specks steven
Former Pokemon Champion.
New Team Rocket Scientist.
Fossil Maniac.
[Part of Rocket HQ]

MISSION: Mega 130 || Steven & Gary


When he’d been given the briefing, he had a very clear idea of what the mission entailed, and had actually even bothered to write it down.

When he woke up the next day, he could barely even make out the writing on his notepad, he was so tired still. Gary had taken on smoking cigars late into the night as a coping mechanism when he was younger, and by now, the habit was near-impossible to break; but staying up until 3:45 a.m. the night before a mission was definitely NOT the best choice he could have made.

Lake of Rage, Johto. Three days maximum. Possible thunder, camp out of sight. My job: catch the Gyarados. His job: do the research shit, thank Arceus.

Thank Arceus indeed. Now that he could actually make out what the notes were saying, it reminded him of how close he might have come to being stuck in a lab job; doing exactly what he never wanted to do, doing what his grandfather had done. But, he didn’t have time for that. Though he appeared to other people as a cocky person who thought he could do whatever the hell he wanted (which, he was), he was pretty respectful of deadlines, and he’d be damned if he fucked up his first mission and his re-entry into the battling faction.

Gary dons practical clothing for the occasion; cargo pants with tightly-tied hiking boots, a skin-tight black shirt and a jacket tucked away in a tiny knapsack. The sunglasses, while unnecessary, managed to tack on yet another peg of confidence to his demeanor. His team is already properly switched out and on his belt, Electivire’s ball being front and center. He had, of course, made the proper preparations when switching some team members out of the PC. It was good that he’d done it the night before, as well; now, he was rushing to arrive at the launch pad in time for the mission beginning.

He gets there to see someone older than him pacing around and reciting his name over and over again. Gary can’t help but smirk a bit. “Yep, that’s my name. Wear it out as much as you please,” he states, striding confidently towards Steven. Steven definitely reminds him of someone who would be into research. Gary puts the nagging voice of ‘I hate researchers’ aside and walks closer.

Steven looked up to find a young man walking over to him, presumably his partner. He was undoubtedly younger than him, but he seemed grounded and confident. That much was reassuring, and as the two met halfway, Steven couldn’t help but pray in the back of his mind that he wasn’t going to want to shoot his brains out by the end of this mission.

"Nice to finally meet you, Gary,” he said one last time for good measure, this time extending his hand out. “I’m Steven.” There was an eager grin forming on his face; maybe it was because he had been working in a laboratory setting for so long now or perhaps it was the fact that it had been so long since he been surrounded by wilderness - whatever the case may be, Steven was excited to jump back into nature. 

"So, would it safe to assume you’ve been fully briefed in on the mission details?" And just as he posed that question, the distant whirring of their helicopter came into earshot, it’s shadow just now beginning to form over their heads.

Recollection// Sapphire & Steven


Sapphire heard his voice almost break, the look of sheer horror on his face making her want to cry. His breathing shifted, and she could see the beginnings of what she knew for a fact would lead to a panic attack— she had had too many of her own to not know the symptoms.

"Steven, don’t— don’t panic, you need to breathe or it’ll only get worse!" She had dealt with panic attacks so much of her time here, she hated seeing Steven in such a state.

Kaylee looked between where she guessed the two humans were, her blind eyes searching while she chattered worriedly as she felt the tensions rise. Other mommy had taught her what to do when she felt this sensation with her trainer, and so Kaylee made her way over to where she could sense the most distress. She nudged against the leg to make sure she wouldn’t miss and bit down. It would always help bring Sapphire down from the beginnings of her panic attacks, and Kaylee wanted to be helpful!


Time slowed down so quickly. In a matter of seconds, Steven went from complete panic to utter astonishment. He had absolutely no idea how to respond to Kaylee. The little Deino, so innocent and caring, bit down on her trainer and instantly, Steven’s jaw dropped. He had absolutely no idea what was going on now: Why was Sapphire still alive? What was this strange Pokemon at her feet? And furthermore, why on earth did it bite her!?!?!

With obvious alarm on his face, Steven could only imagine how painful that might have been and suddenly he wondered if there was going to be blood. Oh, lord. Don’t let there be blood. I’ll seriously pass out if there’s blood

If Kaylee’s master plan was to help get Steven’s mind off of Sapphire not being dead, it worked. But now he was so transfixed on what was about to happen the nanosecond Kaylee unclenched her jaw.

Catch A Stranger | Steven & Damien


Damien followed Steven as he made his way outside, this time able to walk next to the man. But even outside he felt quite out-of-place, which he tried to cover up by looking as casual as possible with his sketchpad in hand.

As he heard Steven’s question though, a wry grin formed itself on his face, completely involuntarily. How did he answer that question without sounding stupid? Clearing his throat, the redhead at least thought he’d accept the challenge of doing so. “Last week, I guess? Got the locations of this place two days ago, arrived today. Had to walk from Goldenrod. In other words — pretty recently. Have no fucking clue how things work or anything.”


"How ‘bout you? Been here for long?"

Steven couldn’t help but laugh softly to himself; he wasn’t laughing at Damien by any means, but rather at the way he he said it. “Ah, I see” was his simple reaction, a small chuckle trailing at the end. “I actually haven’t been here for that long, either. I think it’s been… hm, roughly a month, I’d say. It feels like it’s been longer than that, though. Maybe two months. It’s a bit hard to keep track of time here, I must admit.”

Now making their way outside, Steven slowed down to catch a good whiff of the open air. Despite the shady nature of Team Rocket, they sure chose a beautiful place to set their HQ at. Situated in a valley just off of Mt. Silver, it was so easy to cross into any of the neighboring towns in each region. 

"What’s that you’ve got there?" He asked, finally taking note of the sketchpad in his hands.

Stilted Silence// Damian & Steven


Damian had to suppress a full out laugh at the look on Steven’s face as he processed his little hint—he knew he was being rash, knew this could put his plan in jeopardy, but he couldn’t resist. Taunting the former champion was giving him a much needed thrill, and the absolutely baffled look on his face was enough to bring him to a loud cackle.

Besides, from the sound of things it seemed Steven only saw him as a simple grunt and not for whom he really was— which suited him just fine.

He turned before making his way fully out of the room to shoot an overly cheerful, overly fake smile at the other man and using his most grating voice. “Ding ding, we have a winner~”

Damian moved to actually exit the room this time, knowing his next words would hopefully infuriate the former champion. “I’ll have to go find her soon enough myself, it’s been a while since I’ve had any good fun with the little bitch.” and with a chuckle he left the room, Kess letting out one last taunting bark as they went.

If he didn’t get some sort of attack geared towards him for that remark—well. He would certainly be surprised.

Damian’s cackle fell on deaf ears, Steven far too lost in thought now to hear. The idea of Sapphire still being alive was haunting - exciting, but definitely more haunting. Why was she alive? Or better yet, how was she alive? The same questions were swimming around in his head now and the longer they stayed unanswered, the more frustrated Steven got.

What?” Steven’s jaw dropped, unable to process what the ex-Magma grunt had said about her. Calling her names was one thing, but having fun with her?  ”Oh, no.”

Enough was enough.

"You’re not leaving ‘til I say so. Metagross!" Already anticipating the command, the steel-type’s eyes flashed and in a matter of seconds, a purple glow emanated all around Damian, his body now rising above the ground and soaring backwards through the open doors. Quickly, though carefully, Metagross maneuvered Damian back inside and left him hovering in front of Steven, the two once again at at eye-to-eye.


MISSION: Mega 130 || Steven & Gary


Location: Lake of Rage, Johto

Time Allotted: 3 Days (three)

Mission Details: Take a helicopter to the Lake of Rage in EastNorNorthern Johto and station yourself there. Don’t be seen. Avoo Avoid camping too close to the water’s edge; possible thunderstorms in forecast. Once there, proceed to capture a Wild Garyadose (spelling?). Be wary of temper, possible horde encounters, and scale. Garridoos from there tend to be larger and more powerful than most out from sea; proceed with caution. Once captured, equip both the Key Stone and Gyaradosite (spell check this one too) in order to initiate the Mega Evolution process. FILM THE EVOLUTION OR ELSE THE RESEARCHERS WILL MURDER US!!!!!! Once evolved, return to HQ as quickly as possible WITH the Mega Geryadios. Make sure to clear the grounds or destroy any evidence that you were there.

Partner: Gary Oak. Native of Kanto. Age unknown. Battler. Full party of six, well-seasoned. Let him worry about capturing the Garyoakados, you prioritize the handling and caring once caught. Oversee the Mega Evolution process and keep tabs on the Key Stone and Gyaradosite. Judgement call on note-taking. He battles, you do the research. DON’T LOSE/BREAK THE STONES OR WE’RE ALL DEAD.

Wow, Steven. You wanna learn how to spell?

Now just a few minutes prior to his scheduled departure, Steven was hurriedly studying his notes from the mission briefing. As he paced back and forth across the Rocket launch pad, he couldn’t quite figure out why he was worrying so much about memorizing his notes; the instructions had been made pretty clear and it’s not like his notes were going anywhere, anyway. And yet, for some unknown reason, Steven found himself getting just a tiny bit antsy. Thank Arceus he was alone on the rooftop.

"Gary Oak, Gary Oak, Gary Oak…," he read aloud, trying to commit his partner’s name to memory. He honestly had no idea who this guy was; the briefings had been held in private and so Steven had never actually gotten the chance to meet the man he was going to be working with. And maybe that’s what was making him so anxious, the slightest buzz of uncertainty wiring him up. He wasn’t nervous, but after having paced around the vacant launch pad for about 15 minutes, he was certainly eager to meet this stranger.

And, of course, finally get this mission started.

Recollection// Sapphire & Steven


Sapphire blinked through the tears clouding her vision, his outburst at what he had thought he knew making her want to scream. That was the point, so much of Damian’s plan relied on her status of currently being dead holding up— the more people that knew she was alive the more chance that his plans could fall apart. Something that Sapphire desperately hoped for, but at the same time she couldn’t afford to let him hurt anyone she loved.

Steven was on the list of people threatened.

She wouldn’t let anyone else be hurt by this whole fucking stupid situation.

She watched him stumble back into the opposite wall, and she did her best to make her voice louder, to make it carry to him. “I was dead— for all intents and purposes, I’m dead to everyone— that’s what he made sure of, that no one would look for me—” She knew this probably made no sense to Steven, the poor man was probably confused out of his mind.

Sapphire wanted to scream with frustration, she wanted to explain everything, to make him understand it was not safe for him here, that she had lost so much just to keep him and everyone else safe! Her hands were shaking now, and she brought them up to her temple as she screwed her eyes shut.

"Y-you can’t be here, it’s not safe— he can hurt you so much easier now, I tried so hard to keep you all safe! You and R-ruby and dad— I don’t want you to get hurt because of me, I don’t know what he’ll do—”


Steven was ready to black out.

For the past, what - two, three, who knows how long? - he thought that Sapphire had been gone. She was no longer with them, and he had already worked hard to accept that conclusion. But to see her standing before him, looking like she had gone through hell and back… this was all a nightmare to him.

Growing more and more confused by the second, Steven watched with horror in his eyes as Sapphire cried out, her words serving to scare him even more. 

"Not safe?” Practically croaking, Steven found himself pressing his back against the wall, suddenly wishing he could just melt into it. Get away from here. Get away from her. Get away from this.

What on earth was going on?

Growing anxious, Steven’s heart began to pound. He could feel the colors all around him beginning to change as he slowly found his world swirling into a panic. Suddenly, the air around him grew dark and he found himself tempted to run away, simply turn his back and pretend he had just been dreaming all of this. That’s right. He’d simply spaced out during his lunch break and was hallucinating all of this. Sapphire was no longer with us, no one was really in danger, none of this was real.


Of Metal and Earth || Steven & Tabitha


It was windy, and Tabitha hated it. Normally, he was alright with a nice, strong breeze or two; in Hoenn, where it rarely got even relatively cool, especially in the Magma base and the desert where he kept his main secret base, a good breeze was the best thing to avoid dying of heatstroke- which was, all things considered, a valid possibility in Team Magma. But right now, that breeze was the one thing standing in the way between Tabitha and his lunch—because he wasn’t a savage, and Groudon dammit, he was going to cook these fucking mushrooms before he ate them.

The campfire simply did not want to light, and Tabitha had taken to hunching low over the collection of twigs as he futilely attempted to make the fire catch, swearing loudly every time the wind blew it out. A good two or three tries more and he was five hundred percent done; with a furious curse at the skies, he took one of the twigs in his hand and chucked it as hard as he could at the sun, watching it fall harmlessly to the grounds a few meters away. He supposed he could forget about the mushrooms, today. With an irritated huff, Tabitha pushed himself to his feet and turned around to stride back towards the base’s doors, sneering at a few grunts as he went along.

"The fuck’re ye lookin’ at, arseweed?!” he snapped at one.

It was that time of the day again - Pokemon time, as Steven liked to call it.

Ever since he’d joined Team Rocket, Steven had fallen into the unfortunate habit of neglecting some of his Pokemon. It wasn’t exactly his fault; it just so happened that because of his busy schedule, he was often unable to give his Pokemon the attention they deserved. He was honestly quite lucky if he could even manage to see them all at least three times a day.

To add to the complexity of the situation, he had to deal with the size of his Pokemon. He didn’t train itty-bitty Pikachu’s that could nonchalantly piggy-back on his shoulder; no, his team consisted of Pokemon like Metagross and Aggron - titans in comparison. Only about half of them were small enough to walk through the Rocket halls, and so Steven would often have to find time in his busy schedule to go outside and tend to his team. And today was no different.

Casually making his way outside, Steven had been taken by complete surprise when Tabitha turned on him; his expression startled the geologist and he couldn’t help but suddenly feel trapped, meek, and confused. “Nothing, I’m sorry!,” was his instinctive reply, unaware of the fact that he actually hadn’t done anything wrong.

Was I staring? I wasn’t, was I? Or maybe I was and spaced out… aw, man. Not again… damn it, Steven. You’ve gotta stop doing that. Oh no - he’s still here! Oh lord… please don’t kill me… damn, he’s huge. Oh lord, give me strength…


Sweet As Steel | Steven & Jasmine


Jasmine had heard of Mega Evolution, but her knowledge in the matter was extremely limited. She guessed it was a new revolution in ‘finding the true power of pokémon’, and she’d gotten a comment from a passerby once that Amphy would apparently be able to do it if Jasmine just had the right equipment. But as usual the brunette had only gotten uncomfortable in the conversation and retreated as fast as she could.

She was actually much more amazed by Steven’s way of telling her the main reason why he was there. It seemed so simple, and he didn’t hesitate before saying it. He was pursuing something. Jasmine wished she would’ve had a reason like that for joining, something that didn’t seem twisted and complex as fast as she tried to explain it without mentioning the worst of it.


"It does… sound interesting." she said after a while, turning and entering a new hallway in search for the destination. She seemed to be sure where she was going at least. "Can’t really say I… know much about it though, I’m afraid. But I… hope you can find what it is you’re looking for…"

And there she slowed down a little gesturing towards an open door. She then opened it slowly and carefully stuck her head inside to see if anyone else was there. “It seems to be… empty.” she then said and stepped in, eyes running back and forth over the room, then turning around to look at Steven. “I-Is it okay?”

Steven nodded, content with his answer. It was concise, to the point, and didn’t give away anything too personal. That much he could live with.

As the two finally came upon the training room door, Steven followed in poking his head inside and grinned. “Works for me.”

The training room here looked much like the last one he had occupied several days back. It was a large-scale room with what felt like a grated floor; over to the side was a machine that controlled the actual playing field, in the case that someone wanted to create a grassy terrain, or perhaps host an underwater battle. The technology here at one’s disposal never ceased to surprise Steven; he could only expect the very best from Team Rocket, it seemed.

Disregarding the available machinery, Steven crossed a few ways into the battle field and looked around, approving the space. “Alrighty, here we go.”

And just like that, he reached into his waist belt and tossed out six miniature PokeBalls, each of which expanded in midair and released a colorful display of flashing white lights. 

"Metagross, Archen, Armaldo, Cradily, Klinklang, and Aggron, respectively." Out came all six, each of which were summoned in a straight line beside Steven. However, as disciplined and well-refined as they might be, each of them quickly broke their first-impression behavior and began to mingle amongst eachother. Metagross took his place beside Steven; Archen clumsily ran over to Jasmine but tripped half-way there; Cradily began to tickle Armaldo with one her tentacles; Klinklang remained hovering in place, and Aggron had sprawled himself out across the floor. Yep. The very imagine of poise and refinement.

"Well… these are them," he finally said, modestly chuckling to himself as he watched Archen scurry over to Jasmine. 

Recollection// Sapphire & Steven


She knew she looked different— vastly so, her hair was shorter, her frame unhealthily skinny, bruises dotting most of her pale skin. As Steven looked he over, she realized with a pang of shock that she had rolled up her sleeves while she had been in the lab and had never rolled them back down— and she knew the handprint bruises that wrapped her wrists and forearm were dark and telling.

She stood in shocked silence, her only movement an attempt to make another step back, only for her back to meet with the wall of the corridor. Oh arceus what was Steven doing here, this was wrong, everything was wrong.

Her voice came out quiet and raspy, and she found herself unconsciously wrapping her arms around herself, nails digging into the skin on her arm so hard it drew blood. “W-what are you d-d-doing here, you shouldn’t be h-here—”


She didn’t even realize she had begun silently crying until she felt the first tear trails working their way down her face, the idea that not only Ruby but Steven was here now— her mentor, the closest thing she had ever had to a big brother— was now trapped here too was too much for her now fragile psych to handle.

Kaylee, sensing her trainer’s distress quickly made her way from Steven’s side over to the feet of her trainer, chirping in worry. Was this man bad? Was he the reason she was now scared? This confused the little dragon, he didn’t feel bad, but she knew her trainer was scared— was this man making her upset? She tried to chirp her inquiry to the young woman, gnawing on her pantleg in concern.

Steven stared at her with a horrified look on his face, unable to process any of what was going on in front of him. He was confused and scared, but also shocked and very much disturbed - he didn’t know what to do.

"I thought you were dead!" Of all the blank, run-on sentences whirling through Steven’s mind, that was the only complete thought he could get out, still dazed beyond belief. How could she be alive? And yet, what was she doing here? Nevermind what he was up to, how did she go from prevailing Champion to dead to battered in Team Rocket!? There were so many questions flying at him and not enough answers were coming up.

It was safe to assume that he was just as shocked as she was and, suddenly feeling nauseated, the geologist slowly backed up against the wall, wondering if he was going to wake up from all of this.

Catch A Stranger | Steven & Damien


Damien wasn’t entirely sure what he felt as he looked at Steven. Was the man seriously feeling guilt over this simple gesture? The redhead knew that he wasn’t the best at showing exactly what he was thinking, so maybe this was one of those moments the person who happened to stumble upon him misunderstood his feelings. Damien put his hand up as if to tell the other to stop right there. “Don’t say that. I should say thank you for not leaving me there to die or something. Thanks. Not everyone would do that for a stands who stands in the middle of the corridor for no reason.”

He walked out the elevator with a slightly softened expression, brushing some strays of orange hair away from his eyes. He hadn’t expected Steven to invite him further, and it was obvious in the mannerism he had when he stepped out, but once the question came up, he looked back at the man with a hint of curiosity.


"If it’s really no problem with you, I don’t see why not." he replied. He knew he had at least a few crumpled banknotes in his back-pocket, and learning the way to town didn’t seem like such a bad idea either. Sure, hurrying really wasn’t his way of living, but life required sacrifices. "I’ll try not to slow you down too much more."


Steven stopped and stared as Damien drew his hand up, a little taken aback by his forwardness but all the while thankful to know that it wasn’t serious - he had just been blowing a tiny problem out of proportion. What else was new?

"Great!" He said, and just like that, Steven took a step forward and had begun to make his way towards the double doors. He’d slowed his pace down by now, though, assuming it best to simply relax and live more in the moment. He also couldn’t help but chuckle softly at Damien’s tail-end joke, adding a slight bounce to his step as the two finally made their way outside.

"So, exactly how recently did you join Team Rocket?" That seemed like a safe question to ask, right?