Diamond 103: Give me Righteousness
Diamond 103: Give me Righteousness
In a fateful encounter in the past, Delia met Naberrie for the first time while at a restaurant with her father. Davin Ketchum, who was at the time the newly appointed police superintendent for Kanto, was acting as the police chief for the Viridian station until the force's understaffing problem was resolved. That problem had come as a result of the authorities being finally cleaned of corruption to start anew after Team Rocket took out the gangs associated with them. There was an unspoken agreement of mutual indifference and ignorant pretence between Team Rocket and the police, which would only grow with the coming years, more so as one generation ended and new younger officers took over on a clean slate, knowing little of the expanding control of Team rocket until it was too late.
For what was it worth doing anything when inaction seemed to be the only safe path? That was a way of thinking that was not shared by the superintendent, which led to a conflict with Naberrie. Davin was being held at a secret room in the restaurant by armed guards so that he may not interfere with Delia and Naberrie's conversation at a table on the roof. The Viridian mayor, Rune Antilles, then at the beginning of his political career, was downstairs with his young son, Kenobi.
Naberrie observed Delia sitting across the table from her and began her tale. "Years ago, the Coruscant clan ruled the underworld in equal terms with their rivals, the Roketto. My father was the head of Coruscant, being the oldest son. However, his power hungry younger sister was determined to come out on top. By a series of events that I cannot begin to imagine, she ended up married to the head of the Roketto. Peculiarly, the Roketto leader passed away when their first born was still a toddler. Some say she had him killed after she had seduced him to obtain his power. Far from having any intentions of uniting the Coruscant with the Roketto, the widow who let go of her name to simply be known as Madame, the new leader of the Roketto, waged a war which Coruscant lost and established her firm rule. Years passed and her son left determined to build his gang on his own. From there on out, you know the story well."
Realization hit Delia like a Golem. "Your father and Giovanni's mother are siblings!" She began to worry, but tried not to show it.
Before Delia could inquire about Naberrie's intention, theorizing that revenge was part of her agenda, Naberrie interrupted with, "were." Seeing Delia's puzzlement she elaborated, "my father and Giovanni's mother were siblings, since he is no longer among the living."
"I'm sorry to hear that," Delia's voice was sincere, her mask falling off to reveal compassion. She inevitably wondered if the death of Naberrie's father could have been a direct consequence of Madame's actions. "Even if it was because of what Madame did, you shouldn't blame Giovanni for it. He has no control over his mother's actions, they don't even get along. Besides, this happened a long time ago, right? Giovanni was still a child, as were we."
"I do not blame Madame for the fate of my father; his own stupidity led him to his downfall," Naberrie ascertained with a hint of anger in her eyes and a predatory curve upon her lips. "His talents as a leader were null, yet he was given the right of the firstborn. He exhausted our resources to the point where the once proud Coruscant family was indebted to many of the smaller gangs of Kanto. He had nothing left so I put him out of his misery."
Delia gasped at the revelation, "you... your own father!"
"This world is not for one as innocent as you, Delia." Naberrie looked almost mocking. "I honestly don't understand what Giovanni is thinking, but it is obvious he's not with you for your heritage. Even if your father is the police superintendent, that is something that only became true recently and I agree with my aunt's policy to not negotiate with the police. To do so would be to give them the advantage as they play both sides of the law, while we are perpetually in the side that stands against it."
Naberrie continued her explanation and criticism, ignoring Delia's look of utter shock. She could tell that the other woman's indignation was not due to being casted as a bad choice for Giovanni, but more so because of the surprise of what happened in the mafia all for the sake of power. "When those small gangs were wiped out by Team Rocket, the Coruscant, which had been reduced to virtually nothing by the time I became the new boss, was finally free. However, there was nothing more to do than to break even and thus the clan was in essence disbanded. At some point before that, I had met and married Rune, a cargo merchant commanding a modest market share well behind its competitors, especially the titan of cargo transport, Calrissian Cargo. After becoming free of my clan and its debts, I decided to start anew. Even if Madame was brilliant in the past, she too has fallen from power. It seems the commanding power right now is Giovanni, thus I will offer my alliance to him, I already have through city hall."
"You want to be Giovanni's ally?" To say Delia had doubts about Naberrie's sincerity was an understatement. "If that is true, then why are you doing this? Why did you cause such a commotion at the restaurant, people were watching and you should know that's not good for Giovanni."
"You didn't notice and neither did he," Naberrie leaned back on her chair and closed her eyes in indifferent superiority. Being raised as a lady of the mafia, albeit her family was already spiraling down when she was born, the way she carried herself was similar to Madame. However, Madame seemed to be one step ahead of everything and everyone, irradiating power without trying, in an atmosphere that was both calmer and deadlier than Naberrie's. "Davin Ketchum is being used. He is not the real police superintendent, he's bait. After Team Rocket took out most of the gangs, the police obtained a one in a lifetime opportunity to finish the clean up. They did not waste that chance and put a plan into action. Unfortunately, I do not know the specifics, but I can assure you that your father is being used. The police is trying to take out Giovanni now, before he firmly establishes his rule. This is a plan that doesn't include the whole or even the majority of the force, but an elite group of officers and government officials acting along side an unknown third party. Team Rocket is just starting to expand, most of the police and government gave up the war after loosing the battle, but there are those who are willing to risk it all."
Delia remained silent for a long moment until she swallowed air and pushed her voice to function. "I will have to confirm if what you say is true."
"Naturally," Naberrie expected the doubts. "You will also come to understand that my actions here tonight have spared you a lot of trouble. Your father will be released, minus his weapon, which my men will keep as a souvenir, though I'm sure he'll receive a replacement at the police station. However, a stop must be put to tonight's plot. You will not meet Davin again until you have confirmed my warning; I will personally escort you to the Viridian Gym."
"I want to see my father," Delia protested. "How do I know you won't hurt him?"
"You will find out later when there is no news of the supposed superintendent being killed," Naberrie offered. "He will most likely try to contact you, but you must not speak to him. He knows about Giovanni and when he finds out you're with him, he'll try to get information from you to separate you from him and arrest him. If that happens, he'll be playing right into the trap of the real superintendent. You will find, as will Giovanni, upon further investigation, that my intentions are sincere and that I was of vital help tonight," Naberrie emphasized.
From there on the following events proceeded as per Naberrie's orders. Davin was released into the forest minus his police gun and left there. Delia was taken to the Viridian Gym in front of which she exited the mayor's limousine with its other passengers, Naberrie, Rune and Kenobi, remaining unseen.
xoxox xox xoxox
After the mayor's limousine dropped her off at the Viridian Gym, Delia had too very important things to do. One was to ensure the safety of her father and the other was to tell Giovanni about what happened, so that he may take the proper contingency measures if Naberrie's warning turned out to be true and perhaps more so if she turned out to be lying. Team Rocket was only just beginning to truly establish its rule despite its fast growth in the economy and number of members. Its decent into a darker path was only looming in the approaching future yet to come and the feeling of being a righteous, albeit illegal, vigilante was still in Delia's heart. No matter what, Kanto needed Team Rocket, she and Giovanni would not let it fall apart.
With such thoughts in mind, Delia hurried upstairs to the gym's living area. She opened the door to her and Giovanni's room surprised that for once, Giovanni had no extra work to keep him up late. Instead he was sleeping peacefully with his young Meowth curled up by his side. "Wake up, Giovanni!" Delia turned on the overhead lights disturbing her lover's slumber. "This is urgent!"
In a split second, Giovanni was fully awake and out of bed, while the Meowth was still in the process of stretching and yawning, with no idea what was making his mother fuss so much. "What happened?" Giovanni urged Delia to reveal.
"A lot, my father may be in danger, no, he is in danger!" Delia exclaimed, her voice sinking into panic. "First of all I need to locate him and make sure he's safe, can you have agents help search the city? I don't think they could have gone far yet. We need to investigate who the police superintendent is, the real one I mean. Naberrie needs to be investigated and even Rune, to be safe." The mayor didn't look like he would hurt a Caterpie, but Delia didn't want to take any chances.
"Delia, slow down, where are you going with all of this?" Giovanni was confused and did not like what little he could theorize about from the information he managed to grasp out of Delia's rushed statement.
"The agents, the search, now!" Delia insisted adamantly, unable to focus on anything else until she knew actions were being taken about her father's safety. "His name is Davin Ketchum, graying brown hair, about five inches taller than me and... The only pictures I have of him are old and in a box of random things I left at Professor Oak's laboratory back when I left for my Cerulean City internship." She suddenly regretted procrastinating to go pick it up, as the box in question was usually forgotten seconds after being remembered when it came to mind.
"It's okay, that's enough, he'll be found and brought here," Giovanni offered, trying to calm Delia.
"No, don't," Delia exclaimed, "If he's fine just let him be. Have him call me, I'll tell him I'm alright and that's it. Don't interfere. We still don't know if the police is really using him, or Naberrie, or both."
"Right, we'll do that," Giovanni delegated orders to his top agents through his cell phone. "The search has started, they'll keep us informed," Giovanni pressed a button on his cell phone, ending the communication. "Now from the beginning, what's happening with the police?" He inquired, adding with a grumble, "I knew this would be trouble," while at the same time being silently thankful that Delia at least made it back unharmed.
Delia began her explanation as fast and clearly as she could. "I was at a restaurant with my father when-"
The name of Naberrie, which Delia had mentioned, tugged at Giovanni's memory until he realized why it sounded familiar. He suddenly interrupted Delia by asking, "Naberrie Coruscant?"
"Yes, your cousin," Delia confirmed.
Giovanni's face was immediately invaded by distrust. He didn't know Naberrie well, other than the fact that she was his cousin. He had seen her maybe twice in his life and had not spoken to her on either occasion. He could come up with a number of reasons why she would want to stand against him, but certainly didn't expect her to actually take action, now of all times, let alone to involve Delia. "What did she do?"
"That's just it, I don't know for sure," the hopeful side of Delia wished with all her might that Naberrie kept her word about her father being safe. That would place the police as their main enemy if she truly wanted to be their ally, but that could be dealt with later.
Delia's explanation was interrupted again, this time by the ringing of Giovanni's cell phone, piercing the urgency in the atmosphere to fill it with a few eternal seconds of excruciating uncertainty waiting for the news that could be a relief or a catastrophe. "Did you find him?" Giovanni spoke into the device.
Accentuating his reply with a yawn, followed by a grunt, Proton answered, "yeah, I found him, he was pretty close by. The stubborn old man had a few nasty things to say about me the second he saw me, but we have him under control."
"Good, put him on," Giovanni passed the cell phone to Delia.
She took it with shaking hands and almost desperately called, "dad, are you alright?"
"As alright as a prisoner of the mafia can be, or worse yet, the father of a prisoner of the mafia. Delia, what in the world is this about?" Davin's out of breath outrage was heard over the cell phone.
"You're not a prisoner and neither am I, but you might be being used by the police," Delia revealed with a tired breath. "Listen, just go back home and act natural. The police needs you so they won't hurt you, the less you know, the safer you'll be. I'll be watching over you, so don't worry. I'll get to the bottom of this and get you out. For now, just go home and pretend this call never happened, don't worry about me. I'm safe and I'll keep you safe, please, just do what I say, I'll see you as soon as I can."
Davin was horrified that his daughter, sounded very much like she was well connected with the mafia. There was no doubt in his mind that it was indeed Delia's voice so similar to her mother's, speaking words he would never have guessed she would speak. At least she was safe, if the term safe was used loosely. Davin didn't know what was going on, but he knew he had to comply, if not for his well being, for hers. "I'll do what you say, please, stay safe, Delia."
After reassuring her father some more, Delia ended the conversation and Davin was released. She gave the cell phone back to Giovanni just in time for him to hear Proton's complaints. "For crying out loud, Giovanni! I get woken up in the middle of the night, on the one night I actually decide to stay at base and get some much needed sleep. Then I'm sent on a wild Farfetched hunt for some old man through the forest and when I do find him, you don't even keep him around. What in the world is going on?"
"That's what I would like to know," came Giovanni's voice, followed by the tone that indicated the communication had been disconnected.
Once again left in silence, Delia took a deep breath and tried to fully explain what she knew. "While at the restaurant with my father, mayor Antilles approached to say hello. I didn't know what was going on, but his wife, Naberrie," Delia observed Giovanni's expression turn to angry surprise upon realizing that Rune being married to Naberrie was a fact that had remained hidden from him. Ending her pause, Delia continued, "she took us to the roof and she had armed guards. They took my father away and she told me many things. She said that dad's recent promotion to police superintendent was false and the real superintendent along with a small group of officers and government officials were using him allied with an unknown third party. They want to take out Team Rocket and Naberrie interrupted their plot to gain information through my father, who seems to know nothing of this, by interfering tonight. She said she wanted to be your ally and that this was the proof of it. I don't know if she's telling the truth, but I think both possibilities need to be investigated."
"I don't trust her," Giovanni stated strongly. "I don't trust Rune either." A man such as Rune Antilles, so carefree, distracted and easy to manipulate had to be someone else's puppet. Giovanni just discovered that he was not the one controlling Rune after all; someone else had set things up to make it look that way. "We're going to need more information; Team Rocket will be at full alert. I'm especially curious about that third party you mentioned. We can investigate the police and Naberrie, but unless we know who our third enemy is, finding more information will be difficult."
xoxox xox xoxox
For the next few days a detailed investigation was conducted by Team Rocket. In the mean time, at a loss for what to do and fearing for his daughter's safety, Davin was determined to conduct an investigation of his own. He did not report the happenings of the restaurant to the police. The group of officers and government officials who set him up were aware of what had happened, up until the time when Naberrie interfered and took them out of range of their spies. However, since Davin didn't bring it up, neither did the higher ups, so as to not let him know he was being closely watched, assuming he was unaware of it.
As for the conversation between Naberrie and Delia, that remained a mystery to the police, but they had guesses as to what could have gone on. That made them especially careful around Davin, doubting how much he knew and how far he would go. With the worry in the back of his mind that the police was using him, Davin decided that he had a good enough excuse to justify his silence in the worries about his daughter's safety. He would, as Delia instructed, proceed as if her call never occurred. He did not need to act his desperation, as it felt quite real when he headed to Pallet Town to speak to Professor Oak, wondering how much he knew about Delia's current life. He felt reproachful towards the man to whom he had entrusted his daughter. Simultaneously, he also felt that he had no right to blame Samuel, since raising and guiding Delia was his duty as a father and not the duty of his friend.
The morning was gloomy with gray clouds covering the sky when Davin arrived at the Oak laboratory. Light rain fell barely noticeable every now and then, threatening to bring forth a strong downpour which had thus far not come. Parking his car in front of the brick fence of the property, Davin exited the vehicle and noted that the gates leading to the stairs in front of the main building were parted; Samuel probably forgot to close them the night before. He made his way up the stairs with a rushed yet uncertain pace, stopping mid way as the front door coincidentally opened.
Samuel Oak bent over to pick up the newspaper that was at the foot of his door. As he straightened, he saw the man standing mid way up his stairs and recognized him almost instantly, "Davin!" His first reaction was the happiness anyone would feel laying eyes upon an old friend that one has not seen in a long time. It mixed with the excitement of an upcoming pleasant conversation and finally sank into a well hidden worry. Delia's path in life was something that Samuel had accepted, but Davin may not. The professor wondered how much Davin knew, though he theorized that not much. He guessed that the man was there to visit his daughter at long last, assuming she was still his student.
"Samuel, I need to speak to you," Davin finished going up the stairs adding, "inside," with a serious tone. It was as if he debated if he should apologize to Samuel for making him carry the duty of raising someone else's child or to punch him for allowing Delia to take the path Davin himself should have been there to protect her from. Overall the benefit of the doubt won over and Davin restrained himself from any sort of physical or verbal outburst.
Seeing the seriousness in the other man's face, Samuel stepped aside to allow him passage inside his residence. He closed the door, locking it behind them and tossed the all but forgotten newspaper on the living room coffee table. Both men sat down on the couch, which was as hard as an Onix, though neither seemed to care about the discomfort, their minds too filled with more imperative thoughts. "This is about Delia, isn't it?" Samuel guessed, coming up with a theory different from his thoughts of a mere few seconds ago. Davin knew something and if he didn't know, he must suspect. Never had Samuel seen such a mixed look on Davin's face, he was serious, worried, unsure, afraid, regretful, disappointed, angry and... reproachful?
"Yes," Davin confirmed and not wanting to dance around the subject he revealed. "I know she's in trouble with the mafia," because any kind of involvement with them was trouble by his definition. "I don't know in how much trouble she is, enlighten me." Davin's voice came out as a sharp order that Samuel knew he couldn't refuse.
Shifting uncomfortably, Samuel tried to voice some difficult revelations. "Delia is..." the pokemon Professor paused and looked at his friend in the eyes. "I'm not going to run away from this discussion, but I think you should talk to Delia first. After you've spoken to her, you can come to me and we'll talk."
"I already talked to her. She said the police was using me, she said she would keep an eye on me. She sounded as if she was really with them, with the mafia. I knew it was odd to promote me at my age, when the murmurs I've heard from the office are that they thought it was about time for me to retire," Davin realized he should have been suspicious before. "It was too good to be true to think that after all those corrupt officers were taken out of the force they suddenly decided to appreciate my experience. It turns out I was apparently part of the clean up. Delia doesn't want me to go looking for her and I'm worried something might happen to her if I do. Samuel, you know something and I need to know exactly what it is, I have the right!" Davin exploded, his voice louder and more enraged than Samuel had ever heard it.
Samuel stared at Davin in shock for a moment. "I am not well informed in such internal affairs," he admitted. "If Delia wants you to lay low and watch your back with the police, it's best to listen to her." He let out a stressful breath, "I apologize if I've inevitably broken your trust, believe me when I say that I care for Delia as if she were my own daughter. It all began with her internship at the Cerulean City Pokemon Center. She was missing for a while and when I saw her again she was... she was the same as ever, except she had a boyfriend. He's the head of Team Rocket, the Viridian Gym leader, Giovanni."
"He'll pay for this!" Davin exclaimed in absolute fury. "Taking away my little girl and getting her involved in all this trouble!" He stood up and paced, as if he wanted to run back to his car and rush to Viridian City to strangle Giovanni.
"Davin, please calm down!" Samuel stood to block the doorway. "It's not great, but it's not terrible." That was before Delia showed up back at Pallet Town pregnant and heartbroken; it was before Samuel felt true anger towards Giovanni. "It might actually be more good than bad in a certain light. I think they truly care about each other and it was Team Rocket that ended the epidemic, everyone owes them for that. I suppose you could think of them as vigilantes in a way."
"Nonsense!" Davin shouted, "listen to yourself, this is the mafia we're talking about, the mafia!"
The outburst was interrupted by a somewhat odd sounding feminine voice just outside the front door, "open the door this instant, this is the police!"
The two men froze for what felt like an eternity, until finally Samuel reacted, "just act natural," a million excuses ran through his mind, though he doubted any smart officer would believe him if he said he and Davin were only rehearsing a play and their argument was not real. None the less, he knew they would gain nothing by hiding inside the house, thus he opened the door.
There stood officer Jenny in her usual police uniform, miniskirt included, "Davin Ketchum, Samuel Oak, you are both hereby under arrest!"
"You can't!" Davin protested, too stressed and worried to form any real excuse.
"Officer, please, let's talk, I'm sure there's been a misunderstanding!" Samuel pleaded.
"I'd like to hear what you have to say," Jenny agreed, stepping forward, which caused the two men to step out of the way to let her in. The officer then closed the door and locked it. "What's your excuse?" Samuel and Davin remained silent, trying to calculate their words carefully until their visitor grew impatient and scolded them in a voice that was not female. "You were so loud the entire town could probably hear you. What would you have done if the real Jenny came to arrest you? It's my job to keep an eye on you, so don't make it more difficult than it is." He then removed his wig to reveal purple hair. "My name is Petrel, one of the elite agents of Team Rocket, I'm here for your protection."
Samuel and Davin wore matching shocked expressions. Davin fell into a sitting position on the rock hard couch and held his head in agony. His daughter was not only hanging out with the mafia, but with cross-dressing weirdos too.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. When Naberrie mentions Rune being a merchant, she is referring to him managing a small business that transported cargo, which later evolved into Antilles Oceanus. The mention of Calrissian Cargo still being ahead in the market refers to this flashback taking place between the first and second portion of the main flashback, since Calrissian Cargo met its end after the S.S. Lapras incident. I hope the positioning of this flashback in between the first two major flashbacks isn't too confusing. I've been trying to point out the continuity as clearly as possible, linking the events to the chronology of the story. Petrel says he's an elite agent because at this point in time the executives are not yet called that.