Diamond 60: Give me Insight
Diamond 60: Give me Insight
A dark blue limousine quickly made its way through the roads traveling from Vermilion to Viridian. Inside the vehicle, the wireless video conference system was communicating with the Viridian Team Rocket base. The screen showed Archer's image with a serious expression. "Is this offer appropriate, Mr. Ackbar?"
Daisy scooted closer to her fiance and Lily moved closer to her sister. Lando shifted uncomfortably as he tried to bravely speak. If the second in command was this intimidating on a screen, he certainly wished he never had to meet the boss in person. How did his father deal with this? "Sir, those terms are worse than the previous terms you offered."
"You seemed displeased with my previous offer and refused it," Archer reminded, his gaze was sharp and strong. "I offered new terms, are you rejecting them as well?"
"I would be powerless to have any control over the company by those terms," Lando stated, he wanted to refuse, but a worse offer might be made instead.
"Indeed, however, you would still be an ally of Team Rocket as far as the underworld goes," Archer emphasized the importance of that point with his tone. "This means that you would be able to live comfortably and safely. The dreadful happenings of Vermilion City will not be repeated without reason." You can't knock down someone who is already on the floor. Team Rocket would need to allow Ackbar to still have something, rather than nothing to lose.
Lando looked at Daisy. Her eyes were fixed on the screen, she couldn't look away. Lando didn't like that Daisy and Lily had insisted on being present during his conference with Archer. The Rocket executive had demanded that Lando went to Viridian City for the signing of a few documents immediately, with negotiations being conducted along the way. Such documents were not fully legal, but served as a way to keep clear records of agreements. Lando knew he had no choice and the Waterflowers refused to let him do this alone. "Very well, I will accept your terms," so much for war. In the end, he had to put safety first. If anything happened to Daisy and her family, he wouldn't be able to live with it.
"I knew you would see things my way," Archer looked confident, as if he had no doubts of how the situation would turn out. "I will await your arrival, use discretion." The screen went blank.
Lando, Daisy and Lily let out a collective breath. "Well, that like wasn't so bad," Daisy sighed.
"Not so bad? Daisy, dearest, I'm on my way to an unofficial early retirement," Lando frowned.
"I'm just glad they didn't like put a price on your head. Lily was right, we like got caught in the rush of the moment and acted in a dangerous way," Daisy admitted, the reality of what Lando had done finally sunk in.
"I'm so sorry to put you through all this, I'm not worthy," Lando dramatized tragically.
Daisy shook her head, "it's alright. It's over now. Don't look at it as forced retirement. You'll still be like the president in the eyes of the public. You'll still need to like take care of public relations and you'll still get a salary. The difference is that you'll have more free time!" The worse had passed and the situation was starting to stabilize as far as they knew. Daisy smiled, trying to encourage her fiance.
"Then I'll have more time to spend with you!" Lando cheered. "Maybe this really isn't so bad after all." The couple looked at each other lovingly, lost in their own little world.
Lily sighed bitterly. "It must be nice," she mused aloud. Her last break up had been very difficult, just when she thought she found the one. Daisy had found her prince charming and so had Violet and Misty. Upon thinking of Violet, Lily wondered how she was doing. "Do you think Violet is alright?"
Daisy gasped and returned to reality, "oh no, Violet. We need to like apologize; we both said some things we didn't mean." Daisy searched for her cell phone but couldn't find it. "I must have left my phone in Lando's house."
"I'm on it," Lily held up her little pink cell phone. She had it off before. She hit the speed dial for Violet and waited, but her phone was off. "She has her phone turned off. But we know she's in Viridian, she like should be there by now."
"You should find your sister while I take care of business. I don't think they'll allow you into the Rocket base anyway. It's already bad enough that you know they have an important base at Viridian," Lando looked at the Waterflowers seriously, especially at Daisy. "I don't want you to get involved more than needed.
"I don't want to like make anyone mad by being there, but I can't let you face this alone either," Daisy was full of determination. "Besides, we are like engaged to be married! Sooner or later I'll have to learn about the mafia, I'll be a part of it too."
"Daisy!" Lando gasped full of emotion. "How could I accept such a thing?" He looked into her eyes.
It was clear that she was full of determination, "don't you trust me?" Daisy's look intensified.
"I trust you," Lando firmly stated, with his face becoming serious. "I will not stop you from learning about the family business if that is your wish. I greatly appreciate your support." His serious expression shifted to moved, "oh Daisy, my darling, how I love you!"
"I love you too!" Daisy exclaimed. The couple shared a loving embrace.
Lily pouted and scooted away from her sister. "When is it going to be my turn?" She wondered.
"However," Lando continued, "this once I will handle things alone. When we get to Viridian City you must find your sister. Later, after all this chaos passes, we can think about your role in all of this. Eventually I will be able to meet with Lord Roketto in person for the first time. My father always handled such meetings in the past. I believe it is best to ask for formal permission before I tell you more. I am very sorry for keeping you waiting, but it is for your protection."
"It's alright," Daisy smiled in understanding. "Lily and I will leave as soon as we enter Viridian City. Then after the formalities are done, we can like talk about everything else. All of this will be kept in like total secrecy, so don't worry. We won't tell anyone, right?"
"Of course not!" Lily assured. "We're like great at keeping secrets."
xoxox xox xoxox
The Saffron mayor's office was just as dark and red as always. The leaders of Tempest entered the office and found Madame at her desk, shrouded in shadows as they had seen her before. Her Ninetales, was out of her pokeball. Instead of sitting regal and ferocious at her side, Nien sat with her head on Madame's lap. Madame petted the pokemon gently, as if soothing her. "What brings you here?" Her voice was authoritative, yet relaxed.
"I've heard that a certain person has been here," Bollux paused, observing Madame's unchanged face. "I am referring to the one known as Akira."
"Ah yes, quite the little troublemaker," Madame chuckled. "You need not worry about her."
Bollux cut to the chase, "we want her as our prisoner." Bollux was often seen as the Tempest leader. He was part of the original Tempest Gang. He had light green hair and matching eyes. The woman known as Poisona secretly acted as the leader, retreating into a position of second in command when she felt she was too obvious. Some said that Poisona was the true Tempest leader, but for some reason didn't want to appear as such. Perhaps it was to avoid being directly targeted by enemies.
Poisona was constantly at Bollux side, as if needing to supervise and approve his actions. It made her stand out, even if she didn't want to. There were rumors that she was the sister of the past leader, Venom. Her hair was a light tone of lavender and her complexion similar to that of Venom. Only a few still remembered the past leader, the few that still had energy to seek revenge after getting out of jail. The most notable similarity between Poisona and Venom were their stunning red eyes.
"For what purpose?" Madame inquired with perfectly faked curiosity. She assumed that their plans involved using Akira's fame against Team Rocket, since she was known to be an agent. They could be planning to keep pushing the police to take action.
"As a hostage and to use her reputation against Team Rocket," Bollux explained, while Poisona remained silent at his side. "The police seemed to back off when the entire Ackbar hiatus situation was announced. No other message has been issued from Ackbar since then. As far as we know, the medical supply industry will remain paralyzed indefinitely," Ackbar Inc. would soon resume its normal functions, but only a few directly involved people knew that at the time.
"I don't know," Madame sighed in disappointment. "All this time I sheltered you," she watched them and hindered their operations while pretending to help. "I tried to help you at the risk of my noble reputation as the mayor," she used them for her own benefit, while remaining as the secret mayor no one dared to challenge. "I even introduced you to some powerful allies who wished to betray Team Rocket." She turned the two groups into one so that it would be easier for Team Rocket to take them out at once. She knew they would be overpowered even together.
Madame didn't interfere too much; she still allowed some trouble to slip by. It would be no fun if she did everything. When things got out of hand, she sent a list to her hidden ace, Miyamoto's daughter. The list was collected by her spies inside Team Rocket. Far from causing trouble, they were loyal agents in every other aspect. Miyamoto had been a magnificent agent as well, one without equal in Madame's opinion. She shifted in her chair and continued petting Nien. "I'm starting to feel as if my efforts are wasted on you. Will you ever get revenge on that terrible man who stole so many things from me?" It was all a lie and Tempest believed it.
"We will give you Kenobi Antilles in exchange," Poisona finally spoke. Bollux looked at her in surprise and disapproval. A discrete glance from Poisona put him in his place and he tried to emulate her confidence.
Madame smiled, though her suspicions were strong. The deal was far too convenient and nothing in life came that easy. Even so, the opportunity was too good to pass up. "Very well," thus it was decided.
Poisona had come prepared; she looked at Bollux who took action. He contacted someone on a cell phone, "bring him in."
Madame pressed a button on the intercom, "bring Akira."
A silver haired man in a dark red tuxedo entered the office a couple of minutes later. He was carrying Akira who was unconscious.
Soon after, two other men arrived at the office. One had short dark green hair and bronze eyes. He was wearing a large trench coat with his hands suspiciously in his pockets fingering a hidden gun. The other looked much more like a man of high society; he was the son of Rune Antilles. Kenobi had dark hair and bright green eyes. He didn't know how important it may be to keep him alive, so he didn't take any chances disobeying his captors.
The hostages were exchanged without casualties. The Tempest members left with their new hostage. Even after they were gone, Kenobi shifted uncomfortably, not knowing were he stood in the situation.
"It's alright now, you are safe," Madame spoke.
Kenobi breathed in relief, "thank you! I will be sure to reward you for your kindness mayor..."
"You may call me Madame," she smiled in amusement watching as the young man tried to allow the notion of safety to sink in. "Now sit, I will call for some tea and cookies. Someone should be here to escort you home soon."
xoxox xox xoxox
At the Cerulean gym, Ariana couldn't hide her surprise, "your son, as in yours and Giovanni's?" She was overcome with a fit of shock induced laughter. "Let me guess? He took it relatively calm and collected, right? You know he's always like that. You used to get so annoyed because of it," when arguing about pokemon experimentation and stealing from good trainers.
"You heard us back then? Well I guess everyone did, but no one mentioned it." Delia couldn't help it but to laugh too as she remembered old times. The memories were bittersweet, but she held them dear. "That's why I said I was glad. Maybe Giovanni really does have too much to think about right now. I know I should be glad he took it calmly; it's just that it makes him so hard to read. Ash doesn't know who his father is. Things are too complicated right now, so we agreed to deal with that later," Delia revealed. "I don't know how that will be done though," her momentary cheer evaporated.
"If Ash was raised by a goody-goody outside of Team Rocket, I suppose finding out his father is the boss would be a shock," Ariana mused aloud. She honestly couldn't imagine it. "I have a son too," she revealed, he looks more like me than his father, but that was some time ago."
Delia's interest was instantly captured by curiosity, "Archer?" She gave a small smile, trying to stay somewhat hopeful despite the uncertainty in the air.
"Yeah, we're still together," Ariana smiled sincerely, but her expression soon turned sour, "our son is not around anymore."
Delia's face was invaded by sadness, "you mean he's," she dared not finish.
"Oh no," Ariana shook her head and chuckled, "I'm sure he's very much alive. He's just not in the team anymore. For some time Giovanni tried to train him to help him run Team Rocket. That boy didn't know what was good for him. He was too much of a rebel and ended up running off. He picked fights with random trainers and even with Rocket agents. He stole pokemon and other things. He was always getting into trouble. After some time passed he started to tone things down a little. I'm not sure what he's doing right now, but at least he's not picking a fight with Team Rocket anymore. I guess he eventually learned that he can't take on the world with just his pokemon. Giovanni was relatively lenient with the situation. I guess it's because Archer and I were doing good jobs."
Delia closed her eyes for a moment, taking in all the information and picturing it. Maybe Archer and Ariana's son didn't belong in Team Rocket. Perhaps it took all that conflict to make him realize what he wanted. Delia opened her eyes and breathed deeply. She had never met him, so she shouldn't be theorizing so much. "Do you miss him?"
"Sometimes," Ariana admitted, "but never mind that. It's been a long time, there's a lot of things we need to talk about," she tried to change the subject into something comfortable and casual.
"Is there something else you can tell me about where Giovanni went?" Delia brought up the question again. As much as she wanted to have a nice relaxing chat with Ariana, the time was not right.
"Something about a duel in the world's edge, but nothing to worry about," Ariana voiced calmly and Delia's eyes shone with interest. "I can't let you go anywhere," Ariana reminded.
"Shall we decide it in a battle?" Delia unexpectedly suggested. She was full of both determination and doubt. "If I can't win, then I doubt I would be able to do anything anyway."
xoxox xox xoxox
At the Tempest hideout in Saffron City, Comet was hard at work cleaning. He let out a breath and observed his work. 'Rockets are super clean compared to these slobs.' He was not well received after his apparent failed mission at the Cerulean City Pokemon Center and was punished for it. As for the mission, the mysterious Saffron City mayor gave him, it was quite simple: 'make sure they don't kill Giovanni.' She had sent him away after that, refusing to discuss the matter further. Comet had already reported everything to headquarters.
"Are you done cleaning the hide out, rookie?" The manager of the illegal pokemon battles roughly asked. "If not because the mayor recommended you, I would-"
"Yes sir, I apologize again for the failure at the Cerulean City Pokemon Center. Give me another chance, I won't disappoint you." Comet managed to look truly apologetic and resist the need to punch that guy in the face.
"You've got some nerve thinking you're off the hook already," his bright yellow hair fell over his gray eyes as he glared. The man scolding Comet was the same one who managed the illegal battles at Saffron City. He was the same who had been at city hall when Comet was first there. He was known as Solo, though no one knew anything about him beyond that. "I bet you were the one whose clumsiness caused the others to get arrested!" Solo was one of the favorite agents of the Tempest leader.
"I'm going to give you an easy mission that not even you can mess up," Solo growled, "watch the prisoner."
"Yes, sir!" Comet followed Solo down a dark corridor with many doors. Some were partially open and others were closed. The sounds of pokemon came from inside, those were storage rooms. It made Comet feel sorry for them. He liked battles, he even like the brutal battles of the secret illegal arena, granted that the pokemon fought willingly, like Purry. Hearing their cries outside of the rush of a fight didn't feel right.
"Here we are," Solo opened the last wooden door at the end of the hall with a key. The door was old and beaten, but it still held strong. A girl with cyan hair was tied to an old folding chair inside the dim room. There was only one flickering lamp directly above her. Her body was limp as if she would fall to the side if she wasn't tied to the rusted chair.
"Akira?" Comet recognized her right away. Her eyes were closed and she was motionless. She had to be alive; they wouldn't have her tied up like that if she wasn't. Ropes bounded her wrists behind her. Another rope around her waist kept her torso tied to the back of the chair. Her ankles were tied to the chair's legs.
"Yeah, the famous singer," Solo chuckled. "Surprising isn't it? I was shocked too." His expression changed back to a serious one. "Don't mess up, rookie. The boss seems to have plans for the girl. I think it was a stupid trade. I mean, she's famous, but that Antilles guy was rich too. Plus his father, the Viridian mayor, has more political power. This girl's just famous. At least she's good to look at, that's for sure."
"A trade? The Tempest boss traded the mayor's son for Akira?" Comet didn't understand the trade either. He would think having Kenobi would prove to be more beneficial. Akira was more famous, but Kenobi was a more prominent figure in terms of politics. With Kenobi they had mayor Antilles to threaten, but Akira didn't really have anyone in a high position that they could pressure. She was connected to Team Rocket, but so was Kenobi, surely they realized that. His exposure as part of Team Rocket would have been worse than her publicity if they played their cards right. "With who was the trade made?"
"With the Saffron City mayor," Solo revealed, "I don't know what she wants with Kenobi, or with us. She's one mysterious person. I'm pretty sure only the leader and his lady know more about her. They don't talk about it, but they must know something. Even they might not know too much though."
"I will guard the prisoner well, sir." For the time being, Comet would take Akira back into Team Rocket's custody. Then he would come up with a plan to find Kenobi. He was still unaware of the events that happened between Pewter and Cerulean, which resulted with Akira's injury and temporary arrest.
Solo laughed mockingly, "yeah this is about as much as you can handle, guarding an unconscious tied up girl." Solo left the dim room and disappeared when he turned at the end of the hallway.
'You keep thinking that,' Comet mused. He checked Akira's pulse. Her heart was beating regularly and her temperature seemed to be normal. She must have been given something to put her to sleep. They were in a basement so there were no windows. Tempest agents were all around so sneaking out was next to impossible. He would just have to come up with a distraction... that might be fun.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. Remember Bollux, Poisona and Solo from Diamond 53? I didn't mention their names at the time, but it was them. Bollux is another Star Wars name and Poisona is a spell from Final Fantasy. Where are Ash and Misty? You'll know in the next chapter.