From: Shimarisu <> Subject: [PW!] [ATTN: Shard, Insanellama] Murasaki meets the Boss Date: Thursday, September 23, 1999 8:34 AM Murasaki was angry. It was one of her least favourite weaknesses. She was possibly more angry than she'd been since joining Team Rocket, and that was saying something, because she had mellowed a little since becoming a part of the organisation. In a way, Murasaki had learned to integrate better with society. Though she'd never have admitted it, indeed she couldn't even admit it to herself. The source of Murasaki's consternation was fairly simple, or at least simple for most people to deal with. She had been told to meet somebody called 'The Boss'. Now, everyone is slightly frightened at the very least, at the prospect of speaking with his or her boss. And most members of Mafia-type organisations would get on the next plane to Tahiti if told that the 'Boss' wanted to meet them. But Murasaki wasn't in any way perturbed in this sense of the word. No, she was not frightened at all. She was livid. Livid at the mere idea that there even *was* a boss. All through her life Murasaki had hated authority. No, maybe that was a lie, seeing as she'd never had to deal with authority of any kind. But she'd certainly avoided it, because all she knew was her own independence. Maybe she *was* running scared. And if she was scared, then she was even more angry at that. Fear was the *ultimate* weakness. So, she barely noticed the presence of her companions as she, Kiniro and Sneakers were ushered down a subterranean hallway. She didn't even register the suffocating windowless corridor, much as it reminded the other two of the ancient caverns of Mt Moon. She just walked along, staring at her feet until the cessation of the footsteps behind her notified her that it was time to stop. So she did, just as Kiniro very nearly walked into her from behind. The agent that had brought them to this place turned around, then left the room and locked the door behind him. Murasaki frowned. She hadn't realised that they'd even been brought to a room of any sort. She made to throw herself at the bolted entranceway to what had now become her prison, but Sneakers stopped her. "Hold on," said the Meowth. "If you want to talk to the boss, you have to use this." He indicated towards a futuristic looking computer workstation, with a big red, tantalising looking button on it. Sneakers would have loved to press the button. But he knew that if he did, the computer would link him directly to the boss. And he *certainly* didn't want that. "If you press this button," Sneakers said to the other two, "It will link you directly to..." "I *know*!" interrupted Kiniro, shoving the Meowth away from the workstation. "Don't patronise me, I've seen these things before." He leant his hand heavily onto the button, and pushed. The screen burst into life, alight with static which tried to form images as the connection was made. Kiniro sniggered to himself. "What's so funny, you damn psychopath?" spluttered Sneakers. "I'm just imagining the boss, sat there all omnipotent in his chamber, with this squeaky voice going Ring-ring-ring! Ring-ring-ring! Phone call!" Kiniro laughed. And then he stopped laughing abruptly as the image of the Boss formed on the screen. Now, Kiniro had never seen the leader of Team Rocket before, but he'd heard that nobody actually knew what he looked like, due to the fact that his face was always obscured. This was true. The Boss, now fully visible on the monitor, was sat in almost total darkness; his head bowed slightly so that his features were swamped in shadow. A Persian lay across his lap, and he stroked it almost obsessively. It was most foreboding. "You are advised not to derive amusement from my presence, Agent Kiniro," growled the Boss. "Otherwise you might find yourself in a predicament. And my kind of predicaments you'll find, are impossible to escape from. Do you understand?" "Yes sir!" Kiniro bowed. He didn't understand, but then, he certainly didn't want to - and that was sufficient. "So," said the boss. "We hear you found yourself in a bit of a situation, is that right? I have the report here." He turned his chair away from the camera, then shook some papers over his shoulder so Kiniro and the others could see them. "Now, we have no doubt that something is going on in the Cerulean area, because one of our agents just saw fit to blow up a dance hall to effect an escape. But we can't possibly say if any of the 'events'" he emphasised the word for effect, "are interconnected." Without turning the chair around again, the Boss dropped the papers onto a table beside him. "Now, you can be sure that we have sent investigators to check up on the current situation, because it seems that somebody *is* impersonating agents. If your report is indeed correct." He spun the chair around again, and glowered into the camera. Kiniro couldn't have said how... but it was *still * impossible to see his face. "IF your report is correct..." repeated the Boss. "Sir, we wouldn't lie…" Kiniro began. "SILENCE!" raged the boss. He calmed down again immediately, then motioned to his right. "We have somebody to see you." The camera panned back, so that more of the Boss' quarters were visible on the screen. A young Rocket was stood next to the boss. He looked *very* familiar. "Say hello to Kiniro here, Mondo," the Boss told the young agent. "Hi!" said Mondo brightly. "But," began Kiniro. "Yes." The Boss finalised. "Mondo appears to be well, wouldn't you say?" Kiniro didn't answer. He didn't need to, and wasn't required to, obviously - but there was more to it than that. Just how well did Mondo *know* the boss, to be allowed to speak to him in person? No wonder Mondo had been promoted so quickly. It was hardly fair... "Well then," the Boss interrupted Kiniro's thoughts, "we have to surmise that your story of an impostor is true. For now. We will check out the accounts of other agents stationed in Cerulean, and if we find the perpetrator, you may consider yourself worthy of my personal thanks. Dismissed." As the door to the interrogation room slid open, the now fuming Kiniro watched as Murasaki ran into the hallway, then made to leave himself. But there was something wrong. The image of the Boss remained on the monitor. It was no residual image - the Boss was still there, and his foreboding presence permeated the room. Kiniro turned around again to make double sure that it was right to go. "You heard me," the Boss told him sinisterly. "DISMISSED!" Almost as an afterthought he added, "The cat stays." "Wha?" began Sneakers, as Kiniro strode out into the hallway. "Stay." The voice was commanding, as if the Boss was talking to his pet. Sneakers turned around to face the screen, as the door slid shut again. He would have loved to protest, but this was not the right time. Or the right person... "Somebody," the Boss paused for effect, "Somebody in Celadon it seems, has been messing with our computer files." "I didn't..." Sneakers spluttered. It seemed that the Boss could invoke feelings of guilt in a saint. "I wasn't even in Celadon!" he mewled. "I *know*!" The Boss was angry. Sneakers decided to keep his mouth shut for a change. "I was not referring to any *pokemon* agents," clarified the Boss. "I was referring to a certain Yellow coded human, stationed at Celadon. Do you understand?" Sneakers nodded. "Anyway," continued the Boss. "We have had a complaint, and not only this, but our files concerning those two," he did not need to clarify which 'two' he meant, "have been scrambled. We have lost records pertaining to their joining of the organisation, and any missions they were involved in hereafter. I strongly object," he slammed his fist onto the deck adjacent to him, "to agents accessing their own files. Security has had to be stepped up as a result. This has cost us MONEY. Do you understand?" "But I wasn't..." Sneakers protested, then covered his mouth with his paws to prevent further outbursts. He nodded in response. "So. I want you to follow those two for a while. I want you to send reports addressed to me if they do anything strange. They may be agents from ATR. They may just be renegades, who are getting too cocky. Whichever, if that is the case we will have to do something about it. I'm trusting you, because you're slightly higher than them, and because you're a Pokemon. Pokemon live to serve humans, after all." He grinned evilly. "Will you undertake this operation?" Sneakers hardly had any choice. "Yes sir," he replied. "Well then," finalised the Boss. "Dismissed." As the door slid open and Sneakers ran out of the room, the Meowth sighed in relief. The Boss was worse than his pet Persian, and that was somewhat of an achievement. Sneakers never wanted to speak with him again, and now it seemed that he might have to. He shuddered, then took off down the corridor to catch up with his new companions. "Well then," said Murasaki, as the breathless Meowth came to a halt at her feet. "Where do we go from here?" - TBC? - Shimarisu Sent via Share what you know. Learn what you don't.