Characters: Giovanni's secretary
Summary: Sadism is all in a day's work.
Notes: So I'm pretty sure this is the first one-shot anyone's ever done about Giovanni's secretary from Best Wishes. This was a blast to write and I hope you all have as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Thanks to The Great Butler, Bay, and Yoshi 12370 for their help betaing my story.
Today is going to be interesting.
At a hardwood desk in a small office nestled within the hallways of the top floor of Team Rocket's main headquarters, a woman around the age of 25 typed those words into a document, marked down the date by them, and looked them over. She had straight purple hair, cut in bangs that ended just above her burgundy eyes framed by a pair of wireframe glasses, wore a perfectly pressed uniform she'd prepared last night right before going to bed. Her nails were manicured into perfectly rounded tips, painted a matte shade of mauve that matched the colors of her uniform. Not a thing about her was out of place.
The secretary not only liked things perfect, she demanded it. Including her typefaces.
This would not do.
A swift move of the mouse to a dropdown menu, a click, a carefully calculated turn of the scroll wheel. The words Times New Roman in white on a blue background. The words now formatted to her satisfaction, she manuevered her cursor to the floppy disk shaped button on the corner of the screen - such arcane technology, she mused to herself, why ever do we still acknowledge it? - saved and closed it- StatusReportMarch2011.doc- then wrote a memo to herself to change the default font on her computer as soon as possible (in spite of that green-haired shrill in Human Resources' protests).
Another small victory in what would doubtless be a long day of battles.
She looked her desk over. Of course everything was laid out. It always was. It always had to be for her.Yesterday's assistant had done well - quite well indeed, if she should say so herself.
They always do, in the end.
Today's assistant, however, was late. And this, this, too, simply would not do. She drew a fountain pen from the drawer of her desk and put it to the piece of paper from a dark blue file folder. The pen was black. Blue was an inefficient color. Blue spoke of reports that you might just be able to turn in a little bit late, and a little bit late was never okay. Blue spoke of the kind of office workers who signed things with Have a nice day, who tolerated foolishness of any kind, who pushed and pushed what they wanted with memos and notes instead of simply demanding it and refusing to take no for an answer, and used Arial Black- Arial Black, for Rayquaza's sake- on internal documents. She was not that worker.
The secretary prepared to write up a scathing report on the tardy subject, when a knock sounded on her office door.
"Come in," she said, emotionlessly.
The door opened, very slowly, and a male, she would guess in his late teens to early twenties, reluctantly looked in, then entered. She looked him over. You could learn so much from first glances.
Grunt uniform. Shaggy red hair. Freckles. And based on his entrance alone, completely spineless.
The secretary put down her pen, disappointed. The things she'd planned to say about this one... And yet...
This will be a fun one.
"Miss?" he said, his voice shaking a little. "I'm your assistant today?"
A sense of satisfaction came over her. Less than two minutes in and he was already terrified. Of course that was how it should be. The secretary prided herself on this. Everything around her was carefully calculated to intimidate and inspire a mix of respect and fear, but mostly the latter.
"Yes, yes, I'm aware," she said dismissively. "You are approximately-" she checked her watch- "three seconds late, assistant."
"Miss, my name is-"
"Assistant," she said.
"Perhaps I didn't make myself clear enough," she said. "You. Are. My. Assistant," she snapped, each word coming out short and clipped and precise enough that the grunt shivered. "And you'll do well to remember that. I'm a busy woman, I don't have time to memorize the names of the worthless wastes of oxygen that pass through this office as assistants."
"Yes ma'am," the grunt said, finally taking his predicament seriously.
Good, the secretary thought, he's a fast learner. Too many of her assistants were the type to pass off the things they'd heard of her from the Team Rocket rumor mill as merely gossip.
The enigmatic woman known only to most Rockets as "the secretary." Her title (nickname?) itself shortened from "Giovanni's secretary" but the first part of that was a possessive, and it was clear from her cold, calculated demeanor that the business with the boss was merely a formality, if not a means to her end.
Given that her realm of expertise seemed to go beyond mere secretarial duties and frequently into near commander positions, she was clearly something more. The woman who could bring even the most hardened agent down to a pathetic twitching mess with a well placed glare and some carefully chosen words, the one office worker feared so much that to work with her was a punishment for failure. According to the rumors, she was an expert assassin in the past, but grew bored with assassinating the body and chose to move into the field of assassinating the spirit, because she enjoyed the challenge.
She wouldn't confirm or deny any of these rumors. A lot of them- most of them- were true. And the rest served to help her maintain her aura of mystery and intimidation she kept and nurtured like one would a rare rose specimen. Her appearance, her office, painstakingly straightened and lit with the most efficient fluorescent lights, her tone of voice, all of it she had carefully calculated to maximum terrifying effect.
While misanthropy, was, in general, a required skill for anyone wishing for a clerical position within Team Rocket, the secretary had elevated hers to a fine art like some might their talents in playing an instrument or painting.
She picked up her pen and tapped it on the desk impatiently. "Well, boy. Don't just stand there."
"Ma'am, I was sent here because I was told you were-"
"-in need of an assistant to fill in today, right?" she interrupted, a slight, terrifying, mocking giggle following those words. "Of course you were. But I think you know as well as I do why you're here." She stared at him, a stare that for a fleeting moment the grunt feared might kill him.
"...I do, ma'am?" he asked, watching the pen in her hand nervously. He'd heard she filled them with ink laced with poison, a holdover from her supposed assassin days. He didn't want to take any chances.
"Don't play dumb, boy. You were sent here because your commander was sick of dealing with your idiocy and knew a day with me would put the fear of Arceus back in your heart."
Oh lord how did she know, the young man thought, remembering the whole Cerulean incident quite clearly now, and the regret he had following it quickly resurfaced. How did she know how did she know how did she know.
The secretary sat back in her chair, pleased with her work. Ten minutes in and already he was broken. "Yes, boy. That one. The one with the Digletts. And the bottle of ink and the newspapers and the stray Skitty. Quite embarrassing."
He began to visibly sweat now, as she smirked at him.
"I'LL DO WHAT YOU WANT, MISS, JUST PLEASE STOP BRINGING... THAT... UP!"
Being Giovanni's right hand woman in the office had its advantages. Like full access to every agent's records and reports. A little homework the night before and the secretary was armed with a day's worth of ammunition to use against her hapless victims whenever the situation called for a little more humiliation to... motivate... them.
"Good, you're figuring out how things work around here. Now. I require caffeine before I can get any work done. Bring me a coffee with skim milk, one sugar, dark roast. Not medium or light, dark, and I can tell the difference. Bring it to me quickly, because I hate coffee that's even the least bit cold. And then-" she waved over to a large stack of mission briefings waiting to be sorted- "I shall put you to the real work."
The grunt let all of this process for a few seconds. He suddenly longed to be back with the rest of his division, back with his commander, who, up until about five seconds ago, he had considered an insufferable hardass. For the love of all that is holy save me from the secretary, he begged in his head.
"The longer I go without my morning stimulant, the longer my work- and yours- is delayed, boy," the secretary threatened. "And when work is delayed, I get angry. And when I get angry... well, I know you better than you'd think..." She ran her fingers livingly over the file folder on her desk, the one containing everything she'd ever need to know about her new plaything.
The grunt fired off a very awkward salute, his body more forcing itself into that position than anything conscious. Self-preservation? "R-r-right away, ma'am!" he said, then scurried out to complete the task.
The secretary realized at this moment today would, indeed, be interesting. Because among those rumors that circulated headquarters about her, the one about agents being assigned to her as punishment was absolutely true. One day in her office, pushed to her standards of perfection and punctuality and excellence and they came out changed men and women. Sometimes she did, indeed, assassinate their spirits.
And the secretary loved every moment of it.