"Try what? Sit here and pull the leaver? I was doing that for a good twenty minutes before you rolled out. I know how to lose my money at the slots kiddo."
"fine fine fine... suit yourself."
Dylan looks at his wristwatch.
"GOD.... when will they come here?!?!?! This is taking too long..."
...so I don't want you groping around back there...
To his horror, Zane felt his face start to redden. He tried to cover it with a scowl...
...and did I mention to ask you to lighten up?...
Dammit. Flustered, Zane just pointed to the middle Pokeball.
"That one. Hardly matters which I pick does it?"
Leels had that infuriating smirk on her face, like she knew exactly what was going on in his mind and found it "cute". She unbuckled the Pokeball from her belt without hurry and handed it to him. He thought he caught a flash of sadness in her eyes...
Zane threw the Pokeball down the shoot. Another popped up in its place and Leels took it.
"Sorry. I hope it wasn't one you liked too much. And for the record? If you want to catch flies with honey that's fine. I prefer to kill mine."
Zane looked at the Grunt behind him. It was that Weiss guy, who hadn't said much since he had attacked Leels' hair. Trying very hard not to think about Mankey, Zane showed Weiss his Pokeballs...
Weiss casually picked up his Rattata and threw it down the shoot.
And just like that it was over. Zane picked up his new Pokemon and tried hard not to feel too relieved. Having Mankey still on his team would make proving himself a whole hell of a lot easier though, that was for sure. He and Mankey worked great together. And he hoped this new Pokemon was up to snuff...
He smirked as he thought of how it might be another Rattata. Wouldn't that be hilarious?
Goodbye Ekans, I hope this one compensates for it.
She clipped the pokeball and pouch to her belt again and began heading upstairs, following the rest of the grunts. Whatever higher-ups had planned had better be worth this.
Leela climbed the steps and arrived back on the casino floor, the machines spinning and grunts either staring angrily at them or forcibly hitting them and being dragged out by buff types with fighting types.
Imbeciles, funny how nobody notices that grunts lose so much more than they gain compared to everyone else, and that's saying something, people barely win anything substantial as it is.
Mayu was surprised by how quickly the man, Weiss, had been beaten up and removed. He had been an adult as well! If she had tried the same thing as him, she would have definitely been hurt even worse. Letting out a small sigh of relief, she counted herself lucky and started for the stairs. She couldn't help but look at Max though. She knew that he was strong, and he was in charge of their group in a way, so he was the next step in her staircase which would ultimately allow her to keep her Vulpix. If luck remained by her side, she would definitely make it one of these days.
Zane watched Weiss get taken down with interest. He had put up a decent fight, but tactically he had failed miserably. If Zane had been in his place he would have had the Vulpix go strait for Alex at the start... And even then that might not be enough. Alex was clearly powerful and crazy, and his Pokemon seemed to share those traits. And Max hadn't even batted an eye at the whole thing, just made his Zubat take out Metapod like it was an actual sunny stroll in the park.
As he headed up the stairs, Zane was impressed and excited. Action like that was exactly why he had joined. If he could someday get to be as strong as Max and Alex...
As he walked into the lobby with the other grunts he saw two men waiting there who hadn't been, wearing the Rocket Yellow marks. "Late comers I guess." muttered Zane, sizing them up. One was a rather large man, easily taller and bigger than Zane with small scars covering his face and a repeatedly broken nose. The other was smaller, more Zane's build but just skinny where Zane had muscle. He wore glasses that made his face look absolutely ridiculous.
At first Zane was going to stay away from them, figuring they would be in trouble for being late. But when it became clear that Max and Alex were dithering downstairs Zane decided he needed allies, and Leels and Mayu weren't likely candidates in that department.
So he walked up to them and introduced himself: "Heya. Name's Zane. You guys look like you know what you're doing. Unlike these jokers." It was true, even the skinny one seemed to have a competent air about him.
Leela had already reached the top of the stairs when the commotion with Weiss began. She didn't really care enough to look back simply because that would require her to admit that she just lost a friend and that there was nothing she could do about it. Not now, at least.
She headed for the bar, ordered a glass of ice and began chewing. A few minutes later, she heard a familiar voice introducing himself to some other grunts a few yards away at the slot machines.
"Don't tell me you've begun stalking too, Zane. I know I'm perfect and all, but that's no reason to go traipsing after a girl you met an hour ago." She said this in an overly sarcastic voice, to make sure that she got her intentions across.
She continued to chew on her ice, just as expensive as everything else in this joint. When she finished, she figured it was now or never to introduce herself,"And don't tell me you include me in the same category as the jokers that don't know what they're doing. Name's Leels M-dammit, just Leels."
"The name's Dylan. Nice to meet you two. I heard shouting earlier... what the hell happened below?"
Said Dylan to Zane, but apparently, he was focused on the slot machine, since he didn't even took the time to look at Zane or Leela.
" Did they found out about my ditto? I hope not. That would be a mess."
He stands up from his chair and looks at the two. He saw them in the room earlier while he was using the spy cam.
" So how was Alex? Was he a bit of a douche?"
"No more than any other emotionally and mentally insecure and stunted Rocket bigshot wannabe is. He's got a Primeape, not especially powerful, but it fits him, I suppose. Don't really know what happened though, I left as soon as I got my new pokeball.I wonder what's inside?"
Leela continued to crunch her ice. The water in Celadon wasn't known to be the best, but ice was ice, and it was better than grinding her teeth. Her hand hovered over the new pokeball, emblazoned with the Team Rocket symbol, as always.
Wonder when they'll charge us for the use of these? Or if they're going to take the less cumbersome route of just not charging.
Max came up the stairs. Alex had gone down to talk to Proton but had told him to try and keep the crew from passing out before they moved on. He went over to the bar and stopped the drinking contests among members of Yellow Team.
Sitting down on his own, he took his cap off. He pulled out a small notepad with a pencil and began to write.
I've got these houses cased out... Should be easy to hit them on our way out of the city.
He kept an eye on the new members. Some showed promise, others disgusted him. The latecomers were going to get their own hazing eventually. He noticed the influx of non-Rocket members in the game corner. The boss sure had a good racket going on here.
After seeing some people coming in, Dylan removed his rocket cap and his glasses, which made him more presentable. He spots a cute girl buying a drink at the bar.
"Hi there. I heard you like mudkips."
After a few minutes, Dylan goes back to his spot with a red hand-shaped mark on his right cheek, laughing.
Scott laughed. "Smooth. Real smooth."
"What? You really think I was serious about that? I just wanted to see the girl's reaction. that's all. There's no way that I would use that mudkip line to pick up on ladies, hahaha"
The rain was pouring down as a figure donned in a large black rain coat walked through the city towards the game corner to meet up with the other rockets. The man walked through the rain not even noticing the cold or that people were going out of their way to avoid him. The silence was then broken after a little girl had run away from her parents had bumped into him.
"I'm sorry sir." The girl said slowly after falling down. He just stared at the girl without saying anything for what seemed like forever to the girl.
"You're lucky I am in a hurry or I would teach you the meaning of respect." Was all he said before walking away in a slow pace that would not seem like he was in a hurry to anyone but himself. He could hear the young girls parents running up to her after he had walked away, he couldn't hear what they were saying but they were obviously scolding her.
After walking for a few more minutes he could see the lights from the game center. As he approached the game center he could see that it was becoming busy. "Great a crowd, I hate crowds." He thought to himself. He went to the back of the game center and knocked on the door and waited for a moment.
"Steal Pokémon for profit. Exploit Pokémon for profit. All Pokémon exist for the glory of Team Rocket." he said reciting the secret code which made the door open.
Walking inside he removed his rain coat which revealed his large stature and spiked up hair style. He looked around for a few moments looking for a person he only knew as "Max Lewis". After a few moments he located a man who fit the description he received of max so he walked over to him.
"Damian Erion reporting sir. I have no excuse as to why I am late so I will accept any punishment you deem fit." Damian said introducing himself.
Max looked at the soaking guy in front of him. Typical bruiser, he looked like someone from another color. He had the swagger of a regular though.
"Forget about it but I'll tan your hide next time you're late. The boss Giovanni was in earlier, had you walked in then we all would have been in for shit. Where'd they drag you up from?"
He studied the goon. He could take him if he needed to but he looked to be a good asset. More useful than the other trashy grunts at his disposal.
He smells like a wet dog.
Damian studied the man in front of him, he was clean cut and gave the feeling that he had experience in what he was doing. He was not going to question his authority.
"I'm from Fuschia city sir. I've been with team rocket most of my life and now I am under your authority sir." Damian answered in his usual low tone.
Max looked him over again. Yeah, he'll be fine.
"We're just waiting to move out. Go meet the rest of your team if you want, I don't care." he said dismissively. It was more fun planning out a break in than talking to yet another subordinate.
"Yes sir." He said before taking his leave of max.
At this point he suddenly noticed that he was still soaked from the rain. Not really being much for conversation he looked around for a nice warm spot to sit and dry off. He found a table to sit at and dry off that was slightly warmer than the rest of the area. Sitting down at the table he looked around at all the people who were playing the slots and who he thought were other rockets.
He sighed to himself while sitting back in the chair. "I wonder what I've gotten myself into." Damian thought to himself. He decided against going up and talking to the rest of the rockets, if they wanted to talk to him they would have to initiate the contact.
"Hey, a newcomer... you were late too? The name's Dylan by the way... nice to meet you."
Damian looked up at the rocket who approached him. He studied the young man over putting a mental note of dylan in his head before responding.
"I was late I do not deny that fact, I got lucky that max was so forgiving but I best not try my luck again. The name's Damian, Damian Erion by the way." He responded not even getting up.
Shitty weather. Rain was good cover if you didn't want to get spotted, people pay less attention with their heads down trying to stay dry, but right now that didn't matter so it only made it colder. Dirk scowled. Should have brought an umbrella. The streets of Celadon were suprisingly busy given the rain although the area was an entertainment hotspot. People were here all day, everyday. Good place for a pickpocket, someone could make a profit easy. Not that Dirk could get away with that stuff anymore.
The game corner was all bright and shiny on the outside, neon signs and flashing lights. Total craphole. The kind of place you'd stay away from if you knew what was good for you. It was packed to the brim.
"Steal Pokémon for profit. Exploit Pokémon for profit. All Pokémon exist for the glory of Team Rocket." What an idiotic phrase. Rockets think they're all big and glorious but at the end of the day they're just a bunch of thugs. I should fit right in.
Looking around Dirk saw the people he was teamed up with.
Young. Really young. What is this? There didn't look to be a single one of them over 25. Brilliant. I'm stuck with a bunch of kids who'll probably just end up running around shooting their mouths off and breaking stuff. Maybe this wasn't my greatest idea ever.
Screw it, I'm committed now, might as well see where this goes.
"Sorry I'm late. Weathers pretty shit. Dirk Stevens, I'm supposed to report to Max."
"I guess I'll be the welcome wagon for the late people then."
Dylan walks up to the man.
"Hello there. You're late.I'm Dylan. Dylan Giesler. You?"
"Dirk Stevens. And yeah, I know I'm late. Thanks for pointing that out." Dirk gave him a once over. Damn, he probably wasn't even 20. Way to make him feel like an old man.
"Got any other prudent observations. Maybe something about how I'm wet, or how my face looks like someone rammed a truck up against it?" Dirk didn't really mean to snap but he wasn't a great mood.
Max looked up from his notepad.
"Dirk huh, heard about you. You had your own racket going on before the Rockets took over East Celedon."
He pointed at the uniform he was wearing. It looked new, the R was not faded like those of veteran Rockets.
"Well, at least you made the most intelligent choice. The other gangsters over there were run out of town or beaten. Most of them are in jail now."
He chuckled a bit.
"I'm Max. And this steaming pile of shit is Yellow Team. For better or for worse you're with us. You might as well go get hammered now." he said, pointing at the back to the bar. "Just make sure you're ready to leave. You never know with our commander."
Max really didn't give a shit whether or not he went for a drink. Old rival gangs had been a major thorn in their sides in the past. There had been blood spilled when Giovanni got rid of his brother. On principle those who had backgrounds in the old gangs were to be treated with suspicion. The man could be legitimately tired of dodging Rockets in the street or he could be a snitch. Even with the cops paid off there was always the chance of Erika finally finding an excuse to shut down the game corner. The boss was careful to avoid direct government confrontation. He would not be pleased if old rivals came back to shut down his base of operations.
Max sized him up. Another rough type. This one could be trouble.
So that was Max huh? Leader of yellow at his age was impressive. Dirk didn't know a lot about the Rocket structure but he knew enough about gangs to know that this guy was either really good or family. And Giovanni wasn't the family type.
He also could tell he didn't trust him which made sense. Dirk would've been more worried had he been completely welcoming. Probably best not to screw with him, at least for now.
"I think I'd rather dry off than get soaked again but thanks anyway."
"So, Dylan, right? You been with the Rockets long?"
Mayu found herself able to keep to herself for the moment while the others got to know one another. She would have normally been joining them, but she had many things on her mind at the time. She was thinking about the beating that had just happened downstairs, and was also wondering what was happening to the older man now. Was he being beat up some more? Was his life extinguished? She never knew what happened to people who were taken 'below'. The man had lost all of his Pokemon as well, including his beloved Vulpix. With a frown, she rubbed the Pokeball of her own Vulpix, hoping silently that she would never have to lose it.
"Yeah... All of my relatives were rockets. So I had to join it even though I don't like the things they do. How about you?"
Dylan orders two drinks and hands one out to Dirk.
A drink. Why not?
Dirk grabbed it and took a swig.
"Just signed up. I've been doing this stuff for a while now and I decided it'd be best to get on the winning team."
Dirk grimaced at that. It might've been true but he didn't like it.
"I've done a little bit of outside work for them before though."
Zane watched as Dylan instantly began to make friends with the two newest late comers. All these people who are late, yet they all look ten times more competent then the idiots down in the basement with us. He thought. Damien looked strong, powerful. Zane wouldn't mind having him and his Pokemon alongside during an extortion mission. And Dirk looked old and bitter... but also competent. Like he had been doing this all his life.
In fact, despite the constant irritation that Leels was being, this team was actually starting to look pretty good. Zane was beginning to feel more at ease with this; working with the grunts he had seen so far seemed like it'd be a nightmare.
Zane noticed Mayu standing in the corner. She seemed to be lost in thought, and troubled. Zane remembered how she had ignored him earlier... But maybe he had just gone about it wrong. She was still really young after all. But eager to prove herself. Zane wasn't good with children... If he could get her to trust him though, it would certainly give him a useful ally.
He walked up to her: "Hey. Look. I'm sorry about earlier. Lets try this properly this time. My name is Zane." He stuck out his hand. "Mayu right? You doing okay?"
Mayu's thoughts had drifted from the events downstairs, all the way to wondering what that strange smell in the air was. She didn't really recognize it, but she did remember smelling it every now and then when there was some funny walking adults around. She didn't really like the smell, but before she could try to find a spot where it was weakest, the older boy from before came over to apologize. Smiling, she said. "I-it's okay. I'm sorry for not responding to you before, but I was really afraid of Alex hearing us talking and coming over to scold us..or worse. I don't wanna know what it would feel like getting hit by a bat. His hand hurt plenty." She rubbed the spot where he had slapped her, and it was still showing a bit of red from the impact. It was fading though, so it would be clear in an hour or so.
Dylan walked up to the two.
"Hey, what did happen below? What was the agenda for the meeting? I reaally need the info, or else I'll have trouble with dad."
Max put a hand on Dylan's shoulder, scowling. He didn't like this twerp one bit.
"Why are you asking so many questions? Why do you need to report?" he said as the boy swung around surprised. He was carrying a black messenger bag on his side. Ripping it away from him before he could protest, Max opened the bag.
"Nice toys." he looked at a piece that looked like a microphone. "I bet it was you who was messing around with Alex downstairs." He clenched a fist and dropped the bag to the ground, ignoring the smashing sounds.
"Listen, we need squirmy punks like you for certain missions. I'm sure that's why you've been allowed to run with us. But I know you haven't been on a group assignment before. If you're going to work with us you're going to have to show us you can be trusted. Don't you ever let me see you with that shapeshifter out its ball again without orders. We clear?"
Asking questions gave me trouble in the past. Why should I spare this brat?
Max stared at the young rocket, waiting for a response.
Dirk glanced over. Looks like Max was yelling at Dylan for no real reason. That seems about right.
All of a sudden Dirk noticed Mayu talking to Zane. It took a moment to realise she was wearing a rocket uniform. As it hit him he nearly choked on his drink.
A little girl?! What the hell are they trying to pull? I...what is this, I don't even...
"What the hell!? A 5 year old girl? I didn't realise Team Rocket was a family friendly organization! This is a joke, right? Or am I just finally going insane?"
"fine fine fine, I won't ask anymore... by the way, my pokemon is called a Ditto..."
He Gets his bag back.
" Great. Now I won't have anything to report to mom and dad AND they'll cut off my allowance for destroying my things. What a great day."
He goes back to order another drink.