Diamond 88: Give me Purpose
Diamond 88: Give me Purpose
In the Aquatic Circuit XL, underground at Viridian, Blastoise, Tentacruel, Milotic and Gyarados launched forward in the pool, speedily surfing along the water. As they approached the first jump, Delia noticed the rings were electrified. The hoops were large enough for fully evolved pokemon to jump through, but touching the edges would be painful. The water pokemon jumped through the lower hoops almost in unison. The trainers jumped through the higher rings, landing on their pokemon's back on the other side. As they progressed through the lap, the circles were a little higher.
The balcony soon became crowded with spectators witnessing the race. The lower part of the floor was also crowded with people watching the competition unfold. They were getting drenched being so close to the pool, but they didn't seem to care, caught in the excitement of the race. The racers were almost to the turn of the oval shaped pool on one of the far sides. There was another hoop there, which was a difficult move.
"Gyarados' body is so long and that turn looks difficult. He would have to fly to get through that without touching the hoop," Delia watched with concern.
"Even if they like touch the hoops, the electricity isn't like enough to like seriously hurt, it'll just like sting, you know? It'll like get stronger, but it's like still not that bad, you know?" Luke's dizziness from Laiki's speech seemed to have considerably dissipated as he focused on watching the race.
Gyarados leapt from the water, the turns on either side of the oval shaped watery race track were the hardest part. His long body was almost through as the pull of gravity inevitably acted against him. The long water pokemon's tail touched the large ring, which let out a blast of electricity. He growled in protest, his wet scales transferring some of the shock to his trainer. However, they were far from out of the race. They continued on as if nothing happened, racing through the other side of the giant pool.
Domino wasn't so lucky. Milotic screeched and contorted with the jolt of electricity that took her by surprise after miscalculating the jump. She threw her trainer into the water below. They would not be disqualified, but would lose precious time as the other contestants moved further ahead.
The race continued with the circles becoming higher. At the third jump, Tyson, Attila and Comet were head to head. As they passed by, water splashed up to the people in the balcony, though they were high and far enough so that only a few drops reached them. On the forth ring, Domino started to catch up. Approaching the fifth hoop, Comet took to the inner side of the pool, with Gyarados jumping through the second one from the inside. Closing in on the sixth jump, they went even closer to the inner area. It might have been the shortest route to the goal, but it was the most difficult jump to make due to the sharp turn.
"Why is he getting closer? Isn't it easier on the further side?" Delia's voice was barely audible over the cheers of the crowds.
"It's like too high and Gyarados is like too long, you know? He'll like touch the ring anyway, you know? Like only one of the rings like electrocutes at the same time. I like think Comet's like going to take the hit, it's like allowed, you know? You should like see the rookies like racing or like trying to race. They like fall off and sometimes like climb the pillars because their pokemon can't like jump like high enough while like carrying them, you know? Almost everything's allowed except like switching pokemon, or like attacking someone else, or like skipping a ring. If you like know your pokemon will touch the ring anyway, you can like touch it yourself and like take the hit," Luke explained.
"If the pokemon faints it's an instant loss," Laiki elaborated, "but that only really happens with rookies. Gyarados can take the hit; Comet just wants to make it easier for him."
The sixth jump happened as they had expected, with Comet choosing to go through the most difficult route in hopes of claiming a solid lead. He watched for the timing and reached for the ring as Gyarados slipped through it. The electricity was stronger than in the past rings. Attila fell a little behind, having decided that he wanted to avoid the delay that it may cause if his Blastoise touched the circle. Attila jumped through the third one from the inside. Tyson took the second hoop from the inside, along with the second place so far.
Attila refused to give up; this race would decide who held the top spot in championship wins. There was only one jump left and Comet was perfectly positioned to take the innermost ring. Since there was no turn involved, it would be easier even if it was the highest jump. Attila pushed his Blastoise to go faster and momentarily passed Tyson. Attila was aiming for the second innermost ring so that he would come out next to Comet, rather than directly behind him. Tyson refused to let it go and the two men guided their pokemon to jump through the second innermost ring. At the same time, Domino, jumped through the third ring from the inside, determined to make a strong final effort. Unlike Attila and Tyson, she had nothing to collide with.
Attila and Tyson's Blastoise and Tentacruel bumped into each other as they passed through the ring, throwing their trainers off. The two pokemon were uncomfortably stuck in the ring simultaneously, before finally squeezing through together. Attila and Tyson had landed in the water near each other and were fighting. Another Rocket with a whistle called their attention and they swam away from each other, glaring daggers. Attila and Tyson got out of the pool, knowing of the repercussions that came from causing unnecessary fights within the base, which may disturb the training activities.
Without looking back, Comet had already crossed the finish line and claimed the victory for the race. The triumph also broke the tie for most championship wins, which he previously had with Attila. Domino took second place, while Attila and Tyson were declared disqualified due to having attacked each other. They would still be able to continue racing next time, since the fight didn't become serious enough to merit anything beyond a warning. The look Attila gave the others made it clear he would return the following week and expected them to be there. A championship win was still counted even if the previous week's champion wasn't present, but Attila wanted a rematch and Comet was all up for it.
The crowd dispersed with some running off to collect their winnings and others ready to count their loses. Some went to congratulate the winner and others discussed the most exciting parts of the race with their friends. The pillars with the pairs of hexagonal rings became straight again and sunk beneath the water of the pool. The island in the pool's center sunk as well, with the water level going down to fill up the space. The water was filled up to the proper level again as they got ready for some other type of competition.
Delia smiled seeing that there was a good amount of control over the sport. Plus the rings really weren't as dangerous as she thought. Nearly lost in the crowds, Delia managed to keep an eye on Comet as he made his way past the multitude, occasionally stopping to exchange a few words with people. He headed for some doors on the far wall. People were coming and going from the large double doors, men through the left and women through the right. He was probably heading to the lockers to get dressed. "Good luck," she smiled at Luke reassuringly.
"It'll be like okay, because you said so, you know?" With confidence, Luke walked off to the elevator disappearing out of sight.
Delia was left to wonder if her judgment really should be trusted that much. The atmosphere was so cheerful that she felt optimistic as she realized, "Ash would love to try this."
xoxox xox xoxox
Meanwhile, in a small cottage, north of Ecruteak City, Iblis paced around impatiently. There was a teenager tied to a chair. The small structure of the cottage was otherwise furnished with an old wooden table and three other chairs, one of them lopsided. The effects of the induced sleep had since worn off and the boy was glaring daggers at his captor. He reminded her of both Ash and Giovanni, it was unnerving.
Iblis knew she couldn't risk going back for Ash, certainly not in broad daylight. She should have guessed that the capture was far too easy. "It doesn't matter," she thought aloud. "Sweet Delia will come for you anyway," she laughed like a witch from a fairytale, determined to make the protagonist miserable. She was in an especially rotten mood due to her plans failing one after another. To top it all up, that clone she worked so hard to get out of the Rocket lab had escaped. She had no idea where number ten could have gone.
"Why are you doing this? Why Delia? What did she ever do to you?" Vandel, alias Skye, asked from his position tied to the chair. She had taken his pokeball containing the green Bulbasaur and had it on her belt.
"She stole him from me," Iblis growled bitterly, "I was to become the queen of the world and she stole everything from me!"
"I see..." Vandel closed his eyes in thought, "so that's what happened, you intend to kill her."
"I will!" Iblis raged, "she'll come for you even if you're not Ash. You'll just have to be enough."
"I don't think Ash would have been captured," Vandel mused, "I don't know what happened, what would have happened or what will happen, but it seems I found the cause."
"Stop your stupid ramblings!" Her eyes threatened to silence him permanently if he didn't shut up.
Vandel grinned, much like Giovanni when he was feeling victorious. His eyes shone with a special kind of determination, the kind found in Ash's eyes. "I guess I'm no longer taking random guesses, that's good to know." With one swift motion, Vandel was on his feet at an odd angle, with his ankles strapped to the chair's legs. He quickly spun around knocking Iblis back with the chair and simultaneously knocking one of her pokeballs off her belt. It was Bulbasaur; he saw the scratches from when Givan batted it away with his claws the previous day, sending the pokeball crashing into the wall. That earned him a protest of disapproval from Dia, who thought that calling out Bulbasaur for dinner could have been done more gently.
"Saur?" The little green Bulbasaur didn't recognize his surroundings and was instantly frightened. His fear grew upon seeing his trainer tied to a chair, struggling to stop some scary lady from taking aim with her gun. He was using the chair to tackle her backwards, trying to make her lose her grip on the weapon.
"Bulbasaur, razor leaf on me!" Vandel ordered with such authority that Bulbasaur dared not question it. The small green pokemon attacked his own trainer, successfully freeing him of the ropes that had bound him to the chair. A few small cuts were also inflicted upon him, but he didn't seem to care.
"You insolent fool; you're going to die for this!" Iblis was finally able to aim. However, her gun shot missed Vandel as small vine whips wrapped around her arm and pulled.
Wasting no time, Vandel kicked the gun out of her hand and delivered a solid punch to the face, which left Iblis in a pained daze. "Saving Delia is what I've been training for. You might have killed her the first time, but not this time. This time, I'm here; this time, the great fall will be prevented." The boy picked up the gun from the floor. "If I kill you, you won't be able to kill her." He aimed for her head at point blank; she was still too dazed from the hit to try to get away. It would be hopeless anyway.
"Bulbasaur!" Frightened, the small green pokemon wrapped one of his vine whips around his trainer's wrist. "Saur!" He shook his head.
"Mind your own business," Vandel harshly pulled the vine whip away. "You have no idea what the future is like, this is to save your kind as well."
"Gengar, Alakazam," Iblis weekly released her pokemon. They were trained for interrogations, not battles. She knew there wasn't much they could do. However, if they served as her shield, that would be enough.
The door to the cottage was suddenly knocked down by a large, strong Persian. He was quick to attack the Alakazam and Gengar slashing at them in rapid succession. Iblis watched in horror, fearing for her life, "confuse ray, hypnosis, fight back!" The Alakazam and Gengar, who had been forcefully evolved, were helpless against the Persian. They were knocked out easily.
"Givan," Vandel immediately recognized his own pokemon, lowering his weapon. "How did you find me?"
Givan shook his head, indicating that this was not the proper time to discuss such details. Besides, he wasn't wearing his collar, so Vandel wouldn't understand him anyway. Furthermore, he didn't know the answer to that himself. He just knew that the cottage was the enemy's hideout. When he went to check on Vandel and realized he was missing from Pallet Town, he went to find him there.
It was one of those random thoughts that surfaced without explanation. It was an inexplicable answer that he knew but shouldn't know. It was almost as if he could vaguely remember bits and pieces of things he couldn't have witnessed. Givan's silent gestures were enough to communicate that they should give Iblis to Team Rocket alive. After all, Dia would strongly disapprove if he allowed the boy to have any blood on his hands.
xoxox xox xoxox
At the Team Rocket Viridian base, among the spectators of the Aquatic Circuit XL, Laiki had suddenly frozen and fallen silent after Luke left. Delia was there when Giovanni brought the cure, she probably knew the truth.
"Laiki?" Pixel waved her hand in front of the blond girl's face. "I think she's experiencing a mental blue screen."
After a few more seconds, Laiki finally blinked, "this is a totally crazy theory, but I have to ask," she paused and looked at Delia seriously. "When you mentioned Luke had to talk to Comet, you didn't mean about... his... origin... did you?"
"Actually, yes," Delia admitted, further questioning if she should have encouraged that or not. The way Laiki's jaw dropped and she experienced, as Pixel would say, another mental blue screen, wasn't exactly encouraging.
"What origin?" Pixel curiously inquired.
"Um... ah... er..." Laiki babbled before blurting out, "Comet is long lost royalty!"
Laiki's announcement was something that neither Pixel nor Delia believed. "Long lost royalty, right. Who is his majesty Comet related to?" Pixel further inquired, wondering what crazy story Laiki would come up with. Her question about the mysterious detail, that both Laiki and Delia seemed to know about, was still present in her mind. If they didn't tell her, she would get some information out of Comet later. Besides, how secret could his origin be?
"Well you see," Laiki began her explanation in all seriousness. "I happen to know that the daughter, of the son, of the aunt, of Comet's father, is dating the long lost prince of our secret and proud kingdom. So that means that if they get married, she would be the princess. Which means that Comet would have a... um... what do you call the daughter, of the son, of the aunt, of your father anyway?"
"The son of your aunt would be your cousin, so this is the daughter of Luke's cousin we're talking about," Pixel mused.
The conversation took another casual turn and Delia decided to go along with it. "Right, if your father's cousin is your second cousin, I think that the daughter of your father's cousin would be your third cousin," Delia reasoned.
"Right," Laiki nodded, "one day, Comet's third cousin might become royalty for all we know."
"That makes him a royal how?" In Pixel's opinion, the relation, if it were real, was far too distant to mean anything.
"By the marriage of his third cousin," Laiki didn't really know how to support her point beyond that. "I don't know how close that is to actually happening, maybe Delia can tell us."
"Me?" Delia blinked, was she supposed to add something to the fairytale?
Laiki nodded energetically at the prospect of hearing some interesting information. "You're the queen after all, you should know."
Delia paused and allowed the influx of information to wash over her. If she was the queen in Laiki's story, that meant the so called kingdom was Team Rocket, of which Giovanni was the king. That would make Ash the prince and the future princess was, "Misty?"
"Yup," Laiki chirped, "I happen to know that her father was Luke's cousin, the son of his aunt."
"Wow, I guess there are more family connections than I thought," Delia laughed. She had learned a lot of interesting things as of her return to Team Rocket. Daisy was married to Lando, whose father and consequently he, worked for Team Rocket. Violet was dating Kenobi, the son of Rune, who was currently Viridian mayor and secretly also with Team Rocket. Kenobi was also the future mayor of Viridian City if all went according to plans. Misty was engaged to Ash, who was the son of the leader of Team Rocket. As if all those connections weren't enough, some kind of obscure distant connection had to turn up to add another drop to the already full glass. "Now that you mention it, Comet and Misty's hair color is pretty similar."
"That doesn't explain all this secrecy," Pixel pointed out the fact that she was not so easily distracted.
"Yes, well... I guess he'll tell you eventually, maybe," Laiki gave a weak forced smile before clapping her hands together and loudly declaring, "let's just forget about everything and go man watching!"
"I should go see if Giovanni needs anything," Delia decided.
"I have to keep studying codes," Pixel added.
"Fine, be that way," Laiki sighed, "ah well, maybe I should go back to my usual post now." She headed to the lockers to get dressed so she could return to the infirmary.
Unlike Laiki, Pixel was still in her Team Rocket uniform. Delia's thoughts went to Luke and Comet one more time. "Could you keep an eye on Comet for me? If he seems... sad, let me know, maybe I could help somehow."
"Sure, no problem," Pixel's curiosity incremented with Delia's request, but she left it at that for the time being.
xoxox xox xoxox
At the battle arena of the Viridian Gym, a newly evolved pokemon was easily beating the opponent. Delia arrived on time to catch the end of the battle between Giovanni's Rhyperior and a Rocket grunt's Mightyena. The Mightyena was knocked out and recalled into its pokeball, with an apology from the grunt for not providing a better challenge, or any challenge at all.
"Doing some training?" Delia smiled as she approached Giovanni.
"Hardly," he replied almost amused, which was unusual given that he didn't get the challenge he wanted. He was looking forward to the challenge he would surely get from Ash.
Delia saw it coming from a mile away. They would battle; she knew it all too well. It was almost like a form of communication for pokemon trainers. She knew Ash would want to battle too and she hoped that they somehow became a little closer that way, even if it was just a tiny first step. The day felt crowded with many events, but also somehow optimistic. "I'm going to Pallet Town."
Giovanni nodded, "I'll see you this evening."
"Yes," Delia smiled, "both of us."
xoxox xox xoxox
Just outside of Pallet Town, a trainer made his way through Route One with an egg in his arms. He had traveled from the eastern edge of Kanto where the virus was at its worse. His entire pokemon team had fallen to the illness. The effects of the virus seem to lessen as he traveled to the west of Kanto and were not as strong in Johto. He didn't know how long that would last, but it was his only hope. He knew that the Oak research laboratory was in Pallet Town and intended to leave the egg there to be studied. It was all he had left of his past pokemon.
"What does it matter, it's doomed anyway." He bitterly set the egg down on the side of the road and went on his way. He intended to get a fresh start in Johto and maybe head home to Hoenn before things got worse in Johto.
"Vulpix!" Dia had gone out to patrol the area, just in case, while Givan ran off to find Vandel. She knew that he had a point in not wanting to leave Pallet Town unguarded by someone of their team. Witnessing the trainer abandoning his pokemon, one that had not even hatched no less, she ran over to him. "Vulpix, vulpix!"
The trainer was tempted to try to catch the Vulpix which looked healthy enough, but had no way to do so. He was going to obtain a new pokemon to start with from a friend in Johto. Shaking his head, he turned around and headed away from Pallet Town, ignoring the Vulpix.
"Vulpix!" Dia called once more, but was ignored. If that's how it was, maybe the little one was better off with someone else. Dia touched the small egg, it was still warm and it twitched occasionally, it would hatch very soon. How could that trainer abandon the poor baby? Dia knew she couldn't take the child with her. When she, Givan and Vandel went home, they could only take what they came with. However, she could at least find a home for the child. She picked up the egg with one paw, holding it close to her chest, and went back to the Pallet House.
xoxox xox xoxox
It was the afternoon in Pallet Town and Vandel was getting ready to leave. "The world should be much better now." He looked at Dia, who seemed to be feeling accomplished. She had her collar back on, since they were leaving soon anyway. "All that's left to do is to give Ash the anti-paradox card." He looked around the guest room that had served as his residence during his stay at the Oak research lab. As soon as he gave Ash that card, the last piece to the puzzle would be set. "Hey Dia, what did you do with that egg you had when Givan and I got back to Pallet Town?"
"I gave it to Delia," Dia replied, her collar tracing red sound lines as she spoke.
Dia remembered Delia wondering if the egg belonged to Dia, to which she shook her head. "An orphan?" Delia had asked, to which Dia nodded. "Do you think Skye will want to take care of it?" It was out of the question if he wanted to keep the baby pokemon or not, he couldn't anyway. Delia seemed to somehow understand and offered, "I can take care of the baby." Dia had smiled and encouraged her to do so. Delia's team then consisted of Kingler, Cloyster, Mimey, the fully recovered Oddish, whom was given back to her after healing, and a mysterious egg.
Vandel nodded, "that's good, she'll take care of it." He looked at the pokeball containing Bulbasaur. "I guess this is goodbye." He released the grass pokemon and petted him, "you're going to be the Oaks pokemon again, I can't take you with me where we're going."
The little green Bulbasaur seemed sad, not understanding why he couldn't accompany his new trainer on his journey. He had witnessed some scary things in their short time together, but he thought that if he continued journeying with Skye and his other pokemon, it would all be for the best. "Saur?"
"Aw, it's not that we don't like you," Dia tried to console the disappointed little Bulbasaur. "It's hard to explain, we can't take anyone along that wasn't in our original group. Don't worry, the Oaks will find a new trainer for you and it'll be lots of fun."
"Bulba saur," though still a bit disappointed, the Bulbasaur at least seemed to accept the fact.
"I'll miss you too," Dia smiled gently.
Vandel threw his backpack over his shoulders. He made sure not to leave anything behind, with the exception of the card, and not to take anything he didn't come with. "Where did Givan run off to anyway?"
"I'm sure he'll be back soon," Dia replied and exited the guest room along with Vandel. They went to find Gary.
Gary was in the middle of typing something, apparently some kind of research. A cup of coffee was sitting next to his keyboard with pictures of the three Kanto starter pokemon. "Almost done, almost... Rejecting my article on that reason, how could they?" He muttered under his breath. "It may inspire an unnecessary panic, they say," he grumbled. "Panic is never necessary, but none the less the gravity of the situation can't be hidden for much longer. The east of Kanto is a mess," his furious typing never ceased. "Make it sound more hopeful," he grumbled, "how am I supposed to do that?"
"Excuse me," Vandel spoke up and Gary's rambling ceased immediately.
The young researcher looked up from his computer and smiled as casually as he could. "You disappeared for a while. There was a drunken Rocket stumbling around like a zombie in town, but I didn't think that could be the cause of your little disappearance. After all, that guy was so confused and had no pokemon on him. I handed him to the police. So, where did you run off to?"
"No where important," Vandel lied, "listen, I can't really explain it, but I have to go back home. I don't think I'll return, ever. So this is goodbye, sorry it's so short notice."
Gary's expression soured, "you're worried about your pokemon, aren't you? It's because of the virus that's killed practically every pokemon in the east of Kanto; you're worried it'll reach here soon."
"That's not it," Givan and Dia were immune. However, the virus in the east was spreading fast. Maybe since the fall was adverted, the cure would come to that world sooner. Then maybe, the world from which Vandel came would be even better. It would no longer be a place where pokemon that used to be common were extremely rare. It wouldn't be a broken world, because is foundation would not have been removed; Team Rocket would still be there. "I just really need to go home. I can't take Bulbasaur with me," he handed the pokeball back to Gary. The little green Bulbasaur, who was still outside of it, sat down on the floor, next to the researcher's chair.
"Let me guess," Gary looked at him suspiciously, "you can't tell me where you're going or what your real name is?"
"How did you know?" Vandel was taken by surprise.
"I did a background check on you, just in case," Gary gave him a knowing grin. "There are no records of a Skye Mirai ever existing anywhere. That is a reason to be alarmed and suspicious, but you seemed trust worthy, so I let you stay. I don't know who you are, where you came from, why you're here or what you hoped to accomplish, but I don't think it's bad."
Vandel smirked, his eyes shone with determination and satisfaction at his mission. It was a look that Gary had seen in Ash before. That smirk was something he had seen somewhere else, in the Viridian City gym leader, though Gary wasn't immediately aware of it. "Even if I tell you the whole truth, I don't think you would believe it."
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. In this story Gyarados don't fly, that would be way too easy. XD Mirai means future, a reference to future Trunks from Dragon Ball Z. This chapter was side-story centric, but the last part especially is very closely linked to Giovanni and Delia. The next chapter will bring some answers. Nafatali drew some awesome art of Comet and Pixel in the animation style of Pokemon great for a clear picture of what they would be like in an episode. Check out her deviant art gallery Ankhesenamen for tons of amazing art!