Diamond 56: Give me Satisfaction
Diamond 56: Give me Satisfaction
The main computer system at the Viridian Rocket headquarters detected an incoming call. It managed to pass through the system with the limited glitch filled functions that Pixel was able to partially restore. Curious about it, she put it through, even if it could be a transmission from the enemy. If it was, she would pretend she was on their side and get information. To her surprise the video call was from Giovanni, "boss!"
Giovanni had seen this girl before, Pixel or something like that. She was a low ranked agent a step above a grunt. "What's happening at headquarters, why are you answering this call?"
"I'm not sure who you were trying to contact, but the communications system collapsed. Neo Rocket, the traitors, caused it. I was trying to restore it. Some other agents and I are cleaning up HQ, catching the traitors and stuff." Pixel wasn't sure how Giovanni would take the news about Jessie and James. She didn't feel good about having to be the one to give him the report about that particular detail.
Giovanni had many things to ask. Before he could, someone else appeared on the screen behind Pixel. The girl turned around to look at the man who had arrived. "I'll take it from here, rookie."
"Archer," Giovanni recognized the new arrival.
Pixel blinked and looked back and forth between Giovanni and Archer before finally moving out of the way to stand behind Archer.
Archer opened a window of code on the screen beside the one containing Giovanni's video call and began to fix things in the system. "I'll have the communications system up and running soon. I'll come up with some better security for the future. I hope you don't mind, but after the communications system collapsed, the four of us decided to move on our own," Archer was referring to Ariana, Proton, Petrel and himself. "I just arrived at the Viridian headquarters. Before you say it, don't worry, the other regions are safe. We're not neglecting our duties by coming to Kanto."
More people entered the Viridian control room. It was a group of Rocket grunts led by Ariana and Petrel. "We secured the detention facilities. We can move the prisoners there now, get to it!" The grunts got to work while Ariana noticed just who was on the screen. "Don't try to do everything on your own so much, you can count on us." Without waiting for Giovanni's reply, Ariana left along with the grunts and Petrel.
"I should go with them, right?" Pixel looked around, unsure of what to do.
"You were trying to fix things, weren't you?" Archer took his own miniature lucky seven computer and handed it to Pixel. It had many programs that were custom made and not found anywhere else. "Plug it in and follow my lead so we can fix this faster."
"Yes, sir!" Pixel jumped at the opportunity to do something high tech with someone so high ranked.
"If something goes wrong in the other regions," Giovanni didn't have to finish for the message to get through.
"I know, I know, don't worry. The enemies are not many in comparison to the number of loyal members. They gathered in Kanto to take you out, the other regions are fine," Archer insisted. "Watch your back, the enemy might get desperate and attack you. It's clear they want you dead. Proton went to Saffron City to investigate who's behind this. He got a lead from Miyamoto's daughter when we got here."
"She was fired a long time ago!" That was the last thing Giovanni needed, help from someone he fired.
Archer sighed and paused his rapid typing to massage his temples for a moment. He guessed it would be a headache to deal with this issue and he was right. Giovanni was a great leader ninety-nine percent of the time. When he got especially stubborn, prideful or reckless, he was not easy to deal with. Archer resumed his typing as he spoke, "Giovanni, please be reasonable. The information from Miyamoto's daughter is the best clue we have right now. Her partner is here as well. They're helping clean up headquarters. I'm not fully aware of what's going on, but we're going to find out. We'll be careful," Archer paused, sending something to Pixel, "debug this code for me, rookie, you should be able to catch most of the bugs by logic."
"Yes, sir!" Pixel chirped and started reading through the code. She was looking for endless loops, missing variables and contradictory conditions, running try catch scripts.
xoxox xox xoxox
"We're back!" Delia cheerfully and loudly announced as she entered the Cerulean gym with Misty, Ash and Pikachu. Albeit she tried to take her time at the store, Ash kept complaining. He wanted to go back so that the cake would be ready soon and he could eat it.
In the living room, Giovanni finished the call quickly, "we'll talk later. You and the others better not let anything slip out of place in your regions. I'll take care of the enemy myself. Don't call me back at this number."
"What are you going to-" Archer's question was cut off as the call was ended.
xoxox xox xoxox
The loud sound of a gunshot echoed in the underground Rocket base at Viridian. The bullet passed between Jessie and James. "My hair!" Jessie screamed as she saw a few strands of red land at her feet. Fortunately, Flareon's flame thrower melted the gun in the traitor's hand before he could shoot again.
Another traitor tried to sneak up on Jessie and James from behind. Her gun met the same fate as her partner's thanks to Growlie. The pokemon was still recovering, but would never accept being left out of the fight. "Well done Growlie! Wheezing, sludge!"
At the same time Jessie commanded, "Arbok, bind!" The strategy was effective. Flareon and Growlie would take care of the weapons. Then Arbok and Wheezing would restrain the traitors until they could be handcuffed and taken away. Laiki had returned to headquarters along with the three grunts that went to Rock On with her. They joined the traitor hunt and were investigating another area of the large underground headquarters.
Further ahead there was a fork in the underground metal corridors. It went in three different directions. Jessie and James came from one side, while Ariana and Petrel appeared from the other. From the third hallway, Butch and Cassidy ran towards Jessie and James. They couldn't see Ariana and Petrel from their angle. "What's going on here? We returned to HQ to find that it's a war zone! Weren't you fired? Is this your doing?" Cassidy accused Jessie.
"Cassidy!" Jessie growled the name in a poisonous voice.
"And Batch," James knew there was a possibility that they would run into those two. He was hoping they didn't.
"It's Butch!" The green haired man corrected in indignation. No one ever seemed to get his name right.
"Cassidy, Botch," Ariana came into view at the point where the three underground hallways met. Butch considered pointing out that was not his name, but Ariana was very high ranked so he remained silent. "Since you're here, make yourselves useful hunting down the traitors. Here's a copy of the list of suspects." Ariana handed Cassidy a paper.
"Yes ma'am, but what about them?" Cassidy glared at Jessie. She was looking forward to hearing the Rocket executive sentence them to a harsh punishment.
"They are on our side and have worked quite well in the mission to secure headquarters," Ariana's words left Cassidy in frozen shock. Butch kept looking back and forth between Cassidy, Ariana, Jessie and James. He was overwhelmed by confusion.
"Meowth, that's right!" Meowth cheered making his presence known, with a look of satisfaction. Jessie had the biggest grin out of all of them.
"You know what Gio will say," Petrel reminded Ariana quietly.
"Let's give them a little reward for their loyalty. I'll leave Giovanni to Arch. Maybe he can talk him into taking them back. Keep an eye on the hunt; I'm going to see how Arch is doing," Ariana announced. She hurried down the metal hall, her footsteps echoing lightly.
xoxox xox xoxox
Later, Ash was in the Cerulean gym's kitchen along with Giovanni, Delia and Misty. "Then the real bad guys, Tempest, are going to attack the Cerulean Pokemon Center at midnight?" Ash summarized for confirmation. Misty was mixing some cake batter while Delia measured ingredients and added them to a bowl.
"If my sources are correct; I don't want to jump to any conclusions. With all those false accusations I had to investigate and try to clear my name," Giovanni explained.
Ash was too excited to question Giovanni's theory. Ash didn't even ask about his sources, he had time to call for an update while they were gone. Misty was curious about that detail, but the safety of the pokemon was more important. Maybe Giovanni had hired a detective or something. At least Ash was distracted enough so that he stopped eating the chocolate chips for a few minutes. Otherwise they might run out before they could be added to the cake.
"Yes, that makes sense," Ash reached for the open bag of chocolate chips once again. He found it wasn't on the counter anymore.
On the floor, Pikachu and Persian were having a tug of war with the bag. It was torn in half with chocolate chips falling all over the floor. Persian hissed in indignation and jumped on Giovanni's lap. He demanded attention to be consoled for the loss of the chocolate chips. He was not eating anything from the floor. Pikachu shrugged and began to gather the chocolate chips in a piece of the plastic bag. Persian didn't want them anymore so he had them all to himself.
Ash reached for the other bag of chocolate chips that was yet to be opened. Delia took it away and gave him a bowl full of batter to mix. "Don't eat it, you have to wait until it's baked," she warned. She wasn't sure where Giovanni was going with his sudden revelation that the Cerulean Pokemon Center was suspected to be in danger. She didn't think it was anything particularly bad, so she didn't try to stop his plans.
"Since it's not certain, there's no need to cause a commotion. Besides, if they see the police, they might run away," Giovanni reasoned, leading the logic exactly as he wanted.
Ash nodded in agreement, "that's why we have to catch them in the act, right?" He assumed Giovanni intended to go to the Pokemon Center and was asking him to come along by revealing this information.
"Exactly," it was risky to take anyone along with him. Yet having extra witnesses on his side would also be beneficial. "I'm planning to have a look around the area when it's close to midnight. I don't want to cause any trouble if this suspicion turns out to be wrong."
"Okay, then we'll have a look around. If nothing happens, it's alright, but if it does, we'll stop them!" Ash cheered.
Delia decided not to worry about the situation too much. "You'll be like vigilantes?" She grinned, reminding Giovanni of her past wish.
"Yes, exactly!" Ash loved the idea, "you'll come too, right Misty?"
Misty agreed with determination, "count me in! We can't let them steal the pokemon."
"I'll be going as well," Delia happily announced, even if it was part of some act or plan Giovanni had, she still enjoyed the idea. She liked pretending that Giovanni and Ash were righteous vigilantes like in her fantasies from long ago. Even if the dream only lasted a little while, she would grant herself that much.
"But mom, you don't have any pokemon with you," Ash pointed out.
"I know, Mimey is back home. He knows how to look after himself, so he'll be fine. There's plenty of food left in the refrigerator that only needs to be put in the microwave and he makes great sandwiches. I bet he's keeping the house very clean. He must have finished the laundry a long time ago," Delia mused aloud.
This came as no surprise for Ash and Misty, but Giovanni had to ask, "who is Mimey?"
"My Mr. Mime," Delia replied with a smile. "I should introduce him to you, Persian and your other pokemon later."
"Your Mr. Mime does chores?" Not even Giovanni had thought about having pokemon servants. He thought they wouldn't be able to do the chores properly.
"Oh yes, he's very helpful and he always looks like he's having fun," Delia fell into the conversation naturally. She was pleased that they could talk about something casual. "Mimey helps with the dishes, the laundry, cleaning the house, watering the garden and works as a waiter at my little restaurant." The cake batters were finished and placed into round molds. One of the batters was dark, thick and chocolaty. Another was paler than the first and had chocolate dots. The last was less in a mount, only a thin disk in a yellow color.
"You were always good at getting pokemon to do what you wanted," Giovanni recalled, he gave her two pokeballs. "If you insist on coming along, you'll need some pokemon. You should take Cloyster and Kingler back." The only pokemon he was carrying were his original team. He didn't have any of his newer pokemon on hand, but the ones he had would have to be enough.
Delia smiled, holding the two pokeballs containing her pokemon from long ago. "Just like before," she whispered.
It was ironic; they would be facing Tempest, their enemies of the past. They would probably only find new members in that night's mission, but it was still Tempest. The Cerulean City Pokemon Center was also the place where they first met. Giovanni discreetly glanced at Ash and Misty. It was enough to remind Delia that they had an audience and she shouldn't reveal too much.
Delia reacted by changing the subject and explaining for how long the cake batters had to be left in the oven. Not even the thought of food distracted Ash enough to stop him from asking Giovanni, "what do you mean take Cloyster and Kingler back?"
Giovanni didn't mean to let that slip, he lowered his guard and it just happened. He didn't realize until that moment that his stress had been reduced, despite the circumstances. Yet he still had a feeling of numb confusion. It was obvious that Archer and the others wanted to be trusted to handle the situation at Viridian City. He would give them that and take care of his own mission in Cerulean City. Then he would put an end to the situation one way or another.
Giovanni focused on Ash's question. The fact that he was his son was something Giovanni had been trying not to think about too much, but couldn't help it but to think about it constantly. It was decided that, if things went as planned, Ash would not know the whole truth until after Team Rocket's business was settled. Giovanni determined that what was said was only a small harmless fact after all. "Cloyster and Kingler were originally Delia's pokemon. She had them since they were Shellder and Krabby. They evolved with Delia as their trainer. After I became the Viridian gym leader, she gave them to me," Giovanni explained.
"Really?" Ash was surprised, as was Misty. "Mom, why didn't you tell me you trained a gym leader's pokemon in the past? That's really cool!"
Delia remembered her little adventure at the beach years ago. "A lot of things happened in the past, a lot of adventures. I'll tell you one day." Delia felt guilty making Ash continue to wait for information.
Ash was excited and didn't know how closely Delia's story about her past was linked to his questions of his father. Those questions had been momentarily left in the back of his mind. He assumed all the things that could have happened between his mother and Giovanni took place before his parents met. "Why don't you tell me about it now?"
"Because it's almost midnight," Giovanni informed, looking at the blinking green time display on the black microwave. It sat atop the blue kitchen counter quietly announcing that it was forty minutes past eleven.
xoxox xox xoxox
The communication systems repair process continued in the Viridian Rocket headquarters. "Okay rookie, test the functions I sent you individually, then together. Make a copy of them and purposely try to mess with them. See how long it takes you to mess up the copy," Archer instructed.
"I'm on it!" Pixel chirped happily. She was having trouble keeping up with Archer, but she was still enjoying her current mission as his assistant. She found a new determination to gain more knowledge about technology.
"How are things going?" Ariana entered the control room. She placed her hands on Archer's shoulders and leaned forward to look at the screen. Her head was right next to his. Pixel saw them from the corner of her eyes in her position sitting right of Archer. They were half covered by one of the three big screens around Archer.
"The communications system is repaired. I'm implementing some extra security measures. Giovanni has entrusted Team Rocket to us for the time being. I wonder what he'll do," Archer couldn't stop thinking about it.
"We'll just have to trust him in return," Ariana concluded. "I'm sure we'll still get an earful when he comes back. You know how prideful he is and it's obvious he's been holding back. He's probably run off to show that he's more than just a figure of authority that sits in the shadows while his agents do all the work. Relax Arch, he won't do anything too drastic. At least not something that will bring negative consequences to Team Rocket."
"Avoiding consequences and doing something drastic are different things," Archer pointed out, his expression thoughtful. "He might do something drastic to avoid consequences."
"You're not really worried," Ariana grinned, "in fact, you sound more like you're looking forward to it."
"Maybe I want to see him in action," Archer smiled with a look of confidence in his eyes. "How are those codes coming along, rookie?"
Pixel took a moment to reply. She had been listening to the conversation and didn't expect to be addressed at that moment, "no bugs so far."
"Good," the sound of more typing was heard as Archer's fingers moved on the keyboard. "Ari, can you send someone to check the physical state of the security system?"
"Sure," Ariana left the control room once more.
xoxox xox xoxox
It was mid night and everything was silent outside of the Cerulean City Pokemon Center. Comet and four others broke in quietly through the back door. Three of the five, including Comet, were wearing the Tempest uniform. The other two were wearing Team Rocket uniforms. Purry had snuck inside through a window and was making her way to nurse Joy's room.
The door to the nurse's room was left partially open. The faint brightness of a tiny Togepi shaped nightlight could be seen inside. Joy was sleeping peacefully in her bed with a man slumbering next to her with light snores. There was a small crib in a corner of the room where a pink haired baby girl slept.
Purry jumped on the bed, waking the couple. Before they could catch her, she dashed out of the room. "A pokemon?" The man was still half asleep and didn't really see which pokemon it was.
"I wonder why it went out of its pokeball," Joy walked over to the door and turned on the light in the hallway. The pokemon that stood at the end of the hall was a Meowth. Joy had not seen her before. "A wild pokemon?" She approached the Meowth slowly, her bare feet stepping noiselessly on the floor. "Come here girl," she knelt down, her long pink night gown brushing against the floor. "Come on, don't be scared."
Purry hissed loudly with her tail standing up straight. Joy was startled and stumbled back, falling into a sitting position on the floor. Her husband helped her to her feet and they watched the pokemon dash away.
"She might cause trouble with the other pokemon," Joy's husband, Otoshi, was concerned. "She has a lot of fight in her, like Marowak." His long black hair was out of its usual ponytail, reaching down to his mid back. It blended in with the dark shades of green of his loose yukata-style pajamas.
"Are you thinking about catching her?" Joy didn't really need an answer, seeing her husband's grin.
"Marowak will enjoy this battle," he returned to their room and got Marowak's pokeball. He released his long time companion from it out in the hall. "A wild Meowth snuck into the Pokemon Center, let's challenge her."
"Marowak!" The pokemon eagerly agreed, even if he had been woken up in the middle of the night.
The sound of something being knocked over was heard from further into the Pokemon Center. The sound was followed by the baby's small startled voice from the room behind the couple. "It must have been that Meowth," Joy correctly guessed. She was unaware of the quiet thieves that had broken into her home. "I'll go take care of the baby. I hope she falls asleep again soon."
"Don't worry, we'll catch that Meowth," Otoshi assured. He went off to find the Meowth with Marowak.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. Otoshi appeared in the episode Bad to the Bone.