Disclaimers:  I do not own Pokemon or any of its characters.  I am making no money from this.

Notes:  This is the last part before the Epilogue.  Jessie and James face off against Giovanni.


Part Seven

Jessie watched in horror as James crumbled to the ground.  His slender body was reduced to writhing as he was assaulted with
pain, which was induced by the implants that James had said were imbedded along his spinal cord.  He screamed in agony, his
body thrashing around on the ground.  Giovanni laughed at James's pain, caring nothing for the suffering that he was causing
with the remote held in his hand.

In an instant, Jessie dropped to her knees beside James, pinning his shoulders to the ground in the hopes that she could help him
. . . or at least prevent him from injuring himself.  She didn't want him hurting . . . didn't want him to suffer.  "Stop this!"  She
yelled, turning to glare at Giovanni.

"Why should I?"  Giovanni cruelly laughed.  "I rather enjoy watching him squirm like the bug he is."

Giovanni motioned to a few of the guards around him.  Those men shoved Ash, Brock, Misty, and Della toward Jessie and
James.  Now the guards surrounded them all . . . keeping them all within an impenetrable circle of brute force.  Still, Jessie's
focus was solely on James and no one else.  She barely noticed as Ash and Brock lent a hand in keeping James held down.

It ended as quickly as it had started.  Giovanni pressed a button on the remote, ceasing the assault on James.  James's body
slowly stilled, the convulsions lessening and eventually stopping altogether.  His chest heaved with his ragged breaths, sweat
plastering his hair and clothes to his skin.  He closed his eyes, struggling to take deep breaths.

Jessie set her hand against his face, brushing the hair from his eyes.  Brock and Ash moved back a bit, watching what was
going on without speaking.  Jessie merely tended to James, moving her hand along his face, doing nothing more than just being
there for him.  There was nothing else she could so to help him anyway.

When she was sure that he was getting better, when James's breathing finally grew steady and strong again, Jessie glared at
Giovanni.  "You bastard!"  She seethed, rising to her feet and helping James up along with her.  Brock steadied James from his
other side, grasping his arm and holding him upright.

"Such language, Jessie.  Do you want me to punish James again?"  Giovanni said.  "You had better learn some manners, girl . . .
you wouldn't want James to suffer for your impudent attitude now would you?"

Jessie shut her mouth and glowered at Giovanni.  She didn't want James to be made to suffer for her own attitude.  "How did
you know where we were coming?"  She asked, stilling her anger in favor of gaining some answers from the grotesque man
before her.

"I left a few devices here to monitor Della and keep watch over her after taking what files I needed from her laboratory.  She is
quite an angry young woman, so vengeful.  I couldn't have her continue with her experiments and create another subject like
young James here."  Giovanni said.  "It was by chance that I became aware of your visit here, Jessie.  When you so suddenly
showed up and stole James from me, I knew you'd have to return to your friends eventually.  It was only a matter of time.  
Took you long enough to get here though.  I was beginning to think that James had done away with you himself."

"I'd never hurt Jessie."  James stated calmly.

Giovanni rolled his eyes.  "Well, isn't that a sickeningly sweet sentiment."

"What do you plan to do with us?"  Misty asked.  On either side of her stood Ash and Brock . . . as always the three of them
never seemed to part, even in the midst of danger.

"Why you'll all lend a hand in my experiments of course.  Since James worked out so well before Jessie here interfered, I'm
going to need more soldiers for my army.  You'll do just as well as anyone."  Giovanni stated with a tone of boredom . . . as if
this meant nothing to him whatsoever.

James took a step forward.  "I won't let you hurt Jessie."  He hissed.

"Be careful, James.  This could be construed as rebellion . . . would you prefer to be punished again?"

"I won't let you hurt Jessie."  James repeated, taking another step forward.

"James, stop.  We'll figure some way out of this, don't worry."  Jessie said, grasping his arm and trying to get him to back
down.  She didn't want him to get punished again, didn't want him to have to go through all that pain again.  She just didn't want
to see him suffer at all, never again.

"Protective of each other I see."  Giovanni chuckled.  "Don't tell me the two of you have feelings for each other?"  He shook his
head.  "Well, that is unfortunate.  An emotional connection, especially a strong one, could pose trouble during experimentation . .
. I'll just get rid of the trouble here and now I think."  He held out his hand to one of the members of Team Rocket, who had
been standing nearby.  Without a word, the young man passed a firearm to Giovanni.

Jessie's eyes widened, fearing for James.  Would Giovanni use that gun to take out James?  It would solve the problem.  
However, when Giovanni aimed the weapon, she knew that James was not the intended target.  Her heart flipped in her chest . .
. fear causing it to thump against her rib cage in a panic.  Still, she was happy that James wasn't the target.

It didn't hurt like she had thought it would.  No, it was more like a heavy weight had slammed into her stomach, like a horse had
kicked her.  She didn't realize that she had fallen until she looked up and saw James above her, holding her body slightly off of
the ground.  He looked so sad . . . Jessie didn't want him to be sad.  She raised her hand, setting it against his cheek, frowning
when her fingers left a thick smear of crimson blood on his face.  It was then that the pain hit her.  She gasped, tears brimming
in her eyes.  It couldn't end like this . . . it couldn't.


"No!"  James screamed when the echoing bang of the gun went off.  He turned quickly, catching Jessie's body in his arms and
slowly lowering her to the ground.  He cradled her body in his arms, pressing his one hand over her abdomen in the hopes of
stopping the flow of blood.  Ash and the others crowded around, but James paid them no attention, not caring that they were
trying to help.

She looked up at him, her eyes glazed with shimmering tears.  She raised her hand, sliding her fingers along one of his cheeks
and leaving a smear of blood behind.  It was then that she gasped, her tears falling in streams from her pained eyes.

"Jessie?"  James whispered, watching as her eyes slowly drifted shut.  He ran his fingers through her beautiful hair, his breath
hitching in his throat as he watched her slip closer and closer to death.  He couldn't let this happen . . . it was wrong.  Despair
flooded James at the thought of living without Jessie in his life.  The images of his days with her swarmed his mind, reminding
him of everything they had shared together.  With tears in his eyes, James leaned over, his lips so close to her ear.  "I remember
you."  He said in a choked whisper, hoping that Jessie could still hear him wherever she was.

"Stop crying, you pathetic little worm!  She isn't worth the effort of emotion!"  Giovanni hissed, sneering at Jessie's bleeding
form.  "She was useless in life and the only use she'll have in death is to act as fertilizer.  It's bad enough the bitch had to go and
reawaken those erased memories of yours . . . now I'm going to have to have you reprogrammed."

James couldn't believe the arrogance of this bastard.  He gently set Jessie down on the ground, not wanting to cause her any
more pain.  With one last look at her paling skin, James rose to his feet and turned to face Giovanni.  His eyes narrowed, glaring
hatefully at this disgusting man before him.  He couldn't let Giovanni get away with what he had done to Jessie.  He had to
suffer or at the very least to die for what he had done to her.

"Grown a backbone, have you, James?"  Giovanni smirked, raising the gun and aiming it directly at Ash.  "Should I kill another
of your little friends?"  He asked.

James stood his ground, concentrating minutely and wrenching the gun from Giovanni's hands with just a thought.  He mentally
tossed the cruel instrument that had hurt his Jessie aside, not bothering to watch where it landed.  Giovanni had to pay for the
cruelty and the pain that he had caused.  "I'll see you dead for this."  James spat, clenching his hands into tight fists.
"I don't think so, boy!"  Giovanni replied, pressing the button on the remote again.

The pain crashed into James's back, climbing the length of his spine like a creature with its talons digging into flesh and bone.  
He felt as if his back was aflame, but paid no mind to it.  He clenched his teeth together, focusing his gaze on the heartless
bastard in front of him.  He would use this pain, use it to focus his mind on his objective.  He had to stop Giovanni . . . and
protect the innocents at the same time.  James wouldn't let others suffer when Giovanni was the only one that deserved to feel
his wrath.

Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed as Della fought her way through the line of Team Rocket soldiers.  Perhaps she was
running, but it mattered not . . . she wasn't an innocent here.  James remembered what Della had done to him.  If she died
today, whether by accident or by the hands of someone from Team Rocket, he would feel no remorse about it.  She had started
all of this after all.  Still, James wouldn't kill her himself . . . he only wanted to see Giovanni die.

Giovanni's eyes widened, his hands shaking as he turned the dial to increase the amount of pain that James felt.  James
staggered under the onslaught, but remained standing, pulling all of his energy together in preparation . . . he would protect Ash
and the others . . . he would kill Giovanni for his cruelty.  Despite the intense waves of pain crashing against him, he stood his
ground, not willing to give in, knowing that he had to avenge Jessie.

With a wave of his hand, Giovanni signaled his men to move in, wordlessly ordering them to put a stop to James's little
rebellious moment.  James didn't even spare a thought.  He raised his hands, stretching them out and toward the men on either
side of him.  In less than a second, he projected an impenetrable wall around himself and the others, keeping them safe from
those members of Team Rocket.

"I'll see you dead."  James repeated, turning his gaze to the remote in Giovanni's hand.  With great force, he mentally tore the
remote from the man's hand, throwing it to the ground hard enough to smash it to little bits.  The pain quickly dissipated from
James's body . . . now that the remote was broken, there was no way to control him.

Suddenly there was an oddly familiar-sounding bang.  Giovanni's eyes went wide, the color draining from his face rather
quickly.  His mouth opened in a wordless gasp, stumbling forward one, then two steps before he fell forward, landing with a
resounding thud on the hard ground.  A growing circle of blood spread out across his back, a hole at the center of the crimson

James blinked, not sure if he could believe what he was seeing.  Standing not five paces behind where Giovanni had been
standing a moment ago, stood Della Greene, the still-smoking gun clutched in a steady hand as she looked down on the dead
man at her feet.  "That's for my father, you son of a bitch!"  She yelled with a cruel smile on her face, then spat onto the corpse.

James retracted the growing force of his power, warily watching the group of men surrounding them for any sign of danger.  
One by one, the members of Team Rocket turned and ran like the rats they were . . . scattering now that their leader was dead.  
Cowards, James thought, although he did remember that he had once been a member of that group . . . not anymore, today he
officially resigned.

With a smirk on his face, James felt the wear on his body rapidly taking its toll.  The pain he had suffered only moments ago,
echoed in his bones.  He stumbled then fell to his knees, collapsing completely to the ground less than a minute later.  He was
tired, his body weary and achy.  With his last ounce of strength, he reached his hand over to Jessie's still form, taking hold of
her hand and holding it while darkness descended on him.

To Be Continued . . .