent. On second thought, maybe all that they really had in common was their species. Pixel hoped that wherever Purry was, she was alright, the same for Comet and Laiki.
xoxox xox xoxox
At the Cerulean gym, Giovanni received an unexpected visitor. "Boss," the voice came accompanied by a tapping sound on the living room window. Giovanni stepped away from the video phone for a moment and opened it to find Comet. "I knew it was you I saw. I couldn't contact anyone, I'm glad you're alright."
"What are you doing here and what's the meaning of that?" Giovanni pointed at the green T on Comet's black shirt. The uniform was very similar to Team Rocket's uniform. The most noticeable difference was that the red R was replaced with a green T.
"The enemies are actually two groups. One group is made from people who used to be from the Tempest Gang. The others are traitors that want Team Rocket for themselves, the Neo Rockets. They intend to unite under the name of Tempest. I'm only pretending to join them so I can spy on them," Comet explained. "There is someone who seems to be partially controlling them, the Saffron City mayor. It looks like she's more of a mediator then their boss. I get the impression that the mysterious mayor has her own agenda. Sorry, I couldn't find out her identity, it seems no one knows who she is, even in Saffron City."
"Tempest returned after all these years," Giovanni had not heard that name in a long time. What bothered him the most were the traitors. Team Rocket was a big organization and a few traitors would appear from time to time. He hated that they organized themselves well enough to cause trouble this time. "Those traitors are worse than Tempest, they'll pay for this," Giovanni was angry and frustrated with the situation. He was sick of waiting to do things without bringing more unnecessary attention to Team Rocket. It was time to show them his power; he would solve the problem himself.
"I just got to Cerulean City on a mission for Tempest. I'm still in the process of proving my loyalty. I just hope they don't realize that the information I gave them about Team Rocket were lies. We're going to break into the Pokemon Center and steal the pokemon there. Some Neo Rockets will be there too, not all the uniforms have been changed to Tempest yet," Comet explained. "I'm sure you know where I'm going with this."
"This is an opportunity for me to clear my name," Giovanni caught on right away. "With all the false accusations going around, it's only natural that I would want to conduct my own investigation. It is something the good gym leader of Viridian City would do. I tracked down the villains to this city and happened to be near the Pokemon Center when they broke in. Most of them will be captured, save for a few that will manage to escape," Comet would be among them. "Make sure that your presence is known so that it doesn't look suspicious when I conveniently arrive."
"You can count on me! I guess this means we'll have to battle. We're planning to break into the Pokemon Center at midnight," Comet always got excited when he thought about pokemon battles. He would make sure to put up a fight, but at the same time make Tempest look bad.
"I'll be there," Giovanni assured, he really needed to let some stress out in a pokemon battle. "For now, return to your Tempest duties before they find you."
"Yes, sir!" Comet hopped out the window again and disappeared into the night.
Outside, Purry was waiting for Comet. She had caught up to him as he was leaving Saffron City. Comet departed towards Cerulean City alone with Purry in his little brown car. Luke had given it to him as a tribute to the original chocolate bar Giovanni used to have. "I'll need your help, Purry. I have an idea."
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon.