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Protect the World from Devastation

Does Team Rocket hire?
Dec 13, 2005
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Rated PG 13, I guess, due to violence and language.

CHAPTER ONE: The World of Pokemon
(28 years ago)

[Note: This is inspired by the anime, but it will be more or less akin to Nolan’s Batman universe … an attempt to make a more realistic (as much as you can with super-powered creatures, LOL) story.]

A thousand years ago, “designer pets” were all the rage. It wasn’t enough to have eels that could shock you with jolts of electricity. It wasn’t enough that dolphins could use sound waves to locate objects and stun prey. It wasn’t enough that bioluminescent insects and marine life could glow softly in the darkness. It wasn’t enough for elephants to be strong or cats to be agile.

A thousand years ago, enterprising geneticists with an eye for a market started making reptiles with chlorophyll embedded in their skin, monkeys with tails that resembled hands, and wasps with sharp barbs on the first pair of legs. The media was an arena for supporters and nay-sayers. The supporters praised the progress humans had made in the field of genetics and noted the fanatic collection of such creatures by countless humans all over the world. If it made money, it couldn’t be a bad thing, after all. The opponents decried the implication that humans could just tamper with other creatures as they saw fit. What made humans safe from such behavior? The supporters convinced the uncertain that the opponents were merely using the tired “slippery slope” argument, which is always false and stands in the way of progress.

When one goes to a park in modern times, one can see purple cobra-like snakes that spit out modified cells on their tongues that look like needles as they pierce skin and poison prey, one can see a plant that resembles an upside down pitcher plant on a long flexible stem that runs around the ground surface using its roots as feet, one can see large wingless birds with two or three heads chase down large yellow rodents that can retaliate with jolts of electricity --.

“That will be all,” noted the male teacher, who sat at his desk with his feet on the desk. The teacher had spiky brown hair, a slim yet athletic build, a red polo shirt and beige khakis, and white tennis shoes.

Giovanni, a skinny boy of fourteen with scruffy brown hair, scoffed, slapping his essay to the floor. He also wore a red polo shirt and khakis, as those were the uniforms of the Pokemon Academy. “I’m not finished,” he grumbled.

The teacher leaned forward, taking his legs off the desk. “It’s not the end that’s the issue. Your essay leaves a lot to be desired.”

Giovanni sneered. “You’re just a coach. What do you know, Mr. Oak?”

Mr. Oak smirked. “I’ve been observing pokemon since I was at least your age, Giovanni,” he replied. He shrugged. “Still, you can prove your worth if you can answer a few questions.”

Giovanni sighed, rolling his eyes. “Fine.”

“Despite all the legends that say Mew and other Legendary Pokemon created the world, you posit, in other words, you claim, that humans made pokemon. You say it was due to a scientific experiment.”

“For profit,” Giovanni corrected.

Oak nodded. “What is your source?”

Giovanni glared at his teacher.

“Do you even have one? We have many ruins which suggest --.”

“The ruins are mystical nonsense,” Giovanni retorted. “People will build a temple for any old reason.”

“Do you then deny that Ho-oh left Ecruteak when the Tin Tower burned down? Do you deny the creation of Entei, Suicune, and Raikou?” He chuckled. “Or do you think someone just painted some dogs?”

The class laughed.

Giovanni smirked, crossing his arms confidently. “Tell me, Mr. Oak: why do we use nearly extinct animals as our favorite metaphors?”

Oak shrugged. “Evolution does not deal with creation. Problems with one do not mean there need be problems with the other.”

Giovanni nodded. “Very well. However, according to my research, each region has its own myths of how the world started. Here in Kanto, Mew created all pokemon. The Legendary Birds helped develop the environment. And yet, amazingly enough, if you just travel elsewhere, they have completely different stories.”

“So what?”

“Sooooo,” Giovanni replied, “if there is an objective reality to the myths, why do they differ?”

“They grow in complexity the more we learn of them.”

“But that doesn’t explain why the official Kantonian database has one hundred and fifty known pokemon, when all you have to do is cross an ocean to find people who only know of theirs! It’s not like nowadays we can’t just write or call someone in a distant land and update the database! Or what of pokemon evolution? For decades some pokemon have been known to have only one form. Now, magically they have multiple forms! Why?”

Oak tried to hide his irritation. His smile barely waivered, as he wanted to encourage critical thinking, even though he knew, he knew in his heart that this boy was wrong. “You’re suggesting human interference when that need not be the case. The Law of Simplicity says that the correct answer is the simplest one, and the simplest answer is that nature is powerful.”

Giovanni shook his head. “I disagree. The person who thought up the Law of Simplicity simply wanted to avoid digging deeper into the question. It’s a lazy law.”

“And dismissing nature as the puppet of humanity isn’t lazy?” Oak retorted. “Just because the Saxe family has a long history of selling anything for money doesn’t mean all humanity is greedy and unethical, Giovanni.”

Giovanni laughed. “You really think you’re insulting my family, Mr. Oak? I’m aware of my family tree, how gnarled and broken it is.” He snickered. “Of course, the Oaks are well known as well. After all, they have a history of --.”

“The class is ended. Please take this time to reflect on our relationship with pokemon.” Oak glanced at Giovanni. “Try not to let your paranoia take hold over all of your imagination. After all, we wouldn’t want to be suing pokemon over anything or something like that.”

Giovanni ran down the gym floor, dribbling the musty orange ball down the court, his eyes focused on nothing but the basket. There was no principal, no furious mother, no failing grade – there was only the ball and the basket. Just before he passed the half court mark, he stopped, his sneakers screeching, making his ears ring. Just as the pain in his head reached its peak, he jumped, throwing the ball with one hand and watching it sail in a perfect arch, rotating ever so slightly. He landed back on the floor, intently measuring the ball’s movements in his head. It should complete one and a quarter rotations before landing in the basket.

One more second.

One half-second.

The ball just barely grazed the rim … outside the basket.

Coach Samuel Oak blew a whistle loudly, the sound even more annoying than the screeching of Giovanni’s shoes.

Giovanni didn’t move. He just stared at the basket and the ball as it rolled sadly away from the court, not even bothering to ricochet off the farthest wall. It just bumped into the wall and resigned itself to its fate in stillness.

“The game works much better as a team effort,” noted the coach in a cheerful voice.

“The point isn’t the team,” Giovanni muttered to himself bitterly. “The point is sinking the damn ball in the basket. That is all that matters.”

The coach approached the boy, patting the boy on the shoulder a couple of times. “All in all, it was still a nice shot.”

“The ball did not achieve its purpose,” Giovanni growled.

The coach grinned. “The ball failed, then?”

Giovanni clenched his teeth and his fists.

The coach scratched his head. “Principal Drake’s looking for you.”

“He doesn’t concern me.”

The coach shook his head and sighed. “Giovanni, you should respect your elders.”

Giovanni scoffed and turned toward the elder male. “Coach Oak, I respect those with actual power. The Legendary Pokemon command respect. School officials with delusions of grandeur? Not so much.”

Coach Oak rolled his eyes. “I thought you were in trouble because you find the Legendary Pokemon to be pathetic myths that detract from more practical concerns.”

Giovanni chuckled, having felt better than at any time today. “Whether they’re fake or not is beside the point – they have the entire world grovelling at their feet without making so much as an appearance. Of course they’re worthy of respect.”

“Welcome to Sunny Shore!” the young lavender-haired woman cheerfully announced. “I can take you to all the great tourist attractions!” She shoved a map in front of the twenty-one year old man’s face. “We have a wonderful market that is always guaranteed to never run out of the most popular items! We lead the country of Sinnoh in relying on green energy. Even our roads are made of the most durable solar panels!”

The man, with spiky hair a deeper blue than the ocean behind him and a hawkish face, shoved her aside so that her rump thudded on the sidewalk as others walked by.

“I grew up here, you ignorant, pathetic, human,” he snarled, walking away from her. He made a beeline for the shipyards. Machines were a wonder to behold. Humans were irrational. They were mysterious. They lacked the simple functionality of a machine. No matter how complicated it was, a machine either did its job or it didn’t … and if it didn’t, you could usually blame a human for that.

The blue-haired boy, so proud of his four years of age he made every attempt to boast of it, showed the little handmade toy car. “Mamamamamamamama, see? See? I make!”

The golden-haired woman sat on a deck chair beside a large polished marble pool. She read from a book and didn’t even look up. “Nice, dear.”

“Lookit! Lookit!” He shoved the car in her face. “Lookit!”

The woman slapped the car down, the wheels snapping off and the wooden frame cracking. “Can’t you see I’m reading?” she barked.

“I smart!” he protested. “I four!”

“You made a cheap toy that broke because you were too lazy to go do anything productive! How could I have created such a garishly ugly and foolish child! Now go away.” She shoved him away. “And you’re lucky you’ve lived this long.”

A dock worker sighed as he ate his lunch. “Hey, Cyrus … do us all a favor an’ go find a job or somethin’.”

Cyrus stopped. He coldly turned toward the worker. “I’m applying for yours.”

The worker gulped down his bite of sandwich and left.

Coward, Cyrus thought to himself. He was reminded of the Veilstone Swordsman of legend. It was a story designed to badger humans into kneeling before pokemon. The swordsman was a hunter, using his weapon to kill pokemon left and right for food and glory. Only when a furious and powerful pokemon attacked and berated the man did the man fall on his knees, repentant.

Cyrus scoffed to himself as he neared the foreman’s office. Why feel sorry in the afternoon for something you relished in the morning? Emotions were the bane of humanity, Cyrus concluded early in his childhood. Humans were as fallen leaves carried wherever the water currents took them. He glanced up at a ship in the process of being built and smiled. Machines made their own destiny without agonizing over their progress.

“Cyrus, I thought I told you to stop hanging around here,” announced the dark-skinned foreman as the latter entered the small office. “This facility is ‘employees only’.”

Cyrus nodded. “You will find me quite dedicated to your bottom line,” he replied sternly, his face expressionless.

The foreman laughed. “What makes you think that? You think walking the docks makes you an expert in shipbuilding?”

Cyrus nodded. “You pay employees to be unproductive. They sit around and eat --.”

“Everyone gets a lunch break and three fifteen minute breaks,” the foreman interrupted.

Cyrus continued without emotion, “—for far longer than the prescribed periods of inactivity. While you sit in your office, you do not observe the little your employees accomplish.”

“You want me to work them into the ground?” the foreman asked. “C’mon, Cyrus – these ships’ll get done when they get done. It’s not like the ocean’s just gonna disappear.”

Cyrus shook his head. “On the contrary, I propose you give them far greater free time.” He paused. “Fire them all. Automate the entire production.”

The foreman stood up, insulted. “That’d starve half the city!”

Cyrus shrugged. “The point should be made that only action produces results. Inaction destroys lives.”

The foreman sat down, frowning, and waved him off. “Go play with your little toys, Cyrus. Leave the real work for real men.”

Two boys rode their bikes past a small sign: Pacifidlog – the Floating City of Hoenn!

The eight year old boy with black hair jumped off his bike and folded it as they came upon the coast, where logs formed a barely-stable bridge to the first large wooden platform that served as a floating commercial district. He glanced back at a ten year old boy with a red mullet of hair. “Did you really get a zubat, Maxie?”

Maxie frowned. “How many times have I told you, Archie – that’s a girl’s name!”

Archie laughed and shrugged. “Well, you do have long hair!”

Maxie grunted and pushed Archie into the water. The red-haired boy had only lived there for a year, soon copying the long-haired custom of Pacifidlog boys, glad that it was only Archie who teased him for it. His father would rather have seen him drown first. As Archie came up for air, spewing water, Maxie laughed, noting the glint of metal on the sandy bottom of the shore. “Betcha you can’t get your bike back – and I think I’ll keep my zubat away from prying eyes. He’s the only one in town and I don’t want anyone getting any funny ideas.”

Archie splashed Maxie with water before climbing back up onto the bridge. “I’ll come back for it later. Maybe I’ll get some wailmer to help me get it back to my house.”

Maxie scoffed, wringing out his long red shirt. “Like they’d help a little bug like you.” He chuckled, “Maybe they’d just eat you instead.”

“Water pokemon like me. It’s you they’d eat, moron. They’ll eat any soil-kisser boy.”

“You’re a water-sucker.”

“You’re a mud-bather.”

“Oh yeah? You’ve got fins!”

“You’ve got sand in every crack!”

“Wanna buy a magikarp?” a gruff, fat, leathery man asked them as they neared a small grocery store. He took out a large orange fish that wriggled so much it smacked him in the face with its tail and bounded across the wooden platform and plopped back into the ocean. The salesman sighed.

“At least you got rid of the useless thing,” Maxie offered to the salesman.

The salesman sobbed. “They lay a million eggs. If every egg hatches and lays a million eggs, think how much money I could get!”

A young tanned woman with long red hair approached and smacked him with a newspaper. “If you had that many, no one would pay money for them!”

“Ow! Why not?” begged the salesman as he cowered while she continued to smack him.

“Common things are worthless!”

The salesman grabbed her hand and grinned mischievously. “Then I am a very valuable man – for I am one of a kind!” He leaned closer to her. “I could teach you to appreciate my valuable services. Do you have any in exchange?”

Just as she was about smack him with her free hand, the platform jolted, sending everyone falling to the ground. The buildings creaked and swayed but stayed intact.

The woman’s respirations grew in frequency. She wriggled away from the salesman and looked toward the south. She glanced sharply at the red-haired boy. “Get to the mainland! Hurry!

“You’re just going to let this guy talk to you like that, Mom?”

Get to the mainland, Maxie! Now!” she angrily retorted as she picked up both boys in her arms and ran as fast as she could across the now-creaking platform and the long bridge to the mainland. The bridge, which simply floated on the water, started to lower as the water level sank closer and closer to the coastal shelf.

Maxie grunted with each jostling motion. “What’s going on?”

Archie felt like his head was going to explode from all the jerking back and forth. “Stupid soil-kisser! Don’t you know anything?”

“Drop him, Mom!”

“Both of you – shut up!” she barked at them. She was halfway to the mainland. The bridge started to vibrate. She didn’t have to look back.

Maxie tried to. He managed to glimpse a crowd of people and pokemon rushing across the bridge. Some jumped onto some friendly water fish-like pokemon and sped toward the mainland, though they eventually ran out of water as the tide receded, leaving the poor creatures flailing as the humans sank knee-deep in wet sand and mud.

Archie could hear crying and wailing. Some of it was Maxie’s.

Maxie’s mother dropped the kids and ordered them to run now that the bridge rested on the exposed ground. They ran and ran, their hearts feeling close to bursting from the effort.

“My zubat!” Maxie protested, suddenly remembering his pokemon some trader had given him yesterday for a tentacruel, which was a blue and red jellyfish-like creature, only larger and more menacing.

“He … can … fly,” Maxie’s mother replied, panting. “We’ve … got to … reach … the … mainland before … the … wave hits.”

Maxie started to cry. “He’s locked in my closet!”

“I’m sorry,” she told him in a strained voice.

Maxie cried out to her again, but his voice was drowned out by the shouts of the crowd behind them. Maxie glanced south only to discover a wall of water, taller than any tree on the mainland, rushing toward them, eating the entire floating town like a gigantic monster.

The bridge surged upward with the approaching water, flinging everyone forward. They rolled across the log bridge, unable to right themselves. Bones were broken. Logs gave way, splintering and shattering beneath the bodies of the townspeople.

The two boys passed out from the pain of being like boulders in a rockslide.

They lay in black stillness for what seemed like an eternity.

Eventually, their bodies started hurting again.

Eventually, they realized the dull roar of the wave had stopped.

They awoke together, bruised and battered, flung into the branches of a tree on the mainland. The distant calls of wingulls, white seabirds with sharp orange beaks and blue stripes on their wings, announced a creepy calm.

Pacifidlog lay scattered along the mainland’s coast, a boon to scavengers both human and pokemon.
Last edited:
Does Team Rocket hire?
Dec 13, 2005
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CHAPTER TWO: Brimming with Potential
(27 years ago)

[Author’s Note: Did I mention I don’t own Pokemon? No? Oh, well, come to think of it, I sure don’t, LOL.]

Giovanni took the phone from the brunette as she stood next to a pay phone. He held the receiver to his ear, glancing at the teenaged girl as she rocked back and forth on her feet, staring at the ceiling. Giovanni acknowledged his presence, and the shrill voice of his mother could be heard by both Giovanni and the girl.

You missed a question on the final exam?

Giovanni turned his back on the girl and muttered, “Perhaps you were misinformed.”

“Principal Drake knows better than to deceive me,” she curtly replied. “Are you gazing at girls instead?”

The girl behind him giggled.

Giovanni glared at her. “I’m sorry, but the phone’s almost out of time. I wish I had more money, but you know how that goes ….” He hung up on her and sighed, falling against the wall with a thump, hanging his head. He stared at the floor. “I’ve got to get out of my house.”

A dainty woman with long black wavy hair pinched the ten-year-old’s cheeks. “Aren’t you just the cutest little boy?”

Giovanni groaned as he tried to tear off the loud orange shirt and slacks. “It’s ugly!”

“It’s going to be the newest fad,” corrected his mother. “My son must always be the trailblazer.”

“I’m gonna get beat up for wearing this crap!”

His mother slapped him. “Don’t you dare talk to your mother like that! Don’t you have any pride in yourself?”

“Why do you think I wanna burn this outfit?” he protested loudly.

His mother sighed and stood, weeping. “My only son – deaf to the pleas of his mother! He would much rather shame his family name by wearing mere burlap bags!”

Giovanni rubbed his cheek tenderly and bitterly. “If you hate the rural look so much, why did you bring Sammy to bed? He’s just some hick from some Johto tree lot.”

His mother gasped and stared at him, her eyes wide and her jaw agape. “How dare you?” she whispered.

“You don’t want me to model my future new father’s taste in outerwear?”

“Go to bed, you vile little boy!” she screamed, running off in tears.

“You can always come over to mine,” cooed the girl with a wink and a playful smile. She had straight brown hair that reached just past her shoulders. Her eyes were a rich chocolate brown and her face without a single sign of stress, despite the fact she, unlike the other students, could not afford the school and had to work in the cafeteria to gain admission.

Giovanni smirked. “If Mother knew I was at some house run by a single, barely-successful restaurateur and his daughter, I wouldn’t make it to sixteen this year.”

The girl shrugged. “C’mon, Gio – you’re seeing a senior. I’m eighteen. I passed the finals and will be heading over to Indigo later this week to register for the Youth Internship. Why don’t you come along?”

Giovanni smiled more genuinely. “I have better things to do than work for some stupid government.”

The girl frowned. “The government isn’t stupid. It keeps the country safe.”

Giovanni shook his head. “The way the schools say it, it’s only by the grace of pokemon friendly to humanity that we live on this world at all. That would make the government rather superfluous, wouldn’t you agree?”

The girl sighed and rolled her eyes. “The school is called Pokemon Tech. It revolves around pokemon, Gio. You act like it’s a surprise they focus on pokemon all the time. Would you begrudge a medical school talking about medicine?”

“Medicine is useful.”

The girl laughed and hugged him. “Whether you like it or not, humans and pokemon share this world. We should work together, you know, make the world a better place for all of us.”

Giovanni nearly brushed her cheek to kiss her, but turned and backed away. “Harmony implies equality, Hannah. Humans and pokemon aren’t equal in the least.”

Hannah nodded, smirking. “That’s true. Pokemon are more powerful.” She giggled and pushed him. “C’mon, Gio – we’ve got to get to poetry class. Professor Oak is teaching it today.” She sighed happily. “I can’t believe Pokemon Tech got him to come after he got that Indigo job. I love his poetry. You can almost feel the pokemon’s abilities when he writes, the heat of a flamethrower, the delicate caress of sleep powder ….”

Giovanni closed his eyes and pretended to snore.

Hannah grabbed him by his collar and drew him closer to her, frowning, all sense of playfulness disappearing. “Don’t make the mistake of ever underestimating me, you rich little punk brat.” She angrily let him go and started to walk away.

A month ago, Giovanni found himself yet again in the library. His mother had angrily transferred him to Pokemon Tech, hoping the change of environment would set him straight. He had to research for a term paper on the feasibility of compressed pokemon storage. So far, it seemed like an idiotic idea: to think, pokemon being shrunk into compact devices, as though they were belt accessories!

It was something so lame surely his mother was behind it.

A girl’s cry woke him from his bitter thoughts. He rushed out of the library and headed to a theater, where a brunette was being pinned down by several of the senior boys.

“Hey guys,” sneered one boy, “let’s see if her melons are ripe!”

Another boy, bulkier than the first, laughed. “Nah, I wanna see how she cooks her eggs!”

“Get away from me!” screamed the girl as she struggled to get out from under the bulky one.

Giovanni leapt onto the stage and threw the bulkier boy off the stage. The first boy lunged and the girl tripped him, sending the boy straight into Giovanni’s fist. As soon as both boys were down, Giovanni held out his hand. “Are you --?”

The girl slapped him. “Are you crazy?” she screeched.

Giovanni stood, motionless, utterly confused.

The girl shoved him away and helped the first boy up as well as she could, for he was having trouble keeping his balance after the impact with both a fist and the stage floor. She stared at the boy as she growled at Giovanni. “Have you ever heard of a play?”

“A … play?” Giovanni growled back in protest. “They were gonna --.”

“They were ‘gonna’ complete a rehearsal – and now the whole thing could be botched ‘cause you just about sent them both to the hospital!” she retorted angrily. “It’d take a Legendary to get the best of me, kid!” she continued. “You really think I’m that helpless around THESE guys?”

Giovanni rubbed his neck and grinned. “Hey, wait!” he exclaimed, running up to her and blocking her way. He reached into his pocket and took out a small case.

“Gio --.”

“Shh,” he retorted. “I’ve got three,” he paused, frowning momentarily, “or four, years before I graduate. I have a request of you.” He showed her the case and opened it. There was a glittering object, shaped like a small branch.

Her eyes grew wide in admiration. She grabbed the case from him and stared at the object. “It’s diamond-encrusted,” she whispered in awe. She glanced up at him. “Why are you showing me this?” she asked, her heart racing.

Giovanni smirked. “It will be the badge to my gym. I’ll call it the Earth Badge.”

Hannah looked at him quizzically. “What gym? What badge?”

Giovanni gently took it from her and gazed at it, smiling. “The government is filled with so-called elites, people who demand of us while sitting in their offices --.”

“Gio,” Hannah whispered gently, “don’t get all political because you hate your mother.”

Giovanni scoffed and looked away. “Mom’s a moron who likes to sell trinkets to delusional young girls. Leaf stones? Thunder stones? Mere girly merchandise so they can pretend to be better than they really are.”


He glanced at her and shrugged, smirking again. “Don’t take it bad, Hannah. Not all girls are bad – just my mother and any girl like her,” he added, chuckling. He handed the case to her. “Take it. The mass-produced ones will be plastic. I’ll also make them green to go with the whole ‘green earth’ thing.”

She took the jeweled badge from him. “I still don’t get it, Gio. You don’t really strike me as the sports type.”

Giovanni scoffed. “Hey, I play basketball.”

Hannah grinned, sticking her tongue out. “You miss the baskets, though.”

Giovanni made a tight fist, clenching his teeth, glaring at her. “Right now pokemon are just pets or wild neighbors. They can be so much more. They can become … useful. They can give children focus. The E-4 already use pokemon as bodyguards at Indigo, threatening the commoners with natural and unnatural weaponry.”

Hannah frowned, crossing her arms. “That’s not --.” She sighed, hanging her head and shrugging. “I don’t get it, Gio. All you’ve bitched about all year is how people need to forsake pokemon, that they’re nothing but base animals and plants that have forced us to worship them. Now you want to train them for sports?”

Giovanni tenderly caressed her cheek. “Hannah … do you know the history of sports? They were invented in times of war among different nations. They were designed to be more moral, less bloody means of solving power issues.”

“And you want the Elites in Indigo to create a sports franchise around pokemon?” Hannah asked him cynically. “We’re not at war, Gio … so why control pokemon?”

Giovanni smirked. “People who hoard power, pokemon that hoard power … all who hoard power must learn to share.”

Hannah sighed, rubbing her forehead with her fingers. “Gio, you’re so damn dark. You realize you need therapy.”

Giovanni shook his head, tenderly caressing her hair. She knocked his hand away. He sighed. “Hannah, what would you prefer? That I yearn to destroy the Elites? Or simply take what rightfully belongs to all of us? It can be done without bloodshed. Training pokemon to compete in formal routines, avoiding fighting to the death … it’s the best way to ensure we as the mere citizens regain the upper hand.”

Cyrus sat at one of the many computers in the internet café. He double-clicked on the wireless mouse and stared at the monitor as a video came up.

“Dialga, the Master of Time, is a Dragon-like pokemon. Legend has it that Dialga and Palkia battle each other in another dimension, creating the known universe. We must always give thanks to these two, for without them, we would not be here. Dialga’s responsibilities include the formation of time. However, time cannot exist without the motion of space, which is the responsibility of Palkia. How many universes, dimensions, or worlds can exist? No one may ever know. There may be versions of Earth without humans, without pokemon, without life at all --.”

Cyrus smiled.

The boy was ten. He was gearing up to travel to Kanto. He heard they were working on a type of pokemon made of magnets and large metal spheres. They had already mastered the artificial creature’s levitation and electrical ablities, but there still seemed to be the issue of making a sufficient program that would let it function on its own. He headed toward his mother’s bedroom. It was as lavish as his was spare. He handed her a piece of paper.

“Oh, what is it now?” asked his mother. “Have you been put in detention again?” She took the paper and read it, the blood draining from her face.

Cyrus shrugged. “I guess it happened last night,” he informed her casually.

His mother looked up at him in fear, tears streaming down her face. “Your … your father … is … is … is … dead … and you can’t even cry?” She started to slap him, but stopped and turned her back on him. “Ungrateful brat. We put you in this world. We have the power to take you out.”

Cyrus turned and headed out the door, shrugging. “So do I.”
Archie glanced at a small, worn sign. “ ‘Those whose memories fade seek to carve them in their hearts’,” he noted to himself. He looked around. The small island was nearly silent save for the rhythmic crashing of the waves. He kneeled and bowed before the sign. “I will live the power of the water. I will do everything I can to bring its fury into me. The water showed me its power. I shall give that power a home.”
Last edited:
Does Team Rocket hire?
Dec 13, 2005
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CHAPTER THREE: Down to Business
(10 years ago)

A young girl timidly walked through a dark, slightly descending, hall which was lit only by torches, the red and yellow and orange flickers nearly matching her quickening pulse. She was dressed in a red tank top and faded blue jean shorts, with blue sneakers. She had black hair with purple highlights. Behind her, a large purple butterfly flittered in the air, the edges of its wings black. It had four blue legs and saucer-sized red compound eyes. The wings’ background white scales reflected the torchlight. Its voice was a high-pitched staccato sound, almost like “be free” repeated over a short amount of time. It looked around nervously and its voice matched its uncertainty.

The girl gulped. “Don’t worry, Cabby. We’re almost there.”

Soon, they found themselves in front of a large doorway, with a map of the world carved into it on one door and a large poster announcing a special event in the Viridian City Gym on the other.

The girl inhaled deeply, closing her eyes, and knocked on the door.

A young woman appeared from a side door that was nearly hidden in the wall, carrying a tray with lots of different foods and drinks on it. She had long brown hair and a gentle face. Her pink blouse fit loosely under a tighter black jacket. Her black slacks were tapered, accentuating her legs. She smiled warmly. “Welcome to the Viridian City Gym!” she exclaimed in a cheerful voice. “You and your butterfree will be happy to know the Gym Leader is currently available today.” She looked around. “You only have one pokemon to battle?”

The girl nodded, taking a step back. “I – I – I – well, I can’t really afford to care for more than one pokemon, Ma’am.”

The young woman chuckled and offered her the tray. “Oh, it’s alright, dear. Here: take something for you and your butterfree. Rest up.”

“Does this gym have assistants or do I get to go straight to the Leader?” the girl asked, taking a few candies for herself and a leaf-wrapped candy for her butterfree.

“It is your option,” replied the woman. “Should you choose to practice first, there are three assistants you’ll have to battle successively in order to progress. However, we’ll give you and your pokemon a chance to rest before you battle our Leader, Giovanni Saxe.”

The girl’s eyebrow rose in curiosity. “Giovanni Saxe? What kind of a name is that?” She chewed on her candy. “What’s your name?” she giggled. “Delilah Trombone?”

The woman smirked and flicked her fingers on the girl’s forehead. “My name is Hannah Keen, actually. I own a restaurant here in Viridian City and cater gym events. How many badges do you have so far?”

“Seven, ma’am.”

Hannah nodded, smiling. “That’s a lot for having just one pokemon. You’ll have no problems here, I think. Still, if your butterfree is seriously injured, there’s a small clinic in the gym since the nearest center is three miles away.”

“Ma’am? I’d like to challenge the Leader directly, if you don’t mind. I’ll get in trouble if I don’t call home soon.”

Hannah nodded and opened the door. “You’re rather confident. I wish you good luck.”

The girl grinned and skipped into the main gym arena, which looked to be about the size of a basketball court, except instead of basketball poles on either side of the court, there were raised platforms with bulletproof glass for shielding the trainers from the battle.

Hannah followed the girl into the room and bowed her head briefly. “A trainer is ready to challenge the Viridian City Gym Leader. Do you accept the challenge?” she asked the darkened room.

Several dim lights high in the ceiling popped on. A man with a slightly athletic build walked into the room, followed by a group of three pokemon. A sleek mountain-lion-like pokemon with a red round jewel in its forehead ambled confidently, rubbing its neck against the man’s legs as they approached one of the raised platforms. It hopped onto the platform in one leap and started licking its paw happily. The ground appeared to be tunneled from underneath. On the Leader’s side of the arena popped up a small brown gopher-like pokemon, with a bright pink nose. It timidly sank back into its hole, but returned soon after, barely peeking out of the raised border of its hole. Finally, a beach ball-sized pokemon appeared on the court, walking on its fists. It seemed to be a head and just two arms, with no visible feet. The arms were well-toned underneath a rock-textured skin. Each fist was a quarter of the size of its head. It grunted in a gruff voice, pounding the ground momentarily as it stopped on the court.

“I am Giovanni Saxe, the Viridian City Gym Leader,” the man said, checking his black suit for signs of dust. He nodded once at the girl. “You are quite brave to challenge me directly. You have only one pokemon, I see. Are you aware you will be battling against all three of my pokemon?”

The girl nodded. “I think I can take them.”

Giovanni, a man of thirty-two with a chiseled face, managed a warm and almost disarming smile. “You will do nothing of the sort, of course,” he replied. “It is your pokemon which battles. You are to remain on your platform.”

The girl hopped on as her butterfree flew to the court just in front of her. “Yeah, yeah … let’s start.”

Five years ago, Giovanni sat at a desk opposite the Elites at Indigo Plateau. It was a spacious building high atop a rocky mountain, designed, as Giovanni suspected, to give an air of regal superiority.

The Elites had been in “power” since the Legendaries had mostly removed themselves from human presence. Humans and pokemon had battled each other for three hundred years, victims of the strife that comes from jostling positions on the food web. There was only so much power to be had, and naturally there was disagreement. One hundred and fifty years ago, there was a global war. Humans of every faction and region turned on themselves and on pokemon. Many ancient species were destroyed in the fighting. The Legendaries had decided humans were a threat, even though they were clearly more powerful than humans. Still, humans had a numerical advantage, and the Legendaries had decided to wipe out every human, everywhere, letting nature return to its “rightful” place in utter harmony.

Within the mountain range that held the Indigo Plateau, there was a lush forested area with a giant tree-like rock face on the side of a cliff. The battle was soon climbing up the mountain, rivers of blood rushing through every crevice, poisoning the lakes below.

A mew, a pink cat-like pokemon the size of a filled backpack with a long thin tail, was greatly distressed. It actually liked the humor and the goodness of humanity. However, it could not stop the fighting all by itself.

It took Sir Aaron, a noble knight with mystical powers, to help quell the bloodshed. He joined forces with Mew, understanding that harmony could only be achieved when human and pokemon worked together.

Hannah closed the main doors and nodded, announcing, “The challenger presents a single butterfree. It is an endurance battle. In other words, no switching between pokemon. The challenger, with one pokemon, must defeat each of the Leader’s pokemon successively. The challenger’s reward will be the Earth Badge and a gift card for the shop, worth five hundred dollars. May the best trainer win. Begin!”

Giovanni nodded toward the rock-like pokemon. It used its fists to approach the center of the court, where a bright white line marked the halfway point.

Cabby, the girl’s butterfree, flittered gently in the air, stopping just opposite the rock-like pokemon.

The two pokemon sized each other up, circling each other.

Giovanni frowned and tapped one of his feet. “The battle is far more entertaining if there are actual attacks.”

The girl looked at him quizzically. “Aren’t you supposed to call out the first attack?”

Giovanni sighed. “If we call out attacks, there can be counter-moves. It’s silly and a sign of a thoughtless trainer, not trusting your pokemon to know how to battle.” He glanced at the rock-like pokemon. “Geodude – win the match.”

The geodude grunted its affirmation as it twirled around, its arms swinging in a vertical circle as its head was tilted parallel to the ground. With enough speed, the geodude began to roll around the butterfree, kicking up dust and bits of dirt. The butterfree looked around, trying to use its wings to shield it, and finally rose into the air, almost touching the ceiling.

“Ha!” the girl exclaimed. “Try to get Cabby now!”

Giovanni smirked. “Magnitude.”

The girl frowned. “I thought we weren’t calling out attacks!”

Giovanni held up an index finger. “One, I changed my mind.”

The geodude balanced on one fist while placing the knuckles of the other gently on the ground. It punched the ground as hard as it could, sending a shockwave across the court floor, shaking the raised platforms.

“You can’t --!”

Giovanni frowned momentarily. He returned to a smirk. “Two, if I may interrupt your protest, I am under no such rules. If you are to be a great pokemon trainer, you must learn to discern between rules and personal preferences,” he added, chuckling.

A stocky man with thick flame-retardant clothing sat from on high, his bald head glinting the light from the large windows. He was but one of four great leaders of Kanto, destined to ensure the harmony of human-pokemon relationships. He stared down at Giovanni’s desk with a bored appearance. “Let me get this straight: you want us to provide leadership over a sports tournament that pits human and pokemon against each other?”

“My dear Fire Elite, sir,” Giovanni noted submissively, “what better way to promote bonding between humans and pokemon?”

“I find battling to be rather crass and unethical,” he noted.

“Of course,” Giovanni replied, nodding, “battling isn’t the only means with which to bond with others. There are all sorts of contests. Let each determine its own themes and recommendations.”

The Fire Elite nodded. “Mind you, Mr. Saxe … due to the potential for abuse, you realize we will meet any inklings of impropriety with severe punishments.”

Cabby, the butterfree, flittered around nonchalantly through the air, chittering mockingly at the geodude.

The geodude acted like it didn’t hear the flying bug pokemon. It just sat there on the ground with its arms crossed. It closed its eyes, perhaps out of sheer boredom.

The girl stared at it. “That’s it? Recall it, sir – your pokemon refuses to battle.”

Giovanni smirked. “It won the battle.”

“That kind of attack doesn’t work on flying pokemon,” she retorted.

Giovanni turned and looked at his watch and started to step down.

The girl stood there, shocked. “You’re just going to leave?” she asked incredulously.

Giovanni snapped his fingers. The ceiling began to crack and crumble. A large chunk rumbled and dropped, missing the butterfree by a mere inch or so.

The butterfree flew around in furious circles, kicking up all the loose dirt in a swirling spiral of grit and debris. Its furious chittering grew louder and faster, making everyone within earshot cringe.

The girl cowered on the platform. “Cabby! Stop!”

Foolish girl, Giovanni thought. That pokemon can’t hear her now. Its own ears are jammed with the sounds of its own squealing voice and the noise of the miniature wind storm it created in the gym. He glanced at his mountain lion-like pokemon and nodded upwards toward the butterfree.

The pokemon silently walked onto the court, keeping its head tilted to avoid most of the debris spinning around. It finally found a small mound in the center. The gopher-like pokemon was building up a protective wall of dirt around the geodude, who wouldn’t be harmed by what was happening but would still get annoyed. The lion-like pokemon grabbed the geodude in its jaws, tossed it into the air, flipped over on its back, and launched the geodude with its hind legs.

The geodude flew up in the air, grabbing hold of bits of debris, and flung several large pieces at the butterfree, who attempted to dodge but finally got smacked by a chunk of drywall and started spiraling down just the wind storm was dying down.

The girl started to tap furiously on the edge of the platform. “What’s going on?” she squealed, her skin increasing in palor.

The mountain lion-like pokemon dashed over to the spot where the butterfree was falling, using the shadow of the weary creature as a guide. It looked up and a ray of sunlight caught on the small red jewel on the pokemon’s forehead, creating a magnificent burst of light that caused human and pokemon alike to cringe, shielding their eyes as best they could.

The gopher-like pokemon clicked its small teeth at the geodude and the mountain lion-like pokemon. All three then advanced on the butterfree as it nearly reached the ground. The geodude launched itself up into the air, just above the butterfree, and smacked it hard into the ground. The gopher-like pokemon burrowed under the court floor, grabbing the butterfree’s legs from underneath. Finally, the mountain lion-like pokemon reared up on its two hind legs and used its front paws to slash away at the wings of the opponent until they lost their luster and appeared frayed.

“This can’t be happening,” the girl whispered, sinking to the platform.

Giovanni’s three pokemon slowly sauntered back to their owner, neither tired nor irritated nor happy nor sad. A quick half-smirk was their reward. He crossed his arms, blinking a couple of times as the flash of light was still brightening the area. “It was purely my intention to let you win,” he told her coldly. His half-smirk faded. “I cannot ignore your misdirection, however.”

“What … do you … mean?” she asked timidly, staring at the butterfree, which trembled as it walked along the damaged court floor back to its trainer.

Giovanni’s voice became harsh and unforgiving. “There are rules. That pokemon’s lack of control tells me you have been rather dishonest in your training.”

The girl stood, gritting her teeth and clenching her fists. “What are you getting at?”

“The pokemon isn’t yours,” he replied curtly.

“How dare you!”

“You acquired a rather powerful butterfree, but gave it no guidance. The pokemon isn’t yours,” he told her, snapping his fingers.

Hannah walked over to the butterfree and lifted it up, carrying it to the exit.

The girl started to follow.

“Stop right there,” he ordered her, his mountain lion-like pokemon growling.

The girl stopped and glared at him. “Cabby’s mine!”

Giovanni nodded. “The name belongs to you. The pokemon does not. The League shall hear of your treachery.”

“Prove it!” she growled, stamping her foot on the ground.

Giovanni smiled arrogantly. “If you had any sense about pokemon training, you would be aware the rules clearly state all pokemon, whether bred or caught, are chipped to identify trainers.”

“Yeah, well, I didn’t have time.”

“You say you earned seven badges with just this one pokemon. That is utter taurosdung,” he sneered as guards appeared behind the girl and started taking her away.

Soon after the grumbling trainer was taken away, Hannah reappeared, bowing slightly. “The butterfree will survive your pokemon beating it up.”

Giovanni chuckled, nodding. “Naturally. It was very strong for what it was. I was impressed.”

“What becomes of the trainer? She falsified her training record.”

Giovanni shrugged as he turned his back on her and headed for the back exit. “I’m impressed such a novice could handle a strong pokemon as much as she did. Keep tabs on her and begin the mate selection process for the butterfree. Would you like some coffee later?”

Hannah sighed, shaking her head and rolling her eyes, turning toward the front door. “Thank you, no. I’m interviewing an intern this afternoon.”

He paused. “Weapons specialist or pokemon specialist?”

“Linguistics, actually,” Hannah replied without looking back. “He is trying to earn a degree in ancient alphanumeric characters.”

“How old is he?”

“About my age,” she told him with a shrug. “However, the harsh sunlight of his previous assignment has aged him prematurely quite a bit.” She chuckled, turning her head slightly and winking. “He’s cute, though.”

Giovanni chuckled softly. “Then perhaps he’s overqualified,” he noted before leaving the court to be cleaned up by janitors in black jumpsuits.
Last edited:
Does Team Rocket hire?
Dec 13, 2005
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CHAPTER FOUR: Endless Seas
(10 years ago)

A burly twenty-six-year old man with a scruffy beard, dressed in navy blue robes with bold red lines suggesting a human skeletal outline, approached a large white building with three glass domes reaching high into the sky. The domes were heavily reinforced with steel and one could see shadows of various marine pokemon swimming about.

He was surrounded by men and women, all dressed in the same types of robes.

Just as they reached the front door, three small stone statues started spewing water from their mouths. The statue on the left was shaped like a baby-faced turtle. The statue in the middle was shaped like a baby penguin. The statue on the right, meanwhile, looked like a jovial alligator. The streams of water converged, creating a sheet of water that flowed down the wall just to the right of the front door. A small projector rose out of the ground, casting a ghostly image of a cheery woman who winked at the robed group.

“Welcome to the Oceanic Museum, where the endless seas come to life!” she announced, bowing her head slightly. We boast the largest aquariums of all the world. Come and see our amazing holographic Kyogre, a triumph of the scientific imagination!”

The burly man grumbled to his compatriots. “Blasphemers.”

The others nodded silently.

The boy, Archie, finally awoke in a hospital bed. He ached all over, as though he had been flattened by a walrein, which was a bloated blue-skinned walrus with fluffy white whiskers that reminded observers of seafoam. He turned to his right. Maxie was heavily bandaged, whimpering quietly as he stared at the ceiling as he lay in the bed next to Archie.

“We’re alive,” Archie whispered to his friend.

Maxie whimpered some more, looking away.

Archie sat up, not willing to let this go. “Maxie … think about it: the ocean was determined to destroy Pacifidlog. But we lived! There was a magical force that kept us safe.”

Maxie sniffled, refusing to look at his friend. “Some protection for Mother. Some protection for our neighbors. Everything you knew was sent to the bottom of the ocean.” He turned toward Archie finally. “How can you say we’re blessed to be alive?”

“The ocean DID protect us!” Archie protested angrily, gripping his sheets tightly. “There is a REASON for that, Maxie!”

“We survived the attack of a monster,” Maxie retorted, looking away again bitterly. “The ocean is nothing but a faceless void of hopelessness.”

Archie stared at his friend in shock. Why could Maxie not see the beauty of their survival? Why did he feel betrayed instead of saved by such an obvious miracle?

His friend was wrong.

They had felt the caring touch of the ocean’s waves.

The robed group slowly walked into the Oceanic Museum, passing the tour guide dressed in a light blue uniform.

The tour guide stepped in front of them. “Greetings, welcome to the --.”

“Oceanic Museum,” the burly man gruffly offered. “There is nothing you can tell us we do not already know.” He pushed her out of the way effortlessly. They continued to walk, muttering to themselves quietly, their arms folded against their chest. After reaching the center of the building, under a glass dome where a giant seascape was replicated in an aquarium high above their heads, they spotted a tremendous holographic image of a large blue and white whale-like creature, whose side flippers were like wide webbed hands or wings. The burly man bowed his head and the others followed.

They began to chant in a unified low monotone.

“Almighty Kyogre, Creator of the Sea … what do you wish of me? Dispel the arid grounds, with the rain-bringing booming sounds. The savage power of the oceans fill me.”

The image of the Kyogre glitched and disappeared.

The group looked up in confusion. Was this an omen?

The shaky image of a fourteen-year-old girl with a long red ponytail appeared instead of the Legendary Pokemon, laughing with glee. Her face had dark red lipstick and bright blue eyeshadow. She wore a white t-shirt and white shorts, her midriff exposed, revealing a tiny purple snake-like tattoo. “Tired of staring at a bunch of fish?” the girl chirped happily. Her image changed to that of the grassy ground, with only some black tennis shoes visible. “Hey! The camera’s meant to show me, you idiot!” The sound of a whack was followed by a young male’s whimpering.

“Okay, okay, sorry,” the young male voice offered. The image of the girl steadied. “There, stupid thing’ll fit on the stupid tripod now. Let’s get this over with.”

The girl glowered at the male behind the camera. “This is the most genius thing we’ll ever come up with. Now,” she added, smiling again for the camera with an exaggerated wink, blowing the camera a kiss, “on to the show!”

“DUN, dun dun DUN dun, DUN, dun dun dun, DUN, dun dun DUN dun, DUN … DUN … DUN … DUN,” bopped the music.

The girl hopped up onto a park bench as she sang with a sultry pose and tone, “Prepare for trouble! Make it double! Prepare for trouble! Make it double!

The scene changed to an animated golden castle, with a childish distorted (chibi) version of herself, dressed in a glittery white dress and a diamond-studded crown. Her red hair mysteriously arched wildly to the right. Her singing continued. “I’ll be the richest rogue of all time. Creator – of a grand design!

A young boy’s similarly designed cartoony image peeked out from a mound of gold, dressed in black with a dark crown. He smiled with his eyes closed, his index finger reaching up to the ceiling. “I’ll be the King,” he noted timidly.

The girl’s image stepped in front of the boy’s. “But I am the Queen.” Her face grew five sizes too big for the body as the expression became furious, flames erupting deep within her pupils. “You’re just twelve years old!” she protested, pausing for a beat. “Fame’s mine!” The scene changed to an image of the girl closer in garb to the girl who appeared at the beginning of the video, though with a big red “R” centered on her chest.

The image paused.

“We are very sorry,” the tour guide announced as she ran over to the display and pushed a few buttons on a nearby terminal. The image disappeared. She took out a small walkie-talkie. “Please inform security that Chainer Jess and Trainer Jim of Sunny Town, Johto are hacking into the system again.” She turned to the stunned crowd.

“What was that?” the burly leader of the robed group asked gruffly.

The tour guide blushed and shrugged. “There are a couple of young pokemon trainers over in Johto, hacking into various broadcasts. I think they’re trying to join a gang or something. According to the police, this video is something like an application.” She sighed. “I think the children of Johto clearly need some therapy. Where are the parents, you know? At any rate, we deeply apologize for the momentary inconvenience. The Oceanic Museum is dedicated to the education of all regarding the wonders of the ocean. We will not let this happen again.”

The group decided to exit the museum, forcing themselves past a group of clamoring schoolkids, all in matching school uniforms.

“They clearly do not respect the Creator of the Seas,” offered a robed woman, her face fallen.

“They will,” the burly man responded quietly. “All shall bow before the giant’s waves.” He surprised the woman by gently placing a hand on her shoulder, smiling warmly. “Do not fear. The ocean will save us.”
Last edited:
Does Team Rocket hire?
Dec 13, 2005
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(10 years ago)

Late at night, a long black limousine pulled up to a sparkling casino that resembled the vertically oval golden emblem on a meowth’s face. Hundreds of people thronged around the entrance. Casual customers tirelessly gabbed with one another outside, posing for photos. Paparazzi peeked up through the crowds, like flashing dugtrios, trying to get a glimpse of some star as he or she exited some expensive vehicle. Golden statues of broad-faced meowths sat playfully on either side of the thick plexiglass revolving doors.

As the limousine parked, two children gawked out of the sunroof. A fourteen-year-old girl with red hair twirled up into a bun, her lips glistening with glittery lavender lipstick, stood next to a slightly shorter twelve-year-old boy, who amazingly enough seemed even daintier than the girl. He had finely feathered dirty blond hair, reaching over his eyes and ears, scraping at his jawline, which revealed blue highlights as the breeze swept through his hair. They both sat back down and leaned closely toward the two women opposite them.

“Is it really true a meowth runs this casino?” the boy asked, his voice nearly whispering from awe.

A woman in her early fifties smirked at them both. She had black wavy hair with the occasional loose curls, hints of grey streaking through from time to time. Her dress was silver with gold trim. It was elegant yet rather simple in design. She gently reached over to her side and took out a glass of champagne and took a sip, shrugging. “It’s really true, James,” she told him.

“Wow,” James whispered, slumping back as the attendant opened the door to let them out.

The girl elbowed him. “Don’t be such a simpleton, James,” the girl hissed quietly. “Pokemon can’t do such a thing. She’s making stuff up.”

The other woman, Hannah, smiled and shrugged as they exited the vehicle amongst a throng of flashing lights and jazz music playing in their ears. “You know, Jessie, a century ago, there was an island cult of meowth-worshippers. They had a legend that pokemon masters would be able to hear a meowth speak.”

Jessie sighed, rolling her eyes. “What a load of crap. It’s anatomically impossible.”

James ran ahead of them and opened a side door for them, smiling at Jessie sheepishly. He didn’t register the cold indifference she returned him. Instead, his attention was diverted to a row of electronic slot machines, all using cute cartoon versions of pokemon to entice customers. He ran over to observe them all.

“I have a reservation in the Payday Café,” noted the older woman. She nodded at Jessie. “Go have fun, sweetie.”

Hannah watched as Jessie sighed and lumbered over to a blackjack table. She turned toward the older woman, a look of worry flashing across her face.

The other woman giggled and patted her on the shoulder. “Don’t mind them.”

“They’re just children,” Hannah retorted, trying to keep her anxiety from sounding like a full rebuke.

“Delia --.”

“Hannah,” Hannah corrected.

“Delia,” continued the woman, not even registering the name, “they are the perfect spokespeople for Team Rocket. I believe I’m wise enough to know how to take care of my investments.” She giggled like a child who just found a hidden cookie jar, clasping her hands with wild anticipation. “I’m so lucky I found them! Oh, Delia … they’ll help us reach the stars above! Nothing will be out of our reach with them on our team!” Her face turned blank and she glanced at Hannah. “Don’t you agree?”

Hannah stared at the floor, the gold-tiled floor. Her blurry reflection made her very uncomfortable. “Your son --.”

The woman scoffed. “My son is an ungrateful, arrogant, thuggish simpleton,” she replied curtly. She tugged Hannah’s simple dark blue dress as they approached the café. “C’mon, let’s get something to eat. I’m positively starved.”

Madame Boss sighed deeply, smiling, as she sat in the hot springs with a small towel on her forehead. Nothing but warm humid air, the songs of pidgey and doduo, the pleasant scent of herbal --.

“You’re not allowed in here!” a female voice shouted. Soon, the sound of a thump snapped Madame Boss out of her dream-like state.

Her son, Giovanni, stormed into the spa area. He didn’t even flinch at the sight of his mother sitting nude in the spa. “Teenaged hackers? Has Team Rocket sunk so low?”

“Dear boy, you’re interrupting my spa.”

“What do you even need them for?” he demanded, his face reddening. “How do hackers protect the feminine merchandise bottom line?”

“How would YOU use them?” she asked, her curious tone unchanged.

Giovanni remained silent.

Madame Boss sighed, then giggled and stared at the ceiling. “At least all of my career options are perfectly legal. I don’t HAVE to think of how to avoid the police based on how I run my business.” She stopped to cast a deadly glare at her son, her tone matching. “And it IS a business, Giovanni, not your own personal thug force.”

The limousine pulled out of the casino’s main driveway slowly. The driver was an athletic woman with short black hair and green tips. She held a cell phone up to her ear, scrolled down the contact list, and waited for the other party to pick up. “Your mother arrived at the Top Cat casino.”

A brief silence followed. The female driver could almost see the speaker reddening with fury. Finally, he spoke. “That’s in Johto.”

She nodded. “Yes, sir. We’re in Goldenrod. Your mother insisted.” She paused, gulping imperceptibly. “That caterer is here too, plus a couple of kids.”


The driver nodded nervously. She could feel her heart race. No one was to speak of his relationships. Ever. “I think she’s hired those two hacker kids from Sunny-whatever.”

“I’m not interested in my mother’s stupidity,” came the growling reply. “I will die before letting Team Rocket’s potential go the way of Team Galactic, a promising rival stuck hawking electronic playthings to shield parents from their responsibilities.” There was a sigh and a pause. “My mother has made her bet. It pains me to see her lose.” Click.

The driver parked the limousine about two blocks away from the casino. She stepped out, dressed in a tight black driver’s uniform with a small red ‘R’ embroidered just below her collar. She looked around the empty parking lot. Not a single soul was around. She looked up, taking out her cellphone, pressing some buttons, and waving it around slowly. There was no sound.

That meant no electronic surveillance.

She walked around silently to the trunk of the car and opened it. She hummed a dark tune to herself as she took out several vials, a case, and a thick black walking cane.

Jessie placed a large stack of chips in her purse and walked over to James, who watched customers’ playing habits at the slots. “You should move around more, you know. Casinos hate counters.”

“Casinos also hate people who use magnetic lipstick cases to influence results,” he retorted quietly, not looking at her.

“Hmph,” she snorted, taking the lipstick out of her purse and applying some to her lips. “This place blows.”

“Maybe you should talk to the owner,” James offered, moving in on a slot machine after a disgruntled customer smacked it with his fists and shuffled off. He placed some coins in the machine and pulled the lever, trying to track the images as they frantically scrolled from top to bottom.

“Should I check the litterbox?” Jessie asked snidely.

“Please state your age,” an electronic female voice demanded.

Jessie and James turned around. A four-foot-tall metal statue, balancing on one wheel, stood before them. The kind human face had a permanent smile. It appeared to be designed to look like someone’s frail old grandmother. However, two cat-like ears and a golden vertically oval emblem was pasted on her head. The eyes were lit and turned from a soft blue to red. “Please state your age,” it repeated more forcefully.

“What does it matter to you?” Jessie retorted, crossing her arms indignantly. “We’re paying customers!”

“Children under the age of sixteen must be accompanied by adults.”

Jessie rolled her eyes and laughed. “Just think, James, that my youthful visage will be so wonderful as I get older. How awful it is for such beauty to be a curse now!”

“Please state your age.”

Jessie glared at it dryly. “I’m sixteen, you robotic twit.” She jabbed her index finger at the oval emblem. “Who are you to nag us, anyway?”

The robot wheeled back a bit. “I am RoboNan. I am manufactured by Cyrus of Team Galactic. Team Galactic: Let’s Build the Future Together. If you would like a RoboNan of your very own, please visit our website.”

Jessie frowned. “You have got to be joking.”

Hannah and the older woman sat at a booth in a far corner of the intimate yet ornate café. The wait staff consisted solely of robots, all made from the same basic model, but modified for specific tasks.

The older woman watched as their metallic waiter left to obtain their order. She smiled. “You know, I wonder who reprogrammed them.”

Hannah shrugged. “How do you know they’re reprogrammed, Madame?”

“Aggie, please, Delia.”


“At any rate,” Aggie continued, “I’ve seen the ads for these things. There’s a company called Team Galactic over in Sinnoh that specializes in educational toys for children. These are all of Cyrus’ RoboNans. Their primary purpose was to tutor children for parents who lack the time to raise them themselves. Whoever altered the basic form is quite good. I wonder if I can hire him.” She finally glanced at Hannah. “What are your thoughts about Team Rocket?”

Hannah nearly gagged. Composing herself, she nervously glanced up. “Ma’am?”

Aggie chuckled. “Your thoughts, Delia. I would like them.”

“Why?” Hannah asked.

Aggie placed her chin in hands. “Let me be frank, my dear. I hate you. You represent everything I resent in life. You are the quaint little country bumpkin who acts as a doormat so that nothing the least bit uncomfortable happens to you.”

Hannah looked away. “I see.”

Aggie scoffed and slapped her hands on the table, making the silverware jingle. “You see? You just let me rip your throat out with nothing more than a mere whimper! Have you no fire at all? You were supposed to be a promising member of the Elite bureaucracy, my dear. Your career practically created itself due to your giftedness. And you make every attempt to distance yourself from your past. Is that why I won’t be a grandmother?”

Hannah, briefly shocked, glared at her. “My mother was ill, you screeching gengar!” she growled.

Aggie grinned, her eyes sparkling. “Ah, there we go. The perfectly Plain Jane has a few naughty thoughts of her own. Well, it’s about time. It’s that linguist from just south of here. What was that place called? Greenfield? He’s the one you turned to instead of my son?”

Hannah kept glaring. “I thought you’d be happy,” she growled under her breath. “You’ve done nothing but insult me and my entire family since we set up shop in Viridian. I could never be good enough for your son.”

Aggie sighed and shook her head. “You really are just a simple little girl, Delia.”

Hannah slapped her hand angrily on the table. “It’s Hannah!

“Your courses are ready,” a robotic server noted with a hint of trepidation as it held a tray.

Hannah glared at it.

Aggie nodded. “I like Delia. I think it suits you better, dear. You’re fond of poetry, are you not? My son informs me you own several books of poetry. Delia is a name related to an ancient cult who worshipped a god of poetry.”

Hannah crossed her arms and looked away. “I have a name, Madame.”

Aggie stared at the staring crowd in the café. “My dear, we are talking past each other. I do despise you. However, I am also concerned for your safety. My son has been nagging me for months about Team Rocket. He’s under the impression it is a military-sounding name and must be used to take over the nation or something equally primitive. Team Rocket is and must always be a strictly commercial venture. There’s no point in making money only to kill your customers. Death is profitable only in the short-term. My son is eaten up by his hatred of me. He’s just like his father, a foolish Neanderthal who equates violence with power. I was well rid of him.”

“How?” Hannah asked quietly.

Aggie shrugged and winked at her. “I ruined him financially, naturally. I hear the poor slob got shot poaching pokemon in Ilex Forest here in Johto.” She glanced around. “Team Rocket owns many casinos, you know. I particularly like this --.”

Two burly black-clad bouncers shoved Jessie and James into Aggie and Hannah’s table. “Madame Boss, we caught these two --.”

Aggie nodded dismissively. “Yes, I brought them. Leave them here.”

The two bouncers glanced at each other, trying to hide their irritation, and left.

Jessie rubbed her shoulder, scowling. “We didn’t break that machine. It was already broken.”

Aggie smiled. “Naturally.”

James stared at the floor, bowing slightly. “We’re sorry.”

“Speak for yourself, twerp,” Jessie shot back.

“You haven’t managed to hear who altered these robots, have you?” Aggie asked, without even one hint of anger in her voice.

James glanced up briefly, then stared at the floor again. “They were made by Cyrus of Team Galactic.”

“That wasn’t the question I asked,” Aggie noted with a sigh. “Go look for someone in engineering or maintenance. See if they know.”

The two kids saluted. “Yes, Madame Boss.”

Aggie motioned for their waiter to approach. As it did so, a purple cloud of smoke appeared, enveloping the robot completely.

Hannah glanced at her boss.

Aggie frowned.

The purple smoke coalesced into a small basketball-sized ball of glowing purple plasma, with faint wisps of light purple smoke wafting off of it. Two slits opened wide on the ball’s face, revealing glowing white eyes. “Ghaaaaaaastly, ghast, ghassssssssstly.”

Aggie stood. “Show me.”

Aggie and Hannah stood in the kitchen, watching the black-clad green-haired assassin twitch uncontrollably on the steel floor. A vial was broken on her chest.

Hannah glanced at Madame Boss. “Poison?”

Aggie turned. While Hannah could not see her face, she was sure the woman was silently crying. Finally, Aggie turned back, her cheeks reddened slightly. “We cannot stay here. Ghastly?” The ghostly pokemon appeared before her. “Use your telekinesis to carry that tramp out of here.” She caressed it’s glowing form with a warm smile. “Good-bye, my friend. May fate bring us back together some day.” Aggie took Hannah by the arm and forced her out a service door. She pinned the younger woman against the wall. “My son has made his move. If he finds out you’re preg—.”

“I’m not,” Hannah retorted weakly.

Aggie shook her head. “This is hardly the time for protests. I don’t know if it’s occurred to you, but my son ordered a hit on me … and if he knew from that stupid driver Wendy that you were with me, it can be assumed you were a target as well.”

“You’re wrong,” Hannah replied nervously. “He loves me.”

Aggie let her go. “If you want to be his little punching bag, I won’t stop you. My son was not content with being second-in-command. What makes you think he’ll take second place in love without a fight?” She sighed. “There’s a reason you cheated on him with some placid nobody. Your instincts are something to be admired, even if your thickheadedness isn’t. Run, my dear. Change your name, your job … everything.”

“What about Jessie and James?”

Aggie stared at the door wistfully. “Fate must care for them. I’ll send Miyamoto to grab them. I’ve got her hiking in the mountains at the moment. She’s always wanted children.” With that, she started to walk away.

The office was small and cramped with all sorts of machine parts.

“I told ya I’m woikin’ as fast as I can,” announced a sassy yet grating male voice.

Jessie and James couldn’t see anyone yet. “Do you know who rebuilt those robots?” Jessie asked.

“Pffbt. I ain’t got time for no intahviews, ‘less of course yer offerin’ ta give me some credit fer once.”

Jessie shoved James aside. “We’re direct from the Boss herself. She wants to reward your ingenuity.”

A round cat’s face, broader than should be proportionate for its body, appeared from behind a pile of boxes. The oval emblem on its forehead gave away its meowth nature. He hopped up on the pile of boxes and smirked. “’Bout time I got what’s comin’ ta me.”
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Jun 29, 2010
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Amazing origin story so far. This is very inspiring for my Pokemon Adventures series.
Does Team Rocket hire?
Dec 13, 2005
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Thanks! Act One is basically an origins tale, while Acts 2 and 3 deal with the meat of the teams' interactions.
Does Team Rocket hire?
Dec 13, 2005
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CHAPTER SIX: Founding Fathers
(10 years ago)


“You heard me,” replied Giovanni, as he sat in the new black leather chair he had ordered for his mother’s old office. Several workers were carting supplies and decorations in and out on large dollies. The room was already much more foreboding than it was when Agatha inhabited it. Gone were the soft yet deep hues. Instead, the top halves of the walls were black and the bottom halves red. The dainty flowers were replaced with angular crystal interpretations of various Legendary Pokemon. “I want it brought at once.”

“But Madame Boss --.”

I am your boss now!” he barked, angrily slamming his fist on his new desk with the black marble top and the wrought iron legs. The computer workstation, with a dark red “R” on the back, shuddered a bit with the impact.

The young grunt gulped, sweat beading on his forehead. He nodded. “Yes, sir.”

Giovanni tapped his fingers together, his elbows resting on his desk. His mountain lion-like pokemon silently entered the room and nuzzled his legs. He backed up his chair and smiled warmly, stroking the cat pokemon’s cheeks. “Persian, see if our friend is awake, will you?” It purred and nodded, leaving at once.

Maxie stared at the window overlooking the small private cable car as it slowly climbed the side of Mount Chimney, which smoldered slightly, giving nearby cities a light dusting of ash.

A man with chiseled features and long black hair leaned back against his chair, grinning coyly, spreading his legs after shifting his weight. “Max, Max … we’ll get there soon enough,” he offered confidently.

Maxie, his red hair erupting from his head and cascading down his shoulders, glanced at him briefly. “I want to leave.”

The man looked shocked. He leaned forward. “You haven’t even arrived yet!”

Maxie shook his head. “I dislike unstable environments, Tabitha.”

Fifteen years ago, Maxie found himself pinned by white-clad medical staff. He struggled, but there were too many of them. “Let me go!”

“You’re taking a shower!” one of the orderlies demanded.

“Go to hell!”

They dumped buckets of water on him, soaking both him and the orderlies who restrained him. “It’s just water, idiot!”

Maxie screamed so loudly one could hear him throughout the entire wing. His heart raced and he gasped for breath. Soon, he didn’t hear his screams anymore.

Just the screams of his mother, which faded as he lost consciousness.

Tabitha frowned, leaning back, crossing his arms. “Father called me that. He said a man who wears his hair like a girl should have a girl’s name.” He paused, looking away. “I hated him.” He suddenly chuckled and slapped his knee. “Good thing he camped too close to a fissure and died of carbon monoxide, am I right? Saved me the trouble of killing the asshole.” He laughed again, his eyes brightening. “C’mon, Max … I’m not the only one with an emasculating parent,” he continued, glaring at his friend.

Maxie stared out of his barred window in the sparse room, where his sheets were fastened to his bedframe, there were no sharp objects, and a small video camera watched his every move, rare as they were.

There was a knock on the door. Despite the lack of a reply, a man with scruffy black hair opened the door. He smiled. “You’d think they’d lock the door for a guy like you.” The room’s inhabitant did not speak. The man sat down on the bed and bounced a little, enjoying the squeaking sounds of the bed springs. “You know what I like about this place? They fasten the sheets to the bed so you can’t hang yourself, but they leave thin metal springs in a mattress that with a little work you could impale into your neck.” Again, there was no response. “C’mon, dude – that was funny, wasn’t it? I mean, we’re supposed to be several heads short of an exeggutor, sure, but have you noticed they always seem to be shocked when we use that insanity to come up with ideas they’d never think of?”

“We’re twenty-eight, Mitch,” Maxie told him dryly. “It’s a little late to resent our parents.”

“Says the guy who can’t stomach a little turbulence in his surroundings. C’mon, Max … you moved hundreds of miles inland … all because your idiot mother --.”

Maxie clenched his fists.

Mitch continued pointedly, “—forced you to live in a place that was patently unsafe.” He watched as Maxie stood and walked briefly to the opposite side of the cable car. “Fine. Be that way, Max,” he continued with a hurt tone. “It’s said not to build one’s house on the beach --.”

“I concur and believe building one on the lip of a volcano to be perfectly stupid as well.”

Mitch chuckled. “Touché, dear Maxie.” He inhaled deeply, closing his eyes. “Still … I think you’ll like my little surprise for you.” He stood and joined Maxie. “This’ll make a man out of you yet, you know.”

Maxie walked out of the office, with a cheery Mitch waiting for him, leaning against the wall. “Well?” asked Mitch.

Maxie couldn’t help but smile in relief. “I can leave.”

Mitch laughed and playfully smacked his friend in the shoulder. “I told you!” He nudged Maxie. “You an’ me, Max … we’re gonna show this depressingly mundane world just how creative we can be!”

Cyrus sat like stone in the fluffy chair as the cheery blonde talk show hostess grinned at him from the audience with a large microphone in her hand, her bright pink blouse shimmering under all of the studio lights.

The hostess never lost her brightness. “How do you feel now that several towns in Sinnoh have rejected your RoboNan?” she asked. “What will be the future of Team Galactic?”

Cyrus waited for a moment and then replied in a monotone, “Humans will always be fickle. They will reject even the wisest of ideas eventually. It only proved my hypothesis correct: children must be raised with logic and justice, not irrational emotion.”

The hostess seemed put off for a second, but tried to regain her upbeat demeanor. “Please tell the fine people of Sinnoh how they erred, if you don’t mind.” She shrugged, a hint of a glare burning in her eyes briefly. “Perhaps Team Galactic’s advertising budget wasn’t sufficient?”

Cyrus inhaled silently. “My dear … there was nothing at all wrong with my approach. I ensured the proper dispersal of all the relevant facts.”

“Even the best-laid plans can fail,” she noted, her grin fading.

“I only develop sound plans,” he noted curtly. “Humans will never accept concepts that will better themselves.”

“We’re called ‘people’, asshole!” shouted a burly audience member, flipping him the bird.

The hostess glanced at the angry audience member. “Now, please – let’s show all of Sinnoh just how civilized we can be.”

The man stood up and berated her. His muscles and neck veins bulging, he angrily jabbed his index finger at Cyrus. “I’m not gonna sit here and listen to this narcissistic asshole demean us with all his self-righteous posturing!”

“As opposed to yours?” Cyrus asked coldly, a smirk slowly forming on his lips. After a few seconds of silence, watching with amusement as his critic smoldered, Cyrus finally clasped his hands together, smiling, and relaxed in his chair. “I am accused of narcissism, yet nothing I have said of late has proven to be inaccurate. Emotions weaken humanity.”

“Smugness is an emotion, dumbass!” shouted a frail old woman in the audience.

Cyrus leaned forward. “It is not smugness to appreciate the validity of one’s own claims. Had the region of Sinnoh not rejected my proposal to ensure rational childhood development, perhaps its citizens would evolve beyond petty tantrum throwing.”

The young grunt trembled slightly as he returned, in black uniform consisting of a kevlar shirt and pants with small plates sewn in that still allowed for decent mobility and black leather boots. A red “R” appeared on the left side of his chest when the light hit it a certain way. He held a small flash drive in his sweaty hands.

Giovanni, dressed impeccably in a black suit with a red shirt underneath, stared at the quivering man. He smirked. “Do you have parents, Archer?” Archer nodded nervously. “Do you have children?” Archer shook his head, shifting his legs as though to prevent urinating in his pants. Giovanni leaned back, smiling. “A leader who doesn’t consider the long term finds himself with a very brief reign, my friend. After my mother abdicated her position, I realized with some trepidation that I had not given much thought as to my own succession.” He held out his hand warmly. “The thing you have in your hand is very precious to me.”

“Y-yes, sir.”

Giovanni nodded. “Bring it to me. You and your parents will never know want.”

Archer nodded and approached Giovanni’s desk, gently placing the flash drive in Giovanni’s firm hand.

Giovanni placed the flash drive in a small slot on the side of his workstation and clicked a mouse a few times. He stared at the monitor for a few moments as Archer’s heart raced. Archer could see Giovanni’s eyes widen ever so slightly. Giovanni finally looked up at Archer. “My mother was very wise to entrust you with this item. Your assistance is very much appreciated.”

“Th-th-thank you, sir.”

Giovanni nodded. “Help me understand the contents, if you would. What am I looking at, exactly?”

Archer sighed and relaxed. His new boss trusted him. That would mean a promotion. He smiled. “An agent named Miyamoto was assigned to hike in a mountainous region by your mother, sir,” he told him. “She acquired some fur samples from a native pokemon. Madame B – I mean, your mother and predecessor desired those samples to make fur trim for winter gloves.” He chuckled sheepishly. “She thought it looked pretty.”

Giovanni chuckled with him. “Yes, I would imagine so. Thank you, Archer. This information is just what I need to ensure the legacy of Team Rocket.”

Archer nodded, bowing slightly. “You’re welcome, sir. It is an honor working for you.” After Giovanni nodded, he turned to leave. Just as he reached the door, awash in the glorious future that awaited him, he spotted Wendy, who suddenly appeared from the hallway. “Excuse me,” he told her.

Wendy, her left cheek heavily bruised, nodded. “No, excuse me,” she replied warmly, offering her hand.

As his hand touched hers, her free hand swiped across Archer’s vision. He stepped back, a warm liquid sensation dripping down his chest. Before he could look down, he was on the floor.


Wendy looked at Giovanni expectantly. “What about his parents?”

Giovanni frowned. “You seem to have trouble executing parents,” he offered coldly.

Wendy rubbed her cheek tenderly, avoiding his gaze.

Giovanni sighed. “Have Accounting set up a pension for his parents.”

Wendy’s head snapped up in shock. “Sir?”

Giovanni shrugged, staring at his monitor. “His parents shall not know want, for Agent Archer was a valued member of Team Rocket and sadly died in the line of duty. He shall be missed terribly. Have you acquired Saffron City Gym’s abra?”

Wendy shook her head slowly, amazed that Giovanni would be generous after the death of an imbecilic agent.


Wendy gulped.

“No matter,” Giovanni continued. “Find some trainer and offer a large sum to battle the Gym Leader. I want a sample of that abra’s blood if I can’t get the pokemon itself. A miniature collection device placed on the rival pokemon should be sufficient. You will find Team Rocket patient, Wendy – but that quality is not unlimited. Am I clear?”

“Y-y-yes, sir,” Wendy said, bowing before leaving his cold office.

Maxie caressed the small red orb that seemed to churn with lava inside, though was cool to the touch. He looked awestruck at Mitch. “What is it?”

Mitch smiled and jumped up on his fluffy sofa. His house was small and protected with ceramic tiles from a majority of the heat from the volcano, but the inside was decorated with flair. Mitched nodded. “The red orb is all you’ll ever need, my friend. Legend says you can use it to bond with Groudon.”

Maxie stared at the orb. “Groudon?” he asked. “What for?”

Mitch slapped his own forehead. “For Mew’s sake, Max … are you a complete idiot? How’s about you ally yourself with one of the most powerful pokemon ever? How’s about taking that water phobia of yours and turning the oceans into desert? Hmm? You nor anyone else will ever have to die, crushed from the waves ever again!” He grinned. “Genius, huh?” He popped up off the couch and playfully slapped Maxie on the shoulder, his voice tender. “Stop moping and take charge. Make a new family for yourself with Groudon as the head.”

Maxie stared at the orb for a long time. Finally, he sighed and handed his friend the orb. “I can’t use a pokemon to substitute for my lost loved ones, Mitch. That’s really messed up. Have you considered therapy?”

Mitch nodded dryly. “Go ahead. Laugh.” He bounced the orb in his hand playfully. “But this sucker here is your ticket to inner peace, my friend. It’s not about revenge. It’s not about making Groudon your daddy or anything.” He smiled warmly. “This is about using what nature gave us to make the world a better place. This is about eliminating suffering for all.”

Maxie gently took the orb back and stared at it, cradling it in his arms like a newborn. He started to pace around the living room. “Where is Groudon? What would we call our new little family?”

Mitch laughed and spread his arms wide, glancing around. “Dude – this is a frickin’ volcano! Why not Team Magma?”

Maxie stopped pacing, holding up the orb to a window so the sunlight would make it shine even brighter, smiling.
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Does Team Rocket hire?
Dec 13, 2005
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I'm editing chapters to flesh it out. Let me know what you think. :)
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Does Team Rocket hire?
Dec 13, 2005
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CHAPTER SEVEN: We Could Cause a Riot in Sunday School
(9 years ago)

Lights flashed from left to right as they rode in the darkened limo, the only source of light.

Jessie, more toned than she used to be when Madame Boss first hired her, sat in a lonely corner, her eyes closed, sobbing.

James sat on the opposite seat. His hair was slightly scruffier and longer. He tried to place a hand on her knee, but she swiped it away without so much as a glance.

“Jess,” Meowth began quietly, “you gotta start takin’ dis bettah.”

James sighed, slumping back in his seat, finally taking his eyes off of Jessie, staring instead at the blackness outside the window, his pale reflection seemingly accusing him on the window surface.

Meowth glanced at James and sighed, watching his own window. “I guess youse kids ain’ learnin’ nuthin’ no ways.”

“Oooooh, what’s that?” James asked Miyamoto as she wrapped new cloth wrappings around a small steel box.

Miyamoto smiled as she glanced at him. “This is the beginning,” she told him. “Madame Boss sent me to find something that would assure her glamour.” She sighed, caressing the wrapped box as she placed it in a small nook behind a sofa. “However, after I found it and told Madame Boss of my discovery, I found myself looking for more on her orders. I grew concerned, for despite months of searching, I had only seen one such po – I mean, it seemed cold to trouble a single soul for the happiness of thousands.” She turned toward James, her countenance serious with a hint of sadness. “And winds carried word of her son’s troubles. I had no choice but to convince Team Rocket I had died.”

“How?” James asked, sipping on some tea. “Madame Boss knows you’re here.”

Miyamoto nodded, smiling as she sat down on the sofa. “She is very intelligent.”

“But?” he pressed on.

Miyamoto sighed, bowing her head slightly and closing her eyes. “But ….”

“I wonder what Kanto is like,” James whispered to Meowth.

“Prob’ly like Johto an’ Hoenn, but wit’ diff’rent features.”

James glanced at him. “Have you ever lived there?”

Meowth cut him a dirty look. “’Ave you?”

James nodded. “I’ve got family there,” he replied, squirming.

Meowth raised an eye ridge. “A kid yer age got fam’ly an’ yer out here on yer own?”

James smiled sincerely, glancing at Jessie nearly imperceptibly. “I have her.”

Jessie sobbed some more, trying to draw herself up into a ball.

Meowth ignored Jessie’s reaction. “Runnin’ from home an’ gettin’ Jess in exchange seems like a raw deal, ta me.” He smirked briefly, betraying his teasing tone.

James smirked back. “Bullies were picking on me all the time,” he replied, shrugging. “Jessie helped me run away.”

Meowth chuckled. “I woulda t’ought Jess woulda sent their pelvises inta their rib cages,” he shot back, winking.

James laughed.

Jessie had finally reached the top of the cliff. She growled as she stood up, dirt and scratches covering her, her hair tangled with twigs. She glared at the smiling, athletic, olive-skinned woman with the dark hair that seemed to shimmer purple in the sunlight, her long white fluffy coat draped around her black Team Rocket uniform. “There BETTER be a good reward for putting me through this,” Jessie muttered through clenched teeth.

The woman, a delicate yet strong thirty year old woman, laughed as though engaging in a tender foreplay, her hand gently covering her mouth. “Six months, two weeks, and three days … and you STILL demand so much reward for so little.”


Miyamoto twirled and swept Jessie off her feet, a cloud of dust and a thud the only reward for the wayward hacker. Miyamoto straightened her clothes and took a small cloth out of her coat pocket and polished the dust off her boots. Standing, Miyamoto frowned. “Madame Boss is not here to coddle you. She is a contest judge fearful of hurting a contestant’s feelings,” she informed Jessie coldly. “While I am fortunate to be her most loyal follower, I am free to criticize her so far away.” She sniffled. “Still,” she continued, staring longingly at the horizon, “we name our Team after a rocket, and a rocket has many stages. The initial launch is over. Now comes the penetration through the atmosphere.”

“What are you going on about?” Jessie asked, her tone betraying hurt as she stood, rubbing her bruised bottom.

Miyamoto’s voice changed into a soft, maternal tone. She stood closer to Jessie. “In this stage, the boosters are torn from the main body. They fall into the ocean, never destined to reach the stars themselves.” She caressed Jessie’s face, though the latter briefly pulled back in protest. “My dear Jessica, my job is to prepare you for this stage. The Boss’ son is not like Madame Boss. He offers love with a fist of iron. You must have steel cheeks to make it through the impact.”

Jessie took a small figure out of her pocket and cradled it.

Meowth craned his short neck, trying to sneek a peek. “You nevah told us what dat t’ing was?”

Jessie clutched it tighter. “Leave me alone,” she told him, her head buried in her arms as she lay in a fetal position on the seat.

James sighed, bowing his head. “Do you think the Boss is going to kill us, Meowth?”


James’ head shot up as he stared wide-eyed in shock at the talking pokemon. “Are you mental?”

Leave me alone,” Jessie told Miyamoto as she sulked outside Miyamoto’s small cottage deep in a mountain valley.

“You make so much progress and you despise me so,” Miyamoto said as she sat down several feet beside Jessie.

Jessie stared at the ground. “You never have a nice thing to say to me,” Jessie mumbled. “You constantly call me a failure.” Jessie shot a deadly glance at her oppressor. “I deserve better than this.”

“Because your childhood was so awful?”Miyamoto shot back incredulously. “Do you think the new Team Rocket will exist solely to stoke your ego just because you struggled through foster care?”

“I know who I am,” Jessie replied in a serious tone.

“He would have you thrown off a cliff for being so obstinate,” the woman informed her, frowning.

“I’m a survivor.”

Miyamoto shook her head. “You do not hack into banks by beating your laptop with a hammer, Jessica. You observe, you calculate, you make the bank consider you an ally.”

“You want me to suck up to this sadistic creep?”

Suddenly, the woosh-wooshing of rotorblades filled the air, the trees thrashing about and the nearby stream rippling erratically as the winds rushed around them.

Miyamoto’s face fell.

One helicopter in the group brought itself to the forefront of the formation, just yards away from the two. Two gun turrets locked onto their targets.

Jessie’s heart stopped briefly as her view of the helicopters was obstructed by Miyamoto’s back.

“You are my legacy,” Miyamoto whispered to her, maintaining a strict gaze on her opponents. A black stream rose abruptly toward the helicopters, but the whoosh-whooshing sent it back to the ground. Miyamoto and Jessie averted their eyes to avoid being blinded by the dark venom.

“Get out of here, Ekans!” Miyamoto screamed to an unseen pokemon.

The lead helicopter landed as the others rose higher. Giovanni stepped out. “I am recalling you to service, Miyamoto,” he barked loudly so as to be heard above the rotorblades.

“You are not my Boss,” she retorted.

Giovanni took out a gun and shot her in the head. Without the slightest flinch or sign of remorse, he approached a crying Jessie as Miyamoto’s form slumped to the bloody ground. “Am I yours?”

Jessie sobbed harder, nodding. “Y-y-yes, sir.”

“Then tell me where I might find the fur of the Legendary Pokemon, Mew, won’t you, dear?” he asked her, smiling warmly.

Meowth jumped up out of his seat and stood in front of the sobbing Jessie. His voice was tender as he tried to stroke her hair. “Listen, kiddo … Miyamoto --.”

“That’s not it,” Jessie told him, wiping her face and sitting up. “I’m being shunned on one of my favorite forums.”

Both males’ eyes widened, their jaws slackening.

“Are you fer real?” Meowth asked. He growled suddenly. “Aftah all we been t’rough, dat’s ALL you can t’ink about is some stupid puppet place?

Jessie pushed him away. “You don’t understand. I like puppets and dolls and toys and all kinds of fun things. You think I hack to take over the world? Hardly! It’s just a silly little game to me! I thought I had friends who cared about me on that site. When I first joined,” she continued wistfully, smiling, “we all had so much fun. I could smile and laugh and forget everything that strangers were doing to me.” She sniffled. “And then, by and by, despite the dream of friendship, I found more and more people just slipping away.” Her face fell as she whispered. “You don’t know what it’s like to be alone in a sea of people.”

Meowth frowned slightly, crossing his arms. “I know more dan you t’ink,” he told her in an irritated tone, his fur bristling on his back.

James put his hand gently on Meowth’s shoulder. “The Boss has something up his sleeves, Jessie,” he told her quietly. “It sounds like he’s choosing agents who’ve been screwed up all their lives.”

“Go to hell,” Jessie snapped bitterly. “You don’t know anything about me.” She glanced arrogantly at Meowth, jabbing her index finger at James. “I didn’t save him from bullies. You know what really happened?”


“His stupid parents tried to make a buck off him. They were selling him off to the highest bidder like a piece of meat. I put up a fake account and bought him and we ran off, never looking back.” She turned and glared at James, sneering. “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with me, James.” She leaned back, smiling. “Soon, I’ll be the suited one sitting in that fancy leather chair, laughing as the world bows down to me.”
Does Team Rocket hire?
Dec 13, 2005
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CHAPTER EIGHT: Out of the Ashes
(8 years ago)

The woman brushed her hair from her face as she bathed a small bulbasaur, which was a quadruped reptile-like creature, a bulb of wrapped leaves attached to its back. According to Professor Oak’s research, genes of plants had formed symbiotic relationships with the genes of certain animals, allowing the animal to survive times of few resources in return for increased locomotion, while the plant part of the animal could travel toward better sunlight. The creature closed its eyes and smiled. “Bulba … bulbasaur,” it noted happily, nuzzling her sudsy hands.

Professor Oak placed a hand on her shoulder, smiling. “It’s looking much better today, Delia,” he told the woman.

Delia turned and smiled, giggling. “This bulbasaur has been eating a lot of that new stuff coming out of Pewter,” she replied.

Oak nodded, touching the bulb on the creature’s back gently. “There are a lot of amazing new culinary discoveries being made there.” He glanced at Delia. “Would you be interested in learning there?”

Delia blushed and returned her gaze toward the babbling bulbasaur, who splashed in the bubbly tub. “I can’t take on a job, Professor – no one’s at the house to take care of my baby.”

Oak scoffed. “My daughter can watch Ash while you’re in class, Delia. My grandson is just about his age … I’m sure they can turn into fine friends some day.”

She frowned and stood, wiping the suds onto her jean skirt. She straightened her pink short-sleeved blouse. “I don’t like going through Viridian, Professor. I’m … I’m afraid of the forest.”

“True, there are a lot of bug pokemon,” Oak offered.

Delia glared at him. “I am not afraid of bug pokemon, Professor! I’m offended you would think me so childish!” She glanced at the ground, hugging herself slightly. Her tone was barely a whisper. “I lost my husband in that forest,” she mourned quietly.

Oak cleared his throat, blushing, and glanced downward. “I’m … I’m sorry.” He sighed, shrugging. “You remind me a lot of a student I once had. She had lots of potential. I was … unfortunate enough … to learn … that,” he stumbled, “she passed away in … Johto.” He glanced up at her. “She had finally hit the big time, on the way to becoming a major player in Team Rocket. It’s such a shame, really. I hate to see potential wasted.”

Delia grit her teeth briefly. “Potential is never wasted if it was the goal to someone’s dying day,” she retorted. “Your little pet sounds like she got everything you wanted out of her. Who are you to say death took it away from her? Is success so fickle?”

Oak chuckled and looked away at the gathering crowd. “Yes, you remind me a lot of her.” He nodded at the people gathering in the field, his gentle cottage the only noticeable building. “I’m hoping we get a good turnout today. A convention is just what Pallet needs to drum up the economy.”

Delia blanched. “A convention?”

Oak smiled and turned back towards her. “Oh, didn’t I tell you? There’s a science and technology expo occurring on my ranch today. There is a lot of fascinating research going to be presented: ways to triple a magnemite’s power by linking three of them together, using a virtual team of pokemon to manage large amounts of computer data, the implications of ancient containment devices and what we can learn from them, and some biofeedback machines that will hopefully cut down on pokemon training time.” He grinned, nearly bouncing up and down with joy and excitement. “I can’t wait!”

Delia laughed politely and brushed her hair out of her face. “I should be getting back to Ash. He’ll be hungry. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

His face fell. “You won’t stay?”

Delia smiled and shrugged. “Ash is my potential – my legacy, Professor Oak. He’s my entire world.”

Oak sighed wistfully as he stared at her leaving before joining the convention.

As he approached the rows of seating facing a large stage, flanked by giant television screens so even people far in the back could see, Giovanni smiled and rose from his seat, shaking Oak’s hand.

“A pleasure to make my way down to Pallet,” Giovanni offered with a warm tone and a very firm shake. “You are collecting a lot of nice specimens here. I must say, I’m impressed.”

Oak chuckled, shrugging. “It’s not as popular as the local safari zones you’ve been putting up here and in Johto.”

Giovanni laughed and shook his head. “I’m a businessman, Sam. I like making money. However, I don’t let people overcrowd my sanctuaries. Stressing pokemon means they get sick and that means less black ink for me. It’s not in my best interests to poison my own well.”

Oak smiled, nodding. “I’m glad to hear that.”

Giovanni nodded. “Don’t take the protests to heart, Sam. There are people in this world who act like looking at a pokemon from a distance destroys their lives. These people can be offended by anything. They’ll all die lonely deaths, having isolated themselves from the world that gave them life.”

“Congratulations on Team Rocket’s deal with the Elites, by the way,” Oak offered, patting Giovanni firmly on his broad shoulder.

Giovanni bowed his head. “I imagine manufacturing militaristic weapons hurts my image, especially with the idealistic whiners, but if we depend solely on pokemon to protect us, we are risking the fact they can refuse to obey. A tank or a helicopter won’t run off, claiming we hurt its feelings, you know? And it really is the only chance we have to protect ourselves from hostile lifeforms.”

Oak chuckled and shook his head. “Still under the impression that pokemon owe us their obedience, aren’t you?”

Giovanni’s smile fell. “I like being prepared.” He glanced toward the stage. “Besides, I have nothing against having pokemon on my staff, if their abilities permit. There’s a middle-aged meowth I found with remarkable talent in engineering.”

“A meowth?” Oak laughed in disbelief.

Giovanni smirked. “Are we not similar, Professor Oak? I mean, are we not both seeking to determine the full potential of pokemon? I don’t limit myself by worrying just about a pokemon’s speed or strength. I want to know just how smart they can be as well.”

Oak stared at Giovanni in confusion, grasping his chin, his brows furrowed. “The boy who adamantly denied our equality with pokemon has some on his payroll as if they were humans? Astounding.”

Giovanni laughed as he returned to his seat, nodding. “Go ahead and mock me, Sam. You’ll find that those who truly believe in profit will not throw away a possible resource out of loyalty to preconceived ideas. It pays to think outside the box, after all.”

A man with shoulder-length red hair sat down beside Giovanni as Professor Oak walked away. “Good afternoon, Team Rocket,” he stated.

Giovanni stared at the stage without glancing at the speaker, though he noted a black M-shaped logo on a long thick red coat with long red sleeves and fire-resistant gloves and boots as the man had walked by him. “I had no idea that this convention attracts those so far away,” Giovanni replied.

“You have made quite a name for yourself. Many regions hear of Team Rocket supplying the Elites of Kanto with advanced technology. Some of us find that very … inspiring.”

Giovanni chuckled. “Do not think that I hold some sort of patent on the concept of helicopters and guns,” he said, still without looking at the other man. “You are free to do whatever you want, of course, in your own region.”

The man shook his head, his tone betraying a tiny hint of desperation. “Time is of the absolute essence, Team Rocket. “There are those in Hoenn who are bent on destroying it. There is a team, Team Aqua, a religious cult desperate to enslave the monster Kyogre and set it loose on our population.”

Giovanni frowned. “Isn’t Kyogre a Legendary Pokemon?”

The man nodded. “It is.”

“I fail to see how this affects me.”

“Wise Team Rocket,” pleaded the man, “Team Aqua is determined to flood the world with the powers of the Sea. Our legends are quite clear that should Team Aqua succeed, human and pokemon alike will drown. It will be the end of all that is, the end of civilization, the end of … opportunities.”

Giovanni chuckled, nodding. “I see. I concede a rather limited scope regarding my business, good sir. I now acknowledge the … wisdom … of broadening my horizons.”

The man bowed in his seat. “Any assistance you can provide will enable us to defend ourselves against a madman.” The man stood and walked away.

Suddenly the murmurs of the crowd quieted down as a man, appearing to be in his late thirties, approached the stage. Several fiberglass casts of stone engravings were rolled onto the stage by various stage hands. The man was one Giovanni recognized. He was Spencer Hale, a linguist specializing in ancient tongues. He was stocky from years of hard labor mining different sites, his skin tanned from the sun, his hair shaggy and unkempt. He was truly a field man, not some geek hiding in the comfort of a cubicle. He had taken a short leave from Team Rocket to marry an elegant young woman from Goldenrod.

Giovanni laughed to himself.

It wouldn’t last.

After all, he was proof that people from two very different walks of life can never be together.

“Thank you very much for allowing me to speak today,” announced Spencer Hale from atop the stage as a brown owl flew to his shoulder, resting on one foot and glancing around with bright red eyes. Trainers have, for years, been clamoring for an easier way to get around with their team of pokemon. Strollers can be upended, backpacks are limited by a pokemon’s size, and many trainers are too young to drive.”

“There’s always walking,” Giovanni noted loudly from the back of the crowd to a brief eruption of laughter.

Spencer laughed, nodding. “Yes, it’s true that roughing it encourages physical stamina, but what happens when a pokemon is injured? Are any of you willing to hoist a snorlax on your back if it breaks a leg?” He turned and bent down carefully to reach inside a small bag. He stood, taking out a large black dumbbell and held it out for the crowd to see. “My associates and I have uncovered devices that seem to store pokemon within it. Now, you may laugh at the thought of ancient magic, but isn’t magic just a sloppy science?”

“Very sloppy,” Giovanni muttered to himself.

Spencer glanced at the owl on his shoulder. “Hoothoot … foresight,” he ordered calmly.

The hoothoot’s eyes glowed bright red. Under the red light cast from its eyes, the object glowed, revealing several lines of strange script and multiple circles lining the rounded ends.

Spencer thanked the pokemon and returned his attention to the audience. “The circles you see are, I believe, places to put your fingertips. With the small electrical current from your body, this device shall unlock, freeing whatever might be inside.” As most of the crowd murmured in curiosity and support, Spencer placed each fingertip in a circle and mumbled something Giovanni could not hear, though he supposed it was whatever was written on the device.

A bright flash of light forced the audience to turn their heads as a large pokemon materialized. It was the size of a preteen child, with a broad shovel-like brown face, thick brown spines erupting from its back, a muscular tail ending in a sharp point, and frightening sickle-shaped arms, as though a zubat’s wings had turned into hardened steel. The audience screamed and bolted from their chairs as the strange creature knocked Spencer Hale back, his hoothoot dashing away into the sky.

The bizarre pokemon lunged at the fleeing crowd, raising one bladed arm high into the air as it pounced, missing one scientist with wavy hair and a large goatee, plunging the blade deep into the ground. It jerked its arm a couple of times to remove the blade from the ground, but looked up and found a lone blue-green pokemon with a broad mouth and a green leafy bulb on its back.

The smaller pokemon frowned. “Bul … bulba,” it barked in a low tone.

“K’tops!” cried the larger pokemon and slashed away with its free blade.

The bulbasaur dodged and two vine-like appendages, usually wrapped under the bulb, uncoiled and lashed out, drawing blood on the brown pokemon’s face, making it stumble back, freeing its trapped limb.

The strange pokemon tried to wipe the blood off and leapt back up, determined to punish this little upstart. It slashed and slashed, making x-shaped patterns in the air. Chairs were turned into scrap. Clods of dirt erupted from the ground as each blade tore into them.

The bulbasaur simply kept backing up, launching several rounds of seeds from its back. The seeds quickly sprouted roots, grabbing hold of the pokemon’s skin. It brought the pokemon to a halt, trying desperately to scratch the irritating seeds as the roots spread into every crevice.

Soon, the creature was exhausted, fainting.

Giovanni helped Spencer Hale up. He smiled at his employee as the others stopped running and started to return. “Maybe a labeling system would make pokemon identification easier, hm?”

The crowd chuckled nervously as Oak arrived with a large cart with steel restraints. The others loaded the pokemon onto the cart and collectively sighed with relief as they sat back down on whatever chairs were still intact.

Spencer’s face was beet red. He bowed low, his nose scraping against the stage floor. “I cannot apologize enough,” he said.

Giovanni stood him back up. “Nonsense. Still … that is why we have controlled trials, correct?”

Spencer looked at Giovanni’s smiling face and smiled back weakly as he nodded and left the stage.

After the convention was over, Giovanni walked over to a shaken scientist, the one with the large goatee. “How do you feel?”

The man shrugged, his face pale. “I can’t do this anymore, Giovanni.”

Giovanni frowned and sat beside the trembling man. “Think how your machines will help, Fuji.” He placed a hand to steady the man’s knee. “Machines that will help a pokemon focus, calming it, preventing the loss of self-control that we saw today.”

Fuji shook his head, gulping from a thermos. “I have a kid,” he told Giovanni, smacking his lips. “I’m moving to Sinnoh. I can be hired by Team Galactic in a facility of safety.” His lips trembled as he started to sob. “What would my darling daughter do if I were to die? I’m of no use to Team Rocket, Giovanni. I’m … getting too old for this level of stress. I want a nice cubicle job. I want to design machines and let some grease aipom get his hands dirty.” He nodded toward Spencer Hale. “I’m not the field type. I have a family to think about. You should get Hale to work on this machine, or maybe Bill. I hear he’s working on creating artifical teleporters to replicate an abra’s powers. They are geniuses and they don’t mind putting themselves at risk.”

Giovanni draped an arm around Fuji’s shoulders, his face worn with concern. “Fuji, those two are indeed brilliant, but they are incredibly short-sighted. We nearly had our heads cut off just now because Hale didn’t bother to test his theories before coming here. He’s impulsive – a spoiled little brat who thinks only of his current whims. He’s the kind of man who can lose a friend one day and go get another one the day after. I’ve been mourning the loss of my fiancée for months, while he mourns the loss of a friend by getting engaged as though he merely checked the death off his schedule. I need the skills only you can provide, Fuji. Supply me with your machines and I will set up an account that will prevent your daughter from ever knowing want.”

Fuji stared at him finally. “What are you up to, Giovanni? You sample the genetic codes of different pokemon, you build heavily armed vehicles designed to take out whole city blocks, you demand technological control over pokemon – just what project demands such curious precautions?”

Giovanni smirked darkly. “A scientist can only do one thing, Fuji. I am building my legacy.”

Fuji shook his head and stood, bowing his head slightly. “Forgive me, but my daughter is the prize of my heart. I will never put our relationship at risk just so you can make money.” He turned and stomped off, leaving Giovanni to glare, thinking dark thoughts.

Still … it pays to think outside the box, after all.