I was summoned to Giovanni's office at the gym later that afternoon. I wasn't exactly doing much anyway, but going into work on the weekend was the last thing I had in mind.
"Aisha, take a seat," my father barely glanced up from his paperwork that littered his desk.
I took up the single chair sitting in front of his desk and let my eyes trial across the elegant room that seemed so small compared to his office at HQ. The place was a mess of boxes and equipment that was in the process of either being moved back to HQ or sent into storage.
"Getting ready to hand the gym over to Agatha?" I questioned with the rise of an eyebrow.
A nod and a grunt was his only reply.
Persian quietly entered in through the double doors that had been left slightly ajar and greeted me with a nose kiss on my hand. I gave it a brief scratch behind the ears before it headed on over to its master.
Finishing what he was doing, my father sat back in his seat and allowed the giant cat to clamber onto his lap.
"Your mission last night merited more success than I had anticipated."
"That's good," I said.
He nodded, giving his Persian a stroke. "I'm resuming operations on New Island so a brand new, state of the art lab is being constructed as we speak. When it's ready I want you to oversee the project. You'll be reporting directly to me on our progress," he smiled, "While construction is taking place, the extraction of the Mew DNA has already started in the lab at Headquarters. There's enough DNA to create an entire Mewtwo army if I see fit."
"In the meantime, we're concentrating on creating something to get the original Mewtwo back, right?"
"Yes," replied Giovanni. "As we did with the original Mewtwo, my scientists are drawing back on Fuji's research and splicing the DNA with other Pokémon. This time it's Pokémon that possess strong Dark type elements such as Umbreon and Darkrai."
"Darkrai?" I shivered at the thought. "How did you get your hands on one of those?"
My father simply smirked, "with great difficulty. Darkrai is the strongest Dark type I've come across and it has a useful attack called Dark Void that is unique to its species."
I sniggered, "Oh I've been on the receiving end of that attack. It's not a pleasant one."
"I know. I watched Lance use it against you on the video playback. While Darkrai on its own isn't strong enough to stand up to Mewtwo, its attack will be perfect for our project in disabling Mewtwo in the event that it choses to run again. Which brings me to my next point," the smugness on my father's face soon dissolved into a serious scowl. "You're off your game."
I found myself taken aback by his statement. "What do you mean? You yourself said the mission was a success. How can I be off my game?"
Pushing Persian from his lap, Giovanni got to his feet and slowly walked the length of his office to his bar and poured a drink. "Aisha, I've noticed a change in you, one that concerns me greatly."
To my surprise he didn't partake of his drink, he merely strode on over and placed the glass on his desk in front of me. "Drink," he ordered.
My eyes fell on the glass, the alarm bells immediately going off in my head. His action seemed innocent enough, but I knew better. My father was a deliberate man - there was always an underlying motive behind these things.
"No… thank you," I replied slowly… carefully.
"That wasn't a suggestion, Aisha." Standing over me with a hand on his desk, he looked like a giant. "Drink."
I took the glass from the table, watching the dark liquid that rolled about over two chunks of ice. The smell alone was enough to make me want to hurl, I couldn't even press it to my lips and pretend to drink. It didn't matter anyway, my hesitation only confirmed his suspicions.
Leaning back on his desk, Giovanni crossed his arms over and pinned me in my seat with a glare so dangerous I thought it would slice me in half. "I'm not ignorant," he growled. "I watched both your mother and Delia go through this. You're pregnant."
I opened my mouth to refute him but his yell cut me off and shattered what was left of the calm.
"Don't you give me that, Aisha! Do you really believe me to be that stupid? To hope that I wouldn't find out?"
"How…?" my voice came out as nothing more than a squeak.
His face was red with fury. Fists were clenching and teeth were grinding. The entire Team Rocket crime syndicate could have fallen down around our feet and he still wouldn't have been as angry as I saw him right then. "The one thing that both you and my wife are yet learn is that I find out everything. Nothing goes on between these walls that escapes my notice."
I immediately had to swallow, suddenly worried not so much for my safety but Delia's. "Father, please don't drag Delia into this. She was only doing what she thought was right. I was the one who insisted-"
"That she not inform me? Aisha, she became a part of this when she failed to deliver that paperwork to my desk. I will deal with her later."
I couldn't look at him. I had to pull myself from his gaze and stare at the ground. "And what are you going to do with me?"
For a moment he said nothing, he just got to his feet and paced about his office, never taking his gaze off me. "You will report to the medical facility at once and have this problem terminated. Then, if you know what's good for you and your lover, you will cease your relationship at once."
"You're forcing me to have an abortion?" I was utterly mortified at his statement. I jumped upright from my chair. "You can't do that! I will not comply!"
"Then you leave me with no other option."
I went to dash from the room to avoid meeting with this 'other option' but quickly striding over to his chair, my father pressed a button under his desk and in an instant two huge thugs piled into the office.
I backed but only found myself completely overtaken as they grabbed me by the arms and spun me on my feet to face him.
Giovanni's step was slow and calculated as he approached me, his eyes taking in my now exposed and protruding stomach. The look of fury returned in his eyes and I knew there wasn't much that restrained him from taking me with his bare hands and ripping me to shreds.
Instead he made a point of plucking the Pokéballs from my waist before pulling away his jacket and clipping them to his belt. Then he turned his back to me… as though to no longer acknowledge my existence.
"Take her to the lab. Make sure the job gets done."
There was no point in fighting brute strength. Not when I had other ways of escaping Giovanni's men. We barely made it through the office door before I closed my eyes and teleported from the scene. Unfortunately, due the fact that they were holding me, they invariably came along for the ride. So I made a point of reappearing in the gym several feet in the air.
I landed on my feet and they landed on their faces.
The moment I hit the ground I took off at top speed for the gym door, my father's goons scrambling upright and taking off after me. They were quick, but I was quicker and utilizing my ability, I managed to teleport my way across the gym. I barely hit the door when suddenly a brilliant, white light engulfed me, stopping me in my tracks.
"Wha-?" I yowled.
I my limbs… I… couldn't move! Instead, and as if by an invisible force, I found myself picked up off the ground as I felt the pressure of a barrier that formed across my mind. The strange force carried me back across to the gym's centre circle where there it dropped me in a crumpled heap.
Wheezing, I rolled onto my side only to face with my father who slowly made his way down the stairs. I was aware that I needed to teleport…to get away… but… I just couldn't remember how! What had happened to me? Something had used a disable attack on me!
I struggled to conjure a psywave to hamper Giovanni's approach when from nowhere the ghost appeared and descended on me. It's horrible, dark features something that could only be concocted from my worst nightmare. Drifting only feet above my head, it watched me with two icy blue eyes, a three fingered claw outstretched and ready to do its worst on me.
"I wouldn't do that if I was you," my father met me in the centre circle, positioning himself inches from where I sat. "Not unless you want to suffer the consequences of my Darkrai friend here."
"Go to hell!" I spat at his shoes.
"You better hope that doesn't become a reality. Because by the time you meet me there I'll be running the place." His smugness turned into a dangerous leer, "This is your last chance Aisha. You will submit to me now or you will spend the rest of your miserable existence locked up in a cell and utilized as a laboratory experiment."
But I wasn't listening to him. I was concentrating my mind on my Pokéballs that sat strapped to his belt. He didn't expect the ball to break open and the red beam to explode from his waist.
My father howled, stepping back to allow the huge, red beast to land in front of him, hissing and snarling.
"Charizard! Smokescreen!" I burst to my feet just as the dark smoke cloud filled the gym and I tackled my father to the ground.
Plucking my other Pokéball from his belt I turned and bolted for my Charizard but Giovanni was on his feet faster than an eye could blink. In a single motion, he caught me by my waist-length ponytail and wrenched me backwards into him.
I screamed as my body hit his and his huge hand curled around my throat, his other came at me in the form of a back-handed slap, its force so great that I felt the R of his ring tear through my cheek. Dazed and mortified, I vainly clawed at him but it was like scraping against hard rock. I struggled to breathe… my mind becoming nothing more than a hazy mist.
I was vaguely aware of the commotion my Charizard caused… my mind so slow and sluggish that my eyes only saw flashes of red as a backdrop behind the bloodthirsty snarl of my father.
Then all at once the hand let me go… let me fall back into the floor at his feet.
"Darkrai," he sneered. "Use your Dark Void on her…"
Author's note: Aaaand that ends Volume 5!
Lance fans, I'm sorry Lance didn't feature much in this… but to make up for it, boy do I have a big treat for you in the next volume!
Stay tuned for Volume 6: Rise of the Shadow Dragon. I'm posting right after I submit this :)!