Right now, I’m pressed against the door of some stinking motel room in Vermillion city, trying to talk some dumb-ass kid on the other side into not getting himself killed as quick as possible.

“Don’t be an idiot, Azure” I tell the kid. He doesn’t know it, but I can smell his fear from over here. He can’t tell, but I know he’s got two friends with him. Little pack of smart-asses, holed up in some seedy motel, pokeballs in hand. They probably think they can take us.

This is definitely not the way I thought I’d spend my Saturday morning.

“You take one step, man! Just one step and you’re dead! I ain’t leavin’ til I get my money, you hear?” the kid shouts, near-hysterical. I can’t see him, but I know that he’s looking back to his buddies, seeking some moral support. I could just point my gun at the little seeing hole on the door right now and pull the trigger, kill him on the spot real quick and quiet.

But Mister Giovanni wanted this to be as messy as possible. Make an example of these runts he told me. Make sure people know it doesn’t pay to fuck with Team Rocket.

“This wasn’t the deal, kid. You were supposed to drop the pokemon off at the rendezvous point, then you’d get paid. You tried to cheat Mister Giovanni out his cut and that wasn’t smart!” I tell him in my most reasonable, understanding tone. Behind me, Violet snickers. She’s heard it before, usually before I bust some poor bastard’s head in with a claw hammer.

“Hey, fuck Giovanni, man! And fuck you too, you lying bastard! No-one had told us we had to go up against one of the Elite Four in the first place! Nadia almost got killed!” the kid says and I know he’s almost crying. The ones with him, the smart-asses in his posse aren’t doing any better.

“Well, Nadia’s gonna go through a hell of a lot worse if you don’t open that door right now, you hear?” I tell the kid, as Violet moves closer to the door, cocking the gun in her hand silently.  I know that he’s tensing up right now, shaking. I can’t see it, but I can smell the sweat just trickling down his face. He’s about to break down, lash out, so I change my game:

“Come on, we can end this peacefully and you can fuck off back to Pallet Town and you can go breed Rattatas or whatever the hell it is you people do there for a living, huh?” as I’m talking, Violet’s already crouching down in front of me, out of his field of vision. I’m taking a pokeball out of my jacket pocket, expanding it with a push of a button. A second touch and my Slyther materializes at the end of the hallway, near the fire escape.

“Lavender Town.” the kid sobs. “I’m from Lavender Town. That’s why I agreed to this job.”

“That so?” I tell him, as I see my Slyther sneak along the walkway, away from my field of vision, moving to the motel room’s window. It’s only a matter of seconds before I never have to hear the kid’s voice ever again. Violet raises the gun and point at the door to where the kid’s chest must be. Then she grins up at me and points lower, aiming at his gut.

“They’d told me they wanted somebody who was used to handling this kind of shit we were going to work with, man. I was the only one who could take care of that thing those Silph bastards were experimenting on!” the kid thinks he’s such hot shit, thinking that he’s feeding me some terribly important bits of information, thinking that he’s rendering himself immune by virtue of his unique skill set.

He probably thinks that if he keeps talking, he’s going to tell me something I’d want to hear: inside corporate knowledge, the password to a Vermillion City bank account, the secret to turning lead into gold.

“How old are you, kid?”

“What?” he asks me, his little rant dead in its tracks. I can’t see it, but I know my Slyther’s perched near the window, waiting for my signal. He knows how I’m a sucker for dramatic resolutions.