Diamond 57: Give me Heroes
Diamond 57: Give me Heroes
The noise of something being broken echoed in the quiet of the night at the Cerulean City Pokemon Center. "What was that?" The noise startled the thieves from Tempest and Neo Rocket that were hastily putting pokeballs into sacks.
Before anyone could come up with a possible answer to the grunt's worried question, Purry ran past them in the darkness. "Come back here!" Otoshi followed the Meowth, who he thought was wild. He turned the light on, illuminating the large storage room where pokemon were kept in their pokeballs. The thieves were caught in the act, "is this what that wild Meowth wanted me to see? Thank you honorable Meowth, I shall grant you a duel later. Marowak, we can't let these thieves get away!"
xoxox xox xoxox
The noises coming from inside the Pokemon Center were mostly lost in its large halls, but some of the sound waves reached outside. "Something's happening!" Ash alerted.
Ash, Misty, Giovanni, Delia and their pokemon were walking around the Pokemon Center, examining the area. Giovanni noticed that the backdoor was conveniently left open, "we can go in through here." No one questioned the fact that they were technically trespassing, there were other more important things happening at the time.
The group ran through the dark halls of the Pokemon Center until they saw light coming from the storage room. "Marowak, we can't let these thieves get away!"
"Let's see you deal with this!" One of the grunts sent out a pokemon and the action was repeated by the others. Tangela, Grimer, Zubat, Voltorb and Gyarados were sent into battle, the last one belonging to Comet.
Ash was the first to reach the door to the storage room and saw the one who spoke, "Otoshi!" Misty occasionally went back to Cerulean City to make sure her sisters were okay and they weren't just giving away cascade badges to everyone without a battle. Otoshi and Ash had coincidentally met at the Pokemon Center around a year ago.
The samurai, who remembered how Ash had helped him recover his Indigo League badges years ago, was glad to see Ash again. At the time Brock was also traveling with Ash and Misty. His heart was broken again when he found out that another nurse Joy would be getting married very soon. Ash, Misty and Brock went to the wedding and Brock cried through most of it, albeit the other guests didn't notice his pain and assumed he was just very emotional with happiness for the couple. A year later, Otoshi and Joy had a baby girl who looked just like her mother.
"Ash! Your timing is quite convenient, but I think Marowak and I can handle this," Otoshi sent his pokemon on the attack, "Marowak, use bonemerang!"
"Marowak!" Marowak threw his bone club; it spun in the air and knocked Zubat down. Zubat fell on top of Voltorb, who self destructed in anger.
"Two for one, this is no challenge at all!" Otoshi was confident in Marowak's abilities.
"I guess it was nothing you can't handle, but we did come all this way," Ash looked confident as well.
"It would be rude of me not to share, and you were polite enough to ask first," Otoshi nodded and grinned, "go ahead."
"Alright! Pikachu, let's finished this, thunderbolt!" Ash victoriously called out.
"Gyarados, return!" Comet called his pokemon back into his pokeball just in time to avoid Pikachu's attack. His pokemon was not weak enough to fall so easily even with a type disadvantage, but he wanted to make Tempest look bad.
"Pikachu!" The electric attack was extremely strong and it knocked out Tangela and Grimer instantly. They too were recalled into their pokeballs as the unconscious Zubat and Voltorb had been. One of the Tempest grunts backed away into a corner and whispered hurriedly into a little cell phone.
"I can't let you do this, go Gyarados!" Comet called out Gyarados once more. He couldn't count on Purry for that battle since she had been pretending to be a wild pokemon.
"Are you going to battle or retreat?" Ash questioned impatiently.
Delia recognized Comet but didn't say anything, though she was shocked by his next course of action. "Gyarados, hyper beam, your target is that man!" Comet pointed at Otoshi.
Otoshi didn't expect to be attacked directly and was caught off guard, but Marowak jumped in front of him and protected his trainer. "Marowak!" Otoshi rushed to his pokemon's side, he had taken a direct hit. However, Comet had previously instructed his pokemon not show their true power while they were pretending to be with Tempest, so the attack wasn't as effective as it could have been.
"Maro... wak..." Marowak struggled to get up, he could still fight.
"That was a cheap shot!" Ash called out in anger.
"Yeah, that attack was cowardly!" Misty added with the same rage. "I'll give your pokemon an opponent, Gyarados, I choose you!" Misty's own Gyarados emerged from his pokeball, ready to battle against Comet's Gyarados.
Delia frowned and gave Comet a disapproving look; she wouldn't guess he was like that from the short time she had spent with him. Luke had not been that way. In truth that was not Comet's usual battling style, but since he was purposely trying to make Tempest look bad, part of his act included fighting dirty. "Giovanni," Delia reproached, she had a feeling that he must know what was going on and the explanation as to why Comet had a green T on his shirt instead of a red R. Giovanni made no reply and Delia silently assumed everything must be an act.
The two Gyarados were locked in battle, firing hydro pumps and hyper beams at each other. The shelves with pokeballs were knocked over and all those present were soaking wet. "While those two are busy, how about I introduce you to another pokemon?" Comet sent out another pokemon, a Scyther emerged from the pokeball's red beam.
"Tauros, take down!" A new voice called out as a woman in a Team Rocket uniform arrived. The Tauros dashed towards Misty's Gyarados, who would not be able to avoid the attack and continue fighting Comet's Gyarados at the same time.
"Gyarados, watch out!" Misty called out in vain.
"Marowak!" Otoshi didn't have time to voice the name of an attack, but Marowak was quick to react. He slammed his bone club down on Tauros' head, stopping his rampage.
"It's you!" Delia recognized the pink haired woman with the Tauros as one of the people who had tried to kidnap her.
"Scyther, slice that Marowak to pieces with X Scissor!" Comet commanded.
"Two against one is not fair, Pikachu, use thunderbolt on Scyther!" Ash sent out his most trusted pokemon.
"Scyther, forget the attack and dodge the electricity!" Comet called out at the last second, holding Scyther's pokeball ready just in case. However, Scyther was able to narrowly dodge the attack.
"You were going to recall him weren't you?" Ash accused, "that's cheating!"
"The Tempest Gang doesn't play by the rules!" Comet retorted with the cruelest and most mocking tone he could muster.
Delia looked at Giovanni who had been watching everything play out. "I'm not standing by any longer."
"Good, because you and I have unfinished business!" The pink haired woman threatened.
"We're here, we're here, what did we miss?" Another group of five grunts arrived as well; they were all wearing Tempest uniforms. The Tempest grunt with the Zubat had called for reinforcements while the others battled. That brought the Tempest total to eleven, counting Comet, though four of them were already out of pokemon.
"Don't just stand there, attack!" The pink haired woman commanded the recently arrived grunts.
"I haven't train you in a long time, but please try your best Cloyster!" Delia sent out her pokemon from long ago.
"Go Hitmonlee, it's payback time, you should have just come with us quietly!" The pink haired woman sent out her second pokemon. She held a strong grudge against Delia, blaming her for her partner's arrest. The informant, a mysterious person from Saffron City, had requested Delia to be taken to her alive and unharmed, but the woman didn't care anymore. "Hitmolee, revenge!" It was a fitting opening move.
Cloyster's shell closed and the pokemon stayed still even after Hitmonlee's attack had harmlessly ceased, unable to penetrate his strong shell. "Cloyster, what's wrong?" They had been reluctant to play with her in the mansion's yard. It was true that she had not seen Giovanni's pokemon or her own past pokemon in many years, but were they really so neglected during that time?
"Don't be stubborn and listen to Delia," Giovanni ordered and Cloyster immediately opened his shell.
"We have a lot to do," Delia remarked, her displeasure clear in her voice. "For now, please help me Cloyster," playing with her was one thing, but in order to battle for her with all their might, Delia would have to regain the trust she lost when she gave her pokemon away to Giovanni. "Aurora beam!" The beam hit its target, weakening Hitmonlee and the battle continued with Cloyster on the offensive, showing that he was still very powerful, even if he was a little doubtful.
Hitmonlee was not fairing well and his trainer seemed to have all but forgotten her Tauros. The Tauros was soon defeated by Otoshi's Marowak. The pink haired woman recalled both the Tauros and Hitmonlee, glaring at the new group of grunts to do something.
The five Tempest grunts sent out more pokemon to join the battle: Parasect, Exeggutor, Hitmonchan, Hypno and Alakazam. Everything had spiraled into chaos, Giovanni didn't expect the battle to be organized, but he didn't expect it to get this messy. He had no more time to observe, "I might as well join the chaos, Golem, Machamp, Rhydon, earthquake!"
The three pokemon materialized in red beams and combined their attacks into a massive earthquake that threatened to make the Pokemon Center fall apart. "This is crazy!" One of the Tempest grunts from the first group cried out.
"We have to retreat!" A Neo Rocket grunt agreed.
"Don't be so cowardly!" Comet scolded them. Scyther had been avoiding Pikachu's attacks, being recalled into his pokeball if it was too late to dodge, then being sent out again. The two Gyarados rendered each other unconscious and were called back into their pokeballs.
"Pika!" Pikachu couldn't stay on his feet because of the Earthquake. Scyther was flying and his trainer could have taken the opportunity to attack. Unknown to Ash, Comet had decided that Giovanni's interference was a signal that the battle had to end soon and no further dirty tricks were necessary.
Why didn't he attack and why did he look so familiar? "You're that waiter!" Ash realized, "you look different when you're not wearing lime green... But that's not the point, I'm not letting any of you get away!" With the ability to fly, Charizard should be fine, even with the Earthquake. Go Char-" Ash was interrupted before he could release Charizard from his pokeball when a seemingly wild Meowth jumped on his head and got away with his hat. Purry was feeling bored not to be included in the battle. "Come back here!" It was very hard to chase after her with the ground shaking. On the bright side it was also difficult for the grunts to escape.
Golem, Machamp and Rhydon were starting to look tired, but Giovanni would not allow the attack to cease, "don't stop now, keep using earthquake!" Marowak and Pikachu were becoming too dizzy, thus their respective trainers picked them up and held them, with Ash momentarily postponing the recovery of his hat to protect Pikachu. Delia called Cloyster back into his pokeball and Persian jumped on Giovanni's back. Helpless against the massive earthquake, Parasect, Exeggutor, Hitmonchan, Hypno and Alakazam finally fell unconscious and Golem, Machamp and Rhydon at last stopped the earthquake attack. The ground continued to vibrate for a while, albeit much more gently.
The sound of sirens was heard outside and Comet retreated, leaving the grunts behind. "Next time Tempest will take down Team Rocket for sure!" Comet jumped on Scyther's back.
Purry jumped on Comet's shoulders, still in possession of Ash's hat. "My hat!" Ash rushed after them as Comet exited through a window, riding on Scyther.
"Nobody move!" Jenny dashed into the storage room, "you, near the window, freeze!"
"They stole my hat!" Ash tried to get out through the window, but Jenny hurried to stop him.
"Wait, it's a misunderstanding, Ash is not with the bad guys!" Misty tried to explain.
In the mist of the chaos another earthquake took place, though it was a natural one. It made Ash fall to the floor as he tried to climb out the window. "Stop that!" Jenny shouted, thinking that it was being caused by the pokemon.
"That's not the pokemon," as if to prove his point, Giovanni returned his pokemon to their pokeballs. The earthquake ceased after a few seconds, "that happens sometimes, when strong pokemon use earthquake at the same time. The Earth reacts, but it's nothing to worry about." It had been a long time since his original pokemon were able to create that effect. Giovanni had assumed they simply couldn't do it anymore, but something seemed to motivate them to try harder to win that battle.
"Everyone please calm down," nurse Joy stood at the door among the flow of officers that arrested the people in uniforms and watched the others suspiciously. "It's okay, Ash has no connection to any gangs." Joy held the baby protectively in her arms, glad that the police had finally arrived. She had called them as soon as she realized what was going on.
"Exactly, if he says he only wants his hat back, that is all there is to it," Otoshi added.
Ash looked out the window but saw no sign of the hat thieves, "they're gone, but I won't give up, I'll definitely find it!"
"What's so special about a hat?" Giovanni couldn't help it but to ask. The hat in question looked very old, it was about time Ash replaced it. Better yet, he could stop wearing hats and learn to keep his hair under control.
"It's a Pokemon League collectable item; I've had it for years! I have other hats at home, but that one is special. I decided to wear it for luck in the Viridian City tournament. I had to send a million post cards to win it and I have to get it back!"
Ash attempted to continue his search and rescue mission for his hat, but Delia stopped him. "It's okay, I'm sure your hat will be returned to you." Delia reasoned that Comet must still be working for Giovanni, infiltrating Tempest. She looked at Giovanni insistently, "right?"
Giovanni wasn't sure what Delia was expecting him to say, but he found Ash's attachment to a simple hat to be ridiculous. Even if it was a collector's item, it was still just a hat. "Right..." he decided to agree; maybe she just wanted someone to support her statement. He didn't know why Ash would believe it, unless he was as much of an idealist as Delia, which was probably the case.
"Cheer up, Ash," Misty encouraged, with Pikachu adding in a few words in his own language. "You got your hat back the last time a pokemon stole it."
"Yeah, but I didn't lose sight of it like this and Team Rocket wasn't involved," Ash frowned.
"Karma is strong, that's what I've learned," Otoshi voiced, "your hat will be returned."
Delia nodded in agreement, "Giovanni will find it for you."
"What?" Giovanni certainly didn't expect that and neither did anyone else.
"Just ask your friend the detective for some help," Delia grinned.
It made Giovanni wonder if this was some sort of strange revenge she was using to annoy him. If that was the case she accomplished her goal because he was annoyed. He hid that fact, seeing as everyone was staring at him waiting for his reply. "I'll see what I can do."
Since everyone was trying to cheer him up, Ash thought perhaps he shouldn't make such a big fuss. Even if it was his beloved hat and he missed it terribly, Ash calmed down for the time being, "thank you."
xoxox xox xoxox
By the time Ash, Misty, Delia Giovanni and their pokemon returned to the Cerulean gym, the cake was ready to be taken out of the oven. "Let it cool, it's too hot right now, besides, I have to put the layers together and decorate it," Delia warned Ash, who clearly wanted to start eating immediately.
Several of them felt guilty for the state the Pokemon Center was left in. The walls, floor and ceiling were cracked, with parts of the ceiling having collapsed. The building would have to go through heavy maintenance. The structure was too unstable and not safe to live in, Joy and her family would be temporarily staying at their good friend Jenny's house. The pokeballs would be kept in the police station for safety.
Joy and Otoshi assured them that all that mattered was that everyone was safe and none of the pokemon were stolen. Plus they blamed Tempest entirely for the situation, believing the story about the Rockets being agents of Tempest using Team Rocket's identity falsely. As for Ash, Misty, Delia and Giovanni, they were heroes and that information would surely reach public knowledge.
"Giovanni, I know it's late but could you please leave a message for your detective friend so that he gets to work on finding the hat first thing tomorrow?" Delia smiled sweetly.
The part about having connections with a detective fit the situation of being better informed than expected, but Giovanni was still annoyed with the entire hat situation. "Alright, I'll leave a message," he checked his cell phone, which was now working, "looks like I finally have a signal," he began to type a message for Comet.
"It was probably the cell phone company having problems, that happens to me too," Ash commented, while eyeing the cake hungrily. "Thanks again for helping me find my hat."
"You're welcome," Giovanni tried his best not to sound annoyed or sarcastic. Despite all his public relations acting experience, he wasn't sure if he was successful.
"It's really special," Ash continued to explained, noticing that Giovanni wasn't quite convinced about the importance of the hat. "It's something that only I have and I can't stand the thought of it being taken away. It's rare, it's unique and it's mine." If power was added to the equation Giovanni could relate to it. Ash noticed the change in Giovanni's expression from forced understanding to truly knowing what he meant. Though he wasn't too observant, that was one of those rare moments, "you understand now, don't you? I'm glad," he smiled. "It was also interesting to see why I heard you were called Giovanni of the Earth. I thought it was because of the Earth badge, but there's more to it. It's because even the Earth itself responds to your pokemon, isn't it?"
"Something like that," Giovanni found that the pokemon were acting differently, but he didn't fully understand why.
Delia's pokemon felt betrayed to have been left with another trainer, who didn't appreciate them as much as she did. Delia had trained Giovanni's pokemon in the past, but even if they might have felt abandoned by her sudden departure, they were his pokemon from the start. It was not the same; they didn't feel that she had an obligation towards them. They were happy to see Delia again and tried to earn her attention by battling like they used to before they became unmotivated after years of neglect. Persian was treated well, so even if he had missed Delia, he was most attached to Giovanni and had no reason to feel bitter.
Giovanni's cell phone beeped with an incoming text message and Ash froze hopefully, "there's no way the hat could have been found that fast," Giovanni looked at the screen. Comet would surely be confused by his strange request to send the stolen hat to him. Comet's message assured that the hat was already on its way via secure express mail and no one from Tempest or Neo Rocket saw him send it. The whole thing somehow felt like a spy movie. "It's just an automatic reply saying my message was received."
"Oh..." Ash knew it was silly to hope for such immediate results. His mood took a turn for the better when Delia began to put the finishing touches on the cake, once it had cooled.
Delia covered the cake with frosting, placing the chocolate chip cookie flavored part on the dish first, then the pure chocolate layer and after covering it with more sugary white frosting, she place the cheese cake on top for an unusual but delicious combination. She added some extra caramel to the top and finally added little balls of cookies and cream ice-cream on top, so that there would be one ball on each piece when it was cut.
"I have to take a picture of it!" Misty announced as she ran off to find her camera.
After the pictures were taken, Ash could wait no longer, "I'm hungry," he emphasized. He watched impatiently as Misty got some plates and spoons and Delia began to cut the cake. The rest of the pokemon were let out of their pokeballs for the treat too.
The cake was served and they began to eat, including the pokemon. "Slow down, Ash," Delia reminded.
"It's delicious!" Ash loudly exclaimed.
"This is the cake I want," Misty assumed the perfect elements for her wedding would come to her when she saw them. "The cake for our wedding, I take it that's okay with you, Ash?"
"Mmm-hmm," Ash nodded in the middle of savoring a bite.
"Would you bake it?" Misty asked Delia hopefully, though she knew the answer that would come.
"Of course!" Delia couldn't be happier to have been asked to bake their wedding cake, though they didn't even have a date planned out to hold the ceremony yet. She looked at Giovanni with curiosity, "like it?"
"It's the best thing I've ever tasted," though Giovanni was in the middle of his good gym leader act, Delia could easily tell that he wasn't lying. She felt a strange sense of pride in knowing that with a little creativity and perseverance she was able to make something that he liked more than what his chefs made. It was also very nice that they could eat together like this. She hoped that even after Ash eventually learned the truth, they could do this again.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. I started posting the deleted scenes I've accumulated in my notes since the start of Don't Give Me Diamonds. The deleted scenes collection is titled Don't Give Me Rhinestones and it will be posted only at Pirates Board Fiction. (There's a link in my profile.)