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"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!"
Sniggering, 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