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Team Rocket: Built On Lies
"Set after the events of Operation Tempest, Giovanni's next scheme plans to send the whole world into ruin. But how will Team Rocket cope when they realize that Operation Tempest changed Giovanni forever..."
The main characters in this story will be Jessie, James, Meowth and Giovanni but down the line most Team Rocket member who have been affiliated with the group in the anime will be included in some way, though probably not to the degree of my big 4.
The ages of my main characters I am judging that Jessie and James were 17 back in Generation 1, giving it a year for each passing Generation which would put them at 22 now. Giovanni...I dunno, 30/40ish...
This is my first real fanfiction so I will be making mistakes, so I welcome criticism, constructive or otherwise, tell me you hate it, I dont mind, I just want to get better at this
And so it begins...
Chapter 1: Coming Home
“Rocket Log - Lead Scientist and Second in Command of the Rocket Empire, Dr Zager speaking: I am greatly disturbed by the events which have just unfolded here tonight. This was finally the night when Operation Tempest would unfold. It was all going so well, right according to plan and was following my predictions to the letter, though things soon became complicated. The Boss decided to go off course. In his quests for supremacy our Boss, Giovanni, got carried away, and he took on much more than he could handle.
In his attempt to control the entire Unova region, Giovanni got lost in greed. Nobody is really sure of the true powers of the Reveal Glass, the item has been shrouded in mystery for years, but I do know one thing, it somehow took control of Giovanni's mind. The symptoms of this happening seemed to be similar to how Psychic Pokémon have been able to take control of a humans mind. It is known throughout all of Pokémon law, that when humans let their mind come in close contact with Psychic Pokémon, their brains cannot handle that kind of pressure. Psychic Pokémon physiology is so much more complex than humans, and when a human merges with the intense algorithms of a Psychic Pokémon’s brainwaves, the human brain is just too primitive to deal with that pressure and cannot cope. It seemed that is what happened to Giovanni, but I can't be certain.
This has happened to Giovanni tonight, now the connection between Giovanni and the Reveal Glass was able to be broken by the three Rocket Officers: Jessie, James and Meowth, hopefully before any permanent damage could be done. The Boss seems to be normal now, but there is a great chance that he may have suffered a great trauma to his brain. When we get back to Kanto it is of the upmost importance that Giovanni be informed, I will have to break the news to my Boss that he may be dying...
Hopefully, as Giovanni's connection with the Reveal Glass was able to be broken quickly that any lasting damage will be able to be dealt with. Myself, Jessie, James, Meowth and the Boss were the only survivors in this failed mission. This mission, Operation Tempest! That which was supposed to be our biggest mission, our grandest stand...all gone. When we return to Kanto, I'm afraid to say that I can't see a way in which Team Rocket can survive.”
The main objective of Operation Tempest was simple: conquer. Team Rockets plan was to take control of the Unova region, the highest populated and the richest country in all the lands. To achieve this risky objective, which Giovanni himself wanted to spearhead, for reasons still unknown, Team Rocket needed to bring forth the power of ancient legend. The first aim was to kidnap the Legendary Pokémon known as Meloetta, a small but powerful Pokémon, stories of which have been passed down through generations. Legend has it that the voice of this psychic Pokémon was able to fill people's hearts with joy for the rest of their days, however when sorrow polluted to world, Meloetta lost its voice. Only Team Rocket would use such a pure and innocent Pokémon for their own twisted schemes. Once Team Rocket had captured this Pokémon, which Jessie, James and Meowth had somehow managed to achieve successfully, Team Rocket would use the fabled voice of Meloetta to awaken and open the Abyssal Ruins.
The Abyssal Ruins, a vast underwater temple, housed an item known as the Reveal Glass. Meloetta and an ancient civilisation had watched over the Abyssal Ruins and moreover the Reveal Glass for years and years. It was in the Reveal Glass was the true power Giovanni was looking for. Over the years, attacks on the Abyssal Ruins, to steal and manipulate the Reveal Glass, had started to become more frequent, however it was only Team Rocket who managed to awaken the true power of the Reveal Glass.
The Reveal Glass, supposedly a mythical item which has the powers to "tell the truth" and when looking into this glass your “true form” is said to be revealed. Though something else, with much darker consequences, is housed within this glass. There is an unknown quality within the Reveal Glass, a quality which has the ability to control any Pokémon of your choosing, should you say the Pokémon’s name into this glass. Of course this was all just legend, fairy tales. It was this legend which made the Reveal Glass so intriguing, it was this legend that Giovanni wanted to manipulate, and manipulate he did.
Thanks to Jessie, James and Meowth kidnapping Meloetta, Giovanni was able to gain access to the Abbysal Ruins. Thanks to Doctor Zager, Giovanni was able to use a recording of Meloetta's voice to access the Reveal Glass. And thanks to the Reveal Glass, Giovanni had the power of any Pokémon in existence in his hands. Giovanni is a clever man, he and Doctor Zager had spend months upon months deciding which would be the perfect Pokémon, who would have the power to bring an entire region to its knees. After many fierce debates, battles between the two highest ranking Rocket Officers, it was decided that one more legend would have to be awakened.
Landorus, Tornadus and Thundurus. Three of Unova’s most powerful and destructive Pokémon. Many folktales have surrounded the three Pokémon, up until recently it was thought that they didn't even exist, just purely myth. Landorus, the being of land, the Earth, said to have the power of every element of nature under its control, a true force of nature. Tordanus, the being of the heavens, the skies, able to whip up destructive hurricanes with a simple swing of his tail. Thundurus, the final point in the triangle of power, Thunderus controls the state of matter between the earth and the heavens, with indescribable powers of lightning at his command. The three legends were said to have fought viciously for generations, every natural disaster ever to happen was thought to be when one legend was able to defeat the others, there are shrines built on every site of a disaster, with the locals praying to the three gods, praying that such destruction would never happen again.
It was these three Gods whom Giovanni spoke their name into the Reveal Glass. Team Rocket had had previous dealings with the trio of legends, but the mission failed when they realised there was no way to keep these three monsters under control. However, now thanks to the Reveal Glass, Giovanni had the power. Once Giovanni spoke the names "Landorus, Tornadus, Thundurus" into the Reveal Glass, all the myths came true. Unova was shattered into pieces. Tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes ripped open the entire region, almost blowing the whole of Unova off the map. For a while, everything was going according to plan, Team Rockets greatest and most optimistic mission was actually working!
However, something changed. Giovanni changed.
Giovanni ordered the three legendary monsters to destroy. That was never a part of the mission. The initial outburst of power was just a scare tactic, they would then use the three Legendary Pokémon to bring Giovanni to power, but Giovanni didn't stop. He told the three beasts to destroy Unova. Destruction was never the aim of the mission, not fully. The aim was to use the three legends to bring society to its knee, for Team Rocket to be the be all and end all, for Team Rocket to control the world. But that isn’t how things turned out. Something within the Reveal Glass changed something inside of Giovanni, it has been said that the glass shows a person’s “true form”, whatever that should mean, but surely that was just an old wives tale, right? Right? When Giovanni looked into the glass, did he see pure evil behind his eyes; did this vision of himself drive him to insanity? Whatever happened in the Reveal Glass drastically changed Operation Tempest, not for the better. Because of Giovanni's insanity, and Giovanni's insanity alone, Team Rocket failed in taking over the world, Team Rocket failed Operation Tempest.
On route back home to the Rocket Base in Viridian City from the site of Operation Tempest, the sounds of the powerful engines of Giovanni's private jet was blaring through the still night air was the only noise out in the silence of the environment that night. Team Rocket’s jet was disturbing many of the wild Pokémon’s natural habitats tonight. But not in the way they wanted, not in the way they expected and not in the way that was supposed to happen. Not that disturbing the natural environment was upsetting any of the passengers on board going back to Kanto, for the weight of the world was pressing down on the shoulders of the 5 Rockets on board. None more so than the only female Rocket on board.
A frantic Jessie was pacing the floors of the rather spacious aeroplane, “We lost..."
"Looks like it," James replied downtrodden, though seemingly much more at ease than Jessie was, staring out of the window of Giovanni's personal jet.
We lost, again." Jessie almost shouted this time.
"We did." James’ relaxed nature wasn't really helping to calm down Jessie.
"How the hell are you so calm about this?" Pulling James face away from the window going right up face to face with her partner, with venom in her voice.
The final member of the infamous Rocket trio also seemed less fazed by the events of Operation Tempest. "Shouldn't we be used to losing by now? After all the times we followed that Pikachu around you would think tha-"
"SHUT UP, MEOWTH!" Screaming the words, it was good fortune that Dr Zager and Giovanni had left them alone, it is doubtful they would want to hear yet another squabble from Jessie, James and Meowth.
"We lost! Again! How can it be so possible!? We fight every opponent, we throw our strongest arsenal at them and yet we fall short every time..." Pacing, incensed, Jessie could no longer hold back on Team Rockets latest failure.
"Jessie?" Meowth tried to interrupt but she was far from done.
"Every mission...every day, every night, every chance that is given to us we managed to just humiliate ourselves!"
"Jessie, stop." Unsuccessful again...
"What has happened to us? We used to be special, we just to be the bane of Kanto's existence, remember? Back before we ever set eyes on that damn Pikachu. We were revered, Kanto’s most wanted, we were feared!" Slamming her hands on the walls, the furious Rocket agent was almost pulling her hair out. "Now look at us, what we have become, after all these years we couldn't even catch a damn Pikachu, we could have just given up, called it a day, one Pikachu couldn't be so important, right?"
"You know the Boss told us to keep going after the Pikachu, he recognises how special he is. Well, he does now anyway." Once again, Meowth was trying to reason with the now hysterical Jessie.
"Because he expected us to catch it! Because he didn't think three of his agents would fail to catch something that children can catch in Viridian Forest! And we never did, and we never will! You know why?"
"Just leave it alone, Jess," Meowth didn't care for her crisis of confidence. "The Boss doesn't even care about Pikachu anymore! He forgave us for not catching it; he even gave us a promotion."
"He promoted us because we told him we defeated Team Galactic and the Pokémon Hunters all by ourselves in Sinnoh," They may not have been the greatest agents in Team Rocket history but when it comes to lying the Rocket trio were second to none.
"Exactly! I must admit, that was excellent work on our part, Galactic is finished and Hunter J is dead, he he, the perfect lie...Team Rocket was built on lies, I see no problems here."
"No problems? No problems! So you’re saying nothing when wrong with what happened just now?"
"I'm not sayin-"
"The Boss almost died out there!"
"Quiet, you two," James scolded, though of the three he seemed to be the one most at ease. "Fight amongst ourselves won't settle anything."
"Nothing will settle anything anymore, James, can't you see? We're finished." Jessie was incredulous at her comrade. "You saw how invested he was in that mission, when does he ever get his hands dirty? He did this time, and he failed, we failed!"
“You know what, Jess, think about what happened back there. I don't think we actually failed this mission." James' statement was one point of view...
Jessie’s was another, "Are you senile? Do you have Meloetta stuffed under your shirt?"
"Jess, calm down, when I say we didn't fail, I didn't mean Team Rocket, I mean us. Us three. Team Rocket didn’t get Meloetta but think about what we gained. We saved the bosses life out there!" James made a fair point, it was Jessie, James and Meowth who broken the connection between Giovanni and the Reveal Glass, who knows what damage that connection could have done Giovanni, who know what damage the connection already has done to Giovanni.
"Yeah, so? Any agent would do that; any agent would give their life for his." It was true, Giovanni is a powerful man, it is unknown how he managed to acquire such power, or how he does it, but there have been rumours swirling around the ranks of Team Rocket of the ones who disobeyed Giovanni. Disappearing, never to be heard from again. Once you are in Team Rocket, there is no getting out. You listen to and protect the Boss at all costs or die in mutiny.
"James' right, we have major bragging rights here. I know the pledge every agent has to take before becoming a fully fledged member, but how many people can say they have actually saved his life! For the first time in years we hold the cards," the sly cat commented.
"Like you said Jess, he never gets his hands dirty, not like this. He's a puppet master, not a soldier, this'll be the first time anybody has had a hold over him." Was James suggesting rebellion?
"I guess, but now what? What's our next move? Overthrowing the Empire?" Jessie realised that maybe they were right, challenging the Boss was rarely a good idea but surely they deserved something! Though overthrowing the Boss would be an almost impossible mission.
"Don't be ridiculous, can you imagine us in control of Team Rocket? The only thing we'd accomplish is bad hair and even worse mechas..."
"SHUT UP MEOWTH!"
"Of course, three people overthrowing an empire it a little too much of a stretch, but we could easily get a pay rise out of this, even another promotion!"
"Maybe you're right; the Boss may even let me do contests again." Her whole complexion suddenly brightened up, Jessie was giddy at that thought, once a Sinnoh Grand Festival semi-finalist, all until Giovanni found out and put an end to that dream. No personal pursuits were allowed under Giovanni's order. If they hadn't thought on their feet and told him they took down Galactic and J single handed in time he could have had them "disappear" indefinitely.
"Exactly! He may even take our Pokémon out of captivity and give them bac-"
"Wait, do you hear that?" Meowth interrupted. A strange quiet, almost strangled scream a drifted through the plane.
"Hear what? I don’t hear anything. I can't wait to see Carnivine and Mime Jr again; they'll get along so well with Yamask." James was miles away now, oblivious to the strange sounds coming out of the other side of the aircraft, with daydreams of all his Pokémon together again. Now they were back in Kanto, there seemed to be no reason to keep all of Jessie and James's Pokémon locked away anymore.
"That noise, I hear it too," Jessie commented, it sounded like there was talking coming from the other side of the aeroplane. "Let’s check it out."
Travelling around the Giovanni's luxurious plane was quite a sight to behold, it was an enormous aircraft. Given the sheer size of the plane, the fact that the Rocket trio could even hear the ruckus coming from the other side was pretty surprising. Trying not to sample all of the expensive gadgets in the plane, room after room of plasma TV screens, massage chairs, a grand piano, zebra print wallpaper, soft carpeting underfoot, Meowth wondered how much this jet set Giovanni back.
"The Boss sure spares no expense with this stuff, just what you would expect from a Crime Lord, I guess." Meowth observed as they passed huge portraits of Giovanni in various different environments, "Hey the Boss looks pretty good in all these paintings, looks like all my fantasies about him were pretty close to reality..."
Jessie rolled her eyes, "Can we please not talk about your disturbing homo-erotic dreams right now..."
Coming up to another large room, the three Rocket Agents overheard a mumbling inside, and saw something which was almost inconceivable to them.
"We had it, I had it..."
Other than Doctor Zager who was piloting the aircraft, Giovanni was the only other passenger of the vessel. Giovanni was speaking these words? The tone of his voice was a far cry from the usually cool and calculating Rocket Boss. Giovanni had excused himself from Jessie, James and Meowth shortly after declaring his intentions to return to Kanto, not to mention his epiphany that his own greediness almost caused his own destruction which came seconds before the order to come home to Viridian City.
"How did...what happened?"
Giovanni was crouching down, huddled in the corner of the grand room. With his trusted Persian by his side, was he on the phone?
"Why am I here?"
Giovanni was hunch over, crouching in the corner of Team Rockets flagship aircraft. There was no phone in his hand; he must have been...talking to himself.
"Where is Meloetta!" His incoherent chattering was getting louder, or getting louder again, considering they heard it before.
"Operation Tempest, our greatest mission, my greatest mission!" His hands were clutching his head, almost pulling his hair out as he continued to scream and shout pounding and pounding hard on the walls
"I ordered destruction!" The Crime Lord was shouting now, his internal struggle was throwing himself into a frenzy.
"B-Boss? Are you alright?" Choosing to interrupt Giovanni might not that been the smartest thing to do, but watching him get angrier and angrier seemed like a much worse alternative.
“You three! You failed me, you always fail me!” He rushed across the room to the three suddenly terrified Agents, stopping abruptly, face to face with them, looking them dead in the eyes.
“No, Boss, that isn’t true, you see-” Backing away, Jessie was searching for anything they could say to calm him down.
“SHUT UP, you don’t deserve excuses, you can’t say anything, you failed me and you failed at this like you fail at everything in your life!” He was insane, frantic at the thought of his own personal mission failing beyond repair.
“Boss! We did everything you told us to!” It was true, technically. They succeeded in kidnapping Meloetta and orchestrating the events of bringing the Legendary Pokémon to Giovanni, it was hard to admit but the failure of the mission lied squarely on the shoulders of Giovanni.
“No, no, no, no,” Shaking his head viciously, bouncing of the walls, Giovanni was clearly unstable here, they had never seen the Boss in such a state, he was a cool and calculating individual. Not the insane monster that was raging before their very eyes.
“It’s true! We didn’t do anything wrong here.” Panic now riddled through them, for once failure wasn’t their fault and now the Boss was seemingly planting his own failure on them, which to be honest was mostly foolproof, most people would think it was the accident prone Jessie, James and Meowth who screwed up anyway.
“Oh? You did nothing wrong? Nothing wrong! Then why isn’t Unova under my control now? Why? Why? Why?” Seething, he was totally out of his mind. Something must have happened during the link with Meloetta Jessie and James were now realizing, unbeknownst to all of them, Dr Zager’s prediction was coming true.
“But, but, s-sir, we”
“I asked you a question, agent!”
“It wasn’t our faults, sir...we did-” Stumbling over their words, trying to say anything that would calm the Boss down.
“You have no excuses, you failed me, and you failed Team Rocket! You’re finished! You’re through! I should kill you right now!”
“Boss, no! It wasn’t our fault! It was-” Finding any way out of this conversation seemed impossible, they were scared out of their wits! They needed to get him back to normal, and fast, if any over the other higher ranking Rocket officers were to see him like this, he would be finished.
“Wait...wait...” A stoic calm suddenly overcame the Rocket Boss. It was like a light switch had suddenly turned off inside him. The raging monster was now a tranquil statue stating off into the distance. “In fact...I will...Persian, kill them! Hyper Beam, now!”
The scariest words Jessie, James and Meowth had ever heard had come in the most serene, velvety tone from the now clearly unhinged Boss. Giovanni wasn’t like this; such a public display of outrage, of insanity, against his own agents no less. He acted the composed, heartless businessman, but deep down, you did get some semblance that he cared for his agents, all of them. It was his own empire after all; he must have cared in some way. They had to do something, anything, to stop this. This wasn’t the way Team Rocket’s demise was supposed to happen.
With Giovanni's loyal Persian charging up one of the most devastating attacks he could learn, Jessie, James and Meowth had seconds to save themselves...
Jessie thought on her feet the quickest. “It was Zager, it was Zager, it was all Zager, sir!” Screaming the words before Giovanni’s psychotic pet had the chance blow the whole aeroplane out of existence.
Giovanni heard that. “Persian stop! STOP! What did you say to me, agent?”
“It was Zager who messed up. HE was the one who gave all of the orders for the mission; it was HIS plans, HIS predictions.” A relieved Jessie relayed the statement to her Boss, it was more lies, but it had just saved their lives.
“So it was...you are right, it was Zager, it was always Zager.” Staring off into space once more, it seemed that Jessie’s excuse had worked in getting him to calm down.
"Wait, no. Jessie it-" James tried to protest but got a swift kick in the shins from Meowth.
“Zager is my Unova representative. How did he fail me? Why did he fail me...?” Giovanni seemed to be lost in thought now, such mood swings...he really had lost his mind.
"Boss, Dr Zager didn't do any-" James protest got another interruption via an elbow to the ribs from Jessie.
“What have I done? How could I put so much trust into him? He failed us, he almost destroyed Team Rocket!" Giovanni was whipping himself into a frenzy again.
B-Boss, no, Zager didn't do-" Trying again James spoke up once more.
"Shut up, James!" The Boss shouted at his underling, within any other circumstances James would have been quite pleased Giovanni had spoken his name, or even knew his name for that matter.
"He must not trust us, he must be working for the other ones...he must be destroyed.” Giovanni had a wicked smirk as he said that last part. "Come on Persian...we have work to do." With Persian in tow, The Boss rushed out of the room, screaming and shouting for his Second in Command.
"Boss, NO!" Trailing after him, the Rocket trio couldn't let the Boss destroy one of their own.
Travelling once again through the jet, this time pleading with Giovanni to calm down and think things through, the Boss was too lost in his own thoughts to consider or even notice his three underlings. With Giovanni distracted, James could finally speak his mind without being abused.
"What did you blame Zager for? He did nothing wrong." James was much closer to Zager than Jessie and Meowth were, he wasn't happy that the latest lie had been at the expense of Doctor Zager.
"So what? It took the heat off us didn't it?" Looking out for number one was always Jessie's way.
"You saw the mood the Boss was in, he could do anything right now." The Rocket trio were awkwardly talking quietly while trying to keep up with Giovanni as he searched the large aircraft for Doctor Zager, surely he must have known Zager was piloting the jet.
"Nah, relax, the Boss and Zager go way back, he wouldn't do anything to Zager, in fact, aren't they related somehow?" Meowth chimed in, though his comment was pure speculation on his part.
"I doubt it, Zager is from Unova, that's why we've been reporting to him all the time we were over there." James had been told this by Zager, over their time in Unova, James and Zager had worked together much more than Jessie or Meowth had, why Zager had taken a liking to James was another mystery, but James throughout their time in Unova James had learned to respect Doctor Zager almost as much as he had respected Giovanni.
"But still, there is no way he'll do anything to Zager, they've known each other forever, he wouldn't hurt Zager, absolutely no way." The Meowth giving his opinion as fact...
Giovanni turned back to the trio, fire burning in his eyes once more, "Where is he?! I'm going to kill that lying scum!"
"Any other ideas, little man..." Under his breath James whispered to the now suddenly less confident Meowth.
"I think he is flying the plane, sir." Jessie affirmed to the Boss, though really it should have been obvious considering he was the only other person on board.
Finally arriving at the helm, Doctor Zager turned around and saw the rest of his teammates arriving in the pilot’s area.
"Ahh, Giovanni sir, I am glad you are here, we have just enter the Kanto region, when we land we need to have a...are you alright, sir?" The scientist was completely taken aback by the look on Giovanni's face. Intense hatred radiated out from the Rocket Boss.
"You! You did this to us. You set us up to fail, you traitor!" Not unlike how he berated Jessie, James and Meowth, the Boss was up in Zager’s face, totally beyond reason again.
"What? What are you talking about?" Completely taken aback, if anything it was Zager who should be furious at Giovanni for putting Team Rocket, not to mention the whole world in danger, had Jessie, James and Meowth not snapped Giovanni out of the power that control Giovanni’s mind, he could have ordered Landorus, Tornadus and Thunderus to destroy then entire planet!
Seething, the Boss gave his screwed up version of event, "Tempest failed because of your screw up, you mutinous son of a-"
Rolling his eyes, "Shut up, Gio..."
Seething, "What did you say to me?!?"
"I told you be shut up, sit down and listen to some sanity. "
"Wow..." Backing away, the three Rocket Agents suddenly felt like insignificant parts in a supreme power struggle, nobody had ever talked back to the Boss like that, not in Jessie's lifetime. It was known that Giovanni and Dr Zager go way back, given Zager’s senior position in Team Rocket, but nobody really knew the exact relationship between the two.
"Now look, if you want to blame somebody for the failure of this mission Giovanni, the only person who didn't do their job...was you." Finally somebody was speaking the truth in the form of Doctor Zager, but how wise were his words this time...
Giovanni looked incredulous, "Me? ME? I'm the problem?!" He was in truth, but nobody really had the courage to say that to him, except Doctor Zager.
"You." It was as simple as that, really...
"Hahaha, you're insane, you're lying to save your skin, what was your plan, Zager? Huh? Make Team Rocket fail our biggest mission so you can start up your own team? Is that was it is?"
The ridiculous suggestion had Zager completely taken aback, "What? That's insane, what are you talking about?"
"You're not one of us...You betrayed me and you betrayed Team Rocket. No more lies. Persian, do it, Hyper Beam now!"
"NO! Wait, you can't do this!"
"Do it, do it, do it now!" Giovanni screamed at his Pokémon.
The vicious beam roared from the back of Persians throat, arrowing towards the defenceless scientist.
Time stood still, hairs stood on end as five Team Rocket members became four. Persian’s wicked Hyper Beam attack struck Dr Zager, smacking him dead through the heart, destroying Team Rockets Second in Command in one vicious attack.
The four other Rockets were blinded as the beam powered straight through Doctor Zager. In Giovanni's mind, Doctor Zager was killed in dishonour...
Persian is not a weak Pokémon, not Giovanni's anyway. And Hyper Beam it has been said is the most powerful attack any Pokémon can learn. A blast like that wasn't going to just wipe out one thing.
The devastating Hyper Beam rocked the jet. Not only annihilating Dr Zager but ripping open the entire front half of the jet! The relentless force of Giovanni's Persian carried on, and on, and on, forcing through the windows, the engines, the helm, the once luxury aircraft was now nothing more than dead weight soaring through the air. Giovanni's mental instability didn't see through the fact that such a powerful attack would also destroy his own jet!
Giovanni, Jessie, James and Meowth inside the now empty husk were now dropping and dropping, hurtling down toward the floor, no idea where they would fall, no idea if they would live or die. Team Rocket’s very existence was dependant on one single death drop.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Chapter 2: Fighting The Forest
Rocket Log - Team Rocket Field Agent, James speaking:
Well...we're still alive. Somehow. Someway. Myself, Jessie, Meowth and even the Boss managed to survive such a crash landing. And people always said we were unlucky...
After screams, a lot of crying and all round panic had died down, we managed to figure out that the jet, well...what remains of the jet, managed to crash-land somewhere in Viridian Forest. With all the lush, thick vegetation in this forest, we luckily had a relatively soft landing. However, no celebration is in order.
Ummm, well, Rest In Peace, Doctor Zager, I guess. I was never very good at all this serious stuff but...he was murdered...by Giovanni. Murdered. Never in all my time in Team Rocket have I ever had the misfortune to witness such a horrific act.
Team Rocket isn't like that...Not anymore...we're thieves, not killers. That's how I always saw it anyway. Others might disagree; I know most of opinions about us seem to think that our creation was the darkest day in the history of the world. But I never saw it like that. I never saw us as the "bad guys". But now...how can I see Giovanni as a good guy?
I am finding it very difficult to look at our Boss in the same way after the events of Operation Tempest. Ever since his connection with the Reveal Glass back in Unova, Giovanni has been...different. His behaviour in the jet just wasn't right. He was far away from the man all of Team Rocket personnel respected.
Not only killing one of our own, but to put himself in jeopardy. He must to have known that the blast of Persians Hyper Beam was have destroyed the jet like that, he must have! He wasn't in his right mind, he can't have been. I wish Doctor Zager was here, I wish he was still alive! He would have known what to do now. What are we supposed to do? Follow the orders of a man who isn't in his right mind? Disobey him when he is so unpredictable? I am afraid for our safety; he was only seconds away from killing us back there. Though there is one thing we can be sure about...we need to get out of this forest."
It was the middle of the night when Giovanni's private jet crash landed somewhere in Viridian Forest. The trees were stretching up to the heavens far above, with a soft moonlight bathing the forest in a silvery glow. Team Rocket found themselves at some kind of clearing. With skyscraper-like trees completely engulfing them from all sides. There was a few small dirt roads winding through the bushes but other than that, there was very little visibility in all directions.
Jessie, James and Meowth made their way out of the still burning aeroplane and tried looking around to assess the situation. Making sure they were out of the hearing range of the Boss, the Rocket trio tried to figure out what was going to happen now.
"What are we going to do?" James looked behind his back to make sure Giovanni wasn't listening; he was currently playing with some electronic equipment from the jet. James hoped he wasn't trying to get the jet working again.
"Well, we need to get out of the forest really." Jessie answered looking around the thick forest vegetation, getting out would certainly be no easy task.
"A monkey could have figured that out, Sherlock. I meant what are we going to do about Giovanni. He did just kill someone..." James seemed more worried about the situation than the others were; he was closer to Zager than the others were.
"He's just a little stressed; it's been a long day..." Jessie's logic was fairly inaccurate; a lot of stressed people do not resort to mindless violence.
James crouched down, with his head in his hands, "I'm a little stressed! I haven't just suddenly decided to kill Meowth!"
Meowth was barely listening to Jessie and James little argument; he was more focused on the Persian that almost killed them all, "Hey! Why me?"
"Shut up Meowth."
Meowth warily took his eyes of the Persian when it suddenly noticed his gaze, "Well...I guess he seems to like us now."
"Yeah, for how long? The guy's a ticking time bomb; he could decide to kill us right now." Though James had to admit, Giovanni seemed a lot calmer with his attention focused on pushing some buttons on the jet.
Jessie was just as scared as James was, she could vividly remember the outburst Giovanni had when he almost ordered his Persian to kill them, "Well, maybe he'll be fine when we get back to Head Quarters."
Standing up, James was just as hopeful that would be the case, but there were a few more complications before they could think like that, "That's another issue, how the hell do we get out of here? This place is huge, and all the dangerous Pokémon that inhabit this place are probably tracking us right now! We only have Woobat and Yamask on us."
Meowth took a cautionary look around the clearing to see if anything was watching them, "Maybe they haven't seen us."
James wished that was the case but, "We fell out of the sky in a fiery aeroplane, who wouldn't see that!"
Jessie had had enough of this kind of talk; they needed to stay calm if they were to get up of this, "Ok, calm down James, god knows we don't need another psycho on our team." But then one more complication arose, from behind their backs, they heard The Boss coming at them.
"Agents!" Giovanni took a professional stance, standing right in front of the only three agents who had survived the disastrous mission in Unova.
"Giovanni, sir!" Quickly dismissing any insecurity, the Rocket trio stood to attention, they couldn't afford to act out of line considering how erratic Giovanni's behaviour had been lately.
"Under such deception from Zager, I apologize for my outburst, but considering recent events...there was no way I could let him live. Besides, it's not a big loss...scientists have always been pawns of the military." There was no doubt in the trios mind that Giovanni was severely downplaying the importance of Dr Zager's loss. "Our brother may have fallen, but we need to move on and it has become clear to me what needs to be done now." To give him credit, he did seem quite sombre in his speaking, could he be feeling guilt for his actions?
"Whatever you say, we will oblige, sir." Meowth was the first to reply, he was always the most attached to Giovanni, at one point in his life his whole world was focus on being Giovanni's "top cat". Maybe they were panicking for nothing, there did seem to be some sanity behind the dark eyes of Giovanni. This Giovanni seemed to be a different guy from the ranting and raving psychopath that was on the jet moments earlier.
Totally ignoring Meowth's statement, Giovanni took charge, "Right, the first order of business is getting out of this forest." His order was an obvious one but still at least he was acting somewhat sane.
"That would be the best idea, sir. Do you happen to know a way out of this place?" Jessie and James were more than happy to follow this Giovanni; he looked like he had elements of his old self. And on the plus side, he had lived in Viridian City all his life, maybe he knew the forest like the back of his hand.
Like the flick of a switch, Giovanni's composure changed, taking a deathly look at the three agents before him, "Do I know a way out? Me? You are the field agents here, out and about in all environments. You should know a way out!"
"Yes, sir!" Panicked at the sudden turnaround of Giovanni's mood, the three terrified agents assessed the situation. It looks like they were screwed then. They had no idea where they were, they had only been in Viridian Forest a few times, five years ago, no less. It was in this fabled forest where they first met that damn Pikachu.
Seemingly calming down, The Boss started to look around the tall trees surrounding them, "Anyway, we don't need to find the way out, if we did find a way out we'd go straight into the open in Viridian City, and I'm sure we don't have long before news of our Unova activities reach here." To be fair, his logic was flawless.
"Good point, sir." Jessie, James and Meowth were watching every word they said, they had to keep him calm at all costs.
"A few years ago during my time as Gym Leader I had an underground network of tunnels built under the ground of Viridian City, it has been one of the main reasons why Team Rocket has been able to remain undercover all these years, with all of the agents coming and going through the underground tunnels as oppose to wondering the streets. The entrance into this network of tunnels begins in this forest." Impressive. Being Field Agents all of this time Jessie, James and Meowth had never been around Viridian long enough to know of these tunnels.
"That's brilliant, sir! Where is the entrance?" Maybe he wasn't totally insane, if there is still a small amount of the old Giovanni in him somewhere then maybe there is a chance things will work out smoothly.
"Well, to judge that, we need to figure out where we landed. Let's find our bearings then we should be able to get out of this forest and back to Base. The tunnels run under the ground and give easy access into Rocket Head Quarters and the Viridian Gym." He seemed to have everything figured out. It was almost perfect, they just needed the entrance.
"The entrance is an underground bunker somewhere on the outskirts of the forest. We'll split up and try to find it." A now calm again Giovanni seem to be ordering them about like normal.
Just as Team Rocket was about to start their way out of their entrapment, they heard a noise coming from behind the remains of the jet.
They heard a sinister breathing noise coming from the edge of the clearing they found themselves on. Looking to the noise, they instantly backed up. Jessie, James and Meowth recognised exactly what was facing them now.
Making its way out from behind the jet, the huge Pokémon let itself be seen, after presumably watching them since their arrival in this deadly forest. Team Rocket saw an eight foot tall reptilian creature. A green-blue, rough, almost scaled skin covered a thick, muscular quadruped form. On its back was a large, red, fully bloomed plant, on the end of a tree trunk like body with six expansive petals shimmering down from the tree trunk sprouting from the centre of its body. Within this plant, the creature has the ability to actually manipulate nature! Every tree, every plant in this forest, was under the command of this Pokémon.
"Oh...god." Scared out of their minds not for the first time since leaving Unova, the Rocket trio backed down as far as they could go, to their dismay, the Venusaur was blocking the only viable exit out of the clearing. Giovanni however had a different look in his eye, he wasn't backing down. He saw an opportunity.
Coming face to face with the dangerous Pokémon brought out Jessie, James and Meowth's natural instincts. Would they stand up and fight like any worthy Rocket Officer, like any worthy Pokémon Trainer! Or would they...
"RUN!" Wanting nothing to do with the big, bad Venusaur, the Team Rocket trio did exactly what they were used too. Much to the disgrace of their Boss.
The outraged Rocket Boss looked at them in distain, he didn't train cowards, he trained warriors! Infuriated at their actions, Giovanni screamed at his underlings, "Run? You are Rocket Officers, god dammit! Call forth your weapons, take it down!"
Looking into the belly of the beast, Jessie and James eyed the problem facing them. Take it down? Could they? "Err, yeah, go Woobat!"
"Yamask, go!" In a flash of light, almost blinding the Venusaur, Jessie and James' Unova Pokémon exploded out of their Pokeballs and floated protectively in front of their trainers. Whatever Jessie and James' opinions on the matter, their Pokémon were more than ready for the challenge.
Yamask is arguably one of James' strongest Pokémon, as is Woobat one of Jessie's strongest. The strange Ghost type Pokémon has one of the more creepy back stories of any Pokémon. Its body is composed of a dark energy with wisps of this energy composing its arms, its head complete with big red eyes, and a tail. In its tail it carries a mask that is said to be the face of the person who the Yamask once embodied. Should legend be believed this Pokémon was once a human, and has to relive the memories of this person's demise over and over again. However, in spite of the strange stories which surround the Yamask, they are kind of, sort of cute, in a way...from some angles.
Flying to the side of Yamask was Jessie's Woobat. A small, shaggy, bat-like creature, with a blue-grey fur covering all of its body, even its eyes, making it totally blind but it able to navigate through ultrasonic rays. It has two black wings at its sides making its small frame quite quick and evasive. One strange feature of the Woobat is its nose, with nostrils in the shape of a love heart. Totally opposite to the Yamask, Woobat don't have any sort of legends surround them, except of its love heart nose, and should anybody find an imprint of this love heart of a cave wall is said to bring good fortune for the rest of their days...they made need that tonight.
Jessie and James stared at the Venusaur, almost afraid to make the first move, they certainly had the numerical advantage, handicapping the Venusaur at 2 on 1, but with the looks of this powerhouse facing them, they still seemed far from the favourites.
"I said take it down!" Giovanni shouted orders impatiently.
"Yamask, Shadow Ball!" Jerked into action, James ordered his Pokémon to take the offensive. With a ball of dark energy suddenly appearing in each of Yamask's hands. The creepy Ghost Pokémon flung the Shadow Balls at the Venusaur. With such a huge target area, the Shadow Balls hit the Forest Pokémon directly on the skull, causing the beast a momentary discomfort, yet the Venusaur was able to recover its composure way earlier than Team Rocket was hoping for.
Venusaur's eyes flickered with intensity, when suddenly two thick, brutal tree trunk like vines whipped out from its body, arrowing across the clearing aiming dead on Jessie and James. It had no issues with the Pokémon; he wanted to hurt the ones who had crashed his territory.
Thankfully able to dive out of the way, they just about avoided the scary looking Vine Whip, Jessie and James desperately planned their next move. They were realising they were seriously out gunned here.
"Woobat, use Gust!" Throwing everything they had at the Venusaur, they had to stop it attacking by any means possible. Woobat's small wings started working vigorously, and surely enough building up enough wind power that the clearing started to erupt in a swirling tornado of fallen leaves and tree branches, leaving the Venusaur, as well as Team Rocket more or less blinded by the swirling whirlwind of forest debris.
Leaving no time for a counter attack, James attacked moments later. "Yamask, Will-O-Wisp attack now!" A risky strategy with all the dry leaves and trees in the area, the whole place could alight!
The faithful Yamask conjured up balls of scalding, blue flames circling around its small body and with one swift motion, the fireballs streaked across the air, firing blind into the tornado that was engulfing the Venusaur.
From the centre of the whirlwind came a blood curdling scream from the Venusaur, he must have been hit! Ordering the Woobat to stop the Gust attack, the tornado died down and Team Rocket were able to see the damage they had done.
The Venusaur was still standing, it looked like it had avoided most of the attack, but was hit with a glancing blow to his side, with horrible burn marks and welts covering its thick skin, however the main damage was what was done to the plant on its back. The whole left side of the plant was not only burned but still on fire! Feeling the effects, the Venusaur let out a moaning cry of pain.
"Woobat, don't give it time to recover, keep hitting it with Air Slash!" The relentless Rocket agents were using ever advantage they could manipulate.
The weakening Venusaur was finally being affected by the numbers game, with the burn marks down his side and the relentless barrage of slashes coming directly at him, the Venusaur let out a deafening roar.
"Wow, wow, wow, guys watch out, it just called out for back-up!" Meowth translated the latest development. If there was more Venusaur's of this power, Team Rocket were screwed more than they are now.
The Venusaur closed its eyes, seemingly in great concentration, when suddenly the bulb on its back began to glow...
Jessie realized what was happening the soonest. "Crap, its charging a Solar Beam! Woobat quick, stop it, Air Cutter! Aim for its back!"
Panicking at the emergence of Venusaur's most powerful attack, James added to the offense. "Yamask help it, Shodow Ball on the plant!"
Within seconds the Venusaur was bombarded with multiple quick fire attacks aimed directly for one of its most sensitive areas.
Attacking from opposite sides, Jessie and James ordered the smaller Woobat and Yamask to fly around the Venusaur, circling faster and faster, not only building more and more momentum for their attacks but also making them more evasive, a technique taught to them by Dr Zager in Unova. With their deadly projectiles focused of the huge plant, which was still on fire, protruding from the beasts back the Venusaur was looking more and more in discomfort by the second.
"Don't stop guys, keep going!" With great force at their disposal, Woobat and Yamask relentlessly attacked the Venusaur, never giving an inch. If they were to succeed in stopping the Solar Beam, they might even win this; they had to keep the offensive.
Flying closer to the beast, Yamask and Woobat were relentless with their attacks. The hammering away strategy seemed to be going well, if they could stop the Solar Beam, they would have a great advantage, knocking out Venusaur's most powerful attack. To give Team Rocket another advantage, it was very dark in the forest, way past midnight; it would take a long time for this Solar Beam to charge up.
With a grunt the Venusaur leapt into the air, with agility that was surely impossible for something of such size. Landing back on his feet, the Forest beast looked outraged, but thank heaven for small mercies that the plant on his back had appeared to stopped glowing. But looking into its eyes, there was still a murderous intent.
"We did it! We stopped it!" Jessie and James leapt into each other's arms, with smiles on their faces, prematurely celebrating a small victory.
"Errr, guys...the battle isn't over." Meowth had never taken his eyes off the Venusaur. He was correct, the look on Venusaur's face showed that the battle was far from over.
The outraged Venusaur looked directly at his two opponents. Yet his concentration was not on the Pokémon who attacked him. It was on the people who crashed into his territory. With murderous intent behind his eyes, suddenly from under the huge leaves arched across his back, came thousands of smaller razor like leaves which were able to strike Woobat and Yamask without even looking at them.
Bombarded by the deadly leaves, Woobat and Yamask were floored with the pain.
Jessie and James ran onto the battle field quickly trying to figure out how hurt their Pokémon were. The Venusaur was glad for the rest, the fire on his back must have been cause him great pain, it let out a cry of victory at being able to defeat two Pokémon at once.
From the edge of the clearing was Giovanni, not participating in Team Rockets latest struggle, just silently watching. Unmoving, seeing how his agents fared against a stronger foe.
Finally he broke his silence, "Agents, do you have any other Pokémon?"
"N-no sir, they don't." Meowth answered on behalf of his team-mates, who were still lost trying to figure out how injured their Pokémon were.
Growling in response to the trio's latest incompetence, Giovanni took action. "Oh for god's sakes, I'll finish this then! Persian, fight!"
The Venusaur was visibly wilting under the strain of the inferno blazing on its back, and the fact that he had yet another hurdle left to climb.
Persian leaped onto the makeshift battlefield, full of confidence, not batting an eye at the fact he was at a huge size disadvantage. There was a sick smile of the Persians face, eye to eye with the Venusaur.
"Persian, end this! Use Foul Play!"
Persians smile grew into a wicked smirk at the order of the manoeuvre. Persian knew that this was no ordinary move, not the way Giovanni had trained him to use it.
Giving the powerful Venusaur one final death stare Persians eyes started to glowed purple, looking dead in the eyes of the Venusaur. The Venusaur's demeanour changed instantly, suddenly looking terrified. Then from the jewel on his head came a blinding light, distracting everybody in the clearing, and leaving the Venusaur totally out of sorts. Then shooting out of the mysterious jewel on Persians head came an impossible sight.
From the position they were in off to the sides, tending to their Pokémon, Jessie happened to catch a glimpse of the strange bright light and suddenly her brain exploded in pain! Falling to the floor, Jessie was huddled up in the leaves and the mud, clutching at her head and screaming in agony.
Jessie was thrust into the depths of her own mind, suddenly finding herself on the top floor of the towering skyscraper that was Team Rocket Head Quarters.
"Jessie..." A quiet voice beckoned her into the room at the end of the hall. Giovanni's office...
Jessie walked into the grand arena that was Giovanni's office at the top of the Team Rocket skyscraper. The only light coming from the full moon peering through the vast window's of the Crime Lords building. Giovanni's silhouette, along with his Persian, was seated behind the desk, both their eyes mysteriously illuminated in a purple glow.
The calm and sultry voice echoed around Jessie's brain, echoing her to come closer...
"You failed me again..." A great pain coming from the voice of the Team Rocket leader.
"N-no, sir..." Desperation flowing through her body, she had to tell him what really happened, he sounded so upset.
"I do not need excuses..." His voice was so quiet, so mysterious, so sad...
"But s-sir, I didn't-" She had to make him understand!
"You failed me and you failed Team Rocket!" The words that are spoken to every disgraced Team Rocket officer at their termination with Team Rocket...
"Boss, no I-" Tears in her eyes, streaming down her face, desperation clinging to her words.
"Please, be quiet Jessie, it is over...Persian, now..."
The jewel of Persians head shone brighter and brighter, blinding Jessie, bringing her back...
"Jess? Jess! Are you ok?", James and Meowth were bearing down on her, with a panic stricken look on their face.
"W-what?" Completely lost as to what happened, Jessie tried to get her bearings, looking around the clearing, she saw the impossible.
There were two Persian! The second one seemingly sprouting out of the mystical jewel on Persians forehead! This second Persian was not like the real one. It was almost like a holographic image, it was transparent, like it was made of glass. And this glass like Persian sharply raced towards the Venusaur, and then to the shock of everybody bar Giovanni, the Phantom Persian ran straight through the Venusaur's skull. It was -inside- the Venusaur!
With the Phantom Persian actually jumping inside the Venusaur, in an instant the Venusaur's demeanour changed, it was scared out of its mind! It went from deadly and murderous to vacant and scared, the Phantom Persian had taken over its brain! Venusaur had lost all control over his body.
Jessie tried to stand up, with help from James and Meowth, she unstable got back up and made a beeline for Giovanni, "B-Boss, what's going on? That doesn't look like any Foul Play I have ever seen."
The move was finished and the real Persian, or more specifically Giovanni had complete control over the Venusaur.
"Look at this, agent, look at it!" He was completely ignoring Jessie, he explained regardless. "My Persian has been trained in the dark arts to such potency that he now has the ability to take complete control over the opponent, or anything I ask it too."
"What? That...can't be true." The Rocket Trio just watched that had no idea what to do, what was going on. Taking over somebody else, something else. That wasn't possible, surely.
But one glance at the Venusaur told them that it was. The Venusaur was stood like a statue, unmoving, but his eyes were the dead giveaway. He was scared to death.
Giovanni was watching the Venusaur in a trance, with a sadistic smile on his face. "Hahahaha, play with it, Persian. Humiliate it! Show it the true power of Team Rocket!"
Persian had a glint in his eye, having total control over the monstrous Venusaur. The Venusaur was terrified; he had never felt like this, he couldn't even move his eyelids. When with forces outside of his control, the Venusaur suddenly started to move. He stood up on his hind legs, that was a physical impossibility for its species!
"Boss, w-what are you doing?" The trio were powerless, but what could they do? The Venusaur was defenceless, it was surreal.
"Hahahahaha, make it dance, Persian! Make it dance!" Giovanni was laughing like a maniac at the horrific puppet show that this battle had become.
It wasn't happening, surely it couldn't be happening, and Jessie, James and Meowth had never seen anything like this. They were stunned into silence, watching the deadly beast become a plaything for their Boss.
It wasn't right. It was barbaric. Cruel...
"B-Boss, what is this? Foul Play doesn't work like that, does it?" Meowth tried to get through to the Boss. His evolved form was turning one of Viridian forests strongest Pokémon into a toy, stripping it of its dignity.
"No it isn't, Persian and I have been perfecting this move since he was just a Meowth, Foul Play is a move we have been perfecting for years, and we have been able to get it into such an intensity that Persian now has total control over his opponent!" Willingly showing off his Persians strength, through more or less repeating the same thing he said the Jessie, it seemed like he wasn't going to give away just how he acquired this power. The Boss looked straight at the Meowth, with a hungry look in his eyes. "Just imagine...one day, you could hold this kind of power at your fingertips."
Gulping nervously, Meowth backed away. He had no idea what to say to that.
"That's so insane." Jessie and James had never taken their eyes of the Venusaur, in total awe, they watched as their once unstoppable foe in Venusaur, was now pathetically dancing some kind of jig under the command of Persian.
"Persian, let's end this. Kill it!"
The Venusaur had a helpless panic in his eyes and grunted something before...
In a heartbeat, Persian gave a nod of his head the Venusaurs skull exploded! Blood and gore flew out in all direction, just falling short off the trio who backing away in total shock.
"What the hell?! How did-"
A sinister smile crept onto the lips of Giovanni, "Like I said...total control of the opponent." Proud of his and Persians handiwork.
Jessie James and Meowth were in a stunned silence, the power, the control. It was all so...wrong.
Giovanni started walking towards the Venusaur, circling it, like he was looking at some statue in an art gallery.
Making sure they were out of his hearing range, the Rocket Trio discussed what just happened. "It's not right, to take over its mind, its whole being...can you even imagine what that's like?"
"N-No..." Jessie answered distantly, with a pain prickling in the back of her mind.
"I know we wanted to beat it...but not like this, it's just feels so...wrong. It was only protecting its territory." James couldn't believe the mind controlling powers of Giovanni's Persian. "It was only fighting for its home, it was honourable, fighting for his territory, it wasn't doing anything wrong, not really."
There was nothing honourable in what Persian just did, effectively mind raping the foe, it just didn't sit right with the trio. Jessie, James and Meowth were far from righteous, but this was just so wrong, it was far past what they were capable of. But in the presence of Giovanni, they were supremely out matched not just in power, but in conscience.
Such brutality, such force, how could anybody combat that?
Thankfully Giovanni was out of hearing range to hear the trio's moments of insecurity. They weren't killers, this was so out of their comfort zone, they were far from saints but this was just way too far.
And the worst part of this all was that they had to act with total ease in front of their boss. They couldn't let him know how repulsed they were by the "mind rape".
"G-Good job Boss, that was...incredible..."
Bringing his attention away from the dead beast, fascinated eyes suddenly turned dark when he saw the trio."It shouldn't have had to be done. You should have handled the Venusaur yourself. Your Pokémon are poorly trained."
"Yes, Boss, w-we'll work on it." Flinching at the final part of that statement, the trio fell back in line. It is funny how quickly things can change. Yesterday they followed the Boss out of respect. Right now they were following him through fear...
"You'd better! If you don't get the job done next time...you're finished."
Feeling like children being scolded by their headmaster, the trio just bowed their heads and waited until Giovanni ordered the next plan of action.
"Right, let get out of this damn fo-"
Giovanni's booming voice got cut off by a load rustling coming from all around them. The bushes, the tree all began to shake unnaturally.
Within seconds, the deserted clearing suddenly came alive. Out of nowhere, hundreds of Bulbasaur and Ivysaur materialised out of the forest, from all sides of the clearing, surrounding the four Rocket Officers.
They looked angry. No wonder. They had seen Giovanni and Persian kill their Leader.
They wanted revenge and in a flash, millions and millions of Razor Leaf attacks rained down on Team Rocket. Shredding their clothes, cutting their skins. The Razor sharp leaves were slashing the Rocket Officers to ribbons!
Under the pressure of the attacking raining down from all directions, Giovanni screamed in pain. "Stop them, stop them now!"
The order was for Persian but desperate to redeem themselves in Giovanni's eyes, it was James who answered the call. "Yamask stop them." Groaning in agony, he had a plan, desperate and stupid plan. "Will-O-Wisp, all over the ground, burn this whole place down before they can do worse."
The faithful ghost barely heard him, after the vicious beating the Venusaur had given him and Woobat. Struggling to get up from the floor, the Yamask tried to do exactly as he was told, and as he was struggling on the floor he just about managed to light up some blue fireballs, the same attack that had caused great pain to the powerful Venusaur earlier, and he started flinging the fireballs in all directions, left, right and centre, totally blinded by the Razor Leaf attacks raining down on them.
Even in bad shape, the Ghost Pokémon did well; he doused the whole clearing in fire. The grass alighted within seconds; the fire was spreading like wildfire, literally!
The Razor Leaf attacks had stopped, the clan of forest Pokémon shying away from the deadly fire now engulfing the clearing, leaving Meowth able to look around and see what was happening, "James...you didn't think this through, did you?" They were trapped.
They were surrounded by fire. And it was spreading...
Spreading from the grass, to the bushes, to the trees and the dangerous strategy had actually worked. Venusaur's clan had scattered away from the fire, the fire, of course being fatal to their breed.
The next set of problems arose for Team Rocket as the fire was spreading throughout the forest, trapping Team Rocket in a deadly ring of fire.
Finally able to stand up from the relentless Razor Leaf attack, Giovanni looked around, seeing the towering inferno that was blazing from all around them. The tall trees that had once surrounded them were now just scary looking walls of fire, rising up way above their heads.
"Oh god, now what?" Once again the trio were terrified. The fire was getting to them, it was getting overheated, and the smoke was making it difficult to breathe
Then suddenly, from through the walls of fire came multiple vine whips. Latching onto Meowth's arms and legs, flooring the cat as binds now held onto his whole body. Scarily, they started dragging him closer and closer to the towering inferno surrounding them.
"Ahhh, guys, help! Help me!" Shocked at the sudden development, Meowth had no time to prepare for what was happening, struggling against the binds that were holding his whole body and slowing getting closer to the fire.
"Meowth!" Simultaneously, Jessie and James jumped for their team mate and were somehow able to grab a free arm. Now engaged in a deadly tug of war with a whole clan of Pokémon, which they couldn't afford to lose. If they lost, Meowth would be dragged through the scorching heat.
With a sudden jerk from the vines, Jessie and James lost their hold and were driven to the floor. Looking up they were helpless as they watched a nightmare unfold before them.
Meowth screamed in agony as his body was pulled through the burning fires, scalding every cell in his body. Pain flared through the cat's body and mind. Stealing him away from his team-mates. Then in moments, he was gone.
"Meowth, no! We've gotta get to him." Running to the place where he disappeared, Jessie and James got as close to the fire as they dared. They were helpless.
Though it was Giovanni who surprisingly leapt into action, ordering his faithful Persian to wipe out the flames with a Water Pulse attack. Which slowly but surely started to bathe the flames from all sides.
Now with the visibility back to normal, Team Rocket could see the truth. Meowth was gone. Lost in the forest, kidnapped by a clan of Pokemon who had just watched his evolved form brutally murder their leader.
"Come on, we gotta go find Meowth!" James shouted as him and Jessie starting running through dying embers in the forest, taking their best guess as to where the Venusaur's family and gone to, Jessie and James had to find their team-mate.
Standing his ground, Giovanni watched as his underlings took flight, "Where are you going, agents?"
"What? Err, we have to find Meowth." Slowing down, they explained to Giovanni, who still hadn't moved.
"Have to? No, no, no, no, you don't have to do anything unless I order it." Giovanni spoke with conviction; he clearly wasn't on the same wavelength as two thirds of the Rocket trio.
"What are you saying? We have to go and get Meowth!" Time was of the essence and they really didn't want to be wasting time when Meowth could be in danger as they spoke.
The answer that came crushed whatever spirits they once had. "I am saying, James, that we are going to leave Meowth behind."
Jessie and James stared at the Boss. This couldn't be happening. "But no, but, he is one of us, we can't leave him behind." Desperately pleading with Giovanni.
Shrugging his shoulders, Giovanni took a very nonchalant view to the latest events. "Why not? I fail to see the value in a Pokémon who cannot battle..."
It was Jessie and James' turn to be outraged, and Jessie's usual hot headed tenancies came into play. "What? No, Meowth isn't just a Pokémon; he is an agent, one of us!"
"Oh, he is just an agent? Well, I have hundreds of agents under my command in Viridian City. Losing just one "agent" will be of no difference to us." Paying no attention to Jessie's shouting, Giovanni laid back approach to Meowth's kidnap carried on.
Panicked cries erupted from Jessie, "We've got to go and get to Meowth! They're gonna kill him in revenge for Venusaur!"
James wholeheartedly agreed with Jessie and backed her up against the Boss. "They took Meowth because they saw his evolved form kill their evolved form! Why did you kill it? We could have caught it; we usually would have caught it."
Giovanni was not taking kindly to his authority being challenged by mere Field Agents. "I don't have to answer to you, agents. Plus, were you not trying to kill the Venusaur before, with your own Pokémon?"
Jessie and James were totally taken aback by the accusation. "What? Err y-yeah, no, I think, no, never mind about that! Meowth is gone! We need to get him back before they do anything to him!" James answered.
The Boss's voice took a sinister tone; no Field Agent had ever challenged him like this. "You will leave Meowth behind and follow me back to Viridian. Understand?
"Giovanni...we can't leave, no, we will not leave without Meowth." Clasping each other's hand, they held their ground, Jessie and James stood together mutinously.
Taken aback, Giovanni faltered, "You're...disobeying me?"
Simultaneously, Jessie and James looked at each other, then back to the Boss. "For Meowth." Jessie and James suddenly dashed off in the opposite direction; they would not leave a man behind. They ran through the burning forest ignoring the shouts and screams coming from behind them.
"You're crazy, you defy me? I am the Boss! I made you what you are! You're nothing without me, you're nothing without Team Rocket!" Screaming after Jessie and James, who were running to save their comrade, their brother. "You disobey me and you'll never wear Team Rocket colours again!" The Boss was indignant, they were committing mutiny!
Running in the opposite direction, running away from Giovanni, even running away from Team Rocket as a whole. For Meowth. Jessie and James ran in search of their fallen team mate. They were a trio, and no less.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Authors Note: This chapter was originally going to be much longer but I decided to split it in half to update the story faster, the second half of this little arc will be in chapter 3. Plus, I thought that would be a pretty badass way to conclude a chapter, correct?
If you are feeling particularly generous, a review would be awesome. Venusaur vs Team Rocket was my first attempt at any kind of Pokémon battle so any feedback on that would be great
Chapter 3: Lyin' Kings
Rocket Log - Team Rocket Field Agent, Jessie speaking:
Alright, so maybe we were a little hasty.
I mean, defying the Boss...what were we thinking! We are screwed! We're dead! He'll never forget this; he'll make us disappear, he'll kill us and make it look like an accident. He'll destroy us!
I'll never win the Grand Festival, never grow up. James will never...ummm...do whatever he does.
But I suppose that isn't something we can think about right know. We did defy the Boss for a reason. Not because we were on some crazy, stupid hero trip, but because of Meowth. We need to get him back before something happens. How we are going to do that, we haven't quite figured out yet. Our only Pokémon are still weak from the battle with Venusaur, so we are now travelling through the Viridian Forest with no Pokémon, no defence, no hope, searching for a clan of Pokémon who could destroy us in seconds. And as if that doesn't sound bleak enough:
We are now enemies of the Rocket Empire...
The dark night sky was brightening as the sun was starting to come up and peer through the tall trees of the Viridian Forest. The sun was the only measurement of time in the forest as Jessie and James had left all of their gear in the remains of the jet back where they had crash landed. So with only their Pokémon on them, they traversed the forest, searching aimlessly for Meowth, still having no idea where the clan of Ivysaur had taken him.
This was not their only worry however; the search for Meowth had come at a price. Their affiliation with Team Rocket.
A stressed Jessie was marching around a natural pathway through the trees, shaking her head. "Oh god, oh god, oh god, what have we done! What did we do?!"
Trying to keep up with the pace Jessie was gathering, James was in as much shock as she was, though at least attempting to stay a little calm about it, "Errr...well...I don't know...it all happen so fast..."
Turning to her teammate, Jessie's temper was getting the best of her yet again. "Why did we do that? We just left Team Rocket!? We are the stupidest people alive!"
Trying to think things through, James had only one answer, "Well, I think we did it for Meowth...who knew we cared so much about him."
Rubbing her temples, Jessie realised her crazed state of mind probably wouldn't help matters, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, your right, let's just find him and then worry about everything else later."
"Yes, let's not talk about until we find Meowth."
30 seconds later...
"You know Giovanni isn't going to let this go, don't you? You know what he does to people who disobey him!" Jessie's plan to not talk about it seemed to be going well.
"I thought we weren't talking about this..."
"How can we not talk about this? Team Rocket is our whole identity, we are nothing with them."
Scolding her, James was tired of the defeatist attitude, "We will be if you keep talking like this! We don't know anything yet, if these were normal circumstances then Giovanni might have sent somebody after us, but Giovanni isn't quite...normal, is he? Not since Unova anyway. Maybe we can find a way out or something."
"And if we can't?" There was a small shred of hope that they could work their way back into Giovanni's good books, a very small hope.
"Then we run! Run fast; run far…like we always do."
"That's the big idea?" Almost laughing at the horrible situation they were in, Jessie knew there was little way out.
"Yes, you're right, we're screwed...now please, let's just find Meowth then we can deal with everything else later." James begged her to continue the search, before walking down a fork in the beaten pathway with no idea of it was the right way or not.
Following her teammate down the road she agreed. "Ok...ok..." Jessie tried to think a little clearer as they tried to assess the situation. "So, errr, how are Woobat and Yamask?"
"Not great, they'll live, but they are probably useless for the next few days." James was no doctor but even he could tell they were well and truly beaten by that Venusaur.
"Ahh, they'll live? That's nice for them, it's just us who are in the fatal situation then."
"Exactly!" Trying not to let the stress get the better of him, James gave the short answer.
"Are you sure the Ivysaur clan went this way?" Jessie wondered as they walked down yet another strange pathway.
"Not one little bit..."
"Right, well that's a good start." Trying to keep under control, Jessie opted for the sarcastic answer. At least James was being honest. "You know, we could be wondering into another clan right now, somebody else's territory..."
"Indeed we could." The short answers from James were doing Jessie's temper no favours.
"And that's another thing, when we get to Meowth, how exactly are we going to battle all of those Pokémon when we have nothing to battle with?"
"I am hearing problems but not solutions." It was now James temper that was getting the better of him.
"I am just stating the facts, my friend." The very bleak facts, in Jessie's eyes.
"Well, don't be so negative." Meowth is usually the one to stops them when they are at each other's throats like this.
"Negative? Team Rocket is going to kill us! Please, oh, please show me something to be positive about!
"...we have each other."
"I said positives, moron." James' little joke probably wasn't helping.
"Ouch...ok, well let's just randomly wander the forest hoping we can find them." Smirking, James had long since realised that Jessie didn't actually mean these words.
And so they carried on. On and on they went, making their way through the difficult terrain of the Viridian Forest.
The search for Meowth had beaten Jessie and James into submission. It had been over a day since the events of their separation from Giovanni, and still no signs of Meowth. The longer they searched, the more worried they got.
A day alone in the forest, not many people could survive that without a team of trained Pokémon, the only reason Jessie and James had survived so far was because they were very highly skilled in the arts of running away and hiding.
Deciding to give up for the night and pursue the search in the morning, Jessie and James found a cave for shelter, they wanted to keep going all night but they realized travelling in the dark wasn't the best idea.
Having found a place to stay for the night inside the cave around an hour ago, Jessie and James were sat around a dwindling fire in the middle of this dark cave, Jessie seemed to be staring off into space in a world of her own while James was sat up drawing on the cave wall with a stone.
"Right, I have a plan." James suddenly announce as he stopped drawing on the cave wall.
Startled out of her daydreams, Jessie looked towards the drawings, "You have a plan?"
"OK, well please enlighten me, wise sage." Her hopes were far from soaring as she saw the horrible child like drawings scrawled across the wall.
Ignoring her sarcasm, James powered through, "So we get Meowth back, right?"
"Then we get out of the forest, right"
"Then we are on the run from Team Rocket?"
Jessie was once again getting irritated at the situation they were in. "This isn't a plan; it's stating the obvious..."
"Right so if we are on the run then we will need all of our Pokémon back, won't we?"
"Ugh, I never thought of that...they are at Team Rocket Head Quarters!" Putting her head in her hands, the future was looking pretty bleak right now.
"Yeah, so we are going to have to get them back, somehow..."
Looking incredulous at her partner, Jessie asked the question she really didn't want to know the answer too. "Are you saying we need to break into Head Quarters and smuggle our Pokémon out?"
"Yes...and then we flee the county! Simple!" James was saying these things with a light tone that was severely downplaying the serious implications here.
Staring at him like he was crazy, Jessie only wished she could take the almost nonchalant view of things that James was. "Right and what is the plan for us to do all of this without getting killed?"
"Err, that I haven't thought about..."
"That is a great plan..." Jessie rolled her eyes at the truly horrible plan. "So, where do we start?"
"Find Meowth..." Running his fingers through his hair he thought about the next course of action. "Let's just get some sleep, maybe we'll have better luck in the morning.
"Fine, fine..." Jessie agreed as they settled down for the night inside the Viridian Forest.
The cave was quite cold considering the humid temperatures of the Viridian Forest, giving the duo a slight respite from the sweltering conditions during the trek through the forest. Utterly exhausted from not just the amount of distance they had covered but also from the failure of having no results in the search, not one sign of Meowth or the clan of Ivysaur and Bulbasaur, who had taken him.
They had actually managed to get a few hours sleep, though it was only typical that the moment they let their guard down, the moment they stopped looking, the clan of Ivysaur and Bulbasaur emerged.
Jessie and James were awoken by sounds coming from outside the cave.
It was footsteps. Many footsteps.
They cautiously made their way to the opening of the cave. "Do you hear that?" Jessie led the way, moving slowly to the front.
Now fully alert from the uncomfortable slumber they had been in, Jessie and James were trapped inside the cave, edging closer and closer to the opening of their shelter.
Peering outside the caves entrance, they saw them.
Hundreds of eyes.
With their own eyes adjusting to the minimal light Jessie and James had found exactly what they were looking for. Or more specifically, what they were looking for had found them!
Without having a moment to react, hundreds of Vine Whips rained down on the duo. Violently trapping their arms and legs, and just like they had seen with Meowth, and they were dragged maliciously out of the cave.
Kicking and screaming, Jessie and James weren't strong enough to combat the strength and numbers of the vines lacing around their limbs, there was no way out.
Out of their protection of the cave, they were dragged into the dark depths of the forest, scared for their lives as they wondered where the clan of Ivysaur were taking them.
Awaking from consciousness, Jessie and James allowed their eyes to adjust to their new surroundings. They found themselves among a cluster of trees, tied at their arms and legs in a crucifix position, tied to horizontal tree limbs, by seemingly unbreakable vines.
Looking around they saw that they were not the only captors here, they saw many beaten and battered forest Pokémon tied rather eerily in the same crucifix position to trees with vines onto horizontal tree branches. The saw a Fearow, a Vileplume, Tangela, Butterfrees, and a litter of the smaller, less powerful Pokemon on the ground. The forest continued on and on in all directions, escape was clearly way out of reach.
This strange kind of prison was much too small for the amount of prisoners that were actually in here, Jessie and James and the other Pokémon were crowded and packed together awkwardly to the trees. Yet rather strangely there was no Ivysaur or Bulbasaur to be seen.
"Awww, well if it isn't my knights in shining armour."
Turning to their side, they found what they had been looking for! Meowth was there in all his glory, a little burned and bruised from the fire but he looked generally ok.
Hopes souring, Jessie and James were relieved to see their team mate, "Meowth! You're alive!"
Looking a little shocked, Meowth replied to their attitude, "You thought I was dead? I see you we're really looking on the bright side of this situation weren't you?"
"When you got dragged through the fire and flames we kinda thought the worst! At least we found you!" Just reunited and he was already insulting them.
"No, you didn't find me, you got caught as well! How is that finding me?"
Well, at least we're together now." Indeed they were, all together, along with some other forest Pokémon, bound against their will by vines in the middle of the forest.
"Yeah, yeah, everything's just peachy!" Irritated that the ones who were supposed to come and save him had got caught themselves, Meowth resigned himself to the fact that he and his team mates weren't getting out of here.
Looking around, James was baffled at the strange set up they found themselves in. "Hey, what's going on here? What are the Ivysaur up to? What's with all these Pokémon?"
Trying once more to break out of his vines and failing horribly, Meowth explained everything he knew. "I dunno, they haven't said anything to me, they just dragged me from you guys, knocked me out and I woke up here. They keep going away and then coming back here dragging these Pokémon behind them. Then they tie them up to these trees like they have with us..."
Jessie was staring at all the beaten Pokémon, "I suppose we know why they captured us, Giovanni killed their leader, but what about all these other Pokémon? What did they do?"
"Beats me... Hold on a second, where is the Boss?"
"Ahh, that's the things...you're gonna laugh at this." James quickly tried to think up an excuse.
Meowth narrowed his eyes, looking at James, "What?"
"We kinda...left Team Rocket."
Jessie cut in trying to explain the break up, "Well, when we tried to run after the clan when you were kidnapped, Giovanni stopped us and said if we left to catch you, he would destroy us..."
"What were you thinking?! So we are out of Team Rocket now?" Showing no gratitude for their show of unity, Meowth couldn't believe what was happening.
"Yeah...we are out of Team Rocket and with the way Giovanni was talking, they are probably going to hunt us down and kill us..."
"Wow, you two really suck at being the heroes, you know that?" Meowth hung his head at the hopelessness of recent events.
"Shut up Meowth! We can make this work." It seems James was back to being the morale officer in this group. "Is there any way we can get out of this? Have the Ivysaur been around? What have they been doing since you've been here?"
"I don't know, they just keep coming and going every few hours, they bring back all these Pokémon all battered and bruised." Meowth explained everything he knew.
"Well, with them not being here at least it has bought us some time, how are we gonna get out of here?" Jessie asked the all important question.
But before anybody could answer, they came.
Materialising from the forest, the clan of Ivysaur and Bulbasaur marched into the makeshift prison, carrying yet more prisoners. A Syther, a Pinser, a Pidgeot, these looked like powerful Pokémon, yet they were overwhelmed by the sheer number of Ivysaur and Bulbasaur restraining their limbs. They were tied one by one to the trees, just like the Rocket trio were, crucifixed in position.
Then from the back of the clan, lagging behind, two Bulbasaur came into the prison separately from the rest of the group. Holding above their head, trapped in their Vine Whips...was a wild Pikachu.
"Oh great, as if we haven't had enough of those things." Hanging her head, Jessie spoke under her breath. Though, looking at it again, this Pikachu seemed to be in a lot worse condition than the other Pokémon here were.
The Pikachu's yellow fur was almost completely charred black, with cuts and bruises networking all around its small frame. It was totally unconscious, for all the trio knew it could have been dead as the a gang of Ivysaur laced their vines around the Pikachu's limbs and tied it to the trees.
Then all the Ivysaur and Bulbasaur, the must have been hundreds of them, gathered together, watching and waiting.
"What's going on?" James asked after a few minutes of the clan standing around doing nothing.
"I think...I think they are waiting for the Venusaur." Meowth answered as he heard a few of the younger Bulbasaur grunting for the Venusaur.
From the middle of the pack, an Ivysaur seemed to take charge and started walked around all the prisoners, eying them all individually.
Then this seemingly new leader climbed up onto the trunk of a fallen tree above the ground and began to address the rest of the clan with grunts and moans in its own language.
Jessie and James quickly turned to Meowth, "What is it saying?"
Meowth translated as best he could, "Err, w-we 'The Protectors', are gathered here now to right the wrongs of our forest, these offenders have committed crimes against the forest...they will pay for their sins."
Listening to the speech from the clan's new leader, James guessed, "So they think they are some kind of protectors of the forest?"
"It sounds like it..."
The trio just watched as the clan just seemed to look at each other waiting for another order to be given.
"Look at them." James eyed the clan as they just seemed to be looking around at each other waiting for something to happen. "Look how uncoordinated they are, they don't know what they are doing without the Venusaur."
A roar suddenly erupted from the gang of Ivysaur and without a moment's notice, the vines of the clan shot out of their bodies, latching onto the Scyther they had just brought in, and without warning all their vines whipped in opposite directions, literally tearing the Scyther in two different directions!
Its scythes and legs were ripped out of their socket and detached from the Scythers body! The moans of the Scyther erupted as it twitched on the ground dying, as the Ivysaur and Bulbasuar began chanting as if screaming for more.
"Woah...guess they don't have any morals about killing people." Shocked at the brutal punishment the Ivysaur were dealing, Jessie wondered if that was what was in store for them.
"Why would they? Look at them, they're ruthless, aggressive, strong, they are probably the strongest entity in this forest, even without Venusaur just because there is so many of them...no wild Pokémon can challenge their authority..." Meowth was starting to understand what was going on here.
"But why have they collected these Pokemon? We may have wronged the forest, but what have they done?" James was just as shocked as Jessie.
"With all the power the clan has, the Ivysaur seem to think they have taken over the forest...they have the power, without a leader to channel it." Meowth continued as the gang of Ivysaur left the Scyther to die and then they waited for more orders, which didn't come.
As the trio watched and waited for something to happen, the group of Ivysaur shot out their vines once again and wrapped around another Pokémon at random, a Pidgeot this time, pushing and pulling its body in all directions, the Pidgeot was helpless as it was beaten and broken by the Ivysaur.
Cringing under the uncomfortable sight before them, James was still trying to understand. "They're killing wild Pokémon for no reason?"
Meowth answered, "Without the Venusaur to control them anymore, they don't know what to do, it's just chaos...the inmates run the asylum, he was their parent, he made the rules, but now..."
"There are no rules." James finished.
The chants for more were satiated when the vines from some of the other Ivysaur latched onto some of the smaller Pokémon, the Pidgeys, Ratatas, Spearows and they dragged them around, throwing them left and right, they were just bullying the defenceless Pokémon, attacking them without reason.
For the grand finale, the vines wrapped around the smaller Pokémon, wrapped around again and again and started squeezing the life out of the Pokémon until they stopped protesting and gave into the pain.
The obvious parents of the smaller Pokémon were crying out for their children, being forced to watch as the life left the bodies of the small Pokémon.
Sinister laughing sounds erupted from the Bulbasaur, the children of the clan, as they watched the gang of Ivysaur bully and abuse the weak Pokémon as they were picked off one by one.
"This isn't good for us." Jessie stated the obvious as they watched this sickening display. "What do you think they'll do to us?"
"The Ivysaur in charge wants to leave us till the end, apparently..." Meowth's statement did nothing to ease his team mates mind.
The Pikachu roared in protest as it suddenly awoke from consciousness. Fighting at the binds and screaming at his captors. He let loose a violent spray of electricity in all directions, all around the prison, shocking clan as well as the prisoners, as it tried to fight what the Ivysaur were doing. Its rebellious streak ended as quickly as it started as it was whacked back down relentlessly with some Vine Whips from the Ivysaur until it lost all consciousness again.
Just as the Ivysaur were about to attack another Pokémon, the leader of the clan suddenly shouted out, and directed the attention of the group far off into the depths of the forest.
The trio couldn't see or hear anything for a few minutes but then they finally discovered what the Ivysaur clan was worrying about.
From afar, the Rocket trio heard a disturbance. And in the distance they could see trees being ripped out from the roots and being thrown away with ease. The commotion was bulldozing through then entire forest! And it was coming straight for the Ivysaur clan.
A Hyper Beam erupted from the disturbance, aimed directly at the prison. The clan scattered, with a few slower member of the species being totally annihilated by the destructive beam.
As it was coming closer and closer, Jessie, James and Meowth saw exactly what was coming, much to their surprise.
It was a Persian, racing towards the clan, letting off Hyper Beam after Hyper Beam in all directions with murderous intent behind its eyes, looking and searching for every last member of the clan. Following the Persian came two more powerhouses, a Golem and a Machamp, uprooting trees and bulldozing through the prison.
Coming from behind the three Pokémon came the Boss! His military jacket ripped to shreds and mud smeared across his face, the wild eyed Giovanni looked around the now devastated prison searching for the Ivysaur. "KILL THEM ALL!"
Razor Leafs engulfed the prison as the Ivysaur clan tried to fight back, shredding clothes and skin and more importantly for the prisoners, tearing the vines that was holding them in place. The captured Pokémon scattered for safety, running in all directions. Jessie, James and Meowth dropped to the floor hoping to avoid all the razor sharp leaves flying about over their heads.
Under ordered from Giovanni the Machamp ripped out yet another tree and started swinging the massive tree trunk uncontrollably around like a baseball bat, aiming for the fleeing gang of Ivysaur. While the Golem was rolling around in all directions with surprising speed, devastating everything in its way, flattening every conceivable object and knocking out many of the clan.
The Ivysaur clan started to come out and fight as they charged on the three Pokémon attacking their territory. Leaves and vines and beams were flying all over the place as war erupted in the forest.
Chaos ensued as everything was getting attacked by anything. The Boss was getting attacked, his Pokémon, the clan, the trio were all getting mauled by the number of high pressure attacks filling the area.
Everybody ran for safety as the war was getting out of control. The clan of Ivysaur fled the area, Giovanni ducked for cover behind his armada of powerful Pokémon, and the trio ran as far away as they could from everything they could see.
Running and running, Jessie and James kept on going as fast and as far as they could, wanting nothing to do with the clan of Ivysaur or even the Boss!
Stopping for a breath and thinking they were far enough away from danger, Jessie and James huddled over trying to catch their breath and thank their lucky stars that they had escaped from the Ivysaur prison.
Looking around where they had stopped, Jessie realised something. "H-Hey, where's Meowth?"
"I thought he was right behind us!" James could kick himself for not realising Meowth wasn't with them.
"But-" Jessie started but was interrupted.
"Hey, guys, wait for me!"
From between the trees out came Meowth, his slower pace was accounted for the fact that he was carrying the Pikachu from the prison over his shoulder!
Confused at Meowth appearance, Jessie questioned the cat, "What the...why did you bring that?"
Panting with the stain of carrying another Pokémon while running away. "I, errr, I got an idea..."
From the same group of trees Meowth came from, Giovanni came stomping in, with the crazed look in his eyes.
Quickly standing to attention, the trio addressed the Boss. "Hey, Boss, sir, thanks for saving is back there."
"Where are they?!" Ignoring them completely, he roared his question.
"Who?" A little startled at Giovanni's wild appearance, the trio tried to keep their formal stance.
"The Ivysaur! They tried to attack and kidnap me! They'll pay for what they did!" Finally he looked at Jessie and James.
A little deflated, the trio realised, "So you weren't trying to save us?"
"Enough! You have no right to talk to me anymore! You're finished!" Giving them a final sneer as he turned back the way he came. As he was walking away, Meowth leapt into action.
"Hey, HEY, Boss! BOSS!" Meowth shouted at the Boss, stopping him in his track, while holding the unconscious Pikachu over his head. "We caught Pikachu!"
Turning back, Giovanni looked over his shoulder, a completely disinterested look in his eyes, "You caught a Pikachu?"
"Nope, nope, we caught THE Pikachu! Back in Unova, while you were dealing with the Legends," Meowth took a sneaky glance back at his two teammate, "The three of us overran Ash and caught his Pikachu!"
Giovanni's eyebrows shot up in astonishment at Meowth's statement. "What?"
"What!?" Though he wasn't as shocked as Meowth's own teammates as they broke their formal stance and looked down in shock at what Meowth had just said!
"We finally caught Ash's Pikachu! We caught Ash's Pikachu!" Dancing and running around in a celebration, Meowth's bizarre lie threw the Boss, not to mention Jessie and James, into bewilderment.
"Err, well, it doesn't matter, we caught his Pikachu! We caught his Pikachu! Look!" Totally ignoring the Boss's question, Meowth shoved the Pikachu into Giovanni's chest as the Boss grabbed a hold and looked dumbfounded at 'Ash's' Pikachu.
With Giovanni's full attention on the Pikachu, Jessie and James dragged Meowth away from him.
"What the hell are you doing?!" Grabbing him by each arm, Jessie and James roughly brought him up to their eye level.
"Saving our skins, that's what I'm doing!" Taking a brief look over at Giovanni, who was engrossed in examining the Pikachu, Meowth answered the hostile questioning.
"But this is insane; surely he'll know that isn't Ash's!" Jessie was convinced Meowth had just made everything ten times worse.
"How? He never actually met it, did he?" Meowth had different ideas, clearly taking advantage of Giovanni's instability right now with a risky lie.
Jessie felt like throttling Meowth for putting them in this situation, they should have talked this through before even thinking about lying like this. "But, the order to catch Ash's Pikachu has been going for 5 years, surely he'll know that isn't it and is just some random Pokémon."
"Are you sure? If he buys it he'll let us back in, right? We will forever be known as the ones who caught Ash's Pikachu!" It sounded very good, but...
"What about when the Pikachu wakes up and is just some weak little thing? Or what about if Ash comes back to Kanto with his Pikachu on his damn shoulder!"
"Well, I-huh, I never thought of that..." His confidence suddenly deflated as Jessie had created some holes in the lie with ease.
"Oh my god, this is ridiculous! We are so screwed, again!" Rubbing at her temples once more, Jessie couldn't believe what Meowth had done. They had lied to Giovanni many times, the instances with Team Galactic and Hunter J the most recent, but they had always thought it through as a team and made sure there was no way they could be found out.
"Well, to be fair, Jess, we were kinda screwed anyway..." James suddenly decided to side with Meowth, if Giovanni bought it, then they could get back in Team Rocket.
"That's true, Jimmy's right! From now on, we have to swear blind that is the real deal! That Pikachu is Ash's Pikachu! Right?" Jumping on James shoulder, Meowth looked at Jessie, as they both tried to convince her to join the lie.
Torn between truth and lies, Jessie had had been left no choice but to go along with the plan, "…ugh, fine, fine, ok, it's not like things can get any worse."
Finally working as a trio again on the same page, all at once, they all slowly turned around, looking at the Boss and 'Ash's' Pikachu. They were trying to gauge his expression, did he buy the lie? "G-Giovanni, sir, is everything alright?" With trepidation in their voice, they asked the million dollar question.
Looking confused, Giovanni tore his eyes away from the unconscious Pikachu in his hands, "H-how did this happen?"
Meowth jumped down from James shoulder and ran towards the Giovanni and the Pikachu. "Errr...how about we tell you the whole story when we get back to Base? We could all use a rest now, couldn't we?" Meowth jumped onto the Boss's shoulder, doing anything he could to side with Giovanni.
"Yeah, yeah, we'll explain when we get back to base, and we are all a team again now, aren't we?" Jessie and James hopefully and desperately using Giovanni shock at the outrageous lie to elbow their way back in.
Giovanni seemed to be fighting a battle of his own inside his head. "Err, well, I...ugh, Ok, very well."
They did it! It worked! They're back in Team Rocket! Jessie and James could barely contain themselves from leaping for joy.
As the trio managing to stay cool on the surface, Giovanni addressed them as the agents the now were. "Before the Ivysaur attacked me I had managed to find the entrance to the tunnels, c'mon, it's this way." Beckoning the agents he more or less fired one day ago back into the heart of Team Rocket.
And they walked down the beaten path, together. Reunited. For now...
Jessie, James and Meowth couldn't believe their luck as they followed the Boss out of the Viridian Forest and back into the ranks of Team Rocket.
After travelling for about an hour with Giovanni leading the way, the Rocket trio were skipping and dancing along the dirt roads, when they were sure Giovanni wasn't looking anyway, but just as they were celebrating they heard something they didn't want to hear.
From up ahead, Giovanni pulled out of his pocket some kind of communications device he must have taken from the jet. The trio moved as close as they dared to try and hear what he was saying.
"Miss Matori, this is the Boss! Matori, I want you to notify our scientists to be ready and waiting for when I get back to Base. I want all scientists notified that we have captured a Pikachu which needs to be put under inspection."
Jessie, James and Meowth shared a terrified glance at each other as the weight of their lie pressed down upon them as they watched a stone face Giovanni send orders to his secretary.
"Also, Matori, I want you to call all Rocket Officers back to Base, I repeat, ALL Rocket Officers back to Base. I have an announcement that all officers will need to hear.
"Calling ALL Rocket Officers back to Base! Tomorrow is the start of a new era in Team Rocket history. I am turning this organisation upside down! All Officers to Base!"
TO BE CONTINUED...
Chapter 4: Reunion of the Renegades
Rocket Log - Matori speaking:
It has been five days since the Boss returned to Viridian City. I have to say it is not the return I was expecting. Giovanni was last seen leaving Rocket Headquarters for the Unova region with an arsenal of over one hundred agents. "Team Rockets greatest mission" he called it. The mission certainly had some lofty expectations. To control the richest and most bountiful region in all the lands through the power of the Legendary Pokémon: Tornadus, Landorus and Thundurus.
With expectations so high, the return of the Boss was anticipated with bated breath, celebrations at the ready, as Giovanni and his hundred soldiers return to Kanto with the Legends of the Sky and the control of a whole region in tow.
Instead of this sight, all I received was the image of a beaten and bloody Giovanni emerging from the Viridian Forest, with three Field Agents trailing behind him, cradling a Pikachu in their arms. Sufficed to say, I am guessing Operation Tempest was not the success we anticipated.
Since the Boss return five days ago, things haven't been quite right. He has been locked away in his office the whole time. He won't take my calls, he won't see any other agents, and he even refused to speak to Commander Archer. Other than a few calls to the Science and Operations Centre of Team Rocket, where the Pikachu was deposited, the only words that have come out of his mouth since returning are "All officers to Base, mission orders imminent."
That is until this morning. This morning there was a note on my desk from the Boss himself. The note and the huge list of instructions indicate that the Giovanni's silence is no more. Today is the day. The mission orders, the huge announcement. All Officers have returned. Giovanni's announcement is at eighteen hundred hours.
Team Rocket Head Quarters, the tallest skyscraper in all of Viridian City. Fifty stories high, with hundreds of workers within dedicated to keeping the day to day operations of Team Rocket running. The building was on constant twenty four hour protection by some of the most powerful agents in the organisation. The workers inside were not agents themselves, not even bad people, but they were people who had made a choice, who had sold their soul to the devil in accepting Giovanni's generous payslip to help keep his organisation away from the law. How Giovanni was able to keep this building from being raided by police at any moment was still a mystery to most. With popular opinion stating that it must have been some kind of major pay off to the government.
The black glass covering all four sides of the building reflected the beautiful landscape of Viridian City. It also reflected something else, the sight of the true forces of Team Rocket returning home. The final group of agents had arrived.
From as far as the eye could see a swarm was coming. From the skies, dozens of black helicopters rose up from the horizon and started to descend, travelling to Team Rocket Head Quarters. The black helicopters were impressive vessels, fully armed and ready to attack at a moment's notice, housing a number of high ranking agents in Team Rocket. They had all heard the call. Giovanni wanted all of his agents to come home.
The helicopters flew through the sky, the ominous blades ripping through the air, landing on the roof of the colossal Rocket Base. The call was heard around the world, agents from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh had made the long trip from their posts in faraway regions just to hear the new mission orders.
From below, even more vessels were making their way to the building, battle vans were lined up, coming from all four corners, speeding down the roads of the usually quiet Viridian City, the agents inside eager to hear the next order of business.
Even from underground, huge transport drills were starting to surface, the scary looking drills, powerful enough to travel great distances underground, ready to surface upon any unsuspecting victim. Giovanni's announcement was being held in the long abandoned Viridian Gym, just like the old days when Giovanni was in control of the facility.
They all started to enter Head Quarters, were the journey through the tunnels to the Viridian Gym would begin, all desperate to hear the Boss's announcement.
Jessie, James and Meowth were making their way out of the lush living facilities inside Team Rocket Head Quarters and heading down the huge skyscraper towards the underground tunnels which networked under Viridian City.
As they reached the basement of the building, they followed their instructions and directions to traverse through the hidden tunnels and secret passageways that only Team Rocket agents knew about. With this being their maiden voyage through these tunnels, the trio were careful not to get lost, and James tried to help with their nerves with a little conversation, "So... Giovanni's announcement..."
That start of the conversation was not helping Jessie's nerves one bit. "Oh god, I can't believe all of Team Rocket will be their today. Every agent under one roof! Has that ever happened before?" Giovanni had ordered all Team Rocket Officers to Base, the usual arrangement was that he sent out separate agents for separate missions, having everybody in one room was usually problematic due to the number of egos in the team, Team Rocket was more a group of individuals than a cohesive unit.
"No idea." Meowth answered half heartedly with his head buried in the map given to them to help them find their way to the Viridian Gym through the underground tunnels. He couldn't shake the feeling he was leading the trio to their own slaughter, but he had no choice, attending the mission orders was not optional.
"What do you think the announcement is?" James asked the big question, a potentially explosive question, Giovanni was far from predictable lately.
"Who know, Giovanni could do anything today! Let just hope he can stay...normal. If any of the other agents see what we saw...well, they are hardly going to take it lightly." Jessie tried not to think of the reaction other agents of Team Rocket would give to the psychopath only they had seen.
"It'll be fine, we've all had some time to rest, maybe he has settled down." Meowth's optimism was admirable, but even he didn't believe it.
James couldn't help but ask another big question, "I wonder if the Pikachu has woken up..."
Jessie had no patience for her partners line of questioning, rubbing her forehead in exasperation. "James, please...can we focus on one problem at a time?"
James could barely suppress a laugh, "Alright, which problem first? Standing in a room full of bitter agents who know we failed the mission in Unova? Or how about Dr Zager's murder? Or Giovanni's insanity? Or the fact that we flat out lied about catching THE Pikachu, Team Rockets most wanted Pokémon?"
Glaring at her partner, Jessie for once was being the calm one of the group, "Ok then, let's not focus on any problems..."
Giving Jessie an incredulous look, James resorted to sarcasm. "Oh that is a brilliant idea! Let's just stand at the back with all the other Field Agents and hope he doesn't notice us."
"That works for me..." Jessie answered James sarcasm in kind.
After a long walk through the tunnels, getting lost several times, which did their nerves no good, they had finally worked their way around the intricate underground system and had reached the hidden entrance to the Viridian Gym.
Glad his map reading skills were as strong as ever, Meowth led his partners to within inches of the secret door to the Viridian Gym. Taking a deep breath, the trio stood before the entrance ominously, "This is it..."
"The moment of truth..." With a great heave, Jessie and James pushed the doors to the gym open to find...
An empty arena.
The Viridian Gym was a long way from the grand building it once was. The building was long since abandoned, not having a Leader to take over since Giovanni had left. Shocked at the eerily silent Viridian Gym, the trio ventured towards the middle of the battlefield. "W-where is everyone?" Meowth asked as the dust from the building swirled in the light streaming through the mosaic windows.
James answered, "I guess it hasn't started yet, we set out early because we didn't know our way through those tunnels. It looks like we are the first ones here."
Meowth was relatively happy about that, "Good, it'll look great in front of Giovanni that we are the most eager."
Jessie smirked at Meowth's logic, "Good enough to make up for the Pikachu lie?"
"Oh shut up," Meowth waved his hand dismissively, "Let's just wait for this thing to start."
And wait they did, Giovanni's mission orders were coming soon...
Jessie, James and Meowth had been standing in the abandoned Viridian gym for a while before the secret entrance into the gym started showing signs of life. With and awkward jolt, the door struggled open and out came Miss Matori, Giovanni's secretary, trying to open the door and look through endless notes on her clipboard at the same time.
The young woman had an awkward gate, fiddling with her earpiece and hunched over her clipboard trying to read through what looked like mountains of paperwork. As soon as she saw she has company, Giovanni's secretary raced towards the trio.
"Ahh, yes, yes, Agents Jessie, James and Meowth, there you are, yes." She flew through the pages in her clipboard looking for information regarding the Field Agents.
"Is everything ok?" Meowth asked, desperately hoping that everything would be fine and praying the trio's pathetic plan to remain inconspicuous would hold.
"Y-yes, yes, ah, yes, there you are. You need stand right up at the front." Not for a second did she look at the trio, instead trying to read the information on her clipboard.
"Err, excuse me?" Unsure of what they heard was correct, standing at the front? Field Agents never stood in such a prominent position. They were usually organised in order of importance, Field Agents were rarely ever so important. They asked a now annoyed Matori what she was talking about.
"I said you three need to stand right up at the front." Her tone getting more and more irritated that she had to waste her time explaining the situation.
Their plan to hide away at the back seemed to be shattered, yet they still tried, "But no, we are Field Agents, up front is for Elites and Executives."
Rubbing her forehead in frustration she didn't want to deal with menial tasks like this when Giovanni had ordered her to sort out every agent coming into the gym. "I am aware of that, agents. Mr Giovanni has requested that you stand at the front where he can see you."
Uh-oh... "But why?"
Turning away, she bid the trio goodbye, "I do not know, stand at the front as he asks."
"But-" Their argument was cut short as Matori rushed off to talk to some other agents who had started to saunter into the Viridian Gym.
Slowly turning to her two teammates, Jessie asked a question she didn't want to know the answer too. "Why does he want us at the front?"
"I don't know...you think it's a good sign?" James thought it was possible...kind of.
"Or he found out we lied about Pikachu and wants to call us up on it in front of the whole team..." Damn you, Meowth.
The trio slowly and reluctantly edged their way towards the front, desperately trying to think of ways to get out of standing at the front, right in the eye line of the Boss himself.
'Ahh, look who it is!" That was a familiar voice, but not a welcome one. The trio recognised them instantly and hoped that their ears were deceiving them as they turned around to look at their closest rivals.
Charging towards the front of the gym right toward Jessie, James and Meowth were two of Team Rockets most esteemed Fields Agents: Cassidy and Butch.
Plastering a fake smile on his face, James greeted their sworn enemies, "Oh great, Jessie, look who's here. It's Cassidy and Buffalo!"
That took Butch out of his arrogant swagger. "Buffalo? That's not even a name! Why can't anybody just remember my name, for god's sake!"
It was Jessie who answered, "We do remember your name, we just hate you."
Cassidy cut off Butch's reply as she interrogated her rivals. "So you're back! How was Unova?"
Desperately trying to think of something to say, "Err, It was-"
"I heard you failed! Hahaha"
Butch continued as his partner laughed hysterically at Jessie and James' alleged failure, "Not surprising really, I mean look at your track record. Giovanni must be crazy for taking you in the first place."
"You have no idea..." Meowth spoke under his breath.
Jessie wasn't intimidated by their comments, "At least we still get missions, how many years have you been doing nothing now?"
Looking quietly confident at Jessie's slanderous comments, Cassidy batted them away with ease, "What do you mean nothing? We have been rising up the ranks for years. You know, Butch, I heard we were next in line for promotion to Elite Officers"
Looking quite pleased with himself, Butch literally pated his partner on the back, "Not before time, if I say so myself!"
"Precisely," Cassidy couldn't help but questioned the trio some more, "What are you doing up here anyway? This is for the higher ranks. You are Field Agents, you should be back there with the rest of us."
"Ha! Now that you mention it, Giovanni requested that we should be up front actually!" Jessie rubbed their faces in the fact they got special mentions from the Boss.
"I doubt that is anything we can brag about!" James whispered into Jessie's ear.
Jessie continued regardless, "So go back to the grunts, losers, we're hanging with the execs!"
Cassidy's eye lit up with fury as she tried to pounce on her rival, "Why you-"
'Come on Cassidy! Calm down!" Butch dragged her back to the Field Agents section but not quite out of the range of the trio as they heard as she swore and promised death to her enemy.
Jessie seemed pleased with herself after winning that particular argument, "Ahh that was fun."
Sighing, James had to bring her right back to reality. "Glad you enjoyed it, I am sure they will enjoy when Giovanni publicly executes us later..."
After yet more waiting around, and trying to slowly edge back to the positions were Field Agents stood when Matori wasn't looking, the trio had yet to see another familiar face. Just a lot of strange, angry looking agents with bad attitudes stomping in and waited until Matori could see them and organise them into position.
From the looks of how Matori was arranging everybody, she was placing all the agents in order of rank. At the back of the gym, right where the challengers area of the battlefield stood the Team Rocket Grunts, the lowest rank possible in the organisation, mostly made up of new recruits and Agents so bad that they never deserved a promotion.
Meowth was looking at the Grunts with envy, "Oh man, look at how many grunts there are! I almost wish we were Grunts, look how well hidden we would have been."
"You wish we were Grunts? Just wait until the end of this meeting, if Giovanni has found out about Pikachu. Being demoted to Grunts might be a let off."
Standing in front of the lowly Grunts were the men and women with the rank of Field Agents. The rank Jessie, James and Meowth held right now. Field Agents usually received a lot more respect than Grunts ever did, they even had a little freedom with the missions they were allowed to take, and were more often than not dotted around the country seeking out individual assignments. Jessie, James and Meowth held some kind of record for the longest time following just the one assignment, namely "capture Ash's Pikachu".
In front of the Field Agents was the rank higher, the Elite Officers. It was these Officers that Giovanni usually had the most contact with, certainly more so than with the two lower ranks. The Elites were chosen to do the biggest and most dangerous assignments and even had some power of their own, able to decide how many Grunts they could take with them to their missions.
It took great achievement to journey up the ladder to becoming Elite Officers. Jessie, James and Meowth even held the rank briefly, after believe they had single handedly taken down both Team Galactic and the Pokémon Hunters in Sinnoh, Giovanni was left with little choice but to promote them. And believing they had experience and skills hunting down and finishing criminal enterprises, Giovanni sent the Rocket trio to the Unova region to seek out and destroy Team Plasma. However that mission was cancelled just as it was beginning, for reasons still unknown, and Giovanni demoted the trio back down to Field Agents. There would have been a lot more complaints on the trio's part had their entire promotion in the first place been based on fact rather than fiction.
And the only rank above the Elite Officers were the Executives. The Executive Commanders to give them their full title. As Giovanni's First Officers, this was highest rank available in the Rocket Empire (barring Giovanni, of course). For as long as Team Rocket has existed it was always Archer who had held the rank, along with his own minions.
The Untouchables was what Archers accomplices were called among some of the lower ranks (behind their back, naturally). It is believed that Archer and Giovanni go way back, knowing each other since their childhood. It was the brave among the Rocket Empire who whispered that the only reason Archer holds the highest rank among the Empire is because of his connection to Giovanni, and not through any outstanding accomplishments deserving of such a role. Archer is not the only Team Rocket member to hold this rank, there are three others hold the rank of Executive Commanders: Ariana, Petrel and Proton. Not the most popular of members among the Empire. Just like it is believed that Archer has the highest rank because he is Giovanni's glorified yes-man, it is believed these three got the highest rank because they were just Archer's personal friends, a very personal friend in Ariana's case, but these were strictly rumours.
The four Executive Commanders get a lot more distain among the Empire because it was such a lucrative rank. They were the First Officers, they called the shots when Giovanni was busy (which was a lot of the time). Giovanni was respected, feared even, taking orders from him was never a problem. Taking ordered from a person who isn't respected never usually worked out too well, and any missions which were approved of by the Executive Commanders usually had a lower success rate than missions ordered by Giovanni himself.
The Executives didn't have many fans within the Rocket Empire, then again, Team Rocket was hardly ever the most cohesive of units.
Standing exactly in the position the Executives should be standing was Jessie, James and Meowth. Every agents who was pouring through the secret entrances to the Viridian Gym were just staring, looking right at them, clearly wandering what agents of such low rank were doing standing in that position.
When the shuffling of many feet came from the doors, the Rocket trio looked and noticed the people they didn't want to see: Scientists. These were the men and women who had been monitoring the Pikachu since Giovanni and the trio's arrival back into Viridian City. The trio had heard nothing of the Pikachu since they had personally seen Giovanni hand the Pikachu to one of the scientist in Rocket Head Quarters.
Though their silence on the matter was not voluntary, at every opportunity they had tried to sneak into the laboratories and see if they could find anything out about the Pikachu without raising suspicion. But they couldn't find anything, it seems Giovanni had placed he Pikachu into restricted access.
All the scientists looked jittery and worried, like they didn't belong with all the other criminals filing into the Viridian Gym right now. But these men and women were no saints themselves, and were not above administering unsavoury experiments on defenceless Pokémon should they have been ordered. Had they been ordered to do such things to the Pikachu? Would that blow the trio's secret? Jessie, James and Meowth had no idea what these scientists knew, or what they were capable of, which made them more nervous than ever. Had they found out their secret? Had they realised that the Pikachu was the wrong Pikachu?
The general buzz that had arose in the background of the Viridian Gym from the crowd that was forming suddenly quieted as two agents walked through the door. Noticing the sudden silence the three Rocket agents stood at the front of the gym turned their attention away from the scientist to see what had caused everybody else to drop into a stunned silence.
It was the Elite Officers Attila and Hun, two of the most fearsome Elite Officers in Team Rocket at the moment. They were regarded with respect and high esteem from most of the agents within the gym. These two were no ordinary agents. It was said that to achieve the rank of Elite Officer you need to perform outstanding feats and that is exactly what Attila and Hun had done.
It wasn't known exactly how they did it, many had asked but got no reply, but these two had done the impossible.
They had captured the Rayquaza.
The creature that had lived for millennia, the creature that lives in the ozone layer of the earth, the dragon of the skies. Rarely ever seen, it only descends upon the earth once in a lifetime. It was widely regarded as the protector of the Earth, battling other worldly beings that dare to get too close to the third planet from the sun. Of course, these were just old wives tales.
Well, they WERE old wives tales.
Somehow, some way, Attila and Hun had captured this legendary creature. Plucked out of the sky, they immobilised the magnificent beast, brought it down to earth, and let Team Rocket scientists run every immoral test and treatment in the book. They had discovered its secrets, and it was all true. The old wives tale was proven right. Its life span, the supernatural battles with otherworldly beings, it was all true. And Team Rocket are the only ones who know the truth. The only ones to have up close and concrete data on Rayquaza.
The most successful mission in Team Rocket history.
The duo walked through the silent adulation of all the agents, and took their places at the head of the Elite Agents. Were these two the most powerful Agents in Team Rocket history? A case could be made. Yet they were still a rank lower than the nepotism of Archer's crew. Whoever said Team Rocket was fair.
As another familiar face walked towards the front, James spotted somebody else he recognised. An agent he had worked with very closely during their early Unova missions. "Hey, look! It's Pierce! Pierce! Hey man, how's it going?"
The ultra focused and serious Pierce walked straight past them with an uninterested nod before taking his place with the other Elite Officers.
"Err, yeah, man, we'll catch up later!"
Sjirachiing, Jessie had to laugh at James pathetic attempt at camaraderie. "That's a very beautiful friendship you two have..."
Jessie was looking around the rapidly growing sea of Team Rocket Agents when he saw someone he didn't want to see. 'Oh, god! Oh, god! Don't look behind us!'
Sensing Jessie's panic, Meowth and James straightened up and faced forward, not looking at the anomaly who had sent Jessie into panic. Yet their curiosity could not be killed. "Why? Who is it?"
The beast. The monster. The dark heart of Team Rocket. The abomination strode through the doors with nothing but pure hatred seeping through every movement of his body. Looking at no-one, not caring who or what was in his way. Every agent in the Gym not daring to look in his direction, not wanting to look into the eyes of the devil himself.
His true identity was unknown, his reasons for being in Team Rocket were shrouded in mystery. He made no secret of his rebellion. Outright stating his desire to overthrown Giovanni at every opportunity he got. Yet he received no opposition, no punishments, and no demotion. He was an Elite Officer. One of the most dangerous men in the world. Pure evil on two feet.
Among the other agents he was referred to as The Iron Masked Marauder. He had no friends, no partners. One of the few agents Giovanni sent on missions alone. And he was not sent on ordinary missions. Only missions in which blood was spilled. Only missions in which death and destruction was left in their wake. He was a murderer, a killer, and he didn't hide behind his Pokémon. He had killed people and Pokémon with his own bare hands.
His outright desire to kill Giovanni was shocking to most in the Viridian Gym right now, many of who look up to the Crime Lord with a god like reverence. In spite of such rebellion, Giovanni kept him around for some reason, and was able to keep "The Iron Masked Marauder" under his command. Yet another mystery within the Rocket Empire.
With everybody trying to settle down and relax in spite of the beast that now stood among them, the Viridian Gym suddenly exploded into whoops and cheers as yet another infamous Rocket agent walked through the doors. Unlike other agents who had received total silence upon their entrance, this was a special case. The popular agent took her adulation from the crowd with grace as she walked towards her place with the Elite Officers.
Jessie, James and Meowth noticed her, only once had they ever come into direct contact with her many years ago. The one who was known as Domino. A leading figure in the continuing missions to capture Mewtwo, her attempts had been unsuccessful as of yet, but she had never given up with dogged determination to capture one of the most powerful entities ever seen. Despite her failures she had never lost the respect of her peers.
With Dominos arrival, it looked like everyone was here. The room was filled. A packed house. For the first time in recent memory all of Team Rocket was under one roof. The trio couldn't help but take one last look around at ever member of the Rocket Empire. Many of the faces they had recognised, who had snuck in without their notice. Annie and Oakley, Field Agents Giovanni had hired as spies for the Rocket Empire, the trio had seen them in a failed mission to capture Latias and Latios but that wasn't their expertise. They were spies, manipulators. Hired specifically to gather information on any other teams who were a threat to Team Rocket, they still held huge resentment to Jessie, James and Meowth, believing them to have taken their job in opposing Team Plasma in Unova.
They also saw their former tutor at Team Rocket Academy, Viper. A man Giovanni must have great trust in to put the new recruits through their paces. How many people had this man broken? How many people had received devastating injuries just because he had deemed them not good enough. A scary man, indeed.
Others they recognised, Field Agent Tyson, a man arrested in Johto when he was caught at the Lake of Rage, Giovanni must have pulled some strings to get him out. Doctor Namba, Professor Sebastian, leading the science team, no doubt two men who had been looking over the Pikachu recently.
Also there were many faces they didn't recognise, of all ranks, though this was no uncommon. Regardless of the fact that the trio had been alone in their mission to capture Pikachu all this time, even when they were in the company of other agents, members of Team Rocket were never ones to forge long lasting bonds with. Yet here they all were, all these people, with barely any relationships between them. A group of individuals and small cliques. Not a strong unified team like many other criminal enterprises.
It looked like everyone was here, with Jessie, James and Meowth standing in front of them all, not a position they wanted. The quiet murmuring in the background was making them more nervous and nervous with each second that went by. They were startled when a new noise echoed around the legendary Viridian Gym: Footsteps.
The footsteps were coming from the front of the Gym, from the raised balcony looming over the heads of everybody standing within the battlefield. This was the Gym Leaders position during Gym battles, this was where Giovanni would make his mission orders.
Except that it wasn't Giovanni who appeared on the balcony. It was the Executive Commanders. The four of them: Archer, Ariana, Proton, Petrel, lined up side by side on the balcony. Noticing their appearance, every agent on the battlefield stood up straight and saluted. It was protocol...
A beaming smile that didn't quite reach his eyes grew upon Archers face, happy he was getting the respect he deserved, Archer raised his hands and addressed the crowd, "At ease, agents, at ease."
As the Executive Commanders made their way down to the battlefield to stand with everybody else, the agents already down there were connecting the dots as they realised that the four Commanders had probably just been in the company of the Boss himself. It was a realisation, yet they had no idea what it meant. Giovanni wasn't close to many of his agents, Domino, Viper and the Executives seemed to be the only ones who knew him personally. Domino, in particular, was not pleased to see that the Executives looked to be getting preferential treatment before the mission orders had even begun.
The swagger with which the four Executives came down from the balcony was overconfidence which was not rare in the Rocket Empire, though it was these four whose overconfidence was displaced more than anybody. They received respect purely because of their rank, not through any exceptional accomplishments on their part. From any Officers recollection, these four had never had much success to brag about. Well, other than the fact they were Giovanni's buddies.
Their arrogance as they walked toward the front line of the army before them was soon wiped out when they saw that they were not alone up at the front of the room. They saw Jessie, James and Meowth standing in their place.
With fire in his eyes, Archer stomped towards the trio who were trying not to look as scared as they felt. "Who on earth are you?!"
Jessie's edgy stance was soon replaced with indignation when she realised the Executive had no idea who they were. "Who are we?!" Jessie disbelievingly said before turning to James and whispering, "Umm, should we do the motto?"
"No!" James knew that they had to keep on the good side of any high ranking officer. And tried pathetically to smooth over any offence Jessie had just caused. ""Errr, Commander Archer, Sir, I err, I'm Jessie! No! No, no, I'm James! James! She is Jessie! A-and that's Meowth" He pointed downwards in his horrible first impression.
Archer's death stare ventured downwards, "Yes, I can see that's a Meowth..." Rolling his eyes, in clear disbelieve that the morons in front of him were standing in such a high ranking area. "Well, Jessie and James, why are you standing in our position?"
James once again tried talking to his superior. "Err, G-Giovanni requested our presence at the front, sir."
His unconvinced look pointed directly at them for a while longer before he shook his head and gave up engaging them in conversation.
Meowth looked at a demoralised James before whispering, "Nice job, buddy, we didn't look pathetic there at all!"
The whole Gym was filled with an anxious atmosphere as they all waited for the Boss. Some were hiding it better than others. It was all the trio could do not too faint at any moment. They had a lot riding on this announcement, Giovanni's sanity, Dr Zager's murder, the Pikachu, the next mission, all issues the Crime Lord was sure to bring up, all issue which could lead to their downfall.
The only person who wasn't standing and waiting was Matori, furiously rushing around everybody one last time, checking and rechecking her notes. When she seems satisfied that all her jobs were taken care of, and happy that everybody was in position, Matori was finished. The clomping footsteps of her high heels echoed around the gym as she walked toward the front were the Executives and the trio were standing. She had a few quiet words with Commander Archer (which the trio couldn't make out) and made her way up to the balcony were every agent was standing towards.
With everybody's eyes on Matori, Jessie, James and Meowth were startled to hear Commander Archer shout, "Atten-TION!"
With the sound of the Rocket Empire standing to attention in a military salute, a nervous looking Matori fiddled with her earpiece one last time before finally addressed the Rocket Empire stood in front of here. "Ladies and Gentlemen, Giovanni has arrived..."
TO BE CONTINUED...
I've read through the first chapter, and you have an interesting set-up here. Giovanni is insane and now only has Jessie, James, and Meowth to help him. Fortunately Jessie is quick on her feet to think up lies, leading to the title of this fic.
The one thing that hurt your story was the grammar. It's not horrible by any means. Just that you missed a few apostrophes to create possessive forms and that your sentences tended to run on the long side. You had quite a few sentences that were so long and packed full of information that I got lost. I had to go back and reread a few to see what you were describing. For instance, here
But really, other than that I didn't notice any major problems. I'll come back and continue reviewing the other chapters, but I didn't want to leave you waiting for some sort of review.
Thank you for reviewing my first chapter, Astinus, I am very grateful. I'll sort out the grammar issues when I get a chance
In the meantime, This is the longest chapter yet, enjoy
Chapter 5: The New World Order
Rocket Log Supplemental: This is the Boss.
Today, it all begins...again.
Everybody was finally gathered in the base, whispers echoing through the Viridian Gym as they waited for their Boss. The lights suddenly went out, prompting every agent into silence as the waited and wondered what was going on.
From the front of the Gym, the sounds of mechanical equipment roared through the facility as everyone could now see a huge television screen was descending from the roof. The screen dropped into place, taking up a large quantity of the stage at the front of the Gym, when the screen blinked on, and images rolled through the screen.
Images of destruction, buildings crumbling to the ground, children crying, and banks being raided flashed on screen, one by one. A few agents laughed at the images, as they recognised their handiwork, Team Rocket's handiwork. The images of destruction finally ended as a new setting flashed upon the screen. It was an interview room from some kind of news station. As footsteps could be heard, a figure reached the chair, and as he sat down all of the agents recognise who it was.
"Brandon..." Jessie and James recognised him instantly, and they weren't the only ones. Brandon has been one of the most powerful Trainers in Kanto for the past thirty years, the Pyramid King, Leader of the Battle Frontier. One of the only trainers in the world who has authorisation to catch not just one, but three Legendary Pokemon.
The room quieted as Brandon started to speak. "In their collective state, Team Rocket is utterly without mercy, driven by one will alone: The will to conquer. They are beyond redemption, beyond reason."
His face flashed off screen to be replaced by another. In the same interview room, it was Professor Samuel Oak who sat down in the chair. Hundreds of agents remained silent as they waited for him to speak. "It is my opinion that the Team Rocket are as close to pure evil as any entity this world has ever encountered."
Another man flashed on the screen, of unknown identity, once more Team Rocket was described by the face on the screen. "Team Rocket is the ultimate. They're unlike any threat we have ever faced before. They're obsessed with political conquest, wealth, power."
Many other names and faces flashed onto the screen, Gym Leaders, Elite Four members, random Trainers, all giving their opinions on Team Rocket as a whole. Their descriptions did not give the criminal enterprise the highest of praise, but that seemed to be the point. The destruction, the madness that was left behind in Team Rockets wake, this was footage from the glory days of Team Rocket, when Giovanni had finally bought them to power after a long time in the shadows. Though why the footage was being shown to them now was still a mystery.
The short film that was blaring through the Viridian Gym ended as another sound took its place. Coming from the balcony, the Boss had arrived to greet his followers. Wearing a sharp black suit in favour of the military uniform he had donned during the Unova missions, Giovanni was looking good! Cool, calm, collected, everything you'd expect from the Rocket leader.
Standing still at the front of the balcony for a long while with his hands on the rail of the balcony, Giovanni just stood there, staring out into the sea of Team Rocket uniforms. He was showing no signs of any emotion, a blank look scattered across his features as he just watched his army looking back at him.
Finally looking away, Giovanni started to pace back and forth on the balcony, and began to speak. "Well, well, well, good evening, my agents. It has been a while since we last spoke, hasn't it? And I thought it was about time we had a little chat, don't you?" Murmurs of surprise ran through the gym as the agents were taken aback at Giovanni's strangely conversational tone, yet he carried on.
"I suppose you are wondering why I've called you all out here this evening." The Boss chuckled as if enjoying a private joke, "That shouldn't really be a surprise at all if you have any semblance of self awareness running through your veins."
Speaking through the side of her mouth, "This is weird..." Jessie whispered to James.
"You see, I brought you all out here to give you all a job evaluation, of sorts. As I'm not entirely satisfied with Team Rocket's performance lately….I'm afraid your work's been slipping, and...And well, I'm afraid I've been thinking about letting some of you go."
"Oh, we are screwed..." Meowth hung his head in shame as he could just imagine Giovanni naming and shaming the trio in front of the whole team. Thankfully Giovanni didn't hear as he continued with the eerily strange conversation.
"I know, I know. A lot of you have been with this organisation for a long time now. You remember the day I gave you a life line like it was yesterday. Cause you were nothing, weren't you?" He looked around the Gym, as if he was trying to look deep into the souls of every agent under his command. His light tone suddenly shifted to a darker place. "I gave you all life; I gave you all a purpose. You were all nothing, implicated in a life of petty crimes because your real life was just so painful that you couldn't quite keep on the straight and narrow. You leapt at the chance to join my organisation; you leapt at the chance to work for a higher power."
His generalisation was correct, many petty criminals had joined the organisation, though his reasoning seemed a little flawed, the fact that Giovanni promise of immunity from prosecution played into the reason they all joined Team Rocket, as opposed to working for a "higher power".
Wiping his brow with a hand Giovanni continued, "Of course, building an army from petty criminals was doomed to failure from the start. But I made you greater, I made you stronger, I made you better than you were before. I transformed you from low life scum into fearless warriors!" He slammed his hands on the rail in front of him. "Well, that was always my intention."
The crowd of agents looking up at their leader were wandering just were Giovanni was going with this. The inflection of his voice was a lot more emotional than the way he usually spoke, and what he was saying was true for most, but he was glossing over a lot of information.
Though calling Team Rocket members "fearless warriors" was a term most civilians would not use to call many Team Rocket agents, not anymore at least.
"You see I have heard some disturbing rumours over the years, about all of you! But I know they aren't true. I know that none of my agents would fail me so, so badly." Giovanni stepped towards the edge of the balcony leaning over it in an attempt to get closer to his followers, "You wanna hear some of the rumours I have been hearing?"
Jessie, James and Meowth looked to their side to see Commander Archer lose his straight military stance as he attempted to talk to Giovanni, "Excuse me, Giovanni, sir, can I ask were exactly you are going with this?"
Giovanni's eyes shot down in his direction, clearly he wasn't expecting to be interrupted, even by his long time friend. "Archer, yes, yes, it's you! You are a problem..."
Archer's confidence seemed to drain from his face as he heard the final statement. "I beg your pardon, sir?"
Giovanni continued. "You shall see, my friend, you shall see. The rumours I have heard! My goodness, the strange rumours, the strange, strange rumours, they can't be true...they can't be! And yet I see them with my own eyes! How can you explain that! HOW!?" The volume of his voice grew louder and louder. "I discovered the truth! The unbelieveable, horrible secrets of what controls each and every one of you! I know it all..."
Any professionalism that Giovanni once appeared to have at the start of his announcement was slowly crumbling as he was shouting and running around the balcony. Giovanni never acted like this, he was professional, calm, calculating, and everybody knew it. This was it. As clear as day, in front of every member of Team Rocket, Giovanni was slipping...
"Wanna hear the secrets? I want to her them. I want to see your reactions as these words radiate through your soul. I want to hear them. I want to hear them." Giovanni's frantic movements around the balcony were starting to slow down as he repeated "I want to hear them" over and over again.
He stopped dead in his tracks. Very so slowly he turned to face the army in front of them. And he started to laugh.
The Rocket trio looked up at their once heroic leader, laughing like a madman on a stage in front of all his followers. They knew it. It was over. Giovanni was steadily losing control...and if he carried on like this, he'd lose something much more: the respect of his followers. Archer was shifting awkwardly and looking back at the sea of agents behind him before he tried to take charge. "Errr, Giovanni, are you alright, sir?"
Suddenly stopping his laughter, Giovanni had a wide grin on his face as he looked down at Archer. "Yes, my friend, you know what? I have never felt better in my entire life."
Archer couldn't help but stare back at the Boss as he once again started pacing around, rubbing his hands together, shaking his head. "This is my problem, Archer. This is my problem. I couldn't believe my ears when they told me. So they showed me. Then I couldn't believe my eyes when they showed me. Archer, this is what they showed me! They showed me evidence...they showed me reports...they showed me everything I needed to know, and that was it! My respect for you is gone!" Shouting once again, Giovanni looked out at the army before him and pointed out into the army of soldiers in front of him.
"All of you...all of you are pathetic! Weak, useless...You know what I saw? I saw my agents getting defeated in battle...by children. CHILDREN! No, no, no, that cannot be right, it's not right, it's not right! My agents getting defeated in battle by children!? That cannot be right can it, Archer?"
Looking stunned that his name had been mentioned, Archer planted on the best poker face he could before giving a confident answer. "No, sir."
Grinning like a psychopath once more, Giovanni replied. "I beg your pardon?"
"No, sir!" Shouting his answer this time, Archer could barely believe his eyes at how Giovanni was acting.
"Good! Good, good, good. I knew it! They were lying! They were all lying! Team Rocket wouldn't fail me like that."
Archer shifted on his feet and looked back at his friend, ranting and raving, making a spectacle of himself in front of all his subordinates. Not wishing the embarrassment on his friend, he tried to steer the speech in the right direction. "Giovanni, sir. I believe you were going to tell us about our next mission?"
"Yes! Yes, I was...thank you, my friend..." Wagging his finger, Giovanni suddenly seemed to snap back to reality as he took a more professional stance. He placed his hands behind his back and addressed the army like nothing had happened. "Ladies and gentlemen, I am sure you have all heard now. I am turning this organisation upside down, and the next mission is of the upmost importance to our cause. From this moment on Team Rocket will change, as the old ways are finished..."
He sounded more professional, but his words were still not making much sense to the agents below who were still reeling from the strange way Giovanni was acting.
"You see, the police and usual law enforcers don't seem to realise our ideals any more. We have a reputation. We are no longer a force to be reckoned with, we are no longer powerful, we are merely a nuisance. And that, agents, that is entirely your fault. We are no longer a threat because you fail every chance you get! I can't remember the last successful mission, I can't remember a time where I was impressed, because you keep failing the missions I give to you...we are weak because you made us weak!"
Once again, Giovanni's professionalism was crumbling, as he started shouting. "On Team Rockets latest mission, I took control! I had to get personally involved. I went to Unova to complete a mission because I no longer trust any of you. You are weak! You are pathetic! Every last one of you has lost all of my confidence."
The gym was in total shock at what Giovanni was saying and how he was acting. Whatever they were expecting in these mission orders, it was certainly not a dressing down such as this.
"I went to Unova with an army. Dozens died for our cause. They died in honour, they died in the image of Team Rocket. When your time comes, I fully expect you to die for Team Rockets prosperity, without questions!" He was once again slamming his hands down on the railing, emphasising that he would not accept any less than total commitment to the cause, even if that meant dying for Team Rocket.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we are a nuisance no longer! We are warriors! We are Team Rocket! Your honour means more to you than your life! And nothing is more honourable than victory. Team Rocket will prevail! Team Rocket will prevail!"
The delight in his voice as he repeated the final statement over and over again was a shocking contrast to the insulting tone he had been using throughout most of the speech.
Giovanni calm down slightly before finally addressing what everybody was brought here for. "The mission? Well, that's why I brought you all here today. This will be like no mission you have had before, and we are not playing this game like we have played every other."
Finally bringing the speech onto professional matter had peaked most of the Team Rocket agent's interest. "You see, I look around this room and I see a team divided. Look at you all! Different uniforms, different attitudes, different morals, different agendas. Today that stops! Today we stop being a collection of nonconformist and we become a proper army!
"From this moment forward every Team Rocket agent will be united, we will be together, in every sense of the word. Every Team Rocket agent, including myself, will wear the same uniform. The black Elite Officer field uniforms, to be exact."
"We did look kind of awesome in those..." Jessie and James cheered inwardly as they, and every other agent, were assigned the uniforms which Jessie and James had worn during their first missions in Unova.
Archer looked a little uncomfortable at the news, "Everybody will wear the same uniform, sir? Even you?"
"Yes, Archer, I will, you will. Every member the Rocket Empire will."
"That will become clear soon, my friend." He stopped engaging the Executive Commander and continued on with his speech. To give the Boss some credit, he did seem to have won everybody over after his strange outbursts, and everybody was intently listening to his every word. "You see, the mission is simple. Team Rocket is going back to its roots. Everything has become so convoluted lately, we have had agent's stations in Kanto, Johto, Unova, by spreading ourselves too thin we have been diminishing our chances of success. From now on we operate in Kanto and Kanto alone.
"Something else that has been increasing our chance for failure is our missions: a handful of agents doing the jobs of an army, no wonder we haven't been thriving lately. And from this point forward, every mission will succeed, without question. Anybody who fails to do their job will become an enemy of the Rocket Empire." Taking a look around he was satisfied to see all of his agents hanging on his every word. "Now, Team Rocket, do you understand?"
He got his answer as everybody in the Gym gave him a collective and convincing, "Yes, sir!"
"Good...You see, from now on we will all be working closer together, and I will now get a chance to oversee your work a lot more. And I will accept no excuses. You win; you win at all costs, because the days in which Team Rocket is a joke are history. And if I ever see any of you get defeated in a battle you should win..." His speech trailed of as everybody watching made up their own ending to that particular sentence.
The room had a hushed silence as the Rocket agents were left to digest everything that was being said.
"The mission is simple. We, as a group, as one, will travel around every city in Kanto, and we will take every Pokémon from that city into our custody. No magic potions, no supernatural entities, no excuses. We will take every Pokémon from the city by brute force, strength in numbers! We will sweep in like a hurricane, a force of nature! It will be quick, it will be destructive and we will leave with every Pokémon in that city. All of us will be working together, destroying whatever comes in our way, and by god we will succeed!
"Team Rocket will be a much closer unit than ever before. A clear collective under my command. Am I understood?"
"I am pleased. And now, as we are all a much closer...family...than ever before, I know that you have notice that there is a member missing from our new collective. One Doctor Zager. Now there is a story that I want you all to hear..."
The Rocket trio exchanged worried glances at each other as they waited for Giovanni's explanation. They knew what happened, they were the only ones who knew what happened since the outright failure of Operation Tempest. But would Giovanni tell the truth about what happened? They were a little pleased with themselves so far considering their plan to stay out of the spotlight was working surprisingly well. They looked on, and watched on as the madman explained the events since they had left Unova.
"On my way back from Unova after the success of Operation Tempest, I discovered a great secret. Doctor Zager was disloyal. For the past number of years that man has been conspiring with Team Plasma, giving away all of our secrets, all of our strategies. How that man could deceive all of us like that fills me with rage! I apologise to you all but I could not hold back my anger. I personally made sure that Zager's treachery stopped. Ladies and Gentleman, Doctor Zager is dead."
A moment of shock ran through the Viridian Gym, Doctor Zager was a well respected individual within Team Rocket. He was Second in Command behind Giovanni, he handled to day to day operations within the Empire, while it was Giovanni and the Executives who doled out the missions once in a while. He was a Team Rocket man through and through, to hear that he was disloyal just didn't seem right.
"On my way back from Unova he purposely crashed my jet into the Viridian Forest! He tried to kill not only myself but the only other three agents who survived Operation Tempest. Thanks to the ingenuity of my Persian everybody was able to survive, except for Doctor Zager himself. The traitor is dead, good riddance."
A moment of silence filled the Gym, though weather it was out of respect for Doctor Zager or if Giovanni was just thinking of some something else to say was unknown.
"Ladies and gentleman, at this time I would like you all to welcome the survivors of Operation Tempest onto the stage. Field Agents: Jessie, James, Meowth, come up here."
Oh no...Oh no, oh no, oh no...The words were silent, but they were all felt simultaneously within the trio. Their plan to stay hidden was finally shattered as they did as Giovanni asked. Without thinking, just through pure habit they followed the Boss' orders, not looking anywhere but the ground in front of them, the three agents shuffled across the floor of the Gym and climbed the stairs to the balcony. They could feel the stares of hundreds of agents burning into the back of their heads as they slowly rose up to the balcony, and saw in front of them Giovanni greeting the agents with a strange smile plastered across his face.
"Everybody, please welcome, Field Agents: Jessie, James and Meowth!" Giovanni started to applause fully expecting the rest of the army to follow suit. When everybody just stood there silently and showed zero respect for the trio, Giovanni either ignored the army or didn't realise how little respect the trio actually held within Team Rocket.
The trio themselves were under no illusions. They knew how little the rest of Team Rocket thought of them. They had been on just one mission for five years, and still failed. They had captured absolutely no Pokémon for Team Rocket for years and years. They were viewed as a joke, the laughing stock of the Empire.
And yet here Giovanni was, inviting them on stage, greeting them with...respect. Why? The mystery was cleared up as his speech continued. "As the traitor stranded us in the Viridian Forest, we were left defenceless, without hope in that fabled forest. But we survived. Not only did we survive, we thrived. James, tell them what you did! Tell them." Patting her on the shoulder and shoving her to the front of the balcony, Giovanni watched as James stood their shaking under the microscope of Team Rocket.
A severe sense of stage fright washed over James as he looked out into the militia of agents who made no secrets about hating him and his partners. He was unsure of what to do, or what exactly Giovanni was expecting of him. "Ummm, errr, w-what exactly did we do, sir?"
"Hahaha, modesty will get you nowhere in this line of business, agent. But very well, I shall tell them. Jessie, Meowth, get up here." Giovanni caught them as they had been slowing edging their way back down the stairs.
Reluctantly, they walked towards the Boss who inexplicably had his arm around James' shoulders. And when they got close enough, he put his other arm around Jessie's. "Ladies and Gentleman, these three agents have finally done the extraordinary. On the journey home from Unova, at long last Field Agents: Jessie, James and Meowth managed to capture Ash's Pikachu!"
Murmurs of shock reverberated through the Viridian Gym. It was a fine accomplishment, no doubt. Tough was it good enough to receive the amount of gratitude Giovanni was showing them? No chance in hell.
"In light of such success I have been left with no choice but to perform one of the greatest coo in Team Rocket history. As of this moment, Field Agents: Jessie, James and Meowth are to be promoted to the rank of Executive Commanders!"
Like a bolt out of the blue, a collective outpour of distain filled the room. Archer's, as well as many others, whole body convulsed in disbelief before Archer left his position and darted up to the balcony. The whole Gym descended into bedlam as agents started shouting out and declaring how bad a decision it really was. Though nobody was more stunned than Archer. He strode towards Giovanni, shoving the bewildered Jessie, James and Meowth out the way and stood face to face with Giovanni.
"Giovanni! What the hell do you think you are doing?"
Giovanni looked back at his long time associate, giving Archer a confused yet defiant stare, "Do you have a problem, Agent?"
Archer couldn't believe what he saw. The Giovanni of old would have never done something so drastic, at least not without notifying him. "What?! Agent? I'm an Executive Commander of Team Rocket! I am! They are not! They never will be! They're useless! They are a laughing stock! And you are promoting them?! A promotion like this is unprecedented! Rising above two ranks in one shot is ridiculous to the extreme."
Not taking being shouted in his face too lightly, the Boss shot back with venom. "They caught the Pikachu...what have you done for me lately?"
"What? WHAT! Are you serious? It's a Pikachu! A PIKACHU! That deserves nothing! Never mind a promotion!
"It is Ash Ketchum's Pikachu, the Pikachu this organisation has been following for years, the Pikachu that has bested most of the people in this room many times over, and is the Pikachu that is Team Rocket's most wanted Pokémon! You are well aware of how important this Pokémon is to Team Rocket so yes, my friend, the Pikachu's capture does deserve a promotion such as this one!"
Archer couldn't believe what he was hearing, "You can't be serious...This is a joke...it's a joke...Giovanni, have you lost your mind?"
"Hey!" A staggered trio finally shook off their surprise and swiftly made an enemy out of Archer. Jessie spoke up, "Giovanni has not lost his mind! We caught Team Rockets most wanted Pokémon, of course we deserve a promotion!"
Archer spun around to look at the agents who were defying him. "Hahaha, awww, look who it is, Giovanni, your puppets think they are real boys. A capture of a single Pokémon, no matter how important, does not deserve a promotion, never mind a promotion to the rank of Executive Commander. I will not allow such absurdity to happen here tonight! And any argument that these three morons deserve such a reward proves that our leader isn't in his right mind." Turning back to Giovanni, who stood and watched as Archer was flat out insulting him. "So, Giovanni, I tell you this, if you promote those three fools to Executive Commanders right now then our perfect little Empire will fall down tonight!"
"I will not have my authority challenged in such a manner, Commander. The promotion stands!"
Archer started pacing back and forth on the balcony, not unlike how Giovanni was acting when his professionalism was slipping. "This isn't happening...this can't be happening, Giovanni listen to yourself! Can't you see? This isn't right!"
"This is my organisation, Commander...my word is final."
The Commander took a long look back at his friend before finally deciding his fate. "Then I cannot see a way Team Rocket can continue the way it is anymore." Resigning himself to do what he never thought he would have to, Archer, stood up straight and recited regulations, "Giovanni, as the XO of Team Rocket, and acting under Article Y of the Rocket Military Code, I'm hereby relieving you of your command."
Giovanni's eyes glowed in surprise, "I beg your pardon, Commander?"
"You heard me. If Doctor Zager is indeed dead then that puts me to the position of Second in Command." Turning away from Giovanni, Archer faced the Rocket Empire watching everything unfold from below, and shouted his declaration. "Team Rocket, I am sorry, I am so, so sorry...I regret to inform you that Giovanni is no longer fit for duty. I now declare that I am taking command of Team Rocket!"
"Hey! You can't do that! Giovanni is the Boss, not you!" The trio tried to fight what was unfolding in from of them. By some freak of nature they had found themselves as Executive Commanders, and they weren't going to let that slide without a fight. Unfortunately, Archer just ignored their comments and continued to address the army in front of them.
"Team Rocket, Giovanni seems to have been compromised in some way, and I cannot let this Empire fall under his rule. From now on you will answer to me and me alone. Do you accept my authority?"
The negative was from behind him, as Giovanni finally found his voice.
Archer turned to face his long time companion. "Giovanni, my friend, I don't know what is wrong with you but you are clearly not the same man I have known all my life. It's just temporary, until you get back to your normal strength. We'll have our doctor's look at you, do not worry."
"Persian...Kill the Commander."
Giovanni snapped as he ripped Persian's PokeBall from his belt and threw it full force at Archer. The ball exploded in Archer face, knocking him back off his feet, and Persian erupted from the ball, standing defensively in front of the Boss.
Kneeling on the floor, Archer tried to stop what was happening. "Giovanni, no!"
"Persian, Hyper Beam! Hyper Beam, now! Kill him! "
The beam blasted from the feline's throat and aimed dead towards Archer. The Hyper Beam followed through, levelling the balcony and tearing through the army standing on the battlefield as they dived to get out of the way. The Gym descended into confusion as the hundreds of people inside the Gym were scrambling and ducking for cover as Giovanni ordered Hyper Beam after Hyper Beam.
Archer was able to dodge just about every one before the Gym exploded into chaos as some of the agents ran for cover while the brave among them started releasing their own Pokémon in self defence from the maniacal Giovanni who would not let up until his Persian had destroyed his former friend just like he had destroyed Doctor Zager.
The Hyper Beams continued. Causing destruction to all four corners of the Viridian Gym, Jessie, James and Meowth ran for cover, dodging out of the way of the Hyper Beams that were slicing through the bricks and mortar of the Virdian Gym like a hot knife through butter. They ran away from the balcony and down into the battlefield were true chaos had ensued as now other attacks were filling the Gyms as Electabuzz's, Scythers, Golems, Ryhorns, Rydons, and a litter of others started mercilessly attacking each other in confusion at being let out in such close proximity. Some Pokémon tried to stop the almost suicidal nature of the Hyper Beams that were bringing the once grand Viridian Gym into nothing more than a crumbling pile of rubble.
The trio had dodged and swerved as the battlefield was filling and a volley of attacks of all natures were coming from all directions, even the Pokémon couldn't been seen through the dust and smoke that had risen up through all the activity from within the Gym.
"Persian, stop." Just as if somebody had turned off a light switch, Persian stopped his attacks under Giovanni's command. Giovanni looked around the chaotic Gym an saw hundreds of Pokémon and agents in a state of disbelieve as their mission orders had suddenly turned into a full on fight for survival. "Everybody return your Pokémon at once! I will have order!"
One by one, the Pokémon, who were still attacking each other, which were crowding the Gym were returned into their PokeBalls as the agents watched on as Giovanni silently assessed the situation. Archer was fallen on the floor somewhere down on the battlefield, still alive, Giovanni regretfully saw. Jessie, James and Meowth were ducked behind some rubble and cowering somewhere near the back of the Gym, also somehow still unscathed from the mass outbreak of attacks within the Gym. And the once ordered group of agents stood down on the battlefield were in a random assemblage of people still on edge with PokeBalls in hand just in case another attack broke out.
"Now listen up! Nobody, and I mean nobody tries to take power away from me! This is my world! I rule this Empire and you will all listen to ME!" His frantic nature had returned as shouted above the chaos that was slowly subsiding as the Pokémon were all returned. "Now, Archer, I don't know what you were thinking trying to take command of my army! Your attempt has failed! I run this ship! And nobody...nobody is going to change that."
Looking a little worse for wear, Archer stood up and tried to reason with the defiant Boss who was now the only one upon the rise platform that was once a balcony. "But, Giova-"
"Shut up! You failed in your attempt to usurp me just like you failed at everything! There is a reason why I am the Boss and you are not. You are a feeble, pitiable little man with delusions of grandeur and a rank that you do not deserve. And I? I'm the Boss! I'm the man! I'm the guy who will bring Team Rocket back into power! I am the only one who will ever command Team Rocket! Am I understood?"
The sound of silence...nobody was agreeing, no "yes, sirs", no salutes, just a stunned silence as Giovanni was screaming over them.
A quiet, small answer came from not even half of the agents on the battlefield. "Yes, sir."
"Good! Now look, I am not a bad man...I am reasonable and Archer, you were right...you brought up some interesting points, my friend. Now, Jessie, James, Meowth...where are you?"
Climbing their way out of some discarded rubble from somewhere at the back of the Gym, the old building was somehow still standing, the trio emerged and made themselves known to the Boss.
"Ahhh, there you are." Just like that, Giovanni returned to his speech as if nothing had happened. "You perform admirably in Unova and your capture of Pikachu will be the kick start this Empire needs to rise up and reclaim this region! So, in spite of the distain from some...I am proud to announce that your promotion to Executive Commanders stands!"
The battlefield full of agents were not happy and they made it known as they all started talking at once, trying desperately to show the Boss how undeserving they really are of holding the rank.
"I said shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP! I will have order!" They all cowered under Giovanni's anger, fully remembering how he had just tried to kill Commander Archer in plain sight. "Now, Archer has also brought up some interesting points. NO agent has ever received a promotion up the ranks of such a great length. And for a promotion of this nature, I want you to go above and beyond the call of duty. So I will give you that opportunity right now."
Archer once again tried to reason with the Boss, "Giovanni, please, this is ridiculous..."
"Archer, dont make me...Now look! You will all listen to me! There is no uprising; there is no change in authority! I am the Boss! You think you can challenge me? You think you can just change my mind? You think you can take my Empire away from me? Just try it, I'm begging you! Who has the power? I do! So who's going to try and take it away from me? Huh? Come on? I'm waiting..." The Empire of agents were taken aback from the sudden challenge set before them, but was anybody brave enough to take him on?
"Just remember...just remember every time you all came snivelling to me after you had failed a mission. Just remember the fear you felt deep within you when looked into my eyes and you started shaking in your skin while you waited for my wrath. Just remember that feeling when you try to challenge me right now! Just remember how frightened you were back then when you try to challenge me tonight and do the right thing...and let somebody else try first!" He opened his arms in a challenging manner waiting for somebody, anybody to try and fight him. But would anybody pluck up the courage and fight the deranged Leader?
Giovanni smirked at his faction, he was not surprised at the cowardice in front of him. He looked like he was going to start again with the challenge before he halted his train of thought, closed his eyes, took a deep breath and started again. "Now, everybody, as you can see we are all here in the great Viridian Gym. I brought you all here for a reason. And as you all know, this Gym was made for combat."
"Uh oh..." From the back of the Gym, the trio didn't like the sound of that.
Nobody heard, as the Boss continued. "And combat is exactly what we are going to see right now! Jessie and James verses Archer and another Executive in a full battle. With the winners becoming the undisputed Executive Commanders. That is fair, isn't it? I am not an irrational man. Now, clear the battlefield!"
"Giovanni, I don't think this is the right-"
"I said shut up, Archer! My decision stands, assume you position on the battlefield, NOW! Jessie and James, you too."
Racing towards the front of the Gym, the trio tried to reason with Giovanni, combat was the last thing they needed, especially in the current state of this environment. "But, but, sir...we can't have a full battle." Desperately trying to think of any reason to get out of it. "Umm, we only have two Pokémon between us, we can't have a full battle with two Pokémon."
"Hmmm, fine, yes. Matori! Retrieve these agents Pokémon from confinement."
"Yes, sir. Absolutely, sir." The secretary dashed off to collect the Pokémon Jessie and James were forced to leave behind when they accepted their Unova missions.
Not quite what they were hoping for but still it gave them some reason to breathe a little easier, Jessie and James tried to make sense of the rapidly changing circumstances which had just happened.
Promotion...they had been promoted! They were Executives! If they were to win the battle anyway, and that was a big "if" in itself. They were pulled out of their daze when a collection of agents started dragging and pulling them towards the challengers area of the battlefield.
Speechless, Jessie and James were grabbed and tossed towards the trainer's area of the battlefield by the unruly agents. As one grunt grabbed Jessie by the arm she swung around and hit the guy in the face, flooring him, "Don't touch me, moron!"
The rest of the agents back off from Jessie's outburst as they reached the trainers area. Hands shaking as James looked around the Gym, seeing destruction and chaos before him. At least it looked like they weren't the only nervous ones; a lot of agents seemed uncomfortable with what had happened in the Viridian Gym tonight.
None more so than Archer.
Archer had found himself at the front of the gym where the Gym Leader would usually fight. He was surrounded by the three other Executive Commanders who were just as uncomfortable with the preceding as he was. Ariana placed her hand on Archers arm. "Archer, what is going on?"
"I don't know...I don't know..."
Ariana could barely keep her cool. "Giovanni tried to kill you!"
Stating the obvious, Proton agreed that something wasn't right here. "Ariana is right; Giovanni cannot be in his right mind."
"Whatever happens, Archer, we will stand with you."
"I much appreciate that, Petrel. Come, Ariana, you shall fight by my side."
"What? We are really going through with this battle?"
"Yes," He grabbed Ariana's hand and gestured towards the trio who were being dragged into position opposite them on the battlefield, "First we shall dispose of these fools..." Before taking a longing look towards the Boss who was taking his place in the referee's position.
"Then what of Giovanni? What if he tries to kill you?"
"If he tries anything...I don't know, Protol, Pertrel, keep your eyes on Giovanni at all costs, if he does anything out of the ordinary, alert me at once." He took a deep breath before looking at his loyal followers once more. "If he tries to kill me again...then I will kill him first." His attention was brought to the Boss who was once again screaming at his army.
"Alright listen up! You all know my stipulation. This double battle will be held under Rocket Rules!"
An explosion of cheers erupted from the hundreds of agents as they realised the spectacle that was about to unfold.
"No referees. No Knock-outs, no rules. The only way to win this matchup is to destroy your opponent's Pokémon, to let it know that it doesn't deserve to be a part of the Rocket Empire. The only way to win this match is to KILL your opponent's Pokémon!"
The atmosphere turned to excitement as the agents whooped and cheered again. The hundreds of agents rushed out of the battlefield of the Viridian Gym they were standing on and gathered around the edges, whistling and cheering as they waited for the battle to begin.
The trio looked around the Gym. Hundreds of Rocket agents were surrounding the battlefield, right up to the edge of the lines. Meowth couldn't believe his eyes as the dusty old gym was about to be turned into the home of an execution.
Matori arrived back into the Gym and walked down towards Jessie and James' position. With a look of pity, Matori looked at the speechless trio, "Good luck, agents." As she handed them their Pokémon from confinement: Carnivine and Mine Jr for James and Yanmega, Seviper and Wobbuffett for Jessie.
"Or alternatively, a way to win is to get your opponent to say "I Quit". And any Team Rocket agent who is worth anything will know that saying those words is not an option. Any agent who says I Quit will be killed themselves. My Persian has his orders to perform a Hyper Beam the second anybody says those words..."
"Will your Pokemon die in honour on the battlefield, or will their trainers die in disgrace, uttering the unspeakable?" The Boss seemed to be bursting with glee at the events of tonight. "The winner will hold the rank of Executive Commander, and the losers Pokémon will perish. Now, without further ado..." The Boss smirked as he looked down on the battlefield, Jessie and James standing close together, PokeBalls shaking in their hands as they tried to pluck up the courage to begin this death match. Across from them the current Executive Commanders, poker faced and eager to destroy the ones who threatened their position.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Authors Note: Reviews as always are welcome and I would love to hear some predictions about how the big battle in the next chapter will go. I can promise one thing, there will be a death in Chapter 6
Author's note: Wow, a 5 month wait since my last update. That's really not good at all, please accept my deepest apologies. I am sure you don't want to hear my excuses for not updating sooner (I started a Masters Degree, it's really hard!), so let's get straight on with the next chapter. To make up for the wait I tried to make the battle as epic as I could, and the chapter is easily the longest I have ever written coming in at well over 16,000 words. So please, enjoy
Chapter 6: Team Rocket Rules
"Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!" The screaming agents surrounded the battlefield and chanted for blood. The chants were loud and intimidating, especially to Jessie and James. Though as loud as they shouted, the screams seemed to be coming from agents of lower ranks, the ones who had eagerly taken their place right on the edges of the battlefield. The lower ranks trying to prove themselves, to prove that there weren't cowardly and prove that they had no conscience and were eagerly anticipating the death of Team Rocket's own, no matter how irrational it was.
The baying agents had ignored the seating in the arena and instead were pushing over themselves right up to the edges of the battlefield, swarming the entire perimeter of the battlefield. They were just feet away from Jessie, James and Meowth, who were starting to feel very congested and claustrophobic as a mob gathered around their trainer's box. Archer and Ariana also weren't taking too kindly to the hectic conditions, not used to dealing with a feral pack like this. Giovanni's speech had seemed to rile them up and had whipped them into a frenzy, all appearances of rank seemed to be disregarded as the crowd were crying for blood, shouting at Archer and Ariana.
Not everybody was taken in by the frenzied crowd reaction, some of the more experience Agents had held back, backing up slowly and trying to get away from the chaotic atmosphere that had descended since Giovanni's wild speech.
Domino, in particular, had backed away and didn't know what to think. She was clueless as to what had happened. Why was Giovanni encouraging such chaos? Judging from his speech she knew, everybody with a brain knew, that something was wrong. He was never like this. She had walked away from the battlefield and ascended the seats surrounding the Gym, where the audience usually sat, and tried to get as far away as possible from the battle. Wanting no part of the bedlam that was surrounding the battlefield.
Other agents had gotten out of the chaos as well; Pierce, Attila, Hun, as well as other Elite Officers and a few Field Agents took their leave from the anarchy and stood by Domino. They all looked questioningly to Domino, the most experienced Officer of the group, but she was just as clueless as they were. She shook her head, "I don't know, something has gone wrong. This battle is illogical and unnecessary, the Boss would never encourage this kind of anarchy. Just look at them all…" The group of Elite Officers were now all on the back row of the Gym, all staring down at the commotion, an empty battlefield with hundreds of agents swarming around the edges and chanting from blood. "No… No! I'm not gonna let this happen. Mark my words, nobody dies tonight." Domino was high above the arena on the back row, watching from above the chaos surrounding the Viridian Gym.
"We shall stand with you, sir. You have our word, we will not let this Empire crumble tonight." The seemingly only level headed Officers in the whole of Team Rocket converged at the back of the Gym. Domino folded her arms and nodded before looking back down onto the field.
Jessie, James and Meowth could only huddle closer together as they looked around at the frantic crowd, chanting and screaming for the battle to begin. Their attention was snapped to one particular area of the crowd as somebody shouted over them. "Sir!" A lone voice in the crowd of bloodthirsty agents rose above the incessant chanting and tried to get the Boss's attention.
Giovanni's arms were folded as he was stood at the referee's position with Persian and Matori standing either side of him. He had been silent since he ordered the battle to begin. Stood waiting for this execution to happen. "Viper," He heard the voice and recognised one of Team Rocket's leading military minds instantly, "What do you want?"
Viper stood as straight as he could trying not to let the ravenous crowd deter him. "Sir! I hate to question your authority, but I wonder what the purpose of such a match is right now?"
"You question my authority?" Giovanni was impatient and wasn't taking too kindly to the delay this line of question was causing to his death match.
"No, sir! As you know, I invented this stipulation as an exercise at the Rocket Academy. I created it as an exercise of conscience. Not as a game for settling scores." Viper had invented this kind of death match, though the stipulation was only ever used for Team Rocket trainees and Grunts. The matches usually consisted of Rattatas and Zubats and other useless Pokémon (useless in the eyes of Team Rocket, anyway). In these matches the Pokémon would be battling each other to the death to show that the Grunts had no issues commanding death upon others for the good of Team Rocket. And because the matches only consisted of weak, "useless" Pokémon, there was no harm done when the Pokémon inevitably died. These kinds of matches had never happened with such high ranking members of Team Rocket like Executives and had never been used to quell a dispute like this one. Viper continued, "Having a match of this kind with high ranking members of the Rocket Empire is unheard of. If this match goes forward, for very little reason we could lose one of Team Rocket's greatest weapons."
Arianna smirked from her position, "…Or we could lose one of their Pokémon." She spoke under her breathe as she motions to the trio standing across from them.
"My point entirely, Mr Viper. Can't you see Giovanni? This battle is senseless." Archer chimed in with his opinion and tried to capitalise on Viper's objection and tried to get the match called off.
For the briefest of moments it looked like there was some doubt creeping into the eyes of Giovanni as he looked at them arguing for the match to be stopped. But as quickly as it came, it disappeared as he commanded, "The match will go ahead. Now send out your Pokémon!"
"Giovanni, are you absolutely sure about this? There is only one outcome." The voice was Ariana, speaking above the chanting of the Gym and facing directly towards Giovanni who was soaking up the ravenous atmosphere of the gym. "This trio of agents you suddenly seem to love so much don't have it in them to kill anyone or anything. They don't have the guts and everybody in this Gym knows it. Archer and I have no such reservations. We will kill every single one of their Pokémon without conscience, without mercy. We are more violent, we are more vicious and we will stop at nothing. W-"
"Then, that is all well and good Commander." The Boss cut her off, "I expect a dominant victory. Now choose your Pokémon!"
The Executive Commanders stared him down before deciding their fate. "Very well."
"Now, let me repeat, this match will be held under Rocket rules. This is a full six on six tag battle, there are no rules and the only way to win is to be the first to kill one of your opponent's Pokémon. The match will end upon the death of a Pokémon or the ultimate surrender of its master. The winners shall claim the rank of Executive Commander." He was outwardly calmer, and his tone was much less rampant than the first time he delivered the order. But still, everybody with a clear head had to question his sanity. The match was just illogical. Plain and simple.
"What's the plan, guys?" Meowth jumped on Jessie's shoulder as they tried to figure this battle out.
A hollow laugh escaped Jessie, "Plan? Us?" She stood up straight before she nonchalantly tried to pass this off as nothing. "Let's just wing it, it seems to be doing us well so far."
The situation was getting to James a lot more. "Wing it? We can't wing it! We kill something or we die! We have never killed anything in our lives. Those guys are right, we are in way over our heads."
Jessie tried to calm her partner, "Shut up, James, we can do this. We have to do this!" She ran her fingers through her long hair as she tried to think. "Maybe we don't have to kill anything, let's just try to win the battle fair and square and see what happens. Ok?"
James wasn't happy that he had to put his Pokémon in extreme danger such as this, "They won't be playing fair and square." But there was no other option, it seemed they had to prove themselves. A trial by fire.
Jessie was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the glory after victory. "If we win this match, we get everything we ever dreamed of. We will hold power within the Empire, we will be Giovanni's right hand, and we will have the respect of Team Rocket! We can do this."
Meowth leapt at Jessie's enthusiasm. "All you have to do is beat these losers. They haven't been out in the field for years, not like we have. They haven't battle together as much as we have. We have a chance here."
"Only if we can kill them..."
Jessie shook James' comment off as nothing. "Maybe we can find a way around that. We just need to win the match. It doesn't matter how you win, as long as you win. It's the Team Rocket way."
"Hold on a minute," Meowth had to ask something that had been bothering him. "You said you haven't killed anything. But you two did the Rocket rule battles in the Academy before I joined you, right? You must have killed something in Viper's classes?"
Jessie and James hung their head as they had to explain yet another one of their failures. "No, no, not really… The Pokémon they gave us to fight with, kinda, got lost."
Meowth eyed at his two friends, looking back and forth between each of them. "They got lost?"
"Well, they ran away from us."
Meowth's eyes just narrowed at the explanation. "... They ran away?"
Not believing their stupidity, Meowth hesitated to ask the big question. "So how did you pass the class?"
Looking a little pleased with themselves, the duo answered honestly. "We told Viper we snapped their necks in rage when they didn't do as they were told."
Meowth tried to picture that exact scenario before dispelling it as absurd. "And he believed you?"
"Yes, he actually gave us an A for ingenuity."
"Wow." That certainly sounded a lot like those two. "So basically… You two just bluffed your way through the entire Academy?"
"No! Absolutely not! Not the entire Academy." Jessie and James looked at each other before answering honestly again. "Just the hard parts..."
They were thrown out of their reverie as a shout came barking from the referee's position. "Stop stalling! Let this battle begin!" Giovanni was done waiting.
The time had come, no more delays, the death match was upon them! Archer and Arianna took the opportunity and simultaneously released their Pokémon.
Arbok and Weezing?
Arbok and Weezing. Of course. Who else would it be? The trio stared open mouthed across the battlefield at the species of Pokémon they knew all too well. "Umm, do you ever get the feeling somebody up there is laughing at us?" Jessie scratched her forehead at the unbelievable coincidence which was staring across from them.
"Yeah," James had his head in his hands. "It has been one of those days, hasn't it?"
Ariana's Arbok obediently slithered forward and stared at the two trainers who hadn't yet released their Pokémon, and they could only stare back in awe at the species of Pokémon they had once owned. Arbok's tongue flicked out of its mouth, tasting the anticipation in the Gym.
Archer's Weezing floated above it and let out a seemingly pained groan of it name. Weezing looked nasty, poison dripping from its every orifice onto the floor as it let out more groans while staring at the trio. The thing looked horrible, it looked like it was ready to kill.
Jessie and James were mesmerised by the Pokémon, they hadn't even attempted to go for their own Pokémon yet and could only look back at Arbok and Weezing. "C'mon guys, snap out of it! Everybody is waiting for you." Meowth acted as cheerleader as he had a foot on each of their shoulders.
Jessie snapped out of it and dove into action. "Ok, fine, Yanmega, let's rock!" Jessie released her prized insect from its confines in an explosion of light. The large insect was an impressive sight to behold as it buzzed around the arena and called its name. Jessie was quite pleased to find that she was getting a few jealously filled stares from the agents surrounding the battlefield.
"Help her out, Mime Jr." James released his undersized, scrawny looking Pokémon onto the battlefield to the bemusement of everybody in the Gym. The room exploded into laughter as hundreds and hundreds of hardened criminals looked down upon the pathetic looking Pokémon James had sent out.
Jessie and Meowth just stared at the floor in embarrassment at being associated with such a weak looking Pokémon. "Oh James, what are you trying to do to us!"
"What? He's a Psychic type, he is strong against Poison Pokémon. Plus, I have a plan."
"James, he doesn't know how to battle! And look at him! He doesn't look much like a Team Rocket Pokémon, does he?"
"You never had a problem with him before."
"We were never in a death match before!"
Across the room, Archer could barely hold in a smirk as he looked at his opponent. "That is an amazing Pokémon you have there. How many little girls did you have to follow to find such an elite specimen?"
"Shut up, Archer!" To the surprise of everyone, James' tone of voice was much different from the norm and it was he who was going to kick off this battle, "Mime. Jr, Teeter Dance!"
Following James lead, Jessie reacted quickly as well. "Yanmega, Quick Attack!"
The trio started the offensive as Mime Jr started waving his arms from side to side in an attempt to confuse the two opponents. As the Mime Pokémon danced on the spot, the hulking bug Pokémon flew over the top of James' Pokémon and shot at Arbok and Weezing with lighting speed, smashing into the bigger target, Archer's Weezing.
The Weezing was taken aback by the speed of the attack and couldn't dodge before being hit. The Gaseous Pokémon was knocked to the floor and landed face down.
Ariana's Arbok hadn't moved and was instead mesmerised by the Teeter Dance and started wriggling around on the floor curling and uncurling around itself. James' plan looked to have worked, Arbok, at least, was confused by Mime Jr's attack. Yanmega and Weezing seemed to miss the confusing effects as they had been concentrating on each other.
"Quick, Yanmega take the advantage, use Ancient Power on Arbok." With Weezing momentarily down and happy with any advantage they could find, Jessie and James continued attacking. Jessie's bug was easily the fastest player on the battlefield and in a blink Yanmega's body had created a see-through afterimage of itself. The afterimage spun quickly into a ball and Yanmega forced the ball down and smashed the Ancient Power onto the writhing snake below.
Archer and Arianna were on the back foot, certainly there weren't expecting such a quick start from two agents so below them. Incensed that they were looking weak in front of everybody, Archer barked out an order. "No more games, Weezing, use Sludge Bomb!" The Weezing picked itself up of the floor after the unexpectedly strong Quick Attack from Yanmega. Floating on the spot the Gaseous Pokémon prepared its attack, brown sludge started to pour out of the holes in Weezing's body but he never had a chance to use the move offensively.
"No, Mime Jr, use Teeter Dance on Weezing, quickly!" Mime Jr leapt into action and danced around the battlefield with a smile on its face. Clearly not understanding the severity of the battle, Mime Jr jumped up and down and waved it arms from side to side as Weezing could only watch and become confused by the hypnotic effects.
"No!" Archer raged that his Pokémon was confused and that he was being made to look silly by that ridiculous Pokémon.
"Yanmega, use Quick Attack again. Attack both of them!" With the two Pokémon defenceless by Mime Jr's confusion, Jessie's Yanmega, as the only offensive member of the battle so far, sped towards Weezing once more, with the Pokémon confused it couldn't dodge as Yanmega smacked into the Poison Pokémon. Before turning around and then smashing directly into Arbok. And then turning again and smashed into Weezing. Back and forth and back and forth, Yanmega was barely visible as it zipped between the two Pokémon and was relentless as it darted between them attacking one after the other and not letting up for a moment as it whizzed between both of them dealing damage each time.
"Arbok, catch that bug with Wrap!" Arbok's eyes may have been dazed but its reflexes were as competent as a snake's should be and Arbok's tail plucked the lighting quick Yanmega out of the air and stopped it dead in its tracks.
"No, Yanmega, get out of there!" The bug struggled and twisted its body around but Arbok's tail was just too powerful for the bug's physical strength. The two Pokémon were twisting and rolling over each other as Yanmega tried to wrestle its way out.
"Weezing, snap out of confusion and use Thunderbolt on Mime Jr!" Archer was sick of his Pokémon being dazed and tried to get his team on the offensive. Weezing rose from the ground and shook its body. Its vision cleared and its eyes became locked upon the tiny Pokémon on the other side of the battlefield. Weezing started crackling with yellow energy as electricity ripped through its deformed body and shot at Mime Jr!
James had to think fast. "No, quick Mime Jr, use Mimic!"
"It knows Mimic?!" Archer's eyes flared open as he could only watch as the tiny Mime Jr flipped over itself and started releasing electricity out of its body with its own Thunderbolt! The two electric attacks hit each other in the middle of the battlefield and exploded upon impact. With neither Pokémon stopping the attack, the two Thunderbolts were fighting against each other and started to create a ball of electrical power in the centre of the field!
The ball of electricity started growing and growing! Nobody could believe their eyes as the sphere started getting bigger and bigger, being fed by the two Thunderbolt attacks coming in from either side. Jessie and James watched on and couldn't help but be reminded of the giant Electro Ball attack Ash's Pikachu had used during the war of Operation Tempest as they watched a globe of electricity fizzing and sparking in the heart of the battlefield.
The ball was growing to immense proportions as Yanmega and Arbok had to separate in fear of becoming engulfed by the ever growing electrical ball. They raced behind their respective partners as the ball was crackling and sizzling and growing bigger and bigger. It rose into the air and Weezing and Mime Jr didn't stop their attacks and the ball was getting so big it was levitating higher and higher. It crashed into the rafters and took out the lights above the Gym. The battlefield was plunged into darkness, only illuminated by the sphere of electricity flashing in the centre of the battlefield.
Jessie and James looked towards Mime Jr and saw he didn't have much energy left to continue the attack. Jessie tried to force the hand, "Yanmega, Silver Wind into that blast!" The bug's fluttering wings glowed a brilliant white and grew stronger. A powerful wind suddenly emerged within the gym, blowing back everybody close to the action and had their clothes rippling from the gust. Yanmega's wild Silver Wind was then directed at the heart of the electrical ball as powerful winds were rushed into the attack.
It was working! The Silver Wind was actually blowing the electrical globe closer towards Archer and Arianna! Archer saw the ball come closer and ordered the offence. "Fight it, Weezing!" Weezing groaned and roared in defiance of the sphere getting closer to him and somehow added more power to his attack. Weezing's incredible power was starting to get the better of Mime Jr's Thunderbolt and the ball of electricity slowly started edging back to Jessie and James side.
James worried for his Pokémon safety. "This isn't gonna work much longer, Mime Jr can't hold it."
"You can't break it, that electricity will come over here."
"Arbok, use Earthquake!"
"What!?" The veiled Arbok suddenly rose out of its hiding place behind Weezing and slowly slithered towards the front line. With the electrical energy sparking above it, the snake slammed its massive tail into the ground and created tremors throughout the Gym. The whole of the Viridian Gym shook from the ruthless Ground type attack. An attack which was banned from official Pokémon battles after being deemed too destructive. But Ariana didn't care about that. This battle was not being played by the rules.
Weezing and Yanmaga avoided the effect but Mime Jr was fallen in an instant and his hold on the electricity was broken. "NO!" Jessie and James screamed out as they could do nothing as they saw Weezing deliver a final burst of energy to end the stalemate. They could only watch as the huge electric ball came falling down and crash onto the tiny Pokémon! Mime Jr shrieked as the attack consumed him before silence filled the gym.
"Mime Jr!" James called out as his Pokémon was decimated by the huge attack. It was devastating, everybody stopped and held their breath as they waited for the dust the settle and see what had become of the small Pokémon. "Mime Jr, please…"
The smoke was clearing and everybody could see the small Pokémon lying face down on the ground, looking charred and battered and broken by the powerful attack. An eerie hush was upon the previously ravenous Gym as everybody looked down at Mime Jr and wondered if that huge electric attack had killed the small Pokémon and ended this match.
But beyond all hope and with the silent prayers from Jessie, James and Meowth, the Mime Pokémon twitched its eyes. It was alive! He was knocked out and in serious need of medical attention, but he was alive. Archer shook his head at the beaten Pokémon and went for the kill. "Impressive, but this match is over. Weezing end this, Giga Impact that Pokémon!"
The trio stared in shock as the Weezing rose above its position and its body became surrounded by spiralling orange streaks. The Gaseous Pokémon became encased in a purple glow and with great force the Pokémon flew across the battlefield faster than anybody could have expected.
"Mime Jr, return!" James scrapped for his Pokémon in a desperate attempt to get his Pokémon out of the way of the surely killer blow. When the red beam of light of Mime Jr's Poké Ball scooped the Psychic Pokémon out of the way, the Weezing smashed down into the floor leaving a huge crater in its wake. Not able to help himself from getting his Pokémon out of harm's way, James had returned his Pokémon. Was that allowed?
There was whisperings of doubt echoing around the Gym as Ariana spoke up, "You can't return Pokémon in these matches."
Still a little shaken at seeing his Pokémon in such grave condition, James tried to defend himself. "Says who? That was never established."
"Giovanni?" Ariana folded her armed and looked towards the 'referee'.
The eyes of the gym turned to Giovanni as the Boss looked from side to side keeping his confident mask in place. "There are no rules in this match, they can do what they want."
Archer snorted in derision as he surmised that the Boss was making this up as he went along. "Substitutions are allowed now?"
"Continue the match!"
James' hands were shaking at the close call his Pokémon almost had. It was the job of his two partners to shake him back into battle mode. Meowth jumped on his shoulder. "C'mon James, look alive, Lil' Mimey did better than anyone could have expected. We're not doing too badly here, let's carry on."
Taking a deep breath, James calmed himself as he prepared to put another one of his friends into the danger zone. "Ok, Carnivine, you're up!"
The Grass Pokémon burst out of the Poké Ball and unsurprisingly got a much better response that his Mime Jr did from the frenzied mob. The towering Bug Catcher Pokémon looked around and noted the serious atmosphere in the Gym, looking back at James, he saw that this was no time for games and he stood up straight in seriousness, looking across at the two Pokémon who were staring back at him with venom.
Carnivine was James' oldest Pokémon, James had known it since he was little, and Carnivine was without a doubt one of James' strongest Pokémon. Carnivine needed to have a stand out performance in this battle, James knew if he fell quickly, he would only have Yamask as a backup. Carnivine had to do well, even if he was standing across from two super effective Poison Pokémon.
His surprising choice of Mime Jr up first was purely based on its confusion and mimic abilities, hoping that it would give the trio a good start if he stopped the opponents from attacking first. Unfortunately the momentum Yanmega had built in the early stages of the battle was lost now that Mime Jr had fallen and now Jessie and James were behind on Pokémon.
With the lights taken out by the double Thunderbolt attack, the battlefield was only illuminated by the moonlight pouring in through the long mosaic windows around the Viridian Gym. Casting long shadows across the battlefield, over half the field was covered in darkness. Not letting that stop her, Ariana took the first attack this time. "Arbok, use Sludge Bomb on that Carnivine!" Arbok rose from its position, as if it was standing up straight and reaching a higher vantage point, the snakes opened its mouth and fired multiple large globs of dark brown sludge at the Carnivine. A super effective attack.
"Dodge it, Carnivine!" The Grass Pokémon was quick on its feet and the vines the Pokémon uses as legs sprang into action as Carnivine jumped up and over the globs of sludge.
"Sludge Bomb again! Don't stop until you hit it!" Arbok chased the Carnivine around the Gym as James' Pokémon kept on leaping and bouncing out of the way and avoided every one of Arbok's attacks.
"Weezing, use Poison Gas." Weezing covered the battlefield in a dark green gas which poured out of the holes covering its body. The gas filled the arena and covered the cat and mouse chase that was going on between Arbok and Carnivine.
Not liking the blindness now fallen on the already poorly lit battlefield, Jessie ordered the counter. "Yanmega, clear the field with Silver Wind." The powerful wind emanating from the Bug type Pokémon cleared the gas and everybody could now see that Arbok had caught up to Carnivine and had its purple body constricted around Carnivine.
Carnivine howled in pain as the snake twisted around and around, getting tighter and tighter in its Wrap attack. "Carnivine, try and get out of there." Not exactly having a normal body shape, James was hoping the Bug Catcher Pokémon would be able to wriggle out somehow, but that wasn't the case. Arbok was constricting itself around the Carnivine tighter and tighter and it was draining the life out of the Grass Pokémon.
James thought of a plan. "Carnivine, try to ignore the Arbok and use Vine Whip on Yanmega."
Carnivine had enough sense to not use the attack to hurt Yanmega and it used its vines to grab on to the tail of the Bug Pokémon. The powerful bug rose and flew around the arena, with the Carnivine and Arbok wrapped and tangled together trailing behind, Yanmega kept on flying around, doing laps of the arena, trying to shake the two Pokémon and get the Arbok to release the Wrap attack that was slowing draining the Carnivine of all its power.
"Hold on Arbok, don't let go and use Bite!"
The Arbok had its body wrapped all around Carnivine and plunged its razor sharp fangs down onto Carnivine's neck. Not content with just one attack, Arbok opened its mouth again and bit down hard on Carnivine a second time, and a third, and a fourth. The screams of Carnivine reverberated around the arena as the two Pokémon were still trailing behind Yanmega who was circling around the battlefield.
"Yanmega, stop." Seeing that the strategy wasn't working, Jessie aborted the plan and tried a more direct approach to get the snake Pokémon off Carnivine. "Use Sonic Boom on Arbok."
Yanmega twisted its body and let loose a shockwave of air and directed it towards the two Pokémon tangled together below. The airwave was successful in breaking the death grip between the two Pokémon but James wasn't too happy that his Carnivine was already looking so beaten before it had even got off an attack. Jessie saw her partner's discouraged look and tried to reason with him. "Don't worry, maybe it's not as bad as it looks, Wrap and Bite aren't exactly the strong Pokémon moves in existences."
"They still took their toll…"
"Weezing, use Sludge Bomb on Carnivine." The Executive tried to take the advantage on the beaten Pokémon and ordered his Weezing to use a super effective move on the Grass Pokémon. Using the same attack Ariana's Arbok was using earlier, Carnivine dodged the move exactly same way by bouncing over the glob of dark sludge and landed on its feet, ready to attack. The ground of the battlefield was starting to become filled in puddles of sludge from the relentless Poison attacks that never quite it their mark.
"Carnivine use Bullet Seed." The Grass Pokémon opened its huge mouth and let loose a volley of seeds at high velocity towards Weezing. The seeds all hit their target pounding into the faces of Weezing, but they didn't seem to be doing much damage to the Poison Pokémon. Seeing that it wasn't doing much, Jessie ordered her Yanmega to use Steel Wing on Archer's Pokémon as well. Trying to take the big Pokémon down, Yanmega and Carnivine worked together to try and eliminate their first Pokémon. With Yanmega speed unmatched by the Executive's Pokémon, they were defenceless as Jessie's Pokémon zoomed in and whacked Weezing with its Steel Wing. The Weezing fell back from the impact of both the Steel Wing and Bullet Seed and was finally starting to look a little worse for wear.
"Keep on attacking you two! Silver Wind and Bullet Seed, don't stop!"
Yanmega fell back and power up a Silver Wing. Jessie had the idea that switching to Silver Wind might inadvertently power up the Bullets Seeds with the powerful winds carrying Bullet Seed at an even greater rate. Arbok was blown back into the firing line by Yanmega's Silver Wind and also started to get hit by Carnivine's Bullet Seed along with Weezing. The fire power coming from Jessie and James side of the battle looked quite impressive and they were finally dealing some devastating blows to the Executive's Pokémon.
The Silver Wind from Yanmega was whistling through the arena and Jessie and James couldn't hear as Archer and Ariana barked some orders at their Pokémon. "You two, stop!" Seeing their Pokémon getting worn out from the prolonged continuous attacks, they ordered Yanmega and Carnivine to halt their attack. Looking across the battlefield they saw that Arbok and Weezing were looking much healthier than they were hoping for as they were stood still on their side of the combat zone.
Jessie stood and stared at the motionless Arbok and Weezing. "Why aren't they moving?"
James didn't like the look of this. "It could be a trap."
"Just attack, head on. Yanmega, Steel Wing!"
The Executives jolted into action as they heard Jessie's command. "Arbok, Run away."
"Explosion?!" The Weezing closed its eyes and focused within itself and started glowing a bright white light. Yanmega was on a crash course for the Weezing and couldn't stop its forward trajectory as it arrowed towards the now glowing Weezing. While Yanmega was making a beeline for Archer's Pokémon, Arbok darted away toward the opposite side of the battlefield, getting as far away from the imminent explosion as quickly as it could.
James caught on to Ariana's strategy to get as far away from the explosion as possible. "Carnivine, use Vine Whip to grab onto Arbok and then use Bind!" Carnivine used its Vine Whip to grab onto the fleeing Arbok and held onto the snake Pokémon as they both slide far away from the exploding Pokémon. With Arbok and Carnivine once again tangled together at the opposite end of the battlefield, Yanmega and Weezing were getting closer and closer to each other and Weezing waited until Yanmega was mere inches away before letting loose and letting his whole body explode with all the power it could muster inside itself!
The arena was blinded by the white light coming from Weezing and a sickening burning smell came from the two Pokémon. "No," was all Jessie could say as the smoke cleared and she saw Yanmega and Weezing side by side downed on the floor.
With Carnivine and Arbok wrestling at the opposite side of the field, both of whom had felt the pure force of the attack but were far enough away to not be totally destroyed by the power.
"Yanmega!" It was so close to the Explosion… All that power at point blank range. Neither Pokémon had moved. Jessie could only yell across the field as she begged for her Pokémon to be alright. "Yanmega!"
Ignoring the hazard, Jessie ran across the battlefield to aid her Pokémon, not caring that she was in danger with both Arbok and Carnivine still wrestling together and ready to let loose an attack at any moment. She sprinted towards her bug Pokémon and held it in her arms. "Yanmega, please, are you ok? Wake up! Wake up now!" She was shouting at her Yanmega to wake up, not believing that she could have lost her Pokémon because of her own incompetence. How could she be so foolish as to send her Yanmega into an obvious trap? "Please, Yanmega!"
Archer watched the scene with folded arms calmly from his trainer's box. "Your Pokémon is dead. My Weezing just gets knocked out by the move Explosion. Your Pokémon wasn't so lucky. Putting your Pokémon so close to the danger was a rookie mistake. Jessie, you just killed your own Pokémon."
"NO! Yanmega, please." Tears started falling down her face as she looked down at her Pokémon. With her tears falling down onto her bug Pokémon she felt a movement. With her eyes closed she couldn't see the bug Pokémon's wings flutter ever so slightly. She felt the movement in her Pokémon and relieve flooded her body as she saw that Yanmega, much like Mime Jr, was still alive, just badly beaten.
Archer couldn't believe his eyes that her Pokémon was still alive. He looked down and snatched another Pokémon from his belt. "Houndoom, finish them off!"
Jessie quickly returned her Pokémon back to its Poké Ball and raced back to her side of the battlefield towards her team mates before Archer's Houndoom could be released.
"Yanmega's alive. Let's keep battling." Now it was her turn to feel shaken as one of her Pokémon came within inches of being the casualty in this darkest of battles. Hating herself for crying and showing weakness in front of Rocket Agents, she fought back her fear and sent the second of her Pokémon into the front line. "Seviper, you're up!"
Both Jessie's and Archer's Pokémon burst onto the scene at the same time as the two Pokémon eyed each other. Seviper's shiny black scales shone under the moonlight as Archer's Houndoom let loose a wild roar to try to intimidate its opponent. Seviper just silently watched the hellhound and was unmoving in the face of Houndoom's ferociousness. The intimidation factor worked a lot more on Jessie than it did on Seviper. She wanted nothing to do with the powerful looking Pokémon, and instead looked towards Arbok and Carnivine wrestling and tangled around each other near her side of the field. Watching the two Pokémon wrapped and twisted around themselves, Jessie ordered her Pokémon to save James' Carnivine, "Use Haze over the battlefield and wrap around Arbok, get him off of Carnivine."
Carnivine was doing much better now than he was when Arbok was previously wrapped around him. This time it was he who was the aggressor and it was he who was wrapped around Arbok and dealing most of the damage with its Bind attack. Seviper slithered into action and doused the battlefield with a thick Haze coming from its mouth and covered everything in its tracks. Jessie had done this to try and take Houndoom out of the equation so it would get lost in the black smoke. Archer's Houndoom was nowhere to be found getting immersed in the thick smog and even the Rocket Agents who were still standing right on the edge of the battle lines were starting to feel the effects of the Haze and started coughing uncontrollably after breathing in the dark smoke.
Once the Haze had covered the battlefield, and Houndoom was totally blinded, Seviper slid into action and wrapped long black body around Arbok. With Carnivine and Seviper both wrapped around the Arbok, Ariana could see that her snake was fighting a losing battle with her Pokémon being squeezed to death by the two Pokémon(not that Jessie and James were ordering death, of course) "Arbok, use Earthquake to get out of there!"
Her Pokémon tried but the effects of being constricted by the two large Pokémon were just too much to bear. Arbok could barely move, never mind pull off such a devastating attack. "Carnivine, give it a taste of its own medicine and Bite it! And don't stop, keep attacking just like she did."
"Seviper, use Bite as well!" With both of Jessie and James' Pokémon squeezing Arbok, they both started biting into the snake, impaling their razor sharp teeth all over Arbok's body, chunks of Arbok's purple flesh and scales were being ripped away and thrown around the arena as Carnivine and Seviper relentlessly attacked. Pools of acid and blood and venom were being splashed onto the floor, and splattered across the field as Carnivine and Seviper continued their violent double team Bite attacks. With such brutality of the attacks coming down over and over again, Ariana's Pokémon was unable to defend itself, the Arbok finally succumb to the pain and fell limp.
It was then that the Houndoom joined in the fight and finally found its bearing after being lost in the Haze. "Houndoom, Fire Fang!"
When the Dark Pokémon leaping into the tangled mess of Arbok, Carnivine and Seviper, flames roared from the Pokémon mouth and it bit down onto Seviper's body. A noise of something between a scream and a hiss shot out of Seviper's mouth as it felt burning pierce its body. It finally let go of the Arbok and the three Pokémon became untangled.
James didn't want Carnivine anywhere near that fire. "Carnivine, quickly use Bind on Houndoom and stay away from its mouth." The Carnivine jumped on top of Houndoom and wrapped itself around the it body, keeping his own frame on Houndoom's back so the Fire Pokémon couldn't get in a good shot at Carnivine.
"Seviper, use Poison Tail on Houndoom!" With the Houndoom concentrating on trying to shake the Grass Pokémon off its back, it didn't see the huge tail dripping with purple poisonous energy smack right into its face and knock it off its feet.
Seeing that her Pokémon was useless now, and also noticing that Jessie and James were inexplicably paying no attention to ending the Arbok's life while it was defenceless, Ariana returned her Pokémon and sent her next one out into the firing line. "Vileplume, Stun Spore everybody!"
It almost seemed wrong to have such a beautiful and lovely looking Pokémon in this kind of environment. But despite her looks, Vileplume didn't look shocked or worried about the hostile atmosphere of the Viridian Gym. Hearing her command, she release a tornado of topaz mist from the massive red flower on her head and it spread throughout the field covering Seviper, Carnivine and even Houndoom, causing them to breathe in the terrifying powder.
With all the Pokémon paralysed and unable to move, Ariana let a smile cross her face as she realised she was in control. "Ariana, the power is in your hands, finish this now." Everybody heard the chilling command from Archer and it cause Jessie, James and even Meowth, who had been watching the whole thing helplessly, to start screaming at Carnivine and Seviper to get up and start moving.
"Vileplume, Acid!" The Flower Pokémon did a pretty little twirl and spat globs of deadly acid at all three Pokémon. With all three unable to move, the acid soaked into all three Pokémon's skin and cause immeasurable pain they as were defenceless against the Vileplume's Acid. None more so than Carnivine who was unable to move as the super effective acid burned into his skin and cause irrecoverable pain.
With great pressure, Seviper was able to break free of the paralysis and stood up to the Vileplume. Being a Poison Pokémon, Seviper didn't feel as much of the effects from Vileplume's Acid. "Vileplume, use Sleep Powder!"
"Counter it with Haze!" While Vileplume did another spin and released a tornado of shining blue power this time, the Sleep Powder was coming in fast at Jessie's snake, before the mist could reach however, Seviper opened its mouth and let out another plume of thick black smoke. With the Haze being the denser of the two attacks, the Sleep Powder dissipated in the smoke before it could reach anybody. With the Haze filling the battlefield once again, all four Pokémon were now concealed blackness. Totally blind, none of the Pokémon were aware of where they or any of the other Pokémon in the battle were. Except for Seviper.
When Vileplume realised where Seviper was, it was too late and the monstrous snake brought down a devastating Poison Tail from above. The razor sharp edges of Seviper's tail dripped with poison and sliced straight through the flower atop of Vileplume's head! Seviper's Poison Tail had carving the Flower Pokémon up like a turkey! An unnatural scream ripped through the Gym as a green liquid seeped out of Vileplume and, what anybody could only assume was Vileplume's blood, poured out onto the floor.
Without warning, and without any command from Jessie, Seviper leapt up in the air again, it flipped over and sliced another Poison Tail down onto Vileplume's flower. Carving another gaping wound on Vileplume, Seviper slithered away and just watched the Flower Pokémon scream in agony.
The horrific injuries to Vileplume didn't get it any sympathy from the Executives. "Damn it, Vileplume, pull yourself together and use Giga Drain." The Vileplume surprisingly, and valiantly, struggled to its feet with the green blood spilling from the top of its head and ran down all of its body, the Flower Pokémon got up and tried to follow through with Ariana's orders. But try as it might, she couldn't shake off the horrifying injuries. The Vileplume started the Giga Drain as green tendrils of energy flew out of the flower but soon retreated back as Vileplume let out another scream in pain as the Giga Drain was just too much for the carved up flower to handle.
"Now's your chance, Seviper, Poison Tail again!" James and Meowth were shocked as they heard Jessie's command. Attacking such an injured Pokémon was how the match would probably be won, and there was no way the Vileplume could survive another hit like that, but that's not how they agreed to battle. But the Seviper didn't have a chance to move as Houndoom suddenly roared to life and shook the paralysis, as well as Carnivine, off its back. It growled in anger and let loose a Flamethrower at Seviper. A hiss escaped the snake as the burning fire consumed him and charred the dark scales of Jessie's Pokémon.
Carnivine also shook off the paralysis and James ordered the Grass Pokémon to use Vipe Whip to tangle the Fire Pokémon up before it could build any momentum. It succeeded as Carnivine's vines tangled around Houndoom's legs and Carnivine once again jumped onto the back of the Dark Pokémon to avoid Houndoom's fire.
"Damn it!" Archer was getting pissed off that they were not walking away with this battle. He, as well as most of the Gym actually, were startled that Jessie and James had been holding their own relatively well in this match. "Houndoom, use Flamethrower on yourself, that'll get that damn Pokémon off your back!" The Houndoom had problems. With all of the Vine Whips wrapped around him and Carnivine's arms covering his eyes, the Fire Pokémon couldn't see a thing as it was struggling and writhing around, trying to shake the persistent Grass Pokémon off his back. It let loose several Flamethrowers all over the arena, coming dangerously close to the still downed Seviper, who was slowing trying to get back up.
With the Houndoom totally blind and getting closer and closer towards Jessie's Pokémon, James played even more defence. "Carnivine, direct Houndoom away from Seviper!" Carnivine leaned its whole body weight in one direction causing the Dark Pokémon to turn and let rip another Flamethrower. While it was running around blindly, Houndoom did its best to follow Archer's orders to use Flamethrower in itself. The Dark Pokémon lifted its head as far as it could and breathed flames into the roof. When the flames couldn't go any higher, they started to fall down upon Houndoom and Carnivine. Carnivine let out a shriek of torture as the flames started burning away at his body.
In a last ditch attempt to stop them, Carnivine shifted its weight again and tried to get Houndoom's head down from its position. The Houndoom was getting angrier and angrier at Carnivine spoiling his movement and still not letting go of its grip covering its eyes, the Fire Pokémon let loose another blind Flamethrower over the battlefield. Unbeknownst to Archer's Houndoom, the Flamethrower was directed straight at Archer and Ariana!
With the flames coming in fast at the two Executives, Vileplume suddenly jumped to life and, surprising everybody, the Flower Pokémon dove in the way of the flames! The white hot flames ate away at her already broken body, the Grass Pokémon had sacrificed herself so that the deadly flames wouldn't touch her trainer.
Taking the bullet for Ariana and Archer, the Flower Pokémon was finished. Burned to cinders and bleeding heavily, the Vileplume's heroic act had saved its trainer from harm. Not that her team cared much about her health. The Vileplume was down and all they care about was if it had survived for the match rather than worry about its life. Ariana returned the Pokémon back into its Poke Ball before anyone could find out its status.
"Hey, you can't return your Pokémon now! It might have lost the match!" A cry came out from the crowd. They had been watching in awe that the spectacle of this match, the violent battle more than satiating their bloodlust.
"They returned theirs…" Ariana shrugged her shoulders and for once thanked god for the bizarre rule Giovanni had laid upon this match. If she hadn't been able to return it, she and Archer probably would have lost. Not to mention, if everybody just return their Pokémon just before it was going to be dealt a fatal blow, this match would never have a victor.
Jessie and James caught their breath as confusion filled the audience started arguing amongst themselves about how this match was going to end if everybody kept returning their Pokémon before they could be fatally hurt. A helpless Meowth could only watch as he tried to offer moral support for his partners, "Hey, you two ain't doing so badly."
"We would have won if she hadn't returned her Pokémon." A hint of disappoint was in Jessie voice as she spoke. To the surprise of everybody in the Viridian Gym, Jessie and James were actually doing very well in this battle. In fact, with Vileplume now down they were actually in the lead numerically, with Ariana being down to her last Pokémon, while they both(and Archer) had two left. Their strategies seemed to be working relatively well. They clearly had more experience in double battles than Ariana and Archer, coming in with some double team strategies, having Jessie's Pokémon attack while James' Pokémon played defence and having their Pokémon attack together in some situations, something Archer and Ariana hadn't really done at all. Though they hadn't been going for the kill, they did seem to be improvising battle technique much quicker than Archer and Ariana. Something that was not lost amongst the higher ranking agents watching in the crowd, and on the back row of the Gym.
Arianna released a Murkrow onto the battlefield while everyone was still chattering away and the bird flew onto the horns of Archer's Houndoom, who had managed to shake off Carnivine and return to its master's side of the field, with Carnivine doing the same during the brief intermission. Ariana was on the back foot. Out of all four participants in the match, she was the first to go down to her last Pokémon. Murkrow let out a cry and spread out its wings with some of its messy feathers falling to the ground. With all four players ready and waiting, the battle began again. "Murkrow, use Wing Attack!"
Murkrow dove towards Carnivine, flying across the field with speed. At the same time, Houndoom let out a Flamethrower and the flames followed behind Murkrow's flight. With the Flying Pokémon increasing its speed to stay ahead of the flames, the bird flapped its wings as they started glowing a white light and Murkrow smashed both of its wings into Carnivine, delivering a super effective blow before it darted out of the way. With Murkrow safely away, Houndoom increased the power of its Flamethrower as the flames levelled into the fallen Carnivine. Two super effective attacks in quick succession. And Archer and Ariana's first proper double team attack. An attack probably more devastating than all of Jessie and James' combined attacks. Carnivine was in horrible condition. Slumped on the ground, Carnivine looked out of it.
"Carnivine, are you ok?" Before it could get back up, Murkrow rounded again and slammed the Grass Pokémon with another Wing Attack. Jessie and Seviper were too slow in ordering a defence for their team mate and Carnivine was totally knocked out.
"Houndoom, use Flamethrower on Carnivine again!" Flames of fury danced on Houndoom's lips but once again the death match's strange rule was enforced as James returned Carnivine back to its Poké Ball before any more damage could be done. Archer just hung his head in frustration as he saw what was happening. "See, Giovanni, this is ridiculous! Nobody can win this match if substitutions are allowed!"
Giovanni took a long look at all the Pokémon on the battlefield before answer Archer's complaint. His voice was the calmest it had been all day. "Think outside the box, Commander, there is always a way." Archer rolled his eyes at Giovanni's advice, "And quite frankly, for somebody of such a high rank, your Pokémon should be outclassing theirs at every opportunity. Honestly, you should have won this match a while ago."
Staring at Giovanni, Archer shrugged of the Boss's insult and concentrated back on the match. James released his Yamask onto the battlefield. His final Pokémon. Archer put on a mask of assurance as he tried to identify the Pokémon. Having never been to the far away Unova, Archer had no knowledge of such Pokémon.
Meowth was listening intently to Giovanni's earlier words. "Think outside the box, huh? Guys, I think have a plan…"
"Not now, Meowth, we need to survive this." James shot him down as he tried to think of a way to use his Yamask to good effect again not one but two Pokémon his type was weak against.
Meowth saw the concentration both Jessie and James had on the fight and took the initiative. "Leave it with me." Meowth snuck away from between Jessie and James and ran off into the crowd that was formed behind their trainer's box. Jessie and James didn't even notice as a third of their trio disappeared into the mass of agents surrounding them.
"Houndoom, Giga Impact." Houndoom let out a roar and started running across the battlefield towards the Ghost type Pokémon, mid sprint he exploded into orange streaks which started tailing from its body, a purple energy surrounded Houndoom as it ran at Yamask to deliver the killer blow.
But when Houndoom should have smashed into the small Ghost type Pokémon with huge power, the hellhound instead passed straight through Yamask's body and left no damage at all. Archer's eyes blazed at the failure as he heard a taunt from Giovanni. "The Pokémon is Yamask, Archer, a Ghost type. You'll have to do better than that."
Despite the initial anger he felt at being made to look stupid, Archer considered the situation and realized that James had sent out a Ghost type into a double battle with two super effective Dark type Pokémon. A rookie mistake. But the realisation of their advantage was stripped away moments later when both he and Ariana realised that despite their type, they had never actually taught their Murkrow or Houndoom any Dark type attacks. An even bigger rookie mistake on their part…
"Yamask, Shadow Ball." In between the two tendrils of dark energy Yamask used as arms, a ball of black ghostly energy grew as the Ghost Pokémon flung the Shadow Ball at Houndoom. With the ghostly energy slamming into the Houndoom's side, the Pokémon skidded back on its feet. "Don't stop, Yamask, attack Murkrow as well." Murkrow had been flying around high above the battlefield and Seviper had never taken its eyes of the bird. Following its every movement, Seviper was lying in wait for the Darkness Pokémon to come down. With Murkrow's eyes on Seviper, it didn't see the ghostly ball of energy smack it right in the face. With the surprise attack, the Flying Pokémon couldn't hold its flight any longer and started to fall from the air.
"Seviper, now! Use Wrap and don't let it get away again!" As the bird was falling down, Seviper leapt into the air and caught Murkrow in its descent, and the Murkrow felt the pressure curl around its body as Seviper's thick frame coiled around its own and started to constrict. "Keep attacking Seviper, use Poison Tail!"
"Get out of there, Murkrow!" Worried that the move would be as destructive on Murkrow as it was on Vileplume, Ariana watched on with concern. In spite of its master's challenge, the relatively small Flying Pokémon didn't have the physical strength the break away from the powerful body of Jessie's snake. As Murkrow struggled to get away, Seviper unleashed its great tail dripping with poisonous energy and slammed it into Murkrow's body.
"Houndoom, Flamethrower on Seviper." Doing his best to save Ariana's Pokémon, as he was all too aware that she was down to her last Pokémon, Houndoom unleashed a roar of flames that engulfed Seviper and, inadvertently, Murkrow. The powerful fire attack made Seviper release its hold on Murkrow, but also dealt some deal of damage to Murkrow itself. The Darkness Pokémon was not in a good state.
"Yamask, hit them while their down! Will-O-Wisp on Murkrow!" Dozens of blue fireballs appeared between Yamask's hands and started circling around its body. Jessie and James seemed to be on the same wavelength. Take out Ariana so they'd have a two on one advantage on Archer.
"Block it, Houndoom!" As Yamask released a cascade of blue fireballs at Murkrow, Houndoom leapt in front of the Flying Pokémon and stood defensively before the bird. With the fireballs raining down on the two Pokémon, Houndoom opened its mouth as wide as it could and swallowed all of the fireballs from the Will-O-Wisp attack!
"Wow…" James couldn't help but admire the tactic, instead of Murkrow getting burned, Houndoom had actually ingested the fire attack! With a scream bursting out of Houndoom, its eyes glowed with red hot intensity and the Fire Pokémon unleashed a torrent of blue fire from its mouth with a scream. The whole Gym felt a wave of heat coming off Houndoom's body as the Pokémon burst into flames. Everybody watched in silence as the eruption of fire died down and Houndoom was breathing heavily crouched in position, surrounding himself with a fiery vortex. Houndoom shook itself and thousands of tiny embers rolled off the Pokémon's form. It didn't look like it wasn't in pain… It looked like it had increased in power!
Jessie looked across at the Fire Pokémon in terror as the already scary looking Pokémon was now ravenous and dancing with flames. "That's impossible, that looks like…Blaze!" The ability only Fire type Starter Pokémon could develop. The ability that Jessie and James had witnessed time and time again when they saw Ash's Infernape become voracious and nigh on unbeatable when its Blaze ability kicked in. Could ingesting a Will-O-Wisp attack really induce the ability on other Pokémon?!
A grin spread wide on Archer's face as he saw his Pokémon receive a shocking power up. "Houndoom, use Flamethrower!" Seeing the fire burning all around and even within his Pokémon, he couldn't wait to see his Pokémon handle all those fames in one controlled attack. With its eyes a dark red colour, the Houndoom growled and released a blast of fire across at Jessie and James' Pokémon. The fire arrowed towards Yamask and Seviper, the stream of red orange fire was much brighter and much larger than all of its previous fire attacks, and without warning the stream of fire exploded into five different directions, the stream of fire was now dancing in the shape of a star! As the flames were getting closer and closer to Yamask and Seviper, Houndoom's new found Blaze-like power had turned Flamethrower into Fire Blast!
Seviper and Yamask tried to get away but it was too late. Yamask flew high into the air and was just about able to avoid the brunt of the attack but still took heavy damage from a glancing blow. But Seviper wasn't so lucky. Unable to get away, it was caught in the eye of the storm as fire engulfed it and it burned in the centre of the star with the blazing inferno dancing all around it.
"Jessie, get it out of there!" James panicked as he saw the snake become enclosed in the unbelievable fire attack.
"Seviper, return!" Jessie aimed her Poké Ball into the eye of the storm and was able breathe a sigh of relieve as she was just able to see Seviper get caught in the red energy and returned to the Poké Ball and away from the unconquerable Fire Blast. A groan filled the whole battlefield as one again a substitution saved a Pokémon from a brutal death.
Glad that Seviper would be alright, well, alright considering it was in a death match, James was hopeful that they could actually win this match with their last two Pokémon who had worked together a lot in Unova. "C'mon, Jess, we can win this! Yamask and Woobat had all that training in Unova, they can work together! Murkrow's almost done for, and Houndoom won't be able to reach them if we can keep them high enough in the air and keep them moving." Not that it would be easy to take down a newly super powered Houndoom, as well as Archer's unknown final Pokémon.
Jessie listened to her friend's advice and considered what he was saying. Before ignoring him. "Wobbuffet, I choose you!" James gaped at Jessie's choice for her final Pokémon. Looking at his shocked expression, she gave the same excuse as he did when he had sent out Mime Jr at the beginning of the match. "I have a plan…"
"Houndoom, back up! Back up, now!" Archer might not have known who Yamask was, but he was more than educated on the species of Wobbuffet. Who, in the right hands, was an unbeatable Pokémon. He panicked and ordered the retreat. He was taking no chances. "That Pokémon… How the hell did she get that Pokémon? Damn it!"
Ariana didn't quite understand Archers panic. "What's wrong? I've seen that Pokémon around, it doesn't look too powerful."
He glared at his partner. "Don't you see? Haven't you heard about Wobbuffet's power? The species can't learn any useful attacks. Except two: Counter and Mirror Coat."
"Those attacks cause the users move to rebound onto the attacker with twice the power!" She shook her head, "That can't be, that's not fair! That's unbeatable..." The docile Wobbuffet just stood where he was released and was oblivious to the dangers surrounding him. Archer and Ariana looked at the Pokémon and wandered what they were going to do to defeat it.
Not hearing the Executives moments of doubt, Jessie and James were having an entirely different conversation of their own. "Wobbuffet? Wobbuffet! Really?"
"Counter and Mirror Coat, James. Counter and Mirror Coat." She whispered her to her team mate.
"Those moves are untrained! He has never used them properly!"
"I have faith in him."
"Faith?! Faith!" A hollow laugh escaped James. "You sound like the twerp…"
"The twerp wins a lot." Jessie simply answered.
"So this is it? The final of this battle, our last shot at survival, is really going to rely on blind faith?"
"Looks like it…"
"Oh my… Ok, Yamask, Shadow Ball them both! And keep on attacking!" Realising that Yamask might be their teams only line of offence, James was quick to order the attacks. Yamask put its arms together and created several balls of energy and flung them across the battlefield and didn't let up. As soon as one Shadow Ball was thrown another one was created, and then another. Murkrow and Houndoom both reacted to the danger and dodged away from the attacks. Both Archer and Arianna didn't dare to order an attack with Wobbuffet standing is ground below Yamask. Not daring to feel the effects of its counter moves.
"Wobbuffet, Safeguard." Wobbuffet created a shield of energy that enveloped both itself and Yamask. Jessie's Pokémon had stopped their team from being inflicted by any status conditions, but that wasn't the story of the battle that was unfolding. Wobbuffet's mere presence had stopped the Rocket Executives from commanding any kind of attack!
James saw Archer and Ariana's hesitance. "Oh, wow, look. They're scared to attack because of Wobbuffet's abilities… Jessie, this might work! Don't give up, Yamask, keep attacking."
"Houndoom, attack Yamask with-"
"Yamask, get behind Wobbuffet!" James cut off Archer's command before he could name an attack. Yamask stopped attacking and darted behind the unique wall of defence Wobbuffet has constructed.
"STOP! Houndoom, stop!"
James quick thinking had stopped Archer's attack strategy dead. Wobbuffet's simple presence had stopped any attack from the Executives out of pure fear of the counter. If only they knew he didn't really know how to use the attacks. "Haha, Jessie, Wobbuffet was a masterstroke."
Jessie proudly looked towards her Pokémon. Wobbuffet had caused so much confusion and seconds guessing amongst Archer and Ariana yet he had not moved an inch. He just stood there like usual, looking dopy as ever. Houndoom looked fit to burst, all the energy and second wind he had gotten when he ingested the Will-O-Wisp was slowing starting to break down as his master was playing the game slowly as not to receive the brunt of Wobbuffet's counter attacks. And Archer was starting to realise this fact and hated every second of it.
"Archer, we have to attack… Houndoom's power is weakening."
"I know, I know…" Archer was getting worked up, he started pacing the trainer's area and tried to think a way around Wobbuffet. The stalemate was starting to affect the whole Gym as they waited for the next move. Nobody was willing to move an inch.
James thought aloud. "Yamask need to take them both out before they realize Wobbuffet can't do much…We need to-"
"Screw it, Houndoom, use Fire Blast!" Archer cut off James thought and threw caution to the wind and ordered his Pokémon's new strongest attack. Flames started to dance around its mouth as Houndoom prepared the devastating attack.
"No…" Jessie's plan to use Wobbuffet to stop any attack had ended sooner than she had hoped as the whole gym held their breath and watched and waited for Houndoom to power up. "He can't counter…"
"Jessie, there's only one way out of this. He has to try it…"
"I know, Wobbuffet… Use Mirror Coat." Worriedly she ordered the move. Jessie was going to have to put her Pokémon in the eye of the storm. In the centre of unimaginable power with a counter attack that was highly untrained. Flames exploded out of Houndoom's mouth and shot towards Wobbuffet and Yamask. The flames burst into a star formation and flashed towards Jessie and James' Pokémon. "Wobbuffet, do it now!" Wobbuffet jumped into the air and his whole body became coated in a glowing reflective substance. The fire attack daggered towards him and struck Jessie's Pokémon with deadly force.
And then the power bounced off him!
"NO!" Archer screamed as he saw his Fire Pokémon's attack bounce off the Wobbuffet and started flying rapidly in a different direction. He couldn't believe his eyes as the Fire Blast didn't rebound back at Houndoom like it was supposed to, but flew off in altogether the wrong direction. The wayward attack didn't come back at Houndoom at all. It veered off course and ploughed right into the crowd! The Fire Blast rebounded into the audience, the white hot fire crashed into the mass of Agents that were still dangerously close to the battlefield despite the high octane battle that had been raging in the battle.
Screams filled the arena as around a dozen agents on the left of the battlefield felt the force of the attack and were now rolling around on the floor after having been knocked off their feet by the powerful attack. Their clothes were ablaze and ravaged by the Fire Blast as some were rolling around trying to put out the deadly flames. A crowd gathered around the injured parties and the battle participants could no longer see the wounded as some of Team Rocket's doctors rushed to the scene and tried to take care of the injured.
"…I guess Wobbuffet can use the move to some degree." James was the only one who spoke from the battle as the stalemate began again as everybody watched the scene from their trainer's box.
"REPORT!" Giovanni shouted at the scene and tried to get some semblance of control back into his Gym.
An agent in a white coat broke from the crowd and tried to speak to the boss. "Err, multiple casualties, sir. Five agents in critical condition, we need to get them to the infirmary right away!" His voice cracked as he answered the Boss.
Giovanni stared back at the scene, "Do it." He looked back at Jessie and James and Archer and Ariana, "Let the battle continue." No rest for the weary.
Jessie was watching as the injured people's screams never died down when they were carted away and back to the secret doors that brought them into the Viridian Gym. She felt a hand on her shoulder. "It wasn't your fault, Jess."
She look back at James and then back on the battlefield. "N-no. Let's-"
"Houndoom, Fire Blast again!" Jessie and James couldn't believe their ears as they hear Archer's outrageous command. Fire Blast again?! After what just happened?
Even Ariana was taken aback by Archer's orders. "Are you sure?"
Archer smirked at the Wobbuffet, not showing any concern for the injuries that were inflicted by the attack previously. "His accuracy is off, that move should have come back at Houndoom. He can't touch us."
Flames danced around the Houndoom's mouth once again and it fired off the deadly attack.
"He's not gonna stop… He'll never stop attacking until one of us is dead!" Panic she realized Archers heartlessness, realising he was going to stop at nothing to end this match.
"Jess. Jessie! Order the counter! Jessie!" James pleaded with the unmoving Jessie as she was just staring off into space.
"Mirror Coat." Jessie's voice was faint as she had no choice but to counter the deadly manoeuvre. Wobbuffet heard the quiet command and once again became coated in a shiny reflective light and readied itself for the powerful Fire attack.
The flames shot at Wobbuffet and smacked into the Patient Pokémon. Once again the flames bounced off the Pokémon and left no damage to Wobbuffet. And yet again the lethal flames shot off again and fired not in the direction of Houndoom, but this time flew straight up! Flying high into the air the Fire Blast smashed into the ceiling of the Viridian Gym! The countered Fire attack had so much force that the stream of fire blasted straight through the roof and shot high into the dark skies of the Viridian evening. After smashing through the ceiling, chunks of debris came falling down onto the battlefield and started crashing to the ground.
The whole ceiling started to collapse and fall down to the floor. The roof was caving in! The Viridian Gym was falling apart!
"Yamask, Wobbuffet get out of there!" James ordered his team away from the falling debris, as Jessie and James also ran away from their trainer's box as sections of the roof came plummeting to the ground! The crowd were also starting to run away, running to the sides of the building as the whole roof started to rain down on the battlefield.
Archer and Ariana looked up and saw debris falling down on their trainer's box and ran back towards the wall of the Gym where everybody else had dodged too. With everybody's backs to the wall (literally!), hugging the edges of the building seemed to be the only place safe enough to avoid the falling roof! He looked back and saw Houndoom alone in the centre of the battlefield. "Houndoom, no!" He was dead in the water, so fatigued from unleashing two such powerful Fire Blast attacks right after each other. The Dark Pokémon was too tired to get out of the way and Archer could only watch as the whole roof caved in and came crashing down upon his Pokémon. "Houndoom!"
The Fire Pokémon was crushed under the heavy wreckage and Jessie and James flinched at the brutal fall. The once grand Viridian Gym had been totally destroyed by the horrific battle. Everybody looked towards the pile of rubble where Houndoom once stood and heard Archer's screams about everybody else's. "Houndoom? Houndoom, answer me!"
No sound. No movement. There's no way he or anybody could have sustained such impact.
Giovanni crept forwards from the side of the building and looked at the piles of rubble all over the battlefield. None bigger than the rubble on the centre circle of the battlefield where Houndoom once stood. There was only one outcome. "Houndoom is deceased." Giovanni determined. "This battle is over. The winners of the match: Jessie and James."
Jessie and James hadn't taken their eyes off Houndoom and blinked as suddenly Giovanni ordered the match to a stop. Archer's reckless strategy had gone horribly wrong and had blown up in his face. He had killed his own Pokémon! They had survived! They had won! Against all odds.
They survived the death match without losing a single member of their team. Relief filled their bones as they looked at each other and fell into a tight hug as they couldn't believe their ordeal was finally over. They were the victors. They had shown their supremacy over Team Rocket's Second in Command. They had beaten the best Team Rocket had to offer and survived the darkest match they had ever been in. They were now Executive Commanders!
"DOOOOOOOOOM!" They slowly pulled away from each other and turned back towards the battlefield at the noise that had come from the centre of the field. The hundreds of eyes from the edges of the Gym were staring at the debris in the centre circle as the fallen wreckage exploded into an eruption of fire.
"No…" James spoke as he watched the impossible. The fire died down and in its place, slowly rising from the ground, discarding the rubble, Houndoom got to its feet! "No…"
"My god." Even Archer couldn't believe his eyes as he saw his Houndoom inexplicably not only survive the crash, but it was standing up! All eyes were on Houndoom as it stood right on the centre circle of the field, surrounded by rubble and debris, still with flames licking around its body. Its dark eye eyes trained upon Jessie and James. Unbelievably, Houndoom was alive.
"Ignore my previous command. This match will be restarted!" Giovanni's booming voice filled the Gym and Jessie and James sagged under the announcement that their pain wasn't over. Demoralized at the announcement that this gruelling battle would continue. Jessie and James looked up to seem a star filled night sky where once there was a roof. The whole roof was now just a wreck that had covered almost the entire battlefield. Yet Giovanni still wanted the match to continue, on top of all the rubble…
"When will this end…" Jessie found her voice and looked lost that the battle was still not over. Houndoom struggled on its feet and fought to keep it balance but lost. The Fire Pokémon fell to the ground and swirls filled its eyes. The Pokémon was knocked out. The resurrected demon's last gasp of energy had saved Archer and Ariana from defeat.
Archer let out a sick giggle as he returned his unbelievable Pokémon back into its Poké Ball. "Good job, Houndoom." The Pokémon received some rare, yet fully deserved, praise and Archer prepared his last Pokémon. "Crobat, lets finish this once and for all." Crobat flew around the Gym at lightning speed with a scowl etched on its face. It looked around the wreckage and eyed its opponents.
The four battlers made their way back to their trainer's boxes. Or at least took their best guess as to where the trainers box once was as now all they could seem was bits of rubble and debris on the floor. Jessie and James tried their best to get back into battle mode.
All participants were now down to their final Pokémon. Wobbuffet, Yamask, Murkrow and Crobat. This was surely it. No more close calls. No more substitutions left to be had. Whoever lost this was sure to loss the whole thing. Jessie and James had planned to win this battle fair and square since the beginning, if they could just knock out Murkrow and Crobat they could finally end this battle and survive. And claim the rank of Executive.
How many close calls this battle had had:
Mime Jr in the giant Thunderbolt.
Yanmega in Weezing's Explosion.
Vileplume heroic act to save its trainer.
Seviper caught within Houndoom's monstrous Fire Blast.
Carnivine taking the brunt of three super effective attacks straight after each other.
And Houndoom's miraculous resurrection.
And it still wasn't over. There had to be a winner… And a loser.
Jessie looked at the wreck that was being called a battlefield and saw her great disadvantage. Wobbuffet and three Pokémon who could fly. The wrecked battlefield wasn't going to affect any of the flyers, and the flyers weren't going to be anywhere close to Wobbuffet as they'll be high up in the air. Wobbuffet was useless. She watched as Wobbuffet stumbled its way back onto the field, nearly tripping and falling over the debris, Yamask was still clutching onto its back from when they had ran away from the falling ceiling.
Archer began the battle again. "Crobat, separate that Yamask from his teammate and use Air Cutter." The Crobat beat its four wings and shot toward Jessie and James' side of the battlefield with speed and rushed towards Yamask while charging its own attack. Not wanting to get hit and realising that Wobbuffet would be too slow to counter, Yamask raced away from its hiding place behind Wobbuffet. It sped through the air and dodged and weaved as multiple Air Cutters came flying in thick and fast from behind.
"Murkrow, assist Crobat and attack Yamask with Night Shade!" Murkrow joined in the race as suddenly it was an aerial battle taking place. Even worse as James also realised it was now a two on one battle as Wobbuffet's previously looming and towering presence in the match was discarded as it was stuck on the ground nowhere near the action while the three other Pokémon were charging around the night sky high above.
Yamask couldn't dodge as Murkrow suddenly appeared right in front of him and released a dark crimson beam from its eyes from point blank range. The super effective attack shot into Yamask, causing him great pain as he started to fall from the air. "Crobat, use Shadow Ball." Another super effective attack! With Yamask's eyes closed as it was falling down, it didn't even see the powerful Shadow Ball coming until it smacked into the Ghost Pokémon from behind. Yamask was hurt, taking two sudden super effective attacks in quick succession, much like the same strategy the Executives had used to take down Carnivine. Yamask fell to the ground with a thud you wouldn't expect to hear from a Ghost.
"Finish it! Shadow Ball and Night Shade again!" Archer commanded both Pokémon to kick the Yamask while it was down.
"No, Wobbuffet, cover Yamask and use Mirror Coat." Now that the battle was once again grounded, Wobbuffet struggled over the rubble which now carpeted the battlefield and leapt on top of Yamask and looked up at the two attacking Pokémon.
"No, abort! Abort!" Archer's commands were too late and Murkrow and Crobat unleashed their attacks down towards Yamask and Wobbuffet. Once again, Wobbuffet became coated in a shining light and the two attacks struck Wobbuffet head on.
And the attacks rebounded back upwards and struck the two Pokémon flying in the air!
They hit! Jessie and James were elated that Wobbuffet had finally used the move effectively and as it was supposed to be used. Instead of the random dangerous ricochets the attack had produced throughout this battle, this time Wobbuffet counterattack was successful. The Executive's Pokémon fell to the ground after taking their own attacks with twice the power they had been dealt with.
Ariana was concerned for her Pokémon. Murkow had been in this match longer than the other three. "Murkrow, can't go on much longer. One more hit and it'll be knocked out."
Archer ignored her comment and was going over what had just happened: Both attacks being rebounded by one Mirror Coat. "One Mirror Coat deflected two Special Attacks at the same time… Ha, that's it! We need to go in with a Special and a Physical attack at once, he could never defend against both!"
She saw his logic, "Brilliant! We need to do it quick, before Murkrow is incapacitated. We'll attack from both sides, Wobbuffet will be defenceless."
With Jessie and James concentrating on Yamask and trying to see if it was ok and if it could continue, Wobbuffet was still standing protectively over the weakened Ghost Pokémon. They looked back at Murkrow and Crobat who were just starting to get back up off the floor as they had taken a nasty fall on top of the wreckage. As they became airborne again, Jessie and James heard the command from Archer and Ariana. Looking out across the field they saw Crobat and Murkrow fly high into the air. Jessie watched as the two flying Pokémon flew towards opposite side of the battlefield, Murkow to the left and Crobat to the right. "What are they doing?"
James fretted over his damaged Pokémon. "Looks like another trap. Yamask can't take another hit like that!"
"Wobbuffet can protect him." Jessie tried to comfort James with confidence she didn't really have.
"Crobat, Shadow Ball! On Wobbuffet!"
"Murkrow, Wing Attack! On Wobbuffet!"
"NO!" Jessie and James realised their plan! Their focus wasn't on Yamask at all, it was on Wobbuffet. A Physical move with Wing Attack and a Special move with Shadow Ball, used at the same time so Wobbuffet couldn't use both counterattacks. "They've done it, they've won!" Jessie's couldn't think of any way out of it. They were going to lose and there was nothing they could do about it.
James had a last minute idea, "Yamask, use Shadow Ball on Murkrow before it can attack, Jessie use Mirror Coat!" James wanted the effective counter attacks to hit Archer's Crobat, who was definitely the least injured of the four Pokémon, well, maybe second behind Wobbuffet, who's counter attacks had left the Psychic Pokémon unharmed throughout the battle. If Yamask could stop Murkrow from attacking, then Wobbuffet could counter Crobat's attack.
"Do it, Wobbuffet!"
James tried to take out one of the attacking forces so Wobbuffet could counter the other. And a hit on the fatigued Murkrow would surely take it down for good. Yamask tried its best to pick itself up off the ground and do as James said. Able to barely lift its head and arms, the Ghost Pokémon summoned a ball of ghostly energy and flung it towards Ariana's Murkrow before falling back to the ground totally spent. The Shadow Ball was flung up into the air at the descending Pokémon. Murkrow expertly spun and pivoted mid-flight and dodged out of the way of the Shadow Ball. Its wings glowed a white light and the flying Pokémon smacked into the side of Wobbuffet, finally the Executives had landed a hit on Wobbuffet. With it being knocked back and unable to complete Jessie request for a Mirror Coat, Crobat came darting down with lightning speed and delivered a Shadow Ball directly in the face of the Psychic Pokémon. A super effective blow against the Psychic Pokémon! A blow that couldn't be countered.
Archer and Ariana smirked in victory and let relief flood their veins as they had finally penetrated Wobbuffet's defences. "Capitalise, Crobat, use Confuse Ray."
Crobat emitted a ball of coloured light that rushed towards Wobbuffet and went directly for its eyes. Wobbuffet's eyes being shut for the whole battle so far had stopped Archer from using this attack earlier, but now the Psychic Pokémon was down and struggling he was able to get the Confuse Ray to work.
"Oh, that's not good." James worried stated as they realised their defences were down, Wobbuffet was confused and Yamask was still trying to recover from the double super effective attack.
"Crobat, Shadow Ball!"
Crobat opened its mouth and let loose a violent ball of energy that went straight for Wobbuffet. Jessie panicked at the command, "Wobbuffet, Dodge! Mirror Coat! Anything!" He couldn't. So confused and disoriented Wobbuffet couldn't move as it saw the energy come closer and closer and could do nothing as it smashed into his body and he was sent reeling back towards Jessie and James.
"Wobbuffet, are you ok?!" Jessie knelt down and tried to get through to her fallen Pokémon. The Pokémon she was probably closest too out of all of them, despite their rocky relationship. Her Pokémon had performed admirably in this battle and had gone above and beyond the call of duty. Doing more in this battle that either Jessie or James had expected. As Jessie was focused on Wobbuffet, James could only look across the battlefield. He saw Archer and Ariana standing strong with their Pokémon looming above them. Strong. Confident. Defiant.
"Can he continue?"
A dejected Jessie could only reply with a hollow voice. "Does it matter? Even if he gets up we can't beat them. Crobat has barely taken a hit and look at our Pokémon!" James' heart broke as he looked down and saw Yamask and Wobbuffet valiantly trying to get back to their feet. Trying to get up and fight for their trainers.
"One more Mirror Coat might be able to-"
"No, no more…" Jessie was just drained by the whole experience. The battle had taken its toll on the both of them, they were not used to long battles such as this. She looked across at Archer and Ariana who looked like they could go on for hours more. "No more."
James was worried as he heard what she was saying. They couldn't give up, Giovanni wouldn't allow it. "Jess, we can't surrender. Persian is trained to kill us if we stop. We have to keep going-" James stopped his thought as he looked around their area. "Wait… Where's Meowth?"
Jessie and James looked down on the floor between them to discover that they were alone in the trainer's box, having not heard Meowth's silent exit earlier in the battle.
A confused Jessie and James looked up and back to the battlefield. Archer could see their worried expressions and tried to take the opportunity to scare them even more. "You are losers. You have been losing all your life." Archer's voice had started softly but there was a menace behind his words. "Did you really think you had any kind of chance? Look at your Pokémon! They are dying. You have lucked out in this entire battle because somebody doesn't know what he is doing." The shot at Giovanni was not lost on everybody in the Gym, though Giovanni's expression didn't change. "Did you really think that mere Field Agents could defeat me? I am Archer. I am an Executive Commander. I am one of the most powerful men in Team Rocket history. I was at the birth of Team Rocket and I will be a cornerstone of this Empire when we rise higher than we ever have before. I will-"
"GET A LOAD OF THIS, COMMANDER!"
Jessie and James, as well as everybody, had been transfixed on Archer's words as he bellowed out his speech. Nobody expected Meowth to suddenly emerge from the crowd and leap at Archer! Meowth had jumped onto Archer's back from behind to the surprise of the Executive. Without a moment's notice, Meowth's hands started to glow and from the tips of his fingers came out his long sharp claws, Meowth unsheathed his vicious claws and started slashing at Archer!
Archer screamed in pain and fell to the floor and Meowth delivered some vicious Fury Swipes at a defenceless Archer, ripping and tearing through Archer's skin and clothes, Archer groaned and screamed in suffering as his own body was being ripped to shreds, skin was being slashed to ribbons as Meowth deliver an attack that Jessie and James certainly didn't think was possible. "Meowth!" Jessie and James couldn't believe their eyes as they saw their friend fiercely attack their opponent. "What's he doing?!" Meowth didn't let up as he kept attacking, kept slashing away at Archer's body with a mean streak Jessie and James never thought he had.
"Say it, Commander! Say I quit!" Meowth shouted at the Executive, not letting up and Ariana, as well as Proton and Petrel, rushed to the scene to try and prise the Pokémon off Archer. Their attempts were buffered and Meowth swung his fully sheathed claws wildly in all directions and stopped anybody from getting close.
Archer's screams rang throughout the gym. "Stop, please, stop…"
"Say I quit!" Another waves of slashes this time moving away from his body and Meowth rained down the Fury Swipes directly on Archer's face! The sharp claws slicing down and spilling blood on the rubble which filled the Viridian Gym.
"Ahhhhhhh, I quit! I quit, I QUIT!" Meowth heard the words and suddenly halted his random attack and his claws retreated back down into his hand and ran across the battlefield and hid behind a stunned Jessie and James.
"Boss! Boss, he said I Quit! He said I quit! The match is over, he said I quit!" Meowth shouted at the Boss, who was as surprised as just about everybody that Meowth of all people had decided to hi-jack this battle. Giovanni was visibly stunned at Meowth actions and he looked back down towards his best friend who was just savagely attacked. Ariana, as well as Proton and Petrel, knelt down besides Archer trying to see if he was ok after the unprovoked attack.
Jessie and James looked down to the Meowth who was hiding behind the duos legs as he tried to look like he was full of confidence. "Meowth! What the hell!"
"Giovanni said think outside the box." Meowth talked quickly, clearly panicked, and shrugging his shoulders. "And you said win at all costs! It's the Team Rocket way you said!"
"What? This is a win?!"
"The Boss said the match was over when somebody said I quit." The trio could only look up and watch as Giovanni stepped down from his referee's position and walked slowly towards Commander Archer. His footsteps muffled by the debris he had to kick out of the way as his made his way to the Executive's trainer's box.
"Move." Was his only word to the three other Executives tending to Archer, Giovanni looked at his friend and watched as blood was spilling down his face and clothes from Meowth's brutal attack. The Gym held its breath and you could hear a pin drop as everybody waited to see what Giovanni was going to do. Giovanni, grabbed onto Archers arms and shoulders and lifted the man to his feet. Giovanni then stood directly in front of him, placing both his hands of Archer's shoulders. He stood like that for a long while as he looked directly into the Executive Commander's eyes. His voice was soft as he delivered his verdict. "Ladies and Gentlemen, Commander Archer had forfeited this battle. The winners are Jessie and James."
The announcement was greeted with yet more silence. Nobody reacted. Nobody knew how to react. The match was over. The war didn't end because of the warriors in the fight, but because of a madman on the side lines! Everyone was trying to digest what was happening when they remembered the stipulation Giovanni had put on this match from the start. The stipulation that Meowth had clearly never forgotten, "Say I quit and I will kill you myself."
"Commander Archer… You have failed me and you have failed Team Rocket." Giovanni's voice was eerily quiet. He was barely audible even though the Gym was silent.
Ariana recognised those words, the words spoken to every member of Team Rocket who had failed. Every member who was going to disappear forever. "No…"
"Persian, come here." His voice still soft and quiet as the obedient Persian started to creep towards the scene.
"No!" In a spare of the moment outburst, Ariana ran towards Archer and Giovanni and tackled the Boss to the ground! He didn't see it coming and was thrown to the floor. There was a sickening thud as Giovanni's head smacked into and bounced off the wreckage on the floor of the Viridian Gym!
Persian let out a scream of indignation at seeing his Master being attacked and bounded across the gym and leapt at Ariana herself, knocking her away from the fallen Giovanni. The cat took a protective stance in front of the Boss, staring death rays at Ariana. Mouth open, the Pokémon was ready to unleash a Hyper Beam at her without command.
Giovanni tried to get back to his feet but buckled and fell back down. The Persian was right by his side and started purring at his Master to try to get a response out of him. Giovanni tried again and just managed to stand up on shaky legs when his hands suddenly shot up and he clutched his skull and he let out a blood curdling scream! Falling down to his knees he screamed in agony again! Beaten and bloodied, and not really sure what was happening, Archer looked down at Giovanni's pain and edged towards his friend. "Gio?" Archer moved from where he was standing and moved straight to the Boss.
Another scream filled the Gym, everybody who was close by surrounded the Boss and tried to help and find out what was wrong with him. The Boss was now surrounded by a horde of people all trying to hold him up and help him.
"Doctor! Anybody, come now!" It was Archer and Ariana who were closest to Giovanni, both holding him up by his arms. A crowd of white coats rushed to the scene as Archer and Ariana were slowly letting Giovanni down onto the floor. Giovanni had stopped screaming and was now shaking violently on the floor, breathing heavily and trembling uncontrollably as the surrounding people were at a loss as to what was going on.
Giovanni was uncontrollable. Tears started streaming down his face as his eyes were locked with Archer's. "Archer, Archer! H-help, help." He pleaded into his friend's eyes, he clutched his skull again. "Archer, help. Get them out, get them out!"
His own injuries forgotten, Archer concentrated solely on Giovanni. "Gio, what is happening, what is going on?" Archer held his long-time friend's head in his arms as he was trying to figure out what was happening. "Tell me."
"Archer, please…" The Boss's whole body suddenly convulsed, "JESSIE! JESSIE!" In a fit of screams, Giovanni yelled for... Jessie?
Jessie, James and Meowth hadn't moved from their trainer's box and were stunned to hear what the Boss was screaming. Jessie? He wanted Jessie? Not quite sure what to do, she took a few tentative step forward, she couldn't even see Giovanni as he was surrounded by people, a crowd towering over their leader. "Err-"
Archer shouted above the crowd and ordered Jessie to come closer. "Jessie, here, now!"
She slowly walked across the field as another fit of screams filled the arena as she was being summoned into the crowd of people around Giovanni. She was at the centre circle of the Gym when Giovanni screamed her name again. His eyes had flowed open and was grasping Archer's hand in his own as his screams echoed around the Gym. "Jessie! Don't! Don't let them...don't..." His voice was pleading, begging!
She walked a little quicker and could only offer a confused look back. "What? Don't what?" She had no idea what was going on, or what exactly he was trying to say.
Another shriek ripped through the gym and the doctors tried to get a closer look. With his head stilling Archer's arms, Archer tried to control the chaos. "Doctor, what's happening?"
The poor doctor looked out of his depth as he just watched and couldn't even think of what could be happening. He ignored Archer question and tried to put the struggling Giovanni into the recovery position but the powerful Giovanni just struggled away and continued shaking. "A-archer…Archer…" Archer tried to let him know he was right there as Giovanni's eyes were closed. He looked like he was in torture.
He clutched his head with both hands and was squeezing, it was like he was going to pop! His eyes flew open once more and he put his hands on Archer's chest. He put his hand on the pocket of Archer's uniform, his hand on the red R emblazoned on Archer's uniform. "… It's yours…"
Giovanni stopped shaking. He stopped screaming. All sign of life suddenly left him.
The crowd erupted into chaos as Giovanni was still, lifeless. Crowded cramped closer together, Archer and Giovanni and Persian clutched together among the feet that were surrounding them, Archer tried to shake the Boss awake as the doctor frantically searched the body for anything he could do. But it was too late. "Doctor, please!" Archer pleaded.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Chapter 7: The Demise
"This is Kanto News One reporting.
The man simply known as 'Giovanni', the Kanto-based Mafia Boss who became an underworld figure of global stature and the most influential crime lord Kanto has ever known, was last night found dead inside the Viridian City Gym.
I repeat, Kanto, Giovanni is dead.
Last night there was major upheaval in the city of Viridian as passers-by and local residents reported bizarre activity happening within the Viridian Gym. The Viridian police force were soon called and upon arrival they stormed the Viridian Gym after witnesses saw the roof of the Gym literally collapse and cave in. Worried for the safety of whoever was inside the police burst down the doors and came face to face with one of the most surprising scenes they had ever witnessed. The ground was covered in debris from the fallen roof and the whole building was teeming with hundreds of Team Rocket agents.
Once these criminals saw the police arrive the whole building erupted into chaos. Hundreds of Team Rocket employees scattered and fled the building. Within the chaos the police forces were overwhelmed and despite their best efforts could do nothing to stop or capture any of the agents.
Once all the people had fled and the madness had cleared, the police found a body.
Found with a major head wound, he was rushed to Viridian hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival.
The police can only guess but it seem there was severe infighting within Team Rocket and Giovanni was simply caught in the crossfire. They do say the strongest empire cannot be taken down from outside forces, but only from weaknesses from within. Is that what happened here? Did his greatest vision, his most powerful empire in Team Rocket, really turn on him?
Mr. Giovanni, who was born into a gangster clan in Viridian City, took a burgeoning empire forged by his father and made it an unparalleled, made-in-Kanto criminal brand. His empire inspired revolutions all around the world. Almost copycat organizations started to spring up in all major regions: Team Aqua, Magma, Galactic, among others whose rise to prominence are built on the reputation Giovanni and Team Rocket had built. Many say these organizations never would have been powerful if Giovanni hadn't inspired an uprising in his home region of Kanto all those years ago.
News of his death has sparked wide surprise and disbelief throughout the world.
"Here was a man driven — driven by plans, with objectives, driven by power, driven by the name of Team Rocket, someone who was a part of the underworld royalty, I can't believe this is the end," said a police investigator who spent years probing organized crime. "He has survived so much. Who would think his own creation would fail him?"
An underworld figure who was once within Giovanni's social circles but now considers himself retired 'from the game' said he doesn't believe the news. "Oh, no. I'm not counting old Gio out yet. Not until I see his body myself. Then I'm going to shoot him one more time, just to be sure," the old mobster said.
Questions immediately emerged over what his death might mean and how the immense void his death brings might be filled, but answers will not come easily.
After a short period of paying, or at least feigning, respect to the biggest name in organised crime, it seems inevitable his death will bring violent jockeying for power and position from mobsters in Kanto, if not worldwide, who will fight for the considerable profit and power that flowed under Mr. Giovanni's supervision.
His death will bring profound instability to the underworld because it is difficult to see any one man with the recognition needed to fill the void and any chance he had for a smooth succession to an appointed heir has now gone. There is the possibility that Team Rocket had a contingency plan specific for this kind of event. Giovanni created relationships with many important people in his lifetime. From what we know he was brought into 'the game' along with four other people he has known since his childhood. Petrel, Archer, Ariana and Proton. These four shady individuals are rumored to hold the highest ranks within Giovanni organization, Archer in particular has been Giovanni's right hand for decades. Is it simple that he steps up to take the role?
The inner workings of Team Rocket has always been shrouded in mystery, and any speculation we can offer is pure guesswork.
Through it all, through all the battles, through all the wars, the Team Rocket Don has become known as untouchable. He displayed a remarkable ability to avoid or thwart arrest or, if all else failed, to beat the charges in court. It added to his legend and made him more attractive to underworld figures wanting to work with him.
"He was acquitted every time a charge was put against him," said an ex-Team Rocket employee. "Except for that one in Fuchsia City a few years ago."
And he almost beat that one too.
At the time of his death, police investigators had pinned him as being back on top of the food chain. His organization was nowhere near as stable as it once was; his empire had been reduced; his sense of omnipotence had been eroded. But he was without a doubt 'The Boss' once again.
Team Rocket was once known as an absolute powerhouse. At different points in our history there have been terrible rumors that Team Rocket had secret infiltrators everywhere: the government, the Pokémon League, the FBI, the G-Men, everything! With Team Rocket, and more specifically Giovanni, pulling the strings behind all these major political powerhouses, Giovanni would be the most powerful man in, not just Kanto, but the entire world.
However, these rumors never came to anything… Not that we know of.
"All our predictions of what might happen, what might be going on, has to be tossed out now," said a police organized crime specialist. "All our forward planning and investigation of who is on the move has to start again."
We apologise if this report has held too many rumours and opinions instead of pure hard facts but with an organisation like Team Rocket and a mystery like the man they call Giovanni, it is next to impossible to deliver cold hard facts. But on this day, there is one fact we can deliver with absolute certainty.
Giovanni is dead. People of Kanto, you can rest easily tonight. Sleep well, as the man called Giovanni is dead."
TO BE CONTINUED…