Diamond 66: Give me Links
Diamond 66: Give me Links
The underground dungeon below the Viridian Rocket Headquarters had a heavy atmosphere. It was as if the air was almost too thick to breathe. The structure was composed mostly of dark gray stones. The only lights were on the corridors, with none inside the cells.
"Hypno, hypno, hypno..." The steady and soft chanting was soothing. The silver pendulum swung left and right in front of the prisoner's eyes.
At first, Poisona struggled against the chains that strapped her to the dungeon wall. Then she lost her strength and felt sleepy. Her red eyes closed and her head slumped.
"Keep the hypnotic power steady," Proton instructed his pokemon in a whisper. The yellow pokemon nodded and continued chanting gently. Taking a deep breath, Proton tried the interrogation again, "what is your name?" He started with a simple question to test the trance.
In a lost and emotionless voice Poisona replied, "Patricia Citox," that was her real name.
So far so good, but Proton wouldn't get his hopes up. "What do you hate most?"
"Pokemon," Poisona's emotionless voice answered without hesitation.
"Why do you hate pokemon?" Proton tried a slightly different approach. He wouldn't ask about Akira right away.
"Fire, burn, they all burn, it was Charmander, it had to be," the volume of her voice increased as it went from empty to psychotic. Her red eyes opened, "I'll kill you all!" She let out an ear splitting wail before passing out. The constant hypnotism and the strain of going in and out of a trance wore her out. It didn't help that she refused to eat. She wouldn't last long that way. She would had to be sedated and fed through a needle.
Proton shook his head. His underlings weren't kidding about how difficult it was to get information out of that woman. Bollux and Solo answered all the questions they were asked without hesitation after they were hypnotized. The executive addressed one of his henchmen, "run a detailed investigation on Patricia Citox's past. Don't leave anything out. Also, get the resident shrink to look at her. We need to get information fast."
xoxox xox xoxox
Giovanni's orange sports car stood out as he drove through the streets of Pallet Town. He stopped in front of a little house with tables and chairs next to it. Delia mentioned that she ran the only restaurant in Pallet. It was very easy to find in the small town. He thought about inviting her to see Binks, he could be useful if he recovered his senses enough to help analyze Akira's blood sample.
Giovanni got off his car, parked in front of Delia's house. A peculiar sound reached his ears. "Bell!" It was loud and high pitched, similar to the horrified cries of a small child, but it was a pokemon. "Bell, bell, bell!"
Ash exited the little house with a pink bundle in his arms, rocking it gently. "It's okay, its okay, don't cry anymore. Let's go get some fresh air. Look Belle, isn't it a lovely day?" Misty was in Cerulean City with her sisters. The sisters insisted on having her return for some sibling bonding. In truth they had to have a talk about secrecy. While Misty agreed to her sisters' request of sibling time, Ash took some time off at Pallet Town.
Ash tried to smile soothingly at the Bellsprout in his arms, but was rewarded with a leafy slap. "Bell, bell, bell!" She cried.
"Shh, there, there, don't cry," Ash continued his fruitless effort to comfort the wailing pokemon. A new cap covered his messy hair, which reminded Giovanni of the old cap that was still in his office.
"Persian," Giovanni's loyal companion was there with him as usual. Persian frowned impatiently, hearing the annoying cries of the Bellsprout in the pink blanket. The Bellsprout was by no means a newborn, she was older than Ash.
"Pika!" Pikachu was on the ground next to Ash. He couldn't stand to be perched on his shoulders with the loud Bellsprout in his arms. He pulled his ears down with his front paws and held them down tightly.
"C'mon Bell, you're going to scare off all the customers!" Ash pleaded. He felt his ears ringing from the constant noise. He took notice of just who it was that exited the car parked in front of the house. "Giovanni!" Ash rushed over to greet him. "What a surprise, did you take care of business already? I bet you must have been busy. At least Tempest was apprehended," Ash grinned proudly at that. He couldn't wait to tell Giovanni about how he and Misty stormed the enemy hideout. "Wow, awesome car!"
Before Giovanni could get a word in, Belle became upset that the one who was supposed to console her wasn't paying attention to her. "Bell!" She wailed so loudly that even Giovanni cringed.
"Put her in a pokeball!" Giovanni snapped in annoyance. Why Ash was putting up with that noisy creature was beyond him. The Bellsprout was rather small, light creases had formed under her beady eyes due to her age. Her pink makeup was running all over her yellow head. The pink bow she had tied around her neck was askew. She was a mess.
"I can't," Ash continued trying to calm Belle. He had to raise his voice to be heard over her cries. "Mrs. Alderaan, her old trainer, passed away recently. It's not just a temper tantrum, she's really sad." Ash gave the Bellsprout an understanding look. "Belle tried to wake Mrs. Alderaan yesterday morning and couldn't. She ran out of the house and got mom to follow her. Mom had to get in through the window. She found Mrs. Alderaan still in her room. She looked like she was sleeping, but she was never going to wake up. Mrs. Alderaan took really good care of Belle, so poor Belle is heartbroken. We tried to talk to her, but she wouldn't stop crying. Mrs. Alderaan lived a long and peaceful life, but it's still hard for Belle to accept she's gone."
Giovanni wasn't sure what to say to all that. Leave it to Delia to worry about a crying pokemon and teach Ash to do the same. The Viridian gym leader wanted nothing more but to shove that loud mouth Bellsprout in a pokeball and bury it.
Salvation came in the form of Gary Oak. Ash spotted him heading towards Mrs. Alderaan's house where a few people had gathered. "Wait just a second, I'll be right back." Ash bolted after the other young man, "Gary! Please take care of Bell for a while, alright?" He shoved the pink blanket with the wailing pokemon into Gary's arms.
Gary's expression became pained and annoyed at the noise, "Ash, wait! You can't leave me like this!"
"I have a guest to take care of," Ash excused himself. "Besides, you're the researcher; you should research ways to cure pokemon depression." He dashed across the street back to where Giovanni was.
"You'll pay for this Ash Ketchum!" Gary threatened.
"Thanks!" Ash smiled, not really taking Gary's threat seriously. He watched guiltily as his ex-rival continued towards Mrs. Alderaan's house with the crying Bellsprout in his arms.
"Pikachu..." 'Finally...' The electric pokemon sighed in relief.
"Persian, persian, per per?" Persian inquired, 'is it always like this?'
Pikachu shook his head, "ka chu!" 'No way!' "Pika pi ka chu pi," 'today is a sad day.'
The two pokemon continued their conversation while their respective trainers talked. "It looks like I came in a bad time," Giovanni observed, "maybe I should come back later." Delia would probably want to stay in Pallet Town. It might take a lot to convince her to go with him and help. Plus they still needed to clarify certain things.
"It's okay, mom is at Mrs. Alderaan's house talking to her relatives, but she'll be back soon. You came to see her, didn't you?" At that moment the general situation felt a little odd to Ash. It had not fully sunk in yet that his mother was in a relationship with Giovanni. He suspected it, he even assumed it to be true, yet it didn't fully hit him until then. He was comfortable enough before, caught in the rush of things that were happening. When it all slowed down, an awkward cloud began to form, though one without any hint of resistance or hostility. Ash dissipated it in the only way he knew. "Do you want to have a battle while we wait?"
Giovanni had been waiting to battle Ash; his face showed that he was truly looking forward to it. "Don't hold back," the confident grin the Viridian gym leader was known for overtook his face.
Ash smiled with anticipation, "I won't." He glanced a little way off across the street. "Let's go somewhere else so we don't disturb anyone, or break anything. The Oak research center is big enough to have an all out battle safely. We should go there."
Giovanni opposed no argument as he followed Ash down the street. "Is Samuel Oak still running things? I thought he retired." Giovanni had heard something about the recent discoveries by Professor Oak of Pallet Town. He wondered if that was the same Oak or maybe his son.
"You know Professor Oak?" The awkwardness that had formed disappeared after the battle challenge was accepted. The conversation flowed rather naturally afterwards. "I should have guessed you would know him, since you're the Viridian gym leader and all. The elder Professor Oak retired a few years ago. His grandson, Gary, is taking care of the research now. He's the one I just gave Belle to. Professor Oak still lives there at the lab. Has it been long since you've seen him?"
"Yes, a very long time," Giovanni truthfully replied. "It was probably before you were born."
The comment brought curiosity to Ash. As far as he knew, his mother dated Giovanni and they broke up for reasons unknown to him. Then his mother met his father. They married, Ash assumed they did, then he was born. His father passed away when he was still a baby. His mother was left in a deep sadness and got rid of all traces of his existence. Then Ash grew up not knowing his father beyond vague stories without specifics. He also knew that his mother had been Professor Oak's student in the past. Had Giovanni studied with him too? Was that how they met?
They stopped in front of the stairs within the brick fence, the gates were left open. Giovanni noticed Ash's thoughtful expression. He wondered just how much this young man knew and how much he suspected. Even if Delia had kept certain things hidden, maybe Ash figured things out on his own. "There's something you wanted to say?"
"Um... well," Ash shook his head. "It's nothing, never mind. Let's go see Professor Oak before our battle." Ash felt that he was being a little too invasive. He should be asking his mother the questions about how she and Giovanni met. It might be awkward for Giovanni, who didn't know Ash too well yet, to tell him. Ash hurried up the stairs to the front door, breaking eye contact with Giovanni. Ash felt as if Giovanni was looking right into the depths of his mind. "Professor Oak!" The young man called out from the door before opening it. After so many years of stopping by to see how Gary's research was going, it no longer felt odd to go in without being let in.
Professor Oak made his way out of the laboratory were he was reading over his grandson's latest article. The article was just about ready for publication; Gary just wanted his grandfather to take one last look at it. "Hello Ash," the greeting was cut short when Professor Oak realized just who was with Ash. "Giovanni?" He asked unsure. He never expected Ash to show up one day with Giovanni.
"It's been a long time, Professor Oak," Giovanni's tone was calm and polite.
It brought back memories for Samuel. He remembered when Giovanni came by with Delia long ago. "Ah, yes, a long time indeed," there was an edge to the elderly professor's voice, but it was hard to identify unless it was expected.
"We're going to have a battle," Ash proudly declared. "You don't mind if we battle out in the back, right? It might bother people if we're too noisy on the street. Plus we'll need the space."
"A battle," Professor Oak searched for any signs of real tension or anger on Ash's face. He looked and sounded perfectly cheerful. The stress of the previous day's discovery had since left him. He was still visibly tired from the ordeal of dealing with Belle, but otherwise alright. Professor Oak correctly assumed that Ash had no idea about who Giovanni was to him. "Yes, of course, go on, have fun." He forced himself to smile as casually as possible. As soon as Giovanni and Ash were outside, he would call Delia.
Giovanni and Ash made their way through the peaceful atmosphere behind the laboratory. The large portion of land was covered in lush green grass with trees, bushes and flowers scattered about. Giovanni's attention had already been caught earlier. He needed to know of how much Ash was aware of. "Just say it," he tried to keep his voice calm so as to not discourage the truth. "What you were going to tell me before."
Ash was caught with a thoughtful expression. Again he felt as if Giovanni could read him like a book. He quickly came up with something else to say, "I was going to tell you about Tempest. I saw the news and it said the Saffron City police caught them." Ash pouted, he felt a little cheated at the official version. "I guess the police needs the credibility and all, but Misty and I were the ones that did most of the battling." He paused; he didn't want to sound like a show off. Both his mother and Misty always reminded him not to get too confident whenever he slipped up.
The revelation quickly caught Giovanni's interest and he let his expression show it. "Tell me all about it. I want to hear the details." He already knew about this from the reports, but he wanted to know why Ash felt the need to bring it up.
The request pleased Ash, who smiled cheerfully. He began his narration, "Misty and I heard some suspicious rumors about Tempest being in Saffron City. We went to investigate and saw the Meowth that stole my hat. I'm sure it was the same one from Cerulean City. We chased her down an alley and she led us to the Tempest hideout. From there on it was a great battle!" Ash merrily went over every detail of the battle.
The story took a very interesting turn when Ash explained that he had mistakenly been taken to the police station along with the Tempest members. "Thankfully, the Saffron City mayor showed up and cleared everything up."
"The mayor?" Giovanni wasn't happy to hear about his mother again. "Did you talk to her?" That part was not included in Comet's report since he left with Akira while the battle was still raging.
"Not really, she just came and ordered the officers to let us go," Ash thought back to the mysterious meeting. "Jenny didn't really think we were guilty, she kept saying something about protocols and needing to keep us there. She looked frustrated, but I was too. It was so unfair to be detained for a good deed. Jenny also criticized the higher-ups, I think she meant the mayor, but I think the mayor is a good person. We left right after she made the police set us free. We didn't get to talk much."
"Did she say anything at all that seemed unusual?" Giovanni asked. A Vileplume passed by, minding her own business. She gave the humans one short curious glance before continuing on her way.
"If riddles count as unusual..." Ash recalled. "When she first saw me she said something about my eyes being like 'his' eyes, but that I had a look like 'her'. She said something about trapping those who underestimated me. Maybe she meant Tempest with that last part. I don't know about the first part, she never mentioned who that 'him' and 'her' I reminded her of were." Ash still couldn't understand what that was about. Perhaps it was some kind of profound metaphor. "After we thanked her, she said we didn't really need her help. That was kind of odd."
It was all just like her. Madame had not changed all that much. It became apparent to Giovanni that she must know who Ash is. She knew far too much. "Is that all she told you?"
"Yeah, that's pretty much everything," Ash nodded, "not that I can make any sense of it. Do you know the Saffron mayor?"
"Not too well," Giovanni lied, while at the same time remaining truthful. "I heard she's a very mysterious person, so I was curious."
"She's mysterious alright," Ash agreed. Three Rattata ran near by playing tag, focused on their game.
Persian sighed, "Persian per persian per per." 'What a strange brother I have.'
"Pika?" 'Brother?' Pikachu curiously inquired.
'I mean Ash,' Persian replied in his pokemon language. 'Giovanni and Delia are my parents, adoptive since they're humans and all. That makes Ash my brother I suppose, since they are both his parents.'
"Pi ka chu!" Every syllable came out with surprise.
Pikachu was so loud that Ash had to wonder if there was something wrong. He smiled widely as he came up with an interpretation for Pikachu's outburst. "You're anxious to battle, aren't you Pikachu?"
"Pika pika!" Pikachu flailed his arms around as he shook his head and tried to communicate his discovery. "Pikapi, pika pika!"
'He can't understand a word you're saying,' Persian reminded, of course only Pikachu understood his statement.
'I know but this is big!' Pikachu argued. 'Who is Giovanni really? Just the gym leader? Or is he really with Team Rocket. I suspect he is!' Pikachu continued.
'Yes, but it's not like you can tell anyone,' Persian taunted. He grinned mischievously which made even Giovanni wonder what kind of message he communicated to Pikachu.
Giovanni disregarded his previous thoughts about pokemon being nothing but creatures of battle, he viewed Persian differently anyway. "Meowth would be really helpful right about now," Ash mused aloud, as if he read Giovanni's thoughts.
"Jessie and James' Meowth?" The question came out before Giovanni could think of any consequences it may bring. He didn't know of any other talking Meowth. If he didn't disregard pokemon thoughts and feelings as gibberish or nonexistent so often, Giovanni might have seen the benefits of keeping Meowth around at headquarters.
"Yes, exactly!" Ash exclaimed before realizing what he was saying. "How do you know Jessie and James?" Before Giovanni could reply, Ash remembered his battle at the Viridian gym. He got an earth badge after battling Jessie and James. "Is it because they took over the gym that time years ago while you were away?" Logically Giovanni had to be away, otherwise Team Rocket wouldn't have been able to take over, Ash reasoned. Whoever was left in charge of the gym and kicked out by Jessie and James, must have told Giovanni all about it when he returned, Ash assumed.
Giovanni didn't want his connection to Team Rocket to be discovered by Ash, so he went along with that. "Yes, everything was a mess when I came back. I later heard that Team Rocket had taken over. Apparently, someone defeated them." Giovanni made the connection, "that was you?"
"Yes, Jessie and James were always trying to steal Pikachu. They kept at it for years," Ash revealed. "I'm sorry the gym was left in such bad conditions after the battle." Two Pidgey flew overhead paying the humans no mind.
The fact that Jessie and James had spent so much time and effort trying to capture Ash's Pikachu, made Giovanni realize that Ash was the one causing all their miserable failures over the years. A big part of him was annoyed, but another part was almost amused. Of course those two wouldn't be able to stand up to Ash, he was... his son. It was only starting to finally truly sink in.
"Please don't be mad at them," at that moment Giovanni understood what Ash mentioned about his mother's words. When Ash spoke of the battle with Tempest, Giovanni could see his own eyes reflected in Ash. Now his look reminded him of Delia, forgiving and merciful. "Jessie and James were really troublesome in the past, but they're not bad people anymore. We're friends now."
It was a good thing that Jessie and James, along with most of Team Rocket, still remained unaware of Ash's relation to their leader. "I understand." The simple words were enough to reassured Ash, but Giovanni's thoughts were anything but silent in his head.
"Pikapi pika pi chu!" 'Ash, figure it out!' Pikachu exclaimed as he listened to the conversation between the two humans who were actually father and son. He pouted when Ash failed to interpret the message correctly. 'I'm getting Meowth to help me tell him. He talks like a human.' An Exeggcute group stopped near by, listening curiously.
'That's freaky,' Persian huffed, 'besides, if Ash needed to know anything, mom or dad would have told him already,' he hissed. The Exeggcute hurried away, with one of them lagging behind.
Pikachu had to admit Persian had a point; maybe this was another of those complicated human things. 'Alright, I'll keep quiet.'
"We better start the battle before they start without us," Ash assumed that Giovanni would be sending Persian out to battle, since he appeared to be his main pokemon.
"Show me what an Indigo League champion can do. I expect a real battle, six on six," Giovanni decided. He had brought his original pokemon as well as some new ones he wanted to try out. He was especially looking forward to facing Ash's Charizard and Pikachu in battle.
As Ash prepared to take his position a few feet away from Giovanni, Jigglypuff peeked out from behind a tree near by. She smiled at the audience that was gathered there and looked up at the tree. If she sang from there, they would all be sure to see her. The tree was very hard to climb. Maybe that Persian could help her up, he looked like a good climber. 'Excuse me,' she persistently poked Persian's shoulder with the end of her red marker, which still had the cap on. 'Can you help me get up on that tree branch?' She asked in pokemon language. 'I want to give everyone a good show. Help me get up there, you won't regret it.' She kept poking the annoyed Persian. 'C'mon, help me up, please!'
"Persian!" Persian swung his tail in annoyance, yelling at the pink pokemon to 'go away'. His tail batted her away towards the tree.
Jigglypuff held on to the tree branch, "puff!" Her body grew in size as she pouted with an indignant 'ouch!' She let out the extra air returning to her normal size, 'you could have been a little more gentle.' Then she began to sing, "Jigglypuff, jiggly puff, jigglypuff jiggly!"
Ash had frozen in his movement of throwing out his first pokeball. "Jigglypuff!" He pointed at the pink pokemon on the tree branch.
Giovanni had been ignoring the Jigglypuff. He expected to see random pokemon running around the research area. They had been passed by a Vileplume, three Rattata, a pair of Pidgey and an Exeggcute during their conversation. "What about it? It's not... unusual..." Suddenly, Giovanni felt very sleepy. He looked at Ash. The young man had laid down on the soft grass and was slumbering peacefully. That loud mouth Bellsprout probably kept him up all night. Pikachu had fallen asleep next to Ash. Persian was sleeping too. If only that Jigglypuff would shut up. Giovanni tried to reach Jigglypuff, but he was too tired and fell asleep.
Jigglypuff finished her song to see that her audience had fallen asleep. With an angry, "puff!" She took the cap off her shiny red marker and scribbled all over their faces. Satisfied with her vengeance, Jigglypuff ran off to find a new audience that would listen to her song.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. Remember Jigglypuff and the red marker from Diamond 59? Yes, I know, you all wanted Gio and Ash to battle. Don't worry they will... eventually. Don't Give Me Diamonds is now a year old!