Righty, next fic is finally here, one which I've been personally very excited about for over a year now. This continues directly from the events of Northern Star. I will attempt to finish this fic before the end of November for NaNoWriMo. It obviously won't be novel length, but I think it's a fair trade since I won't be neglecting details. I'm not making any promises that it will finish by November's end, so we'll see =) As always, critique me. I like getting better ♥ -Chapter 1- Tara blinked, moaning at her alarm clock that beeped madly at her. She rolled over and switched the device off, groaning as she rubbed her eyes and sat up. Looking aimlessly around the room until her vision focused she wondered why she didn’t feel more rested. “Right,” she grunted, rolling her head from side to side. “No time to waste, Tara…” She got up and quickly went into the shower, wondering why she smelled perfume on herself. Tara showered quickly, and rushed back into her room, trying to shake off the tiredness that hung on her like a fog. Her feet ached. Once dressed she got her bag and began stuffing things into it, things that she would need for on the road traveling. She felt a slight rush as her bag got slightly fuller as the minutes went by, happy that she would be out in the world again. Only this time, Luke was coming. They had to leave Lilycove before some strange mobsters kidnapped her away because of Lysis. ”I belong on the road anyway,” Tara told herself. ”Not cut out for this fancy living.” She turned around; looking at her room for what she hoped would be the last time, despite how it had grown on her. She quickly descended the stairs, tossing her bag towards the hallway that led to the front door as she went into the kitchen. “Boy, do I need a cup of coffee,” Tara said dryly. “Good morning you two,” she said to Val and Luke, who were already in the kitchen. Luke, was eating breakfast and already seemed to be packed himself. “Morning, dear,” he said warmly, eyeing her with his green eyes. He looked great, as usual, with his tan skin and sun-kissed light brown hair. Lucius waited as Tara poured herself a cup of coffee, which she drank black. Tara closed her eyes and took a sip, inhaling the aroma. She looked at Valaura, who was standing near the glass wall. The Gardevoir didn’t look at Tara, in fact her eyes seemed unfocused and distant, meaning she was probably ready to get moving as soon as possible. “Did you find whatever it was you were looking for last night?” Lucius asked. “…What?” Tara asked, lowering her mug. “You got up like two hours after you went to bed,” he explained after taking another bite of cereal. “I asked you what’s up and you said you were fine and just looking for something in that other bedroom, the red one.” “I did?” she said with a dead stare, dread in her voice. “Yeah, said something like, ‘I’m fine, dear. Just looking for something,’” he answered. “…Were you sleep walking?” he asked with a chuckle. “Something seemed off about you. You were walking different, and even the way… you talked…” his voice trailed as he looked at Tara’s face and the glower in Valaura’s eyes. “Oh gods… that wasn’t you was it?” he said, a sudden chill running down his spine. Tara silently shook her head. “That explains why I feel tired and why my feet hurt…” “But…” Luke went on. “I saw you, her, go back to your room and close the door.” ”She teleported,” Valaura cut in. ”I was not aware of her presence until it was too late.” “She probably only went back into my room so you wouldn’t get suspicious,” Tara told him. She hastily took another sip of coffee before turning around to prepare some kind of food quickly. “Do you think Lysis wants the men to get a hold of me?” she asked Val. The psychic didn’t respond for a moment, looking to be deeply considering that idea. ”I think that… Lysis would not want that to happen,” she said. ”But now… I have a feeling that she is the key to getting you out of this situation.” “We should still try leaving,” Luke said as he got up and began washing his bowl. “Yeah,” Tara agreed. The young woman took a seat at the table, absentmindedly shoveling cereal into her mouth. It seemed like awfully eerie timing that people came looking for Lysis just when she’s able to take control again. Tara didn’t even know how Lysis had managed it. As far as everyone knew, everyone being Tara, Valaura, and Miss Fox herself, she was trapped inside a cage. ”Let us go,” Val said, moving away from the wall towards the front door. They grabbed their things and left the house, locking the door behind them before making their way out of Vista Del Mar towards the docks. Tara wasn’t sure if she would miss the city. She was happy to be travelling again, and while she liked the city she doubted she would shed a tear watching it fade away on the horizon. No, it would be good for her to move on now. There were gyms in both Mossdeep and Sotopolis that needed challenging, once she got those badges she could participate in the Hoenn League. It took them about twenty minutes of walking to reach the port. It was a clear day, perfect for ships and boats, and the place was crowded as a result. “Just need to find us a boat that goes to Mossdeep,” Tara said, looking around for a sign. They were lucky enough to find one leaving within the next half hour, so they quickly bought tickets and boarded the large ferry. Tara got more anxious as the minutes ticked by. She retreated into herself, trying to filter out the sounds of people focusing on the sound of the water sloshing up against the side of the boat and hearing the hum of the motor. After what seemed like an eternity the boat began to move, slowly drifting away from the dock before picking up speed. “Phew, finally,” Luke said as he leaned against the railing. “Yeah…” Tara nodded. “Mossdeep here we come.” “So, I was thinking since you were coming to watch me at the Grande Festival that you’d save me a seat at the League,” Luke said as he scooted closer to Tara. “Let you into the League?” Tara asked. “Please, they only let real men in.” “Ouch,” Luke said with mock-hurt in his voice that quickly turned to real pain as Tara jabbed him in the ribs. “Yes, of course you can watch me,” she said with a sly grin. She turned around, gazing at the few people that had come on the boat with them. Men and women, seeming to be dressed in a variety of ways, but all of them seemed to have the same look on their face. Tara began to notice that at least one of them was always looking in their direction. Tara’s heart began to race, knowing that something was wrong with the picture she was in. ”Val…” Tara started. ”I notice it as well,” Valaura said as she walked nearer. ”We are leaving, come,” “Heya!” one of the other passengers called as Valaura stood defensively before Tara. “Not leaving are you?” he asked, tossing a Pokéball onto the deck. The ball cracked open and released a large black bird with white chest feathers and crest feathers that looked like a hat. Other passengers followed suit, releasing either more Honchkrow or a black creature with yellow rings around its body. There were also two abstract creatures that were released – floating blotches of purple of green, anchored to a stone. The Spiritomb let loose maniacal, otherworldly laughs. At once Valaura and Tara felt a strong psychic pressure pressing down on them. The Honchkrow, Umbreon, and Spiritomb, were using Psychic, being some of the only Dark-types who could. Because of their type affinity, neither the Gardevoir nor the human could fight back with their own psychic abilities. “What’s going on?” Lucius asked, ready to release some of his own Pokémon before the psychic presence fell on him as well, crippling him and causing him to fall onto the deck. “Luke!” Tara yelled, holding her hands to her head. “The priority is the girl!” one of the passengers shouted as the men and women began closing in with their Pokémon. Tara groaned, feeling the psychic pressure press harder. Already she had a massive headache and it was too much effort to even try to defend against the attack. A flash of red light diverted her attention for only a moment as Valaura used a Thunderbolt on one of the Honchkrow. This only opened her up to a strong wave of the attack however, forcing her to again focus on the defense of her own mind. ”Tara!” she said with a strained voice. ”You must bring Lysis, bring her out! She will know how to handle this!” “What?” Tara exclaimed, looking mad for a moment. “No, I can’t-“ a more powerful psychic wave hit, causing Tara to falter and lose balance. She looked around, seeing an incapacitated Luke, and Valaura falling to her knees. Her heart raced and her breathing was erratic. She swallowed and closed her eyes, diving far into herself where a small part of her mind overlapped with the young woman known as Lysis Fox. ------- Tara looked at the field of flowers around her with the mountains in the distance. The plane hadn’t changed a bit since she had last seen it, still colorful and luscious. Her vision blurred for a moment, reminding her of the urgency of her situation. She began to run down the road the lead to a large tree, the only tree that could be seen for miles. Around the tree was a cage, with blue energy around the bars. She picked up her pace, a key suddenly appearing in her hand as she approached the prison. She jammed the key into the lock and turned it, causing the blue psychic energy to fade. The door swung open with a metallic creak. “Lysis!” Tara yelled the female’s name, fighting the bile that seemed to want to rise up in her throat in response to the name. She fell to her knees, feeling completely disoriented. “You need to help us,” she said weakly. “Valaura said so…” her voice faded away and she fell over into the dirt. Inside the cage, reclining on a stone bench at the base of the tree was Lysis Fox. In appearance she was much like Tara. In Tara’s head Lysis appeared as she would have had she still had her own body. She was tall, with the same pale skin and dark long hair. Even the blue eyes, though hers were darker. But there was an unmistakable look of confidence and arrogance on her face that so separated her from Tara - a sense of self-satisfaction and self-love that bordered dangerously on narcissism. Quietly, Lysis sat up, tossing aside the red flower she held in her hand. She rose up and strutted towards the open door. Even her gait would turn heads, taking each step with purpose. Miss Fox stood over Tara, looking at the girl with a sense of pity. “Oh, Tara,” she said. “What have you been dragged into now, darling?” The young woman kneeled down and scooped the girl into her arms. She turned on her heel and went back into the cage with Tara, laying her on the stone bench. “It’s only for a little while,” she told the girl. “I promise I’ll get this sorted as soon as possible.” She turned again and strode out of the cage, closing the gate and turning the lock. The blue energy returned, only it was darker this time. The key vanished somewhere into Lysis’ clothing as she walked away, towards a shining gate that would lead her to full consciousness. ------- Lysis immediately felt a powerful pressure on her mind. She looked around, seeing Valaura motionless on the ground. The boy lay near her, twitching slightly. Lysis herself was leaning against the rail of the boat, using it as support. She gazed only slightly at the deep blue water beneath her before struggling to right herself. “Show yourself!” she yelled, holding a hand to her head and keeping the other hand on the rail. At once the psychic presence faded as a man approached from inside the ferry’s cabin. He stepped out into the beating sunlight, looking very much like a businessman, or a retired one at least. He was aging, with grey hair and wrinkles. He was of an average height with an average body structure. On his shoulder was a Honchkrow as well, though it was admittedly smaller than the others. Despite this, Lysis could sense that it was the most powerful Pokémon present. “Tara?” she heard a weak voice say. She turned her head down to the boy, Lucius. He looked at her with glazed eyes as he lay on his side. “Afraid not, love,” Lysis answered. “But she’s safe.” She looked like Tara, she was in Tara’s clothes, but a closer look revealed that she was a completely different person, and Lucius realized this before fully losing consciousness. “Lysis,” the old man with the Honchkrow said, holding his arms out as if inviting the woman to embrace him. “It’s been a long time…” A mixture of emotions flew across her face as she looked upon the man. She knew that despite his looks he was far from average, and she was forced to wonder why he was showing himself to her right then. “What do you want?” she asked. The man shook his head and waved his hand, causing the Dark-types to halt their attack. “Now, Lysis,” he said, putting a hand in his pocket. “You really have to ask? I haven’t seen you in years… I thought you were dead.” He looked upon her warmly as he spoke. “Not quite that easy to get rid of me,” Lysis replied, quickly making a note of the many guards present. He had gone through quite a bit of trouble to ensure that he caught her, though she had lowered her guard by now. It was no longer a hostile situation she was in, but she still showed certain reluctance. “You know I’ve missed you,” he continued. “Please, let me hold my granddaughter,” he said, almost pleaded as he opened his arms. At once Miss Fox looked guilty, looking him in the eye, the right side of her mouth pulled back. She took cautious steps towards him. “I missed you too, Grandaddy,” she said as she slowly approached him, embracing him once she was close enough. She was surprised that his bodyguards hadn’t done anything. Lysis felt his arms wrap around her and she rested her chin on his shoulder. Her mind was buzzing, thinking. She hadn’t seen her family in years, it was strange suddenly being in the presence of her grandfather. But, it did feel nice being with a person who knew her. “Sorry for being on guard. It’s good to see you.” “It’s fine – only natural that you would feel that way at first,” her grandfather replied, nodding in understanding. “Come,” he said, letting go over her but keeping his hands on her shoulders. “I’ll take you back home. We can catch up and l’ve even prepared a room for you to move in. There’s no reason for you to live on your own.” Lysis thought for a moment before she guiltily shook her head. “I’m sorry, I can’t,” she said with a frown. “I took this body without permission, and the girl this body belongs to has plans of her own.” She took a step away from him, hoping to properly communicate the situation she was in. “The girl? Tara Valens? Don’t be ridiculous. You have the perfect opportunity right now to obtain permanent control,” he explained. “You’re my granddaughter – that makes you more important than any other girl.” Lysis was silent for a moment, debating with herself. In the end she knew there would be no arguing with the man. If he wanted to see her that badly he would order his men to take her by force. “I dunno – I think I would feel too guilty…” Her grandfather didn’t reply immediately either, seeming pick his next words with care. “How about I just take you back for a little while. A week at least. Let’s spend some time together,” he added with a smile. “Once I learned that you were alive I had to find you, you must understand what I’m feeling right now seeing you alive.” “But this isn’t me, this body,” Lysis said, motioning to herself. “Yes, I know… I know all about what’s happened. But, I must say. This Tara Valens is strikingly similar to you. It also helps that she looks more mature than she is. You couldn’t have picked a better body in my opinion – and why not take control of the body you picked? Come, please consider my offer carefully, my dear...” Miss Fox said nothing for a short while. Thoughts buzzed around in her head. She honestly had no desire to live with her grandfather, but she was glad to see him. “I… guess she wouldn’t mind if I spend a week with family…” Lysis said hesitantly. She looked extremely out of character. Lysis Fox was always sure of herself, and she always knew exactly what to say. “All right, take me home,” she agreed. “Good,” he replied warmly, taking her hand in his. Lysis covered his hand with her other before walking back and looking over the rail. “Kill the Gardevoir,” she heard her grandfather say. Miss Fox jerked her head in his direction. “No!” she said. “Just bring her with us.” “Lysis… She’s too dangerous to bring back,” he explained with a frown. “Then don’t,” she responded. “Make sure she and the boy get to Mossdeep.” “She will come looking for you,” he said. “No… I don’t think she will,” she said, shaking her head. “I’m only going to be gone for a week. As if you’d let her find us anyway.” Her grandfather frowned and stared at her for a long moment, seeming to deeply consider whether or not to listen to her. “Fine,” he said. “Whatever it takes to make my granddaughter happy,” he smiled warmly as the sound of a helicopter could be heard far off. Lysis grinned. “Thank you.” They waited for a few moments as the helicopter approached. It was a model that immediately became familiar to Lysis as it got closer. It was a popular model that was used in Team Rocket. Lysis had ridden in one many times before. The chopper hovered over the ferry before landing on the open space on deck. The draft created by the blades was powerful, blowing away everything that was light enough. Before getting inside of the copter Lysis dug through the clothes she wore. She took out the Pokéballs that contained Tara’s Pokémon and put them in Luke’s bag. Lysis also left Tara’s bag with the boy. “You take care of these, boy, you hear me?” Of course, he couldn’t hear her. With a sigh Lysis walked towards the waiting helicopter and stepped inside. As she buckled herself in the vehicle lifted off of the ship and turned, heading back towards Lilycove. ------- Edwin Fox, Lysis’ grandfather, didn’t actually live in the city. His home, which was a massive mansion, lay in the middle of the forest, with only a single road leading to it from Route 121. It was built in the neoclassical style, with walls constructed of clean white stone with a gray-tiled roof. Lysis had only been to the mansion once before, when she was much younger. From what she remembered there were dozens of rooms and plenty of facilities to keep one busy throughout the day. “Remember last time you visited and you said you wished you could live here?” her grandfather said with a chuckle. The Honchkrow on his shoulder ruffled its feathers slightly and settled more comfortably onto the shoulder. Lysis smiled as she looked down upon the structure. “Yes, I do remember.” She was eight when she had come to visit her grandfather with her parents. That was the last time she was there, but it wasn’t the last time she had seen her grandfather. Edwin Fox had made sure to go visit his son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter at least once a year for Christmas. “Hopefully you’ll feel that way again, only this time you’ll get to stay,” he offered with a hopeful tone. Miss Fox bit her lip. Living in such a place was tempting, she had to admit. “We’ll see,” she said. The helicopter landed on the ground’s helipad, located out just in front of the building. There were a couple of servants waiting for them on the pad. Lysis could also remember the vast number of servants that her grandfather employed. They were all fairly robotic, which had disturbed her the last time she had visited. As soon as the copter had touched down one of the servants rushed up to the door and opened it. “Welcome home, Miss Fox,” he said as he extended his hand. “Thank you, dear,” she muttered as she took his hand and stepped out onto the concrete. Brushing the hair out of her face she inhaled at the site of the mansion looming ahead. “Welcome home, Miss Fox,” the second servant echoed, then both of them said, “Welcome home, Mr. Fox.” “Thank you,” he said as he began walking down the bricked path that led to the house. “I trust that a room for my granddaughter has been prepared?” “Yes, sir,” they both said, following closely behind Edwin and Lysis. “Your room has a glorious view of the forest, my dear,” Edwin explained. “I’ve sent men to your quaint little home in Vista Del Mar to collect your things – they should be there already in your room.” “All of my things?” Lysis asked with a raised brow. “You’re fairly confident that I will choose to stay, aren’t you?” Edwin only grinned a white grin. “It’s not very much trouble. Why not have all the things you’re used to available to you for your week’s stay?” “Yes, I’m quite certain I will need all of my winter outfits,” she said wryly. He only chuckled in response. The lawn was vast and spacious, and the grass was a picture perfect shade of green, perfectly manicured. The front of the house was quite breath-taking. With a large, fanned-out flight of steps leading up the large double doors that led inside. Columns lined the walls and had various typed of flowers at their base. The main driveway was lined with tall palms, which stood out quite plainly in the middle of the forest. Off to the left was what Lysis assumed was a garage. It was large, and she knew that at least one level was underground. The chopper had flown overhead and landed on top of the garage. Edwin, Lysis, and the two servants ascended the staircase, which had beautifully carved concrete balustrades. The large cherry wood doors opened for them, allowing them to enter. A line of about six servants, three men and three women, awaiting them and another pair of servants closed the doors behind them. All of the servants bowed. “Welcome home,” they all said in unison. Lysis had to admit, the servants still freaked her out. She smiled anyway and nodded. “Thank you.” “Would one of you kindly lead my granddaughter to her room? Someone else please bring her a glass of water,” Edwin instructed. “Yes, sir,” two of them said and bowed before rushing to their tasks. It was strange, the way the servants operated, as if knowing who would perform which task without needing to discuss it amongst themselves. “Do you want anything else, my dear?” Mr. Fox asked his granddaughter. “No, I think that will do,” she smiled. “I’m going to go freshen up and change into something more suitable. Where would I find you when I’m done?” Edwin massaged her palm with his thumb and smiled kindly. “Meet me in the sun room – we’ll have lunch there. I hope you remember your way around.” “No need to worry,” Lysis explained. “I’ll meet you there, granddaddy.” With that she followed the servant to her room. The inside of the mansion was just as impressive as the outside, with pearl white marble floors and columns. A soft crème colored rug led directly from the front doors up the Y-shaped staircase, whose arms curved off to the sides. Above them was a large chandelier and several skylights, which along with the large windows provided much natural light large and open space, with the ceilings vaulted as high as they could go. The servant led Lysis up the staircase, which had polished oak railings. They took the left arm of the staircase, allowing Lysis to see the many portraits that hung on the white walls of the second level. Most of them seemed to be expensive pieces of art from all over the world. They reached the left side of the bridge that connected the gap left by the Y-shaped stairs. They went left into the hallway, the only sound being their footsteps echoing off of the marble in places where there was no rug. The hall was windowless save for the occasional skylight and the large window at the end, which provided enough light along with the lamps that hung on the walls. At the very end of the hall on the right side they went through the last door. “Here is your room, Miss Fox,” he said, gesturing for her to enter. “You will find your clothes in the closet and your water will be here momentarily. Do you need anything else?” Lysis eyed her room, taking in the large bed with tall bedposts that held up a sheer white veil. The duvet was royal red with pearly-gold pillows. A couch rested against the far wall, along with a large vanity. A television disguised as a picture hung on the wall, and a chair and lamp sat in the corner. It was all a bit too old fashioned for her tastes, but it would do just fine. “No, thank you,” she told the servant. “Do not hesitate to ask for anything,” he replied before bowing and walking away, leaving the young woman alone in her room. “What now, hm?” she asked herself as she closed the door. It was strange, suddenly being back in the house after more than a decade. Her grandfather was adamant that she stay, she knew that very well. He was the only member of her family that still remembered her. The Rockets had wiped the memories of her parents immediately after her death, so according to them they didn’t have a daughter. To be honest she rarely thought about her parents. The thought of reintroducing herself to them would be a very large hassle, a hassle that she didn’t want to deal with. It was easier for everyone if she remained dead. However, now her grandfather was the problem. The reason he still remembered was because he was partially responsible for her recruitment into the Rocket’s psychic program. He wasn’t a member, but he was an associate and supporter of most of the organizations ventures. Team Rocket loved him because he stuffed their pockets with funds, funds for research and other projects. It had all started with Edwin Fox, and he was adamant that she come live with him. “We’ll see how this goes, granddaddy,” Lysis muttered to herself as she prepared herself for a bath.