Diamond 64: Give me Radiance
Don't Give Me Diamonds
Diamond 64: Give me Radiance
The gentle breeze of the night blew at the world's edge. From the cliff, the ocean could be seen. On its side it had a deep indentation. The area looked to some like a giant mouth with stalagmites and stalactite teeth. It was as if those who fell from the world's back would be swallowed up by it.
In one swift motion, Bollux reached for his gun, its smooth surface reflecting the moon. At the same time, Giovanni and Proton made the same movements. All three weapons were revealed, two pointed at Bollux and one at Giovanni.
Bollux's right index finger slipped from the trigger to the base of his gun before he hesitated to lower it. "Give it up," Proton taunted, "even if you shoot one of us, the other will kill you. The boss doesn't fear risking his life. Do you fear losing yours?" Proton's expression was dark and fearless, as if he was above death itself.
Giovanni saw the doubt and fear in Bollux's pale green eyes. The so called leader of Tempest trembled; he was not a true leader. The scene made him think about the other person that he expected would show up, Poisona. Proton's investigation revealed that she was supposedly Tempest's second in command, but sometimes acted as the leader. Where was she? What was she planning? "I'm still interested in having a battle," Giovanni reminded, his face was full of confidence even beyond that of Proton. The full moon shone brightly in the skies, large and unreachable, as if shining upon him alone.
"You leave me no choice," Bollux tossed the gun a few feet away, where Proton picked it up. He reached for one of the pokeballs on his belt. Though trainers often preferred pokemon native to their homes, interregional trading had become more frequent in the recent years. In Bollux's case, he thought an 'unknown' pokemon would be a shortcut to power. What was from his perspective new and rare, seemed powerful in his eyes. "Gliscor!" Watching the pokemon emerge from the red beam of his pokeball, Bollux regained a little of his confidence. He still remained slightly doubtful, though that changed when he saw Giovanni's pokemon.
"Golem!" The red beam from Giovanni's pokeball revealed his long time pokemon. Even Proton seemed surprised. Giovanni had been switching his pokemon more often. He had not used his original team in a long time. He always seemed to be dissatisfied with his pokemon, searching for something they didn't have. Giovanni himself wasn't sure what he was looking for. All his pokemon were powerful, but something was missing.
Giovanni wanted to feel the guarantee of a victory. He didn't want to simply know the outcome of a battle because he knew of the difference in power. He wanted to sense that he would win; he wanted to believe it beyond logic. It was a sensation he had not had in a long time as he became more disconnected from his pokemon. Persian was an exception, but Giovanni never sent Persian out to battle, instead treating him as a spoiled pet. After watching his original pokemon battle at Cerulean, he began to rediscover that feeling of certain victory.
"A Golem? That's such a common pokemon!" Bollux made the mistake of underestimating Golem. His expression was flooded with undue relief. He almost threw his head back in laughter.
Golem observed the situation. He was angry at the opposing trainer who underestimated him. He didn't want to be seen as weak, though in the past he had times when he lost the will to fight. Delia returned; she was the one who truly took care of him and his companions. Plus the situation felt different. There was one other ally besides his trainer, wearing the uniform of Team Rocket. Golem didn't perceive the presence of other agents hiding anywhere. Giovanni didn't look like he had been pushed to a corner, he stood confident. It felt like the past had returned. It was as if once more Giovanni was willing to rely on him. The feeling was bittersweet to Golem. It reminded him of the day he evolved.
"Boss?" Proton couldn't help it but to give Giovanni a curious and somewhat puzzled look. Why Golem? He paid no mind to Bollux's foolish assumption that pokemon from other regions were strong simply because they were rare in Kanto. Even so, this was not the pokemon Proton expected Giovanni to choose.
"These pokemon fought strongly last time," Giovanni referred not only to Golem, but also Rhydon and Machamp, whom he also brought for the battle. 'I guess they just needed a break from battle,' the thought made little sense to Giovanni. From his perspective, training pokemon hard was the only way to make them stronger. 'All that matters is that they're strong again,' he told himself not to look too deeply into it. They were pokemon, they had power; there was little else to know.
"Such a common pokemon can never be strong!" Bollux argued. He glared at Giovanni's confident look. Bollux wasn't as brave as Poisona, but he wouldn't be underestimated. "Gliscor, poison jab!" Bollux felt as if he was standing face to face with his worse nightmare, then suddenly he found hope.
Gliscor went on the attack, but Golem didn't move. He was in no danger and he knew it. Giovanni was aware of that as well. The power difference between the two pokemon was very noticeable, especially to an experienced trainer. Bollux had spent too much time locked up and bitter. He was out of practice, not that he was too skilled to begin with. During his time with Venom in the past, he relied on the illegal power ups the Tempest Gang was known to use. Gliscor's tail collided against Golem's hard rock body with no effect what so ever. Gliscor barely brushed the surface of the solid stone, not being able to inject any poison.
Bollux stared in disbelief, disturbed by what he witnessed. A mere Kanto pokemon was standing up to his 'super rare' pokemon very easily. Without Poisona to guide him, Bollux was foolish. It was apparent why she never left his side despite her wish for her leadership of Tempest to be kept relatively quiet. Bollux was a leader in name only. "What is this, some kind of trick? I see, you've done something to power up your pokemon." Bollux glared bitterly, "how ironic, it was Tempest who used to do that in the past. We've lost our interest in such things lately. How ironic indeed. You saw that our way was the best and are using it against me now," Bollux's words were full of frustration. Poisona didn't want to bring too much attention to their group too soon. She decided that using power ups like Venom used to do would make them stand out too much, thus she forbade it.
Bollux had obeyed Poisona, believing Venom's sister to be the rightful new leader of Tempest and the best guide to follow. He had helped her organize Tempest with the few previous members who were willing to participate, plus new ones. He thought of nothing more than vengeance while he was in jail. He and his comrades had taken the blame for the crimes of both the Tempest Gang and Team Rocket.
"You fool!" Giovanni snapped, "your pokemon isn't as rare as you think. Besides, even if it was, you can't just get a rare pokemon and expect it to fight at its best. You have to train it." Giovanni's definition of training was different from what many would consider proper. None the less, the Rocket leader felt that there was a hidden irony in his words. Perhaps he should be taking his own advice. He disregarded the thought. Pokemon needed training, that was true, but they had to be strong to begin with, that was what he believed.
xoxox xox xoxox
While Giovanni and Bollux battled atop the cliff, Ariana and Delia approached their location on the road. The people and pokemon on the cliff were still little dots in the distance. None the less, they could tell that there was a battle going on judging by the rapid movement of those remote dots. The occasional flash of red light came and went when a defeated pokemon was called back and another was sent out to replace it.
Looking out the car's window, Delia noticed someone flying high above, riding on a pokemon. The pokemon lost altitude as it approached the cliff, as if wanting to sneak up on the people there. The flying pokemon aimed to land on the large cavern on the cliff's side. "What's that?" Delia searched through the equipment Ariana had in her car for a pair of binoculars.
"Friend, foe or a random passerby?" Ariana inquired, "my guess is on the second." She had not been informed of any reinforcements.
The electronic binoculars zoomed in on the target. It was a person with long lavender hair. The pokemon was something Delia was not familiar with. It was from a far away region that she had not visited in years, "is that a Mandibuzz? They can't be found in the wild in Kanto."
"Let's investigate," Ariana took a sharp turn and sped down a connecting road. It was narrow and not in great conditions in comparison to the main road. She stopped where they road ended, the trench ahead could not be crossed in a car, "go Honchkrow!" The flying pokemon stood with his wings slightly spread, searching for a battle target. He looked at Delia with distrust, "she's on our side," Ariana assured. "Let's go," she climbed on the pokemon followed by Delia.
The two women headed for the bottom of the cliff were the flying pokemon landed within the large indentation. They were hidden from being seen from the cliff above. The person riding the pokemon noticed the two others and stood ready to face them.
Ariana and Delia got off Honchkrow after landing in the cliff cavern. Giovanni, Proton and Bollux didn't realize they where there. It would be beneficial to take out Team Rocket, though that was not Poisona's true plan. The new Tempest was needed because she needed minions to do her bidding. The alliance with Neo Rocket also proved to be useful in Poisona's real plan.
Madame Boss and who she was in the past had been all but forgotten by most. She was a nameless shadow that commanded a modest portion of power in the underworld, but was not too involved. She was a shadow with no true alliances, a strategist who used those around her. Poisona was aware of that. She knew that Tempest and Neo Rocket were being used. It made no difference.
Poisona had made Tempest's situation look better than it was. Her plans were not to take over Team Rocket, Kanto or the world. It was something else entirely. She really wanted to kill Giovanni, but it didn't matter. When her plan was realized everything would end.
"I've seen you before," it was a long time ago, but Delia still had the recollection of that time among the chaos.
On that day, Delia had been rushing back to the original Team Rocket hideout with Giovanni. They had recently visited Pallet Town and received an urgent call on their way back. Their haste led to a chase through the Viridian Forest. Finally, they made it to the mountains between Pewter and Cerulean. A column of smoke could be seen, the hideout and the warehouse were on fire. The Tempest Gang was still fighting Team Rocket. Delia only looked at the flames for a short moment before she watched the battle. Tempest's pokemon were furious, yet lost. Everything happened rapidly from that point on, but Delia remembered it all.
"You were there when Tempest burned down Team Rocket's hideout and warehouse all those years ago," Delia realized. "You were there during the battles; you were there at the Viridian gym." Delia could almost feel the strength of Poisona's grudge.
"That's right, I'm Poisona, I'm sure you must remember my brother, Venom, since you and Giovanni murdered him," Poisona glared with unparallel anger.
"That's not true!" Delia desperately argued. "Venom experimented on himself. He mutated into a strange creature. The pokemon he tortured in his experiments attacked him," the memories were very unpleasant for Delia. Even if sad events came to mind when she thought about Team Rocket, she tried to stay optimistic when she remembered the past. She had many precious memories, even if she had long since awakened from her dream.
"Those creatures," Poisona looked at her own pokemon with disgust. "Humans should be the only living beings in the world. These creatures have no use for power. It's only natural a human would desire such power; it is only humans who can use it." Her red eyes seemed lost and empty, "That day, burning everything was my idea. Venom wanted to take the loot; he wanted to take every pokeball in the warehouse. I burned them all along with the pokemon in them. They all burned to ashes!" She screamed with a pained and psychotic expression. The breeze blew her lavender hair, it flew in front of her face, but she didn't seem to notice. Her eerie red eyes glared from behind the waves of lavender.
"How terrible!" Delia felt that she was reliving all the sorrow of that day. That time she had been caught in the moment and driven by the adrenaline of battle. Afterwards she tried not to think about it too much. There was a lot on her mind at the time; she had other things to focus on.
Ariana searched for a hint of purpose in Poisona's words. She felt as if there was a lot that remained hidden. "Is that your reason for causing trouble for Team Rocket again? You blame us for your brother's foolishness?"
"If pokemon didn't exist to tempt us with their power..." Poisona's mind went back to a time long ago.
xoxox xox xoxox
In Poisona's memories, she was at her house with her parents and brother. It was a cozy little house on the outskirts of Lavender Town. The white picked fence had been freshly painted and the garden was taken good care of. The area was a little lonely and some would call it solemn. The charming little house stood out in the unfitting atmosphere. From its light yellow walls to its pale brown triangular roof, everything about it was soothing.
The white front door was opened and two children stepped outside. The boy was the oldest; he had cyan hair and red eyes. His younger sister had identical eyes and lavender hair. The front yard was filled with flowers that some would think were impossible to grow in that area. The boy threw a pokeball and from its red beam emerged a little Charmander. The children played together with the small pokemon until the sun started to set and they were called inside for dinner.
Those were happy times from long ago. It was on that fateful night that everything changed. There was a fire in the house, flames consumed it all. Only the two children made it out alive. The girl's faded memories contained images of standing in front of a burning house, watching the flames consume it. She felt helpless and weak. She couldn't save her brother or parents.
Help arrived and in the end the boy made it out alive. He was hospitalized for a long time having inhaled too much smoke. After the boy was released from the hospital, his sister was all he had in the world. His Charmander had died on the night of the fire.
The girl would always blame her brother's Charmander for the catastrophe, though no proof of the accusation was ever found. The official police records remained a mystery to most. She hated pokemon. She considered them to be dangerous and stronger than they deserved. She followed her brother in his quest for power. If he obtained the power of those creatures, he would keep her and their new friends safe.
She took on the name Poisona. She always found pleasure in watching her brother's experiments. Her purpose was different from Venom's. What she wanted was something far more sinister.
xoxox xox xoxox
"Confuse ray!" Poisona snapped into reality at Ariana's voice. Honchkrow attacked Mandibuzz with a powerful confuse ray. Mandibuzz tried to resist it but could not.
The bits and pieces of faded memories were thrown into the back of Poisona's mind and buried there. She fell silent for a moment before her expression turned psychotic, "goodbye," she took what at first glance looked like a pokeball from the belt over her Tempest uniform. She pressed the button on the red and white circular item. Instead of opening it and releasing a pokemon, she quickly threw it. The pokeball shaped grenade collided with the cave wall near Ariana and Delia. It exploded on impact with a bright light and a loud noise.
The explosion caused the entire cliff to shake. The noise and vibrations alerted those atop the cliff of the danger, but they couldn't see what was happening in the cavern below. The avalanche of falling rocks rained on Delia and Ariana. Surprisingly, Mandibuzz protected them along with Honchkrow in her confusion. The impact left Mandibuzz terribly injured after taking the worse part of the avalanche. Honchkrow made it out with only minor bruises and scratches. "You useless creature!" Poisona yelled in fury at Mandibuzz's actions. "It doesn't matter, I have no time for this," she released an Ariados from a pokeball. "Get me up that cliff," she climbed on the Ariados back. Ariados began to climb the cavern walls. He carefully made it to the side of the cliff and prepared to pull himself up with his web.
Delia and Ariana struggled to get out from under Mandibuzz, Honchkrow and the rocks. "Why did you protect us?" Delia reached to try to comfort her, but quickly retreated when Mandibuzz tried to peck her.
"Be careful, we can't trust her," Ariana cautioned. "She only helped us because she didn't know the difference between her own trainer and the enemy."
"She's hurt, we have to help her and stop Poisona," Delia didn't want any more sacrifices to be made.
Ariana was about to reply but stopped, something in the distance caught her attention. It was a man riding on a Braviary, "there's no time for that. Hurry up and stop Poisona. Giovanni must know something's going on after all this noise, but you could still help out. I'm going to stop that guy." Ariana jumped on Honchkrow's back and took off in pursuit of the Braviary.
"We can't just leave Mandibuzz!" Delia called after Ariana, who didn't stop. A loud bang pierced the air. It came from somewhere beyond her view. "Go Kingler!" Delia quickly released one of her pokemon. "I'll be back for you," she assured the injured Mandibuzz. She then looked at Kingler intensely, "this is going to be a challenge, but I know you can do it. Help me climb up the cliff, if you can grab on with your pincers, I know we can make it up."
Kingler started to climb up the cliff as Delia instructed. She held on to him and they progressed up the cavern towards the cliff side. Kingler buried his pincers into the rocks with a strong grip and climbed.
Poisona and her Ariados came into view on the cliff. "You should have stayed under those rocks!" She tried to shoot Ariana and Honchkrow, but missed. She wasn't paying attention to Delia and Kingler, who made their way up, hiding behind the protuberant rocks on the cliff side.
"Be careful Kingler," Delia whispered, "now aim carefully at Poisona's weapon and use bubble!" Kingler released a multitude of bubbles that effectively knocked the gun out of the enraged Poisona's hand.
In the night sky above, Honchkrow and Braviary performed all sorts of aerial maneuvers to try to gain the advantage. The man riding on the Braviary was Solo, who came armed with a bag full of grenades. He threw one of the explosives at Ariana and Honchkrow, but they quickly dodged it.
"Weavile!" Ariana released another of her pokemon. Weavile emerged from her pokeball, riding on Honchkrow along with her trainer. "Get ready Weavile. Honchkrow, get as close as you can. Weavile, jump on Braviary as soon as you get the chance."
The two flying pokemon circled each other in the air. Unfortunately, Braviary was faster than Honchkrow. Because of that, Weavile was having trouble following Ariana's plan. To make matters worse, Solo kept throwing grenades at them.
Delia and Poisona were still hidden from view from the top of the cliff. Giovanni and Proton saw Ariana fly up to battle the man with the grenades on the Braviary. "That Braviary is too fast," Proton realized, "go Crobat, flight right into that Braviary face!" Crobat hurried to do what his trainer commanded. He skillfully avoided the incoming grenades and lashed on to the larger pokemon's face. Braviary flew wildly, in discomfort.
Solo fought to get rid of the pokemon that prevented Braviary from seeing were he was going, while trying not to fall off. By the time he managed to pull Crobat off, he saw a Weavile standing right behind him on Braviary's back. Braviary continued flying wildly, trying to throw Weavile off his back. "Weavile, night slash!" Ariana called out.
Weavile didn't hesitate to attack Solo. She slashed with her sharp claws ripping the green T on his shirt in half. The attack knocked him off Braviary and he fell to the ocean below. Before he could hit the water, Braviary dove after him. The flying pokemon caught the back of Solo's belt with his claws and held him in mid air.
Weavile threw the sack of remaining grenades over her shoulder and jumped off Braviary onto Honchkrow, who flew near by. Ariana received the sack of grenades with a mischievous grin. Solo was still dangling from Braviary's paw by his belt. He looked at Ariana fearfully.
Ariana threw a grenade at Solo. Simultaneously, Braviary's claws cut through the leather of his belt as the pokemon gripped it too tightly. As a result, Solo was sent falling into the ocean again. Braviary gained altitude to dodge the grenade, which passed between the flying pokemon and his falling trainer.
Below, the cliff was shaken by a violent earthquake courtesy of Golem. Giovanni knew there was someone hidden behind the curve of the cliff but he didn't know who. "Hold on Kingler!" Kingler's strong grip proved to be effective.
Up on the cliff Giovanni heard Delia and recognized her voice. If Ariana was there, he should have guessed Delia wouldn't be too far away. Ariana's mission was to keep her out of trouble, though the executive gave it her own interpretation. The Rocket leader looked at Bollux. He was down to his last pokemon, Linoone. "This battle has already been decided," Giovanni declared, "I'm going to get Delia, keep an eye on him, Proton." Giovanni released Machamp from his pokeball, "let's climb down, don't fall." Machamp looked surprised, but nodded slowly, shocked but happy to be trusted. He used his multiple arms and strong grip to climb down the cliff with Giovanni on his back. It was too slippery for a human to make it down without the proper equipment.
Bollux felt defeated and afraid, "don't talk about me as if I'm not listening," he choked out the words as he fell to his knees. "Linoone do... something!"
"You really are pathetic, you know that?" Proton laughed. He couldn't help it but to think they were completely missing something. Then again, maybe without Ariana and Delia things would have been a little different. Then the grenade throwing little cheat and whoever else was hidden in the cliff might have taken them by surprise. "It seems the boss left me in charge of your fate. What should I do with you?" Needless to say, restraining Bollux and taking away all his pokemon was easy.
Machamp and Giovanni made it to the side of the cliff on time to witness the end of Delia and Poisona's fight. Kingler had one pincer wrapped up in string. He had blocked the attack to protect Delia. He held on to the cliff with his other pincer.
"It's over!" Poisona prepared to throw the last grenade she carried.
"You've caused enough damage with those!" Delia jumped from Kingler to Ariados, fighting Poisona for the grenade.
The explosive slipped out of Poisona's hand and fell into the ocean below. It was time to retreat. Poisona let go of Ariados and fell to the ocean where Solo was struggling to stay afloat against the waves. Ariana had not allowed Braviary to get him out of the water.
"Delia!" Giovanni extended his hand to Delia, pulling her onto Machamp. Ariados screeched and looked as if he would attack. But Machamp was faster, "mega kick!" Ariados was kicked right off the cliff. As he fell, Ariados shot a string to attach himself to the lower portion of the cliff below where he stayed unsure of what to do.
The weakened Braviary was having trouble staying in the air. He flapped his wings tiredly and made an emergency landing on the cliff side cavern. The injured Mandibuzz was still there and Ariados heading towards them. It seemed that was the only relatively safe area from their point of view.
Delia recalled Kingler into his pokeball. Machamp returned to the top of the cliff with Delia and Giovanni. Proton had Bollux tied up, while Persian sat regally, supervising everything. Solo and Poisona made it to the cliff, they held on to the rocks there to avoid being pushed underwater by the waves. The cliff was too slippery to climb. Ariana flew above them on Honchkrow with Weavile at her side. Proton's Crobat flew near by.
Delia breathed in relief that the battle was over. "Now we just need to get them out of the water. We also need to tend to the injured pokemon in the cavern."
"You need to tell me why you're here," Giovanni added. He didn't expect Delia to show up and join the fight, especially not in a Team Rocket uniform.
"Don't blame Ariana, it was my idea," Delia wasn't sure how to begin to explain things. "I wanted to make sure everything turned out alright. Ariana wanted to help too." Delia's version of alright' might be different from Giovanni's and they were both aware of that detail, but didn't bring it up. "Anyway, like it or not, I ended up involved with Team Rocket again." She walked to the edge of the cliff remembering the first time she stood there long ago. "With all that's happening and all that we need to talk about, I think I'll be around for a while." She looked at the glowing moon and endless horizon. She looked back at Giovanni and made herself smile, trying to remain positive amidst the complicated situation.
Giovanni watched Delia standing at the edge of the world. The breeze blew her long brown hair and the moonlight shone on her. She smiled and he saw something he had not seen in a long time. She was radiant.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. This chapter has pokemon from all the different regions up to generation five. I said it wasn't the end of the diamondshipping! It's only the beginning. There will also be pokeshipping in the future of this story. Diamond 65 has an extra dose of rocketshipping for all the JessiexJames fans.