Independent RP blog for Executive Ariana of Team Rocket.
Note: If you are followed by Ariana-R, that is my community RP blog. This is a sideblog on that account.
Unlike Giovanni, Ariana kept her eyes on him as he spoke. As one who rose from the lower ranks, she had been conditioned to maintain eye contact when spoken to. She watched him as she held her mug, allowing the tea scented vapors to rise to her nose.
She nodded in response to his request. “We already sent scouts to Unova. Researchers have been dispatched, and we have someone who is within the ranks of Plasma. Team Rocket was already eyeing the region before your return.”
Ariana set down her cup and picked up another file. “We have information on some of the legendary pokemon, but… Considering our track record with such creatures we decided to take a more conservative route. We have avoided engaging any of them at this time.” However, if the boss wanted to pursue such a pokemon, then so be it.
The female Executive frowned at the mention of Cynthia. Ariana had heard nothing but horrible rumors about that woman. A slow nod was given in confirmation. They would leave Sinnoh alone.
“From what I have heard, not all is what it appears to be.” She said once the topic returned to Team Plasma. “Their leader, a man by the name of Ghetsis, is hungry for domination. He is a skilled orator, much like Cyrus was. Ghetsis has decided to entreat the ‘pokemon right’s activists’ of the region. While many in their rank have come to believe that freeing pokemon is their goal, that is not the case. We believe he intended to strip the regional league of their power by stripping them of their pokemon.”
“His plans were foiled, but Team Plasma persists. There’s been an upheaval of sorts but we haven’t received much information about what has happened.”
It was like old times again. The atmosphere in the Johto base was abuzz with activity. The underlings had heard about The Boss’s return, but it wasn’t until he had arrived that everything stunk in. Veterans that had returned were emboldened by the revival, and their morale was infecting the newer members in a good way.
Current operations were focusing on transporting supplies and manpower to Kanto to assist with the much needed repairs. That didn’t leave much for other pursuits, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t plan for the future of Team Rocket.
Ariana sat to the right of Giovanni in the meeting room. A large oak wood table dominated the room, with many comfortable office chairs lining its circumference. Huge display screens were on the walls, but were currently off. The room was more suitable for full meetings with all the Executives and department heads. At the moment it only had Ariana and Giovanni, with grunts running in and out with files, coffee, or whatever else was asked of them.
"We have intelligence in every region to keep an eye on things." Said Ariana.
"Unfortunately we haven’t had the manpower to successfully strike when opportunities have presented themselves." Lack of manpower was something Team Rocket had struggled with ever since the initial disbanding in Kanto. The membership numbers weren’t what they used to be.
"Team Rocket has no lack of resources aside from that, even with the bi-regional area’s slowing economy. The worldwide market is still going strong. Unova in particular is hungry for what our black markets can provide."
The Lady Executive reached over for a particular file and opened it up. She glanced over the edge of the folder to catch a glimpse of Giovanni. How good it was to see him seated at the head of the table again. It was equally good to be put back to work, it allowed Ariana to forget about what had happened in Kanto not too long ago.
"As far as our sphere of influence goes…" Crimson eyes looked down to the papers, flitting over the information to spark back up her memories. "Kanto and Johto remain stable, though we have kept to the underground and remained subtle in our dealings here. As you could tell when we arrived here, the Johto base is far from prying eyes, unlike Kanto which must risk hiding in plain sight."
"We have left Hoenn to Team Magma, providing minimal support in order to keep them afloat." Oh, there was a pun in that, oops. "Maxie was all too gracious in supporting us after learning about what happened in Kanto." She didn’t really support Team Magma’s goals. In the beginning it had been all too extreme, though things had quieted down considerably. She needed to give her cousin a call to find out what his stand on things were now…
"Reports say that Commander Saturn now leads Team Galactic after Cyrus went missing during an encounter with the legendary pokemon, Giratina. Ever since then Galactic has turned into a company that supports green energy sources in an attempt to redeem themselves. It seems they’ve been successful. Valley Windworks and Sunyshore City have recently allowed Galactic to affiliate with them. They don’t appear to be of any threat, leaving Sinnoh open. The region is rich with scientific minds should we ever need it." Ah, but that was Cynthia’s home region, wasn’t it?
Ariana took a moment to rest her voice and sipped tea from a nearby mug. She looked up at Giovanni, waiting to hear what he had to say before she told him about Unova.
He clad himself in his newest, and preferred, black suit minus the giant “R” that crested his other attire. The fedora casted a light shadow over his face even if no one recognized the famed Giovanni. Nidoking proceeded to carry the couple’s luggage with no grunts of protest that either could understand or hear over the hustle and bustle of the docks.
Seeing the tattoo, Giovanni smirked in appreciation, content to see one of his own men doing well undercover. “Indeed it is. Ah, yes, I would enjoy that very much. Thank you, kind sir,” The Boss took the other man’s hand in his ringed one, proving he was, indeed, the Boss. Not Petrel in disguise.
“With haste, my sweet.” He said, smiling warmly.
The man shook Giovanni’s hand firmly and gave a knowing nod. No doubt about it, this was The Boss. Besides, the man could venture a guess Ariana wouldn’t stand so closely to Gio if he wasn’t the real deal.
"Right this way, folks. By the way, name’s Calus." Said the Rocket member after he released Giovanni’s hand. He pulled down a ramp for easy access to the boat, and once everyone was safely on board they were off!
The boat went northward, following the coastline as they began to curve west around to the back section of the Safari Zone. The boat edged away from the coast, progressively heading northward across the strait towards the Johto mainland.
This section of Johto was uninhabited, dominated by old growth forests and a large mountain range. As promised there were many secluded beaches, places to possibly visit later. Tall cliffs separated the beaches in some places, and where they were going was such a cliff.
A way into a cave within the cliff was opened by Claus’ Relicanth by use of its Ancient Power. The boat went deeper in, following an underground river. The way was guided by his Lanturn, with a pair a Dewgong carefully pulling the boat through the narrow channel. It wasn’t long before the river opened up and they reached their destination: a port for the Johto base of Team Rocket. There, in this part-natural, part-manmade cave was the building itself, a conglomeration of steel and stone.
"Ah, always reminds me of home." Said Claus as he hopped out of the boat to secure it to the dock. "The Under, that is, in Orre." Again he lowered the ramp for Ariana and Giovanni. Once they were on the dock, Claus gave a proper salute. "It was an honor to bring you here, Sir, Madame. Great to have you back."
Behind him, there was a buzz of activity. Grunts and officers assembled in front of the main building to pay The Boss a proper welcome. When he had arrived in Kanto there had been chaos, but here in Johto there was order.
At her startle, he ran a hand through her hair, massaging her scalp to soothe her. His eyes didn’t leave the black box that the Captain’s voice boomed out of just moments before. Soon, he answered, “Yes, Sven sent me the details. I am eager to see the base… I’m thrilled, actually.” Giovanni’s posture softened, no longer wishing death on the Captain’s vocal chords. He let his eyes soak in her post-coital glow that radiated from her body as if stress personified itself and fled from her body.
It made him smile, to see her looking fresh and alive. What had Mewtwo done to her? To his Athena? Giovanni knew the psychic hated him, but just how much did it take for loathing to convert into psychotic?
‘I’ve known men who would kill for lesser reasons,’ He recited in his head. How many years had it been since Mewtwo was first created? Quite a few, if he recalled, suddenly feeling his age and sighing with a childish air.
“I’m getting so old,” he began, “…I mean, I didn’t last very long. Being out of shape does that to a man’s stamina.” The Boss laughed warmly, a passionate gleam in his eyes but lips in a hungry grin. Yeah, he would admit it— He was just as bad as Milas sometimes. However, only Athena is allowed to see that….
Being out of shape brought another thought to his head: He should definitely start sparring with young Milas, just to see if the little bastard had improved from years ago.
"You’re not that old yet.” Athena chided lightly. There was a mischievous twinkle in her own eyes as she came closer to whisper in his ear. “We’ll have to work on building that stamina back up, won’t we?” She giggled, and then kissed him on his cheek.
However, before he could attempt to act upon her words and go for another round she moved away. There would be plenty of time for that later. Athena was just as eager to return to the Johto base, and got ready for when they had to disembark.
The Cianwood City docks was bustling with activity. There were flocks of wild Wingull and Pelipper that hovered in the air and sat in the waves around the boats. The fishermen who were out during the predawn hours had returned with their catches. Fish mongers called out from their booths that lined the marina, trying to draw in customers. The sea breeze carried their voices up to the boats, and ocean spray lapped up against the hulls. Off on the horizon the Whirlpool Islands could be seen.
Athena looked out across the long line of boats as they walked along the marina. She was wearing an elegant, white sundress made with eyelet fabric, and a wide-brimmed, woven straw hat adorned her head. The hat served well to cover most of her red hair and hide her face. Giovanni may not have been recognized by the people of Johto, but Ariana wasn’t so sure about herself.
Finally, they reached the boat that would be their connection to the Johto base. A man stood upon the dock in front of his vessel and when he made eye contact with the Boss and his Lady he approached.
"Goood morning!" He said, going into a salesman’s pitch that was his cover. "Is this your first time in Johto? Perhaps I could interest you fine folks in a short trip to a secluded beach? My boat is all ready to go and can get you there fast like a rocket.” There it was, the code phrase. He even emphasized it with a quick gesture of his hand to briefly flash a small ‘R’ tattooed upon the inside of his wrist.
"What do ya say, Sir?"
Giovanni sighed of content, the smell of roses waking him pleasantly. He didn’t need to open his eyes to figure the source of the lovely fragrance.
Never before did he understand how one could taste another’s name on one’s tongue. It was a feeling that wasn’t not welcome.
It took some effort to open his, but he managed, and the reward was worth it. Ariana’s scarlet hair brushed his chin, then his lips as he leaned his head up for a better view. Her deep red lipstick was only a tad bit smeared from their bath time bonding. Still, it made such a beautiful contrast to her pale skin. A goddess, she reminded him of.
“Greetings, everyone, this is your Captain speaking! We will be arriving in Johto in about an hour. I suggest packing and getting ready!”
Giovanni rolled his eyes. What a mood killer.
The captain’s announcement made Athena wake with a start, for her sleeping mind thought that it was an intercom alert like the ones at base. Her body flinched, and she opened up her eyes quickly.
Wait… She wasn’t at base. Her brain finally realized that as it caught the second half of the captain’s voice. She was a ship heading to Johto, and she was with Giovanni.
Athena lifted her eyes to look at him. Seemed like he wasn’t pleased with the interruption either.
"Almost there already?" She snuggled up closer to him, not wanting to leave the bed to get ready. "These new boats move faster than they used to."
She paused for a moment, thinking. She knew they were going to Johto, but didn’t bother to ask which port they were going to.
"Are we stopping at Cianwood?" Ariana was sure Giovanni had already made the proper arrangements to get to the Johto base. Proton or Petrel would have told the boss they had connections in Cianwood that could transport them the rest of the way. Still, she wanted to make sure.
The fact that Athena had awoken did not surprise or stir him. It was more or less the way she was playing with his shirt that had his attention. He held back a shudder, savoring the pleasing heat that rose his temperature.
“You have slept well, my love? I can only do this if you are by my side, you realize…,” Giovanni said, resting a hand over her’s. His thumb tracing her knuckles while he gazed at the ocean.
“We will not fail… I assure you.” A smile turned his lips, looking at the love of his life in the eyes. “I still love you, Athena. When we arrive at Johto, we have much to discuss. Now, we enjoy ourselves.,.”
She stopped playing with the button once he put his hand on hers. Athena kept her hand still, allowing it to rest against Giovanni’s skin.
"It was a fine little nap," she purred, "but I know I sleep a lot better after a nice, long, hot bath. You’re welcomed to join me if the tub fits two~" She giggled at the thought.
"Of course, my lord, and I would never want to be anywhere else but by your side." She smiled up at him. Hearing those words from him made her ever so happy. "And I still love you too, Giovanni."
If the tub did fit two she would persuade him to join her. After all, after spending so much time away from him she wanted to get the most out of this moment of privacy. Soft words to be spoken and even softer touches to be exchanged, just to bask in the nearness of each other. To calm, comfort, and reassure each other in what the future had in store for them during this time of rest before they reached the Johto shoreline.
Nidoking offered Giovanni’s ticket to the man clad in uniform, following it’s Master with two large suitcases and a duffel bag on it’s horn.
The ship wasn’t huge, but if anyone knew Giovanni, it wasn’t exactly a cheap ship either. And yes, he booked the best room the entire damn boat had. A grin adorned his face, feeling what Milas and Sven would call “swagger” returning to him.
What was the bonus?
The woman he loved most in his arms was, especially when she is in a deep sleep. It was cute, actually — seeing Athena put down her guard to peace soften her pretty face. He found it funny how she hadn’t woken up with all of the chattering of the crewmen and passengers, but Giovanni wasn’t about to call it a bad thing.
He walked the decks to the passengers’ suites and commanded his Nidoking open the door. It did so after putting down one of the suitcases, letting Giovanni saunter into the large space with cold confidence. Smiling down at Athena, he put the scarlet haired woman gently onto the golden schemed king-sized bed. For a moment, he gazed at her, marveling at her beauty for a few more minutes before turning swiftly around to call back his pokemon from the doorway.
With little to no effort, the Boss had successfully pulled Athena’s luggage in the suite and out of the way.
"Now, to disrobe,” He mused, shrugging off the trench coat to toss it onto a nearby chair. The Boss plucked the smashing fedora from his head and placed it on the hat rack. Finally, he just unfastened three buttons to the white, button-up shirt revealing his collarbone and hints of his chiseled chest.
Boss let out a soft sigh, walking to the glass wall that looked onto the ocean, brows furrowed in thought.
“What will become of us now?”
Athena was asleep up until the point they had reached the port, but she feigned sleeping and kept her eyes closed. The smell of the ocean and the creaking of the dock told her where they were. She need not worry where she was going either. For she was in Giovanni’s arms, one of the safest places she could be.
After he set her down on the bed she stirred and ‘woke up’ in time to watch him take off his coat. She smiled to herself and kept silent up until he stood at the large window.
"Things can only get better from here, my lord." Crooned Athena as she slid off the bed and walked over to Giovanni. She stood beside him, wrapped one of her arms around his and leaned against him.
"We’ve been through hardships before, it’s nothing new." Team Rocket had dealt with setbacks many times, but they were still around.
"We’ll pull through. What happens afterward, the direction Team Rocket will go in…" They would undoubtedly share their current projects with Giovanni, but ultimately, what Team Rocket did was now up to him once more.
Athena reached up with one hand to touch the exposed skin of his chest. She playfully toyed with the next button, unbuttoning and refastening it idly.
"That is up to you."
Giovanni only breathed, pulling his beautiful beloved into his lap fully. He sighed, taking in her rosy scent as his lungs allowed air to filter. It took everything in him not to bawl his eyes out, not to sob when it was Athena who had deserved to shed tears.
Acceptance was hard and moving on would be even worse. “…,” Another sigh, a pair of closed eyes, and tighter grip on her lower back. At the moment, Giovanni couldn’t find out where he was consciously. What could he say? Nothing he’d do would make much of a difference right now. As impatient as he usually had been, he steeled himself into the chair. He would hold Athena until she said otherwise.
His mind wandered, thinking that moving to Johto for now would be for both of their best interests. The base much better and the spaces were more open and, you know, not completely demolished by a raging baby-hating pokemon, Mewtwo.
“It is best we think about moving to Johto for now…”
In the silence that hung between them Athena did shed more tears for her son. She leaned against Giovanni fully after he pulled her into his lap and she stayed there for quite some time. She even started to fall asleep on him, her brain wanted to rest from the stress it had been put through.
Athena woke up in time to catch the latter half of Giovanni’s sentence. She nodded. Moving to Johto would be best.
"I think you’ll be impressed with the place." She said in an effort to say something positive.
Had the Boss been to that base? Not the one in Mahogany Town, that one was no longer in their possession. This one was tucked away in the wilderness of northwestern Johto, far off from any city. Currently it was the best supplied hideout, and the one with the most up-to-date equipment. Petrel and Proton had done well to keep operations going while Archer and Ariana had tried to bring the Kanto base up to par with it… So much for that.
“I failed us. I was exploring, trying to find my way. I apologize for leaving you and the others out of the loop. The message about the disbandment didn’t get to you, Proton, Petrel, nor Archer,” He replied with authority back in his undertone, but not at Athena. A sigh left his lips when he thought back to where he had been during those lost years.
“I saw Silver. He was not pleased.” That meeting with his son had been a cruel reminder of how horrible he was at fatherhood. It was a heartbreaking realization that he, Giovanni, turned out just like his mother in such respect. He remembered clearly how his son had struck his face with such force it made The Boss stumble back in shock.
“Athena, our son… He doesn’t wish to return.” He knew better than trying to bribe or negotiate. Silver had found friends. He saw them in the background, concerned and one girl teary-eyed. After the redheaded boy finished his shouting, and after Giovanni finished his own responses and soft speakings, Silver turned to those who showed him passion that The Boss never gave his own boy.
“Silver has found himself. I cannot take him away from that. He sends his gratitude to you, Athena,” he said, his eyes growing dark. Giovanni held his head high in pride of his son for finding those who needed him more. Athena and him would have to accept it, even though it was one of the hardest tasks of parenthood.
For a moment, Athena wondered what would have happened if they had gotten that message. Would she have managed to convince Giovanni to let her go with him, or could she have at least taken care of her son instead of being separated from him as well? That was another possibility, that she could have been left completely alone without either of them and without a remnant of Team Rocket with which to rebuild. She was glad that hadn’t been the case.
At the mention of Silver Athena perked up, but was disappointed. She wasn’t going to get her son after all like she had hoped. One day, she thought she had caught a glimpse of him in the Radio Tower. She would have pursued him if Archer’s order to assemble hadn’t been so commanding. Little did she know she could have reunited with her son in the midst all the chaos of that day…
But her son wasn’t coming back. That knowledge weighted down heavily on her. Even if he was with friends, with people he cared for and they cared for him, it hurt her tremendously. Along with Giovanni, Silver was another she had longed to see and hold again.
What could she say to that? No words came to her. Athena leaned forward to rest her head against Giovanni’s chest in an effort to hold back more tears that threatened to come out. She couldn’t remember a time when she had cried so much like this. She was supposed to be strong, worthy of her title as Executive, not a weak and blubbering fool. Yet the events of the past day had severely damaged that dam, leaving her in a pitiful state. She wondered how she was going to pull herself out of it, it felt impossible at the moment.