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Not What You See

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Sem, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    ~Not What You See - AKA: TTiAYNWS (Don’t ask, you won’t get it.)

    -Prologue: Part 1-

    “Woah!” rang the voice of a young girl as she tumbled onto her back in the grass. She closed her eyes and sighed in slight frustration, spreading out her limbs as her raven-black hair splayed across the ground, surrounding her head like rays of a dark sun. She stared at the branches hanging over her head with sapphire-blue eyes that practically glowed in her pale, smooth face.

    “You have to keep practicing,” sang another voice behind her and out of her range of sight.

    The blue-eyed girl sat up, staring at the older girl behind her as she performed a beautifully fluid cartwheel, which was what she had just failed to do. She too, had dark hair, and a strong and powerful face with sharp blue eyes, almost like the younger girl’s but darker, more midnight blue. She wore simple blue sweats and a tank top that showed how powerful she really was for a girl her age.

    “I'm not a dancer like you,” the younger girl said as an excuse as she stood up, wiping dirt off of her black jeans. The older girl preformed a few more flips and cartwheels quite effortlessly, moving like water. “And that’s what you do, Lysis? This is what you practice when you go to your sessions?” The younger asked while adjusting her black hair into a single long pony-tail.

    “Yep, pretty much,” she responded, before jumping onto an old trash can, light as a feather, though she jumped off with enough force that she flew through the air towards a tree. She turned herself in one swift motion and hit the trunk with her feet. She pushed off the tree and flipped through the air, landing gracefully on her two feet before the younger girl.

    The younger girl blinked and then looked down at her feet, where a small creature was doing twirls and dancing, just as gracefully as Lysis. It was pink, and appeared to have some sort of blue hat on its head. The creature flipped through the air and landed in with a perfect bow.

    “Mime!” it called in a way that seemed it was professing it was as good as Lysis.

    “I dunno, Muku,” she said with a smile. “I think you and I will stick with our battles.”

    Lysis shrugged. “Suit yourself, Tara.” She began to walk away from the clearing. “Sticking with something you’re good at is a decent option.”

    Tara smiled once more and jogged to catch up with Lysis, who was in a slow yet meaningful stride, a stride in which she often walked; a strong stride with purpose and power.

    It was late in the afternoon, and Lysis had to go eat and then go off to another one of her sessions. The light was a blend of the white of day and the golden rays of sunset. Their feet scrunched against the dirt wilderness trail of their neighborhood, which was just outside of Jubilife in a suburb.

    “When do you think you’ll be done with these sessions? You’ve been doing them for years,” Tara asked as she watched a pair of starly in the tree they were passing; they were creating a nest together. She had asked this question before, but she was very curious as to what exactly Lysis was doing - she seemed quite secretive about it.

    “They tell me soon, that my training’s almost done,” Lysis responded calmly, as if all she had worked towards for years was just a little thing.

    “And you can’t tell me what it is you’re doing," Tara replied, it wasn't a question.

    “No, unfortunately…”

    "Mm…" Tara nodded, kicking away a small stone. “I had another dream last night,” Tara stated. “I was in that combat outfit like before, holding guns, like I was on some secret mission,” Tara closed her eyes as she walked, recalling the details very vividly as if it were a memory instead of a dream. The dreams were invigorating and intense, and she certainly enjoyed having them, even though some of them turned out to be quite dark. Muku was less than thrilled with them for one reason or another.

    “You have some funny dreams, kid,” Lysis laughed lightly, showing her teeth through an amused grin.

    “I guess so,” Tara laughed as well. “It’s fun to pretend I'm like a secret agent or something, though.”

    “Pfft, wish you were,” she chuckled. “Wouldn’t that be amazing?”

    They continued their walk in silence until they reached Tara’s house, which was small and simple, light blue paint with a gray roof.

    “See you tomorrow,” Tara nodded her head as she began to stroll up the walkway.

    “Yeah…” Lysis replied in a disconnected fashion. Muku the Mime Jr. had ceased his dancing and stared into Lysis’ eyes with a serious gaze, which she returned. Before Tara could notice he had stopped he turned away and pranced across the cement towards the front door.

    -------

    Tara Valens. That was her name. She was about eleven now, almost twelve and she, like many kids her age, had aspirations to become a powerful battler using Pokémon. She was well on her way 0 she had Muku, whom she had had with her since before she was walking, and also Namoraw, her Tentacool and fierce protector, whenever he was able, of course: he had certain handicaps on land.

    She was sharp for her age, and an excellent battler already, she was among the top in her school, and very respected for it, as well as very much loved by most of the students, due to her friendly and calm characteristics.

    She was going to be allowed to leave for her journey after her twelfth birthday, which was no more than one month away. She would graduate from her school with top marks and grades in all areas, which was a requirement by her parents. She was by no means the smartest student in the school, but she studied when she needed to and paid attention. She spoke more maturely than expected, due to the time she’s spent with books and listening in to older people talk. She also watched the battling channels religiously, and tried to catch them live when she could. Her parents treated her with tickets to see the Sinnoh League battles for her eleventh birthday. The battles she witnessed only added fuel to her fire.

    Her parents were loving and nurturing, and cared for her however they could, and she was glad to have them; she knew not everyone was so lucky. Tara also had her close friend, Lysis, whom she had known for quite some time now. Tara was an only child, but figured that if she were to have an older sibling, she would wish for them to be like Lysis. Lysis wasn't all that gifted in the area of battling, but she made up for it and then some when it came to athletics, especially in the past few years. Though, through that time she had become more distant - she always seemed pre-occupied with other things, like her head was in too many places at once. Lately Tara had felt that Lysis felt guilty for not spending as much time with the girl as she should.

    And then there were the dreams.

    Tara always found them silly in the end, and a bit funny. She would envision herself as some operative, doing various tasks, many seemingly by magic. Like she could vanish and then appear elsewhere, and she could do amazing athletic feats. And the guns. Tara was like an ace marksman, hitting every target on the nose, usually a person trying vainly to stop her with guns of her own. There was a very creepy Haunter that, well, haunted her shadow, helping with the many missions. There were countless other things, and Tara remembered them all perfectly, as if she were actually there and as if they had been real events.

    Tara laughed to herself whenever she remembered them, which was surprisingly often. The only person closer to her than Lysis was actually a Pokémon, Muku.

    Muku the Mime Jr. was a strange thing. He was always moving, trapped in some sort of un-ending performance that only recessed when he needed to sleep. Despite his small body and cute face, Muku was no weakling; Tara had known him for a while, and they had begun training very early, as soon as Tara was able to grasp the concept of battling. Muku could easily pull off multiple powerful moves, and used them effectively in battle. He was mocked at first in Tara’s school, but soon Muku was also respected, and adored by every student, perhaps more popular than Tara herself. He certainly did like to let it all go to his head.

    They were both extremely close, Tara discovered early on that they could communicate using Muku’s psychic abilities, and they did so often, in fact they were always connected now. They always knew what the other was feeling and what they were thinking. It was a very sacred thing that Tara treasured above all other things; it was unbreakable.

    Tara Valens. That was her name, and this is part of her story.

    -------

    Gasping and yelling fill the room. Sheets tangled and everything felt like it was being smothered by a thick force. Tara awoke in a cold sweat and was clenching savagely at her bed sheets, her body writhed. Her head, it hurt so much, like thousands of things were being forced into it. She had a dream, another dream, but something wasn’t right. The pain, it hurt so badly. She let out another scream as she thrashed about.

    She felt Muku’s tiny hands grasp onto her head, she felt his mind and his power pour over hers so intimately, pushing back whatever was causing her discomfort. She felt waves of psychic energy wash over her as the pain attempted in gnash back in utter revolt. The pain began to grow, as if it had a mind of its own and shuddered at the idea of being locked away. Muku focused harder, realizing he would need to use a stronger power. Slowly but surely the tiny psychic made the pain cease, as if he had locked it away somewhere deep in Tara’s mind, holding it in with the only thing strong enough to hold it back. Tara muttered something and then fell back to sleep, soothed by Muku’s aura so thoroughly it was like she had never awaken at all.

    The door opened and the girl’s parents rushed in, asking what was wrong, but they too were soothed by Muku and they returned to their beds, as if nothing had ever happened.

    -------

    “Oh, congratulations!” Tara heard as she was smothered in an embrace of both her father and mother.

    “Thank you,” she said softly, her cheeks burned red.

    “You’ll be an great trainer,” her father stated as her put his hand on her shoulder.

    “I won’t just be great, I will be excellent,” Tara nodded.

    It was only a few days after her eleventh birthday and she and her family were outside on the lawn of their home. The sky was clear and the sun was bright, warming the chill of the March morning. The grass was greening and new leaves were already budding on the bare branches left by winter. The air was brisk and fresh, Filling Tara with energy and readiness to begin her journey.

    “You’ll keep in touch, right?” her mother said with a tinge of worry in her voice.

    Tara looked away from her black and blue PokéDex as she put it away, looking at her parents with her bright, sapphire eyes. “Of course! Though, I’ll mostly talk about how much I miss your cooking.”

    “We want you to know how proud we are of you too, and we’re always here if you need us,” her father informed.

    “I know, dad,” she said through a smile as she looked down at her feet. “I better get going if I want to at least be on Route 203 by tonight.”

    “I guess so…”

    “No one else to say goodbye to, already said goodbye to my school friends… Well… wish me luck, and see you later!” Tara waved with a bright smile on her face as she walked down the walkway and turned onto the side walk. With one last look at her parents, their eyes glistening, she walked forward, with Muku skipping along after her with a wave to her parents.

    “We’ll miss you too, Muku!” her mom called after them with a laugh.

    Tara walked towards the sky-scrapers that loomed ahead, marking Jubilife for all around to see. She decided against a bus into the city, figuring she’d go on foot the whole way.

    “This is it, Muku,” she said, her pale face aglow in the pale light of morning. Her long raven-hair shone in the light as it flapped against her back. A plain black jacket shielded her from the cold and she stepped confidently in her black and blue-checkered shoes. She told herself she was ready for any challenges that lay ahead, however difficult. Though, an ominous thought from somewhere deep within her head questioned whether she actually was ready for all she had dreamed.
     
    #1 Sem, Jul 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  2. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    -Prologue: Part 2-

    “Dodge it!” a voice yelled, pointing her arm away from the incoming attack. Her senses were wired and she could feel the adrenaline rushing through her veins, blocking out the constant roar of the enormous audience around her, watching her perform against an equally skilled battler, and ignoring the biting cold of the night as it penetrated through her black jacket.

    Her Pokémon, a moth-like creature with yellow wings with blue markings, veered to the left, flapping its wings vigorously.

    Their opponent, a strange creature that was green, with powerful legs and a mushroom atop its head, barely missed landing a crackling punch with its extendable arms.

    “And Mothim moved just in time to avoid Breloom’s Thunderpunch!” the announcer boomed into his microphone from his perch high above in a glass box, able to watch the battle from every angle.

    “Excellent job, Sefer,” she nodded. “Give Breloom a taste of your Bug Buzz!”

    With a simple nod, the moth-Pokémon faced Breloom and began to make his wings vibrate. It was slow at first, the wings appeared fuzzy and a soft hum rang in the battlers' ears. In only seconds the vibration increased to a rate so fast that it seemed as if the Mothim’s wings were not moving at all, and the hum grew increasingly loud as the scales on the wings rubbed against each other, so loud that anyone on the field and even a few people in the stands could hear it just above the bellowing of the masses.

    “I can’t hear that Bug Buzz up here, folks, but Breloom sure can!”

    And indeed, Breloom heard it first and was most affected - it clenched its eyes and shuddered as its body was racked with wave after wave of increasingly loud buzzing and humming, making it hard to concentrate at all.

    “Don’t take that!” its trainer yelled, a tall male with short blond hair. “Give it a Mach Punch!”

    Breloom moaned softly but at once righted itself, two muscular legs rigid. It jumped incredibly high, out of the direct way of the sound waves of Sefer’s Bug Buzz. It flipped through the air and landed some dozen feet away and again used its legs and charged forward in a flash. Before the girl even knew it, Breloom’s attack had connected, sending her Mothim rolling through the air.

    “Ooh, and Mothim is hit by a nasty Mach Punch, what speed!”

    “Stop yourself with Confusion and counter that with Silver Wind!”

    Sefer stopped immediately, faintly surrounded in a psychic aura, before flapping his wings intensely, starting up a wind tunnel that launched itself at Breloom, bringing with it spores and dust from his wings.

    “Follow it up with Air Slash!”

    With a new sense of vigor, Sefer dashed forward at an impressive speed itself and slashed at the air with its wing, sending a blade of condensed air spinning towards Breloom, who had just taken a hit from Silver Wind. It was knocked back by the super-effective attack, but was by no means out of the game.

    “Whoa, what a combination of Silver Wind and Air Slash!”

    “Finish it now!” Breloom’s trainer shouted.

    Breloom nodded and jumped into the air once more and spun, so that it smacked the arena floor forcibly with its powerful tail, causing a network of cracks to spread and decently sized chunks of floor to temporarily fly into the air. In one swift motion the grass-type jumped into a flip, using the momentum from its tail-slam, and arched through the air towards the stone, kicking it with all its might towards the Bug-type.

    The boulder shot through the air like a bullet and hit Sefer head-on. The moth soared through the air along with the boulder, unable to escape, but was returned in a flash of red before he was crushed between the boulder and the wall of the arena.

    “And that's it, folks!" the voice exploded. "Finished by a Stone Edge attack! This battle goes to Jeffrey Allan!"

    The proclamation cued the thousands to scream at the top of their lungs.

    “Jeffrey will get to move on to the next round, and this marks the end of Tara Valens’ streak, but she put up a great fight and should be honored to have made it to the top four of the Sinnoh League!”

    Applause and congratulations rained down on Tara as she stood on her side of the field with Sefer’s ball in hand and an exhausted Muku on her shoulder, patting her on the back as he smiled. Tears fell onto the ball as she put it away, and she waved at the crowd with her glittering blue eyes as she walked out of the arena.

    Her footsteps soon became the only noise in her ears as she exited the stadium. It had taken her about three years to get this far, and though sad she was not able to go farther and take the title of ‘Champion’, she was glad to have been able to get as far as she did and was not angry, and she was sure her parents were proud of her. She was proud of her partners, her friends, because she wouldn’t have gotten far at all without them.

    “So that’s it, huh, Muku?” she sighed and cracked her neck. “Seems a bit like a dream doesn’t it?”

    “Mime…” Muku responded quietly.

    They walked silently to the Pokémon Center that served the trainers during the League, which was on its own island, away from the main Sinnoh continent. When she arrived she was greeted by the nurse, who congratulated her upon her entrance into the facility, the sounds of the next battle blared on the flat-screens.

    “Thanks,” Tara nodded and one by one placed her Pokémon into the tray that awaited her on the counter. She took time to look at each one, recalling how each of them preformed during the match and during her journey as a whole. She was lucky to have them, and treasured each one. She returned the tray to the waiting Joy.

    “Your Mime Jr…” she frowned a bit, nodding towards Muku.

    “Don’t worry about this crybaby,” Tara said with a playful bite of her lip. “He’ll stay with me,” she replied softly and walked away, leaving the center.

    She did not go to her lodging house, instead she took a cobble-stone path that led her down to the beach.

    The grass glowed with a soft blue under the light of the shining moon; the sand was silver, like stardust. She removed her shoes at the end of the path and walked into the beach, following the seductive sound of the crashing water.

    She sat on the sand before the black waves, staring at the stars above her and enjoying the silence of nature around her. Muku hopped off of her shoulder and sat in the sand as well, mimicking her exact position.

    “What do you think we’ll do now, hm?” she asked as she turned her gaze away from the stars above to the horizon, not visible as it melded with the ocean. “We’ll go back home for now, I suppose, but I couldn’t stay there for long. We have to start somewhere else, somewhere new.”

    There was silence between them again for the next few minutes; they simply basked in the closeness of each other.

    “We grew a lot though, didn’t we?” she remarked. "Learned a lot about ourselves…”

    She closed her eyes as an image of a large, bright star appeared in her head, courtesy of Muku.

    "Oh, you," she flicked his nose with a smirk. Drawing her knees up to her chest she put her arms around them. “You think that’s what I am to people? A light?” she asked after a moment.

    “Mime,” Muku nodded in agreement, playing with the sand.

    "Yeah, well, I'm not much of anything without you around," she said sincerely, putting her hand on his small back and smiling. "Gods, I hate this emotional stuff," she sniffed, staring back at the horizon.

    Her companion only giggled as he got up and began dancing.

    -------

    Tara and her family were given plane tickets home, courtesy of the league, after they had attended the award ceremony and the banquet that followed after the final battle.

    Tara had received a silver ring, with a small blue stone embedded in its glazed surface. Tara Valens – Top Four was engraved on the inside in beautiful lettering.

    The plane ride was short, made even shorter by a mediocre in-flight movie. The airline food also wasn’t too great. Her parents could not stop talking about how proud they were of here that she made it so far, which, while nice, made Tara wish that they would stop. Parents will be parents, she supposed.

    The plane landed in Jubilife after only a few hours, it was afternoon, and Tara felt a rush of memories during the drive back home. They passed her school, as well as common spots where she would get together with other kids.

    She started to recognize houses as they drove into the neighborhood, all different in their own way and home to their friends and neighbors. One particular house sparked her interest for no particular reason, and she felt a tug at the back of her mind as they passed it. A moment later they were pulling into their driveway and into the garage, and even more memories flooded her mind as she grabbed her bag and closed the car door.

    “Welcome home!” her mother chimed as they walked through the front door. Tara took the time to look around at her home, which she had not seen in three years. Aside from a rearranging of furniture, all was the same, though her room was exactly as she left it, with a bit of tidying up of course The smell of freshly washed clothes and fabric softener filled her nose.

    The young woman threw her bag onto her bed and collapsed onto it, breathing in the lavender scent of the fabric softener that her parents had used since before she was born. Warm afternoon light streamed in through her blue curtains that rustled at every breeze. She looked at her walls, which were different shades of blue. After a few minutes it was as if she had never left. She assumed her life would be rather normal for the time being.

    “Hungry?” her father poked his head in.

    “You know it,” Tara grinned and followed her dad to the dinner table. She let the smell of pasta water in her mouth as she sat.

    “Tomorrow the neighbors want to throw together a party out in the street for you,” Tara's mother informed her as she cut up her sauce-lathered meatball and popped a piece into her mouth.

    “They want to congratulate you for doing such a great job,” her father explained further as his wife chewed.

    “Sounds great,” Tara nodded, mouth-full as she watched Muku nibble on a slice of fruit.

    The reunited family sat in silence for a while, eating their meal, which Tara enjoyed; she dearly missed her mother’s spaghetti, having lived solely on instant foods on her journey.

    “I think I’ll have to stop by and see some of my old friends tomorrow too,” Tara said after swallowing some pasta. “I know they’ll be itching to talk with me - I am.”

    "Sound good, just don't miss the party," her dad chuckled. "It'd be nice for you too see some of them again, like what'shername? Amanda, or Amy or something."

    Tara thought for a moment, trying to call back memories. "Yeah, Amanda," she nodded, wondering why it had taken her so long to recall her name. It hadn't been that long since she had seen them. As she thought of it more, she couldn't remember much about her old friends.

    "Yeah, it'd be good to see Amanda and the others," she repeated.

    -------

    “You did great!” said one of Tara’s old classmates as she sat with a group of them in a park.

    “Yeah, watching you was amazing,” a boy said. “I was practically glued to the screen.”

    “Haha,” Tara giggled as she drank up more of her soda through a straw. Muku was back to his usual self, dancing life away atop the table while garnering the attention of those around him.

    “You were great too, Muku,” one of the girls cooed as she flicked the white ball at the end of his head.

    They had all gone to a fast food restaurant together earlier, chatting and allowing Tara to catch up with everything that had been going on. Tara had missed quite a lot by the looks of things, though, she wasn't at all sorry. The thing was she was feeling the need to be reminded of a lot of things, things she should remember.

    “So how many of the old class are still around?” Tara asked in an effort to push the uneasiness from her mind as she placed her cup down on the worn picnic table, stirring the beverage with her straw. It was wonderfully sunny, though the all too common Sinnoh breezes were cold enough to force everyone to have a jacket. The park they were in was an older park, overrun with grass and trees that took over the ancient concrete.

    “Most of us,” replied one. “A few of us moved away, including that older girl you used to hang out with I think.”

    Tara stopped stirring. “Who?” she squinted her eyes suspiciously as she pushed a lock of her black hair out of her face.

    “That older girl, she was like fifteen when you left. She practically looked like your sister.”

    Tara sat silently for a moment, turning the cogs in her head. Muku had ceased dancing and stared intently at her.

    “I don’t remember,” Tara said, smiling at her inability to remember something that seemed so important.

    “You’re joking, you hung out with her for years,” another girl butted in, wide eyed. “Did you two just have an epic falling out and you’re pretending not to remember?”

    Tara forced a bigger smile. “I don’t even know who you’re talking about.”

    “Fall off Mt. Coronet and hit your head on your journey?” chuckled a boy.

    “No, I’m serious!” Tara raised her voice. “I don’t remember…” she murmured quietly as she sat down, a confused expression on her face.

    “She was like your neighbor practically-”

    “Anyway, no need to worry about it,” a girl said suddenly as Muku began his dancing once again, seeming no longer interested in the conversation. “We’ll talk some more later, I’ve gotta go.”

    “Yeah me too,” echoed the rest of the group one by one. Forgetting all about Tara's strange lapse in memory.

    Tara waved to each of them in-turn with an awkward smile, half-wondering if they were playing some joke on her, leaving all at once. Her grin vanished as soon as they had all left and there was no sign of a prank or anything. “Hmm… Weird…” Tara muttered before finishing off the rest of her drink. "Wonder what that was all about," she said aloud, looking over to Muku, who shrugged. She stood up silently and began to walk home with Muku in tow.

    “You know where I’ve always wanted to go?” Tara asked Muku as they walked, some few minutes after they had left the park. “Well of course you know, but still, we should go.”

    Tara talked aloud about what she wanted to do as they turned onto their street. Her stream of words slowly trickled to a stop as they neared the house that had caught her attention earlier. She stopped walking completely and stopped right in front of it, looking at it curiously; it was oddly familiar. "Have I been inside this house before?" she wondered aloud.

    Tara pondered for a moment, curiously tapping her chin with her finger as she leaned against the fence of the house. “C’mon, Muku,” she beckoned as she leapt over the picket fence and walked towards the door. The Mime Jr. seemed reluctant, and flashed the memory of the party into her head. "We'll get home in plenty of time, c'mon!" she hissed.

    The house was simple like the rest of the houses on the street, a light yellow with a deep green lawn, it looked quite homely. She knocked on the door thrice, listening as the knocks rang throughout the house. She heard footsteps after a few moments and stepped back, putting on a polite smile.

    The door opened, revealing a woman in her forties, she had wiry blond hair and her face showed the beginnings of wrinkles. Once she saw Tara she smiled.

    “Oh, Tara, it’s so nice to see you,” she said kindly, drawing the girl close in a friendly embrace, giving Tara the impression that she was supposedly close with this person, though she had no idea why.

    “I didn’t think we’d see you before later tonight for the party,” she said as she waved down at Muku, who was twirling around on her welcome-mat.

    “Yes, well… I decided to pay a visit,” Tara returned the smile and accepted the woman’s offer to come inside.

    “Would you like a glass of water or something?” she asked as she shut the door.

    “No, I’m fine, thank you,” Tara answered as she looked back and blinked softly at the woman.

    “Let me go get my husband, lord knows where he went off to,” she chuckled as she walked around Tara and took a left down a hallway.

    Tara stood by the door and silently observed the inside of the house. It was very quaint, the beige carpet was most likely the same that the house had come with, and the walls were all white. There were some recliners and a couch situated in front of TV to her right and a kitchen right next to it. The dining room was right in front of her. It was a small house, but it indeed seemed very homely.

    She looked to the table on her left and eyed all the pictures. They were all of the woman and her husband, looking very sweet and happy in all of them. There was no sign of a girl in any pictures, which Tara had somewhat expected, but at the same time didn’t. Still, she couldn’t shake the feeling she had been in the house before, and an odd presence hung in the air.

    “Maybe there was a block party here or something…” she muttered as the woman came back out of the hall.

    “Well, I can’t track him down right now…” she explained as she strolled over into the kitchen.

    “Oh, that’s all right,” Tara responded. “No need to trouble yourself - just wanted to stop by and say hi.” The teen turned around and grabbed the door handle. “I’ll see you both tonight.”

    With that Tara left the house, closing the door softly and walked off the property, making towards her own house once more as she tried to make sense of everything.

    -------

    It was the next day, after Tara’s big party, where she had eaten. Eaten a lot. It was an enjoyable event, despite the fact that it was all for her. She started cringing at each neighbor that she hardly knew that was shaking her hand or hugging her, telling her what a good job she did.

    Tara had just gotten home from meeting up with some more people at a bowling alley. She went into her room and sat on her bed, finally taking the chance to unpack the bag she had used for years. She unpacked slowly, not closely looking at most of the items, but making sure they were not unnoticed. She had already given her mother her badges, so that they could be framed and put on her wall, which was where they were already. Locked inside each one was a memory of a specific battle.

    She shifted through her PokéDex for a few minutes, smiling whenever she came across certain creatures. She put all of these things away in some sort of place and fell back onto her bed.

    Tara laid thinking for a few minutes, realizing that life here was already becoming simple and plain compared to what she was used to. The bowling alley was fun, but she was realizing that she no longer really fit in with any of her friends. That, and there was this strange feeling that she was missing something important.

    She turned onto her back and raised her pale arm towards the ceiling, looking at the striped black and blue pattern of her arm warmer.

    “You know, Muku. Let’s just go. We’ll just be lying around here forever, and I’m itching for a change of setting, I know you are too,” she told him, having noticed his different behavior whenever she thought to hard on 'what she might be missing'.

    “Mime!” he replied as he flipped off of the desk and onto the floor with upmost grace. Very eager it seemed to leave as well.

    That night Tara explained this to her parents, and though they were sad to see her go again so soon, they were happy for her and nodded in understanding.

    Tara started preparations the following morning, first making at trip into Jubilife in order to send certain Pokémon away to Professor Rowan’s laboratory, namely Drapion, as there was not any room for him at Tara’s house.

    She returned home and packed everything she would need, and took the time to spend one last night with her family and her Pokémon that had accompanied her on her previous journey through Sinnoh.

    She left early the next morning, ticket in hand and Muku at her side. They made the trip to Canalave city, which took no more than a week, and boarded a ship that would take them to their destination and to whatever the future had in store for her.

    -------

    A dank light flickered on the ceiling, lighting the grime-covered walls that had once been white. Tara Valens scooped up some water and wet her face and then grabbed a towel in order dry it. She was in a public restroom at a stop, and despite the filthy conditions, it was the best place to clean up, unless you wanted to trek to the nearest Pokémon Center. Dirt covered the floors and scratched against the old tile whenever you took a step - the stench of decades was rank in the air.

    Tara snorted, wringing out her cloth and putting it into her bag. She stepped out of the restroom and took a huge breath of fresh air. There was a hint of pine in the air, courtesy of the ring of pine trees around the stop. The sky was gray with clouds, a sign that it would perhaps rain that day, but it wasn’t too chilly, rather warm compared to what Tara was used to. It had been two weeks since she got off the boat and was quite pleased with her new journey thus far.

    Tara was wearing a pair of black jeans along with a deep blue top that matched her shoes. She had her black hoodie tied around her waist and her pair of arm warmers. Her usual attire, but she felt comfortable in it.

    The teen located her psychic friend, who was currently twirling around on a corner of cement, keeping perfectly balanced.

    “Boo, get off the stage!” Tara jeered with a hand cupping her mouth as she approached, brandishing a thumbs-down.

    Muku crossed his arms and sat on the corner, pouting.

    “Oh, stop it,” Tara nudged him on the shoulder with a finger. The girl was about to sit down herself in order to plan the next leg of her trek when she caught a whiff of a delicious aroma in the air.

    “Nevermind. Come, Muku, we must eat first,” she said robotically as if in a trance. The smell had completely derailed her train of thought, as food often did.

    The duo made their way towards the source of the scent as a truck pulled into the station; the breaks cracked the air as the vehicle came to a halt. They found the source of the smell to be a diner of sorts, whatever was cooking inside smelled like it was to die for, which Tara wouldn't entirely against if it meant she could have it in the afterlife.

    Tara stepped off of the dirt and onto the concrete in the front of the diner. She paused at the window, taking a look inside. As she was looking, an image of a girl popped into her mind, given to her by Muku; as well as the image of a Pokémon.

    “Mm, who’s that?” Tara asked as practically pressed her face against the glass; her nose left a smudge on its surface. She heard footsteps nearby as she eyed a waitress serving breakfast to one of the truck drivers.

    Tara turned around, noticing a little girl that couldn’t be any older than eight or nine. She was thin and had platinum-blonde hair tied into pig-tails. She was very shy-looking, and she looked like she was starving, lured by the smell of a meal like Tara.

    Tara approached the girl, who was unaware of her, and immediately felt a strange presence as she neared. She slowed and then stopped a couple of paces away, leaning to the side and placing a hand on her hip she said, “Oh, you’re a young one aren’t you?”
     
    #2 Sem, Jul 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  3. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    -Interlude-

    It was late at night, and soft moonlight drifted through the glass of a window, which currently the only source of light in the room.

    Tara sat up in bed, looking at Fida as she slept in the bed across from her and listening to the younger girl’s soft breathing. Elvia was beside her, not really asleep but still resting; the ghost most likely knew Tara wasn’t asleep herself. It was their last night in Goldenrod and Tara couldn’t sleep at all.

    The teen stood silently and carefully walked over to Fida’s bed, pulling the cover up over the girl’s shoulder. Elvia opened her bright yellow eyes and stared at Tara for a moment, eyes that had a hint of concern in them. Tara held a finger to her lips and left the room with Muku.

    The center was enormous, the largest in the region, which it had to be since it was in such a large and important city. Tara walked through the softly lit halls, which were white while the plush carpet beneath her feet was red. She located the elevator and stepped inside, pressing the button with the number one on it. The doors slid closed silently, casting the teen's reflection back at her off its shiny metal surface.

    She leaned against the back of the lift as it began to hum and move down. She stared straight at the door and her reflection, though she wasn’t actually focused on it - her mind was elsewhere, buzzing with thoughts.

    The elevator dinged and the doors slid open with hardly a sound. Tara’s footsteps echoed as she walked across the tiled floor of the medical facility and out into the brisk Johto night.

    She came out behind the center, where there was a park for trainers. It was completely empty save for a single boy sitting alone in a patch of grass.

    The dark trees rustled softly as a sliver of wind grazed their branches. Tara chose not to take a seat on one of the many benches available but instead walked along the path, following wherever it led.

    “She’s doing pretty well isn’t she?” Tara finally said as they were out of earshot of the boy. She spoke to herself as well as Muku, as she often did. “She’s got a good brain, she’s smart, and she’s matured a lot since I met her back at that truck stop.”

    Another gentle breeze went by as they passed under the light of a lamp.

    “Still wonder what she was running from… she’s so happy right now, like, relieved happy,” Tara commented further. “Makes you wonder just what she had to deal with before… I’m proud of her though.”

    They walked in silence for a few moments. Muku strolled beside his trainer, quietly listening to everything she said, and even to everything she didn't say.

    “I’ve been feeling a bit off lately though. She hasn’t noticed yet… but recently I’ve felt really solemn and down, but I do my best to keep it from her," she sighed, gazing around absently at the trees and other plants. "I think something’s coming, Muku,” she finally stated. “Something’s going to happen, and I don’t like how it feels. I don’t know how I know, but I do…” She paused, looking for the words to continue.

    "It's like that feeling I had back at home, where it feels like I'm missing something, but worse now."

    Muku nodded.

    “You’ve been feeling it to; you’re not acting like your usual self,” Tara looked down at her companion. “I don’t want anything to happen, I can’t abandon her,” she said through clenched teeth. “It’d be the worst thing in the world for her…”

    Tara eyed Muku, trying to figure out what he was thinking. "You don't seem worried," she grimaced.

    The path ended up looping around, taking them back to the center.

    “I'm hoping that I'm just being paranoid,” Tara stated. “But it’s like I’m jumping at every loud noise I hear.” She bent down and picked Muku up and held him in her arms, saying, “C’mon, let’s get some sleep.”
     
    #3 Sem, Jul 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  4. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    -Chapter 1-

    A continuous sequence of beeps was the only thing audible in the room, which was brightly lit by white lights in the ceiling. The walls were a light gray and the tile was a clean white that reflected the light from the white above, further lighting the room. It was also full of medical equipment and a specialized bed. It didn’t take a second thought to know that it was a hospital room.

    Beep…

    Beep…

    Beep…


    The rhythm remained constant, never faltering. Footsteps echoed outside of the room and a man walked inside, not even a moment after the man already in the room heard the sound of the others' footfalls. He was dressed in a white coat, as was the other one.

    “Still no signs of waking? It’s been two weeks…” the man who walked in stated. He and the other male were staring at the baby-blue curtain the blocked them from seeing whoever was inside. “Any more spikes in the readings?

    The first man nodded.

    “Very strange patient…” the second doctor said as he took the clipboard on the tray next to him, reading over the details for the hundredth time. “No I.D, no money, three Pokémon,” he looked at another tray, seeing three Pokéballs on it. “We only know the name because Nurse Joy was able to match the patient with records at the Center.” The man gulped as he placed the tray down. “Stranger still… the patient is completely unharmed. No head trauma, no wounds. The only thing that suggests a struggle occurred is a single bullet - which, by the way, looked like it had hit a solid steel wall. The trees weren’t touched apart from some slight charring of the bark.”

    “You can ponder the details all you like,” the first man said. “But you won’t know what happened until the patient wakes up, if they wake up, and even then…” He fell silent once more, looking at the black of the night sky through the window, softly aglow with the city lights.

    “We haven’t even found this patient’s address yet, to inform the family… if there is a family,” the second doctor sighed, leaning up against the wall and crossing his arms.

    “You should go home,” the first doctor suggested, leaning back and placing his hands at the lumbar region of his back, cracking it. “You've been working long shifts; patient will still be here in the morning.”

    “Yes, perhaps I sho-”

    Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep!

    “What the?!” the second man exclaimed, homing in on the device that was displaying erratic readings. "Another spike!"

    The first stood in awe at it for a moment, watching the line spasm across the screen, making it look like a seismograph.

    “That reading’s enormous! We need to stabilize her!”

    The first man had already thrown back the curtain as the second was about to rush off for help, but stopped when he saw the patient. In the bed was a girl, around fifteen years of age. She was sitting up and peeling sensors off her pale skin and removing the IV in her arm, causing the machines to go silent one by one. The young woman was in a simple hospital gown, but she had long black hair which splayed across the bed behind her. She blinked a few times and wriggled her toes. Turning herself so that she sat on the edge of the bed, she held her arms out before her, flexing them and moving her fingers. Carefully she stepped onto the cold linoleum, looking around with brilliant blue eyes as if seeing for the first time.

    “M-miss-“ the second doctor stuttered.

    The girl’s eyes flashed and turned to look at him. “Oh, hello,” she greeted him, as if they had just run into each other on the street.

    “Uhm-“

    “What’s the time?" she asked while craning her neck up, cracking it. "Well, no. What’s the date, rather?” she asked without a second thought to what the man was about to say.

    “Erm… 11:23pm on January 23,” he answered, still a bit shocked as he looked her over with surprised eyes. “B-but-”

    “Full date, give me the year,” she snapped as she walked away from the bed to a bag. Once she was told the year she shot herself a look in a mirror that hung on the wall by her bag. “Four years? My gods, that’s too long,” she stated, looking at her face now. "She's grown up to be pretty hasn't she?" she muttered to herself.

    “Excuse me?” the first man asked as the girl took the bag and the clothes within, changing into them. A pair of black jeans and a bluish top, as well as a jacket, which she slung over her shoulder instead of wear.

    “Miss Valens?” the second doctor uttered as the teen tied the laces of the shoes. Once done she walked over to the tray and grabbed the Pokéballs that lay there.

    “Might come in handy…” she said with a nod as she put them away into the black bag and slung it over her shoulder.

    “Tara?”

    She shot the second doctor another look. "Yes, if you like,” she stated flatly, her pale face, made paler by her time spent indoors lately, did not even meet his. “Doesn’t matter, not to you.” She made her way to the door, walking silently but surely, with purpose.

    “What?” He looked at the first man with a confused expression, which he also wore. “W-wait, you can’t go!”

    The girl stopped as both men approached her in an attempt to block her exit. She did not look at them; in fact she did not even change the direction in which she was already looking. She responded calmly, “And who’s going to stop me? You? Worry for your other patients doctor, I’m doing just fine,” her voice was commanding and hypnotic, and indeed, the doctors made no further attempts to stop her as she walked down the hall and took an elevator, descending to the ground, and walked out of the building.

    -------

    “Four years, curse that mime,” the girl hissed as she walked into the chilly winter night.

    She walked, using the guidance of streetlamps, a fair distance away from Goldenrod General. She stopped in an abandoned park and stood silently with eyes closed. She focused her mind and delved into her center of power. Once she felt that she was ready she called loudly. Not physically, to anyone nearby she was perfectly silent, but in her mind she was yelling, sending out a telepathic message. After it was sent she opened her eyes and waited, putting on the jacket to shield her from the cold.

    Deciding to make use of her time she tested her body. She figured it would take some getting used to, but it wouldn't be that difficult. Experimentally she preformed some stretches. The girl groaned from the strain, her body having been in a coma for two weeks. She worked her body slowly, finally touching her toes with her fingers and holding her stretch there for a good minute. She did some more stretches, helping the ligaments become accustomed to moving again.

    "C'mon, c'mon, lift your leg up," she breathed, lifting her right leg as far as it could go, and even then forcing it a bit higher, almost getting it to where she was eye level with her shin.

    It seemed her summon worked, for only a few minutes after she had finished there was a disturbance in the air. The air seemed to boil and bend as a form sought to take its place. In only moments the form materialized into what most people would consider a scary thing. It was simply a head that was deep purple in color. Menacing eyes pierced the darkness with a chilling blue color, which was the same color that emanated from inside the creatures toothy mouth. Two disembodied hands floated before the Haunter.

    “Hello, Salem,” the girl purred. “Miss me?”

    The Haunter chuckled in response, a chuckle that would make any person’s hair stand on end.

    “May I have my things back?” the girl asked.

    From seemingly nowhere, Salem produced a number of objects; a belt that seemed to be full of useful trinkets, a set of clothes, a jacket, and three weapons.

    The girl put on the clothes and the belt, stopping to admire the jacket. She smiled as she held it in her hands. It was totally black and made of a strong material, a cross between tough denim and soft cotton. She donned the trench coat, which went down to the backs of her knees. Black leather boots were worn on her feet. They were durable with a thicker three-inch heel and a pointed toe-box. Metal pieces were fitted onto the top of the toe and the back of the heel. Dark gray skinny jeans hugged her legs, with the bottoms going over the boots. The belt rested in a slant on her waist, partially covered by a plain dark top. She tied her hair into a single pony tail that fell to the base of her spine. She looked fondly at the patches on either shoulder of the jacket; on each was the iconic red R, symbol of the infamous criminal organization.

    "Thank gods the coat fits, the boots too," she said happily. "Pants and top will need to be replaced, but for now…” she trailed, looking with her eyes towards the weapons Salem held out to her with longing. “Ooh,” she expressed as she reached out to touch one. “How I missed you…” She caressed the weapons, an expression of love on her face. She was holding two identical semi-automatic pistols, all black except for two bands of gray that went along the barrel; the word 'Strata' was engraved in them. The third was a combat knife, beautifully crafted, blade shining in the moonlight. The girl holstered her weapons onto her belt and looked through the messenger bag.

    “What on earth did you do with your money?” she asked aloud of no one as she dug through the bag. She closed her eyes, recalling recent memories, memories that weren’t hers. “Oh, that’s right, you gave it to the girl. Well I have no money either; they would’ve been idiots not to clear out my account.” She dug around some more, finding a Pokétch, which she snapped onto her wrist. “Nifty.”

    She stood up and looked at Salem. “Let’s go,” she commanded, handing him the bag and hoodie from before, which he made disappear. The girl held out her hand, waiting for Haunter to place his in hers. Once he did she closed her eyes and focused once more, hoping she hadn't lost her skill in this area of her power.

    In the twinkling of an eye, she vanished.

    -------

    The girl and her Haunter appeared in a new location. She looked at the GPS function on the watch-device, which still showed that they were in Goldenrod, Johto. After a moment the screen changed, showing her to be somewhere in the Kanto region near Veridian City.

    She looked up, seeing a large facility before her. The building was black and almost blended in with the night. It was nestled into a canyon, and looked rather bleak. “Hnn, just like I remember,” she smiled and walked calmly towards the door. "Hope I'm still good at this, it'd be a shame if I died," she joked, but she was entirely confident in herself.

    Two guards were stationed at the door, holding Pokéballs at the ready. They saw the girl appear out of the darkness with Salem’s blue mouth and eyes peering at them as he too emerged right behind her. Their faces were hard as they scanned her appearance, spotting the patches on her jacket, but that wouldn’t be enough to allow her entrance.

    “Halt! Present your Rocket Number!” they told her in unison. They wore black uniforms themselves, a bit different of the standard Rocket grunt uniform. The whole outfit was black and they too had a kind of coat, as well as rods in their hands that looked rather nasty. Their faces were obscured by hoods and the red R was large on their chest.

    “I don’t have one,” the girl stated as she kept walking, not slowing down at all, keeping her powerful stride. “Not anymore.”

    “We cannot let you pass! Halt, unless you want to face the power of Team Rocket!”

    “Power? A simple guard such as you has no idea,” she shook her head with a smile and broke into a sprint; she jumped into the air, unnaturally high. She flipped and came down towards the guard with her foot extended.

    The guard twirled his staff and held it above his head, blocking the girl’s drop-kick, or so it seemed at first. The girl stood perfectly balanced on the pole with her leg, smiling with half her lip bitten down by one of her canines. Throwing all her weight down on the staff, she kicked off, breaking it into two. She back-flipped through the air and landed most gracefully on the ground only a few paces away. She cart-wheeled forward and stooped down low, kicking the man’s feet out from under him so that he fell to his knees. Using her left hand she pinched the nerve cluster in the man’s shoulder, causing him to fall unconscious.

    She looked over to the other guard, who was being held against the wall with psychic force by Salem. The Haunter grinned most sadistically as the man struggled against an invisible grip on his neck. Salem took the man and slammed him hard against the ground, effectively knocking him out as well.

    “Hnn…” she grinned before stepping over her fallen foe and through the door, which slid open to allow her entrance.

    The echoes of her boots on the tile resounded throughout the large room. The ceiling was vaulted and the whole wall behind her was comprised of windows. There was a single person at the desk in the front, a receptionist of sorts, because criminal organizations needed them too. The girl walked towards the desk; Salem made himself unseen and went ahead of her.

    “What do you want?” she asked as the girl approached. She looked mildly surprised at the girl’s age.

    “Be quiet.” The girl paid the woman no mind as she looked at the large map over the desk on the wall, looking for the right sector of the building. “Actually, no, answer me this: is Commander Rauss in?”

    “Who do you think you are-?” The woman fell silent when one of the Strata was pulled out and pointed at her. “H-he’s not commander anymore, he m-moved up, b-but he’s in that part of the building!” she said desperately, pointing up at the map.

    “Thank you,” the girl nodded her head and put her pistol away.

    “B-but you can’t go in there, you’re not authorized.”

    “Watch me.” And with that, the girl vanished once again.

    She reappeared in another part of the building. It was not brightly lit and the walls were dark. The glossed tiles shone faintly in the dim light as the girl walked silently across the floor. No one seemed to be around, but she heard talking. The voice was deep and very familiar, sickeningly familiar. The anticipation of seeing him though, the excitement of their meeting filled her veins.

    She walked through the hall and wound up in a circular room, more like an office. The voice came from a man who was in a chair that was swiveled away from her. She could just barely see the top of his bald head.

    “Yes, sir, I understand, but make sure they do too; we don’t need them screwing up again.” He pressed a button on the phone and put it on the desk behind him without looking. He sighed heavily and bent down; the girl guessed he was rubbing his head. She had a serious look on her now, despite the buzzing in her limbs. Now she would find out what happened.

    “So, admin now?” she asked calmly as she sat on his black desk, crossing her legs and looking at him as he jumped and turned around.

    “And just who the hell are you?!” he yelled, his face flushing red with annoyance. He was a big man, and old, with a balding head, the only hair left were the graying hairs on the sides of his head. He wore a black suit with the Team Rocket insignia on the front.

    “Oh, you already know me,” the girl answered. Leaning against her right arm and looking directly at him. “How’s the unit?” she inquired as she looked away, gazing at her left hand as she held it out in front of her.

    “What unit?” the man sneered. “How did you get past my guards-”

    “The Psychic Ops Unit of course,” she reply mockingly.

    “How do you kno-” he was about to ask, but it was then that he noticed her jacket.

    “Oh, recognize it?” the girl grinned. She stood up and turned around, pointing a gun straight at the man. “Recognize this too?”

    “W-who are you?”

    “It’s me, boss,” the girl said innocently. “Your star soldier.”

    Rauss' eyes darted about the room trying not to focus on the gun. "What?" he responded, looking into her cruel stare. Her words brought back memories, memories of things that should've stayed buried.

    “Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten about me already, I mean, how could you forget a person you’ve murdered?” she asked with an amused grin for second before pointing the gun more firmly with a serious look on her face. “Start talking, why did you kill me?”

    “I don’t know who you are! You can’t be who you say you are, you can’t possibly be her…” he looked at her with wide eyes. “You’re not Lysis.”

    “Oh, boss, but I am,” she laughed lightly.

    “You’re dead!”

    “Yes I am,” she sighed, looking away. “I wasn’t stupid though,” she returned her gaze to his white face. “I was always prepared; I always had a back up. This girl?” she looked down at herself. “She was my back up.”

    “What are you talking about?”

    “She’s a childhood friend, or was. She has the exact same abilities I do, she just never knew it. She was perfect and the most logical choice.” Lysis explained as she got off the desk and walked over, pressing the gun to the man’s temple. “Worked out well, don’t you think? Now, start talking.”

    The man was silent for a few moments, large hands gripping the edge of the desk, turning his knuckles white.

    “C’mon,” Lysis teased, pressing the gun harder against the man’s skull, biting her lip down. “Tell me why you decided to have your favorite soldier killed.”

    “I-it was an accident-”

    “Don’t you dare lie to me,” Lysis replied with a glower, kicking the man’s chair with enough force that it sent it and him flying across the room and into the wall. She walked calmly to where he landed, stepping over the chair, which was in pieces. Rauss lay gasping on his back, struggling to get air back in his lungs. She grabbed him by the collar of his suit and pulled him up, holding him against the wall with a single hand. Her heart was pounding - it felt so good being able to use her powers again, felt so good to be in control.

    “It’s because of this! Because of you!” the man yelled. “You were too good at what you did, you were too powerful.”

    “You had me slaughtered because I was good at my job?” she asked, pressing the man harder against the wall, causing it to crack. He winced and his breathing became erratic.

    “Y-you know and I know, t-that if you’re anything like you were four years ago, you c-could take out most of the people in this building!” He inhaled, bringing air into his deprived lungs. His heart was also pounding.

    "Sir?" came a voice from down the hall. "Is everything all right?"

    "Tell him just how all right you are, commander," Lysis hissed, nostrils flaring.

    "I'm fine!" he shouted back. "Just tripped is all!"

    "Good," she purred. "Now continue quickly, the guards the receptionist called will be here any moment."

    The man gulped. “W-we realized that what the unit was doing was a bad idea, bad for Team Rocket. We didn't want it to cross your minds that you could take over. Giovanni himself ordered the extermination of the whole unit.”

    “You missed one member,” Lysis stated darkly, releasing her hold and letting her ex-commander fall to the floor with a loud thump. She bent down and again put the barrel of the Strata to his head, whispering in his ear. “I’m not going to go die because I am what I am; you made me this way…” her white teeth flashed with her smile. “and you reap the consequences.”

    The sound of the shot resonated throughout the floor, however, by the time guards stationed outside Rauss’ office made it to where he was, Lysis was gone.
     
    #4 Sem, Jul 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  5. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    -Chapter 2-

    The young woman’s eyes fluttered as sunlight entered them, slightly blinding her. Once her eyes had adjusted she stared at the ceiling and what she could of the walls. Her memory was blurred. What had she been doing last? The last memories were of her in a forest. It was dark, and someone was chasing her.

    "Muku?!" she called, bolting into an upright position, throwing off the sheets that covered her. "Fida?" she called again, willing her legs to take her out of the bed she was in. "Elvia?" She waited, but no answer came. She went back through her memories. She had told Fida to run. Muku had…
    She gulped.
    Looking again, her last memory was of her facing the barrel of a gun. Obviously she wasn't dead. The place she was in didn't look like hell, and she believed heaven would look much nicer.

    It was small room and rather old-looking; the walls were peeling and there were small holes here and there in the ceiling. Everything was brown, an old, dirty shade of brown. The bed creaked loudly whenever she moved, though the mattress seemed brand new. Definitely a fixer-upper if she ever saw one. Her immediate thoughts were that the man had knocked her out and taken her.

    The girl stood up immediately and looked down at herself. She was wearing the same thing last time she was awake. She didn't feel violated, and certainly didn't look it, but she was in unfamiliar territory. Heart pumping, adrenaline chased away the morning grogginess. She looked around very alert, hoping she wasn’t where she thought she was. No sign of her Pokéballs. The young woman located an old, severed piece of piping across the room and dove for it, gripping it tightly with both hands, causing her knuckles to turn white.

    In that moment she felt a strange presence around her. It wasn’t hostile, but it wasn’t exactly what she would call nurturing, but she recognized it as psychic in origin.

    “Muku?” she uttered, looking around.

    ”No.”

    The voice echoed into her head. It was female and calm, very quiet, but also cold and flat. The girl looked to see a figure gliding towards her from the shadow of the door into the room. It was tall, about as tall as her. A gown billowed gracefully behind the figure, who looked like a woman. Hair was short and cropped, and barely moved as she walked with a graceful gait, as if she was light as air.

    ”Who?-” but before the girl could ask further the woman entered the light of the room. The girl soon realized that it was, in fact, not a woman, but a Gardevoir, but, even though the teen recognized the Pokémon, it was very different from any Gardevoir she had ever seen. Instead of the green coloring common on most Gardevoir, it was deepest black. Her eyes and horns were a deeper, more vibrant red.

    ”She told me to look after you, Tara.” the Gardevoir said as it stood completely still in the doorway like a statue, black arms were clasped before her. Her blood-red eyes never left Tara’s own.

    She?” Tara narrowed her eyes, not loosening her hold on the pipe. “Who is she? And how do you know my name?”

    ”Other than the fact that I could have probed your mind to find out that piece of information, she, Lysis, told me your name.” she responded, eyes still fixed on the girl. "And, please, lower the pipe. I will not harm you."

    “Lysis?” Tara repeated as she sat down once more on the bed with a loud squeak, dropping the bar she held and ignore the clattering sound it made on contact with the hard floor.

    ”She told me you would not remember, that I would have to explain,” she said as she blinked once. “Before I explain though; I am Valaura,” she bowed her head and lifted her “dress” in a curtsy, obviously well versed in human manners.

    “Nice to meet you…” Tara nodded her head in return, not at all sure about this strange psychic.

    ”Lysis was your friend until four years ago, more or less. You were both very close and spent many hours a day together. You were both quite similar, more than just your appearances,” the psychic began to explain, closing her eyes as if she had also been there and was recalling the memories herself.

    Tara's mind raced back to when her old friends had told her of a girl like this, yet she could not remember, and still could not.

    ”Allow me to restore what memories you have of her, to assist you,” Valaura stated as she moved forward, gliding smoothly across the worn floor with her arms open and non-hostile, as if she were going to embrace Tara. She placed a black hand on Tara’s forehead, who was at first a bit reluctant to allow Valaura to touch her. She felt the Gardevoir’s hand on her head - she was gentle, but there was still something off about her, something was missing. She felt a soft flow of psychic energy enter her mind, exploring and probing, until she could feel it deep within and far from the surface. Tara twitched once, and felt a flow of old memories rush back into her head anew. Valaura removed her hand and stepped back, allowing Tara to remember all she could.

    After a few moments tears welled up in Tara’s eyes. She looked up at Valaura, “How could I have forgotten someone like her?” she asked in disbelief. She shook her head and wiped away the drops from her face. “If she was real, she was almost as close to me as… as Muku…” she whispered.

    In that moment Tara finally took notice of the vast emptiness she felt in herself. It was lonely, and terrible, full of horrible loss and sorrow. Tara ended up having to wipe her eyes again.

    “I am sorry for your loss,” Valaura stated, sensing Tara’s silent distress, though her voice lacked the sympathy one would expect from such a statement. After a few more moments the psychic resumed her explanation. ”Remember the dreams? The ones in which you were a 'secrete agent' of sorts?"

    Tara nodded after a few moments.

    "They were not dreams: they were real.”

    The young woman blinked. “What?”

    ”Lysis was one of the very few born with psychic powers. She had amazing abilities and potential, even when compared to other psychics. She possessed three abilities while most psychics only ever have one. It was because of that that she was recruited into a special program developed by Team Rocket. A program designed to train powerful units in order to further the organization’s plans. She shared every single experience she had with you on a subconscious level through telepathy, including personality traits and personal memories. The dreams were, in fact, you witnessing what she was doing at that moment, from her perspective.”

    “W-why would she do that?” Tara asked a bit critically, confused.

    ”Because you too, are psychic.”

    Tara was silent, not even looking at Valaura.

    “You could not have had the bond you had with Muku if you were not psychic. You were simply never introduced to your abilities. You have the exact set of abilities that she had, which she found out. The chances of her finding someone with the exact same abilities is rare, rarer still that you were neighbors. She shared herself with you because of this, in case something happened to her. She felt remorse for this, because this rendered you as a… back-up, if you will, of herself. Lysis imprinted herself onto your psyche. This was why she was so distant the last few years you knew her.”

    Valaura stood silent for a moment, but continued once she knew Tara would not say anything.

    ”Something did occur,” she started to say. “There was a plot within the higher ups of Team Rocket to terminate the project. The soldiers were becoming too powerful, too efficient - if they wanted, they could have dealt major blows to the organization. They plotted an extermination for each member of the unit: five people including Lysis herself, six if you counted the twins separate, though the twins may as well have been a single entity.”

    Tara listened intently to all of this, despite appearing to be entirely too distracted. She wasn’t quite sure how she even got to where she was, but Valaura was providing answers to something she had wondered since leaving Sinnoh, and she wanted to hear everything, no matter how crazy it sounded.

    ”Do you recall one dream you had one night, the last one you ever had, a nightmare?”

    -------

    “This operation is critical, and will help Team Rocket a great deal should we succeed,” crackled a voice from the radio Lysis held. “Execute the attack in formation S like we rehearsed; make sure you get that Pokémon.”

    “Roger that, boss,” Lysis responded, and then released the button and put the radio away on her belt. She was in her uniform; her black coat flew out behind her as she stood atop the edge a large building, looking down at a small building next to it. It was nighttime in the Saffron sky, which was lit up by the city lights. The only stars to speak of were called 'Jet-plane' and 'Helicopter'.

    “Think this is safe? We’re in Sabrina’s backyard practically,” said another solider, a girl. She had short blond hair and was only slightly younger than Lysis. She gripped a shot gun in her hands and looked ready for action.

    “It’s fine, Selene,” responded a boy as he rolled his eyes. He was a bit older than Lysis, and had a buzz-cut; he himself had a pistol, similar to Lysis’ dual Strata. “Sabrina’s had affiliations with Team Rocket in the past.”

    “Not anymore,” Lysis butted in, looking down at the roof still, with glowing blue eyes. “They say she can see into every corner in Saffron and can remotely use telekinesis without physically looking at you; all from the safety of her throne in her gym.”

    Selene gulped.

    “She’s left Team Rocket, but we know better than to provoke her, but she also knows better than to meddle with us unless she wants the whole city endangered: she’ll leave us alone. What we’re doing won’t affect her anyway. At least, not right away…”

    “Easy job, right?” another girl, Violet, asked through a radio. She was already on the ground and ready to enter the building at a moments' notice.

    “So Commander Rauss said…” murmured the boy, Rick, as he looked through specialized binoculars while kneeling on the rim.

    “Speaking of the boss,” two voices said in unison. “Doesn’t he seem to be acting a bit strange lately?” The twins were silent up until now. They were easily the most interesting of the bunch. Both were identical boys, fifteen like Lysis. They never spoke separately, but always in unison, through their telepathy. Analysts for the program figured that the twins shared a single mind; both their minds had merged early on in life due to how close they were to each other. Each had complete access to the other’s brain, and they were so alike that it was difficult to consider them as different people. They cared for nothing in the world other than each other, and loved no one in the world as much as they loved each other. Lysis had always secretly thought it was rather sweet and touching. It was also interesting because together they were the strongest in the unit.

    “Let’s not worry about him, let’s get started,” Ricky, who had been kneeling, said as he stood.

    “Right,” Lysis nodded. “I’ll drop in from above directly into the room the Pokémon is being held. You each make sure the floor is clear before joining me. We’ll have to be fast, because the Pokémon isn’t inside a ball. One of us, me, will be in the cage with it. It’s your job to make sure that no one sees us and that the feed from the cameras is taken care of. The task is to catch it and get out as quickly as possible.” She turned her head and looked at everyone. “Ready, darlings?”

    “Yes, ma’am!” they all said.

    “You ready, Salem?” Lysis asked as she faced the building below once more. The Haunter materialized and nodded his head. “Let’s go!”

    With that, Lysis sprung high into the air and flipped, diving down towards the building below. There were no cords or ropes: it was just her free-falling. They had memorized the layout of the building earlier, so Lysis knew where the room was. The wind rushed past her as she plummeted, adrenaline pumped her veins. She looked at the roof of the incoming building without even blinking. Just as she was about to hit, she vanished.

    Lysis reappeared an instant later, standing completely still in a dark room. She used her abilities to try to sense the creature that was supposed to be in the room, gripping the specialized Pokéball in her hand. She sensed nothing in the center of the room, where the target was supposed to be. She spread out her sense to the rest of the room and found several minds. Before she could utter a sound the lights were switched on and she found herself facing a dozen men in black uniforms.

    The grunts each had weapons, and the light hadn’t even been on for a second and they had begun firing. Pulling out her guns, Lysis back-flipped and fired as she did so, hitting one grunt. She landed on one hand and was gone in an instant.

    She reappeared behind the men on the other side of the room in the exact same position she was and finished her flip after another shot into the chest of another grunt. She stood and fired both Strata once before teleporting again to the other side of the room. One grunt anticipated this and fired one shot, which entered the thick metal wall right by her left ear.

    She blinked and vanished once more but reappeared in the exact same spot not even a moment later.

    “Can’t teleport your way out of this cage,” one of the grunts growled as he stepped over a fallen comrade.

    Lysis sneered but did not answer as she repeated the same steps as before, being sure to turn up in a different location each time. She appeared above the grunt that had spoken and shot down at him from above. Before the man’s body even had time to fall to the ground Lysis landed on his head and jumped through the air using him as a springboard, performing a spinning kick as she flew, breaking another man’s neck. Before she hit the wall she teleported again, appearing flat on her back on the floor, she aimed her guns up to the heads of men on either side of her and fired before disappearing yet again.

    The remaining four stood huddled together and began firing wildly about the room, filling the walls with dents and sending shells clattering to the cement floor. Lysis appeared directly before them and began walking towards them. All four turned their weapons on her, but all bullets met her body and simply pinged off of it. Around her body was a suit of psychic energy, faintly visible. Her body looked as if it rippled each time a bullet hit, though it was actually the glove of energy that covered her.

    Lysis continued walking, looking very serious, glaring with her sharp eyes, her coat flapped silently behind her. Her weapons were in their holsters, leaving her hands free. Everything was going in slow motion for her; though she was a blur to anyone watching. When she was close enough she performed a backwards spinning kick, her leg covered in a concentration of psychic power, hitting the first man in the side and shattering his ribs. His gurgled cry barely had time to pierce the air before his machine gun was snatched rather easily from his hands and he was struck in the side of the head with the butt of the weapon, which was swung by a pair of arms that also glowed with psychic energy. A loud crunch sounded and the man slumped to the ground.

    The second man raised his gun, seeing that her shield was down. She twirled to the side and grabbed the man and his weapon and turned him, so that he instead killed the third grunt with a dozen shots. Lysis kicked the weapon up into the air while it still fired, causing it to flip back and shoot its owner.

    She found herself looking directly at the end of the last man’s gun, but teleported away just as the first round left the barrel. She appeared behind him, and in one quick motion pulled a knife from a sheath on her belt and forced the blade up through the vulnerable area of the skull where it met the spine. She walked away before he even fell to the floor.

    Lysis grabbed her pistols from her belt and dropped both magazines. She replaced them and walked to the wall. She didn”t even stop as she neared it, spinning and kicking it fast and hard. The wall rang and vibrated, filling her ears with a high-pitched ring. She looked at the wall, seeing a decent dent. She grimaced and did it once more.

    It was a nifty trick that she had picked up on her own. By surrounding her foot with telekinetic energy, she reinforced it and added to its power; doing this she could achieve physical feats that would be impossible for a normal human. It also allowed her to do other things, like higher jumping ability and faster movement.

    After a few more kicks, there was a hole in the wall, allowing Salem to come through and faze her out of the room, which had obviously been designed to deny him entrance. Once she was out she instructed him to explore the building to find who was in charge of the operation against them.

    She ran down the dimly lit hallway and barked into her radio. “All units report!”

    She waited a few moments.

    “Lysis!” she heard Selene’s voice. “I was ambushed, still fighting off the last of them!”

    “Same here!” she heard Rick.

    “We've never been ambushed like this before,” commented the twins. All seemed silent on their end. "Looks like a nice trap was set up for us."

    “Yes,” Lysis answered as she rounded a corner. “Violet, report!”

    She waited, but no answer came.

    “All right," Lysis breathed heavily, not taking the proper time to mourn for her comrade. Violet was the only one of their group who could not teleport, but she made up for it in other feats, which was the only reason she was on the team. Despite this, if she had come face to face with a situation similar to Lysis', she would not have been able to escape. "Keep going, we’ll meet up outside - Rauss has got to know about this.”

    “Roger!” she heard them say above the background of gun-fire.

    Just as she was about to teleport Lysis found herself unable to move.

    “You’re not going anywhere,” said a man stepping out from around the corner with a Hypno, already waving its pendulum. The man had the uniform of a Team Rocket member.

    “Disable,” Lysis growled through clenched teeth, feeling the restricting power take control of her teleportation abilities.

    “Right on the money,” the man chuckled. “Now hold still – don’t make killing a young girl like you harder than it already is,” he taunted, holding up his weapon.

    Lysis immediately blotted out the man, the mission, and her allies and used all her power to travel across the continent and the sea with her mind. The last thing she saw before the gun fired was her mind rushing towards Tara Valens, asleep in her bed.

    -------

    “In her last moments she used her power to force herself on the memories she and traits she shared with you. She enforced her personality on them as well as her will, effectively transferring her psyche inside you before dying. Muku had only recently realized what she had been doing, and sensed her coming. Though, Lysis came on too quickly and powerful for Muku to stop with his own psychic power on such short notice, and so he used the only thing strong enough: his bond with you. With that he locked away the memories, visions, traits, Lysis herself; he locked Lysis away in the back of your mind and made you forget, as well as your parents. After that night it was as if Lysis had never existed.”

    Tara stared at Valaura in disbelief. How on earth was this happening?

    ”Salem played a role after she had been killed. He was instructed by Lysis herself that should anything happen to her, that he should take her uniform and her weapons, and disappear. Salem is a powerful Haunter and he has strict loyalties to Lysis for unknown reasons, and will gladly do anything for her.”

    “But why all this now? Isn’t she dead? What am I doing here?” Tara snapped with an annoyed tone. This was just simply too much information for her to handle right now, but she hadn't even heard the whole story.

    ”She is dead, but she also is not… Because of the incident outside of Goldenrod, the one that involved you and the girl named Fida. Muku’s death shattered the mental link you shared, destroying the only thing that kept Lysis at bay for four years. The body called Lysis died four years ago, but the person, she made herself in you. She is Lysis. She is also the reason you are not dead with a bullet-hole in your head. Lysis took control of your body just as the man fired at you. She was not used to your powers, but was able to block the bullet, though, the effort she had to use after just coming out of a four year coma, in which she spent certain spans of time conscious of your actions and unconscious, caused you and her to fall into comatose. It has been two weeks since that night; Lysis left the hospital yesterday evening.”

    “So… I’m sharing my body… with her?” Tara asked, thinking she had to be missing something or that this was some mistake.

    ”Yes,” Valaura blinked.

    Tara started to laugh, rather mockingly. It wasn't clear who or what she was laughing at. "So, I'm sharing my body with a woman who was my best friend, but was secretly some psycho-killer for Team Rocket, and she copied herself onto me as if I were some back up disk, and my other best friend made me forget the whole thing?" she shook her head. "Have I been on drugs or what?"

    Valaura was silent and stood patiently as Tara's babble degenerated into mumbles over the course of a few minutes, seeming less and less uncertain of the facts presented to her the more she thought of what had just been revealed to her.

    Tara’s mind was wild with thoughts and emotions, which the Gardevoir sensed. Most of it was sorrow, sorrow over Muku. Valaura knew that the girl would be mourning for years. Other emotions were fear, and anger, as well as confusion.

    “And you,” Tara started, looking back at Valaura. “What are you doing here? Who are you?”

    “I am here because Lysis asked me to protect you. I too have certain loyalties to her, and I am to ensure your safety when she is not in control,” she stated. “As for who I am… I was born and raised in a Team Rocket laboratory. I was used for various tests and was marked with this black coloring, instead of the more natural green that most Gardevoir are. I am also perhaps the most powerful Gardevoir, and psychic in general, that you will ever meet.” It was blunt, but it was to the point.

    “Go away, then,” Tara said. “I don’t want anything to do with Team Rocket.”

    “I have not considered myself a member of Team Rocket for years, not that I ever could - Pokémon are only tools for them in the end. Over the years they knew better than to meddle with me - they find themselves unable to block my powers with a psychic block, and I am always alert, so I am not caught off-guard. I have watched from the sidelines for years now,” she nodded. ”As for not wanting anything to do with Team Rocket; it is rather too late for that. Lysis was at headquarters last night paying a visit to Rauss; she was caught on their cameras, which is why you are in this safe house. Lysis found this place years ago, no one knows of it but her, and Salem and I of course.”

    “And what am I supposed to do now?”

    ”I do not know. What do you want to do?”

    “I need to find Fida, I need to know she’s safe,” she said with a worried expression.

    “Lysis thought you would ask about her. I checked on the girl myself; she is traveling with good natured boy - her ghost almost sensed my presence, which would have been rather bad. She is so protective of that trainer.”

    “That’s good to know at least,” Tara sighed. She looked very tired once again, her thoughts returned to Muku.

    ”Lysis is going out tonight, or so she told me.”

    “What if I don’t want to share my body? I was only a tool to her,” Tara spat. "I guess our friendship means nothing, not that it's a friendship anymore."

    ”I am afraid you have no choice in the matter - you are not strong enough to resist her.” Valaura stepped forward once more, placing a black hand on Tara’s forehead. “Sleep now,” her voice was hypnotic, her eyes glowed with a red aura. “You will be yourself in the morning.”

    Before she was even able to put up a fight Tara slumped over onto the pillow fast asleep. Valaura looked at Tara curiously for a moment, before covering the girl with a sheet using her telekinetic powers and gliding out of the room.
     
    #5 Sem, Jul 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  6. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    -Chapter 3-

    “This girl eats too much,” Lysis stated before quickly throwing a piece of bread into her mouth, downing it with a glass of water. “How she stays so thin is beyond me,” she added as she looked down at herself.

    Lysis was in the same uniform as the night before; she sat with her legs crossed on a chair next to a desk. Both pieces of furniture were very old and rickety, it was a wonder the chair didn’t collapse.

    ”What are you planning to do tonight?” Valaura, who was nearby, asked. She herself was standing only a few paces from Lysis; she had her arms crossed politely before her.

    “We need cash and we need it now,” the teen said matter-of-factly as she rose from the chair. “I need an ID, and we need someplace better than this dump,” she added as she grabbed her Strata from the desk and put them in their holsters. She took the combat knife that was also on the desk and wiped a rag across it before putting it in a sheath on her belt. “For the latter, we’ll have to pay Fabian a visit.”

    “And the former?”

    Lysis pulled fingerless, black leather gloves onto her hands and turned her head to face Valaura with a small grin. “You’ll see,” she playfully bit her tongue.

    Valaura did not respond and simply followed Lysis out of the room and down a hall. They exited a door and wound up under the light of the moon. They were in a thick forested area that was overrun with all manner of vegetation; any roads to the cabin that existed were no longer visible.

    “Salem,” Lysis chimed.
    The Haunter appeared not even a moment later, and looked at her with a sinisterly gleeful expression.
    “Let’s go have some fun.” She turned her head and looked back at Valaura with one eye. “We’ll only take a moment; meet us at Fabian’s.” After a nod from the Gardevoir the girl and the ghost vanished.

    -------

    “Who do ya think you’re talkin’ to here? Yeah, I’ll have it ready, just make sure you bring the dough,” sounded the coarse and deep voice. The man the voice belonged to shut the flip-phone in his hand and tossed it onto the table next to him. He was a large man of medium height. He looked to be in his thirties, he had a bald spot forming on the back of his head.

    He wiped a hand down his face and sighed. Business had been rough lately, ever since most of his guys had been taken out a couple of weeks ago in an incident which he refused to acknowledge ever happened. He was picking himself back up though - new guys were coming in fresh off the street. They were rough around the edges, but they got the jobs done. He still had a good deal of money, and after tonight’s deal was done he would be set. Still, he wished he never got involved with those girls.

    He walked over to a small table and took a small glass in his hands and a bottle of whiskey in the other. He poured himself a glass and was about to take a drink when he heard a commotion outside his door. He realized after a moment that someone had gotten in - apparently the guys were having trouble dealing with them. He furrowed his brow when he heard gunshots. He hobbled over to his door, only to have to jump away when it exploded into hundreds of splinters. He was surprised when he saw a girl with her leg raised; apparently she had kicked the door. The room behind her was dark, so he couldn’t see her face, but she was far enough into the light of the room that he was able to see the red R’s patched onto the sleeves of her trench coat.

    “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” the man practically yelped as he rose his hands. “What’re you guys doin’ here? I have no business with Team Rocket!”

    “No, you have business with me,” responded the girl.

    The man backed away a few more steps, taking note of the voice; it sounded familiar, very familiar. He shot a confused glance at her.

    “Oh, you do remember her, how lovely,” the female giggled a bit. “Makes things more fun.”

    “Just who the hell am I remembering?” he raised his voice, lowering his hands somewhat. His eyes darted to his gun on the table.

    “Krausky, right? Sounds like a good name. Nifty little office you have here too,” she added, looking around at the striped brown and beige walls and the plush red carpet. Light flowed from the yellow shades of the lamps. “Oh! A pool table too,” she noticed the green surface and stepped forward into the light.

    The man yelled.

    He covered his mouth at the sight before him: the girl was in torn clothes and her skin was practically blue and looked as if it would turn you to ice if you touched it. The girl’s black hair was matted and wiry, and her skin was peeling and torn in several places. She limped forward, dragging a foot behind her; an awful smell entered the man’s nose as he gazing at the gaping hole between her eyes.

    “I’d play you,” she said thoughtfully, not even looking at him as she grabbed a pool stick off the rack on the wall. “But some other time when I see you again in Hell,” she said as she looked at him; her brilliant blue eyes were the only part of her that didn’t look like it had been dead for weeks. She walked forward, putting the cue stick up to the man’s neck.

    “Y-y-you!” the man stuttered. His body was covered in goose-bumps and his hairs stood on end; he could not stop shaking for the life of him.

    “M-m-me!” the female leaned in and teased with a malicious grin.

    “I-I-I killed you,” the man stuttered again, slurring his words. “I-I did.”

    The girl rolled her eyes and sighed - the man recoiled at the putrid breath. “The man who killed me isn’t you, but will be dealt with soon enough,” she tapped her still working foot impatiently. “You didn’t kill anyone, but you caused a whole lot of grief. Traumatized a little girl, killed this body’s best friend, who managed to put me away for four years - that deserves some respect,” the corpse-girl nodded. “Oh, and you unleashed me unto the world, which, ironically, is something I should thank you for.”

    The animated body removed the tip of the stick from the man’s neck and limped over to the table, dragging her leg and the stick as she went. “I won’t thank you, though, because the fact is that you tried to kill this body just because she saw you stealing from a little boy.” She picked up the weapon on the desk, whose shined surface gleamed faintly in the soft light of the room; a simple revolver. “Nice gun,” the girl commented, running her fingers tenderly across the weapon. “I believe this is what you shot her with, or tried to I mean.”

    The man widened his eyes as the corpse turned around, holding his gun in her hand.

    “You haven’t used this gun since, have you?” the girl asked. “No, don’t answer; I already know. Which means that this next bullet…” she started, pulling out the barrel and gazing at the remaining shot. “Was meant for the little girl.” She placed the barrel back into position and aimed it at the man.

    “P-please!” he shouted, barely able to form the word. “I d-don’t want to die, don’t kill me!”

    “Oh, you,” the girl limped nearer and placed her cold and clammy hand on his cheek, rubbing it with a concerned frown on her pale dead face. “Dying isn’t all that bad,” her frown became a grin as she placed the barrel of the weapon directly between the man’s eyes. “Take it from me.”

    No one heard the gun fire, for no one in the building was alive to hear it.

    The girl tossed the weapon aside and stepped away from the body of the man. For a moment she seemed to split into two as a visage of her corpse lifted away from her body, forming into a Haunter. The girl left behind looked perfectly healthy and alive.

    “Good job, Salem,” Lysis nodded, cracking her neck. “We should do that more often.” She stepped over the body and walked to a safe in the wall. She placed her hand on the handle and, reinforcing the muscles in her arm with psychic energy, ripped the door from the safe. “Should’ve gotten a better safe,” Lysis muttered as she dropped the door. She looked inside the safe and smiled. “Jackpot.”

    -------

    “So, it’s really you?” asked a young male. He looked to be somewhere in his twenties. He had short, dark brown hair and a screen-tanned face. He had a tuft of hair on his chin and a thin line on his lip.

    “Yep, still me, Fabian,” Lysis nodded. She sat in a swivel chair, legs crossed and arms places on the arm-rests, looking intently at the man before her, who also sat in a swivel chair. Screens flickered behind him and machines hummed. She had just finished explaining how she was still alive. “Glad to see you’re still around too; I always liked you,” Lysis commented smile.

    “And I you, Miss Fox,” the man turned in his chair, pressing a few buttons and then turning back. “You’re one of the few who appreciates what I do.”

    “Fox? I haven’t been referred to by my last name in years,” Lysis commented.

    “Well, you’ve been gone for years…” Fabian retorted. “And you, Valaura,” he nodded at the Gardevoir. “I haven’t seen you in a very long time, always a pleasure,” he rose and bowed his head.

    ”You are too kind,” Valaura responded rather loosely, as if she were interested in the potted plant in the corner than him. She stood next to Lysis and was currently looking out a tall window next to them.

    Fabian grinned sheepishly and sat back down, the cushion hissed as his weight forced the air from it. “I hear they don’t call you Valaura in the company anymore, simply 'the witch'.”

    “Witch?” Lysis asked, shifting her glance up to Valaura’s crimson eyes. “They finally decide to notice how powerful you are?” she sneered.

    The psychic was silent.

    “Anyway, while I’d be beyond flattered if you had come here simply for a visit, I doubt that's the case,” Fabian stated wryly, leaning back in the chair.

    “Oh hun, why is it you think I only come here when I need something?” Lysis frowned, leaning her cheek against her fist.

    “You don’t need something?” Fabian asked, brows raised.

    “Well, yes, I do,” Lysis shifted her gaze away.

    “I rest my case.”

    “I need an I.D, a bank account, and a place to stay,” Lysis put it forward simply.

    “Is that all?” Fabian chuckled, being completely genuine, as if she were asking for a glass of water.

    “Well, I would also like to take a look at your collection; you know the one I’m talking about,” she sighed and closed her eyes, wearing a completely dreamy expression.

    “What about you… her… Tara?”

    “Hmm, she gave her PokéDex away; those things are irreplaceable… so yes, I suppose it would be a good idea if she also got an I.D and an account.”

    “On it,” he nodded his head and turned around, beginning to type away at the console behind him.

    “Make sure you set my age as nineteen, since I would be that old,” Lysis added as she got up, walking over to the other side of room. The wall she faced was completely white and bare, save for a keypad off to the side. “Sequence still the same?” she asked as she lifted a finger to it.

    “Yep: four, three, eight, nine, three.”

    In the blink of an eye she entered the five digit code and stepped away from the wall. The wall began to hum as complete sections moved and shifted, lifting away to reveal a large selection of armaments.

    “Oooh…” Lysis breathed as she saw the selection before her. She ran her hand gingerly across the closest weapon, a shotgun. She browsed the walls, taking time to look at each weapon, as if she were introducing herself to them.

    “I don’t know what you’ll find there that you’ll like more than those Strata; they’re still a couple of years ahead of their time you know,” Fabian commented as she browsed.

    “Not looking for replacements,” the teen answered. “But you can’t have too many toys.” She took hold of a sniper rifle and held it expertly, aiming at an invisible target. “I’ve always wanted one of these…” she muttered rather disconnectedly. “I’ll take it.”

    “If you’re so willing to dish out some of that money, take a look at the end,” the man chuckled. “but, smile for the camera first.”

    Lysis turned and did so, flashing her ever confident smile.

    “Smile again, different expression.”

    Lysis half removed her jacket so that the camera would only catch her shirt, and smiled wryly, the way Tara would.

    “Thank you.”

    Lysis turned her head to where he had directed and widened her eyes. Gently, she placed the rifle on the ground and practically skipped to the end of the display. “Oh!” she swooned. “Look at you!” She was looking at what looked to be a bazooka. “You’re beautiful…” she whispered as she ran a hand along its length, caressing every feature and detail as if it were a work of art.

    “I’ll discount it for you,” Fabian called. “Half-off. Could never sell it anyway; s’been sitting there for years.”

    “People have no taste these days,” Lysis muttered, disgusted, as she gently cased both weapons. She carried them over to her chair and set them down. She reached into a breast pocket of her jacket, pulling out a thick wad of money. She got the amount she needed and put it down on the table.

    “Aaand done,” Fabian grinned and swiveled back around, handing Lysis two cards. One was for a Lysis Fox, the other for a Tara Valens. “Both accounts are accessible from the ID, and the lock for your new penthouse will open to the swipe of either one.”

    “Penthouse?” Lysis smiled, eyes flashing.

    “Yes, quite a find. Owned by the government – it’s slipped from their sight through the cracks due to disuse. Thankfully I got a hold of it; they won’t ever remember they have it. You’ll be staying free, courtesy of government funds. If they ever track the money they’ll find that it’s going to a good will program.”

    “I’m not worthy,” Lysis uttered with a sarcastic bow.

    “It’s here in Saffron, here’s the directions.” Fabian handed Lysis a map hot from the printer. “Because it was government owned, it’s outfitted with state of the art stuff, including places to hide your toys,” his gaze shot briefly to the two cases, prompting him to reach out for the money. He didn’t even count it and put it aside. The young man extended his hand. “Pleasure doing business with you, Miss Fox.”

    “Pleasure’s all mine,” Lysis grinned, shaking his hand, and with a nod to Valaura grabbed the cases before vanishing from Fabian’s apartment.

    -------

    “Huh?” Tara exclaimed as she jolted awake into a sitting position. She found herself in a room different from before. In fact, to compare the room she was currently in to the room she was before would be like comparing a diamond to a clod of dirt. The room was exquisitely clean and modern. Pure white walls and a light gray carpet, with black furniture supported by metal legs.

    It was going to take a while to get used to the possibility of waking up somewhere unfamiliar, and Tara was beyond angry at the fact that she would even be forced to deal with such a thing.

    Tara rubbed her eyes and ran a hand through her ebony mane of hair. She looked to her right, seeing gray curtains that blocked the midday sun. Turning her head even more she caught sign of a clock on a nightstand, catching the green-lettered time at 12:35pm. She sighed.

    Good afternoon.”

    Tara twitched and inhaled sharply, frightened by the sudden voice that echoed in her head. She looked straight ahead, seeing Valaura at the foot of the bed. The girl said nothing as she stretched and slid out from under the covers onto the plush floor. “Good afternoon,” she muttered.

    The teen walked to the curtains and drew them back, letting the bright sunlight hit her pale skin. She unlatched the lock and slid the glass door open, allowing a soft breeze to flow into the room, causing the drapes to flutter.

    She was clothed in a simple white gown that billowed out behind her as she stepped out onto the balcony. With sapphire eyes shimmering in the light she gripped the rail and looked down at the city below her. She found no comfort in the sun, for it seemed to fail to warm her at all; its rays fell cold against her skin. The life of the city didn’t fill her with any form of emotion, and she felt a depressing emptiness within herself. She felt alone.

    Tara shivered slightly, and held her arms as she walked back into the bedroom. The door slid shut behind her, probably Valaura's doing. Tara threw off the gown and marched into the closet in order to find something to wear. She was surprised to find the large closet full of clothes, all of which were in her exact size. The girl didn't let her surprise get in the way for long, and found a blue top and pair of black jeans and put on. She pulled a pair of blue arm-warmers over her hands and picked out a black coat. It fit her rather well and looked very nice, though she didn't really take the time to look at herself in it in the mirror. Simple black buttons went down one side in order to fasten the three straps on the other, though the coat also had a zipper. Two front pockets and two inside, it also had a collar and a hood. The jacket went down mid-thigh. Tara couldn’t care less about the appearance and simply put it on. Before she closed the door of the closet she caught sight of a jacket with a red R patched into the sleeve. Her hand trembled as she shut the door.

    ”How are you feeling?” Valaura asked, still at the foot of the bed and eyeing Tara with her crimson gaze.

    ”Hungry,” she answered sourly.

    ”There is a plentiful amount of food in the kitchen,” the Gardevoir explained as Tara left the room.

    Tara left the bedroom and found herself in a spacious living area. The design matched the bedroom. It was curved, with one whole wall being nothing but glass. To Tara’s right a set of black leather couches sat situated around a rather large flat-screen television mounted on the wall. There was a space beyond it in which a low glass table sat with a decorative bouquet of exotic flowers - Tara guessed that they were fake. The table was in front of a set of double glass doors that led to the same balcony. Beyond the doors and the table was a simple quiet area with a recliner and a lamp. Two black bookcases stood, filled with a plethora of books and a fireplace set against the wall.

    To Tara’s left there were a step that ran in a curved fashion across the room. Up the steps was the kitchen. The appliances were stainless steel and the countertops were gray marble. The steps and floor beyond were of a slate gray tile, and the walls black marble. The ceiling was high and white, with lights up inside it, beaming down at the floor below. Opposite the kitchen was a large glass dining table with black leather cushioned chairs. Between the kitchen and the table was the main attraction of the room; a fountain. It was of a gray marble and featured a statue that contained four beings; Suicune and Lugia, of Johto legend, Kyogre of Hoenn legend, and a small, barely visible creature; Manaphy, of Sinnoh legend. All were placed around each other in a beautiful way that looked fluid in and of itself.

    “Where are we?” Tara was forced to ask as she ascended the stair. Her voice was vibrant at first, despite her foul mood.

    ”A penthouse in Saffron City” Valaura replied as she followed, gracefully going up the steps.

    “Do I even want to know how we got here?” Tara asked, bitter once more as she looked at Valaura with her blue eyes.

    “It is not what you would consider legal, however, Lysis did not kill anybody for it,” Valaura replied simply as she telekinetically drew out a chair and sat in it, crossing her legs and folding her hands in her lap.

    Tara did not respond as she rummaged through the kitchen, which was completely stocked with anything she could want. She threw together a few things and ate ravenously, being halfway done before she even reached the table. Valaura was not looking at her and instead seemed preoccupied thinking of other things. For the first time Tara took a good look at the psychic. Valaura’s small mouth was curved downward very seriously, and her vivid red eyes seemed as if they were as shallow as a puddle and also as deep as the sea all at once. Tara could not help but look at the black coloring; coupled with the frown and the eyes, as well as her cold attitude, the black seemed to complete the image of corruption that the Gardevoir gave off.

    ”Corrupted?” Valaura stated, not even looking at the girl. “Perhaps, though, not entirely by choice.”

    “Just who are you?” Tara asked as she took a last bite, ignoring the fact that her mind had been read. “If you are to be a 'guardian', then I would like to know more about you.” Tara was not at all in the mood for any sort of conversation, but she figured that in the end, there was nothing else she could do.

    ”Shall I start from the beginning then?” she asked, though she didn’t expect an answer. She was still sitting in the same position and was not looking at Tara. After a blink of her eyes, she started. ”I was born into Team Rocket, and never even saw the outside world for years. I was trained in much the same fashion that Lysis was. You will find that I can perform many of the physical feats she can, though my psychic abilities are far stronger. However, because I am not human, but Pokémon, I can be… controlled, or could have been controlled: it is not the case anymore. I was trained to perform tasks and to protect. A perfect soldier, or slave, whichever you prefer. I excelled at whatever task they gave me, and I was the most successful of my siblings, who were disposed of due to their inabilities.”

    Valaura was silent for a moment.

    ”I had the honor of standing guard of Giovanni himself for a short while. I was still excelling rapidly at the time, gaining fine control of my abilities through my own prowess and through the usage of Team Rocket’s various instruments. All my time was spent training, I never grew close to any person, in fact I felt that I could not. I soon became too powerful. They had ideas of using me for massive terrorist threats and attacks. I told them that I would refuse to be used as such a tool and that because I was so powerful, they could not refuse me. Team Rocket is sly however, and from that moment on I retreated to sideline activities, always being aware of myself and those near me, as to not be caught off guard for when they decided to strike, trapping me with one of their inventions and enslaving my body. It is my own success that led to the extermination of Lysis’ group. I was a prime example of what could occur if they lost control of the group.”

    Valaura finally shifted her eyes so that they met Tara’s.

    ”I discovered Lysis during her first days with Team Rocket. I am not entirely sure what attracted me to her, perhaps because she was like me in the end, and refused to be used and then tossed aside.”

    “Why is she still with it though, what attracts her to that lifestyle?” Tara butt-in, already thinking of Lysis instead of Valaura’s brief summary of her not-so-happy life.

    ”She enjoys it. She fully enjoys what Team Rocket awakened in her, the control and power it gave her. It was intoxicating to her. She adores the concept of being untouchable; her resurrection only proves the point that she does not want to be conquered.”

    “So I have to share myself with her because of her selfishness?” Tara rose her voice.

    “In the end she did feel very bad for what she was doing, you could see that, but she could not stop then. You bring out the humanity in her, otherwise, she is a being of pure selfish desire.”

    “My last memory of her was very fond you know,” Tara raised her chin. “I looked up to her, like an older sister, even when she was distant. Now it’s all suddenly sour, you can’t imagine how it feels.”

    ”What, betrayal?” Valaura responded as if amused. ”Oh, trust me, child: I know how it feels. Imagine living every day, knowing the people around you care nothing for you and only wish to use you. I know it very well,” her voice became bitter as well.

    They were both silent for a while.

    “I have to keep going,” Tara said after a moment. “I can’t just stop. Muku wouldn’t want me to stop.” She stood up, taking the dishes to the sink. “I have to keep doing what I’ve been doing, and stand up to show that I won’t be conquered either.”

    “What will you do? Go back to battling?” Valaura asked rather simply, which seemed to entirely strip all importance and meaning from the sport.

    “Yes,” Tara responded. “Because I do it well and I enjoy it.”

    ”Perhaps, but maybe not anymore. You know I am not lying when I say Muku was the main source of your strength. He was your support.”

    The girl stopped, gripping the counter so hard her knuckles popped. She turned around, facing Valaura, not doing anything to hide the tears. “Yes, he was. But my other Pokémon support me too, they love me too!” she stomped her foot, throwing a spoon across the room where it hit the wall and clattered noisily to the tile. “…I would appreciate it, Valaura, if you didn’t probe that far into my mind.”

    ”I do not have to read minds in order to discern that part of you, Tara," she answered wryly. "And what will you do to stop me?” Valaura cocked her head. “You do not seem so forceful now. No confidence. No power behind your voice, simply empty words.”

    Tara turned to the sink, ignoring the psychic. She turned on the water and began to lather a sponge. She was seething, and she knew Valaura could sense it, she could probably have sensed it even if she were continents away. Tara focused hard on the plates, piercing them with her gaze. She slammed her fist onto the counter in anger and looked momentarily shocked when the plate in the sink shattered.

    She stood in silence for a few moments before saying, “…I’m going to the Pokémon Center.” With that and not even a glance towards Valaura, Tara walked away.
    -------
    Also, layout of the penthouse because I could:
    [​IMG]
     
    #6 Sem, Jul 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  7. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    -Chapter 4-

    “Strange,” Tara stated as she sat at a blue PC, looking at the storage system for her Pokémon. “Some of these guys should be back home and not at the lab,” she muttered as she logged out of the computer. She took the Pokéballs into her hand curiously and put them with the rest in her jacket.

    The center was a bit full with trainers, in for a free lunch, since it was about that time of day. The air was full of their chatter, how their Nidorino could beat their Sandslash, how her Venomoth had prettier wings than so-and-so' Pidgeot. It was a very excited atmosphere, there was a buzz in the air. A buzz that normally got Tara itching for a battle, or to join in some of the banter at least.

    Valaura stood nearby, ever vigilant, though, as out of sight as she could manage; she was quite the oddity with her coloration, and would stick out like a sore thumb to Team Rocket surveillance. She didn’t seemed bothered by this - she carried a look of biting ice in her gaze. Only the incredibly brave or the incredibly stupid dared to wave or comment, though, even they stood wary, anticipating the idea that Valaura would lash out at them and slash their necks. Tara seemed to either not mind that the Gardevoir struck fear into the hearts of those around her, or she was too occupied in her own thoughts to notice.

    “Valaura,” she addressed as she approached. She was still mad at the psychic, and didn’t attempt to hide it. “I would like to go home, to see my parents.”

    Valaura nodded simply and took hold of Tara’s hand in hers and in a moment, vanished.

    Tara was completely unprepared for the jump and was left jarred, stumbling as she reappeared in another part of the world. She gathered herself quickly and looked around her. She was back on the familiar street on which she grew up. They appeared right before her house, which she had left only four months prior.

    The street was silent and the sun seemed to be in a slightly different position. A sudden cool breeze caught Tara and made her shiver, used how warm the day had become in Saffron.

    It was eerily silent and something felt very off. The grass of her house was barely green, dead in many places and in a desperate need of cutting. She walked up to the door of the house, finding a large lock, disallowing her to open the front door to her home. Valaura came up silently and without a word touched Tara’s shoulder - in less than a moment they appeared on just the other side of the door.

    Tara looked back at Valaura and shrugged off her hand. She looked around with sudden wide eyes, gasping. All the furniture was gone, the walls were bare, and all was silent.

    “Hello?” Tara called loudly so that anyone inside could hear her. Her voice echoed off the walls. It was strange how different a voice sounded in a building when it was empty.

    Valaura closed her eyes for a moment. ”There is no one here. There has not been for some time.”

    “What?” Tara responded, looking puzzled. "I was here just a few months ago…" she murmured, heart racing. Frantic now, she ran around to all the rooms to see for herself, finding that all the rooms were empty. She walked back, holding a hand to her head. “Did they move? Why wasn’t I told?”

    ”No, they did not move…” Valaura said in a solemn whisper, eyes still closed. Her reply was so quiet that Tara didn’t really hear it as she walked towards the front door; Valaura helped her to teleport to the other side once more.

    Tara was surprised to see a man coming up the sidewalk with a sign. He was in a long coat and suit, looking very professional. Without noticing her he stopped at her house and plunged the pointed spike of the sign into dried grass. Tara was more confused once she saw that the sign read 'For Sale'. The man was attaching a plastic tube with flyers when Tara approached him.

    “What are you doing?” she asked him, even though it would seem quite obvious to anyone else what he was doing.

    “Oh!” he jumped, a bit startled. “…I’m, erm, putting the sign in to let people know it’s for sale.”

    “Yes, I can see that,” Tara said impatiently. “But this house isn’t for sale.”

    “Yes it is, it was put on the market today,” the agent argued, looking a bit irritated.

    “What about the people who live here?”

    “…No one lives here,” the man replied as he finished tying on the tube, talking as if this fact were rather obvious and well known.

    “Yes, there’s a family who lives here; a husband and wife and their daughter!” Tara insisted. Her heart rate picked up, a sudden feeling of dread overtook her as Valaura approached her from behind, as if the psychic was channeling the already morbid energy of the place.

    “Not anymore, didn’t you hear?” the man furrowed his brow as he straightened himself, looking past Tara towards Valaura.

    “Hear what?”

    ”Tara,” Valaura said in cautious tone.

    The teen looked back and shot the Gardevoir a glare. She turned back to the man, “Hear what?” she repeated.

    “There was a break in about a few weeks ago during the night. Guy got in, thinking he’d find something that he could sell for some good money. The daughter is away, but the parents, they were killed.”

    Silence reigned once more for a few moments.

    “Killed?” Tara leaned in, turning her head. This couldn't happen to her. Too much was happening to her right now for this to happen on top of it all. No one’s life went this bad in such a short amount of time.

    “Y-yeah, unfortunately,” the man nodded, looking directly at her.

    “How did he get in without waking them or the neighbors?!”

    “He had a Ghost-type Pokémon or something, I don't remember all the details-”

    “Well, what about The Watch? Where were they?!”

    “I don’t know all the details, miss!” the man repeated, raising his voice.

    Tara blinked, not noticing that she had been walking towards him. Blinking again, she fought back tears and felt something stirring in the back of her mind, something not of her. "Weren't there any Pokémon in the house to protect them?" she asked, because she did leave a number of Pokémon with her parents.

    "The couple had recently gone on a holiday, they were probably sent away," he explained, trying to recall the specifics of a story he had only read once while drinking a cup of coffee. "Did you know the family or something?" he asked, seeming to want to leave but too polite to do so.

    "And the daughter?" Tara ignore him. "Does she know?"

    "No one could get a hold of her," the agent shrugged, looking apologetic. He studied her face and her appearance, seeming to find something familiar about her. “Why are you so interested in knowing anyway?” the man asked curiously when Tara backed away. He did not receive an answer and simply watched as the strangely-colored Gardevoir took the girl and teleported away.

    -------

    Back in the penthouse, Tara had spent the remainder of the afternoon in the bedroom, enclosed to allow her time alone, to grieve. Valaura sat patiently in the living area of the dwelling, keeping her mind to herself out of courtesy. It was not until dinner that Tara emerged. She saw Valaura and waved weakly before heading to the kitchen. Her was face flushed in red and her eyes were puffed.

    Valaura rose, gliding across the floor and up the step. She stood silently as Tara threw together a meal. The girl took a drink from the fridge and sat at the table. The Gardevoir followed and took a seat, eyeing the girl, who made no attempt to actually eat any of the food she had prepared. She sat and simply stared at the plate with a dazed look.

    After a moment she looked at Val, choosing to talk to the only person she could at that moment. “What more could happen? My lifelong friend is dead, my parents are gone, I have no home, and I’m sharing my body with a person who used to be my friend and only used me for her benefit in the end.”

    ”Yes, might as well give up on life now,” Valaura’s said with a voice so serious it seemed like she was agreeing with Tara. ”Never mind the fact that you are alive, your other Pokémon are alive, and that you have a roof over you.”

    “Don’t you dare patronize me,” Tara quipped, shaking her head as it rested in her palm. ”I didn’t ask for any of this.”

    ”I do not know anyone who wishes bad situations upon themselves. They find us anyway.” Valaura blinked. ”Such is life. Learn to take it and adapt to it.”

    That was exactly the pearl of wisdom Tara wanted to hear. This conversation was doing more bad than good.

    “What, adapt like you?” Tara retorted, rubbing her forehead and sighing heavily. “I’d rather ice not run through my veins, thank you.”

    The conversation stopped then, proving to be short and not at all helpful to the girl. After a while Tara pushed away her plate and sunk back into the chair. ”So what else has Lysis got planned? More illegal business, more killing? I’m dying to know what else I’m going to be used for,” Tara said with a smile in spite of herself. It was easier to pin blame than to have to deal with it silently in your own head.

    ”You owe her your life, you must realize. She stopped the bullet.”

    “She wasn’t saving me so much as she was saving herself. She can’t exist without me, can she?” Tara replied with a glower as she crossed her arms.

    “You should speak with her, that would do some good,”[/i] Valaura suggested, unfazed by Tara’s remarks.

    “Yes, I’m sure it will,” Tara responded sarcastically as she was about to stand. She was stopped and forced back into her seat by a psychic force.

    ”You must come to terms if you are to coexist,” Valaura insisted with a pressed voice.

    Tara struggled as she felt movement within her mind. The penthouse suddenly vanished, as if a switch was hit and all the lights switched off. She was still conscious, though the feeling was strange. She couldn’t see anything as she looked around. There were no smells, and there didn't even seem to be air. Tara raised her hand to her face, seeing it just fine, but nothing else existed.

    “Hello, Tara.”

    Tara twirled around, blinded by a sudden light as the world around her changed from black to a wide range of color. In only moments she was in a vast field next to a large tree. The girl could feel a rush of scents, only they were different, as if they were only memories of scents. She looked and saw Lysis, only older than when she last saw her.

    “You!” Tara pointed, feeling her anger rise again.

    Lysis frowned. She stood, twirling a flower in her hands. She wasn’t in her uniform, rather, she was in more casual dress. A pair of skinny dark-was jeans with a red top along with cuffed boots and a fedora. “Yes, me. Nice to see you too.”

    The younger girl's nostrils flared, but she remained silent as she looked around. The silence of this world was almost unbearable, as if watching an environmental program with the volume on mute.

    “Where are we?” Tara asked.

    “A plane inside your head where our minds overlap,” Lysis explained as she plucked a petal from the flower in her hand. “Valaura brought you here, since you can’t do it on your own. This is the only means for us to talk,” she shrugged.

    Tara was fuming. Lysis seemed perfectly calm and at ease with herself. “You’re not sorry at all for what you did, are you?”

    Lysis frowned once more. “Don’t come here to make me feel guilty, I felt that enough last time I saw you,” she said crossly. “I did what I had to to survive.”

    “To survive?” Tara repeated as she glared. “Did you even ask me? ‘˜Oh, Tara, mind if we share a body?’”

    “Don’t give me that, Tara-dear. Without me you’d be buried under six feet of dirt and crap,” Lysis countered, returning the glare.

    “So I should be thankful that you… possessed me?”

    “I did what I had-“

    “No, you didn’t have to. You did it out of selfishness!”

    Lysis looked down, fiddling with the now-bare stem she had in her hand. “You would’ve rather had me die? Then you wouldn’t even have had the luxury of forgetting my existence. I would’ve just been gone one day.”
    “Don’t make me the villain here - it’s not my fault that you got involved in such a dangerous lifestyle!” she continued, defending herself. “You don’t get to try again and use me as a back-up. It was a selfish thing you did.”

    “…Yes it was,” Lysis agreed. “It was selfish of me.”

    Tara waited for more, but there was only silence as Lysis let the stem fall to the ground. “And?”

    “And what?” Lysis asked. “If you’re expecting me to just pack up and leave that’s not going to happen, love,” Lysis said with a smile as she shook her head.

    “We can’t share my body!” Tara countered. “I’m my own person! I have things of my own to do, I shouldn’t be forced to follow your warped agenda!” she stomped her foot.

    “Tara, love, I’m doing you a favor. You need me. You’re not strong enough anymore,” Lysis told her as cocked her head and frowned in a way that looked like pity.

    “I was just fine with Muku!” Tara yelled and ran at Lysis with her arm raised. She felt like she punched a wall - her fist was held firmly in the older girl’s grasp. Lysis only smirked as she effortlessly pushed Tara away.

    “Yes, well, he’s not around anymore. And you can’t blame that on me.”

    Tara faltered at the bluntness of Lysis’ statement and fell to her knees, breathing quickly.

    “You can’t blame all your troubles on me, because in reality, I’ve only done you good so far.” She looked directly into Tara eyes, as if piercing through them into the girl's soul. "I saved you from the bullet, got you out of danger, I got you out of Goldenrod, I've brought you to a secure location, I've taken care of your needs by providing food and clothes, you have an ID, you have a bank account with some money in it. And believe me, you'll soon find that you'll have more money than you'll ever need," she explained, using her fingers to list the things she said. "You have roof over your head - a very nice roof I might add, you have someone to keep you safe and to keep you company, and you're in a Pokémon trainer hotspot,"

    Lysis paused, crossing her arms and grinning again. "I've done you only good so far. Muku is not my fault, your parents are not my fault. And I offer my condolences to you for all three of them." This was a sincere statement, Tara could feel it was, but that didn’t stop her.

    Tara was silent for a while, eyes smoldering as she looked down at her legs. Her fingers reached for the dream-grass, finding its texture both familiar and foreign - once again only the memory of the touch of grass. Plucking out a handful, she let it all fall. "Thank you," she replied flatly. "But, that's not all you've done. Despite all those good things you still used me and have brought dangerous things into my life. Mainly Team Rocket, but that's enough if you ask me." Tara's eyes flicked up, looking directly into Lysis'.

    The young woman rolled her eyes and leaned to the side, arms still crossed. "Team Rocket won't be in your life for long. And I don't plan to just go around and kill anyone. I have desires beyond the slaughtering of people who have wronged me. The sooner I deal with them the sooner they get out of your life. Once that's done, I'm sure we can settle for some agreement." She uncrossed her arms and smiled kindly. "We used to be friends, dear. I saved your life, don't you want to save mine? I'm sure we could be friends again."

    “You only saved me because you needed me-“

    “He’s dead you know," Lysis butt-in. "The one who tried to kill you two, who killed Muku,” Lysis continued as she walked closer to Tara. The younger girl felt the woman’s presence grow in her own mind as she neared. “I killed him for you.” She kneeled before Tara. “You could say he was already half-dead from fright before I ended it. He was begging you know,” Lysis smiled.

    “I-I," Tara stuttered. "You can’t expect me to be happy that you’re killing people…” she replied. Though, in her heart she knew that this also was a truth – that Lysis killed him as an act of vengeance. The money she got from the man was only a bonus. She could not deny… Deep inside, she was glad he was dead.

    “The man who got your parents? I can find him. I can kill him; I can kill him for you,” her voice echoed into her mind like poison.

    She leaned in closer, caressing the younger girl’s face.

    “I can make him suffer pain you wouldn’t even imagine. I could make him cry, beg, for me to end his life, to pay for what he did to you, to your family.” Leaning in even closer, she whispered into Tara’s ear. “I could have him watch in horror as he puts a gun to his head against his will. He can sweat bullets as he watches his finger slowly pull the trigger. He would be sorry. He could pay in full for what he did, and I would do it all for you.”

    The younger girl felt nauseated, fighting hard to keep her balance even when sitting. She also could not deny that this also appealed to her, but she knew it was wrong. “You’re evil,” Tara managed to say, her heart beat rapidly and her breathing was fast. She could’ve passed out if she allowed herself to, but she wouldn’t.

    “Nonsense,” she replied, shaking her head, but smiling all the more. “just think of how many people are safe because that man’s dead,” Lysis stated as she stood and walked away, much to Tara’s relief. The sickness seemed to fade as the girl got farther away. "Think how many more would be safe once the other one's dead."

    “It’s not your right to play God,” Tara muttered as she also rose.

    “Then whose is it?” Lysis laughed a haughty laugh. “No one can challenge me, no one can conquer me.”

    “Someone did,” Tara stated. “That’s the reason you’re in my body.”

    Lysis’ smile vanished instantly and she glowered at Tara. “Yes, and he and that Hypno will get what's coming to them. There's no coming back for them!”

    “If there was one, there’ll be more who will be able to beat you,” Tara continued confidently. “And are you going to keep running? Keep possessing yourself? You can’t do that forever. Sooner or later, there just won’t be anywhere to go, or you won’t be fast enough. You’ll always need to have a back-up…”

    “I’ll do whatever it takes,” the older girl hissed.

    “Even betraying friends? Look how much you’ve changed.” Tara shook her head as she cast a pitiful stare at Lysis. She felt she was getting the upper hand, she felt her confidence rising. “You act for yourself! If it doesn’t benefit you, you won’t bother. You blocked the bullet to save yourself! Don’t you dare say it was for me.”

    “That’s the only way to live in this world, Tara. That’s the best way to survive, and I intend to survive by the abilities I was born with,” Lysis replied calmly, sure of her own words. “That may have affected you, and it may affect you negatively, and I am sorry,” she said again, turning to face the girl, eyes flashing open. “But that won’t stop me.”

    “I see…” Tara replied simply. She was through talking, only one solution was available to her, and it would take her a lot of time to do. She would do it though, to reclaim herself, and not let Lysis get the better of her. "Think how many people would be safer without you," Tara thought in her head, though she knew the girl would hear.

    Sensing that the conversation was over, Valaura returned Tara into a conscious state.

    -------

    ”I would tell you that did not go well, but I know you have a motive,” Valaura said as Tara took hold of her head due to dizziness.

    “The only way to get my body back is to develop these psychic powers that I have. I noticed that I’ve started using them without meaning to. I need to become stronger than her,” Tara said firmly.

    ”She has had years of merciless training,” Valaura pointed out rather dryly with a raised eyebrow. ”And what of your parents?”

    “…I…” Tara fell silent. Though she loved them dearly, she had only seen them for a few days out of the past four years. She was very sad, but she was at the point where she could only handle only so much before pushing it from her mind. “I miss them…” she said. “But, I can’t stop because they’re not here. Keep moving, gotta keep moving. That’s what I tell people, I figure I should take my own medicine. That's what they would want me to do.”

    In this moment Tara felt a strange feeling come over her. It was a feeling of utmost peace that she could not describe. It was familiar somehow, and it fought with her negative emotions, strengthening her positive outlook.

    Tara looked over at Valaura, whose eyes were following something in the air, as if she were tracking an insect.

    After a moment the feeling faded away, leaving Tara bewildered, but more at ease. She wondered what it was. It couldn't have been Valaura, couldn't have. "What was that?" Tara asked.

    "What was what?" Val replied, returning her eyes to Tara's own.

    "Nothing, nevermind.”

    -------

    ”So, you are not sorry?” Valaura asked as she and Lysis stood out on the balcony of the penthouse. The Saffron night air was crisp and fresh. Cars rushed by far below.

    Lysis looked down at the street with a solemn expression. “Of course I am, I told her that.”

    ”But?” Valaura continued as she stood beside the young woman, hands resting on the railing.

    “Because…” Lysis started. “She’s right, it was selfish. I have no excuse for it.” She took one of her Strata from its holster on her belt and removed the magazine, looking to see that all the shots were there. She new it was a full cartridge, but it was something for her hands to do. “Though half of me doesn’t care. The other half makes me feel guilty, but it’s true. This life… I couldn’t give it up for anything. And I’m fighting for my life. I’m only human afterall…”

    The Gardevoir remained silent. She, of course, knew all of these answers, but it was her way to have people admit it so that they could hear themselves say it.

    “Don’t let anything happen to her…” Lysis turned, looking directly into the psychic’s expressionless eyes. “If there’s danger, remove the danger, or remove her from it.” The teen’s blue eyes were full of emotion in contrast to Valaura’s, and rather different to how they normally looked when she was in control of the body. In seconds they assumed their mechanical sharpness. “Fabian gave us a good lead on this guy: let’s go settle a score,” she grinned and vanished, leaving only the hissing of air as it rushed to fill the space where she once was.

    Both beings appeared before a house seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It was surrounded by trees and the house itself needed some fixing up, though it wasn’t too bad aside from the single, boarded up window. The paint had all peeled, leaving just the wood, which was gray from years of exposure to the elements.

    “I do wonder where Salem is tonight,” Lysis thought aloud as she looked around. “I swear, one second he seems like he wouldn’t leave my side for the world, and the next it’s like he has his own things to do.”

    “There is someone in that house,” Valaura pointed out, avoiding conversation that concerned the ghost and reminding Lysis of the reason she was here.

    “Oh, good, let’s say hello,” Lysis purred as her mouth formed into a crooked smile. She walked silently and briskly to the door of the plain house. The boards creaked as she stepped onto the porch. She leaned to one side and knocked twice with the back of her hand.

    "Who's there?" replied a voice from inside.

    “Just an old friend!” Lysis replied kindly, recognizing the voice as the last voice her real self ever heard. She took a look around the dark house. It smelled dusty, and the boards whined with every breath she took. She closed her jacket to conceal her weapons.

    “Don’t lie to me, lass,” came the voice of a man as he rounded the corner into the foyer, where Lysis and Valaura were. He looked at them for a moment as they looked at him. He was tall, early forties with short brown hair and five-o-clock shadow. He looked fairly muscular and was dressed in simple lounge pants and a tank top.

    “Oh, it’s you…” he said to Valaura. “And you, you look familiar,”he commented as he gazed at the young woman. He looked back and forth between them a few more times before asking, “Well, what do you want?”

    “We knew you when you were back in Team Rocket,” Lysis started as she began to craft her words carefully, lacing them with telepathic impulses as she looked directly into the man’s eyes. “You were a major inspiration to me and I was sad to know you left. I wanted to come talk to you for a bit.”

    “Really?” the man replied as he looked harder at her, trying to remember the vagueness of her familiarity.

    “Yes, Mr. Mercer. I served under you for a little bit, back when we were doing those missions in the Lavender town area.”

    "Come in then…" the man's voice trailed as Lysis and Valaura passed by, though the man eyed the Gardevoir warily. “What’s she doing here?”

    “She’s assigned to me,” Lysis called back as she took a seat on a moth-eaten sofa. “Where I go, she goes.”

    “Ah, I didn't realize she was back,” he replied as he took his seat in a chair opposite, letting his arms fall to the sides, one arm hidden from view. “What did you want to talk about?”

    “Why did you leave?” Lysis asked straight-out as she sat with her legs crossed, her hands clasping her knee.

    “Didn’t quite do it for me anymore,” he said. “I did my time there, but I wasn’t getting anywhere.”

    “You had a lot of respect though,” Lysis replied.

    “Yeah, well, don’t care much for that,” he answered, wave a hand dismissively. “Got to knock a few heads - it was fun, but that’s it,” he leaned back and shrugged, stretching out his arms over the top of the sofa, causing him to burp. “S’cuse me,” he managed.
    Lysis wrinkled her nose. As much as she was enjoying toying with this man, she had a timeframe.

    “Where’s your Hypno?” she asked, looking around.

    The man froze. Slowly he let his arms drop to the sides of the chair.

    “I don’t have a Hypno,” he stated, gripping something unseen with his hand.

    “Yes you did, when I last saw you,” Lysis replied, pretending not to notice that man was probably ready to blow a hole in her at a seconds notice.

    “I only ever had a Hypno once: I was allowed to borrow it for one mission,” the man chuckled, resuming as if he weren't on his guard. “Damn useful that thing was, otherwise I never would’ve taken care of that wench.”

    Lysis grinned all the more and stood, exposing her jacket to the dim light of the room, letting it open to reveal her weapons. Suddenly it all came back to the man.

    “You!” he pointed with his free arm and stood, bringing out a gun with the other.

    “Ah, ah, ah!” Lysis quickly teleported closer, avoiding being shot. She kicked the gun away and grabbed the man by the throat. She lifted him easily into the air, reinforcing her muscles.

    “How?” he choked as he grabbed at her arm, legs flailing.

    “You have worse things to worry about right now,” Lysis pointed out with a smile, tossing the man like a ragdoll across the room. He hit the floor with a crunch, splintering the wood and possibly more as he tumbled across the floor and into an old armoire.

    The girl walked swiftly and lightly across the room in a powerful stride, stepping over debris with ease and pulling out a Strata. The man groaned as she dragged him up with her free hand, pinning him to a wall.

    “I could kill you right now.” Lysis’ eyes were bright as she continued to grin. “It’d be the fair thing to do; after all, you killed me…” Lysis growled as she pressed the weapon painfully to the man’s temple and pulled his hair.

    “Then why don’t you?” the man asked roughly with a wince.

    “Because," she started, looking around at the house and at the man. "I could leave you to your pitiful existence here.” She withdrew her weapon. “Seems more fitting for a swine like you anyway,” She stepped back, allowing him to fall to the floor.

    He did not say anything at first, quickly looking around, most likely in search of something he could use as a weapon. Part of him knew that whatever he did would be useless. “You’re just going to leave?” he asked, massaging his throat.

    “Yes, I’ll leave you be. Just don’t let me see your face anywhere ever again,” she instructed, looking straight into his eyes. After a moment she walked out of the room and out the front door with Valaura following. They both teleported away before Lysis even stepped off of the last step of the porch.

    When they reappeared they were in a confined space, a small cabin of sorts. The space was still and the windows showed that there was activity outside. They were in the engine car of a freight train.

    “Move, I’m taking over,” Lysis told the conductor, who just noticed them and jumped in shock. She placed a hand on his shoulder and vanished for a split second, reappearing without him. “Separate the car, please Val,” Lysis chimed as she took a moment to look at the controls.

    The engine care rumbled and moved a bit as it was unlatched from the rest of the train.

    “Hnn, let’s get started.” Lysis smiled as she pulled gloves over her hands. She pulled on a lever and adjusted some of the controls. Before anyone could do anything about it, the head of the train was off down the tracks. The pace was slow at first but they rapidly gained speed as the wheels pumped faster and faster.

    The scenery was just rushing by and soon they were in the country, plowing past greens fields and thick groves of trees. The girl pushed a certain lever all the way up and the vehicle moaned as it went even faster, creaking and whining as it skated across the tracks.

    “Now let’s see if this number Fabian gave us is any good…” Lysis said as she pulled out a piece of paper and a phone. She quickly punched the numbers in and crumbled the paper, letting it drop to the floor.

    Ring…

    Lysis purred.

    Ring…

    Lysis looked at Valaura, who simply stood, calmly surveying the area as if she were merely strolling by it, instead of at a velocity that was hazardous to her continued existence. Lysis looked ahead to a grove of trees coming up on their right, seeing an old house between the trees.

    Ring-

    “Hello?” answered the pained voice of a man in his forties.

    “Oh, Mr. Mercer?” Lysis asked kindly into the phone as she gripped the console of the machine firmly with her hands, knuckles popping.

    “W-what?” came his nervous reply.

    “I lied.”

    The psychic warrior shut the phone and exhorted all of her psychic power into her action. If you were to somehow see the engine car from above, you would’ve seen it simply vanish.

    The train appeared mid-air and continued with its momentum. Lysis had just enough time to see her killer’s incredibly confused and fearful face through the window before Valaura teleported her out of the car to a safe distance, just in time to see the train car burrow down into the house and explode.
     
    #7 Sem, Jul 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  8. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    -Chapter 5-

    A few days had passed and Tara had spent them all concentrating solely on the development of her abilities. She had an idea of what she needed to do, having trained with Muku, as well as teaching Fida and Elvia. By now she found she could move small objects. Not really lift them, but she could make them shiver when she willed them too.

    Valaura kept her distance, watching with interest as the girl attempted to teach herself. Given time, she could do it, Val did not doubt, though, at this rate it would take years for her to reach Lysis’ level.

    After a particularly long session, during which Tara sat on the floor facing the glass wall with a small sphere before her, she rose and stretched. The teen released a groan as her muscles worked to keep her in motion. She walked to the kitchen for a glass of water, ignoring Valaura, who sat politely at the table.

    ”You are doing well,” the Gardevoir commented offhandedly as Tara raised the crystal glass to her lips. The girl did not turn, simply shot her gaze over to the psychic and eyed her blankly. ”However, you will never get anywhere at this rate.”

    Tara set the glass down gently and placed her hand on Sefer, who had flown in from another part of the room. Tara had allowed most of her Pokémon to roam the penthouse, just so that they would not be ignored. The girl grinned as her Mothim fluttered away, knowing that even he had some psychic power.

    ”I will never understand the minds of insects…” Valaura commented as she too watched Sefer ascend towards the ceiling.

    Tara shot her another gaze and began to descend the steps back to the main living area.

    ”That human, Sabrina, she has a school,” she remarked as Tara was about to take a seat. ”I saw her in person once - I hold a certain respect for her. Here I can feel the vague tendrils of her mind as they snake through her city, but it is so much different up close.”

    “I don’t want to go to a school; my progress will be slow because of the fact that they have to work with everyone at once instead of each person individually.” Tara bent her knees and sat cross-legged. “I need a tutor.”

    Valaura lifted her head, amused because she knew Tara was too prideful to ask the black-hearted Gardevoir to be her tutor. Even though she had loyalties to Lysis, she wouldn’t mind teaching Tara if she did indeed ask her.

    ”Is it not worth a look? It would only take a few moments.”

    Tara closed her eyes and inhaled, irritated. “I need money to enroll in a school.”

    ”You have money, quite a lot.”

    Stolen money, I have stolen money,” Tara retorted.

    ”Why does it matter? It is not as if its previous owner obtained it legally, and he almost murdered you. If you do not use it then it will only remain there unused. Put it to good use.”

    “Fine!” Tara yelled as she stood up, clenching her fists. “Let’s go.” She grabbed a coat and stood by the Gardevoir, mumbling, “You’re as bad as her.”

    Valaura said nothing and simply placed her hand on Tara. Not even a moment later they were outside of the Saffron gym.

    -------

    “I don’t like it,” Tara stated about an hour later as they walked out of the building. “Feels weird, and it felt like everyone was looking straight through me.”

    ”However, now you can confidently say that you explored the option and that you did not approve of it,” Valaura commented, gliding silently beside Tara under the afternoon sun. She had to admit to herself that she was growing fond of Tara. The steps she was taking to win herself back, it showed that she was strong, and that she was striving to be stronger. She was regaining herself.

    “Is that all? That’s what this was about?” the girl asked, turning her head towards the psychic. “What now then?”

    ”Ask yourself, not I.” They walked into a park that was dense with trees and appeared empty of people. ”You only require practice, but a tutor could assist you with… ‘fine tuning’ your abilities.”

    Tara was silent for a while as they progressed into the park. She realized she would have to give in. She had been reluctant all this time, doubting that Valaura would even agree to it. “Would you?” she asked quietly.

    Amused, Valaura responded, “I have nothing better to do with my time, so I suppose I could.”

    The air was silent as they walked. A gentle breeze tugged at Tara’s long pony-tail and her dark coat. It seemed very peaceful. A bit too peaceful for Valaura’s liking. She closed her eyes, extending her consciousness, finding other minds nearby. It didn't take much probing to find out who they were, or what they wanted.

    ”Show yourselves!” she commanded calmly yet forcefully.

    Figures in black appeared not far off. They looked like a special task force a government would utilize, only red R’s were proudly displayed on their uniforms. They approached slowly. They obviously had weapons, though none were drawn.

    ”State your purpose.”

    “Her,” one of them, obviously the leader, pointed at Tara. “Caused quite a bit of trouble for us.”

    ”Leave now,” Valaura commanded more forcefully.

    [Quiet, traitor,” he snapped. “You’ve caused us a bit trouble as well. She’s never alone, this girl - you're always watching,” he growled, slightly muffled from the helmet. “We’ve had to wait till now to bag her, now that we have the right tools.”

    ”Are you at all intelligent?” the Gardevoir asked condescendingly, lifting her arms towards the sky as her eyes began to glow red.

    The air rumbled above as clouds quickly converged over their heads, darkening the sky. Valaura stepped out in front of Tara, one hand palm-up, crackling with the power of the red electric energy it held, her other arm ablaze with pure psychic power of the same crimson color.

    “You’re not a goddess, despite what you think,” the man chuckled.

    In the blink of an eye three Pokémon stood around Valaura. One was a vaguely humanoid creature with large ears. It somewhat resembled a fox and held two spoons in its hands. The other was a feline creature with purple fur and a red gem on its brow. A long, forked tail flicked and long ears twitched. The other was very ape-like bipedal creature with yellow fur, white fur around its neck, and a pendulum in its hand.

    Three psychics surrounded Valaura, linking their minds in a combined effort to subdue her. She attempted to teleport away, but a Disable from the Hypno ensured that she could not. The four of them stood very still and silent, however, their minds were a battleground as Valaura fought against them for dominance.

    “While that bitch is pre-occupied…” the leader mumbled as he advanced around the psychic duel towards Tara.

    “Get away from me!” Tara yelled at them. She did not back away and stood her ground, despite being outnumbered and defenseless.

    “What are you going to do now, Tara-dear?” echoed a voice within her head.

    “Get out of here,” Tara said through gritted teeth, staring defiantly at her opposition as she tried to stay in control. Looking around frantically, she tried to summon up some of her power.

    “You’re took weak to help yourself,” the voice replied smugly.

    “Get out!”

    “I don’t think we will, missy, there’s a price on your capture," the squad leader answered, thinking that Tara was talking to his unit.

    ”Better do something quick! C'mon, Tara, be strong!”

    “Leave me alone!” Tara whimpered then, backing away further and giving up her attempt at protecting herself with psychic power, power that failed to come to her.

    “Stop your whining and come quietly.” The man was getting angry now.

    “Get away from me!” Tara looked at them with wild eyes, not sure who she wanted to leave more.

    “She’s going crazy! Better lock her up, boys.”

    “Stop it!”

    “That’s enough, come here!” the man shouted, stepping forward.

    “And they will lock you up, and you’re too weak to do anything about it,” the voice echoed with pity.

    “Get her before she goes berserk!”

    “Don’t touch me!” Tara yelled.

    ”Good thing you have me,” she purred.

    Tara felt a sharp pain and her vision went white for a moment, and then black.

    -------

    The man watched as the girl’s neck twisted to the side, him having slapped her. She put a hand to her cheek and then looked at the man with cold, calculating eyes. There was a twinge of a smile on her face. “You have no idea how much hell you're in,” she said.

    Cart-wheeling back, she landed on balls of her feet and used the momentum to spring forward, twisting mid-air and bringing her leg around to the man’s head. His life ended as soon as she made contact, breaking in his skull and snapping his neck. She slid on the grass as she landed in front of the rest of the men with an expression on her face that could only be described as ecstasy.

    “Kill her now!” the men barked while they un-holstered their weapons and grabbed Pokéballs, taking up precious seconds - seconds they didn’t have.

    Lysis strode quickly across the little bit of grass separating her from her enemies. With a powerful swing of her leg, aided by psychic reinforcement of her muscles, she connected with a man’s ribcage, shattering the side instantly and driving the sharp fragments into vital organs.

    Grabbing the top of her latest victim’s head, she drove him to his knees and used him as support, flipping into the air. She forced herself down square onto a man’s shoulders with her feet, causing him to collapse. She turned, punching straight through a man’s helmet before twisted around and slapping another, sending him spiraling several feet back as a pulse of psychic energy resonated from the point of the slap’s impact. She continued like this for a few more moments, her movements became rhythmic as she spun, flipped, and twirled. If she were to be rated on her skill with her movement, and how fluid her death-dance was, she’d receive high scores from all judges.

    Meanwhile, Valaura was fighting off the three psychics. They assaulted her mind as one, bashing relentlessly against her protective walls. She attacked the weaker of them, the Hypno, in-order to break the chain. After a few minutes she succeeded in penetrating the Hypno’s mind while defending her own. The other two flinched from the chain breaking, giving Valaura the opening she needed.

    Red energy concentrated in her right arm and hand, pulsing and throbbing as it wished to break free. The Gardevoir aimed her arm at the Alakazam and fired her Psychic attack. The blast sent out rings of red energy in its wake as the attack flew through the air like a beam, hitting the unprepared Alakazam. The fox-like psychic flew back and hit a tree, knocking it out momentarily.

    Espeon regained its senses faster than expected and was about to attack when Salem materialized out of the air and tackled the feline.

    “There you are,” Lysis commented as she walked over to where Valaura and Salem were, the thump of a falling body sounded behind her.

    Salem did not acknowledge the woman as he ended the Espeon with a sinister grin.

    Lysis did not flinch at the scene and instead turned her gaze to the Hypno, examining him for a while. The yellow Pokémon did not move and stood quietly, knowing it stood no chance against the three of them. “You’re the one, aren’t you?” she asked.

    After receiving no response Lysis grinned, loading a machine-gun she had borrowed from a guard. “It’s not all bad: you mark the end of my list,” she chirped, adding a bounce to her steps as she walked over to the psychic. She stood before it and stared it in the eyes. Looking into the eyes of most psychics was confusing, as there was so much within them that nothing appeared on their surface. However, in its last moments, Lysis sensed fear, and that was all well to her; a perfect end to her revenge. And end it did.

    “Let them all fear me,” Lysis muttered as she threw the gun down and removed the gloves she had put on.

    The Alakazam stirred and opened its eyes in surprise as it was lifted into the air, surrounded by a red aura. ”They will have to try harder than this,” Valaura stated, holding up her right arm. An explosion of red aura engulfed Valaura, it streamed out of her eyes like smoky wisps.

    The Alakazam struggled more against the psychic constraints, but it was useless. There was a silent flash of red that blocked the Alakazam from sight for a few moments, and when it faded, there was nothing left.

    Lysis smiled. “Best we get out of here: such theatrics won’t go unnoticed,” she commented, teleporting away from the scene along with Valaura and Salem.

    -------

    “I hate her!” Tara roared as she stormed the penthouse.

    ”She saved your life,” Valaura responded flatly and she sat very properly on one of the sofas. "Once again."

    “I have to get her out, I gotta get her out,” she babbled, walking back and forth in the orange light of the setting sun that streamed through the glass wall. “She saved my life at the cost of a dozen others.”

    ”They were going to kill you.”

    “So she didn’t save my life! She saved hers!”

    Valaura rolled her eyes and decided to look out of the window instead of look at the girl. Tara was back to where she was: complaining and whining instead of doing something about it.

    Tara's Pokémon had crowded around her when she returned back to the penthouse, immediately sensing that something had happened. They weren't quite used to their trainer's new predicament yet. She had told them that there would be times where someone else would be in control of her. There was a distinct difference in Tara and Lysis' personalities for them to notice, but they seemed bewildered all the same.

    Tara stood at the sink and downed a glass of water, wiping her brow as she set it down; her fingers trembling as she pried them off of the glass. She walked out of the kitchen and down step, taking a seat at the other couch.

    The girl inhaled deeply, “I’m ok, just gotta keep doing what I was doing. Keep training,” she turned her head and looked at Valaura. “And you said you would help me.”

    ”Yes I did,” she responded, shifting her eyes away from the window towards Tara once more.

    Tara forced a smile, which she quickly chose to withdraw as she sensed a brooding presence behind her. It was pure dread, and despair, and fear. It made her skin crawl.

    Salem looked at neither being as he appeared in the room and passed through the glass, phasing out into the outside world.

    The females sat in silent for a moment as the feeling that the Haunter had brought to room faded away, allowing Tara to breathe. Valaura wasn't so bad, Tara had to admit. But Salem? Lysis kept odd company, which was for certain.

    “Who is Salem?” Tara asked after a moment had passed.

    Valaura looked at her, taking a while to respond. ”I am not quite certain myself - he is one being that I have not really looked into the mind of.” she started. “I do not know why, I simply have not. But I feel something from within him, a sinister thing. His motives are unknown to me or Lysis. He assists her, but often goes off. Sometimes I believe that he joins her simply because of his obsession for killing.”

    “So he’s attracted to Lysis?” Tara asked.

    “I believe that would be the reason. I am wary around him to be honest; I know enough about him to know that he has terrible power and no moral limits.”

    “Like you?” Tara smirked.

    “Compared to him, Tara, I am an angel," Val replied grimly, honestly. "I do not kill because I enjoy it, I kill because I must.”

    Tara sat silent for a moment, sorry that she had made such an unfair accusation towards the Gardevoir. She wasn’t her idea of someone you’d invite to a sleepover, but over time Tara realized that there were worse people.

    ”If it is any comfort, you are one of the safest people in the world between Lysis, Salem, and I - he will let no harm befall you.”

    “For now maybe; I don’t like the vibes I get from him,” Tara muttered, hugging herself.

    -------

    A few months had passed and Lysis had stayed rather dormant, watching Tara live her life. She went out a few times, never saying where, but every time she did there was a large sum of money in her account the following morning. That, coupled with news reports of criminals going missing or being found dead allowed Tara to guess what her 'alter-ego' was up to.

    In those few months Tara excelled under Valaura’s supervision. She was able to move objects around telekinetically with relative ease, objects that were almost as large as people. She had begun working on her telepathic powers only a few weeks prior. She and Valaura would go to a public place and simply sit as Tara picked out a few minds to glance at. Tara only delved as deep as surface thoughts; things that they were thinking right then and there, and even then she detested invading their privacy. She understood it was one of the best ways for her to practice, though, and continued with to do it for that reason.

    It was during this time too that she became noticeably happier and was beginning to move on with her life. She began battling again, and though rusty, she picked up where she left off fast, becoming a popular person to challenge at the local arenas. Tara went to bed each night with more smiles on her face. She would also receive that strange presence of peace on occasion, helping her further.

    -------

    ”She is doing very well.”

    “Hmph, good for her,” Lysis replied as she leaned her back against the balcony railing. “She’s finally doing something for herself instead of moping,” she added as she looked up at the moon above.

    ”She is doing better than I expected as well, but still: it will require quite some time for her to ascend to your level.” Valaura faced the city with her hands resting on the railing.

    “That doesn’t matter. The harder she tries the better for me. The more powerful she is the more capable she is of protecting herself.”

    ”Of protecting you?”

    ”I don’t need protection,” she laughed light heartedly. “If she can take care of herself, she won’t need you, and then you can go off and do what you please.”

    ”Mmm, except I do not think I would go anywhere.”

    Lysis paused, looking over at Valaura. “You’re fond of her aren’t you?” she smiled.

    ”In my own way I suppose. I admire her for her willingness to fight. I respect her.”

    “Like me?”

    “Indeed; like you,” the Gardevoir blinked. ”I have nowhere else to go at any rate.”

    “Well, just stay here and we can have our merry band of over-powered-beings,” Lysis exclaimed with a slight grin as she turned and looked at the buildings. “And may they weep at our might.

    ”Are you afraid of her?” Valaura asked, ignoring the dramatics.

    “Hm?” Lysis murmured, not looking at the psychic.

    “Of Tara, if the day comes where she can best you.”

    “If the day comes where she can best me then she deserves to…” she answered simply.

    A breeze blew through the balcony.

    “And no. Not afraid,” Lysis muttered as she looked down at her hands, staring sadly before turning to walk inside, guilt returning to her expression. “Just proud.”
     
    #8 Sem, Jul 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  9. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    -Chapter 6-

    ”Focus.”

    ”All right…” Tara closed her eyes, breathing in softly before opening them again. She was facing Valaura with her feet slightly apart, her arms held out before her, loose but ready.

    Without warning a large vase flew through the air at Tara.

    Tara shifted her stance, stretching out her left arm. She used her telekinesis to stop it and set it down gently, just in time to catch a chair coming at her from the right.

    ”Ha, this isn’t so bad,” Tara said, breathing heavily.

    ”We will see,” Valaura replied none too confidently.

    A cushion flew from the sofa towards Tara, who instead of stopping it was only able to dive out of the way. The cushion was followed by another chair along with a plate. Tara stood her ground and stopped both, making sure to be extra careful with the plate.

    Again the large vase moved from where Tara left it and flew at her. Again she stopped it, though needing to exert more force as it had been thrown harder this time. Tara managed to stop it and forced it away but it came back, circling around her before having its course redirected away by the girl. She jumped away as it returned and then pushed at it with her telekinesis.

    The vase stayed completely still in the air as Valaura exercised more force. Tara stayed firm, pushing against Valaura. The Gardevoir exerted her power as hard as she thought the human could handle, not surprised when cracks appeared on the surface of the object and shattered.

    Tara rested her hands on her knees and caught her breath. “That looked very expensive,” she commented, moving a lock of hair out of her face.

    ”If Lysis was actually fond of it she could acquire four of them without paying anything at all,” Valaura said with a dismissive blink.

    “Right.”

    Again they resumed their practice. The practice was something that occurred daily, most of the time more than once per day. It allowed Tara to better control her power, since the nature of the exercise forced her to act quickly.

    “You are almost ready to perform blindfolded.”

    Tara paused. “What?”

    At that moment she was assaulted by every single pillow in the room, forcing her to the ground.

    Almost,” Valaura replied with a hint of amusement.

    Tara was splayed out on her back with her eyes closed, everything was completely silent.

    Then laughter.

    The girl chuckled as she stood, smoothing out her clothes. Valaura looked at her strangely.

    “What is so amusing?”

    “Nothing,” Tara smiled as she lifted her arms, moving all of the cushions back to their proper places, as well as all the other projectiles from the last round. After that she got her coat and turned to the Gardevoir. “Let’s go on to the telepathic training.”

    -------

    ”And that one, what is he feeling?” Valaura asked, darting her eyes at a man passing by her and Tara as they sat at a table in a mall. They were in a food court and many people all around them. The smells of different types of food wafted into their noses, always with the dull roar of all the shoppers in the background.

    ”Bored, wants his wife to finish shopping so they can go home,” Tara answered telepathically as well she sat opposite of Valaura, eyes closed.

    ”And the small child?” Val continued, directing Tara's attention to a young human that sat close by.

    ”Feeling guilty for just putting gum under one of the tables.”

    ”The old woman?”

    ”Wishes she was young enough to wear one of the dresses on display.”

    ”Young man in oversized clothes?”

    ”Wary, doesn’t want anyone to know he stole some cell phone covers.”

    ”Young woman at the table near us.”

    ”Happy, she thinks her new boyfriend to be caring and a perfect match for her.”

    “And her boyfriend?” the Gardevoir moved to the man in the seat next to the woman, who looked at her as she spoke, though not at her eyes.

    ”He wants-“ Tara’s eyes fluttered opened and she coughed.

    ”Do not answer,” Valaura replied with a sigh. ”You are doing this quickly and efficiently, very good. It is good to be aware at all times, aware of the feelings around you. They will be your first and best warning for any sign of danger. Being empathetic to those around you is simple, and is not mentally straining in most cases. There are times when there will come to be too many or some too strong that you must block them out, but try not to do this.”

    Tara nodded, listening intently, taking in every single word, opening her mind to allow the emotions of others to come in.

    ”As you practice you will be able to keep the emotions at bay while still in reach, still readable when your attention is shifted towards them.”

    She nodded again, even now shifting through the various emotions. There were happy emotions as well as sorrow and anger, glee, shame, longing. It wasn’t very hard, she could get used to it. She went through more, expanding her reach. Mischief, love, glee, excitement, longing-

    Tara blinked again.

    The teen checked the emotion again. It wasn’t at all like the others; there was a hint of malice, of ill-will. She tracked it, locating the source - a man, above them on the second level, though not at all far away from her and Val. Tara probed further, going deeper into the mind in search of actual thoughts.

    ”We might have some trouble," Tara heard him say in his mind as he also spoke verbally into a small device hidden in his collar. "Like you said, that Gardevoir is with her.” Tara moved further in, being as discreet as possible, focusing on what the man was looking at, though she already had a fairly good idea.

    Tara receded from the man’s brain and into her own.

    “Just our luck,” she muttered as she receded from the man's mind and back into her own. "Valaura," she whispered.

    ”He has been there this whole time,” the psychic replied dryly.

    “Then why are we still here?” Tara hissed, eyes wide.

    ”The intent is there, but also know that there was no emotion to suggest he was about to take action.”

    “So what? We should be leave now,” Tara said as she stood, pushing in her metal chair, causing it to make a screech on the granite tile of the food court.

    Valaura shrugged and rose most elegantly, pushing in her chair without a sound and walked off after Tara. They winded casually through the tables and into the crowd, exiting the mall out into a busy street. Tara checked the emotion again, feeling that it a bit faint, but the man was definitely on the move.

    “Why don’t we just teleport?” she asked as they paused at a stoplight.

    ”Why should I be forced to teleport? If they wish to face me, then by all means I will let them, and may whatever deities they serve be with them.”

    "I'm not as confident as you are," Tara replied as she looked down at her feet. The signal turned white, allowing them to cross. They continued walking for a quite some time until they reached the quieter parts of Saffron. The man had been joined by a couple of others and they had been following along behind them at a safe distance.

    Soon the two females were on a wide and quiet street. Some houses and some small businesses stood on either side. Few people were out, some out in their yards, others were walking in and out of the shops.

    “This isn’t the way back to the penthouse,” Tara murmured. Though she knew that already, the penthouse wasn't at all far from the main downtown area, being on the outskirts of downtown itself.

    Valaura stopped and turned to Tara, making gestures with her hands that would seem to imply some sort of reasoning had she also been speaking - but she was totally silent, vocally and telepathically. She nodded her head twice and then vanished.

    Tara stood looking at the empty space where Valaura stood. "What?" she whispered, confused. She darted her eyes around, turning her head, unsure if she should continue walking. While she was deciding, the screeching of tires was heard and she turned around, watching a black van pull up in the middle of the street. The side door slid open and three men stepped out. Tara looked them over quickly, noting they seemed almost identical to the Team Rocket agents from before.

    “You’re all alone now,” the middle one said as he loaded a dart into his weapon.

    Tara took one look at the weapon, realizing it would put her out in a matter of seconds if the dart managed to break her skin. There was nothing she or Lysis could do if that happened, and who knew what situation they would be in once she woke up.

    She looked around, panicked at first, but soon fixed her gaze on the men and took a stance; her feet slightly apart and her hands held out loosely but ready to act on a moment’s notice. "You're ready for this, you're ready for this," she told herself over and over, reassuring herself.

    “This will make sure you give us no problem, girly, which is good: the higher-ups want to talk to you.”

    “No way I’m letting you do that,” Tara stated strongly, lifting her chin, her eyes defiant.

    In the rush of adrenaline her world slowed. The man had simply shaken his head, aimed briefly, and fired. To Tara this happened very slowly, as she was mentally keeping up with his every movement, down to every muscle involved in the action. Swiftly and forcefully she threw out her left arm straight in front of her. The red-tipped dart whizzed through the air straight towards its target. By the time it had reached Tara’s hand a half-sphere of blue energy had formed, faintly visible in the brightness of the day. The tranquilizer hit the shield and bounced off, tumbling and twirling wildly through the air and landing harmlessly on the ground. The impact had caused ripples in the psychic shield, the rolls went to the very edge of the barrier and then vanished, along with the shield.

    The man looked dumbfounded at the girl for only a moment before realizing what he had seen.

    “Don’t let her escape!” he yelled and all three of the men fired tranquilizers. They too knew a few things about the girl. Right now she was in her helpless state, her 'weaker' personality. Of course, she hadn't exactly been weaker just then, so either the weaker personality was getting stronger, or the other personality had taken over. Either way, she had to go down.

    By then Tara had managed to duck behind a couple of bins on the street, wincing as the darts bounced off the aluminum of the containers. She took hold of one of the lids, breathing heavily. Tara looked around one can to locate her foes and then threw the lid at them like a Frisbee, only much faster thanks to her telekinesis. The men dived out of the way as the top of the can flew towards them, hitting and digging into the side of the black van before clattering to the ground.

    Tara had ducked back behind the trash cans after that once more, and by the time she looked out again the men had split up, with two of them coming around. She pursed her lips and then tossed both trash cans at different angles, each one towards a different Rocket agent. The action sent rubbish flying everywhere, but it caused her enemies to do the same, scattering away from her.

    The teen ran to a manhole as the agents reloaded their weapons, ripping the heavy disk of metal from the street with a wave of her hand and holding it out in front of her like a shield, a faint blue glow around the object’s circumference. This probably wasn't her best move, the cover was heavier than she realized. Another dart whizzed past her and another pinged off of her makeshift shield.

    This unit was obviously better trained than the last, despite their fewer numbers. They moved with quick, sure steps, always in communication with each other. By now several people had come out of their homes and shops, half-staring, half-fleeing from the scene. Quite a few were talking into cell phones hurriedly, no doubt calling the police.

    Tara hoped that they wouldn't take long - she wasn't so sure of herself at the moment. Another dart came, one which she was just barely able to deflect by moving the manhole cover. The object was heavy, and had she been any slower the fight would have ended and she would have been taken to gods knew where. Her breathing quickened and she started to panic even more.

    "If you can just stall, they'll be forced to leave before the police get here," she thought to herself. The men indeed weren't expecting this much of a fight, thinking they could anesthetize her before she could turn into the psycho-killer-personality. Despite their sure movements, sweat from worry dampened their brow.

    It was then that Tara experienced the strange sensation of peace come over her again. It was mingled with confidence, and she felt it somehow boost her own strength. "Right," she thought. "You've come too far to give up like this."

    Focusing her mind, everything but her and her adversaries vanished. The lid moved about her where she directed, blocking darts very efficiently as it moved around quickly. Confident, she threw the metal circle at the leader, who had rushed in to stand before her, forcing him to roll out of the away as the object dug even more fiercely into the van, breaking through the metal with a screech and even broke through the other side of the vehicle – sparks flew as it skidded and groaned as it against the asphalt and pinged off the curb.

    The two other men tried again with the tranquilizers. The darts were stopped mid-air by Tara and were turned around and fired back at the men. They didn’t even see it coming and they stared curiously at the red barbs sticking from their bodies before falling to the ground in heaps.

    Nostrils flaring with her effort, Tara took hold of the sedated bodies with her power and rolled them across the asphalt towards the leader, who received the same treatment with a dart picked up from the ground. She forced the bodies back into the van and walked to the driver, leaning against his door with her arm resting on it.

    “Drive,” she instructed with a serious frown. The driver did just that and the squealing of tires sounded through the neighborhood.

    Tara stood there watching the car drive off. She realized that she had just faced three of them on her own, and she came out on top. Tara couldn’t help but allow a small smile to form on her face as she looked at her hands, which had commanded such strength. She felt the warm brush of air caress her face before leaving once more.

    Tara smiled bigger for a reason unknown to her and then she looked around again, paying no mind to the very confused faces peering out at her from barely open doors and window-blinds. The teen began walking in the general direction of the penthouse. A strange noise sounded behind her as she started walking. She turned and saw Valaura standing there.

    Silence was held for a few moments as the psychics stared at each other.

    “You vanished so they would attack me didn’t you?” Tara finally asked, leaning to one side and crossing her arms.

    “Indeed,” Valaura confessed with a nod of her head. ”I was close by, however, so nothing could have gone wrong.”

    Tara nodded.

    ”You did well.”

    Nodding again Tara took noticed of the pink box Valaura held in her arms. It was cardboard and the top of the box was held down by a single piece of tape. Tara covered her mouth, suppressing her need to laugh.

    “Are those donuts?” she asked, failing to hide her grin.

    ”Yes they are,” Valaura answered flatly.

    A giggle escaped the girl’s mouth. “Why do you have a box of donuts with you?”

    ”I understand that it is customary for humans to indulge in fattening sweets after achieving certain accomplishments,” she responded matter-of-factly.

    “So,” Tara started, still giggling at the image of the dark and imposing Valaura holding a hot pink box full of donuts. “you got me donuts because I managed to tranquilize some guys and escape from a pretty dangerous situation?”

    Valaura nodded.

    “Did you buy these?”

    ”Of course.”

    Tara could not help but laugh openly at the mental image of Valaura walking very gracefully into some dinky donut shop and ordering a dozen of the pastries.

    ”I can return them if you do not like them,” the Gardevoir responded a bit sharply, even though she knew Tara wasn’t actually rejecting the donuts and instead laughing at her.

    “No, no,” Tara grinned, taking the box and undoing the tape. “I love donuts.” She took one covered in chocolate icing and bit into it. After she swallowed her bite she cleared her throat and looked at the Gardevoir. “Thank you,” she bowed her head.

    Valaura nodded and started walking, eager to get away from the awkward situation she had found herself in. Tara turned around and caught up, lifting the box to the psychic. “Want one?”

    Valaura stopped, looking at the container of assorted pastries as if each one might wish for her destruction.

    ”Perhaps later.”

    -------

    “Is that so?” Lysis asked, squinting up at the afternoon sky as a breeze played with her hair. They were on a rooftop, overlooking a certain street with a black tarp over her head.

    “Yes, she did quite well. A bit clumsy, but she will become accustomed to her abilities in time,” Valaura responded as she stood over Lysis, who was sitting near the ledge of the rooftop. The Gardevoir looked elegant as ever in the afternoon light, the wind also causing her short hair to sway and her 'dress' to flow, as well as toy with the dark cloak she had around her, shrouding most of her appearance from view, making her appear simply human at a distance.

    “Well, that’s good,” Lysis replied absent mindedly as she put a stand of sorts before her. “Seems you’re quite the teacher,” the ex-agent added as she played with the knobs on the tripod, adjusting the height.

    “She has had personal experience already due her training with Muku; she understood what to look for,” Valaura stated, attempting to imply that her role in the matter was minimal. Despite knowing what to look for, Tara stilled needed Valaura’s guidance.

    “Even so…” Lysis said with a lowered voice as she reached for a napkin on her right, lifting it to her mouth and taking a bite of the food wrapped within the paper cloth. “Who bought donuts by the way?” she asked after she had swallowed, making sure no stray crumbs remained on her face.

    No answer.

    Lysis placed the food down and looked to her other side, hefting a large object out of a black case and placing it onto the tripod with ease. “Been waiting to try this out,” Lysis muttered as she adjusted the scope on the sniper rifle she had purchased a few months prior.

    “Who is this new target?” Valaura asked, looking at the weapon for only a brief moment before peering down at the street below.

    The young woman shrugged. “No one special. Just a fat, rich man - a fat, rich man who’s far too rich,” she paused, adjusting another knob on the stand as she viewed the street with the scope, “and also way too fat.”

    Lysis was aiming at the opposite side of the street from atop their building, which was surrounded by plenty of taller buildings. She had had probably already been spotted and authorities alerted. Police forces were no doubt on their way in squad cars and perhaps even a helicopter. They would have Growlithe and Arcanine to track her scent and even attack if necessary. There may even be a swat team or two.

    She smiled at this thought, for it did not worry her.

    The cloaks would hide their faces and appearances from facial and body scans, and Valaura had an invisible psychic barrier around Lysis to protect her from psychics detecting her own psychic signature. Valaura did not worry about herself in this matter, for she could shield her psychic power so much so that it was all focused into her mind, not in the rest of her body or outside of it, thus leaving about as strong a trace as a normal human, which wasn't all that powerful.

    The young woman put herself into a proper position and moved the rifle, searching for her man. She located him inside an office of sorts on a lower level of the building opposite them. He was indeed a large man with a balding head, wearing a gray suit. He had taken a metal case from the desk before him and was talking the individual behind it, who was unseen due to a wall. After a moment the man left the office, appearing only a few minutes later in front of the building, exiting out the front entrance.

    Lysis grinned and applied a bit more pressure to the trigger, waiting for the perfect shot.

    The man looked around, jowls flapping along after his chins as his small eyes looked for his transport. After a mere moment an expensive looking car pulled up alongside the curb, a side door opened to allow him entrance.

    “Here we are,” Lysis whispered, pulling the trigger at the exact moment a that small girl accidentally bumped into the man, causing him to move.

    The shot missed.

    Lysis blinked.

    Valaura stared wide-eyed at the scene for a moment before her expression returned to normal and focused on Lysis.

    Lysis blinked again in disbelief.

    By now panic had sprung from the area and people ran in all directions. The target had scrambled into the car, which had started moving before all his bulk was even inside.

    “I missed.”

    ”Yes, I saw,” Valaura answered. ”Though, had it not been for the girl, you would not have.”

    "Yes, I know, but I missed. I haven’t missed a shot since my early training days,” Lysis replied, having had sat up by this point.

    ”Your quarry is escaping,” the psychic said in attempt to get the girl back on track. ”Along with the money,” she said, using the magic word.

    Lysis blinked once more. “Yes, yes,” she stood, looking at the street. She heard sirens in the distance as well as the beats of a helicopter rotor. The girl could also sense a team making their way up to the roof; they were only two flights of stairs away from bursting through the door. “Do me a favor and get my toy back home; I’m still planning to have my fun.”

    Valaura nodded and called the equipment to her with her telekinesis, teleporting away. Lysis did the same, leaving only the tarp and a crumb-riddled napkin behind.

    Lysis appeared on the street, walking quickly after a man who was running to his parked car. Before he could even close it she stopped the door, holding it open with her left hand as she pulled him out with her right.

    “W-what are you doing?!” the man yelled as he fell back onto the concrete.

    Lysis whipped her head around to look at him as she slid into the seat. Her face could be easily read as "what does it look like I’m doing?" Still the man looked utterly confused. “I’m stealing your car dude, tough luck,” she said, cocking her head and clucking her tongue, putting the keys into the ignition. Valaura appeared in the passenger seat looking perfectly calm as usual.

    “I should still remember how to drive,” the girl muttered as she shifted into reverse and looked out the back window.

    ”I have heard it said that it is like riding a bicycle: you never forget,” Valaura stated.

    The car stopped abruptly as Lysis shifted the gear into drive and went out into traffic.

    “That’s good, though I’ve never ridden a proper bicycle.” She swung her head and smiled, putting her foot down hard on the gas. Screeching tires pierced everyone’s ears as the duo sped off in a bright-yellow car, weaving through traffic. “Now where is he?” Lysis purred as she looked around constantly, avoiding other cars and pedestrians and all manner of objects and children.

    Sirens blared behind them.

    Lysis simply glimpsed her mirror, seeing the red and blue lights flashing behind them. She swerved, rounding a corner. “Told you I would have some fun.”

    After a few moments of excessive speeding she spotted her target once more, rounding another corner up ahead. She lifted her head, looking out in front of her, seeing the area leading up to the turn free of vehicles. She gripped the wheel fiercely, turning her knuckles white. A split second later they were in the area she had seen. More screeching of tires and she rotated the wheel hard in order to make the turn. Valaura simply stared out the window blankly throughout all of this, as if she wasn't sitting next to a woman, who was borderline sociopath, and speeding through busy streets with police on their trail, and was merely sitting on some bench in the park looking at the trees.

    ”I’m probably more likely to be on the six o clock news now,” she commented as she sped up even more to catch up with the car. The target was even closer now, and the driver obviously more frantic to get away, swerving through traffic whenever they could. The huntress looked out in front of her again, seeing another empty space up ahead and teleporting the car there. Now she was practically right behind the man’s car.

    “Right-o, I’m going in to get my money. I trust you can take care of our noticeable-as-the-sun car?”

    ”Certainly,” the Pokémon nodded.

    Lysis vanished from the driver’s seat, reappearing in the man’s car in the seat next to him.

    Meanwhile the man who just had his car stolen had finally stood up, mashing buttons on his cell phone and fuming as he started walking away. Before he had walked even a few steps there was a massive crash as his car was dropped into its original spot from the sky.

    Back in the car Lysis had pulled out a Strata and held it up to the man’s head, taking a moment to catch her breath after teleporting the car not once, but twice. The man was leaned up against his side of the car, chubby fingers held up in the air and his chin threatening to consume the lower half of his face. Lysis instructed the driver to keep driving before focusing on the man with the money.

    “W-what d-do you want?” He was sweating bullets and breathing heavily with his mouth agape, stealing as much air as he could in his panic.

    Lysis answered him with a face that could easily be read as, "Oh, come on." She rolled her eyes.

    Still, the man’s eyes darted to and fro, wanting to avoid locking with hers as his previous question still hung on his expression.

    “I hate people,” Lysis held her forehead with her free-hand, looking down at her lap.

    “D-don’t k-kill me!” His face was utterly white at this point.

    “I want your money!” Lysis yelled, pressing the barrel of her gun against his head as she bit down her lower lip.

    “M-money!?” he repeated as he fumbled around, searching within his rolls of fat for his pocket, and struggling as he forced his hand inside, straining as he pulled it out. He threw something onto her lap.

    She looked down at the wallet, her finger literally trembling on the trigger of her gun.

    She inhaled and exhaled slowly.

    “I want the case, the me-tal case,” she said slowly, annunciating each syllable.

    “Th-that’s just d-diamonds,” he replied hastily. “Th-the money’s in my wallet!”

    Lysis flung her head against the head-rest. “I’ll want the diamonds too, hun.”

    The man nodded, causing his whole face to jiggle. He wedged the case free from underneath his legs and gave it to her.

    Taking it, she looked at the combination lock on the front. “How do I op-en it?”

    “Y-you need the combination.”

    How she stopped herself from shooting this man she did not know, but she figured he was too paralyzed with fear to think straight.

    “What is the com-bi-na-tion?” she asked with her eyes closed through clenched teeth, not even facing him as she still held the Strata at him.

    “It’s o-on a piece of paper in my p-pocket.”

    A minute passed before he was able to produce it.

    Lysis snatched the paper from his sweaty hands, reading the numbers and quickly putting in the proper numbers and opening the case. “Four, three, eight, nine, three.” Her angry expression softened for a moment as the dazzle of diamonds played across her face. “Very good,” she nodded, shutting the case.

    Begrudgingly she turned to face him, speaking to him as she reached into his mind. “You will not remember me after I leave your car.” Her voice was hypnotic as she telepathically ordered his brain to do so once she left.

    She put the Strata away took hold of the handle of the metallic container. “Pleasure doing business with you, sir.” Her voice dripped with sarcasm.

    “B-business? What are you giving me in return for the diamonds?” he sounded slightly intrigued, aside from his fear.

    Lysis' mouth formed a harsh flat line. “Your life,” she answered after a moment, forcing a smile and patting the gun-holster at her hip. The thief grabbed his wallet, about to offer it back at him, before taking it back, opening it, removing the notes and credit cards inside, and then flinging the empty wallet at his head, where it was deflected harmlessly away by his layer of face-fat. With that she vanished, and the man spent the rest of his way home wondering where his diamonds had gone and why his driver, who had been silent during the whole ordeal due to fear, was asking him so many questions.
     
    #9 Sem, Jul 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  10. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    -Chapter 7-

    Tara awoke slowly, not wanting to remove herself from under the covers of her bed. She felt warm, not unpleasantly so, in fact it was quite the opposite. The girl found herself smiling as she felt a strange warmth move over her. It felt utterly familiar and comforting and almost real, like she could reach out and touch the small figure that she saw forming in the air…

    She opened her eyes.

    Tara blinked, looking at her arm that was outstretched before her towards the ceiling. The warm feeling had gone.

    “A dream?” she thought to herself as she lazily rolled out of bed. Her feet dragged along on the plush carpet as she made her way to the bathroom for a shower.

    Taking a towel, she dried her hair as best as she could with it and then let it hang about her head, dampening her top. She glanced quickly out the window of the bedroom as she slipped into some slippers. It was late in the morning, but a gentle breeze blew through the open glass doors, causing the curtains to billow.

    Yawning and stretching, she walked out into the main area of the penthouse. She smiled as she was greeted immediately by her Pokémon; Sefer, as well as her Drapion and Carnivine. T, her Unown, floated around in its own world as usual, stopping only to blink at Tara before resuming its examination of the mineral-veins in the marble wall, as if within them lay the secrets of the universe. The trainer’s remaining two Pokémon; Namoraw, her Tentacruel, and Amaro, could not be let out in the penthouse.

    She felt guilty about Namoraw, and promised him that she would take him to a body of water that day. He was too big for the luxurious bathtub or the fountain, and even though the building had a pool; the Tentacruel did not like the chlorine, and could not very well process the chemical through his body without causing him some sort of harm despite his Poison-type alignment.

    As for Amaro… buildings were never designed with Onix in mind.

    Valaura was standing out in the middle of the room with her eyes closed, obviously meditating; though the commotion of greetings caused her to snap her eyes open. Tara's Pokémon gave the psychic her space, but weren't exactly afraid so much as respectful of her.

    ”Good morning,” the Gardevoir greeted the human as well.

    “Yes, good morning,” Tara nodded as she went up the steps to prepare a breakfast, which was simply a bowl of cereal just like every morning, to start off with at least. Her appetite rarely stopped her from making a, as a Hobbit would say, second breakfast, which usually consisted of something heavier and far more delicious.

    Tara took the bowl and sat down at the table, noticing a slip of paper. She took the paper, recognizing it as a receipt for a bank deposit. It was her bank account, or, the one Lysis had provided her. About to take a bite of cereal, her spoon clattered onto the table as her eyes widened. The balance, it was unbelievable.

    ”She deposited money into your bank account yesterday,” Valaura informed as she picked a rather large berry from a bowl on the kitchen island. ”If you are interested then you should read today’s newspaper; or watch last evening’s six o’ clock news: Lysis recorded it.”

    Tara shook her head. “I don’t need to, I can only imagine what happened.” She finally took a bite of her breakfast. “A few more illegal actions from her and I’ll have enough money to be set for life,” she rolled her eyes and remembered the older girl's words, where she had said exactly that.

    Nothing was said as Tara ate her cereal, her crunching filling the silence as she stared curiously out the window.

    “It is a lot of money though isn’t it?” Tara said finally, looking again at the receipt as if to make sure.

    ”I suppose it is,” Valaura replied, having finished her berry by this now.

    “It’s there, might as well use it right?” Tara was reasoning with herself at this point, knowing that eh money was going no where and that it might as well be put to use. Which was what Valaura had said a while back. “Yep, I’m going to use it.”

    ”We do not require more food; we are out of space,” Valaura said sarcastically, knowing full well that wasn’t the girl’s intent. It was quite honestly Val poking fun at the girl.

    “No, no, not food. A house,” the girl corrected as she put the bowl into the sink. “I’m going to buy my parents house.”

    “You should hope that it is still on the market.”

    “I’ve been checking - no one seems interested,” she explained.

    “Why do you wish to purchase it? Do you wish to live there?”

    “I don’t think I could live there… But, the memories, and who knows, maybe someone will need a place to stay?”

    Valaura shrugged lightly.

    Tara spent the remainder of the morning and a good part of her afternoon in contact with an agent. Tara had produced all of Lysis’ information; since her ID said she was old enough for home ownership. Tara set up a meeting with an agent that week, meeting with them in Sinnoh and starting on paperwork. Everything went smoothly and everything was soon sorted out.

    “Well that wasn’t too hard…” Tara explained as she and Valaura appeared back at the penthouse after it was all said and done. It would take a few weeks for the paperwork to go through and be officially finalized, but the house was practically hers. The girl plopped herself onto one of the sofas, sighing contently.

    ”Congratulations, I am happy for you,” Valaura expressed as she too settled into a seat.

    Tara was quiet for a moment, contemplating the Gardevoir’s words.

    “Are you really?” Tara asked.

    “Happy? Of course.”

    The human smiled as she lay back across the cushions, her forearm resting on her forehead. “You’ve changed.”

    Valaura blinked, shifting her gaze to actually look at the girl. ”What do you mean?”

    Tara shrugged, her arm now acting as a shield for her eyes as the orange sunlight of the dying day flowed through the windows. “I’m just noticing that you’ve changed. A few months ago you wouldn’t have cared what I did.”

    The discolored psychic looked away, staring uncertainly out the window. No one spoke, and the Gardevoir’s mind was full with thoughts. Her eye moved back to the girl, showing her the uncertainty she was feeling. She looked like she dearly wished to say something, but was forcing herself not to for the life of her.

    ”I…”

    Tara stirred; sitting up to looked at the Gardevoir directly. Valaura had never shown this behavior before. “You can tell me…” Tara said softly, not wanting to stop the psychic from admitting anything.

    “I have…” Valaura closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. ”I have grown fond of you.”

    Tara’s expression became puzzled. “What do you mean?”

    Valaura’s eyes darted about the room. ”In these past months in your company, I have grown fond of you, your personality, your person, your behaviors…”

    Tara’s mind was reeling. Ice-cold, black-hearted Valaura was melting.

    ”I admire your strength and your resolve, your humor, your determination in the face of depressing circumstances.” Valaura looked out the window once more. ”I am fond of you… I mean to say…” she inhaled again. ”I care about you.”

    Silence.

    Absolute silence.

    As if even the world had stopped to listen.

    As if time and the universe itself had stopped to listen, ready to implode at any moment.

    Before Tara could respond the Gardevoir teleported away without a word.

    -------

    Valaura did not return till later that evening, after the sun had set and moon had risen. Tara prepared a dinner in silence; cooking some steaks as well as she could on the barbeque, which was out on the balcony. She made two for herself and quite a few for Drapion and Carnivine.

    The girl also ate in silence, curled up on the couch with her plate pretending to be watching TV when Valaura walked in from the balcony. They eyed each other briefly before Valaura began to hastily walk away.

    “Wait!” Tara called out.

    Valaura stopped moving, her back turned to Tara. She looked over her shoulder, using her eyes to ask “What?”

    Tara fumbled for the remote, shutting off the TV and setting the plate down on the coffee table. “Let’s talk.”

    The psychic made to turn around, though paused as if she were questioning herself, before turning around fully and walking over to Tara. They sat in more silence as Tara looked for what words to say.

    ”I am sorry,” Valaura started instead. ”I should not have left; but I did not feel comfortable. I felt exposed, it was unpleasant.”

    “Unpleasant to express yourself?” Tara asked, derailed from what she was going to say. “What happened to you? Really, what happened to you? You’re unlike any Gardevoir I’ve seen or heard of. Never mind your power, but your personality…”

    ”I was not always so…” Valaura said as her vision went out of focus as she stared at Tara, as though she were not actually looking at Tara but at the past.

    “What happened?” Tara repeated, looking earnestly at the Gardevoir.

    ”I was young, very young… not even two years of age, but I was old enough to know how it felt to be close to someone, to become attached. When I was captured and brought to Team Rocket, I met a boy, likely only a bit younger than you at the time…"

    "I had just begun to be experimented on, to test new advances in the Team Rocket technology. The tests were painful and both physically and mentally straining; I am certain I only barely survived each one. The boy was a new recruit, a homeless boy picked off of the street with the promise of purpose and opportunity. He was not the type, he did not belong there. He had stumbled across me as I was being led back to a cell for rest. I must not have looked well, because he snuck into my cell with some food sometime after, and offered me water out of a bottle."

    "He would do this constantly, whenever he could. He would talk with me for as long as he thought he could risk. He would tell me silly things, from emotions that he felt to how his day was, to more serious issues, such as his feelings on Team Rocket and his duties. Many times he would share memories with me, both amusing and sorrowful. I enjoyed his company, very much, it was the only thing I looked forward to day to day. I communicated back with him when I could - I was still learning English, picking up words as I heard them. I became very attached to him, fiercely loyal. We were friends, good friends, and he would tell me that he would find a way to escape with me."

    "One day, he was caught. The officers became furious with him, since I was part of a secret project. I remember that one went to harm him… I do not remember what happened then, only that I had managed to completely destroy the binds holding me and almost killed several of the guards. I was still a Ralts at the time, but even then I had power, and more so because they had wished to harm the boy. They managed to sedate me somehow…"

    "I never saw him again. It was not till years later when I read over his file to discover his fate. He had been eliminated."

    "Of course, I did not act out in anger then, since I had blocked major details of the incident from my mind; I do not recall any emotions I felt, towards him or anyone else, or the faces of people involved, I did not even remember what he looked like until I reviewed his profile. I blocked it all out - it was too painful to live with otherwise. I erased from my mind the memory of how it felt to care or to love. I erased my memory of many feelings, along with most of my memories of the boy. I only remember that we were friends, and even then I forced myself to forget what that word even meant, what that sensation even felt like. I only remember that he would speak with me, I remember barely anything he told, or anything that I told him."

    "The experience made me the way I am now…"
    she said, sitting absolutely still, eyes coming back into focus.

    Tara listened quietly, taking it all in and trying to imagine this in her head. Valaura was silent for a moment, seemingly overwhelmed with emotion. Tara thought she felt the room tremble.

    ”I lost my resolve, opting never to become close to any person. The only thing I did was focus on my training.”

    A gust of wind slammed against the windows.

    ”I do not know why, but they became my obsession, my powers. Perhaps I did it for him; if I was stronger I could have protected him. Part of my suppressed subconscious knew that had I been more powerful, I could have killed the men who found him and escaped with him just like he wanted.”

    The sky rumbled above them as the patter of rain drops fell against the glass.

    ”I succeeded in my efforts… look at me now.”

    Tara came to believe that Valaura was not consciously aware she was implementing her powers. Valaura began levitating and objects in the room began to shift.

    ”I can protect anyone now, and most certainly myself. I will kill all who try to hold me down, destroy those who wish to harm me or anyone I chose to care for.”

    Her eyes went completely red, crimson energy streaming from her eyes like smoke as power coursed through her body. The Gardevoir’s mouth fell open as her body convulsed. Things began floating in the air, orbiting around Valaura as the elements rocked the outside of the building.

    Tara yelled as she felt herself being caught up in the psychic current. She felt her Pokémon latching onto her; Carnivine held her down with his vines as Sefer struggled to keep her still with his own psychic abilities.

    “Valaura!” Tara yelled as her hair whipped about her face. She had to calm her down, she would bring down the building.

    But it was no use, the psychic was unreachable.

    Tara looked distressed as she thought of things to do. She looked at her Drapion, the Dark-type being unaffected by this storm. “Drapion! I'm going to try to calm her down! If I can't stop her then you do, however you can!” she told her Pokémon.

    With that Tara felt her mind extend past herself, hitting the solid wall that was Valaura’s mind. She probed around, expressing her concern, seeking entrance. In response to Tara’s concern there was a fluctuation in Valaura’s defenses. Tara shot for the weak spot with all she had and broke into the psychic’s mind. At once she was overwhelmed by a flurry of emotions and memories, lost in a cyclone.
    She felt so much emotion in those moments that she though she would burst. The gravity of Valaura’s sorrow was unbearable, and Tara immediately thought of going back, doing anything to escape from it. Still, she pressed on, determined to get through to the psychic.

    “Valaura!” she tried again, yelling as loudly as she could with her telepathic voice.. ”It’s ok! You need to control yourself! You’re going to bring down the building!”

    There was only a mournful groan in response. The poor being sounded as if she were going to shatter into a thousand pieces.

    ”Please!” Tara pleaded. ”It’s all right to vent, but not like this! Let me help you!”

    Tara paused as she felt Valaura’s mind slowing down slightly, as if to listen.

    “Because… because I care about you too…” the girl admitted.

    There was a momentary halt of emotions before she forced out of the psychic’s head, back into her own body.

    Tara gasped and opened her eyes, looking around. The room was still. All the air-born objects were frozen in place. There was no noise, simply stillness, as if time had stopped. Valaura stood at the center of it all with her eyes closed; a tear fell from her cheek to the floor. It was so quiet that one could almost hear the plop of the tear as it hit the tile.

    Valaura opened her eyes, her red aura shining like a beacon as it flared around her. Then she channeled all of it into her arm. In a verbal yell of frustration she released the condensed psychic energy in the form of red lightning out of the open window.

    The flash was so brilliant that there were reports of it being seen from cities across the continent.

    The shockwaves reverberating back into the penthouse, gnashing at Valaura’s figure and breaking a few objects in the room. Immediately afterwards, the still-suspended objects, including Tara, were placed back on solid and stable surfaces exactly where they had been before.

    Tara stood where she was, watching Valaura as she in turn looked at the night sky, the wind dying away and the clouds fading. The rain could no longer be heard and the rush of cars could be heard from the open balcony doors.

    Tara waited for her heart to slow down, patting Sefer and Carnivine and thanking them. She looked around, seeing that nothing major had been broken.
    “What was his name?” she asked finally.

    ”… His name? Yes… I allowed myself to remember his name. It was Stern. I have read that it means ‘star’.”

    “I’m sorry,” the girl said as she bowed her head. Having been inside of Valaura’s head, she had to opportunity to feel the exact kind of loss the Gardevoir had felt, the same loss that was in her at the loss of her friend and her family.

    This one past event seemed to explain Valaura completely, and Tara could finally understand.

    Tenants that lived below them began banging on the door, wondering what on earth was happening. Valaura reached into their minds for only a moment and the neighbors began walking away, wondering why they had even come upstairs. She did the same with the police when they arrived, bypassing their meager psychic defenses with ease.

    ”I should not have lost control of my emotions, I apolo-“

    “No!” Tara shook her head. “Why should you apologize? Do you know how much stress you just let out? How much anger? How many suppressed emotions? Years worth,” Tara looked at her with an impressive look. “Years… probably since that day he was taken from you.” The teen walked over, slowly raising her arm to touch Valaura’s shoulder. “But you survived…” she said as she closed her eyes. “You need to forgive yourself, and then honor him; I don’t think he would like to see you now, cut off from everything.”

    Valaura nodded simply.

    ”To tell you the truth, I’ve been feeling close to you for some time. Like you are slowly filling a hole in me,” Tara admitted, shifted her eyes away. She really wasn’t used to such intimacy. “You’re a pillar of strength, more so than me, and your presence has become a comfort. I don’t feel so alone…”

    ”What will you do now?” she asked.

    “I’m not sure… I want to start over, somewhere new…” Tara looked down guiltily at herself. “but, I also want to find Fida. If I don’t, and she finds me later, she’ll wonder why I didn’t look for her.”

    ”She is currently becoming accustomed to life without you, if you return, and something happens again - could you make her go through that loss once more?”

    “No, no I couldn’t,” Tara answered, not even knowing to what extent the girl suffered.

    ”If you found her, she would also be subjected to Lysis, and perhaps be put in danger. I would protect her with all my power, but my duty is to you; something could happen where I could not protect you both,” she explained. ”Her companion keeps her safe, keeps her hidden…”

    “Elvia…” Tara murmured. “What if you could contact only her? Tell her that I’m alive, tell her what’s happened, and that if she senses me… she’ll keep Fida away from me…”

    Valaura blinked, nodding in approval. ”That is wise, I will tell her.”

    “Then, I just need to start over…” Tara said as she began walking away into the kitchen. “Hoenn maybe, but I need to get back to my life.” She turned to Valaura. “If I go, will you come with me?”

    Valaura nodded, ”Only death can stop me.”

    Tara smiled; she herself now began to feel emotional. The girl hadn’t been this close to anyone for months, it felt good, but still, sadness lurked within. She knew that she could not recover fully, but Valaura could help, they could help each other. Muku would be happy for her.

    “I’m tired…” she yawned and stretched. “I’m going to bed.”

    ”Sleep well…” Valaura replied. She was still quite unused to feeling so open and exposed. The Gardevoir would have previously explained this as a horrible weakness and given her enough reason to close up again and suppress more memories; but she felt strangely whole. As if some undying hunger, one that had been eating her from the inside, was finally being satisfied. She had known this would happen. She had seen in it in a vision as soon as Lysis found her. Valaura didn't know what to think at the time, knowing her visions, as seldom as they occurred, were either highly accurate, or subject to change.

    However, as time passed, she realized that she was indeed becoming fond of the young woman. It was also the presence that liked to visit her almost constantly that helped the Gardevoir decide that she would try again. It was the same presence that was in the room even then.

    “Tara…” she called before the teen had closed the door.

    “Mm?” Tara paused, looking back.

    ”You were never alone.”

    Tara wondered what she meant before she felt a loving warmth brush against her shoulder, like it had so many times before.
     
    #10 Sem, Jul 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  11. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    -Chapter 8-

    The following days were strange, but pleasant all the same. Tara had gone to a public arena in Saffron, participating in a small tournament and taking one of the top places; earning her some money and a cheap trophy. Both meant little to her, she had plenty of trophies, including the ones from home that were repossessed, along with everything else in the house. It was something she had done two nights before, taking back memorable things that the government had taken from the house.

    Tara placed the trophy onto a shelf with some others back at the penthouse. After sitting for a while she stood and began to pack a bag.

    “We’re leaving tomorrow,” Tara explained as she began running throughout the room. “We’ll head south to Vermillion and grab tickets for a ship to Slateport, Hoenn.”
    Valaura stood at the door, leaning against the frame. The girl grabbed clothes and supplies from various drawers, taking only what she would need for a journey.

    And when where you going to ask me if I wanted to go to Hoenn, love? Tara heard Lysis ask politely in her head as she packed her bag. Her eyes darted to Valaura, who simply blinked.

    The trainer brought her attention back to her packing. “I don’t need your permission to go anywhere,” she answered and then paused, looking up. “In fact, it should be the other way around.”

    Before she could go back to her work she felt herself being forcibly pulled within herself, seeing only black until a familiar scene lay before her. The endless meadow of flowers was once again alive in her mind with blue mountains in the background. Lysis reclined under the large tree on a stone bench.

    Lysis smirked.

    “So I need your permission to do what I want?” she asked. Again she had a flower in her hand, twirling it in her fingers.

    Tara blinked, giving the older female an incredulous look. “Yes! Yes you do! It’s my body.”

    The older girl looked away, as if more interested in the bark on the tree than the current conversation. “I don’t know about that…” she replied, tracing a line in the bark with a finger.

    “You…” Tara started, looking back and forth. “know you should ask me, ‘Hey, Tara? Can I go kill so-and-so? Or can I go steal this-and-this?'”

    “You bought a house,” Lysis remarked changing the subject slightly. “Using who’s money? Your money? The money I gave you?”

    Tara closed her eyes, stopping herself from screaming by biting down her lips. “Don’t talk to me about that! The money’s there and isn’t going anywhere; I might as well use it.”

    “Good,” Lysis smiled as she closed her eyes, taking a whiff of the flower. “I'm glad that you did use it. Now, there’s an arms deal going down in Viridian, can I go get some toys?” she asked politely, looking up at the sky, as if she were a small girl asking her mother if she could go buy candy.

    “If I say no will you still go?” Tara crossed her arms.

    “Yep.”

    “You won’t be stopped? Valaura can stop you.”

    “She can but she won’t - only you can stop me, dear,” Lysis responded. “But will you?”

    “I’ll try,” Tara growled. “I can’t be in Hoenn and have you teleporting across the world every night; I've never been more tired in my life than the past few months.”

    “You can’t ask me to leave either; all my friends are here on this side of the planet,” Lysis chuckled as she pulled a petal off of the flower, watching it fall to the ground.

    “It’s my body! I can do what I want! I can’t let you do this.”

    “Then do something about it!” Lysis stood and the sky darkened. “Don’t let me! Stop me!” Lysis walked casually over to Tara. “"Can you?"” she asked, tickling the younger girl’s nose with the flower. “Because” Lysis continued as she leaned in to Tara’s ear. “I don’t think you can,” she smiled gleefully.

    That did it. “Argh!” Tara exclaimed, swinging an arm at Lysis, who caught it easily and jumped back.

    “Tsk, tsk, love,” Lysis waved a finger before grinning devilishly. “You know that doesn’t work.” Springing forward, she brought her left arm forward in a punch.

    “No!” Tara yelled as everything slowed. She watched as Lysis drew closer, hair flowing fluidly behind her as well as the tails of her coat. As the punch came within range Tara stuck out her own left arm, grabbing Lysis at the elbow and directing the punch away from herself, causing everything to return to real time. Lysis looked shocked for barely a moment before smiling in what one would describe as some form of satisfaction.

    Both young women stood eyeing each other for a moment, the sky becoming brighter and the mental plain a bit cheerier.

    “Fine, Tara,” Lysis shrugged, walking away back to the bench. “Have it your way.” She plucked a new flower from the ground as she lay on her side. Closing her eyes, she let the aroma of the new flower fill her nose. Her eyes shot open as she pulled the flower away, looking directly at Tara. “I can always find new friends.”

    Tara thought for a moment, shuddering at Lysis’ tone, before nodding in acceptance. Satisfied, she turned around and began walking away towards the dark portal behind her.

    “Oh, Tara,” Lysis called after her.

    Tara stopped, not turning around to face her.

    “I will be going out for the next couple of nights then,” she informed. “with or without your permission. If I’m to relocate I’ll need took take care of some business and a new base of operations. Perhaps a luxurious condo on the Lilycove shoreline?”

    The trainer did not answer and simply walked into the portal, watching everything go black as she rushed forward, back into conscious control of her body.

    -------

    “If I can’t talk to Giovanni directly, then I want to talk to the highest ranking agent available,” Lysis demanded, casually placing one of her Strata flat on the counter.

    She was back at Team Rocket headquarters, having just arrived there. Normally she would just barge in on whoever she wanted to see without permission, but she couldn’t do that with Giovanni. The man had the best protecting him, people and Pokémon that even Lysis would have trouble getting past unscathed, if at all.

    “I-I’ll see what I can do,” the receptionist replied nervously, who happened to be the same one when Lysis visited months prior.

    Lysis looked for the camera that overlooked the lobby and stared up into it, tapping her fingers impatiently on the glass counter. She had only been there a few moments, but surprised there wasn’t already a ring of armed agents around her; she was of course one of Team Rocket’s most wanted at the moment, and here she was on their doorstep of her own free will.

    Soon enough some guards came rushing out with various psychics on tow, already putting locks on Lysis’ abilities. An administrator walked out casually, proudly displaying his uniform which only his rank could wear. His hair was greased back and his white face was sharp, thin hands reached out of his sleeves and were held before him.

    “Good evening, Miss Fox,” he bowed his head.

    “And may it continue to be a good evening,” Lysis nodded her head with a smirk. “Now,” she holstered her weapon, ignoring the various lasers that instantly locked on her. “Take me to whomever it is who’s going to see me.”

    “With all due respect,” the man smiled politely. “You should be taken to one of our cells.”

    “Please,” Lysis rolled her eyes as she raised her hand to cup her mouth, whispering, “You-know-who is watching me right now,” she said with an eager nod. “You don’t want her in here all angry do you?”

    The admin blinked a few times, wringing his hands a bit worriedly. “Then, you have an offer to propose?”

    Lysis reached down and pulled up a metal case onto the counter. “Of course.”

    “I see,” he looked down nervously. “Right this way then.”

    Lysis was led back into a hallway, which they walked the length of until reaching an elevator at the end. The man stepped in with Lysis, along with as many guards as the lift would hold, and went up to the third floor while the rest of the guards took the stairs.

    Once the doors slid open they walked down the new hallway, turning right at the soonest opportunity into an elegant room. The only man inside sat at a desk in the middle of a marble floor, expensive artwork covered the walls.

    The guards went in first, standing up against the walls facing the center of the room. Lysis then strode in, her stride emanating an aura of confidence and authority as always as she moved with feminine grace. She looked all about the room, taking note of the wealth invested in it. The man at the desk was thin and middle-aged, with short hair and a black suit. He was leaned forward; chin resting on interlocked fingers which were covered in rings.

    “Hello,” he greeted with a smirk. “Like my office?” he asked, noticing Lysis’ wandering eyes.

    Lysis glanced around for a few more seconds before turning her cold blue-eyed attention to him and shrugging. “Years of service as a lapdog does pay off I suppose.”

    He frowned.

    “I have this much money and more,” Lysis commented as she stopped before the wood desk, smiling wryly. “At nineteen I’m wealthier than you’ll ever be, and I’m my own boss on top of that,” she winked as she sat down in the seat offered, crossing her legs and cupping both hands over her knee.

    The frown grew larger.

    “But, I’m willing to share,” she noted, flinging a lock of black hair out of her face.

    “How much?” the man inquired, head still resting on his hands.

    “See for yourself,” the girl answered, placing the metal case on the surface. “Combination’s already set.”

    He eyed her before pulling the case towards him and pressed both buttons simultaneously, causing the lid to fly open. The man’s eyes widened for a moment before returning to their normal uninterested expression. “What do you want?”

    “Simply?” Lysis eyed him at an angle. “Leave me alone. I mean no further harm the organization. Rauss was a part of my personal agenda that I had to see to. The amount I offer is more than enough to replace him and the grunts I took care of in Saffron.”

    The man nodded, knowing her offer was perfectly acceptable. “But what if I take the money now and still take you in?”

    Lysis shrugged. “Then you lose a valuable friend. I’m willing to put our past behind us if this goes through. If it does, I’d be more than willing to perform some odd jobs. You know the kind,” she said, flashing a smile. “I won’t be joining Team Rocket again of course; freelancing is much more for me. Still, I’d be an invaluable asset, especially since I’ll be in Hoenn for an undetermined amount of time; think of how much longer your reach will be with me over there,” she explained, winking again.

    “Hmph, your offer is hard to refuse.”

    “I know.”

    The man looked to be considering both options seriously, even though the one he should go with was perfectly obvious. “Deal.”

    “Excellent.”

    “Though, it would be nice if you stopped wearing the logo on your jacket,” the man commented dismissively as he closed the case and put it to the side.

    “Yeah, it would, but you won’t take this jacket from me,” she shook her head. “I’ll kill you if you try, I swear.” Tuning her head, she eyed her coat lovingly. “I love it too, too much.” Standing, Lysis turned and began walking away.

    “We can escort you out, Miss Fox,” the man offered as he stood.

    “No need,” Lysis waved her hand without turning out. “Valaura's just removed the mental locks imposed by your Pokémon: I’m gone.”

    Then she teleported away.

    -------

    “Everything’s ready,” Tara told herself as she stood with her hands on her hips, looking at her bag and recounting everything she had put inside.

    ”We could always return if you have forgotten something,” Valaura offered.

    “Nah, that takes the fun out of it…” Tara explained as she slung the messenger bag over her shoulder. She was clothed in her normal attire; black jeans, blue shirt, blue arm-warmers, and her sleeveless jacket. With her bag on her she walked out of the room, making sure everything was locked.

    “All right, guys,” the girl chuckled as she returned her excited Pokémon, happy that she would be fully able to pay attention to them and better their skills. She made sure all the entrances to the main room were locked before making her way up the steps to the front door.

    Looking around one last time, she eyed Valaura. “I guess this is it!” she grinned, reaching for the handle. In the moment it took for her to reach the handle she felt a variety of things. A freezing chill ran down her spine, and a feeling of dread and fear overtook her, drowning her senses and making her feel weak. "What's happening?" she uttered woozily before feeling everything become black.

    She was being pulled back into herself, back to the flower-field. As she appeared she saw Lysis standing by the tree, alert.

    “What are you doing?” Tara asked, looking around as well.

    “This isn’t me,” Lysis answered warily, looking at Valaura who had been pulled in along with Tara.

    ”Nor my doing,” the psychic answered. Closing her eyes, the dark Gardevoir expanded her mind. They opened suddenly after a mere moment. ”It is-“

    “Me.”

    The word was cold as ice-water and the sickening feelings returned, seeming to poison the land; turning it bare and dead.

    The three females looked to see Salem floating towards them. He looked more sadistic than ever as he neared. He had been very absent as of late, so much that Tara had forgotten about him entirely.

    “Salem?” Lysis questioned, lowering her guard slightly.

    “Yes, Salem, well, not really; you simply know me as Salem,” he explained as he drew even closer, stopping a short distance away. His presence was suffocating and thick, feeling as if it could stop them from moving. His voice, despite like ice, was smooth and articulate, sophisticated despite his usage of more modern English.

    “What are you doing?” Lysis asked.

    Salem closed his eyes, considering her question, contemplating the answer. “I suppose that I’m revealing myself.”

    He received confused looks.

    “Don’t act so shocked,” he chuckled darkly. “You had to sense this was coming; she did,” he pointed one disembodied hand at Tara.

    “What do you want?” Tara demanded. She'd thought about it, but never really considered something would happen. She had no idea what could even happen now.

    The Haunter sighed. “I’m planning to take over,” he answered flatly.

    “Take over what?” Tara demanded once more, narrowing her eyes.

    “You, child,” he grinned a toothy grin. “You see, you’re special. Both of you really. I was planning on doing this years ago,” he waved one hand, rolling his eyes. “But then Lysis got killed, so my plans got put on hold - I feared permanently,” he suddenly looked downcast and Tara thought she even felt a raindrop from the sky. “But!” he continued, cheery once more. “Ever-resourceful Lysis found a way to come back. But, then my plans got put on hold again! Though I was happy about it this time,” he nodded. “Because you, Tara, developed your abilities as well, making yourself stronger.”

    “You’re going to possess her now?” Lysis questioned. “Why not before? Why did you need her to develop her abilities?”

    “Yes, like Lysis,” Tara added, glaring at the older girl for a second. “She adapted perfectly to powers I didn’t even know I had.”

    “Yes, unfortunately I don’t work like that,” Salem sighed. “Lysis could adapt because she was human, and you are human. I am not human. When I possess someone the soul is literally devoured by me, making it a part of myself. Those person’s skills become my own, otherwise I would have to start from scratch; and I would rather not do that,” he shook his head in disgust.

    ”We will not let you do this.” Valaura interjected, after listening silently.

    ”Ah, the elegant Valaura,” Salem addressed her, venom dripping off of every syllable. ”You think yourself so powerful, though, you have no idea how powerful I am.”

    ”I know that you should be destroyed right now,” Val glowered.

    ”I’m an ancient thing, Valaura. What you know of me is not even real…” his voice changed slightly, as did his appearance. “I, or, we are actually called Ephidel. This was our name centuries ago, and this was our form.” He changed from Haunter to a cloaked man with piercing red eyes, black hair covered part of his face. His face was beautiful and pale, and betrayed his sinister nature. “We are not even a Haunter: we are the evolved form, Gengar,” the man shrugged. “We simply prefer the Haunter form.”

    “It’s you against us,” Lysis told him. “As ancient as you are, you’re no match.”

    “Oh, we’re more than a match, Lysis. And once we’re fused with both of you… there is no power on earth that can stop us. You see, we've never been able to add people as powerful as yourselves to us. Only weaker psychics, people who had no idea as to what they were doing. But you, you could elevate us to the rank of a god.”

    “You’re not fusing with anyone!” Lysis yelled, defiant.

    “Yes, that is what you fear, isn’t it? Your death? Your end?” Ephidel narrowed his eyes in amusement. “Do not fear; we may not take over if you do not pass our test.”

    “Test?” Lysis and Tara said together.

    Ephidel nodded. “Mmhm, yes. You see, we have not seen you at the height of your abilities, Lysis. You’ve never had to give it your all.”

    “You’re about to see…” she threatened.

    “Oh, yes, we certainly are.” His laugh caused the land to whither to almost nothing. This only caused Lysis to become angrier, and Tara felt the emotion overcoming her, pushing her away. Lysis was taking control of her body.

    -------

    Lysis yelled in frustration, swinging her leg at Ephidel as soon as she was in control of Tara’s body.

    Ephidel leapt back, avoiding the kick easily. She sprinted forward after him, raising her arm in an uppercut, which was also avoided. Ephidel had moved to the lower part of the main room. Lysis flipped back, her feet touched the wall well above the floor. Kicking off, she spun until she was able to bring her leg up over herself. Surrounding it with psychic energy, she threw herself down at Ephidel, brining her heel down to hit him from above.

    Again she missed.

    The whole penthouse shook as her heel hit the marble floor, causing huge cracks in the marble and shattering many of the windows.

    “Let’s not destroy such a pretty dwelling,” Ephidel said remorsefully at the ruined floor and windows as he watched her straighten herself.

    Crackling sounded and a red bolt of lightning shot through the air at Ephidel, which was blocked by a ghostly shield created by him. He turned to Valaura, eyeing her amusingly.

    “Let us go elsewhere, Lysis,” Ephidel said politely. “Valaura insists on interrupting something to which she was not invited.”

    Before the Gardevoir could do anything, Ephidel and Lysis blinked out of sight.

    -------

    Lysis fell to the ground as soon as they reappeared in some other part of the world. She sat up, spitting sand out of her mouth. There was a lot of sand. Everywhere. And it was hot, very hot.

    “Here’s your test, Lysis,” Ephidel explained, handing her the Strata and a belt loaded with ammunition.

    “Don’t you run from me!” Lysis screamed angrily once he vanished, leaving her in the middle of a desert with only her weapons. She looked around briefly as she put the belt on, attempting to teleport, only to find that her teleportation was blocked. More frustrated screaming.

    Looking down, she breathed deeply, calming herself. She began walking with guns at the ready. The instincts from her training began to take over. First was to locate herself. She knew she was in a large desert by the looks of it, which meant that she was either in the Gran Desert, or she was brought to Orre, or perhaps even Isshu. She had nothing on her but her weapons, no food or water; no wild animals or sources of water to be seen for miles. Time of day was around midday, where the sun was at its hottest, meaning dehydration was a threat. Tara’s bag had been taken, along with any way of contacting anyone. Her Pokémon were also gone.

    She had more hope if she was in Hoenn or Isshu’s desert, for it was often traveled by trainers. The woman would not be so lucky if she were in Orre, where the desert was a no man’s land.

    Possible options.

    Create a psychic flare that could be seen by anyone within five miles? It would use too much of her energy and there was no guarantee any one could see it. Best used as a last resort.

    Sit and wait? Only worked if anyone knew she was missing.

    Her only option would be to start walking and to locate water first and foremost, food later.

    With guns raised, Lysis began to trek forward. She realized that Ephidel would not simply bring her to a desert to test her survival skills, there was likely more to it. There would be an imminent threat.

    And then the ground rumbled.

    Lysis stopped walking immediately, raising her weapons and waiting.

    More rumbling.

    Lysis expanded her mind, seeking another presence, but she found that her telepathy was also blocked. Telekinesis was her only psychic-tool. She resorted to her senses, closing her eyes so that the rest of her senses could become more effective and acute.

    The rumbling started again, much more violently and closer. There was something moving beneath her. The shaking continued until Lysis jumped far out of the way by using her telekinesis. The sand where she had been erupted, sending streams of earth hundreds of feet high.

    Lysis landed with a soft grunt, looking at this threat. Whatever it was, it was incredibly reflective; she could hardly see due to the glare. Her mind ran through the number of possibilities, though only one was clear.

    The earthshaking roar confirmed it. The deadly female stared directly at the Steelix, who in turn eyed her ferociously.

    She could not teleport, and it was at home in this environment; it could move faster than she could, even when telekinetically assisted. Her only option was to bring it down.

    “All right, beastie,” Lysis taunted as she rolled her shoulders and cracked her neck. “Come and get me.”
     
    #11 Sem, Jul 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  12. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    -Chapter 9-

    Lysis had vanished from the flower meadow, leaving only Tara and Valaura. Tara was completely silent, as though she were thinking on something intently. Valaura was unsure as to what to do, whether she should protect Tara’s essence here, or her body out there.

    After a moment, Valaura figured that the body was most logical, for what use was Tara’s personality without a body? Before she could leave Tara spoke.

    “I… had a vision…” she explained slowly. “I’m not even sure what it means, it was so unclear. Help Lysis…” she said slowly. “She’ll also need a lot of firepower,” Tara looked at Valaura very seriously before the Gardevoir returned to her own body.

    -------

    As soon as she was conscious Valaura aimed an attack at Ephidel and fired, distraught to see it blocked. She let out an audible cry of fury as Lysis vanished with the Gengar.

    Closing her eyes, she thought quickly, remembering what Tara said. Valaura rushed over to one of the secret compartments hidden in the walls, forcing it open telekinetically. As soon as her hand clutched the handle of the large black box inside she teleported away.

    The psychic appeared in a different part of Kanto, expanding the tendrils of her mind as far as they could reach, searching for Lysis and Tara. She repeated this multiple times as quickly as she could, covering all of Kanto and Johto in a matter of minutes, moving on to Sinnoh. She hoped to find them soon; knowing that too much far-distance teleporting would deplete her psychic reservoir of energy and leave her drained. Valaura grew more and more frantic with each teleport.

    -------

    The arrival of the Steelix confirmed there was life in the desert, more than likely placing Lysis in the Gran Desert. The Steelix towered above the dunes, body segments rotated in different directions as it watched its prey.

    The young woman stood alert, leg muscles poised to move at any second. The moment was tense.

    Then the Steel-type charged.

    Lysis opened fire immediately, watching as the bullets pinged off the metal body expectantly. The Steelix reared its head and dove down at the girl, who cart-wheeled out of the way and resumed fire from the side. Steelix roared in annoyance and swung its massive head to the side.

    Lysis jumped, flipping over the sweeping head. Her own head looked down at the creature as time slowed, noticing finer details of the head as she flew, such as scratches and the moving glare of the sun; she noticed the ping of bullets leaving tiny marks as she opened fire from above, not stopping until she landed on the other side. She focused psychic energy into her leg, a lot of it, and leapt towards the Pokémon, spinning around and bringing the heel of her foot against the side of the snake’s head.

    Shockwaves of dark blue aura rippled from the point of impact as Steelix’s head was thrown into the ground with a thud. The assassin landed and touched her heel with a hand. “What I wouldn’t give for my boots,” she sighed, lamenting that she was in Tara’s attire, before rushing up to the Steelix to resume her onslaught while she had the chance.

    The metallic-snake rumbled and growled loudly, firing a peculiar reflective beam, a Flash Cannon, at Lysis. The woman dodged off to the side and continued running, jumping and bringing her leg down, right onto of Steelix.

    More shockwaves.

    Balancing herself on the massive head she pulled out her knife and made to swipe it across the Pokémon’s left eye. The steel lid slid over the eye as she slashed at it, bending her knife. Lysis snarled. “That was my favorite blade, worm!” she yelled as she fired on the closed eye twice, denting the thin layer of steel.

    Steelix roared in pain, throwing Lysis off of its head. The dents were deep enough to cause pain whenever it opened or closed its left eye - a plus for Lysis. Slowly she advanced towards the beast, dropping the old magazines from her guns and inserting new ones.

    The serpent shook its head, preferring to keep its injured eye closed instead of open. It watched her from the side as she advanced - never before had it been threatened by something so little.

    “Are you realizing now, worm?” Lysis started. “I will be your end,” she told it, intimidating the beast with simply her tone of voice and her air of supreme confidence.

    Steelix’s head wobbled from side to side in contemplation, growling softly to indicate that it still had plenty left to dish out.

    “Let’s see it then!” Lysis shouted and immediately felt more rumbling about her. She realized after a second that the vibrations were much weaker and most likely not living creatures. The girl jumped just in time to avoid being imprisoned by four slabs of stone coming up from the sand. Rock Tomb.

    The ex-Rocket agent deftly and agilely avoided each attempt at her immobilization, jumping and flipping out of the way. Frustration took over the Steelix and began firing various special attacks, many of which Lysis barely avoided, but dodged all the same.

    Finally there was a cease-fire and Lysis looked across an attack-riddled length of desert between her and Steelix. The jutting stones led straight towards her enemy, and she knew she could use them.

    Running into a sprint, she kicked off the nearest Rock Tomb-formation towards the next, doing the same and gaining speed with each kick-off. After about five jumps she surrounded a leg once again in psychic aura, which flared out behind her like a large flame as she continued zigzagging towards her prey.

    In a matter of seconds she was coming up right under the metallic serpent. She launched herself straight up into a back-flip, connecting with the beast’s chin as she flipped. The flash of the resulting impact was insanely bright and the Steelix was actually forced up into the air about a meter, falling onto its back.

    Lysis landed softly on the sand, breathing heavily. She could not see through the large cloud of dust that had been created from the falling Steelix, so she was unable to tell whether it was down or not.

    The roars of sheer pain and annoyance told her she still had a battle to fight. The girl ran a ‘system’s check’ of sorts on herself, checking to see what was left in her. She only had two more attacks like that tops in her, and then she would be completely defenseless. She needed to think of something fast or else she was a goner; narrowing her eyes, she frowned.

    “I’m not going to be brought down by the likes of you!”

    “Very resourceful indeed, Lysis,” she heard Ephidel’s voice. “Such power; I would indeed be a god.”

    “Face me yourself!” Lysis shouted in response.

    “Not yet,” his dark chuckle echoed across the desert. “Oops, I distracted you for too long - watch out!”

    Lysis had barely any time to act as she saw a massive tail swing down at her from the cloud of sand. She threw her arms above her head to block, exerting all the psychic power she had into her arms.

    The resulting flash was even brighter than the last.

    The weight of the attack almost completely submerged Lysis within the sands, held up by her own psychic will, with most of it still focused on her arms. She was still alive and the tail was not about to break through, but she would only be able to hold up this much energy exertion for a minute tops, after that she would be crushed.

    “Curse you, Salem,” Lysis spat as she strained under the sheer weight she was fighting. She had to survive, she must survive. The girl did not want to die, and her will to live was stronger than any part of this beast. "Nnnaugh!” she yelled loudly, every ounce of psychic power in her went to her arms in an instant and she instead grasped the tail. She gripped it powerfully and literally swung the Steelix. The swing was barely any distance at all, but it was enough to get it away from her.

    Lysis fell to her knees, gasping for air as her psychic aura flickered around her. She was spent. Sweat dripped from her face and she felt that she simply could not gather enough air into her lungs. Struggling to stand, feeling strange without any psychic power at her disposal, she waited.

    -------

    The Steelix rose contently from the ground, knowing she could no longer offer resistance. Rearing its head, it opened its massive maw with a triumphant roar. It had won.

    Or so it thought.

    Another creature had appeared next to its prey, a black and white creature. It took hold of its prey and disappeared. Steelix looked around, bewildered and enraged before spotting them a short distance away. It charged.

    -------


    “Valaura!” Lysis gasped as she was teleported away. “I have no more power left,” she shook her head, still breathing heavily as sweat poured from her brow.

    ”Nor do I,” Valaura looked at Lysis gravely. ”I used too much finding you, that last teleport was all I could muster.”

    “You still have your elemental energy,” Lysis remarked.

    ”And you still have this.” Valaura set the black case down before her.

    Lysis dove for the box and opened it quickly, slowly pulling out the bazooka within. “Hehe,” Lysis chuckled. “Hahaha!” she laughed in an even more deranged manner as she loaded the weapon with the single rocket provided, delirious with joy. “Not going down, not me, hnn…” the girl uttered as she aimed her weapon at the charging Steelix, who had its mouth wide open with an attack ready to fire.

    ”It is being assisted by Ephidel,” Valaura informed. ”That is a combination of attacks.”

    Lysis studied it quickly, noting the fire, electric, and ice-energy around the teeth, mixing with a green attack of-sorts, most likely Dragon Pulse, creating a swirl of color within the creature’s mouth.

    “You like colors, worm?” Lysis asked as she looked through the scope. “Open wide then,” she beckoned as the crosshair locked on the open mouth. “Taste the rainbow, mofo.”

    She fired.

    Her aim was flawless, so much that the rocket went a bit down the monster’s esophagus before exploding, reacting with the different energies of the attacks it had been about to use. Flames shot out of its mouth and eyes and created small holes in the steel carcass. The only reason it was still moving was because of the momentum it had. It slid forward, creating waves of sand until slowly stopping some distance away. It was down for good. Lysis cackled.

    “Hmph, again, very resourceful,” Ephidel’s voice sounded again, though sounded somewhat disappointed. His human-form appeared briefly before them before teleporting them away from the desert scene, leaving the smoking body of the Steelix for others to find.

    -------

    “Your strength is amazing, Lysis, simply amazing,” Ephidel commented upon their return to the penthouse. Both females were in defensive positions, though each realized that with their psychic strength drained, they had no resistance to offer.

    Lysis stared him in the eye maliciously.

    “You’ve helped us make up our mind; we will possess you,” Ephidel nodded, crossing his arms.

    “In your dreams, filth!” Lysis retorted.

    “Oh, Lysis…” the Gengar rolled his eyes. Suddenly, he rushed forward, his body melding into Lysis' with her or Valaura unable to fight back. The girl yelled as she felt the ghost fitting himself within her, taking over. She underwent a slight transformation as the possession completed.

    When she opened her eyes she spoke in both her own and Ephidel’s voice. “Not to worry Valaura, she’s not been devoured yet,” she looked at the Gardevoir, who unsure on whether or not to attack. “I’m simply going to make her an offer.” She walked around, her body no longer entirely physical; her lower-legs and hair moved like smoke in the air, or like dye in water; fluid, smooth.

    “You can do almost anything now, Lysis,” Ephidel said as he closed her eyes, summoning bolts of lightning to Lysis’ hands. “You could rule with absolute authority; no one could stop you.” She moved around the room, teleporting instantly in puffs of ghostly smoke. “And with us fused with you, your body knows no limits. You could become anything, or anyone.” Ephidel glared at Valaura with a sadistic grin, mimicking Lysis' body to mimic the Gardevoir’s form. Valaura looked on helplessly.

    “We’ll make you deal, Lysis,” Ephidel explained as fired danced through Lysis’ fingers. “We’ll simply fuse with Tara and leave you alone; we’ll share this body as one; your intentions are our intentions,” he explained as rose up into the air and allowed Lysis to speak.

    “Why would I let you do that?” Lysis asked with contempt.

    “Because…” Ephidel took over once more, hovering around the penthouse. “We all know you only care about yourself; you’re as black-hearted as we are. If we leave you alone, you live, and with us inside you, you live forever. Nothing to kill you, nothing to stop you. You know us; we simply love the chaos you can bring, and we would leave you perfectly alone if you promise to do just that.”

    Lysis was given a turn to speak once more, but she remained silent.

    “Think about it… Anything you could ever want is within your reach, and you would never die. It’s all you’ve ever wanted,” Ephidel explained seductively.

    “I-I…” Lysis stuttered, looking slightly ashamed, yet alive with the possibilities presented to her. “I really want to… I do… And I would do it…”

    “But?” Ephidel asked as he returned to the ground.

    “But you need Tara’s permission,” Lysis grinned, in spite of their situation.

    “Fool,” Ephidel spat.

    And then Lysis’ vision went black and was pulled back into the mental plain.

    -------

    Tara was there already as Lysis and Valaura appeared once more in the field, though all the life was gone, and thunder rumbled over head.

    “You’ve chosen your fates then, we’ll consume you all!” Ephidel yelled. “And none of you can do anything to stop us!” he flashed his teeth hungrily.

    The girls looked at each other, expressions of uncertainty and fear clouded their faces. Tara looked at Valaura, who looked strangely calm and was looking directly back at Tara.

    “You’re not alone,” she stated.

    The younger girl immediately felt the strange warmth overcome her. She closed her eyes, attempting to remember as it caressed her very soul. The familiarity was so complete, as it touched every part of her mind, cradling it in warmth and peace, despite the terrible situation. Her eyes flew open.

    “Muku?” Tara was shocked to see the Mime Jr. hovering before her.

    “What?” Ephidel snarled, curling his lip in annoyance.

    Muku smiled at Tara, touching her cheek with his tiny hand. A tear rolled down both her mental body and real body. She gasped as she felt a wealth of power flowing into her, energizing Lysis as well. Muku eyed Tara bitter-sweetly, lovingly rubbing her cheek before turning to face Valaura, nodding with what one would describe as acceptance as she was also given strength. Turning to Lysis, he eyed her with a strange expression, one of both worry and relief.

    “Wait!” Tara choked as his hand left her face. Muku faced Ephidel, and took one last look at his lifelong friend before launching himself at the Gengar. His aura burned so brightly around his body that the girls were blinded. The blue light brought the field back to life as Muku transformed himself into pure energy, sacrificing himself to severely weaken Ephidel.

    The Gengar let loose a chorus of unearthly cries of pain as his image shifted between his human, Haunter, and Gengar forms, along with many others.

    ”Now!” Valaura yelled, rushing forward with her own red aura alive around her. Lysis and Tara followed, giving their all into their attack.

    -------

    Outside of the mental plain, in the real world, Ephidel was wailing as he was being forced further into the body he possessed. His ghostly effects on Tara’s body left as he was pulled deeper and deeper within. All of him was being dragged into the mental field where the psychics battled with him, destroying his essence. With one last feral cry the spirit was destroyed.

    The sun returned instantly to the imaginary place. They all breathed heavily, spent once more, having used much of their power to destroy Salem.

    “He came back…” Tara whispered as she placed her hands on her knees. “He saved us,” she fell to the ground, crying softly.

    “He sacrificed himself to save you,” Lysis said, leaning against her tree.

    “How did he survive, how was he still alive?” Tara shook her head as she rocked back and forth.

    ”His love could not bow to death it seemed…” Valaura assumed. ”His life-force continued on and found you, he has been ever-present with you for many months now. …What he used was the most powerful Future Sight I have ever seen… "

    “What?” Tara uttered.
    ”He must have seen this moment come before his body died, he used Future Sight and poured all of his power, his being into it. Surviving as a psychic presence with the sole purpose of sacrificing himself in order to weaken Salem.”
    “Why didn’t you tell me?” Tara asked quietly. “That he was here?”

    ”I received the impression that he would rather you not be told," she answered. ”"Or that, you should at least figure it out on your own. He thought it best not to meddle with the healing process... He only revealed himself to save you…”

    “Well, now I’ve been ripped right open again haven’t I!?” Tara yelled angrily, looking away.

    Neither of them said anything, and Lysis did not interfere, she simply looked down at herself as she rested against the tree.

    ”I’m sorry,” the younger teen apologized. “I won’t take what he did for granted. He gave me life, so that I could continue on,” she stood. “He would want me to continue to be happy. And I will, for him, and for me…”

    Valaura nodded in approval.

    Lysis stood as well. “Well, now that this is all over-“

    “It’s not over,” Tara shook her head, turning to face Lysis. “I'm thankful for what you've done, but this is still my body, and I'm taking it back. I won't let you run around and endanger me. You almost died against that Steelix, you're not as invincible as you think."

    “No,” Lysis slowly turned her head from side to side. “You’re not locking me up!” she smiled. “Not again, there’s no way.”

    Valaura took hold of Lysis by the shoulder. ”She is right.”

    The young woman looked confused as Valaura gripped her, and her expression turned to worry as Tara approached. “Valaura! You can’t do this to me! You’re loyal to me!” she yelled, defiant.

    ”And I will be loyal to you until my end,” she confirmed. ”Your last command was to keep Tara safe, and so I shall.”

    Lysis blinked, running the words through her mind quickly. She then stopped struggling at once and smiled vainly. “So I did.” Bowing her head, she allowed herself to be enclosed in a metal cage that appeared around the tree. The bars were many and were very thick, surrounded by blue energy; the empty spaces too thin for Lysis to slip through.

    Tara held a key in her hand and placed it in the lock of the door, turning it. The lock clanked as it slid into place. Looking one last look at Lysis, she was surprised to see the woman still smiling.

    “You’ve not seen the last of me, darling,” she winked as she took a seat on the stone bench, lifting a flower to her nose.

    The younger girl only gave her a grave expression before returning to her body.

    -------

    Tara decided to leave a few days later instead, too tired to do anything but sleep most of the time. Before leaving she called for someone to come fix the floor and replace the windows. Since part of the roof was also glass, they were able to blame the damage on a freak meteorite that Valaura was not able to stop completely before it hit. The man seemed to buy the story with some 'encouragement'.

    Once again Tara had her bag slung over her shoulder on the morning of her departure. Walking out of the penthouse with Valaura right beside her, she didn’t take a second look back, thinking quietly to herself as they rode the elevator down to the bottom floor.

    Tara paused as soon as they were out in the cool morning air of Saffron City, looking expectantly at Valaura. The Gardevoir nodded and they both disappeared from the sidewalk, leaving only a few confused stares in their wake.

    When they reappeared they were against the wall of a building, hiding in its shadow; the smell of the sea filled their nostrils. Tara took a deep breath and looked around the corner, seeing a young girl at a stand not too far away. The sign atop the portable stand read, ‘Water-type Ocean-race!’
    The silvery-blonde girl, who had her hair up in a single ponytail, was apparently registering for the event.

    “She grew…” Tara noted. She looked briefly at the older boy standing next to her, who seemed to be interested in an article in a newspaper. There was a Sableye on his shoulder, and it was looking directly at her with a chilling smile, gem-eyes shining brightly with reflected sunlight.

    Tara shuddered slightly, though a bit amused at the little imp.

    “Mm, one of the banes of a psychic’s existence,” Valaura noted as she eyed the Ghost/Dark-type. “It knows we’re here, it senses us in the shadows.”

    ”Did you tell Elvia?” Tara asked, prying herself away, back around the corner and sighed heavily.

    “I did.”

    “All right then…” she sighed again.

    ”We must leave or you will miss your ship.”

    “Right, let’s go.”

    Tara and Valaura vanished silently.
    -------

    Thaaaat's it for that fic.
     
    #12 Sem, Jul 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  13. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    Just some fun facts I decided to share with you all.

    -Lysis is not an actual name. It is taken from the name Lysistrata, which means 'army destroyer'. (Is also a character in an old play.) Her weapons are called Strata, the second half of the name; so liek, together, they destroy teh armiez. :V

    -Lysis and Tara use their powers differently if you couldn’t tell.
    ~Lysis’ telekinesis is used for physical feats, while Tara focuses on the controlling of objects. Easy way to compare them is Pokémon-wise in the games. Lysis is a physical attacker while Tara is a special attacker.
    ~Lysis uses telepathy for manipulation; Tara uses it to actually read minds.
    ~Only Lysis can teleport.
    ~Only Tara can have prophetic visions, and is shown to have few in the fic.

    -Valaura’s name is taken from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. There is a powerful light magic tome called Valaura, whose weapon description is as followed: “A corruption of very high-leveled light magic.” (The tome was able to poison enemies if it hit, hence the corruption bit xP) The description I found awesome for some reason, and found it fit perfectly with her in a strange way.

    -Ephidel is a blatant copy of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword’s Ephidel; with my own twist of course. (The whole ‘we’ and ‘us’ thing)

    -Yes, I do play a lot of Fire Emblem.
    -Yes, I am a bit of a dork.

    -Stern, the name of the boy who first met Valaura in Team Rocket, the name means ‘star’. This was purposely done because Tara also means ‘star.’

    -Though not well mentioned in the fic, Lysis does have some minor differences than Tara when she is in control. Lysis’ eyes are a darker blue, (midnight blue) as well as her aura, and her voice is slightly different aside from the change in tone/attitude.

    -The idea for ‘super-strength’ for Lysis using telekinesis came from my love of Jessica Sanders from the first season of Heroes. Many of Lysis’ facial expressions also resemble Jessica’s, as does her gait. Jessica was a huge Lysis-inspiration in general. (Also why I and Lysis say ‘Hnnn.’ Because Jessica does ♥)

    I guess that’s it for now. If you guys have any questions about this fic in general (or any of my current written works) please feel free to ask here, or PM me/hit me up on the chat.

    Also any critiquing would be appreciated.
     
    #13 Sem, Jul 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  14. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    LOLZ, stfu forums. (Momentai~) :D

    I finished, Sem! I finally finished it! Gods. It just took AGES but I finally read it all and I love it to pieces and gods. ;__;

    Okay... I love your writing. I love how you weave descriptions. I love how all of your main characters feel like individuals, talk a certain way, walk a certain way, think a certain way, etc. That's one of the major things I've always noticed and really appreciated about your writing. The dynamics between Tara and Lysis were brilliant, if not beautiful. The concept of a "mental plain" is one I've always loved and I downright adore how you worked it in this story. Those sequences were easily my favourites and made be squee like a fool.

    You... you followed through with Muku! Bastard. You kept it secret all this time. I love you for that. :'D I really had no idea how you were planning to finish this story, so when Muku showed up I frelling yelled. Lovely foreshadowing. XD

    Wonderful characterization, and really nice development for Tara's character. This was so worth finally finishing. Made me smile on several occasions. Thanks for sharing it. And now I can actually read the next Tara story! (It'll just take me another year to read it, too.) ^_^
     

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