April. The time of year when spring had finally settled in, it was pleasantly warm, and the rains that nourished the earth came, bringing life along with them. In Final Destination City, however, those rains, coupled with the lingering heat of the day, had formed a haze over the city streets, fracturing the light from street lamps, and the streets were silent and empty. This was not unusual in the least. Though tonight, there was a lone figure strolling the dimly lit sidewalk. Clad in a sharp black suit and long trenchcoat, he looked exactly the type of person who shouldn't wander this part of town: well to do and privileged, not acquainted with trouble and danger in any form. Yet here was this man, heading straight to one of the seedier bars in the place. He barely noticed the ring of the bell, payed no attention to the writing on the door as he strolled in. Strangely, no one really took notice of him, save one or two who hadn't seem him there before.
The barkeep nodded to him, "Moretti. What'll it be?"
Giovanni mimicked the gesture, "Harry. A Red Gyarados, if you will." Taking a seat in one of the chairs far in a shadowed corner, he pulled a flat black laptop out of a backpack that had certainly seen better days, and logged onto the Wi-Fi. He could have done such from the school, true, but he didn't want prying eyes anywhere near his actions, least of all this, something that could be taken in quite the wrong way...and he had quite a bit of assurance no one was watching this connection. A small, young woman with blond curls walked over with his drink, leaning over until she was about to fall out of her top, placed it on the small table beside him. "If you need anything..." She cooed, winking, "I'll just be over here working..." She sauntered over to the bar and hopped onto it, crossing her legs as she teased another customer at the same time. He barely resisted the urge to bury his face in a free hand. I bet you'll be working... he thought, inwardly groaning. Why, oh why, did women see fit to do such things to him? Wedding bands really don't mean anything anymore. He took a sip of the red Sambuca and smiled slightly. At least some things didn't change.
"A minor threat to the Johto region. They seek to find you, among other things."
That's what Cyrus had said. Even with Giovanni having a 'bad feeling' about him, he could not ignore this statement, even if it might be false. It was bad enough few trusted him already, if Team Rocket's remnants came around...
No, that could not be allowed to happen. It would not be allowed to happen. He quickly entered in a long address into the browser...
And there it was. The Team Rocket Mainframe. It looked like a normal site right now, but that's how he had designed it. It looked just like he remembered it, even down to a few signature flourishes he had embedded. It looked like no one had changed anything. Of course it asked for a password, even this level, and....yes, his old override password was correct. Into the true mainframe it went, and immediately it was apparent they were becoming more than a 'minor' threat. Experiments at a lake, plans to sell Slowpoke Tails...
Suddenly, a marquee displayed across the top of the page. "Password accepted...Sir, we have awaited this day! With your return, we can only aim beyond our dreams!"
“Oh, Merde...” They had anticipated this. As quick as he could, he found one of the few security holes he had put in, in case the mainframe had to be taken down. This wouldn't stop them, or destroy it, but it would stall...hopefully enough before the Rockets undoubtedly watching out for this could track him. A few keystrokes later, and the malicious code went straight through. He powered the laptop down manually, and sighed as it switched off. Not what he had anticipated. Good lord, I've gotten careless...
He quickly downed the Sambuca, and, paying, left as quickly as he could.
The night had become unusually chilled, and he wrapped his trench around him as he rounded a corner. It was then that he became aware of a shadow behind him. No, more than one. He couldn't help but smirk. Oh, did they really think that Sambuca had done anything to him? If it was what he suspected, he could handle such easily. He turned another corner...and this time, he ended up at a dead end. Not what he had wished, but if they followed...he would be ready. And continue to follow they did, blocking the one exit out.
“Giovanni Moretti.” One said, “How about that...one of the richest guys in Kanto, and the leader of Team Rocket, shows up here, in FDC, of all places.”
“You've got a nice sized bounty on you in some circles, sir. Taking you to the police would be enough to clear most charges against a guy.” One of the others said. Even with his back turned to them, he used the shadows and sounds to calculate their number. Four, it seemed. Hmph, he had faced worse.
“Well, gentlemen,” he began, his smirk growing, “I'm must say I am surprised to know I have a bounty. Seems leaving riches and Team Rocket behind has netted me a few enemies. Tell you what, young men. Leave me be, and I will forget that we even had this conversation, that this night even took place.”
“What?! You insane, old man? Do you know HOW high that bounty is? Fuck no, we're not letting you go!”
He could hear them slowly approach, and he chuckled, reaching into his pocket for his Poke balls, one of which he dropped to his feet noiselessly. “Then you leave me no choice but to defend myself, sirs.”
One of them laughed, “Old man, you seriously think you can fight us off?!” And they rushed in.
“Yes, in fact, this old man thinks he can 'fight you off' easily!” He spun around, kicking the ball through the small crowd of them, to the other side, and the ones in the back yelped as Notte appeared and smacked them with Steel Wing. Giovanni rushed the other two, blocking their attacks and countering with his own. A knife barely missed his arm. A punch connected with his chest, as his own returned the favor. Notte dove at them, despite his yelling between attacks to flee. While they attempted to stab and punch, his own knives flew through the air. It was a chaos of movement, noise, and flashes of steel. Even with only a few to fight, his attention was completely in this. This was no mere friendly brawl taught at the Academy. This was possibly to the death.
He had managed, in his carelessness that evening, to miss one in his count, and as he knocked one man to the ground, he felt a sudden, excruciating pain on the back of his head. His vision blurred immediately, his ears rung, and it took every bit of strength not to stumble forward. Notte cawwed to his 'father', and screeched at his attackers. The men covered their ears, leaving Giovanni just enough time to retaliate. And he was more than happy to. He punched the one behind him in the gut, and slung him into his friends. Down they went, in a sprawl of bodies, and he grabbed the nearest one by the throat and shoved him against the wall. The man tried to gasp for breath as the others scrambled to help him, but were forced back and subdued by Nidoking, who Notte had just released.
Take his life...let it be a lesson to them, a far off part of him said, It's no more than they deserve.
Kill him for thinking to stand against you,
for trying to stop you from finding them.
It was that last thought that saved the attacker's life. Was he any better than they if he killed this man? Was he any better than he had been a year ago if he did?
No...I am not.
He instead punched him across the face, and threw the now-unconscious man to the ground.
When he spun around, he saw that they were defeated, all of them. And then that excruciating pain in his head came back and his knees buckled as the adrenaline wore off. Nidoking ran over, catching him as carefully as he could. His vision tunneled, and the ringing grew to the point he could barely hear himself ask Notte to guide Nidoking to the hospital, could barely make out Nidoking nodding, and barely heard himself say 'good boy', before passing out.