A deal with the devil
A bright, full moon glinted off a peaceful ocean. A light, ocean breeze blew through my hair, bringing with it the tasty scents of someone's food cooking at a campfire on the beach. The evening was clear and chilly- perfect for a late walk along the shore. That was not why I was there, however.
I watched the old warehouse, counting five or six shadows armed with weapons circle its perimeter- giving away the fact that this was no ordinary boat shed.
"Hurrh," the Dragonite behind me gave a throaty growl, her nostrils flaring on the back of my neck.
"Shhh," I turned, placing a careful finger on her snout. "These people are dangerous and will not hesitate at trying to harm and capture you. You'll need to wait here in the shadows. I'll slip in on my own and see where they're holding your Master. Wait here."
I left the Dragon to hide in the forest beyond the beach and quickly made my way over to the old warehouse. Two grunts watched from the roof and another three wandered around the building, making one complete circuit every few minutes or so. Caught up in their boredom, they chose to walk together and chatted noisily amongst themselves.
Keeping to the shadows, I worked my way around the building, looking for some kind of back entrance. Locating that, it didn't take me long to realise that it was locked and required a security card… one that these grunts no doubt possessed.
I cursed silently, my hand instinctively going to my empty belt. I had no Pokémon on me either…
'Think Kair… think!' I wracked my brain, slipping back into the shadows as the Rockets made another pass. They still chose to stick together, so my chances of taking them out all at once were zero.
"Hey, I gotta take a leak," as if to hear my silent prayer, one of the three stopped. "I'll be back in a sec." He disappeared into the bushes.
I waited until the other two rounded the building before carefully taking off after the lonely Rocket, who by this stage, whistled noisily as he peed on a tree.
He didn't even see the rock coming…
He fell like a sack of potatoes and quickly stripping him of his security card, hat and mask, I disguised my face and made my way into the building.
The warehouse seemed so much bigger on the inside, and no matter how quiet I tried to be, my footsteps still echoed. It was dark and smelled of a mix of engine oil and sweat. Large, black shadows of trucks and other machine equipment loomed over me, which I used to hide in amongst every time I sensed another presence.
A light illuminated from an office at the top of an old, rickety staircase. I could hear the low murmur of voices, as if to be in a meeting of sorts - my father's voice included in the mix. He was in a meeting with his executive staff, no doubt.
I headed in the opposite direction, soon locating a small hallway that eventually led into a lunchroom as well as another, smaller storeroom.
Like the back door, the storeroom was locked. I swiped my key card, watching the pad blink green before heaving a sigh. And with a hiss the door clicked open.
"Sir," the grunt entered the meeting, standing officially, nervously watching as Giovanni's elite broke conversation and focused their attention on him.
The Boss gazed up from his paperwork, tapping an impatient finger on the table.
"We have a visual. She has accessed the storeroom."
His figure sat hunched over a chair, gagged and bound. A single spotlight hovered over his head, revealing the treatment he'd already endured to all who entered.
"Lance!" I let out a gasp, seemingly leaping the distance between us.
His face was bruised and raw and a string of bloody dribble escaped his lips. I tugged at his bonds, pulling him free and letting him drop from the seat into my arms on the floor.
"Lance," I gently pulled his head upright, watching his eyes roll into the back of his head. This was all my fault! I brushed a stray stand of hair behind one ear, my hands running over his face. "Lance, wake up."
"Kair?" his voice was barely auditable. He swallowed a bloody lump in his throat. "You came for me?"
"Come on, you need to get up," I urged him to his feet, letting him use me for support, though his body was deadweight and we only made it as far as the door.
"Shit," I cursed. What was I going to do?
"Lance, come on." I gripped the door frame and he slid to the floor beside me. I let him take a moment to come back around.
"Kair?" He only just seemed to register me again, his eyes blinking, he somehow found the strength to pull himself upright.
"Lance, we need to move. We're still in the heart of Team Rocket. I don't know how much time we have."
He managed to pull himself to his feet and together we staggered back through the building, keeping to the shadows. We made it to the main part of the warehouse, hiding in between trucks and machinery before all at once every light in the building blinked on. We stopped in our tracks, our location being made clear to everyone there.
And there he stood, surrounded by a dozen men, watching us.
"Giovanni," Lance hissed, suddenly finding his own strength.
My father's lips creased into a smirk, his face cool and calm. "How did I figure you would do this, Kair?"
I swallowed, choosing to bridle my tongue and say nothing. This was a trap!
"I want to make you an offer. You want your boyfriend to live? I'm willing to give him that freedom, if you like." His eyes searched me.
I shifted on my feet, my mind reeling through the possibilities but soon came to the conclusion that there was no other way out. He had me completely cornered.
"What's the catch?" my voice was barely a squeak.
"The catch is that you must come back to Team Rocket and stay. You will not attempt to make contact with this man. You will never see him again."
"Kair, don't-" Lance went to speak, but with a raise of my hand, I cut him off.
"And you promise not to hurt him. To let him go home?"
"So long as he chooses not to meddle in our affairs again."
For the sake of Lance's safety, there was no other way. If I fought this, they would certainly kill him.
I didn't even hear the rumble until it was upon us…
BOOM! The roof over our heads smashed, giving way to the giant Dragonite. Everyone in the building instinctively ducked, diving out of the way of the falling debris.
It all happened so fast that I didn't even register it. In a single swoop she grabbed both me and Lance, and took off through the hole in the roof before my father's men got the chance to retaliate.
The full moon drifted high in the sky, its reflection shimmering brightly on the ocean.
We sat on the beach some distance from the warehouse where Dragonite had chosen to set us down.
Now very much awake, Lance nursed his wounds, chuckling lightly at the worried nudges of his Dragon as she sought his reassurance.
"I'm alright. Its ok," he smiled, stroking her on the nose. "Thank you. You saved us Dragonite."
I pulled my legs into my chest, heaving a sigh and glancing back in the direction of the warehouse. It was nothing but a tiny glint on the horizon but I knew I had no other choice.
"I have to go back," my voice was flat and devoid of any strength. "He is right, you know."
Lance spun, his strong spirit quickly returning to him. "We need to get you into hiding, Kair."
But I shook my head. "I can't, Lance. He will find me. Team Rocket is everywhere. And besides, in case you haven't noticed, in the outside world, I'm a wanted criminal."
"You can't become one of them," he protested, pulling himself to his feet and stopping me from moving. "We'll find another way."
"Lance! Don't!" My shout even caught me off guard.
I glared at him and his beautiful silhouette in the moonlight. His hair that waved wildly like a fire in the breeze and eyes that had that ability to see into everything. I got to my feet, following his gaze to my dark uniform and the red R that glinted in the moonlight.
"You risk your life every time you infiltrate Team Rocket. You yourself know how huge this organisation is. If I go back and by some miracle, set things right, then I am next in line to inherit Team Rocket. It's the only way it can go down."
But he was set on fighting me. "They will change you. I've seen it. Power speaks above all else."
"Maybe it's for the better then."
I leaned over, kissing him quickly and gently before turning and making my way back through the sand dunes.
End Volume 1
Author's note: So…there finishes the first Volume of Kair's story.
Thank you so much for your comments and your patience. I wanted to get this fic out there because I originally wasn't going to make a sequel but then I got too many ideas happening…
Volume 2 is called 'The Underground' so please feel free to head on over and check it out :D!